Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bye Bye Binkie

It's been a long time coming, but we officially kicked the binkies to the curb this past weekend. Score for the Big Girl!!

We had been using Maribelle's second birthday as the start date for the launch of Operation No More Binkies, and we wasted no time in putting it into effect. In fact we started planting the idea of doing away with binkies into Maribelle's little noggin about a month or so ago. For me, the biggest hurdle was deciding just how we would get rid of her little naptime and nighttime friend. Some people suggested making gradual cuts into the binky over a period of time so that eventually there would be nothing left for Maribelle to suck on, but I knew that method wouldn't work for her, nor for me. It seems like a torturous way to draw out the inevitable act of actually taking away the binky, and I wanted the process to be as quick and painless as possible. Another suggestion I received was to take Maribelle to a store and have her pick out a new comfort item that would replace her binkie, such as a blanket, stuffed animal, etc. Same thing, that just doesn't fit her personality. She doesn't get very attached to material things and could care less about loveys, so that was also a no-go.

So what did we end up doing? Our daycare provider suggested the genius idea that we make a big deal out of passing down her binkies to her all-time favorite baby at daycare, Baby Sam. And I'm not kidding when I say he is Maribelle's favorite. We hear about Baby Sam no less than 10 times a day, and she completely dotes on him and gives him plenty of hugs and kisses. I knew right away that this method was a much better fit for Maribelle's personality and would totally reinforce the idea of binkies only being for babies, and not for big girls (which is what we had been telling her for the past month).

So we started prepping Maribelle for the big day about two weeks ago and kept reminding her that soon we were going to give all of her binkies to Baby Sam. Last Friday when I picked her up from daycare,  we made a big deal out of handing over all three of her binkies to Baby Sam (well, actually his mom) in a little plastic bag, and she had no qualms about seeing them go. But the true test came that night ... and the next day at naptime, both of which went off without any crying or protesting for a binky. Honestly, this girl rationalizes and totally gets it, which is why I knew this method would work. Every time she would enter her room for naptime or nighttime over the past weekend, she would say to herself "No binkies. Binkies are for Baby Sam" and proceed to fall asleep on her own.

Our little girl is really growing up!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday weekend

Birthday weekend 2.0 is officially in the books, my friends! Maribelle had a colorful and fun birthday, celebrating with both friends and family alike.

Her actual birthday was spent with a few of her best play friends, doing what kids do best --- snacking and playing. I made sure the house looked "festive" for when Maribelle came downstairs on her birthday, and we provided homemade playdough and various toys and balloons to keep her birthday guests entertained. And the homemade playdough? So easy! I highly recommend checking out a recipe and giving it a try. Maribelle loved kneading the dough while we were making it and she loved mixing in tons and tons of glitter. Providing the playdough not only gave the kids something to play with, but it served as a party favor, too!

So here's the crew: Maribelle, Ruby and Brandon. Brandon's brother, Travis, was also in attendance. We loaded them up with grapes so we could snap the group shot below, but trust me, once the sugar from the cupcakes hit their veins, they turned into little tornados and put the punching balloons that we provided to good use. 

A few days later, we continued the festivities with a birthday brunch, made even more special because Grandma and Grandpa Moorhead were in town to help celebrate. Jeremy made two delicious frittatas and an arugula and goat cheese salad, and I made a banana layer cake with cream cheese frosting for the birthday girl. I also got to test out one of my Christmas gifts and made a punch that I dubbed "Razzle Dazzle Birthday Punch" in our new drink dispenser (which is sure to make a regular appearance at our future birthday parties). Maribelle got some very cool and generous gifts, from people near and far, and it's weekends like these that remind us just how lucky we are for all the friends and family in our lives. Thank you to everyone for making Maribelle's day so special!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Birthday Letter to Maribelle

My little bug,

It’s the eve of your second birthday, and I’ve been spending the past few hours baking cupcakes and preparing the house for a small birthday get-together tomorrow with your friends. The house is all set to celebrate the day you were born, and each member of our little family has been anticipating this day for quite some time, but all for very different reasons. You, on one hand, are excited about the prospect of eating blue cupcakes (as you requested) and singing “Happy Birthday” --- signs that you are very much embracing this whole “childhood” thing and are coming to appreciate the finer things in life. On the other hand, your Daddy and I see your birthday as a time to reflect on just how enriched our life has become now that we get to share our days with you. You won’t understand it until you one day become a parent yourself, but life’s little moments are so much more alive, important and magnified once you have children to share them with. You have breathed purpose into everything that your Daddy and I do, and all of our moments completely and utterly revolve around you. We do everything we can to keep you happy, safe and thriving, and we couldn’t feel any more blessed to bear this amazing responsibility. Your birthday is definitely cause to celebrate, my dear, because you have deepened our lives so much with your sweet, funny and bold personality. 

And the journey has only just begun.

Happy 2nd birthday, my sweet!
Lots of love,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

TWO soon!!

We finally got some updated professional photos taken of Maribelle in anticipation of her SECOND birthday next week (is Picture People professional? I have my doubts, but whatevs.)

I'm completely in denial that our little bean is turning 2 in under a week.

Amazing! Mind blowing, I tell ya.

We're pretty happy with the pictures (the ones of the black and white background below are my fave!), although I still have dreams of one day hiring a super modern, creative, magazine-like photographer to shoot some stuff of Maribelle and our little family. I've been pining for the opportunity (and moula) to do so for, ohhhhh, two years now. However, their prices? Much different from the chump change that Picture People charges. So until we win the lotto (or uncover some "rusty gold" that's worth lots of money, like they do on my new favorite show "American Pickers"), we'll be sticking with Picture People (and now we're club members. Hooray! .... I think).

This year's birthday festivities won't be a repeat of last year's blowout of a party. On her actual birthday on Thursday, we're having playgroup at our house for her two little friends to enjoy cupcakes and playdough, and weekend celebrations will include a low-key birthday dinner with family. We're aiming for a classic birthday party this year -- no themes, just balloons, cake, ice cream and fun!