Archive for the 'Birthdays' Category

Pirate PARRRty For My Little Matey!

It’s a pirate theme for Ollie’s 3rd birthday! Once again, Auntie Coco will be baking the custom cake – can’t wait! Here are a few things we’ve stocked up on …

Top row: Pirate garland/flags, booty chest goodie box and action figures (temp tattoos, eye patches, etc.) for goodie box.

Second row: Buried treasure cake with lots of booty, pirate hats (and accessories) and foam swords.

Third row: Pop-Up Pirate game (by Tomy); skull sweater from Target and lots of doubloons!

Playing Catch Up

Hi! Remember moi? I’ve been pretty busy over here with the dayjob, but rest assured, I have lots of blog ideas for February. Before I can move on, I have to catch you up on what’s been going on in Ollieland. So here’s a pictorial review:

First Show – We went to see The Boogers (“Ramones meets Mother Goose”) at Schubas in January. I wish I could say we stayed for the entire set, but Ollie was a little sensitive to the noise (he wasn’t the only one). But we had a great time anyway, scored a t-shirt and had all the tater tots we could snarf next door at Harmony Grill. I highly recommend checking out The Boogers, especially if you’re a punk rock parent like me. After the show, we headed across the street to Uncle Fun, one of my favorite shops in Chicago – full of curios, tchotchkes, pranks, toys and books. Our haul included a Homies lunchbox (for Kate), a pooping pig (Ollie is quite smitten with this), wind-up chattering teeth and two plastic double-finger rings for me.

Terrific Twos – The rock star 2nd birthday party was a blast. Auntie Coco knocked the record cake out of the park as predicted. Great pizzas from Nick’s.




Baby’s First Blizzard – We had two super snow days after Mother Nature dumped almost two feet of snow on the Chicago area. Ollie could not get enough of snowball throwing and climbing the drifts.  We couldn’t get enough of him being naturally cute with his rosy cheeks and nose. Another item of note, we were all thankfully shoveled out in time for a weekend playdate with Judys – Ollz made a great new friend, Mylo.




Going for a Spin – Ollie’s vintage Fisher-Price record player finally came. It’s pretty fantastic. He’s a bit small to play it himself, but we enjoyed “The Fox and the Hound” on vinyl – and I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of it – old 45s sound wonderfully tinny and crackly. Also for his b-day Auntie Coco got him the retro record player toy that he has manhandled to the point that it half works. We have fun singing oldies like “Camptown Races” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” How bad is it that the Andrew Dice Clay versions of some of these nursery rhymes are the ones I remember best?


Famous Babe – Ollie’s mug was featured on the homepage of to promote local snowbaby pics in the site’s photo gallery. After the blizzard, they used it again to encourage parents to send blizzard baby pics. This is validation that we’re not too biased – Ollie is unarguably cute.

This Birthday’s Gonna Rock

Brainstorming some ideas for Ollie’s big 2nd birthday par-tay. I suppose we should be doing a Thomas theme or something, but once again we have to be all non-traditional (at least until he starts pitching ideas – when does that happen? Three?).

So for this year’s shindig, we’re gonna rock out. The party store apparently has some cool guitar and vinyl record decor and I’m pretty stoked to outfit Ollie in a western shirt. My cake boss sister is dreaming up a record-themed cake and today found Ollie a vintage portable children’s record player (pictured). He had to have it. HAD TO.

My Big Boy is TWO!

Tomorrow is my son Ollie’s 2nd birthday! So many milestones – climbing stairs, walking, first haircut and tons of new words and tricks. Here’s a photo album of the past year:

Cool Stuff for the Kid Who Has Everything

I can’t think of a single thing my 21-month-old needs (well, except for some diapers – I have about four left. It’s noted on a Post-It somewhere at the bottom of my purse).

He has toys in his closet form last Christmas and his January birthday earlier this year that haven’t even been opened yet. He’s been sick for the past few days, so I tried cheering him up by breaking open Mr. Potato Head he got for his birthday, but I think he was a little freaked out and feeling too icky to appreciate this classic spud’s fun extremities and accessories.

My mother-in-law took us on a Kohl’s shopping extravaganza in August (she had mad coupons and they were having a crazy-awesome sale), so he has clothes to last him well into next fall.

So what do you get a kid who has – not to sound cliche – but everything?!

Oh, don’t worry. If you’re in the same boat, I’ve got you covered!

Wish list collage for Ollie. Amature design by me.


  • Michael Ian Black books. I follow comedian MIB on Twitter – he’s seriously demented and hilarious – my two favorite characteristics in a person. Even better, he’s a children’s book author with three titles: “Chicken Cheeks”, “The Purple Kangaroo” and “A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea.” Who knew? Do you have a favorite actor or comedian who also writes children’s books?
  • Any book with Oliver in the title. “Oliver” (by Syd Hoff), “Oliver Finds His Way” and “Oliver Who Would Not Sleep ” – they are all different books by different authors. One character is an elephant, one is a bear and one is a boy. I’m sure there are more! I already have a book about Oliver the owl, so these titles would help round out the Oliver collection. See if there are books named after your little one – or make your own!
  • Jumping Beans Li’l Sierra Sandals. A boy my son goes to daycare with wore these all summer and I finally asked his mom where she got them. I searched and searched the Kohl’s site and elsewhere and could neither find them or something similar (that’s what you get for waiting all season). Thankfully, I stumbled back across my Kohl’s bookmark the other day and they came up as available – and on sale! Can’t beat it. I’m buying two pairs!
  • Potty Chair. Wow, potty chairs have come a LONG way with a spectrum of prices, colors and themes. There’s actually a princess chair that looks like a throne with a picture frame on the back of the seat. Really?! I’m going to have to investigate this a little more, but the simple white BabyBjorn chair at $30 seems reasonable. What do you think? Who much did you/would you spend on a training toilet?
  • Weebles! My sisters and I loved Weebles when we were little. My family always jokes around about how upon seeing them when she was little, my oldest sister quipped “No hands, no feet!” It’s nice to see a new generation has the opportunity to wobble Weebles. Do you remember these tiny egg-shaped dudes?
  • Racetrack. I’m sure any brand and style would do. My kid loves his race cars, monster trucks, dump trucks and excavators. I think it’s time he gets to race them.
  • Bead Maze. My son sat and played with his cousin’s bead maze for probably a half hour straight at a recent family gathering (read: a half hour I could sit on my duff not chasing him around!). Circo (Target) makes a nice one for $16. Is there one toy that totally captures your kid’s attention?


  • Evgie ABCs. I’ve featured these before in my blog. I just think they’re kind of adorbs. I bought foam rubber bath time ABCs and 123s from Target that ran me about $6 and Ollie LUH-oves them. But I still can’t get these handmade softies out of my head. Actually, I adore everything on Evgie’s site. Go Canadian crafters!
  • Ryan Heshka’s “ABC Spookshow (book). The eerie, pop-art illustrations are right up our alleys. Hope Ollie can appreciate them someday. Do you think the art is too gory for children?
  • The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.” What’s not to love, right? Or am I totally twisted?!

Can you think of anything else a toddler boy absolutely needs (or would at least love to have)?!

Ollie’s 1st Birthday Party – Ninja Style!

Ninja Party!

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