happy twelve months ellie!

ahhhhhhhh! happy one year my sweet baby girl!

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height: 28″

weight: 17lbs 12 oz

i am soooo happy and in disbelief that you are now twelve months old. this time has absolutely flown by. she has become the cutest, most cuddly, smiley babe. her light just shines so bright when you are around her. she is so sweet, fun, and easy going. i love that she doesn’t mind others holding her. i say that because olive didn’t like anyone holding her, so it’s so refreshing to not be the only person holding your baby! babies are meant to be held and passed around to different people! the chubby cuteness makes anyone happy!

well, ellie’s top two incisors have now come in! she now has her four front teeth. they’re so cute! her teething period for these weren’t so bad. there were some days/nights where she was a little fussy but it wasn’t intolerable for her or for me.

she can now feed herself! we tried and tried and she finally got the hang of it! now she is a pro and professionally puts e v e r y t h i n g in her mouth. from branch bits that are dragged in through the door by hc’s shoes, to grass, to dead bugs, and pieces of lint that might possibly lie around on the ground. yes. i am quite the neat, clean person but now i have to be EXTRA neat, tidy, and clean. i am constantly vacuuming because she will pick up the tiniest piece of whatever and put it in her mouth!

she had gotten better at learning sign language {so far she knows more, eat, milk, all done}, clapping, and waving. it’s the cutest thing to see her respond to our voices and make the sweetest faces! i love watching her scrunch her face, pout her lips, and pretty much any facial expression she makes! it’s a sign of her growing and showing us her emotions and i love it!

she can copy specific sounds like uh oh, dada, pitches we make with our voices, and such. it makes me so excited that she can ‘talk’.

she can stand on her own. she’s attempted it many, many times and has had success! she raises herself from the sitting position and stands up for maybe 5 seconds or so. she’s very good at walking along all the furniture and will take little steps if you hold her hand. i don’t foresee her walking within the month {she’s a very fast crawler!} but very soon!

baby girl can sip from a straw! she refused to do so last month, then a couple weeks ago she was like, yeah…i can do this! it’s so darling to see her drink from a straw, she’ll drool but can get a good amount into her mouth. she’s very good at climbing stairs too! as usual, she can get up the stairs but has yet to learn how to get down the stairs! haha!

wow, i can’t believe this is my last monthly post. i can’t believe she is one. i am in disbelief. i am going to cry. i love her so much, it’s insane. i am so blessed and always want to cherish each moment with her and not take for granted how lucky i am to be her mama.

the world spins around because of your soul here on earth. we are so fortunate to be blessed with such a beautiful girl and my love for you is immeasurable. i’m trying so hard to grasp this concept of motherhood…it’s the most complicated, rewarding, daunting, joyous journey i have ever faced and been on in life. i am beyond thankful you are mine and i am yours.

ellie ~ from the day you were born to one year later, we are so in love with you! i love your smiles, giggles, hugs, clingy ways, patience, curiosity, clumsy ways, and sweet nature. i am in awe over you and can’t wait to see the great things you will accomplish in life! we love you so much!

xoxo

happy ten months ellie!

happy ten months ellie!

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[photos taken on 5.15.17]

height: 27.5″

weight: 17 lbs 4 oz

oh this girl is a riot! she’s so fun, funny, and so darn sweet! my most favorite thing about her? she’s so happy and smiley. my heart melts when i walk into her room in the morning and she gives me the biggest grin from ear to ear. seeing her smile makes me so happy, it just starts my day off right!

she’s a crawling fool. this babe is f a s t and will crawl her way around the house to check out what’s happening with others in different rooms. she crawls on her hands and knees and can really get places with her cute moves. she’s really picked up on this milestone in the last month and now she can’t be stopped! hahaha!

she’s mischievous! this girl is curious, on a mission, and will get her hands on anything! she loves to explore and she loves to grab a hold of anything in sight. she loves to play with our shoes by the door…this bugs me so! yuck…dirty shoes! she touches everything she shouldn’t and knocks things down in nanosecond! i told hc that she is our trouble maker. she gets into things olive never had any interest in. for example, i have a jonathan adler giraffe that is a few feet tall that has always sat in olive’s room on the floor. olive never touched it, never had interest in it, and just never bothered to play with it. well, here comes ellie. once she started crawling…she immediately found the ceramic statue and grabbed that poor giraffe by the neck and wrestled it to the ground. oh ellie! anything within her reach becomes a ‘toy’. i told my hubby c that we need to screw the dresser drawers into the wall because ellie is that kind of kid! eeepppp!

she is still nursing. yay! and she will be for awhile, i just know it! her appetite is growing with solids..sometimes she will eat two containers of food in one sitting! i am still trying to get her to drink from a straw and learn how to feed herself. those are two things she is taking her sweet time around!

her sleep patterns have been amazing! i am so excited that we’ve gotten over all those months of being sick {since december!}…that really put a deep damper in ellie’s sleep routine. but now, she’s been sleeping though the night and waking up around 6-7 o’clock in the morning! woooo hoooo! i can’t wait until she really does sleep in {if that would ever happen!} but it’s been most fabulous currently, so i will take it!

this girl loves to repeat sounds, she loves to clap, and she loves to wave! her hair is finally long enough in the front where i can actually clip it back! she loves to follow her big sister around and watch what she is doing. she loves to snuggle and give wet kisses. she loves to be thrown around and rocked back and forth. she finds it hilarious when you flip her upside-down {don’t upchuck that milk ellie!}!

she has been a dream and we love you soooooooo much baby girl. you are so incredibly sweet and darling. this past month has been amazing and watching you grow makes our hearts so full. we can’t wait to see what next month has in store for you! happy ten months sweet ellie!

xoxo

happy nine months ellie!

happy nine months ellie!

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[pics taken on 4.14]

heyyyyy baby girl! i seriously thought you would be crawling by now! nope. it’s currently not your thing but you have certainly gotten a lot more mobile. you scoot, scoot, scoot around the floor and can get from point A to point B in a unique way but there is definitely noooooo crawling. you tend to scoot forward, then really push backwards, then you will pivot, and move into a different direction by repeating the same moves. you go girl. whatever works for ya!

she’s become a strong consumer of solid foods. she will chow down quite a bit with the container of food{s} we give her and sometimes asks for more. we were soooo great at making food for olive but really dropped the ball with ellie. we buy her organic foods off the shelf and it suits her, and us, just fine. i really wish we had the time to whip together homemade meals for ellie but alas, it all ends up being good. her favorite foods are fruits and she’s finally starting to like the vegetable and protein blends!

she is still nursing. my milk supply has been consistent but the difference i see with my back up supply is drastically low compared to what i stored with olive. when i nursed olive, i constantly pumped. like constantly. i pumped on the hour every two hours, i pumped when she slept at night – at 3am every night the first year. i pumped if her naps were longer than two hours and i stored a ridiculously amount of milk! now we are the verge of running out with ellie! i can’t believe it! i am hoping to nurse ellie for as long as i can and i hope i don’t completely run out of my back up supply! the good new is, she’s almost one and cow’s milk will be introduced but until then, i think i need to step up my pumping game!

she’s become a lot more solid with her nighttime stretches. she will typically go down around 9pm and sleep until 5 or 6am! woo hoooooo! now if i can only learn my lesson and go to bed when she does!!! her naps have become more consistent but she’s not completely regular with the timeframes. she will typically, or at least we try to put her down around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. she will usually nap for an hour in the morning and a bit longer in the afternoon. there are some times she will fight it and nap for short periods of time and then she gets super duper crabby around 5pm…really girl, just nap!

she’s so happy and so funny! she will make the craziest noises and tries to mimic us! she loves to scream and make silly faces. this past month, she has clapped her hands and waved to us. i love watching her grow and seeing her hit these fun milestones! those are the best moments. i also love that her bald spot has grown in, i totally knew that it would once she started sitting!

she’s still so tiny and i love it. i am savoring her tiny moments. i cherish her soft skin, her sweet breath, her fresh smell, her chubby thighs, her fat cheeks, her big belly, her teeny toes and fingers…oh the list goes on and on. i don’t want to forget her state, her baby stage, her sweet innocent being. oh ellie. i love you so much and i am such a lucky lady to have you as a daughter.

happy day sweet lady, you are so loved.

xoxo

happy eight months ellie!

happy eight months ellie!

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[photos taken on 3.15]

i was sitting with ellie the other day and thought…no way! no way she’s eight months old! nooooooooo. oh my gosh, i love her so much and it kills me that she is growing up. i desperately hold onto her baby stage that i do forget how many months she is or i am in complete denial? don’t get me wrong…i look forward to beautiful, great things she will do, accomplish, and be but this babe stage is too short and fleeting.

she’s on the verge of crawling. she wants to. i can see it. she bounces on her behind, leans forward, and has become quite strong with her arms. i think this month is her month! i can’t even fathom her crawling…being mobile. i love seeing her sit still and look so darn cute with those saggy cheeks and big brown eyes, usually watching her sister in amazement.

she’s an eater! she doesn’t loooooove her food but she will definitely eat it all. she loves fruits best but what kid doesn’t?! she loves bananas, pears, purees blended with oatmeal, and will usually gobble those meals up. she eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with breast milk in-between. i still feed her but every three hours now since she’s been eating solids. she’s a pretty good eater but according to growth charts, she’s a peanut. no matter, she’s as tiny, healthy, and cute as can be!

she broke ground on her first tooth!!! woooo hooooo! her central incisor has made it’s debut. it was around march 1st when i noticed a white line coming out of her gum! i rubbed the area and felt her tooth breaking through! i was soooooo excited but that leads into her interrupted sleep patterns…

december and january were rough months filled with sickness and sleepless nights. ellie hasn’t gotten on a solid nap time schedule but we try for 10am and 2-3pm naps. it’s hard too, when others watch her and don’t keep to a consitent schedule to build a routine. she was waking up relentlessly over the past several months causing this mama to sleepwalk! she got better in the beginning of february and relapsed for a few days due to catching another cold. wahhhhhh. well, i must say, though, february 6th or 7th was the beginning of her sleeping through the night!! hallelujah! she would hit the sack around 9 or 10pm {yesssssss my babes stay up late like their mama} and wake up at 5. y’all have no idea how amazing it was, or is, to sleep for more than 4 hours straight!!! well now she’s fussy at night due her teething…whatevs. i’m dealing!

she’s a screamer! she loves to hear her own voice and boy, is she loud! she shrieks, screams, cries, yells, and giggles and ohmergawd is it sooooooo stinkin’ cute!! she mimics us, she smacks her lips, clicks her tongue, and makes the cutest sounds alllllll the time!

she’s gotten better with sitting but she is still a little rocky. there are times when she throws us for a loop. she looks so strong and sturdy and we are all just sitting around playing on the rug and then all of a sudden, bam! she throws herself back and i have a freakin’ panic attack, so afraid she might crack her head! gahhhhhhh, it scares me when she does that and of course, it startles her and she then busts out crying. oh poor baby!

oh baby ellie. she’s so happy, content, and ohhhhhhhh so sweet. i couldn’t ask for a better babe. she’s so pleasant and beyond chill. it blows my mind at how calm she is. we love watching you grow, giggle, smile, scream, and learn. it’s amazing how much love we have for you. thank you for being such an awesome babe and we are so blessed to be your parents.

xoxo

ellie’s six month photos

ellie finally had her six months photos taken at 6.3 months! we waited for her to get comfortable with sitting, which took a bit longer than it did with olive. well, we finally felt that she was strong enough to sit on her own, so we finally scheduled her photos with tricia!

i am always filled with anticipation leading up to any photo shoot. i can’t wait to see the outcome, i am curious at how my babe will be, and i just get so darn excited! i was so ready for ellie’s photos, we brought along one outfit for her to wear and the rest was up to tricia, her studio is filled with so many goodies!

i wasn’t too worried about ellie cooperating for the photos. she is such a good baby, i knew she’d be calm and smiley for the camera! i remembered olive being so fussy…she was fussy for her newborn pics, her six month photos, and for her one year ones. yup…all three. ellie was soooooo good for her newborn photos and with her being such a good babe, i wasn’t worried.

we tried putting ellie down for a nap but she was fighting it. she eventually fell asleep but it was a quick one and then we were off to tricia’s place. add in the car ride, the ‘getting’ ready, and the unfamiliar environment…ellie was not happy with it being too close to her next nap time schedule. she was grrrrrumpy. oh, the poor babe. i couldn’t get her to not cry!!!! every single time i put her down, she burst into tears!!! i was so surprised! my poor babe…i didn’t expect her to be so moody, i honestly expected her to be all smiles and chill! nope!

i did everything i could to make her smile, i danced, i made funny noises, and i made silly faces but she wasn’t buying it! i then started to worry that we weren’t getting any good pics because i felt that she was crying non stop! i had to talk myself down and remind myself that tricia works miracles and always turns out fabulous pic {ahem…remember grumpy olive for all three major seshs but it all turned out more than perfect?!}.

so, all that worrying for nothing because i loooooooooooved every photo tricia took of my beautiful ellie!! i was so happy and grateful! all the pics are so special, beautiful, and perfect! thank you tricia for always working your magic!

happy six months miss ellie! we love you soooooooo much!

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[isn’t she so sweet?!]

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[oh, i am dying over her pics]

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[my heart has melted into a puddle…how sweet is this pic?!]

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[she was so grumpy…poor thing. we shot too close to her next nap and her first one wasn’t a solid one, so she was a bit fussy]

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[that hand clasp]

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[gahhhhhhhhhh]

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[i wish we had more photos in this outfit…this is where she started to breakdown]

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[sweet baby toes]

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xoxo

happy seven months ellie!

happy seven months ellie!

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[pics taken on 2.17]

height: 25.75″

weight: 15 lbs 7 oz.

ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! i say this every single month but wahhhhhhhh…time is flying by baby girl. i am going  to cry. why am i sooooooo sappy, sentimental, and just plain sad sometimes?! bittersweet is the perfect word. i am sad, happy, in disbelief, elated, satisfied, cheated by time…the emotions go on and on. it’s all sooooo satisfying and painful to watch you grow.

words can’t describe my deep love for my girls. i am utterly head over heels in love with them. i would give my life for them, die a painful death to protect them, you name it…i will do anything to make sure they survive. i loooooooooove being a mom.

anyhoo, let’s talk about ellie. let’s talk about how much she’s changed! she’s so vocal and cute about it! she babbles so much and the funniest thing about her right now? how she acts when she poops!!! she grunts, her face turns red, she screams, and cries! it’s kind of hilarious! i can’t even deal. she’s such a calm baby that when she starts to cry out…i know she’s going number two!

well, with that said, it’s obvious that we’ve been feeding her a ton. ellie went through a rough period from december to now. she was sick on and off and that really disrupted her sleep pattern for the worse.she was waking up non-stop at night. like 2-3x a night and waking up at 6-7am and staying up. so that meant NOOOOOOO sleep for this mama. i never learned my lesson and would go to bed too late every night {like 12 midnight or 1 am} and ellie would wake up at 2-3am, 4am, 6am, and 7am…i thought i was going die. i was a zombie and when we took ellie in to the pediatrician, she suggested that we feed ellie more food during the day to help her sleep at night. hallelujah…we would do anything to get her to sleep throughout the night. we literally shoved food down her throat through a pipe. hahaha! not really but we fed her 3x a day, as much as she wanted and a couple days later, it worked. she started sleeping through the night. i was elated!!! we’ve only hit a little over a week of solid night sleeping, so i am crossing my fingers!!

ok, that leads into the subject of her eating. so, obviously she’s rocking in rolling in that department. we started a bit late with ellie versus olive and we, obviously, weren’t feeding her enough but we got right back on track asap. she was not a fan of new foods we fed her but then she became a pro. she’s loving everything we feed her like any baby does. with each feeding, she got better and better at opening her mouth and swallowing the tasty morsels. she graduated from first foods to second foods and had become a champion eater!

she’s now sitting on her own!! we struggled a bit around six months with sitting. she wasn’t a fan and cried when we tried to sit her up but now she’s become so good at it! she is still a bit rocky at times {we like to keep the boppy around her or a pillow behind her} but she really had become strong at sitting upright!

she does dislike tummy time and i don’t foresee her crawling anytime soon. she still isn’t a super fan of sitting, let alone crawling! we’ll see…

she loves to sleep on her side. it’s really cute to see. usually after she feeds, she will pull away and roll to her side. i love it when she does this. i think it’s the cutest thing! she can roll with the best of them and loves to smile.

she’s such a sweet, calm baby. she just chills unless she’s tired and extremely hungry but the latter part rarely happens. so, when she cries, we know she needs a nap. she’s soooo easy! she can entertain herself for awhile if you put toys in front of her!

that is ellie in a nutshell. she’s so freakin’ amazing. like for reals. i love her so much and love watching her reach different milestones every month. it’s so amazing to see and i look forward to every new thing she does. it makes my heart so full to see her grow and learn!! happy seven months ellie…you are soooooooooooooo very loved.

xoxo

ellie’s first food!

it’s so interesting to see how ellie’s timeline spans out compared to olive. olive preferred sleeping through night vs. nursing | ellie loves to wake up multiple times a night to eat.  ellie doesn’t like sitting | olive loved sitting as early as five months! olive showed early interest in food at five months | ellie started to show interest around six months.

they are two completely different babes but it totally intrigues me to see their growth paths.  i am amazed at their limited similarities and a lot of differences.

anyhoo, ellie was ready for a couple weeks but we were delaying it a bit due to personal reasons…finding the right time because it was a special moment. yes, i wanted hc to be home when we this happened and wanted to make sure we captured everything. i treat ellie’s first like olive’s firsts because all their moments are so important to me!

just like olive, we fed ellie bananas and breast milk. i smashed a bag of frozen breast milk and took the pieces and melted it in a small container, then i sliced an inch of a banana and mushed it with the breast milk until it was a puree.

ellie was not interested in it at first. she is still learning how to ‘eat’ it. how to take it off the spoon and swallow it but i think for her first time eating, she did very well! she almost finished a tablespoon of food! it was so much fun to feed her and she did so well!

i was so excited to start this new chapter/journey with her! we’re so excited to feed her different foods and see how she takes to everything. hc loves to make her baby food so we just pull different recipes from the book we had with olive and freeze it. it’s so easy, pure, and good!

be prepared! it’s picture overload!

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[she’s ready!]

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[i love her]

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[big girl in her high chair]

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[dem cheeks]

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[she’s drooling]

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[here we go!]

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[dada’s turn to feed ellie belly]

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[she loves the camera]

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xoxo

happy five months ellie!

happy five months!

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[photos taken on 12.14]

oh baby girl…you are the best. i just looked at her one month pics and there is such a difference in her appearance. she was so scrawny at one month…and now she’s chunked out quite nicely. gosh, how i love her rolls!

she gave me more serious faces this time around. she was perfecting her model stare. she was so curious/intrigued on what i was doing with this big black contraption i was constantly shoving in her face. she kept studying me and i kept trying to make her laugh and the more silly i became, the more somber she appeared {she was probably thinking, what the heck is this lady doing?!}. hahaha!

this past month, we’ve hit a few millstones. last month i stated that she discovered her toes. well, she’s totally loving her toes now! she grabs them all the time and it’s just the cutest thing to see! she is also starting to roll to her side. she hash’t fully rolled over but she is getting there. she will roll to her side and then will lay there for a few minutes before she rolls to her back again. she loves to babble! i love listening to her ‘talk’. i always wonder what she is saying or thinking because she so darn animated with her sounds! i love that she now laughs; she did before – just a little bit then but now it’s full blown giggles! i am so in love with that sound. baby laughs are contagious!

she’s still eating at the same rate and schedule. when she’s with me, she typically feeds every two to three hours and she doesn’t really throw up anymore. only once in a blue moon will she puke but it’s so tame compared to when she was born up to the three/four month mark. that was brutal the first few months…she really tapered off closer to four months and that was pretty awesome when that happened. i felt like i was washing everything the first several months {that was sooooo taxing!} and it really sucked. it was like puke factory in our house {no thank you!} but now she just eats and burps. good girl!

she’s been taking a short nap in the morning around 10am and then a longer stretch in the afternoon. it’s starting to regulate just a bit but nothing solid yet. she is still going strong at night. she goes down between 9-10pm and she will usually wake up around 4/5am for a feeding, whereas she used to wake up at 3am for a feeding. she still drifts off to sleep after she feeds in the middle of the night and will sleep until 7-8am, if i am lucky!

she’s so happy and calm. oh we are so fortunate to have such a good little lady! she giggles, smiles, and just chills all the time. she cries out if she’s tired and that’s pretty much it. i love hanging out with her! i honestly miss her when i am not with her. she is so fun!

she is starting to love bath time. she’s grasping objects with force. her grip has gotten so strong! she’s been doing a great job holding her toys and playing with them. she loves to be held but she is soooooooo good at just laying around. sometimes you almost forget she’s in the room because she’s so quiet and calm for such a long time! of course, because she’s so good at laying around, the poor babe still has her bald spot in the back of her head…it’s baaaaad. like a huge patch of no hair. i can’t wait until she starts to sit so she hair can grow back!

overall, it’s been amazing. ellie is so sweet and such a wonderful blessing. i remembered, when i was pregnant with her, i constantly wondered what she would be like. i was a bit nervous that she might come out with a personality like the crazy, tough pregnancy that she was! oh, was i wrong. she is so calm, loving, giggly, and so darn sweet!

we love you so much baby girl! we are so darn lucky to have you in our lives!

xoxo

swantastic

happy birthday olive! 11.27.13

my baby girl turned T H R E E!!!!!!! oh my goodness. she’s graced this earth for three years and life has never been better. i can’t explain in words what it’s like being her mama but i will try. she brings me sooooo much joy, love, life, and happiness. the moment she entered into this world, she has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally…ALL for the better. my life made complete sense once i had her. don’t get me wrong, my hubby charming is THE best guy out there. he completes me. i LOVE him and can’t imagine life without him…like seriously, he can never leave my side but olive elevated everything. she took my life to a next level i never knew existed. it blows my mind i gave birth to a part of me…an extension of me that is so much better! {because she’s a mix of me and the hubby, so what could be better than that?!}. ok, ok…enough. i feel like i can drone on and on so i won’t and will stop. but man, being a mama is pretty damn awesome.

anyhoo, her birthday party planning started out as a simple thought. i really did have the intent to buy a birthday cake and some balloons. then i thought, why not make it a swan party? oh yeahhhhhhhhh. then it snowballed out of control. because it’s me. and i tend to go overboard, get all type a, and then my creative mind gets.out.of.control. the ideas don’t stop. i think of one thing, to the next, then the next idea, and the ideas don’t stop rolling in! {for example: our wedding was a diy monsoon ideas}

well, as you will see in the pictures – my simple cake idea and balloons festered into a pretty darn cute swan party!

i crafted a lot of what you see and shopped big and small for the rest of the details. two hours before the party, i was literally icing sugar cookies for the party {something i usually would never do. i, typically, am too stressed to do such a thing, because i am always running around tying all the details together}, so scroll down to the pic and read my story behind why i was doing such a thing before the guests arrived!

the party time rolled around and the guests started to roll in. of course, in doan fashion, my family was late and hc’s family was early or on time. soon everyone trickled in and the fun started to happen! we had music blasting and libations flowing. olive immediately warmed up to everyone {she was excited it was her birthday!} and had a lot fun playing with her friends and cousins.

we served food an hour into the party and dessert shortly thereafter, although there was no rush and everything was timed just right. we socialized, mingled, drank, and celebrated miss olive. it’s always so joyous to have friends and family over, under one roof, honoring a festive occasion.

the party lasted all afternoon and early evening. we enjoyed every second of it. olive did so well…no nap and no meltdown but it’s her party and she can cry if she wants to, cry if she wants to…haha!

oh, we had such a great time and i know olive did too. she loved all the presents and cake and balloons and pretty much everything! all in all, it was a total success, if i do say so myself. everything turned out great! so, maybe next year i will stick to my thought of keeping it simple, just getting a cake and balloons for her fourth birthday…or maybe not. eep!

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[dyyyyyyying over her outfit]

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[trying to check out her shoes]

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[she’s the sweetest!]

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[my birthday girl]

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[pretty gold glitter dipped feather garland]

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[mini party hats]

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[enjoying her place setting decor]

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[the biggest balloon everrrrrrrrr]

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[diy swan straws]

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[handmade swan from turkey]

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[chair wing decor]

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[laser cut swan place cards, tucked with a feather, and topped with a handmade spray painted gold glitter crown]

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[long story: i had ordered swan cookies through a shop and she cancelled last minute, well she didn’t even contact me! i contacted her and was told that due to an emergency, my order was cancelled…i found out the day before her party! i was so bummed but i really didn’t have time to make cookies myself. well, i am super crazy and decided to do it anyways {two hours before the party!}! i bought ready made dough and shaped it out, baked them, and frosted them holding a crying baby. yes…i frosted these with one shaky arm and a baby in the other arm. ellie didn’t want to be lying down…what a time for her to be fussy! so, tada! my impromptu swan sugar cookies!]

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[just another view of the decor]

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[the swan dessert table]

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[family…lan, my sister thuy, kim, and our mom]

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[simple cake…my kind of style]

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[cake topper by hooray everyday]

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[a little overexposed but i still will take it! mom and my brother dan]

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[i used white ceramic swans and filled them with succulents]

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[i had a lot of fun making this balloon garland!]

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[papa the king]

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[me and my mama]

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[swan table centerpieces]

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[having a blast with her cousins and friends]

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[our nephew daniel and his girl rachel]via tandeminlove.com

[the best and the coolest nephews!]

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[as smiley as she gets…hahaha!]

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[eyeing her cake]

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[questioning everything]

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[always sooooooooo shy]

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[we got a tiny smile out of her!]

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[my heart melted into a puddle]

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[uncle dan, olive, ellie, and cousin reagan]

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[yummy dessert is served!]

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[this babe slept for most of the party!]

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[i looooooooooooove her]

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[auntie missy and ellie]

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[me and my babe]

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[i love these kiddos]

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[so typical olive]

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xoxo

potty training 101

oohhhhhhhh, potty training. i was soooooo dreading it!

soooo many people have told me to train olive when she showed signs that she was ready. um, that never happened. we would read books together, pretend play that her dolls would pee in the toilet. she sat on the potty a few times and sometimes asked to sit on it, with more of a self interest behind it {she wanted to watch cartoons on the iPad and sit on the toilet}. ha! after months of me thinking about potty training her, i thought…forget it! signs or no signs, i was going to do it! i tried to potty train olive a few months ago…around the end of july, early august and that was a disaster!!!

she.was.not.ready. and let me tell ya…training a toddler with a newborn was a killer combination to cause me to go to the mental house. olive pee’d and poop’d all over the place. she did the typical toddler action of hiding behind the couch or hid in a corner and would just do it. yes, she would pee on the floor, poop in her underwear; i would walk away for 30 seconds and that gave her enough time to constantly go in her pants. i almost went insane! i would then have to clean her up, clean up the mess, do another load of laundry, take care of a crying newborn, etc. after a couple days of that, i said nooooo way! i was going to lose my mind so i stopped and little olive was soooo relieved!

well, fast forward to october, i thought – this is it. i am doing this. nothing is going to stop me now! i was determined. olive between then and now showed a bit of interest in it. not much but just a wee bit. by no means did she do a 180 and showed me signs of wanting to potty train…she still did not. we read the same books, played the same way with her dolls, and she rarely asked to sit on the toilet but i knew, in my gut, that it was time. i mentally prepared myself for a week and then bit the bullet.

i cleared out my calendar for 5 days. that was my magic number. 5 days of just sitting around the house and potty training my girl. i also mentally prepared olive and told her for days that we were giving up diapers. i had also gathered a few things that were critical to training her.

1.underwear: i bought a whole bunch. you never know how many you will go through so it’s good that you have quite a few on hand unless you want to do laundry alllllll the time. i probably bought an excessive amount {are 21 underpants too many?!} but i would rather be safe than sorry!

2.a few waterproof pads. i used these on the couch, on her chairs, anywhere she sat to protect whatever furniture you wanted to keep dry and safe.

3.the ipad. it’s a lifesaver when your child is sitting on the toilet f o r e v e rrrrrrrr.

4.the baby bjorn seat cover. ergonomically perfect for my daughter’s bum. it is simple, clean, and portable.

5.i included this potty book because it’s an easy read and really pushes the message through on potty training.

and no, i never rewarded her with candy for actually going pee or poo. she always got a ‘great job’ or high five but never a treat. i never liked the idea of giving your child a treat, like a dog, for doing something she should be doing.

day 1: i would not let olive wear any bottoms. no underwear, no pants. yes, she was naked from the waist down. i turned up the heat a bit so she would be comfortable. i didn’t want her to have the feeling of anything on her bum to remind her of a diaper. we sat around all day. mostly in the kitchen because it was a safe area…no rugs, no couch, just wood chairs and a hardwood floor = easy clean up! we had a few accidents…and that was ok. let me tell you peeps, you have to watch your child like a hawk. no joke. i had to sit next to olive the entire day. i rarely left her side, because if i did, she most likely would  pee if i wasn’t around. i also found that 30-45 minutes was the perfect interval time for us. some folks might find that every 20 minutes is good or longer but for us, 30-45 minutes was a perfect cycle for me to put olive on the toilet to ‘pee’. so all day long, every 30-45 minutes, i would put olive on the toilet whether she had to pee or not. i didn’t ask her, i demanded it, “olive, let’s go to the bathroom” and she would follow me to the bathroom. also, i am not a fan of the potty training toilets that they sell in the stores. if a kid is going to use the toilet, let her use the real toilet. not a plastic toilet that you can move anywhere in the house.

day 2: we did the same routine. she woke up in the morning and i took off her diaper and she ran around naked. we sat mostly in the kitchen again. she had a few accidents but it was much less than the day before, which was an awesome sign!

day 3: we did the same but this day, she wanted to sit on the couch which was risky business. i let her and we had an accident. she became too comfortable, she kept refusing to use the toilet, and i gave in and didn’t make her {with much regret and i learned my lesson to not have her dictate it and stick within my time interval of putting her on the toilet}. i used the waterproof pad and had placed it underneath her but the pee ran down the pad and onto our rug. ugh. well at least the couch was untouched! other than that, it was a pretty successful day! i truly believe that if i had made olive go sit on the toilet within the time interval, she wouldn’t have peed on the couch!

day 4: we did the same routine and we had no accidents! she was totally getting it and i was super excited and proud of her! btw, olive still needs naps but i didn’t give her any naps during this time. i was too afraid to put a diaper on her during the day {i was nervous it would confuse her}, so instead we did earlier bedtimes to make up for it. after her potty training success, we resumed with the naps.

day 5: my sisters wanted us to meet them out at the mall and go shopping. i was very hesitant. olive wasn’t a pro yet but i also wanted to try an outing with her. i wasn’t prepared, so i made hc go to the store and pick up some pull up’s {which i am not a fan of either…it’s too much like a diaper but it was better than nothing!} and my sister picked up toilet seat covers for us. i made olive go the bathroom before we left and when we got there, we all wanted to eat lunch. olive decided to slam a huge lemonade and i thought oh dang, this girl is going to pee in her pants! after lunch, i insisted that she go to the bathroom and she refused. she absolutely hates public toilets but who really loves them?! she freaked out and would not go to the bathroom…um, that made me nervous! i tried 2 more times and each time, she almost had a meltdown. after being at the mall for a bit, i told my sisters that i was going to go home. they understood and off we went, me praying that olive wouldn’t pee in the car! we safely arrived home and this girl didn’t wet her pants once! we were out for 2.5 hours!!! i was sooooo proud of her! we ran inside and she peed on the toilet in the comfort of her own home.

after the 5 straight days of potty training at home, we had total success! olive was a pro after that. she had some nervous accidents after the fact but she has pretty much been on point with peeing and pooping in the toilet!

my next battle to tackle was going to be night training…i was so dreading that. from what i had read, it was pretty much the idea of having a newborn again. it was suggested that you get up a couple times a night and wake your child to use the toilet. whaaaaa?! are you kidding me? ugh. no thank you. well, the most fabulous news i can share is that olive pretty much self-taught herself how to not pee in the bed at night. how awesome was that?! seriously! i put olive in a diaper at night, every night, right before bed. like the minute she was about to lay down, a diaper went on. after about {less than} two weeks of her being potty trained, she pretty much stopped wetting her diaper at night! i couldn’t believe it. morning after morning, she would wake up with a dry diaper. not flick of wetness and would pee in the toilet once she woke up. then soon, she didn’t want to wear a diaper at night and only her underwear! no accidents! i was amazed and so proud!

so, there ya go my friends. my potty training adventure with my sweet girl! i was so proud of her and was so happy that she kicked it this time around. i honestly thought we would never get to this point! it seemed like i wasn’t going to get it and either would olive but we did it! it took a lot of patience, tenacity, and determination but resulted in success! she is now diaper free and we couldn’t be more excited or more proud of her!

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[essentials: a waterproof pad, ipad, the potty book, bjorn potty seat, and fun undies]

xoxo