Friday, March 30, 2012

OH Baby!

Well if you haven't heard by now we are having another baby. This came to us as quite a HUGE shock but we are coming around to the whole excitement part of getting to parent a new bundle of joy! I have not gotten to go to the doctor yet, which is beyond frustrating BC I had been probably three times already when pregnant with Parker. I am now seeing how much of an insurance snob I was! to go to the dr anytime I ever wanted or needed was such a mental relief. I am currently almost 8 weeks (Monday will be 8) and I have yet to see a Dr and I have known  I was pregnant since week 4!! The wait is horrible and so is getting around with no nausea meds! But I must say I am very Thankful for how blessed I am by God to only have nausea and not my ever feared throwing up!

I decided to post about the new baby because something amazing has been happening quite literally under my nose without me giving it to much thought.  I have always heard urban legends I guess you could say about babies sensing ghosts, dogs sensing ghosts or pregnancy's, dangers and what not. Well one day sitting on the porch swing with Parker I was listening to his heart then he would listen to mine. I was 5 and a half weeks pregnant at the time and I told him to listen to the babies heart beat. He said "yeah I hear babies heart" I thought it was cute and didn't give it much thought.  A few days later we were playing and doing the same thing and I had him listen to the babies heart. He put his little cheek against my belly pressing his ear to my stomach and he said "no baby heart no working" I moved him around and a little lower on my tummy and he listened again looked up at me and said "yeah there it is baby heart working". At that moment I thought can he really hear the baby? Or is this just some cute little game he is playing. I hadn't really put too much more thought into it again.

As we told the kids we were expecting a new baby of course we took their votes on what they wanted the baby to be. Of course Devin replies "BOY!" Kaitlyn begs girl and Parker says "brother". Every time we reference the baby ,Parker would make sure we knew he wanted a boy. my 7 and a half week of being pregnancy roles around. I begin to read all about what my new little creation is doing inside me and the changes its tiny little body is making, one change is the boy or girl part of baby is being formed this week and although still too small to be seen on an ultra sound little baby is a boy or girl by this week. EVERYONE in my family is hoping for a girl so lots of them are already calling her by name "Ella" but I cant sense what it is.. I never had that with Parker either.

Laying on the swing Parker is playing and he listens to my belly I say "Parker is baby a brother or a sister?" and he says "sister" I said "do you want a brother or sister?" and he says "brother" and I say "but the baby is a sister?" and he says "yes".Why all of a sudden was this baby a girl even though he wanted it to be a boy ?I was intrigued by him and the fact that I just read that the baby was determined boy or girl this week... could he really know? did she some how talk to him and let him know who she was?? crazy right??!! but is it really that crazy? he was just in there a few short years ago and keep in mind we are firm believers that he is a FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY made creation. So we know without doubt he was from heaven so I am thinking does he still have some of that heavenly sense to him? He  is still so little and innocent ( i cant believe i am saying Parker is innocent lol... cause that boy is buck wild, but you know what i am saying) he is still new too can he feel her and sense this new little baby?

Today I am almost at 8 weeks This little charade with Parker and baby girl had happened earlier in the week. Yesterday I had a terrible migraine and today i woke up feeling a little off, just not pregnant. I have been under probably the most stress i have ever been under in my entire life and today the devil got to me and had me worried that the baby was not alive in me anymore. I had no symptoms to back up this little lie that devil has slipped in my mind, no bleeding, no cramping, but i just didn't feel so pregnant today.  As I lay on the swing not telling this to anyone other then my mom in text message (cause lets face it i tell her everything) I have Parker lay his head on my tummy. I ask him does he hear the baby and he listens for a minute and says "yes I hear baby , baby in there" I got relief .... why ? like he was an ultra sound?? or a dr? like he had the final say but i just got some relief and thought the baby is ok. 

I know all of this sounds so crazy, I still have yet to go to the Dr. so I don't have a miraculous scientific explanation to YET add to this story but my heart is at rest cause i really believe that  I will have some very amazing things to add , confirmation if you will of what my sweet Parker has already told me. Today I wanted to share this because as I now notice such a beautiful thing going on inside me and within my little boy I have joy because I think he knows baby is ok, I think he knows the baby and is creating this relationship with "her". I am so anxious, to now pay close attention to what he says and does with my belly and to see if baby is really an "Ella" .
I have decided to keep note of this through my pregnancy to see if this is real. I know how amazing God is and how real his power is  why is it impossible to think that my little Parker doesn't have some of heaven still left in him to hear this new life in me?

Until the next neat story, this to me has brought me joy and made me believe in something I just cant explain.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Harry Potter Birthday

My step son turned 9 this week. I like to ask the kiddos what they want their bday themes to be to get them involved, he said Harry Potter! I was so excited because I knew there was just so much I could do with it!! So here is a full blown Hogwarts style Harry Potter birthday. I made the MAJORITY of the decorations so this party was done on a very tight Budget! I am soo amazed at how little I actually spent on the cool stuff! I am going to try to attach links or tutorials to anything DIY you can do yourself that is super cool and worth sharing! Hope you enjoy!

Lets start with the invites. Super simple. I downloaded Harry Potter fonts (google free harry potter fonts, download that's it) typed up and invite and popped some card stock in the printer. Simple. Sweet. CHEAP!
Every one entered through Platform 9 3/4. I just took a brick vinyl pack I found on clearance that was meant for Christmas decorations.I cut a slit in the middle attached it to a curtain rod glued on the 9 3/4 sign and hung it on my porch. Easy, fun, effective.
As Everyone entered they were greeted with a "Hogwarts" sign . This is a piece of cardboard covered with scrap book paper I already had and cut the letters out with my cricket with paper I already had. Hogwarts sign=free
The Great Hall- The sign here was made the same was as the Hogwarts sign except i used felt i already had. Great Hall sign =free I just took streamers that I got from the Dollar store (they were in packs 2 for a dollar) and hung the streamer to make a cool back drop. The Sorting hat cost me $1 to make,  you can see the tutorial on how I did this here

I decided I would let the kids have a "gift shop" feel to their party favors, so the great hall was filled with all the fun favors they got to take home. Each Child was able to get a "Hogwarts gift shop bag" (which cost me $1 to make I just bought lunch bags and printed out labels. Easy)and fill it up with one of each item. I wanted to have different kinds of favors and I wanted to save money.  I also wanted them to be Harry Potter effective.

The gift bag/favors included five "gobstones" (marbles ) a bag of "magic Tricks" (Trix cereal) one "bombtastic bomb" ( a confetti popper) "dragon powder potion" ( a packet of koolaid) one "barakium emendo bandages"(a band aide) a bag of "flesh eating slugs" (gummy worms) a "magic finger trap" (a Chinese magic finger trap toy) and a "Hogwarts completion certificate" for completing all the potions classes and quidditch match. I took a pic of what all the kids ended up getting to take home. They got to keep their troll bogies goo and their wands, so the gift bags were pretty full when the kiddos left and the were filled with cool goodies that didn't break the bank.
One of the most fun things to create was the potions. Coming up with all the cool around the house items I could make look like potions and finding different names to match (thanks to so many Harry Potter sites).
a lot of the potion bottles were filled with water and food coloring, some had baking soda in them, different candy i had let sit in water for a long time to give a dramatic look I used coffee grounds and just all kinds of everyday things you would find in your kitchen, I had all of the bottles and jars already so creating this potions look was FREE!
We did Potions class, which was so cool and super fun!!
the transfiguration lesson is written on my chalk board coffee table that is holding all the potions. It gave it a really cool effect. The pictures don't do this party justice but hopefully it sheds some light on how cool it was. (my camera is messing up and that is BAD NEWS my wonderful sister in law took so many pics for me as I was running around crazy she does amazing photography and did a great job capturing these shots, please note the camerea was the issue here on anything blurry it is really giving us isues!!)
I got a pack of cauldrons from a party store that were meant to be for Saint Patty's decor the pack of 12 or 14 cauldrons was 3$ and the kids actually did get to use the cauldrons in mixing up their potions. Very cool detail that was super cheap (at least I think so )
In potions class we did a drink changing potion where I put food coloring in the bottom of each child's cup earlier in the day before the party and let it dry, we then had the kids say the magic spell over their cups and as we poured the sprite in the drinks changed colors! The kids loved this! (I did all the cups with different colors and we poured the drinks one at a time so they were very surprised as to what color their drink ended up being). The next spell we did we used these same magic drinks we just added Magic potion ice cubes, they were able to drink their drinks that were a bright color and drop in the magic potion ice cubes (these were just koolaide cubes i had made previously). while we were setting up for the next cool potion the kids drinks would change colors as the ice melted.
Time for our next potions class assignment. We now cleared off the tables and gave each child a new cup we went over the rules and told them DO NOT TOUCH OR DRINK THIS and each child was teamed up with an adult to make sure these rules stayed in place. we poured sprite into their cups and then dropped dry ice in each drink and they got to watch them fizz over. we did not let them drink it just to be safe although several of the adults thought this was cool so they made their drinks with dry ice too and did drink it. LOL this was a hit!

The last assignment we did for Potions class was Troll bogies!! each child was given a jar (I bought a pack of mason jars ($6 ) and added labels to them (free), they were able to put the goop in the jar and keep it fresh and take it home) which was labeled troll bogies they were given a cauldron and spoon and we helped them make this goo. I got the recipe from this blog it was super fun to make and the kids just loved this (PARENTS BEWARE: if you make this goop it does ruin fabric and pulls paint off of the walls - yes I learned this the hard way lol)The birthday boy came up with this name and what the label would say he liked this part of the movie and thought it would be cool to use the troll bogies as a name for the slime.

Finished product (we let the kids pick what color they wanted their goop to be)
You cant have a Harry Potter Party without wands and they were the thing that I was the most amazed at, you can see the tutorial on how to make those  here They cost me NO MONEY....FREE to make as I already  had the supplies at my house. We allowed each child to pick out their wands and robes.

Of course we had the famous butter beer.The kids table was set up with each of of these cool butter beer glasses and plate settings. The butter beer was just cream soda and rum extract and the topping for the butter beer cream was whipped cream, rum extract, heavy cream and marsh mellow cream, the kids loved this...
Now on to the main table , decorations and of course every ones favorite thing FOOD!
I had burlap lying around so I just cut out triangles and made a birthday bunting, I found the card stock maroon and yellow paper on sale for $0.20 and already had the ribbon. I just cut out the letters "happy birthday Devin" on my cricket and hot glued the whole thing together. this bunting cost me $0.20!! I did the same streamer effect super cheap , easy and cool. I just blew up some balloons and taped them to the ceiling. The large picture is one of my favorite things and you would not believe how cheap this was!! I saw this big pic idea on pinterest and went to the blog and followed this tutorial. This picture is 4ft by 3ft!! super huge, super cool, and even better SUPER CHEAP! (the blog will tell you the prices for that ladies area, i actually only paid $5.00 for the print itself at staples, the foam board was 12$ but I have 2 sheets of it left to make two more pics for my other two kiddos bdays! So i could not pass up doing this for that price and I will be able to hang these in my house now :)
an "owl cage" filled with his Harry Potter invites we had left over (to make it look like letters)
I had bought a half a yard or yard of yellow and maroon felt (i used this for bunting, flags, and signs) it was very cheap and I just made the Gryffindor banner and hung it. It was very easy and effective.
bunting made from the felt I told you about earlier. I took some of the left over brick I had in Platform 9 3/4 and covered a picture I had. I taped on this Have you seen me wizard wanted sign I got from amazon for $3! I hung cinnamon brooms all over the kitchen from fishing wire to make them look like they were flying.
here is a pic of the main table in the day at the actual party. It was SOO BRIGHT AND SUNNY so the pics did not turn out as well (its hard to see the bunting and what it says)
Lego Harry Potter cake
I wont overwhelm you because there is soo much food and just so much going on but we had all kinds of goodies, chocolate frogs, licorice wands, poly juice potion, Dobys delights, rock cakes, just to name a few. Of course kids love sugar so we had a lot of sweets at "Honey Dukes Sweet Shop".
Ollivanders original wands (chocolate covered pretzel sticks)
Bertle Botts Jelly Beans (I did not get the actual Bertle Botts brand, these are just a Hawaiian punch brand that was on sale)
I looked everywhere for a frog mold that I would not have to order on line but had no luck so when I was on amazon and found the wanted wizard poster you saw above I found the frog mold it was only $2!

We also had a section called "Muggle food" for the muggle folk , it had things like PB& J , cal zones, fruit trays, and much more. The food was so fun to do and get creative with to make it HARRY POTTER Like. I had lots of help in this area thank goodness cause if not I would not of gotten it all done.

Ok I could go on for days with all the food and cool names of food and cool things we did with the food but I have more to share!
The last class the kids got to do was very laid back and simple, "defense against the dark arts class" all this included was dementors (balloons with faces drawn on them and streamers attached) hanging from the ceiling and the kids would give out the EXPECTO PATRONUM charm and fight off the dementors (hit the balloons with their wands) they had a blast doing this until they knocked them all down.

Now on to the last activity QUIDDITCH! This actually was really fun as we had the same amount of adults playing as kids (or maybe more adults lol) . Everyone had to get a broom to play the game, one of the rules was to keep the broom in between your legs at all times, THIS WAS FUNNY. I Love the smell of Cinnamon and am obsessed with cinnamon brooms. The moment Devin told me he wanted a Harry Potter Party I started saving my cinnamon brooms and had my mom do the same we had about 20! the kids were able to use these as their brooms for quidditch and we had some left to hang from the ceiling from fishing wire to make the brooms look like they are flying. This cost me NO MONEY for this party as the brooms I bought all year long and used in my house until the cinnamon smell ran out!
The Quidditch Field!! hula hoops spray painted gold on sticks = $3 cant beat it really!
For the Quidditch sign I just covered an old box i had laying around in felt  (the felt i told about above.. yes its going along way!!)cut out the letters with my cricket and added a yellow circle out of scrap paper and two feathers (all this I already had!). This sign was a few cents to make. I have a forbidden Forrest one as well, I will try and post a pic of that soon but the sun was SO bright the pics outside did not turn out as well. (in fact my camera is on its last leg I'm afraid, it was blurry most of the party :(  defiantly not good since I do photography)
The birthday boy throwing the quaffle into the quidditch field!
Here is my awesome brother waiting for the quaffle to hit the field so he can pick up his bludgger and throw it at someone!! LOL (the adults really had as much fun with this as the kids)
& the birthday boy caught the snitch!!!! GAME OVER! Gryffindor wins!!

Well there you have it a HARRY POTTER birthday blast!! We really had so much fun at the party and I had so much fun creating all the decor and favors months in advanced. Now on to the Dr. Seuss Party in June and the vintage Strawberry Shortcake tea party in June for my other two.