Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Resolution

Most people either believe New Years Resolutions are stupid and pointless, or they attempt them knowing full well they'll give up by January 2nd, or they just dream about doing something better. I used to fall into all of those categories at one point, and I think it was because of my definition of Resolution. Climb a mountain, write a book, lose twenty pounds. Ridiculous, pointed goals. Setting one high standard and then giving up when I realized it wasn't going to happen.

So this year, I'm going small. Simple tasks that I hopefully would have done anyway, but probably not unless I had this Resolution sheet printed and framed. Which is exactly what I plan to do. Print it in big black font, frame it, and hang it where I am forced to look every single morning. Maybe a new tradition?

My 2012 New Years Resolution(s)

1. Print and organize all the pictures on my computer and place them into photo albums. 
            -I can't hold myself to the expectation of doing the fancy scrapbook work I keep dreaming about. I never accomplished that goal before babies, and I'm certainly not going to accomplish it now. But to get them place IN an album, in some frames and hung. That's all I want. To know that my picture memories are not left to the fate of technology, and I have physical copies that I can touch and preserve and show my kids years from now when CD's are as ancient as floppy disks.

2. To better my use of coupons and drastically reduce our grocery bill
             -This has already been something I'm working on, but I need to keep the momentum going. Consider myself a Work at Home Mom, and my job is Couponing. I will bring in money by saving the money my husband brings home. I cannot wait to see the fruit of this labor. Saving as much money as possible will allow even more luxuries into our lives. Disney World, a house of our own, a new car, college for the kids. So many doors will be opened with more ease.

3.  To move into our new house and paint every single room.
              -This of course won't happen until our lease here is up in June. I am done with townhomes, ridding us of apartments. A house is next, and hopefully one that is OURS or has the potential to be. I will paint every single room, get the decorations how I want them, and finally feel like I am settled into a home for the first time since I lived with my mom (and that's not to say I'm not at home with my husband. It's just to say that we've moved at least once a year for the 4 years we've been together, and I can't fight that feeling of "It's temporary, we should live out of boxes.")

4. Bake brownies from scratch.
               -I love to cook and bake. Love it! I'm starting to get more "Homemade" about it, and have gone 1/4 organic in our house. The one thing I haven't baked from scratch are brownies, and that is unacceptable. This should be an easy Resolution to meet, several times over.

5. To begin working on a book again.
               -Even if I don't finish it (like the hundreds of books I've attempted before). Just something to get my foot back in the door of creativity. Feel my juices flowing, sink into that fictional world that I am completely in control of. Finishing it will be a bonus.

6. Do at least one physical activity every day.
               -Excluding cleaning, playing and sex. Play the kinect, do some yoga, go jogging. Something to get my heart rate up and my scale number down. No set goal on what to lose. Only a goal to gain stamina and satisfaction.

Simple as that! Tasks that won't overwhelm me, and for the most part will truly interest me. Nothing I need to drag my butt out of bed at 5am for, nothing I'll hate myself for if not completed. My resolutions will no longer be things like "Spend more time with family" or "Do more good deeds" because those are a given and should never be a goal I have to force myself to do.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2012 brings many beautiful and prosperous things for you all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Catch Up

Apparently I took a hiatus from blogging...I just lost the urge, and then every time I wanted to do it, I wasn't inspired, didn't have the time, or something like that...The kids are growing! So full of personality. Nevaeh is a riot, she never ceases to bring a smile to my face. She still dances like it's her job, but she's added some creative moves in there! Downward facing dog yoga pose, twirling in circles. Love it! Landon loves anything artsy. We did a paint craft tonight, he loved squishing the red paint through his fingers lol

Nevaeh started walking in the beginning of November. Landon loves to cook with me. 
I'll be getting better at this from now on, because I don't want to forget the things my kids do, and I want them to be able to read through these and see what it was like! But for now I'll sign off with Interviews. This will be a yearly tradition, asking the same or similar questions to see how they change and grow.

Interview with the kids, Landon at 3 years old, Nevaeh at 16 months (Ok, Nevaeh's is what I think she would answer if she could talk lol)

1. What is your favorite color? Red!
2. What is your favorite toy? My Lightening, it’s my favorite one! (Lightening McQueen)
3. What is your favorite fruit?  Banana and strawberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Umizoomi
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Umm food! Oh, chicken BB! I like chicken!
6. What is your favorite outfit? Underwear! That’s silly BB
7. What is your favorite game? The controller, ya know on the boxing game! Like this, pow pow! I got you BB
8. What is your favorite snack? Chocolate, can I have some? (break for chocolate)
9. What is your favorite animal? I ride on it (Me, what?) I ride on it! (Me, a horse?) Yeah! Neighhh!
10. What is your favorite song? Fight it Fight it (I have no idea what song he is talking about, but he insisted that was his answer)
11. What is your favorite book? Once Upon a Time (I’m assuming any book that starts with that…but I know he loves the Transformers book too)
12. Who is your best friend? De-Bay-Uh (Melt my heart!)
13. What is your favorite cereal? The yummy kind that I eat
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Walk
15. What is your favorite drink? Bug juice…no, pop! (Not at my house!)
16. What is your favorite holiday? Holiday is Christmas, with presents!
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Spongebob blanket, and I like to sleep with you BB! (Aww!)
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Poptarts
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Chicken and mac n’ cheese
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Monster! A big one, Rawrrr!

1. What is your favorite color? Green
2. What is your favorite toy? Elmo toy with the microphone (head, shoulders knees and toes)
3. What is your favorite fruit? Peaches
4. What is your favorite tv show? Fresh Beat Band
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Turkey, PB&J and bananas
6. What is your favorite outfit? Neon pink chucks, Elmo shirt
7. What is your favorite game? Ball (she has a good throw, and can catch it!)
8. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish
9. What is your favorite animal? Duck (Ck-Ck)
10. What is your favorite song? Bootywork
11. What is your favorite book? Katy Duck, Who Lives on the Farm?
12. Who is your best friend? Mommy and Daddy
13. What is your favorite cereal? Reese’s and Lucky Charms
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swing/Swim
15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? My birthday!
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Paci (Working on getting rid of that), stuffed giraffe
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes!
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Chicken, fruit, mac n’ cheese
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Dancer, artist (Girlfriend can bust a move, and loves to color!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jibber Jabber

Nevaeh is 13 months old today! She is talking up a storm. Well, jibber jabbering really, but she is mimicking very well and has learned so many words just in the past month! I wanted to write a blog about it so I will always remember what and how many words she can say at such a young age :-)

Dada/Dad/Daddy-It depends on her mood and time of day. I put her in bed with Chris in the morning and she smacks his back or his head and saids "!" Daddy is when she's being very sweet and loving, and Dada the rest of the time.
Momma-<3 or Mummmm, and the occasional "Ma!"
Up-This is the newest word. Sometimes she'll say Up, other times it's more of a "Peh, Peh"
Dog (Dah)
Kitty (Tiddy)
Moo (Moooommm)-I'll either ask her "What sound does a cow make?" or just point to a cow
Quack (Dadadaaaack)-I'll either ask her "What sounds does a cow make?" Or point to a duck
Whoa!-She says this when she says an airplane, because Landon always does that and so do I
Hi/Hey-for Bye, she waves
Baba-Though not so much anymore, since we threw away all the bottles when she turned a year, and she now has Sippys
Mmmm-for Food. She's very good at telling us when she's hungry. She'll find a spoon or bowl and set it in my lap and say "Mmmm"
Ball-"Bah" and she throws it. Like a pro! She loves to throw the ball back and forth. Also she'll find one of Landon's golf clubs and wander around saying "Bah?" looking for a ball to hit. Girlfriend can even golf.
Bark-The neighbor's dog barks whenever he's outside, and Nevaeh will hear him and bark back. More of a "Back, Back" sound, followed by "Dah" for Dog.
Here/Here You Go-Heh for here, Dee Doh for Here you go. She'll say that when she hands you something (Which, by the way, she's really good at sharing or giving you something if you hold your hand out for it!)
Muah!-more of a "MmmmmmAH!" but always followed by a sweet peck on the lips <3 sweetest kisser ever! She purses her lips and sort of bites your lips with her lips :-) Then she pulls back with a sweet smile and waits for you to say "ohhh thank you pretty girl!"
Speaking of...if you call her Pretty Girl, you are one of her best friends ;-) I've taught her well!

-She laughs whenever Chris farts. and you can't fool her with a fake mouth fart either, she knows the real deal. If you fake fart, she'll blow raspberries.
-She loves to share. She'll hand you a toy and say "Heh" then wait for you to say Thank you! then hold her hand out for you to give it back.
-Her memory is amazing. Don't think you can take the remote from her and expect her to forget about it, or to not notice where you stash it. She'll remember, and she will find it!
-She is right handed. I can tell. She'll hold things in her left hand, but does everything with her right.
-All of a sudden she's picky. :-( Where oh where did my foodie go?!?! I raised her on homemade foods and she'd eat anything and everything, but ever since she turned a year she suddenly doesn't like chicken, and a lot of flavors bother her. She doesn't like potatoes anymore. Please please please let this be a stage :-(
-Headstands! She does that downward dog yoga pose and looks between her legs and dissolves into a fit of giggles! She knows she's funny, too. As soon as she does something funny she bursts out "HA!" before we even laugh ourselves!
-She points. She'll point to you, which means she wants you to put your pointer fingers on hers. She thinks it's hilarious. She'll point to me or Chris and we'll either say "No, YOU!" and point back, or do the "EeeeTttt" thing. Either way she laughs.
-Still loving the "Nevaeh how big are you?" SOOOO BIG! She'll throw her hands up before you finish the question. Also she dances still, like there's no tomorrow. She dances to the washing machine, to the bathroom fan, to a whistle. Anything with any tiny scrap of rhthym, she busts a move. "Booty work" "Pretty Girl Rock" and the Hot Dog dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are her favorite songs.
-She reads like I do. She'll turn the TV off most of the time, and even if a show is on that she likes, she'd much rather read her books. She'll dig each one out of the drawer and flip through it, pointing to the pictures and "Reading" it to me, and she'll give me a book and wait for me to read it to her. I do awesome voices! Her favorite books are "Moo goes the cow" "Oh say can you say?"-Dr. Suess "Jungle Gym" "Katy Duck" and "Who am I?"-Sesame Street
-I have a feeling she's going to take off at a sprint the second her cast is off. She can stand on her own, walk along furniture, climb and crawl like it's nobody's business. I'll always wonder when she would have walked, had she never had the cast, though.

I may come back and add to this as I remember things, but that's what I can think of for now. And she's been hitting my foot with Landon's golf club for a few minutes now and it's starting to hurt lol so I must go find her a golf ball :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Walmart Flasher

I'm convinced. Something is in the air at Walmart that possesses my daughter to do terrible, humiliating things.

I started my "Research" when Nevaeh was about 8 months old and decided to go all Pooptastic on me. I made the horrible mistake of going to Walmart without the diaper bag, and my daughter had her award winning, drip on my toes, stink up the check out lane, blow out diaper. Lesson learned? Always bring the diaper bag, even when running in "real quick" to grab deoderant.

I was next led to the Pacifier Mystery, which I have not blogged about but upon looking back, it's definitely blog worthy. The floors of Walmart have a Paci Magnet, I'm positive and if I confirm these suspicions I am going to sue! Every time we go to Walmart, Nevaeh is compelled to throw, chuck, drop, spit, or hide her Pacifier. Usually I notice it happening and pick it up, wipe it off and either return it to her (to be magneticaly drawn to the floor again) or put it in my purse and later give it back because she's going to have a hernia if I don't. Several times we've gotten down to her last pacifier and are halfway home (In the stroller, as we live in a townhouse right next to Walmart) when she and I realize it is missing and it is truly the end of the world. Those incidents end with me painstakingly retracing my steps through Walmart, looking like a fool while bobbing up and down looking under shelves and clothing racks until I find it perched on an egg carton. Or giving up and buying her a new pacifier because I'm still in the excuse stage as to why I "can't" get her off the pacifier yet (we just moved, she broke her ankle, she's teething, etc etc)

Cue hissy fits vs. full on melt downs, Sippy cups thrown on the ground at just the right angle to cause the lid to pop off and spill water/milk everywhere, and countless items knocked over even though I could swear her arms were not close enough to reach those things!

Today's Walmart induced curse has me considering boycotting the Super Store altogether and making the two minute drive down the road to Kroger. My face found a new shade of red and it repeated that color up and down every aisle because the man this incident happened in front of was, by the gates of Hell, everywhere I went.
He was hot. Sooooo soooo HOT. Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt meets Orlando Bloom kind of hot. He was making his way down the aisle and I spotted him right off because, although a happily married woman, I still like drooling over eye candy.
I was wearing a black tank top with a black bra. Simple gold necklace. I'll admit, I was feeling pretty confident with the way my ladies looked in this shirt!
Nevaeh had been in a crabby mood today (yes this happened today) because a molar is shoving through her poor little gums, and when she is crabby she does not like to sit in the cart. Lucky for me (unlucky) her Cast prevented her from climbing out and standing like she usually does. However, this luck (unluck) bit in the butt tonight. She wanted out, and I was at the point of mildly ignoring her because she was being unnecessarily fussy and dramatic.
Cue really hot guy. He's right beside the cart. Cue slow motion movie action when right as their eyes meet, IT happens. Nevaeh lunges her body towards me, arms outstretched, determined like a bat out of hell to hook her hands around me and pull herself out of that cart.
Only her hands didn't hook on me. They hooked on my shirt. Aaaaand my bra. And she pulled, like a bat out of hell. Shirt and bra separated from lovely ladies, hot guy got a second's worth of oggling, Momma got a new shade of red face while hot guy got a belly full of laughs. Nevaeh too, of course, because if anyone within hearing distance is laughing, she must laugh with them. And I'm positive she knew she had done something "Hilarious" because she laughed extra hard.
The whole thing really happened in about 10 seconds, but I swear it was the longest humiliation of my life.
Does this mean I can call myself a flasher??
Walmart sucks :-(

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Worst Mother Ever

When Nevaeh was about two weeks old, I held my phone above her to take a picture. I dropped the phone. Luckily it landed on her belly and not her face, but she still cried and I felt like the worst mother ever. I held her and rocked her and I never took another picture from above her again.
When she was a few months old, I made her bottle a little too hot, even though I tested it on my wrist. From then on I made sure the bottle seemed a bit cold instead of a bit warm, and I felt like the worst mother ever.
Sunday, I ran upstairs to get dressed while Landon and Nevaeh played in the living room. In her usual fashion, Nevaeh realized I was gone and took off towards the stairs. The baby gate stopped her of course, but she, again in typical fashion, stood on the step holding onto the gate, shouting “Momma!” Five seconds is all it took for me to grab a shirt, but I heard a thud and then a screaming cry, and assumed she had fallen. This had happened a few times, and I expected to give her kisses and rub her head to check for bumps. Nothing felt out of place, and after a few minutes of snuggles she was fine and eventually fell asleep for her nap. About an hour later she woke up, and I stood her up against the couch. She let out a screech and sat down, and I picked her up to examine her. No bumps, nothing was swollen. But when I put pressure on her left heel, she screamed and dissolved into tears. I assumed she had landed on her foot wrong when she slipped. Maybe a pulled muscle, or bruised heel? I let her favor it for a while, but 2 hours later she was still screaming when pressure was put on it, and I got worried. I took into the ER, fully expecting them to tell me I was silly and she was fine, just another Owie to add to the books.  We waited 3 hours just to see the Doctor, and he ordered an Xray, for which we waited another hour. Even the Doctor said it’d probably be nothing, and he gave her some medicine for the pain. She was smiling and giggling as long as I was holding her or she was sitting down, so I really wasn’t worried. Xrays were done (through which she screamed hysterically and gave the technicians dirty looks) and we waited for the results. Dr. said something looked buckled on her ankle, but again he didn’t seem concerned, so they did another Xray focused in on her ankle. By this point Nevaeh was giving dirty looks to anyone who came near her, because all they did was poke at her leg or hold her down on a table and flash a bright light at her. She was not a happy camper. Dr. came back again and seemed as stunned as me! She has a Torus Fracture on her left ankle, which is basically a bow in her Tibia. She needed a cast. All right, I said. I can deal with that. Few weeks in a pretty purple foot cast would be fine. Nope…not a pretty purple foot cast for a few weeks. 4-6 weeks in a full leg cast. Pretty purple at least, but this thing comes up to her thigh! Her left leg is completely immobile. She is handling it like a pro, shuffling herself along in a gimpy crawl like movement, and she is a determined little thing so she even manages to stand up against things, though she can’t walk of course. She gets frustrated a lot, but she’s doing good.
Me on the other…talk about a Worst Mommy Ever moment L  I was fine the whole 7 hours in the ER. Maybe because I was keeping it together for her, I don’t know. I didn’t really feel upset, more just bummed. When we got home though, our friends came over with their two girls, and Nevaeh tried to play with them but couldn’t get around so kept crying. I absolutely lost it. I went upstairs and bawled my eyes out. My heart is just broken for this poor little girl! She is 1 year old, her prime time to be running around. She zips around faster than any child I’ve seen, and now she gimps a few feet and sits like it’s not worth the effort. She made me feel a little better today, because she still dances and she has pulled herself up to stand against things.
I can’t protect her from everything. Accidents will happen no matter how vigilant I am, but that doesn’t mean I won’t feel horrible when they do. I wouldn’t be the loving mother I am if I didn’t! I am taking this “Opportunity” to be more active with her, with things that don’t require a bunch of movement. I’ve got several Baby Laptimes planned at various local libraries, trips to a few different parks where I’ll swing her until she’s dizzy with laughter, probably a Zoo Day. Good excuse for me to snuggle her even more! Chris is working thirds the next few days so Vae gets to share our big ole bed with me J and while she will now be considered a “Late Walker” that’s ok. She was taking 3-4 steps out from things and walking amazingly with assistance, so I have no doubt that when this cast comes off she’ll take off running!
There will be many more times where I feel like the Worst Mother Ever, and I’ll blame myself for boo boo’s or mistakes she makes. But we’ll get through it, our bond will be tighter because of it, and we’ll be stronger and encouraged to truly get through anything! For now, Vae is rockin’ her purple cast.

I can't wait to see your beautiful self dancing like this again!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crisp and New

I walked outside today and was overwhelmed with the crisp cool air that assaulted my nostrils. Fall is here! Or on it's way, at least. Something about the first day of a new season. It's fresh, like a new beginning. The songs on the radio take on a new feeling, stir up different memories than the last season. I'm now anxious for hot apple cider, pumpkin patches, leaf piles begging to be jumped in. I didn't really decorate for Christmas last year since I had a new baby and just didn't feel like it, but I'm feeling the Holiday spirit this year and I'm itching to hang all those pretty lights and snowmen! I can't wait to play in the snow with my babies and show them how to make snow angels :-)

Chris and I are knee deep in life and choices! We still aren't 100% sure where we'll end up. I think we will know more next Spring/Summer, as far as whether or not Columbus is our "Settle down" place. Even with his Associates degree he can go far, and he plans on getting his Bachelors when the time is right so that will only take him further. I am just anxious to buy a house and decorate and have a place to call home, instead of just saying I rent a place here or there for now.
I also find myself looking further into the future at times. Like Nevaeh's schooling, playdates, ear piercing. Imagining the little lady she is already becoming. She is such a lovebug, and I hope that never changes! She definitely loves her Daddy, but right now she is a Momma's Girl <3

I'm also happier. I'm keeping myself more relaxed, though I do still have my irrationally stressed moments. I'm kicking that mild depression in the rear and I am making myself a promise that I will not let Winter mess up that progress. I am getting myself out of the house, and I want to look into finding somewhere Nevaeh and I can go to meet other Mommies and Babies, get us a bit of a social life. I have made a very good friend from my Mommy blog,, but unfortunately she lives in PA. We have made plans to travel to each other once or twice a year, but I am secretly (Ok, not so secretly) hoping fate brings us closer together. It already brought us together via interweb. I really do think God played a part in our blossoming friendship. She is the friend I have needed. One who thinks like I do, holds the same values without being rigid. We understand each other and that helps us in our times of confusion and question, and sadness. We can be honest with each other about who we are, and we never had that awkward, beginning of a friendship stage where you wonder where the boundary line is. No "Proceed with caution" signs. Only "Leaps and bounds" of connection.

My best friend since kindergarten is expecting her second baby!! I am so unbelievably excited!! I knew they had been trying and was awaiting that special message, and I got it on Friday :-) I am Godmommy to her first daughter Lauren, and she is as special to me as all my nieces and nephews. I wish we lived closer so I could see them all the time! I think God and I need to have a talk about all these amazing friends of mine living so far away from me :-( Maybe He can help me create an Oasis where all the people I love can live together! I can't wait to know more about this new little peanut starting to grow in her belly. If I do her pregnancy pictures this time around, I'm creating 5 freaking backups of them! I did Lauren's and as soon as I finished editing the pictures, my Nightmare Roommate used my computer and caused a huge virus to infect my computer, and the guy who fixed it couldn't save anything and had to wipe it clean. I was extremely upset and while Kathy understood, I know she was heartbroken too :-(

On to photography...I'm trying to get my B Photography business a little more steady under foot! I created a Facebook page for it. I don't use it too much, since I'm only freelance and light time, but whenever I do a session I'll put the pictures on there. Hopefully I can promote myself more. I don't want to be a huge photographer who's so in demand I have to turn people down, but I am so passionate about it that I want to bring happiness through photos to those around me. I am doing my friend Kelly's wedding in March, and have already done her engagement pictures. I also had tons of fun recently doing my pride and joy's 1 year pictures :-) She's a little photo diva! I point that camera at her and she poses like she was born to! Probably why my maternity pictures turned out so adorable and she had been kicking the whole session <3

I'll make this a shorter post. Well, shorter for me. I just wanted to give a little update about my family as of today. We are growing and thriving and happy as ever! We miss all of our friends and family, spread throughout Ohio and beyond, but we are in the right place for now. Who knows where the road will continue to take us! We are very excited to find out :-)

Ten years later: Where were you on 9/11?

As I watch the News with the countless reports on the upcoming decade anniversary of the most impending day in America, I sit in quiet reflection. Ten years? Really?? It is such a vivid memory, even though I was so young, that I have a hard time believing it's been so long ago.

I was in 6th grade at my private Catholic school, the Northwest corner of Ohio. I was in one of two upstairs classrooms: my Religion class with Mrs. Forkin. She had hairy arms and a mustache. I hated my uniform jumper because I had long spider legs that stuck out like, well, like long spider legs. JT sat across from me and I loved staring into his blue eyes with the thick black lashes behind his wire frames that somehow looked cool on him but not on me. It was Interview day, and the stars had aligned and paired me with my one true love, JT. I was giddy and so excited to ask him questions about his life. And this day, I still remember his favorite color (blue) and his address.
The classroom phone rang and Mrs. Forkin warned us to behave while she was out because she had eyes everywhere. Which was totally true. Mrs. Forkin was not the teacher to mess with, so we were good little students who remained in our seats, although the interviews were definitely put on hold for jokes and paper balls (Come on, 6th grade? Who followed all the rules in 6th grade)
Mrs. Forkin came back in, quiet as stone, shut and locked the door. That stopped some of us midlaugh. She turned the TV on to the news channel, went to her desk and seemed to slump into her chair, which was far from her usual rigid character.
She didn't have to hush us. We whipped our heads to the TV and slowly, our voices disappeared and we stared, confused and aghast at what was on the small screen mounted to the wall.
"We have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.."
To be honest, I don't think I really new what the World Trade Centers were. I was young, and nowhere near New York, so I had no reason to. But I saw a very tall building billowing with smoke, and that was scary. I heard the nervous voices of otherwise calm and collected reporters. I saw the white face of my stoic religion teacher, and the tears that gathered under her wide, astonished eyes.
At 9:03am, our hearts stopped as we watched NBC's live coverage show the second plane flying into the other tower. The panicked voices of witnesses, the gasps from Matt Laur and Katie Couric. We knew how serious it was, and we were scared. I wanted my mother, because she always knew how to calm me down.
We were all gathered into the gymnasium immediately, and we filed into the bleachers in stunned silence. The Principal briefly explained what had been assumed to have happened, and we were told that our parents were being contacted and we were being sent home. I only lived two blocks away, so my sister, who was in 8th grade, found me and we ran home and turned the TV back on. My mother arrived home shortly after from her job at the bank. We laid on the living room floor to get the closest view of the TV we could, and just watched.
We then watched the Towers collapse, and my sister and I cried harder when we saw our mother dissolve into tears. I don't think it had been suggested yet at this point that it was terrorists, but I was already terrified so it wouldn't have mattered the reason.
I didn't know anyone who died in the towers, or in the Pentagon or PA. There were some students at school who had family members either killed or near the tragedies, but I was just an onlooker. For me, it was the most vivid and horrifying experience of my life, and my heart breaks to think what those directly affected were feeling, and still are feeling ten years later.

Where were you on America's Defining day? Where were you on 9/11?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Baby Post

One year ago, I looked like this...
I'll be vain. I had a freaking adorable belly!! Ignore the face in this picture, this was about 6 hours into my 9am induction on August 24th, 2010. I'm gonna say I was 5-6cm.
The night before, Chris and I snuggled and watched a movie. I had already fiddled around the house, getting everything packed and ready, throwing out fridge items I knew would go bad, getting the last dish washed and set to dry. He laid his head on my belly and talked to Nevaeh, telling her this was her last chance to come out on her own before we had no choice but to get her out ourselves. She didn't listen of course.

Previously, I had tried the following natural inductions:
Sex. Lots of uncomfortable, unwanted sex. (I mean really, who actually wants to do it when they're 40+ weeks pregnant?!)
Pineapple. Within two days, I ate an entire pineapple. Tasted awesome, but did nothing.
Spicy food. I am not a spicy food person. Eating it was horrible and painful! My belly was torn up with burning, my mouth was on fire. I hated it. But inside my womb was this little soccer player, flipping and kicking like she was having a blast! Apparently she's a spicy food kid.
Walking. I walked every single day. I carried small loads of laundry up and down the stairs (One so I didn't lift too much and two so I did more exercise) I walked around the neighborhood, paced the living room while watching TV, walked the mall, squated, did yoga. All forms of exercise. I even did a dance video, and I'll unashamedly post a part of that video here...

Go ahead...take your time laughing. Get it alllllll out :-) Nevaeh again, thought it was awesome. This is probably the reason she's such a dancing queen now :-)
Castor Oil...twice...never, ever, ever again. I have no idea why I listened to everyone swearing by it, telling me it'd work within an hour. The first time, I mixed it with a chocolate carnation drink. I gagged severely chugging it, and an hour later I was in the bathroom with severe...ahem...unpleasant experience. The second time I made an even worse mistake. A1 sauce was my biggest craving. I put it on every food item. It was delicious. I was also big on eggs, especially scrambled eggs with A1 sauce. So I had the bright idea to put the castor oil into the scrambled eggs to mask the taste. It did not mask the taste. It made me gag, run to the bathroom and have more very unpleasant experiences, and I can no longer eat scrambled eggs with A1 sauce :-( Terrible...terrible terrible!! Nevaeh had to be laughing her butt off in there, because there was no activity from her that showed she was coming out any time soon. Brat!! :-)

So needless to say, none of those escapades worked, and only one of them was enjoyable (the pineapple...Ok, I kinda liked the dancing too...Ok, I loved it!)

I swear on everything Holy, my next pregnancy will be much better. Better in the sense of my doctors. The pregnancy itself was a complete breeze, I don't think there could have been anything easier. I had no morning sickness, extremely mild nausea, I craved healthy foods and hated fried foods, she slept under my right rib cage but if I laid on my left side I was fine. I peed like a leaky faucet, but I've always had a small bladder so that wasn't a big deal. 8 1/2 months I got pretty uncomfortable and my back ached, but I've always had back problems and Hello, I had an oversized beach ball on my stomach so of course my back was going to hurt!
What I did not enjoy at all, was my doctor. Or, I should say, my lack of a doctor. I was dropped from my mother's insurance after she died, and didn't qualify for my school's or work's, so I was forced to get on Medicaid/Caresource. Miami Valley seemed like the best option. I had so many problems getting the insurance finalized, that even though I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks, I didn't get in to the Dr. until 20 weeks. I was already furious. I never saw the same nurse or midwife twice. I had to repeat my story every single visit, even though you'd think they'd have my information on file. I had more hands up my hoohaw then I'd ever want, and to be honest I don't even know who the random resident was who ended up delivering me. I told them not to offer me an epidural because I knew if they did at my weakest moment, I'd give in. They offered, and I gave in. Furious! I couldn't even do labor in the water like I wanted. They let me go 2 weeks overdue before inducing me, which I felt was unnecessary. But that's all I'll say about that, because it's not important.

I was induced at 9am, August 24th, 2010. Easy easy labor. The nurses kept asking "Did you feel that contraction?" and I did not even know I was having one. My dad, stepmom and sister came up pretty early and stayed the whole time. My MIL and her boyfriend came up as well. We all sat around chatting and laughing. When the Doctor came in to check me my dad would bolt out of the room like lightening. God forbid he caught a peek of anything! :-)
8cm hit me like a freight train. For all the ease and comfort I was feeling before, those beautiful little blips of contractions, this was the complete opposite. Chris graciously ushered everyone out for the hard labor period. I got the shakes. My entire body shook so hard that the bed was vibrating. My mouth was full of cotton, I couldn't sip enough water to wet it down. It was almost like being seasick. A wave of contraction would crash over me, I'd have that surreal lurch of pain and soft moans would come out of my mouth. Then the contraction would receed and just when I took a relieved breath it'd come crashing around and down again. I told the nurse I was going to vomit, but she couldn't get the bucket to me fast enough. I puked over the side of the bed. Shakes, contraction and vomit all at the same time. I could barely breathe because of it. That was when the damn doctor offered me the epidural. At my absolute weakest. I couldn't even really talk. I whispered No, and the doctor said he (Or she, I don't remember who the Dr. was at this point) was worried I wouldn't have the strength to push, because I was still only 8 1/2 cm and had basically stopped. It would probably be a few more hours before even pushing, and then however long I had to push. He swayed me, damn him/her. I told Chris to send in my dad and go smoke a cigarette so he could calm down. My dad came in and brushed my hair back, held me on the side of the bed sitting up, put his forehead against my sweaty one. The epi. team asked questions and I'd barely breathe out my responses, but somehow my dad heard what I said and translated for me. He talked softly to me, telling me I was doing such a great job. I really needed to hear that from him. He really came through for me that day.
I don't remember much after the epidural, I know I was much more relaxed. Still had the shakes but no more crashing of contractions that had my incoherent. Family popped back in to check on me but for the most part they stayed in the waiting room so Chris and I could have our time. Started pushing at 9pm. Being numb made it impossible to know if I was pushing right, so I just tried to bear down like I was pooping. Apparently that was the right thing to do. 3 hours of pushing 12:19am, August 25th, the most beautiful child slipped out of me and into my arms.

9lbs, 7oz, 22 inches long. Brown hair, wide blue eyes. A healthy cry and an overjoyed Mommy and Daddy. Nevaeh Christine Smith came into the world and completed us.

One year later, we are getting ready to celebrate! Tomorrow will be Nevaeh's 1st birthday. My how she has grown!!

Not sure why it's sideways, I can't get it turned rightside??

My beautiful little lady. You have made daddy and I's life so much better! You are such a joy!!

At last, because I know this is ridiculously long already...just a few things that my girl can do :-)

8 teeth, 3 molars in the works
Dance. Girlfriend can bust a move! Since she was 7 months old she's shimmied her shoulders and shook her booty to the beat.
Stand! and today she danced a little while standing
Take 2-3 steps
Momma, Dada, Baba, Hi, yeah, dog, lala

Happy Birthday (tomorrow), my little slice of Heaven <3 I love you so very much!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 7th

I didn't post a blog on August 7th. I wasn't really sure what to say, and really I wasn't technologically connected that day. I focused on my family, I did a lot of cleaning, a lot of thinking. When 9:30pm rolled around, I held Nevaeh as tight to my chest as I could get her, closed my eyes and breathed in the sweet baby smell of her. I love that smell. Untainted skin, sweet breath flowing in and out of her precious body. I looked at her and I realized that I was more connected to my mother than I had ever been before.

As Nevaeh grew sleepy in my arms, I lightly scratched her back. She stretched like a pretty kitten, just like I did when my mom scratched my back. I would crawl onto my mom's lap even at 18 years old, wriggling my shoulders to let her know what I requested. And she always complied. Those long fingernails of hers traced patterns on my back, scratched away the day's worries and stresses. She'd tap rhythms to whatever tune was playing in her head, and she'd barely audibly tick the tune out with her tongue on her teeth. I can still closed my eyes and remember those nights where it was just her and I, mother and daughter. No one can scratch my back like she could. She had told me when I was a baby, that's how she would put me to sleep. She'd run her fingernails lightly over my arms, my legs, my back. She'd trace my baby skin. No wonder I'm so addicted to it :-) I'm determined to do the same with Nevaeh.

Having those connections with  my daughter is so important. Even if my mother was here, I'd want to experience that bond from the other end. Look down on my child and feel that overwhelming, unconditional, impossible love, as opposed to that unconditional, innocent love a child feels for her mother. I can cry just thinking about it. These past two years have been the hardest, and the most beautiful years of my life. I've grown so much, I almost can't believe how young I used to be. How young I still am. That saying "Age is just a number" rings so true to me. I feel aged, like a wine with wisdom yet so much life left to live. I'm in my prime.

It'll never be easy, living without my mother. Every time I come across a new parenting challenge, that tear in my heart aches, wondering what my Mom would have done. What if she was here, and I could pick up the phone and call her? "Mom, Nevaeh is teething bad and I don't know how to help her." She'd probably tell me to do the old whisky trick. I'd like to think I can guess what she'd say...but I hate not knowing. We hadn't reached the point in our relationship of parenting advice. We'd only made it through the funny stories of when I tried to pee out of my finger, because "That's how big brudder does it." Or the few times she cursed me, saying my children were going to be exactly like me; impossible and ornery. I know she held me ten days straight when I had RSV. I know she breastfed me, I think she cloth diapered me.

Either way, I supposed I'd still have my own way of parenting. It's not like I'd take her every word for gold, necessarily. It'd be nice to hear though.

I want to be the kind of mother she was, and I think that just requires one thing. Love. An undivided, unimaginable amount of love. I want my children to know they are my world, and I will do anything for them. I want to be their rock, the one they come to for anything. The one who guides them and has the biggest dreams for them. My mother is still very much a part of me. In the short nearly 20 years I had with her, she filled me with such love and compassion. I am a great and kind person, a lovely woman who smiles all the time, from the inside out. Because of her. She will always be a part of me, because I am a part of her. Just as my daughter is a part of me.

The past three August 7th's have been grieving ones. But I think, I know my mom would want me to celebrate her life. Celebrate the legacy she has left behind in her three children. We are all diving headfirst into our lives, all of us on different paths but with the same heart beating in our chests. She did such a wonderful job raising her children, living for us and for God. She never lived for herself, and while I know she should have at least a little, I know she didn't regret it for a minute. She loved us, and still does from her perch in Heaven (With her strawberries and curly potato chips, probably a Mike's Hard Lemonade) She probably bowls with her Mom and Dad every storm, and laughs with stories around the table during a game of Rummy or Dominoes. There are several seats at their table, awaiting all our family on the days we are called Home.

Until then, I'll scratch my daughter's back and live for her with love.

Patricia Jo Walter
December 18, 1958-August 7, 2009
Her Heart will live on

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Crime Scene

The evidence was everywhere. The suspect was covered in head to toe, well sort of. Trails all over the place. This was one crime scene I was seriously dreading cleaning up.
Date: August 12, 2011
Time: 5pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio. Our house.

Landon has been doing good the past couple of days. I started a new calm approach, where every time he started acting up, I completely ignored him. If he didn't want the food I fixed, that's fine, he could get down and play and if he was hungry, he could eat that. If he couldn't share with his sister, that's ok, he would just be removed from that toy alltogether. This has been working pretty well.

Today, I played with the kids outside for about an hour, getting them nice and worn out for their nap at 3. Tucked Landon in, settled in on the couch with Nevaeh. She passed right out, I heard Landon talking to himself and then was quiet, so I drifted off to catch up on my severe lack of sleep.
Around 4pm I heard the toilet lid upstairs. No big deal, he knows how to go potty. I heard him jump back into bed and then he was quiet, so I drifted back off to sleep.
5pm came around and a plane flew low overhead (we live near an airport) and heard an excited gasp followed by the blinds being pushed out of the way upstairs. He was awake, right around when he usually got up, and Nevaeh was smacking me in the face anyway so I got up, went to the bottom of the stairs, and told Landon he could come downstairs.
He came down the stairs...rounded the corner...butt naked. Slippery??? I knew immediately that he had fooled me. While I snoozed on the couch with Nevaeh, convinced he was snoozing upstairs like usual, he was in fact committing a three year old crime. One that he has never even come close to doing, so I was caught completely off guard.
Vas. A. Line. Usually one word, but this was too big an incident. For this, it has to be three words. Three terrible words for a very ornery three year old. Vas. A. Line.
On his bed. Under his bed. On the wall by his bed. On the blinds and window screen (Remember the airplane?) On the cabinet. Under the sink. On the toilet and toilet seat. On the diaper pail. In the bathtub. On the door handle. On the bathroom tile. On the step stool. On the carpet. Along the rail of Nevaeh's crib. On a variety of toys. On the TV. On the toilet paper. On Landon.
He was like a greased pig. A butt naked, slippery greased pig. Head to toe and in between. I think he want to spike his mohawk because it was caked in his hair. The tub of Vas. A. Line had only had my finger swiped through it a couple times when Vae had a dry nose, so it was basically full. When I found the tub, it was under Landon's bed. Empty. EMPTY.
For a good couple minutes I just stared, taking in the greasy, goopy mess. Nevaeh had pooped so she stunk, and I couldn't set her down or she'd be a greasy piglet as well. Landon was standing there butt naked with his hands held up, clearly no longer enjoying being covered in the once fascinating goop. Running a bath was the only logical way to clean him up. Bed sheets off, scrubbed what I could out of the carpet. He did the rest.

That was his punishment, cleaning it up, because I didn't really know what else to do. Obviously I couldn't send him to his room. I followed behind and pointed to everything he needed to wipe off with his already vaseline'd bedsheet and pillow case. I couldn't even really be mad at him. I was more than upset that he got into the cabinet that he knew he shouldn't get into (And that I didn't think he could reach). I was upset that out of all the things he could grab, he had to grab vaseline. I was upset that he had to touch everything in a 12x12 radius, but I couldn't be mad at him. What three year old boy can resist slimy, squishy, messy goop?

His second punishment is this blog. I am writing this blog and saving it forever, and anxiously awaiting the day he has a girlfriend and brings her over to our house and I sit down to have a lovely little chat with her :-)

I'll laugh about this later :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Color me Decorative

So I think we should just buy a house now. That way I can really just let loose and go crazy with my decorating ideas!! I have so many, and luckily a lot of them are portable so I can do them now and move them with us. My house is slowly being put together with that homey feeling and with me being a SAHM, I just keep getting more and more ideas!

These are things I want to do:
Ok seriously?! What kid would not want this in their room!! This is obviously just a dream right now. But hopefully someday I can do my kids' rooms all fantastic like this!

Now I know what to do with my Grandpa's trunk :-) right now it holds all of his 1950's Encyclopedias, but I plan on getting a bookshelf too so I'll display those so they don't just sit gathering dust!

See those shelves? Made out of fabric! How stinking cute, and I think already have a fabric choice I would use :-) That would be perfect for either the kids' room or once I have an office/sewing room it'd be perfect for sewing magazines

Definitely going and buying this for my car's a plastic cereal container turned car garbage can!

I love upholstering chairs <3 and I have these two short bar stools that look nice but would be comfier with a cushion. Also two tall metal bar chairs, it'll be difficult to make a cushion look nice on it but we'll see!

Garden planter holders! AND this would double as wall decoration :-) Especially since we're not painting while we rent, this is a fantastic idea. and it would get rid of those eye sore tubs holding all their toys!

When we own a house and have a back deck, this would be neat to put on the wall

This is too true to not put on the wall!

This will have to wait until I'm done having kids. This is a crib turned bench! How cute! And Vae has a very cute crib that I could either leave it's dark brown color or paint a more fun color and set outside :-)

My cousins do this with their kids every year on their birthday. Interviews! I'm going to do one with Landon, maybe today to make up for his 3rd birthday, and hopefully make that a yearly tradition!

Ok I'm not a fan of pringles, but Chris will eat them. I hate keeping my pasta in the cardboard boxes, and this is very innovative! I can cover it with decorative paper. I could probably use this for things other than pasta too!

Soon I will post some pictures of the things I've already done around the house. I just have little things done, and I want to have an entire area finished before I take a picture :-) Yay for creativity!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sparklers on Bridges

Becoming a mother (Or a father) is the most drastic change anyone can have in their lives. It's a cause and effect that keeps rotating over and over, and you're taken aback by the unexpected things. I knew having my daughter was going to "Weed out" my friends list. Some went unpleasantly, which is unfortunate. Some drifted off like the natural course of life. I don't want to say bridges have been burned, but there are definitely sparklers hovering above them.

I was never a partier. I'd have fun hanging with friends but alcohol was never required, and I am just as content sitting at home with a movie and pizza. After Nevaeh got here, the movie and a pizza night became much more frequent, and in fact I've really only been out a handful of times without her, and only one of those nights involved alcohol (And not out of control type).

I've been noticing a lot more sparklers recently. Maybe it's just me growing up and them not, combined with me having a child and them either not having a child, or having a different definition of what being a mother means than I do. I've made plans with a few people and they were either cancelled, or it was awkward because I had Nevaeh with me and we couldn't go go-carting or anything like we used to, so we just kind of sat around. The only things we would talk about were either my new role as Mommy or "The Old Days." Those were the last get togethers I had with those people. Blame is placed on both parts. I have not exactly made the effort, but neither have they. Living in Columbus away from everyone doesn't help, either. I get so tired making that drive to Lima, and so far no one except my brother in law has made the trip here, and he's obviously not one of my girlfriends.

It's bittersweet, for sure. Not that I miss the past, persay. I miss the friendships. Even my fellow Mommy-Friends. The ones I'm close with either live States away or aren't able to drive here, or are too busy (Like I admittedly am a lot of the time) to "squeeze" me in. It's wonderful to see everyone starting their new chapters in life, but it's a real shame our paths have gone too far apart. I really hope they can be rekindled someday, or that I can cross paths with a new chapter of Mom's who'll connect with me on the right level. Ones who live in my zip code, preferably. If it were up to Chris and I to choose where we end up (Speaking in terms of his employment with Sherwin Williams) we'd be off to a new State, a complete new start where there was a legitimate reason for no visits from friends, instead of excuses from both ends. I have a friend in PA whom I see being a lasting friendship (And our babies are arranged to be wed, so we might as well be friends anyway! ;-) ). There's also a plant there, so that wishful part of me crosses my fingers that if we end up in another state, PA is the one the arrow lands on. I really do need that friendship, that phone number I can dial by memory and gab away about nothing and everything. The spontaneous trips to the mall (now with our kids in tow). The one I can send random pictures to, the Just Because cards. The playdates and Mom dates, venting about our husbands. I have my long distance friends for that, but everyone knows it's just different, having someone just down the road.

Just a bittersweet post for today :-) I'm not upset at the way my life has turned out, I hope this blog doesn't portray that. Just a bit of mourning for the sparklers on long built bridges.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You are in Control (With my guidance)

Landon is 3. Oh...he is definitely Three! I'm not quite sure what this stage is that he's going through, and we're getting through it together.
He wants it, but doesn't want it. He doesn't like it, but then he likes it. He's trying to figure out what he likes and doesn't like, I believe, and it frustrates him. Which frustrates me, admittedly. We will watch cartoons from 7am-9am, then I'll turn it to the Today's Show to watch some news. He will throw a royal fit and stomp around screaming "I don't like cartoons!" So I'll say "Ok, then we won't watch cartoons" and he'll scream "NO, I like cartoons! I want cartoons!" (He says cartoons like "cah-zooms" <3 ) If he gets unconsolable, I make him either sit down where he's at or stand in the corner until he can calm down and rationally talk to me. I explain this to him the whole time, saying "You are in control of what happens, Landon. If you want something, you need to politely ask for it. Screaming and whining will only make you stuck right where you are. If you want unstuck, you have to be nice and polite. But even if I say no, then that is BB's answer and I need you to be ok with that." Things along that line. I usually have to say that line two or three times before he calms down and is ok, and it'll typically start up in another 5 minutes or so.

One thing I'm not sure how to handle are his choices. With Nevaeh, if I am getting her something at the store, I'll hold up two options and let her decide. The excited screech she smile she gives is priceless, and she looks at each item a few times before reaching out and grabbing one. I hope this instills a sense of decision making and rationalization in her (or helps). With Landon however, it doesn't go as smoothly. Breakfast for example. I ask him what he wants, and he'll say "Cereal" or "Eggs." This morning he wanted cereal. I was fixing eggs for Vae and I, and I asked him a few times if he was sure he wanted cereal and not eggs. He instead he wanted "C-wall" So I poured him a bowl and sat him down. The second I sat down with the eggs he started his royal fit and wanted eggs. Sigh. I don't want to just fix the same thing for everyone as a way to prevent these fits. I want him to understand that he can choose what he wants, and understand that he needs to weigh his options carefully. His actions have consequences. With some things of course he can change his mind, but I am not about to throw away a bowl of cereal because he suddenly wants something else. We do not waste food in this house.

It's hard being 3! There are so many rules and guidelines, different instructions for different things. Ultimately I want him and Nevaeh to know that they are in control of their lives. They are not being raised to obey everyone around them. They can choose what they want. But I want them to know that their choices have consequences, good or bad. Fits will get them nowhere exept right where they are.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Extreme Couponing

I've been couponing for a few months now, but today's trip was so Awesome, I had to blog about it! I'm finally getting a good handle on it, and I know I'm only going to keep improving which keeps my blood pumping fast! I get so excited when I see that number tick down further and further with every beep of the scanner :-)
So...*drum roll please* My August 4th Extreme Couponing Extravaganza! (And might I add, I had two very cranky babies with me and I still rocked it!)

First stop was Giant Eagle. They always double their coupons. My first transaction was five items totaling $20, and that followed a deal they had that would give me a total of 11 dollars off my next shopping trip. Scanned coupons and the total was $9. Bonus: The printer didn't print out the two "$2 off your next trip" coupons so they sent me to the customer service desk and they gave me 3 extra dollars for the inconvenience.
Second transaction was the rest of my things. Scanned the previous coupon ($14 off the total) and $11.50 worth of coupons which doubled to $23.

Fuel Points earned: 40 cents/gal
Total at Giant Eagle: $51.48
Amount Saved: $37.03
Total Spent at Giant Eagle: $14.45


Next store was Kroger
I bought a Visa gift card which will give you 4x the fuel points (I used that card to pay for my purchase, I just bought it for the points hehe)
I had received a packet in the mail of coupons from Kroger for being a valued customer (sweeeet). A few of the coupons were for flat out FREE items. I combined those with the coupons I already had, and it was a doubling day (It was hard to get that out of the manager, as to when the doubling days were. But I am a Momma who needs to save money so I haggled the dates out of him!)

Fuel Points Earned: 60 (so 10 cents/gal)...GE's fuel points are better!
Total at Kroger: $61.02
Amount Saved: $33.95
Total Spent at Kroger: $27.07

Tadaa!! I saved a whopping $70.98!!!!!!!! The total spent was $41.52.

63% SAVINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic day it was :-D

Monday, July 25, 2011

11 months old

Nevaeh is 11 months old today :-) :-( One more month until the anniversary of the best day of my life!

11 month facts:

<3 She has 4 top teeth, 4 bottom teeth, and is starting on her two top eye teeth
<3 She can stand for 5 seconds while thinking about it, but I'll catch her standing for a while when she's distracted with a toy
<3 She is trying to snap her fingers.
<3 She dances like it's oxygen, and she actually has some rhythm. She also has taste in music, if she doesn't like a song she'll blow raspberries
<3 She has an overload of energy. She thinks it's hilarious to throw herself onto the couch or bed or crib because she bounces
<3 I started cutting her bottles with 2oz organic whole milk today. Adding 1oz every week till she's off formula
<3 She is climbing everything
<3 Dada, Momma, Dog (minus the G) Bob, Baba, Hi, Dohdoh

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Projects

Summer time has always been my favorite season. When I was younger it was mainly because *Cue Alice Cooper* School's out for Summer! I loaded every day with trips to the pool, challenges with my sister on who could walk the furthest with our stilts, endless supplies of bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Vacations amidst the greatest vacation of all. Summer Break, Baby.
Now, I'm permanently out of school so I can sing the second line of everyone's favorite AC song. "School's out FO-EVA!" I'm still in that mode though. Something about summer time is just so much more relaxing than during "the school year." I'm loaded with projects right now, mostly revolving around Nevaeh's birthday party, but also with the house and especially our bedrooms. I'm slowly weeding out our hand me down "these will do" items and replacing them with items I choose myself from thrift stores or Walmart or the ever reliable Target.

1. Invitations for Nevaeh's birthday party-They are almost complete, I just have to glue the string onto about 15 more, then "sign sealed delivered." (Can you tell I'm in a real music mood today?)

2. Decorations for party-I'm making her birthday banner, butttt I think this project may be abandoned. It's turning out a lot cheaper looking than I anticipated, and spending any more money on it would defeat the purpose. I may just go banner-less. With the amount of kids coming to the party, it'd fast be destroyed anyway.

3. Lullaby books-For the love of all that is Holy, PLEASE go to this website!
It is fantastic. I bought 2 blank books. Literally, just a 5x8 white cardboard blank book. I made up a lullaby for Landon and one for Nevaeh, so I plan on illustrating those lullabies in these two books as keepsakes for them <3 Can't wait to get that project done!

4. Bedroom stuff-Whatever I find! Landon's corner of his room has been decked out with colorful circle wall decals, a metal colorful lizard that is supposed to be a lawn ornament but we hung it on the wall lol. Spongebob bedding of COURSE, but the next time we move we are getting him a twin bed, so I will probably be making him a quilt that fits his personality. Nevaeh's corner is more subdued colors, a mixture between pastels and bright (Brighstels?) A paper flower, her black wooden giraffe with color Nevaeh letters, and I got these paper ball lantern things to hang from the ceiling in the corner, that I might use at her birthday party as well. Pictures will follow soon. I'm still not sure what's going on with Chris and I's bedroom...I'm making a headboard out of the black bamboo sticks I got a few years ago, but I haven't found a fabric that I like to go with it. Once I get that figured out, a quilt will be made for the bed.

5. Pictures! I am finally getting around to printing the hundreds of pictures that I have lol I have a wall I'm making into a picture wall, full of frames. A few ideas for making my own frames with a fabric back ground and 3D pictures. Pictures of those pictures whenever it's done ;-)

Oh Lord! That probably isn't all the projects I have going but they're the major ones that came to mind. Busy busy! I have plenty to do during Nevaeh's naptimes (Which are less frequent nowadays).

Oh and one more thing I wanted to mention. Babies! Chris is seriously ecstatic that everyone around us is having babies, because that (for now) quentions my baby obsession haha! My sister in law Jackie had her daughter Isabella in April, my friend Becky had her daughter Naomie in June, my friend Beth just had her daughter Adrianna TODAY!! and my friend Aubrey is due in October with Oliver, Kellie in December with Estella Faye, my husband's cousin's girlfriend is due in February I think, and my Aunt Rachel is due in November I believe with a girl, and my sister in law Jessica is due August 12 with a girl!! :-D :-D babiesssss!! And I had a pregnancy dream so...someone else is pregnant. Don't know who, probably someone in the family (Not me I swear!) but I have NEVER been wrong with my pregnancy dreams. I usually have them a month or two before finding out who it is, so I'll know soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beauty is the eyes of the beholder

Sometimes when I put my daughter down for a nap with that excitement that I can finally get things done around the house...I find myself transfixed by her. I lay down with her and just absorb her beauty, that utterly helpless, completely devoted love that pours from every fiber of my being into her tiny frame. While I am stunned by the amount of love I hold for her, I am equally amazed that she doesn't fall over thinking "WOW, My mommy really loves me!" I breathe in the natural scent of her flowy hair, memorize the curve of her eyebrows and smirk at the dirt that seems permanently etched in her crawling knees. I now know the culprit behind all those eyerolls my teenage self gave my mother every time she told me I just didn't understand. How could I possibly understand what she was talking about when I wasn't a mother myself? I love my mother more than life itself but it's a completely different emotion compared to the love I have for my daughter.
I can't wait to tell her she just doesn't understand <3

Today I am kicking my ass. Ever since Nevaeh was born and I recovered from the seemingly unbearable aches of childbirth, I kept saying I was going to get back in shape. Eat right, exercise, be completely healthy like I was my entire pregnancy (Nevaeh made me crave health foods thank God...unfortunately, post baby Bethany does not). That determination would last a week tops. I'd be all gung ho, make a grocery trip and load up on veggies and fruits and new socks to allow my feet to breathe better in my tennis shoes. And then a slice of pizza would appear. And while I still even now eat relatively healthy, there is a lot of junk sneaking in. I am drinking entirely too much Mountain Dew, my body seems to depend on it because I didn't drink any yesterday and I was going insane! I eat turkey burgers instead of the super greasy ones but then I load on the cheese and mayo. I need to kick it up a notch. Hell, getting rid of my daily pop intake will probably help me drop 10 pounds alone!

So I'm getting tough. I'm putting myself out there and while I ultimately hold myself responsible, I am asking those close to me to hold me accountable as well. My husband, my sister, a few friends. Snap at me if you catch me being horrible! Get on me to take at the very least, a daily walk or swim with Nevaeh (Or use the Kinect during days like this week where there is a heat advisory and I myself can barely stand the humidity, let alone take her out in it). I need to get myself active every single day. No more than one pop a day, and hopefully I can get that down to either no pop or very very limited pop. More fruits and veggies. I love them, they're delicious, so there should be no reason why I don't consume more of them!

Now the biggest kick in my butt...really putting myself out there. Making my embarrasment known so I am forced to do something about it. When I first got pregnant I was 150lbs, very slender and had a flat stomach and perfect boobs and a nice curvy butt. I have thicker bones and my big booty will never go away, it's genetic, but pre-baby I carried everything in the right places. I gained 20lbs during my pregnancy which is ideal and I gained it all in the right places. Post baby however, it all re-adjusted itself. Too much booty, no more boobs, leftover belly that is totally not cute when there's no kicking fetus behind it.

I now weigh (runs to scale) 162lbs *gag*

The number is not what makes me embarrassed. I hate the way the weight is laying. I am still pretty slender everywhere except my butt and belly, and the way it sits on my belly makes me look like I'm 4-5 months pregnant. I feel beautiful because I am a mother and this is an ok "price to pay" to have my daughter here, but I am not happy. I want that confidence back. I want to pull on a pair of jeans that don't look ginormous on the rack which in turn makes me feel ginormous when they fit. I want to wear my blue bikini instead of the purple post-baby suit I bought to hide the pudge. I want to wear form fitting clothes out in public without holding my breath, waiting for someone to ask me when I'm due. I want another child in a couple years but until then I want to look like a hot Mama, like a sexy wife, like a healthy confident woman completely comfortable in her own skin!

I am going to keep a daily log. Not really tracking every morsel that goes in my mouth, but at least logging that I did in fact in healthy foods and if I did intake junk, it was not an excessive amount. I will record the exercise that I did, and every month I will weigh myself. Only once a month, because again the number on the scale does not matter. The confidence I feel when I look in the mirror is what matters.

Starting now! Tonight for dinner I am having grilled chicken with potato chunks and broccoli. Water to drink. Power cleaning my house and the kinect tonight for exercise.

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The start of a Challenge

Thought I'd give this a go...this blog seems to be turning out to be more for my own benefit than anyone else's, but I love the idea that someday my kids can look back and read my thoughts, like I have done with my Mom's journals. So I will try to continue and blog as long as possible :-)

  • I seem to be exploring Ohio. I was born in Bluffton, raised in Lima, moved to Dayton, now in Columbus. 2-3 years from now I'll likely be in Cleveland.

  • I'm so relieved I don't have to go to a 4 year college. I will get an Associates or Certificate in something just to have it under my belt, but we are secure with Chris' job and I can stay home and raise our kids and do my crafts.

  • I'd like to think there's nothing "basic" about me, but I'm really pretty average, and that isn't a bad thing.

  • I have worked as an office assistant, dishwasher, sandwich artist twice, server, hostess, floor manager, cashier, and housekeeper.

  • When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be a writer, but as an adult I didn't want to go through the "obligations" of writing my novels by a certain deadline.

  • I used to collect rocks, and I had written a note saying that "When I am 21, I will decide what to do with these." Well...I'm 21...and I threw them out a few years ago :-/ I failed my 8 year old self!

  • I played Basketball, Volleyball and Softball until 8th grade when my Catholic school's rich kid favortism got the best of me and I quit.

  • I was a girl scout until my classmate's mom became the leader and did the rich kid favortism thing and my mom pulled me out right before the Canada trip and I was devestated.

  • I met my husband through a mutual friend and we played Guitar Hero for 3 hours. I knew him as Muskratt for about a month before I thought to ask his name and he thought to ask mine. We played "cat and mouse" back and forth for 3 months before officially dating. We married two years later on our dating anniversary (February 19)

  • I have a lot of anxiety and I would love nothing more than to scream my heart out on top of a Mountain and relieve all the pressure on my chest.

  • I will play sports any day, but absolutely cannot stand watching them on TV.

  • I make fun of shows like Teen Mom, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Secret Life of the American Teenager....but I watch them ALL!

  • I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get my body back to how it was (or remotely) before Nevaeh's sweet self came along and destroyed it.
  • Adjusting

    There are so many things on my mind tonight! We had a great Fourth of July. We went to Heritage Trails in Hilliard, it's a 7 mile bike/horse trail with a small water park somewhere in there. It was beautiful! I had gotten a bike trailer for the kids so we hooked that up and went for a bike ride. What better day to appreciate Nature's Beauty than Independence Day?? After that we went for a cookout with our new friends. Chris met Cris (haha) at work and I made friends with his girlfriend Kim. She just had a baby girl, soooo adorable! Full head of hair! She was a month old so Nevaeh was fascinated with her (and was surprisingly gentle!) and Landon played with Kim's 2 1/2 yr old and almost 4 yr old daughters. It was so nice to be surrounded by fun, sweet people! Hopefully Kim and I can start making play dates and girls days once Hannah is a bit older. I'm really in need of some friends here in Columbus!

    The 4th being so recent has also made me contemplate our Country. Casey Anthony was just announced Not Guilty in the murder of her daughter, and at first I was completely furious at the system for allowing this woman to get away with it. Whether Caylee drowned or was murdered, that doesn't even matter to me. what matters is that a woman who cares about no one but herself, who did not report her daughter "missing" for over a month, got a tattoo saying Beautiful Life, among other things, is now going to walk free and continue on with her life. Undoubtedly there will be a movie deal, book deal, countless interviews and magazines. She'll be financially set for life. It infuriated me that the System would let someone like that go. But then I dug a little deeper and first let go of my anger, because no matter what happened, Casey will answer to God one day. It is not my responsibility to worry about punishing her or seeking justice. God will take care of it all. Secondly, the system is not faulty (completely) rather the Prosecution did not prepare itself fully and the Jury was not well educated on how to take the information given to them. One of the jurors said that one of the main reasons they found her not guilty was because they did not want the Death penalty. However, there were also less severe charges (Murder 2) available and had they charged her with that, the Death penalty would not have come into play. The juror had even said if the DP was not on the table, their verdict would have been different. That disgusts me that they were not prepared enough to know that.

    I am also calming down. For some reason I've been feeling anxious and irritable the last couple months (No, I'm not pregnant!) and I was just on edge. My patience was a very short fuse especially when it came to Landon because he is just in a wild stage and really defiant, so holding in my temper and forcing myself to acknowledge that he is only (almost) 3 was difficult! I think the talk I had with Chris is what made me relax. Telling him what I need for myself and telling him that I felt lost in Motherhood and Wiferhood because I was forgetting about myself as an individual. I am Bethany, not just Mommy or Wife. He has made more of a conscious effort to tell me he appreciates all I do, to rub my shoulders at night or just cuddle me in bed so I have his amazing arms wrapped securely around me. I find myself a lot less stressed. Chris is always the one to tell me "Don't worry about it. Everything is good." and he's so right. I freak out if I don't get my super long list done, I worry about the tiniest things. He reminds me to just step back and let it fall into place. Breathe.

    Blogging is cut short tonight. The timer for my meatloaf is going off and Landon has just decided to play with bubbles in the house which means they are dumped all over the carpet, and I'm positive once Nevaeh realizes that she will be over to those bubbles faster than lightening! Have a great night!

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Independence Day

    Oh no, not the Fourth of July, my friends. Today is July 2nd and it is an Independence celebration day for my 10 month old, who has decided that she can now walk with the push walker!

    She never ceases to amaze me <3 We had a cookout with a couple today, Chris works with Cris, and I made friends with his girlfriend Kim, and Nevaeh made friends with their new sweet precious 4 week old baby girl Hannah. Such a little Momma! She was very curious about this teeny little person and amazingly, was very gentle! She pet her foot and while she did sort of poke her eye a little, I could see that she was being cautious and it was simply a motor skill slip that put her thumb in Hannah's eye :-) Made me feel a little better because Nevaeh was into all the tons of baby dolls and let me tell you what....she'd give each baby doll the sweetest biggest hug ever, and then toss them aside like yesterday's underwear! But she knew to put the bottle in the baby doll's mouths, then would "tease them" and put it in her mouth. Silly girl!! She's going to make an amazing big sister someday and a beautiful mother a long-aways-someday.

    Independence Day has also spread to another self-empowering woman.

    I am reclaiming myself. I am bringing back the body I was so confident in, the spirit that shined so brightly. I am finely seeing the light past this funk I have been sitting in for the past year or so. I feel better about myself, I feel better about where I am at in life. Nobody tells you how hard becoming a mother can be. They gush about the rewards and the undeniable, unexplainable love. But they don't tell you that it is so easy to lose yourself, to forget that you are so much more than Mommymommymommymommy. I suppose it wouldn't do any good even if they did tell you. I was so conflicted, because while I held my precious daughter in my arms and thanked God that I was blessed with her beautiful presence, I cried inside and out because I could not remember who I was, I felt myself slipping into a role I knew nothing about, and I was terrified. I felt I had no one to turn to, because I would normally turn to my mom and she would make it all better and explain everything. I had to figure it out on my own. I had so many inviting hands stretched out but I knew if I couldn't lean on my mother, then I had to lean on myself. I had to allow myself to sit in the depression and think the thoughts that I had. Not once were any ill thoughts towards my daughter, so post-partum didn't cross my mind. But then I realized that having post partum depression did not mean you were having ill thoughts on being a mother, or hatred towards your child. Post partum depression can be a plethora of things, including losing yourself and diving headfirst into a world you thought you were prepared for, but in fact you had no clue what you were doing. Wondering when the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and sadness would pass and you would finally be able to just fully enjoy and embrace being the new person that you are. I was totally content with the life I was handed and yet a part of me was rejecting it because everything happened so fast. Mom's death, pregnancy, marriage, baby, two moves, work and school then abruptly no work or school, just sitting at home day in and day out with no one but a very needy infant who couldn't offer any conversation in return except babbles that meant "It's all about me, Mom." It took me until recently to finally work through that, and more recently to admit that first to my husband, then a close friend, and now on here where I want to remember this. I want to explain to my daughter the feelings I had, the journey I traveled, and tell her that she will likely travel the same sort of road. Parenthood is not easy, no matter how much of a breeze it is. Nevaeh is the simplest baby in the world, so happy and bright and straight forward and beautiful. What can happen to any mother has almost nothing to do with the baby him/herself, but with the new emotions and the vast change of direction for your own life. Settling into the new role and realizing what all it meant, and finding a way to keep who you were before present in your life. Holding on to your sense of self.

    I have regained Me. And it is so sweet, and satisfying, and  releasing.

    Happy Independence Day!