All photos in this post were taken with our new point & shoot camera, the Canon G7x Mark II. We needed a compact camera that could pack a punch for convenient, fast shooting without the worry of carting around "the big guns". We're still learning about this little guy but so far we are impressed!
Yesterday we celebrated Jasper's 2nd birthday a few days early at my sister's house. He's totally into choo-choos right now so that was the loose theme of the party. We kept things super simple, but cute, and he had an absolute blast. It was fun seeing him be aware of things and interact during the party compared to how much of a "baby" he still was at his first birthday party.
Oh, and of course Baby Girl was there, 35 weeks in the oven!
Mylar Thomas the Train balloons from Party City.
Simple streamers and a package of assorted balloons that Amy inflated using her helium tank and floated up to the ceiling.
Thomas the Train centerpiece from Party City. I received a question about why it says "1" when this was a 2nd birthday party: Thomas the Train's number on his engine is 1!
Jumbo Happy Birthday banner from Party City.
Selfie time! We try to be in the photos as often as we can, even if it's just sticking our arm out for a casual selfie. We appreciate having those photos years after events have happened and we only have the memories left.
I made the cake myself and it was a labor of love, time consuming but very simple in concept and execution.
I didn't save time, but I sure saved some money! I may put up a blog post about what I did and how I did it, if anyone is interested, though I am certainly no professional cake decorator by any stretch of the imagination.
The cake table was kept simple as well. I crumpled up some brown paper bags, crudely wrote 'COAL' on them, and filled them with Cocoa Krispies treats made with crushed Oreos.
I found the recipe for the cereal treats from Mallow and Co. - they were really tasty! The only thing I changed was using chocolate cream Oreos instead of regular so there would be less white showing, and I also didn't use much black food coloring and settled for my treats being brown. I think too much black coloring just tastes icky!
How about the food? Amy cooked up a huge pot of homemade chili and we ate it with shredded cheese and crackers. No fancy serving dishes here, everyone just scooped right out of the pot and we had ourselves a hearty and filling meal perfect for fall. Jasper loves any kind of "soup" right now so he gobbled every bite of his serving!
To go with the chili, I made some classic baked ham and swiss sliders using this recipe from Just A Pinch. You can never go wrong with these things... they disappear out of the pans faster than you can say hokey pokey.
I also picked up a veggie tray from a grocery store with an included ranch dip. Done and done. I have no shame. (Unpictured: my mom brought a delicious homemade Spinach dip that was quickly devoured)
Jasper says, "Let's get this party started!"
Okay not really, he was actually flapping his arms and fussing because his balloon floated up away from him.
Playing with the balloons ("bulls") was a highlight of his day.
He was especially intrigued by the ones floating on the ceiling. I mean, just how did they get up there?
Look Mama, it's a "boo" balloon!
Yeah he basically played with balloons for a good part of the day.
But he looked so darn cute doing it.
Saay... I see a couple of choo-choos up there on that table.
No one seems to be looking... maybe I can swipe one.
Oh! Umm... hi, Mama.
So, I see that there are some choo-choos up there and was wondering if I could play with one... or both.
I have to wait until AFTER we cut the cake? No fair!
After everyone ate it was present time!
The last time Jasper received wrapped presents was last Christmas and he still didn't quite understand what to do, but he did just a little better this time around.
I had to unwrap most of his things, but when he saw that there were treasures hidden INSIDE of the paper and gift bag, he got a little more interested.
My parents, Nana and Papa, gave him a Little People camper and since he has really enjoyed our camping trips this summer he was ALL over that thing.
We couldn't even get his attention on unwrapping the rest of his presents!
Papa showed him how to operate some of the pieces while Ron Weasley creeped in the background.
He did love his other presents too after the camper "took a break" in the other room.
A Magna Doodle! I'm so happy they even still make these things. This one even has magnet stamps shaped like animals and a soft cushion on the bottom so he can use it on his lap comfortably.
Always gotta be polite and read the card first!
Some new construction vehicles from aunt Sherida and uncle Kevin. He even started saying "bulldozer" (bull doh duh).
Kevin and Sherida.
I may have already mentioned his infatuation with the entire VTech Go! Go! SmartWheels line of toys, so when he opened this TRAIN TRACK set from Aunt Amy, he was pretty excited (he's been playing with it in our den all morning!)
His "big present" from Matt and I was a Schwinn Roadster tricycle. We spent over a month trying to decide on the perfect tricycle for him, and this ended up being the one. It is, in a word, awesome. I'll talk more about it in an upcoming post, because we are both crazy in love with it (not sponsored!)
After presents it was time to cut the cake, and he finally got to play with those choo-choos!
Yeah I'm good, you guys go ahead with whatever you're doing.
After singing and getting some help from Nana with blowing out his candle, he dove into his dessert. I made the cake chocolate with fudge buttercream filling and marshmallow creme frosting. Boy loves chocolate!!
He's recently started licking his fingers clean when eating something messy and we think it's so cute.
After cake he was finally able to play without anyone hassling him to do any other "scheduled" birthday party stuff.
Taking his camper into the wilderness with uncle Kevin.
Playing on the floor with Mama.
Getting some Aunt Amy cuddles.
No, I'm not tickling him to get him to smile. Nope, not me, how dare you accuse me of such a thing!
Hey, it's a trick that works!
Jasper had a perfect day, and in a few days we will officially have a two year-old! That's crazy!