Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kate's Third (and Last) Second Birthday!

Can you stand any more birthday extravaganza? Can Kate? I think she's pretty much partied out at this point...

But here's the recap on the final festive event in Kate's 2nd birthday holiday season. Last Sunday, Gram and Grandpa came down to our house for presents, balloons, and cupcakes. We all had a marvelous time, and as usual, the girls are still talking about having Gram and Grandpa over to play.

More presents!

Gram Helps Out - Kate still gets distracted and never finishes opening any present unless you do it for her.

Maggie also got a couple of gifts!

Gram made the girls fleece doll blankets and pillows - so cute! They love them and are finding many creative uses for them. Kate has been sleeping with the little pillows in her bed with her.

This board has little metal beads and a magnetic pen for practicing tracing letters. It's supposed to be Maggie's, but both girls are a little obsessed with it. Thanks Auntie Amy!!

Kate was fairly convinced that this sled was actually a bed for her - complete with soft, cozy fleece blankies and a pillow.

Then we decorated some cupcakes. By the way, I made these cupcakes and the icing from scratch and they actually tasted good! Thank you, thank you; yes, I'm quite proud of myself.

Giving Kate a Hand (Note: I baked the cupcakes in the real oven; Grandpa didn't bake them in the play oven. I think he's back there in the background fixing the door that always falls off.)

Gram and Mags are Cupcake Artists

Licking the Spoon

Grandpa's a Cupcake Artist, Too

2 Years Old!

The Finished Products in All Their Pastel Glory

Taste Test


Feeling blue that Kate's birthday is finally over? Not to worry! There's plenty more where that came from. Just check back in a few more weeks for my birthday and Maggie's birthday! Festivus isn't over until the snow melts... Good thing we never get tired of cupcakes. :)

And one last thing... Thank you everyone for everything you did to make Kate's second year great! We love you all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kate's Second (Actual) Second Birthday!

Even though we'd already had a small party and my parents' house and I knew Mike's parents would come down for cupcakes over the weekend following Kate's birthday, I just couldn't bear to allow the actual day to pass without some fanfare. So we had a second 2nd birthday celebration!

In the morning, I took the girls to the Museum of Science. As soon as we got there, Kate jumped out of the stroller and ran around the open exhibit hall shouting, "Wow! Oh, wow! Oh, gosh! Wow!" with her hands against her cheeks in an expression of rapt amazement at the displays on electricity and kinetic energy and other scientific principles that toddlers love so much. Maybe she'll go to MIT? Actually, I think she might have too much personality for MIT.

Anyway, so we headed straight for the butterfly garden, which was more their speed. They loved it, although it was hard to keep Maggie from picking the flowers. Not Kate, the 2 year old... Maggie. She's the one who broke all the Christmas tree ornaments this year, too. We have to keep a close eye on that child.

Wow! Oh, gosh! Oh, wow!

Tiny, purloined blue flower

Hanging Out

They were looking at the fish in that fish tank. Kate is kneeling in a puddle of water on the floor (they'd just watered all the plants) and she would not move away from the tank, so by the time we left the butterfly garden she was all wet and muddy.

Maggie finds a puddle, too. Who needs rare butterflies when there are puddles of plain old water?!


This a Rube Goldberg type kinetic sculpture. They were very interested in it and we hung out here for a while until Kate tripped over her own feet and whacked her forehead on the floor.

Magnetic blocks

She was very proud of it, whatever it was.

Kate was nuts for this beach ball. She kept trying to throw it to this baby who was about a year old which wasn't so great because Kate pitches every ball at your head as hard as she can.

Very serious work

Dressed in a bee costume, feeding the baby bees "pollen" bean bags

Later that evening, I made spaghetti and meatballs - one of Kate's most favorite dinners - and we had some little cakes with candles and sang Happy Birthday and opened more presents.

An assortment of tiny, fancy cakes

Raspberry cheesecake with whipped cream and a candied raspberry on top.

Carrot cake and neapolitan ice cream

More presents! Maggie picked out the pink and purple paper and bows (of course).

Baby stroller! Kate does laps around the house at top speed pushing her stroller - with or without a baby on board.

New baby crib. It matches a doll high chair and pram that a neighbor gave Jane for free just before Christmas!

Crazy Forts - like tinker toy frames for blanket forts. Super fun!

And the bean bag chairs we bought for the girls with Christmas money that Grandma the Great gave us arrived on Kate's birthday! Bonus presents! They love them.


We got 14 inches today already and a little is still coming down. Mike's work was closed for the day, so he's out unearthing the car and clearing the front walk, poor guy! Kate loved playing outside with the neighbor kids on the mountain of snow at the dead end of the street, but Maggie started crying and insisted on coming back inside because she was too cold and had a wet spot (that turned out to only be about the size of a tennis ball) on her pants. She's much happier now that she's sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a hot chocolate, watching Nemo. Who in the world does that remind you of?!?!? (Not me, surely.)

Kate's First Second Birthday

I've been trying to put together a post about Kate's birthday celebrations, but I've gotten horribly bogged down in too many photos and too many parties. So I've decided to break it up into three posts about the three individual celebrations. And all this after the Christmaspalooza we'd just finished with... just exactly how lucky can one small child get???

Kate's first 2nd birthday party was just a few days after Christmas while we were still in Oklahoma at my parents' house. My brother and his wife and my Uncle Max came up for a delicious steak dinner and some cake and ice cream.


These little pom poms were very popular with the girls. Such a cute alternative to bows!

Maggie stylin' some Mrs. Potato Head accessories with her pom pom.

This purple purse just matches my outfit!

She seemed so amazed and overjoyed that we would sing a song for her.

Reaching for a glob of frosting. Maggie begged for the piece of cake with the pink flower on it, of course! Kate just ate the frosting and left all the cake behind - typical.

Stay tuned, more to come!