Camping 1st Birthday

We had a great time at Tessa's 1st birthday party.  Camping invitations from etsy:

 I chose a camping theme, which was a lot of fun to do.  I got a kit from etsy that included these flags and an additional one for signage and cupcake toppers.

 Set out some chocolate teddy grahams, and some Swedish fish in a tackle box.
 There were also some caterpillars made out of grapes on kabob sticks out on the table as well.
 I made this beautiful sign to commemorate her 1st year.  She is a sweet baby and I'm so glad we have her. 
 I made the stuffed animals (a raccoon, fox, and hedgehog) by hand, the little cups have trail mix in them, and the cupcakes are both campfires and bear claws.  Cupcakes by publix, frosting by me!
 She is doing much better!

 We also set up our fantastic RV camper and the teepee I made from the Neverland birthday.
 The activity was for the kids to make camping lanterns out of milk jugs.  They got to hand paint them all.  You put glow sticks inside for the light.
 She was really happy!
 And finally, every one got to go fishing and won a prize.  I drew these camping letters (GONE FISHING).

The kids loved this game.

A great idea, at least to me, is a movie night.  Candy, soda, popcorn, and the best part....a Redbox code for a movie rental.
Thanks Teachers!
Just a quick treat for your teacher.

These came to about $3 each at our dollar store.  My favorite part is the ruler holding the sign.  Google the sign's phrase to get many options for a printable.


Tessa NEHI 2 year Anniversary

Well, we've made it two years with dealing with NEHI.  These pictures were taken when Tessa was finally diagnosed by Dr. Houin in Tampa in September 2014 (she was 10 months old).  She had a high resolution CT scan that showed ground glass opacities in her lungs that present Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia of Infancy.  It was a really rough 1st year, but since then she has made so many strides and taken all of these issues without a complaint (although she doesn't know any differently).

She is still our happy little girl all the time.
When we got home and was put on oxygen, we had to learn how to deal with the tube and tank, which seemed monumental at the time.  But now she only needs it when she's sleeping so it makes everything so much easier.
And nothing gets her down!
Read more about NEHI here:
http://www.child-foundation.com/what-is-child/types-of-child/neuroendocrine-hyperplasia-of-infancy/

It's a Children's Interstitial Lung Disease or ChILD.  Research is still ongoing to determine what the cause is and whether there is a cure.  She'll always have this, but overtime her lungs will grow healthy tissue and make her stronger and stronger.  If you have any questions, please ask us, we always like to talk about it and spread the information around.

And here she is now at 2 years and 5 months.

I didn't do myself the favor of taking before pictures, but I removed a large boxwood hedge from the front of the house in the heat.  I don't ask myself if I'm crazy, I know I'm crazy.  It had plenty of holes with dead parts and just needed a refresher, to make our front porch look more inviting and friendly.  This is what we got out of the ground - via ratchet straps and our pickup truck.  We dragged them away from the area and put them on the trailer.  It took a whole day.
 Then I went to a local nursery and to Home Depot and picked plants.



 I got several that attract butterflies and some feathery ones.  I also planted our two plumeria I had near the pool finally.  They made it 2 years in pots after our move from Merritt Island to Winter Haven to Seffner.
 It took 12 bags of mulch to mulch everything.
 And did I mention I did the pool beds as well?  I did!  Lemongrass went in to try to deter mosquitos...we'll see if that works.
Long, hard day.  Beautiful and satisfying results.

Gender Reveal Party

Part of the gender compromise was to find out what the gender was, for my husband, but to have it in such a way that it was exciting for everyone else.  So he found out first and then prepped the way we would do the reveal.

I was on team Boy.  (This is a very old post, since the baby I was pregnant with was born in 2013...but at least I'm getting there).

 We opened the box....and out came some balloons.
 It's a Girl!

 Here is a cute thing I saw on pinterest, to let people know what an Old Wives Tale Prediction would say.  I was split pretty much down the middle.
 And I made a gender neutral question mark in green and yellow yarn.
Abbots - I have a tea set from my great-grandmother & grandmother's house.  It is beautiful but I have let it go.

Did you know polishing silver is easy?  I DID NOT.  I mean easy.  You just keep polishing.  I saw in HGTV Magazine that Vern Yip said this is a task you shouldn't put off because it is easy, there are these amazing wipes (I wasn't paid for this, I seriously just bought the wipes on Amazon and used them.  I'll pay full price for these babies.
 Weiman knows its stuff.  Just wipe until the wipe gets dirty, then get a new one.
 Here's after one wipe.  There are still black spots, especially the handles and feet, but a good start huh?  The entire set took me about 20 wipes. 
But man is it worth it.  I'm so happy I cleaned these.  Let me know how your silver polishing goes, and whether you feel like a second footman, or perhaps Anna Bates?

The Valentine's miracle has once again occurred at our house, where we make simple, cheap handmade Valentine's at home with a little personal pizzazz.  Don't you love a word with 4 Z's?

First up is this timely Star Wars valentine with Yoda holding a "light sabre".  This is actually a dollar store glow bracelet, but who's to know.  Very easy, print on cardstock, cut, holepunch, and tape a glowstick bracelet through the hole.  Be sure not to bend the glowstick though, or it will activate.


Our second one is a butterfly valentine with candy :)  A dollar store tootsie pop 6-pack is $1.  We just needed 3 packs.
And they are colored by hand.  Again, super easy.  Card stock, paper, crayons/markers, scissors, and tootsie pops.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Some ideas for a newborn shoot with one older sibling....

Trains - 
 Holding, without the potential for dropping -
 
And a cool announcement picture with date, time, height, weight, and name in blocks.  Plus some seasonal reference via colors.

Valentines Day Favors

I always try to do fun activities for the kid's classmates for Valentines.  Our printer works really well and I just keep a set of blank card stock available for these little projects.  I also have a couple fonts I like, but mostly I find these ideas from other people.  They aren't mine!

Millie signed her own cards last year for her class and they are slinkies.  It says "You make my Heart Spring"
Tessa can't write, but hers said "I'm a lucky DUCK to have a friend like you."  She only had 4 classmates and I got these little ducks at the dollar store.  So each kid got the little bag and the valentine.  It has a momma and 2 baby ducks.  The teacher said the parents loved these and the kids at least have something to play with.  I'm not a big fan of candy for small kids (obviously).