Just for my record and memory.....here are pics of all the little details of Griffen's party that I made. Most evreything was made from scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or tissue paper. I tried to keep the party as cost effective but CUTE as possible, which is always a goal on one income.
Here's the cupcake table....I made the tissue paper pom poms. So fun and easy to make! Definitely something that I will do again. I also hung his monthly pics with his teddy bear above the table. Instead of a cupcake stand, I covered boxes with wrapping paper.
His birthday pic from JcPenney---his first experience with a cake. He hated it! I ordered the "1st birthday" plates after combing through tons of sites for the best deals.
The cupcake toppers were from scrapbook paper and the use of my friends cricut machine. So easy! Thanks Brandy!
The guest tables.
The little kids snacks. Of course, everything had to start with G! The big "kids" had 6 foot long sub. sandwiches and chips.
For favors, I made m&m cookies for everyone and then added gumballs to the bags too.
My dad made me pose by my handiwork. :-)
I asked the guests to sign a scrapbook page that I will add to Griffen's scrapbook to remember the day.
The birthday banner, once again made by my friend's cricut. Didn't really show up well in pics.
The throne for the little man! Mom and I made the bib and shirt. His shirt had a "G" on it and the bib had a "1" on it.
Such a fun day! The inner "self-proclaimed" party planner came out throughout the planning process. Love it!
Griffen's birthday party was so much fun. From the start to finish of planning, I enjoyed every minute. Let me rephrase that before Scott knocks me upside the head, I enjoyed every part of planning other than the piles everywhere of the things I'd made! :-)
The theme for the party was "G is for Griffen." The teacher in me definitely came out in so many of the details. Scott came up with a poem for the invitations that created the scene for the party.
Griffen, gumballs and gummy bears too,
Are part of the party waiting for you.
The letter "G" is the theme for our scene,
With friends and family all wearing green.
So don't miss out on the fun...
Come help us celebrate
Griffen turning one!
We had the party at Scott's parents' neighborhood clubhouse. So nice to have a blank slate to decorate and run around in and know the kids wouldn't break anything! :-)
I hung his monthly pics with his teddy bear above the cupcake table...It was so amazing to see how he grew. You could really tell a difference starting around 6 months.---Mom made the cupcakes! They were so yummy.
All smiles before I try to feed him his cupcake!
Sweet birthday boy about to eat his cupcake....After 2 tries with sugary cakes, I've realized that this sweet child doesn't like sweet stuff yet. Oh well. Can't really complain! He just spits it right out. :-)
These are all of Griffen's little friends. They range from 16 months to 9 months. So fun to have such sweet friends with such sweet little ones surrounding us all at the same stage of life.
Precious and Papa with the Birthday Boy.
Grammy and Grampie with the Birthday Boy.
Griffen's Great Grandmother-Grannie- So fun to have her living close now.
Scott and I were so excited to find out Monday, December 13th that we are expecting a girl! We were so blessed to find out that our little one is growing and developing healthy inside of me....We have chosen to name her Lila Elizabeth. Lila is a name that I fell in love with a few years ago and Scott, thankfully, liked it too. Elizabeth was my grandmother's middle name. Definitely a woman that I can't wait to tell Lila about.
On Sunday night, we put a pink and a blue balloon in front of Griffen to get his "prediction" as to what the sex of the baby would be. It was so funny because he initially went for the blue one and then quickly passed it up for the pink one. He then proceeded to chase the pink balloon around all night, already being a big brother.
During the sonogram, it was such a relief and blessing to hear Dr. Wood go through the list of things she was looking for on the baby and to hear that the baby was right on track in every area. When we got to the part of finding out the sex, it was pretty much icing on the cake....I had been thinking the baby was a girl but was sure that it was just wishful thinking on my part. Not that I wouldn't have been totally excited about a brother for Griffen, I was just really hoping for a girl....We are looking forward to meeting our little one at the end of April with a scheduled c-section. We are continuing to pray for a healthy next 20ish weeks and for a smooth delivery.
One year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed staring at the clock on the wall counting the minutes till I got to hold you in my arms. I couldn't wait to hold you and see your sweet, little face for the first time. You won't understand any of this now, but one day I hope that you can look back at your birth and see the true miracle and gift from God that you are. Here's how your story began...
The week after Thanksgiving 2009, I started having severe itching of my hands and feet. This was an itch that wouldn't go away with scratching, it was like it was internal. I would wake up many times a night and rub my feet on the floor to try to help get some relief. No relief would come. I finally called your Aunt Jill to see if it was something I should be concerned about. She called me early the next morning and said to get to my doctor. After several office visits and bloodwork, they diagnosed me with cholestasis of the liver. I'm still not sure what all that meant but they said it could affect you. On December 9th, we met with Dr. Wood and she said it would be best to go ahead and schedule an induction to have you the next week, at 37 weeks. This both excited and scared your dad and I all at the same time. We were so excited to meet you but wanted to make sure you had as long as possible to grow inside me.
December 11th, we had a scare. Daddy was on his way home from work and I had been resting on the couch since Dr. Wood wouldn't let me go to work. I was having to watch evrey move you made inside me to make sure you were moving enough. The doctor called them kick counts. I wasn't feeling you near as much as I had been the past few days, you were such an active little man in my womb. Once your daddy got home, we called the hospital and they told us to come in to be put on a monitor. We rushed to the hospital as fast as we could. Papa and Precious met us that and we were all wondering if you were going to make your appearance on that night. After being put on a monitor for an hour or so to track your movements, the nurses said that you were still happy as could be in my womb even with me having some contractions so they sent us home.
December 13th, the day before you were born
On December 14, 2009, we checked into the hospital at 7am. Looking back now, I think that I was so excited to meet you that I didn't care how hard or easy the labor was, I just wanted to hold you and know that you were ok. Around 8 am, Dr Wood checked me and I was already at 6cm and was fully ready to have you. Everyone, including the doctors and nurses thought that I would have you by lunch. They began the pitocin and broke my water right after that. Labor really began to speed up so I went ahead and got an epidural to help the pain. All of this time, I was watching the clock, couting the minutes and praying for you. Many times the nurses thought that you were minutes away from being born so they would turn on the warmers to put you in only to quickly turn them off. My labor and contractions kept speeding up and slowing down for several hours. After being checked again, they realized that you were "sunny side up." This means that you were face up instead of face down which is normal for delivery. Minutes turned into hours and it was soon 4 pm. Once realizing you weren't turned the right way making delivery harder we began doing "practice pushing" to help try to get you into a better position to deliver. All I could do was pray and know that God was in control and holding you in his loving hands! I feel like most of the day was an out of body experience because I felt like I was being carried by God. I knew on my own strength that I couldn't deliver you or get you into position to deliver. God reassured us constantly that he was in control because throughout the whole day, your heartrate never wavered.
Sometime at the beginning of the day :-)
At 8pm and after 4 hard hours of pushing and labor, Dr. Wood said that we had the option to use suction to help deliver you. Your dad and I quickly made that decision. With the decision made to use assistance, the NICU team swooped in to be there once you were born. At 8:21 pm, you were born!! The cord had been wrapped around your neck twice make a sunny side up delivery even harder. The NICU team quickly began to check on you because you weren't breathing well on your own.....After what seemed like hours, they finally laid you on my chest! My heart melted at the sight of you knowing that God had blessed us with this little miracle named Griffen Jey Stepter! The NICU team quickly explained that they would take you to be observed for 6 hours to make sure your breathing regulated. My heart broke to see you and your daddy walk out the door to go to the NICU but I knew that once again, God was holding you in his arms.
Griffen Jey---7 pounds 13 oz.; 21 inches long----born at 8:21pm
After several hours in recovery, a nurse wheeled me down to see you and your daddy in the NICU. I saw your dad's face and knew that you were ok. Bless his heart, he never got to hold you until I got there. A nurse handed you to me and my heart stopped knowing that you were ours. Our little blessing from God was finally here. Trying not to steal too much time from your dad, I handed you to him. You could see the pride in his eyes as he held you for the first time. It was a moment that I will cherish forever. The three of us there in the middle of the NICU thanking God for a healthy baby boy.
You spent the night in the NICU and were able to come to our room around 5 am. After that, I never wanted to let you go!
Through this story of your birth, I pray that you see, like the verse says, the height, breadth, and how deep of the love of Christ is for you! Know that, believe it and always know that He loves you. He truly has special plans for you so always trust him......Happy birthday little man! You are such a blessing to us everyday through your smile and laughter. May you always bring joy to those around you and show the love of Christ to all you meet! I love you so much.
Scott and I are so blessed to have both sets of parents living closely. Griffen is definitely spoiled by them as often as possible. Whether being sung to by Grampy (Scott's dad), enjoying nature with Papa (my dad), cooking with Precious (my mom), or snuggling with Grammy (Scott's mom), Griffen knows he is loved! I pray that he never takes this love for granted and cherishes every memory made with each of them!
Thanksgiving break was such a blast this year. Scott and I had come up with several things we really wanted to take Griffen to do over break and somehow we were able to get them all done.
1. Go see Santa- The week began with a visit to Southlake to see Santa. (I'll have to post that pic later). Griffen did well. As you can tell from the picture we got, he wasn't really sure what to think. He just looks real surprised in the picture.
2. Take pictures in the Fort Worth Stockyards- One beautifully warm afternoon, we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards in hopes of getting some good pics of Griffen. (Like that's hard to do :-)) It was such a fun and relaxing afternoon checking out all the stores and seeing what amateur photographers we could be. We looked like such the tourists with our big camera around our neck taking a ton of pictures. Definitely something that we will do again as Griffen gets older.
3. Go to Bass Pro Shops- Another fun adventure was when we went to Bass Pro Shop to see the animals. Griffen's eyes didn't seem to blink the whole time we were there because there was so much to look at. We were so excited when we walked in and found a free carousel. Griffen loved his first ride on a carousel. We looked at the fish, all the animals and people watched. Such a fun time and free too!
4. Go Camping- a Thanksgiving tradition....more to come on that later :-)
Last weekend, our little man turned 11 months old! I still can't believe time has gone by so fast. He is ALL over the place. He is so nosy and wants to be right amidst the action whenever he can. During the last month, he began cruising. He thinks it's the funnest thing to walk along the couch, we just keep thinking one day soon, he'll just keep on walking once he gets to the end.He has also gotten a ton more cuddly. Especially after his naps or when he just needs some extra attention, he will nuzzle his face into the side of your neck. It melts my heart each time!---Griffen is such a good sleeper. We truly are blessed. He sleeps 11-12 hours at night and takes 2 one and a half to two hour naps daily. This little man thrives on his naps. I've really been able to tell a difference this month though in how flexible he can be with his naps.---He is still taking 4 bottles a day and eating 3 meals a day. He will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him. He is more and more interested in what we are eating so he has tried lots of new things lately. He still has 6 teeth, no new ones yet. He definitely knows how to use them too. He hasn't figured out how to give kisses yet but he sure knows how to give your shoulder little bites! :-) ---All in all, it has been a fun month to sit back and watch our little man problem solve and try to continue to figure out the world around him. We are so blessed with such a sweet natured boy.
Griffen's new trick is to dart into his bedroom as quick as he can whenever I turn my back for a split second! Can't really complain because this is what I find when I go in there...
He rushes over to his bookcase and begins to pull every book off the shelf until he finds just the right one to look at. This is also the child that starts laughing and clapping as soon as I open the blinds before naptime because he knows we are about to sit down and read a few books. Praying that I can keep this love of books and reading a part of his life!! The teacher in me melts everytime I see him get excited about books. His favorites right now are (1) Little People at the Zoo (2) Brown Bear, Brown Bear (3) Silly Brown Monkey, What do you wish for?......This is such a fun age!
This Halloween weekend was interesting to say the least. It began on Friday night at 12:30 a.m. when Griffen woke up screaming, which thankfully is rare. Scott went to check on him and Griffen couldn't seem to get a full breath. He was coughing horribly like a barking seal. I went in there after hearing all of this on the monitor. We were scared to death, to say the least. After a minute or two of panic, we decided in our half-asleep state that the ER was the best place to go. Scott ran off to get dressed while I tried to calm Griffen down. Thankfully after a few minutes and some water, he calmed down enough that he could get a few good breaths. After clearing our heads of sleep, we decided to just call the on-call nurse....They called us back within 5 minutes and after telling the nurse his signs, she immediately told us it was the "croup.".....Really, I didn't even know that was a real thing! I think I've only ever heard of it on "Anne of Green Gables.".....Needless to say, she gave us an hour routine to do with Griffen. 15 minutes in the bathroom with steam, 15 minutes outside in the cool air, then repeat. If it didn't work, take him to the ER....Throughout all of this, Griffen was such a trooper! He was all about playing and seeing what we had in mind next. :-) Gotta love our easygoing child! We finished up and he seemed so much better. Thank the Lord! We put him back to bed and he slept through the night.
We rested up on Saturday, not wanting to get Griffen worn out. He missed out on his first fall festival at church. So sad! He and I saw it as we looked out the van window when Scott was dropping off our candy though, looked like fun. Sunday we laid up in the house because Griffen had coughed all night again, not as deep though. We weren't really sure how contagious he is. We did manage to dress him up in his costume though. I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to see my little monkey dressed up as a monkey!...Monday rolled around and off to Dr. Wheeler we went. After a flu shot and a round of antibiotics, we are hopefully on the uphill slope of this 2 week stent of having a green snotty nose and cough! All in all, it really did turn out to be a good weekend of rest, just not what we had originally planned.
Griffen's hair was getting pretty long. We kept calling him Donald because it was so thick and long on top. We finally had some free time and took him for a haircut. We took him to Cool Cuts for Kids. I was pleased. Always nervous when someone starts at your child's hair with clippers! He did really well through the whole process until she took the clippers above his ears. I think it just tickled. Who knows?! Here are a few pics from the event.
Excited to drive the taxi. He was so funny because he acted like he knew exactly what to do!