DIY: Glitter Shoe Wall Decor

I’ve been working on gathering cool random things for my daughter’s wall in her bedroom. Attempting to do a collage of wall decor that I’ve seen as inspiration on Pinterest. So you can imagine I was ecstatic about finding this cool little foam/cork pinboard shaped like a high heel! It was PERFECT! And even better… it was only $1 in the dollar section at Target. Holla! ( you can see in the pic that there were a few other cool wall decor things for $1 each and I swooped them all up!)

Anyhow, I decided to amp it up some more by spray painting it teal (I used the same leftover paint I had from the Ikea spice racks – dammit I still need to post that DIY). While the paint was still wet, I dumped a bunch of glitter on top. Once it dried… OMG…. turned out soooo cute! Probably the most affordable wall piece I have up there!

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Here’s a picture of where I’m at with the two walls for now. One side is for V and the other side is for K (for their shared chevron/teal themed room). I gotta admit its much easier to find girl stuff…. but both sides are coming along. I found a new piece for my son on Etsy (wooden shaped robot) that I’m really excited about. More searching to do!

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Life without a nanny this week.

My nanny has been on vacation this week. WHAT?!?! She wanted a vacation!?!? How dare she!?!? Jk. She totally deserved a break from the madness… hell, I need one too.

But let me just tell ya…. for the nanny to be gone for a week… we totally had to pull in the troups (aka extended family) to make ends meet with the coverage. I had my dad picking up my daughter from preschool and putting both kids down to nap. My grandma would come do a few hours just sitting at home while the kids are napping. And of my course my mom would bring it on home in the late afternoon to cover the shift after the lil monsters wake up. Whew. The hubs did his usual shift after work and I’m usually home by 7 anyhow…. so there you have it. Can you imagine how crazy coordinating the coverage would have been if I was working full-time! Goodness! That’s only off my part-time work schedule. *sigh* It certainly takes a village.

I really gotta be thankful that I have most of my family right in the same neighborhood. I love that. Just a phone call and 3 minute car ride away.

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Love and Passion

One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard about love and passion comes from “Captain Correlli’s Mandolin”:

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

Just for Mommy to leave for ONE morning….

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I look at this top picture and laugh… ahhh the good ol’ days. Look at how detailed my notations are. Arrows, everything already pre-measured, Rubberbands to assure things that go together stay together… the works. If only I had more time, I might have typed it up to be more legible and included diagrams or something. I make it so its NO FAIL. Seriously. Its THAT easy.

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D-Day… with D as in Dentist

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Its THAT time of the year again!!! I started taking my kids to the dentist right before their 1st birthday. I know the dentist doesn’t do much, but it does get them used to going and we were trying to practice healthy habits. So today, I lugged my 4yo and 2yo to their double appointment and boy am I glad I wasn’t the dentist.  I started prepping my daughter for it yesterday when we were talking about going to the dentist. But she instantly says to me “I don’t like the dentist.” In my  head, I’m thinking “Foo – what do you even remember about your last visit to the dentist!!?!? hmph!” But instead, I put on my cheerleader face and raved about how pretty her smile is and that we need to keep our teeth nice for a nice smile, which then gets reflected in nice photos (my daughter loves posing for photos).

When we first walked in, the assistant said we were going to take x-rays for V. HAHAHAHA. I laughed at her and said “good luck with that”.  After the first 5 mins where we couldn’t even get the bib thing on her, the assistant gave up. V then started to flip when she realized she needed to lay in the chair by herself… on the verge of kicking and screaming. Dramatic much?

K doesn’t like to be on his back, so he started to cry – but at least that kept his mouth open for the dentist to look inside. He did find a lot of interest in the polishing tool, but not enough to sell him on laying there peacefully with his mouth open.

Miss V ultimately calmed down. Later on we pointed out some areas that needed better brushing and then managed to get her polished and cleaned up a bit in the back of her mouth. Whew. Sealed the deal with the goody bag from the dentist and we were out the door.  When we left, V turns to me and says “I like the dentist.” Uh huh. Let’s hear you say that again in 6 months.

Birth Photography: My experience behind the camera

I had the honor of documenting the birth of a beautiful baby girl yesterday for one of my best friends. When the topic first came up, I didn’t even think twice about whether or not I’d be comfortable in the delivery room with her. I mean, come on… we’re all women, let alone I’ve popped out two kids myself (although mine were both via cesarean). I was excited and I knew how valuable these images would be for everyone involved.

www.happyendingsphoto.com

Fortunately for all of us, the BFF was scheduled to be induced, so we had some ballpark guesses on when this baby was going to debut. But oh man, when those contractions finally came – they were wiiiiiicked! Poor girl. Took it like a champ. Part of me felt a little helpless because there’s not much you could do besides let her squeeze the hell out of your hand and remind her to breathe. But her hubby was doing a lot of that. So I focused on capturing the emotion that was engulfed in that room. Besides, this was their moment. I just wanted to be quietly on the sidelines (well… I was kinda all up in the Dr’s business because I didn’t want to miss anything either!) Ha! The Doctor later said that he could probably use my images for sex-education! Guess he felt I was pretty thorough. 🙂

www.happyendingsphoto.com

www.happyendingsphoto.com

www.happyendingsphoto.com

Anyhow, let me just say that even with all the birthing videos that I have seen… to finally see one live (and up close) was certainly emotional for me as well. I could feel my eyes start to swell and my body do a little tremble on the final push that sent the baby fully out in this world. It actually seemed surreal as I’m watching this through the lens of a camera, snapping away. It all happened so fast! One minute in the belly, and the next minute, she is laying on top – vocalizing her new voice and quite loudly! Just as no words could truly describe the experience of giving birth, it is difficult for me to fully describe what I felt from this perspective as well. The whole concept of creating another living being will always be something that I consider to be an amazing gift. Yesterday I was reminded of that gift. Yesterday I was reminded that even amongst my crazy neurotic life, I could stop my brain for a second and be right there in that moment…. and in that moment, all is well.

www.happyendingsphoto.com

www.happyendingsphoto.comI’m in awe of the images that I was able to capture yesterday. I hope that I was able to provide them with a memorable piece of their lives. Its amazing how something that incurs so many different physical and emotional feelings – can still ultimately be encapsulated as simply one beautiful experience.

Even as I sit and write this now, it still seems like it didn’t really happen just yesterday. Crazy. Another little person just joined this world. No schedule. No instructions. Here we go again!

Photography by Happy Endings Photography

A Superlicious GIRLY Superhero Party

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For V’s 4th birthday this year, I had my heart set on a superhero theme. Its all about superheroes right now, so why not do a girly pink version!? It really started out when I was shopping online and just happened to find her the cutest WonderWoman costume in metallic pink for $11 on Tanga. Score! From there, all the planning began. The centerpiece above came from a template I bought on Etsy. Kept it simple on the centerpieces on this one because there was a lot more work that went into the capes and goodies. But add a little bold colored tissue and we were good to go!

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Goodness – it is hard to find girl-related superhero stuff for the goody bags! BUT! I did buy this bottle cap kit on Ebay… plus the Hello Kitty superhero bottle cap template on Etsy and the necklaces on Amazon… and BAM – a cute ass gift for all our little girly guests. For the other stuff in the goody bags/pinata – I usually stock up from the After-Halloween and After-Easter sales at Target. Can’t beat 50% off! So I already had a load of spiderman crayon sets, erasers, etc.

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The main gift to our guests were the custom capes! So I had purchased a bunch of felt by the yard through Joanna (with coupons of course!) then had them cut into capes with a template I found through Pinterest. I also found a template for the masks as well. With the scraps, we just cut out random shapes for the kids to pick from. Whenever a guest arrived, I let them pick out the color cape and logo shape… then I cut their initial freehand on adhesive felt sheets from Walmart. I did a quick hot glue gun of all the pieces and there you have it! 😉

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For the goody bags themselves, I got a bunch of these 3-packs for $1 each at walmart, then ambitiously decided to freehand the Superman logo on each one with puffy fabric paint and each kid’s initial. I know… too ambitious.

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For our fruit display, it was hard to think of something superhero related to carve out of a watermelon – so I kept it simple with just V’s initial and logo. Then my mom made a backdrop of buildings behind it.

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Again – it was a little more challenging to do a girly version of a superhero party  as all the pinatas I found were all boy heroes! Geez. so I saw this Lollapaloosy one hanging and thought – hey, I can totally rig this! She already had cool boots on and that apron front. So we got her home and added a cape, mask and chest logo.

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When I saw this photography backdrop on Etsy, I was SOLD. It was perfect! I saw different versions of ideas for homemade backdrops on Pinterest. But in all honesty, I was short on time and definitely knew we could get more use out of this backdrop for other purposes anyways.  I got some printables used throughout the party and as props in the photobooth in a set from Etsy. As you can see below, my daughter loves the photobooth. The kids had a blast!

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Lastly, for the cake design, I went with the skyscraper going all around the cake. Topped with a Hello Kitty Wonderman and it was perfect for our girly superhero party!

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Ahhhh… what a success the party was. I thought superhero was probably the most fun as our adult guests got into the spirit of dressing up as well. I found my son’s shirt at Old Navy and re-used his custom cape from last Halloween. For my own outfit, I purchased a Wonderwoman tanktop on Etsy, but handmade the tulle skirt myself. For the crown, I cut out the shape on a yellow foam and glued it to a hair clip. Looking foward to recycling this theme back around in 2 years when the lil’ man turns 4. For now, it all sits boxed up in my garage. Good times. 🙂

Daily Schedule Series: Fresh out the womb. Now what?

So…. you just had a baby. This baby comes with no schedule, no routine, and definitely no instructions. Now what?

Let me just start by saying that in my opinion – when this baby arrives, you have the first shot at establishing a routine. Ball is in your court. I know some people believe that you have to go with what the baby does, etc. And I do agree to a certain extent. But – I don’t necessarily agree that the parent needs to just roll over and give in to all the demanding needs of this infant either.

So I went through 2 kids doing very similar things, however, I was much more organized I think the second time around – let alone I loved that Babybix had a phone app by then! Now you are thinking… what in the world did I do? Ok… here it goes. It might sound confusing, but somehow in my twisted neurotic mind, it makes perfect sense and I made it happen.

Baby debuts. Baby is hungry. You are anticipated to feed them about every 2-3 hours. AND you know those nurses are going to be on your ass about it – checking times, etc. (I loved being able to log in Babybix and just show them the app for them to check everything). Go ahead and go with that. That baby is going to be crying, sleeping, peeing, pooping… the works! But what I am being conscious of and trying my hardest to do from the get-go…. is time one feeding as close to 11:30pm as possible. That is equivalent to me making the first move. With an 11:30pm feeding time, then I’m targeting 12am as my starting “bedtime” for the baby (I’ll be doing a series on this whole sleep schedule/training craziness later… and you will understand why I target 12am). So again, my goal is those two times to start. Everything else the baby is doing in the first couple days outside of that… just let them. I’m logging feeding from Day 1, but about 5 days out, I start logging sleep as well. I continue to only log outside of those two times so that I can get a sense of the baby’s natural routine (ah ha! This is the part where you do have to allow the baby to be themself). But remember – YOU have set the tone for each day, but starting the last feeding at 11:30pm and bedtime at 12am.

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In the following week after that, you should definitely start to see SOME sort of pattern… sporadic, but potentially identifiable. Its based on this, that I start to then pick specific common feeding times that become “designated” feeding times. What that means is, by 2 weeks old, if the baby wakes up a little earlier than my designated time, I might hold out on the feediing until the designated time – or if the baby is still sleeping, I’d wake the baby up to feed and keep on schedule. Remember.. all this is still done while logging! Because it is going to continue to evolve, and you will have no idea what it is best evolving into unless you track it.

Daily Schedule Series: 2 weeks old

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Now this is where you see my neuroticism in full effect. This lovely color-coded excel spreadsheet sits on my fridge and in the first 12 months, gets updated almost monthly. Kinda cool if you ask me. I’ll be posting them here as part of the “Daily Schedule Series” – so you can see how an infant’s schedule evolves in that first year. For some of them, I’ll have two versions (one from when it was just V, and one from having both kids). When it was just V, I was totally taking my time in dropping the 3rd and 2nd naps. You’ll see that I was much more inclined to quickly get K’s schedule aligned with V’s so that I could have more solid free time (aka – the one household mid-day nap/escape).  I needed a solid overlap of BLUE on my chart dammit! Otherwise, seriously I was catering back and forth between the two monsters without much downtime for myself.

I know what you are thinking when you see this: “2 weeks and already on a schedule?” – Well, come on now… its definitely ball park! BUT – for the most part yes!!! By 2 weeks, I was definitely targeting feedings at specific times. And you can see in the middle column where I was pumping at very specific times that coincided with the feedings. This schedule, ties along with the feeding schedule and specific pumping times to get my milk factory going. I always pumped the same number of feeding times (which when its 8 times a day to start, is definitely a good amount to get the milk going!)

I guess I’ll need to do a separate post on how to even GET to this 2 week routine/schedule right? Because you know right out of the womb you have nothing on this baby! But in any case, I’ve started the first post in this series at the 2 week mark – only because  that’s when I started to identify some sort of routine.

*sigh* neurotic enough for you?

New Mommy Skill: Facepainting!

When V’s preschool sent home a letter about their upcoming carnival and inquiring for parent volunteers… I thought “FUN!!” I instantly thought that it would be a great time to take a stab at face painting!

I went over to Amazon to read some reviews on face painting kits and settled with Face Painting book by Klutz that features Wolfe brand paint. Today was my first trial with the kids – freehanded it all. They were excellent guinea pigs for my artwork and totally excited about getting painted. I was equally excited, considering the last time we were at SeaWorld, we paid $12 for just a basic design! Hmph. No more of that. Tempted to bring my kit with me next time and paint them before we even get into any darn amusement park! Ha! Take that!!

1167290_10202029041550829_140801110_oThe book had some basics and easy stuff that I’ll be able to duplicate for a group of preschoolers. But I went to Pinterest to get more of the ideas on super hero related ones for boys. Started a Face Painting Pinterest Board for it too of course!

1094494_10202029414640156_1662424572_oThe paint was so easy to use and easy to clean up. It’s water-based though, so it did start to look crazy after V was playing around the house for a bit and started sweating. But other than that, it was a good buy. The carnival is this Thursday…. Can’t wait!  Gosh, if I wasn’t so busy being the hostest with the mostest at my kids’ bday parties, I’d be sitting there doing face painting for sure. Guess all my family members are gonna score when they all have kids and parties!