Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food and Decorations at Lydia's Tea Party

I knew we would have fun at the party, but I was really stressed about all the food and decorations coming together. I could make lots of things ahead of time, but I couldn't actually hang anything in the parish hall until the day of the party. Most of the food needed to wait until the day of the party as well so that it would be fresh. Thankfully I am surrounded by friends and family who support my crazy ideas by joining in and helping out.
Here are some pictures of the decorations and food that my team created for Lydia's Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. PJ got out his carving tools to turn a watermelon into a giant hat and it tasted as good as it looked. These were 40 pound watermelons that we bought on the way home from the beach. They had just been picked and I couldn't believe how good they were a week later.

The white rabbit I bought for Easter and the Alice teapot I finished making just a few days before the party both peak out from behind the arrangements of vegetables in tea cups. These were actually pretty easy to create. I just put some lettuce in the cup and then it held all the veggies in place. The flowers are radish roses and peppers that were cut out with a cookie cutter. I drilled a little hole in the center of the pepper flower with a knife and stuck in a baby carrot to make a center.
We also made cupcakes in tea cups, but I managed to not get a picture of that.

We had several areas where crazy signs were pointing multiple different directions.

Several tables had activities to keep the kids busy. On the coloring table I used tea cups to hold the crayons. The sign was held up with a fork!

Another activity table, this one had an Alice in Wonderland pop up book, my leather bound copy of the Lewis Carol classic edition, and Lydia's scrap books from the past two years. You can also see another fork holding up a sign. I hadn't planned that, but at the last minute, I needed something to hold it up and the fork just worked.

We had 6 tables and each had a centerpiece made of a few tea cups that were stacked and then the top one was filled with taffy. I let the taffy spill onto the tables and then scattered playing cards around. The cups were all thrift store finds and most cost less than a dollar! I found 12 plastic ones that had a great shape but were an ugly mustard color. They all got spray painted white and then decorated with various designs. The top cup in this stack is one that I painted.

Here is Aunt Betty at the buffet table. We had several small sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies, and fruit. All the food was put together by my sister and my friend Andrea. (Thanks again guys!) The table cloth is actually one part of the two long painted Indian saris that i found at a thrift store. The other piece was the backdrop to our photo booth. I love the bright colors they added to the party.

Finally, another last minute touch. These letters used to hang over Lydia's changing table. I saw them in a drawer when I was leaving the house to decorate for the party and I threw them in my bag not knowing what I would do with them. I am SO glad I had them. I loved that Lydia's name was floating in the air with the lanterns and butterflies at her party.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lydia's Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Tea for 2 Party!

Much like the title for this post, and for Lydia's party, there was a lot going on and there is a lot to show you. Let's start with the Mad Hatter part. We set up a "hat shop" and let everyone pick out a hat to borrow for the party. Everyone seemed to have fun with the idea. While I am really happy with how well the party turned out, and I will be excited to show you, I am the most excited about seeing family and friends having a silly and fun time at the tea party. Thank you to all the friends who helped set up and clean up and cook and watch Lydia so that this could all come together. Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Signs, signs, everwhere signs!

I have been photo shopping my rear end off lately. I like to give myself little "assignments"
to force myself to learn the program better. While at the beach, I couldn't work on many of the final touches for Lydia's birthday party, but I could create documents to print when I got home. I have this idea of a crazy collection of signs at the party. I think somewhere in Alice in Wonderland, there are wacky signs pointing in all directions. (not sure if its in the book or the movie, but I like the visual image) Also, I want to have some signs for the activities that will be available, so no one will be confused. Here is a sampling of what I have been making. Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sunset @ Seaside

Today is our last beach day. Tomorrow we load the car and head home. What a gift it has been to spend a full week with friends and family in the warm sun and sand of Florida.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Greetings from the beach

We have hit that spot on vacation where we have to have a discussion about what day of the week it is. That's a pretty good place to be as long as you still have a few days and don't suddenly realize that you need to pack to go home. We are all enjoying our change of location from Gulf Shores Alabama to Santa Rosa Florida. There is more to do near our house but it is all really cute beachy communities and nothing too touristy. However, if you want touristy, Panama City is only a half hour away. So far, no oil spotted on our beach, although there are 11 people who walk the beach each day looking for it for BP. Kind of weird, but easier to ignore than the oil will be when it does get here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beach: Day 1

We left Knoxville at 3am Saturday morning, so that the kids would sleep most of the way to Florida and we would be resting on the beach around noon. Thankfully, Friday night into Saturday morning was the first night that Lydia's temperature was normal. She was still a little extra fussy once she woke up, but we managed alright. Technically, our first day at the beach was Saturday. After driving through the early morning and arriving at noon, we were tired and hungry. Our rooms wouldn't be ready until 4, so we found lunch and then the beach and eventually found our rooms and a nearby pizza place.
Sunday, PJ, Lydia and I checked out a local craft fair in a nearby town. It was a nice break from the sun and a really neat area to explore.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday was the first day of my summer vacation. Lydia and I celebrated by heading to the UT Gardens before swim class. It was really pretty and had a nice amount of shade to cut the heat.
Lydia played and looked for rocks and bugs.

And then she started to feel warm. By the time we got to swim class she was hot and fussy and that night her temperature was above 103 for the first of several nights. It ended up being a virus, but it through our summer plans out of whack. No more swim classes or daycare playtime. Thankfully Lydia was on the mend in time to leave for the beach at the end of the week.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It was fun while it lasted....

According to the allergist, Lydia is officially no longer allergic to milk.

She was initially diagnosed allergic after a bought of GI bleeding at 9 weeks old. After ruling out more serious issues, we were sent on to the allergist, where a skin test confirmed a milk allergy. Later a blood test came back negative for the allergy, so when her recent skin test was also negative, we were given permission to begin re-introducing milk products. However, the allergist was concerned that Lydia may have some other, non-allergy issue with milk, as most milk allergies don't lead to GI bleeding. We were told that those issues would be slower in presentation, so we needed to watch her for a reaction as we added in new foods.

It was SO nice not having an allergy kid. Instead of packing food for any occasion, I got to enjoy letting Lydia eat what ever the other kids were eating and not having to check ingredients. I took her out of town last week and didn't have to pack food for each meal. We ate cupcakes and loved every butter cream filled bite.

And then it happened. Her digestive system rebelled. I will spare you the gory details, but she started having issues about a week after she was on milk. So I started cutting back on her milk intake and the problems only got worse. Because there seems to be a delay or a cumulative factor, I think we are now paying for all the milk she had at the height of our re-introduction. It was fun while it lasted, but milk is not doing Lydia's body good and I will be glad when things return to normal.