Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, G-man!

I promise to be back later with pictures of all the fun Etsy stuff I scored... but I've got an entire birthday party to plan TODAY! Yikes!

Happy birthday, little man! You had a rough start with several months of RSV and that helmet (I think we made the best of it!) But you've turned into the sweetest little boy. I love that you're laid back, that you let me kiss you a million times a day, and that you are so adorable that even your teachers can't help but kiss you and tell you they love you! Happy day, sweet boy....

And now.... watch me grow.... :) (I'll spare you the weekly pics and just skip around a bit! I will tell you... that for a mom like me, this kind of commitment is HUGE! Unparallelled. I'm proud of myself.)

Watch out... I'm growing fast!
Really, really fast!

Helmet time!

He was still in the helmet at 8 months, but... it came off for this pic!
And still in the helmet! But again, mommy took it off - we were close to done!
Grown up boy, pretty head...
Much thanks to Catherine at Polkadots & Paisleys - she did his bday invite and sent me the pirate I used in all these pics!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

365 nights ago....

I just can't believe it's already been a year! Last year at this time, I was in so.much.pain. Pain like I'd never been through during my pregnancy with Big Sister. I'd had almost 7 weeks of contractions so bad. So bad that - almost daily - I considered going to the hospital after work instead of going home.
My blood pressure was high.
And I had a new pain. One I had never had before.... a tooth ache! That's the worst kind of pain. I'd had a filling fall out and the dentist was not thrilled about doing anything permanent to send me into labor. Considering I was my high blood pressure AND that going to the dentist even under normal circumstances causes me to have severe anxiety... that was probably wise.
But I didn't sleep for one second that night. The pain was agonizing. I was willing to have a baby in order to fix my tooth. Little did I know.... that less than 24 hours later, I'd have my wish....

Tomorrow is baby G's birthday - he'll be ONE! (sniff, sniff) I had an awesome mail day and got several things that I ordered last minute for his birthday, including a baby bib and some cupcake toppers (both from Etsy sellers!) I also stayed up into the wee hours of the night this week, editing pictures for the party - like the 2 above. I'll be back tomorrow to preview the fun party stuff. Then again later with all the party pics and details!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making an 'impression'

Isn't this super cute? And someone gets to win a complete print of your choice of personalized baby artwork - a $200 value!

Baby Print Art employs a “stamping” process for a child’s feet and/or hands that can be integrated into a unique piece of artwork chosen by the customer. All backgrounds are fully customizable and can include a photo of the child or any other picture the customer chooses.

And they can print literally any color - they take custom requests to match any room. Like this:

I love the combo of the foot, baby face, and hand print above!
Then again, I love the simplicity of just the footprint in this nursery.

And it's not just for babies! What a cute way to capture any age!

Visit Design Dazzle to read more about the process (it's easy!) and enter to win! (But would't this be perfect to do in conjuction with G-man's (still primarily unplanned) birthday!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prayer and more prayer

Y'all, it's time to pray. Harder. And more. For sweet baby Stellan. Please check in on him and send all your thoughts and prayers to that sweet baby, his momma, and their family.

Prayers for Stellan

Friday, July 24, 2009

Live from your All Pirate Network....

LOL! Y'all, G-man's pirate nursery is in the news again! And before you tell me how tired you are of seeing it (although I never get tired of hanging out in that room!), I just want to take the opportunity to continue to introduce you to the coolest websites for moms, for decorating, for inspiration!

Meet: Design Dazzle. If y'all like decorating (ooh, me, me!!), you've got to get to know Toni and Design Dazzle. It's 'decorating ideas and design inspiration for babies, kids, teens.' One stop shop! She's had some of THE cutest rooms! (She did another pirate room, and they had the cutest treasure map painted on the wall. Isn't that a cool idea? I'll have to get Mr. Fix-It right on it!)

So please visit Toni, check out G-man's room, and be sure to email me with your latest decorating achievement - I'd love to see them! (After all, we'll be moving next summer and I'll be on to my next set of decorating adventures!) TGIF!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SO this one is called: Tired of the struggle...

....or why I've started the 30 Day Shred. ;)

So, I've started this topic 100 times in the last couple months... and the drafts just keep piling up in my little corner of bloggy world. Partly because I've been at a loss as to what to say, how to say it... And partly because I've had even less time than usual to breathe, much less blog. I mean, tell me if you think otherwise, but life just seems TOUGH right now! I have friends everywhere who are going through hard times.... friends with moms/dads that have cancer... friends whose child has been diagnosed with autism.... friends who have lost their jobs or their spouse has lost their job.... friends dealing with depression.... friends struggling to deal with mommyhood....

And those are just my friends in real life! I'm reading similar stories from online friends, from the blogs I read.... like this one on Ashley's Closet.... and reading comments of people who can relate.... One reader even had this comment, which I just love:

"When God closes a door he opens a window...but it's hell in the hallway."

I have friends - like me! - who are really, really struggling with the juggling act that is being a working mommy. To the point, that something's gotta give. I can't say much about work, except that it's been beyond stressful - to levels I've never seen before. It's affecting my family, my health.... And it's leading me to think alot about what I can affect, what I can change. Because I'd rather spend my time caring for and helping my friends with these much more important life struggles! I'm not sure what it entails yet - maybe a small change that would have a big impact?

But there are a few things keeping me going....

~I keep having relevant conversations with good friends IRL... esp other working mommy friends like Sasha (my personal therapist, sometimes! my personal trainer, apparently, who got me started on c25k and the shred!)... She's such a good cheerleader and knows alot about the stresses I'm under..... Then there's my friend Julie, my current mom-spiration.... I think I've mentioned her before - she works 60 hour wks and has 2 kids (just like me!) But she must have gotten to that breaking point, too, and now, on top of everything, she's going back to school to become a nurse! WOW! We laughed about how we both have been working 12 hr days anyway... being a nurse is tough (my longest, dearest friend is the best!), but at least she's thinking 3 12-hour days a week (instead of 5 and occasional Saturdays!)

~And then I drop in on moms of all kinds, who blog about their struggles and I realize I'm not alone. Ahhh, that really does help, you know?

~And Mr. Fix-It.... i.e. Mr. Wonderful..... a few weeks ago, on a particularly crappy Monday..... I came home to a Starbucks giftcard (that man is genius!) and these: gerber daisies. He's the best. He understands that a grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte can make my entire day better. Or at least until it's gone. ;) He has been my rock.... He's kept the kids while I've worked all hours of the night. And he makes it fun for them - whether it's Wacky Pack night at Sonic, or shoulder rides, or even playing with dolls! He kept the kids most of the weekend my friend Amy was in town, so I could have some girl time and recharge from all this work nonsense! He entertained them last weekend while I hosted the Pink & Orange Baby Shower at our house - and he even helped me prep for the shower! And this weekend.... while I'm likely working on Sat... he'll have the kids again. He deserves a medal. Or an iphone. Or something! But instead - he has traded in his truck so that I could get a new vehicle! What?! The man's generosity tears me up....

~The 30 day Shred. It's killer! But it was great when I was on hiatus with that bum toe. ;) And I had been meaning to jump on the Shred bandwagon.... ever since Sasha first started talking about it You see, I have plenty of motivation, ALOT to look forward to this summer... but when I envision all these fun things, I picture a skinnier, more toned me... not this person who has been working 60+ hour work weeks and eating entire bags of Smartfood popcorn. ;) And I had been doing fairly well... even worked up to jogging 3 miles at a time! 3 times a week.... But then, the toe injury. ;) I can see a difference, as far as toning goes! And I intend to add jogging back in and I think that the 2 of them could have me feeling great! Maybe after swimming lessons are over....

Speaking of.... swimming lessons have been the face of my working mommy stress in general. Meaning, that my 3 1/2 yr old child is just in her first swimming lessons EVER in her life. Which is unheard of in TX suburbs. She's a good year older than anyone in her class - but the next class up is only for kiddos who have had lessons before. I spent all of last summer stressing about not having the time to take her to lessons, while I was working late hours (oh, and being 9 months pregnant!) So, as swimming lessons represented ALL that I miss - all that my kids miss out on with 2 working parents - they are almost a sad subject to me. And now, Big Sis has to watch the girl her age (with the Ariel swimsuit, who Big Sis went made friends with in 4 seconds, while waiting for lessons to start!)... because she's in the next class up, on the other side of the pool....

Which is why I'm now taking applicants for a fill-in mommy.... who could do a better job with extra-curriculars than i am! ;)

So, thanks for listening to my therapy here.. ;) And don't give up on me yet - I know my blogging has been sporadic.... I promise to have semi-homemade greatness for you soon! In fact, G-man's Pirate Birthday Bash is just 10 days away! Ahoy!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Semi-Homemade Baby Shower: Modern Pink & Orange

I had so much fun today hosting this modern pink & orange baby "sprinkle" for second time mommy-to-be and our dear friend Mrs. Everything!

The goal: to have as much hot pink and bright orange as we could find - and to put sprinkles on anything not moving. ;)

It all started with scrapbook paper and scissors! I printed off these food placecards a few nights ago..... things like tickled pink lemonade, baby "sprinkle" cupcakes, and sweet cravings for the candy bar!

I had planned to buy some super cute cupcake toppers with the baby's monogram on them, but she was nameless until 5pm last night! So.... Etsy to the rescue (as usual, right?) I was lucky enough to find paper & cake and their printable partyware. (Love their slogan: Print - Cut - PARTY! I'm thinking about ordering their pirate set for G-man's birthday party!) I picked their floral cupcake wrappers (only $4!! and with orange & pink flowers!), and within minutes they had emailed me the pdf. I printed them out (I photoshopped some for a more custom look!), trimmed them with some fun scalloped scissors, and voila! All that was left was to tape them around each cupcake this morning. PERFECT for the last minute party planner!

Sam's did a great job getting the hot pink super hot and the bright orange screaming loud! (You'll never guess... those are Hannah Montana colored cupcakes, lol!)

This morning we set it all up... pink and orange dishes, napkins, cutlery....and pink & orange wrapped boxes for different heights! Doesn't look like I got any pics of the final set up, but this is one from when I had things going in the oven....

The menu: mini quiches, fruit salad, strudel bites, and (requested by both the guest of honor and my co-host), my Semi-Homemade Baked Brie. Y'all. If you're trying to impress, but want to stick strictly to the semi-homemade, you've GOT to try this! The recipe:

Baked Brie
1 brie
1 granny smith apple, chopped up
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl melted butter

Combine all ingredients and stir. Slice brie in half. Place half of mixture in between brie, then the rest on top. Bake at 350 for approx 20 minutes. Serve warm with crackers (wheat thins!)
The drinks! By now y'all know my love of tulle.... so, of course, I tied pink & orange tulle to each glass... and the pitcher.... and the cutlery basket.... and anything else that stood still.....

When I was brainstorming, what I wanted more than ANYTHING else was to do a candy bar! My co-host Kristin said she'd be all over it - and look how cute it turned out! The cupcakes are in the center and are surrounded by:
pink & orange mnms
gummy strawberries
orange slices
blow pops
& cellophane bags for all the guests to take home their own "sweet craving."

The candles and cute diaper bundes were for the momma-to-be to take home!

Our last bit of decor was the clothesline! Those are plain, white onesies with some of THE cutest iron-on transfers & a few new toys for baby Everything. Isn't Mrs. Everything just glowing?

Present time! I couldn't help myself and wrapped my gifts in pink, orange, and tulle...

Mr. Fix-It had done my grocery shopping (and SO MUCH MORE! I truly have the best husband... he's been taking amazing care of the kids while I work insane hours, kept them all last weekend while I had girl time, and helped me prep for this shower. Muuah! Love you, Mr. Fix-It!!) Anyway.... he accidently forgot the baby shower card... and since this baby was given a name, just last night.... I took the opportunity to make a card (that coordinated with the food placecards!)

Honestly, I've never made a card before, but I had all this cardstock lying around, so.....

t...... is for teagan! Yep, baby Everything is now Teagan Everything! Super cute, huh?

She got lots of essentials (diapers to last at least.... well, several wks, but you know how many diapers that is with a newborn!) And she also got lots of super cute clothes:
And this darling swimsuit - it's Baby Phat!

And here's the pic we somehow didn't get when we threw her last shower. This is me, Mrs. Everything, and my co-host Kristin. Awwww, look at that cute baby bump!

Hope you enjoyed it, Mrs. Everything! Now, it's time to just relax until we meet that precious baby girl! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time to walk the plank!

Just kidding! I can't tell y'all how happy.... relieved.... giddy... I am to have such a cute invite for G-man's pirate birthday party, and I didn't have to do one single thing! I worked with Catherine from Polkadots & Paisleys - she's so sweet and easy to work with! - and she took care of everything. So.... I present you with the results:

This one has a more "worn" look.... would probably look better if it was a brownish color ("tea-stained" as Mrs. Everything so eloquently said!), but I wanted to go with black and red for the party, so I'm going with the top one!

(And much thanks to Catherine for whipping up a blog copy for me to post here and share with y'all!)
Lots of exciting party planning going on in my world right now. Watch soon for pictures of the Semi-Homemade Modern Pink & Orange Baby Shower I'm throwing for Mrs. Everything this weekend! That will be followed by G's Semi-homemade Pirate Birthday Party.
And so many of you commend on my That Friend post.... I'll be sure to come back when the dust settles on the baby shower and fill you in on the fab weekend I had (thanks for asking!) :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Semi-Homemade PIRATE Photo Shoot

Arrrr! ;) Well, as usual this mommy is short on time and long on things that are past due. I won a photo invite during Tip Junkie's big birthday bash giveaway (from Polkadots & Paisleys - she's got the cutest stuff, flats and invites and everything - go check it out!) And since I promised her I'd send her the party info and invite pic by Sunday (ooops!), I made Mr. Fix-It and Big Sis help me drag G-man (or is it Pirate G-man? Or Captain G-man?) out in the heat for a (super quick!!) photo shoot. And.... the results....

I love, love this one..... it shows his sweet side, I think....

This is prob my fav and the one I'm leaning towards for his party invite.... What do y'all think?

What a cutie!Inspecting the eye patch....
Hmmm, the eye patch was a good idea......

.... but not one I had TOO much confidence in working on an almost-one-year-old....

So.......... which is your favorite? Maybe I'll use one on the fab invites I won and another in some thank you notes I'll make myself!
Stay tuned & I'll show you the super cute invite as soon as it's ready to go!

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