Being a young mom means we met a little early, but I get to love them longer.

Here are some links to helpful posts I have done in the past :)

Learn about car seat safety HERE!

Need breastfeeding advice? Click HERE for lots of helpful tips!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The sacrifices we make..

So the other day I mentioned that I wouldn't be able to claim my Pell grant because of my schools mistakes.. well long story short, the biggest mistake they made was that they didn't correctly inform me on what the requirements were for getting Pell for the summer. I was told on several occasions that there was no way I could receive Pell for the summer, then after I started my classes I found out that this was incorrect. In actuality a person could receive Pell for the summer if they had 6 or more credit hours. I only had 4 because I never knew anything about the 6. So basically I was awarded Pell, but couldn't claim it unless I had 6 or more hours..

So here's where the sacrifice part comes in.. I've talked about how starting in June I will be at school from 12-7 on Tues. and Thurs.. well now I picked up another c-session class (the type of class that crams a semesters worth of stuff into one month). I am going to be at school from 8 - 10:30 am on Mon. and Wedn. and then on Tues. and Thurs. (starting June 16th) I am going to be at school from 8 am - 7 pm :( This will give me 7 credit hours instead of 4, which means that when I start these classes in June I will be able to claim my Pell grant.

This has it's pros and cons..

Pros:
  • Obviously getting to get my Pell grant, which really need with for my car, stuff for Brentley, Brentley's baby shower, Grace's birthday, and Christmas (and trust me I will make it last that long).
  • I get anoth class over with, so now I will only have to take 2 classes when I go back in the Spring, which hopefully means I will only have to go two days a week in the Spring too.
  • I am going to have a 2 hour break in between each of my classes on Tues. and Thurs. so I can use that time to work on my assignments.
  • Having to go four days a week for this one month is better than having to go four days a week for the entire Spring semester (almost 4 months). It saves lots of gas, and will probably make it easier for me to continue breastfeeding Brentley.
Cons:
  • I am now going to be taking two c-session classes, which are notoriously hard because of everything being crammed into one month.
  • The extra class I picked was the only class available that I am required to take. It actually wasn't even available, I had to go to the professor and tell her my story, and she was kind enough to overfill her class to let me in.. but this class is speech, which I am horrible at public speaking, and I mean HORRIBLE. I was trying to avoid taking speech with a jumbo belly because that is only going to make it worse for me.. I used to be fine at public speaking, but ever since I had to do a speech when I was pregnant with Grace I haven't been the same, and I can't control it :( I start studdering, breathing hard, turning red, shaking, stumbling over my words, etc. So I have a feeling I am not going to do very well in this class at all :(
  • I have to go four days a week starting in June, plus those 12 hour days (with driving) on Tues. and Thurs. but luckily it's only 10 days all together.
  • I'm going to be losing precious time with Grace.. luckily she will sleep through most of that 8 am class though, so I won't be missing much more time with her than I was going to already.
  • It's an 8 am class, and I am not a morning person at all.
But I know that this will be best for us in the long run. I just keep telling myself it's only 10 12 hour days, so I can do it. I just hope I don't completely bomb speech. The only reason I am doing this is so that my kids can have the best.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Finally got some videos of her dancing!!


 
This is her dancing to "The Dino Dance." It is her favorite song right now :)
----->>> Well stupid Blogger won't load this one :( If anyone wants to see it I uploaded it to my facebook.


video


This is her doing what she does EVERY time "I Love You" plays.. usually she has Chris' hand too, but he wasn't here, so she settled for just me lol.

We are going to eat at Red Lobster for my nana's 75th birthday at 4 today! Happy birthday nana! (Even though she will never read that lol). Not so thrilled about Red Lobster though.. I'm not a seafood person, and even if I was I'm pregnant, so I can't eat much there anyway lol. Looks like I'll be eating chicken fingers. Chris is thrilled though, it's his favorite restaurant lol.. It's my mom's and nana's favorite restaurant too.. I'm starting to think I'm adopted :p just kidding.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ugg what is best for my children??

I have all of these things in my head for how I want to raise my children, but there are two things majorly on my mind right now.. VACCINES and CIRCUMCISION..

Vaccines:
-With Grace I will admit that I did not do a lot of research on anything, so I didn't know much about vaccines at all. All I knew was that my family believes my brother contracted autism from something he was given during his surgery, so they no longer trusted vaccines either. I talked to Grace's doctor about it, and she gave us the option of breaking them up.. 2-3 at a time instead of the sometimes 4-5 at a time. She said that the autism thing wasn't really a factor, but that there was the possibility of overloading the child's immune system to the point that they could POSSIBLY contract one of the viruses they were being vaccinated for IF it was a live virus. Well Grace got sick so much just in her first couple of months of life that I knew I didn't want to take any chances with her immune system, but I also felt "better safe then sorry" as far as getting her vaccinated, so we opted for the breaking them up. To this day Grace has never had a full set of vaccines on time, and I am happy with this decision because there were many times that she got a fever after her vaccines. It has made our life a little more busy because we have to come in in between regular appointments to get her the rest of her vaccines, but I don't mind at all.
Since I have started my Pyschology class at school I have actually learned a lot about vaccines/autism.. I learned that the notorious study that linked autism to vaccines has since been completely discreditted. 10 of the 12 people behind the study have even admitted to it's faults.. it was biased, unethical, not repeatable, and they did not account for the illusory correlation. Basically there is NO connection between autism and vaccines for normal healthy children.

However, there was a study done on children who had immune dificiencies or disorders. In this study it was proven that vaccines could cause autism. I think this is what happened in my brother's case because Down Syndrome dampens the immune system, so I think something he was given during his surgery caused his autism.

I mention the illusory correlation.. by this I am referring to what appears to be a link when there really isn't one. Children who have autism typically start showing symptoms around the age of two, which is the same time that the MMR vaccine is given..

But here is my problem.. autism hits very close to home for me because of my brother. I feel like if one of my children was to develop autistic tendencies I would want to know for 100% sure that it wasn't something I could have prevented.. I feel like if I get my kids vaccinated and then they start exhibitting autistic symptoms I am always going to be wondering "what if?" I almost feel like stopping Grace's vaccines until she is older.. she's not in day care, so she isn't required to have them, but then I think, what if she contracts something that I could have vaccinated her for?  Then I would 100% know it was my fault.. it's just so hard. At this point I plan to keep vaccinating her in the broken up schedule like we have before, and I plan to have Brentley vaccinated the same way, but it is still something that constantly weighs on my mind..
Does anyone else have any advice, experiences, feedback, etc?


Circumcision:
- Chris and I are struggling with the idea of having Brentley circumsized. I have been doing some research on it, and I know that for the most part it is considered purely cosmetic.. however (PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS GET BACK TO CHRIS! HE WILL KILL ME IF HE KNOWS I TALKED ABOUT THIS) Chris is not circumsized. At first he was very adamant about having Brentley vaccinated for a couple of reasons.. one I'm not going to say because it's way too much information, but the other is infections.. this is TMI too, but Chris keeps his umm.. area.. very clean. He always has, but recently he has been prone to infections. His doctor tells him every time that it just happens with some guys.. there's nothing they can do about it except get circumsized. Which when the guy is an adult is supposedly very painful after the proceedure is done. I think about how clean Chris keeps his, and he still gets infections, so it makes me wonder.. when Brentley is like 8 he's not going to want me cleaning it for him, but how clean is an 8 year old capable of keeping it (just using 8 as an example, could be any age when they are doing things like that for themselves)??
But then, on the other hand, I have heard the horror stories.. bauched circumcision where the little boy is deformed for life, babies dying from bleeding to death, things like that. I feel like I could take the bleeding to death to heart, and just check him constantly to insure he is not bleeding.. However, I know I am not in control of how the proceedure turns out. Btw, Brittany, did you ever find out which doctor it was when it happened to the little boy we were talking about? Was it Tinsley?

There are a few things that I don't factor in.. I don't feel that if we left him uncircumsized that he would be made fun of or rejected or anything like that. Many guys are uncircumsized now, so I don't think it would be a big deal there, and I know I don't mind Chris being uncircumsized, and I know several girls whose guys are uncircumsized, and they don't mind, so I don't think that there are many girls who would reject him.
On the other hand, I know that my insurance does not consider it cosmetic, and they will pay for it. I also know that if it is done in the hospital where I am planning to have Brentley that they do use a topical numbing cream. I know a girl who works there, and she has helped out with circumcisions.. she says most of the boys who are born there have it done, and that a lot of them don't even cry, and if they do cry they start crying beforehand because they are strapped to that table and they don't like it (which I'm not thrilled with the idea of strapping them down, but it doesn't hurt them), and once they are off the table they stop crying. I've also read about a new proceedure some doctor's use that is called Plastibell I think. Instead of cutting the skin off they use some sort of plastic ring thing.. it pretty much kills the skin. Kind of like a cord clamp.. once the cord dies it falls off, well once the skin dies it falls off, and it is supposedly painless and much safer for the baby because there is no open wound. I am going to look into seeing if Brentley's doctor offers that (assuming they aren't the people who messed up the person Brittany knows..).
I know I've already talked to most of you about this, but I just really needed to get it all my thoughts out so I can get them organized

I just really don't know what to do in these two situations! These are situations that could honestly effects my children's futures. I hate having to make decisions like these! I wish someone would make them for me, so I could blame it on them if I make the wrong decision LOL, but I know that is not possible. I am just going to keep researching, and hope I can get to a place where I am comfortable with my decisions.

The brave prego!

So it is like 90 degrees outside today.. Jessika I know that's like norm for you guys, but not for me lol.. for me it is HOT. But I braved it out and went to 1890's Day. It's a festival Ringgold has every year for Memorial Day. I knew I had to go this year because they managed to pull it together after the tornado, so I put on my SPF 50 sunscreen and we went. We got there at 10:30, and met my mom and sister for the parade that was starting at 11. Chris was checking out some cars (from the car show they have), and ended up getting stuck on the opposite side of the street lol. After the parade we got some food.. I got a blooming onion.. YUM! I get it every year because I never get them any other time lol.

Then we took my sister and Grace to ride on some of the blow ups.


Chris helping my sister.

Chris and Grace.

Chris and Grace on a different one. I wish I could do this stuff with her :(

Btw, I am 27 weeks today (HOLY CRAP.. ALREADY??).. and as you can see from this picture (that's me in the blue in the background)..
I am quite the beached whale now. I feel like I look 9 months pregnant! I didn't even start showing with Grace until I was six months pregnant.. I won't be six months pregnant until 8 days from now :( I am HUGE! I have now come to terms with the fact that Brentley is probably going to be much bigger than Grace. I've heard that's how it works.. the second is almost always bigger than the first :( I like tiny babies, like 6-7 lbs. I'm afraid Brentley is going to be like 9lbs!

Lol anyway.. We are home now. Grace is like 5 shades darker and she had the SPF 50 sunscreen on too.. me on the otherhand.. I think I might have gotten a little burnt with the SPF 50 :p It never fails. At least it's not bad.. I have been known to look like a lobster before.


Also, my school screwed me over.. I was awarded the Pell Grant, but I cannot claim it!! I am beyond p-ed off. It's a really long story, so I'm not going to go into it on here, but let me just say, I have sent an email to the head of the financial aid department asking for an appointment with her. There are several people in that office that I aim to get fired! Luckily I did get HOPE, so my classes are paid for, but because of these people's stupidity I get to stare at my $2700 (on my student profile), but never get it.. GRRRRRRRR!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

26 weeks :)

Well I'm actually 26 and a half weeks now. I am still frequently plagued with heartburn, but I'm getting used to it now. However, I have a new symptom that I am not used to and do NOT like.. it's really weird and hard to explain, but when I am sitting or laying down I get this weird sensation. It's in my chest, arms, and hands.. it feels almost numb, but different. Kind of tingling, kind of numb, kind of aching. And at the same time I always feel nauseous and a little dizzy. It is just awful and has been happening frequently for three days now :( I have no idea what's causing it. When I was pregnant with Grace, if I laid flat on my back my arms and hands would go numb, but it was an obvious numb, and all I had to do was roll to the side or sit up and I was fine.. with this it doesn't go away until it wants to. It can last for up to 15 minutes at times.
Other than that, I'm getting bigger, so it's getting harder for me to pick up/carry Grace, and harder for me to move in general. I am at the point now where it's hard to find a comfortable way to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, Grace is doing pretty good. We are sticking to it. She usually wakes up 2-3 times a night, and will go right back to sleep when I pat her for a minute. She even slept through the night one night! So it's working pretty well for us. This morning she thought it was time to get up at 7:30 though lol.. we ended up falling back to sleep on the couch around 8.


Me at 26 weeks and 1 day.




Also, I don't think I have ever posted this picture on here before, so I wanted to because it is probably my favorite picture of Chris and Grace. He is such a good and loving daddy to her, and I think this picture shows it really well :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pictures :):)

Grace and I went to my friend Hannah's baby shower today. She is due with a little girl at the end of June. Her baby shower was a local park called Riverfront Park, and it was really pretty outside today so I got some really good pictures!

She loved playing around that tree.

I really like this one. I made it my profile picture on facebook. For some reason the pictures always show up better on facebook then they do on here :(

She was obsessed with the water. She wanted to go down there so bad. I promised her we would take her swimming tomorrow.

She was trying to get me to take her down there lol.

Her and her funny faces :p

She was laughing at me and eating at the same time :p


I also got the paper I needed for my pregnancy scrapbook for Brentley. I have it almost completely up to date now! There are a few things that I need, but for the most part it's coming together. I am proud of myself because lots of people had told me that I wasn't going to have time to be that detailed with my second because I would be spending my time taking care of the first. I understand that, but I make time for it because it is something really special and important to me. I'm going to do the same thing for Brentley that I did for Grace.. a pregnancy scrapbook, an entire first year detailed scrapbook/baby book, a regular fill-in-the-blank baby book, and a journal from 13 months on. Plus I am going to have family holiday scrapbooks.. one specifically for Christmasses, and one for all the other holidays combined. I am big on scrapbooks lol.

Oh so btw the rapture's happening today..

Please!!

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36
and
"Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." -1Thessalonians 5:1

Plus, this Harold Camping guy had predicted it wrong two times already (once in 1988 and again in 1994). Yet, he claims God told him?? Umm news flash Harold, God wouldn't tell you, and if He was going to He wouldn't get it wrong.

Not to mention good ole Harold says it's going to happen at 6pm.. well 90-year-old Harold must have forgotten that the world has these things called TIME ZONES. So either this supposed rapture is only going to happen in one time zone or it's going to happen at different parts of the day all over the world, and neither one of those things follow how the Bible says it will happen. It says the rapture will happen in a flash, in the twinkle of an eye all of God's people will be gone.

I may have beenout of church for awhile, but I can honestly say this is one thing I know about. I started studying this when I was a kid after reading the "Left Behind" series. I have read the entire book of Revalations, and I have read many other scriptures pertaining to the rapture/end of the world. It just really bugs me that this guy claims to be a Christian, yet he ignores all of these scriptures?? I really dislike people like that.

That's my rant for the day lol.. See all of at 6:01 pm :p


Oh and Grace slept in her bed all night again last night! She only woke up two times again.. once at 4:50 am, and again at 5:10 am. She went back to sleep within 5 minutes both times, then she slept until 9 am! I made a little rule for myself that I will not make her go back to sleep after 9 am, and this morning she woke up right at 9 on the dot lol.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A few things I never thought about until I was a parent..

This is kind of like the 10 facts we did about ourselves, but I figured I would put a new spin on it because I have been thinking a lot about things that you never think about before you are a parent.. feel free to steal it from me lol.

Also, I just wanted to point out that just because I feel this way about these things, I do NOT look down on people who don't feel the same way.. I completely understand that different things work better for different people.
I've also talked about some of these things before, but I wanted to elaborate on them.

1. Car seats:
- I know car seats are a law, but believe it or not I know several people who don't use car seats or don't really care if they are in properly.. Well, I know that kids aren't incredibly fond of being strapped in, but I would much rather have an unhappy child, then have have my child die in a car crash because I didn't buckle them in properly or at all. And honestly, since Grace has never had any other choice she doesn't complain about being in her carseat. There was actually a woman around here about a month ago who didn't have her 4 year old daughter in a car seat, she wrecked, and her little girl died :( That is just senseless, completely senseless. This is one thing that I have felt strongly on since before Grace was born. I watch shows like Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, some of the shows on TLC, and just random other reality TV shows and I see so many car seats strapped in wrong, kids strapped in wrong, and kids not even strapped in at all. I think the worst one I can think of is Amber on Teen Mom. I watch as they are going down the interstate and little Leah is turned completely sideways in her car seat with no straps around her! How can you have your child not strapped in on the interstate?? I will just never understand it.

2. TV:
- Chris and I both agree that we do not want our children to have TV's in their bedrooms. There are several reasons for this.. One is that I have heard that children who are allowed to watch tv while going to sleep don't sleep as well. I don't know if this is true, but I know Grace has enough problems sleeping so I am not chancing it lol. The other two are firm reasons for us.. We don't want them spending ALL their time in their bedrooms. That is where their toys will be, so they will be in there when they want to play.. we don't want them in there when they want to watch tv too. It's kind of like forcing them into family time lol. I know I had a tv in my room and I barely ever came out. And Chris' brother has one in his room, and he basically has a panic attack if he isn't in his room constantly. It's just sad. The other reason is that we want to know what they are watching.. I used to watch stuff my mom didn't want me to (like Buffy or Charmed), and I would just switch the channel real quick when she came in. I don't want that with them.

3: What we approve of (kind of goes with TV):
At this point, I don't approve of anything over PG in movies, and I don't approve of some of the so called "kids" shows that are on tv today. I think there is wayyy too much violence, language that comes very close to being foul, and sexual connotation (especially on Spongebob and Cartoon Network). I really like Disney Channel because they stay away from most of that.. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network I am not a fan of. As far as them getting older, PG-13 might as well be R and even X (sometimes) now-a-days. If my kids want to see a PG-13 movie after they are 13 I will be watching it first. I have seen plenty of girls topless in PG-13 and no 13 year old child needs to see that. Plus the language in PG-13 movies is quite horrendous..
However, I do not want to censor real life events.. I want my children educated on the war, criminals, etc. I will probably make it a point to have a time, like once a week, where we can sit down and discuss what is going on in the world.. good and bad.

4. Sex:
I completely realize that my children are eventually going to be able to figure out that mommy and daddy were not married when they were born. I figure this is going to make it hard to use the "sex before marriage is bad" argument. So I plan to educate my children on everything sex. My parents pretty much avoided that subject at all costs, and we all see how that turned out. I know that having a child young doesn't mean your life is over, but it does make it harder, and I don't want that for my children. And I definitely don't want them contracting some sort of STD, so I am going to stress safe sex.. I am still debating on whether or not to provide them with contraceptives before they ask though. I feel like if I provide it beforehand it might make them think I am giving the okay to have sex, but I feel like if I wait for them to ask, then they may not ask.. ugg.. parenting lol. What do you guys think about that??
I know one thing, I will NOT provide my children with a place to have sex. I know several people whose parents told them they could have sex in their rooms.. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to make it easy for them to have sex. Another thing is I am going to stress that they need to wait for someone they love.. not just give it up to the first person who comes along. I think this is one of the trickiest things about parenting..

5: Breastfeeding:
If you are covered there should be no problem.. plain and simple. There is no difference then wearing clothes when you are covered. However, I don't think women should openly breastfeed (i.e. uncovered). The media of this contry has completely over-sexualized breasts, so even though breastfeeding is not intended to be sexual in any way, it still is because breasts are involved. Many men, and many more young boys (with raging hormones) would love to use that opportunity to get a sneak peak.. which is just ewwww! That is why I always used a cover. And I hear a lot of women who are for openly breastfeeding who say using a cover is hard or makes it hard on the baby.. I'm sorry, but they are exaggerating. I was easily able to do it, and I was a teenager with no breastfeeding experience and major breastfeeding issues.
However, anyone who has a problem with women who breastfeed covered.. well they can shove it.. that's as nice as I can put it. There is no reason that should make them feel awkward. As I said before, with a cover it's just like being dressed.

6. Spanking:
I have sort of whacky views on spanking lol.. I believe that there are times when it is necessary, but should only be used as a last resort. I also believe that children should not be spanked with anything other than a hand (meaning switches, belts, paddles, etc.), and should only be spanked on the bottom or thigh (a slap on the hand is okay in my book too). There is one reason I don't think spanking should not be used at all, and that is to combat hitting.. If Grace hits someone, and then I hit her while I'm telling her hitting is wrong I think that will just confuse her. I am a big believer in positive reinforcement, but I have spanked when I believed it was necessary.

7. Being alone:
I am a completely paranoid mom when it comes to this..  I do not think children should be allowed to play outside alone, walk around the neighborhood alone, walk around the mall alone, etc. Now by alone I mean without an adult present. Almost every child abduction you hear of, the child was taken from the yard, taken from just down the street, etc. My absolute BIGGEST fear is that something will happen to one of my children, so I just cannot bear letting them be in a situation where they could easily be abducted. With that being said, I'm not saying I won't let them go outside or ride their bikes down the street or whatever, I am just saying I want to be with them. Either Chris or I will ride bikes with them, watch them play in the yard, drive them to the house the next street over, etc. It'll just make us more involved parents which isn't a bad thing lol.

There are many many more things, but these are just a few I feel very strongly on.

Also, Grace slept in her bed all night last night and only woke up two times!! From the time I got her to sleep to the time she got up in the morning she slept for 9 hours!! I am so proud of her :) Hopefully she continues to do this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A longggg night..

It wasn't the longest night Grace and I have had, but it was definitely a long night. As I talked about a while back, Grace now has a toddler bed. She usually spends about half of the night in her bed, and then finds her way to ours. We asked her doctor about this yesterday because we want to break her of it.  She told usto just keep taking her back to her bed and getting her back to sleep, and if that doesn't work, take everything out of her room that she can hurt herself on, then close her in and let her cry it out. So last night I was determined to get her to sleep in her bed all night. She woke up right at 3 am, I took her back to her room, and got her back to sleep. Then again at 4 am she was up. I got her back to sleep, but from 4 am - 6:30 am she was up every 15-30 minutes. Every time I took her back to her bed though, and eventually at 6:30 am I think she got the idea. She didn't wake up again until 10:30!! We did it!! From 4 - 6:30 I thought I was going to pass out though lol. I'm used to putting her in our bed, and her going back to sleep, so we sleep for the rest of the night. I was so tempted to just give up and bring her in our room, but I didn't :) I'm going to keep doing this every night, but I have doubts that it will ever stop her from waking up at night. She RARELY sleeps through the night. If anyone has any advice on how to get her to sleep through the night it would be much appreciated! We thought taking one of her naps away would work. She used to nap about two hours after she got up, and then in the middle of the day. Well we took the first nap away. She gets one nap in the middle of the day for 1-2 hours. Should we take that nap away too? I really feel like she still needs that nap because she gets soooo fussy if she doesn't have it. Her doctor said some kids just don't sleep through the night. She said we could try taking away that other nap, but that a lot of the time that will make the child over-tired and just makes it worse.. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Okay, so I need to rant..

about my school's financial aid department.. This goes back to like the middle of March. I go to the financial aid office and ask them how to file for summer financial aid. The guy basically does it for me, and all I had to do was sign it, and he said he would submit it, and that I should get a letter in a couple of weeks telling me if I was eligible or not. I was thinking how easy that was.. WRONG! 3 weeks go by and I never get a letter, so I go down there to ask them about it. The lady tells me that HOPE should pay for the tuition, but that I will NOT get Pell because I went full time in the fall and spring. I was bummed, but there was nothing I could do. I was just happy I was going to get HOPE. Then I get an email about summer financial aid that was sent to all students. It says that if we are taking less than six credit hours we would be eligible for Pell.. I am only taking four credit hours, so I call them, and they tell me that they won't know anything until the changes to HOPE and Pell are finalized. Well I knew for a fact that the changes to HOPE had been finalized, so I looked up the email of the lady who is head of the financial aid department, and I emailed her. By this time it is almost the end of April.. I asked her why I hadn't received a letter yet, and if I was or was not going to be eligible for Pell. She emails me back and all she says is that they are just as confused as we are because they are waiting on the final changes?? Okay. So FINALLY a little over a week ago I got a letter, and it says that I am going to get $2775 in Pell, but $0 in HOPE?? So I again call the financial aid office to see why I wasn't eligible for HOPE.. For ten minutes the woman tries to tell me that I used it all. You cannot use all of your HOPE! As long as you keep your grades up it renews each semester. Then after ten minutes she goes.. "Hang on, did you attend here in the Spring." She had asked me for my I.D. at the beginning of the call, so she should have been able to see that for herself! I tell her yes, and she's like "Well, then your grades probably just haven't been put into the system. As long as you have good grades you'll get it." Seriously? Then why did I get a paper telling me I'm not going to? So I keep checking my email everyday to see if I'm getting HOPE. I checked it Wednesday morning, and still nothing. Then I check it again Thursday night, and do you know what I find?? An email that they sent at 3pm on Wednesday saying that we had to have our classes paid for by 3 pm on Thursday or we would be dropped from them?? Well it was 6 pm Thursday so I figured I had been dropped fom my classes.. I called them ALL DAY on Friday.. never got one answer even though they were supposed to be open. Finally I get ahold of them yesterday morning, and the lady tells me that the HOPE did come through and paid my tuition, but I owe $95? I ask her why the Pell didn't cover it and she tells me I'm not getting Pell. As soon as I got off the phone with her I looked up my student profile, and it still says I'm getting Pell. So I go to class today (which was awesome. I loved it!), and as soon as I got done I went to the financial aid office. The lady there tells me that my Pell is still processing, but I AM getting it, however, I had to pay that $95 by tomorrow or they will drop my classes.. UGGG!!! These people are killing me. I paid it with money I was saving for the baby shower, so I better get my Pell grant! Why can't anyone there give me a straight answer?? Sorry guys, but I am just really annoyed and stressed out by all this!

A bit of good news.. Grace had her 18 month check-up today. She is 29.14 lbs and 34 inches long, which apparently Sami was exactly the same at her 18 month check-up.. That is just so funny and cool at the same time lol. I've been a little concerned about Grace's speech because she will say things, and then it's like she forgets how to say them. Like "thank-you." She will not say thank-you anymore. I asked the doctor about it and she said as long as she is forming new words, and hasn't stopped or completely regressed, then it is normal. She says she is just making room for new words. Which she definitely has. Her newest thing is to say "Ohhhhh noooooo!" Just like that lol. If anyone on TV gets hurt she will say it, and then today we went to Taco Bell after the doctor, and she spilled some of her drink on her pants. It was just a little spot, but she just kept grabbing it and saying "Ohhhh noooooo!" She also has been saying Mommy for about a week now! Before it was just mama, so I am excited! Lol. She also say "there" very firmly. She will put something down and say "there." It's so cute. And everytime I go to get her out of her carseat she will point at me and say "you!" And then I have to point and say "you!" back. She thinks it is so funny!
We just found out that Grace's doctor is pregnant.. with TWINS! If she would have just had one baby her due date would be August 30th, but since it's twins they move the due date up, so hers is the beginning of August.. this unfortunately means that she will be on maternity leave when Brentley is born :( I wanted her to be his doctor, and she still will be, but until she comes back we have to see Baughman, and I cannot stand him! :( Poor Brentley. He is not a good doctor at all :(

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breastfeeding.. and a little bit more

So my experience with breastfeeding Grace was horrendous, but I have done I lot more research this time, and I have found a lot more resources that can hopefully help me avoid the problems I had breastfeeding Grace. I am determined to try to breastfeed Brentley, especially since I won't have to go back to school. However, I have been worried about whether or not I will be able to produce milk again because of how I pretty much stopped cold-turkey with Grace. I have heard that that can mess up the glands, and make it where they will never produce again, but I'm think I have nothing to worry about now.. When I was about six and a half months pregnant with Grace I began leaking, and now here at 5 and a half months along with Brentley I have once again started leaking.. I know that is TMI, but I'm excited that it looks like my body is already starting to begin to ready itself for breastfeeding. Aside from that, I am also annoyed.. time to go buy pads to put in my bra :( And it's happening a month earlier than it did with Grace, but oh well.. it will be the best for my little man. Now I at least I know that we can buy things to prepare for breastfeeding and they won't be a complete waste. Especially since I plan on getting an arsenal of stuff this time lol. I plan on having a double electric pump, a bra that holds the pump on hands free, at least one breastfeeding cover, and at least 4 other things.. We plan on having about $200 invested in breastfeeding stuff alone.

Only 15 weeks to go now (I was 25 weeks as of yesterday), and only 9 weeks until the shower! I just found out the double stroller we want is on sale right now for $109.99 (it's originally $149.99). We are going to try to see if we can afford to go ahead and buy it. I know $40 isn't a ton, but that's $40 extra we would have to spend on other baby things. We'll see though. We weren't expecting to spend that so we don't know if we can or not.. especially since I didn't work AGAIN Friday due to the stupid rain..
The weather around here has been crazy lately! It was 90 degrees two days ago, and today it was cloudy and 60 degrees, and we had an outdoor birthday party to go to today.. it was so cold!




Jackets and long sleeves in May :( Spring is supposed to be a break from winter and summer,  but no, around here there is no spring. One day it's summer, then the next day we are back to winter. I want fall to hurry up. I have already figured out that I am going to be miserable because it has been pretty hot a couple of days, and me and my prego belly wanted to go crawl in a freezer.. I can only imagine how bad it is going to be going through the rest of the summer as it gets hotter and hotter AND I'm getting bigger and bigger :(

Also, we got roped into watching Chris brother most of the day yesterday, and then overnight :( All I can say is that if either one of my children EVER acts like he does they better be prepared for a serious spanking! And I don't even really agree with spanking, but this kid needs to have his butt handed to him. He's 10 years old, and he has never outgrown his terrible twos. Again, he's 10 years old, and guess how many time he threw a t-total fit while he was here? 7 times!! And yes, I mean screaming and crying because he's not getting his way. One time last night Grace bumped into him, and he screamed "Grace stop!" Well obviously that didn't go over well with us, so Chris told him he was not allowed to yell at Grace, well his brother starts screaming "I didn't mean to!!" Umm hello kid, we aren't stupid. There is no way that you can't mean to yell at someone. Chris was like "Yes, you did." So he starts balling like a little baby. Then later Chris brought it up again calmly because he was trying to explain it and the kid starts freaking out again. Then he got mad because we told him he coudn't play video games after we went to bed, and started screaming and crying again! It was 1 am.. of course we aren't going to let him stay up and play video games, but Chris' mom does.. she lets him stay up as late as he wants.. even on school nights! Chris actually had to hide the Xbox controllers from him >:( Then this morning he was mad that Chris didn't want to play video games. He kept stomping around the house, huffing and puffing, and saying how bored he was. Chris' mom FINALLY comes to get him around 2 pm today, and as soon as she comes in the door he starts the water works. He starts saying that Chris wouldn't let him play video games, even though they played for 6 hours yesterday and Chris took him to Sir Gooney's to ride the go-carts (which he threw a fit there too because he "had a slow go-cart"). But anyway Chris started telling his mom how long they played the video games the day before, so he runs out the door and slams it on the way out! How rude! He sat in the car crying for 20 minutes, then came back in, and started screaming about how he didn't have a controller, and that Chris stole his controller and his Fallout 3 game. We never had his Fallout 3 game, and he left his controller one day and we took it back to him the next day. I have had just about all I can take of this kid..
When the tornados were happening he pitched a fit because his mom wanted him to sleep on the couch, so Chris, Grace, and I could sleep in his queen bed. Just for one night, and he started screaming, crying, slamming doors, etc. So we went home, and slept in the dark (we still had no power). Then the next day we went over there only to find out that he had stolen Chris' touch screen MP3 player! He was hiding it from Chris. We thought we had lost it, but no he stole it.
This is also the same kid that at Christmas would open a present, look at it, and mention what he would have rather had instead, then pitched a fit because he opened all his presents before everyone else and wanted to go play a video game, his mom told him no, to spend time with the family ON CHRISTMAS, and he threw a huge fit, and guess what? He got his way!
I also mentioned on here before that he destroyed a pillow I made for Chris.. it was a full sized pillow that took me weeks to hand sew, and I gave it to Chris for Christmas. Chris was still living at his moms at this point (way before Grace), and apparently Chris made his brother mad somehow, so he snuck into Chris' room and drew all over the pillow with a sharpi, then tried to blame it on his best friend, and Chris' mom believed him! He finally admitted it though. I also used to draw a lot, and I drew Chris a picture that took me hours to draw. It said "I love you" on it, well he took a pen, scribbled out the word love, and wrote "hate".. :(
I hate ever buying him anything (like for Christmas or his birthday) because he acts like we were supposed to, and NEVER once has he ever said thank-you for anything we have gotten him.. I really just cannot explain how much I dislike this child. I think what really did it in for me was one time, Chris, Grace, Chris' brother, Chris' mom, and I were in the mall. Grace was only 2 weeks old.. she was in her travel system, and it was sitting about two feet from me in the isle. I was looking at baby clothes, and Chris did something that made his brother mad. His brother didn't think anyone could see him because where I was standing he couldn't see me, so he ran up to Grace's stroller with his fist balled like he was going to punch her, then he saw me. I was about to murder him, I swear I was. I was fuming. I cannot imagine what would have happened to my two week old little girl if I had had my back turned.. that is one thing I will never be able to forgive him for..

Friday, May 13, 2011

Okay, so I know I'm not crazy..

My last post is gone.. the one about Brentley's room, the pillowcases, etc. What the heck? That post took forever. I would really like to know what happened to it. Can you guys see it? I looked in my "Edit Posts" and it's not showing up there either :(

Well some good news, I had a doctor's appointment today, and they said everything looked good. My tummy is measuring where it is supposed to (they can actually measure it now! Lol), and his heartbeat was 154, which she said was good. I gained like 2 more lbs. I don't want to gain :( lol, but I know I am supposed to. I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow :)

I also found out that I got Pell and Hope for the summer! The Hope covered everything, and I'm getting $2700 in Pell.. which is a blessing because we just found out that I have two busted motor mounts on my car :( I can still drive it, but if we let it go too long the other two will eventually break and my motor will fall out of my car! It's going to cost between $200 and $500 to fix, and we had no idea how we were going to pay for it, but now we can use the Pell money once it comes in. I start my first class on Tuesday.. I'm not looking forward to that at all :( But I know it has to be done. I just keep reminding myself it's only two days a week lol.

UPDATE: I just reserved the Graysville Precinct (where we had Grace's 1st birthday party) for our baby shower!! Pretty much everything is set now. The shower is going to be on July 16th. I am thinking I'm probably going to have it at 2 pm. That usually works out for most people. So everyone keep your calendar's clear for that day :) Now I just have to start buying the supplies.
This an example of the invitations I am going to have..
I couldn't find one with duckies, so this will have to do. I am going to have a 4D ultrasound pic (which I forgot to mention  we are getting in 3 weeks!) inside the circle, and all the shower info on the right side. It looks really cute when it's fixed up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Proud of myself..

I have been a busy bee since I got out of school. I don't know why, but I feel like when I'm out of school I have to be doing something so I start cleaning like a maniac. I usually don't like cleaning, but for some reason it has felt good to clean for the past week or so.
I also finally started getting everything together for my pregnancy scrapbook for Brentley. I got ink for my printer, and printed everything off. I started working on it, but haven't gotten much of it done yet. I also ordered the pictures I need for it. They should be here in a week or so. I am going to work on it more at work Friday, so I should have some pictures of it soon.
Then today Grace and I dropped Chris off at the Y so he could work out while we went to Hobby Lobby and McKays. At Hobby Lobby we got the wooden letters we needed to hang on Brentley's wall. Grace and I unknowingly stole a G. I was letting her hold a G, and forgot about it. It got stuck in her stroller and I didn't see it until we got to McKays. It was only $2, but I really feel bad. If I remember, next time we go to the Y I want to take the G back because Hobby Lobby is 2 seconds away from the Y.
But anyway.. I went to McKays to try to sale the rest of my school books. I had three that my school wouldn't take back. They took two of them! I guess I'll just throw the other one away because that was my last option for it. Grace and I looked at some books, and I got her 8 Barney books for $4. One was only $0.05! The most expensive one I bought was only $1, and it's in perfect condition. It's a board book, and it's Barney's 12 Days of Christmas. I am going to save it and give it to her for Christmas :)

When we got home Grace was ready for a nap, so I got her to sleep, then I decided to organize Brentley's room. I had been just kind of throwing things in there in boxes for him, but this is what it looks like now.
That was Grace's bassinet, but we are recycling it for Brentley lol.


His dresser/changing table. The black bin has a few random things like a paci holder, monitors, a thing of wipes, a set of spoons, and a bib. The Easter basket has his toys in it.

These are the letters we got today. I will eventually paint them blue and hang them on his wall.

Inside his dresser. All the clothes have been washed, folded, and organized by size.

His sleepers. Also all washed, folded, and organized by size.

His closet. All also washed and organized by size.

Pretty much all we need for his room now is his bed set, a bouncer/vibrating seat, and a changing table pad :)

I also decided on the decorations for his baby shower. Erica is going to make my shower cake for me :) And it is going to look similar to this..
I couldn't find the exact picture, but this is similar.

So I decided to center the theme around the cake, and found the perfect decorations :)


This is just an example of the banner and a napkin. But I think it's really cute! And it's boy-ish with the blue. After pricing it all out I expect to spend anywhere from $100-$150 all together on the shower. I am big into event planning, so I go all out lol.

Last thing.. I also decided that I am going to make both Grace and Brentley a pillow case for Christmas that will match their bedrooms. Grace's will be easy because I'm sure there is tons of Disney Princess fabric. Brentley's fabric may be a little bit harder, but if I have to I can use the Disney Cars theme for his that way he can use it after he is a baby too. I am going to start on these soon, and hopefully I will have them complete before Brentley gets here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our family outing..

We took Grace to Coolidge Park today, and I thought she would love it because she loves water, but she didn't. The water wasn't even turned on high, so it wasn't hard or anything, but she was scared of it. She just kept wanting to walk off. I thought she would get used to it, so I kept taking her back, but she eventually started getting mad at me, so we decided to leave after like 30 minutes. We walked up to Subway, and ate lunch, then decided to go sign up for our YMCA membership, since we got our financial aid award letter.

Everytime we have gone there (we had to go once to pick up the form, and then again to ask questions about it) Grace has basically plastered herself to the window that you can look through and see the pool. And when we would leave she would get so upset. Well today since we were already in our bathing suits we decided to go ahead and take her swimming since we finally had our membership. She LOVED it! At first she clung to me, but eventually she got comfortable and I could hold her out and she would kick her legs. She also through a ball with Chris, and swam with him some too. It was so funny because every time he would go under water she would hold up her hands and go "daddy?" She did not understand where he was going. And she thought it was hilarious when he would pop back up. It was so cute! I definitely think she is going to be a swimmer. In the bath tub she will hold herself up with her arms and kick her legs. She is teaching herself how to swim lol.

These are the only pics I could get at Coolidge Park..







These are late Mother's Day pictures..
This is Grace on Mother's Day.. we went to Sam' Club with Chris' mom

This is Grace the day after Mother's Day on our way to Olive Garden.

Grace and my sister in Olive Garden. 

And again.. she thinks Cheyenne is so funny.

This is my homemade chicken chili I made on Mother's Day. It actually turned out really well. I was proud of myself :)
 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day :)

My Mother's Day was very good :) When we got up Chris took Grace in the bedroom, and I heard him saying "Take it to mommy." Grace came running down the hall with my Mother's Day present in hand. She had a huge smile on her face, and she was so proud of herself for bringing it to me. I just love watching the way she reacts sometimes.
She gave me a bib (for Brentley) that says "I love mommy" and a really cute card that Chris signed and then had Grace "sign" it. He also gave me a huge brownie :)
It was nice because we had been talking about how we really didn't have a lot of money, so I told him we would get our moms some stuff, and he didn't have to worry about getting me anything, so I wasn't expecting it at all.

Later in the day we went to Chris' mom's house. We got her a rosebush (because that's what she wanted). She really liked it. We also gave her a copy of Brentley's last ultrasound pic because she had been wanting one of those too.

Then today I went with my mom, sister, nana, and Grace to eat at Olive Garden for Mother's Day. We decided to go today because we didn't want to fight the crowds yesterday.. for any of you who were at Logan's with us, I'm sure you can imagine why I didn't want to. Surprisingly, Grace did amazing today at the restaurant. I took a pudding cup and a coloring book. Once she started to get restless I gave her the pudding cup, and let her go at it. Then when she got bored with that I gave her the coloring book. I was so proud of her. She tried to get up a couple of times, but I made her sit down, and she didn't fight it. I planned on paying for my mom's food as her Mother's Day present, but she wouldn't let me. I did have Grace make her and my nana cards, but I really would like to get my mom something.. I just don't know what yet.
-- Also, a little side note on my nana. She has had a few mini strokes recently. Nothing that has hurt her, but they don't know what is causing them, and they are getting progressively worse. She went to a neurologist, and they found nothing. Somehow though they found out something about her heart muscle being weak, so she is going to a cardiologist this week to find out if that has something to do with it. Please just keep her in your prayers. Hopefully this is fixable!




In other news.. I have been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I truly am. Sometimes I forget that having children is not always guaranteed. This is a little bit TMI, but Chris and I had unprotected sex on and off (more unprotected than protected) for ten months before I got pregnant with Grace. We weren't trying to have a baby, we were just being dumb, but still I knew that having unprotected sex is what made a baby, so there were many times I caught myself wondering if there was something wrong with me. At the time I was glad I wasn't pregnant, but I also wondered WHY I wasn't pregnant. It was a scary thought because I have wanted children for as long as I can remember. Now obviously I eventually did end up pregnant lol. I am honestly not sure why I didn't get pregnant sooner. Especially considering I got pregnant with Brentley the only time our protection failed lol. I suppose all of this is just part of God's plan for me. I do know that I am very thankful to God that I am able to have children so easily. I often wonder why I am worthy to have children when there are so many women out there who are desperately trying to have a baby and cannot. I have had two cousins who struggled with infertility. One got pregnant within a couple of months and had a normal pregnancy, then when they decided to have a second baby she had 3 miscarriages before she finally was able to carry another baby to term. My other cousin is a guy, but his wife had four miscarriages, and they finally decided to adopt. They were in the adoption process of a little girl when they found out they were expecting. His wife was actually too far along when it was time to go pick up their adopted child (she was somewhere in Asia), so my cousin had to go pick her up and bring her back on his own. Not too long after his wife gave birth, so they got two babies who were almost a year apart at the same time lol.
I just cannot imagine losing a baby or multiple babies, and having that hopeless feeling of never having a child.
Again, I just want to thank God for giving me the ability to be a mother!! I just felt like I needed to say that.


We are taking Grace to Coolidge Park tomorrow to play in the fountain for the first time, so I should have pictures of that up sometime soon :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

24 weeks!!

Welp I am 24 weeks today :) I have been getting heartburn more.. yuck. Our neighbor invited us over for homemade chili two nights ago, and it was GOOD, but I was regretting it later because I had heartburn for three hours straight :( I get heartburn almost everyday now.
I am also starting to have a lot of pain while walking. When I walk for long periods of time it starts feeling like my uterus is stretching or something. Then last night I swear I had a contraction. It was just one, so I'm sure it was a Braxton Hicks, but I really hope I am not going to start having those often! I was standing up, and it made me bend over. This pregnancy is so different that I never know what to expect.
I do know that he is VERY active. A lot more active then I remember Grace being. I remember Grace would mostly only kick at night when I was trying to sleep, but here Brentley is kicking right now as I'm typing this. Also, this boy has some very bony elbows lol. I think he has bruised my insides with his elbows :p I'm laughing now, but I bet I won't be when he's like six times the size he is now.


24 weeks. Taken this morning.

Also, earlier I was talking about our neighbor. There's this girl, she's 26. She lives across the street from us with her two boys. One is 7 and the other is 3. She was a teen mom too at one point. Her husband is in the army, and he is deployed to Afganistan right now. She said this is the first time he has been deployed, and it's been really hard on her. When she invited us over for dinner I got to know a lot about her. Her husband is coming home in July. He will have been gone for a year when he gets back. She said that since he's coming home, and both of her boys birthdays are in July they are going to have a big birthday/welcome home party with big blow up water slides and bounce houses (there are no other trailers beside her for two lots, so she can do it), and that we are invited. She also said they will be moving oversees in September.. they are buying the trailer they live in, but now that he has to go oversees they don't want it anymore. She said that we could have it. They don't want anything for it. They just want someone to take over the payments. It has a fireplace, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room, and a much bigger kitchen and living room. It even has a bigger porch. It's a really good offer, and we are considering it, but I don't know if I want to own a trailer. Plus they pay more than we do, so we'd have to figure out if we could even afford it. We still have awhile to think about it.. what do you guys think? And please be honest, it won't hurt my feelings if you think it's a bad idea.

Aside from that.. I am going to attempt to make homemade chicken salad tonight. I've never done it before, so we'll see how it goes lol. And then, I know you guys are probably getting tired of the tornado stuff, but I just wanted to share this link.. This is a video my mom made with pictures she personally took. It really shows a lot of the damage because she took pictures of everything, not just businesses. Also, it's the first video she's ever made, so she couldn't get the music to work all the way through, you'll have to ignore that, and there is one picture that shows up 3 times, so ignore that too lol.
http://www.youtube.com/user/cheyenme

She talks about her daughter crying.. she's talking about my sister. It broke my heart because when I was over at my mom's the other day she played a video she had found, and my sister just started bawling her eyes out :( She is so devastated, especially about McDonald's. As funny as that is, it's so sad too. Her little town has been destroyed. She's old enough to understand that, but not old enough to understand why :(

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recipes..

I want to learn how to cook more things that aren't just frozen meals. I know how to cook bbq chicken, salmon patties, spaghetti (with sauce from a can), but I really just feel like I don't know how to cook that much. I can follow a recipe just fine.. I just don't have many recipes.. so that is where you guys come in. I want you guys to give me any recipes you cook. I know I don't eat that much meat, but Grace and Chris do, so I don't mind if the recipes call for meat. And I love veggies, so if the recipes call for veggies that is fine too. And Brittany, I know you cook a lot of crockpot meals.. we have a crockpot, but I never use it because I don't know what to cook in it, so I would love recipes for that too. It doesn't have to be full meals either.. it could be side dishes, main courses, desserts, snacks, etc. I just want to cook better for my family.

I have been looking at that allrecipes.com, but I have no idea where to start on there because there is soooo much! I did find recipes for chicken chili, chicken salad, and potatoe salad, but I want more because Chris won't eat chicken salad or potatoe salad. He's not a salad person. So if you guys could help me out it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The baby shower..

Since we are having a boy this time we are going to have another baby shower. The time for it is quickly approaching. I think I want to have it on July 16th, which is just a little over a month before my due date. That gives us plenty of breathing room incase I have him early for some reason.
When I was at the thrift store the other day there was a woman there looking for preemie clothes. She said her friend had just had a baby, and she wasn't even due until July! She said the baby only weighs 1 lb 6 oz!! They didn't have much preemie stuff, so she had a bunch of newborn and 0-3 m stuff. I was telling her about how Grace weighed 7lbs 14oz, and the 0-3 was too big for her when she was born. The lady quickly started putting all the 0-3 stuff back lol. She said they didn't even have her baby shower scheduled until June. I just cannot imagine having my baby that early!!

Anyway.. back to the baby shower.. I have had my registries filled with boy stuff pretty much since we found out we were having another one lol. I have been adding to it a lot lately, but I've also been taking things off. Over the last weeks of so we have gotten sooooo many boy clothes given to us! He really isn't going to need any clothes for awhile. We mostly need diapers, wipes, towels, blankets and burp cloths. I also need a breatfeeding cover and pump. I'm going to attempt to breastfeed again, but we'll see how that goes. I think it will be better if I have a pump from the get go this time. I have also read up on it a lot more, so I know how to make it work better. Then we still need a few big ticket items his bed set, car seat, stroller, and I want a rocking chair lol. We have pretty much everything else we need, clothes, socks, hats, toys, a crib, a basinett, a changing table, a dresser.. we are pretty much set. I also don't have to have a rocking chair if we don't save up the money for it. I figure we'll be getting all the big ticket items. Last time my mom bought Grace's travel system, and my cousin and aunt went together and bought Grace's bed set. However, since we are looking at a double stroller it is going to be almost twice as much (I don't expect or want my mom to pay that much), and my cousin who bought the bed set is the one who just lost her house to the tornado, so I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have the money for anything like that this time, and I don't blame her at all.

I've made the guest list and it has about 45 people on it. I only expect 30 at most though. We are going to have guys there this time (we didn't at Grace's) because Chris really wants to be there. I think I want to have it at the same place we had Grace's birthday party. I was going to call and reserve it, but the place you reserve it from is in downtown Ringgold, and they have so much going on right now that I'm just going to wait. It's two months away, so I'm sure we'll be fine.
Now all that's left is I have to decide the decorations. I've looked online, but none have really caught my eye. There's a couple I like, but I want to go look in the store. I know I'm going to have my invitations done at Wal-Mart.. I wish I would have known about it with Grace.. it's only like $0.28 per invite, and even though I'm inviting roughly 45 people, a lot of them are together, like I'll be sending one to Brittany, Sami, and Jessie together.. so we only need about 25 invites, which is only like $7. They are like a picture and you can completely customize them to what you want them to say and look like. I'm also going to have his announcements done there, and I'm going to have an announcement made for Grace too because we never had one that nice for her.

But anyway.. that's all I have for now on the baby shower. I'm fixing to take my last final here at 1pm, then I will be done with this semester!! I have two weeks off, so we are going to take Grace to Coolidge Park on Monday, and possibly Lake Winnie next Friday if we have the money, and it's nice out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finally did it..

Today I went to my mom's, and we drove around to see all the reckage. I didn't have my camera with me, but honestly I'm glad I didn't. I was able to just take it all in. Even Grace was in the back seat and she just seemed mesmirized. The pictures that I have seen don't even show 10% of how bad it is.. they really don't. Everyone is taking pictures of the businesses, and don't get me wrong, the businesses do look bad, but there are places 100 times worse then that. At least with the businesses most of the stuff was left standing.. If you go down Ooltewah-Ringgold Road (which is just one street away from my mom's) almost everything is flat. Trees have been ripped to shreds.. it literally looks like someone took the world's largest lawn mower and went over all the trees, then took the tops that were cut off and fed them through the world's largest woodchipper. There is twisted metal everywhere, that I can only assume is parts of people's roofs. Most of the houses were just piles of rubble, and for the houses that were left standing, every single one of them had huge tarps on them. I was told that meant they either had huge holes in their roofs or no roofs at all.
I think the most amazing thing I saw though was that the tornado continued on past all of these homes, and went straight up the mountain. The path it took was completely cleared out. There was green trees all around it, and then a straight path of bare trees up and over the mountain.
Then if you go back towards the high school and middle school the destruction is horrible there too. Everyone takes pictures of the middle school and high school, but the neighborhoods around the schools got it ten times worse then the school. The houses around the schools have been there for a long time, and a lot of them were not in great shape. As we drove down through there you could see the X's painted on the sides of the houses.. I hated seeing those because I know what they are.. On one side of the X they will write how many people they found in the house, and on the bottom of the X they will write how many of those people were alive. Then beside the X they either write "Total loss" or "Is okay to repair." If it is any indication of how bad the damage there is, there was only one house that said "is okay to repair." Every other house down through there said "total loss." I cannot imagine having to come back to my home, and see "total loss" written in bright orange spray paint. That's like rubbing salt on an open wound. Luckily I didn't see anything but 0's on the bottoms of the X's, which means that no one died in any of the houses we drove past. However, at the florist shop it said they found 5 people in there. Thank goodness none of them lost their lives!
Driving through there made me realize how fortunate I truly am. I didn't lose anyone I love, I didn't lose my home or car, I didn't lose my work or my school. The only way we were effected by this is that we lost some food, which we have already replaced. Driving through there also made me realize how close I came to losing my mom, brother, and sister. The tornado was just a street over from them, and then it went over the mountain right behind them. My mom also said that if the tornado would have hit her house they probably would have died because she wouldn't have gotten my brother and sister down there in time. My brother has a bad hip as I have mentioned before, and she said it took awhile to get him to the basement when the sirens started going off, and my sister was still upstairs asleep. She was doing everything she could.. that must have been a horrible feeling knowing that there was nothing more she could do besides like throw my brother down the stairs, which she would never do. I am so thankful that the tornado did not hit her house!! Life would never be the same without them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A couple of good days..

My mom used to go to this place called America's Thrift Store all the time when my sister was a baby, and she would get great deals, but when we moved to Dalton we were so far away that I didn't even think about it. Then my dad was telling me about how his boss went there and got all this great stuff for his two kids. He wanted me to meet him there yesterday, so we could pick out some stuff, and he said he would pay for it, so Grace and I went yesterday. We got there before him, and by the time he got there I had already been through everything in Grace's size. Then we moved to the boy stuff. Then stuff in my size.
I am very picky when it comes to used stuff. It has to look brand new.. no stains, holes, not out of date, etc. so I didn't think I would find much for any of us, but I actually found a lot! I found 3 shirts, a skirt, and a pair of maternity pants for me.
Then I took pictures of the stuff I found for the babies..

This is the stuff I got for Grace..
I have always wanted a raincoat for Grace, but they are pricey because they don't make them much. I found this one for $1.50!! It's a 3T, so she won't be able to wear it for awhile, but for that price I couldn't pass it up.

She can wear this jacket this winter :) It's even nicer then it looks in this picture. It's got a really soft black inside. It's also reversable, but I like it best this way. $2.50.

Just some pants and a shirt I found that I thought were cute. Both were $1.50 each.

This dress was so cute, and it had the bottoms. It looks brand new. No stains or anything, which is amazing for it being white. It was $2.50.

This dress was $1.50 :)

This is a swimsuit cover for $1.50. I have been looking for one of these at consignment sales and in stores.

This is the stuff I got for Brentley..
Erica got Grace a Carter's Big Sister shirt, and I found this Carter's Little Brother shirt. I think it was $1.50. The blue zebra onesie still had the tags on it, and it was $1.50. The U.S.A. onesie was only $0.79. My dad really wanted me to get it lol.

I didn't get a great picture of these, but these are all outfits. The ones on the left and right are newborn. I can't remember the price on these (I took all the tags off the boy stuff because I washed it today), but none of them were more than $2.

All of this stuff plus my stuff was $39.95! I am definitely going to be shopping there more often! It was nice to get out and do something normal. Took my mind off the devastation for a little bit. It's hard to even go on facebook at this point because there is new pictures of destruction everytime I get on.
Chris also surprised me today. He set it up so that his mom would watch Grace, and he took me to see Fast Five. We love the Fast and the Furious movies. He also bought me a coke and popcorn. It was so good! First time we've been out together without Grace in awhile too.
Unfortunately when I get off here we are going to clean our fridge out. We lost pretty much everything in it, but we were waiting to clean it out because we didn't want all that food rotting in the garbage can. The garbage man comes in the morning, so we are doing it tonight. Then I have a final tomorrow morning. I am going to have to drive past Ringgold for the first time since the tornado. I am not thrilled about that.. it's going to be so sad.

A bit of happy news.. my cousin's house is going to have to be torn down and completely rebuilt, but they have been able to go in and get somethings. They got their van out of the garage, and it is perfectly fine. They got her husbands camping/hiking gear and her jewelry too. They can't go in without an escort though, and they can't go upstairs. However, I think the best news is that yesterday their neighbor found their dog Chili alive and well, and today their dog Oreo came running out of the woods alive and well too! They were in the garage when the tornado hit, and the whole front of the garage was ripped off, but the dogs are fine :) God was with those dogs!