Monday, October 31, 2016

Norah's 2-year-old apple birthday party decorations.

For Norah's first birthday party, we did a "you are my sunshine" theme. It was meaningful because my mom used to sing that to me when I was little, and it's the song we sing to Norah before bed each night. For her second birthday, I knew I wanted to do an apple theme even before she turned one (crazy, I know). I remember nursing her one day and reading somewhere in the Old Testament about "keep Me as the apple of your eye" and knew that an apple party would be not only cute, but special, as I read that verse and prayed for that for her life. 

So, her second birthday party came (way too fast), and the apple theme came to fruition! It was so fun to make decorations for it. I used to teach preschool before we had Norah, and now I stay home, so I miss getting to decorate and make cute kid things on the regular!

The big apple poster and little apples hung all over are from The Learning Post (in Des Moines), and the birthday banners I made myself by just buying different patterns of red and lime green scrapbook paper, cutting triangles, and printing my own letters. I bought red ribbon to hang them up, and reused the mini wooden clips from her first birthday banners last year.

My mom found this adorable apple pie making sign at TJ Maxx.

I've made it my goal each year to make a poster for all of our kids birthday parties of our favorite pictures of the year- partly because I love taking pictures and looking back at favorites, and then I'll already have boards made when they graduate high school (thinking way ahead)!

This is probably my favorite part- the banner and apples turned out so cute!

For food, we had caramel apple cupcakes, snicker apple salad, caramel apple marshmallows, and a caramel apple bar (with apple slices and small bowls of different toppings). We also had apple juice boxes for the kids, water, and apple cider. It was a hit and all pretty easy! You can't really see the frame from the window glare, but there is a cute "you are the apple of my eye" sign in it. My mom also found that cute red apple in the dollar section at target.

I borrowed a friend's plastic pool and made an apple pie sensory bin in it for the kids, and it ended up being such a great idea. They loved it and played with it the whole party. Norah and her friends were the perfect age for it! I just put in oats, cinnamon sticks, apples, pie tins, spoons, and a rolling pin and they had fun making their own "pie."

Not apple related, but we also borrowed Kley's aunts' bounce house, which was an obvious hit too. The kids loved it! (Norah was testing everything out before the guests arrived.)

I also had a table outside where kids could make their own apple tree craft, similar to the picture below.

It turned out to be a fabulous party, and we had the best weather! Yay! I enjoy party planning and decorating, so it was fun to be creative, and it wasn't too expensive either!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Norah's second birthday party!

Norah had a wonderful birthday weekend and we're thankful that all of our family (on both sides) was able to be here. Norah has the best grandparents and aunts/uncles around!

Opening a few presents.

Aunt Karlie.

Norah loved the apple pie making sensory play!

Showing it to grandpa.

My friend from church has an online kids clothing business (The Dotted Duck) and she made Norah the most adorable custom birthday shirt!

Best family shot we got. Happy birthday, sweet girl! These last two years have been the best!

Aunt Kayla.

Norah made many apple pies throughout the afternoon!

Norah loved the bounce house too!

Whole family shots!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Norah- Two year update.

Our baby is TWO years old! These have been the most fun two years. Parenting is demanding, but oh so rewarding, and there's something so intensely beautiful about being so needed. Every stage so far has been pretty full of joy! Norah, being your parents is our favorite gift and has been such a blessing. You are so beautiful and watching your personality grow is amazing. You are loving and tender, empathetic and caring, pleasant and loyal, happy and smart, and much more.

Norah is a great sleeper, and for that we are very grateful! She sleeps all night, about 10-8:45, and naps for about 2 hours in the afternoon. She doesn't like to eat breakfast, but eats a pretty good lunch and supper. She doesn't have snacks often, but always wants a bedtime snack. Some of your current favorite foods are noodles (especially macaroni and cheese), cheese (especially string cheese and shredded cheese), watermelon, pineapple, fruit snacks, goldfish, and chocolate. Norah enjoys taking her gummy vitamin and brushing her teeth. She has been doing pretty well on the potty. She consistently poops on the potty and tells me when she needs to go, and sometimes pees on the potty. We tried to wear underwear one morning and that didn't go well, but we try to sit on the potty and try a couple times a day. At her two year check up, Norah was 37” (99th %- always been a tall baby!), and weighed 28 lbs. (79%).

Norah's communication is growing all the time and many people comment that she speaks really well for her age. This month she went from saying 2-3 word sentences to saying 3-4. (She still uses two word sometimes, but have been hearing four more frequently.) She spells her name NORH and tries to write it, with excellent pencil grip! She says she draws circles and a couple times has said what her scribbles are. She can almost consistently count to 13 and sings most of the alphabet, along with many many other songs. Her current favorite song is definitely Old McDonald, and she loves to watch farm videos on our phones. She loves to identify animals and their sounds. She loves going to her Kindermusik class and talks about going to “class” often. She is getting a little more adventurous during it and will wander a little farther from us than before, though she still loves to be close, and still doesn't like nursery!

Norah's understanding is incredible too. She gets so much and we are starting to be able to reason with her, like explaining things during discipline or things that will happen later, etc. She remembers a lot and will bring up things from weeks, or even months, before. There were a couple times this month where she didn't listen, and we talked about it, and a few minutes after the situation was over she came back up and apologized and gave me a big hug.

Norah likes to play with hair, and she's been enjoying brushing my hair and trying to put a ponytail in. She loves to sing, read books, color, use stickers, build towers with legos, play with her baby doll, play with sensory bins, and help “clean.” She loves to wipe things, use the duster, and sweep. Norah is very kind to her friends. She loves to play with them and help them. We watch another little girl weekly, and she likes to give her more love than she wants to receive! She loves having her over and even gets mad when her mom comes to get her. We had a little girl with us just for one night and I told her that she might feel scared because she doesn't know us, and she rubbed her back and said hi to her so sweetly.

Happy birthday, sweet girl! You are so very loved. 

Here are some of her cute 2 year shots!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Norah's 2 year/family photos.

Kley's cousin, Ali, is very good at photography! Check out her facebook page here! She took some adorable pictures of Norah for her second birthday, and some family shots as well. Here are some of my favorites! Family pictures are always some of my most favorite posts!

(I'm including more of these next ones of Norah in her two year update post, but I couldn't resist just posting a couple.)