Thursday, September 30, 2010

We went "OWL" out! The final installment

For Addison's family party our menu included more of the same of her favorite foods:
  • hotdogs
  • cheese dip (the good kind with sausage, ground beef, and rotel in it)
  • chicken nuggets
  • grapes
  • carrots
  • popcorn
  • goldfish
  • animal crackers
  • cupcakes

Our activities included the following:
  • watching football (AU and UA both had bigs games)
  • playing ring-around-the rosy and London Bridge with Jaydee and Nana
  • jumping on the bed
  • going on a caravan/parade to the playground
  • fighting through trying to open presents

Lining up for the parade. Even Baby Sawyer got to ride in the Bjorn.
Murphy and Mann brought their fire trucks!
Reese and Rylee rode in their double stroller!
My little climber...
had an absolute BALL!
Then she got to open her presents... with the help of all of her cousins and friends... Like I said in my last post, 2-year-old birthday parties can get interesting!
She got a creative box of dress up clothes!
a table and chairs! (The table is going in her big girl room with the pink and green chair, and the blue and yellow chairs are staying in the kitchen with a small side table that we already have.)
a pink radio flyer tricycle!
and her very own play kitchen!!!Our family and friends were so very generous to her, and she is one lucky little girl! Thanks to all for making her 2nd birthday so special!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We went "OWL" out! Part 3: The After School Playdate Party

The place setting:
When all the kids got there, we sat at the table and colored these owl sheets while I prepared their snacks.

On the menu: (Addison's favorites)
animal crackers
chicken nuggets
bagel bites
capri suns

After the kids ate, a cute little 3-year-old named Sadie said to the other kids, "Wanna get our balloons off the chairs and march around and have a parade?" All the kids in unison cried, "yeah!" So off they went. Hilarious.

Then we gathered back around the table and had activity #2: decorating the cookies. I kept 7 cookies un-iced, and the kids with their mommies iced and decorated their owl cookies. We put 2 candles in Addison's, let her blow them out after we sang, and snacked on our cookies. They seemed to love it!

Then we moved on to opening presents:

After presents, we went up to her big girl room, and she and her buddies all jumped on the bed. It was a typical 2-year-old party as the meltdowns began. Two of her adorably cute friends had to go to time out and then got super upset and had to go home a little early. We laughed because it seemed that everyone got a turn at a mini-tantrum.

She had a blast with Jack, Olivia, Carter, Micah, Rowan, and Sadie, and her mommy's friends, Miss Heather, Miss April, Miss Becky, Miss Jen, Miss Angie, Miss Karen, and Miss Caitland. It was the perfect beginning to her Birthday weekend.

(Also, thanks, April and Angie, for taking pictures so I could enjoy being the mommy.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We went "OWL" out! Part 2: Kristy's Bake Shop and Decorations

First off: her invitation... or should I say invitations. I had an after school play date for her last Thurs with her friends from school and mommy's friends from school. Then we had our family picnic and playground adventure on Saturday. Both invitations had the same look--just different party info. I ordered these from Vistaprint along with matching thank you cards and labels and was very pleased with prices and quality.
Next up was her Birthday Banner. I found this cute owl paper at Hobby Lobby and was so glad that my tiger pumpkins coordinated with the decor. :)

For her school play date, we set up all the kids in the dining room. Each kid had a balloon--pink for girls and brown for boys, an owl coloring sheet and crayons, and snacks. I loved being able to use my favorite white pumpkins here.For party favors, I decorated and personalized treat bags and filled them with owl coloring sheets and crayons, playdo, owl stickers and silly bands, and frosted owl cookies. My favorite things were the labels. On the playdo, I had owl labels that read, "Hootie Hoot! Enjoy the Loot!"
On the back of the cookie baggies, I had these labels:
The treat bag table for the family party. All the adults got to go home with an owl cookie too! :)
My little sous-chef with me during our many baking adventures...
We made the cookies pictured above. Then we attempted these owl cupcakes:
(I got the plates, matching napkins, and matching balloons from Celebrate Express. I googled "promotional codes," and I got a great discounted rate!) Patrick and I were up until 1 a.m. Friday night working on these little boogers. About halfway through we started wondering why the heck we were doing that, but they were so cute and worth it. The hardest part was getting the oreos perfectly split apart so that we could make the eyes and ears. The recipe suggested using banana runts as the nose, but with Halloween getting closer, I thought the candy corn added a festive touch. We ended up making 2 dozen owls (white cake with dyed pink white icing and yellow cake with chocolate icing) and 2 dozen "2" cupcakes which you can see displayed on my cupcake tree below.
Finally, for her actual birthday, I took this cookie cake to school. I was DONE with the beautifully intricate details of my owl-shaped cookie cutter, so I rolled up the rest of the dough, spread it on my pizza pan, used my extra icing and oreos and came up with this final concoction.
And with it, I got all of her Eagle's Nest friends and teachers on a nice sugar high after naptime! :)

Next Post: Her after school play date!

Monday, September 27, 2010

We went "OWL" out! Part 1: The "Big Girl Room"

This summer when I decided to start working on Addison's big girl room, I found an owl theme that I, of course, loved. Our goal was to have her room ready for her 2nd Birthday so that she could get used to it and not feel pushed out of the nursery when Ansley arrives. That idea expanded into her owl-themed Birthday party. It's been a blast doing all of this, and this next succession of posts is mostly for my memory and for my friends who weren't able to come.

Here are a few pics of her room:

I ended up scratching the Sundance Yellow that I originally planned on because it was SOO bright. We went with Moonlight yellow that we found in PB Kids. We've consulted PB for paint colors in the past, and they've never lead us astray. Anyway, this color was perfect, and Addison LOVES her new room. We also stuck with my childhood bed. We originally thought it was too high for her, but we found a way to lower it about 6 inches, got a bed rail, and ordered the full-size bedding which was just $20 more. So that's that.

We "tried it out" (her sleeping in her BGB) one night (We had previously just been doing naps there). I thought she would go back and forth from her crib to her bed for awhile, but she did great, and she calls the nursery the Baby Room or Ansley's room. There has been no turning back. It has sort of made me sad because I didn't realize that the last night in her crib would be the last night in her crib. Like I wasn't intentional about that rite of passage... Of course if I had known, I would have been emotional and fought the change and it's probably just better the way it happened.

The only thing not pictured here is the wall on the other side of her window. There is her table and chairs that she just got for her birthday. Above it is one of those ikea wire picture hangers where we display her artwork, and above that will be a painting that Andrea gave her for her Birthday. Even with the busyness of the decals, I love it all. Addison wakes up and says, "You see my tree? You see my owls?" It is perfect for her.

And this is what we caught her and Savannah doing before her Birthday party got under way... Little messes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catching up

In the past month, we have been super busy and have been having a lot of fun.

We made brownies for Grandmama and Granddaddy to thank them for keeping Maggie on our ATL trip.We celebrated Ansley's upcoming arrival with a "sprinkle" for her, and I got to spend the afternoon with some of the most special women in my life anticipating this upcoming blessing.

Lindsay made this rhyme for the invitation, and I LOVED it...

"Baby smiles and giggles galore, Kristy and Patrick are having one more. Big Sister Addison has plenty to share; this is a sprinkle to show that we care, with diapers and money for necessities, or something with Ansley's name, if you please!"

Isn't that adorable? Monogrammed stuff, diapers, and money for gear. It was perfectly what we needed.
My grandmother's dining room table with the delicious desserts that she and my mom prepared!
An activity that Lindsay planned that allowed my family and friends to write special wishes for Ansley's life!
opening the fun gifts.
Some of the spread
Nana and Aunt AndreaJaydee and Aunt Lindsay
Some of my oldest and dearest girls
My beautiful grandmothers.

Then, we went to Auburn. Patrick obliged my need/wants to go to AU for the season opener, and we survived! It was so much fun!
We enjoyed getting to stay in Montgomery with the Blackburns, eat at our favorite Auburn restaurants, visit with our Landmark friends, and just get away. It was my last time for travel before Ansley comes.

The following weekend, we had out of town guests and enjoyed catching up with Jesse and Nick. We also balanced out our fan base and let this little girl cheer on the Tide to cream Penn State!
Now, we are gearing up for somebody special's 2nd Birthday this weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Conversations with my almost 2-year-old

Since transitioning into her Big Girl Room and bed, our nighttime routine has adjusted a little bit. We still read stories and rock, but now I also lay down with her for a few minutes and scratch her back.

She LOVES to prolong this process by talking about any and everything. Last night it went like this:

A: I had a good day with you, Mom (I still get the affectionate Mommy sometimes, but with all this bigness, I am now mostly "Mom."). I go to playground and eat mac and cheese. Yum Yum. I go to Bible class. God made Addison.

K: I had a good day with you too, Addy-belle.

A: Mom, where Jaydee and Bear?

K: They are on vacation.

A: Yeah, they are at the beach... Bear take his shirt off... Jaydee take her shirt off too... They go get in the ocean... That ocean NOT gonna get you... Then they go to sandbox. (They are actually at a conference for my dad in South Carolina.)

K: Oh, really.

A: Yeah, Mom. But they come back for my Birthday party. (She thinks everything is about her Birthday party these days...)

K: Well, we need to go to sleep. Mommy is so tired. (I close my eyes and feign sleep, trying to get her to be quiet.)

She's quiet for a few minutes; I open my eyes; she is in my face. She starts giggling, repeatedly saying, "Want some butterfly kisses?" while rubbing her nose all over my face back and forth.

This sends both of us into fits of giggles.

Finally, after calming down and closing in on sleep, I kiss her cheek and whisper, "I love you, little girl."

"I love you forever, Mommy. I like you for always," she whispers back.

Sweet girl. Gotta write these things down so I don't forget them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So, I know when I am having my baby...

(That is, if she stays put and cooperates.)

And that's a weird thing...

But a fun thing.

And an unexpectedly emotional thing.

I am due November 8, and my doc said he could do it any day the week before. The anxious momma in me wanted to do it the 1st, but since we can plan, and since I am measuring right on schedule, I thought Thursday would be the best for Patrick to be off work, to have grandparents available to help take care of Addison, and to get to come home on the weekend... Of course, Little Ansley Carolina already has a mind of her own. I have a strong gut feeling that she is breech like her sister was, and she loves jabbing me with her elbow and kicking my bladder. She better not be planning to make her entrance into the world on Halloween. But if she does, we'll love her anyway...

November 4th, we'll be waiting patiently!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

"House Divided" or "House United"?

Patrick and I reside in a "House Divided." I am a proud Auburn alum and he is a homegrown Alabama fan. We are equally passionate about our schools and teams. We love that about each other. In our relationship we have established a healthy respect for each other's interests and passions. We proudly sport our individual team colors and logos on fall Saturdays when we run our errands, and we look forward to hanging up our football flag.

We joke about our girls being confused as they grow up.

However, we plan to raise them in a "HOUSE UNITED."

We celebrate because we get to expose our children to two teams, two heritages, two loves. Our girls are going to be lucky because they get to have 2 teams to pull for, 2 stadiums to visit, 2 cultures to experience, and each year both an Auburn shirt AND an Alabama shirt to sport during this fun time!

I know that rivalries and team spirit and trash talk are usually "all in good fun," but we are intentional about promoting positive aspects of getting to cheer FOR two teams rather than cheering AGAINST any one. Unfortunately, many well-meaning people do not feel the same.

Addison [and Ansley] may say, "War Tide" and "Roll Eagle;" she [they] may confuse colors and mascots and chants; she [they] may cheer for a different team every year. That's ok with us.

We are excited about this because, in addition to Patrick and I respecting each other's loves and passions, we hope that it will also teach our daughters to be respectful and loving of the people and things in this world. "Hate," even in respect to such trivial things as sports, is something we don't want to expose them to.

We are never going to tell them who to be AGAINST. We will celebrate who they get to be FOR.

And that's a fun life lesson--for us and our children.

Can't wait for this opening weekend. We are heading to the plains and all of us couldn't be more excited!

War Eagle! ...and Roll Tide!

Irony or Coincidence? Tales from the DARK and TWISTY...

I am an English teacher. I love all things to do with words and symbols, commas and parallel structure. I believe in no censorship. I make my kids bookmarks that proclaim, "I read banned books."

I am dark and twisty.

But I am about to scream. This is TOO MUCH. So far this year in a curriculum and scope and sequence that I fell into and did not create, I have taught the following texts:

"Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl (an ironic story about a pregnant woman who kills her husband PATRICK with a frozen lamb leg when she finds out he is leaving her)

"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway (my literary love affair--a cryptic story about a couple who is making a decision about whether or not to have a baby)

"Popular Mechanics" (a story similar to the I Kings 3 story in the Bible about the prostitutes fighting over the one baby where King Solomon rules to let them cut the baby in half, thus revealing the selflessness of the true mother, thereby saving the baby... Unfortunately, this story does not end this way.)

And, today, to my AP kids an op-ed piece from the Washington Post titled "A Miscarriage of Propriety" (an article that criticized a misuse of social networking to flippantly tweet about a miscarriage)


I almost cried.

I reassured my kids that I love my husband, and I love my baby.

They asked me if we ever read anything "happy" in my class, and I stopped and thought to myself, no... Thanks, Willco.