Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Splash!

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