The Big ONE

I was a little nervous about throwing my first 1st Birthday Party.  I'm not going to lie, Gator Guy and I can throw a mean Ugly Christmas Sweater Party or beer pong tourney in the burbs.  And I have learned from the Best-Mom-in-the-World about the traditions of the Family birthday and just how important it is to think about everyone.  But a First Birthday Party was new.  And something that I only get ONE chance at. 
Must Haves for the Party:
1.  Balls - Lots and Lots of balls.  Mr. T is so excited about any kind of ball at the moment that we thought it was just perfect for a sports themed party for our little Champ. 
2.  Timing - I love parties where people feel they can hang out all day.  But a First Birthday is different....the Guest of Honor is on a tight schedule and when it is nap time, the laughter quickly turns to Whines.  11am was perfect.  Just after nap #1, but before nap #2, and gave everyone the rest of their day to do....well anything.

3.  Friends & Family - I have to say that Mr. T is one spoiled little boy and the loved ones that came (even in the snow) to his bash really showed their love and support.  

4.  HomeMade Ice Cream - That's right, we made ice cream for over 30 people.  The-Dad and The-Best-Mom-In-The-World make HomeMade Ice Cream for every birthday party in our family (which turns out to be about 13 times a year, and has even perfected the Vegan Ice Cream for my sister). So Gator Guy and I learned from the best and it was a hit.

5.  Good Jams - I think the key to any successful party is having the appropriate music.  Just because the word Baby is in the title doesn't mean it makes the playlist for a First Birthday Party.  Sir Mix a Lot definitely gets the boot with his "Baby Got Back."  However, I also didn't want to play Barney over and over when the Guest of Honor doesn't really know the song himself.  And so, I kept it simple and classic.  Songs like:  "L-O-V-E", "My Guy", "It Must Be Love", and "You Make My Dreams Come True".  Stay tuned for the full playlist.
 6.  Keepsake Memory - I had all guests sign Mr. T's "Oh The Places You'll Go" book.  He now has a classic book that he can read along with everyone's wishes on each page.    

7.  Cake - a First Birthday Party could not be complete without a CAKE.  Lots and Lots of cake. 
8.  An eager One Year Old to chow down. 

All of these Must Haves together = One Successful Par-Tay.....Yay!

Let The Madness Begin

Mr. T has his game face on and just like the Birdman, he is ready for some hoops!! That's right folks, it is March Madness...Are your brackets ready???  I absolutely LOVE the next two days.  And perhaps it is my love for school supplies where I get to take out my high lighter and black sharpie (hopefully used sparingly), to mark the big wins and big upsets of the tourney.  I'm not going to lie, I do not really follow college hoops any time of year other than the Madness, but it is all worth it.  Watching 64 teams (oh wait...officially 65, can't forget that totally worth it play-in game) play it off until the end, with the hopes of the Cinderella story.  

Who will it be this year?  Who will drop everyone's jaw?  Louisville...Marquette...Butler...Houston...or even Wofford (yes, I have picked them to get out of the first round.  I was a sucker for their feel good story on SportsCenter).  Which of the Big Boys will drop out first?  Kansas...Syracuse...Kentucky...Duke??  We will just have to wait and see.  (If only College Football could some day come up with a play off system....Oh to dream.)  So fill out those brackets, even if you are just picking by color or mascot, its a great way to kick off some spring ball.

Must Have for the Babe: Months 9-12

1.  Ritz Crackers - Mr. T. loves puttin on his Ritz...a definite must have at home, in the diaper bag, and at Grandmas.

2.  Night Time Diapers - So we got to the point that Mr. T was leaking through every night.  Reminded us of the beginning days of endless laundry.  So instead, we upped it with the special night time like a charm. 

3.  Ball Popper Toy - Seriously, this toy is so much fun for everyone!!

4.  Long Sleeved White Onesies - I absolutely love having just plain white onesies.  But during the winter, I wanted Mr. T. to still wear the short sleeved T's that he was quickly out growing.  So throw them on top of a white onesies, and you've got yourself one stylin' little boy!

5.  Refrigerator Toy - This one is absolutely great!  Sings a little song once a match is made, and even when you make a "Horse-Pig"...That's Silly.

6.  Books, Books, Books - I want Mr. T. to just be Oh So Smart.  Can never have enough books! 

I'm Ditching Team Baby Powder

Seriously...We are closing in on One Year, and I have yet to use Baby Powder.  And so, Johnson & Johnson, I am adding your traditional Must Have to my Overrated list.  However, I will still keep it close by...just in case.  Just in case for what, I ask???  I'm sure The Greatest Mom in the World used it on me and my siblings, but I feel like wipes & butt cream cover the job so far.  Anyone on Team Baby Powder that could convince me otherwise??


Oh My Edward...Look at what was just sent to me... (yes, I too am a 13 year old girl at heart)


Mr. T. is now teaching yoga poses for anyone who is interested:
Downward Facing Dog:

and Plank:

And yes...we are aware that the two are very similar.  But he assures his future clients that the moves will be perfected.  I will keep everyone posted about future sessions, along with his hourly rate.

Must Haves for the Babe: 3-9 Months

1.  Exercise Saucer - I can't tell you enough how great this is.  It not only keeps Mr. T's attention, but gives us a chance to do whatever the heck us Moms and Dads do to keep things moving smoothly.  Oh you know...dishes, vacuum, cook, grill outside, turbo jam, and blog  ;)

2.  Lots of bibs - I remember after the baby shower thinking, what the heck are we going to do with 30 plus bibs???  Not only are they nice to have just about everywhere, but I can tell you that I have "bibs" on my shopping list for today.  I know, 40 plus bibs are really crazy, but its about time some of those retire.

3.  Cookie Jar - This little toy is one of Mr. T's favorites.  Its easy to bring to over to friend's houses and the songs will soon be stuck in everyone's head. "Shapes are in my cookie jar, Triangle, Heart and Star.  There's a cookie over there, here's a square."

4.  Sun Hat - Gotta keep his skin so baby soft and sunburn free. 

5.  Jogger - My Bob Ironman Jogger was a key player in The Shed.   

6.  Baby Carrier - We opted not to go for the Baby Bjorn.  Even though most rave about it.  Frankly, we are cheap.  And we figured the $30 carrier was just as good as the $80 one.  Either way, I would say a carrier is a Must.  Gives you a chance to hike, walk, and explore the world with the little one.  

6.  SLR Camera - Yes I know, I have mentioned this before in my Must Haves Months 0-3.  But I can't tell you enough just how glad I am that we made the splurg.  I do love my small and sleek point & shoot.  But when it comes to photographing babies, the SLR is the way to go!  And don't be too scared if  you don't consider yourself the next Ansel Adams.  Leaving it on auto still takes great pictures!! 

How could you not love these pictures??

Just Party in the U S A

Can I just tell you how cute, creative, and adorable my niece (J-Rock) and her friends (The Mob) are. 

Check out their version of Party in the USA music video that they filmed during a birthday party.  Her Mob of friends reminds me so much of my Mob of friends when we were 13.  Oh the good ol' days...Playing MASH, singing to NKOTB and Hootie, and racing home every day together to watch Saved by the Bell and Aerosmith's Cryin on MTV.  Good news for me,  is my Mob is still in my life taking on the true meaning of BFFs. Thanks girls, love you to pieces!!

So enjoy the video and please comment on just how cute and creative they are!  She will love it  ;)  

Roll 'em Up

Wanna know why I loved having so many receiving blankets???  Roll-Ups.  My Sister-in-Law (Super Mom and Nurse) showed me how you can roll up the receiving blankets and use them everywhere.  Best spots were on both sides of Mr. T when he laid in the bouncer or swing, since he didn't quite have the stability to hold himself up. 

See, like this:

We also used the roll ups to put on one side while Mr. T slept to prevent him from turning on his right.  Go figure, but with the "Back is Best" sleep movement, now you have to watch out for Flat Head.  T's dome started to flatten a little on his left, and since some day he might either shave his head or become bald (full circle), it was the Roll-Up to the rescue again.  Some

Truly Inspired: SaraStrong

Obviously being a blogger, I love reading other blogs.  I love being invited into someone else's life and living vicariously through my e-Friends.  I look to them for advice about motherhood & friendship, tips on the latest crafts & fashion, gossip about Hollywood, and just a time for a good laugh.  

But last week I reconnected with my friend Jon and he shared with me his brother's story and blog.  And I must say, that it has truly changed my outlook on life.  The Sullivan's blog is about their journey and heartbreak through cancer diagnosis, pregnancy, the birth of their beautiful daughter, and the death of an amazing wife & mother.  Ever since I finished reading word for word last week (and shedding many tears), I not only realized that this family is so loved, but I realized again how important the love and support of family is in all of our lives. I also realized that there is a reason their story is out there.  As the blog tells their story, I also began to read the hundreds and hundreds of comments on each post.  Sara, Brady, and Chloe have inspired so many people that it really is uplifting to read.  After everything that this family went through, they still remained positive, kept their faith, and continued to share their love.  I can't tell you enough how uplifting this story is and I encourage all of you to read their blog (with a box of Kleenex in hand).  

Also, PLEASE visit the Susan G. Komen Dallas County website and donate to the Sara Strong Foundation

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