Monday, July 26, 2010

10 month old Superbaby

Being the mom of a 10 month old superbaby is tough, and amazing. So, I just want to let you know some updated facts about my sweet boy:

* He weighs 23 lbs, 2 oz and is 30 inches long

* He is wearing some 12 months and some 18 month clothes

* He is now a very experienced crawler and stander

* He is eating mostly table food, but still occasionally eats baby food

* He now only takes 1 nap a day usually at 12:30pm

* He says "Mama" very clearly and looks for me when I leave the room (melt my heart)

* He definetly knows what "no" means and gives me a very pouty look when I say it to him.

* His bedtime is around 8:30 and he usually sleeps until 8:00-9:00am

I can't believe he is 10 months old already.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Frustrated. Commenter.

Lately, I have been frustrated. I read Mckmama's blog, and I like it. I don't agree with a majority of the political views she has shared on her blog. However, I think her writing is elegant and poignant. She is also a great photographer, and I feel like I learn a lot from her photography lessons.

As much as I enjoy reading what she has to say, I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the Mckhaters. In case you don't read her blog I will explain...Mckhaters go to her blog daily and comment ridiculously hateful things that insult Mckmama, her children, and her readers. Often a "comment war" insues between readers and Mckhaters. Mckmama tries to break it up, and is always asking people who share different opinions "not say unkind words while expressing their opinion", but they don't listen.

I could maybe let it slide if it she posted a highly controversial political post. I know that political debates get heated on both sides, so while I still don't like name calling and ugliness, I guess it is expected when you are talking about such a sensitive topic. However, the Mckhaters spread their negativity on EVERY post. Whether, Mckmama posts a picture of her children, or a post about her recent hospital stay. There is always something mean lurking.

I like to comment on blogs that I enjoy, and if you are here visiting my blog because I commented on yours, you know that. However, this negativity is really bringing me down. I don't want to stop reading her blog, but I am thinking about not commenting anymore. If I don't comment on her blog, then I don't get bombarded with all the mean comments. It saddens me that I this is what it has come to for me, but I don't like getting depressed after I read a blog, and lately that is what happens every time I read Mckmama's post comments. What happened to "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take a Stand

Move over baby toys, We have a stander.

This little 9 month old wonder has been refining his skill over the past couple of weeks, and he now walks holding his daddy's hands. I have yet to get a picture of this, but I am working on it.

I can't believe how quickly time flies when you are having fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Superyard XT by North State review

We recently purchased this jail so that our mobile little guy doesn't have free reign of our downstairs area. It is very inexpensive compared to the other play yards we looked at. On it is only $52.98 with free shipping. The others we priced were at least $100 more than that.

Our decision to buy a large play yard really stemmed from our son's hatred of his playpen. It worked when he was smaller, but since he has started to stand and cruise around he just screams in the playpen. We have a large brick fireplace and a very open floor plan so gates just don't work for us.

Overall, I really think play yard is a great product. It is very spacious and my 9 month old has plenty of room to move around. There is also an extension kit you can buy for $20 at I would think that the extension kit would only be necessary if you have an older child, or msc (many small children).

There are a couple of issues with this play yard. It is not very sturdy on hard wood or laminate. When it is on theses surfaces it moves VERY easily. The day we set it up, my son just pushed it around everywhere, because of this we had to put down mats. These mats keep it in the same place, so I don't worry about my kid falling every time he holds onto it while he standing.

Another big issue I had with this product is the latch to open and close it. It comes in the mail assembled, so I was under the impression that it was going to be simple to set up. WRONG! I pulled it out of the box and arranged it into a hexagon then I attempted to latch the two ends together. This was incredibly difficult to do, and the instructions were not helpful at all. I spent 90 minutes and bruised the palms of my hands and the thing still would not close. I was ready to take it back when my husband came home and after a little coaxing, and using his manly strength. He got the thing to close. So, now we aren't going to attempt to open it in order to go in and out, because it is so difficult to close. It is a bit of a bummer that we have to step over this tall fence to gain access to our kid, but we decided not to return it.

Overall, I would give this product a 6/10. I would say that the 2 negatives are outweighed by the cost.

** I purchased this item with my own money, and I was not compensated in anyway for providing this review**

Monday, July 19, 2010

Father's Day

Yes, I know it has been a while since Father's day, but remember I was practicing procrastination! So, as late as it is, I thought I would share my husband's first Father's day with you.We decided to go the the Virginia Air and Space Center. We had wanted to do something outdoors, but the insane heat wave that hit Virginia was torture, to say the least, so we opted for something inside.

There were a lot of kid friendly exhibits

and I am not going to admit that we enjoyed them as much as the children running around that day did.

Here is my favorite photo of the day. The piece de resistance :

Friday, July 16, 2010

Frugal Friday

We are very budget conscious. We do splurge every once in a while, but we are committed to putting money away for retirement/emergency/just in case.

There are many things we do in order to save money here or there. I plan to talk about one way to save money every Friday until either, I run out of ways to save, or you guys get bored of my suggestions.


There are a lot of ways to save money by using coupons, but today I am going to talk about couponing via websites. I try never to buy something that I do not have a coupon for. Sometimes that is impossible no matter where I look. If I have to buy formula, then I have to, regardless of what coupons I have. One thing I do when I don't have a coupon for something is go to the web.

Many product websites offer coupons just for registering with their sites. A couple I have recently registered with are, Philadelphia cream cheese (, and I am sure there are so many more, but these are just off the top of my head. The good thing about registering with these websites is that periodically they send you more coupons through your email and that = extra money in your pocket.

If I have no luck via the products website, I usually go to google and search for the coupon I am hoping is out there, sometimes I get lucky and find what I need. Sometimes the coupons I find are for online purchases, and that is okay, if it saves me money and offers free shipping.

If I google and I still can't find a coupon, my last online option is Facebook. Many products have facebook pages, and often if you like a product you will gain access to a printable coupon. The most recent coupons I have gotten from Facebook are Welch's grape juice, and diet coke.

One last online tip. I have found this to be especially important for parents or caretakers of children. Often there are online groups for demographics of people that offer coupons and samples of products that demographic might use. I have registered for a ton of these (some for moms, some for homemakers, some for military families), and I have received a lot of sample items in the mail. I have received everything from diapers to air fresheners for free just by registering with these demographic groups.

Good Luck and Happy Saving!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Secret Admission: Closet Case

I am in desperate need of closet organization. My bedroom closets ( I have his and hers) are an unorganized mess. I have very good intentions of turning them into efficient, clutter free, spacious closets like the immaculate one in the photo. Oh, how I would love to open my closet doors and see this:

Right now, I have 1 shelf at the top of each closet. They are good sized, but not walk - in closets. I would really love to be able to have much more shelving, without losing space for my hang-up clothes. I am also in much need of organization on the floor of the closets. I have plastic storage bins and shoes everywhere.

Another big factor in my huge closet remodel is budget. I really need to do both closets for under $100. I realize that might seem impossible, but I am determined to find a way!! I have looked at a few stores, and found some closet organization kits, but I don't really know what I need, and I don't want to buy something that won't give me the results I want.

So, I am at a stand still. Which brings me to you. Do you have any closet remodel ideas? Have you used any closet organization kits? Do you have any cost effective organization tips?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Let's see, this week I did NOT save all my coupon clipping for Sunday at 10:00pm, and I did NOT clip, arrange and list them in bed at midnight next to my poor husband who had to work bright and early the next morning. I do NOT procrastinate that bad, and I would NEVER do something as insensitive as possibly keeping my husband awake too late.

I also did NOT go to bed Saturday night at...8:30pm. I was NOT overjoyed at the prospect of going to bed so early. I lead an exciting life, filled with social engagements, and you will NEVER find me asleep before it is officially "dark" outside.

I did NOT overreact when someone that I consider a minor celebrity in the blogging world followed me on twitter, and I did NOT go against my better judgement and send her a cheesy DM. I am NOT completely embarrassed now at all of the gushing I did.

That was my week, What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Secret admission

I watch Wife Swap. Every afternoon my remote control happens to find it's way to Lifetime for the 3 hour long run of this horrendous show. I don't know why. It is like an accident, I don't want to see it, but I just can't turn away. This is one of those things that I don't want to admit to, and I find very embarrassing.

At every stage of this show (intro, home rules, rule change, confrontation) I find something appalling about each family. It makes me angry that crazy people like this are having multitudes of children, and there is not going to be any shortage of them as long as this show is looking for the crazies to put on TV. I will accept my share of the responsibility. I watch this show, therefore I am part of the problem. I am intrigued by insane lifestyles of the ultra conservative, the uber liberal, the off the wall anarchists, and the overly strict bible thumpers.

The best part of the show is the end. The final five minutes when we get to see how each family has benefited by opening their mind to someone elses way of life. This is the only part of the show that is redeeming. It is amazing to think that by walking in someone elses shoes for a just a short time how much we can learn about our own flaws, and how they are impacting our family. I love the thought that so much change is possible within ourselves when we are willing to open up to other ideas.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Blog,

I am so sorry that I have neglected you for so long. It has not been that I have not had you on my mind. I have so many posts that I am "this close" to writing. I just haven't found the moment to write them, and I have been practicing my procrastination. The good news is I am getting very good at it, the bad news is that you unfortunately suffered. I was very busy last week, and I have the pictures to prove it. I am in the middle of editing a ton of photos to post. If you can just wait a little bit longer, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Giveaway rant

As a avid blog reader, I am also an avid blog giveaway entrant. I am grateful for these giveaways, as they give me a chance to win something I would not have access to, or could not afford otherwise. HOWEVER, I am so frustrated with the process lately.

Some blogs out there don't make it easy to enter their giveaways. It is a long process of follows on 8 different social networks, comments, and tweets. Then, when the giveaway is over.....nothing. No Winner, for weeks, or even months no winner is listed. There is typically only a 48 hour window after the giveaway ends to claim the prize, and blog owners do not email the winner. So, that means checking every day to see if there is a winner posted, only to find nothing.

I know emergencies happen, and I am not talking about posting a giveaway, then a family emergency comes up and they can't access their blog for weeks or even months. I am referring to people who post a giveaway, then post something else every day or so, and give full attention to their blog. Worse even are blog owners that will announce a winner for a giveaway that ended a week ago that only had 30 entrants, but leave the giveaway that ended 2 months ago open becuase it had 120 entrants.

It seems to me that this is being done to drive blog traffic. The more hits they have on their blog the more their advertisers pay and if they continuosly have people coming back to check on the giveaway they entered more money is being made. I am all for imcome producing blogs. Hey, if you can do it, that's great. However, this method of driving blog traffic may be having an adverse effect, because If I enter a giveaway on a blog, and this waiting game happens ( I am not talking 3 days or even a week, I am talking 30 days or more) then that is it. I am done with that blog, I will not read it, or enter a giveaway there again. Let your posts drive me to your blog, but don't force me to go just to see if day 87 after the giveaway has ended as the day you finally took the 60 seconds it takes to go to and pick a winner.

I know that it has to take some nerve to complain about something that I may/or may not win for free, but it is readers like me who put money in the pockets of the these blog owners, so I feel like this isn't neccessarily unfounded.

I do really appreciate all of the blog giveaways, and I enter a lot of them. For the most part my experience has been great. Most blogs out there offer great items, are easy to enter, and quick to end.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Orange you glad I didn't say Banana

Someone in my house is learning to feed themselves using the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

mums the word

I don't know what to say when someone experiences a death in the family. I don't know if that is socially acceptable to admit, but hey, honesty right.

I have a friend, and for her privacy, I won't share details here, but she lost a member of her family. He was a relatively young, and it was a very sad circumstance. I want so desperately to tell her that I am sorry, and I am her for her. However, I am not, technically we live about 5 states away from each other, so I can not be a shoulder to cry on. Also, everyone is basically regurgitating the same speech: "If you need anything I'm here, I'm so sorry"

It seems so redundant to be one more sorry in the sea of sorrys and it just doesn't seem sincere to repeat the same thing to her.

So, I say nothing. I hurt for her hurt and I think of her often, but I haven't said anything to her, because I have nothing to say. I have no words that will bring this person back to her family, I have no advice to lessen her pain. I can't tell her that time heals all wounds, because I know from experience that it doesn't. I can't send her flowers, or bereavement help books. I watched my mom receive countless bouquets and books on how to deal with loss after my brother died, and they didn't mean anything to her. I don't believe she opened one book or smelled one flower.

I wish that I could translate to her my condolences in a way that doesn't seem cheapened by cliches, and would reflect my heartfelt sympathy, but I have not found the words.

So, until then, I will think of her as she and her family pick up the pieces, and I will pray that they find strength and peace.

**If you are reading this, and you know who you are. I am sorry I don't have the words for you, yet, but I love you and miss you.**

Monday, June 21, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I did NOT slack off on my blog. I did NOT suddenly realize that I have nothing to write about and get extremely frustrated. I NEVER over-react to something as simple as writers-block.

I did NOT make Beanie Weenies for dinner a couple of times this week. I NEVER cook childish recipes with little to no nutritional value for dinner. I ALWAYS make sure the meals I prepare contain all 5 food groups.

I did NOT venture out to the mall this week just to get exercise. I NEVER put on my walking shoes and just walk around the mall for an hour or so. I know that sunlight is important for vitamin D, so I am NEVER so disgusted by the heat that I refuse to be outside for any longer that it necessary.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tresemme FreshStart Dry Shampoo

As someone who admittedly does not get to wash her hair everyday, I was very curious to try this product. Who wouldn't want to look like they had just washed their hair without all of the hassle.

I have very oily hair and if I go about 14 hours without washing it you will definitely be able to notice. I will look like I just sprayed my hair with PAM. Unfortunately, I do not get to wash my hair every 14 hours, sometimes I feel blessed if I just get to wash my "Important" parts every day. So, I thought this would be a great product for me...if it really works. I was skeptical.

The directions were easy enough:
  • spray on hair in short bursts
  • allow a few seconds to dry
  • brush and style as usual
I began spraying on my hair, giving a little extra attention to the extra oily parts. The first thing I noticed was the odor. It is a bit overwhelming. It isn't bad, it is actually kind of sweet, but it is too much and took my breath away. I had to stop spraying and leave the bathroom so I could breath.

When I was finished I noticed this white powdery film on my hair. I brushed it out as much as I could, but it was still mildly visible (I have blond hair so I didn't really care).

There was a big difference, my hair looked much better. About 80% of the oil was gone, and my hair did seem easier to style. This spray affected my hair much like hair spray does. It felt brittle and hard, not soft like it usually does.

Overall, I think it is a product I will use again. It did fulfill it's purpose and my hair looked like it had been washed. The positives out-weighed the negatives in my opinion. However, I believe that someone with darker hair is really going to have a problem with the white film this shampoo left behind. If anyone, who has dark hair and used this product successfully I would like to ask them how they got the white film off of their hair without washing it (with "wet" shampoo).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Read more:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I was recently given a clean bill of health in regards to this nasty little bug. I am overjoyed, and so thankful that I found a Dr. willing to listen to my concerns and treat me. If you, or anyone you know is going through this horrific diagnosis and treatment process, it can be cured! Don't give up.

Original Post :

That was the first thing I said when I learned about Helicobactor Pylori, or H. Pylori, as it is commonly referred to. According to the Mayo clinic it is a a "bacterium known by the same name that infects the stomach and the first part of the small intestine" ( )
I was having routine tests to prepare for an upcoming surgery when I got the call: "You have a bacteria, and we don't normally treat it unless you have symptoms, but you don't, so we aren't going to do anything unless you start presenting symptoms."

"How did I get this?" I demanded, but they didn't know. Some say it comes from contaminated food or water, but no one knows for sure. I was a bit taken aback. I got off the phone and went on a fact finding mission about this disgusting little bug.

I scoured the internet and found very valuable information. I found out that the blood test I had was not definitive; it meant that I either have an active infection or I have had this infection in the past and developed an antibody for this that is present in my blood stream. I asked my primary doctor for the more definitive testing, and she said she did not know about any further testing. I then made an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.

I did more research and read that "It is estimated that 40-50 percent of people in developed countries and more than 90 percent in developing countries have this bacteria." ( The kicker is that only 20% of people who have this bacteria will ever show symptoms or develop a peptic ulcer. More importantly, "In 1994, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified H. pylori as a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent." ( I read that H. Pylori has been known to cause gastric cancer, and it is suspected to also cause Pancreatic cancer, and MALT lymphoma.

At my appointment with the Gastroenterologist I expressed my desire to have more definitive testing to see if I have an active infection. Tests were ordered that were unpleasant, at best. Then I waited. I finally got a call that my test was in fact positive. There was live bacteria swimming around my gut. I asked about treatment, but I was told they normally do not treat this bacteria if there are no symptoms.


I could hardly believe my ears. I asked to speak to the doctor directly and waited for him to call me back. When he finally called I asked him to be treated, and he repeated the same spiel to me. I asked him if he was aware about the studies that this bacteria causes cancer. He told me that he was aware, but that was only a factor in people that have had the disease for 10 years or more. I asked him, if he didn't treat me how was I suppose to get rid of the bacteria so I didn't end up with it for 10 years, and then get stomach cancer. He then agreed to give me the antibiotics.

The antibiotics were awful. I had to take 1500 mg of clarithromycin and 1500 mg of Amoxicillin along with 60 mg of lansoprazole. Folks, that is a lot of antibiotics. The side effects were not fun either, my least favorite was the horrible taste. Nothing got rid of it and it made me very sick to my stomach.

Things were looking up as I finished my last couple days of the 14 day treatment, when I found some more disturbing news. "Up to 20 percent of patients with Helicobacter pylori infection are not cured after completing their first course of treatment" ( Again, I was upset. I never imagined that this medication would not kill the little bastards. After I finished the meds I requested a second test to determine if the bacteria had been eradicated. The doctor told me that he would not order a second test just for "my peace of mind." It was time for me to find a new doctor.

I found another Gastroenterologist and gave him my whole long story. He immediately ordered another test to determine if I was rid of the little buggers. This test was not unpleasant at all; I had to drink a small amount of liquid and then breath into a bag.

My results came in a few days later and my doctor was surprised. He said that I had the "highest positive reading he has ever seen in his practice." I then asked him what the next step was. He said that we could continue to just blindly treat with stronger antibiotics, or he could go in and take a biopsy of my stomach and run a culture on it. He told me that this would determine exactly what strand of the bacteria I had and what it was sensitive to so I could take the proper combination of antibiotics this time. I agreed to do the second option. (Which I feel should have been the first option I was given, so I didn't develop un-needed immunities to such widely prescribed antibiotics like Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin.)

I had this procedure a couple of weeks ago, and it went well. I was peacefully sleeping thanks to Propofal (that is the Michael Jackson killer, for those interested, but it was administered by an anesthesiologist so I wasn't worried).

I awaited *patiently* for my test results, when I got a call from the P.A. at my Dr's office. My biopsy tested positivity for H. Pylori, but the culture did not grow any bacteria. I asked why this happened. She told me that, most likely, the live bacteria died while in transport to the laboratory. So, I came away from that procedure with NO new information. With no other option, my Dr. prescribed me a new set of medication that may or may not kill the bacteria.

I am currently taking 80 mg of Nexium, 2080 mg of bismuth subsalicylate, 1000 mg of metronidazole, and 2000 mg of tetracycline daily. This new medication regimen requires to take medication 4 times a day for 14 days, and unfortunately the side effect of these medications is dizziness, and nausea. I remain optomistic that this will be my final treatment for this frustrating illness.

My purpose in writing this post is not to complain about my battle with this little bug, but really to spread awareness of this infection. Everyone has heard of HPV (the cancer causing virus), but noone has heard of this cancer causing infection that effects far more people world wide. A vast majority of whom don't even know they are infected. If this post can inform 1 person, who requests to be tested and treated, then it was worth it.

I will post updates as I continue struggling with this bacteria.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week, I did NOT proceed to eat several sugar free popsicles, because they were sugar free and I wanted to have something in my mouth. I know that just because something is sugar free, that doesn't mean that it is automatically good for me. I ALWAYS eat in moderation and never have a scarf-fest.

I did NOT put my son in his play pen to take a nap because his crib mattress needed to be lowered. I do NOT decide that some days are "lazy" and then refuse to do work. Nope, NOT me.

I did NOT have a meltdown while trying to get a new tire put on my car at Wal-Mart. I am ALWAYS professional and NEVER let the stress of having a flat tire, then a flat spare tire affect me. I did NOT leave the store utterly embarrassed and vowed never to return.

Wow, it was hard reliving that last one.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beach Bum

We have been having an abundance of "firsts" in our house lately.For our little man's first Memorial day...
We took him on his first trip to the beach.

He felt sand for the first time, and dipped his feet in ocean.

The water was cold, so he cuddled his daddy on the beach,

and watched a seagull.

and played in the sand some more

We had a great time.

I never knew how great a Memorial Day could be until the first one I got to spend as a mommy.