Thursday, October 30, 2014

Literary Baby Shower

A couple of weeks ago I helped host a baby shower for my sister-in-law, and I couldn't have been more in love with the theme: Children's books.

We decorated every table according to a book or author: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Giving Tree, Babar, Winnie the Pooh and Eric Carle. The best part? The parents-to-be got to go home with a lot of the decorations (books and stuffed animals) to fill their baby's library and nursery.
Here's the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Table complete with coconuts.
I was also seriously in love with the cake.
Amazing Cake by Sugar Monkey in Naperville. And the cupcakes were AMAZING.
We played a literary scramble and present bingo, had guests guess the baby's sex and arrival date on a giant calendar and my two favorite ideas...

Family Bucket List Scrapbook: For this we supplied each table with a bunch of cute paper and markers and asked guests to create a bucket list item for the family (go fly a kite, go to Disneyland, visit Mount Rushmore, etc.) We are compiling all the pages into a scrap book, so as the family checks off an item on the bucket list, they can include pictures and such to remember everything. What a great way to record memories!

Guest Artwork for baby's room: How adorable is this idea? I used one of these free printables to create a giant canvas that I ordered from Snapfish.
Printable (c) Kori Clark
I then asked guests to turn their name into a children's book title. I didn't get a picture of the finished product, but here are some of the great ideas: Green Eggs & Anne, Where the Wild Tetricks Are, The Very Hungry Jess. I just loved how it turned out!
I'm still swooning at this canvas... I want one for myself!
Guests went home with bookmarks and flower bulbs to plant now for Spring Blooms. And the parents-to-be did pretty well in the present department. This baby will enter the world with a lot of love surrounding him (or her!)

For the record, I guessed boy to arrive January first. No matter what, I can't wait to snuggle and read to that little nugget! Auntie Lauren loves you already :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

William the Pooh


My baby boy is one, and we had a blast helping him celebrate his first birthday earlier this month with a Winnie the Pooh theme.

In my next life, I think I'd like to be a children's room decorator and party-planner. Because, there's nothing more fun than a good children's theme.

I loved all the "Classic Pooh" details on this one. And it worked out well because I could use pumpkins and apples (something that is very in-season!) for decoration. And I think William enjoyed himself as well. Especially that cake!
Please note the Disney Font Banner.
Cake by Creative Cakes, Cookies by me! 
Welcome to Tetrick Acre Wood!
Make a Wish baby bear!
This fun toy is a Ybike Walk and Ride-on Buddy
The details:
Easy pooh-themed food labels!
Tigger Tails, Rabbits Garden and Kanga's Pouches
Pooh Gummy Favors with adorable label by A Party Studio
Pumpkin Decorating Station, acorn treats and more fun details.
From Michaels:
DIY Chalkboard Banner
Burlap Runners (to hold monthly pictures)
Mini Clothespins
Letter "W"
Decorative Baskets

From Amazon:
Chalkboards (great to have on hand for quotes for various parties, dinner menu, etc.)
Honey Bear Containers (Red and Yellow Gummy bears from Albanese)

Questions about anything? Just ask! Happy Party Planning!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And never the same love forever

There is an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote:

There are all kinds of love in this world
but never the same love twice.

I've always like that quote. Because the love that you have for your children is different than the love that you have for your spouse, is different than the love that you have for your parents, is different than the love that you have for you best friend, and on and on and on.

But I want to elaborate:

There are all kinds of love in this world
but never the same love twice
and never the same love forever.

Because love changes, doesn't it?

Mark and I had a love-at-first-sight experience. The circumstances of the first couple of times we ran into each other were most certainly fated. I imagine Fate as a sort of person, nudging us together when we came near one another. I certainly wasn't in love with Mark after the first time I saw him, but I knew something was happening, the cogs of our future were set into motion. Love was about to happen. And that's a sort of love isn't it? The knowing that comes before?

Then there was the love I felt when he said I love you, for the first time: the excited, spill your heart out sort of love.

There was the love I felt when he was down on his knee in front of me, proposing: a deliriously happy sort of love.

There was the love I felt when I heard his voice quiver with his vows: it was the we-know-each-other's-secrets sort of love. A comforting love, one to be relied on forever.

There was the love I felt when he held our sons for the first time: a proud sort of love, knowing fatherhood had hit him full force in just a second or two.

The love I have for my husband hasn't stopped evolving since that very first moment when we locked eyes. It's becoming more complex, more solid and more meaningful as our life together unfolds.

Sometimes I wonder if Fate, who began pushing us together eight years ago, ever checks in on us. I imagine she pats herself on the back. I knew it, she thinks. Those two were meant for love.

26.1119° N
97.1697° W

(Our fated coordinates)

Monday, October 6, 2014

One Year of Will

Happy. Serious. Independent. Easy-going.

That's my William.
(c) Tiny Bubbles Photography
One year ago, I was going to bed with contractions that had a little more kick to them than the rest of my Braxton-Hicks. I was calling my brother saying, "you're on call. Tonight may be the night." He'd get another call 3 hours later. "Yep, going to need you to come over and watch Henry. It's go-time."

I was waking my husband saying, "You remember that bag I told you to pack before your went to bed? You have to actually pack it now."

My brother and sister-in-law arrived and I remember my brother saying something like, "This isn't at all how I'd imagine it, I thought there'd be running and screaming."

And then we were in the truck on the way to the hospital. The truck that, no exaggerating, has ZERO shock absorption. Have you had a baby? Just imagine a contraction while riding a horse, because that's how it felt. If you haven't had a baby, I have no words to relate the uncomfortableness of that particular situtation. To the truck's credit: I believe it helped me dilate a centimeter or two, so by the time we arrived at the hospital, I was already at 4.

I cried in the hospital parking lot. It was most likely the hormones, but something about I'm not coming out of that building, until this baby is on the outside of my body, just scared me to tears.

Mark napped. There were some mild contractions, some painful contractions, and the time I accidentally pressed the holy sh!t emergency button instead of the nurse call button (which was, on a whole, reassuring because there were a lot of people there rather quickly.) 

There was a lot of, "Would you like us to break your water? Would you like an epidural?" 

And a lot of, "No seriously it hurts, but not bad enough to need it to stop yet."

There was one contraction that I didn't think I'd make it through. It broke my water and we called the nurse. I was prepared to say, "Okay, I'll take the drugs now." But I was interrupted by another contraction, a contraction that had the added oomph of, okay I need to push. 

"Let me just check, you likely didn't progress that quickly," (hand where the sun doesn't shine, it's funny how you seriously don't care whose hands are where at this point) and a, "Oh wow, yep that's a ten!" (To this day I'm choosing to take this as a complimentary rating, as opposed to a measurement.)

And all of sudden... lots of nurses running around... lots of frantic-ness. I vaguely remember hearing someone whisper to someone else-- her doctor just scrubbed in for a c-section.

There was one push. A practice-push if you will, monitored by a doctor not my own. (But she seemed great!)

And then the doctor was there. 

"I thought you were in a c-section?"

"They caught me just in time."

"Tell that other woman I'm sorry. Seriously, will you? She's probably so mad at me."

There was another push.

Stirrups out. Husband's face is white.

"One more push and he'll be here."

"I'm sorry, what? Is that even okay? I thought babies weren't supposed to come too quickly, we just started."

A sort of smirk from the doctor. "It really is fine. Just push."

That slimy, alien-octopus feeling.

And then there was William.

Little William under the bright lights of the big world. The star of his show. 

I remember being slightly shocked that he was a whole new baby. A whole new person. I held him for a moment and then he went to vitals and clean-up.

Mark looked at me and said, "Babe it happened so fast there was no-where for me to hide." (He prefers to be up near my face during the whole baby-birthing thing.)

"Are you sure you're okay?" the doctor asked.

"I feel fine. I'm just can't believe it's already over."

"Everything looks fine, you should be happy that it went quickly," he replied. But what he really should have said was: 

"It's only just begun."

William, I pray for so many things for you. It's a good thing that I pray through my heart because I wish for you more than I have words to express. I look forward to seeing you every day, as you grow into your person. I hope I remember, when you are full grown and towering over me, the smiling little nugget that I will pull out of bed tomorrow on his first birthday.

Happy birthday, William Marlow. One year down, little man. Your adventure has just begun.
(c) Tiny Bubbles Photography