Thursday, January 19, 2012

One goal down!

2) I took some pictures of my niece and her fiance Saturday, who are expecting a son in February. I have no idea what I am doing, so I just point and shoot. This was the one of many things that has made me really look into taking classes or at least reading the book on how to use my camera. The local college has Photography classes that start in February. I am really nervous about the possibility of taking classes. I feel like it's my first day of school! This would also involve taking a Photoshop course and getting a new computer and Photoshop. 

Got one goal done! I signed up for the class! I am super nervous about this for some reason. At least an old high school friend is taking this course too so I will at least have a familiar face and someone to talk with and sit next to! Not to mention walk out with and follow home since the class isn't over until late.. I also don't like leaving Alan and Madison for 3 hours.. Even though Madi goes to bed between 7-7:30 most nights and will be fast asleep by the time I get home, I like being a part of her bedtime routine..

As Alan and I discussed, not only will this give me the knowledge of how to use my camera properly, it may also open a door for a business at some point and it will also help me interact with adults, which will help with my goal #1 of helping my attitude by committing and following through with something.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year, New Things!

I have been thinking a lot lately of some things I want to get accomplished and/or change this year. Here they are:

1) Be a better wife, mother, family member, friend and all around person. Since having Madison I tend to feel disconnected or even distant from a lot of people in my life. I need to get back to that person I was and I will find her soon! The things exhaustion does to your attitude is amazing. Even though Madison is doing decent at night, I go nonstop during the day and by the time Alan gets home, I am wiped out! This makes me be quiet and then I am ready for bed by 9! With Madison I want to be that mom she loves hanging out with. With everyone else I will try to call, email or text more to keep in touch.

2) I took some pictures of my niece and her fiance Saturday, who are expecting a son in February. I have no idea what I am doing, so I just point and shoot. This was the one of many things that has made me really look into taking classes or at least reading the book on how to use my camera. The local college has Photography classes that start in February. I am really nervous about the possibility of taking classes. I feel like it's my first day of school! This would also involve taking a Photoshop course and getting a new computer and Photoshop.

3) Get our house more organized and decorated. I know some people think I'm already super organized but my goal this year is to get more organized.
I want our pantry to look like this:

Our pantry isn't that wide but the main goal is to get all dry ingredients into labeled jars and maybe snacks and/or like items in baskets like the ones shown here. I would also like to redo my spices. I have them all in little jars with what the spice is written on the top, in ABC order but I would like something different.

and my scarves like this(on shower hooks):

This is an easy one if I can just remember to put shower rings on our grocery list..

Along with this goal comes a cleaning schedule. I hate cleaning the entire house in one day and with me not working, the last thing Alan needs to do is help clean on the weekend. I have made a daily cleaning schedule so its something I can do daily and by the weekend, all cleaning and laundry is done.

Also, the decorating part. I have yet to put up curtains in the bathrooms since we painted last April. We also need new towels and some artwork in there, our bedroom and the kitchen. Our bonus room needs a good cleaning and painting and maybe make the beginning of Madison's play room with this:

Here's some other things floating on my Pinterest board..

via It's a Crafty Life
love this to hang by door for keys.

via Google
bookshelves flanking a couch.
via Chocolate Moments
such a cute way to remind someone what little things they do make you happy! A dry erase board so you can write different things everyday!

via All Things Homie
A cute way to dress up your thermostat!

via Bryn Alexandra
I really like having hooks in the room next to the door. For purses, coats, etc.

via minimoz
Maps of where you met, married and live. Love this!

If you aren't on Pinterest yet, you should be! Or maybe you shouldn't.. It has made me want to redo my entire house! It has really given me a lot of great ideas for our house(like all of the above!), ideas for things to do with Madison, great blogs to follow and yummy foods to try, which I have already!

4) Start back exercising. We have been talking about getting a treadmill or stair climber in the next couple of months. Since Alan stopped playing tennis regularly and when I got pregnant, neither of us has really done any real exercise. I haven't truly worked out in a gym in roughly 10 years! Before getting pregnant, I would run/walk the neighborhood.

5) Scrapbooking. I haven't scrapbooked in years but it's something I really enjoy doing. The only thing is it takes me a couple of hours to do a page usually and I just don't have that kind of free time anymore, other than when Madison goes to bed and by then I am trying to spend time with Alan, cook supper(this eating at 8pm thing is getting old fast!) and am ready for bed myself! I need to try to do a page a week.

6) Use coupons more. I cancelled my E-mealz suscription a couple of months ago. I talked about it here. It was great up until about 6 months ago. They started putting things like Hot Dogs and frozen pizza on the list. I mean I understand that we all want easy meals but I paid for this site and I can throw in a hot dog meal in the other 2 days it didn't give me recipes for. Plus every week there was a seafood meal and I don't eat seafood. So that was 1 out of 5 meals I wouldn't fix so I was having to come up with another meal to replace the seafood meal. So anyway... I try to cook different things every week. I hardly make the same thing twice and when I do, it's something like tacos or spaghetti or an easy meal. I try to base what I'm cooking on whats on sale which helps but here lately I haven't done a great job with my grocery budget. I would love to keep a stock of things that go on super sale that I have coupons for like shampoo, toothpaste and baby items.

I'm sure I have a ton of other goals spinning around in my head. we'll just leave it at this. Hopefully in the next couple of months I will have all of these marked off my list! We'll keep you updated!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Madison's 1st vacation!

Alan was taking some time off work last week and since Madison is sleeping through the night in her bassinet and Wilma has healed up from her surgery 3 weeks ago, he mentioned that we should go somewhere. I get on my favorite site, VRBO, and start looking and quickly realize I don't want to go to the same ole Pigeon Forge or Hendersonville that we tend to lean toward every time we go somewhere. We also knew we didn't want to go to the beach since we like the beach in the Spring(and have already been this year). So we picked Helen, Ga. Random? Sure but why not?! There's mountains and neither of us had ever been. Plus we found a nice cabin for reasonable and it's under 3 hours to drive there.

We get there around 2 on Monday. I got zero pictures of the cabin but it was nice. You can go here to see the VRBO listing, which has pictures. Hottub on the porch and plenty of room for Wilma to roam around without a road being nearby! We quickly learned that January is not the best time to visit since all the restaurants(the few that were open) closed at 6pm. That night we drove about 10 miles away to a local spot and had supper. We make a vow to not eat at chain restaurants when on vacation so our mission is to find good local spots.

We did spot this monster bunny just sitting beside a parking lot eating. He was huge. On our trip we saw 4 other wild bunnies. Or maybe resident bunnies. One was bigger than this one but I didn't get a picture. Weirdest. thing. ever.

Tuesday, we lounged around until 2 and went into town. Alan had seen a pizza place and we called and he closed at 5. We ate a yummy pizza and then went back to the cabin.

Wednesday we took Madison into Cleveland to visit Babyland. This is a "hospital" where Cabbage Patch Kids are "born".

When we got there a birth was about to take place so we waited for that to happen. See the "IV" of Imagitocin? This is where the 'birth' takes place..

To say this place takes birthing and dolls to the extreme would be a slight understatement. They have nurses, a nursery, cribs with babies in them and the "birth" itself was something else.. They wanted the audience to name the doll so I yelled out the little toddlers name that was there(we had spoken to them while waiting) and Madisons name. So she named the doll Madelyn Madison. If you think that's strange, you should see some of the dolls names in there. One doll was Happy July. Enough said. She put that doll in the nursery to be adopted and after being told it was $300 to adopt her, she stayed in the nursery too. She is an Original which means she's all soft material(not a plastic head like in stores) and she's all handmade in Cleveland, Georgia(the others are made in China)That wasn't enough to sell me on dropping $300 on her.

The infamous doll.

Nom nom nom.. Is this for me?!

So we picked out a brown haired, blue eyed plastic headed doll made in China, named her Madison Grace, gave her a birthday of September 6, 2011 and went on our merry way :)

Which one is the real Madison?!

Thursday, after a long night with Wilma getting and staying up around 3:30am, we got ready and left the cabin around 11. We went to eat and went into the Town of Helen since the locals said Thursday the traffic would start picking up a bit. We parked and walked and found nothing! I did manage to find an ornament since that's my mission everywhere we go. We got on the road for home around 1. We both wished we had stayed one more night but when we called the cabin we stayed in, it was already booked for tonight.

So we can mark Helen, Georgia off our list of places to see. If we ever do go back, it will be for Oktoberfest since it's a mock German town and the locals say it draws people from all over! That's a HUGE if though.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy 4 months Madison!

December 10 - the night she stopped getting up to eat every 3 hours! She actually slept through the entire night this night and the next 2 nights! I thought it was the beginning of a very beautiful thing but I was sadly mistaken. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago and she started getting back up not every 3 hours, but every hour! Oh boy! She actually slept in her bassinet in our room 2 nights this week and will sleep through the night that way. Last night she went to bed around 8pm, up at 11:30 and slept until 4:30 when she became unswaddled and fell back asleep until 6:30 when I moved her to our room, where she slept until 9:30! Research has shown there is a 4 month growth spurt and tons of babies seem to do this according to 2 chat boards I have seen. I hope this phase passes very quickly! At least she's not getting up to eat. Getting up for a 5 minute pat-back-to-sleep is much better than an hour feeding!

December 24- First Christmas Eves at her Grandma and PawPaw's (my mom's). We got there around 1, ate and then sat around talking. She was passed around between her 2 aunts, 2 cousins, us and her Grandma. We then took her by the place we got married - Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the lights. I thought maybe she would fall asleep since it was close to her bedtime by the time we got there and walking around good. She was wide awake and loved it all!

December 25 - Her First Christmas. She got up a littler earlier(around 8:30) so we got her up, played with her in our bed for a bit, fed her, then showed her what Santa brought. She LOVES reading time so we got a ton of books! Also, there aren't many toys for babies under 6 months so I think we bought every one we found. And I'm not sure if the Spongebob pillow pet is for Madi or Alan...

  Here she is surrounded by her toys!  She was so worn out, she was asleep within an hour of getting up and slept for about an hour!
After that we went to her Nimmie and Papa's around 12:30. We ate and then opened presents. She took a small nap after eating in the middle of opening presents and then fell asleep as we were leaving around 5. She had 2 busy days back to back! She is so good and never really gets fussy when she's out and about. She just sits there and looks around and loves being held.

December 28 - Her 4 month checkup was today. She did really good and her checkup was perfect! Read more about it here.

December 30 - Her aunt Steph and cousin John came to visit from High Point, NC today.  They brought her 2 cute dresses, a book and puzzle and this cute headband:

 And here she is with them in front of the tree

  January 3 - I recorded this on the day I thought she was sick to show Alan how she was acting. She was acting funny that whole day and I thought she had picked up my cold:

It seems like lately she's been wanting to lay down and rest and/or nap just after eating and will make this cute whining noise to put herself to sleep. She was doing it again this morning and when I turned on the lights, her eyes were shut.

She seems to be eating a little more - around 9-10 oz - every 3-4 hours during the day. She is grabbing stuff really good and putting everything in her mouth it seems! She also enjoys 'standing' when we hold her arms. We are really working on her sitting up and rolling over from back to front right now. She has graduated to Size 3 diapers and is wearing 3 months and 3-6 month clothing. She still loves reading time.

We can't believe she is already 4 months! Time is flying by!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year in review 2011

The year flew by! going to be hard to beat 2011 in the happiness department! Lots of changes happened this year! Here's some of the milestones in order as they happened throughout the year...

Going from this... this.

Going from 117 lbs pre-pregnancy to 110 in the first 3 months to 132 at 9 months was quite the adjustment! Finding maternity clothes that were my size was quite the chore too! I did manage to find some, though by September I looked like I was about to explode!

  Going to Vermont in March. Other than having to fly on not one, but 2 planes(4 actually) to get there and back, we both loved Vermont. Alan had a business trip and I took advantage of that and tagged along. We stayed in Manchester but traveled to Burlington to do some shopping and visit the Ben & Jerry's factory. A tad boring but we did get to sample some ice cream. If you plan to go, go during the week when they are in production. That would have been interesting to see. We have recently joked about having a Fall house in Vermont. If I'm ever brave enough to get on a plane again, I would love to go back in the Fall. I can imagine it's just beautiful! And we promise next time to let our friend Brad know we are there.

 Finding out in April that we were having a girl! We both had a feeling from the beginning that she was a girl and seeing it verified was such an emotional moment. I didn't really realize how much I wanted a daughter until they told us we were having a girl! We kept going back and forth with the names Madison and Riley and once we saw her beautiful picture, we knew she was a Madison!

 Also, getting our house painted was in April. We kept putting it off and finally after 3 years, we finally committed! I'm so glad we did! It's made a huge difference. I still have not decorated the walls like I want but it's good for now. See all of the wall colors here but here is the living room painted in Sherwin Williams Grassland. It's a sage green, since you can't tell by the picture.

Alan's work threw us a huge baby shower in June. I mean, Madison is 4 months old and I have yet to buy a pack of diapers.. We were so blessed to get so much stuff!

Our baby shower in July given by my best friend Amanda, her mom, my mom and Alan's mom. We had a lot of fun and I got more great, much needed things! I'm so lucky to have such good friends and family!

 Finishing Madison's room in July. This seemed to take but we did it and love it! The tree pulled it all together and hopefully she will like the color when she gets older so we don't have to paint it every time she changes what cartoon character she's into at the time! 

Quitting my job in August to be a stay at home mom and wife was the easiest and hardest thing I had done in a long time! We both knew that's what we wanted, even before getting pregnant, but telling my friends of 7 years and the greatest boss that I was leaving was hard! Not getting up and going through the motion of that work routine was an adjustment. We are so blessed to be able to let me stay home and I love spending my days with Madi and I love seeing all of her firsts firsthand.

Also in August was a not so pleasant thing- Wilma's accident. She got hit by a truck and broke her front leg. She had an external fixture for 3 months and is back to normal! We are not letting her play hard for a few more months just to be on the safe side. I didn't blog about it but she had surgery last week to remove a knot on her chest. She's had it for years but our vet decided it was best to go ahead and remove it. She is doing just fine but now has to wear that horrible e-collar again!

And of course, September was a fantastic month! Our sweet Madison was born! Lots of major changes from here on out! She has brought so much joy, laughter, smiles and exhaustion! :)  Bringing her home from the hospital on our 5 year anniversary was the best gift ever! She has changed our life for the better and seeing her and Alan playing has made my love for him grow bigger. I thought I loved him as much as I could but I was wrong!

Our 5 year wedding anniversary in September. As mentioned above, we got to bring Madi home that day and it was such an emotional ride home! I think between the happiness of bringing her home, happiness of it being our anniversary, exhaustion from lack of sleep at the hospital(boy were we in for a rude awakening when we got home!), confusion of what to do when we did get her home and the reality of "Oh my God, we have a child!", we cried the entire ride home-about 20 minutes. Being married to my best friend for 5 years has been great and now sharing the joys of parenthood with him make things even better! Love you babe!

Madison's first rollover in November! Just proves that our little girl is growing up so fast! Excuse the cheesy mommy 'yays' :)

Wilma's removal of her fixture was in November also. This was a big day for everybody! Madison got to spend a few hours with her Grandma(my mom), Alan and I got to go to eat alone(for the 2nd time) and of course Wilma came home without her fixture! We were so thrilled to bring her home without it!

Madison's 1st Christmas! She loves all the things everyone got for her! Already looking forward to this year's Christmas! A baby brings a different kind of joy at Christmastime.
Also in December, my dad passed away. It was and has been a trying time for my whole family but we are dealing with it. At least he isn't in pain anymore.

Hopefully 2012 will be a great year for us! I am anxiously awaiting all of Madison's firsts this year.. Sitting up, standing, walking, tooth, word.. Wow. This is going to be a great year! Hopefully Wilma will have a less stressful year and can get completely back to normal! Cheers to 2012!