Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Party---What a hoot!!!

Gianna's party theme centered around owls.
Not because she loves owls.
Not even because I love owls.
But because I saw these precious owl fabric turned into a halter dress on Etsy.
The Dress

Perfect for a hot summer birthday.
Would've even been more perfect if I hadn't ordered it in a size too big. I spent half the party following her around and pulling it up, even though I took it in a little.  Silver lining:  she can wear it all next summer.
The Invitations
Here are the invitations I designed on Scrapblog

I printed them out on nice cardstock from one of the do-it-yourself wedding invitation packs that I bought years ago at Target on clearance for $5. Ca-ching.

The Cupcakes
I found this idea online and knew it would be perfect.

Oreos for the eyes (double stuff, off course), Junior Mints for the pupils, M&M for the beak and "sawed off" Oreos for the eyebrows.  The actual cupcakes were made from scratch (super easy, super chocolately and super moist) from a recipe I've found here. I even made them a couple of days ahead and froze them so I wouldn't go into my typical last minute party panic mode when I finally embrace the reality that I am NOT Martha Stewart.

The Cake
I made her cake too.  The cake tastes amazing, but my decorating skills leave a lot of room for growth.

I painted a little owl....don't ask me why.

Happy Birthday!

And then the blowing of the candles...

That last frame is totally worth enlarging....

Let them eat cake!
And let them find alternative ways of eating cake!

Look Ma, no hands!

Awesome gifts from wonderful friends and family.
Some of her MANY photo books.
Nate and Gianna
My favorite pic of the day. (I'll make you a copy KD)
What a fun day for a fun little two year old.
Ultimate sign of a successful party...
The End. (literally!)

Llinking up to Show Us Your Life at Kelly’s Korner.


Had my hair cut and colored yesterday and my stylist flat-ironed it so she could cut it evenly. Gianna's response is below the picture.
Curls are my trademark.  No use fighting it.  They're not going anywhere.  They'll be making a welcome re-appearance tomorrow.  My husband and daughter will be very happy.  Surprisingly, so will I.
P.S. If you look closely you'll see the replica of Gorbachev's famous birthdmark...right where the dye ran on my forehead.  I hadn't even realized it was still there. Lovely.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Birthday Girl: I remember....

"Can you believe it's been two years?" has been the question of the month.
My answer is almost always.  "Why yes I can!"
"But it's gone by so fast." is what they usually say.
And, in a way they are right -- I remember those early moments like it was yesterday. 
I remember getting "the call" that rocked our world.
I remember going to the hospital and laying our eyes upon the most beautiful little miracle with chubby cheeks and tiniest little body.
I remember being wheeled out of the hospital carrying my brand new daughter - just like all the other "real" moms. 
I remember driving home with her only four hours after we found out about her. 
I remember looking at my husband in disbelief and awe and saying, "I can't believe our long and winding journey has finally brought us to our baby."
I remember my husband saying to me, "Nobody's going to believe that WE have a five pound baby."  And then I remember laughing. :)
I remember realizing that our nursery was no longer empty....
....and neither were our hearts.
I remember promising that I wasn't going to wish it all away like many parents do.  You know the comments...
"It'll be so much better when she can eat solid food."
"Oh, I can't wait for her to sit up."
"Once she can crawl, I won't have to hold her all the time."
or "When is she ever going to walk?"
Now, don't get me wrong.  There have been some days that I couldn't wait to be over...
...but I can honestly say that I have really savored my moments these last two years.  Being a stay-at-home-mom has afforded me few breaks, but MANY privileges and joys.  No regrets here.

So maybe for some, these last two years of Gianna's life have flown by.  But for me, they have moved at the most perfect speed....slow enough to document many many ordinary moments - which in fact, have proven to be quite extraordinary. 

So, my sweet TWO YEAR OLD girl, Happy Birthday to you. You are my brightest sunshine, my best entertainment, my sweetest joy and my biggest blessing (along with your Daddy.)  I look forward to what that wonderful world of TWO has in store for us. Mommy loves you big, big, BIG.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Clothed in Gratitude

 For having an only child who's a girl, I have surprisingly spent very little money on clothing for this little sweet potato.
From the beginning, people have been very good to us ~ especially in terms of sharing (or in some cases, buying) beautiful clothing for Gianna.

Lately, we have been blessed by two different friends with an insane amount of precious clothing for Gianna.  Really precious clothing.  Much of it she will fit in for the next couple of years. Even though I'm pretty certain I would have never bought the majority of this stuff (probably because I don't love shopping and I'm fairly certain I would have had a panic attack upon viewing the price tags) ~ it's been so much fun to dress her in some of these adorable, hardly worn outfits.

I thought I had an obsession with pajamas. Apparently, I was mistaken. 
Annabelle's obsession is obviously far more serious ~ and for that, I'm grateful.  Not to mention that the pajamas aren't just cute, they're unbelievably soft, cottony and well made.
Lots of Hannah Anderson stuff.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This little whale-themed summer beach bag... packed with so much fun.
A 2T and 3T bathing suit, dress with matching bloomers and;hat, shoes and sunglasses. I mean, really.

I have to mention, also, that I've had tremendous luck in shopping at children's consignment stores. Some of those stores look pretty junky, I know, but the two that I frequent are more of a boutique style with higher end merchandise.   I have gotten some amazing bargains on some beautiful clothing (much of it with the original pricetags.)

This little dress is a $75 dress that I got for $15.
Brand spankin' new.  It'll fit her next year.

On a side note:  I've made over $150 by consigning clothing that Gianna's outgrown, or things that were given to us that I know she won't wear. Not too shabby.

So thank you, Candi and Annabelle, my favorite olympic shoppers, for sharing your daughters' clothing with us.  You've inspired me to do some major closet purging and share much of our clothing with other moms.
I've been holding on to much of Gianna's clothing just in case we would have another girl, but am reminded of life's principle that when you give things away, it opens you up to receive when you need it. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Little Tadpole

Gianna loved the pool last year.
Gianna LOVES the pool this year.

Daddy got a salt water filter for the little 15 ft. above ground pool and it's been crystal clear every day so far which has been great for our daily swims. (I'm so impressed with the whole salt-water technology.)

I've not been a big fan of floaties or swim wings...just because I like for Gianna to have a true sense of the water and to know the fact that she has limitations and must be careful - not to mention the false sense of security they sometimes provide for kids and adults.

Having said that, I discovered a little article about these cool floaties called Puddle Jumpers.
I loved that there is a boyant band around the waste/chest so that their arms aren't the only things keeping them afloat.

When Uncle Vinne asked what he should get Gianna for her birthday, these were high on my list. 
(I know, I haven't done any birthday posts yet.  They're coming.)

Most of the swimming we've been doing has been in our own pool, so this great little invention has made our experience so much more enjoyable and has enabled her to learn actual swimming techniques, enjoy a little indepence and helped her to try some brave things on her own.

We have been AMAZED at what she's been doing in the pool.  Oh so fun.

She frequently asks us to "throw me high." We do...and she goes under the water and emerges with her eyes wide open and grinning ear to ear - exclaiming, "AGAIN?"

Anyhow, below are a few videos are her in the pool.  I didn't have time to edit them so there are a bunch (six), but they're all pretty short. They may not be as fascinating as they will be to my familly, so feel free to move right along to your blog hopping. :)

For the record, I don't put the Puddle Jumpers on her every time we go in the pool just so she remembers what the water actually is like without them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trip to the Dentist

A little conversation we had last night:

Me:  Gianna, tomorrow we're going to the dentist.
Gianna:  Dennis?
Me:  Den-tist.  We're going to see Dr. Moses.
Gianna:  Mowess. Awww.  So tiny. Cute.
(Quick pause to try and figure out what she thought I said.)
Me:  (realizing her train of thought) No Gianna, not baby Moses from the Bible story.....Dr. Moses. He's not a baby.
Gianna:  Big boy!
Me: Well, he's actually not a boy.  He's a man. A big man. He's going to look at your teeth.
Gianna:  Big man? See him?  Hug him!

Our last dentist visit was an emergency one when she fell and broke her tooth.  I was a little tentative about how she'd react this time, but she was amazing.  She did everything they asked her even when she was notably nervous.  Dr. Moses told me that most 3 year olds don't do nearly as well as she did, much less 2 year olds.  Good girl, Gianna!  After her exam, she got off the table and ran to the dentist and said, "Hi Moses!" The girls got a kick out of that. Then she said, "Big man." :)
We got to the office at 8:35 for her 8:40 appointment.  We left just after 8:45.  Ca-ching!  She left with all the fun stickers and trinkets. They couldn't have made it easier or more pleasant. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

If it's not messy...'s not fun!!!

Well, that was the theme of our little Toddler Art Project hosted by the brilliant and brave Kaela.
She found an awesome idea on this blog and had all the materials and had everything prepared for almost a dozen little messy monkeys.

Gianna met Anna in the driveway and they became fast friends.
Here's my little Picasso busy at work - before she scoped out the super-awesome backyard of our hosts.
Almost done --- ready to dry.
Kaela had already affixed vinyl letters on the blank cavasses which were later removed to reveal this oh-so-appropriate message...
If it's not messy, it's not fun.

Funny how that theme kept coming up throughout the afternoon.
Only Kaela's cool enough to have blue sand in her water/sand table.
Gianna was diggin' the blue sand.
Stephanie coaching her sweet Anna to take a picture of her.
A cookie and a friend... doesn't get much better than that!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And now for the final masterpiece!!!!
....with a little extra paint and handprints added this morning.
What an awesome little memory for a two year old....and her Mommy.
Thanks Kaela & Erik.
Your creativity and hospitality are appreciated.
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