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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Moo.

One of my nicknames in high school was Heifer. I like to think that it wasn't a fat joke but just a play on my name. Hmm.

I never thought that nickname would come back to haunt me after graduation, but over the past few months there were countless times in which I felt like a heifer. Let me explain. (Male people: you might want to stop here. It's awkward. No, seriously. Stop. Kthanks.)

I always kind of figured I would breastfeed when I had kids (not that it was a topic I thought about frequently, but you know). Nobody ever talks about how draining it is though (pardon the pun, hehe). I remember the first few weeks feeling like I just had a baby attached to my boob. Yes, the AAP recommends breastfeeding for a year, but I was going to be doing good to make it to three months. It was hard. And not always enjoyable (gasp, I admitted it). I did it though because 1) it's best for Avery, 2) it's good for me (hello, size 4s!), and 3) it's free.

We made it to a month. It got a little easier. We made it to two months, and I was also pumping at work so Avery could eat at day care (since that's kind of necessary), and we didn't even have to supplement with formula. However, this girl loves her food, and pretty soon, my supply wasn't keeping up with her demand. So we started supplementing, but at around three months, we went from supplementing breastmilk with formula to supplementing formula with pumped breastmilk. Then it was pretty much downhill from there. No more milk from the heifer.

**EDIT: My husband has informed me that I am technically incorrect in my analogy seeing as how a heifer is a cow who hasn't had a calf. Therefore, a heifer wouldn't be milked. Whatever.**


One might think that I'd be satisfied that we met the three month mark, but there was something about it that just made me sad. Maybe it was just that it felt like we had moved on to the next phase and the first was over too quickly. Maybe it was that I missed the closeness of nursing. Maybe it was that I felt guilty for not nursing for long enough.

Whatever it was, it hit me that my baby girl is growing up way too fast already, and I need to take more mental snapshots so I don't forget a thing. It's so easy to get caught up in the I-can't-wait-until mindset, and God has really been reminding me (in so many ways!) to enjoy the now. Live today. We're told in James that we're not guaranteed tomorrow (and that's hard for my super-planner self to accept!). I need to serve and worship with my whole heart right. now.

I had no idea I could love someone so much. I guess the cliches are right.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Who needs homecoming?

This weekend was ETBU's homecoming, and we really wanted to go. However, Avery's already been on five road trips in her less-than-four months of life, so we needed to just stay home.

Matt's parents came to town...


And then instead of going to Marshall, some of our favorite people from ETBU came to us! Wendi and Kyle came over to meet Avery, and it was SO good to catch up. Matt even cooked us some amazing potatoes. Yum!


Meg likes beer?


I feel like I've gotten really bad about keeping in touch with my friends. It seems like it gets longer and longer between visits, but every time we reconnect, it's like time never went by. I'm so very thankful for that.


It's been a great weekend, and now I need another one to recover from it. It's bedtime. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Super Saturday

Since State of Play is on in the background, and I've already seen it (although I highly recommend it), I'm going to take this opportunity to recap the day. In pictures!

We started out by sending Avery away to have a day with the g-parents while they went to watch Carrie play volleyball in Sherman. (Side note: we planned to go meet them later for the late game, but so much for my excellent organizing skills. There was no late game today, so we didn't get to see any games at all. Sorry, Carrie!) We had the whole day to ourselves. It had been, oh, say three and a half months since we'd just had a whole day to kill, so... what to do?

1. Get Matt fitted for his tux for Trunk and Melissa's wedding. Check. We're really looking forward to Matt's BFF getting married, and the trip to Baytown is way overdue!

2. Check out Sprouts. If you haven't been yet, GO. It is amazing. I'm not a health food nut (haha, that was kind of punny), but I really am trying to eat healthier and cook better quality food for our family. I'm still in the beginning stages (i.e. "We're not eating out, so this has to be better, right?"), but we're getting there! I'm hoping that by the time Avery's starting solid foods (um, that's quickly approaching-- a couple more weeks, eek!) we're giving her natural foods and eating better ourselves. Baby steps. Anyway, this place has the best looking produce I've seen in awhile, and it's mostly organic. The prices weren't even terrible, and *bonus* they take coupons! Whee!


3. Buy stamps and finally mail off the last of our baby thank you notes. I know, shame on me. She's almost four months old and I'm justnow getting these finished. Granted there were only five left, but I majorly procrastinated. *Virtual slap on wrist*

4. Lunch at Petaluma! We love this place. It's like Panera Bread, but modern and not a chain. And they just happen to have the best french fries ever. (Baby steps on the healthy thing, remember?)


5. Score an awesome deal at Bath and Body Works. I had a coupon for a free travel sized item, and it didn't even require a purchase to get the free item. I'm fully aware that companies do promotions like that because they want you to go to their store for said free item and then find other things to buy for not free. So I walked in with the appropriate willpower and determination to grab the free thing, "check out," and leave, but my willpower and determination didn't know that they had reallyreallygood smelling candles on super sale! What's a girl to do? So here's what I walked out with...

Hey, before you judge, it was $48 worth of merchandise and only cost me $18. Okay, fine. I'm a sucker for candles.

6. Check out new bakery in Uptown Village. (Although I'm not really convinced that it's "new" since our receipt said Busy B's Bakery. Hmm.) I knew we'd be going to a wedding in 15 minutes where there was sure to be yummy cake, but these cupcakes were loaded with beautiful icing and these cupcakes were NOW.


7. Witness the union of Ndolembai and Charity. We love this couple! They are such a godly example and a blessing to our church family, and they're just so darn cute! The ceremony was so special and so them. At the beginning of the ceremony, they acknowledged all the different countries that were represented there by having guests stand when their country was called. If you don't know Ndolembai, he's from Chad (Africa for you geography non-buffs), and there were people from Iraq, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Czech Republic, Taiwan, and so many other countries. It was a really unique way to emphasize the multi-culturalness of their relationship. I cried during the ceremony because ever since Avery was born, I apparently cry at everything. It's kind of annoying. Anyway, congratulations to Ndolembai and Charity!



What a day! We remembered what it was like to be baby-less, but I have to admit that I was relieved when we were reunited with our precious baby girl. Although I love the freedom of spontaneity, I've grown accustomed to constantly meeting the needs of another human being, even when it's most inconvenient. I think we'll keep her.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Well, well, well.

It has been TEN days since my last post! And my consistency had vastly improved before this horrendous gap in the written word! I am ashamed. And as much as I hate excuses (just ask my students), I have one. It's a good one, too.

Wanna know what it is?

Good, I thought you might.

My computer revolted. Seriously! It locked us out. Okay, so I suppose it was our own fault. To make a short story long...

I bought this computer five years ago. (Yes, I know, I know, five years is an eternity in computer years.) It still worked great, UNTIL the hard drive crashed (I'm blaming a virus). So my handy dandy husband bought a new drive and everything was as good as new except that we didn't have the original operating system cd to reload Windows. Once again, Mr. Handy Dandy himself came to the rescue. His idea: we could just load an old Windows cd, and voila, it should work. And it did work. For one month. Did you know that you can use Windows for a month without a serial number and teases you by working just fine, but then after that month is up, it just snatches it right away? I know now.

So I had a great blog about my day as a Stay at Home Mom (complete with pictures!). I had a Tuesday's List blog about favorite beauty products (although you were probably actually saved by not having to read that one because, I can accept it, I'm not really an expert on beauty). I had a blog about my grocery shopping adventures and how I saved lots of money (yippee!). I had ALL THESE BLOG ENTRIES and I couldn't write them! And now it's just too late and my (four) readers will just have to be disappointed forever. If you just can't stand not knowing what my past 10 days have entailed, you can just out my new-to-blogging husband's update.

Never fear, there is hope in sight. I finally got in touch with Dell, who assured me that I was entitled to one (how generous) backup copy of the Windows version for which I did have a serial number. It's (supposedly) on its way. Until then, my also-handy dad gave us a substitute that should work for now.

Side note, please do not tell me I need a Mac. Yes, I love them. No, I cannot afford one. They have problems of their own, so I'm just fine with having a PC at home.

No new pictures today. No pretty signature at the end of this post. Blog fail. No, make that computer fail.

Heather ( <---- ugly "signature")

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday is officially list day.

So one of the blogs I follow does this, and I love her, so I'm stealing it. But before anyone cries foul, I'm giving credit to my source (my students would be so proud!). Here ya go, and it should link back to her site so you can play along. This week is favorite stores, so here I go...



Clothes:
  • I'm not gonna lie, I get most of my clothes at Marshall's or Ross. I'm a cheapo and just can't stand to pay a lot for my clothes/shoes/purses. If you have the time, they actually have some pretty cute stuff.
  • Target. (Did I mention I'm a cheapo?)
  • White House Black Market. If I had money out the butt, this is where I would buy my entire wardrobe. It's all white, black, and gray, you say? I.do.not.care. Love it!
  • New York and Company. They were supposed to get one of these at Uptown Village, and I'm pretty sure it fell through, so now I'm just sad.
Baby Clothes:
  • Again with the Marshall's and Ross. They have tons of Carter's stuff and I love love love Carter's. Problem solved.
  • Target. I get the cutest little sleepers there (yep, you know, feeties)
  • Children's Place. Again with the cute clothes, and they usually have pretty good sale racks.
Groceries:
  • If I didn't hate going to Waxahachie, I'd do all my grocery shopping at HEB. They have the best produce, and it's the next best thing to making the trek to Central Market.
  • Costco. Frozen chicken breasts are pretty much a staple at our house, so I get ours here. I also love their organic milk, tortilla chips, guacamole, and other completely random items.
  • Since I usually have to make a stop at the aforementioned store, I do my "smaller" grocery shopping at Target. It's not so bad, but their produce is pretty pathetic.
Home Decor:
  • Hobby Lobby half-off sales...need I say more?
  • Serendipity. Cutest store in town.
  • (Ahem, Marshall's/Ross)
Okay, so that's all I've got. Show me your list!

I'm a sickie today, so I'm off to hopefully rest.


Monday, October 12, 2009

New Blog Layout!

I have to be honest. I'm just posting tonight because I want to show off my new blog layout, thanks to Whitney and Brooke. I'm still not all the way finished because I still have to play around with paint.net to make a banner...BUT I'm getting there. Yay!

We had neighbor dinner night tonight and, don't be shocked now, I cooked. Eek! It's actually been awhile since I cooked because Matt's just so dang good at it that I've gotten spoiled, but considering that it's ALL gone (except for the massive batch of mashed potatoes that Matt made), I'd say my first foray back into the kitchen was an edible success. Point for Heather. On that note, we love our neighbors-- check out their blogs!

After all that yummy food (plus Funfetti cookies, so much for losing baby weight), I popped in my post-natal workout dvd with which I have a love/hate relationship. Tonight the hate was clearly evident. Lindsay Brin kicked my butt! Hopefully I'll stay with it long enough to rediscover my abs. It's been awhile.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Give me five.

1. I really want a cool blog layout, but I have no idea how to make them. I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent/competent, so I'm pretty sure I could look it up and just figure it out, but I really want somebody to just show me how to do it.

2. I love change. No, not like Obama-campaign-change. Like, coins-in-the-coke-machine change. I find it strangely enjoyable to sort it, count it, and then wrap it up in those cool little rollers.

3. I could watch Bridezillas all day long. You know, the ridiculous WE show. When Matt and I were engaged, I would rent seasons of it at a time from Netflix and just have marathons every night. Yes, it's trashy. Yes, I think a lot of it is staged. Yes, it gave me nightmares about my own wedding. No, I do not care.

4. I like lists. A lot. If I have a lot going on, I even make lists of the lists I need to make. If I'd thought of it soon enough, I would've named my blog "My Life in Lists" and made every post some sort of list. It's an obsession.

5. Speaking of obsessions, I love the new Special K chocolate pretzel bars. I'm not even delusional enough to think they're actually good for me (have you ever looked at the ingredients?). But would I like to eat the whole box? Yes, please.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Baby Must-Haves

I always loved reading peoples' must-have-for-baby lists while I was pregnant, so here's my own. I even linked each item to an online description.
  • Boppy--I actually have two: one that I bought (at Marshall's-- don't pay full price] and one that is borrowed from a friend. The one I borrowed is much better, and I don't know why. It's a softer cover, and it's not as thick. It makes a difference.
  • Swing--(Graco SweetPeace Newborn Soother) Thankfully we scored this at a garage sale (practically brand new) because they sell new for $180 (we got it for $60). I really didn't think I would use it that much, but the best part about this particular model is that our carseat fits into the base, so if Avery's asleep in the car, it's an easy transfer.
  • Burp cloths-- I got a ton of these and didn't think I'd use them all, but I use them constantly to wipe up drool, spit up, and even to keep Avery warm during her baths (that was a brilliant idea, I might add-- it works just like a blanket!).
  • Breastpump-- Not much to explain here :) I use the Medela Pump In Style Advance, and it's awesome. Keep a lookout for coupons and sales because by combining the two, I got $80 off of mine.
  • Drop-in bottles-- When I went back to work, we were just using the Medela bottles that came with my pump, but now that Avery's getting more formula, we've needed more bottles. My favorites by far are the Playtex drop-ins. You really only have to clean the tops. (And you get tired of washing bottles real quick)
  • Bath mat-- Nana gave this to me, and we already had an infant tub, so I didn't think I'd even use it, but it's the only reason Avery likes baths. We use the Munchkin brand and love it. I can't find a link to this online, it's like a spongy yellow thing and I've seen it in Target stores.
  • Costco diapers-- They don't sell newborn size, so for the first few weeks I used Pampers Swaddlers and Huggies Snug 'n Dry, and I liked them equally. Once she moved into size 1s though, it was Costco all the way. The diapers are way cheaper, the boxes are HUGE (saving trips to the store), and they're the best quality diapers we've used. Plus, Costco runs coupons for them sometimes, so you can get them even cheaper.
  • Nursing cover-- I wasn't a huge fan of nursing in public, but I ended up using this all the time because at the beginning, we constantly had company, and the cover kept me from having to isolate myself while people were over (newborns have a tendency to eat constantly...).
  • Pack-n-Play-- We got a model that had a bassinet and a changing station on it, and we kept it in our room while Avery was sleeping in there. It was so nice to have everything right next to us when we needed it. We'll also be able to use it in the future when she needs the regular Pack-n-Play feature.
  • Changing pad cover-- Since Avery's been in her room the past week, I love the cover we have on the changing pad in her room. It keeps her warm (as opposed to the cold plastic of the pad), and it's super easy to throw in the wash after accidents.
  • Huggies wipes-- It sounds weird, but Huggies has the best wipes dispenser. They tear off so easily, so you can actually take a wipe out with one hand (while holding baby legs in the other). Plus, the wipes are the sturdies I've used, and they have some that don't actually smell like wipes. Love it.
  • Bouncer-- This is the only reason I'm able to shower when Matt's not home to watch Avery. She didn't like it at first, but now it works like a charm. They have some really fancy ones, but I linked the one we have, and it's just a plain bouncer that vibrates, and it works just fine (for way cheaper). I can't imagine needing one that an iPod plugs into...
  • Travel Diaper Changing Pad-- Public bathrooms are nasty. This is not.
  • Sling-- This is the only reason my house got vacuumed at first. It put her right to sleep every time I put her in it. Now, not so much because she's freakishly long and doesn't fit. Boo.
  • Sleep wedge-- Avery prefers to sleep on her side, and I prefer her to sleep period, so we use this and everyone's happy.
I know people have done without all these things in the past, and they were totally fine, but these sure do make life a little easier. And I'm sure that I'll discover more products as she gets older, so for now this is my list. Maybe I'll update it in a few months.

So give me some feedback-- moms, what did I leave off that worked for you? If you're pregnant, feel free to ask me if something is worth buying/registering for. This stuff is all pretty fresh on my mind, so I don't mind talking about it.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Update

I know the date says Sunday, but it's really Tuesday that I'm actually getting around to posting this, and I guess Tuesday is technically too late for a weekend update, but ours was so good. Plus, it's my blog and I can do what I want. So there.

Friday

Early release days=good days, right? Not when you're "the only teacher in the entire school who's making us do work" apparently. The kids were checked out; I was checked out. Fun times.
Pretty much the highlight of my day every day, not just weekends, is going to pick up Avery. Matt and I usually try to guess whether or not she's going to be in the same clothes we dropped her off in or if I have to be Stain Fighter to the rescue when we get home. As soon as I walk in the door, she's all smiles and all mine for the weekend. Yes.

Avery and I stopped by Kari's house to drop off some garage sale stuff (we'll get to my obsession with garage sales later), and Avery officially met Emma. Emma is 2 and a half, and she was so sweet with Avery! She kept wanting to give her kisses and share her toys. Go figure that I forgot my camera, so Kari had to cover for me.

Once Matt got home from looking super cute in the homecoming parade (hehe), we ventured off to the high school football game that night, where before we even sat down like five people got onto me that my baby didn't have socks on. Geez, people, they were in the bag. It wasn't even that cold. We hung out with Megan and Deke and then met up with our sweet neighbors David and Brooke. By the end of the night, Avery was out. She's such a trooper. Seriously, if I was dragged around to all these loud places with people trying to get a glimpse of me when all I wanted to do was sleep, I'd be pretty ticked. I'm glad she takes after her daddy.

Saturday

Road trip! This was Avery's fourth (yes, fourth) road trip, and it just happened to coincide with her 3 month birthday! We went to ETBU to see Sarah play soccer and Carrie play volleyball, and you'd think that I would realize that I need to say I'm leaving an hour earlier than I actually have to leave so I leave on time. We got there right before the soccer game, which meant that of course, Avery decided to pee all over Matt while he was trying to change her. As he was cleaning up the pee, she thought it would be funny to poop, too. So there we are, standing outside of our car, I'm holding the naked baby over the grass while she's all doing her business, and Matt's trying to clean up the pee that is ALLOVER our car. Point for Avery. Good thing we had extra clothes for her.

Round 2: Carrie's game. We always love spending time with the Fisks since we don't get to see them very often, and this time we got to meet Carrie's boyfriend and his little girl, Ava. They were so sweet! Point for Carrie. About halfway through the game, Matt took Avery, fully dressed, to change her diaper and brought her back, naked (Avery, not Matt. Weirdo.). Point two for the baby. Still zero for us. Awesome.

Walmart for new clothes for Naked Baby, Bodacious Barbeque, visit to Sarah's dorm, drive back in the pouring rain. The end.
I loved loved loved my college experience, but it's weird going back now knowing no one. It really was the people who made it so special. Hmm, I smell a new blog topic...
Sunday

After church we went to Moni's to celebrate Dad's birthday. I love my family so much, and it was nice to hang out before the nightmare of my evening began.

Procrastination comes back to bite you in the butt. Every time. Grades were due Monday, so that meant my entire Sunday afternoon and evening were spent grading movie reviews. Whose idea was it to assign two typed essays in one grading period?? Oh yeah. Lesson learned.

And now for next weekend's preview: Friday night cleaning date (don't be jealous!) and Avery's fifth road trip, this time back to Brownwood. Let's hope we don't get peed on.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cha-ching!

I'm a nerd. I accept this. I have also not made it a secret that I really want to be a stay-at-home mom next year. In order for that to happen, we've got to figure out how to compensate for the loss of my income. Hence the formula:

nerd+cheapskate=coupon obsession

I've only just begun the foray into getting stuff on the cheap. Okay, okay. Those of you who know me know that I head straight for the clearance racks in any given store, but now I mean business. *Insert serious face here.* Here's what I've started using:

5 Dollar Dinners: Offers menus, recipes, highlights coupon savings
Deal Seeking Mom:
More coupon stuff. Woohoo!
Money Saving Mom: Okay, this is getting redundant. (Good site though!)
The Freebie Blogger: Who doesn't like free stuff? Some of it isn't worth your time, but some items I've found are free magazine subscriptions, free Redbox rentals, and pairings to get stuff for free using coupons and store sales.

Also worth checking out:
All of these sites allow you to choose which coupons you want and just print the ones you need. They print multiple coupons on a page now, too.

Coupons.com
Hot Coupon World
Smart Source
Red Plum

So I know that it's easy to get really excited about something and then lose steam, so I'm not going to go all crazy right away. (We'll let the insanity creep in slowly--mwahaha.)

For now, I'm just excited to go pick up my free contact solution at Target. I'll let you know how it goes.