My Little Monster

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from our little monster, Mike Wazowski.

Kids Were Here - October

I feel projects help me to grow in this hobby of photography.  At the end of each month I'll be taking part in a "Kids Were Here" blog circle.  The goal is to capture the evidence that AB leaves behind without him actually being in the photo.  And, let's be honest often times his aftermath is more inline with that of a natural disaster. So quickly before the messes are put away, I will challenge myself to capture the moment, to record the story, to remember these fleeting days when little hands can turn my house upside down, because all too quickly the years will pass and my little bird will grow his wings.



Now continue on with the circle and visit Jacqui's blog to see what she captured this month.

Bookworm Birthday Party

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bookworm Birthday Party

You've seen the pictures of my little bookworm, and when thinking of unique toddler birthday party themes we couldn't get anymore perfect than a Bookworm Birthday Party for the avid reader.  To celebrate turning two we pulled together a bookworm menu and bookworm decorations for a family-fun bash.

Bookworm Birthday Party Invites

Even though we were only having a small get together for the birthday celebration, I knew I wanted to do some really cute invitations.  I searched etsy, and of course found the cutest little shop The Bird and the Beard who made the perfect invite from library cards and folders.

The theme continued to come together with Golden Book party decorations and plates from Birthday Express.

Golden Book Bookworm Birthday Party Decorations
Bookworm Birthday Party Food Ideas

The most important piece to any party is of course the food.  I did a lot of searching on Book Themed Party Foods and Book Themed Menus to come together with my final list of food.

Our menu included:
Sweet & Sour Meatballs - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Fruit Kabobs - The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Chips & Salsa - Dragons Love Tacos
Cupcakes (instead of cake) - If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
Pasta Salad - Strega Nona
Pigs in a Blanket - Three Little Pigs
Deviled Green Eggs - Green Eggs & Ham
Smoked Salmon on Rice Crackers - Red Fish, Blue Fish, Old Fish, New Fish
Veggie Plate - Peter Rabbit
Apple Juice & Apple Sauce (for the little ones) - The Giving Tree
Lemonade - Maisy Makes Lemonade
Iced Tea - Bear Snores On

And, I did what any crazy party-planning mom would do, I ordered the few books we didn't have from Amazon so we could have a book to sitting next to each food item.

Bookworm Birthday Party Drink IdeasBookworm Reading Birthday Party Snacks
Bookworm Birthday Party Food

When it came time to blow out candles, of course our little guy didn't have enough air powers so he got some help from us.  But you must see even his shirt matched the theme.  Cafe Press has a really cute toddler, kids and adult sized shirt that is printed with "I read past my bedtime."  It is without fail we are always asked to read one more book no matter how late we are putting the little guy to bed.

I Read Past My Bedtime Bookworm Toddler Shirt

For the favors I got Little Golden Book boxes and stickers to match the other party products.  I then went to the dollar store to get each child a book.  Put together some wrappers to go on applesauce packets that featured a little bookworm, and used gummy worms to represent the gummy worms.  the packages were complete with some play-doh and a few Smarties.

If you are planning a birthday party (or even a baby shower), I think this theme is really a great one.  We received several books as gifts to add to our growing library, and the theme really fit the season of life we are in right now.

Boulder Breweries

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This past weekend we had a little date day in Boulder.  We went to Fate Brewing Company, Avery Brewing and then Wild Woods Brewery.

At Fate we enjoyed a quick lunch, and their food was remarkably good. I also enjoy a Watermelon Kolsch that was uniquely different.

After that we headed to Avery were we enjoyed a couple different tasters and tour of their facility.  We close the day out at a 2 barrel brewery that only sells within their Tap Room where I had a butternut squash beer that tasted like an autumn pumpkin beer.

Bookworms Love Reading

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I have a little bookworm and he likes to read.  He pulls out every book, and knows his favorite by the tiniest of corners peeking from the pile.  He brings them, dragging them on the floor, and asks "puheas" encouraging you to read aloud.  He happily will flip the pages and when you reach the end of the tale he gives a round of applause.  I love this little reader and his love of reading.

Radio Flyer Spring Horse

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Every little boy needs a spring horse so they can become a cowboy.  Great Grandma sent this little pony direct from CA.

Winter Along the Creek

Monday, October 21, 2013

I took these photos a few weeks back when we went to Vail.  The snow had fallen that morning, and along the creek it looked like a winter wonderland instead of an early fall day.

Top 10 Photography Stocking Stuffers & Inexpensive Gifts

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sometimes the best things about hobbies are they become the perfect source for gift ideas.  If you are needing stocking stuffers for photographers, here are inexpensive gift ideas.

Everyone needs a Lenspen in their camera bag to keep their glass clean and smudge free.

An alternative to the Lenspen is a cleaning cloth.  This Nikon one seems really compact and accessible.

A subscription to a photography related magazine is the gift that keeps giving all year long.  A few that hit my mailbox each month are: Click Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography
A person can never have too many memory cards, and then of course you will need a memory card holder.

Another must have is a wireless remote.  Make sure you get one compatible with your camera model.
My camera lens covers can easily become misplaced, having cap keepers are a lifesaver.

Sometimes even the most experienced photographer can take a bad shot.  Having a settings cheat sheet tucked into your camera can be handy to help beginners nail their exposure.
If your gift recipient likes to experiment, but doesn't have the funds for a macro lens, you could gift a set of macro filters.

There are tons of custom white balance tools out there from cheap gray cards to the high end Expodisc.  The Promaster white balance tool is an affordable way to dabble in custom white balance and see if a lens tool is the right tool.

Finally I recommend checking out Photojojo, the Clickin' Moms store, or even Etsy for other photographer gift ideas.  They have everything from coffee tumblers that look like lens, to beautiful art prints of vintage cameras, to toy cameras and accessories.

My Little Helper

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sometimes when I'm in the kitchen, I get a helper who is eager to take on responsibility and do some chores around the house.  Unfortunately, at this time, he thinks all dishes get put back in the drawer.  At least this time they were clean, sometimes he is quicker than the dishwasher and is returning dirty dishes to the drawer.

Letters to My Son - October

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm taking part in a blog circle with some other fabulous women, where each month I will include a letter to my baby boy along with a few pictures that capture the emotion and love I feel for him.  I hope that you will enjoy this feature as much I have enjoyed the process, and will also take the leap to the next blog in the circle each month.

To my dearest two-year old,

Despite what you would think from the picture, we've been happy to be celebrating your 2nd birthday this past week.  (I think you were just embarrassed that daddy and I were singing to you.  You also had a good shiner on your cheek from bashing into the crib railing.)  I can't believe how quickly two years has gone by, yet, I can't recall what life was like without your vibrant energy.  I recall those final days of being pregnant, and reflect on those early, quiet moments with you at the hospital.  I remember how special those first days at home were. And as I look in on you every night before bed, I am overcome with gratitude that we have been able to share all of those memories, and create new ones each day.

The first year of your life, I wrote monthly letters for your baby book, and in each one captured the answers to a series of questions.  For memory sake, I would like to record answers to those same questions as you turn two.

Size: You're a skinny mini, and are wearing mostly 18 month bottoms (some 24 month), 24 month or 2T tops and only 2T PJs.  Funny enough we haven't updated your emergency clothes at school for awhile an earlier this week you got sent home in a pair of 6-9 month pants that fit you perfectly in the waist, but were more like capri pants.  We just moved to size 5 diapers this week.  You are just about ready to move into size 7 shoes, probably only another week or so is left in your size 6s.

Nicknames: Munch, A.B.

Temperament: You are still such a happy boy, and you can be such a little ham.  You certainly have your moments of expressing yourself and have certainly had some naughty moments, but you truly are a joy most of the time.

Things I Could Do Without: The days where everything sets you off into tears, and we aren't sure what the cause of your distress could be.

Things I'm Loving Most Right Now: Watching you play, develop, get excited.  Really all of it is so much fun.  I'm really enjoying watching your vocabulary grow as you learn new words.  This past week you learned "dark" and each night request the "dark" as we get ready for bed.

Item/Toy We Love the Most: We love watching you run around with a mini toy golf club and golf ball.  You try so hard to line up your hit, and only half of the time find contact.  I also can't wait for you to start playing more with your toys in general.   You have started to express interest in your Little People Zoo and have figured out how to get the animals to make sounds.  It is so cool just watching you play and discover.

Item/Toy You Love The Most: You LOVE books.  Some of your favorites are ABCs by Dr. Seuss, If I Built a Car, Little Blue Truck, Over in the Ocean and a book called Cuddle.  You also just got a basketball hoop for your birthday and you are SO EXCITED to play with it all the time.  Another classic are your rubbery building blocks.  You like stacking and knocking down block towers endlessly.  Your A&A blankets are still a favorite too.

Sounds/Words:  You are at about 35 words right now, well on our way to the 75 word goal we have set in therapy.  You have also started to string 2 words together, and I hear you repeat after us things like "There it is."

Foods you like: EVERYTHING.  You really enjoy any type of pasta dish.  Bananas are frequently requested, as are graham crackers.  Like any kid you will eat your share of chicken nuggets too.  Overall you are a healthy eater and often eat as much as me at meal.

I can't wait to see what this upcoming year has in store.  I'm so thankful you are in our life; you are such a precious boy.

All my love,


Now continue on with the circle and visit Brandi Picou's blog to read her heart-felt letter.

Two Years Ago

Thursday, October 17, 2013

We became a family of three.

I can't imagine life any other way.  Happy Birthday to sweet boy who has made the last two years full of adventure and love.

Fall in the Mountains

Monday, October 14, 2013

We woke up the next morning to more freshly fallen snow, but instead of the cloud cover from the previous day we were greeted by beautiful blue skies.