Monday, March 31, 2014

Doc McStuffins Party

I'm a little late on this post.  Only by a month.  No big deal.  Moving on...  The girls had another birthday party together this year.  They are February 21st and 26th, so at this age, it's just easier on us (and our family and friends) to combine them.  The girls don't seem to mind at all, so even better.  

Since we had their party at Main Event (more geared toward Izzy's age), we went with Harper's favorite character as the theme: Doc McStuffins.  Both of the girls like Doc, but Harper is probably a bigger fan.  She loves her some Doc and Minnie Mouse, but the Minnie party has been done.  See here.  

We kept things very simple this year, and it was great.  I am convinced that these kind of parties (held at party venues) are the way to go for large groups.  We've hosted 5 kid parties now: park, Little Gym, home, Pump it Up, and Main Event, and the house party was by far the most work, and probably just as expensive as the others. 

Sticking with the Doc McStuffins theme, I dressed the girls as close to Doc as I could, minus the doctor coat.  Their clothes are from Target, and I found the little Doc headbands at Claire's.  I love these two!

Izzy pretty much looked like this the whole time.  Happy girl.  These little ball ramps are very handy with this age group.  And as you can see, they double as a slide for some children.

Harper did a little of this....

...And a little of that.  She also enjoyed lots of snacks during the bowling game, as usual.  

My brother-in-laws sister makes cakes from home, and she whipped up the cutest cake for the girls.  I sent her a picture I found from Pinterest, and she recreated it.  If only I were so talented.  I was so happy with how it turned out, and it was just as yummy as it was cute.  

There's not much you can do as far as decorating in these venues, so I just threw out a few Doc toys the girls had along with some candy.  Who doesn't like candy??

I kept the favors super simple.  A few hershey kisses (the pink ones were from Valentine's day - don't know if they always have pink or if I just got lucky), some Doc band-aids (found at Target), and a few stickers.  The original plan was to make tags for each of the bags that said "Kisses for your Boo-Boos," but then I got smart and decided the sign was the way to go.  

Little sister beat big sister blowing out her candles.  Izzy has five on her side, you just can't see them all.

So big.  And so pretty.

And what an adorable little mess.

We atempted to do presents while our guests were eating cake.  Izzy was on board.  Harper was not.  Nobody comes between Harper and her cake.  It's one of those things you just roll with because it's not worth the battle.  So, Izzy opened all of her gifts at the party, and Harper opened hers after we got home.  

She was so excited to open all of her gifts.

And that was it.  Nothing Pinterest worthy here, but it checked all the necessary boxes: simple, easy, and fun!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sneak Peek

Fortunately, this Monday was a little nicer to us than last Monday.  Our photo session was rescheduled for this morning.  The girls were, how shall I put this...not overly cooperative.  Izzy was in a great mood, she just gets so excited, and when she gets excited, she acts very silly.  And Harper?  Well, Harper is two.  Need I say more?  Luckily our photographer is amazing, not to mention a magician with a camera.  She put a few pics up on Facebook today, so I thought I would share them here as well.  I'm so thrilled with these photos, and I can't wait to see the rest of them.  If you would have been here during the session, you would be asking yourself who these well behaved children in the photos are.  It's okay.  I didn't recognize them either.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Love Our People

I don't mean to brag, but we have running water.

It's a pretty glorious thing to have water after you've gone without it for 60 hours.  Know what else is glorious?  Having both of our parents call each day to offer us showers/beds, having several friends offer their homes, having your new neighbor friend down the street insist on doing your laundry, having your next door neighbor allow you to feed off their water supply (until they found a leak and were without water, too - yikes!), and having your builder (who was not even responsible for the water issue) offer to get us a hotel room.  That is glorious.  While this week has been a royal pain in the butt, it is nice to be reminded that we are surrounded by such generous people who love us so much.  Such a blessing.  I love our people.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love is an Open Door

Okay, you have to watch this.  I went to high school with Emily (the mama in the video), and saw this on her Facebook page the other day.  They put it on YouTube 3 days ago, and it already has over 114,000 views.  They are so adorable and talented.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moody Monday

I'm moody today in more ways than one.  Monday has proven to be a real kick in the pants.  Hubs woke up this morning to discover that we had no water.  Not a drop.  None.  Nada.  I immediately panicked and cancelled our family photo session that was supposed to happen at our house this morning.  We all needed baths/showers, and my hair was far from photo ready.  So, we busted our tails all weekend to get the dining room in some sort of order and spent all of Sunday afternoon cleaning.  For nothing.  We have a spotless house and adorable outfits ready to go, and no water.  Thanks, Monday.  Love you, too.  

The good news is, we have located the problem (by we I am referring to professionals who actually know what they are talking about) and know how to fix it.  The bad news is the yard is super wet because of all the rain we got this weekend.  If it stays dry and sunny, the well guy might be able to get his truck in the yard for the repairs in a couple of days.  So, there's that encouraging little nugget.  I'm done complaining.  For now.  

I put this mood board together a few weeks ago, and I'm proud to say that I've actually made a ton of progress in the dining room, and it is really starting to look like the inspiration photo.  I'm really happy with it so far, and I can't wait to post pics of the finished room.  

Dining table, white dining chair, and small print fabric (for chair cushions) are all just inspiration pics found online.  Sources unknown.
Gray Dining Chairs - World Market
Curtains (large print fabric) - World Market
Chandelier - Z.Gallerie
Mirror - Z.Gallerie
Sideboard - Restoration Hardware
Top Background Color - Morning Fog by Sherwin Williams (accent wall)
Bottom Background Color - Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore (main wall color)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Five on Saturday...Oops

Better late than never.  Linking up with Natasha and friends for Five on Friday, aka Five on Saturday.  

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ONE. This is day number nine without diet coke.  This is huge.  Huge.  Pretty sure this hasn't happened since I had my first sip of the deliciously intoxicating stuff - likely somewhere around birth.  But seriously, (knock on wood) I haven't had one headache.  I've had a few cravings for my trusty drink, but nothing too terrible.  Dare I say it's been kind of easy?  Who am I??

TWO.  I love giving baby gifts, and I had two sweet babies to buy for last week.  I ordered these adorable minky bunnies from a very talented local seamstress/embroidery extraordinaire.  I thought they turned out so darn cute.  And if we are being honest, who among us couldn't use a soft minky bunny??
You want one, don't you?
 The best part was both of the sweet parents sent us these adorable pictures.  Baby love.  
Sweet baby Caden.  He is the youngest of 4 boys and two very blessed parents.

Sweet Cosette's bunny is waiting for her arrival.  
THREE.  We made a quick trip to Lowe's and Target the other night when Griff got home.  I had to take a picture of the sweetness in front of me.  

FOUR.  This is what I've been doing during every nap and after the girls go to bed every night for the past week and a half.  I am officially in chalk paint hell.  The table is almost complete (just one coat of sealer), but the chairs?  The freakin' chairs?  There are 8 of them.  They need 3 coats of paint, and 2 coats of sealer.  I'm no mathematician, but my calculations tell me that is 40 coats.  FORTY. I'm dying.  

FIVE.  We are taking some casual family photos at the house on Monday morning.  I have good timing I tell you (see above about painting hell and imagine the chaos that is my dining room).  I spent a few minutes yesterday playing with outfit combinations, and I think this might be the winner.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chalk Painted Console Table

You may recall from this post and this post that I was planning to give some of our furniture a little makeover.  I started with this console table in our entry.  I bought it at Kirkland's about 2 years ago.  In fact, they still sell it here.  It just wasn't working for me in this house, so instead of buying a replacement, I decided to make it work.  

The first thing we did was remove the decorative metal work on the back of the table, and that alone was a huge improvement.  After three coats of Annie Sloan's French Linen, and two thin coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax, the ol' table is looking pretty fresh.  

Here she is before.  

And here she is after.

I probably should put some photos in those frames, huh?  And I still need to get some little wood plugs for the holes the metal scroll left behind.  Details, schmetails.

The tray, frames, and pillow (borrowed from the couch) are the only recent purchases, and they are all from Target.  Is anyone surprised?  I am not 100% happy with the lamp or the little vase, but they will do until I find a better replacement.

Amazing what some paint and some fresh accessories can do, isn't it?

I will have another chalk paint project to share soon - if it doesn't kill me first.  I will just say that this console table was much easier and faster than painting a dining table and eight chairs.  The chairs are taking FOR. EVER.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March for Babies 2014

Hi, Friends!  It's that time again.  This year's March for Babies walk is coming up next month.  For those of you who aren't aware, the March of Dimes is an organization that is near and dear to our family. 

In 2009, I was pregnant with two precious girls, Lily and Isabelle.  At 19 weeks, I went to the doctor for what I thought was an overreaction to something that just didn't sit right with me.  I really thought I was probably okay, but something just told me to go and get checked out for my peace of mind.  Well, I now know that that something was God.  My doctor examined me, and I could immediately see the concern on her face.  She said I was dilated and rushed me to the hospital.  From that point, my feet didn't touch the floor for the next three days.  My hospital bed was put in Trendelenburg position (basically tilted at a pretty severe angle so my feet were above my head), and my doctors did everything they could to stop my labor.  After three days, my water broke, and Lily was born.  She was only 20 weeks gestation, weighing 12.6 ounces.  We only had a few precious moments with her, but she absolutely changed our lives and our hearts. 

15 weeks pregnant with my girls

Immediately after Lily was born, the concern was that Izzy would arrive shortly after.  I wasn't aware of this at the time, but apparently my doctor had told my parents that she had little hope my contractions would stop until Izzy was born.  By the grace of God, my contractions stopped and things started to stabilize.  Enough so that after two weeks in the hospital, I was sent home to continue my bed rest.  However, my time at home was short-lived.  After about 6 days at home, contractions started back pretty regularly, so back to the hospital I went.  My big goal was to make it to 28 weeks.  At 28 weeks, survival rates dramatically increase while the chances of birth defects decline.  I had hubs hang a calendar on the wall of my hospital room, and we would cross off one day at a time.  Twenty-eight weeks seemed so far away.  And it was. 

My doctor had explained to me that week 24 was a no-brainer, meaning the doctors were all on board to do everything they could to save the baby after birth.  At this point, every last minute of growth counts, so 24 weeks means 24 weeks, and not an hour sooner.  Anything between 22-24 weeks was considered a gray area.  Basically, with survival chances being pretty grim and the baby's overall quality of life being in question, doctors look to the parents for guidance on how to proceed.  Trust me when I tell you this is not a conversation you want to have with your doctor.  Or anyone.  Ever.  There was never a doubt in mine or Griff's mind as to how we wanted to proceed.  One doctor actually told us if it were him, he wouldn't have the doctors try to save his baby based on what he had seen.  Statistics drove his decision.  Faith drove ours.  We truly believed that God would protect our baby girl.  She was a fighter.  The fact that she had survived and continued to grow for 25 days after her twin sister was born was a complete act of God, and we knew He wasn't done with her.  And we were right. 

Izzy was born at 23 weeks 6 days gestation, weighing 1 pound 9 ounces.  She was rushed to the NICU immediately after she was born.  And shortly after, I was rushed to another room because of some complications and excessive bleeding.  Poor hubs was all alone in the delivery room.  Makes me so sad to think of that.  I was able to meet Izzy the next day, and you can imagine all the emotions that come with meeting your teeny tiny baby in the NICU for the first time and not being able to touch her.  After about two weeks, I was finally able to hold her for the first time.  She continued to fight for her life in the NICU over the next 4 months, and she came home the day after her original due date.  She is a miracle.  Truly. 

When we first got her home, we were going to appointments constantly: Neurologist, Ophthalmologist, Nutritionist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Pulmonologist, and later, Speech Therapist.  She did her time with all of these specialist and was eventually released by all of them.  She starts Kindergarten next year, and you better believe this mama will be crying like a baby.  When I really sit and think about her journey and what she has overcome, I am in awe.

Heading home after 4 months, weighing a hefty 7 pounds.

Izzy the day she was born and on her 5th birthday
The March of Dimes funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies and works to prevent them.  We are so grateful that Izzy was able to benefit from years of research and knowledge, as well as treatment plans discovered by the March of Dimes.  We have made it our families' mission to help spread the word about this wonderful organization and join their fight for healthy babies. 

We would be so honored if you would consider making a donation to our March for Babies team in memory of Lily and in celebration of Izzy.  Better yet, sign up to walk with us and join us in raising money and fighting for preemies!

Click the link below to donate and/or join our team!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Groundhog Day

I have a confession.  I have been feeling a little sorry for myself lately.  Throwing myself a bit of a pity party if you will.  Being a mom is no joke, and there are no breaks.  Obviously.  I sometimes crave the adult interaction I used to have in the working world.  Even though as a teacher, my days were mainly spent with moody 12-year-olds, they still included several adult conversations.  There are times when I miss having a role other than mommy.  There, I said it.  Please hear me.  I LOVE my kids, and I love being with them.  And I am SO grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to stay home with them.  But I am human, and it is so easy to fall into these "groundhog day" slumps where every day feels the same.  I know myself though.  If I were doing anything else other than this, I would want this back in a heartbeat.  So basically, I want what I don't even want.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Anyway...I saw this article on Facebook the other day, and it was a great reminder that this is the best and most important job I'll ever have, and I don't get a do-over with these sweet babies of mine.  They are literally growing before my eyes, and if I blink, I'm going to miss it.  And then this happened this morning.

And then my heart melted.  Any other mamas suffering from "groundhog day?"  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Click here to read the article I referenced.