Tuesday, November 1, 2011


If everything goes as it has with my last two children, I should have this baby in about 8 weeks.  Yeh, I know.  Scary, right?

And here is the exact opposite of scary:

My cute little bunny.  :)

I'm starting to get really excited about something kind of silly.  I've never been able to buy some things I've wanted because I've never really known how big our family was going to be.  Well, now I know.

I'm talking about things like plate sets and jewelry with birthstones.  One thing I will be able to do next year is get our family's matching stockings.  I've already found the kind I want.

Purrty, right?  I can just imagine these on my fireplace.

Now, time to go shop for some birthstone rings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

okay, okay.

An exciting development has taken place.  My bff (yeh, I'm 28 and still using it) Lindahl figured out how to erase all 1,571 (not joking) from my memory card all at once.  I simply did not think it was possible, and she figured it out in point.two seconds.  So, instead of my stalling on my picture taking due to lag time of downloading, I will now be able to take/update/print pictures at a much better pace.

Hence, this (non-edited) picture-loaded post:

 The cutest boy there ever was.

Emma & her Aunt Kelly the day before the wedding.

Bubbies proving why I can't stay mad at him.

Ugh.  26 weeks with Baby #3.
This is a horrible picture.

And this is my little helper for today.
We made homemade applesauce in the crockpot.
Yeh, it's gonna be awesome.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Emotional v. Physical

Having a baby is a stressful event.

Of course, this is my third baby and I'm sure I know what to do by now.   Right?

With Emma, I was physically ready to have a baby.  We registered and had the showers.  We had every baby item we thought we needed.  We had a huge house so there was no question where she would sleep.  We both worked full-time so money was not a concern.  I would say we were more ready physically than we were emotionally.  Emma was a surprise baby (you think I'd have learned by now), and so it took some time to get ready for her arrival in an emotional sense.  I remember it didn't even really HIT me until the day we took her home.  I cried for the first hour we had her home because I realized that this sweet little baby girl was ours, and she was here to stay.

As far as Dean goes, he was planned.  I was ready for another baby.  But I was also ready to sell my house.  So we moved out of our house when I was about 5 weeks pregnant and feeling sick as a dog.  We moved in with my in-laws and stayed there until Dean was born.  The main reason we found out his gender was so I could feel prepared for something, anything.  I didn't know where I was going to live.  I didn't know how money would be since I was only going back part-time.  I didn't know if he would have his own room.  I just wanted to know.  So, I felt prepared for Dean emotionally because I was so ready to be a mom again.  I wanted a newborn.  I was ready for sleepless nights. (Although, had I known he would be the kind of sleeper he is, I might have changed my mind.)  I was ready for bottles and newborn-sized onsies.

Or so I thought.

What I wasn't ready for was the full-on-mom-mode I would have to be in 100% of the time.  Even though I thought I was ready for this second kid, there was nothing out there that could have prepared me for the stress that is two kids.  But, that's gotten better.  I was just getting the hang of it when along came the positive pregnancy test and all my energy went down the drain.

I am ready for this baby.  Emotionally, that is.  I feel like I've learned so much about myself in the last 16 months that Dean has been here.  I am absolutely prepared for the world of mutliple children.  I understand it will be insane and I can't do everything.  I am fairly educated on breastfeeding and have a strong desire to do whatever it takes to make it work.  I already know what the money will be like, and it will be hard.  But, given the choice to make more money away from home, or stay home with my babies while I can -well, the choice for me is easy.  I know what the hospital stay will be like.  I understand this baby will probably be jaundiced like my other two.  I am prepared for the multiple trips to the hospital for bloodwork.  I am emotionally ready to connect to this little baby - my last - my true baby.

As far as being physically ready goes....

...well, do you have a room we could borrow?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I have 100% of my energy...70% of the time.

When I have an energy spurt, I feel like I can complete every single task on my to-do list (which seems to grow by the minute).  But, when that spurt is gone...I'm done.  Count me out.  Finished.  No way I'm getting back up.  My eyelids get heavy, my feet and ankles swell a tiny bit, and by belly feels like it weighs 498 lbs.

So, I've been taking advantage of the energy I can find sometimes, and I've been researching recipes and actually making them.  There are many times that I find a recipe and neglect to try it, forget about it, or just plain give up on.  But lately I've been realizing if I find a recipe I have all the ingredients for on-hand, then I just get up and make it.  This morning, I've already made some "No-Bake Energy Bites" and it's only 10:13 am.  The thing is though, these things are the easiest things in the world to make.  Seriously.  And, by tweaking a few of the ingredients, you can make them pretty healthy.  You know, since your kids, you might lick the spoon around 23 times just to make sure they taste okay.

Make them now, thank me later.  You know why you'll thank me later?  Because you can double the recipe, throw the extras in the freezer, and you have snacks that will last you a month or two.  Believe me.  When you're searching through your pantry for something to snack on, you'll be so grateful when you realize you have ready-make, healthy snacks awaiting in the freezer.  You're welcome...later.

The rest of my energy is being put towards finding a bigger car.  Yep.  I just bought a car when Dean was born.  I've only had it a year.  I LOVE it.  But I need more room thanks to the Surprise Smith growing in belly.  :)  So, I think the old car is getting cleaned up and might be accessorized with a brand new "FOR SALE" sign in her front window.  She'd look good with that, wouldn't she?  And to answer your question, no.  I'm not getting a minivan.  Thanks.  I'm thinking something more like this:

2010 Mazda CX-9

Purrty, right?

We'll see how it goes.

Hey.  Go make those balls.  You'll love 'em.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I found this quote the other day and it hit me good.

I have some major goals running through my head lately.  And I'm way ahead of myself.  Like always.

Halloween.  Thanksgiving.  And Christmas.  I have always loved the holidays.  The love has only grown since having my own children to share it with.  Introduce new traditions.  Make lists for Santa.  And bake.  Oh, the baking.  I can almost taste it.

Goal #1.  Tackling the Holidays.  The reason I am so gung-ho about Christmas this year is because I should be having a baby right around that time too.  The very last thing I want to worry about 4 days before the holiday is what gift I'm going to get for who and where the hell I am going to park in this &*%# parking lot?  I actually get a little stressed just typing it out.  Therefore, my goal is to have ALL Christmas shopping D.O.N.E. before Halloween comes.  I've already started.  Emma may already have some gifts from Santa waiting for her in my dresser drawer.  That way I can concentrate on getting ready for the new baby, nesting, enjoying my kiddos, and eating.  Yes, I said eating.  I'm trying to see how much weight I can gain by having my last trimester fully encompass the holiday eating season.  Of course, I'm kidding.  Kind of.

Goal #2.  Stocking my freezer.  This has been an ongoing goal of mine ever since I realized the amount of food out there that can be premade and frozen.  Breads, cookies, pancakes, burritos, lasagna, milk, fruits from the farmer's markets, baby food, etc.  I plan to have my freezer so full of food it can barely open.  The last thing I am going to feel like doing is cooking when I have THREE (omg.) kids who need me to be here, there, and everywhere.  Moneysavingmom.com is great blog out there for any parent who is interested in saving money and finding great recipes to freeze.  I'm also always a fan of Allrecipes.comAlthough, my biggest win so far has been Pinterest.  It blows my mind.  It inspires me.  It puts all of my ideas that I steal off of other people (ie. repin) into one big folder for me to easily find at any time.  I've made 3 recipes in 2 days off of this site.

Goal #3.  Finish some to-do-ing around this ol' house.  Why yes, that does include finding a place for the new baby to sleep!   We've got options, but we've yet to confirm anything.  Did you know I'm 5 1/2 months today?  Time flies when you're having fun totally freakin' exhausted and can't keep up with anything.  We also have some little things that I just want to have done before the weather keeps us in and I have to look at unfinished projects all day long.

Goal #4.  Try my brand new cloth diapers on Dean in preparation for Smith #5.  I gots 'em.  Them fancy ones. 

I got a heckuva deal on them, so I went for it.  I bought enough gender-neutral colors to hopefully use on Dean & the new baby at the same time.  Yes, there was a big upfront cost, but the cost from here on out is $0.00.

Goal $5.  Learn everything there is know about breastfeeding.  If I pair this with not spending any money on diapers, and making my own baby food...this new baby should cost pennies compared to the other two muchkins.  That's the goal anyways.

So, there's a sneak peek inside my ever-insane brain.  Hopefully, I'm not the only one who thinks all-kinds-of-crazy like this, but it sure does help to write it all down.  Even if I am the only one who reads it.  :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crash & burn.

My computer crashed.  My hard drive crapped out.  And now I have a new one.

In other news:

We had our ultrasound this last Wednesday and it was pretty awesome.  Even though it's number three, and that whole holy-crap-I'm-going-to-be-a-mom feeling has worn off long ago, the ultrasound is a pretty amazing thing.

Yes, I've already seen two little ones flopping around in my belly before.  The first, we decided to not find out the gender.  And the second, we saw we were having a boy.  This time around we are happily settled on being surprised again.  I've done it both ways, and I will surely tell you that waiting until delivery day is one of the best surprises you can give yourself.

(Note: We do have the picture from the ultrasound with the gender sealed tightly in an envelope.  I believe it to be a boy because of how fast she determined the sex.  She looked for about .2 seconds and said she was done.  Therefore, I think she saw boy parts because they would have been easy to find.)

(Another note:  No.  I am not at all interested in peeking into the envelope.  The surprise is too good to cheat and look now.)

Currently, I am 20 weeks along and feeling pretty good.  I truly can't believe that I've made it to five months.  When I was so sick with morning sickness in the beginning, I thought my pregnancy might last 2 years because of how slow time went.  I'm not sure if I've said this before, but morning sickness feels like your worst hangover that never ends.  Your muscles ache.  The thought of most foods makes you want to yak.  And you just want to lay down, close your eyes, and pray you don't have to find a toilet in the next 5 minutes.  The only thing is, when you do get sick, it doesn't feel any better.  You feel just the same.  Ech.

This pregnancy is just as easy as my others have been, but with the added bonus of already having two little munches I have to take care off.  Although, working part-time has helped with that stress.  And, I already kind of knew what to expect because of having Emma when I was pregnant with Dean.  Although Dean is a whole different kind of kid.  He's getting to be so fun, but he finds everything he shouldn't, and makes a quick mess.  He's pretty great.

On another note, my oldest is growing up before my eyes.  I'll be taking her to college before I know it.  She had her first dentist appointment yesterday.  She was so good, and listened very intently to what the dentist had to say.  She left with a picture, a Disney toothbrush, a treasure chest toy, and a strong desire to brush her teeth!

As for me, I'm off to clean.  yay.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

how far? really?

In my first trimester, had you come up to me and asked me how far along I was, I could pretty much tell you to the minute.  I was so sick and exhausted that I was literally counting.down.the.days until it would hopefully be over.  The sickness actually faded around 11 weeks, and the exhaustion about a week ago.

And when I stopped to calculate how far along I really am, I realized I didn't know.  I had to look it up.  I guess that's what happens when it's baby #3.  After I discovered that I am, in fact, 16 weeks & 5 days, I got a little nervous.  I'm going to have a (another) baby and he/she is going to be here before I know it!  My brother gets married in September, and then we'll have Halloween and football to keep us busy.  Thanksgiving will be right around the corner, and then Christmas!  And I'm due right after Christmas!  Like, the I'll-be-lucky-if-I-don't-go-into-labor-on-the-25th-of-December kind of due.  See, now you're nervous too.

On a less nervous note, it's been am-aze-balls to have my energy back.  I went to the library and went straight to the cookbooks and not the baby names books. (P.S. I hate the baby names books.  They have only worsened the situation by giving me millions of stupid names to choose from, and making me feel more nervous than ever that I will never find one because if I can't find a name in a book filled with 35,000 of them, something must be wrong.)  And....breathe.  Back to recipes.  Wonderful, amazing, recipes.  Have I told you I LOVE to cook?  In the last week I've made breakfast burritos (that I froze, and can be reheated whenever you choose), grapefruit popsicles (where we squeezed 6 giant grapefruits to get the juice we needed), brown sugar twists, taco pizza, and homemade salsa with tomatoes from the garden.  It feels good I tell you.  Good for my soul.

But.  After this is all done.  I can't.  Let myself.  Sit down.  Because I'll never stand back up.

All of my exhaustion that I should have been feeling all day catches up to me in one fell swoop and I crash.

Which is fine.

Because I still feel good.  And I'm glad I feel like cooking again. 

Now, what's for dinner?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

feeling it.

I've been really feeling fall lately.

It's been unseasonably hot here in good ol' Indiana.  We have record low amounts of rain for the month of July.  We mowed our grass ONCE this month.  We have been staying in instead of going to the pool.  The thought of packing up everything we need and trekking to and from the heat-stroke heated car sounds exhausting - and hot.

So lately I've been thinking about all the fun fall things I look forward to every year.  It's especially fun because Emma is at an age where she really understands carving the pumpkins, costumes, and santa & the elves making toys.

It's not to say I can't wait for fall to get here, I just won't be disappointed when it arrives.  I'll be getting bigger and bigger which means I can wear stretchy pants and football jerseys on the weekends.  (Nice visual, eh?)  And even though I can't drink any beer, I sure can eat another bowl of chili wtih extra cheese because I'm eating for two.  (Yes, I'm going to use that as much as I can, as this should be my last pregnancy and I'll never be able to eat like this again.)

Emma's already excited about looking at halloween costumes.  I think she wants to be a princess.  Doesn't every girl try that out for at least one costume growing up?  She likes the one that costs $45.  I am going to to my best to make one for $5.

And right around the corner, before the fall weather hits, is my brother's wedding.  It's the first weekend in September and plans are coming right along.  Emma is a flower girl and is very excited.  My project this week is to scour Etsy and find the perfect hair accessory for her outfit.  I want her to feel like the prettiest girl in the world that day.  This might be a memory she has forever and I want it to be a good one.  The whole weekend should be a blast.  We're staying in our first hotel as a family of 4.  We all have spiffy new outfits to wear.  And I'm going to make sure there are lots of pictures taken.

As for now, I'm finally getting some energy back and it feels good.  Cleaning has resumed at about 50%, and I feel less stressed about it all.

My garden has exploded with tomatoes and so I'm off to make my first-ever batch of homemade salsa.

Taco pizza anyone?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I think....no wait, I KNOW.

I'm ready for this to be my last pregnancy.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not miserable.  I don't hate it.  I'm just ready to feel like myself again.

It's like I got a sneak preview of my life with multiple kids when Dean was born.  But I was so damn emotional that I didn't appreciate it like I should have.  I guess it was my lesson in life.

I also was only NOT pregnant for 9 months.  (We got a positive when Dean was 10 months.)  I didn't even put my maternity clothes away.  Bottles are just staying in the cabinet for #3 to come around and use them in SIX MONTHS.  <---whah?  no way.

I was telling David last night I just want to wake up and have some energy.  I want to wake up and drink my coffeeeeee.  Oh, I miss my coffee.  I want my house to be clean.  I want to go grocery shopping.  Like, big time grocery shopping.  I know it may sound weird, but I love when my cart is full of healthy snacks for the kids, organic fruits & veggies, and ingredients for a new recipe I'm going to cook that night.  I love cooking a meal that I know is David's favorite.  I love when Emma says she is "hungee" for a snack, and I have one for her.  It sounds simple, I know.  But lately it's been more of a stress to find any food in this house, and the LAST thing I want to go do is grocery shop for food that won't sound good to me.  This baby is a picky one.  The pickiest yet actually.  I usually find something I want at the store, bring it home, and let it go bad in the fridge because I (baby) decided we didn't want it.  I bet we have eaten out more times in the last 3 months than the last year combined.  It's not great for our finances either.

I want to go running and feel sweat down my back.  I want to breathe hard and lift some heavy weights.  I want to feel stronger and healthier.  I want to put on my running clothes and just go, jam to music, and de-stress by myself for a short while.

I know this list is filled with wants, wants, and more wants.  But it's my blog and I can want if I want to.  (See what I did there?)

I am making a conscious effort to really ENJOY this pregnancy.  I am becoming more aware that this will be my last and I am at peace with it.  I am ready to move past the baby stage of life and get this toddler-show on the road.  :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's what I got.


Is any one still there?

I fear I may have lost you.  I've been gone a while.  But for good reason.

I've been really tired.

And hungry.

And nauseous.

And pregnant.

Yep.  I'll give you a second to take that in.

Baby #3 is on the way.

And it is wiping me out.

Being pregnant the first time with Emma, I had all the same symptoms, but no other babies to take care of.  Therefore, I could take a nap when I wanted, eat when I wanted, and ignoring the laundry only affected me.

When I was pregnant with Dean, I was living with my in-laws.  I didn't have to take care of the entire house, did much less grocery shopping, and had tons of help.

But now.  Oh, now.  I have my own house I'm responsible for which is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain because of my "I'd rather be napping" attitude.  I do the grocery shopping with 2 muchkins in tow, which on average, take about 1 hour more than it should.  And finding something to keep them busy is easy in the summer, but it wears me out pretty quickly.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret complaining about the hard summer I've had when I'm trapped inside the house this winter with two rowdy kids and a newborn.

Here's the deets:

Due Date: January 11th, 2012
How far along: 13 weeks today
Weight Gain: As of last appt (6/22), I had lost 1/2 a pound. (thank you morning sickness)
Maternity Clothes: Yes.  Everything yes.
Feeling baby:  Yes!  I have felt a definite kick two days in a row.  :)
Food Cravings:  Not so much cravings as aversions.  No garlic.  Ever.  Eck.
Gender:  We won't know until the baby is born!  Surprise!
What I miss:  Drinking in the summertime.  (Didn't I say that last year?)
What I love:  Baby kicks.  They never get old.
Looking forward to:  Finding out what the gender is.
Milestone:  Getting over the morning/noon/night sickness.  Thank goodness.

I certainly did not expect to be pregnant so soon, but what a blessing. 

And, now since I don't feel like yakking on my keyboard anymore, I should be updating more often.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

you never know.

Today we cleaned out the playroom.

We have a small room upstairs.  It's hidden away.  It holds a massive amount of toys, my old play kitchen, and the easel my brother made for her.

This room holds every toy she's ever received.  True story.  I have never thrown one thing away because, well, we have the room for it, right?  Plus, I throw toys in there and never think about them again.  They are very much out of sight, out of mind.  So, after many weeks of telling her I would go up and clean her playroom, I finally did it.  While I was cleaning, she "cooked" me a meal of toast and peanut-butter-and-jelly-and-carrot-juice in her tiny play blender.  Then when I pretended to eat all of it, she told me I didn't finish.  Then when I finally finished to her satisfaction, she asked if she could make me more.  "Of course, Emma Kay, you can make me more."

She used a pizza cutter to peel the carrot before she put it in the blender.  She kept telling me she was "almost dun peewing the cowwot for the juice."  I like when I catch little moments like that.  Where I see her doing something the same way I do, where I realize that she is learning from me, even when I'm not teaching.  It fills me with a sense of pride. 

I must be doing something right.

The playroom was clean for about 5 minutes.  Deaners tore some stuff down already, and I'm pretty sure he ate something he wasn't supposed to.  Emma kept saying "Mama, look at this!"  "Mama, look what I found!"  After picking up the first layer of princess clothes and wands, we found some stuff we all forgot we had.  It was a big task and I'm glad it's over.

Now to take a nap.

Yeh, right.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

up high. to the sky.

Raise your hand if you feel like all the time in the world has gone away, and us moms are left to pick up the pieces/clothes/diapers/trash/dishes/toys/socks/bibs/shoes/pacifiers/sippycups/dogpee/hairties.

And we need to do it as fast as we can. 

Because before we know it, it's 9:47 pm and the laundry you folded is still on your bed.  But you can't put it away because the kids are finally asleep and the last thing you are going to do is wake them up to put away some stupid folded jammas.  So then maybe they go back in the laundry basket.  And maybe they just sit there for 2 days while you go to work, pick the kids up, make dinner, give baths, read stories, clean up dinner, brush teeth, and put two little munchkins to bed.  Then, maybe the kids really need some clean underwear/socks/jammas and the only place they are is in that damn laundry basket.  And when you're digging through the clean, once-folded-but-now-wrinkly clothes to find your daughter her princess undies, maybe you curse.  Just a little.  Because you're so sick and tired of having something almost done, but just not finished.  And you're tired of digging through that basket for clean clothes because they really should just be in the kids' dressers by now.  But then you think back on how much time in the last 3 days you've had to put said clothes away, and you realize that the only time you really had was when you were sleeping.  Eh, priorities, schmriorities.

If you haven't noticed, I've been m.i.a.  To be more accurate, I've been at work.  I picked up muchos hours in April and am feeling the effects.  More money, yes please.  Less time to do what I need at home, no thank you.  It's definitely a juggling act, and it's a hard one.  I'm pretty sure I've got more than 3 things in the air any given minute.

On a brighter note, the hubs & I just celebrated FIVE YEARS married.  Isn't that insane?  I can't really say that I feel like we got married yesterday.  I mean, we've been through 2 houses & 2 kids in that time.  I'm pretty sure it's felt like 5 years.  But in a good way.  :)  I've got myself a good guy.  We celebrated by going to dinner sans kids & stuffing our faces until we couldn't move.  It was awesome.

So for now, that's what I got.  Totally worth the wait right?   Right?

Now to go find some extra time.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I used to think about this question all the time when I was younger.  Except it wasn't so much about what I was going to be, but how I would handle the position.

"If I'm a teacher, I'm going to be relaxed.  I'll let kids sleep.  I'll be that cool teacher that all the kids like." or "If I'm a teacher, I'm going to be strict but for good reason.  I'll never let kids sleep.  They'll have to answer to me.  Nobody will like me but the parents because their kids will get good grades."  Basically, it was a mix of the teachers I liked for different reasons.

Turns out, I think of motherhood the same way.

"I want to be that mom that all my kids' friends love.  They want to come over to our house for the cookies I make or the yard we have to run around in.  Emma & Dean are content with the fact that I get along with their friends.  And hopefully they will trust themselves more to let me in on their plans and resist the urge to hide secrets or lie to me."

But, I don't think I get to make the call on this one.  It just happens.  I'm learning that I'm just going to be the type of mom my kids need that day.

Most days, I'm more strict than I thought I'd be.  I try hard to not make "empty threats".  If I say "Don't climb on that or I'll take away your cartoons.",  I mean it.  If you climb on that, I'll take away your cartoons.  The last thing I want my little ones to learn is that I don't really mean anything I say - threat or not.

Some days, I'm full of fun ideas, crafts, foods, and energy.  On these days, there are no tears and no fits.  We are relaxed.  We have fun.  We create together.  We laugh & shop & play.

I'm discovering things about who I am.  Being a mother has brought a change to the way I approach life.  I find less of a need to impress others (why did I ever care in the first place?), and more of a desire to create the most comfortable HOME I can for my family.

And for now, we're doing well.

Let's see what today brings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Been there. Done that.

I just haven't been feeling it lately.

I honestly feel I don't have a thing to say that might interest any one.

I've given up "the popular social networking site known as Bookface" for Lent.  (Name that show.)

Ever since Ash Wednesday, I've not felt the urge to be on the computer.  I've been doing things instead.  I know, weird right?

I've been cleaning.  My 40 bags plan is not going to equal 40, but I'm up to about 3-4 so far with more than half the rooms to go.  It's been a gratifying experience.  I recently read a quote from a blog I follow that said "Am I really going to miss that thing/shirt/sock/toy/book?  What's the worst that could happen?  I have to go spend $3 on it again?"  And it got me thinking.  I keep things "just in case".  But when I need it, I can never find it because I have so much "just in case" crap around the house.  So, I've been plastic-bagging it.  I'm even going to try to make money off it in my garage sale.  Take that, crap.

I've been cooking.  Lots.  Homemade oregano french bread, homemade corn bread, turkey chili, baby food, peanut butter cookies, and chocolate oatmeal cookies.  Yum & yum & yum.  Let's just say David has not gone hungry.

I've been couponing.  Like a crazy person.  That you could make fun of.  Because of my coupon binder.  That comes in the store with me.  And rides around in my cart.  Laugh all you want.  Because I am saving LOADS of money.  I usually see my total go down at least 40% with my coupons, and that's a low number.  I've saved up to 97% on a bill once, and I bought 30 boxes of pasta that day.  I will never pay a penny for toothpaste, deodorant, or dish soap again in my life.  It's been awesome because the money we save has made it easier to buy the more expensive organic food I want to feed my family.  I get the last laugh.

I've been yoga-ing.  A co-worker talked me into taking a yoga class after work on an especially stressful day.  I've never done yoga.  I would not consider myself a flexible person.  But I was very open-minded because of the wonderful things I have heard about it.  I've always been curious and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I loved it.  I really loved it.  It's a beginners course that was relaxing and introduced basic poses and stretches.  It was the most relaxing hour I have had to myself in a long, long time.  I walked out immediately looking forward to the next weeks class.  Once I learn the basics, I am strongly considering taking the next (less relaxing) level.

I've been sleeping.  Last week, I was alseep before 9 pm two nights in a row.  Every time I do that, I wake up and think "Why don't I do that more often?"  Sleep is too important to put off for the internet, or tv, or the crossword.  I consistently do all of the above.  And I bet I'm not the only one.  Go to bed at 9 tonight.  You'll thank me in the morning.  Promise.

I've been planning.  We planted seeds in starter pots.  It's our first time using the starters, and we're hopeful.  We started a compost bin (great big checkmark on my to-do list) and are going to mix it with our garden soil.  We don't have much yet, but it's nice to know it's started.  Peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and herbs.  I can't wait to pick all the fixins for a salad and eat it for dinner.  These are the moments I'm the most proud of being a mama - when I have the chance to teach a 3-year old how plants start as seeds and grow into food for our bodies.

I've been happy.  Things are going well.  I'm noticing a change in the way I am.  And I like it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Tis the Season

To be completely fair, I am absolutely stealing this idea from another blog. (Clover Lane)
But it's such a great idea.
It's exactly what I've been searching for.
It's what this house needs.
It's what this mama's brain needs.

40 Bags in 40 Days.
During Lent (40 days) rid your house of 40 bags of stuff.  Things you don't love, don't use, junk, accumulated stuff, clutter, garbage, toys, makeup, clothes, towels, rugs, lamps, etc, etc, etc, forever and ever and ever.

Make a list of the rooms/closets in your house.

Rid those rooms of junk, day by day.

As you dispose of the junk, also clean.

(Yep, I'm sneaking in some spring cleaning.)

By Easter, I'm hoping to have a clean, simplified, organized house.

I'm going to need some gloves for this one.

boy, oh (crazy) boy.

Emma:  Easy.  Great sleeper.  Good eater.  Easy-going.  Smiley.  Good learner.  Good teacher.  Good manners.  (for the most part)  Sometimes throws fits, but learns very quickly that it doesn't work.  (except with softie Daddy.)

Dean:  Moderate.  Bad sleeper.  Great eater.  Easy-going until he's hungry.  Cries.  Does not create habits.  Easily falls out of any routine in one day's time.  Loud.  Mischievous.  Has dimples.  Defiant.  Selective hearing.  Handsome.

Dean crawls EVERYWHERE he shouldn't.  He already does the whole "I'm-gonna-crawl-away-from-you-faster-because-you're-coming-after-me" thing.  You know, when he's crawling towards the trash can, and you stand up and start chasing after him so he won't eat, well, trash...so he see's you coming, and crawls faster than you've ever seen him crawl to get to that darn can.  That sneaky little guy.  He crawls over to my silk curtains, sits his little body upright, and grabs/pulls/eats them.  Then when I firmly & loudly say "No!", he looks at me like "Whah?" and then continues to pull down the metal rod above his tiny little head.

He also is re-lent-less.  As in, I will steer him away from the computer cord 5,239 times in 3 minutes, and he'll still go after it.  Not the greatest at listening, that boy.  When I'm changing his diaper is also a challenging 10 minutes.  I say 10 minutes, because that's how long it takes for me to properly change a diaper on a wiggly, busy, would-rather-be-crawling, little munchkin.  And the cloth diapers are even more difficult.

On a positive note, I am happy he's crawling and not just a lump of baby laying on his boppy.

(He was a cute baby lump, though.)

Lord help me when he learns to walk.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Home, home on the range.

I'm a regular ol' frontier woman.

Sure, as I type, my tv is on, I just answered my cell phone, and I'm bloggin' away, but that still doesn't mean I haven't done some little-house-on-the-prairie-type things today.

I currently have homemade whole wheat dinner rolls rising to bake for dinner.

Deaners is struttin' the cloth diapers.  Oh, and crawling....everywhere he shouldn't.

I cut his hair today too.  I didn't want to pay some stranger $15 + tip to cut his tiny baby hairs, so I figured I'd give it a go.  And I did alright.  Not great, but decent enough with the resources I was given.  Those resources being a squirmy EIGHT-MONTH old baby who would rather grab the scissors then let me snip his hair.  A high chair that wasn't quite high enough for me to get a great view, but still a good seat.  And banana-flavored puffs - the ultimate for him.  He tries to eat all the puffs at once.  Too cute, that kid.

I fed him homemade baby food!  So far, he's only eaten it 2 days...but he gobbles.it.up.

Recipes include:
Bananas & Avocado
Apples & Bananas (Neeners as we like to call 'em)
Peas & Formula
Mixed Veggies
Sweet Potatoes & Organic Vanilla Yogurt

Feeding your baby organic, made-from-scratch, baby food is insanely gratifying to say the least.  Yesterday, I blended the Neeners & Avocado and let him try it right off the spoon.  Just, awesome.

And for the work of about an hour each, on two seperate nights, I have 4 BAGS full of baby food in the freezer.  Besides cloth diapers, this is the second most economically sound decision a parent could make.  (in my opinion)  We will see the results immediately.

As for now, I think I'll go use my indoor plumbing and drink my filtered water.  Yes, technology is convenient sometimes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

mushy rants.

A little bit about me.

I am working on, but used to be, an all-or-nothing kind of gal.  As in, I wouldn't start a project unless I could really do it ALL right, have ALL the right tools, and focus on it and nothing else.  This, of course, in unrealistic.  Even when I didn't have kids, it was difficult to fully complete any project with these kind of parameters.  The main issue with this all-or-nothing nonsense is that I would rarely start projects I wanted to do because of not being able to fully commit.  A good example would be organic foods.  I would rarely buy the organic beans because I wasn't buying the organic eggs.  If I wasn't buying everything organic, I wouldn't buy even one item organic.  A change in my thinking was necessary.

I've been making a real effort in changing my ways.  Starting projects knowing that it might not be 100% perfect.  Buying the organic milk and not the organic oranges.  Hanging that picture frame, but not that one.  Trying cloth diapers without buying the whole supply first.  Learning & discovering what works first, before throwing all my time and money at it just to see it fail.

Which is why I recently researched organic foods and the importance of them in our family's diet.  Turns out, they're pretty important.  Keep in mind, I am one of those people that will say "I grew up drinking/eating/wearing/doing it this way, and I turned out fine."  But, there is a reason organic is making a comeback, and it's time I find out why.  When I googled the "most important foods to buy organic" I was not surprized, but motivated to find out more.  I strongly encourage anyone questioning the organic lifestyle to do this.

One of the top seven items was baby food.  BABY FOOD.  I have a baby (duh.)  And I feed him baby food. (double duh.)  Darn it all.  So, I'm starting a new project.  I also am well aware that it may fail, that I may not have time to do it all the time, and that it may be way more work than anticipated.  But, I'm gonna go for it.  I'm going to make my own baby food.

It looks easy.  I already have a glass blender to mush it up.  I have ice cube trays to store it.  And I have glass containers to thaw and serve.  I just pick and choose what organic veggies and fruits I want to mix and mush together, and spoon them into baby d's cute, tiny, toothless mouth.  And it's CHEAP!  I will be saving a noticeable amount of money and reducing the waste that comes with store-bought baby food.  No plastic containers (which I do recycle, but still).  No foil wrapper to keep it from spoiling.  No cardboard labels to toss in the trash.  Just my same appliances and bowls that I will use over and over again.

This photo, copyright and courtesy of Nicole at Nicole Barczak Photography,
captures the beauty of homemade baby food in all its glorious (and healthy) real colors.

I'm pretty excited to see how this turns out.  The only thing to do now is go buy the food. 

Avacados (did you know they are a fruit?) and sweet potatoes, prepare to be mushed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

my bucket list.

Back in December, David & I fulfilled pretty much the only thing on my bucket list. 

See Garth Brooks perform live. 

It was amazing and better than I imagined.  (People say that, but they don't mean it.  I really mean it.)  During the drive to Nashville for the concert, we started a pretty heavy discussion about The Bucket List.  What's on it?  What qualifies?  We decided there is a "Bucket List" which contains the most important things.  Things that you would sincerely be upset with if you did not complete in your lifetime.  Things that you just really, really feel the need to do.  Then, there's the "That'd be pretty freakin' awesome, but it's not necessary List".  This would be things that you would love to do, but wouldn't regret not doing.  There's a big difference in these lists.  Ever since the trip, I've been really trying to fill up my bucket.  I only have on item, but I'm working on it.  I don't want to fill it up just to have it full.  I want true and honest bucket-list-worthy items.

lauren's bucket list:
#1.  Learn how to play the guitar.

lauren's that-would-be-freakin'-awesome list:
#1.  Get professional pictures taken.  I'm talking hair stylist, make-up artist, wardrobe, manicurist, badass camera that would hide all flaws, professional studio, and big fan to blow my newly-styled hair around. This item is also closing in on the bucket list.

That's all I have for now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

it's been a while.

Whenever I haven't posted for a while, I always feel as if I have a million things to write.  But when I actually find a second to sit down and type, they all disappear.  And I've always told myself not to write something just to satisfy a timeline.  I want to write when it's about an event I want to remember or a moment that is important to me.  So, to keep it as real as it gets, here's another random post.

We had a party!
I did everything myself, from the invites to the decorations to the food.  And it was fun!  I'm not going to say it was easy, but it was definitely fun.  I googled fun little recipes and what I found were tons of finger foods.  I laid out plates, but they weren't touched.  We had cake pops (big hit!), cupcakes, lemon bars, and fruit kabobs.  I used cookie cutters to shape the pinapple into "3"'s and the cantelope into stars & hearts.  Let's just say I will never do that again.  Kabobs, yes.  Shaped kabobs, N-to-the-O.  I think the most fun was the Thursday night before the big day.  David worked late, so I put the kids to bed and started cooking everything I could while I watched my thursday night tv.  It's a pretty great memory of her party that I will probably remember forever.  She'll be 16 and wanting a new car for her birthday, and I'll think back to that thursday night when I was drenched in pineapple juice & licking pink icing off my fingers.  It was a simple party.  We had food & gifts done in the first 45 minutes.  The rest of the time was for visiting.  It was relaxing & Emma had a blast.  We only had family & godmama Lindahl, and it was nice.

Cloth Diapers vs. Naps
I'm going to be honest here and say naps win.  Always.
Baby D is a light sleeper.  He takes after his daddy.  He wakes up to almost anything.  He still doesn't have the greatest nap routine, but we try.  He has decided to take his nap smackdab in the middle of my strength class at the Y.  Meaning, if I put him in childwatch to work out, he gets fussy and they have to come get me out of class.  And well, that sucks.  So, now I skip my class and let him nap at home.  This sucks for me, as I LOVE this class.  It's the only thing getting me back in shape after having this baybee I'm speaking of.  Anywho.  Then, he takes a longer nap in the afternoon.  For the entire first week of cloth diapers, he did not take one long nap.  He would cry for 40 minutes and then sleep for 10.  It wasn't really working for either of us.  The day I put him back in a huggie is the day he took 2 two-hour naps.  So, now we split it.  Napps gett huggs.  Play gets cloth.  So far, so good.  Still haven't purchased diapers since I started the cloth.  My debit card just thanked me.

I still have bro's awesome camera.
More pictures, less words.

a silly, fake, "smile for the camera", smile.

wearing her gifts.

my big girl.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

sicky poo.

here's my sick girl.
10 minutes ago, she had a temperature of 102.2,
and she still looks that beautiful.
you can see the fever in her cheeks.

it's days like this i'm so glad i stay home.
she may be sick,
and have a crazy fever,
and i will worry,
but i get all the cuddles i can take.
and it's pretty great.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Photo. Shoot!

I'm borrowing my bro's camera in hopes to get "used" to it before I snap his engagement photos.

And well....I'm in love.

Here are some (unedited) practice shots with the different lenses from today:

my personal favorite.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

are you ready?

For a really random post.

-I have been Goodwilling (yes, I just made it a verb) everything I don't need anymore.  But I have some big items (ie. stained glass hanging lights/patio furniture/etc) that I haven't been able to load up yet.  Which got me thinking - I should have a garage sale.  I live on a good road to have one.  Everyone would see it driving by & there are lots of places to park.  There's even a U-shaped driveway to turn around in.  So, I think I've decided I'm going to have my very first garage sale this spring when it warms up.  Even if I only make $10, that's more than I get from straight goodwillin'. (<--there it is again)

-I got lost on Etsy last night.  Like, lost.  I think I was on it for 2 hours before I realized that I should really go to bed, and the website would still be there in the morning.  Here are some things I'm craving:

Hand crocheted merino wool soaker, nutmeg
After some research, I found out wool diaper covers are the best for night time cloth diapering.  Isn't this handmade one the bomb?

Organic Bamboo Toddler Training Underwear with Waterproof Pad - Ready Rose - Coral 1426
I can't believe I didn't think of this!
Emma is potty trained except when she sleeps.  I use 2 pull-ups per day for her.
That's more diapers than I used on Dean yesterday!
I'll be seeing these on my front porch very soon.

Coffee Mint Charm Necklace
This simple necklace from my cousin's shop called outodry.
Isn't this pretty?  It's mint & mocha.
I can just imagine putting it on after a day at the pool. (with a tan!)

YOU CHOOSE SIZE Newborn to Adult Brimmed Earflap Beanie Hat - camel, yellow, ecru, sage green, hot orange
Can't you see Deaners in this hat
Those ear flaps come down to keep tiny ears warm.
He would look so darn handsome.

Mary Oliver quote What is it  you plan to do with your one wild and precious life
This print for Emma's room.
"Tell me...What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Well?  I told you it was gonna be random.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

man, that feels good.

That's what I imagine Dean would say to me if he could talk.  "Gosh mama, this clean cotton against my tush feels so much better than whatever is in those other diapers."  Though, I am still using those other diapers on rare occasion.  I don't think the cloth can handle the night time.  He really wets his diapers when he's sleeping.  The other is when I drop him off at my in-laws on Fridays.  They watch four kids, all under the age of 3.  Yes, three.  I would not & do not expect to have them deal with the cloth diapers while three other kids run around.  They do enough as it is.

Despite how it sounds, the diapers are easy.  There is definitely a learning curve, but I feel like I tackled that in about 4 diaper changes.  No, they're not as easy as the pull & stick tabs on a Huggie.  No, they're not as easy to just throw away and never deal with again. 

However, once you get used to it, it's not bad.

I double up the layers so he doesn't leak through.  I fold the edges to form my own barrier to leaks.  I stick the pins parallel to his body.  I started out vertical, and that just wasn't cutting it.  I also have poked myself about a bajillion times in the 24 hours I've been doing this.  That's probably the only really annoying part about it.  But maybe I'm just really bad at that part.  I just hope I never poke him.

It only takes a minute longer to put on than the Huggs, and it's just as quick to come off.

The storage issue was something I was wary about.  Where was I going to put these wet/soiled diapers in between being dirtied and being washed?  There are "wet bags" you can buy, but that's just more $$$.  There are pails that you fill with water and then let the diapers sit in the water until you wash them.  (in hopes to avoid set-in stains)  Does this option make you wanna hurl?  Yeh, me too.  I can't imagine wet-uriny-poopy diapers chillin' in water - it's basically it's own soup.  vomit.  for reals.  So I was perplexed.  Then one day it just popped in my head.  Use the Diaper Genie without the plastic bags.  So far, so good.  It keeps the odor in without being soupy & gross.  Keep in mind I only have 12 diapers so I use almost all of them each day.  The last two days I have just washed the diapers at night, and they're ready to go in the morning.  So they have not had to sit in the genie for more than a day.

And yes, I'll be getting more diapers.  I realize running my washing machine every night is not environmentally friendly either.  (Although better that sitting in a landfill for 500+ years trying to decompose.)  I just wanted to make sure I could work with the cloth before I went and bought the whole supply.

All of this has really got me proud of myself.  (Yes, I'm patting myself on the back as I type.)  In all seriousness, I'm so happy I decided to try this option.  I will be putting ONE diaper into the landfills today instead of 6.  And I feel bad about that one!  Hopefully I can find a night time option soon.

So basically, the cloth is working.  He's happy && I'm happy.  Isn't that the important part?  It's just a bonus that it's cheap! and environmentally friendly! and more comfortable!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


In the past year 2 months, my baby bro has graduated college, bought a house, and proposed to his girlfriend.  He has also built two fantastic drawing easels that he gifted for Christmas.  One for Emma & one for me.  I mean it when I say FANTASTIC.  Better than what you would buy at the store.  Better than you could get online.  I mean, just...great.

He grew up with me.  We were (are) close.  He knows I studied art for some time.  He knows I have a (small) talent in drawing.  He knows I still have my stash of drawings from the art shows framed in the black matte boards.  (And that I'm still proud of them, even if they are 10+ years old.)  He knew that easel would make me happy by jump-starting the creative sector of my brain.  Plainly put - it was a good gift.

So, now he goes and does something even better.  He called me tonight to ask "if I would like to take their engagement photos".  I mean, this is a big deal for me.  My brain is on overdrive trying to be creative & different without taking away from what the pictures actually stand for.  It's a bigger deal because he is the photographer of the family.  I took classes in high school & worked for the paper.  I've spent time in a dark room & learned about f-stops.  But he's a different story.  He's just flat.out.good.  He's got the eye for it.  It comes very naturally to him.  So, I've got a big job coming up.  I've got to kill these shots.

Isn't this fun? :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Let's see how I'm doing shall we?

These were my "Before the New Year Resolutions":

--Cloth Diapers.--
If all goes as planned, Deaners should have cloth-to-tush by Monday morning.  I did not invest (yes, invest would have been appropriate here) in the fancy-shmancy cloth diapers.  I started talking to my mom about how much those were (twelve diapers for $275), and she said in such simple words "Why don't you just use the cloth diapers we used on you?"  Like, duh.  They worked for her.  They worked for everyone at some point.  Believe it or not, there was once a world that didn't have disposable/non-biodegradable diapers.  So we went shopping for them.  Then, I bought 12 diapers for $12.99.   Like I said, cloth-to-tush by Monday my friends.

--Baby Dean's Photo Album.--
Fail.  Although, the album is purchased & the pictures are printed.
--Credit Card.--(Stop using)
Success! The only time it has been used is for a lousy hospital bill that won't. go. away.  No funsies.

--Finances.--(Stop spending so much darn money.)
Success.  We have been living on a tight budget, and it's been okay.  Different, but okay.  I haven't transferred money out of our savings account once.  I know it's only been a month, but hey, that's 29 days and counting.

--Garage.--(Clean it out.)
Success!  Cars are parked.  Big items are out.  Now we just wait for spring and take care of the rest.

How 'bout dem apples?
I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself here.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Well.  well.  well.

I was supposed to have internet today.  Like, my own.  In my house.  For me to use whenever I want.

But...there is no signal.  Sad face.

So, I'm hoping the Comcast employee knocking on my door Saturday anytime between 5pm and 7pm will be able to fix it.

Please, oh please.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I never had the chance to post my new years resolutions, so here goes.

1.  Simplify.  I've said this before, and I've been working on it.  I have been getting rid of stuff I don't need/use/want/wear and it's been easier to manage what I have.  The main idea with this first resolution is to not buy crap.  Yeh, I know.  You're thinking "Uh, Lauren, why would you buy crap?"  I buy things.  Like, things that might look cute some day on some wall in some room in my house.  And then I never put them up, or I decide on something else, or some other stupid excuse.  I buy it because I don't want to miss out on the chance to buy this really cute thing, but then it results in clutter and wasted money.

2.  Save money.  And this doesn't necessarily mean seeing my bank account balances go up.  It means not using my credit card.  Therefore not paying bajillin % interest on those purchases.  This also means not transferring money out of my savings.  So even though I might not be crediting my account, I'm not debiting either.  It's been 11 days, and I've already talked myself out of charging something 3 times.  It's going to be a challenge, but it was time for a change.  Hopefully a change that will add up.  (pun intended)

3.  Shut up.  I realized that I will tell you my opinion on something, anything, whether you asked for it or not.  You will say "My favorite movie is Twilight." and I will say "OMG mine too!  Isn't Edward hot?"  Or (and this happens more than the other) you will say "I love Grey's Anatomy!" and I will say "I think that's the worst show on television."  Nope.  You didn't ask.  We weren't having a conversation about which tv show we think is the worst.  I just jumped in and told you what I thought.  Rude.  I am so rude.  I only get one day a week where I actually get to conversate with adults, and that's what I do.  So, even if I have to wear duct tape on my mouth to shut me up, then so be it.  And that's what I think about that.

Eleven days down.  Three hundred fifty four days to go.

The calm before the storm.

Every morning I wake up, drink my coffee, get the kids out of jammas, and attempt to put myself together.

Every afternoon, we drive around and get some errands done, or we bake cookies, or we lounge around in our jammas and play with doll babies.  We take naps.  Long naps.  Deaners takes two or three.  It's calm and quiet - usually.  It's a time to make a mess and just be together.  I like to refer to this time as the calm before the storm.  Because the time that follows is, well, insane.

I try to have dinner done by 6:30, which is usually the time D comes home.  From about the time I start cooking, through dinner, and during clean up - this is Deaners "fussy time".  He wants me to hold him, wants me to play peek-a-boo with him, wants me to NOT PUT HIM DOWN.

This proves to be difficult for making said dinner.

So we usually eat separately because we're being pulled in two different directions, by two different kids.

Then, it's bathtime while David cleans up.  I've got this down to a science.  Emma has daddy "time us" so we can see how fast we can take a bath.  This was a genius moment for me.  We take record fast baths, and Emma treats it like a game.  One point for me.

Then Deaners gets a bath and bottle, then he finally lays down for bed without crying his head off.

Emma follows suit.

By this time, if everything goes smoothly [well, as smoooth as it can], then we finally sit down on the couch around 8:30-8:45.  "Hey hunny, how was your day?" comes two hours after David gets home.  Bedtime comes about 10 minutes after that.

I get a great satisfaction from knowing my kiddos are going to bed all clean and fresh, but man oh man, it's a stressful part of my day.

I realize this will get better once Deaners can eat our food at dinner time and can entertain himself while I make dinner.

But for now, I'll just ride the tide.