Saturday, December 25, 2010

SO I better finish...

12 Days of Christmas...and Christmas is here....feh!

I actually haven't posted because I just cannot come up with a #9. Maybe the bff will come up with something creative.

Day 10...The TEN cutest little baby toes on my daughter. I love baby feet. It's just an obsession (ok, maybe not that bad).

Day 11...The "Hickey" Family has grown to ELEVEN this year with two births and a wedding. Here's the rundown: Daddy, Diana & Adriana, Billy & Debbie & MADISON, Nancy & Shawn & AUTUMN, Tommy & KATIE. It's been a big year! Can 20ELEVEN top it? We'll see...

Day 12...TWELVE+ years of friendship with my bff, Becky. It's actually more like almost 15 years, but once you get past a dozen, I think you're in it for the long haul! No matter what, we always seem to just "get" each other. We're always there for one another and we both know that will NEVER change. Our friendship is part of the foundation of my life right something that keeps me grounded, keeps me hanging on, and keeps me standing tall during the rough times. Our friendship defines a very big and very important part of my life - just thinking about life without her, I don't know where I'd be. I've got the most awesome friend in the world (be jealous!) and on this Christmas Day when I count my blessings, she's up near the top of that list! LOVE YOU BOO!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is almost here!

So I should catch up!



Re-do of Day 5...as my bff pointed out I have FIVE am an aunt or "aunt" to five kiddos! Adriana is the oldest, the daughter of my big sister. Turning 16 on Wednesday!!!! She's a bright and fun young lady with an exotic sense of style (like all kids these days it seems). Taylor and Dalia are Shawn's nieces, which makes them mine as well. Taylor is 12, soon to be in her teens, and Dalia is 7. They're both happy, smart and two ofthe most well-behaved and caring young ladies I know. I absolutely adore them! Next oldest is Caleb! They only boy in the group and not really "mine." As my bff's son I am his honorary "aunt" and boy, do I love this fella! I love his rouch and tumble, all-boy attitude. I love playing with him and tickling him. I LOVE that Autumn has spent a good amount of time with him and he's so good with her...most of the time;o) As much as a boy toddler can be good around a baby! I just wuv wuv wuv him! And the youngest of my little gang is Miss Madison! My big brother had his little girl in September and she is such a good baby! She has these chubby cheek you just want to pinch every time you see her! And she's such a good sleeper...but that will change....sooner or later (or at least I keep hoping b/c I really think it's unfair that Madison sleeps through the night and Autumn does not). I love the fact that Autumn and Miss Madison are close in age and I hope they will grow up together and be great friends!

Day 8 - EIGHT years since I met my "girlfriend" Jessi! Are you reading this lady?! Here's a brief history of our time together:
~I had a donut, she bit my finger...fast friends
~Karaoke & frat parties...and some more karaoke
~We went driving around looking for Mahwah
~She dated & married little brother...then got divorced from little brother....odd? just a lil bit!
~we had our gall bladders taken out within a year of each other
~both our mommies passed away too soon
~she chillaxed in NC for awhile & nannied
~now she's my faraway "girlfriend" in NJ, but I miss her & love her & when I come to NJ after Christmas I better see her!!!!

There's a lot missing. A lot happens in 8 years, especially when it includes college years and a brief stint as a legal part of the family....life is definitely not short of interesting when you put the two of us together. We can hang in a diner all day and night, drinking coffee and being absolutely ridiculous. And we can be on the dance floor til our legs give out. She's my "crazy" half...the side that reminds me to have a good time and relax. Sometimes I'd go back and relive some of our college days (but definitely not all of them! ). Eight years down....and MANY more to go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...catching up with me!

Day 5 (12/13)...I've been trying to come up with a "five" thing in my life and I'm stuck. Except for these 5 wonderful fingers allowing me to type write now. So...what's your five?! The "FIIIIIIVE GOLDEN RINGS" part of the song was always the most annoying. Don't you think? And who wears give golden rings at once?!

Day 6 (12/14) - (almost) SIX years with Shawn! I can't believe we haven't killed each other! Each year has gotten better, but each year has also had it's trials and obstacles to overcome. Life gets harder as time goes on, but we find ways to keep each other laughing and happy. I love him. Lord knows there are days....(for each of us I'm sure!) but he's the greatest father and a wonderful, supportive husband and I look forward to many many more years together:o*

Day 7 (12/15) - SEVEN years of college education and I'm finally graduating! I started in 2002 and I'm graduating in 2010. Yes, that's eight years, but I took one entire year off when I moved to NC to get in-state tuition. Going back to school was never an issue, I always knew I was going to do it. The difficulty in going back part-time since 2005 has been great. It's hard to juggle life around school or school around life...depending on which is carrying a greater burden during the week. Add planning a wedding, enduring pregnancy, and then parenting an infant into the mix and you have my last few years at NC State. I can never do anything the easy way. But I chose my path and I'm all the hard roads made me a better person for it. Do I wish I would have stayed at Ramapo in NJ? It's impossible to answer. I would have had my degree sooner, but I may not have the life I'm living now. Only God knows where I'd be. It very well could have been a different life and a happy one, but from where I'm standing now...I LOVE what I have and wouldn't go back and trade it for anything. THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me achieve this goal. Without the support of family and friends I would not have been able to graduate this year. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Day 8+ coming soon...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas....dragging....

First off - I wrote a Day 3 and it didn't post. RE-DO!

Day 3 (12/9) - THREE siblings. One sister and two brothers. And at no one point in life did we all like each other at the same time;o) It's a very happy dysfunctional family! BUT, in all fairness, my siblings help define who I am. My older brother and I are the closest, despite 10 years between us in age. From the outside I think people would think we're very opposite, but at our closest times and when we're out together we're two peas in a pod. Throughout my late teens he was there for me when I needed him and I really would not be where I am today without his gentle (or not so) nudges along the way. My younger brother shares most of my younger memories since we were the youngest two and only two years apart. He is a charmer and an absolutely hysterical person to be around. I love his sense of humor and his big heart. At the same time, we're very different and when we were more often cat and dog instead of peas and carrots. My sister is the oldest and she lives her own life very separate from us, but I've learned a great deal from her. We've had our deep intellectual talks and she's always got a way of making me think about things from a different perspective. Regardless of the paths each of us leads, somewhere along the way all my siblings have influenced me and the decisions I've made (good or bad) and when push comes to shove....we're family and we all know it, believe it, and you can bet your ass we'll prove it.

Day 4 (11/10) - FOUR beautiful, extraordinary children to nanny for! Not all at the same time though (that would just be nuts!). Since 2005 I've nannied (nannyed? no..."ied" has got to be right) for four kids (05-07, 2 boys; 07-present 1 boy, 1 girl) and each of these children has stolen a piece of my heart! The days are always a mix...good and bad! But I feel fortunate that even at their worst, I've seen MUCH WORSE children in the grocery store and thank the Lord I know such well-behaved, well-mannered kiddos. With these children, I too have grown. Our explorations and our daily interactions have taught me a lot about child care, about what it means to love and live for little ones, and how much my influence has in their life. It's a responsibility I take very seriously and a privelage I don't take for granted. I've been very fortunate to be employed by two wonderful families who have each become my family since the beginning of my employment. I'm treated more than fairly and without both families' help, I would not have been able to finish school, which is a VERY big part of my life. But these kids....these three boys and little girl....they're all like my own. No matter how big they get, no matter how long I may go without seeing them...they'll always be "my kids."

~Weekend Break~

Day 5+ coming...maybe tomorrow...after I take my LAST final exam!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2!

And on the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...TWO FURRY CHILDREN! Let's face it, we try very hard not to let a new baby affect our relationship with our pets. But it happens! And they're not stupid - they know that the extra treats they get are to replace the snuggles in bed and playtime in the backyard because you have to stay inside the warm house with the baby (or you want to take a nap with the baby...and not the dog).

But I love my pups! Jazz & Jynz have been absolutely wonderful this year with all the changes a baby brings. Jazz, the older one, went through all this when she was a pup and Shawn helped watch his niece Taylor for four years. The babe and the pup grew up together, so she knows all about ear pulling and crawling all over and poking the eyes....yea. She knows it all. And while she still doesn't give a whole lot of kisses to Autumn, she likes to plop herself nearby wherever the baby plays. She lays down in her room when I nurse her. And she will, without argument, let Autumn crawl all over her on the floor, like a speedbump. And Autumn LOVES HER!

Jynx...she was the pup we really worried about. At only 3 years old she is an attention-whore. She MUST be snuggled and pet and loved on constantly. And she MUST love you back - to the point where you are covered with Jynx licks a thousand times over. We really worried that our attention on the baby would affect her a lot.... It hasn't. Not one bit. In fact, she LOVES the baby! She happily snuggles behind the rocking chair in Autumn's room for naps. She licks the baby as much as she licks us (yea...we're the kind of parents that don't really worry about it). She stillt tries to get our attention when we're on the floor with the baby. But she's learning to co-exist very well.

Neither of the dogs have chewed toys, stuffed animals, clothes, diapers, etc.

I love our dogs so much. They complete our family. If you believe dogs have human characteristics/personalities - I feel that at times they do take on the "older sister" roles with Autumn - they're protective, they love - even if with caution, and at times they want nothing to do with her, lol. My favorite thing to do with them is still snuggle! When I get into bed at night, often before Shawn, I call them up onto the bed and lay my head in their fur and snuggle up with my "first" babies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

So in order to get in the holiday mood, I'm doing my own "12 days of Christmas." Instead of gifts, I'm going to come up with something/someone that represents that number in my life. Obviously this is bound to get more difficult as the numbers get higher, so it will be interesting to see what I come up with.

Today is DAY 1. ONE....baby girl!!! This year is Autumn's first Christmas. This holiday & season introduces a child to so many new things - Christmas trees all lit up, Santa, houses decorated in pretty lights, snow, wrapping paper (bound to be her favorite thing!), yummy food (a second favorite to the paper), carols and songs about the seasons, etc. No one can deny there are certain things the winter and holidays bring that you can't get the rest of the year and I'm thrilled to see all the wonder and joy in her face when she gets to experience them all this year. Autumn, like most babies, loves new things and when her eyes capture something new and interesting it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (you can laugh, it's corny, I know).

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, I was given a beautiful baby girl, my Autumn!

Getting in the Spirit

"Getting" being the key word. I'm not in the spirit yet. Financial struggles are the usual around here, so that's not really my issue. Actually, we seem to be doing better this year in regards to presents and such compared to other years. I think I planned things out much better.

The tree is up, but not decorated (note to self: water tree before leaving for work today). This morning I put up my two Christmas dolls, a tradition from my Mom, and I put up a few random holiday items around the house. But really, I'm just not getting into it. I'm not a hundred percent why. I'm excited for Autumn's first Christmas, I'm really trying to get Shawn and I to go out and do holiday events on the weekends, like the Winterfest downtown and the Wake Forest Christmas Parade this coming weekend. I should be scheduling Autumn's pictures with Santa and planning Christmas cards, but that's taken a back burner and I'm being super lazy about it. I dunno.

A part of me really misses home. I plan on going home shortly after Christmas, maybe New Year's weekend, but no plans are solid because I have no idea about Shawn's work schedule - of course I'm also contemplating going up without him if he has to work, but that would mean either NOT visiting his family or visiting his family without him, which I don't want to do either. It's just a big pile of unknowns right now.

I think the little bit of decorating I did today helped push me towards "holiday joy," but I've got a long ways to go. I actually came up with a blog idea to help me get in the mood. Since the baby is down for her morning nap, I guess I'll start it off....next post coming in 5...4...3...2...1...

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm alive!

I haven't posted in awhile. I suck. Actually, the past few weeks have flown by in a frenzy of school work and Thanksgiving holiday craziness. Classes are now over. I still have the final draft of a paper due Friday at noon. I also have a final exam on the 16th. Then I graduate on the 18th. And now it seems like time is going by so slowly....can I just walk across a stage and get my degree already?!

Note: I'll probably have a long and sappy graduation post in the coming days.

Autumn is doing fantastic. I've learned that her personality "tell" is her feet. Yea, you read that right. Her feet. Some people it's their eyes or smile or eyebrows, but my baby has these adorable baby feet that have a mind of their own. The way she curls her toes and snuggles them close together when she's content or when she kicks them because she's so excited it's dinnertime or when her toes ever so slightly wiggle when she's sitting on the floor playing with a toy. I'm telling you...her feet have personality and I love them!

Autumn is eating lots of new foods - mini pancakes, BREAD - any kind of bread, french fries, green beans, mashed potatoes, etc etc etc. Daddy and I are thinking of becoming closet eaters. The child can eat all her dinner, be in the middle of playtime, but wait...oh...WHAT?! You have FOOD! I WANT SOME! And she will bitch you out if you don't share. Mommy usually shares. Daddy does not. He's mean:oP

She's still not sleeping through the night. I'm not really tackling this right now. It's not really interfering with my schedule, so whatever.

She's really close to standing up by herself. She pulls up very well and has started to take steps with her push-walker (as long as we hold it to prevent it from flying across the room and causing a face-plant). She has started waving BYE-BYE! This really excites me! And she's starting to understand "blow a kiss" but hasn't got the motions down.

Babbling occurs constantly. She is a talker. Especially when she's tired or wants something.

The baby is wonderful. Just wonderful. It's hard to believe that in 2 months I'll have to arrange her first birthday party - where did the time go? This week she'll be 10 months. I guess this turned into an early 10 month update. I meant to go somewhere else with this post, but it feels wrong to include it now with such a happy post about my little girl! I love her. My sqirmy, wormy, giggly happy monkey!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Two days in a row! WOOT! Real quick though b/c I'm supposed to be getting ready for class!

1 - that between the hours of 12-2am I am so dead to the world that I didn't hear my husband come home last night - giving me almost 7 hours of sweet slumber before Autumn woke up to nurse!

2 - that there are only 4 days left of actual classes to attend!!!!

3 - for all the struggles. Lord knows it's made me a much more powerful, outspoken woman because I know what I have overcome and I know when I can face a challenge, but I also know I can speak out and say THAT ISNT RIGHT!

4 - coffee. i need it this morning.

5 - the hubby. he has been doing a lot around the house to help me. including putting up Autumn's bookshelf (provided by the bff!) I am very excited about this, it looks cute!


Ok...now I should probably go get dressed;o)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

9 months!

On Tuesday Autumn was 9 months old! In 3 more months she'll be a year. YIKES! There's this weird feeling like yesterday she was just born because I can remember every little detail and time just can't fly by so fast, but also that other sense that she's always been here. I can't remember what our home was like without toys scattered across the living room floor, a mini pink bathtub taking up some of our bathroom floor, and cloth diaper laundry to be done. Really. She's just plopped into our lives so easily that it's hard to imagine life without her, or even before her!

On Wednesday we went for her checkup. Shawn is still concerned about giving her a flu shot, and since I'm not pushed either way until I start to see a rise in flu cases around us, I put it off for now. She did receive the polio vaccine and the child did not cry, flinch or anything! Tough baby! The doctor said her motor skills are developing just as they should be. Her weight was only 17.8lbs. It's a little above 25%, but not back up to her "pre-6 month normal" of 50%. He didn't care. This was a huge relief to me since I was concerned he'd tell me that I was starving my child or something. In truth, Daddy and I are both tall and skinny and so that's likely what's in store for Autumn. By 12 months he said he doubts she'll even be 20 lbs, he's guessing more like 19. 1.2 lbs in 3 months?! I can handle that! Especially when Autumn LOVES food and she seems to be trying new things everyday day. Want to know what she's eating? It's a fun list!

Beside baby food mixed with cereal we've started some "real" solids:

- baby snacks like puffs, wagon wheels and biter biscuits
- yogurt
- bananas
- goldfish
- green beans
- mashed potatoes
- applesauce
- pizza crust (an EXCELLENT teething food)
- bread (like warm rolls minus the crunchy crust)
- spaghetti (this was last night when I was eating and she looked at me in a way I felt so guilty so I had to share)

I think that's it, but there might be some more. I plan on doing grocery shopping today and finding more exciting things to get her. With all this table food, on top of her regular meals, she should have no problem putting an extra pound on that cute baby butt!

What else is she doing?

Crawling...EVERYWHERE! She doesn't like being in a room alone, so she's learned to follow us around the house. I find this very cool! There isn't too much on our floors she shouldn't get into (unless of course I forget to vaccum for a day or two and dog hair is everywhere!), so I like that she is being mobile and learning to get around without me having to pick her up and carry her everywhere. It's teaching her some independence and letting me contiune getting things done when necessary. She pulls herself up, especially when she wants a piece of paper from the couch! Oh yes, paper, plastic, wires, shoes and socks are her favorite things - don't bother with toys for Christmas, just provide tissue paper and boxes - thanks!

Her small motor skills are amazing. While she is not clapping yet, she can pick up two small balls about the size of her hands, and continuously put them together in a fast motion. It's just about the same requirements for clapping and I find this fascinating. She loved to twist and turn her wrist...it's cute. She will give kisses with a big open mouth and snuggle into your neck for hugs. She is starting to understand "No!" by the tone of my voice and she will hear it, sit on her bottom and look at me. Then grin. The brat!

She does NOT sleep through the night. She is getting much better at crying herself back to sleep, but at least once a night I still have to nurse her. Her naps are getting better and becoming routine.

She babbles a lot - mamamama, dadadadadada, and she does this funny hum/squeak that always sounds like "HM? What? Really?!" If you do it back and forth with her it gets more high pitch and it's very cute!

No teeth, but the teething continues. Some weeks are bad, some weeks are better. I'm in no rush for her to be biting on my boobs, so it's all good!

I still breastfeed. YAY! I'm very excited to think that her and I will make it to at least a year:o)

~So that's about it. I can't update often due to the busy schedule with school, the craziness of holidays coming up, the insane amount of housework I have, and the time I need to spend with my family and myself! I am hoping updates will come faster after December. I miss blogging and my bloggers! Hope all is well with all of you:o)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not so Wordless Wednesday:oP











(For those of you who saw my 101 blog...I promised pictures of pumpkin picking, so here they are!!!!)








Thursday, October 21, 2010

For Sara...

You think children are demanding! Just wait til you have followers on your blog...they'll REALLY keep you on your toes. But, Sara is right...I promised pictures and never got to them. I did do the 8 month photos finally, but they're not uploaded to the computer. Maybe this weekend now that I have the midterm over and done with. Until then, here are some photos that I don't believe you've seen yet...



















Thankful Thursday!

~I am first and foremost thankful that this HELL of a week is over which included a Russian history midterm that SUCKED DONKEY BALLS!

~My bff...more so than usual;o) She was not only super encouraging this week and my outlet to vent, but she came to my house to watch Autumn today so I had extra time to study and get ready without having to worry about packing Autumn up to go to her house. Also, she did some house chores for me to ease some of my burden. I heart her lots! I'm not exactly sure what I did to deserve such a best friend, but I am so thankfully blessed!

~Cool weather. Love the mornings and evenings right now!!! The afternoons are still too warm for my liking, but that will be coming to an end soon. I'm thinking we'll have a bonfire this weekend.

~That my little brother is home from Afghanistan and coming to visit his nieces for the FIRST time this weekend! Autumn's Uncle Tommy and his wife Katie are coming to visit from DE and it'll be the first time they'll meet Autumn and her new baby cousin, Madison. They're staying with us and I'm looking forward to catching up with them! YAY!

~A kickass teacher that gives me awesome grades despite my work not being to par.

It was a rough week. I know I have LOTS to be thankful for, but my brain is really too fried to think much more. I hope everyone else had a better week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

8 months!

Autumn turned 8 months on Saturday. Yes...I'm slacking on my posts. A serious post might arrive in the coming weeks when I find the words to describe the overwhelming amount of work and stress I've been under. Anyway...let's make this a HAPPY post:oD

How they get mobile so very very fast! Autumn, in the matter of practically one week, went from scooting herself on her belly with the strength of her toes pushing her forward, to rocking on her hands and knees, to full on crawling. And it doesn't stop there! She's can also pull herself up onto her knees...and...HER FEET! The girl pulls herself to a standing position! CRAZY!!!! Needless to say, the crib got dropped this weekend. All the way. We cannot have children doing somersaults out of the crib, no no.

I think my favorite thing is just watching her play. I love when she crawls to a toy and then props herself into the sitting position and then just plays with her toy, then moves onto the next. It's so simple and so adorable. She LOVES paper. And plastic. We play the "peekaboo" game with a light blanket that I throw over her head and she pulls it off with big smiles as if to say, "PEEKABOO Mommy! Here I am!" She also has a new game...Daddy puts a foam toy letter in his mouth and blows it out. She thinks this is hysterical and has tried to imitate, but all she can accomplish is a bunch of rasberry sounds with the foam letter hanging from her lips. Highly amusing for all. I might have to get it on video.

We recently went to a consignment sale and got a bunch of new toys...and picture frames, clothes, etc. She has a new walker/ride-on toy for $2. Be jealous;o)

She weighs approx. 17.4 lbs! It was done with a digital scale at home, but I think it was pretty close to accuracy.

She is NOT sleeping through the night. That's all I'll say about that. Hrrumphf!

I still have to do her 8 month pictures. I'm also planning on getting a free collage from Sears with her in her halloween costume. Guess what she's going to be. A MONKEY! Shocker, I know.

So, that's about it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get from Wordless Wed. pics up:o)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tag! I'm it!

Woo-hoo! I've been tagged by Adventures of a Wee Mason Man to participate in a game of tag! I'm supposed to answer some questions about myself and then tag five other people. So without further ado..


1) What one thing (other than the internet) are you likely to lose hours of your day doing in if time allowed?

Reading! I don't get much time to read my own books (I don't count school books!). Between school and work it was hard enough to find 20 minutes to myself and now with a baby, well...you know! But if I find the time I will be gone, for hours and hours. I'm like my mom in that way and I take that to heart. I believe imagination is important and a good book can really relax me because it takes me away from everything in this reality and puts me in another time and another place. Often, on a bad day of clothes shopping (fat days suck but we all have them) I will give up and go buy a book and it makes the whole day worthwhile!!!

2) What's the best thing that's happened to you in the last month?

Is it sad that that's a hard question to answer? This may sound weird, but going back to school. I feel like I have something to do for myself. I'm so close to earning my degree, I've attended the info session for my teaching program. I'm so close I can taste victory!!! When I am doing schoolwork it's my own hour or so to have quiet time and accomplish a task that's outside of household chores or entertaining a baby. It sound selfish, but it's far better to admit you need those moments than to repress them.

3) What's the worst thing that's happened to you in the last month?

I am reaching a personal limit of exhaustion that I've never known. PPD? Possibly. I find myself on the verge of frustration and limited patience that I've never known...sometimes with my 7 month old child. I don't know who I am sometimes. Between work, school, house chores, a child attached to my hip, etc. While everything I do is necessary, sometimes I feel very blurred. I'm also missing some sleep and I think a few solid nights of uninterrupted snooze would be of great benefit. My husband is helping out as much as he can, but it's very hard for him to relate and for me to explain emotions that I've rarely dealt with before. This is a very trying time for me personally and I'm trying to take it one day at a time and not get overwhelmed.


4) If I were to hand you $3000, what would you do with it?

$1000 to Autumn's savings. $500 for Christmas. $500 debt. $200-300 for new clothes for myself and Shawn...I really don't have a fall wardrobe since last fall/winter I was pregnant. And Shawn goes thru pants like a toddler that plays on the playground everyday thanks to work!!! The rest I would help my friend Heidi finish raising her funds for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and I have a few other friends who are raising funds for various walks. I have a niece due Oct 14th that I'd like to buy something nice for since I usually don't have extra money to spend on those I love. I'd also probably take Shawn out to dinner for a baby-free date.



5) What's your most favorite and least favorite food?

My MOST favorite food? In general I could say ITALIAN! But being more specific, I LOVED stuffed shells. In fact, right after I had Autumn my sister-in-law, Debbie, brought me the MOST AMAZING stuffed shells I've ever had.

My least favorite food? I don't really think I have one. I eat just about anything. I will admit that I've never tried anchovies and I refuse to even try. Most of the time I will try just about anything, but I draw the line there. Just because.

Now, my five people:

My bff & her adorable son Caleb!

Autumn's boyfriend, Demetri;o)

Sara...the blogger I MUST meet one day...b/c we'd be great pals!

This girl just captures my youth! The Girl Can't Help It

This little guy, Faelen, & his mama, Ruth! He's so cute!!

My five questions:

(1) Since you're all female...if you could have a guy's mind for just a minute...what question or piece of understanding would you want to take away from the experience?

(2) What was your favorite childhood place of travel?

(3) Can you pat your head and run your belly at the same time? (DO IT!)

(4) If your life had followed a different path from what it is right now what do you think you would be doing right now? Or perhaps, what do you wish you could have done perhaps in another lifetime?

(5) What is one goal that you've set for yourself to complete in the next year?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday! (x2!!!!)

(This is a post-dated post from last Thursday night. I was just about to finish it when an emergency came up and I had to go to work. So you're getting two Thankful Thursday posts! ENJOY!)

September 23 --

~Yummy bacon & cheese biscuits that my husband spontaneously made tonight. It was dinner. It was not a single bit of healthy and I loved every bite!



~Hubby for watching Autumn tonight so I could attend a teaching program info session tonight. I know...he's the daddy...it shouldn't be a big deal, but it is. I'm slowly but surely starting to take steps toward becoming a career woman and he supports me every step of the way and will do whatever necessary to help me get there. I love him!



~Wine.



~The fact that hubby already did some of our laundry. Yea...he's been earning brownie points this week.



~A 92! on a research proposal for one of my papers this semester. It wasn't deserved. Professor knows it and so do I. But she knows the work I CAN do, so I'll be making better efforts in the future for the rest of this paper.


September 30 --

~Adorable, healthy newborn babies!!!! My brother and sister-in-law had their first baby a few weeks early, but everything went very well and Madison is just a beautiful baby girl. I'm SOOOOO excited for them. CONGRATULATIONS!

~VACTION! This evening we leave for vacation. I'm very excited. I'm NOT excited about the homework I still have to finish (maybe I should be doing that instead of blogging? Hm...), the packing that's not done, Autumn's first ear infection:o( or this crummy rain that will make the roads awful this evening. Other than that, I'm VERY EXCITED!

~caffeine. it's what i live on these days. coffee & sweet tea!

~Rainy days so the hubby can stay home with monkey. Even though it means less work and less money, I prefer to look on the bright side!

~Oh, and my birthday! It's Saturday. I actually could care less. I keep forgetting that it's here. However, the thought that I'll be relaxing on my birthday instead of home and stressing about everything makes me very happy:o)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Popping in

To update you about my little girl. This blog is about her, no? Today was a wonderful day. Daddy was home from work, so Autumn spent most of the day with him instead of going to Aunt Tara's. She slept in til 9:30 (she was up a few times in the night, which is still normal for her right now) and I only got to see her for a few minutes before heading to class. Daddy & Autumn went for a walk, he sang to her! (first time I think he's ever admitted to this), they played, etc. She was wonderful for him. And he embraced every moment of it. I didn't pick her up until almost 3!!! I love these days when I get to leave her at home with Daddy. I love the one-on-one time they get together and the happy smiles I come home to. I know Shawn truly loves to spend time with our daughter. It took me awhile to realize that we have our own ways of playing with her, but each is special and she will grow up having her own special relationship with him and that melts my heart.

She's growing up so fast. She has this personality and these quirks that make her so unbearably cute. When she's tired she gets super-giddy. She blows rasberries and bubbles and babbles uncontrollably when she's overdue for a nap or bedtime. When she's mad, Lord knows she can tell you! I love hearing her voice...I can imagine what it's going to sound like when she really starts talking and it's the sound of an angel.

She's starting to rock on all fours and occasionally can scoot her knees forward. She goes backwards like a champ! It's horrible, but I laugh because she looks forward and wants to go forward, but gets so frustrated that she ends up going the wrong way. She has this look of, "What the heck?! I want to go THAT way!" She will be crawling in no time. And then...help me!

When she curls up to sleep she needs to touch something. When I nurse her, it's my face. When she lays in the crib, it's one of her security blankets usually. She snuggles her blankets.

I am looking forward to our vacation next week so much. Not just because a vacation is much needed for Shawn and myself, but because we get to take our daughter with us. This is our 4th annual trip and every year has celebrated something special: Year 1 - our engagement, Year 2 - our marriage, Year 3 - our pregnancy, Year 4 - our first baby! Our trips have become a staple in our relationship and a testament to how much we've grown with one another. I cannot wait to show Autumn all the beautiful sites and spend so much one-on-one time with her away from all the distractions of everyday life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

From an artistic perspective

this is just part of my current life...

coffee...unpainted toes...frumpy clothes

wine....bills....


library books for research stacked everywhere!



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making an effort to STOP!

This is the second thing in 24 hours to remind me to stop using my cell phone in the car -period. End of story. It has to stop. What's sad is that the truth is that we ALL know it's bad. It's a distraction. Last night I was watching Dateline that had a whole thing on cell phones. Made me sad on so many levels. And then, this morning, I read this blog and it's awfully sad to see what can happen when you're just looking for your phone, which I know I do sometimes, too:o( I hardly travel very far, so the phone calls, the texts, the wondering if I just left my phone at home...it can all WAIT! And if it can't? I better put my ass on the side of the road or pull into a parking lot. Also, I will learn to put it away when I should be spending more quality time with my family.

Honestly, I will quote a little boy last night from the television that said "I wish cell phones were never invented."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

7 months!

Autumn is 7 months old! 7 going-on-17! Not really, but one of the greatest things about her lately is her attitude and personality. She's always had these wonderful faces like "What are you talking about?!" or "Who the heck are YOU?!" or even "You're crazy. I don't care if I came our of your vagina. I don't know you!" Lately though, her babble really lets you know how she's feeling. When she wants your attention she lets you know - by babbling REALLY LOUD. If you don't pay attention to her, she will babble louder and get progressively louder to the point where it's obnoxious and you feel like you're talking to a 5 years year old when you say, "My goodness! What is it child?!" Sometimes, especially when feeding, she's just "Wah! More! Now!" Daddy feeds her a lot these days while I clean up the kitchen from dinner or do some other chore. It's great listening to them spend this time together because she is so vocal and so is he! He talks to her and she just babbles right back! Melts my heart everytime. And occasionally makes me burst out laughing!

Physically, my child is strong. My hair will testify to that! The child can pull hair like there's no tomorrow. And when she's in my arms she has a tendency to grab the underside of the arm, the fatty part, and then squeeze and it hurt likes hell! My 7 month old can make me say, "Ow! That hurts!" Future bully in our midst?! Her legs are super strong as well. She's not crawling or walking, but she can stand against the couch and hold herself up while reaching for items on the couch. She has tried to pull herself up in her crib from the belly position. No success yet, but I think we'll be dropping the crib mattress soon.

In regards to her mobility, I LOVE this stage she's at. She is just the right amount of mobile. She loves independent play and being on the floor with her toys. She by NO means stays on the "play blanket" anymore, which means I'm vacuuming much more often to keep dog hair out of her digestive system. She rolls and scoots backwards and somehow just manages to get around her her toys. Occasionally she'll go back enough to get her feet underneath the couch. I just love the fact that she can get around and enjoys getting her toys by herself, but she's not mobile enough to the point where I'm blocking off sections of the house and afraid to leave the room for half a second lest she disappear. I know when she does learn to crawl, she will be fast and furious and I might lose her a time or two;o)

On her checkup on Friday she weighed 16 lbs! This is awesome news. She's not quite back up to 50%, but she's definitely above 25%. 16lbs is where she "should" have been last month. By 9 months she should just around 19 lbs. I think we're fully capable of doing this. She loves food, but with the schedule we're on and going by what she gained in the past month I feel confident that we're doing a great job at feeding her what she needs without over-feeding her. Percentiles are important to show that she is eating a balanced diet and growing properly, but I definitely do not want to stuff her full of food and start a bad habit of overfeeding.

What else has been going on? Autumn is doing an awesome job spending her Tuesday mornings
with Aunt Tara and her Thursday mornings with Aunt Becky. My time away from her has gotten easier and I know I'm always leaving her in good hands, but it's always nice to get her back. And yes, I still check in on her between classes!!!

The beginning of next month we'll be getting ready to go to the mountains for our annual NC Mtn. trip. Shawn and I are very excited to be making this trip with Autumn. We're excited to hike with her and take her to the aquarium in Gatlinburg. We are in dire need of a vacation!

That's about it. I see that I haven't actually missed too many posts....I guess you have all been busy, too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's thursday...

And I'm not being thankful. Awful I know. Not because I don't have anything to be thankful for, but my brain just isn't up to. Nope. I'm exhausted. Tomorrow's Friday, which means NO class:o) Work @1230! BUT...baby checkup @ 9am. Seriously. Who made THAT appointment? Me? ME?! WTF was I thinking.

Anywho...tonight I'm stripping diapers. As Autumn's Aunt Becky put it so lovely, "her diapers stink and are leaking" which means...time to strip! And man, I must be using too much detergent b/c I'm stripping her "clean" diapers and there's only about 4 of them right now. And I'm on my THIRD cycle of hot wash and there's still so many suds. Crap. And then I still have to wash the rest of her diapers and then strip those. What a long night I have ahead. ^*#^O#&%^#&$^*^(*&%(&^%

Yea.

In other news...my baby girl is 7 months today! I have an update to do, I know. She's getting so big and I love her smiles and her playfulness and her attitude (oh yea, she has one!) and just everything about her. Where does the time go?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

PLEASE HELP!

I just recently found this "Stats" tab on my blog. And it's SOOOOO cool! The most fascinating part of it? See how far my blog has reached. I'm not a "big" blogger and I'm not out to become one - it's just not my thing and I really don't have the time, BUT, it's really cool seeing people from other countries have found this blog. I've reached...US (duh!), Canada, Japan, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, UK, Latvia & Taiwan!

And with this revelation of reaching so far across the world, I'd like to reach out for help! My good friend, Heidi, is trying to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, but she needs to raise $1800 before she's even allowed to walk! That's a LOT of money!!! She's already raised half...$900!!!!...with the help and generosity of some awesome people, but she still has $900 more to go. And time is running out! The walk is in...OCTOBER! AH! So, even if it's just $5 of $10, that money goes a long way to help those fighting breast cancer. She would REALLY appreciate your help! Thanks!

Here is her site to donate: http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR?px=5431976&fr_id=1980&pg=personal

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday! (post-dated)

I know, it's Friday. This is late. Get over it:oP

1. I'm thankful my first full week of school is done and over with. I survived Week 1. Hooray!

2. I'm thankful that my hubby was able to take Tuesday off due to the weather and could spend some time with Autumn. It was turning into a stressful event for her aunt to take her due to some unforseen errand running & a lunchdate and it made me much less anxious to know that she was home with her daddy and could work her own schedule. They had a wonderful morning/afternoon together and she had a playdate with our neighbor at the same time.

3. I'm thankful that she was a good girl for her "Aunt" Becky on Thursday and that she gets extra social time with Caleb. It's so important to me (and I'm sure Becky, too) that these kiddos get time together. Since their mothers share a special bond, these two will (like it or not) be in each other's lives for some time!

4. I'm thankful for my attitude - my perseverence, my drive, my dedication. Seriously girls - sometimes you need to give yourself some kudos. I've had several (usually older) women tell me, "I can't imagine doing all that. I'd lose my mind," or something of the like. And to me...well...it's just what HAS to be done. And yes, I come home with a headache and I'm exhausted. And especially with school, there have been times where I've wanted to say, "I'm done. I can't do this right now. I'll finish later." But I don't. Because I WANT to finish. Because I've worked so hard that to give up now would be stupid and I'd regret it forever. Yes, I could find ways around making a living, but I WANT my degree and I WANT my career. And all this struggle and exhaustion is for something.

So at the end of day, I'm thankful that I'm not a quitter. I'm thankful that my parents instilled in me that attitude to finish through with something. To accomplish. To always strive to be better and do better and try harder. I'm thankful that I push myself (ok...sometimes a little too hard!) to get where I want to be.

And on that note...I'm off to do homework:o)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FIRST WORD!

Autumn said her first word - MAMA! And Shawn heard it, too:o) It made me SO HAPPY!!!! Our little girl is growing up!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Focusing on the cute...

While I could focus on the bad things...like technology-impaired professors and blatant DUH!ness

Or the good things...like getting 1 hour away from everything while Shawn kept Autumn and I got a whole chapter read for school

I'm going to focus on the cute things! Every (ok...most) babies are happy. HAPPY HAPPY BABIES! YAY! But every parent likes to say "I have such a happy baby!" I do it. I know I do it. It's true, so deal! But truly, there are those moments when Autumn just looks at me with this smirk and then it widen to an ear-to-ear grin and she's flapping her arms wildly and kicking her legs. And even she knows she's happy. She's expressing her joy and excitement and in doing so, makes her self more excited! It's adorable:o)

I love those moments. They make me happy and I need to continue to focus on them when I'm feeling overwhelmed and too busy. Because in the end, everything else will disappear, but my happy baby will be there for me, happy to see me, ready to be loved on and SHE is all that matters!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And we're back!

Hello. How are you? Oh how I've missed you - my computer screen, the sound of my fingers typing away, and some much needed downtime. I've seriously been going to bed at 930pm. I need the sleep, but I also need this time. I'm probably going to be staying up later to study and research for class (more on that later), but I'm going to do my best to blog more often. I have a lot pent up and need to write. It keeps me calm, cool, and collected:o)

So, classes started on Thursday. I'm still on the waitlist for one (some Russian history class) and I desperately NEED to get in. It's the only class on a Tues/Thurs morning that I can take. And I NEED to take at least two classes or NO financial aid, which means that if I go down to one class and lose the financial aid there's no way I can pay for just one class on such short notice. Taking a bogus online "easy" class would be an option, but it would still mean not graduating this December and I don't see that as an option either. So --> Russian class is a MUST and I'd appreciate the professor adding me asap! I've e-mailed him three times...I think he realizes the urgency. Really.

My independent study course is on 20th century women's history. I've already had this professor and I LOVE HER! She's just awesomeness. However, it's a lot of reading. Interesting reading, but still a lot. And I'm already getting down to business with paper topics, questions, possible thesis, sources for my paper, etc. I will have a ton to hand her by Tuesday aka Day 2 of class. I'm on it like white on rice!

And I know you're all dying to know...Autumn did WONDERFUL at Aunt Becky's (aka my bff!). I knew she would, but of course I was very anxious. And I admit that I checked in probably more often than I needed to, possibly driving Becky up a wall, but she loves me and tolerates my nuerotic behaviour regardless. She took her bottles. She didn't eat her solid food, but that just meant I got to feed her later which I enjoyed. She napped - super important. And she played with her buddy, Caleb! Oh, and snuggled Aunt Becky - the MOST important thing of all.

However, I was SO HAPPY to see her. I really did miss her. I know it will get easier, but I don't think I'll ever get over that "she's back in my arms" feeling. And nursing her was just so precious. I did pump (in the car! while driving!) when she wasn't with me in order to keep up my supply and such. But nursing her after being away from her for about 4 hours was just wonderful! I snuggled her and loved on her and felt so happy to be with her again. Ok, making you sick, eh? I'll stop! lol

The next few weeks will be weird due to varying schedules with work. In about 2 weeks we should be down to a regular routine and things will calm down, get in step and we'll be rolling right along. She'll be staying with her Aunt Tara on Tuesdays, so this week will be the first for that. She's stayed with her before, just not for as long a period of time, but I'm still not too worried. She's raised two girls already, I'm sure she can handle the monkey!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

3 years...

(Sorry, but the first post back isn't a joyful one...)

Honestly, I woke up this morning and not until noon did it hit me. Between Autumn's routine, having guests in the house since last night, getting some chores done and going over schoolwork...it's all very distracting. And that's something to be thankful for. Because if it wasn't for distractions, moments of sadness would stay with us forever and consume us on a daily basis and what good would that do?

Three years ago my mom died. It's not the only day I think about my mom and so that shouldn't make today too much different than the rest. Most days I'll give myself a moment and then push it away. It's can't consume me. However, when I think of today I think of all that happened on this day and all that lead up to it.

Days earlier - The voicemail from Daddy. The talk with my brother. The decision to drive to NJ to try to get Mommy to see a doctor. The awful drive to NJ filled with news that Mommy's health was worse than anyone really predicted. Hours at the hospital. A restless sleep at home. The phone call that things had gotten worse at the hospital. The bad news. Our last moments. Visiting a funeral home. Picking out her outfit. Making phone calls. The wake. The funeral.

My worst moment was really at the end of the funeral. I kept it pretty well together until that last moment and then had a breakdown.

It's unbelievable how in the course of about one week our lives changed dramatically. I still don't think I can comprehend it all. The saying, "You do what you gotta do" really does come into play in an unexpected situation like that. I went out and bought hair dye and picked out my mother's clothes and dropped stuff off at the funeral home because it HAD to get done and my Dad needed me to do it. All the while feeling like it was wrong and shouldn't be happening and having this serious complex over "What the hell is going on?!"

There is potential for everyday to suck because my Mom has passed away and isn't here physically, but I take great comfort in belief that she's at peace now and watching over my family. I can still hear her. I still talk to her. I wouldn't change what happened either, which sounds twisted, but things have happened since her death that would not have happened had she been alive and I wouldn't want those things to go away either. It just is what it is. That's life. Everyday could suck, but it doesn't because I've come to peace with the situation.

HOWEVER, today sucks. Period. It sucks because I have memories that I can't make disappear. I have a tendency to hold onto bad memories and this definitely qualifies. Images are burned into my brain. Conversation replay over and over again. I still have dreams about everything. I wake up and feel like I've relived it all. Sometimes the dream changes to bring me more comfort. Sometimes it gets worse.

So, today, I will remember. Unfortunately. All the bad stuff. However, I will also be thankful for distractions and try to keep myself busy by running errands and playing with my little girl! I will concentrate on happy thoughts. PUPPIES AND RAINBOWS...no, really...our visiting friends are bringing back a puppy from VA today, lol!

Ok. I will leave you with one semi-funny thought. My family now jokes about how, when faced with certain situations, I can be very determined and nothing will stop me. Like when I couldn't reach my younger brother to tell him about my mom's health. What did I do? I called Dover Air Force Base, instructed each and every person on the phone that I NEEDED to speak to my brother's commanding officer due to a family emergency and when I was finally patched thru I told his commanding officer that he needed to send someone to my brother's apartment (OFF BASE!) immediately and wake him up to get him to drive to NJ. I didn't give a rat's ass who I was talking to - I needed something done and it was going to happen! (And it did!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

HOORAY!

Internet back on at the house! Promise to catch up on reading and posting sometime this weekend. Have LOTS to talk about:o)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

6 months!!!!!

Shawn got a home a little early today due to this ungodly heat! And the awesome hubby that he is, I ran out for just a few hours for some "me" time. I went to Barnes & Noble, but the place was packed with not a single chair for me to sit and surf the web and do what I needed to do. So I'm here at teh library instead. I don't have much more time left before I have to get back, but I needed to do the 6 month update.

SIX MONTHS?! That's half a year, people. HALF A YEAR! Where did it go? Shawn is still ranting and raving about our awesome birth experience and that was 6 months ago! CRAZY! And oh my, how my little girl has grown:o)

At her checkup she weighed 14.6lbs and was 27.25 inches! Her percentiles for weight and head circumference dropped a litle bit, but her height is still in the 95%. The doctor wasn't the least bit concerned since she was 100% breastfed up until Monday night! With the introduction of solid food her percetiles should go back up to her "normal" range.

~Her motor skills (large & small) are off the charts...at least I think so. She picks things up ALL THE TIME! She grabs things (quite the grip she has!) right out of our hands. She can easily bring things to her mouth and she also reaches and grabs things that are a distance from her.

~She is just about ready to crawl. She gets her butt up. She gets her chest up. Just not at the same time. On hardwood floors she will push herself backwards. I won't call it scooting because I don't think she knows that she's actually doing it. Also, when something is out of her reach she will 1) either roll back and forth moving closer to it until she reaches it or 2) ever so slightly continue to rock herself or scoot herself forward until she can grab the object. She's very impressive to watch!

~Daddy hsa finally rigged the jumparoo between the kitchen and the living room and now that her legs are stronger she absolutely LOVES it. Shawn, I think, is actually far more entertained by her squeals and spins. It's fun to watch both of them:o)

~She has started oatmeal cereal. I'm giving it to her in the afternoon and in the evening. AFTER nursing of course, so as not to disrupt our nursing schedule and hurt my supply or overfeed her. She doesn't dislike it. She hasn't quite gotten the grasp of it. Soon I'll be adding veggies and fruits to the meals and that will be fun, I'm sure.

~As of next week she will begin visiting Aunt Tara and/or Aunt Becky while I being school (that's a whole other issue still brewing in my brain...). I think it will be very good for her and I'm excited for the extra time she will spend with people who love her.

~Autumn also makes a "popping/lip smacking" sound with her mouth. She learned it from Baby Einstein. It's the cutest thing and just cracks us up when she does it.

I'm writing this so quickly that I don't know what I'm missing. AHHHH!!!! I'm sure more updates will come...as soon as I get the internet back at the house. (hopefully next week!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Being a Mom is like...(Blog Hop!)

I'm going to try to do a bloghop. This might fail miserably, but sooner or later I'll get it right, right?! I was thinking about this last night and then I thought, "How cool would it be to read what OTHER people thought?" So I decided that instead of just a plain old blog entry, I'd spice it up to see what others think. So we're blog hopping. I look forward to ANYONE who wants to write an entry!

All you have to write about it what "Being a Mom is like..." and link up. Here's mine:

Being a Mom is like...

Wearing a HOT pair of high heels!
We make it look easy
We make it look GOOOOOD
We make it look fun & trendy!

But at the end of the day...
Our feet hurt!
Our legs ache:o/
And we're just damn tired!

Men will never full understand.
Even if & when they try to walk a mile (ok..just a block!) in our shoes...
They try hard and they do their best
But they don't have the style and they don't have the grace
Give them their props for doing it their own way, but they can't do it like us, girls!

And other women wonder, why? WHY?
Why put yourselves through it all?
Because they too may not understand now (or ever)
That it's the self esteem boost,
The sense of accomplishment
And the pure joy we get...from wearing our "pair of HOT high heels!"

That's what being a mom is like. For me:o)

Looking foward to reading yours!

This is a Blog Hop! 1 entries so far... you're next!



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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday!

(1) I’m thankful for internet via my phone! Cable was too expensive, so I cut that cost and just got an internet usb stick via my cell phone service. It’s really great! Then hubby accidentally broke it. SO, until I get a new one, I have no internet at my house except via phone. Right now I’m REALLY loving the fact that I spent a few extra bucks to get the web deal:o)

(2) Daddy! Aka GRANDPA! I’m thankful that he came to visit, but I’m just thankful for him in general. He LOVES LOVES LOVES his little pumpkin! While he was here we went out to dinner and spent an afternoon at the flea market and then out to lunch. Autumn is always very good when we’re out, but she seems to be on her best behavior when we’re with Grandpa. I’m very thankful that he can make trips from NJ to see us. He’s getting ready to put the house on the market, which means he will be that much closer to moving to NC. Of course it will be sad to not go “home” when we visit NJ, but I totally understand the reasons for him selling the house and I support him 150%! I’m ready for him to be here and it will be great for our family that he’s close to Autumn and my niece-on-the-way, Madison.

(3) A job and totally awesome employers who try their very best to make our schedules work together so that I can attend classes. I know my education is as important to them as it is to me, but they’re by no means required to be as helpful as they are. I think it stresses me out more than them. I feel sometimes likes it’s a burden. But they’re wonderful people and I know that many people don’t have the opportunity to finish school while working, so I’m thankful for it EVERYDAY and do not take it for granted.

(4) My best friend is moving back into town! WOO-HOO! I think that’s all that needs to be said:o)

(5) Neighbors with ride-on mowers!!!! Our lawn was looking…disgraceful. I’ll just put it out there and let you know! So it had to be done and Shawn was home early enough yesterday to do the front. It’s amazing how nice a mowed lawn looks! And he went to go do the backyard, which is HUGE, and our neighbor just pulled up with his ride-on mower and helped Shawn out. He tends to do this anytime we mow, but we were especially thankful for it yesterday because it had gotten so overgrown and Shawn was already so tired. He normally only does one lawn per day, so for him to do both the front and back in one day would have been a lot after a day of work. It’s my hope that soon we can invest in our own ride-on mower.

(6) Supportive women. Because I need you. Because I have you. <3<3<3

And that’s all I have time for. I type my blogs at home, save them, and then just upload them when I get to work when I get half a second. Tomorrow’s Friday people…be happy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Emotional Mommies - Come on in!

Organization and compartmentalizing only goes so far. I can follow a simple chore list to help me get through the week without burning myself out. When school comes I will map out the entire semester’s homework schedule that I’ve been known to follow 90% of the time. I will plan dinners, try to cook ahead, and make it a point to take my little girl to playdates and storytimes so that I know we’re getting out of the house to spend quality time together so I’m not distracted by other things.
These are lines that can be drawn. Boundaries I can choose to stay within or cross over at my own convenience.

But there are things I can’t help. Things like being a full-time mommy and wife, holding down a part-time job while being a part-time student. I can organize the activies of these persons, but I am just one person and therefore, these three have to coexist in one body. Which means all the separate emotions, daily stresses and ups and downs that come along with each “me” rattle around in my head and bounce into one another. It’s like my head is the white padded cell of a looney bin and all my ideas is the craziness that bounces off those walls:o)

It’s hard. It’s what I signed up for and I’m well aware of that. And it’s so cliché, but it’s true that you have no idea what you’re in for. I could have done things different. I could have stayed in NJ and finished school there and been done years ago. I could have finished school here before getting married and having a baby. But this is the path I’ve chosen and I do happen to like it. They all give me a different feeling of purpose and goals and that’s something to be positive about.

Sometimes I am sad and frustrated, though. At times I question whether I suffer from PPD. Then again, I look at my own personal history and my family history (especially in the females) and I wonder if I would be medically diagnosed with depression. Or some chemical imbalance. It’s hard not to think of these things. I read other women’s struggles with their emotions and I see we all seem to be on the same page. The real question is, “Am I crazy?” Which, I think we all know we’re not. I call it my emotional roller coaster that ends at a brick wall! I’m up one minute. Down the next. And then I don’t know what I’m feeling or how to describe it.

Communication is key. Simple solution. Hard task. I’m great at communcation happy, love, thankful. I’m not so great at communcating frustration, anxiety, sad, etc. I don’t know anyone who has mastered these skills, but regardless, I’m really bad at it. Like…I will let it eat at me until I explode. Not a pretty sight.
Shawn and I are both still learning (constant ongoing process) of how to parent and how to help one another. Attending school is going to be a HUGE test in our communcation because I will be around less (con!), but he will get a lot more time with Autumn (pro!). Him and I will be finding ourselves communcating in a totally different manner than we do now because our situation is changing and I will need to learn to adjust to this. I will also need to learn to “let go” on some issues and just relax.

I’m thankful that I have a best friend who I can talk to about anything! I mean really, ANYTHING. And she’s not just a shoulder to cry on. She’s honest and helpful and if I’m being dumb, she’ll tell me:o) She’s been my support throughout the years in regards to many issues and now we’ve added “being a mommy” to the list.

Overall, lately I’m feeling very overwhelmed. And it’s easy for that emotion to get away from me and take off for the “crazy cliff.” It’s important to keep a reign on these negative emotions. And the first step I’ve found myself taking is trying to figure out where it’s coming from. WHAT is going on right now that might be causing me to feel this way? And I have to look deeper than the “I’m just stressed” excuse. Right now my valid excuse is the anxiety I feel about school starting soon. There will be a lot of changes to my schedule, Autumn’s schedule, our household atmosphere and with that comes the feeling of guilt, pressure, happy, sad, etc. Once I know where/what the problem is I don’t try to make it go away. You feel how you feel and that isn’t going to necessarily go away. However, I can ease the feelings. I can talk about it. I can come up with chore lists and meal planning to help the transition in our household easier. I can set aside special time for my family to ease the guilt.

Some days are better than others. Some days will be great. Some days will suck. This is the life of all parents. This is what I…WE…have signed up for. But there’s no reason to let the emotions overrun us. There’s no reason to think we’re the only ones that feel like we’re crazy.

So…how do deal? How do you anchor and reign in your emotions when you feel out of control? If we’re all in this together, then we need to help each other. You don’t need to spill your guts (I’ve HARDLY touched the surface!), but it’s been very helpful reading other women’s struggles and knowing I’m not alone. And sometimes their ways of coping are useful in my everyday life, too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week of Recovery

Between beach exhaustion, possibly the beginning of a germy virus hitting our household this week, and all the beach cleaning up and crap I have to do....this is going to be a week of just barely making it through, I can tell now. I may give any good updates until next weekend. I will try my best to catch up on my fellow bloggers b/c it looks like there were some AWESOME posts! I can't wait to read them all! I'll be back...shortly...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

(1) Beach Weekend!!!! It's hubby's birthday and we're heading for our first weekend at the beach WITH BABY! Wish us luck. Thanks:o)

(2) 3 years at a wonderful job with wonderful employers...excuse me...friends (who pay me to watch their children) and the two best, most well-behaved children ever!!!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ANN & ROB!

(3) Anniversary bonuses that is making this beach weekend possible (thank you thank you thank you)!!!!

(4) A beautiful, happy daughter. Just because she's made me smile so much this week. I love her!!!

(5) Playdates with my bff. Even if her child does puke and spread icky germs. Because shit like that happens and when it does, it just makes for funny memories!

(6) Flowers. Like the ones I received for my job anniversary that are sitting on my kitchen table. Their pretty:o)

(7) Sleep. I don't get enough of it. But I'm thankful for it when I do get it. It's so underappreciated.

(8) My big brother who is letting us borrow his beach-accesible vehicle and taking care of the dogs this weekend while we're away. He is awesome. But you don't need to tell him - he already knows;o)

(9) Washing machines. Seriously. I could NOT imagine doing all the laundry I have (especially icky, gross dirty diapers) without one. Handwash WHAT? I DONT THINK SO! People back in the day were brave, brave individuals! (I know...they didn't have much of a choice...but still!)

(10) In case I didn't mention it before................BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Pasta Theory

Autumn is obviously not on food yet, BUT I mentioned to my bff that I have a theory on why most children love pasta of any form. Pasta requires less chewing. Really. Think about it! Spaghetti, mac & cheese, shells, raviolis, etc. All a LOT less work than say, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or chicken nuggets! It may not be that they necessarily like pasta better (although, it could be that b/c pasta in all forms is just awesomeness anyway), but if they have to chew less, it means their mouths are less tired from eating, which means they will eat more!

I'm a genuis. I know. I really must write & publish my own book:oP

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Suggestions Wanted!!!!

In a few weeks I will begin the fall semester. Yikes! The pros and cons of this is a whole other post in itself (to come shortly...). Right now I'm trying to think of ways to make my crazy, full schedule easier at home. I'll be taking classes 2 mornings a week, working from 12/1-6ish, and then doing homework at night. That leaves little time for cleaning, cooking, chores, etc. Here's what I've come up with so far. ANY suggestions (especially if you are/have been a mommy/part-time employed/part-time student all at once) are welcome!

~Minimize dishes - paper plates & cups. Sorry environment:o( This definitely helped those first few weeks of post-baby so I think it will be beneficial during this crazy time in our household.

~Minimize chores/try not to do everything at once! I want to make a specific (and SIMPLE) chore list for each day of the week. I have a tendency to try to do everything in one night and get exhasuted/frustrated because trying to do it all means that nothing gets done completely! Also, if I make a chore list and stick it to the fridge or backdoor, then Shawn will know what I would like help with! He's so awesome at helping out when I leave a list of random chores to do when he knows I'm super busy.

~Meal planning. I want to start planning meals a week or so in advance & include shopping lists for each week (and of course add anything that comes up randomly during the week...like toilet paper!) This way I have one less thing to do on a Saturday morning when I'm getting ready to do grocery shopping.

~Mass cooking. This also worked during pregnancy when I was in school. I found I had little time/desire to cook in the evenings after work because 1) I was tired and 2) I had homework to do. I did a lot of cooking over the weekend and stuck everything in the fridge for that week to just be heated up. It worked out pretty awesome.

What ideas do YOU have?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

where i'm from (blog hop!)

This is my FIRST blog hop...so forgive me if this takes a trial or two before getting it right:o/ I found this blog hop via NinjaPanza - Sara is surely becoming one of my favorite blogs to read! So, here it goes...


I am from exersaucers
From coffee cups and washing machines
I am from the two bedroom ranch and carport
Laundry on the couch, dog hair by the base boards, and dishes in the sink

I am from the lilacs
The honeysuckles
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from Trivial Pursuit at holiday get togethers and brown eyes
from Mommy and Daddy
I’m from being stubborn and enjoying a good book
and from fighting with my siblings

I’m from “Because I’m your mother and I said so” and “Life isn’t fair”
and “You are My Sunshine”
I’m from visiting graves at Christmastime

I’m from Jersey and Irish/Italian roots
Spetzles and raviolis & spaghetti (every Monday night!)

From the time my big brother broke the ceiling fan light & threatened my life if I told
And crying the next day when I was asked about it because I thought I might die

Pictures of a mommy I look just like
Flashing by my memory everday


I cant quite figure out the whole link up thing quite yet...and Autumn is not in the mood. So check out 365 Days blog to read all about it!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

5 months!

Five months. FIVE months. FIVE MONTHS?! When did that happen? Next month will be half a year and...I'm just not getting into that right now. My baby girl is getting so big!

We had her check-up on Friday. She received two shots - HIB & PCV. She's been running a slight fever, but I think it might be related to something else (more on that later). She slept a lot that afternoon and was somewhat still out of it on Saturday, but I think she's just about back to her normal, happy self. Everyday she seems to be growing up right before our eyes. She's such a happy child, but also serious and curious - always looking to figure things out. Here's some new stuff that's happened in the past month:

~She's mastered the art of rolling over, both ways! She hasn't figured out that it means she's more mobile, so it's not like she's going from one side of the room to the other...yet. I'm waiting for the day of that discovery.

~She can sit up by herself, but she's still wobbly. After a few seconds she's going backwards or to the side. If she goes forwards she can catch herself and go into tummy-time mode, but she does not like it when she falls backwards. We're constantly practicing sitting up and she's getting better at it everyday.

~She's still trying to master the art of paci "in and out." She is very good at putting everything else in her mouth - blocks, toys, toes!, etc.

~The funniest thing she does nowadays is grab for anything in our hands. Specifically my cell phone or a drink. She reaches and grabs really well. The finniest things she's grabbed for are glasses full of lemonade, tea, or bottles of beer! NO - we do not let her drink the beer...just gum the bottle top!

As mentioned in a previous post, her first tooth did appear. Confimed by many other people (many of them already monthers of children with teeth). So I am not crazy! (Well...I am, but not in regards to her tooth!). The tooth, a molar, was there on Thursday when her Aunt Tara saw it. After that, I don't know when, but it disappeared! I could not find the dang tooth today! She's been teething very badly this week, so I wanted to see if it had made any progress on coming in. And it was gone! Where can a tooth go? Can you believe I actually wondered if it was a "fake" tooth that was so small that it fell out and maybe she swallowed it?! Yep. Moron Mommy Moment. So, I did what all 21st century mommies do these days - I GOOGLED! Turns out that it's not something super special. It's not common, but it has been known to happen. Teeth appear, but then during the teething process the gums become swollen and the teeth recede or become hidden by the gums. Sometimes they reappear immediately. Sometimes it takes another few months before they reappear. I wouldn't be surprised if this molar doesn't come back before her front teeth make an appearance. After all, her front teeth are the ones that are "supposed" to show up first. And, in regards to her recent fever, I'm going to say it's more likely to be due to the teething and the swollen gums than her shots. The shots she received on Friday were not new and she's never run a slight fever for more than a day when she's gotten shots, so this was very peculiar for her. I bet it was teething.

So that was our special month! It was fun, as always:o) She continues to make our lives happier each and every morning that we wake up. My time with her is priceless and I cherish each moment!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chillin out...

This is the beginning of another week off. The kiddos I nanny are with their g-parents this week, which means Autumn & I are chillin out at home. Today it means I'm trying to actually get the house semi-decent from a very busy weekend. She's been fighting her sleep, so getting things done is taking longer than expected.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth of July. I'm not ignorant enough to say this is the best country ever in the world - for the mere fact that I've only visited one other country in my life and that was only for about a week. However, we are a country and that in itself is something to be proud of. Many people fought for our independence, for one reason or another, and won! We govern ourselves and pride ourselves for our belief in democracy and justice. We don't always get things right...we don't always have the answers...and sometimes we're just plain dumb and fuck shit up. However, this is my home, I love it, and I am very thankful that many have fought and died to keep our country free and to keep my family safe.

This weekend was rather busy and eventful! Early afternoon I went shopping with a friend and found an awesome, HOT dress for only $9! I LOVE those shopping days!!! Then we met our friends downtown at a hotel where they had gotten a room for the evening. We spent some time swimming, resting up and getting ready for the evening. Shawn & I spent our first night out without the baby. She spent about 3 hours with a friend while Mommy & Daddy went to the club downtown. Friends of ours were playing in a band and it was another friend's birthday celebration - there was a lot going on that night and it was great to get out together and see good people. I was VERY anxious about my little girl(but it had NOTHING to do with who I left her with - just the fact that I was, in fact, leaving her!). She did just fine. I was glad to get out, but even happier to pick her up, take her home, feed her and snuggle her to bed.

Sunday was a late start. Nothing really happened til after noon. Friends came over, we cooked out, Autumn and I napped together...eventually we went out to find fireworks, but found nothing worthwhile. I hate NC fireworks. They all suck. Anyway...we came back to the house and Shawn lit up a bonfire with a huge, dead tree standing in the middle - filled with bottle rockets and such. There were a lot of explosions taking place last night. Autumn slept pretty soundly, thank goodness. It was good times - good friends, family, & food! I barely drank, so it was a sober holiday weekend which means I'm feeling pretty good about getting a ton of housework done today instead of dragging my ass!

Pics to come later!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Sometimes it's the simplest, littlest, funniest things during the week that make you happy. It's important to remember these things - to be thankful for them. Because while big things - like a good job, family, and friends are VERY important, it's the little things that help us get through the week! Here are my random, silly things I'm thankful for this week...

~Bacon. Yum.

~Cheese. I'm eating scrambled eggs w/ cream cheese, but lacking some american or cheddar since there is none in the house. I LOVE CHEESE. And I am truly missing it right now:o( If you have it...be thankful for it!

~$1.50 movie theater

~Good movies.

~Russell Crowe.

~Good movies with Russell Crowe.

~My furballs who have a habit of sneaking into the baby's room to lay down. It's too cute!

~My best friend's attempt at painting with her 16 month old son. I quote her in saying, "Fail." It make me laugh out loud, for real! I must say, though, Caleb looks awesome with his green highlights:oP

~Cute outfits for the 4th of July...must go get pictures taken!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tooth!

On Sunday, June 27, I noticed Autumn's FIRST TOOTH had popped through. HOORAY!

I also took notice that it was on the upper right gums...waaaaaaaaaaaaay in the back. A MOLAR.

Pardon my language here but....F&@#!

I have generic tylenol, but since I hate the idea of keeping her drugged all day for just a toothache I went out and bought homeopathic teething tablets & drops - all natural and no major side effects. Sunday night's sleep went...unwell, let's just say.

I'm hoping tonight goes better!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I have a ton to be thankful for:o)

~Vacations. Nuff said!

~My best friend. Without her I'd probably be very lost in this world<3

~My best friend's family. They have always and will forever be my "home away from home." They love me and care for me as if I've always been their own and they truly are a blessing in my life. I am thankful for their hospitality this week (food, shelter, and hot tub!) and the joy they feel just for having us here. I do love them so much!

~My loving husband who, despite missing me and his little girl, understands the importance for me to just get away for a few days and relax. I'm sorry he couldn't make this trip with us, but I'm so proud of him for working so hard this week in this unbelievable weather to help support us.

~Days when my child seems to adore sleep.

~Double stuffed oreo cookies, doritos, and hot dogs with cheese;o)

I'm a happy girl this Thursday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A random breastfeeding discussion...

***Disclaimer - I do not care if you breastfeed, pump & bottle feed, formula feed, gave natural birth, gladly accepted the needle-in-the-back, begged your doc for a c-section, cloth diaper, use sposies, etc. I do not believe that I am better than anyone else for choosing the paths that I've taken. I AM; however, an advocate for women & families choosing to make educuated decisions that fit their lifestyles the best. Whatever is best for you will be best for your baby and that is the ultimate goal = HAPPY FAMILIES!

So...moving on...

I was breastfeeding Autumn tonight before bed and I began to think about how wonderfully lucky I am that our breastfeeding journey has gone so well. Have I mentioned this before? I know I have! And it's not bragging - it's me NOT taking for granted just how lucky we are. Because there are women who struggle. I've read their posts. I've talked to them in person. I've seen it first hand sitting right next to my best friend. If you were to sak me if breastfeeding was easy, my answer would be ABSOLUTELY NOT. Not because my experience has been hard, but because it can be hard and no matter what, it takes a lot of time and effort regardless of if you have problems.

Sometimes I feel guilt for having no troubles. Tonight I pondered this thought. Why did/do I not have problems? Really...why? The main problems I hear about are usually latching, supply, and thrush. I didn't have any of these. Why, why, why? And then the thought of my natural birth came into my head. Did that have anything to do with it?

I'm not a researcher. I'm not a doctor. And I've hardly talked to enough women to find out. But it's a question that makes me curious. Perhaps they've already done this research (and if there is a study out there about this...please send it to me...I'm very curious). But if they haven't done this study, wouldn't it be nice to know if a natural birth vs. birth that called for medications had anything to do with it?

The variables would be numerous - which medications were used, the dosages given, perhaps the type of birth (vaginal vs. c/s), etc. But overall, my questions is, does medication have a lasting effect on breastfeeding? Do meds disrupt something that makes it harder for a child to latch on? Do meds do something to horomones that would make it harder for milk to come in when its supposed to, resulting in a low supply and discouraging women from waiting it out? Is it possible meds could completely take away a woman's milk supply? Can meds make a woman's body more likely to have thrush?

Or maybe it's just chance. It's just a completely natural thing.

Or maybe it's a little bit of both.

I don't know. And that's that. I DO NOT KNOW. I'm not assuming anything. I'm not saying these are side effects. I'm just curious.