Thursday, November 25, 2010

An abundance of Gratitute

This year I find myself with an abundance of gratitude, more than I ever have. I can attest much of that to the tiniest blessing, our son, but there is so much more.  In a span of what I call the best and worst year of my life, sometimes I felt like we were on a crazy roller coaster ride.

Sometimes we felt like we would never get off.  It was scary and unsettling but we got off and saw things we never noticed before. We count our blessings more often and look at life in a different light.

Tiny toes, Big dimply smiles, bear hugs and sly toddler grins.

The pitter patter of feet against the hardwood floors.

Sweet babbles at the crack of dawn whispering into the baby monitor

Sounds of laughter and a tiny voice that says, 'ma-ma' that make me weak in the knees.

The sight of a head bobbing dancing toddler

The anticipation of walking through the door and being greeted with a big toothy smile.

The chuckles and smiles that this silly soul brings us everyday.

The look in his eyes of the uttermost trust and pure unconditional love.

Happiness. Joy. Sheer excitement.

Unconditional love

Pure contentment

Being surrounded by friends and family throughout the year.

Leaning on each other during the hard times and celebrating the happy moments.

Watching our most loved ones develop bonds and relationships with our son.

A roof over our head and food in our bellies.

Healthy bodies and sounds minds. Some of us might have to take extra precautions or medications to keep disease at bay but it allows those people to live life with us.

We might not like a lot of things about where we are in life but there is always possibility of change.




As the holidays draw near, my heart is happy but I can't help but hurt for those we don't get to spend it with them with. Matt's family will sit down at thanksgiving without him. My grandma will not get to take home leftovers she loved so much....

In my gratitude, I see peace. I find prayer and we embrace each other.

We celebrate memories.

We create new traditions.

In those traditions, we carry little pieces of their past with us.

Today, I look at my son and see the true definition of gratitude. In every little piece of him, we are so blessed. Even in our imperfections and even in the sleeplessness, our blessings are so evident every single day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chasing a toddler in a dr's office

This dr.'s appointment really showed me how much Brady had morphed into a toddler. The kid was everywhere and into whatever he could get his hands on. Filling out paperwork while your child is running away=not an easy feat.

Testing was so easy. I could NOT believe it. He didn't flinch, he didn't cry. Nothing. Shocked. Luckily for us, he was not allergic to what they tested (dog, cat, dust mites, milk, eggs, egg whites, wheat, or peanuts!)


He probably has asthma. Yep. Asthma.

I have very mild asthma that flares up when I get sick and bothers me in cold weather. Hopefully, his will be the same. My mom, my brother and several relatives have/had it and he could always outgrow it. It's a small hurdle we'll face, we'll manage and to be honest, I'm not too worried about it. Now, I might change my mind if/when he gets sick. He's never really been sick other than a very teeny tiny cold last spring so it's hard for us to know what we'll see when he is sick. Now, I can tell you all about teething and tummy pain but a sick baby is something I've been lucky not to experience.

You are probably wondering why we took him in the first place and there were actually several different reasons which sent this mommy's intuition into overdrive. Persistent coughing (not bad but still enough to warrant a visit) that didn't sound right, an ongoing yeast diaper rash that will not freaking go away, unexplained rashes and eczema, along with a few poop issues we have had lately. We still have no clue about the diaper rash. He had not had a single diaper rash until he was 9 or 10 months old and now he basically has one everyday. Something wasn't adding up and something was telling me that this isn't right. We havent' changed anything in regards to diapers, laundry, household cleaners, etc. The only thing different is food. Then last week, he was eating his veggies and a few new things were on his high chair. His face turned bright red and splotchy. Once I cleaned him up and removed him from the high chair, it went away (either sugar snap peas, or sesame seeds on the bite of a sandwich I gave him.)

We have to keep a close eye on symptoms and when he gets sick, he will be on a nebulizer.

So, in a short nutshell that is why we decided on an allergist. With a family history of asthma and pretty severe seasonal allergies, I knew this was something we most likely would deal with. I read an article once that said if both parents have allergies, their children are 70-80% likely to get them as well. He didn't think that the pnuemothorax at birth had any affect on him since he wasn't on a chest tube. (whew)

In regards to smoke, of course NO child should be around it. We have a few issues with this (not in our house if you know what I mean.) Smoking in another room is the SAME as blowing the smoke right into their face. I wish more people would understand that. I have huge issues with smoke and I know how much it affects me.

We also talked about peanut allergies too because I had an irrational fear of giving him nuts.  Research shows that sporadically giving your child peanut butter/peanut products could cause them to develop nut allergies so he recommends to give it everyday rather than today and 2 weeks from now. That is something I had NO idea about and we started peanut butter last night! I have been so leery of it for some reason.

Has anyone else had an issue with a diaper rash like this? We have treated it with everything under the sun and it will go away but it seems to come right back as soon as he poops! Again, we haven't changed anything besides introducing more foods and went almost 10 months without one.

Sigh. Babies are a big mystery. Oops. Sorry, Brady. Big boys are such a mystery. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A few updates

The past week has been pure chaos. In a span of 12 hours our cat decided to pee on our bed, our washer broke, and this was all at 8 pm. The next night, I took Brady and the cat to the vet. Turns out she had a UTI and as I pulled out of the parking lot, I realized I left her medicine on the roof of the car (me and the damn roof!) Luckily, I spotted it in the turn lane and was able to pull my car into it and swoop it up. :)

Thank you all for your feedback about grad school. I have had a lot of overwhelming positive support and not only does that mean a lot, it makes me so much more eager to get things moving! I am taking the GRE on December 8th (yikes!) so it's almost real! My application has taken a slight detour (waiting for my last reference to be confirmed!) but I'm hoping by this week it will be sent!

I have a bigger post coming up explaining more about this but Brady's going to an allergist this afternoon and I'm absolutely dreading it. I'm nervous actually not about the results but just testing my baby. He's had several odd issues lately and I hope we get some answers!

I can't believe that he'll be 13 months old this week. Already. Didn't we just celebrate his birthday?

He repeats a lot of what I say. I said something about his butt (one of his many issues) to Blake and I turn around to hear him saying 'bu, bu!" Uh oh! Guess I have to watch what I say now... I just can't believe last Thanksgiving he was a mere newborn. Sigh.

I have to admit this out here so I can get my butt back in gear but I have fallen off the wagon. Blake and I had been exercising and eating super healthy and the last few weeks have been bad. His party started it and things just went downhill from there. The holidays are not helping. Neither do half the food blogs that are taunting me in google reader.

I am so excited about the holidays this year. Brady gets to eat his FIRST turkey day meal! He loves to eat just as much as I do so I'm sure he'll enjoy it! He is already enthralled by the Christmas trees and stuff at Target and I"m so excited to see his reaction to our tree! Little things are so much more fun now that he is in our lives. It brings back the magic that Christmas had when I was a child.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shutterfly holiday cards!

I am a sucker for picture cards. Last year, I sent them out as Christmas cards and birth announcements and they turned out great. Shutterfly has some really fun and adorable ones especially their new Christmas and holiday cards! I am really having a hard time choosing!

I have used Shutterfly many times before and have always been pleased with the prints we have ordered. I get emails from them and they always have specials which is right up my alley!  I just noticed they have canvas too!

I'm hoping to get some family pictures very soon (so I can order and send out my cards!) but someone (ahem...) decided to shave their head and well....I'll stop there. :) Now, just to get a picture or two of the little guy and we will be set to go. Well, first I have to decide which card to use!

So, help me narrow it down!
I love the bright fun colors!
Sweet and adorable
One of my favorites right now. I love the layout and the colors.
I love the orange and blue.
I think the wording makes me smile! :) Seriously, too darn cute!

Simple and modern.
Love the bright colors! I seriously is loving orange today!

Which one is your favorite?
Do you send out photo cards? Include the kids or the entire family?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overdue WINNERS!

First off, I am sorry it took so long to post the first winner. This week=chaos. Post to come :)

The winner of the Wachai Ferry and Macaroni Grill Date night is......

Drum roll please:

True Random Number Generator



Comment #7: MrsTron!
Kix Prize Pack Giveaway winner is..............
True Random Number Generator


Comment #6: Sara. Kela enjoy!

Congrats, ladies!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A HUGE leap of faith

I wanted to wait longer to announce this because it will totally suck if it doesn't work out but I'm starting to find myself freaking out and talking myself out of it on many occasions.

So, I come to you guys.

I'm applying to graduate school.

It's a two year program and when I graduate I'll be an Occupational Therapist.

Ok, not such a big deal huh?

It's a two year FULL TIME program.

That means my job? Bye-bye...and bye-bye income.

That is where the freak out begins. We'll loose an income and unless I can get some honking big scholorships, I will gain more student loan debt. Plus, I currently carry Brady on my health insurance.

I'm absolutely terrified and excited at the same time. This has been something I've wanted to do for a long time but always took the easy way out when it came to getting my undergraduate degree and when pursuing my masters, I decided teaching wasn't for me.

I haven't been accepted yet either which is the scariest part.  I have to take the GRE which is another scary thing all in itself.

I have to take two prerequisite classes (physiology and upper level science course) and hope to take those next semester which would mean my last days of employment are drawing near.

If I get in and when I'd graduate, my income will at least double. Even in the lowest paying position and my opportunities are so much more open.  My hours can be worked around us and our children. I can say good-bye to my job now that I can honestly say I am miserable at. Goodbye hour long drive to work. Goodbye to our money too.

The whole thing has me freaked out. I'm good at school  and joked I could be a professional student but I've never done it with a child. Never had some much at stake. Loosing the income is what scares me most. I know a lot of people do it but I already carry a ton of student loan debt and some debt we acquired while Blake was unemployed a few years ago.

I wonder how this will work. How can we afford child care and who will watch Brady when I'm at school? What if I don't get in and what if I can't get enough financial aid?  What will we do when we decide to have another baby? Can we afford another baby? What if and what if some more.

I can't live through the what if's. Sometimes it's the big life changing decisions like this that make all the difference in ones life. Sometimes we need those changes. Sometimes we need to move on. Sometimes you have to make a leap of faith. That is what I'm doing. I pray that it will all work out in the end.

I know in my heart though this is the right decision. Not only will it bring in more income eventually but I will be doing something I love and my heart will be in it. My heart was in my current job when I started but there is so many other things that caused that flame to go out. I am a social worker and a burnt out one at that.

Like I said, I was trying super hard to hold this in and make an announcement if I got in but the worrier in me needed to get out some of my fears. My blog is where I can openly express myself and by writing it all out and getting out all my fears has helped. I hope that I can put them to rest. I think I will do that when I get the acceptance letter.

So, until then, I wait and pray that we'll be ok.  My application will be sent in and complete by the end of the week. The first part of this journey will begin and hopefully my life can go the route it was supposed to.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kix Giveaway!

By the way, when Brady gets up from his nap, he'll pick a winner for the last giveaway! 

Growing up, Kix was one of MY favorite cereals (it's been around for 70 years!) Now, Brady eats it. Of course he loves it, it's in the shape of his favorite thing, a ball! He eats it and calls them 'Balls!' I love Kix because they are sweet like those other kids cereals but without the sugar!

I am pretty excited about this...Kix and MyblogSpark gave me a Kix Prize pack to giveaway! Comment on this post to win a Kix “Kid-Tested, Mother-Approved” prize pack including a 24-piece counting-themed floor puzzle, fun learn-to-count flashcards, a sippy cup, a portable snack container and a box each of Original Kix and Honey Kix cereals.

The “Kid-Tested Mother-Approved®”cereal is made with whole grain corn and is an excellent source of iron. It also is a good source of calcium, fiber, and Vitamins C and D. Original Kix has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

To find out more, visit the recently launched Kix website,, featuring background on the history of Kix, nutritional content, and special offers.

Comment by November 19th by Midnight and we'll pick a winner on the 20th!

Brady's lucky he's cute because I'd prefer not to share my Kix with him! :)

The prize pack and information was provided from Kix through MyBlogSpark. Opinions are all my own and I was not compensated for this, I just like to give stuff away to people I like.

Friday, November 12, 2010

12 months: A whole year!

(I wrote this right before his birthday but mommy fail and never published it!)

Dear Brady;

I cannot believe it! Today is your FIRST birthday!

I thought about what I would say to you. I thought what I would write to you. For once, mommy was lost for words. (I know that is hard to believe!) It's just that this is such a special day and I can't find the words that describes how much we love you and how much your presence brings so much joy into our lives. From the moment that we learned you were coming to the moment you were born, we loved you. It wasn't until we met you that we fell head over heels with you and each day we find more reasons to love you.

Your laugh, your dimply smile, the way that you smack you lips before you fall asleep, the silly and serious expressions you make, your self-determination, your sweet soul.
The other day, I was working on something on the floor. You were playing near me as you always do. You came right up to me from behind and laid your head on my shoulder and gave me the biggest bear hug. That was a moment I will not soon forget. You are like that, thoughtful and kind. Sweet and generous. Everything you find has to be shared!

You are such a social butterfly. You love being around others and watching them. You still love shopping with mom for that reason! It is one of the things that we hear most from strangers. How your happiness just shines and I feel so blessed and so proud!

 Your vocabulary has blossomed this month! Your most used words are ma-ma, dada, ba-ba (bottle/sippy cup), ball, cat, and have said, bubba (bubble.) You walk around the house saying, 'dada, ma-ma.' You try to repeat most anything we say and you use your hands to talk. You've started pointing with your finger rather than your whole hand!

You also point to your nose! Sometimes that finger goes UP your nose but it's still pretty cute to me!
You favorite toy right now is a ball! Sometimes you'll throw it but most of the time you just walk around with it in your arms. A sweet sight to see! You still love books but seem more interested in what is going on inside them and those pages are so much fun to turn! You study everything-pages on books, my hair, faces.

Recently, you started to make this sniffle noise and scrunch up your face! I realized you got that from me! You are so observant and pick up on everything!

You had your first visit to pick apples and pumpkins! Your eyes light up at the sight of a pumpkin!

For your birthday, mommy took your to the Magic House! The light shined bright in your eyes that day.
You had so much fun. That is the thing about you buddy, you find joy in most anything. You have this ray of light inside of you and it is almost always burring bright. You find joy in everyday life and we have learned to
do the same!  

 Being outside is one of your favorite things. Just sitting in the grass or playing in the leaves brings you a sense of excitement and you are content just sitting there.
You don't  mind getting messy! Dirt, acorns, grass, love it all!
You got your first big boo boo. A nice black eye! :(

The day that I will never forget was your first birthday party. The look of pure joy, excitement and exhilaration was in your eyes that day and our eyes were full of love, honor and pride.

I write these letters for you, Brady. Time goes so fast that I want to remember each moment. I hope that one day you'll look back on each one and feel the love we have for you.

Happy First Birthday, Brady. This has been the most amazing year of our lives.  Thank you for being the beautiful soul that you are. We love you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A different kind of request

Today, I was going through Google Reader when I  ran across a post from Veronica. She lost her husband on Tuesday.  I've read her blog for a while and you could always see the love she had for him.  They have two kids and are expecting their third. Please send some prayers her way.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cake smashing sucess!

It's a long video but I had to share. I have watched this over and over. He makes me laugh and smile so many times. He loved every second of it....he even pulled some silly moves towards the end!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brady's BIG bash!

I think his party was one of my favorite days ever. He had the biggest smile on his face all day and even going on one nap, he was full of joy. I think he felt the love and we did too. It was a special day we will not soon forget.

Now, onto pictures!

Um, so I hear there's cake?
Found this at Borders!
 The adorable birthday boy!

 I had to use this in our decor somewhere because my child thinks they are the greatest things. He runs into the dining room (they are on our table) and goes, "ssssss" He thinks they are snakes and giggles.
 Smash cake before!

Cake: After. He LOVED it, can you tell?
 Suess mobile I found at Borders for $3!

 Happy Birthday!
 This was my wall of ages, from 0-12 months. It is amazing how much he's changed.

 How many? Can you guess?
 Our guestbook table. Everyone signed the book, "Happy Birthday to you!" The sign above it read:

Wait, stop and see!
Please will you write something special to me!

On the front, on the back or between the pages.
It will be something I treasure for ages!

Overall, it was a sucess in so many ways. I look back and I'm just elated. There is nothing better than watching your child experience so many things for the first time and seeing his face light up. This was a day I'll cherish. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Calm before the storm

My house is quiet right now and I'm actually sitting down for probably the first time all week! Brady man's party is in a few days and I have so many family members coming over, I have no clue where to put them all! So, needless to say, we've been a bit busy working on getting things ready. We both have very decently sized families so I think it was a bit much to have it in our tiny house. Next year, we'll find somewhere else and we'll get to actually invite his friends. Plus, I won't have to worry about fitting a ton of people in my tiny house!

In that, we have a new fireplace! Pictures to come...but we it's pretty awesome. I even made a banner that gets to hang across it just for the occasion. Things are coming together and the procrastinator in me did really well not waiting till the last minute. ::patting myself on the back:: Though, I still have a few projects that need to be finished! ::telling myself to get off the damn computer!::

I'll have a big post full of pictures and hopefully a wonderfully messy cake smash video!

I just can't believe my baby is 1 and we did it! We have an amazing, smart, sweet little man who we haven't scared for life {yet!}

I need to post his 12 month post still too. He's doing so many new things and it's amazing that he's this little person who understands EVERYTHING! I really have to watch myself.

You know how some people go, 'ugh' with a lovely grunt when they get mad or annoyed? I do that way too much and guess who else does it now? Yep. Along with throwing his arms down.

He's been wearing his crabby pants lately so I'm hoping he can get those off before this weekend!

This time last year, I was making remarks that I have lived to regret! 'Oh, he's such a great sleeper!' I think I put my foot in my mouth on that one! He must have heard that naive remark and after that 2nd week decided, ha, I'll show you mommy!

{in denial}  My baby really is one. A whole year old!

::a big fat sigh::

Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill Date Night

With a energetic toddler running around, we find it harder to get out than it used to be. We have 'date nights in' a lot and it always includes yummy food, drinks (wine for me) and a good movie! Date nights out are not as easy as they used! We tried both the Creamy Basil and Orange chicken and it was pretty tasty! The Orange chicken was my favorite!
So lucky you my wonderful readers, Wanchai Ferry, Macroni Gril and MyBlogSpark provided a fun giveaway so that you can have a night night in! I know a lot of you are mom's so it's always great to have a date night in! (stay in and go all out!®)

For more information and dinner tips, visit Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill. And be sure to follow Macaroni Grill on Twitter and "Like" the Facebook page to keep up with all of the latest news on your Macaroni Grill favorites!

Everyone gets something: Get your coupon here off two packages of Wanchai Ferry and/or Macaroni Grill Dinner Kits! Try all the varieties: Cashew Chicken, Spicy Garlic Chicken, Orange Chicken, and Kung Pao Chicken. Or bring the romance of Italian cuisine to your kitchen with Macaroni Grill favorites such as Chicken Piccata and Angel Hair Pasta, Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine, Garlic & Herb Chicken Penne, and Chicken Marsala with Linguine.

Win It: One Lucky Reader Will Win a Date Night prize pack that includes one Wanchai Ferry dry dinner kit, one Macaroni Grill dry dinner kit, and a $25 Visa gift card that you can use to create a date night in!

Just tell me what you'd do on your date night in or why you could use a date night in!

Enter by November 10th at midnight! Brady man will pick a winner on the 11th!

The prize pack and information was provided from Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill through MyBlogSpark. Opinions are all my own and I was not compensated for this, I just like to give stuff away to people I like.