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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We made it a Year!

When we first found out we were pregnant, Ellie was still pretty young. We were definitely excited, but we knew it was going to be tough. With Ellie, getting to one year was such an accomplishment. We felt like we crossed some sort of imaginary “finish” line and we had been officially broken in as parents. The dynamic starts to flow and the hiccups become easier to navigate. So when we found out we were pregnant with Piper, I looked at Brian and said “we just have to make it to a year.” And now we’re here! It’s pretty crazy now to think how incredibly fast the last year has gone by. So much growth has occurred with our girls in the last year and honestly I think on a frequent basis how amazingly blessed we are.

I told someone at Piper’s birthday party that having kids is somewhat like being a teenager again in that one moment you feel like you want to scream and the next you’re so in love you can’t imagine life without them.

Speaking of Piper’s Birthday, we absolutely had such a blast. We had a pumpkin theme for the party, which was executed via much googling and pinteresting! It was so fun to have friends and family over. Piper had a blast. She’s such a ham and it was truly the first time I had faith someone was going to be watching her. Amazingly, it was true. Here are a bunch of photos from the party.

I just like to crawl into things Piper and her giant Teddy Bear Nana, Papa and Piper Tish and Piper Ry and Bri Jen & Lacie Tutu and the girls Piper, Mom and Dad Kathy and Brian Mom and Dad Yuuuummy! Sofia and Nicholas Hadley and Carly Finola and Piper Ellie and Ara Ty and Brian Parris and Heras Emmalynn Cake Time Mmm…Frosting Lucy Piper and Ara Tucker Fam + Jen Piper Ellie and Finola Wrestling Piper and Mom Jen and Wyatt Stella on Giraffe Emmalynn and Jenna Ara Hadley and Mom Piper Smiles

Nala drawing

Picasso in training

As if that weren’t enough photos, we also took a pic of Piper to complete her monthly photos during her first year. Brian is definitely excited we don’t have to struggle with a very active independent Piper to get a decent still picture of her anymore and I’m just mostly in love with how much this picture truly emulates our emotion about making it to a year. Now, if time could please slow down, we would be very grateful.

Piper's One Year Old!

Ellie’s Second Birthday

We celebrated Ellie’s 2nd birthday yesterday at WiggleWorks and it seemed like she had a great time with all her buddies! The beautiful thing about getting a bunch of little ones together is they make some very adorable photos. Click on the images for a larger slideshow:

At two years old, Ellie is definitely a sweetheart and her words (of which there are many) mostly melt my heart. She is also definitely in the terrible twos stage. Twice now she has just started yelling “no” over and over again for seemingly no apparent reason. It’s like she just likes the sound of it. I almost wanted to video record it because it was so funny.

Ellie’s favorite things to do include the following:

  • Reading
  • Singing, especially The Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Playing with her dollies
  • Washing the windows
  • Saying her ABC’s and counting to 10
  • Playing with all her buddies at school and out of school

Right now we’re working a lot on cleaning up after we make messes, putting only food and drink in her mouth and listening. Listening is probably the most difficult of the three at this point.

Ellie really loves her little sister Piper. She gives her hugs and kisses all the time and for some reason especially loves kissing each of her ears.

In the last three months we’ve begun potty training. She’s mastered it mostly, with the exception of #2’s. A few weeks ago she also transitioned to her big girl bed, which has proven to illustrate her expertise at fleeing her room and running directly into Mom and Dad’s room to sleep with them.

It’s crazy to look back at how much has changed in the last year, but even crazier to think about the last two. Our lives have definitely changed significantly since having children.  While Brian and I always liked to keep a busy social and professional calendar prior to kids, our calendars are even more full now with things that don’t actually go on a calendar.

We think a lot about how we’re raising our kids and hope we’re doing the right things. It’s always hard to know. So far though, we’re very excited about what Ellie’s learned and the little person she has become. She’s really a love bug and we just want to hug and kiss her all the time!

Happy birthday little peanut!

P.S.: If you’re reading this it would really be great if you could finish this terrible two’s stage ASAP and sleep in your awesome big girl bed through the night…pretty please!

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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