Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sisters

Once I give everyone the details about Maggie's entrance into the world, the next question is usually about how Caroline is adapting to the new normal.

We brought Caroline to the hospital to meet her new sister. She was thrilled to see all the family members in one place and was interested in her sister briefly, but the novelty of the hospital wore off quickly. Soon she was interested in the next adventure. We snapped a couple pictures, the last clearly show her disinterest.

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There were many jokes about how we thought Caroline would HATE the baby. Well she's been hovering between loving and ambiguity. Maggie's cries can send her parents blood pressure through the roof but Caroline doesn't skip a beat. Maggie will be screaming bloody murder and Caroline wants Mom to finish the book or Dad to contiue helping her with a puzzle unfazed. And then, she is the big sister, doting on Maggie with hugs and kisses, bringing her toys and educating her sister on the ways of the world.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Introducing Margaret Jane

So you probably have heard by now that itty bit is a GIRL. Maggie Jane was evicted from the womb after her due date came and went with little fan fare.

We were scheduled for induction on Trick-or-Treat night. It worked out perfectly because we got to take Caroline out for candy, put her to bed, and then head to the hospital. Of course as much as I LOVE Halloween, I had to join in the costume fun. I recruited a friend to come over and paint my belly like an eyeball. It was a little chilly to walk around with a bare belly, but the reactions were totally worth it.
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Caroline was a buckeye cheerleader - so cute!
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Once Caroline was tucked in bed with Mema watching over her, we left for the hospital. I should mention that I still had the painted eyeball under my shirt. Once ad the admission desk, the crew looked bored and uninterested so I flashed them the Halloween artwork. They LOVED it. Immediately they went to get coworkers and out came the phones to take pictures.
I think the nurse that was assigned to me was less than pleased about my belly makeup until I assured her that it washes off easily and I would take care of it before getting into my hospital gown.

The initial induction went pretty smoothly albeit slowly. I labored all night, getting an epidural around 5cm to allow myself some sleep. Hubs and I drifted in and out of sleep as Star Wars played on the TV in the background.
By 7 AM, Bubby was back and Hubs and I were preparing ourselves for a long day of laboring, I was only 6-7 cm.  At 8 AM the nurse came in to check me and to our surprise, I was fully dilated and ready to push. Considering the LONG night we had just endured, I couldn’t believe it was time to push.

It was in the middle of my first practice push that I realized how fast the delivery would happen this time. The nurse told me to stop mid push because of how fast she was coming and the doctor was not yet in the room. We waited about 5 minutes for the doctor, all of us suddenly wide awake and buzzing with excitement. Once the Dr arrived, it only took two pushes before we all exclaimed (with surprise) “It’s a girl!” Margaret Jane arrived at 8:15 AM.
Her hurried entry into the world left her a little shocked and this mom extremely nervous. She didn’t immediately cry and need a little oxygen and suction to pink up. 5 minutes later, she was perfect and ready to cuddle with me. She is amazing and beautiful! She is sleeping soundly and nursing like a champ.

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And now there are four (six if you include the fur babies). Check back next week to see how Caroline is reacting to her new sister.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Am I Ready for This?

I left the house today for my last day of work before Maternity leave. I would normally work until the due date but the sitter is off next week and I'll probably be induced by Friday.

As I left the house, Hubs said "this is the last time  you'll leave for work with only one kid". I immediately felt sad. I'm not sure why. I know that Hubs wasn't trying to make me sad, instead he is excited about the new adventure we are about to embark on.


I felt sadness that my one-on-one time with Babybit is coming to an end. Sadness and fear that the now manageable morning routine will have to be rediscovered and relearned. And of course, sadness surrounding the sleep I know I'll be missing out on in the coming months. My emotions were/are probably exacerbated by my fatigue. Within the past two weeks, both Hubs and Babybit have battled the same nasty virus. Whenever either of them are sick, I worry and fret and lose sleep until they are better. Oh yeah, and I'm 10 months pregnant, uncomfortable, achy and having irregular contractions that interrupt all attempts at sleeping.

We are so excited to give babybit a sibling and grow our family. I can't wait to meet him/her and fall in love with my new baby and tell you all about how different yet similar the two kids are. I can't wait to see how our family and our hearts grow with the new addition. But in the middle of all this excitement and anticipation, I allowed myself a morning of sadness to mourn the way things were, making room for the way things will be.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Itty Bit's Nursery

I know its been a while but there hasn't been too much to report. I've been sleeping A TON. If I'm not at work, grocery shopping or finding time to play with Caroline, I'm sleeping. I actually told my Husband yesterday that I miss him.

My nesting phase came and went in a whirlwind. I accomplished trying to clean the walls (FYI, NEVER USE MATTE PAINT. It just doesn't come clean, no matter how many magic erasers you use) cleaning the tub and putting up a backsplash in the kitchen. I did some other normal house cleaning too, but the house is so trashed again, its as if I never did anything.

I'm at that point in my pregnancy where bending over to pick something up is akin to climbing Everest. Just dropping something on the floor results in a slew of cuss words that you'll probably be hearing from Caroline soon. Oops.

Itty Bit's room has been 95% complete for probably 2 months now. I've been waiting to post the before and after until its 100%, but that aint gonna happen. It probably won't be complete until a month or two after he/she is here.

To understand what a transformation this room has become, you have to understand that for the 8 plus years that we've lived in this house, the room in question has been Hubs office/closet/dumping ground. Have I ever mentioned that Hubs is a PACK RAT?? He is one step from a hoarders intervention.We've had epic fights regarding the overflow of crap stuff in that room. I never, NEVER, won. Instead, I resigned myself to keep that door shut and ignore it. That was, until I peed on the stick and saw two lines.


It was months of cleaning out the room, boxing up crap stuff and purging before I could even consider what it would look like. I scoured pinterest and found map-inspired rooms that I just LOVED. Hubs has so many old maps that we could put to use. Some of them even had road trips highlighted on them and brought back good memories. Remember TripTicks from AAA???  I collected all of Hubs maps and some from friends and family to create a map accent wall.  I didn't really want it to be permanent (wall paper glue and all) in case we decide to move in the near future, so I just used painters tape to hang the maps.

In support of the 'map' theme, Biscuit and Tina refaced the dresser drawers we had with in-laid maps. AWESOME. After that, I spray painted some of the accent pieces and assembled all the furniture in the room. The rug is actually the one from Caroline's room. Nana bought us a map rug but it was more primary colors and looked perfect in her room.

You'll notice that the room isn't complete because we still need to purchase and hang the shades. I still need a mirror to hang over the dresser, and the rocking chair will be moved from Caroline's room into the corner of Itty Bit's room.

This is me trying to get a good picture of the map wall.
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Hanging over the crib are cork boards that I spray painted and/or covered in a map. Currently there are ultrasound pics and cards. As Itty Bit gets older, I have to reconsider what to hang here!
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This is the corner where the rocking chair will go and a mirror will be hung over the dresser. Ignore all the stuff stacked up in the corner. Check out the dresser, so cool!
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Another angle of the room with changing table and shelves. 
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So that is the state of Itty Bit's room. Caroline loves to spend time in there, getting in the swing and getting into the drawer to find pacifiers. I hope she finds it just as fun when her baby sister/brother settles in!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Birthday booby traps


So Hubs birthday was this week. Since we are preparing for the upcoming increase in daycare care expenses, we’ve been tightening the belt on the budget. In other words, I was looking for some inexpensive FREE ways to show Hubs how much we love and appreciate him on his birthday. I decided that I’d leave little happy birthday love notes in all the places I expected him to be that day. Some were in expected places, in his laptop, in his day planner and on Caroline’s desk. One was not. I read somewhere about hiding notes in the toilet paper role. This seemed like the MOST unexpected and I HAD to do this. So I cut up a green index card into three pieces that read 1)HAPPY 2)BIRTHDAY 3)POOPY PANTS and placed them progressively through the toilet paper role so they would pop out as he was grabbing for some. I really didn’t see how this could go wrong….

I called hubs later in the morning to wish him a happy birthday. The first thing he said to me was “I have pee all over my hands”. I was very confused and didn’t know if my first reaction should be WHY or GO WASH YOUR HANDS. I know him better than to think he didn’t wash his hands immediately. He was just making a point, so I went with, “WHY? You don’t use toilet paper when you pee!” I may have grown up with all girls, but 5 years of marriage have taught me that much.
Then he relays what he has now called “the birthday booby trap”. 

He was taking his morning leak and had to blow his nose. He unrolled some toilet paper and green pieces of paper flew right into the pee-filled toilet. His immediate reaction was to try and salvage the green pieces of paper. What if they were clues to an elaborate birthday scavenger hunt? (Side note, why didn’t I think to do a SCAVENGER HUNT?) He tried to quickly grab the possibly important papers before they became completely submerged in pee, failing in the process. Once thoroughly disgusted he discovered they were just happy birthday notes and not important enough to stick his fingers into the dirty toilet.

As he is relaying the story, I’m laughing hysterically. So he thanked me for the birthday booby trap and is now excited to execute one on me in March.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ignoring the details

Do you ever have those moments that make you realize you’ve got it pretty good, that is, if you are willing to look past the details?
I tried to explain this to Hubs this weekend. Imagine your younger self dreaming up a perfect relaxing evening. How would a younger me paint that picture?
 My evening would consist of a bubble bath soaking my perfectly pregnant body in a giant claw foot tub, admiring my newly manicured toes breaking the surface of the water, a sweet squeaky-clean daughter sleeping soundly in her perfectly decorated and organized room, and my doting husband bringing me wine and chocolates, quick to depart so I can enjoy quiet solitude. AHHH
Back to reality
Well, it WAS a relaxing evening and I WAS soaking in the tub. I also had an awesome little girl asleep soundly in the other room. Hubs then came in unexpectedly and brought me a glass of wine. He asked if I wanted candles, and even brought me something to rest my back against. It was when I sat back against one of Caroline’s giant bumble bee pools tools, examined the peeling paint and moldy caulk around the ancient tub that held one big whale of a pregnant woman half submerged in murky water that I smiled.
 Yep, I have it good. My heart got it right, even if the details are all comically wrong.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blessings

The other night after Caroline was asleep; I did my nightly ‘peek in’. Once she’s sound asleep I have to check that 1) she’s still breathing 2) content 3) reassure myself that she is, in fact, awesome.
I was closing the door after going through my checklist when I couldn’t help myself from saying to Hubs, “I can’t believe I’m going to have TWO babies soon. I think my heart might explode.”  It’s at night when the calmness takes over the house, the anxiety and pressures of the day drift away that I’m left with the heart-swelling blessings my life has brought me.
During the day, those feeling get lost amongst the bills, alarm clocks, work, dinner, diapers, tantrums, and schedules. The idea of two kids has done its share of FREAKING ME OUT. But underneath it all, is that love and joy that is so rich and deep it scares me.  
I feel guilty that days sometimes go by without this recognition, but I’m too type A and practical to realistically spend my life in reverence. Instead I’ll write about those moments, give them life. When I click through the archives of my blog, these feelings don’t get lost or forgotten.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Third Trimester

So I’m officially in the last three months of my pregnancy. Here is a recent conversation with my doctor:

Me: I feel big. Am I measuring big?
DR: Yep.

Well there you go. I’m not crazy. My third trimester clothes from the last pregnancy ARE tighter than I remember. They are being significantly tested to stretch and cover the underbelly. Plus there are all the comments from coworkers when I tell them my due date. Their eyes get big and a look of worry consumes their face. They must think I’m having a 12 lb baby.

The weather has been very mild – perfect for a late summer pregnancy, especially if you tend to carry mini furnaces in your belly. While most people have the windows open and are enjoying the low humidity, 75 degree days, I admit that the AC is actually on. It's that mini furnace.

We’ve been trying to take FULL advantage of summer lately, taking Caroline to the zoo, the pool and the State Fair. We have to get all these activities in, because I’m getting tired and winded more quickly.

This weekend I hope to spend more time in Ittybit’s room to get it ready. Once we have it prepped, we’ll move the toddler bed into Caroline’s room. She’s already seen it and is supper excited about her big girl bed. Not sure mom and dad are ready for the transition though.

I took a "before" picture of the messy office/dumping room that will become the nursery. Ideally the 'after' picture should be pretty dramatic. The challenge with cleaning out this room is that it means we’ve had to re purpose Hubs office space and all our files and such. Our tiny house just has to be more functional with every inch of space having a distinct purpose. So far it has actually been an improvement, but we’ll see how we feel when winter arrices and the four of us (six if you include the cat and dog) are on top of each other.

Hope you are enjoying the summer. It will be gone before you know it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bubble Guppies

So it has been a year and a half of figuring out a morning routine that allows me to get showered and dressed for work, while Caroline is kept busy.

She is a morning girl, usually waking me up around 6 or 6:30. My pre-motherhood self wouldn't have believed I'd EVER happily get up that early every day. But when I walk into her room and those arms shoot up and she squeals "MOMMA," how could I not be eager to jump out of bed.

Once she's up, had some milk and a fresh diaper, I usually find an on-demand TV show for her to watch. (I know, Mom OF THE YEAR). Right now her favorite show of all times is Bubble Guppies. BTW, thank you Nick Jr. for always having these shows available on demand!

Well this has been our routine long enough that Caroline will bring me the remote and patiently watch the TV as I navigate through the On-Demand menu.

And this is my absolute favorite part. Once we get through the intro commercials and the animation for the show begins, she turns, locks eyes with me and beams the biggest smile I have ever seen.

It's as if I am a wondrous magician who can read her mind and POOF made those guppies appear on screen. She'll hold that smile for a whole three seconds of gratitude before she starts dancing around singing "bub, bub, bubble" and flailing her arms.

Today, I had to remind myself to get my camera out to capture that moment, because it will be gone before I know it. Before I know it, she'll be rolling her eyes at me and challenging everything. But right now, I'm AMAZING . So, yeah, I needed to capture that.

The picture pretty much captures the scene appropriately, blurry from that early morning, pre-coffee haze, TV overexposed in the background and not yet dressed for the day BUT smiling so big that her eyes are squinty. LOVE!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Dear IttyBit

Your dad named you IttyBit last night and I like it.


I can’t believe you are already so big. This pregnancy was so slow at first, but now I only have 3 and half months left. I haven’t even STARTED on your room. I have been mentally preparing for you by looking at pictures of newborn babies and reminding myself how big your sister is. Its amazing how much I’ve already forgotten about having a newborn, the breastfeeding schedule, the bottles, the lack of sleep.

I have planned to have your sister go to the sitter while I’m home with you, so we can have our time together, our time to heal after delivery, our time to bond.

I wonder how Caroline will handle your arrival. I point to my belly and say baby. She thinks it is a game and pushes her finger into my belly button with a big smile. She just thinks I’m the Pillsbury dough boy!

Your dad had a dream the other night that you are a girl. I think this surprised him because he’s been guessing you are a boy. I was so wrong with your sister, that I’m not even wagering a guess.

You are kicking me all the time now. It makes me happy, except when you lodge a limb somewhere painful. Your sister was sick this week and as she slept on us, it seems your kicks were directed at her. A sign of things to come, I’m sure.

I’m a little scared of being a Mom to two little ones. It seems like I’m just getting the routine down with your sister. Please be patient with me little one. I love you very much and will do my best to ensure you are happy and healthy.

Love your momma!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Conversations with Caroline

This is one of my favorite videos of Caroline. It is us just sitting on the couch asking her to say her words. Her favorite word is "no" at the moment. It makes me smile.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Letters to my baby girl.


Dear Caroline,

It is amazing to me how much change the past 6 month have brought. It’s crazy to think that at your first birthday, you weren’t even walking yet! Your vocabulary continues to surprise us. I can’t tell if it is Mom pride or if you are just that good with words.

This past week Miss Diane was on vacation, so I took the time off work to spend with you. I am starting to realize how precious this one-on-one time is considering your sibling’s pending arrival. Taking you back to the sitter on Monday was really hard for me. The whole week felt like it was just you and me taking on the world. I was being selfish with this time with you. There were so many special moments where we just cuddled, laughed and played together.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. It took me a good couple days to let go of the standard routine and let things happen as they may. In my defense, the routine is what gets us through the week. I’m always apprehensive to let it go. Once I did submit, the time with you was more enjoyable. You had more mud under your fingernails, stains on your clothes and ultimately a bigger smile on your face.

The first half of the week we went to lunch and strawberry picking with Aunt Biscuit. We ran so many errands. We even spent an hour or so with Aunt Jenna and your cousins. I loved the way you squealed with excitement every time I asked if you wanted to go bye-bye. Yes, you want to see the world, even if the world only consists of what you can view from the cart at the grocery store, Lowe's or Michael's.

The second half of the week was spent boating with Bubby, Grandpa, Quinn and Uncle Meg. It was a four hour drive. You slept almost the whole way! It was your first boat trip of the year, and the first boat trip where you are walking. On the dock, or anywhere near the water for that matter, you had your life jacket on. That life jacket proved awkward for you. Your balance was off. You waddled around unable to bend at the waist. It would have been a funny sight if I wasn’t freaking out that you were going to stumble and fall headfirst into the lake!

Once we got a chance to swim together, you proved to be as much a fish as your momma. I guess those swimming lessons paid off. I had a life jacket on so I could keep you stable and upright.You loved it. We swirled in circles and swam towards noodles so you could grab and gnaw on them. Towards the end of the trip I even had you putting your face in the water to blow bubbles. I was quite surprised by your lack of fear, considering your adventure-seeking, wild cousin wanted nothing to do with the water. I was so proud!

It’s been a week now since I had to take you back to the sitter and go back to work. The week together was awesome and I think you agreed as we both cried, you a little more than me as I peeled you off my hip and handed you to Diane.

I am so very proud of the brave, smart, polite, beautiful girl you are growing into. It’s that stubborn streak I’m afraid of….

Love, your momma!

Strawberry Pickin
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Relaxing on the boat
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Trying to share the big-girl chair. A sign of things to come?
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zoo day

This week, I had a three day weekend to celebrate Memorial day. Oh man, why can’t every weekend be a three day weekend? There is time to get all the household maintenance stuff done with a whole additional day left to PLAY!
I decided we were much overdue for Caroline’s first trip to the Zoo. Bubby and Grandpa generously gifted us a family membership. I really don’t know why it took us so long to utilize it. But Monday was the day. I even got some of my other Mom friends on board to haul their kiddos to the zoo with me. Well Monday morning was a less than lovely day. It was raining on and off. I checked the radar and was determined to go.

We got to the zoo and unloaded in the rain. Yep, it was raining, but I was determined. We headed through the rain to the cover of the aquarium. Of course that is where everyone was seeking refuge. It didn’t matter. We navigated our kid-and-crap hauling vehicles (two strollers and one wagon) to a parking spot and let the wild ones loose. The great thing about the aquarium is the floor to ceiling windows and the way the kiddos can get right up in there. Caroline could have moved in. Not only were there so many other kids to watch, but yes, FISH TOO. She kept yelling gibberish at the wall of water and pointing. Every once in a while, she’d turn around and check to make sure I was still there. Once the crowd started to clear out, we figured the rain likely stopped.

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Once Baby Ben finished his lunch, we all decided to grab ours. Caroline was probably satisfied with that one adventure for the day, little did she know more was in store.

After lunch we went to the check out the elephants. These slow moving pachyderms were not as exciting so we only stayed long enough for her to say “elle”. Next was the petting zoo. This penned in area was more Caroline’s forte. The minute the stroller stopped, she was reaching and wiggling for freedom. Finally, free reign to go where she wanted! Also, look at all the ‘DOGGIES’. They were goats, but she was so excited I didn’t want to burst her bubble. She just went round and round to each ‘doggie’ and proclaimed it as such as she gave it a couple pats. She made probably 5 rounds, anointing each goat a doggie.

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I thought she was going to be upset when it was time to move on, but the hand washing station proved just as much fun, thank god!

Next it was time to check out the polar bears. Sadly, it was too warm for the bears to be out. This is when I declared it was time for the Moms to get a treat. Ice Cream here we come. We were just about to the ice cream stop when I look in the stroller to see this…..

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Success! It isn’t a truly fun day unless you pass out in the car/stroller from sheer enjoyment. True for adults and children alike!

We’ll come back another day soon and check out all the other animals. I’m sure she’ll want to come back to the petting zoo and make sure all the goats are fully aware of their new doggie status.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Down the rabbit hole.

Do you ever read something on the internet that is so familiar that it almost makes you gasp? That’s been happening a lot with me lately. That may be because of the amount of time I've been blog surfing. I could say that I’m just not that busy at work and have been killing time. But the honest answer is that I’m currently HATING not enjoying  my job, so I’m avoiding it. Want to waste some time an joing me? Here are two new blogs that have kept me distracted as of late.


Momastery – I was introduced to this blog by the these Columbus clowns. Sometimes when I get so caught up in BEING THE BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD, this blog helps ground me. Full disclosure, there are some posts that will leave you in tears, because they are so heartwarming/heatbreaking/bittersweet. I usually stop reading those posts the minute my eyes well up, because, well I am at work…

RantsFromMommyland – This blog makes me laugh daily. I am always amazed at how these bloggers manage to be hilarious and heartwarming at the same time. It is probably the self-depricating humor that I appreciate.

One afternoon I was spiraling down the rabbit hole of blogs-linking-to-other-blogs when I found this post and shocked to read something that so accurate describes ME. The author was talking about her depression returning and not recognizing it. Let me clarify, I am not depressed, That is not necessarily what I found relevant. Instead it was how she described herself. There was one paragraph that is ME, although I have never been able to articulate it as well

“I’m an introvert by nature, which surprises people because I’m outgoing, I like people, and I’m often loud, at least when I’m comfortable. Being alone gives me energy, though, so while I enjoy parties, I’m something of a dried out husk by the end of them”

I've tried to explain this to Hubs, who is the complete opposite. It also explains why something as fun and easygoing as having houseguest can leave me feeling fragile and utterly exhausted when they leave, spent and dried up. Don't get me wrong, I would do it all again. They are awesome friends. It just takes me some alone time to rejuvinate.

The author proceeds to describe, with hilariaty I might add, that she was feelings anxious and was being an irrational bitch. I can relate to those feelings too, but I’m placing that blame squarely on my pregnancy.

I also haven’t been that interesting in hanging out with friends or going to parties, but again, pregnant. Who really wants to do that when, it’s not fun to get dressed up, it keeps you up past bedtime, exacerbates your exhaustion, you are physically uncomfortable and you can’t imbibe. The author describes a feeling dread when faced with going out – luckily I do not relate to this feeling, but I could see it happening because of how much I relate to the paragraph above.

Also, after Caroline was born, I dealt with some postpartum depression that had me befuddled. The reason I was so confused is better summed up by the author in the following paragraph:

Here’s the thing: I’m not depressed. I’m not sad. I haven’t been living in a deep, dark pit of despair. I’m happy with my family. I like writing. I have fantastic friends. I’m more fulfilled at this point in my life than at any other. More content. More purposeful. I love getting older; I finally know myself a little, I like myself most of the time, and I can generally figure out a) what I really need and b) how to get it.

All it in all, I was unprepared for with how much I related to this stranger on the web. I just thought I'd share and see if you all have ever been struck with a similar experience. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just a typical Saturday...

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Caroline and I have been taking swimming lessons for the past couple weeks. It’s more about getting the baby girl used to and comfortable with the water. She must take after her Piscean momma, cause she loves it.


We started the lessons while I was still in the throws of early pregnancy nausea and fatigue. Those first couple weeks were tough for me, but totally worth it to see her enjoying the water. Mellow Yellow, here we come!

This past week was probably the biggest adventure, which is surprising to me because I’m finally feeling like myself again. The day started off with me trying to SQUEEZE my pregnant belly into a non-maternity swimsuit. It was such a feat that I was sweating by the time I got the last strap over my shoulder. Caroline was napping as I gathered the supplies. I tried to let her sleep up to the last minute. When I couldn’t wait any longer, I tried to gently wake her. She did not react and did not seem to want to wake up. I finally asked her, gently stroking her back, “do you want to go to the pool?” She shot up, all blinky and sleepy, reaching emphatically for me. Well I guess that answers my question! I changed her into her bathing suit and off we went.

In the locker room I was chatting with the other moms when one of them asks where I work. When I told her, she replies, “Me too. I think I saw you last week”. Oh great, I think, here I am stuffed into an ill-fitting bathing suit, sweats, hair askew, scrambling after Caroline and I meet a CO WORKER. I politely continue the conversation, while taking a mental status of my current appearance, not good. “Let it go, let it go” I repeat to myself. I use Caroline as an excuse and escape exit to the pool.

Once in the pool we begin the normal routine of singing songs and splashing around. Today’s lesson was getting the babies to go under the water. First they need to see you (the parent) do it. I catch Caroline’s attention and asked her to watch momma. I went under the water and resurfaced. I’ve never seen her eyes get so wide. Her expression said “WHAAA? Where DID you go?” It was too funny. So of course I just kept repeating it.

When it was finally her turn, she was a champ. We both went under together for a millisecond. She blinked the water off and just looked wide-eyed at me. We continued with the class, splashing and playing.

Towards the end of the class, the group moves from the big pool to the baby pool where the kids have a little more freedom and the water is warmer. I was carrying Caroline over to the baby pool when I suddenly slipped and BAM, landed square on my tailbone. My legs go askew, one in the pool and one underneath me. Luckily Caroline was still firmly in my grasp. I hit so hard that I might have definitely peed a little. We were both fine, but OUCH! Oh and yeah, then the realization crept in that my newly discovered co-worker just saw me bounce like a stuffed sausage on the hard tile.

I would like to say that was the end of the adventure, but no. As I was undressing Caroline in the locker room, she decides to pee all over the place. I reach for the wipes and retrieve ONE LAST WIPE. Of course, she peed all over the floor and I have one measly baby wipe…. So off I go to ask another mother if she has some I can use. What a frazzled mess I am. I do my best to clean the floor and then clean us. All the while I am procrastinating changing my clothes. Normally I’m not modest. Normally I feel locker rooms are for changing clothes and not judging. But normally I’m not getting undressed in front of someone I will see in a professional setting! Finally she leaves. I peel off the wet, peed on suit and breathe a sign of relief. I gather my clothes, scoop up Caroline and head home to see what other adventures await...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Caroline update

What? All these posts about my pregnancy are boring and irrelevant to you? You want more pictures of Caroline?

I'm just totally spit balling here, guessing what you people want since NO ONE comments on my blog. HELLLLOOOO INTERNET, anyone out there?

I know this blog is more for me and maybe someday my babies to see what life was like before them and before they remember. So onward I trudge, leaving a littlebit of a fingerprint on the web.

Back to baby girl - she's getting so big. Right now her list of words include the following:
momma,
da da and occasionally daddy (Daddy is pronounced DAAAA DEEEEE in the middle of a scream when I'm trying to suck the snot and she is crying for him to save her. Otherwise she refers to him as da da)
Grandpa (pronounce more like pa pah)
doggy
ball
Flower
Nana (banana)
She is trying to say 'milk' but she gets all the letters mixed up and it sounds like a bunch of Em's and el's.
The cute thing is that she knows what "can you say" means and will attempt to say whatever word follows. The exception is for words that just seem too crazy, like orange. I asked her "can you say orange?" and she looked up and me and nodded.

Below are some of her recent pics that I snapped with my iphone. I only mention how the pics are takend because whenever I hold up the phone to take her picture, she thinks I'm on Facetime with someone and runs over saying "HIIIII" to whomever is on the phone. This makes her hard to catch and capture.

First time in the bike trailer
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Sunday morning 'toons
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Smiling (I promise you she does this a lot, it's just hard to get the camera out fast enough to capture)
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Sitting with Sammy - my guess is that Sammy just succeeded in licking her, hence the face shove. PS, gotta love the bed head.
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Letters to my second born

Dear Baby Boo, Punkin' puss, Baby 2,


Dear new baby. I am so excited to meet you. I wonder if you will be like your sister or completely different. Being the second born myself, I want to make sure there is as much fanfare and excitement for you as there was for your sister. You will have it better though. We have learned a lot from Caroline. You will be the benefactor of these lessons. I will to be a more confident and capable mother right from the start. I have gotten better at leaning on people, taking care of myself, and letting the little things go.

I am surprised at how quickly I’m showing. Already in elastic pants and barely 3 months pregnant. I sure hope this doesn’t mean I’ll be gaining more weight than with your sister!

We are not finding out if you are a boy or a girl. Its just too fun not to know. Of course Grandpa said it would “shock the hell outta him” if you were a boy. I think he’s bound to have all his direct descendants be female.

I’m starting to feel a little better, but still so very tired. I hope you are growing strong and smart in there. I can’t wait to feel you move!

Love, your momma.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Retroactive post - first trimester

FYI, this blog post was written in the past. It was written during those first three months of pregnancy that you feel like death, but haven’t told anyone your secret, so you suffer in SILENCE. I saved it for you all because, well not much about me is silent, let alone the suffering.


First Trimester is the WORST. Why oh why did I decide to do this again? All I did this weekend ( was lay around. I still haven’t told anyone, so I’m even lying to people about how productive I wasn’t.

It’s SO EARLY – I’m only 6 weeks. HOW AM I going to manage another MONTH of this? I remember telling Meg that the first trimester was the WORST, while she tried to argue that it the third trimester won the award. No, this is the worst, THE WORST!

I decided to pretend blog about it, so once I’m past this stage and telling people, I can post this and scare myself out of having a THIRD laugh at it when I’m feeling better.

Instead of knowing why you’ve suddenly become a crazy person, people just think you’re having a bad day dropping things in the driveway, forgetting your phone, going to bed at 8PM and crying while watching the evening news.

Headache – it is right behind my eyes and makes everything foggy. It makes my eyes heavy and thinking is hard. It reminds me of the beginning of a migraine.

Exhaustion – It doesn’t ever go away. Luckily Caroline sleeps 12 hours a night, because I’ve needed every hour of that time to try and sleep. I say TRY because as exhausted as I am, I’m having fits of insomnia. I wake up EVERY TWO HOURS. Last pregnancy I would sneak to my car to nap. This time it’s hovering around 15 degrees outside. That means no sneaking when you have to adorn a winter coat, hat and gloves just to hide in your CAR. Plus, have I ever mentioned how much I HATE the cold? No? Maybe you haven’t been READING MY BLOG. Sorry, hormones….

Dizzy spells – stand up too fast and see spots/black out

Nausea – OH THE NAUSEA. Even the saltines started to make me nauseous. The problem with the Nausea is that being hungry made it worse. Oh the irony. I would choke down crackers, dry bread or some candy, then belch for an hour and start the battle all over again.

Dehydration- I wake up in the middle of the night and it is like someone put a dusty vacuum attachment in my mouth to suck out all saliva and leaving a trail of rancidness. Today a friend recommended coconut water. Gonna buy some of that on the way home. I’ll try ANYTHING. (UPDATE, the coconut water was a FAIL)

Weight gain – YEP GAIN. Already 5lbs. That is probably the transition from a lean protein to a high carb, sugar laden diet. Those are the only foods that don’t make me nauseous. Oh and that extra weight? It’s not a pretty round bump either, instead lumpy rolls of belly fat that pull at my clothes, making them cling in all the wrong places. I’m so pretty.

GUILT – The last time I was doted on and pampered. But really no one noticed that I didn’t do much. This time I feel like the worst mother on the planet as I turn on the TV. I even find myself putting her to bed before her bedtime. I keep telling myself ‘this can’t last’ and I will make it up to her. I feel so bad that I don’t have the energy to play with her. She is so happy and all I want to do is lay on the couch.

Google “working through first trimester” and it says things like “shut your office door and take a nap” Office? Yeah right. How about working in a giant maze of cubes? Take naps during the day – oh sure, no one’s gonna notice me cozied up under my desk.

In the morning I wake up feeling like death. I go through the routine of getting dressed. I think there is NO WAY I’m going to make it through the day, and then I get the baby girl up. She really brightens my day. I want to give her my best, so I smile and sing to her each morning, despite internal misery.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

BIG NEWS

So I know my lovely family reads this blog. There are also a handful of friends that also visit this site regularly, thank you. From the stats, it looks like there is an occasional Facebook visitor as well.


So as a way to thank you, I’m going to go ahead and give you all The Scoop, TMZ style. You won’t read about this on Facebook, see a picture on Instagram, or even hear about it through the grapevine – unless you’ve talked to Hubs, AKA loose lips McGee. This announcement is just for you, BLOG READERS!

So with no further ado, we are excited to announce that Caroline is being promoted to BIG SISTER!

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Baby Boo, Pumpkin Puss, Baby 2 is expecting to arrive on October 30th. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating while being patient with me as I remember how HORRIBLE the first trimester is.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sneaky Easter Bunny

I woke up at around 2 AM on Easter morning to go to the bathroom and Hubs, who was still up watching TV said, “I have to show you something”. In my groggy state with a full bladder, I wasn’t really interested. He let me go to the bathroom before he led me toward the front door. I figured some crazy neighbors were at it again. Once at the front door, I peeked through the window and saw something taped to the front door.

This is what I saw:
Easter

Hubs then explained that there was an Easter Basket for Caroline sitting on the front porch that he promptly brought in. (Ya know, because of the earlier mentioned crazies). How awesome! We noticed one Easter egg that was toddler accessible, and figured the daylight would highlight others. We were grinning ear to ear and began to guess who was playing Bunny this Easter.

While Mema gets Caroline a basket every year, we eliminated her as a suspect because of the computer-generated note taped to the door. She doesn't have easy access to a printer. Our next clue was one of the treats in the basket, homemade chocolate chip cookies. One bite and we knew Momma T (Bubby) made them. Our next question was how did the Easter Bunny deliver said treats? Grandpa and Bubby live a good hour and a half away. We figured Aunt Biscuit was probably a willing accomplice.

The next morning we raced around getting ready for church. En route, I texted Aunt Biscuit asking if she was the Easter Bunny’s assistant. She replied that she had no idea what I was talking about, wink. Ok, so I had my answer. I called Grandpa and Bubby to thank them. Always the sneaky ones, they would not admit to the deed. I just got a bunch of “what are you talking about?” I know them well enough to expect their denial, so I just thanked them profusely despite their objections.

The weather was nasty on Easter, so we didn’t get around to the egg hunt until later in the day, when the rain stopped. She was a champion, and found all the eggs with only a little direction and promptly put them in the basket! Easter

Easter

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There was only one egg that gave her trouble, it was on the other side of the chain link fence. Instead of going around, she tried to reach her hand through the fence and grab the egg. She did not succeed and collapsed in a frustrated fit. Once I repositioned her, she grabbed that egg with determination. Due to her mini fit, I do not have pictures of that struggle.

Easter

I hope you all had as happy an Easter as we did.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oldie but a goodie

I was looking back at old blog posts and read this one about the cat and the dog. 

http://littlebit-mt.blogspot.com/2009/11/on-weekends-im-typically-first-one.html

I don't even remember this happening. Anyways, I just thought it was funny enough to highlight again. Enjoy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

GO AWAY WINTER

Dear Jack Frost,
No one likes you. Wait, my crazy sister does. Go visit her. I've had enough. People who are naturally hot blooded and enjoy things like skiing and ice skating like you. I am not one of those people. I tolerate you because your arrive usually precedes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Baby Girl's birthday and other happy family times. This year you have outstayed your welcome. GET OUT.

Don't you have somewhere better to be, like the southern hemisphere?

I am tired of bundling up my baby girl and wrestling with the car seat straps over the layers of clothes and winter coats. I'm tired of making sure my car warms up for 20 minutes each morning. I want to go on walks. I want to go to the zoo. I want WARM WEATHER.

Didn't you get the memo? It is Spring.

Signed,
All normal people that love warmth.

PS. If we skip Spring entirely and go straight to the humidity of a New Orleans August, another disgruntled letter will be mailed post haste to your superior, Mother Nature.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What a difference a year makes

She is just growing up SO FAST.

Last year, celebrating her first St. Patrick's Day.
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This year, modeling an Irish hat that I had no idea Hubs had stored somewhere....
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The second picture is blurry but she moves so fast right now that I have a hard time capturing her.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reminiscing

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how much Caroline had changed in the past year. This is probably due to being around other babies. It’s easier to see how dramatic the changes are when my toddler is grabbing my knees, as I cradle a friends 5 month old. Hubs and I were talking about when she was little, we couldn’t fathom her being able to stand, let alone WALK. “Remember when we could put her down, leave the room, and she would be IN THE SAME PLACE when we came back in?" Now here she is toddling around the house, flipping through books, petting the dog and chasing the cat. I’m sure as she grows we’ll always be struck with how different life was, just a short time ago.


The nostalgic side of me even went back to reading some of my old blog posts, prior to getting pregnant, here. It grounds me. It reminds me how lucky we are and how time changes so much.

I think I’ve always been afraid to type this, but here it is, she is a really good and easy baby. We are lucky. She is so easy to put to bed at night. Sometimes she points at the bed to tell us, yep, I’m ready. Then she sleeps for 12 HOURS. You heard me right. That is 12 hours of undisturbed sleep. I usually have to go check on her to make sure she’s still breathing. I can even pick her up for a quick cuddle and lay her back down. The eyes may open. I might get a confused expression through squinted eyes. But she puts up with it, and is back to sleep the minute I lay her back down.

Anyway – that’s what’s on my mind this week. Well, that and anxiously awaiting the warm weather.

Happy Friday.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Friday

Good Morning my lovelies. I'm very happy that it's FRIDAY. I was thinking about what I could post today, but I don't have much new to report. I'll just give you all a little update on all the family members.

Baby Girl fought a pretty high fever this week. Don't worry she won! Couple that nasty fever, over 102 degrees, with some pretty aggressive teething and she's sleeping 13 hours a night. This morning I went in her room and found her gnawing on the side of the crib. She is exclusively walking now and we've discovered that she needs to be in shoes or bare feet. The socks and feety PJ's make her slippery and wobbly considering the hardwood floors.

SammySoSo is feeling the effects of cabin fever AND attention deprivation. I tried to warn her that this would happen, but she didn't seem to remember. She has taken this frustration out on a couple of Caroline's toys. One being a wooden puzzle of the letters that make up Caroline's name. I came home to discover the "L" now resembles an "I"  and had to clean up tiny splinters that were scattered around. I guess I should expect this. I remember many a barbie and ken doll from our childhood ending up in pieces in the yard thanks to Max.

Franklin has really become something of an escape artist. I guess the cabin fever has gotten to him as well. Last night we were watching TV when we heard something. Hubs and I paused the TV twice to try and identify the noise. Hubs looked out the front door to see Franklin scratching at the door to come in. Neither of us saw him get out. He must have been out there for a good couple hours. Once inside he was purring like crazy and rubbing on everything, his way of telling us how happy he was to get out of the house. And probably just as happy that we let him back in.

All of the kids are getting along well together. Caroline has almost mastered shielding herself from Sammy's tail. It is right about face height right now. She gets a kick out of Franklin and tries to pet him. We are trying to teach her to stroke the cat and not pat him like the dog. Despite our efforts, we still find her smiling with a big tuft of cat fur.

Me and Hubs are tyring to overcome the cabin fever too, but the weather isn't helping. I can't wait to throw open all the windows and do some SERIOUS spring cleaning. In the meantime, lots of TV and crocheting.
No Etsy sales to report yet.  Maybe if I could get some cute babies models, it will help.


How are things in your world?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday giggles

Hopefully you can view this video. Franklin was being playful and Caroline thought he was hilarious. Meanwhile, Sammy is just too pooped from playing at the park to care.

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A link to youtube in case it doesn't work http://youtu.be/3NflCbxk1ms

Monday, February 4, 2013

The shop is OPEN

Here is the link - http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittlebitHandmade

And the newest listings will always show in the right hand column -------->
I'm thinking headbands and accessories will follow soon. I mean check out the beautiful baby model I have access to
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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Littlebit Handmade

It’s official, I’m suffering from the Jan/Feb gray doldrums. I am bored, tired of the dark and annoyed that I only have an hour or two with my baby girl each night. Plus Hubby is working extra hard to bring home the bacon – and boy do we love bacon!

So guess what. I’ve decided to take on a project! It’s the perfect thing to keep me busy each night with the baby girl snug in her bed, TV droning in the background and the animals hibernating the winter away. I’m opening an Etsy store where I will sell the lovely crochet baby hats I’ve been whipping up.

All this time I’ve been making crochet blankets that take months on end to complete when these beanies can be whipped up in one night. What was I thinking?

Of course I’m only preparing for the inevitable success and overwhelming consumer demand for my handmade wares once I flip the switch on the open sign. I’m so prepared that I’ve even started to think how I’m going to package these little hats. One of the reasons I love Etsy SO MUCH is that everything I order is packaged with such detail. Sometimes the packaging is as valuable as the item I ordered. I want my customers to have that same experience. What will the packaging look like? You’ll have to order to find out.

Oh and in real life I’m in Marketing. Thankfully that career has connected me to some wicked talented people. Lucky me, one of those artisans helped me out with a banner for my new shop.



I hope to have it open next week. The opening is dependant on getting good product shots this weekend which requires a cooperative baby girl and good lighting. I will be sure to announce the grand opening via many social media outlets. Also, I have high expectations that each of you will pimp my wares.

One of the hats that will be for sale:

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Costa Rica

Winter is here, evident by the short days, flaky, dry skin, chapped lips, cabin fever and my ever-angry self. The cold has settled into my bones and set up camp. No amount of layers, hot beverages nor heat can evict the chill that infected the core of my being.


But instead of dwelling on the cold, I’m going to reflect on our recent trip to Costa Rica. Hubs and I went there on our Honeymoon, so we were THRILLED about the opportunity to go back. Two of our good friends were having a destination wedding and insisted we be in attendance. Um, warm beach in January, yes please!

We left the baby girl at home, right after her birthday, which was right after Christmas. It all happened so fast I think the birthday candles were still smoking when we left. She had a great time being cared for by the whole clan, Bubby and Grandpa, Aunt Biscuit and Uncle Nick Nick, and finally ending up with Uncle Meg, Uncle Jack and Q. Thanks to my new phone, the Mom-guilt was squelched daily as I facetimed with my baby.

The trip was awesome and the weather was Ah-MA-zing. It was HOT, HOT, HOT in the mid morning and just when the thought of shade crossed my mind, high clouds rolled in, leaving me with no desire to move from my designated spot. Look at this view, would you?

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During our Honeymoon, Hubs and I experienced the wealth of what the country had to offer, snorkeling, kayaking, zip lining, hiking the base of the volcano and taking coffee plantation tours. This trip was much more low key. Don’t get me wrong, we did venture out to Jaco for some souvenir shopping. I also had to sign a waiver to hike to the beach through the jungle (not a leisurely stroll).

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But in general I could be found next to the pool, drink in hand. Pura Vida!

And then there was the reason we were there, the wedding. The bride and groom couldn’t have picked a more beautiful location. It was a beautiful sunset, followed by a private dinner.

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We capped off the night by releasing wish lanterns into the black sky. (Notice the hat? It can’t be all serious!)

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If I ever win the lottery, this is where I'll have a vacation home!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Birthday party and cake


Let me start of by saying that I will do my best to not have another kid born anywhere near the holidays. December was an expensive month!

I racked my brain on any indoor place I could hold my gal’s first birthday. I scanned the internet, brainstormed with family and asked all my friends. Being right after Christmas means I didn’t really want to spend money renting space. Tangent – have you seen these crazy over-the-top parties that people throw for their kids????

Like this:

Winter Candyland First Birthday Party

























Or this
Colorful Chevron & Polka Dots First Birthday Party

























Or just click here-  and check out all the beautiful and meticulously detailed first birthday parties.

I looked at all these and thought. "uh, no." I love my baby girl and these parties are beautiful to look and inspire, but I’m a working mom and a realist. I decided to just have the party at home. Seems to make the most sense right? Well, let me explain the major issue with this. Our house is barely 1000 square feet with a layout that is the worst possible for entertaining. I guess this house will only accommodate family. That was still 25 people! Make the best with what you’ve got, right? Well we took down the Christmas decorations, rearranged the furniture and set up for the party.

I had a whole pinterest board full of ideas for Caroline’s birthday. What I was most excited about was the cake. You all know how I love to take on a challenge when it comes to cakes. Side note, it’s funny, when looking at the stats for my blog the only visitors (besides those of you that I’m familiar with) are people googling either “crepe cake” or “gourmet birthday cake”. Well here’s another one that will hopefully boost traffic. Or maybe I just don't know about SEO and someone can teach me....

I know, having a little girl, it should be all pink and princesses right? I’m sure that’s what she’ll ask for in years to come. But since she doesn’t yet have a voice or an option, I decided primary colors. And THIS was going to be THE CAKE.



(The original baker found on My Insanity did a whole alphabet inspired birthday. This is another amazing, setting-the-bar-too-high example of what I will NOT be doing.) But the cake, I can do that. It wouldn’t be my first attempt at a rainbow cake, but it would require me to take on FONDANT. I figured sticking to straight lines and maybe using a stencil would help. Challenge accepted. I went out and bought a square cake pan.

Enter shortcut number one – I love to bake. I like to take on challenges but the decoration and assembly of this cake was enough of a challenge. Here is the secret shortcut that I can only admit because it really did taste good. I bought white cake mix from a box. GASP, I know! Remember though, I’m a working mom planning a party just days after CHRISTMAS. Oh yeah. I might have bought the icing AND fondant from a box too. Sandra Lee would be proud.

So I started by baking the rainbow layers. Once I was finished I discovered a major flaw in execution. The cake was not tall enough to be square! So I stacked and iced and then assessed. I even called Momma T. Thanks to my new iphone, I facetimed with her and showed her the problem. Her solution was actually brilliant, cut it into quarters and make four blocks. That would work, EXCEPT that means decorating FOUR cakes instead of one. So enter shortcut number two – major deviation from the plan, I just decided to decorate it with primary color polka dots, good bye block…

Oh I should mention that the other thing people typically have for their one year old is a smash cake - a little cake that the bugaboo gets to mash and get messy with. Caroline just got a cupcake. I used each color of the cake batter to make a couple cupcakes.

Back to the decorating, I put the crumb coat of icing on the cake and stuck it in the fridge. I did my homework reading about fondant so I’d know how to handle it. I was so intimidated, but you guys, it’s really just like play dough. Tastes like it too. I rolled it out big enough to cover the cake, smoothed it over the top and pleated the corners. I cut off the excess, and used the warmth of my fingers to meticulously hide the corner seams.

Whadya know, it was starting to look like a professional cake!!!

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At this point I decided polka dots would be the easiest. I used a disposable shot glass (yep we have those) to cut out the bigger circles. The little circles were shaped from a water bottle lid. By that point, I was having fun. I decided to make a big number 1 and try to cut out the letters for Caroline’s name. I actually had just the right amount of cupcakes to spell her name. To be honest I had one too many. That was tax paid to the baker.

Once I had the shapes cut out, it was just a matter of using the leftover icing to glue them where I wanted.

and TA DA. I’m pretty proud of the finished product.

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In addition to this awesome cake, I made a photo collage, bought her a personalized birthday onesies (thanks etsy), and decorated with other things we had laying around, including her baby blanket I made while pregnant.

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The birthday girl enjoying the spoils.
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I actually discovered that the cake being colored, instead of the icing, proved MUCH easier to clean up while still allowing her to make a mess.

I would call her birthday a success!