Thursday, December 29, 2011

Party Planning Committee

Holy moly!  Charlotte's first birthday is in three weeks!  I was so distracted by Christmas that I hadn't given the slightest thought to planning her party.  And the first birthday is kind of a big deal.  Not that she'll remember it.

Out of laziness Because I'm cheap In my attempt to lead a greener lifestyle, I usually send out Evites, but I had a credit at Shutterfly and decided to send out paper invitations.  I guess that instead of being green, we're keeping the postal service in business.  Here is our adorable card:

I just love Shutterfly.  Honestly.  And thanks again to David Smith for the gorgeous photos.  The pictures from our photo shoot have gone a long way!   

I've been stalking Pinterest for party decor ideas:
  • make a birthday banner either out of fabric or card stock using color scheme from the invitations
  • sew a table runner with leftover fabric from birthday banner
  • make an arrangement with coffee filter "flowers" or something like that (my friend Stacey made some for her one-year-old's birthday that were adorable!)
  • and that's about it for now!
I'm also planning to DIY a cake or cupcakes, and Charlotte will have her own "smash cake" of course.

In the meantime, we need to clean our house.  It will take about 3 weeks to clean up the mess from Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

So this year I really couldn't decide on one Christmas card to send out, so we ordered four designs.  Merry Christmas from the Losavios!

All photos were taken by David Smith.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For Joey's Mensa application:

I feel the need to share my daughter's genius.  Joey (3) found a gift under the Christmas tree that didn't have a tag, so she found a tag, wrote her name on it, and slapped it on the gift.  Pure genius.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stationery card

Wishing You Merry Christmas Card
Don't send boring Christmas cards , personalize them at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Caring Bridge

My mom suffered a stroke on Wednesday caused by an Arterivenous Malformation (AVM).  I have set up a site on Caring Bridge where you can keep up with her recovery and leave comments.  Jim and I are posting updates pretty regularly.  She (and we) appreciate knowing that you're thinking of her, praying for her, or whatever. 

xoxo Lauren

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Joey is three years eight months old and growing up much too fast.

We had some rough times (terrible twos, terrible threes), but Joey has become such a sweet, considerate little girl.  Most of the time, anyway!  She adores Charlotte and takes pride in being a good big sister; she will stop what she's doing to give Charlotte some loving when she wants some attention.  Joey is learning how to write her name and she drew her first self portrait a few weeks ago.

Here are some tidbits about my favorite three-year-old:

princesses, Shrek

Favorite Game:

Favorite Color:

Favorite Number:
three (because she's three)

Favorite hangouts: 
Chick-fil-A, Barnes & Noble

Favorite books: 
Pinkalicious; Disney princess stories

Most-watched movie: 

What she wishes for on a star:
a Princess Tiana doll

Check out Joey-isms from a year ago. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Only 56 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes 'til Christmas...

I am oh so excited (really) that, for the second year in a row, I have the opportunity to critique Shutterfly's holiday cards in exchange for 25 free cards.  What?  I was going to do that anyway.  This is a special promotion for - ahem - bloggers, so if you have a blog, check out the promo here.  I ordered my cards from them last year and I was incredibly pleased with the designs, ease of personalization, and with the quality.  I was so happy with our Christmas card last year that I would order it again, but alas, they have an entirely new collection for 2011.

Yes, maybe it's a little early to be considering Christmas cards, but we're just window shopping here.  Shutterfly prints and ships very quickly, so you can probably put off ordering your cards until mid-December.  But then again, it's nice to get it out of the way. 

Shutterfly offers more than 900 (nine hundred) Christmas and holiday cards to choose from.  If you have an idea of what you're looking for, you can view what you want to view.  You can select as many options as you want under each category.  Personally, I like to look at all of them.  While a "whimsy" card might not be your cup of tea, you never know what will jump out to you.

I am attracted to colorful and modern cards like a magpie is attracted to a pile of nickels.  And I definitely lean toward black and white photographs with colorful designs and text.  Now if your photo needs some doctoring, don't fret.  Shutterfly allows you to edit and add effects to your photos as you're designing your card.

Shutterfly has a convenient compare feature that allows you to select cards and, well, compare them with other cards that you like.  It's much easier than opening multiple cards in separate windows to compare them.  I figured that out the hard way.

These are some designs that I'm considering.  Click on any of these pictures for a direct link to the card on Shutterfly.

With so many options it's tough to make a decision.  Maybe I'll order them all...Shutterfly will let you do that.

Shutterfly also sells gifts, such as personalized photo mugs.  You know that your kids' grandparents need some of those.

Another great gift idea would be a canvas print of a favorite photograph.

And who doesn't need a blanket?

Check out Shutterfly for their complete selection of holiday cards, invitations, photo gifts and more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Charlotte is nine months!  She is crawling, pulling up, and cruising.  She has four teeth:  along with the two on the bottom she has two "vampire teeth" on the top - just in time for Halloween!  She loves to play peek-a-boo.  She is very social and has two BFFs at school.  She is starting to eat table food and even ate a beignet (sans sugar) a few weeks ago.
At her nine-month check-up, Charlotte weighed 17 lbs 2 oz, which puts her in the 25th percentile for weight.  She had dropped down to the 5th - 10th percentile at her 6-month check-up, but she is now back to where she was.  I think that she was just a little behind hitting a growth spurt.  At 17 lbs, she has gained a whopping 10 lbs since birth!  She is 28 inches long, which puts her back in the 50th percentile.

Several weeks ago Charlotte had tubes put in her ears.  Her surgery went well and the staff at Children's South took excellent care of us.  Just a few days after the procedure she started making several new noises.  I guess she just couldn't hear before!  She now says "bye-bye" (while waving "bye-bye"), Dada (and sometimes "Daddy") and she occasionally says "Mama."
I couldn't resist snapping this picture when I went to wake Charlotte up one morning.  It looks like she's about grown out of her 6-month jammies.
To Joey's delight, Charlotte is finally big enough to ride in the "beep-beeps" at Publix.  And now I have room to stow the groceries, unlike a few months ago.
The girls sit and play together.
 "Too tight, Joey!"
 This tired girl fell asleep at the dinner table, puffs in hand.
 Charlotte got many compliments on her Halloween costume.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eight Months

In just a few days, Charlotte will be eight months old.  Over the past month, she's been a busy girl.  Some of the things that she's doing are:
  • Growing teeth.  She's got two!
  • Crawling.
  • Pulling up.  Halfway at least.
  • Babbling.  A lot.
  • Whistling.  According to Paul.  I haven't heard it yet.
  • Holding her own bottle.
She also sleeps like a teenager.  She doesn't nap well at school and she seems to want to catch up on her sleep on the weekends.  We have yet to let her sleep as late as she wants on Saturday mornings.  On Friday she went to sleep at 6:10 pm and slept until 9:40 am, when we woke her.  I only brag because Joey hates to sleep.

Charlotte has an appointment with an ENT tomorrow.  We will most likely go with tubes.  Over the summer, when kids are usually healthier, she has had several ear infections which have not cleared up 100%.  Since we're going into the germy season, and getting sick is inevitable, her ears are not going to get better and we don't want to overuse antibiotics.  I'll plan to post an update soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Agent Kitty and Mrs. Cutie Patootie

These adorable kittens need homes.  Agent Kitty (left) is female and Mrs. Cutie Patootie is male.  They are about 3 months old but still cute and tiny. 
They are great with kids and very tolerant.  They love to be held.

Send me a message or comment on this post if you'd like to bring one (or both) of these kittens home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Modesty Shorts

Last night I made modesty shorts for Joey and blogged about it (see I See London, I See France...), but due to technical difficulties the photos weren't published.  Aaargh. 

I purchased six pairs of leggings from babyGap and Target for $3.50 average.  I chose colors that would coordinate with her skirts.  I washed and dried them to preshrink.  Tilt your head to the right to view the photo below.
Last night I only committed to making one pair, so I chose a pair with stripes because those would be easier to make straight, even cuts.  I cut them about two inches longer than I wanted them to be to allow for the hem.  I then turned the shorts inside-out, folded the raw edge twice, and ironed. 
Then I stitched.  Easy peasy.
I'm very pleased with the results.  It would be cute to embellish these shorts with bows, a la Monkeybar Buddies, or even using a Bedazzler.  I'm kidding about the Bedazzler.  Or am I?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I see London, I see France…

Yep, folks, we can all see Joey's underpants.

My little princess insists on wearing skirts every day. Mostly tutus, if we want to be specific. It doesn't bother me in the least. Skirts are easier than pants when it's time to use the potty. And she looks pretty darn cute in a tutu.

Today Joey's teacher mentioned that the boys were noticing her underpants and that it would be better to send her to school with shorts under her skirt. She doesn't really understand the concept of modesty yet, but I don't want for her to be teased. Searching online, I found modesty shorts called Monkeybar Buddies, but at $16 a pop, I quickly determined that I could do better.

I decided to make modesty shorts for Joey. Not from scratch, mind you. The plan was to purchase leggings and shorten them. I went to babyGap, which was offering an additional 25% off their sale items, plus another 10% for using a GapCard, and got four pairs of leggings for about $3.50 each. Next I went to Target and got two more pairs, also $3.50 each.

First, I washed and dried them to prevent additional shrinkage.

Next, I made the cuts. A rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat would have come in very handy, but I just used good old-fashioned scissors. Well, maybe not good scissors, but scissors. I have a rotary cutter but not a self-healing cutting mat (hint, hint). I cut the length about two inches longer than I wanted them to allow for the hem.

I turned the pants inside-out and folded the raw edge over twice and ironed. This way I didn't need to pin. I don't pin. I'm lazy.

I stitched the hem with a plain old straight stitch, but kept the stitches somewhat loose. I worried that if the stitches were tight that they might pop. It all worked great for the first leg, but then I ran out of thread. So one leg has two different thread colors. At least it's on the inside.

The results? I think they look great, but I guess we'll see in the morning when Joey gets dressed. One down, five to go…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Charlotte is Six Months Old!

Charlotte had her six-month check-up yesterday.  I can't believe my baby is already six months!  She is not crawling yet, but she scoots around a good bit.  We started feeding solid foods to Charlotte last week.  So far she's had rice cereal, bananas, and squash, although she's not so impressed with any of those. 

Charlotte weighs 13 lbs and is 25 1/4 inches long.  That puts her in the 10th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for height.  At her last check-up she was in the 25th percentile for weight and the 50th for height, so the doctor did not like that her percentile changed so much.  I'm hoping that Charlotte's just due for a growth spurt, but I'm going to take her back to the doctor for a weight check in a few weeks.

Charlotte loves day care and adores the ladies who work in the nursery.  When I dropped her off yesterday after her appointment, they asked how Charlotte did with her shots and also asked specifically about her weight.  When I told them that her percentile changed, they told me to bring some food for her.  Now, I knew that I could bring baby food and that they would feed it to her, but these ladies never get a break during the day.  There's always a baby that needs to be fed, changed, or held.  I didn't want to give them extra work if I could help it.  So it really means a lot to me that they offered to feed Charlotte her baby food. 

And Hallelujah!  Charlotte has decided that she loves to sleep!  We had gotten into the bad habits of holding her while she was sleeping, letting her sleep in her carseat, and bed-sharing.  One day last week she was over-tired and would not go to sleep, so I put her down in her crib and walked away.  And miraculously, she went to sleep.  So that night at bedtime I put her in her crib, awake, and she went to sleep!  And she'll sleep for long stretches, too.  She still wakes up once in the middle of the night, wanting to eat, but we'll work on phasing out that feeding.  I'm so grateful to have a good sleeper!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Charlotte's First Food

It's been a long time since I've blogged, but life gets in the way sometimes.  I started a new job, which I'm really enjoying, and Joey and Charlotte are at daycare full time.  Charlotte loves the nursery and while Joey is doing well at school, it's a bigger adjustment for her.

This evening I gave Charlotte her first taste of solid food.  Well, solid-ish.  She tried rice cereal but wasn't really thrilled with it.  For some reason only part of my video uploaded, but check it our for her reaction.

The video below is Joey's first experience with rice cereal.  She enjoyed it much more than her sister.

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Announcement

No, we're not having another baby.

I'm going back to work full-time.

I had toyed with the idea of going back to work if a good opportunity arose.  Last week a friend emailed me to see if I'd be interested in applying for a position with a construction company on the UA campus.  She had worked for them and praised them for being very family-oriented and flexible.  I submitted my resume for the sake of not passing up an opportunity.  I interviewed and was offered the position.  This happened in the course of a few days, all while Paul was away on business.

My biggest concern has been finding excellent childcare for Joey and Charlotte.  I want to put them in a church preschool, but unfortunately, most of those have waiting lists so they will be going to another school temporarily.  I want my mom to retire so she can take care of my kids!

I can see many positives aspects of going back to work. 
  • Joey will thrive in a learning-centered preschool program.  She needs stimulation that I am just not able to give.  And she watches too much TV.
  • Although a large portion of my take-home pay will go to childcare, there will be some left over.  Extra money is good.
  • The time that I spend with my kids will be quality over quantity.
I have also had apprehensions about this decision.
  • Joey has had me at home for her entire life, but I have only been home with Charlotte for 5 months, and she's just so darn cute and cuddly.  She won't have the same experience as her sister.
  • What if my kids hate their school?
  • I struggle with meal-planning and grocery shopping already.  Will we be eating hot dogs and grilled cheese for dinner every night?
I will miss a lot of things about being a stay-at-home mom.  I will miss Joey's activities that we do every week, like music at CHOM and story time at the library, and I'll miss cuddling with Charlotte all day.  But I'm also excited about going back to work, and overall, I think this will be good for my family.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last week I took Joey bowling for the first time.  AMF has a free kids summer bowling program, but "free" actually translated to about $20 for me to bowl, our shoe rentals, bumper lanes, and a bottle of water.  For an hour.
Joey rocks the bowling shoes
If it weren't for bumpers, Joey's score would have been Zero (and my score would have been much lower).
Joey's ball stopped in the middle of the lane several times
Joey and Mommy - tied
Taking a break
Joey enjoyed herself and I think this would be a great game to teach Joey how to take turns.  It doesn't hurt that the bowling alley is air-conditioned!


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