September 15, 2011

All-American, 1-Year-Old, Girl

"And, now he's wrapped around her finger,
She's the center of his whole world.
And his heart belongs to that sweet little beautiful, wonderful, perfect All-American Girl."

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is where it all stemmed from. The above quote is the chorus from one of my all time favorite country music artists, Carrie Underwood. The song used to make me cry when I was pregnant, and I'll blame all of that on the overload of hormones. When Riley was about 2-months-old, I heard the song again, and immediately knew it HAD to be the theme for her First Birthday Party! Yes, you read that correctly, I started planning her First Birthday when she was only 2-months-old. For those who know me well, I know you're not shocked.

Most of the plans were only thoughts until about 2 months ago, when I actually, physically, started the planning. I knew it had to be at a park, because if you know us, you know we don't do anything small. I related back to Tyler's First Birthday, and I knew we had about 100 in attendance there, so I didn't imagine it would be any different. And, it wasn't. In fact, it was more...quite a few more. So, Snyder Park was perfect! The pavilions are big, the Oak Hammocks provide TONS of shade and it's only 3 blocks from our house. What more could we ask for on a steamy, feels-like 110 degrees and 120% humidity, August day??? Haha! I think the biggest difference from Tyler's party to Riley's, is that there are so many more kids now. When Tyler was 1, there were only a handful of other young kids around. Now, it seems as though we are right smack dab in the middle of the next generation baby boom, and there are kids in every direction you turn. Which brings me to my next topic....How in the world was I to keep the 30+/- young kids entertained, not to mention the handful of older ones???? Whelp, I am happy to report, I think I was successful. We had a pool with a slide (which also served as a cleaning station for the paint and cake), a toddler bounce house with a pool in it (so cool!), a balloon-twister (who was incredible, if I do say so myself), a paint station (that all of the kids LOVED), a sno cone machine (I think even the adults enjoyed this one), a toddler toy play area and the playground. Add that to yummy food, being outdoors and cake, and I'm not sure how it could have gotten any better. I think I can vouch for everyone when I say, not one kid made it home without passing out on the way. Heck, we even had a couple zonk out before the party was over. Now that, my friends, spells a good time.

As for the VIP whose life we were celebrating, I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself, as well. In pure Jodi fashion, I tried to make everything as special and unique as I could. I made things like her very own Birthday Girl chair, maxed out with Patriotic decor; her All American bib for when it was time for her cake that said "Time for Cake"; a Poster of her first year, month-by-month; our matching hair-bows; the #1 foam fingers, all decked out; her bloomers for her Thank You Cards; and the "sweetest" thing of all, her Smash Cake, even though the whipped icing and fondant didn't really agree with the South Florida heat. Our little birthday girl was dressed to impress and everywhere you looked, there was something that reminded you of our All American Girl.

I tried to spread the All-American spirit by making each of the little girls that attended, their very own handmade All American Hair-Bow for their goody bags. You all know how I love my hair-bows!!! There were also "goodies" for the adults! Mini chocolate bars with custom wrappers! Even the food had a patriotic touch to it, thanks to the good sports who put up with my demanding requests! One might say I'm a little obsessive, but I have so much fun party planning and it's a way for me to let my creative inner-child run wild. For me, the 40+ hours of hard work was WELL WORTH IT! The memories we made will never be replaced and the pictures are worth a thousand words.

So, that's it. No more infant. (sigh) Just one Sassy little 1-year-old girl, who rules this roost and she knows it. Now, if anyone could let me know where the last year went, I'd appreciate that info. It seems like only a few months ago that we were heading home from Plantation General Hospital with our little newbie, terrified to death of what life had in store for us with a newborn and a 23 month old. If we only knew then what we know now....Ha!

We've said it before, and I'm positive we'll say it at least a trillion more times...we're so blessed to have so many special people in our lives, both family and friends, to share all of these times with. We really hope you all enjoyed Riley's First Birthday as much as we enjoyed having you. It wouldn't have been so wonderful without each and every one of you! We appreciate all of the gifts (which were not necessary, by the way). To see all of the photos from the party (and then some), you can CLICK HERE. And So It Goes...

September 11, 2011

12 Month Milestones

Height: 29-3/4" (72nd percentile)
Weight: 20 pounds, 7 ounces(48th percentile)

Sleeping Patterns: We're still on the same pattern. At the sitters, she tends to only take 1 nap per day. On the weekends, I still manage to sneak in 2 naps. Usually the mid-morning nap is a short cat nap and the afternoon nap tends to stretch a couple of hours.

Places Traveled: We managed to sneak away to Lake Wales once during this month. Daddy had lots of yard work to do while we were there, so we set up the pool and had a water play day.

We did spend 3 days in Key West for Uncle PJ's birthday, which was a BLAST! We brought along our "traveling Nanny" so that Mommy & Daddy could go out at night and trust that the kids were home safe with Alexis. We stayed in a 2BR suite, which was part of an old historical house, right on Duval Street. During the day, we walked along Duval and mingled through the shops and restaurants and usually ended up in the pool. By night, Daddy and I, along with the rest of the gang, did the Duval Crawl and overly enjoyed ourselves.

Riley is the proud owner of two more pearly whites, for a grand total of 6 by 12 months. Both top lateral incisors came in within a week of each other.

Riley experienced her first Gourmet Food Truck Rally during this month. We joined a few friends on Riverwalk for some music, fun and most importantly, good food. I chose the Latin Burger truck. Riley shared Tyler's chicken tomatillo quesadilla and I didn't hear any complaints.

Riley, or should I say "Gabby", now says "Da-Dee" "Hi" "Yay" "Go-Go" "Baby" "No" and "Ty-Ty". I think I may have heard her say "Ma-mee" once or twice, but not often enough to really think she knows what she is saying.

Riley began standing with no assistance during this month. Previously, she would pull up and stand with no help, but now she is just standing up in the middle of the floor, with nothing guiding her. Occasionally, she will get excited and try to move, but still no steps at this point. The standing is becoming more and more controlled, so I don't think it will be long before we have ourselves a little walker.

We learned of Ms. Riley's shoe fetish over the last month. No matter what shape, size or color the shoe, she is trying to put it on. Her favorite place to terrorize lately is the bottom of my closet!

The day I have been waiting and waiting AND WAITING for.......our little sugar bee finally has enough hair for 2 piggies!!!! So now, the biggest dilemma I am faced with each day is piggies or headband! Ha! I love it!

Foods: Her diet consists of anything and everything when it comes to food. I haven't tried her with any of the high risk allergy food yet (i.e. eggs, fish or nuts) but I will soon. She is also completely off of formula and just on whole milk now. The next milestone I am going to try to conquer is the bottle. I think she may be a little tough with this one only because she really enjoys her night time bottle. It is so soothing and relaxing to her.

Apparel: 12 Month clothing and Size 2 shoes.

And, with that, we now have ourselves a thriving 1-year-old, with quite the personality and an attitude twice her size. I've said it once and I'm sure I'll say it a trillion times over.....she is going to be a hand full. She is in to everything, she already thinks she's the boss and even her 3-year-old brother catches grief from her. But, there's not one thing I would change, not for a second. OK, maybe some days I'd like to drop them off at Grammy's or Mimi's and head for a massage, but then I take a deep breathe and look at each one of them, and think about how blessed I am to have 2 beautiful, healthy miracles to share life with. That's right about the time that I call for David and go for a run. Haha! Being parents to 2 young ones is A LOT of work, but the rewards are endless and they make life so much more worth living.

Stay tuned for the next post about her FANTASTIC First Birthday Celebration, but until then, CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM 11-12 MONTHS...Happy, Healthy and Growing WAY TOO FAST! And so it goes...