It’s a Jungle in HERE! Wild about this Party Theme

We threw my son a leopard / jungle inspired 4th birthday over the weekend, and had a lot of fun with it!  Here are some pictures of our decor:

Jungle birthday party collage

From top: Leopard on the cake, sunflower centerpiece on a leopard print tablecloth, Middle: stuffed animals help decorate, bottom: monkeys swinging from the vines, and our vine window treatment

cat pictures

My daughter and son had fun coloring pictures of cats (still living and extinct), so we HAD to display them.

view of the table and jungle vines

I LOVED this leopard table cloth and may have to re-use it. We also have a jaguar picture hanging from the chandelier, who is going to eat the monkeys (according to my son).

The kids and I had so much fun hanging the vines (green yarn and green crepe paper) and placing the stuffed animals around the room.  I used green pipe cleaners to keep the monkeys attached to the chandelier.

For treats for the kids, we had animal crackers and jungle animal fruit snacks. We also had out a zoo play set and safari truck, though the kids went WILD playing with seemingly ALL of the toys in our house. It was awesome!

It was also very easy to find leopard print gift bags, though hot pink leopard print and zebra print tended to be more common in the stores we checked out (Dollar Store, Target, Wal-mart, and finally a party store).

One present that we bought the birthday boy was this cute stuffed leopard or jaguar.  My son said it was the greatest present in the whole world and has since named it “Spotty,” “Leppy,” or “Jaggy.”

Birthday boy taking good care of Spotty.

Birthday boy taking good care of Spotty.

Happy Birthday to my sweet 4 year old son!

Be my Baby for a little longer!

“I wanna be your baby,” my son whines in his little two-year-old voice.  This is code for, “Please hold me like a baby, Mom.”  I’ll also sweep my kids into a cradle hold whenever they say in short code, “Baby.”  I can’t resist it!

It started when getting them out of the tub and wrapping them up in their hooded towels.  Snuggling them by holding them as if they were a baby simply worked the best at warming them up.  Since the post-bath snuggles are fading away, I only hear, “I wanna be your baby” every so often – usually when my son gets hurt and rarely from my daughter (who is approaching age four).

There is part of me that just wants my little boy to stay my baby a bit longer! When big sister turned two, I was very busy with a two-month old little brother, so I didn’t have time to mourn her entering toddler-hood. My son is quite the mama’s boy and can still be clingy at times….often demanding and yelling, “I wanna come up!” Though this gets extremely annoying, I usually cave and pick him up.  Sigh…I know these days won’t last forever. Sniff. Sniff.

How quickly you went from my snugly newborn to my big, fast toddler, who refuses to stop for pictures!  Here’s a few of my favorite pictures from little on:

You may not want to hear this little man, but you will ALWAYS be my baby!

Have you celebrated a big milestone lately?  How do you react to your babies growing older?

 

I’m 1 Year Old! Happy Birthday Go Mama O!

Cheers! My Blog is officially 1 year old today! AND it’s my 100th post! I celebrated last night on a date night with Daddy O.  Here I am toasting myself with a cucumber, cilantro vodka concoction.

blog bday

We had the most amazing tapas! It was the perfect meal for an end of summer evening to dine al fresco and sample bits of this & that (without committing to one HUGE entree). This savory waffle with smoked gouda and chives topped with chicken asparagus and mushrooms was so pretty I HAD to take a picture before devouring it. Tell me I’m not the only one who takes pictures of my food…c’mon! delicious tapas

Looking Back

Reflecting on Go Mama O’s first year, I would say that I have learned a lot this past year.  One of my earliest posts, Top 5 Things I Learned from my Kids, still holds true even one year later, and I’m STILL learning to be a more patient parent.

In this past year, I met some helpful fellow moms along the way – including a sweet elderly woman at a grocery store. Gained a contract job that I did while my son napped and my daughter watched all episodes of  Wonder Pets on Netflix. I job hunted & got rejected several times before finding the right fit.  In the meantime, I learned to slow down more and enjoy many million dollar moments of parenting.

I am most proud of times when I gave up control a bit and empowered others to make a “good choice.” When potty training my daughter, I ultimately told her that SHE WAS IN CHARGE of her pee-s and poops.  I mistakenly gave her too much free reign on one toilet session, and paid for it dearly, so much so that I had to call in for back-up.

This aforementioned incident aside, I started to realize that this parenting thing DOES get easier as your kids grow older and slowly more independent.

Come April, I had landed a part-time marketing job that continues to be a good balance of work & parenting.  A few job related posts:

We have mostly overcome issues with growling, survived a cross-country road-trip, and I’m adjusting to the dinnertime rush on my workdays. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come (and my family too) in this past year.  For all the stress and worry that I felt one year ago, I wish I would have just RELAXED more because everything did work out for the best.

Thank you so much to the many fellow blog-friends, and my readers, who may relate to or simply enjoy my mom / work / cheese obsession / travel posts.  I look forward to celebrating more Blog Birthdays with you in the future!

Any feedback, suggestions, or thoughts on topics that I write about?  I’d love to hear from you!  Do you frequently look back at old posts and think about how life has changed since then?

Cute & Easy Birthday Card

Within the past year I’ve found that it is easier to make my own cards than go out and buy them.  As many other parents know, it’s hard to keep you children occupied while you peruse the MANY card options at any given store.  So I’ve resorted to making my own, which has been a fun, creative outlet (and something to do while the kids do their own craft projects).

One of my favorite cards is this cute & easy birthday card.  I’ve made several variations by just using my scrapbook paper scraps.  This particular one used packaging from a favorite toy: B. Zany Zoo Activity Cube. It came with such unique packaging that we’ve actually up-cycled the box as a ball toss game / toy bin / duct tape project!  The tag itself had such vibrant colors and really fun sayings from kids.  Check out the picture below –

Beyond cutting a few scraps into “candles”, using scrap wrapping paper for the polka dot “Happy Birthday” on the brown paper cake, all I used was a black and yellow pen to draw on the flames and candle wicks.  It doesn’t get much easier than this!

Happy card making!

A Hoot of a Birthday Party

With some extra time on my hands while the kiddos nap and when I do crafts with my daughter, I had fun making an owl-themed party for my son’s first birthday.

Owl Party Theme

I made owl invitations – Look Whoo’s turning one – a picture from every month that will go right into his scrapbook, owl cupcakes, and the streamer all with scrapbook paper that I had on hand.  I loved how it turned out!

I’m not a big cupcake or baking fan either….so it was a pretty good first attempt for making owl cupcakes!  We also tried using candy corn for the beak, which was kind of cute.  My “snow owl” with butter cream frosting – not so cute.

The birthday boy approved!  Yummy cupcakes! Chocolate is THE BEST!

This picture was taken pre-cupcake eating.  Here’s a close-up of the adorable personalized shirt from Curly-Q Kids Boutique. Fortunately, I have been able to get the chocolate stains out, as this shirt is a keeper!  We had such a great time celebrating our little man’s first year with our family.