Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The pink party

I know we’ve covered the topic of Belle turning one already, but before I can just wrap it all up, we have to take a look at her party! It was super low-key with all her favorite people, lots of pink, and a tutu of course!!


Belle spent the afternoon visiting her favorite peeps—Aunt Laura, Grammy,
Papa John {yup, that’s what he’s called!}, and Great Grandpa!

SAM_7949 SAM_7951

SAM_7932 SAM_7965

As you can see, Belle is doted on by ALL of her Grandpa’s… even all at once!


Belle was gracious enough to offer up some kisses for me! {oh, the kisses you learn to love once you’re a mommy—open mouthed and slobbery, but so so sweet!}


The “great” Luceros {great by relation, of course} and Grandma Linda and Grandpa Forrest, too.


Family photo!


Her guests enjoyed pink candies, pink popcorn, and frosted pink cupcakes… on pink plates!


And I made a poster out of Belle’s Sticky Bellies monthly pictures! {Remember: You can enter to win a set for you or a friend!}


Belle enjoyed some pink popcorn herself!


Belle was making the funniest face when she had the cake in front of her! She was acting all excited, mouth open and all! Yet, she was more interested in poking the cakes than eating it. I think she was more into all of the attention everyone was giving her! Either way, she was super cute!


She did enjoy a few bites of cake!


And there were presents of course. Great Grandpa got her the cute pink chair and she loooooooves it! She’s opening the present that Jackson picked out.


Grandpa also got her a {loud, singing} stuffed animal—she loves to snuggle and love on stuffed animals.


Belle got a new {pink} high chair, booster seat thing. I am probably more excited about it that she is, but we need to get the full sized one out of the dining room!


She was more interested in climbing up on the box than what was inside, and that’s okay! At least it was sort of a toy for awhile.


Belle loves her necklace {from Jackson} and she will put it on whenever she finds it around the house. Just a cute little girly-girl in training I guess!


I love how her pink party turned out! We love our little girl and are so thankful for all the friends and family in our lives that love her as much as we do!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The weekend

We have had a wonderful weekend! Even though it’s been full of mostly routine and boring tasks: cleaning, budgeting, laundry… we’ve managed to squeeze in some super fun family time and even time with friends! It’s the first time in a weeks that I’ve just relaxed and put school completely on the back burner. {And now that Monday is approaching, I need to get my tush in gear! I have a presentation on Wednesday!}

Friday night, we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse {with a groupon so it was super cheap!}. We considered going kid-less to enjoy some alone time on a date night, but we decided to have a family date night and I am so glad that we did. We had such a super nice time with the kids and Jackson was so excited about that place. His exact words were, “This is so awesome!” We took the kids by the mall afterwards and let them play.




Jackson is approaching the age when he actually wants to put money
in the slot to make the rides work. Up until now, he’s been
perfectly content just climbing/sitting/steering!


Saturday was the day filled with pretty boring stuff, but we managed to squeeze in grocery shopping, a trip to the DMV, cleaning house and cooking dinner. I managed to take a two hour {must needed} nap and we even had friends over for dinner!

These are our friends Kaylynn {pronounced Kay-when and/or the-girl-who-calls-me-Jack} and Kennedy. Derek and I went to college with Matt and Kandice. It’s so weird to look at pictures of our kids playing together and thinking back when we all lived in Springfield and hung out at the Baptist Student Union! Now we’re all grown up {mostly} and our kids play together. So weird. I’m super excited that Matt and Kandice have moved up here to Kansas City! We’re totally looking forward to hanging out with them more.

Isn’t this picture super cute!? Don’t mess with us—we have a collection of super heroes to protect us at this house! SAM_8059

Costume change!SAM_8066

And Sunday we did the normal wake up late, get ready for church super fast, get to church late routine. I guess Jackson’s Sunday school class took a tour of the church today and they passed by the worship band when Derek was playing the drums and Jackson was really proud/excited to see his Daddy up on stage. I wish I could have seen it! Derek spent the afternoon playing disc golf with a new friend while I just enjoyed the quietness around the house.

And after evening church we had a house-full of friends come over to watch the Oscars! I love watching the Oscars every year. And just like Billy Crystal said, “What we need in this economy is to watch millionaire give gold statues to one another!” We all filled out Oscar ballots… and I won {of the people still remaining when the show finished up!}. Woo hoo! I am really hoping Derek and I can catch up on some of the movies from this year {in the time I don’t have!}. Does it count that I have at least read the book for a couple?

My ballot—8 out of 24, a whopping 33%… but that’s all it took to take home the prize. Which was nothing. But I’m always up for any thing that happens to be a competition!2 (3)

Looking ahead our week is a hectic one. Parents as Teachers and Finance meeting at church on Monday, Tuesday classes, Belle doctor appointment, Wednesday presentation, Thursday shots {Jackson} and then Derek has a 3 day weekend with the Army and I’ve gotta find something to keep me occupied so I don’t go stir crazy with the kiddos!

We always manage to squeeze in some nice family time, so even when it’s super crazy, we have a good time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Twelve months of Sticky Bellies!

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you know I love writing monthly updates for Belle! {Can I just add that I am awesome for keeping up with it for a whole YEAR!?} Taking the pictures, making the collages, and writing out the happenings of the month definitely took some time, but I am so excited to have a record of her first year! And it most definitely wouldn’t have been the same if it weren’t for the Sticky Bellies stickers!

Check out those scrawny legs at one month. Her feet were ALWAYS in the air during month four and five! She started sitting during month six and has showed off her first toothy smile in month eight! belle birthday
I read about Sticky Bellies on some blog back when I was early-on pregnant with Belle. I contemplated getting some for maternity pictures, but never did. And the thought of getting the stickers for her was always on my mind, but I just didn’t know if I should buy them. I was just trying to be such a good steward of our money while Derek was gone. I showed the pictures to all of my friends, secretly hoping they would convince me to buy them and sure enough it worked.

I remember being so excited when I first got the little package. I looked through and found my favorite colors and was thinking—seven months and twelve months are so far away! Silly me. I should have known it’d go by so quickly!

My Sticky Bellies stickers have been, by far, my favorite baby purchase! I just don’t really keep many opinions to myself and because I'm especially fond of these, I feel obligated to share! I tell every pregnant friend/acquaintance/stranger about these cute stickers! You can even check out the testimonial page on the website, scroll about halfway down and you’ll see that I even contacted them to tell them that not only do I love the stickers, but I love their service too.

My favorite thing about the Sticky Bellies is that it has allowed me to document her growth in photographs each month. I won’t pretend that I’m a skilled photographer and it’s probably very obvious to most that I just have a point and shoot camera. But, I like the way they turned out. And I love that I always had several shots to make into a collage to create a bigger picture of her personality each month.

My favorite monthly collages are 4, 6, and 7. Just click to make them bigger.
2011- June (2)Belle 6 mobelle 7 mo

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Twelve months

The time has come…  last year at this time we were welcoming a precious baby girl into our family!! A whole year has flown by and Belle just celebrated her first birthday! Holy buckets.

belle 12 mo

Dear Belle,

Over the past twelve months, you have changed our lives (beyond the sleepless nights and the amount of pink that has invaded our house). You have wrapped Daddy around your finger, melted my heart, and become besties with your big brother. I am so grateful for the precious little girl that God has blessed us with—YOU!!

You are quite the little walker these days… and you definitely don’t need my help. If I try to hold your hand, you go crazy.  You’re still a little bit wobbly, but you do okay when you fall down. You can even get up by yourself in the middle of the floor instead of crawling to a piece of furniture and grabbing it to pull yourself up!

Girl, you love to make noise. You like to scream, squeal, babble—anything that makes a noise. And it’s generally loud. You say “dada” a lot. You’re first word that you always use in context is “Uh oh” and it is soooo cute! Sometimes you don’t even open your mouth to say it! Daddy taught you how to say “Hi” this week and that is super sweet as well!

And while on the topic of speaking, you started signing this week too! You can sign “more” when you want another bite. We haven’t worked on other words very much, but I expect you to pick up on them soon.
You’ve gotten another tooth on bottom, so you’re up to five teeth total. You eat whatever we eat for dinner. You’re favorite food is—well, it’s not a certain food. It’s just anything that comes out of a chip bag. I am so not kidding. Even if I hand you a chip off my plate, if it didn’t come out of the bag it is worthless to you! I have even put fruits and veggies in a chip bag so you would be excited to eat! We’ve made the switch to milk instead of formula and we’re exploring different milk options to make sure we avoid lactose.

Needless to say, I feel I must mention that you are pretty strong-willed, opinionated, determined… whatever word you’d like to choose. Please refer to the above pictures: the one with the drill—yeah, you wouldn’t cooperate without the drill. The one with the scowl, that’s your “I’m not happy with you” face. Do you see the attitude!? You are rather sensitive and a bit dramatic at times. I know you’re one, but I am amazed at how little girls are so different from little boys.

You love stuffed animals and you sleep with certain ones every night. Your favorite is pink ruff-ruff {a gift from friends}, but it’s looking a bit dingy and because it has a music box in it, I can’t wash it. So we are transitioning to a sock monkey you got for Christmas. You have started sleeping through the night more consistently. Only once or twice a week do you wake up in the middle of the night. You totally prefer to sleep in your own bed {me too, I can’t blame you} but you are quite ridiculous about when it comes to sleeping in a pack and play at my parents house.

But even so, you are still such a happy baby. Totally cute and super sweet!! You give the best kisses, even when they are wet and sloppy or if it’s just your forehead making it’s way to my lips. I love it all! We love you more than we can ever express into words and it is so much fun to watch your personality bloom!

The messy eater phase—but you’re just so darn cute! Look at that smile! {and the little ponytail that sticks up on top!}

You love the water, both at the pool or in the bath! It’s a great
cure for a cranky baby.

Last week at Jackson’s doctor appointment, you walked right over to the sucker basket and helped yourself! I let you have it after you worked so hard at pulling that off! You were definitely proud of yourself.2046431204303_ORIG

I love this picture from the park. You totally love to walk around and climb and play! When did you get so big!?

Belle, you bring so much joy into our lives and into the lives of everyone you meet. I pray that you never lose your radiant smile and positive energy. Sometimes I wonder how I am going to keep up with you, but I would never, ever want to change you! I am so blessed to be your mommy and I hope you will always know that. You make the world a better place; we love you. –Mom and Dad

{First birthday party pictures coming soon!}

One Year Stats:
Weight: 20 pounds - 29 percentile
Height: 28.5 inches - 27 percentile

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I woke up to Jackson saying this morning, “I want to snuggle Mommy!” What a great way to start this day! I love being a mommy!!

Jackson has been telling people “Happy Vawemtimes Day! I love you!” all day. He’s such a sweetheart. He has made some valentines and has been giving them to different people and today he said, “I’m a nice boy because I give the people stuff.” SAM_7864

As per our normal Valentine tradition, we had pizza. But with our crazy, hectic schedule at the moment it was a little impromtu. Cooking would take to long. We stopped by pizza hut but there was an HOUR wait. So, we had our super fun Valentine dinner at Target! Which was perfect! They have little pizzas already made {no waiting} and Jackson looooooves the popcorn. Plus, he thinks eating there is such a treat!

Pizza, breadsticks, and popcorn = a perfect Valentine dinner!SAM_7869

Being creative with our pizza choices is the fun part of Valentine’s for us anyway. It started out with Domino’s. We’ve eaten at Pizza Street {my fave KC pizza place!} and Original Pizza {my second fave}. Last year, with Derek being on active duty in Georgia—we celebrated when he came home for Belle’s birth with some pizza goldfish. I had hoped to make some pizza tonight, but that will just have to wait for a time when I’m not a full time grad student!

Valentine Pizza Celebration 2011

I just love celebrating Valentine’s Day! I know some people have very strong feelings otherwise, but I like to embrace the fun, creative side—not the expensive, commercial side. Plus, I use it as the time to do special things for my friends and other people we come into contact with on a regular basis {nursery workers, Sunday School teachers, nurses at the doctor’s office}. I am too overwhelmed to make treats around Christmastime, so I let the kids bring a treat around Valentine’s Day and they {the kids and the recipients} love it!

I love my hubby {and the sweet roses he got me}. I love that Jackson told me that he is a nice boy for giving his Valentine’s to people and that he gives me sweet snuggles. I love my precious baby girl and her sweet kisses! I love being a mommy. I just love our family and our crazy, busy life!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Great Grandpa and the Golden Arches

My kids are just so blessed to be able to grow up with so many Greats! Not all of them live close, but Great Grandpa lives only a few minutes away and loves to stop by and check up on his grandkids. And Great Grandpa loves to take the kids to McDonalds {I'm not sure who loves it more-- Jackson or Grandpa!}. In fact, if you were to mention McDonalds to Jackson, he'd probably ask if Great Grandpa was going to be there. 

Grandpa really enjoys watching the kiddos play... and even playing some himself!

Going to McDonalds with Great Grandpa has been something we've done ever since Jackson first started walking. What special memories they will have {and if they are too little to remember, I will always have my pictures!} of spending time with him. I'm bummed that we don't live closer to my grandma's, but we try to make up for it when we get the chance. I am so, so thankful for the opportunity my kids have to get to know their Greats!


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