Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Why is it gorgeous all week long, and then rains all weekend? And why does my baby tend to spike a fever on weekends, but then is fine all week? Oh well. We still managed to have fun!

Friday night, I let the boy explore with feeding himself, for the first time. Of course, all he wanted to do was flip the bowl upside down!

Look who's sitting up now! A little bit assisted, but mostly on his own. 

Bessie REALLY wanted Charlie's blanket, as evidenced in the photo above. So I pulled her favorite comforter out. We call this her cloud. 

Saturday morning, Charlie and I left the house at 7:30 to get an oil change and tire rotation. In full disclosure, I woke him up because I was starving and couldn't sleep. Yes, I WOKE A SLEEPING BABY. Shame, shame. He survived. And waking him up might be the cutest thing ever. He smiles and closes his eyes to stretch. Kill me.

Hanging out at Goodyear: 

Saturday afternoon, we went down to Pelham to visit two of our friends that work for Alan Jackson. Alan had a show that night at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. One of our friend's is his road manager, and the other is his lighting guy. Neither of them had met Charlie yet!

Charlie, helping with soundcheck!

We didn't stay for the show because: 1. We aren't big Alan Jackson fans 2. It was supposed to rain. But it was super fun to hang out and see old friends!

That night, Charlie spiked a fever. He's been doing this every weekend for like 3 weeks, after we spend time outdoors. I wouldn't think allergies would cause a fever, but that's the only thing I can think of?! We had a rough night overnight, and then he got up at 5:30 am, ready to go! This was to punish me for waking him up the morning before. So we went grocery shopping. He had a new fascination with this book this weekend! Too cute. He looks so tired in this picture! 

He seriously loves this book. Anytime he would fuss, I'd give it to him, and he was happy. Love those chubby little hands holding the book.

Luckily, after his rough night of sleep, and only a one hour nap all day, he slept 10 hours straight last night. Phew. I keep thinking he's teething, and every morning I ask him if he grew a tooth overnight. So far, not so much!

I had a hard time falling asleep last night because we have some major changes happening in our lives that will start this week. Hoping to be able to share more tomorrow or Wednesday! 

Happy Monday, friends!

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Why I Blog

Linking up with A Blonde Ambition for her 'Why I Blog' Series today!

I guess I should say why I started blogging again. As you can see from my archives, I started regularly blogging back in 2010, right after I got married. My husband was traveling a lot, and I wanted something to focus on and something that was my own. I wanted it to be a humor blog and I kept getting great encouragement from the people around me, telling me I needed to keep writing.

For some reason, I stopped. I really have no idea why. Then we moved, and life got busy, and I had a baby. While I was pregnant, I started reading a bunch of Mommy Blogs, and fell in love with some of them. I continued to read these after I had Charlie and loved reading and learning about others' experiences parenting.

About a month ago, I sat in a job interview, and they asked me if I blog. And I told them I used to. And ever since then, I've thought 'why don't I?' I love to write, I love to have a chronicle of what's happening with Char. I think I got intimidated by other bloggers. I developed some blogger crushes and I thought I could never build my blog to be like their's.

But even if I never get more than my current 13 followers (that would be so sad), I will have a great collection of stories about my family, and that is priceless! I've already connected with a few other bloggers, and it's such a unique community.

Let's see where this blogging thing goes!

Sidenote: I changed my blog url to! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

About Me

I'm finally getting something up on my 'About Me' page, so I thought I'd make it a blog post too! A few fun facts:

1. I love, LOVE Diet Coke. I've tried to break the habit many a time, but so far, no luck. It's my vice.
2. I can't have sugar. Hence the blog name. Been this way for half my years.
3. I am not an animal person at all, but I LOVE my dog.
4. I have 1 sister, 2 stepsisters, 1 half sister, and an adopted brother.
5. My and my sister's names are Ashley and Nicole. My stepsister's names are Ashlie and Nicole. True story.  I was known as 'Big Ashley' at my dad's house.
6. I grew up in Michigan, but consider Nashville my home. I live in neither of those places right now.
7. I am a slight hypochondriac. (Major understatement.) Even reading about people getting sick gives me the heebie jeebies. I wash my kid's hands and face every day after daycare.
8. I have always liked the number 8. Strangely, the hubs does too.

And because no post is complete without a photo. Charlie playing with his new 'Jeter Bear'.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Can't Believe

I Can't many gray hairs I keep finding. I'm too young for this!

I Can't Believe...I got a medical bill AND a letter telling me it was late...on the same day.

I Can't Believe...I forgot my own phone number last week. Like couldn't write it down because I had no clue what it was.

I Can't Believe...Josh let me teach him how to sew last week, and he sewed a hole in his jacket pocket. I kinda learned as I 'taught' him. I guess I could say we both learned.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Sisters, and Graduations

Disclaimer: There is nothing in this post that I haven't already discussed with my little sis! :)

In a few weeks, I will fly up to Michigan to attend my little sister's high school graduation, AND my 10 year high school reunion, on the same weekend. (In full disclosure, as former class President, I selfishly scheduled our reunion to be on the same weekend I would already be there...convenient, eh?)

My sister and I are 10 years apart, if you didn't pick up on that. We are quite close and, though we have lived many states apart for many years, we've made it a point to have extended visits each year since she was about 8.

We are SO alike in our personalities. Kinda self conscious and shy at times, good students, and we approach so many situations the same way. We even look more alike than any of our other sisters. People in our family used to joke that I was her idol. We've always connected because we just 'get' each other. I've loved getting to be better and better friends as she has gotten older.

As Britt has grown up, she has often come to the hubs and I for advice and guidance on life issues. We love that we've had that open relationship and can talk real life with her, and she appreciates our opinions and perspective. We've had some really awesome conversations each time she's stayed with us. She has some pretty great opinions to offer as well. She's a smart cookie.

A few things have changed this year that have affected our relationship. 1. I had a baby, putting me in a completely different life point that she can't (and shouldn't!) relate to...and making me VERY busy. 2. She decided to not go to college right away after graduating.

Writing this out, I realize it sounds petty, but this has really disappointed me.  It disappoints me because Brittney has big dreams. I love that about her. Dreams to work in an exciting field that she's passionate about. Dreams to travel the world. And I'm terrified that deciding not to go to college right away will put a cap on those dreams. I'm scared that she's making that decision just because she's scared to make a decision about what college to attend, and what to major in. She's deciding to not decide. And that is so unlike me. For the first time, I feel like maybe we aren't so much alike. And that kind of makes me sad.

I was the first person in our family to get a college degree. I always thought she'd be the second. And she still might. I just fear that 'taking a year off' will turn into taking forever off. Or taking a year off, and then stumbling through and having a bad college experience.

I told her that this is the first time I've ever had someone I love make a decision I really don't agree with, and I dont really know how to deal with it. I really don't want it to affect our relationship, but it somehow feels like I agree with her decision, if I act like everything is normal with us. Ultimately, I know it's her decision and she is the master of her own future. I just want an awesome future for her.

So I ask you, readers, how do you support a family member through a decision you don't agree with? Say your peace, and then drop it? That's what I'm leaning towards.

Whatever happens, Britt, I love you and will always love you, and our time together!

And just for fun:

Chillin like a villian:

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Time the Sh*t Hit the Fan. Literally.

Last week I referenced in my 'I Can't Believe' post that I couldn't believe what I came home to at lunch.

I'm fortunate enough to live 5 minutes from my office, so 90% of the time, I drive home for lunch and spend my hour with my pup, prepping dinner, and catching up on household errands...or my DVR.

I walked in the house last week with a list of things I wanted to do before I had a friend over that night. Namely, vacuuming, and making sure the bathroom was in working order.

When I walked in, I was assaulted with an awful smell. I thought 'Man, I took the trash out yesterday, so I have no idea why it smells like that already.'

I let Bessie out of her crate, and quickly realized she had explosion of sorts. In her crate. This has NEVER happened before. And what do dogs do when they are wet? They shake themselves off. This is where the sh*t on the fan part comes in. I haven't actually checked the ceiling fan, but I'm sure it's there.

She quickly darted across the house, leaving a trail behind her, before I could corral her in the bathtub. The rest of my lunch hour was spent bathing her, cleaning furniture, gathering tainted items and throwing them in the basement to be dealt with later, and completely disassembling her crate outside and scrubbing it, in dress shoes.

I felt bad for me, but even worse for Bessie who had to sit in that mess. I wish I didn't have to crate the poor thing, but she gets severe separation anxiety if left to roam the house, and becomes quite destructive.

One hour turned into an hour and a half, and I was late getting back to work. Part of that was due to me deciding I deserved ice cream. I stopped at my favorite place on the way back. On the way there, I discovered my pants were speckled in dog poo. Then a bug flew in my ice cream.

I smelled for the rest of the afternoon.

Here's hoping for a less eventful lunch break today.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Can't Believe

Linking up with The Sunshine Diary for her 'I Can't Believe' series!

I can't believe... they changed the automatic flush toilets at work to a manual flush. I have to flush my own toilet now? Too much.

I can't believe... what I came home to at lunch yesterday. It deserves it's own post.

I can't believe... Charlie slept 10 hours straight last night! Best sleep I've had in months!

I can't believe... it's Wednesday and I've already tried two new recipes this week. I win.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One Year Ago

One year ago today I was having surgery while 14 weeks pregnant.

The beginning of my pregnancy seemed to be full of drama. The first drama being that we were NOT planning on having kids for several more years. Surprise!

At my first doctor's appointment at 8 weeks, a 15 cm cyst was discovered on my ovary. The doctor gave it a month to shrink, and then decided to remove it. Having surgery is never ideal. Having surgery while pregnant is downright terrifying.They assured me it was safe, but good grief. As if morning sickness wasn't enough.

A little history: I started a new job one week before I found out I was pregnant. My new employer REALLY appreciate that. I'm sure they think I knew and didn't disclose it, but I promise I didn't. I was as surprised as they were.

Then when I found out I had to be out for surgery, things got a little dicey at the office. I was told I needed to take the time off unpaid, and if I couldnt be back to work within one week of surgery, I most likely would no longer have a job. We also weren't sure if my new insurance would cover the cost of the surgery, or if it would be considered a pre-existing condition. (Insurance DID end up covering it, because it was pregnancy related).

Stress was at an all time high. I got to the point where I actually laughed when I got more bad news.

I went in for surgery, not knowing if the the doctor would be able to do laparoscopy, or if he'd have to do a full incision. This would determine whether I could make it back to work in one week or not. I was told to remind every doctor and nurse I came in contact with the day of my surgery that I was pregnant, to make sure I wasn't given any drugs that would hurt the baby because they don't usually do surgery on pregnant women.

I remember waking up in the recovery room and asking if the baby was OK  and if the doctor was able to do laparoscopy. Yes, and yes. Huge sigh of relief. My baby was fine, and I'd be able to keep my job. The downside was, I did end up losing an ovary. It's weird to think I'm down one organ.

One of my favorite feelings in the world is when something I'm dreading is finally OVER! I think I woke up in recovery with a smile on my face. The hubs and I kept accidentally referring to the hospital as 'the hotel'. We actually enjoyed our one night stay!

I remember thinking God must have really big plans for this baby, because his arrival sure hit a lot of snags! So glad all of that is over and I have a happy and healthy Charlie!!

This April 16th is WAY better!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Recap

It's Monday again...

This weekend was filled with lots of highs and lows. I was struck by how quickly a happy go lucky day can change. Nothing dramatic, just some back and forth.

My brother in law came down from Nashville for the weekend. He and the hubs went to see Switchfoot Friday night, so it was just me and my buddies.

After feeding Charlie in his exercauser for two weeks, I broke down and got out the high chair. I've been putting it off because we are hoping to move soon, and a disassembled high chair in a box is much easier to deal with. However, trying to get food into the mouth of a bouncing 6 month old gets old after awhile! 

I love, LOVE the high chair. So does Charlie. 

He's definitely got some room to grow!

Saturday morning started at Waffle House. As any good Saturday morning does! Then we went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and had Paul take some family photos of us. We've realized we hardly have any pics with me, the hubs, and Charlie all together. In all honestly, I've avoided most pics because I want to lose more weight and I don't really want to remember me looking like I do right now. BUT, I don't want to miss out on having pics with Char either, so that's that.

Some of the best pics of the afternoon: 

Do you like our color coordination? :)

After pics we went to Stadium Fest down in Hoover to visit some of Josh and Paul's friends that were working the show. Then we raced home to feed Char and get to a Birmingham Baron's game on time, where we were meeting some friends. 

After eating, Charlie proceeded to throw up his ENTIRE bottle. On me, of course. It looks like so much more than 6 oz when it's dripping down every part of you. The hubs decided he probably just got overheated outside, and we took his temp. 101.5! Had no idea. He seemed fine until he threw up. Needless to say, we skipped the game. Major bummer. It would have been Charlie's first baseball game, and we were looking forward to hanging out with friends. 

Things went downhill quickly after that. Had a hard time breaking Charlie's fever and he was super fussy till about 3 am. It was a rough night. Luckily, throwing up seemed to be a one time thing, and he was just coughing and sniffling. 

Sunday was a little better, but we mostly stayed home and tried to recover. He was pretty fussy all day and refused to nap. Then refused to go to bed, which he NEVER does. I think he's teething. I check for teeth everyday and ask him where they are. 

Sunday held a lot of this: 

Overall, could have been worse!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meet Bessie

Say hello to Bessie. My amazingly awesome, fully grown dog, who will always look like a puppy. 

We adopted Bessie in November of 2011. We went to the Alabama Animal Adoption Society and were both immediately drawn to her. She is very sweet and submissive. She just wants to love and be loved. 

Fun Facts: 

Bessie is a Lab/Beagle mix. So, she looks like a Lab, but is the size of a Beagle. 

She'll be 2 in May. Planning her party now. (Just kidding, not kidding)

Bessie LOVES these things (in order): Chicken, walks, peanut butter. If forced to choose, I honestly don't know if she'd choose chicken, or a walk. We can't say the word 'walk' in her presence. 

Best trick: 

Bessie can shut the door. The hubs taught her how to leap up on the door and slam it shut when she comes in from the back yard. The catch? She refuses to do it unless you're standing next to the treats. If you yell from the living room for her to shut the door, she looks at you and says 'yeah right' with her eyes, and lays down.

We've created a full on Bessie personality, with a certain voice. She knows when we're doing her voice and cocks her head at us. 

This dog cracks me up every single day. Love her.

This is my personal favorite pic of her. I thought the smell of peanut butter would wake her up.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Breastfeeding Situation...

While I was pregnant, I decided I wanted to try breastfeeding, but knowing how hard it had been for both my mom and sister, I didn't have high expectations. I figured I would give it a try, and see if it worked. If it didn't, I'd move on with no guilt.

The first few weeks, as any breastfeeding mom knows, were HARD. It was so much more of an emotional experience than I expected. The fact that I was the only one that could feed him really weighed on me, and caused some major anxiety. What if something happened to me? Why do the 3 hours between feedings go by so fast?! I felt tied down and like my body wasn't my own. I had just spent 9 months growing a child, and  was ready to feel like myself again!

Josh found ways to contribute, but breastfeeding means Mom gets up in the middle of the night every. single. time. I almost gave up SO many times. There were times when the only thing that kept me going was knowing it was saving us a ton of money.

Once I hit 3 months of exclusive breastfeeding, I started to feel proud. And actually enjoy it. You can't really comprehend the bonding until you've done it. It's really unique. I started to really feel determined to make it work until he was a year old, and no longer needed it. I still don't judge formula feeding moms, but it became a personal goal of mine to make it to a year. A badge of honor, of sorts.

I went back to work right before Charlie turned 3 months old. Hauling a pump back and forth between work and home is annoying. Figuring out how much he needed in a bottle was stressful, and then finding out I was only able to pump about half of what he drinks during the day caused some freak outs. I started pumping up to five times a day at work. I got up early enough each morning that I could nurse him for 30 minutes, and pump for 15. And I pumped after he went to bed. I would pump 7-8 times each day. I will be so glad when I never have to hear the sound of that pump again.

My freezer stash dwindled and a few days before he turned 5 months old, I have to give him some formula. He loved it. Didn't think twice about it. Which made me sad and relieved. I would prefer that he prefer breastmilk after all my hard work! :)

I started sending one bottle of formula to daycare, but before he turned 6 months, 1 bottle turned into 2, and sometimes 3. I've appreciated not feeling the stress to pump as often, but it's sad too. I still nursed him whenever we were home together. Usually 3 times a day/night, and then all day on the weekends.

A couple of weeks ago, he suddenly started guzzling his bottles down. We are talking, 6 oz consumed in 3-4 minutes. WAY too fast. Sometimes he would choke while drinking it, and sometimes he'd throw it all back up. I checked the nipple of his bottle one time, but didnt see anything that looked out of the ordinary.

I became convinced he was eating so fast because he was starving all the time. I felt guilty, like he wasn't getting enough. I thought maybe we should go exclusively to formula so we'd be able to know exactly how many oz he was getting each day.

And then he quit nursing. All the sudden, overnight, he just refused. I was sure it was because it was too much work, and didnt come out as fast. These days I am lucky if I can get him to nurse for 15 minutes.

Last night, after he guzzled another bottle, I took a really close look at it and saw that there was a slit near the hole. About a quarter inch long. After looking at the rest of his bottles, I realized there were 4 that had been cut. We knew this happened at daycare, because we have only ever had one babysitter outside of family. To say we were livid is an understatement. To think that someone else made a decision that made my son quit nursing is unreal. And disappointing. I wanted to make that decision.

One lady at daycare had left us a note a few weeks ago requesting faster flow nipples because Charlie was taking a long time to finish each bottle. After discussing with my husband, we decided against it because we were afraid it would make him stop breastfeeding. We had never gone back and told them we weren't going to get faster flow nipples, we just didnt bring them. We figured if it was a real issue, it would come up again and we could discuss it. And one lady took it into her own hands and made his current bottles flow faster.

We spoke to the director today and found out that lady is going to be fired for this bad judgement call. I know she never intended harm, but she made a decision that wasn't hers to make. It makes me wonder what other decisions she would make without my consent. I'm going back and forth between feeling very sorry for her, and feeling indignant about what happened.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to try to re-initiate breastfeeding, or just move on. Most importantly, Charlie is happy and healthy, and that's really all that matters.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Recap

I have to say, this was one of the best weekend's we've had in a long time! Mostly because the weather was AMAZING and it finally, FINALLY, feels like spring!

Saturday morning we had a yard sale. We live on the corner of a very busy highway, and couldn't ask for a better yard sale location. I am a yard sale junky, but the hubs had never done one. He was weary, to say the least. He was a not a believer.

However, when it was 15 minutes before we opened, and we were swarmed with buyers, he changed his tune a bit! So fun to wheel and deal with people! Our favorite customer walked up wearing a Yankees hat and turned out to be David Robertson's (pitcher for the Yankees) aunt. That was a win.

My yard sale buddies:

The goods:

Charlie loved being outside. (Side note: See all the yellow pollen on the porch?! Gross.)

We made a couple hundred dollars, then went to lunch, Sam's Club, and Target, and it was all gone by 5 pm. Diapers are expensive. C'est la vie.

Sunday, Josh got free tickets to the Indy race. Awesome box seats with free food and drinks! And 75 degrees out. Perfect. 

Other than having drinks spilled on us on the shuttle, it was a pretty great time. Charlie loved it...until the race actually started. We made it through 8 laps, before he wanted to rip his hearing protection off. 

All tuckered out... 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Don't Try This At Home

If you are ever looking for a pork chop recipe, I do NOT recommend this one.

It looks great, but looks can be deceiving. It led us to McAlister's at about 8:15 pm, with a cranky baby, last night.

Failed recipes are always a bummer, but it was worth it to hear the hubs hem and haw about how it 'wasn't that bad', and I 'made a good effort'. I finally told him it was just a last minute recipe I found online, and he breathed a sigh of relief and admitted it was disgusting.

Luckily, this guy enjoyed his dinner:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm a Mommy Blogger Now

I've decided to become a Mommy Blogger. You know, since I'm a mom now. 

I'm going to start posting pics and stories of our life with the kiddo, and of course our fur kiddo, Bessie.  Below is a taste of what life looks like lately... 

Hanging out with a bunny:

The dog likes the bunny too:


 Bunny and his Easter basket:


 Bunny had too much fun: