Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Andrew's Birthday Party!

Yes, I realize I'm WAY overdue on this, but life is B.U.S.Y. these days. I have really been dying to find time to put together a big post on Andrew's first birthday party. It was truly one of the best, happiest days of my life. This entire year of being a mommy has been amazing. It's been a lesson on time management and getting by with very little sleep, haha, but it's also been a constant overflow of love. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

Here are LOTS of pics from our fun bday party. The theme was Nautical, so I had a very cute first bday outfit made for him by a great local company called The Green Elephant. She did an AMAZING job on his little Ahoy! shorts and shirt. He looked so grown up!

For the party, we rented the clubhouse of the townhouse community where we live. My neighbors and friends got together the night before to help me decorate and put everything together, so a big thank you to Miranda, Nattie and Carissa for their help! We were there late into the night, but it was so fun!!! I'll walk you through the party tables and decorations, just briefly explaining where I got everything.

First, we have the main cake table! All of the paper decorations were done with a party pack from Little Prints Parties on Etsy. All I had to do was download and print! So easy and cute.  This includes the pennant banner across the top, the circles in the cupcakes and the three sailboat pics I hung above the table.

For the cupcakes, I bought lollipop sticks, printed out the circles and taped them on top. Then, I printed the cupcake holders and slipped the cupcakes inside just before the party.

Andrew's first birthday cake was so cute!! I ordered all of the cupcakes and the cake from Harris Teeter, so that part was easy-peasy and so tasty! For the cake holder, I actually just took a cereal box, placed a piece of striped scrapbook paper on the top, then used red duct tape to tape all around it. Super easy and inexpensive!

 I thought it would be nice to have a few pictures of Andrew as a baby around the room. I bought some very cheap black frames at the Dollar Tree and spraypainted them red. Then I took a white piece of paper and blue polka dot ribbon to create a mat inside that would frame the pictures.

The donuts below were a cute idea I stole from pinterest, since they look like little lifesavers! I bought a glass candle holder from the Dollar Tree and glued a white plate on top of it for a cheap and easy pedestal piece. The red rock candy came from Amazon. Oh! And if you look beside the rock candy, you can see cute paper striped straws inside mason jars that I got from Michael's.

The napkins below were another idea I got from pinterest. I found the wire basket at the Dollar Tree, which was a lucky find. Then I just folded napkins and tied peppermint lifesavers around them for a nautical touch! Unfortunately, no one really realized they were supposed to be used, lol. At the end of the party, I realized most of them had not been used :P. Oh well, they were cute!

Here is a close-up of the back of the table where I turned blue cups upside down for height, then placed mason jars filled with an earthy kind of stuff (no idea what that's called, LOL). I inserted a red, white and blue pinwheel inside for fun! The sailboat in this pic below came from Amazon and was only about $10. We plan to put it in Andrew's room as a fun reminder of his first birthday. Below the sailboat is another cereal box/duct tape creation :). 

The fruit table turned out so cute! We ordered fruit, cheese and veggie trays from Harris Teeter. George thought I was crazy for ordering so much food, but we had an amazing turnout and most of the food was gone by the end of the day!

For an easy way to add a touch of decoration, I printed these wraps from my party pack and taped them around water bottles. Easy and adds that extra touch!

Mini candy-bars wrapped with cute little wrappers from the Little Party Prints pack. Carissa and Nattie spent a lot of time and care wrapping (and eating) these the night before!

Andrew's high chair turned out super cute!

My friend Jenn did a great job with crepe paper over the fireplace! So cute!

As guests left the party, I had these thank you jars waiting for them. Leaning against the back is another Dollar Tree black frame that I spray-painted red. The jars are baby food jars from Earth's Best Organic baby food purees. I saved them for a quite a while to get this many!!! We spray-painted the caps red, filled them with red white and blue gummy bears, hot-glued ribbon across the middle, then tied thank you notes on them with twine. I think they turned out so awesome!  And the gummy bears were yummy, haha.

When guests first walked in, they were greeted by balloons and a welcome sign. For the balloons, I bought a small portable helium tank from Party City and blew up the balloons the morning of the party. For me, this was so much easier than having to buy them and carry a bunch of inflated balloons in my small car!

I have SO MANY great pics of the people at the party. Here are just a few. I was so touched by all our friends that came out to show their love for Andrew!

Andrew got to hang out with his buddies and his best friends!

And Andrew's cake experience was probably the best I've ever seen!!! He looked doubtful when I first placed it in front of him, but then he dug in and destroyed it! It was awesome. I have a very long video I need to edit, but it's great and I'll upload it soon. For now, here are some cute pics!

Finally, once presents were opened and food was eaten, we all headed out to the pool for a couple of hours. So fun!!!!! I love my friends!

A huge thank you to all my friends who helped out and who came to celebrate with us. Andrew, I know you are one loved little man!!! Happy Birthday little guy. :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


It's so hard to believe our sweet little man is one year old already! Time has flown by so fast.

Happy Birthday sweet baby Andrew. You have brightened our lives all year long.

June 12, 2012

June 12, 2013

Many more pictures to come soon!

Monday, May 13, 2013

First Mother's Day and 11 Months!

I have been so busy, I have had to let a few things go that I really wanted to do - like keeping up with this blog. I've still been taking lots of pictures, though, and Andrew is growing up so fast!

This time last year, I was so so huge and pregnant and swollen, but excited. Now, I can hardly believe a year has passed and my sweet baby is almost 1 year old! How did time fly so quickly? I go back and forth between being happy and being so sad that soon, my baby won't be such a baby anymore. He'll be a little toddler walking around and talking and growing up. I am so grateful to be a mommy. I had a wonderful first Mother's Day!

There were only two things keeping it from being perfect. One is that I couldn't spend time with my mother. She's just too far away for a quick trip. We got to talk and catch up on the phone, but it's just never the same. The second is that I have way too many friends and people I love who are still waiting to become mothers. It just breaks my heart. A good friend of mine actually experienced a painful miscarriage yesterday. My heart goes out to her and to all my friends who are still waiting for this day to be a happy one instead of one filled with anxiety or worry or pain. Still, I want to be joyful and grateful for what I have and for my sweet little boy at the same time. It seems like life is always a balance between joy and pain, isn't it?

Mother's Day also happened to fall on Andrew's 11 month bday! I love and cherish every day with this little guy. It terrifies me that he's starting to pull up on everything, and I know it won't be long until he's climbing and walking and getting into everything! I'm not sure I'm ready for all that! But I'm finding ways to work when he's asleep and spend as much time with him as I can when he's awake. I'm figuring out this whole balance thing (finally) and actually just completed my new book, which will be published May 21st. There are a lot of days I still don't have it together, but I'm getting there.

I'll hope to post an 11 month official update with pics later this week if I can. We're planning a nautical themed birthday bash for Andrew's first with a pool party and I can't wait!!! Invites should go out next week!

Friday, March 15, 2013


We have a few cute videos of Andrew to share! And guess who just turned 9 months old?? Yes!! Time is really flying here, and this is truly such a fun age. We're having lots of laughs in our house these days!! I'll be sure to get his 9 month pics and post up sometime this weekend, but for now, here are a few new pictures and 3 new videos for you to enjoy!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Visit With Tia Janet!

We had a very special visitor here this weekend. George's sister, Janet, came to visit all the way from Miami! This was the first time I have met her in person, and it was so fun to spend time with her after all these years. She and Andrew loved each other instantly!!!

He liked playing with the buttons on her sweater the first day.

She was trying to teach him to say "tia" for aunt and to give her un besito (kiss). She finally got one slobbery kiss from him right before she left for the evening!

Tia Janet and Abuelita came back today and we all spent the whole day together. At the house, they got to play game together and have some fun, and then we went out to the Cheesecake Factory for Janet's birthday and Andrew was such a gentleman! He was super tired, though, and passed out right as soon as we got home.

We all had such a fun time!! Thank you Janet for coming all the way to North Carolina to come see us! Andrew misses you already!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Visit from Nana

This weekend, we had a very special visitor at our house. Nana!! My mother had a few days off from school for winter break and drove all the way up here to hang out with us. Andrew loved seeing his Nana, and I know we will all miss having her here. I wish we lived just a little bit closer to my family so I could see them more often, but I'll definitely take advantage of any chance we get to be together.

It was so hard to see her go this morning, but hopefully we'll be able to make plans to see her again before summer. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

8 Months!

As of the 12th, Andrew is 8 months old. It's so hard to believe how fast he's growing up. On one hand, it makes my heart so happy to see him so healthy and growing and developing new skills. On the other hand, I feel like it's just passing by in a flash and my tiny little baby is getting so big and so mature. It's hard!! But truly, every day is a blessing with this little guy. I love him so much and am so grateful to have him in our lives.

A few fun things about where he is in his development:
  • He makes this super cute little clicking/clucking sound with his tongue. When we do it, he does it back to us. I got it on video the other day, so I'll have to try to find some time to post that this week.
  • He is crawling up a storm! Usually, it's a fast military crawl where he's pulling himself forward with his hands, but sometimes he does get up on his hands and knees and get his belly off the ground.
  • Andrew has just started to get up on his knees and make motions of pulling himself up, but he still hasn't tried to pull up to standing yet.
  • Because of the crawling, we put a baby gate on his bedroom door so he can play in there safely without danger of falling down the stairs. Yesterday he crawled up to the gate and George was sitting on the other side of it. Andrew took a little plastic ball and passed it through the gate. George passed it back. Andrew passed it back and so on. It was his first real game of "catch". So cute!
  • Solid foods are becoming more and more a part of his diet. He is able to grasp things and pull them to his mouth easily, so we've been giving him bananas, toast, eggs and puffs. We're hoping to try avocado, pasta and other soft foods soon! I think he'll be eating the same foods we are soon!! He's such a great eater!!
  • As for our EC (Elimination Communication), things have really been going great. Andrew mostly poops in the potty now instead of in a diaper, which is unreal. He pees in the potty at least three or four times a day, so we're down to only changing diapers maybe four times a day max, and that's only because we're out of the house and haven't started carrying a portable potty or anything when we go out.
  • He is such a little charmer. When we go out, Andrew actually stares at people and wait for them to make eye contact. As soon as they do, he breaks out in this huge smile! Everyone has to stop by to tell us how cute he is, hehe.
  • He's been getting more and more interested in his tablet. I know it's way too early for him to really understand how to use it, but he's been entertaining himself and trying hard to figure it out, which is really cool to see.