Thursday, June 13, 2013

Need a pair?

Fabulous pair of shoes here for a steal!!! I was looking for a nude pair of close toed shoes for work and found these instead. These would be great for so many fall/winter occasions and perfect for a summer wedding with a fun colored dress!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer books (the best kind)!!!

Like anyone else, my summer reading list only gets longer and longer as the days go by and as friends and bloggers post about their newest/favorite books.  I thought I'd post a few of my most recent reads as well as books I'm on the wait list for at the library in hopes that it allows you to find something new for your summer reading list (b/c it's never long enough!!)
I have read ALL of Jodi's previous novels. I loved most of the originals and then stopped liking them for awhile (10th Circle- uggggggg), and this book brings it all back home for me. I absolutely loved it. It's a book about the Holocaust as well as present time and the characters are great. It was definitely hard to put down once I got in bed for the evening!
If you love historical fiction and aren't yet reading Ken Follet's books, please do! Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books, and the Century Trilogy (above is book 2) is just as good. I love, love, love that his books are crazy long so that you have a long time to get to know the characters and follow them throughout time. This book is set during WWII (1st book of the trilogy during WWI) and follows families throughout America, Russia, and Europe. Yes, they are long and look intimidating and hard to hold on the beach, but they are so worth it!!

Just finished this 2 nights ago. LOVED. Toad is a wonderful guy and I would have never predicted the ending at all. Conroy's descriptions of Charleston put you right there and you can feel the humidity while sitting in your bed at night. Lovely writing, great book.

Oh, Jen Lancaster, how I love you. You are truly hysterical and every book of yours makes me laugh out loud. This is her newest, and will be out this month! She just posted about these books on her blog, and I've written them all down to request from the library. If she thinks they're wonderful, I know I will too!

My very favorite author. I love every single Daniel Silva book, hands down. I love spy novels, and his are the best I've read (my father would agree- oohhh great idea for father's day presents- start with The Unlikely Spy (the first book about Gabriel Allon)). I'm smiling just sitting here thinking about starting this and knowing how I will get NOTHING else done the few days after I get this book into my ready hands. If you haven't ever read spy/cia novels, I would recommend these anyway. He's written maybe 15 (??) now and you will just LOVE the characters. They're pretty much the same people book after book and they're wonderful.

Bound to be the biggest seller of the summer. Hopefully it will live up to the others!

One of my friends who is in editing/publishing just said that everyone should read this book as "you won't be disappointed". That's enough for me to put it on my list!

Any other suggestions for me? Are any of you library junkies like me or do you buy your books? I read them so fast that I feel guilty buying them for 2-3 days of pleasure. I will buy them if I know I'll read them again in the future (Daniel Silva) but, for the most part, I put my must reads on my library account and wait anxiously for them to come in! We're at the library regularly for books for Spencer anyway, so it works out well. You could just say that I'm cheap- I like to think of it as resourcefulness and more cute clothes for the boys ;)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Birthday Party Fun!

I am wayyyy behind on posting so many things, but I finally uploaded all our birthday party pics to the computer so I thought I would get this post up!

We knew we wanted to have a Sesame Street themed birthday party for the boys as Spencer loves Elmo's World, and we often sing C is for Cookie as our brushing teeth song (I've even made up new words with all his friends names in it b/c I got sick of the original version!). Plus, the colors are fun, the ideas are plentiful on Pinterest, and it is easy to find Sesame Street themed things in the stores.

I took Friday off work to make/organize all the food and do all the last minute shopping that needed to be done. Our menu consisted of the ever popular Ham and Swiss sliders that are all over Pinterest, Pineapple Chicken Salad, fruit kabobs, veggies (some with hummus and some with ranch), goldfish (where would Elmo be without Dorothy??), Italian rice salad, applesauce pouches, chocolate chip cookies, whoopie pies, and 2 kinds of cupcakes.
The food was all arranged on the kitchen island

(Please put this recipe on your list of things to try this summer. It is AMAZING!!! We make it all the time for parties and everyone always loves it! It also is wonderful as leftovers for lunch for a few days afterwards!)
Bar Cart- we had beer, wine, blackberry margaritas, soda, Izze fruit juices, mini waters, and juice boxes for the kids

Desserts were in the dining room on the table and on the buffet

The boys were dressed in shirts from this darling boutique on Etsy. I wanted them to match but not perfectly and I loved that the colors were similar but they each got their own character. I thought they looked just adorable in them!!

For Decor, I made letters for the front door, we put up banners (one in the dining room and one in the kitchen) that I bought from Party City, we did favors on the front table, and all our signs for the food and the games were created by B on the computer at work. I bought polkadot ballons and had them filled with helium the morning of the party. We placed them on the deck, on the mailbox, and around the house for the kids to play with.

One of the activities for the kids was Ernie's Duck Pond. I got a cheap inflatable pool, 12 ducks, and a few fishing nets for kids to fish out the ducks. I think more kids made it in the pool than ducks made it out, but they enjoyed it!

I ordered the treat bags from Zulily and stuffed them with a coloring book, a sesame street plastic cup, and a maraca from the dollar section at Target.

We had a bunch of bubbles out on a table for kids to play with. I forgot to get pictures of the other games, but they included Oscar's Trash Toss- a garbage can and crumpled paper for kids to aim for the basket and Cookie Monster's Cookie Throw- Blue solo cups with a Cookie Monster decal stuck to the front and then I made cookie shaped beanbags to toss at the pyramid of solo cups. It was really cute and I'm mad I didn't get a picture!
Here is a picture of the cups- now picture them in a pretty pyramid with cute cookie beanbags to throw at them!

Spencer wanted cupcakes instead of a cake, and I was fine with that. I made both chocolate and strawberry  cupcakes both of which got a fabulous vanilla buttercream frosting that was not at all too cloying or sweet. As necessary for any 1st birthday party, below are some pics of Peter with the cupcake. I was nervous about not having a true smash cake, but honestly, he doesn't need all that sugar and he didn't even eat all the cupcake that he had!

(don't you just want to eat him up!!!!!)
Overall, the party was really fun. We were glad that we had so many people who wanted to spend the morning with us celebrating are sweet boys. While we definitely aren't birthday party every year kind of people, this one went off well, and I think I'll be ready in 2 or 3 years for another joint one!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spencer is THREE!!

My sweet Spencer,
Today you are three!! The pictures above and below were taken last summer, and boy have you grown since then! I can't believe how little and sweet you look!

You are a talker just like your mommy and daddy! You always have something to say. You love to sing, you love to tell us about everything that goes on, and you love to read books. It's amazing how verbal you have become. You can count as high as 60 in English and 16 in Spanish, you know all your letters and most of their sounds. Your current favorite song is "Jesus Christ is risen today" from Easter service. You know all the words to verses 1 & 2. You don't really know what all the words mean though so when you sing it some of the words get smooshed together to create new ones. It's adorable! You know all the nursery rhyme songs (Baa Baa Black Sheep, ABCs, London Bridge, etc, etc). You also LOVE the Laurie Berkner CD and know quite a few of the songs on the greatest hits album by heart.
Your favorite thing to do is to play sports. You love to golf (it was a sad day for me when you stopped saying "dolf" and started pronouncing it correctly!), you love to play hockey (golf with a helmet), and play catch. You got a basketball hoop and a soccer net for your birthday and you have been using them non-stop since Saturday. You are not really into cars or trucks. You love construction equipment whenever we see it when we are out and about and you love books about them, but you don't "play" cars, trucks, or trains. You love blocks and puzzles. You're getting really good building "tall towers" which Peter now is obsessed with knocking down.

You are a good eater and sleeper. You sleep from 8ish-6:30ish most days. Probably one night every 1-2 weeks he will end up in our bed from 1-4 am. He climbs in the middle and then one of us will wake up eventually and put him back in his bed.

You eat most of what we eat every night. You are currently crazy about the Mueller Yogurts that have the layer of chiffon on top. You eat one every morning with a little bit of granola on the top. You eat fruit or veggies for most of your snacks when we are at home. You love all fruit and your favorite veggies are peas and carrots. We still have to soften up the carrots just a touch for you or else it takes you 20 min to eat just one baby carrot. You can be picky at times and, heaven forbid, we put a green bean on your plate. That almost always leads to a full on fuss fest. We do have to encourage you to drink milk. You much prefer water. I can't blame you buddy, but I also know that you need the calcium for your growing bones!
You adore daycare. You love your teachers (so do we!!) and have great friends in your class. Your best friends are Ethan, McKenzie, and Kelsey. You talk about them all the time. There is a little girl named Rachel who follows you around all the time and just adores you. It makes me smile every time I see it! Miss Kelly says that you tend to hang out with the girls more because you are not as rough and tumble as many of the boys in your class. I would definitely agree with that. You have a tentative personality and are never the one I am going to have to worry about doing wild and crazy things. It's just not who you are at your core. You are sweet and smart and shy until you get to know people.
One thing we are really working on with you both at home and at school is picking up. You want to jump from activity to activity without any cleaning up in between. You will let other kids in your class pick up for you and not help. You've gotten slightly better over time, but it is still your weak point. We also have to remind you at times to have your own voice as you won't get into trouble on your own, but if someone else is doing something and asks you to do it, you will join them even if you know it is wrong. We have talked about it a few times with you and it does seem to be getting better in the past few months. I feel that finding your own voice now will lead you down a better path throughout the rest of your life, my boy!
You adore Peter. Sometimes a little too much :) We have to tell you to stop hugging him so tight sometimes!! You are so good to him and try to help him walk or learn how to do other things. It's so sweet. You do occasionally become protective of your toys and you will often tell us that something is yours and not Peter's. We know that sharing will be something we will always have to work on with both of you over time, so we expect this! Overall, though, you are just the sweetest thing to him and he loves you too. I am excited to see your relationship develop even more this year!

We are so blessed to be your parents, Spencer, and wouldn't wish any day with you away. We know you will continue to learn and grow and develop this year and are excited to see you blossom. You have made us realize that there is nothing like the love we have for our babies. It's truly an amazing process to be a parent and we're so lucky to be yours!!
Happy Birthday, SYT!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Peter is ONE!!!!!!!

My sweet baby is one today. I'm not sure how this has happened!! This year has just gone by so fast. Gone are the days of snuggling on the cough while breastfeeding, being dairy free, tiny baby cries, swaddling, spit ups (well....that still occasionally happens), middle of the night feeds, and sweet, sweet baby sleepers, gowns, and clothes.
All of a sudden, I have a big, happy, still sweet as pie, toddler who is "so big" (as evidenced in above picture)!

(Already beginning with the golf obsession!)
 I never could have imagined that at one year of age two boys could be so different. Peter is so incredibly different both in looks and in personality than Spencer was.

Peter is a man on the move. He is constantly climbing, getting into cabinets, riding the tricycle, pulling out all the toys, etc. We definitely didn't live through this with Spencer. He (SYT) was (and still is) a much more hesistent child than Peter is. I know that Peter is into more because we have a lot more things to get into now. With SYT we didn't have a lot of toys lying around and now Peter has a whole playroom of stuff to disrupt. He is able to get up and down the steps without any difficulty. It's actually quite scary to see how fast he can do it!! One of his favorite things is to stand on Spencer's scooter and have one of us push him around. He just smiles and laughs while we're pushing him. SO cute!! He takes 5-6 steps regularly and can stand for 10-15 seconds on his own. Definitely not a true "walker" yet, but darn close!!

Peter is a good sleeper. He usually goes down between 6:45-7:30 and wakes between 5:30 and 6:15. He takes 1-2 naps per day. At daycare he is now sleeping on the cot instead of in the crib (they transition around a year) and is apparently doing well on the cot!! I wish he would sleep a little later in the morning (especially on the weekends!!), but overall, I cannot complain!!

He is saying momma, dadda, and lots of babababas. He does say baw for ball instead of the other bah sound which is just a noise for everything. I can tell a definite distinction. He waves bye-bye, he claps when we say yea, he does so big, and signs more and milk. I'm pretty sure that his sign for milk means both milk and momma though! He also makes a puh puh sound a lot. He loves to do raspberries and give HUGE open mouth kisses. He is still a pacifier kid. He uses it for naps/nighttime and during fussy spells. I feel like we need to start limiting it now that he is one though I know that is going to be tough to do!! He loves it!

He is currently wearing 12-18 month clothes and weighed over 22 lbs last month at a sick visit at the pediatrician's office. I would guess he is close to 23 lbs at his visit later this month. He is in size 3 shoes and size 5 diapers. He has always been shorter on the growth curve for his age, so we'll see if that changes at his apt this month. I do know that he grew in length considerably as he outgrew almost all his clothes over a two week period in April. It was quite comical when we went through every pair of pjs in his drawer one night and nothing fit!!

(Spencer is such a loving big brother! He truly adores his "Petey" (and, no, we do not let him call him that regularly. It's strictly Peter around these parts.))

PUT is a wonderful eater. He would eat everything in site, all the time, if I let him! He is now on whole milk in a sippy cup during the day though I am still nursing morning and night. B and I were just talking last night about when I planned on dropping those. No plan yet, but I'm sure that will come soon. I feel very blessed to have made it through a year of nursing with both kids and am SO, SO, SO glad to be done pumping. Pumping is a beast, people. And not for the wimpy. I hated every minute of it.

I don't know that Peter has any favorite foods. He doesn't really like ground beef or turkey (must be a texture thing) and has reacted with splotches to homemade spaghetti sauce (we throw the kitchen sink of veggies in ours so we'll have to try some store bought one to see if he reacts to that too). Otherwise, he really likes everything. We don't limit him on what he eats at all anymore. I would say that 75% of his diet is fruits and veggies currently. He loves them and they're the healthiest, so we are big getting both into him for almost all meals and snacks.

He got his first real haircut and looks so old! His cheeks look bigger now. His hair is not as thick as Spencer's is and is much, much darker. B and I both have really thick hair, so my guess is that it will continue to thicken up over time. I was hoping for curls with him as B's hair is curly, mine is wavy, and my dad's is super curly, but Peter's is pretty darn straight. I do notice a small dimple on his right cheek when he smiles really big but it isn't noticable all the time. I hope as time goes on, it stays and becomes more pronounced!

(TROUBLE!!!! and NAUGHTY!!!!) (And right after this he looked up at me and just smiled and was so excited to be splashing in the water!!)

He has been an extremely healthy child this winter. He has only been to the pediatrician one time for a sick visit since birth, and he's only had two days of fever in the first year. That's amazingly better than Spence who struggled so much with ear infections and fevers. He has had zero kidney issues. We will have our next kidney follow up in June with an ultrasound, apt, and blood pressure check, and hopefully all will be well. B and I are thrilled with how well he has been!

We are truly blessed to be parents to our sweet Peter. He has completely stolen our hearts. It was an awesome first year with our dark haired babe, and we cannot wait to see how his personality and life develop in all the years to come!