Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Walk Down Halloween Lane

Hard to believe we've got 4 years worth of costuming itty bitties for Halloween!





Pumpkin Sioree

What do you get when you combine fabulous fall weather, a visit to the pumpkin farm, food, pumpkin decorating and carving, and grandparents?  That's right - a pumpkin soiree!  Here's a glimpse into our little family celebrating fall the pumpkin way.

The business of picking pumpkins.

The business of lunch.

Cake Balls.  If you've never tried cake balls, visit Bakerella's website.  Don't walk.  Run!

And, now for the business of pumpkin decorating and carving.

The final products. 

Happy Fall, Y'all! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Business of Being Cute

Kids say the darndest things, right?  Here are a few recent "isms" I've remembered to write down over the last few months.  Most are from Grace since Emma Kate has only recently begun talking really well, but EK is quickly becoming the witty motormouth her sister is.

Grace jumped out of bed and proclaimed that she was wearing her black ballet slippers and pink tutu literally a millisecond after opening her eyes.  After getting dressed, she was dancing around on her toes and had the following announcement.
     "Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing the beautiful ballerinas of the world.  The first ballerina is GRAAACE!"

Grace: "I can't read this.  I don't have my glasses on."
   Somebody's been around glasses wearing grandparents. :)

I love the cute way bitties say things.  Emma Kate has trouble mixing up the s and f sound.  She switches them all the time.  She wears "fox" on her "seat" (socks on her feet).  And, likes to eat "foup" with a "foon" (soup with a spoon).

Grace's Somebody Phase:
"Somebody's not doing what they're supposed to."
"Somebody went outside and left somebody and now somebody is really mad!"

Grace to Me: "Happy Mother's Day!  Whatcha get me?"
Justin: "Well, this is the day we celebrate mothers.  You'll get a present when you have a baby."
Grace:  "Ummm... I have lots of babies"
     Hard to argue with her on that one.

Emma Kate is a southern girl.  She says "caw-uh" for car and "paw-uk" for park.

Me: "Grace, go clean the play room."
Grace: "I can't.  Cleaning makes me sweaty, and Princesses do NOT sweat."

Emma Kate has recently begun looking to Grace for comfort.  Walking out of the doctor's office at Emma Kate's 2 year checkup after she received 2 shots: "Dat hut me, Gwaaaace."

Grace's cousin, Cole was telling her about Spider Man and other "boy stuff" and Grace said in her best diva-that-can't-be-bothered voice, "Oh, Cole, Princesses don't like bad stuff."

and my all time favorite...

Grace in a frantic voice: "I don't want to be a princess!  I want to be the QUEEN!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Emma Kate's Abby Cadabby Party

After several late nights planning and creating and digging myself out of a sea of tissue paper, Emma Kate's second birthday party turned out just the way I envisioned it.  When Emma Kate chose Abby Cadabby as the theme, I wasn't sure how to feel.  This was our first "character" party, and while Abby C. is an adorable tutu wearing fairy, I can't just order a "party in a box" and be done with it.  Nope, I love to create, and plan, and put my own touch on things.  So, here is my spin on an Abby Cadabby birthday.

My Little Fairy.

The Dessert Table. 
We had the party at Mimi and Papa's house on the front porch and in the front lawn.  The dessert table, as well as the rest of the porch featured these cutesy pom poms hanging from the ceiling.  You can find tutorials online, and I got the tissue paper from Nashville Wraps.

The dessert table needed a tutu, because Abby Cadabby wears a tutu of course!

Since Emma Kate's birthday is in the fall, I thought s'mores would be a fun idea.  But, they are messy to make, yada, yada, yada.  And, since marshmallow pops are popular right now, I had an idea for s'mores pops.  Thanks to my good friend, Google, I discovered that I wasn't the first person to think up these yummy treats, but I'm still pretty proud of myself.  They are super easy to make: Stick 2 marshmallows on a skewer, dip in melted chocolate, roll in graham cracker crumbs, devour.

For the meal, I stuck with a fall theme - chili and hot dogs with all their fixings.  You can see Abby Cadabby showed her face in the way of those cute little buckets I found in the Dollar Spot at Target.

And, she showed up here too.

These are the centerpieces I made for the guest tables and food table.  They are limbs Justin, Grace, Emma Kate, and I gathered on an evening walk.  Then, I hot glued tissue paper flowers and butterflies to them.

I found a tutorial for a tissue paper wreath (told you I had a sea of tissue paper!) at A Blissful Nest.  I changed it slightly though - instead of poking a hole into the foam wreath to glue the tissue paper squares into, I just hot glued them right on.  Grace was super proud of herself for helping with this project.

We had kids from 2 months old to 13 years old at the party, and some of them included boys, so I had to get creative on favors.  The little girls were easy - fairy wings.  For our 2 babies, I made flower headbands, and a more sophisticated flower headband for the older girls that included wrapping a plastic headband with ribbon and making a flower out of silk fabric.  The little boys received a magic wand and a "magic growing animal," and the big boys received a brain teaser cube and a set of playing cards.  Abby Cadabby = Fairy = Magic.  Get the connection between it all?

Still cashing in on fall - my daddy got us a few hay bales from his hay field for the kids to sit on, eat at, and play on.  They were cheap entertainment, and I would have never imagined they would be such a hit!

This was the stance Emma Kate took as soon as we started singing "Happy Birthday" and didn't turn around until the song was over.

Thanks for enduring so many pictures!  I hope you enjoyed them, and Happy Birthday to my precious fairy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Dear Emma Kate,

Happy birthday, Love.  I can hardly believe you are two years old.  Now, rest assured I said this on your first birthday, and I will probably say it for the rest of you and your sister’s lives.  You and Grace just try to keep the eye rolling to a minimum and smile politely, if you please. 

I still remember the moment you were born.  It came a bit suddenly.  There you were all tucked safely away inside me one moment, and then the next I was looking into your intense black eyes and stroking your chubby cheeks.  All the clich├ęs about love multiplying came true at the exact moment that my fears about being able to love you as much as your sister disappeared.  I felt down right silly for even considering it!

Your first birthday was quite the celebration, but so many things were staying the same, that I don’t think I felt like anything huge was passing.  As you turned one, you were still nursing, I still fed you your solid meals while you sat nicely in a high chair, and you still wore diapers.  You had just taken your first steps on your first birthday, and you still weren’t sleeping through the night.  As you turned one, you only knew a handful of basic words, your favorite toys were the ones that came from the baby aisle or the kitchen cabinet, you were still riding rear facing in your car seat, and you were still the quiet, passive baby you had been for 12 months.

This second year though, change has been the theme. You have officially exited the world of babyhood and entered the world of toddler-hood.  Some days, I think you’re on the fast track to teenager-hood!  I would like to exit the fast track, please.  How is it that 730 days can go by in a blink?

In this second year of yours, you stopped nursing.  It seems like once you weaned, you grew up in so many ways.  I turned around, and you started feeding yourself all meals.  “I do it myself!” has become a phrase heard quite frequently.  Your little chubby fingers are quite nimble as you spoon your soup into your mouth, pick up your snacks, and handle your sippy cup.  You still humor us with your high chair at home, but I suppose it would terribly embarrass you to be seen within 10 feet of a high chair at a restaurant.  Plus, a high chair wouldn’t enable you to snatch the salt shaker or try to climb into the booth behind us.  And, diapers are gone too.  Your chubby legs now poke out of big girl panties!  Who knew all that could happen in a blink?

Somehow, I leaned down to help you up after you fell after taking 4 clumsy steps, and you took off running, climbing, and trying to keep up with your big sister.  I turned around to cook dinner, and you could sing songs.  I folded a load of laundry, and you began talking.

It was simply amazing this past summer to watch your speech progression.  Daily, sounds that you couldn’t say the day before began turning up in your words, syllables fell into place, simple words became phrases and sentences, and  then I blinked and you were telling me stories about your day, expressing how you feel, and tattling on your sister. 

While that rug was being vacuumed, my sweet, passive, quiet Emma Kate turned into Emma Kate who refuses to be told what to do by her big sister, isn’t ashamed to lay down in the middle of the mall to scream at the top of her lungs, and won’t let anyone or anything stand in her way.  Though these times are trying, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  It means that you are becoming independent and assertive.

And, in the moment it took to run to the mailbox, your sister became your best friend.  This was the moment I hoped for that first time I stared into your serious little face.  You and Grace play with one another, sing together, imagine together, comfort each other, and love each other endlessly.  Okay, so you fight, and argue, and scream at each other too, but at the end of the day, the giggles, and hugs, and I love you’s between best friends and sisters is unmistakable. 

Though you have changed some things remain.  They transcend the barrier of the memory and fleeting moments, and are etched into my soul.  They are the “I wuv ew”s that escape your porcelain lips.  They are the millions of hugs and cuddles that we experience.  They are the feeling of your chubby hand in mine, the sound of “I missed you, Mommy,” and “Hold me, Mommy.”  They are the serious look in your eyes that reminds me so much of your daddy, the way your hair falls down your back, and the way I have to search oh so hard just to find your pupils in your black eyes. 

When I finally do find those pupils, it is possibility that I see.  The possibility to flourish and become anything you set your mind to.  I hope that you will always know how loved you are.  First by Jesus, then by Mama and Daddy.  I pray that you would allow God to guide you, and you will seek Him with your whole heart. 


You are a beautiful little soul.  I can’t wait to watch you share it with the world as a two year old!


"I'm a real school girl now!"

Those were the words spoken by Grace as soon as her eyes opened on her first day of preschool.  Grace has anticipated school like it was a free trip to the moon since she spied a little girl at my nephew's pre-k class with a princess backpack.

For the 3 weeks between the arrival of her backpack in the mail until the first day of school, Grace wore it around like a princess wears her tiara.

With all the excitement, Grace did admit to me in the car on the way to school that her tummy felt a little nervous.  Apparently though, all that subsided because she located her backpack hook, and walked over to the table to work on a puzzle.

The only tears shed that morning were by me, the silly ole' mama.  Whatever.

And, anyone who knows Grace is not surprised by the fact that she shared with her teacher, Ms. Cyndi, her plans for outfits for the next several weeks.

That's my Grace.  A real school girl.