Thursday, March 27, 2014

And then there were four

Lucy is missing. 

It's weird to even type it. We are definitely feeling his absence in our house and everyone is pretty sad. It happened last week. Mat was in Kansas and my sister came over to babysit Evelyn so I could go to my Gypsy Wife sewing class. I didn't get home until around 8:30pm and Evelyn was wide awake. We have been having sleeping issues with her (big surprise) and I didn't get her into bed until about 9:30pm. I was exhausted and did notice that none of the animals were in bed with me when I laid down. I was actually excited about it. Usually I have to share the bed with Mat, our dog Kali and one or two cats. Having a king sized bed all to myself was a treat! 

The next morning Evelyn and I woke up and it was business as usual. We were gone most of the day. We got home around 3pm and Mat got in from the airport around 5pm. He was taking the recycling and trash out for us when he came running into the house to tell me Lucy was outside. I was totally surprised to hear this because I know I didn't let him out and then I started thinking.....when was the last time I saw him? He is one of the two cats that normally sleeps in our bed and he didn't do that the night before. Mat tried to get him to come back inside but he was freaked out and ran under the neighbor's fence.  

Lucy has randomly darted outside before. He will run outside then get freaked out and run right back inside. He is a true scaredy cat. But he is also Siamese so he has attitude and will act like a punk. He had gotten out twice at our last house in Texas. But he always came right back. 

Mat and I called a neighbor over to watch Evelyn so we could go out and find Lucy. While she was babysitting, we corralled three other neighbors to help us in the search. We found him under a porch about three houses down. We had an elaborate assembly line of people coaxing him back into our backyard. We got him to come back to our house and even to go into our backyard. I closed the back gate as he ran into our backyard but he didn't stop and run into our backdoor. In fact, we have no idea where he went and we haven't seen him again. He's been missing now for eight days. It's literally as if this cat has vanished into thin air. 

We purchased a live trap and set it up around the area of the last place we saw him. We have blankets and tuna inside. It has snowed once since he's been gone and also dropped down into the 20's a couple of nights. He is a spoiled indoor cat that sleeps in a king size bed with his parents. We know he has to be freaking out. We can only assume he was overstimulated by the outside and that's why he ran past our backdoor. I put up flyers in the neighborhood. But we are planning to take the live trap down tomorrow if he hasn't shown up. 

We are sad and feeling the loss around here. Lucy was our first cat together and my first cat ever. Mat and I got him from my mom's neighbor in Tennessee back in 2005. We had just moved in together that summer and Lucy was our first baby. He was the test cat to see if we could be parents! He was also Mat's favorite. Mat took the news of this really hard at first but he's getting better now. Now I'm the sad one and also the one that is riddled with guilt over the fact that none of our cats wear collars and they are all front declawed. Even if someone finds him, they won't know who to return him to. It's not a good situation. We hope he just shows up on our doorstep one day but until then Lucy will be greatly missed. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days

I am seeing posts about "40 Bags in 40 Days" all over social media. I was intrigued and started Googling because I didn't know what it was. Basically, you clean and purge areas of your home during the 40 days of Lent. You tackle small areas each day in an attempt to declutter, organize and clean.  Sounds good to me.

Here is a blog post from Clover Lane describing it all in greater detail.

My parents have been here for the last week so I did go through my closet, Evelyn's closet and my downstairs closet that's full of old decorations and stuff I just don't have hanging up in our house anymore. I gave things to both my mom and sister and also gathered two more garbage bags full for our neighborhood yard sale this summer. It definitely feels good to downsize "stuff" and have more breathing room in the house.

Happy downsizing!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

One year birthday and well check

Evelyn is now one year old! Her party was a great success; we had 18 adults and 2 kids attend. There were two other kids invited but their grandparents were in town visiting so they couldn't come. Mat's parents came and so did his sister Tara and her husband Kerry. We had our usual neighbor crew and our friends Sam and Amanda flew in from Dallas to celebrate with us.

I felt very emotional on February 20th - Evelyn's actual birthday. On that day in 2013 we hadn't met her yet. We were first introduced to her the afternoon of February 21st. When we were newly placed with her I used to have to stop and think about what date her real birthday was on when filling out forms at her doctor. It seems so strange to think we have been her parents for an entire year and that she is no longer an infant but now considered a toddler.

She is the sweetest and sassiest little girl and such a joy to be around. She's really funny and already knows how to shoot some looks (wonder where she gets that from?).

This is her actual party outfit. It was cold the day of the party and she wore white leggings with lace trim underneath the tutu. The headband and bodysuit were a custom order from Etsy. 

She had two birthday outfits (of course) and we had a little photo shoot the day before her birthday. She didn't want me to brush her hair but she had no problem using her brush as a pointer. 


I didn't have a 12 month photo of her to finish out my 1-12 month display. This was taken the morning of her party before she went to breakfast with Mat and his family. She was watching t.v. and seriously not interested in having her picture taken. 

Some of you may know that I had walking pneumonia while trying to make the decorations and get the house ready for this party. It was not fun. I made the happy birthday banner and will make sure to choose darker letters in the future so you can actually see what it spells out from a distance. 

The Cupcake Cruiser made all the cupcakes. They are a local husband/wife team who sell their cupcakes out of a cute food truck during the summer. The truck is a diesel so they don't operate it in the winter. They cater parties/weddings out of their kitchen the remainder of the year.  I am seeing a summer cupcake party in our future where they drive the truck to my house and Evelyn and all her friends can place their order at the side window. How adorbs would that be?
The "smash cake" (jumbo cupcake) is in the middle. We got a dozen funfetti cupcakes with fresh strawberries and cream inside with vanilla buttercream. Holy mother those cupcakes were delish!

The rest of the cupcakes were chocolate with chocolate chips inside and tinted pink vanilla buttercream. Those didn't disappoint either. 

My sister made rice krispy treats and I whipped up some pink frosting for a few of them. We also had cupcake tins full of pink/purple MMs, cotton candy flavored taffy and topped with the cupcake lollipops you see in this picture. 

I also put together a handful of flower arrangements on the table here and a few other areas in the house. 

This is the 1-12 month photo display. I made all of it except the wreath form. I love it and it's still hanging up in the dining room actually. I am also going to be that obnoxious parent that continues to do monthly pictures so watch for those on Instagram. I already bought the 13-24 month stickers! 

The gift table. Molly and I made cupcake garland from cupcake wrappers. The small one is here and the big mama one hung above the party table. It was really fun and easy to make. We did collect wrappers for at least a week though. I swear, we bought them at every store we went to. 

Here's her highchair. I wanted to make a pennant banner that said ONE but I have had issues trying to find plastic stencils. Everyone uses Cricuts or printable letters online for things like this. I wanted the old school, trace and cut letters but I seriously cannot find stencils. The stencils I used for the Happy Birthday banner were borrowed from our local scrapbook store (yes, they are cool and let me borrow their store set as long as I brought in the finished product for them to see). I had already returned the stencils by the time I thought of the ONE banner idea and I didn't want to push my luck and ask to borrow them again. Instead I attempted to make a high chair tutu. That thing was an abomination and tulle sucks. Believe it or not, you are looking at 8 yards of tulle. If you are ever buying a handmade tutu for a little girl, don't balk at the price. I used to until I tried making one myself.  

Very serious on party day. 

Our family.

She was more interested in her squeaker frog than she was the cupcake. 

Before we brought out her cupcake. 

Too bad you can't see her top front teeth in this picture. They're both coming in. Right now she still only has her bottom two.  

This is her friend Emma. Emma's mom made her that adorable cupcake t-shirt to wear for the party. I bought the girls pink satin party hats with a cupcake appliqu├ęd on them...and couldn't find them on the day of the party. That's mom brain for ya. 

Maybe this isn't so bad after all. 

I know some of the pics are out of order. But I am blogging from my new Mac Book and it's....weird. I am still trying to transfer all my photos and files from my PC laptop and struggling. I haven't had more than 20 minutes each day to spend with the Mac so I am still lost. Hopefully I'll get some free time once my parents arrive. In fact, Molly and Chris move out this Saturday and my parents arrive Sunday. Our entire downstairs has been torn apart so major cleaning will have to happen and I need to re-establish my sewing area and bring all my scrapbook stuff back up to the ding room. What? You think dining rooms are for eating dinner? Not at our house! 

The little Bug had her one year well check today. She is recovering from a sinus infection and right ear infection so I wasn't sure if they'd give her shots or not. They did. If she isn't running a fever they go ahead and do it. She's on antibiotics and drinking Pedialyte and is about three days in on that. Her ear is getting better and they no longer hear chest congestion. She did get five shots and some blood drawn from her big toe. It sucked all the way around. She screamed bloody murder and looked at me with helpless, pitiful eyes. Before all the torture began, she was given kudos for being smart, healthy and right on track. She weighs 26lbs, is 30 1/2" long and her head circumference is 18 1/2". She's in the 95% percentile and I thank my lucky stars daily for having a healthy, strong little girl. We will soon start the transition from formula to whole milk (I already semi-started and she did fine). What she will struggle with (I think) is giving up the bottle. The Dr. suggested I go cold turkey and just switch her and have her drink all her milk (whether it's formula or cow's milk) out of her sippy cup. I tried it about an hour ago and she looked at me like "what the hell is in this sippy cup?" So yeah, it's about what I expected. I'm not going to rush it and I have no real deadline in mind. Milk from a bottle is comfort for her at night especially so we'll just take it a day at a time. Although her father cannot wait to get rid of the formula all together because we will save a boatload of money.

All in all, we have had a wonderful first year with this girl and love her so much. I know you can't tell just how much she's loved by the looks of that gift table. ;)  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wrapping up 2013 and off to a running start into 2014

Gosh, where to start? Christmas was a magical, fun, tiring time at our house and we loved every minute of it. Christmas really is for children and this holiday will forever be changed for us from here on out. I have to say, it was the best one yet!

My sister moved in mid-December so she was here with us to celebrate Evelyn's first Christmas and to help 'Santa' put out all the toys. Mat cooked some great food, we had good, local beer and lots of visiting with our neighbors. My parents went crazy at Toys R Us so that Mat and I hardly had to get her anything at all. They seized the opportunity to send everything with Molly instead of paying for shipping so they went way overboard I guess because they could. Her car was so packed that the poor girl could barely see out the back window. 'Santa' brought all of my parent's gifts. We actually ended up donating toys to a charity drive simply because we know we are blessed and fortunate beyond measure. We also know that many kids didn't get any Christmas gifts at all and it breaks our hearts to think about; especially when we see our baby playing with all her toys and laughing and having the time of her life. I have donated toys in the past at Christmastime but this year was different. I'm pretty sure it's because I'm a parent now. On Christmas morning I was thinking of each toy we donated and wondering what child it went to and if they liked it. I go back and forth and worry that we may give Evelyn too much but frankly, she's my child and I can give her what I want. She has completed our lives and given us the one thing we've always wanted (a family) and it's fun to celebrate each and every moment. So, we do. Each day is a gift, each smile and laugh is to be treasured and every moment we spend with each other as a family brings us profound happiness. Why wouldn't we celebrate?

All our neighbors were in town this year just like us so that made the holidays even more fun. We got together at each other's houses and visited. We don't get to visit a lot during the work week and often times, weeks will go by and we never even see our neighbors. They are good people and we like spending time with them. On New Year's Eve, we stayed home and by then Molly's boyfriend Chris had arrived - he spent Christmas with his family then moved to Colorado shortly after.

We rang in the New Year with our new roommates. So far our living situation is working out great. They live downstairs and have their own space. Plus, I have tons of baby and housework help. It's a win-win! They are both already working and plan to start looking for a place of their own in the next couple of weeks. I have to admit, I like having them here with us and am so happy to finally have family living close by.

I've spent the last few weeks planning Evelyn's first birthday party. It's a cupcake themed birthday and I'm making a lot of the decorations. I went to Party City to see what they had and wasn't impressed. When she gets old enough to pick her own theme - I know Minnie Mouse and Princess parties are huge - then we will let her but for now I wanted to keep it fun and simple. Cupcakes fit the bill. The invitations are ordered, one of the banners is made and I have almost all the other supplies bought for the party already. This party will mainly be for us; there are more adults invited than kids. There are only 4 kids invited. Evelyn goes to childcare when I go to the gym but hasn't made any "friends" just yet. It's mainly because she's still a "non-walker" and gets separated from the walkers for safety reasons. Once she's off and running (which will probably be anyday now!), it'll be different. I'm always amazed at how busy our gym and its child care area are too. They have 6 childcare specialists on hand and there have never been less than 15 kids when I drop her off. The first week she went she would literally sit on a playmat and stare at everyone. She's never been in a daycare environment and I'm sure it was overwhelming. That place is a madhouse!

Evelyn will be 11 months old next week. She's cruising everywhere, standing on her own and totally has no fear. She is struggling to get her top teeth in and has been gnawing on everything she can get her little hands on. She has a ton of hair and it's starting to curl. I put hair bows and headbands on her as much as I can to get the hair out of her eyes but I have to distract her so she forgets they're there. Otherwise she rips them out instantly. She did get croup right before Christmas and it was scary. She was so sick all she wanted was to be held. It took about 4 days and 2 rounds of steroids to get over.

Playing around with a remote control. 

She has a talking remote of her own but of course, likes ours better. 

She's so tall and long that I already know finding pants is going to be tough. We struggle now. 

This is Christmas morning. She is seeing what Santa brought for the first time. She wasn't too sure about all of it. 

Since Molly was here we got a family photo taken on Christmas morning. 

Christmas night at the neighbor's for dinner. She's wearing her new Toms shoes from Mayme. 

Her new favorite face to make. 

I'm pretty sure she was looking at a bird. 

Sponge Evelyn. We were at Party City looking for decorations and I couldn't resist putting this on her. She loves Sponge Bob. 

Everyone have a great New Year. Next post will more than likely be of the birthday girl's party! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Spearman Thanksgiving and Other Happenings

We have decided to stay home for Evelyn's first Christmas but since grandma Dorothy is the only relative left in both families that hasn't met Evelyn yet we decided to take a road trip to Spearman for Thanksgiving.

It helped that Mat bought me a new car. I got a 2014 Honda Odyssey; it's crazy luxurious, more than roomy, and will seat EIGHT! Niiice. 

The drive - with a baby and a dog - took us 7 hours each way, give or take. The trip there was great. Evelyn loves the minivan because she can see so much more plus we've upgraded her to a "big girl" car seat (Chicco NextFit) so she has a lot of leg room. The van has a tv in it but since she will be rear facing for another year or so it was obsolete. I had my fingers crossed that she might nap long enough for me to watch something but that didn't happen. The trip back wasn't as good; she was fussy and didn't want to be buckled in. She now has two bottom teeth (baby chiclets) and I think her top gums were bothering her. 

Our family Thanksgiving picture. 

We decided to have an early Christmas with the cousins and Grandma since we wouldn't be seeing them again this year. Evelyn and cousins Vin and Reese; we could never get all of them to cooperate and look at the camera. Talk about a Barrel of Monkeys! But they all are pretty cute in their snowmen pajamas! 

Opening her gift from Aunt Jan. 

Sleeping on Aunt Jan. 

Mayme worked really hard in the kitchen to provide us all with good food on Thanksgiving - thanks Patty! 
We had a great time visiting with the DeLeons as well. Evelyn got to spend some time with the boys and she surprised us all by picking on Reese. Mat said she would take every toy he had! I didn't see that part but I did see her steal his pacifier. 

In fact, I caught her in the act with this picture! 

We've spent the last couple of days decorating our house for Christmas. I put up our regular 8 ft. tree with "adult" ornaments but I also got a little 4 ft. tree for Evelyn with soft ornaments. I love real trees but after our first year here we learned that it's way too dry and difficult to try and have a live tree. Our real tree lasted almost three weeks and that's it. Seriously. I still find random pine needles stuck between the baseboards and carpet. 

Our big tree. The bottom has way less of everything for safety reasons. This morning I woke up to find that the star was knocked off the top. I may switch to a big bow this year. 

Baby tree. It's hard to see them in this picture but I bought all the plush animal ornaments at Target. All the woodland creatures are wearing scarves or ice skates and are so cute! I've never done traditional decorating at Christmas but I am getting more into it for Evelyn. 

This is the entryway. I try to jazz up this table each holiday. Now that we have a child we will be celebrating all the holidays. I recently got a bunch of cute Easter stuff on clearance but I don't have anything for holidays like Valentine's or St. Patrick's Day. More reasons to shop! 

My sister Molly and her boyfriend Chris are relocating to Fort Collins. They are moving in with us for a few months. I'm not going to know what to do having my family live nearby. I haven't lived in the same state as any of my family members in almost 9 years! I'm really excited about it and think it will be a positive change for everyone. 

This is Molly and Chris. I'm sure she'd die if she knew I put a bathing suit picture of her on the blog but this was the only one I could find. This was taken almost two years ago. The four of us were in Glenwood Springs at a hot springs. 

I love my sister (she's the "good one", haha) but I really love her boyfriend. This was taken on their last visit. He babysat Evelyn, vacuumed the living room AND gave Kali a bath. He also took Kali running every morning. Everyone in the house was happy. I don't really want roommates but wow, Chris is always such a big help. 
We're having some crazy freezing weather and snow at the moment so Evelyn and I will be house bound for the remainder of the week. Today's high is 5 degrees and it's only getting up to 12 by the end of the week. It gives me an excuse not to wear a bra and stay home and clean! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Atlanta Trip

Weeee're back! From Atlanta that is. The trip was a whirlwind but we all had a great time.

Atlanta is a really great city but everytime I go back to see family I am never really in Atlanta proper. My family lives in the Buford/Gainesville area and that's 45 minutes north of Atlanta. However, my aunt lives about two miles from the Mall of Georgia - the biggest mall in the state. Needless to say, I bet you can guess what we do when I visit. We shop. Even Mat fell victim to the awesomeness that is the mall this time; he spent an entire day there. He saw a movie (which is a real treat these days) and bought new shoes, pants, a coat AND purchased my anniversary gift. We will be married five years on December 8th. I think he's serious about it this year considering he forgot our anniversary entirely last year. That did not go over well. Meanwhile, I don't have a gift for him or anything in mind yet. I've got to add that to the enormous to-do list.

This flight was Evelyn's third and she did better this time around. She is a jumper and as long as we let her "jump" in our laps and stand her up to see the other passengers she was good. The flight there is two hours and twenty minutes but on the way back it's three hours and sixteen minutes. It has something to do with down winds or something. At any rate, it's a longer flight than she is used to. Her other two flights were both to Texas and those are quick in comparison.

We landed in the afternoon on the 31st. My aunt picked us up and we headed back to her house to rest and have a snack. Since E is so little and has no concept of what Halloween is, we took her to the mall (of course). Neither Mat or I consider this real trick or treating but it gave her a chance to see other kids in costume. The mall experience was kinda crazy. It was jam packed - it actually reminded us of the insanity of Black Friday there were so many people - and only certain stores were handing out candy. The ones that were had lines wrapped around and out the door. We didn't get any candy or even give her a candy bucket this year. Neither of us need it and we would be the ones to eat it so we skipped it all together. She did have fun seeing all the other kids though.

My aunt and uncle threw us an Adoption Finalization party. We had it catered - some good ol' GA bbq - and about 20 people came. Some extended family I hadn't seen in awhile and an old friend from high school. My mom and youngest sister Amanda drove down from Nashville. Most importantly, Evelyn got to meet my grandmother. My grandmother raised me and is more like a mother to me. She has tons of health issues and I was always really paranoid that we'd lose her before she had the chance to meet my children. I am so thankful that she's still here and could celebrate this day with us.

On the plane with dad. 

At the play place on Halloween. 

Lil Ladybug on the move 

Our little family 

Breakfast in her booster seat - I borrowed this booster seat from a friend and this was the first time she sat in anything other than a highchair. She did great! 

Us getting ready to go meet my grandma for lunch 

Getting a much needed pedicure (thank you Jesus!)

Her adoption cookie cake 

With dad on the day of her party 

With me on the day of her party 

Loving the hardwood floors. She can slip and slide as she crawls on the hardwoods and that cracks her up. She does the same thing at our house. 

Huggin' it out with Uncle Tom 

One of my oldest friends, Nicole. She and her family came to the party. She has brown kids too :) and her youngest son and Evelyn were fascinated with each other 

Three generations of crazy. My grandma (Barbara) with gray hair, my mom (Donna) with dark hair and me and Evelyn. Mat and I agree, thank the Lord Evelyn doesn't have our genes, haha! 

Dad after the party. He was such a great sport the whole day. He needed a nap!