Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Emma's Birthday Party!

Emma's Party Invitation

Today was Emma's birthday party. I was so excited for her since we have talked about it for so long! She woke up this morning and said, "I'm two!" She knew it was party day. We decorated at the clubhouse the night before so she had seen the room. The morning flew by and in no time Bo's family had arrived. We had to get everyone dressed, get the balloons over and decorate the pool area. The cake arrived and then it was showtime!

Everything was Abby Cadabby. Emma has loved Abby Cadabby for awhile now and it was very fitting for a two year old's birthday.

Last year Emma was not in a very good party mood. This year she was still a little shy but she enjoyed opening her presents and eating. We had practiced blowing out candles for awhile and I just knew she would get stage fright and not blow out her candle. After singing, she blew, but not very hard. I said, "Okay, let's get Hannah and see if she will do it." Emma gave the biggest puff ever and blew that candle out with no problem! It was soooo funny!

We had a wonderful group of people who joined us to celebrate. I am so thankful for my family and little cousins who always make the effort to make birthdays special. Bo's family came in from Raleigh, Greensboro and Kannapolis and I was so glad they were there. Emma had a few of her little friends that are my friends' children. The children did some swimming, decorated wands and pennants and ate some good food.

Emma received some wonderful presents. My parents gave her a talking Abby doll, a Mickey book, a jewelery box with her birthstone ring, a cupcake necklace and ring, and some dishes for her kitchen. Bo's parents gave her an Abby fall outfit, Abby winter hat and gloves, a cake for her kitchen, the new Abby P is for Princess DVD, and another adorable fall outfit. She also received an Abby backpack and lunchbox for preschool, an Abby book with wand, some Word World animals, fall clothes, Minnie t-ball set and Minnie accessories, dress up jewelery, a 120 piece food set for her kitchen, some Play Dough and water colors, and some money. We also gave her a "Warning: I'm 2" t-shirt!

The weather was beautiful today and I thought everything went great. I was so excited for Emma to wear her Abby dress. My mom and I found this dress on the Internet that was handmade in Iowa! Emma was so precious in it. We had a great day and hope that Emma felt as special as she is.

Two Years Old

Yesterday Emma turned two! She totally understood that it was her birthday since she got to open cards that came in the mail and the one from us in the morning. She loves the cards that have music. We kept singing to her and asking her how old she is. She will respond by putting each pointer finger up on each hand and saying, "twooooo!" We told her that she would get her present later and that we will have her Abby party in a few days. I was so worried that she would be disappointed about not having her party that same day. We had to push the party to the next weekend since we were out of town this weekend.

At lunchtime my mom came over and let Emma open a few presents from her. The rest would wait until party day. Emma loved her new World Word DVD and Abby doll that you can dress with snap on clothes. I then got a phone call that the "big birthday present" had been delivered to my dad's business and so I needed to go pick it up. So, my mom stayed with the girls while I went to get it.

Emma with her presents from Gaga and Pop Pop

When I got back the girls went down for a nap and my mom and I put together her present. We did a good job and certainly saved Bo a lot of work! Here is Emma when she woke up from her nap with her present. Bo even came home early and got to see her get her present.

Emma with her kitchen
Her kitchen and birthday cards

We then decided to take Emma to where else - Chuck E Cheese - for dinner. We had been earlier in the summer with the girls and Emma had a good time, so we went again. My mom and sister joined and my two cousins Brandon and Drew stopped by since they cannot make it to her party, which was real sweet.

Emma had a blast playing games and going down the slide - by herself - which is what I am now noticing more and more of. She wants to do things on her own now.

us at Chuck E Cheese!

with cousins Brandon and Drew

going down the slide

Hannah riding on the Barney ride

Emma stomping on the lights

I think we turned in over five hundred tickets. Emma picked out all kinds of stuff she wanted and then we headed home. I think she had a good day but I am super excited about her party. We kept telling her that her party is soon and that we promise she will have Abby cake and more presents.

Happy Birthday Emma! We cannot believe you are TWO!!! We love you so, so, much!

Charlotte Trip

This past weekend Kristin and Steve came down from PA and got to meet the girls. They stayed the night with us and got to see what it was like in our crazy house. It was so good to see Kristin since it has been over two years! I was so glad she got to visit and meet the babies. The next day the kids went to my mom's house and we hit the road to Charlotte for Kirby's wedding reception. We stopped at Elon and ate a yummy lunch at Harrisons. Then we rode around campus and bought some new t-shirts in the campus shop.

It was so wonderful to see everyone at Kirby's reception. Kirby was beautiful and I have never seen her look more happy. Although it has been two years since I have seen many of the girls it felt like we had never been apart. Kim even brought baby Ben for a few minutes before her parents took him home for the night. We stayed out pretty late and had a delicious brunch at The Flying Biscuit the next day. The four of us went back to VA on Saturday and Kristin and Steve stayed Saturday night with us again to break up their trip. We were so sad to say good-bye Sunday morning.

As they were getting in their car I was telling Emma that they were going to their house. Emma asked, "eh is da ouse?" (Where is their house?) I said, "too far away!" Emma LOVED Kristin. Bo and I had never seen her show off like she did around Kristin.

We had so much fun and although it was a quick trip, it was well worth it to see everyone! I wish we all lived closer together but I am thankful that we still have a close friendship and that we can pick up where we left off when we do see each other.

Snuggle Bug

Bo leaves way early and I have loved sleeping in ever since my internship ended! Once this started, Emma began getting out of her bed by herself in the morning and coming into my room. Every morning around 7:30 I hear, "heeey, mama" in her little high pitched voice. She brings me about four of her favorite books that she sleeps with and then she slaps her Abby doll on my bed and wants up. She stays in my bed four about thirty minutes, watches some Disney channel and snuggles under the covers until Hannah wakes up. I have loved this part of the day with her. It has been time with just her and me and I love snuggling with her. I am going to miss this so much when summer ends.

These eyes are priceless
Silly girl

I'm SOOOO Big!

Hannah learned this trick at the beach trip but it has taken me awhile to get a picture of her. We say, "Hannah, how big are you?" She stretches her hands up while we say, "soooo big!" She thinks it is hilarious.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brooks and Dunn

Bo and I had a night out on Sunday, August 15th. We had purchased Brooks and tickets early in the summer because it is their last tour. The first show was actually cancelled and so they rescheduled it for this night. We went with my cousin and his girlfriend. We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise and then headed to the show. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert - nice breeze, no humidity, clear as could be. Sarah Evans opened the show and I knew more of her music than I thought. I loved when she sang "Suds in the Bucket" and "I Could Not Ask For More." She did a fantastic job.

Brooks and Dunn were great. I have always loved their music. Bo loves the song "I Believe." The "My Maria" song reminds me so much of my cousin that passed away seven years ago. I also love "Red Dirt Road," "Neon Moon," and "Cowgirls Don't Cry." Truthfully, every song they sang was fantastic. I have seen them in concert before and I do see that they are aging but for their age, they did a great job. They had to take more breaks in between songs but they did a good job entertaining the audience and talking to us. One of the highlight's of the show was when they sang "Only in America." Some troops marched on stage with them and saluted. Then, red, white and blue streamers flew everywhere. It was awesome. We had such a great night.

Cute Outfits/Fridge Magnets

Here are the girls in some cute, of course matching summer outfits, that I have enjoyed them wearing this summer. I love smocking and it is so sad that you have to try to hard to find it. I have seen the most hideous children's clothing in department stores and other popular children's stores. I shop at some of those places for play clothes to wear around the house, but for the most part I do a lot of online shopping and specialty stores just to get smocking and nicer clothing. The buyers at some of those other stores want to dress babies and young ones like teenagers. I don't get why people want them to look so old - let them look sweet and young while they can be! Sorry - a little venting on that. But, seriously, as much as I LOVE to shop, I hate what I am seeing in children's sections. I have to give credit to my mom too for the good finds that she gets for the girls.

Hannah has also started playing with the fridge letter magnets. If anyone needs a gift for a baby/child's first birthday, I highly recommend these magnets. They have the correct pronunciation of each letter, says both sounds for the vowels, they sing the letter sound for each letter and has the ABC song. Emma got them for her first birthday and and still loves them and now Hannah is a fan. They are made by Leapfrog - anyone with a toddler should have these.

Cruising Along

Hannah has been cruising around the furniture for about two weeks now. It did not take her long to figure out that she could move along things once she pulled up. She is very good at it and has not taken any bad falls - yet. She has also let go a few times and just stood there. I have tried to get her to take a step and she has tried so she is not scared at all. I know it won't be much longer and she will be walking. She has also tried climbing the stairs - fantastic. Baby gates are up in our house! Here is a picture of her new favorite thing. Once she gets to the toy box she enjoys reaching in and throwing everything out of it!

Brayden Visits

My friend who I have grown up with forever brought her baby boy over to play. We live right down the road from each other and have only been able to get together this once the whole summer. That is just how busy we have been! Anyway, we ordered pizza and it was great to spend some time together. Her son is just six weeks younger than Hannah. He was a little shy being around these crazy girls! They were so cute together!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bye Bye BB

I am so excited yet so sad at the same time. Emma went her first whole day yesterday without her BB, which is her language for pacifier. I know it is time for her to give it up, but I had no idea I would be so sad about it! This is a huge step in her turning two and becoming a big girl. Emma has loved this BB since the day she was born. It has been a huge security for her. It was also not any normal pacifier that I could run to Target and get if it was lost. These pacifiers are Gumdrop pacifiers that come from Hawaii or could only be found in a very small, specialty children's shops and the closest one for us was about thirty minutes away. We had tried giving it up a few months ago, but she got another ear infection and then we went through tubes and her being in the hospital so I just let it go. A few weeks ago we started talking about it with her and we would say things to her like, "that BB is yucky" or "throw the BB in the trash" and "BB's are for babies." I decided we would let her take it to the beach since we would be in a different environment for a week. But, when we returned home, it was time.

Yesterday I talked to her in the morning after breakfast. I told her that she was getting ready to turn two and that she was going to be a big girl. Big girls do not use BB's and that they are for babies like Hannah. (Luckily, Hannah does not use the Gumdrop pacifier, she uses a different kind). I told her that if she wanted a nice Abby Cadabby birthday party, then she had to say bye bye to BB. She got off of the couch, got her BB off of the toy box and brought it right to me.

I kept her extra entertained yesterday. We went to the mall, ate lunch out, got a cookie, got some new socks and fall shirts, and did things around the house like coloring, printed pages off of the Internet of her favorite characters, did sticker books, etc. At nap time, she cried a little bit, but not long. She asked for BB about six times during the day. I would tell her, "remember, your a big girl now" and she dropped the subject. She never had a meltdown for it. I was SO nervous when bedtime came. Bo was out of town and I just knew I would be up with her all night. I was SHOCKED when she went to bed without it and didn't even ask for it. I was even more shocked that she did not cry for it. Moreover, she slept through the entire night and didn't even cry out once for it. I truly think that she understood everything we talked about. It has been much easier than I ever expected. Now, I think she is taking it better than me! What a huge transition this is for her. So far today she has asked for it once, but again no meltdown. I am so proud of her.

Bye, bye BB!

I am not sure how I am going to make it through the day not looking for a BB or making sure we have a BB plus an extra wherever we go! We will miss you BB!

One thing Emma did do that I forgot to mention was during her nap I went to check on her and noticed that one of Hannah's BB's was in the hallway. I knew that was a BB that I kept in my nightstand in case I needed it during the night. I went to check my bedroom and sure enough the drawer was open. Emma must have got out of her bed, went to check the drawer for her BB and saw it was not there! I was so glad I remembered to take that one out since she knew where it was. I thought it was pretty clever though. I know she was thinking, "hmmm, mom is downstairs, let me go see if my other BB is in her nightstand." I have to give her that - pretty smart thinking! I love this "big" girl so much!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pulling up pic/ hello

Here is a picture of Hannah pulling up. She is a pro at it by now. She also grabbed my phone on the couch, put it to her ear and says, "eeehhooo" for "hello." She is too funny. She will put a remote to her ear and all of her play cell phones like she is talking on the phone.

Family Beach Trip

We took our traditional beach trip to Nags Head, NC with my family this month. My parents and my uncle's family went together and got an awesome house on the ocean. We had a beautiful week and enough entertainment in the house to keep us from wanting to go anywhere. We only ate out two nights! The other nights we cooked or had takeout. I barely put on makeup and changed out of a bathing suit and cover up. It was so relaxing and I enjoyed not having any school work to do for the first time in over two years. The house was full with my my mom, dad, sister, brother in law, Bo, the kids, uncle, aunt, three cousins, two of the cousins had friends, grandmother and other family that was in and out throughout the week. The place we had was so big though we would go hours without seeing everyone at the same time. The girls had a blast. They are definately beach babies. Emma will play in the sand but just doesn't like to get near the water ( I am the same way). Hannah loves anything. Emma would wake up and say, "the beach!" We also enjoyed nights in the theater room playing guitar hero with the teenagers and karaoke. Bo liked playing poker with the boys. My family always puts together a huge puzzle. I caught up on some reading too. It was also so nice to see the girls with their cousins. Emma loved to dance with my little cousin Whitney. Everyone got along, relaxed, did their own thing but enjoyed being around everyone and loved being with each other. Too bad we couldn't stay there for the rest of the summer. As we crossed the bridge coming home, Emma said, "bye bye beach." The next morning waking up she said, "go to beach!" She wanted to go back too. Thank you mom and dad for a great week!

Hannah is 10 Months Old!

Hannah was ten months old on August 3rd. These months just keep flying by. I cannot believe how much Hannah is growing and developing. I guess the best words to describe Hannah right now is :ON THE MOVE. She is crawling, pulling up and cruising around the furniture with no problem. This all happened so quickly, literally within days of each other. She is also waving bye bye, picking up a phone (or anything that looks like a phone) and putting it up to her ear and saying "ehhooo" for "hello." She has learned to stand up in her crib, throw things out of her crib and even turn her musical aquarium in her crib on and off. Her little temper is also developing just a little when she does not want to have her diaper changed or put her pajamas on. She will kick her legs like she is telling you, "no mom, I don't want to, let me go!" Her and Emma are playing more and more together like they can almost entertain each other, which is wonderful. Hannah continues to clap her hands to music and loves Elmo. She has cut her top left tooth but it still has some descending to do. I love how Emma calls her "Naah" for "Hannah." Emma will say, "no, no Naah" and "stop Naah" - especially when Hannah pulls Emma's hair in the stroller. Hannah is also eating some more table foods like green beans, pasta stuffers, fruits, pancakes, and toast. She is such an adorable, precious, happy baby. I love how she is getting more and more independent, but she is growing up so fast! We love you so much Hannah!