Saturday, May 31, 2008

More On Gardening

My latest gardening addiction has continued! I just LOVE working in my yard more and more as the days go by. I don't even remember the last time I turned on the TV during the daytime because any and all of my free time has been consumed by working outside. It's the perfect hobby because it's good exercise and it's so rewarding.I have no clue what I'll do in the winter when I won't have my garden to work in. I hate that thought:-( We'll cross that bridge when we get there though.

I've never been the type of person who likes to get dirty or do a lot of physical labor and I've always been repulsed by dirt and bugs. I still despise insects but when I have my special gardening gloves on I'm like this superwoman (HAHA) who doesn't care about that kind of stuff. Maybe there should be a comic book called "Jillian the Magic Gardening Woman?" Lol! Anyways, it's just great being outside. I've only been at this gardening thing for a couple of days and I already have a pretty nice tan to show for it. I love it!

Today I planted Candy stripe Phlox, some more Geraniums (pink, white, and red), and my new Rose bush! Everything looks so pretty! I also built a retaining wall in front of my house and I'm going to plant all of my new perennials there, which are Lillies, Lindux, and Lillybells. When everything starts to bloom it's going to be absolutely gorgeous!! Patty also made me an amazing bucket with potted flowers. It's like something out of a magazine it's so pretty.

Brooke's been taking a 1.5-2 hour nap every day lately and it has freed up so much time for ME. I always used to spend that time preparing dinner or doing laundry, but now that I'm so captivated by yard work, I feel like I'm actually doing something for my enjoyment. I take my baby monitor outside with me and I have at it. It's a great system and I'm SO happy that Brooke's napping like she is.

Alrighty, it's time to send my hubby out the door:-( I HATE THIS! I'll leave you with a picture of my precious girl. Enjoy!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Need To Vent

I know that everything that I'm about to say is irrational but I just have to say it because I'm feeling so overwhelmed right now. The thing that's on my mind tonight is money. I HATE money and anything regarding it. It's just ridiculous. Even though we have money in the bank, enough money to pay our bills, a good income, and most importantly, God has promised to supply all of our needs, I always find myself worried sick about financial issues.

All of this is weighing so heavily on me is because lately we have been spending money like it's going out of style. Right now we're putting in a propane furnace... We budgeted the furnace cost but we never even thought to figure in the $600 cost of filling our propane tanks. Though we had the money, it still really stung to have to spend it. Another expense that I'm lamenting over is the the stupid electrical company. They notified us that the meter in our last house wasn't working properly so to be "fair" we owe them $400 for the estimated energy usage. That's just ridiculous. It's THEIR fault that their meter wasn't working correctly. We're also landscaping, installing gutters, setting up our pool, adjusting to a higher mortgage payment, and paying an arm and a leg for gas. It's madness I tell ya. MADNESS.

My human nature tells me to worry about this and that God doesn't have it figured out. My human nature also leads me down scary paths where I worry about our future... Will we ever be able to put braces on our kids teeth, send them to college, pay for the wedding of their dreams, or help them buy their first car? My parents did all of those things for me and it's only natural that I would want to that and more for my kids.

I worry, worry, worry about all of these important things.. And then I look at John. He's amazing. He's everything I'm not. He looks at our bills and expenses and he doesn't even bat an eyelash. He constantly reassures me that we're doing absolutely fine and he is forever reminding me that God will provide for all of our needs. Granted, we've never hit financial turmoil in our marriage, but still, we've had our ups and downs. Even in the down times, John has not wavered from God's promises and truths. That is such an inspiration to me!

Every time I think thoughts like this I am humbled by how weak I really am. God always comes through and it seriously amazes me. He mysteriously sends extra checks or blessings our way at times like this and it's so crazy. For example, right after Brooke was born we some extra car expenses come up. We had money in savings for them but because we were adjusting to living off of only one income, things were just a little bit tighter than normal. I was worrying and complaining because I HATE to take money out of savings.. HATE. Anyways, the next day we got a $1,300 check in the mail saying that we had overpaid our escrow account. That is NOT a coincidence.

I love how the Bible gives us the perfect and ONLY guide to financial success and freedom. With absolute truth like that there should be no room for questioning in my mind. If we continue to tithe and honor God with our "first fruits" and are good stewards of what He has given us, it's incredible to think of the blessing. We serve an awesome God and I don't know why I ever doubt Him. Shame on me! When will I ever learn?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sleep, A New Phenomenon

Brooke has been sleeping so well lately that I'm seriously the happiest mother known to man! This is what she did over the last 24 hours...

*7:45 P.M. Wednesday to 7 this she slept in her crib without making a peep.
*I nursed her in our bed and she fell back asleep until 9:30 A.M.
*At 1:45 she was begging to take a nap. I put her in her crib and I didn't hear from her until 4:40. CRAZY!
*She was asking to go "night night" at around 7:45 tonight so I put her in her crib. She lied there singing songs and talking until 8:30 when she finally fell asleep. I felt bad leaving her in there but I think that she enjoys that time to herself sometimes.

Hopefully tonight is as blissfully wonderful as the last several nights have been. Honestly, I'm a new woman. I don't want to sound like I only enjoy motherhood when things are good, but being able to sleep through the night has totally rejuvenated and encouraged me. I feel like I have SO much energy and like I'm a million times more productive now that my sleep is broken up all night long. I feel so relieved now and I'm getting baby fever for baby #2 worse than ever now. Soon!

I wish that Brooke would start eating well to go along with her new sleeping habits but I'm afraid that that's a long shot. She now refuses eggs, cheese, potatoes and yogurt, which were ALWAYS on her safe list. Can you say FRUSTRATING???? It drives me insane because I worry so much about her not being properly nourished. I really hope that she comes around soon. She's only nursing twice a day now so you would think that she would be more hungry. I guess not...

Well, now my hubby has to go to work:-( We had the most AMAZING three days together. They were just what the doctor ordered. With Brooke sleeping through the night we were able to watch movies and be together without a baby crying. I don't think we've ever laughed as much as we did over the last couple of days. I fell a million times more in love with him. No exaggeration either! Man, I wish he didn't have to leave:-( Such is life though. Time to go make his lunch...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Peanut Butter, Planting, and Pink Eye

Last night John went into work thinking that he had pink eye. He lost his glasses in our move and he couldn't wear his contacts because they irritated him so bad so he really couldn't see very well at all. With all of this going on, I desperately tried to persuade him to call in and because he's some warrior or something he refused. He decided that he would attempt to go in and see if they could swing it without him. The man NEVER calls in...Ever. Anyways, he called me saying that his sergeant wouldn't let him go and that he would just have to tough it out. I was EXTREMELY ticked off. I said some choice words about the administration at his job and how it doesn't pay to be a hard-working, honest cop because they just walk all over him. John gave me the speech about how he works for God and not for the police force and I after he hung up I felt very agitated. About 10 minutes later he came home. I assumed that he was just stopping by for a drink or something, but he started to take his gun off and put it in his safe. I asked him what the heck he was doing and he said that his sergeant never told him that he couldn't go home and he just wanted to see how ticked off I would get. Lol! I was SO happy and I felt kind of bad for being so annoyed at his boss when he didn't even do anything. John also has tonight and tomorrow night off so this is another long weekend for him. HOORAY! I LOVE when my husband doesn't have to work.

Brooke had just started to sleep through the night right before we moved and when we finally settled into this house she completely reverted back to her old non-sleeping ways. I wanted to teach her how to sleep again but I figured that I would just wait until the wedding was over because I didn't know if the staying in the hotel for two nights would have ruined it. Anyways, when we got back, all I had to do was let her cry through one waking and now she's back to sleeping through the night again. That was painless! She's a new kid now and I'm a new, rested mama! Brooke went to bed at 8last night and she slept in her crib until 7 this morning!!!!!!!! I was elated when I looked at the clock this morning. I brought her into bed with us and nursed her and she slept until almost 10. It was HEAVENLY. John and I are still rejoicing about our late morning!

After we got ourselves together we went to the nursery to get more flowers. John's uncles work there so we get a pretty sweet discount. We save SO much money, thanks to those guys! We bought Impatiens, Begonias, Hostas, Petunias, Geraniums, Star Gazer Lillies, Foxgloves, and Dahlias and we spent our afternoon and evening outside planting everything. Our yard is really coming along! We have so many beautiful different colors of flowers and they all go together so nicely. I think it's safe to say that I'm addicted to my yard. It seems to be all I can think about lately! I can't wait to get right back out there tomorrow.

As for Brooke's addiction, it's peanut butter. HOLY COW! The baby who eats absolutely NOTHING will eat peanut butter.. And LOTS of it too. My doctor suggested waiting until she was about 18-24 months old before introducing it to her but a couple of months ago she had an accidental exposure to it (thanks to a daddy who will remain nameless!) and she did totally fine with it. Now when she wakes up she says "butter!" Every single meal or snack now she'll go to the kitchen cupboard and pull the jar of peanut butter out and attempt to open in. This morning she dipped cheese and watermelon in peanut butter. YUCK! Most of the times she will not eat anything BUT peanut butter so I've resorted to giving her heaping spoon fulls of it to suck on. This is the only way I can seem to give my baby something healthy that she'll actually eat. Man, I wish she would eat better. If she stops liking "butter" I don't know what I'll do!

Alrighty, John's off so I'm going to go enjoy a movie with him. I'm so excited! I love spending time with him so much:-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Festivities

I had an amazing day today!! Brooke and I spent our morning doing all of our grocery shopping for the get-together that we had tonight. After that we went to pick out some flowers to plant in a few of our small flower beds (as a surprise for John). Before heading home, she and I then went out for a quick mother-daughter lunch, which was very fun. She makes good company, that little girl of mine! I was thrilled because she came home and slept for just under 2 hours, which gave me lots of time to cook, clean and get ready for our party. When she finally woke up we spent the rest of our afternoon planting flowers and playing outside. What a blast! Being a mom was the funnest today:-)

Tonight we threw our first party in our new home. We've had people for dinner and stuff but this was the first time we had a real bash. We hosted about 20 people for a cook out and it as great fun! We grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and Speidies and then I made all kinds of desserts (including my famous jello Pretzel salad). People graciously brought loads of food like chips, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans and fruit salad so we were STUFFED before the night was over. It was wonderful to be able to have so many people over and not be crowded. People spread out on our large deck with our new patio furniture and then we all kind of floated in and out of the house. The kids played in the play room a lot and I was happy that they could have their own space. We wanted to open up our pool today but we didn't get around to it, which really stinks because that would have made the party even more perfect than it already was. Oh well!

As I mentioned earlier, I bought some flowers today. I was really disappointed in myself because I planted them in a box in front of our house and they just looked awkward. I wanted them to be perfect for John and even though he said they were pretty I think he was just lying to me. So, anyways, Patty took some time with me tonight and showed me exactly how to plant flowers and how to transplant some of my other flowers to make my flower beds look just perfect. She loves gardening and she's so knowledgeable so it was really, really nice to learn and be taught how to do things properly. After she and I were done working my flower beds looked SO nice and I was so very excited. I'm motivated to continue gardening now!!!!!! John has off tomorrow so we're hoping to buy more plants and keep landscaping our yard. There is so much to do still.

The weather today couldn't have been more perfect either! It was about 80 degrees and sunny all day long. I couldn't have planned it better!

I hope everyone else enjoyed their holiday as much as I did:-)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home, Sweet Home!

We got home from our long weekend at around 4 this afternoon. The wedding was very nice and we enjoyed our time away, but man, there is NO place like home! It felt so good to pull into our driveway today after the busy, busy weekend.

Brooke was such a great baby this weekend! The car ride there and back was painless. I don't think that she got worked up once while we were in the car which still has me shocked. She slept for 45 minutes on the way up and about an hour on the way home. I was sure she would sleep much more than that but she always likes to prove me wrong! We had some rough points over the weekend just because she was so out of sorts and tired, but I really couldn't have asked a 15-month-old to behave any more wonderfully. My girl is a trooper! We also had A LOT of help from family and friends keeping Brooke happy and entertained during the rehearsal, wedding, and reception. We honestly couldn't have done it without the many people that love us.

John looked so handsome at the wedding (and every other day too, of course!). As I looked at him and remembered back to our wedding day, I decided that I loved him more then than I did on our wedding day! The day I married him I couldn't imagine life getting any better than it was at that moment but now that we've been through so much in our marriage and have grown closer as best friends and partners, I have a much deeper understanding, respect, and love for him. I don't mean to get mushy but the wedding just brought out all of these memories and feelings. It's only natural for me to get sappy:-)

As promised, here are some pictures of our weekend. Enjoy!

My handsome husband and me:

Our little family:

My DAWG and me:

Brookie and me with Vicki (obviously the bride). This was taken at the end of the night as you can tell my Brooke's PJ's:

My DAWG and me welcoming our new sister-in-law:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wedding Bells Are Ringing

No, not for me... For my husband's brother, Josh. The wedding is not until Saturday at 5 but we're leaving early tomorrow morning because it's a three hour trip to the site of the wedding. Also, the rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night and it is going to be a picnic, which I have to help Patty prepare food for. We got a nice hotel and we're going to stay Friday night and Saturday night so it will be a nice little getaway for us all. John doesn't have to back at work until Sunday so I'm REALLY excited about that!

John's the best man but I keep telling him he better not wear his tuxedo because he'll put the groom to shame.. Jokingly, of course. I look forward to seeing him all dressed up and fancy. As for me, I'm not a bridesmaid or anything but I'm excited about having an excuse to wear a pretty dress and to put Brooke in her precious new dress that we bought for her. That will be lots of fun! I hope that I can get some good pictures of the three of us too.

I was kind of dreading this whole wedding weekend for a couple of reasons. 1, The drive will be anything but fun with Brooke. She usually does well until she reaches her breaking point. When she breaks WATCH out! 2, Brooke's sleeping habits are NOT good at a hotel. I'm not looking forward to trying to coax her into sleeping for those two nights. Lastly... Because John's in the wedding and I'm not, he'll spend much of Saturday running around with his brother (As he DEFINITELY should) and getting ready for the wedding, which will leave me all alone with Brooke in a strange place for the whole day. I've decided that I'll go and make the best of it and once the ceremony is over I'll have my husband back. They aren't having a head table at the reception so I won't have to sit without John, which is great. When I heard that I felt a lot better about things.

About a month ago the bride asked me to be the pianist for the wedding. I happily agreed because I love playing bridal music and I was looking forward to making it really nice for them. The truth is, it felt REALLY good and humbling to be included in their special day. I even fished out all my wedding music, which was NOT easy in the midst of a move. I also dedicated any of my precious, valuable free time that I had at the church (because I got rid of my piano at home) into practicing the music to make it perfect. So, anyways, she called me a couple of weeks ago and said they didn't need me to play. YIKES! It's all good though. I understand that things don't work out. She asked me to sing a song with my sister so Alison and I are going to be singing "By Heart, By Soul" by Avalon and I'll play the piano for that. We've worked really hard on it so I'm excited to sing it. I'm also very nervous about singing at their wedding because I want it to be special and flawless. I never, ever, ever get nervous playing in front of a crowd because I have been my church's pianist since I was 11! However, any time I have to sing in front of people I get butterflies in my stomach. Wish me luck!

So, with all that being said I'm going to try really hard to be a helper and a friend this weekend, despite the fact that I'm not in the wedding or anything. If they need anything at all I'll be the first one to jump up and go do it. And who knows? I may even relax some and enjoy myself too! It's supposed to be beautiful weather so that will be awesome!

Everyone have a great weekend! I'll be on Sunday and hopefully I'll have some pictures to share!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Short and Sweet

This is going to be a very short entry because of American Idol's season finale tonight.

I just wanted to brag on my baby. Tonight during praying meeting I left Brooke in the church nursery with my mother-in-law. She said that Brooke started saying "poop" over and over again so she took her to the potty. She sat her on the toilet and went immediately. Patty had to go chase my nephew, Nathan, who she was watching also, so she missed Brooke frantically signing and saying "more." She ended up pooping a little bit more on the floor because Patty wasn't able to catch her in time. I am SO impressed. I never thought that her interest in the potty at home would carry over to church or anywhere outside of our home. Crazy!

Brooke poops almost all the time on the toilet now! I haven't changed a poopy diaper since Monday and it's SO nice. She pees occasionally on the toilet but not regularly, which is fine by me. She loves to sit on the potty so she's always saying "pabee" so she can sit on it for fun. Lol! At least she's not intimidated by the toilet like some babies.

So, that's where we're out! I'm so excited. I live, breathe, and sleep potty lately. It has definitely consumed most of my thoughts. I hope things continue to go at this rate!

Okay, American Idol is calling my name. Go David Cook!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Potty News!

Brooke woke up this morning and went pee pee and poo poo on the toilet. Amazing! I truly suspected that last night was just a lucky occurrence but I don't think that it was because she was so eager to try it out this morning. We were out and about this afternoon so she didn't have any opportunity to try out her new potty skills and now she's in her crib napping. I'm curious to see what she'll do when she wakes up! John and I are going to get a potty chair tonight and I'm hoping that that will really make her feel more comfortable. Like I said last night, I'll happily play along with and encourage Brooke with her potty interests, but I am NOT going to force this on her. If she decides she's not ready and loses interest then so be it. She's still little!

In other less interesting news, we are getting a new furnace installed today! The furnace that we're getting rid of is an oil furnace but we're switching to propane. Because our new propane tank isn't here yet and the furnace won't be completely set up until tomorrow, we've been without heat. My house was 52 degrees this morning, despite our space heater running at full blast. It's supposed to be cold again tonight and I'm DREADING tomorrow morning. I can't even stand staying at this house right now because I'm freezing. I just want to be warm again!

I've been feeling kind of gloomy lately. Do you ever get like? I have so much to be thankful for and I have a wonderful family, both extended and immediate. God has placed a beautiful roof over my head, fed me, clothed me, loved me, and most importantly, DIED for me, yet I still struggle to have joy sometimes. I'm the type of person who lets things bother me and because this one little thing is on my mind, it's pretty much consumed most of my thoughts. It's awful, I know. I think the first step to "recovery" is realizing that my thought process is wrong and then praying about it and asking God to help me focus on the right things. Anyways, I hate the days and weeks when I feel like this and I know that it's just something that I have to fight. I always snap out of my moods, thankfully, but they're not fun when I'm in the midst of them. Just had to get this off my chest!

Okay, my little fingers are so cold that I don't think they can type much more. Maybe I'll go bake cookies or something to get warm? That's sounding pretty great right about now!

Monday, May 19, 2008

15-Month Check-Up And POTTY NEWS!

Brookie had her 15-month check-up today. She now weighs 20 pounds, 12 ounces and is 30 inches long. She really hasn't grown much and the doctor said she's pretty tiny but healthy so it's okay. He said that she probably won't gain more than 2 or 3 pounds before she's 2. It's crazy to think that she'll most likely stay tiny for a while. She had 3 shots today and because of the doctor's magical lollipop she barely even whimpered. I was amazed! The calming influence of the lollipop made it worth the sticky mess it created!

Now, in exciting news, Brooke went pee pee on the potty today!! She's been saying "pee pee" and going to the toilet but I just assumed that she was talking about ME using the toilet. I try to narrate our day to her so every time I go to the bathroom I say "Okay, mommy's going pee pee now" and of course she usually joins me. That's where I figured she got it from. I put her on the toilet because she was adamantly asking to and she peed only seconds after I put her on there. I couldn't believe my eyes! Who knows? Maybe it's a fluke and she won't do it again, but I'm sure as heck gonna encourage her using the toilet whenever the heck she wants to! Another thing that she's been doing that makes me wonder if she'll potty train early is tell me that she needs to poop. BEFORE she needs to poop she'll let me know and if she sits in poop for a minute she'll freak out and tell me she pooped until I change her. She's AWFULLY young to even think about potty training but I think I'm going to go get her a potty chair and see what happens from there. It can't hurt anything, right?

Okay, I have some poor quality pictures of the girl that are just too cute to pass up.

This one is of her goofing off in her old bouncy seat. It's blurry but I thought the look on her face was priceless.

This is a picture of a picture. My brother-in-law, Luke, took it a few weeks and I want to get this made into a wall portrait. Isn't it beautiful? I wish I had better quality to show you!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

ME? At A Garage Sale?

I have never liked garage sales. Just the thought of using something that someone else didn't want anymore sounds gross and awful to me. I'll admit, I can be sort of a snob about it. John really likes to go and look around so he coaxed me into going to this HUGE neighborhood garage sale. It was a gorgeous day out so I figured that I would at least enjoy the company and the weather.

I went to the garage sales with an opened mind today, putting all of my prior reservations aside. We decided that we would set out in search of an air conditioning until and a microwave stand (My microwave takes up too much counter space and we wanted an inexpensive solution until we buy a micro hood). Ironically enough, the first thing that we stumbled upon was a microwave cart. It's made of wood (that is almost identical to my kitchen cabinets) and it had a butcher block top on it. The price tag was still on the back that said it was $99 but the people were selling it for $30. We got them to go down to $25 so I am now the proud owner of the most PERFECT microwave cart! It fits great in my kitchen and it has allowed me to free up a TON of counter space

We continued on our journey of walking and looking. About an hour later we stumbled across a brand new air conditioning system that was still in the box. It was originally priced at $500 when the owner first bought it but they were asking $200 for it. We got them to sell it to us for $175!! It's a really nice Frigidaire system that is large enough to cool our entire upstairs. I am so excited about that good deal! It's so wonderfully ironic that we found the two things that we set out to buy.

So, have my feelings about garage sales changed? Yes and no. I don't think I'll ever be a hard core "yard saler." I think that most of the stuff that people are trying to get rid of is crap. It is the few rare finds, such as my microwave cart and air conditioning unit, that make it worth while. I'll give garage sales more credit in the future but I'm not rushing out the door to hit the next sale. Know what I mean?

John went back to work tonight and I am missing him SO bad right now:-( His days off were amazing than I could have ever hoped they would be and I really wish they didn't have to come to an end. I guess it's time to go hop into my cold, lonely, EMPTY bed:-( Goodnight!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bargains To Brag About

Am I not the queen of bargains? I say this every time I get a good deal but really, I think I've earned the right to the throne. I seek the cheapest prices and when I find them I am one happy woman! Check out today's proof...

My brother-in-law is getting married next Saturday so I set out in search for the perfect dress for the wedding. We went to a mall that we don't ordinarily go to and we saw a store called B. Moss, which had amazingly beautiful dresses in their storefront. I walked in and saw that most of their gorgeous dresses were around $100 and I really didn't feel like dropping that much money. I thought we wouldn't have much success in that store but I reluctantly continued to look around. I worked my way back to the sales rack and found a whole pile of beautiful dresses in my size. They were originally $80 a piece but on the tag they were marked down to $30. I was bragging to John about how perfect and incredibly cheap they were when a lady who worked there came over to tell us that they were AN ADDITIONAL 50% off of the clearance price!!!!!!!!! That was the first step but the hardest part is usually finding dresses to fit me. I'm 4'11 and things don't usually flatter my body type so I didn't want to get too excited. However, I found not only one, but TWO amazing dresses that fit me like a glove! I couldn't decide which one to get so I got both of them. One of them was only $10 and the other was $15. I was only going to get one but I couldn't resist such a great sale. Can you believe it??? Everyone needs to find a B. Moss and GO THERE!

Our next line of business was finding the perfect dress for Miss Brooke. This is usually an easy job because stores are generally overflowing with precious baby girl stuff. We went to Macy's and got her a fancy, silky dress that will be so elegant and adorable on her. It was originally $60 and we got it for $14!! While it's not nearly as good of a bargain as my two dresses were, it's still a great deal, in my book. I'm just on a roll today!

Speaking of bargains, I'm now a believer in Aldi's, a discount grocery store. My mother-in-law has been going there for years to do her grocery shopping and I never really thought of it as a good place to go. She tried and tried to persuade me but I didn't think it would be worth my while. HOLY COW... I tried it out a couple of weeks ago and I'm hooked. Everything from cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, baking supplies, fresh meats, and produce is MUCH cheaper. On top of that, it's all GOOD stuff too. I have never been disappointed with anything I've purchased there. When I went to Wal Mart to do grocery shopping I usually spent $125-$150 every two weeks but now that I go there I only spend $80 every two weeks. That's an incredible difference! I still go to Wal Mart for cleaning supplies, diapers, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins but those are things that don't need to be bought every week. I also shop random grocery stores for sales on meats or soda. I like to stock up on those things so I'm always looking for a good price on them. Anyways, check Aldi's out! If you have any reservations about going there GET OVER IT. You will save mega money!

Alrighty, I'm off to watch a movie with my man. I love him so much!! I even think he loves me too:-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

15 Months Of Bliss!!

My little girl is 15-months-old today. Unbelievable! Time has seriously flown way too fast. I try to savor every moment with her because I'm realizing that she'll be going off to college before I know it. I want to enjoy every single solitary moment with her that I possibly can.

Brooke has developed so much over the last 15 months. There's no doubt about that! When she started to walk at 9 months I thought that that was the most drastic change she would ever make. It seemed so huge (which it definitely was) to me at the time. At that point she had the physical capability to walk without the mental capacity to process where she was going. Now that she's developed more she has learned where her favorite treats are (such as marshmallows, mini M&M's, toilet paper rolls, pretzels, daddy's' keys) she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. This stage of awareness and heightened curiosity has created so many more challenges for me as her mother than I ever thought possible.

Over these last couple of weeks Brooke has been starting to discover more and more that she has a will. It's like this light clicked inside her head and she realized that she's not programmed to do what mommy and daddy tell her to. When we tell her "no" now she arches her back, throws herself on the ground, and holds her breath. We have some interesting episodes when we're out and about too and they are NOT easy to handle. The biggest fight with her involves the shopping cart... She LOVES to push carts so whenever she sees one she says "poosh" (which means push) and spazzes out until we let her. We're trying to teach her that she has to stay buckled in the cart and she has NOT liked that idea. This makes grocery shopping very challenging. Just one of the joys of parenting... Lol!

Right alongside this stage of willful disobedience, Brooke has been learning an abundant amount of hilarious things to keep us laughing. My favorite new thing that she does is say "Ugh oh!" It's too funny because she says that when she drops something and then she says "Mess, mess!" Sometimes she comes up to me and says "Ugh oh! Mess!" She then takes my hand and leads me to the area of concern and I'm usually nervous to see what I'll find. Most of the time her "mess" is minor, like a spilled snack or dirty hands, but I'm sure that a TRUE mess is waiting in the wings!

I'm loving motherhood more and more every day! I may be tired, frustrated, sick, sad, lonely, frazzled, or upset and all it takes to get me out of my funk is one little smile from my precious girl. Sometimes I forget that she leans on me and not the other way around because she motivates, encourages, and inspires me so much. She pushes me constantly to be my best because I know that that's what she deserves. Wow, I'm amazed at how lucky I am to have Miss Brooke. God has been so good to us!

Okay, John's off tonight so it's time to get ready for MOVIE NIGHT!!!!!!!! I need some rest with my man after my day of handling temper tantrums! :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Perplexed By Dandelions

Our yard is overrun by dandelions. HOLY COW! They have become my arch nemesis and my latest goal has been to destroy each and every one of them. They are just so ugly! We called Chem Lawn to see about getting some treatments on our yard to kill them all and it would have been almost $400 throughout the summer, $89 a month for 4 months. That seemed WICKED high to me, so our yard continues to be a playground for the dandelions.

I guess I just don't understand much about dandelions. Why can they withstand frost, inclement weather, and drought? Why are they so stubborn and resilient? My beautiful perennial flowers have to fight but these dumb weeds get to stay and flourish with no effort. I wonder why God would create something like a dandelion. Isn't that a weird concept to think about?

Our across the street neighbor (the one who brought us muffins and cookies last week) has the most beautiful yard ever. She was outside the other day so I asked her how she got her yard to be dandelion free. She said that it took years of cutting them at the roots one by one. So, every chance we get, John and I have been digging dandelions and their roots out of our massive yard. It's annoying and time consuming, but it's also addicting. Our recent afternoons have been spent outside obliterating dandelions. Brookie runs around and squats on her hands and knees, as if to mimic what I'm doing and we just have a grand old dandelion destroying party. She seems to support my mission of creating a pretty yard! Lol

I was preparing lunch today and I heard someone calling my name. On my porch was that neighbor who I talked to about the dandelions. She said, "I just wanted to let you know that I saw the tool you were using to dig up your dandelions and it's NOT a good tool. I'll bring you by a better one later and it will make your life so much easier. Okay honey?" I smiled politely and invited her in. She said she was busy and she quickly ran off. She then turned around as she was walking away and said, "And Jillian, children love to play with dandelions. Don't feel bad that you have so many of them." Ha! I love that old lady! She reminds me of Miss Clairee in the movie Steal Magnolias, which happens to my absolute favorite movie.

Our neighbor has the most beautiful perennial flower garden and she said that she's going to dig some flowers up and share them with us. I don't think I've ever met such nice and generous people before. I'm a stranger to her and she's done all of this to me. With her help and with the purchase of some new flowers, hopefully our yard will look pretty soon!

Okay, it's time to get the hubby off to work:-( I wish he didn't have to leave me! I'm VERY excited though because he has tomorrow night and Friday night off. YAY!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where Has My Baby Gone?

Brooke has been developing so much lately. She's not a baby anymore and while it's exciting and fun, it's breaking my heart! I look at her now and see this big, independent toddler with a mind of her own. We're having such a blast though so I can't complain!

Brookie said her first sentence yesterday! She said, "Bless you, Papa!" to my dad. She's been saying two-word phrases like "Up, please" or "Please, Mommy" and I'm loving this new phase in which she can learn to communicate with us much better. She's also started to make her words possessive. For instance, she'll point to John's phone and say "Daddy's." She's such a sponge too.. She is starting to repeat almost everything we say so we really have to watch out what comes out of our mouths. Even words like "stupid" or "dumb" I try not to say because I do NOT want that being in her repertoire! So, needless to say, I'm VERY careful when I chose my words, as of late.

Brooke can now say the names of almost every single one of our extended family members. Pretty impressive! It's funny because if I say "Grammy" she knows that it goes with "Papa" or if I say "Alison" that it goes with "Luke" or "Nathan." She always appropriately pairs people together.

She LOVES to be outside. We went for our jog this afternoon and then we spent probably another couple hours or so outside. I worked in the yard and she played. When it was time to come back inside she had a conniption. She seriously threw herself on the ground, arched her back, and held her breath. She got over it eventually but it was NOT easy persuading her that being inside would be fun. Lol

We went for a walk to get some ice cream after dinner tonight. Brooke loves to be in her wagon so much. Anyways, when we got home I told her that it was bath time. I turned the water on and then I went in the linen closet to get her a wash cloth. In the two seconds I was turned around Brooke managed to climb in the tub with her clothes, shoes, and bow still on. She shocked me! She was on all fours just waiting for me. I'm SO thankful I had been in the same room because she could have drown if I hadn't of been there. I never knew she could climb into the tub like that. That girl is going to give me a heart attack!

Brooke is still obsessed with shoes. I think that she would be content to sit there playing with her shoes all afternoon. It's so precious because whenever I tell her that it's time to go bye bye she goes and gets me my shoes and puts them on my feet. It amazes me because she always gets two shoes that are in the same pair. She doesn't always have good taste in what she picks to match my outfit but what can I expect from a baby? Lol! After I have my shoes on she always goes and gets hers too. So sweet!

So, yes, that's what I've been up to lately... Enjoying my blossoming daughter. I don't think I could love her more if I tried. I leave you with this precious, ice cream covered face...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you fellow mamas out there! Motherhood is such an amazing gift that it really isn't necessary to have one measly day to celebrate it, but it's still nice to have a special day for recognition.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful mother that raised me to be the mom that I am today. If I didn't have her love and support I seriously don't know what I would do or where I would be. I've always loved and appreciated her, but ever since Brooke was born I have had a renewed appreciation for what a great mom she is. Now that I'm a mommy myself I'm more aware of the many sacrifices she made to care for my brother, sister, and me. I am so thankful for the wonderful example she set for me. I always look back on my childhood and remember her unending love and the way she worked so hard to make me happy.

I'm also thankful for my mother-in-law. On a day such as Mother's day, I am mindful of how blessed I am to have her in my life. I'm grateful for the great job she did in raising her son, but I am also amazed at her friendship, love and support. Few people can say they love their mother-in-law as much as I love mine!

John and Brooke went out of their way to make me feel very special today! John bought a beautiful card and signed it for Brooke. They also bought me an area rug to go in my living room. It's gorgeous! We have hardwood floors and I wanted something to warm up the room and the rug does just that.

Even though my family made me feel special and appreciated, the best gifts of the day were the simple exchanges between Brooke and me... The nursing sessions, the kisses, hugs, giggles, laughs, and smiles. I kept staring at her in awe today and I remembered how very lucky and blessed I am to be a mom, HER mom. Being a mother is the biggest privilege and responsibility that I could ever imagine and I feel so proud to bare the stripes of motherhood. There's just nothing better!

I gave Brooke a bath before bed and we were having such a great time. We were laughing and singing and she was splashing me like crazy! I heard her say "poo poo," which she always says before she poops. I just disregarded her because she had already gone once today and she rarely poops more than once in a day. I figured that I had misunderstood her. Besides, I never really thought that she would actually poop in the tub. A few minutes later, however, there was poop floating in my daughter's nice, warm, Shea butter bubble bath. It was absolutely disgusting. Ugh! I had John take care of her while I cleaned out the disgusting poop from the tub. It was everywhere and something about seeing it float all over triggered my gag reflex. I really thought I was going to lose my dinner! I guess I learned my lesson and next time I will believe Miss Brooke!

Well, it's time to get some rest now. I hope the rest of you mothers out there had a wonderful, relaxing day with your families and that you enjoyed the wonderful blessings of simply being a mommy!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spiders On The Ceiling

I was laying in bed last night, feeling very relaxed and comfortable. I was about to doze off next to my snoring husband, which is a rarity! However, something prevented me from going to sleep. There was this black spot on our ceiling that kept moving and my curiosity demanded that I got to the bottom of it. Well, I'm sure you can guess (because of this post's title) that it was a spider! I wanted to scream!

I told myself that it was only a silly spider and it couldn't hurt me so I armed myself with a magazine with full intentions of killing it. I lost all my courage when I got closer to it because I realized that it was just too big and way too scary for me to handle on my own. I woke John up and let's just say that he wasn't the most happy person in the universe to be awake. He took a hammer to tap it with (I think that might have been the sleepiness that made him do that) and for a few minutes I thought he just might hit ME with the hammer. Ha! So, anyways, he killed the one spider and as he was about to sit right back down I saw another one. Since he was already up, it didn't take much persuasion to get him to kill that one also.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, I saw THREE more of these nasty creatures on my ceiling. The thought of waking my already cranky husband didn't thrill me to death but I decided that my fear of spiders took precedence over my relationship with my husband at the time! Lol! This time around, he was VERY angry but at least the dumb spiders were killed.

As I rolled over to go to sleep I saw one more spider on the ceiling but I didn't dare say anything about. I just stayed awake and watched it disappear into the crevice of the closet door. It was all I could do to sleep last night!

I'm seriously such a wimp when it comes to all things gross and/or scary. I hate any type of bug, rodent, insect, or animal. John can't seem to understand my intense fear of such things! I know the best way to eliminate a fear is to face it, but I am NOT ready to face spiders (or any other nasty creature, for that matter).

Okay, enough of my ranting and ravings on spiders... It's time to get ready to go to the movies tonight! I can't wait. John and I haven't had a date in so very long.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Medical Mix Up!

I have a great story that I have to share. I thought about keeping it to to myself because some of the details are slightly personal but the more I think about it, it's just hilarious!

So, last Thursday I suspected that I had a UTI. Not only were we in the midst of moving, but my doctor was on vacation. I could have seen somebody else in her practice but they didn't have any appointments when I was available. To get myself taken care of I went to the walk in clinic. I told the nurse what was going on and it just seemed like a routine visit.

As I sat there waiting for the doctor to come in to see me I could hear the patient in the room next to me. She was telling the nurse that she thought she was pregnant and that she thought she had a UTI. I'm a very nosey person so I took great joy in the fact that I could hear all of her personal matters through the paper thing walls:-) Lol

The next thing I know, the dumb doctor is coming and saying, "So, I hear your period is 8 days late and you think that your pregnant?" She then continued to tell me that she would test my urine for pregnancy. Over and over again I kept reiterating to her that I did NOT think I was pregnant, I just thought I had a UTI. She looked kind of confused, even after I explained it to her. I told her that I was breastfeeding but I never even mentioned the word "pregnant" to her! Anyways, she excused herself and left the room. When she finally returned after like 10 minutes, she told me that she wasn't going to run my urine for pregnancy. I just assumed that realized that I truly didn't think I was pregnant.

When it all was said and done, it turns out that the girl in the room next to me was named Julianne. Ha! I can see how they would be confused because we have such similar names and we were both there for a UTI but we had 2 totally separate charts, so it seems like they would be able to differentiate between the 2 of us!

Now, back to the crappy doctor... After I told her 20 millions times that I was breastfeeding, she prescribed me an antibiotic for the UTI. I asked her repeatedly if it was safe for Brooke for me to take it and she said it was. When I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription, in bold letters the medication information said "Do NOT take while breastfeeding." After calling my pharmacist and my doctor's office, I was told that it is absolutely NOT okay to take while nursing. I'm so thankful that I didn't take it. Holy cow! So, I had to wait for another medication to be called in and of course I had to purchase it all over again. Nice.

I was absolutely appalled at the lack of professionalism and poor medical judgement so I called the hospital's administrator. I explained the situation to her and she apologized and told me that she would have the doctor in charge of the walk-in clinic give me a call. So, the doctor called me yesterday and said, "Hi, Mrs. D., let me get this straight, you're pregnant and we're prescribed Cipro?" THEY STILL THOUGHT I WAS PREGNANT! Lol! I of course had to explain my story to them all over again. Those people are whacked! I'm seriously cracking up over this because I just don't know what else to do!

After a week of medicine and struggling with this stupid infection I still don't feel any better:-( I went back to MY doctor today and she said that the infection still looks pretty gross. She put me on more medication but if I'm not feeling better by the morning she wants me to go get an ultrasound done of my kidneys to make sure they're working properly. She said that antibiotics should clear up infections, especially when I've been on them for so long. I'm feeling kind of anxious about all of this. I always let my mind wander and trick me into thinking that I have something horrible wrong with me. I sure hope this all works out okay.

Alrighty, it's time for bed. I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood!

Today was absolutely gorgeous outside!! The temperature was in the mid 70's and the sun was shining. Alison and Nathan came over and we pulled the kids around town in Brooke's wagon. I've been jogging/power walking this same 1.1 mile route every day and I was happy to be able to share my exercise time with Ali and the kids. Somehow it goes quicker with company!

As we were walking, Brooke threw her shoe out of the wagon without me knowing it. Luckily somebody driving by witnessed it and honked to get my attention. I was so thankful because they were really nice Stride Rite sandals that wouldn't have been the cheapest to replace. I decided that I love my small town! People are so friendly and everyone seems to really look out for one another. Everywhere you go people wave to you and treat you like a friend. It's great!

Speaking of nice people, we found a basket of muffins, cookies, and danishes in our car this afternoon. It was prepared for us by some of our neighbors that live across the street. They also wrote us a really nice card that said that they really look forward to getting to know us and that they're there if we need anything. They're an elderly couple that is always outside working in their beautiful garden and they seem so sweet! I was really touched that they did that for us and it once again confirmed that I love our new location.

Well, I'm off to bed. Our busy day spent in the sun really tired me out!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Brooke has learned how to say "nurse" so she doesn't follow me around screaming and furious anymore... She now follows me around and screams "nurse" over and over again until I give in. Fun, huh? I have a Bebe Au Leit nursing cover that I keep in my diaper bag and lately she's been fishing it out and carrying it with her, while she demands to nurse. I've had to keep that thing tucked away because she is beside herself if she sees it. She can't seem to get the idea of nursing out of her head whenever it's in plain view.

I have 2 differing thoughts on this whole issue of insessant breastfeeding... 1, I feel like I should give in because this is just a time of change and adjustment. And really, let's face it, it's SO much easier to give in. On the other hand, I feel like she's too big to be nursing all day, every day. I'm fine nursing her before bed and in the mornings, which is what we were doing before we moved, but now it's kind of becoming overwhelming to me. It wouldn't bother me if I thought that she was really hungry or something, but it's definitely NOT hunger related. I try offering distractions, such as a snack or a drink of milk or water, but when my kid gets the idea of nursing in her head she doesn't give up until she gets just that. It honestly seems like I have a newborn baby again because she's up all night wanting to nurse on top of her unrelenting demands in the daytime.

Today I nursed her in the morning, after she woke up from her nap (because she was livid) and before bedtime. I could have nursed at least 5 or 6 other times if I had surrendered to her requests but my salvation today was that it was nice outside. Most of the time I just mentioned the word "outside" and she was content and distracted enough to stop asking to nurse. We went on three long walks today to avoid the constant breastfeeding! We'll definitely be getting a lot of exercise if this continues. Lol!

My mom reassured me by telling me that Brooke will be sleeping through the night and weaned before she goes off to college. Gee, thanks mom! Lol! I sure hope she's right! :-) Haha

Monday, May 5, 2008

Back To Life, Back To Reality

It's been a whole week since I've been able to get on the computer, which has seemed like an eternity! We had our internet installed last Thursday but they didn't hook it up properly so we had to wait until today for them to come back and fix it. So, anyways, here I am! I'm now reconnected with the real world!

Things are going well on our end! I'm not going to lie... The first couple of days were pretty awful. Between moving and getting settled, we also had a plethora of other minor inconveniences too... John's car had a flat tire, I had a UTI which required a trip to the doctor, and my car has been out of commission, due to some stupid service light that is preventing it from passing inspection. It just seems like it has been one thing after the other with us. In the midst of all of the chaos I seriously thought that I would lose my mind!! Thankfully we have so many people that have been right here helping us get everything done. We have the best family! They seriously kept me sane and we have lived to tell about our crazy, exhausting, stressful week.

The first couple of days in this house I was really sad. I just wanted to go "home." It didn't help that John's brother bought our house so we kept going back to it to clean things up or to get final things. It made me miss it so much! However, now that we're all settled in and everything is put away and organized, this is home! I can't imagine living anywhere else. This house suites our needs (and wants!) perfectly and I see us staying here for many years to come. We love our neighborhood too. Almost all of our neighbors have gone out of their way to introduce themselves to us and to make us feel welcome. One family even baked us a cake! It's so nice to live in that type of community! I feel so safe living in a quaint little village like this... Especially with John working the night shift.

We have 22 windows in our house and only 4 of them had any type of window treatment on them when we moved in. I was in disbelief! I didn't love the ones that the previous owner had up but I figured that they would be sufficient until we had the time to go get the ones we wanted. Nice of him to tell us that they weren't staying. Geeze! As I'm sure you can imagine, we've been curtain shopping all week. We've gotten our family room, dining room, 1/2 bathroom, and our bedroom done and we've already spent well over $200. Curtains are NOT cheap! John's aunt is an incredible seamstress who can make anything, and so John's mom asked her to help us. Of course she happily agreed to make us some curtains! She went with me to Wal Mart today and we bought some beautiful fabrics to do Brooke's room, our office, and Brooke's playroom. We got all that for $33! I was so happy. I wish I had thought to have her do the other ones before I went out and spent a fortune on them. Oh well.. Live and learn! When our last window is finally dressed I will be one very happy woman!

As for Brooke, she has been pretty miserable. This transition has been more difficult on her than I could have ever imagined. She fusses constantly, she's not sleeping well, all she wants to do is nurse, and she's just over all clingy and temperamental. If I try to put her down she arches her back and throws herself on the ground. Another thing that has been difficult is that she's not napping well. I feel like I have virtually NO time for myself. Frustrating! I'm really hoping that this is all just because she's unsettled and out of sorts and that in a couple of weeks I'll have my happy baby back. I love being her mommy, and that will never change, but this week has really exhausted me and frustrated me. I've tried so hard to make her my top priority, even despite the massive amount of work that I had to do, so I don't think that it's because she feels slighted or anything. I don't know... It's just so hard to be a happy, energetic mom when your baby is miserable and not sleeping well.

John had Saturday night and Sunday night and now it's back to work for him tonight:-( I wish he could stay... But he can't so I'm off to get him out the door. I long for the day when he doesn't have this dumb shift anymore!