Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Room for Big Girls

The Big Girl Room.  Oh, the Big Girl Room.  This is perhaps the most talked about room in all the rooms I have ever had a hand in planning and decorating.  Why?  Because it's taken over a year to plan and convince the big girls that it was a good thing.  Actually, convincing them that a big girl room is fun was easy.  Convincing them that big girls sleep in their own room was a whole different story!  Finally, it is finished and easily my favorite room in the house.

At dinner the night it was completed, Grace decided she wouldn't sleep in the big girl room that night.  She proclaimed that she would sleep in it when she was four.  Well, since 4 was a mere 7 nights away, I agreed to her plan.  It has now been a week, and the big girls are actually doing it!  After a bed time song, prayers, and kisses, Grace and Emma Kate discuss the important things in life such as clothes and flip flops (I mean, they are my daughters) while drifting off to sleepy town.

I wanted their room to be feminine without being too "theme-y"  After 2 coats of pixie dust pink, pink tutus on the wall, and pink tulle bed skirts, I'd say we definitely achieved feminine. :)

The bedding on their little twin beds were the first thing chosen and were a gift from Mimi.  The girls love the sweet little fairies on the sheets.  I wanted wall letters for their name, but didn't want them simply painted, so I recovered them in fabric.

The hard working Daddy sanded, refinished and added new drawer pulls to the dresser that sat in my childhood bedroom.

This little tree might be my pride and joy of the room.  I sketched and painted the trunk and limbs, and adhered fabric leaves.

Emma Kate's favorite color is orange.  She has been saying for weeks that she wants an orange room, so since I can't bear the thoughts of 4 orange walls, I came up with this little idea of a way to remember my itty bitties the way they were when the room was created.  Hand prints in each girls' favorite color.

Hopefully it's normal that they've slept better than I have this past week.  Even though it is way past time they were sleeping in their own beds, I have to admit that I miss having them at my finger tips throughout the night...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Celebrating Turning 4

Dear Grace,

When you said you wanted a princess party (again) for your birthday, I wasn't surprised in the least.  When you allowed me to talk you into a mermaid party with little effort, I was definitely surprised!  I love the way your fourth birthday party came together, and I loved getting to celebrate another year of you, my sassy princess!

Many thanks to Briana, owner of Rockin Cali Girls and mom to 4 beautiful girls for creating the birthday shirt.  The day it arrived in the mail, you were holding it over your head, jumping up and down, and shouting "Woo hoo, woo hoo!"  I consider that a win.

My friend Suzie of Zo-Mak Photography created the invitation for us.  Thank you to Makena and Zoe for sharing their mommy's talents with us. :)  When we picked these up from being printed, you oh so nonchalantly showed all the other shoppers.

The sweet mermaids that adorned your party were created by Toadally Cute Products and were just what I had in mind, right down to the dark hair that matches your's.  

For food, we went with "submarine" sandwiches and chips, "fruit of the sea," "treasure dip," and "mermaids in a blanket."  Yeah, your mama can be corny.  Get used to it.  And since your favorite food group is still sugar, we overloaded the dessert table with cupcakes, brownies, fish shaped cookies made by Southern Girl Bakery, and candy including Swedish fish and octopus sour gummies.

When I decided real goldfish would be sweet centerpieces, I forgot about why I'm not responsible for the pets.  Thankfully, only one goldfish found out why this is true, and Kayla the animal lover took the rest home where they are receiving proper care.

As a thank you to your guests for coming, we put together personalized pails with shovels, goldfish snacks, bubbles, bath toys, squirt guns, lip gloss, and lotion.

My sweet little big girl, I am so proud of you for remembering to thank everyone for the gifts.  

And, thank you for humoring me during picture taking.

I will always remember your mermaid birthday party with a smiling heart.  I hope you had a blast and made fun memories as well!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Dear Grace,

As I sit here staring at your sleeping face, I realized that when you drifted off to sleep you were 3.  Tomorrow morning when you wake up you will be 4.  FOUR years old.  I know it's just a bigger number, and in reality it's only one day older than you were today, but there seems to be something different about turning 4.  Maybe it's because your little mind has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.  Or maybe it's because you have really grown into your role as big sister.  Maybe it's the conversations we have that make you seem wise past your years.  Or maybe it's the compassion that I'm witnessing develop in your little heart.  You are learning to be empathetic and to give.

When you were born, I couldn't stop staring at you.  You were so beautiful, and I wanted to memorize every curvature, every dimple.  It's like that now too.  I stare at you, amazed at the little lady you are becoming.  It is pure magic that escapes your eyes when you get excited.  Over the last 1,460 days of staring, I've learned so many things about you.  I know the shape of the dimple in your chin.  I know how your hair falls across your forehead.  I know that you bite the inside of your lip when you're in deep thought.  I know the way you clench your jaw when you're about to stomp your foot.  I know the sound of your belly laugh, the feel of your hand in mine, and the smell of your hair.

When I look at you, I see excitement, possibility, and innocence.  I see love, diligence, and independence.  But most of all, I see my baby.  For no matter how many birthdays we celebrate, you will always be my baby.  I love you to the moon and back.

Happy birthday, Princess Grace.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I've been MIA from blogging, the kitchen, and the cleaning cabinet.  But, I promise at least part of me has been busy - the part that grows a baby!  Right after Christmas, we learned that Baby #3 will be joining our family in early September.  Symptoms appeared even before we got confirmation via a pregnancy test, and since then, they have continued with a vengeance.  The sickness that has joined me for every pregnancy showed up 2 weeks earlier this time than my 2 previous pregnancies.  Thanks to enough Zofran, I've managed to keep some food down and be able to function.  And I do use the term "function" loosely.  Cooked meals have been few and far between, house cleaning is all about perspective, and my bedtime has often been the same time as (if not before) Grace and Emma Kate.

Right after we found out our little miracle was on it's way, I began reading all about the baby's development.  I was 4 weeks pregnant at the time, and at that point, the baby is the size of a poppy seed.  A few nights later, I made poppy seed chicken for dinner.  As I poured in the poppy seeds, I began looking at them, examining them.  It is nothing short of amazing that God, who spoke the universe into existence formed the little poppy seed of a baby in my tummy.  Created him or her for His glory.  All of his or her DNA, his or her personality, his or her soul is contained in a package that starts out smaller than a poppy seed.  Nothing short of amazing.

When we told the girls they would be getting a little brother or sister, we got a "No boys allowed!" from Grace.  She and Emma Kate love to kiss my belly and talk about all the things they will get to do for their sibling.  I still haven't managed to convince them to take care of the dirty diapers.  

We had our first ultrasound at 9 weeks to make sure the dates were correct and to see the little heartbeat.  It was so reassuring to see the little flicker on the screen and hear the gallop of the baby's heart.  

We had another ultrasound at 12 weeks.  It is incredible how much growth takes place in 3 short weeks.  The baby was flipping all over the place, showing off, and even seemed to play peek-a-boo.  At 12 weeks, the baby is a little over 2 inches long.  

Now that we're at the end of the first trimester, I'm getting a little energy back.  And, the alldayallnight sickness is easing up as well.  I feel so blessed that God has given us the opportunity to welcome another little one into our family.  My prayer continues to be that I will be a Godly mother and teach my children about the joy of a relationship with Christ.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." 
Psalm 139:13