Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

A few random pictures from the past few weeks – because I fail at ACTUALLY blogging lately.

Pumpkin Patch (did I post these ever? I forget)

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Some random dress up

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Pumpkin Painting

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Preschool Play! (also, cutest sweet corn ever!)

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Celebrating my oldest BFF, her successfully kicking infertility’s ass and her journey to motherhood – one girl for me, two boys for her!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It’s just an outline

Mike and I have been taking Bradley classes. This was 100% my decision and something that I really really wanted to do.  He, admittedly, went along for the ride even if he really didn’t know what I was thinking.

And I appreciate that. A lot. Because sometimes it’s nice to know your husband will go along with what you want even if he doesn’t “get” it.

He is generally pretty open during our class discussions and our discussions at home in that he listens and sometimes shares his opinion on things. We are at the point now where we need to be actually thinking about what our plan is going to be – what are we/am I comfortable with before, during and after this girl is born.

And here is where I am struggling and we are failing to communicate effectively with each other.  I am a planner, because I know this is shocking news.  I want to feel a little bit in control at all times, and while I know that is pretty much nonsense when it comes to childbirth – having at least an outline of what I want to happen and how I want to handle situations that may or may not come up will just make me feel better.  I don’t even want to call it a birth plan, I like to think of it as just an outline – a place to start and a place to reference throughout the process.

Our birth experience with Gianna was more of what I would call a party experience – there were a lot of family and friends around both in the room with me while I labored and in the waiting room.  and that is exactly what I wanted at that time.  I would not change that part of her labor/delivery story for anything.  There are some aspects though, looking back on it, that I didn’t like and that I do not want to repeat. (hence choosing the Bradley method this time, for one!).  But I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t take any classes or read any books.  I didn’t want to – I knew that I would figure it all out when I needed to. And I did, and it was fine, and a little girl with lots of hair came out in the end and she was showered with love from the very minute she came to the outside world.  But what I missed, and recognized missing from the very beginning, is a chance to just BE with her right after she was born.  Because they literally laid her on me when she came out, and minutes later took her away to be weighed etc. Daddy saw her, I fed her eventually and then the aunts, grandmas and everyone else who was waiting passed her around and I got her back just in time to go to our room.  It all felt very rushed at the time, but I didn’t know any different, but I know that looking back on it, even later that day, I didn’t really like how it all played out. but it was over, and you know – moving on!

I want this birth experience to be more of what I would call an intimate gathering.  Primarily because I just don’t know what to expect with a natural birth and I really don’t want to be distracted from the whole experience.  I want to really be “in the moment” if you will – something that last time, I purposely was distracting myself from because I was scared!  And in my mind, this experience includes after the baby comes out.  I want to experience those first minutes/hours with her & her daddy – without interruption, without passing her around to 15 other people and worrying if so and so is still in the waiting room or if somebody didn’t get to see her yet. Or if someone's feelings are going to be hurt because they haven’t seen her yet.  I want to let the masses in to see our girl when we are ready (or, I am ready, because this is the part that Mike and I are not agreeing on right now) but absolutely not until her big sister gets to meet her first.  I want her to be showered with that same love that Gianna had – I just want to wait for the showering to begin until I am ready for it, so I can enjoy it too and not be frustrated with the process.  This is a part of our birth outline that I would like to be written in permanent marker – because the more I think about it, the more strongly I feel.  Mike feels very strongly in the opposite direction. Which, obviously, is a hurdle we are going to need to work through.

Ideally, I would also like to have someone in the room with us to photograph the labor/birth process and when G meets the baby for the first time.  I don’t even know if anyone in my area DOES birth photography or how this would work, so you know, that part of the outline might be written in pencil. I could name off a bunch of other “ideally I would like” situations too, but I am realistic and also not opposed to medical interventions when I understand why and when they are necessary.  Because while I love a good outline, I appreciate the need to change what happens as things progress. Because in the end, all I care about is seeing a healthy little girl on the outside world. See, I haven’t become a total tree hugging hippie.  Just half a one.

If you went through a similar process, what were your “we must do this” or “we must not do that” items and what questions did you ask of yourselves individually and as a couple to navigate this process of creating your birth outline?  How did you maneuver the roadblocks?  I am especially interested in anyone who has experienced both medicated and planned natural births.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful For Her Humor

Happy gobble gobble day, my friends.

I hope that everyone is able to spend time with those they care about most today. And that everyone is able to eat their weight in turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and whatever else you enjoy shoveling in your mouth in ridiculous increments. 

Of course I am thankful for my family, friends, health, happiness, coffee and cute shoes – but one thing that I am REALLY thankful for is the humor and spunk a certain 3.5 year old brings to our lives every day.  Helps take the edge off of those rough threenager days.

A few recent moments in time with Gianna:

  • When told to wash her hands after using the bathroom: “oh but mommy, it is TOO LATE to wash my hands, the sun already went nigh’ nigh’'”
  • A really random conversation:
    • G:I have 6 Sisters
    • M: you do? Where did they come from?
    • G: California
    • M: oh…
    • G: Ya, there was a real cheap bed on sale there….
  • A classic night time stall tactic:
    • G: I wanna sleep in YOOOOOOUUUR bed
    • M: Why?
    • G: Because I wuv you
    • M: I love you too, but you can sleep in your own bed
    • G: But my heartbeat will be really sad if I don’t sleep in your bed
    • M: Well… (seriously, HOW do you say no to that one?)
  • Having a discussion on cool-ness in the car:
    • G: No Mommy, only Daddy’s are cool
    • M: Well I want to be cool too.
    • G: Well, Mommy’s are sweet because GURLS are the sweetest
    • M: good logic…

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just your typical tuesday night randomness

I have so much I want to write about lately but such little time to do it in. So bullet points will have to do for now.

  • I may have mentioned how forgetful I am lately before. But it gets worse every single day.  I have recently: went to the bank to deposit checks, without the checks. Left my lunch on the counter for the 29118 time. Put the dinner leftovers in a container and left said container on the counter instead of in the refrigerator. Misplaced a roll of stamps.  left the oven on when I left the house (I remember when I got to the car).
  • I am SURE Mike could think of more things I have forgotten, but that’s all I can remember right now.
  • Gianna had a sleep over last weekend with her 2 BFF’s in the whole wide world. It was adorable chaos AND I got 3 three-year-olds to bed by 10:30pm. In the same bed.  Of course they were all up by about 5:30am, but whatever. They all had fun.  Pictures to come. Someday.
  • I want to talk about my Bradley classes and how much it is helping us grow and learn as a couple. I need to make a point of it, actually.
  • The to-do list is sort of, a little tiny bit, shrinking. We at least got 2 major things accomplished with about fourtybillion minor things left to go.
  • What do you do with ALLOFTHETHINGS your kid brings home from Preschool? I’m not a keeper. I can’t remember to use the artchive app I downloaded, but I don’t want to toss everything.  There are a ton of cute ideas on pinterest to display your kids artwork – has anyone successfully, and easily, executed any of these?!  What do YOU do with all of your kids crafty things?
  • It’s thanksgiving week, and I don’t actually  know how that happened. As in, how in the heck is November almost over? Wasn’t it just May?
  • Speaking of ALLOFTHETHINGS we need to do a serious purge of toys to a) make room for whatever crazy stuff G gets for Christmas and b) make room for some baby stuff. But she really does play with everything that she has out right now, which is making it hard.  We just have such a small space for everything to fit in to.
  • I haven’t really started any shopping yet for Christmas but this week have scored some awesome deals at Victoria Secret and on a new otterbox phone cover on Amazon.  I am so thankful for sites like Raining Hot Coupons who find out about and post about these awesome deals, it comes in really handy!
  • Also handy, Amazon Prime free trial!
  • There are some things going down at my work, that will be really good for me in the end – but right now makes me stress a little bit.  Mostly because I want the good things to start now, but I know and understand why they can’t start until after I come back from my maternity leave.  There is also a work from home (and/or work from a closer office)possibility. Which I am trying not to get my hopes up about, but still, would totally rock my world.
  • I will be 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow. THIRTY. Unreal.
  • Also Unreal: the state of the foot swelling.  It has been really bad this past week. But my wedding rings still fit, so I consider it a win.
  • And on that note, I am going to bed.  Because I am tired and I forget what else I wanted to say tonight.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

countdown to….. Christmas!

I know that thanksgiving deservers a little respect when it comes to holidays, and believe me, this week I will totally be respecting the turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and all the other goodies that will be served.

I will also be respecting a 4 day weekend (omg, so excited about having 4 days without “work”)

But! BUUUUUUT! Christmas is coming! And if you didn’t know the age of 3.5 is even MORE exciting for celebrations than the age of 2.5.  Gianna is excited for Christmas already, she’s been circling toys in the toy catalogs and talking about all kinds of Christmas stuff already.

Because she is super excited, & super aware o the upcoming festivities, and because this is our last holiday season as a family o’ 3, I really want to make this year that much more special for all of us.

We did elf on the shelf last year (I can’t remember how much I talked about Krista on here, but she was a big hit) on a very mild level.  We would hide her doing silly things and G would look for her in the mornings, that’s about it.  There were no consequences or talk about how Krista was “watching” her.  This year, we may be using that to our advantage. Or not.

One thing that we WILL be doing is having Krista be our messenger for Christmas fun. Sort of like a countdown to Christmas-ish (except, you know, we won’t really be counting anything…. but you get the point).

Some of our holiday activities and special treats include:

  • taking Gianna on a mommy date to see the Nutcracker Ballet
  • A hot chocolate party with her friends
  • a few little Christmas crafts, stickers, coloring books, etc.
  • wrapping up all of the holiday books we already for her
  • a night to go look at Christmas lights
  • a trip to buy small Christmas gifts for her grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousin
  • making Christmas ornaments (no idea on this years variety, help?)
  • baking cookies (probably sugar, but open to other suggestions here!)
  • a girls only holiday slumber party (with my mom, sisters, and our friends)
  • possibly going to tuba Christmas
  • watching Christmas movies (a’ la Frosty, Rudolph, Miracle on 34th Street)

I am really excited because I think she is totally going to love doing some of these things. And of course, making new memories and starting new traditions is always awesome.

I’m also hoping that incorporating all these little things into Krista’s antics will help me not get so bored with her before Christmas arrives!

We are starting off our Christmas celebration a little bit early though, because today we are going to the local Christmas tree festival.  My apologizes to thanksgiving, but I promise to make it up to you on Thursday. Bring on the turkey.

What are you doing this holiday season? any extra awesome plans or ideas?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Attack of the Pants

Preschool is going awesome for my threenager, she loves it, she is learning a lot and my kitchen counter and refrigerator are forever overflowing with crafts.

But we have one little problem.


Getting this girl dressed in the morning is like experiencing the world war of preschool fashion.

We have tried everything – picking clothes out the night before, letting her pick whatever she wants, having her pick from two choices, and everything in between.  Some days it’s a none issue (those are the same days she wears a dress or a skirt).

But it always comes down to the pants.

you would think that every single pair of pants she owns have teeth that try to gnaw her legs off.

a little bit like this (except with less happy faces, more flailing limbs and approximately 28 decibels of ear piercing screeching):


The pink skinny jeans that are FREAKING CUTE? those usually result in the largest amount of outrage even if I am just moving them out of the way to find something else.  I have never witnessed such a fight over pants. She HATES them for some unknown reason.  Jeans? you have got to be kidding me, right?  And all other pants, to be honest.

Getting her to wear anything on her legs that is not tights or leggings turns into a wrestling match 95% of the time.  The tights and leggings only result in a wrestling match about 15% of the time. It is all kinds of intense around these parts before I have even had my coffee.

Obviously all pants posses some type of dangerous property that only Gianna is aware of.

It seriously is bullshit.

Also bullshit that we live in a place where it is now freaking cold and wearing skirts and dresses everyday will possibly result in icicle legs.  Which, is a chance I may or may not be willing to take on any given day.  We try to let her wear dresses, skirts, leggings, tights, etc. most of the time to avoid dealing with the attack of the pants – but sometimes, there are just no more leggings clean! and then? look out.

so, if you hear screams and chants of “NO PANTS, I DON’T LIKE PANTS” from wherever you are, just know there is no harm being done, we are only trying to get the threenager dressed for school.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gift Time! #alphabetphotography {product review}

I love giving gifts – a lot.

Thinking of, finding, and putting together the perfect gift for someone I care about makes me so happy.  Sometimes it takes me months to execute an idea, and sometimes it just comes to me on a whim.  I know Christmas is coming up, so there will be some gift giving going on, but I also am a fan of the unexpected gift. Something just because I know you’ll like it or because it reminded me of you. 

When the opportunity came along (via the SITS girls) to work with Alphabet Photography, I knew instantly what a great gift this was going to make.  I also knew instantly what an awesome product this was, I’ve seen similar pieces before.

My sister and (almost) brother-in-law just purchased their first home – what an awesome housewarming gift would this be?

I spent a really long time on the website playing with the different letter options to get just the right look, the perfect gift for my sister and brother-in-law.

Once I came up with the right letter arrangement, I chose the frame option that I thought would look best (3” solid wood with a dark Chocolate finish accented with gold leaf matted with museum quality double matt with a V groove).

I couldn’t wait to see the finished product and I was beyond impressed with how the artwork was packaged and shipped. 

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Gianna was less than impressed with the packaging, although she totally enjoyed the bubble wrap.

And uncle jimmy beeping her nose

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I was so excited to see the finished project I practically ripped the paper off myself.

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Look at how awesome the frame is (and my sisters reflection!):

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I can’t wait to see this hanging in my sister and brother-in-law’s new house. I am sure they will find the perfect spot for it and I hope every time they look at they smile a little bit.


So if you are searching for the perfect gift for the holidays, or for any time, I can’t recommend Alphabet Photography enough.  I was beyond impressed with the whole process from choosing the letter arrangement, choosing the frame and the ordering process was so simple.  The order was easy to track and when it arrived I knew it was going to be in perfect shape by the way it was packaged. It’s even better than I imagined!


The perfect customized gift that includes photographs from all over the world, this is the original Alphabet Photography. Celebrity owners include: Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, Tyra Banks, Ryan Seacrest, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, John Schneider, Nelly Furtado, and many more!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alphabet Photography. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I finally decided to look through the pictures I took at our halloween party.  and I should have checked them you know, AT, the party because maybe I would have realized how off my settings were.

So, ignore the annoying blur and off coloring and focus on the cute.

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my relatives are from the stone ages. and even the dog got in on the action

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my favorite little ‘punzels.  guess which ones is saying “lets go get some candy now!”

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‘punzels being protected by batman!

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besties holding hands. also, cutest thing ever.

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a sad ass attempt at a family halloween picture. G was crawling from my arms saying “I want to go watch football with ‘liva”

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all the ladies. and an honorary lady, of the family!

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my big huge crazy family.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

frugal. or something.

When I was unemployed I ROCKED at coupons. Seriously – I had a mad stockpile of tampons, razors and toothpaste. I would save more than $50 each grocery trip and generally felt awesome because I could get diapers for so cheap sometimes I felt like I was ripping the store off.  I was also awesome at meal planning when I was home to actually make a meal.

But using coupons and checking sales, it’s all kind of a lot of work. and I basically just ran out of time/energy/ambition to keep doing it when I started working full time again.  Meal planning has also pretty much gone out the window.  We were doing pretty good at first, but with the insanity that is our lives and schedules these days, it was the first thing to get forgotten.

Also, we discovered the magic of Aldi’s. So I was still saving on food but my razor supply quickly diminished. And we didn’t need diapers anymore, so that wasn’t a big deal.

But now we are out of razors, the tampon supply will need to be up and running again before I care to admit and we really should start stockpiling diapers & wipes again because we will be changing a little itty bitty baby bootie again in less than 90 days!

I love a good sale. And a coupon. But I don’t love the work that goes with preparing to use the coupons with the good sales.

Do you have a good method to this madness? A particularly quick and dirty way to match up what you need with what’s on sale and what you have a coupon for? I am mainly interested in toiletries, paper products, and baby stuff – food sales are always good, but you know, Aldi’s rocks so I rarely head anywhere else.  CVS is my usual go-to with RiteAide in second place. And Target on occasion (for this stuff, Target is not a rare occasion generally speaking).

And with Christmas coming up faster than I choose to admit, I will be looking for some awesome frugal gift ideas. And you know, any awesome frugal-ness that has developed since the last time I had a little itty bitty baby living in my house is also appreciated!  I also need to know how people keep up with the whole meal planning thing – we aren’t big meat eaters and frozen meals are not really our friends – which I suppose could be part of the problem with that whole process!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • This is so needed today. Danifred rocks for doing this every week.
  • It was a long week. Gianna had  a 'hurricane day' on Tuesday - all of the schools in this area were closed, I'm still not too sure why exactly, but a lot of people did end up losing power. so that sucks.
  • and the hurricane and all it's damage sucks. i am so sad thinking about all of the people hurting because of it.
  • This evening I have had ridiculous indigestion, swollen feet, my left boob started leaking, I realized I can actually use my belly as a table and braxton hicks aplenty - put it all together and you have a sure fire way to realize that there are only 89 days left until this little girl arrives. 
  • I also have a very active girl who is a crazy mover - it's fun to feel her do whatever it is she is doing in there.  Gives me a sense of comfort.
  • I hate when I proof a post, publish it, then notice a mistake. It's not like I write for a living or anything....
  • Three year olds are strange, strange creatures. I don't even know any other way to describe them! So funny one second, losing their shit the next - it's a whirlwind i tell ya.
  • We had a halloween party this past weekend, well, my parents did, but G went trick or treating with her most BFF in the whole wide world Olivia and they were both rapunzel. The cute was overwhelming.  But the cute is still on my camera, so you'll have to wait until I remember to post it. Or until Jen does. either way, take my word for it - they were cute!
  • It was cold and raining though, so we didn't go to too many houses. which is fine with me but daddy was very annoyed at the lack of candy selection.  Good thing she is going trick or treating again tomorrow at her aunt's house!
  • Gianna has been telling me she doesn't need her lovey anymore to go to sleep, which sort of makes me sad, but then she always grabs it when no one is looking and snuggles up with it before she ACTUALLY falls asleep. She is not old enough to give up the lovey!
  • We got the window in the nursery fixed. Now we need to paint!
  • But first we have to get the paint....
  • Gianna also had her school's harvest festival this week - her class dressed up like sweet corn. It was really adorable.
  • I thought about trying to post everyday this month and then I thought about it again.  I will try, but I can't commit!
  • Toy catalogs started to come in the mail. Gianna has perfected the art of circling the entire catalog. She also told me that her papa was going to buy her all this "stuffs that i want". good to know i'm off the hook this year.
  • I actually have been thinking a lot about christmas, post on that coming soon.