Monday, June 30, 2008

Quick Update

We ordered LO's bean bag over the weekend! I'm SO stinkin' excited! Seriously. I cannot put into words how difficult it will be once that bad boy gets here to put it in the back bedroom and close the door until LO's party. I'm horriblly impatient! Hubs thinks it's hilarious how totally impatient I am. But it's such a cute bean bag and LO's going to absolutely LOVE IT!! We ordered the honkin' 37 inch so she'll be able to use it for a LONG time and we went with the adorable pink gingham fabric. Is it sad that I'm so totally more excited about this than hubs or even LO will be when she sees it for the first time? Sigh. I ought to plan on doing myself the favor of not opening the box when it gets here so I won't be tempted to rip it out and show LO.

Ah, patience... you're like a wicked hangnail on my big toe!

Friday, June 27, 2008

They Have Arrived!

Yippee!!! My bean bag sample swatches arrived today! I still really like the pink gingham since it matches LO's room, but the sample seems to be a very lightweight fabric and I'm a bit concerned about how well it will hold up. I mean, these things come with an unbelievable 10-year warranty! And the cover will be completely removable and washable, so I guess I shouldn't worry too much. I really only liked one of the other samples I ordered--a tan microfiber velvet. It's so soft and neutral so it goes with everything! Maybe I'll get one of each so LO will have hers and Mommy can have one, too! :)

So now I guess it's a matter of deciding what size to get. We originally thought about the 27" size, but then we thought it'd be better to get a larger one that she can "grow into" a bit since we plan to have it for awhile. They have a 32" and a 37" that we're debating over now. I'm seriously thinking we might need to get two of them... they look really nice!

Guess I'd better go consult hubs!


Hi, all! I just wanted to publish a quick post to apologize for being such a slacker! It's like I started blogging a few weeks ago with gusto, but then suddenly, my posts have diminished to barely one per day. That's just not right! There's waaaaayy too much going on to settle for one measly post a day! But in all seriousness, I've been working my bum off on a video presentation for my church following our VBS program earlier this week. It's got to be ready for the service Sunday morning and it was my first "real" project in iMovie '08 so I was quite stressed about it! But luckily I've got it wrapped up and ready to go!

Of course, in the meantime, I need to be practicing for the "Celebrate America" portion of the service on Sunday. Can't remember if I mentioned on here or not, but I play the piano and accompany the praise & worship music and choral specials at my awesome church. Oh, and we've got a Pancake Breakfast fund-raiser tomorrow morning from 7 to 11 AM that I'll be volunteering at. And let's not forget tonight's "Girls' Night In" I'm hosting here at the house for some of my most favorite girlie friends. Junk food, gossip (of sorts) and plenty of Dutch Blitz, a "Vonderful Goot Game!" It doesn't get any better than that!

Next week I'll be focusing on the wall gallery I'm creating in the living room that I must have finished before LO's 1st birthday next month. I'll be posting more about that one for you guys very soon! Until then, please forgive me for my lack of exciting and interesting posts!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have been waiting ever-so-patiently (okay, not really) for my bean bag sample swatches to arrive, to no avail! I'm totally bummed that they still haven't arrived. I mean, sure, we do have a whole month before LO's first birthday party, so there's time. And I'm pretty sure if/when I order it, it will be here within a week. So there's time. But I'm SO impatient! And excited! If you could see LO going crazy running around and jumping on the couch, slamming herself into the cushions n' stuff, you'd understand why I just can't wait to get her a bean bag! I just know she's gonna love it!


Patience is SO not my thing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bottom of the Barrel

I haven't yet found the perfect dress to wear to my sister-in-law's wedding this Fall. There really are a TON of gorgeous dresses out there! And since this is such a special occasion, I don't mind dropping a bit of dough on a pretty new dress. So I've been searching online, in department stores--pretty much anywhere and everywhere one would go to find the perfect dress.

I guess the good news is that I'm making progress! I may not have found "the" perfect dress yet, but I have ruled out several dresses that I do not feel would be a good fit for this celebration. Below I've shared several of the dresses that have been disqualified from my search. Now, let me apologize in advance if any of my reader(s) actually like any of these dresses or perhaps own any of them. To each their own, right?

Without further ado, here are my bottom of the barrel dresses... in no particular order:

These dresses just scare me. Plain and simple.

Nothing says, "Wedding Guest" like this beautiful "I-tripped-on-a-rock-and-fell-into-a-shredder-and-although-my-legs-
came-out-unscathed-my-dress-wasn't-as-lucky" number.

Okay, I just have something against pleats. At least a lot of pleats. Like an entire dress made of them. Pleats=No-No.

I actually think this dress is cute, but I couldn't help but wonder what the bride would think if I posed like this throughout the reception. Attention-grabbing, no?

Puffy sleeves. Makes me think 1982. Not a fan.

Hmmm... now what was it about this dress that I didn't approve of? I just can't remember. Wait--was it a wedding I was planning to attend or an adult film awards show? Hmmm...

Here we go again with the pleats! I mean, seriously! Come on, people!

I wonder if you have to tote around an extension cord and keep an eye out for the nearest outlet everywhere you go in order to keep the bright yellowish-green light hidden under this dress turned on. What a hassle!

Yes, I realize weddings are all about celebrating love, but I'm not sure it's necessary to broadcast it across my derrière for all of the wedding party and guests to see.

I think it's the whole "bubble hem" action going on at the bottom of this short number that caused this dress to make my list. I don't think I agree with poofy hems. Or poofy sleeves. Or poofy anything.

Okay. Ruffles. Again, something I have a bit of harsh feelings towards. One or two ruffles... maybe okay. But a zillion of them? I think no.

I'm not a fan of yellow. Mostly because it just doesn't look good on me. Other people could totally pull it off, but not me.

Wow. This one has a dual purpose! Sure, it's a dress--but did you know you can also help the clean-up crew after the reception by twirling around the room?

I was really just wondering where the rest of this dress is. I can only imagine wearing this number and needing to pick up one of LO's toys when she drops it on the floor. I think the wedding guests would be getting much more of a show than they were bargaining for...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bean Bags

I've been trying to think of gifts hubs and I can get LO for her first birthday. I've been considering a big ol' bean bag that she can flop around on but just can't seem to find one I like. I've never purchased a bean bag before so it has become a bit of a challenge to know what to look for. I mean, I just want something that is comfy to sit on, a cover that is easy to clean, bean filling stuff that is environmentally friendly (and also comfy), that's big enough for her to keep around for a few years, that is sturdy enough to be around for a few years, etc. I mean, really, that's a pretty short list of requirements, right? Right??

So after LOTS of googling, I came across AHH! Products Bean Bag Chairs. What a fun name, huh? Well, they have a HUGE selection of bean bags that have machine-washable covers available in a variety of patterns! I found this one that I love:

It's SO adorable and it totally matches LO's room (yes, this is an old pic of her when she was only 3 weeks old!):

So... I've requested samples of fabric swatches from this AHH! Products company, and will be interested to see how this all goes down. So far it's been good -- they responded quickly to my request for samples, which should already be in the mail. And apparently the bean bags are all made in the U.S.A. and are sewn by hand, so I'm hopeful that the quality will be great! I'll keep you all posted...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things that Make Me Happy

  1. Seeing my daughter's smile when I get her out of her crib each morning.
  2. My husband coming home from work early (or on time, or even late--as long as he comes home!).
  3. Allowing the lady with only 3 items to go ahead of me in the check-out lane.
  4. When they get my order right at the restaurant--any restaurant.
  5. Getting my hair cut and straightened.
  6. Finding a cute pair of shoes that actually fit my aircraft-carrier feet.
  7. The smell of my homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  8. The smell of my homemade buttercream frosting (assuming I'm not pregnant, 'cause I can't stand that smell when I'm pregnant).
  9. Doing the "little things" to let my husband know how much I love him (i.e. hide a sweet note in his laptop bag before he leaves for work).
  10. Helping someone who needs it.
  11. Hearing my daughter's laugh.
  12. Playing the piano.
  13. Girls' Night In at my place! Oh, the fun of junk food, gossip and Dutch Blitz!
  14. Planning LO's first birthday party!
  15. Shopping with someone else's money (okay, that never happens, but it would make me happy!
What about you? What makes YOU happy?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dress Debacle

I've recently started my search for the perfect dress to wear to my sister-in-law's wedding. It's actually been a somewhat enjoyable experience (minus the J.Crew disappointment) because I'm finally wearing the size I was in before I got pregnant with LO. That's SO encouraging!

When I was shopping for a new swimsuit last night, I became infatuated with the Antonio Melani line at Dillard's. So I immediately jumped online this morning to scope out his collection of dresses. Oh, dear! So many darling choices! I've posted three of my favorites below for thoughts/comments. Do share!

Up first: "Sacha." I think this one's my favorite, but I'm not sure I can pull it off. Those tiny little belts sometimes look lost around my still somewhat large middle.

Option 2: "Zoya." I like the style of this dress, but I'm pretty sure there's unwritten rule against wearing white to a wedding. Unfortunately it doesn't come in any other colors. Sigh.

And finally, "Penne." I like this one, but I'm not sure if it's too "wild" for a classy September wedding.

So what do you all think? I'm not set on an Antonio Melani dress--I just found several of them that I adore! Any other good finds I should know about?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

J.Crew Schmay-Crew

I couldn't help but share this with you guys. It's based on an email I sent to my sister-in-law yesterday to share the results of a recent J.Crew online order.

Now, this was my very first time ordering from J.Crew and I was quite excited about trying on my dresses! I've been searching for a dress to wear to my sister-in-law's wedding in September. I had ordered 4 dresses (as well as a two-piece tankini) and was SO happy the order had finally arrived!

Until I tried it all on. Boo.

Up first? The Whitney Silk Faille dress. I liked this one the best. My only problem? It squashed the crap out of my boobs. Sure, it was slimming and a perfect length. I liked the pink color okay. But where'd my boobs go?

Next up, the Strappy Florence dress. It may as well have said in the dress' description "adds extra badonkey-donk-donk, doubles your existing tummy and overall adds an illustrious 60 lbs. you didn't have before!" Quite unnecessary!

The Silk Chiffon Abigail dress. I got this one in a "fresh aloe" color that really should've been listed as "pukey pea green" (it's not available in that color anymore so I'm showing the kelly green). I couldn't get past the color. Sigh.

The Strapless Pique dress was last. This wasn't really an option for the wedding--more of just something to wear during the summer or to the beach. But again with the boob squashing! Overall it was just NOT flattering on me at all. So sad.

The two-piece tankini I ordered isn't even worth mentioning. Let's just say it was not a pretty sight.

The only bright spot happened before I got home to my J.Crew order. I was out shopping and bought some fabulous curvy black dress pants from Gap. They're breathtaking!

Ugh. STILL am in SERIOUS need of a new swimsuit. It's so sad that I'm still wearing one from before LO came along! Sigh...

Swim 1-2-3!

I came across this video today on YouTube while trying to find some tips on teaching LO to swim. She's 11 months old and has been to the pool several times already. She really enjoys it! I absolutely love to swim and I want her to enjoy it, too! But I am SO scared at the thought of a drowning accident. So I'm hoping to find a way to help her learn early to enjoy the water and not to fear it.

I'll probably give this technique a try at the pool on Friday and see how she does. Should be interesting!

On a related note, I am in serious need of a new swimsuit. Probably of the Tankini variety. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Then Comes LO in the Baby Carriage (PART II)!

So when we last left off, I was 8 months pregnant (read: HUGE!) and hubs and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl! My due date was Tuesday, July 24, 2007. I saw the doctor for a scheduled appointment that day and we talked about an induction. I was on board with that (read: I wanted that baby out of me--stat!) so he made a call over to the hospital to make sure there would be a free bed in Labor & Delivery that evening. It was a GO! We were to arrive at the hospital at 6PM to get started with our induction.

We decided to have dinner at Cracker Barrel (another one of my favorites) as our "last hurrah" as a married couple without children. Can I just say that we had the WORST service ever!? The waitress was maybe 12, couldn't tell when drinks needed to be refilled, had to be asked to bring out biscuits, and took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to bring our bill. As you can imagine, we were QUITE disappointed with what would most likely be our last hot meal for 18+ years. Oh, and on the way to the hospital we hit some serious and unexpected traffic on the freeway and were so worried we wouldn't get there on time!

We made it through the traffic and to the hospital on time. We got "checked in" (ya, like it's a hotel or something) and I got to put on my pretty gown. At least it wasn't made of paper (I'm always looking at the bright side!). The nurse got an IV started and hooked me up with the first phase of the induction-: Cervidil. It was a long and relatively uncomfortable night. Labor definitely wasn't starting, so at least that wasn't a problem. It was the bed, being stuck sleeping on my back all night, and just kinda ugh. That was actually the first night hubs and I spent in separate beds since our wedding day (over a year and a half). At least we were in the same room--but he was stuck on some really uncomfy-looking couch. Guess that kinda made us even?

Early the next morning, the doctor broke my water (painful!) and I started phase two of my induction: Pitocin. At 7AM the nursing staff switched and (as planned) I got the BEST LDRP nurse EVER--my sister! I know what you might be thinking--hmmmm, would I want my sister scoping me out to see how far I'm dilated? I had already debated all of that way in advance and settled on the idea of my sister being my labor nurse. Best. Decision. Ever! She basically was able to come in to work with me as her only patient all day (okay, she had other things to do and patients to attend to, but she basically was with me in my room the whole time!). Now I highly recommend having someone you know as your nurse if at all possible. My sister was able to give me all kinds of info about what was happening, what was going to happen next, what I could do to make the process easier, which doctor/anesthesiologist/etc. were the best (and worst!), etc. SUCH a huge help!

My contractions had finally started and labor was progressing. Around 11AM I was ready for that epidural I was promised (NOTE: That was probably the one thing I was most afraid of with the whole labor process. I had some crazy fear that they'd puncture my spinal cord and I'd be paralyzed. I'm weird.). Luckily the epidural went fine and I was in heaven!

I kept watching the monitor to see if/when I was having a contraction (now that's what I call labor!). But the afternoon went by so slowly it was ridiculous! They kept checking me and I just wasn't dilating very quickly.

Around 9PM or so, my sister and the doctor were getting concerned about LO since it had been about 15 hours since my water broke, and my labor wasn't progressing quickly enough. My sister informed me that if I wasn't at 10 the next time the doctor came back that we'd have to move forward with a C-section. That was SO not what I wanted! Ultimately I was willing to do whatever my sister and the doctor thought would be best for LO. My sister talked me through the entire process of the C-section from start to finish (since this wasn't something I had prepared for at ALL), and that really helped ease my fears. Really the worst part was that there'd be a MUCH longer recovery period. But I didn't care. I was ready and willing to do whatever I needed to.

The doctor came back for one last check. Turns out I was at 10 and LO was in the right position to start pushing! It was time!!

Now, I just have to insert a comment here. All those deliveries you see on TV or in the movies must absolutely be entirely fake. All of them. The woman always looks excited, she pushes twice, screams once and "poof!" there's the baby! It takes all of 12 seconds. That could not BE more wrong.

So my job is to do the pushing. My sister (i.e. labor/delivery nurse) is responsible for counting to 10 during each push. Hubs is responsible to stand there and watch it all go down. Now, I did learn a sneaky little trick of the LDRP nurse during this experience. This is how my sister would count to 10:
"1... 2... 3... You're doing great! Keep in up! Oooh, the stock market's looking good today! Is it raining outside? 3... 4... 5... I wonder if I remembered to put the windows up in the car? 5... 6... 7... Come on! Keep it up! LO's on her way! You're doing great! 7... 8... 9... and... 10!
In other words, it took her two and a half minutes to count to 10. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be pushing the whole time. Now, in case you didn't already realize this, you can't breathe while pushing a baby out of your body. My entire head was bright red the whole time I was pushing--probably even close to purple.

I felt like I wasn't making any progress. I felt like I'd been pushing forever. I was tired. I was uncomfortable. The doctor was trying to encourage me by saying things like, "I can see her head. She's almost here! Just one more push!" Quite literally, my response to him was one single word: "Whatever." Said with the least amount of emotion humanly possible. I just didn't believe him. He'd said "just one more push!" like 12 times. I was telling him and my sister that they should just get a vacuum or some tongs or some other apparatus to just get her out already. I was done.

Somehow or another, it really did come down to one last push. As irritated as I was at my sister for taking a light year to count to 10, I pushed again and FINALLY! our baby girl had arrived at 11:48 PM! I saw a quick glimpse of her before they rushed her to the warming area and my baby nurse (who happened to be MY MOM!) started cleaning her up and running through that whole process.

I was looking over at my daughter, quite literally trying to count her fingers and toes to make sure they were all there, when the doctor started jabbing his fist into my abdomen. "STOP! It hurts!" I cried. He continued trying to knead a hole into me, completely ignoring my cries of pain. This was so completely much worse than pushing. No one told me to expect this. I was supposed to be smiling and crying as they bring my newborn daughter to me, all wrapped in a blankie and topped with a standard-issue cap, so I could look at her in awe and amazement.

But--NO! The doctor said he was trying to get the placenta to separate (sorry if that's TMI and/or grosses you out--I'm trying to make this story as "PG" as possible!) and he'd need to continue. I heard him offer pain meds and I jumped at the chance to alleviate the torture. My sister (remember, she's the LDRP nurse) put some kind of somethin' in my IV and as I stared across the room at my daughter, everything went black.

Approximately two hours pass.

My daughter was weighed (8 lbs. 13 oz.!), measured (22 in.) and got to meet her Daddy for the first time. She got her first bath (thanks, MOM!) and Daddy even got his first lesson on diapering his baby. My other sisters and nieces and nephews got to see and hold my daughter.

And I missed all of it.

Unfortunately I had been given some serious drugs to knock me out while the doc finished working on me. Turns out I had a condition called "uterine atony" that caused hemorrhaging to the point where the doctor feared I would need an emergency hysterectomy. He was able to get the bleeding under control and I was going to be fine, but unfortunately I missed the first two hours of my daughter's life.

When I finally "came to" around 2AM, my husband introduced me to our daughter, LO. I was still quite groggy, but I knew instantly that she was and would always be the love of my life (well, one of them, I guess, since I love my husband, too!). I was absolutely smitten with her, and continue to be so each and every day. I look forward with anxious anticipation of all we have to look forward to as she grows into the beautiful young lady she was created to be.

Here I am with my precious little girl...

I still just feel so lucky that she is ours, and we are her parents. For always!

Meet our Little One...

Then Comes LO in the Baby Carriage (PART I)!

Now that you all know about how hubs and I met, got engaged and married, it's time to share the latest addition to our story. We call her "Little One," or LO for short.

Hubs and I always knew that we wanted a family. And we wanted it to happen sooner than later because we got married a little later than some (I was 27 and he was 36). So it was November 2005 were married. In the Spring of 2006, we were ready to embrace the idea of starting our family.

Now, I debated a bit whether or not to share this next piece of information since it's quite personal and was a very difficult experience for us. After thinking it over, I decided that sharing it would help to paint a clear picture of our experience and how grateful we are for our LO. So... I got pregnant in May 2006, but suffered a miscarriage in July at 8 weeks. We had to wait 3 months before trying again, but I did get pregnant a second time, only to suffer another loss at only 5 weeks. As you can imagine, hubs and I were quite devastated and had to rely on our faith to see us through that dark and difficult time.

So let's fast-forward a bit to the good stuff! Monday, November 20, 2006. I took yet another pregnancy test and received a positive result. As you might imagine, my response was not as enthusiastic as one may expect. Hubs and I discussed it and decided we would be "cautiously optimistic" this time around. We definitely embraced the idea but didn't want to be disappointed if we suffered another loss.

We had several ultrasounds throughout the first few months to make sure everything was looking good. We rented a fetal doppler so we could listen to the baby's heartbeat anytime--day or night. We passed the 5 week mark. We passed the 8 week mark. Our hope was growing. We passed the 10 week mark and things were still going good! Of course we planned to wait until 12 weeks (at least) before telling anyone.

On Christmas Eve, I couldn't handle keeping the news to ourselves any longer. We were at hubs' parents' condo with all of his family there. I pulled him aside and told him I wanted to share the news. He was apprehensive (wanting to protect me, I think, from the possibility of making the announcement and having to share the bad news if something were to happen), but agreed. After all the gifts were opened, he stood up and told the family we had one more gift for everyone, but it wouldn't arrive for another 7 months. His parents knew immediately what he meant and were SO excited! Once everyone else realized what was going on, they all shared our joy. On Christmas Day, we were gathered together with my family and made the same announcement. It made it all so real now that our families knew we were expecting! I couldn't BE more excited!

Finally the day came for the ultrasound that would (hopefully) tell us if we were to expect a boy or girl. To be honest, I had my heart set on a boy--only because I wanted two kids, a boy and a girl, and I wanted the girl to have an older brother. Man, did I put a lot of thought into that! So we're at the doctor's office and the ultrasound tech is telling us what's what on the screen, and she points to the "two white lines" that indicate a baby girl. I really can't explain the feeling that came over me at that moment! It was as if all of a sudden I realized that I had a daughter! I wasn't disappointed that we weren't having a boy--I was just SO happy to realize that I was a mommy!

I had an amazing pregnancy. I had heard such horror stories from sisters, friends and random women who had awful experiences with their pregnancies: bed rest, heartburn, swelling, back pain... the list went on and on! The only issue I had was the heartburn, and even that wasn't all that bad.

The time was quickly approaching for the arrival of our baby girl. When I think back on it now, I can remember how it seemed each day was like a month, and that the pregnancy went by so incredibly slowly! And I still feel like it did. Really that isn't a bad thing--I enjoyed being pregnant, but at the same time I was SO anxious to finally meet our girl and hold her for the first time!

Well, the arrival of our little one is a story in itself, so I'll have to make this a two-parter and share her birth story next. But I will share a pic of my lovely big 'ol self at a whopping 8 months pregnant for your viewing enjoyment (okay, not really "enjoyment" so much as "laughter- and/or pity-invoking")...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Only in the South

Last Sunday after church, hubs, LO and I were heading to one of our favorite lunch destinations: Panera Bread. Yum!

We're taking our normal route on the freeway (I call it a freeway since I'm from California; most people around here call it the interstate or highway), when we notice a serious traffic jam straight ahead.

"What in the world?" I wonder. It's quite unusual to have traffic of any kind on a Sunday afternoon.

We decided to get off a couple of exits early in order to miss the parking lot and arrive at our destination quicker. We arrive at Panera and both enjoy our most favorite item: Broccoli Cheddar Bread Bowls. De-lish!

So that was the end of the story. Until...

Last Wednesday I was driving down the freeway without a care in the world. Guess LO were probably out running errands or what-not. Life is just peachy until I happen to look down and discover the reason for the huge back-up on Sunday. This you've got to see to believe:

Now, I realize the pic is awful 'cause I took it on my cheap-o cellphone. But can you see what I saw?

That's right!

They painted little pictures of the freeway signs on the road itself!

Can you believe that? Have you ever seen that before??

I was just shocked. I mean, I understand you have those "visual" people out there that need to physically see something to process it effectively. But isn't that what those big green signs are for that are prominently displayed over the freeway on those metal poles (you can even see them in the distance in the pic!)?

I couldn't help but think, "Yep! That there's my tax dollars hard at work!"

Only in the South.

Pet Peeves

I've decided to share a short list of my pet peeves, in no particular order. I'm sure if I thought about it long enough, I could double or triple this list. But I'll keep it short for those of you who are supposed to be working right now!

  1. Bad customer service. Anywhere.
  2. The guy in front of you at the stoplight that has a 12 second delay before he realizes the light is green.
  3. Same guy from #2 that take 2.7 minutes to get up to the speed limit--even if it's only 35.
  4. When you're on the phone about something (like a purchase or what-not) and they ask for your name and/or phone number. You start to give it to them and they ask you to hold on so they can get a pen, paper, etc...
  5. People who drive at or under the speed limit while in the left lane of the highway (hmmm... a lot of these seem to focus on other drivers, huh?).
  6. PCs. That's right--I'm a Mac girl now!
  7. People who say they're gonna do something but don't.
  8. Bathroom doors that you have to "pull" to exit. This makes no sense to me.
  9. People who say what they think you want to hear--especially when they don't mean a word of it.
  10. When someone with more than 20 items uses the express check-out lane marked "20 items or less."
  11. Having to ask the server for a refill on your beverage.
  12. Stretch marks. 'nuff said.
  13. When my Internet connection is down. Or slow.
  14. Long lines. Anywhere.
  15. Ladies who leave the bathroom without washing their hands. (gag)
  16. Blog readers who don't leave comments (Seriously! I want to hear from YOU!).

What about you? What are your biggest pet peeves? Do any of mine make your Top 10 List?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful day celebrating the special father(s) in your life! I tried to make today very special for hubs since it was his very first Father's Day! I made his favorite--lasagna with meatballs--for lunch today. Then he opened his gift from LO and I. It was a wonderful little Deluxe Baby Keepsake that we turned into a Father's Day gift.

It had her hand and foot print along with a picture of her wearing a t-shirt that says, "My Daddy Rocks!" At the bottom, there was a little plaque that said, "Happy 1st Father's Day! Love, LO." I think he really liked it! And I'm so happy to have a keepsake of LO's little hands and feet. It's so amazing how quickly she's grown, and is so hard to believe she'll be ONE next month! Crazy!

Product Envy

The product I totally love and want to share with you all today is Lancome's Dual Finish powder.

I just love this powder! It can double as a foundation, too! It's all in the application: use a damp sponge for full-coverage matte finish, or a dry puff over existing foundation for a flawless look.

I use it as a powder over my Teint Idole Ultra foundation, and it does result in a flawless finish--well, at least as flawless as it can be when working with an imperfect canvas!

Give it a try and I just know you'll love it!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Still Infuriating Friday

Okay, on to the rest of my saga. I finished the ever-so-joyful trip to the doctor's office, and was headed to Wal-Mart. Surprisingly enough, the Wal-Mart trip was uneventful, with the exception of a few crazies who were unaware of shopping cart pushing etiquette. I was shocked that they actually had everything on my list in stock, 'cause that just NEVER happens.

We left there and ran through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru.

$7.13 for a salad and a tea?? Since when!?

We dropped the prescription off at the pharmacy drive-thru with the expectation that hubs will pick it up on his way home (he's so sweet!).

Then we get home. LO is hungry. I bring her and the groceries in (in separate trips, mind you. I'm no superwoman!), get her out of her seat and let her run (i.e. crawl) wild on the kitchen floor while I'm putting everything away.

As I'm kneeling on the floor in front of the freezer, trying desperately to cram a few things in there, I see her next to me somehow completely lose all sense of gravity (yes, while on her hands and knees) and somehow she does a face plant into our ceramic tile floor. Of course she's crying from the shock and pain, so I pick her up to console her like a good Mommy would.

She chills out a bit, so I kneel down near the freezer again, this time balancing her on my knees so she could "help" me put stuff away. I'm trying to put a few frozen dinners in the freezer, and the next thing I know, Daddy's rainbow sherbet comes flying at us at warp speed from a few shelves up. My spidey reflexes take over and I try to shield LO from the brunt of the impact, but it still ends up pummelling her tiny little baby ankle before ricocheting through the air, the sharp edge then implanting into my foot before completing it's mission of reaching the kitchen floor. By this time, LO is way freaking out 'cause durn it--that had to hurt! I was reeling in my own pain, stood up, and tried to close the freezer door. Unfortunately the rainbow sherbet had lodged itself between the floor and the bottom of the door. A few swift kicks of my already throbbing foot and it goes sailing towards the laundry room as I am finally able to close the door.

I am again consoling LO, mumbling to myself in pain, and scrutinizing the array of frozen foods laying all over the floor in front of the freezer. I decide it's time to feed LO and walk away, not caring one single bit if that durn half-gallon of Southern Home rainbow sherbet melts away into an extravaganza of multicolored soup-goo.

Oh, hubs, come home soon. I need to be consoled with a big ol' hug after the day I've had.

Infuriating Friday

I don't consider myself to be a rude, impatient, or otherwise hateful person. Those of you who know me personally, feel free to weigh in on my assessment. SO, I can't help but write this post. It is just a tiny little glimpse into the kind of stuff that happens to me Every. Single. Day.


My "to do" list today consisted of two things: get a prescription filled and go to Wal-Mart. That's it. Sounds simple enough, right?

Let me give you a little history on the prescription part. I had a doctor's appointment this past Monday. While there, the PA wanted to give me a prescription, but one of the doctors would have to sign it. Unfortunately, they were both on vacation until Wednesday. The PA asked if I would mind coming back to pick it up on Wednesday afternoon. Considering it was a good 15 minutes from my house each way, I wasn't too excited about the idea but I said it shouldn't be a problem.

Fast-forward to today: I decided it was just plain silly for me to drive an extra 30 miles (what with gas prices at $4/gallon) to pick up a prescription that really should have been provided to me on Monday. So I called the office.

"Hi! I've got a written prescription there that I'm supposed to pick up but was wondering if you could call it in to the pharmacy for me instead?" I then continued to give the same story I wrote above about my previous appointment, doctors on vacation, etc.

She put me on hold for a moment, came back and said, "No, you'll need to pick it up."


"I don't know. The nurse said you'll have to pick it up."

Becoming slightly frustrated, I asked to speak with said nurse.

"She's not available right now." Weird, considering the front desk lady was just speaking to her.

Can you please put me through to her voicemail?

I listen to her lovely three-minute message, then get the beep. By this time I'm already in the car, have the Little One locked and loaded, and we're headed completely out of our way to go to the office. I let a bit of my frustration show through on the message I left:
"Um, ya, this is mom2lo (obviously I provided my actual name, DOB, phone number, etc.). I'd like to know exactly why I'm forced to drive 30 minutes out of my way to come pick up a prescription that should have been provided to me when I was in the office on Monday. If your doctors were going to be on vacation, someone should have told me so when I scheduled this appointment weeks ago so I could have rescheduled and saved myself an extra trip. It makes absolutely no sense to me that you people cannot pick up the phone to call in a prescription when it was your fault that one could not be given to me on Monday. I am extremely frustrated and upset about having to go out of my way to pick up a piece of paper from your office. Please call me back to explain this to me."
Ya, probably a bit more harsh than necessary, but I was irritated.

I decided on the way that I'd go ahead and pay my balance (just received a bill for $20-something) while I'm there, then start the process of finding a new doctor.

I walk into the office, carrying LO in her carseat. The lady slides the window thingy open and I said I'm there to pick up a prescription. Let me summarize this visit in bullet points so you won't be reading all day/night:

  • The receptionist couldn't find my prescription that was supposed to be available as of Wednesday afternoon.
  • While she was looking for the prescription, the nurse called to return my voicemail. I told her I was in the waiting area and she could just come out to speak with me in person. I'm sure she loved that idea.
  • I told the receptionist I'd like to pay my balance. She said she couldn't look it up for me. Great. But she did offer to give me the phone number to their billing office. Thanks, but no.
  • The nurse came out and basically told me the PA told me at my appointment on Monday that I'd need to come back to pick up the prescription. I agreed and reminded her that I was there when the PA told me that, and I didn't need her to remind me of the conversation I had.
  • The receptionist magically found my balance. It was over $100. I said that couldn't be right b/c they just sent me a bill this week for $20 something. She then said, "$23.60?" I said it sounded right. I then handed her a check for $20. She pointed this out to me (as if I didn't already know) and I made a comment about keeping the extra $3.60 to cover my gas costs for making the extra trip. Seriously. I'm not a mean person. But if you push the right buttons, watch out!
  • Next, the doctor herself walked out to the waiting area. She was wwaaaaaaaayyyy too cheery. She said she was getting ready to write that script up for me right now! I told her it was supposed to be ready to be picked up 2 days ago. She smiled (ignoring my complaint) and even had the audacity to ask me how many milligrams I was taking! Whaaa? Aren't you supposed to be the doctor?
  • Next, the nurse comes back out. She asks me for the phone number for my pharmacy. I'm sorry, so now you're planning to call in my prescription after I already drove my butt up to this office?! I said I don't think so--I didn't make this trip up here for nothing. She said she got my voicemail and didn't realize that it was I who had called earlier about them calling in my script for me. Apparently when I explained everything to the receptionist, she didn't bother to share any of that info with the nurse. So yes, their policy is not to call in prescriptions. Duh! Thanks, receptionist lady, for making all of this joy happen.
  • The nurse then asked if I was given the written prescription. I said no, that the doctor went back to go write it. She then directed the receptionist to the folder thingy and said, "It should be right there." Sure enough, there it was, waiting for me this whole time, since Wednesday, just like it was supposed to be.

I guess that's enough for now. I may share my Wal-Mart joy in a post shortly...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Then Comes Marriage... (PART II)

So, do you think it's possible to plan a wedding without drama?

Of course not.

There was definitely no shortage of drama in our wedding planning. My birthday is 5-6-78. Why am I sharing this information? First of all, yes, that does in fact mean I turned 30 last month (boo!). But the purpose in mentioning it is that it's a cool birth date! Look at it again! 5, 6, 7, 8. How fun, right? Well, I was quite the excited little bride-to-be when I decided it would be SO fantastic and fun and memorable and logical to set our wedding date for February 4th. Why, you ask? 02-04-06! That's right! So fun! It would have been perfect because it gave us a good 4 months to plan our wedding. Probably doesn't sound like enough time to some of you brides out there, but for us, it would have been perfect. I already had a picture in my head of what I wanted for our big day. It was SOOOOOOOOO exciting!

Insert drama here. A family member had already planned their family's vacation for February, leaving on Saturday, February 4th. I tried my best to nicely ask them to postpone their departure by one day, offered to have our ceremony in the early afternoon so they could still leave that day, just a bit later than planned, and basically came up with every option I could think of that might allow us to "meet in the middle." Unfortunately, there was no budging to be done. It was the most painful and exasperating experience of my life and left me feeling as though not only my hopes and plans meant nothing to them, but that I myself--as well as my future husband--meant nothing to them. To be completely honest, I still feel there is a bit of resentment towards my husband and I to this very day. I wish it were different, but my relationship with that family member has never (and I believe will never) be the same again. It's SO unfortunate to have this kind of drama go down when planning the most important day of a person's entire life. To this day I still wonder if I was being unreasonable and not logical in wanting to be married on that date that was so special to me. Oh, well...

SO, as you may have guessed, we didn't get married on 02-04-06.

One Wednesday evening, hubs and I were sitting in the car in our church parking lot discussing the ongoing drama and what we could do to resolve it. See, we had moved forward with the planning and had the church booked, the reception location booked, and had already spoken with a few key florists and bakeries. But I just couldn't stand the idea that I was creating a gigantic rift in my family simply because I wanted to get married on a specific day.

In tears for the billionth time over it, with hubs' arms around me, I said, "Why don't we just get married when your family is in town for Thanksgiving?"

His response? "You're joking, right?"

I guess it would be important to mention at this point that we were having this discussion on Wednesday, November 2nd. Thanksgiving, of course, was Thursday, November 24th--a mere 3 weeks away.

"No, I'm serious! This way we can put an end to the drama and get married sooner!"

Hubs' parents, sister, sister's boyfriend, aunts, uncles, grandma and a few cousins were all coming for Thanksgiving. All of my family basically lives nearby, so they'll be around at that time, too.

He then replied with his typical response when he thinks I've jumped off the deep end. "Let's think about it more, sleep on it, and discuss it again tomorrow. If it's still something you want to consider, we can make some calls to see if we can get everything arranged."

I smiled and chuckled a bit. I already knew that once I made my mind up on something, it was going to happen--no matter what.

The next day, we made some calls. Finding a florist was IMPOSSIBLE since so many of them would be busy with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but we were able to book the church (there was more drama to that, but we'll leave it out) and our pastor. The reception site we had previously booked for February was not available on our new date. We had to do some more digging there, but actually ended up booking a hotel that was literally about a mile from the church. Long story short (or at least shorter than it COULD be), everything lined up for us to get married on Friday, November 25, 2005.

The ceremony was held in my home church that I'd attended for 12 years at the time. I had my brother-in-law walk me down the aisle, then turn me over to my mom at the end so she could do the official "giving away" part. We said our vows, lit our unity candle and shared our first communion together. My favorite part of the ceremony was, of course, our first kiss. Hubs leaned in, and kissed me more passionately than I had ever known in my life. It seemed like the longest kiss ever, and in fact, I actually started to kinda push him away a bit after several seconds! Our guests got a good laugh out of it, and to this day it still embarrasses hubs when I mention it.

So I would like to share a few pics from our special day with you guys! These are all random and nothing too fantastic only because I didn't want to share any pics of our wedding party or any close-ups of hubs and I (he's real freaky about this crazy Internet thing and worries about someone hunting me down based on my pic and IP address--LOL!). So I didn't have many to choose from once I applied these prerequisites, but hopefully some of these give a tiny little glimpse into the most special day of our lives... At least, prior to the birth of our little one! That'll be coming up next for all my loyal readers! :)

Pre-ceremony. My dress was so pretty (if I may say so myself). It had some beautiful beading on the bodice and was strapless. The bottom of the dress and train had matching beading. It's SO hard to describe, and I'm not a fashionista at all!

After all that rambling above, I decided I'd better add a pic of my dress. Not the best one ever, but hopefully explains my poor description above.

My bouquet.

Our First Kiss. This was the aftermath. It had already gone down. Like all 12 seconds of passionate embracing. In front of the friends and family. And the pastor. ;)

The Cake. We loved the look of fondant, but the taste of buttercream. This was the perfect compromise between the two. It was buttercream smoothed to look like fondant. It was YUMMY!

Stealing a moment at the reception.

I certainly hope you all enjoyed this glimpse into our lovely wedding and reception! I plan to post on Monday about welcoming our little one. At least I'll try to wait 'til Monday. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Word of the Week

This week's word is...


A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.

I guess since I've been reminiscing about mine and hubs' relationship... how it all started, the proposal, the wedding... I've been feeling such euphoria that it was worth mentioning as our word of the week.

Then Comes Marriage... (PART I)

Yes, it's true. Hubs and I dated for all of 11 months before he popped the question. Here's how it went down:

It was Monday night, October 10, 2005. Hubs and I were leaving the next morning for a week-long vacation. We were flying to Illinois to meet his sister, then a 2-hour drive to meet his parents. The trip also included a stop at one of his college buddies' house and a golf tournament in the little town he grew up in. I was really looking forward to the trip mostly because it meant "serious business" that I was getting to meet his family and some college friends. We were definitely going somewhere with our relationship.

So back to Monday night. We went downtown for dinner. Hubs was wanting to go to the quaint little Italian place we went to on our first date, but it was closed on Mondays. So we ended up at another nice restaurant and had a wonderful dinner. There was so much I needed to do after dinner (finish laundry, pack, etc.), so I was a bit anxious to get through dinner so I could tackle my "To Do" list.

After dinner, hubs suggested we walk downtown near the cute little bridge and waterfalls. It really is quite a lovely place:

So I agree and we go walking, hand in hand, down the street towards the falls. As we were walking, hubs directed me across the street towards our car. It was weird, but he had all of his luggage packed up in the car for our trip, so I figured he just wanted to make sure it was locked, etc.

He opened up the trunk and took out a white, unwrapped gift box. He made some little comment of sorts and we continued on our way.

I was thinking to myself, "Ugh. I've got that laundry waiting on me, I haven't even begun to pack yet, and the flight leaves early in the morning. A walk seems nice and all, but I've got things to do!"

We hold hands and finish walking to the park and waterfalls area. Hubs leads me to a bench where we can sit down together. He places the white box on the seat next to him, out of my view.

This is where he shared the most romantic, sweet, tender, amazing words with me. I can't share it all--mostly because my memory isn't that good, but I can share the gist of it...

Out of the gift box, he removed a single red rose and handed it to me. Tied to the stem was a little silver heart charm. He made a comment about how he loves my heart.

He then removed another single red rose, this one with a silver charm with the silhouette of a woman's head attached. He then told me that he loves my mind.

The next rose had an infinity symbol charm attached to it. Hubs said it meant that he will love me for infinity--for forever.

He handed me another rose, this one with a little silver bride charm attached to it. At this point I got even MORE excited! He told me that it symbolized his love for my body.

(NOTE: We had talked several times during our courtship about the different aspects of love, specifically, heart, mind and body. So this just brought it all together in a way we both could totally understand and appreciate.)

After handing me the four red roses, he got down on one knee in front of me, opened up a little black box and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!! I jumped up, pulling him to his feet and threw my arms around him. My eyes were tearing up and I was so ecstatic that I had to ask him if I remembered to actually say "YES!" I said it a zillion times over and over again as he placed the ring on my finger.

(I don't have any great pics of the ring on my finger, but I did want to share a pic of the gorgeous hardware my hubs gave me that night. It looks like this, but with a six-prong setting on the solitaire instead of four. Also, this pic includes the wedding band.)

So it really was the most romantic night of my life! It was such a dream come true to become engaged to the most incredible man in the world!

It was so funny to me that after we celebrated our big moment, he said, "You've GOT to call your mom. I asked her for her permission last Thursday and she's been sitting on this since then. I had to promise her I'd have you tell her the second it happens so she can start telling people." My mom is horrible at keeping secrets, so I was quite impressed with her for staying quiet! Of course when we left the park, we stopped by her house (it was on the way!) to share our good news in person. We then stopped by my sister's place (in the same neighborhood as me) to tell her and my brother-in-law in person. They were all so excited about our engagement! The hardest part was that I'd be out of town for the next week so I wouldn't be able to tell any other family or friends in person--I had to do it over the phone!

I still had a LOT of packing to do to prepare for our week-long vacation. And now I was more nervous than ever meeting his family as his fiancee'! And on top of that, I had a wedding to plan!

I decided to make this a two-parter so I can share more info about the wedding itself and also some pictures. I'm so jealous of all of the brides-to-be whose blogs I read daily that they are in the midst of such fun planning. Oh, and the pictures I've seen! I can't wait to share some of those with you, too!

Ah, love... Is there anything as awesome??

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Comes Love... (PART II)

It was a Friday in May 2004. I had taken the day off from work, but needed to drop off my laptop to our Help Desk for some much-needed medical attention (ugh--I vaguely recall my PC days... life is SO much nicer with my MacBook!). So I stopped by the office on my way out of town. I was traveling to Orlando to meet up with a college friend of mine for a "girl's weekend" at Disney. I dropped off the laptop and was heading through the common area to the exit doors, when, lo and behold, I saw such a gorgeous site!

Could it be? Is that really him?

I double-check his nifty ID badge just to be sure it's really him. And it is!!!

I can't remember which one of us started the convo as we were heading towards each other. But here's a gist of the dialog that transpired:

"Hi, hubs!" I exclaimed, trying hard to hide my eagerness and excitement to see him again.

"Hey, there! That isn't work-appropriate attire, now is it?" he asked. He was referring to the fact that I was sporting blue jeans, a tank top and flip flops.

"Ah, probably not-so-much. I'm off today and am heading out of town, but I needed to stop by the Help Desk first. What in the world are you doing here??"

"I just transfered here from St. Louis," was his response.

I just know my jaw dropped. I just know it did.

"Really?" I said, again, trying to mask my exuberance as best as possible. "That's great! How long have you been down here?"

"A little over a month now. I'm working in the such-and-such department..."

"That's wonderful! I'm really glad you've transferred here!" I responded. My heart was just leaping for joy in my chest as I headed for my weekend vacation.

Over the next year and a half or so, hubs and I casually became friends--usually by my stopping by his desk to drop off my latest and greatest baked goods (the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right?). We hung out with mutual friends a few times, played on a volleyball team together and kept up with each other (usually to exchange empty Tupperware containers needing replenishment).

One day I was talking with some of hubs' friends at work and mentioned that I really needed some help with the landscaping at the house I had had purchased several months ago. It looked awful and I am quick to admit I do not have a green thumb (or finger, or toe, etc...). Hubs' friends actually said that he (hubs) was really great at landscaping so I should enlist his help.

It took a little bit of coercing, but I was able to convince hubs to meet me at my house one Saturday morning just to give me some advice on how to improve my (lack of) landscaping and curb appeal.

That Saturday, although I typically sleep until "double-digits" (i.e. at least 10:00 AM), I was up and at 'em early, showered and dressed up as cute as possible well in advance of hubs' visit.

He gave me some great ideas for the landscaping. He even offered to come back the following Saturday to help me implement some of the ideas. I appreciated the offer, but politely declined.


Ha! Ha! Whatever!! Like I would turn down an offer like that! I'd have to be smokin' something or just plain stupid!

So, I accepted the offer and he came over the following Saturday. And the next one. And the one after that. We had even gone out for a casual bite to eat one of those Saturdays after the yard work was done. Then came the big leap: I asked him to come with me (and several of my friends and family) to Carowinds, a nearby theme park. WOW did that ever take some convincing! But he finally gave in and agreed to go.

We had a lot of fun during the morning at the park. We rode lots of rides and did a lot of walking. It started to get a bit cloudy so we headed out to the car to eat the picnic lunch we had brought (theme park food is SO expensive!). Well, my friends, it was after we had eaten lunch that we were listening to the radio softly play along with the rhythm of the rain gently falling. It happened. Yes, our very first kiss! He leaned in his 90% and I went the other 10% (do I have any "Hitch" fans out there??). It was the sweetest kiss EVER, and it finally confirmed my hope that he was in fact feeling more for me than just friendship.

We enjoyed the rest of the day at the park as a new couple. He was (and still is) SUCH a gentleman, doing all kinds of those chivalrous things that your momma told you your future husband ought to do. I was just smitten.

After getting to know hubs for over a year, I already knew that he possessed several of the characteristics I was looking for in the man I'd spend the rest of my life with. I was overjoyed when we officially started our relationship and could begin the process of getting to know the "real" stuff that friends don't always discuss. I got to know who he was, what his passions and beliefs were, what he wanted for his future, and so much more. I fell deeper in love with each word he spoke.

So I guess this part might sound a bit surprising: We "officially" dated for all of 11 weeks before he popped the question. That's right! More on that story soon... Stay tuned!

Monday, June 9, 2008

First Comes Love... (PART I)

I've been dying to share with all of you the story of how hubs and I met. I guess I feel like it would give you all a little glimpse into my life. I also like to write stuff down since I have a horrible memory (part of the reason I started blogging!). So, without further ado, I give you part one in a multi-part series about me!

It was December 2003. I was working as a Technology Specialist in the Marketing Division of an International life insurance company. Amidst my "to do" list for the day was a presentation/demo in the large board room about a new web portal that might very well replace the website I was responsible for managing at the time. There were two guys from our St. Louis office that were coming to South Carolina for the "dog and pony" show. As usual, I brought my laptop and sat at the front near the projector so I would be close to the necessary network connections, etc.

Before the meeting begins, I'm introduced to the fellas from St. Louie.

"Wow," I thought to myself (of course I'd never say anything like this out loud), "that one guy is HOT! And I don't see a ring! Hmmm... I ought to run to the ladies room before we begin so I can check my hair, apply a new coat of lip gloss and make sure I'm looking as cute as possible for this meeting!"

I excused myself to "get a bottle of water" before the meeting was to begin.

During the meeting, I listened as the guy with hubs (I'll call him hubs 'cause that's who he ended up being, but certainly not who he was at the time!) explained the capabilities of this new web portal, how our field users could access data currently only available to the home office, how nifty and simple it was to add documents, broadcast messages, etc. He tried to demonstrate how you could easily use HTML code but he couldn't get it to work (for you programming geeks out there, he was trying to use as the tag--ha!).

In the meantime, I had already logged into the same demo site, modified his HTML tag, then kindly announced to the guy (ya, with about 30+ people in the room), that I had corrected his tag and if he refreshes the page, it would work. He did, and it did.

I was thinking, "Major props to me with hubs over there! Now he knows I'm smart! Hopefully he's already thinking I'm cute!" I take a moment to fiddle with an earring using my left hand, casually sending the message that there's no ring there, either.

The spiel continues. Questions are asked and answered. At one point, hubs looks across the table at me and speaks. To me. Directly. Ya.

"How's your battery?" he asked.

Slightly perplexed, I answered, "Fine, thank you!" I could feel myself blush. My laptop was plugged into the A/C adapter I brought with me, so the battery was fully charged.

He continues, "Mine's getting low and I didn't bring an adapter. Do you mind if I borrow yours for a few minutes?"

Speechless, I nodded my head, unplugged my laptop and handed him the cable. He plugged it in, then thanked me with a big smile. I was smitten. Wow.

Now, I'm not one to act on the feelings that were stirring inside me. I'm just too afraid of getting shot down, ya know? However, I did make an effort to "hang around" after the meeting, offering co-workers to help with the projector, clean up the refreshments, etc. I just wanted to give hubs an opportunity to make the first move. After what seemed like hours, he made his way over to me.

"Thanks again for sharing your A/C cable with me! I really appreciated it!"

"No problem," I responded. "I'm always happy to help!" (or some other lame comeback response).

He smiled that gorgeous smile again, and headed towards the door.


LOL! Of course that's not the end!! Duh! We're married and have an almost 11-month-old daughter, for goodness sake! Look for Part Two to be posted soon (Okay, so I can't be vague. It'll be tomorrow. I'll post the rest of the story tomorrow.).

Until then!

Weight Watching

As you probably know, hubs and I welcomed our baby girl into the world almost 11 months ago. (Read: I put on a LOT of weight 11 months ago.) I was obviously overjoyed to have our little one in our lives, but I was quite miserable to be carrying around what was probably an extra 40 pounds or so that I certainly didn't need. When I finally couldn't take it anymore, I joined Weight Watchers Online.

Since then (about 5 months ago), I am happy to report that I have lost 25 pounds! I'm feeling much better, am more active, can keep up with LO better and just have a much-improved overall sense of well-being. I'd still like to lose another 15 pounds and will be sure to keep you all informed on my progress.

Anywho, the main reason I'm writing this post is just to share with those of you out there that are considering dropping a few pounds that Weight Watchers is an effective way to do it. Now, I didn't totally jump on the bandwagon or go waaay crazy--in fact, I never even attended a local meeting. The basic principle is to track everything you eat and drink!! It's that simple! Once I started to see how much junk I'd been eating (and drinking--durn sodas!), I realized that I really needed to focus on eating healthier foods and limiting the sweets, sodas, etc.

Now, you may not be interested in paying for a service like Weight Watchers (about $20/month). I'll admit, their online subscription gives you access to lots of tools, recipes, etc. But ultimately the main goal is to track what you eat. I highly recommend Prevention's Health Tracker as it allows you to track your food and beverage intake, as well as track your weight (unfortunately you'll have to step on a scale once in a while to make sure you're going in the right direction!) and exercise (sorry, this actually entails more than sitting on the couch reading blogs--you gotta get up and get active!). And the best part--it's FREE! Check it out! I chose to stop my Weight Watchers subscription at the end of this month and switch to the Health Tracker. The best part is you don't have to worry about calculating points--just balance your calorie, fat and protein intake!

Here's a pic of the "Foods Eaten" section of the Health Tracker (click the image to see it larger:

So that's it! That's my take on Weight Watching. If you decide to drop a few extra pounds--whether by Weight Watchers, using the Health Tracker, or any other means--do keep me posted! I'd love to provide some encouragement to my reader--er, I mean, readers?!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Product Envy

I know you've seen the infomercial... if not on TV, certainly on the Internet by now. Yes, it's the lovely Ped Egg!
NOTE: No, I'm not getting royalties or any other compensation from the Ped Egg people for writing this. I just wanted to share a great product with my reader--er, I mean, readers.

I'll post new "Product Envy" posts weekly so keep an eye out for 'em!

I'm quite the skeptic when it comes to trying out new products. I go with what I know works. Seriously. I've been using the same Lancome face wash for the last 10 years! Anywho, I'll admit I was quite intrigued by this Ped Egg thingy. If you're like me, you love the occasional pedicure. And how awesome is it when they use the scraper thingy to remove all that dead foot skin and you're left with the softest feetsies ever? Ahhh!

So I was totally keen on the idea of getting the same results at home--without the fear of chopping my heels to bits! So I did a little online research (who buys anything these days without first consulting Google?), read several user reviews, watched the hilarious infomercial again (I needed a good laugh), and decided to bite the bullet and get myself one of those bad boys.

So I used it for the first time the other day, and I'll be honest: I was amazed! I won't go into detail about how well it worked (let's just say the evidence was in the egg), but folks I was totally psyched to see and feel such a big difference! I slapped some lotion on and was just loving my newly acquired softness. I will give you this warning, though: you CAN overdo it. You definitely don't want to concentrate on one specific area too long or you'll pay the price every time you stand or walk over the following several days. Trust me. I know...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Let Them Eat (Cup)Cake(s)!

Inspired by this delicious post at one of my daily reads, and perhaps since my earlier post got me thinking about food, I couldn't resist but share a few photos of my recent creations in the kitchen.

Valentine's Day cupcakes (sorry for the bad pic!)

Flower Cupcakes for a friend's birthday

Double-chocolate cupcakes

For those of you who don't know me personally, baking and I are totally the best of friends EVER! Besides spending time with hubs and LO, there really isn't anything else I'd rather do with my spare time (except maybe go shopping... assuming I had someone else's money to spend!). One day I'd love to start up a little business of my own so I can spend my days in the kitchen baking. SO much fun!!

What about you? What are your passions? How do you love to spend your free time?

National Doughnut Day!

Yes, you read that right! It's National Doughnut Day!

I don't know about you, but I just added this national holiday to my Top Ten List! I'd say it ranks up there with the first day of Summer! And to celebrate, you can actually get a FREE doughnut at participating Krispy Kreme locations! How awesome is that!?

If you're from the South, there really isn't anywhere you can get a real doughnut except at Krispy Kreme. Can you say YUM?! So click here to find the location nearest you and go get yourself that delicious calorie bomb! After all, it IS a holiday, so why not get out there and celebrate it?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Callin' All New (and soon-to-be) Mommies!

Q: What in the world do these items have in common?
  • Mercury.
  • Aluminum.
  • Formaldehyde.
  • Human fetal lung cells.
  • Cow tissue extract.
  • Chicken embryos.
A: They are just a few of the ingredients found in infant vaccines.

Didn't see that comin', did ya? Okay. So I read several blogs written by fabulous ladies who happen to be chronicling their glorious pregnancies. Oh, the bliss of it all! So I felt inclined to share the dandy gem of information that had the greatest impact on my husband and I as new parents.

See, we welcomed our first baby almost 11 months ago. To prepare for the blessed event (as best as one could), I read every book I could get my hands on to learn what to expect, what to do, how to do it and when. Flash forward a few months: our baby arrives and we couldn't be happier! We do all the things we're told we're supposed to do, including taking her for her check-up appointments at a few days old, 2 weeks and 2, 4, 6 and 9 months. Our pediatrician has been a valuable source for information about how much she should be eating, what she should be eating, how much she should sleep, etc. But there was one thing our pediatrician didn't provide us unbiased information about: vaccines.

Our little one had anywhere from 3 to 5 shots at each of her check-up appointments. It wasn't until my husband's coworker mentioned something about vaccine safety (and recommended a book--more on that in a sec), that we began to question the process. We just assumed if the pediatrician said she needed these four vaccines at her visit, that it was fine and dandy! Plus we assumed we needed to comply with state regulations for when the time came to put our LO in school. That's a lot of assumptions!

So about the book: It's written by Dr. Sears and it's called The Vaccine Book.

In this book, Dr. Sears provides invaluable information on each of the recommended vaccines, the diseases they are designed to prevent and an unbiased perspective on what the medical community believes versus what parents (via the media) believe. See, as parents, we actually have a choice as to which vaccination(s) we want our children to receive. In our situation, I have the unbelievable opportunity to stay at home with LO, which greatly limits her exposure to illnesses and diseases from other babies in daycare, etc. That and the fact that we chose to breastfeed for her first 7 months are reasons why it really wasn't as imperative for our daughter to receive every vaccination on the schedule dictated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here's what Dr. Sears has to say about the AAP Vaccine Schedule:
"My main worry about this schedule is that there really hasn't been enough research on the various chemicals and ingredients in many vaccines to prove that they are 100% safe. It has also been my experience that giving 5 or 6 vaccines at a time can increase the likelihood of a severe reaction. My Alternative Vaccine Schedule circumvents these theoretical worries and provides complete vaccine coverage, but at a more reasonable pace."

Okay, so ultimately it is every parents individual responsibility to make the decisions that are best for their child. I just felt it was necessary to communicate this fact to all of the new mommies (and mommies-to-be) out there in hopes that you will be empowered to make the decisions that are best for your child.

If you're interested in learning more about Dr. Sears, click here to visit his website.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Word of the Week

Our very first Word of the Week is...

(drum roll, please)


This adjective is defined as "noisy and difficult to control." So in case you were wondering why I would write a blog to chronicle life in the sometimes OBSTREPEROUS world we live in, you should now have your answer. Yes, life with a 10-month-old can most definitely be described as "noisy." And I'm sure all of you can identify that life is in fact "difficult to control." Good thing we weren't made to be in control of it all then, huh?

Be sure to watch for our next Word of the Week each Wednesday!

For the Locals...

Okay, so I've got to post this for all of my local readers. I do have local readers, right? Right??

...crickets chirping...

Anywho, for those of you who live in the Upstate of South Carolina, I just had to pass this link along. Hold onto your seats, folks! I know you can't hardly wait to know what little gem I've found that seemed worthy of posting for all the world to see. It's a--wait for it!--Searchable Upstate Restaurant Inspection Database! Woo-Hoo! Not that I'd consider myself a total germaphobe (pretty darn close, though...

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

 get the point.). But how cool is it that you can find out what letter grade your favorite restaurants received (of course they should ALL be A's) during their recent inspections? Not only the letter grade, but the actual score (0-100) the restaurant received as well! How nice is that?! I for one am quite interested in to know if that "A" posted in the window was an impeccable score of 100, or a lame "employees-forget-to-wash-their-hands" 90.

Well I bet you all weren't anticipating such a poignant glimpse into the neurotic-ness of mom2lo, now were you? Ha! At least I feel like I've provided a public service by sharing this link. That makes me feel good. Although maybe a bit germ-y.

Where's my Purell??!