Monday, January 2, 2012

What I Love About Right Now

If there is one thing you learn when you become a parent it is just how quickly time flies right past you. It's almost cruel how quickly it goes! I have also learned to enjoy and appreciate each age and stage because something new is always coming! What I love about motherhood right now is having a toddler. Caleb is getting so smart and figuring so many things out. It truly blows me away. I love to stare at his sweet baby face while he is sleeping. He still looks like a baby then. The chubby cheeks and little kissy mouth are still the same. But once he wakes up, I am reminded within seconds that he is no baby...he is all TODDLER!

He knows where his eyes, nose, mouth, and toes are although he doesn't always point to it when I ask, I know he knows. His favorite is nose, which he always identifies by putting his finger in a nostril (his own, or ours...he doesn't discriminate).

He loves to pretend he is talking on the phone. Usually the "phone" is a train track, remote control, toy car, his hand...anything other than a phone. He is so animated and even throws up his hands and talks with them too. It cracks me up. He throws in a fake laugh here and there also. He most definitely is going to be a talker!

He doesn't meet a stranger, EVER. He strikes up a "conversation" with anyone, anywhere. If someone gives him the slightest bit of attention, he just keeps showing off. I am glad he's not as shy as I was/am. He gets this after Chris for sure!

He is a daredevil! He has very little fear. Which is good and bad! His new tricks are climbing into the kitchen and dining room chairs on his own (he perfected climbing onto the couch long ago), crawling under the highchair and pushing it across the room while crawling underneath with his hands in front of him on the bar, crawling into the bathtub on his own, and he even climbed onto the dining room table on his own once. I see emergency room visits in our future. He is all boy!

He is saying more and more words. So far he's said:

Hey - Haaaay
Bye Bye - Buh bye
Dada (or DA! Everyone is DA! But most often he is calling Chris or my Dad DA)
All Done - Ah Duh
Nose - Nuh
Mouth - Muh
Ball - ba
Banana - Nah na
No - Nuh or Nah
Bird - Bir
Woof Woof - Wuh Wuh (everything woofs. Elephants, cows, cats, lions, dinosaurs. Bet you didn't know that, did you?)
Night Night - Nigh Nigh

I am probably forgetting something but those are the words I know off the top of my head.

He is obsessed with cars or anything with wheels. I didn't know kids made car noises so young but anything with wheels is "brmm, brmm!" I was trying to put him into his carseat as a tractor was driving by (yep, on our road. We live across the street from cows) and he turned around and stood up in the carseat. I gave up, took him out and let him wave bye to the tractor as it rode past. He was in awe and later waved and told it buh bye from the front door.

I lined up all his rubber duckies in the bathtub and he has done it several times since then. I have a duck song too that he tries to copy and makes the ducks quack and lifts them up as they quack/sing.

Caleb just started pretending to read. Tonight I took a bath with him and he handed me a bath book then took one for himself and began reading. He said "bye!" and closed it when he was done.

I have enjoyed watching Caleb learn new things over the past 16 months and look forward to watching him continue to learn more and more and learn new words. It is so much fun to watch things through your child's eyes. It's like seeing it for the first time again. I am so proud to be a mother. I want to be the best mother I can be, because Caleb deserves it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year...

I used to look at New Years as a sad time. I just hated that Christmas was over, winter was far from over, and I would be heading back to school or later work. Perspectives change as we get older. Isn't that funny how that happens?

While New Year's Day is FAR from my FAVORITE holiday. I appreciate it more now. The calmness after a very busy, full of excitement holiday. I appreciate the way it makes me think about just how much I have to be thankful for. Man, did 2011 rock! Every single day? Well no. But overall, I have lots of incredible memories from 2011. But perhaps best of all, is the fact that it feels like such a fresh start. I've got more resolutions this year then I probably should have (among the long list is to get in shape, get more organized, blog more often, and really get my Etsy shop up and running). So here I sit, on December 30th getting a head start on the blogging (check!) and shamelessly plugging my Etsy shop (check!).

I knew this Christmas was going to be an emotional one. My Uncle Paul passed away very unexpectedly just before Halloween. Last year he was smiling from ear to ear watching Caleb "open" his presents. He went out and shopped on his own and bought Caleb a crib toy that lights up and plays music and some Carolina Panthers onesies and shirts. He was so proud. We all felt his absence. I can't help but get a lump in my throat when I think about the fact that Caleb won't ever remember him. I am so very thankful that we were all together. We were there to hug one another when we needed to. There were definitely some tears. There was also a lot of love in my house this year. A fill you to the brim and leave you feeling so very full of love and thankfulness for all of those that are still here. There was also one excited little boy. He walked right to his train set and started playing and making noises (which sound more like car noises but make my heart and my face smile). I just LOVE that there is a little to celebrate with again. He has brought MAGIC back to Christmas and I am so excited to celebrate more holidays with him as he gets older and really "gets" it.

We used to go to my grandparents house every Christmas but last year we volunteered to have Christmas at our house since we had a baby. The buck has been passed on my friends. Last year I ordered a ham from Honeybaked Ham. It was arrived on my doorstep, we popped it in the oven-BAM! Christmas dinner was ready. This year, we were brave. We decided we were going to cook a turkey. And not one from Honeybaked either. I found a great sale about a month before Christmas, loaded up my cart with a big turkey, and froze him until the week before. I didn't know just how BIG it was until our company arrived and asked if I had bought a Bald Eagle instead of a turkey. It was 21 lbs. You read that right. Not 12, I didn't transpose those numbers...our turkey was just 2 lbs. shy of what our 16 month old weighs. Chris saw it as a challenge and stuffed apples, onions, herbs, and two sticks of butter in that sucker and it was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! We even had turkey salad, turkey pot pie, turkey and cheese pockets, and made turkey stock! BOO-YAH!

My mother trying to take credit for this massive bird. I believe she took a ladle and scooped about 3 scoops of broth out of the pan, then handed it all back to Chris. Don't let her fool you!

I was an elf this year. No, not in the sense of the pointy shoes and bell on my hat (although my husband will likely think that's hilarious being that I am barely 5 feet tall). I started making gifts in October and actually have a couple left. Shhhhhh....don't tell please! I didn't get pictures of everything, but I do want to share some of them. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't proud. I love crafts. I can't help it. It's in my blood (I wrote about that on my Etsy shop...don't worry a link is coming, wink, wink). It drives Chris crazy sometimes but I think he is secretly okay with it. I made crayon totes, felt food, doll quilts, mug rugs, bath salts, felt notebook covers, a felt book. Next year, I'll start in June! It was worth it though. For several reasons...saved us money, we were able to give unique gifts, and I, of course, loved every minute (almost every minute anyway).

I know I am going backwards here, but I have to include some pictures of Caleb with Santa. He was a wiggle worm while waiting in line and thank God it wasn't a long line! He wanted nothing to do with sitting or standing still and everything to do with running away from us and right to the inflatable helicopter with Santa driving that was outside of Santa's house. When it was finally our turn, we plopped him down on Mr. Claus' lap and he sat still and perfect and cut eyes back and forth, careful not to look directly at Santa for more than a glimpse or two. He slumped down after a minute...I guess he decided Santa's lap is pretty cozy.

Alright, last but not least...I have an Etsy shop (revamped with a new name and new listings!) Please check it out. Favorite it, check back often, buy something you get the gist.

Well, I am off to bed!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gift Card Challenge, Week 2 Continued...

There were 2 packs of diapers left and in the right size!  I had a $2.00 off CVS coupon for the diapers and the coupon machine printed out a $3.00 coupon so it ended up being an even better deal.  The Mtn. Dew were 0.88 each and I had 2 $1/2 so they were .38 each!  The Gatorade were 2.50 each then I got 5 ECB back so it was like getting them for FREE.
Total Used on Gift Card: 1.49
Total Product Value Purchased: 31.31

Remaining Extra Care Bucks: 5.00
Total Used on Gift Card so far: 4.56
Remaining Gift Card Balance: 20.44
Total Product Value Purchased So Far: 89.06

Walgreens Trip-8/14

Total Spent: $14.15
Total Saved: $74.73

Not too bad.  $88.88 worth of product.  Saved 84% and got some things we needed, some cheap candy, and some Expo Markers for FREE for a friend who's a teacher.  :)

The Gift Card Challenge

I have challenged myself to a CVS gift card challenge.  I bought a CVS gift card for $25 and I am going to see just how long I can stretch it!

Here are my first two week results.
Week 1:

I broke this up into two transactions and I did have ECB to roll into this so that helped.  I am not going to list all my coupon match ups since I will not likely be posting these until after the week is over...I get my coupon match ups from SouthernSavers, so check her out if you are looking for that!  I bought a Schick Hydro Razor, a pack of Pampers diapers, Aussie Shampoo and Leave in Treatment, 3 Softsoap Bodywashes, and a bag of Gardettos.  

Total Used on Gift Card: 3.07
Total Product Value Purchased: 49.43

Remaining Extra Care Bucks: 9.00
Remaining Gift Card Balance: 21.93
Total Product Value Purchased So Far: 49.43

Week 2:
I received a coupon for a FREE CVS body wash for liking CVS Minute Clinic on Facebook and to my delight the magic red machine printed out a coupon for a FREE 20 ct. of CVS bandaids and a FREE Caramello bar.  After scanning my coupons for the body wash and bandaids, the receipt printed that I didn't owe anything and the candy bar coupon hadn't even been used yet.  So I got another one.  I planned on getting Gatorade, a razor I had a raincheck for, and Huggies Slipon Diapers but they were out of all three.  I've still got 9 ECB, and may try again for the diapers.   

Total Used on Gift Card: 0.00  (I forgot to use my card, and paid the 0.08 with change from my wallet, I'll figure it in at the end).
Total Product Value Purchased: 8.32

Remaining Extra Care Bucks: 9.00
Total Used on Gift Card: 3.07
Remaining Gift Card Balance: 21.93
Total Product Value Purchased So Far: 57.75


I've transitioned from working mom to stay-at-home-mom to nanny/stay-at-home-mom.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love the stay-at-home-in-your-jammies-watching-one-too-many episodes-of-Yo-Gabba-Gabba best.  However, watching these two sweet boys is a very close second.  I do love it.  And when I have a moment of "stress," I quickly remind myself that I am so very lucky to NOT be working anymore and getting to play all day and feed teddy grahams and peanut butter to two cutie pies instead.  I remind myself that I am lucky to be with Caleb all day.  I remind myself that I am lucky that someone else trusts me with their little.  I remind myself of how lucky these two are to have each other.  They are already best buds.  Much of the day they are taking toys from one another, Rayaan telling Caleb, "No, No, No!" when Caleb is into something he shouldn't be, or parallel playing side by side but not really "together."  But they love each other already.  Caleb gives Rayaan goo-goo eyes that say, "You are so big and cool and I want to be just like you!" and Rayaan hugs the "bebe" when he is upset or offers him a toy, then another, and another, "More!  Here bebe!"  Yep, it's a close second indeed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Great Intentions

I take a LOT of pictures on my phone.  I take pictures of Caleb of course but I also take pictures of random things and I think, "I am going to write about this on my blog!"  And 99% of the time they don't end up here.  I don't know how Mamas find the time to blog daily, or even weekly, to be honest.  I'd like to write more often.  For myself more than anyone else really.  I like to preserve memories with words and pictures.  It just doesn't happen as often as I wish it did.  So here's a condensed blog of some things from the past couple weeks. 

The garden has died.  Chris mowed over it, except the tomatoes.  He dug up potatoes yesterday and we had a cheesy potato bake tonight.  It was pretty yummy if I do say so myself!  I hope next year we do even better with our errr...harvest!  I've made two batches of salsa.  I felt very domestic!

Chris has taken Caleb off for a couple Daddy/Son dates lately, and I have to admit, it's been nice!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being home with my boy all day everyday!  Everyday Caleb does something that makes me laugh, something that makes me think about just how lucky I am, something that makes me pick him up and squeeze him tight (even though sometimes I should leave him be and let him do whatever it is he is doing).  However, I do miss me time a little.  So what did I do last week?  A little laundry, cleaned up my kitchen, then made a pot of coffee.  I went to pour the coffee and realized that all my small black mugs were in the dishwasher and reached for this one instead. 

So what if it's August!

I made myself a peanut butter n' fluff sandwich with my new FAVORITE peanut butter!  We ordered a 6-pack from Amazon.  Heaven I tell ya!  Heaven!
And I clipped coupons.  One day I WILL be all caught up!  My binder will be full of all in date coupons, neatly clipped and filed and there will be NO piles of coupons on a table!  A girl can dream right?
If you love these pages as much as I do, head over the the KrazyCouponLady's website and print some.  They're FREE and help to keep things organized.

It's important to have some me time.  To do whatever it is that makes you happy.  Mamas need that.  And so do Daddys.  :)

Well, my baby is ready for bed which means I'm ready for bed!  I guess I will stop here and pick up later.  I will add a few pictures of my sweetheart.