29 December 2007

Almost Home

We finally broke down in the form of two emotional outbursts, one per parent over the last 24 hours. Chase was given permission to be discharged from the NICU on good behavior ( :-) ). He's able to regulate his temp, eating very well, taking his pheno barb once daily, on room air, with great vitals, normal head circumference (yay for now) as well as a ton of other good things. We were invited to "room in" last night just for a few more hours of observation and to teach us how to administer his meds and to give us some "educational materials" on how to tell if Chase seizes (it's super hard in an infant, btw!).
The night went well, Chase fed great and no alarms went off (they are sooo loud). We both had problems sleeping and are exhausted today. As of now, we are staying one more night in Birmingham with family and then we will be back in Montgomery as of tomorrow afternoon.
Chase will continue to see both a neurologist and a neuro surgeon as well as his regular pediatrician. He will receive more than frequent head measurements which would indicate additional blood that would then need to be addressed. He has the ability to break down the blood in his head currently but if that doesn't happen, or he begins to clot, he will need a shunt to remove the blood and pressure. He will remain on the seizure meds for awhile.. if he doesn't seize he could go off them at the age of 2. Other than that, it's a waiting game again to see if and when he begins breaking down the blood. Frequent MRI's and CAT scans will help the neuro surgeons determine the best course of action for us and our little man.
Conner is doing well. He's really been through the ringer but has proved to both Michael and I that he is one strong dude. We really have missed being with him over the Christmas holiday since we've had to split our time up so much. But now, life will be getting back to a more normal state. I remember telling Conner the night before I was induced that I was truly sorry, but his world was about to be flipped on it's head... partially joking... and now that's proven to be the case. I just pray God gives us the strength to do the best for him and make him feel as loved as he is.
So thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for all the prayer and best wishes. In times of need, it is wonderful to see those who love you build a safety net of support... and without that we would have never made it through the last 8 days. We both love you all dearly and promise to keep you updated.






















23 December 2007

Life in the NICU

Life in the NICU
As of now, baby Chase is in the NICU at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. We too are in Birmingham and staying with family, although we are mostly in the NICU. Conner is here with us as well.
Chase has not had a seizure in over 24 hours, since leaving Montgomery after being flown to Birmingham via emergency helicopter. Until this morning, Chase was being treated symptomatically for the seizures and associated breathing problems (due to his high doses of pheno barb - a seizure medication). Now, we have the results from an MRI/MRA (a vascular MRI) of the brain and Chase has been diagnosed with Sinus Venous Thrombosis. This means he has a blood clot in the vessel known as the Sinus Venus that runs down the top of the brain. The pressure causes the seizures and bleeding. They are running genetic tests to determine if this is a long term problem or if this was just a one in a million fluke. We will know more later, but he will soon be able to start receiving nurioushment (in the form of pumped milk from me) via feeding tube, which is great news to me. However, in an infant there is nothing that can be done currently for the clot, as medication would cause more than excessive bleeding. For now, it's the waiting game for all of us.
MIchael is doing well and is doing night shifts at the NICU from about 2 a.m. - 5 a.m. in addition to the other hours we are putting in. I was discharged early to come to Birmingham and am trying to do the best I can physically. Emotionally, we are holding strong and are heartbroken that we can't be with our angel (both our angels) 24/7.
We are asking that you please keep our little man in your thoughts and prayers and we want you all to know we really appreciate all the great things you are doing for us now. We want our baby home and healthy... and prayer is the only thing we have right now.

With Love,
Amanda

19 December 2007

Good to the Last Drama

In the spirit of my pregnancy, my last OB appointment today went from normal to not. I arrived on time and my nurse started my appointment with a blood pressure measurement. She checked my right arm first, made a face... then asked me to turn so she could check the other arm... same result apparently. My bottom number was high... and I've always had "perfect" BP. So, on the scale I went, 4 lb gain in one week: yowza. Baby's heartrate was normal. So, as she packed her things and left the room she mentions in passing "Oh, Dr. Griggs will be right in and then you'll probably be off to OB triage...". Great... just great.

So, Griggs came in and we discussed how I've been feeling, which for the record, I've felt like I was in slow motion for 3 days now and the swelling in my legs and feet has been absurd.. and I normally don't swell. I've had 2 instances in which I've seen spots, but only for a minute or two. He decided to send me off to the hospital for blood work and monitoring.

I tried to calmly talk Michael into staying home with Conner, to which he finally caved and did (it was nap time). At the OB triage, I met an AWESOME nurse named Gayle (she spells it right, yay!) who told me that if ANYTHING looked abnormal, I'd be staying. Lots of blood work and monitoring later (plus an IV line... grrr), I was released although my BP had spiked once and contractions were present. Apparently, Dr. Griggs would not be able to deliver me that night personally, so 20 hours of waiting was going to be our game plan. Personally, I think it was a bad choice medically, but I did get to come home and do things as we had originally planned.

Now, we are a medical induction and will not be bumped unless there are a ton of other people needing to be induced and all of those have more serious medical conditions.

I would have to say that somewhere in me, I believe something else isn't "right"... and that all the problems I've had this pregnancy are starting to show their true colors - letting the doctors and nurses actually SEE what I've been telling them all along. So, here's to a safe, non-painful and stress-free delivery... and a happy baby boy!

13 December 2007

And Then There Were 3...

Only 3 people in the family NOW but as of next Thursday/Friday, there will be 4 of us!!! FINALLY, it appears we will be induced... baby is small but healthy... weighing in around the very low 6's... my guess is a 6 lb. 2 ouncer. We've been waiting on the weight to get a little higher, and at 36 weeks, he weighed 5 lbs. and a few ounces. Now, he is a little bigger and stronger and VERY ready to come home with us for Christmas!
We hope to not get bumped (PLEASE PRAY HARD THAT WE DON'T!!!!!!!!!!) as to avoid still being in the hospital on Christmas Eve. It would break my heart not to be with Conner at our house on Christmas! So, that's our story for now. I'll update if it changes.

Now... if the baby ONLY officially had a name. We're working on that. Promise.

10 December 2007

Just Shoot Me

Dear Amanda,
I just thought I'd post a pleasant reminder in case you EVER decide that experiencing the "joys of pregnancy" sound like "fun" again. It's hard to remember exactly how being pregnant feels once you are a few months out and you've been busy with the new baby... so this time, I'm recording it.
The first few weeks weren't too bad. You sat around, waiting on Mrs. Period to come and thinking to yourself "self, this is going to be one BAD month"... then the flu-like symptoms set it around "your time", and you began contemplating going to the doc for some antibiotics ... or to Publix for a pregnancy test. The migraines were bad for about 4 months.. in case you forgot. The nauseous was never ending, and since it wasn't your first pregnancy.. you gained weight FAST.
I'll fast-forward to the end of the pregnancy, since my fingers are so swollen currently it hurts to type. The contractions are annoying, only some painful. At 36 weeks, it began to become difficult to wipe your own butt... and since you were going EVERY hour (including nights) that is more of a problem than you'd think. Speaking of sleep, this pregnancy you experienced the fun that is Restless Leg Syndrome.... yowza. Your left leg is the worst, the urge to move is unbearable... and the crazy tingling sensations are more than enough to keep you up and uncomfortable.
Let's talk about the heartburn ... the 4 zantac a day... the prilosec... the hospital visit because of the super-sharp pain in your upper abdomen... waking up a 3 thinking your throat was on fire... Yup... let's not go through that again.
I want to mention not being able to get out of bed on your own without pulling something... how bending over ventures towards a monumental event... and how you can't fit into ANYTHING in your closet at 38 weeks except 2 items made of lycra and 1 that's technically a towel.
Your feet started swelling at 35 weeks.... and sometimes your legs go to sleep now... both... at the same time... and won't stop!
But your boobs are huge. As in bigger than a D... eww. Oh, and your face is fat. Sorry... I said it.

So, self, don't be a moron. Be happy with what God has blessed you with and enjoy your beautiful baby boys. Besides, don't you have your hands full anyways?

Lots of Love,
Me

27 November 2007

Because ONE blog named "Stinky Poop" isn't enough

Me (after smelling something foul): "Conner, did you make stinky poop?"
Conner (with a very serious face): "No, Mama!"
Then he pokes me in the chest with one finger and interrogates me with "Mama! Did YOU stinky poop?"

It wasn't me, I swear!

23 November 2007

Stinky Poop

A few thoughts and sayings from the life of Conner over the past few days:

Conner, walking into our bedroom is search of his daddy... comes up to the edge of the bed and says "Dadda? No Dadda. Dats Mama... Where's dadda?" And then scurried off to the bathroom to find him.

Upon waking early from his nap today I asked "Conner, what's wrong?" to which he replied "Mama, I pooped!". Well then. So, I took him to our bedroom to change him where he declared to Michael "I stinky pooped"... "No dadda, No mamma, No stinky poop!"

Mike's dad which we've been calling Grandad Z for Conner's entire life came over yesterday and barely made it in the door before Conner approached him and said "Jack! Come on!" So, I guess he's just "Jack" now.

After making a mess in the dining room and telling me "Ewww! Mama, eww!", I wiped up said mess and went on my way. Conner came back later to check on my progress and approve the job. He found the same spot (minus the mess), wiped the floor with his hands and spouted out "Mama, no eww. Clean! Clean! Dats Clean!" Well, I'm just glad I did a good job.

Conner saw a snake on tv and loudly stated "No bite, ssssss, No bite". We aren't reptile lovers in the Zaremba house.

Me: "What sound does a frog make?" Conner: "Reit, reit" Umm... that'll work.

Hope you all had a great Turkey Day!

15 November 2007

Update

We've had what I call "new baby drama" around the house for the past 2 weeks which included hospital trips and some bedrest... woohoo. Now, at 34 1/2 weeks pregnant the doctor has told me that he will no longer attempt to stop my labor. Which is actually great news to me. He also says that my body is obviously getting ready, I'm dialated and contracting daily for a few hours. With that in mind, we are homebound for Turkey Day in fear that I could go into active labor at any moment. I'm super exhausted and soooooooo ready for this pregnancy to be over with so I can have my body and sleep back (wishful thinking on the later half).

There are a ton of details I could share, but honestly with telling my entire family I'm a little pooped on the topic. So, just know that Dr. Griggs' best guess for baby's arrival is sometime between the 28th and the 7th of December (that being the end of 36 weeks and the beginning of my 37th week). I was induced with Conner at 37 weeks and 1 day... and by induced I mean I came to the hospital for my planned induction with frequent contractions and being 2 cm dilated... so I was really just "helped" not "induced" (although they did use cytotek). If we don't go naturally by the middle of my 37th week, we will go in for an induction as we've been told there will be no babies delivered by me any bigger than 6 lbs. Yay! I can't wait to get the baby home and settled in before Christmas comes.

On that note, I must mention that I am crazy - my Christmas tree is up and frequently plugged in (for Conner's enjoyment). It's been that way for over a week now too. It might seem psycho to passers-by, but they don't understand how much I did NOT look forward to assembling said tree on the more traditional "Day After Thanksgiving" being that it's very likely I'll be contracting, in pain and expecting to give birth. It's actually really nice having it up. We are going to decorate as a family tonight and play holiday music... how cheesy! Conner, as mentioned before, is in love with it... which makes the new baby gate that spans the entire 146" doorway leading into the dining room a blessing. I'm so excited for Christmas!!!

26 October 2007

A Posting Extravaganza!

Hey.. Kool-Aid
At Publix, with shoppping list in hand, Conner and I drudged through the aisles... praying that nothing too expensive or tempting would leap out at us. I needed to get apple juice and kool-aid, so we ventured down that aisle... picked up said items and placed them in the back of the buggy where my 2-yr-old now camps out during grocery trips (man I miss the days when he sat in the correct part of the buggy).
Conner picked up the kool-aid packets and immediately started gabbing away. Then, I listened more attentively, as Conner exclaimed "Dats Mama"... "DATS MAMA!". Wait, what did he just say? I look down to find Conner pointing excitedly at the Kool-Aid man and yelling "That's Mama". Oh dear. I ask him to stop and please put the kool-aid down before everyone realizes my son apparently believes I am as fat as the Kool-Aid man. But no, he insists.. and then proceeds to tell me "Dats Mama... See baby!"
WHAT?!?
I went from half-believing he could actually be referring to me to utter shock and disbelief. To Conner, obviously the Kool-Aid man and I are similar in build... and apparently, he is also pregnant ... with little kool-aid singles, of course.

There's Something About Conner
More fun Conner stories... as today I discovered my non-napping child with a tube of lotion (trial size) in his bed shortly after I put him down. But not just ANY lotion, I might add... but something called Aquaphor Healing Ointment (by Eucerin... for advanced healing of dry, cracked and irritated skin). The main ingredient: Petroleum. You see, it wasn't the lotion I noticed first though... but this:



















With it being oil-based, it's practically impossible to get out so, I've come up with a list of alternative uses for your enjoyment:
1. If I ever need to fit through a crack half my size, I'll lube myself up in this first.
2. A full body coating of this stuff next time you need to go outside in the rain and have forgotten the umbrella.
3. Mohawk time and Aqua-Net just isn't cutting it.
4. Slip-n-Slide and all out of soap? Guaranteed success.
5. Don't they have vaseline wrestling at bars?

Conner is now down for his nap with a mohawk. I'm pretty sure I can stop typing about this... as the pictures do it much justice.


Because I Like Talking About My Offspring
Conner... stole... my dress. Oh, his daddy would be proud.






23 October 2007

Some Cravings Just Aren't Worth It.

This past weekend Michael, Conner and I played host to a wonderful Bama game with our friend James (sans his wife, Laura). James is a connoisseur of all things yummy and strange, usually stuff that only I can appreciate - like wing sauce on fries and sour kraut w/ brauts. Too good. Well, James brought with him some delicious Johnsonville Smoked Brauts and we grilled. I, being the emptier of the frig, decided to also cook 2 hotdogs, leaving 2 in the package for later. We grilled them and I enjoyed both the brauts and the dogs... only to realize that the hot dogs were delicious but nearing their shelf life.

So last night, I decided to take advantage of our "no food in the house" status, and cook off the last 2 hot dogs while Michael and Conner made sandwiches (I was going to share, promise!). I am the cook and the grill person in the house, although Michael does enjoy grilling too. So, I went outside to start the grill.

It had been rainy all day and thus the starter (ignitor) was a little wet. I didn't realize that at the time though, and turned on the gas. I pressed the ignitor button once... then twice... leaned down and turned up the gas to max and pressed it again - no flame. So, I waddled inside to find the lighter.

I must have been gone 20 seconds, I always keep the lighter in the first drawer of the bar. I walked back outside, lighter in hand, determined to eat my hot dogs and fearing that the gas was finally out (it has been trying for a few weeks now). So, I flicked the flame once, no spark, then again ....


BOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!

A ball of flames comes barreling out of the grill, up my arm, then my chest, my face and above my head. I hear Conner yell "wooww!". I panicked. My right hand was on fire for a few seconds and then lingered with the smell of burnt flesh and hair. I immediately checked my face as I ran inside. Michael had missed the whole thing - Conner was still thinking that mommy was the coolest.

I met Michael in the living room and I couldn't get anything out of my mouth. It scared the crap out of me, and I was just concerned with getting my burning arm in some cool water and searching for the lidocaine. In the bathroom, I checked my eyebrows and eyelashes which were scorched but present. I lost a good amount of baby hair around my hairline. My right arm is totally hairless and red. My hand is burnt, all 5 fingers and knuckles were killing me all night with some blistering and lots of redness.

I still ended up getting my hot dogs grilled though... but they weren't worth me nearly loosing my arm (or my hair for that matter!). The lesson learned is this - either turn off the gas when searching for the lighter... or just get Michael to do the grilling!

16 October 2007

Up a creek

I assumed when Conner started potty training I would still be pregnant and not based on other's banter about the subject, but mostly based on the sheer timing of it all. Conner will be 2 1/2 in December, the same month I'm due, and that's a good age for boys to start doing the deed as the deed should be done.

So, when Conner started stripping last week, more than normal I might add, I figured he was getting ready to start making some progress in the land of potty. I was right, as after two full days of trying with all my might to keep my son in his diaper, Conner decided to actually sit on the potty and pee. I made a HUGE deal out of it, called Michael who in turn brought home some pull-ups. My thought was that Conner obviously hated wearing the diaper now, especially once he wet it, so the pull-ups would assist us in both keeping my child from exposing himself AND teach him more about when it is he needs to go.

Pfft... the heck with my thought process... Conner thought the pull-ups were pretty cool, seeing as they had cars on them. He walked around the house for nearly an hour pointing to his undies and saying "see... truck!". I was tickled pink. But, when it came down to actually going, we hit a road block.

He would sit on the potty, but not go. Then, when he had to go, he started freaking out. He wanted in the tub, desperately. Finally, after fighting him and not wanting to make this a traumatic moment, we let him get in the tub and go. Since then, he has gone in the tub about 5 times and the shower once. My thoughts are that maybe he's just learning what it feels like when he needs to go... I hope...

Then, Saturday rolled around and my little naked baby roamed the house, once again fighting any sight of a diaper. For the few times we could keep him clothed, he was fine but the second he thought he had to pee all items had to be removed. We tried belts, zippers, tape.. you name it! Nothing could keep my tiny dancer in his duds.

Nap time slowly approached, and I thought nothing of it. We went through our routine and managed to stay with-diaper. He lied down and I left to take a nap myself. About an hour in, our bedroom door is flung open and there stands Conner-in-the-nude. Great. "Ewww... Momma!" Well, ewww is his word for a bug... he is almost cat-like in his ability to find them and have Michael or I destroy the intruders. But this time was different. He led me by the hand into his room and pointed at his bed, in which was a gigantic pile of POOP and covered in PEE!!!

Wonderful. I freaked. Conner was a mix of excited about his accomplishment and terrified that he had done something wrong. I cleaned up the mess and he missed his nap.

Sunday started and ended the same way, with a pee and poop session in his bed during nap time. Lots of naked baby and no peeing in the potty.

Then, yesterday... we had a repeat... only this time he went in the corner of his room.

I'm at a loss of what to do. I'm afraid to take him out in public for fear that he will strip ... which almost happened at the grocery store today. I want him potty trained, but I don't want to push him. I don't want him peeing in the tub, but I also want him to learn what it is like to go without the diaper on AND in a controlled environment. I'm confused!!! HELP!

11 October 2007

Things I Love.

The Lord has blessed us all with some BEAUTIFUL weather today. I am especially grateful seeing as I am carrying around an extra 25 lbs. I think Fall is my new favorite season.... and today I am celebrating it with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (and no, it's not decaf) as well as a few other things such as:

1. Harvest Spice Yankee Candle - Yummy! It's a cider-pumpkin smell that's divine (other notables I purchased - Cranberry Chutney, Spiced Pumpkin, Christmas Cookie and Harvest)... but to make it more fragrant I am burning it as a tart in my new....

2. Wax Melting Pot - From Linens-N-Things compliments of my grandmother. It nearly triples the smell-good factor of a normal candle by making the whole house smell scrumptious within 40 minutes. I'm hooked.

3. Conner's Love For Leaves on the Ground - So I know that they are few and far between at this point, but our neighbors across the street have a magnolia tree that is shedding its leaves, and Conner finds great joy in collecting them and giving them to me as gifts. He calls them flowers and likes to put them to his nose and smell.. very cute. Recently, we kept a few and used them as stencils under paper and rubbed the tops with crayons as an art project. I think I enjoyed it more than he did though.

I'm sure there are a lot of other things I could list, but I'd rather go play trains with the little man :).

09 October 2007

Because I like to share

My mom gave me this recipe along with a cookbook for Christmas in 2003. I know so because she kindly wrote that on the inside cover, thanks mom. We often refer to the cookbook and all added recipes by the name "the best cookbook, eva", and rightfully so. I recently rediscovered this Breakfast Casserole recipe and made it for the family, as Michael loves it and I figured it'd be a great way to get Conner to eat eggs. So, please try it and enjoy!

Breakfast Casserole:
6 eggs
1 cup milk + 1/2 stick melted butter (I use just a smidge less butter)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (I use a little more)
1 lb. sausage or bacon, cooked and drained (I prefer the bacon and I cook it a little on the crispy side as the casserole process softens it a bit)
3 cups frozen has browns

Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with the frozen hash browns. Sprinkle with chopped sausage or bacon. Mix together egg, milk and butter and pour mixture over meat and potatos (I prefer adding a dash of salt and pepper to this step). Top with cheese. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes (a little more depending on your oven.. my mom says it takes her an hour). BEST if prepared the night before and refrigerated before cooking. This allows everything to merry together.

It's really super simple. I usually find myself cooking off the bacon whenever I know I'll be making the casserole soon, say a few days before... whatever is easiest and for when I find myself in the kitchen.

Bon Appetite!

08 October 2007

With a screwdriver in hand...

My mom came down this past Sunday for an all day work-a-thon... of which she's known for. We managed to clean out the guest room, break down the bed, put together the crib and hang the draperies for Chase's room. Whew! That was ALOT of work! We only managed to mess up one thing.. the entire alarm system. Typical for new constructions, our home came pre-wired for an alarm system which basically means that a majority of the hardwiring has been done during the framing of the house. In screwing in the hooks for the drapery rod, my mom and I managed to nick said wiring... causing the alarm system to go off and subsequently stop working properly. Great. Michael claims "it was a one-in-a-million shot"... congrats to us for making it.

All-in-all though, we worked our tushies off and the room is really starting to come together. Chase's dresser has been ordered which you can see by going to this website. Funny thing is, the crib won't match the dresser, nothing will match the nightstand, the chair has a "personality" all its own and finally the daybed is completely different too. No two pieces of furniture will match - great. Whatever though... I don't care and there is a reason for all the "hodge-podge-iness" (spelling?).

I also have drapes in my living room now (yay).

The computer is still sick and is being shipped to the Mac Doc soon, so I will be without internet again.

And thank goodness for FALL!

(No time for spell check, Conner wants me to camp out in the car with him!)

23 September 2007

No Internet

It's a sad time in the Zaremba household. Michael's p.o.s. computer finally bit the dust with a fried motherboard and we are in "financial ruin" to the point that we can't buy one right now. This is the FIRST time in... well... since I first had the internet at age 9 that I've gone more than a 10-day period without using the computer. Sad... yet geeky all at the same time.

It's killing me, yet freeing up alot of time to get my nesting bug itched around the house. The Mac is going to be driven to the Ham sometime this week to see if they can give it a swift kick to the hardrive and make it magically work again (not even sure why it's broken anyways...). If that fails... NEW APPLE TIME! Woohoo! But that won't be for another month... sniff, sniff.

So, in the meantine if you need me - CALL ME! If you want my number, and aren't Ashley... then bug her for it! (Sorry Ash for putting you on task... but be picky when deciding on who to give it to... thanks in advance.. p.s.- no one will ask, so you are in the clear.) If you don't know Ashley, then shame on you. You probably know Mary though... so email her at msmary0828@aol.com - she also needs a date.. so you know... send all applicants to the same aforementioned email addy.

Glucose test next week - boo. Conner is doing smashingly. I am getting over being sick, yay. I'll keep in touch best I can. I only get one hour a week at Michael's work! Sorry for spelling errors.. no time to proofread.

agzaremba@gmail.com
amandagaylezaremba@yahoo.com

12 September 2007

Girl Talk

I stumbled upon a blog today that had me cracking up by the 3rd post. There I found this list of 12 things to prepare you for parenthood that couldn't be more true. Enjoy!

Preparation for parenthood...

It's not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: To prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a pillowcase filled with beans down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans.
Men: To prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it -- it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5 pm to 10 pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious noise) playing loudly. At 10 pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1 am. Put the alarm on for 3 am. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45 am. Get up again at 3 am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4 am. Put the alarm on for 5 am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, first smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flower beds, then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a bag made out of loose mesh. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this: all morning.

6. Take an egg carton, using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle. Last, take a milk carton, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations! You have just qualified for a place on the play group committee.

7. Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a dime. Stick it in the cd player. Take a family-size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a preschool child -- a fully-grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month-old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Thomas the Train, Dora the Explorer, and the Wiggles.

When you find yourself singing "I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.




Too funny!I found myself singing "It's almost time for the big party, It's almost time for the big party" right before Conner's 2nd bday bash. It's funny how those songs stick!

10 September 2007

She's Not That 'Into-it'

We all recall (at least most of us do) having stage fright at some point in our lives. My most memorable moments include forgetting the steps and messing up in colorguard try-outs one year and my infamous COMS 101 speech that I came to class not even knowing we had a speech due (it was the second week of school, come on!). Usually, we take our hits and misses with a grain of salt, noting that you the person that messed up are probably making a bigger deal out of it than necessary and that no one else barely even noticed (you hope).

Not the same if your name is Britney Spears.

Between flipping channels for Michael's two Sunday favs: The Two Coreys and Rock of Love with Bret Michaels (he has interesting tv taste)... we landed on the VMA's. After all the hype, we couldn't NOT watch the opener with Ms. Spears. Within the first 8-count, I was mortified for her.

She looked so incredibly frightened. Like this was her first time on stage, she was naked AND people were already laughing at her. Most of that is actually half-true. Her number consisted entirely of her dancing as if she were in the corner of a poorly lit night club. The type of dancing you do when you HAVE to dance in a certain situation only to blend in. She barely moved. The poor thing missed several key moments AND occasionally forgot to keep moving her lips, as she WAS supposed to be "singing" (we all know by now she lip syncs, I'd do the same.. I mean... with all that moving... who could sing?).

I kept asking Michael if this was for real.

I normally don't find myself feeling bad for celebrities or Britney Spears for that matter but I have never witnessed someone appearing to be so overwhelming in shock on LIVE tv in front of millions of viewers at home, for a "come-back", in front of peers. Gracious that's harsh. Then, to KNOW you've messed up and will be harped on the next day by anyone with a news ticker (or blog..). I know she gets paid for this and has oodles of money.. but come on..

My only question is why she just didn't fake it. I think somewhere deep inside me I would muster up some strength to go "all out" some time in the 3 minute performance as to not look like a total train-wreck: but she didn't.

I guess Criss Angel can only work so much magic.

06 September 2007

In 500 words or less...

A long-time friend of mine, Chasity, has 2 children: a boy and a girl ages 2 and 3, respectively. I remembered the other day that once while playdating with her at her house, she had compiled a list of all the words her little girl (then 2) could say. When I first saw it, I thought about how neat that would be to look back on in a few years (or 10), and decided that if I remembered it when Conner started talking I would do the same. However, I think if I wrote it down and put it on my frig, as she did, it would NEVER make it into a baby book and would be more likely to end up being turned over and made into a scribble page or a grocery list, then discarded. So here is my digital version for all the world to see.

This list will be added to over the next few weeks, as to get an accurate account of the words Conner can say in his 27 month:

People and Pets:
Mamma, Dadda, Nana (my mom), Charlie ("Chi"), Squishy ("she"), Baby

Foods:
Banana, Grape ("Gape"), Juice-Juice, Drink, Cheese (thanks to Aiden), Chicken ("Shicken"), Cookie, Chip, Dip-Dip (chip dip), "Yum", "Bite", Water, Eat

Greetings and Sayings:
Hello (and also Hey and Hi), Bye, Night-Night, Kiss, See you!, "Where did it go?", "I dunno", Come here (usually "mere"), No, No-Nos, Uh-oh, Yes, Please ("Peez"), Thanks ("Tanks"), Hurt, Mine, You sleep ("You seep"), Hot, Go

Animals:
Sheep, Moo, Pig (although not properly pronounced...), Roar (Lion), Dog, Meow (a cat), Bird, Frog ("fog"), Dragonfly ("gonfly"), all bugs are called "ewww"

Things:
Moon, Bowl, Swing, Chair (which is used as both the noun and as a verb meaning to sit), Sit, Remote ("Mote"), Bath, Spoon, Truck, Train, Ball, Shoe, Book, Bra (we took a trip to Victoria Secret and that's what he learned), Door, Light ("ight"), Balloon (more commonly "boon")

Colors and Numbers:
Blue and Green (he recognizes these plus red and yellow, but can't say them yet, and obviously he still slips up on getting them right sometimes), One, Two, Three, Five (poor 4...)

Parts of the body:
Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Teeth, Ear, Foot, Butt (we don't know WHY he picked up butt, and we are trying to change it to booty or something else, but for now... he knows butt.. *sigh*), haha... he also knows Boobie ("Oobie") - yikes.
...and he understands PLENTY more body parts but hasn't said them yet


More to come as I think of them... this was actually harder than I thought in one sitting!

28 August 2007

Things I love from the last week...

1. Wienies and Kraut
I know half of you are saying "eww" and the other half don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but this classic German dish was a staple of my childhood (as my mother's maiden name is Pitzing, and that couldn't be more German). Apparently, as a young child I hated the kraut part and made my mother pick off every last piece before serving it. Little did she know that I remember LOVING the taste of the kraut, but hating the texture (she just thought I was being a brat).

I started craving this simple dish about 2 weeks ago. Especially the smell it fills the kitchen with. It's a strange vinegar aroma and makes my mouth water instantly! Yum. So, I called my mom for the very short recipe which includes a little onion powder, Bavarian kraut, and hot dogs (is it ironic that I use jewish hot dogs for this German dish???). You throw everything into a pot on the stove (cut up the dogs first) and cook till the kraut softens and the wienies are done. Too good. Conner hates it.

2. Cabbage Patch Newborn named Ashlyn
They didn't have any boy cabbage patch kid's in the "newborn" size.
We broke down after Ashley's stint with the cabbage patch doll and bought Conner one too. We brought it home, opened the box and Conner fell in love. He immediately started hugging and kissing the doll, was ultra sweet and even fed it a bottle. I emptied out a diaper box and made a bed for it. Conner put her to sleep saying "Night night". Adorable. Then...














...He climbed in with her.

So far, things are going well with this "practice baby". He is super sweet and the process has actually made me feel better about bringing another little one home. Yay.

3. I'm Huge
As in "being so big that I can't see anything past my belly button until you reach my lower thigh". Yeah.. so I actually don't like this one, but it is worth noting. Michael told me yesterday that I am approaching the size I was during my 8th month of pregnancy with Conner. That's great. No wienies and kraut for him. For those of you who have not experienced the joy that is not seeing your private parts for months, here's a bird's eye view:















The second pic is just of me entering my 23rd week minus, of course, my head. I really don't know how I can get too much bigger without exploding first. When is December going to get here???!!!


4. "Where's Fog?" "SEE!"
This is a great game to play with Conner... that is.. for the first 20 minutes. Michael has a small obsession with catching the 15 million species of frogs that come out after a good rain here in Montgomery. Seriously, we had to stop the car one night as we turned onto our street because he needed to chase a frog. Conner has quickly caught on to his daddy's passion for amphibians, and can now be found at almost any moment of the day with his "geen fog" (that's green frog for those of you who don't speak toddler), which is basically two small plastic green toys. One is actually a turtle and the other a lizard. Funny we didn't have any frogs...

You see, "geen fog" LOVES to hide (in Conner's hand, behind his back). Conner comes up to you and says "Where's fog?". You, in turn, are expected to reply "I don't see the frog! Where did it go?" to which Conner replies "Idunno" then he pulls out his hand, opens it up and says "See!". Fun. Problem: he won't stop! But it is super cute and he is coming up with ways to hide the frog better (in boxes, your shirt or in a cup for example).

5. Cherry Limeade
I made the mistake of hoping in the car every time I wanted one of these and driving to Sonic. Stupid me. I probably gained 10 lbs in chili cheese coney's alone (at 9:30 a.m. no less). So, I finally decided to give it a shot. The easiest thing I've ever done and I love it! All you need is one can of lemon-lime soda (I started buying the Publix brand, but Sprite and 7-up are obviously good choices). Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of cherry syrup ( use a little more) and 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice. Pour it all over crushed ice and enjoy! Let me know if you wanna come over for one!

6. It's Mary's Birthday Today!
She's old. 24. Is it just Mary and I, or does 25 sound really old? Almost as if 26 sounds better... maybe we will just skip that year. Anyways, happy birthday Miss Mary! Now come get your present because I'm fat and lazy.

22 August 2007

Cupcakes and Infant Swings

May I introduced you to my BEAUTIFUL Tiffany blue cupcake series? Excellent.









It took awhile to figure out the exact amount of blue and green to get just the right shade. It still isn't as dark as Tiffany blue, but that's only because I wanted it this shade. Plus, they are delicious. My next adventure in the world of cupcakes and icing is a white chocolate icing for yellow cake mix. Yummy!

On another note, the infant swing is being acclimated inside the house now and has taken semi-permanent residence in our kitchen. Conner seems to be enthralled with the swing, and after many scoldings from his parental units, has now won the war. After many failed attempts on his behalf to climb into the swing (much of which meant him landing smack on his face), he discovered that a little patience and the right timing were the trick.

Today at lunch, after fighting me for over 15 minutes and refusing to eat, Conner put his size 7 shoe down. "No bite, no bite, no eat" followed by "No high chair". I suppose this means he is done? I was tired of him by this point, so I let him down. He swiftly made a b-line for the swing, climbed in and OPENED HIS MOUTH! YAY! So this is how Conner ate his lunch today:






At least he is cute when he acts up...

20 August 2007

The wheels on the bus.

It's the time again for Target and Wal-Mart to be buzzing with the sound of little feet, stressed-out parents and tons of things to spend money on - School Supplies! I've now been "without class" for a full semester, going on 2, which is the longest I've been without school since I was 4.

After graduating high school, I spent the summer working then moved to Montevallo for a degree is professional roommate-swapping. After being partially stalked on-campus, afraid to shower without a buddy and bored with the small-town atmosphere ... I made the smartest decision of my life. I left Montevallo and transferred to Bama.

My first semester at Bama was trying, it took me awhile to become accustomed to the "roll tide lifestyle", but with help from Michael I settled in quite nicely, although my grades sang a different tune. I then proceeded to spend the next 3 1/2 years busting my tush off (including all summers) to get out of school (with better grades). That probably being my dumbest decision yet.

I left Bama last summer with a bachelor's of arts in Advertising/ Public Relations with an emphasis in the later and a minor in Psychology (honestly, I was only 3 classes from a double major). I cried the last few times I drove out of Tuscaloosa, looking back to see the bright lights of Bryant-Denny. I knew I'd miss it, I just never knew how intense the feelings would be.

Not being able to resist the urge to "get schooled", I signed up (after one semester off) for a graduate class at AUM. Bad idea. It was rough... the school that is. Then, I moved on to do a practicum with Michael's work through UA. That is now over though, and here I sit.

I've always loved school supply shopping, and for as long as I can recall I've had a reason to do it. A comfort ritual in some aspects, as it always meant I was gearing up for new adventures. I particularly enjoy fresh binders, new fancy pens and obscure erasers.

I have no intentions, as of now, to begin a new chapter in my life-long education. Mostly because of the arrival of baby boy #2, and the fact that I am enjoying this time with Conner as a stay-at-home. If we ever move back to Birmingham, I will probably find it irresistible to enroll in UAB ... graduate degree program to be determined...

For now though ... I need to focus more on my family (and on figuring out how to use aforementioned degree) and less on the idea that school is something I "have" to be involved in. But that doesn't mean anyone will be able to pry me from the glue sticks, a new box of crayons, or some dice shaped erasers.

11 August 2007

The Amazing Waddling Woman

It's one of those "pregnancy things" that creeps me out a bit. Nothing gross, just a reminder of how big I am and how much your body changes during this glorious transition period (right).

I noticed it today, after showering. I can't recall it happening this early with Conner but I remember thinking last week that it was bound to occur soon.

You see, mounted halfway down my watermelon tummy is now a protruding belly button, an outie where my innie once existed.

10 August 2007

A Week In the Life of Conner

After gaining a new love for picking poison oak, and an even bigger love for getting sick by sticking his hands in goodness knows what ... Conner has spent the entire last week with a moderate staph infection on his poison oak lesions. Yay.

And I... being ... weird .. really wanted a pic of it. I think it's because for
1) people for the most part don't understand how bad a staph infection in a 2-year-old can be and
2) I want to be able to show him in 5 years what he managed to do to himself.

However, the only pictures I could get were from today, after being on antibiotics for the past week, so they are very, very mild.




He'll be better in a week, we hope.



But since he's been sick, we've let him watch as many cartoons as he wants and sit in his favorite spot in the house. We are thrilled... really.. for this to be his favorite:






And lastly, nothing seems to make a boo-boo feel better than mom's new obsession with cake and chocolate icing. We call them chocolate kisses!











Oh and since I only have 4 readers, I've been reluctant to make an "it's a boy" post... seeing as you already know. I don't have my ultrasound pics scanned in yet, but just know that baby no. 2 was not at all shy in showing us his manhood :)! Now we need boy names!

07 August 2007

Um.






I hear the first step to recovery...
... is admitting you have a problem.


And I...


Just bought more cake mix.

04 August 2007

How much is too much?

As I enter the halfway point in my pregnancy (20 weeks this upcoming week), I realize that I've been more "pregnant" than last time around. I've experienced more aches and pains, more headaches, more fatigue and above all else - more cravings.

Mostly, I blame this on my natural self. I've always eaten strange things in large quantities, having been known as the girl who lived on mini-eggo waffles for practically every meal for 2 weeks. I eat and eat all I can of the one thing I want, then never want it again.

My current pregnancy obsession is yellow cake. My family (and one neighbor) can attest to my recent baking ode to this spongy goodness. Last Tuesday night, I made 36 cupcakes with chocolate icing and some with sprinkles. Aside from the 6 I gave away and the 6 Michael and Conner ate, the rest were consumed by me ...
in 2 days...

Yup, that's right. All gone. In my belly. Oh yummy yummy.

So one might believe that this would compel me to rid myself and home of yellow cake. Nope. I found myself in the baking aisle again last night ... sifting through betty crocker and duncan hines.. wondering which one was actually fluffier, tastier, and more delectable. I made a personal vow to try them all, and decide for myself.
Now here I am. One and a half hours after I've made dinner. One and a half days after consuming the last of my cupcakes. In the kitchen. Cake in oven...

Just waiting on the timer...

So I must ask the question ... How much is too much?

31 July 2007

How About ... No.

Have you ever felt the sudden urge to reach out in public to a complete stranger and touch their feet?

Me neither.

So I must ask what possessed the crazy old woman at Publix this morning to foot-molest my child. She was in her 50s (so she wasn't even that old!), poorly dressed and obviously off her rocker. I was standing at the fresh veggie section, picking out red potatos with Conner. He loves to hold open the bag and let me put each one in... one by one.. then he puts the spuds on the scale... then places the bag in the back on the buggy.

Anyways, in the middle of the veggie routine, this nut job walks up to him "oohhing" and "ahhing" at Conner's helping skills. Then she starts attacking his feet. The thing is, Conner normally LOVES to have his feet touched, but he gave her a face of disapproval and turned the other way. She kept on.. even though he obviously wasn't sharing the same experience.

I stopped ackowledging her foot obsession and kept on picking out veggies. She soon wandered off. Conner threw his bag into the buggy and away we went to get some OJ.

But there she was. I contemplated getting OJ later, but I knew if I left the area now that I'd never remember to come back. So, I started sifting through the expired OJ's to find one to my liking only to be interrupted by the sound of this psycho foot lady harassing my child AGAIN. She made strange dinosaur-like noises and obscure faces sure to frighten any age child. I can't imagine her children are stable.

Alas, I left. I never ackowledged her presence at the OJ cooler, so I assumed she had noted my cold shoulder and that she wouldn't be returning.

Wrong.

At the fish counter, I begin telling the fish lady that I would like 4 pieces of tilapia when out of NOWHERE crazy-foot-dinosaur-lady approaches Conner. He actually reached out and grabbed my shirt as she walked up! She started attacking his feet again and talking dinosaur jumbled. I had enough. I grabbed my fish and in mid foot-attack, I started to push my buggy away.

I never saw her again, thank God. I was about to go mad-preggo-woman on her.

So tell me... what possesses people to act like this? I've never felt compelled to touch anoher person's child much less harass them. Even further from that, I'm not going to approach a stranger of ANY age and make odd noises and pecular faces especially as a repeat offender.

Needless to say, Conner came home and took a bath asap and I made double sure to wash his feet. I just regret that I can't wash away the scars from his memory of this crazy woman touching him and his new fear of dinosaurs.

26 July 2007

I've been tagged...

I'm actually kinda proud that I was tagged on a blog, how dorky is that? Maybe it's just because I'm new at this. We'll see how long my enthusiam lasts...

First Memory: I have a rough-draft memory of my 3rd birthday party, specifically the cake. It was Strawberry Shortcake , and I adored it. I also recall "snacking" with my Golden Retriever named Sugar. We would always camp out in a lower cabinet in the kitchen, pulling pieces of bread out of the bread box. I was about 2 1/2. Good times.

First Kiss: That would be to Blake Burdett in 6th grade. He took me to the sock hop, yay. Turns out... he's gay.

First Love: Oh that's easy, myself. Seriously though, William Lively. He was my first "real" boyfriend. We were practically inseparable until his mother passed away. It was very sad.

First Thought in the Morning: Most of the people I've seen write something about "ugh... do I have to get up?" or "can my child please go back to sleep!".. but honestly - I don't think in the morning. I just do. It's robot mode.

First Question I'll Ask in Heaven How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?
I'll probably be in too much shock and awe to say anything.

First Thought Upon Hearing the Word "Vacation": Um when? And is it warm? Because it's pretty much not a vacation unless it's warm (with a few exceptions). I do always ask if the hotel has a pool though.

First Best Friend: That I remember? Becky Hall. We did everything together, including Camp Winnataska. Ahh.. how I miss camp!

Last Food I Ate: Ha! A glass of sweet tea and a handful of iced animal cookies with sprinkles.

Last Time I Cried: My hubby's friend invited him (by himself) out for dinner last Saturday and my feelings were hurt (I"M PREGNANT AND NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!). So, I got to go...

Last Good Book I Read: A Man In Full - Tom Wolfe

Last Hug That Melted My Heart: Conner! He has been running a mild fever all day, which means he loves his mommy even more! Sigh.

Last Funny Thing I Did: Order an "I'm blatantly pregnant" pizza from Mellow Mushroom. A 10-inch with jerk chicken, pepperonni, extra cheese, pinneapple, banana peppers, spinach and sprouts. The couple we were with laughed. It's really not that weird....

Last TV Show: Top Chef on Bravo. I'm an addict.

Last Place to go on Vacation: Destin, FL. Good times.

I have no one to tag... so sad! Oh wait, Laura hasn't done it! I tag you!

24 July 2007

Random tips

Yes, I do read others' blogs. Guilty. It's part "nosey neighbor", part sheer interest in others and part me enjoying the basics of sociology.
So, I've noticed many people giving random, yet useful, household and mommy related tips. I'm going to give it a try.

Mommy Tips:
1) Use lemon juice to stop browning is a common tip in the kitchen. But many moms don't think to apply it to every toddler's fav: the banana.
At our house, Conner enjoys what we call "the banana phone". In which, he acts hungry and tricks us into getting a banana down from the counter. Then, he begins to dial and talk to the banana. Good times. Except that he won't eat it. So, we open the banana and throw away the peel. Problem? He probably wasn't hungry to begin with and won't eat it. I finally decided I was tired of throwing away browned bananas and tried putting just a small amount of lemon juice on it and placed it in a plastic bag in the frig. To my surprise, the next day I found a perfectly good, yet cold, non-browned banana in my frig.
Trick is: only use a small amount. Too much and you'll homemade banana-lemonade mush. Yuck.

18 July 2007

Picture this!

Conner's portraits from Portrait Innovations. I'd venture to say they are better than his super expensive pics from a professional photographer in the Ham. Plus, they cost about a third. Yay!

Meow?

Two great achievements in Conner's budding language abilities occured yesterday during the lunch hour.

First, we went to get my growing belly some garments that don't make me look like a tramp (you know, the kind that actually fit...) at Eastchase. We opted for Rue 21 since they have cute stuff pretty cheap. It just so happens that they don't open till 10 and I was there at 9:30.

So we went for a field trip to PetSmart and ventured near the kittens for adoption. We strolled past a few until Conner flung out his arms towards a glass cage with 2 kittens, one grey and one orange (2 and 4 months respectively).

Conner: Helwo? Helwo? (Hello, Hello)
(pause) Helwo?
Meow? Meeooow.
Meow, Helwo?
then he turned to me..
Mine? Meow mine!
Mine!
so I stop and explain to him that the kitties have to stay there. This is where they live, and daddy would have a fit if we brought one home. So, Conner took a deep breath and turned back to the kitty.
Meow, Bye. Bye bye.

Too funny for me. Really.

Then, after we made it back home with our Guthrie's (yummm), Conner was stuffing his face with french fries, special sauce and chicken fingers. He was almost close to done but I figured I'd shoot for another bite of chicken. So I asked "Would you like some more chicken?" To which he replies "No shicken. Tanks". I died laughing.

First time I've ever heard him say chicken (even if the first two syllables were incorrect).

More blogging on his picture session today a bit later!

12 July 2007

One bunny, Two


Ashley blogged about a bunny incident she encountered a few months back while venturing in her backyard.

Well, Ash, he now lives with us. Thanks.

Michael was out mowing the lawn last week when I hear him screaming like a school girl from the front yard. I pause and try not to think about which limb he prospectively has cut off.

No missing limbs, just a happy as a 4-year-old hubby in the bushes bent over a small creature. A little baby bunny. Adorable, yet scared stiff.

Poor thing. 

Michael is very loving of animals, which is something I in turn love about him. We'd probably have an indoor farm if not for our frequent sanity checks and minuet amount of self-control. So, he asks "What do they eat?" ... followed by "Go get some lettuce."

First off, we have no lettuce. But I do have stale bread. They eat that, no? 

We pulled off two failed green bell peppers from my plants, along with 1 piece of stale wheat bread and a few grapes. Quite the meal, I might say.

So, now we are the proud owners of a yard bunny. Conner LOVED it and called it his "doggie". Yet sadly, we haven't seen yard bunny since that day. If you are reading this yard bunny, come back home... and please don't stray near the Mills house.

09 July 2007

Another little person...


 Looong overdue posting of my latest (first really) ultrasound picture of Baby Zaremba number 2. She/He is sucking her/his thumb. Too cute! Next ultrasound to find out the sex at the end of this month.... yay! Keep yours fingers crossed for a boy (but a girl would be a blessing too).


Thanks Ashley for letting me borrow your scanner. Sadly, ours has gone to a better place. 




03 July 2007

40 Days & 40 Nights

 Recently, Conner was given a set of Giant Cardboard Building Blocks as a birthday gift.

(I tried to upload the pic, but it wouldn't work... to be worked on later.... maybe...)
 
As he loves anything I can build and he can knock over, I thought these would surely be another fun gift that I wouldn't mind if he destroyed (as it is inevitable). The gift came from Conner's Aunt and Uncle from Chicago. Normally, Auntie Ann gives wonderful presents which are thoughtful and useful for a taste-changing toddler. However, this time she failed in the worse way.

A 40-piece set of cardboard blocks seems harmless, right? SO WRONG! Every single gigantic cardboard slice of h-e-double hockey sticks must be put together by hand. Without clear instructions. One by one. 

I knew when the box arrived this would be a severe case of "assembly required", but I wasn't expecting to spend hours upon hours of back breaking labor just to tediously piece these together. And FORTY of them. Whoa.

I appreciate the gift, really I do.... but if you are gifting something to an anxious toddler that won't rest till every present is opened and assembled AND to a mom that is nearly 4 months pregnant... PLEASE OH PLEASE check to see how much assembly is required. And if you still want to give the gift that requires you to take a holiday just to put it together, at least assemble it yourself and then wrap or deliver.

.... Pictures of Conner's Bday Bash pending the search and rescue of the USB cord to the digi camera....



02 July 2007

20 things I want to do before I kick the bucket.

I'm pretty sure this was an American Express commercial (print ad) that I picked up on in a doctor's office. It was months and months ago but, I remember thinking it would make a good blog. So, here goes!

1. See the Taj Mahal. It's an easy no.1 as I've always been fascinated by it.

2. Watch a space shuttle take off (maybe at night too.. that'd be sweet).

3. Take my son to an Alabama football game once he's old enough to enjoy it.

4. Visit Greece.

5. See the Vatican and buy a rosary there.

6. Meet someone ultra famous in a completely random way.

7. Work for a hospital in crisis management. 

8. Rekindle my passion for layout design and teach it as a seminar to college publications (long-lived goal of mine... sigh).

9. See Conner graduate college and find something he is truly passionate about.

10. Make sushi.

11. Visit Indonesia. Beautiful beaches.

12. Climb a (small) mountain in Colorado or some place with gorgeous scenery.

13. Own a penguin. :)

14. See the Northern Lights.

15. Shop inside the Taipai Towers.

16. Sail in the Mediterranean.

17. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and his disciples. Basically, to spend a few weeks (month) in Israel. I also hear they have beautiful beaches.

18. Wear a pair of really expensive Prada shoes.

19. Visit the Tower of London.

20. See the Red Square in Russia.

Only doing 20 was hard even though it took me long enough to think of them.

Now... you give it a shot!

Edit: I just had to add a few more things after thinking about this post late the other night.

21. Watch a live volcano erupt.

22. Take my hubby on a surprise trip. He'd love to see some movie sets in Hollywood... or a distant tropical island where we'd have a cute little bungalow on stilts in the water (you know... the ones with the holes in the floor for watching fish...)

23. Own a tropical drink stand on said tropical island.

24. Do pottery.

... Other stuff too...

14 May 2007

Please don't be mad at Mommy....

It's impossible for me to not have something to worry about. Sad, yet true. Currently, I'm obsessing periodically over how Conner is going to react when "new baby" arrives.

Shortly after discovering we were pregnant again, I whipped out the old "baby handbook survival guide"... you know... the one that's as thick as a phone book and tells you EVERYTHING you'd ever need to know about pregnancy, baby, toddler and everything in between.

I shuffled through the pages to find a short section on what to expect with a toddler and a brand new baby. The book wasted no time sugar coating, but then again that's why I like this book. It dove right in to portraying my future experiences with a 2 1/2 year old and newborn...

So sad.

Within the first paragraph it tells me POINT BLANK that Conner will basically hate me. No, it didn't say hate but in my pregnancy stupor, I can't recall the exact wording.

I was mortified. My precious little Conner being mad at me for having a new baby? Him feeling that mommy doesn't love him as much KILLS me. :( I am going to do everything in my power to make him feel included, but there are times where he is going to have to be a "big boy".

The biggest concern of mine is breastfeeding, it is so incredibly time consuming, especially during those first few months. I can't NOT offer the new baby the same benefits of breastfeeding that I offered to Conner (and he so graciously took for 13 months...)... that's just wrong in my eyes. Plus, financially ... I can't imagine having to PAY for that much formula, YIKES!

A friend of mine offered a few words of advice, letting me know that I need to enjoy these last 7 months of having Conner "all to myself", to take this time to slowly teach him the importance of playing by himself and being more independent... and that Conner will find a way to tell me when he is truly upset and not just pitching a fit, and when he is upset to know how to take him aside for some special "mommy and me" time. I am really depending on Michael to help with "new baby" and Conner. It will be very exciting for all of us, and I think Conner will really enjoy having a new playmate as a permanent fixture in our household.

13 April 2007

My little guy

I've succomb to the out-of-controllness that is Conner's room as of yesterday. It was crazy. We have more parts to random toys, gadets, household items and unexplainables than a white trash yard sale. So... I decided to take action and proclaim war on his little baby oasis.

He wasn't thrilled.

I started by sorting through his knick-knacks... anything smaller than my hand went into a brown woven basket. Surely, I thought, this would be his least favorite thing and I could just hide it somewhere until I found the nerve to throw it out.

Then came moving his toy box. All 93 pounds of me hauled it right across the hallway and into the guest room/ soon-to-be playroom. Wow. That broke a sweat.

I emptied it out knowing full well the task at hand. Conner has recently been in his own little war of sorts, in which he always looses. The poor little guy goes wandering into his room and over to his 3 foot deep wooden toy box, only to notice that it is 1/3 full and most of the toys (if not all) are out of reach. So his solution? Lean over so far that he can barely touch a toy, then get stuck in the "V" position, upside down, head first into the toy bin and feet off the ground.

I'm sure that's great for his rib cage.

Sadly, his cries are muffled by the wooden box and it usually takes me a minute to get to him and fish him out. Please don't call DHR.

Alas, I've decided to place several folded old sheets and towels into the bottom of his toy bin until he decides to gain a few inches. Good luck with that one kid.

Now, all toys are in reach. But that's not his new interest, of course.

I put together his train track, train and all... but he hasn't bothered with it yet to realize that the time he decided to throw it into a bath tub full of H2O meant it is no longer operational.

His favorite pretend vaccum, with real vaccum noises, sits beside the toy box accompanied by his poppling pusher and a few little tykes cars.

Then, as I bask in the glory of a partially fulfilled task... I note that the basket of crap is gone.

Conner has removed himself and taken over the living room. The basket lies in the hallway, empty.

I follow the trails of old bath toys, playthings from kid's meals, a leggo or two, the b.s. his grandparents give him (crap from CVS or Winn-Dixie that they have at the counter... they think its cute... I find it to take up a nice little area in my weekly trash). I pass by a plethora of old cell phones, dating back to his newborn days. There's my nokia, michael's 1st.. 2nd.. and 3rd motorola replacements, one Razr (stupid for me to have even purchased it), an ebay phone that was awesome seeing as we didn't have to fork over the cash for one through Cingular (literally a life saver), an LG (my mom gave him that one), and two fake ones he never showed interest in.

He's made it all the way into the kitchen with this trail-o-poo-toys and found the parts to a refrigerator game he once loved. And he is as happy as a pig in mud playing in the floor by the dishwasher.

All my work paid off. Just hope one day he notices I moved his stuff.

Obviously, he has a thing for items that don't normally qualify as toys....

14 March 2007

I Heart Money

I've been into this online "survey" thing lately due to my recently deposited check of 8 bucks. I had signed up for this thing through a friend who claimed to be making a few extra dollars here and there doing some online crap. Of course, I was skeptical and only signed up and completed 4 surveys... but then a few weeks later, my check came in the mail.

Michael deposited the check. It was real (from Wachovia bank)... so, I logged back into my account and starting taking more surveys. I'm up to 40 bucks and I only started back on the 11th of this month. I spend about 30-40 minutes a day, so that's not bad....

They cut checks on the 20th of each month and I hope to have a hundred bucks by then...

If I do the math correctly, I make about 5-15 a day.... depending on how much time I can put into it. So, I could be seeing a couple hundred each month. Not too shabby... That's grocery money!

Those of you that know me are aware that I am very weary of scams, which is why I made up a new email account, phone number and am using an old address while filling out the surveys (my account info is correct of course, I want my checks to arrive safe and sound). I don't want spam in my "good" email, and I don't do the surveys that ask for you SSN or credit card info, duh.

Try it out. Do what I did and sign up, take a few, wait for the 20th, get your check, deposit the daylights out of it... then rinse and repeat.

Click here: http://www.cashcrate.com/index.php?ref=110980
Then thank me later.

Oh, and if you want an explanation as to why they pay you to take surveys, just ask my "I have a degree in advertising and public relations" butt.

08 March 2007

Ideas

I've got a thousand business ideas. I need to make a list one day.

Why?

This drives me absolutely bonkers: Michael talks to himself constantly. He always has, well.. on and off. It gets bad every now and then. It's very similar to how you think to yourself constantly throughout the day. You know... that random stream of consciousness that varies from this to that and everywhere in between? Yup. Only Michael chooses (or maybe doesn't choose...idk) to voice his. And its not a loud voice... even better, it's a constant mummer or words all jumbled together in the volume you would use if say... you were saying a prayer out loud in a very public place. Honestly, unless you are paying attention to him it all sounds like Latin. But on top of all else: it is just annoying

Oh I've mentioned it to him. I don't find it normal, not the normal is necessary but if abnormal is driving me up the wall to the point that I can't hear the tv when he passes through the room, I'm damn well going to say something. But, alas... he didn't acknowledge it.

And while I'm on the subject of Michael and things he does that really tick me off... why doesn't he understand the word "shhhh". It's not a difficult one and I've even offered synonyms such as "be quiet" or "hush"... none seem to do the trick. He doesn't care if Conner is asleep or it's midnight.. as long as he is doing what he needs to do.

Oh yes, and lets talk about the internet thing for a second, seeing as he doesn't read this blog.

He has been spending HOURS on the computer in little middle school fights with random and complete strangers arguing over petty nonsense. I'd go into more detail, but then it would make him look even worse. He complains that he failed his recent series 7 test... well I've got news for him. Had he of studied and not played 2 whole days of Zelda on the Wii then used the remainder of the time to post immature messages on his little message board, he could have studied and passed. Him not passing is one of his topics for the "barely under his breath" conversations. More so, he acts as if I could have put more effort into him passing. You read that right. Me... yup. Right.... no.

C'est la vie I suppose.

05 March 2007

Jenny says, turn off the radio.

I'm exploring the fine world of Whataburger this past Sunday for the first time in hopes of finding a breakfast place faster than Flips (for those non-Montgomerians, that's a local joint that serves the best dang gravy biscuits but takes LITERALLY 15-20 minutes of waiting in your car...).


I pull up the Whataburger, look immediately to my right, and find this:

That my friends would be Cowboy Mouth's tour bus. I know, I know... they aren't Aerosmith or John Mayer, but they are a mighty fine band, of which I am a big fan.
I'm at the menu though and supposed to be ordering, but honestly I'm obviously too busy trying to take the above picture with my camera phone. So, being "distracted Amanda"... I enjoy my schoolgirl giddiness and drool on myself trying to bend my neck just to see the guys.
I flip down the mirror.. and think.... "ok, i could go next door to Arby's (where they are) and get an autograph. My mom's birthday is coming up and she loves them... plus one of the guys is super fine." Then, the mirror reminds me of one small problem: Conner managed to find a pen in the middle of the night and draw all the way from my shoulder to my fingers on both arms. Yes, that's right.... and I didn't wake up.
So, on top of me looking like death warmed over from no sleep (except during drawing hour apparently) since Conner's been sick, and my tacky t-shirt (it was free, mind you)... the only thing I've got going for me is my coach sunglasses. Not enough... they'd think they were knock-offs anyways.
Alas, I had a good breakfast, and while getting my HUGE drink from Whataburger... they did emerge from their tour bus looking honestly worse than I did in terms of a bad hair day but one of them, as predicted, was still mucho fine.
I ended up with no autograph but a fun story with my new breakfast place's gravy biscuits.
Yum.

02 March 2007

Excuse me, but move.

I'm not the slowest person in the world, we'll.... not in my car at least. When I turn into my neighborhood after a 2 hour class at antiquated university (AUM), I want to get to my house. That's right people: I actually WANT to go home. So you can imagine how pissy I get when someone decides to get in my way.

For example, I am turning onto Atlanta Hwy (the part that runs in front of my neighborhood) last night, and I get to top out at a startling 32 mph. For the record: the speed limit is at least 45... i think.

The car in front of me seems to be in a loosing race with the short bus.

Then, the car proceeds to turn into my neighborhood. Just freaking peachy. I get to endure 15 more minutes of this for the 1 mile it takes to reach my house. I think to myself "Self, maybe they live in the beginning of the neighborhood". Self was wrong.

The car keeps going, a good 12 mph I believe. Come on! I know its a neighborhood and not an interstate, and I've probably hit a few kids before without blinking thinking I ran over a coke can or something... but sheesh SPEED UP!

I predicted it correctly though... they were going to be all of the following on top of unbelievably slow:
1) A wide-swinged turner. Definition: one who believes that the entire width of the street is there for you to swing out completely only to turn into your driveway that is 2 car lengths wide.
This means it adds an additional 2 minutes onto my journey because passing them becomes a non-option as I can just zoom by.

2) The complete stopper. Definition: one who finds deep satisfaction in both delaying the time before they get out of their car AND making me come to a complete stop after being on their bumper for the past 57 minutes.
Yup. Complete stop for a short driveway after you've been going SO fast... Totally necessary. Really.

and finally...
3) My next door neighbor. I don't need to define that. But yes, they had to irritate the heck out of me AND bypass all the other homes in the area where they could have gotten out of my way.

People, seriously. But now I'm home, and it only took a few weeks.

01 January 2007

About Me

In a time far far away, I was someone most of my friends would barely recognize today.


But, two spaztastic babies later, I am defined by a few terms no one saw coming....

I am a strong believer in breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding and ecological nursing.

I tried cloth diapers, but it wasn't for me.

I recycle, and am pretty Nazi-esque about it.

I pick up a LOT of things with my toes.

I am a Republican (ehhh.... mostly... a little more towards the middle... WHY DO WE NOT HAVE A 3rd OPTION) and generally pro-life.

However, I don't have a clue why our government can tell us who we can and can not love, and therefore, want them to get out of marriage completely. That is to say, that I feel gay marriage should be left to those individuals that fall in love and feel that it is right for them. Our government, and certainly not myself, are not the Final Judgement. How one chooses to spend his or her life is THEIR decision.

I also want the government to let me spend my money the way I believe it should be spent.

I do not drink caffeine nor do I keep it in my house (except with the very, very rare occasion during which you can find me up at 5 AM without sleep because I starred at the ceiling all night...)

I try to offer my children as many unprocessed foods as possible (and that? rarely means we go a day without it... sigh...)

Reality television is my crack.

We believe and practice co-sleeping.

We also practice Natural Family Planning. (Strike that. where is my Mirena?) (revised: HERE's my Mirena Story)
(I still agree with NFP - I'm "using" the Mirena for weight gain and possible boobies ... we will see!)

AND - We practice Attachment Parenting.

My husband was raised baptist. I was raised Methodist, but found Catholicism in late High School and early College. In reality, I identify mostly with Catholicism, but do not currently practice Catholic doctrine (nor have I ever been confirmed...), mostly due to the fact that my husband is STILL baptist and we attend a traditional Methodist church.

I believe the Lord has His plan for my family, and I strive to be the wife, mother and daughter of Christ that I believe I should be. This is, by far, my biggest struggle.

With that said, I do cuss. I keep my blog PG-13, and try (very hard) not to say words in the "R" rating around my children. I am human, however.

I am extremely sarcastic.

I am also blunt, which sometimes comes across as bitchy. Really though, I don't get the point of skirting around an issue.

Orange-Pineapple Juice, please.

Ironing is a special form of crazy.

I own my feminism. It's a boob, I can say titties... I have a vagina, but it's on the INSIDE PEOPLE (outside = vulva OR labia... you pick).

On THAT note: FEEL YOUR BOOBIES, LADIES. Breast cancer can be caught early.

I like tv, a lot of tv, I hate cleaning - mostly laundry makes me want to hurl, and am very much a homebody.

The rest of me? Well, you can probably find it on my blog. I'm an open book!






MORE YOU SAY??!?! How sweet of you!
This is an excerpt from a previous post on March 26th, 2009 that says a bit about me:


Oh... uh... HI THERE!


Let me shove all this junk under a table, in a closet or into a shower with the curtain closed and I'll be riiiight with you.

Ah. There.

I'd hate to be a giant poser and make you think I'm some kind of neat freak that doesn't let her children or her family actually live in their house because I'm too obsessed with what people may think about me if I don't appear to live in a magazine....

Wait. Tangent!

My name is Amanda and my last name is hardly pronounceable. I'm 24, with a BIRTHDAY THIS Sunday (29th), making me a quarter of a century young now 25. Sweet.

I'm also the mother of 2 half-breed monkey/gorilla hybrids wonderfully rowdy boys (ages 3.75 and 15 months). I blog LIVE! from the a city somewhere in Alabama..

I am also a graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Public Relations/Advertising. I minored in Getting Knocked up by my Junior year and also graduated with my MRS. That makes me special... right?
Nowadays, I enjoy all the perks of The Mom Job and choose to blog about it for several reasons - it's therapeutic, I don't have the scrapbooking gene and writing is pretty much the only gift God gave me....

Yes, I use my childrens' real names. Most of you know them anyways.

I have the personality of a 6'6" man trapped in a 4'10.5" body. I'm loud, sometimes bitchy, occasionally moody, disorganized yet incredibly passionate and a total goofball. My friends just think I'm odd and that's fine by me.


What you can expect from my blog: 2-4 posts a week about the Special Form of Crazy I possess, my insane children (...and their poo...), a bad word or two (nothing too 'R' rated, I keep it PG-13 around these parts), the occasional tip or trick, a recipe or two, and The Funny.


What you can find somewhere other than my blog or nowhere at all: Porn. Financial advice (although the Hubster is a Stock Broker, we are required by this tiny group of federal agencies to keep hush hush on The Internets about that... you know... crazy SEC....), my SSN, my address, stories about my poo, boring blah blah blah about the more boring parts of the Mom Job (I try and leave that out for you guys...)

Thanks for visiting and please come back soon! Feel free to check out the archives from the last several months and also the "Platinum Edition" found in the right hand toolbar OR these links:
And those are just a few. I get bored quickly with looking up links. Some call it lazy...
OOooohhhh... and leave a comment!!! I'll stalk you back!! PROMISE!

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BirminghamMommy