Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Because I know you're all wondering....

(Actually, because I haven't had any adult interaction today and just feel like talking...)

Been a really long 24+ hours in our house. 

5:00: The Hubby starts feeling nauseous
6:30: The Hubby leaves for work party, leaving me alone with Baby Girl to do bedtime, etc.
11:30: The Hubby comes home and tells me about said nausea
12:30:  The Hubby wakes up to get sick for the first time.  I get up and go down to basement to sleep.  Upon failing to sleep (cable box is broken down there, so it was far too quiet for me and my thoughts), I come to the first floor, listen to him get sick, feel very nauseous myself, post on the blog, kick ass at a typing game on FB, watch Storage Wars until I pass out fall asleep on the couch (around 3:00).
5:30:  The Hubby gets sick for what will be the last time (knock on wood).
8:00: I wake up, scrub down the first floor and disinfect everything in sight.
9:15: Baby Girl wakes up (latest she's ever slept--I assume it's her body fighting off the sickness)
9:20: The Hubby tries to come downstairs and I send him back to our bedroom
10:30: Baby Girl and I go to my work to get my wallet, then to Target, then to CVS, then to Kroger.  If Target had just had what I needed and I hadn't forgotten my wallet at work, Target would've been the only stop.  I notice that I still feel nauseous (wondered if it was in my head last night, but now confirming that it isn't)
noon: Come home with Baby Girl, have lunch, play.  Give The Hubby a sandwich and my home remedy (onion juice and peppermint tea found here).
1:45 Nurse Baby Girl, put her down for nap at 2:10.  Check on The Hubby and he's sleeping.
3:45: Baby Girl wakes up and we play and have a snack.  Feeling very nauseous the whole time.  Had a nice time playing with her, though.
5:30: Fix and eat dinner of black beans and barley.  Sits fine for me and Baby Girl eats well over one adult serving. 
6:30: Build blocks, read books, played with Mr. Potato Head
7:30: Nursed and bedtime
8:15 (it was a long, drawn-out bedtime): Checked in on The Hubby.  He's just woken up from his "nap" that started around 1:30.  Brought him dinner and chatted for about five minutes.  Realized how much I've missed him today.
8:30: Cleaned up some things, talked to my mom on the phone, and here I am.  Still nauseous.

Praying that Baby Girl stays healthy.  Not sure when we can start to breathe.  Not sure when I can let The Hubby out of our bedroom, either.  Praying that this nausea is all I'm going to experience.  After consulting with some people who have had this bug, it sounds like most people don't feel nauseous for long before they get sick, so I'm hoping the bug is presenting in me as just nausea.  And I'm hoping I was successful in keeping Baby Girl from getting it.  No mouth kisses.  Hands washed so much they're raw.  Lysol used repeatedly.  Being out of the house for a couple of hours.  Giving her a probiotic (after taking one myself).  I've put a lot of work into keeping her healthy--I hope it was all worth it.

Scratch that plan

The Hubby and I both took off work 12/22 so we could prepare for our Christmas traveling--doing laundry, packing, finishing up gift-buying, wrapping, etc.  Then on 12/23 we were planning to head to the in-laws.

Not so much anymore. 

The Hubby got home from a work holiday party around 11:30 telling me that his stomach didn't feel good.  We're very aware of the stomach bug going around--his brother, sister-in-law, and our three nieces all had it the end of the last week and had to postpone sister-in-law's family Christmas until January because of it.  So when he told me that he was nauseous, I knew where this was going.  Somehow I was able to fall asleep, but was awakened about an hour later by him rushing to the bathroom....and then kept awake by the noises that followed.

After he came back out, he offered to go to the basement, where we have a guest bed set up.  I told him that I should go down there so he could be closer to the bathroom.  I took the baby monitor with me.  I tried to fall asleep down there (it really is a comfy bed), but kept fluctuating between anxious, mad*, and sad/disappointed and didn't have anything but my thoughts (our cable box down there died).  I couldn't sleep.

So here I am in the living room watching TV, feeling nauseous from either the anxiety or the actual stomach bug, waiting to hear Baby Girl awake, sick, trying to decide what I should do with her if she seems healthy in the morning.  Should we go out and about to minimize our interaction with The Hubby?  Should we go stay for a day at my parents' house? 

I worry about going to my parents' house because if we're carrying the virus already, I'd hate to take it down there.  I also would hate to delay the inevitable and end up with us sick on Christmas Day.  If we're all going to get sick, might as well have December 22nd be the worst day of our year.  But if Baby Girl and I can avoid it, I'd love that, obviously.  I have no idea what to do and know that sitting up at 2 a.m. isn't the answer, but just cannot sleep.  I'm going to go peek in on Baby Girl (she did cry out earlier, so I want to be sure she didn't get sick and fall back asleep or something) and then try again to go to sleep.  If I'm going to be fighting this with my entire being, I need to have some rest.  Heck, even if it's just that I'm going to be taking care of Baby Girl by myself, I need rest.

*Yes, mad.  I've always felt like The Hubby didn't take the care he should to avoid getting sick and/or bringing sickness home.  I realize that some sickness is a part of life, but I take as many precautions as I reasonably can--washing hands ALL.THE.TIME, using paper towels to open doors, using hand sanitizer or washing hands before eating, etc.  And he just...doesn't.  And maybe it's because he's not as paranoid.  But it seems that he's the one bringing this virus into our house, so part of me blames him (okay, a BIG part).

Monday, December 20, 2010

If you're easily offended, keep on moving...but if not, come on in!

I have two stories to tell that were hilarious when they happened in my bedroom.  Whether they're hilarious as told in my blog will be a totally different story.

Baby Girl's favorite game is peek-a-boo--it has been for months and months.  It seems that with each day, she play peek-a-book in a different way.  It started out just giggling when we'd hide, but now it's to the point that she will hide or even just put her hands over her own (or you) eyes and say "peek!"

Well, we were enjoying a relaxing morning in bed on Saturday morning.  I had just finished nursing her and we were snuggling and tickling and having a great weekend morning.  And then...she realized that she could play peek-a-boo.  Using my bra.  So she kept saying "peek!" and pulling my bra down (I should note that I still wear a nursing it's easy peek-a-boo access). 

Seriously, though...the game went on for like 5 minutes.  She'd pull down my bra, say "peek!", giggle, and hide it again.  Rinse and repeat.  The Hubby and I were trying to contain our laughter a bit so she didn't realize what an incredibly hilarious game this really was...we don't need to encourage her playing peek-a-boo like that in public!  I explained to her (although I know she didn't understand) that this is a game that we only play in mommy and daddy's room...we can't play peek-a-boo with mommy's boob in public.

This kid gets more and more clever every day.

Then Sunday morning she picked up something off the floor and said "cheese!".  Her "cheese" sounds really similar to her "please", so I had to look to see whether she wanted me to do something (thus the "please") or if she found some cheese.

I look in her hand and what do I see?  Something in a (mostly) white wrapper that *did* look an awful lot like a piece of string cheese...

A tampon. 

No, Baby Girl, that's not cheese...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thrifty Thursday (on Friday): Gift Cards

'Tis the season, y'all!

Yep, this is the time of year when many restaurants start offering free gift cards when you buy a certain amount of gift cards.  For instance, Bob Evans will give you a $10 gift card when you buy $50 in gift cards from them.  20% extra exceed what you'll ever earn in fuel perks by buying your gift cards at the grocery store.

The idea behind this is technically that you could buy your friend a $50 gift card and keep the $10 for yourself, but if you typically eat there, why not keep all $60 for yourself? 

Look around at your favorite restaurants--you'll see many are participating in something like this.  We're creatures of habit, so we go to the same restaurants all the time.  We'll be buying at least $50 in Bob Evans gift cards, probably at least one gift card to Chipotle (or more!) (they are giving you a free burrito for every $25 gift card you purchase), and maybe an Outback Steakhouse gift card as a special treat to ourselves.

No reason not to treat yourself (and save money you would've spent anyway!) this holiday season. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some days I just feel like quitting

I want this blog to be private-ish.  I don't care if most people read it, but I don't go advertising that it belongs to me.  I don't connect it with my FB account because I want to remain a little bit anonymous.  But do people I know IRL read?  Yep.  But they all know that these are my thoughts and feelings and they can't judge me for anything I write here.

And I'm still incredibly careful about what I write.  I have MANY posts that I want to write but don't feel I can because I don't want to offend someone.  I have people I've wanted to complain about, but held back, for fear that they might read my blog.  It's my blog, though.  Shouldn't I be able to write whatever the heck I want on my blog? 

The answer, you'll all tell me, should be yes.  But it's not. 

This is why so many people are going to private blogs.  I don't *want* to go private--reading a private blog can be a hassle since you can't (that I know of) put them into your blog reader and, therefore, have to remember to check in every once in awhile.  I like meeting random people through my blog--I've made a good friend because she found my blog (who I still have yet to meet in person...but someday!). 

But is the risk greater than the reward?  This is what I'm trying to decide.  I'm tired of censoring myself, of worrying that someone I know IRL will find this blog and be mad at anything I might have written.  I already take such care not to post anything that I wouldn't want read by someone I know, but then there are times I go back and read posts and think "eh, maaaaybe I shouldn't have written that because someone, somewhere could get offended".  Do I need that added stress?

Embarrassing Moment of the Day

I know it's been awhile since you've heard from me.  There is a lot I need to catch up on.  But I had to tell you all about this.

At the Christmas Holiday party for work.  Have been sitting for awhile and get up to put my coat on.  My boss (who is a woman who I am pretty close with....thank goodness) looks down and sort of makes a noise, asking what was on the floor.  I look down.  And I gasp.  It's a nursing pad.  From my bra.  On the floor.

I said, "Oh, that's mine."  I look in my shirt to be sure there isn't another one soon to follow.  She's looking at me funny.  I said to her what I wouldn't say to pretty much anyone else at work, "it's from my bra".  She laughs and tells me she thought it was a coffee filter. 

Crisis averted, I suppose.  But wow.  I was still glowing bright red, I believe!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meal Plan 12/4-12/10

Sunday: Southwest Sloppy Joes (we didn't do the slaw) and Southwest Butternut Squash--this was DELICIOUS!  We all (all three of us!) wish we could've had it again the next night.  This will definitely be on our regular rotation.  I found this through my friend, Cassie's, food blog.

Monday: Baked Chicken Fingers and Baked Basil Fries

Tuesday: Vegetable Pizza--just going to throw some sauteed veggies, pizza sauce, and cheese on a pizza crust and cross my fingers!

Wednesday: Christmas dinner leftovers--I made a ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rolls (and a friend brought over corn casserole...and, honestly, I didn't do as much cooking as I typically do because I was with Baby Girl...story to come later), so we're planning to eat all this for dinner

Thursday: Breakfast Strata--made with leftover ham

Friday: BBQ Chicken Pasta

Saturday: Sesame Chicken and broccoli

We'll also have sweet potato fries with one of these meals since I have some leftover from last week.  Just need to figure out which night...might be tonight.

I also wanted to share one other recipe that I think I'm going to make at least once a week.  Seriously.  It's a hot dip using sweet onions, cream cheese, & parmesean cheese.  But I can't find the recipe.  So I'm going to keep you all in suspense until I find it.  But once I'll really appreciate it because this dip?  I can't get enough.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Okay, I'm going to say it...

Baby Girl has been sleeping through the night for a week now.  Let's hope tonight is night number eight. 

She slept through the night on Thanksgiving night while we were at my parents' house.  She was totally worn out from the day and not getting a good nap, so we figured it was a fluke.  But then she did it the next night.

What was different about sleeping at my parents' house than at our own house?  Well, she was in a pack-n-play in the same room with us.  And we also had a space heater on, making it like 80 degrees in the room (my parents don't have heat or a/c upstairs b/c it's such an old house).

So we figured we'd try making her warmer at home.  We've started putting on a long-sleeved onesie underneath her pajamas.  And yesterday I went out and got her some fleece jammies (that are SOOOOO cute!!! These are them.)

And she's been sleeping through the night ever since. 

Seriously, kid?  You've just been COLD??????

Of course that hasn't been the case this entire time, but it's been our fix now.  Just wish we could've figured it out a few months ago!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cards

My absolute go-to website for photo prints is Shutterfly.  I've ordered many photo books from them, including a wedding album that I put together for our parents (and am planning on putting together for us since we can't seem to get our shit together to order one through our photographer!).

Speaking of getting out shit together...I wanted to do photo birth announcements.  But didn't.  lol  I threw a photo into our holiday card last year for some people, but generally didn't get it done.  But when I was looking at announcements BEFORE Baby Girl arrived, I looked at these on Shutterfly.

I've previously also ordered Mother's Day and Father's Day cards from Shutterfly for our parents with pictures of Baby Girl (Shutterfly is always offering great promotions).

The best promotion they've done, though, is one that I think a lot of you may have read about at this point.  They are offering 50 free holiday photo cards for bloggers who write about their products!  I'm so stinking excited.  I had actually already put together the photo cards I wanted to use on Shutterfly when I realized that I should participate!

This is one of our favorite designs:

Another favorite is this one:

Although while trying to find the ones that I loved, I might have fallen in love with some others...  lol  After the holidays, I'll be sure to share the final product!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Things have been hectic.  I honestly thought I'd get online during my Thanksgiving break to blog, but just haven't had the time or motivation.  We spent Thursday morning through Saturday late afternoon with my parents, then came back and spent Saturday evening and Sunday at home.  It was a good long weekend, but far too short.

Work has been insanely busy--I haven't had much time to breathe or eat, let alone write a blog post. 

Baby Girl is in the midst of a verbal explosion.  She's willing to try to say any word we say (which is a little scary sometimes...) and watches our mouths intently, trying to figure out how we're forming words.  While playing Thanksgiving Bingo at my aunt's house, I won a foam alphabet puzzle, so we've been playing with that.  It's adorable to listen to her try to say the letters--all the ones that end in the "ee" sound sound about the same.

We've been piecing together childcare, which has been sort of interesting.  It has been a blessing that our work is SO flexible and allows us to work from home in the evenings or for The Hubby to go into work for awhile when Baby Girl is down for the night (like he's doing tonight and last night).  We've spent quite a bit of time with Baby Girl, which has really been nice.  Today The Hubby stayed home with her, my mom is coming up tomorrow, Wednesday she has her major doctor appointments, then I'll be home with her in the afternoon, then Thursday and Friday The Hubby's coworker's daughter (who is in a Master's program--not a 12 year old or something) will watch her.  This girl, K. (because "The Hubby's coworker's daughter is sort of lengthy), will be watching Baby Girl until Christmastime.  We're hoping to have something else lined up very soon that would begin in January!

Baby Girl has quickly made her way into toddlerhood.  She is hitting, throwing tantrums for no reason, and is refusing food.  She wants to dip food (she was dipping cornbread into BBQ sauce tonight at dinner) and refuses food she used to eat all the time.  If it weren't for peas, she wouldn't be eating much.  We're still sticking to our guns and not fixing anything special for her for dinner, but it's getting difficult.  Tonight we had shredded chicken, frozen veggies, and cornbread.  She just wasn't really interested in any of it.

So I failed at this NaBloPoMo thing.  I totally dropped the ball over the last four days, but hope to finish out the month strong.  Today is Baby Girl's 16 month birthday, so I should probably do a monthly update post, but am having a hard time finding the motivation to do so.  I'm horribly worn out from work and from battling this toddler...all I want to do is retreat and sleep.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby Girl's Day

Baby Girl had an exciting day today!  A very good friend offered to watch her since she was off work, so Baby Girl got to experience life as if she were a twin.  My friend has a 15-month-old of her own, so she, as she put it, "had twins with a return policy".  lol 

It sounds like they had a fabulous time--such a good time that neither kid (neither of whom is a great sleeper) wanted to take a nap!  They both fell asleep after lunch, though, and napped for 2 hours!  They must have worn each other out :)

She didn't even cry when we left--in fact, she waved at us as we walked out the door!  I guess that's what happens when she is spending time with someone she already knows (and who is feeding her something tasty like grapes!).

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I'm just so incredibly thankful for a friend that is willing to watch our daughter, to give us the peace of mind of knowing she's with someone we trust 100% and who loves her and only wants the best for her.  We were both able to work, knowing Baby Girl was having a great day (I got an email update, a phone call, and Daddy got a text with a photo!).  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We're having a verbal explosion in our house (and this time it isn't by The Hubby).  Baby Girl is trying to say every word you ask and is now identifying shirt, coat, and pants (on her own), and repeating red, green, and blue (and then some).  Today she started saying "bye" (although I'm not sure why it took her so long to start).  Most people probably wouldn't know what she's saying, but if you pay attention the context, you can typically figure it out.

For instance, there are a lot of words that sound the same.  Sock.  Truck.  Stuck.  Duck.  But you can typically figure out which she means...eventually.

This brings me to Bah.  Bah is her new favorite thing.  We walked around my office today, looking for Bah.  We were hanging out at the house and she NEEDED to see Bah.

Who is Bah?  Well, it's this guy:

Yep.  While we may not watch much TV in our house (and, for some reason, I'm generally not a fan of an attachment to characters, even though I was obsessed with Kermit as a kid), apparently my mom kept cartoons on all day the days she watched her.  That's fine--it's better than her watching adult programming (we prefer she watch sports....), but it seems like my mom sought out this guy.  They watched a lot of Spongebob Squarepants.  And now she's obsessed.

Somehow, she also knows that Bob the Builder is Bah (we have a book featuring him).  Either way, she loves her Bah. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Off the wagon

We were doing so well with our meal planning and getting motivated to do things in the evenings to get ourselves to a place where we're comfortable and happy in our space.  All that fell to the wayside when we all got sick and didn't have the energy to go do anything.  Making things even worse, The Hubby and I weren't sick at exactly the same time, which meant when one wasn't feeling well, we did nothing.  We haven't really touched the basement in a couple of weeks and need to have it fairly empty by December 4th, when we host our annual Christmas party (we have friends that will sleep down there and we might hang out down there once the kiddo is sleeping).  Nothing like a deadline to whip us into shape, eh?


Of course, then my tooth extraction happened.  And now we're both having to do evening work to make up for time we're spending with Baby Girl during the day because we don't have a sitter today and tomorrow.  So it doesn't look like it's going to happen before Thanksgiving and we're just going to have to be okay with that. 

Meal planning for the week is just eating whatever is left from last week that we didn't have because I either didn't feel like cooking or didn't feel like eating.  I'm still experiencing some soreness on one side of my mouth, so who knows how dinner tonight will go down. 

We'll get back on the wagon...someday.  But for now, we're just going to be a little less organized and a little more chaotic.  And we have to be okay with that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Mother of All Tantrums

Well, it's official.  Baby Girl is a toddler.

We're still in this weird place where she refuses to take an sort of afternoon nap, but won't sleep more than an hour for us in the late morning.  Then she's a total mess.

Today we went and interviewed a potential childcare provider and I was scared of what it would be like...until she fell asleep in the car.  She took a nice little nap while The Hubby sat and listened to the Browns game and I went inside to talk to the lady.  When she awoke, she was confused, but happy.  She warmed up to the house and got out a bunch of toys and seemed really happy.

We figured since she was in such a good mood, it was a BEAUTIFUL day, and we were already close, we'd go to where we wanted to take her Christmas card photos.  We did and got some really cute photos.  We decided to let her play on a hill, running down it toward me--she loved it!

What she didn't love was being told it was time to go.  She threw the MOTHER of all tantrums when The Hubby picked her up to take her to the top of the hill.  We were hoping to take some more photos, but realized we were done when she was kicking, hitting, sobbing, and screeching, refusing to be done.  He put her in the car and she shrieked until we were about halfway home.  By the time we got home, she was okay, but man, that was UGLY.  Seriously. 

Welcome to toddlerhood (toddlerdom?), kiddo.  May we all survive it intact.

And as a reward for reading, here is one of the pics I took today, straight off of the camera (no editing):

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I think many people would call my daughter spirited.  I might agree most of the time, but there are definitely times when I would call her a pain in the ass. 

Like tonight, when I was trying to change a disturbingly disgusting poopy diaper and she kept raising her bottom of the ground, trying to roll to run away, and kicking me...all at the same time.

Or when I was trying to get clothes/shoes/coats on her and she's running away, flashing that impish smile.

Or when she looked at me and smiled as she dropped her Cheerios off her high chair.

Or when she whines and whines...and WHINES, wanting SOMETHING, but not telling me what it might be.  And then once I figure it out, she won't say please (which she'll do any other time).  So she starts to throw a complete fit.

All of these were redeemed, though, when she looked at me as I'm sobbing (she hit me pretty hard in the cheek where I'm still feeling some pain from having my wisdom teeth removed) and looks at me with big, sad brown eyes.  I ask, through my tears, if I can have a hug.  She obliged with the sweetest, biggest baby hug I've ever gotten. 

She also is willing to give just about anyone a hug if they ask.  This might become a little scary later, but for now it's incredibly sweet.

She might whine when I cut her off (from food, her bath, her playing), but within 5 seconds she's forgotten what she had been doing and stops whining.

Spirited, yes.  But sweet as can be and I wouldn't have it any other way.

(although I might have appreciated her sleeping through the night last night....yeah, I totally jinxed it)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Childcare Update

A few updates....

We went and visited a daycare on Wednesday afternoon.  Not overly impressed, but we're sure she would be safe there.  If nothing else, there's that.  They could get us in as early as December 6th.

The Hubby's coworker's daughter (who we both know) is coming home from college (where she's getting her Master's in some sort childhood education) very soon and doesn't have a job.  The coworker was confident that the daughter would want to watch Baby Girl while she's home, which would offer a solution from November 29th through the beginning of January (we're both taking off December 22nd until January 3rd, so we don't need anyone at that time).  Waiting to hear from the coworker.

This Sunday we have a meeting set up with a lady who used to have a daycare in another suburb, but has moved and is starting a new daycare in her home January 3rd.  She has a set circullum, which sounds really appealing to us.  I hope we like her as much as I like the idea of her.

Then there are a few centers that we want to check out that could take Baby Girl once she turns 18 months (at the end of January).  My mom is planning on retiring very soon (waiting on a replacement), so if she does, she could watch Baby Girl for the majority of January if needed.

Lastly, a good friend has offered to watch Baby Girl next Wednesday.  She has a little boy her age and I think it will go really well! 

If everything falls into place, next Monday and Tuesday are the only days we don't have a good plan.  We have vacation time that we can take, but I'm insanely busy at work.  It might require us to take Baby Girl to work with us for a bit or something.  We'll see... 

Stay tuned!

Sleep update

I really hesistate to do this, but I'm putting it out there.  Baby Girl has slept through the night for the last four nights. 

There, I said it.  And I'm sure tonight she'll be up around 1.

At the end of last week, she started to get sick.  Since she was acting normal besides the river of snot, we went ahead with our plans to cut out overnight nursing.  The first night was rough, but she slept through the night that next night (I think that was Friday).  The Hubby and I were both getting sick and didn't want to deal with her when she woke up in the middle of the night Saturday night, so I nursed her.  She got up again Sunday night and The Hubby and I worked with her...after being up for over 2 hours.  But since that night she's been sleeping all night long.

She actually defies all the baby laws and sleeps better when she's sick, so who knows if this will last now that she's on azithromycin for her latest double ear infection (ugh....), but we're keeping our fingers crossed that this is it.

But now it's time for a confession.  I sort of miss her.  I've felt better, though, since she's been falling asleep while nursing, which makes an extra long nursing session.  Love that (for now) since I know our nursing time is coming to an end.  I'm down to pumping 3-4 ounces a day at work, but she's still nursing like normal when I'm around her.  She hasn't gotten frustrated by the lack of volume, so we'll keep doing it. 

I am SO happy to be getting some sleep, though, finally, especially since The Hubby and I have had this same cold since last weekend and then I had my three remaining wisdom teeth pulled yesterday.  It's good to get some reliable sleep.  She's been waking around 5--sometimes for the day and sometimes to fall back asleep nursing.  Not sure if we're going to try to discourage that or if we'll just roll with it until it starts moving toward 4.  Just playing it by ear for now. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sitter Drama

We haven't been completely happy with our sitter for awhile, but since Baby Girl was happy there and seemed safe, we left her there.  Over time, though, the little things began to add up and took their toll on our family.  The sitter always made us feel guilty for having our own opinions and for asking about Baby Girl's day.  For instance, last week after I'd asked about her nap that day, "It was a normal day.  When it isn't a normal day, I will tell you."  I was upset, to say the least--I should be able to ask without getting a bunch of attitude. 

But as with everything that we've had happen, we let it roll off our backs.  It's just a bit of attitude, right?  She's still caring for our daughter.

Over the weekend, we really discussed the care, though, and our concerns.  The Hubby and I realized that there are other concerns besides the attitude that we get from her.  We've picked Baby Girl up and she's been poopy--and she doesn't poop quietly.  We've picked her up twice with scratches on her face that the sitter hadn't even noticed.  I seriously don't care what happened--accidents happen--but she should've at least seen it.  She sits in her chair all day doing plastic canvas-work while the kids play.  She then sells said projects--so she's essentially making money while she's making money watching my kid.

We dropped Baby Girl off on Monday with her bags of frozen breastmilk that the sitter had requested (we had been bringing it daily) and the sitter "wanted to be sure we're decreasing this" and was pushing us to introduce cow's milk.  Then we were chatting with the sitter and another mommy who has a 5 month old and is nursing her.  The sitter says to the other mommy "Just so you know, I'll be cutting her off at 12 months.  It's just too many bags and too much."  Um, lady, you have NO right to say that.  It was just indicative of her attitude with everything.  She pushed Baby Girl to one nap before I think she was ready because it was convenient for her.  It's all about what's easy for her.

After the interaction on Monday morning, I sat in the driveway with The Hubby, sobbing.  I wanted to go get Baby Girl and take her home with us.  I was tired of dealing with this lady.  I was DONE.

He convinced me to go to work that day, but I was just emotional all day long (and then got to work to find out I had screwed up something big and spent the entire day working to fix it).  We were going to leave our 2-week notice when we picked up, but chickened out.  We decided to email her that evening, even though we didn't have anything else lined up.  It was really scary, but we knew we could make something work, even if that meant The Hubby working evenings and me working days.  We also knew my mom could help out some.

The sitter was closed yesterday, so my mom had her at home.

This morning The Hubby took Baby Girl to the sitter's because he was scheduled to stay late for a meeting.  I came into work, but got a call from him as I was driving.  The sitter had met him and Baby Girl at the door with all of Baby Girl's belongings (including frozen milk) as well as our checks for the last two weeks.  She told him, "You didn't give the right notice."  He replied, "What?"  She repeated herself and he said, "I'm sorry it has to end this way."  She said, "You shouldn't be surprised." and he told her that he was.  She then repeated, "You shouldn't be" and closed the door in his and Baby Girl's face. 

When I talked to him, I think he was in shock.  He took Baby Girl home and they've been spending the day together.  We're meeting at 3 to go to a daycare close to work to check it out.  I'm a little wary, based on reviews by a coworker (it doesn't sound like Baby Girl would be unsafe--just that I might not have as much control as I would like--some might call me a control freak), but the coworker says she would be safe and happy.  We also have leads on a few places that could take Baby Girl when she turns 18 months (in late January).  We might use other resources until then or we might put her in this daycare until then, we haven't decided.  I've also found someone on Craigs.list this afternoon that sounds great and contacted them.

So it will be for the best in the end, but I'm just SO SO upset and sad that it had to go down like this.  I hate to make people upset and hate thinking about what she's saying about us to the other parents.  I just don't like drama or confrontation.  I KNOW Baby Girl will be better off somewhere else, but getting there is going to be rough.  This could be a really rough 2 1/2 months for us.  But hopefully when we get to February 1, we'll be a happier, healthier family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well, there goes that.

So much for NaBloPoMo!  I didn't have the emotional energy to post yesterday and nearly didn't post today.  I'll try to do better and maybe double up one day this week. 

As for yesterday, we're changing sitters.  And it's scary.  And we let her know last night.  And I had a ridiculously bad day yesterday, complete with tears through about 6 hours of it.  No, no one died...just me being really emotional.  When I'm upset, I cry.  Mad?  Cry.  Sad?  Cry, of course.  I cry whenever stress gets to me or I get overwhelmed.  I'm not weepy by nature, but it's how I react to strong emotion, nonetheless.

And today?  Today was just busy, as every day at work is going to be for awhile.  You see, we're going through some major changes and I've been put in charge of spearheading it.  It's really exciting, but really overwhelming.  I'm just hoping I don't screw this one up.

But I'll try to post tomorrow.  I have some things I'm thinking and feeling, but fear putting it out on my blog will alienate people.  So maybe not.  We'll see.  My goal in life is to please everyone and my own happiness be damned.  So I hate to upset anyone, even those who I'm not that happy with. 

I'm out of here.  I'm heading out the door to go home, see my girl (who hopefully has napped for grandma (our sitter is closed today because of a family issue)), have dinner, then head to book club for some girl time.  It should be fun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The pregnancy test

Since my lovely monthly visitor returned in mid-June, she'd been fairly predictable.  Prior to Baby Girl, I had a 28 day cycle almost every month.  It's been much of the same since then.  Until this month.  This month I was on cycle day 30, had spotted a bit and cramped a bit about 4 days prior, but then...nothing.  It was eerily similar to the month I got pregnant.

So I was in the bathroom yesterday and glanced under the sink and found the leftover digital test from that successful cycle.  It expired in April 2009.  I figured, what the heck.  I peed on it.  And as that test sat blinking, calculating, I held my breath.  I realized how scared I was and how ready I was NOT to have another baby.  How much I want to keep spending time with MY baby without having to split that time with a new one.  But then, watching that test blink, I started to accept it, to know that we'd be okay if it came up "Pregnant". 

But boy was I happy when it read "Not Pregnant".

And then about 2 hours later, I didn't need to have used that test after all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Odd, but good

Had a weird day today.  Woke up at 6:00 to realize that I'd just (technically*) gotten 9 straight hours of sleep.  That's right, Baby Girl didn't wake up and cry at all last night.

* I say technically because both The Hubby and I woke up repeatedly, waiting for her to get up.  Isn't that always how it goes?

Anyway, we were all in pretty good moods and hung out together in bed for awhile.  This is some of my most cherished time, even though it's not fun snuggle time.  Oh no, it's Baby-Girl-trying-to-sit-on-our-faces time.

But then we got up, had some breakfast, then Baby Girl and I went and met a friend at her craft bazaar.  We had a great trip, Baby Girl was charming, as always, and it was nice to do something different and see a good friend.  Baby Girl loved greeting all the people and they seemed happy to see the little lady in the Buckeye cheerleader outfit (besides the older gentleman who asked if she was a boy or a a dress)

The Hubby and I had decided that we needed to try one nap this weekend because when trying two naps last weekend we got no good sleep from Baby Girl.

On my drive home from the bazaar, Baby Girl fell asleep.  Of course. 

Many people think this might be a good thing, but if Baby Girl falls asleep in the car, it's all over.  It means she's not going back to sleep anytime soon and it's impossible to move her from the car to her bed sleeping (this was even true when she fell asleep after bedtime and slept a full hour in the car). 

We got home, had some lunch, nursed, then decided we'd try to put her down.  After she'd been up there for about 10 minutes, The Hubby went to check on her since he heard weird noises and discovered that she'd pulled the cords to her wave machine and her lamp into the crib and was playing with them.  He removed them from the crib and told her to go to sleep.  After about 20 minutes more, we heard another weird noise and I went up.  She'd gotten the cord again, but this time I noticed that it stunk, bad.

Of course, she'd pooped.  *sigh*  And this was no normal poo.  It was huge.  And stinky.  And a near blowout.  Yuck.  Guess it's a side effect of the cold.

So I changed her (with some distraction by Daddy that I enlisted).  Then I moved her crib a foot away from the wall.  I tried to get her to go to sleep on my shoulder, but she wasn't having it.  I left her in her crib and she stayed up there, happily, for another 40 minutes or so.  At that point The Hubby got her and brought her back down.

She was really pleasant.  We went outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather we've been having (mid-70's in mid-November?  Yes, please!) then played inside some.  When she rubbed her eyes (around 3:30 by this point--you know, at the start of the Buckeye game), we (The Hubby) tried to put her to bed.  She slept, but only for about 40 minutes.  And when she woke up, she was CRANKY.  Ugh.  Like signed for milk, I held out my arms for her to come see me, and she melted down in the middle of the living room floor cranky. 

Dinner finally arrived (The Hubby begged for pizza, so I finally gave in) and she ate 1 1/2 slices of Papa John's pizza.  And then she was happy.  Apparently she was just hungry.  Guess that's what a massive poo will do to you.

So then we had a great time watching the second half of the game.  It's a good thing she slept through a lot of the first was ugly.  But the second half was fun, Baby Girl was was good.

Our highlights (besides the actual football):

Baby Girl showed us the sign for "loss of down" when the ref did it--amazing how much attention she pays to these things!

Baby Girl repeatedly held her arms up for "touchdown"

Daddy and Baby Girl danced around (mostly marching) when we'd score a touchdown.  He and I would sing the fight song while they danced and when we were done, she'd clap.  And then she'd twirl in circles until she fell down.

Yep, she was getting a bit slap-happy.  But it was adorable and she was SO much fun.  She would hide around the corner, then jump out and giggle like crazy.  I was actually a bit sad to see her go to bed.  Luckily, she went down easily, which surprised both her daddy and me.  I'm just hoping she stays there for awhile, especially since I'm headed to bed now.  My throat hurts worse than I remember it hurting in a VERY long time.  I think it's just some post-nasal drip going on, but wish either the cold would really start (snot coming out of my nose, that is) or it would just go away.  This sore throat is awful. 

Good night!  And Go Bucks!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off to bed

Well, friends, I had fully intended on writing a great post today, but work got in the way and now it's time for bed.  Yes, I realize it's 8:10 p.m.  Don't judge. :)  We slept very little last night and fear tonight will be much of the same.  Plus I'm feeling really scratchy and am trying to fend off this cold that Baby Girl has contracted.

As a consolation, I'll leave you with a pic of my little dalmatian on Trick or Treat night:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New words and how my Thursday was thrifty

I'll try to do a real Thrifty Thursday post tomorrow, but since I was home today, I spent the day with my family.

First of all, Baby Girl has some new words that are adorable.  She says "garage" when we say we're going out to the garage or even when we're heading that way sometimes.  She also says something that sounds like "I did it" (which would be her first phrase if that's what it ends up being...).  I love how expressive she's getting and it feels like she's learning more every day.  Today when I picked her up from the sitter's (The Hubby and I worked around the house and sent her to the sitter's part day) she turned to the door and asked "Daddy?"  I told her Daddy was at home and we'd see him when we got there.  Then we were in the car and I asked her if she'd like to take a walk when we got home and she said, "walk".  I said, "yeah, maybe we can take a walk when we get home" and she says "Daddy".  It amazed me that she remembered that Daddy is at home, the walk is at the rest of the ride she was saying some combination of "Daddy", "walk", and "home".

And because I can't write a post on Thursday without mentioning how thrifty I am...

The Hubby wanted to do something a little special with Baby Girl before we sent her to the sitter's (you know, to help us feel a bit better about it), so we went out to breakfast.  We went to Bob Evans because we had a gift card--hello free breakfast!  As a side note, Baby Girl ate almost an entire sausage link, almost a whole piece of bread, and then almost a whole scrambled egg, only AFTER we put ketchup on it, which she'd never tasted before.  Yuck.  lol

Anyway, we then went to Low.e's to pick up some lawn bags and maybe a utility sink.  We found a sink for a decent price and also picked up a furnace filter.  We had a gift card for there, too.  If I'd known we would be going, I could have gotten a coupon...see what happens when you don't plan ahead??  :)  The gift card didn't cover it all, but it was helpful.

Lunch was breakfast leftovers. 

Dinner was chicken parmesean (well, just chicken with pasta sauce over it with some pasta & peas) and I used some sliced French bread I'd bought on Manager's Special to make some cheesy garlic crostinis.  Yum :)

And now I'm baking chocolate chip cookies, just because (and because I had all the ingredients here).

It was tempting to go out for lunch or to go shopping while home, but we resisted and have had a great day. 

Happy Veteran's Day to all of you.  We are incredibly thankful for the service of our men and women who help preserve the freedoms we all enjoy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My New Love

Move over, Hubby, and make room for my newest love.

This guy:

It's the FoodSaver Mini Plus.  And I'm officially in love.

I got this little guy for just $21, shipped (down from $79), but didn't get a chance to play with it until last night.

Last night's dinner was black beans (I made the whole bag of dry beans with the intention of freezing the two extra "cans" worth), steamed rice, and some other stuff.  Well, I decided to try out this guy on the beans and the extra rice and it was wonderful. 

(To tell the truth, it was The Hubby who used it last night and I watched in was a three.some of sorts)

It sealed up everything to perfection, sucked all the air out but didn't squish everything.  It was a thing of beauty.  And now I have two cans of black beans in my freezer as well as some rice for fried rice sometime.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heavy--Losing Friends

I know I need to blog today, but I'm really struggling.  I have some heavy shit stuff weighing on my heart, but I don't think my blog readers really want to read all about it. 

But I need to get some of it out, so I'm going to ramble a bit.  Read or don't...that's okay.  I'll try to find something light-hearted to post about tomorrow.

I feel like I've let a lot of people down.  I feel stretched really thin, but don't know how to cut back since I really do have very few different things on my plate.  I've been invited to parties and get-togethers and I find that I want (feel like I need?) to spend time at home.  I feel like I'm losing friends because I'm not making an effort, but when I make an effort for friends, I feel like I'm letting someone down, even if that someone is just me and my expectations of what a mommy/wife should be.  The line between "I want to spend time with my husband and baby" and "I *should* spend time with my husband and baby" has blurred drastically and I can't tell the difference anymore.

Added to this is the fact that I just don't *feel* like making the effort to drive across town, miss out on sleep, lose time that I could FINALLY be getting our life in order at home.  Am I going to have so much fun that I won't regret that missed time?  But at the same time, I regret the friendships I feel are slipping away.

The Hubby doesn't have many friends and those that he does are couple friends, so we spend time with them as a family.  I have friends that he isn't friends with, so it's "me" time when I go out.  It would be much more simple if my only friends were those couple friends.  I wouldn't have any reason to go anywhere without him and Baby Girl. 

I realize that many will say it's good for me to have interests outside The Hubby and Baby Girl, but that concept is fairly foreign for me.  The Hubby and I have been together for almost 9 years now and since day one he's been my best friend and we've spent almost every moment possible together.  In the time that we've been dating, I can't think of more than 10 nights we've spent apart when we were both in the same city.  I just love spending time with him. 

That's not to say I don't love spending time with my friends.  I do.  And for many of the gatherings, I come home feeling refreshed and happy I went out.  But it's all the effort, working out the logistics (especially with Baby Girl, nursing, etc.), the driving, etc. that makes it such a daunting task. 

So I prioritize my book club, which means I go once every 3 months or so.  I get to see multiple friends in one place and typically really enjoy myself (although I must admit that I probably talk too much because, well, I don't get out much...).  But these jewelry parties, Tastefully Simple parties, etc. etc. etc....they just don't happen.  And that makes me sad because before Baby Girl, I would've made more of an effort...when it didn't require such effort. 

This rant brings me nowhere closer to what I need to do.  Should I make the effort?  Of course.  But I'm so damned tired.  Stressed.  Worn out from leaving the house at 7:10, getting home at 5:40, rushing around cooking dinner (with a whiny, clingy child), eating dinner, nursing the kid, putting her to bed.  It's a tiring existence. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

My grocery shopping trip and other money stories

Last week The Hubby and I had a really long discussion about money.  You see, we don't have debt we're particularly concerned about (ie. no credit card debt and other debts have other benefits or low interest rates), so we haven't done much to cut it down.  I pay a bit extra on the mortgage each month, but other than that, we pay the scheduled payment on the other loans.  It's worked fine.  Until now.

We're wanting to sell our house.  We love the house but hate the location--we need a better school system for our daughter.  And with the housing market where it is, we could actually afford a home in one of our most preferred school districts--something we couldn't do when the housing market is booming.  So we started looking into the expenses that come along with selling a home and, to tell you the truth, it's daunting.

We've always prided ourselves in not being upside down on our home, even with the decreased home values and the fact that we bought with 0% down.  But when we take all those selling fees into account, we will make nothing on the sale of our home if we sold right now.  It's a buyer's market and we'd be buying...but we'd also be selling.  Yes, we could save more than we would lose if we moved now...but is it worth it to us to make that step and essentially have no equity to show for our house? 

So then the discussion turned into wondering what would happen if we started getting aggressive on debt repayment.  I started doing all sorts of calculations and looking at our budget and even with maintaining the standard of living we have now (besides the bigger purchases that we'd have to do without), we could pay down our debt enormously in just a few years.

But the first step is finding little places to cut back.  The first place I thought of--cut down our food budget.  I already don't spend more than $300/mo at the grocery.  But we also spend about $150/mo eating out.  That's way too much, in my opinion.  So we've started being even more strict about how much we eat out and I'm going to be shopping even MORE cheaply than normal (if that's possible).  But first I realized that we have plenty of food in our house right now:

 This?  This is my main food cabinet.  It's stuffed with pastas, sauces, rices, beans, soups, etc.  And what you don't see in this picture is this:

That right there is the counter BELOW the cabinet, where we store snacks (because our snack cabinet is at Baby Girl-level and we got tired of having smooshed tortilla chips), Cheerios (because those HAVE to be on hand at any given time), bread, and extra stuff that just doesn't fit. 

And then there's this cabinet:

My baking supplies.  Yep.  I've got a whole cabinet for baking stuff.  Go ahead and judge, but mama's got a sweet tooth.  :)

There are a couple of other cabinets with spices and oils, but that's about it. 

Besides the 5ish foot long deep freezer in the garage that is about half full.  And the inside freezer (the half of the side-by-side) that's stuffed full. 

So yeah, we aren't hurting for food.  All that stocking up that I preach?  I've been practicing it and have been doing well.  But it's time to USE it. 

So this week I decided I was only going to cook meals that I could do with almost all ingredients on hand.

My grocery list this week:
milk (which I

Oh, and a Manager's Special pumpkin pie (see?  I sort of suck at this, too--you might think I'm perfect at saving money...but you'd be wrong!)

Also on the list?  Pop for The Hubby (and me, occassionally).  He drinks at least one pop a day and if I find it at $2.50 or below during the winter ($2 or below during the summer), I buy some.  Kroger had 24 packs for $5 apiece when you buy two, so I bought two.

The grand total for the week was $18, even with the $10 worth of pop and $2 for the pie.  (That would've seemed a LOT more impressive if I were reporting a $6 grocery trip, wouldn't it?)

Either way, this is how I came upon my meal plan for the week.  We'll be trying to use up some of the things in the cupboard.  I'd bought a bag of black beans awhile ago, fully intending to cook them up and use them instead of canned beans, but it just hasn't happened.  Well, tonight's the night.  And I'm using this as my guide.

I'm planning to keep this up--to start shopping out of my cupboard & freezer more to decide what we're going to eat, instead of basing it on the sales and then just not buying ingredients we already have.  Wish us luck!

(there you go, Cassie--a sneak peek into our house and a preview of the post I'm going to do about the transformation of my kitchen ;) )

Monday Quick Hits

Lots of little things I could blog about, but I'm just going to shoot them at you in list form:

~ Over the weekend, Baby Girl started nodding her head when she wants to say yes.  Woohoo!

~ She also now signs "thank you" when prompted.  She just needs to learn to use it in context and we're working on that.

~ Saturday October 30th she had her first real battle with the sidewalk.  I said at the time that the sidewalk won, but she never cried, so maybe not...

~ This past weekend I found a blister on her left index finger.  Not sure if it's from chewing (because the kid has been chewing like crazy for weeks--this will be tooth #5, if you're keeping track) or if it's because she touched a lamp that sits on the floor of her room.  She touched it while I was in the room and came running over to me, but didn't cry.  I looked at it and didn't see anything.  I kissed it and we went on with the day.  This was on Saturday morning, I think.  It popped Saturday night and she hasn't ever seemed bothered by it.

~ Still working on that other post for y'all.  I've got my camera at work, so I'll be loading some pics for you to help illustrate my point.  Hoping to do it today, but might I need to take a walk during my downtime instead.  I sort of made a d-bag of myself in front of my boss.  Then I cried.  And I'm just all out of sorts and not sure if it's because of the lack of sleep or because The Hubby and I are sort of fighting.  But not really.  We're not *saying* anything mean and are acting pleasant enough, but I feel like he blames me for everything and that makes me defensive.  It's a fun place to be.

~ The time change?  Yeah, that has been ugly.  Since we're still in this moving-toward-one-nap-but-not-quite-there-ness, Baby Girl has been going to bed around 7 recently.  With the time change, she wants to go to bed at 6 (and wakes at 5...ick!!!), but we can't accomodate that b/c we don't get home with her until after 5:30.  Not enough time to cook dinner, eat dinner, nurse, brush teeth, and get to bed.  And people wonder why she only gets bathed once a week.  Oh, and if my kid gets to bed late, she doesn't sleep better, she sleep worse, without fail.  So getting to bed late means more night wakings.  And one is more than enough as it is.

~ I never posted about this, but about 3 or 4 weeks ago I stopped pumping before bed.  It was frightening and liberating at the same time.  The sitter is just giving Baby Girl whatever milk I give her.  I have been taking between 25 and 35 ounces to her each Monday morning and she just keeps it in her freezer and gives it to her as she sees fit.  I'm currently pumping about 6 ounces a day, so 30ish ounces is basically keeping up.  I still have some freezer stash, but at this point am just pumping so I can nurse Baby Girl on the weekends.  Looking forward to being done with the pump, but not looking forward to being done with nursing.  I love that time with her so much.

(those last 3 weren't so quick, were they?)

~ Should save my stories about being at the ILs' house this past weekend for a full blog post.  Tomorrow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan: 11/7-11/13

Sunday: Ham & Pineapple Dinner
Monday: Hot dogs & Annie's mac -n- cheese
Tuesday: Black beans & rice & tomatoes & corn
Wednesday: Salsa chicken (from the freezer) on tortillas
Thursday: Chicken Parmesean
Friday: Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday: Cheesy-Good Breakfast Tartlets & pancakes or tater tots

If this week's meals seem odd at all, that's because they are.  But I have a whole separate post I will try to write tonight that details why.  Plus I need to write a blog post for yesterday to catch up on my NaMoBloPo.

(but this will only happen if 1) I don't fall asleep in the recliner and 2) I don't beat the shit out of my husband)

Friday, November 5, 2010

God Gave Me You

I have now heard this song twice, but cannot remember where I heard it the first time.  The truth is, it's perfect.

I've been a walking heartache
I've made a mess of me
The person that I've been lately
Ain't who I wanna be
But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm blows through
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

There's more here than what we feel
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely, can somehow fall for me
You'll always be love's great martyr
I'll be the flattered fool
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

On my own, I'm only half of what I could be
I can't do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I could never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you
Gave me you

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Buying Coupons

This might seem completely counterintuitive, but there are situations where you need to spend money to make/save money.

One example of this is buying coupons.  If you find out about a deal more than a week before it ends (or even begins), you can buy coupons in addition to what you would receive in your paper.  For instance, if I find out that Colgate is going to be on sale for $1 at my grocery store through the next two weeks and I know there's a $1 (or $0.50-$0.75 if you store doubles coupons worth less than $1) coupon available, sometimes I'll order 20 of them so I can stock up. 

My favorite source for coupons is Ebay.  You can search based on the product type ("cheese coupons") or brand ("Colgate coupons") and survey what is available. 

A favorite source of some friends (especially if you want to buy an entire insert) is The Coupon Clippers.  There are many other services out there--just search for "coupon clipping service" and you'll find many websites that offer this for various prices.

Just remember that you want to do this if you're going to use an item.  If I find a great deal on dog food, I might take a package of free dog food, but I'm not going to pay $5 for coupons to buy a ton when I don't even have a dog.  This is a really simplistic example, but just *think* about what you're stocking up on--will you actually use it?

Another example of spending money to make money is at places like CVS or Walgreen's.  We'll talk more next week about how these work, but to give you a sneak peek:  You buy an item at CVS for $1 after coupon but you get $2 in Extra Care Bucks to spend at CVS in the future.  You've spent $1 to make $2 to spend later.  Yes, if you never walked in there, you wouldn't spend ANY money, but if you're spending money there anyway (or *could* spend money there), you're making money by spending money. 

As always, please post any questions you have--I love talking through this stuff and explaining dealing to people!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fifteen Months

Baby Girl turned fifteen months old last Friday, which meant it was time yesterday to visit one of our favorite people--the pediatrician (and no, I'm not being facetious...I seriously adore this man).

First, the stats:

Length (now that she's standing (although not to be measured), it is height???): 30 1/4" (50th percentile)
Weight: 21 lbs 12 oz (8 oz gained in two weeks?  Whoa.) (25th percentile)
Head: 47 cm (approx. 80th percentile--have I ever mentioned how glad I am that I didn't pass this noggin through my vajayjay?)

We arrived, she made eyes at everyone in the well waiting room, looked at fish, read a few other words, we waited...and waited...guess that's what happens when you have the last appointment of the day.  She got measured, then we waited...and she begged to put her clothes back on...and we waited. 

And then.  Then she figured out how much fun it is to stomp on the paper on the exam table.  So we did that for about 10 minutes.  She was marching back and forth, back and forth.  Crunch crunch crunch.  Seriously adorable.

Dr. W came in and did the normal checking out.  Looked at her ears (since the last time we were in the office, her ear was a mess), checked her eyes, her mouth (so glad we've been working on getting her to open her mouth to show us that her food is all gone!), her tummy, etc.  He asked the developmental questions and confirmed that Baby Girl is a genius.  :)  He checked out the evidence of her battle with the sidewalk (as confirmed by the nurse AND the doc--the sidewalk won...eep!). 

And he listened to her heart.  Because since about 6 months (or was it 9?), Baby Girl has presented a heart murmur.  And I think about it almost every single night when she lays down to go to bed because I'm afraid that little ticker is just going to stop.  In which case, my little ticker is going to stop as well. 

The heart murmur?  Still there.  Dr. W says we should hear from a cardiologist office at the pediatric hospital in town and we should expect to be taking her for an appointment sometime next week.  He said he would bet $100,000 that it isn't a problem, but said that since Baby Girl is worth $1 million to him, he wouldn't take any chances (see why we love him???).

And while he was referring us to specialists, he decided we should also see an endocrinologist.  Apparently Baby Girl's bewbies are too big for a baby her age and he's concerned that she's moving toward puberty too quickly.  My suspicion would be that she's still getting hormones from me.  It's not like she needs a bra, but they are bigger than other babies'--even the sitter pointed it out.  But she isn't presenting any other symptoms that might suggest a problem, which is encouraging.  That office (also at the pediatric hospital) will be contacting us in the next couple of weeks and we should expect to go see them within the month.  ~sigh~

He told us again how wonderful she is (she was too busy playing peekaboo with Daddy around me to pay attention) and walked out.  And in came the nurse.  Only two pricks this time and while it wasn't fun for Daddy to hold her down, she had stopped crying by the time he picked her up.  She even gave the nurse a smile before she left.  So it wasn't too traumatizing for anyone involved....thank goodness.  We do have to go back in a month to get her flu shot booster.  Blech.

So that was our appointment.  She's perfect...except for the heart and the bewbies.  But we'll get those checked out and everything will be wonderful :)

Now, to update her development:


Baby Girl is eating pretty much anything we put in front of her.  She isn't a big fan of green beans and doesn't love ground meat, but will eat both.  She would snack on peas all day if we'd let her (and it's not like we're denying her).  She still LOVES Cheerios and has had a few different new foods, but nothing terribly exciting--just whatever we eat.  I think the most interesting thing she's eaten is taco sauce by the spoonful. 


Baby Girl has about 20 words: duck, dog, hi, hello, no, help, up, down, walk, rock, sock, shoe, juice, please, truck, daddy, mom, peas, done, ball, hat, slide, swing...and I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting.

She knows the noises for these animals: cow, duck, dog, elephant (sometimes), tiger, bear


Baby Girl can sign: please, eat, milk, more, thank you


Baby Girl is running everywhere.  She spins in circles (hilarious) and walks backwards.  She very rarely crawls, but when she does, it looks so funny!  She can get on and off of her riding toys like a champ (for awhile she'd aways swing the wrong leg over it and face backwards), but has problems going forward.  I'm sure if we worked with her to learn to go forward, she'd get it, but it's fun to watch her scoot around backward for now.


She is nursing 4 times a day and once overnight on the weekends (she nurses before work, before bed, and overnight during the week).  I'm pumping around 6 ounces a day and she's drinking about 25 ounces of milk from a sippy each week.


Baby Girl knows the following body parts: head, toes, feet, hands, fingers, nose, tongue, mouth, hair, eyes, ears, belly, belly button

Just last night, she impressed us by knowing the difference between the red ball and the football.  I figured she would get whichever one she'd been playing with most recently, but she threw the football, then I said, "where is the red ball" and she turned around and found her red ball and threw it. 


Baby Girl is an incredibly loving little girl.  She's quick to give hugs and kisses and some nights will switch between Mommy and Daddy 10 times giving kisses without prompting.  She's stubborn and wants things her way, which has led to a few tantrums, but so far nothing we can't handle.  At the end of the dinner each night, instead of telling us she's done (which she can do), she starts spreading her food around her tray and knocking it into her lap and onto the floor.  Sometimes if we clear off the tray and give her only a few things, she'll keep on eating (and eating and eating and eating...).  And sometimes she just wants her applesauce...NOW. 

She is a thinker, though.  Surprising for MY kid, eh?  haha  She looks at the world with inquisitive eyes, sometimes to the point where it looks like she's scowling.  She's just learning.  And within a little bit we can usually break that with tickles and giggles.  She's SO HAPPY.  She may not be giggly happy (unless we're chasing or tickling her), but she doesn't cry unless she doesn't want to be sleeping.  She's incredibly resilient (that battle with the sidewalk?  No tears (from her...we're not talking about mommy's state)) and always bounces back from tumbles that her daddy and I think could cripple us. 

Happy 15 months, kiddo.  We love you and the little girl you're becoming!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Baby Girl's second word was "dada".  After duck, this was the first word she said in reference to something, not just babbling consonant/vowel combinations.  I was a teensy bit jealous, of course, but generally just so happy that she loves her daddy.  I mean, I *had* been the one who had nursed her day and night for months on end, who always made sure to refer to herself in the third person so she didn't get confused.... 

But no, my baby girl said "dada".  Fine.

I was okay with it, loved that she loves her daddy, no matter what the previous paragraph suggests.

But after a few months, after months of "duck", "truck", "quack", "shoes", "juice", "hi", "hello", "sock", "da-eeeee" (seriously...melt!)....I was really hoping to hear "mama".  Or "mommy".  Or even "mom".

We even fight in the car about it, she and I.  I pick her up from the sitters and she sits in the back and says "DA-EEEEEEE".  I tell her Daddy is at home, but we'll see him when we get there.

After a pause, I say, "Baby Girl, who am I?"


"Baby Girl, can you say 'Mommy'?"






Repeat, ad naseum or until she gets distracted and points out a semi truck driving down the road (or a pickup or a car or a motorcycle...all called "GUCK!"). 

But yesterday I was cooking dinner when The Hubby came in the door with Baby Girl.  And the first thing I hear?  "Mom?"

(be still my heart)

"Yes baby?"

And then the happy stomping of those little size 4s running across our living room toward the kitchen.  "Mom!"  Ahhh....  Bliss.

After dinner was cooking, I went into the bathroom while Baby Girl played with her daddy.  I was in there, enjoying a little bit of alone time (yes, I realize this is a little depressing, but I think most mommies will understand), when I hear "MAWWWWM" (because it's definitely said with an "aw" in the middle) and a little hand banging on the door. 

This time, I wasn't upset about missing out on my alone time.  I cracked the door (because my first floor bathroom is small enough that you can't open the door all the way when you're sitting down) and looked out at her.  She reached her hand up to me and I kissed her little palm.  She smiled, giggled and ran back to her daddy.


Now, don't think that this is happening all the time.  She still called me Daddy once last night and this morning we had the same discussion in the car about Mommy versus Daddy.  But knowing that she *does* know who I am and can say "mom" (even if it isn't "mommy"), I am a happy Mommy.  Errr....Mom.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo...or "I really like to talk about myself"

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) originally started in a November, but has been continued to be a challenge for any month of the year.  This year I'm going to participate because I need to rediscover my blogging mojo.  Basically, the challenge is to post at least once a day, every day for a month.  I don't think I'm going to link up with the official project, but I'm going to participate on my own :)

For me, this is perfect.  It means I don't need to agonize over whether every entry is deserving of its own entry.  I don't need to filter and edit so much.  I just get to talk about myself...which is perfect.  Maybe it's because I am an only child, maybe it's because I work at a computer all day, maybe it's just my personality, but I love to talk, mostly about my little lady.  So this is great!  I hope you all don't get too bored or overwhelmed with my posting, though.

In the interest of keeping you around, I'd love to hear what you'd like me to talk about!  I'll try to post more pictures and maybe revisit some old topics like Baby Girl's first birthday, which I never blogged about.  Heck, I never blogged about my vacation, either.  So I think I have some topics, even if they aren't the most timely, and Baby Girl turned 15 months last Friday, so I'll have updates from the doctor tomorrow!

I look forward to getting lots of comments from my readers, even just to say hi.  Please don't be nervous--I love to know who is reading my small little piece of the blogosphere.  :) 

Let NaBloPoMo begin!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Meal Planning 10/31-11/6

Sunday: Meatloaf with a Bite, mashed potatoes (from a pouch...I'm a bit ashamed), and peas
Monday: Santa Fe Chicken
Tuesday: Squashtastic Shepherd's Pie by Hungry Girl (in this cookbook) (I'm planning to make it just like the cookbook version, but HG doesn't have the recipe anywhere online)
Wednesday: Cheesy Good Breakfast Tartlets by Hungry Girl, shredded hash browns, a veggie
Thursday: Taco Pizza
Friday: Ham & Pineapple Dinner (and a veggie...)
Saturday: We'll be visiting family, so I know I won't be cooking at home

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meal Plan: 10/24-10/30

Sunday: Went to my parents' house and had homemade chicken & noodles over mashed potatoes, served with corn and rolls.  Yum.

Monday: Taco Puffs served with some sauteed bell peppers

Tuesday: Hash Brown Scramble served with the leftover bell peppers

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Fajita Fettuccine (if I can remember to marinate my chicken tonight...)

Thursday: Penne & Meatballs (needed something super fast since it's Trick or Treat night)

Friday: Biggest Loser Grilled Chicken Parmesean (it just seems like grilled chicken, some sauce, and a bit of cheese--no breading)

Saturday:  Not sure.  Maybe Chipotle or we might have friends over, in which case, I might cook up something fun.  Or we could just have pizza.  We'll see :)

This bag is not a toy

In the time BC (before children), I was aghast at the thought of allowing my child to play with a plastic bag.  Surely, what idiot needs the warning on plastic grocery bags that "this bag is not a toy"?  Why would some moron allow their small child to PLAY with a PLASTIC BAG?

Because she's cranky in the car and it made her happy, I answer now. 

(and, lest you consider calling Children's Services on me, The Hubby was sitting in the passenger seat and keeping an eye on her while she smacked it and the package of diapers inside it around)

Monday, October 18, 2010


This post was started 9/15/09 when Baby Girl was about 6 weeks old--I wanted to go ahead and publish it just to remember it :)

Motherhood has come with many surprises (more and more every day). They may not be the same for everyone, but these are things I've discovered:

1) Showering is a much bigger priority than ever before (if I didn't shower on the weekends, I was perfectly happy).

2) Motherhood didn't come naturally. I have wanted to be a mom for my entire life. I've always thought of myself as being nurturing and thought that motherhood would be completely natural for me. That's completely untrue, though. I feel like I don't have a maternal instinct at all. I question every decision I make and don't even have much of a gut feeling about most things.

3) Nursing isn't nearly as convenient as you'd think. You would think that since the food is always with you, you could feed the baby anywhere and

4) How much I would eat

Meal Plan: 10/17-10/23

Apparently this week we're paying homage to our Mexican heritage...that is non-existent, contrary to popular belief (many people think either The Hubby or I are Hispanic, which isn't true--for me, it's the curly hair and for The Hubby it's the complexion).  The Hubby requested tacos and I figured I'd just double the meat and do something different with it later in the week.  Then he suggested we have the Chicken Taco Bake that was in the freezer already...  And then he requested chili (which he claims is NOT Mexican at all).  You may want to avoid our house this week...

Sunday: One Dish Chicken Bake--this was really something that my mom used to make but I found the recipe online just for you!  I didn't make any modifications--I like the way it tastes as delivered :)  Oh, and we served this with peas, which Baby Girl ate at least a cup of.

Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Ribs, baked potatoes (white for The Hubby and sweet for Baby Girl and me), and frozen veggie (maybe peas again)

Wednesday: Grilled Tacos (just pre-making a taco, but grilling it on the griddle after it's wrapped to give it a more crunchy texture.  Baby Girl might have a quesadilla.)

Thursday: Chili

Friday: Chicken Taco Bake from the freezer

Saturday: Probably Chipotle (haha--more Mexican!), which is our typical gameday tradition.  If we eat out during the week, though, we'll be eating whatever was planned for that night. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our grand plan

We have a plan, The Hubby and I.  A plan to simplify.  A plan to organize.  A plan to de-stress. 

We've had plans before and then something would happen.  The baby.  Him working late.  Someone dying.  An unexpected visitor.  Illness. 

This is our plan, for better or for worse.  On Saturdays (or on Sunday mornings) we're making a meal plan and a grocery list.  I go to the grocery every Sunday morning, so this works out well. 

Sunday evening is when the excitement happens, though!  Sunday evening we're planning out the week ahead.  We're looking at The Hubby's work schedule to figure out when he needs to work a bit late.  Based off of that, we decide who is doing pick-up and drop-off at daycare and then which dinner we'll have which night.

We've also decided that we want to work some activities into our nights.  We want to start working out a bit more.  We want to spend more quality time together.  So we're picking 2 nights to work out (and then will try to do some active stuff over the weekend).  Then we're picking two other nights to spend doing some more fun things.  We've made a list of six fun things we'd do and we roll a die twice--once for each night.  The number on the die corresponds to one of the fun activities.

For instance, Tuesday night we went through videos (The Hubby) and photos (me), worked on downloading, editing, and organizing them.  It's something we both like to do and need to do.  Then tonight or tomorrow (I forget which night is our workout night) we're going to put together a puzzle. 

This is all a structured way to eliminate the evenings that were filled with me sitting in the recliner with the laptop, watching TV and surfing, and The Hubby sitting on the couch watching TV and snoring.  We're hoping it will encourage us to interact more and really make the most of the limited time we have together after Baby Girl goes to bed. 

There will still be TV-watching, of course.  Last night, for instance, we watched The Biggest Loser in the basement while we worked on organizing stuff from the craft room.  Being productive, talking to each other, and watching TV all at once--love it!

I hope we can keep it up.  So far, it's felt so nice knowing what's going to happen each day and not going to bed feeling like the evening was wasted.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Don't Cost Yourself Money

This, as many of the tips I offer up, may seem like an easy concept.  The thought here is: don't cost yourself money!

I'm not even talking about (for today) spending on cable if you watch it or paying for insurance, even if you're paying more than you should.  There will be another time for shopping around to get the best price.  I'm talking about times when you might as well light that dollar bill on fire and throw it out the window into the mouth of a waiting rottweiler who will then chew it up, spit it out, and bury it under a mound of dirt, which will then get washed away, down the drain, to hang out with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then Splinter will do a big karate chop and disintegrate it. 

A few examples:

Return library books on time.  Library books are FREE.  But they aren't free when you forget to return one of the CDs in a 2-CD set, tell the husband, forget again, and don't return it for another month.  Trust me, I've been there.  It would've been cheaper to buy that CD in the first place.

Don't hang onto a gym membership you don't use.  If you haven't been to the gym more than one time since before you got pregnant in November 2008, CANCEL THAT MEMBERSHIP!  (yes, this is also me speaking from experience...)

Eat, cook, or freeze your food before it expires.  I talk a lot about stock-piling and buying a lot of something when it goes on sale.  But that only works if you're going to use it or do something with it so that it will keep until you use it.  You might find a great deal on a big butternut squash, but unless you use it before it gets funky (do squash get funky?  I might find out soon enough...), it's not a savings if you weren't going to buy it in the first place.

Don't buy items just to use a coupon on it unless it's somehow going to make you money or you're going to use that item.  I've done it.  I've gotten sucked into those MEGA SALES (and yes, that deserves all caps), bought all sorts of things I *think* we'll use, but then they expire.  Or we find that we're getting fat because I'm saving spending money.

Trust me on these.  I've done them all (not the throwing away money, crazy do you think I am?). 

And I'm going to try to remedy them all by the week's end.  Wish me luck.

What sort of things are you needlessly spending money on?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan 10/10-10/16

We're getting back on track with organizing our house.  We printed out the weekly calendar, planned out our meals for each night based on how late The Hubby has to work, figured out which days we're driving together, planned out what we're going to get accomplished each night (if we don't, every single night is TV TV TV).  Tonight we're cleaning out the craft room/office.  It's so incredibly overwhelming that we have to load everything into big tubs and sort in some other room, Clean Sweep-style (which apparently is no longer on TV...).  We're really giving this simplified life thing another go.  Wish us luck...

Sunday: Taco Bell.  Yes, I fed my daughter Taco Bell.  And she ate almost an entire Chicken Taco (Fresco-style, thankyouverymuch), tortilla, lettuce, onion, and all.  That's my girl...  We'd been out of town this weekend and I didn't get a chance to get to the grocery until she was in bed.  Better for her than a donut...which is another post for another time.

Monday: Santa Fe Chicken (new recipe--should be good as long as I actually have everything I need...which I'm not so sure about!)

Tuesday: Chicken Burger Sliders and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday: Lasagna (my mama's recipe with some spinach thrown in ;))  We're taking Wednesday off, weather permitting, and going to the zoo, so we should be home early enough to do lasagna.  Yum!

Thursday: Pancakes & Turkey Sausage

Friday: Leftover lasagna

Saturday: Either Chipotle, a gameday tradition around here, or a frozen Mexican casserole I made a week or so ago.

And apples.  OMG, the apples.  I bought about 15 apples at the grocery last night at $0.88/lb.  I might go back on Wednesday to get more.  I'm planning on using most of the Granny Smith to make this.  Or this.  Or maybe this

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thrifty Thursday--Making Money

In honor of my missing Thrifty Thursday posts over the last few months, I'm giving you a MEGA post!  Hope you enjoy!

Every little bit helps, right?  Well, I'm going to tell you today about little things you can do to make a bit of money.  It may not seem like much, but it adds up over time.
Product Rewards

Do you drink Coca-Cola products?  If so, sign up at My Coke Rewards, where you can enter in the codes you find inside the caps of bottles and inside the cardboard packages of 12, 20, and 24 packs of cans.  You can use the points you get to buy all sorts of products--I've got my eye on a programmable crockpot!

To get extra codes, I've done the following:
  • I've started to solicit co-workers, who bring me their caps and flaps and I put in their codes as well. 
  • The Hubby and I used to walk around after sporting events and take caps off of 20 oz bottles of Coke around the stadium.  We would fill up an entire popcorn box (or our pockets) in just a few minutes!  (And then we washed our hands.  Three times.)
  • I also ask family to give me caps and flaps
  • I know people who go through neighbors' recycling bins on the day it's picked up and take flaps off their boxes.  We don't have recycling in our neighborhood, but I'd probably consider it if we did!
You can do the same thing with Pepsi!  I'm not much of a Pepsi drinker, so I haven't joined this site, but it looks comparable to My Coke Rewards.
    Buy diapers?  Both Huggies and Pampers have programs that reward you for buying their products.  You just find the code on the product and enter it online.  The nice bonus is that there are frequently extra codes available that aren't one-time use (the ones on the products are one-time use only) that will bolster your points balance.  The Frugal Girls keeps a running list of codes for Pampers and here's a master list of Huggies codes that I've found.

    When you get enough points, you can redeem them for toys or gift cards (refer to their rewards catalogs for more information)

    Join survey sites!  I've belonged to quite a few of them over the past few years and have deposited quite a few checks and used a lot of gift cards.  Here are a few:

    Opinion Outpost (earned $50 from them and haven't done hardly any surveys recently)
    Test Spin (have $24 ready to cash out)
    Pinecone (you have to keep on the lookout for a banner asking people to join--it's more selective, but a great company to work with)
    Survey Saavy
    GPT (get paid to) sites

    These are a little trickier, but fun to do.  You just click through some ads, enter your information (I got an email account just for these since they like to spam you) and make some money.  I made a lot of money one year doing this.  I think it's a bit less lucrative now, but still something fun to do :)

    My two favorite:

    Cash Duck
    Treasure Trooper
    Click-through emails

    These sites send you emails (so get a separate account specifically for them!) and you just click on a link in the email to note that you've read it and earn money (or points, which is the case with My Points). 

    My Points (no referral link, but just leave a comment if you'd like a referral--if not, just join on your own :))
    Send Earnings (have about $23 to cash out from them right now)
    Inbox Dollars (have gotten about a $30 payout previously from them and you get $5 just for signing up)
    Cash Back Shopping

    Use these sites when you're doing online shopping--you get money back just for buying the things you were going to buy anyway.  I've saved a ton of money using these!  The GPT sites also have cash back shopping as well.

    Shop at Home (you get $5 with your first purchase)
    My Points
    Search Sites

    Swagbucks--this is my favorite site right now.  You go to this site instead of Google (although in the interest of full disclosure, I actually get better results from Google, so if you don't find it on Swagbucks, go to Google) and earn Swagbucks for some of your searches.  They also offer Swagcodes that you can enter onto the site for extra Swagbucks (if you send me your email address after you join, I can email you all the Swagcodes I get sent to me).  The best reward on this site is Amazon gift cards--I've redeemed my Swagbucks for 22 $5 Amazon gift cards.

    Swagbucks also has surveys and clickable offers that can earn you even more Swagbucks!