Monday, March 29, 2010

A boy and his push toy

Oh, how Colin does enjoy his push toy. If he sees it out he climbs right up to it and off he goes. He is even starting to get it to turn a little so he doesn't run into the wall and couch every time.

He gets so excited and has a huge grin on his face when he is behind this toy.

It is starting to give him quite a bit of confidence. He is cruising around the furniture so much more and going from one object to the next. His balance is getting so much better also. He will grab and object off of the shelf or my hands and as long as he is holding something (like his cell phone toy or plastic ring) he can stand for a bit on his own. 

Combine the increase balance with the confidence and you have what I started to notice this weekend: him letting go of one thing to try and make it to another hands free. He tried to go from my leg to the jumperoo yesterday. He actually did a little shuffle with both feet before falling.

I don't think will be walking next week...or even next month. But boy am I nervous. He is hard enough to keep up with when he is crawling. I am thinking of getting one of those baby gates that makes an entire circle. Kind of like a cage. He doesn't sit still. He doesn't know how. And all I want to do is unload the dishwasher! =)

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Me Day

At least for a few hours.

Today I have to take my Dad to get some adjustments done to his Lasik. How does this give me some "me" time? First, I get to leave the office at 11:30 today. Then I drive up to Green Hills and drop my father off for a couple of hours to have his procedure done and wait for him call to be picked up again. What do I do while that is going on? I am headed to the Green Hills Mall.

I get to walk around the mall and shop without having a husband with me that is too nice to say he is bored and ready to go. I don't have to ask for the handicap dressing room just so I can fit myself and a stroller in there just to try on a top. No picking up thrown paci's. No trying to shove a stroller through tight racks of clothes.

Just me and any store I choose. I even brought a book in case I would rather go to Panera and eat lunch and read.

Today should be a good day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is Spring Finally Here?

I am so glad that the nice weather finally landed on a day that I had off! We started the morning out pretty normal. I worked out first and then we played for a while when we got home. Colin took his morning nap and I took a shower and picked up the house until he got up.

Then we headed outside! I planted Colin down on a blanket in the grass with some toys (and then added a hat to protect his ears from the sun) and he enjoyed it until he rolled backwards and saw the grass. I can't figure out what it is but he is scared of the grass. Screams if he touches it or if you act like you are going to sit him in it. So we stayed on the blanket.

He did not take his afternoon nap. He hung out in his crib and just "talked" and finally started yelling. I gave him 1/2 hour and it just wasn't going to happen. So we went back outside and we tried the hammock. He was frightened of it, but I would love for him to enjoy it because I have a maternity photo of Andrew and me in the hammock in our living room. I want want of all three of us on the hammock to go across from it. I was also hoping he would take a little nap out there with me. I easily could have...

Before dinner we went for a walk through our neighborhood then came home and played some more while Andrew cooked dinner.
It was such a nice day, but we are beginning to figure out that Colin may suffer from seasonal allergies just like both of us. When ever we spend the day out doors he ends up with a runny nose, sneezing, watery looking/puffy eyes, and then a little cough. He acts normal except that! We got the OK to give him a little Benadryl and that dries it right up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How do you save money?

We have been trying really hard to stick to our monthly budget (which we usually do pretty well!) so that we can have a nice lump of money left over every month to pay off my pesky school loan. We want to be debt free but the house (and then tackle it - big dreams). We don't have any car payments or credit card debt but that school loan is just eating away at me. It isn't very much. I didn't go to an expensive school. But it is taking time to completely cut it out.

On my account they have my loan broken into Part A and Part B. Not sure why. Same interest rate and maturity date, but they do. Last week I was able to write a check to completely pay off Part B. Yay! We are getting very close to being able to get rid of Part A also.

So as I look at my budget I am trying to figure out where we can cut and save money. We use the envelope system to make us stay in budget on a few categories (clothing for example). There are some things that will always be there and will not change: Mortgage Payment, Cell Phone, Water, Electric, Phone/Internet, Gas, Life Insurance, etc. So I have to leave them as is.

So I started looking at cutting in a few other groups.

First up: Baby Items.

In this group I have Formula, Diapers, Wipes, Puffs, Sippy Cups, Pacis, and other miscellaneous items. As much as I would love to switch to a generic brand of formula I can't. Well, I might be able to but I am too terrified. After trying multiple name brand and generic brands while going through the first few dark months (as I call them) we finally had a happy baby with the mix of GoodStart and the Levsin. Not going to mess with that now! I now try to stock up when I find it on sale and trade my neighbor Similac Checks for her GoodStart Checks. Works out well when they are generous enough to send them out.

Next I started to look at diapers and wipes. I am a Huggies mom all the way. But a couple of weeks ago I decided to try the Target Up & Up brand. I have heard mixed reviews. I bought a small package of those and a small package of the unscented wipes. So far we have had no leaks or blow outs with the diapers and Andrew commented he likes the wipes better than any of the other b/c they come out of the container so easily. This is a place I can save!

By purchasing a months worth of Target Diapers instead of Huggies Diapers I saved $26.64. I am giving them a month before I decide if I am a full time Target Diaper mom or if I go back to the Huggies. I only saved $2.08 by purchasing the Target Wipes Refill, but they do come out easier. I will probably stick with them unless they break or fall apart. (I still use Huggies Overnights though - they hold 12 hours worth of liquid. I am not messing with the possibility of wet sheets.)

I also decided to try the Target brand puffs. I haven't seen reviews on these but I am willing to try. After all - it is just cereal that dissolves easily. Can it be that different? Colin will let me know. I will save $3.50 a month if those work out.

Next up: Grocery

I know I can do better on this. We are trying to curb our sporadic eating out and tyring to plan more. I cut coupons when I get them but they are always for products that end up being junk food. I don't ignore cereal, yogurt, milk, egg, ice cream, frozen vegetable, canned good coupons. A lot of the others products coupons are for end up tempting me or Andrew avoids them because of high sodium content. I usually cut them all just to never know. It might end up free!

Some things on our grocery bill just won't change because of brand loyalty or wanting specific items to be organic. So I am going to try my hardest to meal plan and stick to it. Get the most out of what I buy. Use all the flour tortilla shells that week even if that means we have tacos one night and make quesadillas a few nights later. Incorporating a left over night (we aren't left over people so this one will be a hard one to stick to!).

These are the only things I have so far to help save some money everyday. I was curious as to what you and your family do so save money. Do you have any tips or tricks to keep you in check and help you stick to your budget? Please share!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project Life

Here are some pictures from the beginning of March up to yesterday. There are so many I just don't think I will caption them all, but I wanted to share. And there are three pictures missing because I can't find them. I will worry about that later though!

(Hopefully this slide show works!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Jude

I am sure many of you listen to the Big 98. Every year they host a St. Jude Radiothon and raise money to help the kids at St. Jude and to help fund further research. Every year I listen and it makes me sad, but I have never called in. We try to practice giving financially in our house and we usually do that by giving to foundations or organizations that have had some significance in our life.

We have given to the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and attended functions that support it (Steeple Chase!) and I feel good doing that as my sister spent a lot of time there when she was young and diagnosed with Diabetes. It is an excellent facility and although I don't remember visiting her much I was up there a few years ago when Andrew had surgery and it felt like such a great place for kids to be when they are in poor health and need help. It is cheerful and fun. I never remember my sister having any complaints about staying there or being afraid to go.

We also found the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and plan to start giving to them as Crohn's affects Andrew and my sister has Colitis (which brought her once again to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital). My sister has had her entire colon removed and for a while had a colostomy bag. They were able to go back in and use some of her small intestines to make a "j pouch" to take the place of her colon and return her to an (almost) normal functioning digestive system. I am sure many people have donated money to fund research to be able to allow my sister to live without a colostomy bag and I want to do my part to make sure they continue so that the people I love can have a normal life if their disease strikes again.

This year I became a Partner in Hope. Like I said previously I listen every year. This year I felt something different. To hear these mother's talk about their children and the experience they had a St. Jude really got to me. To the point that I would have to turn off the radio. The only thought that ran through my head is "What if that was me...and I was talking about Colin?" That thought scared me. We are not bulletproof. You think it won't happen to you but it very well could.

Maybe this particular act of giving is selfish but I gave because I wanted to make sure that if Colin were to need the services of St. Jude that is was still there. That they still had the warm blankets that comforted the kids while they gave blood or had chemo. That they still had places that would house families for free while their children were being treated. That they still turned no one away because of their inability to pay.

Again, it may be selfish but that might be what God used as a motivator to get me to finally give and support those that need it.

Today 94.7 (I don't remember what that station is called) is having a Radiothon for St. Jude. Even though I already became a Partner in Hope I still have to turn it off. I can't handle listening to these stories. It breaks my heart.

So tonight go home. Hug your little girl or guy and thank God that they are healthy! Then go to St. Jude's Website and donate. Give a one time gift or become a Partner in Hope. Don't be like me and only give to organizations that have already been apart of your life. Remember that we are not bulletproof. I want St. Jude to thrive so that if my family or my friend's families find themselves there they are taken care of. No financial worries. They will benefit from cutting-edge research and have people love them like family.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Slacking on my Picture Posting

OK, I have been slacking a little bit on posting my Project Life pictures ever since our household got sick. But I wanted to post the two from this weekend.

Look, mom! No hands!! I bought C his new swimsuit (in 12-18mths!) and wanted to try it on to make sure it would fit. I was taking his picture for Saturday while he was in it and he climbed up the door...and then let go. He is getting brave and is beginning to let go of things. Sometime he will stand there for 5-7 seconds...and sometimes he lands on hit butt. I was just excited to actually get a picture of him doing it! I really could not have planned that.

And once again...I love Gap's baby jeans. Andrew hates putting pants on C and requests sweat pant type bottoms. That is what he wore most of the winter but I had to get him some denim. It is too cute.

Like I mentioned, I am buying 12-18 mth clothing and they are on the loose side but now I don't feel like I am hurting him when I am dressing him. All of his warm weather clothes are 12-18 mth and I am ready to start dressing him in them!

Completing the Smile

That tooth finally came in on Saturday! Then this morning C smiled big and I noticed another one on the bottom!! We are up to 5 teeth.

His teeth have been coming in all out of order. Here are the teeth we have now and the order they came in:
and now he is sticking his thumb in toward the back right side of his mouth. I wouldn't wonder this normally, but since the other teeth came in a weird order I am starting to wonder if he is working on one just a little further back. Or maybe just one on the bottom that I can't see. Either way, I wish they would all come in at once and be done. =) He is so much happier when his mouth doesn't hurt!

And we also did some baby proofing this weekend. We have the outlets covered but that is pretty much it. I haven't done much in the way of protecting corners on furniture and maybe I am a bad Mom, but I am not doing that. He doesn't play around the living room furniture. If the issue arises, I will take care of it, but for now we just took care of the kitchen cabinets. We installed some of the magnetic locks. LOVE them. If you don't know what I am talking about (b/c I didn't until my Dad showed them to me) they are completely invisible from the outside. You use this very strong magnet to unlock the cabinet. It is the "key." There is no chance he can smash his fingers like with the little plastic ones you push down to open b/c the cabinet doesn't open AT ALL without being unlocked first.

It was going great and my Dad was installing them for me. I asked him to add the extenders to the magnet so that it unlocked a little more easily. This means we had to drill pretty deep into the cabinet. I was talking while he was drilling and the battery was dying - this combination lead to us drilling through my cabinet face! I am off to Lowe's to get some wood filler and repair it. So...these are almost invisible from the outside. They should be completely invisible by the weekend. =)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So close!

I have been way behind lately and trying to work on my project life photos. I have pictures but not all of the journal cards done for them or the days of the week written on them yet.

I was flipping through the ones I did have done and I was looking at yesterday's:

I was trying to get a picture of his 2nd and 3rd tooth (the 2nd one is the visible one and the 3rd one is to the right...his lip didn't come up far enough). But would you look at the left side of his gums? No wonder he was screaming from 12:30 until 4:30 in the middle of the night. I wish it would pop out already. He is a horrible teether. Motrin, teething drops, and orajel did nothing for the poor boy. He just laid in my arms and screamed like someone was cutting him...oh yeah, that was the tooth.

I need some sleep. Crossing my fingers for a better night!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hello Real World

Do you know what blog I like right now?

Halpert Baby Blog

Yes, I know it is not real, but I love Jim and Pam. I watched last weeks episode twice...b/c I thought it was so funny she breast fed the wrong baby.

Anyway, I thought it was cute so I would share in case you haven't seen it.

Oh, and there is a little t-shirt on The Office website that if they had Colin's size, I would buy. It simply says, "Scott's Tots."

If you watch The Office you know what that is. =)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

All is normal

Today I am back to normal. Everyone is healthy in our house. I am not leaving the house today, just in case. I don't want to risk getting anyone else sick. But tomorrow, I am getting out of here. I have the day off (after 3 days of sick time =P ) and I need to work out and take Colin out of the house for a little bit.

I am ready for Friday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5:45pm Folks

Write it on the calendar. Today at 5:45pm Andrew came to the bedroom and said, "This has been the hardest day of my life."

Now when he says "I know how you feel" after a long day, he really will.

I am starting to feel better. At least I am keeping the ginger ale down. Unfortunately I have only eaten 1 saltine cracker and 10 ounces of soda. I feel weak and crappy and all I want is a shower but I don't think I can stand up in it.

Please pray that Andrew doesn't get it.

Oh, and I just took my temp and it was 102.3. What do I do now?

The rest of my life...

Today I realized that for the rest of my life (at least for 18 more years) every time that Colin gets sick and I take care of him, I will be sick next.

Yesterday I stayed home with Colin. He was vomiting and had some nasty nasty diapers. He didn't take many fluid and you had to almost force feed him Pedialite. Andrew got many frantic and angry calls while he was at work. When I stress, I have to say something to someone, or else my day just gets worse. It builds. By then end of the day I was over it. I changed more diapers than I ever thought possible in one day, changed him into three different onesies, and even had to clean up after Molly when she tracked mud into the house and decided she was going to get sick also. At least she did it right in front of I was sure not to miss it.

Yes, yesterday sucked.

But today I am hanging out by myself in my room. Eating saltines and sipping ginger ale. A first in our house is taking place as Andrew is taking care of Colin...without my help. No help from my momma either, as she also caught the bug. He is on is own. Part of me is glad he finally has a day to take care of and entertain an infant by himself. I always tell him he just doesn't understand. That when he goes out of town it is so much work...even when Colin is being an angel. Between Molly and Colin, I am exhausted by the end of the day.

He just came in to deliver my crackers and ginger ale and said, "oh, Molly is driving me nuts. I see what you mean when you call me about her."

I feel like I need to explain - I love Molly - but she can wear me thin. Once she is calmed down, she is a great dog, but I can't for the life of me get her to stop jumping on guests at the door. Or she WHINES non stop at things out the back door. I know - I am only to blame. She needs to be trained. We have tried, taken classes. We have practiced ringing the bell and using guests. And she doesn't listen...we have one more idea we are going to try soon. I will let you know how it goes...if it happens.

Anyway - I am expecting to hear "I don't know how you do it."

If I hear that, it will be worth throwing up my dinner from last night and the early morning spent hanging out next to the toilet.

Stay healthy! Dr. Lowe said that this bug is going around. We can't figure out where Colin would have picked it up but I am ready to be over it. Look out Andrew! I am afraid you are next.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bachelor and DWTS

Ali is the next Bachelorette and Jake is on DWTS!? I need new people for the Bachelor/Bachelorette. I might skip Ali's season just so when they pick the next Bachelor from hers, he will be new and unknown to me.

And DWTS - I usually don't watch, but I can't help myself. It is an interesting cast...

Snow is falling outside and the little man and I are hanging out inside. Colin is sick and this is a new kind of sick for me - he is throwing up on everything. But he has no fever and he is acting normal and happy - so I have no idea what is wrong with him. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!

Stay warm!