Piper is 2!

And she woke me up this morning at about the exact same time she was born two years ago, right around 5 am! It was okay today because it’s her day and we got some extra special cuddle time in Ellie’s bed while I tried [and failed] to get her to go back to sleep with me.

Her party was yesterday and we did a rainbow theme – several pics are below. She’s not a shy one, Piper G. She was incredibly excited when she saw the cake coming her way and glowed when everyone sang to her. She blew the candles out with a little of daddy’s help and when everyone clapped, she clapped too.

Some of Piper’s favorite things to do at the ripe old age of two include:

  • Singing her ABC’s
  • Counting to 5
  • Singing “Twinkle Twinkle”
  • Playing with Legos
  • Holding her dolls
  • Anything that Ellie is doing
  • Going potty on the toilet
  • Playing with her buddies at school
  • Giving hugs and kisses

Having parties like this always fills my heart with gratitude. To see all the family and friends come together to celebrate someone’s birth is so meaningful. After everyone left and we rested for a bit, Piper opened her presents. It was so sweet to see how excited she was with every single one. If it was clothes, she wanted to try them on right away and literally peeled her existing clothes off every time. She put her backpack on right away. And every toy we opened she wanted to play with immediately. We read two of the new books last night and there are more on the schedule for tonight. I can’t thank our family and friends enough for their generosity – we feel VERY blessed.

I’ve also posted the icing recipe below, courtesy of my sister-in-law Heather-Jo, as several people asked about it.

Birthday cheese post-cake consumption!

Yummy frosting

Blowing out the candles

Piñata fun. I don’t know whether I like watching her hit it or try to say it more.

The tutu lasted about 4 seconds.

Rainbow food

Her Rainbow birthday cake

Ellie pre-party frosting enjoyment

Ellie making necklaces with died pasta while Grandy decorates the blackboard.

Ellie and Nana waiting for CAKE!

7 minute Icing recipe:

Get a double-broiler and a handheld electric mixer with beaters. Combine all below ingredients in the top pan of the double broiler:

  • 1.5 c. sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar OR 1 TBSP white corn syrup (we prefer the cream of tartar)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (add this at the end – see directions below)

Beat with mixer for 1 minute. Then put on top of the bottom double-broiler pan with water boiling in it. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the top double-broiler pan. Beat with mixer for another 7 minutes. At the end, beat in the vanilla. If the icing isn’t think enough, beat longer and faster until it reaches the consistency you’d like. Frost your cake before the icing cools.

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Piper’s 7 Months!

Piper turned seven months and she’s just been going going going. She is one of those babies that’s very engaging, very smiley, very excited and very on the go. In fact, she will seldom lay on the changing table long enough for us to change her diaper. Most of the time we can lay her down to take it off and wipe, but then we have to stand her up to put a new diaper on and put her clothes back on.

She’s progressing quite quickly as far her mobility goes as well. She loves to pull herself up on anything possible. She went through a phase for a week or two of not being able to hold herself up once she got up or crawling so fast she would run into stuff. That was a very difficult couple of weeks because no one likes Piper bruises. It seems that time has come to an end though. Every time she pulls herself up she stays up and she knows how to let herself down more gently. She’s also letting go sometimes and standing for a few seconds, which is very exciting. While no parent wants to hover, I find it very difficult to not be ready to catch her when she’s exploring like this.

Piper’s also been experiences the same “teething” Ellie did around this time. I put “teething” in quotes because there aren’t actually any teeth. Ellie was the same way – there are spurts of massive salivation, gnawing on pretty much everything, some fever and discomfort. It’s no fun at all, but we’re done with the most recent teething event, so nothing to complain of for the time being.

Piper’s still not sleeping through the night, although she has gone for long stretches. She sometimes won’t wake up until 3:30 or so, which means 7-8 hours of straight sleep. The problem is, it’s straight sleep for her, but not us, since we don’t go to be until 11ish usually.

Ellie’s also still joining us in the middle of the night every night. We pretty much gave up on trying to take her back to her bed because it just caused us to lose more sleep. So instead we get kicked and woken up by crying almost every night. Oh the joys of parenting. I know I’ve said it before, but it really is all worth it. To see these cute little faces every day, to see them giggle and grow and play and sleep is totally all worth it.

7MoPiper

 

 

 

Piper turns 3 Months

Piper turned 3 months old on Sunday, the day the Hawks won the Superbowl! 

She’s all smiles all the time now and all she wants to do is sit up or stand. She seems like she’s trying to talk to us all the time. She’s very amused by funny noises, so every once in awhile we make baby noises and funny faces. Outside of that she sleeps, eats and poops, just like your typical 3 month old. 

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Since we’re from and live in Seattle, we are obviously very excited about the Seahawks winning the Superbowl. We were fortunate to catch a family pic on game day of everyone in their Hawks gear. 

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Last but certainly not least, Ellie is having so much fun at school and she’s very fond of her classmate Lucy. Her teacher took such a sweet picture of the two of them hugging, which I just had to share.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Today was nice – breakfast by the hubs, long hike in the morning, Mexican food for lunch, nap when we got home, dinner by the hubs.

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The greatest thing about the day was that it was relatively easy. The hike was challenging yes, but Brian took on all of the cleaning and most of the tending to Ellie. I just got to be with them, relax and enjoy the day. 

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As a mom, I find myself frequently thinking about how grateful I am to have the family I do. I know I’m very lucky to have such a supportive husband and such a happy healthy daughter. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s hard sometimes and I definitely have my moments of thinking about the difficulties. I’ve always told people being a mom is actually the toughest job in the world. I’ve never done anything so hard – and impactful. 

Today I found myself thinking a lot about other moms though, moms who haven’t been as lucky. The single moms out there especially deserve an amazing Mother’s Day. These amazing ladies never get a break. They can’t just ask someone else to change the diaper 50% of the times throughout the day. I hope many of them get help from their families and friends, but at the end of the day, I’m certain their job as a mom is much more difficult than mine.

I’ve also seen many moms lately with kids who were likely born with disabilities or health problems. I think about what it would be like to be in their shoes and I conclude with the thought that there is no way I could imagine what it’s like. I just know it must take a lot of courage, time, and compassion and I respect those moms enormously. 

The other group of moms I’ve been thinking a lot about are those who are “alternative” moms, those who can’t have children of their own. I think about the incredible rolls many of them will play in the lives of children who are less fortunate or of animals who have never had a home filled with love. 

At the end of the day, the thing that bonds all of us moms is the love in our hearts and the fact that we have challenges every day and blessings every day. It’s a group I’m honored to be a part of and grateful for every day, especially today.

ImageEllie hanging out with the cousins yesterday.

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Showing her curiosity – climbing in and out of things is her favorite pastime.

 

 

Ellie’s Winter OneDerland

I decided on Ellie’s birthday party theme several months ago. I knew the holiday season was going to be crazy regardless and then add in the fact that I work in retail and I knew February was going to be here before we knew it. So I did the typical thing and picked everything out; I planned to work on a little bit every week until her birthday was here so I wouldn’t feel any pressure and then I waited until the last minute to do most stuff.  

I found the theme for Ellie’s birthday on Pinterest. When I clicked through, I saw the whole shebang. Here it is for anyone that’s interested. It’s quite elaborate, so I knew we would have to tone it down quite a bit! We did get some snowflakes, teddy bears and penguin beach balls. I also had a lot of fun making fake snow for the first time and decorating the tables with it. Below are a few picks of our decor – she offers her design in pink and teal, so we went that route.  We also got a pretty awesome video of Ellie crying her poor little heart out when everyone sang happy birthday to her. She got over it pretty quickly once she put a little of that wonderful frosting in her mouth.

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A bath and a tooth

Ellie has never been a fan of water. From the day she was born, we conjured the best way to get her in the bath and out as quickly as possible. It was a huge relief for us to know the doctors only recommend you bathe your baby once or twice a week. We opted for once.  We thought we should take her to swim lessons to get her more used to the water. She was okay, but probably because there were other babies and people to look at.  By okay we mean she cried and fussed mildly the entire time.

We were pleasantly surprised when we went to Hawaii and she enjoyed the pool. Now, at nine months old, Ellie has officially come in to her own and is LOVEing her bath. It’s such a relief and now we want to give her a bath all the time; it’s so much fun.

 

In other exciting news, I could actually feel Ellie’s first tooth this morning. I took a picture, which is posted below. You probably can’t see the tooth, but it’s there alright. Brian and I feel like we’ve earned our stripes on this one. The last few nights one or both of us have been up for hours at a time. She’s been incredibly clingy and fussy lately. It’s not good enough for her to be sitting right next to you, touching you; no, she has to be on you or you have to be holding her.

It’s been difficult because it makes me feel like a bad mom because I can only see her a couple of hours a day. I start to think she’s acting that way because I get so little time with her, but then “TADA,” the tooth comes and I know it’s just a side effect.  Today was my work from him day and it’s so meaningful for me to have that extra hour to an hour and a half with my little peanut. It’s such a treat!

Okay, here are the bath and tooth pics!

It’s the lower left one – believe me, it’s there.

Warm and cozy towel and blanket combo

Doesn’t that just look like the face of a happy girl?