My Little Starlet Dancer

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Elin has been dancing for 2 years now but this is the first year she was old enough to be in the dance recital.

She had been practicing the dance for months and I had been explaining to her how she would be on a big stage just like we when saw the Nutcracker and that we would all be the audience watching her. I don’t think she really believed me but she finally did when we had her dress rehearsal at the theatre downtown.

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The rehearsal was just a week after Grayson was born and that was the first time I was away from him for a few hours. The rehearsal was the only time you could take flash photography since it was prohibited during the actual recital, so all my pictures are from the rehearsal–but my pictures did not turn out that great.

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I was a little worried that Elin might try to go her own dance moves that she was fond of incorporating when we practiced, but luckily she stuck to the routine that was choreographed for them— and she did a great job!

Practicing the finale.

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As a surprise, her aunt Jenni came to see her during the rehearsal and brought her some beautiful flowers and a book called, “The day before my dance recital.”

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Here is come pictures with her friends backstage.

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Elin did such a good job on the day of her actual recital. I could not take any pictures during the show but got a few pictures after the show.

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Here she is with her teacher, Ms. Katie.

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The director of the studio, Ms. Beverly.

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My friend Diana came to see her and brought her the lovely ballerina Peppa doll.

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And a not flattering picture of Elin and me.

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I am so proud of Elin for doing such a good job and not getting scared on stage.

Elin and Grayson

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As I mentioned in my earlier post, Elin was not able to come to the hospital to meet her new little brother due to strict flu restrictions the hospital was enforcing. So their first meeting wasn’t until we got home from the hospital. It was so cute how excited Elin was to see him and show him off to everyone that was there to greet him.

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He may not look impressed at their first meeting, but it was his first time outside and it was super windy and he was due for a feeding.

Just look at this proud big sister.

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It has only been 2 weeks so far, but Elin just loves to sit and watch her brother as he sleeps, plays on his activity mat, or his swing.

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She has been such a super helper so far and I just hope that she continues to be enthralled with him as he grows.

Grayson’s Birth

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Grayson is already 1 week old! Where does the time go? It honestly only feels like he has been here for a couple days and not an entire week. It’s amazing how time can stand still when you are hospitalized.

I went in on Sunday, April 10th for a scheduled c-section. I was supposed to call at 9am to make sure they were ready for me to come in at 10am to be prepped and then the c-section was supposed to take place at noon. Of course, when I called they said they had a larger than normal volume of laboring moms come in so they told me they would call me when it was time to come in. So finally at 11am they called back and said to come in at 12:30pm. Once we got to the hospital and in the labor room to be prepped, everything went by really fast. We had very sweet and amazing nurses but I was crushed when they told me what I had feared—that due to flu restrictions, Elin would not be allowed to come up and meet her little brother after he was born. I was so hoping that they would not be enforcing that. Elin did not take the news well either because I had been telling her all about coming to visit us in the hospital.

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The c-section started and it was different this time because I felt more aware this time around since I had not been laboring beforehand. Grayson Rhys was finally born at 2:30pm and weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz and measured 22 inches long. As soon as I heard him cry, my OB laughed and said he peed on her right away. I was so glad to be positioned in a way to be able to see them wiping him down and measuring him. I felt like I could not see Elin at all during my surgery with her.

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When we got back to the recovery room, my parents came in to see him awhile. Phil had to go and sit with Elin since she was not allowed in. She was pretty upset, but luckily we were able to Facetime with her that evening and she got to see the baby that way. Plus, she got a some special visits from my sister and my friend Diana who brought her some really cool big sister gifts. She got a picture frame with a picture of the baby in it that she got to take to school to show her teacher and friends. Plus some cool big sister books, flowers, candy, balloons, and a my little pony toy.

Here is a picture of Elin meeting her brother for the first time through Facetime.

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I was only in the hospital for just over 48 hours. The recovery was more painful this time, but still not bad. Breastfeeding has been much easier this time and luckily Grayson caught on to latching quicker. I had many visitors and the time just flew. Before I knew it, it was time to go home and finally show Grayson his big sister and for Elin to meet her little brother!

More on that next time.

Here is Grayson’s going home outfit laid out waiting for him to get back from his newborn screening test.

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All dressed in his going home outfit. I was nervous that this newborn outfit wouldn’t fit which is so funny because it was so big I could barely keep the pants on him.

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All ready to go home in his car seat.

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Welcome Baby Grayson

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I am excited to announce that Grayson Rhys was born on April 10, 2016 at 2:30p.m.

He was 7lbs. 11oz and 22 inches long.

We are home and doing well. Big sister Elin was excited to meet her new baby brother.

Sprinkled with Love: Two Baby Sprinkles

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I haven’t gotten around to posting much about baby boy on the way becasue it has been pretty busy getting everything ready for this arrival. There are still a few things I would like to get done and we are down to only 2 days to go! Lord, help me. However, he has already gotten spoiled along with me by getting two lovely baby sprinkles to celebrate his arrival!

The first sprinkle was thrown my a few of my co-workers and held at a beautiful bakery called The Cake Bake Shop. My pictures do not do this place justice. It is so beautiful inside and is owned and operated by Gwendolyn Rogers who has been featured on The Food Network many times for her amazing cakes and desserts.

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Don’t all these desserts look amazing? I am very eager to come back here to try some new things! It’s dangerously close to where I get my hair cut so I will be coming back for sure.

Two of the hostesses and me.

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I love this picture of me and my co-workers. Since they all work insane hours and go from nights to days it can be hard to get us together after work for any sort of event. I was so grateful for all them who came and celebrated with us.

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The cake was so beautiful with the carriage on top. It was a strawberry and vanilla cake and it was delicious! The macaroons were rose flavored! It sounds so odd but was so good!

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My second sprinkle was thrown by my two dear friends at a local restaurant that we all love called Stone Creek.

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The cake and the cookies were so delicious and looked exactly like the invitations! I love the gray, navy and elephants.

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Me and the hostesses: Diana and Jill.

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We had a lovely lunch on a Sunday and Elin had to miss the beginning becasue her preschool class was singing in church for a special program they had been working on for weeks, but luckily she made it in time to open presents and have cake. She loved helping me open all the presents and hearing about what all the items were for and how the baby will use them. She even got a little big sister present.

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I am so grateful for all my family and friends who came out to celebrate with us!

Easter 2016

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Easter has come and gone so quickly this year! There was hardly any time to enjoy the season. However, Elin still got to participate in 3 egg hunts and had lots of fun.

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The first egg hunt she went to was at her Nanny and Papa’s church. This was our second year participating and it was a lot more crowded this year, but I think Elin had a lot more fun with her cousin Max and friend Lydia there with her.

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These two were quite anxious to get started hunting their eggs.

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Take a look at that running stance. She was certainly ready to run and understood the concept this year of wanting to run fast and further out.

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She collected up quite a few eggs but was pretty good about not getting into them until we got home. There were some story time activities and refreshments that she enjoyed as well.

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Nanny and Papa came over after the hunt to see her open her eggs and to give her some Easter treats.

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The next day was Easter and I was very excited for her to check out her basket and have another egg hunt with eggs the bunny left her.

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She was very excited with all her many treats and surprises.

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Then it was finally time for her to hunt eggs outside.

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She was so very pleased to see that some of her eggs held Tsum Tsums which are her new favorite toys! She got a few of the small soft plush ones but she really loves the little rubber figurines.

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Little Angel enjoyed watching all the excitement.

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Then i was time to go to visit the cousins and start hunt number 3.

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They all found many eggs.  Elin was convinced that the eggs with dollar bills were empty so she was quite upset when she found those! I think we eventually convinced her that it wasn’t bad to get those and to stop throwing those back out of her basket. Silly girl!

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She had a good Easter and it was hard to believe that it’s going to be her last Easter as an only child! We are trying to soak up these last few days with her.

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Changing Table/Dresser Organization

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I recently moved Elin’s old dresser/baby changing table to the new nursery and I had the chance to start from scratch and re-organize everything. I always felt that Elin’s dresser was disorganized and therefore I was always having to search around to find items and then I would find items shoved in the back that didn’t get near enough use because I had forgotten they even existed. So it was my goal to not have that happen anymore and to make sure this time the changing table was better served with organized drawers and to make everything easily accessible and like items grouped together.

The first thing I did was purchase my favorite Ikea Skubb Drawer Organizers. Since I do not live close to an Ikea I am so glad that these can purchased on Amazon now! I have recently placed several orders to get all our dresser drawers organized. To get 12 organizers for less than $30 is a phenomenal deal in my opinion and I love that they are white and thin therefore not taking up a lot of space in the actual drawer.

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If you have read or heard about the popular Marie Kondo method of cleaning and organization, she is against purchasing special organizers and containers for organizing. She believes that would make one keep more than they should, but honestly I think in drawers you need separate containers to keep items corralled together. It just makes organizing easier and I am all about making it easier.

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The next thing I did was group all like items together and then that helped me figure out which organizers they fit in. Next, I started figuring out the configurations of what items should be in the top drawers and which items should be next to each other.

The diaper drawer is still a work in progress as I gather last minute items like diaper rash cream, lotion, extra wipes, etc.

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My newest tip and trick is rolling everything! Why? For starters, it looks pretty! Although the main reason to do is is when you fold and stack, two things happen. The items at the bottom the stack never get seen or used–especially if you do have excess of something. You use the first few items and wash and re-fold and throw them back at the top of the stack. Those poor items at the bottom of the pile get neglected. Secondly, folding causes creases and winkles in items and to me I think it’s just really hard to fold neatly and keep items stacked neatly. No matter how hard I try, I feel like the stack looks all haphazard and messy.

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Not everything had to be rolled, but I did with the socks, onesies, and blankets. I like that it helps me see everything I have and therefore hopefully I don’t forget what I own.

I do this in all my drawers. I just re-organized Elin’s new dresser and all her socks and pajamas got rolled as well. It’s so much cleaner and organized now. I love it! No more searching for missing sock mates and the bottoms to match a certain top of her pajamas.

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I hope some of these pictures inspired you to re-organize your drawers and try rolling something. I love looking at pictures of other organized spaces to pull some inspiration for my own house.

Check out some of my favorite bloggers and how they are organizing and cleaning this spring.

Sara @ Running from the Law – Spring Cleaning with Toddlers

Sarah @ Seeing All Sides – Garage Organization

Meghan @ The Adventure Starts Here – Tips for Keeping an Organized and Semi-Clean House

Jess @ Scott Family of Maine – Spring Cleaning Printables

Liz @ Ellie & Addie – Spring Garden Prep

Chrissy @ Simple Joys – Diaper Changing & Dresser Organization

Leah @ Leah With Love – Spring Cleaning Schedule

Stephanie @ Wife Mommy Me – De-clutter Your Home Printable Checklist

Whitney @ Work It Mommy – Re-purposed Storage Solutions

Emily @ Dear Owen – Organizing Kids Closets

Jess @ Being Mrs. Beer – Essential Oils for Spring

Vanessa @ Sunflower State of Mind – Spring Cleaning Hacks

Laureen @ Chateau Deveau – Playroom & Toy Storage

Jessica @ Secrets of a Stay At Home Mom – Organizing a Kids Craft Area

Ashley @ Being Brickner – 10 Cleaning Tips for Working Moms

Karli @ September Farm – Spring Cleaning Checklist Printable

Laura @ Happily Ever Parker – 25 Things to Purge

Erinn @ Strawberry Swing & Other Things – Pantry Organization

 

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Easter Basket 2016

 

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I adore easter baskets. I love all the pastel colors and all the fun sweet things to put inside them. It’s so hard for me to not go crazy and overboard buying up all the fun little holiday themed items to go inside.

Each year it has gotten even easier to fill the basket because each year Elin likes more candy and treat options. However, in my opinion the perfect Easter basket is a good mixture of toys and candy.

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Here is a closer look at the goodies in inside the basket. Almost all the items were purchased from Target aside from the stuffed bunny. Target has the best little seasonal section for stuffing Easter baskets.

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A little toy stuffed bunny is a must. I mean, how can you resist? This one is a nice smaller size from Pottery Barn Kids and is literally the softest little bunny in the world. This was not the mini size although those are quite sweet as well.

Lip smackers are a must for Elin right now. She is obsessed with putting on “lip gloss” as she calls it every morning. She usually slathers are 4 or 5 different kinds and she loves to put it on so thick that she gives herself a pink mustache. I really tried to not get the chap stick but I just know she will love it. She will also love the little chick topper which doubles as wee key chain. Something fun to hang on the book bag zipper.

I’m not sure how the hatchable eggs will turn out. I thought they might be fun for her to try out and then the bunny popper is just for a fun toy as well. I’m sure the balls will promptly get lost but I couldn’t resist.

Note: I usually put a book in there and was shocked that I had forgotten. So even though it’s not pictured I found a Easter themed coloring and sticker book.

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Now on the edible items. Elin mentioned she was hoping the bunny would bring her a lollipop so I found one in the shape of a Peep and an actual Peep pop. She loves carrots and carrot themed candy so I was excited to find the carrot chocolates, jelly beans, and starburst tube. She has started to really like Sweettarts, Laffy Taffy, and Nerds so I scooped those up and of course she LOVES Pez. These packs of Pez were a good deal since they came with many refills so she is getting two of those.

I also picked up one of the little cartons of Gold fish crackers. They just looked so springy!

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What cool things did you find this year for the Easter basket? Any things that you find to be essentials?

 

Easter Link up

 

 


Elin 3.5 Year Update

Elin is long over due on a 3.5 year old update! Since turning 3.5 she has learned that she will become a big sister just before she turns 4! She is super excited for the baby and I think she will be wonderful with helping out with the baby. She transitioned from her toddler bed to a twin bed. She loves her new bed and I have gotten her to cut down on all the stuffed animals in there. She still has her favorites with her.

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She has been working on her first recital dance and will perform for the first time in about a month and a half.

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She has been in school now for 6.5-7 months and still continues to love it. I’ve gotten to attend many field trips and classroom parties which has been a fun way to see her interacting with all her little friends.

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She is very interested in letter and words and is constantly asking me what the first letter in certain words are. So we are working on sounding out words to try to figure out what letters are in words. She has known how to spell her name for a long time now but recently she loves to practice writing it out. I am constantly amazed at all that learns and maintains.

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The Stats:

Weight: 34.4 lbs
Height:  40.5 inches
Clothes:  4-5
Shoes: 8.5-9

Favorite Books:
  • Cinderella stories
  • The Little Mermaid book
  • Bunnies by the Bay
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and similar books)
Favorite Activities:
  • Drawing people and Disney characters
  • Dancing
  • Putting on chap stick (she calls it lip gloss) and pretending to put on makeup
  • LEGO
  • Play-doh
  • Calico Critters
  • Painting
  • Watching youtube videos of old Mickey episodes, toy unboxings, and other random cartoon and sing alongs
  • Tablet games: ThinkRolls (a problem-solving game) and Pet Doctor
Favorite Foods:
  • Mini Pancakes
  • Pretzels
  • Baby carrots
  • Princess Godfish crackers
  • Scrambled eggs and cheese

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Swaddle Designs * GIVEAWAY*

I have been preparing for baby #2 by making lists of items that I still need to purchase. Most of the bigger baby items I got when I was pregnant with Elin were gender neutral, but of course since I opted to find out her gender I went all girly with clothes, blankets, and all the fun baby accessories.

Since this one is a boy, there are some items that I am needing to stock up on. I am researching brands and companies again to refresh myself on what products are out there and which ones are tried and true. Of course there are some brands that I already know that I love and I know that I want to go with them when purchasing those particular baby items. In fact, I started an Amazon baby registry at the request of some friends and colleagues since I have a couple of baby sprinkles coming up. Some items that I added on there right away were SwaddleDesigns blankets and burp cloths. I had both of those items with Elin and loved them. In fact, their blankets were so pretty that they are in a lot of photos from her newborn photoshoot.

So, imagine my surprise and delight when SwaddleDesigns reached out to me with an offer to host a giveaway of their new soft single muslin blankets in their new prints.

Yes, please! Perfect timing!

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How sweet are the little pandas and hedgehogs? I am a fan of soft grays and silvers for boy stuff as opposed to a lot of blue, so I love that they offer a lot of soft gray options.

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I love using muslin blankets for swaddling since they are soft and breathable, especially in the spring and summer months. These are the only blankets I carried in my baby bag and I plan on that as well for baby #2. They are recommended by pediatricians and designed by an RN.

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Here are some pictures of the other items I have registered for and plan on purchasing from SwaddleDeisgns. I have used both the burp cloths and the receiving blankets with Elin.

SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket, Mod Circles, Sterling

SwaddleDesigns Baby Burpies, Sterling Owls (Set of 2 Burp Cloths)

Now for the giveaway! SwaddleDesigns has very graciously given me a blanket for my readers to win. You are eligible to win one unopened gift box with the Hedgehog print muslin blanket by entering the giveaway below. The email will be emailed and will have a one week to respond to me with their mailing address.  Good luck!

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