Making Baby Food!!

It’s time!

My baby is starting baby food!

So with the other two Mr. N and I used jarred baby food. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you don’t have the time to commit to making your baby’s food, or you just don’t want to, that’s all cool by me.

This time around I’m making Chunky Monkey’s baby food. I gotta admit, it’s not that difficult. I thought it was going to be this long process…nope, well, it takes a bit of time but not a whole afternoon.

Alright. So. Making baby food. Like I said. Pretty darn simple.

If you need a reference as to what kinds of baby foods baby can eat at specific ages I kinda went off this chart and stuff I remember from baby’s first foods we did with the other two munchkins. Obviously if you’re not sure or new to solids with your baby, talk to your pediatrician and they’ll let you know what foods are good to start with.

With this post however, I’m using carrots. Yay for carrots!

Supplies you’re going to need for baby food making:

  • blender or food processor. Now you can get all fancy schmancy and get a baby bullet, I opted not to since this will be our last child.
  • a food steamer or a metal colander to put the food in to cook.
  • ice cube trays or containers to freeze the baby food. I use the trays, you can probably find them at garage sales or the Dollar Store for pretty darn cheap!
  • Freezer Ziploc bag
  • sharpie or something to mark the bags with

Start out with your carrots, wash ’em. peel ’em, and cut them up in to small pieces, because you’re going to be steaming them and if you have them in larger pieces it’ll take you forever to get them cooked.

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After you’ve got your carrots all washed, peeled and cut up, throw them in your steamer or colander with boiling water going.

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Cook those guys for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and can break easily when pierced with a fork.

Then you’ll want to throw them into your blender or food processor with the cooking water and puree them.

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Once they’re at a nice baby food consistency, spoon them into your ice cube trays or container that you’re using and toss them into the freezer.

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Then when you need some for your little one, grab one or two pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds and let them “enjoy”. If they are a little runny after warming them up, toss a little baby cereal in it.

See, so easy!

Little Chunkers enjoying his carrots!.

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I want more Mommy!!

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Mother’s Day Gift

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I have a Mother’s Day gift idea right here folks!

So if you’re my mother or mother-in-law you need to stop reading this now.

I mean it.

Leave.

Ok.

My thought behind this gift idea was, what can I get them that they’ll both love from the kiddies that they already don’t have a million of. Like jewelry or pieces of pretty artwork from the kids. I thought, hey, gardens. They both love gardening, why not get them something for their gardens? I bring you, stepping stone. It’s a cool and fun activity for the kids to do, and adults too. :)

The things you’re going to need to get are:

  • concrete mix–this is the kind we used
  • 5 gallon bucket (for mixing concrete)–can get at Home Depot, Lowes, Menards
  • something to mix concrete with–Mr. N used a drill with a mixing paddle attached to it to mix ours, but you can probably use a heavy stick.
  • pretty stones to decorate with ,coins, old keys or anything you want to stick in the concrete. We used something similar to this
Photo Credit: JoAnn Fabrics
Photo Credit: JoAnn Fabrics
  • stepping stone mold or plastic plant tray or metal pie plate
  • you can add in a color mix to the concrete to make it more pretty, we opted not to.
  • you can also use these little stamps to add in your words, totally optional, we didn’t use them.
  • and your kids!

Now you can get all these things or you can take the easy route and get a stepping stone mix that you can find at Hobby Lobby or any craft store. I think buying the individual items is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying the kit. The concrete cost about $2.79 at Menards, the plastic trays were $2.99 at Hobby Lobby or you can get the plastic plant trays, they’re probably $1 if that at your local gardening supply store, and the stones we bought were $8, but there are the little round ones you can get in a bag for about $3.In all we paid $16.77, compared to the $19 or more for the kit and you only get one out of the deal, where as we made 4 of them and still have concrete and stones left over, and the trays are in still good condition.

Steps:

Mix the concrete in your 5 gallon bucket. I grabbed my hubby because he’s the handy man and knows all the things with tools and things. You’ll want to put the concrete mix in the bottom of your bucket and then add in the water. You want to end up with concrete at the consistency of cake batter.  Too much water, and the concrete will fail to cure.

After its all mixed up, pour into your trays.

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Allow 20 minutes of drying time before you attempt to write your name or a witty slogan in  your stepping stone and decorative pieces. If the imprint fills with water, then simply smooth it out and wait an additional 5 minutes or so and begin again. Allow 30 minutes of drying time before adding hand or foot prints.

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And then wait for it to harden. You’ll want to wait at least another 24-48 hours to fully dry. I have no patience so I took it out of its mold after 24 hours.

Ta-da! It’s finished!

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See, so easy to make!

 

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Homeschool year 2015-16

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Yep, you read that right folks. The school year for 2015-16. Because that’s how we roll in the Shire.

Since I homeschool I want to be prepared for what’s to come the next school year.

“But, but, this school year isn’t even over yet.”

You are correct, at least not for us–hoping this kid will be done by the end of May!!

In the meantime, I’m planning for next year. Since you know, I’ll be doing two of them full time now. *I can do this. I can do this*

So the reasoning behind me planning this early is a.) already mentioned above with homeschooling the two older boys and b.) we are switching back to the Lifepac curriculum that we used before this school year. As I mentioned in this blog post last week, I hate Switched on Schoolhouse. Why? Because my eldest child needs supervision in order to get his work done. So when I would walk away to deal with Turbo or Chunky Monkey or do various other things about the house, I would later find out that he only got little of his schoolwork done. Which is sooo not cool. And c.) I feel like if I don’t plan out the majority of it now, of what I can do because I don’t have String Bean’s curriculum yet, I won’t feel so overwhelmed when it does get closer to when we start.

The nerd in me–although my bestie doesn’t call it nerdiness, she calls it organized, I’m still a nerd :)–got pretty excited about things and started making binders for the boys’ school stuff.

What’s in this binder you ask?

Well, lemme show you!!

First, gotta get a binder. I chose the kind that comes in the white option and has the clear front pocket do-dad. So I can do this —>

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It’s soo pretty. I mean, it’s a pretty cool looking–dealing with boys here, it can’t be “pretty”–**ahem* binder cover.  I stumbled upon another homeschooler mom’s website and that’s where I found cover for my binder. She has a ton of them to fit your personal style. She also has back covers for them, but I only opted for the front. The one that’s pictured is the one for String Bean’s binder. This cover is the one I chose for Turbo. She has this seven step homeschool planner that she offers on her blog and has all sorts of printables for you to make your own curriculum planner.

On the inside…

I’ve got these pocket dividers for each of the kids’ subjects that they are tackling that year. The pockets are great for papers to stuff in for the specific subjects.  Fantastic!

There’s a full calendar of the school year that I got from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus blog to show what dates we will be having school and when we have breaks, i.e. Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, etc. I also have a monthly calendar to break down the school year. I believe I made this calendar in Word…not entirely sure, its been awhile, I’ve used it probably since String Bean was in 1st grade.

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So if there’s a test that I know is going to happen, I write it down on that date and that way I can let String Bean know when he’s got a test coming up. Also, I don’t know if you can see it in the top corner but I’ve used highlighters to mark each subject when something happens. For example, when he has a project or a test I can just write “TEST” and highlight it yellow,green or whatever color it is depending on what subject it’s for. 

I also have in there a snapshot if you will of the unit topics of what will be covered in his curriculum for this year.

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I found the topics on the Alpha Omega website and just looked at the scope and sequence for his grade level and typed it up. I figured he would be doing a unit every month, give or take. Obviously there will be some flexibility as we might have sick days or something comes up where we might not be doing any school work on certain days.

There’s also a lesson plan that I made up for well, obviously lesson planning.

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All the binder stuff that’s listed above is what is mostly in String Bean’s binder. Turbo’s on the other hand is a tad different. He still has a monthly calendar in there, and the pocket dividers but I’m adding in his curriculum Science and Bible studies, since it isn’t in his Kindergarten curriculum. I’m sooo excited!!

I found this pretty neat idea for, I guess ideas for each little unit I’m going to do for his science studies. Basically, if you find something interesting on Pinterest you can take the little image of that pin and print it out and glue it to paper to stick in your binder. But I thought, why waste so much paper? I just took the images and copied it into a Word document with the unit title above it and date of when we’re doing the unit and printed that bad boy out. And voilà–>

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This way I can jot down notes of things I want to do with this unit and other things.

I’m pretty much done with the binder, I just need to figure out how I’m going to work this homeschooling two munchkins instead of the one. I’ve heard from other multiple-child homeschoolers when they have younger ones, they have a rotation where every so many minutes one older kid plays with the younger ones while the others are being taught, and then they switch. Or here’s another idea, I can do chunks of time, so that we do everything together like the lessons during a 2 hour period and then do any experiments and activities after lunch.

I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. I guess I still have time!

How do you homeschoolers schedule multiple children and have little ones yet?

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Whatcha Havin’?

Whatcha having this week for meals?

This is what we’re having.

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On Monday it says Pizza Wanch. Most of you are probably like, huh? Is this lady off her rocker? No. Well..no. Pizza Ranch is what our soon to be 5 year old calls Pizza Ranch. And we are going to Pizza Wanch because our church is doing a fundraiser night there to help raise funds for a missions trip that is going to Romania this summer.

Tuesday’s meal is One Pot Burrito bowl. I found this recipe from I Heart Nap Time. I’m just going to say this is amazing!! So easy to make too, and I can’t imagine it costs a lot to make, kind of one of those budget friendly meals.

Wednesday, pretty simple. Burgers and some red potatoes and green beans.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs on the docket for Thursday. I’ve posted a recipe for this way back.

Ok, so Friday, I couldn’t remember the actual name for this dish, I just call it Ramen thingy. Basically you throw in some ramen noodles, some meat of your choice, coleslaw mix, throw in some broccoli and some other random things and bam! Yummy food in your tummy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole on Saturday. We have a ton of ham that we shoved in the freezer from Easter and we’re using it up in this deliciousness of a meal. Yum.

Last but, certainly not least, M.N.S. Now some may catch on that, M.N.S. is mine and the mister’s initials, but that does not mean we are going to be eating ourselves, we are not cannibals. No we simply got this abbreviation for a very simple meal involving some type of meat (M), chicken, turkey, etc., some form of noodle (N), cavatappi, spaghetti, etc and some form of sauce (S), so it be spaghetti or alfredo, from my bestie.

So that’s our meal plan for the week. Whatcha havin’ at your house this week?

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No One Told Me

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Oh my goodness.

They never tell you that having three kids is hard work.

Seriously.

BAHHH!!

Don’t get me wrong. I love my little squishy guy,

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but I honestly don’t remember the sleepless nights and nap times, the constant attention they need, and the feeling like I never get anything done because I’m taking care of said baby and two other ones.

The other ones. I’m forgetting them. I feel bad for them. I homeschool, as you know, and this year for String Bean we’re using a computer program called Switched on Schoolhouse. Ugh. I hate this program. I’m sure it works for some families, but it’s not for us. More on that later.Anywho, I leave String Bean alone to deal with Turbo or Chunky Monkey and I find he’s messing around, or isn’t doing too great with his studies. I feel like I’m failing him as a teacher.

I feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do things. I have to get up, eat my breakfast –which I like eating and waking up on my own–get dressed, somewhat prepare myself for the day, get the kidlets dressed and fed and then start our homeschool day.

Somewhere during the day, I’m to make sure we have supplies for supper, thaw out meat for supper, clean, do dishes, and entertain the other two while String Bean is working. Oh, and feed them lunch too. That’s important.

But also somewhere during the day I want to do things for myself. Like crocheting (yep, took that up before little Chunky Monkey was born, so addictive), reading a book, coloring –yep you read that right, I color–and anything else. I haven’t even picked up my camera to take pictures of things. I joined a different photo challenge this year with a couple of my friends from church and have not taken a picture since February. February people. It’s almost May. I only use it to take monthly pictures of the Chunk-master. I think I’m going to make a goal for myself maybe starting next month and go to The Como Zoo and Conservatory and the Minneapolis area and just take pictures.

On, top of things that I want to do for funsies, there are things I probably should do for myself but, I hate it and I feel so discouraged when nothing changes when the scale doesn’t move in my favor.I know, I know, that number doesn’t define me, but when you can’t fit into your pants anymore, its a little upsetting. I’m trying though, except part of last week (was my birfday!!) and this week–I hate you allergies.

So I guess the point is, having a third little munchkin is hard work. I’m sure it’ll get better in time, but I just wanted to rant about it first. :) And to see if anyone still read this blog. :)

 

P.S. I revamped the blog, whaddya think?

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Updates and 2015

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This seems to be a reoccurring theme with my blog. Posting every 2-3 months (if that).

Well anyway. Here are some updates from me.

Some of you may remember that I was preggers with our 3rd little boy. Well, he decided to make an appearance in the wee hours of the morning on November 7th.

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Isn’t he stinkin’ cute?

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My really good friend Laura. Aww, heck she’s not my really good friend, she’s one of my besties :) took his newborn pictures and some family pictures for me. She does an absolute fantastic job that I had a hard time picking out what pictures I wanted to share with you because they’re all so good!
P.S. If you live in the Twin Cities area and are in need of a baby/family/children/Senior Picture photographer check her out, you won’t be disappointed :) Her business is called LBK Photography and she’s super duper sweet, amazing at her job and is a mama of three so she knows how to get the best shots of your little ones :).  Plus she’s silly just like me!

Let’s see here…

Oh, String Bean was in our church musical this year. It was called “A Play in a Manger” . Super cute musical. If you’ve seen Veggie Tales Star of Christmas or The Toy Who Saved Christmas..this is very similar.

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Turbo was also a part of the church Christmas musical this year too, except it was just the 4-5 year olds doing a little something special. Though my little guy didn’t want to sing. He just stood there sucking on his hand.

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Starting next year I’m going to try to make it an effort to start journaling daily. I got the idea from a blog I stumbled across this year. She started it in January of this year, since I want to start off with a fresh year of a new thing, I’m starting January 2015. I’ve already got me a sketch book, I have some colored pencils and some fancy schmancy pens to write with.  I’m going to try to update the blog every week with an overview of what I’ve written in my journal.

I’d be interested if you decide to journal with me!

Dotted Mug

Now that it’s officially November, its time to start thinking of Christmas presents right?

One way to save on some cash during the holiday seasons is to make your own gifts, that’s what I like to do at least :). More money saved on gifts is more money in my pocket!

For my birthday one of my besties gave me a super duper cute mug.

Love it.

I thought, hey, I could probably make something like this!

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See? Isn’t it cute? She doesn’t know me at all ;)

I found this cute idea for friends/family who either like coffee or hot cocoa or just like to collect mugs I guess.  You can even make it into a teacher gift if you’re into getting gifts for your kids’ teachers. Thankfully I’m not into that, oh wait…I am the teacher ;) .

To the project!

  • First you’ll need to gather your materials.
  • You’ll need a plain white mug or plain mug of your choice in color, though if you really want to use a colored one you can,  I used white because then you can use all pretty colors on it. I got mine at, wait for it….the Dollar Store. Yes. So if you’re making a ton of these for friends or teachers, good way to save right there.
  • Alphabet stickers
  • Oil based markers in colors you like, I would suggest getting fine point ones -I used Sharpie, though I’m sure there are other brands out there that do the same thing, and if you’re planning making a bunch of these with different colors, get a pack  if they come that way. You can get these at Michaels, Joann’s, Amazon or any craft store I’m sure.

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Next, you’ll want to put the first name initial of the person the mug is for on the mug.

 

 

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Then, grab the markers and start making dots around the sticker. You’ll want the dots that are closest to the sticker to be basically right on top of each other and then spread it out as you move away from the sticker.

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Like so —->

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You can use as many colors as you’d like, I used 3 , but you’ll do the same thing with the other colors until you like how it looks.

After you’ve dotted your mug, let the paint dry. I’d give it 10-15 minutes. Peel off the sticker and check out your masterpiece.

But you’re not done yet! You’ll want to heat up your oven to 350. Yup, you’re going to bake these bad boys. I put mine on a cookie sheet so it wouldn’t tip over easily. Throw them in the oven for 30 minutes and then let cool.

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Super duper easy huh? I thought so! I know what I’m doing for Christmas presents this year!! And if you’re super artistic you can draw pretty things like flowers or do something like the mug I have in the picture up there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Time No See??

Holey moley has it been a really really long time since I’ve posted anything.

Frankly, I’ve We’ve been a tad busy. Basically, Mr. Newman has been getting things ready for little mister #3.

Speaking of that, I have a month left. And I’m sooo ready to be done. Today I rearranged where my desk was and I had to get on my hands and knees to plug and unplug things. You know how difficult it is to do that when you’re 36 weeks pregnant? Very. I so wanted to lay on my stomach to do such things and of course I can’t!

Anyway. So, like I said, we’ve been working on getting things ready for little mister , and it’s basically taken all summer for us to work on. Well, not so much me  as it was Mr. N with some assistance from his helpers.

Here’s the breakdown of the projects he’s been working on this summer.

Well, first he finished the classroom (for the most part, finishing up the knee wall wood pieces, adding window trim) and moved all the stuff from upstairs to downstairs (sowwy, no pictures).

Once he was done with that he got to work painting the boys’ room (String Bean and Turbo). Before that he had fixed the boys’ beds. Not that they were broken or anything, he just modified them to make the head and the foot ends smaller so they didn’t take up the entire room…did I mention that we moved the boys from where they were when we moved in, into the old classroom? That room is just a tiny bit bigger than their other room.

 

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The original beds.

 

 

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Mr. N working on the ends of the bed

 

 

 

 

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The painting process took a little bit longer than it probably should have. The “paint” that was originally on the walls when we bought the house was either really chintzy paint or it was just colored primer. If there was a mark on the wall that could have been wiped away with normal paint, it couldn’t in our case. For instance, a month or so after we moved in, my youngest decided to take a white board marker and draw on the wall. Typical kid.  I tried to scrub it off but as I was doing so, it rubbed away whatever paint was there.

Also, you know those 3M command strips? Yeah, I used a few of them throughout the house for decorations and noticed the  first time I took one off that it ripped off part of the drywall..yeah, not cool. Needless to say, we had to putty up the “holes” left from the rips in the wall from the command strips and primer everything with these two rooms. I’m so not looking forward to the day when we paint the rest of the house.

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The finished product!

 

After that he started working on baby’s room. Now remember back in July I had a post about how we should paint the room? Well with some input from family and friends we decided on….

Option #1.

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Jakey helping Daddy tape the walls.

It was a bear for Mr. N to paint but he had some assistance from Turbo.

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Turbo imitating Daddy’s technique for getting paint on the roller.

 

Once the room was all painted we started adding in the furniture for it.

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Helping Daddy put the crib together
Helping Daddy put the crib together

Back in May my friend Jenn and I went curbside shopping and found a changing table someone had left out there for the garbage man to pick up. –Let me clarify we do not do this on a regular basis, it’s just that my town was doing one of those spring cleaning pick up days and everyone drives around town looking for stuff. So, we decided to partake in the fun.

Anyway, this changing table needed a little TLC and Mr. N gave it just that. Stripped it down and repainted it. It was missing a drawer or two and we decided it would be cheaper instead of making new ones we’d just make a shelf instead on the bottom for baskets! I love how it turned out. I loved how the entire room turned out. Well, really both rooms. :)

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We still need to add a few things for the baby and the boys’ room, like wall décor and different curtains but  it’ll happen in good time.

That was pretty much the project list for this summer that he completed, I know it doesn’t sound like much but when you really only have weekends to work on it and X amount of money to do said things, it takes up a lot of your time.

 

I Can’t Decide!!

Mr. Newman and I are getting ready to paint all of our boys’ rooms within the next month and I can’t decide what I want to do!

Our big boys String Bean and Turbo we have already decided what colors we’re doing and how its going to look, it’s Baby #3 I can’t decide what I want to do.

I have three options and I love them all but I just don’t know what to do!

I’ll show them to you and let me know what you think!

Option #1.

Light gray on all the walls, and then vertical stripes of blue and green halfway up the wall and possibly a chair rail (haven’t decided on this one)

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Option #2

Again, light gray on all the walls, but there will be two skinny horizontal  blue stripes above and below a fat green stripe.

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Option #3.

Light gray on all the walls, and then blue and green horizontal stripes on just the wall where the crib/bed will be.

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Mr. N’s favorite is the first one. Mine is the second. Like I said, I like all of them.

This is going to be tough.

:(

Turbo’s Birthday

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Today was my lil man’s birthday party.

He’s really into Batman and Lego’s, so I thought it would only be fitting for him to have a Lego Batman themed party to celebrate his 4th birthday.

Oy….he’s already four.

Anyway, he had a few of his little friends over today and I think they had a blast.

We had some yummy eats..I kind of had a little fun with this.

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I took characters from the Batman comics and made them part of the food part.

For example. ….

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Harley Quinn’s Sloppy Joes.

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After nummy food, we let Turbo open his presents.

 

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Turbo got a slip n slide from mommy and daddy, so we had the kids bring their swim suits to play with it, since it was pretty nice out today.

 

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And it wouldn’t be a birthday party without cake right? :)

 

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