Saturday, April 26, 2014

{Easter Sunday}

Ever have one of those days with your family when you look around and feel almost overwhelmed with feelings of love for them?  I know this sounds like a very sappy question but it’s definitely how I felt this Easter Sunday.  Maybe it’s a feeling I always get around a holiday, maybe it was that I’m feeling more emotional in general these days or maybe it’s just that our family is pretty darn near perfect in my eyes.  I’m thinking it was a little bit of all of the above.

My mom hosted Easter this year as she usually does.  The weather was nice and my Great Grandparents who are 95 and 93 years old were able to join us.  Their company always makes the day more special!  Before heading over to Nani’s we hid Gracie’s Easter basket bright and early in the morning and then let her loose to find it.  Growing up my parents always hid our Easter baskets but G’s parents didn’t.  When she told me this I was surprised because I thought it was something everyone did sort of like hanging stockings on the mantel at Christmas.  She thought it was weird that my mom and dad hid our baskets and I thought it was boring that she didn’t have to find hers, haha!  Needless to say, we decided to hide Gracie’s under the dinning room table and she found it within about 5 seconds. ;)

After playing with the Bean’s Easter goodies and having a little candy with our breakfast, we got ready and headed to Nani’s house.  I love that my family and Georgia’s family get along so well because it means that we get to celebrate some holidays together rather than driving all over town making multiple stops.  This year G’s mom and dad joined us at my mom’s and Grace was so excited to see them arrive.  Because the Bean was visiting Nani’s she got an Easter basket from her and Kevin + an Easter basket from her Gaga and Papa + an Easter basket from uncle Nick!  Talk about being spoiled. :)

As I promise Georgia every Christmas and Easter, we let Grace change out of her dress after we took pictures of the cuties and visited for a bit so she could run and play AND not have to, “be fancy all day” as my wife would say. ;)  Because it’s warmed up so much in the past couple of weeks she was able run around in a romper and flip flops the rest of the day.  She was very happy about this, especially because the girls played chase most of the afternoon.  We even managed to surprise Georgia with a little birthday cake while she was changing Gracie, which was a total surprise to her!

The highlight of our afternoon was most definitely the Easter egg hunt, something the kiddos asked for all day.  We had a TON of eggs this year and only 4 kids so we knew they were going to make out like bandits.  The littles got a head start but the boys were out dashing around the yard for the prized money eggs in no time.  Watching Grace and Mia gracefully pick Easter eggs up off the ground was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

The remainder of the day was spent watching the kids play ping-pong and football while the adults relaxed on blankets in the grass.  It was the perfect end to a pretty fantastic day and it was obvious that Grace had a blast because following Nani’s; she was out for the night. :)

17/52: Uncle

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pre-Easter Shenanigans

You know you’ve had an action packed Easter weekend when even your toddler is calling it a night and opting for an early bedtime.  That’s the kind of weekend we’ve had around here and I think we’re all still recovering.  I wanted to fit our Easter shenanigans into one post but I’m thinking a pre/post Easter wrap-up is needed this year, so here goes.

Visiting the Easter Bunny almost didn’t happen but we managed to squeeze it in.  In all honesty, the holiday totally snuck up on us and we realized on Friday that Easter was in two days and we still hadn’t visited Mr. Bunny.  We ended up dropping by the mall on the way home from the Bean’s soccer practice Saturday and it was surprisingly pretty empty and thankfully the bunny they had wasn’t freaky looking so that was nice. ;)

As much as I love comparing Gracie’s Easter Bunny and Santa pictures from year to year, I really wouldn’t have minded skipping it this year had it not been for the fact that we already promised our little one and she doesn’t forget promises, like ever… In the end I’m glad we went because she was pretty stinkin’ cute.  She couldn’t take her eyes off the bunny the entire time we were in line and even politely asked him for candies and cookies before giving him a big hug as we were leaving.  It was adorable.

Because we were already at the Mall (a place we only visit twice a year), we did a little shopping, picking up last minute Easter gifts for Gracie’s cousins.  Old Navy also happened to be having a 30% off everything sale so we took advantage of that and scored some super cute and super cheap summer gear for the Bean.  By the time we headed home she was out like a light and when it came time to wake her once we got home to get ready for bed, it was like waking a bear.  A tiny and oh so grumpy little bear!

This was the first year we colored eggs with the Bean and she was overjoyed at the idea of playing with “paint” and eggs.  We explained the process to her and G demonstrated the dying of one egg as an example… We then let her go for it!  It was messy, oh Lord was it messy.  She wanted to do every step on her own, which meant maneuvering one of those wire egg scoops… Something even us mamas have a hard time with.  Thankfully I prepared for extreme messiness and laid out my plastic crafting mat before we began.  I’m happy to report that our dinning room table survived the night and thank goodness for that!  With my many projects over the years, I’ve put that poor table through enough.

Gracie’s idea of coloring her eggs was to drop the egg from a foot above the dish causing dye to splash EVERYWHERE and many eggs to crack, but we let her do it.  G got a bit stressed at first but we held true to the plan and just let her have fun.  She ended up preferring to paint her eggs with a paintbrush in the end, which meant much less mess – a win, win in my book.  When it was time to wrap things up and get ready for bed it was meltdown city, but that’s pretty much the norm anytime we have to call it quits when doing something fun these days.  Ahh, the joys of toddler-hood. ;)

Easter egg art courtesy of the Bean!

When Grace was just a few weeks old I made her a little Easter basket that she used again last year.  This year I decided to upgrade her basket to something bigger and figured out a way to construct it using just a stapler and glue gun.  No sewing machine required, woot!  G was tasked with picking out the goodies and I would have to say while she did go a bit overboard, she picked out some great stuff.  You gotta love the dollar section at Tar.get!

My wifey-poo also celebrated her birthday with a little par-tay I threw her with a few close friends on Friday night.  It was an extremely busy weekend so in hindsight, I probably should have had it the weekend before Easter but we decided to just go for it and she seemed to have a blast.  Grace spent the night with her grandparents so we were sans baby overnight, for the first time in months.  G’s goal on this night (considering we had zero mama duties) was to drink some wine and get nice and buzzed, haha!  She was successful but definitely paid for it on Saturday when we had soccer practice, errands to run, an Easter Bunny to visit and eggs to dye.  And while she did have to nurse a headache, I’m just so glad she had a good time.  With all the carpooling, crazy work hours and other things that fill her weeks, she needed a night to let her hair down.  Happy birthday baby cakes. :)

And there you have it, our hectic but super fun Easter weekend. 
I hope you all had a fab weekend as well and keep the pictures coming!  I’m loving all the Easter posts and bunny pics.  So fun! 

More Easter pictures coming soon... as soon as I find my camera...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

16/52: Happy Easter!

Today has been all about family, good food, candy, ping-pong, baseball, egg hunting and tons of pictures!  We’ve been on the go since this morning and are just now settling in for the night, so while I have yet to upload photos of our day, I will leave you with this.  A picture of a beautiful little girl who can’t possible be our teenie baby all grown up, and yet she is.

Action (and photo) packed post coming soon!  I hope you all had a blessed day with your families.  Happy Easter everyone! :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

{Fun Food Friday}

On the menu for today: turkey sausage, eggs and American cheese.
It’s a bunny breakfast!

Monday, April 14, 2014

14/52: Catching up

Soccer, wine sampling, coffee trucks and pizza!
Oh how I LOVE the weekends. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Favorite Things – Part V

You guys aren’t going to believe this but it’s been almost a year since I last wrote a “favorite things” post.  Please accept my apologies in that this post is waaaay overdue. ;)  As I mentioned in my first ever “favorite things” post back in 2012, the idea to share stuff I LOVE with all you fabulous people was inspired by the Queen herself, Ms. Oprah Winfrey!  I’m sure most of you remember her favorite things episodes on the Oprah Show where she would give away houses and cars, right?  Well, my take on sharing favorite things is in no way that awesome, but good info all the same!

For any of you who have or have had a toddler, you can attest to the fact that something useful or loved one month may become totally old news and useless the next month, so you can consider this list of our favorite things a current lists of sorts.  Meaning, these are the things we’re lovin’ right now!

Hopefully you find some of these items useful and if you have a favorite thing or things, please do share in the comments below!  I sometimes share “favorite things” with my Instagram peeps so that’s the reason for the captioned pictures, in case you were wondering.

Anywho, without further ado, here are our 18-24 months {Favorite Things}!

:: Personalized Flash Cards ::

We have my little sis (aka, auntie Missy) to thank for these totally awesome flash cards by Pinhole Press.  They were a surprise gift that she shipped to us all the way from Vancouver and I totally cried when I opened them.  With each card there is a photo of one of Gracie’s family members or favorite things associate with the letters of the alphabet.  These cards are great for helping your little one learn their ABCs while also getting familiar with the names of everyone close to them! 

:: Aqueduck Faucet Extender ::

You’re going to notice a trend in this installment of Favorite Things.  The trend is that most awesome gadgets and other cool stuff we love for the Bean was discovered by Gracie’s mommy.  G is always hip to the latest trends and is constantly finding stuff we can use to make life easier, the Aqueduck being one of them.  Grace is at an age now where she wants to do everything on her own.  The words, “I do it!” are said on the daily and hand washing has become a favorite, “let me do it!” activity.  Even with her little stool Grace was unable to reach the water coming out of the faucet but now she can with this handy dandy extender.  It’s light, easy to attach, BPA, PVC and phthalate-free.  It’s also dishwasher safe.  

:: Suave Kids Detangling Spray ::

Now that the Bean’s hair is getting longer, she’s waking up with some wicked bedhead… I’m talking code RED, call for back up kind of tangles (click here to view a recent bedhead picture. It’s at the bottom of the collage).  At first, I would just slowly brush through her hair with a comb and water but let me tell you, it was a daily experience that neither of us enjoyed.  Then one day my genius wife suggested it might be time we start using detangling spray.  We’ve tried a few different ones but the Suave Kids Detangling Spray is my favorite.  It smells good, works like a charm and only costs like 2 bucks!  Oh, and it’s hypoallergenic, tear-free and alcohol-free as well!

:: Kiddopotamus Tinydiner Placemat ::

As mamas who work outside the home, we are always on the go.  This means that some weeks we eat out and one thing that Grace has shown us is that she will eat food off any surface no matter how dirty it is.  For months we would do our best to wipe down table tops but they would usually still feel sticky and our gal would inevitably drop half her meal on the floor, which meant that every meal was followed by clean up.  Since getting the Kiddopotamus Placemat we’re saving time by not having to disinfect surfaces as much and this handy mat also rolls up for easy eating out, suctions to the table and has a built in scoop to catch falling food.  We use it at home as well now that Grace eats at the table with us.  This placemat costs less than $10 and is 100% waterproof; phthalate compliant, lead compliant, BPA free, latex free and PVC free!  Plus it’s very easy to clean.

:: Shutterfly Photo Albums ::

I’m pretty sure I’ve waxed on and on about how much I love Shutterfly but I’m going to say it again, I LOVE Shutterfly!  I order our Christmas cards through SF every year as well as prints when they’re on sale and the coupons – oh the coupons!  They are like none I’ve ever used.  With coupons I was able to order our pregnancy photo album for FREE + free shipping.  Gracie’s 1st birthday album was FREE, I just had to pay $7 for shipping and with the 50% off coupon + $10 credit and free shipping I had last month, I nearly got her 2nd birthday album for free as well!  I know it sounds too good to be true but it’s not!  The quality of SF photos is great and you can choose to not have your prints auto corrected if you want. 

:: Bell COCOON 500 Deluxe Child Carrier ::

Lastly, I must plug or new Bell Cocoon bike seat because it’s awesome!  G installed the seat and I will say that part was not the easiest but now that it’s attached it’s super secure and the Bean loves, loves, loves it!  The seat carries one child up to 40lbs with high back protection and a really thick padded insert.  There is a 5-point harness, a molded spoke guard and rear reflectors.  With my nephews, I’ve used several different brands of bike seats for kids and this one has completely out performed them all.

For favorite things I (0-3 months) click here
For favorite things II (4-7 months) click here
For favorite things part III (8-12 months) click here
For favorite things part IV (12-18 months) click here

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