Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Things

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I'm so sorry for those of you who registered to win the Shutterfly giveaway and are likely PERPLEXED as to why this crazy woman hasn't posted the winner yet. Well, I have had the longest day ever and haven't really been in the same room with my children long enough to draw a winner. Sophie is down for the count and Ella had a date with her daddy tonight. I promise to make an announcement tomorrow afternoon, so please check back!

What does this photo have to do with this post? Nothing... except that bunny and I are cooking up a pretty fantastic Christmas surprise for Ella this year. Now you only have to wait twenty-five more days to find out what it is. What a tease.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are These Yours?

If so, they are all packaged up and ready for YOU!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas in November

As much as I would love for you to head on over to the shop for your holiday cards this year, I know that everyone's design style and budget is different. Maybe you aren't in the market for pricey Christmas cards this year. Maybe you've decided that you're not in the market at all. Well, you've come to the right place because today I am helping Shutterfly give YOU an early Christmas gift.

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Here’s how to enter:
  • PRIZE: A promo code from Shutterfly for 50 free holiday cards of your choice.
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post and tell me your favorite LPD post of all time. While you're at it, why not share what card you're hoping to win!
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES:Monday, November 29th at midnight CST
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
  • DETAILS: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. You must not have blogged about the Shutterfly giveaway or been the recipient of free holiday cards in connection with the current blogger promotion. The winner will be selected randomly by a certain little princess and announced here. Start stalking the blog early Tuesday morning for the big announcement. Good luck…
Just in case you were wondering, I wasn’t compensated in any way for hosting this giveaway. The Little Princess Diaries was the recipient of the promo code as a part of Shutterfly's Christmas blogging promotion. The little princesses and I just wanted to share our reward with someone else this holiday season!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm "Falling" for These

I'm guessing when you saw that picture of my girls yesterday you said to yourselves how cute those pictures were! Well, I've been waiting with bated breath for my fall photos from K and today is the day, my friends. Although there are LOTS of really good ones, these are my favs.

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Click here to see the full album and here to visit my sweet sister!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Turkey Day!!

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Today, I am beyond happy for these two little miracles. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the amazing blessing they have been in my life. Being a mommy has changed my life and I cannot imagine what I would do without my girls. Okay, okay... I'm pretty thankful for our sweet daddy, too.

I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations with your families!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get Shutter Happy

It's that time of year when everyone is trying hard to organize their photos, finalize their holiday messages and get the perfect card in the mail just in time for the upcoming season. If you are anything like me, you are horribly disorganized and always wait until the last minute. Need some help? Me, too!

I'm sure you are familiar with Shutterfly and their amazing photo services for the masses. They offer a beautiful collection of cards and stationery at an incredibly affordable price. Like me, when you think Shutterfly, you might start thinking photo books, birthday invitations and Christmas cards. Did you know they offer a wide range of holiday cards, too? This year, they have put together a stunning collection of cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and even New Year's.

I love nothing more than finding beautiful cards filling my mailbox all season long. How fun would it be to see a glittery New Year's card in your mailbox this year instead? Why not think outside the box and send a card when your loved ones least expect it!

What about this pretty, graphic number listing the months of the year?

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Try sharing a collection of your twelve favorite photographs of 2010?

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What about adding a little shimmer to your snail mail?

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Not so sure about the idea of a New Year's card? For those traditionalists, these beautiful Christmas cards are sure to deliver.

You can get your swirl on,

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or share your favorite moments of 2010!

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No matter what your budget, design aesthetic or holiday message, Shutterfly has exactly what you're looking for. Are you a blogger, too? Head on over to find out how you can score fifty free holiday cards all to yourself. Not a blogger? Well, check back here on Saturday to find out how YOU can take home a little Christmas cheer.

Sweet Home Alabama, Roll Tide Roll!

I know it's been four days since my birthday and you girls {guys?} are ready for a football recap. Right?

Ella has been talking about this day for months. Since football season began, really. She couldn't wait to go "to that ballgame on tv." Thankfully, she slept most of the drive down and was ready to meet Big Al by the time we got there. We had been explaining for weeks that we might not see him, but knew there would be plenty for her to do on the quad. Unfortunately, she didn't want to do anything we couldn't do with her and SD wasn't really in the mood for the bounce house. Instead we made a quick stop by Denny Chimes and headed downtown on foot for frozen yogurt.

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Chocolate chips never tasted so good! We opted to eat inside the warm yogurt shop and watch a little football on-screen while we waited on my cousin Kalli to arrive. We have four season tickets and with one to spare we called to see if she wanted to hang out. She was our resident baby-sitter for many summers and our next door neighbor for a long time. We don't like her living so far away and Ella misses seeing her everyday. She attends a community college in Tuscaloosa and was happy to tag along for the game.

Of course we had to run by Bama Stuff for brand new shakers since our daddy is superstitious. We might not throw them away, but we don't use them for more than one game either. Fresh shakers for everyone!

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One fake smile and a photo op later, we were at the stadium and ready to wait for the players to arrive. It makes for a long day, but it is so exciting to hear the music piped in overhead and the sirens in the distance as the buses arrive. People line up for hours to see them come down University Boulevard to deliver the team to the Walk of Champions. I was afraid that Ella would be bored, but she had so much fun hanging out with everyone while we waited. Many a stranger was pelted by her shakers.

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The first thing that Ella said when the players walked by was, "They don't have their suits on yet!" She was a little confused about why the players weren't in uniform as they were walking to the stadium. That was the first of many one-liners for the evening.

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We abandoned the crowds and headed inside to get our seats, an extra large stadium cup and a slice of pizza for dinner. Ella was a bit overwhelmed with the size of things, but once we settled in, she loved watching the players warm up and the nostalgic videos that play on the jumbo-trons prior to the game. And just in case there was any question, yes, Bunny joined in the fun!

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Ella was so much fun during the game, she yelled for the team, shook her shaker violently and sang the fight song at least ten times. We had fun teaching her cheers and telling her when to yell "Roll Tide" {after every first down} and how to sing "Sweet Home Alabama". Our favorite cheers from the night were:

"Go, Alabama! Don't let that blue team win!!", and
"Run, knock those boys down and get that ball!"

I think we've created a monster. As in, she did not want to leave her seat. She slipped her shoes off, sat back and enjoyed the game. When SD told us to load up halfway through the third quarter {it was a massacre and we all had to get up for work and school the next morning} she was not a happy camper.

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And if you promise not to judge, there is video, too. Along with my ridiculous accent, way off-key singing and general "whoo" ness. That's just how we do things :).

Sweet Home Alabama:

Players enter the stadium and Ella sings the fight song:

And just in case you have any problems following along,

"Yay Alabama, drown 'em Tide.
Every Bama man's behind you, hit your stride.
Go teach the bulldogs to behave.
Send the yellow jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken, that's a shame,
cause Bama's pluck and grit hath writ her name in crimson fame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on, men.
Remember the Rose Bowl we'll win then. Hey!
Go roll to victory, hit your stride.
Your dixie's football pride, Crimson Tide.
Roll Tide! Roll Tide!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's my party and I'll...

not blog if I want to!

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I'm going to take a bloggy-hiatus for my birthday weekend and enjoy breakfast in bed, warm coffee, tiny laundry, giggly girls, my momma's fried chicken, and maybe some Christmas decorations. Have fun without me and I'll be back on Monday with photos and video from the big game on Saturday. See you then!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I Get a Roll Tide?

I'm guessing you can tell from this picture how excited she is to be headed to Tuscaloosa for her first college football game?

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Wish us luck... I'm not convinced she'll make it all day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You're Welcome

You know... for sharing such a cute kid. Don't you just want to "gobble" her up?

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Comes Early

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I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the holidays! Christmas music is already playing on the local radio station, we read Christmas stories before bed last night, we're going to get started on our decorating this weekend and last night we did one of our favorite pre-holiday activities.

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I helped Ella "finish" off her drawings... she can't quite draw glasses and pigtails just yet :).

Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child? Each year, people from all over the country pack shoe boxes full of Christmas goodies that are then transported to children all over the world. Can you imagine your children not getting any gifts on Christmas morning? What if their gift pile that morning could all fit into one plastic box?

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I have had the pleasure of packing boxes each Christmas since SD & I first got married. For several years, we even traveled to Atlanta and worked in the warehouse inspecting boxes, adding filler items and preparing them for their journey. It is such a rewarding experience... I challenge you to find a way to volunteer this year {or next} and pack a box with your children.

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Ella got to pack a box as a part of her mission friends class this year, but we always pack one at home, too. This year, we packed two little girly boxes - one for her and one for Sophie. We filled it with so many fun things and as excited as we are to give it, my heart aches for the little ones for whom these might be their only possessions. I challenged Ella to make a sacrifice this year and she picked out two sets of unopened Barbie clothes that she received as birthday gifts. She told me that she didn't want to give them away, "but it's the right thing, mama." That makes a mama's heart smile.

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We will begin praying for them each day and hoping that they are lead to Christ through Samaritan's Purse and their ministries. We include our address and a note reminding them that God loves them. We will hope that they write us a letter or send us a picture so we can put a face with our expectations. And on Christmas morning, when we are surrounded by more gifts than we'll know what to do with... we will be so thankful for an opportunity to make some other little girls smile.

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This year we included art supplies {crayons, coloring book, stickers and hello kitty pens}, play doh, a slinky, a small wooden puzzle, silly putty, lip gloss, toothbrush and toothpaste, a barbie and a change of clothes, a harmonica, headbands, lollipop, pixie sticks, dum-dums and a candy necklace. We topped off our boxes with a picture from Ella, our mailing address and $7 to ship the box around the world. Our total cost for each box was around $25.

Click here to visit one of my FAVORITE bloggers and her post on Operation Christmas Child.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Love Letters: Seven Months

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Sophie,

How is it possible that you are already seven months old? Somebody asked me how old you were at church this morning and the question kind of caught me by surprise. You are over halfway to your birthday; you are more big girl than baby. Some days I love your new found independence and other days it makes me want to cry.

You still only weigh 15 pounds {Ella was 17 lbs 2 oz} and are 26 inches long {Ella was 27}. You're still in the 20th % for weight and 95th % for height! Dr. Darby was impressed with your motor skills this month and gave us the go ahead for table food. You aren't sure what you think about all that texture just yet, but you're slowly getting the hang of it.

You love to eat. You've tried apples, bananas, pears, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, plums, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, peas, oatmeal, biscuits, muffins and apple juice. You love to suck on your sister's suckers after dance class and you like to steal her sippy cups. I think we need to get your very own cup this week and let you practice drinking juice and water. This morning, I let you sit in our worship service with me and you were eating banana puffs, hand over fist.

This month you learned to crawl. I don't mean that cute baby scooting where you can only go backwards. I mean, you can crawl from the front door to the back door in the time it takes me to turn around. I find myself saying, "has anybody seen Sophie?" And the response is always something like, "She's under the table", "behind the door" or "stealing my bunny!". You are so good at it and your speed is quite impressive.

You are so close to pulling up. You get up so high on your knees to reach things and when you're on all fours you push up onto your legs. I think if you can ever coordinate those efforts, you'll be giving us a run for our money! We have always said that you are going to be the one who tests us... I'll guess we're about to find out.

You love to bounce, whether you're on your knees, in your walker or in our lap. If me or your daddy say "Jumpy, Jump" you start rocking back and forth and bouncing wherever you are. It makes you so happy and always gets big smiles. You love sitting in your crib with lots of toys and your big sister reading to you. You LOVE bath time. I can put you in the tub with a few inches of water and some toys and you will play for an hour. You come out all pruny and shivering, but with a big fat smile on her house!

You have started waving this week and it is so precious. You only do it with your right hand and up until today, you never did it when we asked you. Today, when I tried to get you to wave, you did it on command AND repeated it back to us. Daddy didn't believe me at first, but since you've done it pretty much non-stop since then and I finally caught you on video, we're declaring "bye-bye" your first word - at seven months. You say it so quietly, almost a whisper. Can you say adorable?

You are growing up TOO fast.

Love,
Mommy

p.s. need video evidence? there is non-stop waving in this video and a quick "bye-bye" at the 25 second mark. sure it's just an easy repetitive sound and it's clear she doesn't know what it means, but it accompanies her wave almost every time and we think it's pretty darn cute!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Little Duck

Just this week we've gone from sitting up in a bath chair, to being free to move about the tub. Can you say happy baby? Last night she took her first solo bath, since Ella was at Mission Friends, and she was in heaven. I gave her a few inches of water, a washcloth and a few toys and you would have thought I saved the world. She crawled from one end of the tub to the other, back and forth, for over thirty minutes.

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I bought this to plug the drain in the tub when Ella was a baby, but since both of my girls pull it out to play with, we have a plain white stopper instead. Ella calls this a "ducklin" - I love hearing her say it. Sophie just chews on it and throws it up in the air and giggles every time she sees it. She loves this little "ducklin."

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I love this little duck. She has such a good time in the tub and usually grins when she sees herself in the mirror. I think she's just impressed that the cute baby is ALWAYS in our bathroom!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

So, remember that doctor's visit I was talking about? I had an appointment scheduled for both girls in mid-October. I thought I could get Ella's 4-year-old visit and Sophie's six-month visit scheduled back to back and keep me from taking time off on two different days. My work schedule got a little hairy and I had to move the appointments to early November instead. I remember talking to the nurse on the phone and making a note about the new date on a post-it note near my calendar. I still have that little yellow square and it says that I have two appointments scheduled for Thursday, November 4th.

I had cute outfits for the girls to wear that day. I would have packed my camera. I would have worn my cute zipper leg skinny jeans and flats. We would have slept late and cooked breakfast and taken a field trip to Target. I would not have spent an hour navigating horrible traffic and wearing heels. I took my time getting started at work. I got breakfast and checked my email. I decided on a whim, at 9:45, to call the pediatrician's office and confirm my appointments because I'm neurotic and I panic about ridiculous things on a regular basis. Thank goodness.

The nurse confirmed my appointments for 11 o'clock on Wednesday, November 3rd. I cannot begin to tell you the speed with which I flew into my boss' office to tell her I was leaving. I threw everything I had into my bag and walked the block to my car. While navigating the expressway, I called my aunt and had her start getting the girls ready. I mentally reviewed how I dressed the girls that morning and called Josh to run the camera out to me as I circled through the drive. I know you are all wondering why I didn't just have him meet me with them, right? The carseats were both IN. MY. CAR. Y'all, it was nothing short of a miracle that we even got there ten minutes late.

Ella had made herself sick in the car with worry over a potential immunization and promptly needed to potty when we got there. Thank goodness for a wonderful nursing staff and a receptionist who wasn't the least bit bothered by our tardiness.

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As it turns out, the girls were wearing cute outfits, but our shoes and hair were a little worse for wear. Thank goodness we have serious personality and can't help but make people smile! They both look ridiculous in this photograph, but at this point I was glad we were all still alive after my mad dash through town.

Ella was thrilled to learn that she has another whole year to dread that shot and she was so big and brave! She was 39 inches tall and weighed 36 pounds and a few ounces. She is perfectly proportionate and in the 25-50% for both height and weight. She did great during the physical exam and talked Dr. Darby's ears off about all manner of things. We got the go ahead for a dentist's visit now that we seem to be over our doctor-anxiety. One dose of flu-mist later and she was happy to be finished with her part.

See that glimpse of bunny up there? She took good care of Belle at the doctor!

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Sophie's visit could have gone a little better, but I cannot complain. She is the best-behaved little bit and really handled the visit well. She still only weighs 15 pounds and was 26 inches long. That is still right at the 25% for weight and 90% for height. Can we say long and lean? She was fascinated with the paper on the table again and refused to do her tricks for the doctor. We got the go ahead to try any foods we want, start three meals a day and begin to introduce finger foods. Because of her advanced mobility, the doctor told me she wouldn't be surprised to see us on table food exclusively by nine months. As much as I want to keep her little for as long as possible, can we get an AMEN for the money I'll be saving on baby food? Thanks.

Now for the bad news. Bronchiolitis. Swollen airways and trouble breathing thanks to a viral infection. Ella was happy to snap this picture of us during the breathing treatment and just happened to capture one of the only moments Sophie was still enough for me to keep the mask on. Thank goodness our at-home treatments come via the nebulizer and can be finished by the end of our new favorite song "Ten little Sophies" {sung to the tune of "Ten Little Indians."

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Since our plan for a lazy morning at home got completely hijacked, we did at least reward ourselves with some mint-chocolate frozen yogurt at a new place close to home. I was so proud of Ella for acting so grown-up and she deserved a little recognition. We hit up two pharmacies before rounding up all of Sophie's medicine and medical apparatuses, Whataburger for a late lunch and finally home for a VERY long nap. We were worn out and unfortunately got to load up for work and school the next day. What is it they say about the best laid plans?