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Archive for the ‘Cousins’ Category

My husband and Lilah checking out Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

Cousin Kelly all decked out in a safari hat from the Spring 2007 'Ship Ahoy!' collection

Last weekend my family (including parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) all took a quick road trip to beautiful Gold Beach, Oregon; it is on the coast, just 45 miles beyond the California border. After a full day of driving, we made a pit stop at The Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA and had a photo op with the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox before driving the final stretch. Though we were in Oregon for only a couple days, our plan was to pack in as much fun as possible.

Our first full day in Gold Beach was tasked with arriving at a jet boat dock by 8am  (yes, 8am on vacation – what were we thinking!) for a 64 mile round trip ride up the Rogue River. It was Lilah’s first boat trip and she was excited. The weather was cooperating (phew), but it was so windy on the way up river that it was a real challenge to keep warm. Lilah, being the smart girl that she is, hid beneath the blanket and slept most of the ride up.


We stopped after 32 miles in the small community of Agness. Those of us that had young children took a breather, warmed up, and had some lunch while the ‘grandparents’ all chose to go as far as the jet boats were able to take them (an additional 20 miles). When they returned, they regaled us with tales of rapids, rock cliffs and warm weather declaring it to be the most stunning part of the trip. Of course, isn’t that the way it always is?

We were told this bridge was only 4 ft. above the water line during the 1964 flood.

The sign on the roof reads “High Water December 22, 1964” that was the high water mark during the flood.

On the way back down the river the weather was beautiful and Lilah stood up next to me almost the whole time. She was excited to see deer and river otters along the banks. There were so many fishermen hoping to catch King Salmon or Steelhead that we made a game of looking for dogs on the small boats on our way down (there were many). Our guide informed us that during the flooding in December 1964 the river almost flooded over many of the bridges (hard to imagine). All-in-all it was a beautiful day and a fabulous boat trip with my amazing family. There is so much more to tell you about, like our ocean voyage to the St. George’s Reef Lighthouse and our tour of the Coast Guard Station but I think I’ll save the rest for another day! Stay tuned.

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Some of our Turkey Decorations

I was thrilled on Thanksgiving when my aunt and uncle, with their family in tow, joined our small family at my parent’s house.  My husband and I were hoping for the ‘big family’ feeling for the holiday – knowing that Lilah is at an age when memories might become permanent.  I am not the ‘chief cook’ in these holiday scenarios – so I focused on the handmade decorations.  In preparation for the event Lilah and I made the hand/foot turkeys and a couple of other Thanksgiving crafts for the table – it’s amazing how long these craft projects sometimes take but she really enjoyed the process! 

Kelly and Lilah

Our small family (I’m an only child and so is Lilah) relishes the holidays because we see more of our family.  I had the opportunity to visit with my cousin and her children – Kelly (2yrs) and Erin (newborn). They are the only other part of our family with babies in the Bay Area. Lilah and Kelly took an hour or so to warm up to each other but midway through the party they 

Baby Erin

were jumping on beds and feeding the pond fish together – so cute!  I loved seeing them interact as they ran, jumped, giggled and demanded to be tickled. I can’t wait until all three of the cousins are able to play together. It’s not too far away!  What better holiday memory than realizing that you have cousins to share turkey and fun! 

  

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"My costume roars, what does yours do?"

"My costume roars, what does yours do?"

I can’t believe it’s been six months since my brother and his wife announced their pregnancy. Since they are expecting their little “treat” to arrive on Halloween, I couldn’t resist but do a Halloween-themed baby shower. Everything had pumpkins!

  • invitations
  • games (a monster match game, pumpkin trivia, pass the pumpkin)
  • prizes (pumpkin-shaped chocolates, pumpkin-scented soaps)
  • giveaways (pumpkin candles)
  • The Diaper Cake
  • dessert (a delicious homemade pumpkin cake)

And the best part of all… the kids dressed in costume to welcome the arrival of their new cousin! Of course, my son was wearing one of le•top’s 2009 Halloween costumes. He was dressed as “Troy” the Triceratops, which he loved to wear because it kept him warm all day (now that fall has arrived in California!) and had a hidden button that everyone pushed to make his costume “ROAR!” I thought it was going to scare him when he first heard the sound, but he didn’t seem to even notice. I guess Mommy always sounds like an angry dinosaur. 🙂

pumpkintrio

Check back daily to see more Halloween ideas from le•top’s 2009 collection.

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basketsMy cousin, Joslyn, is getting ready to have Baby #2 (a girl, Haven Bella) soon and this weekend, we are holding her baby shower! Since I work at a baby and kids clothing company, it’s no secret that most of my baby shower gifts are going to be our gorgeous baby clothes from le•top and rabbitmoon, but sometimes I like to mix it up a little. “Surprise” is a big thing for me, and because my gifts are generally predictable, I like to throw a zinger in there.

  • For Jess’ baby shower gift, I put together a HUGE basket of clothes, along with some great products I have come across since being in the industry (Nookie pacifiers, Baby Legs, Pedipeds, etc).
  • For Erin T’s, I did the basket and a Starbucks Frappuccino 4-pack filled with clothes instead of drinks. (Erin T. LOVES Starbucks!)
  • For Joslyn (since she already had a similar gift with the first baby), I decided my “surprise” would be a diaper cake.

diapercakeI have come across a lot of these online, but was never sure exactly how they did it. So the other night, I YouTube’d it, and sure enough there was a cheesy – though resourceful – How-To video. I bought the diapers, the ribbon, the jewels, the rubber bands, and the pins (my variation from double-stick tape), and went to work. I had to roll the diapers slightly differently than the video explained because the cute “character scene” on the front was turning my white cake into a blue one. All in all it took about 45 minutes to roll 92 diapers (size 1 & 2) and assemble them in the cake layers; about 30 minutes to put the ribbons and the jewels on; and 5 seconds to lay the shoes on the top as the cake topper.

Remember, this was my first time doing this, and I have learned some lessons:

  1. Use ALL white diapers, if possible.
  2. There is an advantage to using the double-stick tape (my ribbons are falling down because I only tautly pinned them — and in one place for that matter)
  3. I need to figure out a way to secure the shoes on top (double-stick tape?)
  4. Use a circular cake stand to start out the bottom layer. My bottom layer is too big for the cake stand.

Have you done a DIY shower gift? Please share your ideas and/or pictures!

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pony partyLast weekend we went to a birthday party for our friend’s 5-year old son. The invitation was cowboy-themed. The party was decked out in Western decor. The host gave away cowboy hats and bandanas, and there were even pony rides. YES, pony rides! It was the BEST party my daughter has ever been to (she exclaims this after every party she attends). It seems like children’s birthday parties are getting fancier each year, and it’s becoming a challenge to “top” the next party – not that these kids are competing. But as a parent, you don’t want to be outdone (recently, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were in the news, having hosted a $100,000.00 birthday party for their daughter, Suri, where the cake alone cost over $15 thousand!). The pressure is on if you’re only going to have a simple “cake and ice cream” birthday gathering.

We’ve been to quite a few themed events, such as:

  • a Dinosaur party hosted at a children’s activity center (complete with dinosaur-related games)
  • a Princess Ball, along with a dressing room filled with gowns, crowns, make-up, glitter, boas, etc. for all the girls (and the loot bag was more expensive than our present for the birthday celebrant!)
  • a Pirate party with a scavenger hunt, and enough gold coins to fill Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship
  • a Musical party where a music teacher came and brought boxes of different musical instruments for the children to participate in song-and-dance activities
  • and the most outrageous one I’ve been to… a Super Model party. The dad even built a runway for the girls to parade down the catwalk in their fashionable attire!

My daughter has had her share of themed parties:

  • Hawaiian pool party with beach toys as giveaways
  • Gymnastics party where the instructors came and set up their equipment at a park, and had a “class” with all the kids
  • County Fair-themed party with a cotton candy machine, an ice cone maker, face painting, and a friend who made balloon animals for all the guests.

The day after my daughter’s 4-year old party, she started discussing with me what her theme will be for next year’s party. (I’m not kidding!) She had a few in mind: a Power Ranger party, a Pokemon party, a Princess party to name a few. But the winning theme is a Pirate party – just like her cousin’s but not exactly the same. She wants it to be a PINK Pirate party and have a Pirate Princess come to entertain her guests. (Demanding for a 5-year old! And don’t even get me started on her wanting an iPhone as a present.) So, two months before her birthday, I’m already making a mad dash looking for a Pirate Princess to come to her party, and hunting down a bakery who can make custom-designed cupcakes with black and pink skull and bones. As the date gets closer and I’ve secured the entertainment and the cupcakes, I sit back and sigh, “What the heck am I doing? I’m trying to impress her 5-year old friends. Next year will be just cake and ice cream!” I say this every year, and I know I’ll be sucked into another theme party again next year.

bdayParties

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Miranda in Flamingo Bay (left) and Sophia in Strawberry Fields

Miranda in Flamingo Bay (left) and Sophia in Strawberry Fields

A couple of weekends ago, we drove down to Southern California to attend a baby shower I’d been invited to. Knowing that the weather there is always much warmer than the San Francisco, I packed summer wear—mostly le•top outfits—since it’ll be awhile before we really get to wear them here in the Bay Area. We met up with my cousin and her kids at a park so that my daughter (Miranda) and her daughter (Sophia) could get some play time. They’re like sisters, these two. We call them “Double Trouble.” They’re both bossy and like to pick on the boys.

I was delighted to see Sophia in the le•top Strawberry Fields dress that I sent to her as a birthday gift. Meanwhile, Miranda was decked out in my favorite le•top collection, Flamingo Bay. What’s fabulous is, that although these outfits are from two different collections, they complement each other very well! Perfect for sisters, twins, cousins, friends — who like to dress alike but not exactly the same.

Visit our store locator to find these lovely collections near you.

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Alec in le•top, with his tricyle and...is he holding a bug?

Alec (Yellow Turtle baby model!) in le•top, circa 1993, with his tricycle and...is he holding a bug?

J. at Yellow Turtle found a “vintage” photo of her son in le•top and sent it over for fun. I loved the old tricycle and the whole composition of this photo; the un-mowed grass, the dandelions, the lone tennis shoe and little Alec looking like the quintessential, all-American portrait of little boy having a great summer! Of course, I wanted to share with everyone on the blog, so I asked J. for a more recent photo of her son, Alec (now 18), and she sent over a few. I noted to her that there seemed to be a cycling theme, and she said her niece, Alec’s cousin, has MS, so Alec has been doing the Bike MS ride since he was 12! Alec and his dad do this ride every year. Last year Alec raised over $2000 – they both rode 75 miles each day, in the hills of Vermont! J. and her daughter are the cooler girls – they wait at the rest-stops with drinks and food. Great family support! We’re looking forward to photos from this year’s Bike MS in Vermont which will be held August 8-9, 2009…Go, Alec!

Alec, now, still being a little boy at heart! Photo at left is from his Bike MS, 2008

Alec, now, but still being a little boy at heart! Photo at left is from his Bike MS 2008 event

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