Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday Favorite: One-On-One

I promise I won't play the Single, Working Mom Card often here, but when it comes to spending time with JD or O alone, it's pretty much impossible lately.  During the school year, I'm working most of their waking hours, and even then I only have every other weekend to look forward to.  There is no taking just one on an errand or to a special event without finding child care for the other.  And leaving one behind with a babysitter when I have such little, precious time with them leads to some guilt- not to mention the extra expense.

But I know it's important to have a relationship with them as individuals and take time with each to know them in that way.  So this summer I've taken advantage of my time away from work to have a little one-on-one.  

JD will sometimes ask to do things without his brother, so I knew he would welcome it.  I was a little more concerned about how O would handle it since he idolizes and depends on his brother much more. When I talked to O about having a "Mommy and O Day", he would add, "and JD". He seemed genuinely concerned about being away from his brother and not interested in enjoying undivided attention.  I planned a simple afternoon running errands so we could just go home if it truly upset him.  But when I was strapping him in the car to leave, he was giddy and kept repeating, "Mommy and O Day! Mommy and O Day"!

kid picking apples
Shopping with mini carts doesn't go as well when 2 boys are fighting over them or treating them like bumper cars.

kid with tiny cart
He was allowed to fill his cart with whatever he wanted.  He made sure to go down each aisle slowly.

kid with groceries
The kid likes fruit and things that come in orange packaging.

I couldn't have imagined it better.  He was more independent and conversational than I would have guessed.  I learned so much about him as a little person that afternoon, it made me feel so guilty about not giving him that time sooner.  And after a little more than an hour out around town, he asked to go back to his brother, so we headed home.  We will be doing that again soon!

JD was much more excited about his time, and I knew he could handle a bigger outing.  We love going to the city, but JD usually has to compromise what he wants to do because of what works with O's schedule, or some things are just too hard/stressful with both kids by myself.  This trip with just the two of us was a treat.

kid with avengers poster
Off to a great start when we got to sit by the Avengers on the train.

happy kid on playground
Playgrounds are so fun when your grownup can follow you wherever you want to go.

kid tossing pennies in fountain
His wish was to come back again.  (I still laugh when I think about the first time he threw pennies into this fountain.)

kid admiring sculpture
He really enjoyed the art installation at Madison Square Park.  He followed it around the entire park and asked me to read each sign.
Two very awesome days!  And I'm guessing giving each a little one-on-one with our babysitter was good for them too.  I don't need reminders that they are different children with different needs and interests (I battle that each day), but giving them each a little special mommy time is something I need to get better at.  If you have more than one child, how do you balance it?

Monday, July 22, 2013

JD's Superhero 4th Birthday Party

JD is OBSESSED with superheroes, and he talked about having a superhero party for months leading up to his 4th birthday.  I cringed as we attended superhero party after superhero party for his friends, but almost-four-year-olds don't care that they're having the exact same theme as all their friends.

happy super kid

I got him involved with as much of the party planning/shopping as I could, which meant we ended up with the licensed SpiderMan plates, Batman napkins, Spiderman tablecloths, etc., This made it a little more challenging to separate his party from all the others.  But in the end, it is his day.

I still got to do fun things from Pinterest, like these adorable (no sewing involved) capes.  

no sew superhero capes
Thanks for the free template jollymom
Kids and grownups alike had fun running around in them.

super mom
Suzanne left her kids in awe when she transformed.
The capes were complimented by the mask making craft.

kids making masks
(blank masks and sticky decorative things all from Oriental Trading)

For decorations, I used all of the superhero stuff we had around the house in addition to pennants I made from comic book fabric and life-size cutouts of Batman and Spiderman.  

superheros on shelf
JD reminded me that Buzz is a superhero, too!

superhero mantle decorations
The name sign was a personalized super hero comic book collage from RKRcreations.  I paid $20 for the digital file and $12 to have it printed poster size at OfficeMax.  Now it's hanging in his bedroom.  Score!

super kids
Super Kids!  (We had a lot of fun posing with these guys, and they were way more affordable that having costumed actors make an appearance. Cutouts were also from Oriental Trading.)

super grandparents
I love that my parents hop on board with the theme also :)

And although I kept the food simple, I had a little dorky fun with it.

super hero

powtato salad

catwoman claws

kryptonite krispies

super cupcakes

I used this idea from Pinterest to create his invitations.

superhero party invitation
The boys had a blast posing for these pics, and I was really happy with the way it came out.
You can download the file here if you would like to personalize this invite for your party!

Finally, to keep the kids busy, we had a Kryptonite Hunt (saw the idea here) and a piñata.  For the hunt, I painted a bunch of large rocks we collected at the beach green and gave the kids oven mitts from the dollar store to protect them while transporting the rocks to the safe box.

kryptonite hunt
The kids hid and found the kryptonite together over and over throughout the party.  I loved overhearing them reminding each other not to handle it barehanded or "you'll lose your superpowers".


And after explaining to him that you don't beat piñatas with a stick anymore (When did that happen?), we convinced my dad to hold it up while the kids took turns pulling ribbons.

superhero pinata
Why does my kid look 12 here?

pinata stash
O was happy with his loot!

JD was one happy super kid that day!

*Special thanks to the awesome Suzanne for helping me that weekend and taking some of these photos.
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