Thursday, October 27, 2011

An Unexpected Proposal

On October 14th Mike and I went out to celebrate my BFF's (Andrea) well deserved promotion.
Because she is awesome and is a hot shot at work.
When she told me about this shindig I said
"wouldn't it be funny if it turned into an engagement celebration"
We dropped Ellie off at my MIL's and got ready to par-tay.
(She was returned at midnight because little Miss wouldn't quit freaking out at Gma's. Oh how I love separation anxiety)

Andrea and her bf Jason have been together for about 2 years and are seriously the best couple e.v.e.r.
They are "our" couple.
You know; your go-to couple. The one you stay up playing games with until 5:00a.m.
Or is that just us?
We love them.

We had dinner and were having some bevies when Jason gave Andrea some presents for her promotion.
Two baby blue wrapped boxes tied with ribbon.

I started getting excited. What I mean by excited is I was having a heart attack.

Inside the first box was a plastic toy grizzly bear
And a note that explained how Jay is like the grizzly.
Then she opened the second box
I just knew this was it!!!

She pulled out the most gorgeous, extravagant,
toy giraffe.

And there was another note explaining how she is like a giraffe (she loves giraffes)
and he made her read it out loud

At the end of the note he wrote there is something he's been meaning to ask her

I'm guessing she said yes.
Ok, so I cried a little.

She was totally surprised! It was so sweet!!
The shot we all want to see.

This ring: is beautiful!

I have known this girl for 20 years and I think I have seen her cry twice.
This was the second time.
It was such a special moment and I am so glad that we were there along with her family to witness it.

These two are so in love and so perfect for each other.
I couldn't ask for a better man to marry my best friend, she deserves the best.
These two had perma-grins the rest of the night!

I can't wait to celebrate and PARTY with them next year at their wedding.
It's going to be EPIC.
We love you two so much!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Week{end}

I celebrated my birthday this weekend

So far my 20's have been pretty monumental.
I got married at 20
Nothing too exciting happened at 21...just was able to order a drinky-drink
Closed on our house on my 22nd birthday (which was apparently my present that year)
Was pregnant at 23 and had my baby shower on my b-day
And am a momma at 24
I don't know how I can top this past year.
Getting my little bundle of joy has been pre-tty amazing! My actual birthday was Sunday but
Friday we went out to dinner with my BFF Andrea and her {newly} fiancé Jason!!!!!!
They {she} got me a new Miche shell.
love.Love.LOVE it!

We went to Champps for dinner then came back to our place for a rousing game of Last Word.

It was hil-ar-ious.
Especially when you add in a few bevies.
We had so much fun.
They hung out til 5:00 in the a.m.
Party Animals!
Saturday we had a lazy day and only ventured out to get some Coldstone and rent Bad Teacher.

Ice Cream: amazing as usual
Bad Teacher: eh not so much. Not as funny as I expected.
Sunday Mike and I played with the babies in the nursery at church then my mom took us to Olive Garden for lunch. Delish.
After a birthday nap I met my friend Amanda for a quick bite.
'Twas a wonderful day!

I am not so excited for the big 2-5 next year.
It's weird to think of myself as a grown up

Friday, October 21, 2011

Show Us Your Life


I was introduced to couponing by a friend this spring and now I am addicted!
I am not "crazy" or an "extreme" couponer but I do love a good deal.
I typically shop at Meijer but if there are some really awesome or FREE deals I will take a trip to Kroger.
One of the reasons that I love Meijer is that they have Mperks and Mealbox where you can save and print store coupons.
Because we all know store coupon+manufacturer coupon=best deal!
This is my go-to website for all things couponing. It's a local mom who does the match-ups for my area.

She matches the store ADs with the coupons and tells you what deals you can get that week.
It's amazing.
And a huge time saver! If I had to figure it all out myself I can tell you I would NOT be couponing!
This is another awesome site and I typically use it for the coupon database if I need something and want to see if there is a coupon out for it.
Here is another good site for printable coupons.

I know there are some awesome deals that you can find at the drugstores, but I haven't have to confidence to tackle that yet!

I think the most I have ever saved off of a grocery bill is $50, but to me, that is a A LOT!
And I really don't put that much time or energy into couponing. I think if I devoted more time to it I could save a lot more.
Typically I buy 2-3 newspapers a week. The rule of thumb is to buy as many papers as there are members of your family. If I know there is going to be some awesome inserts then I'll buy more (Diapers/wipes).
I write the date on the front of the inserts and put them in a file folder.
When it's time to go shopping I make my list, check here, and then clip coupons accordingly. If there is a super good deal, or something is FREE then I will add it to my grocery list.
 (Pasta for .23 yes please. FREE gum? Of course!)
If there is something I need but haven't seen a deal for then I look in the coupon database and see if there is anything out for it. And if I have time I will thumb through the inserts to see if I am missing anything.
Another good idea is to go to the website of the product that you want to buy. Often times they will have links to coupons for you. Or you can always write them a letter saying how much you love their product and they will often respond with coupons.
In order to save money couponing you don't have to spend 35+ hours a week devoted to it.
Any amount of time you spend trying to save money will totally be worth it.

Now I have a hard time buying things without a coupon.
And I hate paying for things I know I can get for FREE or almost free.
Like toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc.

Manufacturer coupons double (up to .50 in most stores) Store coupons do not double.
Here's a little scenario about pairing store coupons and manufacturer coupons.
Let's say that spaghetti sauce is on sale for $1.99 at the store.
There is a store coupon for .40 off and a manufacturer coupon for .50 off
This means that you will pay .59 for that sauce.
$1.99-.40-$1.00(.50 doubles)=.59
Not a bad deal!

*Do get enough of a product to last you through the typical sale cycle. It takes about 12 weeks for an item to go on sale again.
*Do share coupons if you aren't going to use them. Someone once left coupons in the aisle for a product I needed. What a blessing!
*Do know your store's couponing policy. And always get a rain check if they are out of an item you need or they are having a good deal on.
*Do share your knowledge with others! Sometimes people are just afraid to start and don't know how!
*Don't buy things you don't need or won't use. Even if they are free. Unless you are going to donate them.
*Don't clear the shelves, that is so rude. Just because there is a good deal on peanut butter doesn't mean you need 100.
*Don't buy things just because you have you coupon for it. That doesn't mean it's a good deal. It is ok to let coupons expire.
*Don't become a hoarder with your new-found love for couponing :)

Speaking of sharing coupons, does anyone have any Gerber Good Start Formula checks or coupons or any wipes coupons they want to pass on?!?!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 Months

I can't believe that in two short months you will no longer be a baby.
The other night I sat in your room with you after you finished your bottle and fell asleep and just rocked you. I may have bawled shed a few tears just thinking about how you were once so little and how fast time is going. I never realized just how fast the months fly by until I had you. I just wish I could stop the clock and keep you my little girl forever.
This month:
*You weigh around 20lbs
*You have 4 bottles a day and eat 3 meals a day
*You are in a size 2 disposable diaper
*You are in mostly size 6month clothes, but can still fit into a dew 3month pants.
*You go to bed at 7:00ish and sleep until around 7:00.
*You still take 2 naps a day, but lately think your too cool for your afternoon nap so you just sit in bed and talk to yourself.

 You are really starting to show your little personality lately.
You crack us up!

You learned how to click your tongue this month and yout think it is the best thing ever!
You love to dance and are constantly wiggling. You bop your head when I sing my silly songs to you and love to dance to the music from your toys.

You love to eat!
You love, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, avocado, banana, broccoli and cheese nuggets, pretty much anything we give you!
You also love to pick up anything you find on the ground and put it directly in your mouth.
Little stinker.

You are such a happy girl and love to smile.
You keep us on our toes! If you are getting into something you're not supposed to and you see me coming you immediately drop to the ground and turbo crawl in the other direction. Once your far enough away you turn around to make sure I'm chasing you.

You have started trying to clap this month and it is so cute.
You often miss your hands, but it doesn't keep you from trying!
You've had some pretty extreme separation anxiety lately. All you want is mama. I'm hoping that you grow out of this quickly because there are so many other people who want to love on you!

I would say your biggest accomplishment this month is taking your first steps!!!!!!!!!
You took your first step on 10/11/11.
The most steps you've taken has been 3, but you are well on your way!
We are so proud of you Ellie-bellie and we love you oh so much!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's Talk About


I am a firm believer in breast is best
!!!!DON'T SHOOT!!!!

I do believe that it is "best", but not always possible.
For many reasons.
Simply having a squishy baby is a huge adjustment; and sometimes, nursing just isn't possible.

And sometimes people just don't want to.
Not my business.

That said
I am no longer nursing, so I clearly have no room to judge.

I was an idiot firm believer that breastfeeding in public is offensive.
What a betch.
But after spending my fair share of time nursing in a bathroom stall listening to a melodious chorus of flushes and other awesome sounds I changed my tune. We went to a wedding when Ellie was 3 weeks old and I spent half the reception sitting in a bathroom stall. I'm not exaggerating.
Not my idea of a good time.
 A month ago I put away the nursing bras and tank tops, lanolin, and washed my pump kit for the last time and laid it in it's final resting place on the top shelf in the closet.
(That is, until I pop out another little mini) 
Oh breast pump let me count the ways I do not miss you.

I like that I can wear a regular bra. I don't have to worry about wearing something that gives easy access.
I don't have to pump before I go to bed: by golly I can just go to sleep!

We made 8 months; and all things aside I am really proud of myself. The decision to quit stop nursing was a hard one for me. I had given myself very specific goals. Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, then continue on until the age of 1. And I thought if I didn't meet those goals then I was a failure. (Talk about mommy guilt!) I remember sobbing S.O.B.B.I.N.G. while I gave E her first bottle of formula when she was 3 months old.
I put waaaaaaay too much pressure on myself. It's not that serious. It obviously didn't kill her.
We had a lot of obstacles.
Not at first.
She was 6lbs 12oz at birth, 6lbs 5.5oz at newborn exam, and 9lbs at her one month appointment. We were doing great, but that didn't stop people from asking me if she was getting enough or if the Dr. was happy with her weight gain. SERIOUSLY??? 3lbs in a month, what do you think?? Anytime a baby cries (especially a breastfed baby) they "must" be hungry.
I didn't have a lot of support
I mean support in the sense of someone who has breastfed before and gave me advice, counsel, could show me what to do etc.
I had support in the sense of people telling me just to quit.
And then I read this book.
(Seriously La Leche is the best!)
But despite nay-sayers we were doing great.
She tricked me into thinking it was the easiest thing in the world!
She had some belly issues early on that led to about 3 months where scream-o was the soundtrack to my life.
It was awful. I cut out dairy-nada. Took her to the chiropractor-helped a little.
Started giving her a probiotic-hallelujah she started pooping again and the screaming stopped
(for the most part)
Then came the distractable months.
This in conjunction with the issues we had just conquered was too much. We struggled through about 4 more months nursing but it was just too much.
There were days that I would nurse her in the morning and then wouldn't nurse her again the rest of the day. That really took a toll on my supply. So by the time we put away the nursing pads it wasn't a huge adjustment for either of us.
There are days that I wish I was still nursing. I miss that bond. I wish I hadn't let other people get inside my head and make me doubt myself. 
Sometimes wonder if I should have just pushed through 4 more months but
I did a good job!
And I have full intentions of nursing every last one of our little offspring.

Next time I'll know to call La Leche League first instead of my Dr who knows nothing about breastfeeding. I'll know to not be so hard on myself and set realistic-short term goals. I'll know to trust my body and not let anyone make me doubt myself, my supply, or my instincts.
And that when I feel like something isn't normal, it probably isn't.
So now E is formula fed.
And that's ok.
Do I still have some mommy guilt
Breast may be "best"
but giving my baby formula doesn't make me any less of a {GREAT} mom.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

Linking up with Katie this morning
Saturday Morning Scene

My morning has been full of chasing this little monster around
She is obsessed with getting into my sewing machine box.
And then laughs and turbo crawls away from me when I go to get her
Really funny.
I remember the days when I would put her on the floor and she would sit still.
Ahhh sweet, sweet memories!

These pictures were actually from yesterday afternoon
{so sue me}
but this is what our day will look like!

We're enjoying the 80* weather we have going on.
Especially since I know snow is
We might go to a cidermill today to get a pumpkin big enough for Ellie to sit in

I think we're going to finally get over to see my new niece since Ellie is feeling better.
Later tonight my bff and her bf is coming over for some grub and game night.
Scattergories?? Definitely.
So excited!

Caught Ellie mid-dance.
I love her so much!

What are you doing this perfect fall Saturday?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Of Those Days

I'm not a big fan of whiny posts
But I am going to whine.
Feel free to jump ship

Been feeling a little off this week
Maybe it's because I've been trapped inside with a sick baby
Sometimes I feel so disconnected with the world
Don't get me wrong. I love LOVE L.O.V.E. staying home with Ellebelle. LOVE IT
But when an entire week goes by and you haven't seen the light of day or left the house
It can get to you.
I would love to have a group of mom friends that I regularly got together with
Ok, I would take just one mom friend
I thought I had one
but I got tired of being the only one making any effort
That seems to be the story of my life
Friend moves away
I make all the effort to keep the friendship
I get annoyed and step back
Friendship dissolves.
Shoot I would just like people to make any sort of effort
I really don't think anyone understands just how much your life changes when you have a kid
Hence the reason I would like some friends that are in the same stage of life as me
All anyone cares about is the baby. The don't want to see me, just Ellie.
I get it, really I do..she's so cute and cuddly mobile
But momma needs love too.
I am more than the vessel that brought this beautiful being into the world.
We're thinking of switching churches
Ok I really want to but need to make the move
We don't have any friends from church and I think that is REALLY important.
I believe that church is there to fulfill more than just spiritual needs.
Spiritual needs are most important, but we aren't being fed either.
So why stay?
Whine Whine Whine Whine Whine
Did you say Wine? Yes please.
I think I will heat up my pad thai and unWHINEd with some Greys

To end my woe is me I must say
My best friend is amazing.
We go back a good 19-20 years.
I am actually the flake in this friendship.
I am so thankful for her.
And I have two amazing sisters.
Andrea and Raychal are my closest friends.
I don't know what I would do without them.

My brothers are pretty awesome too, but they're boys

And then there is my mom
The most amazing woman ever
I love her so much
She keeps me sane
Wow, I guess I am really blessed to have one true, amazing best friend
and one hell heck of a family.
Whine over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Sickling

Yesterday I woke up to a baby whining, standing in her crib...
covered in snot


Poor girl had a fever all day, runny/stuffy nose, watery eyes, and some congestion.

Around 3:30 I took her temp and it was over 104* so I decided we better book it to the Doc. Better safe than sorry.
I don't mess with temps that high.
We have a great pediatrician. He is everything you would ever want in a Dr.
Handsome, beautiful eyes, a sense of humor
errr I mean he is great with kids. But unfortunately he was booked for the afternoon.

(But I did hear his voice echoing through the halls...)

So after a thorough exam from the not-so-nice Dr he said that it was adenovirus and she will probably be fighting this all week.

Really Encouraging.

So I have a sniffling, snorting, whiny, drooly mess on my hands. Poor little girl.
And she makes it really easy to use the snot sucker.
So easy I have to swaddle her in a sleep sack and she screams her brains out.

But the last time she was "sick" it turned out to be nothing so we will see...

On another note, my beautiful sister gave birth to their little GIRL Sunday morning.
They didn't know the gender.
I am shocked, I thought for sure it was a boy.
I am still confused :)
Hazel. I love it!
She was 9lbs 3oz.
And she went all natural.
What a trooper.
She is my Hero!!!!
Congratulations! You two are going to be such an amazing parents.
We love you!

I hope Ellie gets better ASAP so we can go snuggle that squishy new baby!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's The {Second} Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Ahhhh...Do you feel it???


I love October. You know, some very important people were born this month.
most importantly would be yours truly.
Then of course there is the ever amazing Pele.
We share a birthday, must be fate.

I am pretty sure this will be the last year that I am excited about my birthday.
I foresee a mental breakdown in my future this time next year.
You never know...

Other perks about October:
Daylight savings time baby! Some years this falls on my birthday weekend, an extra hour to par-tay
yes please.
The leaves start to change colors and everything looks beautiful.
and then they fall and we have to rake them.
<not so fun>
Need I say more
I would die for that figure.
I just won't DIE-T and work out for it. HA!
But most importantly it gives me an excuse to make delicious pumpkin desserts
::for other people of course::
You can't look like that ^^
if you eat like this

Oh my yum.

What are some reasons you love fall??