Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009--A year in review

2009 was a pretty good year in the Collins house!

Adelae turned 2 and continued her obsession with Cinderella.

She made leaps and bounds with her learning. She is almost fully potty trained, she knows all the sounds the letters make and is *this* close to reading. She learned how to write her name and most of her letters. She amazes me on a daily basis with her brilliant mind. (I know I'm a little biased, but writing at two? Come on! That's just plain smart!)

In July God blessed us with our beautiful Brinna Leah.

She's 5 months old now and I can hardly believe it! It constantly amazes me how much babies learn and how quickly they learn it! She's been doing some pretty cute baby things. Her new trick is to lay on her back, lift her feet up and slam them back to the floor. Then she looks at me and laughs. Too cute right?!

Ben and I are doing well. We're adjusting to life with two kids. It's not as hard as I thought it would be. We did hit a bit of a rough patch, but we pulled through it. We are trying very hard to take time for just us. We've been trying to do a date night at least once a month. It's not easy for me to leave my kids, but I can honestly say that our marriage is much stronger. Our nights out give us a chance to enjoy each others company and to reconnect.

If you read my blog, you know that I found God again this year. This is a big change for me and my family. Ben and I are so much stronger than we were a year ago, not just as husband and wife, but as parents as well.

I am really looking forward to 2010. This is the year Adelae will start preschool, Brinna will reach so many milestones this year, Ben and I will continue to grow as a couple and as parents and we're going to win the lottery. Ok, we might not win the lottery, but all that other stuff will happen! This time next year will be so different!

Farewell 2009! Welcome 2010! I can't wait to see what you hold for us!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Our nieces and nephew on Ben's side of the family; our kids (of course; and the kids' adopted Grandparents, Gramma Jenny and Bozo (Ben's aunt and uncle).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sledding is fun! Just not for Mommy!

On the day before Christmas Eve Ben took Adelae sledding. He met some of our friends and they all had a grand ol' time. Where was I? Home in my nice warm house, of course! I hate snow. I hate the cold. I hate wearing all the clothes that are necessary to go out in the cold. And I have a 5 month old baby that's just getting over a massive cold. And I don't own snow boots or snow pants. All that makes it difficult to get on board the sledding bandwagon. Ben and Adelae had lots of fun, despite a "minor" sledding accident or two. Adelae came home with a few big scratches on her face, but that's to be expected. She's not having fun unless she gets hurt. She's a klutz, just like her Mom!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How I Found my Faith

If you remember in my post about prayer, I've been a little lax in my spiritual life. It's not that I stopped believing in God, I always knew there was a higher power in my life, I just didn't worship like I should. I had a falling out with the Catholic church when I was in high school and just couldn't bring myself to feel comfortable with the faith in which I was raised. I'll be honest, through college and after I didn't really miss church. I tried to attend sporadically, but with out a clear direction I was lost. I didn't know what church to attend and none of my friends attended with any regularity.

Then I got pregnant and it all changed. Well, my need for God changed. I had a horrible pregnancy and I still think that the grace of God got Adelae and I through safely. When Adelae was born, she had a fused cleft. The doctors believe that she had a cleft that closed in the womb. She doesn't have any problems or anything with it. You can see the scar that runs from her nose to her lip, but it's very minor. People always ask me if she had a cleft and who her surgeon was. I tell them honestly "She had the best surgeon..God healed her." People, doctors especially, look at me like I'm a nut when I say that, but I know it's true. Adelae was also born with a hole in her heart. I can distinctly remember getting that call from the doctor. I was petrified that my baby was going to die. Again, God healed her. Right after her 1st birthday her heart was declared healed. So, you see, God has been at work in very noticeable ways in my life for quite some time.

Once again, I tried to return to the Catholic church, since this is what I knew. However, I just couldn't make my beliefs and the beliefs of the Catholic church mesh. So, Ben and I tried a different church. It was a non-denominational church and didn't go well, to say the least. We felt extremely out of place. I dont' know why, I just didn't feel that I belonged.

So, a few years went by. Then I stumbled upon the story of Stellan (see the button on the right side of my blog for Stellan's full story). Stellan is a little boy that was born with a condition where his heart beat was too fast. At the time I stumbled upon the blog, he was in the hospital and had been for awhile. I believe he spent almost two months in the hospital and wound up having a very scary heart surgery. What I remember most is his mother saying over and over again that she had put Stellan in Gods hands. I kept returning to her blog and pouring over the entries. I cried with her, this woman I had never met. I laughed when she told funny stories and I prayed. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed for this little boy that I had never met. I prayed that God would heal Stellan, I prayed that God would give his little body the strength it needed to hang on until the doctors found a way to manage Stellan's heart condition. Then I got angry at God. Stellan was just a little boy (I believe he was 5 months old at the time), how could God do this to him? To his family? Then I would remember that Stellan's parents had lifted him up to God. They knew that God had a plan for Stellan, and they were fine with that plan. Even if that plan meant that Stellan was to join God in Heaven. (Stellan is now completely healed of his heart condition.) I was amazed when I read that. I was inspired. I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to be a better Christian. I wanted to, as Carrie Underwood sings, "Let Jesus take the wheel." But, where should I go and what should I do?

Then, faith came from the most unlikely place. It came from my little brother. Ben and I were looking for a place to go for Easter service. My brother started talking about Pastor Jim and his little church. I figured if my brother liked it, I would too. So, away we went to St. Jacob's to celebrate Easter. We were immediately made to feel welcome. It was more than the fact that we knew some of the people there. It was more than the fact that they welcomed us with open arms. It just felt like home.

As a result, I feel closer to God. I feel like God has just been waiting for me find St. Jacob's. God never lost faith in me, that's very clear. He knew I needed to find my way back to Him on my own. I am proud to say that I am a Christian. I know that God guides my decisions. I know that I am a better mother and wife since I welcomed Jesus back into my life. I know that I am more patient, loving and kind now that I try to be more like Jesus. I know that I am not perfect. I know that I never will be. I also know that's ok and that God loves me just the way I am. I know that Adelae already loves church. I know that Brinna does too. It's the one place Brinna rarely cries or fusses. She stares with rapt attention or snuggles against me and sleeps. Adelae comes home humming the melodies from the songs we've sung that day. She asks us to say prayers with her. St. Jacob's, Pastor Jim and the entire congregation have touched our lives in a way I never thought possible. I can't tell them how thankful I am that they are in our lives. I can't begin to express the love I feel for them. They have led me back to God and that's where I plan to stay.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Here we go again! Time to admit all those things I didn't do this week!

I most certainly did not spend too much money Christmas shopping for my kids this week. Nope! I had a strict budget and I stuck to it! I most certainly would never be walking through the store and think "Oh! That would be perfect!" after already buying everything on my list.

I would never ever harass my husband while he was trying to nap...three days in a row. I would never tell him "I don't get to nap so neither do you." After all, that would be mean. I would also never make him sleep on the futon in the spare room for a week because his snoring was keeping me up at night. Nope! Now that would be plain old mean!

I would never use the excuse that the baby is sick to get out of doing housework. Nope! Never! I would never use that excuse to get out of cooking dinner either. No way!

I would never ignore my mother's wish list for Christmas and get her something she needs, not something she wants. No way! I would not try to inform her that pajamas, even nice ones, are not appropriate to wear to holiday functions. Nope! I mean, each person should be able to wear what they want...unless it's pajamas.

Anything you want to admit to this week? You can see more Not Me! Monday at My Charming Kids.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Letters of Intent

Letters of Intent

My friend Ashley over at What's on my mind, you ask? started doing Letters of Intent a few weeks ago. She gently nudged me to give it a try. So, I thought I would!

Letters of Intent was started by Foursons. It's a way to tell people exactly what you think. If you know me, you know I do just that!

Dear Husband,
I love you. You are a fantastic husband, but there are a few things you just don't "get." When you are done with a dish, please rinse it and stack it. This means that all little food particles should be gone! And stacking, I know it's a difficult concept, but I'll spell it out, bowls go inside of bowls, plates go on top of other plates, big things go on the bottom, little things go on the top. I am aware that this is a difficult concept, but I've shown you time and time again. It is also not necessary to use a plate for a sandwich, an orange or a handful of potato chips. It IS possible to re-use a glass throughout the day. If you put juice in it, rinse it out then you can use it for water. And ice cube trays are not dirty after you take the ice out of them. It's water, please refill it and put it back in the freezer instead of leaving it lay everywhere.

Also, I am not a morning person. You've known me for almost 4 years and never in any of that time have I been a morning person. When you wake up at 8:00 on a Saturday morning and sigh and moan thinking that will get me moving, it just annoys me. In fact, it makes me take that much longer to get moving. I like to drink my coffee, check my Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Deal with it. If you want to get up at 8:00 and do the dishes and clean, go for it! I'll watch you as I sip my coffee!

Another thing, I know that the laundry from last week is still on the love seat. I'm not blind, I can see it. However, I've been a little busy taking care of two sick children that need my constant attention. I'm pretty sure you are able to go through the laundry and pick out your things. I think it's absurd that you expect every piece of your clothing hung (except socks and underwear). I refuse to hand up that ratty old t-shirt from high school. You know, the one with the arms cut out and holes all over it? If I had may way, it would be in the trash can.

I'm well aware that you have jeans with holes in them and that you think you need all new ones. I get it. However, until we find the seeds to a money tree or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you'll have to wait. I have one good pair of jeans (and those don't even fit) and I make them work. You can do the same until we have extra money.

I'm pretty sure you do these things simply to get a rise out of me. That is my only explanation for the fact that I have told you OVER and OVER again! You are a really smart guy and I know you know better.

Your loving wife,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I hate that....

Sorry readers, I've sort of lost the thankfullness lately. It's not that I'm not thankful for things, even though some days it's hard, I just haven't had time to blog. Adelae is sick, I'm sick, and Brinna has been sick since Thanksgiving. I took the kiddos to the doctor today and it turns out Brinna has a double ear infection and a sinus infection. Since she's been coughing for so long, the doctor wanted her tested for whooping cough as well. Those results should be in sometime this week. Adelae has a nasty cold and I'm to watch her closely for signs of pneumonia. In the meantime, she's just miserable. There's nothing I can do and that makes me feel like a failure as a mother. Add that to the fact that I've been chalking Brinna's cough up to a cold and now I find out that it could be something serious, and you'll realize why I'm feeling pretty cruddy today. I hate this. I hate that I don't know when my kids are really sick or if it's just a cold. I hate that it makes me feel like a failure. I hate the fact that I'm sick and therefor am doing a half-ass job at being a mom and a wife. I hate the fact that my mother keeps questioning my mothering skills. I hate the fact that I'm so tired I can barely move. I hate the fact that Brinna only sleeps for three hours at a time. I hate the fact that the reason she only sleeps for three hours is because she's in pain. I hate the fact that instead of giving her medicine, like a good mom, I get frustrated and just pray that she goes back to sleep. I hate the fact that Ben has to work 12 hour shifts this week, so he's little help at home. I hate this crappy day and I can't wait for it to be over.

I would like to add that as I'm typing this, I'm looking out at the most amazing sunset. Perhaps it's God's way of telling me to suck it up. So, I guess I'm thankful for that!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm Thankful Days #29 and #30

Ok, I've been working on this post since yesterday, so I'm making it day 29 and 30. That may be cheating, but I don't care since it's my blog and I get to make the rules!

If you had told me 4 years ago I'd be writing this post today, I'd have told you that you probably had fallen and hit your head. I would then have laughed. Today I'm thankful for Carol, my stepmother. Our relationship has been, do I put That honestly doesn't even begin to describe it. In fact, her and my dad have been married for 28 (I think) years. We've spent almost all of them not talking. In fact, most of my life we weren't even able to be in the same room together. We had sort of a mutual unspoken agreement that we just stayed away from each other. We didn't live together when I was growing up, I was raised by my aunt and uncle (that's a whole different long story). As a result of the tension between my stepmother and I, I had no relationship with my brothers, my sister or my dad. Fortunately for all of us, that changed when I got pregnant with Adelae. It took some urging from my sister, but slowly the lines of communication opened up. It started with a phone call, that's it. One simple little phone call. The words "I'm Sorry" were never spoken, but in this case they didn't have to be. A simple phone call was enough to start our troubled relationship down the road to recovery. And it didn't take too long either. Within a few months, she was helping me plan my wedding and even playing a major role. I can remember the exact moment I knew we had a relationship. Oddly enough, it was a disagreement that made me realize it. I had a few things I needed to get off of my chest and I thought "may as well speak my mind, what do I have to lose." I couldn't believe it! We heard each other out, there was no fighting, no screaming, no tears, nada! It was an actual discussion and I think we came away from it with a better understanding of each other. We were also both able to realize that a third party had conspired to keep our relationship as rocky as possible. As the last few years have passed, I've learned so much about the woman that she is. I can appreciate her for that, and I know that it's ok if I don't agree with every thing she says or does; just like it's ok if she doesn't agree with everything I say and do. My girls have a fantastic relationship with her, my dad, my brothers, sister and all their kids. I can't even begin to express how I feel when I hear her say things like "I'm doing this because I love you" or "This is my daughter." We may never have a true mother/daughter relationship, but I'm ok with that. We have something that I never thought we'd have...we're friends. I thank God every single day that he put healing and forgiveness in both our hearts. So, today I write a post I never thought I'd write because today I'm thankful for my stepmother.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #28

Today I'm thankful for sisterly love. I was really worried that Adelae was going to have a hard time adjusting to having a little sister. "Just wait" people said. "Just wait until she wants your attention and you have to take care of the baby." "Just wait till XYZ happens." Well, either I'm the world's best mom (and I don't think I am) or I'm lucky enough to have a very well adjusted child. Adelae has never been jealous of Brinna. Sure, there were times when she wanted Daddy to hold just her, or for Mommy to snuggle with just her, but they've been few and far between. Luckily, if we explain to her that Daddy or Mommy has to hold Brinna too, she says "OK!" Most often the first thing she says in the morning is "Where's Brinna? Can I see her? Is she awake? Can I touch her? I love my sister!" Brinna can't talk and tell us how much she loves her sister, but it's written all over her tiny little face. She LOVES to watch Adelae play or listen to her talk. She doesn't even seem to mind that Adelae gets a little overzealous with her hugs and kisses. I'm sure in a few years I'll be hearing a lot of "Mommy Brinna won't leave me alone." or "Mommy, Adelae won't let me play." But, I can tell these girls are going to be the best of friends.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #27

I'm thankful for second hand things. Almost everything in our house is second hand. We got our stove for $50 at a yard sale, our fridge was my Dad and Carol's, our table was my brother's, Adelae's bed was bought off of Craigslist, most of the girls' clothes are second hand, almost all of our infant toys (walker, exersaucer, swing and bouncy seat) came from either friends or a second hand store. I count my blessings that we have friends and family that are willing to give us their gently used things. I am also thankful for the people that donate or sell their items to the second hand store. With out their generosity (let's face it, they could just throw the stuff out) we wouldn't have half of the things that we do. Like many people, we just can't afford to buy everything brand new. Someday I'll replace the second had appliances with new, someday I'll have a kitchen table with matching chairs, someday my kids will have all brand new clothes, someday..... But until then, we'll be thankful for the second hand things that we have.

This walker is second hand, or maybe even third or fourth hand, and as you can see, it doesn't bother Brinna at all!

**Disclaimer--I know walker's aren't safe for kids. I can assure you that this one has a locking feature on the wheels. I also know that her feet don't touch the ground and it's probably bad for her hips.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #26

No, I didn't forget today's post. We've been really busy lately! With Christmas coming and two sick kids, I haven't had much time to write the last few days. So, today I'm thankful for forgotten thermometers. We somehow managed to misplace our good ear thermometer and I was in a near panic. I KNEW Adelae had a bad fever, but I couldn't tell just how bad it was. After much searching and digging through things, I stumbled across an almost new thermometer. It was just a regular digital, but better than nothing! When I took Adelae's temp (this was last night by the way) it was 101.5 under her arm. I do NOT do well when my kids have fevers. I can deal with a cold no problem, but not fevers! I think it's because Adelae never really gets fevers. I think she's had a high fever maybe one other time in her life. That was when she had a horrible double ear infection. So, of course, my mind immediately goes into over drive when I see numbers about 100 on the thermometer. I finally got her to take some medicine and her fever broke, or so we thought. This afternoon she felt warm again, so I got out the thermometer that I had found (and put away in it's proper place so I wouldn't lose it again) and checked her again. Her temp was creeping up into the 100's again. So, I dosed her again with Motrin. Of course, I had to check Brinna (no temp, thank goodness). I did wind up finding the lost thermometer, only to find that it has quit working properly. So, I'm glad I found the other one!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #25

Today I'm thankful that Ben passed his state fire test. He's put a lot of time and effort into his classes and I'm so glad it's over! He is now able to go in to burning buildings and put out fires. Wait..that sounds kind of dangerous. Maybe I'm not so thankful after all.... Hmm... In all seriousness though, I'm really proud of him. Both my brothers are fire fighters and I know they'll all look out for each other.

I'm Thankful Day #24

Yesterday I was thankful for Tylenol and Advil. I had a killer headache and they helped me make it through the day. Ahhh...sweet relief from pain. Thanks!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #23

Today I'm thankful for Christmas decorations! I love it when all the decorations are up. We don't have a ton of things, but I love putting up the things we do have. This year I didn't do a lot of the "putting up" of decoration. I was busy taking care of a sick infant and taking pictures. Brinna slept through most of the decorating, but we did get a few pictures with her.

I left the tree "decorationing" to Ben and Adelae this year. She loved helping! It resulted in a lot of ornaments on the bottom row of the tree. I think each branch had about 6 different ornaments on it. We moved them and when she noticed, I told her Santa did it. I assured her that he had to move them so there was room under the tree for presents.

Adelae always puts the angel on the tree. I suppose next year we'll have to give each girl a turn. Or maybe just get two angels!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #22

I'm thankful for laundry. Yes, I'm crazy! No, not really..let me explain. See, I'm thankful for laundry because that means that my family has clothes to wear. They may not be name brand or top of the line, but they're clothes. And when I finish with laundry, they're clean clothes. I'm glad that my daughter "helps" me with the laundry. I'm giving her skills that she will be able to use her whole life. Plus, it gives us some really good mommy/Adelae time. Don't get me wrong, if someone wants to come do the laundry, I'll gladly let you! No? No takers? Hmm...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #21

I'm thankful for forgiveness. I'm having one of those introspective days. It's taken me and my family (Dad, stepmom, sister, brothers) along time to get where we are. None of that would be possible with out the power of forgiveness. It's not always necessary to hear the words "I'm sorry" because in this case actions truly do speak louder than words. I went from having no contact with my family to being fully immersed in their world. It's such a wonderful feeling. I can pick up the phone and have a conversation with any of them at any time. (Well, maybe not in the middle of the night...they'd probably be a little upset at a 3:00 am phone call just to chat.) You've read about my Dad and my sister and someday soon you'll read about my stepmom and none of them would be in my life without forgiveness.

I'm Thankful Day #21

***I had this done yesterday, but I must have gotten interrupted and never published it. I can't imagine what would have distracted me. Hmm.... ;) ***

Today I'm thankful for my bread maker. It's not new or fancy, but it's mine! It came from my grandmother via my Aunt Carol. I remember when Grandma first got the bread maker. We thought it was so cool! She was constantly baking different kinds of bread. Like most things, the enthusiasm wore off after awhile, but she would still bake fresh bread whenever I asked. So, now when I make bread, I think of her. Even though she's gone, it's another great connection I have with her. Plus, have you ever smelled bread baking? It's smells SO good! And it's awfully tasty too!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #20

It's hard to believe I've been doing this for 20 days already! Today I'm thankful for a day of rest. We've been on the go everyday this week and weekend. I was ready to spend a nice day at home. We were able to get the Christmas tree finished and most of the decorations put up (we don't do very many, so it wasn't that hard). We usually try to take advantage of lazy Sundays at home. We try to spend the day refueling our tanks for the upcoming week. I know exactly why God chose the seventh day as a day of rest!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Small Talk Six--Dear Santa

This weeks list : 6 Things on MY list to Santa

1. A new camera. I'd really like a DSLR accompanied by a photo class that shows me how to use it. And while you're at it, Santa, maybe some photo editing software and a class on that too.

2. A new kitchen. Originally this said stove and fridge, then I remember that I hate my kitchen. I hate the color of the walls (they're Smurf blue) and the cabinets (pale yellow) and the linoleum (it's peeling) and my table. So, a whole new kitchen for me please! (If you could throw in all new pots and pans and utensils, that would be nice too)

3. Money to pay off our debts. Ahh..I dream of living debt free. It will happen someday, of that I'm sure. It may be awhile, but it will happen. It would just be nice to have it done sooner rather than later.

4. A nice mini-van. I never in a million years thought I'd want a mini-van, but I do! I don't even want a new one, a nice used one would work just fine!

5. New clothes. I have the post baby body and most of my clothes don't fit. I would love to be able to walk into Kohls and buy whatever I want.

6. A king size bed. We co-sleep and our bed it getting a little crowded. Adelae always starts the night off in her bed, but inevitably winds up in bed with us. I love that we all get to snuggle together, but things are a little cramped. So, I think a California King sleep number bed would be fabulous!

So, what's on your list for Santa this year? Don't forget to go to MomDot and link up!

I'm Thankful Day #19

Today I'm thankful for Chuck and Jenny Collins, also knows as Bozo and Gramma Jenny. Ben's parents and sister live in Oregon, so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. In their absence, Chuck and Jenny have stepped in. They invite us (and Ben's brother and his family) to share all the holidays with them. It's so nice of them to include us in their celebrations. This year they have gone above and beyond. They hosted not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners. We were unable to make it on Thanksgiving and they graciously offered to have everyone over again today. They always buy our kids a little something special and have come to see both of them in the hospital. Chuck and Jenny always make an effort to come to all of our parties that we host, even though they live an hour away. It's nice for us to have that connection to Ben's side of the family, even if his parents and sister are so far away. Someday we would love to travel to Oregon for the holidays to visit, but it's just not feasible right now. So, until then...we'll celebrate with Bozo and Gramma Jenny. We love you guys tons and tons!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #18

Today I'm very very very thankful for our pediatrician. Brinna has been terribly sick for about a week now. She has this horrible cough that causes her little face to turn all red, then she gags, then she acts like she can't breath. Occasionally that's followed by a lot of mucus being thrown up. Fun right? Yeah..not so much. Especially since she coughs all night long. Litreally..all night. It's so bad that Ben decided to sleep on the futon last night "so we wouldn't be bothered" when he came to bed "late" (about an hour after me...not late at all). I'm thinking perhaps it was so HE wouldn't be bothered by the constant coughing. He's kinda tricky like that. Anyway..after listening to my 4 month old little baby cough, hack and dry heave last night I decided enough was enough! I'm not one to take my kids to the doctor over every little cough and sniffle. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I try to avoid the doctor at all costs. But, like I said, I'd had enough! I called the pediatrician this morning (on Black Friday none the less) and the nurse said "How fast can you be here?" Um...what?! She wanted to see us before they closed for the weekend, just in case. We rush around and head for the office. I was fully expecting to wait for a long time, after all, they were squeezing us in on a holiday. We waited about...oh....5 minutes. Once we were in the room I was expecting a long wait..surely at least 15 minutes. Or less than 5. We were in and out in under 30 minutes. The best part? Even though all she has is a cold (thank God!), he gave a prescription for a decongestant. Hopefully we can all sleep better now!
This is the 3rd pediatrician we've been to since Adelae was born. At first I was a little skeptical about their practice, but I can't rave enough now. The doctors that we've come in contact with have been exceptional. For that reason, today I'm thankful for Fort Wayne Pediatrics.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #17--Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. LOVE IT! It is by far my favorite holiday. I love that we just get together with family eat and visit. I love that there is no expectation of gifts. In fact, there's no expectations at all. I love that I get to watch football all day long. I love that I'll end my night by sharing a glass of wine with fantastic family that I also consider my friends. I love that there will be too much food. I love that I'll have turkey sandwiches (or maybe even turkey and noodles) for days to come. I love that we have too many places to go. I'm sad that we can't be everywhere at once, but how great to have that problem! I love that so many people love us and want to make us part of their Thanksgiving celebration. I love that on this day so many people reflect on what they are thankful for. So, today I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, friends and blog readers. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #16

I'm thankful for all the babies born into my family this year. My brother, sister and I are all proud parents to little baby girls. My cousin, Ashley, had a little baby boy and my other cousin Natalie is having her little girl at any moment now. My brother in law, Matt and his fiancee, Ashley, are also proud new parents to a little baby girl. 2009 has been a great year for babies in my family. I can't wait for Christmas to see all these babies playing together!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Thankful #15

I'm thankful for baby laughs. I'm having one of those days where nothing seems to go right. It's been one little tiny thing after another. Just a minute ago I was sitting in the chair feeling sorry for myself and Brinna laughed at Adelae. It was full on laugh with a little squeal and everything. Pretty soon, Adelae was laughing along with Brinna and I couldn't help but start giggling myself. What a great stress reliever!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #14

Today I'm thankful for message boards. I've met some really great women through the internet. I'm also lucky enough to have been able to meet a few of them in person. My conversations with these women are what get me through my day. As a SAHM I have very little contact with the outside world, and even less contact with adults. These women help me keep my sanity!

I have to give special thanks for my fellow Feb 07 moms. We've been through a lot together over the last (almost) 3 years. I am very honored that they call me "friend." I dream that someday I will get to meet all of you in person. (Watch out're next on my list!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #13

I'm thankful for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the other great social networking sites. It's kind a strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but let me explain! Through Facebook and MySpace, I've been able to re-connect with friends from high school. I'm also able to keep in touch with family on a daily basis. It's so nice to be able to say "hi" to family that's in another state. So, I'm glad that I have a slight **cough, cough** Facebook addiction.

I'm Thankful Day #12

We had some slight computer malfunctions yesterday, then I had to make food for a party and then, of course, attend the party. With all the stuff going on, I sort of forgot to write my I'm Thankful. I had it all planned out in my head, it just didn't make it to the computer screen.

Today I'm thankful that Ben passed his fire test. He studied really hard and I'm glad it paid off. He has one more test to take before he can actually go into fires, but I know he'll do great!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #11

Today I'm thankful for my Mommy. I love her lots and lots. I'm lucky enough to have a mother that is also my friend. I'm lucky that she cares enough about me and my girls to come to my house to visit every other weekend. (If you know my mom, you know that's a huge deal. She hates to leave the house.) She is an amazingly talented crocheter (is that a word?) and makes blankets for us all the time. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. My girls will always have something that their Grammy made specially for them. She's always there to come to my rescue, whether I'm have a bad day or I just need to chat. We have really worked on our relationship and it's come a long way. I'm so thankful that she is such a big part of our lives. Love you Mommy! :) (and yes...I do still call her Mommy sometimes.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #10

Today, and every day, I'm thankful to have a roof over my head. I'm thankful that we found this house when we did. God truly answered a prayer! We have a huge backyard for the kids to play, room to have a dog and several cats (all outside of course), and room to grow! We rent, but I honestly don't see us moving any time soon. Our landlords are fantastic and let us treat this house as our own. We've had to make several improvements, but they're all worth it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #9--Wordless Wednesday

How many of you are thinking, "Wow Shaun! It's great that you're thankful for so much stuff, but what about your kids?" Well, of course I'm thankful for my kids! I was just waiting till WW so I could post this wonderful picture.

What are you wordless about today? As always, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom to link up and see what others are wordless about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #8

Today I'm thankful for my aunties. When it comes to my upbringing the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" is more than fitting. I was lucky enough to have several people helping to make me the person I am today.

I'm thankful that Aunt Jean took me my first semester of college. Even though, according to her I was at times a less then exemplary house guest, she let me spread my wings and learn to fly. With her gentle coaching I learned who I could be, once I got rid of a lot of the hurt I carried around. Her great advice and open ears got me through more than one rough spot in my life. To this day, I know I can call her and talk to her if I need to. She's always there for me. We've had so many fantastic conversations over the years. I'm truly blessed to have had the opportunity to build a wonderful relationship with her. I also have her to thank for my love of Diet Coke and dark chocolate. :)

I'm also so very thankful for my Aunt Carol. She has been a great influence in my adult life. She always has an ear to listen and great advice to give. I enjoy the friendship that we have more than I could ever explain. I am so proud of her for realizing her dream and making it come true. Her strength and determination are definitely and inspiration to me. I'm so thankful that I can call her any time, day or night, and she's there for me.

I'm so very blessed to have two fantastic women in my life. They have both held my hand while I cried and while I laughed. They love my daughters with all their hearts. I can honestly say that not only are we family but also we're friends. I'm so incredibly lucky that I've been able to foster such great relationships with two remarkable women. I know that if I become half the women they are, I'll be doing just fine. I love you both tons and tons.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #7

I hate Mondays. It's the day that Ben goes back to work and he's been working a lot, so we don't get to spend much time with him during the week. But, I'm very thankful that he has a job. I'm thankful that he enjoys the job he has. And I'm very thankful that his job allows him to work overtime. There are so many people out there that can't find work, or have to settle for jobs that they don't like just to get by. We are lucky enough that he stumbled upon this job a few years ago. We are even luckier that his company hasn't been affected by the recession. I'm also thankful that his company treats their employees very well. I know that not all people can say that about their job. So, today I'm thankful that Ben is a part of a such a wonderful company.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #6

I'm so thankful for my sister. We weren't close growing up (something neither of us had any control over) so I'm even more grateful that she's an important part of my life now. Over the last few years, she has become my best friend. We talk on the phone at least once a day, if not more. My conversations with her have helped shed some light on a few things that have been nagging most of my life. We spend our time chatting about the funny things our kids do, our respective parents, our spouses, and whatever else strikes our fancy. So many times I'll call her for a specific reason and when we hang up the phone an hour later, I realize I totally forgot to tell her that thing that I called about in the first place.

Because of my sister, I got my family back. I have a better relationship with my dad, stepmom and brothers because of her. She pushed us all together and it has truly been a blessing. Without her influence, I don't think my girls would know their uncles or their Nana and Papa. I credit her with giving us all the kick in the pants we so desperately needed.

She is also a never ending source of inspiration for me. Her strength and faith is absolutely amazing. She has taken a lot of hits this year and still manages to laugh, joke and smile. I often say that if I were in her shoes, I would be broken by now. Not my sister! Just says a prayer and gets on with her life.

So, Thank You Maria! I love you so very much and I'm proud to be your sister.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #5

Coffee! Today I'm thankful for coffee!!! Hooray for coffee! Brinna had a rough night, so that means Mommy did too. We didn't get a whole lot of sleep. So, right now this cup of coffee with White Chocolate Raspberry creamer is making me very very happy.

I know it's not a really big think to be thankful for, but shouldn't we be happy for the little things too? :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm a with it

I hate it when people say to me "I have a job, I don't have time for that" when I tell them I cloth diaper, or when I tell them that I plan on making my own baby food. I have nothing against working moms, or moms that go to school. In fact, I have quite a few friends that work or that go to school full time while raising children, but they never make me feel like less of a person for staying at home. I can't stand it when people look down on me because I choose to stay home. I don't stay at home because I'm lazy and don't want to work (an unfortunate misconception). I stay at home because I want to. I want to be here with my girls while they grow. I want to be the one to teach them their ABC's and 123's. I want to be the one that kisses the hurts and gets the snuggles at naptime. I'm lucky enough that Ben is willing to work extra hard so I can stay home with my girls. I'm lucky that he supports my decision. I'm lucky enough that he realizes, most days, how hard it is to be a stay at home mom. I wish other people were more understanding.

I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask what I do and when I say "I stay at home with the kids" they give me a look of pity. PITY! And if that's not bad enough, you should see the way they look at me when they realize I have a college degree. "What! You went to college and you don't even USE your degree?! Are you going to go back to work soon?", I'm not. You see, I already have a full time job. In fact, I work around the clock with out a break. If I'm lucky, I may get a few hours to myself during the day. IF I'm lucky the girls will nap at the same time and I'll have a chance to do the dishes or put away the laundry. If I'm REALLY lucky, I'll be able to shower with out someone coming in or the baby crying. I think the next time someone says "What do you do" I'm going to say "Well, I'm a nanny, a maid, a plumber, an accountant, an artist, a teacher, a cook and a sustainer of life." Maybe then they'll give me the respect I deserve.

You see, being a SAHM is hard work. It really is. As I'm writing this blog, I'm helping Adelae learn the sounds her letters make, nursing the baby and enjoying a cup of coffee. As hard as my job is, it's also the most rewarding. I love my "job." I love that I can use crayons all day. I love that I can hold my baby when she cries. I love that I can lay down with Adelae at naptime and have an extra long snuggle, just because I want to. I love that Adelae wants to play with me so bad she can't wait till I get out of the shower. I love that Brinna wants me so much that, at times, I'm the only one that can hold her.
In a few short years, my kids will be in school. At that point, I'll probably re-join the mainstream work-force full time. But until then, I'm a SAHM and I'm proud of it!

I'm Thankful Day #4

I'm thankful that I'm able to be a stay at home mom. Ben works hard and we scrimp and save so I can be home with my kids. It's hard, but I love it. I love to be here for all their first. I love it even when it's hard. It truly is the best job on Earth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #3

Today I'm thankful for my Dad. In the last three weeks he has helped us install heat upstairs (which included lots of wiring), added more outlets upstairs (which were necessary for the wiring of the heaters), helped us blow insulation in our entire house, looked at my malfunctioning car, showed Ben how to change the brakes on the Oldsmobile, and came to my rescue when my toilet was clogged and I couldn't figure out how to use the snake. He's a fabulous man with a huge heart. He is willing drop whatever he is doing at a moments notice to help us out with our countless home improvement projects. He never asks for anything in return either. We've tried to pay him for his help several times, and he never takes any money from us. So, I try to feed him when he's here and we return the favor whenever we can. I don't know where we would be with out him. I love you Dad!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Thankful Day #2--Wordless Wednesday

I'm so thankful that God put Ben in my path. I couldn't ask for a better husband or father to my children. He's truly my very bestest friend and the other half of my heart. I fall more in love with him all the time. (And he's not too shabby to look at either ;) ) He's also a Veteran, so I thank him for his service to our country.

To participate in Wordless Wednesday, go to 5 Minutes for Mom and link up!

I'm Thankful Day #1

I found this on Facebook the other day " Let's see how many people can do this. Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what YOU are thankful for." I think it's a fantastic idea. We don't often focus on the wonderful things we're given on a daily basis. I thought this would make for some wonderful blog entries! I'm going to try to think of one thing to be thankful for every day until the end of the year.

Today I'm thankful for snuggly little children. I woke up this morning with Brinna snuggled against my front and Adelae snuggled against my back. How amazing to have that be the first thing I wake up to! I'm lucky enough that it happens on a daily basis. If Ben is home, we look like sardines in a can, but we love it! I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Please Pray

For a little boy named Stellan. His Mommy is MckMama. You may know her from my Not Me! Monday posts. Instead of thinking of clever Not Me's today, MckMama and Stellan are in Boston awaiting possible heart surgery. In case you aren't familiar with their story..Stellan was diagnosed with a heart condition in the womb. When he was born, the condition seemed to have corrected itself. I can't remember how old he was when his SVT returned, but it's been persistent for at least 6 months now. His poor little body and heart have fought so hard to get him to where he is today. And today, that is in Boston awaiting another surgery on his little heart. He is not doing well, this time around. Please oh please, pray for Stellan and his entire family. Long ago, his parents lifted Stellan up to God. They know that this is all in God's plan, but it doesn't make it any easier to understand. I don't often ask my readers to pray, but this time I am. Pray, pray, pray. Pray with all your hearts and all your souls. If you want to know more about Stellan, or MckMama please check out her blog. It can be found at . I promise you won't be disappointed. You can also follow her on Twitter.

I just realized

It's been over a year since I had a cigarette! Hooray for me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's for dinner?

I am the worst meal planner ever. I never know what we're having for supper until the very last minute. Often it's after 7:00 when we eat because I just don't plan ahead. I'm trying to get better though. One of my go to recipes in the winter/fall time is potato soup. I came across this recipe a really long time ago when I was first starting to cook. Ya know, back when I had to have a recipe for EVERYTHING. (I'm much better now) If you look after the recipe, I have a few variations on the ingredients.

Parmesan Potato Soup

4 medium baking potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 cups milk
3/4 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake in the oven or microwave until tender. Cool, peel, cube and set aside. In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk and cheese, heat through. Stir in bacon.

To make this a little more hearty, I substitute 1 lb sage sausage for the bacon, just make sure to brown the sausage first. I also add carrots and celery. I saute them in the butter with the onion. If you like your soup a little creamier, make sure to use either half and half or Vitamin D milk. Make some grilled cheese and Voila! a perfect fall meal!

What's your favorite recipe? My good friend Ashley is having a give away on her blog. Up for grabs are gift cards to Victoria's Secret and Starbucks. All you have to do to enter is post your favorite recipe on your blog and add it to her MckLinky.

Happy. Every. After.

Adelae wants to sing her ABC's, do some counting, and tell you a story.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No islands for me!

6 reasons why you would be doomed if you were stranded on a deserted island all by yourself.

1. I'd be all by myself. I'm a very social persona and would probably go insane after a day.

2. I don't know how to make thinks like fishing poles, bow and arrows, and things like that. I would assume that having those things would be kind of necessary.

3. There is no way I would be able to catch or hunt my own food.

4. If I were able to somehow kill some kind of animal, I would have no clue how to prepare it. Plus, doesn't that mean I would have to have a knife of some sort?

5. I don't know how to make fire with out a lighter. I'm thinking that fire would be somewhat necessary for survival. I know when I watch Survivor they need fire. I'm betting it's important or Jeff Probst wouldn't be giving them flint all the time.

6. I hate bugs and rodents. Again, I've watched Survivor. I know that there's rodents and bugs. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

It's probably a good thing that I don't travel much, isn't it?

What are your six? Don't forget to head to MomDot and link up! Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Need To Be Perfect

For some reason, I have this need to be perfect. I must be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect well...everything. when I leave my house, both my children must look perfect. There shouldn't be any stains on their clothes, food on their faces (or clothes), and no hair should be out of place. They must behave perfectly at all times. I, also, must behave perfectly. For some reason, it is very important to me that people perceive me as perfect. I'm not perfect, I know that, I really do! But, people need to THINK that I'm perfect. I don't know why. It's not so much that I need to be perfect at home, but I need the outside world to look at me say "Wow! She has really got it together!"

When I was growing up, I was convinced that if I were perfect, people would love me. Ya see, I had a rough childhood. No more difficult than others, but it was hard. I never felt like I was good enough. I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, you get the picture. Like so many kids of divorced parents, I was convinced that if I were perfect, my parents would love each other and we would all live together in Utopia. There are so many other factors to my need to appear perfect, but I'm not quite ready to share them yet. Perhaps in time...perhaps not.

I know, now, that being perfect doesn't win you love. Nobody ever loved me more, or less, because I wasn't perfect. I know that people probably won't think I'm a bad mom if my girls have stuff on their face, or if their clothes have a stain, or if their hair is messy. I know I'm a good mom and a good wife, that's really all that matters. But when I leave the house, everyone gets a critical once over. More times than I can count, someone has had to change clothes because of some minor flaw. But, there are other times when we leave the house and Adelae has a milk mustache and messy hair. I'm getting better...slowly, but surely, I'm making improvements.

I think, honestly, that I'm unhappy with myself and that's I need the people I'm in charge of to look perfect. I don't think I'm pretty, or skinny, I don't wear the right clothes, my make-up is always a little off, my hair never looks like I want it to. I feel frumpy, fat and old. By making my children look a little more perfect, I'm taking the spot light off me. So many times I think that people probably think to themselves "Wow! The kids are cute, but Mom sure could do something with herself." It makes me sad. I don't think I'll ever be good enough, in my own eyes. I'm not sure how to get over my perception of myself. I'm working on it. I'm praying that God helps me. He's helped me so much in the past few months, and I know that he can help me with this too.

Perhaps I am perfect just as I am, but until I can really believe that my kids will just have to suffer Mom's critical eye.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dog or Cat?

I think my dog thinks she's a cat, or the cats think they're dogs. This isn't the best picture, but if you look, you can see a big black lump..that's the dog. See the other lumps? Those are cats. Yeah, my animals suffer from identity crises.

Want to see what others are wordless about? Head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, November 2, 2009

Roll Over Miss Brinna!

She can roll!

This was the **almost** video

Then she did it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

Smell My Feet :)We went trick or treating with my brother and two of his three kids. It was a little cold, but all in all a great time. They all had so much fun and got tons of candy. Of course, I had to go through the candy when we got home and pick out the stuff I just knew Adelae wouldn't like. Is it my fault that what she won't like is the same things that I happen to love?

Two Cinderella's, Dale Earnhardt Jr and a tiny skeleton getting ready to head out.

Who needs a royal coach when you have Daddy?!

The tiny skeleton slept through the whole thing!

Two princesses waiting for costume judging (neither of them won, but I still think they're adorable!)

Practicing her smile for the judges.

Checking out all of her loot.

All tuckered out after a very long day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

What are you wordless about this week? As always, don't for get to ling up at 5 Minutes for Mom. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Power Of Prayer

I will admit that I've never been a prayer. I mean, I pray, but I've always been a little uncomfortable with it. I guess I've always had the mindset that God is too busy to listen to me. Sure, I prayed, but without much conviction. Then something happened this year. My sister, Maria, found out that the baby she was carrying had some significant problems. Through the miracle of modern medicine, they found that Gabby was missing part of her brain. Did my sister break down? Nope! She turned to God. I decided that if she could do that, so could I. So, Ben and I started attending church. One of the very first sermons I heard was about how to pray. I can still remember Pastor Jim saying "Talk to God like he's your friend." And then he went on to tell us about all the prayers that God has answered. I kind of thought maybe there was something to this praying thing. So, that night, I prayed. I prayed for my sister and I prayed for Gabby. I prayed to God that He may give Maria and her family the strength to deal with what was coming their way. Maria never let her faith lag. She told me once that she and her husband, John, had put Gabby in God's hands. She knew, with out a doubt, that God had special plans for Gabby. On July 2 Maria gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Despite the odds, Gabby was home with her family in just a few short days.

At that point I knew with all my heart and soul that God heard our prayers. I could feel in in my very soul. It was such an amazing feeling to know that He was there and holding John, Maria, Gabby and their entire family in his hands.
Since then, there have been numerous challenges for Baby Gabby. They are still unsure what her official diagnosis should be. Her neurologist (a man truly sent by God to be the head of Gabby's medical team) believes that it's septo-optic dysplasia, but no one is 100% positive. In the four short months that Gabby has been with us, she has undergone three surgeries for severe glaucoma, and two brain surgeries. The first surgery was to open the tube that helps to drain the fluid that surrounds the brain. Unfortunately, that surgery failed in less than two weeks and Gabby had to undergo another, far more invasive surgery, to have a shunt put in. The shunt runs from her tiny brain down to her stomach. Imagine, if you can, sending your barely four month old baby in for brain surgery, not once but twice!

Whenever Gabby is sick or heading to the hospital for an appointment, surgery or more tests, Maria asks her friends and family to pray for Gabby. I in turn ask my Pastor, my church, and my friend to pray for Gabby and Maria. There have been numerous hurdles in this little baby's life. But EVERY SINGLE time, she comes out on the other side.
I also ask the Lord to give Maria strength. Strength to keep fighting for her baby. Strength to deal with each and every obstacle that comes her way. Strength to fight this battle with out the aid of her parents and siblings close by. Strength to keep her faith and strength to know in her heart of hearts that God has plans for her and for Gabby.
And I know that He hears me. I know that he listens and I know that He indeed gives Maria strength, He guides the doctors and gives them the knowledge they need to help this very special little girl and her very special Mommy. I believe in the power of prayer because I've seen it first hand.

Who did that? Not Me!

I most certainly did NOT get pulled over for speeding days after I proudly declared to my husband "I don't speed." I also did most certainly NOT have three kids in the car. I also most definitely was NOT talking on my cell phone while speeding. NOPE! Not me!

I also did not prop Brinna's stuffed bunny up against her paci to keep it in her mouth so she wouldn't wake up every two seconds. (No's away from her nose so she won't suffocate or anything.)

I most certainly did NOT let Adelae watch "The Jungle Book" twice in a row so I could get some housework done. That would be using the TV as a babysitter and that would just be awful!

I also did NOT spend the last week constantly checking my kids for fever. I am certainly NOT a little freaked out about the swine flu.

I wound NEVER think I lost the registration sticker for the car. And if I did think I lost it, I would NEVER tell my husband that we hadn't received it yet when he asked about it. Nope!

Want to join in Not Me! Monday? Head on over to My Charming Kids and link up!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's baaaaaack!

I certainly have not been saving up "Not Me's" for the last few weeks for "Not Me! Monday."

I did not sit down to play Farmville on Facebook and let my dinner boil over. Nope! I wouldn't do that! How irresponsible would that be?

And speaking of irresponsible, I most certainly did not leave the stuff that leaked out of my homemade chicken pot pie onto the bottom of the oven sit there. Then I most certainly did not try to bake something in the oven with all that gunk on the bottom. This most certainly did not result in my oven catching on fire. That absolutely could never go undetected by my husband who was sitting at the table studying for fire fighter school. And I most certainly did not shout "What do I do?" To which my firefighter-in-training-husband did not reply "I don't know! What do I look like? A firefighter?" HAHAHAHA!

I certainly did not tear up when my girls got baptized on Sunday.

I would never ever set Adelae at her little table with crayons, construction paper, safety scissors, and a glue stick in hopes that she would keep busy and quiet so I could sneak in a little nap.

Wanna join "Not Me!Monday"? Go visit MckMama and her MSC at her blog. And, as always, don't forget to link up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm so relieved

When I took Brinna to our new pediatrician the first time, I thought there was no way that she was going to work out. She is part of a larger practice and the information they handed was against everything I believe in. They believe in Cry It Out, I hate it; they are anti-babywearing, I love it; Cloth diapers were not recommended, we use cloth; they are very anti-co-sleeping; I co-sleep with Brinna and sometimes Adelae. But, I had heard wonderful things about the practice in general and they have weekend hours, so I decided to stick with the practice. I'm so glad I did! When I spoke to our actual pediatrician she told me that she has to hand out the literature, but it isn't necessarily what she believes. She loves cloth diapers, babywearing, and she thinks it's ok to co-sleep, as long as it's done properly. Hooray!!! I'm so glad we didn't switch! She did such an amazing job with both girls. I think after two years and three doctors, we may have finally found a good fit!

Brinna continues to grow like a little weed, but she's still a tiny one. She only weighs 9lbs 8ozs (20%) and is 22 1/4 inches long (45%). She is happy and healthy and reaching all her milestones.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let's Celebrate!!

6 unconventional things you think people should celebrate by throwing a party

1. My Kid Is Potty Trained. Given our recent forays into potty training, I now know that it's something that should be celebrated with an enormous party. Lots of stickers, maybe some diaper burning (except we use cloth and that would make me maybe just boxing them up until the baby is old enough to use them.)

2. The Baby Slept Through The Night. Still waiting on that one with Brinna, but I remember that first blissful 8 hours of totally uninterrupted sleep.

3. All The Dishes Are Done. This should be celebrated by taking me out for a nice dinner so that more dishes don't pile up.

4. All the Bills are Paid and We Have Extra Money In The Bank! This one is pretty self-explanatory :)

5. We Have Nothing To Do Today! We have been so incredibly busy since..well..forever! It's so nice when we have a day to do absolutely nothing.

6. I'm Not Sick Anymore. I had a recent bout with food poisoning and I was pretty certain I was going to die. I have NEVER EVER been that sick. EVER! It was horrid. I definitely felt like celebrating when I was able to eat solid foods again!

That's my Small Talk Six for the week. So, what would you celebrate? Don't forget to got to MomDot and link up!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm Calling It!

I bet you're thinking "Hey Shaun, why are you posting pictures of Adelae in her underpants?" Wait! Did you say underpants? Not diaper? Let's look at that picture again. I'll look with you. Isn't she cute?! And YES! Those are BIG GIRL panties! After two weeks of practice, I'm calling it. Adelae is potty trained! I know that millions of women (and men) have potty trained their kids, but it still feels like a huge accomplishment! People can FINALLY stop telling me that I need to get Adelae potty trained. Hooray for her!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just cause my kids are SO darn cute!

Here are a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure!
Brinna has been babbling for about three weeks now. Here's a little video of her "talking"

I've been searching high and low for a Cinderella costume for Adelae. We finally found one at Marshall's and Adelae just HAD to have it. As soon as we got home, she had to put it on. I think she's trying to sing "So This Is Love" from Cinderella, but I'm not sure. She could just be making up her own song, with Adelae you just never know!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thumbs Down

What a pissy day (yes, there is a pun there)! It started off just fine. Adelae and Brinna actually slept in till 8:00 this morning, which is a rarity! It's Thursday and that means payday! And I got the second two episodes of True Blood from NetFlix. Not to mention the sun was out!
My day quickly went down hill though. First Brinna puked on me, nothing really new there, she's kind a pukey baby. Then Adelae threw a fit about eating breakfast, then Brinna puked on me again. About that time the fun REALLY started! Brinna started screaming and wouldn't stop, nothing would appease her. She didn't want to nurse, she screamed when I tried to burp her, her diaper wasn't wet or dirty, sitting didn't work, standing didn't work and I was very close to losing my mind! Then Adelae peed her pants (we've been potty training for over a week now) and cried for about 10 mins because I wouldn't let her put her wet underpants back on (they were Cinderella underpants). I finally broke down and gave Brinna some Mylicon (a gas medicine for babies) in the hopes that I could quiet at least ONE crying child. And it wasn't even 9:30 yet!
Adelae finally decides to put in a pair of panties, she manages to get dressed all by herself (cause "I'm a big girl now Mommy") and Brinna stops crying long enough for me to take a shower. We read "Mabel O'Leary Put Peas In Her Ear-y" and "The Very Lonely Firefly" and a few other books we got from the library. The day was looking up!
Until lunch time, that is. The bread miraculously disappeared, I swear it was there yesterday, but today..POOF..gone! So, no sandwiches (standard lunch fare around here). When I explained to Adelae that we didn't have any bread she flipped out. "But I wanted a sammich Moooommmmmmyyyyyyyy!!" After 10 minutes of explaining that I'd like nothing more than to make her a "sammich" but we don't have any bread, she decides that a hot dog would be ok. I, of course, forget that she likes them "like a 'tick" and cut it up. Apparently, this makes the world end because she shrieks and carries on for a good 5 minutes. This, of course, wakes up Brinna, who had finally started to doze off in the bouncy seat. Honestly, at this point I'm thinking to myself "who can I call to come and take these children for the day!" Instead of shipping them off to the nearest relative, I let the melt down run it's course and nurse the baby (for what seems like the one millionth time since we woke up). Adelae eats her hot dog, then refuses to eat her cheese. So, I send her to time out. (Actually she said "I don't wanna eat my cheese, I wanna sit in time out.") Literally one second later I hear "Mommy I peed!" I'm thinking "Great! She peed in the potty." NO!!! She peed in her pants..AGAIN! Soooo, off she goes to sit on the potty while I try to find her yet another pair of undertpants and pants. I explain to her that we DO NOT PEE IN OUR PANTS! And the little stinker HIT ME! Yes! She HIT ME! So, back to time out she goes. Meanwhile, Brinna is still screaming bloody murder!
At this point, I'm fairly confident that I'm being Punked. I'm sure there are hidden cameras and Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and say "Surprise!" Sadly, no, this is my actual morning. Sigh.... Since it's nice outside, I decide that we all need to get out of the house. Adelae refuses to put pants on, socks on, or shoes on. I say "Don't you wanna go outside." Her response "No, I just wanna cwy." Finally, she decides that she'll get dressed so we can go outside. I asked her repeatedly if she needs to potty. "Nope!" Is her response every time (keep in mind she had JUST peed her pants about 20 mins prior). And I'll be DAMNED if she didn't PISS HER FREAKING PANTS five seconds later! Seriously! I'm pretty sure there was smoke coming out of my ears at this point.
I decided that we all were more than ready for nap time! Of course, she screamed when she had to put a diaper on. But, that was jut too bad! With any luck, she's sleeping. Brinna drifted off to sleep right after Adelae went upstairs. So, both girls are napping. It's blissfully quiet. Shhhh....don't wake them up!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Full up to my head

This conversation took place during lunch after sitting at the table for over 30 mins.

Me: Adelae, you really need to stop goofing around and eat your sandwich.

Adelae (in a very stern voice): I CAN'T!!!

Me: Why not?

Adelae (still in a stern voice): Cause I. DON'T. WANNA!

Me: Well, that's too bad. You need to eat the rest of your sandwich.

Adelae: But I'm full up to my head!

Me: Are you sure, cause you really didn't eat much except for your chips.

Adelae (you could see the light go on over her little head): I need more chips!

Me: I thought you were full up to your head?

Adelae: Chips don't go in my head, only sandwiches go in my head.

Me: Where do they go?

Wait for it....

Adelae: In my BELLY silly Mommy!

So there ya have it. Sandwiches go in your head, but chips go in your belly.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wanna be like me?

I just found the best online giveaway! Remember I mentioned Our Life Upstate? Well, Growing Green Bums gave her a Moby to give away on her blog! How cool is that? So, if you wanna be like me, go over to Our Life Upstate and enter the contest! Just to let you know, I totally plan on winning this one :) I adore my Chocolate colored Moby, but I really want the indigo one. And if you want to buy a Moby (to be just like me) go to Growing Green Bums and pick up your own.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baby Wearing for WW

Since it's Baby Wearing Week, I wanted to show you a picture of Brinna snoozing in the Moby. Doesn't she look snuggly?

Wanna join Wordless Wednesday? Go to MomDot or 5 Minutes for Mom and link up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm a Baby Wearer..get over it

I can recall the exact responses and looks I got when I told family and friends that I was planning on wearing my baby. Sometimes I got blank looks, other said "Oh! How neat!" and MANY other said "Ohhhhh---kaaaay," as if I were crazy. But, since I'm an individual, I forged ahead. I researched every type of sling and wrap I could find information on. I looked at name brand ones, home made ones, ones made with plain fabric, ones made with patters, carriers, ring slings, pouch slings, wraps..the list went on and on and on. How was I ever going to decide? I just about drove myself nuts with all the choices. Since I live in very rural Ohio, there wasn't a store I could go to and see all the choices. I had to run on instinct alone. Then, like a shining beacon, I saw Our Life Upstate . I don't remember how I stumbled upon her and her blog, but guess what?! She wore her baby! And blogged about it! How fabulous! I took lots of tips from her. Then my friend Gwenn said she was planning on getting some different types of carriers for her baby. Even better! After tons and tons of research and discussions with these two, and other, baby wearers I picked the Moby. I mostly decided on the Moby because it looked easy enough to make at home! I didn't want to pay full price, mostly because I'm just cheap and I knew I could make one cheaper. So, that was my plan. I put off buying the material because, even though I'm getting craftier, I wasn't sure I was willing to tackle the Moby just yet. Then, one day, I found a Moby at a garage sale! YAHOO!!! I was dying to try it out!
When Brinna was born, I took it to the hospital with me. I'm not ashamed to admit it, I wanted to put that tiny baby in that Moby so bad! I never did use it at the hospital though! No reason really, I just didn't. Once I did get around to putting her in it, my life completely changed. It really did!
I was amazed at how comfortable the Moby is. It's a lot, and I do mean A LOT of material, but it's not hard, once you get the hang of it. I wear my Moby all the time, even if there's not a baby in it! :) If I'm going somewhere, whether it's a quick trip to the post office or a long trip to the grocery, I put on my Moby. I like to put mine on before I leave the house and wear it in the car. Then when I get to my destination, I take Brinna out of her carseat, pop her in the Moby, get Adelae and we're off! I wear Brinna at home too. If I have dishes to do and she's being fussy, I put her in the Moby. She falls asleep almost instantly. She'll sleep in the Moby for hours. It's great! She's all warm, snuggly and very happy. I can get things done and she gets a nice long nap in. The best of both worlds!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is here!

Small Talk Six is back! Well, I guess it never really left, I just abandoned it for a few weeks. But, I'm back and ready to tackle it again this week! This weeks topic is "6 Things You Love or Hate About Autumn." I love fall, it's my favorite season, so this one is easy for me.

1. FOOTBALL!!!! I love football! I'm so glad that Ben finally has weekends off so we can watch the games together. I am, however, very sad that we don't have cable, so the amount of games we get to watch is very limited.

2. I love it when the leaves change colors. It always looks pretty. It's really cool to look at the small woods behind out house and see all the beautiful colors.

3. I love fall clothes. I love wearing jeans, long sleeved t-shirts and hoodies. I always feel so cozy when I'm all bundled up.

4. I love the moderate temperatures. Warm in the day, cool at night. (Not that it's really been that hot this summer.)

5. The smell of the air is totally different in the fall. Maybe I notice it more since I live in the country, but the air gets crisper with just a tiny bite of cold. Add that to the smell of leaves and it's perfect! Almost as good as fresh mowed grass, but not quite.

6. I hate that winter is right around the corner. I do not like winter.

What do you love or hate about fall?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, go to 5minutesformom or MomDot. Don't forget to add your WW to Mr. Linky!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2 Years and Counting

Today is Ben and I's two year wedding anniversary! It seems so crazy to me that it's only been two years. I feel like we've been married for so much longer! I think that's mostly because things have always been so easy with Ben. I'm not saying we don't fight, because we do! Boy do we! :) But after it's all said and done, he's still the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I never once had any second thoughts about marrying him. I knew, and still know, that he's my soul mate.

I always wanted Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet. If you know Ben, he's not the sweep you off your feet kind of guy. He's more like the "Puke on your head and not call you the next day cause he's hanging out with his ex-girlfriend" kind of guy. Yeah...all you that know the story, take a minute and have a good laugh. If you don't know the story..well..if you beg hard enough, I'll tell it to you some day.

I find myself, on our anniversary, not reliving our wedding day, but our first date. (No, not the one where he puked on my head, but our first real date.) It was awful and wonderful at the same time. My car wouldn't start (turns out it wasn't in Park all the way..I'm kind of an idiot that way), he had bought strawberry daiquiri mix but didn't have a blender and he rented the worst movie I've ever seen (The Fog). But it all worked out. My car eventually started (must put in PARK first...duh!), we scrapped the idea of daiquiris (I'm more of a beer girl anyway) and laughed our way through The Fog. (Seriously, it's horrible..don't ever watch it.) We also went to dinner which went really well until I asked him if he wanted kids and he almost choked on his Chicken Bryan. (Little did he know I'd wind up pregnant three months later! HA!)
We've had a tough few years. We've dealt with stresses lots of couples never even have to deal with and have managed to come out on the other side. I know now why people say marriage is work. It is, but it's worth every penny. I know it's worth it cause he still makes my heart beat fast, I still think he's the sexiest man alive, and I still want to spend every waking moment with him.