Monthly Archives: December 2010

Getting Ready to PARTY!

We have T-15 days until Knox’s birthday party. Yikes! How did that happen so quickly?? It’s down to crunch time, and I am in crazy-party-planning mode. I’ve been slowly collecting things for the past month or so, but now, I am having to hurry up and get everything taken care of. I have mentioned that this is all happening on a budget, and I have been hoarding my “allowance” to use on this party.

With our Dave Ramsey budget, Trevor and I each get cash as our spending money from each paycheck. This keeps us from going overboard on spending and keeps us out of debt since we use cash. It’s slim pickins, too, y’all. We used to get $100 each, but we decided that was too much, so now we get $75 every two weeks to spend on frivolous purchases. If I didn’t have something to spend, I would lose my mind, but let me tell you- $75? It ain’t much when you are a recovering shopping addict. Anyway, thanks to my frugality, I now have a couple hundred saved up to use on the party “fluff”. I want it to be nice, but I knew I couldn’t go crazy, so I think that’s a good amount. We’re using our  bank account for the party necessities (read: food and a few presents), but I figure it’s not necessary to buy cupcake toppers or animal figurines, so I’ll take care of that with my fun money to be more budget-minded.

With the “Great Outdoors” theme, I decided to go with a more rustic food menu. We’ll have grilled hot dogs, homemade chili, warm potato salad (no mayo involved because I HATE MAYO! This stuff has bacon, instead. It’s a worthy trade), baked beans and a s’mores station. I am most excited about the s’mores station because 1) they are yummy and 2) it will pull people outside because my house is way too small for all the people that will be there. Since it’s cold out, I knew I wanted to use our fire pit, and I figured that s’mores will lure people out there despite the coolness.

This menu will be filling (since the party is at 1) but is also budget-friendly. For drinks, we’ll probably have lemonade, and I am splurging on some glass bottled cokes because I have the best idea ever for some bottle labels. You’ll have to wait to see what I’m planning on, but I will tell you this: it’s cheesy and awesome.

Instead of cake, I’m doing cupcakes. Even Knox’s smash cake is going to be a massive cake-sized cupcake from a cupcake bakery downtown (only $18… way cheaper than most “professional” cakes). I thought about making one, but then I have to buy one of those big cupcake pans, and it would end up being cheaper just to buy it. I’m making the other cupcakes myself to save on money and so I can decorate them! I found the cutest cupcake idea ever at The Party Dress for campfire cupcakes, so I’m doing those. I may throw in some toadstool cupcakes, too, for good measure.

As far as decor goes, I’ve been hitting up TJ Maxx, World Market, etc. and getting some cute decorative items for the table, etc. Let me tell you, it is a very good thing that “woodland” was such a hot theme for Christmas this year, because I picked up a bunch of stuff on the cheap at after-Christmas or pre-Christmas sales. The theme is also a good one for easy decor because I will be using nature items on the table, too.

I’ll be making Knox’s banner myself, thanks to some cute scrapbooking paper, kraft paper, a hole punch and ribbon. If I find some time to actually do it!

I would also like to take this moment to say that I LOVE BLOGS. I think we all know this, but seriously, party blogs? Are awesome. I have gotten so many ridiculously adorable ideas from them that I have an abundance of them to chose from. Some of my favorites have been the aforementioned The Party Dress, Party Like a Kid (by Jill who also writes one of my fave baby blogs, Baby Rabies) and Hostess with the Mostess. So if you’re planning a party, check those out!

I will try to do another party update with some more pictures before January 15th arrives!

Knox’s First Christmas

I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas, we definitely did. I love the holiday season. Trevor and I are MAJOR Christmas people, and we look forward to it all year long. After all the anticipation, this first Christmas as a family of three definitely lived up to the hype. We had a wonderful Christmas morning with Knox, very low-key and quiet. It was much-needed, considering the rest of our holiday was spent rushing all over the place.

Christmas Eve lunch was spent with my dad and his family. We had a good time catching up, and of course, everyone wanted to play with Knox! He had a really good time, but it’s a typical Southern household (ie: LOUD) and not exactly a place conducive to nap taking, so Knox was wired and grouchy by the time we left. Although, he made an adorable new friend in my uncle’s little dog, Buffy. I swear, that was the freaking cutest dog on Earth, and she loved Knox. So much so that she took to sitting in his lap every time she saw him on the floor. Knox tried his best to touch her eyes and teeth, but settled for petting her ears. Here she is sitting in his lap, which he is THRILLED about:

Literally… she could not get close enough to him.

Once we left there, we rushed home, got Knox down for a nap, and I rushed to cook spinach artichoke dip and pigs in a blanket for our next stop: Trevor’s grandparents’ house. Once there, we hung out with Trevor’s family and had a great time. Knox is very comfortable over there, so he was hamming it up for everyone. His favorite thing to do was to rip off his Grandpa’s hat. Very entertaining stuff.

Grandpa and Mimi had also arranged Knox’s very first hayride. This is something that Trevor and his cousins all loved when they were little, so I think Trevor’s dad was itching to get started with Knox. It was super chilly outside, but Knox was very warm nuzzled in the hay (which he loved to throw) and up against  us while we rode around. I seriously thought he may go to sleep because he was so still while we rode, but he was just watching everything very intently.

Then, it was back home and off to bed for us. Since Knox now hates sleep, Trevor and I were worried he wouldn’t stay asleep long enough for us to get everything ready for the morning, but luckily, he did. We were so excited for morning to arrive!

Once Knox woke up, we headed downstairs to see what old Santa had brought for our good little guy.

The first thing Knox saw was a little Cookie Monster, and he had to have it right away. Then, he dumped out a huge container of MegaBlocks.

We definitely did not go overboard, and he had six gifts under the tree and his stocking, which was perfect for his first Christmas. He didn’t understand what was going on, but he had fun looking at everything and playing. The cutest thing was when he pulled two sippy cups out of his stocking and tried to drink out of them… guess he didn’t realize that they don’t come with water already inside. His “big” gift was a cute little rocking horse that makes horsey noises.

We played with Knox for a little while, then fed him and I started on a big breakfast. Trevor’s parents and grandparents were coming over to eat and do their Christmas celebration with us.

After we ate our apple pancakes, bacon and sausage gravy biscuits, we exchanged gifts. I got all the parents (and grandparents) a huge hardcover photo book of Knox’s first year that I made online. They all loved them! Knox’s grandparents brought him lots of goodies, including his first flashlight (Trevor and his dad are obsessed with flashlights and pocket knives… seriously, it’s a sickness), which was a little T-Rex that roared and opened his flashlight mouth. Knox LOVED that thing!

Then, Knox opened up something that made him very excited… a train!

Trevor’s parents also gave us something we can always use: a night out! They gave us gift cards to use to rent a hotel room and go out for a nice dinner, which was so thoughtful! We had a great time hanging out with Trevor’s family, and as soon as they left, we had to rush again! I hurried to make macaroni and cheese and gather up gifts, then we headed over to my mom and stepdad’s house.

Everyone was so excited to see Knox, he is such a loved baby, and we are so blessed to have a great family (mine and Trevor’s both) that adores him as much as they do. He racked up on clothes over there, so he is set, wardrobe-wise, for the rest of the cold weather months! Yay! Luckily, Knox is a really social child, so he was having a great time once all of my extended family arrived, being passed around amongst people and played with. One person stood out in the crowd, though. My little cousin Ethan, who is four years-old. He is hilarious and just loved Knox, but not as much as Knox loved him! We all swore that Knox said “Ethan” once, it was clear as a bell, but it was probably a fluke since he would not repeat it! I tried my best to get a picture of the two of them together, but you try making two energetic little boys sit still for a minute: it won’t happen! So, this is what we got:
Overall, I could not have asked for a better Christmas. It was our first as a family of three, and having a baby at Christmas truly brings new joy to the day. I hope that you all enjoyed your holiday, as well!

Apparently, he’s ready for marriage.

Knox’s official “second” word (really, it’s a phrase) came about last week. Trevor’s mom (Mimi) was over hanging out with Knox and told him “I love you! I do!” when Knox repeated “I do!” Talk about a random thing for him to start saying, but it’s quite possibly the cutest thing on Earth, especially since he says “do” quite emphatically with a nod of his head almost every time. So now, Knox “does” everything. “Knox, do you want a diaper change?” I do! “Knox? Time for bed?” I do! “Knox, do you take her as your wife?” I do! I guess I need to warn his hostess girlfriend that he is very serious about their relationship.

Here is he, cute as a button, saying “I do.” He says it clearly around 14 seconds and kind of slurs it the rest of the time because he never does anything like he usually does when I film him. Y’all know how that camera shyness goes. :) Though we just watched this video and he’s been saying it for a good five minutes perfectly after hearing video-Mommy tell him to say it, ha ha

More on our Christmas holiday is coming up this week as soon as I load the zillions of pictures! I hope you guys enjoyed yours, as well!

The Christmas Rush

Here we are, three days from Christmas, and I am *almost* ready. I still have to pick up one gift, wrap all of them, clean the house, and… who am I kidding, I have a ton of stuff to do! Luckily, Knox and I have the day off tomorrow, as well as Friday, so we have some time on our hands. Our Christmases are always a huge rush, since we shuffle back and forth between family events, but this is the first year we’ll be together as a family of three so we’re starting our own tradition: Christmas morning at our house. Each year, we have spent Christmas morning at our respective family’s house until last when Trevor came to my family’s house for Christmas morning. We left and went to his parents’ house afterwards. We warned our parents last year that it was the last time they’d have us to themselves because next year [ie: this year] we’d be at our own house.

While it’s totally a strange feeling since it’s different, we are really excited to be starting our Christmas traditions with Knox in our own home. We’ll be reading him the Christmas story on Christmas Eve, putting together toys and setting everything out, filming him opening his presents in the morning and I just cannot wait! This is such a great stage of life as a young family, getting to experience everything together for the first time.

Things will be even busier this year since we’re wrangling a baby in addition to all the normal craziness, but you know what? This is the kind of chaos that I cherish.

In case I don’t talk to you before then, have a very Merry Christmas!!

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

First of all, thank you so much to those of you that recommended that I read “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. I picked it up this weekend and read it in two nights. I LOVED it! The whole book was right in line with my way of thinking, and it was so awesome to read stories about other moms in the exact situation. The author, a woman (always a plus), has four kids and breast fed and co-slept, so I related to her right away. Her youngest woke up every hour to nurse. EVERY HOUR. Made me realize I don’t have it quite so bad! Anyway, her tips make so much sense and now that I’ve read the book through, we’ll be starting to use her method. It works in steps- first, we get him to start getting back to sleep without breast feeding, then without being held, etc. All without making them cry! It’s definitely a more peaceful method, and one that I am able to see us doing. Once he is sleeping well, we can get more strict with him sleeping in his own bed and such.

The past two nights, Knox has slept for several hours in his own bed, which is a step in the right direction! So far, I’ve been using her “Pantley Pull Off” Method for night nursing. Basically, when they wake and want to breast feed, you let them for a brief period of time just while they are nursing vigorously for a minute or so. Once the pace slows, you disconnect them and hold under their chin to let them know they’re done. If they stir and start rooting, you can nurse again briefly, just keep repeating the pull off method until they are asleep. I thought for sure this wouldn’t work since Knox tends to stay glued to my boob at night, but sure enough, it did! At most, I’ve had to reconnect him twice before he fell asleep. This is definitely an improvement!

She also suggests introducing a “lovey” item while nursing so that they start to equivocate that item with being comforted and happy. Before long, they will be satisfied to have the lovey instead of you. So, we started that last night, and he held onto his little monkey lovey and fell asleep clutching it. So sweet. I’ll keep you guys updated on how this works for us!

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