Thursday, February 28, 2013


March 2012

February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


 My little boy wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.  (Don't tell him about the space program in the US.)  (Specifically he wants to be an astronaut-firefighter-superhero-spy.)
This might be the craftiest I have gotten for a party.  I looked things up on the internet and made things and put this party together.  But, weirdly, I had very little stress about whether things were going to go well.  It was fun to do, and while I was putting it together, it helped to know that my boy was going to love it.  And he did.

The first game was asteroid toss.  I wrapped up some tennis balls in fabric (so the asteroids could have tails) and they tossed them into the two buckets.
Charlie looks like he is pouting, but I am pretty sure he wasn't.  He was passing out the asteroids with Greg and wasn't really playing, but I don't think he was being cranky. 

Felicity was doing this kind of thing the whole party.  She was trying to run the party.  Move the buckets around, make sure kids are in line.  This girl.
The second game was rocket launch.  Please allow these pictures to show you how many kids came to this party.  We invited so many, and almost everyone got to come!  It was great to have so many friends around us for Charlie's celebration.
Felicity, monitoring again.

 All the party people.
It wouldn't be an Ashcraft party without a riot over the pinata.  I forgot to give the kids their baggies, so when the pinata broke (I thought it would take several rounds of hits, and then end up with an adult breaking it, but it broke on the second to last kid to hit.) there was a serious scramble to start gathering candy, with no where to put it.  (For our previous pinata riot, review "kick the boot.")
 Charlie made the favor bags himself, with space stickers.  Included in the bags were little astronaut figures, moon sand, and astronaut ice cream.  Michael's was clearing out their moon sand stock for 50 cents each recently, so I grabbed them all, and I got the ice cream online for a moderate price.

 With five-year-olds, present opening is a full contact sport.  All the kids were so excited and sweet.  Everyone was so generous with Charlie, and he got so many great presents.
Love this little family.

Birthday photo shoot

 Took some pictures of my boy to memorialize him being five.  I saw somewhere that talking with your child as you take the pictures makes them make more natural smiles.  I was chatting with him as prescribed, and I think that I got some sweet smiles, but also a lot of craziness, because he was pretty manic with all the birthday celebrating.  Lots of sugar and presents and friends and family.... not a lot of sleep.  But these pictures show my sweet, fun loving, funny, thoughtful, considerate, smart, fabulous little boy.  So here they are.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Just for fun

I recently put some of our old cell phone pictures on our computer (from before the cell phone cameras were as good as regular cameras).  Here are some of my birthday boy from his first few months.

Birthday, part 1

We had the best weekend for our little birthday boy.  Everything was just what he wished.  We had several celebrations for him, and my sweet sister took 294 pictures at his party alone.  So I will start trickling out posts as I go through the pictures.  To start with, here are the pictures from his birthday morning.
He got some puzzles, the pigeon activity book, and a watch.  (If you are looking for a watch for a little one who wants one desperately, but you can't imagine buying one when it will be lost or broken quickly, check out the one I found on amazon.  Doubles as awesome 90's swag.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I actually cannot believe my boy is five years old.

This isn't a figure of speech.  I literally can't believe it.  I can't wrap my head around it.
Here is that darling boy on his birthday morning.  His eyes are wild.  Birthday craze.
Last year I made a video of my boy.  I had decided not to do another because I already used pictures from the first four years of his life, and what would one other year add?  But as I watched that video (only twenty or so times in the weeks leading up to this most significant birthday), I realized that the difference between last year and this one is a lot.  He has grown so much in the last 365 days.  So maybe I will put another one together.  But in the meantime, if you just can't get enough Charlie (and I know I can't), here is the video of his first four years.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day

After many years of just decorating a Christmas tree, and otherwise not going big into holidays other than the traditional celebration, I have sort of started enjoying holidays by making crafts and doing activities with my kids.  At Christmas we made a bunch of things together, and we all had so much fun, that I decided that my intense dislike for making things was sort of misplaced.  So, we did some more fun things for Valentine's Day.  Here are a couple of the things that we did:

I had seen countless of the "make your own crayon" tutorials on pinterest, but I hadn't really planned on doing it until I was at Ikea recently with my sister and I saw the silicone trays that you use to make them (they are a dollar, and they are originally ice trays, but once you use them for crayons, you pretty much can't get the wax out, so they are eternally crayon trays.)  So, since I was at Ikea, and since they were a dollar, I picked up the tray, and a box of crayons at the dollar store (I didn't want to break up our regular crayons, in case it was a bust), and we went for it.  The kids had fun and they really liked seeing how they turned out.
I liked them so much, I decided to use them for the Valentines that Charlie passed out to his classmates (he calls them classmates, which randomly cracks me up.)  So my sister whipped up a quick print (she made one for Felicity too) and Charlie taped the crayons on, and passed them out.  He also wrote each kid's name on the back, a process that took about five hours (he kept getting tired of writing.  Eventually he will just sit down and write for longer than ten seconds, right?)
The night before Valentine's I thought my kids would be wildly surprised and pleased if they got a little heart surprise in the morning.  So, I cut out some hearts (I used cookie cutters for the hearts, and I had some twine that I got as a favor at a wrapping party last year) and dangled them.  They were so happy, and thrilling them with little things is pretty much the best part about having kids.
Earlier in the month I also made this to hang up.  In our entryway we have a big space that is perfect for birthday banners and stuff, so I have started acquiring banners for holidays (I bought one for Christmas, and then made this one.)  Cookie cutters for the shapes again.  I thought it turned out pretty fun.  (I have discovered that my crafting talent falls exclusively in the "cut things out of felt" category.)
I decided to put "Be Mine" as the wording, but let me assure you, "Fax Me" was equally considered.

 Here are my little Valentine's.
I had a nice time with my grown-up Valentine too.  He let me sleep in, and then he planned this whole big thing for the day after Valentine's Day, where we were to go to dinner and the movies.  He planned the whole thing in secret, but I was pretty sick that week, and still sick on Friday (I finally got some antibiotics on Friday.  So did Felicity.  We are all feeling better.) so we ended up staying home for dinner, and then going to just the movie.  As a gift, he got me a dress to wear to law school prom in March (he knew my three finalists and picked one, and even consulted my sister and got the right size!) and also went and got my car detailed while I was at work (people who drive two children around know about how sick the upholstery gets after a little while.)  Further Valentine's Day happiness included my getting a (extremely well-deserved, if I do say so myself) raise at work.  =)

Since our date didn't go as planned, and I was sort of a sick wreck to the part we did do, I don't have a picture of us.  But, here is one from a few weeks ago.
A couple years ago, my parents and a few of my siblings went to a Styx concert at Pechanga.  I forget why Greg and I didn't go (I am sure it was something about Felicity still being pretty little at the time) but we had joked that they didn't invite us.  After the concert, my mom called and said "that was the best show EVER, you guys really missed out!" and we have been teasing her about her delicacy since then.  So, when I saw a billboard saying that they were coming back (they do Pechanga every year, as it turns out), I texted her, teasing that she should take us this time.  I totally didn't mean it, but she called my mother-in-law, who was able to score us some free tickets, and we went to the show.  While Greg and I may have been a little younger than the other attendees, my parents were always big Styx fans, so I grew up on them, and I have their greatest hits album on my ipod, so Greg is now equally familiar with them.  So, we looked like we walked into the wrong concert, but we did have a great time.  They put on a really good show (we knew about 90% of the songs), and it has been kinda a long time since we have gone to a concert together (which I guess is sort of sad, since we used to go to shows together all the time) so we really enjoyed it.  Thanks to my mom for "thinking" of it, and to my MIL for getting us the tickets!  Great seats.