Amy Beth

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cars Galore Birthday Party!

Charlie only says two words clearly and with any regularity. One is “Mama.” The other is “cars.” So when planning for his 2nd birthday party it only seemed fitting that cars should be the theme of the day. I wanted him to be able to tell us what a fun time he was having, after all.

For the most part we kept things small and simple – much like last year. Some family came. We opened presents. We ate cake. We did a couple car themed activities and then took advantage of a rare warm(ish) day and played outside. It was a lovely day!

The Cake

Race car themed birthday cake

The cake this year was actually brownies. This saved me from having to ice a whole cake. It also kept it to a reasonable size. I baked the brownies in a round cake pan and used some decorating icing to draw a road going around the cake. Green icing was applied to resemble grass and bushes, and matchbox cars were set on the road. I thought using the toy cars gave a really nice effect on the cake while keeping it super simple. And Charlie loved getting to play with the cars once we cut into the cake.

Birthday cake for a car themed party

Tire Track Painting

Our first activity was a painting made with tire tracks. Due to his love of cars Charlie was much more engaged in this activity than the finger painting we did last year. The main skill requirement for the craft was driving toy cars around on the paper, so he was already an expert in how to do it.

Tire Track Painting

We started with a long sheet of paper (with a plastic tablecloth underneath to cut down on the mess to clean up) and paper plates for each color of paint. To keep it looking somewhat attractive, I picked out four coordinating colors to work with rather than just giving him every color under the sun.

Tire Track Painting: use toy cars to create tire track prints on paper.

Then we ran the wheels of the tires through the paint and drove them around on the paper. I tried to find tires with interesting ridges and textures so the tracks would have some variety.

Tire Track Painting: make a fun abstract painting using toy cars instead of paintbrushes!

This craft resulted in a pretty fun abstract painting that I plan to hang on a big empty wall in his room.

Clean up was pretty simple. We threw away the plastic table cloth and paper plates, wiped up any smudges from the floor (we used washable paint) and moved the paint covered cars to our next activity – a car wash!

 

Shaving Cream Car Wash

The car wash kept Charlie busy for much longer than I expected. Everyone else had moved on and were visiting in another room while Charlie kept washing his cars.

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We started with two large plastic bins. We filled one with shaving cream and one with water. From there Charlie just moved cars back and forth from one bin to the other. He’s get a car all foamy in the shaving cream, then rinse it off with the water, lather, rinse, repeat.

Shaving cream car wash

 

Shaving cream car wash

 

It was so fun to see Charlie actually engage in these activities and enjoy his special day. It’s amazing how much he’s learned and changed in the past year. It makes me think that next year’s party will be even more fun!

For more party ideas and inspiration, check out my DIY Party pinterest board!

 

Friday, February 28, 2014

February in Review

feb-review

I stopped reviewing my months for a while there. The break in routine that is the holidays took a while to recover from this year. But now I’m getting back in the swing of things and am back to learning small tidbits during the month. Here’s what I learned in February.

1. Babies. They grow up SO FAST!
I remember as a young pregnant lady, people would get all nostalgic when talking to me about their own kids and say things like, “Before you know it they’re all grown up” and, “Having kids will change your life completely.” And I was all like, “yeah, yeah… everybody says that. You’re all just being nostalgic.” But now I know. ALL those people were RIGHT! My baby is about to turn two. How?

2. Potty training is exhausting, even when it goes surprisingly well.
OR, maybe it’s going well because we’re exhausted?

3. Sometimes I like to think that we have an awesome kid because we’re such good parents. But then I realize that we probably seem like such good parents because we have an awesome kid.
At least the kid is awesome though.

4. Global warming has undergone a “rebranding” of sorts.
I was realizing when listening to the news the other day that no one calls it “Global Warming” anymore. Now it’s “Climate Change.” I suspect this is to counteract all those naysayers out there who liked to make such remarks like, “You call this Global Warming? It’s the coldest winter we’ve had in years!” As if the temperature in their own backyard was all the evidence scientists needed to be like, “Oh, yeah. I guess we can go on polluting the earth then since this cold temperature you recorded is proof that our children will not suffer any devastating consequences from a warming globe.”

5. Speaking of climate change. It affects the jet stream. And that explains all the unfortunate weather we’re having all over the country this winter.
I found this story on NPR to be very fascinating and informative. Also, I am a nerd.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rainbow Birthday Party

About a year ago I was busy planning a 1st Birthday Party for my baby. I couldn’t believe he was already a whole year old and I wanted to make sure his birthday was special. Or at least looked cute in the pictures. Because, really, what baby remembers their first birthday?

I knew this was probably the one year where I could choose a theme based on what I liked, so I chose rainbow colors! The party itself was kept pretty simple – just family, and cake, and presents. But the colors made it cheerful and fun. I thought I’d just share a few of the things we did.

The Decor

The decorations were very simple. Just several different colors of streamers hung around the house. Hanging the streamers straight down across a blank wall made for a really nice photo backdrop.

Charlie's First Birthday!

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