Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day Photo Checklist

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You'll Go!

In just a few days, my little redhead will have his very first day of school.  I know he went to LSU for the past couple years, but that was just 3 hours a day and 2 days a week for 12 weeks a semester.  Monday, he will start all day/everyday preschool!  YIKES!!

Truth be told, I am not sad a bit.  I am actually very, very excited.  This is just another major milestone in life that, at one point, I was doubtful we’d see.  But, more importantly, Jude will be attending a great school, and he will have a wonderful team of teachers and therapists that I believe genuinely care about him.

A little one’s first day of school is an occasion that needs to be scrapbooked or documented somehow, and, of course, you need lots of pictures of that first day to commemorate the moment.

Now I’m a huge list maker.  I work much better and efficiently if I’ve left myself some “blueprints” to success.  Unfortunately, I just learned the hard way that picture taking events also need a checklist.  When you are busy in the moment, you may forget to take pictures of the things you want to remember about that moment.  

So... get in the habit of making a picture checklist before the big day.  Just imagine the things you would like to remember the most about the day.  Then, try hard to put them in the order that you think they would occur.  

This is not a new trick.  Professional photographers and awesome organized people, unlike myself, have already been doing this to get through their big days.

Tip- It wouldn’t hurt if you made a list even if you have a professional photographer, especially if you have a certain idea in mind.  They don’t mind.  And they are ├╝ber talented so they may even build off your idea and make it even better.  A couple of years ago, we were having pictures made by Christi Santangelo, and I had this vision of a picture of us sitting on the pier with our backs facing the camera.  So I shared this with her, and she thought it was great idea.  And to this day, it is one of my most favorite pictures of my family of three.

Getting back on course, now. 

The first day of school is a busy day full of firsts.  So... MAKE A CHECKLIST!! You will thank me later when you look back in your photo album, scrapbook, or, in my case, blog and have those sweet little pictures to remind you of those sweet little moments.

I have put a list together for my Jude’s first day of prekindergarten!  Because I know the first day can be busy and a little hectic, I actually divided my list into two parts; the first part is a list of pictures to get at Open House, and the second part is a list for the first day.  Feel free to copy it if you like and tweak it to make it work for your little one’s first day.

Open House
the school
the classroom
cubby area or area with child’s name
child with teacher(s)
school supplies (watch how they change each year)
school gear: nap mat, backpack, lunchbag
schedule (if there is one)
books (if any)

First Day
uniform waiting to be put on
first lunch 
child in uniform
child with sign or printout to date the day 
child with both parents
carpool area or picture of child getting on bus
child being dropped off in carpool 
mommy crying (or daddy)
the pick up line
child at end of day

That's my list, so far.  I will probably use it from year to year for both my kiddos, making adjustments as needed.

What pictures will you make sure you have of your little one's first day?
Monday, August 6, 2012

Bob and Larry

Just because...

Now it's time for silly songs hats with Bob and  Larry.

Just two more reason to love The Veggie Tales.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Making of A Lemonade Stand Birthday

I just love first birthdays.  And I LOVE first birthday parties.  When I was pregnant with Aubrey Lane, I would just daydream about the possibility of having a little girl and all the sparkle that went with it; her birthday parties being no exception.

So when Aubrey Lane was just a few months old, I already began to see visions of pink balloons and tissue pompoms along with a little girl in a white highchair digging in a pink cake.

I originally planned to have an ice cream social for her party, but... one day I happened across some decorations for a lemonade stand on Etsy, and I knew that her party needed a theme change.  (ALL parties NEED a theme or color scheme, in my opinion)

So I started the planning.  

I had Lane and my father in law make me a beautiful little lemonade stand.  And then I painted it Gentle Dreamland Pink, a color from Walmart- it's a lemonade stand.  It doesn't need Sherwin Williams paint.

Months before the party, I started the planning and collecting.  I would grab a pack of tissue paper for pompoms every time I went to Hobby Lobby.  I also knew I wanted to use Mason jars or some sort of vintage looking glass bottle to serve the lemonade in.  Then one day, I picked up one of Lane's empty frappacino bottles (our weakness) to throw away, and I noticed it was the perfect shape.  So we just started saving our bottles for about 4 months. We had 16 small ones and 16 large ones for the party. 

Then I used my embroidery machine and mad crafting skills to make a sweet little party hat and pennant banner for her darling white wooden highcair.

The weeks before, my sweet friend Sarah came over and helped me make decorations using my cricut.  (The first time I've used it for anything other than playing around.)  We made her Happy Birthday banner and the little monthly clothespins to hang her monthly pictures from.

I also went to Brushfire in Denham Springs and painted Aubrey Lane a special plate to use each year for her birthday.  It held her smash cake for her birthday.

Then Lane helped me with a little project to turn some old picture frames my mother in law picked up for me at Goodwill into sweet little chalkboards for the party... and other things. 
All we did was paint the frame a glossy white and paint the glass pane with chalkboard spray paint.  And voila...

And then my niece spent the night and helped me make more decor and lots of tissue pompoms.  

We also used my Cricut again to make these precious tags for drink labels for people to hang on their lemonade bottles.  Add in the pink and yellow paper straws I got from Etsy, and I knew it was going to be beautiful!

The week of, I think I lost my mind and set out on a tablecloth project.  After several yards of burlap, blisters on my thumb, and a very late night, a too long but BEAUTIFUL ruffled table cloth was ready for its first event: my Aubrey Girl's first birthday party.
sorry for the lighting- this picture was taken around 2am

All the sweet little details came together to make a beautiful party for my sweet Aubrey Lane.  

A Lemonade Stand Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that Aubrey Lane is already ONE and that her birthday party was already two weeks ago.

Shame on me for just now posting this, but we've had a few other things going on lately. 

We had a lemonade stand themed birthday party for Aubrey.  And it was too cute.

I ordered the invitation from Etsy,
and I took this picture (after 5 tries) and put it on the  back.

Then the big day came!!!

We celebrated with decorations

I didn't get the MANY tissue pompoms hanging from the ceiling



Aubrey would not touch her cake!  I think I may make her a cake for her 18 months birthday and smash it then.

Precious Family and Friends

and, of course, the sweet Birthday Girl!

It was a muggy, rainy day, but we still had a great little party!

Thanks to my sweet friends and family who helped me decorate and set up and thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our Sweet Pea's first birthday party!