Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fa la la la la....it's holiday cards time again!


We’re now down to 50 days until Christmas. I can feel the stress seeping into my body as I’m typing that out. There is so much going on this year. Luckily, holiday cards aren’t one of those stresses. I’ve been in love with Shutterfly for years now and they never cease to amaze me. They always have great deals on pictures and their holiday cards rock. We usually try to take our own holiday pictures and this will be the second year we’ll get to take them with Derek and the first year we’ll take them as a family of four. Next year we’ll have to manhandle a toddler and a baby into looking at the camera. Now THAT stresses me. Here’s some of the holiday cards I’m looking into, let me know what you think.






































You all know I had to have a penguin card option, come on now!!







































Now go check out the options for yourself and tell me if you find others you like better and get some ideas for yourself. While there are 50 days until Christmas, if you’re a perfectionist (which I am not by any means so ya’ll shouldn’t expect your cards on time), you should have your Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving which means you really only have 22 days! Twenty-two!! AHHHHH. Now you can freak out and stress too.

Go look for yourself at the great cards they have to offer:

And if you’re thinking of a cute Christmas idea, they do great picture calendars you should look into.


Now run get started, only 22 days!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Awww...oOoOoOo...Ahhhh

Awwww! Our own little Charlie Brown. I can see how parents get exhausted trick or treating. There were 2 nights of it since some places like our neighborhood do Saturday night and some places like my parent's neighborhood do Sunday night. Wowza. Derek loved it all though and soaked up his share of people watching and suckers. Playing in a pumpkin this year, not so much. He hated that with unwavering passion and every part of his being. I might as well start saving up for that therapy session.






















Gussy now has Christmas stockings. I was loving everything on her homemade holiday gift guide today and then I just keeled over after I saw her stockings!! If this is day one, I might not be able to make it through all three days!

















{photo courtesy of www.maggiewhitley.com}


It's November 1st. There are 53 days til Christmas ya'll!! AHHHHHH!
















{photo courtesy of Shanty2Chic}

Monday, September 20, 2010

The thoughts of the pregnant woman

Soon after discovering I was pregnant with Derek, I found Pregnant Chicken. This blog is hilarious, insightful, genius, and did I mention hilarious. I never leave a post without laughing.
This one took the cake. There are so many things that are said to pregnant women because for some unknown reason whenever someone sees a baby bump, all filters are automatically shut down. I never understood this. It's worse when someone sees a faux bump like this time.
Here's some insight into what that pregnant woman you're gawking at who's downing that pumpkin spice latte is thinking. Just a hint - stop staring and let me abuse my fetus if I choose and drink my allotted 250 mg of caffeine for the day.
You can find the whole post here.

"Thank you. I'm glowing because I just violently vomited in your bathroom."

People used to tell me that I was "glowing" when I was pregnant and I was too embarrassed to tell them it was due to my near-constant throwing up.  At work, in the car, at the house in a variety of locations, at the preschool, even one particularly memorable time at Five Guys.  By the end of my third pregnancy, my entire family could have cared less if I got up from the dinner table to hurl in the kitchen sink.  They'd be all: "Can you grab the salt shaker while you're in there?"

"I can see that you're wondering if I'm fat or pregnant.  Well, I'm not going to tell you because you did such a bad job hiding the confused look on your face, jackhole."

I have done it myself, asked someone if they're pregnant and it turns out they were not.  I felt like an ass hat but learned a valuable lesson.  The next lesson is don't stare intently at a woman's larger-than-normal belly with a confused look on your face because the thoughts running through your brain are fairly obvious.  In fact, it's pretty much the same thing as asking, "Are you knocked up again or what?"

"I am allowed to have 250 mg of caffeine per day.  If you give me one more dirty look for buying this latte, skinny whore in the black skirt, I will karate punch you in your damn neck."


People have to right to judge an obviously pregnant woman in public if she is doing three things: smoking a cigarette, drinking directly from the bottle of Jack Daniels or committing a violent act that could land her in jail.  Actually... Jail might provide her with some much needed peace and quiet, as well as break from her children and the mountain of laundry that needs folding - so really there are only two reasons to judge a pregnant woman.  If she is having a cup of coffee, could you not treat her like she's committing child abuse?  She is not and you need to mind your own beeswax, Judgey McJudgerson.

"I see you over there, trying to get next to me so you can put your hands on my enormous stomach.  If you touch my belly I will start screaming so loud that you will fall down and dogs from all over down will come running to your prone form.  And I will bray with laughter as they pee on you."


This is a pregnancy classic.  Random people trying to put their hands on you.  No no no.  If I see someone with a peculiarly bulbous forehead, would it be appropriate for me to walk over to them and cup my hand on their face?  It would not.  Would it be OK for me to pet the head of a stranger with particularly shiny hair? No, of course not.  You shouldn't even pet a dog without asking first.  Use your damn manners, people.

"Am I pregnant with twins?  No.  I'm so huge? Am I really? Is this you being nice?  Because I can be nice, too.  I hate your ass face."

Are you really so amazed by my pregnant belly that you have lost your mind completely? What would make you say this to someone?  Is that supposed to make them feel good?  It's much more a reflection of your insensitivity than the actual size of my mid-section.  If some poor woman looks like she just swallowed a watermelon, what is served by saying: "My heavens! You look like you swallowed a watermelon!" No no no. You say: "Please sit down.  May I get you a cool beverage and a Thai spring roll?"

"You know what, older-lady-at-the-grocery-store, I am not having this baby any minute now.  I am having this baby in 8 weeks.  OK?  You smell like Vicks Vapo-Rub and cats, and I want to move away from you before I throw up on your padded nylon ankle boots."

This was another one that drove me crazy.  By the time you're on pregnancy 2+, you look pregnant at about 15 minutes.  You can go ahead and put all your non-maternity pants into one of those big blue Rubbermaid bins or one of the vacuum sealed plastic hoo-haws until your baby is at least 4 months old.  Your boobs and your bump are out and proud and there's nothing you can do about it.  So when someone says something like that to you...  Just smile and try not to harm them.

"You know what? I'm growing a person.  If I want to eat this Big Mac and then eat another you will have nothing to say about it.  As a matter of fact, if you try and keep and keep me from my Big Mac and his step-brother, the refreshing and delicious fountain Coke, I will turn into the Incredible Hulk except with pregnancy hormones, and I will rip off the arms you used to steal my cheeseburger."

While pregnant, I had both food aversions and food cravings.  Mostly it was aversions - everything made me sick.  In fact, though I am not a small person, I did not gain more than 25 pounds during any of my three pregnancies.  Because pretty much everything edible smelled awful to me.  You know what didn't make me sick?  McDonalds.  I might only eat one thing each day that I could keep down and with my son Hawk - that was usually a Big Mac.  But people don't think you're awesome when you eat McDonalds every day instead of organic non-fat cruelty-free chicken wraps from the Whole Foods take-out counter.  But you know what?  You eat what you can eat.  And everyone else can go suck it.

"What. Did. You. Just. Say. To. Me?  That you can barely tell that I'm pregnant?  What the HELL does that even mean?"

I never understood this one.  Is this supposed to be a compliment? The pregnancy equivalent of saying "you look thin".  Are you saying I'm normally fat and bulgy in the middle? Or are you saying that I'm measuring small for my gestational age and there's some sort of heretofor unsuspected problem with my unborn child?  What are you - a doctor? The creepy neighbor lady from Rosemary's Baby? No? Then shut the hell up and if you want to do something useful, go get me a fountain coke or a large sweet tea.

"I could understand if you couldn't take your eyes off my belly, but the jugs you're staring at aren't even mine anymore.  They're like two ginormous, bloated, scalding hot water bottles that cause me constant back pain.  How's that for sexy?"

Just because they're bigger and they're meant to feed a baby, doesn't mean its OK for you to stare at them.  They came to life when I was about 8 weeks pregnant and now these new semi-sentient life forms are attached to my chest and driving me crazy.  Look at my eyes or look at the belly.  The demilitarized zone in between will get you popped in the mouth with my handbag.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lot's salt shaker

I follow Ra's blog and while I rarely comment, (because I'm a slacker) I love her posts. We recently picked up some clothes from her and I can't wait until winter when Derek can wear them, especially the shoes!
She was inspired by this post by Angie Smith and after reading it, I don't know how anyone wouldn't be inspired. Go read the post, you won't regret it.

"I don't know what you are walking away from tonight, but as I have been praying about what to write the Lord has put this message on my heart so clearly that I had to share it. I want you to know I am praying for you as I write-asking the Lord to remind you tonight that there is a reason you have left that life behind.
It has been swallowed by grace, friend. And you need not miss what He has for you by believing there is something worth going back for.
Leave it be. The Lord has told you where to go and it's time to walk. Eyes straight ahead, tangled in the spectacular love of a Savior Who wants nothing less for you than the summit. And as you stare at what might have been, you are immobilized, unable to bring Him the glory He deserves. And also, He might make you salt. Just saying."

I'm awful about this. I tend to look back at the past and think what could have been. What if we could have sold our house? What if Christopher would have loved his police job? What if we had more money? What if Derek didn't have his protein allergy? What if I didn't have a crazy boss? What if I worked closer to home? The list goes on and on. I have to stop.  We all do. We are where we are for a reason. We might not know that reason right now, but that doesn't change the fact that we are there. Love this moment, cherish it, wrap your arms around it and be thankful that you have it.

Being in this moment is a lot better than being a salt shaker.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I won a prize!!

Life has been pretty hectic lately, hence the lack of blogging.

A few weeks ago though, whenever Jess over at Taking It One Step at a Time was revamping her blog, she gave away a slew of prizes. For the first time ever, I won a prize from Tommee Tippee!! I was so ecstatic! There was some mix-up with the vendor and they even threw in some extra freebies. Score!

The initial drawing was for a set of Tommee Tippee Explora Weaning Bowls. In the end they sent me a set of the Weaning Bowls, a set of Truly Spill Proof Sippy Cups, and an Easi-mat. We love it all!
You can easily place the weaning bowls onto the easi-mat and it holds it in place. This is great for Derek as right now his favorite thing is to throw anything on the table onto the floor. The cups really are spill proof and have lived up to being thrown without a spill.

Thanks Jess!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Party in our crib

This past weekend was full of recuperation from the crazy sinus sickness that had taken over Derek and myself. Sunday was spent sleeping in, watching tv, napping, eating, oh and more sleeping. So of course when bedtime rolled around neither the mister or myself was the least bit tired. We decided to catch up on Big Brother and watch the Emmy's. BIG mistake. We went to sleep about 11 and when the alarm clock went off at 5, I knew for sure there had to be some error with Chris's phone. Wrong. Time to rise and shine. We make it through the day and decide it's going to be an early night. We're all in bed by 8:30 and ready to get some much needed sleep. Sounds blissful, right? Wrong. Again.
Derek decided it was the night to party in the crib. At ONE AM folks. Granted, by that time I'd probably slept almost as much as the night before by that point, but ya'll it didn't feel like it.
After stumbling into the kitchen and making his milk, I pick up child who is screaming like the boogie monster was giving him the stink eye, and attempt to feed him and rock him back to sleep. Attempt being the key word. He decided 4 sips into his milk that it was absolutely evil and started flailing around like a fish out of water. I put it away and rock him to sleep. I attempt to put him in his bed. Attempt fail. Again. As soon as I start putting him in his bed, he's screaming bloody murder again and wide awake. I pick him back up, rinse and repeat. Once he's asleep in my arms, I attempt to put him in his bed. Attempt fail. Round 3. Sensing the pattern? This time he's wide awake sitting in his crib just looking at me like I'm the nut job. He starts making his "hungry" face. Lovely. Since I'm wide awake at this point too I feed him some food and put him down to put it away. He starts playing like it's the normal thing to do at TWO AM.
This is when I win mother of the year. Since he is in heaven playing with his toys on the floor, I screw it and put them with him in his crib. All of a sudden silence. The angels start singing. Then I go to bed. Parenting fail for most everyone else. But for me in my sleep deprived state, it was the perfect solution. He's safe in his crib and happy as a clam. I can hear him on the monitor should the boogie man resurface.
Now I just count the minutes until early bedtime, yet again, and pray there isn't another party in our crib tonight.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is a horrible diagnosis for anyone, much less an innocent child. There aren't many people that haven't in some way been effected by cancer. Unfortunately, most of us have been touched by this disease and my heart goes out to those still fighting.
Every day 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. Every single day. Here's something we can do to make it a little easier for children who are diagnosed. Gabe's Chemo Duck donates Chemo Ducks as a therapy tool to help them understand cancer treatment.
Reach out and sponsor a Chemo Duck. Cancer is scary and Chemo Duck can help make it a little easier.
Here's a little info from the website.


CHEMO DUCK STORY

Just after his first birthday, Gabe's mother, Lu Sipos, made the very first Chemo Duck for him. She thought he could use a companion to take to the hospital, one with whom he could share his journey back to health. Chemo Duck turned out to be a best friend and much, much more!

Together, Gabe and Chemo Duck learned all about living with cancer and explored what cancer treatment means to a small boy and his Duck pal. Gabe learned not to be afraid as he took loving care of his Chemo Duck and treated him for cancer of the beak. Gabe administered a series of aggressive beak brushings and several rounds of Play Dough Chemo to his sick playmate.

Together, Gabe and Chemo Duck learned all about living with cancer and explored what cancer treatment means to a small boy and his Duck pal. Gabe learned not to be afraid as he took loving care of his Chemo Duck and treated him for cancer of the beak. Gabe administered a series of aggressive beak brushings and several rounds of Play Dough Chemo to his sick playmate.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

This week has been so long but so short at the same time. So much so that I woke up this morning thinking it was only Wednesday because Monday lasted forever but Tuesday flew by with craziness.

Here are just a few things I'm grateful for today.

1. That I'm alive. I made a big splurge purchase that could have possibly waited but the deal was so great and I don't know if it'll happen again. I was certain the hubs was going to kill me. But I'm so excited about the purchase. Hehe.

2. Derek's been working with his hands a lot and focusing on fine motor skills and he's shown such great improvement. Just in the short few weeks since the initial therapist visit, he's improved much more than I thought he would in such a short time. He is now taking rings off the stacker and stacking them back on. At the visit, he couldn't even grasp them to take them off. YAY! He's also picking up small puzzle pieces. Before the appointment, he couldn't even pick up large knob pieces. I'm so proud of him!

3. Space heaters! Compared to the hubs outdoor work environment, I might as well work in a meat locker. They have my office so cold I wear long sleeves and 2 jackets. Today I borrowed a co-workers space heater. Ahhhhh, I can feel my toes again.

4. My Mom and Mother-in-law. I am eternally grateful that circumstances worked out so they could alternately keep Derek during the week. It was as if it was meant to be. This might be coming to an end but I hope they know how much it has meant to me to know that he was in the most loving hands imaginable and he was so well taken care of.

5. My "Derek flowers" that my Mom made with Derek for me for Mother's Day. It's his hands and feet cut out into "flowers" They sit on my desk and everyday remind me why I bust by butt and answer to the evil boss lady. I treasure them and they can always make me smile.

















What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Parenting words of wisdom

"A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed."
Courtesy of Shitmydadsays. The old man is so funny!

This seriously made me laugh out loud. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our marathon Grandparent visit

This weekend was filled to the brim with love, fun, and relaxation.
We spent the night Friday with the IL's and Derek played with toys and "chase" with everyone until he passed out. The rest of us played cards until we couldn't keep our eyes open anymore.
Saturday we ventured over to my parents to spend the night. Derek played with his new buddy Ian and had a great time with his new walking toy. I think he walked up and down the hallway half a dozen times at least but he loved every second. After he again passed out from pure exhaustion, the adults watched tv and played a short game of cards. Seriously, I think we're all addicted to cards, or maybe just competitive.
After we went home Sunday the 3 of us took a family nap time. This probably wasn't the greatest idea since both Chris and I had a hard time falling asleep. Him more so than me though. He has his sleep study consultation on Friday so we're truly hoping that we're able to resolve his sleep issues.
How was your weekend?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Possibly a break?

Chris has a potential job that should everything go great and he get it and start, I think would be awesome. For him, for us, and for our family.
It would allow us to possibly commute again. I loved that time together (and the sleep! hehe)
It would be better pay. If anything over the past year I've learned that money doesn't = happiness. However, if he's happy at this job and the money is better, it's all win.
It would be Monday-Friday. This is a must and a great pro. He might have to work a Saturday every 10 weeks or so but nothing regular.
He wouldn't be working outside 24/7. It would involve some outside work but also a good bit of indoors time to balance it out.
Please say a little prayer or wish or positive vibes, anything, for us. Thanks!

Monday, August 9, 2010

You know you're a mom when...

You have baby crack teething tablets, batteries, and baby fingernail clippers in the tiny side pocket of your purse. LOL.

This weekend was a brilliant mix of blissfully busy and sleeping in lazy.

Saturday we spent all day from breakfast to dinner out and about.
First stop - The Learning Express to see about some puzzles and blocks for Derek. Big fail. But he got a cool musical toy that will help teach him a better grip that he loves.
Second stop - Five Guys where we thoroughly enjoyed some burgers and Derek had his first Five Guys grilled cheese.
Fourth stop - Abbadabbas to see about some shoes for the hubs
Fifth stop - We then went to visit Ikea. I thought this would be fun and we could look at mattresses, because really you guys, we need a bigger bed. I failed to think that all the colleges were starting soon and that with it being 100+ degrees outside everyone might be hitting up Ikea to decorate their dorms and avoid the heat. Holy anxiety attack waiting to happen for Momma. Crowds and I, we're not friends. I think I whizzed through that place quicker than ever before. And I love me some Ikea. It was BAD.
Sixth stop - Still on the hunt for small wooden blocks for Derek. Fail. But he did get some of the cutest little big boy shoes. And Momma might have shed a tear that he isn't in the baby shoe section anymore.
Seventh stop - Toys R Us was our last chance rodeo search for blocks for Derek. Luckily we struck gold and finally found some small squares that were in a big set of wooden blocks.
Eighth stop - Exhausted and starving with a side of aching feet we stopped at Olive Garden where we all engulfed salad, breadsticks, and spaghetti. Yum yum!

Sunday was the exact opposite of Saturday. To recover, we fed Derek when he woke up early and the hubs and Derek went straight back to bed. I was wide awake but finally able to sleep again for about a half hour before Derek was back up. We played and watched tv and napped all day long. Grandma D and Papa came to pick up Derek to spend the night with them leaving Momma and the hubs to hit the sack early after watching Big Brother and some Sunday night football.

All in all, a great weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It figures it's Friday

I think I sense a new trend starting and I'm not a fan. Every Friday for the last 3 weeks Derek has had one ailment or another that shows up out of the blue. Luckily this one started yesterday and got worse this morning. The first trip was strep throat, no fun. Second trip, allergic reaction to amoxicillin (like me) with a strawberry rash all over. This time, he has a new rash that looked like diaper rash at first (although he's never had bad diaper rash...knock on wood) but now is on his arms.

Let's just hope this is the end of this trend.

I'm ready for a nice relaxing weekend, please please please. I want to take him to Toys R Us and then just nap, eat, and play all weekend.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

I'm back. Work has been very hectic lately since we went through a huge audit and I was busting my butt trying to save us from failing. It wasn't an option if I wanted to keep my job.

Anywho, here's what I'm thankful for on this lovely Thursday.


1. A lovely day off with my boys yesterday. Even going to the physical therapist with Derek was fun.

2. Chick-fil-A...nuff said.

3. We have no set plans this weekend and I LOVE it. I'm so looking forward to sleeping in.

4. Seeing my baby boy's sweet face looking up at me from his crib this morning just smiling away. Even though it was 6am. I'll never tire of that.

5. I have an excuse to go shopping for toys!! Developmental/educational toys to help Derek with his fine motor skills more, but whatever, I'm excited over any excuse to shop!

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Destiny Ring

This is a ring I love and want. Mine and Chris's "song" is God Blessed the Broken Road and this just completely matches those sentiments. It's a Destiny ring.

"Destiny: Some things that happen in our lives feel like destiny. We meet certain people or go to certain places and feel like we were meant to. This lovely ring holds tribute to those things in our lives that are meant to be. The wires represent the many different paths we take to get there."

This would be a great anniversary gift from my wonderful husband. Hint hint.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's been a while hasn't it

Work has made blogging at work nearly impossible. With the exception of a few days where most of the office is out, like today, I can't do anything personal on the computer. PITA I tell you. It's like they expect me to work or something. ;-)

Anywho, nothing much has changed. We're in a pretty nice state of happy right now.

Friday I took off work so that I could prepare the house for Derek's 1st birthday party on Saturday. Holy mother effing hell. I completely understand why people have parties at event centers. Albeit, our house desperately needed the deep cleaning it received (our bathroom especially) but there was so much to be done to prepare. It took me back to the wedding preparation days! MIL came over and was such a huge help watching Derek and helping me clean. The party went off without a hitch. Funny story, Chris nearly burned the house down because our grill has issues and he turned it off because it was out of control and it was still burning crazy a half hour later. We had plenty of food and my mom made the cutest monkey cake that everyone loved. It was fabulous. I just can't believe my sweet baby is turning one.

A not so funny story, while out shopping yesterday for a baby shower gift, I recommended some swaddling blankets (Circo brand 3 pack 42" x 42", best things EVER next to the Miracle Blanket) and one of the women asked how old Derek was. I told her he was about to be a year old. She looked at me and said "oh and is he getting company" aka knocked up. WTF. I so wish I'd thought fast enough because as we walked away I told Chris "nope, I just had too much at Olive Garden and have to poop" but apparently look knocked up. Niiiiiiiiiiiice. Reminder to self: do not ever, ever, EVER ask if a woman is expecting unless you can see the head crowning or are absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Chris is still happy with his job, although it's outdoors and it's nearly 100 degrees everyday outside. My job is still going ok, the drive is long but Atlanta traffic sucks whether you live 10 miles away or 60. I'm just lucky to have a job right now and keep reminding myself of that.

Things did get a little interesting this weekend with my Dad's side of the family but I'm trying not to think about it and stay in my blissful happy state. The IL's have a potential buyer for their house and they've agreed that if it sells they'll buy our house and we'll move. It'll give them a cheaper mortgage and allow us to get closer to my job. Win-win. We were planning to move into my parent's in-law suite in their house for a while to help with debt but now there might be a kink as the drama with my Dad's side of the family includes my brother moving home. There's just more to consider right now.

Holy long venting post. There's the catch up for now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Let's talk convertible car seats

Why does every single baby purchase have to have 686,344,589,315,213,715,849,642 options?

There are so many items you have to purchase after having a baby, from the stroller, crib, playard, bottles, carriers, bouncy seats, exercausers, high chairs, the nipples (don't even get me started on the entire aisle of silicone, latex, slow flow, fast flow, variable flow, wide neck, standard that is not really standard as it doesn't fit every bottle!!, wide touch, ventaire, COME ON PEOPLE!!) etc.

So when the time came to purchase a convertible car seat for Derek, I started researching the best buy. This entailed finding the safest seat for the best buck for my frugal (read cheap & broke) happiness. Oh my sweet Jesus, there are so many seats to choose from my eyes are crossed and I have a headache. When I went to BRU website there are already 29 different options, just within one brand of carseats. Seriously, seriously?!

There are so many variables, just as with the nipples.
- rear facing weight limit
- cup holders (a plus for sippy cups)
- latch installation availability
- SIP (aka side impact protection)
- forward facing weight limit
- ease of installation
- side handles
- 15+ brands to choose from!!
- 2+ options within each brand (Britax has 8)
- shut the front door, there are about several different color choices per seat

Just to name a few!

We currently have a Britax Boulevard that I'd highly recommend to anyone however, since Britax is considered God in the convertible carseat safety world, it has a hefty price tag. I was able to get that one on clearance since the color choice was being discontinued but holy mother trucker sticker shock for full price ($309)!!! I highly recommend stalking online stores for deals.

However, it'd be awesome to find a great seat at a better price. And before you start throwing the flames, I know, I know, you cannot put a price on your child's safety. I get that. Like I said, I'm just trying to get the best bang for my near non-existent buck.

I think I'm torn so far between just sucking it up and getting another Britax Boulevard (they're on sale for $219 at AlbeeBaby) and getting the Graco My Ride 65. Both have great safety, both have high rear facing weight limits, the main difference is the Graco is $115, which is a lot nicer on my checkbook. Britax is the easiest car seat to install ever however, I don't know if that's worth $100.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pssst...look up there

Check out that handsome man up in my header?! I just wanna eat him up, nom nom nom!

There are more pictures on his blog (link also located on the right side) and I'm both too lazy and too busy to put them here as well.

Derek has bronchitis. Our wonderful sleeping angel has turned into a sleepy cranky coughing crawling creature that doesn't want to sleep. Ever. EVER. Again. Not for naps. Not for bedtime. This leads to Momma drinking lots of coffee after 2 nights straight of crazy interrupted sleep. He woke up a couple times last night and one time he just wanted to stand up in his crib and do nothing else. Then he decided to sit and play in there like Daddy was the crazy one acting all sleepy. Poor Daddy took night shift last night after Mommy had it Sunday night and Daddy isn't feeling good either. Enter caffeine overload and I have a serious headache. Yikes.

Hopefully Derek sleeps tonight. I guess this is retribution for having a wonderful sleeper from birth. It could be much.Much.MUCH worse. This I know. Thank you baby Jesus and we'll take these few days of interrupted sleep happily.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Since I'm an AW anyway

I'll post these on my blog too. Everyone should marvel at the cuteness.

One should know that it took the genius Jody to get that smile from him, and lots of effort from Momma behind her as well, because Derek was not a happy baby with his teeth coming in and it was misting outside and he didn't like it. I'm so proud of the little boy in these pictures, but he'll always be my baby! Even though I'll try my hardest to be BSC and turn him into a complete and utter Momma's boy, he's definitely my Momma's boy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tweet tweet

To twitter, twit, er, tweet or not? That is the question. I'm contemplating joining twitter but not sure I want to get into the obsession that it entails.

So...should I join or run for the hills and stay in my non twitter bubble?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Darn hormones!

My teeth were peachy keen for the longest time, no problems just a slight overbite and a random tooth I had taken out. Then comes along the lovely hormones associated with pregnancy. Enter wisdom teeth due to hormones. Now my wisdom teeth are causing great pain and they need out, like yesterday if possible, but I can wait I guess. Either way, I'm just fine having them removed if it means getting smiles from this cute little bundle of sweetness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Infertility Sucks

National Infertility Awareness Week is this week. I bet you didn't know that infertility affects 1 in 8 people. Chances are pretty high that you know someone that is struggling with infertility.

I wish I didn't know that. I wish I didn't know people, plural, who are currently suffering. I wish I didn't know first hand that those 2 pink lines can end in heartbreak instead of joy. I wish it didn't take some couples years, and sometimes decades to conceive. I wish that nobody had to experience the grief of being told to "just relax" or that "things happen for a reason". I wish adoption was not such a high cost for those that are unable to conceive their own children and leaves them with the tough decision of whether or not they will extend their family.

If you know someone who is experiencing infertility, just be there for them. They need your support more than anything. From the words of someone much wiser than me who has unfortunately experienced infertility first hand, don't tell them to relax. Don't minimize the problem by telling them that at least they get to sleep late or travel. Don't say there are worse that could happen. Please please don't say maybe they aren't meant to be parents. Don't play doctor, they already know the problem and the options from actual doctors who hopefully know far more than you do. Just be there for them and remember them on Mother's Day, even if they don't have any living babies, like so many Mother's out there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I want to screen in our back porch

Once it's cleaned off of course since it still has remnants of our complete master bedroom overhaul. Which isn't quite complete as we haven't purchased the king sized bed yet.

But I'd love to spend the summer days on the porch with the fam and just enjoy it minus the bugs. Yuck. It'd be great to fence in the whole backyard afterward so Derek can play back there too once he's more mobile and running around. These are things I'd love to do before June when we host his birthday party, but alas we'll see if it's possible as I have other ideas for the indoors as well. It's going to be a bunch of busy weekends working Christopher to death. I'm imagining the grumbling now as I tell him of the IKEA bookshelves I want him to put together for the living room. Hehe.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I don't think he could smile any bigger














This smile makes everything else worthwhile though. I absolutely love it and can't get enough. Derek is crawling around everywhere and we need to do a bit more baby proofing. The other night he went out of "safe area," his rubber mats in our room with all his toys and such, and as soon as he made it to the hardwoods he proceeded to drop his head. Hard. I thought he was never going to calm down. Silly boy. Yesterday he fell down while walking behind his toy and seems traumatized since he cries when you put him in front of it now. Poor thing. We have a busy few weekends ahead. We're traveling to visit family this weekend in Alabama and next weekend we're getting pro pictures taken (after I get my hair done again because it's in dire need of an update and I finish gathering our outfits) and then probably more organizing the living room Sunday. Spring has sprung and my allergies have gone on strike. They didn't affect me as quickly as they did Derek since he hasn't been able to breathe well for weeks, but in the past week I can't seem to breathe well at all and it's awful. Crazy pollen! I had some retail therapy and found some new shoes for summer, cute brown sandals. Love love love them. Can't wait for summer! Speaking of which, I need to get on the ball with planning Derek's bday since it's coming up so quickly. How did the past year pass so quickly? Where did my sweet little baby go? It's so bittersweet watching him grow up into a cute little toddler.
I think this might be the last time he'll be in his seat with his "babies". He's getting so big!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Need motivation...yesterday if possible

My house is complete train wreck. I've been known for exaggeration but this is no lie, it looks like a tornado went through and threw everything around. Seriously gross. My main problem is motivation. I have little none and can't seem to find any no matter how hard I try. I start cleaning up and then want to do something else, like take a walk outside because it's been gorgeous.
Well this weekend, I'm determined to find some from somewhere. Chris, my dad, and Chris's dad will be replacing the pipe this weekend so I plan to enlist the help of someone to help babysit my newly mobile adorable Derek while I clean house. Gah, I'm so not looking forward to it, but I'll feel so much better once it's done and I just need to suck it up and get it done.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Prayer in a frantic world

Happy Easter everyone!!

My life isn't what most would consider frantic. Especially when compared to Miss's frantic world. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do. She inspires me everyday to take a moment and breathe and pray. Everything else will fall in step after that, no matter how frantic.
I have found through the years, especially in the past couple years, that prayer is an absolutely necessity. There isn't a day when I don't pray; whether it's for myself, a friend, a coworker, family, a girl on my mommy board, a random stranger I follow on a blog, anyone or anything. Sometimes I just thank God for everything I have because all too often it's so easy to lose sight of everything I've been blessed with. No matter how crazy life gets or even how alone I sometimes feel in this big world, I can pray and know I'm not alone. I haven't been to church in a long time and would love to find a church that as a family we could attend on a regular basis. It'd mean waking up earlier on a weekend morning, which my husband won't be at all thrilled about (and secretly I'll be sad about) but I think it would be good for us.

Miss said it best
"After all, that is exactly what Jesus did the day he was going to be arrested,
put on trial, FLOGGED
and then die by suffocation while nailed upon a cross
and yet...he prayed
and so...I pray."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome back hubby, I missed you.

The past few months have been difficult for Chris and for our family. But with all the changes with the new job, things have changed back so drastically and I'm so glad things are returning back to the way they were and that Chris is so much happier. I treasure the smiles he has now and his overall genuine joy for life now. Chris is quite thoughtful about gifts. A few years ago I had a quotes book with tons of quotes in it I'd compiled from everything; friends, movies, presidents, everything I could find that was meaningful. In a move, I lost the book and mentioned it once to Chris when we first started dating. As a gift, Chris made a book for me with lots of the same quotes since he'd found them on an old blog I'd had before. The inside of the cover tells the story of how we met and has some pictures of us. It's so beautiful!

Here's a picture of the cover.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's a sacrifice working day to day

...
"but it's worth it all
just to hear them say that they care
she works hard for the money
so hard for the money"
 









Nic gave me this beautiful award! My first!! Thanks so much honey. Unfortunately you've already tagged Shar, and I don't really think anyone else reads my blog so I can't pass it on.

I've been seriously neglecting this as of late due to work. It's been hectic to the extreme and there were so many days I just wanted to throw my hands up and give up and quit. Seriously, if I could I would. They say ignorance is bliss. In this case,  it definitely is. I would be ok working my butt off at my job if I had the knowledge that people who get paid more than me in higher positions are fulfilling their positions and earning their dollars as well. This is definitely not the case. I've hit a brick wall with frustration and I so badly want a job closer to home but the huge drawback to that is the significant cut in pay which sucks.

Anywho, my baby is growing up so fast! Chris is in a new job and loves it so far. Last weekend it was 66 (OMG!!) degrees outside and we went to Stone Mountain to get outside then to the mountains to visit with some family.

I just got a new book called "Bitches on a Budget" and I'm so excited about it. I'm all about finding great fashion at a great price. I recently got this great outfit at dots for $35. Included in this outfit was: a dress, long cardigan, and matching earrings and a necklace. a.m.a.z.i.n.g. for $35 if you ask me! They have so many other looks and I just might have to redo my wardrobe and start accessorizing more. Oh and Nic, they have one in Dayton, since you're the Fashionista, I demand you check it out stat! They have a cool interactive closet that lets you put looks together that I could spend hours on. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5 am comes really early

But really how can I complain when this greets me as I stumble weary eyed out of my bed.


















 
 

Fist pump for Mama!

Insurance companies: 0

Mama: 1

Honestly, when I found out about this I was literally doing a cabbage patch-esque white girl dance in front of my desk silently as I was still hearing the news from Derek's nurse. Apparently Derek has MSPI, aka Milk Soy Protein Intolerance. We tried him on all kinds of milk-based formulas and he was still spitting up half of what he was eating. After talking to the pedi, she recommend Similac Alimentum which is hypoallergenic and hella expensive. However, before trying that we decided to try soy based formula to make sure that he didn't do better with that than the milk-based formula. Ha! Instead of spitting up half of what he ate, he was spitting up the majority of what he ate. Exorcist style. While smiling the.whole.time.

Yeah, you know you're jealous of having spit up projected onto your face by an adorable smiling wee one. Admit it.

Thus, we moved onto the hypoallergenic formula. Ready to feed works wonders, powder = big.fat.fail. I tried calling the insurance company to see if by chance they covered the formula. The lady laughed at me and said formula would never be covered by insurance. I was so pissed that she'd laugh at a new mom like that who was more than willing to pay for formula, prepared even, however since this formula is 3-4 times more expensive than the regular kind I was just checking. Off to the pedi we go with Derek for a weight check and ask her if he might have an intolerance, and we mention we'd researched that some babies that need the hypoallergenic formula have MSPI. She said, well that makes sense and talked to her nurse. She proceeded to write us a prescription for the Alimentum and said she'd talk to the referral specialist who would talk to our insurance.

And then the miracle happened.

I received the call from the nurse that the specialist had talked to the insurance company and that the Alimentum was approved for a 30 day supply every month until 2011.

So who's laughing now insurance lady who said no formula was covered?!?! Yeah that'd be me. Loudly in hysterics. This will save us $250/month which equates to $3k a year. He won't be on it a year, but seriously yo. I'm fist pumping the air in excitement as that's a boatload of savings!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's my prerogative, so I'm changing my mind

In a previous entry I said I was really excited about going to see Dear John, the movie based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. However, after re-reading the novel last week, I'm not so sure. I won't ruin it for anyone who isn't planning on reading the book and wants to see the movie, but I just wasn't happy with the ending. I'm a hopeless romantic and it just didn't sit right with me. *humph* I sat pouting for a while afterward because I hadn't remembered it ending like that.

It's going to be a rough McFatty Monday week this week. Chris starts his new job today and with both of in a typical routine, it's going to be a big transition of us trying to jumble getting home, cooking dinner and eating, feeding and playing with Derek, trying to relax for a bit, and finding time to work out. I do plan to do it though. We have planned a huge extended family vacay trip to an indoor waterpark March 19th. Therefore, in T-minus 39 days (AHHH) I'll be donning a swimsuit again. This time I don't have the excuse of just birthing a bowling ball, er baby, either like last time we went. Mother fletcher. We're going to try to work out together since both of us managed to add a little weight with our lovely addition.

In other news, I'm honestly not sure whether Derek is going to crawl. The pedi said that some babies don't crawl and just walk. He is quite content to just drag himself around without pushing up on his arms. He does a sort of combination of drag/army crawl. I wouldn't be surprised if he was cruising (standing and pulling himself around) soon though because he wants to hold himself up on the couch/bed. My baby is growing up too fast!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm a little crunchy



Crunchy. Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.

I've been described as hippie and tree hugging before. It doesn't come as a big surprise to those that know me that I'm a little on the crunchy side. When it came to my baby, I'd love to be as crunchy as it gets. However, a few things stood in my way. First off, my sweetly smelling newborn babe didn't co-sleep well. When we try, neither him nor us sleep well. Strike one. We thought we'd be putting him in childcare so while I would love nothing more than to cloth diaper, we didn't see it as an option. Now since we haven't needed childcare, I mildly regret that. Strike two. I think I get a semi strike for strike three. I was induced since the baby and I were in danger with him still being the womb. The entire 8 months he was bouncing around inside me, I would teeter totter the line of whether I wanted an epidural or not. I finally decided I did want it and I wanted a nice labor. Well thanks to the Poison (as my husband lovingly calls it), err, Pitocin, labor advanced very quickly. Within 2 hours, my sweet bambino was evicting himself and not taking NO for an answer. Then came the words I'll never forget.
"It's too late for the drugs"
I wish we would have a video camera on my face when the nurse said that sentence.
"NO DRUGS?! You've gotta be kidding me!!!"
Then stepped in the begging, screw all those crazy tree hugging hippie women, Rachel and I started begging.
"I can't do this. Pleeeeeeaaaaase. I won't do this. " (Yeah like that was an option)
Unfortunately Derek had other plans and he proceeded to remind me that he was coming out regardless and I better get on board. So strike three shouldn't be a whole strike, I went through labor naturally. Even if it wasn't my decision.

There are several other things that make me less crunchy, like for example that at 6 months Derek started formula instead of breastmilk. That was the best solution for both of us because of his reflux and now we pay outrageous amounts for hypoallergenic formula because he can't handle the cheap stuff. He has expensive demands like his Mama. :) I'm all about crunchy though and love organic food for him. If I had it my way, he'd be a cloth diapered, breastfed, co-sleeping, organically fed, crunchy baby. But if I've learned anything by being a Mama, it's that I've lost all control to make any of these decisions. And I'm ok with that so long as he's my happy bouncing baby boy.

This might a bit crunchy for me


But this one seems pretty neat!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mama hates drama

Ugh, it just drives me batty. It's unnecessary 99% of the time. When I get dragged into it involuntarily, it's even worse. Why should I have to clean up the mess you created?! Blech. It makes me nauseous and just wanna run and hide under a sand dune and wait it out.

Just shoot me. I'll be under the sand dune til the sky is clear again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who needs the sippy

Derek wants to move right on to the mamba jamba quart sized cups.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I like to eat, eat, eat Pringles & Kit Kats

Sung to the tune of "I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas." Psh, if only.

I started McFatty Monday with Heir to Blair a while back but didn't really have a chance to really get into thanks to our lovely pipe problem and not being home. However, now I'm going o full force. I am definitely an emotional eater, I don't need to even question that. When I feel down, I reach for salty and sweet. Come on, what's better?! So no more. This week I am going to try to be more conscience about what I eat. Perhaps I'll have the same success she's had. I'd love to see that scale take a downward turn.

Goal this week: 30 minute shred at least 3 days this week.

Weekend bliss

"I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things."

This weekend was great. It had a few rough moments, namely a horrible headache Saturday, but overall it was wonderful.

Friday:
Date night. Dun dun dun. It'd been a while since we'd been able to get out and enjoy each other's company and have adult conversation so that in and of itself was nice. We went to see Legion first. Hadn't seen previews for this although from what Chris said the previews were a bit misleading but it was actually very good. A little biblical for both of our tastes but the message was good. Doesn't everyone love looking at ripped half naked angels with machine guns? ;-)



We then went to eat sushi, which was very delish. I seriously love sushi, it's one of my favorite foods. The Japanese bagel roll (salmon, avocado, and cream cheese) is what I get just about every single time. It's also the only roll Chris will eat, but since he's a tad on the picky side, I'll take what I can get.


After eating we stopped by BRU and picked up Derek a surprise kick toy for his crib. Our wonderful baby doesn't alert us that he's awake by crying in his crib, no no, that'd be far too predictable. He likes to be different and turn in his crib so his feet are against the wall and proceed to kick the wall in between the slats thats between our room and his his. It's not his monitor, it's not him crying, it's not even usually him talking (although sometimes it happens), it's him kicking the wall. Soccer player in training I tell you, watch out Beckham!



After that we went to B&N. MMMM heaven on earth. The one by my work we went to though, doesn't have as many books and is a little on the sad side. Nonetheless, I still managed to spend my gift card and a little more on some good books.

Saturday:
We went to the IL's to visit with them and see the little guy. Mama and Derek had some good 1:1 time while Chris and FIL went to get something to eat. The rest of the day we just hung out and did a whole lotta nada besides spending time with Derek.

Sunday:
A rainy day perfect for even more snuggle time as a family. I stayed in my pj's all day and we watched tv and played with Derek. Most of the day was spent cleaning up Derek's smelly soy spit up and we established that soy isn't what works for him either. We're going to try something hypoallergenic to see if that helps him. Man does that stuff smell awful though!!

How was everyone else's weekend?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Date night with the Mr.

I told him to surprise me and gave him a few hints of what I'm envisioning. Which is - flowers, a nice dinner, a good movie, caramel macchiatos while strolling around B&N, home without the baby, breakfast in bed the next morning. Mmmmm, I get dreamy just thinking about that dream date. We'll see what we really end up doing.

It reminds me though, I can't wait to see this...



I love Nicholas Sparks and read this book when it first came out. It's a great book. I wouldn't pass up a chance to see Channing without a shirt either though. ;-) Perfect Valentine's idea for another date with the Mr.

Any movies coming out you're looking forward to?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book recommendation

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Someone asked me for a book recommendation and for some reason this is the first book that came to my mind. It's been a while since I read it, but I loved it. The author made me laugh, cry, and smile all throughout this novel and I was sad to see it end. It's not usually something I would pick up for myself but I'm glad someone else recommended it to me.




Fans of Marley & Me, rejoice: Here's a schmaltz-soaked novel told from the point of view of a large, lovable mutt named Enzo. From his deathbed, the pooch recalls his beloved Denny, a struggling race-car driver; Denny's wife, Eve, who succumbs to brain cancer; and their daughter, Zoƫ.

I'm ashamed to admit

that I like Adam Lambert's song "What Do You Want From Me?". I heard it on the radio for the first time and was jamming along and didn't know who sang it until it ended and they announced it. I didn't like Adam at all on Idol but this song is catchy and I still have it in my head this morning.



Anything you recently like that you're ashamed to admit?

Monday, January 18, 2010

My mosaic




Here's the game.


1. What is your first name? Rachel
2. What is your favorite food? Fried Okra
3. What high school did you attend? HCHS
4. What is your favorite color? Pink
5. Who is your celebrity crush? I'm starting to really dig Channing Tatum
6. Favorite wine? Pinot Noir Mandra Rosa
7. Dream vacation? Paris
8. Favorite dessert? Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy
10. What do you love most in life? My Family
11. One word to describe you? Bubbly
12. Your Flickr name? ckdram but that had nada so I searched for penguins.

All you have to do is type your answer to each of the above questions into Flickr’s search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows). It's awesome guys. Go mosaic yourself, I can't wait to see what you come up with.


I got this idea from Momma Ra go check her mosaic out Here.

It's my life...in a nutshell

Albeit, a pretty big one to me, it might just be a peanut in your world. Either way, welcome. Join me on my daily musings as I travel down this path with my lovely little family. At any given moment I'm a Wife, Mama, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Working Woman, Counselor, Accountant, Lover, Teacher, and so much more. Sit back and enjoy my ride as I juggle the act and try to keep everything afloat.