Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flora's Floral First Birthday

 Flora's birthday party was two months ago, but I find it increasingly difficult to carve out blogging time these days. I figured posting her party super late is better than never posting about it at all. I was planning on keeping it pretty low key and had no intention of creating a theme until I felt a wave of creative energy come over me about a week before her birthday. So a theme party did end up happening, but I really didn't go overboard this time. We went with the most literal theme ever, a floral party for Flora! Since I have thrown many birthday parties and baby showers at this point, I had a whole lot of party crafts already done that I could use. I kind of hoard that stuff.
The only decoration that I purchased that wasn't already in my craft closet was this awesome Martha Stewart tissue flower kit. Those flowers were so fun to put together. Seriously, all the fun of crafting without the lame tedious work of cutting everything out first. The flowers are so pretty that I still have them up in our living room.
We have amazing family members who offered to bring food so it ended up being a potluck style party. All of the food I provided were pre-made snacks from Trader Joe's so I didn't have to cook anything. I also grabbed a couple of cheap bouquets to put on the table while I was there. In the past, I have baked cakes for my kids parties, but I decided not to spend the time on it this year. My friend Sarah owns a bakery and makes delicious treats so we had her make cupcakes and a little cake for Flo. My mom even picked it all up and brought it to our house.  Easiest party ever!
Flora had a great time at her party and I think the rest of our family did too. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive people in our lives who love our kids so much.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1 Year Old!

Flora is one year old!
This year with baby Flo has just been a joy. She is so happy and full of personality. We all love her so much. It immediately felt like she has always been here with us. Before she was born, I worried about how she would fit in with Pearl and Axel already having such a tight bond. I worried about how stressful three kids would be and wondered how Axel would handle not being the baby anymore. So much time spent worrying when she immediately seemed to know how to navigate this family and find her place in it.
We invited relatives over to celebrate her birthday last weekend. She enjoyed opening her presents and destroying her cake. She had very minimal interest in eating the cake, but after some time poking at it, eventually started to tear it apart.
Flora plays with her siblings like a big kid, climbs as many pieces of furniture as her body will let her, and manages to get into just about everything that she isn't supposed to. She does it all with the cutest little grin and I have a hard time stopping her from doing things she shouldn't because of it. She loves food, but still wants to nurse a lot more than her siblings did at this age. I have been trying to get her to cut back on the nursing a bit for multiple reasons, but mostly I just want her to start sleeping through the night. Flo still seems to think she needs milk every 3-4 hours no matter how much I feed her during the day.
Baby girl is getting more independent and has fun with other people when I need to be away for work, but is always very happy to be with me. She says "mama" at least 100 times a day and follows me around the house most of the time. When she isn't following me, I can pretty much be sure that she is either climbing something or found herself a container of wipes or toilet paper to take off of the roll. Thankfully, Pearl is generally on the case if Jeremy and I are not on top of the situation. Flora has started giving unprompted kisses lately which totally melts me. The other night she climbed on top of Axel in his bed and gave him a goodnight kiss. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed. It makes me smile even now just thinking about it.
I'm a little bit sad that the baby chapter is coming to a close in our household, but I couldn't imagine a better experience for my last year of parenting a baby. I just love this little girl and it's a privilege being her mama.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

11 Months Old!

Flora is eleven months old!
Flora Nell is getting so big and I can hardly believe it.  It is shocking to me that she will be one next month, but this seems to be how it goes with babies.  She is working on becoming an expert walker and now chooses it over crawling about 50% of the time.  She is very proud of herself and enjoys showing off.
Flora also seems to take a sense of pride in doing anything that is slightly unsafe.  She climbs everything.  I left the playroom for maybe two minutes to finish unloading the dishwasher and came back to her on top of Jeremy's desk.  I don't leave her alone in there anymore.
She enjoys bouncing on the trampoline, making messes, and upsetting her siblings by knocking over any block tower they attempt to make.  She also likes sliding chairs around the dining room.
Flora is constantly following Pearl and Axel around and they are generally pretty good about including her in playtime.  She always tries to snatch their snacks and manages to get her hands on those snacks pretty often.  
Flora has four teeth now and is very confident that she can handle eating anything even though she safely cannot do that.  She is very much like Pearl at this age, I have to watch her like a hawk.
I guess I should start planning a birthday party.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gilmore Girls Free Printables

I could say something like, "I've been on a Gilmore Girls kick recently," but that would be a lie because I have been into the show for basically half of my life.  I love how smart and endearing all of the characters are.  Gilmore Girls and Seinfeld are the two shows that I could watch over and over again for the rest of my life and never tire of them.  I was thrilled when they put all of the Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix and I am so dang excited for the reboot to happen.
I have been really busy lately and needed a fun project that wasn't work or kid related so I made a series of Gilmore Girls printables to share.  Some of them may include my biased opinions on Rory's boyfriends.  I'm sorry if you don't agree, but you are just wrong.  They are saved in 8x10 format and you are welcome to re-size, make into cards, or do whatever you wish with them.  Just don't use the art for profit or I will get all Paris Geller on you.
Find the free Gilmore Girls printables here.  Please send me photos and let me know how you used them.

Friday, January 1, 2016

10 Months Old!

Flora is ten months old!
Flora thoroughly enjoyed the month of December.  She tried kinds of foods at family gatherings, became pretty good at opening presents, and loved being the center of attention.  Despite never ending teething and a very runny nose, she still managed to be quite happy most of the time.  I love her cheesy little smile and I especially appreciate that she is in a good mood more often than not.
She is getting very good at mimicking sounds and we have taught her a few words this month.  One that has seemed to stick is "thank you."  We have even gotten her to say Per-Per a few times which is one of the nicknames we have for Pearl.  Hopefully she will be able to get something down for Axel soon.
Flora isn't yet walking all over the house on her own, but has begun to take steps without being prompted by us and walks all over the place while holding hands.  She will even walk hand-in-hand with Pearl.  I can't wait for her to get this walking thing down because I'm kind of over her having dirty hands and knees.  I also think maybe she will try to eat less things off of the floor if she isn't crawling.  I don't think she will choose it as her primary mode of transport though until she can walk faster than she can crawl.  She seems to be always rushing around after her siblings.  She puts her head down to power-crawl like she is really on a mission to get to them.  It's pretty cute.
The kids got a little play tent for Christmas and they have all been enjoying playing together in it.  Pearl and Axel like to pretend that Flora is a little baby dragon coming to destroy their castle.  She doesn't seem to mind playing the dragon and laughs as she breaks the little fabric door down.  It makes me happy to see them include her in their play time even if she is generally the villain.  I'm sure as she gets older, she won't always want to be the one they are running away from.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

9 Months Old!

Flora is nine months old!
Baby Flo has been so much fun this month.  She absolutely loves playing in the evening with Jeremy and her siblings.  Jeremy will pick her up and they will run through the house chasing Pearl and Axel.  She smiles and laughs the whole time.  We also discovered that if we give her an empty bowl, she will pretend to eat food out of it.  She really cracks us up with that trick. 
She is getting a lot better at walking with assistance and has even taken a couple of steps on her own.  It's amazing how motivated Flora is to learn new things.  She is saying "dada" now and seems to know what it means along with still saying "mama" all the time.
Flora is consistently going to bed in her crib, but still ends up in our bed at some point every night.  Night time has been rough for me this month.  Axel has been waking up and yelling for me pretty often.  Flora has proven to be a light sleeper and his yelling often wakes her up.  I regularly have two kids awake in the middle of the night and have to go back and forth between them until they are asleep.  I'm hoping that Axel's waking is a short lived phase.  Since Flora's nights have been less restful, she has been napping more.  That part of the sleeping arrangement is definitely welcome.  I'm glad at least one kid in this house is finally getting in naps for a decent length of time.
I am excited for her to spend more time with family at all of the holiday gatherings this month.  She is a charmer with her big grin and sweet laugh, I can't wait to show her off.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pearl Plays PDX #9 - Beauty and the Beast at the Keller Auditorium

Full Disclosure - I received two free tickets for this event as a media guest.  All opinions are my own.
Pearl and I attended the Broadway in Portland showing of Beauty and the Beast at Keller Auditorium last night.  Pearl is four years old with a bedtime generally around 8:00 pm.  The show started at 7:30 pm.  I wasn't sure how she would handle being out so late.  I had plenty of cash on hand to keep her distracted with snacks if necessary.  For the most part, my treat distractions were not needed.
After we arrived, I relaxed a little.  The auditorium was full of kids under the age of 10.  There were so many adorable fancy outfits and just a buzz of general excitement.  Pearl was so bubbly, it was hilarious.  The atmosphere helped her settle into the appropriate mood I think.  As we found our seats, she was smiling from ear to ear, just examining the glowing flower on stage.
The opening song in town was wonderful.  Pearl was mesmerized.  It was the perfect start.  She maintained that it was her favorite part even after the show was over.  Most of her favorite moments were the highly choreographed numbers with lots of characters on stage.  The production did a fantastic job incorporating child level humor so the kids never seemed to lose interest.  The show lasted until 10:00 pm and I only heard one child cry the entire time.  Pearl barely even acted tired.  She was so excited that she chatted my ear off the whole drive home.  If you are hesitant, I can confidently tell you not to worry about taking your kids.  They will be entertained and will most likely not be a distraction.  There are also two matinee showings this weekend if you are concerned about bedtime.
Photo c/o Broadway in Portland
Another concern parents may have is whether the show is too scary for little ones.  There are a few scary moments.  Nearly all of them involve someone being chased in the woods by  wolves.  During the first wolf attack, I held Pearl's hand.  She was concerned, but seemed fine once she realized that Belle's dad was unharmed.  If you are concerned about scary moments, maybe talk to your child beforehand about the wolf parts.  The production handled the Beast character very well.  He is clearly mean at times, but is never at any point terrifying.  Only the most sensitive of small children may take issue with him.  Overall, the fun outweighs any of the brief scary moments.  You can always hold a hand or keep your child on your lap when you see those moments coming.
The show plays throughout the rest of the week in Portland.  If you are looking for a special family outing, I highly recommend it.