Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Six Months, Will!

Dear Mr. BugARoonieBoonieBoo (I hope you are embarrassed by this pet name when you are twelve.),

You are SIX months old, Will!  Hard to believe, though, that you were still in my tummy longer than you've been in the real world.  Cah-razy.

Let's see.  In the last month...

You got a new high chair and started sitting at the big table with mom and dad.

You are still in size 3 diapers, in disposable, and are still in medium cloth ones.

You went trick-or-treating early at Grammy Pammy's house.  Even though she hates Halloween and never let ME dress up or decorate pumpkins, she gave you Halloween treats and LOVED your costume...  (What the heck.  I wish EYE would have been cute enough to be rebellious and get away with it.  All those years...missing out on Star Wars themed costumes and Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  LAME.)

You are developing more and more of a sense of humor every day.

 You are rocking your physical therapy.

You drank your very first can of Mountain Dew.  ...just kidding.

You have gotten older, more aware, and thus, more particular about the things you like and do NOT like.  And, you are good about letting us know what you think about things.  Thanks.  I think?

You are still teething and drooling, but have not gotten ANY teeth yet.

You had a fun dedication party with lots and lots of your friends.

You got your first tattoos.

You went on your last (probably) fall walk of the season.  We're already looking forward to spring walks!

You've started to sleep longer at night...dare I say THROUGH the night?  (What the heck constitutes sleeping THROUGH the night anyway?  5 hours?  6 hours?  8 hours?  12?  I think my friend, Heather, and I have these same questions.)  Oh.  And, this one night, you pushed your feet right out of your pajamas.

You are sitting up (almost) independently now!

You are still ONLY sleeping on your tummy (with your butt high in the air), despite my best intentions to keep you on your back.  Sorry, medical community and ten thousand posters about the "BACK TO SLEEP" movement.  Life happens, folks.  I give up.

You braved your first tornado warning.  We hid in the shower downstairs and I think I was more scared than you.  You thought it was fun to stay up past your bedtime and play in your new, fun, little nest of pillows.

You love, love, love playing with your daddy.  He is the good cop, and you think he is the coolest.  I am the bad cop that makes you go to sleep and interrupts play time with *necessary* diaper changes and such.  You will hate me for this someday.

You continue to give smiles to everyone that even looks your way in the slightest.  Your smiles are...magical.  For real.  Your giggles are double magical.

You are still drinking breast milk exclusively, but from a bottle.

You are in twelve month clothes.

You've learned how to splash in your bathtub (and by "splash" I mean, kick-so-hard-half-the-water-spills-on-the-floor)...and then you giggle about how fun it is.

You've taken the next step in getting weaned off your medication.  Still no seizures, praise the Lord.

You love tummy time, playing with music-making toys, shaking your maraca, and you LOVE playing with your toy balls.  Daddy says you look like a pitcher already!

At Harp & Bowl, you hear the music and like to "sing along" too.  Too bad it sounds like screaching and is mildly distracting to the rest of the crowd.  I am proud of you for making a joyful noise, Mister Man.

Umm.  I can't think of anything else, but I'm sure there's more...  You are growing and changing constantly.   You keep us on our tippy-toes!

Love you bunches.  Hearts and flowers and rainbows and stuff.

-Your Mom

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baby Ink

Will got inked this past weekend.  Three whole tattoos.  He is following in his Auntie Naomi and Uncle Casey's footsteps.   Watch out, world.  He is major BA.

(Mom - "BA" means for BAD A$$... 
 ...that means "tough"...

Please don't tell social services my six-month-old is sporting a skull and crossbones on his mini bicep.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Project Life Basics

So.  Remember when I said I didn't have the space to organize and store all the little doo-dads, and papers, and scissors, and ribbons and stickers, and glue dots, and everything else that usually goes into scrapbooking?

These are the only things you need to scrapbook the Project Life way.  Really.  There are others in la-la-I-have-tons-of-free-time-and-magnificent-craft-rooms-and-tons-of-money-to-buy-patterned-scissors-world who DO use more supplies than this to do PL (Project Life), but I am convinced it's totally not necessary.  I've only done this for a little while, but my advice so far would be to STICK TO THE BASICS.  Sticking to the basics eliminates the headache of too many layouts, too many choices, too many fussy details - which takes too much time and energy.  The good news is, if you stick to the basics in PL, you can still end up with a really cute scrapbook.  I am living proof. scrapbook is living proof...  Well, my scrapbook isn't actually living, but you get the point.

Moving on.

PL is centered around pocket pages.  They are similar to the old page protectors you stuffed your baseball cards into...only they are 12x12 with different sized pockets.  Though there are a million different photo page/pocket layouts to choose from, I stick to Design A...four 4x6 pockets, and four 3x4 pockets.

Along with the photo pages, PL offers 4x6 and 3x4 "journaling cards"...  These cards provide space to write a few things about the pictures you're including - fun memories, quotes, etc.  There are TWO sides to every card, so you have some options to choose from.  Some cards are almost blank with a tiny bit of decoration - perfect for writing a bunch.  Other cards are patterned with cool designs - perfect to fill empty spots in your pockets and/or add a little visual interest.  OTHER cards have fun little sayings on them - again to add some interest - "Today was Epic!", or "Remember This..?", etc.  These cards come in packs.  Each pack has PLENTY of cards to keep you busy for a long, long time.  And each pack has PLENTY of options and they're SUPER versatile.

If you are looking to burn a little more DIY steam, you could EASILY make the cards yourself - just by cutting scrapbook paper or card stock down to the correct size.  But, I was able to purchase 120 double-sided cards (which are lasting a long time!) for $8 on Etsy, so for me, it was worth the cash to eliminate the hassle and extra time it'd take to cut them myself.

The overall finished product ends up being a 12x12 page of photos and cards.  There's no guesswork in laying everything out.  You just pick the photos you like that "go" together (chronologically or thematically) and stuff them in pockets.  Add a journal card or two, and you're done.  I have done 4-5 pages in 30 minutes.  I love the pocket pages because they are a perfect place to stash some of my little "keepsakes", too.  Hospital bracelets, sticky notes, ticket stubs, etc.

The only other things you might need to do the basics in PL would be...  A corner rounder - that is, IF you want your photo corners rounded.  I also use a nicer pen (and by nicer I mean it cost more than 20 cents at Wal-Mart), and a Sharpie (because you can use it to journal or write ON the photos themselves, if you want).  All of these things cost me about $4, I think.

You will also need a big 12x12 binder.  Do not buy the actual "Becky Higgins Project Life" binders because they are more expensive than regular ones.  I just did a Google search for 12x12 binders and found the least expensive one I liked.

SO.  The startup costs include the pocket pages, binder and journaling cards.  But for me, they have all lasted a long time.  I envision using 1 binder a year and probably one $8 pack of cards a year (or at LEAST every 6-9 months), too.

Simple, pretty cheap, and hardly any "fuss" to get started.  Right up my alley!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

No Fuss Memory Keeping & Scrapbooking

These have been my scrapbooking, memory keeping, and picture taking problems...

  1. Thinking of scrapbooking has always made me feel nauseous inside.  Doo-dads, glue sticks, patterned scissors, paper cutters, stickers, overlays, ribbons, paper and paper and paper...  No, no, no.  I do not have time to mess with the little bitty cutsie things.  I do not have the storage space to organize millions of patterned papers and zig zag scissors.  I do not have the mental capacity or patience to create a new layout from scratch, arranging the stickers and pictures and ribbons just perfectly.  It makes me angry just thinking about all of the fuss.  I hate fussing.  
  2. YET, I am a ravenous picture taker...most of the time anyway.  What to do with all of my pictures?
  3. I tried the Shutterfly book thing...  Not for me.  I am a design fanatic, so the pre-programmed layouts and fonts drove me nuts-o.  It also took FOREVER to finish my design because I am a crazy-lady-perfectionist when it comes to these sorts of things.
  4. I have slight hoarding tendencies when it comes to keeping memorable stuff.  Ticket stubs, programs, cute napkins, pen pal letters...stuff that piles and piles up and...gets shoved in shoe boxes, which get shoved in closets, which collect dust and are never seen again. cannot put these sorts of things in Shutterfly books.  Lame.
  5. I am a hopelessly nostalgic person.  I LOVE remembering, love looking at old pictures, love recounting tiny little bits and pieces of happy experiences and happenings.
SO.  I'm the kind of person that desperately WANTS to scrapbook and keep memories, but I HATE scrapbooking.

Well...I hatED scrapbooking.  Past tense.

Until I found Project Life.  Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT being compensated for this little commercial of sorts.  But, if they DID provide an opportunity to sell Project Life like Mary Kay, I would be selling it like mad and winning myself a pink car in about a month.  I heart it.  It's a relatively new, super approachable, super easy, no fuss way to keep memories and you do NOT have to be creative or buy a ridiculous amount of supplies.  

...and I can't wait to show you what it's like.  Here's a sneak peak!


S'mores Buffet and Recipes

We invited lots and lots of people to Will's Dedication Arrow Party, so we needed to serve something quick, easy and inexpensive to the crowd.  And, again, because I'm mildly insane and need to make everything extra cute, we settled on a s'mores buffet.  It was a hit!  So much so, I will probably repeat the buffet again for another party someday.

Have you ever tried different variations of the good, old-fashioned s'more?  YOU SHOULD!  Recipes and combinations are below! 

The Original - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Hershey's chocolate
Salted Caramel - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Ghirardelli Salted Caramel chocolate
Double Nut - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Nutella, chopped almonds
Almond Joy - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Hershey's chocolate, chopped almonds, coconut
Double Berry - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Ghiradelli Dark Raspberry chocolate, strawberries
The Elvis - Marshmallow, graham cracker, peanut butter, banana, Hershey's chocolate
Grasshopper - Marshmallow, graham cracker, Ghiradelli Dark Mint chocolate

The winner?  DOUBLE BERRY.  To.Die.For.  So, so good.  You won't even believe you're eating a s'more!  The funny thing is, the Double Berry combination was the one I felt the most insecure about putting together in the first place.  Hooray for experimentation and crazy s'mores combos!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will's Arrow Party

We recently hosted a get-together for Will's dedication.  Although the party was for his dedication, it was also a celebration-of-sorts.  The Lord has brought so much healing to Will already!  We have much to be thankful for.  For as much as the Lord answered Mark and I's prayers for Will, He also answered our friends' and family's prayers - so it was only fitting to celebrate together.

We all met in our backyard, Mark and I shared a bit, everyone prayed for us, we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" (also sang this at our wedding! - such a great hymn to sing in all of our seasons of life.), and then we ate hot dogs, s'mores, and chatted the night away!  

I am mildly insane, and I LOOK for things to decorate, so naturally, I had a small hay day decorating for this party.  I am proud to say that I spent NO - zero, zilch, nada - money on the decor.  (Special thanks to my mama for her arrow-making abilities and hoarding tendencies.)  My advice in decorating for parties?  SHOP YOUR HOUSE.  Figure out what you already have and plan your entire theme around it.

This party was all about arrows - inspired from Psalm 127 - Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!


Needless to say, all the partying tuckered us out! 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Five Months, Will!

Dear Little Will Bug,

Your mama is a little behind on this "Happy Five Months!" thing.  It is a very busy time of year for our family!  You've been such a trooper through it all.

Anyhoo...  You are five months old now, plus about a week.  Congratulations!  You made it!  In this last month... went from rolling over occasionally to rolling over a lot!  Your head doesn't wobble anymore at all, and you are so very strong!'ve started to love bouncing up and down and using your leg muscles.  Your physical therapists say "no" to Johnny Jumpers and Exersaucers because they will encourage too much tone in your body, but you are having fun with your legs in small spurts! are still in medium gDiapers but you've just graduated to size 3 in disposable.  More and more of your smaller clothes are going in the basement into tubs.  Now, you only fit into 6 month and bigger clothes.  You're up to 14 pounds!'re still flirting, smiling, giggling and being really social.  You LOVE faces and reach out to touch our cheeks.  If we're not careful, you will scratch and grab at our face, too, you little rascal! are very, very curious about a lot of things and stop to watch and notice anything new around you.  I think you are going to be pretty perceptive.  You notice different voices and follow the sounds with your eyes.  You have started to love music even more, too!  We have had dance parties to some jazz music around the house.  When you are super crabby, the only way I can get you to quiet down is to sing one of our favorite songs...  I adjusted it a little bit from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. :) "I love you, Will Bug, oh yes I do!  I love you, Will Bug, and it is true!  When you're not with me, I feel blue.....(insert a little opera vibrato and dramatic effect...)  Oh, Will Bug, I love you!" are still, still teething.  Every week gets a little worse, and I am just SURE a tooth will pop out...and then it just never does.  You are a little more grouchy than usual.

...even though I know all the doctors say to put you to sleep on your BACK (which we do!) quickly roll over to your tummy to get comfy.  The best part is, you also scrunch your body up until your butt is stuck straight up in the air.  You look really awkward and uncomfortable, but you wrestle around every single time until you get to that favorite position.  You are so silly. are drinking from eight ounce bottles now! never nurse anymore, you little turd, but you are still drinking only breas tmilk.  Praise the Lord for sweet donors and Medela pumps. really, really like sitting up and practice a lot in your high chair and between couch cushions.  The more you can be up seeing the world, the happier you are! still haven't had any more seizures, so your Mayo Clinic doctor said we can wean you off your medicine!  We can't wait! finished the big boy maze at Pumpkinland. had your first family pictures with the DeYounges. went to your first football game to celebrate Sioux Center's Homecoming! starting wearing your amber teething necklace.'ve had your first tastes of real food!  YOU LOVED banana!

Okay.  I think that is all.  You are growing and changing so much every day, it's hard to keep up!

We love you lots and lots and lots.

-Your Mama

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