Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update on Bug's Eyes

I posted before about Bug being diagnosed with strabismus and the concern that he might need surgery. He went for his follow-up appointment yesterday and thank the Lord, they have improved. I, along with the rest of our family, have been praying for Bug's eyes to be healed as well as for the wisdom to make the right decisions. The optometrist said she'd never saw anything like it, his eyes have improved so much that she was "absolutely amazed". Praise the Lord!

She wants to see him again in four months to reevaluate and see if there is a need for other treatment, such as patch therapy. She also confirmed what I'd read, that the surgery would not correct his vision, but is purely cosmetic. I am so very, very thankful for this and I will keep praying for improvements to my baby's eyes. Thanks to those of you who have also been praying for us, it is very much appreciated.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Drumroll Please...

The winner of the adorable pink lamp and my very first giveaway is Mamushi Love (Vicky)! Congratulations to you and thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, it turned out even better than I had anticipated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working Motherhood is Brutal

The title of this post may or may not make any sense. I couldn't decide so I went with it. No, I'm not going back to work outside the home, I just had a flashback. For the first six months of Bug's life I worked as a legal assistant. It was horrible. Not the job, the lifestyle. My three year sahm anniversary was October 16th. I have a handful of days that I consider the happiest in my entire life and October 16th, 2006 definitely made the list.

Last night my niece Robin called and she was telling me about how her little girl had kept her up until 2:00 a.m. recently and laughing about how hard it was to get up for work the next morning. That's when the flashback happened. A typical night with Bug went like this:

10:30 - Get Bug to sleep
11:00 - Get in bed
11:02 - Get back up with Bug
1:30 - Bug is back asleep. Sob. Fall back asleep.
3:00 - Get up with Bug
4:00 - Get Bug back to sleep. Consider sobbing, decide it's too much work, fall back asleep.
5:00 - Up for the day.

Last night Grumpy woke at 3:00 screaming like he'd been abandoned to the wolves. I'm not sure exactly how long it took to get him back to sleep, but it must have been awhile because I'm running into walls this morning. I was remembering how hard it was with Bug and honestly, I don't know how I did it. I do recall one incident where I told my boss (who was super sweet and understanding) not to expect much out of me because I'd been up all night.

I pray that I will never take for granted this blessing of being at home with my boys. From lazy days in our pajamas to long weekends just spent hanging out with my husband, I would not trade it for all the money in the world.

My niece holds down a full time job and is a single mom caring for an 18 month old. Oh yeah, she's also not yet 25 and has bought her own home. I'm not sure I could do what she does everyday. I was begging for mercy eight weeks in.

So, for those of you working mamas who have no choice but to be superwoman everyday, my hat is off to you. To the working moms I know in real life, if there's anything I can do to make your life a little easier, let me know. Seriously.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Online Income Update

As mentioned in a previous post, I am working with Demand Studios now. I am happy to report that so far things are going quite well. I have only published two articles so far, but both have gone through with no rewrite requests. I have already been paid for the first one and my second payment is in process. To add to my delight, the topics were actually interesting and both were something that I had real life experience with. I am praying that this will continue to work out, it seems like exactly what we need to fill in the gaps when my hubby doesn't get to work.

I also wanted to mention a website that I think might be helpful for moms trying to earn an income writing from home. 30 Queries in 30 Days is full of no nonsense advice from a work at home mom who is also homeschooling six daughters. I really enjoy her sarcastic humor, she cracks me up.

I am trying really hard to strike a balance between my real job of wife and mommy and my side gig of writing to bring in something extra. I have tried so many times to convince myself not to do it, but when I'm not writing I am miserable. I figure I might as well try to make something while I do it.

That's all for now, don't forget about my little giveaway, I will be drawing a winner on Thursday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Very First Giveaway!

Update: This giveaway has closed and I will be announcing the winner shortly. Thanks to everyone who participated!

How adorable is this lamp? The folks at CSN Baby are giving this gorgeous lamp to one of my readers. They have a ton of beautiful nursery decor, pretty much anything you need for baby's room including furniture. I wish I'd found them when I was buying stuff for the boys!

Now, how to enter...just leave a comment here and if you qualify for extra entries (see below) make sure you mention it in your post.

Extra Entries: One extra entry if you are a subscriber (or decide to subscribe just to get an extra entry, I'm not picky).

One extra entry for tweeting about this giveaway and how fabulous my blog is (I'm kidding about that last part).

Two extra entries for posting about this giveaway on your blog.

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

I will be announcing the winner on Thursday, October 29th. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is There Hope for Me?

This picture was taken last January the day I was released from the hospital. Notice the bags under my eyes, the lovely ball of frizz surrounding my head and my joyous expression. Grumpy will be nine months old Friday and, well, I still look like that.

Before I became a stay at home mom I managed to pull myself together every workday because I worked in a law office and I didn't have much choice. I honestly don't know how I did it. I barely manage to get my hair combed now. Until this morning it had been about four months since I had plucked my brows and I don't even want to discuss the last time painted my toenails. I'm a mess and it's driving me insane.

I have a lot on my plate, so I've been cutting myself some slack. I am full time mama to two boys, I'm a wife, I (try to) write from home when the little ones allow it, and I am responsible for the majority of the cleaning, laundry, shopping and bill paying. I don't have a lot of spare time, but at least I get a shower and my teeth brushed every day. That's got to count for something, right?

There are some things that I need, I am starting to realize. I need time to be a woman, to do my hair, to do my nails and maybe 15 whole minutes for make-up. I need to occasionally wear something that isn't covered in spit-up, dried peaches, marker and cupcake batter (seriously, I'm wearing them all right now). I need time to style my hair. I need time to comb my hair. That would be nice. I'm just not sure how to manage it.

I honestly couldn't tell you what's in style at the moment, I can't seem to find the motivation to care. I see women all the time who have as many or more kids than me and their hair is styled, their wearing cute (clean!) outfits, and they don't seem stressed or hassled. I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong.

My husband says I am beautiful and perfect looking exactly the way I do (again, see photo above) and I love him for it, I really do. But I am so very tired of feeling bad about myself. I don't know really know how to start to fix this, and I don't know if that's because it's just that hard or if it's a symptom of my muddled mommy brain. I am o.k. with my features, I've finally come to terms with my curly, red hair, fair skin and big (huge!) lips, I just need to figure out how to pull myself together.

I don't mean to complain, I love my life and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Yet I see other women managing to look nice with little ones, I want in on the secret. If any of you have the answer I would absolutely love to know what it is. Just leave me a comment, email, an offer to babysit my kids for free while I spruce up (kidding, of course). I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Easy Oven Stew

My mom had an old electric co-op cookbook that fascinated me when I was a little girl, it was from the 1950's and had a picture of a woman in heels, skirt and an apron on the front. When I got married she gave it to me and I still love it. Of course, you'll not find me in that get up anytime soon, but it does have some really good recipes. My husband likes meat and potato type dishes, so last week I gave Easy Oven Stew a whirl. It was really good, Bug even liked it, he devoured every carrot he could get his fork on. Here is the recipe, contributed by Mrs. Kenneth Imhoff of West Salem, Oregon, if you want to give it a try:

Easy Oven Stew

2 pounds beef, cut up for stew
2 tbsp, flour, 1 tsp. salt, dash pepper, dash paprika
4 to 6 small onions
4 potatoes, diced
16. oz. tomato sauce
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 cup sliced celery
4 carrots, sliced
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika, roll beef in seasoned flour, toss with oil in 3 qt. casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring once. Add vegetables and toss with meat and juices, add water, salt and pepper, pour tomato sauce over all. Cover and bake at 350 degrees about 2 hours or until everything is tender.

I didn't use as many onions as the recipe called for and I used baby carrots instead of sliced. The carrots weren't as tender as I would have liked, so next time I'm going to try slicing them. This would make the perfect meal for a cold evening, I think it's going to be a cool weather regular around here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's Going On

I realize I haven't been posting very often lately. I've had some ideas, but by the time I get a second to sit down and type they have completely abandoned me and since I know you probably don't want to hear details about my ingrown toenail or Grumpy's diaper contents, I've just been keeping quiet.

Since we moved in July it seems like everything has been a little haywire and out of control. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but things were definitely off kilter. I finally had enough last week and spent a few days getting everything (from menu plans to closets) back in order. I feel so much better now. Maybe I will actually be able to post something interesting here, you just never know!

I have mentioned before that I really don't enjoy writing for web content companies and how torn I am because it seems like a really good way to make extra money from home. I applied with Demand Studios and got accepted and I have to say, it looks promising. The topics are interesting, they are a reliable source of income that a ton of work at home mama's rely on, and you have seven days to complete each article. I am tentatively moving forward with the notion that this is what I've been looking for. I still want to do my own blogs and sites and figure out affiliate marketing, but this seems like a great way to fill in when my hubby loses work due to weather, etc.

When I was pregnant with Grumpy I was very, very sick everyday for the first four months and phenagryn was a lifesaver for me. Unfortunately, I was near lifeless when I took it (the doctor warned me that if I took a whole one at my weight I would probably end up unconscious) but lifeless was sooo much nicer than feeling like I was going to hurl the majority of my waking hours. Apparently the wonderful sleep habits of my kids have toughened me up. This morning I woke up feeling very, very nauseous and every thing I smelled made me feel like gagging. I am terrified of throwing up, so I swallowed half a phenagryn in desperation. I expected to spend the morning too sleepy to move, but even with the gap in sleep last night (the Grump was up from 2:00-3:30) I just feel a little drowsy. I guess I have my boys to thank for that, although I would have preferred to just feel sleepy once a year when I took the medicine over losing hours of sleep every.single.night for what will likely be 18.5 years.

That's about all I have for now, I am off to try to straighten up the house. Again. Have a great Monday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Grumpy's Been Up to Lately

My little Grumpy is just over eight months old now and he is finding his own sweet little ways to bring joy (terror) to our household. Here are a few of his current projects:

1. He has been practicing a lovely evil growling sound. There's nothing in particular that seems to set him off, he just does it randomly. I was seriously freaked the other day when he started doing it right after he spit up peas.

2. He's been polishing up his phone skills, attempting to contact the outside world whenever one of us makes the mistake of leaving the phone within his reach.

3. He has a theory that if anyone other than mama holds him for more than three minutes the world will end with a mighty bang. This is really making it hard to ditch him on my family when I go to visit them.

4. Having his diaper, shirt, pants or socks changed now results in Super Ninja Baby moves, accompanied by The Horrible Cry, which sounds a lot like he is being mauled by a wild animal. By the time I'm finished changing him I am sweating. Seriously. I really, really wish he wasn't pooping again right now, by the way.

5. He enjoys dancing at inappropriate times, like when he should be sleepy because he's been awake since 6:00. I suggest a nap, he starts dancing.

6. He has found a new game called No No Means Crawl Faster, as in I say "No, no Grumpy, don't go under the table.", and he crawls under the table as fast he can while squealing with delight.

7. He has become concerned that if I eat my food at suppertime (or breakfast or lunch) I will then proceed to eat his. To prevent this from happening he sobs hysterically every time I stop feeding him long enough to take a bite of my own food.

8. He has decided not to waste precious time and energy on things like getting a tooth or sleeping through the night. Or playing independently in his play yard. Or letting Daddy hold him for more than five minutes. Mommy apparently looks bored, so he's taken it upon himself to make sure that I stay busy. Usually from about 6:00-10:00, give or take a couple hours of naptime.

9. He loves to snag the remote during Little Bear and turn off the satellite box. Bug does not like it when he does this and screams hysterically. Grumpy dances a little.

10. He can now say MaMa and DaDa. DaDa is said sweetly, often in a whisper while MaMa (or NaNa sometimes) is only heard when I abandon him in horrible places like his Mammaw's lap or do something unthinkable like change his diaper.

Well, there you have it, the current adventures of the Grump. The husband and I have decided that if he wasn't so darn cute we'd have already shipped the little troublemaker off to one of the grandparents.


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