Elin’s 4th Birthday

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A couple of weeks ago was Elin’s fourth birthday! I am so behind on posting but I don’t want to forget to post about her big day! Elin was super excited about turning four and she was sure to let everyone know it. I think every cashier in our town knows that she was turning four and having a mermaid party. She always tells every cashier in any store that we go into that she is a big sister and has a baby brother named Grayson.

A couple weeks before her birthday I took her to The Flying cupcake to order cupcakes for her class. In hindsight it would have been fun to make them with her for her class, but in reality her birthday was just a month post Grayson’s birth so ordering them seemed like a better plan. She chose to order minis and wanted half of them pink and half orange because those are her two favorite colors. Then we went to Target and bought treat bags and all the items to fill them and she helped me make them for her classmates.

The big day had arrived so we came during the latter part of the school day to bring he cupcakes for her little celebration at school.

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She enjoyed all the kiddos singing to her for her birthday and having us there to see her. She also LOVED showing off her little brother and all the kids were so excited to see a baby.

Can you spot Grayson enjoying story time, too?

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After school we had asked her if she wanted to go anywhere special like the Zoo or a jump house place but all she wanted to do was go home and open presents! So, we let her open a few and then she opened up more after her nap later in the afternoon.

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I love this picture of her running towards her presents. She was soooo excited!

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She was so excited to get her Disney Tsums Tsums. She is CRAZY about those little things.

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She also got a few lego sets, books, and a stuffed animal.

Her big item was a big girl bike!

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She is most excited about the basket so she can “pick up small animals as she rides around town” so she says. I can just see her riding around with some neighbor’s small cat in there.

She loves it but she is also a little scared of it still and it will take some time for her to get more comfortable riding it.

It’s so unreal that little Elin is already 4 years old! I’m sure before I know another year will have gone by.

Elin’s birthday party with friends was the weekend before her birthday. I’ll share details and pictures soon.

World’s Smallest Toys!

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As I have mentioned in previous posts, Elin loves tiny toys. The tinier the better! And I get it because everything is cuter in miniature size! So imagine how excited Elin got when I gave her miniature versions of the Fisher Price Rock-a-Stack and Etch A Sketch.

I love all the classic toys from Fisher Price and Playskool and Elin has many of them since they have been re-released in their retro designs.

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These miniature toys really work! You can see how really small they are by looking at it in comparison to a quarter.

Ever since Grayson came into our lives, Elin has been obsessed with playing with her baby dolls. Especially her American Girl bitty baby doll. She loves to change their clothes, pretend to feed them, let them have a ride in Grayson’s baby swing, and she puts them down to sleep in Grayson’s pack and play–as evidenced by this photo! We had a long talk about how she is not to put the dolls in the pack and play with Grayson as he sleeps. I about died when I saw we went from one to triplets!

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Anyways, so she has been super excited to use these little toys to play with her dolls since they are actual workable versions of the toys she has and had from when she was younger. It’s so cute to see her show her doll how to use the toys and help her doll draw with the Etch a Sketch.

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The company that makes these Worlds Smallest Toys also does the Fisher Price Chatter Telephone, Rubik’s Cube, the original Duncan Imperial Yo-Yo and more. They range from $3.99-$9.99. I want the Rubik’s cube to put on my desk at work. Perfect for playing with when on a conference call but small enough to stash away.

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I am thankful for getting this cute little toys sent to me for review. Elin has truly been enjoying them and it’s so much fun to see her teaching her baby dolls to play with them.

 

Disclaimer: These were sent to me for review but the opinions are all my own.

Grayson’s 1 month Update

 

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THE STATS:

Weight: 9 lbs 14 oz
Height:  24 inches
Head Size:  14.5
Clothes: Newborn
Diapers: Newborn

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How has it already been a month?!?! Time is already flying and Grayson is already officially a one month old. He has been a pretty good baby so far. The first couple of weeks he slept all the time! It was hard to get him to wake up for feedings and stay awake. Then he did a week or 2 of cluster feeding at night and now just this past week he was making stretches of 5-8 hours between feedings at night! Not bad! There is still not a pattern to his schedule yet and he likes to shake it up for me often so that I have no idea if he is going to stay up between feedings or sleep, but that is to be expected.

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He likes to be held and jiggled around or patted a lot when he is awake. He has also been enjoying his swing more and more each passing week. He is learning how to suck his thumb but having trouble keeping it held in there.

He has already rolled over from his stomach to his back 3 times at one week of age! He is very strong and is constantly working on lifting his head and keeping it up on his own.

He has been enjoying walks and being outside in the fresh air. It usually lulls him right to sleep.

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Elin still continues to be pretty smitten with her new little brother and loves to lay on his activity mat with him and keep him entertained.

He is still a little yellow from breastfeeding jaundice. His pediatrician said that it’s common in breastfeed babies and that it will go away in a couple of months. I think it goes away a little each day.

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Grayson’s Newborn Modeling Session

We already had Grayson’s newborn session planned and scheduled when an opportunity arose for Grayson to be a model for Rachel Vanoven Photography. Rachel Vanoven is known for her newborn photography and she travels the world giving workshops to other photographers to teach them her techniques for photographing newborns. So when Grayson was just 8 days old, I took him to Rachel’s studio and it was so interesting to hear her teach all about photographing newborns. I don’t know anything about photography but I find it completely fascinating and would love to take classes someday.

Anyways, we had a great time watching Grayson on his first modeling gig and will be forever grateful for the beautiful prints that were gifted to us for our time.

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Grayson’s Newborn Pictures

When Grayson was 1.5 weeks old, we had his newborn pictures taken. We had our family photographer come to the house to take the pictures in his nursery.

Grayson was good and slept almost the whole time during the photo shoot, just waking up at the end. The pictures turned out so good and I am having a terrible time picking out which picture should go on his birth announcement. I am rather behind on getting announcements made and pictures processed and ordered since I was working on planning and executing Elin’s fourth birthday party, but now that the party is over I can focus on getting all caught up on other items like the birth announcements.

Here are some of my favorite images from the photo shoot.

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Letter to Elin on her Fourth Birthday

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Happy Fourth Birthday, Elin! What a year you have had! We had so many exciting firsts this year. You have started your first year of Preschool and you are almost finished with it. You became a big sister this year! You just performed in your first dance recital! You have learned to spell and write your name. The list could go on and on.

I’m so proud of what a sweet and happy girl you are. You are so smart, funny, and kind. I love that you love to play with other kids and are always polite and kind enough to share with others. You are very observant and considerate. You ask, “How are you feeling?” and “Why did God make me?”.

You are so very special to everyone in your family and we can’t wait to see you grow and learn in your fifth year!

It’s all worth it

Today is Mother’s Day. This is my first Mother’s Day with Grayson and my fourth with Elin. As a Linqia storyteller, I often get opportunities to share my experiences with different brands. This Mother’s Day, I am also thinking back on how often Gerber products have helped me nourish and outfit my children. Whether it be onesies, bibs, baby foods, or healthy toddler snacks, Gerber has always been a top choice for me.

If you were to ask me how I feel this Mother’s Day, I would tell you that I am really, really tired from having to feed a not quite one month old child. Keeping up with a breastfeeding baby that still cluster feeds and adding in a pumping schedule is quite time consuming and can take some away hours of precious sleep, but when you look at your sweet baby’s face, you know that it’s all worth it. I remember thinking when Elin was an infant that she reminded me of the Gerber baby and I think Grayson kind of looks like the Gerber baby too!

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Even thought I spend the majority of the time with Grayson tending to his needs right now, I can still count on Elin to notice when I finally have a free moment because she quickly calls out to me play with her. I am usually ready for a free moment and don’t necessarily want to sit down on the floor to play legos, tsum tsums or whatever else she has in store but I do it anyway because she has waited patiently for me to finish up tending to Grayson and when she looks up at me with a big smile and tells me that she has fun playing with me, I know that it has all been worth it.

I know that Mother’s Day is where you are supposed to celebrate the Mother and think of all the hard work and selfless acts that she does, but I think it’s also a great time to stop and look at your kids and think about how if it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t be a mother. I definitely feel that for me, it’s all worth it!

What are your thoughts this Mother’s Day? Are there some specific moments or feelings that have really brought it home for you and you truly felt that “it’s all worth it“?

Surprizamals Unboxing

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Please tell me that your preschooler loves to watch unboxing videos on YouTube as much as Elin does. She loves to watch all those toy videos where they open up the plastic eggs for a surprise toy inside or she will watch where they open up Tsum Tsums or Shopkins. All of them having the surprise element to them. I joke with her all the time asking her when she is planning on starting her own YouTube channel where she films her own unboxings, so I was thrilled when the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company reached out to us and sent us some samples of their new Surprizamals.

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Surprizamals are adorable stuffed animals that come in a hidden in a plastic ball so it’s a complete surprise which stuffed animal you are getting. They also have a sheet of stickers featuring the stuffed animal inside and a collector’s guide. There are currently 12 characters to collect but over 60 new characters are coming out in 2016.

Elin’s face lit up when they came in the mail and when it was finally time to check them out.

 

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She got Gemma the unicorn, Jones the kittcn and Moe the bear. According to the collector guide, Moe is very rare so we were very lucky to get him! The little stuffed animals were so soft and cute. In fact, I was really surprised at just how soft these little stuffed animals were! Elin was thrilled with them.

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Elin is already talking about which ones she is hoping to get next and she is eager to see what new ones they are going to come out with later.  They retail from $2.99-$4.99 and are available exclusively at www.stuffedanimals.com.

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I think the price point is fair for these little cuties and they have held Elin’s interest more than just the initial surprise. She has been playing with the stuffed animals and the stickers every since she opened them. Elin and I are both looking forward to adding to her new collection of Surprizamals.

 

Disclaimer: These were sent to me for review but the opinions are all my own.

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.