Saturday, March 26, 2011

Daybook March 26

Outside my is rainy and gray and gross and cold. However, I do have a beautiful white tree in my front yard and some lovely red flowers coming out on a nicely-greening bush across the street. So that makes up for the yuckiness a little. This week has really been a typical Missouri week. Gorgeous sunshine and 80s one minute, cold, wet, rainy the next.

I am thinking...that I'm procrastinating on doing a few things. But the day is just so rainy and cold and lazy inducing. I can't help myself!

I am thankful for...finally finding my dress for my sister's wedding. And also got Blueberry's dress (three cheers for consignment sales and affordable children's clothes!). Pictures to come eventually.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...The learning has been on mommy's end this week I think. First we've been dealing with the eczema thing (clearing up beautifully by the way--so glad we caught it early). However, Blueberry was not a very easy berry this week. In fact, she was a little fuss pot much of the week and also was worrying me by not wanting to nurse. We were going through the "what it could be's": itchy skin from the eczema (didn't seem like it), teething, shot reaction, just leftovers from to much traveling.....all of the above? While some of the above might have factored in, it seemed like something else was going on. Finally we figured out that her tummy is hurting her and her reflux has picked up again. Did some reading and realized that I had not been feeding her a good enough mix of food (particularly for a baby who is prone to reflux). What we were feeding her was fine in and of itself and for most babies, but with the reflux factor added in, I'm obviously going to have to be really careful on how I balance out her foods. Sigh. Poor baby. We've cut way back on eating any solids for the last few days and have focused on just getting her to nurse. As that is getting back under control, we'll work on reintroducing/balancing the solids she's getting. Sigh. I did feel better as I read on several websites that a lot of people who have babies starting solids who also have reflux struggle with it all. Partially because there's not a whole lot of helpful information out there, partially because what might be fine for one baby might hurt another baby. Go figure.

From the cookies for Charlotte were a success! Pasta for dinner.

I am wearing...jeans, socks (cold feet thanks to this nasty cold weather), and a nursing shirt that I sadly stained with some drops of bleach. Oh well. Still works for around the house wear.

I am creating...more scrapbook pages. Yes, it makes me happy!

I am get off the computer now and get something useful done.

I am reading.. . Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Fascinating and at times infuriating so far. Blueberry and I are just reading general picture books right now. Need to get back into a bigger book again as well. Maybe time to pull out my Winnie the Pooh treasury. One is never to young for Pooh Bear. She's been making me laugh with a few of the books. Whenever we hit a page with a picture of a dog, she gets super excited. Reaches out and tries to pet the dog in the picture!

I am hoping...That I'm not trying to over-extend myself these next two weeks.

I am hearing...the crinkle of a magazine as Blueberry happily rips it to shreds (Travel and Leisure--she's a girl after my own heart).

Around the was not a good housekeeping week. To much other stuff going on. However, getting back into my Flyladying is paying off because it doesn't actually look to bad (or feel dirty) around here.

One of my favorite Swagbucks! It's seriously so easy to earn money through it. Basically I just search through Swagbucks, but occasionally I'll play games and I'll take their daily poll and a few other things that also provide easy Bucks. I'm getting at least $5 in Amazon gift cards every month through them if not more sometimes. If you're not already familiar with them, check them out here (and if you sign up through there I get points too!).

A few plans for the rest of the week: Church. Shopping prep time. Some plans for next week. Meeting up with a lady who will get me set up for a new work at home opportunity that has come up. Hopefully see a few girlfriends of mine. Studio is open again on Thursday (they were closed this week for Spring Break). Working on my baby sister's wedding shower (trying to get a lot done before I leave for Tennessee in less than two weeks now!) Hopeful date night with husband. And as always playing with, loving on, and rejoicing in my Blueberry.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Zucchini. I never claimed she was the world's daintiest eater but she does love food.

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Blueberry News

We'll begin the week before we left for Arizona. Blueberry had a fussy week, particularly with sleeping again. Could have been that she's been really mastering this sitting up thing. We also figured she seemed to be going through a wake-times change. In the last few weeks, as Chris described it, you can look into her eyes and see something there that wasn't there before--connections are being made in her little brain. The question with the wake-time change was, to what time? The day we left for Arizona was crazy. Day lights saving time. But of course Arizona doesn't change time. So we woke up on Sunday, having had our days moved forward an hour. Then we flew out and moved backward two hours. Poor baby didn't know if she was coming or going.

Taking advantage of her already confused state, and in order to maximize time with her grandparents, I decided to go ahead and start experimenting with new wake-time lengths by just keeping her up for two hours and then seeing where she was at. Worked like a charm!

Last week Blueberry also started babbling a lot more. She's always chattered to us, but consonants had not featured prominently in her vocabulary. Last week that changed completely. One afternoon she just started jabbering away with several consonants. Quite a conversationalist she is proving herself to be. And, just to make the deal all the sweeter, she said Mama! We weren't sure if it was intentional or not at first, but it quickly became clear that Mama was went she meant. Yay!!

Her understanding of communication has been so much fun to watch. We've been starting to use sign language with her the last month and a half or so. We've been able to watch her slowly begin playing around with waving bye-bye, etc. However, her first real sign was one she has made up herself. And again, it's a call for Mama. Basically she makes circles with her hand in the air. Watching closely, she only makes that sign when she wants me.

On a down note though, we had to go to the pediatrician on Monday as soon as we returned from Arizona. A little over a month ago, I had noticed some dry patches on her skin. Figured it was just the dry winter air, applied extra lotion, etc. Well, they didn't go away. In fact, they were increasing. So then I thought maybe the lotion was a problem and we found some alcohol free/fragrance free lotion. No improvement. In fact, last week the dry patches began to increase steadily.

Racked my brain. Maybe it was the fact that I had changed from using a liquid detergent on her clothes to a powder detergent (same brand). Rewashed all of her clothes that we had with us in the liquid stuff. No change (although, admittedly, it would be hard to see a change super fast--but still don't think it was working well enough).

My other thought was the Baby Mumm Mumm crackers she's been eating. In and of themselves they're very simple ingredients. However, on the package, it did say that there may be some milk contamination possible. So we've taken her off of those and we're going to see what happens.

Decided that she needed to go see the doctor. Called them and was able to get her in as soon as we returned. Doctor took one look at her and confirmed it was eczema. The appointment was a bit irritating, to be honest, as the doctor didn't even correlate eczema with food at all, but just called it dry skin and said to avoid fragrance lotions/soaps. Also wanted me to douse Blueberry in hydrocortisone, which I don't particularly want to do. So instead we've bought some new soaps/shampoo and an additional thick lotion (additional to what I had bought earlier which was Burt's Bees Fragrance free, alcohol free, etc which should be fine to continue using) to apply directly to the really dry patches. Will also be trying a shea butter/almond oil mixture (thanks Hillery--my source of knowledge in all things eczema related) once I can get the ingredients.

And then once we know it's clearing up, we will start some experimenting. I want to know for sure (if at all possible) what's causing this. We've known from early on that she hasn't responded well to dairy in my system. I want to know if this is a result of directly ingesting dairy herself or if it's something else altogether.

In the meantime, I just researched homemade baby biscuits and found some fun recipes that we will be trying. Love this website that I ran across a few months ago: Wholesome Baby Food. Lots of great recipe ideas, starting solids, information on allergies, etc.

So, that's the Blueberry news. Love my baby girl!

Monday, March 21, 2011

On the First Day Back

So we flew back from Phoenix last night. Feels like I've hit the ground running. Since I got up this morning (thankfully Blueberry slept in this morning which meant I got to sleep in a bit as well) I've unpacked the suitcases and tidied up the mess, planned dinner, called the pediatrician and booked an appointment, went to said appointment (more on all that later), stopped to get Chris' glasses fixed (also more on that later--let's just say this one involves things going bump in the night that shouldn't do so), stopped by a store for a few things, sorted the mail that accumulated while we were gone, entertained a clingy little girl (shots), tentatively made some plans for the rest of the week, cleaned out some back-logged emails (several more to go if you're expecting to hear from me and haven't!), and am now taking a few minutes break before I go start actually making the planned dinner. Phew.

It's a gorgeous day outside, so all the windows are open and we're enjoying a good dose of sunshine with a cool breeze to counter-balance it. Three cheers for spring!

Anyhoo....more on the trip (and bumping night adventures) soon to come.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Woot for Shopping Deals

I've been in need of some shopping motivation. The last months I've really been focusing on trying to get back into the swing of deal shopping.

This week was a good reminder of why I actually enjoy this shopping game (never mind the necessity party of doing it)!

First came Staples. I am the first to admit that if I let myself, I would be an office-supply junkie. I just love office stores. Don't ask. I don't know why. I just do. Any ways, I already shop at Staples because of their handy rewards program for empty ink cartridges. January they had some fantastic additional rebate offers that I decided to take advantage of. End result, I bought this:

for a grand total of $6.08 and I'll be getting back $39.96 in rebates. Ahem. Free ink anybody?

Then came CVS. Been slowly getting back into this game as well. Our stockpile had lasted us pretty well, but now we're beginning to have to pay full price for stuff, so I realized it was time to dive back in. With some EBCs I had from a few weeks ago, we snagged this:

for a grand total of $0.58! Which I had to put on my Discover card because I realized I failed to bring any cash. Go figure.

Grocery shopping has been definitely more challenging with my Blueberry around. Namely because she'll do OK with one maybe two stores in a day. But that's about her max. And not every day either. I generally try to just do a max of 2 days during the week where I have to take her for shopping (or appointments if those are in the "to do" list). Seems to work out best that way. So I've had to really pick and choose which stores to hit each week. Some days (like the Staples/CVS above, if Chris is home I'll run out and hit a few while she's napping). But then of course we have to factor in gas costs into everything now. Is it really worth going down to a store on the opposite end of town just for one deal? A lot of times not.

Making it work. Just having to learn balance and judicious decision making! (And utilizing my husband!)

Anyhoo...Dillons was the grocery store of the week this week. Chris has found that he's actually doing OK with most cereal again, so I've been stocking up on cereal deals for him (haven't bought cereal in a few years. The price was depressing.).

Total out of pocket: $38.76.

Not too bad, especially given that the toilet bowl cleaner was not at all on sale. But when one has to clean one's toilets and when one has not been deal shopping, one has to make sacrifices in price sometimes! (still haven't found a good home-made toilet cleaner that I actually like and feel like does the job).

Good reminder for me. It is truly worth the time and effort I put into the couponing/deal hunting/planning.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Of Mice and Men

It's been an "of mice and men" sort of week for me. Not a bad week just all my plans going "aft agley."

Monday was my 30th birthday. Which I celebrated in the morning by spending 1.5 hours at the WIC office and then went grocery shopping for much needed groceries. About three and a half hours in, Blueberry finally succumbed to sleep for about 20 minutes after this abrupt change in nap schedule. Protested rather vehemently when I tried to take her out of her wrap and put her into her car seat to drive home. Then proceeded to refuse to nap again until much later in the afternoon thus causing an extra weight to be lugged around all afternoon (because Little Miss Cranky Pants--as she becomes known when not getting in a nap--will not play or be by herself at all when tired. Oh no. Must be carried!).

[On a random note--we did find out that Blueberry has finally doubled her birth weight at 7 months old. She is now 13lb 10oz. I was sorting out her next level of clothes this week and I had to laugh. She's long enough to fit all the 6-9 month clothes; however, the sizes on most of them say they are intended for babies 17-21lbs. Most of them I don't think it'll be a problem, but there are a few dresses that she might look a bit swamped in. We'll have to see.]

Any ways, back to Monday. As my real celebration had been on Saturday (lunch with my siblings/siblings-in-law [or to-be-in-law]) and a few friends and a delectable cake afterward, I wasn't particularly bothered by this crazy morning. Did splurge a little (they were on sale!) and make Cornish Hens for dinner. Nothing more decadent feeling than having the option of eating an entire bird by yourself for dinner.

The rest of the week has consisted of feeling like I'm not getting stuff done (not entirely true--just my perception) and both Blueberry and I feeling a smidgen off. She has a cold--which of course has made nursing frustrating for both of us. I have a sore throat (which I'm pretty sure is gluten related and not actually me having caught anything). All of which is particularly bad as we leave tomorrow evening to go see my parents and I don't feel half ready to go.

Any ways, the four blogs I've started and not finished this week will have to wait. Perhaps for next week. As for me, I'm off to tackle the rest of the laundry so I can then tackle the packing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If you have never said "Excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time. ~Sherri Chasin Calvo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Daybook - March 4

Outside my was brilliant sunshine. I have the windows and doors open to let in the warm(er) air. However, it is now getting darker and darker and a chill is beginning to make itself known (unwelcome visitor that it is), and so the predicted rainstorms/potential snow storms might be on their way.

I am thinking...that I need to take a basic math class. I had planned out our meals for this week. But somehow I managed to double-calculate in the same package of chicken breasts and then miscalculated how many eggs I would need for the week, with the end result that Blueberry and I had to go shopping (again) today because I couldn't make dinner or do other baking until I got a few more ingredients.

I am thankful for...getting our taxes done and the pretty, pretty moneys that the government is oh so kindly returning to my bank account soon. I'm hoping that Turbo Tax is accurate in the sums they presented as my current lack of math ability might not allow me to catch any errors.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...Blueberry has been clapping her feet together (little monkey that she is) and seems to be slowly grasping the concept of waving bye-bye. Which is absolutely adorable. And, no, I'm not a doting, proud mother. I don't know what you're talking about. Completely unbiased perspective here!

From the kitchen...comes somtam, kowneow, and satay (green papaya salad, sticky rice, and grilled chicken with coconut milk) for dinner tonight. And for tomorrow, a devil's food cake. The problem with growing older is that if you want a birthday cake, you tend to have to make it yourself. Oh well, it looks yummy. Given that I apparently can no longer do math and added substantially more butter than was actually needed, we'll hope that it comes out yummy (thanks for the fractions help, Hillery!). Any suggestions on what to do with a 1/2 cup blend of butter, white sugar, and brown sugar?

I am wearing...jeans and a gray nursing sweatshirt. And shoes and socks for some odd reason. Why do I still have my shoes on?

I am birthday cake! With peanut-butter frosting. Because that just sounded luscious.

I am update Blueberry's baby book this weekend. I will. I will. I will! I'm finding that even at only 6 months the moments are slipping together so quickly, and I don't want to lose them before I've written down much of what I want to remember.

I am reading.. . through L'Engle's major fiction books still (with a number of dives into some of her journals as well).

Yes, dear, I will start Atlas Shrugged as soon as I finish these.

I am hoping...that my soreness from working out diminishes soon. We're trying out the P90x workouts. Oh my. That program deserves the reputation it has. Kicked my tail very thoroughly. And, for the sake of honesty, there are certain types of push-ups of which I can do a grand total of one. I feel pathetic.

I am hearing...the train in the distance. Other than that, just the clacking of keyboards. Oh! And that was my cake timer. Be back in a little while...

Around the house...Things have been going really smoothly. I've been proud of myself this week. Working with the FlyLady system (sort of) and I feel like my days have become more productive and less stressful simultaneously. Still don't have enough hours in the week, but that's ok. The major stuff is getting done, and that's what is most important.

One of my favorite things...downy, blond, baby hair. With a slight suggestion of curls coming(oh please, oh please, oh please get my ringlets!).

A few plans for the rest of the week: have a "I'm still 29 celebration", go to church, have some friends over for dinner tonight and a game of Agricola, church, and next week--packing!

Here is picture (or more) for thought I am sharing...

This is one of my favorite pictures of Blueberry so far. That look just cracks me up--little charmer that she is. For the rest in the series, go check out her other adorable Valentine's Day pictures at My Life in Scraps. I'm so pleased with how they came out!

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...