Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Boys

Geez, I feel like I will never be able to get on here to post anything... if I have the energy, I lack the time and if I have the time, I lack the energy.  I'm still on maternity leave, so perhaps when I get back to work and on a schedule I'll figure out a time to squeeze in for blogging.  Yeah, we'll see.

Anyway, I wanted to share some pics of the boys!  These were taken by our sweet photographer, Abbey, a few days after the twins came home from the NICU.  Ben and Leo were in the NICU for just over six weeks, so they're about seven weeks old in these photos.  Sam was just shy of 21 months in most of these.  He has been an excellent big brother!  He's a toddler of course, so there are definitely moments of jealousy, but overall he is so dang sweet with his new brothers.  He is always wanting to kiss on them and rub them with "nice hands."  Or shove pacifiers in their mouths and shout "No!" when they cry.  All very sweet. Hahaha...

Leo, Sam, and Ben

Ben and Leo

Leo and Ben

Big Brother Sam, 18 mos

Sam, 21 mos

Hope the Christmas season is treating you all well!  Online shopping is my best friend again as usual.  The decorations are all up, but I've got a few more gifts to finish.  And I haven't even begun wrapping.  How are your Christmas to-do's coming?  It's certainly going to be a fun one this year with Sam being older.  Just driving down the street hearing him go "WOWWW!!!" at all the Christmas lights makes it for me.  Love that kid!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Twin Pregnancy and The Power of Protein

Two posts in less than 24 hours? Don't be surprised if you see pigs in the air this afternoon. Like everything lately, I meant to post this sooner, but here's a link to a guest post I did earlier this month on on the importance of protein intake during twin pregnancy. As I mention in the post, I truly believe my diet was a huge factor in our boys' hefty birth weights. Both were over the 90th percentile for their gestation. Enjoy!


Ben and Leo's Birth Story

So I wrote this while still in the hospital - it was fun and weird and emotional to read back through it.  Our twin boys arrived on Monday, August 12th at 31 weeks, 1 day.  Just some of the back story - I had been admitted to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning on the Saturday before.  I woke up around midnight that Friday night, went to the bathroom (one of like 15 times during the night at that point) and started bleeding - much like a period.  I didn't blog much through this pregnancy, but if you remember, I had been on house arrest due to placenta previa, etc.  So bleeding was the "thing" I was really watching for and, well, there it was.  I knew they would admit me. 
The bleeding stopped and though I was contracting some initially, it all slowed down and they ultimately took me off all monitors and meds Sunday.  I was due to have an ultrasound Monday morning and anticipated going home, assuming all looked OK.  Well, how quickly things changed!  I'm so glad I got this all down in the thick of it.  I doubt I could recount all the details at this point...
Sweet Brothers - NICU Days
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I was unusually chill that whole day (Monday). If all of this had unfolded on Saturday it may have been a different story. So I just wanted to recount the last 48 hours while I can remember it...
Just before 5am on Monday morning, I was lying in the bed awake. I had either just gotten up to pee or was about to, but I remember thinking, "I am feeling good, I'm free of all the monitors and IV, I'm not contracting at all, the bleeding has all but stopped... I'm going to get to go home!" And then literally a minute later, I feel the tiniest little menstrual-like cramp. I remember grabbing my belly and thinking, "Hmmm, what is that?" Within seconds I felt this big gush of fluid. One after the other. It was so much that I thought my water had broken. So I sat up and pulled back the sheets. Even in the dark, I could see pools of blood and it just kept coming. I made a mess but somehow my Snoogle made it out unscathed! I yanked it out just in time, I guess.
So at first I'm thinking I should get to the bathroom, but quickly decided I better not. It was a LOT of blood coming out very fast. So I laid back down and called the nurse in. I have to again say how awesome the nurses are here! Ali was my night nurse and she was so great. If she was freaking out over my blood bath, she sure didn't show it. But within a few minutes, she had two other nurses plus Dr. Knoer in my room. Scott was already on his way back to the hospital (he had gone home around 9pm or so the night before).
So they got me cleaned up and of course got me back on the monitors and IV fluids. The boys didn't seem to notice anything - they were just doing their thing in there. So the plan was to monitor everything and get my u/s first thing once the peri office opened. We knew delivery was a real possibility at this point, but I could also stabilize and hold out a while longer. Either way, going home Monday was clearly out!
Ultrasound with Dr. Gomez showed healthy boys with plenty of fluid, but my cervix had opened up and I was dilated to 2.5cm. The bleeding did appear to be an abruption. Leo's placenta was sitting right by the opening of the cervix, but not covering it. Oh one other thing, as soon as they put me on the exam table (I had been taken up to u/s on a stretcher), I passed some massive clot. I was like, uh... yeah that was something. So bleeding had mostly stopped but, yeah. Anyway, Dr. Gomez also just wanted to monitor closely. It was very much a this-could-go-either-way thing right now (as far as delivering or getting stable). Plan was to see him again Thursday unless we needed to sooner. He did say I was in the early stages of preterm labor. It just becomes a question of whether you aggressively try to stop the labor or focus more on getting the boys ready to be delivered.
Well, soon thereafter, getting back to my room and back on the monitors... I started contracting pretty frequently. They put me back on the magnesium drip, but it was purely for the babies and not to stop labor. The mag helps somehow neurologically and we (thankfully) had already gotten a full round of steroids in just before all this went down. So the boys were about as prepared as they could be at this stage.
Dr. Ingvoldstad was now the one in charge (another OB from my practice). I did ease up on the contractions some, but it was still an hour-by-hour deal. Before too long, however, they picked up again and I also began to bleed more. Not nearly as bad as that morning, but plenty. Plenty to say, it's time! Ultimately, the decision to deliver was more about my bleeding than anything else. My blood pressure had dropped (I'm usually very normal when it comes to BP). And Dr. Ingvoldstad said it's just not worth the risk to wait. If the bleeding got really severe, you could lose one or both boys. Uh, OK let's do this then!
Soon an entirely different nursing staff came in and said "Alright we'll be taking over from here." It was like when the FBI comes in and pushes out the local cops. Haha... yeah from then on things moved pretty quickly. Anesthesiology came in and we ironed all that out. Dr. Ingvoldstad thought they may want to knock me out (vs. being awake with an epidural). I told him I preferred to be alert of course, but anesthesiology could make the decision there as to what's best. Thankfully, they were cool with doing the epidural.
So then it was just a matter of the OR clearing and getting in there. Oh and they also had done bloodwork on me and had blood ready to go in case I needed a transfusion. I'm so glad I was already familiar with the general procedures - it made it a lot easier knowing how the surgery process would go. They did the epidural in the OR and got me all set up and prepped before bringing Scott back.
There were seriously like 15 or more people in the OR between doctors, nurses, anesthesiology, and then of course the NICU team standing by for the boys. It was a party! Surgery was quick and we heard both sweet boys cry. Lovely sound! I got a quick peek at them, but NICU had their hands on both immediately and were working away.
I did lose a lot of blood during surgery and they decided to give me more. My heart rate was really low and I was apparently pale as a ghost! So the anesthesiologist got the blood started. I was seriously watching it go in, thinking of Vampire Diaries for some reason - like, oh yeah these are the bags the vamps steal from the hospital. And, hello, it hurt like a mutha going in. They were flushing it in hard and fast though. It wasn't long before I was feeling stronger and my coloring came back. But I was definitely in the OR longer than last time since they were trying to get me more stabilized.
I received one more bag of blood in recovery, so that process also lasted a little longer. Scott was feeding me ice chips while in there and holy cow, they were divine. Definitely a different recovery room experience this time... no babies to hold. My counts were up after checking my bloodwork again, so I was freed to go to our new room at that point. En route to our room, they did wheel me into the NICU so I got a quick peek at our boys! No touching or holding though - just a peek. They looked great. I was so thrilled that both were over 4 lbs (Leo came first at 4lb 3oz, and Ben followed at 4lb, 4oz).
So that was all I saw of them on day one, but honestly all I wanted to do was sleep. I was good and drugged up and slept well Monday night. My parents had been there waiting, so we saw them and Scott was able to take them back to see the boys. My SIL and her new hubby also came by later. Scott's parents had Sam, so they were planning to come next day.
I started pumping Monday night and have had some luck. Not being term, my milk will probably take longer to come in. I think they'll actually start giving them some breast milk today or tomorrow. So far, the boys are doing really well. Neither has had to be on the ventilator at this point and that is huge. Of course, in NICU things can change in a heartbeat, but so far, so good. We're just now trying to learn about all the equipment, etc.
I spent most of Tuesday resting. I slept a lot and kept visitors at bay. The first 24 hrs after a C are just tough anyway, but I mean, we don't even have babies in the room with us so it's truly about me just healing right now.  I was already on the verge of tears after my first attempt to pee after having my catheter removed (I've always had issues there and nothing frustrates me more!). But then the nurse came in to check my belly and I guess the pain meds weren't in full effect at that point - because oh it hurt, and I just started boo-hooing. Yesterday was rough - people (nurses, etc) constantly in and out checking on me. Just one of those leave-me-alone-and-let-me-be type days. Not to mention the constant waterworks! I was a hot mess. I did finally pee though - phew!
And we did go see our munchkins again last night. Until that point, I really didn't feel up to it. Just exhausted and really sore. But we finally made it in and got to spend some "touch time" with the boys. As you can imagine, it was pretty emotional. Hard to see their little bodies and feel so helpless to do anything. They are such tiny little cuties though.
Hearing the cries of other newborns down the hall has been tough. All these other moms get to have their babies with them 24/7 and I can only touch my baby through a hole in a wall. Hence my breakdown at 2am this morning after pumping!
So yeah... quite a couple of days! Hoping to have the strength to shower today. That'd be glorious. We will probably be here till Friday amd then I guess down here a lot keeping up with the boys. Hard to say how long they'll be here. I'm guessing 5 or 6 weeks minimum, but who knows. Good thing is I'll have plenty of time to fully heal and get prepared to take our boys home.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Party of Five

Our boys came home last week! I will get some way overdue pics posted very soon. We've been a *wee* bit busy, but have lots of great help and so far things are going pretty darn smoothly. The fatigue is the tough part, but it's just a season and a very short one. More soon, I promise! Ben and Leo are both doing wonderfully. Our photographer is arriving shortly to take their newborn pics, so it's a busy morning!

Back soon...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our sweet boys are here!

A bit of a crazy weekend ultimately led to an early delivery on Monday (at 31 weeks, 1 day), but all three of us are doing great so far!  We were thrilled that both boys were over 4 pounds. I will give the full scoop soon, but wanted to go ahead and introduce our little men!

♥ Leo William was born August 12, 2013 at 2:15pm, weighing 4 lbs, 3 oz and 16 3/4 inches long.

♥ Benjamin Elliott followed his brother at 2:17pm, weighing 4 lbs, 4 oz and 17 inches long.

We haven't been able to hold our little monkeys just yet, but shown here is a pic of each from one of yesterday's NICU visits. (I'm posting from my phone, so excuse the lousy photo placement!)

More news soon and thanks so much for all the well wishes!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Counting Down

The weeks are winding down here!  My OB will pull the trigger at 38 weeks, so we've only got about 7 weeks to go at most.  Things have remained pretty quiet since I was in the hospital for a week.  We've managed to hold steady and these boys are growing big and strong.  Both were over 3 lbs when we measured last week.  AND my placenta previa has backed off some!  It's still a marginal previa, but better than it was, so that is great news. 
Bed rest really has not been bad... I'm not on full bed rest for one thing - so I can still get up as I need to, but for the most part, I stay put.  But really I tire SO easily and am so weak that I don't want to be up and moving around.  So no one has to ask me twice to rest.  OK, sometimes my hubby has to when he sees me trying to do something around the house.  But I behave for the most part!  I'm also still able to work from home, so that keeps me feeling productive.
We moved Sam to his big boy room last weekend and so far he is doing great!  He is now in a full size bed.  We really weren't sure how that transition would go - he's just shy of 19 mos right now.  But it has gone about as well as it could have.  Our biggest question was how the heck to get him to stay in bed, since he could easily climb out if he was determined to do so.  Well after the first night, we went in his room at 7am (his normal wake time) to find him asleep on the floor next to his train table.  Hilarious...  just from sounds heard over the monitor, we think he stayed in bed till about 4:30 or 5am and then decided to venture out.  Each night after that, he has stayed in bed all night.  He puts up his usual short-lived protest when we put him to bed, but he seems to understand that once he's in bed, that's it. 
His room looks great too - I will definitely post pics soon.  We have just a few minor decorative things to add and it will be complete.  We did another DIY cornice board for his big boy room since we loved the one we did for his nursery.  I mean, so easy!  Ha, as if I actually did any of it besides pick out the fabric.  We've also got blinds coming to replace the old shades on his window.  And I ordered a cute wall decal to go behind his bed that arrived yesterday.  We're supposed to let it sit for a couple of days before applying to the wall, so it is sitting.  My dad is also going to help us add some more lights in his room too as it's not very well lit.  And then I think we'll be about done! 
The nursery is also almost done for the twins.  We added a 2nd crib and swapped out some of the fabrics to freshen it up a bit.  Last weekend we did the wall art behind the cribs.  Stencil project from hell.  But it turned out great and it's DONE.  I won't be doing any "easy stencil projects" again any time soon though.  I just don't have the patience.  The second crib skirt arrives tomorrow and we've also got to swap out the cornice board fabric in that room.  And that's about it!
So yeah... getting close.  But we feel like these boys could come any time now, so we're trying to get everything done within the next couple of weeks.  Which means I also need to pack that hospital bag!  I made a list the other day... I just need to actually pack it.
Back soon with nursery and big boy room pics!

Monday, July 1, 2013


I'm sitting in the mall parking lot while the hubs gets fitted for his suit for his sister's wedding. Solitaire was getting kinda boring, so I figured I might as well update my poor dormant blog!

So... I spent the last week in the hospital after my ultrasound on Monday concerned my doctor a bit. I wasn't going in labor or anything, but he wanted to keep a close eye on things. Some fluid was spotted between the two sacs and Leo's fluid also appeared a little low. So off to Piedmont we went. I was only 24 weeks at that point, so we had the "scary" talk with the NICU doctor. I was put on magnesium and also got the steroid shots as a precaution. But Friday's follow up ultrasound looked good enough and I was freed! We were surprised - we were honestly getting prepared to have to spend the duration of the pregnancy in the hospital. We may be back there before too long, but I'm enjoying my freedom for now. Limited freedom that is - on full bed rest for the most part.

In other news, Sam is growing up so dang fast and learning new things every day. He has been in swim lessons all summer (survival type stuff - not like how to do a proper backstroke). He actually smiles when under water. So funny. Balls are still his #1 favorite toy. He'll do about anything for bananas or grapes (a.k.a. balls). He's currently fascinated with bugs. He is pretty much all boy! And his hair is so blonde right now... so funny and super cute. I will have to add some recent pics here.

We're on a mad dash to get ready for Ben and Leo's arrival. It's tough seeing as I am worthless and of no help! But we've got to get Sam moved over to his big boy room, and that involves actually putting together his big boy room. We've got his bedding and a plan in place - we just need to do it. My parents ordered us the 2nd crib and it arrives today (thanks, Nana and Gran!).  I have one crib skirt and need to order the second here soon. Other then getting Sam moved though, nothing is a big emergency or anything. But I like having everything in its place and ready to go, you know?

Also, I must brag on my hubby for being Superdad these last few weeks. He has been picking up my slack and then some, and truly played the part of a single dad this past week with me in the hospital. I don't know how he does it all, but somehow he's still smiling! He is juggling a lot and continues to have a great attitude. And we've also got lots of support from family and friends, which makes a big difference. Truly grateful!

Well that's the big news from our camp.  A pretty boring summer, but boring is what we're after right now. Plenty of time for excitement later on with our three boys!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Names for the Boys

Sam and Dada at the lake on Memorial Day
(always with a ball in hand, that kid)

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  We sure did.  Still on modified bed rest here as my pesky placenta previa is still there (and worse actually).  BUT no bleeding or anything has occurred since my initial episode, so that is good. Just having to continue to be careful and take it extra easy.  I am working from home, otherwise I think I might go crazy!  At least I can still be productive while horizontal.

I wanted to share our names for the boys since we finally came up with them!!!  Still working on middle names, but Sam's little brothers will be...

Ben & Leo

Ben(jamin) is a Biblical fave... and Leo is just, well... fun!  Not short for Leonardo or Leonard or something - just Leo.  It's Italian for "lion," so clearly, Leo is the trouble-maker and the one hanging out over my cervix.  May try to tie in some family names with the middle names... we'll see. 

Alright, back to the "office"... have a good one!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week: Days 4 and 5

So, uh, yesterday I was working away on the couch and around 10am it suddenly dawned on me that I sent Sam off to school without his teacher gifts for the day.  Geez... and I seriously was losing sleep the night before trying to figure out how I'd wrap them!  So how did I not give it ONE thought the next morning?  Pregnancy brain, I guess.

Anyway, the hubby was running back by the house mid-morning, so he grabbed the gifts on his way back out.  Sam's school is not even a quarter mile from our house, which is nice when we forget stuff!

Yesterday's theme was "pampering," so I wrapped up a couple of fun summer nail colors with a cute nail file...

And Sam's out on Fridays, but I wanted to drop gifts by anyway.  Last minute again, of course.  I literally went through the Starbucks drive-thru for giftcards ("favorite thing" was the theme today) and then wrapped them in the school parking lot.  Ha!  It was my outing for the day...

Maybe I'll be a little more prepared next year?  No promises.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week: Day 3

Today's theme was "the gift of smell."  They didn't say it had to be a good smell... but I figure they get enough not-good smells in the classroom. 

We got a list of Sam's teachers' "favorites" to help us with ideas, and one of his teachers listed her favorite perfume scents as Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci.  Pretty sure Dove would've been next on her list...

I'm not a perfume person, but I do like these Dove body mists - very light and feminine.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week: Days 1 and 2

Here we are at Teacher Appreciation Week again... and this time I had more than like 3 days notice!  However... being banned to the couch makes it hard to get uber creative and make multiple shopping trips.  So Sam's gifts for his sweet teachers are a little sub-par this year, but hey... I think they'll still be a hit even though they were thrown together in the 11th hour.  (And I'm sure teachers love anything and everything - I am only comparing my stuff with what I did last year!)

Monday's theme was flowers.  And I got *uber* creative with that one...

Today's theme was favorite food/drink...

Giftcard to our local Mexican joint inside!

I had some more fun packaging ideas for the restaurant giftcards, but neither panned out.  Note that both gifts were assembled within minutes of delivery... yeah, 11th hour I'm telling you!  No pre-printed labels this year, sheesh.

Hahaha....  I've got the rest of the week planned out a little better so we'll see how those shape up!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nursery Updates

Well, hello from the couch...  I'm officially on "house arrest" for at least the next couple of weeks (a.k.a. modified bedrest) due to having placenta previa.  I figured I'd have to slow down at some point with twins on the way, but not this early.  I'll be 17 weeks tomorrow.  But, hey... what can you do?  I've been working from home the last couple of weeks and will continue to as long as this condition persists.  It's still very early on though and my doctors suspect this one pesky placenta will migrate.

Anyway, in other fun news... we're expecting two more BOYS!  Guess I set myself up when I made the comment that I'd be happy as can be with three boys... ha! We're really excited - boys are so fun.  Sure, if I could've picked, I would have chosen a boy/girl combo.  But I was not at all disappointed to find out we're having two more boys.  Our house is going to be nuts!  But also full of love and lots of fun...

We don't have too much that we need before the boys arrive, besides basics like an extra crib and a double stroller... but I thought it'd be fun to give the nursery a small update.  A few of the items in there now are personalized for Sam, so we'll be swapping some things out.  But other than some fabric updates and adding a second crib, nothing much will change.  I'm definitely glad we went with neutral tones on the walls, etc and with the more "permanent" fabric pieces so that we could easily mix and match different prints for an easy update.  You can see all of Sam's nursery pics here, but below are a couple to show you what it looks like currently...

And these are the main fabrics we used (custom bedding and fabric from Carousel Designs - cannot recommend them enough!!!)

I was so pleased with the service and products at Carousel... plus they are local (to Atlanta) and all products are made to order right here in the US and they ship super fast.  And you're not buying bedding sets... you just order what pieces you want.  I didn't do bumpers since they're apparently not safe or whatever... so I just ordered a custom-designed skirt, blanket, and some sheets.  This next time around, I'll skip the blanket and sheets.  Nothing wrong with the sheets, but I ended up using Carter's jersey cotton sheets much, much more and they're a lot cheaper.  And I enjoyed the blanket I designed, but it's just not necessary.

So even though we're having more boys, I still want to give the nursery a little bit of a different look.  Like I said, we'll mostly be swapping out some fabric pieces (the window dressing and crib skirts).  And we'll be moving the changing table out and replacing it with a second crib.  We plan to remove one of the shelves on the built-in shelving to create a changing area there.  The pad will fit fine and we can use the shelves above for storing supplies.  I plan to move the baskets currently on the changing table to the built-in shelves.

As soon as we knew for sure we had two boys coming, I started browsing fabrics that would work with what we already have and fell in love with this...

I always have loved orange... if you remember, the inside of Sam's closet is orange!  And this shade is soft enough that it will fit right in with the shades of blue, beige, and bronze we already have going on in there.  I think we will probably replace the cornice board fabric with the orange chevron.  And with twins, I doubt I'll personalize it this time... I'll save that for some pillows or something.

For the skirts, I wanted to do a mix of coordinating fabrics but not have them exactly the same.  I was playing around with the designer tool on Carousel's site and put these two below together.  Note that I already have the swatches on hand and the colors aren't quite the same on screen...they all work well together much better in person.  For one thing, the blue is much softer than it appears here.  So if you ever are looking to order from Carousel - always, always order swatches first!

SO fun!  What I also love about their designer tool is that you can change the crib finish, the flooring, and walls to resemble what you have in your room so you can really get a feel for how the bedding will look.

Haven't ordered these yet, but I'm pretty happy with these designs and we'll most likely go with these.  I think I'll hold out till they have a sale... on occasion Carousel will offer a % off, but I've only seen notice on Facebook for sales, so be sure to "like" their FB page if interested.

We did actually make our first purchase for the twins this week... a couple of Podsters!

I discovered these a while back and "bookmarked" the idea for later... several of the reviews said they were a lifesaver for twins.  So I started looking at them again earlier this week and it seemed the non-pink ones were scarce!  I tried to order one from Walmart (the only one left) and later got denied because they were out of stock.  Amazon only had pink (for a decent price anyway).  So I found a blue one on one site (again, the LAST one - they are now completely out), and found a green one on Barnes & Noble's site, of all places.  I think they'll be great for the boys... the reviews are outstanding.  And I found some bloggers that sang their praises for them as well.  Any of you use these?  Boppy also makes a similar version, but after a fair amount of research, the LeachCo brand seems to be far superior.  And hello, LeachCo makes the pregnancy pillow that I'm so obsessed with (the Snoogle), so I have no doubt I'll love these too.

The other big item I've been researching a lot (OK a bit bigger than a podster, ha) is the perfect double stroller for the boys.  I love all my stroller choices for Sam... my research paid off.  So I'm hoping I score again here.  Only this time I want to find something more all-purpose that will last a few years.  Something that will hold two infant carseats in the beginning and later two toddlers.  After a lot of digging and reading reviews, I think our best bet is the Baby Jogger City Select...

It's pricey for sure... but has lots of versatility.  There are a million different ways to configure the seats.  And you can remove them completely to add the carseat adapters.  It's basically a frame you customize.  They also have bassinets you can add, but that's hardly necessary.  I'll skip that.  Twins or not, this is a pretty popular stroller.  Any experience with it?   I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Alright... I hear someone waking up from his nap so it's time to put the 'puter down.  Hope you all are having a great weekend.  It is rainy and gross here... so not a bad day to have to take it easy.  Still in my jammies here!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Photos: Sam's 1st Birthday Party

Soooo.... THREE months later, I'm finally getting Sam's 1st Birthday Bash pics up!  It's been fun reliving it today going through these photos.  We had such a great day and best of all, Sam had a blast too.  I chose the winter wonderland / arctic theme way back.... like when the kid could barely hold his head up.  It was a fun and easy theme to go with, especially being able to incorporate lots of Christmas decorations that worked with our colors.  We used pool blue, turquoise, white, and silver with pops of red.  Very gender neutral, but you could swap out the red for pink and it's suddenly very girly.  Already brainstorming on possibilities for a twin 1st birthday party... I may need an intervention! 

Anyway, enjoy the pics!

Sam's cake table coming together (was still putting stuff out at this point).

Tissue pom poms... so cheap and easy, but very time consuming!  Thanks to Aunt Jenn for helping me with those.

Favors for the kids... I had these frosted boxes in my stash from years ago.  And Sam's smash cake!

Main food table... kudos to my "catering" buddy, Costco.

One of my favorite things... the Hot Cocoa bar with homemade cocoa mix and fun toppings!  Plus supplies for guests to bag up some mix to enjoy at home (because I don't need 5 lbs of hot cocoa).

Drink tubs and snacks for kids.

Blueberry Mimosa station (pitcher not out yet) - these were a big hit!  2 parts champagne, 1 part OJ, 1 part 100% blueberry juice (kinda hard to find).  Top with a few fresh or frozen blueberries.  Delish!

Mantle decorated for the party.  Hard to see but the large vases are filled with ginormous marshmallows and hard candies.  The two pics were the same shot of Sam at 7 days and 12 mos.  What a difference a year makes!

We kept our Christmas tree up for the party but stripped it of our usual decorations and redid it with blue lights and tinsel.  Hard to see in the pic.. the blue lights don't show up so well.  Also had a slideshow playing of Sam's pics during the party - my dad put it together and spent MANY hours on it!  So sweet...

We had several displays of the monthly photos we had taken of Sam during his 1st year.  In this pose, we had him wear the same sleeper (size 12mo) and watched him grow into it from month to month.

One of Sam's buddies enjoying the sweets!  My "snow-covered" strawberries were a hit.  So easy too... use whatever colored candy melts for dipping, then roll in coconut to create the "snow" look.

Smash cake time!  And a closer look at the main cake too... courtesy of Publix!  I got the "S" topper from Michael's and added glitter to it.  I was looking everywhere for a cool "1" topper and never found one I liked.

"Hey, Mom, have you tried this?!?!"

"OK, Coach, quick water break then I'm going back in..."

Sam and Dada!

Gran and Sam


Can't imagine what was going through his little head!

Cool overhead shot of the gift craziness...

Also as promised (months ago!), here are some shots of the recently finished playroom.  The fabulous curtain panels were sewn by my sweet bestest!

We did an Eric Carle theme with the prints and fabrics.  The leaves on the tree were cut from those borders that teachers use and slapped on the wall with Yes Glue.  I painted the tree base by hand, just free-style, using Martha Stewart metallics from Home Depot.  Y'all know I love me some metallic paint!

My favorite part of the room... the chalkboard wall!  Party guests left their wishes for Sam...

And ALL that will wear a little boy out....