Jun 27, 2012

party planning {my baby cannot really be turning three...}

Cara is SUPER excited about her birthday this year, and she has lots of ideas for her party.  Planning a big birthday party really intimidates me for some reason, which is why we are going to keep it to family again this year.  In order to satisfy my big girl though, I'm going to have to do some decorating, especially since Cara has requested pink everything--pink cupcakes, pink lemonade, pink balloons, pink roses even. Thank goodness for Pinterest! :-)

I love the way these cupcakes are displayed and the toppers are adorable:

This is a fun pink lemonade themed party:
Source: hwtm.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Hanging these pom-poms from the ceiling would be a fun way to decorate, and we could reuse them in her room after the party.  Added bonus--they look kind of like those pink flowers Cara requested and a friend from back in the day makes them:

Source: etsy.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Cara has also requested that I make her a twirly skirt to wear on her birthday. I will probably stick to my favorite Market Skirt, but I found a few other twirly skirt tutorials that could work too:

Any other awesome three-year-old birthday ideas?

Jun 25, 2012

a weekend photo dump

This weekend was a special one because my brother was home from overseas for a short leave.  It was pretty awesome to see him, and it meant lots of family time.  I am so thankful for my brother and sister, maybe more than I ever have been in my life.  Obviously, we haven't always gotten along, but we're at a point in our lives where we have a lot in common and really enjoy each other's company.  It's a good place to be.

Matching outfits for the cousins.  Because, you know, that's what I do.

Cara and Brooklyn, cousin BFFs

My sister, Allison, in mid throw

Colin, Mr. Beach Baby

Uncle Josh and Nolan

Nolan picked the perfect spot for a nap.

Grandmama and Evelyn, who was not such a fan of the beach.

We tried for some family pictures on the beach.  It definitely would have been easier if the wind hadn't been quite so bad.

It is almost impossible to get a picture of Cara facing the camera these days.  She's too busy for all that nonsense.

the baby boys

My brother, Josh, and his sweet girlfriend

The best Cooper family picture we could muster.  Never mind that Colin is drooling and Cara is throwing sand.  Feel the love.

Jun 22, 2012


Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. Nothing dramatic or unusual, just life the way I like it. Cara has been going to school three days a week and having all kinds of fun, especially on WATER DAY. But really, who wouldn't have fun on Water Day? Colin's three hour naps have given me some awesome sewing mojo (more posts to come about this later, I'm sure). He's such a happy, smiley baby, and I am soaking up these days. Not to get all rainbows and unicorns on you, but life is so, so good, and I am so, so thankful.

Jun 18, 2012

the baby sleep update you've all been waiting for

It is just after 9 AM, and I am sorely tempted to put on another pot of coffee.  One should not be this tired this early in the day.  Colin is already down for his first nap of the day--that should tell you something about his our night.  *Sigh*

Things were going really, really well for a while there.  By 10 weeks, Colin had slept through the night a whopping four times, and on most nights, he was only waking up once around 3 or 4 AM to nurse.  The night waking wasn't so bad, especially because he's been sleeping in a cradle in our room.  I thought that we were surely on the road to sleeping through the night and eventually moving into the crib in the shared nursery, but really, what do I know?

Apparently, nothing, because for the past two to three weeks, Colin has decided that he needs to wake up to nurse whenever I come in the room to go to bed and then every three hours after that.  *yawn*  I thought it might be a growth spurt or teething (at barely three months? again, what do I know?), but I'm starting to feel a little worn down by this fragmented nighttime sleep.  Coupled with the incredibly early wake up times that my children enjoy, I am finding myself desperate for some caffeine to make it through dinner.

(Before I go any further, I want to commend my sweet son on his epic napping ability.  While I won't say he is on a "schedule" (whatever that is), I can confidently say that I know he will take two to three naps every day, and at least one of those naps will be over two hours long.  He sleeps swaddled up in his cradle with some white noise droning on, and this does give me a chance to clean, eat, sew, work out, or whatever else I decide to do.  Maybe I should decide to nap...)

I wondered if sleeping in our bedroom was causing these frequent nighttime wakings.  I doubt Colin is really hungry, but the boy really likes to nurse and snuggle, and I think he knows that I am easily accessible.  If I want to be a little less easily accessible, the logical thing seems to be to move the boy out of our room.  We debated moving the cradle to another room, but Colin is getting to be a big, strong, active baby who is probably quickly outgrowing the cradle.  So, I decided to brave two babies in one room.

Colin goes down for the night between 6:30 and 7, but Cara's bedtime to closer to 8, so I put Colin down in the cradle first; then, I moved him to his crib after his first wake-up around 10.  Everything seemed fine until midnight when Colin decided to wake up again...and then again two hours later...and again two hours later.  I don't have very good judgment when I am half asleep, so Colin eventually ended up in the bed with us where he had his own little dance party.  Rock on!

I don't really expect Colin to sleep through the night at barely three months, but it would be nice if he was moving in that direction.  Instead, he seems to be going backwards.  I have read that good daytime sleep equals good nighttime sleep, and I feel like Colin is doing great on the daytime sleep.  Ignoring him during the night doesn't feel like an option because A) that seems especially mean if he is in our room and B) if he's in the nursery, he's going to wake up his sister, which is a bad, bad idea.  I'm not sure where to go from here.  I guess I could stick it out with Colin in the nursery for a few more nights to see if he adjusts and starts sleeping for longer stretches, or maybe there is some other option that I can't come up with because I am so very tired.

I totally just made another pot of coffee.

Jun 14, 2012

mama's helper

Cara is all about being mama's helper these days, and I appreciate it so much as I need all the help I can get!  She especially likes helping me cook dinner.  She pulls a chair over to the counter or the stove to see what I'm doing and pour or stir whatever she can get her hands on.  I mentioned earlier that we made pizza together, and several times since then, she has asked if I need help with my pizza dough.  And a few nights ago, the answer was "yes."

Step 1: Spread around some flour, and make sure to cover your hands as well.

Step 2: Push and smash and knead your dough into a circle.

Obviously, this is her favorite step.

(I baked my pizza crust for 10 minutes or so before we added any toppings.)
Step 3: Add some pizza sauce.
*Side note: Yes, there is a knife on the cutting board, and the pizza stone had just come out of the oven.  Cooking does involve sharp objects and heat though, so I use these opportunities to talk about safety and what Cara can and cannot touch.  She seems to understand that  she could get hurt if she doesn't listen to mama, and I think it makes her feel very "big girl" to get to help me with dinner.  So far, Cara has been a very good listener. :-)

Step 4: Add sliced mozzarella.

Step 5: Add crumbled Italian sausage (mama cooked it before we started) and lots of raw veggies.  We used red bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms.

Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Yum.

my little chef

linking up with Becky!

Jun 13, 2012


Back when I was enormously pregnant, I asked for the Colette Sewing Handbook for Christmas, and my awesome husband obliged.  (He's always glad for me to actually tell him what I want instead of making him guess.)
via Amazon

I can't tell you how excited I was to get this book, especially because it has five patterns included.  I have read it at least four times, cover to cover; the pictures are beautiful, and the instructions and techniques are clearly explained.  Even though I have been sewing for a good little while now, I have learned so much from this book.  I tend to go at it on my own most of the time, but I feel like I'm going to produce more professional-looking clothes thanks to this book.

Now that I am no longer enormously pregnant, I figured it was time to pull out one of those patterns and get started.  I have only made two dresses for myself (here and here), so I definitely want to learn more about sewing my own clothing and getting a beautiful fit.  I think fit is the part that intimidates me the most about sewing my own clothes, but the Colette Sewing Handbook makes even that seem simple.  Time consuming, maybe, but easily accomplished.

The first pattern in the book is the Meringue skirt, so that's where I started:

please excuse my wrinkles; it had been a long day! :-)

I really like the structured, A-line look of this skirt, and the scalloped hem makes it a little extra special.  I actually made a muslin for this skirt, which is something I have never taken the time to do before.  I thought I might have to make some adjustments to the waist since I'm not really back to fighting form yet, but this pattern was forgiving and flattering.  It only made me that much more excited to get started on the other four patterns in the book!

An adorable little girl was offering "cake," and clearly, I couldn't say no.

shirt: Target
necklace: Page Six
shoes: gojane.com
Cara's dress: hand-me-down

Jun 11, 2012

twelve weeks!

My sweet baby boy is twelve weeks old today.  Twelve weeks feels like a milestone, like the end of newborn and the beginning of baby.  Or the end of the fourth trimester.  Or the beginning of giggles, toys, and real interaction. 

When we took Colin for his two month appointment, he was 12.5 pounds, so my guess is that he's pretty well over 13 pounds these days.  He doesn't really look chubby though, just long.  Sometimes I forget that he's only two and half months because he looks older to me.

He's now reached the drooling, everything-goes-in-my-mouth phase.  I wonder if he's already starting to cut some teeth, but I can't feel anything on his gums yet and he's not fussing like he's teething.  He was really proud of himself when he finally managed to get his fingers in his mouth.  

This boy is also becoming a big fan of his toys.  He scoots all over his playmat to get to the one he wants.  He kicks and swats at them and laughs at how awesome he is for being able to get them.  He really wants to roll, but those arms and legs aren't working together just right yet.  It won't be long though.

I have to admit that I have been really enjoying finding boy cuteness for him to wear.  So many people said that it was hard to find cute boy clothes, so I've been on the lookout for unique, distinctly "boy" pieces.  This robot mustache onesie from Zulily is one of my favorites.

Cara absolutely adores her baby brother.  We hear "I need to see my brother!" all the time, and she has started telling everyone that he's "such a good boy."  She sometimes gets a little jealous when her daddy is holding Colin, but she can be persuaded to play something all together pretty easily.  I expected her to want to "mother" him as if he was a baby doll, but she doesn't see him that way.  He's a real person to her, someone she has already called her best friend.  Watching her love on him is one of the best things about being a mom.

Happy Twelve Weeks, Baby Boy!  There could not be a more perfect addition to our family!

Jun 10, 2012

a sweet baby shower

I helped throw a baby shower for one of my best friends, Jillian, who is expecting her first little one in August.  Sorry for the iPhone pictures, but everything turned out so cute that I couldn't resist.

I can't go to a baby shower without making some bibs and burp cloths.
the beautiful mama-to-be
I really wish I could say that I made those monogram cupcakes, but I definitely did not.  I just know where to order adorable cupcakes
I'm so excited for Jillian to become a mama! Congratulations, my sweet friend!
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