Friday, June 24, 2011

Words of Wisdom...sort of:)

Totally borrowing this post idea from one of my fave mama and lifestyle bloggers, SBS.  Click on that link and take a look see.  Reading her posts is like laying up on your mama's sofa...it feels like home:)

Speaking of home.  This little man has returned from a trip.  A big ole' trip to the Big Apple!  Muver escaped to NYC and took Rutledge:) 

This is a pic of Rutledge giving us his best T-Rex face.....
Can you tell they spent lots of time at the Museum of Natural History?
He was really workin' on squinting that eye....
Nice T-Rex face Bubba:)

So, words of wisdom.  We hear them all the time...maybe not quite as much as when we are in our formative years.  I think I'm still in my formative years.  I have LOTS to learn.  So, here are my words of wisdom...not listed in order of importance;) ha!

1.  If you are ever thirsty, just swallow.  Well, Mama always said, "swalla".  Julia, I know you are dying...right now:)

2.  Make your grocery list according to the layout of the grocery store....it saves time and keeps you from making unnecessary purchases.  That's from Mama too.

3.  Don't skimp on your shoes....your feet will thank you when you are 50.  Mama, again.

4.  Measure twice, cut once....Matt Rogers:)

5.  Don't look em' in the eye....from Frank Rutledge Jr. (Matt's grandfather) to be said when you are driving in Auburn game day traffic and moving into another lane.

6.  Learn how to say no.  Its hard sometimes, but, we all have to learn that while its possible to do it all, its not possible to be great at it all:)

7.  Don't give toys to kids....because quite frankly, they all have entirely too many (unless of course the kids are less fortunate than most of ours)

8.  Read to your babies and instill a love of a good story.  That love will never go away:)  The world would be a much better place if all children loved to read.

9.  When serving a meal to guests, keep it simple.  No need for multiple sides, a protein, something green and a simple starch and you are good to go!

10.  Don't back down.  Sometimes, things have to be shaken up a bit if you want to be heard.

11.  Sometimes, what you put value in, isn't what someone else puts value in...and that's ok, you don't have to understand, you just have to respect it.

12.  Drive your car....forever.

13.  Make a budget and stick to it.

14.  Don't borrow money to pay for your toys....Matt Rogers

What are your words of wisdom?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baptism comparison pics

So, I don't pay for sitting fees with a profesh photographer....I love the pics, but, no likey the price.  Personally, I'm a believer in candids.  We have a great camera and take tons of candids and I would rather catch our family "in the moment" than worry about what outfit everyone needs to wear for our sitting with the photographer.  Just my preference, I do love other peeps professional pics and do sometimes envy the gorgeous results:) 

My one exception to this rule is my boys Baptism gown.  Sweetie supplies "The Gown" for all the grandbabes and she wants a "portrait" style photo to display.  So, what's a gal to do when her MIL wants this one little thing?  You go to the cheapest place and get the pic made;)

Portrait Innovations, here we come.  For a mere $100, I've made my MIL one happy lady.

Here are pics of both the boys at the same age, 5 months in there Portrait Innovations "photo shoots"....yes, they are cheesy as all get out.

Rutledge:)            

Gaines:)
                                                        
I just can't stop smiling at these two faces, they are precious!

I have to leave you with a pic that's my least favorite and my absolute favorite at the same time.  I don't like the horrid gray drape and I don't like him being on his tummy...I think those things make it even more cheesy.  I LOVE the expression on his face.  Our good friend Amy just busts out laughing whenever she looks at this pic...it was the "free" gift from Portrait Innovations....an 8 x 10.....we don't do anything larger than a 5 x 7 in this household.  So, to cheese it up even more, I presented Amy with this special portrait of Gaines....
It just cracks me up!  The girl at Portrait Innovations called this his "personality pose".  I hate that we even had "poses"! 

The final straw was at the end of the shoot when she brought out a miniature "Victorian" style chair with red velvet upholstery.  Amy, who was along for the thrill of the "photo shoot", looked at me and we both dropped our jaws....I told the girl that we didn't have to use the chair for Rutledge's "photo shoot" and I didn't need the chair "pose".  The girl said, "we have to do 1 chair pose for our software".  I just didn't know what to say, my mouth was poised with a protest when Amy said, "we don't do red velvet mini chairs", (thank you, Amy...I just couldn't get the words out of my mouth!).  I said then said, "can't you cover up that red velvet?  Its tacky!"  The poor Portrait Innovations girl didn't know what to do....she finally said, well, we can cover it with this black velvet.  Amy and I both said, "Fine!"

So, the end result is acceptable and all in all, it was a hilarious experience:) 
Happy weekend and Happy Father's Day!!!



Friday, June 3, 2011

Gaines' belated 4 month post

Bad Mama;)
Oh, well!  Here goes.
Gaines is a happy and healthy 4 month old.  He continues to be a constant joy and warms our souls!

Word to yo Mama!















Just a workin' on studyin' on something!  Notice that classic pursing of the lips...just like Daddy and Rutledge:)















Hanging out on his activity mat.















He is right on track with all of his developmental milestones seems to enjoy life:)
Here are his stats:
Weight-14 lbs 13 oz, 50th percentile
Length-25 3/4 inches, 50th percentile

Gaines is offered 5 feedings a day with 6 ounces offered at each feeding.  His typical daily consumption is anywhere from 25-30 ounces.  I have kept him on a slow-flow nipple so that he is still able to feed like a breastfed babe, which means he takes his time to eat and doesn't suck down him bottle in a few minutes which isn't good for babies and their metabolism.  Another thing is that I've never tried to make him finish a bottle....if he stops after only 4 or 5 ounces, that's fine.   

Here is a sample of his schedule.  We have been on this schedule since our 3 day "parent led" sleep training when he was 8 1/2 weeks old.  I know the whole "parent led" sleep deal is controversial, but, it works for us:)  The schedule is probably about to change because we are heading into that 5-6 month old transition where he's going to be more active!

Schedule:
6am-Wake Gaines to start his day & have his first feeding.

6:20am to7:30am- playtime, aka stimulation or awake time

7:30am to 10 am- nap #1

10am- wake Gaines for his 2nd feeding

10:20am-11:30am- playtime, aka stimulation or awake time

11:30am-2pm- nap #2

2pm- wake Gaines for 3rd feeding

2:20pm to 3:30pm- playtime, aka stimulation or awake time

3:30pm to 6pm- nap #3

6pm- wake Gaines for his 4th feeding

6:20pm to 7:30pm- playtime, aka stimulation or awake time

7:30pm- nap #4 (that we are about to transition to bedtime when we drop his last feeding)

9pm- wake Gaines for his 5th feeding

9:20pm- change diaper and straight to bed

6am- start over again:)

Our whole family rises at 6 am and has since Rutledge was 8 weeks old and we were doing our "parent led" sleep training with him. I'll also note that I was exclusively breastfeeding Rutledge and was also able to sleep train him as well. The only difference is that when breastfeeding, I let him nurse as long as he wanted, but we still maintained this same schedule but on a feeding every 3 hours basis. Bottlefeeding is different and we have a more specific schedule.

Matt initiated the whole, get up at 6am, thing.  If I had my way, I would have started after he left for work, just so I could sleep in:)  But, it was important to him that we have family time in the mornings and not just the evenings.  I'm not going to lie...it was SO hard to get up at first.  But, it has paid off and we can't imagine not having that time together.  Matt and I are morning people and now our boys are as well.

I guess the whole "schedule" and "sleep habit" thing is good for US because we have established OUR normal.  I won't pretend that I know it all and this would work for everyone.  It does work for us and we believe in it.  I think that the best thing about having my babies sleep through the night so young is that if they wake up in the middle of the night, I know something is wrong.  I know.  I know that their mouths hurt because they are teething, I know that their cough is keeping them from resting, I know that they need to stay up a bit later in the evening because they aren't "tired enough" at bedtime. 

Again, I'll say that I know that this is SO controversial.  A lot of people really feel that its harmful to babies to let them "cry it out".  I know that some people believe in "attachment parenting" which is when you let your child sleep in your bed until they are ready to leave the bed...I think it also means that if you are breastfeeding that you let them nurse whenever they would like.  I love my children.  I love them so much that I would not subject them to ME living that lifestyle.  I could not handle it.  And, I'm a big believer in doing whatever you can handle.  If you can handle getting up with your 1 year old in the middle of the night, then go right ahead and get up girl!  This mama just cannot and will not do that unless somebody is sick or injured! 

I just don't believe that children learn to sleep through the night by themselves.  They sleep how they are allowed to sleep.  Just like they behave the way they are allowed to behave.  I believe that if I had not allowed Rutledge to "cry it out" for  3 nights that he would still be getting up in the middle of the night....not for food or because he was lonely but because it was a habit that we allowed him to create. 

To be completely honest, allowing my babies to "cry it out" was the hardest thing I've done, so far.  But, I knew that it was only temporary.  It literally lasted 3 nights, each progressively better.  The key is to keep that daytime routine exactly the same, or as close to the same as possible during the "training"'.  That way, their metabolisms adjust.  I did each baby over a weekend so that I could have Matt's help during the day so that if I needed to nap more, I could.  Because Mama isn't going to sleep at all during those 3 nights.  I sat up in the living room watching tv with the baby moniter and ear plugs. 

Again, I can't say enough that I know this would not work for some people and some people would not think it best to do this.  It does work for us and it is best for us.

So, now that I have spilled my guts on our family routine....I'm interested to read about ere'body else and their family routine!  Let's hear it:)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tornado 2011

We are ok and we are grateful.  Many people and families are not ok and we grieve for them and their loved ones. 

I want to share our little story because it documents a part of our life.  I want to preface by saying that we did not suffer.  So many people suffered unbearable losses of lives.  Possessions don't matter, houses don't matter, lives matter.  So, this documentation may seem a little dramatic at times...and, it was, when it was happening because we didn't know what was in store.  But, please don't think that I am likening our situation to the people that suffered tragedy in our state.  I repeat, we did not suffer any loss and we feel for those that did suffer.

On Tuesday, April 26th, the kiddos and I loaded up for an impromtu trip to my mama's in Sheffield which is in Northwest corner of Alabama.  Sister Amelia was already there and we had some things to take care of together.  We knew that some severe weather was coming, but, like everyone else, didn't think it would be anything more than severe thunderstorms. 

Still, at bedtime, I had the diaper bag packed with essentials for the babes, snacks, bottled water, bottles, formula, diapers, pull ups, socks and shoes for FRR, my wallet and contacts.  It all started about 4am with the sirens.  I shot out of bed and put on my tennis shoes.  My mom came running down the hall and telling everyone to get down to the basement.  Amelia came running out of her room with Rutledge wrapped around her still asleep.  She was freaking out....she hates inclement weather.  I grabbed my diaper bag and Gaines and we got down to the basement. 

We all just sat around...I started out with both babes in my lap.  After a few minutes of adjusting them and trying to get comfortable I realized that if something did hit the house or if a tornadoe did touchdown I wouldn't be able to physically shield BOTH of my children.  I knew that if something happened I would have to wrap my body around them and try to protect them from flying debris, etc.   I wanted to hold them both.  I knew that I shouldn't.  I gave Rutledge back to Amelia. 

The wind was really loud, the house shook, things got quiet.  We didn't know if it was heading toward us or not, we just took cover like the sirens told us to do.  We now know that the tornado was several miles away and that we were experiencing straight line winds.  We heard a soft scratching sound against the house...its a brick house.  The wind had stopped and it was raining a little.  My stepdad and brother went outside to check on things and saw that their next door neighbors 200+ year old red oak tree had fallen across their yard, our yard and towards our house.  The scratching had been the top of the tree scraping against the house as it fell down.

It was a big tree. Big around and very tall.  The tree had lifted out of the ground and fallen across 2 yards and scraped down the side of my parents house.

My parents have always hated that we park our cars right behind them...they park theirs in the little garage in the back of the house.  I had parked my Tahoe right behind my mom which is the side of the garage right beside the house.  Amelia had parked her Suburban right behind me....

Basically, we love our big, sturdy GM vehicles because they propped that big tree trunk up and prevented it from falling into my parents house.  The Tahoe and Suburban frames did not survive the tree but we did. 
When we saw the hole from where the tree came out of the ground we realized how big that tree was because my Tahoe could have fit in that hole in the ground.  I had some pics but for some reason they won't upload.

We were in and out of the basement 5 times on Wednesday when tragedy struck across our state.  It was one of those days where we never took off our shoes because if something tragic happened we needed to have our feet protected so that we could walk safely. 

I think that this event has been the most hard on my eldest boy.  Rutledge is still exhibiting some stress symptoms from the event.  For example, if I tell him he needs to "hurry", he will ask, "because the tornado will get us Mama?".  He still asks, "why the tornado come Mama?"  I don't know what to tell him...Matt and I decided that we have to keep it real with him and give the most age appropriate answers that we can muster.  We have been telling him that we don't know why the tornado came but that God loves us and that God saved us.  He now will talk about the tornado and what happened to our cars, the tree falling and tell us that God saved us and kept us safe. 

I know this sounds silly but he had a very hard time not being able to see my car under the tree.  You literally couldn't see anything.  Then we were in a rental car for about 2 weeks and he talked about it incessently.  He kept talking about how our car was hit by the tree in the tornado and he didn't like the rental car.  Then, Matt found another Tahoe, exactly the same as my old one, same color and everything, except it was a year older but had 25,000 less miles on it and it had bucket seats instead of a middle bench.  He was confused...he asked, "you got our old car back Mama?"  then, when he climbed into his carseat, he realized that he couldn't hold Gaines' hand and that the backseat was different.  He doesn't like that...he loved holding Gaines' hand in the car.  He still says, "I want our old car Mama". 

Both of our vehicles had over 130,000 miles on them but were running wonderfully and more importantly , they were payment free, with the exception of our mortgage.  For those of you who have experienced this financial freedom...you know what I am talking about. 

Matt spent 2 weeks looking for a comparable vehicle and couldn't find one.  We had a 2005 Tahoe with 130,000 miles.  It was in great condition and we planned to drive it until it fell apart.  We aren't afraid of fixing things until they can't be fixed anymore.  Since "Cash for Clunkers", there is a shortage of used vehicles, especially SUV's, on the market.  We were going to have to bite the bullet and get something with a newer body style and a big payment because that's literally all that was available.  We were both in a bad mood about it because we didn't want a payment again.  But, had resigned ourselves to it because in the grand scheme of things, we didn't have an actual problem, compared to what everyone else was dealing with. 

Then, Matt was on his way back from Montgomery looking at a customers hotel and he saw a Tahoe on the Collier Ford lot in Wetumpka.  He got back to the bank and called the owner of the Ford lot, who is also a customer, and asked about it...it was a year older and had 25,000 less miles than our old Tahoe, and the same options as before.  And better yet, we could just hand over our insurance check and not have a car payment.  We just wanted an equal transition, to get into something with the same wear and tear as our old car, but we ended up in a better position, with less mileage.  So, we are glad that we are able to stay on track with our financial plan.  Again, all of this sounds so silly when compared to what everyone else has been through.  I just wanted to document it for us.

It could have been so different for us.  My mama kept saying that she had this strange feeling come over her the whole day....that the Lord had brought all of her children and grandchildren together under her roof.  She felt that we were going to experience a tragedy and she was thankful that we were together.  Praise God we were safe.

We are humbled before the Lord that we were spared.  That our families were spared.  We pray daily for the people that have endured unspeakable tragedy. 

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them to the joy of your salvation. 
Lord, in your mercy
       Hear our prayer       
                          From The Book of Common Prayer, The Prayers of the People Form IV





Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Both my boys

A couple of times each day, Rutledge will come up to me while I'm holding Gaines and say, "Mama will you hold both my boys?"  I think he says this because when Gaines first came home, I made a point to pull Rutledge into my lap while holding Gaines and tell him that I love to "hold both of my boys".  He cuts the phrase a little short by omitting "of":)

So, how do I put into words how much I adore my boys?  Its impossible!  They are such a joy to us and while they are special in different ways, they are so much alike.  They have different looks, different body structures, different personalities, but they are so much alike at the same time.  Sometimes, I will catch a facial expression of Gaines' and think that its Rutledge who is the baby again:) 

Here's how they are similar.....they have the same shaped eyes, nose, general facial features.  Both are and were babies that adapt easily.  If we were to get off schedule, they go with the flow.  Both do not like being woken from their naps early!  Both are GREAT sleepers and conformed easily to "parent led" sleep habits. 

Here's how they are different.....while they have the same facial features, they have different shaped heads.  Rutledge had and still has a fairly small head (he takes after the Rutledge side of the family) and a rounder face with chubby cheeks:)  Gaines has a much bigger head and different shaped face, maybe more oval, his face just looks longer (he takes after the Caden side of the family with that big ole' melon head)

Gaines is chunkier is his legs than Rutledge was at this age.  That could also be because Rutledge was breastfed and Gaines has been bottlefed for the last 2.5 months.  They seem to be the same, "size wise" because Gaines is wearing the same clothes Rutledge wore at the same months.  Their comparative weights have been the same since 4 weeks of age.  Their length is a little different but Matt says we can't go by that because the way babies are measured isn't accuracte.

When Rutledge came along, we thought we had it made in the shade!  To us, he was the perfect child.  He was happy and easy.  The only thing was this....he didn't and still really doesn't like other women.  He's a one woman kind of man and I'm his woman.  Muver swears he doesn't like her....Sweetie feels the same.  I do my best to force him to be nice to them but more often than not, he gives the cold shoulder.  I FEEL TERRIBLE about this....but, I know it will get better.

Gaines on the other hand is a ladies man!  He seems to love to be with ere'body!  Muver is enjoying this babe in a different way....honestly, I think she's just eased into her "grandmotherly" position and isn't so "Anti-grandmother".  Rutledge gets SO jealous when she is giving attention to Gaines...he will do anything to get her attention when that's happening and he doesn't do that with anyone else....that's what's so strange!

I think that for us, the 2nd child has been easier....well, beginning to raise the 2nd child is easier.  Raising 2 children isn't easy!  I think I feel that Gaines might be a little easier is because I am more relaxed and not so rigid.  I was obsessed with wanting things MY WAY when Rutledge came on the scene and I think that rubbed off on him.....

Here are a couple of photos of both my boys at around the same ages:)  Notice that even with their different shaped heads and faces that how their features are so similar.  Forgive the quality of the pics of Rutledge....old camera!

Rutledge 4 months
Chubby cheeks, rounder face and rounder head.

Gaines a little over 4 months
Longer face, oval head, same eyes, nose & mouth:)

You may not be able to see the similarities that we do, that's probably because babes change SO much everyday.  One day they look like twins, the next Gaines is starting to get his own look:)  I just think its very neat that they will have the same features and they will both look like their daddy:)

We adore these boys!!!

Its been a while.....

Its been a while.  I left a comment on a post of my blog friend SBS, that I was broke down with the motherhood.  She, well, her mama coined the term and I must say that I love it because it perfectly explains the chaos that sometimes breaks us mamas. 

I love my children.  I love my husband.  I love my life.  I love it all but sometimes I get broke down with the motherhood.  Nothing seems to go "right", things don't "come together", your 3 year old "goes nuts", you holler at ere'body! 

I KNOW this is normal.  I just can't help feeling sometimes that its my job to "rise above" all of the chaos and just deal with it!  And, quite frankly, it is my job.  I think its been hard to understand that I can't "control" our chaos....I just need to embrace it. 

I think that I get so caught up in trying to make the most of everything that I miss it everything...does that even make sense? 

While I know that for our family its best that someone (i.e. da mama) be the designated, Captain of our family Ship, its lots of pressure. 

So, I've decided to take back control....of myself.  I can control how I handle the chaos, I can't control IT but I can control myself.  I desire a longer fuse, more patience, more compassion and more passion for life!
If I continue to allow myself to be controlled by the chaos then I cannot fully enjoy my life.  I have so much passion for the life Matt and I are able to give ourselves and our children....but, I haven't been fully experiencing that life.  That is sinful and I'm not going to tolerate it anymore.

You may see the "brokedown with the motherhood" on here lots and lots.  Because you see, I'm going to emrbace that too.  Sometimes, we just get overwhelmed and it really is ok:).  So, a big thank you to SBS and her Mama for coining the term;). 

Today is a good day:) 

Monday, April 25, 2011

HE is risen indeed!

We had a wonderful Easter & hope that you did as well!
Rutledge started the celebration early with an Easter Party at preschool.
The party started with Chapel, then moved on to their activity which was making Resurrection Rolls, followed by the egg hunt.  It was a full morning!

Rutledge & his "lady" friends, Pearson & Janie Bess
Rutledge was trying to hold Janie Bess' hand & she did not want that to happen;)

So, he moved on to his other "lady" friend, Riley.

She was more compliant.

They enjoyed watching the puppet show together

Followed by a Sing-a-long that included an oldie but goldie, "This Little Little Light of Mine"

Making Resurrection Rolls!

Hunting eggs!  Each child could hunt 5 eggs.  These were "real" Easter eggs of the hardboiled variety:)

He refused to look at the camera when I asked him to show me his eggs.

We made plans to travel to Demopolis Sunday morning to attend Easter services at Trinity Episcopal Church with Matt's grandparents, Tutoo & Papa.  We did this last year & treasure the time we are able to spend with those wonderful people.  We also treasure services at Trinity Demopolis because this is the church where Matt's grandfather, mother, Matt himself & Rutledge were baptized.  Matt says that he feels like home when he is in this church & we always feel blessed when we are able to attend.
Rutledge was able to participate in the Easter Parade again this year and he had a blast!

I put out the baskets the night before to save time on Easter morning.
Rutledge has been talking about how he needed "James" a Thomas the Tank train for his train table, so, I thought "James" would make a great Easter prize!  Gaines got a new rattle & got to share his basket with Daddy's candy!

Checking out his basket!

Eating his FAVORITE candy....Reece's Pieces!

Making Resurrection Rolls for breakfast.  Here is the link with directions and the lesson.

A great project for toddlers!

My sweet boy.

With his flowers to lay on the altar.

He decided to carry his flag like a cane pole....I thought it was precious:)

Our new family pic!!!

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Rodeo!

The Annual Rodeo came to town a few weeks ago & we were fortunate enough to get the VIP treatment!
My good friend, Leigha Cauthen & her family have a long association with the Rodeo.  Her daddy used to ride on the circuit when he was younger.  And, as Rutledge says, "He's a cowboy, Mama!"  And, I wish I had a pic to show his big ole' hat & belt buckle which were MOST impressive to our boy:)

Leigha has offered us tickets to the Rodeo every year since Rutledge was born, but, we felt he was a a little too young to enjoy it...until this year!  So, I asked Leigha if the offer still stood & boy oh boy, did the gal come through!

Here is a pic of Leigha & me at last years Alabama Wildlife Federation's Wildgame Cookoff!
Man! I hate looking at this pic bc it was taken right after I had gotten my fitness on last year & had myself in a bootcamp & lost 30 lbs:(  I will get it back, I will get it back!!!;)

Anywho, that's Leigha.  We have lots in common....we both enjoy the consumption of lycopene (anything product with cooked tomatoes like, salsa, ketchup, spaghetti & chili), politics, denim, boots, a good white button down, birthday parades, and beer.  I think that about covers it. 

So, Leigha & her Daddy, Big Carey, gave us the ultimate Rodeo experience.
I will have you know that there is a VIP room at the Rodeo!
Not only did we get the best seats in the house for the Rodeo, but, we had access to the VIP room, sponsored by the Alabama Cattlemens Association.  There was an open bar & some yummy snacks!  After about an hour in the VIP room, we went to our seats to get settled before the show.  Ummm, those Cauthen's have their own special section of seating....the 1st 2 rows are theirs.  Leigha's Uncle Sonny has the 1st row & her Daddy has the 2nd row.  Nice! 

1st stop at the Rodeo was the hat stand.
Rutledge got a great hat!
We had a little trouble taking pics with the glow necklace....probably should have taken it off.

Here is our fam pic!

The only good pic of the action.  We haven't gotten the hang of taking "action" pics.  All of them turned out blurry:(


This was SUCH a family friendly event and good clean fun!  Rutledge had a wonderful time and is still talking about the Rodeo!  I would like to give a special shoutout & thanks to the Cauthen Clan!  We had a wonderful time and are so thankful we had this opportunity.  This was the first outing with just the 3 of us since Gaines' birth & it was so special to have such a fun event to share with him!
THANK YOU!!!





Monday, April 4, 2011

3rd Birthday Par-tay!

We didn't think it would even happen because it rained every hour until his party started.  We had to clear out the carport and hang visqueen(sp) to block potential blowing wind and rain. 
The theme of the party was John Deere, of course.
I decided to go casual this year with minimal effort towards food and decor.
I have a newborn peeps, its time to get realistic.

So, we had blowing wind and rain literally right up until party time.
Then the sun starting peeking out, Praise GOD!

What could have been a sad party turned into a happy party!
The menu:
Grilled hotdogs
Snack pack chips
Baby carrots/celery with dip
John Deere cake and cupcakes

The activities:
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Hay ride
Pinata

Here it is in pics!
We started the day with a family pic.

Rutledge waiting on the porch for his guests!

A pic of "our boys" as Rutledge calls them:)  These are Sister and Cambo's boys!
Notice the lovely yet functional visqueen(sp?)...

Rutledge and his main squeeze, Janie Bess!

Simple, kid friendly food
Even more simple table decor.

The AMAZING cake that I didn't have to make;)
If you want details on this cake or any other kind of cake let me know, I'll put you in touch with who made it!

Daddy putting the candles on the cake!

The cake and cupcakes!

Singing Happy Birthday!  He was so pleased:)

Our friend Buddy with his 1st of about 12 cupcakes;)

A little pin the tail on the donkey!

The Vaughan gurls' watching peeps try to find the tail!

The end result!

Daddy coming around the driveway with the tractor for the hayride!

1st round of the hayride...we had to go in shifts!

Out in the hayfield that has no hay...yet!

They heard the word, pinata!

The John Deere pinata! Thank you to the world wide web!
We converted the pinata so we didn't have to use a stick....swinging sticks/bats and toddlers is sometimes not the best idea;)  Each child had a ribbon to pull and 1 lucky child pulled the ribbon that released all the candy!

All of the kids slammed down on their knees quicker than anything I've seen!  Ready for that candy!

I think this face tells it all.
Happy Birthday to our sweet boy!

***p.s. All of these pics were taken by the lovely Taylor Morgan.  This is the 2nd bday party we have had her taking pics and it is SO worth it!  We can actually have fun @ the parties and not worry about capturing the perfect pic!  If you are interested in her services, let me know & I will put you in touch with her!