Curious George Birthday Party

We had the best birthday party to celebrate George turning two.

The theme was obvious with his name. When we were pregnant, we knew that eventually we would want to have a Curious George party. I still feel like I can pick out his themes for at least one more birthday, but the “curious” really fit his nature this year too.

Ironically though, we do not watch a lot of Curious George. We do read a lot of Curious George books!

Here is everything we did for the party.

We got our invitations from DottyDigitalParty on Etsy. We just printed these off at Walmart photo to mail off. There is just something about sending real mail.

Curious George Invitation


Table Centerpieces-I used cupcake toppers found from JulyPrintParty on Etsy. Then I glued them to pinwheels. I found the pinwheels on Oriental Trading. I really lucked out on the colors matching perfectly! Then the jars my sister-in-law already owned. Score! I found some Curious George balloons on Amazon.


The pinwheels ended up being a huge hit with the kids, and most walked out with two or three. A party favor I wasn’t expecting!


Food Decorations:


I got the banner from LuvibeeKidsCo and printed it out at home.

The serving bowls came either from the church or my sister-in-law. I got table cloths, plates, silverware, napkins, and cups from Target, Party City or the Dollar Tree.

With stuff we already owned, I really only spent maybe 30 bucks between the foodware and table decorations.


We did banana splits, pretzels, and a veggie tray. Easy peasy, and fairly cheap as far as party food goes. Total cost here was about $60.


We put the pretzels in Curious George book pages. These are all books that George had already destroyed. Reuse!


Even though we had the party around banana splits, every birthday needs cake!


A local grocery store did the cake…for 20 dollars. TWENTY dollars!! Midwest folks run to your Hy-Vee for your cake needs. I just took in a picture, and they did this. I did buy the George topper off Amazon.

The cake plate I already owned, and the wagon my Grandpa made for George for Christmas. I loved being able to use it here!


I am pretty fortunate that my mom is an artist. I asked her to make these carnival cutouts, and she did an amazing job! I love having personal touches like these!

I just attached it to my photography stands. So much fun!


We have so many kids in our family and in our friend group, so we know that we have to have things for them to do.

This activity crawl thing my in-laws had in their basement. Win.

This ball pit was the best idea! We half-inflated a swimming pool my in-laws owned and then filled it with balls. We had a couple bags of these balls already, but we did have to buy a few more. We got some at Walmart and off Amazon. We spent about $30 here.


George loved the doodle station! All this was free too. I printed the coloring pages for free off here. And my sister-in-law is awesome and supplied the rest. She also made the big signs! We have talent in our family!



I got Curious George books off Scholastic for all the kiddos to take. Then I clipped these Thank You tags that I got off Etsy from BloomingDESIGNprints. The basket and chalkboard we already owned. Total cost here was about $35.


Someone had gifted us George’s shirt for his birthday last year. I got the adult shirts off Amazon. I have been using Ibotta (which is a way to get money back on your here to start your own paybacks. Seriously, I have been using it for 6 months and have gotten around $100 so far.) I had gift cards from Ibotta that made these shirts free. Score.

We had it in our church gym, which is free and means I don’t have to clean my house. Win win win.

We really saved a lot by doing the printing at home, using stuff we had on hand, and shopping around for the last 6 months. I would seriously wait until I had Amazon gift cards or until I got a special discount code to buy most things online. And all the stuff off Etsy was mere dollars. It is worth planning a year in advance to get great deals.

We spent a little over $200 for this party, which some may think is silly, but it was so much fun. I loved having our family and friends there to celebrate our little man. Birthdays are the one day of the year I feel like you should be spoiled so we will go all out. I love to see how all the details come together.

I already have ideas for his next birthday. I know I am crazy…

September Goals

September is one of my favorite months. I love the start of school time. I love fall. I love the song “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.

It is going to be a great month.

Let’s see how I did with August though.

  • Fitness-
    • Do cross-training a couple times a week. I managed to do this. I did some boxing and yoga.
    • Keep up with my 10K training. I was doing really well until last week when I got the back to school flu and birthday prep. I am hoping to get back on it this week.
  • House Tasks-

    • Organize George’s toys-I did this with his toys and clothes. Just in time to make room for all his new trucks.
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    • Build a new porch-WE DID THIS! Well Tom did 90% of this. Yay for a handy hubby.
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    • Stain the deck-This did not get done mostly because it kept raining on the days that Tom has off. First rule of staining is that your wood needs to be dry.
  • Something with George
    • Introduce him to sidewalk chalk. He loved to put it on his clothes..
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    • Celebrate him turning TWO! Yes, and I just cried on the eve of his birthday…
  • Something with Tom-dinner and a movie. We spent a whole day out! Ironically the last movie that we saw together was the last Bourne movie, and that was the movie we saw this month. It was really good! And saw was the Red Lobster and walking through ALL of Target.
  • Something for medo some research to purchase more natural make-up. I did some research, asked around, and tested some products. I think I am going to go with Bare Minerals. I wore it for my wedding and a little afterwards, and I really loved it. I just stopped because of the cost.

Not too shabby!

  • Fitness-
    • Do yoga at least once a week
    • Keep up with my 10K training.
  • House Tasks-

    • Stain the deck
  • Something with George
    • Play in the leaves-Fall.Is.Coming
    • Go to one of the state parks in our area
  • Something with Tom-Go to a Royals Game. We already bought tickets so this shouldn’t be too hard to complete.
  • Something for meFigure out how to use my remote for my camera. I have had the remote for awhile, but I still don’t know how to use it. Family picture time is just around the corner though so it is time.

 What are your goals this month?

George-Two Years

Yesterday, I sat at our pinning convocation and watched parents say goodbye to their college students.

I had some tears rolling down my own face as I watched and thought about the fact that George was turning two today. It felt like he would be in those stands next week with all my students. Emotional wreck-party of mom.

How has two years gone by since this little nugget came into our lives?

George has no time for me to be sentimental…


Weight: 30 lbs? He is definitely starting to lean out and is getting much taller. We don’t have to lean over to hold his hand and walk anymore.


Health:  We haven’t had too many issues. We still think that he is working on his molars, so there have been some rough days of drool, and one day of a fever for no reason. But mostly these have been the healthiest two months we have had with George in a long time!


Diet: His diet is so unpredictable. There are days where he will barely eat anything, and then other days where he tries to eat everything in the fridge. He loves his cheerios, yogurt, raisins, and clementines (but not oranges). He loves jelly, and he will open a PB & J just to lick off the jelly. He does not like eating with kid silverware or eating with a tray on his seat. He needs to be doing everything that Tom and I are. Most of the time he will eat any spaghetti type of food or anything chicken. He has actually slowed down with his fervor for the food packets which is terrifying because that is the only way to get him to eat veggies. Although he will put some veggies on his fork…and then feed them to the dogs. That’s also how we know he is done because he starts feeding everything to Grace and Crosby and then throws his plate on the ground to share. Unfortunately he will do this even when the dogs aren’t around…


Clothes:  George is in 2T clothing mostly, but we are starting to get out 3T shirts. He is going to have a long torso like his mommy. He is still in size 5 diapers, but we do size 6 at night. He is in a size 7 shoe.


Sleeping:  He sleeps at night from 8pm-about 7:00 am. He sleeps through the night pretty regularly still. He goes down really easy at night. Naps are a little tricky. To be honest, we reverted back to using the pacy. One, he knows the word “pacy” so it is hard to say no to his manners when he asks for them. Also Tom and I made an agreement that we would cut him off once his molars came in. If he has a pacy at nap he goes to sleep within seconds, without it takes almost an hour. I will let him have the pacy for just a little longer, and he does put it away once he is done sleeping so I guess that is a win. He has yet to climb out of his crib, however I did catch him straddling the railing a couple weeks ago. He hasn’t done it since, but he may be in shock by my scream I let out when I walked in on him. Not.Ready.


Likes: He loves the outdoors. He likes to ride his scooters (yes plural). He loves watching Daddy mow the lawn. He loves any big truck or tractor. He is obsessed with legos and his fire truck. He loves taking his shoes and socks off in the car. He loves his chores of dishes, laundry, and getting the dog food. Really the only one he actually does is the dog food. The other two he is working against me, but I am encouraging the help he believes he is giving. He LOVES Mickey. He gets so excited when he comes on with his clubhouse. George also loves watching Doug with Tom.  He loves to wave to Tom in the window when he goes to work, mostly because I let him stand on his bookcase..


Dislikes: Mornings. Other people playing with trucks and tractors. Eating at the table. Forcing him to stay still (example above).

Milestones: His speech is getting more recognizable. His word bank exploded these last two months, so it was hard to keep up with all the words he knows. He learned how to say tractor, and by golly it is the cutest thing. He also has a few sentences like I go and I do it. We think that he has no understanding of what “no” actually means because he says it after everything. He can point to most of his body parts, and he likes to pick our noses when we ask were the nose is. He can put on his clothes by himself now. It doesn’t look pretty but he can do it. We finished swim lessons, and it ended much better than it started. The last few classes George was jumping into the pool by himself!


Quirks: He is still super shy and doesn’t like big crowds. However, when he warms up to you, he loves really hard. When he is really investigating something, he lays flat on the floor to get a really close-up look. He is a very hands-on guy who loves to see every detail. He has started lining things up-crayons, cars, puzzle pieces. He just puts them all in a row. He is so sweet at our sitter’s house, he has to say goodbye to all the other little boys (who are all younger than him) and he gives them hugs. It makes me want to cry every day watching this sweetness come out. However he is an awkward hugger and keeps them in his embrace for a very long time. His run is the best. He hunches over and swings his whole body. Absolutely adorable.


Nicknames:  Boogie, Booger, Gdubs, Gman, Little man, Georgie, Georgieman, and Boogs. Tom calls him Lawson a lot, which is his middle name.


We parents are:  doing really well. The past few months have been fairly stress free, and we actually went out on a date…by ourselves. George loves us both hard in very different ways so that is cool to see how that is developing.

The dogs are: loving George with the extra food they get. He still tries to ride them. He also says goodnight to them and gives them kisses before we go to bed.


George it has been such a joy to watch you grow and become a little person. We are so happy to be on this journey of life with you as your parents.

35 Before 35 Update

At this point it is hard to do more than a couple on this list. But I marked off a big one this month!

1. Crochet something else besides blankets or scarves at least once a year (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

2. Do a photography challenge (Took pictures once a week George’s first year)

3. Visit 5 cities I have never been to before (8/5)

4. Tour at least one a winery, brewery, or distillery

5. Send at least 5 snail mail a month

6. Become a “professional” photographer

7. Run at least 10 races (any distance) (6/10)

8. Go camping with Tom

9. Pay for the car behind me in a drive through

10. See Tyrone Wells live as many times as possible

11. Tour Fort Defiance here in Clarksville

12. Water ski with my dad

13. Do a 5K with my mom

14. Take a swing dance class with Tom

15. Read at least one fun book a month and one professional development book every three months

16. Take a pottery or stained glass class

17. Do one new recipe each month

  • Green Beans, Chicken, and Potatoes One Pan Wonder-Guys. This needs to be in everyone’s recipe book. This is ridiculously easy and SOOOO YUMMY! The only downside is that it takes a while to bake, but It takes 5 minutes to set up so you can do other things. It just isn’t the best time wise after work.
  • Peanut Butter Cheerio Bar-Another ridiculously easy recipe. I did substitute the cheerios for a bran cheerio like cereal. I need more fiber in my diet and this is  much more delicious way than eating spinach all day. I also added dark chocolate chips. We are making these every week now.

18. See both a Clemson and UCM football game live

19. Find a place to volunteer on a regular basis

20. Go hiking

21. Ride in a hot air balloon

22. Go to at least 20 “new to me” restaurants. (37/20)

  • Pizza Haus-This is a pizza joint down the road from us. Greasy thin crust that layers on the toppings. So very good!

23. Stay at a bed and breakfast

24. Spend a day without electronics (phone, t.v. and computer)

25. Do something unique and new for my birthdays

26. Explore Nashville while we live here

27. Watch at least 10 movies that I have not seen before that won Best Picture at the Oscars and at least 20 documentaries (not necessarily Oscar winning) Movies (3/10); Documentaries (7/20)

28. Sew an item of clothing from scratch

29. Do a personal devotional/bible study on my own

30. Be a mascot for an event

  • I still need to write about this experience. I had a blast even thought I was drenched in my own sweat from the suit. Worth. Every. Second.


31. Go on our honeymoon (preferably somewhere tropical)

32. Host an annual NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship game party

33. Go on a mission trip

34. Be on a recreation volleyball team

35. Become a mom

Bachelorette JoJo Finale

The finale was this week. I wasn’t really into it, but when you put in this much time you have to see it to the end.

  • JoJo admitting loving both. It is a bit concerning that she thinks about the other guy with each one. So is that really love?
  • Her mom has a really good point about both of JoJo and Jordan being the center of attention and them being too alike.
  • Jordan said “me” a lot and not in the right way grammatically.
  • Why do we still put so much emphasis on asking for permission to marry the girl? While it is nice in theory to feel like you have their blessing, but why isn’t it both ways with the woman being expected to do the same with the in-laws? I say that, and I didn’t ask Tom’s family…
  • Do you think they pick out the gifts for the families on their own? How real is that part?
  • Wait Robbie, you wanted to marry her on your first date? How is that real?
  • There was not as much emphasis on the brothers this time as with Ben. And still nothing from her sister…
  • When Robbie and JoJo were talking about being in love, you could see the skeptisism on her family’s faces.
  • I think her family is spot on with Jordan being a good NYE date.
  • Robbie’s speech to JoJo’s parents was very sweet.
  • I still think she is going to pick Jordan because the heart and lust sometimes get confused.
  • JoJo gets her bluntness questioning honestly. Her family is so straightforward.
  • JoJo’s sister is just there for a free ride. She has said nothing…
  • Robbie is so forward. They are cute, but there is something that is just dinging that something fake here.
  • That boat with Jordan…That seems so romantic and special.
  • Jordan seems to talk football announcer play by play when he is doing his interviews..
  • I do think Jordan has a point that it wasn’t right to ask JoJo’s parents when he doesn’t actually know how she feels. This is so weird.
  • Why is she pushing so hard for Jordan when she has all these doubts?
  • JoJo reading Jordan’s letter…I don’t know how to read her.
  • I thought she was going to pick Robbie before Jordan’s letter now.
  • Um they both have really nice handwriting.
  • Well part of this process is that someone has to feel the pain. Remember you last season?
  • AHHHH Robbie is first!
  • Why do they let them talk first…she needs to stop Robbie.
  • She has said that to everyone that she wanted it to be them…Luke, Chase, Robbie…
  • It has been Jordan since day one, and we all know it.
  • Robbie was a gentlemen wishing her happiness and good luck.
  • No telling him you loved him does not help!
  • I do love watching proposals. Somebody get proposed in front of me please!
  • Well I wish the best for them and apparently they are moving in together but they have some hurdles to overcome.

 Did you watch the finale? What do you think of this season?