Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First Fiesta: Group & Family Photos

What wonderful memories of Luke's special day! I was grateful for the fact that most of our littlest party guests were under 2, and needed no other form of entertainment aside from water table toys and bubbles. Being so passionate about throwing parties and dreaming up themes, I continue to count my blessings that neither of my children have asked me for a "Ninja Turtles" or "Power Rangers" birthday yet. Luke and I have become close with the other babies and families in our Monday Music Class, and pretty much the entire class was at the party which was great. The only time you can plop a dozen kids in the same space and not encounter a scuffle or a tantrum is when the children are under two (and still in parallel play), so I embraced "The More The Merrier" mantra for Luke's party and loved watching all the babies on parade. My brother was back home from 2 years abroad, and being able to celebrate with him was probably my highlight of the whole day. Lots and lots of sweet babies, our family, and beautiful sunshine...what more could we ask for?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First Fiesta: Luke's Birthday Details

*Papel Picado (traditional Mexican tissue paper bunting) bought at local shop in Old Town, San Diego.

*Serape (Traditional Mexican Woven Blanket) bought at local shop in Old Town, San Diego.

*"Luke's First Fiesta" artwork, Printable Wisdom shop on Etsy.
*"Let's Fiesta" Birthday invite, Tiny Prints.
*Mini cactus plants, Lowe's. 

*Happy Birthday felt banner, Target.
*Pinata's, Party City
*"Luke's First Fiesta" water bottle labels, Paper Fox Design shop on Etsy.
*Traditional Mexican sodas bought in Hispanic section of local grocery store.

* Papel Picado custom cake, Four Power Cakery in San Diego.
*Churro toppers, Paper Fox Design shop on Etsy.
*Cake stand, Anthropologie
*Extra long plastic colored straws, Target

*Traditional Mexican salsa cans, bought in Hispanic section of local grocery store.
*"Muchas Gracias" party favor bag stickers, Paper Fox Design shop on Etsy.
*Striped clear party favor bags, Target.

*Large Papel Picado bunting, bought at local store in Old Town, San Diego.
*"Feliz Cumpleanos" banner, Cutie Putti Papery shop on Etsy.

I can't remember the original source of inspiration behind throwing Luke's "First Fiesta" birthday bash, but it was a party filled with details and memories I'll have forever. Once I settled on the "Papel Picado" (tissue paper flag bunting you see in Mexican restaurants, or on Cinco de Mayo) theme for the invites and cake, I wanted the rest of the decor to be just as bright and colorful.  Leave it to Esty to always house some of the best creative talents, and my go-to for the custom printables you see above. I seriously had so fun with this party. How can you not have a good time at a Mexican Fiesta? Not pictured was all the food, which was an amazing buffet of carne asada and chicken with homemade tortillas and all the fixin's. 

We had a full house for the party, with guests ranging from family, friends, to babies from Luke's music class (who were all born within a span of about 5 months from each other). I'll include pictures from the happenings of the party as well as our family photos in my next post!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Luke is ONE

Dearest Luke,

We cannot imagine our life without you.
Even on the hard days,
Even on the slow days,
There is something beautiful everyday as long as we're lookin' at you.
You are shy and cautious around a small group, never enjoying too many unfamiliar eyes on you.
However, around your family and those you trust, your wild spirit cannot be tamed!
You love to eat. A lot.
Strawberries, black beans, mashed potatoes, and anything your brother gets to eat are your favorite.
You gaze at strangers with your big loving eyes, and get many compliments because of it.
You scream, actually screech, loudly and proudly. We could do without this, OK?
You love playing peekaboo, being chased, and you LOVE riding on Jack's scooter (with help).
You are very attached to your Father and Me (literally)---You will rarely turn down an offer to be held and carried around.
You're healthy as a horse---I don't think you've ever been sick a day in your first year of life!
You do not like being in your carseat. It's best if you just sleep through any experience riding in the car, and wake up when it's over. 
You can climb and run with the wind.
Thank you Luke West, you've managed to pull-off the once thought impossible mission of allowing us to love another child equally and as fully as we do with our firstborn. 
Our hearts have just burst wide open with pure joy and infatuation from the moment we laid eyes on you! We love you sweet boy! 

(party pictures & ALL the details from the "1st Fiesta" coming soon!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last Day of Nursery School!

I can't believe Jack has completed his first year of preschool! We started him off slowly and with minimal commitment---just two days a week for three hours a day. After the first week, it was pretty clear that he was not only ready for this change but thriving under it. The other children in his class are kind, compassionate, full of light, and just happy kids. John and I are pleased as punch that we adore Jack's school, it's values, and the community of parents who populate it. It was a little challenging to pry information out of Jack when I asked him for details about what he did at school that day. However, his teachers kept up a newsletter with photos, videos, and stories about what they'd all been up to. Every now and then, I would get to school a few minutes early to pick him up and just observe as the children played outside. Never have I seen any hurt feelings or tiffs (although I'm sure those things did happen), just monkey bar swinging, bubble chasing, and the their FAVORITE game of "tag, you're it!." It makes me sentimental and grateful that I get to invest so much of my time documenting (both mentally and physically) these precious nursery school moments. It won't be long now before school becomes significantly more complicated for Jack. Some of his friends may no longer want to be his friend, he may get teased for one petty thing or another, his spirit may get crushed...you know, the usual "politics of the playground." 

So I say "Thank You Nursery School." You have loved and cared for our darling boy, taught him new songs and dances, guided him through difficult behavior, never cared if he showed up with his shorts inside out or a rats nest tangle in the back of his hair, and knew that it's important and necessary to encourage a total blue body-paint masterpiece rather than to stifle it (and of course to remember to snap a picture to show Mom before washing it all away.) We will see you in three months!

***Pictures From The Last-Day-of-School Party at The Bay***