Monday, February 25, 2013

Western Cowboy themed birthday party (Toy Story inspired). Happy 1st Birthday Asher!

Not only was this one of the most fun parties to plan, it was also my favorite party to date. Yep, true story. I don't know if Pinterest gives me even more inspiration, or if I just get more detailed with age. Anyway you look at it... it was a great success!

I made the banner, and most of the candy. The cake, and smash cake is from our favorite local bakery, and the boys shirts where from Etsy (Jake HAD to have a Buzz Lightyear shirt... even though it was more of a western "Toy Story theme"). I decided that this year I would make a party favor. I got the the s'mores idea from Pinterest.

Since we had a "Round Up BBQ", we decided to make hamburgers, and hot dogs with all the fixings!

Here are some of the pictures from the party. If you click on the picture it will view the image larger. Enjoy!
If you click on the picture you can see a little closer the frame in the background. The frame is from Pottery Barn. It shows the baby through the first 12 months, and the babies name. I have one for Jake, and now for Asher... completed! wow!
I made the month banner, and added number with a western font (numbers came from my friend Kristy's silhouette cameo machine - that is going to be my next purchase....)
My family of ALL BOYS! And I wouldn't have it any other way!!!
Asher John and Momma.
Asher had NO interest in the cake... So, Grant and I ate it! ;)
Thank you to all our amazing friends and family that could attend! We feel so blessed and lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives! To all of those that couldn't attend you were certainly missed! We will see you at the next Stone extravaganza! Here are a few pictures that Grant's cousin Amanda took. 

Special thank you to Grant's mom Vicki, for flying into town to celebrate Asher's 1st birthday! We were so happy to have you here to spend time with you. We wish you lived closer and we could see you more!

A huge thank you to cousin Amanda for coming over at the crack of dawn to help watch the boys while I set up! We love you so much! I'm so glad that you and I have become not only family... but, friends. I think the world of you! Thank you for all you do for us! 
Until next year... Or Jake's 3rd birthday! ;)

Monthly pictures of Asher

At 7:05pm, on February 24, Grant and I became parents to another little munchkin. Grant and I were thrilled  to have another healthy, happy, baby boy.

Over the last year, I've seen this little newborn grow into an infant, and now into a toddler. As happy as that makes me... It still makes me a little teary eyed. I love all the stages... but, it just goes by too fast. Asher was the happiest little boy! Always smiling, cooing, and laughing. He was happy just sitting up, bouncing in his bouncer, talking, and watching all of us. 

Asher has made this family so very complete. Jake and Asher run around the house and talk to each other. I have no idea what is going on... but, they certainly do. It makes my heart so happy seeing the joy they bring each other. Exactly why Grant and I wanted kids so close in age. It's challenging for me at times... but, it just gets easier! Oh how much I love seeing them play and interact! 

Now that Asher is officially 12 months old... I can post all of the sticker pictures that I took. My kids are so hard to take photos of... They move and are so active early... but, I still manage to accomplish the task of the monthly pics! I'm so glad I started this when Jake was born. :)
Next blog post will be Asher's first birthday party! We held the party yesterday and feel so incredibly blessed and thankful for all of those that made Asher's first birthday special!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Letter to my birthday boy, Asher John. (Feb. 24)

Asher John,

My mini me. OK, you look like both of us... but, you have more of my features (he he). Since Jake looks exactly like your dad, I take full pride in the fact you look more like me. ;) Thank you for being the perfect little man that you are. Thank you for your little smiles, your laughter, and your voice. You are my verbal child. You have LOTS to say. You make sure everyone in the room knows what's on your mind. Your amazing in every way.

You love your brother. You love everything about him. You like to follow him, take his toys, wear his clothes, and drink from his cups (even though you have your own of everything). Lately you like to wrestle with him. Your all boy. Your strong willed, loving, and happy. You are incredibly strong. You are the strongest little boy I've ever seen (just like your big brother). You love to play basketball. It's your favorite thing to do when we go outside. You want to play as soon as you see the ball and hoop. You take the ball and walk right up to the basket and slam dunk it! Your just that talented already.

I'm so happy that God gave me you as a gift. What a gift that you are. I smile just at the sight of you. Your not only handsome... you are pretty. My pretty boy. :) But, my pretty boy that is all boy. I squeeze and love on you all day. Your brother adores you too. He loves to play with you, and show you the ropes. Even though you make up your own mind already. You have found your spot in this little family that your father and I have created. The perfect addition to our family.

It feels like just yesterday I was pregnant with you. And I will never forget my delivery of you. A successful VBAC. I was admitted into the hospital with VERY strong contractions every minute, and delivered you within 3 hours of getting admitted (45 minutes after I got the epidural). Delivery was a breeze! I was able to hold you right away. Something I couldn't do with your brother. I wanted to make sure I was able to hold you immediately, and that I could run around with you as soon as you came home with us.

I have tears as I write this letter to you. Tears of happiness. I love you so much! You are an incredible little boy. My toddler. You will always be my baby though. No matter where life takes you. And life is going to take you far little man. You are so very special and bring your father, Jake, and I so much joy. I can't wait to see you grow and develop into the person that God designed you to be. I will be here to support and love you along the way.

Thank you for another memorable, blessed year. I love you to pieces.

You are my sunshine. Forever and always.

Your momma

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sneak peek into our world...

With Asher's first birthday this weekend, I started getting emotional. My baby is going to be a toddler. I struggled when Jake turned one too. I love seeing all the stages, and watching them grow into little people... but, the thought of the baby stage ending makes me a little sad.

Time flies so fast, and it goes even faster when your raising little ones. I love watching them grow, learn new things, and come into their own. I like to document this by having family pictures taken. After the first birthday I usually just like to have one session a year. But, I can't pass the opportunity to have their first year taken. I'm already looking back at Jake's first year session and remembering that time in our life. Jake had just turned one, and I was already 12 weeks pregnant with Asher. We took those at the bay and beach by our house. I can't wait to see all the pictures that we took yesterday.

Here is just a little sneak peek from this weekend... I LOVE THEM!
My baby boys. So handsome and sweet. I'm the luckiest mommy in the world! 
Have a blessed week!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentines - 2013

I feel like Valentines Day at our house goes a few days. On Valentines Day, we will always do our family time. It's a family holiday for us. I like to spend it with all my boys. Grant and I plan another night over the weekend to take a date night. He actually likes to plan it. My sweet hubby! :) We usually have a standing Saturday night date or a Sunday day date. So, we will celebrate this weekend as a couple. 

I went to the Disney Store and bought the boys some presents, and put them in Toy Story (reusable bags). I also, got them clothes, and new fedoras. These boys like to wear hats! Stylish men I have.
After naps, they woke up to presents! 
Asher got up first, so I was able to take a few shots of one of my Valentines.
LOVE LOVE LOVE. Have a great weekend all!

For the LOVE of BOYS!

For the LOVE! For the love of craziness, busyness, wrestling, building blocks, and sports. That's our house. It's awesome. I love it. I'd like to think that I'm a "girly" tomboy. I love all things football, tough love, and cars myself. God gave me exactly what was meant for me. However, you never know the future here at the Stone house. God may bless us ONE DAY (NOT NOW PEOPLE) with another baby. That baby may be a girl... but, it could also be another beautiful boy! ;0

I hope to raise faithful, polite, strong, loving, loyal, and smart boys. I hope that they are educated, play/played sports all through high school/college, live a happy/successful life and most importantly are friends. If I can do that... I've accomplished my dream. 

I didn't know that one day I'd be home with children. But, my life changed forever finding out I was pregnant with Jake... I knew that my role was forever going to change. Staying home with them is what WE wanted to do as a family. This is what I'll continue to do until they are old enough to be in school and are busy (if that doesn't mean that they need me more ;) ). I'm lucky to be able to do this job, so I'm giving it my all! It's the hardest job I've had. Raising boys. But, It's the best and most rewarding job for me. I'm not speaking for other women. I'm only speaking for myself and my family.

Here is a little what we do here at the Stone house.

The boys play together. 
They hug on each other.
They've already begun wrestling with each other.
They play sports...
We go to the Nature Center. And the boys play with their buddy Henry.
They keep me busy and on my toes. I love these monkeys. They make me so happy. And even when they are running wild through the house... I have to remember, that soon they will want to be alone in their rooms. They wont want me to kiss their "boo boos", and they may not snuggle either. I'll take it all... I take in all the moments. They do fly by. Little Asher pants is going to be one next week. It really is so hard to believe. Am I going to feel this way every birthday they have? UGH. My baby is going to be a toddler? OMGOSH!
I will treasure all of these moments. My boys. My life.
I'm a little emotional with the thought of my baby becoming a toddler next weekend, can you tell?

Girls night with my besties.

I forgot to post about my girls night last Friday... So, here it goes quickly...

Last Friday night, I arranged a little girls night. It had been awhile since we all got out and caught up. It was so good seeing the girls. But, I'm too old to stay out that late. And not to mention my kids get up so early... I'm usually in bed by 9pm. Yep. I know. :)

We went to a wine bar at the Promenade in Long Beach, and then walked across the street to an Ale House. After that we ended up going down to 2nd street like old times... I couldn't believe I was able to stay awake! Pretty sure my friends thought the same thing!

Here are some pics of my night with the girls.
Kristy, Julie, Katy, Alexis, and I.
Until next time...

Monday, February 11, 2013

A few of my favorite baby things... A guide for new mothers.

Recently I've had a few friends that are becoming mommies this year ask me what my favorite things are. I usually just take a look at their registries and add what I thought was helpful. But, since I have so many people asking me recently, I thought I could blog a few of my favorite things.

I will also say every mom is different. Some people swear by other things than I like. Each baby is different as well. I can post brands, but you can do your own research as to what works best for you and your family.

Hope this helps! If I forget anything... I will come back and add on... so, you can always check back, or message me privately.

1. A video monitor. This is a must in my house. I have one for Jake and Asher. It helps me sleep at night knowing I can see, and hear them. I recommend Summer Infant. I have 2 of them. My favorite one is the touch screen version. monitor

2. AQUAPHOR and A&D ointment. I use this daily on my boys. It's the best. I don't like the Destin, etc... because I don't like the white residue. However, I have used those as well.

3. A lovey. They wont use this right away... but, by a few months old, by boys loved theirs. Jake still sleeps with his.

4. A good set of bottles. I have the Medela because they work well with the Medela pump I have. I also like the Avent bottles as well.

5. Medela breast pump. I believe this is hands down the best pump! I used it with Jake, and then called the manufacturer and had them send me new tubes for when I pumped with Asher. breastpump

6. If your going to pump you definitely will want a hands free breast pump bra. Then you can pump both sides at once and do other things at the same time. TRUST ME.... THIS IS A GREAT ITEM!

7. Nursing tanks. I lived in mine! I had Bravado and I got some at Target as well.

8. Medela quick clean bags. You can sterilize the bottles, pacifiers, and nipples all in the microwave. BRILLIANT!

9. Medela pump bags. I stored all my milk in these. I didn't buy the plastic containers for storage. They took up too much space in the freezer. The bags lay flat and I could stack them.

10. DON'T WASH EVERYTHING! I washed everything and used half of it. It's hard when your a neat freak not to clean everything... but, if you can help it... don't. If you have lots of the same sizes, keep the receipt and exchange for larger sizes. My boys were born in the 7 pound range and never even wore the newborn/0-3 size clothes!

11. Have lots of diapers and wipes in the closet. You will go through so many in a day! I always liked Huggies. But, I used pampers when they were newborns. It's just my preference.

12. My kids were never swaddled. They hated it. I also didn't force it. I do own the miracle blanket, summer infant swaddlers, muslin blankets, etc. I still have them... in case I have a baby one day that likes it. ;) I have no advice here. ha ha.

13. Soothie pacifiers where a big hit when my babies were newborns.

14.  MAM pacifiers. My boys were big fans of this as babies. Both my boys were weaned off the pacifier at 6 months old. They just didn't have an interest after that.

15. Aden and Anais muslin blankets. I love these. You can used for swaddling, the stroller, the car seat, etc. They are light, breathable blankets.

16. Jake loved his glow worm. It helped us get through many sleepless nights. And if helped him fall asleep. God bless the glow worm.

17. Anything by Baby Einstein. My boys loved the everything by them.

18. I got a wipes warmer with Jake, but never used it. I have been using it with Asher and I love it. They don't get as startled when you take a warm wipe instead of a cold one. Think about that for a minute.

19. A bouncer... by 4 months my boys were jumping away in it!

20. A Bumbo. Helpful to get them to sit up, and also great for a few of their first feedings. My boys grew out of it so quickly... but, it was cool in the beginning. DON'T LEAVE THE CHILD IN IT UNASSISTED. I know that is a duh comment, but I have friends do that and there was a mini accident.

21. A good high chair.

22. A mattress pad. I think it provides a little warmth and cushion.

23. Extra sheets for the bassinet and the crib. Enough said.

24. Humidifier. Cool mist.

25. A good thermometer. One for the newborns... and one for the ear (when they get a little older).

26. Contour changing pad. Get 2 covers... One to put on while the other is being washed.

27. Hooter hider. Great for breastfeeding in more public places. I didn't breastfeed in front of people, but if I fed my little ones in the car, I used this to cover myself. I actually kept one at my house and one in my diaper bag.

28. Diaper Genie or any brand to put dirty diapers in.

29. Baby Ergo baby carrier. I never used the newborn attachment though. My boys were too big for it... I love the fact I could cover there little head from other people breathing on them or cover them from the sun.

30. Baby bath. I went through 3 until I found the one that worked for us. This is the one that I loved: bath tub

31. Baby bath seat. This was great starting around 5 months old...bath seat

32. Boppy New born lounger. I loved and used this more than the original boppy. My boys loved this! We did tummy time, they napped, and they sat a little propped up in it.

33. Boppy was good for breast feeding after my Cesarean with Jake. However, I heard the "breast friend" is amazing as well for that.

34. A bottle brush.

35. A bottle dryer.

36. The sticky question is about car seats and strollers. This is a personal preference. My advice would be to pick the stroller of your choice and then find out what is compatible with that stroller. I'm a BOB girl... so, Graco is a good fit for that. But, even that has changed over the last year. Its compatible with much more! I also like the Vista Uppa Baby strollers as well. However, every year brings new strollers... I suggest going to a location that has them all and push them around. Take into consideration if you want more babies close together and what stroller you can add to, etc. I have a Teutonia stroller and car seat, a single BOB, and a double BOB. I had to get big strollers for the big baby boys Grant and I were making! Also, a stroller that was tall enough for my 6'8 husband to push around. I can also go for walks, hikes, run, jog, and most importantly shop! I wanted a versatile stroller for my So Cal lifestyle. :)

37. A good diaper bag. I have a Timi and Leslie. This is my favorite bag and brand. It actually looks like a purse. I also have a JuJu Be that I keep in the car for a spare. I suggest keeping a spare bag in the car just in case.

OK, well I hope this was helpful! Like I said... any other questions, call or message me. I'll try and remember to keep adding as I remember more things.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Count down...

To Asher's 1st birthday! The one year mark is quickly approaching... So, I better get going on the party planning! This year.... Round Up BBQ at our house! 

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