Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Baby Girl!

I don't think I shared any pictures of my Chloe Bear.....enjoy!

 The last belly picture before she came. This was about 5 hours before I had her. It's funny that it's been over a month and sometimes I feel like I'm still carrying that belly around.

Just checking out this new world!

 Big Brother gets to hold her for the first time!

 Mommy has her arms full of kiddos now!
 I need at least one or two more.

I love this with the mouth all open...first bath in a baby tub.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin play

One of the things that we did to keep busy over the past month, was decorating pumpkins. I found the fun idea (sorry, don't remember where) to use Mr. Potato Head pieces to decorate pumpkins. Lucky for us, Pap Bob bought us a VERY large Mr. PH set last year so we had lot of pieces to choose from.

I thought this was going to be a very easy thing to do with my toddler, and it was, but I did have to do some on the spot prep that, had I known (or thought about it), I would have done before sitting him down to play. So, here's the big tip for ya: Those Mr. PH pieces are made of some flimsy plastic that will not break through the pumpkin on its own. Before you get started, you should use something to poke wholes in the pumpkin where different pieces would normally go (ex: eye hole, mouth, ears, etc). I did this one with a knife, which was fine. About a week later, I did this activity again with my home school enrichment kiddos and decided that I needed something that would just make one straight hole. I ended up using the end of a simple metal meat thermometer. Since those things have pointed ends, it was perfect.

This kept my son busy for a while AND it made for an addition use of our pumpkin: 1. Mr. PH pumpkin, 2. Cut out the jack-o-lantern face 3. Turn the pumpkin into pumpkin puree by steaming in a crock pot for many hours.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One kid and counting....

WOW! 38 weeks!

It's amazing how a pregnancy can seem to go so slow for months and months and then you get to the end and it feels like it's flying!

I have been waiting to see if this little kiddo is going to come out naturally or if we're going to have to be induced. My next appointment is on Tuesday and that will be when I get the official word. I will have an ultrasound, non-stress test, and a visit with the doctor. Then, I am told that we will schedule an induction date for some time after I hit 39 weeks.

How odd is it that I'm still in denial? I feel like there is this part of me that knows that she is coming and has been preparing for a while. Then there's this other part that knows she is coming, but feels like it's still a long way off and that nothing is going to change for our family for a while. It might be that I'm just so happy to have her chilling in my belly, dancing around daily, and knowing that I'm the closest to her that I will ever be.

Scott and I keep talking about more kids. I feel like having one more would be great, but it doesn't seem very feasible. We can't be struggling to get by anymore than we are now....and I certainly will not be dragging 3 kids to a job! WOW! I guess we wait and see for now. Something amazing may change in our lives. We just have to wait and see what God has in store for our family!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apple season sensory box

I have been needing a new sensory box for Matthew. I wanted to do one that was all apples, but I had some trouble finding tiny apples to put in the box. I decided to go with sort of an Apple/Fall box, which he loves! The only thing that we need to add are some acorns.

What's in there:
A pack of leaves
2 bags of kidney beans
1/2 bag of some kind of yellow looking split pea
A handful of green flat marbles
4 or 5 golden pinecones
A dozen or so red pom poms
A dozen or so red buttons
10 apple buttons
1 tiny wooden pail
1 large plastic container
A half dozen cinnamon sticks (yum!)

Normally, I would get more of a smile, but my little guy had just got up from a nap and wasn't feeling great. He really loved his new bin though!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Off on the right foot!

Pregnancy is exhausting...anyone want to argue with that?

I feel like I've been neglecting so many things, especially my son's education. Where I used to do some really fun, creative, and engaging activities most days, now I'm lucky if I can find the motivation to even try it engage him. For me, that has been very frustrating. As a parent and former teacher that is planning to home school, I feel like it my duty to make sure that my son is constantly learning. I'm not trying to force him to do things that he can't or resists, but I do like to show him new things and see if he can handle it or if he gets a little frustrated.

Well, after having a full 24 hours of down time (thank you Mom and Dad), I was able to get enough sleep to realize that I did still have the drive and motivation in me to plan and do some great things with my son. Plus, perhaps if I just get started it will all start to fall into place.

Q. Where is my biggest downfall as a teacher?

A. Deciding what to plan! Let me explain. I do not have problems with planning in the sense that I can't be organized, but the problem comes when I am looking at so many great activities and can't decide which are the best to focus on. I often and up just feeling overwhelmed and irritated with myself.

In all honestly, I've planned out "tot school" before. I've had great plans for books and song and crafts, but in the end, I either put so much planning into one week that I'll never be ready for week #2 or else I just let things slide.

How to combat this problem????
FINALLY take the advice that I was given while I was in college and beg, borrow, and steal! I have always felt like taking someone else's work and using it is cheating. So when it came time to do that in college (and it was okay to do that for the teaching method's classes most of the time), I shied away from doing that and constantly found myself trying to reinvent the wheel! Imagine how exhausting and what a bad use of time it is to be constantly creating worksheets (that are probably already out there), making up games (that I could probably pay under $10 to own), and constantly trying to think of something "new".

I'm putting all of that aside this time! I started searching through home school blogs and found a GREAT toddler curriculum that is not a "store bought" curriculum, but was made by a Mom that is a great planner and brought together many elements to make it well-rounded. Here are the plans from "From A to Z: Our Tot School Adventure". I didn't use only what she had and I didn't like some of the topics, but luckily she planned for a year, so I was able to move things around. She did have links to just about EVERYTHING though!

Matthew and I started yesterday with the "Fall" theme, which will last the entire month and most likely into October for us. We did the "Musical Monday" and listened to Vivaldi's "Seasons", which I found easily on He loved it! I think that because each season had a sideshow of the season, it reminded him of "Baby Einstein" and he always loved his "Baby". We also worked with the pattern blocks and had our first day of calendar yesterday.

Today, we are going to do some of the "Letter A" activities, which I know he will enjoy since it means he gets to use scissors!!  :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

R & R!

I have been so tired and emotional recently! I think it has a lot to do with feeling overly stressed. I had a signing class on Saturday  morning and the things that I wanted to have to make it good, just were not falling into place properly. I ended up spending a lot of time on Friday dragging my son around all over town to get stuff for the class...or so I thought! I ended up going to about 3 different place in search of the same item and never finding it! After that, I was so annoyed with THE WORLD that thinking about doing the session the next morning was making me ill! On top of that, I was hosting a Mom's Night In on Saturday night and thinking about that was causing me stress as well.

Everything came to a head on Friday night around 8:30. That was when I broke my dining room table into about a million little glass pieces! After that, I just sat there and cried for a long time. I was feeling very hopeless, tired, and pregnant. I kept thinking "How can this day get any worse!!"

After I picked up all of the glass, I took my son up for his bath and bedtime. I told myself that I had to let go of the stress that I was feeling and try to enjoy this moment! Someday soon it won't just be and my little boy. So, I stopped crying and started playing Mommy and Baby fishy in tub. He LOVES that game! By the end of his bath I was starting to feel better. Then we went to my bed and started reading books. I was feeling very relaxed and considering blowing off everything else that I had to do and just going to bed! Then, the doorbell rang.......

I turned out that my parents and brother had gone out to dinner and needed a place to hang out for a big while they were flea bombing their house. Their coming was perfect! They helped to keep my son busy so that I could finish my work, set up the furniture for my party, went grocery shopping for me, and then after my son was in bed, provided me with some companionship. After they left, I was feeling much better.

Let's ignore the signing session. I liked it, but the best part of my day was Saturday night!

Saturday night, I hosted a Thirty One gifts party! I was very excited to have a party, despite the fact that I was stressing up til that point. The party was a total blast! I had a great time, enjoyed the Saturday night company with other moms and I just LOVE being the one to host, because then I don't feel bad about overstaying my welcome! The party started about 7:30 and the last person left close to midnight. I had so much fun that I kept thinking that I wish that every Saturday night was filled with this kind of fun and enjoyment. I could totally use a mom's night out at least once a week!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh the things we do for the ones we love!

How well do you know me???

When I was younger, even a teenager, I was so phobic of needles that I tended to run off the table or out of the chair the second I saw the needle. I would cry and freak out like a four-year-old! My parents would fight over who had to take me if they knew that needles were going to be involved.
When I lost my first baby at 5 and half months, I had still had to go in and deliver. When I asked if we could skip the I.V. they practically laughed at me. I started off with a nurse that wasn't able to find a vein! I ALWAYS tell people that they better get it right the first time, because they only get one poke before I get totally freaked out! The first nurse sucked! She stuck me twice and couldn't get anything! I was already a mess from having lost my baby and now I was dealing with this! OY! When the older nurse came and got me the first time, I asked if there was anything they could do to keep it out of site for me. They ended up wrapping it up for me so that I couldn't see it until they needed it.

 A year later, when I had my son, I was dead set on no epidural, because I didn't even want to think about a needle going into me. However, I wasn't sure that I could do without it, so I signed the papers. Lucky that I did, because about 4 hours into it, I thought I was going to lose it! They had to try 3 different places in my back. I remember that being tough because I had to try to be still between contractions!

Well, I wish I had more specific examples, but you get the idea....I HATE NEEDLES.


I also hate debt! So this week I am starting a research study. It is for pregnant women that take the prescription drugs that I take for my blood pressure. I will be spending about 8 hours on Thursday in a hospital room while they collect my urine and blood about every half hour. This is totally not something I would normally even consider doing, but after a couple months of having different bills come up, I decided that this would help offset the costs and it's about as simple of a job as I could ever get! So what's the compensation? I will have to go in and do this study once this week, once in about 7 weeks, and once again post-postpartum. Each time, I will be given $250! I think that's worth it....and I'll just not think about the I.V! I'm keeping my eye on the prize and enjoying my quiet time in the hospital room.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time to buy

Tis the Season!!!

I told you that it was time to buy back to school stuff. I forgot about something that is on the back to school list. That being underwear, socks, and undershirts! Those fall under the "clothing" category, but maybe you didn't consider that these items would be on sale for adults too! This week, Target is running a pretty nice deal.

You can get Hanes items on sale with the added bonus of and extra or two in the packages. If you hurry you can get the $1 off Hanes coupon on the Target site. I have also read that there is a $1 peelie on some packages which you can use WITH the Target coupon, because it is supposed to be a manufacture's coupon. Target is also rewarding you for buying 4 packs of Hanes items with a $5 off gift card. Remember to use your Target Red Card to save 5% off your total and take in your reusable bags to save an extra 5cents per bag!

This is  a pretty decent deal overall. For me, I will not just put these items out right now, because we don't "need" them yet, but I will save them for when we need them or for Christmas! Socks and underwear always seem to be a staple on our Christmas shopping and has already been on my list!

I haven't gotten to Target yet, so let me know when you do these deal how it all goes. I hope to be there later today to get the best deal......

1 more little tip! Save your receipt! If for any reason these go on sale you can take them back anytime over the next 3 months and get your money back! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tales from the Mothership made me think of this....

I have a playgroup friend that is a super awesome person! Honestly, I think all of my playgroup friends are awesome, but this is probably the first friend since college that I've made that I can talk about ANYTHING with...from getting down and dirty with my husband to..........getting and down and dirty cleaning up toddler poop off the floor! Some people aren't able to switch from one of those topic to the other....but we can, and have!

I was just reading her blog about her daughter's first poop in the tub. She said it's the first time she's every done it. My son was born December 5, 2008....her daughter 3 days later...same hospital....We seriously must have JUST missed each other! I thought that was funny, because my little sweetie has pooped in the tub so many times we practically have a routine for it! What she said reminded me of an AWESOME little moment the other day.

Saturday was a big day for me. I teach baby signing classes through a company called "My Smart Hands". I thought I was going to be done with it, because I really wasn't making anything of it. Then, Spring came and the e-mail requests started coming in.

On Saturday, I was going to be doing my first demonstration class at a local store. I was nervous about it and excited! I had been trying to get all of my thoughts in order for the class all week, but between not sleeping enough and just being so nervous, nothing was really finalized.

Friday, I was dragging! I wanted to take my son out in the morning so that I could assure he would have a really good nap, but I was just so tired that I barely got off the couch most of the morning. I knew that nap time was going to be my time to get my work done for Saturday, but if I didn't get him out of the house in the morning, the chances of a nap were slim.

Of course, nap time came around and he wasn't interested in napping, but I STILL had to get my work done. So, I tried putting him in the crib and letting him sleep (big boy bed needed to be washed and I don't have a second set of sheets for it he's still getting used to the bed and plays a LOT when he's in it). I let him play in his crib for a while. Then, he started with the screaming. "Mommy! Where are you?", "Mommy! Wake up!!" "Mommy! Matthew wakie, wakie!"

I couldn't concentrate or anything. So I decided, why fight it? I let him out of his crib to play in room. He likes to play trains and I was just in the next room. I told him he had to play on his train table and he did.

After about 15 minutes he came to see me. He was bored.

We went into the bathroom and he tried going potty. Nothing....ehh...seems to be the way of it!

While in there, he found a toy that he plays with at his water table and tried to put it in the sink, but it's just too big. I asked him if he wanted to take it in the bath. He was really excited!!!

I set him up with a little bit of water and let him go to town. I was at the point where I could print stuff so I could click print and then go check on him and then come back. I'm confident these days that he is NOT going to drown in one inch of water. Not that I leave him and go do laundry or anything, I was literally in the next room. Barely 10 feet from stop freaking out! If I heard anything that wasn't him playing, I could be in there faster get the idea...and I don't feel like defending my choice to let him play so I could get my work done.

So, I hear him getting out of the tub. I say "Honey, what are you doing?"

He peeks his naked butt into the room and says "Here mommy! I have a Happy Birthday!" Basically any gift is a Happy Birthday. I had taken off my glasses and could barely make out what it was that he was giving me. It looked like his tubby toy water goldfish. I told him to put it in the tubby. He starred at me for a while, but didn't really move. I was concerned that he was going to bring it into the room and get the floor all wet, so I started for the door as he started for the bathroom. He walked over to the toilet and said "Here Mommy!"

Then, my dear sweet son handing me his bright orange poo.


What could I do? I praised him for not going in his diaper or the tub...then we tossed his poo in the toilet and flushed it away.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tis the season!!!

OK! So you're stockpiling now, right?

You should be! Or at least thinking about it! This is especially the time to buy school stuff such as:


(Did you see that Staples is starting their penny deals this week? You can even get a ream of paper for 25 cents after rebate?!!! Awesome!! There is also a target coupon that will get you a pack of pens for chump change!)

All of that kind of back-to-school stuff.....BUT ALSO don't forget the COLLEGE back to school stuff....

storage bins

(These deals will end earlier than stuff that is for the elementary/high school back to school, so if you wait until 3rd week of August they might be picked over and/or starting to be marked WAY down! Last year, I was able to get 6 folding chairs at Target that were $10...on sale for $2.50 each! Perfect for parties!) 

And all of THAT stuff is really great, unless you don't NEED it....but you have to need food, right?
Well this is the time of year to stock on a lot of different food items. I call like to think of this as "back to school food shopping", because the stores know that you will want to prepare your "student" to be able to pack a lunch, but also have stuff for them for breakfast. I recommend keeping a close eye on your grocery store ads. Over the next few weeks you are going to see lots of sales on these items:

Name brand cereals
Peanut butter
Frozen breakfast stuff....waffles and pancake kind of things
bags of snacks
juice boxes and other juices
granola and other snack bars

As I said before, save up these coupons over the next few weeks. You might start to see some of these items on sale before the end of July and if you see a good enough sale, jump on it! However, if you want to see sales plus coupons PLUS in-store extras, I suggest holding out a bit.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's a .....

So, I thought that my last post might give away my little bit of news....I guess no one noticed!!

Since we finally told our family yesterday, I can finally come right out with it!

We are having a little baby girl!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sex and stuff....

Oh boy! It's been so long! I've been doing so many things!

Scott and I have been discussing what our plans are after the new baby comes along and we feel like (maybe...this changes weekly) it might be time for me to become an official stay-at-home Mommy. The idea is exciting and yet I find myself being extremely nervous.

I often feel like I can't decide what to do each day. I am torn by my love for being out of the house and the fact that we constantly have messes EVERYWHERE! I admit that I'm not the cleanest of housewives. I don't think I've ever let things get too, too bad, but at the end of the day, don't be surprised if the dishes aren't done, there's still tons of laundry, and there's (YET AGAIN) crumbs because my sweet child took his cereal into the living room and proceeded to crumble it all over the floor.

I often feel like I am embarrassed to have people over, but when I think about making changes and working harder to stay on some type of schedule to get everything done, I end up feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Usually, that is when I start to schedule more outings! I keep thinking that maybe I'll be better when I'm at home all day and my house becomes my "office", but I'm not sure.

Some things have been getting in the way recently though. For a while, we had that extra bedroom remodel going on. That left us with stuff all over the house that didn't belong anywhere near there. It also helped us realize just how full our attic was and how much we needed to get rid of stuff. Which, we did, but there's still a lot more to go.

After we got the room all finished, we started moving Scott's stuff up to the new room, which is now an office that both of us use. I do enjoy it. The former "Man Cave" has become the new redo. We decided that it was going to be the new playroom for our kiddos, but before I would let anything move into the room, I just HAD to make changes. So, we took off the old baseboards and have been joint compounding and sanding for a while now. We are finally at the point where we can prime the joint compound and paint. Then, we'll just need the new baseboards! Then, (and I can't wait for this) EVERY SINGLE TOY is moving into that backroom and I get to have a dining room again! AMEN!! And really...I don't miss having a dining room table on carpet, but I do miss not seeing toys everywhere as soon as I walk into the house.

Last weekend, we also got new (to us) furniture from Scott's parents. That was also another major change. Now, I have plenty of room for clothing for both Matthew and the new baby! I was having a field day fixing up their bedroom and was bummed when I got to the point that I couldn't do anything else without getting the toys out of the room.

Matthew now has a big boy bed in his room. I wanted to put it into his room so that he would start to realize that it belonged there rather than just force him into it one fine day. He seems to love it though. I don't know when we'll be ready to have him sleep in it. It would be awesome if he could sleep in the crib forever!

So, we have all of that going on. The hope is that after everything gets organized into the place that it belongs, things might get a lot easier around our house.

Aside from that, I have also been working a little hard on my baby signing business. Here's a link to my site. It would be awesome if you visited it and told your friends and families about it. As much as I see people very interested in taking classes, it has been difficult for me to actually created a second class with the commitment that my first one had.

I know that one of the ways I can fix this is with advertising. I know I have not saturated the area at all! Recently, though, I've had a lot of people find me. In fact, I was contacted by a group called Urban Mommies to do a one day demo for a group of interested Moms! I was very excited about that! A few weeks later, I was contact by someone from "Learning Express" to do something for them as well. Amazing! I decided that with their advertising help, I need to get out there and really put my best for forward this summer. I have been working with Macaroni Kids - North Hills and soon they will be featuring me in one of their newsletters.

I really only started doing this, because I wanted to be able to bring baby signing into the Pittsburgh area, but now I'm trying to set goals for myself so that this money can be our "special money" for stuff like family trips and vacations. Maybe I'll get to the point where this could be the place where all of our childrens' college savings comes from or something. For now, the goals are small. I tend to think more about short term goals for stuff like this, simply because when I think long-term I get too excited imagining what it could be and overwhelmed by the fact that I'm not sure how to get there. Baby steps.....

And speaking of.....

We found out the sex of the baby!!! Our families (particularly my mother-in-law) are dying to know, but we're not telling yet. We decided to wait until this coming weekend. Most of the reason to wait is for a really silly reason. Basically, I am known as the one who can't keep a secret. When I was little, I always used to find Santa's gifts and tell my brother what we were getting. Birthdays, I'd start searching for my own gifts, and if you left me alone in the house...I was probably snooping through old papers in the basement trying to find out if I was adopted (that last one was a real doozy...I actually found my parent's Will when I was maybe 12ish and it happened to be on the day they left on an airplane to go to a convention. I convinced my poor younger brother that they left the Will out, because they were afraid they weren't going to make it back to us)..............

And well, those ones were kind of "intentional", but there are also times that I "word vomit" things and don't even realize that I'm doing it. Like when I told my sister-in-law that she was getting a Kuerig and didn't realize that she hadn't already received it. My bad!

Anyway, I've decided that I need a secret to keep and this a good one! Another reason for the secrecy had to do with the craziness that has been all of our lives lately. My Mom was working on a big event last week and was very stressed and busy and my Mother-in-law was also dealing with some stress that should all calm down this week. So when we tell them this weekend, everyone will be in a happy, celebratory mood!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Recently, I think I hit "Phase I" of nesting. It could just be that I was excited for the new room to be finished, but I think it was more than that. As things were getting close to done, I started to realize that there are so many areas of our house that are unorganized! It's really sad!

Last week, I was really heavy into getting the attic organized. The problem with the attic is that so much has to go and it's hard to go through every box and rubbermaid and get either find a place for it, determine that is too sentimental to toss, donate, repair, re-purpose...or whatever! I will be the first to admit that we have a lot of stuff. We have childhood memories coming out the ying-yang and then wedding stuff, baby stuff, teaching stuff, holiday stuff, and electronics....just all TOO much! It really does get frustrating! It's so hard to find anything and even if you get started on one thing, you are doing it at the expense of time that could be spent on something else (by working up in the attic on 3 different days, I was not able to get all of the regular housework done).

What's been really cool about all of this for me has been watching the globs and globs of stuff go away. There is an amazing feeling of relief when you realize that you aren't going to be bogged down by as much stuff as you were a couple days ago.

So, that attic is all kinds of halfway organized and halfway not even touched. That's a project that will continue to need work. I knew that, but I still started on another one.

With the new room being finished and Scott moving his "man-cave" upstairs, I was super excited to move the playroom into the back room. It will be out of the way, but when we have parties, it will add another room that kids can play in while staying on the first floor. It will also allow me to having my dining room back AND I will be able to shut the door on the room and pretend that whatever mess is behind there is not! I'm really excited about this project, but I wanted to make some improvements on the room first.

I wanted to fix up the baseboards in that room. They have chipped paint coming off of them everywhere you look. It's horrible!! We decided to take off the old baseboards and replace them. That seems like a simple job, but it's turning into something that is unfamiliar to me and I am learning as I go.

Right now, we have the baseboards off of the wall, but there's different heights to the baseboards. Three walls had baseboards that were 7 and half inches. The 4th wall had a baseboard that was over 9 inches. To even them out, we have to take joint compound and go over the area to bring it back down to 7 inches. After that, we'll have to sand the area and paint the walls. The painting was something that I wanted to do anyway, so I'm not so worried about that, but I don't know much about joint compound and I'm not looking forward to learning.

I'll keep you posted....

Hopefully, this project won't be one that I am interested in, but the interest dies off. We'll see though...I HAVE to finish now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jake and the Neverland Pirates vest!

If you were on facebook last night, you saw my updates while I was working on a pirate vest for Matthew. He LOVES "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", so I decided that this vest would be awesome for him! It turned out great and he loves it!!!

If you are interested in making your own vest, I used a tutorial on the MADE website. If you have never visited there, you will find a ton of great projects! Some are really simple and some are a little more involved. This vest was basically done from her pattern, but I chose my own colors of felt and then added my really simply made buttons. For the buttons, I just cut out 4 rectangles of yellow, folded them in half and used my machine to sew a free handed circle. Then, I cut out around the stitches. I decided that doing it freehand isn't perfect, but it makes it seem more "Pirate-like".

There's Matthew in his new vest! Very excited!!! He said "I Jake, Mommy! I Jake!"

And...I just happened to think up this little trick for breakfast! He loved it too!!

See what I mean??

Room overhaul pictures!!!

Here are the room pictures...

There's my very bright, free fan from Home Depot!

The walls are the same color as Matthew's room. Sort of a light mint green. I love the contrast of the white trim!

This is the new little closet that holds an awesome surprise inside!!!
Can you guess......

Any thoughts?

This is the new home for my AWESOME stockpile!!!! I love it!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

WAHOO! Room complete!!!

I'm very excited! Today, the carpet was put down in the extra bedroom. That was the last thing that needed to be done. I took my camera up to take a picture or two, but ended up just laying on the floor and smiling! I promise that I will take some pictures and you will be totally impressed!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Trying times with boys....VENTING the embarrassment!

Oh blog if you will!?!

How many of you have boys?

How many of you have very active boys?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger...AND especially girls?????

Yesterday, started off like any over exciting day... We all got ready, checked everything off the list, and packed up the car to be gone for the day. Our first stop...a 2nd birthday for sweet little Addison.

My son spent the whole car ride going "Happy Birthday candles!" "Happy Birthday, Addy!" I was excited for him, because he's starting to remember his friends and gets excited when we go to certain places (Pap Bob's House, Bungie's House, Rissy's House, O-Libia's House, and now Addy's).

I, on the other hand, start to get nervous. My son is now two and half and he just gets too excited when we are with other kids! Which is fine when we are places like, at the house of the kids that I nanny for, because they range from 7-12, so he can be a little rough on them or fight over toys and not really hurt them and they understand not to hurt him. The problem is when are with kids that are his age or younger, he is just WAY TOO ROUGH! Forget the fact that he doesn't like to share (that's normal for the age), but he will literally run up to, even the youngest kid, and just take whatever they are playing with. For whatever reason (something in the water that year or just my bad luck) it always seems to happen with little girls. My son takes their toy (sometimes a little roughly), runs away, and the girl if left shocked and crying her eyes out!

When we are out at playdates, I feel like he's just this big bully. I hate that!

So, yesterday, we're at this birthday party and it starts off with just us and another little 18 month old guest. When she starts playing with a ball that my son wants, he runs up and takes it from her. This little girl had her very sweet Grandmother by her side, who suggested that they move to another area and play. I let the first one go, because so many people say that this is "just the age, don't worry about it". Then, I took my son aside and told him that we were playing with kids that were smaller than him and he needed to be a nice boy, share, and be a good listener to Mommy and Daddy. I was hoping that by giving him my expectations he would have a better idea of what to expect.

He was okay for about 5 minutes before he basically bypassed this little cuties grandma and jumped into the ball put with the 18 month old. I looked over and saw grandma trying to get the little girl out and Matthew just creating ciaos! I got him out and we took a trip to time out, but time out is very tricky when you are not at home...and just doesn't seem like it works anywhere near as well. I hoped it would have some effect though. It didn't....

A little while later, my husband was "taking charge" and trying to keep my son and the birthday girl happy with a little game of basketball or something. I saw my kiddo take a ball and the next thing I knew, the birthday girl was bawling her eyes out! Hubby said that they bumped heads. While I checked out the birthday girl, my son, who did not shed a tear, was back on the slide and playing like nothing happened. that's probably the first 30-45 minutes of the party and we were there for two hours. But you get the idea of how the playing went.

The icing on the cake came about 15 minutes before we had to leave. My son had jumped into the ball pit and knocked it over from the inside. Ball EVERYWHERE...enter Host Mom and a look like..."AHHH! Who invited this kid!" I took Matthew out to time out again and told him that he needed to help me clean up the balls, which he did. But I looked around at that point and realized that all of the little messes around the room had come from my son! I had watched him pull out just about every box or bin or toys that he could and it WAS a mess! So, I decided that it was time for me to do a quick clean I needed a minute to regather my myself, because I was just starting to lose my mind!

While my family was all cleaning, the rest of the guests were singing Happy Birthday. We managed to get ourselves almost in vision of the cake right before the last line of Happy Birthday. After that, I went back to cleaning and took my little guy with him.

He was fine for a little while, and I saw his Daddy chatting with one of his pals. When my son ran out of the room, I was too worried, because he'd been doing donuts around their kitchen and back into playroom most of the morning and my husband was camped out in the kitchen. However, when a couple minutes passed and I did not see my son, I knew he was into trouble.

I ran out of the playroom and went for the cake. There was the birthday girl getting pictures and trying out her birthday cake...and my child with his hands all up in her business...eating the icing off of her bears. I grabbed him by the hands and took him out of the room and handed him to my husband...

Then I lost it! I don't know it was my pregnancy hormones or the feeling like "My son is uncontrollable!", but the waterworks opened up and I just couldn't stop! I ended up just sitting by a window for about five minutes thinking: "What is wrong with my mothering?", "What if my son just isn't a normal boy?", "What's going to happen when we have a new baby in the house!?", "How can this kid play so well at home, but act like this every time we are out?", "Why does he want to destroy EVERYTHING!", and "What the HELL did I do to deserve a child that acts like this?!".

I sat there for a while, just trying to pull myself together, but the tears just wouldn't stop. When they finally did, all I wanted to do was go. I was tired. No, I was exhausted! My intense emotions had just exhausted me.

Moms of boys, have you been there? I wonder if we just had more boys to play with, maybe I wouldn't fine my son to be so terrible with them, but constantly having girls around to compare him to makes me feel like just staying home.

Moms of boys, what do I do?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Making pasta from scratch!

It was about this time 2 years ago when I started making baby food for my son. I remember back then, I was excited for a new challenge, but nervous that I might feed him something that wouldn't be good for him.

I did not make him 100% organic food all the time, but I tried. I did feed him just about everything that I could find in local produce. At the time, vegetables and fruits were starting to come into season, so I used anything that my family and friends gave me out of their gardens as well as what I had in my own garden.

I had no idea how to start and was constantly worried that I would fine my self in a position where I didn't have food for my son. Bananas became our best friends! We could pack them without having to make them ahead of time and they could be ready with just the "mash" of a fork. The true test came when we were going to Disney for 9 days. My son was just turning 9 months and I had no idea how we were going to feed him. I took a ton of bananas from home for emergencies and everything turned out just fine.

At the time, I got really interested in making food from scratch. I started using a bread machine to make bread once a week. I also started looking up recipes for things that I was used to buying in the store. That was when I got my pasta machine from freecycle.

I had wanted to try making my own pasta for a long time, but I knew a pasta machine would be expensive and I had a feeling that it would be the kind of thing that I did once just to say that I did it, but never again. So, I waited to see one come up on freecycle. When it did, I was so excited! However, as days turned into weeks and then months, I realized having that thing in my kitchen just wasn't worth it! I finally banished it to the attic with a number of other baking and cooking things that I use sometimes, but not regularly.

This week, I started reading a new blog and it encouraged me to break out that pasta machine and challenge myself to do something new again. I tried it out yesterday and it did not go well! I was pretty disappointed, but I'm not usually much for quitting. This morning I tried again! Here is what I got and how I got there!

The recipe that I used came from instructions that I found online for a similar pasta machine.

1 lb. of soft whole wheat flour
5 eggs

As it turns out, 1 pound of flour is about 2 cups. This reciepe made very sticky dough for me. I ended up adding a lot of extra flour to the mixer to get it to the point where it was ready to be cut into spaghetti. I made a note to try only 4 eggs next time.

This is what it looks like on the first run in the machine....very sticky and wet.

This is another early run. I thought that the holes meant that I did something wrong or that I added too much flour and dried it out so that it was cracking. As it turned out, I just added more flour and kept folding it in half (or stacking pieces in some cases) until it stopped doing that.

Here is folding it in half and putting it through again.

You keep folding it over and over and running it through until it starts to come out like this.

Eventually, you will get it to the point where it is done on the flatten side (they suggested 5 or 6 runs through with the wheels spread as far apart as possible, then close them one or two notches to get the thickness that you want). Then, you will be ready to run through the pasta attachments. I choose a simple spaghetti here, but I also did some fettuccine. I had problems getting the ends to come off the machine. I'm not sure if that's normal, but each time that I did this, most of the noodles would just hang there until I either cut or pulled them off of the machine. I did try to turn the crank backwards a couple times to see if that would get them off, but that didn't work.

And that's the end! I had to lay everything out for 1 hour to dry out a little bit before cooking. The cooking directions said 2-5 minutes in salted boiling water. I ended needing about 4 minutes for the spaghetti noodles. I have not cooked the thicker fettuccine yet.

I should have taken a picture of the finished product out on the table. It really turned out nice! The only issue that I had was with the sauce. I know that having homemade pasta warrants homemade sauce! What was I thinking!!! Time to go plant some tomatoes!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back to myself again...or at least I'm getting there...

I am officially done with my first trimester! AMEN! I have just had my 3rd ultrasound and everything looks pretty good, with the exception of this issue of not being able to see my cervix. They say this is not a big issue right now and we'll see how things are going at 18 weeks, so I'm just keeping it as distant from my mind as possible!

I've had a lot of catchup to do at home. Between being too exhausted to do laundry, as well as sick and without a washer...and my normal "behindness", I live in a constant state of needing to do about 6 loads of laundry! I'm getting close to catch up though! At the point where I was out a washer for nearly 2 weeks, we had so much dirty stuff that I ran out of places to put it! All of my 5 oversized bins were filled and then some!

There have been some other projects on our minds recently. One was getting the attic organized. If you are not a "personal friend" that has had the luxury of helping us move (thank you Jason, Jess, Ryan, and Megan), you have no sense of the amount of stuff that the Snider family has. I don't think we're are to hoarding extremes, because it's not like dirty like the hoarders tend to be. It's just stuff! For me, my biggest issue is deciding which teacher stuff gets to stay or go. I have 6 Rubbermaids, 4 crates, and about 8 boxes of stuff that is from teaching. I also take responsibility for holiday, wedding gifts, and baby stuff. I try to get rid of a little of each as I am able to, but how can I get rid of baby stuff and wedding gifts???

Scott's biggest issues are his electronics and his "memories". When it comes to electronics, my husband does have a hoard of video games and systems. There are the ones that are out in his little "man cave", but then there are duplicates up in the attic. We also have old computer parts, routers, modems, two giant boxes for his stereo and TV....and much, much more! That's the kind of stuff that can't even be touched without him freaking out! Then, we have his "memories". This is the stuff that we have gone through so many times since I've known him...always the same...old souvenirs, trophies, pictures of old girlfriends, zillions of cards, and millions of trinkets. I understand that so many of these things hold a place in his heart, because I am the same way. However, there is a point when there is just too much useless stuff. I think that my husband is finally realizing that having the space and organization is more important than keeping every memory. And the truth is that he has NEVER had to journey up to the attic to desperately search for his old Pinewood Derby car....on wait...CARS....I thought we had paired them down to 1 from 4 (he was actually willing to get rid of all of them, but I asked him to keep one that was especially special for when Matthew gets to that age). HOWEVER, going through the attic this weekend, I found another box that had 5 more Pinewood Derby cars. I basically just threw my hands up in the air. Then, I tossed the cars out on the floor for Matthew and he LOVED them....until Scott found some old dinosaurs.

Another project that always comes up about now is the garden. I am not any kind of awesome gardener, but I like to put some of the more simple things into the garden and get it started just to see what comes up. This year, I am letting my veggies go to town, but also working on some fruit. I am very excited that we decided to get 2 blueberry and 1 raspberry bush to put beside the house. I have hard that the birds are big fans, but I am hopeful. I am also working on some strawberries. I'm hoping and praying that my diligence (I use the word loosely) will pay off in the end.

I have also gotten back in the habit of cooking for my family. Basically from the middle of March to almost the end of April were spent eating out or eating sandwiches. I felt too tired, nauseous, and sick to cook. I can say that I did make an effort at times, because I was concerned with our entertainment budget for the month. However, I really did not make much for that 6ish week span. I can say that my husband is super excited to see me back in the kitchen. Today, I made Philly Cheese-steaks with real steak and that got me a whole bunch of kisses. I knew he was very pleased! I love when I make him happy!

What's new with you?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Garden time!

I love to hate this time of year. I love the idea of having a great (or somewhat decent) garden to eat from, but after I get started, I get really easily bored with having to get everything ready to grow. I love things that keep coming my Spring flowers! They are awesome!

Two years ago, I decided to try something new. I was at Kmart and picked up one of those silly little boxes of asparagus. I thought I'd give it a try. Sadly, I didn't really read the box until I got home. So, it was then that I found out that I wasn't going to be harvesting some awesomely huge amount of asparagus anytime soon. In fact, I probably wouldn't be getting any at all that first year! That was exactly what happened.

The first year, the plant just kind of rooted it self and grew and grew, but nothing that really looked like asparagus. It looked more like a fern. When that first season ended, I was bummed that I didn't get anything out of my asparagus. Even though the box said that it would grow the next year, after we had our regular winter snow, plus a day with 2 feet of snow...and I'd done nothing to protect my plant....I knew nothing was going to come of it.

Well, I was wrong! As it turned out, letting that fern grow was really a good thing for my asparagus. The second year, I had a couple things that looked like asparagus, but not wide or tall enough to make it worth harvesting. So, I let it go again.

This year, I didn't know what to expect. About 3 weeks ago, I started noticing that my asparagus was growing! I did a little online research and found that asparagus can actually grow and grow well in the Spring.

Yesterday, I decided to go out and make a few cuts to mix in with our breakfast! I was super excited to be able to!

Supposedly, I'll be able to cut and recut a couple times this year. I am so excited to be able to eat right out of our garden! I can't wait to see how everything goes!

If anyone has grown asparagus before and would like to leave a tip for me, I'd love to take them! I really the type of garden that just learns as I go and as I need to know.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Swim time!

Well, by some accounts, it was snowing just 20 minutes from my house yesterday. That did not keep us from going to the YMCA for a swim!

I've told you that I'm pregnant. I'm about 9+ weeks now. I just had two of the worse weeks ever. I was tired, sick, and impatient. I'm not saying that is all over, but I woke up yesterday feeling pretty good. I made breakfast for my family - waffles in the waffle-maker. That always seems to make everyone very happy. I got about 3 loads of laundry out of the way and thought I would be ready to rest come nap time, but neither me or my kiddo were going to sleep.

Around 2:30 we totally gave up on the naps. By 3, we were packing to go to the YMCA. We are so grateful to always have a place to go to run off steam. As soon as we got there, Matthew started cooing "bask-kick-aball". It's neat that he is excited about going there too!

We were in the pool within about 5 minutes. Matthew loves swimming! I credit that to starting early and swimming often. I took Matthew to the pool for the first time when he was about 6 months old. I remember being very excited to take him, because I already knew that he was going to love it. I knew he was going to be a water baby from his very first BATH.

I remember that day, because I was so nervous about bathing his little body, I expected screaming from him. Instead, he was calm and quiet. Maybe he thought he was back in the womb. Who knows?

Since that first trip to the pool, I decided that the best thing to do would be keeping him in the water as much as possible. When we joined the YMCA the September after he was born, I had him in the water a lot. At one point, I was shooting for 3 times a week.

When he turned a year, I was excited to finally be able to put him in a class. They have a Mommy and Me type swimming class. I thought it would be good to take him to something that might help teach him how to move his body in the water (since he did not like to be held in the water at all). Well, what a surprise to me when the class was for children ages 1-3 to get them acclimated to the water. I was pretty embarrassed that my child was the only one that was splashing around and getting all of the scared three-year-olds soaked! I almost took him out of the class halfway through, but decided that I wasn't giving up. I was actually able to learn a lot of good things. Most of what I learned were ways to hold him so that I could get him swimming on his back, jumping in the water, and paddling. All great things to know.

I keep forgetting to take my camera to the YMCA, but eventually, I have to have a picture of my little one swimming like a fish. He does wear a Nemo life jacket, but his arms and legs never quit! It's an amazing site!

What are the chances that baby #2 is going to take to the water like Matthew did?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Feminism shaping the family unit

My husband and I had a chat today. He was telling me about something he heard on the radio. He was telling me that the person on the radio was discussing how feminism has changed so much about our family unit and culture. For hundreds of years it was the job of the man to be the hunter-gather/breadwinner, it was the job of his partner to keep house, raise the children, and feed him. The way my husband put it "Basically, the woman gives the man a reason to come home". I thought that the way he said that was interesting. I honestly didn't ask if those were his words or the person on the radio.

That comment led the conversation to adultery and cheating. The idea that if a woman is not home and taking care of her husband and family the man feels less like he needs to fulfill his role. That if his wife can take on the responsibilities of hunter-gather as well, the man needs to look elsewhere for someone to make him want to come home. Interesting!?!

We also spent some time talking about how there was a time that if you got a woman pregnant you took responsibility for the child by marrying the woman. You may not have liked it, but you (the man) realized that taking care of this child and the mother of your child was your job. Today, that just isn't the case.

I wish that I could put this conversation into words a little more "gracefully". I feel like I'm spewing out parts of it and not getting to the heart of the conversation.

I found this whole thing interesting, because I have always been a work horse! I started working when I was 15 and never stopped. I always went above and beyond what I was asked to do, because I take pride in what I do. I grew up in a family where my Dad was always working. My Mom was almost always working. There were a couple summers that she was not working. I can remember those summers that she did work. It was LONG and BORING! We lived in the middle of nowhere and the nearest pool or park was about 5-8 miles away and not a path that would be safe for a 'tween'.

I remember when I was about 11 or 12, that was the summer that I started watching "Days of our Lives". I was so bored! It was "Price is Right", "Family Feud", Spaghetti for lunch, and then "Days". I remember thinking that the kids that got to go to the pool, parks, waterparks, etc with their parents all summer were so lucky.

As a grew up, summers became much more awesome! I could drive and I had friends that could drive! We found lots to do! In those days, I knew that I wanted children, but I wanted them to be birthed by someone else, because I was afraid of the idea of labor. I planned to work as a teacher and always thought it would be great to have the summers off. I assumed the children would go to daycare like I did. I learned a lot there and had a lot of fun!

Today, I feel differently. I do not gawk at moms that have to work. That is your business, but for me personally, my job is at home. I did not have my son so that I could take him off to someone else and let them raise him. Granted there are bad days and days when I take him to something like a daycare for an hour or two so that I can go to dinner or exercise or visit someone without the constant interruption. Overall though, I feel that the work that I am meant to do is right here with my son.

I hope that it can always be like this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just over 7 weeks....

When I was pregnant with Matthew, I took the time to journal the entire thing. I wrote something down on my computer just about every day in the beginning. Then, it got to be a couple times each week toward the end. I used some of my journaling in the scrapbook that I started while I was pregnant with him. Sadly, I did not finish the scrapbook and it ends right before my baby shower. What a bummer! I need to put it on my list as something to finish before baby #2 comes along.

In the meantime, I am going to do the same type of journaling on my blog. I hope that you all will find it interesting, funny, and endearing.

Today is March 20th. It is the first day of Spring. Thank goodness, because I am a lover of winter, but right now, I need some sun! My tulips or daffodils (I forget if I planted one or both last year) are starting to poke their noses out from under that ground. Seeing them is like seeing friends that you haven't seen in forever!

I have been feeling sick for over a week now. I have this awful chest and head cold, which might actually be more of sinus issue. Either way, I can't sleep at night because my nose gets all clogged up. I've been getting headaches on and off too and when I'm feeling really stuffed in the head, it makes it really hard to be anywhere that is very well lit.

I keep drinking a lot of liquids and taking whatever medicines I can to help me. This morning, I decided to try out my NetiPot. I was impressed! Although it felt weird, after I did it, I was able to get a huge bunch of junk out of my face! Then, I took my first breath through my nose is over 24 hours! Sadly, that has not lasted all day. By noon, I started feeling clogged again. I hope this goes away soon.

As for my new little bean, last Saturday came and knocked me down hard! I have been so tired that I don't feel like doing anything. I knew this was coming, that's why I made all that food to freeze, but man oh man, this is so much harder with a toddler around. I HAVE to lay down while he naps or else I can't get through the day. I am still going to bed around 8pm, because any later and I feel like crap the next day.

I am grateful that Scott is home in the mornings. As long as I am in bed at 8pm the night before, I can wake up with Matthew at 7am and be ready (sorta) to get him going and keep him busy so Scott can sleep in. By 9:30, I am usually ready to take a nap. At the very least, I need to sit down and take a break. I consider myself a lucky girl if Scott is getting ready to take Matthew out to the YMCA or something around this time.

Twice this week, I sucked it up and took him out myself. On Wednesday, I took him to the YMCA. He went into Childwatch and I sat at a table with my head down trying to just rest with out falling asleep and looking like a moron! On Thursday, we had a Saint Patrick's Day party with our playgroup. It was fun, but I was really exhausted when it was over. I was glad to be able to get Matthew out of the house though. I know he needs the social interaction with other kids and he needs to play outside of our home.

Upstairs, my Dad is still working on the extra bedroom. He has all of the walls drywalled and the ceiling is done! How exciting! I am still trying to decide what that room will be. Will it be Matthew's new room or will it be for the new baby? It could also go back to being a craft/guest/catch all room, but I don't know. I keep thinking that knowing if we are having a boy or girl will make a difference. I think I'd feel more excited about having two boys share the big room and could imagine them with bunk beds at some point. That would be neat!

One think that causes me some almost daily anxiety is not feeling as pregnant as I did in the past. I can remember feeling sick to my stomach both times before. I didn't want to eat anything. I was tired all day and begging to go to bed. This time, I start to feel a little sick and realize that means that it is time for me to get something to eat before I start to feel any more sick. So, I've been eating like it's going out of style! Where normally I would have lost about 5 pounds by now. I have, instead, gained about that much.

There's this big part of me that is expecting to go into the bathroom and have a very devastating moment. I keep praying that everything will be okay, but also telling myself that I can handle whatever happens. I'm still thinking that having that ultrasound at my first appointment would have helped a little. I just wish I knew for sure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Slacking off a bit....but with good reason!

I've been away from my blog more than I have in a long time in recent weeks. I haven't been doing as many really fun and interesting things with my toddler lately. Do I feel guilty about that? OH YEAH! Did I expect this? OH YEAH!

About two months ago, my husband and I had a conversation about having another child. At the time, I thought that the biggest reason that we had for wanting to wait a little longer was our finances. We are getting by on what my husband makes at his job and what I make as a part time nanny pays for a couple things and gives us some extra spending money. In the end, there's not a TON leftover, but there is some!

I guess my main reason for revisiting this conversation had to do with the fact that we were just weeks away from paying off our car loan and one of my student loans. Those two bills would give us an extra $420 a month! I think that knowing that there was going to be this huge chuck of money that would not longer get eaten each month, made me think that we could be okay.

This conversation with my husband literally lasted all day! Primarily because we were not on the same page. While I thought we were waiting because of finances he said the felt that with us paying down those loans and the fact that he was making more money at work, he thought we were really good. So, I asked him what was keeping us from having more children? He said, "Well, things are just getting easy. Matthew is getting more independent each day and it is making it easier for us to find time to enjoy ourselves again. I'm just not really sure that I'm ready to give that up already."

*************Picking up Mouth from off the FLOOR!*****************************

Are you kidding me?! So I looked at him and asked if he still wanted more children. He said "Yes." I asked if he still wanted four children (his idea, not mine!), and he laughed.

The conversation that I thought we were going to have and the conversation that we DID have were totally different! I really expected him to basically cut me off and say "Not yet!" Instead, after talking for an hour, he said "You know, we really should try to have another one. I know that I don't want our lives to change from what they are right now, but I want a family more than that." (Mouth dropping again!)

After we were both on the same page, we decided that we were going to wait a couple days and see if we still felt the same way. We also discussed things that we thought we wanted to change with our second one. Things like, if I would work or not, where the kids would sleep (we have another room, but we talked a lot about having them share a room just because), and what our expectation are for each other.

This was actually one of the best conversations I've ever had with my husband.

After we were sure that we both wanted to start trying, I started in on the pregnancy math. I found out that I would be ovulating over Valentine weekend, so we made plans to have our son visit over at grandmas house. Got home and confirmed ovulation with a test. All systems were go!

Almost immediately after, I was buying pregnancy tests. I think I was able to get myself to wait an entire 4 days before the first test! After that, I was taking them about every other day. It became such an obsession!

On February 23rd, I took an Early Response test. These ones are supposed to tell you 6 days before your missed period if you are pregnant. I was due for my period in about 4. I took the test and waited. Nothing.....more nothing....then more nothing! I was feeling really annoyed! Then, I noticed that if I turned the test into the light there seemed to be something there. Not that it was a pink line, but where the rest of the test seemed to glare off the plastic, this part did not. I thought I finally had a sign that we were pregnant! I got really excited, but knew I had to wait a couple days and then check again.

Friday morning finally came and I took a question! It was definitely positive!

Since then, I have been waiting and waiting for a baby doctor's appointment. I finally went yesterday. It was a long appointment for not really doing much of anything! They talked to me about being pregnant, did the urine test, did the mini physical, and did a pelvic exam to see how big my uterus was. She said that my uterus looked like a 6 week uterus. That was about it.

Now, I have another 4 week wait until I go back. The next time, we will be doing bloodwork, taking in a baseline 24 hour urine, first ultrasound, and meeting with the doctor. It seems like it will be a long appointment.

As for me, I've been soooooooo very tired! In both of my past pregnancies, I was teaching first graders all day while going through this part. I can remember going to work at about 7am, teaching until the kids left, then staying to set up the next day, writing lesson plans, going to meetings, having parent-teacher conferences, finally getting home at about 5 or 6pm and just sitting outside my apartment in the car. I would put my head on the steering wheel and think about how much work it would be to go up the steps. When I finally got inside, sleep was always more important than food. I would most often skip dinner and be asleep by 6:30pm. Then, I'd wake up around midnight, starving and feeling sick. Sometimes I could get myself to eat, but usually not! I'm end up staying up until about 5am. Then, after I'd finally gotten to sleep, it would be time to get up and get ready for work.

This time is so different! I don't know how I did it before! Taking a 1pm siesta seems to be key for me! I can make it through the day and even sleep normal hours at night if I just take a nap when Matthew does.

I'm also really cranky! I can remember being like this with my students. It was just like I had no patience for anything that I would have normally found to be funny. I'm there again with my son and my husband. Oh my poor family!!! Why does Mommy have to be so grumpy!

So, I'm due November 4th, but last time they didn't want to let me go past 39 weeks so I was induced a week early. I'm expecting that to be true again, so I'm thinking we're having a Halloween baby! My mom gave me a gender test yesterday and it showed that I'm having a boy. A boy would be nice! I love the idea of putting them in matching clothes and being able to reuse everything! However, I'm still stuck on wanting a girl for her wedding day and when the grand babies come. So, I guess we'll just be happy with whatever it is this time!

weight: +4 pounds since gyno appoint Feb 9th

cravings: everything at some point, mostly carbs!

belly: doesn't seem to be there, but jeans don't fit! Luckily had size 18s from before I was pregnant with Matthew...working those for now.

gender prediction and why?: Boy, because Mom's gender test says so and everything feels the same as it did with both boy pregnancies from before.

fears: What if it's twins? Am I giving Matthew enough attention? Am I giving my husband enough attention? Why did the stupid doctor person keep saying "Wait to see if this a viable pregnancy". Should I be worried? Is this this worst of my morning sickness and exhaustion or will it get worse?

Things that are still undecided: Will the newly remodeled bedroom be a new bedroom for Matthew, the baby, or go back to being a craft room/guest bedroom. Names! We have no names this time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Eye Buy Direct

If you are someone that wears classes, but can't seem to ever get them at a decent price (read: within the limits of your eye plan), could come in handy!

This site allows you to order prescription glasses for as little as $7.95 a pair plus shipping! I have used this site to order about 10 pairs of glasses. When I order, I usually wait until they are having a bogo sale and then stock up on a couple pairs.

I love having so many glass, because I can leave a pair upstairs, by the bed, in the bathroom, and in the car and not have to worry that I won't be able to find them. Also, when my son was younger, he had a tendency to take my glasses and just break them however he could. That was difficult to swallow with a $150 pair of glasses, but now, if I'm only out $'s not such an issue.

I wanted to let you know that is having a BOGO sale right now. All you will need is the prescription that your eye doctor gives you when you leave their office. If you do not have it, call their office and ask for your eye glass information.

Also, when you buy glasses from you can become a member of their loyalty program and earn money toward more glasses. Because I am in the program, I am able to welcome you with an extra 15% discount if you use this code:  IFZKAB498S

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A cheapy deal....

I just wanted to give you the heads up....

This week Kuhns (this is store that is here around Pittsburgh) has Starkist Tuna on sale for 39 cents. There is a coupon from maybe 2 weeks ago where you got $1.50 off 3 pouches or cans. The coupon actually says that it is for some new specific item, but I used it on a few "regular" cans of tuna last week and it went through just fine.

That would mean 39 cents * 3 = $1.17 - $1.50 coupon.....possible moneymaker!!!

Also, I have stocked up on this before when there were other tuna sales. When the ran out, I got a rain check on them. So, don't forget about that!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Matthew signing at 27 months! My Smart Hands!!

This is my sweet little signing kiddo! You can view a few other videos of Matthew signing when he was younger.

If you would like more information about baby signing, go to If you are in the Pittsburgh area and interested in taking or hosting a class, leave me a comment or an e-mail and we can set something up.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Free $70 gift from Home Depot!

Yesterday, I went into Home Depot to do a little looking around. I have shown you pictures of the room overhaul. At this point, the ceiling and one wall are dry walled and the electric is almost finished. YEAH!

Before this project got started, I asked me Dad if Scott and I could change the light fixture in the room to a fan and light fixture. He said that was fine. He said that when we got closer to the point of needing it, he would take me to Home Depot to see what our options were and pick out what we want. I love picking out new things for the house!

Yesterday though, I was just in the mood to look. So, I went back to the light fixtures and started looking at the fans. They seemed to range from some cheap $20 ones up to some really fancy $200 fans. WOW! Something as simple as a light fixtures could get really expensive!

Then, I spotted at "final one" display model. It was nice. The fan had 4 lights on it and was 52inches. The price said $17.03! I thought SCORE!!! It was originally a $70 fan. WOW! What a great deal! I had to get some help to have it taken down and the two people that were helping me were so nice and kind. I checked with them to make sure that if it didn't work for the room, I could still bring it back. They told me that was fine.

I got all set up and they get me a big cart and we wheel it up to the front. The woman that is helping me decides that it will be easiest to take it to the service desk to check out. Can you imagine that shock when they tell me that it is ringing up at just 1 PENNY?

So, they don't even check me out. They take me aside and tell me you are "GETTING" this fan. Another person that was helping me walks it out to the car for me...I get no receipt and don't even end up having to pay the penny!

Shocking right? Well, not that I PLANNED this at all, but I have read about this online. Apparently, the way that Home Depot's system is set up after a clearance item has been on clearance in the store for so long (I read elsewhere that it was 8 months and 1 day) the ISBN for the item changes to make it 1 penny. From what I read online, there is a date on the clearance tag that you can use for a guide. However, from what I read online, they do not always give you the item like I got it. If fact, from what I've read they actually use that system to help them find stuff that needs to be taken off the shelves. So if someone brings one of those penny items to the register it is taken from them and literally just thrown away! How sad!

I can't wait to show you pictures of my new fan, but for right now, it is just sitting in wait to go up in the room. I will post pictures as soon as it is up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So tired of chasing!

I, like every Mom, am constantly wondering if I am doing what is right for my son. Today, I decided at the last minute that I was going to take my son to the mall playground to meet up with our playgroup. Oddly enough, I was just having a conversation with a mom from the group last night and telling her that every time I take my son there, I wish that I hadn't!

When you there, there is a decent sized open area with 3 little slides, some huge books that the kids can climb on, and NO way of keeping your child in the area if they decide to run! It's really annoying! there place is enclosed on 3 sides and the fourth side has two giant openings that are perfect for a curious toddler. On top of that, my son knows that the elevator is right across from this play area, so he tries to take off to push the button on that thing a lot!

My son has honestly never been too bad about running away, but today was horrible! Today, he was really testing boundaries and took off 5 times! I have always been a mother that would rather correct the problem than ignore it, so rather than give up and go home after this happened the second and third times, I just put him in time out over and over and each time it lasted a little longer. He was stuck in a little corner each time and after he was finished with his time, I would remind him that if he left the play area he would be back in time out. He said "Sorry Mommy." each time and then took off playing. That would last about two minutes before he would run again.

I really thought I was doing the right thing by trying to nip the problem in the butt and having him be punished for what he was doing. For the times that he DID stay inside, I also praised him. However, I kept thinking, "If I were watching another mother do this with her child, I would be thinking 'BOY! That lady is a really glutton for punishment! She's not getting through to her child AT ALL!'" However, I was also thinking about how well I know my son. He is a fast learner and he picks up on things quickly, so I thought what I was doing was going to be helpful.

In the end, after 5 attempts at changing the behavior, I did not have another ounce of patience or energy in my newly pregnant body (Yes, I'm just 5 weeks, but I'm so exhausted already that I like to sleep the entire day!). So, I picked up my little guy, said goodbye, and we just started walking. I needed to return a shirt so he walked the entire length of the mall with me to do it. There was a little part of me that was thinking "HA HA! You have to walk! With those little tiny legs! You're gonna be so tired soon!"

Have you had days like this? When is it enough? More importantly, how is it that out of a group of nearly 10 moms in our group, I was the only one that was chasing my child around and not enjoying the chatting time with the other moms? That....that REALLY sucked!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Link up time!

I thought I would do a link up that was just for fun!

I am asking that when you link up, you copy my grab button (just copy and paste that code in the box into a blog post) so that people will keep coming back and linking up. It would also be AWESOME if you would view a few of the other blogs on the link up list and show your support! Many of you that will link up are relatively new to blogging. So it is great to have you support some other newbies.

Matthew the Archeologist

This morning I needed something to keep Matthew busy so that I could get some dishes done. I've been saving this sensory box for a yucky day!

This activity brought out some get vocabulary. Some of the words that we talked about were: archeologist, bones, fossils, ribs, and skeleton

I picked up these dinosaur skeletons a couple months ago from the Dollar Store. The black beans were leftover from the Halloween Party sensory table. Everything else came from toys that Matthew already had laying around.

He loved using his "Special Tools" to pick up everything.

And don't you just love his "scientific" glasses? He did!

He found this rouge bean mixed in with everything else. We called it the dinosaur egg. He LOVED that! For him though, eggs are for eating. So, all of the dinosaurs were taking turns eating the egg.

I started off by showing him how to find the fossils with his brush and shovel. Then I hid them again and let him find them on his own. After I knew that he was involved, I moved over to the sink and started the dishes. He played with this box for an hour. When he was finished, he took the dinosaurs into his playroom and played with them some more!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dressing up isn't just for girls!

Dress up is not just for girls!

This week has been a slow week. We started off the week with a crazy snow and ice storm that kept us inside all day on Tuesday. Then, I did not work on Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday Scott and Matthew (who had been sick basically all week) were both camped out in the living room at not going anywhere.

When we have weeks like this where we really aren't going anywhere or doing anything (which is not often), I start to get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. The feeling that I feel is like my son is bored and I feel bad about that. I feel like it's the same toys, same space, still no friends to play with day after day. So, I try to have a bag of tricks handy!

This week, my bag of tricks contained some extra Halloween costumes that I bought when they were something 75% off (or maybe more, I don't really remember). I thought that if I bought these extra costumes:

1. We would have something to play dress up in for fun.
2. There is enough variety that hopefully he could find something to dress up as for next Halloween, so it would be a money saving strategy.

The costumes that I bought can be seen below. There was one more that did not get pictured, that is a costume of a dog.

Matthew really enjoyed himself. He was certainly intrigued by the handcuff for the policeman costume. However, when I put them on him, he totally freaked out! Oh well!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Room overhaul update...

I showed you what was basically the before pictures of our guest room "overhaul" last week. Demolition has commenced that progress is being made, so I wanted to give you an update.

I wanted to get a picture of all of the plaster and drywall (yes....we had two layers of wall in there) all over the floor. The same day that I took the previous pictures, Perkins Construction came to do the demolition. By the end of the day, there was over 2 feet of wall just filling up the room. I missed that picture, but these are good too!

Oh the mess!

This is the insulation that was in the ceiling. It's in a pile to go back where it came from!

That think piece of wire was once the electric to the light fixture. That simple little fixture, will be no more!

I've been helping with some of these. For those that don't know, "Perkins Construction", is my father's business. So, when he does these little jobs for us, we are pretty much obligated to help. I can't complain though, as my only jobs so far have been to removed all the stuff from the room, vacuum the hallway floor, and pull nails out of the framework. I'm pretty good about helping where I can, so I also managed to get the faceplates off the outlets. My big job for the upcoming week is to get the floor that was under the carpet out of the room and into the dumpster. No big deal! I really don't mind helping! I've learned a lot over the years.

Drywall is going up on the ceiling this week. I'm excited!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter Friends Wednesday!

I went for a hop today and found this blog hop that I linked up to!

My Coupon Binder!

I have been want to do a video that would introduce you to the way that I organize my coupon binder. I finally have a little video that tells you all about it and will either help you get started or give you a new way to organize your binder. For me, it took over a year of cutting and sorting coupons for me to realize that was just too time consuming for me. This is what I do now.

I added a link to Amazon in case you are looking to get your own subscription to All You magazine. The cost will be returned in coupon savings over the course of a year. Trust me!