What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Signing Time Birthday Party

Ben just turned two.  The big kids and I were talking about possible party themes, when Evan made the brilliant suggestion: Signing Time! 

Ben LOVES Signing Time.  At any given moment, he will scoot to the TV or the laptop, point at the screen, then do the sign for "time."  If you don't seem to get it, he will sign "Baby Time."  For some reason, he never signs "Signing."

What tends to happen at our parties is that I plan several different games and activities, then the kids show up and play whatever they want for 2 hours, occasionally swinging by the kitchen to grab a snack.  Sure enough, that's what happened for Ben's party.

Here are the games/activities/decorations that I planned:

"I love you" fridge magnets.  
          I bought a pack of paper hands from a teacher's supply store, pulled out some foam heart stickers, glue sticks, crayons and magnets for the kids.  The idea:  fold down the two middle fingers so that the hand signs "I love you."  Decorate with crayons and heart sticker.  Attach magnet to back.  Voila!  I just put all the supplies out on a craft table, and kids occasionally stopped to make one.

Pin the flies on Hopkins.  
          I don't know if Hopkins likes to eat flies or not (I've only seen him swallow a banana!), but we figured that would be an easy game.  I drew a picture of Hopkins and hung him on the wall.  We didn't end up playing with Hopkins, but Corrie liked the picture so much that she hung it up in her room afterwards.

Learning a little sign language.
          I thought it would be fun to teach the kids a few signs.  For example, "I love you" with the magnets, "frog" with Hopkins, "jump" with the bounce house in the backyard, "eat" for snacks, and "Happy Birthday."  Not a whole lot, but a little something.  Didn't happen.  :)  The only time the kids were all together was for the birthday song, and that was kind of spur-of-the-moment.

          I just like to make cookies.  These are mostly B's and stars.

Happy Birthday Banner
          The pictures aren't very good, since the banner was hanging in front of the window, but I printed out the letters for "Happy Birthday Ben" in a sign language font and strung them up with a couple of the paper hands.  It was cute!  You'll have to take my word for it. 

          Corrie was the main cupcake decorator.  We bought these clapping hands and stuck them in the cupcakes.  Some cupcakes got lots of green sprinkles, some got none.

The birthday boy:

Ben is wearing an "I'm this many" shirt from ThingsVerySpecial on Etsy.



          I don't have any pictures of the favor bags, but I printed out coloring pages from SigningTime.com.  I also ordered some of these cute "I love you" crayons from an Etsy shop.  This is not the shop I used, but these are the same basic crayons.  I was surprised at how little they were, but they were packaged in sets of 3 and looked cute!

Moon Jump:
Here is Ben checking out the bounce house after a clothing change.  No bouncing for him, but he loved climbing in and out.  The bounce house has nothing to do with signing, but the party was for kids of all ages, so it was nice to have one outdoor activity.

I want to have Ben's birthday party AGAIN, so we can do all the activities!  It was a lot of fun.  :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ben at Two Years Old

Happy Birthday, Benjamin! 

Two years ago, your story began with the doctor announcing "He is perfect!  Beautiful!"  She was so right. 

Look at you now!  Where has the time gone?

At two, you are
  • climbing up and down the stairs
  • signing more than 50 words
  • not afraid to voice your opinion
  • saying "moo!"
  • crawling (a real crawl, not just army crawling)
  • still scooting around on your bottom - you are incredibly fast.
  • pulling to stand and cruising around furniture
  • climbing onto the arm of the couch and "jumping" onto the cushions (learned from Evan and Corrie)
  • clasping your hands together to pray before dinner

You love
  • your brother and sister
  • Signing Time
  • pizza
  • Signing Time
  • singing and dancing
  • Signing Time 
  • bounce houses


Some of my favorite things you do:
  • tricking people into singing (you start doing the motions, I start singing the song, then you stop doing the motions and laugh at me)
  • tattle-telling on people (when Emmett denied you something, you fussed.  I asked what was wrong, and you pointed indignantly at your father.  Ha!)
  • throwing toys down the stairs ... or out the front door ... or out of the garage ... Our front step often has a collection of plastic balls, Fisher Price Little People and shoes that you have tossed out.  
  • You also hide toys (and other items) in the most convenient kitchen cabinet or drawer.  When we were on our summer trip, half of the baby monitor went missing.  "Was Ben playing with it?"  "Yes."  "Check the dresser drawers."  And there it was.

You are fun and smart and sweet and a bit of a troublemaker.  You make my heart smile.  I love you!