Monday, October 25, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch and Pumpkin Carving

Perron and I took a trip to the pumpkin patch with our friends Kelly and Ethan.  Daddy was at the Alabama/Ole Miss game with Uncle Phillip so he missed out on the fun.  Kelly and I learned some valuable lessons during our pumpkin patch excursion and I will share some of them with you.

1.  The term pumpkin patch is misleading because you would assume that meant you would be going home with a pumkin.  WRONG!  We didn't even look at a single pumpkin.  The thought of wrangling pumpkins in addition to two toddlers was so overwhelming that I decided I would just cop out and pick one up at Publix.

2.  Snack time will inevitably be the boys favorite part of the trip.

3.  Getting two 15 month old boys to both smile and look at the camera at the same time is a pipe dream.  Let me just give new moms a will not happen.  No matter how much you bribe, cajole, call out, they are not looking at the same time.  And if they do look they will not be smiling.

4.  You will be as exhausted as your children leaving the pumkin patch.  To give you an idea of how exhausted that is, Perron fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot.  Needless to say I was asleep in bed at 9 pm that night.
5.  You will be so excited and happy that you are getting to create your first pumpkin patch memory with your baby and lifelong friends that you won't care about any of the above.

To make the season complete we attended a pumpkin carving party at our neighbors house.  This is again a misnomer because not much pumpkin carving was done on my part.  Most of my time was spent chasing a little boy who want to climb up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs down the stairs...or in the door, out the door, in the door, out the door.   You see where I am going with this.  I eventually caved and just pushed him around the yard because at least I knew where he was.  At least daddy was free to carve the pumpkin and he did a great job!

A Photo Collage

I have been such a slacker about posting recently so I thought I would continue the trend and sum up the end of our summer and beginning of our fall in a photo collage.  We have been busy busy busy and Perron has been loving every minute of it.  We have gone to birthday parties, gone swimming on the patio, played with friends, goofed around, watched football with our buddies, ate spaghetti and celebrated Daddy's birthday.  As you can see, we have had A LOT of fun!
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

14 Months

Dearest Perron,

Where has the time gone.  Mommy has turned into quite a slacker on the blog, but I promise to get better.  I have been having a really hard time with burn-out at work and it is spilling over into all areas of my life.  I feel like by the time I get you down for bed, I have nothing left to give.  That has meant that the blog has had to suffer.  I know this is just a phase though and I will be back in the swing of things soon.  Okay, enough boring stuff about mommy, we know the reason people come here.  Daddy and I CAN NOT believe that you are already fourteen months.  I said that the other day and it sounded so old.  You are definitely not our tiny little baby anymore, but rather our big, strong, independent boy.  You have been so busy recently, so it will be hard to think of what all you have been doing.

You are on the go constantly!  You can stand for extended periods of time unassisted and you can easily sit down from a standing position.  You are on the verge of walking full time.  We went to your friend Ethan's house last night and you were a walking machine.  I think he inspired you since he is ten days younger than you, but walking all over the place.  You have not wanted to walk today, but at Austin's birthday party you walked all the way through Gymboree just holding one of my hands.  Everyone was very impressed.  I think that we will have a full fledge walker by the end of this month.  We are so proud of you!

You are getting so good with all of your fine motor skills.  You can pick things up out of a bucket and put them back into the bucket.  You are also starting to be able to stack things if they are big enough.  You have a little farm truck that has two pins (pens?), a horse and a dog.  You love to pick the dog and horse up and then put them back in their pens.  You still love your music table and the learning farm that Grammy and Grandpa got you for your birthday.  You have finally gotten very interested in books and will pick them up and bring them over to us to read to you.  Your favorites are Big Little, Shake it Up Baby, and Good Morning Good Night.  You are obsessed with your blue car that MamaCrig and Grandaddy got for you.  You crawl over to it and pull yourself up and then turn around and ask to be put in in.  We go on car rides at least once a day.

You still are not talking much.  Well, let me correct myself.  You talk all the time, but you don't really say any words.  Your four main sounds are gaga, dada, giga, baba.  Those four sounds can mean up to forty words.  I do think you know what gone gone means, because every time you finish your milk I say gone gone and you repeat back something that sounds like gone gone.  You also can say dada fairly reliably, but it is still hit or miss.  We know it will all come in time.

Meaghan has been working with you on your baby sign language very hard.  You now know what more means and use it all the time....especially when it comes to eating.  You LOVE Meaghan and we are so lucky to have her as a part of our family.  She does such a good job taking care of you and you love her so much.  You are still loving to eat and will literally eat whatever we put in front of you.  I have only found one things that you do not like...hummus.  You take after your daddy.

You have been such a joy to watch blossom these past few months, as you have been all your life.  You are such a sweet precious spirit.  Your daddy and I hope you never loose that.

We love you to the moon!

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perron's Birthday Extravaganza Part 3: Attack of the Cake

The final post of the birthday series is here.  The adventure with the cake was probably the highlight of the party.  I have never seen a seen a child attack a cake like he did.  To say he loved it would be the understatement of the century.  People were rolling on the floor laughing he was so funny.  In fact, I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves this time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perron's Birthday Extravaganza Part 2: The Birthday Boy this not the most precious birthday boy you have ever seen.  I know I am partial, but I have a feeling people will have a hard time arguing with me.  Perron had so much fun at his birthday and looked so cute in his little outfit that I had made. IzzyB Designs was such a pleasure to work with and was very patient with my numerous questions.  I wanted him to have something custom to match the party decor, but I also didn't want to spend a fortune because I knew he could only wear it once.  I think this was the perfect solution.
Perron snorting at his friend Shepp
We had carnival games for all the kids to play, but Perron was a little young to play with them.  Luckily he was easily entertained by a leaf.  He spent the majority of his birthday eating leaves and crawling around on the basketball court.  Basically a one year old's birthday dream.
Yum...more leaves.
So excited that it is his birthday!  He was so cute the whole afternoon and really enjoyed himself.  I think he liked all the attention...I wonder where he got that from?  Next up in the series is Perron meets his birthday cake.  I have never seen a child go after a cake like this so the pictures will be entertaining to say the least. Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Perron's Birthday Extravaganza Part One: The Decor

As y'all know, Perron celebrated his first birthday this past weekend.  I took so many pictures, that I am going to have to do multiple posts and break them up into sections.  I will start with the decor and then move on to the birthday boy.  I thought long and hard on what theme I wanted for this special event and finally decided on vintage carnival.  I spent hours trolling Etsy looking for the perfect invitations, decorations, outfits, you name it I looked at it.  I poured over blogs about children's parties.  I spent hours painstakingly crafting the decorations.  And I had the time of my life doing it.  I told Stephen that he was not allowed to say one thing other than, that sounds great dear, and I was to be given free reign over the budget, the decor, the food and everything else.  He sweetly obliged and never once asked how much something cost.  Such a good I have a feeling that he didn't want to know.  He kept saying that I was going to have solicit sponsors to fund the party.  He might have been partly right.  :)

But this was a celebration for all of us.  A celebration that we had all made it through this year with our sanity in tact.  Plus, your first born only turns one once...right!?!  I was a little nervous because sometimes I have ideas in my head about how things are supposed to turn out, and then when they don't materialize they way I want I get disappointed.  Luckily the party gods were smiling on me, and everything turned out exactly they way I imagined, if not better.

As I mentioned, the theme was vintage carnival and the color scheme was aqua blue and red. I had the pleasure of working with some awesome vendors from Etsy and I could not have pulled this off without their creativity.  He fabulous invitations and custom circles, as well as the inspiration for the party came from Paper and Pigtails, his adorable sign came from Embellishments By Rachel, all of the vintage party supplies came from Hey YoYo and his precious outfit (which you will see in a later post) came from Izzy B Designs.  Thank you to all of these ladies for helping me make Perron's birthday so special.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did the planning!

The centerpiece of the party.  I got my inspiration from Amy Atlas' dessert tables, although mine is no where near as fancy and well done as her's are.

The precious elephant PB&J sandwhiches for the kiddos.  What carnival is complete without an elephant?

Look at the adorable birthday circles.  I decorated all of my vases with lots of ribbon in my theme colors.  It is amazing what you can do with a little double-sided tape.
Peanuts!  Get Your Peanuts!
I love these vintage popcorn boxes from Hey YoYo.  I was able to use these in so many different ways.  I got this idea by combining two tablescape ideas we had at our last Smithfield shoot.  I was trying to go for the look of popcorn overflowing the bucket.  I think it turned out pretty good.

Fruit kabobs.  This reminds me that I have gone this far without saying thank you to my little sister.  She was such a huge help.  She spent many a night at the house helping me get things ready.  She then spent all day the day of his party helping me (and getting a million splinters from bamboo skewers) all on only 4 hours of sleep after a particularly wild and crazy night out.  What a good little sister and aunt!

The party favors.  They included side walk chalk, masks, and stickers.  So easy, but so cute.  Notice the precious thank you tags.

Yummy popcorn in precious bags that matched the color scheme exactly.
A shot with the cupcakes on their stand.  Love the popcorn boxes that flank the stand with the cute circles.
Yummy cupcakes for the kiddies.  I am going to let you in on a little secret....the cupcakes and Perron's cake was from Publix.  I was a little nervous, but it they did a great job and they were so delicious!

Can you believe my baby is one!?!?!  I can't.  I have told Stephen a million times that I could not believe we were about to be parents of a one year old.  Stay tuned for the next post in the series, which will be all about the birthday boy and star of the show.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

1 Year Old

Dearest Perron,

This photo perfectly describes how you embrace life.  Full of joy and enthusiam.  I hope you never loose that.  Oh what a year it has been.  I was telling your daddy tonight before bed time that it was hard to imagine that this time last year I had not even been able to hold you.  In fact, outside of that very brief moment in the operating room, I had never even seen you.  But I already knew.  I already knew how much I loved you and I already knew that at that moment, 7:42am on July 18, 2009, my life had changed forever.  You have been the light and joy in your daddy and my life since you came into this world.  It is hard to imagine ever loving anything or anyone as much as we love you.

You have been a ball of energy this past month.  You are a full on crawling machine.  We say you crawl with purpose; which is so funny because everyone says your mommy walks with purpose.  You are non-stop energy.  You love to bounce up and down on your bottom when you get excited and sometimes you bounce so hard you almost launch yourself over.  You love to play with all your toys, but your favorite thing to do is pull up.  You pull up on everything!  Most of the time we can find you standing at the baby gate like you are in baby jail.  You talk non-stop, but are not officially saying any words.  You just babble and squeal at the top of your lungs.

I weighed you tonight and you were 18 lbs and 12.5 ozs.  Such a big boy!  That brings your total weight gain this year to almost 15 pounds.  You are a GREAT eater.  You will eat absolutely anything we put in front of you.  You love fruit and are particularly fond of watermelon and mandrain oranges.  You eat turkey lunchmeat almost every day.  You like veggie burger, turkey burgers, and regualr hamburgers too.  You love Mexican food and could eat black beans and rice until you exploded.  This is a very important trait to have in the Crigler family.  You still drink four bottles a day, but I am sure we will be tranistioning to milk in the next month or so.  I am a little nervous based on your history of tummy problems.  Hopefully it will go smoothly.  We will be very happy when we don't have to buy formula and formula water.  Now if we could only get you potty trained and out of diapers, we would be millionaires....just kidding...kind of.  You still wear a broad range of clothes, but you are pretty much in anywhere from 6 to 12 month clothes.  You have been in this size range for quite a while, so we are getting a lot of good use out of all your outfits.

You love Meaghan, your new nanny, and are so happy to see her every morning.  You jump into her arms as soon as she gets to the house.  Y'all play all day long and she takes you to do lots of fun things.  You are taking another round of swimming lessons and you are the star of your class.  You also go to Mommy and Baby Yoga with Meaghan.  You have quite the full schedule because mommy takes you to Kindermusik as well and you LOVE it.  You love playing with all the toys and singing and dancing around.  The parachute is by far your favorite.

You have such a beautiful, sparkly, loving personality.  People are immediately attracted to you, and you can be quite the flirt.  Mommy and daddy are so proud of how far you have come this year.  We can not wait to see where the upcoming years take you.  We know that you will do big things and we hope you know that your mommy and daddy will always love you and be your biggest fans!


Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This Night a Year Ago

This night a year ago I was laying in a hospital bed, sick, scared and unsure of what the next few hours, days and weeks held for me and our son.  Our path over this past year has certainly not been the straightest and our road has not always been the smoothest, but it has taught us so much.  It has taught Stephen and I about the strength of our love and commitment to each other and about our love and dedication to our son. 

We could not have made it through this year without the support of our friends and family.  When they say it takes a village to raise a child, they weren't kidding.  Since I know our parents  check this blog, I wanted to take this time to thank them.  Thank them for teaching us to be the parents that we have become.  For carrying us through the lows and celebrating the highs with us.  There have been several times when I have said that I wouldn't have made it through this year without them.

I especially want to thank my parents, and in particular my mom.  She has done for Perron what she did for my siblings and I when we were growing up.  She put her entire life on hold this past year to help me raise my son.  She always has been the model of selflessness when it comes to her children and she has proven no different when  it comes to her grandson.  She has been at every doctor appointment, sat through therapy appointments, carried me when I didn't think I could go any further, comforted my tears of sadness and shared my tears of joy.  She has taught me everything I know about being a mother and Perron is very lucky that I learned from the best.

So tonight we celebrated Perron's first year of life with friends and family.  We laughed, played and ate cake.  And tonight as I rocked my baby to bed one last time before he officially turned one, I couldn't help but think of where this year has taken us.  I held a beautiful, healthy, precious baby boy who just one short year ago, was a tiny three pound baby in my tummy on this very same night.  I know that my nights of rocking him and him loving me like I am the only person in is world will not last forever.  In fact, they might not even last until this time next year, so I held him extra tight, rubbed his downy soft head, and smiled at how very far we have come.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Red, White and Beach

We got to spend the 4th of July weekend down at Orange Beach with all of Stephen's family and we had SO MUCH FUN!  We stayed at The Caribe and it was fabulous.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.  The condos are huge and there are five pools, three huge water slides, and a lazy river.  This was Perron's first trip to the beach and he loved it.  He went swimming twice every day and was a total water bug.
We never even went to the beach, in fact this is the closest to the ocean and the sand we ever got.  All of the public access points to the beach were closed and there were boats out skimming the water all day, everyday.  That being said, I never saw a drop of oil in the water on the bay side and the air did not smell at all.  I am sure if I had gone to a resort that did not have as nice of a pool I would have been a little disappointed.  Luckily, our family is much more of a pool family than a beach family, so it worked out perfect for us.
This is Perron's new favorite face to make.  He scrunches his nose up and blows air in and out like he is a bull.  So cute!
Standing up like a big boy.
Two of my favorite sister-in-laws.
Four out of the five Crigler boys relaxing on the balcony.
Perron's first trip on the lazy river.  He loved bobbing along and we made it through at least two full trips around before he tired of it. 
He loved his little float and he used it like it was a walker in the shallow water.  Two of the pools had zero entry so he was able to sit, crawl, and walk around in his float in the pool.
Perron and Katelin are best buds.  They had so much fun together and all of the cousins were so sweet to Perron and he ate up all the attention.
Perron and mommy hanging out in front of two of the big slides.  He wasn't quite ready to take those on this year.  I am sure it will not be long though.
Playing with Mama Crig before heading to the pool.
Hanging out with mommy, daddy and cousin Andrew
All the Crigler women.

We can not wait to do it again next year.  I told Stephen it was one of my favorite beach trips of all time!