Tag Archives: birthdays

Happy Birthday Baby Z!

ZBirthday2

ZBirthday1

My sweet Baby Z turned 1 last month! It’s been a little crazy since then and when he turned 13 months yesterday, I realized it was probably time to document the experience before I’m writing about his first and his second birthday!

It wasn’t until I started planning his birthday in November that I realized how difficult it would be planning a party so soon after Christmas. It was so hard to find a theme that wasn’t Christmas-y or Red & White. Assuming I could trust the weather would be fairly chilly, I went with a Cocoa & Cookies theme.

But of course! The day of Baby Z’s birthday party it was a high of 63 that day. So…while it was a little warm for cocoa, everyone was a good sport and helped remove the cocoa and sweets from my home.

ZBirthday3

ZBirthday4

ZBirthday5

ZBirthday6

I didn’t completely learn my lesson from The Little Man’s first birthday, and thought I’d make Baby Z’s cake. It slightly resembled a brain, but definitely turned out better this time!

ZBirthday7

And just like his brother, he didn’t want to touch the cake and get messy! Rather than torturre the poor child by waiting until he dove into the icing (which would have been an hour at the rate he was staring at it), I grabbed a spoon and let him dive in that way.

ZBirthday8

ZBirthday9

ZBirthday10

Overall, it was an awesome day celebrating Baby Z’s first birthday with family. It’s been such a rollercoaster of a year and to think the first year was over was almost a huge weight lifted, but at the same time, that first year only happens once!

Happy Birthday Baby Z!

* * * * *

For the record, Baby Z’s 12th month stats are:

Weight : 22.1 pounds (62th percentile)

Height : 30.5″ (71st percentile)

Head : 19.3″ (99th percentile)

Signature_zps120fcc0f

Baby Z: 5 Months in the Making

A week or so ago, I had an actual moment where I felt a fog lifting from my brain. And when the moment was over, I looked down and realized I no longer had a newborn baby in my hands, but a 3 4  5 month old.

5Months2

I’m really not sure where the last 5 months have gone, but all of the sudden I feel like I’m having to play catch up in this little guy’s life.

5Months3

I spent so long in survival mode with him and the Little Man that I almost missed out on him transitioning from the newborn to baby stage.

His thrush is long gone and thankfully the symptoms that came with it. (Although the doctor claims he couldn’t have had reflux, I would beg to differ.) For the most part, he’s a very happy kid now and has a personality that reflects it!

Moments to remember with Baby Z:

  • He loves to laugh — at his brother, at peek-a-boo, and can easily be tickled on his tummy. 
  • He still loves to be held. It took a LONG time for him to get to a place where we could set him down for longer than 2-3 minutes. Now he’ll make it through 10-20 minutes on his floor gym or 5-10 minutes in his bouncer without needing to be held. Within the last week, he officially outgrew his Rock ‘N Play, otherwise we’d still be laying him in there.
  • He’s officially in his crib at night! (It took almost 2 months longer than the Little Man.) We’ve got some sleep issues right now, but he spent almost 2 months with a double ear infection and he’s now severely teething, so I think it’s expected. 4-5 hour stretches at night are awesome for us right now.
  • He’s basically taking 2 naps a day. Although I know about when he’ll want to go down, when he wakes up always keeps me on my toes. (It might be 30 minutes…it might be 3 hours!) I take what I can get, and if it happens to coincide with brother’s nap time, I’m in Heaven!
  • He had his first attempt at rice cereal last week to help with his sleep. It was a fail–he’s not quite sure what to do with it. We’ll try again soon!
  • He’s sitting with some help. His upper body seems a little too heavy to support at the waist. With some right hand placement, he can hold himself up at a 45 degree angle.
  • My favorite feature: His blue eyes.

5months1

5Months4

Getting a little too excited by the camera.

I don’t have any stats to report other than he weighed 17 pounds at his last doctor’s visit to clear his ear infections and he’s wearing 6-9 month clothes — size 3 diapers.

So, now that my fog has lifted, I’ve been transported back to reality, and have this 5 month old in my hands, I’m excited to see what the next few months brings. I know he’ll be experiencing a lot of firsts that will come too quickly for me; teething, solids, sitting, moving. . . all too quickly, especially since it still feels like his birth was just yesterday!

Signature_zps120fcc0f

Baby Z: 3 & 4 Months Old

I’ve been doing such a terrible job lately of recording milestones! I swore to myself that I would not be one of those mom’s who did everything for their first child, and then, their second had nothing. No surprise, but I’m eating my words once again. Isn’t that so typical of parenthood though? 

I was doing so well about taking photos of Baby Z each month for his birthday, until month 3. Although I captured a photo for his 3 month birthday, I never posted it. Why? Kept running out of time until it just became outdated news, and then, there was the fact that the pictures didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.

My loving toddler decided he needed to be in the photo too, and the crushing love was a little too much for the baby.

3Months

But, I think this month’s photo definitely made up for the last one, AND I’m actually posting about it within a week of his birthday. I think that’s an accomplishment!

4Months

4 Month Stats:

almost 16 lbs. (62th %)

25.25 inches (59th %)

17.2″ head (96th %)

New Talents:

clasps hands together frequently, lots and lots of drool (which I assume means there will be teeth soon!), sleeping is irregular (typically down by 9pm & up twice a night), loves to laugh and smile when we make funny faces, makes a cute velocirapter noise when he laughs, loves bath time; especially with Brother, nursing like crazy right now (which I’m hoping is due to a growth spurt or teething) 

Of course, all of this remind me that I’ve also become the parent I said I’d never be. It’s hard to not constantly compare #1 to #2. From their sleeping habits to their doctor’s appointments, they’re so completely different in every way.

I have a lot of people telling me the opposite. We’ve had several comments that Baby Z looks a lot like the Little Man, but I have to disagree. Baby Z is a spiting image of my side of the family, and M takes after Tim’s side of the family. They definitely both have my eyes, but I don’t see Hurst when I look at him. (Sorry Hursts!)

4Months2

Here’s my Little Man at 4 months.

What do you think; similar or different? 

Birthday Party on the Fly: The Little Man Turns 2

Last year for our first 1st Birthday, I was schooled on a lesson on expectations.
Well, I’m proud to say that I actually learned my lesson! 

When the Little Man’s 2nd birthday rolled around, I was humbled and reminded by his first, and decided to keep this party “for him.” Since we were celebrating my baby boy, I did the exact opposite of what I did last year, and planned the entire party around what I thought he would enjoy rather than what my guests would enjoy. 

To be honest, it helped that I had NO time to plan anything. Although I’d been pinning some ideas since last year, when March began to creep up, I realized I hadn’t done a thing to plan or prepare for him turning 2. 

With a newborn in the family, finding the time to be creative and crafty wasn’t easy, so I did the best I could to let others do as much possible and release all expectations. And it worked! 

The party was a huge success in my eyes because my son had a blast the entire time. Others might say the cupcakes weren’t moist enough or the decorations were too sparse, but in my opinion it was his best birthday yet! 

The Decorations

Decorations this year were kept simple and easy. If you haven’t already discovered this yet, Etsy is an excellent site to help you plan your party.  And if you find yourself like me – in need a party fast – look for shops that have “print your own” party packages. 

I found several really cute airplane theme ones, but decided on this one from Ven’s Paperie. For $35, I received custom PDF’s of everything I’d need for his party! From cupcake toppers and food signs to banners and thank you cards. There were over 25 pieces!  All I had to do was print off the items I thought I’d use, as many as I needed, and cut them out. 

I through in my own little flare like the blow-up airplanes and decorative pom-poms from Amazon and Hobby Lobby, and my decor was complete. 

The Food

I’m sure you’re thinking food was the hardest part. All that prepping and baking! Not when you’re going simple. 

I did have plans of making more items than I did, but again, I just couldn’t find the time. So instead of the lemon bars I wanted to make from scratch, I found these delicious lemon bites from Costco. And instead of airplane cookies, chocolate dipped shortbread cookies to match my theme; again from Costco. No baking involved! 

The only thing I did end up using my oven for were his cupcakes, and I did that with the help of Pillsbury’s Super Moist Vanilla cake mix and the new Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. I saved myself $1 per cupcake by baking them myself, and by piping the icing on, I made them look and taste store bought! Plus, having the added satisfaction of knowing I was still able to continue the tradition of baking my son’s birthday cake. 


The Entertainment

  

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to entertain a large group of kids when I wasn’t even sure how many were going to show. But thankfully, Texas weather came through and we had a wonderfully cool, over cast morning that just beckoned for people to come outside. 

I didn’t have to spend money on party games or additional group toys. Our backyard did all the work for me and entertained everyone until lunch was ready! 

When in Doubt. . .
What I’m slowly learning is that whenever you’re worried about how well your party will turn out, the best way to win over everyone’s hearts is to cook for them! 

We planned the party during lunchtime and served up hamburgers and hot dogs, chips, water, tea, and juice (for the kids). A little something for everyone. What party can go wrong when you’ve been fed and your stomach is full? 

So, the next time you find yourself unable to spend a lot of time planning a party and feel the need to compare yourself to Pinterest, remember that it doesn’t take a lot of money or a lot of time to create Fun. 

Just keep it casual and keep it focused on your goal. 


In my case, I wanted my son to have an amazing and special day with his family and friends; a day that I could feel proud of for giving him. Success!

What is your favorite birthday party theme that you’ve done for your kids? 
What made it special? 

A Day of Birthdays: My Little Man Turns 2

I promised I wouldn’t cry, and I didn’t! 
Until . . .

It was time to tuck him into bed. 

At that moment it dawned on me that my little baby boy was no longer a baby. He’d moved fully into the toddler stage and was even outgrowing that. 

My Little Man had turned 2, and he was now officially becoming a real, little man. 

* * * * * * 

It really is hard to believe that 2 years has gone by since he was born. The pain of the delivery and recovery are sometimes still fresh in my memory. As I’m beginning to raise a second little person, all of the “likes and dislikes” of the first are constantly rushing back into my head which makes it seem like so little time has passed.  

I was almost in denial that his birthday was approaching. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed the sudden rush to plan a party and finish decorations. I have to admit, subconsciously I didn’t want it to happen! Even after his party last Saturday, it didn’t feel real until his actual birth day arrived 5 days later. 

As the reality hit me that my Little Man was now 2, I felt an overwhelming urge to spoil him rotten on his birthday; from the time he woke up till his head hit the pillow again! 
* * * * * * 

The day started with some homemade pancakes and blueberries. I would have loved to have done more, but balancing expectations and reality with an 8 week old is still a struggle. I did find the time to make one of his pancakes a (sad looking) helicopter. And he loved it!

The fact that I even put my watermark on this photo is hilarious to me. Who would want to steal this image? 

After breakfast, we quickly got the family dressed, and headed out the door to Kidville. 

I LOVE that his birthday fell on a Thursday so that Rockin’ Railroad could feel like a birthday treat. It’s one of his favorite activities, and I couldn’t imagine have imagined his day without it!  


Afterwards, we stayed to play in their open gym, and headed next door for a little Creme de la Cookie action before heading downtown. After all, the kid needed cake on his birthday! 

I thought it was the perfect day for our first visit to Klyde Warren Park. Although it was a little crowded because of Spring Break, the weather was perfect, all the food trucks were up and running, and the other kids playing made it especially fun for him. 


 
Then it was home for a nap and some down time; which we all took advantage of! 

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at the house, playing in the backyard, and enjoying each other’s company. 

I’d decided to keep it local for dinner, so we headed over to our favorite “go-to” restaurant, Mi Cocina. The weather was gorgeous, so for the first time in months we were able to dine on the patio.

Afterwards, we headed across the parking lot to the newest neighborhood frozen yogurt shop, Monster Yogurt. We let him choose his own ice cream and toppings, and spent some time playing in their indoor play space. 

By the time we got home, it didn’t take long for bedtime to roll around, and we ended his birthday by reading a few stories as a family. . . and that’s when my eyes began to mist. 

I was definitely sad that my little baby boy isn’t a baby anymore, but I take comfort in the fact that he’ll always be my little mama’s boy. 


Happy 2nd Birthday Mark! 
I Love You!

A Day of Birthdays: Baby Z’s 2 Month

From one birthday celebration to another, today we celebrated my 2 year old and my 2 month old! 

Time sure is flying by fast!

And I have to be honest, as I wiped away a few tears hugging my Little Man good night tonight, I couldn’t help but look at Baby Z and think ahead to where he’ll be in 2 years.  

Taking life one day at a time somehow makes it slip away faster. 

We’re not quite into a routine in life yet, but we’re getting there.

Baby Z’s fussiness hasn’t gone completely away, but it’s definitely better. 
We’re down to about twice a day that the fussiness is at its worst. Otherwise he’s starting to be a pretty happy baby! 

We’ll go in next week for his 2 month check up, his first round of shots, and to find out if the thrush has gone away. I’m optimistic, but realistic that it’s something we’re probably still battling. 

Milestones & Memories to Remember: 
  • Neck muscles are getting stronger, and he’s able to keep it held upright for long periods before flopping over.
  • Starting to notice the world around him. Ceiling fans, mirrors, and lights. 
  • Smiles! When in a good mood, he’s smiling and cooing. 
  • Feeding still every 2.5 – 3 hours, and 3-4 hours at night; although he had his first 6.5 hour stretch this week! 
  • He’s loving baths and being near mommy! 

Thirty by 30: Time’s Up!

October 18th has come and gone,
and I’m now officially 30!

I’d like to personally apologize to all of those who I came into contact with on my birthday. It wasn’t a good day for me physically or emotionally. Now that the day has passed, I’m doing better. 

Why was I so depressed? Well, what I’ve come to realize is that it’s about feeling old, but the number 30 represents all these expectations that I’ve been delaying for as long as possible. 

In your twenties, you can still pass for being fresh out of college. You might still get carded. People give you some leniency for not knowing where your life is going or being settled down. You still have excuses for not having kids yet or owning a home. You’re in that transition stage where you’re still just discovering who you want to be.

Thirty . . .completely different story! Although I’m about to be a mom of 2, I felt like I was. . .20.  I still considered myself newly married. At the drop of a hat, I could be spontaneous. It was okay to not have a plan for life because life was just starting out in my 20’s.
Now that a day has passed, I think I’m okay with reality sinking in. 

I’m thirty

I’ve been married 8 years. I own a home and pay a mortgage. I’ve got a toddler, and I’m 27 weeks pregnant. I’m a college graduate, but plan on being a stay-at-home mom for the next several years while more kids come along. 

I’m settled, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m not young or that my life is over. I can still be spontaneous. I’m still the same person I was last weekend. It just has a new number to it. 

So, now that I’m through processing, I’m excited to say my Thirty by 30 list is complete! 
Alright, you may have seen one little detail that wasn’t crossed off. . .


So I didn’t 100% complete my list, but let me explain. Last August when I created this list, my son was 5 months old and the reality of how difficult it would be to accomplish some of these tasks hadn’t sunk in yet. Little things like Staying in my PJ’s All Weekend. . .I might’ve well just said “Plan a trip to China.” If it weren’t for getting sick, I think the longest I could have gone would have been until noon when it was time to wrestle my toddler out of the house. 

And if BlogHer hadn’t have popped into my schedule, the task of Take a Weekend Trip to New York would probably never have happened either. 

So long story short, there are only about 4 months during the year where the weather’s nice enough to watch a movie outside in the evenings, and when the movie theater is an hour away with shows starting after dark, it was extremely difficult to find the time to head to the drive-in without the Little Man. And even harder with the Little Man. 

But to be accurate, I’ve been to a drive-in movie before, so even though I didn’t do that task in the last 12 months. . . technically, I’ve been to a drive-in movie before I was 30. Does that count? =)

Thanks for supporting me and following along with me as I tried to complete my goals within the last year. I really enjoyed my list, and I loved that it forced me to do unique and different things that helped me feel like more than “just a mom.”  

If you haven’t had an opportunity to create a list like this for yourself, I highly encourage it! 


Even if it’s not for a big life-changing birthday like 30. You’d be surprised how motivated you’ll be just to cross an item off your list! 

Do you have a Thirty by 30? 

Link up in the comments section 
& help give others ideas for tasks they should complete! 

Thirty By 30: No. 13 & 16

And just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to cross of the more difficult tasks on my Thirty by 30 list, my husband comes through! 
With 7 days left before my birthday, Tim planned a staycation for the two of us to Fort Worth, and I was able to cross off two items in one trip. 

When I created this list last August, I knew sometime during the upcoming year we were going to need a mini vacation, and it came at the perfect time. Tim’s wrapping up a project at work and has been stressed. I’ve been feeling tired and overwhelmed from trying to fight off one child who’s going through the pre-terrible two’s and another who’s taking over my body. 

It was awesome to be able to drop everything and head 45 minutes west where we could leave all of our worries behind. I loved that we were able to get that vacation feel without having to hop on an airplane or drive 3+ hours to get there. 

Why Fort Worth?

I have no idea why I picked this destination!I think part of me knew that there was some amazing museums and attractions for kids, so when I put this on my list, I’d had every intention of going as a family. I also realized that I’d never actually spent any time in Fort Worth, and it’s really close! As a writer for Dallas Moms Blog, I felt like I should get to know this city next door. I mean, how is it that I know more about Frisco than I do about Fort Worth. They’re practically the same distance. . . =)

Our first destination on our staycation was lunch! The Mellow Mushroom near TCU had been recommended to us, and I’m so glad we took a risk and tried it. The pizza was delicious. The crust was the perfect thickness; slightly thin but not too crispy, and all the ingredients were really fresh. 

Afterwards, we decided to head over to the Botanical Gardens since it was in the same area of town. I was imagining something similar to the Dallas Arboretum, but it was so much more!

Most of the gardens are free, but we parked right next to the Japanese Garden and decided to pay the $4 admission to check it out. It was beautiful inside! 

Could I have enjoyed this with the Little Man? Absolutely not. There were several places where I know he would have run ahead of me and just jumped right into the water. The whole garden was so peaceful and quiet. 

If I lived in Fort Worth, I would probably get a membership to the Botanical Gardens just to bring a book, sit on a bench, and read. 



Afterwards, we went to check in at the hotel and rest for a little while. We stayed at the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel & Spa; right in the heart of downtown. Thanks to our Starwood Preferred Guest membership we were upgraded to a suite. Although it wasn’t for my birthday, it made me feel special! 


Since a storm was expected to come in later that night, we decided to venture out a little more before dinner and were able to experience a few more of Fort Worth’s main attractions. 

We walked across the street to the Water Gardens

And then jumped on Molly the Trolly to Sundance Square.

Sundance Square wasn’t what I thought it was. Mostly restaurants and retail shopping. I’m sure it has an amazing “night” scene, but unfortunately, my “condition” prevents me from enjoying that. 

If you’ve not been on the Trolly before, it’s very different from the McKinney Avenue Trolly. It’s more of a city bus that takes you from the hotels to different points in downtown. It’s clean, free, and convenient, but don’t be surprised when locals and possibly a few homeless people hop on board. 

Later that evening, we went back over to Sundance Square for dinner at Reata. This was Tim’s pick, and it was a unique type of restaurant specializing in Authentic Texas Cuisine. It reminded me of a cross between Tillman’s, Steven Pyle’s, and Saltgrass. 

On Sunday before heading back to Dallas, we decided to visit one last tourist attraction; the Fort Worth Stockyards. I’d heard that there was a cattle drive through town at 11:30am, so we packed our bags and headed over. 

Although it was a lot smaller than I expected, Fort Worth was an awesome quick weekend away. I know I didn’t experience everything, and would still love to take the Little Man over and visit the Museum of Nature and Science and the Fort Worth Zoo. I’ve heard these are the best places to visit.

But as far as Fort Worth goes, I feel like I’ve “been there, done that” and am ready to check it off my list! 

Hallmark Tour Comes to Dallas


So it was no surprise when Hallmark invited me to participate in their Hallmark Tour for bloggers that I jumped on the opportunity! It was taking place in one of Dallas’s most historic hotels, The Magnolia, breakfast would be provided, and rumor has it we’d be receiving some awesome goodies. . . how could this possibly be a bad combination? 

When we arrived, we were provided a breakfast buffet, and I was actually relieved to discover that I wouldn’t have to be pushing and shoving through a crowd to get to my bacon! Hallmark kept the event small at about 20-30 women, which made it really enjoyable to get to meet and network with some of the other women. 

While we were eating, we were given a variety of birthday cards to fill out if we wanted. I have a lot of birthdays coming up in October, so I definitely took advantage. Although if they’d waited just a few more weeks to have the event, I would have taken them up on their offer to mail my cards for me too. Unfortunately, I didn’t want my friends receiving their birthday cards 3 weeks early! 

They also gave us a free sample of Hallmark’s new Text Bands. Similar to a pager, you type in a message you want to share, and when you’re ready you can go around and Bump your band with others and exchange messages! I slightly wish my child was older because this would be so fun for a birthday party. (Parents: There’s even a dirty word filter!) 
I always forget that Hallmark isn’t just greeting cards. After breakfast we were encouraged to walk around and browse some of their new products. One of my favorite items was the Celebration Banner for special occasions. They provide up to 5 of each letter on a variety of backgrounds for you to create your own party banner. The colors make it easy to use for Halloween, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. 
And since the theme was Birthdays, they surprised us all with a birthday cupcake. I took this as a personal surprise and decided to begin celebrating by birthday 29 days early! After all…you only turn 30 once! 

But the really neat product that’s hard to see in this picture, are the personalized party plates Hallmark has come out with. You can choose your occasion (holidays, birthdays, wedding, “just because”, etc.) and add a custom photo to the plate. I was slightly impressed because the quality of the photo was actually really good and the plates weren’t made cheaply! If I’d found one of my son, I would have had no problem wiping it off and taking it home to reuse.

 And don’t be surprised if you see this show up at his 2nd birthday! 
At this point, I know what you’re probably thinking, Hallmark’s goal was to just sell me something, but that actually wasn’t the case! Throughout the event they provided lots of interesting information on how to take great photos at birthday parties or at special events. They talked about ways you can make someone feel special even when it’s not that “Special Occasion.”

I also learned a lot about the Hallmark Greeting Card company that I never would have known. In my mind, they were a corporate entity based out of New York that dominated the paper industry. Instead, I learned that they’re a smaller company based out of Kansas City, and almost all the employees are passionate about what they do! There are several card divisions in the company, and most are only made up of a small group of about 10. Most of the employees wear their “heart on their sleeve” which is why they’re able to come up with their ideas, and just love what they do. 


In the end, I walked away with a lot of really interesting information to take away about Hallmark, but of course, I couldn’t help but be excited about the goodies! Remember, I love stationery
Last night, we tried out the Storybook Buddy at bedtime. I honestly think Tim was more excited about the book than the Little Man was. Christopher was our book companion, and each time Tim came to a highlighted sentence in the story Christopher Can’t Sleep, the stuffed bear would add to it by continuing to read or make fun sound effects. He even has multiple phrases at the end to say “Goodnight” so reading this story never gets boring! (This would make a really fun Christmas gift!!)

Anyway, my goal of this post isn’t to force you to buy any of Hallmark’s products, and I definitely was NOT paid for writing this, I just love it when I come across new products and wanted to share my finds with you!

Hallmark also agreed and decided to allow you in on the fun!

If you’re a fan of my blog, or just happen to be reading this post, you can go online to Hallmark and receive 30% off of all their personalized items from birthday plates, invitations, holiday cards, and thank you notes! 

Simply use the code BLOG30

Do you have any favorite Hallmark products I need to know about?

It’s Almost Time!

There are exactly 30 days until I turn thirty

I’m so thankful that I’ve been keeping myself busy otherwise I might find myself sinking into depression. I don’t know what it is about turning 30, but it’s something I’ve been dreading for a long time. 

When I turned 26, I had a slight meltdown. 

At 30, I feel like there’s an enormous amount of . . .expectation?

I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I find myself back back in my early 20’s saying “What am I going to do with my life?” Is this my purpose? Is this my career and aspiration? 

I hope so, because it now feels like my time to figure out who I want to be and what I want to do is over. I’m living the life I’m living now, and there’s no turning back! 

After all, I’m 30!

For those of you who have been following along with my Thirty by 30 list, here’s how I’m doing! 
I’ve got a few more things to cross off, and most have already been scheduled on my calendar! 

I’m not sure if everything will be accomplished by October 18th, 
but I’m definitely going to try!