Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gender Reveal Dinner

I don't know if you know this but I love to throw parties. With that said, baby showers and wedding showers are probably my least favorite to attend. I like having things relaxed and fun so when I do throw them I try to make it more of a social than lots of games. But that's just me. Since I'm currently pregnant with my third child I wanted to throw a party for the baby. I wanted one that would include all of our family not just the women, since Jed refuses to have a co-ed baby shower (I personally think they're more fun). So for this little bundle of joy, I did a gender reveal dinner.

I wanted to have neutral colors with hints of pink and blue, so I did a yellow and white chevron design with a black chalkboard for the background. I chose to go with chalk writing (chalkduster) because I wanted to tie in our "we're expecting" announcements too (above).

I think it was a lot of fun and I think it was a great way to get everyone excited about it. I sent out packages to family that lives far away so they could be included in the game. I sent a pink tiara and a mini bowler hat with simple instructions to put in their votes.

Here are their results:

Since this was just a dinner, I kept the decorating to a minimum, especially since we had it over at my in laws' house. I made centerpieces for the tables. I filled vases with different candy that could be a description of the baby and yellow flowers.  (Note to candy corporations: come up with a candy name that can pass as a girls name.)

For the actual dinner, I had a buffet of foods that I have been craving throughout this pregnancy. 

I had everyone tally their vote on a box that I painted with chalkboard paint. Afterwards, I had them get into the groups that they thought it would be. I then passed out their props so they wouldn't be guessing because they didn't want to wear a tiara. The groups were evenly split.

After dinner we played a game. I had a list of "old wives tales" and we went through them to see what it would predict we were having. It predicted a girl.
Here's a list of the questions and answers:
1.            Do you crave the heals of bread or the middle?
Heals: Boy
Middle: Girl
2.            Hands Chapped/Dry or Softer?
Chapped: Boy
Softer: Girl
3.            Eating more or sick/nauseated?
Eating more: Boy
Sick: Girl
4.            Can people tell you are pregnant from the back?  Or are you pregnant all over?
Just from back:  Boy
All over: Girl
5.            During the pregnancy, have you been crabby or happy?
Crabby: girl
Happy: boy
6.            Carrying low or high?
Low: Boy
High: Girl
7.            Do you crave sweet foods or sour/salty foods?
Salty/Sour: Boy
Sweet: Girl
8.              Is the heartbeat high or low:
High: Girl
Low: Boy
9.              Which side do you lay on when resting:
Left: Boy
Right: Girl
10.            During the pregnancy, have you been clumsy or graceful?
Clumsy: Boy
Graceful: Girl
11.            Show me your hands.
Shows them palms up: Girl
Shows them palms down: Boy
12.            Has the husband put on weight during the pregnancy?
Yes: Girl
No: Boy
13.              Pick up a single key.
Picks it up by the long narrow part: Girl
Picks it up by the round part: Boy
Picks it up in the middle: Twins
14.              Did the older sibling say Mom or Dad first?
Mama: Girl
Dada: Boy
15.              Consider the Mother’s age at conception and the year or conception.
Both even or Both odd: Girl
One is even and one is odd: Boy

The kids by this time were really anxious to know what we were having and what was inside the box. 

For the actual reveal, I decided to do balloons because it was easier to do; plus for the baby's first birthday I'm planning on a balloon themed party (yes I know it's ridiculous that I already have the theme, but I have themes planned until all my kids are at least five and that includes the kids to come). I have seen it where people revealed it by making cakes or cupcakes and have the filling inside either pink or blue. (We did this for Jed for work) 

Jed's big contribution to the party was that he really wanted to pass out candy cigars as party favors. Since this was his only request of course we did it. I found chocolate cigars on Amazon with the best deal. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

25 Things to Do With Boys: Make Any Day a Special Day

Hi, it's Hillary again! I'm working on my own baseball team at my house, I've got three boys now! So in honor of that, I'd like to share some ideas of activities to do with my boys to make any day a special day. I don't know about you, but I love to create special moments with my boys "just because" so hopefully they'll have a lifetime of good memories with their mommy. I want to be remembered as a mom who had time to play with her children and have fun.  Some of these they can just do by themselves, but the idea is to do them together so that you are having fun being a mom and creating memories with the kiddos.

  1. Go on a dinosaur hunt-We did this for the boys' birthday party recently and all the kids loved it! It's like an Easter egg hunt, only you round up all the dinosaurs you probably have laying around and hide them in the yard. 
  2. Create an obstacle course-Find things you have laying around the yard or the garage that would work. Old tires, hula hoops, boards you can balance on something or make a ramp out of, something to jump over, a box you can crawl through, etc.
  3. Paint with water-Get a bucket and a big paintbrush and paint away! Great on brick walls, sidewalks, etc.
  4. Blanket fort-We all remember doing this as a kid, right? 
  5. Read somewhere new-I don't know about you, but most of the time we're sitting on the couch when we read books. Find a new place to read books. Every once in a while we'll pile blankets on our backyard swing and read books out there in the morning. Or in your blanket tent with flashlights! Use your imagination!
  6. Baking soda and vinegar-Grab a box of baking soda and a spray bottle of vinegar (preferably outside so the mess is easy to hose down!) and have fun mixing!
  7. Put on a puppet show-If you don't have puppets already, make some out of paper bags or old socks.
  8. Get out for a walk-This sounds simple, but get out and let your kids pick the direction of your walk. Go at their pace and look at all the little things they want to stop and look at. You'll be surprised at how much they notice.
  9. Bake with the kids-Even my two-year old loves to help dump ingredients in a bowl. 
  10. Shaving cream-Buy a can of shaving cream (or steal some of your husband's) and have fun making foam creations. Add a few drops of food coloring or powdered paint for even more fun!
  11. Paint with chocolate pudding-Very fun to paint and eat!
  12. Find a new park you've never been to or rediscover one you haven't been to in a long time
  13. Go bug hunting-Find friendly bugs in your yard and be brave enough to let them crawl on your hand
  14. Find a river with lots of rocks to chuck. My boys never grow tired of throwing rocks in water.
  15. Star gaze-Lay out a blanket in the backyard and get some hot chocolate going and watch the stars come out together. Teach them about wishing on shooting stars or ask them what they would wish for if they saw one.
  16. Play with oobleck. Recipe found here.
  17. Have a dance party. Turn on music with a good beat and let yourself go! Dancing and singing with kids is the best because the more enthusiastic you are, the more fun it is for them!
  18. Go on a picnic-In your backyard, at the park, in the living room, in your blanket tent, etc.
  19. Bubble fun-Fill a cup half-full with water, and put a squirt of dish washing soap in. Add a straw and blow away!
  20. Make believe their bed is something else.-For a while my son's bed was Noah's ark and we had to get all the animals on it and feed them all. You could also try fishing off the bed. 
  21. Make believe their room is something else. Imagination is one of the best parts of childhood. We often imagine my son's room is a jungle and we name all the animals we can. Or that there are clouds, not just any clouds, but clouds that you can smell or taste...we like strawberry the best.
  22. Ride the city bus-You don't even have to have somewhere specific to go, but my kids love the adventure of getting on the bus, or the light rail train!
  23. Build something special-Our favorite is to build a train track, then take all our building blocks and build tunnels for the trains. And then for an extra special touch we gather our dinosaurs (or stuffed animals) along the track so they can watch.
  24. Fun with beans-Dump a bag or two of beans into a bucket or other container and add a few scooping tools-cups, spoons, etc. Works with corn meal as well.
  25. Butcher paper-Get a big piece of butcher paper and draw a road, trace around your kids, make giant origami, etc.

You could even print these out, cut them into strips, and put them in a jar. Then pick one every day to do, or on rainy days, or whatever! If you're really ambitious you could decorate the jar as well. Leave it somewhere the kids can see it so they'll remind you to pick one often! Now go enjoy childhood all over again with your kids!