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!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fun despite the heat!

The all time record high for our area was 106 degrees. That was back in 1950-something. Well, today we broke that record with a temp reaching 107! It is H.O.T.! And the heat index is even higher than that! It makes it feel like it's between 110 and 115! We are not used to this around here. The most it usually gets is like 101, and that is rare. It usually stays in the 90's in the summer. Crazy weather we're having!

So, we decided that we would have a water balloon fight today. We wait until it was about 7pm, so that it wouldn't be as hot.

Grace really enjoyed it!

*Ignore Chris's giant Elmo shirt :p I told him to wear something he didn't mind getting wet.

Also, notice anything new???...

Yep! That's right, Grace is in panties! She hasn't had a single accident in two days now. That includes pooping in the potty! We still have to remind her to go sometimes, but she always goes! We haven't taken her out in public in panties yet, but we are going to a play date Monday, so that will be our first time. I can't believe my little girl is finally potty trained!

Breastfeeding: Finding support

Tip: find support.

Breastfeeding is not always an easy thing to master at first. In fact, it is typically quite difficult in the beginning. One thing that will be greatly beneficial is to find support from someone who has been there. Someone who has successfully breastfed.

If anyone you know... your mom, grandma, mother-in-law, aunt, cousin, close friend, etc., successfully breastfed, have that person's number on speed-dial. Their experience will undoubtedly have differences in their experience from what you will have, but they can still lend advice and encouragement.

It is also good to fine a place where you can go ask any question you have because your breastfeeding confidant may not have all the answers.

My two favorite places to turn to when I have questions are these...

I'm sure that there are many out there, but these are the two that I have found particularly helpful, and the women are always kind.

Your local health department will also typically have a lactation consultant that you can talk to, or they can get you in contact with one. Unfortunately, the one at my local health department was about as helpful as a brick wall when I was having troubles feeding Grace. Again, you know your body better than anyone else, so if you feel that something is wrong, exhaust all your options. Don't just give up like I did.

Also, try to get your husband/boyfriend on board. With Grace, Chris didn't really care one way or the other. He wasn't un-supportive, but he wasn't really supportive either. I wasn't prepared for the issues I had, and he wasn't there to give me the push I needed to continue. When I was pregnant with Brentley, I made everything clear to him. How driven I was to succeed, that I needed his support, how beneficial it would be to Brentley... basically how important it was all around. He has been much more supportive this time, and I have found it is definitely a factor in my success with breastfeeding. I needed my partner's support for sure.

No matter where you find support, support is vital. You will most certainly face criticism for your choice to breastfeed (this is an unfortunate fact of the country we live in). Ignore those uninformed people, and lean on your support whether that be someone close to you, a lactation consultant, or even an internet group. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Helpful tips: Car seat safety

Tip: Read the manual that comes with your child's car seat and follow the instructions it gives you.

I tried researching the exact percentage of car seats that are improperly installed. I found numbers ranging from 70% to 95%. Most of the numbers fell in the 80% range. No matter what the true number is, even 70% is entirely too high.

A common argument I see when people try to defend this is, "At least the kid is in a car seat." This is a moot point in my book. If the child is within the weight and height limits to need a car seat, then it should just be a given that the child be in a car seat. There should be no"at least."

Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 year old to 12 years old.

Having a car seat properly installed reduces the risk of death in infants by as much as 71% and 54% in toddlers. I didn't find numbers for older children, but I am sure you can see a trend here.

No one wants to think that they are going to have a wreck, but the reality is that car crashes occur everyday. Even if you are a very defensive driver, the person next to you could be drunk, texting, and trying to eat a cheeseburger. I tried to look up numbers for how many accidents occur each day in the U.S. and again, the numbers were spread out. 16,934 seemed to be a popular number, but I couldn't find a credible source to back that up.

I do know that I live on the Tennessee boarder and there is an electronic sign you have to pass under on the interstate. It has been reporting the number of fatalities due to automobile accidents this year in Tennessee alone. The last I saw, that number was approaching 500. I did the math and that rounds out to three deaths per day in Tennessee alone so far this year! And that is surely no where near the number of crashes that actually occur each day. Surely none of those people expected to be in a crash that day. It is much better to be safe than sorry.

Each brand of car seat is different, so the only way to insure that your car seat is properly installed is to read your child's car seat manual from cover to cover, and then cross reference it with your car's manual. If, for some reason, you don't have one or both of these, you can typically find an electronic version of the manual on the manufacturer's website.

When I bought the kids' new car seats (they both got a Safety First Alpha Elite) I did read the manual cover to cover, and I was surprised to see the differences between that car seat and their old ones. They were only slight differences, but these differences could mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident.

*Side note: never use the LATCH system and the seat belt at the same time.They are two separate methods of restraining a car seat. They are not meant to be used simultaneously. *ETA* Unless your car seat's manual states otherwise, but this is rare! So again, read the manual carefully! Older cars do not have the LATCH system, so most car seats are designed to where you use either or, not both. Car seats are designed to move slightly in an impact to reduce the force of the crash on the child. If you are using both (and not supposed to be), then they can have an effect of cancelling each other out, and cause the seat to fail. Also, neither one is superior to the other when used properly. However, it is typically considered easier to get the seat properly installed while using the LATCH system. I currently don't have any experience with the LATCH system because my car is a 1998 and does not have that feature, but I have heard that it makes getting the seat tightly installed much easier. *End of ETA*

If you do not feel confident that you can properly install the seat on your own, call your local health department or fire department. One of these places will typically have someone who will install it for you free of charge, or they can direct to someone who can. Makes sure the person who is installing it is certified. Otherwise, you may have someone who has no idea what they are doing, which can cause more harm than good.

I realize that this only puts a dent in all the car seat safety issues. I aim to cover one issue per post. I hope I have covered this one thoroughly. Future posts will address how car seats can be properly installed.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helpful tips: Breastfeeding

My first post is simply going to be helpful tips for beginning breastfeeding.

This applies to moms who are planning to give birth in a hospital. If you plan on breastfeeding, make sure your staff (nurses and doctors assigned to you) know that you are. Make it clear that you do not want the baby to be given any formula. If you make this clear before baby has arrived, it will be easier to stand you ground if need be after baby is born.

Once the baby is born, try to breastfeed as soon as possible. This will signal your body that it is time to make actual milk.
Up until this point, all you body will make is colostrum. This alone is important to your baby. It acts as a laxative to help them pass their first bowel movements, and it also has essential antibodies and proteins present in it that are very beneficial to your baby. It cannot harm your baby in any way, and it will provide the nutrition baby needs until the actual milk comes in, which typically takes 3 to 4 days after birth.

This is where hospital staff love to try and claim you aren't making enough milk. If, for any reason, someone suggests formula, immediately ask to speak to a lactation consultant. Most hospitals have them on hand. In fact, it's a good idea to talk to the consultant even if it doesn't appear that you are having issues. She may be able to give you tips you never even thought of.

Pacifiers can create nipple confusion. If you are having trouble getting baby to latch properly, kick the paci. It may seem that baby is using you as a pacifier in return, but this is a good thing.The baby is stimulating your body to produce the actual milk. Once it comes in, baby will typically not be on the breast as long or as frequent because the milk will keep baby full longer.

Bottles also create nipple confusion. If you are planning on pumping milk, try to hold off for a bit on introducing the bottle. If baby does not create a good latch with your breast in the beginning, it can cause a lot of issues in your breastfeeding future (I know this from experience with Grace).

Sometimes babies just have bad latches no matter what you do (Grace did). If you feel something is wrong, push the issue. You know your body better than anyone else. Do not let someone tell you that you are wrong. Express any concerns about latch before you leave the hospital. Ask the lactation consult how to insure a healthy latch. If you leave the hospital without this information, it will be much harder to obtain once you're home.

A main thing is to have someone to back you up, whether that be your boyfriend, husband, mom, dad, best friend, etc. Explain to that person how important succeeding at breastfeeding is to you. Get that person to the same level that you are so that he or she is just as passionate. And also, make sure that person has you best interests in mind (no hidden agendas). Let's face is, us moms are not always all there in the hospital.We've spent hours in labor, been through the worst pain in our lives, are trying to adjust to sleepless nights, our hormones are going haywire, etc. You are going to need someone there with a level head to help you keep your goals in focus.
This will help prevent the hospital staff from railroading you into giving your baby formula.

Once baby has had formula, it's usually downhill from there. Your body will only produce as much milk as the baby needs, so if baby is skipping feedings with you to have a bottle of formula, your body will begin to produce less and less milk. Regaining milk supply is not an easy thing.

It is actually very rare that a woman's body will not produce enough milk for the baby no matter what the circumstances. Typically the milk supply is being hindered by things like latching issues or supplementing with formula. If these things are corrected quickly, then the milk supply can rebound, but they have to be caught very quickly.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with breastfeeding. I will hit on many more issues and topics in future posts.

*Most of this is just from my personal experiences
There is one reference.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New things to come!

I need some structure added to my blog to keep me posting more often. I have about 70 faithful readers a day. I know that is not a lot compared to other blogs out there, but it is a lot for me! I really do appreciate all of you! And I want to give you guys more things to read.

I am going to resume my Tasty Tuesday posts, starting next week. I have lots of recipes that need to be known, lol. That will be a post every Tuesday for sure.

Then, I figured I would try to do some helpful tips posts about things that I am passionate about. The two main things that came to my mind were car seat safety and breastfeeding.

Now, I am going to put a disclaimer here... I am not certified in either one of these areas, so, in order to back up my tips, I will provide credible links. Unless it is something that I have discovered from personal experiences, and in that case, in the post I will disclose that it was my experience and may not work for everyone.

Disclaimer number two... I do not judge anyone. I do feel that everyone should practice car seat safety, but there is a lot of misinformation and outdated laws out there. Not to mention the relatives who love to tell us that they survived, so our kids will too (I will address this claim in one of my posts). I am not perfect by any means... I made car seat mistakes with Grace that I am ashamed to admit, and I am so very thankful that we were never in a wreck. That is why I want to do these posts. If I am able to help even just one person, then it will be worth it.
As for breastfeeding, I am an advocate for it, but I am also an advocate for doing whatever works best for you (general you) and your situation. All I aim to do is share the knowledge that I have learned through my experiences breastfeeding Grace and Brentley. Again, if I can help just one person, then it will be worth it!
I will lead off with one of these posts tomorrow, and I will try to do one or two a week.

I would also like to try to do a Wordless Wednesday. I have a couple other ideas swirling in my head, but I'll stick with these for now. My goal is to do at least four posts a week if not more. Now lets just see if I can stick to it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking for a new blog to follow?

A bump in the road is run by Nicole. She is a young mom who lives in my area, and her little girl is adorable! If you want to check out her blog, click here --->>>!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm at a loss...

As most of you know, I breastfeed Brentley. I tried breastfeeding Grace and failed miserably. I barely made it to her being 2 months old before I gave up (which is one of the biggest regrets I have). So, she hasn't breastfed in quite a while now. However, just recently, she has taken interest in it. She will come up to me and tell me she wants to eat, then she will try to lift my shirt up. At first I figured she was just being silly, then she did it a few more times, and it is to the point now that when I tell her she can't she gets sad. I can tell it hurts her feelings that she's not allowed to, but Brentley is. I figured it was just a phase that she would get through, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen anytime soon :( I try to explain to her that it's for babies, and that she is a big girl, but she just doesn't understand.
And there is a whole other part of me that almost wants to let her do it just because I feel that I failed her when she was a baby, and this would almost be making up for it. Now, I'm not going to. It just feels weird. I have nothing against people who practice extended breastfeeding. I am one of the people who believe that different things work for different people. And in my case, I do not feel that allowing her to breastfeed would be a good thing. It just brings up a whole host of emotions. Now, not only have I failed at breastfeeding her, but I am denying her when she wants to breastfeed, and she thinks that I am being mean. I just feel terrible. In all reality, she more than likely wouldn't even be able to get anything out because she wouldn't be able to latch properly now (especially since she didn't even latch properly as a baby). But I still feel terrible. I can't figure out how to explain to her that I'm not trying to be mean.
I tried posting this on Cafemom, and most of the replies I got said that I should let her try it. Some said that I should let her try it just to get her curiosity out, and others said that I should let her try it to see if she would take to breastfeeding...
I don't want her to take... I already have anxiety about weaning Brentley. I can't imagine having to wean Grace as well.
Others were saying that I should just pump and let her have it that way. That is not what Grace is wanting though. Heck, I have a whole freezer full of breastmilk (about 200 ounces) that is pretty much just going to waste. I could give her some of that if that is what she wanted (and yes, I tried giving some to her in a cup). She wants it from me. I can tell she wants the experience, not the milk. Which makes it that much more difficult to tell her no.
Gah, this is just so stressful. It makes me feel like a bad mom.

I know, I know, this all sounds really weird. Most of you probably think I'm crazy that I even consider letting her do it. You would just have to be in my shoes to understand why. And I'm not going to let her, but I've got to figure out some way to stop breaking her little heart every time...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My little geniuses!

Well, Grace is actually really getting the hang of pottying on her own now. She doesn't want us in the bathroom with her. Today, she said she had to go, went in and shut the door, and was in there for what seemed like forever, so Chris went to check on her, and she told him to go out lol. A few minutes later she was done, and she had pooped! She did it completely on her own! I didn't even ask her if she had to go. Then about 30 minutes later she went in there and peed on her own :) I'm so proud of her!

And Brentley is making crazy connections. The other day, Grace wanted me to color with her, so she handed me a marker. Brentley was sitting in my lap, and he grabbed it from me. I figured he was going to stick it in his mouth or something, but he put it to the paper, and started scribbling. I figured that it was just a coincidence, but he kept doing it, and he would get mad if I tried to move the paper. Then, he did it again when I was trying to make a grocery list the other day. Then today, I saw him doing it with Grace's Magna-doodle. I have never met a baby that young (even Grace) who made that connection.
Another connection I saw him make was yesterday when I was sweeping the kitchen. We have two brooms because Grace always has to help me sweep. Well, Grace laid hers down, and Brentley came over and picked it up. There was a cracker in front of him on the floor, and he started pushing it around the kitchen with the broom. He was sweeping! Lol. It was so cute!

This is his first drawing...

And here are a couple of other pictures just for cuteness :)

Grace loves to dress up. In the top pic, she's wearing one of Chris's shirts, and in the bottom pic, she is wearing her Cinderella dress. She has dress up high heals on underneath it, and she asked me to put a bow in her hair lol.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stealing the old pictures idea :)

Next month, Chris and I will have been together for five years! We started dating on July 24th, 2007. It's hard to believe it has been that long! 

Sorry, this one is sideways. It's one of the first pics we took together. 

 This is one of him and my little sister. We used to take care of her while my mom was at work because her dad wouldn't.

This one was taken at my cousin's wedding. It's my favorite picture of us :)

This is the most recent picture I have of us together. It was taken about two months ago.

Our relationship has changed in many ways throughout the years, and we have had our up and downs (and even our fallouts), but we have grown up so much in the last year or so. I wouldn't want to be with anyone else. He is my rock. I can talk to him about anything, and he doesn't judge me. He supports all of my dreams and goals. He loves me despite my faults. And most importantly, he is an amazing father to our children. I couldn't ask for anyone better :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I finished The Hunger Games books!

I know at least one of my followers has read the books, and since they are such a popular series, I figure some of the others may have too. So, I decided to offer my views here WITHOUT spoiling anything.

Overall, I loved the books. My only complaint is that the second and third books felt rushed. I really wish she would have elaborated them into longer books or maybe even into a forth book. I felt a bit of disconnect with Katniss in the last few chapters of the book because everything was so rushed. It would have been awesome to have another book in the series! I did like the way it ended though!
I've already told Chris I want the books for Christmas lol. I borrowed them from my mom, and I read the last two (almost 800 pages) in four days total lol.

I found out that Catching Fire won't be in theaters until November 2013. Such a long time to wait! I'll be at the midnight premier. I know that for sure! Lol.

They are filming part of the movie in Atlanta starting next month. So close to here! I wish I could go down there and watch some of the production! That would be so awesome! I have no idea where in Atlanta they'll be filming though.

I can't believe I have to wait over a year for the next movie! And then probably another year and a half for Mockingjay. Such a long time! These movies better be good!

I think the first movie did a pretty good job of capturing the book. There were a few things that I don't really see why they changed, and there was a lot of stuff that they left out at the end that I seems like it was pretty important leading up to the next movies. Hopefully they'll pay a little more attention to detail for the next movies. 

Is it so hard to...?

teach modesty? Chris and I went on a date to a local music festival. It's a huge deal around our area, so there are thousands of people there on any given night... many of them teenagers.
There were groups of young teenagers... I'm talking like 12-16, everywhere, and I don't think I ever realized until then that some parents must obviously not care.
There were girls wearing shorts with their butt cheeks hanging out, their stomachs completely exposed (like they were wearing bikinis, but the were just short shirts), their chests pretty much completely exposed. Chris and I probably looked like creepers because we kept looking at them and saying how we would never let Grace out of the house wearing some of these things. It became somewhat of a theme.
Oh, and did I mention that this night was Faith and Family night... yeah.

I don't mind short shorts or skirts as long as nothing is hanging out, and she can bend over without exposing anything. I'm not going to make her wear everything to her knees... although, I think Chris would like that :p
Her tops are going to have to cover her stomach and chest... gasp! A teenager with modesty!

Oh, and no see through tops. I cannot tell you how many girls I saw wearing white shirts with a rainbow of different color bras underneath them.
Or thongs... a rainbow of thongs on these young girls too. Who in their right mind buys their little girl a thong? I mean, I might understand if it was just a plain white one so they could avoid panty lines or something, but these were bright, colorful, supposed to be sexy thongs sticking out of the top of some of these girls' pants.

There is only one thing that these type of clothes are asking for. Teenagers have enough hormones and pressure to have sex as it is. I just don't understand how parents can buy their children clothes that are meant to be sexy. Something that is meant for a woman to wear to a club... heck, some of it too risky for a woman to wear to a club!

We came up with some general rules...
If her chest or stomach is exposed, then she either can't have it or has to have an undershirt.
Her undergarments will be age appropriate. No push up bras or underwear that are meant to be sexy.
As for skirts and dresses, if you can see her underwear when she bends over, it's too short.
As for shorts, if her butt cheeks are hanging out or the pockets of the shorts are hanging out (I hate that new fad), then they are too short.

Then we got to thinking about Brentley... Granted, he will be a little bit easier, but we still came up with one thing. Clothes that fit him properly. A shirt that hangs down to his knees, definite no. Pants that he has to hold up while he walks, DEFINITE no. Technically, that could be considered immodest as well because it started as prisoners' way of showing they were available for intercourse. But I just think it looks ridiculous.

Speaking of fitting correctly... if one of them is overweight, they will have clothes that fit. I have nothing against people who are overweight. I am a firm believer that people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. However, when someone buys a size small because they don't want to admit they are a size large, they are not doing themselves any favors. You should never look like the Hulk fixing to bust out of his shirt.

Bottom line, I will be teaching my children how to properly dress from an early age. That includes modesty, age appropriateness, and presentability. Even if it shouldn't be the case, you are judged by the first impression you make on a person, and that first impression will include how you look.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We're on the potty train!

Woo hoo! Finally! Grace is getting it! She pooped on the potty for the first time the other day. I didn't think that day would come lol.
We bought her a new potty seat. She won't use the little potty. She thinks it's a toy, so she won't use it. She peed on it two different times, and both times, she realized she was peeing and jumped up. Yeah, that was a big mess, so we haven't tried to get her to use that again. We have a folding potty seat that you sit on the toilet. She uses it well, but it wasn't secure on the toilet, so she wouldn't get up there by herself and didn't want to be alone in the bathroom while on it. So yesterday, we bought her one that actually fits on the seat.

Yep, that's our toilet now :p She climbs up there whenever she wants on her own. She's been in undies all day with no accidents! She's in a diaper right now because she's napping, but as soon as she wakes up, I'm putting her undies back on. 
I think the new seat is really helping a lot. She was so excited to get it that she sat on it for about 20 minutes lol. We're keeping the folding one so we can keep it in the diaper bag (in a plastic baggie) for public places.
Here's to hoping she keeps it up!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favorites :)

Talking about my favorite books got me to thinking about my other favorites... Anyone who really knows me knows that I have crazy tastes. I don't like any genre over another. If I hear or see something I like, then I just like it. As far as music, it can be rap, rock, country, etc. Movies.. comedy, horror, drama, thriller, etc. It's more about quality to me than genre.

My all time favorite movie is Speak. It's a Showtime movie with Kristen Stewart in it. I loved her in the movie, and she was one of my favorite actress for a long time. Not so much anymore, but I still like her. I also really like the movies Crash and A Walk to Remember. I have other favorite movies, but I can't think of them right now :/

My favorite actors/actresses are Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Will Smith. It's pretty much guaranteed that I will like any movie or show that any of them are in.

My current favorite show is Pretty Little Liars, but my all time favorites are Friends (I have the complete box set) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I have seen every episode at least three times). I could watch both of those shows over and over and never get tired of them! I also love Dawson's Creek, which Netflix has just added, so yay!

As for music, my favorite singer is Christina Perri. Love her! My favorite band is probably Five Finger Death Punch. I told you, I have crazy taste. That is one of the only bands that I like pretty much any song they produce that hasn't sold out. I used to love Linkin Park, but they stink now compared to what they used to be.

My favorite songs are currently "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, and "You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North. My favorite songs change pretty frequently though. Also no, I do not like "A Thousand Years" because of Breaking Dawn. I first heard the song in the gym during my weight training class. I didn't even realize it was in Breaking Dawn until later.

Here's a new one... Favorite book... The Hunger Games. The Twilight series has officially been replaced. I'm still waiting for Midnight Sun even though I know it will never be fully released :(
Like I said before, I want to read the Harry Potter series, and I would love to read some of Nicholas Sparks' books as well.

So, like I said, I have crazy tastes in just about everything lol.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Hunger Games!

I love to read, and I aspire to write a fictional novel someday. I have so many ideas swirling through my head at any given moment, and there is one story line that I feel would be a real hit, but I never have the time to actually put it on paper... maybe one day.
Anyway, I haven't read any novels since I had Grace. I have tried, but I haven't finished a single one. Well, my goal for this summer was to read. I decided on The Hunger Games because my mom has all the books and has let me borrow the first one. I started reading it two weeks ago, and I got about one chapter in and quit. I couldn't get into it at first because I've seen the movie, so I felt like I knew everything that was going to happen. I contemplated just jumping to the second book, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. That's against my nature lol. So, finally, I picked the book up again yesterday, and boy am I glad I did. The book is so much better than the movie! I got half way through the book yesterday, I read a good bit today, and I am certain that I will finish it tomorrow.
I can't wait to read the second and third books because I actually don't know what happens in those! Although, I have been warned that they are sad, but I think the first one is sad, but also very good, so I don't expect any less from the second and third.

I honestly don't know why I'm typing this here lol. I guess I'm just so excited that I have found another series I honestly enjoy. I haven't had a page turner since Breaking Dawn... Disclaimer... yes, I am a "twihard." But I read all of the books before the movies ever came out, and I don't care if you think the writing and/or characters are crappy. I love the Twilight Series lol. I don't care for the movies, but I think I am the only person in the world who actually likes Kristen Stewart for Bella.I actually hoped they would cast her, and I still feel that she was perfect. Can't stand Robert Pattinson though. Yuck.

Anyway... now I suppose I am addicted to Hunger Games as well. The movie does a pretty good job of portraying the books, but there are somethings they just blatantly changed. That annoys me, but oh well.

Yay for a new book love!

...Oh and I also discovered that I can get books on my iPod, which made me incredibly happy!

One of my bucket list items is to read the entire Harry Potter series. That's a lot of books lol. I will do that before I die though!

Again, I don't know why I'm writing this here, but here it is lol.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Well, that was pretty awesome!

Yesterday, I went to the mall with one of my friends. We have been friends since 2nd grade, and I actually met Chris through her. I pretty much consider her family now because she is Chris' cousin.
She called and said she had nothing to do, so we decided to go to the mall. Unfortunately, Brentley picked yesterday to be in the worst mood I have ever seen him in! But we made it through it lol.

So anyway, I am pretty sure I have that body dismorphic disorder or whatever it's called. I have learned to love myself for who I am and focus on my assets instead of my flaws, but when I look in the mirror, I don't see a thin person. Every ounce of my believed this until yesterday. We were in American Eagle looking at their shorts, and she said she figured I was like a size 2. I laughed. I literally thought she was joking. I was dead set that I was a size 8. Then I realized that I was wearing American Eagle jeans - size 8, and they were too big, so I told her I was a 6. She was like, "Okay, but they are going to be too big." So, I try on a 6, and she was right! They were too big. So, I tried on a 4, and it was pretty much perfect. I was so excited! I haven't been a size 4 since I was like 16! I sold all my size 4 American Eagle jeans right after Grace was born because at that point I was like a size 10! I never thought I would be a size 4 again. Now, I'm kicking myself for that. American Eagle jeans are the only jeans I have ever found that fit me perfectly. I'm too darn short for any other jeans. And American Eagle jeans are no where near cheap, so now I really wish I had kept those jeans! I don't know what I weigh now, but I must have lost some more weight.

Okay, so here goes me being brave... I'm going to break it down for you. I was ALWAYS tiny, until I hit puberty at around 11 years old. I was only like 5' and I weighed about 145. I honestly don't know what happened. I grew a couple more inches, so I was 5'2, and I started high school at 14. I was too afraid to eat in front of people. I kid you not. I wouldn't eat breakfast oo lunch. It got to the point where I barely ate dinner. I lost 30 lbs before the semester was even over. Yet, I still thought I was fat! I was a freaking size 0, but I thought I was fat. I know, I know, I was crazy. When I met Chris, I was 15. After we had been dating for awhile, I felt less self conscious, and started eating more. I weighed around 140 when I got pregnant with Grace at 17. I was about 165 when I went into the hospital to have her. I lost it all, then I started taking birth  control and gained 30 lbs. I was 170. I stopped taking the birth control, and finally started losing some weight. I was at 163 when I got pregnant with Brentley. The nausea with him made me lose down to 150, however, the day I went into labor with him, I was 179. That is my highest weight ever. I know I was pregnant, but my body was just not built to carry that much weight. When I walked out of the hospital, I weighed 156. I was happy with that because that was a lot less that 170 lol. But I have kept losing since then. Last time I weighed myself, I was 138, so less than I was when I got pregnant with Grace! I'm not sure what I weigh now. I'm hoping like 130. We don't have a scale, so I'll have to wait until I go to my mom's to check. I really want to get back down to 125, which would put me at a size 2. I would LOVE to be 115 again, but I'm not sure that will ever happen.

I also need to work on toning my stomach because even though I weigh what I weighed before I ever had kids, I don't look the same. I have the little pooch.

These were both taken around the time that I weighed in at 138. The pants that I'm wearing in these pictures don't fit me now, so I know I have lost some since then.

I will work my butt off to keep from ever getting to the point I was once at. I am being proactive now, and taking steps to lead a more healthy life, instead of having to be reactive once I had already gained the weight.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Why have I never been here before??

Yesterday, I found out (from a couple of my friends) about a place called "the sprayground" that's pretty close to where we live.  Today, we all met up to let the kids play, and let me just tell you, this place is awesome! There were three pools. One was a foot deep, there was another pool, then there was a huge pool that had slides and everything. We all waded in the one foot deep pool for a little while, then moved to the sprayground part. Grace and Brentley both loved this part. Brentley doesn't like water, so it was awesome to see him having so much fun! I didn't get any pictures of him playing though because I had to stay with him in the water, so I couldn't take my camera. A lot of these pictures were taken by Brittany.

We will definitely be going back here soon! We want to take daddy with us!! 
Chris wants to take me to Riverbend one night. We are thinking about going on Faith and Family night. We'll have to see if we can spare the money though. Plus, we'll have to find someone to watch the kids. 
We are definitely going to go downtown on Riverbend's final night (a week from tomorrow) to let the kids watch the fireworks. We do that every year.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

So much better!

Today was Grace's second day of gymnastics. I guess the teachers saw how chaotic it was last week, so this week there was another teacher (making three total), and they divided the kids up. There were only three kids in Grace's group (including Grace). It worked out so much better this way!
I had a talk with Grace before we went about how she needed to listen to me and her teacher, pay attention, and sit still. She did a lot better with it this week. She had her moments, but overall I was very proud of her!
The parents don't have to go out with them anymore after this week, but I think I will go with her for at least one more week. There was one little girl whose mom didn't stay this week, and she ended up in our group. The teacher had to spend most of her time with that girl because two-year-olds need help. I don't know why her mom wasn't there. She should have been, but oh well.

I actually got some pictures of her this time!!

She loves to swing on the bars.

Getting ready to do a back flip into the foam pit.

Crawling through the foam pit (she pulled her pigtails out).

She has to have her hands and feet exactly lol.

Getting ready to jump to the bar (with her teacher's help).

Her teacher kept saying that her flips were awesome, and I have to agree. Watching the other girls, they have to have help, but Grace just does it, and she does it perfectly. All I have to do is tell her to flip, and she puts her hands down, tucks her head under, and rolls. Her teacher had to put the other girls' hands down, help them tuck their heads under, and then help them roll. We may have a future Olympian on our hands! Lol, hey, I can hope right??

Brentley also had his 9 month check-up today. He weighs 26 lbs, 7 oz, and he is 30 in. long. He's in the 90th percentile for height and has consistently been off the charts for his weight since he was born. However, I mentioned that he hadn't gained much weight since he started crawling, and she said that she agreed. She said that he is still off the charts for weight, but hasn't climbed any higher since he became mobile. Maybe he won't be a sumo wrestler after all. I guess I can settle for pro quarterback :p Yes, meet my children... Grace, the Olympic gold medalist, and Brentley, the pro football player. That sounds about right!

Here we are at the doctor's office.

I promise he had pants on. She took them off when she was doing his check, and I hadn't put them back on yet. I only let him roam in a diaper at home.

She said he is doing great, and is still pretty far ahead developmentally since he is WALKING now! He walked earlier than Grace! He's not all over he place yet, but I'm sure he will be soon. I don't know if I'm ready for that?!? Lol. Oh, and he has six teeth now! Yes, he still breastfeeds. I broke him of the biting early, lol.

Well, I suppose that's all for now :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grace's birthday!!

I know, I know... her party is not for another 5 months, but I just can't help myself. I am a perfectionist, so planning it this far ahead allows me to get everything exactly right.

I decided that I wanted to do a CandyLand theme for her party. Oh, I am so excited about this!! The first thing I wanted to do was get the actual game so I could use it to go by, but I didn't want to pay full price, so I decided I would hit some yard sales... Would you know, the very first one I went to had it, and they only wanted 0.50 cents!! The box is a little beat up, but all the pieces were there and the board is in perfect condition. I'm going to get her a brand new version of the game for her birthday, but I won't be opening it.

The first idea I got from the game was to use the cards for a drawing. I'm just going to use the ones with colors on them because there are multiples of each of them. I figured I would give them out to people who have kids at her party, then put the matching ones in a bowl, and draw cards throughout the party. By the end of the party, every child will have gotten a prize. I'm thinking Hot Wheels for boys, but I'm not sure what to do for girls yet.

For another activity, I am going to have a cookie decorating station. I'm going to use my gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter to cut sugar cookies, then we'll have icing, sprinkles, M&M's, chocolate chips, etc. for the kids (and adults) to decorate with! Since this is the first birthday where she is going to have activities, I figure that is enough.

I want these invitations... they are customizable, so it will obviously be for Grace's party.

I'm going to make her cake two layers... the bottom layer will have suckers like this...

And that layer will be covered in Kit Kats like this...

Then the top tier will look like this...

Except, instead of M&M's coming out of the top, there will be a couple of spiral lollipops, a 3 candle, and the little pieces that go to the CandyLand game. I can't wait to make her cake!!

For decorations, we will have things like this...

Except, I am going to change up the ones in the last picture a bit. I am going to cover them in bright colors, then wrap them in plastic wrap like the balloons above. I have already started saving our toilet paper and paper towel rolls. I'm just going to get a couple different colors of wrapping paper and some plastic wrap from Dollar Tree to wrap them in. Cute and cheap :) We will also use the board game itself as a decoration. Plus, we will have different colored plates and cups. And I would like to make a banner for her like I did last year. 

We will also have goodie bags. I'm not sure if I want to load them with candy since it's a CandyLand party, or just put the same stuff in them as last year. I'll figure it out though.

As for presents, we already got her a Cinderella guitar because it was over 50% off. I would like to get her a child's umbrella and a brand new CandyLand game for sure. I'm not sure what else at this point.

Her party will more than likely be at the same place that we had Brentley's baby shower (and will have his birthday party), and it will be on her birthday since her birthday falls on a Saturday this year. I'm really excited to throw this party, and I think she will love it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

What an uneventful few days...

Chris works tomorrow, then he is finally off on Wednesday! FINALLY! I have been going stir crazy having him gone so long everyday.

Every morning, Grace comes and wakes Brentley and me up between 8 and 9. We get breakfast, then we play, read book, and/or watch some tv for a few hours. We eat lunch, then Brentley will fall back to sleep sometime around noon. If Grace falls asleep then too, then I sometimes nap with them. We usually all sleep in the recliner together. Brentley on me and Grace at my feet on the part that extends up lol.
Once he wakes up, I usually try to get some cleaning done. He follows at my heels most of the time. If I'm putting dishes in the dishwasher, he is there trying to take them out. If I'm putting close in the dryer, he is there trying to shut the dryer door. If I'm trying to clean up toys, I have to sit on the floor and crawl around to keep him happy. If I'm cleaning the tub, he stands at the side of the tub with me. LOL. He is definitely a mama's boy.  Once the cleaning is all caught up, we usually do a mini lesson. Grace and I are working on colors right now. She knows blue, red, yellow, purple, and orange (she pronounces it OR-AN-JUH lol). I also write some of her letters and numbers and have her identify them. She is great at identifying numbers and getting good at identifying letters. For Brentley, I am trying to teach him his basic body parts, and to say the word "uh-oh" because I think it's so darn cute when babies say that lol. We also read books during this time. Around five, I call Chris to see if he's going to be home around 6 or 7, and I start making dinner 30 minutes to an hour before he is going to get home. That is pretty much all I have been doing. Sometimes the order of these things is different, but we do these things every day.

Not much else to post about right now...

I have noticed (thanks to the new dashboard layout) that I average about 30 views a day when I haven't posted and about 70 views on the days that I have posted something, yet very few people comment. Please feel free to comment! I would love to get to know some more of my followers :)