Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On my mind

Just as I sit here watching my littles interact I love the way Devyn grabs Cade's fork and hands it to him. The way she looks at him for confirmation is so sweet. She loves him and adores him so much. Always has from the minute she first saw him. He isn't always sure how to respond to her. I'm learning that it's my job to show him  how to respond to her. To be patient and loving and her teacher.

Right now he is sitting at the toddler table that my parents bought him from Pottery Barn Kids a couple of years ago. It's been the best piece of furniture in the house the last few weeks because now Devyn can sit at it with him. To watch them eating breakfast together and fall in love with Mickey Mouse together has made me seriously tear up on a daily basis. (not really, but it's so freaking sweet!)

Just now as I type this lovefest, Cade gives Devyn a totally exasperated look and says, "No Desyn! I don't want that right now." And then he stands up and curls his body away from her. He catches my eye and says, "I don't like her. I want to get another baby!" Um...wth son? Not cool. Not the sweet big brother I was just getting ready to literally blog about.  I guess he's allowed to be moody. He is 3.

Random memories from yesterday:

Yesterday (my story):   Devyn has been tossing bits of her food to our dog Izzy. She does this on the sly. She literally casually extends one arm down and drops one little piece at a time. This kid LOVES dogs. She even crawled up to a baby gate box in Babies R Us the other day and kissed the picture of the dog on it! Anyways, she feeds the dog. Sometimes I catch her. Yesterday she finished her dinner and Cade hadn't touched his. So I told her "Oh good job, Devyn! You ate your dinner! Uh oh, Cade. You haven't eaten your quesadilla yet. No dessert if you don't finish your dinner."  He said, "I WILL eat my dinner! Izzy ate all of Desyn's dinner, I eat all of MY dinner!"  It was so funny for him to totally sell out Devyn that way with his little lisp on the V on her name. I laughed so hard, Devyn started to laugh too. 

Yesterday  (Nick's story): Our disposal has been crap this week. Nick and I divided and conquered the kids so I could run my errand with Devyn and he could use Cade as his little Home Deport helper.  So he needed an extra hand to push down on the new sink part while he was underneath screwing in the disposal. He improvised and put Cade standing in the sink and made him promise to be safe and hold on tight. So Nick goes under the sink and tells Cade hold on tight. And he hears Cade grunt. He finishes up and stands up to see Cade making two fists and closing his eyes tight and grunting. Such a serious little helper!

Last night (our story): I was putting Cade back in bed after his typical second trip to the bathroom after being put in bed. (I guess he is taking the business of keeping his underpants dry at night very seriously.) And he requests a song. So I ask him if he wants "Twinkle Twinkle". No. "How about the firetruck song?" No. He wants a robot song. I frequently have to totally improvise songs for him based on his interest of the day. I start to sing and he says, "No, no, no. The one we sang in car with Daddy. Like this one." And he starts to do the robot hands dance. "Mr. Roboto?" I ask. "Yes! Mr. Oboto!" Um... who knows any actual words to that song besides "Mr. Roboto"? So I start singing, "Oh my god-toe, Mis-ter Ro-bo-to do you know that I love you? Oh my god-toe, Mis-ter Ro-bo-to this I know is true. I have a but-ton turn me on. This is Cade's ro-bot song. And that I love you." (There was more, but I'll spare you. Take in mind I did this in a roboty voice with the necessary dance moves.) I must have sold it, because he was totally pleased. Then I kissed him goodnight and did the walk of shame to Nick on the couch. I confessed that my lullaby was uber-lame and he was like, "Lets see what those words are." He dutifully logged onto iTunes and we practiced a little bit. It really is more of a duet. So we practiced a little. All I can remember now is that I want to be the back-up voice who sings "I've got a secret". And I'll let Nick take the robot-y man lead and I'll just pop out behind his back with my "I've got a secret" refrain and do some robot arms.

Got to go rescue the little climbing lady. She's stuck on our fireplace hearth thing. Thrown all the toys out of her toy box and is holding onto a Darth Vadar (sucking his head) and crying at me to rescue her. Laters bloggies.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Colorado Trip

In early July Nick and I had a Mommy & Daddy getaway to Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  It was our first time away from the kids, together, for a long weekend. Getting away without kids was rough for maybe the first 15 minutes after we dropped them off. Then we realized they would be so spoiled by all four grandparents the entire time we were gone that they wouldn't miss us. And let's face it--- we deserve the getaway!

Our first activity was to head up to Strawberry Springs. There are several pools, hot springs, that you can relax in. It's like sitting a natural spa surrounded by trees! It was so peaceful. If only we had been the only ones there it would have been pure heaven.

The original gameplan was to stay after sunset to see the stars. Howevs, policy changes to "clothing optional" after dark and there were several unsavory groups we'd have preferred not to see. (or have them see us, rather. Because we have huge egos and think that of course they'd rather stare at us than us stare at them. Right?) Actually the drive up to the Springs was so windy and such a small road and we noticed ZERO streetlights, so we thought we'd rather not risk our lives trying to get back down after dark. Is getting older that has turned us into huge nerds or being parents that has done this to us?

The next day we took the Gondola up to Mt. Werner. We hiked along the ski trails and it was gorgeous. Tough as hell hike! Maybe not being used to the altitude made it tough or our lack of mountain hiking experiences...or maybe just being out of shape. We were huffing and puffing by an hour in. But we wanted to see how high we could get. When an old Asain guy ran past us going up the mountain we had a huge "wtf" moment. So we opted to take some pics instead. And we ran into a crazy mountain lady.

One of the not-to-miss things to do in Steamboat Springs is to check out Fish Creek Falls. It was so spectacular. If I haven't already shared my lovefest obsession with my Canon Rebel T3i yet, maybe these pics will convince you. I am OBSESSED! I could totally move to Colorado just to take pictures all day long. It's so peaceful and relaxing there. I loved just being out in nature and having a clear head to think about nothing and everything all at once.

My handsome hubs. Seeing each other as people again and not "Mommy" or "Daddy" was eye opening too. We can't let another 3 years go by without another honeymoon. Seeing him in action as Daddy is wonderful, but seeing him as just Nick was pretty damn amazing.

We headed out to Hahn's Peak Roadhouse for some horseback riding. My lame sense of direction in Colorado lead us an hour in the wrong direction, but luckily hubs didn't hold it against me. We got on Magic and Cody and a blast! It was Nick's first time riding a horse and my first time since 2002. I adore horseback riding, just taking a chill ride and connecting with these beautiful animals (sap alert- vomit in your coffee right now). We're good Texans, huh? Practically horse virgins the two of us.

More pics from Fish Creek Falls. We met a sweet couple and we swapped cameras and took pics of each other. They did such a great job! I wish I'd gotten their names so I could thank them for taking pics of us that don't make us look like fat jerks. Love them!

Oh yeah, so I mentioned we were nerds? We hit up Space Station Gas for snacks the entire trip. The ladies' room was even decorated with kid cut-outs of planets hung from yard and paperclipped to the ceiling. My kind of joint.

Gorgeous downtown Steamboat. We ate at Mambo Italiano before the Rodeo Saturday  night and practically licked our plates clean. Totally worth the wait! We also enjoyed drinks on the back lawn of Boathouse Pub, watching the tubing crowd float down the Yampa Valley River and sitting on a handcarved wooden bench. That was the highlight of the trip for both of us. Enjoying a long conversation and lots of laughs together. We had some appetizers for dinner and they were beyond scrumptious.

Just the two of us.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

It's all in the details

One of my good friends requested a post dedicated to the party details. So here it is! I had so much fun planning Devyn's birthday party last week! It was a princess flamingo theme. I was originally going to go with Alice in Wonderland, but decided all the precious Pinterest tea-party  birthday ideas had to be saved for when she's older. (Gives me time to collect vintage teapots!)

 I started about 6 weeks out keeping my eye on Pinterest, craft stores, Target (of course!) and party stores.  I previously posted about the feather boa birthday wreath, so if you want to check out the DIY tutorial, click here!

I came across the pink polka dot balloons at Party City. They were sold in a pack of 20. I grabbed some of the teal (or Tiffany blue, whatevs!) balloons at the balloon counter. In the background, you can see the birthday bunting I made. I collected pics from Devyn's first year from 0 months to 12 months that I took on the lambie play mat. Each month I took a picture of her with a paper birthday cake that said how many months old she is. I opted to go with the prop instead of the onesie sticker shirts because I wanted a collection of photos in my favorite of her outfits from the first year. I glued them to bright pink, light pink, teal, and lime green scrapbook paper border and used double stick tape to affix them to the bunting triangles. I also numbered each triangle and hung them in order so guests could see her grow. It was my favorite decoration, and definitely the most time-consuming to make!

We served Devyn's favorite foods. Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets (with Polynesian sauce for Mommy!), fruit salad, a veggie tray (with strawberry shortbread thumbprint cookies), broccoli salad, pink cookies, mini chocolate cupcakes, and chicken salad. 

Her cake was white chocolate ganache with buttercream icing. Her cake sweated a little bit (come on, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software, get here now!). We ordered it from Kroger, custom colors for her party. The design matched what we ordered for Cade's first birthday.  It's seriously one of the most delicious cakes I've ever had! And I loved that it looked like fondant but had that scrumptious buttercream taste!

I made tissue paper flower poms and hung them from our chandelier over the food table. Devyn loved them!
I did a birthday photo shoot at the park with Devyn. We used this photo on her invitation that my brother custom designed for us. We had a fancy flamingo princess themed party, so the gift baskets had a Grow-Your-Own-Flamingo egg (Dollar Tree), glow stick necklaces, shiny bead necklaces, and bubbles. All from the Dollar Tree and Albertson's.

I was so happy to come across the  yard flamingos in the Target Dollar Spot. I literally squealed and did a happy jump dance with my mom when I found them. I drew the flamingo my  brother created for the invite on pink posterboard and added glittery tiara, ring, and necklace accessories. I put one on the front door and another on the living room window above the kids' table.

I bagged popcorn favors for all the guests. Movie Theater Butter + Pink Vanilla = yumminess! Popcorn was from Pop It! in Plano.

Her bib is custom order from Etsy. Pink flamingos on Tiffany blue backing. The cupcake tiara is from Little Lam Boutique in Richardson.  Her smash cake is an oversized cupcake with custom icing to match her birthday cake, also from Kroger.
Devyn was right, it was too pretty to smash! The big kids at the party helped show her how to dig in!  More pics of the party itself to come.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

DIY Feather Boa Wreath

Like all great ideas, I came across this one from Pinterest! I just had to make a fabulous birthday wreath, so I collected ideas on my "Let's Party, Y'all!" pinboard and decided on this wreath.

Estimated total cost $35. You definitely could do it for cheaper if you found the boas at an online wholesaler, or a drag queen's garage sale. Whatevs! I was in a crunch and had to get it done ASAP, so I didn't have that luxury. When you do hit up the craft store (I used Michaels and Hobby Lobby), do NOT go without your smart phone loaded with the Michaels app, and Hobby Lobby website with coupon pulled up. Both stores will scan the coupons from your phone.  Michaels take competitors' coupons, as does JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby does not. Definitely go prepared. The boas can make this project tres expensive if you're not prepared.

Foam pool noodle - Dollar Tree - $1
Duct tape or clear packing tape - about 2 feet worth
Grosgrain ribbon - to hang from door/wall - $1.99
Thinner grosgrain ribbon - to hang your letter initial - $0.50
Glitter paint
Wood letter - Hobby Lobby - $1.29
4 feather boas - Hobby Lobby - $8.99 each (but look for cheaper online!)
Floral pins - less than $2

First tape your pool noodle into a circular form. This is the base of your wreath!

Next tie your ribbon. Head to the spot where you'd like to hang your wreath and measure the distance you'd like it to hang. I did this about halfway through (pic below) so I could see how fluffy the wreath would be. I'm super visual, so this part helped me out.

You can hold your wreath as you work or hang it, whichever works best for you. I did a little of both. Wrap your boas around and around the noodle. You can leave a little room between wraps or pack them tightly together. Mine are pretty tight. I started off looser, but it wasn't as lush a look as I wanted. About every 3 wraps or so I would use the floral pins to tack the boas onto my wreath form. I love not using hot glue! It was easier to work on this project in between juggling kids' needs and pick back up later without worrying about leaving a hot glue gun laying around. ALSO you can re-use the boas this way.

This is a pic of the pins I chose to use. They worked really well! My boas are super secure, but they were easy to reposition. For the wood letter I started off with Krylon glitter spray. I, apparently, am some sort of jackass because it globbed up on me. Try doing short bursts and shaking the can frequently to avoid globbing if you go this route! I happened to have a silver Sharpie paint pen, so I opted to paint pen the other side of my letter and use Tulip glitter paint on top once the paint pen dried. The effect was as disco-ball as I was hoping for! I used a sparkly translucent thin ribbon to tie my "D" to the larger teal ribbon loop I used as the hanger. 

The effect was super cute. I hung the wreath on my front door for my daughter's fancy flamingo first birthday party! I'm going to hang the wreath in her room post-party as decor. It might make it's way to my classroom if I can't resist stealing it from my little diva!  It's too fabulous not to show off!

Other options would be finding some jewel floral picks to stick in to add some bling.
I saw some other cute ideas on Pinterest. One lady had made her wreath from orange boas and added a giant black spider for Halloween. Another person had used white boas and glittery snowflakes for the holidays. I came across boas that were purple, yellow, and green feathers and thought it would be a super-fun Mardi Gras wreath for you Louisiana fans!  It would be a cute springy wreath with little Easter bunnies and glittery foam eggs.  Seriously, I think there is at least one more feather boa wreath in my future.
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A day at Nascar

A few weeks ago my dad cashed in on his birthday gift, the Mario Andretti Racing Experience at Texas Motor Speedway.  I had come across a Groupon and thought this would be a perfect gift for dad. Aren't Bucket List gifts the greatest?!  He chose to do the Formula 1 race cars, which were WAY faster than the Nascar cars.  Kudos to Dad for being the bigger badass of the group of men there that day! 

I have only been out to Texas Motor Speedway once. I thought it was fun to dress White Trash (hehe) and have beer brunch (AKA tailgating) at 9:00am. This time I was pumped to be in the middle of the track.  And armed with my camera. And some knowledge from many Google searches on how to best photograph race cars.   I think for my first time doing any type of "sport" photography, I came away with some cool pics. I was totally going for the sharp car but blurred stands in the background to capture the speed.

They do drag racing too. We watched for a bit before we drove out. I think it'd be a fun day trip to take the kids out to watch drag racing when they're a little older.

Here he is suiting up.

All the men were walking around like total badasses. As soon as they got into those racing suits they all had a swagger about them. Totally hilarious. Especially the dude next to us who wore dress shoes and brought along his shih tzu, Sophie, and "arm candy"/"trophy wife" Betty. 

So glad my dad had the sense of mind to wear tennis shoes. Here is giving his pre-race thumbs up.

Lap #1, that's my Dadio, notice the thumbs up! Pretty impressive considering the G-force.

It was a totally great experience. Fun for him to race and fun for me to photograph!!
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Thursday, July 19, 2012


I am so exhausted, but I don't want to sleep. Because when I wake up my darling baby girl will be one year old. This time last year I couldn't sleep. It was like Christmas Eve. This year I am so proud of her to be turning one. Isn't that silly? But proud accurately describes this emotion. The amount of information a child receives their first year of life is truly amazing. Learning about and adapting to this world are huge things. I'm proud of us for surviving sleepless nights, teething, breastfeeding, first fevers, daycare, all of it! I'm trying to recall my fears and worries a year ago. One was, how can I possibly have from in my hear for another child? (don't worry Devyn, I sobbed before Cade was born because I loved our lhasapoo Izzy so much and just couldn't fathom how I could love a baby boy!). As soon as you were born darling girl, I was head over heels for you. Each new face you make and word you say and thing you do stretches my heart even more. You make strangers fall in love with you everywhere we go, of course your momma is totally smitten with everything you do. (except that diaper last night, that was nasty something fierce!!) I love you, Devyn. So so much. Another fear was am I cut out to mother two kids? Somehow I have to toot my own horn, because I am mommy to both of you, and sometimes I flat out rock it. Other times I fake it, and other times I fall flat on my face. But I am learning and loving it! Having baby number two was the decision that completed me. That little ache in my heart for a baby girl that I've carried my whole entire life was soothed by you little girl. You amaze me and I love you. I wish to be your best friend one day and I know we will learn so much from each other. I can't wait for you to teach me some things. I am trying so hard to pull together a beautiful first birthday party for you. We have pink tissue paper pom Pom flowers hanging through the house, a pink feather boa in our front door with a glittery D hanging from it, pictures from your first year strung from ribbon and pink and real scrapbook paper, and more surprises to come! I hope you love your special birthday. I have agonized about every single detail. Cupcakes or cake balls or cake? What kind of icing? What type of tutu should you wear? Where can I find THE perfect birthday shirt? Why can't I find that one little white sandal??!!! I want you to have proof when you are sixteen and hating me that I would give the world to make everything so perfectly beautiful for you. Just to see you smile and laugh and clap your sweet little hands is all I want. Time to go put on some Tim McGraw, watch your photo slideshow another time, and wrap some gifts. I love you Devy Doo. Love, Mommy

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fourth of July

Our Fourth in pictures. God bless America!
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