Monday, October 31, 2011

More Fall Fun!

This weekend was one of those perfect family weekends. It was a semi break from our long string of things to do that have been scheduled for the past month and that will continue on for the next two months. Fall is always like that isn't it? Busy as can be.

Our only task this weekend was to head over to my MIL's fall festival. She was so excited to show off E to all her church friends and I have to say that he was more than adorable in his Halloween costume! He was the hit of the festival for sure.

Costume Sneak Peak! Can you tell what he is?

Ethan's Grandpa kept him busy walking him (hand in hand) around the place. Seriously it was the most he had ever "walked", I was so surprised his legs didn't give out. He had taken 10 steps by himself on Friday, but after all that "walking" at the Festival he decided it would be fun to walk by himself a little more frequently here at home. I'm still not pegging him as a walker yet since it's not habitual, but it's coming. As soon as I can get it on video, I'll be sure to share.

We ended our weekend with making pancakes, picking out pumpkins (which at this point will probably remain uncarved, boo!), Halloween decor and helping daddy clean out his car. Ethan had so much fun playing at the steering wheel of daddy's car. We jammed out to classic rock and when I say jam I really mean it. Apparently 42 is the appropriate volume level for a one year old. Mama preferred 21 but was corrected every time...the volume level battle has already begun. We played with all the switches in the car until daddy got squirted in the face with the washer fluid and we were kicked out. Lame daddy, lame!  

Today I'm getting the house ready for Halloween (yes, the day of) and getting food ready for tonight. I hope you all have a fabulous Halloween. I can't wait to see everyone's costumes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sometimes having a Baby is just like having a Dog

When my friends started having children, I found it hard to relate to things they were going through just as any childless person does. The only thing I could call myself a parent of was a dog. I was thinking about having children of course and was very curious to what it might be like. I'd find myself saying "Oh, well that's kind of how it is with Lola". In fact, I compared children to dogs quite frequently. I meant this with no disrespect of course. I love Lola. She is like a child to me. My fur baby. 

Baby Lola

However, Michael informed me one night that I might be offending people with these comments. Who wants their baby compared to someone else's dog? Hmm...yeah those comments probably weren't well received, but again, I meant no disrespect.

Fast forward to the present.

I still think babies are a lot like dogs.

Yep. I'm comparing my child to an animal. A dog no less. 

Here's why...

Eating off the floor is no biggie.
They have begging down to an art.
They both have eaten their poop. (Yes, you read that correctly. I'll explain another day.)
They both love to get in the dishwasher.
Staring out the window all day and barking at passerby's is great entertainment.
If I get dressed for a walk they both jump all over me in excitement.
Both puppy and baby kisses are the best and usually come with some drool.
They both enjoy chewing on things.

See, there isn't too much of a difference, no? Ok well there are some differences, but you get my drift. It's not such a bad idea to be a dog owner pre-kids. It is a good form of training!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Electronic Battle

If you had asked me about my views on kids and televisions (or electronic devices of any kind for that matter) before I had Ethan I would have told you that I was going to try my hardest to avoid them for the most part. Yeah obviously I knew he was going to watch TV at some point, but I didn't want him to ever be that kid that always had to have it on to be happy. I didn't want him to have to have it in the car every time we went somewhere. In fact, I didn't think he would even be into it the first year or so of his life if I simply didn't expose him to it.

....enter life with child....

I tend to have the TV on for most of the day around here purely for noise. A quiet house drives me batty. I can't help it. So TV for E started out slowly. I noticed he responded to certain commercials and that bright colors really caught his attention. Then a few short months into his life, I found Mickey Mouse Clubhouse really caught his attention. In fact it gave me at least 15 minutes to get ready in the morning or drink my coffee. 15 minutes of anything isn't bad right? He's happy, I'm happy. Score!

As he got older and I had him in a play pen, I'd switch on the Disney channel because it would maybe buy me 5 more minutes to complete whatever task I was trying to do. He still wasn't totally into it. He wasn't really watching it. It's okay, right?

My saving grace was that I didn't know many other kid channels. Um, hello have you noticed how inappropriate some "cartoons" are? So, really we were just regulated to morning TV with Disney.

Then I found Sprout.

Very appropriate, very learning oriented, cute TV

I still refrained from having it on too much, but then I got caught up in birthday madness and needed a week to bake. I had crap everywhere that he didn't need to get into so the play pen was used a little more frequently. I felt bad. I turned on the TV.

Guess what? He really, really likes Sesame Street and that lasts an hour! Do you know how much you can get done in an hour? 

Yeah. I was hooked.

After the b-day madness, the cycle continued. He's out of the play pen a lot more, but I still had on Sprout because it did catch his attention and kept him happy for just a bit longer. I could do just a few more things. It's a learning channel. He's learning. Who am I to stop that?

Hell, even I was learning. 

The morning show told me the general weather forecast, the date and what day of the week it was, and that's helpful to me because, let's face it, a lot of the time I don't know what day it is around here. I also learned Spanish and even some German. Ok, I don't really remember the German words, but I did for like a day. I learned some catchy tunes to sing.

Then I realized...

If I know the daily schedule of all the shows, the catchy little jingles, the words to the Sprout birthday song, and can even repeat lines of some of the shows.....there's a problem. My guilty conscience hit big time. It was time to turn the TV off. 

I'm sure this is just the beginning of the electronic battle. Balance is needed and to be honest I'm not quite sure what balance is these days for electronics and kids. Even as adults we have a hard time finding balance for ourselves. All I know is that I want to introduce electronics as slowly as possible. That means I as a parent have to show constraint and that my friends is the real problem.

It's so easy to turn on the TV or throw something bright and shiny in front of their face so we can get something done. I'm not condemning anyone who does this. I do it and will continue to do it....but hopefully with balance. Electronics are great, there are a lot of things to be learned from them, but they don't replace conversation, family time, or you teaching your kids things yourself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sometimes All I Can Muster is Randomness

Seriously you guys, I am overwhelmed with all the compliments from Ethan's party post yesterday. I can't thank you all enough for making me feel like one very proud woman! Also, I got some exciting news that it will be featured on a popular event site sometime in November, I'll be sure to share that when it happens!

Do you ever feel pressure to top your last post?

I do. 

I certainly don't have anymore party posts up my sleeve at the moment, and when I sat down to write this morning my head just went blank.

Although that could have to do with the fact that I'm pretty sure I'm sick. 

Awesomeness, right?

And maybe it has to do with the fact that my sweet husband gave me Allegra to take right before bed. I'd never taken it before and probably won't again, because basically all it did was make me wide eyed.

The hubs and the dog both loudly suggested I get out of bed last night via huffing and growling (I'll leave you to guess who was making what sound there). I might have been a tad sniffly and a tad too lazy to get out of the bed to blow my nose. Yep, I was that person. 

I stayed up way, way late last night trying to design E's thank you cards because my eyes just simply wouldn't shut. Of course, I didn't end up liking anything I came up with because that's just how late night projects go with me.

I finally fell asleep at some un-Godly hour only to be awoken bright and extra early this morning by my alarm clock, aka the baby monitor. On second thought, maybe I need that Allegra this morning. 

Ok, I don't think I'll have any problem topping this post tomorrow. 

Writer's block...over! Please come back :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ethan's Yellow and Orange 1st Birthday Party

After months of preparation, I can proudly say that Ethan's party was a huge success! I'm so excited to share all of the pictures and details with you all! I know people might wonder why in the world I would do all of this for a one year old that will never remember the party, so I'll go ahead and demystify you! Simply, I think that the first year is a huge year full of changes both for the little one, the parents and other close family members. I wanted to celebrate everything that has happened as well as thank all of our close friends and family for their help and support they've provided during Ethan's first year of life.

Party Details

When I started thinking about Ethan's first birthday party I knew I had to include his favorite colors, yellow and orange. I also knew I wanted to make most everything by hand because that's the way I show my love and oh what love I have for this little one! I decided not to include any other sort of character/theme for simplicity and besides, at one he's really not interested in much besides lots and lots of milk! I'm sure there will be numerous character themed parties in our very near future. 

Even though he has a fall birthday, I kept the main colors bright and happy balanced by the neutral tones of Kraft paper and burlap accents. I found a lot of my inspiration through Pinterest and just had to try my hand at the colorful poms and pennant banners. I found scrapbook paper on sale at local craft stores as well as I stocked up on the perfectly colored tissue paper and ribbon. I also was determined to have some sort of photo backdrop. This is where 300 balloons and a couple of lucky family members came in!

I made the invitations using Microsoft Word, Kraft paper and card stock. I also made address label wraps again using my own computer and label paper. I ordered stamps from the USPS to match the color theme (God forbid something clash!). One of the most mentioned decor items was the set of photo strips hung behind the lemonade bar. Super simple and cheap to do using curling ribbon and a hole punch.

Set the Table

I knew I wanted a sit down dinner for the party immediately, because that's just the way I do things. I borrowed tables and chairs from my mother-in-laws church and after looking at the cost of renting table linens, I decided it was more cost effective to buy my own. Honestly, it was the exact same cost and let's face it we've got a lot more birthday parties in our future so the investment will pay off. Also an investment...real plates. I found white plates at a local discount store for $2 a piece and just mixed those in with some I already owned. I also used my own silverware and borrowed lots and lots of white and clear glass serving pieces from my mom. The real stuff looks so much better than paper and plastic right? 

As for the table decor, I purchased a roll of Kraft paper from Amazon for the table runner and purchased the mason jars which doubled as my place cards from Target. I bought the striped straws, made my own name tags, tied a ribbon around them and declared them festive. After deciding I was maxed out on crafty projects I had my mom create my vision for the centerpieces. She used foam board to make the boxes and then covered it with left over fabric from Ethan's onesie and party hat. We used Spanish moss and florist foam to hold the lollipops in place. 

I made the cutlery packs based off an inspiration from Etsy. I almost caved and bought them but after finding out it was going to cost me $100 to buy the package that went with them I quickly reconsidered. So glad I did because it was so simple to do myself. I simply used printer paper, circle punches, leftover Kraft and construction paper, and a napkin to jazz it up. Simple and basically free!

Food, Drinks and Sweets

Again, I found it cheaper (but definitely not easier) to do everything myself when it came to all the food. My husband grilled two Boston Butts the day before the party and I slaved away at the rest of treats the whole week prior! Recipes for all the tasty treats and eats are linked below.
Can I just say I'll forever kick myself for not ironing all the burlap? 

One of my favorite parts of the party was the Lemonade Bar. I decided to offer lemonade and tea because they went with the color theme (tea can be considered orange right? Right.) I decided to amp up the fun factor by including mix-ins of various fruit, cranberry juice, as well as vodka and whisky for the adults. I bought wooden frames at a craft store for under a $1 a piece and printed recipes for mixing ideas including Vodka Collins and Whiskey Sours as well as Arnold Palmer and other non-alcoholic suggestions. I was if-y about including alcohol for a 1 year old's birthday party but most of the attendees were adults. I decided to mask the alcohol by putting them in pretty glass swing top bottles so the Lemonade Bar didn't

The Birthday Boy and Friends

Ethan had 4 little friends in attendance all 2 and under. I knew they would probably be happy just running around outside and really that's mostly what they did! I put together simple favor boxes using items from the Target $1 aisle. I made sure to include bubbles so parents had entertainment options. I also had some sidewalk chalk outside, but the kids had too much fun playing with each other and taking wagon rides to even notice! I also had empty boxes for the adults to take home leftover treats for their favors because I certainly didn't want to get stuck with all the leftovers!

As for Ethan's outfits I had a dressy longall made from an Etsy seller for his traditional one year session photos and my mom made a onesie for him to wear at the party. I crafted a party hat using left over fabric, felt, and tissue paper. One regret is that I totally forgot to put it on him for his cake smash. Oh well. He probably wouldn't have kept it on anyways!


eFavorMart - Tablecloths
Oriental Trading Company - Lollipops
Garnish - Favor Boxes
The Party Fairy - Striped Straws
The Royal Princess - Ethan's Longall
JHenderson Studios - Photographer


Homemade Marshmallows
Melt in your Mouth Mints
Roasted Banana Cupcakes - Martha Stewart Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
White Cake with Lemon Curd Filling
Fresh Orange Cake with Apricot Mousse
Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shutterfly Giveaway Winners!

Hey everyone it is time to announce the winners of the free 25 Holiday cards from Shutterfly! I used to generate the winners...


chambanachik said...

I tweeted.!/chambanachik/status/125439997405954048


Ashley said...

I like MTU on Facebook!


Leisha said...

I tweeted about this giveaway!!/leishashepperd/status/125049033390690305

                                                         Love yall's card from last year! So cute :)

Congrats to you three lucky ladies! I'll be sending you an email shortly with the codes for your free cards! Thanks to everyone who entered! 

Be on the look out for another fun giveaway coming soon...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Confessional

Dear Readers, I confess.....

  • I really hate returning stuff. In fact, I had stuff since August that was sitting in my house waiting for me to return it. Yesterday I finally sat myself down and told myself that I needed to just suck it up and do it. You'll be proud to know that I got all my returns taken care of yesterday.
  • Well, that is until I went on my shopping spree. Yep, I confess....I guiltlessly went shopping for me and only me. I didn't buy E a single thing and I didn't make myself shop only in the sales rack area. I've come home empty handed one too many times and let's just say I have a very limited wardrobe these was time. I may have bought too much, I may have brought home "options", I may have more returns to do. It's a vicious cycle I tell you!
  • I confess that I do not have the best eating habits. Sometimes I just get so busy that I don't eat, or so tired that I just don't care about eating, and sometimes I just eat all the wrong things because I'm too damn lazy to make myself something worth eating. A Hershey bar and a glass of wine for dinner...sure why not! Yep, that happened.
  • My life is a little messy right now. I blame it all on the 1st birthday bash that was 2 weeks ago (and no, I still don't have pictures). Yes, I'm still recovering. It's amazing how much stuff gets out of whack when it takes a whole weeks focus to finish getting party stuff ready and then almost another whole week to put all that stuff away. Meal planning? Forget it! Home organization binder? Totally going unused. Maybe I'll get myself back together in November. Well, that's holiday season...December? Yeah right. Screw it....January. That will be my month. 
  • I may have gotten in trouble with my husband this week. Why? I painted my son's toe nail (yep just the one, and only one because I got caught). I know this sounds strange, but he loves playing with all my nail polish. I'm sure it's a combination of the sounds of glass clinking against the tile floor and the pretty colors, but I thought he might want to know exactly what it did. So I had him pick a color...he picked hot pink....I corrected and picked black (see, I tried right?). We got one toe painted before daddy walked in and stopped us. Oops. I had a fun time explaining the black toe to his doctor as well the next day at his one year appointment. Oh well.

P.S. Don't forget about the Shutterfly giveaway! Winner will be announced on Monday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Very Belated Post: Ethan's 12 Months Old!

I know you all are saying...duh!!! Like we haven't already heard all about your child turning one. Enough! Sorry, I think I might feel incomplete if I don't write this final monthly post so bear with me please. I'm pretty sure I'll still document his future growth, but maybe not in so much detail though. Anyways...let's get to it shall we?


Your first birthday has come and gone and mommy is a little late in writing this. I'll try to document things authentically though as they were your last month as a baby. In fact, to refer to you as a baby is almost laughable, because truly that last month you transformed into a toddler right before my eyes.

The hose is your favorite!

You still haven't begun walking yet but you are getting very confident in your footing. You glide easily along furniture and I have seen you take a tiny step or two without thinking about it so I'm thinking maybe month 13 will be the walking month...maybe? Lack of walking has not slowed you down one bit though. You are truly into everything and hardly ever sit still!

You have learned a couple of new "words" or rather sounds this month. You can now imitate a monkey sound when asked and your new favorite thing to do is bark. Yep, bark. You and Lola both sit at the dining room window going "woof, woof, woof" all day long at passerby's. Your aunt is very concerned and has made the comment that you need some "real" friends. Don't pay any attention to her though. You'll be alright! I know you won't bark at everyone forever....right?

Yesterday was your one year appointment and you passed with flying colors! You are weighing in at 21 pounds 11 ounces (30th%), measuring at 30.25 inches (60th%), and your head is off the charts at 47.5 cm (78th%)...that's just because you are extra smart ;). You still have just 6 teeth, but a molar is very slowly (and painfully) starting to make it's appearance. You were cleared for all foods including nuts (which I can't wait for you to try!). 

"Mine!" You can't say this yet...but I see it being a favorite word in your future.

I can already tell that month 13 is going to be a fun one! You are trying so hard to communicate with me and I can tell you are starting to deal with some of those "feelings" that everyone has warned me about. I love you and have enjoyed every minute of your baby days!!! Toddlerhood...bring it on!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License

My Thoughts - Uninterrupted by Laura Sager is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.