Thursday, October 30, 2014

{2014} Halloween Part I ~ Tinker Bell

Before I get started, can we all please direct our attention to the cutest Tinker Bell I’ve ever seen? Of all the pictures taken of our little Tink this Halloween, this one is Mama’s favorite!

For The Bean’s first Halloween we, (like most new parents) wanted to take a million pictures of our adorable squishy baby girl. Not only was it her very FIRST Halloween, but I was also super excited because I learned how to sew and made her lion costume just for the occasion! We decided to have professional pictures taken because we were basically obsessed with our kiddo and wanted to document all of her “firsts”. Little did we know, we were starting a tradition that would be hard to stop.

For our gal’s second Halloween, I was a stay-at-home mom so our funds were limited. I didn’t want that to keep us from taking adorable pictures of our gal in the Little Mermaid costume her Nani helped me make, so we set up a home photo session in our kitchen. It cost little to nothing to buy the fabric and sea shells we used and our DIY Halloween pictures turned out so flippin’ adorable. Grace was at an age where we could get her to smile with things like bubbles so that’s exactly what we did (that and we danced around with her favorite stuffed animals like a pair of crazy mamas… You do what you have to do). Even though the better part of 2013 was a stressful time for our family, I will always look back at those pictures with such fond memories.

This year, G and I had a few conversations about whether or not we wanted to continue with the tradition and ended up deciding that it wasn’t really something we needed to do. Then about 2 weeks ago, I received a coupon from the same studio we had Grace’s first Halloween pictures taken and the seed was planted. I talked G into taking pictures (again) with the sales pitch that the coupon gave us the option to spend practically nothing for a copy of our favorite pose. She agreed, because obviously I’m a master negotiator. ;)

Fast forward to this year’s photo shoot that quickly went from 30 minutes to an hour and the one pose we came to have taken, turned into more poses than I can count. Our photographer was amazing and she and Grace became fast friends. When you begin falling in love with every picture taken, you know you’re in trouble and we LOVED them all. I mean, how could we pick just one of these?

We ended up going slightly over budget but that’s ok. Is there anything worth more than a memory captured forever? A cell phone picture, a quick snapshot – they’re all so great! The best wedding advice I received when we were wedding planning was to invest in a good photographer because in 50 years, those pictures are going to be what helps you remember the special moments and these are definitely special moments for us mamas. We won’t soon forget them. :)

I can’t wait to see all your adorable kiddos dressed up in their Halloween costumes! I know I’ll be checking my blog roll often over the next couple of days so hurry and share! I LOVE Halloween, love, love it!

My other favorites! I can’t even!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Visiting the Pumpkin Patch

We tried a new Pumpkin Patch this year and it was awesome! We’ve gone to another one for years but it’s pretty far from town, which is kind of a pain in the butt so this year we opted to visit our local Pumpkin Patch instead. I’m thinking we’ve found a new favorite. Grace looked adorable in her Halloween outfit (mama pats self on back) and she was in great spirits. Lately, things have been interesting with our gal. Between adjusting to having a potty trained kiddo who acts just like Nina on those, “Nina Needs to Go!” cartoons, to also having a kid who is a runner, she keeps us on our toes when we’re out on the town. On this afternoon, she was fed, she went potty on command before leaving the house, looked adorable and was super excited for our adventure, which was pretty darn great.

Gracie’s Gaga and Papa joined us for our festive fall day. We started the tradition of going with G’s parents when Grace was just a baby and decided we would continue to make it an annual thing after last year’s visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Some years we have other little ones who join us and some years, like this year, it’s just us 5.

The Pumpkin Patch had all the usual favorites. Tractors for the kids to ride, areas for photo ops, Mr. Potato Head pumpkins, adorable little animals to feed and what I refer to as the, “corn pit of terror.” The Bean was into everything and practically running from activity to activity while the 4 of us tried to keep up. She made a few little friends and only had one minor meltdown when I had to pull her out of the corn pit because it was time to go. No adult should ever go into that thing, like ever. I sank immediately, was surrounded by an army of children, lost a shoe and still found corn kernels in the cuff of my pants when we got home later that evening, ha!

We had our first (and hopefully last) we’ve lost Gracie experience on this day and it nearly gave us all a heart attack. One minute, we were watching her play with blocks, the next we all glanced in the other direction to see something my father-in-law was showing us and when we turned back, maybe 15 seconds later, she was gone. I called out for her and began looking in every direction as thoughts of child abduction ran through my head. I know that sounds a bit over dramatic but this place was sooo crowded and suddenly everyone looked sketchy. G bolted in one direction yelling Gracie’s name while I went in another direction. She was only lost for a few minutes but it felt like forever. We gave her the, you NEVER leave your mamas side speech and she recovered quickly after. It took her mamas a bit longer to breath normally…

Our fearless little gal!

The day ended with pumpkin picking of the toddler variety. This was the first year that Grace was old enough to actually pick her own pumpkin and she was all about it. She didn’t pick the first one she put her hands on but ended up settling on a cute tiny pumpkin that fit perfectly in the palms of her hands. All in all, it was a pretty good fall day for this little family.   

Silly Papas are the best Papas!

In other news, I’ve finished Gracie’s Halloween costume and I must say, she’s the cutest little Tinker Bell I ever did see. We ended up purchasing the wings because I finally admitted to myself that making wings was something I just didn’t feel like doing, lol… I did make her dress and headpiece and I’m so happy with how they turned out. I consider it a bonus that I didn’t have to pull out the sewing machine once! It’s amazing what you can do with tulle, a glue gun and a little imagination. :)

Here’s our gal whirling and twirling (minus her wings) while she waited for her Halloween pictures to be taken last week. The minute I put her costume on she was in full-on princess mode. She had all the studios employees loving her and was, according to our photographer, “the best little model she’s had.” Considering I’ve had a camera in hand most of The Bean’s life, it’s never surprising to see her work the camera, haha!

We finally have our CD with all the pictures from our mini Halloween shoot, so I’ll be sure to share those soon! It’s almost Halloween, whoo hoo!

So much to celebrate!

In our family, the month of October brings the usual visits to the Pumpkin Patch, costume making and Halloween decorating. One thing it also brings is birthdays. Lots of birthdays. This year my Ma celebrated a big one turning 55 and our niece Mia turned 3. And while we’ve attended other birthday celebrations throughout the month, these two were the biggest!

For Mia’s 3rd birthday party, my sis-in-law went all out turning our corner of Peter Piper Pizza into a scene from the movie, Frozen. M wore the cutest little blue dress and princess crown and was the prettiest Latina looking Princess Elsa I ever did see. Grace was beyond excited talking non-stop about the party in the days leading up and she was a ball of energy the entire time we were there. I’m pretty sure she thought it was somehow a party for her too, ha!

Mia was one very spoiled birthday girl, which is to be expected but was also so great at sharing the entire afternoon letting Grace basically open her presents with her. Those two rode every ride they got their hands on; they shared Princess Elsa rings, Mia’s toys and goodies. It makes me so happy that my little one has this built-in best bud that she’ll be able to grow up with. Being super close with my cousins to this day; I know how special that bond is. :)

My little family celebrating our sweet niece.

With my mom getting married next year, we decided to keep it simple for her 55th birthday even though 55 is usually a big one. For her, having our family together is all she needs to have a wonderful time. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s totally true so my brother and I made sure that’s exactly what we did.

To celebrate Nani, we all gathered for dinner at a favorite steakhouse and enjoyed yummy food, cheesecake and watched as Nani was showered with presents. We talked a lot about my Ma and Kevin’s destination wedding coming up in early 2015 and all the fun things they have planned. It was the perfect way to celebrate an amazing mom and grandmother. Love you, mom.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Someone press pause...

How is this month flying by so quickly, seriously?! I keep meaning to blog but then I find a project that eats up my time or we have an event to attend and/or I'm swamped with work. I've given up on the idea of writing a Summer Bucket List wrap-up because, well, it's still sitting in my drafts and we're well on our way to winter... I promise I'm still popping in at lunch to read all of your wonderful blogs. I wish I could leave more comments but my iPhone seems to hate Blogger and eats up my comments half the time, grrrr! Please just know that I'm still reading!

It's my birthday this week and we're taking a mini-vacation to Arizona to visit my bff and to meet her new baby boy. In the meantime, I've challenged myself to catch-up on blog posts before we leave! I have lots to share on our day at the International Balloon Fiesta! We've visited the Pumpkin Patch (and Grace totally hammed it up the entire time we were there) and then there are all our other October birthday celebrations to share. My mom is now 55, my niece is 3 and my bday is coming fast. We're in full-on Halloween mode, carving pumpkins, decorating, making costumes and planning our Halloween evening route because we have lots of places to visit!

Grace took her first class field trip last week and G and I got to tag along. It was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen so that needs to be documented in this, our family journal as well. See what I mean? Lots to share over here! I hope you all are doing good and loving all the awesomeness that comes along with fall. 

Stay tuned for more from me and until then, here's an adorable picture of my favorite gal. Could she be anymore beautiful?   

41/52: The difference a year makes!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2013 Family Photo Album

Making Gracie’s baby scrapbook of her first year has become the never-ending mission of my life! I wanted it to be an actual scrapbook with printed pictures, cute paper and my handwriting and while that sounded like a great idea, here I am, 2 ½ years later and I’ve only completed The Bean’s first 5 months of life… I forgot how time consuming it was to scrapbook and I’m sooo over it, lol! I know I’ll finish it eventually and I’ll do the same for baby #2 but that’s it. It’s been decided that any and all future photo albums will be completed electronically. It’s just so much easier and a lot less expensive. 

All of my free time over the past couple of weeks has gone toward finishing our 2013 family photo album on They reel me in every time with awesome coupons and then what’s intended to be a small project turns into weeks of digital crafting time. Because I wanted to fit all of our 2013 photos into one book, choosing which photos would make the cut took the most time. As you all know, I’m a picture taker and picking 5-8 pictures of family events where 30+ pictures are taken was a mission in itself. In either case I’m done, I LOVE the way it turned out and I saved $91.93 with coupons! Now if I can just finish our gal's baby book before she goes off to college, we'll be all set.

Here’s the finished product :) 

40/52: My big girl :)

Georgia sent me this picture on Friday and I about died. Who is this big girl and what did she do with my baby?!

39/52: Uncle

38/52: My love

My wifey updated her fb profile picture last week and I haven't stopped staring at it since. I'm a lucky girl.

37/52: October birthdays

Happy 1st birthday to our buddy, Logan! 2 birthday parties down, 3 to go. :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

My heavy heart

I didn’t sleep very well last night. I haven’t really slept well all week. Nothing bad has happened. There’s been no tragedy, our days have actually been busy and fun. Still, I have a sadness, an emptiness that I can’t seem to shake right now.

Grace asked for a little sister again last night. She asks for one often. Sometimes it’s a brother… Sometimes a sister. Yesterday she talked of “sisters”. It’s clear that our gal has entered an age, in just the past few weeks, where she’s very much aware of the existence of siblings and that she doesn’t have one. Just writing this breaks my already broken heart because I would give anything for her to have one. I would give anything to give that to her.

Before the miscarriage, we told Grace that mama had a baby growing in her belly. After we lost our little peanut, Grace didn’t mention the baby anymore. It’s like she forgot and we were more than ok with that. Only she didn’t forget. We did end up having to tell her that our baby went to heaven to be with Grandpa Rudy and she seemed to accept that answer.

She has since started asking questions again.

Had I not miscarried, I would be in my 3rd trimester right now, due in December. We would be putting the finishing touches on our little ones nursery and preparing Gracie to be a big sister. My days would be filled with baby kicks and my nights would consists of restless sleep. And as much as I wish this were the case – it just isn’t.

I try not to let my mind go there, to that place, because when I do, it’s like I fall into a dark hole and it’s hard to climb back out. It’s hard to be a good mom and wife when I let myself go there, so I fight off those feelings. Unfortunately, some weeks, like this week, I lose that fight and all I’m left with is an empty womb and a heavy heart.

I know why this week has been tough. There are lots of reasons. Baby announcements are always a trigger and there’s been 3 just this week alone. It’s a complex feeling being joyful for a friend in finding out that they are pregnant, while also crushed at the same time. It’s fall and while I love this season, I know I would have loved it even more if I were looking down at a big baby belly every day. My best friend just gave birth to her beautiful son and our little ones would have been so close in age just like our daughters are. I'm also turning 33 years old this month and while I know that many would consider 33 young, I just feel so old and tired these days.

I’ve tried everything. Acupuncture, 16 months of appointments and counting. I’ve had all the blood tests done and take all the meds that have come along with those crappy results. I’ve meditated. I’ve prayed endlessly. I’ve done breathing exercises. I’ve changed my diet and eaten all of the “fertility foods” I’ve read of and still, 6 IUI’s in 11 months and nothing. All the while, we’re running out of tries and I’m running out of hope.

I started working out a month ago and I’m going at it pretty hard. I obviously have a lot of tension to work out, all the while knowing wholeheartedly that this is my last hope. Weight loss, that is. If this doesn’t work, I’m out of ideas. I’ve joined a gym and go several times a week, which was the scariest thing to do at first but it seems to be working and I’m actually losing weight… So that’s good. For now, TTC is on hold until I reach my weight loss goal, so I’m hoping that if I keep losing at this rate, we can give it another go come December.

Anyway, that’s where we are in the wonderful world of TTC baby #2. I’ve been asked by some of you if my silence on this subject was because I was pregnant. I wish it was, now you all know I’m not. My heart still tells me that my time will come and I honestly feel like exercise is something I should have focused on much earlier in this process, so I’m hopeful given the recent changes I’ve made. In any case, we’re moving forward and pressing on. 

Thanks for listening.

We’re ready for you baby. Please find us soon.  

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