Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year bloggy friends!

I fully admit I have been about the worst blogger ever but did want to say hello to everyone and let you know I am sincerely wishing you all the best over the holiday season.

Things here are going well.  I am two semesters into nursing school now with two to go.  Kaia is growing by leaps and bounds intellectually and she is so full of energy!

Another great year is coming to a close and I am thankful for the many blessings we have been given.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Busy, Busy

As I am sure we are all, despite the summer season.

The last two weeks was long hours of work.  Though I am off again now and delighted to be so.  I also had to take my first, and hopefully only, defensive driver's course.  For shame, I know.  People, do not speed, these painful classes are not worth the time you save.  Also, really, we live in a scary world.  Ignore people with road rage.  Do not get involved with such drama.  Let them win.  They could just be that crazy person who seriously will follow you to your destination and run you over in the parking lot or take out the gun in his gun rack to shoot you. 

So, wonderful, wonderful Kat over at Tenaciously Yours gifted me, through a giveaway, one of the greatest gifts ever!  It's a cookbook titled "Nigella Kitchen; Recipes From the Heart of the Home"  I've just finished flipping through it all.  I've been so inspired!  Even by the dishes I know aren't probably up my alley.  It all just looks delicious.  And, my thought was of Julie & Julia.  I want to do something similar with this cookbook.  I want to cook my way through it.  I'm sure, unlike Julie, I will skip a few recipes here and there, and I have no delusions that I will get through it in 365 days but . . . I really do want to get through it, to cook more, have more variety here at the house, less of the plain salads, sandwhiches, burgers, spaghetti, that I am always fixing for myself and my poor family.  Variety is the spice of life, so I hear, no?  I have other cookbooks I should probably work my way through too, but this one has such a delightful looking variety, and it was such a generous gift I think I will have to start here.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Keep your fingers crossed I actually follow through . . .

Now off to catch up on what I've been missing out in your lives the past couple of weeks!

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

5K Saturday & Sick Baby

Yesterday morning was wonderful!  Kaia, Todd, and I ran a 5K for wounded warriors.  I was soooo proud of our community yesterday.  My gym and another organization paid to put everything together, including snacks and t-shirts after and wonderful volunteers worked the race for free so that all proceeds went to the wounded warrior project.  Over 1000 racers came out and there were some genorous donors.  I believe they said over $70K was raised!  Yay!

But then yesterday evening my poor angel spiked a temp.  She hit up to 102 and was understandably upset and uncomfortable and had a hard time sleeping.  Baby tylenol was super helpful and baby's feeling a bit better this morning but were still not there yet.  Keep fingers crossed for her to feel better soon please!

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Vacation

Hi everyone!  Sorry I've been gone again for so long without a peep.  I realized I didn't mention the fam and I were headed on a little vacay.

We are back now.  It was quite lovely acutely, minus me getting sick anyway.  We picked up my stepson, Aidan, on the way, visited a dear old friend and her family in NY, visited my alma mater, and finished off in the great city of DC. 

We were in DC on Memorial Day which is a special day for us so we went to Arlington Cemetery.  It was my second time there and it's just such an amazing place.  It was Todd's first visit though and I think he was impressed too.  We planned on doing a bit more site seeing but with heat warnings and a precious baby we didn't stay out too long this time.  But . . . there will definitely be a next time!

Oh, and ladies, please, if you ever, ever go to DC for any reason, you MUST hit up the infamous Georgetown Cupcakes (or some of you may know them as DC Cupcakes from the TLC show) they really are the best cupcakes I've ever had in my life!  We bought a dozen and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch.  I think my very favorite was the german chocolate.

What did you do for Memorial Day weekend?  Anything special?  Off to check your blogs now!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schedules

So, I've come to determine that I function best on a schedule.  In fact, the crazier, the better.  Don't get me wrong, when I'm in the middle of the crazy schedule I wonder what in the world I'm thinking and wishing for nothing more than a long vacatio on a sandy beach, still, genearlly, I am more uncomfortable with down time.

The past semester was definitely crazy.  I was up early every morning for a long day of classes and/or clinicals.  I came home to Mommy Kaia alone while Todd was deployed and we were up late most nights.  But, I knew what I was doing, or at least what I should be doing, every minute of everyday.   I even had to stop blogging (writing and reading) because there was simply no time.

Now, the freedom will be my undoing.  I have the summer off.  At least for now, I'm not even doing a part-time job (other than being a Mommy and wife of course :)  The result?  I seem to get nothing done in a day.

So, now I am attempting to get the blog going again - at least a few days a week over the summer.  And I am back to studying for my personal trainer's certificate.  My goal is to get certified sooner rather than later and (cross fingers) hopefully, get hired on somewhere (please let it be my gym!) a few hours a week.

Wish this feeling lazy mommy luck.

What are your thoughts on schedules?

Hope you all are off to a wonderful start to the week!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

At least a few times a week durig the summer anyways ;)

How are you ladies?!  How I have dearly missed you!

A lot has happened since my last post.  The love of my life has returned from the great, far away, beyond.  Kaia and I could not be more delighted.

I finished up my first semester back . . . on the dean's list.  Yay!

And Kaia . . . boy has she grown!  Probably the biggest milestones to catch you up on are:

1)  She has cut two bottom teeth
2)  She crawls crazy fast. all. over
3)  She pulls herself up and takes a few steps around furniture
4)  Her new favorite is loving on Daddy
5)  And being kissed all over by random strangers' puppies
6)  She holds her own sippy and can pick up her own food to feed herself
7)  But, she's off the chart skinny now and hates eating most of the time (any and all advice on this one welcome)

So, there's a good run-down from here.  Enough about us.  I want to hear about you!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Bloggy Fail

Hi everyone!  Thank you for visiting again though I fear I dont deserve it.  I apologize for not visiting and commenting like I would like.  I think I have to accept bloggy defeat for the time being.  I just cant keep up with all that's going on right now.  I will still try and swing by to visit you whenever I can.  And, if all goes well, hopefully, I'll get back with some regularity over the summer.

Now, before I go, shout outs of thanks and lots of love to: Susan, Liz, Devan, Jessica, Colleen, Kelly, Melissa, Selby, Ameena, Elizabeth, Mamabear, Courtney, Alicia, Anne, Anastasia, Kat, Libby, Sara, and Mandi words cannot express how blessed I feel to have met you, even if most of you only through blogging.  You are some fabulous women.  Thank you for putting up with me, for commenting, and helping me get through some pretty tough, lonesome days.  I've really enjoyed getting to know you.  Thank you for uplifting words, awesome recipes, great advice, and Sara, thank you for helping me figure out the cat on Skype!  Again, you all really are the best!  Hugs!   (If I missed anyone, I am so sorry, I promise I love you just as much!)

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

8 Months

My darling is actually almost 8 1/2 months now and I haven't posted about her changes and growth since 6 months.  Bad Mommy.

Kaia is getting more beautiful every day.  She truly is a "good" baby and I know I'm lucky.  She's still a tiny little thing (though healthy) she's in the 25% for her age/size.  She's wearing a size three diaper but by weight could still fit in size 2.  She's wearing her 6-9 or 6-12 month clothes but still wears a couple shirts and a jacket that is 3-6 months (I told you she was tiny people).

There are still no teeth in site but she's doing well eating.  She's tried all her fruits and veggies, chicken, turkey, and baby yogurt.  Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, applesauce, and peaches are her favorite.

Kaia's on video #3 for Your Baby Can Read.  She watches her sign video everyday.  Sometimes, to her Mommy's utter delight, she says Mamama.

She sits well.  She held herself in a standing position holding her jumper for a couple seconds the other day.  She rolls to her hearts content but does not crawl yet.

She loves the things that most babies do but her favorite things?  Sippy cups, paper, plastic, holding the diaper cream when she's getting her diaper changed, and typing love notes to her Daddy when she talks to him on Skype.  If anyone knows how the heck you get a kitty to appear on Skype let us know because Kaia figured out how to do it but her Daddy and I can't figure it out to save our lives.  We think she may be hinting at something early.

Oh, and Kiyoshi's feet, aka paws.  She loves those!  Totally strange right?

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Managing Dreams as a Married, Sometimes Single Mother

I love being a mother.  I have been blessed with the most beautiful daughter, who is also a mild tempered baby most of the time.  I have been able to manage being a single mother for the past several months while Todd's been away much better than I thought I would (which I wasn't sure I could do at all) and, at the same time, also less gracefully than I could wish for at times too.

Sometimes I get frustrated.  Sometimes I talk to my best friend on the phone and become jealous of her freedom.  Freedom to go out to the movies, snowshoeing, running, anywhere and do anything at any time. 

I get jealous of some of the other kids at school, even some of the other women who's children are older.  They have more time to study.  More flexibility to schedule tests and extra time at school if they need it.

Then yesterday I was searching online looking up information on post bachelors programs, I want to be a nurse practitioner.  There are some AMAZING programs out there.  And then I got a bit frustrated that many of the programs are impossible for me.  I cannot move for school.  I am a wife and mother first, no matter how good a program may be.  No matter how much better it specifically fits my goals.

Then I talk to another friend and I am jealous again.  She's going out to dinner and a movie with her husband.  Sigh, it must be nice.

I know this seems like a negative post, but it isn't.  Wait for the silver lining.  I do get jealous.  I imagine we all do?  The grass is always greener somewhere.  We could always have more money, more freedom, more friends.  But, I am also so grateful for what I have.  I wouldn't trade Todd or Kaia for a mansion, money, or the freedom to go to any college I wanted (or could get into ;). 

It all just means I have to be more creative.  Work harder.  Love more deeply.  And learn how to manage my dreams as a married, sometimes single mother, with as much grace as I can muster.

I hope you all have a beautiful and blessed week!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Little Monkey

Fills her Mama's heart with so much love and happiness.  How did I ever live a day without her?

I do love my husband.  I dont know how I lived without him either.  But my daughter, she makes me want to be a better woman even more than her Daddy does.  I want to do well in school, in life, because I want Kaia to know that she can.  I want to smile more and frown less because I want her to always smile.  I want to earn loads of money, and now it's not 'cause I'm a greedy miss selfish but because I want to buy her cute clothes, have enough to keep her involved in activities, provide her with a warm, safe, and beautiful home to grow up in, and send her off to college some day (too soon I'm sure), and maybe even throw her a fancy wedding some day.

I want all this for her and more and she isn't even old enough to ask for anything yet.  Im sure Todd and I are in for quite the ride with our sweet angel.

What fills your heart with immeasurable love and joy?

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Always Running

I feel like I'm always running these days.  No, not literally, though I wish that was the case.  Instead it's just one thing after the other.  Classes, followed by homework, followed by baby feeding, changing, bathing, development, playing, followed by more homework, followed by cleaning and errand running.  Then it's just wash, rinse, repeat.

I am enjoying school.  I am finding my groove, mostly.  I am looking forward to my future as a nurse.  And yet, I so miss my lazy days with my daughter.  I love sleeping in until 7 or after and having nothing to next to nothing major on the agenda.  I miss long snuggles with her soft, warm little babiness every day.  There is no sound quite like her sweet voice babbling to her Mommy all day.  And now, now she's becoming so much more fun too!  She says Mama.  Her Nanny said she signed it too!  Such a smart baby!  I don't want to miss one moment with her.  And so now, I cherish each second I have with her even more.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gone Too Long

Hi all!  I'm sorry I've been gone too long.  I know.  I'm not doing well at juggling my new demands with the old.  Though, don't worry, Kaia's still being taken good care of.  The blog and exercise are not doing so well though.  But the weather today is gorgeous and I'm going to be taking Kaia out for a stroller jog here shortly.  I cherish every moment I have with my daughter now even more now that I must be away from her so many hours of the week at school.  I don't think I could ever have been prepared for how much I'd miss her even if everyone told me in a million different ways. 

She's so precious and so sweet my little angel.  She's 7 1/2 months old already.  Time has flown.  She was reweighed the other day and has gained one pound so she's holding her own staying steady in the 25th percentile.  That's what you get when your Mama and Papa aren't exactly big people I suppose.  Also, the most wonderful thing ever . . . she says, "Mama ma, ma, ma" now!  I know it's not necessarily about her Mama, yet, but she says it nonetheless and it melts my heart and makes me smile every time.  The girl is good!

My Mom was here visiting for a week and a half.  Thank God for such a blessing and having her here to be our Valentine.  Kaia misses her dearly.  She felt much loved and spoiled having Grandma watch her while I was at school.  I wish she could stay always.

That being said, we are yet another day closer to Daddy being home again though it still feels so far away, having him home again truly will be a wonderful blessing.

I have been trying to catch up on all of your fabulous blogs ladies.  I am sorry I haven't been doing so well.  I've enjoyed all the posts I've been able to catch up on so far.  I've missed you all.  Big hugs to you all.  I hope you are well and had a wonderful Valentine's day filled with so much deserved love, chocolates, and jewelry :)

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Theory On Friendship

We recently have been talking about nursing theories and theorists in class.  It's interesting.  Some good points are made by various people about what nursing is and should be. 

There should probably be theories about most things we get involved in, whether work or play.  I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately.  As a kid I'd say I had a lot of friends.  This extended through my time at college.  Even the two and a half years following college I made and kept friends fairly well.  However, in the last 3 years or so I've seen a distinct shift.  I neither keep nor make new friends like I used to.  I've asked myself what has changed about me?  A lot, surely, but in terms of trying to make friends, not much.  Same goes with trying to keep them.  I am pretty loyal and dependable (though I admit I often am running a few - 15 minutes behind, always, since Kaia arrived).  I am at least decent about calling, texting, emailing, or some other form of social media messaging friends, and yet . . . I am, largely unsuccessful.  I have lost many friends.

So, what is it?  I've asked my husband and my best friend (who thank God I have not lost) what gives?  Is it something I am doing unwittingly?  Am I coming across in a way I do not think I am?  I haven't figured it out and it's both perplexing and painful.

One theory of friendship I just looked up states that friendship is dependent on: similarity, proximity, reciprocity, beauty, and competence (though not too much so).  Well, according to this proximity is probably my biggest problem in losing friends, I'm no longer near them so no longer a priority and, I fear, some of those "friends" probably didn't have that much in common with me but liked me more because I was there to begin with.  OK, so making them?  What's my problem?  I'm competent but definitely not too competent.  I'm not too pretty but I'm not ugly so I think that's good enough.  I treat people well.  I smile and strike up conversation, heck I bring cookies!  I'm here.  They're here.  So is it I'm just not similar enough?  Perhaps but I dont feel like this is my answer either.

I promise Im not having a pity party.  It's more of a think tank right now and you're here with me.  I know that you've only met me through bloggy land (well, most of you), what do you think?  Ideas?  I promise my feelings wont get hurt if you're honest!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sick

I'm sick.  Blah!  Thank goodness Kaia's being such a little sweetie and not too demanding right now.  Oh, and I don't have to go to school today, yay!

So far, school's going well.  I've completed two paper tests and one hands on one.  The hands on one was giving a bed bath.  Sandra, I'm sure you can appreciate that one, huh?  I really am enjoying my classes and learning something new again.  It's still overwhelming though, the sheer volume of reading to be done.  Perhaps one of the best things about going to school is it forces me to get dressed every morning in something other than sweatpants.   Plus the time until Todd comes home goes faster when I'm busy.

Want to know the worst class I'm in?  Old Testament.  Don't get me wrong, I'm as spiritual as the next girl, and, initially I was actually somewhat excited about this class for what it could teach me that, as a Christian, I should probably know better.  But, the teacher and the environment is everything.  And this class really just isn't working out for me.  But, alas, 'tis a requirement so I must soldier on.  What's the worst class you've ever taken?  Pray, do tell.  It will make me feel better.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Judgement

Being a mother is hard work.  There is no question about that.  Generally, I feel that because mothering is so hard we should all help each other out when we can and not judge one another.  I support you whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed, whether you work or stay home.  I do not judge you for little mistakes or slip ups.  You can co-sleep or crib sleep.  You can home school, private school, public school.  I don't care if you buy your kids clothes from Walmart or Macy's.  But, there are some things I will judge you for.  (And I don't think anyone who reads this blogs does any of these things, I'm just saying I do judge some Moms)

1.   If you physically, sexually, verbally, or emotionally abuse your children
2.   If you neglect them
3.   If you put yourself before your kids all.the.time
4.   If you don't get them vaccinated or give them medical care when they need it (or should get it)
5.   If you don't send them to school at all
6.   If your house is so dirty it is causing a health/safety hazard for your children
7.   If you don't teach them right from wrong - even worse if you teach them all messed up
8.   If you teach them to be mean and hateful
9.   If you encourage them to be obese
10. If you excessively spoil them and they act like it
11. If you intentionally get pregnant over.and.over and you can't afford to
12. If you don't get prenatal care
13. If you are an alcoholic
14. If you use drugs
15. If you never play with them
16. If you drive like a maniac or text while driving while they are in the car
17. If you have never.ever bought (or made) them a birthday or Christmas present
18. If you let someone else physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually abuse your child
19. If your bedroom is a revolving door and your kids witness this
20. If you're not trying to be the best Mother you can be

What do you judge other Mothers for?  Anything I left off the list?

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Amazing!

You are amazing!

Thank you all, again, sincerely, for your encouragement and support.  You all, and this blog, have truly been a blessing to me.

I took my first test today.  I am sure I got some wrong, but over all, I feel I did well.  Fingers crossed.  I am enjoying this new endeavour and knowledge - minus being away from my angel, but she is adjusting so well to the Nanny it makes it easier for me.

Thank you who responded with your honest feedback on your feelings of pacifism.  So as to not leave you with a few thoughts of my own (though not all are entirely formed out yet)

1.  I support freedom of religion and thought
2.  I am not a pacifist
3.  I do support and desire peace, foremost
4.  I believe there are genuinely evil people who want to do harm, to kill, and destroy
5.  I believe some of these people do these things in the name of their god (notice I did not say my God)
6.  I believe we, as humans, have a responsibility to protect and defend when we can
7.  I have hope that someday all men (and women, obviously) will live in harmony
(Also, as a side note, I also believe women are very rarely the problem when it comes to war and violence)
8.  I believe all Americans have a responsibility to our country and the freedoms we are afforded in it (I do not mean everyone, necessarily, must join the service to demonstrate this)
9.  I believe that God is not against war in all circumstances
10.  I would most certainly die, happily, defending the ones I love (such as my beautiful daughter) and many honorable, brave, and admirable men and women have done just that.  And, in many ways, isn't that very Christian?  Or like Christ?  Sacrificing one's life for another?  Or others?

So there are a few of my thoughts.  I do have others and I am sure I will gain more as time goes on.  But for now, I wish you all a very beautiful and blessed week!

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Catching Up

Hi All!

Sorry I've been out of the loop for a few days.  I think I've caught up on all of your lovely blogs now (even if I didn't leave comments on all your posts)!  You all have been some busy ladies and I enjoyed reading everything, from accounts of your moves, to your school, work, weight loss, shopping, and big projects!

I survived my first week back to school and Kaia survived her first week separated from Mommy for an extended period of time.  This semester is going to be HARD!  Between the coursework, being away from Kaia, and not having hubby here to watch the little angel while I study, but I think with a little hard work, organization, prioritization, and a lot of prayers, I'll make it through.  I'm sure this blog will suffer a bit so I apologize for that.  I will likely only post a couple of times a week and I might end up trying to catch up on your lives on weekends and at random times throughout the week.  Can you believe I already have my first test this coming week?!  I think I'm going to take it on Monday.

Today's been a busy day.  Little Miss wanted to wake up at 630 but she did go back to sleep eventually for a few more minutes.  Then it was up, getting ready for the day, cleaning, making another batch of cupcakes, catching up on blogging, chatting with the hubs, reading videos, signing videos, and finally, a bit of homework.  I really need to hit the books much harder tomorrow to study and get ahead for next week.  It's so hard to get homework done when I get home during the week and Kaia needs things from me, whether food or just some dedicated attention to just her.

Well, we need to watch our Your Baby Can Read video one more time tonight before we hit the hay.  Sweet dreams everyone!

p.s.  How do you feel about pacifism?  For or against?  This is a post and question I've been thinking about for the past couple of days now.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back to School

Monday, January 10th, Day 1.  I arrived late to my first class.  I also, apparently, missed another class completely that was, initially, left off of my schedule.  Whoops!

There are not many nursing students in my level.  This is good in many ways.  It is bad in others.  There are three students that are older than me.  They are, probably, in their 40s (I didn't ask) but just judging by the ages of their kids, they have to be at least late 30s.  The others are all, pretty much straight out of HS and so are roughly between 19-20 yrs old.  That puts me right in the middle.  Neither early 20s or late 30s-40s.  Everyone else also seemed to know at least two other students in the class that they'd palled up with if you will.  Again, awesomeness.  I think it will all be OK though.  Even if I don't make super duper best friends forever, I'm really there to learn anyway so that's cool.  I'm excited about getting started, though I must say, I'm not sure if I knew what I was getting into.  The schedule is VERY confusing and the hours are a bit more in depth than I was prepared for.  I just hope Kaia and I both make it through this first semester two happy girls.  I know I'm even more ready for the summer with my little angel all to myself again!

Day 2: pretty much uneventful, minus the having to get up too early, boo!

We shall see how the remaining days of the week go.

P.S. Kaia is a superstar at going to sleep at night now!  Knock on wood.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tagged

Kristen at eatdrinkloveandexercisedotcom tagged me for a survey so I thought it might be a fun and easy blog post for a busy Sunday.  I've been cleaning and baking all day!  And getting ready for class, or at least I hope I'm ready - I still want to puke whenever I think about it, and yes, I realize it totally is not that serious, but I can't help it!.

Here goes:

*Four TV shows I watch:
1. Biggest Loser
2. Extreme Home Makeover
3. The Office
4. And a lot of crap "reality" TV, like The Bachelor

*Four Things I'm Passionate About
1. Todd aka The Hubs
2. Kaia aka My Mini Me
3. Helping People
4.  Do I have to pick 4?  My friends, running, eating/baking, the U S of A

*Four Words or Phrases I use too Much
1. Dammit Jers! (Jers is my Todd's "special" dog)
2. Nom, nom nom and Ahhh (encouraging Kaia to eat)
3. I was reading this one blog and [insert fascinating story here]
4. I love you!  (But you can NEVER say this too much in my opinion!)

*Four Things I Learned in the Past
1. Some of God's greatest gifts really ARE unanswered prayers
2. True love Does exist
3. Education is everything
4. Helping someone else is always worth it

*Four Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Todd coming home!
2. Kaia continuing to grow and develop into her beautiful little self
3. Becoming a nurse
4. The summer

*Four Things I Like About Winter
1. Cute coats
2. Cute boots
3. How pretty and clean the snow makes everything look
4. Snow days!

I'm supposed to pass this on to four ladies but I don't want anyone to feel obligated and I want anyone who wants to to join in the fun.  So please, if it strikes your fancy, join in, I'd love to learn more about you too!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sleep Training, Part Trois

Sleep training has actually been going pretty well the past couple of nights.  My angel always proves to be just that.  That girl is good to her Mommy.  I, on the other hand, am a fail at sleep training.  I cannot fall asleep!  Ahhhh!  I lay there with her for hours and don't fall asleep.  And I need to in the worst way.  I start school on Monday and that means early mornings people!  Very early.  I cannot be up until midnight!  I am not as young and crazy as I used to be.  Wait, I was never young and crazy . . . I've always loved my sleep.

And, speaking of school, I am so nervous!  I know everything will be fine.  But I am worried that I will forget something I am supposed to bring.  Or I won't find my classes and walk in all late whenever everyone else is already seated and the instructors already talking.  Or what if I realize after I've gotten all the way there that I have baby spit up all over my shoulder?  Or what if I forget to do something I was told to do?  Or if everyone's already friends (you know most of my class will have been in classes together for 2 years already) and in cliques and I'm the odd, old lady out?  And what if I'm late, well, because I'm often late to things and it's a long drive, and I'm not used to being away from the baby.  And what if I miss her terribly?  And, I know that I've talked about my nerves and worries about this already and you've all been so nice and generous and kind with your comments.  And they have helped.  And I hope that you are all right!  But now that it is approaching with no turning back my fears, nerves, and worries are just amplified regardless.  New is scary.  At least new is scary to me.  I am sure I will be keeping you all posted.

But for now, for now I really must try to sleep.

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Help for Breast Cancer Patients

Hi everyone!  This is a very important topic.  Please stay, read, pass on the word, and donate if you can.  Thank you!

Early on in my blogging I found Minky Moo she's a great blogger and I always enjoy reading her posts.  Yesterday, was one of the best, most heartfelt posts yet, same title as mine today, Help For Breast Cancer Patients.  It was all about her amazing friend, Susan, a cancer survivor, astrophysicist, and Mom of two . . . I know, Wow! right?  And Minky describes her as being made of Alpha waves and awesome.  Pretty much just the kind of person you want to be around. all. the. time. because you are made more awesome just by being lucky enough to be in her presence.  This is how I imagine her anyway :)

Well, Susan has these pretty amazing sleeves,   that she gets to wear for the rest of her life.  You see, what I didn't know, is that a side effect of breast cancer treatment can be permanent swelling in the arms, lymphedema.  It has been found that compression sleeves are, often, the best treatment.  But, unfortunately, they're not covered by medicare, or most insurance plans and they range from $200-$500.  Heartbreaking.  Well, Susan, being the amazing woman she is, decided to do something about it!  She made some phone calls and she made some big things happen!  Here are some of her own words explaining it:

Both the foundation (Crickett’s Aswser for Cancer) and my favorite lymphedema sleeve maker (Lymphedivas) were founded in honor of thirty-something women (one a blogger!) who had breast cancer (and then died).  I made an earnest plea to each of them, told them about the women that each other were honoring, and then held my breath and made the ask.

Would you, could you, please consider working with each other to provide lymphedema sleeves to women in need?

They agreed to talk to each other.  They liked each other, and a few weeks later, box upon box of lymphedema sleeves and gauntlets (like a glove without fingers – you can see mine in Monday’s post) arrived at the foundation.  Sue’s friend Carole, the foundation’s VP, unpacked them, totaled it up, and found that she had received over $12,000 worth of lymphedema sleeves and gloves to give away.

Pretty amazing, no?!  So, you may be asking, why does this matter to me?

Well, first, you are a woman too (probably because I don't think any men currently read my fancy blog) and you have or will, likely, be touched by breast cancer at some point in your life, whether you yourself, a family member, or friend.

If you are currently a breast cancer survivor in need, you can now go to Crickett's Answer for Cancer, and complete the forms requesting help by writing in “lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet” on page 2 of the application.

Or, if you want to help someone else, you can pass this message on.  Either directly to a friend/family member in need, blog about it, email it out, or make a donation here.

And if you want to tell Susan how awesome and fabulous she is, go vist her at Toddler Planet.

Now get to work!  Love ya ladies!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 2 Sleep Training - Fail

Last night sucked!

Kaia fell asleep a little after 8.  The smart me knew I should probably wake her up.  The idiot me said let's roll with it.  So, roll with it we did.

Kaia was back up again by 10.

And up, and up, and up.

There was singing.  There was staring at the illuminated mobile.  There was more singing.  There was cuddling.  And some more singing.  But there was definitely no sleeping again until well after midnight.  And then she woke up for good just after 7.  Awesome!

Idiot me may make a reappearance, or many, I don't doubt that.  But, she will not make that mistake again!

Here's to hoping we all get some good sleep tonight!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 1 Sleep Training Day 2 Sweet Potatoes

Last night was the first night of Kaia and I's attempt at sleep training.  So far, I don't have the heart for the cry it out method.  So, we tried our own version of the no tears sleep training.  I laid Kaia down at 1025 (25 minutes later than I meant to, darn dogs!) with our usual night time soothing sounds playing.  I also added her projection mobile on the ceiling for her to gaze at.  Then I laid down next to her ('cause we co-sleep) and closed my eyes (you know, show her what we were supposed to be doing and all).  She entertained herself quite well for 15-20 minutes just cooing and talking to the pictures on the ceiling and sucking on her fingers.  She then decided she didn't like this idea and started crying and fussing.  I let her do this for about a minute, maybe two, at which point I got her attention to show her Mommy was still there and sang to her while letting her hold my finger if she wanted to; she liked this and stopped crying.  I could tell she was definitely getting sleepy because of the yawning and heavy, droopy lids but then she decided she was too hungry to go to bed.  So, I nursed her while we both stayed laying in bed and she fell asleep about 1115-1130.  When I put her back in her little "bed" 20 minutes later or so, she opened her eyes and went right back to sleep.  Not perfect, but I think it was a decent attempt for the first night.  I figure consistency's going to be the key here.  I hope it works.  Then, if you're into the (semi-)attachment parenting thing, like me, maybe my method will work for you someday too :)  Here's to hoping ladies!

Also, Kaia had her 6 month appointment yesterday.  She's 26 1/4 inches long, head circumference at 16 3/4, and weight 14.4.  She's a tiny little thing.  Her head and height are in the 50th percentile, yay!  But her weight . . . not so much.  Munchkin's a little small, only 25th percentile :(  So, Mommy's going to try and up her solid food intake and see if that helps with a reweigh-in in a few weeks.  Good news is, Mommy and Daddy aren't big people, and Kaia's happy, peeing, and pooping so at least there's that!  All that in mind, we started jarred baby food yesterday.  Exciting!  We started with sweet potatoes.  Kaia's decided she's not a big fan but she's made a good effort.  She ate all of them yesterday and most of them today.  But the faces, precious city folks!

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Sleep Training

So, I start school next Monday.  I know, gah!  Old lady on campus people!

That means I finally have to bite the bullet and sleep train my angel, or at least try to.  Otherwise I'm going to die on the road (worst case) or fail all my classes for sleeping in class(best case).  I know, I know, I probably waited a little long to get started, but to be honest, I'm a pushover already and I sorta enjoyed the late nights with my baby.  Plus, I was skyping with Todd late at night too so getting Kaia to bed late was good for Mommy sometimes too (selfish Mommy!).

Also, I know that my blog's kinda been on the sucky side the last couple of weeks.  Minus maybe my Stepmonster post they've been lacking a bit in content and quality.  I am going to work on getting better again, even if that means posting less frequently to not waste your time with poor quality writing or fluff.

I'm pretty sure that with starting school again, Kaia being at home with the Nanny, and homeworker I'll probably have a lot of material coming.  That being said, please also excuse me if, starting next week, I seem a bit overwhelmed, I probably am.

Again, thank you all so much for following along on my bloggy journey and our little lives here.  I am honored and humbled to have you.

P.S.  I'm also sorry it's taking me a long time to respond to a lot of your comments lately!  I'm going to try and catch up on that too!

Hugs!

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Here To Eternity - Trendy Award

Yay!  I received my first blog award from Jhen, over at From Here To Eternity.  Thank you so much for thinking of me!  If you haven't already, please go check her blog out.  She's a very real and inspiring blogger.

There it is, over on my sidebar, aren't I so trendy?!

And, I think you are too.  So, I am passing the award on to 10 other trendy ladies:

1.  Elizabeth - Flourish In Progress
2.  Anastasia - Sweetbutterbliss
3.  Libby - Bonjour
4.  Anne - Sugar Bowl Mix
5.  Midnight Mama - Dear Daughter
6.  Devan - Accustomed Chaos
7.  Melissa - Confessions of a Dr. Mom
8.  Kelly - City Mom
9.  Kat - Tenaciously Yours
10. Ameena - Fancy That Fancy This

Now, all you have to do to receive this award and pass it on is:

Post about it.
Pass it along to 10 others.
And, leave a link to the Trendy Blog Button so they can grab it too!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Perfect Mother?

Is there such a thing as a perfect mother?  Or, better yet, is there ever a point at which you stop worrying if you are doing enough?  Or the right things?

I know that I'm not a total mess.  I mean Kaia's achieving her milestones.  She's growing.  She's healthy.  She's eating well.  She is, generally, happy and content.  She has LOTS of things.  Almost all the toys, clothes, furniture a baby could dream of.

Yet, I worry as far as doing goes.  I'm not doing enough.  Do I set her down too often?  Should I be holding her more?  Are there more games I should be playing with her?  Should I be taking her to do more stimulating things?  Scheduling and attending playgroups, play dates?  Are my priorities right?  Should they be different?  What would she say?  What would she tell me, if she could only talk?  Should I be working harder to get her on a schedule?

Do all mothers have these thoughts?  These worries?  Is it with every baby?  Or only the first?  Do you become a better mother the more children you have?  Is the youngest the luckiest?  The oldest the least fortunate this way? 

I feel when Kaia gets older I will be much better at this mothering thing.  I look forward to trips to the library, the park, swim lessons, dance class, eventually school.  But this, the infant stage, I'm finding exceedingly difficult.  Don't get me wrong, I love every minute with Kaia.  I love everything about my angel baby.  But still, it is stressful.  It is frustrating.  It is full of worry.  Am I doing this right?  Or, am I doing at least, all right?  OK?  Passable?

Maybe my biggest resolution for this year should be, be the best mother I can be.  Always try to do better.  Because Kaia, Kaia is the perfect baby.  I could not ask for better.  I know I couldn't.

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