Friday, September 30, 2011

Letting My Troubles Blow Away

First, I wanted to thank everyone for their supportive comments on yesterday's post. It's funny how we can all relate to those feelings of not being enough from time to time. This mothering thing is definitely a learning process and I'm sure that I will get better with dealing with certain things with time.

My little guy must have gotten the "mommy needs a break" memo too because he slept in until 10AM this morning!!! Honestly those few extra hours to myself were just what I needed. I'm thinking he is feeling a little refreshed as well!

I'm not sure how the weather is where you are at, but it's absolutely beautiful here. I've got the AC off and all the windows open. I think the fresh breezes are a mood lifter! I'm actually in the mood to do all of my Friday house cleaning. Maybe even a little excited about it? 

I know I usually save all the Ethan updates for his monthly posts, but sometimes he does so many new things all at once, that I'm afraid I won't remember them once the month is over. Yesterday actually we had 4 new firsts!

He took his first 4 wheeler ride (very, very slow mind you) to see new baby cows. He was absolutely in love with them and I think he might have pointed to every single tree we passed along the way. He's infatuated with trees!

He stood up without any support what so ever. It was so thrilling to see him just stand up on his own without any furniture to help him. Maybe this means we are one step closer to walking?

He also climbed down the stairs in a more correct fashion. Normally he tries to head face first down the stairs like a belly slide. I had briefly showed him how to turn around and climb down just the other day, but I decided he wasn't ready for it just yet so I didn't worry with it anymore. So last night when he decided to back down the stairs I was completely surprised!

I've been surprised that he hasn't tried this on his own before, but yesterday when I was eating an oatmeal cream pie he decided to make a bee line for the couch and climb up on it. I guess the couch had never been so tempting before. Of course I gave him a bite (or three...ok five) of the sweet treat!

I think I have been focusing on the wrong details lately. It's funny how Ethan has a way of showing me the right way and what's really important in life. Please excuse us while we let the breeze blow through our hair!

PS - What do you think about the larger pictures? After tinkering with my HTML code yesterday I finally was able to figure out how to do it! Now if only I could make my font a tad larger?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Never Enough

These past two weeks have been rough on me. Lots of things that needed to be done popped up and all the things I had planned to do got put on the back burner. With E's first b-day approaching and then the holidays soon following I'm starting to feel the stress mounting and it's starting to show.

There are lots of times in my life that I feel super organized and like I have it all together. This moment in my life though is not one of them. I feel like a mess. My mind is in a million places and organized Laura is nowhere to be found. I can't even concentrate long enough to make a list. In fact, honestly? I just want to avoid everything.

I have entered shut down mode which is a scary place to be the week before your son's b-day.

Lately I've just been feeling that no matter what I's not enough. There's always something left undone. Something half way finished. Something that makes me feel like a failure. 

The funny thing is that the only person making me feel this way is myself.

When the house is dirty and dinner doesn't get made, I feel like I let my family down. When I say "no", I feel selfish. When I put my son in playpen so I can get something done, I feel guilty.

I just don't feel like there is enough of me to spread around. Someone is always getting short changed and a lot of times that person is me. Sometimes I wonder how other people do it all?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Great Sippy Cup Review - Vlog Style

Yep. I did another v-log. It just seemed like the best fit for the sippy cup test I'm doing today! 

I will be showing you all 10 of the different cups we own along with reviews concerning ease of use (for both baby and mom), how to put each of them together, whether they leak, and how easy they are to drink out of. That's right can watch me drink out of a sippy cup today. Yaaaay.

There are two videos the first one is the review for valve cup style sippys and the second is for the straw cup style sippys. Pictures and links to purchase are below the videos! Feel free to add your two cents in the comment section regarding your sippy cup experience (not my fabulous videos skills please).

Valve Cup Review

Straw Cup Review

Valve Cup Purchase Links

Playtex Sipster

This one was given to me as a baby shower present, but I have seen it at Target.

Dr. Browns Soft Sprout Training Cup

This was also a gift but I have seen it at Babies R Us.

Tommee Tippee Explora Training Cup

I personally purchased this from Babies R Us in a one pack. 98% certain I did not pay $10 for my single cup. If I did, I must have been in a desperate situation. Check out Babies R US for a better price on this one.

OXO Tot Sippy Cup
I paid more for this one than I thought !!! Grrrr OXO.

Munchkin Mighty Grip Sippy
This one was purchased at Walmart and was more than likely cheaper there than through Amazon.

Playtex Twist and Click Sprout Cup
I personally found this one at Publix half off.

Straw Cup Purchase Links

Munchkin Mighty Grip Straw Cup

Tommee Tippee Explora Lil Sippy Sport Straw
I personally purchased these at Babies R Us for a better price.

Nuby Flex Straw Cup
Personally purchased at Publix for a cheaper price

Vital Baby Toddler Straw Cup

Monday, September 26, 2011

Almost One!

When I get busy and bogged down, I have a really tough time thinking of something to write about. The only thing that ever comes to mind is to simply complain about whatever situation I'm in and what fun is that to read?

With 14 days until Ethan's b-day party and all the holidays right around the corner, you can probably assume that I'm in one of these moments. So much to do, so little time. Story of all of our lives right?

So, instead of complaining and writing what's really on my mind at the moment, I think I'll share with you a few things that make having an almost one year old great!

Adios Formula!

That's right. I'm cheating and have switched E over to whole milk already. We were down to one last can of formula once we got back from vaycay and I decided I wasn't buying anymore. I started slowly adding in milk to his formula and thankfully he loves it. So now we are buying two gallons of whole milk every week for $6.40 instead of two cans of formula for $50.00. Please excuse me while I go do a little happy dance.

Almost all food types are a-okay these days!

When I found Ethan in the pantry with the large box of raisins in his hands and most of those raisins shoved in his mouth I had a momentary flash of panic. Raisins...okay, not okay????? I can't remember. Then I thought...hey, he's almost one. I don't really have to be THAT concerned with all of that nonsense anymore. Go ahead son, eat the raisins. And believe me, he does. In fact, it's his new favorite snack.

The Fun Kid Days are Right Around the Corner!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not wishing away those sweet baby days by any means. Honestly I wish they would last a little longer, but I am also looking forward to fun kid adventures filled with imagination, crafting, and hearing all the funny things he is going to say. Just yesterday he pulled his little Nike shoe out of the drawer and tried to put it on his foot. What? When did this happen? He crawls directly upstairs after dinner to the bathtub because he knows it's his routine and points at the toothpaste when you hand him his toothbrush. Um, where did my baby go?


Cuddling is the new thing!

Okay so I know this is probably backwards for some of you, but my baby was not a cuddler in the beginning. He hated his back to be rubbed, would rather sleep in his crib than with us, and would rather you stand than rock him. Now? He thinks it's pretty awesome to snuggle. Just for a second mind you, but it's something! He has also learned how to kiss which is super sweet unless he decides to try his other new trick out too...biting. It's surprising either way.

I'm looking forward to Saturday naps together one day...I know it's against the "rules", but you've gotta be a rebel sometimes right? One day.

Communication is underway!

Before I had children the most scary thing to me was that they couldn't communicate with you. These days he has no problem communicating if he wants more of something or is "all done" with something. Recently I've heard him trying very hard to have a conversation with me. I just haven't figured out what he's saying just yet.

Hmmm, I have a feeling this next year is going to be super fun!

And, maybe a little exhausting :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Maternity Session Photo Fun!

When Heather asked me to do a maternity session for her I was more than surprised. I had never done anything of the like before. Sure I own a nice camera, I like to take pictures, but I never thought anyone would ask me to take pictures for them. 

I nervously said yes, because she's one of my besties and I couldn't turn her down. But I also didn't want to disappoint her so I proceeded to give a lot of warnings: I've never done this. I don't know what I'm doing. I'll be slow. Don't hate me if I fail miserably. 

Thankfully there are tons of websites out there that provided inspiration for both of us! Maybe a little too much inspiration at times. We had so many ideas that I ended up taking over 500 pictures. Wow. Yes, this is a very small sampling of the set ups we did.

This will be Heather's second child. Her first son Carter just turned 2 and is beyond adorable! Heather's only 20 weeks along so we are all still anxiously waiting to find out if Carter is going to have a little brother or a little sister. We took two different gender reveal shots to prepare for either option though!

I learned a lot from this first experience. It's definitely no easy task and I have a lot to improve on if I were ever to do this for anyone else, but I think we both had a lot of fun. I also think that we got some great shots. How could I not? Heather sure knows how to work a camera!

Thanks Heather for letting me be a part of this very special pregnancy. I'm looking forward to going back a little closer to delivery time to do some more photos with Carter and her husband Daniel. That is, if she asks me back after doing these ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Learning Moment...the Hard Way

Today was one of those "learning" days in life. You know the ones I'm talking about right? The ones where you come out saying..."Well, I'll never do that again." Let me share so I can save you these particular "learning" moments.

1. Don't let your husband schedule any appointments for you. 

Okay, okay. I asked him to schedule it because I don't like talking to auto mechanics because I am the stereotypical woman who has zero clue as to what anything related to the car means. He scheduled it right in the beginning of the first nap time which obviously means disaster.

Again. My fault. I gave no directions because some crazy virus had taken over my body at the time I asked him to do this.

I blame the virus.

2. When you are taking your car in for a problem with the breaks don't believe them when they say it should only take 2 hours.

Lies, all lies here folks. It took 7 hours!!! 

Let's let that sink in for a moment.... 

You and your 11 month old in a waiting room for 7 hours.

Who wants to jump off a cliff at that thought? too.

3. Throw out any scooped necked, v-necked, loose fitting neck tops you own immediately.

Even if said scoop neck top is no where near scandalous you will end up flashing all of the service team folks at Carmax as soon as you walk in with baby on your hip. 

You will not notice that your entire boob is hanging out until after you have started talking to a service member and happen to look down when they point out how cute your baby is which right next to your exposed boob. Covered with a bra mind you, but still, exposed. 

You will be mortified.

4. Be thankful that you are an over packer when it comes to your baby.

I was only expecting a 2 hour wait. I thankfully had packed enough diapers, formula, and food for the entire 7 hours. We were one hour away from emergency store run though for both diapers and formula. Geeze louise.

Oh yeah, and I packed the stroller on suggestion from the hubs. 


5. Don't forget to pack something for yourself.

Remember that virus? Yeah well let's just say I didn't eat anything for two days straight and what little I did eat didn't stay down very long. 


Anyways, when the only way to entertain your child is to walk the parking lot for the entire day and you have had nothing to eat or drink you start to feel light headed. 

You might start stealing some of your baby's lunch in fear that you will pass out if you don't.

You might put in an emergency SOS call to your husband to pick you up something. 

Your husband might be awesome enough to come bring you something, unfortunately he just drops it off and can't help with the bored of his mind child, but you might get food only if you're lucky.

6. It's okay to be afraid of germs.

The dealership had an amazing kid play area, but I was too afraid to use it. My SAH baby (who is still in that stick everything into his mouth stage) has been sheltered of germs for so long that I didn't want to risk using stuff that I had no idea the last time it had been wiped down.

4 hours into this ordeal I was cursing myself and ready to cave. 

As I walked up to the play zone I saw three kids hurling the baby toys across the room into the wall. These were no small baby toys (rocking horse, activity table, a walker) and these were no little children (8 to 10 year olds). 

Their parents?

Sitting right outside the window watching them. 

Ridiculous. People are stupid and inconsiderate. 

7. After sitting in the in the waiting room for 5 hours (errr walking around the parking lot) Carmax might decide to let you have a rental car.

Wait. This was an option?

Why didn't someone tell me this 5 hours ago?????

I shouldn't complain. I'm glad that at least my baby got some sleep for those last two hours and my legs were able to take a break.

8. Be thankful that you have a child that can handle it.

Even though this was a disaster of an experience, my baby kept it together for the most part. He was in a stroller all day, bored, and tired but he only had a couple of melt downs. I had to walk him around most of the day to keep him happy, but it could have been WAAAAAY worse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Back!

Because I have mountains of laundry, mail, and dust to take care of today....I'll leave you with a small list of updates.
  1. We are home from our awesome trip and trying to get back into the swing of things!
  2. Both of our children are happy we are home.
  3. Poop was the topic of conversation when I checked in on either one of the kids.
  4. I'm very grateful that my SIL picked up Lola on Wednesday since she wasn't doing too great with boarding.
  5. Ethan has learned at least 10 new things while we were gone.
  6. He also looks a great deal bigger to me in both height and weight...neither of which I've checked yet.
  7. I came home with a little virus. Fun,fun.
  8. The reality of how fast certain upcoming events are approaching on us is hitting now and I am beginning to enter panic mode.
  9. I am terribly behind on Google Reader, but promise to try to catch up soon!
  10. Oh, and if you are wondering, I did not have a nervous breakdown while I was gone from Ethan last week. I think we were too busy to dwell on it, but with that said, I'm glad to be back in mommy mode!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Feeling the Burn...

After a long day of traveling yesterday, we finally made it to Cody, WY. This place seems to be a complete 180 in both landscape and atmosphere from Jackson Hole where we were previously staying.

We are staying in the Irma Hotel, built in 1902, in the square of Cody. We were suppose to be in one of the historic rooms complete with claw foot tubs and four poster beds, but instead we ended up in more of an "old" room with historic details like a radiator and a pull cord toilet. 

Today was our last day at Yellowstone. We focused on the East entrance of the park seeing mostly waterfalls. We hiked our little hearts out (seriously, I'm pretty sure my heart came out of my chest at one point). 

We climbed down over 500 feet and 328 stairs (an evil version of a stair master complete with a side effect of vertigo) on Uncle Tom's trail to see this...

308ft high Lower Falls twice the size of Niagara Falls

We also hiked down over 600 feet via a series of switchbacks to see the top of the Lower Falls.

Honestly you could feel the pull of the falls from this point and I got as physically close to a rainbow as I have ever been!

View of Yellowstone Canyon

Finally we climbed down another 600 feet to see one more view....

You really felt like you were in the bowl of the canyon from this point.

I'm pretty sure I'll be feeling all of this tomorrow. Ouch....mama's out of shape! I know this is a short and very sparse recount of our day, but honestly...that's all I've got the energy for at the moment!

A few more views of the day just because I can't help myself...

Pictures speak louder than words anyways right?

Honestly, who tries to pick some one up on the edge of a cliff? And it is a cliff even though you can't tell from this picture.

"Hell to the no Michael!" That's what I'm saying (errr, screaming) here. Nice try.

Until next time Yellowstone!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Geysers, Thermals & Mudpots, Oh My!

Yesterday we made our first venture into Yellowstone. This park is amazingly huge and even though we are here for a week, we still won't get to see it all! The first section we decided to visit contained the geysers, thermal pools, and mud pots.

Of course we stopped at Old Faithful. It goes off around every 90 minutes. When we arrived it was about 30 minutes until showtime so we just stopped and waited. 

There were several false starts....she's a tease for sure!

Once she got going though, she was really beautiful. I have to admit that my awe was distracted by a lady behind us who was very in awe. In fact, she was having a "When Harry Met Sally" moment. Our inner 13 year old selves could not stop from laughing.

After the show was over we toured the rest of the geysers and although Old Faithful is impressive, there are several others that are even more so. You can see some of the smaller ones up close and actually feel the steam come off of them and see the water bubbling.

There was also a triple geyser that we got to see go off from across the park that was spectacular. 

I expected the geyser park to smell like sulfur and if the wind blew right, it did, but for the most part the sulfur smells were kept to a minimum. I also envisioned hearing a lot of rumbling, but again, it was mostly quiet. Some of the tiniest ones were the loudest actually.

One of the parts of the trip that I was most looking forward to were the thermal pools. The colors are amazing, and I have to admit that the camera picked up the colors much better than my own eyes did.

Sometimes I think we all get caught up in wanting to go out of the states to really see things, but there is so much here in our own backyard to experience! Our own country has so many natural wonders to see.

The land we were on today blew my mind. At times it looked like we were on another planet, but in fact we were on top of a volcano. All the bubbling and gurgling is caused by the hot magma that was right beneath our feet. 

God is amazing isn't He to create all of this!

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