Go Gold in September: Pediatric Cancer Awareness

I came across this awesome video on Facebook and noticed some other friends “going gold” for September.  Here’s some more background on Gold in September:

  • Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children
  • Childhood cancer has not reached the same level of awareness of other cancer awareness campaigns
  • Gold in September, G9, is the national campaign for Childhood Cancer

Visit the site here to learn more!

This video shares the mission of the girl (Annie) who started Gold in September in honor of her brother Jack.

In stark contrast to all the negative press about NFL players, this video featuring Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be the one in the spotlight! Be sure to watch it and share to bring attention to this extremely worthy cause.

The BEST Kid Birthday Party Theme EVER!

My kids are kind of funny with their birthday parties.  I typically suggest what they might want on their birthday cake and then plan their party from there. For my son, I suggested a Thomas the Tank Engine cake, and he said yes.  My daughter, overhearing this conversation, said, “Don’t you want an elephant cake?” This made him change his mind immediately.  Yeah, yeah – an elephant cake!

My first reaction: how in the world can I make an elephant cake?!

I did what any mom / party planner would do, check out Pinterest!

I came across this amazing Vintage Circus Theme 1st Birthday post on Hostess with the Mostess. The pictures are beautiful and the ideas adorable!  It is a much grander party than we’d be throwing for our son’s 3rd birthday, but really really fun!

I pinned a few other ideas on my Kiddos board as well. One stop to the dollar store for Popcorn containers, crepe paper, balloons and some favors, and I was completely “all-in” on the circus themed birthday with an elephant cake!

It’s official – the circus party IS the BEST Kid Birthday Party Theme EVER!

circus themed birthday

Love the circus themed party with an elephant cake, knock the can over game, popcorn & circus peanuts, lollipop centerpiece, and “big top” tent over our table.

The basic color combination was so easy to do…a balloon bouquet hanging from our chandelier and crepe paper arranged to make our dining room feel more like a circus tent were really cute!  I did spend more time making the centerpiece, using a Styrofoam circle as a base. I shoved the colorful lollipops around the circle and covered the front & back with scrapbook paper and a #3 cut-out. For the circus game, I covered tin cans in scrapbook paper.  From an 18 month old to a 6 year old cousin, every kid had some fun (in their own style) knocking over the cans with a ball.

Our menu included brats & hot dogs, popcorn, circus peanuts, animal crackers, veggies & dip, pasta salad, cake & ice cream – kid-friendly, fun food of course!

Here are a few action shots from our day -

Little brother turns 3 - showing off his fishing pole with Mom & Dad.

Little brother turns 3 – showing off his fishing pole with Mom & Dad.

This was the best family picture we got! As you know, parties can be a bit hectic, so we forgot to try for a picture with all four of us. This one is so typical of family pictures – not looking at the camera, waving a toy around, somebody talking…but whatever, it captures the fun of the day, so I’ll take it. Little brother was so excited about his Star Wars fishing pole!

Happy siblings!

Happy siblings!

The store bought, professionally decorated birthday cake was a hit! Thanks for the idea big sister!  I caught my son saying “cheese” in this shot.

A little help blowing out the candles.

A little help blowing out the candles.

Kids just can’t resist helping blow out birthday candles.  In a wider shot, their cousin was also helping blow from a distance.  It is so sweet seeing the bigger kids help out the birthday boy….they especially did this while opening his presents in one crazy whirlwind.  The room became extra quiet when all the gifts were opened and everyone was playing with his toys.  So. Much. Fun.

Have you ever had a circus themed party?  What have been your favorite party themes?  My next party theme – PRINCESS!!

Fly on the Wall: Dirty Beans

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.


This past month just flew by with major things happening in our house – my daughter starting 4K, me starting my own all natural foods direct sales business, and my son’s 3rd birthday!  Lots of great blogging material in the queue, so come back to read all about it someday!

Dinnertime Conversations

One of our favorite activities to do on Wednesdays is venture to the Farmer’s market.  I bought some beans and made them for dinner.  Little bro said, “These beans are dirty.” He then took a few to the bathroom sink to rinse them off.  I tried explaining, “It’s seasoning, not dirt!.”  Oh well…at least he ate them!

Summertime Moments

We had the chance to test out a family member’s tag-along bike (it’s a kid’s bike attached to an adult bike) one weekend.  Big sister did awesome on it!  While we were riding she commented, “Mom, your dream that you had as a little girl came true.” I responded, “Huh?” She continued, “The dream of riding on a bike for two people.” This triggered my memory, “Oh yeah,” I said, “I guess you are right.”

As an adult I told Daddy O. that I dreamed of riding on a tandem bike together as an older couple (after seeing tandem bikers while biking/traveling in Switzerland). Here I was riding with a tag-along bike with my daughter, which I suppose was just as good, if not better because of her excitement. Dreams DO come true, though sometimes they materialize in different ways.

One hot day we made chocolate pudding pops. Big sister exclaimed, “This is the best day EVER!”  It is truly the little things in life that count, right?!

Learning New Health Terms

Daddy O: I think little brother has athlete’s foot.

Big sister: One time I had an athlete foot. And I pulled off the athlete.

Daddy O: That’s not exactly what it means.

Little brother: I have athlete’s foot.

Big sister: One time I peel off athlete.

Daddy O: Athletes are people who play sports. You don’t peel them off. Athletes sometimes get it from playing sports.

Big sister (persistent): Mom, I had a lot of athletes. I peeled them off.

Off to School

I wrote more about my musings on my daughter going off to 4 year old kindergarten here. Here’s a picture from her 1st day:

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of school. Sniff. Sniff.

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of school. Sniff. Sniff.

Her comments after morning one of school: Mom, some kids were arguing at school.  I wasn’t arguing.

Me: What did you do sweetie?

Big sister: We ate cheezie weezies for snack (the most important detail I guess).

My son’s reaction after big sister got on the school bus was, “Where’s my sister?” Yeah bud, it IS different around the house without her. Then later he told me, “When I get big I’m going to ride the school bus.”

Getting ready for school went really well the first few days, especially wonderful because big sister isn’t always a morning person.  That has since faded, much to my dismay. Eating and picking out clothes are the longest activities! I try to give suggestions, like putting leggings under a skirt to stay warmer, but my daughter told me, “Mom, you’re trying to dress me weirdly.” Oh man…I’m sure I’ll be hearing that one again!

Since starting school, I think big sister has begun to appreciate afternoons at home and weekends more. She remarked, “Quiet. I love quiet. I hate it when it’s loud.”  This IS a new one that I hope is adopted more often in our house!

Old House

We do live in an older home, but have no immediate plans to move.  Some family members have recently moved, so of course, big sister wants to move too.

Big sister: I don’t like our old house.

Me: Well, there are a lot of things Mom and Dad like about our house. Why don’t you like it?

Big sister: The doors. I want pink doors.

Little brother: I want the door to be green.

Daddy O: When you have your own house you can have whatever color door you want.

Click on these links for a peek into some other homes with various colored doors:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                           Baking In A Tornado

http://www.therowdybaker.com                                The Rowdy Baker

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty

http://themomisodes.com                                         The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                       Spatulas on Parade

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                               The Sadder But Wiser Girl

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                  Stacy Sews and Schools

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                             Menopausal Mother

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                           Juicebox Confession

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                         Someone Else’s Genius

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                               Battered Hope

Mom’s Musings on 1st Days of School

I can hardly believe that I now have a school-age daughter! Okay, so she only goes for mornings, but we are fully “in school” Monday through Friday now.  Last week to her delight, she hopped out of bed, willingly got ready, and ran off ahead of me, little brother and Daddy O. to her bus stop.  Before we left the house, I did capture this picture.

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of school. Sniff. Sniff.

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of school. Sniff. Sniff.

I’m so glad I took this picture, because when the bus came and stopped, she ran across the street so quickly to get on it.  Too fast. Too fast for me to balance my umbrella and quick snap a picture, but that’s okay.  I have good memories of her excitedly bounding off to the bus with an ear to ear grin spread across her face.  She left me there with a few tears, sneaking out of the corner of my eyes, while her little brother kept asking where she was going.  Daddy O. gave me a hug, reassuring me that I had done a good job preparing her for school.

Still…my first born, getting so grown up! I can remember those early days that were so wonderfully new and so dreadfully tiring. And those potty training days that were so frustrating. This is one strong willed girl! And to think only last summer she was growling at strangers. Those days seem so far away when I look at my daughter today. I am so proud of her.

To my surprise, I managed to convince myself that I didn’t need to get in my car and drive behind the bus.  My more practical side overpowered the “crazy mom” in me, thinking that I may not even be able to see her while she exited the bus. So little brother and I hung out while she was away. It was weird. Quieter.

I waited anxiously by the front window, peering out to see when her bus would be coming.  I realized that this waiting would be something I would have to grow accustomed to….whether waiting for her to come back from school, return from a friend’s house, and eventually drive the car home herself (yikes)! Thus is the life of a parent – spending so much time together in the early years (thinking they’ll never end some days), then slowly letting them go a bit more as they grow up (and being all crazy-mom emotional about it at times too).

She did come home and immediately told me, “some kids were arguing, but not me, Mom.” And then, “We had cheezies for snack.”  Great. Day 1 = success!

While I’d love to press the pause button through all of this, I know I have to simply breathe deep and take it all in, savoring these big milestones and the little ones too.

Other parents, how are you holding up on the first days of school?