Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter, Happy Anniversary, Scentsy and NO MORE PACI

Whew! It really never fails, we always tend to cram as much as we possibly can into one weekend, even when we never really try to do so.

Thursday, Eric, the kids and I went to our favorite pizzeria, Paulie's Coal Fired Pizza. Their pizza is amazing, all fresh ingredients made to order. The last time we were there was for Eric's birthday dinner. Kaylan decided to be the one to act up then, but this time Dylan took it upon himself to be the one to fuss constantly. He was okay as long as he was eating/drinking something, but he didn't really want much to do with the offering of pizza. We had to make do with the corn puff snacks and a Nutri-grain bar I had in my purse and he still fussed after eating that. He drank his milk from his sippy cup (we finally got him to drink from a sippy cup last Monday!) but he hasn't yet gotten the hang of holding it while tilting back to drink. I think some straw sippys are in our future! Dylan doesn't "sip" from the sippy cup either, he wants to take the whole thing down like it's a bottle still. That's what he gets upset about most, is that I won't let him drink all of his milk at once. I don't want him getting all his calories from drinking milk and I definitely don't like the idea of him "filling up" on milk before really getting enough food in his stomach. Overall, the dinner went well, nobody was hurt, we weren't kicked out of the restaurant, and we had a very wonderful (very quick) meal with each other. I took D to the restroom to wash him up after eating and he got a kick out of the full length mirror they had in the restroom. I held him up to the sink to wash his hands and he cracked up laughing. I'm thinking, "Why couldn't you be in this good of a mood at the table?". Little stinker. I think he just doesn't like sitting in one spot for very long at all. He likes to move around and explore, and you can't really let a one year old do that in a restaurant, especially if he's still crawling.

Friday, I got my Scentsy starter kit in the mail!!!! Woohoo! I know I haven't made an "official" post about that but yeah, I'm now an independent consultant for Scentsy wickless candles! It's very exciting and fun. I'm really looking forward to what it has to offer, just hope my friends don't mind me bugging them about it. It's really a lot of fun to share because of all the different styles and fragrances. Everyone wants their house to smell good, right? What's great is that with Scentsy, there are no open flames, the burner uses a 25 watt light bulb to heat the wax, and the wax is a food-safe petroleum-based wax. In other words, it's the same wax that's coated on apples you find at the grocery store to give them their shine. When burning traditional candles, there are dangerous chemicals and toxins released into the air not only from the wax, but from the wick, and the smoke. The fact that Scentsy Wickless doesn't use open flame or chemically loaded waxes, it's a lot safer for use around children and pets. After all, accidents do happen.
By the way, I do have an open party available for Mothers Day shopping. You can place your order now and have it ship directly to you once your order is processed--you don't have to wait til the party closes, which is on April 30th. Check out my Scentsy page by clicking here or my Scentsy badge on the right. I also have a Facebook page set up for my Scentsy business where I'll be sharing news on products, deals and specials, and even a few giveaways once I get the business off to the right start. Please check it out!

Also on Friday, Eric and I came to the decision to take the paci away from Kaylan. She has been incredibly obsessed with having a paci at all times. At one time we limited it to nap and bed time, but she would always have her way of finding it and hiding it from us so she would still have it and we wouldn't be able to take it from her. She also liked to have her paci in her mouth, steal Dylan's paci from him and rub her nose with his paci. To me, it just seemed as though the paci made her lazy in a way, that's all she wanted was to have her paci. But what really concerned me enough to take action was the way her teeth were growing in. I think I may have addressed her uneven teeth growth in a previous post, but just in case you don't remember, her front top and her front bottom are wop-sided. Her teeth on the left (top and bottom) are fully through, while on the right top and bottom are only halfway through. The bottom right teeth are even shifting over to the left. The light bulb finally went off and I realized, she's biting down on her paci on that particular side of her mouth. And she must be biting pretty hard for it to affect the full growth of her teeth. So, Friday night, after a visit at my mom's house (she and my step-dad had the babes for a couple hours so Eric and I could meet up with our friends for dinner--Thanks Gammy and Papa Joe!) we suddenly "couldn't find it" and I told Kaylan that the doggies must have gotten it and eaten it. There may be a chance that Kaylan develops an aggression against Pomeranian now, lol. The first night and the next day's nap was the worst for us, as far as allowing her to CIO to get herself to sleep. Amazingly she never puked at one point, that's her defense mechanism, and if she's upset enough she will use it. It wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be, I was prepared for the worst, thinking I would have to go to her room all throughout the night to help sooth her. But, she's done very well at soothing herself which is something that she's never really had a chance to do. She doesn't get up throughout the night anymore like she used to before, which is great. She woke up fussing early this morning but settled back down a couple minutes later. And as far as Dylan's paci, we have officially limited his to his crib and it is not to leave the crib for any reason. All because we don't want Kaylan to get a hold of it and take to using his paci. D isn't too crazy about the change, but we don't want him to develop the same dependency on his paci the way Kaylan did with hers. I suppose by 15 or 18 months at the latest we will take his paci away completely.

Sunday was a very special day for our family! It was the kids' second Easter, which is a very special and rejoiceful day in itself. But Sunday, the twenty fourth of April, 2011 was my and Eric's 7-year wedding anniversary. Although, the Easter festivities drowned out the possibility for any kind of anniversary celebration, we still had a wonderful day as a happy family. Well, the kids were a bit cranky, Dylan is teething and after all the sugar Kaylan consumed she refused to take a nap, so it wasn't peaceful in the least. We have plenty more years to celebrate though and we look forward to growing together as a family, to love, support and nurture each other for many, many happy years to come.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Couponing

I honestly believe that God is calling on me to be a coupon shopper. Up to this point, I have used coupons here and there, if I had any or if I even remembered to use the ones I had. A lot of times I find myself cleaning out my purse from time to time, coming across expired coupons. I think to myself, "Wow, Dumby. That really could have come in handy. If not for me, then for someone else."
Why I believe God is telling me to shop with coupons:
Over a month ago, early March I believe, I went to go make cupcakes using cake mix. The bag of mix inside the box wasn't sealed properly. I called the company, they sent me a coupon for a free box of cake mix. (You may remember that post.)
A few weeks after that occurrence, a more serious fiasco took place while I was cooking dinner one night. I opened up a can of spinach, drained the spinach in a strainer, and just before I went to go chop I noticed *it*. *It* being half of a grasshopper. The back half to be exact, legs and wings still intact. Seeing as how that ruined our dinner for the night (and my appetite for spinach for a while), I called the company ready to sound off. They were closed. So this gave me some time to calm down and settle my stomach with a ginger ale. I called the next morning as soon as they were open to take calls and reported the situation. After having to mail "Popeye" and his can back to their canning farm, the company compensated me with a $25 check and a $10 grocery store card.
And finally, today, I was fixing lunch for the kids. Wednesday is our PB&J day and after I was scrapping every ounce left out of the 40 ounce jar of peanut butter, I went ahead and opened the other jar I purchased a week ago (with a coupon, go figure). The seal wasn't completely stuck to the rim of the jar. Half of it flapped up and down and was not stuck to the rim, you could see where there had been a type of glue applied around the seal, but for some reason it did not stick. I knew the peanut butter wasn't completely tainted, but when it comes to my kids, I take whatever precaution necessary. I called the company to let them know of the mishap and of course they recommended that I throw the peanut butter in the trash due to the possibility of contamination from the lack of quality seal. They are now sending me a coupon for a free 40oz jar of peanut butter as well as a $0.50 coupon to compensate for the coupon I used when purchasing the original product. Isn't that awesome?
Free money. If there is such a thing as free money, coupons are it, and that's how I will look at using coupons from this point on.
As a mom, as well as in my personal development and growth, I find that there are many hats to be worn: The Mom hat, The Wife hat, The Friend hat, The Veterinarian hat, The Nurse hat, The Chef hat, The Maid hat, The Counselor hat, The Referee hat, The Teacher hat, The Blogger hat, The Artist hat, and most recently, The Scentsy hat!
So now, to add to my many hats: "The Extreme Coupon-er in the making" hat.
Let's hope I have time for all this!



Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's not the zoo, but it'll do.

This past Saturday, we had planned to take the kids out for a day trip to the Jacksonville Zoo. But, despite the fact that we got up earlier to plan, get ready and straighten up the house before going on our little venture, we still got a late start. As we drove toward the interstate I mentioned to Eric that it would be more enjoyable if we could have made this trip on a weekday, in hopes for less traffic on the roads and less of a crowd at the zoo.
Eric agreed that that would be best, so he will be taking a vacation day in the next couple weeks or so for us to make the trip to Jacksonville.
Meanwhile...what the heck are we going to do now? There we were, driving along. We couldn't go back to the house. After getting up early and doing all that running around, we need to do something. I got on my phone and did a search for fun things to do in the Savannah area, and the very first thing to come up was Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Perfect! We still get to see animals, but I figured this would be more of our "practice run" before making the longer, possibly hotter, trip to the zoo itself.
Once we got there, it was so quaint and secluded, I wasn't sure if there was really much of anything there to be seen. But the lady at the ticket window gave us a map, information packet and told us where to park and the best route to take to see everything there they had to offer. She then told us the disappointing news that, due to the threatening weather predicted for that afternoon, they were not letting out the crane or the cougar. Bummer, but it was okay because we can always come back and check it out.
Our first stop was the welcome center. There they had the information/welcome desk, gift shop, and reptiles and small animals! The very first animal we got to see was the snake, Kaylan was so intrigued, even though the snake was not moving much. We could tell that she thought it was cool, she has a fascination with animals. Kaylan even didn't mind getting out of her stroller to take everything in herself. I had to pick her up from time to time to view a few of the high-up cases. The red rat snake was chillin' in a cool hammock he had in his case, and the receptionist pointed out an albino snake in the same glass case. Creepy.
Once we started on our path outside, Kaylan was back in her stroller. She refuses to walk outside these days, but that's a whole other post (we think she may have anxiety issues). Along the way down the path, I found a great picture opportunity, but Kaylan was not willing to participate. In practically all of the pictures you could tell that she was not happy. But Dylan was content the entire time. He did not complain once. That's my little man :)
Kaylan wasn't too impressed with the walking trails, or my stroller-maneuvering over the foliage and tree roots. But once we got to the different animal exhibits she was all smiles and would talk non-stop! She would point out EVERYTHING! "Oh, a bird!" "Oh! A duck!" "Aggy!" (Her word for "alligator"). I took her out of her stroller at each exhibit so she could get a better look at everything. She would fuss because she didn't want to get out and walk around, but as I held her and she could see the animals better, she lightened up a bit. At one time I thought she would jump out of my arms and onto the actual balcony because she wanted to get that close to the animals. Eric would get Dylan in and out of his stroller at each exhibit, and we would then take our turns juggling and holding babies while getting some pictures and making our observations with the kids.

After a little while, the bugs began to get to me real bad (biting), and the rain clouds were rolling in, so we crammed in what we could to finish off. We made our way back to the welcome building to browse around the gift shop for a little memento for the kids. When we walked in the building the receptionist was holding the red rat snake! She very kindly let us check it out a bit closer and Kaylan even got to pet it! I was so afraid that K would grab a hold of that snake and sling it around, but she stuck her hand out and pet the little guy with a gingerly touch.
Not a bad practice run for our upcoming zoo visit. I actually wouldn't mind going out to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center more often, especially before it gets too warm this summer. I look forward to the coming months, especially once Dylan starts walking (doesn't seem like that would be anytime soon though), for us to get out and do more activities as a family.
I'm so glad we all enjoyed ourselves, for the most part. ;)

Following the visit at Oatland, we made our way out to my mom's house to visit with my sister and her family that were in town. Kaylan and Dylan really enjoyed playing with their cousin Madilyn and their Aunt Mer and Uncle Mike! Thanks again Madilyn for letting Kaylan color with your crayons before we left!

We had a great, fun-filled weekend. If only weekends were at least one day longer...



Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Pediatrician, Dylan's 1 year well check

I'm back! Sorry for going AWOL for a week, it's been quite a week. I never really knew what "overwhelmed" meant until recently. Recently meaning, this past year, haha! Lately, I've been exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. Speaking of the word "overwhelmed", has anyone ever been just "whelmed"? It seems like we skip the whelmed and go straight to overwhelmed. That was my stupid observation of the night, enjoy.

This past weekend was a great weekend filled with good company from a few friends we haven't seen in some time. First, our friends, Jacy, Joel and their son Liam (who is a little over a year old), came back into town to visit with family and check up on their house that is on the market. Jacy came over with Liam Saturday afternoon and the kids enjoyed playing with each other and getting to know each other all over again. Jacy brought birthday gifts for both Kaylan and Dylan, and we love the gifts so very much! Dylan got a cool stack toy, an area rug that looks like a little town with roads for him and Kaylan to push their cars around on. Kaylan got the coolest gift ever! An art easel with a huge roll of paper, dry-erase board on one side of the easel and a chalk board on the other. She absolutely LOVES it!! My girl is a little artist and loves to color! Thanks Joel, Jacy and Liam for the wonderful, thoughtful gifts for the kids!
Saturday night, we joined J, J, and L and the rest of their family for a night of dinner and catching up. It was very interesting getting all the kids together! Dylan didn't do so well for the most part, I guess with all the different faces and the different surrounding. :( It made me a bit discouraged because there wasn't hardly a moment that Eric or I could put him down. Meanwhile, Kaylan was jumping around, playing with Liam and his cousin Owen, and having a good time. Thank goodness Jacy was able to get some great pictures that night, because I sure couldn't.
Sunday, we received a visit from our long-lost friends, Bob and Stephanie and their daughter Hailynn who is 4 years old. We lost touch with them for a little while throughout the years due to having kids, working and simply getting caught up in the daily grind we call "life", haha. We really enjoyed our time with them and look forward to making more time in the future to kick back, hang out and get the kids together to play and interact. By Sunday night, Jacy and her crew stopped by again for a final goodbye before they made the long voyage back home up north.
We had a fun filled, busy weekend and we love that we got to reunite with our great friends again!

Yesterday Dylan had his 12-month well check with our NEW pediatrician. I switched the kids' pediatrician recently after being fed up with the former office we were going to. Plus, I had learned some interesting things from a former insider to the office; like, half the nurses weren't even certified nurses. Yeah, the "nurses" that, among other things, poke my babies in the thighs with vaccinations aren't even certified to do so. I always had an uneasy feeling about the doctor herself as it was, she would speak to us in a robotic, non personable tone that I dreaded.
The new office is located in a more convenient location for us and it is also a one-doctor office. So, whenever we make an appointment, that's our time, not a block of time designated for four other patients. And our pediatrician, Doctor Hendricks, seems like such a sweetie. She sits down and talks with us like she's getting to know us and doesn't make it appear as though she is at a higher level than anyone else in the room. She is a mom herself, so her maternal knowledge was as comforting as her medical knowledge. I am really glad that we have made the switch to a new, better pediatrician. The staff is excellent and the closer location is a plus! I felt so much more at ease with this visit than I ever had felt when we would go to appointments with our former pediatrician.
Dylan checked out as an "excellent one year old". He weighed in at 26 lbs, 6 oz. One nurse commented on how "juicy" he was, and before we knew it all the nurses walked by to have a peek at my squishy, handsome little man. Dylan felt uneasy and started to cry when it came time for me to lay him down for him to be measured. Neither of my children take too well to having a stranger come at them or hover over them. But, the nurse was so friendly and helpful that she held Dylan for a little while to give me an extra hand so I could finish up the paper work for the visit. He screamed for a little bit but he settled down once he realized that the nurse wasn't going to take him away from me or anything. He still kept a pouty face throughout the examination but didn't get upset again until it was time for the vaccinations. That was when he let out a scream that left all of our ears ringing!

Catch y'all later! Tomorrow is Friday! Woohoo!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Banana Cream Cupcakes

The great taste of banana pudding, in a cupcake! These cupcakes would be perfect for a weekend barbeque or picnic! Light, fluffy and very yummy, these easy to make cupcakes will be a hit with everyone! :)

Ingredients:
1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) box instant banana pudding mix
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ripe banana mashed
1/2 cup Nilla wafers, crushed
1 medium container Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
12 Nilla wafers, broken into halves, 24 halves

Directions:
Mix cake mix, banana pudding mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil in large bowl until all ingredients are well blended. Add mashed banana and Nilla wafer crumbs to mix, gently stir ingredients into mixture until ingredients are well distributed. Line muffin pans with cupcake paper and fill cups 2/3 to 3/4 full with mix. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 24 minutes. Place pans on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pans to allow them to cool completely. Once completely cool, ice the tops of the cupcakes with thawed Cool Whip whipped topping. Garnish with Nilla wafer halves at the top of each cupcake. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The kids got a new toy today! The old fashioned cardboard box!
Kaylan immediately hopped into it and I pushed her all around the house and we ended up in the kitchen. Both K and D were cracking up over her being pushed around in the box, but Mommy was winded!

So...Dylan took over for a little while, pushing Kaylan up and down the kitchen.

Dylan got tired, so Mommy put him in the box too. Apparently, Dylan thought it was hilarious.

Laughs were shared, and finally, a hug from big sister to little brother :)



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Dylan!


This week has been a bit busy just in case my lack of blog posts isn't evident of that, haha.
Today is my Dylan's FIRST birthday! Happy Birthday Dylan! We celebrated by having his birthday party yesterday at the cafe here in town. It was supposed to be outside in the court yard/outside dining area but it was way too windy. There would have been no way decorations would have stayed in tact and I didn't want to risk having my, or anybody else's little ones get an ear infection due to the strong winds. We moved it inside, which was okay with me, but I didn't have enough to decorate the inside. Before coming to the decision to move it inside I had already had two of the plastic table cloths rip on me from fighting with them in the wind. So, since I was down by a few decorations, we had no choice but to go with the decor in the cafe. We were still able to set up clusters of balloons at each table and the inside provided an intimate, cozy surrounding so it all worked out.
The pre-party plan for the day was to have the babies lay down for their usual nap around 12:45 to 1:00. They are both typically up by 2:30, so once we laid them down I left to get a few last minute items and on to the cafe to decorate. Once 2:30 rolled around, Eric would get them ready and bring them to the party that started at 3. THAT was the plan, what had actually happened was this: The kids must have known that something was going on today so neither one of them got a proper nap. Dylan only slept about 20 minutes (maybe) and Kaylan didn't nap at all. Once they got to the party it was meltdown central! Both of them, and it didn't help much that they were being out of the house and way over stimulated due to the decorations, and various faces around them. At least, with the help of my family and friends, the planning and decorating went smoothly. We got some food in their tummies and proceeded with the festivities, getting a picture in here and there (not very many at all).
Dylan's good mood finally came around when it was time for his cake! My mom saved the cake the hospital gave us when he was born. Since he was in the NICU and not in the room with us, Eric and I decided to save the cake for him to enjoy on his first birthday. Dylan was so cute and messy tearing into his cake! That made the whole day worth it to me since it put him in such good spirit. And the birthday cake we got for the guests to enjoy was amazing, one of my friends does cake making/decorating on the side and did an absolutely wonderful job with Dylan's "1 up" cake! Believe me, it tasted just as good as it looked!
Once cake time was over, my sister, my niece, Kaylan and I took Dylan to the restroom to get his hands and face washed up. Then, it was time for gifts. He got a lot of nice things including money for his savings, clothing, toy cars, a toy cow that moos and a plush Super Mario Brothers throw blanket :) All very generous gifts from our loved ones.
Extra special thanks to everyone who was able to make it to the party and help us with holding a baby or two, hearing a bit of crying, going out to buy a birthday candle (after I forgot the one at home), helping decorate and set-up, and for helping with clean up and loading gifts in the vehicle! It wouldn't have been a success without all of you!
And of course, big thanks to everyone for all of the happy birthday wishes for Dylan!
Today, for his birthday, we got a visit from my sister, Meredith and her daughter, Madilyn before they went back home out of state. After the babies napped (better this time), we went to the park and followed up with some ice cream at DQ. It was a great day for my little man.
We've come such a long way, from NICU to colic, to crazy, to crawling, and now we're almost to walking as Dylan shows a bit more of his own personality each day. He started clapping and playing peek-a-boo this past week, and today he started taking a few steps as he held on to the edge of furniture.
I'm so thankful and proud of my son, my Dyley Bean :)

Happy One Year my darling.
Love, Mama