Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lily's 6th Birthday Sleepover!

When I had the ultrasound that revealed Lily was a girl, one of my very first thoughts was "SLUMBER PARTIES!" Seriously, I only knew she was a girl for 14 seconds before my brain  basically started planning. 

We grew up having slumber parties all of the time. We didn't grow up in a huge house by any means, but in middle and high school, it was extremely common for 10 or more girls to spend the night every weekend. I am not exaggerating. There were times when maybe it was only 2 or 3 girls, but usually it was quite a crew. We would eat spaghetti for dinner, jump on the trampoline, swim in the above ground pool, do random crafts, play MASH, etc... Our living room and den would be strewn with sleeping bags and Hostess snacks. It wasn't until recently that I realized that a lot of parents would probably not have been okay with this many teenage girls taking over their house all of the time. My parents loved it and I can't ever remember being told no when I asked to have a sleepover.


Proof. 
1998?

I had an awesome high school experience. 



So, when Lily requested a sleepover for her 5th birthday, I was ON IT. She had a blast last year: Blog proof. So, of course she requested another one this year. 


Lily finds a great deal of happiness in planning. I think the planning is her favorite part, to be honest. So, we have been discussing this party for MONTHS. We would go to Target to look at the balloons we were going to get, we would discuss cake options, Lily made invitations almost every weekend (she never actually finished a set, so we just ended up doing an evite), she chose a playlist for the dance party, she had a countdown going for how many days until the sleepover, etc, etc... Siri was probably so annoyed with Lily asking "How many days until April 18?" that I am surprised she didn't just go off on Lily.

There wasn't really a "theme," but Lily has become really into Monster High lately. Sissa found some party supplies on crazy clearance at Target, and it was perfect!!



Crafts. Lily came up with all of the ideas, but we did try and keep it "sleepover friendly." We only actually got to one craft, though. They made a snack holder (out of empty Crystal Light containers) to use while we watched a movie later. And, they were going to make a bedroom sign and a bedtime story book. 


Lily made the decorations. 


Have you seen this one on Pinterest? It's pretty fancy.

The cake is Funfetti with Pillsbury purple and yellow icing. INCLUDING The candle, I think it cost $5, and Lily made it with minimal help from me. The girls were giddy about it. "Where did you get that cake?!?!!" "I LOVE that cake!!!"




The day of the party was really almost unbearable. Lily woke up at 5 am and started asking every 14 seconds how long until her party started. There was a nervous energy all day, because I was TERRIFIED of what the hell was about to happen. 

At 5:30, one of Lily's best, best friends arrived! It was time!

Her name is Lily, and she is Asian. I cannot make this up. They have special Lily handshakes and chants. 


It was MASS CHAOS for the first hour. 9 girls, ages 5 and 6. PLUS a 2 year old and a 5 week old. 
The girls were giddy and crazy and psycho and running everywhere. Every single parent told me something like "I have heard about this party numerous times a day for the past month. My daughter is so excited." And also things like, "You are crazy."


We gave them matching nightgowns instead of goody bags. They loved them, of course! 
We brought dinner and cake outside, because I am OCD and this helped cut down on some of the mess inside.


One happy birthday girl!


At one point, I was sweating and running around trying to get cake and do constant headcounts (9 is a LOT of girls). One of my friends who was late dropping off just appeared with Levi. I heard her whispering to him about being the 3rd baby (she has 3 girls), and he is still loved. It was so funny, and I was so grateful. He was in the swing, and I just had to let him cry. 


Craft time!


I bought a $6 ELF makeup set at Target and collected every boa, tiara, necklace, etc.. we own. The girls set up a hair, makeup, and a nail station. Makeover time! They had a BLAST. I loved listening to their giggles and squeals and girl talk.

Also, it is just now occurring to me that the girls KNOW about makeovers. Lily came up with the idea to do "makeovers." How does she even know what that is?



Emma. 


The Asian Lilies.


 

Part of the aftermath.


I was really busy, even more frantic than usual (scary), so I really didn't get many pictures. I am so glad I thought to make them all pose together! 


And a silly one. 


The undeniable hit of the night was the dance party. Hughes has these colored lights that change to the beat of the song. He and Lily created a playlist with all of her favorites (she loves Katy Perry and Taylor Swift). The girls had a BLAST! I was nursing Levi for part of it and trying to keep Reese from choking on a sucker that she refused to give up, so I didn't get many pictures. But, watching them dance and seeing the pure joy on Lily's face made every second of exhaustion worth it. 

When Katy Perry's "Roar" came on, Lily yelled, "THIS IS MY JAAAAMMM!!!"



I love that Reese got to be included. Lily would never let her be left out!



My husband is ridiculously good at so many things, but being a Daddy to girls is one of his biggest strengths. He was playing DJ and being a goob. I can't imagine many men would so fully embrace a 6 year old slumber party like he did.  He tried to do background activities, because it's weird if you are a 6  year old girl and the friend's dad is hanging around too much. Haha. But, he was fully involved from start to finish- he may have done more at the actual party than I did, since I was dealing with Levi and Reese. We are lucky girls to have him. 


I would get Levi calmed down and then just set him down and hope he didn't cry for too long. 

My friend, Meredith (mom of Eloise) came and STAYED THE NIGHT! I have zero pictures, because it was CHAOS, but she was there and she was amazing. It was so much more fun for me to have her there. 


The next morning. Lily thought everyone holding Levi could be one of our activities. Haha. They did love him!

We were SO tired. It was midnight before we got to bed, one of the girls woke up several times, Levi woke up, of course, and I kept mentally planning what I would do if there was a fire and had to get everyone out. It's so much scarier to be in charge of other people's kids!  

But, we survived! Lily and her friends had a BLAST!!!!!!!! I am sort of already looking forward to next year! 

VIDEOS:


(I wish I had taken more video, but it was so crazy and just hard to document. These videos don't fully capture the excitement and fun. They were having the best time). 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lily

So, I have done a post on Levi and one on Reese, and now I feel like Lily needs her own post, too. #momguilt

Here are a few pics of my oldest baby.


When we went swimming on Easter, I left to put Reese and Levi to bed. Lily said she was finished swimming, so I took all of their gear with me (Trying to make it simple for Daddy). Then, she DID want to swim, but I was already home. So, Garieann let Lily borrow her suit. And, Lily rocked it without an ounce of hesitation. Confidence at its finest. Haha. 



The day before April Fool's Day (and the day after I exhausted myself making her birthday perfect). Lily told me that she could not wait for April Fool's pranks. What.

Sigh. 

Thanks be to Pinterest! 

I glued google eyes on everything in her lunch/snack.


And froze her milk! It was so funny and took less than a minute. Look how real it looks even when frozen!


Lily LOOOOVVEDD it and I felt like Mom of the freaking year. #humble

Also, I cut out brown E's and asked her "do you want a brownie for breakfast?" She was pumped, of course...and then I handed her the BROWN E. hahahaha.

But, because I am not just cruel, I had actually made brownies, too. She brought a bunch of the E's and brownies to school that day. 



We went to library story time and she got me a cupcake for when I came back from chasing Reese.


She made a dress. Completely by herself. She even drew "The Hughes Family" on it. 


She has become very interested in music lately. She especially loves Katy Perry songs and Uptown Funk. She knows how to ask Siri, "What song is this?"


Noni sent me this sweet picture. Love this Big Sister. (And, I love my mom for taking them!)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The middle child


The middle child stereotype. It turns out...there is some truth to it. Reesie was our baby, and she was only 2 for 3 weeks before Levi arrived. And, her petite size makes her seem even younger. So, I was fully prepared for her to still seem like my baby girl after Levi arrived. 

However, the fact is...she is usually the one who gets overlooked at this point. Sigh. I will probably delete this post if she ever reads this blog in the future (side note- my kids BETTER read this blog so they can see how amazing their childhoods were and give me a little gold star or some thanks). Of course, our love for her is unchanged, and she is still our baby sister. But, Levi and Lily demand more of me, and since Reese is pretty content, it is easy to just throw a yogurt pouch at her and give her a container of tiny things. I think it is partially an age thing- Lily has school and homework and extra curricular activities...and a more demanding personality. Levi is a newborn, so he needs me to do all of the newborn necessities.

It turns out that Reese is a really awesome kid. She is 2, so there is some craziness, but at this point, she is content and happy and easy going and hilarious. She is very low maintenance.* I am not naive; I realize we are rounding the corner into the terrible 2's and 3's. But, for now she is easy. This is amazing, of course, but it also means I am able to give more attention to her needier siblings.

*is not what someone said about Lily. 




I am in no way worried about any of my kids feeling neglected, but I feel compelled to do a post about this precious middle baby.


 

For example, we went to a friend's house- Lily was busy playing with the older kids, Levi was being passed around by everyone, and Reese...she was eating Skittles off of the floor. I PUT the skittles on the floor, because I knew she would just dump them out of a cup/the cups were so far (5 feet) away, and the floor was right there. #middlechild



Reese's favorite toys are: craft pom poms, seuqins, buttons, coins, and tiny jingle bells. As you can imagine, play dates at our house are very fun with babies and toddlers who put things in their mouths. Choking hazards abound.


She loves blueberries, mainly because they are edible tiny things. She lines them up and counts them. Over and over. She can count to 20! #thankyoumickeymouseclubhouse


Lining up pom poms. She put this hat on one day and clearly refused to take it off.


She loves Legos. This is a new part of our world, since Lily has only recently discovered Legos. Crafting plus tiny things-= it was just a matter of time. Reese always wants them, so I bought her a small box for herself. 




Unfortunately, Legos aren't made for tiny 2 year old fingers, and she gets pissed off. 

This is also how I feel when attempting to figure out the mystery that is the Lego direction book. 


I feel like this sums up: "I have 3 children 5 and under (at the time), and I am going to lose my mind, and I can't keep up with all of them." Lily had left the step ladder out, and I walk into the kitchen to see Reese just helping herself to some cake. "Hi, Mama! I eat cake!"

Another friend's house, same scenario- Lily off playing with the big kids, Levi being held by someone, Reese thrown on the couch with Max and Ruby on Daddy's phone. 


Just like her role model big sister, Reese is not jealous at ALL. Not even the slightest. I am beyond fortunate. She loves, loves Baby Lebi. She is also excited about all of the new baby gear around the house, especially things she didn't even like when she had the chance! 



This happens a lot:

Reese: "I hode the baby? I hode Baby Lebi?"
Me: "Go sit on the couch."
Reese- runs to couch, frantically climbs up, and holds her arms out expectantly. 

I obviously can't get great pictures of her holding him since I am also holding him. 



She shares toys with him, too. 

Thankfully, my parents are amazing and took the girls for part of Lily's Spring Break. I was dying a slow, sleep deprived death trying to take the three of them to the park, library story time, to get ice cream, etc... I met Mom, and Reese jumped into their arms and said, "Go with Noni- Bop. Bye, bye Mama!" She then proceeded to hit me when I tried to lean in for a kiss, because she thought I was taking her from Noni-Bop. They went to a Children's Museum, where Reese apparently didn't leave the Lego table for the entire two hours. 

My girls have just discovered Legos. As with all things that are tiny, it was love at first sight. 




The truth is Reese is probably the luckiest of all of my kids, because she gets to have the world's best big sister as her sister forever.

UGH. See? I just made it about Lily! Poor middle children everywhere. 


Videos:
1. Lily and Reese love to swing the jump rope (or usually just a long piece of twine) while chanting jump rope rhymes. Reese's favorite is "Cinderella, dressed in yellow": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZucgVj4LoA

2. Lining up her pom-poms. She always has a pom pom or sequin clutched in her hand:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1yhXDmqgKw

3. She watched an episode of Mickey where Donald gets the hiccups, so she loves to go around with the "giccups." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST10sFD5L60





Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lev i= one month

Does it sort of look like he is making an L? 
Lily made him this onesie sticker. Clearly. 


This guy!

It is a lot of pressure trying to decide how to pose him for his one month pictures. But, then I realized I was stressing about one month onesie pictures and decided to just take the picture and move on. After I set him on the blanket, I grabbed this denim L from his bookshelf, and I think it is perfect. 


He really wants to talk. 

One month!!

This boy is wonderful. I know he is the third, so he HAS to be laid-back, but he was also clearly born with a mellow, sweet, alert, calm personality. I didn't even know babies could be this good.

I am beyond blessed that my girls were healthy. I should be nothing but grateful that I have had three healthy kids. But, this guy has made me realize that all babies are not created equal. He is chill. I can do crazy, unimaginable things...like SIT DOWN when I am holding him. Seriously, if he is crying and I pick him up, he mostly stops! It's like magic. I don't have to lunge or bounce or run around. He SLEEPS during the day! Naps! He drinks from a bottle- as soon as you put it into his mouth! I tear up almost every time I watch him do it. He semi takes a pacifier! It's not necessary, and he still gets pissed off when I try to make him take it. But, once he remembers what it is, it helps calm him when he does get fussy. He takes it about 50% of the time that I try to give it to him...which is 50% more than the girls did.  Sometimes it can take ten minutes to get him to take it, so he doesn't love it necessarily, but it definitely helps with calming him. A baby that takes a pacifier, even just partially, is better than any lottery. He can be awake and not crying! I can actually sit down and eat cereal! 


He LIKES THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
This is all unchartered territory for us. Hughes has more insight than I do into life in general, and he sums it up best: Levi is consolable. 
Of course, he gets fussy sometimes, and he wants me to hold him at times when it is not convenient. Even the best little babies cry and are unpredictable. And, we have had a rough month of nighttime sleeping. BUT, he is consolable, and, honestly, much of the time the girls (especially Lily) were not. 

To be fair, of course, I now have more tricks up my sleeve in the consoling department than I did when Lily was a newborn. But, the girls really did just come out intense, and this perfect boy is mostly chill.


** I need to give a shout out to our family and friends. We would NOT have survived this month without them. I specifically do not know what I would have done without my parents rescuing me and taking the girls numerous times and saving my sanity. 



He is very alert, though. So many people have commented to me about his alertness- JUST like with this sisters. When he is awake, he is checking it all out, craning his neck trying to see it all. 



There is a lot of staring at him. And then trying to give him buttons.


It is impossible to explain how I feel looking at this picture. The girls not taking bottles- especially Lily when I went back to work- was very difficult for us. It meant I was trapped to them, since nobody else could feed them. And, I tried EVERYTHING with both girls. Ev.ery.thing. Eventually, after weeks and months, they just decided they would take one, but researching and trying new bottles and new methods - and failing every time -  was very hard on me, on Hughes, and on us as a family.

I try to give him an ounce or so from a bottle every few days just to make sure he will still take it. He does not hesitate, and then he switches back to nursing immediately. AMAZING.



I have nursed him all over the place- here I am giving Reese a bath while nursing. I have nursed him: at Lily's soccer practice, while feeding ducks at the park, at library story time, in the Starbucks at Target, in the back of my van while Reese watches TV, while making scrambled eggs for Lily, etc...



Lily adores him. 


Waiting in the car for Lily one day.


I cannot wait to watch these girls take care of this baby as he grows.


Pacifier!!!!!!



Milk drunk.


She delights in this baby just like she did/does with Reese.


We were at Target, and I just set him back in the carseat after I fed him. Perfection. 


Super Levi! Love this outfit from Aunt Manda. 
Also, he rolled over 3 different times that day. I am choosing to ignore it and assume it was just a one time thing. 

When he starts fussing, they run to him.


We are so lucky. Ridiculously, embarrassingly lucky. We have had so many people bring us meals! I may consider a 4th baby (no way in Hell) just to get more meals! Haha. 


Sleep. Oh, sleep. 

For the first ten days or so, he didn't have a clear idea of night and day, so I was up all night with him basically. Then, he figured that out, but he would only sleep WITH me at night. Not next to me, but snuggled up in my armpit. It was a really rough month. His restlessness and grunting would wake me up, and I was so aware he was there that I barely fell asleep anyway. I would sleep for about 12 minutes and then wake up to a numb arm and a baby staring at me. I would get him to sleep and try to put him in the swing or bouncy seat or pack n play.- he would SCREAM and wake everyone up. I would bring him back into the bed, and he would snuggle back, perfectly content.  Then, 5 more minutes of sleep and his SNORES would wake me up. Repeat, repeat. All. Night. Long. For 4 weeks. (And, he was STILL our easiest baby if that tells you anything about the girls). 

Finally, right at 4 weeks, I almost fell asleep at a red light, and I had to fix the problem. Reese is still in the crib that will be his, so I moved all of his baby gear to the playroom, google searched a bunch of info about a one month old sleeping, and bought some ear plugs. 

AND, he was perfect. He went 3 hours in between feedings, and did not make a peep in between. I think maybe he could smell me when he was in the room and it made him restless and hungry? Like sleeping in a Panera? The next few nights he cried a little bit more, but he is basically going 3-4 hours in between feedings at night. i left him sleep in the swing or rock-n-play, because he sleeps better there. Reese was the same way, I broke her of it and don't even remember, so it must not have been that hard.

We are finished having kids, but he would be the deal breaker if we were undecided. Mr. Levi has spoiled us. 



WEIGHT: 10.8 pounds (70%)*
HEIGHT: 22 inches (70%)**
HEAD: 39 (92%)***

*Lily was always in the chubby range, but Reese only weighed 8.10 (Levi's birth weight) at her one month.
**We have never had a baby hit over 50% in height! Very exciting. 
***ALL of my babies have had 90% or above in head size. #hughes



My mom made him this cute little blue diaper cover. It is so sweet and has little train and airplane buttons. I don't save a lot of their clothes (I am more of a picture hoarder than a "things" hoarder), but I will save this cute little thing. 





Lots of trying to keep everyone entertained.



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