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Frozen Birthday Party for Boys

When my kids saw Frozen for the first time, it was in the theaters back in November of last year. When we left the movies, Nick and Joe were so excited they told me, “Mommy, we want to have a Frozen birthday party with snow and an ice palace. It would be so much fun.” I laughed it off and didn’t think much of it. Their birthday was 9 months away after all. But as we came up to planning their party, they politely reminded me that they had already decided they wanted a Frozen party and I must have just forgotten about it because I forget a lot of things. (Thanks kids for reminding me of my Swiss cheese mommy brain.) I told them I did remember them telling me that, but I was just double checking.

Now came some of the challenges. First, they want a Frozen party with snow and an ice palace. We live in the San Fernando Valley where it is almost guaranteed to be near or over 100 degrees in July, so good luck with the snow and ice. Second, they are two little boys with little boy friends. and they didn’t want a “princess party.” They love Anna and Elsa but didn’t want to do dress ups and crafts; they wanted to run around and play in the snow with their friends and have a frozen cake. Well when I told them it would be difficult to have snow and ice to play with, my little Nick told me, “You can figure it out mommy. You are good at that.” The pressure was on to make a non princess Frozen party in the middle of the hottest time of year.

Here are some of the things we did to throw a boys Frozen party in the hottest time of the year.

D E C O R A T I O N S

I usually go pretty minimal on decorations. I typically buy a few cardboard decorations and a birthday banner from Party City and call it a day. Not only did I have trouble finding Frozen stuff in stock, but it was also all pink and purple. The boys preferred things that looked icy or blue. I did buy one table center piece and tried to match the blue on it for a table cloth.

I also used toys that we had purchased throughout the past year to place around the house. Lilly had an Anna and Elsa doll that she graciously let me use for decorations. James had a Kristoff Doll that he lent to the decorations, and Nick and Joe contributed their Olaf and Sven stuffed animals. I placed them around the house with some other things like party blowers. It made for some pretty simple decorations. During the party the kids wanted to play with them, so they only last a few minutes.

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DIY Pumpkin Face Paper Garland

Halloween often comes with lots of scary decorations, but with a few simple supplies, you and your kids can craft your own garland full of pumpkin faces. Make them as silly or spooky as you want!

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My Family Guide to Washington, DC

After two years living in the DuPont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC we’re abandoning our one bedroom apartment and moving farther out of the metro area to Alexandria, VA. With the move creeping up on us, I’ve been doing some thinking about all our favorite places here, the places we’ll miss being so close to, and the places we’ll make the metro trip into the city to revisit. So I thought, what a perfect time to share! If you find yourself in Washington, DC here’s my guide to family friendly fun and food!

As you probably know, Washington DC is full of national museums and parks. Translation: there is a whole lot of free stuff to see and do. When it comes to the “national” stuff here are my favorites for the kids:

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Making a Birth Plan the Second Time Around

When I was pregnant the first time around, I created a birth plan after a ton of reading, research, guidance from my doula and lessons from a marathon weekend of what Mr. C called the “crunchy birth class.” I was determined to have a birth with no drugs and zero intervention.  As I made my way through my first experience growing and delivering a baby, writing down what I had hoped to have happen helped me to cope with my fears of what was to come and prepare for what I expected to be a marathon of pain.

And guys, what I came up with was LONG. And detailed. And intense. And at the time, I thought it was perfect.

Looking back though, after reaching the dreaded 42 week point, I would be facing an induction where huge portions of my birth plan would be slashed the moment I walked in the door.  No IV. Nope – thank you Group B strep. No Pitocin. Slash that one, obviously, since my kid would not come out on his own. No “continuous fetal monitoring.” Induction plus Pitocin ruined that too. Honestly, although my birth plan looked like it had been through a losing war with a sharpie, in the end I was lucky, both because I managed to persevere through Pitocin with a med free birth, and because the kid at the end of the tunnel (um, literally) was and is healthy, happy and truly amazing.

Now, as I enter my third trimester, I’m thinking about my birth plan again. This time around, I expect it will look a bit different. Here’s what I’m thinking.

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Working Mom Wardrobe Staples for Fall

As a full time WOHM, I’ve been struggling with my wardrobe ever since I became a mom of two. I’m always looking for pieces that will see lots of wear (I’m all about price per wear!) as well as be flattering AND comfortable, and not break the bank either. See why I’ve been struggling?? Summers are easy for me since I can get away with knee length and maxi dresses with cardigans. And breezy dresses tend to go on sale! But for clothes for fall and winter, I went through a couple of years of what I call “throw-away clothes” — clothes that are stylish and look good for a few months and then just start to fall apart, stretch out, or fade in conspicuous places (ashy knees of black pants, yikes!). I’m finally satisfied with the repertoire of pieces I have in my closet and I’m really looking forward to fall once I have a few more pieces in place.

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In the Blink of An Eye

They say childhood passes in the blink of an eye; one minute you are rocking a newborn in the middle of the night, the next you are waiting anxiously by the door at midnight for that baby to come home. Time flies and it’s true. When I wake up, my mind still feels like I’m 21 with the world of endless possibilities waiting at my feet. But the reality is I’m no longer twenty, and I’m a few years into thirty. I don’t feel it but it’s happened, and I don’t feel the days with my babies moving quickly, but they have. In four short years my first baby has gone from a sleepless newborn to a bounding, exploring, curious ever chatting four-year old. What’s even more startling is my new baby is walking! How can that be? Babies don’t walk! But there she is trotting down the hallway, determined as can be in her little baby steps. It’s so very bittersweet as a mother to see these changes, to know that time is marching on and taking your babies with it as they grow.

Got to slide down all by himself

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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Christmas Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

I love an excuse to buy books for my kids, and what better reason is there than Christmas?? My kids get books for Christmas and birthdays whether they like it or not (it’s never been the latter!). The books listed in this guide are either books we already own, or plan to buy as we enter the holiday season.  Because my kids are 2 and 4, I’ve narrowed down the focus to books ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. I stuck to books with familiar characters by well-loved authors, then branched out from there. More likely than not, you’ll recognize quite a few of these beloved characters!

For the young toddler set, I looked for board books that aren’t too lengthy, with cute characters and easy rhythm. For the preschoolers and up, I chose books that require a longer attention span, with more complex storylines.

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