Happy 4th Birthday Emma Rose!

Emma Rose, aka Shorty

This time, 1:07 am, 4 years ago we were blessed with a beautiful healthy little girl.  I never knew the difference she would make in our lives, but I sure have enjoyed each loop to loop on this path of parenthood and watching this needy newborn turn into the smart, hilarious, beautiful little girl in a blink of an eye it seems.

I would have to say that I'm glad to see the 3's gone and on to the 4's - although I've heard that they aren't much better than 3's.  My dear little girl you and I have had many a moments over the past year.  You've become much more opinionated and sassing back.  I think I've finally figured out how to react and act in certain situations/circumstances with you so things are going more smoothly.  Which makes me oh so happy!

You are such a good mix of girly-girl and tomboy.  You love dressing up, wearing heels and walking around talking about being a princess and needing to find your prince to marry, on the other hand you are Daddy's fishing buddy and love digging in the yard for worms, camping and cooking over a campfire.

You are really into Knock-Knock jokes right now.  You love to run ahead in a room someone is going to go in, hide and "try" and scare them.  I have to take you clothes shopping with me, because I went one time without you, and you point blank told me you didn't like any of it.  You are really into Toy Story.  You love playing games, either on our cell phones, the wii (such as wii fit plus), or board games. You are getting better about not always winning.  You love to color/draw/paint and do other crafty things.  You and Mimi craft holiday & seasonal magnets for the whole family - which they love.  You also love doing puzzles.

Some of your favorite songs to sing along with are: Sara Bareilles-Love Song, Ke$ha-Tick Tock, B.O.B. & Eminem-Airplane, Sara Bareilles-Many the Miles (but you sing Many the Mom's).  We always having music playing during each meal and when cooking in the kitchen, you and I have lots of fun dancing around & singing - being goofy.

We do PreK school books & activities with you twice a week and you are doing great.  You get frustrated when something is difficult (just like your Daddy when he was little) but you're doing better and taking a breather and starting again, as we say everything takes practice.

This year has been a change for you as you've gone from being the only child to having a little sister.  You are an amazing big sister!  You are such a big help when it comes to getting things for Avalynn.  You two are starting to play together more, which is just something so amazing to watch and see.  You love doing silly things just to make her smile/laugh.

Here's a reminder of some promises you made us this year:
1. You will not pierce your nose/belly button or other body parts until you are 52.
2. No tattoos until you are 21.
3. No getting married until you are done with college or other schooling after high school.

I look forward to the things to come in the next year and for the many things that we'll learn as we continue onward.  I love you so much Emma and most of all want to thank you for making me a mommy!!!



Wordless Wednesday

The Girls' and me at Emma's birthday party over the weekend.



Hoo Are You?


Here are this week's question?

1.  List 3 words that remind you of fall. 
- pumpkins, leaves, brisk
2. Do you wear jewelry often?
- wedding & engagement rings, promise ring on the other hand or my oldest birthstone, anniversary dragonfly necklace
3. Do you like your toe nails painted or natural?
- Painted, I get monthly pedicures.
4. Do you ever wear a hat?
-Never, although the Hubs wishes I would more often
5. Do you have someone that you talk to everyday on the phone?
- Yes, my mom.  



Toy Story Birthday Party Treats

Emma is turning 4 in 3 days exactly - we're not even going to go into that right now, but this past weekend we had two small parties for her.  The first was a small kids bowling party and the second was spent at our house with her grandparents and great-grandparents and each of her aunts.  The girls' are lucky as they have 6 sets of grandparents around, so I like to have grandparent only parties.

For each party we came up with different desserts to have.  For the kids' I made some Jessie hats.  Sorry for the off coloring it was 10pm the night before the party when I was doing these.  These were super simple to make and a BIG hit with the kids!

Here's the simple how-to: Baked some break apart sugar cookies.  Flip them over and smooth some red icing on them.  Put a red gumdrop or similar shaped candy in the center.  Pipe the lacing around the outside of the cookie in white.  Ouila - you're finished!  

Close-up of the cookies. 

The cookies bagged up along with the favors each kid got.

For the grandparents party I'd seen the alien cupcakes done a few places and knew that we had to make them.  Plus, I've been dying to color some cake batter and make some rainbow cupcakes.  The Hubs LOVED the way the coloring came out, he even took the leftovers to work today and all of the guys "ooohed & aaahed" over them.  

Here's the How-to on the alien cupcakes: colored white icing green and smoothed on all of the cupcakes.  Then I halved spearmint leaves for the ears.  I matched up two fronts or backs of the leaves for each cupcakes so they had the same shape.  For the spike at the top we found some apple licorice at Target, they were called Australian something.  Piped the 3 white eyes, put mini chocolate chips upside down for the eye centers.  And piped on the mouth with black gel.  

Really you could let your imagination run with other candy ideas, marshmallows or mentos for the eyes.  Taffy or leather strips for the ears.  Black jellybeans for the mouth.  The possibilities are endless. 

*Note: for all of the icing and cake batter coloring I used Wilton's concentrated gel coloring - I got the 8 pack with a 40% coupon, so you couldn't beat the price*.

Picture of the cupcakes before they were decorated, you can see the mixture of colors. 

This is how we had them displayed at the party.  The Hubs & Emma made a claw out of the Hubs old K'nex - I think this turned out fantastic and loved incorporating it into the cupcake stand.

I'm linking to these parties.



Happy 8 Months Avalynn!

Avalynn, sweet Avalynn - today passes your 8 month or 2/3rd's of a year old milestone. This month has been lots of fun with you. You are crawling at super speed it seems, pulling yourself standing against things all the time and crusing along furniture some. As soon as you started crawling within the week you were pulling yourself up. Your adorable little chunky legs are getting stronger everyday and you are able to stand for long periods of time when playing with your stand-up toys or along the couch.
A little over a week ago you slept through the night and ever since, I now just let you CIO if you wake up. You cry for a couple minutes if that and then go back to sleep. You are in bed anywhere from 7:45-8:15pm and awake for the day 6:30-8:00am. You wake up happy most mornings, which is such a nice change from the previous crying. You are napping twice a day, sometimes three if you do not get a long nap in at all.
You've been eating 2 meals of baby food all month, today we started giving you 3. Your favorites are country market vegetables, vegetable risotto & cheese, ham pineapple & rice, apples cinnamon & rice, mixed vegetables, and macaroni & cheese with veggies. You love your veggies for sure! We've also given you some gerber diced carrots in your mesh feeder. You love cheerios and yogurt melts and do ok with the wagon wheels. We've had some very abnormal hot days here lately and you are loving ice cubes in your mesh feeder also.
You are the Queen of razberries around here and starting to wave at people. Although if we set you down in an unfamiliar place you start crying your head off scared of the "strangers" around you. It's the cutest/saddest thing! You love bathtime and are now sitting by yourself in the tub, as long as you have your bath fishy to play with you are happy. And you love smacking the bubbles with your hands as they go near the drain after we rinse you off.  You also love when on your back to fling your legs against the floor so your heels make loud thumping noises, Daddy and me are amazed that you don't hurt yourself with how hard you get your legs swinging sometimes.  

Nursing you is still going well.  We are down to 5-6 nursing sessions a day.  Still feels weird to me the change in how long you can go in between your feedings.  You have bit me a couple times though and that is definitely NO fun!  You seem content lately playing with my necklace or having your fingers near my mouth, much better than the previous pinching. 

No more teeth have sprung through this month.  I thought for sure you were teething a couple weeks ago because you were getting up every 2-3 hours at night just miserable, but nothing has popped through.  No clue what was up with that week of crazy night wakings.  You also seem to have found your ears, as you are always pushing them forward or playing with them.  You scare me a little because I don't want you to tug on your earrings and yank them out accidentally.  

One of my favorite things to watch is when Daddy balls you up and gives kisses on your cheeks/neck - you get the biggest smile on your face, your eyes close and you just have a look of pure joy.  Every time my heart swells when I see that look on your face. 

You and your big sister get along great.  You love to follow her wherever she is playing with toys and join in on the fun.  When she's laying down, you'll crawl over to her and sometimes try and sit on her, it's funny.  You two play with your soft spike balls a lot together.  And you still think she is just the funniest thing around - I love watching the two of you interact and watch the sisterly relationship grow between you two.  I look forward to each new day - as it's always different.  Looking forward for the things to come. 

Love, the Mama

Woke up from nap and is smiling at her big sister. 

Doing naughty things before her sisters 4th birthday party. 

Loving the marble racer with the Hubs.

Taken today, show how big you are, you giving razberries and pushing your ears forward. 



Mamarazzi's Guilty Pleasures Swap


 I received my package from my swap partner Tamy @ 3 Sides of Crazy. Below are the goodies that were in my package.  Tamy didn't include any note with why these were her guilty pleasures, perhaps she'll swing by and share.  Thank you Tamy!

And I'd like to send a special thanks to Mamarazzi for taking the time to host this swap - it's much appreciated all the work and time it takes to do this. 



DIY - Fall Wreath

Allison over @ House of Hepworths shared this adorable FALL wreath she made from Dollar Tree items. I knew as soon as I saw it I had to make one asap!  This weekend we headed to the DT to get party favors and I snuck off to the fall section and got 4 pics of leaves, 2 garlands of leaves, and 2 pkgs of different colored gourds.  Tuesday I sat down to knock out this project, worked on it at nap and bedtime for the girls'.  LOVED how it turned out and already have 2 requests for 2 more to be made.  Thanks Allison for the great idea! I'm linking to these parties.

Hanging on our front door. 



I'm back..

The past week in a half has been quite the roller coaster.  Here's the good, the bad & ugly.

- Your wonderful comments about my past few projects have completely been some of the highlights to my days.  Thank you so much!
- Par taked in a 2 day, 5 family, yard sale this past week and made out phenomenally!  Just when I think we can use some of it for house things, the Hubs picks us up at the end of the day saying he got laid off, talk about an immediate hitting bottom.
- I had a breakdown with my weight last week - here's to my journey to a new me! More on that to come.
- My "baby" is turning 4 in exactly one week.  When did that happen, it can't be possible that I have a 4 year old!!!
- Having a blast planning her kid only bowling party and then grandparent party - Toy Story themed of course, can't wait to share the goodies we are doing.
- The Hubs got called back temporarily for a few days to cover someone on vacation or longer.  Let's pray & hope it's the longer.
- I was able to finally pull out my fall decorations - can't wait to share them!
- We've officially started letting Avalynn cry through her night time waking - she's 7 months, slept through the night Saturday night, ever since then I just let her CIO.  Seriously - I feel like a new mama in the mornings - who knew what a night in your bed could do, even if I'm interrupted by her CIO sessions, it's still better then getting up with her for the 30+ mins.



DIY - Mason Jar Chandelier

A couple months ago when blog surfing I came across Kara Pasley's Tutorial on this chandelier.  I fell in love and bookmarked it keeping it for a weekend project for the Hubs and I.  Over the long weekend we finally went to the hardware store and picked up the items we'd need.

Things we did differently/tips:
- Instead of buying a roll (250ft, cost $40) we bought 3-12ft cords, found with the light supplies for $6 each.  This gave us 18 strands to hook up the jars to.
- Instead of washer's we just used some square things the Hubby had laying around.
- When drilling the holes in the lids, we screwed each lid center to the same jar, so all of the metal droppings would go into that jar and I wouldn't have to clean out 18 of them.
- After you figure out lengths you want the cords/jars, this step is done before tightening the hose clamp, once it is installed you'll need to move the jars around again to get the look you had before, the jars won't stay in the exact same place.
- When figuring out the lengths of the cords we had the hose clamp around them loosely.  Then we wrapped masking tap right below where we had the hose clamp, this way we could take off the clamp to slip the cap on and knew exactly where we wanted to put it back on.

Here's some pictures of making it and the final results.  We are SO HAPPY with how this turned out.  Thanks again Kara for the wonderful tutorial! I'll be linking to these parties.

Picture of the jars in the case. 

Here's me drilling the holes in the tops. 

The square nut thing. 

One of the lighted jars the Hubs did. *Added - we did drill extra holes in the lighted jars to let the heat have an escape*

The Hubs putting the hose clamp around the cords after slipping the cap on. 

Here she is all lit up = GORGEOUS! 

An unlit view of it. 


Wordless Wednesday

My Girls' and I over Labor Day Weekend, before heading to a family picnic.  And I must add it's extremely hard to get 2 little girls looking/smiling at the same time. 



Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying their looooong weekends!  The last hurrah of summer.   We have been jammed packed this weekend and tomorrow will be another fun filled day.  I'll be back tomorrow night with a weekend wrap-up.  Plus the Hubs and me tackled a DIY project that entailed some mason jars, lamp cord, aka - chandelier, calling it Phase 3 of the dining room revamp, can not wait to share it with you all later this week!!!



Foto Friday

As you can see above, Baby Girl has started pulling herself up on things in the past week. I'm so not ready for all of these changes happening so quickly!



DIY- Baby Mobile

Across the Blogosphere I've been seeing these paper pinwheels being used as wall decor. As a previous avid paper scrapper - I had tons of paper sitting in my basement. It took me two different times to attempt and do this. The first paper selection I had picked out was too thick and I was having difficulty getting a nice crease on my half folds.  So, my advice is to pick a thin paper that is light weight.  I didn't take pictures during but here are step by step directions. 
1. Pick out your paper and cut it in a square, I used these sizes: 4", 6", 8", 10" and 12". You will need two squares to complete the circle.
2. Start doing a fan fold, mine were between 1/2" and 1".  Bigger width for the larger squares.
3. Once you have a square completely fan folded, fold it in half and tape the sides together. After this step you should have a half a circle. I saw that some people used double stick tape, but personally I just used clear tape, and taped half and half on the folds I was connecting.
4. Tape both half circles together and ouila - you have your pinwheel.

Ways to hang: I've seen people push tacks/nails through the center and hang them on the wall that way. For my purpose I had the Hubs loop fishing line through them and we used white tacks and hammered them into the ceiling.
Total Cost = $0, as I had everything on hand.  I would say at most though using coupons you could do this project for under $15 if you had to buy everything. 

Below are the pictures of how they look over the crib. Excuse the bad color - it was gloomy when I took these pics.
How they look when standing in the middle of her room.

Close-up shot. 

Picture taken from the floor looking up at them all, this is what Baby Girl sees. 
I'm linking to these parties.