Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you all so much to everyone who entered and participated in Jason's Christmas card giveaway!  I wanted to take a quick second to announce that Summer has won the 25 Christmas cards and Melissa has won the second prize of 10!

Since the second prize went in the comment section, I used to make that selection.  I numbered the comments in order received, and let the computer do the rest.

Congratulations Summer and Melissa!  I will be in touch with you to make your selections.  You will have until Monday, November 26 at 5:00pm to respond or I will select another winner.

Thank you again for everyone who participated!  If there is anyone that entered that would be interested in a discounted rate of one of the designs you have seen, please contact us and we will be happy to make the arrangements for you.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

No Monsters Here!

Just in case you were concerned, there are officially no monsters under Ethan's bed. We had a great monster hunt the other night.

Just when we thought we were in the clear and ready to get the Orlando Monster Free Seal of Approval, they found a little monster!!!

The situation was quickly diffused and everyone slept in peace.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  There's a second place prize for the comment section!  It ends tonight!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Learning to Say No

We've hit the stage in Ethan's toddler years that he says no to almost everything.  Remind me in 6 months that I thought it was the cutest thing ever.

I'll admit that I am really afraid that our next baby will be stressful, difficult, and completely overwhelming because we have been so lucky with Ethan.  He has been such an easy baby (most of the time).  He eats well without any reactions to any foods, he sleeps well, and he ENJOYS alone time.  In the mornings that I don't work, he wakes up between 7:30 and 8:00, but he doesn't want anyone in there with him for at least 30 minutes after he wakes up.  He likes to wake up slowly, play with his stuffed puppy (Ruff), and jabber until he gets himself completely woken up.

Once he's ready for you to come in his room, he still doesn't want to get out of his bed for another 30 minutes or so.  We play the game of tossing Ruff in and out of the crib, pick his clothes out, and pick up any stray toys we missed from picking up the night before.  Sometimes this process is so long that I leave and come back several times before he's ready.  How do I know if he isn't ready? When I try picking him up, he will free fall his entire body back onto the mattress to show he is still content in his crib.  His long wake up process doesn't bother me in the least, it's amazing how much I can get done while he plays contently in his crib.

He's usually pretty irritable that we have to cut this routine short on the mornings I have to work, but he doesn't fuss too much, just enough to let me know he isn't happy about it.

Here's a little clip of his morning "don't get me out of bed."  I wish I had been able to get him diving back onto his mattress, but of course he wouldn't while the camera is on.  However, you will hear many times his new strong ability to tell me no in his "uh-uh" way.    

How did I get so lucky to get such a sweet boy?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for 25 free 5x7 Christmas cards!!  You can gain new entries every day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Orlando Arts Christmas Card Giveaway!

If you've been around here very long, you know my husband is an incredible graphic artist.  I drive him crazy by asking him to help me with projects, from gifts to invitations to blog header designs (see above) to photo editing.    Some of my favorite custom projects he has completed for me are:


Most years, I enroll in promotions with Shutterfly to offset some of the cost of our Christmas cards (we have a really long list of people to send to.  Sadly, it seems this year the promotion they usually run is no where to be found, so I asked Jason if he would design and print our invites this year.  I don't know why I've never thought of this before, I love having unique designs for my cards and I always love telling people that Jason did them.  I like to brag on him, in case you haven't noticed.

So when I asked for him to "whip up" a few unique designs, he kind of went a little crazy and came up with a ridiculous amount of designs.

Same design, two different color schemes:


I can't decide exactly which design we will use yet, but we have decided that we want to help you guys out this year!  Jason has agreed to print (with envelopes included) 25 FREE cards to one of my readers!

You will get your choice of design, with whatever photo you choose, with 2 edits for the design you choose to make it as unique as your family!  To see the details of these designs better, visit Jason's website listed above in my tabs bar.

Enter below!

Due to shipping costs, we must limit this giveaway to US and Canada residents only.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

As an extra, smaller give away, leave me a comment about which design you would choose if you one! I will randomly select another winner for 10 FREE cards and envelopes after the giveaway ends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ethan's First Haircut

On a complete whim, my Mom and I began discussing Ethan's "baby mullet" and how heavy his hair has gotten.  So heavy, in fact, that his sweet little curls were beginning to straighten out, and we decided it was time for a trim.  Not a complete "little boy" cut, but just a small trim to even out his length and pull some weight off.  So off we went!

He sat SO still for us, mainly because we gave him his toothbrush (boy loves to brush his teeth), filled the sink full of water and let him splash his feet to his hearts content.  20 minutes later and we had his curls back!

I sent these pictures to Jason at work, and said "Surprise!"  You would have thought I told him I was birthing an alien.  Once I promised him that I didn't cut all of his curls off, he relaxed a little and said he was glad we evened things out.  We saved a few curls for his baby book, and checked off another one of Ethan's sweet "baby" milestones.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yabba Dabba Do-It-Yourself

I'm the first to admit that Halloween isn't my favorite holiday.  I'm a bit of a Scrooge about it, if you will.  I'm not against Halloween, I just think it is a little silly.  However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to take full advantage of the opportunity to dress Ethan up for some adorable photos!

When we were kids, I don't ever remember my Mom buying our costumes.  We told her what we wanted to be, and we made it work with things we already had around the house.  Last year, in the midst of our financial scares with no job, I had no choice but to make Ethan's costume on the cheap.  This year, even though I'm working, those adorable $50+ costumes just weren't in our budget.  Plus, I really enjoyed making his costume, and I wanted to do it again.

I really struggled with what to make Ethan.  Last year he was an adorable Charlie Brown, and I wanted something just as unique and creative, but obviously easy enough to make.  I originally decided to make him a pirate.  Mom was going to help me with making his vest and eye patch, but I finally had to admit I just wasn't feeling it.

After a little internet perusing, I finally decided I really liked the cartoon character theme we went with last year and decided to go with it again this year.  Good ol' classic Fred Flintstone.  All for $4.02 (read, this used to say $1.72, but one mishap and that number ended up not as awesome as it had been.)

It started with a plain white t-shirt that my husband brought home for me from the sample box at his office.  Could I have just gotten an orange t-shirt?  Probably, but that wasn't free.  So instead I splurged $1.50 on my budget for a small box of orange dye.  And then I sprung the extra 22 cents on a piece of blue felt.  We already had some black felt around the house for other projects.  I love having an artist for a husband.  Supplies galore.

The t-shirt is where I ran into my problem with my "super-cheap" budget.  I had it dyed completely, triangles and tie cut out, bottom shredded, ready for the hot glue when I decided to try it on Ethan to make sure it was going to work.

It didn't.  Dang t-shirt barely covered the diaper.  Luckily we had a back-up that was a little larger, but I didn't have enough dye.  The shirt came out yellow, which meant a trip to the store for some red dye to mix and make it orange.  Enter the additional $2.48.  How annoying.  That's what I get for bragging that Ethan's costume was going to cost me under 2 bucks.  I guess under $5 still sounds pretty amazing, but let's face it.  It would have been way cooler.  Anyway, moving on.

Careful, haphazard placement to make sure it all worked the way I wanted it to and only ONE hot-glue burn later...

I was so excited how it turned out.  I love the fact that it didn't have to be perfect to be cute, since cartoon clothes are never perfect.  I couldn't wait to try this one on him and see how adorable he looked.  So excited, in fact, that I decided to play dress-up the moment he woke up from his nap.  That didn't go so well.  He kind of yelled at me about it for nearly an hour.

However,  he was much happier about wearing his costume yesterday.  He was a hit at his ELC parade and really enjoyed trick-or-treating.  We took him to a couple houses in my parent's neighborhood and then let him pass out candy to all the other neighborhood children.  He loved putting candy in the bags for other kids, and was really proud of himself for the praise he was getting from all of us for listening so well.  

I was also really impressed that all of the trick-or-treaters were so patient to wait for Ethan to drop their candy in their bags/buckets, instead of hurrying him along or snatching it out of his hand.  Some even thanked him and praised him as well, and even a few little ones commented on how the baby gave them candy. Hats off to the parents of those kids, it was really great to see and I so appreciated that he felt included and important in such a "bigger kid" evening.

How was everyone else's Halloween?!