Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I was fully intending to come home and post all about Samantha's first Halloween, but I think this picture says it all.  We're wiped!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

night cloth: take two

Last week, I decided to take the plunge into night time cloth diapering.  It wasn't a complete success, but it wasn't a disaster either.  I had her in a good.night by Goodmama for about 10 hours which have been said by many to be bullet proof.  For the regular good.night diapers, it's recommended to wash approximately 8 times to achieve the maximum absorbency.  Mine haven't been washed that many times yet and she pees through them rather quickly during the day (yay for having a heavy wetter!) so I haven't tried them at night yet.  However, the owner at Goodmama diapers is currently holding a send your own fabric (SYOF) thing where users can submit fabrics for approval and if they are accepted, people can sign up to have these custom diapers created.  Well, one of the mom's on the board decided to try a new style of diaper, a good.night with a no pill fleece outer.  The outer she chose was a dark blue with airplanes on it.  So with Chris's aviation background, I just HAD to sign up.  Our diaper arrived a little over a week ago a few days after one mom on the board had already gotten and tried hers.  She only washed it 1 time before using it and said she had no leaks at all!!  Amazing, so I washed mine once and on the butt it went.

Then we woke up!!!  Unfortunately Samantha's diaper leaked, though thankfully it wasn't too bad.  There was just a slightly damp spot about the size of a piece of notebook paper on the bed.  When I took off the diaper it was wet, but due to the fleece soaker, her bottom was completely dry!!  I liked this since I'd hate for Samantha to have to sleep feeling wet all night long.  I used a PUL cover and from what I can tell, the pee wicked through the legs and on to her pajamas and the bed.  Apparently this problem isn't uncommon.  I posted on my Goodmama facebook board and a general consensus was that we should be using a wool cover.  Wool is said to be antimicrobial, breathable, and of course, cute!  Yesterday I went to our local cloth diaper store, Abby's Lane, to pick up a pair of wool longies.  I chose a cute Ooga pair that has little feeties so that Samantha's feet won't get too cold.  I think she likes them, and I'm excited to use them.  They came pre-lanolized so we are good to go.  Just need to slap them on over a diaper and put her to bed.  This is super helpful to be because I have NO idea at all how to wash/lanolize my wool.  Guess it's time to learn!

So tonight, we will attempt a second night in cloth.  I can only hope it goes better than the first!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

let the festivities begin!

It has been so much fun this year celebrating all of Samantha's first holidays.  So I was especially excited for today to begin our Halloween festivities!  We started off this afternoon with our playgroup's Halloween party.  There were 57 people scheduled to show up PLUS all their babies!!  I'm pretty sure all of the 57 parents showed up so it was a full house.  But we had a blast with everyone.  There was delicious food and delicious deserts.  I just LOVED the confused looks on many of the babies' faces wondering what the heck was going on.  I tried to get pictures, but the problem with photographing babies is none of them want to look at the camera, let alone all at the same time.  Here is me and Samantha with our friends Megan and Caleb.  And Amy - I know you read here...for some reason all the ones with all three of us came out blurry.  :-(  So I hope one of the ones your husband got came out nice!!!

After the playgroup party we headed to my cousin's house for our second Halloween party.  This was an adult only party so we didn't stay too long since we didn't have a sitter for Samantha.  But we did bring her in her kitty costume so she fit in.  My cousin was dressed as Rainbow Bright and looked so cute!!  Her husband was a hockey player.  Unfortunately by this point Samantha was getting very tired so we only stayed for about an hour.  A highlight of the party though was when one of the guests actually recognized Samantha from her little bit on the news the other day.  How cool is that?!  Here is Samantha and I with my cousin, Vanessa.

By the time we got home, Samantha was WIPED.  She will typically wake up the second you remove her from her car seat but for the first time ever, she didn't even stir.  The poor little thing was just exhausted.

Now we can look forward to Monday when we will be taking her Trick or Treating!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

she's famous!!!

O.M.G. my baby is famous!!  Tuesday, Chris and I were watching the news and saw the My First Five picture of the day and I jokingly said to Chris that we should submit a picture of Samantha.  I went through all of our pictures -- okay, not all of them, but I went through her Halloween photos and picked my three favorites and then showed them to Chris so that he could have the final pick.  He chose the picture, I submitted it, and that was the last I thought about it.  Well tonight, I decided to check out the Fox website and low and behold, Samantha was chosen for todays picture of the day!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I wish they would have told us so that we could DVR it and have it on the big screen, but oh well.  I am just so excited!!  I seriously wasn't expecting her to get chosen.

My First 5 Video - Samantha:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the week of blowouts!

Since long before Samantha was born, or even conceived, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper.  Soon after our miscarriage I started collecting diapers and have never stopped.  Samantha was born at 6 pounds 12 ounces so a lot of her diapers, including newborns, were still too big on her when we brought her home from the hospital. For the beginning, I used disposables, and we still do use disposables at night until I get brave enough to take the plunge into night time cloth diapering.  We first got Huggies All Natural diapers which gave Samantha a horrible rash.  Even though she was too tiny, I attempted to use some cloth and within a day of her being in cloth, the rash was gone!  Amazing!  We then switched to Pampers which is what we've been using since.  Thankfully she doesn't have much of a reaction to these and they've worked well for us.

Typically, I will only use disposables at night, while babysitting all day, and while traveling.  Well this past week, I got sort of lazy and disposable diapered pretty much every day.  Samantha used to be a once a week pooper but recently has started going more often.  Well guess what, every.single.time this week Samantha has pooped, it's been a blowout.  Ick!!  I can't tell you how many outfits I've changed due to them being covered in poop.  Sometimes, I'd open the diaper to find hardly anything in there, yet it's still up her back!  Yesterday, I finally got her back in cloth and sure enough...she pooped.  But guess what?  It was all safely contained in her cloth diaper.  Thank goodness!  As a matter of fact, in my 6ish months of on/off cloth diapering, I think she's only had one poopy "blow out" and that was because the diaper she was wearing was way too big.  Just a little drop leaked out of one of the legs, but not enough to make a mess or anything.  They are seriously amazing.

So there you have two of the many reasons I LOVE cloth diapering!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

how do they do it?!

Pre Samantha I worked as a nanny for 4 years.  Then when I was 38 weeks I stopped working and haven't looked back.  Well...sorta.  A few months after Samantha was born I started occasional babysitting.  Currently I regularly babysit for three families.  The V's on Mondays, The B's on Tuesdays, and The {other} B's on Fridays.  My Mondays with the V's just started last week but last week, I didn't go in until around 10:30am since I had to have my initial appointment with my dentist for my broken tooth.

Today was my first day  needing to be there bright and early at 7:00am.  Wow!!  I set my alarm for 5:30, but didn't roll out of bed until 5:43, lol.  Chris travels up that way but a little farther and said I needed to leave by 6:05-6:10 so that was my plan.  I hurried up and got dressed, brushed my teeth and hair, and then got Samantha ready.  She was NOT happy to be getting up so early.  Well Samantha, here is a taste of your own medicine!!  After I was all packed up we got into the car and headed up.  But not before a quick drive thru run at Dunkin Donuts.  Delicious!  Then we got stuck in traffic.  Yeah...that 6:05 depart time probably wasn't the smartest idea.  I ended up not getting to their house until after 7:15.  Thankfully it wasn't too big of a deal, but I still felt bad.

By the time I got there I was completely ready to go back to bed.   I dragged all day long, and I must admit, was somewhat depressed that the two younger kids no longer take an afternoon nap, because boy, that would have been nice!!!  Once I got home from taking the youngest, J, to preschool I tried to relax on the couch with Samantha while T played on the iPad.  Then the phone rang.  "Hi, this is so and so from "insert pediatrician name here" calling to let you know that J's strep test was positive.  Please give us a call back to let us know which pharmacy to send your prescription to and so we can answer any questions you may have."  Perfect.  I quickly called the mom who was in shock and promptly returned the pediatrician's call.  Mom decides to pick up J from school so that I can leave 30 minutes early with Samantha.  Okay, sounds good.  I was frantic and put in a call to our pediatrician just to be on the safe side.  I left a message on the "well baby" line which says they will call back within 3 business days, but thankfully it was under an hour before I heard back.  Luckily, for some reason, strep is uncommon in children under 2 so I shouldn't have too much to worry about.  I'm going to keep an extra close eye on her just in case though since she's been fighting a cold for the past week or so.

All in all, it was an exhausting day!!  I don't know how I managed to get up at 5:30 four days a week, put in a 10 hour work day, and not get home until after 6:00pm.  Today was seriously a struggle.  I give mad props to all you working moms out there.  I don't know how you do it!! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

don't be a sheep!

...this is what happens when you try to be a sheep and make a video like everyone else on the planet.  It backfires!!!

And upon searching you tube for the clip, it turns out there are even more people with similar videos.  So here is the lesson...just because someone else's kid has a million dollar reaction to something, doesn't mean that you need to go home and try to reenact it.  You'll just end up looking stupid.

Friday, October 21, 2011

we need them AGAIN?!

When Samantha was born, one big ticket item we didn't have was a baby swing.  I had opted to go for this newfangled contraption called a mamaroo, or as Chris calls it "the space pod".  Yeah, $200 later and Samantha hates it.  Ever since she was born, she has refused to sit in it for more than 5 minutes.  So much for the cute new "swing" I so desperately wanted.  For now, it's put away in her bedroom in hopes that she might enjoy it at some point or that a future little brother or sister will like it.

During my first visit to Chicago when Samantha was 6 weeks old, we borrowed a traditional swing from my friend Brenna.  Of course, Samantha LOVED it.  Samantha has acid reflux and calming her down was a complete nightmare at the beginning.  Seriously, it was impossible to get her to stop crying.  The second I put her in this swing, she was silent.  So of course, I sent my husband a text saying we just HAD to have one.  It was a miracle.  Chris of course was hesitant and didn't want to spend another $100+ on a swing since we already had the mamaroo.  But I won out and we ordered a swing.  We chose a Fisher Price brand swing that had a mirror on the bottom of the motor because the one we borrowed had a mirror and Samantha seemed to really enjoy looking up at herself.  The swing arrived, I assembled it all by myself, and Samantha was then a happy camper!  Wahoo!

Now here is the problem...I chose a swing that has no option to plug into the wall.  What a mistake!!  The swing runs on 4 D batteries.  Lets remember that at the beginning the swing was one of the only ways to get Samantha calm, and now, the swing is where Samantha naps.  So yeah, we use the swing a lot.  I think we go through a pack of batteries every 2-3 weeks.  D batteries aren't cheap, running at about $10 a pack.  I'm wondering how quickly it will be before we've spent more on batteries than we did on the swing!!  Probably not much longer.  If I had to do it again, I would most definitely pick a swing that has the option to plug in rather than only use batteries.

What are some baby purchases you made that looking back, probably weren't too smart?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Monday??

I've needed a crown since September of last year.  I was around 6 weeks pregnant during that cleaning when I was told I had yet another cavity in my back right molar.  Of course, I put it off.  I was going to get it once Samantha was born, but once she got here, it got put off some more.  I mean, honestly, we don't have $750 sitting around to have the procedure done.  I asked about a payment plan and of course, there is only one option.  Their idea of a payment plan is half at the first visit and half at the second visit.  So essentially, you need to pay $750 in one week.  (You go for the second visit one week after the first)  Yeah, that doesn't sound like a very good payment plan to me.  My tooth hasn't hurt, it wasn't broken, and we didn't have money.  So the logical solution was to keep putting it off.

...that is, until Friday rolled around.  I got home from wherever I was and decided to eat a fruit roll up.  A few bites in and I felt a pop and I just knew that the crown was going to be in my immediate future.  Sure enough, I ran my tongue across my teeth and half of my back tooth was missing.  Gross!!  I immediately called my dentist who scheduled me for the first thing this morning after complaining "if only I had called earlier".  Well sorry my tooth only broke 30 seconds before, if I had planned on it breaking this evening I would have called you this morning!!!  I was so nervous going to the dentist and well, it was with good reason.  I had an x-ray done and the break is super close to my nerve.  Soooooo, on Thursday I get the pleasure of going for my very first root canal.  I'm pretty nervous but I hope it goes well.

On a happy note, I ordered a few cloth diapers the other day and they should be in my mailbox by the time I get home.  I guess a good consolation prize!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

my poor baby

This is what Chris and I woke up to this morning!  Samantha has been sounding rattley at night for a few evenings now and yesterday I noticed the congestion during the day as well.  A slight runny nose, but nothing too bad.  Then today, I woke up and found her poor little nose just crusted in snot.  She was coughing a lot this morning and sounded terrible but thankfully has sounded better as the day has gone on.  Yesterday, I gave her a eucalyptus bath which she thoroughly enjoyed in hopes that it would help to break up some of her congestion.  Thankfully though, throughout all of this she has been her happy self...most of the time.  The rest of the time she just wants to be held and cuddled which is fine by me.  Now I have to worry about tomorrow though.  On Friday while eating a fruit roll up, a filling along what what I can assume was part of my tooth came out.  So now half of my back molar is just missing.  So tomorrow morning off I will go to the dentist, and then to babysit.  Here lies the problem...Samantha refuses to take a bottle.  I'm pretty sure I remember the dentist telling me that when I got my crown (I've needed it for over a year but I've just been putting it off) that I couldn't breastfeed and would need to pump and dump for a few hours.  So I'm kind of starting to freak out.  I was going to have Chris bring Samantha to me so that I could feed her.  (I have to babysit after the dentist appointment)  But now I'm not so sure.  Ugh, this is just so nerve wracking.  I am so worried that she will get dehydrated and I absolutely hate the fact of leaving my baby...especially when she is sick.  :-(  I miss her already and I haven't even left yet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

on religion

Growing up Lutheran, I didn't have a whole lot of exposure to other religions.  Maybe a little Judaism here and there as my best friend Kim is Jewish and my entire family was always included in the Passover sedar, bar/bat mitzvas, confirmations, etc.  But other than that it was all Lutheran.  Then I found my dream college which ironically was Catholic.  Four months into college, I met Chris and a little over 7 months in we started dating.  After almost four years of dating, we got the Lutheran church.  So now after 8 ½ years of dating and 4 ½ years of marriage I've had plenty of visits to the Catholic church, and a lot of opportunity to notice the differences between them.  Now, I'm not talking about the "big" differences like purgatory (but didn't the Catholics stop believing in that anyways?) and what communion really is, but more differences in the mindset of the people attending.  (Let's note that I'm going to be comparing to the three Catholic churches in Connecticut I've attended, so maybe it's a New England thing)

The first difference I noticed was how they dress.  At home in my Lutheran church, everyone comes dressed in their Sunday best.  All the men in at least a collared shirt and khakis, some even in suit jackets.  The women in dresses or pants/sweaters.  So of course, on my first trip to Connecticut I packed my dress for church on Sunday.  Then when Sunday rolled around and we were getting ready, I noticed everyone was in jeans and t-shirts!!!  What?!  To be honest, it kind of appalled me, I mean we were going to church, not to the mall.  Over the years, I've come to terms that that's just how they do things there.  I've come off my high horse and I wear jeans and a hoodie just to fit in with everyone else.  But it still feels crazy to me.  My mother-in-law actually commented on this most recent trip that I was wearing the same clothes as the rest of them.  I made sure to let her know that it was just so that I didn't look out of place in my dressy clothes!!

Secondly, and what I find most humorous, is time.  To me, it feels like the Catholic church is GO GO GO!  Let me start with the Lutheran church.  We arrive at church 10-15 minutes early so that we can chat in the narthex and then go find our seats, which are unspokenly assigned.  Then the service starts.  A little while in we get to the sermon which typically lasts around 15 minutes, sometimes less sometimes more.  If it's the 1st, 3rd, or 5th Sunday of the month, we have communion.  (I know communion practices vary by congregation, so I'm going based on my home church)  For communion we file up and about 10 people go up at a time per side (there are two) and then we are welcomed to the table, kneel, given the bread and the wine, rise, and file out.  When all is said and done, it's over an hour from when the service started.  We then all wait in line to shake the pastor's hand and say hello and then we chat in the narthex with our friends for a while longer.  You may as well chisel out two hours of your day to go to church.  Now, we have the Catholics!  When we get to church, Chris's mom is sure to park in the "perfect" spot.  I.E. - the one closest to the exit so we can get out as fast as we can.  We get inside and if the service is anywhere before the first reading, we have arrived too early.  The whole family quickly shuffles to an open seat that can accommodate however many people have come together that day.  (Chris is one of seven, there are 12 adult children if you include all the husbands and wives)  Then they get to the homily, which lasts 5 minutes tops.  Short, quick, and to the point.  Then communion, which they do every week.  Everyone goes up single file gets their bread, and from what I can tell no wine?, and then goes back to their seat.  Again - fast and to the point.  Then church is over.  People quickly exit, trying to walk on the side so that they don't have to shake hands with the priest.  They just want to get to their cars as fast as possible.  By the time we've gotten to our car, in the perfect spot by the exit, there is already a line a mile long to get out of the parking lot!!!  Thankfully someone lets us get into line and by the time we're out on the main road I look to the clock and see it is only 11:22 (church was at 10:30).  So not even a full hour since church started and already it's a race to see who can get out the fastest!  I just don't get it!!

So my question is, what's the big rush?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

jump around...

jump up jump up and get down!!

Ever since we returned home from Connecticut the jumparoo has just "clicked" for Samantha.  She absolutely LOVES it, and it is too stinkin' cute to watch her play in it.  Thank you to Tim, Nicole, Ben, and Luke for this awesome gift.  :-)


 If the video doesn't work, you can also click here to watch it directly on youtube.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello Fall

Today we took Miss Samantha for her first trip to a pumpkin patch.  We chose to go to Lyman Orchards since it's right around the corner from my in-law's house.  We spent Friday and yesterday searching for the perfect fall outfit since it was 80°+ here today and our fall looking things are all long sleeved.  I didn't find anything spectacular but we did find this adorable little dress.  Then I borrowed a headband from my niece Leah for her to wear.  Too cute!!  Samantha really enjoyed the pumpkins and she did great sitting amongst them.  It was a great day!

We were joined by Samantha's cousins Joey, Leah, and Aiden.  We first played in the pumpkin patch and then went inside the store and got some apples, apple pie, apple cider, and apple cider donuts.  We had apple pie for dessert tonight which was delicious and the apple cider during dinner.  Tomorrow morning we'll enjoy the donuts with some apple cider and then get on the road to head back to Virginia!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

we are here!

We made it!  We left Virginia yesterday at 3:00 pm, only an hour later than scheduled.  Granted we DID leave the house at 2:07, only 7 minutes late.  But, we had to stop at Target to pick up our new contacts and then we got Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  As we pulled out of the Target parking lot and got the GPS up and running, I saw that we should pull into Chris' parents house around 8:30.  Sounds nice, right?  We got on the road and maybe 20 minutes in traffic suddenly came to a halt.  That stop quickly added another hour to our arrival time.  Okay, not so bad.  This is also the point where Samantha started crying.  I quickly hopped into the back of the car and found out the problem...the sun was coming in through the back seat and shining right in her face.  We have a shade on the side window but it clips up top so there was no way to attach it in the back.  Chris had a jacket back there, so I resorted to holding it up across the windows!!  My arms got sore rather quickly so then I cupped my hands and put them over her face.  Oh, the things we do for our babies.  Thankfully she then fell asleep and I was able to relax for a little bit.  We hit a little back up in Pennsylvania and then got it really bad again going to cross over the George Washington bridge into Manhattan.  What a horrible bridge.  Traffic sucks and it now costs $12 to go over.  TWELVE DOLLARS!!!  Crazy.  By cheating a little, we cut about an hour of "stuck in traffic" time and got over on the lower level.  Traffic in New York and Connecticut was smooth sailing and we arrived at his parents in Wallingford at 11:30.  Only three extra hours.  Oy!  We quickly ate dinner and then headed to bed.  So part one of the ride officially went well.

Today however is a completely different story.  Samantha decided that napping was not in the game plan.  I got her almost to sleep twice and then attempted to put her down either in the crib or travel swing and she would instantly wake up.  So, she didn't have a nap all morning.  Couple this with any of Chris' six brothers and sisters (plus their respective husbands/wives/significant others) plus nieces and nephews coming in and out and poking and prodding at Samantha, and well, you can imagine how the afternoon went.  I finally decided to put her in the Ergo and just walk around.  Thank goodness for the Ergo.  She ended up falling asleep for a little while which was nice, but even when she woke up she was still really cranky.  So overall, it was a really long day and I am praying tomorrow goes better.  We'll hope she gets a good night sleep and tomorrow is a new day.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, October 7, 2011

and we're off

Chris, Samantha and I are headed to Connecticut for the Columbus weekend to visit Chris's family. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the trip goes smoothly and we all arrive in one piece. Samantha has only been to Connecticut once and that trip is certainly one I'll never forget.

Back in June or July my sister-in-law Eileen posted on facebook that she was going to the Britney Spears concert in Hartford the first week of August. I jokingly said that I wanted to come too and much to my surprise, Chris actually said I could go. So began my trip planning. Chris works a rotating schedule and has crazy days off, so him coming up with us was out of the question. I decided to leave around 9:00am on Monday morning. The first 45 minutes was smooth sailing: Sam was sleeping, I was listening to my favorite talk show, and I was getting excited for the concert the next day. Then Sam woke up...and started SCREAMING. I had hardly crossed the border into Maryland when we had to pull over so I could attempt to calm her down. We stopped for almost an hour while I just walked back and forth over and over again. As soon as I would attempt to put her back in her car seat, cue the screaming. I finally gave up and just continued on my way. To make a long story short, we finally arrived around 4:30pm.

I had the concert Tuesday night and then Wednesday we had planned a family get together since the majority of his family hadn't yet met her. I was supposed to leave Thursday morning. Of course by Thursday, I was NOT ready to attempt the drive again so I decided to stay until Friday. Friday morning, I got up bright and early at 4:30 and headed out. Thankfully, Samantha slept straight through until Baltimore and hardly made a peep the remaining hour and a half until we got home.

This trip, we were hoping to have similar results. We were going to leave last night around 6:00pm after Chris got home from work. Chris is a seasonal employee at H&R block and each year they need to take classes to remain up to date with the current tax information. Class this week was to be on Monday and Wednesday. However, when he showed up for class on Monday, the instructor said class would also be held on Friday. What?! So right now, Chris is at class and once he gets home he's going to wash the car (really? As if the car isn't going to get dirty on the drive up there!) and then we'll head out about 2:00. Naps have been hit or miss lately so I'm not really sure what to expect. But at least there will be two of us, so hopefully the trip goes a little more smoothly.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I've decided that on Thursday's, I'm going to try to post about what I am thankful for.  On this Thursday, I am thankful for my playgroup, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Onesies.  After Samantha was born, I decided that I needed to find some mom friends since no one I know here my age has kids of their own.  I ventured over to and decided to look for local moms groups and came across the sisterhood.  I joined and then noticed that they were having a "Breakfast Club" meet-up the following day.  The click to say "yes, I'm attending this meet-up" was one of the toughest things to do!  Much harder than I thought it would be.  I probably sat at the computer for 5 minutes with my mouse hovering over yes, me too scared to push my finger.  This making new mom friends thing is SCARY!  Finally though, I did it, and so was the beginning of my playgroup membership.

I didn't know the "rules" of playgroup when I attended that first meet-up.  That being that the 10:00am start time listed online, really means 10:30...or whenever your little one decides to wake up from his/her nap, finish eating breakfast, etc.  So here I am, carrying Samantha in her carrier, racing to the door at 10:01 freaking out that I'm going to be the only one to show up late.  Lo and behold, I was the first one there.  The girl that answered the door, Christina, was SUPER nice so it wasn't too terribly awkward to be there alone for the 30 minutes until someone else arrived.  Unfortunately, Christina recently  moved to Pennsylvania so I don't know how often we'll get to see her.  But I do hope we see her again.

Since our first meet-up we've attempted to go to playgroup 2-3 times per week.  It is so refreshing to get out and talk to other moms, and also for Samantha to have the opportunity to interact with other babies.  There are actually quite a few little ones right around Samantha's age.  She just loves looking all around and taking everything in.  Yesterday we had an Arts Appreciation 101 playgroup where we all sang silly songs and played music with our babies.  Samantha really enjoyed singing and watching the older ones dance.  This morning we went out for brunch at IHOP.  At this point, I've gotten close enough that I even meet up with a few of the mom's for non playgroup things!  For example Kate and I went walking yesterday and Megan and I went to the park today.  (Hence all the pictures!)

Some people wonder "how we have time to get all our housework done" when we are at playgroup all the time, and to them, I ask "how do you get your housework done when you are at work all the time"?  It's no different really.  At this point in time, I think it's extremely important for us to be out and about, making friends, and giving Samantha all the experiences she can have.  She is soaking in SO much information and it's quite evident how much she is enjoying everything we do!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

nom nom nom

It's that time of year again!!  I am not afraid to admit that I am addicted to McDonald's, and probably even more so when they do their annual Monopoly game.  I've never won anything (big) but today I did win a medium fries as well as 30 mycokerewards points when I entered the codes onto the McDonald's website.  Plus, I got to eat a delicious quarter pounder with cheese.

Last fall, I was pregnant during the Monopoly game so that coupled with my strong cravings for french fries added up to many trips over...and a nearly complete Monopoly board, but of course, those ever elusive winning pieces always escaped us.  Thankfully (or not so thankfully), it is right around the corner from our house.  This year however, I will probably not be collecting as many Monopoly pieces.  Maybe like last year, Chris's coworkers will give him their pieces since they know I like to play.

This year, I am patiently waiting for the pumpkin milkshakes to come out.  This is the best time of year because those pumpkin milkshakes are oh so delicious.  Unfortunately as I waited in the drive thru lane today I asked the cashier when the shakes will be available and she looked at me with a dumbfounded look on her face and said she could sell me a pumpkin pie.  Well no, I want a pumpkin milkshake.  So for now, I'll keep my fingers crossed that she's a new employee that has never heard of a pumpkin milkshake and try to ignore the fears racing through my head that pumpkin milkshakes are no more.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kerry & Ben come to visit

We had special visitors yesterday!  Chris's sister Kerry and her husband Ben came to visit us from Connecticut.  This was especially exciting since besides a cousin up in Maryland and a distant cousin about 10 minutes away, we have absolutely no family here in Virginia.  I grew up in Chicago and Chris grew up in Connecticut and our respective families are pretty much all still there.

Kerry and Ben have only met Samantha once, back in August when I went up to Connecticut for the Britney Spears concert.  (Which was a TON of fun, by the way)  Samantha was slightly grumpy since we're in the midst of transitioning to her sleeping in the pack and play at night after an incident of her falling out of the bed while we coslept.  However, she pretty much immediately took to Ben...and I think Ben liked her too.  Ben enjoyed barking at Samantha, and she just though it was great and was always ready to give a big smile!!  Unfortunately she cried when Kerry held her, but what can I say, she loves her mommy!

Chris, Samantha, and I are headed up to Connecticut on Friday for the Columbus Day weekend where most of Chris's family will get to see Samantha for the second time.  It's unfortunate that our families live so far away but it certainly makes the time we do get to spend together that much more special.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

here we go again!!!

Blogging attempt - 5 (I think!)

Maybe this time it will actually be a success!!  Over the years I've had blogs on various sites - I started Teen Open Diary back in high school.  Unfortunately that site is no more and all my entires were lost.  I often wonder what I said back then and am curious to see what I "blogged" about back then.  In 2003 I moved to Livejournal and I still write there regularly today.  I have made many friends there, some of which I've even had the pleasure of meeting in real life.  It's a great space to journal, but it seems more of a "private" place to write rather than somewhere to write about what's going on in the world around me.  I also started a kitty blog, which did sort of take off, but I never could feel comfortable posting as if my cats were doing the writing themselves.  It was just too awkward.

Then in January 2009 I started a Wordpress to document my pregnancy since we were (and still are) so far away from our families.  Unfortunately, that pregnancy stopped developing at 6w1d and somewhere during my 8th week, I miscarried.  I said I would continue blogging, but that never happened.  Then last July when I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I contemplated starting a blog again.  However, with the thoughts of miscarriage in my head, I kept putting it off and putting it off.  Thankfully, God blessed us with a healthy little girl on April 2, 2011.  Today is Samantha's "half birthday" and she is 6 months old and I finally feel ready to start blogging again.  So, here we go!

I spent today planning on what to blog and then it came time to create my blog.  To start, you have to pick a URL name so that people can find you.  Well, I wanted was already taken so it took about an hour of me typing name after name until I found something that wasn't already in use.  Then you have to set up your layout, and pick a design.  Admittedly, I just quickly picked something to have something and I'll spend more time tweaking it later.  Then my sister-in-law and brother-in-law arrived from Connecticut for the day and the blog was put on the back burner.  So now, here I sit at 10:35pm typing this entry at last.

So for now, I settled on the URL myownjackpot, since my life is my own special jackpot.  I've got a great husband (most of the time!) and an amazingly beautiful daughter.  We've got a roof over our heads, food in the cabinets, money in our bank accounts, and I can't forget our precious three kitties.  What more could I ask for?  I'm sure I'll change it once I think of something more creative but for now, I think it will do.  As for the background, well those who know me know that I love colors and rainbows so I think it suits me perfectly.

I think this is a good place to start, and I'm happy to be back in the blogging world.  Hope you guys are here to stay and enjoy the ride!!