Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"I had a good trip!" By: Ivy

This weekend Ivy got to do something so special :) Unc and Esie invited her to come and stay the night with them in Cincinnati sans Mommy and Daddy. Ivy counted down this special trip for days and last Friday we met them half way and the fun began. To be able to spend this time with them was so special to her. She kept talking about "how much they must love her" the whole way to meet them. Seriously, she was over the moon that they would plan a little get away just with her!!

So needless to say, Esie was "hostess with the mostest," as usual, and showered Ivy with special meals- pizza for dinner, homemade milkshakes for dessert, donuts for breakfast, and even a "special" mac -n- cheese for lunch! :) Unc was the event planner with a trip to the museum and a grand story teller at bed time when they had no children's books.

So I decided to let Ivy be a "guest blogger" at Life Wrapped in Pink- so here are her words about her little trip with her only's!!!

"I tried to not let Unc kiss my cheek but he wants to because he loves me. I love him when he does he hand stands.... that's my favorite part."

"I am driving the bus to the princess' castle at the museum."

"Who is that boy shopping like a grocery store? Esie should've not taken his picture because he is not smiling. And also- does Unc probably go to the grocery? I think he is the shopper?!?"

"I have to iron clothes to wash them. Is that right? I don't know if you (Mommy) ever irons our clothes."

"Esie.... she loves me. Because she misses me when she hasn't seen me in a long long time. I love when Esie makes me a milkshake."

One final thought about Ivy's trip to Cincinnati from the traveler herself:
"My most favoritest part of the whole trip is handstands.... because I want to do handstands and I can't at my house!"

Insert Mommy-- Ivy is NOT very coordinated and her "handstands" have posed the threat of a broken neck!! Therefore, we have banned them and I am thankful that she can take such RISKS with her Unc :)

Now, this Auntie Smors is more than excited to have little trips with "Baby Unc and Esie's"...... seriously lets get that show on the road!! So blessed to have such a special bond with these guys and can't wait to have the same with their future (but not too future) kiddos :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Room Decor

I have to say I wish this post was about new room decor for my bedroom... because it is becoming a need... but that will have to wait until Santa pays me a visit!! :)

For now I am talking about Tula and Ivy's bedrooms. I am not much of a decorator and how I wish I could say that my kiddos have gorgeous, over the top rooms, they certainly don't. Their rooms are cute and practical at best. They are kids and I am NOT spending the big bucks on their stuff. I want their bedding to be soft, comfy, and kid friendly. I want their wall decor to match and add a special something but not be too pricey. I know their rooms will evolve quite often and I don't want to spend money on items that may only last a couple of years. So here are two new little touches that work with our budget and add in just the right places :)

Art Display

Ivy's room~ the problem at hand: Our girl LOVES art! And she is proud of every little thing she colors, cuts, or glues. She even wants to save restaurant menus! Having a place to put all of her stuff on display is difficult. So wah-lah- with a clothes line as my inspiration Ivy has a space to display her things for as long as her little heart desires.

4 decorative knobs (Hobby Lobby): $8
Mounting anchors: $1
Twine: FREE (found at our house)
Clothespins (Dollar Tree): $1

PURPOSE: This keeps my kitchen from looking like a day care and my child is super proud of her art work!!

Etsy Print Inspiration

Tula's room~ the problem at hand: Tula's bedding (which was also Ivy's nursery bedding) has a lot of coral. Coral is so pretty but oh so hard to match. I have yellow and green accents but have trouble finding much else to decorate. Until I found these precious prints on Etsy. They were perfect, but again the color was still a concern. I loved the birds and tree that would match our wall decal and the pick your own verse artwork was my favorite part of all! I showed Greg what I wanted to order as Tula's birthday present and he said he could use photoshop and make something identical. (Insert- thank you, husband for reducing the cost of this project by almost $50!)

Etsy inspiration: FREE
A photoshoppin' someone... in my case... husband: FREE
3 wooden white frames (8x10): $24
TOTAL COST: $24 (compared to $79)

Purpose: Fill a wall that I have been "thinking" on for over a year- sheesh! Happy 1st birthday, Tula- your nursery is now complete!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September Saturdays

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The weekends are so precious because there are a million things that I want to do and experience while the weather is perfect. Tonight my heart is so full of joy that it might burst~ I just love family time and I am blessed beyond belief with an amazing husband (who is also Super Daddy) to our sweet baby girls! So why was this September Saturday so fabulous?? Well, with a little mishap in original weekend plans it opened our day/evening up to do things that we probably wouldn't have planned otherwise!

When Tula woke up from her nap we decided it was the perfect weather for a hike. We have been talking about doing this and so today we hopped in the car and headed to Shaker Town. We just went on a little trail that was about a mile total. Ivy picked flowers and buckeyes (note to self- bring a bucket next time) but she was sure to dodge any possible bug that may come her way! Tula rode in the carrier and was Mommy's little cuddle bug. She loved looking up in the tall, tall trees.

After a little while Ivy's legs got tired so we stopped to have a snack. The walking was good practice for our upcoming Disney trip and we decided we probably need to take a stroller for her 4 year old legs to get a rest from time to time! Greg and I had such a good time enjoying the beauty of everything around us. Kentucky really is gorgeous and at times I take that for granted because I have lived here forever! Our first hike was definitely a success and to Ivy's surprise- we did not see any "OCTOPUSSES!!" (I am not sure where she thought we were going but that was a major concern!!)

Then we came home to our backyard camp out! I fed and bathed a very sleepy Tula and put her to bed in the comfort of her crib. Then Mommy was able to join the camping fun.... monitor in tow! Ivy and Daddy set up a fire for us to roast hot dogs for dinner and then enjoy our favorite dessert- the JUMBO marshmallow smores. We gazed at the stars and watched airplanes fly by that were possibly going to Disney World. We laughed at all of Ivy's silliness and got to soak up lots of time with our big girl.

It was wonderful to get to spend some time with Ivy... especially having a sick and needy Tula for much of the week. She makes us laugh without a doubt and she is really growing up too quickly. Even though she didn't get to go camping with her friend (hopefully sometime soon!) it was great for Mommy to be able to take part in this adventure!

The best part of camping in the backyard is the nearby amenities! When bedtime came my two campers got to come inside to brush their teeth, take one last potty break, and put on some cozy pajamas. I just left my husband (Super Daddy) and my big girl cuddled in the backyard tent reading Where the Wild Things Are and another current Ivy favorite If You Give A Pig A Party!

Hopefully Ivy's eyes will shut soon and she will drift off to sleep under the stars in the arms of her Daddy and she will be thankful for the wonderful memories we made today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Contentment at age 4

Being content on a sunshiny day at the park.... and content with sharing an airplane ride with her sister!

"Keep your lives free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have." Hebrews 13:5
We changed "money" to "things" to help Ivy apply it to her life.

We have continued to keep a Bible verse on Ivy's mirror for almost 2 years now. She memorizes most of them in a week or two and then we change it. She hears the verse when we take a bath, brush teeth, go potty, basically any of the 20 times that she is in that bathroom daily! But now that she is 4 years old, the verse we choose is so important. We are growing a girl after Jesus' heart. We are teaching her Biblical principals to start applying to her life right now and the verses we choose can tap into the daily grind of our 4 year old daughter.

When she memorizes the verse- and really understands the meaning- it is sweet music to my ears. More than anything else I want her to grow to become a Christ filled girl. I want her to have His love near and dear to her heart. And I want her daily decisions to be made with God's will for her life in the forefront of her mind. So this week's verse has been big time!

Since starting preschool Ivy is around 20 other kids EVERY day! They have different shoes, outfits, back packs, lunch boxes, and they have 4 year old conversations about their homes, toys, and vacations and Ivy developed a bad case of the "I wants." Totally normal for her age, but none the less, irritating to this hardworking Mommy and Daddy from the mouth of a little girl that doesn't lack for much. So I got out my gardening tools and planted a seed in Ivy- God's word poured (not just planted) in her heart. We read a devotion about coveting someone else's things, I gave examples from my grown up life, and told her heart wrenching stories of children who really were lacking. She then said, "When I say I wish I had..." or "I want ____ like so and so has..." that just means I like their stuff." Very telling from the mouth of our girl! So I backed up and gave her a lesson on giving compliments and that, coupled with God's word has seemed to nix the I wants completely.

Now I hear her giving genuine compliments- "She has a pretty lunch box!" "He got a new backpack with 4 pockets, mine has 3. That is cool!" "Maybe when we have more babies in our house we might need bunk beds like them."- music to my ears! I also hear her attitude of gratitude as she prays at night. Don't get me wrong- her "Thank Yous" are endless but I would take those over "I wants" any day. It is amazing that God's word can be so relevant, even in a preschooler's life, and this is such a reminder that it is never too young to start planting those seeds!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lake Lovin' Ladies

We are so blessed to have family (My Aunt Dee and Uncle Paul and their 4 beautiful/handsome children) who loved the lake so much that they decided to make it their 2nd residence. And we take complete advantage of this! :) Labor Day weekend we had some lake loving LITTLE ladies- and mommy and daddy enjoyed the get away just as much. It was so relaxing to get away- enjoy the last "really feels like summer" kind of weekend and spend lots of time with family.

Mommy and Tula saying "cheeeeeese" loving the boat ride!

Daddy, Ivy, and Harper about to take a tube ride :)

Ivy and Daddy on the fast boat with Captain Paul!

Tula and Pops enjoying the ride- the hummmmm of the boat put her right to sleep!

Daddy and his girls playing outside.

Pretty baby girl playing with her toys inside.... look at those Greg eyes!
Seriously is her Daddy's twin :)

Dee, Harper, and Ivy coloring together! Harper was the best play mate ever!

Having a little snack after a day on the lake- check out Tula's windy day hair- WOW!

Overall, we had a fabulous time and can't wait to have some good family fun at the lake house this winter.... we will have to way until May to be back on the water! So thankful for the memories we create with family :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

At 12 Months....

Tula is into everything- including all the nooks at the doctor's office!!
But besides that.... lets take a look at what's new :)

Tula Belle
12 months
Weight: 17 lbs. 10 oz (6%)
Height: 27 inches (6%)

Playtime: Music! She loves to clap, dance, and listen to songs. Favorites: Happy and You Know it! and Wheels on the Bus! She knows all the buttons to push to make songs plan on her favorite toys. She also loves hugging baby dolls, her animal puzzle, and walking all the way down the kitchen scaling the cabinets, fridge, and walls. Outside she loves to swing and would be happy for hours on end going back and forth...back and forth... back and forth!

Food: She is eating lots of table food! Favorite food is definitely pizza and watermelon- 2 of my ultimate cravings when pregnant with her :) She also loves ice cream for a treat and cinnamon toast crunch or graham crackers for a snack.

Drink: A month ago I was concerned that giving up a bottle might be a disaster.... but with her new found busy-ness the weaning is happening just fine. She has a bottle at night time that she loves but other than that she is using a sippy cup. We have been transitioning to milk but were told today that her belly doesn't seem quite ready for it. We were told to mix formula and milk 50/50 for a couple more weeks and then move to 25/75 to see if she can handle it. Then I was told- some babies just aren't ready for cows milk for a while- the latest is usually 18 months!! GEEZ- let's hope not!

Sleep: Tula needs lots of zzzzzz's but she is pretty flexible in her requirements. Two naps a day- time and length vary. Early to bed- by 7 on the weekdays- and is a late sleeper when she can be 8! We are NOT complaining :)

Developments: She is not nearly as verbal as Ivy was at this age- but still seems pretty typical! I now know that Ivy's vocab at an early age was not the norm. Tula will say Mama, Dada, and Baba. She repeatedly makes the Na-na-na-na sound when Nana is in the room and often will make the P sound for Pops but never gives the full Pops!! :) She says "IIIIIIIIIII" for Ivy, which melts my heart! She waves bye-bye once you have left.... delayed reaction :) Tula recognizes several words that she doesn't say yet- cat, duck, baby, hugs, kisses, birdie, ball, etc! She crawls and crawls FAST - Ivy was not an efficient crawler so this is all new to us! She walks along furniture is a little to brave for my liking wanting to explore areas that are NOT safe.

The only way to keep her still was to take a look in the distorted mirror :)
Waving "HI!"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Tula Belle!

Dear Tula Belle,
I can't believe it has been a year. When I rocked you tonight, we snuggled longer than usual and I held you long after you were asleep, just thinking. I was thinking about a year ago this same evening- you were here, you were perfect, and you were so tiny. Everyone who had grown to love you while you were in my belly had come to visit you but once it became bed time it was just you and me.... spending quiet moments together.... just like tonight. How has it already been a year? In those 365 days you have blessed us a million times over. You personality has been such a gift. You are so pleasant and easy going- unless we mess with your food- and you are free to be flexible with a sometimes crazy schedule! You are so cuddly and I was afforded the gift of sleeping with you peacefully snuggled in my arms for the first 6 months of your life- and it was perfect. You were a breeze to transition into a bed and to wean from nursing to bottle and now are getting started on a cup. You giggle all the time and you fill others with joy when you scrunch up your face and squint your eyes to give the silliest smile ever. You really do have such a peaceful demeanor and we are so thankful for that! You adore your family and the feeling is definitely mutual. Ivy loves to help mommy take care of you, show you how to play with your toys (and you kindly let her!), and she always is ready to cover you with hugs and kisses after a day apart. You light up when your daddy walks into the room and cry if he doesn't give you enough attention before exiting. And mommy, well I am still pretty much your favorite and that warms my heart. You lean your head on me and it fits perfectly. You pat my back when we rock and I love the way you crawl all over me when going from one exploration to the next. We love you to the moon and back and are so thankful for the blessing of you! Happy 1st Birthday, Tula Belle, it doesn't seem possible that you are already one!!!

Clapping and booty bouncing are your favorite dance moves!

You will be on the move before long.... you took off with your new toy!

Swinging is your favorite.... and swinging with a cowboy, that is even better!

Getting a push from a good friend~ Sidney Shea and "Tu-tu" love each other!

Posing with the big girls!

Snuggles with Daddy are always good :)

Great girl friends eating Tula's favorite treat- ICE CREAM!!
(And as you can see Tula was trying to finish off her cake-)

Tula loves her Pops and gives him a big Tula grin every time she sees him!

Tula loves music so a music set was a perfect birthday present from Nana and Pops!
I think Papaw was trying to capture everything on camera since Meemaw missed your first birthday party.

Tula loves to eat~ and eating cupcakes with her favorite girls, Nana and Ivy, on her real birthday tops it all!

Mommy showing you how to blow out your candle.... but since you are still Mama's baby you couldn't quite figure it out! Maybe next year :)

Happy 1st Birthday, Tula Belle!