Give Me Peace.

I haven't really felt like blogging. Sorry. I have to make a big decision soon (really, really soon, like any day now) about going back to work to teach. It has been the only thing on my mind right now. And I just can't decide what to do. I want God to choose for me, but I think He is whispering it to me and I can't hear right now-too much noise and distractions around me. I keep going back and forth on the decision. Ugh. I just want peace in my heart about this.

Isn't it funny how for some, decisions like this seem so easy to make? I mean, for some moms going back to work is what is suppose to happen. For others, staying home is the only option. But for me and my circumstances, I am just all mixed up. And I am tired of hearing all about the economy, economy, economy. All this talk is making feel guilty about me giving up a great job when so many people are looking for one. I know, completely silly of me.

Seriously, how I can I leave a girl as sweet as this one?

[Audrey loves our cat, Iree!]


Caution: Babies Might Make You Get Lots of Stares.

Most places I feel very welcomed wearing my baby. But today I felt out of place. There might as well have been a sign up that read "caution: babies might make you get lots of stares." It's not like I went someplace way crazy. I mean, I don't shop there often (anymore--not like when I was considered young and hip because I did not have a baby), but I was looking for a new duvet cover and I thought Urban Outfitters might be a place to look. Is it so wrong for a 26 year old with a baby to enter such a place? After parallel parking. Popping Audrey in the sling. I was off to UO. Walking merrily down the street because it was a beautiful day. Within no time I realized I was the only person with a baby as far as you could see. And surrounded by college students. Everywhere. It could be due to the fact I had the university 50 feet to my right and a bar 50 feet to my left. And UO right in the middle. Needless to say, I was in and out of that place in no time. With no duvet cover. Maybe I will just be safe and do the online thing.

As I was driving away and thinking 'what was I thinking.' I look over and see another. mom. with. a. baby. It gave me a small sliver of hope for next time.


17.5 lbs of Pure Squeezable Love.

That's what I carried around the Indianapolis Zoo today for four hours. In my sling. The entire time. And it was the sweetest thing ever. Even if I was sweating like a mad woman in what was suppose to be 71 degrees and ended up like 80 (I am NOT complaining, bring on the warmth). And I pushed an empty stroller around the whole time too (thankfully I had help with this one here and there). [I. love. her. chubby. legs.]

Going to the zoo also kind of felt like a mini-celebration for Audrey turning 6 months today. I mean, going from this...

To this... (heart procedure done at the ripe age of 5 days old)

To this in six months...

is quite amazing if I do say so myself.

Edited to Add: At the zoo I ate a second day old, sitting in the sun for at least 3 hours, sub while watching the seals and holding sleeping Audrey in the sling. And at that time I thought that sub was amazing. Funny how everything is so relative to the moment.


Baby "Essentials"

Do you feel like there is a baby boom right now? Because I do. Which means, lots of baby showers to attend to or just a sweet gift for the second (third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth) child. I was thinking about the things that I have enjoyed as a mom. You know, those baby things that just seem to make life a tad bit easier or more joyful. And I wanted to share. Some of things may not seem practical and may not be on your list of "essentials," but it is my list. And here is that list...

*Trumpette Mary Jane Baby Socks. Love them because they are just so darn cute and don't require any shoes. And I am not kidding, I think Audrey wears a pair almost everyday. Look closely at the picture and you will see those adorable socks. See, even when it is almost bed time, she still has them on!*Hooter Hider. Yes, it is exactly what it says it is.
*Sophie the Giraffe. I have mentioned this amazing little toy before. It seems somewhat pricey for a toy. But totally worth it. Made from natural rubber. We don't leave home without it. And comes in a super, cute adorable box- perfect for a gift!*Kangeroo Korner Sling. Especially love it because I don't have to tie anything to put it on, just slip it over, put baby in, and you are off!
*Wet Bag. I always have one in my diaper bag to put anything dirty in (clothes, diapers, burp clothes, you get the idea). I love that I don't have to worry about getting everything else dirty and I can just throw it all in the washer. [P.S. I don't have that exact wet bag, but I wish I did, who knew wet bags could be so stylish?]
*Wall Decal. Okay, this really has no purpose for baby, except sheer cuteness for the room. We have little bird decals hanging in Audrey's room above the crib. And another one above the light switch. (BTW- that is me 9 months pregnant). I kind of want to decorate my house in decals, because they are just that cute. Etsy.com is the perfect place to find them. Warning: if you start looking, you may not be able to stop!
Baby Leggings. So convenient for changing. And stylish for boys and girls. These make awesome gifts! (BTW- that is Audrey at 2.5 months, and in case you were wondering, that is a crystal Colts bloomer she is wearing)

My list could go on. But I think I will stop there. Got any input? What is a great baby gift or something you couldn't live without?


Let's Just Be Honest.

I have decided to turn the hardly used guestroom into a craft/store baby toy's in room. Toys are taking over the front room very quickly. This includes a Galloping Horse (borrowed), an Exersaucer (given to us), a Learn and Play standing table (bought on sale), a kids Piano (borrowed), an a blanket with multiple little toys and a Boppy. Oh, and one of those wooden things that you find in doctors' offices with the beads on it [you know what I'm talking about, you played with one when you were little waiting for the dentist to call your name in hopes that he may forget because you were too scared to see him-or at least that was my story- I can still remember him talking in code about my teeth to his assistant as fast as his mouth would go]. All of those things are sitting right when you come in. I kind of want to change that. So, the guest bed is going downstairs. I mean, almost all of our guests like to sleep downstairs anyway. And I am hoping if I set up a nice craft area for me I will start making all the cool things that are stored up in my head right now. I really want to get my sewing machine out again.

So, here goes nothing. Here is my messy, messy guestroom. I am sharing this so it will hold me accountable for making it super cute when I am done rearranging everything! Oh, and I can't wait to get rid of that 13 in. TV that stands out like a sore thumb. And in case you are wondering, it DOES have a VCR attachment. That's right, I have had that since I was a junior in high school.
Somethings I do keep nice and polished. Like my almost 6 month old baby girl. I recently bought that flower at Hobby Lobby for $3 and attached it to her hat I got on sale for $3. Total cuteness=$6. Baby=priceless.


I Think This Might Make You Laugh.

This is a sign I found today on top of a toilet.

That's not even the funny part. The funny part is, it was at my dad's house. He had a lot of people over for Easter, so I guess he thought this was appropriate. Ha! If you knew him, you would know he is a hoot!

On another note. Happy Easter. And check out my adorable baby girl from today...

Or this one...

Or this one... (I love her expression in it, oh, and if you look closely, you can see a very lovely bracelet she is wearing)

Shall I go on?


Celebration of Life.

It's time. Time to bring out the bonnets for little girls. [Which Audrey has the cutest one]. Vests to button up on little boys. Hoping (or should I say hopping) for nice weather. Hiding the eggs. Spending time with family. Remembering the resurrection of Christ. Or for some, it may be a reminder of taxes due. April 15. Tax day. But for me. April 15 doesn't mean tax day. And Easter is even more than just a remembrance of Jesus' resurrection. It is also a reminder of my mom's new life. Three years ago was the most beautiful Easter day. Ever. You may not remember it. But I do. Like it was yesterday. The sun was shining as bright as can be. Not a cloud in the sky. And I know why. Because my mom was dancing in heaven that day. She passed the day before that Easter Sunday. April 15. I distinctly remember going to church that morning. Without my mom. But with my family. The family I had left. I have left. I remember praising God with tears rolling down my face. Thanking him for taking my mom out of her pain. She was a fighter. A fighter of stage 4 Breast Cancer. I don't write this out of pity for myself. Or a 'woe is me' blog. But, really I write what is going on in my head. And right now. Right at this very moment. It's my mom. And her granddaughter she never met. At least here, one day they will meet. In heaven. And thankfully, I can already tell my daughter carries parts of my mom. She is a gentle reminder for me. And I like that.

Oh, and what I really want you to get out of this post. Really. Is to check yourself. You can never, ever over check. No matter what age.


When and Wear.

Since Audrey was a wee-little baby. And she was tiny at 6lbs. 13oz. or at least in comparison to her cousin who came out at 9lbs 6oz. I loved wearing her. And still do. I clearly remember wearing her in my brown and whit polka-dot Hot Sling when cooking dinner. Folding laundry. Church. Out on walks. Pretty much, everywhere. Because it made me feel secure and her. Plus it made me feel safe taking her out in public when she was still very young. As she got bigger, we moved on to another sling. A fleece Kangeroo Korner. At her age now (a whopping almost 6 months) she loves to be looking around at everything. So this is perfect because I can wear her facing out. Some of her favorite places to go in this include but not limited to: Target, park, and TJ Maxx. And I LOVE this sling because it is so quick to put on. I am going to be sad when she grows out of it (which is very, very soon) and when it gets too warm for the fleece.
(This picture was taken way back in January, I need to get a more recent one!)

And don't think for one minute, babywearing is just for moms. My husband likes to wear her too! His places include: the mall and basketball games. Of course, it has to be in his Jeep Carrier.


Let Me Share My Deal.

As you know from my previous post on diapers. I have made the switch from Happy Heinys to Bum Genius. I sold my HH on craigslist in one day! Woop Woop! I went and purchased a Bum Genius locally yeterday. Tried it today. Audrey had it on for 3.5 hours (not intentionally) and no leakage! Super pumped about that. So, I have been looking online all the different places I can purchase BG. I went to places such as Kellys Closest, Amazon, Cottonbabies, etc. All of which are great places to go. However, I was truly looking for the best deal. I was wanting to avoid having to buy a large bulk in order to receeive any discount or spending like $100 for free shipping (and I hate having to pay for shipping on anything). And I ended up at Diapers.com. If I spent only $49, I got free shipping and because I was a new customer I received a whopping $10 off my order. Which I thought was great for cloth diapers. I purchased three, lovely, Bum Genius, for only $43.85. Which makes them only $14.62 a piece, opposed to $17.95 regular price. Not to mention they will be shipped to me on Monday! Oh, AND they sell more than just cloth diapers, so you can use this deal on lots of other things. If it is your first time shopping at Diapers.com, just enter the code: AACL7639 at checkout. And you too, can receive free shipping and $10 off a purchase of $49 or more.


Have You Ever?

I am always doing things that are embarrassing. But because it is like second nature to me, it doesn't really make me embarrassed. If that even makes sense. Like for example...

Have you ever tried to use a coupon at the wrong store? This week I went to Barnes and Noble in search of a book. I ended at the checkout with a book, recipe book, and a bag. I nonchalantly hand the cashier my coupon. Because I almost always have a coupon. And she says in a 'you're an idiot' type of voice, "I would be happy to use this, but this isn't Borders." Uh, uh. I quickly just buy the things, because at that point, I couldn't go putting things back and have her stare at me any longer. I blame it on me being over zealous about running errands without a baby attached that day. At least I like to think that was my excuse.

Have you ever turned your turn signal on while going around a sharp curve? I don't mean just any curve. I mean one that you drive on EVERY single day. I did just that today (oh, and I have done it many times before). Then I glanced around to make sure no other car so me. Oh, good no car around. Just Audrey. Fortunately, she was distracted with her Sophie to even bother to notice her silly mom. [side note: Need a baby shower gift? Or a good teether? Or just a great toy? Grab the Sophie giraffe from Land of Nod. Audrey got it as a gift and absolutely loves it. Travels every where we go. Perfect to pop in the sling with her too].

Have you ever gone to the bathroom while holding your baby? In a public restroom? With other ladies in the room? I had to last week at the library. Talk about multi-tasking. I wonder what the other women were thinking listening to me talk to Audrey on the pot. At least I could pull the bathroom trick- you know, wait until everyone is out of the room until I leave the stall.


Baby Food Making 101.

Have you been down the baby aisle later? Baby food is expensive. For one tiny, little jar it can be around 50 cents. And then if decide to do organic, it is around 75 cents. Don't get me wrong, the convenience of having a jar handy is nice. But, I am all about saving money and I like the idea of knowing what food is going in my baby's mouth. So, tonight I made organic baby food with some girlfriends. This is what I started with...This includes squash, mango, pear, avacado, sweet potatoe, and three different kinds of apples. We also made carrots, peas, and green beans.

And this is how it went...

Supplies included: blender, steamer, knife, cutting board, spoon, bowl, peeler, ice cube trays, and other tiny freezable containers, and sticky labels

And this is how it ended...

My freezer is pretty much stocked now. For $20 of organic fruits and vegetables my friend and I got over 50 servings worth! And it was super fun!


Not Feeling Happy, But Bummed Instead.

I need some help. I love cloth diapering, but my Happy Heinys aren't making me so happy anymore. I heard rumor by many that BumGenius are the way to go. No leaks. So, I would like to sell my HH and get BG. I know I can sell on Diaperswappers. BUT the site seems somewhat confusing and I need guidance on what to do. OR if you have another website that I can sell on, that would be great. This is my selection that I will be selling...(some super cute ones I had to save)

Oh, and have you heard of the latest diaper? It's a Gro Baby Diaper, it has snap in organic soaker pads! I think I might just have to get one to try it.

What Were You Doing at 19?

My 19 year old brother has now been in Iraq for over three months. 19 years old and he is fighting for freedom as a military police officer. Wow, what was I doing when I was 19? Let's see, not sleeping in a bunk with other soldiers. Not driving a gigantic tank around. Not carrying a gun every where I go. Not mingling with Iraqi children. Not experiencing dust storms. Not on missions. Like my brother is everyday. I was in college. Living the dorm life. With family and friends very close by. I am so proud of him. I sent him a care package in the mail today and can't wait for him to get it. He is going to be getting this picture...

Audrey posed so nicely for it. But don't be fooled. A few seconds later she was doing this...

And that was that.


Not For Weak Stomachs.

I probably shouldn't be posting this. But it goes with motherhood, which is my job. So here goes nothing...Audrey and I were doing our typical routine this morning. We were at the point where I was changing her diaper, getting her dressed, and ready for a nap. All was well. We read some books [her favorites include Brown Bear, Brown Bear by duh, my favorite author, Eric Carle, and B is for Bear, which I can't think of the author, but I have the entire book completely memorized now], sang songs [which usually include Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star] and then laid down for a nap. I happily go into the kitchen to make some toast for myself. Get out my adorable butter knife and began to spread, but, wait, I look down and...there it was. Audrey's diaper remains were loud and clear on my pink bath robe. The funny thing is, I didn't even flinch. Because that is just part of it. I actually finished buttering my toast (I didn't want it to get cold before I buttered it, I like it when the butter is melted), then went and changed. Yup, welcome to parenthood.


Sweet Dreams.

That is what I am hoping to have once our new bed comes. I couldn't take it anymore. We had to get rid of our bed. Waking up multiple times a night and returning to a bed that requires at least a half an hour each time to get back to sleep does not work for me. We had a king size water bed [don't worry, it wasn't a 1980's one, it had a pillowtop and separate water bladders, wait, why am I trying to justify that bed]. But now. Now we are sleeping on an air mattress. And the sad part is, I have slept better the last two nights on that then our old bed. We sold our bed in a day on craigslist. It was kind of amazing. And I was kind of proud of myself for doing it. In fact, since then, I have posted tickets and sold them and now I have three other things for sale, all with interested buyers. I better be careful or by next week we may have nothing left in our house. Back to the bed situation. We ordered a new queen-size sleep number bed tonight! Let me throw this out---we do not have money, we are extremely frugal, BUT I wasn't about to go cheap on a bed (again). We looked at buying a bed as an investment, so we wanted a good one. One that would last. And one that worked for both of us. We also wanted a queen this time. Our bedroom is too small for a king and we only used half the bed anyway. So, now all we do is wait. Wait for the lovely bed to arrive. Until then we will be filling our air mattress up each night.

Some things you can go cheap on, but not a bed. Not something you spend a 1/3 of your life on. What is something that you splurge on?


Thrifty Thursday: Homemade Cleaners.

It's time. Time to spring clean. I can finally understand why they call it spring clean. Because you actually feel somewhat motivated to do it now. Back in January I thought it should have been called winter cleaning, because I was stuck inside all day, and I had no choice but to clean. But now. Now I can open up the windows. Let in the breeze. And try to enjoy the cleaning process. Plus, I have this adorable book that sits on my coffee table reminding me everyday that I should be cleaning. In the book, it gives some great advice on using everyday household items to create cleaners. So I thought I would share...

general cleaner: mix 1/2 c. vinegar, 1/4 c. baking soda, into 2 gallons of water

stainless steel: baking soda and water, rinse well and buff with a clean soft cloth

silver: remove tarnish by placing silver in a large bowl with 2 tsp. of salt, 2 tsp. of baking soda, and a piece of aluminum foil. Cover with boiling water and wait 3 minutes. OR polish with plain white toothpaste. :)

varnished wood: quart of water over two tea bags of plain black tea, let cool (Who would have thought to use tea, huh?)
scuffed furniture: apply vegetable oil and buff gently with fine-grade steel wool

floors, vinyl: scrub greasy troubled spots with a halved lemon, then mop with an all-purpose cleaner (You know, those spots around the fridge and stove, yuck!)

Back to the Future.

I always thought it was the coolest movie ever. I mean, the way the car doors opened like wings. The way the skateboards "floated" around. And Marty McFly was so dreamy. I totally wanted to own a time machine after watching Back to the Future. I think I may have even brainstormed ideas on how I could make one myself. I remember watching the movies and wondering what it was going to be like when I was older. What was my future going to look like? Would the houses be floating like The Jetsons? Would we have cool cars like McFly's? I mean at the time, you were hip if you had a gigantic cellphone (if you can even call it that) attached to your car through a huge bag of some sort. [Wow, flashback right now, to my parents car and that phone]. Oh, and power windows were just coming in. Wow, Audrey will probably never know that we used to have to roll down the window at drive-thrus. Life has definitely changed.
Now, here I am living in my future. With a baby. A husband. A house. In the country. Living life. And I could careless about all the futuristic things. [Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for technology and such, but I don't have to be in the know, ya know] And now I think, what will my daughter's future look like? What will things look like when she is driving?