Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nursery inspiration for the little lady!

When thinking about baby girl's nursery, I really wanted something girlie but something that would grow with her. Luca's nursery (seen here) definitely has a theme, but I'm not so sure there's an actual theme for this nursery- modern vintage? pretty in pink? I dunno- just pretty:) We've officially painted the nursery (almost done!), and all of the furniture has arrived and is ready to put in the room, so I figured I would share our inspiration! I still have so much to do, but the walls are painted with Benjamin Moore silky smooth, and we'll be adding gray accents to counter the pink. I'm excited about how it looks so far and I'm hoping we can find the perfect details to complete our girl's room! Any ideas?!

Oh, and an update on my pregnancy- I was on my feet quite a bit more than I had been over the holidays and I certainly paid for it. We were at L&D yesterday because I was having some cramping and back pain, and I'm a little dilated, cervix is still effaced (was before though) and I was sent home to rest (already had the steroid injections and am on progesterone). Ugh... sometimes I think my back hurts because I'm not on my feet, but I guess that theory is busted!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dear Santa (from Luca's mom)

Being pregnant during Christmas-time means a few things: an excuse to eat yummy cookies and treats, a reason to wear stretchy pants 24/7, and a tough time creating a Christmas list for yourself. I can't even think about wearing anything smaller than a size XL right now, my feet have grown so shoes are out, and you can only put so many pair of slippers on your list!
So I started thinking about what I would really like to get- even if it's just to create a list of future things I would like to gather for our home. We do entertain, not often, but when we do it's really nice to have a few things that make it easier to mingle with guests instead of constantly refilling the water jugs or serving plates. 

Pottery Barn glass drink dispenser and stand- I actually purchased this for my mother-in-law last year as a hostess gift for throwing me a shower while pregnant with Luca. It's simple, clean and looks great with the white ceramic stand. It's really an item you will use forever.

Pottery Barn 3-tier serving stand- I feel like everyone needs a 3-tier serving stand, and I love the look of this one. I haven't seen it in person, but eventually I would love to add it to our collection of serving dishes.

Snoozies Slippers- So this isn't just because I'm pregnant, on bed rest, and wearing slippers every day, but these are the BEST slippers. I have a pair, and they are seriously worn out and in need of replacement. They're so comfy and even have a non-stick sole so I can go outside if I need to. Love these.

Crate and Barrel Staccato Sugar and Creamer - This is the pattern of dishes we use from our wedding registry, and I didn't really think we would need a sugar and creamer, but again when you're entertaining it's nice to have something that matches.

Mini Tripod for my Canon DSLR- Last Christmas my big gift was a Canon Rebel (which I absolutely LOVE), and I would like to be able to take group shots and this mini tripod gets pretty good ratings at a great price.

I would love any books to read with my kid(s), a few things for the new baby girl, capri pajama pants, and a larger steaming pot (ours is little).

And finally, I think something I would really love this year is any amount/gift certificate toward a family photo shoot with Amanda of Doubly Happy Photography. I was a blogger for the website weddingbee (Mrs. Champagne), and so was Amanda- Mrs. Hot Cocoa! She took our maternity photos just a few days before Luca was born and we love her- you can see them here!

So there are a few things on my list! I'm not really expecting to get any of them, but it's nice to create a list of things you need or want eventually for the house. Any other good suggestions to add to my "house wish list"?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Santa (from Luca)

This is actually Luca's second Christmas, but things are a little different this year. Last year he really didn't need toys or clothes, but this year he's exploring all that is around him. So here's what will be under the tree this year (or gifts he's already been given for his birthday)- not all from us!

Joovy Tricycoo Tricycle: I really wanted a tricycle that could grow with Luca, and surprisingly there are a lot of options! I loved this version because it had so many settings that could be changed. You can either steer and push the bike with the safety arms attached, or the front wheel pedals can be unlocked allowing the pedals to spin freely without force and "go" without the need to pedal. Then obviously when the child is ready it becomes a fully functional tricycle. One thing I really liked about this bike compared with the others is that the wheels are injection-molded with urethane treads instead of plastic, so it'll work well on our not-always-so-smooth sidewalks.

Little Nutty Helmet- rocket ships! This helmet has excellent safety ratings, and obviously has fun color/pattern choices! Part of the reason we love this helmet is that it has a spin-dial fit system that adjusts from 18" to 20.5" and it'll probably fit Luca for many years.

Lego Duplo Large Brick Box- Luca is more interested right now in the car and the box that this comes in than the actual blocks, but I know these will eventually be a favorite. We actually got the emergency vehicle set, and hubs already built the building on the front of the box- only to have Luca knock it down immediately:)

Melissa and Doug Puzzles- Wooden shape puzzles are fun, and again I'm sure Luca will appreciate them soon, but for now he just likes to take out the shapes and use them while he crawls to go faster.
They also occasionally end up in his mouth while he crawls- he's a funny dude.

Noah's Ark Shape Sorter- Luca actually received this as a birthday gift and we love it! Similar to the puzzles this is great for development and organization.

Baby Einstein Alphabooks- This is actually a collection of 26 mini books. Each letter book has three pictures beginning with that letter - a cartoon, artwork, and a photograph along with the word that corresponds. I purchased this for Luca not quite sure if I would want mini books everywhere, but then I saw my friend E @ Oh!Apostrophe recommend it and say that they all fit well in the box, so I figure we'll give them a try. The reviews are great and many parents claim this book is why their children know their alphabet and sounds so early. I find it odd that the manufacturer recommends this for ages 10+... I'm not sure what 10 year old needs alphabet review, but who knows.

Toddler Towels- we've officially grown out of the infant hoodies, and although I know we could just use regular towels, I really like hooded towels for kids. Plus, I found the pottery barn towels on sale and couldn't resist!

Books! Luca's attention span can usually handle a longer book these days, so we are addition to the library. Here are a few titles that we either received as gifts and loved, will be getting, or would like:
Good Night Good Night, Construction Site by Sherri Rinker- a birthday gift we love!
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You by Jane Yolen
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss
and of course The Night Before Christmas

So there are just a few things Luca either got for his birthday or gifts he will be getting for Christmas.
We also plan on getting him push toys and a toy vacuum/broom some time soon- Christmas and birthday all in one month mean toy overload! He loves playing with the broom, but it's just too big!

I wish shopping for everyone else were as much fun as shopping for an energetic 1 year old!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 months!

I know the blog has been all about Luca turning one lately (I actually missed his 11 month post), so I promise this will be the last post about that. I want to continue taking monthly photos, but I'm not sure how I'll do it from now on- suggestions welcome!
Dear Luca,
You are such a big boy. This month you turned one, and it's like a switch was flipped on your behavior. It's much more.. toddler-like.

Most of your favorite things to do involve loud noises- banging maracas on walls, floors, tables, your head, anything! You're loving playing the drums, and sometimes I'll give you the wipe container while I'm changing your diaper and you play that like a drum- it distracts you long enough so I can change you! Noise and music are huge for distraction while changing your diaper- you still love the kazoo! You also love driving your trucks and cars around, and you make the cutest little truck noise while "driving".

Your attention span is all over the place- sometimes you can play on your own for a while, and other times you go from toy to toy very quickly. Anything that you can slide on the wood floor can amuse you for a while- you recently discovered the drawer where mommy keeps the placemats, and you took them all out to crawl while sliding on them. You also do that with puzzle pieces and books.
You understand a lot of words, but we're still hearing only a few words from you- mama, dada, light, dog, nanana (banana- your first three syllable word!) and I *think milk and max (these are fairly new and inconsistent). Your dad gave mom the most beautiful flower arrangement for your birthday, and we talk about them during dinner so you now point to them when I ask you where the flowers are. You're pointing at everything these days! We talk a lot about what's around the house.  

We put up the Christmas tree on your birthday, and you came down from a nap to see the lights for the first time. It was pretty cute! You love lights, and I thought it would be hard to keep you away from the tree, but you're being very good at looking from afar. Whew!

You love to give hugs and kisses, and mama loves getting them from you. You met your great grandfather a few weeks ago, and mama got a picture of the four generations of men on daddy's side of the family- that was pretty special! Granshan came to visit again, and you also met mama's dad! You are SO loved.

You're eating a lot more food now that we've tried to switch from the bottle to sippy cup and to whole milk all at the same time. You started using a sippy cup a few months ago and have had no problem with it during meals, but trying to get you to drink more than an ounce is proving to be difficult. So during the day when you're with your auntie you don't really drink much milk- hopefully you're going to start drinking more out of the sippy cup soon! Some of your favorite foods are blueberries, apples, squash, tomatoes, grapes, bananas and yogurt. You had your first peanut butter and jelly sandwich with daddy last weekend and I think you really liked it!

You have four teeth up top and two on the bottom. The two on the bottom aren't exactly close to each other, so we're interested to see if the one in the middle will pop up next. You're certainly teething in a unique way, and that's fitting for your personality:)

You're not quite walking yet, but you reeeeally want to! You're scooting everything around like it's a walker, including your high chair and the dining room chairs. I guess it's a good thing we have wood floors! Mommy needs to get you some shoes so we don't have to take off your socks all the time because you slip.

What else- you like to turn the pages when we read, and you sometimes get specific about what you want to read. You got a few new books for your birthday, and we've also been reading Christmas books, so that's a fun change.

Sleep- your bedtime is 6:30-7, and you usually wake up anywhere from 4-6 for a morning bottle and some cuddles. If it's early, mommy gets you to go to sleep again until 7ish, but sometimes you are up for the day- you just never know! We still try to get you to take two naps, but it's hard sometimes when you're excited. You spend the day with your cousins, and you just don't want to miss anything- my little social bug:)

Your one year check-up went great! You had immunizations and you did really well- you held onto an apple afterward and wouldn't let go- it was sad but adorable. You weigh about 23 pounds, and you're 30.5 inches tall (73rd percentile). You're wearing 18 month size clothes, and in some brands these are a little big but in others they fit perfectly!

You're pretty mischievous lately, and you love to go where you know you're not supposed to! The monthly photos this month were sort of difficult because you just wanted to do this...


When mommy tells you you shouldn't do that, you pout...
and cry with this face.. lips out and pooched.
And mommy can't help but laugh, and usually you see me laughing so your cry turns into a half laugh! Gosh you're cute...

We try not to keep it so serious around here, because you're usually such a happy boy! We love you big boy- happy 12 months!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Luca's safari first birthday!

Ok, I'm back! Luca's birthday has come and gone, and I still can't believe he's a year old. We celebrated with friends and family in our home, and I thought I might share the photos! Most of the decorations were DIY, as I had a little free time on my hands! I guess bed rest came at a good time. The Friday before Luca's party I had a doctor's appointment and was given the ok to move around a little bit- and that was SO nice.
Luca's entire first year has sort of had a safari theme. His nursery (you can see that here), his Halloween costume (here), and his love of animals inspired me to continue this theme for his birthday party.
We used many of the animals from his nursery as decorations for his party- including the giraffe! Guests were greeted by the giraffe at our front door.
I had a hard time finding an animal print birthday hat, so I just made one with zebra print wrapping paper, a regular party hat, and a little pom pom on top!

It was so much fun gathering Luca's photos for this collage of his growth. I have to admit it's so hard to even imagine him weighing 5 pounds! I don't think I ever really realized how small he was.

We went with simple finger foods.
 cheetah cheese and crackers, jungle vegetation

I ordered cupcakes for guests (both mini and regular size), and had a cake made for Luca. I also found zebra marshmallows and used simple raffia and zebra streamers to decorate the watering hole.
The big hit of the party- the cupcakes made by Renee of The Queens Cups! We chose a variety of flavors, and guests raved about them.

The table was decorated with a few things I already had- baskets and animals from Luca's nursery.
Feed the animals!
Safari sandwiches

Gorilla grapes and baboon butter- peanut butter, smashed banana, and mini chocolate chips served with regular and mini graham crackers (another big hit)!

A lot of my time on the couch the past few weeks was dedicated to making these banners using simple card stock from Michael's (purchased in a packet) and a stencil. It took a bit of time, but it was a relatively easy DIY.

On the way out guests were given a favor bag- girls zebra print, and boys giraffe print!

Girl's version of the favor bag- animal print maraca, animal crackers, and Luca's favorite instrument- a kazoo! There were three different animal prints and each was so cute- you'll probably see many pictures of Luca playing with them- he's a little obsessed with banging and loud noises lately!

Side note- we keep a kazoo at Luca's changing table to distract him. He loves playing it, and loves watching us play. Just a tip if you have a wiggle worm like Luca!
We had quite a few kids, so I ordered blank masks and had kids color their own masks with crayons.
 Luca's big birthday present from us was a play tent with tunnel. Once he got used to the tunnel, he had SO much fun with his cousins and friends following each other in and out of the tent and tunnel.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a custom t-shirt with the zebra print I wanted. I designed this shirt and had etsy designer Polka Dot Pair create it for me- it was perfect!
Luca with his grandmothers! What a treat to have them both here for his celebration!

We grabbed a family shot before Luca dove into his cake!

And the cake... so I chose a zebra print, and it made a black mess all over our teeth and face! I'm glad I only had this cake for Luca and not for the other guests!
"You mean it's ok that I eat this sweet treat? OK!"
The birthday boy! What a great celebration of such a wonderful little guy- we love you Luca!

Invitations: Zazzle
Balloons: Birthday Express
Custom birthday shirt: Etsy shop Polka Dot Pair
Cake: Walmart!
Cupcakes: The Queens Cups
Plates/cups/napkins: Party City
Safari tent with tunnel: Pacific Play Tents- amazon
Favors- animal print maraca and kazoo, cupcake picks (used in sandwiches): Birthday Direct