Friday, May 29, 2015

Our Life Lately: May in Pictures...

May has come and gone.  Sometimes the days seem long until baby's arrival but I swear we just made the paper chain starting from 52 days left and now we are day 29, where does the time go?  My energy is waning so we are trying to do fun things mixed in with a whole lot of chill time at home and probably a touch too much television ;).  Let's reminisce on our May days!

Before 5th disease interrupted our plans, we planned to celebrate Nana's birthday and mother's day the first weekend of May.  My mom had extra towels from Ellen's shower SO we made Nana, Grandma and mommy towels!  The kids worked SO hard to make theirs special...they love, love, love craft projects.
Solon's above says "Solon (Heart) Nana" and a portrait of her.
Vera rocked the line art...it totally should be hanging in the MoMA!

We LOVE to celebrate May Day and since introducing it to our neighbors 2 years ago, it has totally taken off.  The kids love to assemble and most importantly deliver and ding dong ditch their friends!  Popcorn, dum dum lollipops and plastic cups for the cheap win ;).  It's not really about the food, it's more about the sweet surprise on the doorstep.  The kids also loved receiving them too!
So excited about their surprise delivery from a friend!
Daddy was gone late for meetings one night and so we had a slumber party in bed with mommy...we seem to have lots of sessions of resting in mommy's bed these days! As noted below, just waking up after a Sunday afternoon snooze!

...and when they do sleep in their own rooms, we find them in some interesting positions.  We are still pondering how V tucked herself in and fell asleep like this...arms wide out.

We tackled lots of purging and organizing projects in the nursery and basement this month.  It was weighing heavy on me.  We couldn't move forward with the next phase of basement completion until it was done and you know me, I don't want to stop the momentum ;)!  The baby's room had kind of become a dumping ground of all things baby and gifts, etc. with an extra bed and linens...
While cleaning out the basement on a Friday night, we found a 7 year old gameboy and Solon thought it was the best.find.ever.  He loves to play the one game we have, MarioKart, and has become quite good.  It kept him busy the entire night we cleaned and purged ;)!
A full back end of the van and two weeks of VERY full garbage cans later, our basement was clean.  We also managed to pawn off share some used baby gear and 2 old chairs to people that could use them!  Now all we have left is furniture we will use for now in the basement until our savings has recovered from the finishing process ;)!  First on the list, is a king bed for us and our queen is going to the new guest room.  Our guests will be so happy, they won't have to sleep on a FULL!  For large parties of guests, V's room has a queen too and Solon has bunk beds - so we are set for when Scott's parents move to town and host Christmas in Ankeny.  Yes that's the other big news.  They put their house on the market in CF and hope to move to a free-standing house condo on the south side of Ankeny.
Once the purging was complete, my vision of a navy, gold, grey nursery could come together.  I also have pops of coral since I think baby is a girl.  I have all the receipts stapled to the pillows, etc just in case they need to go back!  The light fixture has been up since V's nursery days and the furniture we have used for all 3 kiddos.  We spent more on it, then any furniture for ourselves... ;)!

...of course I have been DIYing and spray painting things to add to the nursery!  Baby you are "SO LOVED".  Solon has been singing to you nightly to "come out, come out little baby, come meet your big brother and sister."  SO CUTE!

Our lilac bushes produced such beautiful fragrant blooms this year, I just had to bring a couple of bunches inside as well as let the office window be open whenever possible...the smell might just be my favorite spring scent!
In May, I also discovered my deep, deep love for watermelon.  Scott even had to run out one night to get me some.  The craving was real...
And of course we hit the milestone in May of our weekly non-stress tests.  They have become a little less relaxing with 2 kiddos in tow but the nurses treat them like royalty with fruit snacks and turning the tv to cartoons...as you can see they were in the "zone".

...and I don't mind 20 minutes (or 2 hours as in the case of one week) of listening to baby move and shake on the monitor.  Unfortunately, something I don't like to think about...factor 5 can cause still birth and stress on baby in the final weeks SO hence the weekly monitoring.  Thankfully all of our babies have thrived!
The kids and Scott got me a pedicure for mother's day which was more of a need these days as I cannot bend over to paint my nails.  It was a real treat to take my little lady sidekick along with me.  She couldn't wait to get purple sparkly toes, she didn't want it to get washed off so she walked around like a penguin for a few hours!  She also has been loving shopping with me and knows not to ask for things "today" so she often says "I would like that for my birthday".  I have lots of ideas for September ;)!

She and Solon have been big helpers with setting up baby items.  Our dear friends, the Porter's got us a new baby monitor, which the kids have been loving testing out.  Technology has come a long way in 6 short years.  We also got the baby seat washed and re-assembled.  We will wait to install for a few more weeks...Vera was happy to test it out with herself and her baby!
...and we wrapped up the school year for Solon (more on that in another post) and created our summer fun bucket list for the 3rd year.  The kids love to mark things off and we have already checked a bunch off.  We are having fun playing outside, enjoying Memorial Day BBQ's, fires in our fire pit, heading to the pool for the first time and loving lazy summer mornings and late warm summer nights!  What a fun May...I bet June will fly by and before July hits, we will be a family of 5.  I keep telling Scott, "we are having a baby!".  Even though I have been carrying the squirt since before Halloween, yes that's a long time, I agree...some days I can't believe my dream of one more sweet miracle is about to be our reality.  I can.not.wait and either can anyone else around here.  There is a lot of love to share with this little one...boy or girl?!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ellen's Last Sail Before the Veil...

Well we knew many of Ellen's friends would have to travel up for the festivities so we tried to be cognoscente of that when planning so we decided to throw both the shower and bachelorette party in one weekend.  I love throwing a good party and planning all the little details to make it special.  It truly is a way for me to express my love.  Ellen was surprised and cried so once again, I think it was a success.

Now planning a shower when you know you will be 30 weeks pregnant is one thing but a bachelorette party...The plan was to have a low key dinner in at the suite and then a Bar Crawl to cap off the evening (for which I put her in the hands of her trusted friends).  I made a little Bar crawl "itinerary" (get it ;).  She chose 7 bars and I made up a little checklist for each bar.  Having never been to the bars, some of them were trickier than others but they got most of the boxes checked and I heard lots of funny stories and fun along the way!
Above is a sampling of things they had to do :)
I had fun making all these things...the little water bottle above was the parting gift for the ladies.  A bottle of water and 2 IB Profin...of course "In Case You go Overboard."  They all took one for the road.
The cups were what the kids helped me with and they were sad there weren't any left...we will have to make them again...Dollar store flutes with mod lodged on glitter (although have you seen the spray glitter paint now?).
Funny story -- my mom booked the suite and the guy on the phone, when she made the reservation, said there was only standard suites available so she thought she booked a king suite.  When I arrived, the guy helping me mentioned we had the best room in the house which surprised me given my mom's previous conversation.  When I walked in I was STUNNED.  It worked out great and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out and enjoy.  I had brought table cloths and things to use but the decor was so chic, I didn't even need it ;)!  Thanks mom!
I made the fun banner - the banner itself was a Target project and then I cut navy letters using my silhouette!
I got some carnations and baby breath and made some arrangements in spray painted gold wine bottles and jars.
...and used gold, navy and cream plates, napkins and silverware.  Along with a print saying "Ellen's Last Sail Before the Veil" logo from the invites I created...it was so fun to make!
And I wanted a little something for the ladies to sign as a moment but I knew it needed to be consumable so we all signed a chalk spray painted bottle of champagne (she loves champagne) for her and Kristiaan to enjoy some romantic evening.

The girls arrived around 7pm and we toasted the bride before digging into some AWESOME pizza Ellen had suggested.  They delivered right to the hotel.

Pizzeria Luce!  Highly recommend their artisan pizzas, so many delicious options - my favorite was the pesto shrimp!

After dinner we played a few games and opened gifts, hung out, they did A LOT of laughing and reminiscing and then freshened up, took some pictures and headed out.  We picked the hotel for its proximity to everything and the weather was beautiful that weekend so they could walk to everything which was our hope!

A lovely group of fun and sweet friends...thanks so much for helping celebrate Ellen's special day and showering with fun things to spice up their marriage!



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ellen's "Tying the Knot" Shower...

Your one and only little sister only gets married once so Mom and I were so excited to throw her a special shower in her honor.  Since my parents live on a lake and it has always held very special meaning to our family...we decided to make the shower and bachelorette weekend, nautical inspired!  We didn't have to look too hard for decor and anything new will be used again - win, win!  My mom always does a lovely job decorating and organizing and since I was in charge of the bachelorette, she did 90% of the work on the shower.  I helped with games, crafts and MC-ing but she took care of all the decor, food, hosting, etc :).  Mom you knocked it out of the park.  Ellen cried she was so touched, so we knew she loved it (which is what it was all about).  She has lots of friends in the twin city area so we invited her friends, my mom's friends and lots of family.  We had about 28 ladies with us that day, we are delighted they could join us!


The library/dining area all decorated...
My mom had the event catered by a sweet caterer, who coincidentally and unbeknownst to us, also cleaned the dishes and bussed.  Since my parents were hosting my sister's future mother-in-law, Vera and myself and my grandparents that was a welcome surprise!  We decided to do a salad luncheon with finger desserts and coffee during present opening.


When the guests arrived, we asked them to decorate tea towels for Ellen's future kitchen.  They could draw a picture, share a funny inside joke, share wisdom and then we shared them when Ellen opened their gift.  They were all very different and quite creative.  She now has PLENTY of towels to start off her home.  My Grandma Wetherbee did this at my shower 9 years ago and I just had to throw the last one away (SAD) but they make the BEST towels.  As an aside, my mom had extra so my kids made me a couple for mother's day :).
This table included my mom, my sister's future mother-in-law, my grandma, Marcie (my cousin Alex's sweet girlfriend), My Aunt Carol and Aunt Chris.  It was awesome all those special ladies could make the trip.  Ellen's future MIL is from San Diego and my Aunt Carol is from Memphis, TN!
She also had a lovely bunch of sorority sisters, past roommates, and work friends join us.  It was fun to listen to them reminisce, Ellen is one of the first in the group to get married but there are a lot of weddings this summer it seems...
My sister-in-law Raquel and mother-in-law were also able to join us and Vera's favorite guest was her cousin Grace.  She was pretty much attached to her the whole time!  See that VERY happy smile she is wearing?
A mix of my mom's friends and Ellen's teacher friends.
Mingling with my MIL and her future MIL.

After decorating tea towels and eating lunch, we all gathered in the family room for games.  I had asked Elle and Kristiaan a series of questions ahead of time and they had to pick who was more likely to fit that statement...for example "Who is more adventurous?" and the answer was Ellen!  The ladies had fun guessing, there were a few surprises but everyone knows the bride any groom REALLY well.  The other game we played included a kitchen tray full of kitchen gadgets that then was gifted to the bride.  The guests had to look at it before it was covered and then write everything they could remember down.  Both games seem to be a hit.  We then grabbed some yummy bite-size desserts and finished the affair with gift opening.  She got lots of her dishes and glassware from Crate & Barrel which she was over the moon excited about.  Everyone was so generous in helping Ellen start her home very blessed.

I had about 30 minutes to sit and grab a second lunch ;) before heading downtown for the bachelorette party...a recap on that coming up next!

Solon Pre-K Artwork Winter/Early Spring...

Solon brings so many lovely creations from preschool and we hang them on the back door and bulletin board and then from time to time, we have to clear it off to make room for the next round.  Here's a look back at some early spring items :).

Solon titled this picture "A snowman in a BIG snowball fight"

Some donkeys from "Palm Sunday" Sunday school...
A little sequencing practice from their units on seeds and amphibians.
Solon knows the way to his mommy's heart is with hand artwork ;).  He made this one day for me because "I love you mommy!".  Heart.melted.
This might have been HIS favorite craft of the year.  A frog mask from their amphibian unit.  It originally had one of those blow horns that flips out and retracts but after a full days use, it was no longer with us.
...and a little stone soup artwork from their week reading the classic book "Stone Soup" and then making a class-size portion of said soup.  Solon contributed the carrots and said it was quite delicious.


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