Monday, February 27, 2012

Two? Could it Be?!

Dear Emma Kate,
My oh ARE two! How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday that you came into my life and changed it forever. I had always, always dreamed of having a daughter and dear, are everything, and more, that I had always dreamed of. You light up my world in a way that no one else does.

 I love this age because you have developed your own personality...and independence. Yes, you ARE independent! As my mom would say, "What goes around, comes around!" Well it's definitely comin' around!

Here's what you are up to these days...
You talk so much! I LOVE it! And there's barely ever any guess work anymore as to what you are trying to say. You recently changed your name for Dominic from "Doddy" to "Gick." You call Connor "Coco." (That's my fave!) You call Aunt Shawna, "ShaSha" and Harley, "YaYa." Another favorite of mine is your name for roll your tongue in a way that sounds somewhat like, "Lou-a-Lou-a-Lou-a-Lou-a." And your name for yourself..."Kates!"
You love to sing and dance. I NEED to get some video of you rockin out in the car. You do have some rhythm! Your favorite song is "Cookie Bakers." But you will only dance to songs that have a really fast tempo...good dance songs.
You are really "into" Dora (aka "DoDo.) You love to watch her show and this phase has lasted quite awhile. In the mornings you climb up on the couch with your blankie and "doggie" asking for "DoDo" and "Milk!" Daddy thinks this is really funny because when he was a boy he would climb up on the couch and yell, "Chock!" (For chocolate milk)  in the same way that you ask for your milk.

You love everything that has to do with babies and acting like a mommy. I think this picture says it all in the "mommy" department...

Another love of yours is the bath...again...the apple does not fall far from the tree! When we mention "bath" we have to spell it out like we have to spell out "w-a-l-k" when Libby is around. As soon as you hear "bath" you go running upstairs yelling, "Baff, Baff." Everytime we change your clothes you also ask for a "Baff."

You are such a happy and playful girl. But boy do you know what you want! And you're not afraid to let EVERYONE know it!

As your second year comes to a close and we embark on your third, I think about what a responsibility it is to be a mother to a daughter, and how different my roll is with you than that with your brothers. I have the responsibility of showing you how to be a good mother, a good be successful in anything you set your mind accept yourself for who you are and how God made pick yourself up when you fall...that it's ok to ask for help...and be thankful, so thankful for the many things and people that the Lord blesses you with...the list goes on and on.
 I thank the Lord everyday for bringing you into my life and I pray that I am always just as much of a blessing to you as you have been to me.
Life gets so busy and time goes so quickly, that it brings tears to my eyes to think of a day when you are too big to come jump in my lap and snuggle.

 But until that time, I will continue to study this little face and try to memorize each and every detail. I will continue to pray over you and your future, in hopes that no matter what you do, you know that you are loved by God. (I will continue to pray that eventually some nice thick hair will come in on that precious little head of yours!)

I love you my sweet Emma Kate, Emma, Emmers, Emmy! No matter where life takes you, I will always be your biggest fan.

Happy 2nd Birthday Honey!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Last weekend we successfully threw Dominic a Surprise 16th Birthday Party!!!
Let me tell you, this was no easy feat.
That boy can make things so complicated and I thought there was a really good chance that he knew about it.
But NOPE! Totally surprised!

I cannot tell you how many lies I had to tell him in order to pull it off!
Scott and Shawna were awesome and had Dominic over to their house for the day.
There were many phone calls made to clarify what was true and what was not.

Some party details...
I had a few of his closest friends come over early to help me decorate.
We hung 72 balloons from the ceiling, creating (almost) a blanket of Dom's favorite color overhead.

The little ones LOVED the balloons.

I had also purchased 20 of Dominic's favorite candy bar, Twix, with the intention of hanging those from the ceiling as well. Lets just say that tape is not sufficient for that job:)

I created a clothesline of pictures from every one of his birthdays thus far, so guests could see how he has changed over the years.
(This was my favorite decoration!)

And of course I had to include his 16th year!
(From dinner at The Melting Pot on his actual birthday.)

Jeff's mom made the cupcakes.
(I had purchased a "1" and "6" to put on top of one of them, but couldn't for the life of me, find it at the last minute.)

Corben was a huge fan of the cupcakes!

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

I set up a "photo booth" in the garage with lots of props to play with.
(I found a lot of great Mardi Gras stuff at the Dollar Tree and came across a couple really cute wooden frames at Michael's and spray painted them.)

Connor and Emma Kate having fun before the party...

Some guests...

Even Harley got in on the action.

We also played a game where everyone got the name of either a Disney character or a current Pop Star put on their backs. Each person had to figure out who he was by asking "yes" or "no" questions.

Emma Kate was "Dora." (She didn't really play but couldn't of course be left out!)

Dom was "Will I Am," Chris was "Lady Gaga"...
You get the picture.

Some more guests...

My parents had told Dominic that they weren't going to make it home from a month-long-trip in time for his birthday. Little did he know they had arrived home the day before the party.
They were waiting in the kitchen for Dominic to come through after the initial surprise.
Dom started crying when he saw them there.
LOVE tears!

Remember when you were a teenager and loved to think of cool things to give as gifts?
Here is a basket that "The Girls" put together for him...
Filled with all his favorites.
Complete with Salami, Root Bear, and 16 dollar bills.
So Sweet.

And here's a bag one of the kids made...


There you have it!
The 16th Birthday Event is now over.
I have been so exhausted this week trying to recover.
But it was worth all the work.
I think I've mentioned that he's a pretty amazing guy.

Happy 16th Birthday Dom!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's a glimpse into what Valentine's Day looked like at the Schwab House this year....

Several weeks ago I found these blocks in the Dollar Spot at Target.

All last season I coveted these next blocks from Pottery Barn Kids. I resisted temptation until...
Easter time I found them on clearance!!!
That's when I broke down.
I was super excited to pull them out this year!

In addition, last Christmas I was given these candle holders, which are great for Christmas time...
but I prefer them for February.
I have searched high and low for the right size candles. For over a year.
(They require a unique size and I have had so much trouble finding the right size.)
Until I was at Michael's the other day and thought just for kicks I'd check out their candle section.
Woohoo! Score!

We don't make too big a deal around here for Valentine's Day but we do give some small gifts and often make a yummy dessert for the grandparents.

This year I worked on a little project for Jeff that I saw on Pinterest...
(All for the price of a new deck of cards!)

While at Trader Joe's this morning Emma Kate and I came across some long stem strawberries. That is when I got the idea to make chocolate covered strawberries for grandparents this year. Connor and I worked on them during Emma's naptime.
Later, we made a few deliveries of the long stems, while making some simpler ones to keep for ourselves.

I also tried the chocolate covered peanut butter banana bites that have been all over Pinterest recently...Fail:(
(I may try them again with some modifications.)

Connor had a party at school today and was really excited to show me all of his Valentine's.

Add a short trip to Target, morning snack with Emma at Starbucks, baseball practice for Connor, track for Dom, and a chicken dinner...
there you have it...
Valentine's Day at the Schwab Zoo.