Anabelle’s 2nd birthday party

Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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Anabelle’s birthday was just 3 days after my due date. Her birthday was the 7th, I was due on the 4th. I really wanted to make sure that her birthday didn’t get lost in the chaos of change, hospital stays, and the holiday, so I had a plan and a backup plan. Her birthday party was to be on the 5th, unless I had the baby, which I was desperately hoping I would, then it would be on the 11th. I really just wanted it to be on the 11th, but as we all know, that is now Betty’s birthday, so thank goodness I went with my original plan! We went decoration shopping the week before, baked the cake two days early, and went grocery shopping the morning of. Just in case I went in to labor, we didn’t want to have a boatload of party food for a week!

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The decor:

For decorations, I went with things that Anabelle loves. The colors were blush and gold, with flowers to please mama, and animals and balloons to please Anabelle! I pulled out mason jars, fun straws, the light pink flower decorations from last year’s party and made a pink punch to celebrate.

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The outfit(s):

So I tried to put myself in her shoes when picking out the outfit. She LOVES my little pony and I had recently bought a swim suit that I was going to wrap up for her to open on her birthday, but once I got into planning, I figured why not have her wear it with a tulle skirt! I had found this tutorial which seemed pretty easy, but I didn’t have a reason to give it a try. She loved the suit! Not a huge fan of the skirt. I bribed her to wear the skirt by giving her a balloon. And then I bribed her for a picture by giving her a sucker! She ended up swimming in the kiddie pool while were grilling, so it was a good call, but that left her in a diaper for the start of gifts and led to an outfit change as soon as she opened the brightly colored jewelry from her Auntie. I realized later, that we kind of wrapped up the party in a fiesta theme! Grammie even bought her a unicorn pinyata which we finished with! We taught her how to hit it and then when she tore some of the paper off (she just couldn’t break it on her own!) she said “uh-oh!” and tried to fix it!

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The food:

I wanted something that was easy to shop for, assemble and cook the day off, but I still wanted to do something kind of fun. Kevin and I love to grill all summer long and it’s especially easy with crowds, and then I keep pinning all these kabobs on Pinterest that I just needed an excuse to try out. So between the two, we opted for a kabob celebration!

Fruit: strawberry, grape, cantalope, watermelon

Greek Salad: cucumber, tomato, olive, feta, red onion

Grilled Veggies: red pepper, yellow pepper, onion, mushroom (these are pictured before we grilled them)

Grilled Meat: purple potatoes, chicken breasts cubed (scissors made cubing the meat easy… it’s not correct according to my culinary sister, but she despises raw meat so she didn’t object since she didn’t have to touch it.)

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Oh and as soon as the candy spilled out of the pinyata, Anabelle squatted down and started shoveling the hershey’s kisses! Funniest thing ever!

1 week with Betty

Posted on: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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Thank goodness I took the photo on time, but by now, Betty is already 11 days old! I love the sleepy newborn stage. I mean all she does is eat, sleep and poo, but I get those super sweet newborn cuddles, that super soft newborn skin, and that oh so perfect newborn smell. Our first week with little Betty was perfect and so special. Anabelle is in love, and I love watching her give hugs and kisses to Betty! I can already tell time is going to fly, but I look forward to watching them grow up together and being best friends! Betty is already getting stronger by the day, she even held her head up before we left the hospital.Of course there was a face plant at the end when her head suddenly became too heavy. But that strength is definitely a good thing when she has an older sister constantly trying to pull her head to the side so she can kiss her straight and square on the lips! She is also already starting to be more alert. I love to watch those wandering eyes, and her facial expressions are just the best! Her pursed lips face is my absolute favorite! I totally need to catch that one on camera!

Betty, sweet girl, you just joined us in this world a little over a week ago and already we can’t imagine our days without you. We all love you so much!

26/52 – 28/52

Posted on: Monday, July 20, 2015

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do around here, so I thought I’d start easy! I haven’t shared my 52 project photos in a post of their own lately because I keep using photos that I’ve actually posted for other reasons, like the Fourth of July and Anabelle’s birthday. But I’d like to share them in my project post along with the newest photo, Anabelle meeting her sister Betty for the very first time! Still need a photo for this week, but one step towards catching up at a time! It’s only Monday ;)

A portrait of my daughter every week, once a week, in 2015.

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Anabelle: Festive for the Fourth of July!

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Anabelle: Happy Birthday, my big two year old!

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Anabelle: Meeting her baby sister for the very first time!

Anabelle and Betty’s first days together

Posted on: Friday, July 17, 2015

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Both babies were sleeping, husband was passed out on the couch, and I was sitting next to him the night of our first full day home flipping through photos that I took throughout the day. Our first day home together as a family of four was not only a success, but it’s a day that I never want to forget. Anabelle woke up and actually wanted to cuddle. She stopped coming to bed and cuddling in the morning a couple months ago and I’ve missed it. But our first morning back from the hospital, she came in to cuddle. When she realized Betty was cuddling on the other side of me, she couldn’t get out of bed and run around to my side fast enough! After a few huggies and kisses, she got settled in under the covers next to Betty and it was the cutest thing ever! And from that moment on, she hardly left Betty’s side all day! The night before, we had given Anabelle a gift from Betty and then had Anabelle give a gift to Betty. Now they both have adorable matching Hazel Village dolls. Anabelle loves to match right now, so as soon as she remembered the dolls, she jumped out of bed and came running back in so that Betty could snuggle with her mousy. That didn’t change all day! Where ever we went, Anabelle would give Betty her mousy. We enjoyed our morning coffee on the front porch and then Anabelle got to hold Betty on the swing. She was super careful when she actually held her… It’s just when I’m holding her that she wants to poke Betty’s eye, pull her head over for a kiss, and gets a little too aggressive…

We somehow managed to all get dressed that day! I know, I shocked myself with that one! But it was adorable when I set Betty down on Anabelle’s bed and Anabelle just plopped next to her with another stuffed animal for her. I turned on a show next so that I could get dressed. Betty fell asleep in her rocker and Anabelle stood next to her, typically at her feet, leaning in with her arms on both sides of her. It was beyond precious and she hardly left her side the rest of the morning and early afternoon. Later she was playing kitchen and baking cookies. She iced and gave me my cookie, she iced and took her own cookie, and then she iced and pretend fed Betty her cookie! In that instant, time flashed forward two years and I totally saw them playing full blown kitchen together with Anabelle as the head chef!

Dinner time rolled around and Daddy finished working. He worked from home in case I needed help, although I’m trying to develop my routine without him so I don’t go into shock when he goes back to work next week. But when he was done, he came upstairs and we all moved outside to the back porch. It’s our favorite place to spend summer night and it feels just like yesterday that we were sitting back there with Anabelle just 1 month old! But this summer we have Betty and it’s the perfect addition! Anabelle wanted me to hold her while we were lounging. But not hand off Betty to hold her… She wanted me to hold both her and Betty. It’s so sweet watching them bond! I was worried that Anabelle would feel like we weren’t giving her enough attention. But in reality, she doesn’t care… She wants us to give them both attention at the same time!

Unfortunately I think we confused her with bed time… It’s the only thing we’ve struggled with since bringing Betty home. We decided to all go upstairs for the whole bedtime ritual, instead of dividing it up like we usually do. That wasn’t bad. But we told Anabelle she could hold Betty for story time. And then Betty started crying…. Anabelle totally didn’t care about that! She laid as still as a statue so we wouldn’t take Betty back! But we think she actually thought she was going to be able to sleep with Betty… So when we did take her back after we finished the book, she started sobbing.

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Day 2 was pretty much the same. Same routine, more adorable moments! Anabelle said “cheese” more times for photos in the past two days than she has said in the past two years before Betty! No bribery needed as long as she can be next to Betty! She likes to try out all Betty’s things, including her rocker and her crib (even though she always hated that crib when it was hers…) and she likes to include Betty in her favorite activities including wearing jewelry, which she gave Betty before we made it out of bed, and books which she brought to bed first thing in the morning to share with her. I don’t know when she learned what share means, but she already is very good at it!

We switched up the night routine one more time and I think it’s going to work. We still all went up together, but this time, we read one book in Betty’s nursery and then Anabelle gave us kisses and I put Betty down (Not really… but don’t tell Anabelle that!) And then Daddy read another book in Anabelle’s room and tucked her in. She still threw a little fit when she couldn’t say goodnight to Betty again, but I think tonight is going to be the night back to no tears!

I can’t believe today is already day 3 and that tomorrow Betty will already be one week old. These first few days weren’t really exhausting, they were heaven, and I want to be able to tell Anabelle and Betty one day in the future about their first few days together, so I hope you enjoyed this diary like entry today…

Introducing…

Posted on: Thursday, July 16, 2015

Betty-Louise-script

Betty Louise
Born July 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm
8 pounds 6 ounces
20.08 inches long

I’m sure you know by now, but we welcomed our sweet little Betty Louise last Saturday! We decided to name Betty after Kevin’s Grandmother and my Great Grandmother, who passed just three years ago. We both somehow thought of the name on our own and when we finally shared it with each other, waaaaaaay before we were even pregnant again, we immediately knew that it was perfect! We not only love the name, but we love that it meant something to both of us! Two wonderful people in both of our lives. We have a tradition of waiting till everyone comes to meet the baby in the delivery room to announce the name, and it’s really a memory, with both daughters now, that sticks out! I’d highly recommend doing just that to any new parent! (Plus it’s too late for anyone to share their negative thoughts on the name once the baby’s already born and named!) For us, since we find out the gender, it’s the one surprise left when the baby is born, but it also feels so appropriate to announce the name when everyone gets to meet her for the first time! The anticipation and excitement as we announced Betty’s name Saturday was simply perfect! And of course both Moms teared up! At this point, I don’t know a Betty under 80 years old… Even met an older lady in the hospital as Kevin was getting the car whose name was Betty. Her jaw just about dropped to the floor when I told her my baby’s name… So I think it’s about time the name comes back around! Louise has no family significance. We have agreed to always include a saint name in naming our kids, and I just love how it paired with Betty. Everyone says picking out names is so difficult, but somehow Kevin and I are almost always on the same page before we even start talking about it!

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