Ryder Turns 6

I cannot believe my oldest child turned 6 years old last week; a celebration that seemed to have lasted for two whole weeks. To me, turning 6 seems like it will bring a whole new level of “firsts.”  No longer a baby boy, or toddler, Ryder is now considered a big kid, only a few years away from double digits. It makes me sad these precious childhood moments are racing past so quickly, but on the other hand, I had no idea that these past six years of being mom would be so incredibly amazing and life changing.

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Jason and I are stuck with winter birthdays, so we are lucky to have two babies with summer birthdays. It’s great to have the option to celebrate outdoors, and enjoy the warm summer weather. For the past two years, Ryder has had his party at an amusement park named Adventurer’s Park, which most of you will remember it was called Nelly Bly, when we were growing up. He begged us to have the party there again this year, but its Brooklyn location is not conducive to our friends and family trekking in from Westchester and Manhattan, so we opted for another one of his favs, Victorian Gardens. Located in the heart of Central Park, and every ride at Victoria Gardens is perfect for my pint size little dude and his friends.

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Since the party was on a Friday and his real birthday fell on Wednesday, I let Ryder plan out all the events on his actual birthday, which is his absolute favorite thing to do. He loves planning the day, because he feels like he’s in charge. Originally, we had planned to head to the beach, but last minute, he decided on the Coney Island Aquarium. We went with it, and on the way, we stopped at the Nathans Famous for some hot dogs, a treat for them, and of course, we played some games on the boardwalk.  Inside the aquarium, we explored the exhibits and even caught a sea lion, the girls had a blast as well, especially Gemma. And we topped off the day with some L&B Spumoni Gardens (if you’ve never been I highly recommend).

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Ryder was completely stoked about his Star Wars themed party at Victorian Gardens, and Friday couldn’t come quick enough. He was in his element with his favorite friends, and ready to conquer every ride. He loves the rides, and he’s grown quite fearless of them, as he no longer needs us to go along with him.  An early morning sprinkle and light cloud cover kept the park fairly empty, allowing the kids to practically have the rides all to themselves.

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I made Star Wars cupcakes for the party, and picked up a ton of themed party decor, including a Darth Vadar piñata that we filled with candy and games. The light saber favors acted as the perfect stick for knocking it down. The best part of the party was that we weren’t rushed and the kids were even able to go back on the rides after they ate and had cupcakes, making it a fun filled day.

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and this happened too….

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Overall, it was two perfect days spent as an entire family, and I was so thankful that Jason was around for all of it. The weather was on our side, and these two days will probably go down as the best of the summer.

Happy 6th birthday my sweet boy ~ Love Mommy

Having Fun With School Lunch

One of my morning obsessions over the last two years has been getting super creative when making Ryder’s school lunch. He has been using a PlanetBox lunchbox since he is in preschool, and this year, Siella will being starting to take lunch. My favorite features are their stainless steel, non-plastic construction, and the pint size compartments that encourage me to be innovative by offering him a variety of foods daily. PlanetBox is the smart lunchbox that guides you in packing a well-balanced meal quickly and easily.

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One of my inspirations over the last year has been Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious Lunches cookbook. She uses PlanetBox to showcase what she’s packing in her children’s camp and school lunch. I love the healthy options she creates, and I try to mimic them for my kids. In the spirit of getting ready for school to kick off this week, I’ve recreated a few of Ryder’s favorite lunches from last year, in hopes of getting your creative juices flowing, so you won’t end up in a school lunch funk.

Day 1:

Almond Butter & Jelly sandwich – Dolphin cut out

Carrots & Celery

Mixed Berries

Pretzels

Annies Bunnies

Day: 2

Turkey, Cheese, Cherry Tomato rollups

Apple Slices

Celery & Carrot sticks

Cheddar Bunnies

Dried Strawberries

Day 3:

Chicken & Cheese sandwich (shaped as ghost)

Edamame

Grapes

Annies Bunnies

Day 4:

Hummas & Cheese Sandwich with shredded veggies

Tomato & Cukes mix

Berries

Graham Crackers

Mini cupcake

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New this year, you have the option to make your PlanetBox truly unique! Design personalized magnets by uploading your own pictures, adding text and selecting background color. For Siella’s first year of having to bring her own lunch, I thought it would be fun to make a PlanetBox that was an homage to her favorite activity- ballet class.

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I loved when Ryder would come home from school each day, and told me how much he loved his lunch, and I hope you can get the same gratitude in making lunch for your little ones. Instead of making school lunch preparation a chore, turn it into your creative outlet.  Happy back to school!

 

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