Our Baby Sprinkle at the Beach

Last weekend, we celebrated baby Thatcher with a beautiful baby sprinkle at one of our favorite places…the beach! While life is beginning to feel a bit normal, we still wanted to be safe and have a really small outdoor celebration. The pandemic has really changed how we celebrate things, but in this case, having a beach picnic was the perfect way to celebrate our rainbow baby.

There are lots of amazing picnic businesses that will setup a picnic for you, but we decided to do it ourselves! My mother-in-law and mom did a great job creating a beautiful beach-themed picnic setup. I wanted to share some of the details over on here so I can remember it and also, hopefully it can give you some inspiration if you are planning a similar type of event!

The Table

Finding good tables seemed to be the biggest challenge for us. Since there is a high demand right now, smaller picnic/beach tables are really pricey and very small. My husband had the idea to use wood palettes and it was the perfect solution. He found a place near us called A&I Pallets and they sold each one for just $6. We needed just 4 of them and Lance stacked two together and nailed a flat piece of wood to create the perfect table size.

The table was mostly decorated by pieces gathered by mother-in-law. The blues, whites, and tan colors all went so nicely together! She also brought lots of plants and flowers that really helped the table come to life!

For seating, she brought lots of blankets that we also put large pillows over. This helped keep things a bit less sandy! We also brought some extra beach chair for more seating.

The Food

We ordered from one of my favorite sandwich and salad places, Mendocino Farms. My brought an E-Z Up Tent for all the food and drinks, which helped with shade since it was a beautiful, sunny day! Along with yummy sandwiches, salads, and fruit; my sister picked up cute cupcakes from one of our favorite bakeries, Susie Cakes. My mother-in-law even made some ocean-themed sugar cookies that turned out super cute.

The Favors

For favors, there were cute little succulents in these pretty ceramics and little hand sanitizers. I loved the way the succulents were also a perfect decoration for the table.

It was a really special day spent with mostly family and a few close friends! My heart felt very full after and I felt thankful to be celebrated in such a beautiful place that means so much to our family. I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but last summer when we were walking through miscarriage, the beach was our place of healing. It felt especially special to be back on the beach and this time celebrating our rainbow baby.

Oh! And one other detail from this sprinkle that was similar to my baby shower with Hudson is that my mom ordered these quilt squares from Etsy. All the guests were able to write a message to baby Thatcher. My mom will send back all the squares and the seller on Etsy will then make it into a quilt! Hudson’s quilt is still always on his bed. It is a great keepsake and a fun and lasting way to remember the people that made the day special.

Tot School: A-Z Bundle Curriculum

I have been SO busy creating curriculum over at Teaching Toddler Mama that I have not had time to create posts sharing about all the fun ABC learning we have been doing! I have missed writing on here as much, so my hope is that I will begin to have (a bit) more time to write over in this space! Things are about to get busier with our new baby less than 3 weeks from making his debut, but I really hope to prioritize creating space to write.

But before I delve back into consistently posting on here, I want to share the project I have spent the last 9 months working on! The Alphabet Toddler Curriculum. I have created a 26-week curriculum that is specifically designed for 2-3 year olds. Each week of curriculum includes a weekly calendar for that specific letter. Each day there is a few book suggestions, 1-2 activities, and the early learning standards that day addresses. I created this curriculum for a few reasons. The main reason is that due to Covid, my son was not in any type of classes or learning environments, so I really wanted to ensure that our days together had some structured learning + play. Secondly, I was still dealing with the grief of losing our second baby through miscarriage and my heart really needed a little distraction. It is amazing to think that just a few weeks in to creating this curriculum, I found out that we were pregnant again! And now as I type this, we will get to welcome our baby boy into the world in the matter of a few short weeks! I am really sentimental when it comes to things like this and this is just another reason why the completion of this curriculum feels so special. It started as a way to help me as I struggled in grief and spent most of my time on the couch. It then transformed into a special project that I got the opportunity to work on every week of this past pregnancy. Pregnancy after miscarriage is full of anxiety and uncertainty, so again this weekly rhythm of researching books for each next letter and brainstorming activities that went along with each book theme became a much needed area of focus to help distract my anxious heart.

As I think back on the past months, I have a lot of gratitude for what learning the alphabet with my son gave me. It gave me a sense of purpose in a time where I felt very uncertain on how to fill our days. It gave me a sense of connection as I got to share some of the books and the activities with our close friends. It also gave me a sense of work. I have not truly “worked” on something since I left my job as a high school English teacher. It felt good to have a sense of deadline and to actually make a little money from my efforts. Overall, this Alphabet Curriculum is more than just a curriculum. It is a project that I poured tons of time, effort and love into. It is something I actually used every week with my own 2-year old and it is something I really believe in.

Does my son now know the alphabet by heart? Nope. We are not quite there yet, but the intention of this curriculum goes far beyond teaching the abc’s. It really is about learning about all the wonderful things, places, animals, and people that begin with each letter. Throughout this curriculum we got to learn about so many interesting things like airplanes and dinosaurs; quills and rockets; volcanoes and x-rays. This curriculum is the perfect introduction for your little one to begin to be exposed to things like the alphabet and numbers and shapes, but it really is created in a way that it is not solely about that. It really is about playing, creating, and imagining. My hope is that this curriculum can give you a sense of learning structure, but can really be the catapult for more learning and exploring to come!

Each individual letter week ($5) can be purchased on my store on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can also find the Alphabet Book ($2) which is a fun way to do a letter craft each week and create a book for your little one to flip through after. If you would like to purchase all 26 letters, you can purchase the bundle and save over $30!

To give a better idea of what each of curriculum is like, I am linking my posts on letters A-G:

Thanks for all those that have supported this little shop of mine! It has brought my heart a great deal of joy knowing that other little ones are learning from this curriculum I’ve created!