March 2013Back Home Again: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

We had a very eventful Easter. We went to the early morning Easter service and I loved it. It's the traditional church service, which I prefer anyway, but since we usually go to the later, contemporary service, I hardly ever get to experience it. Today, the full church orchestra and choir performed and we got to sit with our friends, the Land family. It was packed so it was interesting to squeeze 8 people into half of a church pew! Alan thinks the organ is a very unpleasant sound, but it gives me chills. One of the pieces that was played today was in a minor key and made me teary eyed! (Yes, I am a music nerd :-) )

After the service we came home to finish getting ready for our luncheon. We had my in-laws and my sister-in-law's mom and grandma. The food went over really well and the kids all made out like bandits (you'd think it was Christmas!). When I was a kid, Easter was like another Christmas and it definitely was today too. Sad of me to say, but I was really excited that the kids got mostly clothes for summer. Who doesn't love getting free kids' clothes :-) We also had an egg hunt in our backyard for Ewan and Jay. I'm so excited we're able to do something like that since we finally have a house!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Playtex Secrets


I'm very picky when it comes to selecting a bra. I'm, you can say,  well endowed, and I need a lot of support, which usually means I wind up with something that my grandmother would wear and it's uncomfortable to boot. Most of my bras dig into my shoulders and wind up sagging by the end of the day. When I received a BuzzAgent offer to try a Playtex Secrets Balconette Underwire bra, I was skeptical. It's available in cup sizes B through DDD and is designed to fit and flatter your shape. However, because I'm so big, this usually isn't the case for me.

But, when I first put on my new bra, I was shocked! Not only did it provide the support I need, but it was comfortable AND made me look smaller. I couldn't believe it. However, I needed to put it to the test for an entire day. Guess what? I still wasn't sagging at the end of the day! I am so excited about this bra and will definitely be purchasing another in the future!

Wearing my regular bra
Wearing my Playtex Secrets bra
 Playtex Secrets are available at Kohl's. The first five readers to email me will receive a $5 off coupon to try their own :-)_

Missing PA

I don't know what it is, but lately I've really been missing PA. It's not like I have some super attachment to the place, I'm from Indiana! But, I've been thinking about it a lot lately and what we would be up to now if we still lived there.
 It's not like we had a lot of friends out there like we do here (although I will admit that I feel a little left out lately since I'm not able to stay home with my kids). I hated my job. It was expensive as heck and we were 10 hours away from our families (although once we moved two of my cousins moved within 2 hours of where we used to live, figures).

Maybe it's because I miss being so close to large cities and our little trips that we used to take.
The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania in the Endless Mountains
Or maybe it's because I miss being able to go into Center City to Reading Terminal Market. Or just to walk around in Old City amongst all of the history that is there. We never went to Fort Mifflin, someplace I really wanted to go. And the zoo, that was on the list too.

Or, as my husband just said, we knew PA as free people, without our children. So maybe that's it. I think I'm missing the sense of adventure we had while we were out there.
Or, I just really need a vacation :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Cara Box

For the March Cara Box, the theme was things that start with the first letter of your name, so mine was "H." I was paired with Kayla, who sent me a box and Dara, to whom I sent a box. I've had past partners who were great and some who were not so great, but let me just say that this is the first time that I feel I've made lasting friendships from this exchange and I am so excited! These ladies are so awesome, you really need to check them out!

Now, onto my box :-) I was afraid Kayla would have a hard time with the letter "H," but she did good.

I received a handpainted "h" mug, hot tamales candy, hand soap, hair ties and an herb garden starter kit.While I'm not really a fan of the candy, I let Ewan try it and he loves it. I'm most excited about the herb garden and mug. I've been spending every weekend it's been decent out cleaning out our flowerbeds that we let get out of control last summer so I can have my garden this summer and with this crazy spring winter weather we've been having, it's nice to curl up on the couch with my new mug and some hot chocolate.

Thanks again Kayla!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Can't Believe I Missed It!

With all the craziness that's been going on in my house over the last few days with Alan being out of town, yes I can actually. But, Miss Cecily turned five months old yesterday!
 I said this all the time with Ewan, but where has the time gone? Alan likes to tell me this all the time, but in less than a month she'll be closer to a year than being a newborn. I love to watch my baby girl grow, but it's bittersweet since she will most likely be our last child, at least for several years. 

What is she up to? Well, she still has only rolled over a few times. She gets almost all the way and then is just content to stay there and suck her thumb. I haven't found anything that will give her enough incentive to roll over all the way. She is so her daddy's daughter, just laid back as can be :-) She's constantly smiling and sometimes we can get her laughing good. We call her Baby Dino because she's always sounding like a pterodactyl when she's smiling. Ewan was a pretty happy kid at this age, but she's always been this way and I love it! She's also sitting up in the bumbo for longer and longer periods of time and at this rate, I think she will be sitting up fairly soon, maybe even sooner than rolling over! And, double yay, she's gone back to her awesome sleeping habits, most nights only waking up once or maybe twice :-)

Love you Baby Girl!

What I've Been Wondering Lately

I apologize for the large number of giveaways lately. I committed myself to several and they all began around the same time. While I love giveaways, I don't want my blog to only be about them. I think I went a little overboard. So, back to what I want to write about!

Here are some things I've been wondering lately:

Whatever Happened to Craig David? 
  

Seriously. As many of you know, I listen to BBC Radio 1 online all the time and Craig David was on today, which got me thinking. Whatever happened to him? I used to listen to his music all the time.

Why doesn't everyone receive the same Groupon at the same time?

I know several people here that use Groupon and we almost never get the same Groupons at the same time. It drives me crazy! I want the Pita Pit one now that I've figured out how to get another one dangit!

Anyone know if there's a botanical garden within an hour or so of Southwest Indiana?


I've been posting several pictures from Longwood Gardens lately, and I've come to realize how much I miss that place. We used to go all the time and had a garden pass when we lived in PA. I love flowers and gardens and there's nothing of the sort here that I know of. Sure, we have Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, but sadly that is not the same. The tropical plants in Amazonia do not count in my opinion. I know that the Missouri Botanical Garden is in St. Louis, but that is three hours away. I miss my gardens!
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Three Bittles 1000 Giveaway

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My Three Bittles hit 1,000 followers a bit ago. I want to thank you all so much, SO much! And a special thanks to these lovely ladies for helping me celebrate! $100 Target gift card. $75 Amazon gift card. $50 Forever 21 gift card. $25 Starbucks gift card. $25 Paypal cash. These lovely ladies. Bam! Need I say more?!
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The Dark Side of Motherhood, Part 3

Post Partum Depression Can Sneak Up on You, No Matter What...and is More Common That You Would Thnk

This post probably sounds angry. The truth is that two years and a successful VBAC later, I'm still angry. I won't apologize for that. This isn't something I talk a lot about in real life, much less on here, but I feel that it is something that should be talked about, so here goes.

You come home from the hospital with your cute little bundle of joy and reality sets in. You're sleep deprived, stressed because you have no idea what you're doing and your hormones are crazy so you're crying/yelling/whatever all the time. However, this all goes away within a week or two and you get into a routine with your little one and things get so much easier...or so they should.
I thought this was the case with me after Ewan was born. But, around the time I had my gallbladder removed and we moved to Evansville a week later, I started reacting to triggers. I'm not going to get into what all was happening, but it was bad. Really bad. It took me awhile to realize what was happening, but I felt like I belonged in the loony bin. Unfortunately, I didn't get help for months, even though I knew I needed it. Admitting that I had a problem and that I couldn't fix it myself and needing help was and is a really hard thing for me to accept and do.

Around Ewan's first birthday I started feeling normal again. But, I found out I was pregnant almost exactly a month later...fast forward about 4 months to right after we bought our house when I started reacting to triggers again. I started seeing a therapist, who helped me realize that I was suffering from prenatal depression (or my ppd just never went away) and that everything stemmed from Ewan's birth. His birth story can be found here, but let's just say that it was the exact opposite of everything I wanted and thought I was so educated to get. I wound up with a c-section and it was the hospital's policy to take the baby to the nursery with dad while mom stayed in recovery and they would be re-united in a postpartum room, not to mention having my baby ripped from me instead of the natural birth I wanted. (Oh yeah, did I mention that the hospital was a teaching hospital and the student who stapled me did it backwards so that they had to be dug out of my skin when they were taken out?) Alan wasn't given the option to cut the cord and all I saw of Ewan was a brief glimpse as a nurse took him to be cleaned off and then was able to touch him very briefly before he was whisked away. Well, I was separated from him for 3 hours because my blood pressure skyrocketed after the surgery. When we were finally reunited, I couldn't get him to latch and I just lost it. To be honest, it took me months to bond with him and while I love him desperately, I still don't have the connection with him that I do with Cecily. Believe me, I feel like a horrible person and mother for saying that, but it's the truth.
But, let's fast forward to 8 weeks postpartum after Cecily. I had no issues whatsoever after she was born and I thought I was in the clear, especially since I have come to realize that this has been triggered because of the trauma of Ewan's birth. Nope. It just sneaks up on you and bam. Guess what. I've started reacting to triggers again, just the same as I did after Ewan was born. This time, I knew the signs and I realized right away what was happening and I thought I was dealing with it. Nope. Not so much.

I have since become obsessed with reading c-section stories and rehashing Ewan's birth and my pregnancy over and over again. My first mistake was not running screaming in the other direction when my ob practice had me sign a c-section consent DURING my pregnancy. Yes, absolutely ludicrous. Yet, I thought I was so educated and that it wasn't going to happen to me, so it didn't matter. I also should've switched hospitals once I found out how much Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland, PA sucked. Their policies are horrendous and I hope that anyone reading this from the Philadelphia area takes this to heart and goes somewhere else. Thirdly, I should've had a doula. I didn't think we needed one, but we did. Definitely did. I needed someone there who could advocate for me when I wasn't in the right state of mind to do so myself. Yes, my mom and husband were there, but neither of them knew what needed to be done either.

To this day, it makes me incredibly angry to hear "at least he came out healthy, that's all that matters" because no it's not. This is usually from women who never have been through it. It makes me so angry because they have no idea the emotional wreck my son's birth made me. They have no clue. You can't unless you've been through it. And what's made it even worse for me is that I thought since I had Cecily vaginally, I would magically be better. Here are a few articles on delayed post partum depression , emotional recovery from a cesarean and comforting a woman traumatized by a cesarean. There are things in here that fit me to a "T." These are excellent reads and I highly recommend them.

I know this turned into a c-section sucks post, but that's at the root of my post-partum depression so I wanted to get it out there.








Coach Giveaway!!!

Spring is in the air and so are the cutest Coach bags EVER! I wanted to thank you all for being such great friends by teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers and giving y'all the chance to win one! 

Here are some great ones for Spring:





A new Coach handbag up to $275... all YOURS!

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Samantha//Kelly//Kalyn//Kaitlyn//Neely
Becca//Holly//Gayle//Libby//Ashley
Beth//Jen//Kenzie//Mallory//Sophia
Charity//Jovana//Kristine//Mandi//Tif
Chrissy/Laura//Kristyn//Melissa//Ricci
None of the entries are mandatory, but please take a minute to get to know these ladies. They have been such a big part of my bloggy life and I know you'll love them too!
All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below and cross your fingers! Giveaway will run from today, March 25th until Friday, March 29th. 
Winner will get to choose their choice of bag up to $275 dollars.
 Open to US residents only. 
Winning entry will be verified so please, play nice :)
 Good luck! Xoxo!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Social: Spring!


1. What is your favorite thing about Spring? Seeing everything come alive and turn green again after winter.

2. Favorite kind of flowers to grow or receive? Tulips and Mums

3. What is your favorite nail polish color? I hardly ever wear nail polish anymore but I really like dark reds and purples

4. What is your favorite out door activity? Taking walks at the lake house, hiking

5. Do you have any fun Spring plans? not really but we're planning a trip to Mackinac Island this summer!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday's Letters



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Dear One Direction: I haven't liked a boy band since, oh NKOTB. But I will admit that your music is catchy!

Dear Spring: You are officially here, so please act like it!

Dear Yard: Please clean yourself. I'm so not looking forward to cleaning out all the flowerbeds over the next few weeks.

Dear Stupid Semi Truck: Thank you oh so very much for kicking up a rock and cracking Alan's windshield. Because, you know, we just have tons of money lying around for things like this!

Dear Late 90's Teen Movies: I still love watching you, even though you came out almost 15 years ago!
Dear Ewan: You continue to amaze me. I love you!

Dear Cecily: I love your smiles, they always brighten my day!

Dear Husband: I love you and will miss you terribly while you're gone next week!



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Couponing

I've been couponing long before Extreme Couponing came out and ruined it for the rest of us, since I was in grad school close to 10 years ago. While I don't get $800 worth of groceries for $10, I do usually get almost everything I buy with a coupon for at least 50% off. However, I also buy things that don't have coupons to fuel my baby clothes shopping addiction so it may look like I didn't really save that much, which in fact I was able to buy those extra things because I did save by couponing.

I mainly coupon at two stores, Target and CVS, and sometimes my local grocery if I can get a decent deal. I just feel that it's much easier to concentrate on a few stores rather than a whole bunch and wind up wasting gas driving all over the place to get that good deal. I also only stockpile toiletries, detergent and diapers. I personally think having 25 boxes of cereal is a form of hoarding and I definitely don't need any more of that in my life than there already is! My favorite site I use is www.couponmom.com because she has put almost all of the various coupon sites I use in one place, plus she has already calculated the deals for each weekly ad, as well as the next week's. In essence, she has already done the work for me! Some other sites I like are stretchingabuckblog.com and totallytarget.com. But, there are plenty of couponing sites out there - a quick search on Google will bring them up. I have a list of other coupon sites on my sidebar under Money Savers. I also utilize Facebook and individual product websites for coupons as well. I don't really use a lot of coupons from the newspaper because the ones we get here aren't the greatest. However, every time I'm out of town on a Sunday, I make sure to pick up a paper where I'm at (or steal borrow from friends/relatives that don't use them). A lot of people keep their coupons in a binder that they take with them to the store, but I keep mine in a coupon accordion file I found in the dollar spot at Target. I have it organized into frozen, cold, dry goods, pets, household, toiletries and baby. I do my research before I go, make a list of what I need and mark which coupons I need on said list and only bring those coupons. Then I'm not tempted to buy things that I don't necessarily need at that time. Additionally, I almost always have one or both of my kids with me and there's no way they will be entertained that long!

At CVS, I try to only buy things that give me extra bucks, which I can use on future purchases for an even better deal. You get 2% of your purchases back in eb every quarter as well. I also take advantage of the coupon machine found near the registers and store coupon emails that I then have transferred to my CVS card. The key to the coupon machine is to scan your card more than once because you will keep getting coupons until it tells you there are no more offers that day. Now, the overall key to CVS is how you give the cashier your coupons. Start with your extra care (CVS) card which they will usually ask for. It will take the sale prices and any coupons you've uploaded off first. Then, give the cashier your paper coupons, starting with the CVS ones on top of your manufacturer's. Finally, another thing I do is use my green bag tag. It costs $1 to get for your reusable bags, but you get $1 off every 4 uses and you can use it as much as you'd like. This way I save money and help the environment!

At Target, in addition to the various websites for coupons that I've mentioned, Target has their own printable and mobile coupons I use all the time that you can get/sign up for at www.target.com. I also use their catalinas (coupons that print at the register) but you have to look at them closely because some are actually considered manufacturer's and not Target coupons so you can't stack them. Just an FYI - if you have a baby, get Target Baby mobile coupons, they are worth it! If you are a Target addict shop there a lot like I do, then it's worth it to get their Target debit card that gives you an extra 5% off plus free shipping at target.com. I take advantage of their gift card deals on things we will use because I then use those gift cards on future purchases. I also use reusable bags. You only save $0.05 a bag, but anything helps and to me it's more about the environmental impact than saving money.

Other ways I save are by having a subscription to All You magazine, which easily pays for itself in one issue with the coupons I get. I also get the All You Daily Sample email to get free samples. Something I've recently started using thanks to my sister-in-law, Megan, is the iBotta app for iPhone or Android. I love this thing! You fill out a poll or do a Facebook/Twitter share and you get money back into your Paypal account on your purchases. I've been using it going on three months now and have received almost $40 back that's going towards my landscaping fund.
What I bought using iBotta from a recent Target excursion. Everything was already on sale/temporary price cut or I had a coupon or both. Several things I got money back!
Whew! That was a little longer than I meant it to be!. Congratulations if you made it this far! What are some of your money saving tips!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Madness!

Seeing that I'm from Indiana, it would be unnatural not to have a NCAA bracket. While I know nothing about college basketball and choose teams based on their name/location/colors/mascot, I almost always fill out a bracket every year. When I worked at the bank, I was the one in charge of our bracket and made these hanging basketball decorations for each team and was all into it. I can even remember having pools in elementary school.
What's your bracket looking like?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Win a Chromebook 3G!!!

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Welcome to the Chromebook Giveaway!

For Everyone. The Samsung Chromebook 3G is a computer that helps you get everyday things done faster and easier. It starts in seconds, has virus protection built-in, and runs your favorite Google apps plus thousands more. The Chromebook comes with leading Google products, like Search, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts, so you can work, play, and do whatever you want, right out of the box. You can easily share it with multiple people; switching accounts takes seconds, and everyone gets their own files, apps and settings. And it's simple to use. There's no setup, and your files are automatically backed up in the cloud. At just 2.4 pounds, 0.7 inches thin, and with over 6.5 hours of battery life, the Samsung Chromebook can go anywhere you go. It's built to stay cool, so it doesn't need a fan and runs silently. It also includes 100GB of free Google Drive storage (for 2 years), a built-in webcam, and dual band Wi-Fi to make it easy to connect to wireless networks.
No more waiting for an affordable laptop. Go Chrome Today!

One lucky reader will receive a Samsung Chromebook 3G.

Giveaway ends April 10th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Back Home Again is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

1000 Follower Giveaway!

A few days ago, Marquis @ Simply Clarke  and Kristyn @ Carolina Fireflies reached 1000 followers on their blogs!

To celebrate reaching 1000 followers, they have teamed up with some of their favorite bloggers to throw a huge giveaway in order to say thank you to their readers. Take a few minutes and show each of them some love.

ONE lucky reader will win over $400 + of goodies from these 24 lovely bloggers!



Check out each blogger below to see what they are giving away and show them some LOVE!

1. Simply Clarke - Ad Space & $15 design credit to Clarke Creative
2. Carolina Fireflies - Ad Space & $25 Etsy GC
3. Passion, Pink and Pearls - Pretty In Pink Interior Design Package
4. The Dwelling Tree - 1 Month In-Post Ad Space
5. Gratefully Inspired - Ad Space & Floral Journal from Joules
6. Mikaela Rae - Large Ad Space
7. Love, Laughter, Happily Ever After - 1 Month In-Post Ad Space
8. My Name Is Madeline - 1 Month Large Ad Space
9. My Beautiful Crazy Life - 1 Month Medium Ad Space
10. This Little Blonde - 2 Months "Sleeping Beauty" Ad Space
11. Caravan Sonnet -$10 Starbucks GC
12. The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife - 1 Month Medium Ad Space
13. Hooah and Hiccups - 1 Month Large Ad Space
14. Walking in Memphis in High Heels - 1 Month Large Ad Space
15. Simply Free - 1 Month Ad Space
16. Back Home Again - 3 Months Large Ad Space
17. Faith Love & Babies - 2 Months Ad Space
18. XO, Allison - $20 GC
19. Wifessionals - 1 Month Small Ad Space
20. Life by Rikki - $10 Target GC
21. Chaos, Commotion, and Emotion - 1 Month Platinum In Post Ad Space
22. Classy Living - 1 Month Large Ad Space
23. Simply Southern. Simply Lauren. - Choice of any shirt from my etsy shop.
24. Virgin Monologuez - $10 Paypal Cash




RULES
1// Giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS 
2// Winner will be notified via email on Wednesday 3/27/13 or Thursday 3/28/13. 
You will have 48 hours from the timestamp on the email to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.
3// WINNER WILL BE VERIFIED!!!
4// View the Terms & Conditions listed on the Rafflecopter below

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Dark Side of Motherhood, Part 2

You've had a baby...but you still don't have your body back
You've carried your cute little parasite for almost 10 months and they're finally here! Especially in the third trimester, you've really be looking forward to having your body back and being able to eat/drink what you want. Well, if you're breastfeeding guess what? You still don't get your body back! You have to watch what you eat because it can transfer in breastmilk to your baby and sometimes your baby will have an allergy and you have to give up dairy, eggs, nuts all sorts of stuff...Which leads me to

Breastfeeding is hard...really hard
I remember when I was pregnant with Ewan and took my breastfeeding class, the lactation consultant (if you even want to call her that) told us that if you do skin to skin, your baby will magically know where to go and will find his/her way to your nipple and nurse. Maybe some people get that lucky, but for the vast majority of us, that's a load of crap! It's a learning experience for both of you. I remember when I was finally brought to a postpartum room and reunited with Ewan (see Part 3 next week), I did skin to skin with him and, yeah. Neither of us knew what to do. I remember bawling my eyes out telling him I was so sorry that I was failing him already.

I remember my milk not coming in until 6 days post partum due to my c-section and bawling my eyes out yet again because he was hungry and crying himself hoarse because I had nothing to give him - that day started supplementation. I remember those countless days and nights where I cried and cried to Alan because I couldn't do it anymore. I remember the horrible pain when my milk finally came in and I had to use a nipple shield for the first month of his life because he couldn't latch to my engorged breasts. I was never able to really pump to save a stash because he had to be held all the time - I never had more than 30oz frozen at a time - and my supply took a huge dip when I had my gallbladder removed at 7 weeks postpartum and was in so much pain that I couldn't even hold him to feed him for close to a week (again, see Part 3 next week). I was able to give him one bottle of breastmilk a day at daycare and nurse him at home, and then the rest of his bottles were formula. My supply slowly dwindled until around 11 months where he was barely getting anything and we limped to his first birthday, when was the last time he nursed. I know most people would've probably given up long before that but it was really really important to me that I give him everything I could. I know he's a thriving little troublemaker now, but I still beat myself up about it and am determined to not have to give Cecily formula. So far so good. While it has been easier this time around, that doesn't mean we haven't had our issues or that I don't get frustrated with being her only food source. I had to use a nipple shield for a day or so when my milk came in, I've had blisters on my nipples and I've had many nights where all I want to do is tell Alan to just give her a bottle because I need to sleep (oh wait, I have - but this time with pumped milk!). It's not all roses, believe me. If I only knew the first time what I know now...there are many resources out there for breastfeeding moms if you know where to look, kellymom.com being one of the best. There's also the breastfeeding community on LiveJournal (if you don't mind the snark), as well as your local La Leche League. Not to mention utilizing lactation while you're in the hospital or going to a lactation consultant after you go home.

And now that I've shown you what a crunchy mom I really am...I will leave you waiting for part 3 next week!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 Today was my brother and sister in law's first wedding anniversary so we watched their kids while they went to dinner. I will admit Alan and I were a little nervous to have four kids at one time, but it went really well!

Adventures in Babysitting!
Alan rocking Cecily and Cael
Ewan wanting to be just like a big kid.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patty's Day Pancakes

Due to the massive response to my beet red velvet cupcakes, I decided to post another one of my natural food coloring creations, St. Patty's Day Pancakes made with spinach. I used the pancake recipe on the Bisquick box, but pureed 2 cups of fresh spinach with the eggs before mixing it into the rest of the mix.I also added 1 tsp of syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla to the batter.
Ewan and Alan didn't even know the difference!
For more ways to use natural food coloring, visit this article.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Letters 3/15/2013

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Dear Google: I know everyone is freaking out because Google Reader is going byebye in July. But, I have never used you, so adios!

Dear Readers: If you haven't already, come follow me on Bloglovin!

Dear Blogland: I already touched upon this some, but what's up with my fellow bloggers whining lately? Don't do this, do that. It's coming from some of my favorite bloggers too, which makes me sad. Write about what makes you happy! If you want to do a giveaway, great! If I like the prize, I just might enter. Join a link up if you'd like. Personally, I love them and think it's a great way to find new blogs and gain exposure. If you want to write about why you think there should be a colony on the moon, then do it. There's no need to justify yourself to anyone. All I ask is that you don't make others feel bad for doing or not doing something.

Dear Ewan: You crack me up and I love you so much, little man. Don't you ever forget it!

Dear Cecily: I can't believe how big you're getting already! I have now retired most of your 3 month clothes. I did this with Ewan too, but I get teary eyed every time I put something in the yard sale box.

Dear Husband: I am so happy you're home, even if you are going out of town again soon. I am not ok unless you're beside me. I love you!

Dear Single Parents: I have so much respect for you. You are awesome!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Going Against the Grain

I've never been one to follow the "in crowd" - I have a tendency to always feel like an outsider in some respects because I tend to do my own thing. So, why should blogland be any different? Recently, several of my favorite (and large) bloggers have posted things that I don't necessarily agree with 100% but I know that most bloggers I interact with will follow along with this (and yes I've already spoken with several of these bloggers who have told me that that's just their opinion and to do whatever I want - don't worry, I will! :-) ). I know that this isn't the popular opinion and that is totally fine. Believe me, I'm used to not being the cool kid in class :-)

However, it has kind of made me feel like I'm back in 8th grade all over again and being ostracized and bullied because I'm not going to go along with what one or two, or three people say and do. Why do we as girls growing up (and now as women) have to be so catty to each other? Believe me, I have my moments too. But, I am also making a conscious effort not to import that onto my children. I know that they will see enough of it growing up and I feel that I need to stand as an example that it's ok not to follow what everyone else is doing and saying. Children are like sponges are learn by imitating - who do they imitate? Their parents!

What are some things that you do or don't do to set an example for your kids?

Anyone Want Two Cats?

I'm so over the shenanigans of my cats! I come downstairs this morning to find that one of them has peed in Cecily's carseat! They used to be our babies, but we're lucky we remember to feed them now with two kids - they need owners that give them more attention than we can at the moment. I don't want to take them to a shelter because Powder will most likely be put down because she has issues. Yet, they have ruined our less than a year old furniture, pee on anything soft if it's left on the floor and are now peeing on my baby girl's stuff. How am I supposed to take her to daycare today? I don't have time to wash it this morning. Ugh. I am so pissed off right now!!!


Monday, March 11, 2013

The Dark Side of Motherhood Part 1



I've been debating this post for awhile now, but it drives me crazy when all people see based on blog posts is a super perfect family with super perfect kids that never throw tantrums and are always cute and mommies that are always laughing and smiling and always put together.
So, with that...I give you what no one tells you about motherhood.

Sleep is for the Dogs

Yes, we all know you don't sleep with a newborn, or even with an older infant. But, what about when that newborn is now 2 and wakes up two hours after going to bed and screams bloody murder unless you bring him into bed with you and in the process wakes up your four month old who you now have to get back to sleep as well. Oh yeah, he also wakes up between 4-5 ready to go with milk and a waffle. Every. Day. Didn't think that would happen? Well, welcome to my house! I love my son dearly, but he has never slept well. Ever. Alan and I had to take turns sleeping in the glider with him for the first few weeks of his life and he hated the swing and bouncer as well. He had to be held all day long. When I was on maternity leave with him, I didn't shower or do anything except sit on the couch with my laptop until Alan got home from work because I couldn't put him down. We wound up co-sleeping by accident because we were so tired, and he wouldn't sleep in his crib and would sleep with us that we gave in. Once he got older, we were able to get him to sleep and then lay him down in crib where he would sleep for 4-5 hours before waking up and coming to our bed...that lasted from about 4 months until he was 10-11 months old. That lying him down stuff was all over once he could stand up. He would stand and just scream and scream. I'll admit it, I couldn't listen to it - it's still really hard - and I would just go get him. Let me tell you how fun it was to be 40 weeks pregnant sleeping with your husband and your toddler sleeping sideways in bed with you. Alan would rock him for hours every night to get him to sleep - it was absolutely ridiculous. It took until Alan was out of town for work and I was trying to get both kids to sleep and something just snapped in me and I said this craziness has to stop. I put him in bed and sat on the couch with Cecily bawling while he screamed and pounded on the door that first night. It was awful but I had to do something. It took three days, but now he goes to bed at his bedtime with no complaints. However, he wakes up in the middle of the night and if we don't get him almost immediately or try to get him to go back to sleep in his room, he starts screaming and crying and wakes up Cecily and we start with both of them all over again. Here's a little confession: I am so over it. I pray every day to find a solution because this lack of sleep definitely takes its toll on all of us.
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday's Letters

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Dear Friday: I am so glad I have you off today! I've been looking forward to this all week.
Dear Weather: Thank you for warming up a little bit. I can't wait to go rollerblading today!
Dear Ewan: You crack me up!
Dear Cecily: Please go back to waking up once a night. I realize you spoiled me with your awesome sleeping habits early on, but this waking up every two hours stuff is for the birds.
Dear Husband: I love you.
Dear Eight Inches of Snow: Please melt before I get up to northeast Indiana on Sunday. I really don't want to be traipsing around in you!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Spilled the Milk!

Breastmilk that is.

http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-and-don-t-cry-over-spilt-milk.png

Yeah. Well, this girl did cry. I was doing my afternoon pumping session and as I was putting away my pump parts, I knocked the milk container over! It had almost 6oz in it and now it's down to 3oz :( I know that to some 3oz isn't a lot, but it's a third of what Cecily takes at daycare. I am so pissed at myself!

As any mother who has breastfed knows, and even some who don't or even non-mothers, breastmilk is like gold. Not only is it uniqely tailored to your child, giving them all the nutrients they need their first year of life, it can help with all sorts of ailments, from psoriasis to pinkeye (as Kim K recently learned on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami!).

We breastfeeding mommies that pump work hard for every ounce we get, drinking ridiculous amounts of water, eating well, staying away from our my beloved Starbucks and wine. Just so that beautiful baby can get the good stuff.

So yes, I promptly ran to the bathroom and cried over spilled milk. And you know what? That's perfectly ok.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

No Reply Blogger?!




Do you wonder why no one ever replies to your comments or have you ever heard you're a no-reply blogger? I was recently told by one of the blogs I follow that I was a no-reply blogger. I thought how could this be? I thought I had fixed that! Well, it turns out that if you switch your Blogger profile to Google+ it automatically makes you a no-reply blogger. Unfortunately, the only way I know to fix this is to switch back to using a Blogger profile. I've noticed that some of my new and old followers are no-reply bloggers and this makes me sad :(

So.

To no longer be a no-reply blogger:



 Go to your Dashboard, click on edit profile and make sure you check show my email address. Don't forget to save your profile!
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