Sunday, July 26, 2015

she is "FREE"

I'm a little late posting about Merritt's 3rd birthday party.  I know some of you won't/don't care, but I end up printing the blog into a book at the end of each year so this is for my documentation too!

Merritt is/was my NICU baby.  I was fore-warned that I would be expected to sing and talk to her as much as possible before I had her.  With all the emotions and chaos of those first few days I hadn't really had time to think of any songs to sing to her.  The first day we saw her, the nurse told me I could sing to her to let her hear my voice.  Put on the spot like that - my mind went blank.  I couldn't think of ANY songs and the first one that came to mind (that I actually knew the words) was You Are My Sunshine.  I sang that song to her ALL the time (among others) and still do when I rock her to sleep every night.  When she is upset and crying, it usually calms her down.

So she had a "You Are My Sunshine" 3rd birthday party!  Very low-key and held at our lake house.  She LOVES chocolate cake so her wish is my command.  She is getting her "big girl bed" this month so she didn't really get any presents "to open" from us.  I knew the family members would help me out there!  thank you to everyone who drove all that way to help her celebrate!

If you ask her how old she is… she says "I'm free!"  I laugh because I like to think of it as her being free from all the worries we had.  Even her cardiologist only sees her once a year… done with surgeons … done with NICU.  Just free.  :)

dancing with Poppy

"patiently" waiting for her cake!

With a little help from her big siblings.  

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

8 is Great!

Having 2 girls with birthdays 1 day apart is hard!  I think I know how twins must feel now always having to share your birthday with someone else.  Last year I made them do a joint party and Mati Claire and I agreed that we would ATTEMPT to alternate years with separate and joint parties.  So far it is working out well, because this year she turned 8 on the 8th!  I've always been told that its your "golden" birthday when that happens (I was 19 on the 19th, etc).  Hence…Mati Claire's GOLDEN 8th birthday!
I'll let the pictures do the talking, but I will have to upload the "Fotobooth" pics when the photographer emails them to me later!  There are a dozen more pics but these were my favorites.
Can you tell how happy she is?  Your love is my love.  Its hard to see in pic, but I loved the ribbon holding her birthday picture from each year.  And the light up 8 is just too cool (ordered both from Etsy).
Thank you FedEx for making my signs.  They turned out exactly like I wanted.  If I had plenty of time, I would have covered the garage door in pink paper and made it look like Pepto Bismol exploded at my house.  "Your birthday is the greatest day of my life" "She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes"  "Dream big little girl"  "And though she be but little she is fierce"  "Thank Heaven for little girls"   
Robby Followell is a local (but known across the state) wedding photographer that owns a photo booth  "The Fotobooth".  I got to pick which background I wanted and how could I not pick the gold sequin? I didn't know how this would go over with a bunch of 8 year olds… but Holy Moly…. it was a HUGE success and we could not peel the girls out of it.  They were OBSESSED and it was TONS of fun for everyone of ALL ages!  Even Papaw got in on the action that I will share later!
Mattox told Robby that "[he] is not a Fotoboother."  Yet, we could not get him out of it and he took just as many pictures as the girls did!  
Yes, I made this cake.  My second big cake so far.  I heart fondant.  I do not like the taste of it though.  I ordered her cake topper name thing from Etsy.  
The food was mostly done by Chick-Fil-A.  If I had to make a cake, I wasn't about to slave over food too.
Matt ordered me 'these' strawberries for Mothers Day several years ago, and I've been obsessed with them ever since for special occasions.  They ALWAYS show up perfect the day before I need them.  Shari's Berries online is awesome.  And you can get all sorts of colors and types of sweets (but specialize in strawberries)
And somehow I forgot to take a pic of the pink chocolate covered with edible gold glitter OREOS!  They were awesome too! 
Mati Claire loved the live butterfly release we did at Merritt's first birthday party a couple of years ago.  Again, the kids love it and the butterflies usually hang around during the party which is neat.  

I mean Miss Sarah can't get any cuter.  She's so cute even her butterfly loved her!
The July birthday girls/sisters!  

Can't forget the babies!!! First cousins born 3 weeks apart are starting to take note of the other finally.  They stare each other down and Colton tells Mason his plan for future trouble.  Mason normally just shakes his head and agrees.  

Mason is so happy and smiling all the time!
tiny dancer.  music comes on = she's dancing somewhere.

 Pink play-doh with gold glitter and "8" suckers for the party favors!  Easy and cheap to do since I spent all of the budget on the Fotobooth and butterflies!
Mason is a Party pooper! Mrs. tyanne is the new baby whisperer!  He falls asleep every time she picks him up!
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Moving On

One good thing about KNOWING you are done with having kids (as sad as that is sometimes), you can CLEAN. OUT. THE. HOUSE.   I couldn't get rid of any of the girl clothes until we knew what the gender of next baby was going to be.  Between my 2 nieces and 2 daughters, I had accumulated A-L-O-T of girl clothes in all sizes.  The boxes filled our attic… then they overflowed into the extra room… then they overflowed into the movie room… not to mention my closet that was busting at the seams with 10 years worth of maternity clothes on the side… then even teensy tiny Mason has started outgrowing newborn sizes.

Next to renting out a storage space, Matt won't let me hold a garage sale, I took to social media to at least dwindle my supply down some.

I won't lie.. its hard to watch the dress that Mati Claire wore to her 2nd birthday party go to someone else.  Its hard to let go of Mitt's headbands that we laughed about in the NICU.  Its really hard to sell an outfit that both Mattox and Mason wore as tiny babies.  The outfit I had my eye on for months and kept talking myself out of it until I bit the bullet and bought it.  Onesies that all 4 of them wore at one point.  Yes, call me sentimental.  But you know what?  Its just stuff.  Material things.  They can't wear them again.  In all reality, the chances of "your children's children can wear one day" are slim.  That almost never happens except on rare occasion and that usually includes the outfit they wore home from the hospital.

So I keep their outfits they come home in.  And their Baby Dedication outfits.  I am considering the dress that Mati Claire made her profession of faith in but still holding on for Mitt to wear later anyway.
A friend gave me a headband at my baby shower for Mitt -- it had the sweetest poem ever -- the first time she wears it home from the hospital as a headband… but it doubles as her garter to wear under her dress on her wedding day.  If anyone is looking for a sweet baby gift, I highly recommend that!  I loved it.

We've been in our house 8 years now, and I definitely feel the urge to purge! Closets, attic, laundry room, extra rooms, garages, and Lord help me the toys, everything needs to go!  No more wondering "what if we have one more… what if I need this for this… "

So if you are ever interested in a specific outfit you see on Merritt or Mason - it will most likely be up for sale in the near future after that -- let me know!  It would be easier to sell then before I have to box it up!

Also if you know anyone that has an "M" name or initials "MCM" or "MWM" or "MPM" I can cover your monogrammed clothing needs probably.

Also a big Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dads around here:  Poppy, Matt, Rob, Papaw, and Aaron!  I wasn't close to one of my grandfathers because he died when I was 9 I think -- my other grandfather was hilarious to me and died a few years ago… but I often wonder what they would say to me now.  Even dead, I wonder if I would have their approval or their acknowledgement.  So all you Daddies out there -- you carry more power than you realize.  You make an impact one way or another on your kids and grandkids.  Matt's grandfather was also very funny -- I even wonder what crude jokes he would be cracking if he were alive.  All the grandfathers are truly missed, and we are thankful to still have our Dads here with us.  We love you!  Here's a few random favorites of my Daddy (and strangely mostly with Mattox)!

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

oh my sweetness

Mason my sweetness.  My son Mason.  Lawd help me he is the sweetest thing.  He will soon be 3 months old (what? so soon?) and SO FAR he is very laid back, very content, pretty quiet, and smiles alot.  He is trying to "talk" to everyone and gets excited when someone talks to him.  He's a pretty good sleeper so far.  But the only time he gets fussy is when he's hungry or has a dirty diaper.  I can handle that!  His laid back personality totally makes up for the fact that he isn't sleeping all night yet.  I don't mind waking up and feeding him because I know its the LAST time I'll ever be nursing a baby!  Totally cherishing these late night feedings.  He will sleep 6-7 hours on a good night though.

He's skinnier than Mattox was at that age but he's definitely filling out.  We haven't had the rubber-banded fat rolls in this house since Mattox was a baby 5 years ago.  Mitt still doesn't have those baby fat rolls.

And this picture is just for fun.  We are always amazed at how much these first-cousins look alike.  They get mistaken as brother/sister all the time! We had a nice visit from my sister and nieces a few weeks ago when they came down to meet Mason.

So what is our Summer 2015 look like so far?  We started off with a stomach bug (again) but since then its been playing outside, trips to the park, VBS, art classes for MC, baseball camp for Mattox, swim lessons, swimming at home, lake time, working on birthday parties in July, and lots of reading.  I'm teaching MC cursive this summer.  and all things baby.  I desperately want to start losing weight but I have a hard time breastfeeding and losing weight at the same time - my body gets confused (if I exercise, my milk supply goes down usually) so I won't start until this fall/winter.  I didn't post much at the end of May because  Preschool graduation, class parties, ballet recitals, baseball games, baseball parties, registrations for everything next year, programs, you name it and we were there.  Here's a few of my favorite pics from the end of May:

Miss Attitude.  Miss Priss.  

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