Monday, January 31, 2011

Catastrauphic Storm

That is what the news channels are calling this winter storm we are getting. For the next two days anyway. It wasn't supposed to start until about 7pm, but when Alice and I headed to the store about 5, it had already started. Freezing rain...what fun!

It normally takes about ten minutes to get to the store. It took about thirty minutes. We were in the store for about twenty minutes, and when we got out the car was covered in ice again. The parking lot was a skating rink. I had to hold on to the cart so I wouldn't fall. We literally slid all the way to the car. Which Alice thought was so much fun!

I then called in pizza and salad from Arni's because I knew it would be too late to make something for Alice by the time we got home. I left Alice in the car while I ran in to get the food. That is something I do, but it was pelting down ice and I figured she'd be safer in the car for 5 minutes. It only took about four, and she was fine. I still feel bad about that, though. Freezing rain really stings when it hits you!

It took about forty-five minutes to get home. I took the interstate, thinking it would be quicker, but I think it would have been faster to go back through town. Alice was asleep by the time we got home, so I brought all of the groceries and dinner in really quick. See a pattern? I'm that parent that leaves their kid in the car, apparently.

Now I'm getting ready to go put more ice melt down and check on the rabbits. I hope my skating skills are up to par *wink*.

I really thought we'd get snow and not ice (already at an inch), but I guess the snow is coming afterwards. I haven't minded the snow this winter, but this ice crap can go the eff away! Now I'm hoping the power doesn't go out, but if it does at least we have plenty of stuff for sandwiches. Plus we have gas heat, so that should be fine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

No banner this week. I'm bad!

•I had my 33 week appt yesterday. She checked my cervix and did a FFN test because I have been having contractions. The past day or two they have gotten a bit painful. She said my cervix was fine, and that they'd have my FFN results today. I'm still waiting on the results, so I'm guessing everything is fine???

•The little man is moving like crazy right now! I need to take a video of him, so I can remember.

•Sean got accepted into the driving training program. So hopefully he will pass. They are going to call in a few weeks to let him know when the training starts. If he passes, then he will go into driving full-time. Then I'll be a "single" mom.

•I have a prenatal massage scheduled for tomorrow. I'm hoping it is super relaxing! I may see if I can get a pedicure afterwards.

•We are getting ready to redo some of the bathroom. I'll take before and after pics. Then we will work on carpeting throughout the house. Or Sean will ;) I will be staying out of the way.

•I really just want to curl up with a book and be left alone. Unfortunately, that isn't a good idea when I'm the only parental unit at home.

•If Alice doesn't stop jumping into me and yanking on my hair, I'm going to lose my effing mind!

•Alice just had a blowout, so I had better stop now and take care of her. I guess it is time for a bath anyway :/

For more leftovers, go see Danifred.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simple

We are trying to make life more simple. I think quite a few parents are trying to do the same thing in this day and age. We live in a world full of conveniences, extravagances, and just too much stuff.

So what is simple? I suppose it depends upon whom you ask, and in what reference you are talking about. To me simple is easy. I want a simple home and life. No, life is not easy but I am trying to make our lives a little more simple. I want my home to be easy to maintain. Which it is not currently.

Today, I am referring to meals. Even being a SAHM, I have a lot on my plate. Alice takes up a lot of time, and once the little man gets here things are only going to get more chaotic. So I love quick, easy, healthy meals. Okay, so healthy isn't always achieved-hello frozen pizza!

A few of my "go-to" meals that my family and I love, and that can be whipped together in very little time:
•Italian ham and beans
•Spaghetti
•Ravioli
•anything in the crockpot (beef stew, pot roast, potato soup, lasagna, etc.)
•chili
•salads
•chicken noodle soup

And the list goes on. I started thinking about this the other week, when Sean requested chicken parmesan for dinner. I made a remark that that wasn't simple, and he griped about "why ask him if I never make what he requests." So I felt bad, and not having any other ideas for dinner, I made chicken Parmesan.

To be honest, it was pretty simple to make. I just really prefer a meal with "simple" clean up too. You know, less pots, pans, etc. I really love those meals that only dirty one item. So I guess that is another requirement of a "simple" meal.

What simple meals do you love? What not-so-simple meals do you love? My favorite not-so-simple meal is veggie stuffed shells! It is my favorite meal, but what a pain to make. I usually only make it once or twice a year (and extra at that, so I can freeze some).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Give

I have been feeling progressively worse and worse. Not sick, but pain wise. I got a different brace (this is number four, for anyone keeping track) the other day at PT. I thought it was the best thing ever. I wore it all day yesterday, when Alice and I were shopping for hours. I declared it awesome last night to Sean.

Fast forward to today. I put it on after getting dressed. After walking...Er, waddling, around Menards for an hour, I retract the awesomeness of said brace. Sure it helps with some of my pain, but it makes other pains worse. Like my low back muscles, my sciatica, and maybe the worst part-my SPD. So really, what is the point? Even the little man doesn't like when I wear the thing. Maybe I'm just having one of those bad days, and it is a coincidence.

I have seven to eight more weeks, which isn't that far off. I keep telling myself that I can make it. To be honest, if I didn't have to watch Alice all day, and could stay in bed, I would make it without a doubt. If I don't stay in bed for long enough, then the pain actually gets worse. I look like a crippled, old lady. Seriously. My dad was making fun of me the other day. I didn't think it was so funny. Probably because it is excruciating at times. Once I get "warmed" up, I can move a little easier and with less pain.

I have a prenatal massage scheduled for Saturday, which I'm really looking forward to, but I'm worried my SPD will be so awful afterwards. So I'm wondering if it will do any good. I think I may see if I can get a pedicure too. I don't even want to try to trim my own nails!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Cannot Believe I'm Blogging About This!

My Head Is Going to Explode!

I know, you are thinking I have an awful headache. I don't. Well, I may be getting one. I feel so overwhelmed, and mostly just from shopping for a double stroller. Who would have thought that this is that time-consuming?!

Just so you know, double strollers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices. You have the front/back ones, the side by side ones, and some that appear to be above/below! They range in price from the cheaper end (let's call them Hondas-they are well built and practical) to the outrageously expensive (think the Cadillac of strollers).

I really never, ever, EVER thought that I would write a post just about strollers. Particularly double strollers. But that is where I am at. Not that I wouldn't have it any other way, as it means our little man will be here soon. Thank you, God!

Back to strollers. I had originally planned on getting a Graco Quattro Tour Duo with matching carseat. It is probably a "Honda". I took Alice Nd went to BuyBuyBaby to try them out. I had read the reviews and my mind was set. I tested it out. We put a Snugride 35 in the front and wheeled around the store. I was sold. Then I folded it down. It was pretty big, and I wasn't about to try picking it up. But I was still sold.

Then I saw the Chicco next to it. A little bigger. Not really liking that. The lady shows me how to put the car seat in...the front seat folds down and viola the car seat goes in! Alice had a lot more room, and loved that she could see the car seat in plain view. I liked that too, but had visions of the babies socks/shoes being pulled off constantly, and being hit with sippy cups and Lord knows what else. I decided to go home and think about it.

We walked around the store looking at a few things (getting sippy cups and a refrigerator lock along the way) and then go back to the strollers. I wanted to write down prices, names, etc to do more research (and look online for cheaper!). That is when it happened. The best sales person ever!

She convinced me to look at the Baby Jogger City Mini. It is a side by side, which I didn't want because I was 1) afraid Alice would hit or throw things at the baby and 2) have a hard time getting through doors. The sales lady eased all of my worries. This baby folds in half, and you are left looking at it wondering how it could be a double stroller! The canopies are larger than any I have seen! I wouldn't have to buy a larger add on canopy. It moves like a dream. I couldn't believe I was pushing a double stroller! I could recline BOTH seats comfortably if needed. The downside...the price. It is on the higher end (in fact I have only seen one brand of stroller more expensive). This particular one is on clearance (making this a really time sensitive decision!) for right around $300. Of course, we'd have to purchase a car seat adapter (roughly $80-90), and any other accessories that we'd need. Like a cup/snack holder (most likely two eventually), and a cup holder for me. Granted, I don't NEED a cup holder, but I'd like one-especially for walks and stuff (or perhaps jogging one day!).

So I told Sean about it. He was turned off when I told him the price. Why get a stroller, when you could get a stroller and car seat for the same price? Then I explained that I'd we get the big, bulky stroller and I hardly ever use it, then we may as well just flush a few hundred dollars down the toilet. I'd rather purchase something that I will use, and hopefully for awhile to come. Of course, I say that now. Will I regret purchasing a stroller/accessories/car seat for about $600 and not regret it? Who knows?! I need to make my mind up soon. If I wait too long, I know the stroller will be gone or the price back up to astronomical highs!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mexi-Corn Lasagna

The other day I was trying to figure out something for dinner, and being tired of the same old stuff I broke out the cookbooks. Sean ended up picking out the Mexi-corn lasagna from my Casseroles & One-Dish Meals. The picture didn't look too appetizing, but it sounded good. And with a few tweaks on my part, it was delicious! Alice even loved it!

Picture from the book.



What you need (I'll add what I did at the end):
1 lb ground beef (I used about 1.25 lbs)
1 can corn, drained (I used the 15.5 oz can)
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz. I used two)
1 cup picante sauce (I used more and medium heat)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 carton cottage cheese (16 oz- small curd)
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
12 corn tortillas (I used about 20)
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

I also threw in some frozen pepper/onion blend and diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Brown meat, and drain. Add corn, tomato sauce, picante sauce, chili powder, and cumin. I added the diced tomatoes and peppers/onions to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

All of the stuff before mixing and simmering.





In separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, oregano, and garlic salt. Mix well. I added a tad more garlic salt and some cheddar cheese.





Spray a 13x9 pan and arrange 6 tortillas on bottom and up sides of pan. I used 9.



Add half of meat mixture on top of tortillas and spread evenly.



Now the recipe says to add the cheese mixture on top, but I decided to add a layer of tortillas first. So put 6 tortillas on top, if you want.
Then spread cheese mixture evenly over tortillas (or meat, if you choose that route).



Cover cheese mixture with six tortillas and remaining meat mixture.



Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. I baked it for 35, pulled it out and added cheddar cheese on top and baked for another 10 minutes. I wanted to make sure the cheese mixture was cooked through since I added extra layers of tortillas. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Right out of the oven.



What mine looked like after cutting into it.



Now if you don't like cottage cheese, I'm sure you could use a different filling (like salsa mixed with Velveeta and sour cream or something). You could add all other kinds if veggies, rice, etc if you want. Play around with it, this recipe is pretty "forgiving".

I will say that I may use hard taco shells next time, or actual tortilla chips, as the corn tortillas were really soft. Borderline mushy and soggy, but not too bad because I wouldn't have eaten it! I hate soggy/mushy things.

It tastes just as good, if not better, when reheated the next day! Let me know if you try it, and if you and your family like it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers


Woo hoo! I have the banner this week.

•I'm back to two PT sessions a week. I'm already burnt out on it, and it is only the first week. Throw in prenatal appointments every other week (soon every week) and things are going to start getting a little crazy.

•Alice bit the top of her straw off on her sippy cup. Now it leaks constantly. She has others, and this will be thrown away, but not before it soaked our bed. Plus I spilled a whole bottle of water in the bed too. Good grief!

• I have been having cramps real low. That doesn't concern me, as I've had them off and on for a month or so. What concerns me is the lower back pain. I'm keeping an eye on it, and if it gets worse I'll call the dr. It is just too early for this little man to come.

•I think I have finally decided on a car seat and stroller. I love the Montreal pattern from Graco, but it is hard to find. So I think I may settle on the Graco Quattro Tour Duo and snugride 35 in Clairmont. Feel free to look it up if you want.

•I really need to cook an actual dinner sometime. We have been doing salads, and easy frozen stuff. I just haven't felt like standing and cooking lately.

•Speaking of which, I am feeling better. Still really tired, but I don't imagine that will be remedied any time soon. I'll probably complain about how exhausted I am for months.

•I made some awesome pumpkin bread with chocolate chips yesterday. I altered the recipe I found online a bit. I'll be posting it in the next few days, so check back if you are interested.

•And you may have noticed that I've changed my layout and added a few pages. I'm still working on everything, but I'm slowly getting this blog to how I want it to be!

For more leftovers, go see Danifred. And make sure to check out all the other participants!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

17 Months

Today is Alice's 17 month un-birthday! And I'm actually posting ON the day! Amazing, huh?

This past month, Alice has climbed to new heights! Literally. She has gotten to places that I didn't think she would be able to. Kitchen table-check. Counters-check. Top of the desk-check. Bathroom sink-check. Up the bookcase-check. You get the point. She cannot be stopped.

Alice started saying the kitties names at the beginning of the month, but now it is clear what she is saying. Morimer and Getchen (Mortimer and Gretchen). She has started pointing at them, calling them the correct name, and telling them no and go.

Her favorite foods are apples (whole) and any kind of sugar. If she knows there is candy, cookies, etc in the house, she will go to where they are hidden and try to get some. Her old favorite vegetable, carrots, remained untouched these days. I guess she got carroted out. I know I am. She loves any green vegetable-broccoli, green beans, and peas are favorites.

She loves to read. In fact, she will now pull one of our books of of the shelf and sit and "read" it. I started the first Harry Potter with her, but we have only made it a few pages.

Talking on the phone is a favorite. Especially to Aunt Lindsay. I have never seen this child get so excited or animated when talking to anyone (other than Mama and Dada).

Barney is a big hit. She loves to sing and dance along. Someone is also learning to jump. She hasn't quite gotten it down yet, but it won't be much longer.

She loves baths, and her new bath markers. She also loves to sit with her head under the spout and let the water pour over her. I think we have a future swimmer, as she also has started "floating" on her back in the tub.

And now for some cute pictures (excuse any snotty nose-we are still sick over here).

She took her pillow, blankies, and a few stuffed animals and put them on her table. Then climbed up to get comfy (sorry they are blurry).






Being silly! She thinks these 3d glasses are the coolest!



Her favorite place to sit these days.



So worn out from all the hard playing!



Happy 17 month Un-Birthday, Alice! May you keep amazing us every day, and providing lots of entertainment. I have enjoyed being home with you everyday. Mama and Dada love you very much!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've Got Nothing

Alice woke me up around 8:30 this morning. She still wasn't feeling well, so I got her to fall back asleep for a bit. Once I was able to free my arm from under her, I noticed it was soaking wet. Seems like she and I were both sweating.

I did not manage to escape the Alice germs. I have a cold and possibly a sinus/respiratory infection. I have this annoying cough and sneeze. I feel like staying in pajamas all day, and probably will.

I went out to feed the animals in my pajamas. I bought some new ones for when I'm in the hospital. Cute and comfy, with a button up top (ideal for breastfeeding). The only problem is they aren't maternity. So instead of looking pregnant, I look like the next contestant on The Biggest Loser. Couple in my messy, sweat ridden hair thrown up in a ponytail and I look like a horror story of those "Housewives who used to take care of themselves". You know what, I don't give a damn. I'm comfortable and not feeling well.

So that brings me to how I got these germs. The things they never tell you about parenthood...like you will be sneezed, coughed, peed, and snotted upon. Now, I didn't get sick from getting pee on me. In fact, I haven't gotten any pee on me in awhile. I have been sneezed on, coughed on, and snotted upon. You know, the less glamorous aspects of being a parent. Any of those could have done it, but when you throw in licking your child's fingers, there is really no way to escape illness. Why did I lick Alice's fingers? Because I had to. There was no napkin, washcloth, wipe, or anything handy and I didn't want ketchup to get over everything in the twenty seconds it would have taken to get something.

And now I have to go clean up some Cheerios all over the couch. It seems Marty 1, Marty 2, Piggy, Bear, and Baby are hungry and "ont Os!"

Alright, I'm back. I am seriously so tired. I realize I am run down, and trying to play catch up on sleep, but I haven't been up more than two hours! I'm hoping to get Alice down for a nap around her regular nap-time. She slept until 11:30! She took a late nap yesterday, thanks to a snooze on the way home from PT. So she didn't go to sleep until about midnight. I'm hoping to get her to sleep earlier tonight.

Okay, I wrote all of that earlier and gave up because I seriously could barely move. We got in a good nap and ate an early dinner (or really late lunch). I'm sure we will both eat again here soon, but I'm not cooking tonight. Soup, salad, or sandwiches here, folks! I'm in survival mode...and any energy I have has to go towards keeping Alice from climbing the walls because I will have no extra for anything else.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daily Update, a Picture, and a Recipe!

I was awoken around 3:30 this morning from Alice coughing. She sounded really congested. I listened to her for awhile, and decided that since she was still asleep I wasn't going to do anything. Well, the coughing kept up and her breathing sounded worse. So I got up and grabbed the Vapo Rub and Dimetapp. We woke her up and got her to take some Dimetapp, and then I unzipped her sleeper a bit and rubbed more Vapo Rub on her chest. After a few minutes, her coughing settled down and she sounded like she was breathing better.

Now I know you are probably thinking, "You aren't supposed to give Dimetapp (or other cold stuff) to babies and toddlers!" On the contrary, you can. The reason all infant/toddler cough and cold medicines were pulled was because parents were overdosing their children. For a child Alice's size you can give her 1/2 tsp every 4-6 hours. I give her 1/4 tsp once (maybe twice) a day. It works a lot better than Benadryl at stopping her running nose and relieving her congestion. I did not buy the cough and cold formula. I just got the regular Dimetapp. So if your child is miserable and you have tried everything, maybe think about a little Dimetapp. The humidifier and Vapo Rub just were not cutting it.

Okay, now the recipe. I mentioned quite awhile ago about making pierogi lasagna. Danifred expressed an interest in the recipe, so without making her wait any longer (I'm sure you thought I completely forgot!). I love pierogis but I don't have the time or energy to make them from scratch*. So one day, I decided to make a "lasagna" to fill my desire. Now, I must admit that actual pierogis are probably better, but if you don't want to make them (or can't find them frozen) this is a nice substitute. Plus it is really easy to make!

What you need:
Lasagna noodles (I use the Barilla no boil ones-really makes life simple!)
Mashed potatoes (homemade or whatever you prefer. I've used both)
Medium-Large onion (white or yellow) chopped (more if you like onion!)
Butter or margarine
Cheddar cheese (optional)

Notice I didn't say how many noodles or how much mashed potatoes to use/make. You can decide for yourself. I made a 13x9 pan and used 12 noodles (I think) and two or three of the Bob Evans mashed potatoes (I don't remember how many potatoes I used when I made them from scratch).

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in a skillet and add onion. Cook until translucent. Now you can do one of two things. You can mix the onion mixture with the mashed potatoes (recommended if you make homemade potatoes because they are warm and you can add more butter. Note that you don't have to layer them as they are already mixed), or layer them separately.

Spray your pan before adding the mixture. Put some potatoes on the bottom of pan and spread to just cover. Add some onions on top. Place lasagna noodles on top (I.e 3 across if using a 13x9 pan). Continue layering potatoes on top of noodles, then onion, then noodles. Adding extra butter if wanted or needed. Keep going until you are done. Make sure to have potatoes left for the topping (think lasagna here- potatoes=sauce). If you like, you can top with shredded cheese. You can also mix the cheese in while layering if you want. Cover with foil and bake 45-50 minutes (read noodle instructions because they may need to cook longer or shorter). Remove foil and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes, if you do cheese on top.

Let set for about 10-15 minutes before serving. Sorry I dont have any pictures of assembly or finished product. They are on my old (now dead) phone.

*I have a friend from high school that just finished up culinary school, and she gave me a recipe for pierogi dough. I will try it sometime and let you know what I think. If it isn't too much of a hassle, I'll recommend it to you!

And while I'm thinking about it, Jen requested a picture of Alice with all of her obsessions. I took this after nap time today. She has quit carrying them all at once (Thank the Lord!) and will carry a few at a time, which is still hilarious!




In case you need help identifying everything that she is carrying around with her today:
Mama's wolf blanket, penguin pillow pet, bear with heartbeat, Marty 1, Piggy, Marty 2, Baby, frog blankie, and pink blankie! Oh...and Alice!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Random Thoughts

I had a post written in my head, but I have forgotten what it was even about. So I will just do a bulleted list of random things.

•Sean washed the sheets and towels together yesterday. That annoys me greatly. I do not use fabric softener on the towels, and I know he did. So I will be rewashing them. I use white vinegar, for those curious souls.
•I also use white vinegar on all baby/toddler clothes and bedding.
•Alice is battling a really bad cold. Poor thing!
•How is there that much snot in her head?
•Sean bought new sheets for the bed. We had been discussing getting a second set or two, in case Alice dumps juice all over the bed at bedtime (again. Don't ask). He got them on clearance. They are gold. And polyester. I Do. Not. Like. Them.
•Alice has been chasing the cats with the spray bottle, yelling "Doe!" today. I think she is saying no, but maybe it is go. Either way, she is "helping" keep them in line. And she is usually right that they need reprimanding. Most of the time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ahh, Bliss!

My "pampered" episode continued today. Sort of. I still made breakfast, dinner, and bathed Alice. I was able to take a three hour nap this afternoon! Yes, three hours! I have no idea if Alice slept at all during that period or not. I was just so tired and in pain, so I retreated to bed. I do think Sean and Alice came in and napped for a bit, or at least came in and watched part of the Bears/Seahawks game because it was still on when I woke up.

I also was able to (wait for it)...

Take a shower by myself this evening!!!

That deserves its own paragraph because that hardly ever happens. It is just easier to put Alice in with me, and let her play while I dry my hair. Oh, how nice it was! I was able to stand there and let the hot water beat down on me. There was no pushing, grunting, or fussing because I was in someone's way. There wasn't umpteen million toys to step on, trip over, or be hit with. I had forgotten how nice and relaxing a shower can be. I thought it was just a way to get clean!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm So Lucky

Have I mentioned lately how lucky I am? I have the best husband! He has done laundry, cleaned, picked up, organized, watched Alice, and cooked dinner.

I haven't been feeling well. I'm really tired and in a lot of pain. So I have been lounging around most of the day. I did go to the pharmacy and the grocery store for a few things. Oh, and made chocolate chip cookies. Other than that, I have been a bum with my feet up. And my wonderful husband has allowed me to do this! He is just so wonderful! I love him so much, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

Lets just get right to it today.

•Today has been a seriously lazy day. I am so tired. I have taken a nap with Alice the past two or three days. I imagine this will probably keep up. I'm just so exhausted. I don't remember being this tired when pregnant with Alice, but I wasn't caring for a SUPER active 16 month old then.
•I'm probably so tired because I don't sleep well. Between going to the bathroom every two to three hours, the cat climbing on me, and Alice and her night terrors, it really is no wonder.
•Sean signed the list to go into driving. He went and took several tests today (and passed). He has two more to take tomorrow. I'm just going to pray that if this is meant to be, then it will happen.
•I wrote about Alice's obsession the other day. It is now worse, if that is possible. She has claimed MY blanket as hers and will not allow me to touch it anymore!
•I wrote yesterday about needing to come up with a plan (or two) for Alice when I go into labor. I posted about it on FB. My momster-in-law replied to it and pretty much made me feel like I was two feet tall. Basically, she told me to relax, not worry about it, eat ice cream and pray. You know, because that is soooo far off and we have all the time in the world!
• And while I'm at it, can I point out that there is a difference between "early labor" and going into labor "early". One implies that you have the baby very early. The other implies that the baby comes before the due date. Does that make sense, or am I crazy?
•And she said that they'd "take" Alice. Umm, no, you will not. You live two hours away, my child doesn't know you that well, and I'm not comfortable with her staying the night at anyone's home other than hers.
•While I have you all here, I'm needing advice on double strollers. I really like the Graco Quattro Tour Duo. Does anyone know if the Snugride 35 fits in the stroller? What stroller do you like and recommend?

For more FNL, visit Danifred, and don't forget to leave a comment!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reality Sets In

Okay, so we all know that I am pregnant. 30 weeks and a few days (unless you are my ob and then I'm 31 and some change). So, the fact that in roughly 9 or so weeks there will be a new addition to our family probably comes as no surprise to you.

Why then am I just starting to actually realize how my world is going to change? I did the same thing with Alice. Around this time, I was like, "I'm going to have a baby." People would look at me like I was insane. And when we drove away from the hospital, I looked at Sean and said, "They are going to actually let us take her home?!"

The reality of a new baby hits everyone at different times. For some, it is the first ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling the first movements. For me, it is when I have my baby in my arms. I know that probably sounds idiotic and that I'm not in tune with the baby I'm carrying. That couldn't be further from the truth. I'm very in tune with this baby.

I am getting super excited to meet him and see what he looks like. Will he look like Alice? Will he look like Sean? Me? Oh and the personality and temperament...will this be a happy baby? Or an irritable one? Will my baby be a good sleeper or follow in Alice's footsteps?

I'm also trying to figure out what to do with Alice when I'm in labor. After the baby is born, Sean can stay with her at night. I've never been away from her for more than several hours, so this will be a big adjustment for both of us. And the thought of two (or more) nights away from her is a bit daunting. I really hope I go into labor during the day and have the baby before bedtime, and then we only have to worry about what to do during the day. I have a feeling it will be the middle of the night and a bad snowstorm. Then who do I find to come stay with her? Because I sure won't be waking her up to take her somewhere. If that happens, then I guess Sean will be delivering the baby at home! This is really my whole big hang up. There are very few people I think she would sleep for...the babysitter and my sister. Plus she is used to sleeping with us, so who would be willing to let them sleep with them? And still wake up to care for her, if need be? I told Sean he may just have to stay with her and I'd have the baby by myself, but we can't do that. I guess we have a few weeks to figure out a few plans.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I've Done Today

Today has been a typical day, for the most part. Breakfast, feed the animals, and Alice and I ventured into town to get my prescriptions. My ob gave me a prescription for my reflux and vicodin instead of Tylenol with codeine-the Tylenol 3 just wasn't helping with any of my pain.

We returned home, and I shoveled a bit. Don't worry, it is light, fluffy snow. Then I tried out the vicodin (it helps with the pain!!!). I tried to get Alice down for a nap. That took forever. Seriously, it took about an hour and a half. And then the fun began!

I called AT&T to cancel our home phone service , for the SECOND time. That took about thirty minutes and five different transfers. Thankfully, they believed me when I said that I called in November to cancel the home line. We used the phone maybe ten times, and why pay $45 or so a month for that? They offered a "basic" line for $17 a month, but that is still crazy to me! So I turned them down. So I'll be getting a "finalized" bill soon. I only found out it wasn't disconnected because I got a bill the other day for a lot of money and disconnect/reconnect notices. I never even knew the phone wasn't turned off because I unplugged the phone and never looked back.

Then I called the SUB people about my money. Turns out they still took unemployment out of my check and, get this... new taxes! Yes, my already small check was even smaller. They guaranteed me that everything would be on my next check. They also told me that I have 12 weeks back pay. I was thinking more like 15-16. Hmm. I'll worry about that another day. They gave me an exact dollar amount and check date, so hopefully it will all be there. I need to buy a new car seat and stroller!

So what a fun day! Ha! I think I'll try out Alice's "new" (hand-me-down) snowsuit and boots. Well, I won't try them out-she will. I'll take pictures if we go out. Hopefully, she will like the snow a little better this time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Out Of Control

For once, I'm not talking about the cats. Though, truth be told, they are out of control. I'm talking about Alice.

You're probably thinking I'm referring to her sleep (or lack thereof), or her climbing. Nope. Her new "obsession" is OUT OF CONTROL!

It started with Marty. Which is fine. I feel every child is entitled to a lovey. Then her blankie joined the mix, and that was fine. Until Sean lost it. She was aside herself without her blankie. We tried getting her attached to another blanket. Eventually, she embraced it as her "blankie". Then I bought the second Marty. The point was to rotate them, but she had another idea.

So she started carrying both Martys, blankie, and her sippy cup everywhere. Then Christmas came, and her uncle Ben got her a new blankie. It is awesome and a frog. Complete with hood and "arms". She was indifferent to the frog. She also got a pig (from If You Give A Pig A Party) for Christmas. Same indifference at first.

And until yesterday, her obsession with carrying them around wasn't a problem. We were getting ready to go to the bank. Which should be simple enough. Alice, sippy cup, Marty, blankie, and me in the car. Umm, no. She INSISTED that we bring BOTH Martys, both blankies, sippy cup, and piggy. So I loaded everyone in my arms and headed to the car. All the while thinking, "this is ridiculous!"

We return home, and she carries them all (or tries-I must get a picture of this) to the bed for a nap. And what should occur after naptime?

In she comes biting her sippy cup in her mouth, dragging two blankies, barely holding on to two Martys, piggy, AND her pillow pet! Seriously?! She throws them on the couch next to me, and proceeds to fuss at me because there is not enough room for her AND her stuff.

Lord, help me if she remembers about her baby, that she sometimes carries around. I may have to start hiding some of this stuff while she is sleeping.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Feline Terrorists

I think nesting has kicked in. Though I'm not sure I can technically say that when I have, essentially, sat around on my bum all day.

Yesterday, I did four or five loads of laundry. I washed all of the 0-3 month clothes for the little man. I changed out all of Alice's clothes. She no longer fits in any of the 12 month stuff. I put all of that in a tote, and it is ready to go upstairs.

I cleaned the bathroom. It is more clean (or well it was) than ever. I think I'm going to have to clean and vacuum the floor in there at least once a day. The cats are gross! Of course, if my husband would change the litter more than once a week, this may not be a problem. It drives me nuts! I'm about to go buy a mask (I already have gloves) and take care of it myself. Along with a hood. That would help with them flicking litter out.

Seriously, I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'd prefer a puppy than indoor cats. Sure, they make messes and chew up stuff, but you can put them in a crate and train them. It is pointless trying to "train" cats. I spray them with water and they run off, presumably to plot their next terrorist attack upon my house.

And Gretchen...can I pee in solitude? What about trying to sleep? This cat is stuck to me like glue. She lays on my belly (which I don't mind), my head (irritating), and face (makes me contemplate seeing how far I can throw her!). Oh and don't get me started on her new thing of "attacking" and chewing on my hair. How in the world does a cat get its claws stuck in your hair!!

Oh, and Mortimer has this really bad habit of getting up on the kitchen counter. Gretchen has a few times, but 99% of the time it is him. I have sprayed him, yelled at him, and threatened to beat him but he doesn't care. I'm pretty sure he runs off, and curses me in feline while cleaning himself. All the while, watching to see when I'm not in the kitchen, so he can get his "litter box" feet all over the counter, stove, and clean dishes! Oh the dish drainer...when he gets up there and there are dishes, I LOSE my mind! Yay, just what I wanted to do is re-wash CLEAN dishes!

Don't get me wrong. I like the felines. It just seems that they are a bit too much to handle some days (most days) now that I'm getting huge. And who (besides them) thinks it is "acceptable" to feed an animal at 3:30 in the morning? Certainly not me. Especially when they have dry food they can eat.

While I'm sure I'm going to jinx myself, but at least they haven't peed or pooped outside of the litter box! And they can be cuddly.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers (The Ingenious and Inept Version)

I didn't post yesterday, but not because I didn't have a post idea. I just never got around to it, and by the time I had "me" time it was almost midnight. So without further ado, this week's leftovers. Courtesy of some brilliant and not so brilliant ideas.

Ingenious Ideas
•We bought a second water container for the chickens. This is awesome because I don't have to (more than) double the time it takes to feed and water them! No trekking out to the coop to get the waterer, trekking back, de-icing, and making another trek there and back!

•Same thing with the rabbits water. I "stole" the cats' water bowl (it is metal) and put it in the hutch. Now I just flip it over, douse it with hot water, and voilĂ ...an empty, ice-free bowl!

•Alice keeps getting into the refrigerator and I have been meaning to buy a lock. The problem there is the closest BRU is over an hour away, and I can't justify going there for a $5 item. Sure I could purchase it online, but the reviews aren't that great for it. Anyway, I took one of my husband's tools (I can't remember the name of it now-a clamp? It is for really big things) and adjusted it to work on the fridge. The result, someone can't get in to the fridge!

•If I start dinner BEFORE Alice gets hungry, she will eat her dinner! I know, you're thinking "gee, no kidding!" Two nights this week, I started dinner later than usual, and had a screaming kid who wanted Cheerios, chips, bagels, crackers, apples, or whatever. So I gave her a little snack while I finished dinner. The result? She ate hardly any of her dinner because she filled up on crap (okay, not all of that is crap, but you know what I mean).

Inept Ideas
•Alice got her first time-out this week. Why? Because she was climbing on the tv stand and the bookcase. So I took her to her room (no toys there) and closed the door. I came back a minute later to get her. What do I find? Her climbing up her dresser! *hits head* Why do I feel like time-outs aren't the way to go...especially when she gets in trouble for the one thing she is capable of doing ANYWHERE.

•Bringing the cats indoors. Sure, we had to bring them in for a week after they got fixed. Then I felt bad putting them back outside after they got used to the heat and it was so cold. They destroy everything! I'm tired of being sneezed on in the middle of the night. I'm tired of being harassed when I get up to pee. I'm tired of being clawed and my face/head sat on while I'm trying to sleep. And then they manage to get candy (from where I don't know) and bat it around, Alice finds it, and then pitches monstrous fits unless I give her some. Oh, and don't get me started on how the smallest cat is able to open the door to the upstairs (but Alice and the bigger cat can't), and then all three are off and climbing up there (we don't use our upstairs-it is mostly storage. The guest room will be fixed up shortly).

•Co-sleeping and having to sleep practically sitting up. Alice likes me to cuddle her. In order to cuddle her, I have to lay on my side. That is NOT sitting up. Then my reflux gets worse. (good news: my reflux is better today!)

•The "refrigerator lock" that I came up with. It only works when you remember to put it back on. Plus it is a bit of a pain.

While I'm sure I could come up with more good ideas (and bad), Alice has decided to take a nap an hour early today so I had better go enjoy "me" time while it lasts. Go check out Danifred. She has a momentous occasion! And while you are at it, give some love to all the other FNL participants!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh the Agony

I had a whole post idea for today, but I'm going to wait for another day. I'd rather tell you how miserable I am...and Alice too.

I made chicken parmesan last night. It was wonderful. Alice didn't eat any of it because she filled up on Cheerios shortly before dinner. We did a bath and got into bed shortly after 11. Alice finally fell asleep about midnight.

I woke up about 3 with horrible heartburn/reflux. My throat was burning. I drank some water and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't get comfortable and every time that my head wasn't elevated, the problem would get worse. Alice started having a night terror about this time and would only stop if I cuddled her...which made my situation worse. After about an hour, I went looking for Tums. While I was searching frantically, Alice crawled out of bed and landed on the floor (she was asleep the entire time). So I got her settled down and woke Sean to tell him I was going to get Tums.

I threw on some sweats and my coat and shoes, and went out to the car. Of course, it was covered in frost, and I sat there cursing Sean in my head because the garage isn't cleaned out for me to pull the car in, while I waited for the car to warm up. I then drove to CVS and got some Zantac and Tums. I had to wait TEN minutes for someone to come check me out...I seriously thought about just taking the stuff and putting money down because I thought I was going to pee myself and puke blood all over their floor. The guy finally gets to the register and smells like bleach. He then takes an insane amount of time explaining how he is choking from bleach fumes from cleaning the bathroom. I mumbled a few things, paid, and got out of there. I immediately took a Zantac and started eating Tums like they were candy. I got home and felt no better. So I kept eating Tums. I finally drank some apple cider vinegar (it will neutralize the acid) and felt insanely worse for about five minutes. I seriously thought I was dying. My throat was literally burning! I then felt better and was able to go back to bed. I didn't fall back asleep until about 6, and Alice woke up at 8.

I was having another attack and drank some more apple cider vinegar. Thought I was going to die again, but felt better. I'm not able to eat or drink anything without a flare-up, so I'm miserable and tired. The good news is that Alice is tired too, since she slept poorly and went to bed late and woke up early. So we started nap-time an hour early today. Alice fell asleep in record time, and we took a two hour nap. I actually got almost an extra hour, as she stayed in bed and watched Scooby Doo.

So I guess there will be no more pasta in this house until after the baby is born. Though I may change my mind about that. I think it was a combination of the sauce, broccoli, and garlic bread. Those are all possible causes, and combined yowza! No wonder. I managed to eat some oatmeal a bit ago, so I will be eating bland foods for a day or two. Good thing I have an appt tomorrow. I can ask my OB for a prescription, since the Zantac and Tums don't do a thing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good Grief

I got Alice down earlier than ever for bed last night. She was in bed by 9:30 and asleep within fifteen minutes. Which is awesome because I was super tired myself. I was hoping she would sleep until at least 8 or 9. Well she woke up when Sean did around 7, and proceeded to run around for awhile before Sean put her back in bed with me a little before 8. I put Beauty and the Beast on and she fell back asleep shortly after. Then I had to get up and feed all the animals and get showered.

I woke her up a few minutes before we had to leave for my mom's. I dropped her off and went to PT. I normally was going at 1:30, but she typically is napping around then so I moved my appt to 11. I then picked her up (it took 45 minutes before she was ready to leave) and headed home for a nap. Well someone fell asleep in the car, so when we got home a bit before 1:30 she didn't want to nap. She FINALLY fell asleep about 4:30 and it is now after 6. I'm going to wake her up because she will never get to sleep tonight. I'm hoping she will be asleep by 11, but who knows if that will happen or not. At least I managed to get a bit of a nap.

Just when I think I'm getting her on a schedule, she throws me a curveball. Good grief, kid!

Randomness and Pictures!

I don't have an interesting post for today, so this will be random. So lets bring out the bullets!

I wrote this yesterday, but it never published.

•I got a new blogging app, but when I tried it earlier I lost my whole post. Boo!

•I passed my GTT! The nurse called while we were napping (me too today), and I sent it to voicemail. She then called right back, so I figured something was wrong. She said everything looked good, but wanted to know if I was taking a daily prenatal (yes). She then went on to say that they would be drawing more blood to look at my b12 levels. Now on to research that and make myself paranoid!

•I was 29 weeks yesterday. I took two pictures for your viewing pleasure. I haven't gotten my 28 week one from Lindsay yet, but she is really busy. So here are 29 weeks. Forgive the towels on the floor-you'll see why in the second picture!






I personally prefer the second picture because it is like "Where's Alice?".

•Speaking of Alice, she has been opening the refrigerator for a week or so. Yesterday she brought me a can of whip cream and her sippy cup. It is her way of telling me she is thirsty!




•And then she told me she was hungry by doing this...




I like her choice of salad and veggies. The cool whip-eh, not so much.

•I have been feeling not so well today. I don't think I'm getting sick. The best way to describe it is "feeling off". I have been a bit nauseous at times and extremely tired. I'm hoping it is just typical pregnancy stuff, and not a sign of early labor. Though I do have a feeling this little man will be early. Fingers crossed not too early. I have been having cramps (or contractions per my ob) off and on for the past three weeks. I may have her check my cervix at my appt this week. Not that that is indicative of anything.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Give Me My Money, B!+€#

I have mentioned this several times, and decided to finally explain the whole situation.

I was laid-off the beginning of September (yay!). I had been at my job for ten years, so I was offered three weeks for every year I had been there. I could take the lump sum and get 75% (minus taxes) or take a weekly amount for 30 weeks. I chose the weekly amount. I was planning on just being a SAHM, and why lose about half of what I could get. So I filled out my paperwork.

I had to wait a week before I could file for my weekly severance. I call them and go through an automated system once a week, answering questions like am I currently employed (no), able to work (yes), filed for unemployment (yes and no), etc.

My first check (they mail them out bi-weekly) arrived with just the first week. The next one, two weeks later, was a LOT less than it should have been. I called and inquired as to why. Because they take my weekly unemployment amount out of my check! Nice! So I'm technically paying for my own unemployment for 30 weeks. I'm not sure if this is legal (I'm not going to research it), but I know it is not fair or right.

On the other hand, I have filed for unemployment. I was initially granted it, but had to jump through a million hoops to get it. While I'm jumping through those hoops, I still file weekly and state that I am receiving a weekly severance of x amount of dollars. I have to state this every week. Well I get a notice saying I'm denied unemployment until such and such date because my gross weekly severance is above their limit.

So I call the Sub Plan and they say they need a denial letter faxed to them in order to reimburse me for the past weeks and get my weekly amount right. No big deal!

A few days later, I get a call from two people at my old employer saying that I HAVE to appeal the ruling and that I'm not receiving a weekly severance, but a supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB). It would be a severance if I took the lump sum. Tomatoe, tomato, right? (yes I know I spelled that first tomato wrong-it is driving me nuts too)

So I appeal and use some crappy paper they mailed me as "evidence" for my appeal (which did not support or refute the whole not-a-severance thing...which they told me to say I was getting a weekly severance to begin with!) and give them a date that my employer (who is in other states as well) got their SUB plan approved with the state of Indiana. So I fax all of that in and wait. Meanwhile, still getting 2/3 of my money taken away for unemployment.

I get a denial letter (again) and go through the whole appeal process (again). I got a notice about when my appeal will be. It was over the phone with a judge. My employer was invited to attend, but did not (go figure). The whole thing was a train-wreck. The judge grilled me about the whole severance versus SUB thing. I told her they were taking out the unemployment every week, so I'm technically only getting x amount of money a week. She doesn't care. She was appalled that they would take my unemployment out of MY money (they are supposed to pay that). The paper they had me send did no good either. And the judge said she wasn't going to look up some ruling from a few years ago, that is their job to provide.

So, I get another denial letter (big surprise! Like I didn't see that coming!) on my birthday. I can do one more appeal, but only if I have new evidence. I don't. So I faxed in the denial of unemployment to the SUB people. Hopefully in the next few weeks my checks will be back in order, and I can get retroed my other money.

And my former employer thinks they are sneaky. Trying to get away with paying 30 weeks less of unemployment to me. Kind of clever though...cheaper for them.

So I will get a check in about a week, and the rep I talked to said that the unemployment should no longer be taken out. I'll let you know...I have a feeling it isn't that easy, and I'll be fighting them for awhile!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I meant to get around to posting yesterday, but I was too busy partying! Ha ha! I'm just kidding. I was spending the day with Sean and Alice. I also spent a good portion of the day resting and in bed. My lower back, pelvis, and pubic bone have been killing me. I have pain killers, but I'm not too keen on taking them unless I absolutely need them. I took some yesterday and today.

We stayed home last night, and went to bed early. Well Sean and Alice did...I didn't fall asleep until about 3. Then I slept in until 11, thanks to my wonderful husband!

We got a lot done around here today. Christmas decorations are put up, laundry is caught up (almost), and we have been cleaning, picking up, and organizing. Sean and I discussed about him going in to driving at UPS. He is set on it this time, and says we will be moving to a condo when he does switch to full time. We'll see how that goes.

Our family goal (or resolution) is to simplify. Either use it, sell it, or chuck it. We are getting rid of the crap. That will make our lives and home less cluttered. I'm trying to convince Sean to let me hold on to all of Alice's old clothes. You know, wait several years and see what happens or what we decide. I can always turn around and sell them, donate them, or give them away. Or a combination of that. I seriously have EVERY single girl item that his sisters' had for their girls. So very large totes each with every size clothing (0-3, 3-6, and so on).

My personal goals for this year:
•Blog more. I won't say every day, but how about averaging 60% of the time. Who knows what life will be like once Sprout gets here! (I bet my blog becomes horrendous due to sleep deprivation!)
•Get more organized. Find a place for everything and return it there when done. (mostly Alice's toys, but there are other things)
•Get Alice on a schedule. I believe this will be the first thing accomplished, as I've been working on this for awhile.
•Finish Alice's cross-stitch birth announcement before she turns two. I started it when I found out we were having a girl, and still haven't finished! Start on Sprout's and get it done before his first birthday (yes, I realize that could go through to next year).

I hope you had a wonderful, safe New Years! Here is to a year full of blessings, happiness, and our growing friendships!