Being Brickner : July 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Waverly's Third Birthday Party

Our Waverly Maye turned the big THREE over the weekend, we had the best time celebrating her with an ice cream party!  Waverly loves sweets, so we knew this theme would be perfect for her, we had the party in the late afternoon & only served desserts, but a ton of them.  Of course, the main attraction was the ice cream bar, we had vanilla, chocolate, & strawberry, an assortment of toppings, & both cups and dipped cones for people to choose from.  We also did a small candy bar in the colors of the party, rice krispy cones, pink fudge, marshmallows, fruit in waffle cones, cake balls, brownies, chocolate-covered pretzels, & lots of cookies.

So many sweets, in addition to the sweetest birthday girl, who absolutely loved it all! :)

This was the first year that Waverly really understood it was her birthday & that everyone was coming over to celebrate her, I absolutely loved waking her up Saturday morning to tell her it was her party day!  She was beyond excited, she must have asked me to repeat the list of names of everyone who was coming a million times, & pranced around the house all day long with the biggest smile on her face while we got things ready.  It was a ton of work (especially with a new baby in the mix), but so entirely worth it, she really had the best time & will be talking about her day for months to come.

After singing happy birthday (which she loved this year, after refusing to let us sing last year!), the kids all changed into their swimsuits & played in the slip'n'slide, little pools, trampoline & bounce houses we set up out front.  They loved it, all of those things are totally Waverly's jam, so she was all about it & I hardly saw much of her. ;)  By the end of the night, we put one exhausted little lady to bed, before continuing her birthday celebration the next day with a trip to the waterpark & dinner with just the four of us.  Waverly had the best weekend, it really was the perfect celebration for our sweet, sweet girl.

Waverly Maye, we love you so much & can't wait to continue to watch you grow!

Waverly's Dress & Bow, Jadeite Cake Stand,
Teal Cake Stand & Gold Serving Trays, Target Previous Seasons
Lastly, the BIGGEST thank you to my mom, mother-in-law & sister-in-law for all their help with this party. I needed them more than ever this time, & as always, they were willing to do anything I needed to make it happen for the little lady we all adore so very much.

Happy week, friends!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Waverly Birthday Weekend & A Giveaway

Happy, happy birthday weekend to my first baby girl!  Part of me feels like it can't even be possible that you have been here for three whole years, yet most of me can't imagine what life was like without you.  THREE, you make it look good, little lady.

I get a little emotional every year around this time, not because I'm sad that you are growing too fast (even though you are!), but because it always makes me step back & truly realize how amazing you have made our lives since the day you were born.  It's crazy how such a little person can do that.  Words can't explain how much joy to bring to our home, how important you are to us, or how thankful we are for you.  Your spirited, infectious personality keeps us on our toes, it always has & these days, it does more than ever.  You are high-maintenance, we are sure of it, you are sassy, spunky, dramatic, and you don't ever like to sit still.  Yet we wouldn't change any of it, because it's all part of YOU, the little girl who has stolen our hearts & who no doubt, is our biggest accomplishment.  You, Wave Maye, LOVE life, you take advantage of every moment & are teaching us to do the same.  You are smart, curious and adventurous, you are beyond funny, and you have the best imagination of anyone I have ever known.  You have a heart of gold & are sweet to everyone, always asking questions & wanting to help in any way.  And best of all, at the end of everyday, you want nothing more than a hug & a kiss, from us, your mama & daddy.  You have shown us the true meaning of unconditional love, & though I know it's supposed to be the other way around, you have taught us more about life in the past three years than all of our years combined before you.

You drive us absolutely crazy, & at the same time, we are so crazy in love with you.  We cannot wait to celebrate you all weekend long!

And since we are in celebration mode, a fun giveaway!  Firmoo, a global online optical store, is giving one lucky reader a pair of glasses!  They have so many super cute options, glasses & sunglasses, they sent me a pair to review earlier this year & I loved them.  You can see the post here, I usually don't wear glasses but it has been so fun to wear them every once in a while, they also have a variety of sunglasses as well!  Enter below, the giveaway will end next Thursday & the winner will be announced next Friday, July 31st. 
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Real Life

After hearing from so many people what an absolute game-changer having a second baby is, I feel like I prepared myself for the absolute worst pretty much throughout my entire pregnancy.  I have to say though, I have been pleasantly surprised, so far, so good!  We are all alive, happy, & not nearly as sleep deprived or emotionally exhausted that I thought we would be.  We have our moments, but overall, I am loving life as a family of four & sometimes think we could even handle a whole team of kids. ;)

And then both girls got sick this past weekend, & keeping it real, it kind of rocked our world.  Waverly got it first, she woke up Friday morning coughing and so congested, she was just miserable.  We tried to take it easy but really, that's not our strong point.  I know Waverly gets it from me, but she just tried to push through it & it turned her into a monster.  By Saturday morning, she was in tears, kicking and screaming (I think it was over a pair of shoes?), basically a complete hot mess.  I'm going to blame on her not feeling well, though I'm sure her upcoming "three-nager" status had something to do with it, too.  She was upstairs for a much-needed nap by 9:30am.  Avalon would not be put down, she just couldn't get comfortable or happy, which is so unlike her.  Turns out she had it too, her little nose was so stuffed up & it  She got so congested that she coughed & threw up all of what she ate on herself, me, & Waverly's bed.  Waverly sat there in shock, then called down to my husband & said "daddy, something has happened up here", and now has been telling everyone that "baby sissy threwed up".

We obviously felt horrible for them, there is nothing worse than a sick baby (except for two), & no doubt, I would have rather been sick myself.  It was a tough couple of days for all of us, with more stressful moments than I can count or care to remember.  Yet the good news, great news, is that we have two healthy girls.  Two girls who still, in between all the crazy moments, gave us the sweetest smiles, snuggles, and who want nothing else but us at the end of the day.

The girls are feeling much better, we have gotten out for some much needed sunshine & fresh air this week, so good for the soul! :)

I usually try to focus more on the positive, but like everyone else, life isn't perfect.  Yet so, so full, I know these are the days, I wouldn't change it for anything.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Newborn Favorites: Round Two

Now that we are six weeks into life with Avalon Elle, I thought I would share some of the things we are loving this time around, the products that we have found most helpful for our second baby girl & that truly, we would have a hard time making it without!  I was obsessed with reading lists like these with Waverly, & though this time I definitely feel like I know a little more, I am always looking for new products to make life a little bit easier.  Here are our current favorites! :)

Solly Wrap:  I decided to order the solly wrap during this pregnancy, even though I already had both the moby & the ergo, mainly because of the amazing reviews.  I have to say, I am SO glad I did, we absolutely love it & use it every single day, throughout the day.  I loved wearing Waverly too, but I definitely prefer the solly to the other two wraps, it is super easy to use, plus soft & comfortable, and it's thin enough to just throw in the diaper bag.  I love that I can have both my hands to play with Waverly & also love having Avalon so close, all the time, she definitely loves it just as much!

Wubbanub:  We are definitely not above using a pacifier for soothing & comfort, we weren't with Waverly and we definitely aren't with Avalon. ;)  Both girls have preferred with wubbanubbs to all other pacifiers, they are so soft & (though Avalon can't quite do it yet), big enough for them to get a grip on.  Plus they come with the sweetest animals, the lamb is our favorite!

Honest Diapers:  We did not use honest with Waverly, but I have some friends who used them & love them.  So far, I am definitely a fan, they have the cutest prints ever and it's obviously a major plus that they don't use harsh chemicals.  We also use the honest lotions, they are definitely some of the best!

Covered Goods:  I got this a few months before I had Avalon as an additional nursing cover, & it has actually been the only cover I have used since she was born!  I love it so much, it's beyond soft & I love the print.  It also can be used as a car seat cover, which is super convenient!  This has quickly become one of my favorite products, I don't know how I lived without it before!

Aidan & Anais Blankets:  I remember thinking these were so overpriced before I had Waverly, & now, three years later, we have so many & they are absolutely our favorite swaddle blankets.  They are the best quality, plus breathable & lightweight, and they keep their shape even after washing them a million times.  Waverly still uses hers every night & they make the best baby burrito for Avalon. ;)

Rock-n-Play:  Avalon has a little bit of reflux, so this is what she sleeps in every night, nothing else stands a chance!  This is what makes her happiest during the day too, we also have the momaroo, but if I am honest, we are 0 for 2 on our babies liking it.  I'm sure it is a coincidence, I have heard many people who swear by it, but our girls definitely prefer this swing or the rock-n-play. 

Zip-Front Onesies:  Even after just three years, I forgot how much easier it is to have the zip-front onesies rather than the button ones.  My husband does most of the late night diaper changes & then hands Avalon back to me to feed her, and he would agree that they are just so much easier.  Every minute counts!

What are some of your favorite products for your newborn?  Is there anything I missed & that I should be looking into?  And what is a newborn post without a baby picture?!  Our sweet, sleeping Avalon Elle, someone give me ten more of her. :)

Headband & One-Piece

And lastly, the HAPPIEST birthday week to my first baby (who is forever my baby, right?!), Waverly Maye!  We love you so much & can't wait to celebrate you all week long!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Things

Happy, happy Friday!  First, I wanted to thank you all so very much for your sweet comments on Avalon's nursery.  For those who asked, here is the link to the first pallet wall my husband did in our living room about a year ago.  For both walls, all of the wood was completely free, found either on craig's list or literally on the side of the road.  I can vividly remember driving around Virginia Beach this winter, me with my growing belly & Waverly in the car seat, searching for wood that someone didn't want anymore.  We are all about free, it leaves room to spend money in other places, so it's the best project ever! :)

In other news, Avalon is getting more alert by the day, plus her smiles are getting more frequent & intentional, we all can't get enough!  She is happiest in the mornings, we all love to see who can get her to smile the biggest, especially Waverly.  And speaking of Waverly, just when I thought they looked alike before, I am convinced they are getting more similar all of the time.  Their newborn pictures are seriously identical, we have twins three years apart!

Swaddle Blanket & Headband
Along with Avalon's longer awake times have come some serious "hold me or I will scream my head off" moments, apparently the girls personalities aren't as different as we thought.  Along with her pure sweetness, Avalon definitely has some spunk to her, which truly is one of the many things we love about Waverly so we are rolling with it. ;)  She is not afraid to let us know what she thinks, we have quickly learned that girlfriend likes to be held & does not like the car seat.  As far as the being held thing, I am so thankful for my solly wrap, I have been wearing her so much & really love having her close all of the time just as much as she does.  From having Waverly, I know how fast this whole thing goes so I am just soaking it in while I can.  The car seat is an entirely different story, she hates it so much that I'm thinking the cars a few miles away can hear her.  I feel so bad for her (& seriously consider never leaving the house again), but just keep remembering that this is just a phase, especially when I look at Waverly (who did the exact same thing!) one car seat over staring at her like she is crazy. I have decided that's one of the things that makes having a second easier, the first time around you feel like tough things like that are going to last forever, where as now I know different. 
Thankfully. :)

We celebrated my mom's birthday this week, Waverly & I baked cupcakes, went to the waterpark with her, and we are having a family dinner tonight!  We are really so, so thankful for her, I'm sure others can relate, but being a mom myself has made me realize how lucky I am & how much she really has has done for me my entire life.  I couldn't have made it through these first weeks with both girls without her, as someone with two extra hands to help, but also as emotional support whenever I have needed it.   I am so glad that these ladies get to grow up with a Glamma like her.

For the record, I feel really bad now about all those times that I was a hormonal hot mess of a high school girl, someone please remind me of this when I have TWO girls in high school at the same time. OMG.

And lastly, an outtake from our pictures for Glamma!  This picture cracks me up, Avalon started getting upset & Waverly just sighed, put her hand on her head to console her, & started to eat her cupcake.  Waverly, I don't blame you & yes Avalon, you have already mastered the bottom lip pout, I will give you whatever you want, forever, whenever you do it.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Avalon Elle's Nursery

I am so excited to (finally!) share some images from Avalon's nursery!  I feel like it's been done forever, since well before she was born, but I really wanted to wait until she was here to share.  My friend Brooke took these pictures, I have some more close-ups of the details to share & plan to very soon, in the meantime, here is the overall look of Avalon's new little home. :)

The room was pretty much inspired by my idea to do a pallet wall, which was something we decided on early in my pregnancy, before we even found out that we were having a girl.  I love the whole feel of pallets, my style tends to be rustic & minimal, so I feel like it just goes perfectly with everything I am drawn to.  Once we knew Avalon was a girl, I knew I had to add some girly touches to keep it from being too masculine.  We decided on mint & gold as the main colors, with pops of pink since we were using the pink glider from Waverly's nursery.

My mom found this print from Etsy to incorporate all the colors that I planned to use, we ended up using that for both the changing pad & small blanket on the gilder, than we carried around a sample of it for a couple months while keeping our eyes out for things to match!  I am so obsessed with the color mint, for pretty much everything, but also think it's a total pain.  Finding the exact shade is seriously a challenge & we went through lots of pictures, blankets & baskets that just were not even close to what we were looking for.  Thankfully though, it all worked out, I love the way that colors came together & look in the room!

The tassel garland is from Etsy & poms from Hobby Lobby, along with most of the other wall decor.  For the wall above the changing table, we just used our favorite prints from Etsy in the colors we were going with & then put them in white frames from Micheal's.  The crib skirt was actually handmade by my mother-in-law, just using gold tulle.  We couldn't find a small table for next to the glider that I liked so I ended up finding a broken one at TJMaxx, my husband cut some wood on top to make it match the room!

I got the same rug that we have in Waverly's big girl room, just a much bigger version, which honestly was by accident, but I ended up loving how it covered the entire room!  It's usually the first thing people comment on when they walk in, it just creates the most relaxing, peaceful environment which is exactly what a nursery should do.  The stool that matches the rug is from Target this past winter, my husband thought I was on complete white fur overload (& still laughs that it's going to end up every other color but white in no time).  So far, so good. :)

I tried to link everything I didn't mention at the bottom of the post, I hope you will find something useful as I know I got lots of inspiration from other rooms myself.  Decorating the room was so much fun, I know it will be a space that Avalon can grow in & I hope she loves it just as much as we do!

Headband & Blanket
Heart Pillow (No longer available, similar here), Gold Polka Dot Sheets, Dresser, Changing Pad Cover, Deer, Curtains

Update:  Here is the link to our original pallet wall project, hope this is helpful!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week(end) Highlights

Happy Monday friends, hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Life lately for us has been so much fun, hectic & busy, but fun!  I thought I would share some highlights of the past week & weekend, I know I have said it before, but I am so grateful to have this space to record all of these special memories.  I hope the girls will love looking back at it one day!  Also, I literally can't stop taking pictures of these two, I thought it was hard before with just one little lady, now it's just double the cuteness & I seriously have issues. ;)

Mornings are probably our craziest time right now, it's when Waverly is extra wild after sleeping for so long & when Avalon is most alert.  I sometimes get really overwhelmed with getting all of us dressed & breakfast made, all while keeping Waverly from smothering Avalon, it's seriously crazytown for a good hour straight.  Yet it's always full of some of the most precious moments. The other morning Avalon started crying & Waverly came sprinting to her, yelling "I'm coming for you sweet girl".  She got there & started rubbing her head, Avalon looked at her with the widest eyes and immediately stopped.  Such sweet sisters!  Of course, the next time Avalon started crying Waverly looked at me & said "turn her off", but I'll take what I can get. ;)

Now that it's almost six weeks since Avalon's birth, I am able to work out again & OMG, I need it. I've been trying to fit in a little exercise whenever I can, all while getting all of us out of the house in the mornings so we can break up our day some.  Lately we have been to the park a few times (Waverly pushes her baby while I push mine), & then our big trip, to the beach.  I pushed Waverly in the stroller while wearing Avalon in the solly, it was a long, hot walk, but I got some cardio in & the girls loved it once we made it.
A win-win for everyone. :)

And we made a trip to the farmers market with daddy!  I have really been trying to fit in some fun, different summer activities for Waverly, we've got the waterpark & beach down but I knew my big girl would love walking around and looking at all the sights at the farmers market.  She had a blast eating her way through all the little shops, I can't wait to take her back again soon!

And now, it's another Monday & we have a busy week ahead.  A couple doctor's appointments, dance class, & planning some details for Waverly's birthday party in two weeks!  I can't believe I will have a three year old so soon!  Hope you all have the best week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fourth of July Weekend

Our Fourth was extra special this year since it was our first big holiday as a family of four & Avalon's first celebration of many, many to come. :)  We were so excited to deck her out in some red, white & blue and bring her along for all of the festivities.  Of course, girlfriend slept through most of them, but we forgave her since she looked so damn cute while doing it, plus I know it will be no time before she's running around with her older sister during this holiday next year.  Crazy.

We started off Saturday morning with blueberry pancakes & took the girls to the neighborhood parade, which Waverly loved so much!  This was the second year we took her (plus the second time I forgot to decorate the wagon, third time's a charm?!), the kids all ride around the streets & then meet back to eat treats after.  It's so much fun & exactly the type of thing I know our little ones will look back on with the best memories.  Afterwards, we spent the afternoon at the pool, Waverly swam her little heart out while Avalon slept & we all grilled out.  We all loved life, such a perfect way to spend a summer day!

Waverly's Swimsuit & Avalon's Top
And then, the fireworks.  We had been going back & forth about whether we would even attempt them, mainly because Waverly hated them last year and we ended up being the only people in the city driving away from the beach as they were going off.  We had been telling her about them (& showing her videos online) for a couple weeks, one day she loved them and couldn't wait to go, the next she hated them and would cry if we even mentioned it.  Toddlers. ;)  We went to my parents for dinner, they live really close to the beach so we figured we could just walk both girls down there if Waverly seemed into it, which long story short, she didn't, so we left to drive home.  

Both girls were crying (screaming) the entire drive, Waverly because she was tired (too much partying) & still thinking about fireworks, Avalon because she hates the car seat (like really, really hates it).  My milk was leaking from Avalon crying, plus I had spit-up all over me, because, I have a newborn. ;)  The fireworks started going off during our circus of a car drive & we couldn't help but laugh, happy freaking fourth of july. ;)
This is definitely life now, good thing we wouldn't change it for anything.

Girls Outfits, Gap (Sold-Out) & Headbands
For the record, the first thing Waverly said when she woke up Sunday morning was "I loved the fireworks, they were awesome, can we go again tonight?."  Nope.

Hope you all are having the best week!