Totnastics…Oceanside, NY…Party Time

The first time I knew that Totnastics was the place for A’s 2nd birthday party was at her friend’s party there.  A, as outgoing as she is, is normally very tentative and cautious around large groups of people.  At all of her classes like Gymboree & dance & music, she has always just sat back and observed a little before getting into the action.  When she walked into her friend’s party though, there was no waiting period.  There were a lot of kids there and even more adults, I would estimate about 25-30 kids plus their parents.  A didn’t even blink.  She ran for the trampoline and got right on!  Then she headed for the foam block pit and jumped right in!  She really had a great time.  Then at cousin S’s party, she acted the same way.  Mind made up.  I’d call & get the date set for her party ASAP.

I called their Bellmore location, put down a deposit & went in to sign the contract.  When I called I told them this was for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  When I went in, A was with me and she’s clearly a 2 year old!  The place is full service.  You sign up, give them the guest list & they take care of everything else.  I chose to do my own evites instead of their invitations so I could keep track of RSVPs there.  They told me all along that they’d be calling the Monday prior to the party to get head counts & pizza orders.  They did call to confirm & then that night I got a few more missed calls from them.  After A’s bath the phone rang again and when I answered it was a nice girl from Totnastics.  She said there was a mix up & they somehow didn’t note that A was turning 2 and booked her in the “big kid” part of the gym which was not exactly 2 year old friendly.  My choices were to A) change the time of the party, or B) change the location to their Oceanside place.  I had never been to the Oceanside location but they assured me that it was the same activities.  I thought it was better to change venue since everyone coming had already made their plans for their day.  They were nice and offered to call everyone for me, but I chose to take care of this and confirm with everyone myself.  The owner agreed to compensate us for the mix up by throwing in a few things that usually cost extra, for free.  We felt this was fair.

In the end of the day, only 1 family went to Bellmore, and they said their GPS sent them there even though they plugged in the new address!  Silly GPS.  At the end of the day, I think the Oceanside location was really a better fit for us since it is a bit smaller and we didn’t have a very large group of kids…so it was a lot more manageable.  A had a blast.  Her friends, & family … everyone was there to celebrate A & it was so adorable to watch them bounce.  Even more fun was when the girls and I were able to bounce without the kids!

Lots of photos…

We got there a little early & Grandma jumped up on the trampoline with A!

Our friends got in on the bouncing too!

A's best friend is usually the shy one...she didn't stop going for a second! Plus she looked adorable :)

A is always so happy to see Cousin S!

It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to!

Uncle C getting in a little bike ride!

DF's perfect landing from the high bar....

They couldn't get A to let go of the rings!! They resorted to tickling her!

little girls & Grandma

Big girls turn!

A's favorite part of her party (Aside from the cake - which she started asking for about 20 minutes into the playing part of the party!) She got to FLY!

Thanks everyone for playing, bouncing, jumping, swinging & all the other fun stuff we did with Miss A for her birthday!  Tomorrow I’ll show pictures of the eating…that was A’s other favorite part!

Embrace the Camera Thursday 4.26.12

I can’t even believe how many photos I have to go through of A’s party, and how little time I have to do that since my 2 year old is running non-stop!

I plan to have most of the photos up within the week, but here is Mommy & A during the circle time portion of her party!  We had the most fun & can’t thank everyone enough for coming to celebrate our baby turning 2!

Yesterday A had no nap…so we put her into bed at 6:15pm.  That is WAY early for her since normal bedtime these days is between 7:30 and 8pm…that is however, when she gets at least a 2 hour nap during the day!  I’m hoping she sleeps until her normal 8 or 8:30am, but I doubt that!  We hope everyone has a great Thursday & hops in front of that camera!

How A Spent Her 2nd Birthday…

Since A’s party was being held on Sunday, and her birthday fell on Saturday, we had the whole day to play and enjoy her birthday alone with her.  It was a Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, & A day.  Very similar to the day she was born!  Similar except for the fact that 2 years ago we were in a hospital and I was screaming….this year we were in a mall & A was screaming!

Mommy & Daddy went into A’s room once we heard she was awake & sang her first Happy Birthday of the day!  She thought we were really funny!

Then she gave Mommy a fantastic gift!  She laid on her changing table & let me….CHANGE HER DIAPER!!!!  This is important…and was a big deal…since she NEVER lets me change her without throwing a giant tantrum.

We then sent Daddy out to the yard to trim hedges, clean up the gardening & patio & do some work around the house.  Grandma & Mommy headed out with A to the mall for some shopping!  We got A her birthday present, some clothes, & some stuff for Mommy too!  Success!!!  Then we I realized that A had a dirty diaper & I am an irresponsible Mommy who forgot to reload her diaper bag.  Long. Ride. Home.

We got home, she napped like a good girl while Grandma & Mommy ran some errands & then we had dinner & cake.  Her favorite part of the day for sure!

The first strawberry shortcake of the weekend…but definitely not the last!!!!

Daddy’s Got Somethin’ To Say!

This blog has been up and running for almost 2 years now….281 published posts….and I have written them all!  No help from Mister LK.  He has read all of them though & has been telling me for a while that he’d like to post something himself one day soon….well all, today is that day!  He doesn’t ask me for much, so when he asked to get his words on here, I couldn’t refuse!  (Plus his words are pretty great!)

Here is a letter that Mister LK has written to our little Miss A…

Dear A,

You turned two this past weekend and it has been amazing watching you grow up to be the smart, beautiful and wonderful girl that you are. The highlight of my day these past two years has been seeing you when I get home or waking you up on the weekends. You never fail to bring a smile to my face.

I read mommy’s blog and it highlights your accomplishments, crazy antics, funny moments and all that is you, but it’s from mommy’s point of view and I wanted to take this time to write you a letter from daddy.

I love spending time with you. I love you uncontrollably, without reservation and always will for all that you are and the promise of the lady you will become. Our time together is very special to me and I hope that we have a lifetime of special memories. Your smile, laugh, hugs and kisses are infectious.

For a two year old you are very active, curious and as mommy will tell you vocal. You know several colors, can count to 3 and know most of the alphabet. What you do, say and are capable of at this age makes me yearn to see what your future holds and what you will bring to the world. But, as mommy says don’t grow up too fast. You have a bright future ahead of you and should always know that mommy and daddy love you very much. We will always be here for you.

At two years old you are my sunshine and you love it when I sing that song to you often saying “again daddy”. You have been talking for what seems like years, but I still melt when you say Daddy. Our nightly bath-time ritual of playing, singing, counting and learning the alphabet makes me smile just thinking about it. Bath-time has become our special time to hang out with one another when I get home from work and discuss each others day, even if we have spoken on the phone several times already.

I hope that you had a wonderful birthday and enjoyed the party. Lots of people came to celebrate your special day and your mommy did an amazing job decorating the house and cooking deserts for people at the after-party… you’re the only two year old I know of that has an after-party!

On a final note, be kind to mommy and learn from her. She is a creative, smart, caring and beautiful woman that can teach you a lot. We both love you very much.

Love,

Daddy

Nice job Daddy…we love you so much.

 

2 Is The New 22…

Lets discuss…

I have a 2 year old.  I have a 2 year old who thinks she’s 22.  I would say 12 or 20, but she likes wine too much so she’s certainly over 21!

Dear A,

It is surreal that my tiny little baby is 2 years old.  You are not a baby anymore and there’s no denying that.  You choose your own clothes, sleep until 9am, love all sweets and vegetables equally, love wine like an Italian, will do anything to make me laugh, have done lots of things that made me cry…you are simply the best thing that could have happened to your Daddy and me.  The light that you bring into our lives is so bright I can barely sleep at night.  You are so smart, everything you say amazes me.  Some of it shocks me to my core.  The way you love your friends and family is inspiring.  You are creative and colorful and a leader of all the family girls.  That is Mommy’s nice way of saying you are a teeny tiny dictator!  You tell me what to do all day … and most of the time I do it too!  You love to watch movies and talk on the phone.  You love to read books and color and paint.  You absolutely love gardening.  You are very attached to your blankie, bobo, bunny & Ritz bear.  As long as you have those things with you, you sleep like a champion!  You need your naps and are a really happy girl when you get a good sleep!  When you don’t, you are still a great girl, but you sure show your crankiness!  You love Disney princesses, Curious George, the Backyardigans & Strawberry Shortcake.  You have a dream about some of them every single night.  The one thing that stands out the most to me about you as you turn 2 is your love of music and dancing.  You dance all-day-long.  You love the music on the tv & will dance in circles as the world moves around you…and boy do you think the world revolves around you!!!!  Miss A…my world DOES revolve around you.  I love you.

You challenge me every single day, to be the best mother to you…but no matter how crazy you try to make me, I love you more than all the stars in the sky.  I love you more than all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the world ;)  Thank you for being the best daughter in the universe!

I hope all of your wishes come true today and everyday.  I hope you dream big.  I hope you always love the way you do today.  I hope you always know how much your Mommy and Daddy love you.  You have changed our lives in the best way possible…

Love,

Mommy & Daddy

Still can't get over how swollen I was...ew. Family shot April 21, 2011

Family Shot April 21, 2011

Family shot April 20, 2012

Off to spend the day getting ready for A’s party & After party!  Can’t wait to see her face when she sees all the hard work we’ve put into this one!

I just spoke to my mother…who made me laugh on A’s 2nd birthday the way only a mom can do…apparently, in a conversation with Auntie H, it was discovered that even though Auntie H has never experienced a single labor pain yet, and is expecting her 3rd baby, she will NOT be trying to deliver naturally for this 3rd kid, even though her Dr. said it is a possibility.  The reason is, that Auntie H was in the room with me while I was in labor.  Apparently I scared the labor out of her!  “That was not a joke”  Lucky B*tch.

 

Embrace the Camera Thursday 4.19.12

oh Thursday….I think today I will make you a Daddy day!

Our baby is going to be 2 on Saturday.  I don’t know how I am going to handle that.  She is so big and really closer to a little kid than a baby…

I think you’ll find me crying in bed on Saturday…if you are looking for me!  I wish I had more to say, but talking about her turning 2 is making my eyes water, so I gotta go!

Have a great Thursday!

 

Quotable Moments

If you know Miss A personally, than you already know she’s a really really great talker.  If you don’t know her or haven’t seen her in a while, you’d be pretty surprised how clear she speaks and even more shocked at what she says!  This girl is really funny!  Most of the time I have to hide my laughter because I don’t want her repeating some of the things she comes up with in public!

I think it is going to be fun to look back at this post with her when she’s older and see some of my favorite quotable moments from my 23 month old!

The day before seder #1 Passover 2012, April 5th, I was busy cooking in the kitchen and my hands were covered in food.  A asked me to put on Tangled in the living room, so I did. She kept coming into the kitchen asking me for more and more things.  I was frustrated…this conversation ensued…

M: “A, GO SIT ON THE COUCH AND WATCH YOUR MOVIE!”

A: “Mommy….Don’t freak out!”

M: “Excuse me, what did you say?”

A: “No freak ouuuuutttttt Mommy!”

 

The G family sent over a bounce house for A’s birthday gift.  A hasn’t really stopped bouncing since it arrived!  The morning of April 13th I helped her into the bounce house early in the morning, and went to my room to throw on some clean sweatpants…I was on the phone with Grandma and we hear….

A:  “Mommy HELP YOUUUUUUUU”

M: ” how can I help you A?”

A: “Mommy take picture Dumbo, Pooh and A…NOW puhlease”

 

A’s Auntie S, Auntie H, and our friend ED are all pregnant…everyone keeps talking about the “baby in the belly”…proof that toddlers listen to everything you say and think everything is about them!  We were in the car on the way to play with PD on April 15th, we were listening to the radio and A interrupts me to say…

A: “Mommy…I surprise Daddy”

M: “Oh really A, what’s your surprise for Daddy?”

A:  “A baby in my belly!!!”

Oh yes A!  That would be a serious surprise for Daddy!  I will definitely stop watching 16 & Pregnant near A … immediately!

 

A in her crib morning of 4/17

“I want to PARTY!”

These are just a few examples of the funny things Miss A says daily…I think I will start to keep better track of some of them so I don’t forget.  These days are amazing….frustrating sometimes, but mostly, simply incredible!

 

Fort Construction 101…

Last week, we got the chance to visit with Auntie S2 & baby Cousin CJ!  We don’t see them nearly enough, so when they came to Long Island to visit family, we made sure that we got to see them at least for a quick morning visit.  We didn’t get to see too much of Baby CJ since she was napping most of the morning (like a good baby!) but Miss A had a BLAST with her Auntie S2!  They got lots of fun packed into such a quick visit!

A showed Auntie S2 some of her favorite movies and introduced her to the Backyardigans.  Auntie S2 showed Miss A how to build a pillow fort and how to hide & check out her surroundings in her new hiding spot!  A thought this was very very cool…

Then Baby CJ woke up and I got to see how big she’s gotten since last time we saw her!  It is amazing how much she’s grown since Thanksgiving.  She is beautiful & I miss her tons already!

 

I think the next time we’ll see Auntie S2 and Cousin CJ will be in June, and we can’t wait!!!

Embrace the Camera Thursday 4.12.12

9 days until A turns 2.  How crazy is that?

I have been having lots of fun with this little munchkin lately…she’s been keeping me very busy & laughing all the time!  Today…we are sending thanks out to our friends in NC the G Family for an AWESOME birthday present they sent over!  They sent us a bounce house!!!!!!  A is going to freak this morning when I set it up for her!  This should help get her nice and tired for nap time!!!

Happy Thursday everyone!  Go Embrace the Camera…your kids will thank you!

Birthday Party In the Park…

Turning 2 is best celebrated with beautiful weather, gorgeous kids, lots of fun & obviously … cupcakes!  We were invited for a playdate in the park to celebrate one of our friend’s birthdays!  She’s an adorable little 2 year old with a brand new baby brother!  I decided that on such a great day I would do a little practice shoot & capture some memories for the little birthday girl & her friends!

Birthday girl & her friends!

Birthday girl RS and her serious face!

New baby MO

New baby JS

Party Girl!

Thanks for getting everyone together at the park Miss RS, and thanks for letting me capture all the fun!