Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Slide

We went to a Pumpkin Patch on Saturday and they had this HUGE slide that you could go down on burlap sacks. By the time you reached the bottom you were SCOOTIN’! Mom and Christopher were the first to go down it, so they didn’t really know what to expect…

OH MY WORD… I can’t look at these pictures and not laugh. The expressions on my mom’s face are hilarious. And Christopher’s look of pure excitement – I LOVE these.

sidenote: Christopher’s shirt is not too small. His poor belly… ha. His shirt is just bunched up under mom’s death grip hand.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Christopher’s 3rd Birthday

Christopher turned 3 on August 18th!!! I’m finally getting his birthday post up. Maybe now I won’t feel like such a slacker mom. :)

At some point this summer, he was really into Curious George, which we can watch on Netflix. My original plan for his birthday party theme was going to be Thomas the Tank Engine, but I ended up changing it to Curious George because I thought a monkey-themed party would be fun to plan and decorate, and I figured that next year he’ll want a Thomas-themed party anyway, and I’d rather not do the same theme two years in a row.

Last year I planned a big party and expected a lot of people to show up. Christopher wasn’t in daycare at the time, but I invited acquaintances who had children around Christopher’s age, hoping for a good turn-out. I went to a lot of trouble… and the only kid there other than Christopher was my cousin’s little girl, who my aunt had brought from Texarkana. And the only other people at the party was family and our family friends, the Lawrys. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.

This year, I chose to invite only family and the Lawrys and just plan for them. It was much less stressful on me and we had a wonderful day celebrating Christopher’s third birthday!!!

I don’t love all of these pictures, but I was really too busy prepping everything to worry about shooting in anything other than auto.

{Morning of his birthday…}
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I just snapped these pictures before most people arrived.
In this picture, you can see the blue spiral hanging from the ceiling. I had those in different colors hanging all over the living room. The little yellow bucket on the table was filled with candy. The Curious George balloon in the background was also tied to a bucket of candy.

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I got the buckets from the $1 spot at Target. I got blue and yellow and filled them all with different kinds of candy. Then I bought the “3” candles and put them on a wooden skewer and stuck them in the middle.

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This was our “dessert” bar… I always go overboard with the desserts, but I like for people to have options!

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Red Velvet mini cupcakes with Cream Cheese icing. {both made from scratch}

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White chocolate pretzel sticks. The sprinkles on the ones on the left are banana split sprinkles… bananas, cherries, and chocolate sprinkles.

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Banana Bread

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Banana Split Bar. We had homemade ice cream (made by my dad) with these yummy toppings in a waffle bowl.

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This is an opening between the kitchen and living room. I wanted to do something fun and came up with this idea. Loved it!

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Monkey faces!

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4:59 – Birth Minute!

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I realized – way after this picture was taken – that in all of craziness of the day, I had never put makeup on. Lovely.

Even though it was “just” aunts, uncles, grandparents, and the Lawrys, Christopher still had a ridiculous amount of gifts to open. He is very loved! (And spoiled.)

There were three things he kept telling us that he wanted for his birthday – balloons, a Thomas clock, and a drum. I made sure plenty of balloons were used as decorations, and Nana and PopPop got him the clock and drum.

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This is his face when he realized what my parents got him – he opened up a helmet and then we asked him what he might need a helmet for? And my dad rolled in a brand new bike!

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I am so thankful for our family. Christopher’s grandparents, uncles, and aunts all love him so much. Everyone except my parents & the Lawrys had to travel to be here to celebrate his day. I would like to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Our day wouldn’t have been complete without you here to celebrate it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

4-year Anniversary

Mine and Stephen’s 4-year anniversary (what what?) was September 21st. We kind of love Branson. We have basically unlimited condo use in the odd years, but not in the even years, so we hadn’t been all year. I was needing to buy fall clothes for Christopher, so it was the perfect time to go.

I originally thought to have my mom keep Christopher, but then decided to ask my mother-in-law if she wanted to meet us there and keep him. Of course, she jumped at the chance to see us Christopher, and I’m so glad we did it this way. We both ended up staying in the same hotel – sheer coincidence thanks to Priceline Negotiator, but it was fine.

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We got there on Friday and ate at Fuddruckers. We’ve kind of made it a tradition… that’s the first place we go when we get to Branson!

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We met Nana and PopPop there.

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After Fudds, we all went to play miniature golf. We happened to find this “Dinosaur Canyon” place, which worked out great because Christopher was really into dinosaurs at the time. (See yesterday’s post: Dora the Explorer.)

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Golf for C was free – and I’m so glad, because he lasted about 3 holes before he decided he was d-o-n-e. Not to mention his idea of getting the ball to go in the hole was to just walk right up to it and hit the ball in from 2 inches away. By the time we were done, he was exhausted. (His nap was completely skipped this day.)

We checked into our hotel and took a little break and tried to get C to nap, but it didn’t happen. Nana and PopPop got checked in and we dropped the kiddo off at their room.

That evening, Stephen and I went to see a show. This was the first time we’ve gone to Branson and actually watched a show. It’s hard to do when you have a toddler with you, so we’d never been before. (I’ve seen several shows in Branson when I vacationed there with my parents, but it was Stephen’s first.)

We watched the Legend of KungFu, which Stephen had been wanting to go see since they first came to Branson. We both though it was just okay.

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After the show we ate at Olive Garden. We really enjoyed this evening out together!

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On Saturday, we went outlet mall shopping. A&W for lunch at Tangers…

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Then on to the Branson Landing for more shopping and – of COURSE – Cantina Laredo for dinner. It’s another Branson Staple for the O family. We met Christopher and my in-laws there for dinner.

Beef Fajita Nachos for me, Chicken Quesadillas for Stephen, and Fried Apple Pie for everyone to share for dessert. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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We may or may not love Branson for the food as much as the shopping, shows, and theme parks.

It was still fairly early when we left the Landing, and Stephen and I didn’t really feel like going back to the hotel yet, so we drove around hoping to find something that would catch our attention. We decided on the Hollywood Wax Museum, which neither of us had ever been to.

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It wasn’t too bad. Nothing I’d ever do again…but fun to see.  We did get roped into one of those timeshare viewing things while we were there. Neither of us really wanted to do it but each thought the other did, so we ended up making an arrangement to do one on Sunday morning before we left.

After the Wax Museum we went back to the hotel. The next morning we did the timeshare thing… took a few hours but we got $50 and a two night stay in a hotel out of it.

We headed home Sunday (after picking up Krispy Kreme, duh.)  We had a great weekend and I’m so glad we were able to take Christopher with us so that he could spend time with his grandparents. He cried on the way home because he “couldn’t play hide-and-seek with Nana anymore” and for several days after we were back in Mena, he asked to go back to the hotel so he could see Nana and PopPop.