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Birthday Tradition: Professional Birthday Photos

One of our birthday traditions is to have professional photos taken each year. For the past two years I’ve taken Adaline to J.C. Penney’s on her actual birthday, August 4, where she has pictures taken in her birthday dress. We might not always do it on her actual birthday but it worked out that way the past few years and I’m glad that we have some good birthday photos of her.

Birthday Photos 2011
Adaline is 2!

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Birthday Photos 2010
Adaline is 1!

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Adaline also had her 1st birthday photos taken in a romper that I wore in my 1st birthday photos. There’s at least one slight difference in our appearance 😉
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

I know that’s way bigger than a smash cake. I forgot to ask my mom to make a little cake to take with us so she stopped by the grocery store and this was the smallest cake they had! Let’s just say that between this and her actual birthday cake, smash cake, and cupcakes we were eating cake for weeks and I literally gained 10 pounds!
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Balloon Wreath Tutorial and Links Post
Ladybug Picnic Centerpiece Tutorial
Free Ladybug and Bug Fonts Links Post
Ladybug Picnic Products List
(I’ll be creating a separate post that contains all of the info and links for the supplies from this party. In the meantime if you want to know where I got something just ask in the comments.)

Related Posts

*Birthday Traditions: Personalized Birthday CD
*Birthday Traditions: Knife and Cake Server
*Birthday Traditions: Professional Photos
*Birthday Traditions: Photo Puzzle
*Happy 2nd Birthday, Adaline!

*Birthday Girl…2 years old: Photos of Adaline at her birthday party
*Ladybug Picnic: 2nd Birthday

*Pink and Green Polka Dots and Cupcakes Party: 1st Birthday

*Ham and Man Party: 30th Birthday

*Celebrating 30 years in 30 days! All of my birthdays from 1980-2009

*DIY No Sew Party Hat Tutorial

*Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial (Centerpiece)

*Tissue Number Birthday Sign (Mini-Tutorial)

+Birthday posts will be published all throughout September 2011 including tutorials, party decor ideas, and birthday traditions!

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!


Early Ultrasound 9 weeks 2 days

Yesterday I had another early ultrasound. This was the follow-up to the one I had two weeks ago. The baby was very small at the time so they wanted to make sure a twin wasn’t hiding in there.
Apparently there wasn’t. There’s just one sweet little baby in there. She had no trouble finding the baby this time. We saw the heartbeat and it was 167. We also got to see the little one give us a few wiggles and shimmies 🙂

(Click on photos to enlarge them.)

The head is to the right and you can see the baby’s arm buds!

After my ultrasound I went to my first prenatal appointment. It’s just a lot of talking and answering questions and whathaveyou. Everything’s good.
Below you can see me at my appointment accompanied by my friend the Bubba Keg. That is the “jug” that I drink water out of every single day…not just when I’m pregnant 😉 (I kinda love water). It always impresses the doctors but seems to frighten average citizens.

Related Posts:
*Early Ultrasound 7 Weeks
*Wordless Wednesday: Two Lines
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3: Secondary Infertility
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Continued
*Our Infertility Story: The Short Version

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Wordless Wednesday: Little Leprechaun

Here are photos of Adaline on St. Patrick’s Day last year (2010).

We had to go grocery shopping and there were people in the store taking pictures of her with their cell phone and saying how cute she was 🙂
(We got the adorable hat at Babies R Us in 2010.)

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Wordless Wednesday: Oscar Night

Watching the Oscars…

What?! Isn’t this how everyone watches the Oscars?
Hmmm, weird…

Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats

This is the 13th post in a 12 week series joining
Mommy’s Piggy Tales to record my youth!

11th Grade
Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats

In 1995 I turned 16 and entered 11th Grade. I was in my second year on the Dance Line for the marching band. The band took a trip to Toronto, Canada. It was the first time that I’ve really traveled anywhere (except for visiting my grandparents in Orlando, FL every summer).

One of our first nights in Toronto we went to the Rock ‘N Roll Diner (I think that’s what it was called) to eat. And we got to dance, which I love. This was the first time I’d ever heard/saw the Macarena. Obviously my life was changed from that point on. We had a blast 🙂 After all of the dancing it was time to get back onto the bus and go to a show.

We were going to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I was pretty excited because, not only do I love the theater, but I’m a huge Disney fan and Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies. We got into the theater and made our way up to the balcony. I entered the doorway to the balcony and only took one look before I hit my knees. It was high. It was very, very high. I have a fear of heights. I’ve been in balconies before and usually if I shield my vision of “the drop” and sit with the program in front of my face until the lights are off…I’m fine. But this was very steep. Just taking one step into that room I felt like I was going to fall into the orchestra pit. So here I was in my green velvet evening gown crawling on the floor in the balcony of the Princess of Wales Theater. My friends managed to somehow get me to a seat and then promptly put a program in front of my face while fanning me with others. It didn’t help. The seats alone freaked me out more. Basically the top of the back of the chair in front of me was at my toes (at least that’s how it felt to me). It was very steep and I felt like I would fly right out of the seat. Did I mention that it was very high? And also very steep? Well. It was very high and very steep!!!

I was almost hyperventilating when my friends got the chaperons involved. One of them offered to get me water and I accepted, but they came back and said that they weren’t allowed to bring drinks into the theater. Now they wanted me to get up and go sit in the lobby to calm down. GET UP?!!! Do you know how hard it was to get into this seat to begin with, and you want me to get up? I’m never getting up again! I will live and die in this seat! If I get up I’m just certain I’ll fall right over the edge! From what I remember a lot of people stood up in the row in front of me hoping to shield my vision and I swear about 18 people had their hands on me helping me to the aisle where I once again tried to crawl my way up the stairs and out of the door. I sat in a chair in the lobby where I drank water and tried to calm down. Eventually one of the ushers came up to me and told me that there were some empty seats downstairs that I could sit in. I didn’t want to go alone and they said that I could take one person with me. My good friend/boyfriend, Michael, volunteered to go with me (there was no way he’d let me out of his sight once he was in protector mode).

Once I was settled into “the good seats” on the ground where the good Lord intended human beings to be, I was able to calm down and enjoy the show. I loved the show! There were songs in the live show that weren’t in the animated movie and the choreography for “Gaston!” was awesome. I loved every minute of it. Once I was on the ground, mind you 😉

While this was the most traumatizing part of the trip it seemed to be the beginning of a theme which was, “Hey, let’s visit every place up high that exists in Canada and freak Jenn out!”. We went to some big famous ball park stadium place (yeah, you can tell I’m not into sports) for some sort of tour. I’m not sure what we were actually doing there, because they had us up high again and I opted to stay out in hallway or whatever you call it. Then we also went to the CN Tower. I’m not sure if it serves any purpose other than to be up all high and frighten poor little girls like me. I went up the tower (I had to stay with the group) but didn’t go look out the window and certainly did not go walk on the glass floor.

We went to see Phantom of the Opera and luckily the Pantages Theater’s balcony was more normal and not quite so steep. With lots of help from my friends shielding me and supplying me with programs I was able to remain in my balcony seat for the entire performance. I really wasn’t familiar with “Phantom” prior to this and had been looking forward to it since everyone and their brother seemed to think that “Phantom” was the best musical ever. I didn’t like it and I think I even fell asleep during part of it. My friend, Meghan, and I would blame it on the fact that the cast that night was mostly understudies (and their understudies) and there must’ve been a malfunction with the chandelier that made it creep down slowly rather than crash. But the truth is that I really didn’t care for the storyline…at least not for a musical. It didn’t have enough dancing for me (by the way, I like the dancing if you hadn’t caught on). It’s not the tragedy of the whole thing. I can get into a good tragic love story as much as the next gal. It was just weird with the whole “It’s my theater, but I haunt it, and I’m a father-figure to you, but I love you…”, it creeped me out. West Side Story…now there’s a musical love tragedy that I can get into. Having the love of your life die in your arms shortly after he purposely/accidentally killed your brother is something to sing and dance about, in my humble opinion. But I digress…

We wrapped up our trip to Toronto with a visit to Niagara Falls. Maybe I was just in a pessimistic mood after “Phantom” had disappointed me, or maybe all things pale in comparison to a near-death experience crawling in a balcony while wearing an evening gown…but I just couldn’t get all excited about a bunch of dirty, smelly water rolling around. Perhaps if I visit it in my adulthood with a fresh touch of optimism I can see what’s so great about all of the water. As long as I don’t have to go anywhere up high first.

P.S. Just FYI despite my obviously irrational fear of heights I have absolutely no fear of flying and have done so on several occasions without incident. I am truly a complex soul.

*My 16th Birthday

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree 2010

Cool Daddy came up with the idea of having an Ugliest Christmas Sweater competition for our Christmas Eve celebration. It sounded just like the weird sort of thing our family would love, so I agreed and we made our plans.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block

On Christmas Eve Cool Daddy and I hosted The First Annual Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree. Everyone in the family participated except for the babies since we figured that a tricked-out sweater might be a choking hazard.

The Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion would be awarded the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Trophy of Awesomeness. Contestants also had the opportunity to win the title of overall Most Festive Attire and Most Naturally Ugly (unaltered) Christmas Sweater (they’d win the title and bragging rights, but no award).

Here are all of the 2010 Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contestants…can you guess who won?
(The winner is announced at the bottom, so don’t scroll down and cheat! Cheater.)

2010 Ugly Christmas Sweaters

First here we are, the Cool Family.
I think our sweaters prove just how cool we really are. Ahem.
When planning the party I didn’t consider the fact that Adaline might be freaked out by all of the sweaters.
I thought she would love them and try to pull at them.
Adaline was freaked out by all of the sweaters.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Isn’t that the ugliest Santa head?!
I found it at The Dollar Tree. What a treasure.

There were lights around the Santa head but they didn’t show up on camera 😦
My hat had Santa legs coming out of the top (so that it looked like Santa was going down the chimney), but the legs kept flopping over, so it just looks like I’m wearing a brick-print top hat 😦 .
Still awesome, but not quite the same. Sigh.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Cool Daddy can rock a woman’s sweater vest like nobody’s business.

There’s lights on the front and back (but again, they’re hard to see) and it’s covered in glow sticks. I’m not really sure why.
He’s wearing a Christmas tie that plays Jingle Bells (um, awesome, anyone?).
He purposely shaved off his goatee to have his creepy mustache compliment his sweater.
You better believe it was gone before the night was out. *Shudder*
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

So my sister waited until only a few days before to get her sweater together. Then decided that she couldn’t find anything (that she was willing to pay for), so she turned a shirt inside out and wrote all over it with a Sharpie. Um, okay.
She did even less for her husband having him wear an old sweatshirt, which for some reason he decided to fold up into a mid-drift. Sure.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I wised up when taking the picture of my mom’s sweater and turned off the flash so that you can see her lights. The lights on her sweater were sa-weet! They were shaped like stars and changed colors!
(P.S. The tinsel on her sweater forms a Christmas tree…in case you couldn’t tell.)
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Oh Christmas Ben, Oh Christmas Ben, how lovely are thy sweater…
My cousin Ben is sporting a Christmas tree sweater, complete with presents for shoes. A jingle bell fur collar adds musical appeal while tinsel and Christmas trees on the back make sure that you have a Happy Holiday from every direction. Oh yes.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters 2010

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
a peacock in a pear tree…

Okay, so I think that my cousin, Aunia’s, sweater is actually kinda cute. And I would totally wear it to the grocery store peacocks on the shoulders and all.
(Then again I would wear my totally rockin’ Santa sweater to the grocery store too because I’m super weird and have no shame…)

She’s stylin’ with a pear tree on the front of her sweater, peacocks on her shoulders (because apparently partridges are hard to come by) and feathers on the sleeves.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters 2010

My aunt, A.C., is trimmed in lovely green tinsel and featuring giant candy canes surrounded by puffy balls.
My uncle, U.A., is wearing a sweater that I originally thought was a reindeer head…and now I think might be a clock. Not really sure.
Either way, my favorite part was that he had real mini candy canes in the stockings. Tee-hee 🙂
Ugly Christmas Sweaters 2010

Now’s your last chance to pick your winner
before scrolling down to see the results.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Okay. So here are the 2010 winners of Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Winners 2010

My brother-in-law, Matt, won the title and bragging rights for Most Naturally Ugly (unaltered) Christmas Sweater because he had the only unaltered shirt…even though it wasn’t Christmas-y. But my sister said that it has red and green on it so it counts. I guess.

Ben won the title and bragging rights for overall Most Festive Attire.
Wearing an entire Christmas tree on your chest will do that.
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.

My very own main squeeze, Cool Daddy, rose victorious as the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion.
I think we all voted for him because we were so creeped out by the mustache.
And we wanted it to go away.
Very quickly.
And never return.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Winner 2010

And this is supposed to be a picture of Ben sad because he didn’t win the trophy, but the sad picture that I took of him ended up being really blurry and so I used this one instead wherein he is kinda smiling and holding up one finger even though he was very sad and truly tortured to the very core of his being for not having won the trophy and he must be pretending that he is number one in order to make himself feel better and not cry in front the entire blogosphere. I thank you for not laughing at him during his hour of great pain and distress.
(Nothing says, “Feliz Navidad!” like a good nonsensical run-on sentence.
You are welcome.)

2010 Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Which ugly sweater is your favorite? (Mine!)
Let me know in the comments!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)

labelschristmas300Ugly Christmas Sweater TraditionUgly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules 10wayschristmaspjs1


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