November 29, 2013

Kaiya's Pretty in Pink Party

[Miss Kaiya in her 1st birthday outfit]
Well, it finally came - our first baby's first birthday! Kaiya was due on Thanksgiving last year and came four days later, but this year her birthday came two days before Turkey Day so we had a day of festivities for Kaiya, then a day to prepare the pies, then a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving Day.
On Tuesday, I spent all morning preparing a small, 6 inch PINK lemonade cake, lots and lots of PINK lemonade cupcakes (all covered with PINK lemonade frosting and sprinkles of course!), cutting strips of PINK tulle and tying it around a small elastic band, spraying lace with fabric stiffener and glitter, stitching a PINK 1 onto a onsie, wrapping PINK ribbon around glass jars, filling those jars with PINK candies, rummaging through all my fabric for PINK pieces, and setting up PINK plates and balloons all around our friends' basement for Kaiya's PRETTY IN PINK PARTY!
It was pretty fun - we took some cute pictures of our sweet pea before she could fling off the crown and run away, then let all the kiddos play for a while with the balloons and toys before pulling out some presents and cake. Kaiya enjoys playing with her new toys (especially the hot wheel cars!) but I definitely did most of the present opening, which was fun for me - it's just as fun opening a gift for your little bug as it is opening one for yourself! It was adorable watching her eat her cake though - we placed the whole 6 inch cake in front of her and, though nervous as she was at first to ruin the icing... haha... she soon realized how tasty it was and went to town!
I would say it was a successful party and it was great to celebrate Kaiya's special day with some good friends - so thanks to everyone who came and played with us for a little while! That, mixed with Brandan's cumulative exam being taken the same morning and finally being over with (he passed!!!), and a break for him from classes the rest of the week and playing games and stuffing ourselves with yummy food and pie two days later has made this a very good week!

[Wait... was I suppose to save some??]

November 21, 2013

Family Photos - Kaiya at 1 Year

First of all, thank you SOOOOO much to my awesome friend, Kirsten Schoenrock, for taking these for us on a very chilly mid-November morning (we definitely had jackets on in-between photos!). You are the best!!! We will cherish these!! :)

[Our little family of three, Kaiya just about 1 year old!]
[The Daddy Toss - Kaiya LOVES it!]
[Kaiya wouldn't look at the camera for quite a while... she was way too interested in these leaves we finally are letting her play with!]
[Kaiya recently learned that she's quite good at throwing things over her head backwards so I love that Kirsten caught this little pose because it's a very common one at our house!]
[Huh? hahahaha]
[I can't believe she use to be 6 1/2 lbs.... our little sugarbug is growing up too fast!]
[Cliché photo? Perhaps.... Adorable though? YES!]
[Why do I almost get emotional when I see this picture? I really haven't ever felt a love so deep as I feel towards my precious baby girl]
[Twooooo Wuuuuuv :)]
[Our silly girl probably just told me a hilarious secret about our photographer in her gibber-gabber ;)]
[A play off of our brother-in-law, Tyler's, idea of an artsy photo, hehe]

November 2, 2013

Happy Halloween With Our Baby Octopus!

[Our little baby octopus all ready for Halloween!]
I am all for cute little homemade (aka non-expensive) costumes. Growing up we always grabbed our play clothes or reinvented regular clothes to make ourselves gypsies, army men, evil chefs, hippies, etc. It's almost weird for me to think about going to a store and buying a premade costume! This year I didn't have very much time to come up with something and make it for Kaiya, let alone for Brandan and myself (and Brandan certainly didn't have time or desire! haha) and so, thanks to pinterest, a few pairs of tights, some stuffing and a large amount of felt leftovers in my crafting box, we became an ocean with an adorable octopus hanging out with all the fish.
[A family ocean :)]
Our ward at church had a trunk-or-treat on Halloween night and it's always so much fun to see all the kiddies in their cute little costumes, walking around with their bags held out saying 'trunk-or-treat!.' My favorite part is passing out the candy so I don't miss any of them! This year, we decided to actually decorate our trunk and it was pretty fun - using some posterboard, we created a monster mouth that kids had to reach inside to get a piece of candy. Little did we know with some taped-on triangles and poster board eyes on our car that we'd get a treasure chest, "best trunk" award full of candy! So that was pretty fun. There were also various costume awards, several of which went to Kaiya for cutest costume - our little sweet pea rocked those stuffed tights and googly-eyed hat! There were so many cute babies though - you can't go wrong with any kind of costume on any baby or toddler! (except perhaps Miley's twerking stuffed animal costume - YUCK)
But anyway, it's so fun having a kid now so that we can participate in more of the holiday activities. Not only did we pass out candy to kids, but got to collect some goodies for our little miss. Not only did I drop some goodies off at a kid's Halloween party but I actually got to go and hang out with my kid! Not only did we tell people about what we'd be for Halloween, but I got to excitedly tell people about the baby costume I was making! So much fun - it amazes me that I liked this holiday before having a little participant to entertain with it!
[Kaiya with her friends Jaden and Aaron at a kiddie party]
[Mama and Baby]
[Monster Car!!! Accessorized by Brandan's Spiderman and my Barney from HIMYM pumpkins]
Other than fun Halloween festivities, Brandan has been crazy busy trying to balance current studies with review for his cumulative exam coming up and spending time with us. Every evening he spends NOT studying impresses me. I can't even imagine how stressed out he must feel trying to let go of school stress for anything else. As most of you know though, you would never really hear about how stressed out he is through every day conversation. He keeps his worries to himself to try and keep everyone else happy and uplifted. I'm so glad he chose to go into school to do something he really enjoys and is good at so he only needs to learn something once to remember it long-term. I know he'll do just fine on the cumulative exam, no matter how much or little he stresses about it. But anyway, so he'll be spending every spare moment focused on that and on Kaiya's first birthday, November 26th, he'll take the exam and be able to relax! Yay!
As for Kaiya, she is hilarious (yes, even more hilarious than she was a week ago). Every outing we've had running errands has been full of strangers breaking into smiles and laughter as she smiles and giggles at them or does a little dance for them. We'll definitely have to have the "stranger danger" talk as soon as she can understand what I'm saying to her... haha!
She also, just within the last few days, has learned how to give kisses, do the signs for 'milk' and 'more' and understands the word, "stop" (which of course makes her stop only momentarily before a huge grin appears and she goes at whatever mischevious thing she's doing even faster or crazier!). She has also discovered a new phony laugh, an almost pity-laugh if you will, that she now does whenever she knows that we want her to laugh along with us. It's pretty sad sounding and only makes Brandan and I feel silly that we thought she might be fooled to think we were really funny or awesome. She also took her first step almost two weeks ago while I was at choir at DMU (of course she would do it during the only short period of time I am not with her during the week!!) as Brandan was watching her. She has come really close again since then but I think she's a little too comfortable crawling everywhere!
And as for me, I have been keeping myself really busy reviewing for the GRE which I hope to take in the next month or so, NOT running (my break from running following the marathon has given me so much spare time that it amazes me that I might be able to get back to it! haha), and keeping up with Kaiya and all the holiday activities.