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!