Friday, October 23, 2015

One Boss Only.

Eli is a little ham. This week he has had some great quotes. It's so fun seeing his personality. He's caring. He hates when others get in trouble. He's a snuggler. He loves to show off to anyone who will listen. He has an insane imagination, with perhaps some issues in what's reality versus not. He has a tough time focusing on the task at hand. He loves to be around people. He loves being read to and flipping through books. He likes comfy pants and can do most dressing himself. He loves playing "little legos" and will do so by himself for a good bit. He loves screens but gets headaches from too much. He sometimes gets his "l's" right... so he actually says Annalee instead of Annawee. He is awesome.

From this morning:

Eli: "When are you going to drop me off at Grandmas?"
Me: "I'm not going to drop you off. Annalee and I are going to go to Grandmas with you."
Eli pauses, then whines "Nooo"
Me: "You don't want us to come?"
Eli: "No. There is Grandma. And Mama. That's two bosses. I only want one boss."

Pure talent to make a lowercase "e" out of his pretzel. 
At the library. He always grabs the pencils and paper to "write a list of books to get" (aka scribbles)
Batman - I gave this outfit to him as a "just because you're super" gift Thursday. He's worn it everyday. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Candle Day.

I'll probably think of Maelee every day of my life. Having days (like her birthday) are especially nice. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day are good for that collaborative community "hey this happens and we need to remember." Grieve loud folks, it's good for you.

I was in Fargo for two days and hurried back because I missed my living kiddos and wanted to light a candle with them and tuck them in tonight.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shoot Me Now.

We had a friend take family photos because it was an AMAZINGLY beautiful day on Saturday and we've had scheduling issues with our real photographer. Since it didn't cost anything, I'm not too upset that the kids hated it. We got a few shots frame-worthy. And some others.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Shoe Party!

I think I did a better job of not going over the top for the second birthday of Miss Annalee. Just slightly over-the-top.

I will say the theme was oh-so-appropriate for her. She still loves shoes! I went with pinks and black/white damsk-like pattern because I had some plates and napkins like that I thought would work. I used many items we already owned and I commissioned friends to be on the lookout for cheap shoes.
The birthday girl eating a snack pre-party (she was really cranky after her nap).
The tablecloth is just fabric I got for crazy cheap (I didn't even sew the edges! Gasp!)
And the shoes in the middle I spray-glued and glittered BUT were messy so I only did one pair.

I used photos of Annalee from this last year on our other table with little plastic shoes I found at Hobby Lobby (also used with favors). Had a sign to keep shoes on for the guests! The favors were shoes for the little ones (Old Navy clearance) and scarves for the older kids (gift box, clearance I had bought two years ago) and shoe-shaped rubber bands (ebay). Thanks for coming print (shutterfly) with her newborn, one year, and recent photos (oh my how she keeps getting cuter)!

The "shrine" china cupboard (I try not make it shrine-like but always seems to become so) - printed photos of Annalee framed. Pendant banner TWO in the same fabric as the tablecloths. I cut out pink fabric to line all the shoes so they'd look nicer. I did circle cut her name out. I used the same font from her invitations for everything else needing printing because y'all, that is how I roll.

I used vases we already had... and you know what? Most every one of those pink vases were from flowers we received after Maelee died. Plus her tulips and birdie are there, too. Because she... she is not here to celebrate her little sister but I choose to have specs of her around us always.

Had this photo printed and framed at the party. So cute. 
You can see the three shades of pink nail polish bottles I was going to use for the game winners. But, party planner fail, I forgot to actually play the games. I was going to have the kiddos walk in high heels holding a spoon and egg (well, not a real egg but something similar) and walk from point A to point B. Eli also came up with a game (YES, he did! my son! theme games!): hide one shoe and they have to find all the pairs (seriously, how great is that kid?!). We weren't going to open gifts but cousin Lilli brought over a gift excitedly and we ended up doing that so I'm guessing that's why I forgot.

She ate a little frosting and then stopped. Not into the cupcake. 
I made cupcakes, white with homemade frosting, pink on pink. Found damsk print cupcake holders at JoAnns (used coupon, of course). I was going to make high heels with them (there is a way with milanos and wafer sticks) but refrained from that work. Made lots of mini cupcakes instead - I'm loving bitesize goodies. Also I made creme wafers... recipe from the old Betty Crocker cookbook. My mom made these at our wedding. CRAZY AMOUNT OF WORK. Rolling out dough, cutting, dipping in sugar, poking with fork, filling, etc. But so damn good. And cute. Worth it.

Oreo balls, cute with pink dots. Krista shared a nail polish recipe on her wall so I made her make them (marshmallow, frosting, tootsie roll) - gross but cute. Also made a lemon pound cake from Krusteaz that was very good.

The main food was chicken salad crossiants - though I wish I would have added bacon to my chicken salad recipe. Chips, pistashio salad (so North Dakotan), shrimp salad and crackers, cheese, fruit. I bought little pink cups at HL and we filled with veggies (I was going to add the ranch on the bottom but Greg thought that was a bad idea). Also we had a bunch of pink/red drink options and water in my new water server thing (86 cents after my Kohls cash) but the thing leaks (fail).

Those hot pink shoes are my size. They are terrible to walk in but so worth the $2.50 I paid for them at the thrift store. The white serving platter I just was gifted from my mom's aunt that passed away in July four-days shy of 101. My moms two cousins were going through their mom's house and I was given some gems. I love that platter. I also used my mom's wedding gift silver platter and other silver platters she gifted me. And one of her delicate, Rosenthal china bowls too. It's right next to my plastic IKEA bowl though so the amazingness of that china isn't displayed in all it's glory. Sorry mom.

I had a SHOE coloring book (bought on Amazon) but didn't take a photo of that table and cute sign. Here's Lilli enjoying it though (like I knew she would).
The photo booth was my favorite (photos below). All and all, the details were there but not too much work. I also now have a crazy amount of dress-up shoes for our costume box.

I am most happy about our family and friends that came. A few folks were sick or couldn't make it. The invite stated:  "Fancy attire requested. Spectacular shoes required."

Clearly Birthday Girl is the only one not on board with her party.
Three of us married Kasowski's - great choices! A great lineage for Annalee. So glad Great Grandma came from Buffalo and also that Grandma was back from China in time for this party. Annalee is holding the baby doll from her Great Barb and it was a big hit. Also notice my zebra SHOES. A $5 splurge, purely impractical because I could wear them for five minutes. 
Annalee was gift a whole set of dress up shoes, like six pairs. And a crown. This is my crazy mom face. 
This is the best we are getting for the kiddos photo.

Okay. I think that covers everything. I loved planning this girly, for ladies only, party and I love celebrating the gift that Annalee is!

-I-like-party-planning-too-much Mom

Monday, October 5, 2015

She's TWO!

Our sweetheart turned two yesterday. What a joy to see her face most every day these last two years. From the first time we saw her eyes that snowy Friday night, to the overcast, chilly Sunday yesterday, every day with Annalee alive and healthy has been a gift. She's precious to me (and so many others too) and if there is one thing I want her to know is how much she is loved.

Her personality is fun to watch. She seems more introverted, not a fan of loads of people. She is also wild and crazy and impulsive and silly and hilarious. She is opinionated and her lower lip can pout out with the best of them. She loves her family and knows most of them by name. Annalee's vocabulary is consistently increasing, and we just love to hear her speak. Mostly we understand but sometimes we have no clue. When we come up to the stop sign next to the park, she now always says "uh thdat" meaning "want that".

She loves toys: babies, her stuffed animals (puppy, dolly, beary), shapes sorter, cell phones, fake food, etc. She is finally getting into books, many of Eli's past faves: hippos, red bow, brown bear, pat the bunny, goodnight moon, and whatever random ones she hijacks from Eli's stash. She wore 12 month size pants today (snuggly) but most are 18 month. She wears 18-24 month or 2T tops. She seems to be growing taller.

And she Glad her party theme was still fitting!
Some Adorableness for you in the form of Annalee Linn!

More party photos to follow!