Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lala Loopsy Birthday Party

We finally had the big girls' birthday party this past weekend.  It was originally planned for the end of August, but since I was on hospital bed rest and it was 2 days before Miranda was born, we post-poned it.  I had been planning this party for forever - it's what I do with their parties.  When I went into the hospital I had almost everything complete, so I didn't have too much to do to complete it for the actual party.

I've learned from past experience, to take pictures of the girls BEFORE the event, so here they are dressed up and ready for their party.  They had been talking about it all morning!

After looking on etsy and finding all kinds of over priced lalaloopsy shirts, I asked my friend if she could do something similar and sure enough she could.  I think the shirts are awesome and the girls loved them!

As usual, I had a welcome table where guests could sign the girls birthday books.  This was Mackenzie's 4th birthday book and Meredith's first.  I can't wait to see the birthday book collection grow as the years go by.  Already, I like to look at Mackenzie's books and see who came to the party and what they wrote.  I'm so glad I stole this idea from my friend Kim! ;)
My stash of scrapbook paper came in handy when creating the welcome board.  I also cut out the lalaloopsy girls from a couple of coloring books we have! ;)
I now have a TON of buttons and LOTS of yarn balls.  My mom has recommended we use the yarn balls for gross motor games.  As it is rainy today, we might be following through with that idea today!
Also on the sign in table was a "guess the buttons" game.  Each guest guessed how many buttons were in the little mason jar.  It's surprising how many buttons fit in that jar - 458!
The winner was Brandon's dad with a guess of 450.  He gave his lalaloopsy prize to the second place winner who was only off by 9 buttons!  Such close guesses!
Our neighborhood clubhouse wouldn't let us put anything on the walls, so I had to hang my banners on the tables.  I kept the food simple this time around - chicken nuggets, fruit and pretzels.

I kept the food simple because, as usual, I went a little over board with the desserts! ;)
Mackenzie's cake was a two layer strawberry cake with white frosting.  I made the candy buttons and was so excited to see that they looked like real buttons.  A mini Jewel Sparkles is on top of the cake.  She's a retired doll, so she's super expensive and this is probably the only way the girls will have her - in miniature form! ;)  The bear in the background is Mackenzie's school bear.  Every school day, the bear goes home with a different child and it just happened that he came home with Mackenzie on Thursday, so he came to her birthday party too!
Meredith's cake was chocolate with white icing. On top of her cake is Jewel's "little sister" Trinket Sparkles.  When I saw the two pack of dolls this summer, I knew it was perfect for their cakes!
I couldn't resist an idea I saw on pinterest for brightly colored cake balls with sprinkles!  They were white cake balls, so all the basic cake flavors were covered! ;)
We also had plenty of candy buttons!
Decorated tables....

Brandon is not a big fan of party games, but Mackenzie requested games and you can do a lot of cute things with a lalaloopsy/sewing theme!  I didn't take very good pictures of the games - sorry.  Shown below are "spools eye" and "ring toss".  Both were pretty popular while waiting for guests to arrive.  Simple tossing of spools of thread or embroidery hoops onto knitting needles.
I think the favorite game was "Pin the silly hair on Harmony".  I scanned in a coloring book page of Harmony, printed it on multiple 11x17 sheets and then traced it to a large sheet of paper.  All of my markers from architecture school came in handy when coloring in the drawing.  Mackenzie kept me in line and made sure the colors matched exactly! ;)
Everyone watched as I put the sticky backs on the hair...
I forgot to check for a mask, so I just covered the kids eyes with my hand.

They all liked it so much, we had to do the game twice!  Boy was her hair silly by the end! ;)

After games it was time to sing happy birthday and blow out candles...
When we took the candles out, Meredith was just sure her cake was just for her! ;)

Before everyone left, they were able to pick up their party favor box...

I even had boxes for Mackenzie and Meredith, so they enjoyed opening them up and seeing what was inside (a future blog post).

Mackenzie insisted that this sweet little girl from her preschool be invited.  Despite such short notice (4 days), she came and Mackenzie was so excited.  We let the girls open their birthday present from her before they left and as you can see, Mackenzie and Meredith LOVE their new night gowns!  They wore them home and kept them on until bedtime! ;)
So, the party was great and the girls had fun.  Another year gone by.  Next year I will be planning for three birthday girls, but I think we are going to have 2 smaller parties.  I'll give myself another 3 months before I start planning! HA! ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

2 months


Miranda turned 2 months old on Saturday!  We went to the doctor for her check up this morning and here are her stats:

Height: 21" (2%)
Weight: 8lbs 6oz (0%)
Head Cir: 14.5" (12%)

She is now the size Meredith was at birth!  She's just now getting on the charts (barely), which isn't bad since it's really only 3 weeks past her due date.  When Meredith was a baby, our pediatrician said that once babies get above 10 pounds they tend to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time.  Miranda is gaining about a half pound a week, so in another month or so I might actually get more sleep during the night!  I think it's funny that her head circumference is still at 12% considering she was 6 weeks early.  Looks like she'll follow in her sister's foot steps (and their dad's) and have a big head! Ha! 

At 2 months, Miranda...

- nurses 8 times a day (sometimes more)
- is allergic to cow's milk, so I'm officially dairy free as long as she continues to nurse.  An example of her allergy is the fact that I had 4 or 5 chicken nuggets on Saturday at the girls party and today she had blood in her stool, not to mention being fussy and gassy all yesterday.  She is very sensitive to the milk protein since even the non fat milk in the breading of chicken nuggets upsets her.  The doctor said I can test the allergy every 3 or 4 months to see how's she's doing, so maybe I'll have chicken nuggets just after Christmas and see how she does! ;)
- wakes up 2 or 3 times during the night - just about every 3 hours
- wears size newborn and 0-3 month clothing
- sleeps fairly well in the sling...I just need to remember to wear it more often.
- is not typically bothered by all of the screams and general loudness of her big sisters.
- is losing what little hair she had.  I'm sure she will then follow in her sisters' footsteps and not have any hair until 18-24 months of age.
- has not had the baby acne as bad as her sisters did - thank goodness!

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's been 9 days...

It's been 9 days since I last blogged.  And really, that wasn't really a blog post since all I did was post one comparison picture of the three girls.  I've meant to blog several times this week, but it just never happened. 

I'm back to making my weekly list of things to do.  Of course, I think I only took a couple of weeks off from making lists right when Miranda came home, so it's not like I really stopped doing it.  As usual I put everything I can think of on my to do lists.  It's kind of like my mind dump so that I don't forget things - everything from changing sheets, to writing thank you notes, to hanging picture frames in the girls' room.  Last week it even included calling my mom to talk about Thanksgiving.  These little tasks can get away from you when dealing with 3 children, so I write EVERYTHING down! ;)

Unfortunately, with a newborn in the house it's quite difficult to complete most of the tasks. :/  Even though Miranda is 8 weeks old today, she's still very much a newborn baby as far as needing to eat every 3 hours (or less) around the clock.  By the time Meredith was 2 months old she was only eating 5 times a day and had just started sleeping in 7-8 hour lengths.  Granted, Meredith was 4 or 5 pounds heavier and eating formula, but still it's quite a bit different this 3rd time around.  At this age, Miranda is very gassy/fussy and by the time I feed her a bottle, get her back to sleep and pump milk for her next feeding, I get about 1 - 1 1/2 hours of sleep before I have to wake up again to start all over.  With Mackenzie and Meredith, this phase was just about over at this time, but I have a feeling I still have another month or so before I'll be getting any decent amount of sleep at one time.  Oh well, that's the way it is and I'll survive.

Because I have to spend 15-20 minutes 6 times a day pumping milk in the guest bedroom, I've watched quite a bit of TV/movies.  We don't have cable in that room, so I've been watching DVD's I have.  So far I've watched all 10 seasons of Friends (that started in the hospital), 5 seasons of Big Bang Theory, 3 seasons of Modern Family and 7 of the 8 Harry Potter movies!  I was about to put in the very last Harry Potter movie yesterday when I realize we had only bought the blu ray dvd, not the combination pack.  So, now I feel like I've been left hanging with what happens to Harry Potter even though I know exactly how it ends.  I guess I'll need to watch the movie one day on one of the other TV's.  Watching them has made me want to re-read all of the books.  Yesterday when I couldn't watch Harry Potter, I started watching Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth) and of course I now want to re-read Pride and Prejudice too!  I'm not Meg Ryan in You've got Mail that reads the book every year, but I feel like I read it every 2 or 3 years and I think it's about time to read it again!

This week my focus must be the girls birthday party.  It's been rescheduled for this Saturday, so now I need to finish all of the tasks I hadn't completed before I went to the hospital.  This morning we actually made peanut butter cookies to look like buttons and this afternoon we'll make the sugar cookies.  Here's hoping Miranda cooperates and isn't too cranky this week.  In the last 48 hours, we've made some considerable progress with her nursing.  Hopefully that will continue to get better and I won't have to spend so much of my day pumping milk and I can spend more time on the party prep.  For now, she's content to sleep in the sling I'm wearing, so I've been able to cook/prepare lunch and type this blog post.  I hope the rest of the week goes this well! ;)

So, it might be another 9 days until I blog again, but when I come back I'll have a Lalaloopsy birthday party to show you!  It's only been in the works since last March! ;)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Baby Comparison

From left to right - Mackenzie, Meredith and Miranda!  I now think Miranda is a pretty good mix of the two older girls.  What do you think?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sewing Project: Carseat Canopy

My grandmother gave me her old sewing machine just after Meredith was born, 2 years ago because I had a plan to make my own DIY Moby wrap (baby sling).  I hadn't sewn since 8th grade, so my friend came over that spring (2012) for a quick reminder tutorial.  I never pulled the sewing machine back out and therefore never made the wrap. :/  When I found out I was pregnant again, I decided this was my chance to try again.  I made a list of several sewing projects I wanted to complete: Moby wrap, car seat canopy and camera strap cover were at the top.  Brandon was all for these DIY projects until he discovered I hadn't sewn in 19 years.  I believe his exact words were, "I don't think your first trial sewing project should be something that holds our baby." :)  I agreed to start with the camera strap and car seat canopy first, so we bought the supplies back in May.

I cut the fabric for the canopy in June and never got any further.

I had intended to get past the girls' birthday party at the end of August and then sew the canopy, however we all no that didn't work out since Miranda showed up early.  Last weekend I realized Miranda was about to be 6 weeks old and I still had no cover for her car seat.  I also knew I would only want to use the canopy for the first 4 or 5 months when I want to keep the germs away, so I decided to complete the project.  I sewed the straps together and the canopy itself together on Saturday afternoon between two of Miranda's bottles.  Then on Sunday I sewed the straps to the canopy and finished the project!

It was a fairly easy project and I'm so glad I made it.  It's not perfect, but it's not coming apart, so that's something! ;)  Next up is my camera strap cover, which should be super simple compared to the canopy.  Now that I can sew again, I think I might need to go peruse Pinterest! ;)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The girls are funny...

The girls have been saying funny and cute things lately.  I wanted to document them so I'll be sharing them with you too!

First up, Mackenzie...
  • Brandon has been going grocery shopping for me on the weekends and takes the big girls while I stay home with Miranda.  A couple of weeks ago, I put apples on the list and requested either Golden Delicious, Gala or Pink Lady.  Later that night I cut an apple to eat and both girls were instantly by my side to "share" it with me.  As we were eating a Golden Delicious apple, Mackenzie says, "I wish we could have gotten Pink Lady apples at the store."  This was followed by a side glance at Brandon.  I asked if something was said at the grocery store about pink lady apples and Brandon laughed and said that he told her they were getting golden delicious because they were cheaper.  Apparently, Mackenzie consented at the time, but was happy to express her disappointment with me. ;)
  • Mackenzie asks if she "can look at Miranda" all the time.  This requires that she be directly looking at Miranda in the face and must be a few inches away.  She asks because sometimes it means she needs to climb on the bed to see her.  I like that she asks, but sometimes she uses it as an excuse not to do something.  She got upset the other day when I said no, she needed to eat her breakfast first.  I informed her that Miranda will be with us forever and there will be plenty of opportunities to "look at her"! ;)
  • When I was pregnant with Miranda, it was getting harder and harder to lean over Mackenzie's bed rail to hug her good night.  I always had to ask her to sit up for hugs and kisses because my belly was too big.  Since I've been home, every time I bend over to give her a hug and a kiss, sh asks, "is your tummy getting smaller?"  I sure am glad someone's here making sure I'll lose the baby weight! HA! ;)
  • For school, Mackenzie received a storybook bible for us to read a story out of each night.  Almost every night as we get the bible book and another book to read, she says, "The bible story has to be read first because it is more important than the other book."  I'm glad she believes and insists on that!
And now Meredith's turn.  She is currently the funniest because her vocabulary is improving so much that she surprises us at what she says.
  • Every time Meredith sees Miranda she says in this cute, sweet voice "aaawwww" and pats Miranda's head.  She has been super sweet with Miranda and I love seeing her interact with her.
  • After we read books before bed, I tell the girls to go give Brandon a hug and a kiss.  Meredith always has to be first and has now started running to Brandon saying, "me, me, me".  I told Mackenzie if Meredith is going to call her "kiki", then she needs to call Meredith, "mimi"! ;)
  • The other day at the playground, Meredith got inside a play castle and instantly shouted, "I'm trapped!  I'm trapped!"  She was pretending, obviously, but I have no idea where she's learned about being trapped. :/
  • Meredith says a prayer at naptime with me and the other day she thanked God for her food and her "messy".  She said this while touching her fingers.  I'm pretty sure she was thanking God for the cheetos she had eaten for lunch! ;)
  • My favorite is what she has learned from watching Doc McStuffns on TV.  For those who don't know, it's a TV show about a little girl who is a doctor to her toys.  Every episode involves a "sick" or broken toy and Doc has to figure out what is wrong and write it down in her book.  So, after Meredith "checked" me with her doctor set, she said, "I have di-nosis".  In other words, "I have a diagnosis!"  (What Doc says in every episode.)  She then pretended her bible was the "big book of booboos".
I can't wait to have stories about Miranda too!  Right now I only have stories about her eating or crying, so those aren't any fun, but someday soon... ;)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Meredith singing her ABC's

Meredith has been singing her ABC's lately and I had to get it on video at this stage because she is so cute singing it!  In the first video you'll also hear one of her favorite phrases, "I do it myself".  She is very independent right now!  Also, I had to cut off the video because she got in one of her "loops" where she just starts singing the same part over and over. ;)
This second video is missing about half of the letters, but I love "now you singa me."
Don't you love the hair?! She won't wear a clip, so we just have to wait for her hair to grow out so we can tuck it behind her ears.  It drives me crazy every day, but she doesn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Celebrating the girls' birthdays...

I came home from the hospital on Meredith's birthday.  My mom was kind enough to pick up party decorations and cupcakes so we could celebrate!  Minnie Mouse is currently one of Meredith's favorite shows, so the decorations were perfect!
Meredith thought the candle was interesting...
But did not like when we started singing to her! ;)
I think Brandon had to blow out the candle for her (but I honestly cannot remember).
Once the candle and singing fiasco was over, she thoroughly enjoyed eating the icing off her cupcake! ;)
Mackenzie really got in the spirit of the party and wore the Minnie Mouse ears!

Three weeks later on Mackenzie's birthday, I pulled out the same decorations for a mini party that morning with just us girls.
Thank goodness for party gifts from us that never got opened. ;)

Unlike Meredith, Mackenzie likes to blow out candles, so she blew out candles at breakfast...
and after dinner!

The girls' party was originally planned for August, but with Miranda's unexpected delivery, plans were changed.  We'll be having their party later this month, but I wanted to document their actual birthdays.
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