Monday, March 31, 2014

Choo Choo Xavier Is Two!


The two year old birthday boy!
   This past weekend we celebrated Xavier turning two by having a train birthday party. We kept it simple, with no specific train, just trains in general. Nick had some old trains and we put them out on display along with Xavier's train set that he has. The adults and kids both had a blast playing with the trains. We also were very fortunate to have received a ball pit from my sister and her family so we enjoyed that throughout the party. It rained for the majority of the day but we were able to fit in some play time on the swing set and roller coaster that our neighbors and good friends set up for the party!


Our front door sign!

       You never know especially when you are a parent of a toddler how they are going to react to things. When I woke Xavier up from his nap to get ready for his party he was very grumpy, but he soon changed his attitude once he was in the living room and noticed all the trains and decorations for him. He even clapped. He spent the day playing in the ball pit, hanging with friends and relatives, playing outside, and snuggling with his grandma. Plus we now discovered his favorite candy is "M & M's" which he even says and will spot from a mile away!



       This year we went a little lighter on the decorations, we just had close family and friends, but it was just perfect for us all. I made most of the food we had, mini meatball sandwiches, sausage balls, spinach balls, Farfellini with Peas and Carrot, and hummus and vegetables. I am not the best baker but I really wanted to do a train cake for his party so thanks to the wonderful website TrainParty.com they had the perfect easy cake form. However, I was busy making the miniature pineapple upside down cakes so my wonderful husband made the entire train birthday cake and he did an awesome job! It was so nice to be able to see our little man smile and clap hands when he heard us start singing and saw the cake. He even "blew" out the candle. It was definitely a birthday party that did not disappoint and we remembered to soak in as much of it as we could. I remembered to play with him during it, and play with our relatives and laugh with friends and show Xavier that everyday should be a celebration.

My two year old birthday boy!

Special thanks to all of our family and friends who were able to come and celebrate with us and for your great pictures and gifts.

Xavier in his ball pit.

He loved putting the balls through the holes.

I am playing pin the caboose on the train!

Xavier putting his caboose on the train!

Xavier and his grandma!

Excited about the singing and his train cake!

Making his birthday wish and blowing out the candle!

Playing in the ball pit with his friends!

Checking out his new toys!

The food table, which will end up being filled with pans of food. 

Goody bag, baggage claim!

My husband's vintage trains and Xavier's train books.


We left out lots of locomotive toys for all the kids. 

The fabulous train cake my husband made!



I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. If you noticed some of the menu choices above stay tuned you may see a couple new recipes on the blog this week!


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Little Celebration





   We had a nice little family celebration for Xavier's actual birthday and we are having a fun Train Birthday party this weekend for him. Xavier loves trains so we got him a train that is also a dog (he loves dogs too) and some books and puzzles. He had fun reading cards from everyone.
     My parents sent his present and Nick put it together the night before his birthday so when Xavier woke up his gifts were all out and ready to be played with. They got him his first big wheel! He was very excited to see it! He cannot quite reach the pedals yet, but he grows so fast I know he will soon and it is nice to have him grow into something.



     Unfortunately, it was raining on his birthday so he could not ride his big wheel outside but he still rode it inside with his feet instead of pedals. No one is definitely going to rain on Xavier's parade!



     Well, I have a two year old birthday party to get ready for, so I hope you all have a great weekend full of fun, love and laughter!



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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

World Epilepsy Day




   Today is World Epilepsy Day! I hope you are all wearing your purple to spread awareness about epilepsy and seizures. 
                 Things you can do for World Epilepsy Day!
                       - Wear Purple
                      - teach someone how to respond to a seizure
                     - Donate to finding a cure and better treatment of Epilepsy! (all tax deductions go to the Epilepsy Foundation and are tax deductible)
                      - Share some facts such as:
                              1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their life
                              1 in 25 people will develop epilepsy
                              There is no cure for epilepsy
                       - Show your support for those you know and love with epilepsy and for those you may not have met. 

You can read more about my life with epilepsy and stories of others who have this disease which is on my Epilepsy Tab which is always on this blog!








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Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Xavier!


Every year I write a birthday letter to my son Xavier. If you missed last year's you can read it here (Happy 1st Birthday Xavier), this is this year's letter. Happy Birthday Xavier!



Dear Xavier,
   Happy Birthday! We are so proud of the wonderfully, funny, smart, sweet and caring toddler you have become this year. You do not speak completely yet, but we have come to mutual understandings with each other.
    Thank you for the love, joy and affection you unconditionally give us everyday. Thank you for the kisses, hugs, high fives, fist bumps, squeals of laughter and for turning to us in your time of need. You have brought so much love, peace, laughter and harmony into our home this year.
    Every day you are different. Every day you learn something new. We love watching and teaching you. Seeing you master putting a train track together, or a  puzzle together or paint a picture, brings us such joy, and we thank you so very much for that.
     You are also so very sweet. You love animals especially, dogs, cats, owls, eagles, monkeys and elephants. You are very helpful, you always help me with the laundry and Dad with whatever Dad decides to give you to do. You and him are a pair. Wherever he goes, you go. I cherish my time in the day with you. I love playing games together, reading books and playing outside with you.
     We adore the personality that you are getting. The expressions that you make on your face everyday make us laugh. We love your sense of style which can consist of a crooked baseball cap or sunglasses up on your head. We even love it more when you check out the outfit you put together in our big mirrors and see how you look.
        You always make me laugh when you see people with cameras out taking pictures and you instantly pose. However, I think our favorite part of your personality is your musical fun. You love to dance, sing and play your drums. You carry around toys that play music all day long and you try to get as many going at once to hear all the sounds. Sure you drive us a little crazy, but it makes us laugh, because it makes you happy.
      We are so glad and thankful that you gave us such an amazing second year of your life. From the horrid stomach bug we all survived to the moment you started eating with a fork and napkin we have treasured every second and will continue to treasure every second we have with you for the rest of our lives.
      We hope this next year brings you health and happiness to our little man, Xavier!
HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY XAVIER WE LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!




Don't forget tomorrow is World Epilepsy Day, remember to wear purple in support of those you love with epilepsy and to spread awareness. Feel free to check out my epilepsy posts on the tab!





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Bringing In Spring

  


     We remembered to celebrate Ostara or also known as the Spring Equinox. We did not have time to do anything very special but it ended up being a beautiful warm day here so we played outside all day.
    I am usually a Fall season lover, but there is always something that is so sweet about the spring. There are budding plants and babies everywhere. The first glimpses of flowers, insects and sunlight, make you feel like love is starting to bloom all over again. Spring is so great at reminding us that life begins again and is always changing and renewing.
         I always try to start new projects in the Spring and make it a time for new beginnings. I hope you all enjoy your Spring time as much as I know we will!





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Friday, March 21, 2014

Unconditional Love

Vito playing dress up with Xavier!
  


  I never get tired of watching my son interact with his best friend, our dog Vito. I am always so impressed by Vito's patience with Xavier. He lets him pull on his mouth, ears, legs and climb on him. Of course they also share snacks, toys, balls and wrestles and snuggles together as well.
       There really is nothing more innocent than children and animals they are just pure unconditional love. In fact, I think I will go play with my unconditional love bunch today!


  I hope you all have a great weekend and start the spring off right!


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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Letters and Lunch




    Xavier has known his alphabet for some time now. We got him an alphabet puzzle and books and he can point out all the letters to you. He cannot say the actual word of each letter though. Although he does know sounds which I find odd. His favorite letter that he can say is "O", but he also can say A, T and S. So I have been trying to find different ways to get him to say words instead of pointing at things and nodding or using the Baby Sign Language I taught him.
    He is slowly saying more and more each day but I still try to teach him. I do not like to push him but I like to make sure he is getting the stimulus he needs to develop the skills that he needs right now.



   The other day I was waiting for Xavier to finish his lunch (toddlers can take forever to eat, I had already eaten and cleaned up from making it) and I decided to try some letters with lunch. I got out his alphabet puzzle and spelled out "S-O-U-P" and said "soup" and said each letter to him like you would if you were in a spelling bee. He loved it and thought it was so much fun and he now knows the word "soup" although he cannot spell it, he can say it!



    This also worked when later he swiped the letters off the table and left the U and P and I said "the S and O are down the U and P are up" and it was yet another teaching moment.
      You obviously cannot do it all the time, nor would I like to do it everyday, but on some days when you are out of ideas, in a bad mood, or just need something new, try making words out of meal times.








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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Straw





 We went out this past weekend and Xavier finally figured out how to use a straw. He may have figured it out sooner if it had ever dawned on me to let him try a straw. It was funny because at first he was just chewing on it and then I showed him how to make a "fishy face" so that he would get a sucking motion.




 He did it and it surprised him at first and the water came right back out his mouth, but once he figured it out he had fun using it for the rest of his meal. As you can see from the pictures he has a big meal all the time and he loves to add to it. So learning during the meal is working fantastically for us!







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Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!




HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

I hope you all have a great holiday! 



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Friday, March 14, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Dinner


 Last year I posted this after St. Patrick's Day for a "what we did" kind of post. However, I have noticed many of you have pinned it on Pinterest and it is very popular. It is extremely easy and cheap to make and a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the family without having to worry about all the cooking. I love this and plan on having it this year as well. I hope you will join me.


Click here to read Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage blog post!

I hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe!



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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Calm Before The Storm




 
The crazy weather has me thinking a lot lately. One minute it is 78 degrees and I switch on the air conditioner and we play outside in the sunshine. The next minute I am switching on the heat, and episodes of Peppa Pig and Yo Gabba Gabba to keep Xavier busy throughout multiple rainy days.
         It always amazes me how important circles are in our world. Did you ever notice babies first toys commonly are circles, balls, binkies, bottles, even mobiles. There is a cyclic motion we are just born to find soothing. I believe it is the cyclic motion of the universe and so it allows us to appreciate and know that things may be bad one minute and good the next. However, it is important to appreciate each moment for what it is.



        As much as we love the sunshine and fresh air, the driving and doing of so many fun things. Sometimes the hunkering down inside due to rain ( or snow in some cases) makes you see things from a different perspective. You learn something about yourself or you notice a new thing your child does or you learn something new together.
        There are so many moments in every cycle that we are going through in our life. You have to remember that if you stay calm and have faith the storm will never come.
        If you are stuck inside due to the storms that are hitting the eastern coast right now I hope that you make the best out of every second of it. Use the opportunity to learn more about yourself, your family and your future. We make some of our best decisions when we are relaxing with ones we love and are comfortable and at ease. As important as it is to always have your ducks in a row,



 sometimes it's better to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Have faith that things will work out for the best they always do!

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