Friday, December 24, 2010

To Listen and Do, Or Listen and Do Whatever You Think Is Best

So I have been thinking a lot about recommendations and advice we are given once we become parents.  I have only been a parent for 6 short months and I can't tell you how many people have told me what I should or shouldn't be doing.  I get advice from random people, family, friends, doctors, and emails.  If you know me or have ever met me for longer than a few minutes, you know I do what I WANT.  I try hard not to be rude, but I am not a sugarcoater, and I stand up for what I believe in.  I guess you could say, I am going to do whatever I want.  I don't live to please others, I don't believe in doing something just to make others happy, and I certainly don't give in without a fight. 

I have been very frustrated over the past few months because of responses I have been getting.  My sons doctor started recommending I feed him rice cereal at 3 months.  I really couldn't believe he was telling me this.  I said I wouldn't be feeding him anything but breast milk and he just nodded his head.  Then again I was being pushed to feed him at 4 months.  Needless to say, I just nodded my head in agreement, went home and continued to breastfeed only.  I am pleased to say, my son was breastfeed exclusively for 6 1/2 months before he had any table food. 

Another really frustrating thing I am told is that I need to leave my son.  In other words, I need to go out and do things without him.  I have already wrote about this, but I find it so frustrating that people think they know better than me.  I also think its strange that people think it will make me a better person to leave my son.  Here is what I know about myself, I am a better mom when I am taking care of my son.  I know when I need some down time and I ask my husband for it.  He takes over playtime and I am free to clean, sew, cook, do the dishes, or just relax, while also seeing my son and knowing he is okay.  This makes me a better mom... not being away from my child.

Another recommendation I have been given, is to let him cry.  People say, "don't run to him when he cries, don't jump up when he fusses."  Here is what I know, babies cry for a reason.  They need their parents to be there for them, and I will always want my son to know I am there for him.  Sometimes babies are just fussy and we don't know why, but that doesn't mean they should be left to cry by themselves.  Babies and kids need to know they are loved and that they can trust someone will always be there for them. 

How about when you are told that your child needs to be fed a certain way, given every shot, or that breastfeeding in public is embarrassing.  Have you ever done research on why babies need purred food?  I have and they don't need it unless you are feeding them food to early for their digestive system.  Babies don't ever have to eat food from the jar.  They don't have to eat rice cereal.  Have you ever tasted those things?  They are really gross.  What about the shots?  Have you ever second guessed your doctor and asked why they need all those shots, or said no to some of them?  It's okay to ask questions and be proactive for your child's health.  Then when it comes to breastfeeding and those cover ups, I just want to scream.  If you want to use them, more power to you.  If you don't want to cover up, then good for you too!  I just wish everyone would keep to themselves about it.  It's a baby and a boob, who really cares!  When did we all get so crazy about seeing some skin? 

So, when it comes to you and your children, do you listen and do, or do you do whatever you want?  Stay strong and know that you are the parent.  You know what is best and do whatever you believe is in the best interest for your family 

Free Running Animals

Do you ever wonder why people have pets?  I wonder this all the time.  I grew up with all kinds of animals in my house.  We had dogs, cats, birds (many kinds), rabbits, hamsters, and more.  I have to say my sisters and I weren't always the best at taking care of them, which left my mom to do all the cleaning, feeding, walking, etc.  But now that I am all grown up and have my own animal, I find it very frustrating to see animals not being taken care of.

We live in a new neighborhood where homes are still being built.  When we moved in there were very few dogs, I could walk my dog without a leash knowing she wouldn't run off... and feel safe we weren't going to be attacked by another dog.  Now, I find it hard to take a walk, with my dog on a leash.  I hate that I feel so unsafe in my neighborhood because others can't keep their dogs in their own yards or on a leash. 

I have called the dog catcher several times because of the free running dogs.  I know my dog would fair just fine if she had to defend herself, but I don't think its fair to put her in that situation.  We have leash laws for a reason and I wish people would respect that law and abide by it.  Another great idea would be for people to train their animals properly and to not attack others.  That would be the best!! 

I will step off my soapbox now, but I know I am not the only one in this world that feels this way.  If you have an animal, take care of it, keep them safe, and never let them run freely to terrorize your neighbors. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Awesome Photographer - AB Photography

I had my son's 6 month pictures taken recently and they turned out beautifully!  I love our photographer. She has done my maternity pictures and my sons, 3 month and now 6 month pictures.  I can't wait for his 9 month and 12 month pictures!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Leaving Your Child... Is It Just Easier For Some?

So I have been thinking about this topic for years.  If you don't know me at all or very well, then you probably don't understand where this is coming from, but I feel the need to talk about this. 

Since my youngest sister was born, I was very protective.  I was 10 years old at the time and became a second mom to my sister.  My mom says that she finally got to be the mom again when I moved out 7 years later, but that is a whole other story.  I will begin this by saying... What is it in each mother that makes it easier or harder to leave their child? 

Even before having my son, I knew I wanted to stay home with him.  I didn't know at the time I was having a son or a daughter, that part wasn't important... it was having a child that was important.  When people ask you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  What do you normally say?  A teacher, policeman, fireman, President of the United States?  These are a few of the common answers.  But if you asked me, as I grew older, all I wanted was to be was a mom.  People, would look at me funny, or say that's nice... but that's really what I wanted to be.  I know most people were probably thinking, "What is wrong with that girl, anyone can be a mom.  Doesn't she have any dreams, goals, or aspire to be something great?"  And if someone had actually said that to me, I would have said, "YES!  I dream of being a great mom, who will raise great children, who will become wonderful, contributing people in our society."

However, in today's world, there are so few stay at home moms and more and more kids go to daycare.  After having my son 6 months ago, I have only left him with his father twice.  And of those two times, I was gone about 10 minutes to grab something at the grocery store.  I have had many people tell me that it's normal to leave your children, it's  good for you, it's healthy.  However, I don't feel good about it at all.  And if that makes me abnormal or crazy than so be it.  However, what I want to know is, how do some women leave their children at such a young age? 

I know we are all different and unique in our own way.  But when did it become so abnormal to want to be with your kids.  I know such few women who stay at home with their kids, and it saddens me that our society has so many children being raised  by daycare.  When did we make that shift from raising our kids, to everyone working and children being raised by strangers?  When did it become taboo for a woman to stay home?  Why is it so wrong for a mother to want to raise her children?

I have many friends with children and most of them work.  However, I don't know how they do it and leave their children everyday.  I have only met one other person who believes the same way I do.  I consider her to be my best friend and I love her kids like they were my own.  She and I stay home, we enjoy our time at home and love raising our kids.  Yes, we need a break every now and then, but it doesn't mean we want to leave them with a sitter or drop them at daycare.  We would just like a few minutes break to relax, take a nap or a shower, read a book, or watch some TV while our husbands take care of the children.  Is that too much to ask?  I don't think so.

So again, I ask, are we just wired differently?  Do some moms just find it easy to leave their children while they go to work, go out to eat, get their hair cut, or whatever else they want to do?  All I know is that I am not ready to leave my little guy and I don't know when I will be.  Please don't feel as if I judge you for leaving your children, as that is your choice and I respect you for it.  However, I feel I am being judged and looked down upon because I won't and don't leave my son. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Flying With Jack

Back in late October, I flew across country to celebrate my sisters birthday.  At the time my son was 5 months old and this was his first time flying.  I have to say I was a tad bit nervous flying by myself with him.  I wasn't sure if he was going to be a crying mess or the perfect child.  As we said good bye to my husband and boarded the plane, Jack was smiling at everyone, and the passengers were all giving me the evil eye.  Yes, I knew what they were thinking.  Damn, a baby on our plane at 6am!!  This is going to suck!  However, before we even took off, Jack was sleeping in my arms.  No crying, no fussing, just a peaceful baby.  He slept almost the entire way to the West Coast.  He woke up a few times to eat, be changed, and of course smile at anyone who would pay attention.

Once we arrived with no mishaps, I was feeling pretty good.  I had made it from the East Coast to the West Coast, by myself.  We managed to get to baggage claim, find our bag and car seat without any issues.  We changed another diaper... something abut flying made for a constant diaper change.  Then we were off to wait for my Mom to pick us up.

A few days later, it was time to make the trip home.  However, this time I had to drive in rush hour traffic to the airport with a baby who hates the car.  Drop off the rental, get on the bus to the airport with a baby, stroller, huge rolling bag, diaper bag, and car seat.  But guess what.... we did it!  We made it through check-in, security, and getting breakfast without any craziness.  We did have an explosion that morning... with the disposable diaper.  I had to change all his clothing and diaper before getting on the plane.  But, I have to say I was please with myself and how much I had accomplished by myself.  I was feeling as if I could do anything at that point.

As we were waiting for our plane, I was nursing Jack as I always do.  I do so without a cover, but discretely.  I feel that nursing covers draw more attention to me and I can't see what Jack is doing.  Anyways, I had on my scarf to cover any skin that might show and his middle aged lady sat down next to us.  She struck up a conversation with me and said, "It's so cool how many things they have out now to make nursing in public so easy."  It was funny and caught me off guard because I had never had anyone say something to me while nursing.  But it made me feel good that I was nursing him and it wasn't a big deal to anyone.

We boarded our plane to fly home, Jack nursed to sleep and we were once again flying with no problems.  I do have to say that the lady sitting across from us with two little girls was having a hard time.  Her kids were screaming up a storm.  I felt really bad for her, but I was also irritated as well.  My child was sleeping right through it, but I just couldn't fall asleep with two screaming kids across the isle.  Anyways, we made it home, no issues and Jack was awesome!  Hopefully flying early next year will be just as easy.

Saving Money with Coupons

So as promised I am going to add a few more things that will help you save money.  When I started using coupons, I was slow to start, didn't always use them, and sometimes forgot them at home.  Now, I don't leave the house without checking the computer to see if there is a coupon for something I am going out to buy.  There are so many companies that have member accounts that you can sign up for.  With this account you will be eligible for coupons and money saving emails.  Think about the companies you purchase products from the most.  Do you buy Kellogg, Pillsbury, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, Kraft... just to name a few?  If so, go to their website and sign up for their stuff.  You can get coupons for items you buy all the time and start saving today.  Don't forget that a quick personal email to a company will also get you coupons as well.  Sometimes even a free product in the mail.  I haven't done this but many of the people I follow for ideas have; and have received free stuff and coupons in the mail.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lots To Post & Talk About

Sorry I have been MIA for a while.  Our main computer crashed, the laptop is going crazy... so that left us with having to buy a new computer.  We have an apple laptop now which we are loving, but it's taking some time to get used to.  We had a few problems this past week, so I didn't have the computer much as it was having a new burner put in.  Anyways, I have lots of things I want to post about.  I have been keeping a running list on my phone and I will hopefully be able to get lots of writing done this weekend.

For those of you who are trying to cut that grocery bill back, how are you doing?  Have you made any good changes?  In the next few posts I will talk a little about freezer meals, Christmas cookies, and more on coupons.  A friend of mine called and started asking some great questions that got me thinking I should post some on that information.  So more to come this weekend.  I hope everyone had a great week and has a great relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taco Soup

This one is from Rachel, she is one of my best friends and I love this soup!!!

1 lb. Cooked Ground Beef (I like it with ground Turkey too)
1 Can - Corn with juice
1 Can - Diced Tomatoes with chilies
1 Can - Beans (whatever kind you like)
3/4 Cup - Water
1 Pkg - Taco Mix
1 Pkg - Ranch Mix

(She puts in an onion as well, but I never have.  So you decide if you want it)

Cook this all together for about 30 minutes and then serve with chips, sour cream and cheese.  SO YUMMY!!!  Thanks for sharing this one Rachel!

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

I got this one from a friend.  She has a great cookbook that is cooking meals in $5.00 or less.  I can't seem to do it, but I get close.  Anyways, here is my version.

2 - Large chicken breasts
1 - Can diced tomatoes w/ chilies
1 - Green Bell Pepper (Sliced)
1/2 - Onion (Sliced)
1 Tsp - Cumin
1 Cup - Brown Rice
1 - Can Corn
Tortilla Shells (We like Wheat for these)

Marinate chicken in tomatoes overnight if you can, or just an hour or so in the fridge.  Then put the chicken, tomatoes, pepper, onion, and cumin in the slow-cooker for 6 to 8 hours on low.  Make the rice when you get home and heat the corn.  Serve in tortillas with the rice and corn on the side.  Make sure you press out the juices before putting the meat into your tortilla.  Or you will have juices running all over your plate.

This is a great one to do the night before. Put everything in the slow-cooker before you go to bed.  Put the slowcooker in the fridge overnight.  Then before you leave for work, pull out the slow-cooker and plug it in.  When you walk in the door that evening dinner is just minutes away from being done.  Enjoy!

Moo-Shu Chicken

Okay I got this recipe from a magazine.  I can't remember where, but it could have been Rachael Ray.

Here is my version as I almost always change a recipe to fit our taste buds.

1 Tbsp - Sesame Oil
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped, minced, pressed, however you want to do it)
10oz - Shredded Coleslaw
8oz - Shredded Carrots
1/4 Cup - Hoisin Sauce (Use a little more if it looks dry)
2 Tbsp - Soy Sauce
Flour Tortillas
3 Cups - Shredded Chicken (cooked) I use chicken leftover from a whole chicken I have cooked earlier in the week.

Heat oil, add garlic in a large wok or pot.  Then add in the coleslaw and carrots and cook until everything is soft or about 8 minutes.  Stir in the sauces and chicken.  Cook until chicken is heated through.  Spoon into tortilla shells and serve.

You can buy the carrots and coleslaw already shredded.  However if you have the time, it is cheaper to do it your self.  Buy the carrots and shred, buy cabbage and chop.  Or if you have a food processor, you can do it yourself in just a few minutes.  This meal should take you about 20 minutes total.

Where To Find Recipes

So everyone is asking... where do you find your recipes?  I find them all over the place.  I have some from magazines, some from cookbooks, some from the internet, others from the back of a box or jar.  I also have some favorites from friends.  Last year my two neighbors and I decided for Christmas we would exchange recipes.  I got recipe cards and we all traded them around.  It was practically free and so much fun.  We all wrote down about 7 to 10 of our favorites and I have them in a book now.  I regularly cook at least one of each of their recipes a month now.

To start you off I am going to give you some great places to look and also post a few of my favorites. or her magazine
Some have a few too many ingredients for my taste, but I try to always cook a new recipe exactly the way it is written.  Then if we liked it, I change it up a little to make it easier for the next time and sometimes add things we like to it.

He has great easy recipes, of which I am trying several this month.  So far, we have loved all of them.
I don't know about you, but I love crescent rolls and biscuits.  With coupons and sales you can get them crazy cheap.  If you look on the Pillsbury website they have some great recipes.

I love Sandra Lee Semi Homemade, Rachel Ray, Paula Dean, and Pampered Chef.

Loved Ones
I truly believe that the best recipes come from friends and family.  So when you are looking for something new and fun to cook, send out an email or ask around for a recipe or two.

Remember that you don't have to put everything into your recipe.  If it looks good except for the olives, or mushrooms, or celery, just don't put them in.

Good luck and have fun cooking!!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Planning

So I guess this part has been the easiest for me since I love lists.  List making might even be so much fun for me that it could be a downfall.  That's what my husband says at least.  Anyways, when you start meal planning, start with just one week.  Decide which day of the week you want to start with and go from there.  I like to grocery shop on Sunday.  So I normally meal plan on Friday or Saturday.  Below is a typical week.

Cereal, yogurt, eggs, bread, milk, OJ

David takes frozen lunches to work, so I buy those at Wal-Mart because they are the cheapest there.  Under $2.50 for Healthy Choice lunches which is $10 a week for lunch since he has a lunch meeting every Monday.  Then I normally eat leftovers, sandwiches, soup, grilled cheese, or whatever I manage to make with a baby on my hip.


Sunday - Mini Cheeseburgers, fries, and fruit

Monday - Spaghetti, rolls, fruit (I always have meat in my sauce)

Tuesday - Slow Cooker Fajitas

Wednesday - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Peas

Thursday - Creamy Cheese Chicken, couscous, fruit

Friday - Frozen Pizza and veggie

Saturday - Whole Baked Chicken, rice, veggie

From the above list I then make my grocery list.  After the grocery list is done I look at what I have on hand and cross off anything I don't need if it's already in the house.

Oh, I do add in something for dessert as well, but not every night.  Sometimes I make cookies one night, or brownies.  Maybe a cake or smoothies.  This is normally on a whim and whatever is on sale.

Just a reminder, I love to cook, so I always try to have at least one new recipe a week.  This way things are always new in the kitchen and we never get bored with what we are eating.  I would like to eventually have about 90 recipes that we LOVE and I can rotate through, but we aren't even close to that number yet.

Hope this helped get you going on your meal planning.  I'll post a few recipes soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Money Saving Tips - Web Sites I Use

Here are some of the great web sites I use to save money.  These are great for grocery shopping, gift shopping, and more.   This one has great coupons, lists of grocery stores and their sales  This one has great sale finds for all kinds of things  Just as it states... coupons, coupons, coupons.  This is where I print most of mine from.  She has lots of free stuff, awesome deals, great grocery and pharmacy store deals and more!  She has lots of free stuff posted.  I love her site.

I'll add more as I remember which ones I use.  Our computer crashed this past weekend and I had several saved on there.  We have a new computer and I am now having to rack my brain to remember what the sites are.  Have fun looking at these!!

Grocery Plan from October

In case anyone was wondering.... I did it!  In October, I didn't spend more than $300 on groceries and household items.  This month will be a little different with only spending $260 and my husband being in charge of his beer money.  Good luck to everyone who is budgeting and trying to save a buck.

Money Saving Tips - Getting Started

You will need to menu plan and then shop.  If you don't menu plan before you shop, you have tons of food without any kind of plan.  This creates a recipe for disaster.  You will have saved a bunch of money on all different things, but have missing ingredients for everything you want to make.  Decide where you want to shop.

I used to shop at Foodlion, Sams and Wal-Mart.  Now I primarily shop at Harris Teeter, Sams and Wal-Mart.  Occasionally, I make it to Aldi too.  Your stores will be different from mine depending on what is in your area and what is close to you.  Here is how I start my planning for the month.

First I decide what recipes I want to cook.  I look at the calendar and make sure I have picked out enough recipes and then assign them to each day of the month.  You can do this weekly, bi-weekly, or when you get good once a month.  I find it easier to just do it all at once now.  But it was a bit overwhelming at first.  Start out weekly and move up to just twice a month as it gets easier.  I have magnetic pad on my fridge with the days of the week on it.  That's where I write everything down.  You can get them at Michael's Craft Store for $1.00.

Once the recipes are decided on, I make my list of what I need.  Then I go through the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I already have.

Next, I look at the store circulars and see what is on sale.  I match my coupons with what is on sale, what I need, and what I will use at a later date.  There are several websites that help me do this faster now.  I will post them as well.

Once I have my list, coupons, and sale items I am off to the different stores.

Sams is where I get bulk items.  Cereal, nutri grain bars, bread, tortillas, cheese, sour cream, milk, lunch meat, whole chickens, and sometimes other meat if it's not on sale at the other stores.  Most of these items above will last the whole month for us.

Since Harris Teeter doubles, triples, and super doubles coupons that's where I like to shop.  Everyday, they double up to 99 cents.  Then if you watch they will triple or super double which is doubling up to $1.98.  These are awesome weeks when I can use a $1.50 coupon and it's really $3.00 off that item.  And if it's already on SALE, that is an awesome find.

Here is a picture of what I bought last week for $55.00 and I saved $62.00

Because you can only use 20 coupons a day at Harris Teeter I did make another trip this week.  It was a smaller purchase, but I saved again more than half of what I spent.

Wal-mart or Aldi is where I get everything else I don't have coupons for.

This can be frustrating to go to several different stores at first, but it's worth saving the money.  Since Harris Teeter is expensive to shop without coupons that is why I don't buy anything else there.  If you plan out your route properly and take a cooler if you know you are going to have items that need to stay cold, you can do this in one afternoon.  Or just get you plan together, write a list for each place and do it over a few days.  Whatever works for your busy schedule.

Money Saving Tips - What You Will Need

To get you all started off on the right foot, here is a list of things that will help you get starting on your money saving journey.  Remember, this is a life style change.  Once you get in the swing of things it will be hard not to shop with these powerful tools.

1) Computer
2) Internet
3) Printer
4) Sunday Newspaper
5) Folder/Binder/Envelopes (I will get into this in more detail later)
6) Scissors
7) About 1 Hour each week
8) Awesome recipes
9) Budget
10) A positive and can do attitude!!!

Once you have rounded up all these things you will be ready to go.  The first three are not required but they sure do help when you want to print out a few coupons that you know you will use when going grocery shopping.  There are thousands of FREE coupons on the Internet for anyone to use.

The Sunday newspaper also has great coupons, but you have to purchase the newspaper.  You can set up a weekly home delivery, purchase it at a gas station, Wal-Mart, grocery store, or any where else you can find it.

Having something to put your coupons in is KEY!  If you don't have your coupons organized, you won't use them.  I know this from experience.  If you want to get a bill paying folder with all the different slots, that works well.  Then you can divide the coupons up into the different sections.  Freezer, fridge, baking, cereals, juice, caned goods, and so on.

Or, you can purchase the clear baseball card protectors and put them in a binder.  This is my preferred way of doing things.  Then you can put each coupon in its own slot and know what it is and it's expiration date.

The final way I have read about doing this is with envelopes.  You write the section of the store on the envelope and then the coupons get divided up that way.  So you should have about 10 envelopes.  Each envelope can then be put away when you are done with that area of the store.  Whatever way you choose to start out will be fine, just make sure you have your coupons with you when you are shopping, if you don't, you could miss out on some great deals you didn't see while doing your research.

Scissors are for cutting our your coupons.  I figure you all are smart enough to know this, but I would say it anyways.

I say you need about an hour each week, because you will need to look at your coupons, cut them out, organize them, menu plan, and look at the different store circulars before heading to the store.  Yes, I have a baby and I still find the time to do this.  It's very important to get these things done in order to save money at the store.

Awesome recipes!!!  I'm sure you all have some favorite recipes that you love to cook.  But everyone needs a few new ones, or just a change in what they are cooking.  Things can get boring in the kitchen and this can lead to expensive eating out.  I challenge myself to always try one new recipe a week.  Sometimes we love it, hate it, or just think it was okay.  The LOVE IT ones, get put into rotation and the others get tossed.  This way we don't get bored and we aren't always eating the same things.

Budgeting can be stressful, hard, and sometimes impossible for people.  Our budget is constantly changing.  If you don't have a budget yet, now is the time to make one.  I will post more on this later, but to start you off, look at how much you spend on groceries last month.  Then decide how much you would like to save.  If you spent $500 and would like to save $75, then you know your budget for this month will be $425.  Want to know something crazy?!  When both my husband and I were working full time jobs, we were spending almost $800 on groceries and eating out.  That is INSANE!!!  I now have a budget of $260 for groceries and household items, and $100 for eating out.

A positive attitude is key.  If you think you can't you won't!  Set reasonable goals for yourself, tell others about your goal, and then start saving.

Have fun saving!!!

Money Saving Tips

Since leaving my part time job and starting my mobile gym, money has been a little tight.  Anyone who knows anything about starting a business knows that it will take time to really get things going.  Add a newborn to the mix of things and you really have a lot on your plate.  I started using coupons about a year ago.  I have progressively gotten better at it and enjoy the challenge.  Since posting several of my finds and massive savings on Facebook, I have had some friends ask if I will teach them what I am doing.  So, I am going to start a blog series called Money Saving Tips.  Most of them will be about groceries and meal planning.  But I'm sure I will have some other things to add as well.

Let me also say that, I did not learn all of this on my own.  Rather, I learned these things from other fantastic women who have shared their money saving journey with others.  I will post great web sites for you to use, books I have read, and places I get my coupons.  I hope you have fun challenging yourself to save money.  I know I do every month!!!  Leave comments, questions, or anything else below.  I will answer them as quickly as I can.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shutterfly... The only place I order my photos, cards, calendars, and photo books!!!

Years ago, I went to war in Iraq and I needed a way to share my pictures.  I used online photo capabilities like Shutterfly.  Then someone introduced me to Shutterfly and all the awesome perks and I have never looked back.  For the past 3 years I have made holiday cards with our pictures on them for just pennies.  There are always great promotions going on and the prices are very affordable. 

This holiday season is quickly approaching and it's time for me to choose our holiday card.  We have a new addition to our family this year so, it's important to me that I find the perfect card.  The following cards are my top choices. 

The Mod Snowflakes Christmas Card is beautifully designed.  You can list your last name, all family members names and one photo.  The square photo slot is large enough for a family picture.  Then over the top of the card is the following, "Happy Holidays". 

My next favorite card is the Snowflake Design Christmas card.  I love that the picture is so big, but you have a small area to type in something.  This is well designed and a perfect way to showcase your beautiful family

Another thing I order either for myself or as a gift each year is a calendar.  I love how each month can be personalized with birthdays, anniversaries, and special events.  You can add pictures and there are so many designs to choose from.  They are great for everyone.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by Shutterfly to write about my favorite things about Shutterfly.  I received 50 free Shutterfly photo cards in exchange for writing this post.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Grocery Shopping Plan

Ok, so I am on a new kick, and that is getting my grocery shopping down to only one big shopping trip a month.  My husband and I did it together this month and it went pretty well.  I have been menu planning for each week for over a year now and it goes very well.  When I was getting ready to have our son, I started stocking up and planning out at least 3 weeks.  Now, to save money and time I want to shop only once a month for everything but milk, and a few fruits and veggies.  Once I am able to have a big freezer, maybe I can get it down to just once a month.  We will see.

Anyways, I am going to start posting how we do each month, and if we are saving money doing it this way.  I have a budget of $300 a month, and that includes paper products, toiletries, cleaning products, beer, and food.  However, starting next month I am taking out the beer and moving my budget to $260 a month.  My husband will get this $40 in cash to spend it on his beer as he pleases.  I think that will keep my grocery bill from increasing when he sees a beer he wants and me from getting frustrated.  Since I don't drink it, I hate that I can't spend more on something else that I do want to eat. 

Since we are two weeks into this month I have spent just over $265.  So that leaves me with about $35 for the rest of the month.  We will need milk twice and a few veggies that I have planned into meals.  So I think we should be good to go this month.  I will update again soon and then again at the end of the month on how we did.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

2011 Italy Vacation Contest - Enter to WIN

I just entered a contest to win a vacation to Italy during the spring or fall of 2011.  Wouldn't that be an awesome thing to do?!  If you want to enter as well go to and enter for a chance of a life time.  I have always wanted to go to Italy and this would be a vacation of a lifetime!  Go check it out!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

When To Start Solid Food

So my pediatrician told me I could start solid food this month.  However, I am really not a fan of this idea.  I think that since I am breastfeeding exclusively, my son is getting all the nutrition he needs from me.  I told him that I was going to wait until 6 months to introduce any solid food and he was fine with that.  However, I started to wonder, why he was recommending I start solid foods already when he is doing just find on breast milk.  So off I went to research and do some fact finding.

I found some very interesting information and I was pleased to know that I have made the right decision for my son.  As far as solid food goes within the first year of life, it's really about teaching and experiencing food.  There is no nutritional value to the feedings, its about learning to eat, chew, swallow, gum and not choke on their food.  Babies do not have to have solid food until after their first birthday.

Now, I'm not saying that I am going to make him wait until he is one, but I love the feeling of knowing I can hold off and wait as long as I feel necessary.  It's important to me that I don't introduce food too quickly and possibly increase the chances of allergy's.  I am also excited to know that while I have chosen to make my own baby food, not all the food has to be mashed up into a mushy yucky paste.  Food is so much more exciting when it has texture to it. 

Anyways, I just had to vent about this since I feel introducing solid food at such an early age is wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I love that my pediatrician is so good with my son, but I also think that we as parents have to make the best decisions for our children.  And for me that is listening to the doctor and then going with my gut.  Isn't that why we are allowed to get second and third opinions when we are told we are sick? 

Babies And The Way They Grow

So it's funny to compare different babies and how much they weighed and what their height was at the same age as your child.  I am amazed once again with my son and how big he is.  My husband and I are what I would call average height and weight.  However, my son is now 4 months old and 19 pounds.  He doesn't seem that big to me, but I guess it's because he really doesn't have that many rolls.  I have been asking friends about the size of their children at 4 months and he is bigger than all of them.  He is even bigger than some of my friends kids who are over a year older than them.  This scares me a little.  Not because I think he is going to be fat or anything, but that if he is this big now, how big is he going to get?

He has grown out of almost all the clothes we were given, which means I have to go buy clothes for this winter.  We only have 3 pounds to go and it will be time for a new car seat.  I'm afraid to even think about how much food he is eventually going to start eating. 

So again I sit and think about how different each child is.  My sister has two kids and they are both in the correct size clothing for their age.  And then there is my son, who is 4 months old and wearing some 9 month sizes and mostly 12 to 18 month sizes.  If he doesn't slow down, this is going to make it very difficult to cloth the little guy. 

Anyways, I am just finding it amazing now that I am a mom to look at the different ways each child grows.  Looking back just a few months ago, I would have never guessed that my son would have gotten so big so fast.  You really do have to cherish the time you have with them, as they grow up so quickly. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Does Everything Change All At Once?

So life was about to change forever with the arrival of my baby.  June 1st 2010 my son arrived and I thought all was right in the world.  I had a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby boy, two awesome friends who lived within walking distance, and we were all going to be staying home with our kids.  Yes, this was going to be perfect!  My friends and I could hang out during the day, take the kids on outings, decorate cookies during the holidays, and have our weekly or semi weekly Friday night dinners together.  Life was good!

Then it all changed in what seemed to be the snap of my fingers.  I think Jack was a week old, maybe two when one of my best-friends in the whole world and next door neighbor informed me that her husband had found a new job and would be moving in six weeks.  My first thought was this is a joke.  What happened to all of our plans, what happened to my perfect situation of having a support system already in place for this new adventure of being a mom?  Who was I supposed to run to when I needed help?  But then I snapped out of it and told myself I would be fine, I still have one more awesome friend and she is only three houses away.  We still have cars so we can visit each other and life will go on.  But then just a few weeks later as we are all on vacation together, my other friend informs me that they too will be moving because her husband had found a new job.  All I could think is... WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!

So here I sit both of my friends have moved away and I am still here.  Making new friends sucks and it's even harder when you have a newborn.  So what now?  What do I do with my time?  I play with my son, we nap, talk on the phone when we can find someone to talk with... or he isn't screaming in the phone, we cook when I have the energy, nap as much as possible, nursing takes up a lot of the day as well and cook dinner hopefully before my husband gets home.  But these wonderful days of spending the whole day with my son and no other interaction with adults is starting to get to me.  Don't get me wrong I love Jack will all my being, but I need some adult conversation/contact.  So I guess I will continue my hunt in trying to find new friends in a place I have lived for over three years.  It's pretty sad when I have really only made two good friends and both of them move away within weeks of each other.

Moving on is hard.  It's even harder when you don't want to.  But I suppose with change comes good things and bad.  I guess I should start looking for the good in all this change and find something positive to focus on.  This blog has been something good in all this change.  If my friends hadn't moved away, I would never have thought to start one.  It's an outlet for my day to day thoughts and a way to connect with others.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Do I Feel So Passionate About Breastfeeding?

While I was pregnant I always knew I wanted to breastfeed.  I crossed my fingers that I wouldn't have any problems and that everything would go smoothly.  The time came for my little one to enter this world and he did so with a grand entrance.  29 hours of labor and finally a c-section.  I have to say it was disappointing to end up with a c-section.  I wanted a natural childbirth with no drugs.  I had a doula, a midwife, a loving and supportive husband and a nurse who was ready to help in any way possible.  However, we just couldn't make it work... I had a baby that was just too big for my body to deliver.  I guess it was a good thing that after such a stressful and emotional two days that I ended up with such a perfect little guy.  I have to say I was sad my husband didn't get to cut the umbilical cord, I didn't get to have my son placed on my chest, and I wasn't the first one to hold him.  I had to wait what seemed to be an eternity to finally hold my son, but when I did it was the most magical moment. 

I was nervous about nursing but when they placed my son on my chest and he began to nurse almost immediately I knew all was right in the world.  I didn't want them to take him away but I knew I would see him soon.  I was off to get situated in my postpartum room and he was off for a bath.  It wasn't long and we were back together laying in bed.  He was perfect and we were right on target with nursing.  Don't get me wrong we have had our problems with sore nipples, cracking and bleeding and two rounds of mastitis, but nursing is the best decision I have ever made.  With the right support from my mom and sister I was able to make it through the rough patches and get back on track.

Now here is where I have some problems with several things.  When I signed up for the emails and free samples I always marked breastfeeding.  But why then was I sent formula in the mail?  When I received coupons in the mail, why was I getting coupons for formula?  When I was sent home from the doctors office, why was I given formula in the welcome home bag?  When I went to my son's 2 day appointment why was the doctor telling me I could supplement with formula until my milk comes in?  Why was I being asked by so many people if I was still breastfeeding?  Why are people so shocked that I have never given my son a bottle?  Why am I being told that I should start rice cereal and solid foods at 4 months?

 I guess I feel so passionate about breastfeeding because I feel like so many people are bombarded with formula and not enough information about breastfeeding that I want to talk to anyone that will listen about breastfeeding.  Please understand that I am not against formula, we have it available for a very good reason.  Many mom's are unable to nurse for many reasons and some babies are fortunate enough to be adopted and require formula since breastfeeding isn't an option in that situation.  But what I don't understand is why there isn't more information out there about breastfeeding.  Why are mom's who breastfeed made to feel like they are doing something that should be hidden?  I feed my son everywhere.  When he is hungry I feed him.  I wear clothing that is nursing friendly which makes it possible for me to be very discreet.  But I have to say there should be no reason why any woman should be made to feel uncomfortable for breastfeeding her child in public.

I love the t-shirts you can find for babies that say "Stop Staring at my Lunch" or "If you feel uncomfortable, you eat your lunch under a blanket".  Or for mom's that say "I make Milk" or "It's not about my right to breastfeed, it's about my child's right to eat".  Anyways, I think that so many people are just uneducated about all the good that breast milk does for a baby and the mom.  I think more mom's would choose to breastfeed if they knew what kind of impact it has on their child and themselves. 

Whatever you choose for you and your baby I support you in that decision, but I hope that everyone takes the time to do a little of their own research before they decide what they are going to do

I Don't Sugarcoat, I Tell It How It Is

Does anyone ever feel like they are just being told what they want to hear, or that people are just being nice?  I've been told more than once that I am not that kind of person and the funny thing is I know it.  I don't sugarcoat anything, I tell it how it is.  I know being blunt can hurt someones feelings but sometimes you just need a friend who is going to tell you what you are doing is dumb or wrong or whatever it is.  We all need these friends and I just seem to be that person. 

The funny thing is I find myself as the friend who is often called to vent and tell me their problems.  Which don't get me wrong I don't mind, but I think because my friends call me and vent they also want someone to tell them if they are being unreasonable about whatever it is they are venting about.  I have one of these friends too.  She and I met in the Army and I always seemed to get us in trouble but she never stopped being my friend.  She would tell me how it was and that I needed to stop being so out spoken and when I didn't listen she would scold me and move on.  I knew I was wrong, but I just have a quick mouth.  I seem to speak before I think which can get a person in trouble.  However, most of the time I am right, but that doesn't always mean it's the best thing for that situation... especially in the military.  

I try to make sure that I am not going to hurt anyones feelings, but I feel that sugarcoating things only makes the situation worse.  Now that I am a new mom I feel that I have to tell it how it is more often with regards to my son.  I like to make sure people wash their hands when they are holding or touching him as he is in the stage of everything goes in his mouth.  I hope this doesn't make me one of those overprotective crazy moms, but I just want what's best for my son.  My number one job in life now is to see that my son is happy and safe and sometimes we have to tell it how it is even when it comes to our kids.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are You Still Breastfeeding?

Why do I keep getting this question, "Are you still breastfeeding?"  I have had many people ask me this question.  It started about 2 weeks after my son was born and I really didn't understand why they would be asking me this question.  Yes, the first few weeks are painful, yes I wondered to myself what was I doing wrong, when would the pain go away, but I never wanted to stop breastfeeding.  I have always wanted to be a mom and when I found out I had PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) I thought I was never going to have children.  However, with the help of some fertility drugs and a wonderful husband who helped me from losing my mind we were able to have a beautiful baby boy.  However, during my pregnancy my midwife informed me that some women with PCOS are unable to produce enough milk for the baby.  So I was mentally prepared for some difficulty but crossed my fingers that I wouldn't have any.  During the past three months I have had mastitis twice and that does make me second guess my choice, but only because of how painful the infection is.  I know which time and medicine the infection will go away and so will the pain.  I have been breastfeeding exclusively for 3 months and 7 days now and plan to continue. 

It breaks my heart when I hear of a woman who wanted to breastfeed was not able to, or wasn't given enough support.  However, I don't think that any woman should ever feel that they have failed if they were unable to make breastfeeding work for them and their baby.  In a perfect world we would all be able to have babies without any problems, we would all be able to breastfeed without any problems and we would all feel comfortable feeding in public.  But this isn't a perfect world and we should all do our part to support those around us in anyway we can. 

Yes, I am still breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding in Public

Ever since I started the Twitter thing I feel like the breastfeeding topic is all over the place.  Or maybe it's because I am a breastfeeding mom and feel very passionately about the subject.  I feel breastfeeding in general is not talked about enough.  Women should feel comfortable feeding their children wherever they are without the fear of someone saying something to them.  I feel fortunate enough to have grown up with a good role model.  A mom who breastfeed anywhere and it wasn't a big deal.  I feel the same way but find it surprising how many women out there want to go and hide what should be one of the most natural things in this world.  Women are made to have babies and they are made to be able to feed them.  I think that we should stand together and help all breastfeeding moms feel comfortable enough to feed their child wherever and whenever they need to.

I have to say I am not big on the capes, use of blankets, or other contraptions to hide your boob or the baby.  I can't see what I am doing or what the baby is doing.  So I have spent a good bit of time looking for nursing tank tops and shirts that have easy access without reveling a whole lot of my skin.  I am pleased to report that after nursing for 3 months now, people have to ask me if my son is still nursing or if he is asleep when I am nursing around friends or family.  If you have any questions about what I wear let me know.  We are a single income family so spending a lot of money on a nursing wardrobe was not in the budget.  So if you need some ideas for a budget friendly wardrobe while you are nursing, I would be happy to help. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shower Time

Showering used to be something I did to wake up in the morning and feel good before I started my day.  It wasn't something that I longed for or felt passionate about... it was just a part of the day to get cleaned up and move on with whatever else needed to be done.  Now that there is a baby in my life sometimes I plan my whole day around when I might get to take a shower.  Sometimes I can sneak one in during a short little nap, other times I set up the swing or exerciser for him to play in... but of course I still have to play peek-a-boo, sing, or do something so that he knows I am still there.  Which of course makes for a very cold and un-enjoyable shower.  Sometimes, I can't wait for Saturday morning, when I know my hubby will be home and I can take as long of a shower as I want.  No baby crying right outside of the shower who wants my attention.  Ahh, the little things that we look forward to after becoming a mom. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby Cooking Show

I love to cook and now that I have a baby, cooking is a much more challenging task.  It takes me twice as long to get everything done in the kitchen because I have to make sure Jack is in a safe place before I start anything and he is Happy.  That is the key to being able to do any cooking.  So, a few weeks ago, I started putting Jack is his little chair, putting him on the dinning room table and putting it in the middle of the kitchen.  Then my baby cooking show commences.  Since he is at eye level with me I am able to talk to him and show him what I am doing, he stays content for quite a while.  Majority of the time I am able to get dinner completed without too much fussing and a whole lot of smiles.  So thinking of Rachel Ray, or any of those other cooking show ladies and then think of me a mom, just trying to get dinner made, making silly faces and explaining the process of cooking to a 2 month old.  I'm sure it is quite funny to watch. 

Sleep or the Lack There Of

I don't think any of us new mom's really ever think that we will lose that much sleep while we are pregnant.  Yes, you hear the stories, you are told you will be uncomfortable, and sleep will become something of the past.  But do we really believe anyone telling us this until it actually happens?  No, I didn't.  Then comes the baby and sleep is something you start day dreaming about.  Who would have ever thought that such a little person could require so much of your undivided attention?  Feeding around the clock, diaper changes constantly, cleaning up spit from you, the baby and any where else it landed.  Then there is laundry, some how my two loads a week went to about 6 a week.  Wow, was that depressing.  I didn't like doing laundry before having a baby and I sure don't like it now that I have more to fold and put away.  I guess I could be like my sister.  I laughed a little when she said that when she washes her kids clothes they don't get folded, just thrown into the clean basket to be gone through when the kids needed clothes on.  However, I think I am too much of a control freak to do that.  I need things to be put away and organized.  Yes, I know that having a little boy is eventually going to destroy that way of thinking, but I can live in my fantasy world of clean and orderly until he becomes mobile and is into everything.

Anyways, back to the lack of sleep which is what I really meant to be talking about.  For the first 4 weeks of my son's life I thought I was a walking zombie.  Sleep was hard to come by since I am breastfeeding exclusively and that means no one else in the house can help with that part of care for the baby.  But I have to say that I am amazed and very thankful that we are almost to 3 months old and Jack is sleeping awesome hours at night.  Today he slept until 10:10am and so did I.  I have to say that he did get up to eat at midnight, 4am for a diaper change and feeding and again at 7am for diaper changing and feeding, but he has never gone back to sleep again for that long in the morning.  So for anyone out there that is day dreaming about sleep like I was... eventually things will get better.  Gotta love a Monday morning where you and your baby get to sleep until 10am.  It must be a sign for a good week.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Does Anyone Hear A Crying Baby?

So the past few weeks I thought I had been losing my mind.  I kept hearing Jack crying, but when I would go check on him... no crying.  Several times in one day this would happen to me and it was driving me crazy.  Then, not to long ago a good friend of mine said she heard babies crying that weren't really crying.  I thought to myself, "Awww, I am not crazy.  Or are we both going crazy and we just don't know it yet?"  Anyways, I thought this was so funny because again today it happened twice.  Maybe I am just worried I am not going to hear him crying and so I talk myself into believing there is a crying baby in the house.  I don't know, but I just thought that since it happens to two of us it must happen to others.  So if I write about it and just one other person feels better that they are not the only ones hearing a crying baby that isn't really there, they just might feel better about themselves. 

A few minutes to spare

Shhhh... Jack is sleeping.  I have a few minutes this morning to write and I am really starting to find the few minutes I get to do this very relaxing.  Anyways, I thought I would write about spare time this morning.  I have some of that, but I find myself sitting here at the computer wasting my time surfing the internet and reading blogs instead of doing chores like the dishes, laundry, vacuuming which really needs to be done and a number of other things.  But since my two very awesome friends have moved away I find I have a lot more time on my hands to be by myself or should I say with Jack by myself.

So I was wondering this morning what is it that I should start accomplishing as I get spare time.  Meaning when Jack takes a nap... What Should I Do?  Good question.  I guess I should start leaving out a pen and paper to make my list during the day and I just might get something accomplished besides brushing my teeth and changing diapers.  Well my spare time has run out.  Jack is crying got to go.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers v. Disposable Diapers

Once again it's diaper day, meaning time to wash my awesome Softbums cloth diapers.  So many people gave me such a hard time when I decided I was going to use cloth instead of disposable.  But I had done my research and knew that being a stay at home mom we were going to have to cut back on our expenses.  So for any of you that are hell bent on sticking with your disposable diapers and throwing away money every time you change your child go ahead and stick to your guns.  But if you think for one second that cloth diapering is harder, more expensive, or bad for your washing machine... think again. 

We have been cloth diapering Jack since he was a week and a half old.  We couldn't start right away because he came out a boy.  Meaning we had him circumcised like so many other little boys and couldn't use the cloth diapers until that healed up.  Anyways, during that week and a half we had so many, shall we say explosions, leaks, and yes a diaper rash.  We then went on our first family trip at 6 weeks old and had to use disposables again and we had a terrible time with them.  Leaks, explosions, a really bad diaper rash and we used over 90 diapers just for that week.  So needless to say we hate disposable diapers.  Even my husband LOVES using cloth diapers.  He doesn't love the few covers I have bought with snaps but overall he loves them.  We have only had one or two explosions and never had a leaking diaper.  Jack hasn't had a diaper rash since we stopped using the disposables and we are both happier because of it.

Now you might ask how expensive it is but in reality we are spending less because cloth is reusable.  My diaper stash was all gifted to us but costs about $375.  Now when you think about that, yes it's a lot up front, but over time you disposable families are spending a lot more.  As for washing them, once I got into the routine and know I need to throw them into the wash every other day and hang them to dry, it can't get any easier than that.  We never run out of diapers and have to run to the store at ten o'clock at night, we don't have crazy diaper rashes, and I know Jack is comfortable in cloth rather than the plastic/paper disposable diaper. 

So if you are still second guessing it all that's okay.  But if you think for one second you might want to try it, what's the harm.  Spend the $30 on a try me pack and see how you like them.

Bathroom Breaks

So it occurred to me yesterday that I hadn't gone pee for hours even though I needed to.  I realized that every time I tried there was something else that was taking priority.  Switching over the laundry, soothing a crying baby, answering the phone, eating and so on.  Then as I finally made it to the bathroom and sat down I started to laugh a little.  I knew I only had a few seconds before Jack started screaming because he couldn't see me so I better hurry.  Except that nothing would come out.  I didn't need to pee any more.  Grrr... I know I have to go I have been holding it forever.  So the next thought that came to mind was my good friend who used to ask me soon after I walked in the door if I would watch the kids for a minute while she went to the bathroom.  I always thought this was funny since I didn't have any children of my own at the time.  I of course always said yes, the kids went on with what they were doing and I supervised.  Now I understand.  Now that I am a mom I understand that getting to go to the bathroom is more of a privilege than a right.  And then when you finally get to go, most of the time there is going to be an audience.

My husband asked me one night to take Jack because he had to go pee and all I could think is "no way, take him with you.  That's what I have to do."  Don't get me wrong I love my son like there is no tomorrow, but sometimes I just need a few minutes to myself.  So I joked for a few minutes with him and finally took Jack.  But, it made me wonder how my husband would do by himself all day long with Jack.  Anyways, I'm sure every mommy and daddy has their funny stories about going potty or needing to go, but I just had to share mine.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bodily Functions

How many times in one day would you think you could be peed on, spit up on, pooped on and so forth?  Well, I think I am reaching a new record today.  By the time I get cleaned up from whatever has most recently soaked me, I get hit again.  Of course it almost always happens with a big smile coming from my little guy... not me.  But then what am I supposed to do, be upset with that huge grin smiling up at me?  No, just clean it off and move on with the day.  I am crossing my fingers that when my husband gets home I will get a moment to take a shower.  Jack seems to be a bit clingy which makes it hard to shower and say... get clean.  He is napping again which is nice, but this time it's in my lap and not in his bed.  So I sit here leaning over him, typing away wondering if I dare move.  Do I just sit and let him sleep or should I attempt to put him down and get the laundry and dinner started?  I find that this thought goes through my head many times during the day.  I guess that would be why some days I spend 90% of my day sitting and starring at his cute little face and try to think of what I used to do to fill my days.

I did accomplish two things today before 5pm.  I got all my washed cloth diapers put away... yes sometimes they hang on the drying rack in the middle of the living room for more than a day or two.  And I bought 10 marinated steaks for $30.00.  It was from some door to door sales men and I was supposed to buy a whole case, but I don't have the freezer space for that, let alone the money.  So, they offered a try-me price for one case (10 steaks) for $30.00 and I knew that was a great deal.  Speaking of deals it's Wednesday, I need to get going on the new grocery sales and get my coupon binder back in order.  Off to go set this little guy down and cross my fingers I can get a load of laundry started before he wakes up.

New to Everything

So I stumbled upon the whole Twitter thing because I wanted to win a new cloth diaper cover for my son.  There was going to be a Twitter Party... whatever that was and I wanted in.  Since I am a new mom and don't have time for learning anything new right now, I quickly took the few mintues I had and signed up for a Twitter account and followed the instructions to RSVP, yes I said RSVP to a Twitter party.  Kind of silly I thought as I proceeded to do it.  Then I did all the extra things to get more chances to win the diaper cover.  The next night, I logged in, tweeted and low and behold between putting the little one to bed and all the fussing I won!!  It's amazing what will get you excited when you stay at home all day with a newborn and try to wait patiently  for your better half to get home.  Okay, I'm the better half but I thought I would be nice.  The next thing I new I was finding people to follow on Twitter and waiting for new Twitter parties to be posted so I could win more stuff.

As the title reads "new to everything" I am recently new to being alone.  Alone in the terms of my two closest friends who lived next door and three doors down have moved far, far away.  Both within a month of each other.  So now here I sit reading tweets and blogs and playing with my little guy all day.  Oh and don't forget trying to get laundry, cloth diapers washed, cook dinner, feed the dog... need I go on.  So this thought occurred in my head that I have time for one more thing in my life, right?  Maybe this will be a good way to feel as though I am connected to the world as I embark on this new adventure of being a MOM.