Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So What! Wednesday


So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying So What! to...

** Sophie was used in a vicious murder this week. It was either me or the spider and Sophie just so happened to be in my hand.

** Every blog post is written while listening to Christmas music.

** I want to cut my hair short but worry that it will be more of a pain to keep out of Connor's reach if I'm unable to put it in a ponytail.

**  Walking fitness shows on Hulu are my only option to workout. Hello 1980's!

** I didn't expect Texas to be as windy as it has been since we moved here. 30-35 MPH! That's crazy! Makes afternoon walks a bit tough.

** Scentsy is outrageously expensive yet I am oh so close to just giving in and buying what I want for the house and just pretending I didn't spend xyz on warmers! 

** Since February doesn't contain a 30th of the month, I am lost as to when C turns 4 months.

Remember to link up with Shannon and her baby BOY bump!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Aunt Dean!

Today is Connor's Aunt Dean's birthday. Not only is she a fabulous aunt, but she is my dearest best friend and the mother of the world's greatest 2 year old. 

Happy Birthday LFFL! Love you!


Monday, February 25, 2013

5 for Five

Hi loves!! It's the start of a new week, so get your to-do lists ready and link up with Jenn and Jessica for this week's 5 for Five!!

 FantasticallyAverage


Here are my 5 for Five from last week.
Green means I accomplished the goal, blue (because yellow is hard to see for some reason) means I almost stuck to my goal and red means I did not accomplish the goal.
  1. Walk for at least 45 minutes, 3 times this week. (We walked once for 30 minutes. I totally bombed this one!)
  2. Get out of my pajamas and make myself presentable Monday - Friday. The weekends are easy, it's the weekdays when I'm home all day with just C that I struggle. (The only day that got me was Tuesday. Connor and I stayed in all day so just showered and got right back in comfy clothes.)
  3. Stick to our evening meal plan of dinner at home during the work week. (I am so glad we are spending more time around the kitchen table, eating my amazing cooking instead of eating out)
  4. No technology after 8:00 p.m. (James was out late on Tuesday so I didn't have anyone to entertain me once C went to bed so I surfed the internet and whatnot).
  5. No Diet Coke. JUST WATER or Crystal Light water. (I had Diet Coke twice. 2 out of 7 is not bad).
So clearly, I am not the best to setting goals and seeing them through. That, folks, is going to change. Starting this week. 

Here are my 5 for Five for this week:
  1. Walk or workout in some capacity 3 days this week. 45 minutes minimum. No ifs, ands or big butts about it!
  2. Attend 2 Meet-up events this week.
  3. Drink at least 5 glasses of water each day. 
  4. Read at least 100 pages of Red Ink this week. 
  5. Comment on at least 4 new bloggers blogs. I am good at linking-up but need to connect with those in link-up parties.

Link up your 5 for Five - the five things you hope to accomplish in the next five days! Good luck!
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reading - A Priority

On Monday, I attended my first book club meeting. Not only are the ladies in the group hilarious, I really felt like I have a group I am going to enjoy being a part of.

One of the ladies asked if I was able to read this month's book and was surprised when I said yes. Many of the ladies were shocked that I had time to read with a 3.5 month old at home. I explained that reading is a priority. Just like paying bills, showering, taking care of the house. Since Connor was born, I've read 4 books. Reading is important to me so I put certain strategies in place to make sure I get to stick my nose in a book on a daily basis.

Television & Internet is limited.
When we moved to TX, I made a point of not getting television. Not only did I not want the extra cost, but I wanted to use the time James and I had together wisely, not parked in front of the TV. Since we don't have TV to occupy my time, when I'm finished with whatever chores I've scheduled for myself that day, I can spend Connor's nap time reading.

I Always Have a Book Nearby.
I always have my Kindle with me. Anytime, I am waiting for say, the dr., my prescription to be filed, my hair to process, I can pull out my book and get in a few pages. Not only do I get to escape for a while but it tends to make the wait a little less painful. (I hate waiting. I'm so impatient).

Influence.
I want to be a great influence for Connor. I hope to be a role model for Connor and this includes my love for reading. I remember growing up, my parents would have to tell me to put my book away, turn off the lights and go to bed. I would love to see Connor take after me in this sense (and not have a love for bad reality TV and all things Jersey).

It's My Choice.
As a mother, we all know that are time isn't our own. We have homes to take care of, babies to raise and husbands to keep happy. Not to mention, some of you work outside of the house, as well, you saints! However, I do get to choice what type of book I get to read, allowing me to pick my escape. Not everything has to be deep and serious. Sometimes a little Chelsea Handler does the heart good.

Giving Me Depth.
I don't have a 4 year college degree. I haven't traveled the world. I only speak English. But when I read, I learn so much. It allows me to discover topics I've never learned about previously. You would be surprised of what trivial information you can pick up from a book. It's like homework, without the exams, grades and pressure. Learning just for the heck of it.

A Better Blogger.
Some of my blog posts have came to me when I've been reading and I thought 'what a great blog post'. I've picked up on words to use instead of this or that one. I am sure my writing overall has improved just because I'm more aware of the printed word.

Sure, it's 2013 and there are so many other ways to enjoy some downtime. I'm sure I could benefit from working out during nap time. I could scrub the baseboards a little more often. But reading is important, just another priority.





Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Don't Sew

It seems nowadays everyone can sew. Everyone but me that is. Not only do I not have the materials/equipment needed, I lack the desire to learn.

However, sometimes sewing is needed. I used to use Momma or Kari, sometimes Shirley. Since the  closest one of those is 7 hours away, I decided to come up with my own solution.

When you enter our house, we have a small "formal" sitting room. There isn't much in there just yet. We basically used furniture we already had to fill the space. We have 2 very simple off white chairs from IKEA. They are very plain and I wanted to spice them up.

Pretty plain and boring, right?
I went to JoAnn's (I know, right? Hobby Lobby must never find out!) and found some fabric on clearance for $2.99 a foot along with some push pins. In the end, I used 1 1/2 foot of fabric and 14 pins.


Here is what I did to cover the throw pillows:


Step 1: I placed the pillows on the fabric, leaving enough room so that when I cut the material, I could cover the ends.

Step 2: I cut the material down the middle (or as close to the middle as possible). Remember to leave room so that you can fold the material in at each end. Think of wrapping a gift.

Step 3: Pin the material down using the push pins. I used 6 total. Make sure this is secure. Use as many pins as you would like.

Step 4: I folded the end, similar to how you would a present.

Step 5: Pin each end to the back of the pillow/material. You may cover the orginial pins. That's okay. I used 4 total. Feel free to use more.

And that's it. In 5 easy steps and less than 10 minutes and without a needle, thread or sewing machine, I have covered my pillows and added a little color to the chairs.

Here is the finished project:



Overall, I like how simple this was to add a little color to the room. And if we ever purchase bigger pillows, I can use the same fabric without worrying about letting any fabric out. Just unpin, refit and pin again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SWW






Happy Wednesday, folks! Let's hook up with Shannon for another So What! Wednesday:

** I finally bought new clothes and there was not one piece of black material in the bunch. This is me branching out.

** At book club on Monday, I am the youngest by 10 years. However, I love it. We all know how I feel about senior citizens.

** I hate doing Zumba at home. What a wasted $35. I need the class to really succeed.

** Posting pictures on IG of ONLY Connor caused a "friend" without children to unfollow me. Your loss, lady. My babe is delicious.

** March is looking to be very busy, yet I'm worried about C's schedule. How does a baby stay on schedule when traveling?

** Speaking of traveling, little man and I are driving to Oklahoma by ourselves next month. This gives me HORRIBLE anxiety. Any tips?

** Since having Connor, I've lost most interest in celebrity gossip. It takes me weeks to read my US magazines and I usually wait until I have a few before I attempt to read them.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Five for 5

Today I'm linking up with Jenn and Jessica for

 

The link-up "requirements" are as follows:
  1. Set five goals that you want to accomplish over the next five days of the work-week.  
  2. Share your goals with all of Blogland.
  3. Power through that list during the week.
  4. Come back the next week to share you how did.
  5. Set some more goals for yourself, and repeat!
Here are my 5 for Five this week:
  1. Walk for at least 45 minutes, 3 times this week. 
  2. Get out of my pajamas and make myself presentable Monday - Friday. The weekends are easy, it's the weekdays when I'm home all day with just C that I struggle.
  3. Stick to our evening meal plan of dinner at home during the work week.
  4. No technology after 8:00 p.m.
  5. No Diet Coke. JUST WATER or Crystal Light water.
Visit again next Monday to see which items I was able to stick with!
Honestly, the tricky one is going to be #2!

Happy Monday!



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's on a Budget

As a SAHM, I'm not bringing in any income. This has made me very picky about how I spend money. Not only have I cut back on trips to Target and Hobby Lobby, but I've started getting a more creative with how I celebrate holidays. Especially ones that aren't "real" holidays. Valentine's Day is one of these holidays.

I wanted to get James something in honor of Valentine's and let's face it, I could never top last year's gift. So, with a budget in mind and Pinterest on my side, here is what I gave James for Valentine''s.


The first photo is a book of 10 coupons for James to use whenever he wants. They range from things like a sleep late pass, a chore free week and a yogurt date. Only a few will actually cost us money. Most of totally free tasks.

The middle picture is everything I got for him. He prefers orange slices to chocolate, a travel hot/cold cup for his morning tea/coffee, a Wallflower plug-in with refills for his office (he actually mentioned he needed one) and then his card.

The last picture is an idea I got from Pinterest. Basically, you type a favorite song into Word, highlight one line that has the most meaning in a color of your choice and print. You can then add a heart for decoration and frame. Easy peasy. I choose Jason Mraz "I'm Yours", our song.

James loved his gift and if I were to put a price tag on his gift, it would be around the $20 mark. Not too bad, right?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy LOVE Day

For those of you who don't think today is a just another Hallmark holiday, this is for you:

 

*If you don't celebrate, I'm sure this picture changed your mind! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So What! Wednesday


Let's hook up with Shannon over at Life After I Dew for another week of So What! Wednesday:

** everyone is initialed to their opinions concerning politics so don't be a a$$ clown and slam them for them. It's rude. Rant over.

** Faith Hill looked like a crackhead at the Grammy's. Mommy eat something.

** I can't figure out what to do with Connor... his neck isn't strong enough to sit up in his Bumbo seat just yet but the moment you lay him down on the floor, he rolls to his tummy and only likes it there for about 3 minutes.

** Dieting isn't for me. I am now going to learn to love myself.

** Having a cleaning lady who would just do the floors once a week would make me the happiest girl in Texas.

** In honor of Lent, I'm non-Catholic self is giving up fast food and soda. Let's see how long this last.

** Even though there is a cruise ship stranded in the Gulf, I still hope to go on a cruise one day.

** My husband is addicted to frozen yogurt. That in itself should explain my plus size status!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Confession

If you were to Google "mom guilt" you will find a slew of articles written. Some listing multiple reasons as to what Moms are feeling guilty about. Other tell us how to deal. Some telling you it's okay to harbor this guilt. What you don't find (or at least I couldn't) are articles about mothers who don't feel guilty.

I'm one of those guilt free Moms.

I realize I've been a Mom for all of 11 weeks but if this is my blog, where I share my point of view, then I can say without hesitation, I don't feel any guilt.

I love Connor. I wouldn't trade being his Mom for all the money in the world. Becoming his Mom has made me complete. I truly understand my purpose, my calling. I am also lucky to be able to stay home with him and spend time with him while other moms spend 40+ hours a week out of their homes, away from their babies. But I'm also okay with putting some distance between the two of us.

As cold as this sounds, it's not. He is my full time job. And like any full time job, you need a break. Some personal days. A weeks vacation. And since those options aren't really available, I learn to take the few opportunities I do have to get away and enjoy. every. last. minute.

Sometimes, I wait for James to get home to shower. This gives me, me time. Time to enjoy a hot shower without listening to C waking from his nap. Heck, these are the times I get to shave my legs.

I am not one bit worried about him when he is in the nursery at church, although James requires us to get a pager, just in case. I know he is in good hands. Do I know know these people watching C? No but he is safe. I know that without a doubt.

I plan nights out of the house with friends. I look forward to those moments of no responsibility. There is nothing wrong with needing a break. If anything, it makes me a better mom. One who isn't overstressed, worrying over their baby. 

I could easily bathe him nightly and be the one to put him to bed every evening but James is just as capable. And that's okay. This allows James and Connor to spend some time together. I don't want Connor only experiencing me, only knowing me. I want the relationship he has with father to be just as strong as the bond he has with me. And the nights I don't rock him to sleep? Nothing is lost. He falls sleep in the arms of someone who loves him just as much as his Momma.

Maybe when Connor is older and more independent or even spends time out of the house at MDO or with friends, I will feel guilt for not being with him. Maybe. We shall see.

What I do know is that I love my son with all my heart. He is the very reason I wake each morning. And the time I sneak away for some me time? That time allows me to recharge. Take a breather. And when I come back, I want nothing more to hold and cradle my little guy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lazy Days

Sometimes the go go of life can take its toll and you find yourself crabby, tired and just not a nice person to be around. To combat those moments, a weekend of NOTHING steps in and makes everything better.

Friday night, we went to dinner at a local pizza place. The pizza left a lot to be desired BUT it was nice to get out of the house and when you are spending the evening with this guy, whose gonna complain about bad pizza?


Saturday, James got up with Connor in the morning so I could sleep in. This alone makes him Man of the Year in my book. We spent the day at home, doing a little of this and a litter of that. James and I watched "Flight" and spent the night lounging and spending some time sans baby since he was sleeping so much. He must be going through a growth spurt because he was asleep more Saturday than awake. I put him in his western jammies for the first time. Little guy is getting so big on us.


Sunday morning, I discovered this... nothing is more delish than baby feet and baby tummy!! He was having a good old time in his crib. I promise this isn't as unsafe as it looks. Boy is discovering his hands these days and he will do anything to get them in his mouth.


Sunday, we went to church and bible study and had lunch out at Frankie's. I'm sort of obsessed with Frankie's. It's so good (but far from healthy). We then stayed home, getting things done around the house and preparing for the upcoming work week. We got a converter box so we can get a few of the local channels. It was perfect timing, too, because I spent the night enjoying this piece of man candy!


I hope your weekend was fabulous, spent just the way you wanted it to be. Happy Monday, folks!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ramble Ramble

Some ramblings...

People are really nice and friendly down here. Way nicer than us Yankees. This has caused me to rethink how I act and talk. We all know I curse like a sailor. I've always say I need to watch my mouth but never do. My actions aren't so bad but I think there are a few things I need to work on. Some of the girls in my MOPS group have potential to become more than just girls from MOPS. It would be nice to have someone to go on walks with, run errands with or even go to a movie with.

My Mom (hi, Tammy!) says I sound sad when we talk on the phone. I am not sad. If anything, I feel a bit guilty because I'm really starting to like Texas. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being this place is the bomb diggity, I would say I give it a 7. Of course, I miss my family and friends but I don't miss Ohio and it's bipolar weather. I miss the ability to see my best friend and her mom (hi, Kari!) whenever I want and I miss being able to pick Will up and have him give me a big hug. I miss Cora doing my makeup. The very thought of those acts makes me throat tighten up with emotion. I kept telling myself I miss them more than they miss me. It helps the ache die down some. But the weather is amazing here and there is so much to do and see that it makes missing home a little less severe. But over the next 5 months, we will be doing lots of traveling to see our folks from up north so that makes my heart happy.

I really love my husband. He has been so supportive of me staying home. There was talk about me taking on a part time job for NH that I could do from home but after much talk, J and I decided it's best for me to wait on getting back to work. Sure the extra income would be nice but it's really important to me to get out and meet people. Even more so, I want to be able to focus on Connor and our time together. Sooner than I like to think, he is going to be heading to preschool and I will wish and want the days back when he was little and depended on me for everything. 

Life is good. Sure, it's far from perfect but overall, I can't complain. I'm meeting people, I get to visit with some of my favorite folks next month and I get to spend my days with this guy.






Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SWW


I'm linking up for another week of So What! Wednesday.
Head over to Shannon's blog and link up, too!

** I hashtagged MOPS on IG thinking it was going to be other Mothers of Preschoolers... no... it's pugs. Check it out. Hastag fail.

** I think the Biebs needs to find a new stylist. His outfit on the Jimmy Fallon show was ridiculously bad. Poor misguiding boy.

** Our house drives me nuts with all the hardwood floors. Carpet is much easier to manage.

** Connor insists on having his entire fist in his mouth. I thought letting him choke himself would teach him a lesson. Nope. Still does it. Now I just feel like a bad Mom for letting him choke.

**I get showered, dressed and ready every other day instead of just showering. These are the same days we actually leave the house.

** Guilt prevents me from shopping. Our checking account thanks you, Guilt.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cherish

The month of January was supposed to be a fresh start. A new year to make "right", the year you do everything you've always wanted. Set resolutions and stick to them.

January was rough for so many of my friends. A girlfriend lost her grandfather after a quick but painful fight with cancer. A co-worker and dear friend lost her friend and companion to the bottom of a liquor bottle. My Sally lost her Dad so quickly and out of the blue to his dependancy to alcohol. And today, our fabulous friend Bryan is going to say goodbye to his father after months of hospital stays and all that medicine and doctors can do.

I have told each of these loved ones that I am here for them, they can call me. Miles between us or not, I will be there to help them through these rough times, the best I can. I've prayed for their comfort in this time of pain.

I have felt the powerful pain of losing a loved one. I know the ache in heart that doesn't go away. The feeling that this can't really be happening. The want for them to be at the next family gathering. The desire to visit on Sundays for dinner and QVC. To be able to pick up the phone and hear their laughter on the other end. For them to hold their baby's little boy. That when you wake up tomorrow, this is going to be a sick dream.

But you wake up and it's not a dream. And the pain hits with a new force, nearly knocking you to your knees yet again. Your lost loved one isn't here. Instead they are with our heavenly Father and that gives you some comfort. Or it will in time (hopefully).

The pain does go away. At times, it feels like it never could. There is no possible way that the hurt you are feeling will disappear. But it times, it hurts less. Instead of remembering how they were taking from you, you start to focus on the good times and memories. You keep their memory alive, holding it closely as you would them if you could.

You cherish the moments you have with your loved ones still with you. You make the most out of an ordinary day. You pick up the phone even when small talk is the last thing you have time for. You go to that family gathering you've skipped out on years before. You forgive people of wrongs. You remember that tomorrow isn't guaranteed. You love like never before.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My 1st MOPS Meeting

Connor and I attended our first MOPS meeting this morning. Let me state that this meant Frankie and I both were dressed and ready for the day by 9 a.m. WHAT?! WHAT?! No need for praise; I'm capable of celebrating this moment without it.

Any who, C and I had a great time. I will be totally frank - I was a nervous wreck. I'm not very good at carrying on conversations about myself but thanks to the great gals that were at my table, the conversation was light and easy and I felt totally comfortable. Just what I needed after spending a month talking to a baby.

We enjoyed a guest speaker who spoke about nutrition for adults and our little people. I learned so much from it. I may put together a post to share some of the info I gained.

After the speaker, we chatted while making Family Nest necklaces. I loved this craft! You can see my necklace on my IG feed. Here is an example I found on Pinterest. It was a super easy craft that I just adored. I'm thinking these would make great gifts, too!

custom mothers birthstone necklace Family Nest made with genuine gemstones earmarksocial
For instructions on making your own, click here!
Overall, I had a great time. Not only was it nice to get out of the house but I liked getting a little girl talk in, too. I am looking forward to the play date scheduled for next Monday. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fit February

In an effort to create a healthy lifestyle for our family, the Mister and I are challenging each other this month for Fit February.

The Fit February requires the following:
  1. Weigh-in on 2/1/13
  2. Drink 6-8, 8 ounces of water a day
  3. One dinner a week will be vegetarian. Eggs and dairy are allowed, no meat though.
  4.  I will only eat lunch out on Sundays after church and James is limited to eating out at work once a week and Sundays.
  5. Sundays are a family "cheat day".
  6. Set exercise goal for each week. (I plan to work out 4 days a week, at least 30 minutes each day)
  7. List 2 things you are willing to give up this month. (I'm giving up Diet Coke and sweets)
  8. Final weigh-in is 3/1/13
I am just 10 pounds away from my goal weight so I am hoping a month of awareness will help me get a little closer to my goal. I would like to workout for more than 30 minutes, 4 times a week but that will all depend on Connor and his naps. I am still using MFP to monitor my calorie intake.

I'm excited to start our challenge. Wish us luck!