A Very Seuss-y Birthday


Hi, all! How has your summer been treating you all? I’ve done some relaxing with the kiddos, some cleaning, and – a little at a time – chipping away at some konmari action. I’ve sifted through kids’ clothes more than I’d like to admit. Time to try shoes; they’re way easier!

So, who wants to party?!?! As with years gone by, I thought I’d stop by to give you the rundown on Hadley’s recent fourth birthday.

FOUR. Can you believe that?! Four. My God. He’s finally starting a pre-K program in the fall. *sniff, sniff*

We held his celebration the Sunday before his birthday (we hit up the zoo on the actual, low-key day) at my in-laws’ house. Their house and yard is nice and big, so we were super grateful they offered use of the space.

As with past years, we went with a theme. I think it’d be too difficult to make the party, well, a party without a theme. Just too scattered. So, there could have been several with all of Hadman’s interests these days, but we landed on the author of his favorite books: Dr. Seuss.

What’s not loads of fun about that?! Seriously, I ask you.

We hate to use tons of disposable (i.e. non-green) stuff, so most of the stuff we got was just solid colors that fit the theme but that could be reused. Red and light blue hanging swirlies, red gift bags, and any character toys my MIL or we had in our stashes.

Oh, and books. Lots and lots of books.

We adorned the walls with fun Seuss quotes (which I may just find space for at the library).

And I researched a ton of possible food names to fit the theme. A. Ton.

We walked a fine line between healthy (lots of fruit, a salad, organic pink ink yink drink) and junk (chips, pizza, subs). Then there’s the in-between: popcorn that my husband made and slathered with butter, “Truffula seeds” that were yogurt raisins (but way non-organic), homemade organic cupcakes, and forcing my mom to make green deviled eggs (they were perfect although she went light on the green food coloring…she seemed to think they were disgusting, LOL).

But, it was all freakin’ delicious and there was a good mix of options for every eater.

As for the fun stuff, we lucked out that when folks first arrived the weather was nice. My parents-in-law borrowed a perfectly-sized bounce house from a friend (which was a huge hit), so that worked up an appetite for the kids.

After some awesome gift opening – the kid was hilariously gracious and grateful for EVERYTHING…except the “big gift” of a big boy bike (ya win some, ya lose some) – we tried out a game I had stayed up late to make the night before.

It wouldn’t be a Dr. Seuss party without a “Pin the Hat on the Cat” game, right? Right!

After that, we had a rousing game of “I Can Do That!” (a Cat in the Hat game my BFF Beth gave Hadley last year that was PERFECT for this shindig). It gets players moving and trying for points by attempting silly tasks, plus it was just the right length. Considering it had started to rain, I was glad to have a couple of indoor activities planned!

The one “whoops!” of the day (there’s always one) was the gift bags. We forgot to hand them out. My guess is that the parents don’t know how grateful they should be that we forgot…

In case you can’t read them, they say, “Gerald McBoing Boing’s Noise Makers!” Several of ’em.

What?? I wanted it to be non-junk food-ish. (And annoying. Hee hee!)

It was seriously a super fun time, and after a bit of planning, pretty low-stress and enjoyable even for we parents. The 5-kids-under-5 were all so good and fun and were hilarious to see interacting with each other. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better time and it totally made up for Hadley’s super small, sick b-day last year.

In case you’d like to put on your own Seussian shindig, here are some suggestions…

Decor – Not that we’re “but all the trademarked character decorations!” people, know that the stores tend not to stock Suess stuff (at least, not the stores we went to). So, here are my tips:

  • Get basic colors and prints (think plates or napkins) that help set the mood. Red and turquoise are great, plus some polka dots or red-and-white stripes.
  • Add some whimsy. Whether streamers, homemade Truffula trees with tissue paper poufs, or colored swirly things, add a touch of fun in simple ways.
  • Use whatchya got. If your family has any Seuss character toys, pull ‘em out! The same goes for your favorite Seuss books. You can display them all over or have them stacked to put food or gifts on.
  • Quotes! You can’t have people read all the books to put them in the mood, but using a Seuss font to print out your favorite will offer a fun way for grown-ups to brush up on their Dr. Seuss.

Food – The one and only tip I have is to use some Dr. Seuss-inspired food titles to make everything cohesive. Here are my favorites:

  • Hop on Popcorn!
  • Green Eggs and Ham (Sandwiches) (deviled eggs and subs)
  • Roast Beast (subs)
  • One Fish, Tuna Fish (subs)
  • Truffula seeds (anything from yogurt-covered raisins to M&Ms)
  • Fuddle-Dee-Duddle Fruit (any fruit you want to offer! We had watermelon)
  • The Cat’s Hats (banana/strawberry skewers; some add marshmallows, too)
  • The Yink’s Pink Ink Drink
  • Poodle Noodles (pasta salad)
  • Skipper Zipp’s Clipper Ship Chips
  • Katroo Cupcakes
  • More suggestions at Seussville (wish I’d found this page sooner!)

Fun – Don’t overthink this part. Birthdays are by nature jam-packed with activities to keep folks busy. By incorporating one or two games, max, you’ll have a fall-back in case it rains or there’s otherwise a lull.

Here’s what we did, again, for our Seuss Shindig:

  • Pin the Hat on the Cat – You know the drill, so all you need to do is sketch a hatless “cat” and make a few striped hats for the kids (er, grown-ups…ahem…we did) to stick while blindfolded. It was way more fun than I remembered. Oh, and don’t let people feel around before stickin’ it. We had some cheaters. 😉 (Honestly, we didn’t remember the rules!)
  • “I Can Do That!” Game – I think it’s available at toy stores, and it would be a great addition to your family’s games as well as for a Seuss party. Super simple and super fun!
  • Coloring Sheets – We didn’t need any since we had so much to do already, but it’s often a good idea to have a quiet spot set up for kids who get overwhelmed by noise and chaos
  • Seussville Activities – If you don’t want to buy the aforementioned game, check out the activities at this great site. A step up from coloring pages, it gives kids some low-key fun that fits the theme. There are also some cool group activities like Wacky Whispers. I know it says it’s for educators, but they’re for one and all!

Whatchya think? It may not be Pinterest Perfect, but that’s not our goal. Just some extra touches to make the day super special and memorable and we’re good!

Oh, and if we have a Disney/Mickey party one of these years, we’re so ready. (Red with white polka dots, for the win!)

OH, AND HERE’S A LINK FOR FREE PRINTABLES TO USE AT YOUR OWN DR. SEUSS BIRTHDAY PARTY! 

Check out Hadley’s
first and second (last year was subdued due to illness) birthdays if you’re interested, too! Not sure what the heck’s up with the images.

The Existentialist Nature of a Two-Year-Old

I used to be a philosophical gal. Heck, if you asked my high school senior self what I wanted to take in college, I would’ve said, “philosophy” in a heartbeat. I didn’t, of course, because it doesn’t pay bills. But, when it came time to take my Philosophy 100 class at community college, I not only aced it with a 99, I was the go-to for others to help fix papers and differentiate between Sartre and Aristotle. Ask me now and I wouldn’t be able to connect the lines.

Watching life through a toddler/preschooler’s (did I just type that?!) eyes definitely brings me back to that place. He’s started his question phase, and I love it. Now, that adoration may not last long (it gets grating, yes), but for now the “who is dat? why he do dat? what him name?” wondering shows exactly what’s clicking in his little, incredible brain.


There are times that Hadman’s oblivious, for sure. He doesn’t listen to directions a vast majority of the time and does exactly what he wants to, often with a knowing smirk or mischievous eyebrow bend. But, his awareness is growing. For example, looking through a comic book (what? That’s totally normal) or watching a new-to-him TV show, he MUST know who EVERYONE is. A random array of tertiary characters in the background? He simply must know their names and what they’re up to. He knows people have a purpose and an importance, so why wouldn’t they have a name? Sometimes we say we simply don’t know (and he continues asking, undeterred), but if I’m feeling feisty, I’ve been known to start spouting out made-up misnomers just to appease the little guy. “Who’s that? Oh, that’s good ol’ Hank. Hank the monkey. He’s friends with Myrtle.”

I’m waiting for him to start applying these observations to the world around him more, but assume that it might have to wait until springtime for questions like, “why grass green, Mama?” However, he is become more attuned to others in small ways. “You sad, Mama? You sad? Me hug you.”

I will happily try to answer any of the bigger questions that start popping up, too. And I’m considering brushing up on my old philosophers…just in case.

The Time Has Come

What a dramatic title. Probably overly so, but this is one of the biggest topics I’ve had to get a hold on since we even got pregnant in the first place. Yeah, THAT big.

We’ve been putting off using cloth diapers for a bit of awhile for a couple of reasons.

#1. We wanted to get the hang of H.A.’s feedings (yeah, sometimes I just feel like calling him “H.A.” as if he’ll one day be a fancy schmancy author or professor who goes by his initials. Plus, I gave them to him, so I can call him what I want. Fartypants McGee. Poopsalot Poutyface.)

#2. The confusion of what dipes to choose has been a tiiiiiny bit overwhelming.

#3. (singing) Time, time, tiiiiiiime. Time-time tiiiiiime. Time.

Yeah, those’re about it. We recently discovered the VERY encouraging option of purchasing a $10, 2-week trial at a local diaper store but thought we’d put it off until we have lots of time with Hads, ourselves. It wouldn’t be fair to make his caregiver do all the testing, especially since she’s got a pretty active 1-year-old on her hands, too.

Then we heard about the whole Japanese plant explosion that may cause a shortage of disposable diapers (read: jump in price)…and upon reading about the lack of chemical that will be causing the shortage, it was hard for our brains not to jump straight to “Mmmmmaaaaybe we need to switch over sooner rather than later.” I guess it was easy to force ourselves into a world of conveniently ignorant bliss, but to think of the chemicals we’re subjecting his “lil’ bidness” to…shiver.

In regards to the above challenges…#1 – we’ve pretty much figured it out, with exception to his uncomfortable gas situation. #2 – the trial helps here (and just jumping in with the ones I’ve purchased…although I’m up in the air as to whether I should just wash ’em all since the first time is an undertaking or just do a couple so that I can resell ’em if they don’t work out). #3 – while things are still hectic (or, shall we say, difficult to schedule?), once we get the hang of it I foresee it taking as much time as the disposables…maybe a tad more laundry time.

Up until this point, we’ve tried several kinds and found a favorite. While I’d like to say we’ve been Seventh Generation-ing it up, we haven’t. Pampers Swaddlers (not the other kind…and, strangely, it does make a difference) has been our go-to. It’s what FEELS the most like cloth. The other brands feel like, well, paper. I’d LIKE to make the switch to SG for those as-needed times (they weren’t HORRIBLE…just not what you’d like to put on your newborn’s sensitive bits), so we’ll see how that goes. A little at a time.

So, we may be finally picking up that trial package soon to get an idea of exactly what kind(s) we want to invest in — most likely to be tried over the following couple of weekends and overnight as not to overwhelm the sitter. And, when the moment strikes (ie during my next sudden burst of energy; that’s the only way I get anything done lately), I’ll be laundering the dozen organic bumGenius dipes that I bought pre-Hadley that have been sitting, in their packages, in a corner of the nursery. I’m nervous yet excited to get them on his bum and see if/how they work for us.

And, of course, I’ll be stopping back with my *honest* opinion of all the goings-on. Oh, and I suppose a “final” (is it ever really finished? And is there ever NOT an incoming bag of outfits messin’ the place up again?) nursery tour is in order. Especially now that he’s in the crib and we’re able to call it HIS space. 🙂 Now, we just have to determine where to hang a few final pieces of art…the hardest part.

*BTW, totally off-topic. Whatchya think of this font vs. my usual? Snazzy? Better or worse?*

Sock Sack O’ Beans

I know what you’re going to think — “Wait. You’ve been absent HOW LONG and all you’re going to write about is a stupid DIY heating pad? What about the B-A-B-Y?!?!” And you’re more than entitled to have those thoughts. But, let’s just say that it takes all the power in me to write a post at all.

Not saying that I’m that full-blown exhausted that everyone talks about. Sure, tired, but generally speaking I’m doing fine. Got some strong emotions going on that I’m sure I could talk about (no post-partum depression, though, as far as I can tell :-D), but I don’t really feel like wasting time discussing that stuff, either. But my days have been pretty much a sequestered existence consisting of rotating feedings and changings. So, I thought, “I could wallow in the fact that it’s now August (“sweat drops, sweat drops” – anyone? “SNL”/”Cathy”?) or I could finally write a blog post.” So, here I be! Arrrgh.

Yeah. Maybe I am a tad overtired. I’ve had one nap since we brought the baby home. I’m not a big “napper”, but maybe I should take advantage of “free time” while I still can.

Why the HECK is this post about an old sock filled with dried beans? Because I don’t make it out of the house much…I needed a heating pad solution…and I was pretty proud that I made one. Don’t judge. These days, it’s the little things that make me happy.

So, I suppose what I’m getting at is more so the fact that I need a heating pad in the first place. As far as pain goes, I’m usually pretty tough, and wouldn’t have anything on hand for aches and pains. Hey, I felt like I was, in a way, gypped over Hadley’s birth in having a C-section; I didn’t get to experience LABOR and didn’t have much pain (beyond the whole issue of coughing, sneezing, laughing, etc with that darned incision), but I’ll post more on that when I feel good ‘n ready to do so. 😉 Long story short, though, through our trials and triumphs of breastfeeding (also more on that in a future post), I seem to have developed a blocked milk duct.

Funny. Had’s got a blocked tear duct that causes one of his eyes to goober up with yellow stuff (not puss, and ’tis completely normal – believe me, the doc has been consulted as to every inch of his cute lil’ body). Wonder if there’s a connection beyond grammatical. And, now, I’m not leaking yellow goobers.

Anyhoo, being a) quite the independent bugger and b) more than a tad intimidated by the overbearing lactation consultants, I’m determined to handle this issue on my own – unless, of course, it becomes a bigger issue (ie mastitis…an infection…in da booby. Yeah. Let’s hope not, shall we?). So, after researching via books ‘n the interwebs, I found myself filling a cute ol’ sock with dried beans. I wasn’t up for going all Martha Stewart with my sewing machine, so I took the easy way out.

Between using my bean-filled buddy (microwaved for a couple of minutes and wrapped in a kitchen towel), “pressure massaging”, attempting to pump (and feed) more on “that side”, and taking the occasional ibuprofen, I’m hoping that the issue

Otherwise, for those of you who are wondering (and since it’s World Breastfeeding Week), I should say that breastfeeding has been a challenge — and, in some ways, way easier than I had expected (example being – even though Hadley had been given a small bottle right after he was born — due to his size and a necessity to keep his body heat regulated, and the fact that I was getting stitched…er, stapled up — when he was brought back to me in Recovery, he immediately latched on — what a moment!) and in others, purdy darn frustrating (example – let’s just say he doesn’t always latch well, and he’s got a temper AND an impatient streak that make for meltdowns…can’t IMAGINE where he got those traits, hee hee). That’s the nature of breastfeeding, though.

I should shout from the rooftops that I’m terribly lucky. I’ve healed very well, have lost weight VERY quickly (some might say TOO much too fast – I swear I’m eating and trying to drink enough for the both of us, though! And, no worries, my tummy still looks like a satellite image being beamed in from Mars), can almost always get him to settle down for a feeding (even when there are latching issues), am able to pump so Dave (AKA “The Dorky Daddy”, AKA “Best Father and Husband on Earth”) can have some one-on-one time with his little man…and, miracle of miracles, my milk came in before leaving the hospital. The little guy was already starting to gain weight after his first week home, so all appears to be working! And, hey. Isn’t that all that matters? 🙂

Thanks, as always, for reading. I promise to write the birth story when I’m up to it, as well as more on breastfeeding. Oh, and for those who are wondering, we’re not using cloth diapers quite yet — not with how quickly this lil’ guy goes through them, and with how few we currently own. Gonna stock up and move onto that next step when things are a tad more, um, solid. One thing at a time, but we’ll get there. Oh, and just so I’m not a completely stingy b-word keeping things from you, here’s the unofficial birth announcement for those of you who may not have heard —

Our wonderful Hadley Allston was born on  
Friday, July 13th at 11:48am via scheduled C-section.
He weighed 10 lbs., 1 3/4 oz and was 22″ in length.