Monday, September 6, 2010

As of Late...

1) Jared can write his name the correct way: Capital J and lowercase a, r, e, and d. I tried all summer to get him to do this. He spends one week with his Kindergarten teacher and does it correctly. Why is that? Maybe I could have her speak to him about cleaning his room.

2) Chase needs a napping schedule. My husband is going crazy and this weekend we're trying to establish one. More to follow...

3) Three co-workers and I are trying to walk to Chicago by the end of the month. We started a pedometer challenge for September and we've gone about 100 miles so far. Windy City here we come (hypothetically).

4) Brianna is a senior in high school. When did this happen? When I met her she was this little 7-year-old and all limbs. Unbelievable. In less than a year she'll be off to college.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

10 Things My First Born Taught Me

1) Do not cross your legs when feeding a baby. I bottle-fed my first born and for every meal I crossed my legs in order to give him more support. Once he was about 5 months old, I really started to feel the pain. My husband and I went to a Penn State game and had to walk about a mile to get from our parking spot to our seats. I could not keep up with our group. I had such pain in my knees. So, please do not cross your legs when feeding children.

2) Do not sleep in the same room with your child. Not even a bassinet. Our first baby sleep right next to me for 6 months and every little noise he made I was right there to stick that nuk back in his mouth. Our second born sleeps much more soundly because the first night he was home he slept in his crib and had to go to sleep on his own.

3) I still struggle with this little piece of advice, but SIDS isn't as common as they make it sound. There are many ways to reduce the chance of SIDS but it seems to be something that many mothers lose sleep over. I still do. I no longer poke my baby to see if he's sleeping, but I do look for his chest to rise and fall if I can't hear anything. Back to my point. Once I was able to let go of the whole SIDS thing, I was able to let my baby sleep in a different room.

4) Get into a routine NOW. Babies want routine. They love it. It makes them feel loved. Both you and the baby know what to expect and you can plan around naps and mealtimes.

5) Go ahead and read a parenting book. I refused to read a parenting book with my first born. I was too embarrassed. If I'm reading one then I must be admitting that I'm a bad parent, right? About 2 weeks after my second child came home, my husband's back went out. I was on my own. Every feeding for everyone, all the laundry, all the dishes, all the meals, all the errands, everything!!! I needed help, but mostly I needed sleep. I bought a book to help get my second born sleeping through the night. What an incredible difference that book has made on our household. I can't help but kick myself for being so close-minded with our first child.

6) Take many pictures and write everything down. You are so busy with a baby that you basically remember nothing. Years from now you will wish you had taken more pictures and remembered moments.

7) Ask for help. We are so blessed to have the 4 grandparents live within a few blocks of us. If we need a break we ask for it.

8) Don't take advantage of any help that you receive. I hope that we have never done this, but I see people who do. It's not fair and you want your help to enjoy your children, not resent them.

9) Take advice. Many people are willing to give unwanted advice. Don't worry about who is giving the advice, worry about considering the advice. There are some people that we don't know or even that we don't like who have great advice.

10) Laugh. Laugh at the mess, laugh at the crying, laugh at the notion that you forgot to brush your teeth today. If you stay happy, your baby is more likely to be happy. Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Banana Muffins

We have changed everything in our cabinets....everything. My husband has been advised to reduce his sugar, salt, and cholesterol intake. Also, we have been advised to increase the fiber intake of Jared. We decided to clean out the pantry and just start over. (*Side Note* My husband has lost 20 pounds and I have lost next to nothing! I'm not bitter.)

Here is a recipe that can't be too terrible. Notice the missing muffins? My 5-year old kept stealing them.

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs (I used 1/3 cup egg substitute)

1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sun crystals)

3 over ripe bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup applesauce

2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Cream eggs and sugar. Add bananas, vanilla, and applesauce.

Stir in dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time, until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Makes 24 mini muffins.

Bake for 14 minutes.

I even figured out the nutrition information:

1 muffin:

80 calories

6g fat

0 cholesterol

75mg sodium

16g carbohydrates

2g fiber

7g sugar

2g protein

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Paper Coupons

I have to admit that I enjoy a great deal. Then again who doesn't. I like to sit down at my dining room table and cross reference my recipes, the grocery store's weekly sales, and my current coupons. Every Sunday, I take a walk to the nearest newspaper box and pay $1.75 in quarters for my coupons. But as of late, the coupons are missing. Are people really stealing these? Really?
I have to say that I'm upset...I need to get a grip, but I feel that this has ruined my morning. Not only did I pay for a paper without the coupons, but I'm forced to realize that people are stealing something so simple. Why?

We use to subscribe to the paper and the coupons were always there. But, then the other days started to be delivered. We were only paying for the Sunday paper, but then it started to appear on our door step Wednesday through Sunday. What an incredible waste of paper. Did you know that there are no coupons on holiday weeks? This is why we decided to stop our subscription. 1) We actually end up saving money. 2) We don't waste as much paper. 3) I get a small walk in every Sunday morning.

So, what's a girl to do? I suppose that I'll have to take a longer walk to the nearest store that watches their papers for thieves.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a big baby!

Every few weeks, I like to google "week by week pregnancy" just to get an idea of what is going on inside there. I'm currently a little more than 34 weeks. One website mentions that the average fetus at 35 weeks is about 5.5 pounds. Just out of curiosity I looked at week 40 and the average baby at 40 weeks is about 7.5 pounds.

This past Thursday I had another ultrasound to find out that my baby is already 7.5 pounds!! Yes, that's 2 pounds heavier than average...and the same weight as a newborn. Am I scared out of my mind? You, betcha. And here's partially why...

We purchased our current house about two years ago and one of the reasons was how close we would be to the hospital. We are closer to the emergency room than the main hospital parking lot is. I can even see the maternity room windows from my front porch. Then, they shut down the maternity ward. Now the closest maternity is about 45 minutes away. You've heard the stories where mothers had their babies and weren't in labor very long. What if this child is too big? Too big that the shoulders get stuck you-know-where? What if I can't get to the hospital in time to have a C-section? What if I do get to the hospital in time to have a C-section? That's major surgery! Am I rambling? Yes. Am I making much sense? No. But that's how my mind is running right now. I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. Where does worrying get me? Nowhere! Does anyone know how to shut this worrying off?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grocery Shopping Round 2

Do NOT take your husband or child grocery shopping with you.

Remember my grocery bill last week? $23.36. Right. $99.69 this week. Did you know that my husband bought a small round of cheese for $6! Do you know how much cheese I could buy for $6? Jared got cupcakes, marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels, lunchables, goldfish, and fruit snacks. Hmmm....I suppose that I'll leave them at home next week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brand New Nephew

I have a new nephew, and I didn't have to wait 9 months for him. My brother and sister-in-law adopted a 7 year old boy and will be bringin him home tomorrow. I am super-duper excited. I doubt that I'll get to see him this weekend as I don't want to overwhelm them, but I can't wait!! So excited!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things might be a little tight - round 2

If you remember, my husband was laid off last year due to a business fire....It's possible that he'll be laid off again but this time due to the economy. No one wants to pay a plumber anymore. They'd rather try to fix it themselves. And I can't blame them.

While my husband is looking at the end of the world, I see it as a game. Can I buy groceries for a week for $40? What's out there to do that fun and free (lots of stuff, by the way)? Do we really need cable? Now is a great time to clean out the house and have a huge yard sale. I call this game, How Low Can We Go?

As scary as it might be for my husband to get a new job/career, it's that point of being uncomfortable that makes up grow as people. He is leaving his comfort zone of working for his parents and being a plumber (maybe) and finding a new career. Easy enough for me to say, huh?

Today is the day I make my weekly trip to the grocery store and I plan to spend a lot less money than usual. Perhaps we could be vegetarians for a while....oh my husband will love that idea :)
I'll keep you posted.

I did it! I did my grocery shopping for $23.36. Okay, okay, I cheated a little. When there's a sale I stock up, so our pantry is loaded with lots of staples. However, my usual shopping trip is anywhere from $90 to $120 per week. What did I do? I did some of the shopping at Aldi's, I bought the store brand rather than the name brand, I bought only what I needed and not extra for the pantry (that may come back to bite my in the you-know-what), and I planned cheap meals for the week. How do you keep your shopping bill down? Or don't you?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Part 2

I want to share with you what I am learning from this book. Of course, there are chapters that do not apply to me and other chapters that hit my issue right on the head.

Cutting my friends some slack: This, like so many things in this book are obvious, by worth repeating. Sometimes we say or do something that offends or irritates our friends and family. Doesn't it make sense that we should understand when people do this to us to be more understanding and cut them some slack? Everyone has bad days, everyone is stressed once in a while, and everyone lets a bad decision get by them once in a while. If these people are truly our friends we will cut them some slack.
I find this advice helpful when thinking of a friend of mine who interrupts me and tells me her opinion before I'm done with my thought. But, she is a really good friend who is extremely supportive of me. In my opinion it's more important to keep our friendship and be okay with her quirk, than to do anything about it. I will cut her some slack when she is over eager to be that supportive friend.

Pot-stirring: The book suggests that we not bring up old situations that may be hurtful to other people. I honestly believe that I don't do this to other people, but I do do it to myself. If left alone with my thoughts I can bring up previous conversations and confrontations and turn a perfectly good mood into a miserable one. Why do I do this? The problem is long gone. Since reading this book, I find myself starting this thought process and I am actually able to push those thoughts aside and focus on the here and now. How refreshing.

Look in the mirror: This chapter presents the idea that the things that we find irritating in other people are actually behaviors that we ourselves possess. Interesting. Here is what I find irritating about a few of my friends: they interrupt, they act like they have all the answers, and they are competitive. Oh my. That's a lot to swallow if this is how I act. If I interrupt people I am not aware of it, so I need to pay more attention. Maybe I do act like I know it I tried something at work the other day. A colleague of mine was having trouble with a family member and wanted to vent a little bit. So I listened, and even though I had a few suggestions I kept them to myself. Unlike other times we've had these conversations where she gets slightly defensive, she opened up more when she realized that I assume to have all the answers. Now I realize why she reacted the way she use to...she was reacting to my suggestions not to her original gripe.

I suppose that's enough for one day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Perhaps I spoke too soon. My step-daughter is in the hospital. As much as I would take the illness for her, I can't. I can't even keep her from being bored. Her family isn't having too much luck. My step-daughter (16) has three siblings on her mom's side, a three-year-old brother, a two-year-old sister, and a two-month-old sister.

Even though Brianna has been admitted into the hospital, she knows her roommate rather well...unfortunately, it's her two-month-old sister. She's never alone at night, her mom and step-dad have been sleeping in the room with the two girls. My heart aches for them, but every family has there difficulties to get through...and they will.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Being Sick instead of your Child

How many times as parents have we wished to be able to be sick instead of our child? Every time right? I've often felt terrible for Jared when he only has the sniffles. This past October I had the rare opportunity to be sick instead of my child. Let me explain....

You know how woman pass their immunities on to the fetus that they are carrying? This past October I started a weekend with a head cold. As Monday drew near I started to feel weak and nauseous. Since I was pregnant I didn't fool around and went to my family doctor to find out I had the flu. Geez that was scary. With H1N1 going around and all the stories about pregnant women dying from it. However, I survived...obviously, and instead of thinking poor me, I'm pregnant and have the flu, I came to this conclusion: Since I had the flu maybe someday my baby won't because I've help him build up an immunity. Every time I felt weak or nauseous I thought of this and was more than happy to have the flu.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Restaurant Savings

Have you discovered It is a cool website where you can purchase gift certificates to local restaurants. But you're getting a deal because they offer $25 gift certificates for $10 or $15. Check it out!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

You may not know this about me, but I am very sensitive. My skin is not thick. Just looking at me the wrong way just might send me away crying. Because of this I spend a lot of time thinking about how I have been wronged and I can hold a grudge FOREVER. Not that this is ruining my life but I'm sure I could be happier if I could let these insignificant things roll off of my back.

That's where the book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff comes in. I stopped at the library after school and picked up the book so I'm not too far into it. Hopefully this book will have some suggestions to 'get over' these things.

What is the point of this post then? The chapter entitled "Get off to a Peaceful Start" has already helped me have a better day. I'm not going to tell you anything you don't already know. Your mornings set the tone for the entire day. It's true.

Here is my typical morning. The alarm goes off and after 20 minutes of hitting the snooze button, I finally get out of bed, get ready for work, then a few minutes later I argue with Jared to use the bathroom, get dressed, eat breakfast and I'm often leaving the house frustrated and feeling rushed.

This morning....I woke up 20 minutes earlier and didn't feel rushed getting ready. A bonus was that my son woke up with his alarm clock and came downstairs on his own. He got ready for school without any fighting and I have to attribute this to my attitude. I didn't feel the need to demand that he get dressed this minute because I had time to spare. Since I requested rather than demanded his cooperation, my morning was fantastic.

Even though I wanted (REALLY wanted) to hit the snooze button I asked myself if I feel more rested when I take those extra 20 minutes. And the answer is no. So why not get my butt out of bed and have a peaceful morning?

I am in need of do you let things go? What do you do when someone has wronged you, but it's not worth your energy to do anything about it or even think about it?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Being Neighborly

I've been inspired with a post idea from Country Mouse. She has a few interesting neighbors and asked about ours....okay, I'll bite.

First, let me tell you about the type of neighbor that I am. For 5 years I lived in my first house as a home-owner and never learned the names of my neighbors. Except for the people behind us, but that's only because I went to school with them. I like to keep to myself. One reason for this is that what if things go horribly wrong? Then what? Did you ever have a neighbor that you didn't get along with? I figure that if I don't get to know my neighbors then there is nothing to dislike about them.

Currently our neighbors are great. I know them only by name. To the North is Marie who has an in ground pool that we have been invited to use but never took her up on this offer. It seems to personal to me. To the South is Gordy. Gordy is the cutest old man that I ever met. My husband is much more social than I am and cuts his grass and clears the snow for him. In return, Gordy brings our trash can back after the garbage truck has come through. Across the street is my high school Biology teacher. Nice man, but I think we all like our privacy.

On to the more interesting stories...
Beatrice and Jerome. The neighbors of my childhood. Dum...dum...dum (that's suppose to be the evil noise).
I don't know if it was out a pure evilness or if they were jealous, but they were not the nicest neighbors.
For starters, when my parents were having their stone driveway concreted, Jerry decided to mow his lawn and wash his car. Sounds harmless enough, unless you aim the grass clippings into the wet cement and then throw your garden hose in said wet cement also. Jerk!
Another example was when my mom was hanging her work cloths out to dry. My mom is an RN who wears white scrubs. Beatrice decides that it's time to repaint her patio next to my mom's uniforms.
Well, those are my memories of Beatrice and Jerry.

There was also Lucille who was our neighbor growing up....she was like a grandmother to me. Actually, she babysat me more than my real grandmothers did. What a blessing she was.

And Krista...the girl that lived behind me and is a good friend of mine to this day.

As far as neighbors go, you have to take the good with the bad. However, I've learned to leave it at that.