Thursday, December 30, 2010

You'll have to excuse me....

My baby girl has the stomach flu.



And it's the hardest thing I've had to deal with post-NICU (or so it seems today).  I always wondered how moms did it.  You know, dealing with someone else's puke and gross sickness.  Today I learned.  You just do.  The whole fact that it's puke (and it's not your own) totally flies out the window and this super-mom being takes over and just focuses on the fact that your baby needs you and you just are there, 100%. 

She's feeling slightly better now.  The pukey-ness has subsided and left her just feeling weak.   I'm loving the cuddle time.  And the time with my book while she sleeps so peacefully.

We are praying that the flu leaves our home as quickly as it invaded and takes no more prisoners in it's wake.  I hope to be back to blogging tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm getting old and falling apart

When you pee on that little stick and see that faint little "+" pop up, you immediately zoom into this land of bliss where everything is soft, fuzzy, beautfiul, happy, pink (or blue), la la, ga ga, perfect.  You rarely zoom into the land where you're so tired you can't function, you are so busy that you forget to shower, going to the grocery store is your major accomplishment for the week.....  and in my case, you're sicker than a dog with no explanation as to why.

Since getting our own little "+" slice of heaven, I have had more health issues than I ever thought I would.  I know that I'm getting older and things just aren't the same, but my goodness....I'm falling apart!  During my pregnancy, I became diabetic.  I had a port in my big ole' belly for my 4x daily insulin shots.  A few weeks after giving birth, I was in the hospital for an emergency surgery to have my gall bladder removed.  It seems that the pregnancy made my gall bladder go wonky and it created these stones that made my gall bladder resemble a honeycomb on ultrasound and the stones worked their way into the ducts to my (?) liver.  Nice, huh?  I have anxiety that is worse than it ever has been and my stress is through the roof.  I now crave chocolate non-stop and can't stomach almost all other foods.  And now, I've become dependent on a daily regimen of Prilosec.  That's the newest ailment. 

Maybe it's unfair to blame my pregnancy....but I'd be willing to bet that it is the culprit.  About two weeks ago, maybe a little more, I started having this all day nausea.  It was miserable.  I couldn't do hardly anything because I just felt sick all day long.  In the beginning, I thought it was the flu.  I hear it's going around and I thought that (God forbid) I had caught it.  Well, it never progressed passed the nausea stage, and the nausea stage never went away.  What the heck?  The longer it went on, the more that I realized how much it resembled my all day sickness when I was pregnant with Kinley.  So reluctanly, we bought a test.  This is our first real scare.  I *am* preventing pregnancy.  We are not ready for another.  The fear of taking that test was intense.  Part of me wanted it to be positive so that I would have an answer to why I had been so, so, so sick.  But then the realistic part of me was screaming NO!, it just *can't* be positive! 

Well, it was negative.  *sigh of relief*

I finally tell my mom about this extreme nausea that I'm dealing with.  I was down a few pounds from being unable to eat and I knew I had to do something.  Our new insurance with the husband's new job doesn't start until January, so we are "floating" (which is never a good thing to do, btw).  I couldn't go to the doctor.  Mom said that she takes Nexium daily for the same issues.  Hmmmmm.  So we went to Tar-ghet and picked some up.

That next morning I took my first dose, and by afternoon, my nausea had subsided.  You don't know what great relief that was.  Holy cow.  I wanted to scream my thanks to God.  The next couple of days, I took it first thing in the morning and felt GOOD all day.  It was amazing.  Three days down the road and the nausea was resurfacing by about 2 p.m.  So now I'm guessing that the dosage isn't strong enough for my issue....or maybe it was only masking a different problem.

Either way, I'm calling a doctor today to get this checked out. 

The bad thing about moving to a new area is having to find a new doctors.  Doctors are so hard to find.  You have to find one you trust, are comfortable with, that understands you, yadda, yadda, yadda.  And I'm not your average patient either.  I'm a tad high maintenance (wha?!  NO!).  Maybe more than a tad.  I'm a full time job in itself.

I am thinking that I do have some stomach acid issue...but I also think that it's majorly stress related.  My stress levels are through the roof right now and I think my stomach (and back and neck) are paying for it.

Having a baby made me old.  But she's worth every second.

Ever feel like someone is watching you?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Now this is a scatterbrained attempt at a blog post....

Now that felt like a blogger hiatus.  I think I was only "gone" for three or four days...but it felt like weeks.  And I don't even know why it feels that way...it's not like much has happened.  Aside from Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and all that jazz.  How was your Christmas holiday?  Did you find lots of good stuff under your tree?  Was everyone all cheery and happy and drama-free?

We did enjoy our days of family, food and gifts.  Kinley, she could take it or leave it.


My attempt at another "tradition"--
a family picture in our bed
on Christmas morning before
the tree is attacked.
 She woke up at around 5, and that was just way too early for us, so I nursed her and put her back to bed.  (We have that luxury this year, and maybe next)  She then got up at around 8ish.

Richie carried her out to the tree (where it looked pathetically empty) and she immediately went for Lucy's new tennis balls.  Eh, well.  Whatever.


This Elmo phone was
programmed to say her name.  It
was a HUGE hit.
 We tried to interest her in some of the new toys but she was just like, yeah, cool mom and dad.  What's for breakfast?

It was super important to us that we wake up on Christmas morning in our home, with our tree.  But on Christmas Eve we realized how lonely that made the holiday.  We were scrambling around to do that last minute gift shopping.  So we were busy, but at the same time, we felt that lonliness.  I don't know.  Christmas Eve, to me, is about family.  That is when you all get together as a family and celebrate.  And then Christmas Eve night everyone goes back home to have Christmas morning in their own homes. 

That is how it's supposed to be, in my perfect world.  Living 3 hours from one family, and 5 from the other, doesn't allow for that.  It's the pits.  I guess that once we get into our new home, and Kinley gets a little older, it will feel more like Christmas and maybe family will come up....but this year left us a little empty, I think.

But Christmas is now behind us and we're looking forward to celebrating the new year back in southern IL.  Yes, more traveling.  We'll be spending the holidiay with my in-laws and seeing some friends as well.  I pray that Kinley travels well.  On our three hour trip, it was sketchy.  She slept for 2 hours and cried for 1.  On a 5 hour trip, let's hope she doesn't sleep for 2 and cry for 3.  Otherwise, I may just walk.

We're driving a small rental car in place of Richie's truck right now (he was side swiped about a month ago and it's just now getting repaired) and it's small.  When we travel in our SUV, I can easily slip from the front to the back seat in a jiffy (get your minds out of the gutter, I'm not "well rehearsed" in hopping in the back seat!) to cater to the baby....well, I tried to do that maneuver in this matchbox and I pulled a muscle in my thigh.  That hurts.  So I felt a little gimped up.  Walked a little gimped up too.

So we're kind of hoping that his truck repair takes longer than this week to be finished up so that we can put all of these traveling miles on this rental and not my SUV.  For one, I don't need any more miles on my car.  It's paid off and we're not buying another one any time soon, so this one needs to be handled with care.  Second, mine costs about $60 to fill up, the rental costs a mere $37.  Yeah.  It's a no brainer.  We want to take the rental. 

Ummmm, yeah.  So I can't even believe that NYE is this weekend.  Like *this* weekend.  I'm so not ready to put 2010 away.  Or maybe it's more of a true statement to say that I'm not ready to embrace 2011.  This next year holds so many things for us.  I'm going back to school, Kinley starts child care for the first time, we'll be moving out of this rental and into another, I'll be student teaching.... all of these things that are new experiences and I'm terrified.  I've found that 2010 was the year of my comfort zone.  I got into the groove of being a mom, a stay at home one, at that (which is so NOT easy, btw).  We moved back to my familiar ground, which turned out to not be so familiar anymore.  I was just getting settled and now the game changes again.

I felt bad leaving my mom's on Sunday afternoon.  She knew and I knew that there would be no "see you in a few weeks" as we hugged good-bye.  So we just didn't say anything.  I've said it before, that 2011 is the year that we aren't traveling as much as we did in 2010.  With me back in school, we just can't afford it.  Time or money-wise. 

While I'm afraid of what 2011 brings, I think that all of the changes will be great for us--and great for Kinley.  We'll survive and be stronger for it.

What does your 2011 bring?

Friday, December 24, 2010

And the winner is.....

I want to start this post by saying YEAH ME!  This is my 100th post!! When I started this blog back on September 1, 2010, I wondered if I would keep it up for the week.  And here we are 100 posts later.

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this 100th post than to give something away....  and today, the winner of the Noxzema Shave gift pack is given away.

And the winner is.... (do the drum roll thing in your head for me please)

The sixth comment is from "Reagan is my world" with her comment:   "Raegan is my world said...
Oh...I follow your blog all the time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's time to bake the cookies!

Yesterday, I finally got that start on my holiday baking.  I guess I can't really call it "my holiday baking" because that, to me, sounds like it is an annual thing that I do.  And it's not.  This is my first year baking for the holiday.  But I chose five recipes that have caught my eye the last few weeks and told myself that I would find time to make them.

I got one done, so far.  I made the peanut butter cookie sandwiches and they are so good but so rich.  Too sweet for my taste.  I love a peanut butter cookie but the filling in these bad boys is RICH.  Whoa.  I can eat one, if I have a glass of milk.  I think that if I made them again, I'd cut the powdered sugar amount in half.  It's just way too much sweetness for me.  Now if  you like super sweet, you'd probably love them.  It's a great recipe, nonetheless.

Today, I'm going to make the thumbprint jelly cookies.  I actually made the dough last night and let it refridgerate overnight.  So it'll be simple to finish those up today and start on the next one.

I still have yet to find the candy cane kisses, so that recipe may have to be nixed off the list. 

I feel like I still have so much to do.  I still have to go out for a few more small things and I'm hoping that I can do that on Friday when Richie is off work. 

This morning, I was reading up on a blog that I follow and she had this quote that just sums up everything in my heart right now, it's by Ann Voskamp and I totally feel that it's worthy of repeating:  "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ.”  Does that not just make sense?  It sure does to me.  And it's the reminder that I needed to just slow down.

Last night, Santa made an appearance at my friend's office (which also happens to be a chiropractor's office) so we drove Kinley over to see Santa and have her adjusted for the first time.  Santa, she again wasn't too fond of....but it being a more unformal visit, she didn't scream *as bad* as the other two times.  She screamed when I sat her on his lap, then stopped, then looked up at him, then screamed again.  It was too cute. 

At her exam, we learned of her trouble spots and she had her first adjustment.  And let me just say that she LOVED the adjustment.  She was laying on her belly and just smiling and giggling.  It was amazing to see the look of pure "feel good" on her face.  I mean, I know how good it feels and I just never realized that she could feel that too...  I mean, I know that she feels enjoyment but to see it on her face like that....it was priceless.  And at that moment, I knew that I had made the right choice and will continue her chiropractic health. 

One last thing, the husband thinks that I made the contest entry a bit confusing.  He said that he couldn't figure it out (not that he's entering, but just as a reader), but him not figuring it out, isn't a huge surprise.  He's one of those guys (well, aren't all guys like this sometimes?) that can't find something unless it jumps out and slaps him on the face. 

But anyway, for clarification's sake, to enter the contest, you must leave a comment.  So let's say I am Jane Doe and I want to enter.  I click on "post a comment" and say "I wanna win the Noxzema razors." and click "post comment."  Let's say that Jane wants a few more entries.  So she clicks "post a comment" again and then says "I follow your blog." and clicks "post comment."  Now Jane wants another entry, so she clicks "post a comment" and says "I'm a fan of your blog on facebook." and clicks "post comment."  And finally, she wants all the bang for her buck that she can get so she goes to her blog/facebook and says "I want to win the giveaway over at Living on Trees blog (and that is a linky link)" and then comes back here and clicks "Post a comment" and says "I just linked your giveaway on my facebook/blog" (blog link if it is your blog, if it is on facebook, it's an honor system kinda thing) and then she clicks "post comment." and then AGAIN clicks "Post a Comment" and AGAIN says "I just linked your giveaway on my facebook/blog" and clicks "post comment."  So Jane now has left 5 comments on the giveaway post, giving her 5 entries to the contest.

When I go to draw a winner (that's tomorrow, BTW), I will count up my total comments on that blog post, and lets say there are 20.  I go to random.org generator and enter that the number is between 1 and 20.  It generates a random number, and let's say it's 9.  I count 9 comments down from the top and let's say it happens to be Jane Doe's comment saying "I just linked your giveaway on my facebook/blog."  She wins.  Done. 

Does that make sense?  So by you doing individual comment posts for each entry, you increase your chances of being the one drawn. 

Man, I hope that was clear because it was a jumbled mess falling out of my head onto my keyboard.

I've got cookies to burn make. And you have a contest to enter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Giveaway!

Remember my showering routine?  How particular I am and how easily my day goes when my day starts with my perfect shower?  Well, I recently found my new love.  I love passing on good ideas and good finds and here is my new love.

I am a fast shaver, I am always on limited time in the shower because I'm rushing to shower, hair, make-up, dress, eat, clean, Facebook, email, all during one nap period.  Normally, I get about an hour and a half to get all of that done.  I need to be quick and efficient!

Part of my pre-baby life was that I wouldn't blink an eye about spending a little extra on little things.  I'd splurge on whatever it was I wanted, because really, it didn't matter.  Now, it matters.  I have to try and save every which way I can.

For the past few months, I've been in search of a razor that could compete with my $14 refills razor.  It was a good razor, never cut me, never had any issues at all.  But I can't afford justify spending that much money on a razor.  It's just stupid to me.  So I've been trying out the cheaper varieties to see if I could find a razor that would:  A) cost less B) not slice and dice my legs C) last more than a few shaves, to make it more bang for my buck.
I've tried about four different brands.  From the pink ones, to the orange ones (I even tried my husband's razors) and I was constantly getting those little cuts on my ankle that burn like fire and fill your tub with bloody water so that it looks like you're auditioning for the next Freddy movie.  Gross.

Finally, I found the answer.  *Ahhhhhh, the angels sing*  It's another pink razor but this one, is different.  The handle is what I initially noticed.  It's kind of got a high arch so that it's super easy to hold, doesn't slip out of your hand, and also gives the perfect angle for a fast shave. 

Secondly, I haven't cut myself yet!  I'm half way through my package of them and not one cut.  That is a miracle in itself.  Every brand that I tried post $14 refills, cut me.

Finally, they last! and last and last.  I shave daily, pretty much.  So I shave a lot.  I can get a good two weeks from one razor.  Maybe even longer.  Now that's nice. 

Oh, and finally again, they are cheap economical.  I only paid a few bucks for the pack.  You do the math.  That is pretty awesome.

So, what slice of heaven did I find?

They are the Noxzema Super Smooth Triple Blades.  I got them at Walmart.  And I'm in love.  Had I not already asked my new mom jeans to be my boyfriend, these totally would have been.  Maybe they'll be my next-in-line.  Cause I love them that much. 

I love them so much, that I wrote to Mr. Noxzema (not really, I actually just clicked on the "contact us" button on their website) and told them how much I loved them.  And I asked if they would be willing to share my love with a gift pack for my readers.  And by golly, they said yes!  Such nice people there at Noxzema Shaving!

Although they aren't expensive to try on your own, why not just enter to win a gift pack here.  Easy Schmeasy.  You leave comments, I use random.org, and then sha-zam.  One of you gets a Noxzema Shaving gift pack.

Here is how you can enter to win:
Leave a comment telling me that you would love to try the Noxzema razors.  -1 entry
"Follow" the blog (the button is there to the right) and leave me a comment here telling me you did so. -1 entry
"Like" Living On Trees on Facebook (button again on the right) and leave a comment to tell me you did so.- 1 entry

**Bonus**If you want to get 2 extra entries, you can blog/status update a link to this giveaway.  Leave two comments and a link to your blog if you do this.

You have the option for up to five entries for the drawing.

A winner will be chosen on Friday, December 24, just in time to say "Happy Holidays" from Living On Trees and Noxzema Shaving. 

Make sure that your comments include your email address or link back to your blog so that I can get a hold of you if you win.  MmmmK?  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chicago Dreamin'

So I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and gave myself a swift kick into gear.  After reading a friend's comment on my earlier blog, I realized that it's a lot easier than I'm making it out to be.  I can get out of the house.  I need to just take control of the situation.

I went downstairs and got Kinley's walker out of storage and put it in our bathroom and took a shower while she ate cheerios and chilled out. She totally didn't even care.  Here I was all worried that she'd freak out and she was just content as could be.  I was stressing over something that wasn't even real.  I just expected that she would freak out if I showered if she was up.  I guess I sort of feel that I have to be entertaining her if she's awake.  But truth be told, she can chill for 15 minutes so that I can shower.  Thank you, Heather.

Today was my day of feeling accomplished.  Kinley and I went to Dunkin' Donuts to take advantage of their 4 pounds for 20 bucks deal.  No more coffee shortages here!  Then we went to pick up our Christmas cards.  They were just as they should be....so I stuffed envelopes in the parking lot while Kinley chilled out.  We then had to go to Tar-ghet (I know you say it that way too) to get the rest of my baking supplies for these gobs of cookies that I have intentions of baking by Friday. 

Kinley was "that kid" in Tar-ghet.  Screaming for no reason, throwing everything that I gave her to try and appease her.  She wasn't having it.  I knew that she was tired...but I just wanted to get my shopping done...and I did aside from the Candy Cane kisses.  I can't find those suckers anywhere!  So that cookie may get nixed from the list.

After the post office mail drop, Kinley passed out and I took that time as my quiet time to wander the streets of our new town and dream.  It is so beautiful out there with the snow topped trees.  It's cold, but not super cold.  And the snow is soft and fluffy.  I just love it.  So I drove around all of the areas that we have said we would love to live some day.

I despise renting.  It seems like such a waste of money.  You get nothing in return.  We've already decided that at the end of this lease, we'll most likely move but rent for another year.  We want something cheaper and a little more "our style."  This place is very nice, but all of the stairs are just too much. So come September, I *should* be starting my student teaching and we'll probably move close to wherever I end up for that.

And then, we'll buy a house post graduation when I land (hopefully land) a teaching job.  We could buy now...but that would be kind of silly considering we have no clue where I'll find work.  And we'll get a much nicer house showing two incomes instead of just one.  Right?  So, I can wait.  I'm okay with that.

There is a house that I am so in love with.  And it's close to where we live now...but it's about double, almost triple, what we'd pay for a house.  It's on a double lot and it's oh so big and oh so pretty. 

A girl can dream.

Tonight, our goal is to go to sleep when Kinley does.  We're so sleep deprived and both feeling it.  Tis the life of parents!  Have a great night.  Kiss those you love and remember your prayers!

The give-away opens tomorrow!

Will Blog For Coffee

I have no coffee.  I've been out of coffee for FOUR days.  I think that this is the saddest I have been in a long, long time.  I guess I should say that I do have coffee.  But it's cheap coffee that I thought I would try, and it was a bad move.  Coffee now lives on that list of things to never go cheap on.  Right there next to trash bags, toilet paper, tea bags....I don't know what else.  I can't think straight.  Did I mention I've been coffee-less for FOUR days?

Kinley has been getting up at 4 a.m. the last three nights.  At first I blamed her teeth coming in (she's got two that just broke through ever so slightly yesterday morning).  Now, I think that she's playing me.  She realizes that it worked the last few times, so why not make it a ritual.  I'm tired.  And just as I crawled back into bed, got all comfy and drift back to sleep, the dog starts heaving.  And she sleeps under the blankets.  Luckily she was on Richie's side of the bed.  haha  No, he was already up and getting ready to leave for work, so that left me to jump up, push her out of bed and get her outside.  My day starts!

I "announced" on FB last night that Living On Trees would be doing a giveaway--the FIRST giveaway--very soon.  I could not be more excited.  I love giving things away....and when it's something that I personally use and love, it makes me smile, real big.  So that will be coming in the next day or two. 

Last night I went to pick-up our Christmas cards from the one-hour counter and they were all jacked up with stripes that weren't meant to be there.  Not like candy cane stripes, more like, their printer sucks and left tracks all over our cards.  So I left with no cards, but a stack of envelopes.  At least I got to address those last night.  They *promise* that my cards will be all better and ready to pick up this morning.  We'll see about that.  So I plan to stuff my addressed and stamped envelopes in the post office parking lot so that they can get mailed out in time to arrive on Christmas Eve. 

Kinley's birthday thank-you cards are going out today too.  Those turned out so cute.  Can't wait to hear reactions on those.

So is it just me, or do all moms of infants struggle to get out of the house?  Richie and I were having a "discussion" last night and he expressed his opinion that he just doesn't get how it's "so hard" for me to get out of the house during the day.  So now I'm wondering....is it just me?  Maybe it's because it's snowy, cold and Kinley hates being bundled.  Maybe it's her hating the car and fussing the whole time.  Maybe it's because I can't find the time to get myself ready before 4:00 in the afternoon.  I really prefer, and almost refuse, to go out before my shower, make-up, hair routine.  And when Kinley takes short naps it doesn't allow me to "get ready" to go out.  I'm rambling.  But do you know what I mean?  He thinks it's easy, you put the kid in the car and you go.  He says that what you wear or look like means nothing when you're just running errands.  But when the store is the only public place that you go....it's nice to have pride in yourself to look good.  He says to get over the pride.

I guess I do only have myself to blame.  I need to get over it and just go.  I'm just so tired of having to give up on what is important to me.  What makes me, me.  He gets to shower/clean up every single day with no ifs, ands or buts.  Because he comes home from work and then takes 45 minutes to an hour upstairs all by himself doing his thing and I'm downstairs with Kinley.  No one is watching Kinley while I take 45 mintues to an hour getting ready.  His answer to that is to shower at night after she goes to bed.  But then he expects me to use nights to watch TV with him....so where is this shower time coming from?  I think my answer is to just stay up 24/7.  Wouldn't life be grand if we didn't need sleep?

Enough of my crabbing.

So Sunday, we were at Bass Pro Shop looking for something. I'm not sure what, really.  But Kinley was in her stroller.  We never use her straps in the stroller....we just never have.  But we will from now on.  We were in the glove "department" and Richie was trying to decide on the "perfect decoy glove," whatever that means.  He was looking at gloves, I was spacing out.  All of a sudden, the stroller starts to roll back into Richie.  What the.....?  Kinley scooted out of the foot area of the stroller and was going to take her stroller for a walk. 

Seriously?  We were RIGHT THERE.  Totally didn't even see her attempting this act.  How did she do it without bumping something and crying.  She cries over every tiny bump....she's "such a girl." (and I love that about her)  She managed to sneak out of the stroller!  We're such bad parents!  What if she would have chosen to bail the other way!?  Never again will she not be duct taped strapped into the stroller.

Monday, December 20, 2010

She's just not a fan of the guy!

Date Night

So Danielle and I went out on Saturday night.  We had a nice dinner at the White Chocolate Grill and even decided on the "date night" dinner special.  Because we were on a date. 

There was an hour wait when we arrived, so we decided to sit in the bar and have a martini while we waited for our table.  I had the Blue Lemon Martini and she had the Flirtini.  So tasty.  The hour wait just flew by...we got so involved in catching up. 

It's interesting to see how our relationship has evolved...I guess as most adult friendships do.  We went from seeing each other almost daily, to now, maybe monthly.  It's kind of sad.  But I guess that's what happens when one of us goes off and gets married and has a baby!  haha 

Dinner was amazing.  Nothing short of it.  From the appetizer, to the salad to the salmon.  Wow.  And the dessert.  It was the only picture I took all night...it's not a good picture.  But I refused to be that girl taking a picture of the dessert on the table, so I turned off the flash to seem rather sneaky.  It was a warm, white chocolate brownie, with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and shaved white chocolate.  *ahhhhhh*  I could go for round two of that right about now.

Our waiter hated us, we're pretty sure.  And I couldn't tell you why.  But he seemed to act like we were a burden to his night or something.   Whatever, I didn't care for his surfer dude attitude either.

After dinner, we had to run back to the car in the frigid temps and I'm pretty sure that our joints froze on the way.  It was cold. Chicago cold.  I don't really get out of the house much because of Kinley (I just prefer to keep her in when it's this cold) so it seemed about 10 degrees colder than it really was. 

We got to the bar where the band was playing and I seriously felt like I had just stepped in to a nursing home retirement party.  The crowd was *old* and just so not what I was expecting.  It was trashy, dirty and ugh....old!  So that led me to ask myself, what happened?

What happened to the fun band times that I used to share with my bestie?  What happened to the great music, the fun crowd, the good times, and dare I say, the pretty people?  Did they never exist at all?  Was it all just in my head?  Did the pretty people grow up, get married, have babies and hang their hat? 

Maybe they never existed?  Maybe I just *thought* that it was great music, fun crowds...I know it was good times and maybe ..... we were the pretty people? 

I guess I was hoping to have that moment that Carrie (of SATC, I speak of her as a close, personal friend) talks about at the end of the first movie when she sees the next generation of girlfriends walking by and remembering when it was her and her friends entering the scene.  I guess I was looking for that....and that I didn't find.

It's good to have those memories to look back on and be fond of...to know that I lived those times and had my fun and it felt good to feel that I "grew up" and I'm okay with that.  It was nice being out, but it was nice coming home, walking into my baby girl's room and seeing her sleeping so peacefully.  I went to my bed, pushed Lucy off of my pillow and climbed in. 

I couldn't have asked for a better date night.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

She's smart!

Her height is only in the 13th percentile...so yeah, she's on the short petite side.  I think it's adorable.  And she's learned how to work with it.  Such a smart cookie!  Innovative as well!




Needless to say, the box went out with the recycling today.  Her confidence and lack of fear while standing on top of her beloved box was too great and I couldn't take another heart attack while seeing her standing on top of her "perch."

Call me a mean mommy, I took away her "step" but I'd rather her deal with the petite-ness than to deal with a broken bone or stitches from falling from her box! 

Momma's going out!

I had my eyebrows "designed" last night.  Remember me talking about that super posh salon by my house, where I had my eyebrows waxed designed a few months ago?  I went back.  But this time, I got dressed for the appointment.  Well, I didn't go naked the first time, obviously.  But I dressed more appropriate this time around.  No jeans and hoodie for me!  I had on my boots, my mostfavoritejeansinthewholeworld and a cute sweater.  I felt pretty. 

To be honest, I felt more like I belonged this time.  I'm sure it was all in my head. 

It was nice to feel pampered, even if they were ripping hairs from my face.  What I like about this salon is that they use hard wax.  If you're sensitive skinned like me, then you probably break out in those irritating tiny bumps from waxing.  For some reason, the hard wax doesn't make me break out.  And so far *knock on wood* that has been true for this time as well.  I think I've cracked the code. 

I didn't take a picture of the water in the salon
but if I did, this is what it would have looked
like.
When I walked in, the super posh salon guy that was seated behind the desk, offered me some cucumber water as he notioned toward this very cool glass decanter looking thing and pretty goblets all lined up next to it.  I've heard of cucumber water on Oprah--or was it Ellen?--but I've personally never tried it.  And I'm kicking myself for not saying "why yes, I would love some!" but what did I say instead?  "Ummm, no thanks."  So now I'm thinking about this mysterious cucumber water non stop.

I found a recipe for it online (yes, I looked up a recipe for something as simple as cucumber water...just like I looked up the recipe to make a new mix of cinnamon sugar yesterday.  whatever.) and it looks relatively easy.  Duh.  Joy....it's CUCUMBER WATER.  Seems pretty elementary.  I think I may give it a try here at home.  I rarely drink water, unless it has some sort of mix in it....or it's made into sweet tea....but I think I would drink it with the fresh taste of cucumber and mint and lime.  Hmmmmmmm.  I like lime anything.

Danielle and I--obviously having too much fun.
Tonight is my date night with my bestie.  We're going to dinner at this new place called The White Chocolate Grill and I'm super excited.  I sort of feel sad that I'm trying a new restaurant without Richie.  Is it strange that I want to experience all new things with him?  It's one of those things where you know it's going to be an amazing experience and I'll want to come home and dish about it's greatness and he won't be able to share in it....know what I mean?  Don't get me wrong, I am super excited about our girls night out....but it's a twinge of sadness mixed in.

Now that we have Kinley, Richie and I don't get to try out these nice new places to eat or go.  We really need to work on hiring a sitter.  I have several that I've talked to via email that I found via Craigslist but I'm just scared of going with someone random.

Marc, Joy, Richie and Danielle--the last time
we saw this band play.
After dinner, we're going to go and see a band at a bar in a small little suburb where I used to live pre-Richie.  I'm really excited about that.  I used to go and see this band all the time back in my party days, and it's been well over three years since I've last been to one of their shows.  It should be a really good time.

I think that this will truly be my first time in the bar scene since becoming a mom.  That is pretty scary.  Not that I'm scared of the bar... but scared to test my own self discipline.  I am still a breast feeding mommy and I can't over-indulge.  If you know what I mean.  That may be hard.  The last time that I was active in the bar scenes, I had no self discipline.  I partied till I was done and then I went home to sleep it off.

Kinley won't care what happened the night before when she does her daily 6 a.m. wake up call.  She won't care when mommy got home or how tired mommy is feeling.

I just hope that Richie is able to get her to go to sleep at bedtime.  She has always nursed before bedtime and tonight, she won't.  We'll see how this goes.  I feel sort of guilty.  I rationalize it with the fact that she is over a year old now and she doesn't *need* the nursing.  Ugh...the guilt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kinley Reviews

I haven't done a "Baby Product" must have list, and my baby is now over a year old.  I've tried so many different things and liked/hated so many things.  I don't really have the energy to make a complete list today (I intend to do so very soon) but I do want to give props to two things that we recently added to our toy collection. 

If you're doing Christmas shopping for an infant/toddler, I *highly* recommend the following two toys:


Kinley got both of them for her first birthday and they are just awesome. 

The car has a hand opening in the roof for mom or dad to push it from behind and it is high enough that it doesn't break your back to push her around in it...and it now has a foot "tray" thingy so that her feet don't dangle and get caught up when you push her.  It's removeable so that you can take it out when she's ready to learn to do it on her own.  It also has a door safely latch so that you can keep it in the closed position to keep from pinched fingers.  It also has a wide wheel base to keep it from tipping over in those moments when daddy is doing donuts on the wood floor in the kitchen.  :)

The dinosaur is the cutest thing ever.  It plays this adorable song while she pushes it and his "spikes" are buttons that make him sing.  She adores the dinosaur.  The only downside is that she doesn't know how to turn yet.  If it's a straight hall, she is golden!  But otherwise, mom or dad needs to stay close to make the turns for her.  It also becomes a ride on toy later down the road.  Both products get two huge paci's up from Kinley Grace. 

We highly recommend both for any little one's on your shopping list this season!
video

Her first ride in the car.  Her face cracks me up! 

Hair today...

What is your hair routine?  Is it a long and drawn out process or do you just wash it and go?  Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of wash and go.  I blogged about my after shower afro a few months ago...and well, because of that, I have to do something with my hair each and every day.  I mean, I do have days where I wad it all up in a bun and call it good.  But on the off chance that I have to leave the house, I normally use nap time to shower and spend the 30-45 minutes to dry and iron my hair.  Because of how long it is getting, my beloved curl product is just not cutting the cake. 

So I've been thinking a lot about chopping it all off.  The hair.  It's just long.  And well, just long.  Not much else that I can say about it.  I feel the need for a change.  This morning I took the time to pull some old pictures to see my own hair through the years and what I've come up with is so funny!

I can totally see where I was in my life with each picture.  Why do I hear Kenny Rogers singing in my head?  So, I give you--my hair diary:

2002-Short hair, married to "the butthead"-this cut was actually a
mistake by the stylist that I "tried out" and I asked for a trim.  Ha!  Nice trim.

2003-Growing it out and some funky color going on.  Very homely.

2004-Beginning to find my own place in this world.  Losing weight and
trying to do something with the hair--and the life.

2005-Lost the weight, and the butthead!  :)  My ideal weight here.

2006-In my prime!  Haha  In the bar.  Ugh.

2007-And the hair continues to grow.  And so does my relationship with Richie.

2008-The hair continues to grow (see a trend here) and I get hitched.

2009-I went dark!  But it still continues to grow.

2010-Highlights are back....but it's still long.  Oh, and I had a baby.  :)
So you see now why I am screaming for a change.  It's time.  It's beyond time.  I just have to go and find a stylist that I like, and can afford.  Chicago stylists are A LOT more expensive than southern IL stylists.  Richie almost strokes when we discuss how much it's going to cost. 

I asked my super trendy bestie for advice on what to do with the hair and she got right on the task and presented me with four "options" that she thinks would work best for me.  And here is what she thinks:
This one is my favorite.  But I'm scared that styling it will be hard
and I'll end up never doing it...and look just the same.

I really don't have an opinion of this one.  It's cute, I guess.

This just seems super short.

This is her favorite, but Richie and I both say no to bangs. 
I don't pull them off well at all.
What do you think?  Do you like any of the options or do you have a better idea for me?  With school starting in a month, this is the start of my new second chance and I want a new look to go with the new opportunity.  Reason enough.  And, I'm a girl and I want to feel pretty.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Being materialistic is fun sometimes.

So I've been seeing other bloggers posting their Christmas wish lists over the past week or so and thought I would jump on the band wagon.  Richie and I don't exchange gifts because, well, by the time we buy for everyone else, there isn't much left for each other. 
But, that being said, if I could go nuts and buy whatever I wanted for myself...these would totally make my never-ending list.  Allow me to be selfish and self indulgent for just a second...


New anodized cookware. 

The Keurig.  Of course.

Ahhhhh, a remote starter.  I had one on my old car....I need one for the new.

This has got to be the cutest little bow belt.  From, my favorite, The Limited.

Obviously, mine would read "Kinley" and have her December stone.  From The Vintage Pearl.

This is my ridiculous love.  It is about $1500.  Yeah, told ya, ridiculous.

Gloves.  Pretty gloves.

Always wanted Uggs.

And since we're dreaming here, let's go for two.

I quit wearing a watch years ago, but when I saw a Kors watch on another wish list...I swooned.

Just love this fragrance.
A pretty ruffley, girlie scarf.  By Guess.

This scarf is too cute.  From The Limited.

Fur collar trench.  From Old Navy.
A nice Coach wallet to match my purse (that I hope to start carrying again soon, once I ditch the diaper bag)

I pass the baton to you....what is your materialistic Christmas wish?
 
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