Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Month of Gratitude: Day 16

Day 16: The Soft Play Area at the Mall

Steve had an 8am appointment this morning for tired and brakes for The Beast. The boys woke up around 8:30 and we hung out here for a bit and then I needed to go to Gus's school to get his fundraiser items (chocolate... yummmm). 

I had hoped to do this with Steve and then head to the mall to get Hugh fitted for shoes and buy a pair. But the school was only open from 10-12 today and I wasn't sure when Steve would get home, so I went with the boys.

We picked up Gus's order and then headed to North Point Mall

I've been to the mall numerous times and each time we've gone, we've visited the soft play area. This is an area for kids to play on these various town-themed items (police car, ambulance, fire truck, race car, bridge, etc) and they're all foam covered with a soft-spongy plastic. It's a really neat place and Gus loves it.

We stopped at Auntie Annie's and grabbed a pretzel and some lemonade to share (Gus was so excited) and then we stopped and saw Santa (no pictures with him) and Gus enjoyed the amazing decorations at Von Maur.

Gus saw the tree and said, "Ooohhhh presents..." I think he's going to really love Christmas this year!!

Anyway- we headed to the soft play area and Gus took off immediately. I took Hugh out of his stroller and he wasn't sure what to do at first, but then totally started to walk around. Several people commented on how cute he was and asked how old he was. Every time I said, "He's almost 11 months" I got comments of being shocked at how big he is for 11 months. 

One lady was standing next to me and I said something to Gus and she said, "Oh, is he yours too?" I said, "Yes." Then she said, "And that one (pointing to Hugh)?" I said, "Yep... they're brothers." Then she said, "Oh wow... they look nothing alike!

DUH (Sometimes people speak and shouldn't)

I said, "Yeah, they're both adopted." Then she said, "Oh, that's so great! Well, that makes sense then.

WTH? I know plenty of biological siblings (twins even) and they don't look anything alike. Anyway...

Hugh had a great time running around and chasing after Gus and I had a great time watching them.

After playing for about an hour, we headed over to Stride Rite. I wanted them to measure Hugh's foot so I could see exactly what size shoe he needs. I have some of Gus's old shoes, but for some reason, they won't go on Hugh's feet. 

Well... she measured him and I found out that not only does he need wide shoes, he needs EXTRA WIDE!!! No wonder nothing fit right! I got him a cute pair that's a size 5.5 (he measured at 5 and she said it'd be good to go up 1/2 a size) and then a second pair that was 40% off in a size 6.

She said he probably will outgrow the need to be in an extra wide, but for now, the two pair should work. I'm hoping that these shoes will give him the stability needed to help with his ankle (it still is weak and braces WOULD help, but we don't have money in the budget for them right now).

Anyway- it was a great day and I'm thankful for the mall having a great place for the boys to enjoy, and I'm grateful for Stride Rite being able to accurately measure Hugh's foot!

A Month of Gratitude: Day 15

Day 15: Pinterest

I know there are people out there that don't use Pinterest, but I am not one of them. I absolutely love Pinterest and go on daily to see what new ideas are out there. I have 98 boards, 1,396 followers, and I've pinned 9,523 things. I absolutely LOVE this site.

Most recently, I've been searching for ideas for Hugh's first birthday party. Initially, we weren't going to do anything for his birthday. Then I got to thinking (as Steve would say- "Ught Oh..."), he's my last baby. There won't be another 1st birthday to celebrate (this thought brings tears to my eyes). So we I decided that something should be done. After all, we had a party for Gus, why not have one for Hugh?

I embarked on a search for Baby's 1st Birthday on Pinterest and hit the mother load. I found so many cute themes... but had to stop when I saw "Winter ONEderland." How appropriate is that?!?! His birthday is December 19th, the last day of fall and kicking off winter. I saw SO MANY cute ideas and just fell in love.

Once my theme was picked, I started looking for ideas specific to this theme. I found tons of boards and pins and I was able to find an Etsy shop called "Amanda's Parties to Go" and bought a complete party package for $25. It has a custom banner with Hugh's name, pictures, labels for food, decorations, banners, cupcake toppers, and much much more. All I had to do was get it printed, and thankfully, that wasn't a problem.

It'll take me a month to cut everything out, but that's not a problem.

Now I'm trying to figure out what I'll be serving. So far I've got a few things decided, but I'm still trying to decide on the cake/cupcakes/cookies and then the actual food for everyone to eat. Since the majority of his friends are going to be less than a year old, it's really food for the moms and the older kiddos.

I did use Pinterest to help me with ideas for Hugh's invitation and I'm proud to say that I saved myself $20 by designing it myself. I think it turned out really cute! I mailed them this past week and have been hearing back from his friends if they'll be able to attend or not.

Yes, I actually made this whole thing myself!

Pinterest is so awesome. I love all the ideas I get from the different pins, and while sometimes I actually go and look at the website where the pin came from, sometimes I just like the picture. 

I think you can tell a lot about a person based on the things they pin and the boards they have.

I've made a lot of things that I found on Pinterest. Several of our dinners have come from Pinterest and I have some go-to apps for parties and potlucks that I found from Pinterest. It makes me wonder what's to come in the future. 

Anyway, having Pinterest has made planning Hugh's 1st birthday party more enjoyable and less stressful than had I been doing all this on my own. I'm grateful for the inspiration I get from others and I feel like it's my duty to keep pinning to pass on the goodies that I find and pin.

Now I need to get back to pinning and searching for food for Hugh's party!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Month of Gratitude: Day 14

Day 14: Naps

After spending the last two days running around during Hugh's usual nap time, I am so thankful to be back on track with his scheduled nap. I also am thankful that Gus goes up for quiet time. Some days he'll fall asleep too, but usually he doesn't.

While we were waiting for Gus to get home this morning, Hugh decided that he would take a cat-nap right in my arms. I didn't even know he was asleep until I heard him snoring. 

I live for nap time. It's when my house is quiet and I can actually take a break.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Month of Gratitude: Day 13

Day 13: Afternoon Play dates with Friends

Today was COLD. Like a high of 31 kind of cold.

Last week, a good friend invited us over for an afternoon play date. I wasn't sure how Hugh would do without his afternoon nap and thought he'd maybe sleep while out if he was super tired (I was wrong). I accepted and looked forward to today.

We arrived with our Ziggle and Gus was ready to ride up and down the driveway. More and more friends arrived and we were surrounded by a total of 12 kids and it was so fun.

The kids played out in the backyard for a bit and then came inside to play in the basement. My friend made a traditional Brazilian dessert for everyone to try (Rain Balls) and while the kids played, the delicious smells of her cooking were coming down the stairs. When it was time to head up, the kids couldn't wait for "donuts!!"

We enjoyed the delicious treats and then headed outside for some fun on the driveway. Gus had a blast and I enjoyed sitting in the warm sun and listening to the giggles, laughs, and chatter of 9 kiddos all around the same age (and then three babies).

What a wonderful afternoon!

Hugh watching Gus ride his Ziggle

I'm thankful for the friends that invited us over to play and to the other friends that came over too. It made it such a fun afternoon.

I'm also thankful that while it was really cold, the sun warmed it up so that it wasn't frigid and everyone could endure the cold for a while.