Sunday, February 22, 2015

To Bed A Baby...To Wake A One-Year-Old

I put my last baby to bed tonight as an infant for the last time.  I was getting all I decided I would write a fun recap of her birthday party today, rather than wallow in my ending of the infant year that will expire at 1:47am.  Seriously, how did a year go that fast?

First a few party prep pics...
Her invitation.  I fell in love with this idea...selfishly for the keepsake that I will have for the future.
I made Stella an allergen free cake.  It turned out really yummy, if I do say so myself!  Want the recipe for your little peanut?  Here it is.
Benjamin doesn't write on my chalkboard often, but when he's always awesome.  I love that I just gave him a general idea of what I wanted and he took it from there.
Here is her finished cake!  It's not about perfection.  It's about the love that it was made with.  ;)  It looks about the same right now....  
Cupcakes for the rest of the guests.
Messages in a Baby Bottle.  This pic was taken before the party, but now it is overflowing with messages from guests to Stella, for her to open when she is 18.  
This little cheezer had no idea how much fun was about to ensue!

 I "hired" Jillian to color all of the crowns for our game, Pin the Birthday Crown on Stella.  She loved the job.  She is contemplating it as a career.
 Stella, her Great Uncle, and Great Grandpa!
 Two baby sisters.  Stella and my baby sister, Erica.
I can't even believe we are already here, a year goes so fast.
 My sister Sarah, Stella, and I.
 Sarah found this champagne, Stella Rosae.  It wasn't full long.
 Another Great Uncle.  He let her sneak an early present.  Definite uncle brownie points.
 Stella was the first to pin her crown (the special one made only for Stella) on herself.  No blindfold necessary for her! 

Stella handing out the crowns!
 Time to open presents!  She was lucky to have help from her brother, sister, and sweet cousin Josephine.

 Cake time!  She daintily picked at it, but didn't follow through on the smash that her brother and sister were really hoping for. 
This photo is about as close she got to actually eating any of it.  Not pictured...her putting it down without taking a bite.
 My very favorite gift every year...  A video of Stella's entire first year from her Aunt Brooke.  It's priceless.  Oh - and that first year video...always gets me weepy.
 Still happy after the festivities!

 ........And this is the little peanut that I put to bed a few hours ago. 

Dear Stella Rose,

No matter how old you are, you will always be my baby.  I love you with all of my heart and you complete our family in such a perfect way.  A year ago, right this very minute, your Daddy and I were anxiously awaiting your arrival.  We didn't know yet that you would be such a content and happy little girl with so much love to give.  We didn't know that you would fit into our family like the perfect last piece to a puzzle.  We know all of that and so much more now.  We know that you are such an affectionate little lover.  We are millionaires in the kisses and cuddles bank.  You are so friendly and look at new situations as a fun adventure.  You love your dolls and lovies like no baby I have ever seen.  I think it is a preview to the mother that you will be someday.  I love to watch you learn and grow and I look forward to so many thing in your future.  Let's just take things day at a time though.  I love you with all of my heart, my little Stella Rose.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  •  These two.  They assume their after school post everyday, waiting on their favorites that are sure to arrive soon.
  • Watching my husband coach basketball.  This isn't the first year, and I have watched him coach other sports too...but this year basketball is different.  Frankly, the team just isn't very good.  I love watching him stay steady and patient even when they are down by 24.  I love that he still lets every first and second grader have their turn playing each position, even when the kid noted to play guard this quarter can't dribble very well.  I love that he celebrates each basket that the kids actually do make, like they aren't losing by a huge deficit.  This week after losing by over 20 points, I said something about it being a rough game for him.  His answer?  "It was a great game.  I had two kids that have never scored a basket, score."  I love that.  He says at this young age it's not about winning, it's about learning how to play the game.  I love him.
  • Monday night girls cuddle night.  Our boys are at practice, so the three girls get into out jammies early every Monday night and cuddle up for a couple hours.  Jillian starts looking forward to Monday night on Tuesday morning...for the next week. 
  • Every evening when the garage door begins to rise to announce Ben's arrival home from work, Stella starts yelling "Hi, Dadda!  Hi, Dadda!  Hi Dadda!" until he is inside to hear her.
  • Young Living Essential Oils.  Seriously, I can't tell you how much they have changed my family's healthcare.  My kids, especially Myles, have such an interest in those magical little drops of wellness.  If you ask him what oil might help for your ailment, he just might know the answer!  He has already informed me that he will need his own oils to take with college.
  • Every other Monday I work in Jillian's classroom.  I love getting to know her little friends and being a tiny part of their school day.
  • Although Stella only says a handful of words (Hi, Bye, Mama, Dada, All Done, etc) somehow she always finds a way to communicate what she wants to get across.  Yesterday, as my mom was cutting some grapes, she emphatically pointed and grunted at the grapes and then her plate over and over again.
  • Last week I picked up a few things for the kids for Valentine's day.  I grabbed a little doll for Stella and gave it to her to play with in the cart while we shopped.  She hasn't let is go much since.  Guess she got that little V-day gift a little early!  That girl loves very passionately.
  • I'm planning my last first birthday party for later this month.  Seriously, how did a year already pass?  Take a look at this little crown!  Love!!  A sweet friend has inspired me to raise my game for her little party.  She doesn't know that she is my backup plan if the cake looks like hell!  I'll be sure to post pictures of the party after the big day!
  • I know Stella's could still change, but I have a child with each eye color!  Stella's are still denim blue, Myles's are green, and Jillian's are brown!  So interesting to me!
  • I found out that Ben has planned a Valentine's date night out! We have a sitter and an evening of dinner and maybe even dancing planned!

I'm Better Off Without...

  • Overbooked evenings.  Whatever happened to hanging out at home and playing a board game?  I'm thankful we always at least manage dinner together, even if it is between booked activities.
  • My phone has a magnet to the floor.  It always seems to want to leave my hand and shatter.  This time the guy put a special piece of glass over it to help.  Oh - and don't get on me about using a phone case.  That would be too easy.