first birthday prep (or how to plan a frat party with babies)

in less than two months, s will be celebrating her first (and most badass?!) birthday. it’s equal parts exciting and depressing for us to plan. exciting because our baby is almost almost almost officially a toddler and we get to celebrate the wonderful ways she’s changed our lives over the past year. depressing because, as cool as we make this party, she won’t remember it.

so there will be booze.

obviously. because otherwise it’s just a silly afternoon where a bunch of parents wish they’d smuggled in their flasks of whiskey while their respective babies crawl and scream and cry and poop all over each other. just like every other day, really. just kidding. mostly. in all seriousness, i really want this party to be laid back and fun for kids and adults alike. so there will be beer. and tequila. if you know me, you know that one of my mantras in life is this: EVERYTHING is better with tequila. so there will be beer with tequila (desperados, anyone?!), cupcakes with tequila (for the grownups only, no need to call the authorities!), and, since i’m a little old fashioned, tequila with tequila.

**note: i am not an alcoholic. in fact, after approximately two drinks these days i am done for the night. so obviously most of this is a joke and does not affect the parenting of our beautiful child, who i’m sure will enjoy tequila just as much as me when she’s all grown up. and not before then. i’m sure she’ll be as innocent as a flower until her 21st birthday (please just let me live with this delusion for awhile).

and there will be cake.

we’re still ironing out details for this aspect of the party, but i found a fantastic local bakery two little cats that’s happy to provide a smash cake for s’s photo shoot (surprise! oops) as well as cupcakes for the party. i thought two smash cakes might be a bit extravagant (read: paul thought) so we will have to settle for adorable photos of s smashing a cupcake into her face during the party. on the menu for the cupcakes: raspberry and lime flavored with lime green sugar sprinklings and fresh raspberries on top. yum. as for the smash cake, i’m hoping it’s going to look like this fabulous cake above!

there will be decorations.

Source: hapykoi.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest


Source: indulgy.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest



i toyed with the idea of having a very hungry caterpillar theme for this party, but decided instead to go with bright colors and more basic decorations. i especially love the ideas from 100 layer cake!

and there will be presents.

Source: amazon.co.uk via Kaitlin on Pinterest





Source: amazon.co.uk via Kaitlin on Pinterest

since march is fairly close to christmas, and since my house already seems to be a toy factory, we’re planning on keeping gifts pretty minimal this year. what i would love for her to get, however, is a few musical instruments. she shakes and bashes all of her toys already and really enjoys rhyme time and music of all kinds, so i think she will really appreciate a few things like these.

and there will be s.

Source: rstyle.me via Kaitlin on Pinterest

everyone who knows me knows that i love a little bit of baby style. in fact, i’m kind of obsessed with pinning gorgeous dresses/tops/jeans/shoes/anything to my baby d board on pinterest. and i have absolutely no restraint when it comes to baby clothes. we had BETTER have a girl the next time around, otherwise there are going to be many lonely, depressed articles of clothes that haven’t been worn in s’s nursery. so here is my inspiration for baby birthday style. (ok, so it’s more than inspiration. i bought it today but shhhhhh! don’t tell paul! ps. i want EVERYTHING from the beatrix potter range at baby gap right now. check it out here.)

i’ll keep you updated as the plans progress!

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(even more) retail therapy

since apparently i can’t go a week without buying something for s (i have no self control when it comes to this baby) i made a little purchase on the mamas and papas website last night. ok, so it was three things, not just one. but shhhhhh it’s all in the name of free delivery.

 

we’ve had our eye on this activity centre for quite awhile now but since i’m just as indecisive as i was at nine months pregnant i couldn’t commit to this being the ADD maker we bought for our baby. i have mixed feelings about this sort of product anyway, but i’ve recently come to the conclusion that sometimes mommy needs to be able to be more than a foot away from baby, for both of our sanity. also, i really want to get back into baking, which is just not possible with a rolling and almost crawling seven month old. we really liked this particular activity centre because it is NOT a walker…i can’t get my head around the idea of s cruising around the room in a giant plastic car, and it would probably defeat the purpose of putting her in it in the first place. we also like that it has some toys that aren’t plastic…i know that bright, plastic toys can’t really be avoided with babies, but it’s nice to have a little variety. also, fabric toys are less likely to cause goose eggs and fat lips (s is currently suffering from her first fat lip from falling onto a stacking cup…cue the bad mommy music). most importantly, the price is right. most of the activity centres/jumperoos/walkers out there cost £2938562 and we cannot afford another ridiculously priced piece of kit right now. seriously though, £110 for a piece of plastic? no thank you.

so last night i bit the bullet. fingers crossed it comes before s is too big to use it (it was one of those ‘order now for delivery in late october’ things, so if it’s not here by the end of the month i’m opening a can on mamas and papas). thank the baby gods for online shopping!

also, i bought this buggy book (s’s favorite story at the moment) and these shoes (if she will ever fit into them…i had her feet measured yesterday and she’s only a 1.5!!!). seriously, no restraint.

ps. sorry for the lame links earlier…think it’s an issue with the mamas and papas site being uk based and generally silly with links. hope these show up better!

 

the summer according to pinterest.

i’d been thinking about writing up a sort of summer to-do list, or a bucket list, but hadn’t got the motivation to do it until the fabulous e tells tales suggested a blog link up. now i’m not nearly creative (or energetic, these days) enough to come up with lots of ideas off the cuff, so for this bucket list i will defer to the other lover in my life. yes, i mean pinterest. my sweet evening affairs with this website leave me feeling encouraged, excited and jealous of other people’s lives. but i have actually DIYed my way through a few of the things on my pinboards over the last few months, including making an adorable hand and footprint salt dough keepsake for p for father’s day (like this one here).

now onto this summer:

1. get my hair did.

a few years ago i went crazy and had my hair highlighted completely. i think it was an accident. but i LOVE the full head of highlights look, and want my hair this short again. if i was a millionaire i’d get a brazilian blow dry so it would be kind of straight right after blow drying, but for now i will have to dream. plus, then i’d miss my curls. also, i will allow someone to babysit s so this can happen…i got my hair cut when she was three weeks old, but it consisted of literally handing off the baby to p after he returned from his own appointment, running to the hairdressers, and getting a few inches chopped off. i want an afternoon of styling. maybe with a mani/pedi.

2. organize my life.

this site has about 139847165 ideas for baby/home organization. none of which i accomplished before s was born. now our house isn’t exactly a hoarder’s home, but it could be cleaner. and more organized. so i will do at least one of these things on this list.

3. fly to the states!

Source: youtube.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest

the tips and tricks from mama natural‘s video blog are going to come in handy when p, s and i all hop on a plane in august to see my family. i’m only freaking out about the trip a little, and most moms who’ve traveled with babies and toddlers say that the earlier you fly (in terms of baby’s age), the easier the trip will be. i just know i’m going to have to kill some bitches with kindness, though, as they give me the black look of death for bringing an infant on board an airplane. it’s ok, i will leave nappy bags full of s’s stinkiest poop underneath their seats.

4. (re)learn to knit.

can you get any more adorable than this? i’m sure it’s super easy and would take about five seconds to do. plus, if you know me, you know that flip flops/sandals/any kind of shoe that doesn’t require socks is the best kind of footwear. s isn’t going to be small enough for this to be cute for that long! my grandmother, who’s in her mid 80s and only has partial vision, is the most amazing artist when it comes to knitting and crochet. she’s tried to teach me how to knit half a dozen times (bless her), so one day i’d like to make her proud by actually learning something.

5. get my craft on.

this super cute shag rug will be perfect for the kitchen. it will also solve my problem of having far too many items of clothes. every time we get a charity bag through the letterbox, i fill it up and return it with tons of my junk. it seems to regenerate almost immediately, and makes me a little sad. now is the time to simplify my life ever so slightly and focus on what’s really important rather than getting sucked into the material things of life. (if you’re super duper brave, you could be like my friend awayathomemom and live out of an RV with your family. so cool!) there are approximately a million more craft ideas i have yet to try out on my pinterest boards…check them out.

6. go swimming with s!

luckily this one involves shopping for bathing suits. also, i mostly want to do this because of the photography session. p gets in the bath with s at the moment (TMI? sorry) and keeps saying, can i dunk her? can i dunk her? and so far i’ve said no because i’m scared she’ll drown and we’ll be the idiots that tried to make their own baby swim. so i’m going to let the professionals help! s loves bath time now and i think she will enjoy the pool, too. plus, i need to get back in the water!

7. bake some sexy cakes.

those of you who have already perused my pinterest boards probably have gathered that my bff and i have half-joked about starting up a cupcake business. no, not like two broke girls, i hate that show. more like ace of cakes meets starbucks flavors meets english charm. it’s mostly a pipe dream, but if i ever win the lottery i will quit whatever semi-fulfilling job i have and open a cupcake shop. so to prepare myself i must get back in the kitchen and start baking. plus, p once told me that my gift for having our first child would be a kitchenaid mixer. i’m still waiting! (i’m sure it’s in the post. not.)

8. get picnicking.

after the disaster that was our last picnic-style outing (yes, i am a wussy mama) i am afraid i may instill the same neuroses in my daughter. so you heard it here first, everyone…i vow to spend more time outdoors with my family. i will lather up my baby with bug spray and sun screen (after six months, i think…before then i will keep her under a mosquito net and hide her from every ray of sun possible) and eat smores with my family. this i solemnly swear.

9. have a date night with p (and without s…sorry baby!)

my parents came to visit when s was five weeks old (they live across the ocean in the states) and tried to get us to go out to see the hunger games. i wasn’t ready to leave the baby and hadn’t tried pumping yet, and figured the logistics of organizing feeds around movie times would be too difficult…ok i was terrified of leaving s for more than five minutes. my mom told me that i’d be ready soon. a few weeks after she left, i sent her a text saying, you were right! i want a babysitter now! so p and i are already talking about date night ideas for our trip to the states. three weeks with my parents, grandparents, sisters, and aunt nearby = lots and lots and lots of babysitters! sorry, guys! s is lovely, i promise! and hopefully she’ll go the *&$@ to sleep for you.

10. lose the baby flab.

ok, so i know this photo doesn’t really coincide with the step. but having a positive body image and feeling good about myself includes losing my baby flab. i know that i’m beautiful, but i also want to feel healthy and sexy instead of lazy and glued to the sofa. even though i love me some big bang theory. so this summer i plan to find an evening zumba class, or vow to get up three times a week at six and walk/run (ok so i can’t run…yet. positive thinking!!!) to feel better about myself and to be a positive role model for s.

so that’s the list, for the most part! i’m sure our summer will consist of much more than this (and you’ll all hear about the lot, of course) but i’ll update you as these items get checked off! happy summer! ❤

catch up

ok, so i said today was silent sunday, but i finally have something to say and can’t keep it in! sorry for being so quiet the last week. you know how you look back on a period of time and can’t remember any of it in detail? that’s how the last few days have felt.

s and i had a much needed rest this week and spent three days at home. we’ve been having some more problems with feeding, but have come to the conclusion that s is teething early and decides to use me as a teether (yum) instead of eating sometimes. so we soldier on.

we had some friends from oxford over to stay wednesday night so played host for them. mommy even had a g and t or two! mmmmmm. friday we went to a lunch thrown by some neighbors (more on the neighbors soon) and then met p for a chaplain’s tea in college. too much schmoozing. not enough cupcakes.

yesterday we ventured out onto midsummer common for cambridge’s annual strawberry fair. p carried s in the ergo and it was lovely being handsfree for a few hours. i’m pretty sure all three of us got high from the smells of patchouli and weed that permeated the air there. gotta love the hippies! we watched pulp fiction in the afternoon (my first time; hopefully s didn’t learn any naughty words) and ate p’s fantastic homemade pizza for dinner.

the plan today was the same as the last few sundays: to be a good vicar’s (chaplain’s!) wife and take s to church at college. it feels so nice to go regularly and to feel part of a community again. HOWEVER, about three seconds before we were supposed to leave the house, the kitchen ceiling collapsed five feet away from s and me. scary. think plane-crashing-into-the-bedroom-in-donnie-darko scary. but, we were running late and i needed to feed s before church. so, we left it. p celebrated and, after breakfast in his rooms, we went to lunch at las iguanas (since our entire kitchen was covered in a film of plaster and dust). yummmmy latin american food! we got home and my amazing hubby cleaned up the plaster on the kitchen floor while i took care of s…also because p was worried that if we were both in the kitchen at the same time the whole ceiling might fall down and we would die and leave s all alone. who’s the crazy one now?! then a perfect sunday afternoon with the family, watching the queen’s jubilee celebrations on tv.

tomorrow s gets to have cuddles with her godmommy! yay!

life is good. ❤

in other news, p has finally been able to give s a bottle! yay for bonding! yay for mommy breaktime!