Monday, January 30, 2012

My Best Advice for Mommies To Be.

When I was newly pregnant with Ella Kate, I knew the kind of mom that I would be and the type of baby I would have. I would have the perfectly stocked diaper bag, the happiest baby boy ever, and we would never have to spend a dime on formula. That stuff was for weaklings. Ella Kate would spend every night in her crib from day one (there was no way in Hell that I would let her sleep near me- I didn't want her getting used to it!)  We would never call her EK. Oh yeah, and I also decided that she would have black hair, just like her daddy- but with my green eyes.

Then, she was born. On one of my first trips out of the house with her alone, I found my diaper bag was missing one special item: a diaper. She cried, a lot. Typically, she cried from 9pm-3am, For about 2 weeks, she cried like that. We chalked it up to gas. That sample of  Enfamil Newborn saved our butts at 12am, when the poor baby was starving because I just couldn't cut it.

I guess one day I will thank Ryan for this picture.
 I can't count the number of nights I spent with her, sleeping in the recliner because it was the only way to get her to stay asleep. EK also came out with blonde fuzzy hair, and stunning blue eyes.
Ryan and I were convinced we would have a little boy. Guess again, but she sure looks cute like this, huh?

I guess what I'm getting at is this:  Don't be so obsessed with expectations and things that really won't matter in the larger scope of your baby's life. I've always been a forgetful person, and my family deals with it. No matter how she cried, ate, slept, and even no matter what we CALL her- we got a healthy, happy baby girl out of the deal.  She is perfect, and just what we had hoped she would be.

Feeling really lost in the world of babies? Need some more advice? Check out all of the other wonderful mommy bloggers who have linked up with Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday!

Also, go check out our feature on Mommy's Must Have Monday at The How To Mommy

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unsticking Stuff From a Non "Non-Stick" Pan.....

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine at work told me about this nasty pan she had with food stuck all over it. She said she used a dryer sheet to get the crusty food residue off of it. I didn't think much of it and went on about my day. However, I guess I filed that little nugget of knowledge into the depths of my left brain, and today it came in handy.

Ryan and I cooked garlic chicken pasta for lunch today, and decided to use what we lovingly refer to as "the deep dish".  It is a heavy duty pan, but it has a downfall. It is not a nonstick pan. We were sure to liberally grease the pan prior to cooking, but we still ended up with this big mess stuck to the bottom.

So of course, not having a dishwasher, we left it sitting in the sink. Neither of us acted like it had happened. Plus, when your kid looks like this by the end of every meal, you really aren't too worried about the gross dishes. Let them grow mold, for all I care. We can eat off of paper, right?
OMG Mom, I'm full. And Cranktastic. And I WANT OUT NOW DAMNIT.

Then I remembered the trick that my friend shared with me, and I ran out to the laundry room to grab a dryer sheet.

I ran some hot water into the pan, and dropped the sheet into it. Then, I walked away. A few hours later, I came back and poured out the water and dryer sheet. Get ready for pure amazement.

This is before I even had to scrub! Is that not the coolest thing ever? 

Are there any other amazing, miraculous home secrets that I'm missing out on? Please fill me in!

Friday, January 27, 2012

What Can We Bling Next?

One of my fellow heifer showing friends from high school, Jamie, posted this picture on her Facebook wall.

For those of you who aren't from my neck of the woods, these are show sticks. A FFA-er or 4-Her uses these things to place a heifer or steer's legs and feet in a way that makes them look desirable for one of two things; breeding or eating. You can rake a calf's loin to give them a better appearance through their top with this stick (but don't let the judge catch you), you can hold it in front of their head while walking to slow their pace, or you can scratch their  brisket to keep them calm while judging goes on. Without these sticks, your calf could very possibly look like a high dollar sack of crap.

This is what a sack of crap calf looks like, nappy/unsquare,  sharp shoulder, short neck. A show stick and halter would help... a little.

This heifer looks a lot better... with pretty, stick placed hind feet :)

The only thing is, the sticks normally look like this:

I can't believe that even the livestock world has gone bling. I may be old school, but I will always believe that the kid on the end of the heifer's lead isn't an accessory on display.  Rhinestone sticks won't win your class when a 56 year old man is judging. 

My secret to winning the class: work, work, a little Dawn dish soap and spray oil from the African American community, and my lucky solid steel, plain jane stick. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

GAT is TAG... only backwards

I'm in a random mood, and I have totally been struggling to find anything worth blogging about here lately ( hence the Pizza phone shot and shameless Shutterfly plug to get a discount on my next order).
... then, magically... Dun Dun Duh
Whitney to the rescue! Whitney is a fellow RN (she graduated from the same RN school, just one year ahead of me), and mom to the cutest 7 month old I can think of,  Rowyn. If you need a laugh, read her blog! Whitney tries all of the things I'd love to do, but don't have the balls for. She is a self proclaimed hippie momma. Her latest conquest is a "No Poo" lifestyle... and by poo, I mean shampoo. Sorry, no nursing advice on constipation from these girls. She tagged me in a little game, and now I have to answer her questions. Or I could just stay "it" forever, but no one likes a buzz kill.

When I started my blog, I mainly wanted a place to come back to so I can see exactly what was going on in my family's life at any given time. I wanted to document EK's life, and hopefully do a better job of remembering the funny little things she does on a daily basis. I often wonder if anyone actually reads what I write, or if it's just random, out-there internet oblivion. Either way, I do it for me- but I love getting to put things out there, on the off chance they could be useful to someone. I know of several adorable ladies out there who I relate to, so maybe tagging them here will help someone else find their way to them, as well! 

So, the rules are:
1. You must post the rules. (and then break, bend, or create your own... it's more fun that way!)

2.Post eleven fun facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven a few new questions to ask the people you've tagged.

4. Tag eleven (or a few) other people and link them on your post.

5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Here goes nothing....


  •  I can touch my nose with my tongue... heck, I can almost lick my neck.
Enough said about babies.

  • I really don't like babies despite my brief hospital gig in postpartum and pediatrics. However, my baby is the

  • I'm a member of an online group of 200+ ladies, and we all had babies in January 2011 (there, I admitted it).  My husband sometimes thinks I like them better than him. While I realize that all of us lead very different lives and might never be friends in real life, as a group we provide each other with support, advice, and a sounding board for all of life's difficulties. I'm not sure what kind of mom I'd have turned out to be if it weren't for them.

Crochet gone terribly, terribly wrong.

  • I know how to crochet and french braid. Before EK was born, I set out to make her a blanket. It ended up being wide enough to cover our king size bed, twice. I threw in the yarn and asked my dear, sweet Granny for help. I didn't say I could crochet well.

  • My dream job is to own a bait shop when Ryan and I get old. 
  • I use peroxide as mouthwash... NO I don't swallow it, but talk about a clean mouth!

The bad haircut surprisingly grew into a cute 'do.
  • I had a weave one time after a really bad haircut. Ryan and I had been dating for just 2 months when it happened. I wore clip in extensions every day for at least a month. It's a wonder he didn't leave me then.

  • I am the world's biggest advocate for Target Debit RedCards. They should really pay me. 5% off and just like my checkcard? Sign me up.

Ok... that's eight. 3 more.  

  • I have a cat named George, after GWBush. 

  • I clean my toilet every day. Morning sickness taught me that a clean toilet is worth its weight in gold... or chili cheese tater tots.  Not to mention, I don't feel terrible when EK wants to drop crap toys in it and fish them out.

Last one.... hmmmm. OH!

  • I used to have a pet sheep, he was named Justin Matisse. You know, like on the movie Hope Floats? I had to shear him every summer. 

The Questions!

Why did you start your personal blog?

See above!

What is something that your blog followers would be surprised to know about you?
I never really wanted to have kids. I wanted it to be totally planned if we did, and it was. Just by God, not us :)

If your life was a sitcom, which one would it be? Why?

The King of Queens- Ryan and I both work hard, love each other despite our imperfections, and have fun in life together.  Now, if only I could convince my daddy to move into the shop.

Just a tiny gem for you:
Doug: Oh, please. You wanted me from the moment you saw me in my mesh shirt and white jeans. Yeah. You’re thinking about it right now. You’re welcome, baby. 
Carrie: Actually, that mesh shirt made you look like a bag of onions. 
Doug: Sweet onions. That you loved to peel. And they wouldn’t make you cry… because they, uh…I’m done.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?
If I won a stupid amount of money, I would pay off our cars and home, make sure EK is set up well, give to family and find the perfect charity to donate to.  And I might buy a place in Isla Mujeres :)
One of my favorite places- Isla Mujeres

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Something low stress. Maybe I could morph into whatever I wanted..I first thought I would like to be psychic, but how overwhelming would it be to know everything?!

If you could sit down and have dinner with ANYONE (alive or dead) who would it be? Why?
My Granny Skeet! She is funny, always able to catch me up on juicy gossip, and sweet as they come.

What do you like the most about yourself?
I like to consider myself as a very genuine person, and I find a lot of joy in helping other people feel good about themselves and their abilities. On a more superficial note, I like my big smile and ridiculously thick hair.

What is your biggest weakness?
Just a few syllables.  Geriatrics. Old people can be so cute... most of the time. 
OH! Puppies, too.

What is your favorite quote? 
Home is where your heart is. 
 (I also like the version "Home is where your dog is")

In ten years, where do you see yourself?
Hopefully right where I am now, with an eleven year old. I am content. 

So, here's my TAG list:

How to shop, how to save, how to cook, and how to be a bad ass mommy. Lord knows I need all the help I can get, and Kelli dishes it out daily.

As EK's future mother in law, Molly gives the best tips and tricks for keeping your house (husband, baby and crazy A-hole dog) happy! She makes it looks easy to keep it all together.

One of the sweetest and most genuine blogs I have ever read. I identify so much with Anna, and always feel like I leave her blog with a more positive outlook than I began with. She is a pastor's wife and stay at home mommy to 2 kids, one of which has the birthday as EK! She also has done mission work in Africa, which is beyond amazing to me.

Fellow January mom and frugal-ista/ DIYer, Stephanie has tons of sites for saving money! 

Nicole is the super hot mommy to baby Blake- she's on a mission to lose weight and get fit.... She's already incredibly gorgeous, so I just read to try and motivate my lazy butt.

Just read it. She's an awesome paint artist and makes me laugh on a daily basis. She doesn't blog about the army, or about style... Well, sometimes she does.

Lovingly known as "Mama G", mommy to January baby Carina! She's a former mathlete turned stay at home mom, and just found out she is expecting again in September 2012. This is one of the nicest ladies you'll ever "meet" online!

Nykki is an awesome mommy to one year old Olivia. She keeps me inspired with all of her recipes, projects, and "Pinterest Picks"! It doesn't hurt that I live vicariously through her pregnancy updates, as she will have a new bundle of joy in May!

Maria Fe keeps the sweetest blog on the adventures of her little one, Jack. She also is one of the most stylish girls I've ever seen, and I wish she would come decorate my house. Check out her baby blog and her decor blog!

Elizabeth's blog has the best pictures. Her little Evan is like the male version of my EK. I love how she describes life with a baby as "discovering a new normal".

I've referenced to one of Kayse's posts here before. She always finds a way to put things into a Christian perspective, which I definitely benefit from :)

Here are my questions for you ladies:

What inspired the name of your blog?
If you could travel to any part of the world, where would you go, and who would you take along?
What really grosses you out?
If you were another person, would you be friends with yourself? Why or why not?
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be?
If you knew that money didn't matter, what thing would you buy for yourself?
What did you do as a kid that caused you to get into a lot of trouble?
If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
What is your favorite part of the day? What about the year?
What is your favorite memory?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stationery card

Happy Heart Day Valentine's Card
Modern shower invitations and holiday cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Isn't this the sweetest thing you've ever seen?  We are small scaling the Valentine's Cards, and not going crazy with the amount of sending we do! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to show off my babies...again...Thanks Shutterfly for making it so incredibly easy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Save Money on Lunch at Work

I've been guilty of spending entirely too much money on lunch while at work. I'm surrounded by yummy places, and by the time I get myself and EK dressed every morning- there is just no time to make my own lunch.  Usually, if I take a lunch I just end up deciding that I don't really want it anyway. I have fickle taste buds, I guess.

I've really been trying to cut back on my spending, and see where a lot of my money goes. It didn't take long to realize that the cash goes to lunches out. Just ask my husband about my $1.08 debits at McDonald's, and $2.22 debits at Sonic.

 Today, while in Sam's Club, I got to looking at their food department. They had the yummiest looking pizza I have seen in a while! They had chicken wraps, chicken sandwiches, salads, and my all time favorite: hot dogs! I have a crazy love for all things hot dog. I think it stems back to the delicious "cheese hotdogs" my granny Skeet always made for me after school. She would slit them long ways, and place a thin strip of cheese in the opening. Holy crap, they are good. I could probably eat a salad with chopped up hot dogs and dressing. Or, maybe I could just put the lettuce on top of the hot dog?

Anyway, I bought a pizza combo. It consisted of a "piece" of cheese pizza that covered an entire plate and a large fountain drink. It was heavenly, and it was $2.70. Now I am stuffed. While I don't recommend this for the health conscious folks out there.... my advice is exercise. It helps.

Tomorrow, I think I will try the hot dog combo. It's a whopping $1.87. My wallet (and the husband) will be thanking me.

What are some of your favorite cheap eats?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Birthday Fun

What a great ending to EK's birthday. She ate a butter cupcake, followed by a lemon cupcake (just to show off for Daddy), plus some Honey Nut Cheerios. Oh yeah, and I forget that she ate some soap while she was in the bath tub. Zest, gag me.

Then, she puked. Like, her first real puke ever. She puked right into her bath water, while she had an assload of T-Gel shampoo in her hair for her sebhorreic dermatitis. (I thought I better get on that shit since she had an appointment with Dr. Porter today) So, she finished her bath in the kitchen sink, and we rinsed her hair salon style with the spray attachment. Now she smells like a dog that has been flea dipped.
Finally, we all laid in a huge pile in the living room floor and watched King of the Hill.  To finish up the night, I said my prayers and thanked God for this hilarious chunk of little girl who has filled my life with more laughs and smiles than I know what to do with!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy One Year, EK!

It happened. She turned one today. While I am sad that my little, tiny, newborn baby is growing up, I am so happy to see the amazing little girl she is turning into. My heart melts every day, whether it be because of her sleepy stretches every morning or the way she jumps around like a wild thing... or the way she hugs and kisses her stuffed animals (just like we taught her to).  I just can't imagine our life without her.

A year ago today, I was holding our newborn baby girl- she was just 7 pounds and absolutely the most beautiful baby I have ever laid my eyes on. I will never forget it.

EK- I will never ever forget the nights I spent with you, asleep and snuggling in the recliner, because your crib was just too big for you. I'll never forget how you always managed to get out of your straightjackets swaddlewraps, even if I wrapped you what might have been too tight. ....the times your daddy thought you would be projected into the air from the rapid pace of your little swing (I had to convince him that you liked it that fast).... the AHA! moment of discovering formula for gassy babies.... the funky little smell of your neck... the scare you gave us all with your stiff trachea... the way you wanted to be held all. the. time.... realizing that you would be just fine if I let you spend the night away from me... I can see you turning into my "mini-me". You are a total Daddy's girl, and that is just fine with me. I love him, too, so I totally understand.  We definitely have a lot to celebrate on your first birthday. We survived. Most importantly, you survived- and I think you still love us despite our parenting imperfections.

So, Happy Birthday to our sweet Ella Kate. You will forever be my baby girl.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm in love.

.....with a vacuum cleaner. It's not just any old vacuum, it's awesome. It's a Hoover T-Series PetRewind Bagless PLUS.  It is seriously the coolest vacuum I've ever owned (and I've had several). My old one sucked. Well, that doesn't sound right... it DIDN'T suck, and that was the problem. Ok- It was not effective. Also, it was duct-taped together because I lost the screw to attach the handle to the body when I opened it many years ago.
      My first inclination was to buy a Dyson. Ryan and I are in and out of the house a LOT. We love to be outside, but in order to get to our toilet, we have to walk through the living room, bedroom, and all the way across the bathroom. So, there's always a lot of dirt knocking off our shoes. Also, I have blonde hair and a dark stained concrete floor. So naturally, my hair shows up really easily. I've even considered dying it brown, just so my house would appear cleaner. Most people buy this vacuum because they have indoor dogs, I wanted it so I didn't have to start sleeping outside with the pups. With all of the crap on our floor, I just figured Dyson was the way to go. They always have rave reviews, and you can get one that has been refurbished for somewhat less than buying a brand new one. Still, that seemed like an ass load of money to pay for a used vacuum.
  So, I started my research. My granny Skeet had a credit at Amazon, and I love to read their customer reviews. I was first led to a Shark Navigator, but the reviews said that they were really bad about blowing a lot of dust while running. With the majority of our home's floors being concrete, I really needed something that would pick up things, rather than scoot them somewhere else.

    Enter..... the Hoover. It has this lever on the base that lets you pick up the rollerbrush, so all it does is suck. Suck as in it picks up crap that I never knew existed on a floor. Suck as in it has made vacuuming my new favorite hobby. For the rug, I use the brush. For the concrete, I push the lever and suck up all kinds my hair and EK's leftover/ dropped to floor Cheerios. The great thing is, nothing gets wrapped up in that brush. No more sitting in the floor every few months with a pair of scissors, performing surgery on my vacuum to untangle hair from it. It's just amazing.
  It also has the coolest attachments that literally pull hair off of my car floor and seats, and couch. One day, I made the mistake of sticking my finger in the attacment... ouch. There's somethign in that thing that moves.
   I absolutely love to vacuum my floors now. When Ryan calls to ask what I'm doing, I usually say- "Oh, I just got done vacuuming."  EK loves to watch it, and she makes a "Vroom" noise when she pushes her little walker around. Cutest. Thing. Ever. Huge plus- it doesn't leave that funky, musty, burnt dirt/ass smell in my home thanks to a carbon filter. I don't have to buy new filters, because the canister and filter are washable. Of course, I love to see what it picks up.

Here's what I like to call: Exhibit A

What is so disturbing is that I vacuumed with my old POS immediately before all of this was collected! Of course, I went above and beyond with the new vacuum, using the attachment under our couch, recliners, bed, bathroom.... but still, big time ewww.

So yeah, I'm having an affair with a vacuum, and I'm loving every minute of it. I'm also blogging about my vacuum to divert my mind from my sweet, precious, beautiful baby girl turning one tomorrow.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Fortunately, I am not technically HAVING triplets. You would probably find my splattered remains at the nearest overpass if that were true. However, you see, having two puppies and an (almost) one year old is a lot of work. Sometimes, when Ryan is working and I'm home alone with the 3 babies, it feels like I have triplets. Occasionally, I can't tell who is who for the mass of golden hair running around the floor. Yeah, our kid has Golden Retriever hair. I'm totally up to the chaotic pace of life, and thankful to have been blessed with two of the smartest puppies and little girl I have ever seen. How quickly they catch on!
  EK will be one on Tuesday. Bud and Jake are now 7 weeks old, and we have had them for 3 weeks. My babies are  growing up entirely too fast. I have been keeping myself very busy the last week or so, between party planning for the big first birthday, to being on call, and also being an interim marketer for my little home health office.

 Also, I've had to work on making my New Year's resolutions.  Of course, I'm going to pay off my child's birth and tubes. That seems never ending. And then there's eating out less. I haven't done so well with that so far, but I have plenty of groceries now, and I really need to get back in shape. So, less eating out.
  I've been reading a book called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, which talks about a year long project at getting and staying happy. She has the most truthful "12 Commandments for Adults" that I just love. My favorite is "Be nice.... to everyone."  I like to think I am a really nice person, and I want everyone to be happy.... so I'm having fun with this happiness project.
 The January goal is to get more energy. Apparently I put a lot of energy into worrying about clutter. So far, I've cleaned out my closet, car, bathroom drawers, and EK's drawers to clear my physical clutter! My mental clutter ends up on a to do list. I keep one by my bed, and if I can't sleep for worrying about something, then onto the paper it goes. Also, I've tried to go to bed earlier, rather than rot away in front of Facebook and Pinterest. Oh, and I can't forget to thank my new friend, coffee, for my energy burst each morning. What did I ever do before my Keurig?
  While I know that no year will ever top 2011, I'm excited to see where our little life takes us.