Friday, June 26, 2015

{Lucy's Superhero 4th Birthday Party}

When I asked my girl many months ago what kind of a birthday party she wanted to have this year, I kind of expected her to pick a girly theme like a ballerina tea party or Frozen. But just like last year, she got an awesome idea in her head and stuck with it. "Mama- I want a superhero party!!" That's my girl.
The forecast was not looking so great on the day of the party, but we prayed super hard for good weather so that we wouldn't have to cram 50 people into my in-law's house (who had very graciously offered to host again this year). They have an awesome patio/backyard and we were hoping to keep most of the party outside. Well, the party god's were working in our favor and the weather ended up holding off for us. Hooray!
My mother in law and I collaborated on making capes for Lucy and Elijah, and we even made one for Ellie (my in-law's adorable little pup). Elijah and Ellie made awesome little sidekicks for Super Lucy.
We had lots of delicious food and of course mom and I went a little nuts again this year with the dessert table. We just can't resist! My mom baked the delicious cake and my niece, Caley, and I decorated it. I made the cupcakes and Caley and I also decorated those. Mom made the awesome sugar cookies and cake pops and I went to a local candy shop for the rock candy (aka "kryptonite") and the huge assortment of taffy (aka "super elastic taffy"). I'd say the kids were more than sufficiently sugared up by the time they left. You're welcome, parents ;)
 I found tons of superhero word bubble printables online (thank you Pinterest) and used them on just about everything. I even made a few of my own. I also got some old comic books from a friend and used pages out of them to decoupage the big "L" and to make the pendant banner. I love how they turned out!
All that was left to do after all of the prep work was to party, party, party!
It was one heck of birthday celebration for our amazing little lady. Everyone had an awesome time while I was secretly wanting to run off into a corner to cry my eyes out about the fact that my baby girl is now 4 years old! 
 And now I have a first birthday to plan for baby boy. Okay..here come those tears again!!

Happy 4th birthday, Super Lucy!
We love you to the moon and back!

Friday, June 19, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 10 months}

Dear Elijah,

I am a week and a half later in writing this post, but please forgive me, my love...you and your sister have been keeping me very busy these days! How on earth are we less than 2 months away from your first birthday?!? Time is just flying lately and I am trying to my best to not only keep up, but to be as present in each moment as I possibly can. I don't want to miss a thing.
 It really does get harder with each possible day to get any work done since you stay home with me full-time (while sissy goes to school/daycare), but I really do love getting to spend my days with you. You are just so much fun to be around and I love that you keep me on my toes. You are so active and curious and really good at finding ways to play with all of the things that you're not supposed to ;) You already know the meaning of the word "no", yet you mostly like to just smile and giggle at us when we say it. You're certainly the cutest little trouble maker ever!
I'd say your favorite activity lately is opening and closing doors, cabinets and drawers. The level of satisfaction you get out of repeating these actions over and over (and over) again is quite wonderful really. Some other favorite things at the moment include bath time (you go absolutely crazy over it), eating, being out and about, looking at and turning the pages in books, the play kitchen, following your sister around, chasing the dog and stealing her toys and bones, riding in the stroller, swinging at the park, babbling like crazy, giving high fives, drinking out of sippy cups, crawling into small spaces (I don't think we'll have to worry about claustrophobia with you), banging on the piano, plucking guitar strings and dancing (you shake your booty as soon as you hear any sort of music and it is the most adorable thing ever).
You now weigh 19lbs 11oz and are wearing 6-12 months clothes (depending on the brand). I marvel at how heavy you feel to me when I carry you around now. Where did my teeny tiny little baby go?? You now have these delicious little thigh rolls and chubby feet that I could just eat right up! I imagine you could probably start walking anytime that you wanted at this point, but you don't really seem to have too much interest yet. You're more than happy to speed-crawl to your destination. But as incredibly active as you are these days, you still love to be held and snuggled and that makes me so unbelievably happy!
It has been a couple of months since you've sprouted any new teeth which means you are still at a grand total of 8 pearly whites (4 on the top, 4 on the bottom). Your big sister didn't have that many teeth until she was about 15 months. She also didn't weigh as much as you do now until around that time!
You are a great sleeper these days. You go to bed around 7:30-8pm and wake up between 6 and 6:30am. There have been quite a few morning lately that wake up even earlier than that, so let's try to work on that...okay, bubs?! 6am is hard enough for your insomniac mama! But that isn't your fault. I'm the one who needs sleep training!! :) ''
You are pure magic, Elijah. Thank you for the endless joy you bring to our lives.

All my heart,

Love, Mama



Thursday, June 11, 2015

{Four}

Dear Lucy,

I just cannot believe that my beautiful little ladybug is already 4 years old. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding you in my arms for the very first time early on a perfect Monday morning? You are simply the sweetest and most beautiful little girl and your daddy I just feel so incredibly blessed that we get to be your parents. How did we get so lucky??
Oh my - how much has changed since your last birthday! The biggest change of course being that you became a big sister!! Watching you meet and hold your brand new baby brother for the very first time was simply the most amazing sight in the world. I will never forget the total look of wonder in your eyes as you sang him "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". My heart felt like it was going to burst into a million pieces!
You are very madly in love with your "Bubba"(as we all like to call him) and you are the best big sister! You love him fiercely and you are very protective of him. You are great at helping to make sure that doors and baby gates are closed when he is crawling around and you are very careful to make sure that you don't leave small objects on the floor that he could put into his mouth and choke on. You are great at playing with him and sharing your toys with him. You do get frustrated every now and then when he comes and messes up whatever you were playing with - but you have certainly learned to just play with certain things or do certain activities in places where he won't be able to reach you. Smart girl :) You are definitely Elijah's favorite person in the world! Nobody can make him laugh uncontrollably the way that you do. It is his favorite time of day when you come home from school. He just follows you around and wants to be a part of whatever you are doing. It just melts my heart into a giant puddle every time I see you two laughing and playing together. I cannot wait to see how your relationship grows and changes as you grow up together. I'm sure there will be plenty of times that you drive each other crazy, but I pray that you will always find your way back to each other and that your bond will remain strong throughout your entire lives.
You are getting ready to officially start preschool in the fall and I feel like I want to cry every time I think about it! It's just another sign of how quickly you are growing up. You are definitely so ready for school and so excited. It will be tough to say goodbye to Miss D, though. You have been going to daycare at her house since you were 3 months old. You are definitely very attached to her as she is like another mother to you. We are so very blessed to have found her when we were first looking for childcare! She has taken such amazing care of you and has shown you so much love through the years.
You started taking ballet/tap classes right after Elijah was born and you have been absolutely loving it. You had your very first dance recital last weekend and you were amazing! Your Twinkle Toes class danced to "Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins and it was major cuteness overload seeing you all up there on stage in your tutus twirling around with sheer delight. I was a proud mama for sure!
Now you just keep asking when you get to dance on the stage again - that's my girl! :)

I am just constantly in awe of you, sweet girl. You have such an incredible spirit and zest for life. You are brave and adventurous. Smart and sassy. Thoughtful and observant. Clever and loving. Creative and imaginative. You love to learn and experience new things. You love to be outside. You are a girly girl but also a lover of all things superhero and playing in the dirt. You love music and dancing at any chance you get. You love snuggling up on the couch with your favorite ABC blanket and watching a movie when you are sleepy. You are a mama's girl for sure but you are also fiercely independent in so many ways. You love going to church. You love spending time with friends and family. You loving helping in the kitchen - especially when it comes to baking. You love eating sprinkles on breakfast food. You love reading books. You love drawing and crafting with me. You are a great eater - always asking to snack on healthy foods (bananas, raisins, carrots + hummus...) But don't get me wrong, you also have a major sweet tooth (just like your mama!) You are always thinking about what you will pick for your special treat after dinner :)
Well, my love - I could go on and on forever because you are just so amazing. Of course, I'd be lying if I said that there weren't plenty of hard days (which is only normal), but I never forget how incredibly blessed and privileged I am that I get to be your mother. Thank you for being my constant reminder to enjoy every minute this beautiful life. 
Happy 4th birthday, Lucy!!!

I love you to the moon and back...

Love, Mama





Monday, May 18, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 9 months}

Dear Elijah,


Oh, my love. My sweet little man. My happy and hilarious little boy. I really can hardly handle your cuteness. And lord knows I can't resist doing your hair up into that awesome little mohawk. You are just such a bright and shining light in our lives and we love you so very much!

I'm a little over a week late in writing this post, but something tells me you'll forgive me ;) I definitely have a hard time keeping up with certain things (like writing blog posts!) these days, but it's only because I'm having too much fun hanging out with you, Lucy and daddy!
You are an expert at crawling, pulling up, cruising and climbing stairs at this point and it is just too much fun to watch you go, go, go! I feel pretty confident in saying that you will be walking well before your first birthday but I'm certainly in no rush to see that happen. You're already growing and changing far too quickly and my mama heart can hardly handle it! You are quite adventurous already and it cracks me up that your favorite thing to do is to squeeze yourself into small places (under the dining table, under chairs, under the piano bench, into the tv stand). You also love to pull up on things and twerk dance by shaking your little booty around when I play music. Too CUTE! Your favorite time of the day is when sissy gets home from daycare and you pretty much just follow her around from that point on. You are both obsessed with each other and it just melts my heart to see you two laughing and playing together. There's simply nothing better in the world.
You've been sleeping very well (for the most part) since we did sleep training last month. You still usually go down between 8-8:30 (if not a little earlier) and sleep until about 6:30 or 7am. You're waking up earlier in the morning (sometimes before 6am) now that the sun is coming up earlier which would be totally fine if your mama wasn't the worst sleeper in the whole world. Four years into this parenting thing and I am no more a morning person than I was before kids. It takes me awhile to get myself going in the morning, but it certainly helps when I come in and see your beautiful smile beaming up at me when I walk into your room! You are now taking 2 naps a day. Your morning nap is usually only about 45 minutes long, and then the afternoon one tends to be about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. I'll take it!
You are an awesome eater and I love watching you get all messy at meal times. You absolutely love feeding yourself and we've yet to discover a food you just don't like. I really couldn't tell you what your favorite foods are because you seem to have the same level of excitement with any food that we put in front of you!
You now weigh a healthy 19lbs (I don't think your sister weighed that much until she was at least a year old!) and are wearing mostly 6-9 and 9 month clothes. You do have short little legs and a can still fit in some 3-6 month pants/shorts depending on the brand. I am super obsessed with your chubby little toes and your delicious little thigh rolls! You just sprouted your eighth tooth and this one was really giving you some trouble last week but it seems to be okay now. That means you got 4 new teeth just in the last month alone! While you love to eat food, your favorite thing to eat might actually be your crib. Yikes. You chew on that thing like it is your job sometimes! Time for some rail guards!
We have been discovering over the last few months that you're not fond of certain loud noises. For example, we were at mom mom and pop pop's house early last month and we started singing "happy birthday" really loudly when Caley came in the house and made a big hooplah over her as she blew out the candles on her cake. You suddenly started shaking and broke out into massive tears. The same thing happens when I turn on the vacuum cleaner around you and when we play with Lucy's toy flying helicopter. But there are plenty of other loud noises that don't seem to bother you at all.  I'm certainly not worried about it :)
You are babbling constantly these days and up until this point you've pretty much just been saying "babababa", but just a few days ago you started saying "mamamama"! I think I startled you with the very loud squeal that came out of my mouth upon hearing this for the first time, even though I'm pretty sure you're not referring to me as you say it :) But still...all of the hours that I've spent trying to teach you "mama" are finally paying off! hehe.
Some other new tricks that you have figured out this month are clapping and giving high fives (well, a sort of low five really...ha) on command. You've also just started trying to figure out how to wave. Yeah, everything you do is pretty much the CUTEST thing in the world. You are just the happiest little babe and people stop me all the time when I'm out with you and comment about how adorable you are. The mohawk is also a definite crowd stopper, for sure ;)
Working from home can definitely be a challenge sometimes while trying to care for and chase after you at the same time, but even so...I absolutely love spending my days with you, Bubba. You are my little buddy and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to be your mama!

All my heart,

Love, Mama

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 8 months}

Dear Elijah,

It truly feels like just yesterday that I was 41 weeks along and thinking that I might just actually be pregnant forever. And now....here you are. Eight months old and stealing my heart over and over again each and every day.
You are getting super fast at crawling now and you can even go up a couple of stairs! It's really fun to just put you down on the floor and let you do your thing. You definitely prefer to play with anything that isn't actually a toy no matter how many toys we scatter around you. You love sneaking into the kitchen to check if we've remembered to put the dog's water bowl out of reach or not. You also love crawling into the bottom part of the TV stand to knock over the DVD's we have stashed there and to press all of the buttons on the DVD player. It really gets Lucy's goat when you press the power button while she's in the middle of Frozen ;) Your newest trick this month is that you have started pulling up to standing and you do it now at any chance you get! It's just funny because you get stuck in the standing position sometimes and you'll just stick your little booty out and dance around until someone helps you get down. You've even started cruising a little bit which is totally crazy to me! Your curiosity is so stinking adorable....and also exhausting. ha.
Your sleep started getting all wonky again very shortly after I wrote your 7 month post. You started waking up and wanting to be fed/rocked to sleep in the middle of the night again. We knew that you had the ability to sleep through the night since you had been doing it on and off since you were 2 months old, and we also knew that everyone (including you) would be happier and more rested in the long run if we got rid of that middle of the night wakeup/feeding. So, we decided to go ahead and sleep train you a couple of weeks ago. I was reluctant to go the "cry it out" route, but I really wasn't sure what else to do. It seemed like we just needed to go cold turkey, so that's what we did. Luckily it only took 2 nights to get the job done! The first night, you cried for about an hour and a half (with me going in to check on you about every 10 minutes) before you finally went back to sleep. The second night, you cried for about an hour. The third night, you slept through the night! Since then, there has been 2-3 nights that you've woken up, but they crying has only lasted for a super short period of time and the intensity was never near what it was those first two nights. So, you will usually go down around 8-8:30 (same time as your sissy) and you'll wake up anywhere between 7 and 8am. I'm calling it a win for sure...even though it sure was hard to hear you cry like that! Good job, buddy. Now we just need to work on better naps :) For those, you'll be super tired and I'll put you down, but then when I go to check on you, you'll just be standing there in the corner of the crib giggling at me. I usually have to come and lay you back down about 10 times before you finally go to sleep!
You are such a good eater these days! I got a food processor (thank you mama!) for my birthday last month and I have been going nuts making baby food for you. We've yet to find something that you won't eat and I'm trying to get more and more creative with my recipes for you. Your big sister is a great and non-picky eater and we are hoping that you'll be the same way. You still prefer a bit more texture to your food and you love to feed yourself whenever possible. I love watching you suck on big hunks of tomato and avocado and anything else we give you. Such a big boy. (wahhhhh!)
You now have 3 teeth and the 4th one (top middle) just broke through just yesterday. It also looks like there are a couple more that will be popping through any day now. They're making you just a bit fussy, but you really are still handling teething like a champ! You are also drooling like a champ :)
You simply have the sweetest and most delightful personality and you are such a joy to be around. You are so happy and silly and you never cease to amaze and entertain us. It is the most amazing thing in the world to watch you and Lucy snuggle and play and love on each other. Your daddy and I are the luckiest people in the world! Happy 8 months, sweet boy.

All my heart,

Love, Mama