Friday, January 28, 2011

9 Months Old!

As usual, the time is just flying by at a rapid speed! But, a lot of exciting things happened during Parker's eigth month!

He began saying mama! Although I don't think he really knows that it's supposed to mean me. However, I'm not complaining!

He celebrated his first Christmas!

He got his second tooth!

He began drinking water from a straw sippy cup!

He said dada! And what's funny is that we happened to be on Skype chatting with my sister in China. I had just told her that we were working on him with saying it but with no success. Wouldn't you know Greg would walk into the room, I would say, "Parker, say dada" and he said it! I know my sister probably thought I was lying when I said he hadn't said it yet!

He had a special visitor one day! One of my best friends from high school stopped by on their way home from visiting some of their family in Colorado. Her little boys were very entertaining for Parker!

He had his first black eye. Obviously, I'm not proud about this one. I had all of his rattles and toys in the living room in a decorative metal bucket. I'm sure you can figure out how this story ends. Needless to say the decorative bucket now has a nice new home in our coat closet. Luckily, it was only visible when he had his eye shut. Everytime I tried to sneak a picture of him while he was napping he was laying on his tummy with that eye down on the mattress so I don't have any pictures of it.

I began using baby sign language with him! So far he hasn't signed anything back, and for the most part he thinks it's funny. If I ever want a big smile from him I just sign the word "sleep" and he thinks that's just a riot!

He began pulling up! Baby proofing is in full swing here at our house!
(Dontcha just love how my idea of baby proofing is to place pillows around the entertainment center?)

I added chicken, pears, and strawberrys to his growing menu.

He loves when I play patty cake with him and he has begun clapping his hands. It is just the cutest thing ever! He absolutely loves it when Greg places him on his shoulders. A sure-fire way to get him to stop crying is for Greg to do that with him.

He LOVES Shady. We have a little game that we play each night while I'm preparing dinner. Parker will be on the kitchen floor along with Shady (who seems to think I'll be dropping food on the floor for her.) Parker takes this to be that Shady is chasing him. So he will speed crawl to me and try to climb up my leg, all while looking at Shady and laughing at her. He is just the cutest thing.

His new favorite toy was a wooden spoon, but Greg thinks that's a dangerous toy so I have placed the wooden spoons back in the drawers where they belong.

He now LOVES going to the grocery store! I officially graduated him from the infant car seat to just riding in the cart.

Luckily we went to the doctors office for his well baby visit the day before he turned 9 months old, since the next day we were in Oklahoma. At that time he weighed 19 lbs. 7 oz. and was 28" long!

Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me in Oklahoma so here he is at 9 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Click here to see what others are loving this Wednesday!

It's hard to believe that just two weeks ago I blogged about what I was loving that particular Wednesday. Little did I know that just a few hours after posting that blog my husband would receive an unexpected phone call saying that his Dad passed away.

It's strange how such a normal Wednesday can take such a drastic turn. Greg received a phone call that his Dad wasn't doing well after a surgery to remove a hernia. He decided to come home because he thought we may be making a trip to Oklahoma. I was completely unaware of what was taking place and was out running errands with Parker when I got a phone call from Greg asking where I was and when I'd be back home. I knew that his dad was having complications after his surgery but I never once thought it was something that was life threatening. However, I could tell in my husbands voice that something wasn't right. Once I got home Greg said he thought we should head towards Oklahoma, where his Dad lives. I frantically began packing and shortly afterwards we received the phone call that no child wants to ever get. His dad had a massive heart attack and passed away.

The 8 hour car ride to our grandmothers house in Oklahoma was long and depressing. It was also pretty quite since Greg was driving and I didn't want to ask questions and get him upset. I thought about what I had done earlier that day and inwardly scolded myself for blogging about something as trivial as a scrapbook.

Several days later we had the memorial for Carl. The chapel was packed and several friends and family members spoke about memories they had of Greg's dad. Some of the stories were humours while others were touching. Greg's dad lived on Lake Texoma and after the service that is where Greg and I headed to spend a week. During that drive I had more thoughts crossing my mind. In the end, I realized that I shouldn't have berated myself for blogging about something as simple as a scrapbook. Carl lived life to the fullest. And I realized that part of living life to the fullest is embracing the small things in life that give us pleasure.

With that being said, this Wednesday I'm loving:

That Greg had the honor of having his dad stand beside him at our wedding and proudly serve as our Best Man.

I'm loving all the fun memories Greg and I have with his dad at Lake Texoma.

I'm loving that we were able to make one of Carl's wishes come true: He became a Grandpa in April. The cherry on top of the sundae was that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Parker. Greg was the last of our family name, and now Parker will continue to keep our name going. (Hopefully he'll have a wife who will give birth to four boys just to insure our name doesn't end soon!)

I'm loving that Carl drove eleven hours to meet his grandson when he heard I went into labor.

I'm loving that despite the distance between us, Carl was able to spend time with Parker on a handful of different occasions.

I'm loving that Greg and I will keep Carl's memory alive with stories that we'll be able to share with Parker as he gets older.

Happy Wednesday, ya'll! Enjoy and embrace today and make all the small things count!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

I'm linking up with Jamie for her Wednesday blog party again!

I'm loving this brown paper bag scrapbook my sister had one of her friends send me! I can't wait to put some of Parker's pictures from his fall photo shoot in it and proudly display it for years to come!

I'm loving that The Elks Lodge is having a chili and dessert bake off on Friday night! (I'm entering a chocolate chip bundt cake!)

I'm loving It's so neat it deserves its own blog post, but there is a link on the right hand side of my blog so you can check it out for yourself!

I'm loving that we are going to Durango this weekend with some friends! What I'm loving even more is that we will be staying in a log cabin for FREE!

I'm loving that this was a MOPS week!

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Really Good Friend

I have a lot of friends, but the really good friends are sometimes hard to come by. Luckily, I have been blessed with quite a few really good friends. One of which I wanted to blog about today!

*You know you have a really good friend when you have a ton of memories that you can reminisce about!

*You know you have a really good friend when you can totally be yourself around them.

*You know you have a really good friend when you can still have a great time gossiping about people you went to high school with.

*You know you have a really good friend when you get "real" emails from them a few times a month, not just forwards and jokes.

*You know you have a really good friend when they send you cards that are always spot on.

*You know you have a really good friend that despite not having seen each other in eleven years there isn't any of that awkwardness when you finally do have a reunion.

*You know you have a really good friend when they spoil your baby.

*You know you have a really good friend when despite living in a different country you still know what's going on in their lives.

*You know you have a really good friend when they help to support your healthy habits.

*You know you have a really good friend when you know they forgive you for not emailing as often as you used too.

*You know you have a really good friend, who remembered that when I received amazing perfume for my birthday, that I was still a little tiny bit disappointed when I didn't receive the one that was at the very top of my list.

*You know you have a really good friend when they mail you an amazing Christmas present and all they are getting in return is a lousy blog post....and you know they won't hold a grudge about it! (right?)

I love you, Nora! Thanks for always being a really good friend!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My 2011 Goals

For the third year in a row, it's time for my yearly goal list! (I can't believe I've been blogging this long!) Here we go!

1. To print, label, and organize all the photos that are on my laptop and place them in photo albums. Yup, it's appearing on my list for the third year in a row. I think I'm starting to get on every one's nerves about this now...but putting this out there really is helping me! Let's see if this is the year I can finally mark this one off the list!

2. To learn and use baby sign language with Parker. I probably should have started this months ago since he's almost nine months old, but I don't really know where to start with this. I'm hoping the library will have a book or two that I can borrow to learn some basic signs.

3. To use coupons. I was so inspired by the "Extreme Couponing" special that TLC did last week that I decided it was worth the time and effort to begin clipping coupons again. I actually went to the store yesterday and used coupons so I'm hoping I can make this a habit. I'm going to Wal-Mart today and will be buying the supplies I need to make my own coupon book to take with me on shopping trips!

4. To paint all the closet and bedroom doors in our house. When we first began remodeling our house our plan was to replace all the closet and bedroom doors with raised panel doors and to paint them white. Currently they are all the brown stained wood flat slat doors. My husband recently decided that since we won't be living in this house very long anyway, it really isn't going to pay us back to replace perfectly good doors. However, thinking about all the priming and painting I'll be sneaking in while Parker is napping already makes me want to pull my hair out!

5. To bake a pie. Two pies to be more specific. I actually love pies but have always been too intimidated to bake one. I have two favorites in mind: my mom's lemon meringue pie and my grandma's chocolate cream pie. Did I mention I plan on making the crust from scratch?

6. To contribute more to my family financially. Greg would love for me to find a well paying full time job. I would love to find a stay at home job so I don't have to put Parker in day care. I'm open to any suggestions!

7. To learn how to make spoon and fork jewelry. I have to say, I've been obsessed with spoon jewelry for a long time now. My mom can vouch for me! The other day I was doing some browsing through etsy and I was curious if anyone had a spoon jewelry store. Guess what else popped up. Fork rings! I was hooked. The next day I told my husband what he could buy me for my birthday (which is all the way in August). He asked what it was and when I said a fork ring and that it cost $150.00 he looked at me like I had lost my mind. But I promised him that it wasn't just a piece of was a piece of art! They are absolutely stunning!

I pulled up the rings and my husband said that he thought I should try my hand at making them myself. He even did a little research for me! I love it when my husband seems supportive of what could be a new jobby (job + hobby) for me!! I think it helps that since I would have to use some pretty heavy duty tools I would be working in the garage and my husband loves any excuse to hang out in the garage!

8. To begin working on my book again. Notice I didn't say specifically how much I would work on it! The only thing that is somewhat motivating me is when I occasionally overhear my husband talking on the phone to someone about my blog. He always tells them that I started writing a book and he doesn't know why I quit. Again, it's nice to know I have his support!

9. To host a few more Bling On A String trunk shows. I think this one is pretty self explanatory! To visit my store click here!

10. To finish The Harry Potter series. This one was on my very first goal list. And, sadly I still haven't finished the series. However, this is one goal that I'm cheating a little bit on. That's because I'm reading book 7 (the last one) right now! Sneaky, aren't I?

There you have it! What are your goals this year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today I'm loving these NUBY sippy cups. I've been trying to get Parker to use a sippy cup since he was about 3 months old with not very much luck. He's never taken a bottle so you can only imagine my frustration. I had heard of other moms having luck with their babies using straws. I figured it was worth a shot and I bought him a package of two for Christmas.

Let me just say, Parker took right to them! Granted, he does chew on the straw a little more than I would like, but I am also happy that he is finally getting big drinks of water! Yay!!!

I'm also loving ebay!! I've been a member of ebay for several years, but this past week we sold a few items that we had laying around the house, which was nice. Then, I bid on a brand new Britex convertible car seat and won it for $100 less than MSRP! I was double excited because I already had a certain Britex carseat in mind to purchase that was in our budget, but the one I won is actually a better one! Woot, woot! To top it off, last night Greg found flooring for the middle level that we think we might like. We ordered a sample and if we like it, the cost will be far less than what we originally planned on spending!

Happy Wednesday!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Review of my 2010 Goals

Last year around this time I posted (what has become an almost "annual" blog tradition) my goals for 2010. Thankfully I did post them, because knowing that I would have to give my readers my year-end review is sometimes the only thing that kept me on track! So, here we go:

1. To be a better blogger. Well, if you're one of my faithful readers, you probably know that goal went right out the window. In fact, you're probably not even reading this because you pretty much gave up on logging in each week to see a new post by yours truly. Sorry! It's safe to say that taking care of the baby, keeping a clean and tidy house (my husband will laugh if he reads that), and making jewelry pretty much consumes most of my free time. Don't get me wrong! I still love blogging and reading all the comments, so have no fear, you can still read my "thoughts" from time to time!

2. To grow an herb garden. Hmmm....apparently when I made these goals I forgot that I would be giving birth in the spring, which I'm sure was the ideal time for me to plant that cute herb garden I daydreamed about. It's safe to say that idea went right out the window as well!

3. To call my mom more often. I do feel like I'm a lot better at this. However, that came at a price. I think I was calling her once a month until around August. Then, my step-dad was involved in a bad accident that left him being hospitalized for over two months, and eventually landed him in a nursing home. During that time, my phone calls increased to a few times a week. Now, I'm trying to call once a week. Sadly, sometimes an unexpected accident is what it takes for one to realize what's important in life.

4. To complete Parker's baby book. Thank God I posted this as a goal for the whole world to see! Do you want to know what I obsessively worked on last week? You guessed it! Parker's baby book. In fact, one evening I was working on it and my husband asked what I was doing and when I said, "working on Parker's baby book" his response was, "Why?" I didn't bother to tell him it was because I had exactly twenty-seven hours to get caught up because I knew he would think I had gone off the deep end!

Luckily, I did do a pretty decent job of updating a few things here and there each month. But the biggest thing I was dreading involved all those pages about the gifts he received after he was born, along with the gifts I received for him at my baby showers. I have been extremely blessed with awesome family and amazing friends who showered their generosity on our family. Which, meant I didn't want to write all those wonderful items down because I knew it would be time consuming. Luckily for gifts I got in the mail I would write down on a piece of paper and so that really helped! Now, I know what you're thinking; why didn't I just write them down in the baby book as I received them instead of on a piece of paper. Here's why: I want the baby book to be filled out using the same pen. I don't want blue ink mixed with black ink or ball point mixed with uniball gel. Yes, I am a freak of nature. One thing that really helped me whenever I did make time to add to the book was the awesome "baby's first year" calendar that one of my aunts sent me. It came with all kinds of stickers for things such as "clapped hands", "rolled over", "gave kisses", "doctor's appointment", you get the idea. That calendar has been so great in allowing me to keep track of things! And, in case you're wondering why I've been so diligent about my monthly Parker posts, it's because I am supposed to add a picture of him each month. (Yes, I am also a little bit anal about the calendar as well. I always use the same blue pen to fill out his monthly stats!)

There are a few parts of Parker's baby book that make me sad. One of which is the section where I'm supposed to clip a newspaper clipping announcing his birth. The hospital was pretty on top of things, having me fill out a form that they submit to the newspaper for the announcement. Now, this may sound silly, but after I brought Parker home from the hospital, I had anxiety about leaving the house. The idea of having to go to the gas station to buy a paper completely stressed me out. In the town I live in, the newspaper is only printed three times a week. I asked my husband numerous times to stop by the gas station to buy a paper in case Parker's birth announcement was in it, but apparently that was not high on his priority list. I also asked friends to let me know if they saw it in the paper. Sadly, no one told me. I even called the newspaper to see if it had been printed two months after he had been born, but no one could tell me a concrete answer. Our library doesn't keep newspapers on file. The newspaper website is of no help. Needless to say, there is no newspaper clipping in Parker's baby book announcing his birth and that breaks my heart.

5. To host a Christmas Cookie/Ornament Exchange party.Instead, I had my first Bling On A String trunk show at the beginning of December. I figured hosting two parties back to back would be a little too much to handle. But, I would love to do this next year!

6. To be a good Mommy. This is a tough one. I try really hard to be a good mom. And some days I really feel like I am doing a pretty good job at parenting. I read books and websites about parenting. I take care of Parker's essential needs. I make an effort to play with him each day. I give him lots of kisses. But, then I have a moment. And at those moments, I always think, "Oh gosh, I am the worst parent in the world. How could I have done ______. Like the time we were out and about and I suddenly realized I hadn't changed his diaper in five hours. Or the time we were at The Elks and it dawned on me that (duh!) I had forgot to feed him his dinner! (Just so you don't call DHS on me, I had nursed him...just forgot to feed him his solids an hour later. And, he was in such a happy mood I had no reason to think that there was something "wrong" with him). Or like last night when I placed him in the bath tub and the water was too hot (first time that happened in eight months, so I guess I shouldn't be beating myself up. Parker paid me back by peeing all over me as soon as I lifted him out of the water). All I can say is; I try. But, I don't think I'll be winning a "Mom of the Year" award any time soon.

7. To print, label, and organize all the photos that are on my laptop and place them in photo albums.I have a really good excuse as to why this goal wasn't accomplished for the second year in a row: it takes money to print off pictures. For some reason when I made these goals I forgot about the teeny tiny fact that we have a whole house to remodel, along with another person to feed, clothe, and diaper. However, I did make a lot of progress this year! I did get two whole photo albums filled! One of which has all of the photos labeled (It's the type of album where you label to the side of the picture). I even printed off a lot more of the pictures that were taking up space on my laptop. However, I haven't quite got everything printed off. On the bright side, ever since Parker has been born, I've been printing off pictures at Wal-Mart once a month. And, up until November, I was great about immediately labeling and dating the back of the pictures. See: Progress!!!

8. To pay off the hospital bill after having the baby. Well, this didn't happen either, because of the reason listed on #7. Luckily, the hospital gave us an interest free payment plan which allows the balance to be paid off in a year. Trust me, we will be doing a happy dance once it's paid off!

9. To be a MILF. I actually think I've done pretty well about keeping up with this goal! Being a mommy proved to be the best diet for me. Along with finally having a "normal" lifestyle and not living in a fifth wheel where I basically sat around all day. I'm happy to say that I am finally back down to the size I was trying to achieve by dieting. However, my new found look does come with a price. Most of my friends are dieting, so when they see me, they say things like, "gosh, you're looking too skinny" or "I can't wait until I have a baby so I can loose weight", all of which are said with a tone of disgust. As if how dare I be skinny after becoming a mother. Although I would love to whip out a copy of the charts that show what a normal, healthy weight is for someone who is 5'2" (I fall right in the middle, thankyouverymuch) I just smile and hold my tongue. At least one person is truly happy for me: my husband! Along the same lines, I also have limited myself to wearing sweat pants twice a week. It honestly doesn't take any more effort to put on jeans and a cute top than to walk around all week looking like I rolled out of bed. I may not wear make up every day, but I do feel like I've been pretty good about trying to be a MILF! ;)

10. To bring the balance of our Harley down to a certain amount I have in my head. Refer to #7. Sadly, I was the queen of minimum payments this year.

11. Not to be such a control freak. That depends. According to #4, I guess some reading would take that to mean a big, fat, NO! However, I am pretty lax about other things. I made reference to spilt milk in my original goal list. And, since Parker spits up ALL THE TIME, it's pretty safe to say that I'm completely over having clean carpets. If he spits up, I pretty much just dab the spot with a burp cloth and call it good. Unless it's green. Or orange. Gross, I know. I'm sure if I had nice, brand new carpet, I would be signing a different tune!

12. To breast feed Parker for his first year. So far, so good!!!

13. To be more frugal. Well, this didn't happen. I would love to say we bought a membership to Sams Club, but we didn't (in our defense, it is two hours away), and I tried scouring the internet for coupons, but it was so time consuming and always for products that I didn't necessarily use to begin with. Luckily, Huggies and Pampers occasionally sends coupons for diapers and wipes, and I happily use those!

How did all of you do with your 2010 goals?