Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oliver's First Birthday Party

I decided to do a woodland theme for his party.  Turns out that it's kind of "in" right now, so there was a lot of good idea on Pinterest and Etsy to look at.  Since his birthday is in June, I thought it would be great to have it outside. I planned on having it in the front yard under a bunch of trees since the invitation said, "Join us in the woods."  Well, it rained all week and only stopped an hour before his party.  Plan B was my parents covered deck.  Thank goodness we didn't have to take things inside.

I ordered the invitations from Etsy, and was send a pdf file, then took it to a local print shop and had 20 invitations printed (with envelopes) for $12.


Last year, I had a professional make Penelope's first birthday cake.  And long story short, it ended up costing like 75% more than I was quoted at.  I decided to make Oliver's cake myself.  Luckily, a tree stump was fitting and easy.  I used two cake mixes in two 6x3 round pans (350 degrees for 65 minutes) I did a test the week before and the middle was still batter, so I'm glad I figured it out beforehand.  I cut off the top to make it flat and threw chocolate icing on the sides.  I put a layer of buttercream on the top and mixed in a little chocolate icing for the rings and tried to swirl them together.  Josh was really the decorator.  I did my best, but he perfected the bark and top.  It was very simple and turned out great.  It was so funny to see Oliver eating his cake without using his hands.  I've never seen a baby do that before.  But it was at the perfect height. The candle was made from a real twig that we hot glued a candle wick to.

Josh made a wooden cupcake stand for me.  Literally, went out with a chainsaw to cut up a tree.  (Does anyone want it? We have no use for it now) I bought sugar decorations that were woodland animals to put on half of the cupcakes.  Spiked with green icing to look like grass.  The other half were red with white chocolate chips to look like toadstools.
For decorations, I made a "Happy Birthday" banner from burlap. (Also available if someone wants it) I used stencils to spray paint them and outlined them with a Sharpie.  I wove twine through the ends and tied them up.  I also just kind of stick twigs and branches against the house for a more woodsy feel.  Some other extras are the giant pinecone my dad found last year and the plush raccoon I bought for Oliver.  I also bought a high chair set from Amazon that had a banner, bib and plastic mat.
I had 4 bowls of different snacks: sunflower seeds and peanuts (seeds and nuts), pretzel sticks (twigs), blueberries, blackberries and raspberries (wild berries), and an acorn snack that was a candy kiss, Nutter Butter cookies and a chocolate chip stuck together with icing. I served lemonade (sunshine juice) and bottles of water that were in a wagon.
I also asked guests to write Oliver a letter that he will read on his 18th birthday, June 20, 2032.  That is so far away, I can't even imagine.



He had such a fun time but I was so exhausted afterwards.  Good thing that birthdays are only once a year! :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

12 months old

This last week has been a little busy so that's why his 12 month post is so late.  I will do a separate post (sometime) about his birthday party.

Penelope did NOT want to cooperate for a picture with him.  This is the best I could do. 
Now that he is a year old, he can have whole milk.  But he really doesn't prefer it.  He might drink 3 ounces a day and he needs 16-24.  I'm also trying to get him more on a meal schedule like eating when we eat and feeding himself table foods.  He seems to be quite the picky eater.  He loves strawberries and baked beans and blackberries.  I'd love for him to start eating noodles, but he's will just scream at dinner after his fruit is gone and push away his milk.  I'll give him a few pretzel sticks to keep him quiet while I finish eating.  For this reason, he is still nursing.  I'm pretty certain he is not getting enough nutrition from milk and table foods.  But I'm ready to wean him.  He is nursing a lot less though.  Sometimes only 30 minutes a day when it usually was 90 minutes. 

I feel like his picture says a lot.  He is a pretty cranky baby if he is not being given attention or stimulation.  This is probably the "I'm bored" cry.  Or maybe "I'm tired."  His sleep is still all over the place and I'm sure it's because of our living environment.  He shares a house (1800 sq ft) with a toddler and 4 or 5 adults.  He doesn't have his own room so I don't let him cry-it-out when he wakes up at night because Josh gets up at 5:30 am to work 10 hours and needs sleep too.  So I usually just nurse him in bed.  I feel like I'm still in "survival mode" with him.  I really don't know what his issue is with sleeping at night.  He doesn't sleep though the night (5 hours).  Last night He was in his crib and woke up an hour and a half later (impressive).  After he fell back to sleep he woke up constantly and I figured it had to be about 4 am with how much he woke up.  But it was only 1:30.  Ugh.  In the last 2 1/2 years, I have only got more than 5 hours straight of sleep a handful of times, and that was before he was born.  I don't know how I'm still alive.

He has 7 teeth now and is a champion walker.  I'll see him take one of Penelope's toys while she's distracted and take off with it.  Almost running.  Then Penelope sees him and grabs it back and he looks at me and screams.  He says, "mama," "dada" and "uh-oh."  I think he is learning "thank you." Today he learned to say book ("bu") also working on cat and dog.  He doesn't say them frequently enough to be added to his vocabulary list though.

It seems as though he was a newborn for the first 6 months.  Then he really grew up right around his birthday.  He is able to go longer between feedings which makes it easier for me to take him out of the house, which is a huge plus.  I can't believe he is already a year old and will be a toddler soon!
Weight: 23 pounds
Height: 29 inches
Size Clothes: 12-18 months
Size Diapers: 4
Sleeping Habits: Wakes up all the time at night! Why doesn't he want to sleep!?  Two naps a day.
Eating Habits: Still breastfeeding and working on introducing more table foods.