Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hair Help Needed

Ok, I could probably use some advice about my own 'do, but this time I'm talking about my daughter. So here's the situation: she's never had a haircut, and lately, it's looking a little rough around the edges. It isn't exactly growing in evenly: it's long in the back (think rat tail - New Kids on the Block style), growing over her ears, and still pretty thin on top. Sometimes it happens to lay ok, and looks fine. Other times I feel like people must think I don't comb it.

So here's the dilemma: do I cut it or let it grow? I would like it to be longer (hello!? pigtails!! I want to do pigtails!!), but I don't want it to look scraggly in the meantime. And I hear a rumor that if you cut it, then it will really grow in. Is this true or just Hair Mythology? And if I decide to cut it - do I take her somewhere or do it myself? I don't have the first clue about how to cut hair (well, I do cut Brian's, but please, that hardly counts).

I've also tried putting "pretties" in her hair (little barrettes), but she takes them out the moment we get in the car and I can inevitably only find one of them. Any advice on taming the toddler mane would be appreciated...

Monday, January 28, 2008

A reunion of sorts

Once upon a time, Brian was a kid in Small Town, Kentucky. And there was a family who lived next door, whose kids were the same age as Brian and his brother, and they grew up together. They played, they traveled, they did scouts, and they crashed the neighborhood pool. Then they went away to college, got married, and had 2.2 kids. So now that everyone lives in Ohio and Kentucky again, we all met up in Cincinnati at the Children's museum for a reunion yesterday. It's really nice to spend time with people who were so influential in Brian's life, and to see how everyone is raising families of their own now. And of course, Katy had a BLAST. Including her cousins (some of her favorite people), there were 6 kids in attendance, and she loved the museum. She could've stayed there for days. Here are some highlights: (in the photo above, one family is missing. We were bummed that they had to leave early, but 'tis the season for sick kiddos)

I think it's a rule that every Children's museum has a place where it's impossible to keep your kid dry...

Katy's cousins Kimmy and Leah were at her side the entire afternoon, helping her through every adventure...they are very good cousins (and will be good babysitters someday??!)

Mmmm...sketties...we only had a brief meltdown, but I expected we wouldn't get through the day without one.

And this was the highlight of the day: Katy kept saying "more side, more side..."

Friday, January 25, 2008

A leetle more bargain talk, a random question, and an apology

I promise this won't become a trend on this blog - always talking about the latest deals I've gotten - but I just have to tell you about this CVS'ing thing I've picked up on - and then I'll shut up! I swear!!

On the Money Saving Mom blog that I mentioned the other day, the author talks alot about CVS, and how she basically "works the system" to get all of her toiletries and some groceries for FREE. I'm not kidding, you should see some of the stash she gets - huge piles of stuff for 75 cents, etc. So she teaches people how to do this in a little thing she calls "CVS 101" on her site. So I read it, and I decided to try it for a couple of months and see if it works for us, and if it's worth the effort. It's a lot of work and planning and thinking ahead about stuff that you may need in the next 6 months, etc. And to get it for free, you do have to do some coupon clipping, of which I am not in the habit of doing. But even without coupons, you can get some really good deals. So last night I went and felt like I had succeeded in working the system. The cashier told me that it was like organized crime. Here's why:

I got:

6 12-packs of Diet Pepsi

1 8 oz. bottle of Purell hand sanitizer

1.5 liter bottle of CVS mouthwash plus extra small bottle

1 stick men's Speed Stick deordorant

This is a total of $44 worth of merchandise at regular price. I paid $10 out of pocket, and I got $15 in Extra Care Bucks, which is like cash to spend at CVS on your next purchase. So it's kinda like I made $5 on the deal. And seriously, some of the women over at the MSM blog would've gotten all this for about 15 cents and somehow made $30 in Extra Care Bucks, but I'm still learning. Isn't it intriguing?


So yesterday I met this dad of 2 young boys, and upon noticing my belly, he asked me when I was due.

"March," I replied.

"Oh, really? March what?"


"Oh...(sly grin) maybe March, maybe April."

Ok - why would someone say this? Okay, yes, technically, this baby could be born in April. And the thought has occurred to me. But would you say to a pregnant woman, " might go more than a week sucker."?


Finally, I was just looking over my posts for January, and it appears that I've been doing a lot of rambling and not as much reporting about my cute little toddler. So sorry about that, I will make a concious effort to capture some good material over the next week. More to come!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Deal of the Century

If you're wondering where we've been, it has to do in large part with the complete rearrangement of our house at the moment. We made significant progress this weekend, and I can start to see a tiny twinkle at the end of that long tunnel. I'll definitely be posting before-and-afters when it's all done, but for now, I had to let you know about a little deal I got this weekend.

If you know me outside of the internets, you know that I love a good deal. (If I've never told you the one about the Pottery Barn changing table I got for 90% off, let me know) So in the process of all of this room exchanging, Brian and I decided that we desperately needed a new bed (daily back pain = nuisance). After much debate and arm twisting (mine), we decided to upgrade to a king size. This meant purchasing all new bedding. And in the middle of this other mess, I was not about to repaint our room, so we'd just have to find new bedding to match. And I don't want to spend a fortune. And did I mention that I have to like the looks of it? So this started a big search. At every store I'd find the same thing, everything was either: not the right color, not the right size, or cost too much. I even purchased and returned 2 possibilities. I had pretty much resigned myself to thinking that I would settle on a boring old beige quilt I had found, and paid too much for.

So then Brian had Monday off, and we took Katy to the local mall to the kid's play area to play. It was an absolute zoo, so I was peeking in and out of department stores to see if maybe, just maybe I would find something. But even on clearance, most of the comforters were $150 or more. Alas, I decided to try one more place: Macy's. Nothing even seemed to be on sale, and the prices were ridiculous. But I saw this one in the middle of the floor. Right color. Right style. Right size. Even included the comforter, 4 shams, sheet set, bed skirt, and 2 decorative pillows. But I flipped it over to look at the price tag: $350. I rolled my eyes and put it down. There was no sale sign in sight, and even if it were 75% off, it would still be too much. But as I was walking away, the sales lady saw me put it down and asked, "Are you interested in that set?" Reluctantly, I said, "Well...I was just curious about the price..." to which she said, "Well, if you're interested, I don't know why, but I think it's $19.99." Huh? So we hustled over to the register and lo and behold, for some odd reason the thing was stinking $19.99!!! Can you believe that? 20 bucks!! I was so giddy with excitement, Brian was laughing at me all the way home. He said, "Finding good deals makes you so happy." Sad, but true.

So I hesitate to put a picture up because I'm afraid you all will think, "yeah, no wonder it was $20." But I'm so excited I'm going to post it anyway! It looks a little wrinkly in this picture, but here we go:

In case you are as interested in good deals as I am, here's a sight I've been reading lately. It's a frugal woman's dream.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Four things about a (almost) 20 month old

My friend Jen sent me one of those emails where you fill out fun facts about yourself, and I thought it might be interesting to answer it for Katy. So here we go...

Four things about me that you may or may not have known, in no particular order.
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Comedienne
2. Taste tester
3. Dolly-sitter
4. Dancer

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Dora the Explorer
2. Elmo's World
3. Barney
4. The Wiggles

Four places I have lived:
1. In Mommy's belly
2. Mommy and Daddy's room (in the bassinet)
3. In the mechanical swing (seemed like it)
4. The nursery (not for long - Big Girl Room, here I come!)

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Oprah (I like all the clapping)
2. Curious George
3. Sesame Street
4. Sports (my favorite is "ooo-bah" i.e. football)

Four places I have been:
1. Charleston, SC
2. Norris Lake, TN
3. all over Ohio visiting friends and family (especially Grandpa and Grandma Sue's house and my cousins')
4. Oma and Opa's house (Pittsburgh) and Grammy and Papa John's (KY)

Four people who E-mail me regularly:
1. ecard from Grandpa
2. ecard from Oma
3. I'm 20 months old, folks, that's the only email I've ever gotten...

Four of my favorite foods:
1. "Reel-bah" (cereal bar)
2. "nilk" (milk)
3. "Sketties" (spaghetti, especially Fazoli's)
4. "bips" (chips, which really means anything snacky and crunchy that mom and dad are eating)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. outside
2. Target (as long as they let me run around)
3. anywhere there are other kids
4. any Grandparent's house

Four friends I think will respond:
(let's just say 4 friends)
1. Brooklyn

2. Jack

3. Cousins Kimmy, Leah, and Carrie

4. Gabe

Four things I am not looking forward to this New Year:
1. sharing Mommy and Daddy's attention with baby brother
2. learning the meaning of the word "no"
3. inevitable hours spent in the car seat
4. getting out of the bathtub many, many times

Four things I am looking forward to this New Year:
1. learning to use the potty (I talk about it alot already)
2. sleeping in a Big Girl bed
3. going back to the pool this summer (if baby brother allows it)
4. Disney cruise with Grammy and my cousins at Thanksgiving

Wild Woman

There is only one word to describe Katy lately: wild. I don't know what has gotten into her. Maybe she can see 2 on the horizon, maybe she's tired of being inside, maybe I'm less patient as my belly grows larger. But she is running from activity to activity non-stop, all day. And she's getting into new things everyday. Here's an example:

The other day I was fixing lunch and I went into the dining room and took the tray off of the highchair and said, "Come on, Katy, it's time to eat lunch." Then I went into the kitchen to grab our plates. When I came back, I found this:

Beyond the fact that I can't believe she climbed up into the chair, I can't believe she turned herself around (without falling) and got the straps in the right place to buckle herself in! What in the world?!?!?

Brian and I are having more conversations about the D word: discipline. I hate to admit it, but my sweet angel is becoming more defiant by the day. She waits until we aren't looking to do something she knows is not allowed, and as soon as she is caught, she backs away, saying "no, no..." And our biggest battle at this point: throwing her plate of food on the floor when she's done. She knows not to do this, but at this point we haven't implemented serious enough consequences to make it less desirable. Ugh, I'm not looking forward to this part of parenting. (I'm sure every parents feels that way)

On a random note, I had an ob checkup this week, and it went well. But I found out that my doctor is going to be on vacation the entire week surrounding my due date. Boo. Not that I'm super emotionally attached to my doctor: I think she was in the delivery room for about 5 minutes before Katy entered the world (they actually had me stop pushing because she wasn't there yet and she was going to miss it). But for me, in the hours (okay, it was days) of early labor leading up to the delivery, she knew what was going on and I was in touch with her, and that was nice. I just hate to think that she would be totally gone for the whole experience. Of course, what are the chances that I'll deliver that week - 40% maybe? Just guessing...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Confessions of a clearance-sale junkie

Several of the other blogs I read do posts like this sometimes, but this is a first for me. This post is about an addiction of mine. I really like clearance sales. A lot. In fact, I have a little bit of trouble controlling myself.

I'm just a sucker for good deals. (or at least what I perceive to be a good deal) I see a sign that says 75% off and all of the sudden I am thinking about buying something that I wasn't planning to buy. Eeeesh.
The one aspect of this that is especially fun is how I have started to buy kids' clothes. At the end of each season, the clothes go on clearance, and I estimate the size that Katy will wear next season and stock up for next year. So far this has worked really well. And it's kinda fun, as the weather changes, I pull out this pile of clothes that I bought 9 months ago and it's like Christmas morning. And NOW - I need to buy girl clothes AND boy clothes. Lord, help me.
So the past week or so has been clearance craziness. At first, I started picking up a few things here and there for Katy. I got some things at Children's Place, Kohl's, and Target. I really hope she wears a 2T next year, or I'm in trouble.

Then, through a tip on another mom blog, I heard that Old Navy's winter clearance would begin on Friday. I actually put it on my calendar. For each of these items, I paid between $1-$4. First, I picked out a few more things for Katy.

Then, I realized that next winter, I will also have a son. So I guessed what his size would be, and I bought a few things. Just a few...
The problem is that I felt less inhibited to buy boy clothes, because I won't be getting any hand-me-downs, whereas with girl clothes I do get some. So I need a complete wardrobe, right? Right? So I told Brian that I'm done for a matter how-many-percent-off something is. I'm done... I'm done...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Catching up with #1

Okay!! Time for new belly shots!! I have felt like the belly size has evened out a bit, meaning that I'm not that much bigger than I was at this point last time. But I think there's still a difference. And I'm certainly not sporting as cheesy of a smile...

29 weeks with Katy, with our new glider chair, in which we would spend countless hours

29 weeks with New Baby, hard to imagine adding 11 weeks to this!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Can they do it?

I don't even know if I want to post about the Big Game tonight. Because last year I posted about it, and the next day I was so depressed I had to do this. So I'm just going to say that I'm exciting we're even IN this game. At the beginning of the year, NO ONE, not even Jim himself, was predicting we'd be in the championship. And we're the underdogs, so I'm going to try to relax and enjoy the game. No expectations. Expectations just bring pain, as evidenced by last year. Katy, apparently, thinks they can win.

On another note, today, Katy informed me that she was Stinky. As I took her to the changing pad, she then indicated that her new babies were Stinky, too. So I asked her if they needed to be changed, and she said yes, and proceeded to get out the supplies. So my mind jumped back to when I was a little girl, and I remember that I so desperately wanted diapers that would fit my baby dolls. I remember looking for them at every store we visited. Recently, friends of mine gave me the newborn size diapers that their daughter had outgrown so I could save them for New Baby. The little girl in me just couldn't resist donating two of them to the cause.

Although they look big on Katy's dolls, these things are SO tiny. I found myself marveling that Katy ever wore this size of diaper. Look what she wears now!!

I guess she has grown a little bit since she wore them...

May 2006

Friday, January 04, 2008

Thanks for the Christmas cards

Ahhhh....the side of the refrigerator is full of recent photos of lots of family and friends. Things are as they should be. I just wanted to say thanks, because I really love looking at them. Katy is working on learning everyone's names - she's got almost half of them down. So if we haven't seen you in a while - look for that the next time we meet.

Also, I will gladly accept updated photos throughout the year. No holiday required.


And finally, does anyone know a good milkman they could recommend? I think about half of my trips to the grocery are for one reason alone: we are out of milk. Again. Between Katy's and my own love of the white stuff, I think I could keep a milkman delivering at least a half gallon a day. That would be so great...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First and second

On this New Year's Day, I've been thinking about how different this pregnancy is from the first.

First pregnancy: On any given day during the pregnancy, I could've told you exactly how far along I was. Ex: "I am 21 weeks, 3 days" or "I'll be 14 weeks on Thursday."

Second pregnancy: I keep losing track of my progress. When someone asks me how far along I am, I just tell them my due date. I know right now I'm somewhere between 28 and 30 weeks, which I think means I'm in my third trimester. Hm. How about that?

First pregnancy: Brian came with my to almost every doctor's appointment. We always went with a written list of questions, most of which could be answered with "That's completely normal" or "Don't worry about that."

Second pregnancy: Brian comes for ultrasounds only. For the others, after the headache of finding someone to watch Katy during my appointment, I'll be driving to the office and wonder, "wait, do I have any questions?" Sometimes I think of one, but most of the time I don't. I'm curious to hear my weight gain and the heartbeat, and then I'm on my way.

First pregnancy: I couldn't wait to start showing. I wanted everyone to know that I was pregnant as soon as possible. I wanted to be big. Soon.

Second pregnancy: I'm embarrassed when people ask when I'm due, especially when they look at Katy with wide eyes as they ask. Because I know they are thinking either, "woah, she's huge, how can she have 3 months to go?" or "wow, those kids will be close in age." Not that I care what people think, but I'm not anxious to get bigger sooner.

First pregnancy: I was so worried about every ache and pain. I was truly a nervous wreck. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy, birth, and newborns. I took 3 different classes at the hospital before I delivered.

Second pregnancy: I'm much less anxious, assuming that most aches and pains are just par for the course. Brian says he hears about this pregnancy a lot less from me. I haven't read a thing, and the other day it occurred to me that we should probably take a hospital tour sometime, since our insurance is sending us to a different place.

First pregnancy: There was so much to physically get ready for the new arrival, and so many decisions to be made. What kind of car seat, stroller, crib, glider, nursing pillow, bottles, diapers, and pacifier will we use?

Second pregnancy: Those decisions are all made, and I hope New Baby is ok with it. We have some clean up and organization to do to get ready, but mostly we have what we need, it's just a matter of digging it out and dusting it off.

First pregnancy: I was so completely overwhelmed with worry about what life with a newborn would be like (and was truly blindsided by the reality of it when it came) that I didn't really enjoy the anticipation of meeting my firstborn child.

Second pregnancy: Having had the experience of falling head over heels in love with my daughter, I can't wait to meet my son. I can't wait to see what he looks like, what position he likes to be held in, what kind of eater he is, whether he likes to be swaddled, and what makes him smile the biggest. I know it will be hard again, the newborn stage. But I think with a little more perspective this time, I will enjoy that short time a little more.

First pregnancy: I think that if were truly honest with myself, I wanted to go into labor early. Not dangerously early, of course, but I really think that I was hoping for 3 or 4 weeks before my due date. I was completely ready, twiddling my thumbs for the last several weeks.

Second pregnancy: I hope I go until my due date, or at least within a few days of it. I want to enjoy the precious time I have with just one kid, and they will be close enough in age, it doesn't need to be any closer. Plus I want to have as much time as possible for nesting! I love nesting!

First pregnancy: Speaking of wanting to go early, it seemed like that 9 months dragged on and on...

Second pregnancy: I can't believe it, I'm in my third trimester! This baby is due in March! That's the month after next!! Must go clean and organize!!