Thursday, October 30, 2014

Boo! Black Kitty Cat!

This year for Halloween our little Pumpkin Coralie is a black kitten!

It's sheer laziness that this is what I selected her costume to be. She already had the black tights and shirt, I had the supplies for the tutu around the house. We even had the tail packed away from a past Halloween. 

The only thing I had to buy was the cute little ears that clipped right into her hair! 

We took Miss Kitty Cat to our home church for the Trunk or Treat to get some candy (for Mom & Dad to eat of course) and for Grandpa to show her off. 

I'm linking up with Julie and Natasha! The link up runs through the 6th, join us!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Finish This Link up!

As a kid, my favorite Halloween costume was ... for several years I was some variation of a princess. My Mom and Grandma had sewn me a peach colored princess dress and I loved it! I honestly don't remember many of my other costumes besides that one. I know all four of us were dressed as Dalmatians one year and I vaguely recall being an animal on Noah's ark, but the Princess dress really stands out to me.

As an adult, I celebrate Halloween by... not much. :) Halloween isn't a big deal for me. It's certainly more fun now that we have Cora! Sometimes I'll hang out over at my Dad's house and help pass out candy (we live too far out in the country for trick-or-treaters). Last year Cora was 10 days old so we turned out all the lights to hide from kids and went to bed early ;) This year we might take Cora to the town's Safe Spook where kids can trick-or-treat at local businesses.

My favorite candy is... the Caramel Apple suckers! I love these!!! I recently went on a quest for them to send some in a care package to Joshua and I had to stop at 3 stores before I found them (finally found them at Target FYI). As best as I can tell you can only get these at this time of year. We've gone through a whole bag of them ourselves already - I need to go get more before they're gone!

Join us! LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Party Debrief

Whew! I can honestly say I'm glad that the weekend is over. 
It was a great weekend, but it was very busy and Saturday was go, go, go! 

Looking back at Cora's party, overall I'm happy. The party served it's purpose, we gathered for fellowship and celebration of our little pumpkin. I'd like to think I also learned a few things that I can apply to future parties and events. 

Hosting in a Park - I won't say that I won't ever do this again, but there are certainly pros and cons to this venue.
  • Pros:
    • The playground is the activity for the kiddos
    • Bubbles & sidewalk chalk provide any additional activities you need - no need to plan extra games.
    • No party prep at home
    • It's less expensive than many out of home venues
  • Cons:
    • You have to bring everything, nothing is provided
    • It's not a private venue
    • Outdoors, weather is unpredictable.
If we were to host at a park again, I don't think we'll serve a meal. I think simple is key here - cake, maybe ice cream (if you can keep it frozen before serving) and if anything else, maybe a simple party platter. It started getting complicated when we were dragging in a grill and hot dogs, fixings and sides etc. 
Decorations also got tricky. We hung Cora's baby blankets on a clothes line as a simple decoration, that was easy enough and actually came in handy to provide extra shade (see the weather note, on October 25th it was a high of 90! It was getting hot!). I also brought most of my fall decor and set pumpkins out on all the tables and had her wagon holding the pumpkins I decorated for her. If I host at a park again, I have one word... balloons! Simple enough and less work than all the other stuff. 

As we planned this party we also decided how we're going to handle future birthday parties. Both financially and for my sanity, we aren't going to throw a birthday party every year. Especially since we assume we're going to have a few more kiddos - that's a lot of parties if we do them every year!
We decided that we will have a special birthday celebration on even birthdays and occasionally make exceptions for special odd years like 1, 13, 15. 

On the even years, the special celebrations won't always be a party. It may be a special trip somewhere and maybe Cora (or a future sibling) would get to take a friend. The odd years that don't have a special birthday celebration we will continue with my family tradition of a home cooked meal and a special homemade cake!

What were your childhood birthdays like?
Do you throw big birthdays every year for your children? How do you draw the line/budget?
What's a family birthday tradition you have?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Little Pumpkin is One!

On Saturday we celebrated Coralie's first birthday party.

When we realized we would have moved less than a month before her party we knew hosting at home was out of the question. We choose to host at a local park instead. It was nice having the playground to entertain the kiddos!

We got her invitations on Etsy, I think they turned out really cute!

I tried to keep the party as simple as possible. Not only to maintain my sanity, but because I was also hosting a wedding shower for my brothers Fiancee that afternoon.

Cora had a rough week, on Wednesday (the day after her birthday) she had her 1 year well visit that included a round of shots. Then she was feeling puny from allergies on Friday. Friday night she woke up about 10:00 pm and thought it was morning? I finally got her back down at 2:00 am Saturday morning but our alarm went off at 6:00, so she was tired to say the least! We snuck in an unscheduled nap before party time but her mood was still off so I started searching for the cause...
Lo & Behold, she had cut a 4th tooth! She now has 2 top teeth and 2 bottom teeth!

With all the bad mood, we were doing good to get her into her tutu and she refused to wear her matching head band. I also didn't manage to get any pictures of her just sitting in her birthday outfit. 
(maybe Auntie Lauren had better luck?)

We had cupcakes and a smash cake that I didn't let Cora smash. :) 
I just couldn't deal with that kind of waste, so she smashed (and ate) a cupcake instead. 

For lunch we had hotdogs, frito chili pie, nachos and a whole host of finger foods I didn't get any pictures of.

We had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to visit with all of the family and friends that were able to come! 

As we were planning we were deliberating how we're going to manage birthday parties in the future. I think we've finally figured out a plan & I want to kind of debrief on what I thought of this party. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we took Cora to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch with our friends Anna, her son A and Auntie Lauren!

A fun time was had by all!

This Pumpkin Patch was fun for all of us, but was definitely geared towards younger children.
One of the great things they did for little kids was they have cutouts of so many different characters! Basically if it is or ever was a childrens show - they have a cut out of it.

Cora enjoyed picking up the pumpkins and holding them. Crawling around in the hay was also a new fun thing to do.
(Up until it made her cheeks turn really red & left her with a snotty nose and cough for the next 4 days...)

The Pumpkin Patch had fun hay rides (that I didn't get any good pictures of...)
and the cute little "train" ride that all the kiddos love!

 They also had the cutest little red wagons you could use to haul your kids (or pumpkins) around in. We had the stroller but who wants that when you can have a cute wagon?!?

At the end of the day we let the kiddos pick out a few of the tiny pumpkins. They were 50 cents each... pumpkin patch is for the experience, not for the pumpkins. ;)

I look forward to taking her back next year! As much as she loved it this year I know she'll be able to enjoy it even more next!

(And on our way home, we stopped and got her pumpkins!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random updates & Finish This Link up!

I love a good link up! I haven't joined these ladies in a while for a Finish This post but I'm excited to be joining in again!  Before I begin, look at my precious baby on her birthday yesterday!

And, in other news... we've made big progress in the house project! Our Shipping Container for storage was delivered yesterday! So now we have a place to put our furniture that doesn't fit in the house (but I refuse to get rid of since we'll build & I'll have a place for again) and we can now tear down the two barns on the property!

This weeks prompts:
It took me a long time to realize... that I can't do everything. Sometimes I have to just let things go. There are going to be times that I will not finish something, or I'll have to just selectively "drop a ball" and that's just got to be okay. In my old age ;) I've also gleaned a bit of wisdom about stress and just letting God handle things. My human self can't handle everything, I am just not strong enough, I love that my God is big enough for me to rely on and that He cares about my mundane, everyday problems.

I surround myself with... friends and family that offer grace and love! Part of recognizing that I can't do everything also means that I just can't have close relationships with people who don't accept me as I am. For example, my house is never going to be perfect and my "people" are okay with that! These are also the people that are warm, kind, generous, loving and positive! I don't have room in my life for unnecessary negativity! 

Join us! LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Coralie - 1 year old!

Dear Coralie, I cannot believe that you are a year old. At exactly 10:57 this morning you were born one year ago! This has been the most amazing year of Mommy & Daddy's lives as we have watched you grow and develop into this beautiful, inquisitive toddler! You have made a beautiful addition to our family and I can't thank you enough for making me a Mommy and thank the Lord for giving you to us! Last night as I got your "Birthday Girl" shirt all ready to go for today I really realized that your birthday is really here. I didn't think that I would be emotional or overly excited about it, I'm not generally that big a fan of birthdays but I have to say that I'm very excited for this one! We practiced singing you the Happy Birthday song and you love it! You giggle and laugh as I bounce you on my hip while Daddy and I sing! I spent the better part of the evening last night thinking back to the last day our family was just Daddy & I. Then thinking through the progression of labor and your birth as each event would have unfolded last year. (And as I thought through them, I of course shared had to share it on Instagram...) I honestly don't think there will ever be so much time go by that I will forget the day you were born. Pregnancy, labor and birth were hard work, but you are oh so worth it (and I"ll do it again for your siblings!)!!

Weight/Height - Home scales are saying 24 pounds, 4 ounces and I tried to measure her height as she squirmed around, I believe she's 28 1/2 inches. I will update this tomorrow (10/22), that's when we have her 1 year well visit scheduled.

Health -Coralie is as healthy as can be. She's fought a little bit of a cold and tummy bug a couple of weeks ago but nothing out of the ordinary. I'm pretty sure she picked up both of those ailments from her block licking habits at the library story time. She has allergies to something at the pumpkin patch, but she crawled around in hay so I don't know what I expected.

Nicknames - "Pumpkin", "Cor-Cor", "Cora Bear", "Cora Bora" and most recently "Bulldog" because she scrunches her face and snorts through her nose when she isn't happy with what you're doing (like putting her in the car seat). John has also recently called her "Cora-lizzy" short for Cora Elizabeth.

Drinking a sonic slush... she loves straws!
Teething - This last month she finally cut her first teeth! She cut a top tooth and a bottom tooth the next day! Then this past Saturday at the Pumpkin Patch I noticed the second bottom tooth has cut. She has several more that are just below the surface but just having these two teeth has really opened up the world of eating different food for her! Like chicken... she's quite the chicken fan!

Clothing - There are a few lingering 9 month outfits in her closet, but really for the most part she's in all 12 month clothes. Actually, her 12 month clothes are tight enough that we aren't buying anything in 12 months, all her winter stuff is in 12-18 or 18 months.

Diapers - size 3 disposables, but cloth at home

Eating - Nursing - I nurse her in the morning and at night. We're working to cut out the middle of the day feeding but if she climbs up in my lap and "asks" to nurse (patting my chest) I let her. At this rate weaning may take a while. Especially this last week when she's been sick, we nursed for a lot of "snacks". 
Beverages - she loves drinking from her straw sippy cup! She'll drink milk (cow milk and almond milk), water and we'll probably introduce juice soon now that she is a year old.
Solids - She eats everything we do! She had been struggling to eat meat, even tiny little pieces that she could gum up and swallow but now with teeth she is loving meat & all things we enjoy!

ZZzzzzZZZ Sleeping - Life isn't back to normal yet. We have been camping out at my Dad's house since we moved (as I write this, 20 days). A new routine has been established but it isn't anything resembling normal. Some nights she sleeps through the night, others she doesn't but if she wakes up she settles down pretty quickly. I hope that after we get settled in at the "new" house, she'll quickly learn to sleep in her crib, in her own room through the night... hopefully.

Staring at a Ball... not the puppy!
Our Little Socialite - Play dates are more fun with Cora now that she is more interactive & alert. We go (almost) weekly to story time in our hometown and the neighboring Denton libraries. Twice a month to MOMs where she plays in nursery & she loves going to "Sunday School" at church.

Likes- Balls have been fun before, but now they really captivate her attention. At the State Fair she was only interested in the balls in the pins with the animals, not at all the animals. She also loves riding around in a wagon! We got her a vintage red wagon at the local Just Between Friends sale for her birthday and she will crawl up to it and "ask" to ride by pulling on it. She loved riding around in one at the Pumpkin Patch too!

Dislikes -Getting dressed... or undressed for that matter. Blowing her nose (which is still a work in progress) or me wiping her face.

New - She's walking!! She took her first steps on 10/15! She isn't consistently doing it but can when she wants to! I'm so excited for her to be walking. I know that keeping up with her will be a challenge but so much more of the world is open to her as a walker! Yay! This might be my favorite development so far!

Fun things we did - 
The State Fair of Texas!

Went to Ennis for Uncle Jacob & Aunt Stephanie's Wedding Shower. 
Her first trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

Goings on with Mommy & Daddy - We're busy with setting up house, remaining repairs and the storage unit will finally be delivered tomorrow! It's been a long month but in many ways we needed this time to just breathe and spend time as a family. With everything that is going on with Johns family, it has been a huge blessing that we're staying with my Dad so he can help with Cora while we take care of other things. 

Exciting Future- This weekend is Cora's first birthday party and Uncle Jacob & Aunt Stephanie's wedding shower (going to be a busy weekend!),