Sunday, February 17, 2019

Valentines Day!

We like to make a big deal about holidays around here, even the ones people say are just made up by the greeting card companies. ;) But you know what? Valentine's day is for showing people love and we're all about showing love around here! We also really love anticipating and counting down to things!

We had it marked on our school calendar since we switched it over to February and Reaghan has been looking forward to it all month.

We did fun heart shaped activities during our school time because Valentines Day is all about the hearts!

And while I love tracing and writing activities I'm all about the chance to learn while we play games and work on some gross motor skills and balance. 

The night before we made some heart shaped cookies and decorated them so we could take some to my brother Adam whose birthday is also on Valentines Day and so the girls could have a special treat for the day.

The morning of we woke up to a sweet surprise from my the girls Uncle Noah... He lives a few hours away but had a friend help him out by leaving some roses for his sisters, mom and nieces on their doorsteps.

For breakfast we made protein heart pancakes for breakfast... I tried to start the day off on a healthy note before we indulged in a few treats!

Since Valentines Day is Uncle Adam's birthday we dressed up in some fun heart outfits and headed over to spend some time with him.

We brought him some cookies and his favorite drink,

We went shopping at the mall with him, my mom, grandma, Aunt Nin Nin and baby Blake and then came home for an evening at home with daddy. Of course Mark brought home something special for his Valentines; daisies for the girls and roses for me. Along with a healthy, Trim Healthy Mama approved, chocolate treat and a new cup holder for my double Bob jogging stroller!

We didn't celebrate that night but went out together the night after for dinner at a new restaurant that we had never tried before. It had been a while since we'd had a date night so it was nice to get dressed up and go out together. {And by dressed up I mean that I dressed up and Mark wore his usual attire because he's not a 'get dressed up' kind of guy. ; )} The food was delicious and the conversation was easy and sweet, as its always been. I hope we never lose our ease of conversation and the way we can flow into and out of serious and silly topics.

This was our 10th Valentines Day together and it was a simple, sweet one that will always hold a special place in my heart.
Here's to many more decades of Valentines with you, My Love!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

ER visit + Toddler Flu

As a little epilogue to this post... just last week I was considering writing a post about all that we've done to stay healthy this cold + flu season because it really seemed to be working! We were so sick last year so this year I implemented some immune boosting/protecting routines to help us stay healthy and we had only had 1 minor case of sniffles all winter! I thought we were golden!
Until Tuesday. 
So now I'm glad I didn't write the post because I would've looked like a fool. *face palm*
Okay. Onto the post.

Tuesday morning started off just like all of our other Tuesdays; We headed to spend the day at Grammie's for our "Kessler Tuesday." The day my sister and I spend with my mom either doing our shopping or just hanging out. I noticed Lilly was a little emotional that morning with her demanding "Mine!" and wanting everything sissy had while we were getting ready to go, but really I just thought it was part of her new "I'm a two year old" attitude that she's been working on. I didn't consider that it might be because she wasn't feeling well until much later. She might have been cranky but I was in a good mood because it was a rare warm day in February and we were going to spend a lot of time outside! When we got to my moms we did our usual chatting, catching up for a bit while the girls had a snack, and then we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood.

We were probably only on the walk for about 20 minutes. Lilly was sitting nicely in the stroller the whole time, not saying much but about 5 minutes before we got back to the house she pointed out a doggie barking in someone's back yard. When we turned back on to my mom's street I playfully tipped the stroller backwards and wiggled it a bit. I saw her grab the sides but didn't hear any usual giggles so I put the stroller down. I thought it was weird she didn't think it was funny like she usually did and suddenly thought to myself about her extra emotions this morning; I made a comment to my mom about how I hoped she wasn't getting sick. I reached down to feel her forehead but it didn't feel that warm to me so I kept chatting with my mom and Erin until I pushed the stroller up into the driveway. I say all this just to point out how quickly she went from pointing out doggies to what I found when I walked around to get her out of the stroller. Her face was white, her eyes were glazed over and she wouldn't respond to anything I said. I quickly pulled her out of the stroller and took her inside my parents house to try and figure out what was going on. I kept talking to her, asking her to look at mama or say "mama" to see if she would respond to me. A couple of times she turned her eyes towards me and for a brief moment she tried really hard to say mama but couldn't get any sound to come out. My mom handed me the thermometer I had asked her for and I started to take her temperature when I decided it didn't matter what her fever was I just needed to get her to an urgent care because I didn't like what was happening. My mom hopped in the van with me while Reag stayed at the house with Erin. I'm actually glad we were all together when it happened so I could leave Reag with someone and not have to get her ready to come with me. Poor Reag asked me what was happening in the middle of all of it and I told her not to worry and to go ask Aunt Sara to put a show on for her. I'm thankful for the way she's matured in the last year. She didn't get upset and just did what I asked her to do.

We got to patient first and the registration nurse could see how poor Lilly looked and took us right back before we even checked in. Within minutes there was a doctor and a few nurses checking her out. Her temperature was 105.3 and her respiratory rate was 229. They quickly gave her a Tylenol suppository to bring her fever down. The doctor felt her head while they were checking her out and made a comment about how she definitely didn't feel like she had a 105 temperature. She slowly started to become more alert as we sat there while they swabbed her throat and nose and pricked her finger for a blood test. It took her another 15 minutes or so before she started vocalize anything again. It was just her and I in the room waiting for the nurse to come back and I was singing baby shark to her when she said "do, do, do, do, do" when it got to that part. Of course I laughed as she tried to sing a long in a low, scratchy voice. I breathed a little sigh of relief as she seemed to be coming back around. They ended up taking a chest X-ray as well, but in the end couldn't find any reason for her high fever so they sent us to the Children's Hospital ER. 

My mom drove with us over to the hospital and Lilly fell asleep on the way there. Mark met us there and my mom took my van back to the house. We were triaged pretty quickly because Lilly still had a decent fever even with having Tylenol. They treated her with Motrin and took some more tests. The Dr. was highly suspicious that she'd had a febrile seizure. I wasn't sure as he was questioning me about what had happened. My brother Adam has seizures regularly so I'm really familiar with what they look like but I guess I was trying not to over react to what had happened and was hesitant to say that she definitely had a seizure because she never had any convulsions. Her shaking was more like a full body shivering, not violent shaking. But going back over everything in my head I think there was maybe 5-10 seconds where she was completely unresponsive, so maybe she did have a febrile seizure.

Again, all the tests came back negative but because she had recently been exposed to someone who had a confirmed case of the flu they determine the cause of her fever was likely the flu. She did end up vomiting once at Patient First and once at the ER as well that helped them confirm their diagnosis. By the time we were discharged she was fully aware and just exhausted from the afternoon.
They sent us home with Tamiflu. 

Lilly's 2 year old check up is coming up in a few weeks and I plan to talk with her pediatrician about what to do in the case of another sudden fever spike and unresponsive or febrile seizure state. This happened to her last year in while we were at the beach. She had a high fever and became unresponsive in a similar way. I'm thinking now this is just how her body responds to high fevers and wondering if there are steps to take at home instead of rushing to the ER. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Anways... we ended up having to spend the warmest week of February stuck inside with a a 2 year old who had the flu and everything that came along with it. Thankfully the first 24-48 hours were the worst and after that she just had her fever to battle. We ate a lot of Popsicles, took a lot of baths, watched a lot of movies, and read a lot of books. 

I only let them play with a handful of toys that I kept out in the living room and wiped down every night to disinfect. I quarantined Reaghan's room and Lilly was not allowed in! Lilly slept with me on the couch the first night because she was getting sick but after that  she slept in her crib and I changed her sheets every morning and sprayed disinfectant on the couch every night. I kept her toothbrush separate from Reaghan's. We doubled up on our elderberry gummies and syrup. I tried so hard to prevent any germs from spreading, but unfortunately Reaghan and I both ended up with fevers yesterday afternoon! Thankfully Reaghan has been acting herself and hasn't had any other symptoms. I have a weird cough and sore throat but my fever only lasted through the night. Lilly woke up today fever free for the first time since Tuesday so prayerfully we will all be healthy by the start of next week! Being stuck at home with sick toddlers can be mentally challenging and I don't know if I can take another week of it! We are bummed to be missing our Worship Night at church tonight and church tomorrow morning, but we are trying to keep our germs home until we are fully better! 

I am praising God that He answered my prayers to keep my other family members healthy that we were around Tuesday morning. Especially my 7 month old nephew Blake. I was so worried we were going to be the start of a little flu epidemic in our family! 

Praise Jesus for the little blessings in the midst of a toddler flu!

Before Reaghan's fever struck she got to enjoy some outside time in the warm weather by herself - eating snacks on the back deck and reading books while I was inside with Lilly. We did get to spend a little time outside together while Lilly was napping, which helped refresh me mentally! 

**Also... do me a favor and check out the time I took my DOG into the emergency vet. Note the part at the end when I say one day I might just put a puking dog outside and not blink an eye while I take care of my future babies. HA! That could not have been a more accurate prediction. Did Mark and I really take our puppy to the doggie ER because she was throwing up?!
 *face palm, face palm, face palm*

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Lilly is 2!

I'm a little in denial that my baby is already 2. Sometimes she still seems like she's a baby. Like I just want to cuddle her up and hold her and rock her to sleep. This birthday was kind of a jolt back to reality for me that she's actually TWO! A toddler... definitely NOT a baby.

Her birthday was on a Sunday so the Saturday before we set up all the decorations for the Lion Gaurd birthday party she was going to have after church. Reaghan got stay up while Lilly napped to help us set up and run to the store to pick up the cake and balloon. She couldn't stop talking about how neat it was that she got to stay up. When Lilly woke up for her nap she was so excited to see her "Di Dard" party all set up. Reaghan has been talking to her about it for weeks, so she's been anticipating something! She really wanted her party {which I think she thought was just eating the cake and ice cream} right then, I don't think she fully understood the party concept. haha She kept trying to peak in her presents the night before but Reaghan was keeping guard over the presents. ; )

The morning of her birthday I woke up early to go get Duck Donuts. So far Donuts have been the birthday breakfast of choice for the girls so its become a little tradition. I really wanted a super cute picture of her before church with her number 2 balloon buuuut this was the best I got. Pre-church pictures never turn out the way I picture them in my head.

We're so blessed to have friends and family come over to spend the afternoon with us and celebrate with our Lilly Jean! Of course the 4 cousins love anytime they're together, birthday or not!

We found a pinata that has strings you pull to get the candy to come out instead of swinging a bat. Don't get me wrong, I love a good ol' fashioned pinata beating but we thought this was a safer route for the two year old.

Lilly was fun to watch as she opened her presents. She was very animated about each one and quick to give thank you hugs! As soon as I told her who a present was from she would run to give them a hug before opening the gift. It was precious.

She held up up the shirt and pants and said "CLOTHES!" excitedly!

Who doesn't need a new potty chair for their second birthday?!

This boy has been the stud of all the parties this last year. <3

Finally time for cake! Lilly was waiting all day for this moment!

She relished everyone singing happy birthday to her and sang the song to herself for the rest of the day.

We invited a cute little lion to visit the Lion Gaurd party. She kept her mane on for approx. 2.5 seconds but we got a couple pictures so it was all good.

Happy 2nd Birthday Lillian Jean!

It's my great pleasure to be your mama. Everything about you seems to be intense and exhausting... but not always in a bad way! You love making messes and you love pushing the boundaries. You're the 2 year old all the books write about as you spend the day saying "Do myself!" and "My do it!" and "Mine!" and "No!". You are trying to exercise your independence around every corner and mama prays for patience every day to diligently keep you on the toddler straight and narrow and not grow weary of teaching you obedience and kindness. You are usually seen carrying around a baby doll or randomly saying "baby cryin!" and then running off to get your baby from your room. You love singing Baby Shark, ABC's, and Jesus Loves Me! You love to play with Sissy and try so hard to play along with whatever imaginary thing she's doing. I love seeing your imagination grow. Your favorite books are Look and Find books, Sesame Street books and "Goodnight Little one." Your favorite shows are Lion Gaurd and Doc McStuffins, though you rarely sit still for a whole episode because you love to stay busy. You love cheese and bread. You've recently developed a fear of dogs, but other than that you're pretty adventurous and willing to try new things like rides at Busch Gardens. You are very interested in using the potty and have done so lots of times already to practice! Mommy's just waiting for a good weekend to spend at home to get the potty training officially done {hence the potty chair birthday present!} You can count to 12. You can't recognize your colors to save your life and its hilarious but you're getting better at knowing your shapes! Its the cutest when you say "Awwww!" whenever you see a picture of anyone and you get so excited to see your cousin baby Blake. You enjoy your sleep and most mornings I have to go in and wake you up. Every morning you ask "Daddy home?" or "Sissy wake?" because you are social and love to see your people.

You gave mommy a scare just days after your birthday with a high fever that made you unresponsive and landed us at CHKD, so as I write all of these wonderful, unique things about you I am so grateful for your life. Grateful for the joy and the challenges you bring every day. I love you so much. Here's to doing the 2's with you Lilly Pop!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dinner Time Woes {A tale of picky eating}

I've made a huge, horrible parenting faux pas that I never thought I would make. I'm actually really ashamed to admit it because it seems like its so simple. If you would've painted me the scenario prior to having kids I would've known the exact right answer to give you. Not that there IS always an exact right answer to parenting, but I would've thought there was. But even if there isn't a perfect answer for everyone, I do feel like I screwed the pooch on something that is pretty straight forward for most people. Your child eats whatever you eat for dinner. 

You guys... I have not been following this basic law of parenting. I have been making my 4 year old different dinners for the last...ummm... 3 years.

This week I finally decided to make the change... But first let me explain!

Reaghan is the pickiest eater of all time. And I am 100% not exaggerating. I'll list at the end the things she will actually eat because its small enough that I can make a list! She started off eating food off of our plates along with her baby food when she was a baby... I didn't have any concerns about what she was/was not eating until right after she turned a year old. She suddenly started turning down foods that she previously ate and I guess in a slow fade type of way we ended up where we are today where she eats only a very small list of foods and I catered to that during meal times. Don't mistake what I'm saying though. I have tried my HARDEST to get her to eat what we're having for dinner over the last 3 years. I've flipped back and forth between not wanting to make food a big deal so I just let her eat what she likes to standing my ground, insisting that she try a bite of something. The latter usually ended up in melt downs that were then followed by being disciplined because of her meltdowns. It was difficult for her to differentiate that the discipline wasn't because she wasn't eating but because of the fit she was throwing about the eating. This just lead to complete frustration for both Mark and I {and Reaghan} and stressful dinner times. We've also tried an in between method of telling her that she doesn't have to eat whats on her plate but if she doesn't than she doesn't get dessert. This would also lead to extreme meltdowns because, of course, she loves dessert.

I would read so much advice on this subject. All of the articles, all of the blogs. Most agreed that food shouldn't be made in to a big deal and you should let your child come to the new foods on their own. So for the last year we've mostly been rotating between 2 dinners for Reaghan. Usually she'll either get Greek Yogurt, fruit and crackers or one of those GoGo squeeze pouches with the veggies in it and a fruit bar with something else on the side. There would be some variations to these meals here and there but those were kind of the two staple meals. I didn't LOVE this solution but I'd been okay with it because I didn't feel like I was catering to her every whim or fancy for what she wanted to eat for dinner. I wasn't "taking her order" every night, if she didn't eat what we were eating {which she never did unless it was pizza.} then I would give her one of those two options and I decided which one she got each night based on what else she had eaten that day. We would always offer her the food we were having but she always turned it down. Of course, a few months ago I started getting frustrated again that these were her meals so I made sure to put a little something of what were having on her plate and again insist she eat one bite if she wanted a snack. She responded better this time around, as in she didn't have major melt downs, but trying the food still brought on the waterworks and dramatic gagging while she was chewing. Mark and I did better at staying calm and matter of fact implementing this strategy for like the 3rd time and by the end of dinner she had usually taken a bite and then finished her other food, but it was back to feeling like our dinner was no longer enjoyable.

Now let me go off on a little side note and say that I do think she has some oral texture issues. I've talked about her picky eating with our pediatrician and because Reaghan is healthy and growing she isn't currently concerned. Mark is a pretty picky eater himself and he is also sensitive to the texture of things. His mom relates to our issues with Reaghan and jokes that its payback for everything he put her through as a kid! So Reaghan comes by it honestly. Reaghan is also a very sensitive child who hates to disappoint and easily gets anxious about things, which she gets from me! I think combining these things made her feel awful about not wanting to eat but she really cannot stop herself from gagging on some foods. I think trying to be sensitive to things like her texture issues but also not wanting it to be an excuse for poor behavior has added to my struggle and inconsistency on how to deal with her eating issues.

Okay, back to why its finally changing. Like I said dinner time was starting to feel stressful again and I was starting to feel guilty about that, so I was starting to lay off on the whole "try one bite thing" again. Which was just more inconsistency from me! But there were 2 turning points that really made me stop and say we have to make a permanent change here. First, Reaghan had her first sleepover at her cousins house. {She's spent the night at my parent's house before, but even if she was a good eater she'd probably just eat ice cream for dinner over there so I never cared.} She'd never had a sleepover at another house with another kid and I wanted to impress on her that when you are a visitor in someone else's home you should be polite and eat what they make for you. It wasn't so much that I worried about her actions with her family members, her aunt and uncle are well aware of her picky eating and were planning on having things they know she likes because they love her, but it opened my eyes a little. Like, hey, this girl is growing up and she might start to get invited to have dinner with friends in the next couple of years! How can I train her to be polite and grateful in a food situation when she is out of the house if we aren't creating and practicing that for her at home?

Christmas Eve dinner. My niece Anslee cheesing for the picture!
The second turning point was that Lilly was starting to turn down her normal foods as she's become more aware of whats going on around her and could tell that Reaghan wasn't eating what everyone else was eating.
All of my pictures are of the girls eating sweets! They do have a strong sweet tooth but that's not all we eat! I only have pictures of us eating when its a special occasion! No pictures of us just eating a normal dinner. 

That one was the real kicker. I said no more. I'm not doing this with two kids. Seriously, it seems like a no-brainer. Obviously you can't feed one child what you're eating but let the other one have something different every night. How did I even get to where I am with this whole situation?! I really am pretty embarrassed to even write this down and I readily admit that this has not been the shining moment of my motherhood so far.

So whats the new plan? What are we doing now? Well, it's the most basic answer. Dinner is dinner. Nothing extra or special on anyone's plate. Whatever I make is what is going on their plate. I will try to incorporate something that I know she likes, even if it is a small something, so she can be eating and not just sitting there watching us eat but that won't always happen. There's no catch. If she doesn't want to eat it then she doesn't have to. She can still have dessert or "snack." But the pre-bedtime snack that they always get has drastically reduced in size. We used to let them have a cookie or a little Debbie cake but its now a single Hershey Kiss. {I know I could do changing snack to something a little healthier as well, but we have healthy snacks during the day and I don't think there's anything wrong with having something sweet in the evenings, so that's why I decided on the small piece of chocolate.} I've had to push past a little bit of mom guilt that my girl might be going to bed hungry because she didn't eat anything for dinner and only had a small piece of chocolate before bed, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one.

We started our new dinner time rule this past Monday without any fuss or fanfare. Just matter of fact-ly gave her what was for dinner. She hasn't eaten a bite of what I've made so far. {Except for tonight when we had pizza.} But I will tell you this... She has been eating every. last. bite. of her breakfast! Breakfast in the past could sometimes be a challenge... usually she'd eat about half of what was given her and every once in a while be whiny about what we were having, even if she'd eaten it before without a problem. This week? She's been scarfing down what ever is on her plate.

I do try to make sure she gets ample nutrition during the day with breakfast, snacks and lunch. I choose what's for lunch like with all meal times, but I'm willing to give her yummy food that she enjoys to fill her belly like Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, fruit, peanut butter and crackers, or smoothies with hidden veggies, etc. Just so you know I'm not letting my child starve. ; )

I don't know if it will be another year before she tries anything new, but for the first time in a long time I feel like this is the right answer. Dinner time has been stress free and I just have to remind myself to keep it that way. I honestly don't know why it took me so long. Too much over thinking and inconsistency and guilt of not being able to find a solution and guilt of implementing the wrong strategies. There's no use regretting what's been the painful ups and downs of our dinner time. It's just time to move forward in God's grace and with a renewed sense of order this year. My prayer is that, since there isn't any pressure now, she'll eventually start trying new foods on her own. I'll let you know how it goes. <3

Food Reaghan Will Eat: (Does not include snack foods like goldfish, cheerios, etc.)
Instant oatmeal
Greek Yogurt
Earth's Best granola bars - no other brand.
Lara Bars - various flavors.
GoGo squeeze pouches. (2 flavors)
Cheese Pizza (But not pizza bites or pizza bagels or anything else pizza-like, just a slice of pizza.)
Peanut butter (all by its self)
Plain crackers
Cheese crackers/peanut butter crackers
Smoothies/Green smoothies
Soft Pretzels

*Does not eat any kind of meat, cheese by itself, or bread for any kind of sandwich.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Podcast Recommendation: Oh Hey Truth

A couple of months ago my cousin shared a podcast that some acquaintances of hers had started.  A few years ago I wouldn't have been interested because I kind of assumed it was like an audio book and I've never really enjoyed listening to someone read. I like to read so I'd much rather read it myself. But since motherhood entered my life a few years ago and usually takes up 90% of my day - okay, no - I shouldn't blame it on motherhood. I just haven't been very good at making time to read in the last few years (something I'm changing! check out my book list for last year and this year!) so last year I started looking for and listening to podcasts. Usually I'll listen to John Piper or something else from Desiring God and I'll listen to it while I fold laundry or do dishes. I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised by how refreshing it was to hear some truth in the middle of my day! So when my cousin shared about Oh Hey Truth I was excited to go check them out.

They are a group of women who love God's Word and want to proclaim His word as THE truth. They know that there are so many opinions floating around and it can be hard to navigate them if we don't know what the real truth of God's Word says. They're all about reading the Bible, memorizing the Bible, knowing what it says and what it means so we can seek God and glorify Him! Also I just really love their name, like "Oh! Hey, truth! There you are! I've been looking for you!"

Their first few episodes were them reading sections of Psalms 119 and breaking it down. They talked about what the verses mean, their own personal testimonies and giving study tools and references for how to study God's word on your own.  I've genuinely enjoyed listening to it!

They recorded Psalms 119 in its entirety and I listened to it a few times on my long runs last fall. They also recorded the whole book of Philippians for the challenge week they just had, which was to read (or listen to) all 4 chapters of Philippians twice a day for 7 days. It's been Philippians on repeat over here in this house and I've loved it. (But I've always loved Philippians <3)

If you love God's word or want to know more of God's word, do yourself a favor and go check out Oh Hey Truth's website where you can find out all about their podcasts and blog and resources that they share. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just really think its edifying and encouraging and a great way to infuse some Truth in to your day!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

New Years Eve Party + Minute to Win it!

Have you ever seen Minute to Win it?! It was on TV a few (several?) years ago and now its back on Netflix with some fun games and challenges that you have to complete in one minute. I've always thought it would be fun to try some of these at home so I decided on a whim to pick some out to play for our New Years party.

Now our New Years Eve party sort of progressed into a bigger deal than we originally planned. We were just going to have my parents, siblings, and my grandma who was still in town visiting from Christmas, over for dinner and some games. Thats when I thought it would be fun to do a few Minute to Win it games so I looked some up that we could do with items I had on hand here at the house. I had to work from 1-5:30 so I prepped a baked spaghetti for dinner and was looking forward to a low key evening. Usually when I have people over for dinner (even if its just my family) I get a little intense about making sure things are clean and lovely and perfect. (Type A personality anyone?) But to keep things less stressful for myself I decided to not worry too much about dinner being right on time or having everything ready to go with cute New Years Eve decorations and plans!

While I was at work my "baby" sister Sara asked if her boyfriend Colby could come for dinner too. Of course I said yes! He was more than welcome. And then a little while after that Colby's mom (who is a friend of mine) asked if her little girls (who are friends with Reaghan) could come hang out with Reaghan for a while. I said sure! Reaghan would love it! And then not long after that a couple of Sara's friends wanted to hang out with her and Colby on New Years Eve so their mom (whose another friend of mine) asked if I minded if they came over. I didn't care one bit - but now I needed to make sure my Minute to Win it games we legit and that I had enough for everyone!

I stopped by Walmart Neighborhood Market on the way home from work and grabbed a few more things for the games and also stuff to make another baked spaghetti! This meant the spaghetti's were just getting in the oven when my family showed up and I was still in my work clothes but no one cared. Honestly, I usually would've cared and felt a little frazzled even though it was just my people, but I'm glad I had decided earlier on that it wasn't going to try to make everything perfect.

We all enjoyed dinner and then had a blast playing the games! We didn't keep score or anything, but I think if you wanted to make this into an actual game night you should totally make teams, keep score and have a prize! But either way you should throw a Minute to Win it party because it really was a lot of fun! Here are the games we played!

1.) Movin' on Up! ~ 15 cups of one color and 1 cup of a different color at the bottom of the stack. You had to move the cups from the top to the bottom until the different colored one reached the top and then we handed off to our teammate. This one we were all able to do within the minute mark so maybe adding a few more cups would've been more challenging.

2.) This Blows! ~ We had 8 cups lined up on one side of the island and you had to blow up your balloon and use the air from the balloon to blow the cup all the way off the other side of the table and then the teammate had to line them up and blow them back across. This one was hilarious because once you start laughing its impossible to blow up a balloon and you need to blowing your balloon up to get all the cups across! I was horrible at this game.

3.) Cup Tower! ~ This one is pretty self explanatory. You had to make a cup pyramid and then break it down and then hand off to your teammate to do the same. This one was easier for some than others!

4.) Noodling Around! ~ We used a spaghetti noodle to scoop up penne noodles and drop them in a cup. This one we just played who could get the most in one minute. It was actually pretty hard because any time you exhaled through your nose the spaghetti noodle shook all over the place!

5.) Don't Let the Ball Drop! ~ straight forward again! You had three balloons and you had to keep them all up! Instead of seeing if one person could keep them up for a minute we just played two at a time and who ever dropped theirs first lost. Again, super easy but hilarious.

We had to get the kids involved too so we did a race to see who could eat 2 donuts off of a string first. Not technically a Minute to Win it game, but I didn't feel like buying dozens of donuts for everyone to try to eat X amount of donuts in a certain time. If it dropped off the string you had to eat it off the ground without your hands! (No worries, we put down a clean towel!) Love my sweet grandma holding up the string in this one. 

6.) Hanky Panky - One for my brother who only has use of one hand! You had to pull all of tissues out of a box, one at a time, with one hand, in one minute. The little kids loved this one! (But so did my 27 year old brother!)

7.) Shake Your Tail Feathers! - This one was just for the littles - We used the empty tissue boxes and filled them with cotton balls, tied them around their waists and had them jump around and shake until all of the cotton balls fell out. You're supposed to do this with ping pong balls, but I was trying to use just what we had on hand at home as much as possible. The girls thought it was the best thing ever!  

After the games we had dessert and then did a pretend countdown around 10pm for the kids from Netflix. They got to celebrate with some noise makers and toast some sparkling juice for a bit before everyone headed home! 

The girls went to bed and Mark and I (and my brother Adam who was spending the night with us) stayed up until midnight to ring in the New Year. 

Just living our best lives. Hosting rocking New Years Eve parties for our 4 year old and her friends and my college aged sister and her pals. haha kidding. Sort of. I mean... it is a true statement ;) but we all had a ton of fun. 

Cheers to 2019!