Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two for the show

I haven't posted videos in a while so it's your lucky day, you get two :) Sorry in advance for the annoying mommy voice. It comes with the territory. 

This is the game we played for a good half hour. He grabbed grandma's shoes, waved bye-bye and 'went to work.' He really waved hard, like it was his job.  

Laughter is the best medicine. It makes any bad day a distant memory!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mommy party with Nutella!

Apparently, I am one of few that had never tried Nutella.

I can  tell you I have a new obsession.

I eat it on toast.

I ate it on waffles.

I ate it on bananas.

I even ate it on strawberries. That one had to be my favorite. Hands down.

Actually, I just ate one...covered in Nutella

Ok, I lied. I just ate it off a spoon

A baby spoon.

Where have I been and WHY haven't I tried this before????? 

So, then I got selected to host a Nutella's Mommy Party and I was so excited!  I found out that I was NOT the only one who had not tried Nutella! We all got to try Nutella and were introduced to some fabulous new recipes! I even got to hand out gift bags!

I read the other day about how many kids do not get a good breakfast each day and now that I am a mom, I understand how important it is. Nutella is a quick and easy way to encourage kids to eat whole grains, like whole wheat toast, English muffins, toaster waffles and bagels. My kid is NOT a fan of bread and actually will eat it if it has Nutella on it (who wouldn't?)

I have to say, I was never (gasp) a big chocolate person until AFTER I had Brady and I am hooked!

If you want a coupon to get hooked yourself or get your next Nutella fix, you can go here for a coupon!
Thanks Nutella!

17 months

Dear Brady,

Wow. Seventeen months? You can't certainly be almost 18 months old, can you?

You are certainly turning into a curious toddler these days. This is the look I get. Innocent and pure angelic. Oh, honey, you just really are so curious. Bubble bath and toilet paper in the bathroom floor, tasting kitty hair (decided that was yuck) and testing your limits!
We got to play outside many times and I keep saying, you would live out there if I would let you. It breaks my heart when we go 'bye-bye' and you cry because you thought we were going outside to play!  

 Some of your favorite things to do are playing with blocks. You stack them up and up and clap! You are so proud of your accomplishment, so very proud. You are getting good at stacking them too! I counted 8 or 9+!

You are still a big fan of books and bring the same ones to us. You back up, sit down in our laps and listen intently. Your favorites are Baby Einstein ABC, Count to Ten, Who Says Moo!, and a few others that all involve animals!!! 

You love to look at the window. Each time you hear the neighbors dog bark you say, 'oh no!"  You think it's funny to say, "ow' or 'yuck' You have this ongoing obsession with closing doors (with you behind them) and playing with anything with a lid (body wash, lotions, your bootie creams!) I have to keep them out of reach or you will play with them and rub them all over the place! 
You have had your fair share of boo-boo's this month but it's only because you are so active! You also know how to wind down as you love to sit on the couch with your milk and watch your 'show.' The biggest thing you have done lately is ask to go to bed. Mommy can hardly believe it but it is also the cutest and sweetest thing to watch. After you drink your milk, you run to your room and wait for me to put you into bed. I cover you up, say, "Good night, I love you and I can't wait to see you when you wake up!" You go right to sleep and it's amazing. I'm so proud of you! You are such a big boy! 
This month also brought your first fever! It only lasted a few hours and you acted like it didn't even bother you! Seeing you not feeling well makes mommy sad so I was glad you got better fast! 
We had a family trip to the zoo and you had so much fun! I can't wait to bring you back on a warmer day! 
You crack me up. You are such a ham. You can be so goofy and in the next turn be so sweet. You still love that cat and try to pet her, hug her and even pick her up. 
You have started picking up signs I taught you months ago. I haven't shown them to you in a few months and all of a sudden you signed, "milk please!" I about fell on the ground! You also sign more. It's pretty darn cute.  

 You have really started getting into pretend play. You melted my heart while you walked around our living room, 'talking' on your cell phone saying, 'Hi!" Then, the other day, I watched as you pushed your Little People school busing going, "Vroom!" It was the most amazing thing to watch you as you sat there and drove your bus but I soon realized that you are growing up into a little man. 

 Every time I see you smile, it makes the corners of my lips turn up. I can't help but smile and feel so full of life when  I am around you. I can't believe how big you are getting and all the new things you do each day.  Watching you learn is the most amazing thing and I know how proud you are but know I am even prouder of you. I look at you and I know I am so lucky to be your mom! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hello? Is this thing on?

Hi! I'm Amy! Not sure if you remember me since my posting has been pretty scarce lately because man has life been crazy!

It seems like when it rains it pours. Brady had that snotty cold last month and then he came down with his first fever this weekend which of course was the ONLY weekend that was entirely jam packed. Of course he decides to get sick this weekend!

We had a family wedding on Sunday that was literally put together in a few weeks (thanks to my free spirited cousin) and my aunt had asked me to pictures for them. I agreed to help out not knowing what I was getting myself into! I have no clue how you wedding photographers do it. I was exhausted. This was definitely a one time thing for me!

 I also have no clue how anyone who has children and works full-time manages to have a life. My house is a disaster, I'm wearing the last clean pair of decent clothes and I had to run to the store last night so that my child will have something other than peanut butter crackers and Annie's graham bunnies to eat.

Speaking of my child, man does he know how to throw a good tantrum. I think he's trying to perfect his skill at throwing himself down.

I do have to share this again! My niece watched him last Saturday while I hosted my first Thirty-One party (which was so much fun) and Blake had a bowling thing to do (have I mentioned I'm a bowling widow?) and she hasn't watched him since he was about 10 months old. She could not believe this kid. He did his little sign for milk and she handed it to him, ran into his room and stood by his bed with his arms up. She covered him up and he went right to sleep! He does this for me too and gosh dang it, we paid our dues and we earned this!!!!!! I'm so proud of him.

I was thinking about his sleeping and how much it really shows how much his reflux affected him. His sleep patterns have improved one million and ten percent. Even though they still get off when he is not feeling his best, which is normal and understandable, it really goes to show that he wasn't feeling good for all that time and that breaks my heart. I'm glad that chapter is over because I know other babies are still struggling.

 I have some big decisions to make and I cannot for the life of me what to decide what to do. It's one of those should do vs need to do vs what is best for everyone else kinda things. I'll elaborate more later but I don't have the energy right now!

It was almost 80 here the other day and today I woke up to sleet and snow with accumulation in the forecast for tomorrow!

My baby boy will be 17 months old tomorrow. That means next month he is going to be A YEAR AND A HALF????



I gotta run and grab a kleenex.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another winner!

It was a super busy weekend so I have to apologize for being a day late over here but I have the winner for the copy of the "Pretty Neat' book!

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Congrats, Sherry!

Friday, March 18, 2011

10 on a Friday

  1.  Things have been pretty much crazy lately. I took Brady to the doctor last week because he has this awful diaper rash again and had been pulling at his ear. Well, his ear was fine (just a little fluid in there) but he had eczema covered with that damn yeast diaper rash. We got two prescription cremes and I hope we are finally on our way to getting rid of this for good. It seems like he's had it for the past 8 months nonstop! 
  2. With a busy weekend ahead of us and the busy week we have had (and me and hubs both working late a few days this week) we decided to take today off and we'll be enjoying this beautiful weather at the ZOO! I'm pretty excited as we don't get to do family things like this often!
  3. I've got some big decisions to make pretty soon and between everything else going on in life, I kinda feel in dire need of a vacation. Like from reality. I'd like to hide in a bungalow with my little family and sip drinks with with strategically placed umbrellas. Who's in?
  4.  Toddler tantrums are no fun
  5. Cleaning up food that toddlers think is funny to throw is no fun.
  6. If you don't hear from me next week, I won the lottery and am sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tai's or some other drink with pretty garnishes. 
  7. Brady points to the potty and says, "poop.'' The kid has picked up on that but cannot seem to understand me when I tell him that the kitty's tale is NOT for pulling or that we do not throw our food on the floor. 
  8. On the same note, potty training is equivalent to my own personal nightmare. I most certainly do not look forward to that. 
  9.  My house is slowly becoming organized! It's a slow process and my basement looks like a garage sale threw up down there but that is a project we'll get to one day. You know you are a mom when you give up your dining room to turn it into a playroom. In the playrooms defense, the poor dining room was never used and is now home to Brady's favorite things. I'm hoping to have it finished somewhat before he's 10 but I'll post pic's when we get there. 
  10. I can't end with an odd number so I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

    Brady picked the winners of the Purex and CSN giveaways. Let me tell you, he wanted to have way more fun with it then I would let him. Boring mom!
    So, as you can see, trying to get a toddler to do something when you actually want him to, not an easy feat! The winner of the Purex Crystals is....Trisha! Congrats Trisha!!! 
    He cracks me up but as you can see, he picked a winner! The winner of the CSN giveaway is.....

    Natalie over at The Sweets Life! Congrats!
    p.s. Check out her blog. She makes some yummy things over there!

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Giveaway #3: Pretty Neat!

    It's no lie that I'm an organization junkie. I love organization but I'm so scattered, overwhelmed and my to do lists are taking over my house. I can't delegate to anyone because I'm such a control freak. Yep. I am admitting it loud and clear people. I'm a control freak and admitting it is the first step.

    It's one of my biggest issues as a working mom. I am slowly trying to learn to delegate more to others but I have a hard time letting go and letting others do it their way.  I remember shortly after we bought our house I asked Blake if he could fold the towels in an attempt to delegate a few of the gazillion things on my growing to-do list. I cringed at the sight of them in our linen closet and spent 20 minutes refolding them all. Then, along came Brady and I think I went from 'control freak' to lunatic. This was how it had to be done and I'm the only one who can do it right.  I remember at my most sleep deprived, crazed state, I finally had to surrender. I can't do it all.

    None of us can.

    Aside from my status as a control freak my biggest organizational issue is I shove everything into a pile. Everything goes into a pile and my piles turn into mass chaos. It drives Blake crazy and our priest had even mentioned it during our wedding ceremony which had turned into a running joke. In the end, I find myself overwhelmed with my imperefect organization and dream of my house looking like 'org porn' displayed across the internets and in every magazine.

     Which leads me to this book, 'Pretty Neat' by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch. They are the creators of buttoned up Organizational Products. I've recently become addicted to their website which is chock full of ideas, tips and these awesome free printables.

    The book itself has really changed the way I look at things. I'm no longer searching for my house to look like those magazines but a version that we can work with and that we can manage. What I liked best is that it breaks down each of my imperfect organizational issues and explores ways to change them without leaving you wanting to pull your hair out. Each chapter is full of tips, interviews and ideas from busy people, a lot of which are moms. Pretty Neat tackles the biggest issues in my life from learning to say that big N word (NO!), tackling your to-do lists, toy tsunamis, eliminating your own excuses and even mastering home-cooked meals. The book starts out a chapter called, "Establish A New Standard." and this chapter itself really spoke to me. We all have our own versions of perfection and put so much pressure on ourselves to to be that way when we are the only ones who find that it really matters.

    "The thing that is really hard, and amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to the work on becoming yourself." -Anna Quindlen

    I'm excited to share a copy with one of you!

    • Tell me your biggest organizational issue
    • Tell me a funny story about how you hide your organizational disasters! 
    • Go to the Buttoned Up site and tell me something you found there!
    You can get an entry for each one!

    ENTER by March 18th and I'll pick a winner on Saturday March 19th!

    You can pick up your own copy of Pretty Neat here!

     Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Pretty Neat in exchange for a review and I provided my own honest opinion.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Birthday Giveaway #2: My favorite smell

    If I had to pick one smell to live with the rest of my life, I'd pick the smell of fresh laundry. I'm pretty much that person at the store that smells each of the fabric softeners. I want my clothes to smell good, really good after they come out of the dryer! With a busy toddler running around, his clothes end up looking like he rolled around in his food and his milk addiction leaves him and his clothes smelling like old milk. I know, gross. It's better than spit-up, for sure!

    Then came along, Purex Complete Crystals and I fell head over heels in love in the most normal way possible. After I started using them, I got so many people telling me that I smelled good. Sadly, I had to switch fabric softeners to get that compliment!

    I love them for two reasons. You  throw them in and your done. Yep, just dump them in with the detergent and your clothes come out smelling fantastic. The other thing? Well, they do not contain oil like other softeners (I had no idea!) which can do some funky things to your clothes and leave an oily residue, yuck! Ok, so I lied. There are more things that I love. They are 92% natural, leave your clothes smelling good for a long time and dissolves in the laundry preventing any stains! Did I mention how good they smell??

    It comes in 3 yummy scents: Fresh Spring Waters TM, Lavender Blossom TM, and Tropical Splash. TM

    Who wants to try it? Tell me what scent you want to try, what your favorite thing about laundry is (or least favorite) or why you want to try Purex Crystals and you'll be entered to win your very own bottle!

    If you want to earn another entry, tell me something you learned from the video!

    Can't wait? You can click here to get a coupon to try it yourself!  Watch the video from Dana, Purex's research scientist and mom to learn more!

    Enter by Midnight on March 13th and I'll pick a winner on the 14th!

    Disclosure: I am a Purex Insider, which means that I received complimentary products for review in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have provided!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Birthday Giveaway #1: CSN!

    My first giveaway of the week!

    Some lucky lady (or gentleman?) is going to win a $45 gift code to CSN! I've talked about them before and I've had nothing but good things to say. My last order (and wait till you see what we got!) was ordered and shipped the same week! They literally have everything from rugs, wooden swing sets and a vanity for your sink!  I'd love to get Brady one of those fabulous wooden swing sets when he gets older!

    With springtime in the air, these swing sets are making me scratching to get some outside toys for my little man! The best part is that many of their items offer free shipping! You cannot beat that!

    Now, who wants to win?

    I do, I do. Oh, wait....

    Post a comment on what you would order from one of their 200 stores and you're entered!

    Giveaway ends a week from today on March 14th, so enter today!

    A numbered post

    1. Can I just tell you how much my kid rocks? We never had it easy with the whole sleep thing and I think I can say that we deserve this just as much as any other parents who were 'lucky' enough to enjoy lots of sleepless nights. My child is beginning to love his sleep. There have been countless times where he has 'requested' to go to bed.

    His request entails signing milk, with his milk in one hand. I ask him, "Do you want to go night night?' He replies with a sad, 'Uh, huh!" I lay him down in bed and he goes to sleep. That is it, my friends. I can say that all the sleepless nights, all the worrying about my baby never sleeping has paid off.

    I never thought in a million years, I would be saying this. Ever. So, pigs do fly, ladies. They do fly.

    2. Speaking of sleeping, my birthday was yesterday and I got the best gift. He slept in until 8. Yep. Again, never thought I'd say this especially since we've had a lot of super early mornings and I swore I saw pigs flying around my house. He did get up briefly at 5 am but he went back to sleep. Awesomeness.

    3. Speaking of birthday's, I decided to use this week as a 'giveaway' week. I have several lined up and I hope to have one from myself by the end of the week too! I"m excited about all of them because I have tried them all and love each of them! I hope to have one up by the end of today! Insert happy dance :)

    4. A year ago, I had the most awful birthday. It was only as week after we lost a dear friend and having a birthday near that date is something that I will remember every year. While I never really care to celebrate much for my birthday, well, it was nothing short of perfect. Woke up late and spent the day with my family of three. Brady greeted me in bed with a big smile on his face and gave me about 100 hugs. We spent the rest of the day with family and I went to bed feeling very blessed. It's funny how life changes and makes you appreciate the smallest gifts in life. I am blessed for that reason alone.

    5. I also have some wonderful news to share. My friend who was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer this summer, while she didn't have an easy go, is proud to say she is officially cancer free. After a hard round of chemo and a double mastectomy, she beat it!  Her road was not easy but any means and she had a hard time with it all, which is why I kept a lot out of here but it's definitely a reminder that we need to take time for ourselves and do self-exams. It might just save your life.

    Wow, that was a post full of good things and that alone makes me happy!

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    There's that damn G word again!


    It creeps up when you least expect it. I've talked about it before and no matter who are you and what you do on a daily basis, mommy guilt can get you.

    I've talked about how it's hard for me to balance my life with motherhood: work, sleep, socialization, Brady, the house, my husband. I feel like I am constantly juggling. I have been at the working mom thing for over a year now and it's gotten easier now that we are sleeping at night but there is that constant twinge in the back of my mind. It gets especially loud and apparent this time of year. The weather is beautiful and work gets insane. I should be out a the park playing with my son. I should be taking him on play dates and teaching him all the good things in life. Instead, I am working on a budget and calming a mom who feels lost. Most of the time, the parts about my job make me a better mom. I see the struggles parents go through and no matter our child's abilities, we all struggle the same. It is the good days in my job that I find peace with it and I think working with other parents helps.

    Then, all hell breaks loose. The past two weeks have been nothing short of hell for me, just some work stress and too many days that I had to work late. Those days are hard. I get home, see the things that I usually do with him are already done. I get a few kisses in before bed and I see him for a few moments the next morning before starting my day all over.

    As I am always honest here, I think most moms who work, can tell you this is the part we struggle with most. At the end of the day, we are tired and we still need our own time to wind down and get ready for the craziness the next day has in store but we only have so much time with our babies and at the end of it all, they come first. There are days when I come home and want nothing more to just veg out on the couch but my kid needs to eat and get bathed. That is where the guilt comes in. It's very much routine and sometimes i feel like our time is not 'quality.' Our time is precious and when I"m not fully in it, it makes my heart hurt.

    I'm not sure where this post is going except to tell other mom's that sometimes we do have to come first. It's incredibly hard to do but at the same time, we have to be our best to give them the best. It's something I know most moms struggle with and I find a hard time making peace with it. (I'm reading a book right now  and have another lined up and I"ll share more about them later but they talk a lot about this.)

    A friend of mine made a point the other day that stuck with me. 'My mom worked full time when I was growing up and we had a good relationship and I was understanding of it. I keep reminding myself of that.'

    She's right. My mom worked most of my life and I'm ok. I just have to remind myself of that when that damn G word strikes again. I need a cheat sheet to get me through motherhood. I think this might be another mantra I add to my list.

    He won't rememember how my working impacted his life, he will remember how I impacted his life and that is so much more important.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Sweet 16

    Only 3 days late ;)

    Dear Brady,
    Oh, my man! Can you believe it's been 4 months since your birthday? Me either! Your personality keeps coming out, lil man. You are your own soul and rock to your own beat!
    Well, your love of balls keeps on growing! We took you to the Bowling Alley for the first time to watch Daddy bowl and you were in HEAVEN! You ran around screaming, "ball, ball!" It made our night to watch your face light up! It was a tiny moment that we loved and will treasure dearly. 

     Another thing you love? Hats. You own a ton already and truly love to wear them around the house, shopping or on walks. I can't help but smile as I see your sweet curls poking out but it also reminds me that you are getting bigger every day.
    You got your First Valentine from your momma of course! :)

    I think one of the highlights of this month was a break in the Winter Blues. We have had some beautiful spring weather and we soaked up every minute. One day, it was absolutely gorgeous out but the park was still covered in snow/ice but that didn't stop you!  You loved running around pointing at the trees and seeing all the doggies!
     This is what true happiness is all about and this picture captures it all, little man. The way your face lights up as we run around outside truly makes my heart grow. I think you would live outside if I let you and each time we have to come inside, your little heart looks like it is breaking!
     You are so sweet. Blowing kisses, leaning in for a kiss on the cheek and giving love to your stuffed animals. Your new word is 'Baby' and everything is baby. I ask you what your name is and you say, 'baby.' We watch videos on facebook of baby friends and you point to them and say, 'baby!'

    You call Grandma, 'ma ma'. The cat is pretty much your best friend but she doesn't know it yet. You chase her around yelling, 'Kitty' You can point to your eyes, nose, teeth, tongue, ears, belly, and feet.  You love to turn the tv on and off in our bedroom (you've been doing this for a while and we have to make sure you don't sneak away to watch lots of tv!)

    You do the cutest sign for milk and say, 'dink' The biggest thing you have done is ask to go to bed. You had your first big cold, full of a yucky nose and sad cough. Mommy asked you if you wanted to go night night and you nodded your head and said, 'uh huh!' That is huge, buddy! Mommy is so proud! You are also getting better at matching shapes!

    Another big thing? Playing independently for very, very long periods of time. Your favorite toys are your eggs, Laugh and Learn House, balls, Little People Farm and bus and blocks. You are getting so good at stacking them and crack up when they fall! Books are still high on the list and you favorite ones have animals in them, mostly the little einstein's animal book. I point to the animals and you either say their names or call them baby. Your newest animal sound is an owl. It's probably cute as can be!

     You are such a ham, little man. You make everyone around you smile and chuckle. Whether it's the way you say, "oh no!" with the puzzled look on your face, complete with a leg slap, or how you love to throw 'trash' away even if it's not meant to be such.

    Speaking of, I had to dig your Daddy's keys out of the trash can today.  I find all kinds of toys and silly things in odd places. You sure know how to surprise me and keep me on my toes!

     You got your first haircut and let me tell you, it was hard to see you look so grown up! Mommy would look at you and I couldn't believe how my baby grew up so fast. I can happily say, the curls came back! I know it will always grow back but it's hard to know that your baby is not so much anymore.  

    You are getting close to being able to pull up your own pants and try hard! You know what things are used for and it blows my mind how quick you pick up on things. You are such a big helper and want to help me do everything! You most love Mommy's phone and I think you want it for your own!

      You love to sit in this chair your cousin got you for your birthday. Daddy calls it your Man chair and you would love to sit in it all day and watch cartoon if we would let you. You get sucked it and it's those moments that you remind me of your daddy! :) 
    Baby, I love you! I can't believe the person you are becoming and each day you surprise me with something new. I think that is one of the things I look forward to most, seeing what you'll do next!

    As always, I love you to pieces.