Vianne's First Words

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Sunday, April 21, 2013 7:12 PM

Despite the fact that I'm more than tempted to hold out for "Mama" before making this proclamation, I can't in good conscience set an example of lying for our child...

We're ready to "call" her first words: two, simultaneously, "Hi" (which she says clearly) and "Bye Bye" (which sounds more like Ba Ba) - both are always accompanied by waving, and used appropriately in context.

Vianne's First Birthday - Home Edition - The Day Of

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Saturday, April 20, 2013 9:15 PM

On Vianne's actual birthday, we had a simple celebration at home, just the three of us.  It was a Monday, which is always awkward for birthdays so while Daddy went to work Vianne & Mama sang Happy Birthday about 46 times, blew up balloons to play with, and did her 1 year photo shoot.  When he got home, we did something very special - we all sat down to dinner together!  (Usually Vianne eats about 5:30 and we eat about 8:00.)  And it was lovely out, so we ate outside! Vianne had a recent favorite, macaroni & cheese, among other things, and Mama & Daddy enjoyed some French Dip sandwiches in her honor :-).
After dinner, she had a little Happy Birthday spazz-out with Daddy...
... and then we had some mini-cupcakes.  Vianne once again preferred the cake to the frosting - she threw the whole clump of frosting onto the ground :-).

Then we took some pictures with our sweetie...

 And then we opened presents!  She got this musical push toy from Grandma Gustafson.
From Mama & Daddy: Winnie the Pooh Stacking Honey Pots

 A Ladybug Pillow

 A Wheaton T-shirt :-)


 Silly Songs & Winnie the Pooh movies

Vianne Rose: One Year Old!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Wednesday, April 17, 2013 7:55 PM

We are doing our best to come to terms with the fact that our baby girl is now a one year old!  We daily marvel at this little person who seems to have taken on "toddler" with a vengeance - and in the blink of an eye.  She is hilarious and delightful and we praise God for 365 days with her so far and all the days with her to come!

Vianne at One:
~ She weighs about 19.5 lbs and is about 30" tall (as of her 12 month check-up on 4/18). 
~ Her current favorite foods are peaches, broccoli, bananas, peas & carrots, and macaroni & cheese.
~ She loves music, both listening & playing (xylophone and keyboard, of late). Her favorite songs are "Jesus Loves Me", "Old McDonald Had A Farm", and "Sur Le Pont d'Avignon".
~ She loves books, just like her Daddy! Especially Sandra Boynton's classics and the Baby Einstein mini-board books.
~ She still does not have any teeth (and not a lot of hair to speak of) but she's walking like a pro!
~ She is increasingly recognizing words, that is to say, if you ask her "Where is ______?", she will look at the person or find the thing.  She's known Mama & Daddy for awhile now, but also knows Grandma, Grandpa, water, baby, ladybug (pillow), train (we live very close to one) and some others.
~ She is very silly and funny and makes almost everything into a game these days.  One of her favorites is, if someone's bare feet are exposed, to walk up and try to suck their toes.  She does this to both Mama & Daddy and even sometimes to Joel & Jesse.  This of course grosses me out - so I always yell "Blech, blech, blech, yucky yucks, etc..." and she laughs and laughs.
~ She signs "More" (by clapping) and sometimes "Dog".
~ She is definitely a nature girl!  She loves being outdoors, loves it when Grandpa comes and takes her for walks around the neighborhood, and when Mama takes her for walks in the stroller.
~ She is a great traveler both by car and plane, for the most part.
~ She still is not a big fan of sleeping, but it's getting better.
~ We are thrilled that her blue eyes have stayed.  They are gorgeous.  She gets these from Grandpa O. and seems to also get left-handedness from him.  It may be too soon to tell, but she's definitely favoring the left hand (when eating, etc.).

And now, for the cuteness...this is the photo shoot we did on her birthday in her ladybug dress from our friend Jane, and rocking chair from our friend Becky.

Vianne's First Birthday - Oregon Edition - Winnie the Pooh Party

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 10:23 AM

While in Oregon, we celebrated Vianne's upcoming first birthday two weeks early with family & friends.  With tons of help from Mom, who graciously hosted the event, we had a very fun Winnie the Pooh themed party.  

I must confess, I had SO MUCH FUN coming up with ideas for this party - my creative side was exhilarated by the planning. I imagine that in years to come, sweet Vianne will have plenty of input into what her birthday parties consist of, so I took full advantage of this one year where all she does is show up & be cute.  Fortunately, she's very good-natured and kindly let her Mama, who waited a long time for a baby of her own and thus had a lot of pent-up-party-planning in her soul, go a little crazy. I hope you, blog reader, will be forbearing as well, as I indulge in posting about all this...(most readers know my love language is creative arts ;-)...)

It all started with some Pooh-themed 1st birthday items I got for a steal at Party City months ago (yes, we're talking, like, last October).  From there, I did a lot of ruminating & googling for ideas for food & games & decor that would go along with Pooh & friends.  Here are the things I came up with, either on my own or with help from the trusty internet (which, like for everything, has some really good & some really bad ideas for Pooh parties):

The first item of fun for me to create! Using mostly stuff I had on hand (thank you, years at Hot Off The Press), plus some Pooh stickers (thank you, Dollar Tree!), and some pre-made folded circular cards w/ envelopes I had gotten as a gift & was saving for 'just the right thing', I came up with this.

We were doing a simple make-your-own-sandwich dinner with breads, meats, cheeses, and condiments, but I wanted to enhance the dinner with a snack or side for each of Pooh and his friends.  Before dinner, we had this tray out of "Owl's Brain Foods" (a mixture of nuts & berries) and "Kanga & Roo's peanut butter pouches" (pretzels filled with pb...they look like little pouches to me :-) ).
  An obvious one...vegetable tray for Rabbit...
 ...and a not-so-obvious one "Tigger (colored) snacks", bags of Cheetos & Nacho Cheese Doritos.  I confess, Tigger had me a bit stumped.
For the birthday dessert, I was so excited to try this recipe I'd found awhile ago for honey (or, I should say, hunny) cupcakes...
 ...with honey cream cheese frosting.  I didn't quite have the right tip to make the frosting beehives like in the picture on the blog, but I still like the way they turned out!
Then I added these little bee picks, which I made using symmetrical bee stickers from Michael's (that, much to my delight, were on sale), sticking two together back to back around a flat toothpick.
And, to serve with dessert, some sweet treats..."Pooh's Hunny" (Bit O' Honey candy), "Eeyore Tails" (Grape Vines) and "Christopher Robin's Eggs" (see what I did there ;-)...thankfully it was near Easter so they were in stores!).
We did two party games: 1) Find the Eeyore Tail (because Eeyore is always losing his!) and 2) Pin The Tail You Found On Eeyore.  For the first game, I made an Eeyore tail from craft foam for each kid in attendance, marking them with their name.  I hid the tails around the family room and they had to find their own tail.  They were only supposed to find their own so if they found another kid's tail, they had to leave it alone & not tell them.  (I wrote down where I hid each one beforehand so I wouldn't forget!)  For the little kids, I hid them in easy places to find but for the older kids, I made it more difficult.
 My mom drew this amazing poster of Eeyore, just by looking at a picture of him from a book.
Each kid got a prize for finding their tail - which were these Pooh, Tigger, & Piglet snap bracelets for the younger kids (thank you again, Dollar Tree!) and for my older nephews who I didn't think would be too excited about a snap bracelet, these Pooh drawing books (thank you,!).  The winner of Pin The Tail On Eeyore got a Pooh chalkboard (also, Dollar Tree!).
For party favors, we used these adorable animal crackers shaped like Pooh & friends that I found at Costco...
 ...which we bagged up and tied with curly pink ribbon (like Piglet tails) for the guests to take home.
 The party favors were personally taste-tested by the Birthday-Girl-To-Be so we could be sure they were good enough for her guests.
Speaking of the Birthday Girl, enough of this neurotic-crafty-Mama nonsense, and onto the real fun & the real important stuff: the party & the beautiful people who came to it & the darling daughter of ours that all of it was for!
(These are Pooh toys and blocks from my childhood!)

Snuggling with Grandma while waiting for the guests to arrive!  She wore this adorable flowered dress that was a gift at her birth from my cousin Beth & was so cute on her!
 She had a few fun minutes with the balloons all to herself...

 ...but was soon joined by a whole bunch of balloon fanatics - namely, her cousins.

Balloons = instant fun!  For a minute, I'd wondered why I'd planned any games!  The kids were coming up with their own!

After everyone arrived, the cutest kiddos in the world listened to the explanation of the Find The Eeyore Tail game...

...and once everyone found theirs, we played Pin The Tail On Eeyore.


Miss Ava was our big winner!  She got the tail the closest to the 'X' on Eeyore's rump & won the Pooh chalkboard.

Ian was so cute with his snap bracelet!  He spent the rest of the night declaring that he had "Tigger Power!!!"
Dinner time!  The birthday girl gets the chopped up version....

These girls are ready for cupcakes!

I think she's praying..."Please let this cupcake be good..."
...or "Please make Mama be careful with that open flame..."

Vianne's first taste of anything this sugary

Not a huge fan of the honey cream cheese...
...but gives it a second chance.

Time for presents!  Vianne got so many wonderful gifts and actually remained interested in opening them for quite awhile.
Then we played for a bit with our party guests...
Vianne & Ian...Too controlling psychotic early to arrange the marriage?

Our sweet girl seemed to have a blast at her party! :-)

Thanks to Mom & Rebekah for many of the best photos!