Sienna’s First and Golden Birthday

We had a wonderful time celebrating Sienna turning one on November 1st. I was recently made aware that it was her “golden birthday” which means she is turning the same age as the day of the month she was born (turning 1 on November 1st). Although gold would probably never be my first pick as a go-to color for a birthday theme, we thought we could spruce it up with pink chevron in the mix, and go with the theme after all. We were celebrating our baby girl, and celebrating a long and challenging first year of life. She wasn’t challenging, but there were a lot of circumstances in her first year of life that made it more eventful than the first year of the boys lives. By God’s grace, we got through it, and we had a great time celebrating her, and enjoying time spent with close family and friends!

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Sienna is such a sweet girl.  She’s very laid back, but also determined and curious.  She is crawling, pulling up, cruising furniture, climbing furniture, taking steps with assistance of a walker, and standing unassisted for a few seconds.  We weaned her of her pacifier at eleven months, and ever since then she’s been babbling up a storm.  She loves to yell Dadadada when daddy comes home from work, it’s the sweetest thing.  She’s also been practicing using her pointer finger, and pointing out any and everything.  It’s been a great opportunity to tell her what things are and what people’s names are that she points to.  She’s sleeping great, and has two solid naps a day, but has occasionally been okay with one if we’re busy and we’re not able to get home for one.

She’s a great eater and has only denied a few things (mashed potatoes, raw cauliflower).  She loves everything from bananas and blueberries, to avocado and broccoli.  She’s pretty much all sippy cup of Earth’s Best formula.  We’re starting to explore adding whole milk to her sippy cup.  She drinks a bottle before bed after story time and then we brush her teeth and put her down.  She’s already had a visit to the dentist, and they said that teeth are growing and developing just fine.  She has 5-6 teeth and she’s working on her molars right now.

She checked out great at her one year well check-up.  She’s 90% for height, 60th% for weight, 60th% for head circumference.  She’s growing and developing great, and we couldn’t be more proud.  She’s really been an easy baby for us, and I’m not sure if it’s because she’s our third, and she’s had to be more go-with-the-flow, or if it’s because she’s a girl, but I’m thankful for it!  I’m looking forward to learning and growing with her, and seeing more of this amazing girl and who she is becoming!

Happy Easter Sunday!

We had a great Easter this year! It was fun getting the baskets ready for the kiddos and telling Parker that the Easter bunny was coming.  He was full of excitement, and he and Mason had a great time seeing what surprises were left by the Easter bunny! 

We went to the 8:30 service at church so that we could get the boys down for a nap in between church and visiting the family.  It ended up working out well, and we came home, made brunch, and went for a nice little walk.  We wanted to see if we could feed the geese, but only ended up feeding the fish since the geese were on Easter break apparently. Then we all had a nice early nap!

After we woke, we packed up the kiddos and headed over to our Aunt Vickie’s house in Decatur an enjoyed a yummy lunch, a great time visiting with family, and an Easter Egg Hunt!  The boys had a great time, and since I didn’t stuff their basket with any candy, they were overjoyed to score some yummy treats!  It was perfect weather, and a wonderful Easter!

Spring Break

I’m not sure why they call it a spring break.  You see, when you have a toddler, who normally goes to school a mere twice a week so you can keep your sanity and pretend to get things done around the house, and that gets taken away, it sure as heck doesn’t seem like much of a break.  It’s been an unusually warm end of March slash beginning of April being that each day has been a high of 85.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a baking in the sunshine kind of gal, with summer being my favorite season, but this was a little too soon for me.  All complaining aside, we made the best of it by hanging around locally and trying to stay cool.  We headed over to Mall of GA on Tuesday, and my Mom joined us for some fun in their little fountain.  Both boys loved it so much!

We joined some friends over at Morgan Falls Park in Sandy Springs on Wednesday for a little fun in the sun and a picnic lunch.  It was fun for the boys, they got to splash their toes in the lake for just a teenie bit, but had fun running around with their little friends and climbing the playground.

Yesterday after the park we decided to break out the trusty blow-up pool and throw the kiddos in for a little bit to get them cooled off.  I knew Parker would remember how much he loved it, but this would be Mason’s first time since he wasn’t too keen on the idea as an infant.  They both had a great time!

Mason’s Birthday Party

Mason first birthday was wonderful!  All the planning came together, and we had such a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family at Kangazoom.  I really wanted to make Mason’s birthday special, I mean, I want to make all birthday’s special in some way, but first birthdays parties are a bit of a right of passage from babyhood to toddlerhood for the little one, also a bit of a right of passage for us as parents as well.  I felt the need to make sure that it was something fun and exciting for him, maybe not something that he would remember per say, but something that he could look back on and know that I took a lot of time and effort to make his party as cute and special as it could be.  Something that, being the second born, I appreciate.  I mean, first born get it all, don’t they?  The baby showers, the first birthdays, the baby books, ect. Why can’t the second born get just as much fanfare?  It was with that in mind, that I planned a cute little celebration with a “Animals on Parade” theme.  We hired Elizabeth O Photography to capture the moments just so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting all the “perfect shots” and I could enjoy the company and the event a little more.  She did a great job, and captured some great memories!

My Growing Boys

I can’t believe this weekend Mason will be one!  It’s been an exciting year with him in our life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Just the past few weeks he’s really turned into quite the “Big Boy” of sorts, learning to let go of the bottle (he’s on only sippy cups now), enjoying the deliciousness of whole milk and peanut butter, and learning how to talk, and walk.  He’s loving saying his Mama’s and Dada’s (and even says it to call us! How sweet, right?) and every now and again he’ll surprise us and repeat back a word such as “all done” like he did the other night.  He’s very bright, and loves his brother.  He’s got the sweetest disposition, and even though he can be quite cautious of strangers, I’m kind-of liking the fact that he’s a bit of a Mama’s boy.  Parker was MUCH more of an independent one, and could care less if I came or left, but Mason certainly takes notice. I love that about him.  He’s a little curious critter, always looking for a drawer to open, a basket to rummage through,  a cabinet to tear into.  He loves eating, playing with his brother (especially pillow mountain and the tunnel) and learning how to walk.  He’s a busy boy and keeps Mama and Daddy on our toes!  *Sigh* I just don’t know what would I do without his adorable chubby legs and irresistible chub chub cheeks.  I just love ’em!

Parker is growing and maturing more and more each week!  I’m glad to report that Parker has seemed to drop his tantrums while leaving places.  He may get sad, but overall he’s really turned a corner with it!  I started bribing him (I know, classic horrible parenting, right?) It’s only sort-of bribing… I would tell him before we went to some place like the park… I’d say something like “I would like for you to be on really good behavior leaving the park.  And if you are on good behavior, I have a surprise for you afterward” and it would typically be a sucker (or lollipop as Dan calls them), or I’d let him watch a favorite show in the car.  At first, he wasn’t on good behavior, and he didn’t get a “surprise” and then finally one day, he got it.  Now, I just talk to him beforehand and tell him that he needs to be on good behavior leaving, and so far, so good!  The tantrums waking up from his naps, have subsided.  He still has them sometimes, and we’re not sure why.  He just seems to want to vent his frustrations for being awake, grumpy, and tired all at the same time and then shortly after, he’s fine.  So, we’re still working on it!  On a brighter note, Parker has seemed to really “get” staying dry overnight, and we have stopped using pull-ups!  I’m so proud that he’s reached this milestone so early!  I’ve heard that bed wetting can be normal up to age five and even as late as eight, but thankful he tackled this one early!

He’s also been quite the chatty one lately! Not only am I hearing this every day, but from his teachers as well.  He says the cutest phrases.  He told me the other day.  “Is that a new dress Mommy? I wuv it!” Seriously?  When your kids start complementing you, it’s the best feeling in the world! Finally, I get a verbal affirmation after all this time! Oh, and when we tell him we’re going to go somewhere or eat something he says “Parker eat that, too!” or “Parker go to the store, too!” He always wants to be right in the mix, never missing a beat!   Another favorite thing he does that I love is that he likes to hop up on every bench he sees (at the park, in the breezeway after picking him up from school, anywhere he can find one) and looks up with a smile and says “Come sit, Mama! Pleeeeze!” A subtle reminder for me to take things slow in life and enjoy every moment.  He just loves to tug at my heart strings with the cutesy things that he says and does!

I know I echo Dan when I say that we both truly feel blessed with our boys.  Of course, we have those will this day EVER end kind of days, like most of us do, but sitting down looking at the big picture at the end of the day, we are thankful.  Thankful for not for perfection, but because God has given us a chance to learn and grow each day and discover a little more about our self, life, each other, and appreciate the little things and the good things in each day.

Happy One Year to my Mason (Mae Mae) and Two and a half to my Parker Pooh.

Much to say about something…

So, life has been a little crazy lately. Here’s a little ‘cap
1. I think my need to have everything perfect was just the mojo I needed to kick this baby nursery into motion. Dan and I finally got dates to all of our tasks outlined on our excel spreadsheet last week, and we’re happy to report that we have some things crossed off. Yippee! I need to say for the record that my husband is a real trooper because I know it hasn’t been easy dealing with my list of demands and detailed action items and my “Hey sweetie…Can you move this please!?” in the middle of his workday.

2. Everyone tells me that babies/toddlers go through phases. I’ve experienced this a few times with Parker and most of the time, I’m happy to report that the unpleasant phases are short lived, and I get my cute little pumpkin face back to himself in no time. However, why does it seem like the unpleasant phases are never ending? For the past week, Parker hasn’t been the Mommy’s boy that I’m used to him being. Oh no. He LOVES his Daddy. Wakes up calling for Dada, cries until he gets Dada, and heaven forbid I ever try to take him from Dada’s hands. That would be a nightmare. It’s sad because I miss the days when he NEEDED me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also started to really test boundaries and get VERY temperamental when removed from the situation or forced to do something he doesn’t want to do (ie; go down for a nap). I was pretty embarrassed last week when I had him over at someone’s house for a play date. He kept trying to crawl into their office to play with the cords, grab old lamps in corners, open china cabinet drawers, etc. Everytime I removed him from the room or item, he had a full blown temper tantrum with screaming and arching and shaking his head! What has happened to my little angel? Please…someone out there tell me there is hope. Please tell me he’s not turning into one of THOSE kids…the ones you whisper about and say that your kid will NEVER be like…yeah, those.
3. Parker loves to have visits from his Nanny (what he calls my Mom).  My Mom just lights up when she sees him, and he does the same.  He’s always so good for her too (at least that’s what she says…like she would say that he was BAD) so they’re perfect together.  Dan and I in the meantime have been enjoying some great nights out…just the two of us. Last Saturday night we went to see the movie “Life as we Know it”. It was really cute.  We just couldn’t resist seeing a comedy that depicted two adults who have no idea what they were doing, caring for an adopted one year old. Oh, and did I mention that Josh Duhamel is in it? BONUS!  The little girl was really cute.  I hope I have a little girl one day.

4.  We were invited to a birthday party last Saturday.  It was at a cute little farm north of Atlanta.  The party started at 10, so we thought we’d try and make it and see how Parker would do with just one nap.  Well, let’s just say he’ll be keeping that am nap for quite some time.  He was SO tired!  He still managed to have some fun helping Mama paint the pumpkin and feed the fish.  He also LOVED feeding the goats and letting them lick his fingers.  Poor little guy was exhausted though.  It was unseasonably warm too, which didn’t help matters.  We did decide that we would return for a family trip to pick out our first REAL Christmas tree.  I’m looking forward to that!

5. I love the random things my husband says to me.  While wiping Parker’s face the other night he looks at me and says “Are you using a clorox wipe?”  Yes, dear…I AM that neurotic about things being clean.

6.  At the end of this month we’re planning on going to an assisted living facility locally and deliver pumpkins and goodies and bring our kids dressed up in their finest Halloween costumes.  We’ll be doing this with our bible study group, who also has small kids around Parker’s age.  This year Parker will be a black bear.  It really is the cutest little costume. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces  when they see all our kids all dressed up.  There’s something so sweet about the elderly and young kids coming together that makes me smile.  Pictures to follow!

7. Only three days left until we get to find out how little wiggles is doing.  It’ll be exciting since I’ve only seen 7 week old ultrasound pictures and I’m really curious to see!  I pray that everything is developing as normal and that the baby cooperates so that we can see the sex of the baby.  Some people can wait, but I just can’t.  There’s something about knowing if it’s a boy or girl that helps me to form an even closer bond with the little one growing inside me.  I can’t wait to see what it is.  Any guesses?

8. I’ve been having such a great time with Parker at the Park lately.  It’s been our favorite place to play and laugh.  I bring my trusty waterproof picnic blanket, and Parker’s cheese bread, turkey and sippy cup of milk, and walker and we’re set.  However, we could leave all of that behind and Parker would be happy just swinging in the swing.  It is his absolute favorite thing to do.

9. Did I mention that Parker was able to meet Darth Vader? We heard about a fundraiser called “Music for Megan” and there were lots of fun things for kids to do, which included inflatable slides, ginormous bubbles to pop and Star Wars characters! Those of you who know my husband, knows what a big deal this is. He (Parker) was SO fascinated by him!

10. We’re leaving soon to enjoy a nice week in Asheville. I can’t wait to spend some nice time with my family enjoying each other, the local attractions, and the beautiful fall foliage!

The NEW principals of design

Some of you may know that I have a Interior Design degree (and for the record, this is not the same thing as an “Interior Decorator” in case you were wondering) and although I don’t dabble in it as much as I use to, I still have a love and appreciation for tastefully designed interior spaces.

Now one thing they don’t teach you when you’re in Design school is the baby and toddler design dilemma  Those of you who’ve been there (or may be there right now) know what I mean.  It’s about giving up your space to accommodate your little one.  For me, it  means totally bending the principals that they taught me in design school…so that I don’t have to say “NO!” every five seconds while in a room with a baby or toddler

Here are how the design principals have changed:

Create a living space where your furniture faces a focal point such as a fireplace or entertainment unit

Create a living space that blocks your child in and enables them from touching the entertainment center and remove the coffee table to allow more play area

Proportion your space using asymmetrical or symmetrical design to create balance

Move your crib over so that your child can’t reach the socket with cords, thus throwing off your centered wall decal that was perfectly placed when the crib mattress was full height

Adding small home decorations such as candles, frames and other chachkies can give life to the space as well as showcase the overall theme or design aesthetic

Removing all candles, frames and other chachkies from the reach of your toddler, ensures the safety of your child and your property

Design the master suite with fluid movements and relaxing cool colors to encourage peaceful rest

If your Master suite is large, turn a portion of it into a colorful play area with lots of exciting toys neatly organized into wicker bins accented with a box of building blocks to encourage excitement and learning for your toddler

When space planning an interior all wall outlets should be at least 12′ apart.

When you have a baby, wall outlets should be hidden, capped and corded areas avoided

Select window treatments that add  texture to your room with a mixture of soft materials and structured valance

Take your sheers and stuff them into the half drawn blinds, out of reach of your toddler, giving them ample space to blow raspberries on the glass without ruining your window treatments

A year ago today

A year ago today, we welcomed into the world our beautiful little ray of sunshine, Parker.  Exactly 8 days after my due date, I was induced. I had a fairly easy delivery with the help of an epidural and lots of support from Dan and my Grandmother.  After about 10 hrs of labor and an hour and a half of pushing, Parker made his appearance at 1:50 pm weighing in at 9lbs, 30z and 22″ long.  What a beautiful, exciting and emotional time for our family. He was absolutely perfect. I never imagined then how much our life would change.

So much has happened in a year and there is no way that one blog post could sum it all up. We’ve watched Parker brighten our days with his smiles, giggles, babbling, and fun social personality. I’ve also had to do a bit of tough love and routine in order to establish a comfortable structure. All of which he took well to since he is a great sleeper and has been from early on. I’ve also realized the challenges that a child can bring to marriage, and how much energy it takes to make sure that you are being not only a great Mom, but also a loving and supportive wife too. I feel so lucky every day that I get to stay home with Parker, and that I have a loving supportive husband that helps make that possible. I feel so incredibly blessed, and I’m so excited to see what this next year will bring with Parker becoming a big brother in March. I’ll leave you with my sweet little birthday boy enjoying his first taste of pure sweetness.

From Wedding Planning to Birthday Planning

Its amazing that while planning my sons’ first birthday, I started having flashbacks about planning our wedding.

1. As soon as the initial invite list is created, undoubtedly… the family drama ensues.

2. You gather inspirations and come up with your “colors”.

3. You pick a location that your happy with, and pray, pray, pray for a beautiful day.

4. Among the built up anticipation you start to worry if you’ll forget something

5. Decide that the cake/cupcakes should be from Publix… who makes the absolute best

6. Hire a photographer to capture the precious moments so you can enjoy them

7. You realize that “RSVP’s” or “Regrets Only” don’t mean much to some people

8.  When the day has come, the anxiety and excitement for everything to go “just right” turns you into a mental case (think BRIDEZILLA-MOMZILLA)

9. You get fed cake…either by your husband or cute little one year old.

10.  You realize that all the planning went into a special day, and it went by so fast.  The most important thing was that we had a great time… that we did.