Wednesday, December 15, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Eight

Day Eight: Post a photo that makes you laugh. What made this moment so funny?


we rule @ picking out clothes


Ah, yes. My brother, Chad, and I at some bar in some hotel/casino in Reno, NV the night before our paternal Grandfather's funeral. We're keepin' it classy here, people!

We got to the hotel in time for some dinner and some drinking. But first, a wardrobe change was necessary. He goes into the bathroom to change, I stay in the room part of the room. I holler when I'm done, he comes out when he is. And we smile and nod when we notice that we both decided it'd be appropriate to wear ridiculous shirts to help narrate our intentions for the evening.

Fast forward to this picture. I can't remember the song, but we were in a dueling piano bar - drinking, singing (it was more like yelling), and dancing (ok, it was more like swaying) to the music. We asked some guy next to us to take our picture because, well, we don't get together often, but when we do we make sure to have fun and we wanted to mark the occasion. *This* was the result.

Cheesy shirts? Check.
Embarrassingly rosey cheeks/nose? Check.
Beer IN the picture (to remove all doubt about our mental state)? Check.
Glassy eyes? Check.
Making the best of a crappy situation? Double Check.

Fun memory with my fun brother? You got it, Check!

Friday, December 3, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Seven

Day Seven: Post a photo of your most treasured item. Why is this item special to you? How did you come to own this item?


I do.


As cheesy as it sounds, my wedding set is my most treasured item. Not because of the purdy diamonds, but because of the meaning. I love Jeff with all my heart and sincerely want to spend the rest of my life with him. We've been together since I was 17 years old and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. He's my best friend and the best Daddy I could have asked for for Madeline.

These rings let the world know that I'm taken. That Jeff has my heart, and that I'm half of a pairing. Not everyone who wears wedding rings value their meaning, but I do. It's not about what style they are, or the carat weight of the diamonds. It's about the love between two people who've CHOSEN to spend their lives together.

The significance of my rings became greater once my mom brought home my grandparent's wedding rings. They wore their rings for 65+ years. They wore them until they were too sick and skinny for them to fit, they wore them until they passed away. And they'll forever be together. Sitting together forever. I want to wear my rings until they no longer fit. Until I'm old and frail and I physically can't wear them anymore.

I want to go through my life with these rings on my finger and anytime the sun hits the solitaire I can be reminded of Jeff and smile. Any time someone notices my ring and asks, "So, you're married?" I can smile and explain that yes, I've been married for "X" number of years. I want Madeline to see them and think they're beautiful and want to have rings of her own one day. And, *IF* I ever get an upgrade I want to keep these safe and possibly give them to her fiance, if he/she wants to use them, to be her first engagement/wedding rings.

I love my rings. I love the man who they link me to. ♥

Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Six

Day Six: Post a photo of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day. Why did you choose this person? What do you admire most about their life? What can you do to make your life more fulfilling?


Roxanne!


I don't know if it's because my creative mojo isn't running full speed tonight, but I can't think of a person I know in my real life that I'd want to trade places with. However, I've said many times that I wish I could get inside my dog's head for a day, try to figure out what she's thinking. Not to mention we treat our dogs like they're royalty. So, being pampered like that wouldn't be too bad either.

Roxanne is the sweetest spirited dog I've ever known. So innocent, so loving and trusting. She's just a happy-go-lucky girl. I would love to be her for a day so I could be loved on in over-the-top gestures, I would get to sleep in and sleep all day when ever I wanted, I'd get lots of pets and kisses, I'd get so excited when my 'mom' or 'dad' came home, I could play with my toys all day, get belly rubs, etc. I think it'd be funny to get inside her head and figure out how that silly brain of hers works.

I don't think this is too crazy of a thought... I know alot of friends who spoil their pets rotten, and if they switched places with them it wouldn't be too bad of a fate!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Five

Day Five: Post a photo of your favorite memory. Why is this your favorite memory? What made it so special?


we were a family divided.


I had a really hard time picking a photo for this challenge. It was like walking down memory lane, though, while looking through the pics on my external hard drive trying to pick my FAVORITE memory. I don't know if this is my favorite memory, but it's definitely ONE of my favorites. ♥

This was taken 2009's Thanksgiving holiday vacation to Florida; my last Thanksgiving with either of my grandparents. Here's a little backstory:

I am a die hard Florida Gators football fan. (Which is evident by the fact that I wore my Gators sweatshirt today despite the fact that they lost. Again. ::sigh::) My grandma was a die hard Florida State Seminoles fan. For many years we would pick on each other about our teams.

Our teams play each other the Saturday following Thanksgiving every year, so my grandma and I have watched these games together a few times since we'd usually spend the holidays with family. Even if we weren't together the fan of the winning team would call the other to brag. My grandma even sent me a sympathy card with the newspaper article about their win one year!! (It's safe to say she didn't like to lose!) She'd pick on me for wearing my Gators gear and go stomp down the hall to get her 'Noles gear on.

Now that my grandma is gone it's not as fun to watch this rivalry game since she's not there to huff and puff at my players, or to call me a turkey when I gloat about that perfectly executed pass. But, it was on today and I don't think it's a coincidence that the 'Noles won 31-7. For one thing, my Gators are having a HORRIBLE season and for two, those stinky Seminoles have my grandma up there pulling strings in their favor. ;)

Fine, Grandma... I'll let you have it this year! But don't think you can do this again next year! Until then, I'll keep wearing my Orange and Blue. I love and miss you. xoxo

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Four

Day Four: Post a photo that best sums up the night you've had tonight. What did you do? Why was it fun?


Thanksgiving Elvis!

Tonight was Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house. It was a great night full of delicious food - especially pie - and great company. While the dessert was being plated up I decided to snap some pictures and my Maddy Jo had me cracking up with her facial expressions.

I am most thankful for her this year, however, I'm also so so blessed to have had Jeff by my side through all this year's crazy ups and downs.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! ♥

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Three

Day Three: Post a photo of the cast from your favorite show. Why do you love this particular show so much? Who is your favorite cast member & why?


Gilmore Girls!!

I loooooove Gilmore Girls. I've seen every.single.episode at least once, if not two or three times. I diligently watched it, every Tuesday night on the CW network while it was still a current filming show, I own all the seasons on DVD and watched every disk when I got each season's box set, and if I pass a re-run of it on ABC Family I watch it again. The one liners never get old. The romances never bore me. The quirky town people never lose their special jene se qua.

I don't know if I can pick a FAVORITE character - it's like picking a favorite child, ok?! But I reallllllllly love Lauren Graham's character, Lorelei. Truth be told, I aspire to be more like Lorelei. For one, she's beautiful. She's confident. Her success is self-made. She's sarcastic. She's the woman who all the men in town want, but she's too much woman for most of them to take on. She's the mom that EVERY single teenage girl wishes they could have. She's fashionable. She talks super fast - which is something I completely 'get'. I've been told I talk to fast for as long as I can remember. Maybe I don't talk to fast, maybe everyone else listens too slow.Ok, so her skills in the kitchen are pitiful, and she seems to need a man in her life... and I could do without those qualities... but over all, Lorelei is the bees knees.

For realsies though, I really really love this show and as silly as it is at times, I really do think that the characters that the writers created are awesome. They learn great lessons, make mistakes, have hilarious dialogue... they really make you want to live in Stars Hallow, irritate Luke while ordering breakfast at the diner, participate in one of the many town organized events and go to town hall meetings.

My mom and I used to have a Gilmore Girls date night every Tuesday, and if when Madeline is old enough for mother-daughter bonding tv nights if there isn't a show that we both enjoy watching, perhaps I'll just pop in one of my DVDs and I can fall in love with Gilmore Girls all over again.

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Two

Day Two: Post a photo of you & the person you have been the closest with for the longest. Why is this person special to you?

nina, me, ashley and shannon

I couldn't pick just one person, so I picked my girls.

I've known all of these girls since middle school. Different schools, different times, different situations, but that's when I met them all. When we were at our most awkward, most vulnerable, and most impressionable.

We've each got such strong, but SUCH different, personalities. We've kinda got a SATC thing going on.

Over the past 13 years; there have been times when two girls were closer than the other two. Or when someone wasn't talking to someone. We've all gossiped about one of the others. We've all seen each other cry, laugh, grow, hurt, and learn hundreds of times over. We've sworn we would never talk to each other again, but always come back together. We've laughed until our sides ached and we couldn't breathe. We've cried on each others shoulders until they were soaked and we ran out of tears. We've fought over guys, we've fought about guys. (worst idea, EVER, by the way.) We've chinked many a glass, and we've held each others hair when too many glasses were chinked in one night. We've cheered each other on when it was needed, we've defended each other to sh*t talkers. Some of us have had babies, gotten married, moved away, gone to school, and become young professionals in completely different fields. Countless minutes have been spent on the phone between the four of us. The number of photos we have of each other is unbelievable. The number of memories is unexplainable.

There are times when I'll talk to one of them every.single.day for a few weeks, and then not at all for a month or longer. It doesn't seem to matter, though. These are MY girls. They know me. They get me. I know that if I need them they'll be there. They know that if they need me, I'll be there. I'm so unbelievably blessed to have them in my life, and in my heart.

I love you, lovers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day One

Day one: Post a picture of yourself and 15 facts about you.




15 facts about me:

1. I was raised as an only child, as I'm my mom's only child, but when I was in high school I met my half brother and half sister and their families. They're from my father's first marriage and are 18 and 19 years older than me. Now, almost 10 years later I just consider them my brother and sister. None of this half business.

2. I'm kind of nerdy about how much I like animals. I watch more animal planet than what's probably 'normal' and I'd MUCH prefer to go to a zoo or aquarium than a theme park.

3. I've been a vegetarian for 13+ months now. I never really ate meat anyway as I never really LOVED it, and being the animal lover that I am, couldn't continue eating it - even rarely - knowing how horribly the animals were treated before being slaughtered. I have no issue with eating meat, but I am not ok with the fact that the meat industry has lost sight of the fact that these animals have souls and personalities and integrity. Sure, they were 'put on this earth for people to eat them' but that doesn't mean they have to be abused during their life time. They deserve to be respected.

4. I used to HATE the fact that I had red hair, but now that I'm getting older - and away from the playground bullies - I actually really like my hair color. And get sort of defensive if someone tries to tell me that I don't have red hair. It may not be orange, but AUBURN is a shade of red hair!!

5. I can't stop myself from buying the smooshed pennies when I'm on vacation. I don't DO anything with them once they're smooshed and pressed with the image on them. They collect in cups, drawers, ash trays and eventually get lost in the shuffle. But, I'm unable to not spend the $0.51 any time I see the machine.

6. I'm a scardey cat. I'm afraid of the dark, spiders, heights, roller coasters, ghosts, scary movies, deep water, needles, murky water, hospitals.... the list goes on and on.

7. I'm a bit irrational when forced to face my fears.

8. I LOVE pizza. Seriously, it's kind of an issue just how much I love it. I could seriously eat it every.single.day. from almost any restaurant, frozen brand, homemade... it doesn't matter. I've found very few pizzas I didn't like, and honestly, even if I didn't LOVE it I'd still probably eat it again if it was offered to me.

9. I have 3 tattoos. I want more. 2 more at least that I can think of.

10. I didn't get my ears pierced till I was 19... because I was scared of the needle.

11. I moved across the country 4 times before I was 8 years old. I've been in Las Vegas since then. Now that we're FINALLY moving to Colorado I'm so so SO nervous about the move! Not the living in Colorado part... but the actual move.

12. I'm pretty lazy. To a fault. I love to do so many things; cook, bake, craft, sew, etc. - but don't like to do the clean-up work after any of it. So, I often times just don't do the things I want to do. Nice, huh?

13. I danced jazz/hip hop for 9 years growing up. I LOVED to dance but really injured my knees. I quit dancing in 11th grade and haven't really exercised since. I never liked to exercise, I liked to dance. BIIIIIIG difference.

14. I was a girl scout for 13 years. Seriously. Kindergarten till my senior year. I never really told people about it, because when I did they'd make fun of me. But I loved it. I loved the friendships, the camping, the cookies - HELLO!, I loved the trips we took. Maybe I just got lucky with the group of girls I was with, but I really hope that it's something Madeline will enjoy once she's old enough to join.

15. I thought I was a 'cat person' until we adopted Molly. Apparently, I'm a maine-coon person. Maine-coon cats are totally different personalities than other cats. My cat, Whitney, growing up was a maine-coon and she rocked my socks. She's so independent and relaxed - and has been since she was a kitten. I didn't realize just HOW hyper and destructive kittens are. Adopting Molly helped me to realize that I'm a dog person. I still like cats, but I don't think I'll be adopting anymore kittens anytime soon.

30 days of me photo challenge

My good friend Holly started doing a 30 day photo challenge on her blog, and I'm going to give it a whirl and see if I can hang. I'm not anywhere near the photographer that she is, nor as edit-savvy, but I think it'll be fun to try to challenge myself. What with our move coming up right after the holidays I might not be able to post one every day, but by golly, I'll finish the whole 30 days... it might just take longer than 30 calendar days! ;)

The List
Day One: Post a photo of yourself along with fifteen facts about you.
Day Two: Post a photo of you & the person you have been the closest with for the longest. Why is this person special to you?
Day Three: Post a photo of the cast from your favorite show. Why do you love this particular show so much? Who is your favorite cast member & why?
Day Four: Post a photo that best sums up the night you've had tonight. What did you do? Why was it fun?
Day Five: Post a photo of your favorite memory. Why is this your favorite memory? What made it so special?
Day Six: Post a photo of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day. Why did you choose this person? What do you admire most about their life? What can you do to make your life more fulfilling?
Day Seven: Post a photo of your most treasured item. Why is this item special to you? How did you come to own this item?
Day Eight: Post a photo that makes you laugh. What made this moment so funny?
Day Nine: Post a photo of the person who has gotten you through the most. What did this person do for you during your troubled time? What made you turn to them out of everyone else in your life?
Day Ten: Post a photo of the person you do the most crazy/silly things with. What is it about this person that makes you able to be crazy/silly? What is your most favorite crazy/silly memory with this person?
Day Eleven: Post a photo of something you hate. Why do you hate this? What is it about this item/person that you despise?
Day Twelve: Post a photo of something you love. Why do you love this? What specifics can you give me about why you live this item/person?
Day Thirteen: Post a photo of your favorite band or artist. Why do you love this band/artist? What song(s) in particular do you love & why? Post the lyrics to your favorite song by this artist/band & bold the ones that hold the most meaning for you.
Day Fourteen: Post a photo of a person you could never live your life without. What is special about this person? Tell me the ten things you love most about them.
Day Fifteen: Post a photo of something you want to do before you die. Why did you choose this? Do you have a plan set in action so you can accomplish this? If not, what can you do to be sure you do this before you die?
Day Sixteen: Post a photo of someone who inspires you. Why does this person specifically inspire you? Can you tell me a story about this person?
Day Seventeen: Post a photo of something that has made an impact on your life recently. Why did this impact you? Was it negatively or positively? What did it make you change in yourself?
Day Eighteen: Post a photo of your biggest insecurity. Why are you insecure about this particular thing? What can you do to change it? Do you want to change it?
Day Nineteen: Post a photo of someone close to you who has passed. Write a letter to them.
Day Twenty: Post a photo of somewhere you would like to travel. Why this location? Is there something special you would like to do there? Describe for me what you imagine your perfect day there would be like.
Day Twenty One: Post a photo of something you want to remember forever. What is special about this memory? Describe the smell, sounds & tastes of that moment. Who were the people with you? What did they do to help make that moment special?
Day Twenty Two: Post a photo of something you wish you were better at. Why do you want to be better at this particular thing? What can you do now to help yourself in being better?
Day Twenty Three: Post a photo of your favorite book. Write down a favorite paragraph. Why did you choose this paragraph? How has this book influenced your life?
Day Twenty Four: Post a photo of something you wish you could change. Can you still change it? What about this would you change & why?
Day Twenty Five: Post a photo that best sums up your day today. What did you do today? What was the best part of your day? What was the worst part of your day.
Day Twenty Six: Post a photo of someone/something that means a lot to you. Why does this item/person mean so much? Tell me the story behind the item & if it's a person, tell me your favorite story about them.
Day Twenty Seven: Post a photo of yourself & an extended family member. Why did you choose this photo? What is so special about this family member? Tell me your favorite memory about them.
Day Twenty Eight: Post a photo of something you're afraid of. Why are you afraid of this? Do you have any irrational fears? If so, what are they? What can you do to try & overcome these fears?
Day Twenty Nine: Post a photo that always makes you smile. What about this photo makes you smile? Is there a story behind it? Who is in the photo? What makes them special?
Day Thirty: Post a photo of someone you miss. Why do you miss this person? Tell me the three things you miss most about this person. Why are they special to you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poopy in the pants

Poopy in the pants from Nicole Singleton on Vimeo.


Let me just take a second here to laugh my ass off.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!

I barely remember recording this. I have no recollection of when, age wise, I took this. I was clearly running on empty. I don't remember Madeline EVER being so little, but OHEMGEE I want to pinch those cheeks of hers!

I can't stop watching it and laughing at my ridiculousness.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Afraid of the dark

I've always been afraid of the dark. ALWAYS. I slept with a nightlight on till I was 14 years old, and even then I only stopped using it because I was afraid I'd get made fun of if I had a friend sleep over, not because I stopped being scared. I don't watch scary horror movies because bad things always happen in the dark. I don't go outside of my house once I'm in "for the night", for any reason. If I have to walk through the house in the middle of the night (which I do, often when I have to pump in the middle of the night) I turn on all kinds of lights so its bright like noon inside.

Here I sit, in my Nugget's house, at 12:30am by myself waiting until I have to pump again so that I can go to bed after... but I'm so scared I want to go wake her up and make her sit with me. She lives in the country. The middle of the dark, scary, country. It's REALLY super dark out here in the country and there are alot of creepy sounds. And all her blinds are pulled open - which is great in the day time - but right now is scaring the crap out of me. I'm doing everything in my power to avoid looking out the windows into the dark abyss that is the 5 acres that she lives on.

OHMYGOSHYOUGUYS I don't know what's going on outside, but it sounds like a pack of wild hyenas are circling outside, howling and yipping. It doesn't sound like "regular" dogs, do they have wolves here?! coyotes?! something else I can't even think of? I know they have something out here that eats people's goats from time to time... a pack of wild chupacabras?! OH.EM.GEE! Why are these animals making this weird noise? Are they hunting something? I am not in Sub Saharan Africa on a safari, this is not ok noises to hear right now.

And then, there's this weird shuffle/scuttle/rustling noise I keep hearing come from the front room, where NO ONE is. No people or dogs are in the room.... why do I keep hearing the noise?

I know there's nothing to legitimately be afraid of in the dark, but I am. Oh, and I'm afraid of spiders and they have those out here in the country also.

It's these times in my life that it becomes blatantly obvious that I'm a city girl.

EEK!! What's that noise?!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3 months

I can't believe my Madeline is already 3 months old! It seriously doesn't seem like that much time has passed! But I will say that I don't miss those first 3 months. I would not like to relive them. I really like who she is at 3 months old. She's really got her personality figured out, she's on a pretty good - self set - schedule, and she's really fun to interact with. Her colic symptoms are all but gone and she's becoming a much happier girl.

This is not to say that I haven't enjoyed the last 3 months, but I was sleep deprived for most of it and it was emotionally draining at times - especially when the colic was bad.

I'm really enjoying 3 month old Maddy Jo and look forward in anticipation for what new developments this month brings. ♥


12lbs 9.5oz

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nuggets

Nugget: (Nuh-get) noun: 1. Sister from another mister. 2. BFF 3. Chelsea Handler's Little Person assistant. (which is where we stole the term of endearment.)

My Nugget bought me a plane ticket so Madeline and I can go up to Northern California for a week to visit her!!! We leave Wednesday and will be there for a week. I'm really looking forward to spending so much time with her and her boys, and am looking forward to her getting to snuggle Miss Maddy Jo. <3 I hate that we live so far away from each other now, but am so thankful and blessed that she's been able to fly me up there a few times since she moved away.

I'm not, however, looking forward to Madeline's first plane ride.

I'm terrified that she's going to be a holy terror on the plane. She doesn't like to just sit still. Ever. She likes to be up, walking around, looking at the world. She also doesn't like to take naps unless she's at home, in her bed. When you try to make her do either of those things she yells and cries about it.

I don't want to be THAT lady with THAT baby on the plane.

I know I've got to have a bottle ready for take off and landing. I know I need to bring some of her fave toys to (try to) entertain her. I need to bring one of her blankies so it smells like home. I need to bring a bink so she can suck on something after her milk is gone; I don't want her ears to hurt her.

I need to remind myself that it's only an hour and a half long flight, so even if she is acting a fool it won't last for too long. And she's only 3 months old for goodness sake! People can't expect her to be an angel! (Though, I know that when her cries are making them want to gouge their eardrums out, that they won't take her age into consideration... they'll just want me to shut her up... NOW!)

And finally, I need to make sure to not have any cash on me, otherwise I may be forced to buy the little bottles of alcohol, and then I'd be the drunk version of THAT lady with THAT baby on the plane who everyone wishes they could strangle.

If any of you readers are veteran plane+baby travelers PLEASE give me any advice you have. I'll need all the help I can get!
(No, she doesn't have her own seat so she won't be strapped into her car seat. That wasn't an option money-wise, so she'll be on my lap/in my arms.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pink!


The singer, P!nk, that is. Her "FUNHOUSE" album, to be exact.

Madeline LOVES P!nk. I don't know what it is that makes her love her songs, but it's the ONLY cd I can listen to all the way through in the car. I have a 6 disk cd changer in my car, but have only gotten to listen to the other cds in the changer when she's not in the car with me.

If she's in a good mood when I put her in the car she'll tolerate another cd, or radio station, for a little while... but after about 20 mins she's OVER it. If she's in a bad mood from the get-go she won't tolerate anything else.

And I'm not joshing you, guys. Literally, she'll fuss and whine at me. I hit the button for the #4 slot and when P!nk's "FUNHOUSE" cd starts playing the fussing stops. She's quiet. I swear, I see her feet kicking along to the beats. alright, maybe not... but her feet ARE kicking, and I can pretend it's to the music, ok?

It's like magic. It's a good thing I like that cd, otherwise I wouldn't be very happy while driving around town. However, I would like to find other artists/albums she likes because the same 12 songs are getting kind of old.

Photo Editing



I wish that 1.I really knew how to edit photos 2.I had money to buy nice photo editing software 3.I had/took the time to teach myself how to edit photos using said editing software.

This was edited using the Pixler Grabber/Editing software. It's a free editing program, but seems to be able to do more than, say, Picnik and the grabber feature lets you right-click and edit anything you come across on the internets... pretty neato if you ask me!

Doesn't ^that^ editing make my Maddy Jo look artsy and so cool? Yea, I thought so too. ;)

Here's the original photo for comparison:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here's to new adventures!

He did it. He passed the tests. I knew he could do it!

After the holidays we'll be moving to Colorado.

Gulp. Now it's real... bum bum BUMMMMMM!

And, for the record, as much as I loathe Las Vegas I really and truly love my friends and I will miss them terribly. Ever since I found out he got the job, when I think about saying goodbye to my friends I've gotten a huge lump in my throat.

Colorado is where I want to be. But, can't I take my friends with me?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Colorado

Colorado is my happy place. I seriously can't think of anywhere more wonderful. Sure, there are places that are more exotic, interesting, historical, or whatever... but for me, there is nowhere more beautiful. The weather, the scenery, the wildlife, the landscaping, the people... everything about it makes me happy. Sure, there are ugly parts/things about Colorado... but "Colorado ugly" isn't the same as "Las Vegas ugly", or "Orlando ugly" and I'd gladly take "Colorado ugly" any day if it meant I was finally out of Las Vegas.

Right now, as I type this, Jeff is in my Aunt and Uncle's guest bedroom in their home in Colorado - hopefully sleeping - in preparation for the final test to see if he qualifies for an operator position with the county's roads and bridges department, that's set to take place tomorrow at 8am MST.

I know he's sssooo nervous, but I'm a pretty even mix of nervous and SUPER excited! The nervousness comes in to play because of what that job will mean financially. In Las Vegas, construction workers are CRAZY overpaid... and that is really nice in a good economy. But, just because you make good money hourly doesn't mean you make good money over all if you're only working 10-20 hours a week. The job working for the county in Colorado will pay him about $10 less per hour (GULP), but will be steady work. And if he puts in his time there, eventually it'll pay off by way of promotions, job security and a retirement fund. He's been completely unappreciated at the company he's been at for the last 10 years and it's time that he leaves and tries to better himself professionally.

Anyway... I don't want to talk too much about it, because I don't want to jinx anything.... but I'm just so antsy with anticipation that I had to say something!

I know he's going to do great and am SO proud of him for going and trying to do this to get us to where we want to be to raise our daughter.

And if he gets this job, and we move... even if we're struggling money wise I know we'll make it work........ Colorado is my happy place, after all... how would it NOT work out? Impossible.

seriously, flowers like these just grow along sidewalks in CO, what's not to love?!

Scentsy

Have you heard of Scentsy? I'm finding that a lot of people haven't yet heard of Scentsy, and I ask to show them how awesome it is.

I've always wanted to be a candle person. You know who I mean... a candle person... they have a beautiful home and every time you walk into their beautiful home a new, inviting, smell hits you and makes you feel welcome and comfortable. Yea, THAT'S a candle person. But first, in high school, I wasn't allowed to light candles in my room since my mom didn't want me to forget about them and burn the house down. I have friends like that now, candle-people-friends ahem! Holly, Fancy... and I'm totally envious of their beautiful homes that ALWAYS smell delicious. But even now that I'm allowed to burn candles I don't. I set the rules now, but I'm still afraid of leaving a candle burning and coming home to a pile of smoldering ashes where my house once was. I buy candles with the intention of burning them and just don't. I forget and they just sit there collecting dust.

Scentsy is a company that makes wickless candles. They make wax burners that don't use a flame of any sort. You don't use a little tea light candle to warm the wax. No, the warmer plugs into the wall and a little light bulb warms the wax. As the wax melts, the aroma of whatever scent you put in the top fills your house and instantly you get a little closer to becoming that Martha Stewart-y lady with the delicious, inviting, home.

The warmers are pretty cute too! They have about a million different designs to fit your decorating style, or the current holiday - even your favorite college football team, or the branch of military you wish to support. You actually want to have the warmers sitting out on your counter to be seen and enjoyed by your guests. They're not only a way to make your home smell good, but also a way to help decorate your home.

They now also make good-smellys for your car, locker, to bring with you when you travel, etc. Scentsy is quite the company, and they offer quite the selection. Honestly, what ever your style/taste they have something that you'd love.

Which is why, despite my crippling fear of speaking in front of groups of people, I've signed up with Scentsy to become a consultant. I'm already a customer who believes in the product, and it wouldn't suck to earn a little bit of extra money here and there.

So, whether you're that person with the delicious smelling home, or you know someone who is please consider Scentsy for a gift idea. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. The quality of their product is unsurpassed, and you'll be hard-pressed to NOT find a warmer/scent that you don't just fall in love with. They make great gifts for the holidays and I can hook you up with bundling different items together so you get a great deal and get you the most bang for your buck. Ask me how you can take care of 7 - SEVEN!- people on your Christmas list for only $150!!

I never thought I'd be someone who sells a product as an independent contractor - outside of all those Girl Scout cookies I sold year after year - but I really do believe in these products and I really do buy them to use in my own home already, so it's not a hard thing to wrap my head around. I'd love it if I could introduce you to Scentsy so that you can enjoy it as much as I do.


Click here to contact me to learn more!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Today was election day.

I actually voted early, yipee, because I didn't want to have to stand in line today.

Being that I live in Nevada it was a pretty serious election. Reid or Angle. Harry or Sharon. It seemed like the whole country was wanting to know who'd win.

I'm not going to say who I voted for, because some people are unable to separate politics from friendship and I'd hate to rub someone the wrong way just because of my political beliefs.

BUT! I will say that I think voting - educated voting - is important. I don't really care which side you identify with; Red or Blue, but I think that educating yourself on the issues and candidates and going out and voting is important.

If you're unhappy about the way the country is being run, then you need to vote in a way that you think will make it better. If I hear you bitching I'll want to know if you voted. If you didn't vote, please shut your mouth. Even if the person you voted for didn't win, at least you voted and you can complain all you want. If you didn't take the time to vote, I don't want to hear you complaining.

So many countries don't have the right to vote and have to take what they're given... at least here we have the chance.

I voted. I got the sticker to prove it. I hope you rocked the vote too, peeps!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bath Time

Madeline has a love-hate relationship with the bath. Although lately, it's been more hate-hate.

When we first brought her home from the hospital she HATED the bath. My friend Angi suggested we put a warm, wet washcloth on her belly while in the tub to keep her warm; we did and VIOLA! she no longer screamed bloody murder during bath time!

I tried to incorporate bathtime into her bedtime routine, but quickly found that the bath would wake her up too much and then I'd have to deal with an overly tired, but not ready to sleep, baby for hours on end. I nixxed the bedtime bath and replaced it with a middle of the day bath.

That plan was working just fine until I noticed that the bath was seriously drying her skin out. "Just put lotion on her afterward." Is probably what you're thinking, but my girl is not a happy camper once you take her out of the bath. She doesn't like to be cold, and no amount of towels keep her warm enough. She screams and cries when you take her out of the bath and the ENTIRE time you're getting her diapered and dressed after. So, while I TRY to put lotion on her it doesn't always happen, and even when it does it's done half assed and she's left with ashy shins.

So, because babies don't really get dirty I cut her baths down to once or twice a week depending on how busy we are out of the house during the week. I use this heavenly, all natural, lavender bubble bath from California Baby and try to make bathtime like a spa-time. She seems to enjoy it, and it seems to calm her down.

Finding the perfect water temp is tricky, though. If it's too warm, she freaks out. If it's too cool, she freaks out. She's almost 3 months old and I still can't seem to get the temp right. When the temp is wrong and you put her in it she does this silly gasping for air, eyes wide in disbelief, arms flailing all around bit that I can't help but laugh at - but then feel bad about once she starts crying. Which is inevitable. But, it usually stops as quickly as it starts and then she continues to enjoy the aromatherapy of the bubble bath and the relaxing body and scalp massage I give her while washing her.

Today, however was a different story all together. Today she screamed, nay shrieked, at the top of her lungs for nearly 20 mins. At first I pulled her out of the tub to try to console her while I had Jeff try to adjust the water temp. She did not calm down, but she needed a bath so back in she went. With every cup of water over her head or body the crying got louder. With the application of the shampoo the daggers being shot in my direction flew faster. It didn't stop her ENTIRE bath. Nor did it stop after her bath. Or during the getting-dressed-after-the-bath. OR when I gave her her bottle. She actually cried during the first ounce, or so, of her bottle. Then about another ounce later she PASSED OUT asleep and proceeded to sleep for an hour and a half.

Geeze Louise! Just because you're tired doesn't mean you have to act a fool, Bean!

My mom has many pictures of me as a baby/toddler where I'm completely red faced screaming in the tub. Supposedly, I liked the bath but DID NOT like my hair being washed. I fear that her outburst is genetic. What goes around comes around.


This is me, circa 1986 melting down in the bathtub.

I guess we'll have to wait and see when I bathe her next. *sigh*

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life is Precious

I went to the funeral of a good friend tonight. I wish I hadn't. Not that I wish I didn't go, but I wish there wasn't a funeral to go to in the first place.

Roger was 27 years old and died of testicular cancer. Something isn't right with this picture. I know cancer doesn't discriminate between race, age or gender... but I sincerely hope for a day when cancer doesn't kill people anymore. It's not ok that someone with so much life left to live is now gone. Forever. It makes me sad to think of all the things he'll never get to do.

It was weird being back at the funeral home. I hadn't been there since my good friend Charlie's funeral in 2007. He died in a car accident. He hit a tree. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. Another senseless death.

I suppose it doesn't matter the reason. Be it cancer or a car accident, it doesn't make sense to me when someone's life is so abruptly cut short. Young people shouldn't be dying.

Life is precious and it's too bad that it takes losing someone to remember just how precious it is. Losing loved ones when they're in their 80s is hard enough, but it makes sense when they go. Like my grandparents. I miss them terribly, but it's ok that they're gone now. They were 82 and 83 years old respectively. They'd lived their lives and it was their time. I'm not a religious person, but I won't be convinced that it was Roger's time to go. Or Charlie's.

It's hard enough to lose my friend. But, my heart breaks for his family. For his fiance, my friend Missy. For his brother. His parents. I wasn't close to his family, but I can't imagine. It made me want to snuggle Madeline a little tighter. I don't want her to ever have to face such situations. It made me want to appreciate Jeff more. Roger died at 27 years old. Jeff is 28. Jeff also doesn't like to go to the Dr. when he doesn't feel good - just like Roger didn't. It makes me worried that I'll lose him, too, before he's lived a long life. It makes me worry that these things could happen to Madeline. Death is so final, it makes you realize what's important - who's important in your life.

Selfishly, I hope I never know the pain of losing Madeline or Jeff before "their time" but in all actuality, there's nothing I can do to prevent it from happening if it's going to. I just need to make the most of every minute I have with them. That's all I can do. I need to cherish every moment with my loved ones. And I need to make it known to them just how much I love them. Because once they, or I, am gone it'll be too late.

Hug your babies. Your partners. Your parents. Your siblings and nieces and nephews. Call your friends that you haven't talked to in a while. Tell everyone you love that you love them. You'll wish you did, once they're gone.

But I hope they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Exclusive Pumping...

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, for the time being I'm exclusively pumping... this may be a short term thing, or it may be a long term thing... but for now I am an Exclusive Pumper.

Exclusive pumping is like living in limbo when it comes to "how do you feed your child?" I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. Some people who breastfeed successfully tend to view someone who's exclusively pumping as someone who didn't try hard enough to make nursing work. People who formula feed their babies tend to look at an exclusive pumper as a snobby over-achiever - I've actually been asked, from someone with their eyebrows raised in defiance, if I have something to prove and was told that there's nothing wrong with formula so there's no point in trying so hard to be perfect. Um... I'm not trying to be perfect, and I don't have anything to prove to anyone. I'm just doing what I think is best for me and Madeline.

Part of me feels that I still fit in the breastfeeding group since my breasts are still supplying food for my child.... but, then again I'm not nursing her... so maybe I don't get to be part of that "club."

EPing is hard work. You have to clean and sterilize bottles like formula feeding moms do, but you also have to clean and sterilize pump parts. You have to pump every two hours during the day, and every 4 hours at night. So, you're still sleep deprived like you would be if you were nursing a baby. EXCEPT, I have to feed Madeline a bottle of EBM and then put her down and pump and then do dishes. So, it's extra work, and extra time consuming.

It's not that bad when Jeff or my mom can help entertain Madeline while I'm pumping... but when it's just me and her alone at home it can get tricky. I may have mentioned before that Miss M has a bit of a temper and doesn't like to be put down. *sigh* I've had to pump before standing up, holding Madeline out at arms length, trying to bounce and shush her to get her to stop crying... needless to say THAT pump session wasn't very successful! lol! Also, the night pumpings are brutal! Not only am I exhausted, but it's lonely. I wake up when she does and change her diaper and feed her a bottle. Then I sneak out of the room and into the office to pump... then have to get her next bottle ready, do dishes, etc. If I had been nursing her I could have already been asleep for that past hour.... see how it can be extra tiring?

Then, there are the supplements. Nursing a baby directly from the tap stimulates more milk to be made MUCH better than pumping does. Especially during growth spurts. So, I've been taking Fenugreek supplements as well as a Nursing Magic supplement that has extra Fenugreek in it as well as a list of other supplements that all help with milk production. And, with Madeline getting close to her '12 week growth spurt' I'm trying hard to UP my supply. That means extra supplements and extra pumping sessions. EPers suggest doing a 'power pump' day where you pump for 10-15 mins every hour to try to replicate a growth spurt in the hopes it'll increase your supply. I've yet to do a power pump day, but I'll definitely need Jeff's help with Madeline!

I've been writing down how much I pump at every pumping session and tallying it up at the end of the day for the past week. Thankfully I am seeing an increase, slowly but surely. Last Saturday I was only getting approx 22 oz a day, yesterday I pumped approx 28oz! I don't know what I'll get today, yet, so I'm unsure if yesterday was just a lucky fluke or if it's closer to the norm... but it's nice to see that my hard work is paying off. I'd like to be able to eventually have a nice stash built up in my freezer so I can eventually leave Madeline with my mom while Jeff and I go to dinner and not have to worry about rushing home to pump asap. Also, once I get a freezer stash built up (at least 1 week's worth) I'll be able to hopefully drop one of the night pumps... which means more sleep YAY!!

Anyway... the point of this post was mainly for me to talk through how it feels to be an EPer since I don't always feel comfortable talking to someone face-to-face since I feel like I don't fit it with whatever they did with their kid and I don't want to be harshly judged for my choice. It is alot of work, but I'm glad I'm doing it. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mommy Confessions

My good friend Amy does a "Mommy Confessions" every week on her blog, and I really enjoy it, so (in an attempt to a. stay awake and b. write a new blog post) I thought I'd give it a whirl too.

Copied from her blog Render Me Mama :

Ok, so we all have them. I have decided its time to stop keeping them to myself in hopes that other mommies will realize that none of us are perfect. Here are my dirty little secrets for the week in hopes it will encourage me to be better. What are yours?

What are mine, Amy? Let me tell you...

1. A couple of weeks ago, after a 45 min car ride - 20 mins of which Madeline was FUH-REAK-ING out, I hurriedly parked the car, got out, ran around the back to get her... and realized that I locked the doors. With my keys AND MY CHILD inside. Panic ensued.

Thankfully, it was a nice day for once - only in the 70s, so I didn't have to worry about her dying of heat stroke, and the window was cracked... not cracked wide enough for me to fit my arm in, however. After running inside the center I was at and telling them what happened, asking anyone that could to help me to please come and try to break into my car and rescue my baby I got on the phone with AAA. They say that they'll send a locksmith and the fire department, but it could take up to 30 mins. More crying ensued. On my part. Madeline hadn't ever stopped crying in the first place. While we're waiting for the locksmith and/or fire department to show up the people from the center magically got my car open by using an umbrella and a tent pole. A tent pole? yes, a tent pole. I don't know who had a tent pole in their trunk, but I'm glad they did!

I immediately scooped up Madeline, apologizing to her a thousand times. She stopped crying immediately and fell asleep in my arms after her ordeal. I'm suuuuuper paranoid now and check that the keys are in my hand about a million times before I close the door.

2. Madeline never spits up. Seriously, she's spit up maybe a total of 4 or 5 times in her 2.5 months of life. But there was this one time... that I'm about to tell you about... that may help secure my trophy for Mother of the Year if the locking my baby in my car story didn't already win me that title.

So, last week Madeline would NOT go to sleep. She was fighting sleeping, crying, fussing, squirming, etc. WOULD.NOT.GO.TO.SLEEP. Her bedtime routine started at 7:30. I wasn't able to lay her down until after 10:30. That's over 3 hours people! So... I lay her down - FINALLY - and start clearing off my bed so I can lay down. And I hear the distinct sound of a spit-up-burp. I stop dead in my tracks. OH NO, SHE'S AWAKE AND COVERED IN SPIT UP. But, she's not crying. So, I tip-toe to her bed. Perhaps she just burped? I feel around her mattress, in front of her face, to see if it's wet. Nope, not wet. I don't know what made me think to feel behind her head, but I did and whatdoyouknow... spit up. She had spit up and then turned her head the opposite direction and laid her head IN THE BARF. But, she continued to sleep. It didn't wake her up.

Being the ever-loving mother that I am, I did what I thought would be best... but now looking back I know that I was wrong... I tiptoed over to her diaper drawer and pulled out a prefold. I brought it back with me to her bed, GENTLY lifted her head and slid the diaper on top of the spit up - under her head - and laid her head back down.

That's right, people. I didn't clean the spit up off my daughter's head or her bed. I just covered it up and let her sleep. With barf in her hair.

Calm down. I bathed her in the morning and did bedding laundry. But, the fact that I did that in the first place is pretty bad... and I can't un-do it. Oops.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alright. Those are my Mommy Confessions for now. Like I said... I'm expecting my Mother of the Year award to come in the mail ANY day now. Hopefully I made a few of you laugh. But, hopefully I won't be doing anything else quite that bad anytime soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometimes life is hard

I'm going to apologize ahead of time - this post may be a bit rambly.

I get it now. Breastfeeding is seriously hard. Some people get the hang of it easy-peasy, others struggle. I do not blame anyone who gives up, because it's f**king hard. And not just physically, but emotionally too. The pressure and guilt we mommas inflict on ourselves is brutal. I never doubted I would breastfeed my child(ren). It's what is nutritionally best, it is a special gift and bond between mother and child, and it's natural - Hello! But here I am 9 weeks out of the gate pumping every 2 hours. (or as close to every 2 hours as I can, Madeline doesn't let me set her down for very long before meltdown number 836 of the day starts up.) We have latch issues up in here! At first I was using a nipple shield. That was an inconvenience, but it got us nursing so it was worth it. But then her suck got too strong and she started injuring my nip. (I'll spare you the gory details!) There is also the reoccurring thrush. Thrush was, obviously, invented by Satan himself. I've had it 3 times in 2 months. I'm trying to get rid if it currently. I am not strong like other mommas and can NOT nurse through that pain. So, I pump and bottle feed her my milk. I've spent probably close to $500 on getting help from Lactation Consultants to try to fix her latch and buying supplements to try to increase my supply. It's emotionally draining to feel like you're UNABLE to do what you're supposed to do. I figure I'll give nursing one more Hoo-rah after this thrush is (hopefully) completely gone, but if I'm in tears again at every feeding I'll just suck it up and continue pumping for as long as I can.

Ok, I want to give all you moms with happy-go-lucky babies a high five. Actually, out of pure jealousy and immaturity, I want to give you the middle finger. I know it's not your fault, but it's not fair dammit. Madeline is a fussy baby. She's opinionated and a bit of a drama queen. She's crying or screaming more than she's smiling and cooing - and she makes you work for her smiles! (But, oh! I love them so!!) I totally get that people want to see/hear happy babies. I get that they want to "fix" an unhappy baby. But they need to get that Jeff and I are trying EVERY.SINGLE.THING we can to get Madeline to simmer down, but she's not having it. (we've consulted her pediatrician who has assured us she's perfectly fine and healthy - just fussy.) So, we try to remind ourselves to take a deep breath and just ride her waves. This too shall pass. She will eventually realize that we're not trying to starve her to death if her bottle isn't ready BEFORE she wakes up. She will eventually realize that we're there to help when we lay her down to change her diaper. She'll eventually realize that if she startles herself awake while napping that WE didn't pinch her awake, it's not OUR fault! She'll eventually realize that when we put the onesie over her head we're NOT trying to snuff her out! I have a feeling that she will always be an opinionated, emotional, outspoken child (what goes around, comes around I guess!) but I can hope that she learns to reel it in a little bit before I lose my marbles!

People have asked me, "How are you doing? Any baby blues?" And I'm not really sure how to take it. Do I look like I'm at the end of the rope, about to snap? I mean, sure. I'm exhausted. I'm emotional. I am not all sunshine and rainbows 24/7. But I don't think about hurting myself or Madeline. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm still adjusting. I'm throwing out all of my preconceived notions and trying to figure this child out. I don't think I have PPD. Thank you for any concern though. Being a mom is hard work, though and I just need some time to get used to it. Not to mention the other non-motherhood-related stuff that I have going on.

For instance, my grandfather passed away on October 9th. Even though we knew it was coming since he'd been sick for so long, it's still hard. It's hard to know that I can NEVER talk to him again. It's hard to not have any grandparents left. My grandmother passed away suddenly while I was pregnant, and now my grandfather is gone too. It's definitely hard to grieve when you've got a baby. You don't really have time to reflect and mourn the loss. You don't have time to break down. So it builds up and you end up crying, dripping tears on your child's head, at 11:00 at night when she just WON'T.GO.TO.SLEEP.

I'm trying though. I'm trying the best that I can. I'm not trying to be Supermom, I'm just trying to not ruin my daughter. Hopefully all the work and worry will pay off in the long run.

On a positive note:

Fellow hippies rejoice! I LOVE cloth diapering! Besides the environmental benefits, I love matching her diapers to her outfit! She just outgrew the newborn sized BumGenius diapers and we've moved into primarily size Small FuzziBunz. However, some of her convertible one-size diapers fit her already! They're much bulkier than the sized diapers, but still sssooo cute and fluffy! I love diaper fluff! I just ordered more size small FuzziBunz in BRIGHT colors and I'm super excited about getting them in the mail. Cloth diapering is like an addiction. I literally have to talk myself out of buying every cute diaper I see!

Madeline and Jeff (and other people sometimes, if you're lucky) play this game where Jeff will stick out his tongue at Maddy and she'll scrunch up her eyebrows - concentrating - and then do it back. They both laugh about it, and then they start over. It's the cutest thing to see the gears working in her mind. "Ok... how'd he do that? Can I do it too?" and then she does it. She's so proud of herself when she does it back to him. And as silly as it seems, I'm proud of her too. She's a smart, curious girl and she LOVES her Daddy. ♥



Hopefully it won't be as long till I update again, and hopefully I'll have more pictures to post. But until then - xoxo!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Madeline's favorite things

I have yet to write up Madeline's birth story because for one thing it all happened so fast that my head was spinning, and for another thing - no one made it clear just HOW out of it you are in the weeks following the birth of your first child. She will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and I have NO CLUE where the time went! I will say though that I'm so over the moon in love with this baby, no one could have prepared me for how intense this love would be. Now that she's here I can't imagine life without her. ♥

Much of her first four weeks of life has been spent trying to figure out what makes her happy... or even, what makes her less pissed... this is what I've found so far:

1.
BumGenius all in one cloth diapers. We have 16 newborn sized BG cloth diapers that get used and washed in a 24 hour rotation. We used disposables while I was in the hospital and for the first week we were home since I couldn't reach into the washing machine to do the diaper laundry (thanks to my c-section incision) but they left her little thighs rubbed raw and they irritated her belly button, and because disposables are so absorbent it made it hard to tell how many wet diapers she was having per day - which as a first time, breast feeding, mom that is something that stresses you out if you think your child isn't have enough wet diapers. She and I have been much happier with the BG cloth diapers!! They're WAY cuter and doing one extra small load of laundry a day isn't a big deal at all - and SUCH a money saver! cha-ching!

2.
Aden+Anais swaddle blankets have been a lifesaver! The muslin they're made out of is the perfect material for a summer baby, born in Las Vegas! They're lightweight and breathable, but super big so I can get a good, tight, swaddle on her. Madeline likes to sleep with her arms up above her head, but what she likes and what is good for her are different things. When she's older I'm sure she'll do plenty of sleeping with her arms above her head, but for now in her 4 week old life she can't. See, she still has a pretty strong startle reflex and if you leave her arms free she jerks and flails her arms around any time a sound scares her and it wakes her up. She feels more secure and sleeps for solid chunks of time if she's swaddled. A baby who sleeps in solid 3-6 hour blocks of time at night makes for a happy Mommy. :)

3.
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Seahorse. It's like a modern day glow worm and it's damn near magical! We can lay Madeline down drowsy, push this seahorse's tummy and magically she lays there quietly until she falls asleep. Sure, I may have to push his tummy 3 times in a row, because the minute the music stops playing she starts stirring and coo-ing her self into a fussy mess, but as long as it plays until she's asleep she's a happy girl. When we first brought her home she liked when we SSSHHHHHed in her ear when she was upset, but it doesn't work like it used to. Now, unless she's in full blown melt down mode, we can start the seahorse's music and it calms her down enough to bring back the happy baby we both love so much.

That's pretty much it, so far. She's starting to sleep less in the day (and more at night, thank goodness!) so we're going to have to start doing more to entertain her during the day. I'm sure we'll figure out more of her favorites in the coming weeks and if there's anything that really stands out I'll be sure to let you all know...

I'm really looking forward to the next month or so when we'll be on the look out for her first REAL smile, and to the holidays! I have the sneaking suspicion that the holidays are going to mean so much more now that we have our sweet Bean to share them with!! ♥

Oh, and just for good measure - a sweet picture of my sweet girl.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's the final countdown!

OK..... update from my breech baby post... Madeline isn't exactly swimming in her amniotic fluid anymore. There's not enough to make it safe for my OB to attempt to flip her manually via the external cephalic version... and truth be told, I don't believe that there's enough for her to turn on her own anymore. (The Dr and high-risk ultrasound tech say the same thing, and for once I don't think they're full of crap.) At 38 weeks pregnant you'd expect to be able to measure between 10 and 25cms of fluid around the baby on an u/s... when the high risk u/s tech measured my fluid levels she only could measure 6.8cms. Not low enough to be considered a life-and-death risk (that's below 5cm) but definitely too low to try to move her from the outside. There's not a lot of cushion around her... she's no longer swimming in the deep end, it's more like she's wading ankle deep in the kiddie pool.

So, if you've been following along you know that that means I'm destined for a c-section.

At first I was really really upset about it. I felt defeated and like I had somehow failed at the whole 'growing a baby properly' task I had been given 9 months ago. I cried, a lot, in the Drs office. I cried while telling my mom. I cried while updating friends via text. And I tried to not get defensive when people all tried to console me with silly comments such as;

"At least you know her birthday ahead of time!"

"At least your hoo-ha won't get messed up!"

"At least you don't have to worry about ruining your car/bed when your water breaks."

"At least you'll get to milk-it after she's born because you'll get to have everyone do everything for you!"

"At least you'll get to stay in the hospital for longer... the more time you can spend there, means less of your own laundry and food will be used."

Et Cetera.

I know people were genuinely trying to make me feel better, but really - it didn't help. I was heartbroken that I would have to have major abdominal surgery in order to safely bring my child into the world. It meant that I would have to be dependent on others after Madeline is born instead of being able to just get up and do what needs to be done. It means that I would be stuck in the hospital for 3-5 days when all I want to do is be home starting our new life with our new daughter. (It's a hospital for goodness sake, not the Hilton!) And I would have gladly traded all those "comforts" to be able to do it naturally.

But, after a day of feeling horribly defeated I started to look for positives.

Madeline is still healthy and safe inside of me. She made it full term. She will be ok. I will have a healthy baby to bring home with me in just over a week.

As of now, she still has enough fluid in there to 'breathe' and thrive. (I go back in to the high-risk u/s office on Monday and Thursday to monitor her fluid levels. If they drop below 5cm I'll have to be sectioned asap. Low fluid levels become dangerous because the baby can compress the umbilical cord and essentially suffocate because they can't get any oxygen through a squished cord.)

I do get to know when she'll be here, so I have time to prepare to the best of my ability. I'll be able to have one last date night with just Jeff and I as a married couple sans child(ren). I'll be able to leisurely take a shower and relax the night before the cesarean section. I'll be able to double and triple check my hospital bag to make sure I have all the essentials. I'll be able to take some last minute photos of my belly. I'll be able to cuddle my puppies as much as they'll let me for the last time before they have to share me. (All of this is contingent on the fact that she doesn't decide to come sooner, on her own, before the section date.)

I've had time to clear my head and put together a cesarean birth plan to (try to) ensure that while it's not my ideal birth, that it'll still be the best that it can be.

And, again, I'll have my perfect, healthy, wonderful, beautiful daughter in my arms in one short week.

In a week's time I'm going to be a REAL mom! I can't believe this pregnancy is almost over! I can't believe I'm going to meet Madeline so soon! I can't believe this.is.it.

I'm ready for this all consuming love that I'm about to experience. I'm ready to meet my daughter.

I'm ready. ♥

Monday, July 26, 2010

Breech

Madeline is a stubborn girl with her own agenda and is making it known to me now, that SHE is in control of things around here - not me.

Her position was first noticed/mentioned at a follow up ultrasound appointment that I had at 31 weeks pregnant. The Dr. causually mentioned "Hmm, she appears to be breech... BUT don't worry, she still has plenty of time to turn to the head-down position."



Telling ME not to worry about something is pointless, so when I got home I immediately looked into the policies/laws regarding breech births in my state as well as exercises and techniques I could do on my own to try to persuade her to flip into the correct position sooner than later.

My Dr will NOT deliver a breech baby vaginally. Neither will any of the midwives in the organization that my doula is a member of. None of the hospitals I contacted would knowingly deliver a breech baby in their facility. I was beginning to panic. While some people may suggest that I have an unassisted homebirth, or just wait until I'm in VERY active labor (read: ready to push) and then just show up unplanned at the hospital and give birth vaginally because there is no other option - those options aren't right for me or for our family. I'm a planner, and I was a girl scout for my entire academic career - so I'm way too honest to lie/omit my "plan" and just wing it once I'm in labor.

I immediately starting doing two different inversion techniques found on www.spinningbabies.com to try to help her flip to head-down on a daily basis.

This one I do for 20-30 minutes at a time with an ironing board and it KILLS my hips:


This one is much easier, but I can only do it for about a minute and a half before I can't breathe and my face starts to go numb:


So far, neither has worked. I'm currently 36 weeks, 3 days pregnant. Typically, babies should be in the head-down position around week 32. I've heard many-a-success story about babies that flip at 37, 38 or even 39 weeks of pregnancy... but with every day that passes and her head remains JAMMED up into my ribs I worry that it's just not going to happen.

I will have another ultrasound next Wednesday and if she's STILL breech my OB will check if her umbilical cord is long enough, if she has enough amniotic fluid surrounding her and the general health/condition of my uterus to see if I qualify for her to attempt to manually flip Maddy via an External Cephalic Version.

the upbeat music kills me

*IF* she attempts the ECV, it is truly a last ditch effort to give me the opportunity to have a natural birth. But, it is not without risk. I would have to be admitted to the hospital, put on an IV and monitored JUST IN CASE all the pushing and prodding puts the baby into distress, or in extreme circumstances if it breaks my water.

Statistically, ECVs are successful about 53% of the time. Not great odds, I know. My Dr. said that in her 12 years of practicing she's performed between 150 and 200 ECVs and has been successful about 70% of the time. She said that she's never had the ECV attempt induce someone's labor - or break their water - but did make it clear that it doesn't always work, and it may be a bit painful. I'm hopeful that she'll flip on her own before then, or that the ECV will work if/when I go in for the procedure.

*IF* she just REFUSES to flip, I will have to have a c-section. Something that I'm not wanting, or looking forward to, but I understand that I'll do what I have to do to ensure that Madeline is born in a safe, healthy, manor.

So... that's what's been going on with us lately. I hadn't wanted to mention her breech position before now because I thought I might jinx something if I did... but now that I'm ALMOST full term (Hell-o?! I'm full term in 4 days!!!) and we're running out of time - and room - for her to flip on her own I figured I'd suck it up and explain the situation thats going on in case I end up having a c-section.

I'll keep ya posted. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm a lucky girl!

As I'm sure any 8+ month pregnant lady will tell you, pregnancy eventually becomes pretty uncomfortable. Especially if you're 8+ months pregnant in the summer. Especially if you live in Las Vegas where it's normal for it to be 110*F in the summer.

I've never been a summer girl. I've always gotten wilty in the heat. I just can't deal with it being THIS hot. Now that I'm 8+ months pregnant I REALLY can't handle the heat. I'm sweating non-stop, my temp seems to go from 0-60 in 2 seconds of stepping outside, and it usually takes me over an hour to cool back down.

There's only so much you can do to try to stay cool. You can only wear so little clothing before it's indecent, and when you're pregnant it's even harder because you want to stay looking modest. Let me point one thing out - these elastic belly panels in maternity pants are NO BUENO when it's summertime!! You can only eat so many popsicles before your unborn baby goes into a sugar overload! And we don't have a pool.

Well, we DIDN'T have a pool. Jeff bought me a little kiddie pool!! It's only 5'5" across, and you can only get about 2' of water in it, but it's still a pool!! I now have somewhere to lounge around and cool off! I'm a much happier girl when I'm not overheated!!





Jeff is more than happy to lug the pool out of the house, put it out back and fill it up for me when I just can't take the heat any longer. He has no interest in getting in it with me (lol!) but sits outside - in the heat, no less! - in a patio chair to keep me company! I'd love to make it a family affair, but Rambo doesn't have any interest in "swimming" with me either. Roxanne however loves the pool!! It's not deep enough for her to actually swim, but she tries!! She slow-motion swims/marches in the water around in circles trying to catch the waves. haha! She also goes snorkelling underwater to try to "catch" the label on the bottom that warns you that you can't dive into the pool. (Thanks for that, warning label. If it weren't for you, I'd totally try to dive in!) She's pretty funny in the pool, and she also enjoys cooling down in there!


mid-shake! action shot!!



We're both so thankful that Jeff loves us enough to get us a silly pool! ♥

8+ month pregnant women will also tell you that there are things you just can't do for yourself anymore.

Case in point: painting my toenails has become IMPOSSIBLE!!!

I hadn't painted my nails since my baby shower and they were in desperate need of a polish change!! So, yesterday I sat down on the bathroom floor, got out the nail polish remover and cotton balls and went to work! About 10 minutes and a LOT of huffing and puffing later I only had two nails wiped clean and I declared that I just can't do this!

Jeff sort of chuckled at me, but when I informed him I was serious and that I would need his help he obliged without too much protesting! He wiped all my nails clean, even though apparently the feel of cotton balls creep him out! (This is news to me. I didn't realize cotton balls were something that could give you the heebee-jeebies, but he says the crunchy feel of a dry cotton ball is like nails on a chalk board to him!)

As if that wasn't sweet enough of him, when I declared that I couldn't have plain nails he even painted some clear polish on them for me! (I requested clear so that it won't be noticeable when I need a polish change... I don't plan on subjecting him to this again. Haha!)

He went with me to get the car seat inspected, to ensure we were installing it properly and went with me to a breastfeeding class offered by the hospital! He never complains about these things. He just does them. He supports me and humors me.

Sometimes I take him for granted, but I don't ever mean to. He's really great to me - he really is my best friend. It's the little things that he does that make me so thankful that I have him, by my side, for the rest of forever. ♥

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm blaming the hormones...

I'm going to sound like a crazy person to most of you, I'm sure... but I've got to get this off my chest since I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now...

I've feeling sad and guilty that Roxanne and Rambo aren't going to be my babies anymore once Madeline gets here.

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[I'll wait for the sound of you all smacking yourselves in the foreheads to quiet down before I continue with my explanation...]
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Here's the thing: we really spoil our dogs. We don't have the mindset of "oh, they're just dogs!" like many people have.... no, these dogs are our babies.

They're both so different, and I love them both so much in such different ways.

I've never seen a dog so happy, as Roxanne is when I come home. She runs to me, jumps up to my hand to give me a kiss, bounces around my feet, runs in front of me while I walk down the hallway, jumps onto the bed, gives me more kisses, does her happy bark a few times and wags her tail with so much enthusiasm that her whole butt shimmies while she waits for me to put down my purse and the mail so I can pet her and scratch her armpits - that's her FAVE!

When I'm laying in bed - reading or watching tv - Rambo can't wait to cuddle! But first! First, he has to go and find me the *perfect* toy to bring me to show me how much he loves me. If my life was set in "olden times" and I lived in the wilderness, and Rambo was a wolf instead of a jack russell - this scenario would be similar to him bringing me his kill for the day. I'd sit down on the fallen tree by the fire and he'd run into the woods and bring me the jack rabbit he'd killed "for" me earlier in the day. Back to reality: when I get situated in bed, Rambo runs down the hall and comes prancing back with "Freddy the Fox" or "Don King" or "Mikey Mouse" in his mouth, his ears pressed back against his head - so proud of himself - and jumps onto the bed and gingerly drops his "kill" on my lap. He waits for me to exclaim, "Is this for me?! Thank you so much my boy!!" and then he happily curls into a ball nestled into my side.



Our dogs love us tremendously, they know that we love them... they're very confident with their "place" in our pack.

And I worry that they will feel replaced once Madeline is here. I know that the focus undeniably will shift off of them onto Maddy, as it should, but I worry that it'll hurt their little puppy feelings.

In the mornings now, after I've hit snooze for the maximum number of times, I roll over toward Jeff's pillow and know that I'll find Roxanne laying with her head on his pillow mimicking a human's sleep position. I reach over to her and scratch her belly. She stretches a BBIIIIIIGGG stretch and rolls over to face me. I tell her Good Morning and I mention that I, too, am not a morning person, but I HAVE to get up.... she seems to understand and slowly starts to get up as I do. I do this every morning. But as the Big Day gets closer I find myself getting a little sad about the fact that "her spot" will be taken by my adorable baby girl. I can't wait for that to be a reality, but I know that I will miss my time with my sweet Roxanne.



I know that the dogs will adjust. They will accept their new places in our "pack" and they will be fine. I just hope that the first few times I have to say "No, Rambo! That is not your blanket to lay on!" or "Drop it, Roxanne! That's not your toy!" that they turn away and keep their little heartbroken faces to themselves, because I don't know if I'll be able to take it! :(

(If I'm this bad now.... I can't even imagine how I'll feel when baby #2 is on the way! lol)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nursery preparations

Being 32+ weeks pregnant I'm definitely "nesting" but I'm unable to really set up her nursery. See, we're renting a house right now where the lease is up in August. With me quitting my job we need to move into a cheaper house as soon as we can to save money. We're [most likely] going to be renting my boss' house. The problem is he's waiting for a new home to be built - and it won't be ready until September or October. So, we can't move in until then. Madeline is due in August... so she'll be here before her nursery will.

You're probably thinking "why don't you just set up her nursery in the house you're living in now?"

We could, and would, if we were going to be purchasing nursery furniture. But, we're not because the same boss that we're going to be renting from has two young children who've NEVER used their nursery. He said that if we could use it - the crib and changing table - that he'd rather leave them behind than bother with moving them into their new house or selling/donating them. I love free stuff, so we're totally taking him up on his offer. It just makes it difficult to "nest."

I have crib bedding - but I can't set it up. I have diapers and diaper cream - but no where to set them up. I have nursery decorations, but no where to hang/place them. We are getting a 5-drawer dresser from a friend, so at least I'll be able to put some things away - we have a million receiving blankets, swaddle blankets, socks, bibs, etc. I'll also be able to put her new piggy bank on the dresser along with her Twilight turtle... so it's a start, but it's not a cure for my nesting urges.



I had all of her clothes shoved into a set of Rubbermaid drawers because I didn't see the point of hanging them up in our spare room's closet since it's still just a spare room and not her nursery... But, this weekend the nesty feelings got overwhelming and I just HAD to wash everything and hang it up. I don't know if the act of putting stuff away was therapeutic, or if it was the fact that I could finally step back and take inventory - but I feel more prepared now. I know we have enough clothes in every size; newborn to 1 year. Obviously, we'll add a TON to her wardrobe as time goes on, but now I KNOW that she has enough newborn and 0-3 month sized clothes so I don't have to panic about that. (Phew!)
[Side note: I always said I wanted a boy, I was convinced this baby WAS a boy, I used to daydream about little overalls and swimming trunks - but looking at Madeline's girlie clothes hung neatly in the closet makes me go "aaaawwww" ♥ I'm really excited to meet her and put her in these cutesy little purple and pink onesies adorned with hearts and flowers.]



Then, there's my favorite nursery project that I had been looking forward to doing since I found out we were having a girl: Name Art!! We searched high and low at local craft stores for wooden letters we liked, but couldn't find the "right" style font or the "right" size for what we wanted, so I was forced to search online. Online I found plenty letters that were both the right style and right size, but the wrong price - wooden letters are apparently pretty expensive. [Note to self: Jeff has a jig saw... he should make a hobby of cutting out letters to sell!! Cha-Ching! haha!] I finally found an online store that had the letters at the "right" price so I quickly placed an order and after over a month (slowest shipping EVER) I finally got them in the mail and they were PERFECT! :o)

My mom took me with her to pick out the fabric for Madeline's crib bedding that she so generously offered to sew - and I picked out this fabulous fabric with bold and bright shades of pinks, greens, oranges and yellows in a loud floral pattern! Yesterday we went to the craft store to pick out paint colors to match and found PERFECT color matches. We bought spray paint for the base colors and small tubes of acrylic paint for the flower details. I'm not even close to being able to call myself an artist, but regardless I really like how they turned out!



I think they'll really bring the nursery together when I hang them above her crib! ♥