Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Third birthday-the activities part 2

Sorry I left you stranded with the big activity we did!  We're battling ear infections and fevers after just finishing up pneumonia.  It had better be spring soon!

After playing our games, the marching band arrived!  Brian asked some of his students to come to our house to march around the block with us!  Brian's students were very enthusiastic and set up a Facebook group and at one point 42 students said they would be there!  That had me worried!  By the day or two before there were only about 15 students coming.  I think we had 7 students who showed up and one mom.  We set off with our banner and marching band hats.  Everyone grabbed an instrument.

Natalie marched with Grandma and Grandpa Dueber the whole time and played the recorder.  Noah started with a drum with Grandpa Weidner but then quickly gave the drum away.  Then he grabbed the instruments that Aunt Marcie had (both hers and Megan's) and gave them to Grandpa Weidner so that he could hold Aunt Marcie's hand.  I'm not sure why he wouldn't participate but he just didn't want to.  He did walk the whole time.  Poor Aunt Marcie who was at the back of the parade the whole time bringing up the rear!

We had one neighbor who came out and cheered for us as we passed by.  That was fun!  Here's our band.  You'll notice in the last picture how far back some of us are!  The front of the band did march in place and keep playing (well the drummer did) at our house until we caught up!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Third birthday-the activities

I wanted to play some games and do some activities at N2's third birthday since they are getting old enough to play games.  We started with coloring the marching band banner.  I thought that would take more time but they were done coloring in no more than 5 minutes!

Then we made tambourines with paper plates, sticks, streamers and beans.  N2, Amelia and Megan really liked putting stickers on the plates.  Make sure to put lots of staples or else the beans will fly out when shaken!
Then we played hot potato with a maraca and instead of eliminating people, the person who ended up with the maraca when the music stopped won.

We also played musical pillows but there weren't any good pictures of that game.  They really just liked to lay on the pillows!  Stay tuned for the next activity!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Third birthday-food and decorations

I wanted to make theme related food but it's kind of hard to make food music related!  I found one idea online-to make a keyboard using different colors sandwiches.  But there were not any other ideas.  There's also not many decorations out there for a music birthday unless you want just black and white or pop music icons.  So I decided to go with bright colors for tableware.  I did find some music confetti and my school has a die cut for a treble clef so I posted those around.  Brian had some bulletin board music notes that I posted as well.

Here is our menu:
-White bread and cheese sandwiches, pumpernickel and cheese sandwiches made into a piano keyboard
(plus lunchmeats and cheeses for sandwiches)
-Fresh veggies laid out in a music note
-Fresh fruit that Brian made into a music staff that wrote out the melody to "Down By the Station"
-Veggie Straws (drumsticks-I know it may be a stretch!)
-Round pickles slices (titled "pickleos"-thanks Marcie for finding that idea for me!)
-Music cakes

Here's the centerpiece I made using party horns.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Third birthday-the cakes

Most of you have probably seen my pictures on Facebook about N2's 3rd birthday party but in case you didn't or in case you want to hear something about it, I thought I would also post here.

I decided to do a music themed party because N2 love music (specifically musical instruments and marching bands).  I also wanted to make 2 cakes so they each had their own and didn't have to share one cake.  I feel this is important so that they can feel like individuals.  Natalie told me several times before her birthday that she didn't want to share her birthday with Noah.  I can't do anything about that but I can try to individualize their birthday as much as I can!  Next year we'll probably have a friend's birthday party (but just one) but I imagine once they are in school (kindergarten and up), I'll have to have 2 different parties for them.  So this year I just started with 2 different cakes and singing to each of them individually.

I knew a drum cake would be simple.  It took me a while to come up with the xylophone cake idea since I didn't want to make 2 of the exact same cakes!  I used cake mix and that was fine for the drum cake but since I cut the pieces for the xylophone so much, I don't think a box cake mix was a good idea-it was really crumbly while I was trying to ice it and icing didn't stick very well.  I did freeze the cakes and then 24 hours I crumb coated them and put them back in the freezer.  Then 24 hours later I iced them "for real."  I still had difficulty with the bars.  So note to self (and to others), a scratch cake is probably a better option if you are doing a lot of cutting even if you are not stacking.

Here are the finished cakes.

We sang to Natalie first since she is 1 minute older.  Noah even sang along a little bit.  I don't know if Natalie knew what to make of people singing to her.  She knew to blow out the candles and Noah leaned over to help her at the end. Then we sang to Noah.  He sang along then too!  He seemed to like being sung to.

Noah wanted a piece of his cake (yellow cake-it's what he wanted me to make) and Natalie wanted a piece of the pink xylophone bar (although at first she told me the blue one so I cut her a blue piece and she was NOT happy!)  Her cake was chocolate because that's what she asked for.  Noah didn't eat too much.  I think he was full by that time and getting a little tired.  Natalie enjoyed her cake!

 Megan enjoyed her cake too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine's Day

My little valentines were still home sick on Valentine's Day.  They still weren't feeling all the way better and they really weren't eating much.  So I tired to entice them to eat by making their food fun (but also very easy!)  So for breakfast I served heart shaped pancakes (yes, I free formed them), strawberries cut into a heart shape and I cut the center of the banana slices with a small heart cutter so they could push out a heart from the center.  Natalie did eat all her banana but nothing else.  Noah only ate the hearts out of the center of the banana and one pancake.
I made grilled cheese for lunch and cut hearts out but that didn't entice them to eat the sandwich.  After that I didn't do anything creative.

We made heart shaped crayons for N2's classmates at school.  Too bad they missed their Valentine's Day party. :(  But they took their valentines in the next day and passed them out.  We also sent the crayons to some cousins.

These were so simple to make!  I borrowed a silicon heart mold from a coworker.  I cut N2's crayons up into small pieces (I used a knife because the thick crayons are hard to break into small pieces).  N2 filled up the heart molds.  I put them in a 250 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then I turned off the oven and left them inside for an hour or two to harden.  They I popped them in the freezer to hard even more.  They came out of the mold easily.  The only difficulty I had was attaching the hearts to the paper.  You really have to flatten the back of the crayon by coloring just on the back.  Glue dots didn't work (I had small ones) so I used red line tape and that held.

I made Valentine's Day cards by doing thumb prints and making them into a bunny.  I had tried other ideas first but those ideas didn't pan out.  I saw the idea for these as an Easter card but I figured they could be Valentine's Day card too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Birthday Treats

I wanted to make something different and not so messy for N2 to take to school on Friday.  I was going to do cupcakes but I really didn't want to make another cake since I was already making 2 cakes for Saturday.  I've been wanting to make Rice Krispie treat Hershey kisses so I gave them a go for N2's birthday.  I think they turned out really cute and they weren't that hard to make as long as you have a funnel.  I did break my wooden spoon while mixing the Rice Krispie treats.
All you do is make a regular recipe of Rice Krispie treats.  Butter a small funnel and push the treats in.  They will pop right out since the funnel is buttered.  You also need to butter the aluminum foil.  Make sure your square of aluminum foil is not too big or else they will be hard to wrap and also get to look nice.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grading Papers

While Natalie and mommy went to the "girl store" aka TJ Maxx to get Natalie's dress in a smaller size (which they did not have), Noah got to help Daddy grade papers!  Oh boy!  Brian gave Noah a stack of unclaimed papers (students who didn't pick up their work) and a pencil.  When we got home from school on Monday, Noah pick up some small pieces of paper and his pencil, sat on the couch like daddy and pulled the table up to the couch and told me he was "grading papers."  Natalie of course needed to join in!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


N2 love to do projects.  I bought some random craft supplies at Jo-Anns and let N2 glue to their heart's content!  Here are their collages (first Noah's then Natalie's):

Noah has also been a drawing machine!  He loves to add the sky to the top of the page.  This picture below is a boat on the sea.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I picked up N2 from school the other day, it must have been February 1st, and had a pile of projects from both of them.  Each month their teacher does projects that she hangs around the room.  Well Natalie had missed school the first week of January so she didn't have a project that Noah did and she flipped out!  Luckily her teacher is very kind and gave each one of them the stickers and papers needed and told them that she was giving them homework.  They were so excited to get homework!  We actually didn't even do it that evening (how bad of a parent am I to not make my children do their homework!) but the following day they asked me if they could do their homework instead of going out to play!  I sure hope this continues their whole life!  Now they talk about homework all the time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Frango Mint Ice Cream

While we were downtown at the store formally known as Marshall Field's we picked up some absolutely delicious Frango mint ice cream for everyone to enjoy.  Everyone loved it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Real Train!

These photos are from the beginning of December but I figured better late than never.  N2 and I went downtown with Marcie, her girls, Mom and Grace to see the windows at the store formally known as Marshall Fields and to see the tree in the Walnut Room.  I think the highlight for all the kids (minus Megan) was the L ride (Megan enjoyed the escalators!).  Here are some pictures from the train ride.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Train?

I've been meaning to post these pictures for a while but I can't get a straight answer about what N2 and their cousins were doing.  I think they were on a bus or train but since I wasn't there, I can't be too sure.  But whatever they were doing they were quite noisy!  From what I've been told they just sat there and sang/yelled.  They had a great time though!