Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Raya Recently

I haven't done a "just Raya" post in FOREVER! And to be perfectly honest, this is basically a post to brag about what an amazing 2year old I have- just an FYI :)

She's in such a fun phase right now too. She's saying full sentences and can pretty much have a mini conversation and they are hilarious! Literally all day she has me laughing. And she knows it! Haha. I love that i have a funny kid. I need to start writing down what she says. I know some of my blogger friends to "Ism" posts. I need to work on that- Rayaisms. I don't want to forget the things she says!

So she's 33 months old :) Almost 3! Wow. She weighs 35lbs and is 37 inches tall. I think that's about the size of an average 4 year old. lol. I have a couple friends with 4 year olds and Raya is much closer in size to them than she is to kids her own age. She's totally potty trained, and has been since the beginning of September (about 28 months old).

She's such a joy!! She's so sweet to everyone she meets. She's not shy at all. She loves to play with other kids and says Hi to everyone. She also usually greets just about everyone with a hug. She's very outgoing and likes to talk and show off whenever we have friends over.

Her new thing is talking on the phone. Its.SO.CUTE!!! She answers my phone and listens and answers questions with whomever is on the other end (usually a grandparent) She also likes to hold the phone with her shoulder so both her hands are free. I gotta get a picture of that. Watching her talk on the phone is one of the sweetest and cutest things. Really. I can't get over it.

She's so good to Kallen. One of my favorite things to watch is what she does when he cries. She grabs his pacifier and puts it in his mouth or pats his back or kisses his face. Its so sweet. She lets him pull on her and take her things. He usually follows her around and plays with whatever she decides to play with. She's pretty good at letting him do it too. The only time she really protests is if he's playing with the toy wrong. They also jump on her trampoline together. I don't know how he hasn't fallen off yet, but they've been doing it since he was 9 months old. And no injuries! Lol. She's an amazing big sister. So loving and so caring. I'm so lucky to be able to watch them together all day long!

She still loves to be outside. She could play at the park all day long. She rides her bike a lot and is getting better at using her scooter. She LOVES to sing. Her favorite songs to sing are either Twinkle Twinkle or Happy Birthday. You're always humming or singing.

She still uses her pacifier :( And getting her to stop has been, what I can only imagine, similar to getting a cocaine addict to stop using. Lord al mighty! LOL. Its serious. Soooo, I'm not fighting her for it. Its clearly very soothing to her. She pretty much only gets it when its time to sleep or if she's really worked up (which is usually associated with her being tired) I'm sure people judge me for letting her have it and guess what, I don't care! Really, I don't. She's never had a toy or blanket that she HAD to have with her at all times. Just the pacifier. I can already tell she's starting to wean herself because when she's not tired or gets up to play she gives it to me. And not because she knows she shouldn't have it, but because she doesn't want it. So thats good! Its so helpful to have it when she's going to sleep, so I'm on Raya's side with this one. If she's 16 and still has it I'll make her give it to me before she can drive my car. And the reality of it, this kid is so dang good that if this is one of our most serious battles, I'm totally cool with it. 

"Mama, lay down and watch the clouds with me"

Her favorite shows are Tom&Jerry, Peppa Pig, and toy commercials. HAHA. Yah when she's watching her iPad she always finds commercials for Barbie's ice cream maker or hair station. It doesn't really matter what the toy is, she just clearly likes watching what it does. So she spends a good amount of time watching short little 30 second clips. She also likes watching home videos of other kids at the park or playing in ball pits or tumble lands. And then tells me she wants to go there. She's not really into any movies.

Her hair is getting long. She still twists it into a knot on the left side of her head if I don't give her some kind of ponytail. So frustrating. Her hair is like her blankie. When she's tired she twists and twists. Her hair on that side of her head is substantially thinner than the other side because of how much she's pulled out when she twists. When we were in Texas we got it braided. I LOVED it braided. We're trying to find someone here that can do it :) Her little blonde puffs are to die for too!

She's still a total cuddle bug. She's so loving too. She'll sit on my lap and hug and kiss on me. She'll just randomly say "Mama, I love you" and give me a big hug. If she's still awake when Gentry goes to bed she'll go up with him because she LOVES cuddling with Daddy. I totally get that :) He's just so big and warm. The best kind of person to cuddle with.

Raya bug, you are so much fun. You make my bad days good and my good days great <3 I'm so lucky to have you as my daughter. You bring a kind of joy I didn't know exsisted until you came along. Thank you for being You! I love you!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kallen's Birthday Party

We had Kallen's 1st Birthday party this weekend. It was great!!! Initially we were suppose to have it in my Mom's backyard and then Wednesday they predicted rain for the whole day Saturday. Awesome. So I  racked my brain for 3 hours trying to figure out where we could move it to and if I needed to cancel it because I didn't know where to have it. After those long 3 hours Gentry goes "Why don't you have it in the clubhouse?" DUH!!! And Ps- How long were you thinking of that idea?! If you would've said that 3 hours ago I could've missed out on all that stress! We live in a community that has a clubhouse we can rent for like $20 and it ended up being PERFECT. It was a big open room with doors I could shut so no kids could get out! And the decorations could all be displayed together. AND, most importantly, everyone could be in the same room :) It was such a great afternoon. My brother and his girlfriend help with party preparations, which was so helpful. We had a taco bar, margaritas and cake! When the party was over I couldn't help but be so thankful and so happy about the group of friends we have. Seriously. It was such a great group of people helping us celebrate! I had the best afternoon. Kallen slept through most of his party, lol, but the time he was awake he was having fun! Thank you so much to everyone that came out. You guys made it a perfect day!

Tara took great pictures, as usual. She got this perfect one!

The rest are ones my friends took. Gah, I love iPhones and the pictures they take/create.  I'll post the rest of the ones Tara took later :)

Ps- I LOVE decorating for parties. Not so much that I'd want to do it for a living. Haha. Its kinda stressful, BUT I love it enough to do it for special occasions like a 1st Birthday. And a BIG shout out to Pinterest. LOL. Seriously though, I always decorate the best parties in my head, so thanks to pinterest I was able to save all the things I've loved over the last few months and use them as inspiration for Kallen's party. I didn't have a theme, just colors I wanted: Lime green, Blue, Grey and then a black and white pattern. As I started getting fabric and supplies I decided to add different patterns too. It came together really well! I took pictures of most of the individual decorations. They were all really pretty simple to put together, so here's some ideas if you need them! 

The "Preview" picture :) 

I made the Happy Birthday Kallen banners out of scrapbook paper strung on rope. Super easy. And I found a "Make A Wish" birthday frame that was the exact colors of the party! (Sorry this picture is so bright)

This was the cake. Its a lemon bunt cake from our favorite place in Long Beach: Creative Cakery. You can get a topper for another $10, but I decided to make one so I could have the right colors. This was super easy! Just bought a big green bow and glued 4 ribbon bows under it and then glues the 1 on top! And made the little name banner with paper cutouts glued to a wire. 

I got a bunch of balloons. I LOVE balloons and think you can never have too many. Plus, they really add to everything. They're so easy to get and add a lot to the decor. I also made some rope-tie banners. Just tie scraps of fabric to a rope! You can make so many things with the rope-tie. I saw one girl make a wreath out of it. So cute.

Initially I bought this table cloth to make runners out of. I was going to do silver table clothes with the plaid blue fabric over it, but with the new tables I was given when we switched to the clubhouse I just laid the fabric down and it fit perfectly. I loved this as the table cloth!

I had a bunch of vases from my Mom that I filled with "fluff" and topped some with Birthday hats and some with balloons.

I covered lollipops with wrapping paper and glued black and white pictures of the birthday boy at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months old. The lollipops were favors for the kids to take home with them.

These were the favors for the adults. Same wrapping paper I used for the lollipops. I bought a bunch of leftover fabric to make these rope-tie banner things so I used the extra fabric from those to tie the paper down. I printed the labels and glued them to paper I used to make the Birthday banners with.

Brown Bite Toppers. Printed the labels off in corresponding colors and glued them to the birthday banner paper and glued a toothpick in between 2 pieces of paper.

The Diaper Cake! From my dear friend Megan. She made the one for my baby shower too. She's so good! Doesn't it match perfectly?! "Like" her Facebook page: Cake of the Dipes and you can also order diaper cakes there! Or towel cakes. She makes them for baby showers, birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, anything! They're a great center piece and she makes them custom to match your party.

Of course Raya's outfit matched the party :)

The Birthday Boy!!! I made a highchair banner too.

After the party he was EXHAUSTED. Neither of my kids had naps before the party. Lord. But amazingly they did great! Well Kallen took a solid hour in a half nap at the party, but it was great because I could visit while he was sleeping in my arms. 

He got a bunch of BOY toys. Haha. I didn't realize he really didn't have his "own" toys. A majority of the baby toys we have are gender neutral so they were all passed down to him, but at his party he got trucks and dinosaurs and some SUPER CUTE clothes! I think that's one of my favorite things about parties. I love seeing what my friends get him. And they did GOOD.

Helping me clean up after the party. He loves to sit on this stool and eat gold fish. He looks like such a toddler in this picture!

Pss- Kallen's 1 year pictures were yesterday. They are SO CUTE!!! Here's a few sneak peeks :)

I already sent this to Toms :) During his 1yr pics we did a mini Valentines Day shoot too. Can't wait to see those!!

Yes, I'm dying over this :) He's SOOOO CUTE!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nail Effects ♥ ♥ ♥

I haven't done a What I'm Loving Wednesday in awhile, (and I actually did this one last week but didn't add it to the WILW list until right before midnight) and I've been meaning to because I've become OBSESSED with the Sally Hansen Nail Effects. They're nail polish stickers that are freakin amazing. I CANT STAND when my nail polish chips and because I wash my hands 478 times a day it usually chips the morning after I paint them. Wellllll, not with these bad boys. I get a solid week out of them and the 7 days after that they still look good enough to usually keep them on for a full 2 weeks. (The package says they stay on for up to 10 days)

So I don't know the scientific reasoning behind them. They're made from real nail polish, but when you get them and peel them off the backing they feel like a thin, stretchy sticker. They come with directions that are easy to follow, but basically after prepping your nails you find the ones that match your nail size and press them on like a sticker. After you rub them down a little you file the extra off the top. They're SUPER easy. And if you have short nails like me you can cut them in half and get 2 full manicures from one box. NOTE- they come in an air tight container. There's 8 stickers in each airtight package. And theres 2 packages in every box. You get 8 stickers so you can pick the best 5 that fit your nails. Each package is for one hand, but like I said, if you cut them in half you can cover all 10 of your nails with one package and save the other package for a whole new manicure. But DO NOT open the airtight package until you're ready to do your nails. I opened one to get an extra nail out and then when I went back to it a week later to touch up a nail all the stickers had lost their stickiness and I had to throw them away. So the air tight seal definitely has something to do with their effectiveness, just an FYI :)

There's a TON of different patterns, glitter and solid colors. I got a bunch for Christmas and my Birthday and I can hardly wait to use them all. Lol. I most recently did the black and white pattern and got a ridiculous amount of compliments. Man, I wish I could sell these things like Mary Kay. I'd be so rich. Haha.

Decisions, decisions...

Sooo, if you're looking for nail polish that lasts, is super easy and looks like a professional manicure, these are perfect! At Target they're $8.50 and at Walgreens they're closer to $12, but lately they've been doing a Buy One get One 50% Off, so not too bad. They're definitely pricier than nail polish, but so worth it. And now that I think about it, if you're buying OPI they're probably cheaper!

I've also put a clear coat over the top the morning after I put them on and touch it up with a clear coat after the first week and seem to get a little longer wear outta them.

Annnnddddd, I did Raya's nails too :) Since I only used 5 strips from one package, I cut the other 3 into smaller pieces and used them to do Raya's.

PS- If you're a new reader or follower leave me a comment with your blog link. I only follow maybe 4 blogs so I'm looking for new ones to fill my reader up with  :) Happy Wednesday!!!