Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stella Anne's 2nd Birthday Celebration!!

Stella's birthday fell on a Tuesday this year.  Thankfully she didn't have therapy on her birthday, so we were able to enjoy a fun day at home!  Mark had gotten her a few balloons the night before and put them in her room when he left for work Tuesday morning, so around 6:30 I heard "WOW!  Ball, WOW!"  I went and took them out because I knew she needed another hour or so of sleep before we began her big day, but it was such a cute wake-up call :-)
Birthday girl!
I made Stella banana and egg pancakes in the shapes of "2" and a dog and added some sprinkles, but she didn't want to eat them.  She likes regular pancakes, I tried to take a healthy shortcut and unfortunately she didn't like them.  Lesson learned.  So she had a cereal bar while I ate the's the thought that counts right??  After breakfast I let her open her presents from me.  I got her a Frozen tea party set and microphone from Target.  They were a huge hit!  We spent the morning playing tea party and putting on concerts, and then she watched Happy Birthday Barney so mama could get a little housework done :-)
Birthday morning fun.
After a pizza lunch and good nap, dad came home.  We originally planned to take her out to supper, but it was raining, windy and cold so we opted for a living room picnic supper instead (thanks for the idea grandma!)  Stella enjoyed it I think!  Then she opened her present from Mark...a sports play set.  They played ball together for a while, and then we did her cake.  Mark had picked out a caramel apple cake from the Wal Mart bakery and it was delicious!!  We discovered that she hates being sang "Happy Birthday" to.  She loves singing and I sing "good morning" to her every day but for some reason "Happy Birthday" makes her cry!  She must be embarrassed.  It was so cute, poor thing, so we took a quick video and then stopped the song ;-)  After cake we colored at her table for quite a while before bedtime.  I'd say it was a relaxing day and she had fun!!
Relaxing birthday evening.

I did try to get 2 year fall pictures done again this year from my friend.  Stella WASN"T having it, she cried through the whole thing.  We had family pictures done in August, so those will have to do for her 2 year pictures this year :-)  I will share those soon!!

This year my sister-in-law and I decided to do our girl's birthday parties together (hers were turning 3 in November and 2 in December) and we chose to have them the weekend after Stella's birthday.  It's hard to pick a date around the holidays, so much going on!  Jenny just had another baby and I was still pretty sick during my first trimester, so we decided to make things easier on us by sharing the work.  This meant spending a bit more money on the party for convenience, but it is what it is.  Everything came together beautifully and it was a great time!  We decided on a Frozen theme, all 3 girls love it (of course).  It is totally over-done I know, but it's what they wanted so it's what they got!!
Our invitation (from Etsy).  Changed locations last minute, that's why the place is different :-)
On the Wednesday a week before the party Stella and I went to Jenny's and we planned the food and decor while the girls had a play day.  Then that Saturday my mom watched Stella while I went shopping for decorations.  It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it so much!  The following Wednesday Jenny and I took the baby shopping for the food while Mark's mom watched Stella.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Biaggis and then hit up Sam's and Kohls (for birthday gifts for all the nieces we needed to catch up on!)  On Thursday I grabbed some odds and ends at Wal Mart that we still needed, and Friday Jenny made the cakes while I put together the decorations and packed everything up.  I wanted to get it all done Friday because we were supposed to get a snowstorm Saturday.  I figured it was mostly hype, they always exaggerate the first snow of the season.  Unfortunately I was wrong this time!

I woke up to our very own Arrendale on Saturday, party day.  It was snowing and blowing like crazy!  We got about 5 inches of snow.  I had originally planned to head into town in the morning to get the decorating done while Stella took her nap at my mom's and then get ready myself (we were having the party at the American Legion in Atkinson this year), but our road didn't get plowed and when Mark went to test it there was a semi and 3 cars in the ditch outside our house.  So we decided to hang around our house until about 3:00 in hopes the plows would come by.  They never did, but at least by then it stopped snowing and blowing.  We took the longer (but safer) route to town, and I held my breath down our road.  We almost got stuck!  Even though we had to throw everything together last minute and lots of people couldn't make it, I am just thankful we were able to and everyone traveled safely.  I guess Stella is holding up the pattern of crazy weather around her birthday!!  (Birth= terrible tornadoes, Year 1=record low temps and light snow, Year 2=terrible record setting early snowstorm)
The view outside our window Saturday morning!
We got to the Legion around 4:00.  Stella went to Jennys to play with the girls while we decorated.  First I turned up the heat, it was cold in there!  Then I set up the food & dessert tables while Mark set up the guest tables and blew up balloons.  We got a helium tank from Wal Mart again this's cheaper and then you don't have to live the nightmare of transporting lots of balloons.  Given our time crunch I'd say everything came together nicely!  Jenny & Jeff brought the food (we had Chick-Fil-A cater...yumm!) and cake around 4:45 and by then we were set up and ready for guests!
Drinks & desserts table
Food table
We still had a pretty decent turn-out despite the weather.  I was glad I set the party at 5:00, by then the main roads had been plowed and it was done snowing and blowing.  We just hung out and enjoyed the food for a while.  Half of the Legion was empty, so the kids loved running around playing with the balloons.  Around 7:00 we opened gifts.  They girls sat by each other and opened theirs.  Stella wasn't too interested, she mainly liked the cards and of course had to hold a few crayons the whole time ;-)  She got lots of cute gifts that we have been enjoying at home every day!
Mommy helping open gifts and daddy testing them out!
A short bit after presents we sat the girls together and did their cakes.  They each had a mini cake of their own.  Stella cried hysterically during the singing of Happy Birthday, of course!  She only ate a few bites of her cake and was done.  She doesn't use silverware very well and I didn't want to do the whole smash-cake again this year (embarrassing!  I'm working so hard my goal is to have her using silverware on her own by the new year), so I let her go play and we basically skipped the cake.  I passed out cake to all the guests and we just sat around and visited for a while longer.  They guys played bags and the kids enjoyed watching!  Stella had on new shoes and I was kicking myself for not breaking them in all week, but she didn't do too bad.  She had special flexible walking shoes until last week when she finally grew out of a size 4, so actual shoes are a big of an adjustment.  She lost one during the party and tried to put it back on herself so they couldn't have been that bad!!  She really had a great time playing with her cousins and of course doing lots of coloring.
Loved the cake, the singing not so much!!  So happy until about 9:00...
Around 8:45 I started to kind of pick up.  The kids were still doing great, but I knew it was only a matter of time before they reached their limits, so I just started slowly packing up.  Thankfully a few people jumped in and started to help, because by 9:15 almost all the kids were in tears!  With lots of help we were loaded up and on our way home by 9:30.  We were exhausted and my pregnant feet were super painful, but it was a great party and Stella had fun!  Totally worth the work and money!!
Had to scan a thank you to upload it on here, so not the best quality, but you get the idea.  From Etsy.
Sunday Mark went hunting (1st season, he had went Friday and didn't say a word about missing Saturday!) and I couldn't bring myself to clean up.  I did a little bit but had a severe headache so I opened a few new gifts for Stella and rested all day.  

To see all of the pictures from her birthday and party click HERE.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Tonight Mark and I are going out with friends, and this week I plan to clean my house, do some organizing, and get my Christmas decorating done after we get our tree!  I am looking forward to the holiday season this year!!  I will be back in a few weeks with Stella's 2 year update :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Baby Bomleny #2!!

After having Stella I knew it would be a while until I was ready for another for a few reasons.  First, I enjoyed taking plenty of time to spend with just her and figure out the whole mommy gig.  Second, I did have a difficult recovery after she was born.  My body didn't take to the C-section very well and I had postpartum depression.  But fast forward a little over a year and a half later and I started getting the baby itch again!  I don't think you can ever say you are truly ready for a baby, whether it's your first or fourth, but you can be ready to get ready, and that's exactly how I felt!  Mark and I decided to start trying in August because I knew I wanted a summer baby this time around, and I got pregnant immediately.  I will be due during his busy season darn it, but I can't complain because I feel so blessed to be able to conceive so easily.  I can't wait for another baby in our house!  Throughout this pregnancy I am going to try my best to mirror my blog posts to the ones I did when I was prego with Stella, so you will see this follows the first post I did with Stella's pregnancy.  Read that HERE.

How did you find out you were pregnant?
I took a test a little too early and it came back negative.  It was the First Response test I took with Stella, and you can find out 6 days BEFORE your missed period.  I took it 8 days before because I was so anxious, lesson learned.  I still pretty much knew I was pregnant (thank you incredibly sore boobs...TMI I know, sorry!) so I took another one 2 days later and sure enough it was positive!!  Mark was going to be at work until very late at night because they had a customer appreciation dinner, and not being one to be able to wait I called and told him at work!  It was nice to be able to enjoy it this time, I was very sick when I found out I was pregnant with Stella. 

How were you feeling emotionally in the beginning?
This time I barely felt pregnant.  I called the doctor when I got the positive result and they said they don't usually see patients until they are 6 weeks along.  I could go in to have it confirmed, but she said at-home tests are so reliable they didn't think I needed to unless I wanted.  I decided to wait, my Dr is in Peoria this time around so it's a bit more of a drive.  So the first 6 weeks I barely felt pregnant.  It's hard when you can't tell anyone, it just doesn't seem real.  We had quite a few social events in the beginning, and my bump popped out almost immediately, so it was harder to hide this time but we did it!

Were you sick at all?
Ugg.  Yes very.  Around 5 weeks I started to get super nauseous.  I had several food aversions, like coffee, pumpkin anything, and eggs.  My 3 favorite things, especially in the fall!  It sucked.  I could also barely stand any strong smells at all.  When Mark made coffee on the weekends I about lost it.  I could only eat comfort foods or I would feel like I could throw up.  Mainly carbs.  I watched 6 pounds creep back on right away and it was so frustrating after working so hard to lose all my post-Stella baby weight.  But such is life.  I also didn't exercise because I was exhausted ALL. THE. TIME.  This was a much harder first trimester than my first pregnancy, especially with a (super active, tantrum-throwing, therapy loaded) toddler!  I never threw up but I wished I would have just so I could feel better.  Every time I stood up I felt like I was on a boat and completely seasick.  Finally around 8 weeks I started taking 25mg of vitamin B6 every morning and night and that helped a bit.  I was also sleeping like CRAP!!  I was up to pee 2 or 3 times in the night and then it would take me 1-2 HOURS to get back to sleep.  This led to me being in bed for about 10 hours just to get 7 hours of sleep.  Safe to say September and October were pretty unproductive months around here!  And for my last exciting (sarcasm) prego symptom, my face and back broke out like a teenager!  It was so bad.  I loaded on the tea tree oil hoping it would clear itself up, but at 10 weeks I finally broke down and went to the dermatologist.  She gave me 2 safe prescription creams and they cleared up with in a week thankfully.  Now that I'm through the first trimester I am feeling and looking much better and back to a normal sleep schedule, so it's time to get back to eating clean and working out.

Any cravings?
Noodles, rice, pizza, pasta, potatoes, cheese and to balance out all those lovely carbs and fat the occasional salad.  Most fruits and veggies made me sick, so I sucked down a lot of those all-natural fruit pouches.  Not very cheap, but better than not nourishing my baby!

How did you tell family and friends?
 I told my sister-in-law and sister right away again.  I had to have someone to share everything with!  We waited until Halloween to tell everyone else. We dressed up like this on Halloween:

We visited my in-laws in the morning, and then my parents in the afternoon.  Halloween night my family always gathers at my Grandma's after trick-or-treating, so we told my family then.  Mark sent the picture to the rest of his family when we got home.  Some people got it right away, others we had to kind of hint at it.  But if you're not looking for it, I can see how the costumes would be hard to catch.  It was a really fun reveal day though!  The following day we posted this announcement on Facebook:

When are you due?
May 11th.  According to the math it was May 16th, but they moved it up because my confirmation ultrasound at 6 weeks showed the baby was measuring big already!  (of course)  Here's our newest peanut:

Will you find out the gender?
Absolutely.  My next appointment is December 10th.  We will find out the gender then.  This time around I am a lot more laid back, so we aren't doing any genetic testing.  Not that I don't worry, but I just don't find it necessary this time.  I don't worry as much ;-)  He said I could wait to see him again until we could find out the gender since everything looked good and it's my second baby, and I am OK with that!  I love my new doctor.  It's the first time I've had a male, but I'm already over the awkwardness.  He's so laid back, just like Stella's current doctor.  This personality type works well for me in a doctor since I tend to be a little (OK a lot) Type A. 

Belly pictures?
Not going to do weekly pictures this time, it's a lot!!  I will do them as often as I can though!  Here's the first one at 14 weeks, celebrating the end of the first trimester!