Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in review

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

I went on vacation with my ENTIRE family. It was the first time that my three siblings, our spouses, kids, and parents had ever all been on vacation together.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't think that I actually made new year's resolutions last year. I decided that I wouldn't. I'm sure that if I did, it would have been to lose weight and be more financially responsible. Um, those are both big fat failures, so we will just say that I didn't make any.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I know several people that had babies, but none of my family or close friends. My best friend is expecting a baby in April 2011 and I am SOOOO excited!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandpa passed away in March. I wouldn't say that we were close (he is my step-dad's dad), but he was my grandpa nonetheless. However, I will say that the past few months have left me missing my maternal grandma and grandpa immensely. I think about them every day and wish that they were here.

5. What countries did you visit?

No foreign countries. I took a trip to Boston for work and then went to Alabama (which could technically count as a foreign country) with my family.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn’t have in 2010?

I would really like for my husband to get a decent paying full time job.

7. What dates from 2010 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

Probably May 19 because we celebrated Jack's first birthday. October 24 because it was my 29th birthday and I had a great time with ALL of my friends for the first time in quite a while.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

.I honestly can't think of anything great that I did. I guess professionally, we had a great academic year last year. We increased our attendance and the number of events we did.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being more supportive of my husband when he lost his job and in the eight plus months since then.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My ipad. I shouldn't have purchased it, but I used the money I received from teaching a class and purchased it. There were absolutely more responsible things I could have done with that money, but I use it every day and my son loves it too!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband who took on the role of stay at home dad at the end of March. I would not have the patience to be home with our child every day for months on end. He has so much more patience then I could ever dream of having. I'm so thankful

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There are quite a few people that I could list here, but I will just say that overall, I think people are good.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying, car, insurance, student loans, etc.

15. What did you get really excited about?

My birthday...because all of my friends came to town to help me celebrate. And Christmas because Jack actually opened his presents this year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

I can't think of one song that will represent this year...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier: No. I'm working on it though
Thinner: I am the same
Richer: Absolutely husband lost his job in March! Enough said!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Visiting with friends. Making time for myself.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Dwelling on all the things I don't have.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Running around to our families and enjoying time with them.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Still love my husband dearly.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Glee, Modern Family, anything on ABC Family (because I'm a 13 year old girl at heart), Grey's Anatomy, and I could go on and on and on. I like TV.

23. What was the best book you read?

I can tell you what it wasn't..."Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. It's the required reader for the freshman seminar classes at my university. Since I taught a freshman seminar, I had to read it. And it was awful. I felt guilty making the kids read it.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I'm going to say that I love Bruno Mars right now. Tyrone Wells is still at the top of my list.

25. What did you want and get?

An ipad

26. What did you want and not get?

For my husband to get a job

27. What was your favorite film of 2010?

Harry Potter

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 this year and had a great time celebrating with a big group of friends. I loved it...but I did not love how I felt the next day.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If my husband had gotten a job.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2010 ?

Oh please. Fashion is not my thing. I would love to be more fashionable, but I'm a mom on a very limited budget!

31. What kept you sane?

Emails from my best friend, my husband, my mom

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The repeal is a definite step in the right direction for equality.

33. Who did you miss?

My grandma and grandpa. They popped into my head almost every day over the past few months.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

There are always going to be people that are worse off than you. You should be happy for all that you have and not dwell on what you don't have.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Just have a little patience....I really wanna start over again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grab the Tissue

Ever since I became a mother, I can't help but grieve for families dealing with terrible tragedies involving their children. I hear stories of babies with cancer or major illnesses and I cannot imagine dealing with that.

I was recently sent this video. I urge you to grab a tissue before you watch it. Little Dax Locke continues to touch lives!

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis The Season

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved Christmastime because I loved going to the mailbox every day and getting all of the Christmas cards from family and friends! It was always fun to see the pictures of our relatives from across the country that we rarely got to see (and in the pre-Facebook era, it was pretty much impossible to see photos of people unless they came via snail mail!). One family in particular always sent out a wonderfully hilarious Christmas letter each year. It was definitely the highlight of the Christmas cards. To this day, my mom will still call me when the letter comes and read it to me over the phone.

Last year I saw an alarming trend...the e-Christmas card. I got two of these from friends and it made me really sad! I just didn't get the same feeling clicking open on my computer screen as I did when I ripped open an envelope. I vowed that I would always send out Christmas cards to my friends and family, no matter how busy I was that year.

Shutterfly has some AWESOME holiday card options this year. I am having a really hard time deciding!! Check out some of these awesome cards:

I love the traditional look of this one--but in a contemporary way

I'm a HUGE fan of chocolate brown, so this one really speaks to me
I love the use of black with bright colors on it. I have several rolls of wrapping paper that look like this

I have used Shutterfly for a number of things over the years. I have made four photo books chronicling the first 18 months of Jack's life. They are amazing! I have been able to completely customize the books with captions and all the photos that I want.

I have also created several photo calendars (most recently, one for my mom for Christmas). I love the new layouts that they created this year!!

I am not throwing any holiday parties this year, but I was, I would totally send out some of these invitations. They are fantastic!

I also love these photo cards for the holidays! I created this one for our family

Picture Joy Christmas
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

I think that they are absolutely adorable! Again, you can see that I love the brown!

So, if you are looking for some great cards to send out this holiday season, make sure you check out Shutterfly!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Before 30

Yesterday was my 29th birthday. As I enter the last year of my 20's, I decided to create a list of things I would like to do before my 30th birthday. Here we go...30 before 30.

1. Lose 20 pounds.
2. Have a weekend getaway with my husband...alone.
3. Pay off my remaining credit card debt.
4. Paint my living room.
5. Exercise three times a week.
6. Take Jack to the park as often as the weather allows.
7. Read to Jack every night before many books as he wants.
8. Be a better wife to my husband. Make sure he knows how wonderful he is every single day.
9. Cook more meals for my family.
10. Take a week off of work and don't check my email or voice mail the entire week.
11. Finally put all of the photos I have taken and printed of Jack into photo albums.
12. Get one evening with my friends each month.
13. Visit my best friend at her new house for a weekend.
14. Read one book a month for fun.
15. Clean my office at work and purge all of the old files that are cluttering my life!
16. Bake more tasty treats for my family and friends
17. Visit the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Science Center, and the Zoo.
18. Go to Chicago for a fun weekend of shopping and museums.
19. Go to at least two new restaurants in St. Louis.
20. Try a new food
21. Publish an article
22. Help Ryan get a job that he will love.
23. Run a 5K
24. Get my wisdom teeth taken out (no, this isn't fun...but it needs to be done!)
25. Spend more time with my mom and sister
26. Enroll Jack in day care two days a week so that he can socialize with other kids.
27. Be a better friend to the great people in my life
28. Drink more water every day
29. Make sure Jack feels unconditional love every day of his life
30. Find the perfect outfit to wear for my 30th birthday

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 9: A Photo You Took

Well, I take a lot of photos, so this was hard.  I’m going to not post any pictures of Jack, because that would be too easy.

Let’s start with a funny one!  I encountered this van in downtown St. Louis a couple years ago.  The van literally has a window unit air conditioner.  It cracks me up to this day!!!

van with air

I took the next two pictures on my honeymoon.  The first is at the ruins at Chichen Itza.  I love this picture for whatever reason.  It was taken with a very basic point and shoot camera, but I love it!

honeymoon 1

This next picture is also from our Honeymoon and is of Ryan on the beach outside our hotel.  I love the beach and the aqua blue water.  And I love him, so it’s a picture full of love!

honeymoon 2

That’s all I am going to add for today!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A photo that makes you angry/sad

When I saw this on the list, I knew that there was only one photo I could post.

jack and grandma

This is newborn Jack with my grandma.  This is the last photo ever taken of my grandma.  She passed away less than a week later.  She was so excited to meet her great grandson. 

I have such mixed emotions about this picture.  On one hand, I am so happy that we have it.  I’m so glad that grandma got to meet Jack and was able to hold him.  She loved babies to much and I know that she loved him from the moment I told her I was pregnant.  On the other hand, it makes me so sad because I miss her so much.  She was such a major part of my life and I still have a hard time believing that she is really gone.  It’s been over a year and I still reach for my phone to call her when something happens. 

When someone you love passes away, its strange how random things will make you think of them, or make you sad.  The thing that caught me completely off guard this year was Cardinals opening day.  My grandma was a die hard Cardinals fan.  She started collected the team sets of baseball cards for my two cousins, Matthew and Jonathan.  Every year, the first game I went to, I would buy her those sets of cards.  This year, I went to opening day and was in the team shop.  I thought, “oh, I’m going to ask if they have the team cards yet so I can pick them up for grandma”.  Yeah, I started crying in the team store. 

I know that grandma is watching over Jack everyday and keeping him safe.  I will always treasure this photo, even if it makes me sad to look at it right now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 7: A Photo that makes you happy

And now I will bore you with lots of photos that make me happy!

I love this first photo because Jack looks so little in it!!DSCN2767

My little Cardinals fan!

HA HA HA HA HA HA!!  I love this!  It was his first attempt at cereal and it’s hilarious!!

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of Jack.  I cannot believe how little he looks in it!  I loved this outfit so much!DSCN1244

Happy baby!

My little used car salesman!

My big boy walking around the yard

I can’t even begin to describe my love of this picture.  Jack and the monkey have basically the same expression!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Our family on Mother’s Day
family photo

My two favorite little people…even if they had no interest in having their picture taken together.  I just love this picture because they look like they are the same size!  Poor Ava is 10 months older but now weighs less than Jack!jack and ava

These are my students that I work with.  This was our group photo from this year!  I love them all dearly.  I am so fortunate to work with a great group of kids every year.  I am a mom to 20 great college kids every year and that is awesome!  CAB 2010

This was Jack’s first time meeting Fredbird!  And he made fun of me!  Oh well…he signed a copy of the picture to Jack!  Makes me laugh!

These are three of my favorite people in the world.  I love them dearly!
wedding friends

My love
wedding 1

This was Mother’s Day 2009.  Jack was born about two weeks later.  I am hugely pregnant and I remember how miserable I was!  But, I love this picture of me, my mom, my sister, and my beautiful niece Ava.
mothers day 2009

I love pictures and I take so many of them!  I could go on forever, but I will stop there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 6: 20 of my favorite things

20 of my favorite things. Alright…here we go!

1. My beautiful son, Jack
2. My patient, forgiving husband, Ryan
3. My huge, extended family
4. My amazing friends
5. Crisp, Fall weather
6. My job and my coworkers
7. French fries…yup, I love them!
8. McDonalds Coke…although I have pretty much given it up
9. Baking delicious treats
10. Giving someone a gift that they love
11. A relaxing evening on the couch
12. Clean sheets
13. Glee…it totally makes my list!
14. Watching a great new movie
15. Miniature golf
16. St. Louis Cardinals baseball
17. A new outfit
18. Watching Jack learn something new. It’s absolutely amazing
19. A great night out with friends
20. Vacation! I would love one right now!

I could go on and on…these are the first 20 things that popped into my head, so I’m sure that I have forgotten a million things!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 5: Favorite Quote

Favorite Quotes…this was a little harder than the previous four days! I guess that my favorite quote of all time is:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

When I was Student Body President during college, I had to select a quote to write on a chair that stays in the President’s office. It has been signed by a lot of former Student Body Presidents. This was the quote that I chose for that chair. I feel like it speaks volumes of the impact that individuals can have on the world.

All of my other favorite quotes are either from movies or random things that my friends and I have said. I think I will keep those private!! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 4: Favorite Book

I will be kind of glad when I get past these “favorite” categories.  I cannot pick just one!  I’m a pretty avid reader, but I will be the first to admit that I don’t read anything too serious.  I’m a major fan of chick lit.  In the course of getting my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, I had to read plenty of stuff that I didn’t want to, so now I read things that entertain me.  Here are a few of my favorites.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I could probably read this book over and over again.  It’s probably one of the only books that I have read more than once or twice.  Ever since I read it in middle school, it’s been on my bookshelf.

The Little Prince or Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I absolutely love this book.  This was the first book that I read completely in French and I fell in love with it.  I can’t wait to read it to Jack and have him love it too!

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
Such a tear jerker!  I love it!  I couldn’t put it down when I read it.

LA Candy by Lauren Conrad
Yup, I am that girl…I bought this book (and it’s sequel) and read them in just a couple days. 

Anything by Nicholas Sparks.  I’m a sucker for those books!! 

Again, those are just a few of my favorites!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 3: Favorite TV Show

“Make It Or Break It”
Yup…again…I’m a 13 year old girl.  I am pretty much on board with any of the ABC Family Shows.  Okay, mainly four of them…this one, Greek, Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars!!

“How I Met Your Mother”
It’s just hilarious.  Neil Patrick Harris rocks my world!

“Modern Family”
This is my favorite new half hour comedy.  Yup, I have plenty of “favorite” categories.  If you have not watched this show, I highly recommend it. 

“Grey’s Anatomy”
A perpetual favorite.  It was getting a little crazy (I mean the whole Izzy having ghost sex with Denny…come on!), but they totally got me back with the finale last year.  It was just so awesome! 

“The West Wing”
This still qualifies as probably my favorite show of all time.  I still watch the reruns on Bravo.  I have all the seasons on DVD and watch them a lot.  This happens to be one of my favorite scenes ever. 

I have so many other favorite shows that I don’t miss…including: Private Practice, Teen Mom (yup, I am ridiculous), Friends, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and 24.  I am also a reality TV junkie.  I will pretty much watch anything! 

What are your favorite shows?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 2: Favorite Movie

Just like music, I cannot pick just one favorite movie!  I have favorite movie’s for different moods.  Here are a few:

“The American President”
It’s just so funny!  I will watch it anytime, anywhere!  I have probably seen it at least 500 times and can recite most of the movie verbatim!  This is one of my favorite scenes.

“Beauty and the Beast”
Still my favorite Disney movie.  I own it in English and French…because I’m that ridiculous!

Because I am a girl and I love to cry!  I will watch this movie anytime it is on TV…and cry like a baby every time!  I also love Bette Midler!

“Steel Magnolias”
Where to even start with this movie!  It’s a classic!! 

“Center Stage”
This is a classic in my book!  It’s just so good! 

Again, I will watch this anytime it is on TV.  It’s amazing!!

So, yeah, I like some pretty typical girl movies!! 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

Choosing just one favorite song would be impossible.  Music is such a big part of my life!  So, here are few of my favorites right now.

Tyrone Wells “Seabreeze”
This was Ryan and my first dance song.  It’s a constant favorite of mine!

Sugarland “Joey”
This is a recent favorite.  I just can’t get enough of it!  I love to belt it out in my car!

Glee “Don’t Rain on My Parade”
Okay, really anything from Glee.  I’m obsessed!  Yes, I am like a 12 year old girl.  I don’t miss an episode!  I buy the CD’s on the day they are released (as in I go into work late so that I can be at Target at 8AM to buy them!).  I’m a dork! 

Dave Matthews Band “You and Me”
I love pretty much any and all Dave music.  This is a current favorite!  I had to post the Grammy performance because Dave looked so cute all dressed up for the night!!

I could go on and on!  But, I will stop with those! 

30 Days of Blogging


I'm trying to be a better blogger, so I've decided to challenge myself to do 30 days of blogging.  I read about this on another blog.  They have a list of 30 topics and you write about one each day.  It is supposed to make your job don't have to come up with the topics!  So, here is the list:

Day 1 - your favorite song
Day 2 - your favorite movie
Day 3 - your favorite television program
Day 4 - your favorite book
Day 5 - your favorite quote
Day 6 - 20 of my favorite things
Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 - a photo you took
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you
Day 11 - a photo of you recently
Day 12 - something you are OCD about
Day 13 - a fictional book
Day 14 - a non-fictional book
Day 15 - your dream house
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
Day 19 - a talent of yours
Day 20 - a hobby of yours
Day 21 - a recipe
Day 22 - a website
Day 23 - a youtube video
Day 24 - where I live
Day 25 - your day, in great detail
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - my worst habit
Day 28 - whats in my handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future

I’m sure that I will miss a day here or there, but I’m going to try to stick to the plan!  Day 1 post will soon follow! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just a Pee Machine...

Yes, this is a post about pee...what has my life come to??

Before Jack was born, I heard all about how I would be peed on by my little boy. I was prepared for it. My sister thought it was hilarious to buy me "pee pee teepees" as a baby shower gift (they really don't work). When we brought Jack home and I was just learning how to change that little boy diaper, I got squirted a few times. No big deal.

Eventually we got into a rhythm and didn't have any more incidents. There was the time when he just started pulling up on stuff when he peed in the corner of his room (no, I don't typically let him run around naked...but he had just had a bath and squirmed away from me and crawled away. I was too busy laughing at that naked little but to grab him. Before I knew it, he was pulling up on the end of his crib and then he knew what he was doing!). But, beyond that, we had pretty uneventful diaper changes.

Until about a month ago that is. All the sudden, every time we changed him, he peed all over the changing table. We have two covers for his changing table pad and it seems like one (or both) of them is always in the wash. It's like as soon as the fresh air hits him, he has to go! Sometimes it's just a little dribble, other times it is like a geyser! Every night at bath time, I undress him, take him into the bathroom, set him on the floor, and start the water. He has peed on the floor the past two nights! Yes, I realize I could run the water and then undress him. But this has been our routine for months. I haven't caught him in the act of doing it, otherwise I would tell him no. It's crazy! My mom thinks it is hilarious (she has two girls, so she knows nothing about boys! Her only comment is usually "Just wait until he can pull it out and pee whenever he wants too!". Thanks mom! That's super helpful. Ha ha!).

And now that I have lost any readers I might have for a hugely long post about pee, I will stop (hey, this blog is for me to remember things about Jack when he was growing up).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fifteen Month Photos

I promised photos of Jack at 15 months.  So, here they are.  I had the brilliant idea to try to put him in the crib with the monkey and the sign again.  I knew it would be a disaster, but I figured I would try!

This was the first photo I took.  Actually not too bad!


And then he was off….

Playing with his mobile


Playing with the multiple signs I put in the bed to try to capture him at some point!


He sat down and just looked at me like “Seriously mom??  Can you stop doing this yet??”


And then we did some of this…


At that point, I let him out of the crib at taped a sign to his back since most of the photos I have of him are of him running away from me…



After our photo shoot, we were playing. 

I love this picture…he looks like he is seriously up to something!


I’m running!!!


Giving the baby doll kisses


Doing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”


Hiding behind daddy!


Talking on the phone!


Woah! That was a busy day! 

Happy 15 month birthday Jack!  Mommy loves you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fifteen Months

Okay. First, I have said it before, but I will reiterate the fact that I am the worst blogger ever. School starts at my university next week and things are INSANE! I promise that once I get through our welcome activities I am going to actively attempt to be a better blogger. I'm so good at reading other blogs, but when it comes to actually putting words on the screen, I pretty much suck!

Whew! I'm glad that is out of the way. On to way more important the fact that my baby is fifteen months old today! I cannot believe it! I feel like he should still be a teeny, tiny infant that just wanted to take a nap on me. But he's not a baby anymore.

He has turned into this crazy kid

He never stops moving!

So Jack, , lets do a little recap of you these days.

  • You weigh about 24.5 pounds
  • I have no idea how tall you are night now, but we will find out when you go to the doctor next week!
  • You wear 18 month shirts and are still mostly wearing 12 month shorts. You have a little butt!
  • You are an excellent sleeper and like to sleep in. You go to bed around 8:30 every night and sleep until about 9 the next morning.
  • You are getting better at napping. You usually sleep from at least 1-3 in the afternoon. Some days it's longer. You are still not good at napping other places in pack and plays.
  • You have entered a period of not wanting to eat lately. You are too busy to eat!
  • That being said, you have discovered a love of raisins! You adore them and would probably eat multiple boxes a day if we let you.
  • You also love your milk and juice! You learned to drink from a cup with a straw (you are still figuring out the regular sippy cup can't seem to tip it back enough) and you can't get enough of the cup!
  • You "talk" nonstop and are learning more words. Your currently vocabulary includes "mama, dada, ball, bye, bite, puppy, play, pool (but only if you are near a pool) and go." You call your lovey something that sounds like "suh" and I'm not sure what that means. But you say it whenever you want lovey. You are funny because you seem to have whole conversations with me and get annoyed when I don't understand what you are saying.
  • I think that you are as done with the hot weather as I am. You love to be outside, but with it being so hot, we keep you inside. Can't wait until it gets cooler so we can go out for walks to the park more.
  • You have recently learned to walk backwards and to spin in circles until you get dizzy and fall down. It is hilarious.
  • Your favorite game right now is a combination of hide and seek and peek-a-boo. You go behind a couch, into the hallway, behind a table, etc. You hide there for a minute, and then you peek out until someone looks at you and says "Boo!" and then you laugh and laugh. It's adorable.
I'm going to take some photos of you tomorrow and will post them soon. We need some updated Jack photos!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Out of the mouths of moms...


Sometimes moms say the darndest things!

Yesterday, my son got tubes in his ears. He is fourteen months old and obviously did not understand what was going on. I tried to reason with him as they were preparing to take him to surgery. He kept saying "bye bye" which means that he clearly wants to leave where he is and go somewhere else. After fifteen minutes of him waving at me and saying "bye bye" I finally said "Jack, you can't go bye bye. They are about to take you for surgery! Why did I teach you to say bye bye? Why am I talking to you like you understand anything I am saying!?" He looked at me with a strange look on his face and then said "bye bye?" Great! My husband thought it was hilarious. I believe that I was clearly under stress...because while this was not major surgery...I was still nervous about sending my baby to the operating room!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Life Updates

I just realized that I haven’t posted in a while…mainly because I don’t have much to say.  I want to write a post about Father’s Day, but the words just aren’t coming to me right now.  I have started the post several times, but just can’t finish it. 

So, for now I will just give you a few updates from our family. 

  • Ryan still doesn’t have a job.  He is applying for tons of stuff but is not getting any responses.  He is getting frustrated and I just feel really bad for him.  He loves spending time with Jack, but he really wants to get back to work and help support our family. 
  • Jack is now pretty much a full time walker.  He still crawls when he is already on the ground playing and wants to get to something (but, seriously, I would do the same thing!  Why exert all of that energy to get up just to sit back down?)  It is so cute to watch him toddle around.  I sometimes ask if he is drunk because he runs into walls and stumbles all the time.  It’s mainly because he thinks that he can run and he isn’t quite there yet! 
  • We are gearing up for a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama with my entire family in three weeks.  It’s going to be an adventure.  We are not happy to deal with all of the oil, but it was really the best option for us since we wanted to drive.  There are 14 of us going, so we will see how that goes! 
  • I had some blood work recently and found out that my triglyceride levels are slightly elevated.  So, I am supposed to watch my sugar intake for a while and see if they level out.  They were borderline, so it’s possible that I could have just had a sugar-filled weekend and kind of thrown them off.  We will see.  This is bad news for me because I am a sugar-aholic.  I don’t really drink much.  I can give or take most foods.  Not a salt person.  But sweets…oh my!  And in the summer…ugh.  Tropical Sno, Ice Cream stands everywhere!  It’s crazy.  Like right now, I would really like a cookie.  But, I will refrain! 
  • I’m looking forward to lunch with an old friend tomorrow that I have not seen in a while.  Should be a good time catching up with her! 
  • I’m also looking forward to going to dinner with my mom, sister, and friend Emily on Sunday and then going to see Wicked. 
  • I have a three day weekend this weekend as I am off on Monday.  I’m also off next Friday, so I only have to work three days next week before I get a five day weekend (I’m off on Monday the 5th for the holiday and then have Tuesday off as well).
  • On Tuesday, July 6 we are taking Jack to the ENT to get evaluated for tubes in his ears.  He has had more ear infections than I can count and he is constantly pulling on his ears.  From what I have been told, these issues can actually affect language development because the kids don’t hear as well as they should.  So, we want to get things figured out!  We will see what the doctor has to say. 
  • I need a haircut and some highlights so badly!  There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Okay, I’m going to get back to work!  Have a great weekend

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I didn’t breastfeed

When I was pregnant, I was often asked “are you going to breastfeed your child?”  It’s a perfectly valid question in some cases (like when my doctor asked, or the pre-registration people at the hospital asked, or even when my mother-in-law asked since she would be watching Jack when I went back to work).  When other people asked, I often times wanted to tell them that it was none of their business. 

I decided long before I was even pregnant that breastfeeding was not something I would do.  The whole concept is just weird to me.  Yes, I completely understand that it is natural and that our bodies are built for it.  But, to me, there is something unnatural about the whole process.  I knew that it would be horrible for me, and in turn, horrible for the baby.  I have the absolute, utmost respect for women that breastfeed.  I don’t have the patience for it.  It takes a lot of work! 

Once I was pregnant, I watched two family members attempt to breastfeed their children.  One ended in a severely infected nipple (ewwww…) and the other ended with both mother and baby so frustrated after two weeks they both spent entire days in tears (even after appointments with lactation consultants).  Let’s just say that didn’t amplify my desire to give it the old college try! 

In the end, I decided that Jack would be bottle fed from the get go.  I was bottle fed, my sister was bottle fed, my husband was bottle fed…and none of us are any worse for the wear because of it.  Jack took a bottle very easily and I do not feel like I missed out on bonding him with him.  I still held him close to me when he ate…still looked into his eyes and sang to him and talked to him while he ate. 

I get very annoyed when people judge me for my decision.  I don’t judge you for your decision to breastfeed, so don’t judge me for mine!  It is a personal decision for each family.

Now, I will tell you, that I do judge the women that continue to breastfeed their children until they are 4, or 5, or 6.  I was watching a report on the Today Show the other day and this woman was literally breastfeeding a 6 year old.  I think that is completely wrong!  When the child can walk up to you and talk and say “mom, I want to drink from the left one” you have a problem! 

So, to end, I will say again that I have the utmost respect for all of you that breastfeed that that stuck it out for the long haul!  It just wasn’t a good option for me! 

Sunday, June 6, 2010


As a mom, we give everything we have to our children. Every waking second is spent doting on them and worrying about them. Let me note, that I would not give up the time that I have with Jack for anything. That being said, a mom sometimes just needs a minute to herself! Last night, after Jack went to bed, I had to go to the Super Wal-Mart for some groceries and other items. It was after 9 when I got home. Ryan and I put the groceries away and then I grabbed a bite to eat and sat on the couch. It was about 9:30 at this point. I realized, at that moment, that I couldn't remember the last time I had just an hour to sit at home and do nothing. Jack goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 every night. Once he is down for the night, there is usually laundry, dishes, or other cleaning that needs to be done. On the weekends, I run errands. Ryan will stay home with Jack (or sometimes I take him with me). But, I don't ever just sit at home.

So, today, I asked Ryan to take Jack out for a walk so I could just have a moment to myself. I have sat and watched a DVR'd show that has been waiting since early April to be watched. It's been blissful. I know that Ryan will be home soon, so I'm going to cut this short and enjoy my last bit of quiet!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


As I have mentioned, my husband needs a job!  The weight of his unemployment has hit me a lot this week.  I think that my stress over Jack’s development is also a factor in the stress I have been feeling.  It’s clearly not Ryan’s fault that the economy sucks and he can’t find a job.  It’s not his fault that his company closed his store.  But, I can’t help feeling a little annoyed.  I wish he would have looked harder for a job while he was employed.  I wish that he would apply for more jobs now. 

I’m just frustrated.  I work for the State of Illinois.  Our budget is not the best and I honestly worry about the security of my job.  I feel fortunate to have a job with benefits, but I know that isn’t a given. 

I wish that someone would just give him a chance and at least interview him.  A person can only take so much rejection before they get down on themselves. 

I don’t really talk to Ryan about this because he honestly feels like a failure right now.  I don’t want to make him feel any worse than he already does.  I am just trying to keep it together and not freak out…it’s not going so well!

Friday, June 4, 2010

One year checkup

Yesterday, Ryan and I took Jack for his one year checkup with Dr. Hulsen.  I was dreading it for a number of reasons…not the least of which being that he was going to get four shots. 

All in all, he was a trooper.  We started with all of the official measurements.  He weighs 22 pounds, 5 ounces (50th percentile) and is 29.5 inches tall (50th percentile).  I can’t remember what his head size was, but he is in the 75 percentile for that.  Dr. Hulsen said that he is very proportionate, so that’s always good to hear (I won’t mention my little niece who is barely on the low end of the height and weight charts but has a head in the 90th percentile!). 

We discussed Jack’s strange habit of sleeping sitting up (have I done a post about this yet?  No…okay).  Well, for the past nearly four weeks, every night when I go to check on him before I go to bed, he is completely asleep, sitting up in his bed.  The first night that he did it, I thought it was hilarious!  I mean, kids fall asleep in random positions all the time.  I busted out the camera and took some photos.

Jack sitting up sleeping

But, after several weeks of finding him like this, I was concerned.  I knew that it wasn’t an emergency and that I could wait until his well baby check up.  Dr. Hulsen is pretty convinced that his sleeping upright is a direct result of the ear problems he has been having.  She decided that based on the number of ear infections he has had in the past few years that it was time to refer him to an ENT.  I really wanted to avoid tubes in him, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be a possibility.

I also had her look at Jack’s fingernails.  He has ridges in all his fingernails (I think that they look wrinkled).  She said that this is a completely benign condition and that sometimes kids grow out of it.  Others have it for their entire lives.  Thankfully, he is a boy, so nails won’t be an issue for him!  It’s just funny because I actually have really good nails!

I also talked to her about some of the developmental concerns I have about Jack.  I discuss those in detail here.  I won’t go on and on about that anymore in this post. 

After a nice talk with the doctor, it was time for Jack to get the shots.  At this point, he was pretty much ready to go.  It was time to eat and for a nap!  He was crying before the nurse even came in with her giant tray of syringes.  I laid him down on the table and she gave him two shots in each leg.  He cried and I tried not to cry!  He got two snoopy band-aids and two tweety bird band-aids.  Pretty cool!  We even gave him a sticker on the way out because he was such a brave boy!  Who doesn’t love a Spiderman sticker?  :) 

All in all, we have a healthy baby boy!  This first year has flown by and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I just need to ramble for a minute. This will probably not make much sense and will definitely not be presented in a cohesive fashion, so I understand if no one can read it!

I am getting ready to take Jack to his one year doctors appointment this afternoon. I have a huge pit in my stomach, because, I am very nervous. All everyone wants when they are pregnant is a healthy child. Minus some ear infections and colds, Jack has been pretty healthy. However, I can’t shake the feeling that there is something not quite right.

He seems to be delayed in some areas. While he babbles a lot, he doesn’t use many words. And, the ones that he does use, he doesn’t seem to use in a meaningful way. He does say what I think is ball when he is playing with the little basketballs we have in the bathtub. He also knows that I am mom. He doesn’t point at things that he wants or at items on a page in a book. He seems to be on target in the movement category. He was delayed in that area as well (he didn’t decide to crawl until he was over 10 months old). But, now he crawls like a mad man, he pulls up on the furniture, cruises around, and has even taken a few steps on his own. He’s not walking yet, but that’s normal. Only half of children actually walk by their first birthday. I’m not stressed about that.

He doesn’t really like to play with toys that much. He would carry around a tube of orajel or a bottle of lotion all day…but the tons of toys all over our living room…not so much. He does like books, but he doesn’t want you to read them to him. He would rather sit with the book and flip through the pages, looking at the pictures.

You hear so much about autism…and how boys are three or four times more likely to have it. I will fully admit, I am a hypochondriac. I always think that something is wrong with me or someone I love. However, mothers intuition is usually pretty good.

I am worried about what the doctor will say. I’m worried that she will completely dismiss my concerns (which I don’t think she will. I love our doctor and she really does listen to what we have to say and takes the time to answer our questions). Or, I am worried that she will be concerned about what I have to say.

I have discussed some of my concerns with Ryan. He doesn’t think that there is anything going on. I haven’t really mentioned this to anyone else, mainly because I feel quite crazy. I just want my baby to be happy and healthy throughout his life. I want to do everything I can to provide him with a great life.

So, I am getting ready to leave work to head to the pediatricians office. We will see what Dr. Hulsen has to say. I’m freaking out!


Well, we went to the doctor yesterday. I will have a post later today about all his stats, etc. However, I discussed my concerns with Dr. Hulsen. She was great and listened to everything that I had to say. She said that his lack of pointing could be cause for concern, but that just looking at Jack, she didn't think that we needed to be overly concerned. He follows conversations, he makes eye contact, he smiles, he talks (kids at his age are supposed to have one word, he has four that he uses regularly (mama, dada, up, and ball)) and babbles. She said that if it is something that I am truly concerned about that she would definitely send us for a developmental assessment. But, based on the things that we were telling her, she did not think that we needed to be overly concerned. So, I decided that I would wait and see what he is doing around the time of his 15 month checkup in August. If I am still feeling uneasy or some concern, then I am going to have her send us for the assessment...just so that I can have some peace of mind. Until then, I am going to attempt to not obsessively Google things!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It’s My Party


Okay, okay.  I realize that it has taken me forever to write about Jack’s birthday party!  I’ve been busy!  Sorry!

Jack was fortunate to have two celebrations for his birthday.  I’m a huge fan of birthdays!  I think that it is the one day that should be all about you!  I want to make Jack feel special every day, but I want him to feel extra special on his birthday. 

His actual birthday was on a Wednesday this year, so we decided to have dinner with just our parents and Ryan's sister Lindsay (my sister had to work).  Ryan’s parents offered to let us have dinner at their house since our house isn’t really conducive to a party of any kind (our living room and kitchen are tiny!). 

Since I had the day off, we decided to take Jack to have his one year pictures taken.  We went to Portrait Innovations in Fairview Heights (which is where we had his awesome Christmas photos taken).  I tried to schedule them at a time when he would be happy.  Yeah, that didn’t work so well. 

We got some gems like this one.  Yup, he was super happy!

Jack Birthday 7

But then there are cute ones like this one:

Jack Birthday 8

This is the only other picture we got that day where he was smiling.

Jack Birthday 9

We tried to do a wardrobe change and see if he would calm down.  We wanted some baseball photos, so we put on his little Albert Pujols jersey and went to see what we would get.  Yeah, what we got was little man throwing the ball at the photographer and pouting.

 Jack Birthday 10

I like this next picture because this is how he sits all the time.  I think that he is practicing to be a catcher.  Watch out Yadier…here comes Jack!!

Jack Birthday 11

After the disastrous photo attempt (we have a certificate for a family photo session that I hope to use later in the summer.  Hopefully by then Jack will be walking…or more likely running around and will be more fun to photograph), we went home and let Jack nap for a while before we went to Ryan’s parents for dinner.

We had a nice dinner and then let Jack open some presents. 

Jack Birthday 1 

Jack Birthday 2

He was very excited by the card in the picture above! 

Jack is obsessed with our laptops, so we got him a little laptop, in the hopes that he would stop trying to play with ours (it has not worked).  He does like to bang on the keys on this one though.

Jack Birthday 3

Then it was time for cake!  I figured that Jack would not have any problems digging into the cake, but I wanted him to make quite a mess! 

He was a little tentative at first

Jack birthday 4 

Eventually he dug in

Jack Birthday 5


Jack Birthday 6 

When I started to plan for Jack’s first birthday, the details were really important to me.  I plan events for a living, so I decided before I even had kids that I would put as much thought and effort into their parties as I do for an event at work.  That being said, I realize that Jack is only one and will not remember this party.  I didn’t go all out like I will when he gets older (I mean, I have connections….bounce houses, face painters, here we come!). 

I decided on a theme a long time ago…Jack would have a baseball themed birthday party.  He honestly does love baseball.  He has a baseball (a foul ball I caught at Busch Stadium on Ryan and my first date) and he chases it around the house all the time.  He has just figured out how to throw the ball.  So, the theme seemed like a no-brainer to me.  Plus, if he really is a baseball fanatic, we can have another baseball party when he gets older. 

The first thing I did was design the invitations.  I combined a couple of the ones that I found online and just made them myself.  It was cheaper and I liked them better. 

This was the front of the invitation (I ended up printing this on 5x7 photo paper so that it was glossy and the photos looked nicer)

jacks first birthday invite front

This was the back.  I printed it on card stock and just used double sided tape to secure it to the back of the photo paper.  I thought that they turned out super cute!

jacks first birthday invite edited

Once the invitations were done, I started working on the decorations and food.  The food was easy…we went with ballpark food and had hamburgers and hot dogs, nachos, and then picnic kind of side items.  It was quite delicious. 

We ordered the St. Louis Cardinals cake (sorry Cubs fans!) from Wood Bakery in O’fallon.  The cake turned out super cute and was pretty delicious. 

Jack Party 1

I really wanted Jack’s cake to be a baseball, but I seriously couldn’t  get anyone to make a baseball cake.  It’s not that hard people!  It’s a cake, frosted with white icing, and slap some red stitching on it.  I could have gotten the cake from St. Louis but I just refused to drive over there for a $6 cake.  So, we went with this cake from the Dierberg’s bakery, which was cute as well.

Jack Party 2

This was the cake table.  I put all of Jack’s monthly photos into picture frames and displayed them on the table.  They are now hanging on the wall in Jack’s room, so they served two purposes.

Jack party 3

I really wanted some sort of baseball cake, so I decided to make my own baseball cupcakes.  I had a hard time finding a fine tip for the icing, but they turned out okay.

Jack Party 4

This is Jack and his Paw Paw (my stepdad) as the party was getting started.  They were both in their Cardinals jerseys!  It was super cute.  Jack loves his Paw Paw!

Jack and Paw Paw

We opened presents, but Jack was so tired (he refused to nap that day), he barely kept his eyes open during the present opening.  I hoped that some sugar would wake him up, so it was time for cake again!  He knew exactly what to do

He barely held his head up!  He kept leaning back in the chair!

Jack Party 5

What?  Do I have something on my face?

Jack Party 9  Jack Party 6

This is good stuff mom!

Jack Party 7 Jack Party 8

Not long after the cake, Jack needed to go take a nap.  So, we put him down to sleep.  Then I got to spend some time with this little beauty.   This is my niece, Miss Ava Lynn.  I kind of love her a lot too!

Ava at Jacks Party

After a two hour nap, Jack got up and decided that it was time to party…on the neighbors trampoline.  He thought that it was hilarious!  He let Ava jump to bounce him.  Then he started walking all around the edge of the netting.  It was hilarious.  I have a feeling he will love a trampoline when he gets older!

Jack Trampoline 1  Jack Trampoline 2 Jack Trampoline 3

If you haven’t been able to tell, his shirt says “I can barely talk and I already hate the Cubs!”.  Yes, I am spreading hate at a young age!  My child will not be a Cubs fan!  Jack Trampoline 4

After some time on the trampoline, it was time to go home.  We had a great party and loved seeing all of our family and friends!  This was what Jack looked like about five minutes into our ride home.  He was completely beat! 

jack sleeping after party

All in all, we had a great time celebrating Jack’s party.  Can’t wait to do it again next year.  Don’t worry…I have a theme already!!  Pirate party here we come!