Thursday, April 23, 2015

Preslee is ONE!!

I mean, I can't even.  Is it really THE day?  I can't believe this day has already come!  My baby girl is ONE.... O.N.E.!! I feel like with each of my babies the time just goes quicker and quicker!  I guess the old saying is true-- "Time flies when you are having fun!"  And fun is what we have surely been having.  This month marked some big milestones and I completely watched my baby start turning into a little {almost, but not really-- because I can't admit it} toddler.

Little Ray:

- Well you did it!  You just up and started walking on me!  I knew after posting your 11 month blog last month that this whole walking thing was going to catch on sooner rather than later.  You definitely beat your sisters to the punch on this milestone.  You took your first step a few days after being 11 months old and then about a week and a half later you took a few steps with a little more intentionality.  Within the last few days you have just been walking around the house like you own it.  You definitely walk now more than crawl, and to me that means you are growing up WAY too fast!  I'm so impressed with how easily you caught on once you started.  You are so talented!
- This month you also started using your sign language much more!  You sign more and done regularly and you also started signing "please." You have also learned that pointing and grunting can help you get what you want as well.
- As far as verbal communication you are still only saying "Ma-ma-ma" and "Da-da-da."  Although, you have started jibber-jabbering much more this month. I think you are going to be a talker like your Momma!
-  You are still breastfeeding 5 times day.  At this point I would normally start weaning you, but I am trying to keep my milk in to breastfeed our baby that we will hopefully be adopting over the next year or so.  I don't mind though-- I still like the idea of being your provider & the bond that we have. I know some will think I'm crazy, but that's okay.  I feel this is best not only for you, but also your future sibling.
- On top of your breastmilk, you are quickly devouring solids!  You are so over baby food and you just want whatever we are eating.  So... my momma bird skills have set in!  I will squish the food and mash the food as best as I can to get you little bits that you can "chew."  You will still take some baby food when the rest of us aren't eating, but if we all sit down together, you will have none of that baby food-- just what we are having!
- Speaking of solids you tried your first round of feeding yourself.  You attempted using a spoon all by yourself to eat your oatmeal the other day.  To say everything was a mess would be an understatement.
- You laugh is coming out more and more lately!  It cracks me up!  You laugh with your whole face and I feel like it's so loud!  I love it!
- As far as napping, you will for sure take one long nap each day (about 2-2 & 1/2 hours) and one shorter one (45 minutes to 1 & 1/2 hours) depending on what's going on that day.  You are flexible, and we all appreciate that one!
- You are wearing 12 month clothes & size 4 shoes.
- No new teeth-- just those same top 4 and same bottom 2.  You still look snaggle toothed & I think it's precious!  You did however bite Sawyer two days ago and that was not nice.
- You are into EVERYTHING!!  Drawers in the kitchen, rocks in the fireplace, toys in the toy room, in the dishwasher-- and pretty much everything you can find!  Your favorite thing to do is to take your sisters clean panties out of their panty box and throw them in the trash can in your room.  You will just go back and forth in the closet throwing them away.  You think it's so funny!  We have to check the trash before we take it out to make sure we don't throw away any panties!  Ha!
- You do love being outside and playing in the water.  Every day you seem to remind us in some way that you love these things!
- You have gotten to the point where keeping you in worship with us is getting harder and harder.  You get so fussy after class.  We've had to take you to the nursery the last few weeks during worship.
- Sometimes when you get so excited you will flail your head back and just move from side to side.  You think it's so funny, but it's kinda crazy because you have no concept of something being behind you.
- This month also marked a big event for you.  You started playing baby dolls with your sisters.  You will hold your baby and walk around with her, or you will lay her in a bed.  It's so sweet, but also SO big of you too.  It's like you get it... it's like your not a baby any more.... but you are, because you are my baby.

Sweet baby girl.  It's true.  You are one today.  I can't believe it.  I am so excited about this milestone you have come to, but also a little sad to say goodbye to those sweet little baby moments.  I am so thankful everyday for you.  I truly can't imagine life without you.  You have completely lived up to your name-- for you really our our "Ray" of sunshine.  You seem to be so joyful and you light up a room with your presence.  I thank God every day that HE entrusted me to be your Mommy.  How blessed I am!  My prayer is that as you grow up you will truly learn what it means to be a light in this dark world and that you will continue to shine, but shine with a deeper purpose of bringing others to know Jesus.  You are my daughter but you are HIS child and I pray that the LORD would guide your steps and your heart closer to HIM each day and that HE would use me as a tool in this process.  You are a joy in my life & I feel so humbled and grateful that I get to be your Mommy.  I love you more than any words could ever do justice.  Happy birthday Preslee Ray! 

Here are a few pictures from when we got to meet you a year ago in the hospital :

Here are a few from this past month:

The next two are of Preslee in my bonnet and gown from when I was a baby.  She may be in my dress, but she sure is a spitting image of her Daddy.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Preslee is 11 Months Old

I know I say this EVERY month, but I just can't believe that this little lady is already 11 months old! (11 Months on Monday.) What?!  It can't be...... Time just flies by when you are having fun, and this sweet girl has plenty of it!  It's so crazy to me that she is just weeks away from being one year old.  In so many ways it seems like this sweet girl just got here and in other ways it feels like she has always been apart of our family.  She truly does add so much love and fun to our family!

Preslee Ray:

- I feel like any day you are just going to take off and start walking.  Furniture walking is a breeze for you & you can already just stand without holding onto anything.  Yesterday I was busy making your sister lunch and you were holding onto my leg screaming.  I started to step away, and you let go of me and then took a step towards me because you wanted to follow.  Amidst the screaming, I wonder if you really know what you did.  You kinda looked at me curious and then sat down and kept crying. I'm not sure if it counts as a first step or not, but it was so sweet to watch that little foot move all on its own.
- You are still breastfeeding 5 times a day and eating plenty of solids too.  You for sure want what we are eating.  You will still eat your baby food, but so many times you get mad and try to "get" what we are eating.  You are like my little bird, because I will chew something up for you and then give you a "taste" and you are just in hog heaven.  You think you are so big!
- Your nap times and lengths are dependent on the day of the week. When Kennedie is in school you take a longer nap in the morning and a shorter one in the afternoon.  When K is out of school you take a shorter nap in the morning and a longer one in the afternoon.  You typically get about a 2 hour nap in at some point and an hour nap in at some point.
- You LOVE the water and you LOVE being outside.  We can't leave toilet seat up by accident because you are quick to remind us that there is water in the potty!  Gross! You also get so mad if you see your big sisters go outside and leave you inside.  You think it's completely unfair. You are all grins in your swing outside watching the big girls play.
- You are wearing 12 month clothing for the most part and size 3 shoes.
- You have been the worst out of all three of my girls at pulling your bow off of your head.  I think because I don't make you wear one as often as I had the other girls in bows (just around the house) that I think you notice it way more when you are wearing one.  You just yank it off and think it's so funny.... Mommy does not think it's as funny because you have pulled several apart & bows aren't cheap!
-You got to enjoy your first snow this month. You weren't sure what to think at first, but you quickly decided you liked it because it was outside.
- You still have 6 teeth, but I really think you are trying to get more.  It seems like there has been a bit more drool lately, hands back to the mouth more, and a bit fussy. I love your little snaggle-tooth grin!
- As far as communication you still will only sign "bye," "more," and "done," and verbally you will only say, "Dada," {that's your favorite word}, and "Mamama."  You have been jabbering more lately, and pointing to things, so I think more words are headed your way soon. And you still clap!
- When you get excited you will sometimes close your eyes and do this HUGE open smile with heavy breathing and head movement.  It's so funny! You look so silly!
- You will occasionally just stick your tongue out and look around.  It's like you are biting it... it's so cute!
- You still use your pacifier, but don't get too comfy with it, because we'll be saying goodbye soon!
- You will occasionally fall asleep on me still, which makes my heart happy and brings a smile to my face.

Preslee, you are amazing!  You are the sweetest and most precious little thing.  I love everything about you.  I love your smile. I love the way you look at me.  I love the gentleness about you. I love the passion you have at times about what you want. I love the way you soak up the world with your eyes.  I love the way you lay your head on my shoulders.  I love the way you fit perfectly in my arms. I love your snuggles. I love the way you love your Daddy. You are such a joy to my life and every day I am thankful that God chose me to be your mother.  I love you more than words could ever do justice. 

Tongue Pictures:

My funny girl:

And I even love the sweet serious faces of my angel:

The count down is on to ONE!  CAN'T. BELIEVE. IT.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sawyer's "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" Party

Sawyer turned 3 almost a month ago, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that she is getting so big.  Three is a fun age for party planning.  I think it's the first age they can really "decide" or "pick" what type of birthday party that they want.  For two I try to do what I think they like or what they are into, but so far each of my girls have blatantly chosen what type of birthday party they want.

Last summer, Sawyer was really into Mary Poppins- I mean really into Mary Poppins.  She kept saying she wanted a "Poppins party" and I knew for sure that it was a shoe in for her third birthday theme.  Well, in the fall we checked out the book, We're Going on a Bear Hunt and both the girls really liked it.  The next thing you know sometime around Thanksgiving Sawyer threw me a curve ball and started saying she wanted a "Bear Hunt" party. What?!  My Pinterest board was full of "Poppins party" stuff!  I had penguins and umbrellas and kites and spoon fulls of sugar dancing in my head and what felt like last minute got squashed to death with a bear.   Since Sawyer's birthday is in February, my rule of thumb has always been to start actual work on the party after Christmas.  So, I decided to give her until after Christmas to pick, and whatever she said the day after Christmas that would be the party theme I would run with.

Well.... needless to say (based on the title of this post), she continued to desire a "Bear Hunt" party.  I think Santa was in on it too, because he even got her her very own copy of the book. Ha!

I mean... I can't tell you how much I LOVE this girl!!!

This was actually a SUPER fun party to plan!  I felt I could kinda go two ways with the party-- a bit more girly with teddy bear looking images, or a bit more boyish with grizzly bears.  I decided to stay true to the book and lean the party more into the grizzly bear images.  I wanted to pick a color scheme besides brown and black, and so I decided to tie in some flannel since it was February- and so red quickly became an essential color to the party.

We decided to go with a breakfast themed party again.  Those just seem to work really well for our family since we are big breakfast eaters & typically always do a large breakfast on Saturday mornings.  Pancakes were the star of the show this time around.

Here is an over all scope of the food table:

First thing's first though.... my sweet friend Natalie at Topsy Turvy Print Shop designed the cutest invitation to set the tone of the party!  Isn't it just the cutest thing EVER!?!

Here are the pancakes & syrup. You can't really tell, but we made little bear shaped pancakes for the little ones.  

Besides the pancakes, I really wanted to incorporate different food to go along with the journey that the family went on in search of the bear.  We had "Long, wavy grass," (sour punch straws cut up), "A deep, cold river," (blue jello), "Thick, ozzy mud" (chocolate pudding with crunched up Oreo cookie), "A big dark forest," (pretzel rods dipped in chocolate then dipped in green died coconut to look like trees), "A swirling, whirling snowstorm," (donut holes to resemble snow balls), and "A narrow, gloomy cave," (sausage balls to resemble cave rocks).  Here are some shots of the themed food:

One of my favorite little treats were these super cute little bear paw cookies that I made.  I put them on a tree trunk and called them "bear tracks!"  I found the recipe HERE

My friend, Andrea, made the adorable little bear cake & the super tasty french toast cupcakes with maple syrup buttercream.  She also helped me make the cute little bear cupcake holders with her silhouette machine.  Click HERE for the link to the cupcake/treat holders. 

We also had some "bearies" to go with our food:

Here is my BIG, little three year old looking completely adorable!  (The flannel was thrifted & the "Brave as a Bear shirt" was her birthday present from us. We got it on Etsy HERE.) Her awesome bear hat has to be close to 20 years old.... it was my sisters when she was younger.  My sister and I both got bear hats for skiing when we were little.  Mine was a polar bear & Heather's was a grizzly bear.  I love that we both still have them!  Thanks Aunt Feather for letting us borrow yours for the party!

I set up a little table for the kids to eat at.  I laid brown paper down & stenciled bear paws across it, and put tree stumps for the kids to sit at.  (The picture is kinda crazy with the light streaming through right before party time.)

Other small details... I used a pallet for the back drop.  I stenciled Sawyer's name on burlap bunting and added a little flannel material to the top. I cut red triangles to look a little "arrow-ish" to go along the top. My friend, Natalie, made the adorable little "Hunt" sign to look like those popular "Love" signs & she made all the food label tents to match the invites & sign. (Link to her shop HERE.) I wrapped a cardboard number 3 with black yarn. I so wanted the book on the table opened up to the page where they discover the bear in the cave.  I also had pine cones sitting around.

*I am going to keep pictures of the guests to a minimum, but will post more on my Facebook page. 

After we ate, we watched We're Going on a Bear Hunt being read aloud by the author.  (I just Googled the book and found a UTube version)

Then we all headed to the backyard where I had a sort of obstacle course set up to follow the pattern of the book... we had to go through "Long, wavy grass," (green crepe paper hanging), then "A deep cold river," (blue tarp sprinkled with drops of water), "Thick, oozy mud," (brown towel with an ice pack in the middle to feel squishy), "A swirling, whirling snowstorm," (I strung cotton balls with fishing line & hung them), "A big dark forest," (Lantz had cut tree branches earlier in the week and we set them up to walk through), and finally "A narrow gloomy cave," (the girls have a tunnel & I covered it with a brown tarp for the kids to crawl through).  After getting through the cave (to the backyard), the kids were to "hunt" for a bear.  I made chocolate covered gummy bears and packaged them with little paper bear silhouettes.  There was a "bear" for every kid. 

Sawyer went through the obstacle course over and over the day before and was so excited about it, but of course, this was her reaction on the day of the party:

She did not want anything to do with that obstacle course.  But, eventually after warming up & swinging a bit outside she decided to give it a try:

It looked awesome when she put her head down... just like a bear crawling down a cave:

We had some fun in the sun for a few minutes with the little ones & Sawyer was a bit more in her element:

Then it was back inside for some cake, cupcakes, & presents:

As "thank you" favors, we had a trail mix bar for guests to mix up a bag to go.  

It turned out super cute & again, my friend, Natalie designed the print for the table.  (Click HERE to go to her Etsy shop.) 
The canisters were all just left over canned goods in different sizes that I wrapped with burlap, twine, or flannel.  The chalked ones were leftover hot chocolate canisters that I painted with chalkboard paint & stencil chalked the bears on them.  

I also stenciled the bears on the bags with black paint-- such a super easy last minute touch that I LOVED. 

Here are also the super cute "Thank You" post cards that we mailed out after the party.  Natalie again designed them.  I love how they say "Bear Hugs, Sawyer" on the bottom.  Such a perfect little touch.  See her design store HERE

We had the best time celebrating our Sawyer Sue!!  I can't believe that she is THREE!