Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This year I'm thankful

This time last year I was emotionally drained. This time last year I was depressed. This time last year I was angry. This time last year life sucked.

Why you ask? I was on cycle 11 of trying to get pregnant. Mark was ready to give up for awhile and take a break because it was making me crazy. He gave me this last cycle and if we weren't pregnant he wanted to take a break for awhile. After months of waking at 7 a.m. to take my temperature and record it in my account I couldn't imagine putting this on hold.

So here we were in Thanksgiving week, a time to be thankful and all I could be was bitter. I just knew I wasn't pregnant this cycle. I had no 'phantom' symptoms. Those evil little things that lifted my hopes every cycle making me FOR SURE I was pregnant. (One cycle, maybe 6, I had increased salvia. Well upon googling I found many people have increased salvia with pregnancy. First thought: OMG I'm pregnant. Nope, not at all.)

Since I had no 'phantom' symptoms I didn't even want to take a test this cycle. I figured, What's the point. The Sunday after Thanksgiving was the first day I could test. I wasn't going to do it. Mark made me. I written about this before so I won't go back through the dramatics except to was positive. 

So this year I'm a year out from finding out I was pregnant. I have a beautiful, happy 3-month 0ld. I have SO much to be thankful for. Mark and I are truly blessed and thankful this Thanksgiving. So much has changed for me over the course of a year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recycled Crayons

At 1 a.m. the other night I decided to start an art project. I made recycled crayons!! I imagine this being a great project to do with your kids or even a simple Christmas gift, just add a stack of copy paper :)

I used a mini muffin tin and an assortment of crayons. I preheated the oven to 275 degrees. While it was heating, I broke the crayons into pieces and removed the paper. Then I sprayed the tin with vegetable oil and filled them with crayons. Just put whatever colors you like together. Either colors in the same color family or just whatever you think goes together.

Then put the tin in the oven for about 10 minutes or until all the crayons are melted. It may take longer if you use a cupcake pan.

Once the crayons are melted remove them from the oven and let them cool. When they are cool just remove them from the pan. They should just pop out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things I've learned in 3 months

My baby is fast approaching three months. In those three months I've learned many lessons I never thought I would need to succeed in life.

1) Mother's should keep their fingernails as short as possible. Why you say? Because poop will find it's way under them no matter how hard you try to avoid that scenario. And your baby will laugh as you gag.

2) The books tell you you can 'bite off your baby's long fingernails.' Tried this, impossible. You will also have visions of clipping off your baby's finger every time you use those little baby nail clippers. It will induce a panic attack.

3) You will have NO memory of the first two weeks at home. None.

4) You will spend a good amount of time giving your baby a bath, putting lotion on him, picking out the cutest outfit, wiggling him into it and then you'll sit your baby up in his carseat ready to leave on your trip. He will then throw up all down the front and when you pick him up to see if you can salvage the outfit you'll realize he's pooped all over himself too. The process starts all over again.

5) You will vow to yourself that you won't let the baby lay there and cry. The whole first few weeks you do everything with one hand while your baby cries in the other. You'll do your best to quiet him while you make his bottle one-handed. Then your baby will become almost three months old and at 4 a.m. while you're holding a thrashing 12 pound, 2 foot long, screaming infant you'll say to yourself 'This is ridiculous.' Then you'll take that thrashing creature and lay him in his bed so you can prepare said bottle quickly and efficiently and think to yourself 'That was so much easier and quicker!'

6) Your most favorite thing in the world will be when you go in to either put your baby to bed or get them up in the morning and they look up at you with the biggest, toothless grin ever. Then you forget all the spit up, poop and thrashing.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Reflecting on my journey

How long did it take to conceive your LO(s)? 11 (long) cycles
What was the first thing you did or your first reaction when you got your BFP? After testing, I crawled back into bed for sure I was moving onto cycle 12, so with the covers on my head I hear Mark yell out that I HAVE to come in there and check out this test because 'There is totally something on here!' After multiple positive tests (and some consulting with some internet friends) we couldn't believe our eyes.
Describe your pregnancy in two adjectives. awesome, happiness
Did you know ahead of time if it was a boy or girl? What was your reaction when you found out? Yes, as soon as the picture flashed on the screen the word BOY popped into my head. I immediately looked at Mark and I think we both had a tear.  Pure joy.
What made you decide on their name? We were right up until the last week finalizing the name. The whole time we were trying for a baby we said his name would be Merrick (or Marek) and Mark wanted to honor his father, so Kenneth Merrick.
What was the name going to be if it was the opposite sex? Lillian
What week were you when your LO was born? 40 week 2 days pregnant (Friday the 13th)
Was your delivery how you envisioned it? Nope
Who was in the delivery room? Mark was the only one in there for the delivery
Who cut the cord? Doctor Merrick was in distress.
Did you enjoy your maternity leave? After the first two weeks and some good drugs....I enjoyed every minute of it :)

Favorite time of year

Christmas shopping season!!!

Christmas shopping becomes my hobby in the winter. No joke. I treat it like my hardcore hobby. It might as well be my second job. I start early and do my research. I'll look at every ad between now and when I buy my last present. I have a long list. A big family. I have to make my dollars count.

I start by making a detailed list of who to shop for. Then I write possible gift ideas next to each person's name. I'll go through a couple lists a season because I like my lists up to date.

This list is very important. Why you ask? Because this is where I admit my budget. We (or I) spend an average of $10 per person. That's an average. So some gifts cost a bit more and some a bit less but on the average $10. This is why my shopping is treated like a hobby. My goal is to spend $10 but it can't look like $10. So I start early and shop often.

I actually start the day after Christmas. I like to put ornaments or cookie cutters on everyone's package. The BEST time to stock up on this is the day after Christmas. I know how many I need and I buy accordingly. So I already have this year's stash.

I will also admit sometimes I go over budget. Like last year our niece HAD to have a pair of pjs even though we had already bought her gift. And then her uncle had to add something else to it also. But as a rule we do well sticking to our plan.

This new hobby of mine came about out of necessity when Mark was laid off a few years ago. Our income was cut by over half and I refused to cut out Christmas. But now it's fun. When you have a budget of ten dollars you have to get creative. You have to get out there and SHOP. You can't wait until the last minute to shop or you'll get junk. I think each gift I get now is more meaningful than when we had no budget. I put a lot of effort into making sure I get the perfect gift. I feel good about each gift I wrap and put under my tree.

So I start cutting coupons early and I horde ads like it's my job.

I also take a day off work so I can shop the day after Thanksgiving. I'll get up early (or not go to bed at all :) ) and hit the sales running! I'll have my stash of coupons and my handful of ads that will be marked with bright colored sticky notes as to what I'm looking for at each stop. I'll brief those in my car about what to search for and we'll divide and conquer. I have a job to do and crowds WON'T get in my way. I'll have granola bars in my purse and a mug of hot chocolate in my cup holder. There is NO stopping a girl and her budgeted Christmas list.

I'm already stalking the Black Friday web sites in anticipation. My first draft of my list is made and in my purse. I have four gifts already bought and I'm itching to buy more.

Let the shopping begin!!