Birthday Partying

This weekend my baby turned 2. I could hardly believe we were sending out invitations to celebrate! We've evolved a fair amount since starting the birthday party planning gig with Macie Jane's first birthday. It was basically a wedding reception for a baby who will never remember it- but I will ;) 

The Pinterest loving soul inside of me can hardly stand it. An occasion to design, cut out, inflate, and arrange decorations sounds like a dream! If I'm being honest the party planning is 75% for me and 25% for them. Sure, I choose a theme I know they'll enjoy but do they care about the cupcake toppers I carefully cut out or the balloon arrangement I order? ...probably not. 

After the first few years my sweet (and always supportive) husband suggested approaching birthdays a little differently. Instead of going over the top (as I'm inclined to do) maybe we could alternate big party one year, low key party the next. It's actually turned out to be a really good thing. Starting out I had 3, 3 and under. One birthday falls the week before Christmas and another comes just 6 weeks after the new year. Suffice it to say my brain was on overload. Giving myself freedom to do the basics and enjoy the day for what it is has been a game changer. Birthdays are very special in our family but I'm learning that doesn't have to mean months of planning and a financial investment. We can have just as sweet a time with a sweet cake, simple decorations, and being surrounded by everyone we love.

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Rutledge had a shark themed pool party because what better place to celebrate on a hot Summer day? I ordered a large, inflatable shark  for the pool and it was a hit. My sweet, little fella loved splashing and growling at that thing and all the little girls (all his cousins are girls in addition to his two sisters) loved it too! I ordered a round cake from  our local Publix which I absolutely loved! If you don't know what I'm talking about consider chatting with the bakery for your next celebration. I went in person to talk with the cake decorator. She was so gracious and willing to create exactly what I was looking for! The cake was not only delicious and adorable but super affordable too! win-win-win! I picked up a couple table covers and party accessories from Walmart and had a dozen or so balloons inflated. I couldn't forget the iconic number balloon from Hobby Lobby and the decorations were set! It was a sweet evening celebrating our big guy around the pool with family. 

It wasn't the social event of the season but Rutledge was so loved and fully enjoyed the celebration! And because I wasn't wrapped up in everything being "perfect" I think I really enjoyed it more too. Maybe this party was more like 100% for both of us?

Freedom for the Preschooler's Mama

Freedom for the Preschooler's Mama

These first years at home together are for enjoying- whether you stay home or work or work from home- enjoy this season. If doing educational activities or crafts is enjoyable then do it! I've got lots of ideas I'd love to share with you ;) ...but if it's not then let yourself off the hook. You are teaching more than you realize. When you read a book to your child, talk with your child, color with sidewalk chalk together you are making little investments. All those activities and zillions more come together to create a schema from which your little will put together ideas throughout her/his educational career. 

The big idea I want to get across is FREEDOM. I'll plan out the year, give you directions, suggestions, and materials and you enjoy investing in your little. Don't stress about curriculums and assessments- have fun and let me lead the way for you! 

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Summer Recap

Wow, y'all, it's been quite the Summer and I mean that in the most exciting, wonderful, challenging, exhausting, filled with gratitude way! Where to begin?

Really, it feels a lot like a blur. We began the Summer eagerly expecting our precious Rutledge. Since our first two babies came early I was so sure that, of course, my third would be early too. 

Back in May at 37 weeks I got pretty sick. I was dehydrated and started having contractions 2 minutes apart. I spent a day in the OB triage getting fluids, anti nausea medicine, and pain medicine. When I left my contractions were 5 minutes apart but I wasn't progressing so I got to go home. Sure enough after resting over night the contractions stopped and life was back to normal. Weeks 38 and 39 came and I found myself more pregnant than I'd ever been before. Little man was comfy inside and not going anywhere. We spent our days expectantly waiting but fully enjoying where we were. I soaked in every minute with my girls knowing this season was so close to an end. We went shopping, visited the zoo, went out on dinner dates, and basically had a ball. At long last my perfect baby boy was born at 40 weeks and 2 days. He is the most precious baby and I can't say enough how kind the Lord was to give us the most wonderful birth experience (I'll blog about that another day.)

Needless to say the month of July disappeared like a vapor. There wasn't a whole lot of sleeping but there was a whole lot of love. We did brave the road to spend the week at the beach with our family. Countless evenings were spent sipping popsicles and swimming in the pool. Way too much Daniel Tiger was streamed (unless it was de-Netflixed- SAD day!) but we read lots of books too. I'm almost embarrassed how many days were spent in our PJ's, except that I'm not, because when you have three 3 and under you just do what you have to do.

August resembled July except my baby did something neither of my girls ever did at this age: He would sleep through the night a few nights each week! Whaaaa?! A 6, 7, 8 week old baby giving 5-6 hour stretches of sleep is incredible and direct answer to a specific prayer! I began to feel relatively normal and ready to take baby steps into the land of the living. We had playdates and friends visit our home. We even got to go back to our sweet church for the first time since before he was born. And an undeniable itch to get back to blogging. So, here I am- a hot mess chasing two adorable toddlers, snuggling my practically perfect infant, and thinking I can start writing again. I've missed y'all and can't wait to catch up with the sweet community here in the blogging world! I hope you've had the most exciting, wonderful, challenging, [not] exhausting, and filled with gratitude Summer too! 

with love,