Archive for November, 2013

11.30.13

We celebrated Brady’s first Birthday party the weekend before his actual birthday, which is on Halloween. I wanted his first birthday party to be a big celebration, more or less to celebrate that we survived the first year! The next few birthday parties will probably be a little bit more low key. The party was Fall themed. There were pumpkins for decoration, pumpkins filled with flowers, pumpkins filled with various dips for fruit and veggies. We had a few different pies. I baked some spice cupcakes topped with pumpkin shaped candy corns. For Brady’s cake, I made him a 3-tier vanilla cake with vanilla icing. I made a tiny little banner that said his name that was strung between two striped straws as his cake topper. I also made him a large canvas banner with lettering that said “Brady is One” that hung on our kitchen fire place/old brick oven.  I constructed a “1” made out of some of my favorite printed photos of Brady that was displayed on the large mirror in the dining area of our kitchen. My mom made a ton of beef chili that was a big hit.  Thankfully, it wasn’t too chilly outside, but just enough to get away with serving warm apple cider (when the sun was hiding behind clouds).  I’m grateful my mom came up from Katy a few days before the party to help. She helped with the tissue paper tassel banner (among other things!) that I used to display some monthly photos from Instagram that hung on our living room mantle.  The living room ceiling was sprinkled with helium filled blue and white balloons. (Brady enjoyed playing with these days after the party). I also made some tissue paper poms/balls that were hung from the ceiling above the food buffet. Hopefully I can reuse most of these paper decorations for future parties :).

In the back yard we have a covered parking area that I strung orange streamers from, as well as, a  colorful “Happy Birthday” sign/banner made of cut out letters. We borrowed some wooden little kid  chairs from Switch. We also used some of those tiny chairs for the photo booth area I set up off to the side. I’m so grateful the weather was nice, because the party trended to the backyard.

The party was mostly come and go, but we had a big “cake smashing” after we all sang Happy Birthday to Brady. We stripped him and set him in the high chair outside. He was so happy to be in the high chair and was performing for all the folks standing around watching him. haha. After we handed him the cake during the song, he almost wasn’t sure what to do with it. This was his first time to have real sweets. First he was gentle with it, then wanted to share it with a few people. Finally, he got into it and dug into the cake with both hands. After a few minutes, he looked like Einstein with crazy hair standing up in all directions from the thick icing. haha.

When we figured he’d consumed half his weight in cake and icing we bathed him in an old steel bucket filled with a bubble bath. Poor thing was freezing because it was hose water and not warm bath water. It made for some adorable/ hilarious photos, though. Afterwards, the kiddos continued to play in the back yard filled with FisherPrice toys, compliments of RaRa ;).  Brady had a little slide, swing, Cozy Coupe car,  and picnic table. The kids played with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Brady was very entertained by dunking his entire arms into the big steel bucket filled with ice and water bottles. His poor hands were all red, but boy did he enjoy it! That boy is more entertained by non-toys than actual toys. Go figure.

Since I have the privilege  of photographing quite a few 1st birthday parties, I knew how important it was to have it documented by someone else. I wanted to sit back and enjoy all my hard work and preparation and have memories of enjoying my son’s 1st birthday party with him and our family and friends instead of running around trying to capture everything on camera. Therefore, I hired Christina to document the party for me! She did a wonderful job and I’m so happy I didn’t try to prep, set up, and photograph the entire party all by myself.

We are so blessed by our family and friends who celebrated Brady’s 1st birthday with us! We requested no gifts, but asked that if people felt compelled to give that they consider donating to his college savings account. It was a big hit! SO much better than a ton of toys. Although, the toys he did receive were just perfect and just enough. Soon we’ll be going through some old toys to donate.  What a blessing to celebrate our sweet, funny, vivacious little boy’s first birthday. We look forward to the many birthday parties to come!

 

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11.16.13

_12Months

Well, we made it. We survived the first year!!! You turned 1 on October, 31, 2013 (Halloween)! Happy Birthday, Brady. Wow, this year has been the best and most exhausting (in a good way). What a blessing and gift you are, my child.

Just like last month, you’ve learned so much and just keep on learning! Your personality is coming out more and more each day. There’s no telling why (teething? growing?), but you’ve been requesting to nurse much more at the beginning half of this month. You “ask” by pulling at my shirt and climbing on me. Sometimes I try to wear shirts that help disguise the “milk truck” so I can play on the floor with you without running into that issue.  You’ve learned to drink from a toddler cup that has a straw. It’s basically a little thermos and you like to hold it.  I’ve started weaning you by replacing one nursing session during the daytime with a bottle of cow’s milk.

You currently have FOUR teeth! Two top teeth and two bottom teeth in front. You have two more that are coming in next to your top teeth.  You feed yourself every meal after you nurse or have a bottle, unless we’re in a hurry and then I’ll just feed you purreed  food. You’re learning to use a spoon. You understand the concept and can use it correctly, but after a few tries you’re more interested in playing with it and flinging food.

Your sleeping has been a bit sporadic. Sometimes you nap great (twice a day for up to two hours each), sometimes not so much. A few times you boycotted your afternoon nap. That was fun. You’ve woken up in the middle of the night often and I’ve just nursed you back to sleep.

You absolutely LOVE being outside. Nothing makes you happier (except food). You’re getting so good at throwing the tennis ball for George! You’ve preferred playing on the ground (in the leaves and grass and with sticks) than being in your tree swing. You usually cry when it’s time to come inside. RaRa got you a little Fisher Price slide and picnic table for your birthday. You like the slide and are still learning to climb up the steps. Sometimes you like to try walking up the slide part. You love outside so  much that when I carry you from the house to the car (about 5 paces) you flip out into a full body tantrum, because you want to play outside rather than be buckled into your carseat. We upgraded your carseat to a big-boy carseat, thanks to Rara and Deedee (your great Aunt Di) for your birthday. One that will grow with you for the next couple of years.

Occasionally you get caught doing something you’re not supposed to. For example, I find you digging through the big box of instant oatmeal packets at the bottom of the pantry and you will immediately hold them up in the air and turn around and say “Dooh!” with pursed lips, as if to hand them to me like that was your original plan. It’s pretty funny… I try not to laugh.

You’ve been so cuddly this month. I truly hope that sticks around. You rest your head on my shoulder often… a lot right after you nurse or before I lay you in your crib to sleep, or when I pick you up off the changing table. Also, in the mornings when I get you out of your crib, you cuddle on my shoulder for about a minute before “chatting” and pointing to the animal pictures on the wall.

The week before your birthday you started taking steps!!!  Of course, you’d immediately sit down whenever I’d get my iPhone out to video your “first steps”! I finally captured you taking several steps on your own in the front yard.

 

You still babble a lot.. not any real words yet (at least that we understand) but you point and grunt and say “Dooh! Dooh…” most of the time. You also seem to have separation anxiety…. mostly when I put you in a room and then put up the baby gate. You flock to the gate and raise your arms and whine/cry until I hold you. I try to let you work it out yourself for a minute or two, though.

One of the cutest things you do is dance. A lot! You bob your head/body to any beat you hear (washing machine, dryer, actual music). The best was when you started dancing to a lady’s ring tone while we were in a store. You were sitting in the basket and as if second nature, you immediately started bobbing your head and moving your body. Hah – too cute!  Another sweet thing you do is put your head down (or even lay down on the floor) when we say “Sleepy?” And if there’s a blanket nearby you’ll grab it and bring it up and “cuddle” it to the side of your face. Ah, melt my heart!  You do this a lot on the ottoman or couch in the living room.  The best of all the cute things you’ve learned lately is KISSING! I’ve been teaching you this for months and you finally reciprocate. Whenever I request a kiss, it’s usually open mouth or you just lean into my face, but it’s the absolute BEST. It’s even more wonderful when you initiate the kiss. Ah, Brady… you are so precious.

I gave you your first hair “trim” on 10/22. It was just a mere 1/4 inch in the front area to get it out of your eyes. Don’t worry, we left your sweet little curls mullet in the back. :) Dad wasn’t too happy I cut your hair, but oh well. You’re even more adorable now!  Bath time is still a struggle most nights.  You prefer to stand over sitting in the bath tub. Although, I started drawing a bubble bath to spice things up and you seem to like it and sit down more often. (Yea! Progress!)

We visited the Dallas Arboretum a couple times this month. You seemed to be more interested in the people than the pumpkin patch.  Rara went with us one time the weekend of your birthday party. I got some nice photos of the two of you. This month probably marks the month of the most photos taken of you since it’s your birthday month!

We celebrated your 1st birthday with family and friends at your first birthday party on 10/26 at our home.  I spent a few weeks preparing decorations that I learned how to make (and plan on reusing for years to come). It involved printing a lot of your photos from your first year and creatively displaying them around the house, as well as getting crafty with tissue paper.  Even though your birthday is on Halloween, I wanted to enjoy a birthday party of yours that wasn’t Halloween-centric. We’ll wait until you’re older to jump into that.  It was a Fall themed party. I carved out a few pumpkins to hold some flowers, as well as, home made dips (fruit and veggie) and we drank hot apple cider, ate various pies, spice cake cupcakes,  chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, candy corn (of course),  and Rara made some yummy chili that was eaten up quickly.  I made you a vanilla (3-tier) 6 inch cake  with a little banner that said “Brady” strung from some striped straws/sticks displayed on the top of your cake.  Most of the party was spent outside in the backyard since the weather was nice. Rara got you a FisherPrice slide and picnic table, which were great for the other little ones that came out to celebrate your birthday. We also had a photo booth area set up for people to have their picture taken by my friend and fellow photographer, Christina, who documented the occasion. (Separate blog post of birthday photos coming soon!) We stripped you down and put you in the high chair and sang you happy birthday (I’m so impressed I didn’t tear up!) and then we all stood around anxiously awaiting you to smash into your cake. You took several minutes before you tore into it. You were more curious than anything (since you haven’t eaten sweets before). You wanted to feed it to others standing nearby (mostly dad and me).  Then, we washed you off in an old steel tub filled with a (cold) bubble bath. You continued to play outside with the other kiddos afterwards.  We feel so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends who love you/us.

On your actual birthday morning, we surprised you with chocolate covered donut holes and chocolate milk. Sugar overload! You loved it. Dad even let you have a bit of his chocolate covered bear claw twist thing.

Your 12 month check-up went well (despite all the shots and blood test – oh my gosh). You weigh 19 lbs and are 28.5 inches long. Your head is 18.25 inches around. You definitely have your dad’s metabolism, because you eat meals bigger than I do and you rarely stop moving for more than a hot minute. Hopefully you’ll get his height, as well.

Here’s a video I put together using all the photos of you on Instagram from your first year!

 

So maybe I went overboard with photos this month? Happy 12 months, Brady Bear.

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Brady on Instagram:

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11.09.13

I had the privilege of photographing my beautiful friend and sorority sister, Lindsay, and her husband, Ricky (GO FROGS!). They are expecting twin girls this winter! All in all, we had a great time and tried to catch up in between shots. Lindsay, you are beautiful pregnant and are going to be an even more beautiful momma!  Here’s a sneak peek of their maternity session….

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