diy birthday stats boards

So I made these birthday stats boards for my nieces (both born the same day!) for their first birthday parties (too soon!). The mothers provided the gear and I provided the penmanship. They got poster board from Hobby Lobby for $5.99 and Tree House Studio paint markers for approximately $3. 

I started out by sketching a rough draft on paper with all their stats. Then I more carefully sketched it out in pencil on the foam board. Gently, you don't want to leave indentations. I used a ruler for the lines of course, because this girl cannot draw a straight line to save her life. And then I started tracing with the paint marker. The white seemed to soak in to the board so I had to do three "coats" of the white. The pink was slightly less needy, requiring only two coats. The gold was like hello!!!

I'm really happy with how they turned out! And such a fun keepsake for the mamas on their baby girl's first birthday!!! And it keeps! Unlike my chalkboard walls.


letty's early birthday party

Letty's actual fifth birthday falls on the day that we will be driving to Maine for a big giant family vacation... so her party had to come before that. There are three August birthdays in my side of the family alone between the 2-4 (and three on the Olsen side as well come to think of it) so it's a busy busy birthday havin' month! Hence Letty's party being last Saturday, themed with her My Little Pony love. 

Our friends and family came over for a pasta bar concocted by Chef Matteo himself, present opening, cake and singing. Babies were passed around and it was just the noisy typical gathering. Letty got some amazing gifts, some of which she had been (not so) patiently waiting for forever. A Merida dress, one of those creepy My Little Pony half human half pony things, Polly Pocket, a princess cook book, various My Little Pony swag including her cute outfit, Frozen Legos, Frozen Fever Anna doll, and that cute Elsa dress you can see her wearing towards the end of the night. And thank you to those who contributed to her college fund/Dutch Wonderland 2016 fund! We thank you all for your generosity and just how much you have loved our little Letteria for the past five years! She is so lucky to have all of you!

The bounce house eventually made an appearance after the cake which is also the time that three of Letty's little friends from preschool came over and just lit up her world. She misses those kids and it is sort of adorable. And let me just say that little babies in a bounce house is just about the most adorable/funniest thing ever. Sydney's tears mixed with Lena's general goof-ability is about the best thing. The bigger kids played long and hard, inside and out and all about till about 11 o'clock (!). I was more tired than any of them!

It only took me two hours to clean all the grass and sand and the like from my first floor the next day. So I would say that would deem the party a success?


summer must-haves with kids

Summer is a glorious time, full of  day long activities, sun,  playing hard, and late bedtimes.   I was a little unsure what this first summer with three children would hold for me, but like most things it was worse in my head than in reality.  Here are some things that I just couldn't live without. You know, if you were on a deserted island what nine things would you need to survive with your children. Besides water, food  and shelter of course.  
1//babyganics mineral-based sunscreen spray. I obsessively went through the EWG's top rated sunscreens and found "the one" for us, but I've recently broken a little rule of mine and changed it out to the spray. I found that when I used the sprays I would apply more often than using just lotion because kids be antsy. My dermatologist agreed. 2//charlie banana reusable swim diapers. I have no idea why I didn't know about these sooner! All those years of buying disposables when I didn't have to! It's been a dream this summer for us all. 3//merona verticle buckles backpack. I repeat, where have these things been all my life? It's so much easier to just throw a few essentials into a backpack and be hands free rather than carting around my enormo diaper bag. 4//boba wrap. I never did the wrap thing with the older two and boy was I missing out. I looooove having my hands free and I looooove being stroller free! 5//kid's electro ii clog. My children are quite literally never not in their crocs. Pretty much it's been their footwear of choice since they could walk. They can put them on themselves (huge!) and they clean up real quicklike! 6//puddlejumper. Letty used this for one summer and it was magic, until she decided she wouldn't wear vests of any kind. David has been rocking it all summer long and I love it most ardently. He swims all over in the thing. 7//beeritas. These things are so tasty and it is dangerous. 8//summer escapes inflatable 10' pool. For this price I wouldn't care if it was disposable we use it so much. And it isn't disposable, it's our second summer. It's the perfect size for the little legs. Letty can swim, David floats and Dominic walks around in his float like he owns the joint, which if we are being honest, he does. 9//native american nutritionals lavender essential oil. After running around like banchees all day long there is always something wonderful about clean kids climbing into their beds. I made up a linen spray and it just adds such a calming effect to us all.


for him or for herr, it's a good tour.

People fall in to two categories in life. Those that find factory tours informative and, dare I say, fun. And those that find the idea right alongside say, a root canal. We fall into the first group. And our Fitzs do as well. Last summer Kerri and I took the kids to Utz. And this summer it is on to Herr's! The facility is about an hour away from us through Amish country and over hill and dale. And free of course! Yay! 

We planned ahead and registered for a tour slot, and ended up being in the Jalepeno group. Ole! We watched a short video about the company's history (corny but still kinda cool) and then we toured the factory. We saw where the potatoes come in, how corn chips were made, and got to taste chips HOT off the line. Literally. They have got quite the production there. And those chips on the floor scattered all over? They get ground up and fed to cows down the road. How about it!?

The tour ended with two free bags of chips each and a little wander through their shop. We now have far too many chips in our pantry than my waistline prefers. But so tasty!!

I'm already plotting our next tour!