Christmas Tea Party

christmas tea party

Little girls love their tea parties, don’t they? Lyla definitely does and after having countless tea parties with her stuffed animals and Dad, I decided it was time to host Lyla’s first “real” tea party. 

We invited a few of her little girlfriends and their mamas over for a Christmas Tea Party at our home yesterday. We set our dining room table for the girls. Each place setting had a sugar cookie for decorating, a candy cane and a festive hair bow to take home. The girls also had a plate of PB&J tea sandwiches and a pot of tea Capri Sun.

christmas tea partychristmas tea partychristmas tea party

Lyla was so patient while we set everything up. She loves tea parties and she loves Christmas, so the table was very tempting but she left everything as it was until her friends arrived. I was impressed. 

christmas tea party

I was just as excited to have my friends over as Lyla was. I set out my tea set as well as a spread of tea sandwiches – ham, apple and brie and the classic cucumber cream cheese – as well as some cranberry orange scones. 

christmas tea party

Right on time, all of the little girls showed up in their Christmas dresses. They all looked so cute. A lot of the moms dressed up too which was fun. I think us stay at home moms appreciate an excuse to get dressed in something other than sweats once in a while ๐Ÿ˜‰

christmas tea party

^ aren’t they the sweetest? I love that the moms even dressed up the little sisters ๐Ÿ™‚

christmas tea partychristmas tea party

It is so sweet to watch Lyla grow and develop friendships. We really had a great time and are already looking forward to hosting another next Christmas and making this a tradition. 

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Simon

One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world. 

Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…

Simon Earl Byrd

…to this…

Simon-turns-one

Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix. 

From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development. 

Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings. 

simon-smash-cake

He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite. 

Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”

He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted. 

He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile. 

simon-smash-cake

Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair. 

He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story. 

Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind. 

simon-smash-cakesimon-smash-cake

He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes. 

He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go. 

Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such. 

simon-smash-cake

My sweet boy, 

I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!

 

Continue Reading

Life Update

Oh hey there. It’s been awhile. 

I bet you’ve been wondering what these Byrds have been up to, huh?

If you answered “yes”, then you are in for a treat. If you answered “no”, I’ll see you next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alex had a birthday and we celebrated with cookie cake, a “birhday” banner (it came like that) and a painted elephant. Thanks to some great friends, mom and dad got to sneak away for dinner which was a nice treat. 

img_6661

We celebrated our five year wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner at home and dessert picnic on the beach. Five years, 2 kids and a million life experiences later I am still so in love with my best friend. He’s a good’un.

img_7704

My birthday was last week. I played with the kids at the beach all morning and had a nice evening out with Alex. 

img_7879

Last, but certainly not least, we announced to the world (ok, our Facebook friends) that we are expecting Baby Byrd numero three next May. AKA #thirdbyrd.

2016-10-30-photo-00002631

This pregnancy has been kicking my butt – physically, mentally and emotionally – which is why things have been pretty silent around here. Slowly but surely my energy is starting to come back (yay) and I have been finding myself craving some sort of out outlet so I think I’m back (double yay)

For now at least ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Continue Reading

Don’t Be Afraid, Mama

A photo by Pineapples. unsplash.com/photos/Q7PclNhVRI0

Too often I hear other moms tell me that they are afraid to take their kids out on their own. Whether it be on a trip to the grocery store or a day at the beach they will wait until they can go with a friend/spouse/on their own. 

To an extent, I get it. I really do.

Toddlers are overwhelming. Wiggly babies who don’t want to sit in the cart while you shop are frustrating. Simple errands take double, maybe even triple the time that they used to.

It’s hard. 

But mama, don’t be afraid…

…of being outnumbered || Before having Simon I wondered how I would ever go out in public with two babies. Two of them > one of me. I’m not very good at math but I know I at least got that down. I quickly learned that it is very unrealistic for me to wait until Alex is home to do things like grocery shopping while still being able to prepare meals and enjoy time together as a family so, I just dove right in. Sometimes, we double stroller. Sometimes, Lyla walks and Simon is in the Ergo. Sometimes, I’ve got a crying baby pulling my hair on one hip and a limb-flailing toddler on the other…you know, whatever works. 

…of your kids crying || Kids cry. This isn’t news to anyone. They cry in their carseats. They cry in the stroller. They cry because their shoes aren’t sparkly enough. They cry because they hear other kids crying. You get the picture. As long as you’ve made sure they are fed, changed and not in any sort of pain just try to drown it out. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes you’ve just gotta let the choir sing! 

…of tantrums in the store || Gosh, these can be embarrassing. You will probably get some looks, maybe even a comment or two, but hey – tantrums happen! It’s part of the game. This is your chance to teach your kids what sort of behavior is acceptable in public and what is not. Are they going to listen the first time? Probably not (unless you are really effective, and in that case, sign me up for the first copy of your parenting book!). Will your child throw another tantrum the next time you don’t let them open three bags of Goldfish before you even leave the snack aisle? Probably. Just take a deep breath, stick to your guns and roll with it. 

…of being tired || It took me two and a half years but I have finally resigned to the the fact that I will never feel rested again. Between the kids and the house and the dog and the husband (kidding, babe) there are simply not enough hours in the day. It’s easy to brush off invites to fun outings or playdates when you are feeling “tired” but don’t let that be a reason for missing out on life anymore! Yes, you are tired. So is every other mama, so pour yourself a mug of coffee and get out there. At least you will be in good company ๐Ÿ˜‰

…of being unprepared || One of the hardest things for me about having two kids is how disorganized I feel ALL THE TIME. On a recent outing, Simon had a huge blowout. No big deal, right? Right. Until I realized that I didn’t have any diapers OR wipes in my backpack. I was carrying around this big backpack, that I swore I had packed full of essentials (and backups…and backups for the backups) that morning, for no reason because it was empty. So, I took Simon into the ladies room, wet some paper towels to wipe up the mess and then made a makeshift diaper with a bunch of wadded up toilet paper. Definitely not my proudest moment as a mother but it did get the job done and did not interrupt our family fun time. 

…to ask for help || I am not superwoman. You are not superwoman (I don’t think so, anyway). Sometimes you are going to need help. In those moments, you are going to be cursing under your breath wondering why you ever tried to get out in the first place. You are going to vow to never do it again. But, in these times don’t be afraid to ask for help. Wherever you are, chances are that a lot of the people around you are parents too. They get it. They want to help. Don’t be shy. 

Don’t let the fear hold you back.

Get out there. Enjoy life. Embrace your gifts.

Laugh off the crazy. 

This season of life is going fast. Too fast. Before you know it, we will be meandering through the aisles at Target alone and wishing we had some little crazy people in our carts (OK, maybe not – solo Target does sound pretty fab ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Make memories. Take photos.

Smile, laugh, and dance with your kids.

Thank your spouse for these beautiful gifts. For this precious time. 

Lean on your friends when you need some help. We all do. 

Don’t be afraid, mama. You’ve got this. 

 

Continue Reading

DIY Floral Step Stool

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PottyTrainTogether #CollectiveBias

DIY-FLORAL-STEP-STOOL

Here at the Byrd house it’s potty training time. We have great days and we have…well…not so great days. It’s definitely a learning process for all parties involved. Luckily, Lyla has been pretty enthusiastic by the whole thing, especially once she realized that “big” girls get to wear Pull-Upsยฎ Cool & Learnยฎ Training Pants with princesses on them. 

Like a lot of little girls, Lyla is enthralled by all things princess. If she had it her way, she would never take off her dresses or crown so, like any good mom would, I use it to my advantage when I need her to do something ๐Ÿ˜‰

Need to do her hair? I ask her to sit still while I make her hair just like [insert favorite princess of the week here].

Want her to eat a few more bites of dinner? Tell her that meatloaf is food fit for a princess. 

Girlfriend is motivated. 

So, with potty training, I’m using the same tactics. 

On a recent trip to Walmart, I picked up a package of Pull-Ups with Disney’s Princess Sophia on them. Lyla oohed and aahed  at them in the cart, in the car and when we got home. (I told you, she loves princesses). To build excitement, I didn’t let her open them on the first day, but kept talking them up – letting her know that we would open them when she was ready to use the big girl potty.

The Pull-Upsยฎ Cool & Learnยฎ Training Pants have a built-in cooling system that helps teach kids when they are wet. They also have easy-open sides for when you need to help with the changing. 

IMG_4156IMG_4155

Of course, a big part of potty training is learning what to do after you go. You know, the whole flushing and washing your hands thing. So to make that special for her too, I decided to make a floral step stool fit for a princess. 

Back at Walmart, I picked up a plastic step stool and some faux flowers. I love getting my flowers from there because they are so affordable. Less expensive = I can buy more and really make a statement. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Lyla was pretty excited to see this step stool come to life so she happily helped me remove all of the flowers from the stems and we collected them into one big pile. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Since hot glue and toddlers do not mix (safety first, y’all) Alex kept her entertained with some highly sophisticated hand-puppet action while I got to work on gluing the flowers to the stool. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

When I was done, my trusty assistant helped me clean up all of the extra flowers while we let the glue dry. Then, we were off to the bathroom to give it a try!

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Find out which type of potty training character your child is at this link. Lyla is definitely a squirrel so I think our approach of making the potty and hand-washing routine a princess game for her is going to work really well. 

Wish us luck!

Ready to start on your potty training adventure? Use this coupon at Walmart for $2 off any package of Pull-Ups (or GoodNights) at Walmart from 8/28- 10/8.

 

 

Continue Reading

Year of the Byrds 34/52

Soooo I haven’t posted a “Year of the Byrds” update since week 16. My goodness. 

(I have, however, been emailing myself photos for the past eighteen weeks. I’ll get around to posting them…eventually)

Life has been very, very good to us. This week was no exception. 

IMG_3265

Started off the week catching the sunrise with my favorite son ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_3307 IMG_3313

Hit up one of our favorite beaches on Saturday. 

IMG_3355 IMG_3362 IMG_3364 IMG_3377

Lots of fun with friends in our neighborhood.

IMG_3398 IMG_3403 IMG_3419

A coffee farm excursion.

IMG_3486 IMG_3556 IMG_3567

More playing.

IMG_3605

More beach.

IMG_3629 YOTB

And a special dinner at Monkeypod to welcome home these boys ๐Ÿ™‚

34/52

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6