Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lucas's Little Blue Truck Birthday Party

This past weekend, we celebrated Lucas turning 2 with a Little Blue Truck birthday party!
Little Blue Truck is a popular kid's book that combines Lucas's 2 favorite things: trucks and farm animals. It was such a fun theme to pull together! 

I opted to have the party at a nearby park instead of our house, and it was worth every penny of the shelter rental! We just tossed most things in the trash (which we didn't even have to empty) after the party, packed up my car and left! No cleaning required!

I found this bulletin board on a local Facebook group. It was originally red, so I painted it blue (obvi) and it was the perfect place to display pics of the birthday boy!

My initial thought for the party was that the kids would spend most of their time playing on the adjacent playground...but then when the forecast called for rain, the teacher in me panicked that our guests might not have anything to do! So, Pinterest to the rescue with a few fun activities to keep all the kids occupied in case of rain. (P.S. it rained for literally 10 seconds at the very start of the party, then stayed dry and sunny the rest of the time!)

We had a table where the kids could paint a little blue truck picture.

And then another table with 2 sensory bins. I threw in popcorn kernels and a whole bunch of farm animals that I found at the dollar store. Plus a little blue truck and a dump truck, too!

I kept the favors super simple with bags of animal crackers.

For food we had:
-popcorn ("chicken feed")
-pigs in a blanket ("little piggies")
-veggies and dip ("farm fresh veggies")
-macaroni and cheese ("tractor tires & cheese"...even though the don't make wheel shaped pasta anymore! We just pretended these were shredded tires)
-applesauce pouches (I don't have a cute name for these, but they were on sale at Costco and Ella insisted we get them)
-pudding cups with oreos and gummy worms ("stuck in the mud cups")
-lemonade, juice boxes and water ("diesel fuel")
-and of course, cake!

I saw on Pinterest someone had used a toy dump truck as a serving dish and I thought it was a cute idea! Luckily, we already had this dump truck ready to go in our play room!

Publix once again came through with an amazing (and delicious) birthday cake! I think they have made almost every cake for my kids' birthdays and they never disappoint!

My favorite detail from the party was this photo booth that I borrowed from my friend Allie. Her son had a little blue truck party last year and she still had this laying around!

In my mind, I was going to get animal balloons and tie them to the truck so they would all be floating above it. Well, I ordered these, not noticing that they are the "walking" kind...which means, when they got blown up, they didn't float! 

So we put them on hay bales instead! All of the kids loved them and I let them take some home. The sheep came home with us, and Ella has lovingly named her Clara. 

Of course the birthday boy's favorite part of the party was eating! He actually managed to climb up on to the table and get into his cake before it was even time for that! You can kind of see in the picture below that the right side of the cake is a little "special" from my crazy boy. Oh well,'s your party and you can do what you want to! 

The cake was delicious and I will forever love my husband for taking off Lucas's cute shirt so he didn't mess it up! 

And because it didn't rain like it was supposed to, everyone got to play on the playground!

Lucas says thank you to everyone who came to his party and helped celebrate with him!

-Ella and Lucas's little blue truck shirts: Smocked Polkadot
-my shirt: Target
-all banners, food tents, and signage: Etsy
-crates and baskets: Hobby Lobby
-tablecloths, plates and utensils: Dollar Tree 
-animal balloons: Amazon
-galvanized tins: Hobby Lobby

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lucas William {2 Years}

Dear Lucas, 

Today you are TWO! How?! Why?! When did you get so big? Weren’t we just hanging out in the NICU like last week?! Time is such a thief. But I just love, love, love the crazy little boy you are becoming!

We have your 2 year old check up next week, so I’ll update your stats then...but if I had to guess, I’d say you are pretty tall? You seem to outgrow the lengths of your pants faster than anything else. You are solidly wearing size 2T, although I can still squeeze you into some 24 month stuff (I swear, aren’t those sizes pretty much the same thing anyway?!). You wear size 5 diapers and size 6/7 shoes. You have wide feet like your mama.

Your speech is definitely improving and you now have a vocabulary of about 50 words. We will see what the pediatrician thinks, but I am hesitant to put you in speech therapy because even though you are talking less than most kids your age, I really think it is due to stubbornness more than ability! You’ve proved since day 1 (no literally, remember the bilirubin?!) that you are one stubborn guy, and this is just another thing for you to be stubborn about (we will add it to the list: jaundice, anemia, going home from the hospital, sleeping on your belly, sleeping in general, not taking a bottle, crawling, walking...and I won’t even mention your bathroom troubles in case your future prom date ends up reading this)!

Anyway! You are getting much better about communicating with us, rather than screaming and throwing things. One of your favorite words is water and you say it with a little Boston accent “wuh-duh” and it is so cute! Another one of my favorite words you say is bulldozer, but you decide to leave off that last syllable, so it’s just “bull-doh.” Love it.

In the last few months, I have gotten 2 things (for free!) that you are 100% completely obsessed with: a train table and a swing set. First, let’s discuss the train table. It is the first thing you run to when we get downstairs in the morning, and the thing I have to physically tear you away from when it’s time for nap or bed. You LOVE all of your choo choos and carry them all over the house! You completely destroyed the tracks the first few days, but I glued some tracks down so now you are able to run the trains on them a little better (although you’ve attempted to rip up some of the tracks, even the ones that are glued down! Human hurricane, right here!). And, oh the swing set. The new game for you whenever we get out of the car is to wrestle yourself free from my arms and take off toward the backyard to go down the slide. You call the whole thing an “EEEEE!” As in, the sound you make when you go down the slide! You are always looking outside and pointing to the EEEEE and when you see one in another person’s backyard, you are sure to let us know!

You still love books, especially ones about transportation and/or animals (this is why you are having a “Little Blue Truck” themed party...perfect combo of trucks and farm animals!). You are obsessed with “Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site” and every time we drove past a construction site, you say “Sh! Sh! Sh!” just like in the book. You also love “First 100 Machines” (and really any book in this series) and are constantly bringing it up to me to show me all of the different vehicles in it! You LOVE fire trucks and make a siren noise whenever you see one. We drove by the fire station on Pineville Matthews Rd. so often that you know exactly where it is and you make a siren noise every time we go past it! You also love plain, regular cars...especially “Daddy Car!” You are obsessed with just sitting in Daddy’s car, hanging out! 

You and your sister still have a special bond. You both drive each other crazy and then are hugging each other 5 seconds later. When you sit next to her in the big cart at Target, you always end up pulling her hair (and by pulling, I mean ripping out big chunks!). I’m pretty sure you think her name is “School” because when we ask you “Where’s Ella?” you always say “school”....but then if we show you a picture of Ella and ask you “who’s this?” you say “school” too! You used to say her name all of the time...and now it’s been replaced with “School.” I guess there are worse names you could call her though?! You also know where her preschool is, because every time we drive by it, you yell “School! School!”

You are such a boy and oh my goodness, I have some major gray hairs from you. I will never judge those people who put their children on leashes because Daddy and I have considered it many times. You are just a wild man! You have no fear, and because of this, get more bumps and bruises than anyone I know. You were not scared to go down the huge slide at the strawberry patch and ended up tearing up your face! You also face plant at least once a week, giving you a nice little bump on your forehead from time to time. You do not like holding my hand for more than about 5 seconds, and you think it’s funny to run away from me (especially through a parking lot). I get so mad but then I see your sweet, sneaky smile and I end up laughing with you, too. Your smile just puts me in a good mood, no matter how naughty you’ve been!

You still eat and sleep like a rock star. You love your Chase (Paw Patrol, ugh) spoon that the Easter bunny brought you, and it’s made eating yogurt more exciting for you! Your favorite food is probably strawberries, which you call “straw straws.” You ask for them at every meal and I can’t blame you! You also ask for cheese all of the time too, and you love those gross sticks that you dip in the fake cheese! You love meat, especially chicken and Daddy’s homemade barbecue. 
As far as sleeping, I have no desire to move you to a big boy bed, even though we will be needing your crib soon. You sleep about 12 hours at night and take a 2 (sometimes 3+) hour nap in the afternoon. 

Little Lulu, thanks for another fun year! You keep things exciting for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! You bring so much joy and happiness to our lives, and we couldn’t imagine our family without you in it! I’m eager to see how you will grow and change this year, as you become a big brother in just a few months! I know you’ll be great with the baby (you love babies)! Until then, soak up every second of being my baby boy!  We love you so much Lucas!! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bumpdate {Weeks 16-20}

It's time for another bumpdate!

Please note that I look and feel HUGE. I am slightly terrified when I think of what I will look like in another 15ish weeks. 

Size of baby: Currently a Belgian endive
Weight gain: Stupid scale at the doctor’s office added 5 lbs onto what my home scale said, which means I am up 19 pounds. Woof.
Maternity clothes: All maternity bottoms and mostly maternity tops. 
Gender: I go back and forth every week. This week I am thinking maybe boy?! I feel like the baby looked boyish at my ultrasound yesterday (but the last ultrasound I thought the baby looked girlish so who really knows).
Movement: Feeling more little kicks and jumps!
Cravings: I can kind of drink coffee again! Definitely not craving it though. Still really loving pasta salad, tomatoes, s'mores flavored anything and ice cream. 
Symptoms: Tired, peeing all of the time. Having some round ligament and sciatic nerve pains. Already feeling huge and its hard to bend over and put my shoes on. 
Workouts: I've bumped down to running just 2 miles, 4 times a week at 10:00 mile pace. It's getting realllly hard. 

Sleep: Great, just wish I got more of it!
Labor signs: Nope.
ISO: Had another MCA scan yesterday! I've had 3 of these since my last update on here. MCA scans measure the flow of blood into baby's brain, which determines if baby is becoming anemic or not. Then they use a whole bunch of crazy math formulas to figure out something called a MoM (multiples of the median) score. 1.0 is what you want the MoM to be; if it gets above 1.5, the baby is most likely anemic and the doctors will do a transfusion at this point. My first 2 MCA scans, the MoM was 1.2 which the doctors were very happy with. Yesterday it was 1.0! They kept checking and checking and the highest they ever got was something like 1.09. So who knows why it went down, but I am hoping and praying that this is a good sign, and the numbers stay around 1.0 for a while!!
What I miss: Being skinny. Wine. Not driving to the doctor every 5 minutes, ha!
Best moment this week: Feeling more baby kicks, and of course seeing baby yesterday on the monitor! And hearing it's little heartbeat; it was 150 yesterday if anyone is curious! I also finished painting the nursery; woohoo! 

Looking forward to: We are going to the beach next weekend, which should be exhausting and fun at the same time. It will probably be our last trip as a family of FOUR! 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend

We had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend!

Friday afternoon, we got the water table back out because it was SO hot outside!

Ella thought the water was a little cold, haha!

Trav came home from work early and had Ella give me these pretty flowers!

Saturday morning, I had to work at the Y. After work, I quickly ran home, grabbed Ella and then the 2 of us went back to the Y to see her best friends' dance recital!

Mackenzie and Ellie are 2 of Ella's most favorite people ever, so when they were in the same dance class, we just had to go to their recital! 

I think it also got Ella excited for her own dance recital in a few weeks!

While we were doing that, Travis and my father-in-law were working hard pressure washing our swing set! I can't believe how clean it looked when they were done!

Almost new, right?! We just need to stain it and get a canopy for up on top!

To thank my in-laws for helping us all day, Travis grilled some BBQ for dinner! Lucas ate every bite, and especially liked the baked beans!

Ella wan't into the food as much (surprise, surprise). 

But she was excited for s'mores!!

We kicked off Mother's Day with the sweetest cards and Trav telling me I can get a new car! Woohoo! I mean, I obviously need one since I can't fit 3 car seats in my current car, but still. We were going to start the whole car shopping experience yesterday, but Lucas ended up taking a crazy long nap, so we didn't go. But send me your recs for SUVs with 3 rows!!! No vans!

We had to continue our Mother's Day tradition of matching Lilly outfits! Lucas didn't have a match this year, but luckily, had a coordinating Polo shirt hanging in his closet! :) 

Ella and I went to get fro-yo since it was free for moms!

During nap time, I finally finished painting the other 3 walls gray in the baby's room! 

After Ella's nap, Lucas was still asleep so I took Ella to the pool while Trav stayed home to make dinner and watch Lucas!

I am so happy our neighborhood pool is open, especially on hot days like yesterday!!! I think we will be spending a lot of time up here this summer!

We ended the day with a delicious meal, made by Chef Travis! Even though we have tons of leftover barbecue, he knows that's not my favorite, and made some gnocchi and homemade tomato sauce (with grilled chicken) instead! It was delicious!

I hope all of the moms out there had a great Mother's Day weekend too!