Tuesday, September 27, 2016

American Girl Doll Dream!!!

Soooo since I was 11 I wanted an American Girl Doll. But my mom said I was a little old (she was probably right), but I seriously pined for one until I was 33...until my aunt and uncle surprised me with one. It was really one of those best surprises of my life. Even when I was pregnant with Emmy, I would get catalogs and dream of going. Well, it finally happened.

Allison had been planning to take Finley for her 7th birthday, so I jumped on that bandwagon and said we were going too.

If you are have any interest in going to the Dallas location, we booked the Marriott Quorum by the Galleria. If you click on deals, find the American Girl package.  The room rate for that night was $129, but the American Girl package was $149. With it we got an American Girl bed, doll slippers and robe and a $25 gift card. We also were greeted in our room with milk (chocolate, strawberry and regular) and cookies!

Poor little Holden was also subjected to this excitement. Stinker. He didn't hate it, though!

We went to the store the night before our dinner so that Finley could pick out her doll before our lunch. 

And Samantha got a makeover! The before. (She got her hair done while we were at lunch.)

Isn't this just too sweet?

I loved this. When we went to pick up Samantha, they asked Emmy to sign for her.

Heart melting!

And after!

Some excited girls (and dolls)!

Now, I don't know if we caught them on an off day, but lunch took FOREVER. Seriously, an hour and 45 minutes. Have you ever been with a two toddlers at an hour and 45 minute lunch? I can think of things I would rather do. I would maybe do the ice cream counter next time. I think it would be the same experience with a lot less waiting.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dave & Buster's Mommy Blogger Event & Giveaway!

My first time to Dave & Buster's was visiting my high school friend Mindy in Chicago. We had an absolute blast and I was so excited when they built one here. (I could play skee ball for hours.) We have been to the Tulsa Dave & Buster's several times for birthdays (mostly adult), date nights and brought my nephew for his birthday a few years ago.

When I got the invitation to bring Emmy and a friend to the Tulsa Mommy Blogger Birthday event at Dave & Buster's, I was excited to attend since I hadn't brought Emmy yet!

First, I had no idea Dave & Buster's had a huge party room. They have several different room options that you can reserve, from a smaller room to a large party room ranging in price from $50 - $100 for 3 hours. The fun thing is that you can do this for corporate events too.

For kid parties, they have different pricing options that include food/drinks, player cards and tickets for the birthday child. The food is obviously very kid friendly. (And there is even something green on that plate!)

We got to bring my sister and her girls. All of the girls had a blast, but Finley (7) was at the perfect age for enjoying everything.

Since I hadn't taken littler kids (Tatum - 4 and Emmy -3), I was surprised at how much they could play!   

This little game the kids could make their own blizzard. 

Playing a giant piano!

The kids also got thissss close to getting a stuffed animal from the crane machine.

Not pictured was Emmy's delight when she got to pick out a Hello Kitty doll from the gift shop with her ticket money!

Dave & Buster's was kind of enough to give me a $50 gift card to give to one of my readers! Just leave a comment with your favorite Dave & Buster's activity!

*I was given a gift card and dinner in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Holden 21 months (now 22, but who's counting)

Holden turned 21 months....a month ago.  We will just say he keeps us busy!

So, let's see. We had a good summer. Holden had absolutely zero interest in  wearing a puddle jumper, but finally decided that he would deal with a life jacket. He stuck to me like glue in the water, but by the end of the summer liked going into the pools with beach entry and playing on his own.

We went to Big Cedar Lodge by Branson for our summer vacation. I had no idea what to expect (I was thinking it was going to be like a huge Bass Pro shop), but it was amazingly nice and exceeded every expectation. We loved and it would love to go back! Holden and Emmy both loved swimming, seeing the animals and going on the golf cart tour.  It took Holden about 4 of our 6 nights there to get used to sleeping in the pack and play and he woke by 6 every morning. (It was like a mini Emmy - haaaa!) But he loved the beach and the pools and was a great car traveler! I was also thinking he might like riding rides at Silver Dollar City (Emmy LOVES them), but notsomuch. He did a few, but wanted to sit on my lap the whole time, which wouldn't work...he wasn't too thrilled!

The past three (four) months Holden went from the most easy going baby to a toddler. He is still sweet, but will straight-up throw a toddler fit if he doesn't get his way. And apparently that is a lot. Good thing he is cute!

Holden also sprang three of his two-year molars....so maybe that has something to do with the meltdowns.

It is so funny because he is so different than Emmy - really cautious, won't eat a vegetable to save his life and a just naturally into things like balls, cars, and trains. He is really athletic (for a one year old) and can ride a scooter like a pro. It is seriously adorable. He also has a sweet heart for animals and LOVES puppies.

Other likes include:
- Popsicles
- Any sweet
- Any tv show (parents of the year) but mostly Bubble Guppies, Peppa and Paw Patrol
- Cars that go by themselves on a track and any truck or tractor
- Dipping food into any kind of sauce (salsa, ketchup, mustard, ranch, etc....)
- Coloring
- Playing with my nephew Luke

Holden had his arm pulled out of socket again...this time by Tommy when I was out of town at a funeral. He was in pain until Tommy's uncle popped it back in.

Oh, and he HATES for me to hold my sister's new baby Collins. Haaaaa! He won't let me or Tommy's mom around her if she is around. Little stinker.

I love seeing his and Emmy's relationship form. He is totally monkey see, monkey do and she will be really sweet with him...for the most part.  They love to play chase, color and go on their scooters together.

He is talking up a storm and says two and three word sentences.  It is just so cute. He will say "what's that noise?" to anything that he hears. If I ask him his age, he will put up one finger and yell "twooooo." Haaaa! He also says his favorite color is purple green.  Lol. We love our little guy and can't believe he will be two soon!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blog Book

So for the past 3.5 years I have always blogged with the intention of putting all of my posts into a blog book for Emmy.  I tried all of the blog publishers - Blog 2 Print, Blurb Books, etc., but I didn't like how they formatted the blog book.  So I kept researching (as I love to do) and came across Lulu, which is a service for you to self publish your own book.  While I am sure the intent is self-publish best sellers, people like you or I can use it to publish one (or a few books for family and friends) for very little.

It was super easy to use. I just copied and pasted all of my blog posts into Word, formatted as I saw fit, turned into a pdf (they tell you how if you don't have Adobe on your computer) and then you just upload it. For a 285 page hard back book it only cost me $60ish with a coupon code they sent.

I ordered Emmy's book first, but was so impressed with the quality that I went ahead and ordered one for Holden.  He will just get another one someday :).  

The interior quality of the book reminds me of a text book. The pages are somewhat glossy and have a good page feel. I did notice that the images are a little dark printed, but that could because the majority of them are from my phone. 

As I mentioned, Lulu isn't just for people who have had a blog. You could easily publish anything you can put into Word - like photos and a journal from a trip, etc. I would say that this is better served for when you have something to say vs a photo book by itself, those are definitely higher quality paper.  This isn't a paid ad. Just thought I would let you all know what worked for me. 

I know my kids will love looking back on these as they get older! And, truth be told, I have loved looking at them too! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Holden 18 Months

The past three months have been huge for Holden’s verbal developments.  He is a talker and sometimes I am the only one who can understand him, but it is so fun to watch his little mind work!  He loves to point at things and tell us what they are (airplane, lawn mower) or tell us what he wants to eat (cracker, chicken, CAKE – boy loves himself a sweet). When he doesn’t get his way, he throws a solid fit.  Ha!

He and Emmy are interacting more and he is totally monkey see, monkey do. At dinner the other night, she coughed, he coughed, she wanted a drink, he did. Ha! He is also really, really into dipping his food into a sauce. He loves salsa, too! As far as eating, Holden isn’t as good of an eater as Emmy. He loves himself some carbs, meat and fruit, but won’t really touch any veggies. He also loves “popsicles” (which are really just frozen yogurt sticks) and will go to the freezer about 5 times a day and scream “op ick le” until you get him one. He isn’t spoiled at all. Ha.

Some of his favorite things are Bubble Guppies, Peppa and Paw Patrol (sadly he LOVES tv, but I do limit it to 1-2 shows a day or he would totally be a couch potato), playing with balls/balloons, coloring/playing with chalk (this must be because of Emmy because she had zero interest at this age),  racing Emmy and reading.  He used to let me just put him in bed at night, but now he makes me read him a story before bed. HE also has taken to a puppy and wants it wherever he goes. He needs both his pappy (pacifier) and puppy. He also hikes his little puppy up under his arm and it is just the cutest thing.
Another cute thing he does is give kisses. He will lean in and stick his little tongue out for his kiss and is a total mama’s boy. I love it!
He absolutely REFUSES to wear any kind of flotation device in the water, so that will make for a long summer.
We love our precious guy so much!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Emmy is 3.5!

Our sweet girl turned 3.5 in April. Better late than never! This has been the epitome of what everyone tells you about age three – creative, full of personality and HARD.  She is a very strong willed child and is full of great attributes for a future CEO.  She also gets up before six every.single.morning.  OMG. We have done literally everything including a sleep consultant and her sleep is average at best. I have even been so frustrated with her constantly getting up that I have written in her journal that I hope she has a daughter that hates sleep as much as she does.  Ha. #motheroftheyear

This year Emmy started school and really loved it. I also love that it opened her eyes to art. She loves to do an art project, which I think is so fun.  She would also come home talking about Jesus, the bible and singing so many songs, which was really sweet. She also can write her name and most letters of the alphabet now.

In April she began swimming lessons and she just loves being in the water! She loves the pool, splash pad, sprinklers, but I still have to coax her into a bath.
Her other favorite things to do are playing with her cousins, going on ncations (vacations), and playing mom and dad. I am almost always the grandmother and Tommy is the dad. Emmy also got a new cousin this month and she is very smitten and interested in the baby!
Emmy is still a great eater. She loves fruits, many veggies and, of course, anything sweet.  For as obstinate as she can be, she can be equally sweet. Last night she told me she wants to grow up and be a mommy just like me. Heart melting. Emmy is outgrowing her naps, but still needs them every few days to catch up on the sleep she doesn’t get at night, so we make her rest daily.  She gets to watch one or two tv shows a day and still likes Peppa Pig as her favorite.  Next week she starts dance camp, and is sooooo excited to take it with her cousin Tatum. 
We love our little girl and are hoping that she begins loving sleep by my next post. Ha! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Holden 15 months

Long time, no blog. Ha. Two kids, a job and just wanting downtime at night, keeps me off of my home computer. I have also had this written for over a month, but apparently Windows Live Writer doesn't work anymore, so I had to upload my post to blogger, but my Google Chrome wasn't working....so one month later here's my post! I guess that's what you get for never blogging! I also had about 20 pictures included, but those deleted too. Take it from me, he's super cute ;)!

With Emmy I kept a journal on my blog documenting her milestones each quarter. It would only be fair for my little guy to do the same!  Big milestones include walking and talking more.  He started really walking around Christmas (maybe New Year’s? Good gracious I can’t remember). Anyway, he now walks and will even run when he wants to go somewhere.  I honestly can’t remember if I ever blogged about this, but when he was born, his right foot was atrophied because of his position in my stomach.  We had to take him to an orthopedic surgeon when he was two months old and he assured me he would walk fine, and he does.  He did wear the cutest little splint for the first four weeks of his life to get his foot stretched out. I wish I would have taken a picture of him in it. I just have a few here and there.

Holden also got his first ear infection and fever around Christmas. He was soooo fussy and not himself. We finally got him a new antibiotic and he was back to himself again within a day.  Sweet boy.  He and Emmy were both really fun at Christmas. His “big” gift was a basketball goal that he loves to play with. 

I am embarrassed to type this because with Emmy I followed the tv rules, but with her watching tv, he gets sucked in. And this child LOVES Bubble Guppies. He will sit on the couch, grab the remote, point it at the tv and demand “Bubble” until we turn it on. This weekend he even threw a little fit when the show was over. Haaa!

Holden is also a book lover. He definitely has his favorites, too. He loves books about trucks, animals and anything that he can open and close.  He will crawl up into your lap and will pull you out book after book.

Sweet boy is also an animal lover. He gets so excited every time he sees an animal. Miss Julie has a cat and he LOVES when he sees Oatmeal.

Since he was born, Holden has had the sweetest demeanor. He gives hugs and kisses, loves to be held and is an all-around good natured baby…almost all of the time. As of late, he will fuss until he gets his way or demand that you pick him up and bring you to what he wants. Ha!!

Emmy and Holden have started to interact more.  They still aren’t there on playing together, but have sweet moments here and there.

His favorite toys are still balls and he loves this little cash register that Emmy has. 

I am just soooo surprised at how different two people with the same DNA can be.  Emmy and Holden have such different personalities and it always surprises me. He is very content to sit and observe. She would NEVER sit in a stroller after age 8 months. I can take him on long walks and he will be happy to sit.  He also is soooo much more cautious than Emmy. She is a daredevil who loves to climb and explore.  He wants you to hold his hand if he going down an incline or help him up a ladder. It is just so funny to see their little differences. She also is a great eater of veggies and he won’t touch them Ha!

He does love pizza, spaghetti, any fruit, cheese. He absolutely cracks me up. He will go to the pantry, grab the pirates booty and then bring them to me and grunt until he gets them. Ha!

Recently Tommy took Emmy to Colorado to ski, so I stayed home with Holden. I loved having the one-on-one time with him, and let’s be honest, having only one child when you are used to two is a cake walk.  However, while he was away, I was so excited about getting extra sleep, but alas, I had to ruin it. Holden was playing by the grate so I pulled him up by his hand and apparently pulled his elbow ligament out of socket. Luckily, our pediatrician was still in the office at 5:30 when this happened, so I rushed him up there and it was back in place. Apparently, Holden is overly flexible, so he was sore for two more days. Poor guy. Note to self, don’t pull your child up by their hand. He didn’t use his right arm for two days.

Holden is now talking here and there. He can say a few words that are really clear like mama, dada, bubble and then a handful of other words that I can figure out what he is saying like Memmy (Emmy), Ba (ball), Baaaa (Bath), Tuck (truck), etc.

We lucked out with this sweet guy!

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