Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Love

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Month of Pictures

Because I'm sick - strep turned nasty cold (didn't we just deal with The Little Miss being sick!?). Because I'm doped up on cough syrup (WHY does it have to taste so horrible!?). And because I just don't have the two spare brain cells to compose a real post, enjoy the past month in photos......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Curly Sue

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wherein I babble about our crazy life....

So.  Hi, Blog world!!

Life is just insane right now. Most days I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off.

Let's see if I can summarize:

My in-laws are on a 70-day cruise (lucky them). We've been given the responsibility of watching their home, keeping up with their mail and making sure nothing burns down/explodes/leaks, etc. Last we checked everything was still standing and dry. That should count for something, right?

The Little Miss is taking pre-gymnastic classes at The Little Gym. She loves, loves, loves these classes. Most Wednesdays now go like this...wake, quickly shower, scarf down breakfast, prep the diaper bag (water, snacks, extra clothes, etc), clothe Sophie, fix her hair while she runs around excited for Little Gym, drive as fast as we can without breaking too many speed limits and catch our breath as we have 10 seconds to remove our shoes and run into the gym. Crazy much???

Potty training. What is there to say about this process? We're in the VERY early stages of potty training. We've had some successful tries as well as times where she just sits on the potty but doesn't do anything. She's asking to go more and more but still hasn't made the connection of when she needs to go, she should head to the potty rather than go in the diaper. We're not discouraged in the least as it's still early but as anyone who's potty trained knows - it's a process!

Dogs. I'm not sure how much I've written about our dogs here. We have two retired racing greyhounds. They're great dogs and Sophie adores them but man are they sucking us dry of money! Duncan has his fair share of issues - pain mixed with severe anxiety means lots of medications and resulting to labwork to insure his liver isn't damaged in the process. Friend is regressing because Duncan has received a lot of attention lately and has now decided the hallway is her personal toilet. It's a good thing we love them to pieces because some days I'm ready to pull my hair out!

Kid number two? No, that's not an announcement. It's me admitting I'm not ready to go through EVERYTHING I have to go through to get pregnant (if we can again) and successfully carry a child to term. Infertility and the resulting treatments are a HUGE stress on me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'm struggling to find the time to exercise and lose the MANY pounds I need to lose. Some days I feel like I'm being pulled in two different directions. My heart says "I can't wait to share my love with another child." while my mind and body say "Are you kidding!? Do you know what we have to go through to get there? Have you FORGOTTEN!?" I haven't forgotten. It sucks and I really wish we were part of the lucky ones that could just try with no medical intervention.

New business venture. Well, not really new....let's say re-started business venture. In early 2008 I decided to start my own photography business. I did a few shoots, loved it, realized I still needed lots of practice especially with posing and getting the lighting/metering just right but was on my way. Anyway, 2008 brought some intense times with fertility treatments, the pregnancy, being told we miscarried when we didn't, on-again/off-again bleeding, falling on my belly during the second trimester and the resulting Little Miss. I did a few shoots through my pregnancy but then Sophie arrived and I focused my time and attention on her - not growing my business. With the economy so questionable my "real" job isn't the most stable position at the moment. With that in mind, I decided to take another leap and work on getting the photography business up and running again. The past several weeks have been devoted to compiling a portfolio, getting some advertisement going (and offering my services in a raffle at The Little Gym), and scheduling some portfolio building shoots.

I think I'm crazy. 

There's more but I'm positive you're bored out of your mind. One of these days I hope to get back to regular blogging. Sophie is a riot and also VERY trying. Gotta love the approaching twos and increased independence!

If I had a nickle for every "No!" I heard throughout the day.....

Wordless Wednesday: Macaw

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Sneak Peek

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paranoid Much?

No. Not me. NO way.


The Little Miss is sick. Nearing a week now. She's caught a cold. The first full day of sickness she ran a really low-grade fever, had some vomiting and a cough but is mostly just MAJORLY congested. I've wiped a snotty nose more times than I can count and my hands are raw from all the hand washing and hand-sanitizer using. I got little sleep the first few nights as she struggled sleeping with all the congestion. The next couple of nights saw some better sleep but we were still being woken after a few hours with her getting choked and coughing.

Last night rolls around. She'd had a bit better day. Her nose wasn't running as much but she's very gurgle-y (parents with sick kids, you know what I mean). She crashed pretty quickly after taking a really late afternoon nap. I jolt awake about 4:45AM. I first check the bed - nope, she's not in bed with us. I then check the video monitor. She's in her bed, face down. I think to myself "I'm sure she's fine." Then I begin to have the starts of a panic attack remembering just how congested she's been. I slip out of bed, tip-toe into her room, lay my hand on her back, and breathe a sigh of relief that she's breathing.

Around 5am she starts coughing and can't stop so I rescue her from her bed and bring her in to sleep, elevated, on me until her coughing slows. I told Y that I'd checked on her at 4:45 to make sure she was breathing. His response? "I did the same thing at 3am."

Nope. We're not paranoid AT ALL!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big Girls....

...sleep in Big Girl beds:

And Big Girls learn to dress themselves:

Such concentration!

Look at that belly! Hahaha


Can I just say I'm AMAZED at how quickly the Little Miss has jumped to these "Big Girl" stages after showing no real interest in some of them!? We'd practiced dressing ourselves now and then but it was never a huge feat for her. She'd try to dress herself but, honestly, she just didn't care. Tonight while folding and sorting the clean laundry she took her pajama bottoms, sat on the floor and started dressing herself. She did 95% of the process COMPLETELY on her own. So proud.

As for the transition to her toddler bed..well, that just sort of happened. After Y's surgery napping (and going to bed at night) on her own were a struggle. In the months just after the surgery all she wanted was to be held. To have me close by. Every time we'd try to return to her sleeping on her own there would be fits and tantrums and pure refusal. It was most likely the WRONG move but I gave in..choosing to SURVIVE the day with a nap vs. no nap. I'd have to rock her to sleep, place her in her crib and stay in her room, working (thank goodness my work is done on the laptop!) while she slept. If ever she woke and I wasn't there, the nap would be over. During our trip to Missouri in July, there just wasn't a good place for her to nap other than on my Mom's bed. Sure we had her PeaPod Travel bed but it just wasn't real easy for naptime. So we began working on having her fall asleep next to us, not in our arms. Most days it was successful. Once we were home, we continued this, having her fall asleep next to us on our bed and it's been a HUGE success. This began transitioning to night time as well. Instead of being rocked to sleep, she wanted in her crib to snuggle in on her own. Soon she began to get frustrated that she couldn't get in or out of bed on her own (and quite frankly we were tired of leaning over the crib to pat her back now and then). 
(Disclaimer: We TRIED CIO and Ferber and it just didn't work for us. So while it may have been hugely successful in your household, it wasn't in ours and, really, Y nor I could handle the tears.) 

So, we discussed converting her crib to a toddler bed. We questioned whether or not she was ready; whether or not we'd be spending the night sending her back to her bed. And then one weekend, while her grandparents were here visiting, we just DID IT. I'm SO proud of how well she's done. She climbs right in at night after some milk and snuggle time with Mom or Dad. After whispering some sweet words she's out for the night. We haven't had to struggle with her getting in and out of bed - she just sleeps.

Potty training seems to be not far behind. She's beginning to tell us when she needs to go poopy and pulls at her diaper wanting it changed when she's very wet. We're not going to push it - just waiting for signs that she's ready and take it one step at a time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010


Funk [fuhngk] noun: a dejected mood

I'm in a funk. I can't quite describe it, maybe it's more of a rut but it's one I can't seem to get out of.

I'm behind on work deadlines. I can't seem to stay caught up with everyday household stuff. Stresses are mounting and I just can't seem to get my head above water. It's affecting every aspect of my life so, really, maybe it's more of a form of depression. Whatever it is, I'm tired of it.

I'd been so good for weeks. I was getting up early every morning to use the treadmill. Said treadmill is in our garage. Our non-air conditioned garage. Have I mentioned we live in Arizona where it's still above 100 degrees in late September?? That really took some devotion on my part - it's HOT out there and would be so easy for me to say "I'll wait until it cools down." One week came along where I had a massive amount of work and a multitude of appointments and I decided to skip the workouts in favor of spending that time on work. Apparently that was mistake #1 because I haven't been back out there for a few weeks. I am so disappointed in myself.

Then there are the stresses that almost everyone is going through now: the economy, personal finances, bills, etc. Our electric bills were becoming completely astronomical. After a month of being vigilant about turning things off we weren't using and keeping an eye on how much the A/C was running, we were still having huge bills - in fact they'd increased! We called a repair service to come do a tune-up on the A/C where we discovered the whole entire system (A/C, furnace, duct work, etc) really needed to be replaced and the condenser itself was on the verge of completely dying. This happened JUST after we'd sat down with our budget trying to figure out a way to live solely off Y's salary - mine had just become too unpredictable. Talk about a huge blow - a five-figured blow to the budget.

Some days it seems like the universe is taking one giant dump on my head.

The Little Miss has been doing what every nearly two year-old will do: testing boundaries. I love that kid - love her like crazy but I've been ready to pull my hair out with her some days. She is smart but oh so stubborn. A lot like me, really and there are days I have to hand her off to her Dad and escape for a few minutes. I wish so desperately we lived closer to family who could give Y and I a night out or just drop in for a few hours to play with her or take her to the playground - anything to offer up a break. I'm astonished at the lack of community in our neighborhood.

So, I apologize, dear readers, for the lack of content lately. There are just many things I need to work through right now and get my head above water. Hopefully, soon, I can get back to regular postings. There is much to share including The Little Miss' new weekly adventure of classes at The Little Gym and a move to a "big girl" bed!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saving Cents

As is the case with the majority of families these days, we're on a mission to save our hard-earned money. Even more-so now that I've taken a pay-cut in order to keep my job.
I'm cute but expensive!

I'd like to share a few of the great resources I've found to help us save. While this isn't an exhaustive list, and it mainly focused on things for the Little Miss, these sites help us save.

Groupon: First step with Groupon is to confirm you live in or near one of their available cities. Groupon offers one-day coupon deals where you purchase a "Groupon" for the day's specific deal. The deals are usually based on local businesses but will occasionally offer nationwide deals. For example, one of their most recent deals was $50 worth of merchandise from The Gap for $25. I (as did MANY people) jumped on this deal. Combine this coupon with end-of-season sales or clearances and you can manage some really great finds! I've purchased Groupons for local restaurants, a book store, a zoo membership for half the price and of course the Gap deal. (Smart Phone users - check your apps. Groupon has an iPhone app and may have one available for other smart phones.)

Baby Steals: This is a daily deals site based in Utah. They post new daily deals for pregnant women and infants. You'll occasionally see deals for toddlers as well. I've gotten so many great finds through them! See Kai Run shoes, Baby Legs, Bumble Diaper bags, hair clips and the list goes on. Be sure to check their archives for deals you may have missed but can still take advantage of!

KidSteals: The sister site to Baby Steals that focuses on the older kids. Kid Steals started within the past year. I LOVE their deals on shoes...I've gotten many great deals (50%+ off original prices) on Umi, See Kai Run and other brands. More Baby Leg brand items including tights and socks. And one of my favorite finds the Lolly Chalkmat By Sam & Bellie*

Baby Half Off:  This was a recent discovery based in Arizona. It's similar to BabySteals and KidSteals in that it's a deal of the day site. I haven' t found too many great deals (for our needs anyway) but have made a purchase and they were great to deal with! Gilt is a members-only discount shopping site (follow the link for your invitation if you'd like to join). They've recently added a large Children's discount section. I've found some great discounted Christmas and birthday gifts from Gilt! Lots of major brand clothing sales, discounted books and toys. If you're looking for a great travel deal, check Gilt...there just might be something you're looking for! They have FANTASTIC customer service and will offer you site credit if they mess up.

Totsy: Totsy is similar to Gilt in that it's a members-only discount shopping site (follow the link for your invitation if you'd like to join) but Totsy focuses solely on kid stuff (and the occasional maternity gear). To be purely honest, I've had some recent issues with customer service (A mix-up on orders that they attempted to correct but would not respond to emails in a timely manner - or at all really. The situation has been resolved but left a not-so-great impression on me.). I'm willing to give them another chance because there have been some great deals.

As for all of these "deal" sites, do your research! There was something on one of the sites recently that I wanted to get for a gift but when I added in the shipping costs, it just didn't seem like that great of a deal. Before placing my order, I did a quick search (I tend to check Amazon first or just Google it) and found that Amazon actually offered the same item on a better sale with free shipping making the overall cost less with Amazon than with the deal site.

What ways do you help your family save? Any great sites you'd like to share?

*Affiliate link.

Wordless Wednesday: Eye of the Horse

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daddy's Girl

I'll admit it.

I'm a Daddy's Girl and today, on what would have been his 89th birthday, I miss him.

I miss his hugs. I miss his smile. I miss his laugh.

Recently as I was cleaning and trying to purge our home of the extra stuff, I came across a video of the last Army Reunion my father was able to attend. A video of a local news report where my Dad was one of a few that was interviewed. The reunion took them back to Jefferson Barracks where he and his squadron were stationed before heading off to WWII.  Taking a deep breath, I slid the tape in our lone VHS player. And there. There on the screen was my sweet, sweet Dad. Happy. Nostalgic. The Dad I love and adore. The man I miss. And tears flowed.

Everyday I picture you
Everyday I remember you

You taught me all you could in your far too short time with me
And now my only job is to remember and never forget
To pass those memories on so you will forever live in our hearts

I love you, Dad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010