Instagram

I am finally on Instagram and loving it!  I don’t know why I avoided it for so long.  I would love it if you would find me and follow!    Check it out:  Instagram.com/simplejoysblog.

Princess Tea 2016

A couple of weeks ago I took Elin to a Princess Tea put on by the show choir of our local high school. I had heard about it last year but it was too late to sign up by the time I heard about it, so this year I signed her up as soon as I heard that tickets were available.

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I was very happy to see that our Cinderalla dress from Disney World still fit well. Unfortunately, she had grown out of the special clear slippers so she had to wear regular sandals.

I was so impressed when we got to the school and they had the entrance into the auditorium decorated and a line of fairy godmothers waiting to take each child to get hair and nails done.

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Elin was very excited to pick her nail polish color and get her nails all done up. The experience was very similar to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique complete with a sprinkling of magic fairy dust and the magical words to transform into a princess.

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Elin was very concerned about getting nail polish on the dress and took extra precaution to let her nails dry.

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Then after hair and makeup the girls were lead out to long banquet tables set up on the stage where they had a snack of a pink cupcake, grapes, goldfish crackers, and pink lemonade.

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After they ate, they had coloring sheets of each princess to color and much like Disney, this was used as their autograph book. Each princess was announced and came out across the stage and then came around to each girl and signed their coloring pages and talked to them. It was so cute to see Elin get really excited as each one would get closer to her.

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After all the princesses had come around to each girl, it was story time and two princesses read two stories. Then they had a sing- and dance-a-long that Anna and Elsa taught the girls to Frozen’s, “Love is an Open Door”.

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After stories and dancing there, was an opportunity to get pictures with each princess. All the princesses were so nice to each girl and made them feel so special.

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Elin seriously had the best time. It was such a fun activity to do and such a great way for the show choir to raise money. If they do it again next year, we will sign up again for sure.

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I love this picture of Elin and her pal Lydia checking each other out after their transformation.

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That school was packed with other things going on like basketball camps, cheerleading camps, and various other sports goings on and so the girls ran into Elin’s cousin Max. I think he thought it was pretty silly to see them all done up like princesses running around in the school.

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Grayson’s 2 Month Update

Maybe someday I will get this monthly update up in a timely manner and not halfway through the next month.

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THE STATS:

Weight: 12 lbs 14 oz
Height:  24 1/8 inches
Head Size:  15 1/4
Clothes: 0-3
Diapers: size 1

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This month Grayson grew out of being so sleepy all the time and is awake more during the day. In fact, he doesn’t nap much during the day but luckily he started sleeping completely during the night at 5 weeks and hasn’t looked back. That was one week sooner than Elin started sleeping through the night! She started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and has NEVER looked back. She wakes up maybe once a month (if that) in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but that’s it. We are hoping he will be another good night sleeper.

About a week into month two he hit a big growth spurt and got really chubby really fast! It was like overnight he just got bigger! He is almost too long for his bassinet stroller and his feet are almost sticking out past his infant carrier! Luckily, he still fits in the bassinet stroller because he loves going for walks! He seems to like the constant motion and the fresh air. He just seems so at peace on walk.

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Grayson has found his hands and will hold his hands a lot. He reaches up and bats at toys on his activity gym and he also likes to kick at the little stuffed animals.

He has really taken to his bouncer seat and swing this month. He will often fall asleep in there for little naps throughout the day.

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These pictures crack me up that he fell asleep during our little photo shoot!

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Elin continues to love her brother so much and loves to sit and “play” with him everyday. He has started watching her more closely and smiling at her when she sits with him.

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Angel is still uncertain on her feelings. She seems to want to protect him from Elin when she is loud and running around, but she likes to keep a safe distance from both of them.

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Healthy Toddler Snacks and Gerber Lil’ Beanies

When Elin first starting eating solid foods, she was a rather healthy eater and on her own omission rejected such unhealthy foods as candy, ice cream, and chips. Over time she has come to understand just what a delight those types of items are and she now loves those types of treats and snacks. Now that she has developed a love for all things salty and sweet, I have been trying to be on the lookout for healthier options. So while we were out on our weekly shopping trip to Target we decided to pick up a can of the Gerber Lil’Beanies White Cheddar and Broccoli.

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Elin was immediately intrigued since they look exactly like all the other puffed crisps she enjoys and once I added them to the cart she held on to them and was scared I would change my mind and put them back!

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We had to hurry that shopping trip up so that she wouldn’t bust into them right then and there at the store!

I was happy to see that the Gerber Lil Beanies have 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and 10% daily value of Vitamin E per serving. Not bad!  They are made from navy beans which have a mild flavor and help bring the fiber. Plus, of course they are GMO free and have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

They also come in an original flavor, but my local Target was all out.

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Elin  has been enjoying them every day now.  She enjoys eating them outside picnic-style.

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I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other healthy Gerber snacks as well.

 

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Super Wings

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Elin loves to watch shows on Sprout everyday as she is eating breakfast and usually in the evening when she is winding down before bed. One of favorites she has been loving is Super Wings.

Super Wings follows an adorable plane named Jett who travels the world delivering packages to children. On every delivery, Jett encounters a new problem that he and his friends must work together to solve. The show focuses on creatively solving problems. They visit many different cities and countries showing off different cultures and customs.

Elin was excited to receive two of the character toys. She received Jett and Dizzy which are her favorites because Jett is the little brother to Dizzy. She thinks that is so fun since that is like her and Grayson.

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These toys are so fun because they transform from a plane or helicopter to robots, thus giving more options and ways to play.

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Elin has been taking them outside to play with everyday and she wants to take them to the pool with us this weekend.

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It’s been interesting to play with them with her because she has me go over what everything is called on the plane and helicopter like the wings, propellers, and the wheels.

You can check out all the different characters here.

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Doesn’t Dizzy have such a sweet face? She is my favorite.

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Elin’s Mermaid Birthday Party- Part 2

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If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of Elin’s birthday party please check it out here.

I let Elin invite a few friends from dance class and ordered a bounce house.  Her birthday party has luckily always fell on a sunny and warm day and of course this year it was unseasonably cold and windy!  It was so windy i was afraid it was too windy for them to put up the bounce house but the company we ordered it from said it would be ok.  Luckily, despite the cold temps the girls had a blast jumping around and that helped them stay warm.

I still can’t believe they had to bundle up in coats in mid-May!

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Elin was super excited for the mermaid cake and cupcakes and even more excited when I showed her the number 4 candle!!

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It was a bit chaotic during the gift opening because all the girls were so excited to check everything out and play with everything right away.

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Before the girls went back out to bounce some more we had a pinata.  Elin had been asking for one ever sense she enjoyed one at someone else’s party.   I was so glad that the Mermaid we found was just one where you pull the strings and not one you have to hit in order for the candy to fall out.  We made all the way to the last string before it broke and all the candy came out!

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Look at these cute girls!  Such sweet friends!

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I am so glad this girl had a good day and enjoyed her party, friends and bounce house.  She is honestly the sweetest, kindest and cutest little four year old around and was ever so deserving of her special day.

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Elin’s Mermaid Birthday Party – Part 1

Elin’s fourth birthday crept up on me this year. I usually like to start planning in March but since Grayson’s birth was in April, I didn’t really start planning until mid-late April this year. I did know that Elin wanted a Mermaid theme this year so I decided to make my life a little easier by first finding mermaid-themed party goods like paper plates, napkins, cups, etc. and then just tried to find some coordinating decor items.

I’m just going to post some pics of the details from her party today and then on Wednesday I’ll post more pictures of Elin and her friends.

I hope you enjoy these pictures of the party. I listed the party vendors below and as usual, I was so impressed by everyone we ordered party items from. I am so in awe of all the talented people out there with the skills to make all these beautiful crafts.

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VENDOR LIST

End of the School Year

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Look at how much Elin grew from her first day of three year Preschool to her last day! I remember thinking she looked so grown up on her first day of school, but looking back she had such a baby face compared to the end of the school year.

She had such an amazing first year with great teachers and classmates and she is already looking forward to going back for four year Preschool.

Before her last day of school she had a couple of fun activity days that I had the opportunity to be a part of since I am currently home on maternity leave.

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First up was trike day. All the kids in her class brought in their trikes and they had a little track that they raced around and played on at the end of the school day. The day before, Elin got 3 shots at her 4 year check up so her little legs were pretty sore that morning and throughout the day, but she did a good job anyways.

They even had a little gas station set up to pretend to fuel up their trikes.

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I love how they even created their own little nameplates on the back.

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The last day of school was a fun picnic at a local park. They started with prayer, singing, and then awards. Elin got awards for reading the most books in class and one for all the memory verses she said each week. I was shocked to learn that she had the second highest score for the memory verses because even though we learned them almost every week, she would often come home and say that she forgot to tell them to her teacher. She must have remembered more than she thought.

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I am so proud of Elin and how well she did her first year of school. Her teachers and even other parents would stop and tell me that every time they walked in the classroom in the morning to drop off their child or if  they came in the class to help that Elin had a big smile on her face and was so happy.

Now I am working on taking her awards, artwork, and pictures from her first year and putting them together in some sort of archival or memory book. If you have an awesome way you keep and preserve your child’s memories please comment below.

Elin’s 4 Year Update

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THE STATS:

Weight: 35.5 lbs
Height:  40.5 inches
Clothes:  4T-5
Shoes: 9

FAVORITE BOOKS:
  • Ballet stories
  • Cinderella
  • Berenstain Bear books
  • If You Take a Mouse to School
  • Disney princess stories
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES:
  • Playing with Tsum Tsums
  • Dancing
  • Playing with princess figurines
  • LEGO
  • Play-doh
  • Calico Critters
  • Peppa Pig House
FAVORITE FOODS:
  • Mini Pancakes
  • White Cheddar Cheetos
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Color Goldfish crackers
  • Steak
  • Plain Cheeseburgers
  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Chip cookies

Elin has had one big year! She started and ended her first year of school, she had her first dance recital, and probably the biggest event was becoming a big sister! People ask me all the time if she is adjusting well and it’s funny because she really hasn’t had to adjust to the new little person in our house. She has never acted jealous or upset over his arrival. She has been so loving and just wants him to be happy. She can’t wait until he can start playing with her and interacting with her more.