The First Week of School That Wasn’t

After a busy trip to the beach to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday, followed by a week to Georgia to visit family, followed by an epic 4th birthday party for my son, it was inevitable that life would catch up with us.


Excited at pre-k orientation!

My son made it to his first day of school orientation where we both fell in love with his teachers and his cute classroom.

And then sickness hit.

I had woken up hours early and made muffins and painted a chalkboard sign for my son’s first day of school. I was so looking forward to some downtime from all of the craziness and quiet solitude as my husband returned to work and my son started his first day of pre-kindergarten. (Also? How is he old enough for pre-k??)

Our first day of school was instead spent in bed after my son threw up all over the couch. Thank goodness for removable and washable cushion covers.

His four year old check up was that afternoon but by then he seemed fine, just a bit tired. Everything checked out well with the doctor and my son came in at a healthy 37.5 pounds and 3.5 feet.

I was hoping for a recovery the next day but instead he woke up with a 102.2 degree fever. My poor little guy and I spent the whole day cuddling on the couch.

By the last day of his four day school week he felt good enough to go and was actually ready to get out of the house. And probably ready for a break from Mommy.


Cutest First Day of Pre-K picture ever.

He did have a great first day at school and how adorable is his first day of school picture??

His teacher is incredibly organized and communicative and has some adorable ideas for the school year. I think this is going to be his best year yet and I am so relieved to know we made the right choice despite all of my insecurities about school this spring.

To continue our crazy pace I had auditions for a Christmas production this weekend and worked my very first event for This week was a bit more normal but after summer and all of our traveling I still have not caught up on laundry! (Or sleep. I’m never caught up on sleep.)

We ended this week of my son’s school with a very special treat; Disney on Ice! You can see my review on

I think things are going to slow down…for a few days anyway, before all of the excitement of fall kicks in. :)

How has your fall gotten started?


The Fourth Birthday Party: Ninja Turtle Style

tmnt birthday collage

I love birthdays. I love planning them, celebrating them, and building up to them. This year was my husband’s 30th birthday and my son’s 4th. In all honesty, my husband’s birthday has largely been overlooked since the birth of our son, but the big 3-0 was something not to be missed. We celebrated with a sibling beach trip, followed by a trip to GA to visit family, followed by my son’s 4th birthday party. I was really thinking I would go more low key for my son’s party this year, but as it turns out, that’s just not my style.

My sweet little boy has gotten really into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I hate because it’s just so BOYISH and rough. I was not allowed to watch that show when I was little and I am not completely in love with the idea of my son watching it. But as it turns out, I am not his only parent, and the ninja turtles were childhood favorites of my husband’s.

Enter the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 4th Birthday Party. (Which actually was adorable and a lot of fun!)


This year I went for simplicity and just did an evite:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Invitation


The main event this year: a teenage mutant ninja turtle moonbounce. Perhaps a bit extravagant for a 4 year old’s birthday party, but oh so much fun! The company we worked with was great and it was so nice to have entertainment for the kids (and adults) built in instead of coming up with a lot of home made party games as I’ve done in the past.

The kids also played on our swing and slide play set in the back yard and I had a bubble machine running and lots of green balloons they could play with in the yard or the moonbounce.

ninja turtle moonbounce and bubbles


This year, I kept the decor simple. A few party essentials from Target like Ninja Turtle plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth and a banner made decorating easy.

I ordered two shades of green balloons and grouped them into sets of four, hanging them in the front yard, back yard, and in the dining room. I taped on printable ninja turtle masks purchased from Etsy.

A few chalk drawings and we were all set!

tmnt party decor


Mmm, one of my favorite parts. His party was at 4:00 (because he was turning 4 years old) so we were ready for dinner. Everyone knows that the ninja turtles love pizza, so 3 large pizzas from Mellow Mushroom, a few dozen pretzels and a salad were our staples. We had juice boxes and water for the kids and beer and wine in ice buckets outside for the adults.

I also made “turtle ooze”: green, lime flavored jello cut into the shape of a four.

(No pizza pictures…but it was so good!)

jello turtle ooze

The Cake: 

I love the way his cake turned out! I ordered the cake with specific colors from a local bakery and added the turtle heads and sewer cross hatches at home.

teenage mutant ninja turtle cake

Probably my favorite picture of the night

Probably my favorite picture of the night


Target made party favors easy. Everyone got a plastic cup, bubbles, a pen, stickers, and ninja turtle tattoos.

ninja turtle favors


Last year for the yellow birthday party we asked all of our guests to wear yellow. This year there was no outfit requirement, but my son did have a ninja turtle shirt.

family picture tmnt party

Me and my birthday boy

Me and my birthday boy

I love the way his birthday party turned out! Who knew the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knew how to party?

Want to see more?

Check out the First Birthday Party: Blue and Green and Cupcakes

The Second Birthday Party: Curious George

The Third Birthday Party: A Yellow Party

*Updated September 26th, 2013: I am so honored to have received the “Best Decorations” badge from Party for this party! I had so much fun putting it together and am so excited to know that other people liked it, too!*

Party Pail


“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Noah, Happy Birthday to you,”

I sang softly into his ear as I rubbed his back.

We were waking up in an unfamiliar but extremely comfortable bed at the beach for a combination celebration of his 4th birthday and my husband’s 30th.

“I can’t believe you are four years old today!” I enthusiastically said as I watched his toothless grin appear beneath the haze of his sleepy eyes.

He gripped his Curious George lovey and snuggled close as he began to transition from his sleepiness.

“But Mommy?” he asked urgently once he had time to gather his thoughts. “Do you still love me if I’m four?”

I hugged him tightly as I responded “Of course I still love you! I love you every day, all the time, and I will love you forever no matter what age you are!”

“You will love me even when I’m sixteen?”

“Yes, I will love you even when you’re sixteen. I will love you forever.”

We slowly transitioned out of bed, because just beyond our bedroom door in the beach house all of his uncles and aunts were waiting. It was our very first combined sibling beach trip and it was so much fun!

But there in the midst of the excitement, I found myself staring at my sweet four year old boy, who I remembered as a baby and in all his in-between stages until now.

And of course I will love him, no matter how old he gets, no matter what he does, no matter who he becomes.

A Happy Birthday to the love of my life, my sweet little four year old.


Celebrating four years at the beach

Celebrating four years at the beach

My 30 year old and my 4 year old.

My 30 year old and my 4 year old