O-FISH-ally Two!

We had Kinsie’s birthday party at her favorite place…the lake! Based on the fact that we were having her party there, we decided to go with a “fishing” theme. She was all about it from the moment we told her. She talked about her fishy party for weeks leading up to the party. We knew we were going to have one happy little girl when her party came! I honestly wish it was my full-time job to plan birthday parties for toddlers. It is too much fun. Thanks especially to Pinterest and Etsy, I found lots of cute ideas to make the party unique and fun.

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Thanks to the help of my mother-in-law Bev, my mom, Ryan’s aunts – Rita and Renata, and my aunt Mary Lou…there was plenty of food to go around. And of course we had to add some “fishy” fun with the food as well! The main course included hot dogs, hamburgers, and Bev’s famous chilli. Dessert included cake (Brenda’s Cakes), dirt and worms (Aunt Mary Lou), fish cookies (Renata), and fishy chow (rather than “puppy chow” – made by my mama). The food certainly did not disappoint!

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Ryan and I both worked hard to have plenty of fun activities for the kids. There was a coloring and craft station, fish cornhole, a magnetic fishing game, and of course, boat rides!

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I was really curious to know how opening gifts would be with Kinsie this year. I had a feeling that she would want to open and play with each gift as she opened it, and would be overwhelmed with all her new toys. Well, I was kind of right. She did want to open and play with each gift as she opened them, but after she opened about the 5th gift, she was done. She obsessed about the toys she had already opened, and didn’t want to open anymore! She just sat and played with those toys while I opened the rest of her gifts. Once we got home and got all her new toys out though, she was a happy camper and played with everything!

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Kinsie has been really into the “Happy Birthday” song lately, so when everyone sang to her, she was on Cloud 9. She certainly enjoyed being in the spotlight and eating cake and ice cream!

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The only down side to her party, was that her cousin (and best friend), Briggs had to leave a bit early. He woke up that morning with hives, and a swollen face. He still tried to have fun and enjoy the party, but you could tell the poor guy just didn’t feel well. He started getting more swollen as the evening went on, so they left early to take him to the hospital. He got worse before he got better, but after a couple days, he was pretty much back to himself.

Other that the issue with Briggs, the party was a huge success!! Kinsie had a blast, and of course, if Kinsie was happy, mommy and daddy were happy too. All of the guests seemed to have a good time as well, and we were lucky to have a beautiful day on the lake!

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Kinsie Kay is TWO!

Is this real life? How can my baby be two already? It honestly does not even seem real! These have been the best two years of my life. She certainly exhausts me and tests me to my breaking point, but I have more love for that girl than I ever thought was possible. She has brought so much joy into my life, and has helped me find joy in the little things in life. I feel so lucky that God chose me to be her mom!

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Kinsie’s 2 Year Updates:

  • Her vocabulary is incredible. Not only does she pick up on new words very quickly when we teach her, but she is a sponge that absorbs so much even when we aren’t trying to teach her.
  • She knows the entire ABC song, and starting to work with her on identifying individual letters.
  • She can count up to 15.
  • She pretty much knows her colors. Sometimes she gets lazy and just says that everything is blue, but when she’s ready to focus, she’s got her colors down.
  • She is still in the potty training process. She decided to take a break for a few months (refused to sit on the potty), and now she’s back at it.
  • She has a sporty, adventurous side, but also a girly-girl side. She loves playing soccer or any other sport, loves being outside and playing with bugs, and isn’t afraid of exploring and getting dirty. However, she also loves playing dress-up, putting on fake make-up, taking care of baby dolls, and carrying around a purse.
  • She got her first haircut a couple weeks before her birthday. She was scared at first, but perked up when we gave her a sucker.
  • She is obsessed with stuffed animals. She sleeps with about 15 in her bed, and she will notice if I try to sneak some out when she’s not looking.
  • We say a prayer with her every night before bed. Her favorite things to pray for include her grandmas/grandpas, the lake, Mickey Mouse, and Briggs’ soccer games.
  • Her favorite songs are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wheels on the Bus, ABCs, and almost anything she hears on Barney.
  • Favorite characters: Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Shrek, and Barney
  • Favorite food: Pickles, macaroni and cheese
  • Favorite movies: Jungle Book, Frozen, Aladdin
  • Favorite books:  Anything by Sandra Boynton, and “I know a Rhino” by Charles Fuge
  • Favorite animals: Monkeys, Elephants, Tigers
  • What she enjoys: swinging, swimming, bath time, cousin fun, picking out movies (and watching about 2 minutes of it before picking another), coloring, playing soccer, gymnastics, and seeing any/all kinds of animals.

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Kinsie had a very busy birthday weekend. On Sunday, we had a fishing-themed birthday party for her at the lake (blog post on that later). Her actual birthday (today) happened to fall on a Monday, and I couldn’t bare the thought of not spending the day with her on her birthday…so I took the day off. My original plan was to take her to the zoo, her happy place. However, from the second she woke up, she was asking to play with all her new toys she got from her birthday party. She didn’t want to leave the house all day! I was able to pull her away from her new toys for 10 minutes to run to Dunkin’ Donuts to get her a birthday donut…which she was pumped about! We pretty much spent the rest of the day playing with all her new stuff. It was a beautiful day, so we went outside for a little while in the afternoon too. Ryan came home from Muncie to spend the evening with us. We asked Kinsie where she wanted to go to eat dinner for her birthday, and she said she just wanted to stay home and play, so we got Red Robin carry-out. We used some of the leftover “dirt and worms,” (Oreo ice cream with gummy worms) from her party to use as her birthday cake. She loves the happy birthday song right now, so we sang to her a few times and blew out her candle. It was a nice, quiet (or as quiet as it can be with a 2 year old) evening just the three of us for her birthday. It was perfect!

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I am obsessed with this girl’s spunky little personality. She makes life so much fun.

Happy 2nd birthday my sweet Kinsie Kay!

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A Boot-Scootin’ Labor Day

Over Labor Day weekend, we traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate my dad and sister’s birthdays as a family. Kinsie is in that phase of life where you can’t really tell her things until right before we do them because she will get really excited and then get mad when we don’t do them right away. With this in mind, I hadn’t told Kinsie about the upcoming trip yet, but my dad spilled the beans and got her all pumped! She asked about the trip every day, multiple times a day, the week leading up. She would tell her toys and other random objects (like her toothbrush), “Bye! See you later! I’m going on a trip!” So once the moment finally came, she was stoked!

After I got off work and Ryan got home from Muncie (Yes, he is back in Muncie this month), we hit the road. I had plenty of movies, games, and toys to keep my busy toddler occupied in the car. She was an absolute champ in the car! Not once did she get bored or antsy. In fact, when we stopped somewhere to get food, she cried because she wanted to continue the road trip! She enjoyed listening to Barney music, watching episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and drawing on an Aquadoodle. As it started getting late, we stopped to put on her PJ’s and get her some milk, then “tucked her in” the car seat for bed. We hoped she’d sleep for the last couple hours since we wouldn’t get there until 10 or 11. Well, I guess she was just too excited to sleep. She never fell asleep, despite the fact that we arrived around 11pm! She wasn’t grumpy or anything, she just hung out and didn’t sleep. But of course she passed out as soon as we got there and put her in her bed!

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The next day, regardless of her getting to bed so late, she was up at the crack of dawn ready to start the day. She hadn’t seen her cousins yet, so she was itching to get out of the hotel room and see them. We met my parents and the kids at the Nashville Zoo, per Kinsie’s request. We had a blast even in the sweltering heat! As soon as we were leaving the zoo, Kinsie kept telling us how tired she was, and she wanted to lay down. She didn’t even want to eat lunch first, and we planned on heading straight to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where we thought would be a good place for her to take a nap in her stroller. She fell asleep almost instantly in the car on the way there, and then slept in her stroller for maybe 30 minutes before she woke up, as grumpy as could be. She was exhausted and hungry, but wouldn’t eat or sleep…every parent’s dream! She eventually settled down, and we headed back to the hotel to just relax for a while. We ordered carry out, and then ventured back out for ice cream. Kinsie (and Ryan and I) are always up for finding fun ice cream shops. We found a little place that had very unique flavors. We tried peanut butter ice cream, mango ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, and a few others. Kinsie’s favorite part, however, was the waffle cone! After a long day, we were all pretty spent. Kinsie crashed hard that night!

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The next day, we wanted to go to a very popular Pancake restaurant for breakfast, but as we pulled up, the line was wrapped around the entire building…so we went with Plan B…Dunkin Donuts! At least just to hold us over for a while. Then we walked around on the pedestrian bridge. We ended up just getting carry out from the pancake place for a late lunch. After naps, we took the kids swimming in the hotel’s indoor pool. Kinsie was SO happy getting to swim with her cousins! For dinner that night, we went to a nice sushi restaurant. They didn’t have high chairs, which I immediately knew was going to be a problem…mainly because our child is a nut and takes every chance she gets to waller anywhere and everywhere! She got a little ornery through the dinner, but we made it through by taking turns wrestling with her.

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We left Nashville on Monday morning after breakfast. Again, Kinsie was a winner in the car. She even napped for the last two hours…which I was very grateful for because I was exhausted too! With our busy schedules and limited budget, we don’t get to travel much these days, so it is always a blessing when we do. Since we are not in the city much, Kinsie saw crosswalk signs for the first time. Most people don’t think much of these…in fact, a lot of people don’t even notice them or how common they are in the city. Well, our random child became OBSESSED. Every time she would see one, she would point it out and say “My hand!” or “My person!” depending on which sign was lit up. She made it her mission throughout the entire weekend to scout them out around the city, and she would become giddy every time she would see one! My daughter teaches me something every day…but here she really taught me to enjoy the little things in life!

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A few hours after we got home, we ventured back out to take Kinsie to Frozen on Ice. This was kind of an early birthday gift, because she LOVES Olaf, and talks about Ana and Elsa on a regular basis as well. She was super excited to watch the “Oflaf show,” as she called it. Grandma Bev and Papa Tim gave her some money before the show to buy a souvenir, so between her toys that she picked out, the popcorn, and the great seats, she was in heaven! Mickey and Minnie opened the show, which was a fun surprise…but Kinsie cried when they left the stage. We had to reassure her that the real show hadn’t even started yet! She loved the show and danced around and waved to the characters. She even got to see her cousins before the show, so they were all showing off the different toys they got. On the way home, she was a little chatter box, retelling everything she remembered about the show. She even wanted to take her souvenirs to bed with her, but we compromised and put them on the table across from her bed so she could see them as soon as she woke up.

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Even though I know she probably won’t remember things like this, just seeing the pure joy on her face while it is happening makes it all worth it. A Happy Kinsie = a happy mommy. It was so nice to spend a whole weekend with Ryan and Kinsie without the distractions of jobs, school, and household chores. Quality time is my love language, so after a great weekend with them and the rest of my family, my love tank is full!

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