Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brookelynne goes Trick or Treating!

Today was Brookelynne's first 'real' halloween (since last year she was only 3 weeks old), and of course we went trick or treating! :) Mitch and I talked about it, because this year it fell on a Sunday and our church had a 'block party' that we could attend, or we could go trick or treating. While neither of us were really worried about her even remembering trick or treating, we did want her to have the tradition of dressing up and since they didn't want costumes at church, we decided to do halloween the old fashioned way!

So I got it in my head that she had to be a bumble bee, and so we did go ahead and look around at several costume shops to see what they had and how much they cost and I couldn't find anything that I liked. They were either 'baby costumes' (which were like sweatsuits, definitely not girly or even something she would be able to walk in) or they were really plain and flat (obviously not acceptable for my frilly little lady!). So after like 8 stores, I decided to make her a costume. This is how it turned out!

 We went to Hobby Lobby, and I got all my supplies. (A black onesie, black pipe cleaners (regular sized), 1 roll of yellow tulle (the 6 in wide rolls), 1 roll of black tulle, one black 6 ft pipe large pipe cleaner, one yellow 6 ft large pipe cleaner.)

So for the tutu, I just used a headband (the stretchy ones that you use to keep the hair back with your ponytail), and tied 12 inch pieces of the tulle in the pattern of yellow, yellow, black, black. For each yellow, I tied 3 individual pieces of tulle right on top of each other so that it's good and full! Then just make sure that you aren't stretching the headband out as you add them, or it gets too big.

For the wings, I used the large black pipe cleaner to form the wings the way that I wanted them to look, and then cut inch long pieces of the large yellow pipe cleaner and wrapped them around the black to give them the striped look. Then I took the regular sized black pipe cleaners, and used them to make straps for the wings to stay on.

Then, for the antennas, I used the small black pipe cleaner, wrapped it around a pencil to make it spiral, and hot glued it to a clip. I then cut two small pieces off of the remaining large yellow pipe cleaner, and made them into balls, and hot glued them to the top. I clipped it to one of her black headbands that she's already used to wearing, and we were all set!
 This year we just used the happy meal bucket that I got from McDonalds, since we weren't planning on going to many houses anyway. :) Here she is, all ready to head out with Mama and Daddy!

 We went to the neighbor's house and then looked around and noticed that there was only 3 more houses on our street with, knowing we wanted to go to more than 4 houses, we headed off around the block, and ended up walking almost the whole neighborhood, just because by the time we hit 10 or 12 houses, it was equal distance to go back the way we came or finish the loop! :)  Everyone kept saying that she was the cutest bumble bee they had ever seen! :) Just the way I like it! :) And I must say she did really good. She was very confused as to what we were doing for the first few houses, but by house 4 or 5, she was holding out her bucket when they opened the door! :) At each house we would tell her to say "Buzz Buss, Trick or Treat!" and then "Thank you, Happy Halloween". Want to guess how many times she did it? Oh yeah, none. lol
 When we made it home, our little bee was quite happy, and very curious as to what other new and interesting thing we were going to do tonight, so I did what every responsible parent does....I dumped all her candy and (after sorting through it to make sure it was all safe, not that she was going to eat it anyway), I let her play with it! Or should I say 'in it'? :) She really liked that part! haha, so much so that I couldn't get a picture of her looking at the camera!
All in all, I have to say that this halloween was a success (even if Mama's feet and back are hurting!) and I'm glad that we've been able to start this American tradition with our daughter! (It is definitely one of the perks of being an American too, they don't do this stuff in other countries! lol)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pretty Pretty Pumpkin Patch....

Well today we went to Brookelynne's first "Pumpkin Patch". :) I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch with her, but I really wanted to do something more than just have her walk around pumpkins on a lawn that is only feet from serious traffic (ie San Jose Blvd! lol), so I checked out what others were suggesting on Facebook, and went to to see if there were any unique places that were not well known yet. The only thing that really came to the surface was Conner's Amazing Acres in Hillard (which happens to be not so far from us, one of the only perks of living in Yulee! lol) So I looked up their website and, while not as informative as I would have liked, it gave me enough information for me to decide to give it a try and hopefully set us up for a great family tradition to continue in the future.

As they often say, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray", and that was how our morning went! But we did finally arrive around noon and got down to the business of having fun! We headed to the pig pen first, and Brookelynne got very excited the closer we got to them!

They weren't 'cute little pink piggies' like she sees on her videos and toys, but they did 'oink' for her! :) She wanted to get closer, but every time they would even turn in our direction, she would back up! (Which is fine with me, there's nothing wrong with having a healthy fear of things significantly bigger/heavier than you, especially when you've never even seen one of them before!)

Then we headed over to the "Cow Train". They were having some issues with the engine, so it wasn't running, but that didn't stop us from having a great time taking pictures and letting our girl walk around in the "T-bone"
 This was her with her Daddy! She really didn't like the idea of sitting down in it, but she loved it when we let her get up and walk around! :) She's such a sweetie!
After that we headed over to do the hayride line to wait our turn to touch and feed the cows! :) The actual hayride wasn't really anything, but feeding and touching the cows made it worth it. Brookelynne LOVED the cows! She has a toy that her friend Maxwell gave her (an ABCD Barn) which has a cow, sheep, chicken and pig piece. She carries the cow one everywhere and now says "moo". So of course we had to get up close and personal with the real ones. She loved it until one of them licked her. She really doesn't like that! First the giraffe at the zoo and now the cow at the farm? She must be sweeter than I thought!

 This was her telling me where the cows were! She kept pointing and pointing as she grunted! :) So excited!
 First time petting a cow! Grandpa Starling would be so proud! :)
 She even helped feed them!
Of course we had to get a picture of them standing next to a cow too!

Then we had a little lunch, which was very good but next year we'll save ourselves some time by bringing a picnic for ourselves! Because while we were in line for food, Daddy and Brookelynne were hiding out in the barn area, keeping cool and playing in the kernals! Brookelynne really enjoyed herself in there!

After lunch we went to the pumpkin patch part of the farm to see how Brookelynne would do with all the orange veggies!

 Family Picture! (Brookelynne wanted to get down!)
 We ran into our friends the Lettows, and this is their little boy Chandler with Brookelynne. As you can see she was telling him something very important about that pumpkin!

 Chandler did not want his picture taken! LOL
 Brookelynne trying to pick up one of the pumpkins!
 Telling Daddy that he needed to help her!
 So of course Daddy did!
We had a great time and she really enjoyed looking at and climbing all over the pumpkins! Can't wait for next year! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brookelynne's "Birthday Trip" to the Zoo!

Mitch and I, of course, threw a birthday party for Brookelynne and got her a small gift, but we wanted to 'do something' on her actual birthday too. So we planned a  trip to the Zoo, just the three of us. Unfortunately, since Mitch's coworkers had some extenuating circumstances and had to leave town, he wasn't able to get her birthday off of work. So we decided that we still wanted to take her to the Zoo, and we would just wait a week, and go the following weekend. This worked out to be the same weekend that Mitch's dad came in town (he's trucker), so we had them come with us for the morning of fun!

 We went into the bird exhibit first thing, and Brookelynne got the idea very quickly of what we were there to do! She loved seeing the birds walking all around our feet and being so close to her. When we were near the end, we ran into 2 rather large birds, just hanging out on the crosswalk. :) This is Mitch, Brookelynne and Nay Nay checking them out!
 Here's one of Brookelynne and Nay Nay!
 This is my baby girl checking out the lions! She was very excited!
 Then Poppy carried her all the way to the giraffes!

 At the giraffe exhibit, you can buy a ticket to feed them . So of course we did! :) Daddy insisted on being the one to help Brookelynne. He had to hold her hand while he fed them for the first several times before she would do it herself. When she did do it herself, the giraffe got her with it's tongue. She didn't want to do it again after that! haha

We finished the rest of the zoo, and of course made a stop at the Jaguar exhibit! Look at the awesome pose that she was making just for us! :) She thought that 'big cat' was pretty cool!

All in all, we had a great time, and Brookelynne was worn out when we headed home! :) I will definitely say that the trip was quite a success! I guess that's good since we bought year passes! We're going to try and make it a regular occasion for a fun family outing! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tooth #6 is here!

Yesterday, Brookelynne's 6th little tooth made it's official appearance! :) We've been watching for it for a week, since we could see it just under the gums, but it just would NOT break through! It finally did today and she is back to being "equal", even if she's now a little 'left heavy'! :) That means that she has three on top and three on bottom, the middle two for both and then one to the left of each set of two! :) Now that her third top tooth is really in and easily seen, she's so cute! :) (but I'm a little partial!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brookelynne Starr is One Year Old!!!

Holy Cow! Can you believe it? My baby girl is not a baby anymore! There is not longer a countdown to her first birthday because it is finally here! I cannot believe all of the things that have changed since a year ago. Obviously we have a different life then we did a year ago and each day it just gets better and better! I love her more than ever and am enjoying every minute of watching her grow. Here is a review of her first year and a rundown of all of the things she is doing and learning!

Weight: 19 lbs 6 oz
Height:  29 inches

* Brookelynne can is learning to run!! :) Daddy will tell her to 'get him' and then run (very humorously) down the hall, and Brooke tries to keep up. I don't think she's 100% yet, but she's definitely doing more than just walking!

* She is not doing well at bedtime...  She doesn't want to go to bed, and unless I let her stay up until she 'drops', we have one of two things. 1. She pitches a fit, and cries until she's tired out and then I have to go and rock her to sleep and then put her down. or 2. I rock her and lay her down but I have to stay there, leaning into the crib for like an hour....not good either! Hopefully this is just a stage!

*Still loves dancing!

* She doesn't want to go into her classes at church anymore. :( She used to do pretty well, but for the past several weeks, she freaks out every time that we even start toward her class. Thankfully, she has Mrs Lindsey and/or Mrs Angela for 3 of her 4 times in the nursery each week, and they are so great to work with me on everything.

* She knows how to say "moo" when you ask her what the cow says!

* She knows several of her body parts!! :) She points to her head, ears, and toes. She can also show you the nose, mouth and eyes on other people, lol. She doesn't point to her own though! lol She also will tell you where Mama's belly button is, by picking up my shirt and pointing to it. She thinks that one is the most fun to do! lol

*  She drinks really well from her sippy cups all day. She drinks much more than any of her friends, with 3 cups of milk each day and everything else is watered down juice or sweet tea. (Don't worry, we drink decaf and it doesn't have much sugar, and since it's only 1 part tea and 5 parts water, its not much to begin with!)

*  She has 5 teeth, but number 6 should be breaking through any day now!

*  She still takes a bottle at night before bed but I'm hoping to stop that any day now. :) We'll see.

We're just so thankful to have her and to see all the new things she does each day. She's quickly becoming our little girl instead of our baby girl and while I'm going to miss some of those baby days, I'm so excited to see all the things that lay ahead!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Brookelynne's Birthday Bash!

Well in honor of our baby girl's first birthday we had a bash for the ages! :) LOL. That wasn't what it was supposed to be, but we just couldn't really get it any smaller without leaving a lot of loved ones out or splitting the party, neither of which I wanted to do. So we did it all together and had a great time!

We had the party at my mom's house and everyone worked really hard to get the house clean and the yard done. Dad and Josh even pressure washed the house! I went over there on Thursday morning to get some of the last big stuff done (ie putting away Brooke's pack and play, finishing the favors, all the dusting, etc). Then after we did Brookelynne's Birthday Dinner, Brookelynne and I went over there and moved the furniture, and did as much as possible to get the house set up before I went home.

Saturday morning, Daddy stayed home with Brookelynne and made her get up a little early so that she would take an early nap (before the party) and then brought her over to Grandma's house at 10. Meanwhile, Mama went over there around 7 and started working with Grandma. Uncle Josh and Paw Paw got there an 8ish and helped too! And while we weren't as 'ready' as I usually like to be, Brookelynne's party started at 10:30 with almost 20 of her guests arriving right on time or a few minutes early! She must be very special, huh? :)

We had some fruit, veggies, mini sandwiches, and chips and dip to start everyone off with and then served hot dogs, hamburgers, green beans, baked beans, corn on the cob, and chicken and rice casserole for 'real food' around 11:15. We had everything in our 'hot' colors, (pink, blue, green and yellow) and everyone seemed to really like the food and drinks.
 This is the 'appetizer table' with the chips and dip, veggie tray, small plates/napkins, fruit tray, and mini pb&js. The back had 3 different cupcake displays to add some color! The cupcakes were an assortment of chocolate and yellow cake, with hot pink and lime green icing. I also made milk and white chocolate 'princess crown picks' that were stuck in each cupcake. I was really happy with how they turned out! (and how well they fit on the different stands!)
This is the birthday girl in her outfit! I didn't get any pics of her looking and smiling at the camera all day! She was just so distracted and busy with all of her friends to play with and all the people there to celebrate with her! Everyone said that she just seemed to know that the day was all about her and she was absolutely OK with that!

 One of the things that I wanted to do was get a 'keepsake' from her first party (especially since she won't 'remember' it and won't have another 'real' party until she's 5). So I knew I wanted to do something with her '1 year pic' but didn't just want to have people just sign something (like everyone does for many different occasions) because I wanted her friends (ya know, those babies who OBVIOUSLY couldn't sign for themselves) to be a part of it . So I thought we would have everyone do finger prints and then put their name underneath their print. Her room has several things with pink and green polka dots on them, so I figured that would be perfect! Green for boys and Pink for girls, tada! We have 'polka dot' border/keepsake to go with her picture! (this was a few minutes into her party, I'll get a picture of the final result soon!) What do you guys think? I really liked the way it turned out!
 I also did gift baskets for each of the kids that came. You can see them here on the half wall, each with it's own balloon (no need to fight over someone not getting one, right?). We used them as decoration, and I had each child's name on one with some toys that were as appropriate as possible for the different ages! I somehow managed to not get a picture of the names, but they were cute (a little more time-consuming than I had planned, but I also ended up making almost twice as many as I had thought we would need, because almost everyone who we invited RSVPed)
 We had the whole great room opened up with all the furniture against the walls, and pulled out Brooke's toys so that all the babies could play in the middle, and this is a picture of Malachi, Maxwell and Dallas playing with Brookelynne's activity table. Nay Nay brought that over from her house so that Brooke could share it with her friends!
We also left several balloons loose with long strings so that the kids could have them during the party if they wanted (and several of them 'wanted'). This was Brookelynne in the door to the dining room. She had brought her balloon all they way into the kitchen to show me, and then took it back out, pausing to show it to Aunt Betty and Grandma!
 We had a game outside for the dads to play as well as a wagon for the kids to ride in out front! This is Brookelynne and her friend Logan in the wagon! (This is the wagon that we used in Mama and Daddy's wedding for the little flower girl and ring bearer to get down the Brookelynne and Braxton get to use it!)

 This is Brookelynne's Birthday Cake!!!!
 This was Brookelynne while we sang "Happy Birthday To You" to her! She was so cute! She just kept looking around the room like "Um, what's going on?" But she didn't get upset or cry at all, so that was good! Then Mama and Daddy helped her blow out the candle!
 Then Brookelynne got to "dig in"! And by 'dig in',  I mean that she proceeded to touch the icing, put that in her mouth, touch it again and repeat! She really didn't get messy, but she was still very cute with how deliberate she was with each touch!
 This was Mama trying Brookelynne's method of cake eating! :) Aren't we cute? (I'm sure she won't think so when she gets older and sees this picture!)
 After everyone left, Brookelynne was ready for a nap! Grandma had started giving her a bottle (wrapped in one of her birthday presents) when we thought to get a picture of the three of us. As you can see, Brookelynne could NOT have cared less! :) But we did all match! hehe
 After naptime, Brookelynne stuck around with Mama as I cleaned up. We were not going to leave Grandma's house in anything less than 'like new' condition! So, of course we were still there at dinner time, so Brookelynne ate some leftovers and actually got some food in her, including chowing down on the cob! :) She's definitely a Brooks! Just like Mama and cousin Abbi, we LOVE our corn on the cob!

We really did have a great day and are so grateful for all the friends and family who came and celebrated with us. She got so many wonderful things and had such a great time with all of her friends and loved ones. So here is a big thank you to everyone who loves us and our baby girl enough to give up part of your Saturday to celebrate with us! We love you all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Brookelynne's 1 Year Photoshoot!

We had Brookelynne's 1 year photos taken on Friday and OF COURSE, we used "Our Photographer" (as we like to call her), Sarah Orgunov! She always does such a great job and is so wonderful to work with! She met us at the park across from Riverside Presbyterian, and five points on Park St. And we spent 30 minutes walking around the park and taking some sweet pictures of our sweet little girl! These are just a few of them, but they are some of my favorites! Hope you enjoy them!

A "Mother Daughter" photo op! :)

In her pretty red outfit that Grandma Gwen bought her! We forgot her planned bow, and had to improvise with the belt off of her other outfit!
I think the bow turned out pretty stinking cute! 
(BTW, In this picture, she looks exactly like I did in my 1 year picture!)

This is her "official" 1 year photo. That's my happy girl!

 And of course we had to get a family photo too! :)
I love our little family!