Friday, March 25, 2011

Play ball!

It's hard to believe that Jake's first birthday party came and went, but I do believe we will deem it a success!  We had such a great time having friends over and celebrating our little boy and he made out like a bandit!  As my husband put it, it was the best first birthday party he's ever been to!  I'm with him on that one... even if it's the only first birthday party we've ever been to!  Although I will admit, it was so nice to put my party-planning skills back into action again... it's been too long!  I used to plan events for a living, and now that my career has me working on the sales side instead of the planning side, I don't get to participate in the fun, creative process anymore.  I think I'll have to find more reasons to have parties from here on out!  But enough about me, here's how we celebrated Jake!

This is the invitation that my uber-talented sister, Mindy, created for us!  It was even perforated like a real event ticket would be!  I am happy to see her putting her artistic talent to work and she is starting a business doing just this kind of thing... custom invitations and theme party work!  We could not have been happier with how they turned out (and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister!):

She also created other logos for us to use, too.  You can't really tell in the picture below, but she made a J in a baseball diamond seen in the upper left-hand corner of this sign.  I made signs like this all over the house- "Player Parking" in the driveway, "Locker Room" for the bathroom, "Dugout" for the screened-in porch, "Field Access" for the door to the backyard, "Club Seating" for the living room, and "Concession Stand" for the kitchen.  Sadly, I only snapped a picture of this one... how did that happen?

And then of course I used my "I-pretend-to-be-crafty-but-I'm-really-not" skills to make some custom decor for my little guy:

Now for the important part... the food!  I'm incredibly disappointed in myself for not taking a picture of the spread in the kitchen.  We had a concession stand complete with a hot-dog and nacho machine!  Yum!  Our hot dog bar was complete with onions, relish, sourkraut, and ketchup and mustard and there were jalapenos for the nachos of course!  Jake's smash cake and the cupcakes (chocolate, yellow, and chocolate chip) for everyone else were displayed on the dining room table:

And here is the contribution from my other sister, Angie!  THANK YOU for icing all of the baseballs!  I think we had about 48 cupcakes total and she probably iced 40 of them... it would've been a long night without her help and I loved how they turned out!  I did the J's mainly because we had so much leftover green and blue icing, but they ended up matching the little logos my sister had made.

And then for Jake's cake... I must say, I am quite proud of it!  A few weeks before I had taken a cake decorating class from a super-talented friend who runs her own cake business, so I got a bit ambitious after that.  It certainly wasn't perfect, but for my first try I was quite pleased... especially if you saw it before I had to fix it... but that's another story entirely!  As a sidenote I have to add that when I was growing up, my mom made just about every birthday cake and always did a fantastic job.  It was so important to me to carry that on and do the same for my kids.  Josh thought I was a bit crazy at first, but really liked the outcome.  And it's like I told him... this one was the first birthday cake so just imagine how amazing his 18th birthday cake is going to look!

And we had ZERO complaints from the little man... he loved every. last. bite.

As for presents, I'm telling you, it was like Christmas here!  My husband could not resist getting this for the Jakester... his first power wheels!  He still likes to push it more than he likes to ride on it, but I think Josh is living vicariously through Jake so everyone wins!  Besides, doesn't he look like the cutest little redneck baby ever???

When I started this blog, I imagined that I would do these DIY posts with beautiful photos of every detail of every event.  After this party, I realized that I'm just not that mom!  I would love to have more photos of the signs I made and the concession stand set-up complete with close-ups of hot dogs roasting, but I found myself setting the camera down more than I picked it up.  Because at the end of the day I really just enjoyed that day... every minute of it.  This is the only first birthday party he's ever going to have (sniff, sniff!) so I'm okay with not quite being the blogger that I always imagined I'd be.  It's nice to look back and just know that I was busy being the mom that I've always wanted to be.  I think Jake's okay with that, too.

Hope you enjoyed our party as much as we did.  Now the questions is how we're ever going to top it next year!  I think I have plenty of time to figure that one out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


My dearest Jakie-boy,

It seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting your arrival and feeling like your birthday would never get here.  And now, before my very eyes, you have grown into my sweet little one-year-old and I already wonder where the time went.  Some days seemed incredibly long, especially there at the beginning, but now looking back it all went by too fast.  I hardly even remember you as a squishy little newborn anymore, which is good since it means that we are living in the moment.  Since I know every year from here on out will go by just as fast, if not faster, here are some things that I want to remember about you at one:

  • Although you walk everywhere you go, you do still lose your balance on occassion and get very clumsy when you're tired.  Watching you catch your balance always makes us laugh.
  • You look at lights and fans and say "dah."  I'm not sure what it means... Aunt Mindy thinks you're saying "that."  Although when we say "where's the fan" you can look up to find it, so who knows.
  • Your other words include mama, dada, ball (ba), book (buh), and dog (da).  Your favorite word is probably "dada" though and you chatter a lot.  You recently learned how to answer, "What does a cow say?" with "Oooooooh!"  So cute!
  • If we turn on music you always inevitably bop up and down to it, dancing to the beat.  I have a few videos, but have not yet figured out how to upload them yet.  Any time you hear music you stop what you're doing and try to figure out where it's coming from.
  • You walk around church like you own the place, and always beeline for the stage.  If I have you in the sanctuary, you're very good through worship and then try to talk over Daddy as soon as he gets up there.
  • You LOVE water.  The tub, the dog bowl, the toilet (ugh!), and even just spilled water on the floor.  Once we dripped some on the kitchen floor when doing dishes and you tried to lay and roll in it!
  • You have figured out how to turn up the volume on the system downstairs.  You like it LOUD and we are constantly fighting you with the remote to keep it at an acceptable volume.  I already see a long future of me telling you to "TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!!!"
  • You are such a good sharer!  You are always trying to share your food with us and you sweetly gave your cousin Adam any toy you were playing with when we visited last week.
  • You also love babies (thank goodness since we have one coming!).  You practically try to climb in the carseat with them!
  • You have quite the temper, but only when we try to take something away from you or close a door when you want to go in that room (mainly the bathroom).  You basically scream at the top of your lungs for a few seconds and then you're over it.
  • You eat just about anything with vigor.  Grapes are probably your favorite though!
  • You sleep great, too!  You go right down for your naps with no fuss and wake up with a smile on your face.
  • Stairs are just too much fun!  You get up them rather quickly and recently learned how to slide down them on your belly.
  • You are ALL BOY.  You love to be outside in any weather or temperature and it immediately makes you happy, no matter what mood you were in.  You love to play in dirt, sand, or whatever else can get you dirty.
  • You have a healthy obsession with books, which I love!  I didn't think you'd ever sit still long enough, but now we can read one or two before bed and you almost always choose a book over a toy when you're playing by yourself (which you're very good at).
  • You've recently started hiding things (like your cousin and friend Cai do!).  I found a toy phone in the hamper today, a tube of drop-ins in the refrigerator, a mega-block in the dishwasher, and a can of hairspray in the toilet.  That one was my favorite.
Oh my I could go on and on and on and on.  It's amazing how much love your daddy and I have for you... it's completely immeasurable.  And every day we love you more.  At every month I look at you and say, "this age is my favorite" and I hope that continues.  I miss my squishy newborn but I love the little boy that you are.  You are so very special and I can already see so much of your daddy's drive and ambition... you will do great things, my son, and I am already so incredibly proud of you.  No matter where life takes you, just know that you are loved tremendously.  Never stop being my sweet-natured, happy, curious, lively little boy.

Happy birthday, baby boy.
Love, Mommy

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Loving this...

My sister wrote the sweetest post about our little Jakie-boy.  Does that picture melt your heart or what?

This week Josh is experiencing life without the little one and I'm understanding what it feels like to go off to work all day and leave the kiddo behind.  I gotta tell you, neither scenario is one that I like.  Each morning I leave that sweet face and my heart breaks.  I spend the entire day missing him like crazy.  And on my way home I just can't seem to get there fast enough.  I know that Gramma is loving the time she gets him to herself, but I will never take being home with him during the day for granted again.  I have a whole new level of sympathy for you moms that are away from your kids all day, even though I know most of you love your jobs.  Still, I know it can't be easy.

Thank you, Aunt Mindy, for loving and caring for my son this week.  Jake is happy as a clam (although it doesn't look like it in the adorable picture you posted) and hardly even notices that his parents are not around.  And I love the observations... things we live with every day, but don't notice as anything out of the ordinary because it's just such a huge part of who he is.  You're right... he may forget the memories of this trip, but I know he'll remember his Aunt Mindy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

You were right!

I figured my trivia would be pretty obvious and by now the news is officially out on Facebook (which makes all news "official" doesn't it?).  So you all guessed it right and...


Like our little Jakey, #2 is a pretty unexpected surprise as well, but I just can't get over how excited I am this time around!  Don't get me wrong, I was excited about Jake, too (at least after the initial few days of shock) but I think a little bit of anxiety and nervousness can cloud that a little bit the first time around.  This time, I'm just ecstatic!  I mean, now i know that I can handle a newborn and at least know somewhat to expect.  I know all babies are different, but with one under my belt my confidence level in my ability to parent has definitely improved.  I mean, so far so good with Jake, right?

So what's the scoop?  Well... due to that pesky blood clot situation last year let's just say that our methods of birth control are pretty limited.  As in, I have to do a pretty darn good job at keeping a watch on the calendar for potential baby making weeks.  And while I am very good at this step, I'm often times not so great at communicating that to my husband.  So let's just say that baby #2 is due to a lack of communication between the two of us!  In fact, I was certain of it the day it happened... I just knew.  Fertility runs in this family (and apparently on the Mauney side, too, since we're expecting  a niece on that side in July... yay!) and as easy as it was the first time around and based on the date, I had a hunch.  So I did what any patient (right!) gal would do and tested 5 days early.  Yep, the earliest you can possible test.  Again, I'm good at watching the calendar.  And what did I get?  A very faint pink line.  Emphasis on very.  So what did I do?  Waited a whopping 24 hours and tried again!  And what did I get?  You guessed it... the same thing as the first time!  And even though I know that a faint line is still a positive, I still needed more proof before I came out with it to Josh.  So I spent the loads of money on the digital test and BAM!  There it was in black and white: Pregnant.  Yup, I was right all along!

So then came the fun of telling the hubby.  Josh once told me that he wanted to find out in a "cool way" but all of my ideas included too much waiting (for particular occasions mostly) and I had already kept it to myself for three whole days!  Plus, my best friend was coming into town and I wanted to make sure I had told Josh before I spilled the beans to her!  So after I took the digital test my "super cool" way was to simply lay it on the sink downstairs and call Josh into the bathroom.  "Honey," I said, "I think there is something wrong with the bathroom sink."  "What's it doing?" he asked.  "Uhhhhh, it won't turn on," I replied.  I hadn't thought this through very well.  A confused look fell upon his face.  Granted, this is the bathroom that he slaved over to renovate (and I hadn't thought that part through either) so what I didn't realize was that all sorts of 'oh no, we did something wrong' thoughts were racing through his mind.  He got up, walked through the house and I followed him.  As we went through the kitchen he asked, "does the kitchen sink work?"  "Uhhh... I don't know.  I haven't checked."  He stopped and watched as I walked to the sink and turned it on, all the while I'm trying not to roll my eyes.  Just get to the bathroom already, was what I was thinking!  Of course, the kitchen sink worked fine.  So Josh walked into the bathroom (finally!), turned on the sink, looked at me with a concerned (for my mental health I'm sure) expression on his face, and walked out.  Seriously.  He didn't even see the test sitting right in front of his face!  "Ummm, I think you need to look again."  Insert concerned (for my mental health) expression again.  After a little more prompting he finally went back in there, but this time upon reaching for the faucet he just froze.  YES!  Then, as if in slow motion, he turned to face me, his eyes wide and mouth agape.  I quickly nodded and smiled at him as it all sank in.  Although it probably wasn't the "coolest way" to tell him, I thoroughly enjoyed literally seeing the wheels turn in his head as it all made sense.  "Seriously?" he finally said.  "Yep!  Congratulations, Daddy!" I replied excitedly.  I'm still a little surprised that he did not pass out!

It took a couple of days for it to really sink in for him and until we saw the ultrasound pics I think it just didn't really seem real.  Well, for me it did because I learned quickly that if I wasn't either eating or full ALL THE TIME that I would be nauseous.  Hence the six pounds I have already gained at ten weeks.  Nice!  But last week we got to see our baby lima bean and hear his or her very healthy heartbeat, so all is good in babyland.  But I'll just let you see for yourself:

Just look at those cute little stubs for arms and legs!  Jake got to come to the appointment, too, and see his little sibling, but he was much more interested in the lollipop that he got to eat!  And the stats?  Let's see, we are...

  • How far along?  10 weeks today, due on October 2nd
  • Feeling so far?  Pretty normal.  I had the not-eating-or-full nausea early on and wanted to nap all the time there for awhile, but even that has pretty much passed
  • Craving?  Oh gosh, everything!  A lot of fruit and veggies, but I'm just loving all food!
  • Gender preference?  We would love a girl considering that there are no girl grandbabies on my side of the family, but we'd love a boy, too, since they'd be 18 months apart and little buddies growing up.  My inkling is girl, and I was right the last time, but who knows.
With the baby news, I will admit that I took some time away from blogging in order to take naps instead, but hopefully I can catch up.  I have a ton of stuff to get on here about Jake's latest antics and I'm sure this week we'll add to it since Jake and I are visiting sunny Florida.  We've been here for less than 24 hours and have been outside non-stop!  So hopefully with all of the extra babysitters around here I can get caught up!  But of course, he now has to share the spotlight, so I might as well get him used to it early!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Morning Trivia...

Have I mentioned today how much I love my blog readers?  No?  Oh, that was yesterday... but to reiterate, I am giving my readers a little Wednesday morning quiz found only here.  It might hit Facebook in a day or two, but you guys get it here first... that's how much I love you!

So let's see if you can figure out what is going on here in Mauneyland...
  • I recently started taking one preventative blood thinner shot per day
  • My appetite for my beloved Mexican food has vanished
  • I'm loving fruit, ice cream, and Arby's Beef'n'Cheddar combo meals
  • I am very much looking forward to the fall
Any guesses????

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Woes...

Calling all fellow bloggers!  I was wondering if any of you are having any troubles posting video to your blogs lately?  It seems that every time I try to load one I just get the little spinning wheel at the bottom of the page telling me that Blogger is busy loading my video.  That doesn't ever go away and my video doesn't ever load... it's very strange and a bit frustrating.  Soooo... do any of you have that problem?  If so, is there a setting somewhere that I need to change?  All of them are pretty short clips from my Flip camera, so I can't imagine that they're too big to load.  I successfully loaded the last ones by uploading them to YouTube first, but I'm trying to get around the extra step, so any advice would be appreciated.  The videos I want to post are backing up and making blogging a challenge... I already have to squeeze in my blogging as it is, so these frustrations are not helping!

Ok, that's it... a little blog-venting I guess!  Please help if you've experienced this!  And a always, thanks for reading!  I promise some really good stuff soon!