Archive | August, 2013

Rilyn’s First Birthday – A Picnic Theme

29 Aug

I’d had my heart set on a picnic themed first birthday party for you for a few months now. We used the traditional red and white picnic tablecloths, had blankets for the guests to spread out in the yard, and chowed down on typical picnic foods. The colors were the picnic red and white along with pink accents. I had fun with the details in this party. The favors were set out in paper bags tied with red and white string. There was a picture banner set up with snapshots throughout your first year, all strung on red and white ribbon and clipped with wooden clothespins. I had a table set up with bug spray (you’re welcome, guests!) as well as baby pictures of Brandon and me at one year old so everyone could see who you looked like most (your dad). There were toys in the yard for the kids to play with and paper decorations dotted the tree. My favorite was the picnic basket on the food table set up with plates and silverware wrapped in a white napkin and tied with red and white string. But, in true Afton fashion, my original game plan proved to be more than I could chew, leaving me scrapping things on the list minutes before the party. I’m happy with how things turned out, though!

My hope is that years from now, Miss Rilyn, you’ll look back at these pictures and say “Hey Mom, that looked like a great party! Thanks for doing that for me. You must love me a lot! Here, let me do all the laundry, and clean the kitchen, and bathrooms for three whole months to show you how much I appreciate you throwing me such a great party!”

No? Eh, a mom can dream!

We had your party in the backyard, and Mother Nature decided to remind everyone that, yes, it is in fact summertime. It was hot, but I think everyone enjoyed it regardless.

Happy birthday, Sweet Girl! We’ve loved this first year with you!

almost didn’t get a picture of the cupcakes before they were all gone! and of course, cake and cupcakes were dairy, soy, egg free, and delicious.

giving momma a bite

as messy as she got, folks!

oh, i die! this picture is the cutest!

don’t mind Lakyn. she’s going through an awkward smiling phase.

Thank you to everyone that came and helped us celebrate our precious Rilyn’s first year! You mean so much to us!

A Birthday Promise To Rilyn

25 Aug

My precious Rilyn Ann,

I’ve been sitting here staring at this computer screen for about 15 minutes now. I’ve got a lump in my throat and my eyes are teary.

You are 1 year old and it’s so very bittersweet for me.

This past year has been hard. There were weeks I was sure our life would never change from the screaming baby, needy toddler, and sleep-deprived, emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted parenthood that consumed it. Our transition to a family of four was difficult. Getting through your colic was harder. Then we found out about the food issues and I became completely absorbed in any and all information regarding them.

In a way your birthday snuck up on me. Of course I’ve always been aware of the date circled and decorated on the calendar, but when I really stopped to think about your birthday and reflect on the past year, I cried. Yes, for the usual reasons that you’re not a baby anymore, and that this year went by way too fast. I cried for missing your newborn babyness, your little baby chicken legs, your fuzzy, fluffy newborn hair, and those cute new baby grunts and squeaks. But mostly I cried because I feel like I missed out on a lot of it.

Yes, I was there. Every second of every day. But, I spent so much of your first few months wishing time to hurry up, to get us out of the rough time so we could be in the easier times. Then, I was so wrapped up in all of the food issues that any free second I had was filled with allergen research and information, cookbook and recipe hunting. Even though I was there with you physically, I feel like I dropped the ball on being with you mentally. I feel like I missed out on taking in so many moments with you, and living in those moments for myself, on really enjoying those baby stages. I feel like I missed out on your first year and the guilt I feel over this is unreal. Those reasons are why this birthday has been so hard for me to handle.

I want you to know that as hard as those months were, as much as we’ve gone through, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! YOU WERE/ARE WORTH IT! I knew it the second you were born. I knew it at 3:45 am. I even knew it during the 4.5 hours of you screaming non-stop. And it’s never been truer than now. I love you so much, sweet girl, and I promise to you and myself, to take in all of the moments from here on out. No matter how rough our current season of life may be. Because, c’mon! I can’t be this emotional for every one of your birthdays! That would make me the crazy momma, and we can’t have that.

I love you so!


A Quick Diet Update

4 Aug

It’s been awhile since my last diet update. Here’s where we’re at.

I’ve successfully added fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, and beef back into my diet. Rilyn’s done fine with each new addition and being able to add more variety has been great. Chicken was getting real boring, y’all.

Gaining the 5 pounds from the wheat, has NOT been great.

Stupid wheat.

We have her next appointment with the GI on the 16th where we’ll talk about when and how to add eggs, soy, and dairy back in.

Of course I’ll let you know.

Kristin and Joshua’s “Sip and See”

2 Aug

My good friend Kristin welcomed her second baby boy to the world in April. This same friend and her adorable family also just moved to Chicago.

I’m missing her something fierce.

So I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve procrastinated so long in getting this posted on the blog. Looking through the pictures has given me the chance to reminisce a little. It’s also motivated me to really start planning our trip to my favorite big city to see some of my favorite people.

Before they left I threw a little “Sip and See/Going Away” party for them and held it at their house in Lawrence. I made yummy food that I couldn’t eat due to my diet, and loaded my car up with every breakable dish and vase I owned to drive the 45 minutes to their house. With a toddler and an infant to boot.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Because the Flor’s are worth it. (Really, it wasn’t bad at all!)

Baby Joshua

Mama and son

Big brother, Elijah

I love this bebe!

Silly friends

I really miss this family now. Chicago, here I come!


Lakyn’s First Stories

2 Aug

Lakyn loves it when Brandon and I tell her crazy, made-up stories. I figured it would only be a matter of time before she’d start telling some of her own.

I figured right. Luckily I had my computer near me and was able to start typing while she rattled off her stories.

Enjoy, they’re gems!

“One day a little monster came running down a pasture. Then there was a little diamond that came running down the pasture. There was a huge huge monster! Rawr! And he ate the kids. Someone called for help and the pasture was empty. And somebody got them out and there were three steps up ahead and they scraped their knees. Then they walked into a house and they were happily ever after. Then end.” 


“Once upon a time, there was everyone in the world. When a huge storm came in they were all frozen in ice. They were home with Tara, and they heard a rumble and they they walked into Tara. And then they jumped into a pee potty. Then they jumped into a poopy potty and then they were all stuck. And then they turned into a queen and a prince and lived happily ever after. The end.

She’s going to hate me for posting these one day. I’ve succeeded as a mother!