Friday, September 20, 2013

Guess Who's One Year Old? LadyBear!!

I know this is way late, but I wanted to wait for her 1 year well check stats before I posted this and that appointment just happened this morning (after many reschedulings on the part of both myself and our Dr.).  

September 7th marked LadyBear's first birthday.  We had a lovely party, which I think she genuinely enjoyed, and really had a good time celebrating our little girl.  She is an absolute joy to our family and we LOVE having her around. 

She is 29" tall and weighs in at 19 lbs, 6 oz.  For reference, LittleBear was 29.25" tall and weighed 18 lbs, 12 oz.  That puts her in about the 19th % of American kids for weight (41st % on the WHO charts) and the 41st % of American kids for height (37% on the WHO charts).    You might remember how LittleBear compared to Mommy and Daddy at his 1 year checkup, and LadyBear fits right in the middle. 

Developmentally, she seems to be pretty close to where LittleBear was at this age.  She babbles a good amount and has already figured out the standing up in her crib thing.  Each morning when I come in to get her she's standing there waiting for me :)  She's very confidently walking in the walker and pulls up on anything and everything.  She walks well holding our fingers and is a very fast crawler (either army style or hands and knees).  She pulls herself up to sitting and is VERY curious.  She does not like to be told "no."  One thing she did figure out is how to drink out of a straw cup and enjoys having her own straw cup like brother's.

We expect her to start walking on her own sometime in the near future, but aren't in a rush :)

Happy first year, LadyBear!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

LadyBear's First Birthday Bash: Our Precious Pearl Party

This past Saturday (on her actual birthday), we threw our little lady's first birthday party.  It's always a gamble when they can't really tell you what kind of party they want, so I took my best guess.  LadyBear is drawn to all-things-jewelry and so I wanted to do something along those lines, but had not decided exactly what.  Then one day I read this verse in the Bible:

"Again, the kingdom of Heaven is
like a merchant looking for fine pearls.   
When he found one of great value, he went away
andsold everything he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46"

It then hit me, we could throw a precious pearl party!!  As I planned this party, I felt like she might look back on it later and know how much she was loved and valued, even if that might not come across her mind now :)    I want her to know that no matter what, God and her family believe great things about her and we will always be here with her to celebrate who she is in Him. 

I bought paint color matched to a Tiffany's box and painted frames from the Dollar Tree.  I downloaded a free Tiffany-like font and then printed several verses with one word meanings on pearlized cardstock.  My hubby and Dad hung pearlized balloons in varying sizes on our walls and I bought some bags of varying size pearls that I put in a few vases with epsom salt on the bottom, all around the house.  I kid you not, the people at our Hobby Lobby probably think I'm crazy for all the days I went back and bought one thing at a time with my 40% off coupon.  Hey, I followed their coupon policy and saved money!

Daddy also bought LadyBear some beautiful flowers, which I think she liked very much.

My amazing friend Jennifer graciously agreed to take pictures for me, so I didn't miss anything and I am so thankful to her for doing that!!  We gave everyone a pearl necklace to wear and they did!!  I was so impressed that everyone kept theirs on! 

We asked people to write a "pearl of wisdom" on a chalkboard and have their picture taken with it, so LadyBear can look back years later and see who said what. 

For the chalkboard, I painted a frame from Hobby Lobby and then glued a mirror from the Dollar Tree painted with chalkboard paint behind it. 

We then played "hang the pearl on the necklace" where each kid stuck a pearl on a board and then I drew a line connecting them all at the end to form a necklace.  The pearls were 2" circles of pearl cardstock punched out with double stick tape on the back.  I drew the strand after with a silver sharpie.

We also had a "find your treasure" hunt where each child went looking for their own treasure bag in the backyard.  My mom and I made drawstring bags out of Lagoon colored Eco-Fi recycled felt and tied a tag to each one with the child's name on it (after an epic fail in trying to spray paint cookie tins a custom color from a specialty paint store).  In each bag was a coloring page and a silver bangle bracelet (I found a package of 18 at Kohl's on clearance for under $5!).

I had one more game planned, but in the interest of time, I cut it out at the last minute.  

For food, we had air-popped popcorn (a healthy, LadyBear favorite), oreo truffles, fruit and chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and little pearls on top.  I tried making LadyBear her own little cake that was a bit lopsided, but hey, it was made with love!

Then we watched LadyBear have her first experience with cake.  I thought I'd put her on a vinyl tablecloth on the floor to minimize the cleanup necessary.  She had never had anything like that before and she doesn't usually eat on the floor, so I think she was a bit confused because she didn't really eat much cake. 

She did have a cupcake in her highchair the next day and thoroughly enjoyed that, so I know it is not because she doesn't like cake :)  Instead of having her sitting there bare in front of everyone, I made her a little onesie according to this tutorial to wear while eating her cake. 


After that, we just enjoyed the company of our friends and family.  All in all, we had a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family and I think LadyBear really enjoyed it too.

Happy birthday, LadyBear!!  You are most precious to us!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The First Visitor to Our Butterfly Garden!

Well, that we've spotted anyway.  This butterfly hung around for a good half hour at least!  As far as we can tell, it's a Queen butterfly (scroll down on the linked page to read more about them).  LittleBear was SO excited to see him/her!!