Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh, Arby's fries...

Dear Arby's Curly Fries,

You and I have had a very long relationship. We've been friends for quite a while. You happen to be my BFF in the french fry world. That's why this letter is so very hard for me to write.

You give my baby a bellyache. When I eat your delicious spicy goodness, you make my baby scream from gas. That's why this is a breakup letter.

I hate to do this, and I hate to say this. But your crunchy curls will not pass my lips for at least another year and nine months. Maybe by then I will be immune to your fast food powers. This is good for me, it'll help me break the spell.

So, goodbye my wonderful crunchy, curly, spicy potatoey goodness. I shall miss you, but my babies belly is more important.


The Diva's Mom

P.S. So far sausage of any kind and Arby's curly fries are the only food I strickly CANNOT eat. Odd, but whatever works!

McFatty Monday Week 5

Alright. Let me start out by ranting. Then I'll put my current weight at the end, and the weight I started out McFatty Monday at, and you'll see why I ranted.

Weight loss is a battle. It's a struggle. Everyone knows this, right? But not many people talk about how it's a battle every day. It's a struggle every day. And not just every day, but every minute of every day.

It's so hard. SO hard to diet. And with a new baby, it's so hard to exercise. And I'm trying not to whine here, but fibromyalgia sucks worse than giving birth. I am so not even kidding. I went natural. Fibro SUCKS. It makes exercising such a pain, because the normal sore muscles take twice as long to get over and if you over do it you're laid up for days. BUT, if you exercise regularly and don't overdo it... You end up feeling better.

But now, I have a cold. I weigh 224.2 pounds, and I'm DETERMINED to get down to 220 by this weekend. This is much easier to do since I'm not at Mom's, and therefore don't have tons of tasty food in front of me.

However, I go back to Mom's next week and will be there for an undetermined amount of time. Must. Rediscover. Willpower.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can I get an AMEN?!?!?!

Can I get a woot woot? Can I get an Amen?

Carl got the transfer!!! YAAAAAAAAY!!! This means that we can now move home! He actually starts work on February 8th, and will continue to work in Winchester this coming week. Plus, instead of 21 hours a week, he'll start out at 25, and hopefully, HOPEFULLY get placed in Plumbing and get 35 hours a week. The ONLY downer to this is that he would go off of a schedule (I.E. He works from 5am-10am M-F, to finding out what hours we works every week).

Oh, the other downer, the one we need MAJOR prayer for.

Our lease is not up until May/June. That means we are supposed to be paying $395+utilities for an apartment that is now 2+ hours away from Carl's job. We need OUT of that lease. We're waiting until he starts working in Hazard before we call and beg and plead. So pray we can get out of the lease, because heaven knows we need that money.

We've picked out a trailer, and once he moves up in hours we're going to go to the bank and see how much money we can get. I'm praying it's enough for our home. Then we have to get a water hookup (praying we can just hook on to Mom's on that one) as well as electric, a sewer system, etc. It's going to be HIGH STRESS.

Totally unrelated note: I went to the chiropractor this morning, who is a very good friend of mine, and I told her I had some exciting news. And apparently she looked at my Mom with big eyes all excitedly. And then I told her we were moving back to Jackson and she got disappointed. She thought I was pregnant again!

Yes. We want more children, but boy oh boy do I have my hands full with just one right now. The thought of being pregnant again right now, as much as I LOVED being pregnant, literally makes me want to cry!

Oh, and for the people who wondered: Carl is currently not enrolled in school. For right now we're concentrating on our family, and he's concentrating on providing for his family. My deepest desire is to be a stay-at-home mom to my children, and thankfully he fully encourages and supports that desire. He really is the best hubby in the entire world! I'm attempting to take on some freelance writing/proofreading jobs, and since we'll be in Jackson full time, I can start helping Momma in the shop some more.

In more realistic terms, Carl needs to re-take the ACT and see if he can get the requirement for teaching in this state. If he can't, we need to re-evaluate what he's going to do. If he can, then fine, we can go back and try again. But we're already over $20 in debt from our college careers, and we don't need to continue to go in debt without a true goal in front of us. So, we're playing it by ear right now.

I think that's the most of the news this way. Please keep praying us home, and we're SO grateful for the prayers that got him the job! God is good (ALL THE TIME!).

Keevia, Three months

Dear Keevia,

Today you are three months old. You are one fourth of a year old. Do you realize how writing that makes your Momma's heart break?

You are in size one diapers still, but firmly in 3-6 month clothing, and can wear 6-9 month sleepers without them being obscenely big. You have excellent head control (for someone with the head of a 5 month old!), and LOVE sitting up. In fact, if you're awake, you're sitting against Momma's chest because you will not sit any other way.

You still love your bouncy seat, and being worn, but have a love/hate relationship with the swing. Some days its your BFF, some days its your worst enemy.

You are the droolingest baby I ever did see, and two days ago I ordered you Sophie The Giraffe in hopes that you might gnaw on her instead of Momma's hand, although I really don't mind.

You smile, coo, laugh and squeal, and know exactly how to make your Momma's heart soar. I know I tell you this everyday, but you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

When I look at you, and I imagine the Barbies we will play with, the cookies we will bake, the books we will read, my heart does a happy dance, because even through all the stress of finances and moving, I really am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I love your Daddy very much, and I am very, very happy to have started a family with him. I am exactly where I always dreamt of being, married with a baby of my own, and you really are the most perfect baby in the world.

Even when you scream from colic and I can't seem to comfort you, even when you wake up at 5 am for a week straight and decide you are wide awake, even when you leave Mommy the grossest of presents in your diaper... I could never regret having you, or never be unhappy. You are the light of my world, and the love in my heart.

I can't wait to watch you grow up and be the Princess I know you will be. I can't wait to watch you strutting around the kitchen in a tutu, a camo shirt and cowboy boots. I can't wait to help you catch your first night crawler, to let you pet your first kitten, to take you sledding for the first time... but all that will have to wait, because right now I am perfectly content snuggling in bed with you, and nursing you to sleep. You are so small and so precious right now, and I never, ever want to forget how much I loved your babyhood.

You're my world baby girl, and I love you.


Monday, January 25, 2010

McFatty Monday Week 4!

Well. The scale says I weigh 2 more pounds than I did last week.

Surprising? Not really. I haven't followed my diet plan AT ALL. This has been a hard week for me. I'm a planner, and things have started cropping up, and its hard for me not to freak the heck out because I don't have a plan.

HOWEVER - Carl keeps asking how much weight I've lost, and says I LOOK like I've lost weight, and I've noticed my belly seems to be a little flatter. I may try on my largest pair of pre-pregnancy pants tomorrow when we head back to the apartment.

It's so hard for me to follow my diet when I stay at Mom's. She just has more snack food/better food, so if its there, I eat it. I even had some pop this week while not out and about (as per the plan).

My goals for next week:
- NOT to have another gain.
- Drink more water, I slacked on this one this week
- STOP EATING SWEETS!!! Limit to Edy's Peppermint Ice cream every other day
- DO NOT EAT AFTER 8:30 PM unless you haven't eaten since like 4!!

Blair (the founder of McFatty Mondays) was talking about emotional eating. I don't think I'm an emotional eater perse, but, I think I eat when I feel bad. I've mentioned on this blog before that I have fibromyalgia (as does my Mom). We've both mentioned that on days when our fibro "flares up" (I.E. We experience strong fibro symptoms), we both get the munchies. BAD. Unfortunately for me, this week has been a really bad fibro week. Whenever the weather changes (it goes from hot to cold, it rains, a front moves through), my fibro acts up, and this has been a week of weather changes. I'm sitting here right now, typing, and my wrists and fingers and shoulders and back hurt. I've had insomnia for the past couple of nights, I've had headaches. It sucks.

So, I guess another goal would be to back up off of the fibro munchies. Ugh, that ones not easy.

Oh, and since we didn't make it to the apartment last week, this is my new goal for this week, IF we make it to the apartment, I'm cracking open the plastic wrap on my Jillian Michael's DVD and at least putting that sucker in the DVD player.

Shew, I'm already sweating from the imagined effort of that act.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why hello 5 am...

It's not very nice to see your daughters eyeballs at 5 am in the morning. Not very nice at all.

Any of you that know me in real life know that I am the epitome of "not a morning" person. I hate mornings. HATE THEM. But, alas, at 5 am this morning, when my daughter woke up to eat, she decided she wasn't going to go fully back to sleep.

I didn't have to get up with her until around 8, but she, nor I, rested well from 5-8. We both were a little cranky this morning.

We went to church, I nursed her during the singing, then she pretty much slept through the rest. She's been sleepy all day though, I think because she didn't sleep well last night/didn't have her normal 2+ hour nap.

She's been asleep, on and off, since about 7 pm tonight though. She woke up around 9 something with a dirty diaper, but she nursed back down. Her belly still seems to be doing SO much better!

Tomorrow, I'm hoping I can let her get a good morning nap in before Mom and I go traipsing through town looking at mobile homes again. That's what we spent the majority of the day on Saturday doing. We're looking to buy a 2-3 bedroom mobile home, preferably a Deer Valley, as that seems to be the most sturdily built. But, we can't buy anything until at least April. We'll have to see.

Okay, this is one ginormous ramble. I need to go to bed so I can wake up at 2 am to make sure Carl gets up for work and give him a goodbye kiss. I will be so happy if he gets a job with different/better hours!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Great Day!

Man oh man, has today been a great day!!

First off, on Thursday evening, after a screaming fit, Keevia had a bowel movement. Not unusual, but when I changed her diaper I noticed 2 little streaks of blood. After googling it, I discovered it can be an allergy (most commonly milk), a anal fissure (usually from straining, I don't see how she could get it from liquid poo), or an oversupply of milk.

So, I read the oversupply symptoms. Keevia has EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

"Babies whose moms have too much milk will often exhibit symptoms such as fussing, pulling off the breast, colicky crying, gassiness, spitting up, and hiccupping. They may want to nurse frequently, and they may gain weight more rapidly than the average baby (who usually gains 4-8 ounces each week during the first 3 or 4 months), or they may gain weight more slowly than the average baby. Their stools may be green and watery, and their bottoms may be red and sore. The mother’s letdown reflex may be so forceful that the baby chokes, gags and sputters as he struggles with the jet of milk that sprays too quickly into his mouth."

Yep. That's my kid. To a T.

So, I read how to fix it. If Keevs nurses at say, 1 pm, I'm only supposed to offer her the left side. If she wants to nurse again at 2pm, I'm supposed to offer only the left side again. If she wants to nurse at 3pm, offer the left side again, and then the right, then begin nursing only on the right for 2 hours.

Simple fix. AND IT WORKED.

My child is a different baby. Today she woke up, played a little, nursed, went back to sleep in the swing for 2+ hours, I woke her up, changed her, we headed out (more on that in a minute), she pooped while we were out, then pooped again. She didn't fuss AT ALL. She nursed before the second poop, but she fussed a little with it. Then she napped about 20 minutes on the way home, nursed again, and then was up for about 3-4 hours! Got a bath, nursed a little and went to sleep, woke back up and pooped, and finally went down around 11 pm.

NO SCREAMING. ALL DAY! Do you UNDERSTAND? She's been giggly, she's been awake, she's been so pleasant! And you can just tell she's felt better, like, a LOT better.

I never would have thought that simply nursing only on one side would change her so drastically. In my opinion, my pedi and lactation consultant have somewhat sabotaged my nursing in the past. They instruct you that a baby only needs to eat on one side for 10 minutes, which just isn't true. They get too much foremilk that way, and not enough hindmilk, which makes the baby eat more frequently, because the hindmilk contains the essential fat that keeps them fuller longer.

Okay, whole nother post about our activities for today will come tomorrow. My daughter is asleep, and I need to follow in her footsteps so I can shower in the morning.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Not to Waste Your Money On!

DISCLAIMER: These are all products that I have tried and that have not worked FOR US. I fully understand how they may work for you, or for a family member, but for us, they were big. fat. fails. I don't think they'll be nearly as many DISLIKES as they were LIKES, but hey, I'm not that picky people!

Alright, that's out of the way.

1. Papasan Swings. I linked to one that LOOKS like mine except for the color scheme. Mine IS an older model, which may account for some of my hate for it, but honestly, I can't stand the thing. Let me explain:
- It's huge. And bulkier than most swings.
- Most models are NOT plug in (which I realize isn't uncommon).
- Keevia hates it.
- The main thing: It doesn't swing enough. The thing barely moves. AT ALL. It does not swing enough to entertain Keevs. Yes, it looks cute. But it is not in the least bit functional.

I only paid $50 at a yard sale for this swing, and I am so thankful I didn't pay the full price. Get a cheaper model that actually SWINGS your child and you'll be much happier.

2. Baby Baths, I also have this one. I didn't buy a bath, they were given to me... and honestly, I don't use them. If you want one, ask around, a family member or friend may have one to pass along, or at the very least buy one used. Definitely not worth the full-price sticker. We just bathe Keevia in the kitchen or bathroom sink, and I seem to have a heck of a lot better control of her body than in a baby bath. Also, my back/knees don't allow me to bend over a fullsize bath tub that long, and I don't have enough counter space to put it in the kitchen.

3. Outfits. Okay, some people may really disagree with this one. Honestly, buy less than 5 outfits in each size. Have a few pairs of additional pants, and a pack or two of onesies. Keevia spends 90% of her time in sleepers, and I have a ton of outfits in each size that she's never worn. Maybe if I have twin girls next we'll go through them all, but I doubt it! Now, again, I didn't buy the clothes for Keevia.. they were a gift, and a gift I seriously could not be more grateful for, but save yourself some money and don't go crazy! If you find yourself running low, you can always buy more!

4. Infant Car Seat. I don't own this particular one, I just picked out a cute one. Honestly, I think, financially, you are better off NOT buying an infant seat and just buying a good quality convertible. Instead of maybe 1 year of use (for $109) you can get 2+ years of use for $150. PLUS, if you buy the convertible first and skip the infant, INSTANT savings of $109.

Now, there are a lot of arguments for the carseat, and I'll agree that it is nice to be able to take a sleeping baby into the store. So, just get a baby carrier and put them in there, I would almost guarantee they'll go right back to sleep!

5. Baby shoes. Obviously if your child is walking this isn't relevant... but honestly, shoes on a 2 month old? They can't be that comfortable, and fashion isn't THAT important. If you want a cute baby, then use these socks, or these socks. That way they LOOK like they have shoes on with the comfort of socks! Oh, and P.S. you can get them way cheaper if you buy them at Target, I just couldn't find the link.

6. Stroller. Alright, I realize that this one isn't for everyone. But, if you really wanna save money, you can forgo the stroller. If you live in a big city, and go shopping a lot, by all means, spend the money. But so far, in 3 months of life, Keevia has used hers twice. And by "used hers" I mean that it has been a coat carrier and diaper bag holder for me, and Keevs has spent about 5 minutes in it. So, for my family, I could have forgone the stroller and just paid $5 to rent one when we venture to a mall.

There are other things that I personally don't use, and don't see the sense in (Bumbo seat, baby monitor, etc). But I think that they sometimes fit other peoples needs. Right now our house/apartment are so tiny I don't have need for a baby monitor. If we end up getting a trailer or something, I may!

Hope this may have helped someone a little bit! Good luck!

Trying not to get excited..

Carl put in for a transfer from the Winchester office to the Hazard office today.

And it was approved.

Be in prayer, please, as this would be WONDERFUL. We both want to be home.

Tomorrow, Carl and I plan on going trailer shopping. Excuse me, manufactured home shopping.

Our current kind of plan is that we're going to sidecar a trailer onto my parents house. That way we could possibly share their septic system (and save ourselves $1500-2000), as well as their water. Then we would have our own electric. We would have our own space but still be close enough for them to help with the baby, and for us to just be close in general. Talk about your attached child (me!).

So, while our lease isn't up on our apartment until May, we may be moving back home sooner rather than later. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but holy crap, this is so what I want!!!

Be in prayer, please. As times get harder, I want to be at home in the mountains, where the recession never seemed to hit because in the mountains, there is always a recession going on. I want to be able to go to Wal-mart and have to stop 233 times to show my kid off to people who haven't yet met her. I want to know, that if I'm out in town and my car breaks down and I can't get a hold of my Mom or my husband, I know everyone else in the town and can just call one of them. I want to be so well known by the grocery store owner that when I have Mom's debit card, there are no questions. I want to be home, and so does my hubby. So pray, would you? Thank you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I can't even talk. I can't fathom it.


I feel ashamed. I honestly do NOT know what I would do without this piece of "equipment". My life would be drastically harder. My back would be sorer, my baby fussier... I don't know... I can't fathom my life without it!

The Mei Tai(Tei). Oh... how my love for you is strong.

Now, I linked to the Babies R Us page which has been out of stock since before Thanskgiving. My sister in law has one of these and I love it. It's just my style. However, you can google them and find tons of other IN stock items. I just listed this link because it was quick and easy.

I love my Mai Tai. I've tried Pouch slings and while I can wear them, I don't either Keevia or I are very comfortable for very long. I've worn Keevs in a home made mei tai since her third day of life. She LOVES it. I call it the sleep machine. She's close to me, I don't have to worry about people sticking their hands in her face because her face is sandwiched between my boobs, she's always warm...

I'll post pictures soon of myself in Wal-mart with Keevia in it. Seriously, everytime I go to wal-mart, or the mall, or ANYWHERE, I have my mei tei and Keevs is in it.

Like I said, I cannot believe that I forgot to add the single product I could NOT live without. These can be pricey, but if you're crafty at all, you can make one. If you're not, my Mom sells them for $20-25. It's a win-win really!!

HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend!

"The Undomestic Goddess" - Book Review

"The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella

Okay... so this book has cussing and some pre-marital sex... but other than that, it's awesome.

I love me some British Chick Lit books, and this my friends, is no exception to the rule. Sophie Kinsella also happens to be one of my favorite authors (probably known most notably for her Shopaholic Series). Her humor is well, hilarious. Her characters can be shallow, but only because she writes them that way. The plot lines are sometimes unbelievable, but they are undeniably full of hilarity at every turn. Yet, she can also be sentimental and usually hits big issues on the head under the guise of humor.

In this book, she focuses on believing in yourself and following your heart. Samantha Sweeting is a lawyer up for partnership at the most prestigious law firm in London. All of a sudden, on the day her partnership is announced (as the youngest partner in history!), she discovers she has made a fifty million pound mistake and runs from her mistake (and her life).

Samantha, the daughter of a workaholic mother and motivated family, who couldn't sew a button on her own shirt, suddenly finds herself in the role of a housekeeper. The major story is how she finds herself, and finds out how empowering knowing how to cook and do laundry can be.

It's absolutely hilarious (did I mention that?) as she tries to learn to cook (by putting garbanzo beans in the oven and burning them), clean (and ends up bleaching a strip of her hair when the spray bottle won't spray), and fall in love.

I love it, and recommend it. The F word is used quite a bit, but if you can overlook that, then read on!

Up next: Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani. Well, at least on my reading list...we'll see if I actually get around to writing a review of it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Is that a light I see?

At the end of the tunnel called colic?

Keevia has had a GREAT day today. We had gone through 3 poopy diapers by about 9 am (none of them were HUGE poops, but we changed her when we thought she was done. Obviously we were wrong.) Then she napped... nursed, had a photo shoot, nursed again, let Mommy take a shower while she chilled in the bouncer, napped and nursed...see a pattern? I'm trying to teach her that she does not have to scream bloody murder to nurse, as well as read her tired cues better.

Now, that whole, reading the tired cues works great WHEN SHE GOES TO SLEEP. Right now she's screaming in the living room while my Mom rocks her, because Mom is spelling me. I gave her a bath around 8, and she hasn't gone to sleep yet other than tiny little cat naps. She doesn't seem to be gassy or anything, just super-overtired.

But, overall, today has been marginally better than other days.

Yesterday, she discovered the mobile at church, and was so enthralled by it that it lead me to a frantic internet search, where I located one for $10 from Wal-mart on clearance. SCORE. So, that should come soon. I'm going to invest in some white noise for the car-rides, as well as for colic time... hopefully those spells get less and less!

I leave you with pictures from our photoshoot today!

McFatty Monday... week 3!!!


The scale at my Mom's read 225. I don't know if thats down or not from last week... but oh well.

It's hard to eat healthy at Mom's, or to follow any of my diet stuff except the pop rule. She has too much good food at her house! I have managed to up my water intake, but thats about it.

I did work out 2 times last week. WOOT WOOT. I'm getting ready to pack up the girl and head into town to go walk around the track a few times. I'm super, SUPER excited about this.

Keevs has had a WONDERFUL day and I'm hoping this trend continues all week long. We're heading back to the apartment tomorrow, so if it does, maybe... just maybe I can break the plastic on the outside of "The 30 Day Shred" and actually do it.

That's my goal for the week! It's supposed to be rainy, so I won't get to walk anymore this week, but oh well. I WILL work out, and when I come back to Mom's next friday, I'll use her new work out machine as well.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keevia's Baby Gear Must Haves (and ones not to waste your money on)

So. I now consider myself an experienced mother (HA!). You know, since my kid is all of 11 weeks old. But, I just wanted to list some of our must haves, and some of our "we could do without" when it comes to baby gear/clothes, so maybe if you are having a baby, know someone who's having a baby, or have a baby in a future, you can save yourself some cash and we all know that's needed now!

First: Research. Research. Research. Don't buy something just because it's pretty. I did this with my swing and I've regretted it ever since. Read as many reviews that you can get your hands on!

Second: You don't have to buy brand new! Your child will never know the difference, I promise. Now, I state this, but in my very humble opinion, all car seats SHOULD be bought brand new, unless you're borrowing one from someone and you KNOW that the carseat has not been in a car wreck. I, personally, would never buy a carseat second hand. BUT you can get some GREAT deals on carseats by joining blogs like Baby Goodbuys and Baby Cheapskate. I got my Britax Boulevard (retails for $309) for $194 thanks to one of those websites.

ALSO: Find your nearest Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid (or other shop LIKE these) and visit them frequently. They generally do not accept stained clothing, and only accept the top brands, so you can find some awesome deals. Sign up on the email lists and save even MORE. I have, on more than one occasion, found stuff with the tags on there that retails for $25 and I've purchased it for less than $7. I also bought my stroller there for $70, instead of $159, and it just needed a good cleaning.

Alright, onwards to specific items.


1. Carter's Sleepers: You can NEVER have to many Carter's sleepers. Seriously. My love for these things knows no bounds. LOVE them. Did I mention that? They're soft, they wash well, they're comfy, they're warm... AND they're cute, so I'm not ashamed to take Keevs out while she's wearing one (especially when it's 10 degrees outside! brrr!)

2. Flannel Receiving Blanket: These things are so nice to have large amounts of! You can use them to lay under baby in the carseat when it's cold, to wrap around baby, to clean up spit up, to lay down for a diaper change, to catch random newborn pees... they are WONDERFUL and another item I don't believe you can have enough of!

3. Carter's Hooded Blanket: These things ROCK for cold weather when I have to get Keevs out of the car and I need to cover her head but then I don't want to put the toboggin on that pisses her off... yeah, it's wonderful. PLUS it's super soft and she self-soothes with it. The blanket cost $16 at BRU, but sooooo worth it.

4. Cotton receiving blanket: This one is mainly for nursing Moms. When I nurse in public (did anyone else have a Blue Collar Comedy Tour moment? No? Just me? Okay then...), and have to cover Keevs, she despises being covered by a regular blanket and she usually gets too hot (as do I!). She has several of these cotton receiving blankets that seem to be made of a t-shirt material. She'll let me cover her with one of them when she won't let me cover her with anything else. Oh, and P.S. the one I linked too is SO expensive... I'm SURE you can find them much cheaper, I just couldn't find links to any.

5. Britax Boulevard Convertible Carseat: I know it seems pricey... and if I even advocate the Britax Advocate (hahaha....) which is pricier still.. but we skipped the infant seat (well, we borrowed one for a little while) and went with this one. Keevia likes it a loooot better than the infant seat, and so do I. It's easier to get her in and out of. It's more comfortable. When I'm tightening her into the straps it tightens by clicks one at a time OR by just a quick pull... I like the one at a time so I don't choke her. You can adjust the shoulder height in increments instead of just in 3 big jumps. It's easier to install with LATCH, a little bit more difficult with a seat belt. Basically, it just rocks. Plus, she can rear-face until 35 pounds, and forward face until 65.

6. Bouncy chair. I just picked that one because it's super cute. But really, it doesn't have to be that fancy. Key element though... MAKE SURE IT VIBRATES! I heart ours and refer to it as "the poopy chair." Much like the carseat, if Keevs is needing to poop, I can pop her in this thing, turn it on, and within a few minutes she's usually doing her duty(dooty).

7. Swing. Okay, so it took Keevia a little bit of time to fall in love with a swing. But right now she's napping in it and has been for about 2 hours... oh how my love for the swing has grown! Please see the "Not to waste money on" section for reasons why I chose this swing as a link as opposed to other, cuter ones.

8. Mylanta. I chose not to provide a link with this one, just a kind of odd recommendation. Seriously, if your baby begins to show signs of a diaper rash, spread liquid mylanta on it. It neutralizes the acid and gets rid of the rash faster than even Butt Paste does (and I love me some Butt paste!)!

9. MAM Pacifiers : I mainly only recommend these because they are the ONLY ones Keevia would take. The NUK's were just too big for her mouth, and the soothies grossed me out (ha!) but she looooves her MAM paci's. Blus, they have SUPER cute designs and are relatively cheap.

10. Co-sleeper. I'm a HUGE advocate of co-sleeping/bedsharing. I picked out this specific playard before I even knew what we were having. I love it. It's sturdy, it's cute, and the top part lifts off. But, I'm sure you can find something else equal to for better than this one for your own use!

Okay, the "One's not to waste your money on" are coming in a different post as this one is hugely long, baby is waking up, and I'm hungry. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope it's helpful!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I apologize..

for this blog becoming a lot about weight loss and a little about Keevia... but in reality, I need to get this stuff off my chest, and I'm sure she would understand.

She's currently snoozing in her swing... she likes the swing we got for free from someone at our old church. She despises the swing I paid $50 for at a yard sale that was cute and soft and played music and had lights and swinging bears... So, alas, she sleeps in this one and we're going to re-sale the other one.

I made it all evening without any milk, and so far, except for the milk in my coffee, I haven't had any today. I'm not being SUPER strict about it... I'm just trying to cut the huge amounts of milk I consumed down. I'm not reading the labels of everything I eat, ransacking it for the many disguises of milk though. I already do that with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils... honestly, I want to be able to eat SOME pre-made food (although as a family we try to avoid anything overly processed. I meant like graham crackers).

I DID work out today!!! I feel it to. I tried not to over do it, but woah, the muscles in my back are complaining a little. My Mom purchased a machine called the "NeoShaper" and it's pretty cool You can do a variety of different exercises on it by just moving things around. She also purchased the bike attachment, which we have yet to try out. When I come home on weekends I would love to use it, and then use 30 Day Shred at my apartment. In all honesty, I would love for the Mommy Fairy to get me a Wii Fit as well, but I pay the bills and I know THAT ain't happening.

Carl has been getting stellar hours this week though... He worked from 4am-3pm with an hours lunch both on Monday and Wednesday. Of course he only worked 1 day last week for 4 hours though, so it doesn't really make up much. But.. We'll make it.

My weight is laying on my heart so heavily (no pun intended). I've never been as uncomfortable about my appearance before in my life. I've never hated having my picture taken quite like I do right now.

I'm taking actions to rectify the situation though. And slowly, but surely, I'll get there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reflux Rollercoaster

I very well may die a very sad death soon.

I'm cutting milk out from my diet.

Y'all just don't understand. I drink 3-4+ glasses of it a day. I drink it in coffee. I eat cereal. I eat it in oatmeal. I eat cheese. I eat lots of butter. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

Why am I doing this insanity? Why am I going down the curvy path instead of the straight and narrow?

I'm pretty sure my daughter has reflux. I refuse to have her put on prevacid or some other medicine that stops the acid in her stomach... to me, that just isn't safe. So, I'm giving her mylanta (which doesn't stop the production of acid, it merely neutralizes it), as well as sitting her up after every feeding, and the kicker... cutting out dairy.

I'm literally already shuddering with the thought of not drinking milk. I started craving it while pregnant and I continue to crave it. I've cut out all coke at home (GO ME!) so I drank milk or water with meals.

Hello water, apparently we're about to be besties.

Bold Blogging

Mckmama has stated that she's been lead to blog boldly. She even blogged today about another blogger who has felt led to join together bold bloggers. I feel that I blogged boldly throughout my miscarriage, but I failed miserable that boldly blogging through pregnancy (or blogging at all for that matter). I need to blog boldly about my mothering skills, being a wife, and my hopes, fears, thoughts and prayers. So, in an effort to do so, I present my first bold post.

I am unhappy.

But, in the same sense... I'm happier than I have ever been.

How does that make sense? Let me see if I can explain.

I am unhappy with my families current living situation. We aren't where we want to be. We rent an apartment for $395 dollars a month for 2 rooms and a tiny kitchen. We live in a college town, but neither my husband nor I attend that college (we moved there because he DID intend to attend the college, then life happened). We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment when it was just the two of us, to a 1 bedroom apartment now that there are THREE of us. Makes sense, no?

On top of the $395 a month we pay for rent, we also pay $30-50 for electric, $23 for water and $30 for internet (which was a necessity last semester as Carl had online classes). We also pay around $65-70 for Carl's cell phone bill.

I keep the heat on 70 when I'm at the apartment, even though it's a little chilly to me. Carl keeps it lower when Keevia and I aren't there. We are careful to unplug things and turn off lights in an effort to conserve our electric bill.

I spend an average of $40-50 a week on groceries. Sometimes as high as $70, sometimes as low as $30.

Carl only works part time. Our average pay check is $220 (well, it would be $276 but we have $56 taken out for health insurance for Carl and I. Keevia has it through the state, and as SOON as Carl goes full time she's coming on our insurance).

I don't have a clue how we're making it. Since Carl has had this job, I've been trying to tithe religiously (haha, kind of funny, no?). I write it out when I'm writing bills, just like I'm paying another bill. It's hard. It's hard to trust that the money will be there. It's hard to remember to be thankful every that it is.

We have been so, SO blessed. Keevia has more clothes than any baby could want for. I have only bought diapers a handful of times because of how many diapers we got through our church. I breastfeed, so I don't have to worry about buying formula. She has doting grandparents and other family members. I don't have to worry about her wanting a thing.

But I want. I want to be closer to home, to my parents. I want my daughter to grow up to know her grandparents like I grew up to know mine (we lived beside them). I HATE that we live an hour and a half away from my parents, and three hours away from Carl's parents. I. want. to. move. home. There. I said it.

But, I don't know if that is a viable option. Carl wants to transfer from our current town to Hazard, but we're unsure if he'll be able to. He NEEDS to go full-time so that we could have a slight bit more money. My parents have been able to help us financially, and while I'm more than grateful, I want us on our own two (four?) feet.

I want out of the big city where I don't feel confident going out with Keevia by myself, and back to a small town where I wouldn't have a problem with it (and have several times!). In my home town, I know almost everyone, or at least know SOMEONE everywhere we go. I could call on any number of people to come to my aid if I couldn't reach my mom. I would feel so much safer and more confident.

Where we are now, I don't feel safe and I don't feel comfortable. There is a third option, and one that is more agreeable. Carl actually works 30 minutes away from the town our apartment is in. If, by the time our lease is up in May, he hasn't been able to get on in Hazard, we could move in with my great-aunt who lives in the town Carl works in. This town is actually CLOSER to my parents (45 mins to an hour drive instead of an hour and a half), and I have family and family friends in it. It's also not a college town, so the residents are as psychotic.

This is a better option, but still not the one I really want. I am in no shape or form upset with my husband... in fact, I'm very proud of him. He gets up at 2-3 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and drives a half an hour to an hour to go to work to provide for his family. It's not his fault that he doesn't get better hours, and I know he would take any that they would give him. I know he's unhappy in our situation too.

I hate that we don't get to spend more time together. I miss him. I miss being close to him. It's wonderful when we're at our place together, but usually something comes up and I end up coming to my parents, or, due to no money for groceries, we stay at my parents a few days. Carl won't stay in my room with me and the baby because its a double bed instead of the queen we're used to, and he's afraid of hurting me or the baby. This leads to some serious husband withdrawal for me however.

I know that our situation is so much better than most. I know that there are a ton of families without work. I know that I have it good... but I'm unhappy with the situation and I don't need to hide that. I've been hiding it from my husband because I don't want to make him feel bad, or make him feel inadequate. I'm so, so thankful for him and for the work he does.

In the midst of all this unhappiness... I couldn't be happier. I was BORN to be a mother. I love every smile, every tear, every poop, every side eye, every snuggle, every nursing session, every single second of life with my daughter. I am so eternally thankful and grateful to both God above and my wonderful husband for giving me the greatest gift they ever could. She is so precious to me and is my everything (other than my hubby of course!). Even though I wish we had better living conditions, I don't REALLY care because I have her, and I have a roof to put over her head.

Did any of this make sense? It's late and I'm tired, but I had to get this off my chest tonight, as most of it was weighing heavily (probably because I need to balance the checkbook tomorrow and pay our water bill and Carl's cell phone bill...yikes)on me. Thank you for reading if you made it this far! Hopefully the next bold blog will be shorter, ha!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chiropractor, take two

I took Keevia to the Chiropractor yesterday, and after having her T5 and her occipital adjusted she feels SO much better. She literally is a different child.

I sit back and think about how if people just took their babies to chiropractors more often, the number of babies who had to undergo radical treatments might just be lowered. Yet everyone looks at me like I'm crazy when I take her to the chiropractor. Seriously. I have the best natured child in the world when everything is in alignment. When she's out of alignment she screams all. day. long. Evenings are still a little bit rough, but I think it's mainly because she gets super overtired. I'm trying my hardest to read her signals better!

I feel like a horrible mother when we're in the car. She still wants to nurse to sleep, and this includes in the car. Obviously I can't nurse her when we're riding in the car... so I give her a taste of hard candy or a tiny bit of whatever I'm drinking, then shove the paci back in her mouth....usuallly it works wonders... but it's something I always said I would NEVER do.

Then again, I also said I would never bedshare. Carl was all for it, while I said that I wasn't comfortable with it. My my how things change once baby shows up!! I'm still nervous about it when Carl and I are (*gasp!*) actually in the same bed, but I keep my arm around her, and he is extremely aware of her being in the bed with us. She generally starts off the night in her pack n play and then moves to my bed when she wakes for a feeding. The last 2-3 nights she's slept 5-6 hours at a time!!!! I'm trying not to get used to it, but loving the extra sleep!

I'm having some cluster headaches this evening, and Keevs is fast asleep on my lap, so I believe I'm going to lay her down and take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and join her in dreamland.

Coming soon: A "Shaina's Must Haves" of baby gear!

Pictures post!

Some pictures from this weekend in a slide-show, as well as some cutie patootie bath pictures of Keevia!

McFatty Monday... week 2!!!

Well.. okay, according to my scale at my apartment as of Saturday night.. I was down 8 lbs from my mid-December weight. As of my Mom's scale, I was down 2 lbs. I'm going to weigh in the morning to get the most accurate reading and stick with it. I've felt majorly water logged today, so we'll see how I do in the morning.

I joined a weight-loss group on Facebook as well.. its all about accountability partners and weight-loss tips and tricks.

I have had a colicky child that I could not sit down for the past week. No, seriously. At all. I had to wait for Carl to get back from work to eat or pee. It was BAD. But, after a chiropractic visit, she is doing much better. I'm crossing my fingers that I get to crack open the cellophane on Jillian Michael's The Shred next week!

My goals for this week:

No eating after 8:30 PM
Up my water intake
Begin taking more vitamin D (after I read a study that most PCOS women who have the metabolic problems have a severe deficincy in vitamin D)
Continue cutting out french fries, sweets and coke
Try and walk as much as possible (even if its just laps in the house/apartment)
Start doing crunches

We shall see.. I'll update the weight in the morning!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend wonders!

I had a wonderful weekend!

One of my best friends, and bridesmaid, Kat, drove up from Newnan, GA to meet Keevia. She brought her 2 1/2 year old son, Aiden along with her, as well as her friend Amanda, Amanda's daughter Destiny, and Amanda's boyfriend, Kevin.

It was great. I hadn't seen her since August of 08 (when my Mom and I drove down to GA for a Backstreet Boys concert, gotta represent). We haven't been able to talk as much as we used to (we met online), but we still manage to remain good friends.

I don't have many "close" friends, and in our current town I have even fewer... so it was very nice to get out to a mall with my husband and some girlfriends and just hang out.

We were pretty funny... I took my stroller (which Keevia spent all of about 7 minutes in), mainly to carry coats and diaper bags and such... and then they both rented strollers from the mall. We had so many coats, blankets, diaper bags, etc that they were ALL full. And the strollers they rented had cars in the front (pink ones, yes, Aiden picked out a pink princess one), with a buggy feature in the back. Aiden ended up napping in my stroller as it actually laid back.

We went to the Disney store, which I cannot wait to go in when we have a little money, and Keevia is old enough to pick something out! I can just imagine what fun we'll have with her running around choosing stuffed animals!

Speaking of stuffed animals, Aunt Kat brought Keevia a baby Eyeore and a baby Tigger, and then bought her a bunny rabbit from Build-A-Bear that we named Katbunny (creative, I know). She's dressed in a Disney Princess t-shirt, jean over-alls and a pair of cowboy boots. Sooooo my child's stuffed animal, ha!

I think we had a great time together, I just wish it had been warmer and that we'd had more time together. Both Kat and Amanda start school tomorrow, so I understand time crunches!

I swear pictures are coming soon, I'm at my Mom's now (to take Keevia to the chiropractor), and she has a card reader. I need to post her smiling picture from the car today... too cute!

Have a great Sunday y'all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Keevia Update!!!

Alright. I'm going to ATTEMPT pictures. No promises. I lost my card-reader for my camera, and I'm using the cord for the first time and so far I'm being very unsuccessful at getting the pictures from my camera to my computer. Imma keep trying though.

For a Keevia update however...

She is now 2 months old. HOLY... How did that happen? I was pregnant for a year.. a YEAR (this isn't counting the 8 weeks between miscarriage and conception), and yet it doesn't seem possible that I have a 2 month old baby. It blows my mind every time I think about it.

(Update on my camera... I have 1097 pictures. 95% of those are of my daughter. Woah.)

But she is. She's 2 months old. She'll be 10 weeks tomorrow.

How is she doing? Well...

- As of last Monday, at her 2 month checkup, she weighed 10 lbs and 9 ounces (up a pound from her 1 one month!), was 23 1/2 inches long, and her head circumference was like 47 something centimeters. In other words, she was the average weight of a 2 month old, length of a 3 month old (I'm 5'11, Carl's 6'3), and her head was the size of a 5 month old. (I pushed that head out sans drugs and with only 2 lacerations thankyouverymuch).

- She has colic. Bad. From about 2pm until about 9-10 pm she is rarely happy. Today though, after dosing her with mylicon, tylenol and gripe water, I pulled out the miracle blanket and viola! She was quiet for several hours!! She also pooped without me knowing it (BIG accomplishment!) and unfortunately sat in it longer than usual, no rash or anything, but I felt like a bad mom.

- She had her first sickness. On Christmas day around 6pm she started throwing up. Her aunt, cousin and grandma had all had it (we were at my husbands parents house) and although we were careful, she still caught it. She threw up very suddenly, and it was super thick stuff (thankfully I was in the bathroom and Grama was holding her. I'm pretty sure I would have FREAKED OUT had I saw it). Grama quickly flipped her over on her belly, and then Aunt Stephanie grabbed her and after some quick Mommy moves had her air-way cleared (Steph has 3 boys). We used the nasal aspirator thingy and got all the rest of the gunk out of her lungs. She couldn't hold down liquids however (except a LITTLE bit of some homemade pedialyte. I stayed in conference with my Mom (a registered nurse) and around midnight we packed up(okay, we grabbed random things that looked important. We left a TON of stuff there and had to go get it a few days later) and headed to my Mom's house. Carl's parents live 30-45 minutes from the closest hospital, and my parents live 10. We also drove past 2 hospitals on the way home. Around 1 (and halfway through our trip) I started throwing up. We got home about 2, I handed Keevia to my mom and collapsed in the chair beside her. I was useless. Mom took care of her the rest of that night, all the next day, and pulled her co-sleeper in her bedroom the night after that. FINALLY, Sunday morning when she brought her to me to nurse, I felt like taking care of her. The puking part only lasted EXACTLY 12 hours for all of us, but the feel-like-you've-been-ran-over part lasted about 3 more days. And the headache, oy vey the headache... Anyway, it was a good thing I felt better because Mom came down with it about 20 minutes after she brought me the baby. It was nasty.

- She's smiling and cooing a ton now (you know, when she's not screaming from colic). I got a video of her today talking to her Daddy, so when I have the cord to THAT camera, I'll upload it. It may bore you to tears, but oh well :)

- She rolled off the bed on January 1st and gave me a HEART ATTACK. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I laid her down perpendicular to the edge of the bed, and then went in the hallway to get my coat (we were getting ready to leave for our 3rd Christmas, my grandparents), when I turned to glance at her, I saw her falling. I tried to get to her, but couldn't make it. I still have NO clue how she fell. She managed to land on her back, not her head, and other than being scared and sore she was fine. Mom checked her out super well, and we watched her carefully.

- That being said, I want to get her in to see her chiropractor (and mine!) as soon as possible to make sure everything is aligned. That helps with the colic and the gas as well, but our chiropractor has been out of town for Christmas. She comes back on Friday, but we won't be able to get her in until after Sunday because Keevia's Aunt Kat (one of my best friends) is driving up from Georgia to meet her!! I'm super excited!

(I got the first 196 pictures off my camera, but so far no luck with the others, grrr..)

- This girl LOVES her pacifier. She is a huge, HUGE fan. I use MAM paci's with her, mainly because she wouldn't take the NUK's and the soothies freak me out. I almost always offer her the breast first, but sometimes she just wants her paci.

-She's currently on a nursing strike. I think it has to do with the colic, because she only does it during the hours she's screaming. You can FEEL the gas in her belly if you put your hand on her tummy. Anyway, with the nursing strike she shows all the hunger cues: rooting, chewing on her hand, whimpering... yet when I put her to the breast, she'll suck once or twice and then SCREAM BLOODY MURDER. She does this on both sides. SOMETIMES you can give her mylicon drops or gripe water or a few drops of coke (I would never do that! Ha..)and then put her straight to the breast and she'll latch and suck, but other times it just makes her madder. I usually have to get her completely asleep with the pacifier, and then remove the paci and insert my boob. Then she wakes up and nurses with no problem. I do not understand, I just know what works.

- She's wearing size 1 diapers and will probably be in them for quiet some time! The tabs still overlap in the middle. I use mainly Huggies Snug N Dry's, but I have been using Pamper's Swaddlers Sensitive. She cannot tolerate regular Pamper's Swaddlers if you use more than 2 in a row (her entire diaper area gets bright red). At night, or when traveling a long distance, we use Huggies Pure and Natural (or whatever they're called). I would LOVE to cloth diaper, and have patterns to make my own, but haven't had the time/energy to make any.

- She absolutely, positively LOVES being worn. My mom made me a Mei Tai carrier (it took 3 attempts, but this one is perfection!) and I wear her whenever we go out anywhere. She loves it! Generally she falls asleep instantly. I also wear her at home if she's super fussy and nothing else helps.

- She loves music. My momma got her a Fischer Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse and she really will soothe herself back to sleep with it occasionally. We are BFFs. She'll also calm in the car when you turn the radio on (at least until the announcer starts talking, then she screams again).

-She travels well when she's full and not colicky. Otherwise...well, lets just say, you KNOW if she's colicky or hungry! :)

- She wears 3-6 month pants and sleepers, but still wears 0-3 month onesies (well, some of them). She's just SO LONG. She has tons of fabric around the waist, they're just never long enough for her!

- For Christmas she got a ton of developmental toys from my Mom, some pants or when she's older, a few new outfits (not that she needed them, remind me to take a picture of her clothes stash...), 2 Hallmark ornaments, a baby Belle from her Aunt Hebbie (FROM DISNEYWORLD!), a Finding Nemo onesie (that has the seagulls, and says "Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine!"), a $50 gift certificate to Toys R'Us, 2 Fancy Nancy books (which if you haven't read any of them, GO NOW AND READ THEM), a Fancy Nancy doll, a shampoo head thingy, a Lambie blanket, a pink corderoy dress and polka dot sweater, and the cream of the crop... A Red Rider Pink BB gun. (This was not to brag about what she got, but more of a memory list for me and her in the future, I plan on adding pages from this blog into her baby book!).

She really is all I could have ever asked, or dreamed for. She's a wonderful baby with an amazing personality. I cannot wait to watch her grow and learn, as much as it pains me when I realize she's growing up. She's absolutely beautiful (although I know we're biased!) and she's my reason for living. I thank God every day for her and I don't take a single second of her for granted.

And now, I cannot leave you with any NEW pictures of Keevia, but I will leave you with some from her first week.

Just a cute one.

I swear to you, she is the MOST expressive child I have EVER seen.

I wore this outfit as a babe!

Have a great night (morning!)!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jillian Michaels scares me...

and I haven't even started "The 30 Day Shred" yet.

So, I'm sitting here, on my semi-comfy chair, watching "The Biggest Loser" for the first time, drinking my third cup of coffee of the day, and eating chocolate covered pretzels.

Yes, I see the irony of eating chocolate covered pretzels while watching "The Biggest Loser" when I myself need to lose 50 lbs (actually, that would be 43.8 lbs right now, thankyouverymuch), but, in my defense, they were the first sweets I'd had all day and I didn't sit down with the box, I only got a small handful.

Tomorrow I don't know how successful I'll be eating well, we'll see. Today, I think I did fairly okay. My food intake was:

1 cup of coffee, 2 eggs poached with a teaspoon of parmesean cheese, 5 1 inch pieces of french bread sauteed in EVOO and 1 teaspoon butter, and a cup of mixed herbs with a teaspoon of EVOO and lemon juice dressing, with a bottle of water.

Then, I cooked Taco meat with a taco seasoning packet and ate it with 3 hard corn taco shells, about a big handful of shredded cheese, and more herb/baby green salad (and water!).

I had that handful of pretzels, and now, at 10:42 pm (because my daughter woke up and I needed to rock her) I'm hungry again, but unsure of what to eat. Oatmeal will probably win.

And... my colicky baby is crying again. Catch up on Keevia will happen next time, I promise (with pictures)!

Monday, January 4, 2010

McFatty Monday

So, I know I posted about weight loss before... but now one of my favorite blogs is doing a weightloss thing, and I'm going to join her. McFatty Mondays, here we go.

I need to lose : 50 lbs
I plan on doing this by: cutting out sweets and pop, eating healthier, and doing Jillian Michaels Shred

Recipe of the day: My Breakfast

I've been eating this recently because my milk supply dipped when I had a stomach virus over Christmas. I can tell a big difference in my boobs when I eat oatmeal, so I try to eat this every morning, plus, it's healthy!

1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Cook in microwave for 1 minute

Add 1/4 cup of Bare Naked Granola (I like fruit and nut, it's available at Wal-Mart) and about a 1/4 cup of milk (optional).

I like it cuz the granola adds crunch!

More blogging soon, colic has taken over our lives.

Edited to include:

I AM DOWN TO 223.8! Woot!