Monday, January 30, 2012

Charlie liked his cake!

I have to download some pics from my camera for a birthday post. In the mean time, check out this video of Charlie devouring some cake with his frosting. And here is his first glimpse of the Lightning McQueen cake, it was a hit.


Friday, January 27, 2012

A Birthday Preview

It is a big weekend in the Maniger household. While Charlie is turning three next week (how can that be??), we are having his birthday party this weekend. As has been clearly stated on this blog before, I am not the creative, artistic, talented Mom that can whip up a fantastic birthday party out of thin air. There are many occasions when I wish I was that Mom, birthdays are usually at the top of that list. But I am a firm believer in utilizing the talents of others when you know you just can't deliver the goods. Why kill myself trying to make a creative and fun cake, for example, when I know it will come out looking like Charlie made it himself in his play kitchen? I am old enough to know better and not too proud to admit it.

I have a friend at work that makes awesome cakes. She could make and design cakes for a full time gig if she wanted, but she does it on the side and maintains her day job as a scientist. I think her science background is one part of why her cakes turn out so perfect and meticulously detailed. The rest is pure talent. She made Charlie's cake for his first birthday and it was a smashing success, far exceeding my expectations. I simply told her he loved the book "Five Little Monkeys" about the monkeys jumping on the bed, and she came up with this (scroll down for pictures of the cake). Amazing.

When I asked Charlie what he wanted for his birthday this year, all he said was a Lightning McQueen cake. He is currently obsessed with the movie Cars. So, what's a mom to do but outsource the job and ensure that Charlie gets his dream cake. It really takes the pressure off as I don't have to go overboard with decorations or themed this and that. The cake is the pièce de résistance and my work is done!

I feel like a kid myself, so excited for Charlie to see this cake:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pink cupcakes for everyone

Charlie was very insistent about what he wanted to bring to his birthday party at school: pink cupcakes! We're not allowed to bring homemade treats to the school (boo to that policy) so I picked up these lovelies from McLain's Bakery.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Put 'em to work! Pants optional.


Charlie loves to 'help' at home. He learns this from school where everyone helps clean up, puts away dishes after lunch, etc. So now after dinner he takes his dishes to the sink and then likes to help wash them. I am not going to discourage this great behavior, even if it does mean some water on the floor and rewashing the dishes later myself. We have to start somewhere! Izzy is fascinated by the dishwasher and it is the perfect height for cruising around. Now, if I could only get them doing the laundry...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Charlie at school

Charlie's teachers keep a blog to post the activities the kids do at school during the week. I went back and collected some images just over the last couple weeks. Whenever I feel the working mom guilt creeping on, I look at images like these and I am rest assured. Charlie is in a stimulating, fun, creative and loving environment. I cannot provide him with this variety of learning and experience.


Everyone should be able to run around with a cape and a ribbon to their heart's content!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Failed Christmas card pics 2011


I would be remiss if I didn't include my valiant attempts at getting a Christmas card picture on this blog. I started early this year, knowing two kids would be more challenging than one. I am happy with the picture we used for the cards (none of these) but a few of these are cute, funny and perfectly imperfect.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hello blog!

Hello blog, it's been awhile! Like everyone else, the holidays swept by us and I have no idea where the time went. I hadn't meant to take two weeks off from this blog, but there you go. I think on some subconscious level I felt some pressure to put together a fantastic end-of-the-year post with a photo montage and a video set to music, full of my musings on a fantastic year and waxing poetic about the New Year. That was not going to happen, so I just stayed away.

But I'm back. And rather than try to put together a tardy grandiose post, I'm just going to skip forward to the present. I will give you a quick run down on life between the speed bumps over the past two weeks:

1. Christmas was wonderful, shared with both sides of the family. Charlie really started to get the Santa thing this year and we had lots of fun with our Elf on a shelf - Meghan (after his favorite teacher/babysitter). Something to work on for next year - incorporating the religious aspects of Christmas. All completely unknown to Charlie at this point.

2. New Year's Eve was fantastic for both adults and kids. Ryan and I celebrated at L'Atelier (Mark's house) and the gathering seems to get better every year. I will try to put together a post on the amazing food we had for our dinner party - watch out Top Chef! The kids spent New Year's with their grandparents and cousins, having a party of their own complete with noise makers and streamers and hats. A win, win.

3. Charlie is almost 3. How can that be possible?? Plans are under way for a Lightning McQueen birthday party. It will be here before I know it.

4. Izzy is seeming less like a baby and more like a toddler. She got a walker for Christmas and is making fast work walking around the house. She pulls up on everything. And her first tooth is (finally) poking through! 





















5. We went through some sleep training over the past couple weeks. We had a hard time getting to that point with Izzy (we did it much earlier with Charlie) as she was always such a good baby and it just seemed easier to let her sleep with us. But the bigger she got, the more she moved around, the less sleep all of us were getting. So it had to be done. It only took 2 nights and minimal crying and now she sleeps through the night in her crib like a champ (she is the perfect baby, after all!). 10 hours, uninterrupted. OMG, why didn't we do this sooner?

6. I didn't make New Year's resolutions this year, but I did vow to do something drastic to improve my health and eating (see the food extravaganza mentioned in #2). I wanted to get rid of the baby weight for good and kick my sugar habit. So we started a detox cleanse which I've been bloging about here, and is linked on the blog under the tab "Clean" above. Another reason I haven't posted much here - that has been pretty much all consuming.

I will continue posting photos on the tumblr blog, also linked on this blog above under the heading "My Tumblr Blog." It is fast and is the best way to post videos from my phone (check out Izzy walking here!). So look for more frequent posts there. But I hope to be back here soon...now that the end of the year/new year pressure is off!!

Anyone tried posting comments lately? I know that was a problem for awhile. Send me an email if it isn't working...thanks friends!!