Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Unicorns & Rainbows {Gracie’s 4th Birthday Party}

A few weeks ago our baby girl turned 4 years old! Yes, FOUR! How it happened so fast I’ll never understand, but it did. She had a big birthday party with lots of family, friends and cake and had an absolute blast! We all did. :)

As I mentioned in my last post, our gal requested a unicorns and rainbows birthday party this year and while I wasn’t sure I would be able to find unicorn d├ęcor initially, I totally did and everything turned out super cute! Apparently unicorns are all the rage right now because the moment we started looking for party favors in stores and online, we came across them everywhere. Speaking of, aren’t these giant unicorn balloons the best ever?! They were so loved by our birthday girl that she asked to keep them until they could no longer float. Two weeks following the party she still had giant unicorn heads floating on the ceiling of her bedroom. I don’t think any of us wanted to see them go!

We had Gracie’s party at an indoor gym that just opened last year, so the location was big, colorful and super clean. One of my favorite things about the gym was that about 90% of the equipment was built to hold up to 300 pounds, which meant parents got to play too! I didn’t do anything crazy myself but I did see a few parents on the trampoline and flying across the room on various swings and ropes. It was a tad bit hilarious to watch! ;)

We made unicorn horns for the kiddos and along with rainbow colored pinwheels we had out for everyone to grab, Gracie’s little buddies also got party bags full of unicorn and rainbow goodies! Oh and there was candy. SO.MUCH.CANDY! I’m sooo that mom who loads the children up with sweets and sends them home to meltdown and torture their parents, LOL! At every party we’ve had for the Bean, we’ve had a cookie or candy table. This year I can at least say that while we may have pumped the kids full of sugar, they most certainly worked it out of their systems before they went home.

The Bean made her very own birthday cake for the big FOUR and it turned out super yummy (you can’t go wrong with Rainbow Chip)! The cake was a bit lopsided and had a few areas where our frosting-loving child did a little taste testing but all in all, it was the perfect birthday cake! I had purchased a unicorn with pink hair to go on top but it turned out to be too heavy and much larger than pictured, so we used one of the unicorns from the goodie bags instead. Just look at this adorable cake­. G and I decided that cupcakes and homemade birthday cake is the way to go from now on. Not only does it save us from spending an arm and a leg on a big sheet cake, but it also allows our gal to be more involved in her birthday celebration and who doesn’t love cupcakes! It’s a win, win!

Grace was OBSESSED with the gym’s zipline, like seriously obsessed! If at any point in the party I couldn’t find the birthday girl, I just needed to head to the zipline and there she was. She rode by herself with zero hesitation and rode it again and again with her school buds and cousins, giggling hysterically the entire time! The kiddos also seemed to love the trampoline, the blue boat swing and the big green triangle swing!

There was a dress-up room with princess gowns, super hero costumes and all the accessories a princess-crazed 4 year old could want. Grace and her little bf, P played dress-up off and on all afternoon. Gracie’s class has more boys than girls and all the little dudes that were invited came, so there were plenty of super heroes to go around! I love this age because kids truly enjoy playing together. Nothing is just for boys or just for girls and they’re too young to get embarrassed to play things like house and dress-up. They just had so much fun – it made this Mama’s heart so very happy!

The party ended in the best way possible… cake and presents! The cupcakes were devoured and the Bean’s school buds didn’t hesitate to help her tear into her birthday cake too, as you can see in the picture below. There wasn’t much left of it once they got done!

Our kid was spoiled rotten in the birthday gifts department but made us so proud because she made sure to tell everyone thank you before moving on to the next present. She said thank you in warp speed as she moved on from gift to gift but a thank you is a thank you, all the same. ;)

One thing that I could not get off my mind during our little ones birthday weekend was that I never imagined our gal would be this old and still an only child. This reality is something that I’ve decided I can no longer allow myself to be sad about, but I couldn’t help but think about it as we celebrated her growing another year older. Right now there are so many new babies in our family. 6 born in just the past 6 months, to be exact and all were unplanned, “surprise pregnancies.” Believe it or not, I’ve actually had cousins complain to Georgia and I recently about the fact that they didn’t plan or want this happen to them (knowing full well about our ttc struggles) and still, my response has been to smile and love their little ones with my whole heart. Thankfully, I’m baby obsessed so this hasn’t been a hard thing for me to do. Still, there are those quite moments when I look at our growing girl and the baby gear we’re still holding on to and wonder to myself if we’ll ever get to use it again. The one thing that has kept me grounded and thankful throughout this 2+ year journey is that I know how incredibly blessed we are to be parents. I have friends who want nothing more than to have a child. One close friend of mine has been ttc for 4 years, (she too has MTHFR/heterozygous) and has been unable to make it past the second trimester, several times. My heart breaks for her.

This whole experience has been the greatest reminder of what a miracle conception is and how fortunate Georgia and I are that our dream came true and we now have this amazing, smart and kind little girl.

I hope with every part of my being that Grace gets to become a sister one day. I pray that I’ll get to see her holding her little brother or sister knowing in my heart that she will be the most wonderful big sis. I hope that this happens for us before she turns another year older, but in the meantime, I am going to soak up every minute with my darling 4 year old because if there is one thing the past 4 years have shown me, it’s that the days fly by and the last thing I should do is wish them away for better days ahead.

Happy birthday, sweet love. 
I hope you always know how thankful we are that you chose us.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Party planning is in full swing!

So, remember these…

Well guess what? We’re a week away from her FOURTH! Yes, our sweet baby girl will be a big 4 year old in one week and I simply can’t believe it. I swear, we were just talking about how her birthday was 3 months away and now we’re making final orders and finishing up DIY decorations for the big party this Sunday. Where does the time go?

This year the Bean initially asked to have a princess party… again. I’ll be honest in saying that Mama was not all together thrilled to throw a princess party considering her last birthday had a Little Mermaid theme and the one before was Sofia the First. After awhile, even girly girls like me get sick of pink and princesses, so I really hoped she would change her mind. Then something totally random and kinda awesome happened. While looking through her toy box a few weeks ago, she came across a unicorn stuffed animal my mom gave her last Valentine’s Day and wanted to sleep with it from that night on. This rekindled her love for My Little Pony and when she received 2 more, pink unicorn stuffed buddies for Valentine’s Day this year, she was hooked! Much to this Mama’s surprise, our Rainbows & Unicorn theme was born!
Change the 5 to a 4 and the name to Gracie! I can't wait for this to come in!

Gracie is so excited that it’s all she can talk about. This year we’re inviting her school buds and their parents for the first time, so I’m fairly certain that it’s all she talks about at school too! She’s super thrilled that we’re going to let her make the cupcakes for her class AND her very own 10 inch birthday cake for her party with a big unicorn and lots of sprinkles on top! She’s picked a lot of her decorations and helped Mama make unicorn horns for her guest last night (and by help, I mean drive me up the wall pulling tape from the dispenser, wanting to cut everything with scissors and write her name on every horn I made)... A DIY perfectionist + a toddler aren’t always the best combo in these situations, but we made it work. ;)

Because Grace is a March baby and we never really know what the weather is going to be like, we tend to air on the side of safety and try to find indoor stuff to do. This year, we rented out an entire indoor kids gym complete with slides, swings, jumpers, a dress-up station, an arts and crafts room and a zip line! We went to check out the space a few weeks ago and basically had to carry our excited kiddo out of the building as it closed to prepare for another birthday party. It was most definitely Gracie approved.

The Bean's uncles arrive in town on Friday and thus far we’re looking to have around 60 guests, so it should be an absolute blast! My goal for March is to squeeze in a birthday party post and 4-year-old update before the month is up. We’ll see if I can actually make that happen, lol!

I’ll leave you with the DIY unicorn horns we recently made. Grace was asleep when I finished, so G came to the rescue as my unicorn model!

Yay for rainbows & unicorns! 

Seriously, the easiest birthday party craft I’ve ever commissioned! :)

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