Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Baby No More!

It is still hard to believe that my baby, my tiny man, will no longer be a baby in just a couple short weeks! Seriously?!? He's not so tiny anymore... :'(

It feels like just yesterday that I was a newlywed (and we're coming up on 7 years for that in a couple of weeks too...for real?!?), but I will soon be mom to a preschooler and a toddler! Wow. It's been a crazy ride, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my little guys so much and watching them interact more and more every day still amazes me, even if they drive me crazy some days. ;) While it's no secret that I still long for a little girl (hubby insists I can't put dresses on the boys and paint their toenails, so yes, I really need a daughter), I love having two little guys who can be best friends and brothers, which includes playing This Little Piggy with each other...

Ethan's version is the best: "This little piggy goes to Walmart. This little piggy eats PB&J and trail mix. This little piggy has a doggy. This little piggy has a race car. This little piggy says, 'Wah, wah, wah, I want my Mommy!" haha! Love it, despite the dreaded Walmart reference. He knows he gets race cars when we go there (they're normally cheapest there at 88 cents/car now!), hence his love for the Walmart. As you can see, "fake doggy" and race cars (his two favorite toys) are never out of reach! His two favorite food items also get their reference, and then of course, Mommy is his favorite! ;) hehe.

With Noah's 1st birthday quickly approaching, I needed to get his birthday party invitations mailed out to the family. I held off as long as possible, waiting to see what our house situation would be (more about that soon)! We are hoping to be in the house for the party (with a projected closing date of next Monday!), so I'm hoping that I didn't jinx us by putting that address on the invites!!

After much thought, I decided that a Very Hungry Caterpillar party would be both fun and appropriate for "Mr. Noah." I have called him that a few times and it has quickly caught on with Ethan. ;) Our tiny man can't get enough to eat and attacks his meals with a fervor that Ethan has never possessed, thus our hungry caterpillar was born! :) Thanks to Pinterest this year, I was ambitious with my invite design after finding this one. Yep, not only does Pinterest now suck me in for hours at a time of browsing and pinning, I am starting to actually implement some of the pins in my "spare" time. ;) As it turns out, making actual hungry caterpillars is a lot of work!! So, half of the invitees received those, while the other half received a more traditional invite.

For the body of the caterpillars, I designed the information part on the computer, with Adobe InDesign. Since I was using 3 circles, I thought it might be fun for them to also spell out "ONE." While it is subtle with the cutouts, it would be something easy to do for a one- or two-year-old's party. The info on the invite takes up the front and back of the caterpillar, for a total of six sides. So, I decided to use a pic of him from every other month. Since I take a pic of him every month with the same onesie and background, it is a great way to see how he has changed over the past year. With the addition of a cute rhyme, that easy part was complete. Those circles were printed on plain white cardstock, then trimmed by hand. Then came the "fun" part, cutting out the red and green circles. Lots of circles. I designed the "ONE" circles as 4" circles, so I made the green body circles as 5" circles (and glued them together), which would allow the invite to fit into a 5-3/4" x 8" envelope. After days of cutting circles (I am so not kidding here), that part was complete. Then came assembly time. I decided to attach the circles to each other with eyelet rivets, so the invite could be compacted easily for shipping purposes. It simply slides back open to reveal the caterpillar. :) Eyes and noses required more cutting. I was beginning to become weary at the mere sight of my scissors. :( Those were also glued into place on the head. To finish it off, I punched tiny holes to attach pipe cleaner legs and antennae. Whew. After completing 12 of them, I decided an easier invite would suffice for the rest, as the clock was ticking away and I wanted to get them in the mail!

For the "traditional" invite, I used Adobe InDesign again, and pasted the caterpillar in, then put the same six pics of Noah on top of it. I added in the words, then printed those out on white cardstock. I wanted to make them a little fancier, so I cut green backgrounds from cardstock and attached the two to each other with more of the eyelet rivets. Much faster using my paper cutter for nice straight cuts. Piece of cake compared to the caterpillars! I also designed coordinating return address labels to follow the theme.

Big sigh of relief once those were completed and I dropped them off at the post office! The caterpillar invites required extra postage since they had to be hand stamped, but the others shipped for the normal price of a stamp. Now I need to start on the decorations and other party ideas. Thankfully, I have Pinterest to help me with that too. ;) Though it involves a lot of work and late nights, I love party planning for the boys! Someday, if my friend Sheela and I live in the same city again, we'll start our party/wedding planning business! ;) I know Noah won't remember his Hungry Caterpillar party, but hopefully he'll look back at the pictures some day and see how much fun everyone had at his party. More pics of that to come in a few weeks!

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