September 30, 2009

ehhhhhhhhh

(I was trying to spell out how it sounds when I groan because I am groaning ehhhhhhhh.)

I've got a cold and everything just feels heavy. My head is heavy. My eyelashes feel heavy. The air is heavy. Heavy.


THE FENCE GUYS ARE HERE!!! Finally.


Anyway, over at my NWIparent Close to Home blog I am crossing things off my bucket list and also giving away a $20 Wendy's gift card (ends tomorrow night).


I've been wanting oldschoolblogging to make a comeback and so I better start participating. Here's a meme that doesn't seem to require too much use of my brain as mine is mushy goo in a foggy fog right now. I was tagged by Mommy Words and I am playing along!

It's about our children's names.

1. Do you have any cultural or religious naming traditions?

No traditions for us. We kind of created a tradition by giving our boys family middle names and then that got interesting when we had Ivy...

2. Did you or your partner come to the marriage with pre-selected names?

Yes. We were just dating and would talk about having a family, and we both (separately) loved the name Noah. I don't even think we even discussed boy names when we were pregnant the first time. It was a given his name was Noah!

3. Did you consider the sound of the first and middle and last names together? Did this make any sad eliminations?

Yes. the amount of syllables mattered and even though I thought Penelope Precourt was cute it might be too many "puhs".

4. Did you have veto powers?

Yes. I said hubby could name the baby as long as I liked it. : )

5. Did the baby naming cause arguments?

Only when naming Grayson. We didn't have his name until he was almost born. I really (and still do this day) like Tazo. It means THIRD SON! And he was our THIRD SON! We could call him Tay... yeah, so well. No one thought that was a sane idea. I stand by my suggestion.

6. Do you think it is easier to name boys or girls?

Neither! We had a hard time with both Grayson and Ivy.

7. Did you eliminate names because of people from your past or present who you don’t like or because a certain image comes to mind.

Not for me, but more for hubby. He could come up with a bad memory for just about every name I'd suggest. Hmmm....

8. Did you / would you survey your children to get their thoughts on the name?

I don't think so. I am pretty sure they had their own minds made up on the name. Gray was convinced Ivy's name was really Diego the whole time she was in my belly.

9. Did you tell people the name or possible names before the baby was born or were they “in the vault”?

We did with the first two and then when we struggled for the perfect name for Gray we were put off by the comments and opinions. So we zipped our lips until he was born. We planned to do the same for Ivy but after a while, we were SO CERTAIN that her name was HER and there was nothing that could change it, so if people didn't like it they would just have to DEAL.

10. Did you use baby name books?

Yes! Yet every single time we never chose a name from them. Noah we already had, Carter was because my friend Jenny had a friend named Carter and I liked his name, Grayson was thanks to my Aunt sending baby name lists while evacuated from Hurricane Rita, and Ivy was something put on our hearts, again separately.

Drumroll Please…What did you name your kids?

Noah Jeffrey (middle name is hubby's name)
Carter Wilson (middle name is my maiden name)
Grayson Roger (middle name is my father-in-law's name)
Ivy LaRue (middle name is explained, in part, HERE)

I want to tag people to play along but I am about to take lay my head down right here and go to sleep except I need to take care of my small children so if you want to play along, be sure to let me know so I can see.


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September 29, 2009

Mama?

I always have the video monitor on Ivy when she is sleeping. The other day I didn't notice she had sat up and I heard the faintest sweetest little girliest voice call "Mama?"

"Mama?"

I ran to her and scooped her up and felt so special that I had someone to call me Mama like that.

Just now I was looking at her and blinking my eyes and am sure I saw her grow right there in front of me.

She got her first big boo-boo the other day, on the side of her nose. You see, she thinks she can fly. And also my friends call her a pinball. It's pretty accurate.

But she just gets right up, doesn't even take the time to cry or dust herself off, and tries to fly again.

little girl

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September 28, 2009

There's even room for monkey.

This is my final month as a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom. And how fun for me that I get to keep my fridge [for free] in the end, which is nice because I've become quite attached. So attached that I am trying to work out my new dishwasher (oh yes I am going to get it one way or another) to be the matching one to my fridge.

monkey wants a dwink


I think it's interesting as my "test drive" comes to a close, our old fridge that was moved to the garage has become used less and less. And just today I retrieved the last item from its shelves. It now stands completely bare.

I'm surprised, as I was certain a family of my size probably couldn't do without the two refrigerators. And at the very beginning I was a bit skeptical that the Frigidaire Gallery Refrigerator could fit all that we needed within its side by side doors. But, it does.

monkey in the fridge

There's even room for monkey.


Apparently I am in good company. I just learned that Jennifer Garner is Frigidaire's new celebrity ambassador for the new Make Time for CHANGE campaign, supporting the Save the Children's US Program dedicated to making a difference in children's lives.

Right now, for everyone who goes to Frigidaire.com and raises a hand with a pledge to make time for a child, Frigidaire will donate $1 to support the CHANGE. And everyone who pledges will be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Professional double wall oven!

And so, yeah, I am no Jennifer Garner, but tomorrow I will be sharing a video of me in my kitchen (ZOMIGOSHIBETTERCLEANANDTAKEASHOWER) as my final entry for Team Fridge.


Maybe I'll show you how I clean it or maybe I'll just stand there all Price Is Right Barker Beauty-like. Or maybe I should just show Ivy doing a little dance by the fridge and make everyone happy. We'll see!


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September 27, 2009

How Do I Choose?

sakuraluxe


How do I choose which sling to wear on any given day? Most often I decide by what matches my outfit and then what suits the situation the best.

sunday1


If we will be walking a lot and I know a good nap or two will be taken, I'll usually grab the mei tai or Ergo. (Or both and then decide when I get there.)

If I'm going to be using the stroller for some of the time, I almost always bring a ring sling. It's so easy for in and out, up and down. (And Ivy always wants up and down and back up again!)

Going to a fancy party? I most often choose a ring sling because it seems dressier.

For newborns, I love a ring sling and sometimes a pouch. When they are about 3 months old and up, my must haves are a mei tai and a ring sling. My shop babywearing page lists my favorite sellers (I put those ads up by choice, they did not pay me to post there!)

sunday2


The Seven Sakura Bloom Triathlon contestants
have been announced!

I hope you've had a fabulous International Babywearing Week! Let me know what your very favorite carrier is in the comments below!

Photo: wearing Ivy in a luxe silk Sakura Bloom


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Seagull Bread!

Am I the only one whose child yells SEAGULL BREAD! LOOK MOMMY SEAGULL BREAD! at the grocery store when they see loaves of Wonder bread?

Yeah, thought so.

We only eat wheat bread and so, well, I might have one time or another told the kids white bread was for feeding geese and sea gulls. Poor birds, we really shouldn't feed them that stuff either.



Also, anyone else have a grumpy old man almost-4-year-old who is always yelling at squirrels?

yeller

Squirrel! Get back here! I'm talking to you! DO YOU HEAR ME??!!

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September 26, 2009

Babywearing at the party.

at jen's

At my friend Jen's party in Chicago wearing one of my favorites, a Sakura silk artisan stripe sling.

The 7 Sakura Bloom Triathlon contestants will hopefully be announced on Monday!


Have you written about babywearing week? Link to your post in the comments below!




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September 25, 2009

I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

There was a moment yesterday that I was seated on the toilet with my laptop propped up on top of a tall laundry basket piled with clothes, and that was my work station as the kids took baths and showers.

I never imagined it would be like this.

Before blogging, I worked for my father-in-law a few hours a week for several years. Mostly at home and in his office on Saturday mornings. When he brought his business home over a year ago and no longer needed my help, I was very thankful that ads on my blog and writing gigs filled in for that loss of income.

It's hard carving out the time to get all the writing and editing done, but it gets done (in the bathroom, at the zoo on my iPhone, nursing at the computer like I am right now.)



I catch myself thinking about when the kids are a bit older, when I'm no longer breastfeeding, and the opportunities that I might have then. I've had to say no to quite a few cool things lately and it's bittersweet. Part of me really likes the trips and the flying to new places and the special treatments bloggers sometimes get. But the other part of me remembers my business model isn't set up for such things, my children are an integral part of my "office". It's stressful to plan their caregiving for me to leave even one or two days. And they need me.

Now that Ivy is one, I wonder what people think when I say I can't leave my baby because we're still nursing. Do they expect me to leave her more easily now that she is one? Because many people assume you only breastfeed up until age one? It's not like I am concerned what other people think, but it's just there.

It's an odd position to be in. Knowing that in this blogging tweeting world, if you get one day or one event or conference behind, you're eating the dust of those ahead of you. It can take a while to catch up, and some won't make it.

But in reality, in reality, the Internet will probably still be here tomorrow or in two years. Forget page views and ad impressions. My children? They are changing and growing and impressioned with every single blink of my eyes. I don't want to get behind on their life, my life, because I don't know if I can ever catch up.


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September 24, 2009

Nothing like comparing your house to a zoo and then so you go to the zoo and realize even the zoo is cleaner than your house.

zoo3

Camels and a Takin. "I think it's a Taciturn. Or a Yeti? Oh, Takin."


zoo4

My niece Abby & Gray


kiss time

Sometimes he's sweet and caring.

abbygrayhug2

Two much.

abbygraycute3

Two cute.


ivystroller

We sling & stroller pretty much everywhere we go.


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September 23, 2009

Kind of like those vacationing gnomes.

monafarmersmarket


We have a house guest. All this week, Moxie Mona is visiting eight to ten different states a day to spread Moxie love to everyone, making it the grandest and fastest trip a traveling doll has ever taken in the history of traveling dolls.

So, naturally we went to the farmer's market. And out for ice cream.

monavalpovelvet

Mona hanging with the dairy cow. "I feel a wee bit underdressed."

monavvelvet

We put her to work at our favorite ice cream shoppe.

There's lots more to do around here yeah, like, uh, hanging with friends while sipping frozen hot chocolate or eating designer cupcakes. Pretty much only things involving food.

But one of the awesome things about Northwest Indiana is that we are just about a half hour away from both Illinois and Michigan.

And I've been into taking lots of field trips lately (especially to Chicago) as
I'm working on this bucket list, you see.

monadino

She ain't afraid of no dino.

monasearstower

Willis Tower, what-ev. Always and forever the Sears Tower.

monaskyline

She was going to have a difficult time saying goodbye. I always do.

But she's off to new places tomorrow.




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Can I Tell You A Secret?

Babywearing at the zoo

Wearing Ivy at the zoo today, Sakura Bloom linen essential sling.


So, when I was about to hit publish on the Sakura Bloom Triathlon, I honestly was nervous that no one would enter! Or that we wouldn't even get seven entries!

Yes, choosing is going to be so very difficult!


You've been asking for the codes to the gorgeous buttons- see below!

animated:


non-animated:



Hope you're having a great International Babywearing Week so far!


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September 22, 2009

The Hills And The Rain

When we come to a hill we'll climb it.
hills1



When the rain falls, let's dance in it.

raindance


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A Million Tornadoes

I've been in a rut, letting myself throw too many Table for 1 pity parties the past few days.

Seriously, I feel awful for complaining. But there's just so much stuff.

Stuff to be done, to be un-done. Planned, put away, washed, bought, we're out of toilet paper again, Mom oh I could go on. And on.

The high pitched voice of a certain three-almost-four-year-old that I just wasn't sure I could take ONEMORESECONDOF today and then the instant guilt and regret for thinking that, because some Moms would give anything for ONEMORESECONDOF that voice.
I'm just exhausted. This isn't anything new.

Hubby works late. I make dinner, direct homework, and try to wash dishes as I go (and, um no, we still don't have a working dishwasher) while sweeping what falls to the floor and monitoring the baby covered in food in her highchair.

This takes us directly to the bath and showers, for all four. And once they are all clean and jammied, I dish up ice cream and sorbet and we watch Leave It To Beaver together (they
thought it was a show about beavers and I had to clue them in.)

I fold and stuff diapers, chase Ivy, snuggle Gray. The boys learn that they should try their Brussels sprouts because after all, they might like them. The Beave did.

We head upstairs and pick up things along the way. Bedtime. I lie in bed to get Ivy to sleep. For a long time.

And as I am lying there I feel like I didn't really get a thing done, that when I go downstairs it will look like a million tornadoes came right through my living room and kitchen. There will be a pile of dishes still in the sink.

But I know that my children love me. And I know that they know I love them

This feels good, because the other nights when I do get some things done for myself or the house is cleaner but I had to raise my voice a time or two, I lie in bed and feel like I am the worst Mom ever. And wonder if my kids really know how very much I love them.

Clean house = I'm happier for the moment but at the end of the day = guilt and regret

Messy house = kids know I love them at the end of the day = I feel like a good Mom (but overwhelmed by stuff)

I know there has to be a reasonable balance for this all. Maybe it won't come until Ivy's a bit older and I'm out of the baby years. Maybe I need to be easier on myself and just go with it for now, and stop letting myself feel so much.

I set our DVR to record Leave It To Beaver every day. I think there is something I can learn there, too.

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September 21, 2009

The Sakura Bloom Triathlon

Happy International Babywearing Week!

Let's kick it off in high style and celebrate- I am soooo excited to announce that I'm your official hostess for The Sakura Bloom Triathlon brought to you by Fawn & Forest and Bravado Designs!



The Sakura Bloom Triathlon
Sakura Bloom and I are looking for seven Moms to try out three amazing Sakura Bloom slings, each for a two week period.




We want you to get to know these slings, to use them as part of your everyday life, and to share your results with us in three ways:
through photos, video, and writing.

The Mom who best represents the Sakura Bloom spirit of “the modern art of babywearing” will win a grand prize of a sustainable eco-luxury Sakura Bloom Luxe Collection Sling (msrp $540)
.

Here’s how the contest will work:

Part 1/Interview (weeks 1-2)

Each participant will be sent a Sakura Bloom Pure Collection sling crafted of a single layer of Irish Linen (msrp $88), along with three "babywearing" interview questions to answer at the end of the first two weeks, submitted via email. (Interview not required to post on your blog, but if you want to, great!) The best interview answers will win a $100 Fawn and Forest gift certificate!


Part 2/Photo (weeks 3-4)

Each participant will receive a two-color reversible Sakura Bloom Essential Linen Collection sling (msrp $160). At the end of the fourth week, all will submit their best photo featuring the Essential Linen sling in use to be featured here at Adventures In Babywearing.
(You may also post your photos on your blog if you like, but not required.) The best photo will win a $100 Fawn and Forest gift certificate!

Part 3/Video (weeks 5-6)

Each participant will be sent a Sakura Bloom Essential Silk Collection sling: a reversible, two-color sling made of handwoven dupioni silk (msrp $198). At the end of week six, each participant shall submit a video of the Essential Silk sling in use.
(Not required to post the video on your blog, but if you want to, great!) Best video will win a $100 Fawn and Forest gift certificate!

The GRAND PRIZE winner will be chosen for excellence in all three categories: interview, photo, and video.


Want to be considered for the contest?




Here’s what you need to qualify and how you can apply:

(1) must have a blog (this helps us get to know you, but you will not be required to post any part of the contest at your blog if you don't wish to), (2) the ability to take, upload, and post online photos and videos, (3) have a child of babywearing age, and (4) due to the time-sensitive nature and shipment of slings for this contest, must be a US resident.


Leave a comment here explaining why you should be chosen.*

Comments/applications will be accepted through midnight (CST) on Saturday, September 26.
Be sure to include your email address and a link to your blog. If you are uncomfortable leaving that information in the comments, you can contact me via email.

As a special BONUS, Bravado Designs will be providing each of the contestants with one of their stunning Essential Nursing Bra Tanks [$45] and Breastfeeding with Bravado DVD.
Bravado's tanks are stylish and comfortable with a full bra inside, beautifully supporting up to a G cup.

Sakura Bloom rings slings are excellent for discretely nursing your child, and now with a Bravado Designs nursing bra, your style will truly be unmatched!
(Breastfeeding is not a requirement- non-nursing contestants are encouraged to give their nursing bra to someone that can use it.)

Fawn & Forest has generously offered to provide the prizes for each round. This breathtaking site was founded on the belief that good design should be enjoyed by the entire family.
Sustainable materials, organic fabrics and ecologically friendly methods of production are a critical part many of the products available at Fawn & Forest.

Rules and Requirements:
Contestants will choose the color of their contest slings from a select list supplied by Sakura Bloom. Sakura Bloom will pay all shipping charges and each sling will come with a pre-paid return label.

Each sling will be shipped to contestants on the same day, and contestants will be required to ship their slings back to Sakura Bloom on the same day (with a 1-2 day window allowed because, well, we’re moms too and we know what its like!).

Contestants’ next slings will not be shipped until each challenge is completed. If a challenge is not completed by the announced deadline, that participant will not advance to the next round.



I can't wait to choose the seven Moms. Should you be one of them?


Grab our beautiful buttons and spread the babywearing love if you'd like! Please link back to this post if you do, or let me know if you want me to share the codes.

[Disclosure: What do I get for hosting this contest? Only the pleasure to celebrate babywearing and happiness! I was gifted with a few Sakura Bloom slings in the past, but they were just that- gifts from a generous advertiser. I'm doing this for the fun and love of it!]

*The Seven contestants have been announced!

Photo by Mishelle Lane: I'm wearing a sleeping Ivy in a linen hana Sakura Bloom.


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September 20, 2009

Adventures In What Ivy's Wearing

come along with me!!
Come along with me!

I've been reminded that I am slacking off on sharing where Ivy's fashionable duds are from and I decided for now I'll just try to remember to let you know in the descriptions on my flickr. For future reference, you can also get to my flickr page via the widget in my lower left sidebar or by clicking on the photos in my blog posts.

While it might be surprising to you that supercute baby clothing companies aren't throwing their collections at Ivy's feet, pretty much everything she wears is what we buy her ourselves.

(Not that I'd have a problem with, say, Tea Collection or Misha Lulu knocking down our door.)

I will answer the two most common questions as of late:
Where did you get that headband?!
That is from Gigi's- and it was something I got when writing at Mama Speaks (which is no longer around). When we found out we were having a girl, they sent a whole box of gorgeous hats and headbands and lace leggings!
Where did you get her shoes?!
Currently, the only shoes you'll see her wearing most likely are by Pediped. She has the pink floral and gold stars. I bought them at a boutique near us and even though they started showing wear within ONE DAY they are the only shoes that stay on, protect her sweet toesies, and allow her to walk run everywhere without tripping over her feet.
If you have any favorite shops or brands I need to know about, please share! No, don't. Maybe you better not. Ok, nevermind, please do!

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September 18, 2009

Better Is One Day

Today I chased a little girl through the halls of the Field Museum.


Ivy in the halls of the Field


We lost a kazoo somewhere in the dinosaur bones.



dino


Stopped by to see the great-grand parents for a treat.




mommal & poppal visit


Said NO to Ivy wanting to get too close to the stairs over and over and over and over again
(and over again.)


'her


Said YES to a wagon ride.




wagon ride


Taught the older boys about "Beaver to Leaver". Brandon has freckles and Mrs. C told us about that show. Is it real beavers? Did you watch it, Mom?


I told them it was about a boy their age and his older brother. It was not in color like they watch TV today, but in black and white. Whooooa, black and white?! AWE-sum.

We had dinner at the park with friends and played until dark.

And then I took all four kids to Target.

And came home and put them to bed and now it's quiet and I'm going to do some knitting.


happy dance in chicago

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Pictures In A Photo Booth


Tuesday was Ivy's birthday. Yesterday was Asher's. They've come a long way since meeting for the first time.

What a wonderful year it has been, how wonderful
life is with Asher and Ivy in this world.


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September 16, 2009

My Worst Enemy

closed

I can get this way.

It feels like a fall day and I go inward and deep and as quickly as I open myself up I close the shutters tight.

Things are okay here. For now, just okay. .

Today Gray was upset I wouldn't let him watch something on the TV and he said you are my worst enemy! And I thought about how just moments before we were talking about how fun it will be to go see the dinosaur bones at the museum on Friday and maybe the zoo next week and how can he not like me so much?

Within minutes he was professing his love for me, and I sit here wondering if he treats me this way because this is how I treat myself?

I want off this yo-yo.


As a writer, I am held captive by words. Sometimes paralyzed by my own thoughts. I think until I can get myself to "more than okay", I need to be nourished and healed and set free by Someone Else's Word.


Things are okay here. For now, just okay. But with promise.


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September 15, 2009

Ivy LaRue, today you are One.

Ivy LaRue


Happy


little angel

Birthday


Ivy is One

Ivy

[Ivy's first birthday is here! It has been a huge celebration and I've posted fun giveaways for fifteen days leading up to the big day today.]

Everyone has been asking about Ivy's birthday outfit. I bought it from Sam And Coop at the Renegade Craft Fair on Saturday and emailed them a link to the photos because how could I not share that cuteness?! And so, they were thrilled! And wanted to be a part of Ivy's birthday giveaways, too!

For Day 15 of the 15 Days of Ivy giveaways, Sam And Coop (they are also on Facebook here) is offering any item from their shop. Their creations are darling and I will gladly spend my own money on more goodies there again. Go on and TRY to resist the tutu butt!

Leave a comment letting me know what you might choose if you win!

I'll choose one winner at random for each of the giveaways tonight (probably after 11pm CST). Winner will be contacted via email (so please include it when you fill out the secure comment form) and I'll also announce all winners here by September 16.


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September 14, 2009

So close

Exactly one year ago today, about this time, my water broke. And soon, so soon, I'd meet this little girl that would change my life forever, born right on my bedroom floor.

She has taught me things about myself. She has changed me for how I wish things to be for her, for me.


She's not a baby, but she's my baby.

We're still nursing, and will for a long time I am sure. She sidles up to me and plops down into my lap, and she'll lean back and look up and snuggle and love and this right here is a piece of heaven, I do believe.

so close

[Ivy's first birthday is a huge celebration and it's TOMORROW! I'm posting fun giveaways every day until her birthday on September 15. You can enter all the other giveaway posts so far here.]

For Day 14 of the
15 Days of Ivy giveaways, I'm featuring Heavenly Hold, a great babywearing shop that offers several slings as well as the Action Baby Carrier, an affordable option for structured carriers. I actually already have one that I won a while back, so I didn't want her to send me another one. Instead, I was eying this teething bling for Ivy.

Heavenly Hold is giving away a Smart Mom necklace and bangle of your choice.
Leave a comment letting me know what you might choose to be entered to win.

I'll choose one winner at random on the night of Ivy's birthday TOMORROW! September 15. Winner will be contacted via email (so please include it when you fill out the secure comment form) and I'll also announce all winners here by September 16.


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364 Days Of Ivy


364 days of Ivy LaRue



Is like 364 Christmas mornings.


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September 13, 2009

We had a party.

Today we celebrated Ivy's birthday with family. We had good food and cupcakes and a big jump castle in the yard.

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to meeee.


cupcakes
Click on photo for larger view
Personalized placemats (a gift from Olive Kids)... Mermaids for the girls & Pirates for the boys made great party favors.


I took sooooo many crazy adorable photos but this will have to do for now. We are exhausted. And so thankful for our sweet Ivy LaRue.

My very favorite part of the whole party was when I sat inside the empty house and nursed her. I put my feet up and stroked her hair and loved her.

Mama & Baby 1 year later


[Ivy's first birthday is a huge celebration. I'm posting fun giveaways every day until her birthday on September 15. You can enter all the other giveaway posts so far
here.]

For Day 13 of the 15 Days of Ivy giveaways, Olive Kids is giving away a birthday party pack including 8 personalized place mats. Leave a comment letting me know which design you might choose to be entered to win.

I'll choose one winner at random on the night of Ivy's birthday, September 15. Winner will be contacted via email (so please include it when you fill out the secure comment form) and I'll also announce all winners here by September 16.


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