Declan's birthday week

We had an awesome week celebrating Declan's third birthday. The girls had off school that day, so we headed up to the aquarium. We saw the dolphin show and the new jellyfish exhibit. Here's a look:

The kids had a blast. Declan's favorite was the sharks (of course!) and Jay and I are now obsessed with jellyfish and want to have them in our house!

Then Friday, I brought in cookie monster cupcakes for Declan's class. They were actually pretty easy to make! Here they are:

Then, we had some family over on Sunday for a little party. I attempted to make the monster cake and I will say that it was much harder than I thought. I think I got a little too confident after the cupcakes turned out so well. I had a really hard time getting the buttercream icing I made, to stick to the cake, so I ended up switching to store- bought halfway through(hence the color change around the middle). I also simplified the cake pops, by just making them orange and using candy eyeballs. And, I used chocolate chips to make a smile, because I wasn't sure how she made the smile on hers. It turned out pretty cute, no where near the amazing-ness of the original. See for yourself!

But Declan loved it! And that's all that really matters.

Other highlights from the week included:

Emerson dressed as a spy for career day:

The kids going out to play in the 1/4" of snow we got:

Finlay accessorizing:

Ava's clay iguanodon for school:

And a little clay message for me:

Tomorrow is February! Rabbit Rabbit!

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


cookie monster cupcakes..... sure, why not?

This week is going to be a little crazy with all of the birthday festivities around here. Wednesday is Declan's actual birthday. Friday, he's celebrating at school (he only goes on Friday mornings!), and Sunday the grandparents are coming to celebrate. The girls randomly have off school Wednesday, so we're thinking of taking everyone to the aquarium or the children's museum. I keep trying to ask Declan what he wants for his birthday dinner, but all he'll say is "CAKE"! I asked what he wanted to eat before the cake and he said, "milk". I couldn't really argue with that, so I guess I'll come up with something.

I asked him what he wanted to take in to celebrate with his class and he said cookie monster cupcakes. (Yes, I realize it would be a lot easier if I stopped asking him what he wants!) I was going to try to find cookie monster cupcakes at the grocery store. But then I stumbled upon this (on Pinterest):

I followed the link to the blog Bird On A Cake, where she gives really good and seemingly easy instructions on how to make them. I'm trying to ignore the fact that the blog has the word cake in the title and she's probably a trained pastry chef. But, I've already bought that icing tip for the monster cake anyway, so I figure I'll give it a shot.


a birthday present in disquise

For the past few months, Declan's been waking up obnoxiously early. At first, he would come in our room and crawl in bed with us around 6, maybe 6:30am. Then he started going in the girls' room and waking them up around 6 (a full 55 minutes before their alarm goes off!). He would play with their toys or turn their radio up really loud. Every morning it's different. Sometimes, he sneaks in our room, takes my phone off the nightstand (which is my alarm, by the way) and takes it into our bathroom and plays on it. Until recently, the gate at the top of the stairs kept him upstairs. Well, now he has learned to climb over it (thanks to his older sisters), even in the dark. So, the gate which once was a safety feature, is now a death trap, as he is launching himself over it. At the top of the stairs. In the dark. The other morning, I heard him stirring around 5:15 am. I found him sitting downstairs, on the couch, in the dark, watching Diego on Netflix, on my iPad. There was also the morning I came downstairs to find four sticky popsicle wrappers on the kitchen floor. We have the security alarm set, so we'd know if he tried to open one of the doors. But still, the idea of him wandering around the house before we wake up, makes me more than a little nervous. I've tried taking things away when he comes out of his room before we come and get him. I've tried offering incentives. Jay even tried reasoning with him, but the "Sprinkels don't wake up early" argument isn't really getting through to him. I've thought of tying bells to his door knob, so at least I would wake up if he opens the door. The problem is, it would also wake up Finlay. I thought of telling him about the monster that only likes kids who wake up too early and then renting a Chewbacca costume and camping out outside his door. But he does really enjoy monsters, so that probably wouldn't work either. Also, it could go the other way and traumatize him for life. And that would be bad. You're probably wondering where I come up these ideas, but at 5 am, when all you want is another hour and a half of sleep, they totally make sense!

So, I've been doing some research on toddler alarm clocks. I'm thinking of giving him one for his birthday! Basically they are little clocks that illuminate when it's OK for your toddler to leave their room. The parent sets whatever time they choose and it's supposed to train them to sleep. Here are a few I found:

1. The Kid'Sleep Classic- ($39.99 on Amazon). The bottom bunny in bed stays illuminated all night until, in the morning it switches to the daytime bunny on his way to school. It got pretty good reviews. Most people complained about the fact that it had to be plugged in (no batteries) and it took a long time to set up.2. The OK to Wake! Owl with night-light and music- ($25.93 on Amazon). This one is more of a toy. They can cuddle with it and it's face glows green when it's time to wake up. It's kind of like a glow-worm baby with an alarm clock. The portable option of this one might work for some families, but I feel like it would get lost or he wouldn't remember to check inside his covers to see if this stuffed owl's face was glowing. But it is really cute!

3. The BabyZoo Alarm Clock for Children- ($39.99 on Amazon). This one is an actual clock, which I like. I feel like it has more longevity that way. He can practice learning to tell time once he's done needing the sleep-training part. You just set the clock and then the monkey's eyes open when it's OK for him to get up.

4. The Good Nite Lite- ($34.99 on Amazon). This one got really good reviews. It's simple, but apparently does the job. It changes from a moon at nighttime to a sun when it's time to wake up. It plugs into an outlet and doubles as a night light.

5. The OK to Wake! Children's Alarm Clock- ($25.46 on Amazon). This one is by the same company that makes the owl one, but it is more of a clock. It tells time and glows green at wake up time. Plus, it has interchangeable face plates, pink flower or green bug. Reviewers complained the nightlight wasn't very bright, it couldn't be plugged in, and the controls were easy for a child to change.

Based on the reviews, I'm thinking of going with the Good Nite Lite. I'm going to do a little more research. I'll let you know which one we go with, and more importantly, if it works!

My little monster's turning 3!

Declan's birthday is next week and I can honestly say, I have done almost nothing to prepare for it. No Wild Things party like his 1st birthday and no Dinosaur party like his 2nd. This year we're just doing super low key party with the grandparents. Although, in my head I realize that not throwing an elaborate party for a three year old is perfectly acceptable, I can't help but feeling a little guilty. So, of course I'm bound to overcompensate somewhere else. I decided I would go all out on his cake or cupcakes, whichever he decided on. He said he wanted a monster cake. Actually it was more like "ma-monst cake". He's not really big on enunciating. He's more of a grunt and point kind of guy, which maybe explains his affinity for monsters. I searched "monster cake" on Pinterest and found this:

It might be the greatest cake I've ever seen and I have zero idea how to make it. It was created by Jen Atkins (read her blog here) I went to Michael's and bought the icing tip she used to make the hair, orange icing coloring, and stuff for the cake pop eyes. I'm super excited/nervous. Hopefully it will turn out cute! As long as Declan thinks it looks like a monster, we'll be good! Perhaps showing him the picture was a mistake. I should have kept his expectations low! :) I'll post about how the cake makin' goes! Wish me luck! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Sick day

We have had 3 sick Sprinkel babies this week. Although, I hate more than anything to see them sick, I am kind of liking being on lockdown. The house is clean, the laundry is caught up, and everyone is being extra cuddly! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


here's what you missed...

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted. My only defense is that preparing for Christmas for four kids is a bit of an undertaking. But it's all over, like a fuzzy dream you're not quite sure you had. So here's my December in review:

we made gingerbread people

we took our Christmas card picture

we celebrated my birthday at home

and then out for a fancy dinner with friends

we made Christmas crafts at the girls' school

and visited with Santa

we saw the Nutcracker

we made a gingerbread house (which promptly fell apart)

we went to Jay's office party

the girls were in the live nativity for Christmas Eve mass

we were really excited on Christmas morning

well....most of us!

we played with our new toys

and we rang in the new year!

Happy New Year Everyone! I have a good feeling about this one!