Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 12 Month Post

Can I keep counting by months? You know, so I don't have to say "My child is ONE!!?!!!!" all the time? OK, nice.

I'm obviously a little bit late in posting this, but I knew we had our 12 month dr. visit on the 30th so I wanted to wait so I can have all the numbers all ready to go for her one year 12 month post. Here is what Miss G has been up to since last month:
  • Definitely walking! From her first step on May 24 (Daddy's Birthday!), to a bunch of steps on June 10, to really wanting to walk around now. I would say she really took off walking the week before her birthday (Friday night before her party she was walking all over the kitchen while I was baking!). Now she's walking more than crawling.
  • Shaking her head no at me all the time now! "Gigi, will you give mama a kiss?" ::head shake:: "Aw Gabs, what about a hug?" ::head shake, mischievous grin:: The kid's got serious comic timing.
  • She loves to feed herself at mealtime now. The day before her actual b-day my parents and I went out to lunch, and I ordered her first little meal! She fed herself all the little fruit I got her, and ate a little kid's slice of cheese pizza. Am I horrible to have let her have pizza? It's just bread, cheese and sauce, no?! ::ducks::
  • She developed a little phobia of the bath, but we've been able to get her over it. She swallowed a little water when daddy was rinsing her hair one night and naturally DH and I freaked out. Since then she cried and tried to climb out of the tub every time we gave her a bath. My mom got her this for her birthday and now she LOVES the bath. Funny how a toy can make it not scary anymore.
  • She's 24 lbs 13 oz and 31 inches tall (94th and 95th percentiles). Her head circumference is 19 inches, which measures off the charts! That's because she's full of thoughts.
  • She's in size 4 diapers and 12-18 month clothes. Her jammies are 24 months/2T now, though! It's so funny to me that she's consistently in the 90th+ percentiles for height and weight, but clothing-wise she's pretty on target with her age. In fact, she's still wearing 6-12 month sizes from Janie and Jack and in dresses!
  • She's a little chatterbox, but of course nobody knows what she's saying. She still says UP all the time, and mama and dada. She's started saying "hap" and we think she's trying to say happy. :-) She also says "at", which I think is the beginning of "that", and "pap" for papi (Romanian cutesy way of saying food). She tries hard to repeat what we're saying (today I could swear she said bubbles). She also likes to chew on her jelly sandals.
  • She rang in her new year with 6 teeth total. 4 uppers, 2 lowers, and I swear she's working out some molars now. She bites on things all the time, and has been waking up a bit at night again.
  • Sleep is fairly good around here. We're used to her sleeping soundly through the night again, so now that she seems to be teething again we're having to get back into the swing of waking up a couple times a night. And motrin doesn't seem to be helping too much. Hopefully these teeth all come in already so she doesn't have to deal with it for much longer. I hate seeing her in pain. :-(
  • Naps are now 2x a day, and her afternoon one is a solid 3 hours (usually around 12-3ish, but can be flexible). It's amazing. I never put her on a set schedule of what time to nap (I just always put her down when she seems sleepy), and I'm wondering if I should do that, because it seems like a lot of people do. On the one hand it seems very convenient to always know when your little one will be going down for a nap so you can plan your day accordingly, but on the other hand, what happens if you HAVE to be out or something? What if your baby isn't tired AT ALL when their nap time comes, or what if they're super tired earlier? Like for G's birthday - I had the start time as 1 p.m., because at the time I printed the invites, she slept 3x a day, so I figured 1 would be best. Then she started on this longer nap kick, so I was worried about her being off at the party. We just kept her up a little later for her morning nap and she napped for 3 hours right before the party started! I love having this flexibility, yet I am worried that it might not be the best for her in the long run. Does she need more structure? ::sigh:: I really never know what to do. lol
  • We moved up from our music class to regular Gymboree play and learn classes. They bring out the parachute and everything. And yeah, it freaks her out a tiny bit :-)
  • She still finds me the funniest.person.ever. I love making her laugh. I have a soundtrack of it permanently lodged into my head, and it's positively glorious.
  • She's started to not so much eat her books as sit and gingerly turn the pages and look at them. Real progress here!
  • She really loves music (she grabbed the guitar from her "career" tray!) and "dances" (bounces up and down) when she hears it. I'm already chomping at the bit to put her in dance classes. They start at 18 months, ya?!?

For her actual birthday we took her to Build a Bear and let her pick out her own stuffed animal.
 We can now order her food from the kids' menu! She had a fruit and cheese plate and loved it. :-)
 Picking just the right bear (a dog!)

 Watching the fluffing!
 All done!
 She named her Dottie and got her a bikini. She's a summery dog.
We went back home and filled up her little pool and splashed around for a bit.
We ended the day with a little bit of cake and a pony ride. Such a perfect way to celebrate her 1st birthday!

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Our Weekend Hijinks

    I think this is the first weekend in forevah that all the pictures I have are of me and the hubby, sans baby! I'm a little bit shocked at this. But, we had fun, and it was nice to get out without worrying about little Geebs. On Saturday night we went to the Magic Castle with a great friend of ours and her boyfriend. We had gone last year, but she had extra tickets so why waste an excuse to dress up and have some libations?! (As an aside, lest you assume I'm a total lush, I hardly EVER drink, so a glass and a half of zin made for a wild night for this girl!)
    We so got scolded for taking pictures inside. Apparently we ruined the exclusivity of the place. Whatever. I felt like a girl of 23 again. ;-)

    Then, on Sunday we went out on the lake on a pontoon boat with some other good friends of ours. I think we may need to buy a boat.
    (aren't they adorable!?)
    (p.s. we caught no fish)

    Now it just feels plain weird to not include a picture of my daughter in this post. Yeah, I guess I'm that mom.
    OK, now I'm done. :-) I have a nice big fat 1 year post all set for tomorrow, after her 1 year check up. Have to get her measurements first, right!?

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Gabriella's 1st Bee Day Party

    Here are all the deets for Gabriella's very first birthday party. As I mentioned before, we decided to go with a bee theme because... uh... I like the color yellow. Haha seriously! I'd seen some really cute cupcake toppers from TomKat Studio on etsy, and an adorable yellow pettiskirt from Dreamspun Kids, also on etsy, and I just knew this was what I wanted to do for her 1st. I wanted to keep within the color palette of yellows and white and keep the theme relatively light, with some small touches of black to avoid it looking too dark/tacky. I mean, this is a little girl's party after all!

    I  made pretty much everything. I ended up buying a little digital party package from TomKat Studio in March (I know, way in advance!) because she was offering a 20% off discount. If you know me, you know I jump at a chance to save some money! I had the hardest time deciding between using the black polka dot invitations or the yellow stripe invite. In the end I really liked the black one, even though I had wanted to shy away from too much black (I guess I'm a sucker for polka dots!). I really wanted to be able to include a picture of Gabriella along with the invitations because, well, taking pictures of my little ham is my thing. I picked up this adorable bee outfit from last year's collection from Gymboree on ebay and snapped some pictures of her in our front yard. I bought adhesive magnet sheets and used my scalloped circle punch to cut little rounds out of both magnet sheets and wallet-sized prints of her. I just stuck the picture on the adhesive part and included it along with the invite.
    Here's a better version of the photo (hard to get a great picture of a picture!):
    One of the first decorating projects I embarked on was the tissue door wreath. There's a far better tutorial out there than I could give y'all and it's right here. I used a bit more tissue than she recommends... but other than that it was a simple little project that I was able to mindlessly do while watching Real Housewives. To personalize it, I attached a letter G with ribbon I found on clearance at my local craft store.
    I also saw these ruffled streamers used on a party online, and really wanted to figure out how to replicate them. I just sewed streamers together, bunching as I fed them through the sewing machine. I think they made a great backdrop for my sweets table!
    Speaking of which, yep, I made most of the sweets. Red Velvet Cupcake Pops, Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting, Cheesecake Bites, Lemon Bars, Chocolate Covered Marshmallows, Gabriella's Angel Food cake... Yeah I really put some mileage on my Kitchenaid Mixer. I spent some of Thursday evening and alllllllll of Friday baking. It was worth it though, because 1) it saved us tons of money, and 2) people loved everything (I think).
    I also found some honey beer to serve the adults ;-)
    For centerpieces for the tables, I found inspiration again online, in the form of floral arrangements made to look like little cupcakes! I just had to have them, so I went to big lots and found the plastic containers for under a dollar apiece. I spray painted the bright neon containers white, bought some white taper candles, and picked up floral foam at the craft store. And then they just sat there. For a month. And the day before her party I realized that I had no clue where to find white flowers like the ones she uses. I ended up picking these white silk flowers up at Jo Anns for 60% off and they worked beautifully! I didn't have to worry about any wilting, and I can use the remains for making headbands and clips. It's a win win. ;-)
    I took it upon myself to make tissue poms as well. I'm just not a fan of spending money on things that I can very well do myself. The very best tutorial out there on how to make these is by none other than Martha Stewart. Just keep in mind when cutting, that you don't need to cut through all the layers at once. Separate them and cut little portions, and save yourself the carpal tunnel that is sure to plague you if you didn't figure this out until you were 3 poms in like I did. Oh and check the dollar store for tissue first! I picked up the white tissue - 40 sheets for $1 there. The tissue in the packs at Hallmark, Walmart and Target, etc. is about 6-8 to a pack and costs around $1-$3 (had no other option for the yellow, but it's still cheaper than the almost $4 per pom it would cost to purchase online). I used anywhere from 8-10 sheets on each pom.

    Another little project I worked on, with the help of a friend with a Cricut, was this happy birthday banner. She cut out the letters and "frames" from white cardstock and I used various yellow scrapbook papers for the backing. I used yellow, black and white ribbons to connect them together.
    I wanted to display all the monthly pictures I took of G around the entrance to the party, so I used these little clothespins and a string and hung up 4x6 prints from that. It was fun watching people peruse this and listening to them pick out their fave monthly pics. (Sorry for the terrible photo, due to MEMORY CARD FAILURE - ZOMG! - I didn't get a shot of this so I just slapped it on the wall inside to give y'all the idea.)
    On to entertainment! I did not want to spend the money to hire a juggler/magician/psychiatrist to perform for everyone. Yes, I knew I had to have something a little fun for the little ones that would be there, so I came up with the idea of a "Bubble Bar". I love bubbles, man. They're so fun. So why not buy a bunch of bubble toys and put them out for all the kids to play with? Totally cheap, and great since I so will be playing with these toys later. I mean Gabriella. She will be playing with them later. I also got a bucket of chalk from the $1 section at Target and set up a "Chalk Zzzzone". I'm so punny. They were both a big hit!

    I wanted to get bee cookies for favors. I looked around on etsy and even in some local bakeries, and the going rate per favor cookie bagged up is at least $3-4. Crazy talk! I found this little shop on etsy and she was charging $2 per cookie, bagged with a bow! Her cookies looked fabulous so I asked if she could do something bee-ish, and she came up with these for me. I LOVED them. I also did bubbles as favors for the kiddos. I just designed a little label myself in photoshop and taped it on to the bottles I picked up at Big Lots for 50 cents.

    I painted this sign on posterboard with paints from the $1 store to direct guests to the party (not like they really needed it with the navigation in this day and age... I secretly just wanted an excuse to paint something).
    I printed out these little labels and stuck them on water bottles. What luck that Tatertots and Jello was giving away the perfect ones to match our theme!

    Whew! I think I covered all the details! Now here are pics of the party in action!

     The Birthday girl making her entrance.
     With Grandpa and Daddy
     I think I have crazy eyes here but it's one of the few shots of me and my girl, since I was running around the whole time!
     Adam greets some of our little guests
    My dear friend from high school's little boy just turned 1 two weeks ago!
    Bubbles in action!
    Hubby with a beer and cupcake in hand. Life is good!
    It's a Romanian tradition upon a baby's first birthday to present him/her with a tray of different objects. Whichever one baby grabs first supposedly shows their destiny in life. I love keeping tradition so we did this, and my dear friend presented the tray to Gigi. The items on the tray were: a pencil, a tiny book, a calculator, an airplane, a toy guitar, a mirror, jewelry, money, a computer mouse, and a toy basketball.
    She grabbed the guitar! I guess she'll be musical like her daddy :-)
    Yes, Gigi, pick the calculator!
     First taste...
     Oh it's safe to say she liked it!
     This is what happens when you take cake away from a baby!

    Gabriella wore a lemon pettiskirt from Dreamspun Kids (splurge alert!), along with a matching hair clip that I attatched to a white elastic headband. Her camisole onesie is from Janie and Jack, and her sandals are from the Gymboree outlet. Oh and my dress was just on sale at Macy's. :-)

    It was such an amazing day and we truly felt surrounded by love. A lot of people unfortunately weren't able to make it, but we still had around 30 or so guests, which turned out to be great. It was overcast until about half an hour before the party, so I was really nervous since she was in a little sleeveless outfit, but it cleared up and turned out to be about 80 degrees... perfect! I mentioned memory card failure before - and this should be a lesson to all to always have a backup! About half an hour before the party started I began snapping pictures of everything... 15 minutes in, my camera screams at me that my memory card has failed.

    Worst nightmare for a photo hound like me.

    So I scramble around and find an extra, but it's way smaller and has room for like 30 pictures on it. Luckily I found another extra, and was able to take more pictures, but by then I ran out of time and guests started showing up, so I wasn't able to get alllll the detail shots I was hoping for. My sweet dad took most of the pictures you see with actual people in them :-)

    Anyhow, there ya have it. Our baby girl's first birthday party. It was a lot of work, but so absolutely worth it. Everyone had a nice time and our little guest of honor had a blast. Am I crazy to say that I'm already thinking about next year's bash?