Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy birthday to you, Daddy...

Owen loves to sing the Happy Birthday song. He really got into it a few weeks ago for his cousin Brody's first birthday. Ever since then, whenever he sings Happy Birthday, it's always to Brody. Until yesterday, when I had to inform him that it was no longer Brody's birthday; in fact, it was Daddy's birthday! He was so excited to get to sing to his Daddy, we sang it all day long.

Here he is "helping" me mix up the birthday cake.

And, of course, licking the spatula. Notice the batter dribbling down the front of his Buzz Lightyear PJs.

He even picked out little Cars candies to decorate with, though he was more interested in eating those than placing them on the cake. And that smudge on the "D" is, of course, from him poking his finger in it when I wasn't looking.

And no, I didn't go all fancy on Ryan's cake this year. Just a plain 'ol yellow box cake with canned frosting. But, I did make him his favorite meal for dinner.

Tater-tot casserole. Recipe found here. It was ok. Not sure that the addition of red pepper flakes was quite as worth it as the author of this recipe suggested, but it wasn't bad.

Happy birthday, Ryan/Daddy! We love you!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy 1-month birthday, Easton!

Another spectacular thing that happened during my blogging hiatus — my older brother and his wife welcomed the newest member of the Betts family, Easton Philip. I can't wait to meet him in person (they live in Houston), but will probably have to wait until they visit at Christmas. But he's an adorable little bug and I just love him so much!

He's already a month old today, but here's the homemade portion of the baby gift I finally sent them earlier this week. (See, blogging isn't the only thing that's fallen off my radar lately.)

Got this idea off Pinterest (here), but decided to design and iron-on my own decals. I ran into a few snafus that I was planning to elaborate on here, but think I will just let you all believe that they turned out perfect and that this project was as super simple as it appears. (Sadly, it was not.)

Anyway, I hope these 12 onesies will inspire the new parents to take monthly photos of little E (beginning today!) during his first year. I found those monthly photos of Owen to be such a fun way to track how much he had changed during that time and love to look back on them.

And these birth stats (idea also found on Pinterest, here) were fun to replicate, too. I found this super cute frame at Target (even picked up a couple more for O's room since the color will look perfect in there) and used some scrapbook paper I had on hand as a matte. I am pleased with how it turned out and hope the new parents will love it, too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Photo dump

Oh my! Did I really go the entire month of September (and the beginning of October) without a single blog post? Um, whoops! Not sure what to say to explain myself...just haven't been feeling the urge to blab on about life, I guess.

A friend suggested that the best way to get back into the swing of it (rather than trying to recall each and every blog-worthy thing that's happened in the past 40 days) was just to go through the pictures on my camera. So, here we go. Here are a few things that we've been up to lately (in no particular order).

Cheering on the Hawkeyes during the big Iowa v. Iowa State game. Too bad Mommy's Cyclones beat those Hawks! Heh, heh!

Owen now sleeps in a "big boy" bed. Really, it's a toddler-sized bed, but he has the freedom to get out of it as he pleases. I really expected this transition to be a huge nightmare since he is often so restless when he first lies down for naps and bedtime. But he took to it right away and — although very recently we've had some issues with him not wanting to nap at all — the past month or so has gone remarkably smoothly.

Here he is the morning after his first night in bed. I snapped three of these photos (with flash) and he still didn't wake up!

And here he is helping Daddy take down his crib. (We left it up for the first week or so just to be sure there wouldn't be any set-backs.)

We planted a tree! We live in a neighborhood full of beautiful, mature trees, however the original owners of our property were apparently not big fans of them because there was only one tree in our yard and it is about as far away from the house as it can be. It actually looks like it belongs to the neighbors. So, we've been hoping to get a few leafy beauts planted and finally, that day arrived. Well, for one anyway. (There's more to come...)

Here's Owen helping Daddy dig the hole...

...and discovering worms! Shortly after this picture was taken, he tried to taste the worm with his tongue. Ack! Gross! I flipped out. But then laughed heartily at my tough little boy who loves to dig, play in dirt piles, and touch worms. I've been dreaming of this day, actually.

This one, taken today, is him standing in front of the new tree — an Autumn Blaze Maple. It will be fun to take a photo of him next to the tree every year to measure how both of them grow. (That's the neighbor's house in the background; maybe I should take this facing the other direction so you see our house instead.) You can see how much the weather has changed in the past week. Pants and sweatshirts in the photos above. Shorts and t-shirts today. Gotta love Indian Summer!

Our day at the zoo with some friends. Funny how playing in the fallen leaves was even more fun than all the animals!

My sister, Rachel, and I traveled to St. Louis for my youngest cousin's wedding. Here's a very blurry cell phone picture from the reception.

And the following day we visited the St. Louis Arch, just for kicks.

Owen enjoyed his very first lollipop. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Petersen Photography.)

And, although he kind of messes up at the end in this video, O knows — and can perform — all the words to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. He does it often. Love!!!