Sunday, November 25, 2012

wyatt's 1st birthday >> the deets

so the party. it happened. i planned. i decorated. i did everything but take good pictures at the party of all of the little details i whipped up. party fowl.

let's start with the invites i made and then ordered on tiny prints. they have a really great option on there called a favorite memory card. you can upload any picture onto their really nice paper. i wanted to make our own invite because i wasn't finding anything i really loved, and discovered PicMonkey recently and was having a blast with it! here's what we came up with:

i am really in love with pinterest. i know many of you are too. if you aren't yet, you will be. get going already! i used this site to plan wyatt's nursery and loved it. i did the same to plan for his party. i ended up purchasing a lot of things i pinned.

i fell in love with this cupcake flag tutorial and pretty much made my own flags using the exact same materials she recommended. i found the cutest red themed card stock paper and had a blast making them. i got the sucker sticks at ben franklin and they worked perfectly.

i ordered our cupcakes from trophy cupcakes and stuck these bad boys in them. voila. (as much as i wanted to make my own cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, i decided against it. i knew i could count on trophy.) i also found these really cute cow print cupcake wrappers from here.

picture from
picture from
i found the cutest shop on etsy, mytwolittlelovebugs, for my cowboy themed bunting. as much as i wanted to make that too, i couldn't find the paper anywhere. this little lady made them perfectly using photo paper and images i believe. so adorable. 

i love buying off etsy. the shop owners are so thoughtful and really care about what they create. i love sending messages through to them and asking simple questions. they are always so quick to respond, and she was no exception. here's a sweet pic from her site: 

i actually used this picture as inspiration for the cake pops i had one of my best friend's sister in law's make. she made them to look exactly like the two layers of the this sweet cake. she made 12 with the cow print theme and 12 with the bandana print. i'm thrilled that she got a picture before she sent them over!

Cake Pops by Rachel
i also found cow print balloons - these worked out perfectly... except for one small detail. the helium was out of them by the morning of the party. ty even got the helium that is supposed to last a few more days (high float, or something like that?!) but i am thinking that the balloons may not hold in the helium all that well. so here's my advice: don't spend a ton on helium and instead, pay your friends to blow them up for you and use them on the sides of the buntings. 

picture from

as for the menu, i had a good time keeping it pretty simple. i made home made mac n' cheese, a recipe my cousin and her hubby shared with me years ago. it is amazing mac! the real trick is putting french's fried onions on top the last 5 minutes it bakes. yummmmmmmmm. 

This recipe will feed 16-20.
  • Large elbow noodles, 1 large bag
  • Tillamook cheddar cheese, 4 cups shredded
  • Tillamook shredded Jack cheese, 1 1/2 cups. 
  • Whole milk, 4 cups
  • Stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 can of fried onions
Boil noodles and then set aside. Use pan that you boiled the noodles in, and melt stick of butter. Once melted, stir in flour. Stir and cook roux for 3 minutes over medium heat. Roux should be consistency of paste.
Remove from heat, and then pour milk slowly. Once milk is in, put back on heat and bring to a soft boil, stirring constantly. Don't let it burn. This will take about 8 minutes. You will see the liquid get glossy then thicken. Add cheese, turn heat to low. Melt cheese all the way. Add salt, then add noodles. Cover with foil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, add fried onions, put back in oven for 4 min. 
Remove and enjoy!
i also made pulled pork sliders (and even got a batch made from one of my good friends, kaarin!). This was so easy. I used two crockpots and put a pork roast into each the night before. i cook these bad boys in the garage so we don't fill our house with too much pork smells. i put about a cup of water into each crock pot, add salt/pepper, a couple of bay leaves and call it good. in the morning, i take them out and shred them, add a bottle of our favorite bbq sauce and then continue cooking on low / warm until we eat. the winner of the best bbq sauce ever goes to: 

annie made a yummy salad with blue cheese crumbles and fruit that was to die for as well. she's so good at salads! 

everyone that came to wyatt's party was so much fun. we had kids galore, and really couldn't have been more excited to celebrate with so many of our closest friends and family. the day went by way too fast, and in the end, it was a perfect way to wish our little guy a happy first birthday!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

cherish the season

'tis the season to trek to a tree farm in hopes of finding "the one". and by "the one" i don't mean our tree.

i mean our christmas card picture. 

the pressure was on. we always have a very small window of time in the morning to do anything outside of the house. our kiddo usually wakes up around 7:30, and is ready for a nap around 10. keep in mind, it usually takes us at least 45 minutes to get out of the house. this morning, wyatt was a mini crank, while i was mama crank. i even warned ty that my edginess had nothing to do with him and to consider himself warned. fun for ty. 

in the midst of all of the fun we were having getting ready to go, off we went. after a quick pit stop through the starbucks drive-thru (thank you Jesus), we headed down to snohomish - a mere 10 minute jaunt, if that. it pays to live in the boonies.

this, of course, was wyatt's first trip to the tree farm. i am loving how he sticks his tongue out when he's focusing. there just so happened to be a seriously large gathering of geese out yonder, so he nervously walked with us, every so often furrowing those soon to be bushy brows of his as he looked out into the distance. 

my heart skips a beat every time i feel him finding comfort in my arms. i am truly blessed to be this kid's mom. he'll squish his cheek into my kiss, and it is in that moment i know my smooch is welcome. he never pulls away from my kisses. yet. 

he loves his daddy's shoulders. i love seeing the expression on his face when he realizes that's where he is headed. it's like he's saying, "this is MY daddy". i remember that feeling too. i remember being little, and finding my way up on my dad's shoulders. there was always a little bit of nervousness up there, but the comfort of knowing i was with my dad always over powered it. 

as luck would have it, we did good. between ty and i, we got the money shot. make that two money shots. i already put my order in for our cards, and am counting down the days until i can get them out into the mail. dying, dying, dying over them. i love them so much, i even ordered a new personalized phone case. yah, that much. 

as if we haven't been productive enough today, we even picked up our tree. here's hoping it stays alive in time for christmas. and by alive i mean "just not brown". it can be dead as a doornail, dry as can be, but as long as it's still (sorta) green, then we're good. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

oh thankfulness

by now, many of you know i like to take a moment every now and again to thank my lucky stars. usually, about once a week, i use this blog to do just that - reflect on all i've been given, and express some sort of gratitude as i try my best to document all that is good for my sweet boy... for all of my kiddos someday. all 19 of them.

i kid.

pun intended.

joking aside, it is nice to have a day where i can absorb it all. and today was just what i wanted. all that i needed. everything i expected. i moved at my pace. i prepped. i cooked. i loved and was loved. i drank. i ate. and ate. and ate.

there's a lot to be thankful for these days. and it's not lost on me that i've been dealt quite an amazing hand. i will continue to thank my lucky stars tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. i'm full on life. but hungry for more.

cheers to you and all that you are grateful for this year.

i'm thankful for my sweet boy, made a little bit of me and a little lotta bit of his gorgeous daddy.

now, if we could only figure out who the mom is. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

dear wyatt >> my one year old

sweet baby, it only took a PTO day, a slide show and a decent sized ho-down for me to come to grips with the fact that it's been a year since we met each other. a whole year. and only a year. i've been in denial about this day. i cried some big tears as i made your birthday slide show, and had the most amazing memories of the day you were born on tuesday. i am a lucky lady in so many ways, but i'm reminded the most when i think back to your birthday. i'd do it all again, you know. all of it. just to have that moment again, where i held you in my arms for the very first time. the world around me spun as i looked down at you and told you how much i loved you. my heart calmed as i whispered happy birthday in your ear. we did it. i'l never forget your pursed lips and your squished up little nose. your cold cheeks. that little body fit perfectly inside me, and even more perfectly in my arms. you were all mine. nothing made sense until you were in front of me. i was born to be your mom. that's one thing i know for sure.

it feels like you've always been with me. i've been writing to you for awhile now, as you know. but if i am really honest, i've been thinking about you and obsessing over the thought of you for many moons. it was you that i thought about when i was a little girl and played babies with. it was you i pretended to rock to sleep. it was you i bundled up in the wooden rocker at my grandma's house. it was you i sang to. it was you all along.

you are doing so many amazing things right now. you started walking a few weeks ago. you are continuing to crack us up. morning til night, that's what we do. your daddy and i will lay in bed at night talking about how much we love what you are doing lately. the latest faves happen to be:
  • you're cute walk - a.k.a the drunken cowboy
  • your new infatuation with trucks - you must say this about 1000 times a day -- any time you hear anything outside, you're sure it's a truck
  • your love for your blankie - the stinky corners and all... you look for the corners of your blanket and most nights, when you fight bed time, we'll find you sobbing in your crib holding two corners of your blanket in your mouth. this morning when you woke up and wanted us to come get you, you handed me your blanket first and then wanted to be picked up. 
  • your cozy hug - you'll do this when you are tired, or when you don't want your feet to touch the cold water in the pool. adorable.
  • shy guy - this is new, and we love it. you'll hide away when you meet someone new by tucking down into daddy or me. 
  • your dance moves - you love music. 
  • tippy toes - you do this most over your baby gates or the tub and it's so stinking cute. 
  • your delayed wave - you typically wave bye to people when they are about 40 steps away from you and are no longer looking at you. it's hilarious. you'll watch people as they say bye to you and wave, and they'll wait, sometimes several minutes, just to see you wave. even strangers do this. awkward. finally, they'll give up and walk away. sure enough, by the time they are in their car driving away, you'll start whipping your little hand around. clock work. 
  • bath time (yes, still) - still the best time of the night. 
  • airplane - you still do this with your airplane toy. melt me. 
  • tickle bug - i love doing tickle bug with you. which brings me to my next favorite thing... 
  • your giggle - the perfect sound. like, ever.
your party was a hit. so many people love you. you were surrounded by smiles and fun yesterday. it was the best day. and whoa, an eye opener for me. kiddie parties are a lot of work. sheeesh. anything for you, my love.

happy 1st birthday, wyatt brady. you're the mascot of our family. the epitome of love in this house.

and most importantly, you represent everything good about your daddy and me.

we love you. more than a fat kid loves cake.

your mama.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

what they don't tell you

a lot of my friends are about to be mama's for the first time. a lot of you already are. a lot of you want to be some day. i've been wanting to write this post for awhile. it's the - "what i wish i knew before giving birth" post. the one i teased about writing a few months ago. it's time. warning: it's going to be filled with tmi. i write a lot about the good in my blog. time to write about the nasty, gross, wtf stuff i either had no idea about, or the stuff i'm grateful to annie for telling me.

dude readers - i know there are a few of you. you might want to skip this one... 

first and foremost - buy diapers.  i don't just mean for your sweet little teeny tiny newborn. i mean for you. yes, you read that right. buy adult diapers. the "other" kind of "granny panties". i lived in these suckers the first three days. then buy granny panties. seriously. annie took me to target a few days before i went into labor and we bought the big hanes undies. you will not be wearing your cute hankie pankies for quite some time my friend. why, you ask? because you are going to have your period for about two months straight after you pop that kid out. fo' real. (even with a c-section... i learned this one from lindsay loo. even when you don't have a baby through your hoo-hoo, your placenta still separates from your uterus, causing there to be a decent sized owwwie. as it heals up, you still bleed. get it? got it? good.)

similar to the first recommendation, buy pads. i had a lovely assortment for myself. my favorite brands were the kotex brand. they've really livened up their packaging and i'm a serious sucker for marketing tactics. really though, these seemed to be the best all around. i did wear these giant mattresses the day my water broke because it was like my crotch was an enormous zip lock with a leak. can't remember the brand. just think "thick, long, extra absorbent" and you'll be good to go. these were also awesome in the freezer soaked in witch hazel

buy witch hazel. and tuks pads. these things will save your freaking life. your vag is going to be swollen, puffy and simply unrecognizable. not that i really know first hand. many of my sweet friends told me NOT to look down there for many many weeks. and i didn't. and i'm glad. you shouldn't either.  all you have to do is feel around down there to know it's not worth it.

for the first, i don't know, couple of weeks you are going to want one of these guys... a squirt bottle that you can fill with warm water. this will be your bathroom buddy. every time you pee, squirt water around "down there" and it will make it sting less. it actually feels like heaven. warm, cozy water makes every thing better (coming from the girl that delivered her baby in the bathtub). in all honesty, i used thing much longer than i needed to. (you will probably get one of these from your midwife/doctor, but just in case... and actually, it's not a bad idea to have one in every bathroom so having an extra or five is worth it.)

this is going to sound as crazy as a squirrel with a yogurt cup stuck on his head (true story), but you need to have doggie piss pads on hand. lay these down on your bed when you get home -- aka have your bestie or baby daddy do it. it's just extra protection just in case. the last thing you or your partner in crime want to be doing that first few days is change the sheets. these were a blessing. thank you ann.

since it's going to feel like you shit out your baby during child birth (no lie), you are going to be terrified to poop for the first time after having your little nug (pun intended). stool softeners like colace are a must. a couple of beers won't hurt either. (hello - anything to relax!) this brings me to another must.

corona cures. beer totally helps your milk come in. ty and i drank a beer in bed night two -- well, it was about 4:30am actually. anyway, by nooner, my milk was in and baby was full. for once in two and a half days. but who's counting.

nursing sucks at first. it hurts worse than pushing the head out if you ask me to be honest. there were several times that first couple of days i told ty i'd actually prefer to push him out of my vagina again before trying to latch. it's shocking really. a teeny toothless mouth shouldn't cause that much damn pain.  if it feels like you are suffering from tourettes syndrome the week you welcome your baby into your home, you aren't alone. i remember tensing up so bad rattling off more swear words then i knew i had in my vocabulary as i "patiently" waited for the pain to subside. here's the god's honest truth. you have to be able to relax so your milk actually "comes down". how the f are you supposed to do that when you are cinching your butt cheeks so tightly together in an effort to not throw your baby across the room? deep breaths. even insincere, loud, fake it till you feel it deep breaths. i remember taking a deep breath thinking there's no way in hell this will actually work, and sure enough, my baby would be eating and after about 20 seconds the pain would subside. good luck my friend. you can do it. you just had a kid. you can get through cracked, bloody nips for a few weeks. trust me.

you might have a break down. and by might, i mean there's a 99.99999999% chance you will. say, around day 6? and maybe again around week 3. i had a full on, ugly cry, "i know i'm going crazy" freak out the saturday after wyatt was born. i couldn't get him to latch and i was so enormously engorged i couldn't see straight. really. i couldn't see past my giant ta-tas. i felt like my body wasn't my own. it was sore, sticky, and nothing fit. but it was mostly about me feeling like a totally inadequate mother because i couldn't get him to latch. it was the morning from hell. i couldn't relax enough to let down so he couldn't eat. he was frustrated. i was frustrated. and that does not make for a good feeding. at all. and it was like a downward spiral. and then if i remember correctly, by the time i did get him to latch, he wanted about 6.5 drops when i needed him to drink a gallon so i could feel even an ounce of relief. i'll tell you this. it's going to be ok. warn your husbands now. and if you can, have your bestie on call and close because you'll need her more than you ever have before.

not to keep bringing up the whole bleeding thing, but you have to know. you really bleed. like borderline murder scene. don't be alarmed. shit, who am i kidding. you will be alarmed no matter what. you've probably never bled like this before. just know, it's normal. and your nurse/doula/midwife will most likely teach you how to massage your uterus on your own so it stops. make sure and ask about this awesome trick. you need to do this, if i remember correctly, at least a couple times a day. it helps to contract your uterus and get it back to "normal". it also helps with the bleeding. and the other dousy i've been holding out on. one of the grossest, yet coolest (i am realizing how weird i am when i write this!!!)  thing that happened post partum. i think it was around day 4. i got up out of bed to change wyatt's diaper while ty took a nap. about 20 seconds after i got up, i felt this gloppity glop glob thing move through me... and out of me. it felt kind of like i had wyatt's mini twin... it didn't hurt at all, it just felt so weird. it scared the shit out of me at first. but thank GOD i was wearing my diaper! i woke him up, and we went to the bathroom, and sure enough. there it was. a tennis ball sized clot. delish.

and on this lovely day, i will leave you with this. best year of my life. hands down. today marks my little guy's first big birthday and i couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished together this year. ty and i are closer than ever. we've lived for each moment with our monkey. i put together a little slide show and can't believe how fast a year goes by.

happy birthday little guy, love of our life.
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