Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tired, but hopeful...

So, for some reason (could be one of many, or a combination of the many), Leala has not been doing well at night. She has been great at night. She started sleeping through the night at about 2 months old. I have been a very, very lucky Mommy, when it comes to that... But for the past week or so now, she has been awful. She wakes up at least once (that's if I'm lucky); it is more like twice, and then I just put her in bed with us. I have gotten too used to my sleep at night, that her waking up every 3 hours or so is killing me..

I'm not sure what exactly it is either.. which frustrates me even more. At least if I knew the reason behind it all, I could feel bad for her or understand... but right now, without an actual reason, I just get cranky about it.. I know, I'm an awful mommy, but it happens..

These could be our reasons:
* She has been constipated, therefore, her stomach hurts... (she finally went today though, thank goodness)
* She has had bad gas a few nights...
* More teeth coming that we just can't see yet...
* Growth spurt...
* She might be trying to make up for food loss during the day (since we have been gone a lot the past couple of days, and she doesn't like continuously eating under the cover - it works for once or twice during an outing, but not all day for several days).

So who knows.. I just hope that tonight we get some better sleep.. Oh man, I need it.. I definitely do.. and lately, I can't go back to sleep while feeding her laying down.. Which is irritating.. I just kinda go in and out of it, which makes it all worse and makes me even more tired.

Well, there's nothing else I can do about it. Just hang in there I guess. For now, I better go to bed, while she's sleeping. :)

She woke up about 10 minutes ago, and is eating again.. maybe this will make her last longer? Who knows... one can only hope.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I am supposed to post 10 HONEST things about myself.. Here goes:

1. I want to lose weight so bad, but rarely have the motivation to do anything about it. I have finally figured out a schedule that might work, but Thanksgiving messed it up for a few days...

2. I don't mind doing other people's dishes. If I am helping someone else do their dishes, I don't mind at all, but if it is mine, I am not so enthused in doing them.

3. I absolutely love giving the best gift at a party or for Christmas and so on.. It might sound shallow, but I love it. I love seeing their face when they open it, and the shock that I got them whatever it is..

4. I am usually never the one to receive gifts like the ones mentioned in #3. It somewhat bothers me, but at least I know my family and friends are covered.

5. Once I don't like someone, it is very hard to ever like them.. I hold grudges. I know I shouldn't, but I do.

6. I love taking pictures. I wish I could take better ones though.

7. I have a hard time figuring out what I want to do with pictures.. keep them in albums, make scrapbooks, have them on the computer, or what? I do all of these, but wished I had a better system, and had them all in one place..

8. I love everything that has to do with babies and pregnancies. I go nuts with it.

9. I like the designs I make for my shop, but most of the time, I think I am the only one. Not many people comment about it when I think they will. I get disappointed about it. Obviously some people like the stuff, because I make sales, but I guess I just don't get as much feedback as I'd like to get.

10. I NEED some good quality sleep tonight, though I don't think I'll get it. My daughter has been acting horrible the past few days and ends up waking up a few times a night, which she normally doesn't do.. I just need one night to somewhat recover.. Today I was a walking zombie at one point.

Anyone who wants to do this can do it. I give everyone this award!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another Long Day

It's been one of those tiring fun days. We spent a lot of time over at my parents' house, helping my mom put up her Christmas tree. She bought a new slim-line one. I do have to admit that it will take some getting used to.. We always had those big, full, tall trees, but Mom wanted something different this year. With all the seating now in the living room, she wanted a slim-line. And of course, she just had surgery, and I always help her with the tree anyway, so we went and helped.

I thought it was fun and my mom and dad loved the one-on-one time with Leala. It's much easier for them to enjoy her, when there's not any other grandchildren around. They get to catch the small simple things that mean so much. It was a great day. I'm glad we live so close to them.

Besides that, not much is going on. We have been home watching movies and relaxing. It seems like we've been going, going, going for the past few days, so it was nice to relax. I hope everyone is being able to recoup after Thanksgiving. :)

I didn't get many pictures today, because we forgot we had the camera until the very last minute, but we did get a few. I will get more later on too, of course.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was great. We all had such a great time. Leala just loves visiting my parents. The food was great. The company (for the most part) was great. Leala was great..

Now on to the pictures.. But before I forget, I am so very thankful for many things, but one big one that stands out in my head right now (besides Leala) is the man that my husband is. I am always so proud to say that he is my husband. I can stand beside him with so much pride. I know that he'll always be there for me and Leala. I am so thankful that he is the man that my parents are proud of. That other guys are jealous of.. That my sisters are actually jealous of. (Now this might sound arrogant, but you don't know the whole story). I am thankful that he loves me and that it's the forever kind of love.

Okay, now on to the pictures!

Shortly after we got to my Mom's and Dad's house, I fed Leala, and she fell asleep. We had a very rough night last night, so she was knocked out!

Leala had mashed potatoes, dressing, and broccoli cheese rice casserole. She liked the mashed potatoes most. :)

I can't believe her first Thanksgiving is almost over. She did so good and had tons of fun!

She was being such a ham for the camera and company.

She loves my parents, especially when there's no other kids around! lol..

Tomorrow we are going over to my parents' house again to help my mom put up the Christmas tree. She recently had surgery on both hands, so she'll need some help, plus I love decorating for Christmas. I always help her (except last year when we were in SC). I am really looking forward to it. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh, so much to be thankful for!

I don't even know where to begin. I wanted to write a "I'm thankful for.." blog, but I know tomorrow I will be so tired when we get home, that the blog would be pathetic.. lol.. So I will start tonight, and if I have more to add tomorrow, I will.

This won't be as poetic as I would like it to be, but oh well. The point is that I get to write it.

I have much more to be thankful for this year, than any before. Besides all the givens, like good health and a roof over our head, here is my list. It grows everyday.

I Am Thankful For...
My family.
My daughter.
My daughter being healthy.
My daughter being such a happy baby.
My daughter having everything she needs and more.
My daughter's smiles and giggles each day.
The way my daughter make me feel.
The love I have and receive from my daughter, husband, family and friends.
The support, love, compassion, trust and much more that I receive from my husband.
The fact that I know my husband will stay by my side forever.
Knowing that I will never have to face anything alone.
Being alive.
Being able to walk, see, hear and breathe.
Being able to be a stay at home mom.
Simply being a mother.
Having my family around.
Being able to visit my family so often, and have them in Leala's life.
Having help from family.
Having my mom as a best friend.
Being able to talk to my mom about being a mom.
Being a Daddy's girl.
Seeing Leala be a Daddy's girl too.
Still loving my husband and having him love me after all we've been through.
Having my husband be so much of a part of my life for so long.. 9.5 years now.
Having sisters that will be there when no one else will..
Having friends who will be there when your sisters can't.
Having the best friends out there.
Having Jennifer and Kelli in my life.
My past experiences, including my travels, my arguments, my Navy life, etc.
All my potential as a mother and wife.
The opportunity to be a mother a wife.
The opportunity to make a difference.
The luxuries in life.
To be able to laugh and smile each day.
My blogging friends.
A new outfit every now and then. :)
Thanksgiving dinner and time with family.
The moments where Leala's face turns red from laughing so hard for so long.
The moments where Leala is crawling all over me, smiles and then lays her head on my chest.
The feeling of fulfillment as a mother, when I breastfeed my daughter.
The look on Leala's face when she look up at me, while I'm feeding her.
The self-motivation I had to breastfeed and the will to stick to it for this long, without much help at all from anyone.
The simple things in life.
All children everywhere.
Any help I can get with Leala.
Kevin's family and mine..
Shower time in the morning.
Work out time in the afternoon.
Me time after Leala is in bed.

I could go on forever. I will try to make an effort to add a blurb at the end of my posts about something else that I am thankful for. It's a great thing for us to sit back and really think about all that we have, and how great those things are. Even at our toughest times in life, we each have so much to be thankful for, and we need to recognize it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you all have a great holiday! Oh and just for fun, I added this picture. She really is the joy in my life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gotta love crib pictures!

I can't remember who it was, but someone inspired me to add a post with funny crib pictures. So, here goes..

This picture isn't that funny, but I love the story. When Leala was little, she slept in her bassinet in our room, by our bed.. Of course, as a first time mommy, I waited til the last second to move her into her crib in the other room. She could barely fit in the bassinet anymore, so one day, I put her in the crib so she could lay there while I went and put some clothes in the dryer. I came back 3-4 minutes later to a sleeping baby. She took a nap in her crib, all by herself, the very first time she was put in it. Almost all of my crib fears were put to rest that day (no pun intended.. haha). *She had just turned 3 months old in this picture.*

One morning, when Leala was 4.5 months old, I woke up to this...

I laughed my head off, and then ran and got the camera. She only did it that once, but I thought it was too funny. I know, it could be dangerous, but not really.. She didn't get hurt, and she was fine. Oh what a silly baby I have! Here's another picture of that funny morning.

At 7.5 months old, Leala would occasionally try to escape, but then would fall asleep during the process.. This was one sad attempt.. lol.. Doesn't it look like her last call for help..

And here she is, at almost 9 months old, eating her crib.. This was after her morning feeding. I had put her in her crib, so I could do something real quick (I think vacuum) and she decided that I didn't feed her enough.. haha, so she ate her crib.. lol.

Oh the silly moments of a baby in her crib. Gotta love them. I'm gonna miss them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

You don't want to miss this!

I've never posted two blogs in one day, but I figured that this is important enough to do so!

I have coupons for my shop! I don't make these coupons, so it's not like I can have them all the time.. You better act now! Or tell your friends who might be interested. If you would like, you can link back to my blog, or even grab a banner from my shop!

$5 off orders of $40 or more
Coupon Code: SRV680
Expires: Nov 26th @ midnight

$5 off ordres of $50 or more
Coupon Code: NEWLOOK
Expires: Dec. 31st @midnight

I know this sounds all spamy, but it's not guys.. I do what I like and that's making designs.. I also want to help others get their Christmas shopping done. I know I benefited a lot from my shop this season, so I'm trying to share the opportunity with you guys. Oh and I do customizations for free!

Thanks guys! Hope you all have a great night/morning.

Almost done Christmas Shopping...

*I added in a couple of pictures we took of Leala a couple of weeks ago, for your enjoyment!*

I am pretty sure, we are almost done with Christmas shopping! Yay! I always love to be able to say that. Don't get me wrong, I usually *love* Christmas shopping.. I love thinking about figuring out what each person would really like to get. Being able to get everyone something that they will really appreciate is always so rewarding.

This year we did go a bit cheaper than usual. But usually I go way over the top and do way too much.. lol.. then I get scolded by everyone, saying that I didn't have to do what I did, and that I "shouldn't have done that" and so on. Oh well. I think everyone will love what they got. I did use my shop quite a bit this year (as this is my first year to even be able to use it, since I only opened up in August). I got the stuff in the mail the other day, and I just absolutely love it all! I now know what I should have asked for for Christmas! Stuff from my shop! haha, seriously though! I love it all. The coasters are adorable, and I just love the pillows. The kids' shirts are great (I will definietly be making something for a shirt for Leala for her birthday).

Right now, I am just working on wrapping everything.. I think I have 8 more to wrap... And I will of course have to get together Leala's stocking.. and make sure that all of the stuff will actually fit in it! haha.. I couldn't have bought more things for her stocking than what would fit, right? Not me.. :)

I just love this part.. Now, for the most part, I can sit back and relax and know that it is all done. I need to get a gift card.. and do Christmas cards.. That's all. Not bad at all.. Once I get all the presents wrapped, I'll start working on the Christmas cards.

I also want to at least get one pose done of Leala for Christmas. I know it's cutting it really close to even be able to use the pictures for the Christmas cards, but I might not even do that.. I just want them for us.. Who knows? We'll see, I guess. For now, I will take a deep breath and actually feel a little at ease now.

How is everyone else's Christmas Shopping going? At what point in the holiday season can you sigh and take a deep breath?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh, what a day!

Going to Walmart.. Bad idea...
Going to Walmart on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.. Bad idea...
Going to Walmart on the Sunday before Thanksgiving without the hubby, but with the 9.5 month old.. Bad idea...
Going to Walmart on the Sunday before Thanksgiving without the hubby, but with the 9.5 month old, and having to cuss a lady out for almost hitting my child.. Not sure if it was a good or bad idea, but it felt good...

So yeah, I'm standing there in Walmart, with Leala sitting in the cart, while the cart is all the way up against the shelves. That way, I am out of the way. Yes, Leala can reach things, but she was playing with the cart cover and the little teether attached to the cart cover. So this ignorant "woman" (for lack of a better term - without cussing) gets upset b/c the lady on the other side of the aisle has her cart slanted and is half blocking the middle of the aisle. So instead of telling that lady to move her cart or hitting her cart, she hits MINE! My daughter's fingers were right there on the corner of my cart, and Leala moved them at the very last second because she got scared. The "woman" was huffing and puffing and slammed into our cart to get by.. Remind you, there was nowhere for my cart to go, since I had it right up to the shelves.. Just imagine if Leala didn't move her hand out of the way! Oh man, I covered Leala's ears, and went off on the ignorant "woman".

I was so pissed. I couldn't believe she had just done that, and then she said it wasn't a big deal, that my daughter didn't get hurt and I shouldn't be yelling at her. Are you kidding me? I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have said every word in the book, but I think I am very entitled to yell at you when you almost slammed my baby's fingers inbetween our carts, because you were mad at someone else and you are a heartless "woman". Oh man, I was sooo mad. So so very mad.

After that, I was just about ready to kill someone, but finished up my shopping as quickly as possible and went home..

Then I had my hubby come out with me and we went to Toys R Us to take a defective toy back and to buy Leala's last toy for Christmas. I love it, and I'm so glad we got it.

Tomorrow, we will be going to Hong Kong Market and then to Ross. After that, all we will have to get is a gift card, and then we will be done Christmas shopping! Yay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Work-Out Routine

So, I've mentioned a few times that Kevin and I have figured out a schedule and way for me to be able to work-out without much (notice how I add in the word 'much'?) interruption. Some people have asked what I am doing in my work-out. It's really nothing special or out of the ordinary. It's just basic stuff that will get me on the right track of where I want to go. You also have to keep in mind that this is my first work-out routine since I've had Leala (via c-section).

I had leg raises as part of the routine, but quickly found out that it wouldn't be okay yet. I felt lots of pulling and tugging along my scar (like tugging of the inside stuff.. not my skin.. ). It was quite painful. But yeah... here's my work-out routine. It's nothing big, but it's a start.

30 jumping jacks
15 right side crunches
25 crunches
15 left side crunches
15 right side crunches
25 crunches
15 left side crunches
Bicycle for 30 seconds or so
10 "dog kicks" for each leg
10 side "dog kicks" for each leg
arm rotations (10 each direction with my arms in 4 different positions)
12-15 dips
12 "bed push-ups" (you just push off of the edge of the bed, like a push-up)

Then I do it all over again, 2 more times... if I feel extra pumped that day... haha. I've only done it 3 times once since I started. But this is a start, and at least I'm doing something and sticking to it. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hmm.. so today has been fun. I'll just go over a few highlights.

* I was playing with Leala this morning, and I put on her new hat and gloves (it was cold this morning, and I was just playing around). After the struggle of doing that, I said "tah-dah!" and Leala said "tah-dah!" back to me! It was the cutest thing ever!

* Leala's aunt Hang asked her if she "wanted to start something" and Leala responded with a "pshh".. haha!

* I worked out.. yay! I'm loving this!

* Kevin was asked by a client of his to look into this company he has a contract with. After a bit of investigation, he found out that it is all a scam.. At least the guy didn't lose too much money, but all passwords and stuff had to be changed. It will take a while to find out if anything bad had been done yet.

* Kevin then wrote about this in his blog. 6 hours later, we searched the web sites name in quotes in google (ex. "") and Kevin's blog actually showed up as number one. The actual web site was number 2.. not a good sign... but that is a good sign that Kevin knows what he's doing as a SEO manager... haha..

* Watched a movie with hubby..

* Wrestled and played around with hubby.. lots of laughter, and lots of blowing on my tummy.. grr.. I still have to get him back!

* Leala calls Kevin Ba or Dada. Ba is the Vietnamese word for Dad. Earlier Kevin was leaving the room and Leala didn't want him to. She screamed "Ba!!!!" at him.. haha... so funny...

* I got tagged by MiMi..

8 TV shows I love to watch
1. Jon & Kate Plus 8
2. Take Home Chef
3. Little People, Big World
4. Anything on TLC

8 Places I love to eat
1. Chili's
2. Pho 95
3. Cracker Barrel
4. Yes Buffet
5. Mongolian Grill
6. Applebee's
7. Jack N Box
8. Popeyes

8 Things that happened yesterday
1. Wrapped presents
2. Cleaned
3. Blogged
4. Fed Leala solid food
5. Worked out
6. Talked to sister on phone
7. Ate yummy Asian food
8. Played with Leala

8 Things I look forward to
1. Thanksgiving
2. Decorating my mom's Christmas tree the nday after Thanksgiving
3. Seeing Leala open her presents on Christmas
4. Leala's birthday
5. Kelli moving back to Texas
6. Finishing the present shopping and wrapping
7. Spending time with my parents tomorrow
8. Going to bed tonight!

8 Things I love about Fall
1. The crispness in the air
2. The chilly mornings
3. Beautiful colors of nature
4. The sense of family it brings
5. The food!
6. Shopping for Christmas
7. Spending time with family
8. Winter is coming!

8 Things on my Wish List
1. Happiness for my family and friends
2. Be debt free
3. Feel totally 100% stable
4. Be fit
5. Be pampered.. even just once every now and then..
6. Getting pictures done for Leala's birthday (family pictures too)
7. Money
8. To have my best friends closer

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two lines

Like I have said before, every now and then, I will post stories of my past.. funny stories, sad stories.. stories that make me who I am today. I'll also post things to answer questions I'm asked by friends. So, here's one..

The other day, I was asked these questions:

* Was my pregnancy with Leala planned?
* What was my reaction?
* How did I tell Kevin?
* What was his reaction?

My answers:

Oh yes, it was planned! Kevin had been stationed in Japan for 3 years, while I had to stay in Texas. We wanted a baby so bad, but didn't want me to have to do it all on my own. We knew that Kevin would be done with Japan in March of 2007 and then we would be going to South Carolina together.

So, in December we tried (when he came home for Christmas), and then again we tried in March, April and May. Well, May 11th, it happened! At about the time I should have been starting, Kevin was gone on a 10 day DET (detachment on the boat). I found out the day before he came home, but waited to tell him in person. When I saw those two lines, I freaked out (in a good way). I took another test to make sure.. it said positive too. I went to the Food Lion right off base and got another one. It said "pregnant". I kept whispering to myself, "We really did it.. We finally did it." Then I screamed out loud. I couldn't believe it. I jumped up and down, and took a picture of the tests. I couldn't wait to tell Kevin, but I wanted to tell him in person; so I had to wait.

The next day, I got ready, trying to look as best as I possibly could. I drove the few miles to the base and waited in the hangar for him. The plane got in early, so I didn't have to wait long at all. Kevin was the first one out. He ran to me, with his seabag, cranial, and backpack. We did our smooches and hugs and went to the car. He was eager to get home, but I had a present for him, and couldn't wait to give it to him. So there we stood, at the trunk of our car. He looked in the blue gift bag, and pulled out a glass paperweight that spelled the word "Dad". He looked at me with the eyes of a child in a candy store. All he kept saying was, "Oh my God, are you serious? Oh my God, are you serious?" He hugged me so tight I couldn't breathe.

These memories are so fresh in my mind, it feels like they were yesterday... then again, it seems as if it has been forever since I have not been pregnant or breastfeeding.. haha..

*By the way, how do you like the new look of the site? I'm still working on it. :)*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am exhausted...

I am so exhausted that I can hardly even move. Today has been productive, so that's good. At least this exhaustion is worth it. But this means that a real blog is impossible tonight.

I spent the day with my sister. I bought wrapping paper and all those goodies. I wrapped 4 presents. I have made a few changes and plans of changes to make our family better and make myself a better wife and mother. If they haven't already been put into action, they will soon (like tomorrow). I am sure I will wrote about them, as time progresses.

I guess that's about it. I know, this is probably my shortest blog yet, but my neck is killing me and I'm fighting to keep my eyes open. My little one is asleep, so I should be too right now. I'll post again tomorrow. Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Randomness.. birthday, pooh, Christmas, working out..

This blog will be a mixture of lots of things, with recently taken random pictures sprinkled about. :)

Birthday Party:
Sunday was my nephew's second birthday party. It was really great. I love having the entire family family together. It doesn't happen as often as it should. Not that we don't want it to, but that we are all busy and get caught up in the daily rush of life, that we forget to make an effort to do the most important things. Thankfully we have the holidays coming up and then Leala's birthday shortly after that, so we will be all together again real soon. :)

Anyway, Sean loved his presents. He held onto his guitar that we bought him the entire time. It was so cute to see him rock out with it. It even plays "Bad to the Bone". I thought it was priceless watching him play with it.

He loved the Spiderman theme.. That's all he kept saying the whole day. "Spiderman this. Spiderman that." Too cute. :)

Huggable Pooh:
Leala has a big Pooh bear that says lots of things about hugging, when you push it's belly. It is really cute. Well today she was playing with it and she kept throwing herself at it, hugging it. It was tooooo cute. So of course I grabbed the camera and started taking tons of pictures. She was just adorable, and the Pooh bear kept saying stuff like, "Thank you for the big bear hug." and "That's the friendliest of hugs." and "That was a cozy sort of hug." and "Let's snuggle together." Leala would hug the bear. It would say something. She would stare at it and smile. Then she'd hug it again. lol, it was so cute.

Today we went out to get more Christmas shopping down. I feel pretty good about it all. We still have to get a few more gifts, but we have gotten a lot done. I think tomorrow I will actually be wrapping up some stuff. Yay! I'm so excited. I love Christmas time!

Working Out:
Kevin and I have set up a schedule for me to be able to work out. I am super excited about this, and so far it is working out great. Of course it just started today.. haha.. We figured it all out yesterday and started today. I enjoyed myself, and it was great to have a little bit of time actually to do something for myself, that has nothing to do with anyone else, but me.. Well, actually it indirectly has to do with anyone I come into contact with, because today after my work-out, I was much nicer and friendly to everyone... haha.. I don't normally get to do anything for myself, so this is a great start. Plus, it gives me a little break from Leala, which I never usually get. And I think it makes me a better mommy. So yay! As long as we can stick to it, I think it is good all around.

Oh and Kevin even helped me figure out what I should be doing during that time. I am a list person, so we made out a list of the exercises that I needed to do. I love it and I am looking forward to tomorrow's work-out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Christmas Project

So, the other day I mentioned that I was trying to get a lot of stuff made in my shop for Christmas, to order this weekend. One of great followers asked if I could post some images of the products, so tah-dah! Here you go!

First off, I wanted an ornament for ourselves with Leala's picture on it, since this is her first Christmas, so I made that too. I think it came out great. I love it. We took tons of pictures but we really liked this one. It really shows her personality. I love it.

I made a shirt for my nephew (the one who just turned 2). He says the cutest things ever. Just to name a few... "I'm cute." "Enjoy yourself." (from watching Jon & Kate) "I like to move it, move it." (from tv too...) My all-time favorite one is, "I'm the man." So.. that is where his shirt came from.. :)

I also made a pillow for Kevin's mom. It has pictures of her grandbabies (Leala and Serenity). I love how it turned out, and I know she will like it. It's good to be able to capture these moments and be able to cherish them.I made a pillow for my sister-in-law too. A few months ago, she had me make one for her boyfriend, and she really loved how it turned out, so I made a little change to it for her. I'm sure she'll love it.

Then I made some coasters. I absolutely love them! 2 are of Sean (my nephew) and 2 are of Leala. I did a few photo effects to them, and made them real cute! Oh and the pictures all happen to be ones with something in the babies' mouths! haha, too cute!

But yeah, that's about it. I placed my order yesterday, and I'm excited to get them! Just fyi, I do custom orders for free, so if there's anything that you want, let me know. (These items and the others that I didn't post pictures of are in the Custom folder). I can do a lot more than just this stuff too. Check out my shop, and let me know if you have questions. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Huge headache...

After a day that started out with a headache, I'm ending the day with one.. It did subside a bit for the party, but just came back with a vengeance. The party was great. It was so nice having everyone together. It was my parents, my sister, her son (birthday boy), my other sister, her husband, me, Kevin and Leala.. Ienjoyed myself, and we all made a date for 3 months from now (Leala's birthday).. haha.

We had tons of balloon fights and playing. Sean loved everything he got, especially the rock n roll guitar we got him. He carried it everywhere, while it played "Bad to the Bone". Too cute. My dad even showed him how to carry it right. Everyone had a blast. And though my head was (is) killing me, I'm glad I stuck it out and stayed as long as I did.

But for now, I must get off here.. This headache is just getting worse, and I need to regroup a bit before I feed Leala her bedtime feeding in 40 minutes. I promise to write a real post soon.. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Busy Times..

This will just be a real quick post.. to sum it up.. Motherhood is busy! I haven't had time today to even breathe, let alone blog.. but I'm putting blogging ahead of my breathing.. haha.. I have been busy getting things ready for my nephew's birthday party tomorrow. I am so excited. The whole family will be together again, which hasn't happened since July, when we first got back from South Carolina. I'm super excited!

I've also been trying to get some Christmas presents made in my shop. I want to order the stuff this weekend, so I've been super busy.. I've made 2 pillows.. (need to upload one of them)... an ornament... coasters and a calendar.. It's been fun. I have a few other things to make tomorrow, and I will be ordering some stuff that is pre-made in my shop too.. Tons to do!

My little girl had another first today. Kevin was holding her hand for me to take a picture of her, and she loosened her grip on his.. He let go, and she was standing there alone by herself, without holding on to anything... And to top it all off, I caught it on camera! She did it several times today, which is great. She makes me so proud!

Ok, I really should get off here now. I'm beyond tired. I need to roll into bed and get some sleep. I have a 2 year old birthday party to go to tomorrow! Whoohoo! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm so ready for bed!

Today has been a long day. We had been wanting to take some fall-ish pictures of Leala at the park, for a few weeks now. We had even bought a few props and stuff to make it more fall-ish. Well, a cold front is coming in, so we needed to hurry up and just take them today. She even wore her dress for Thanksgiving too. It worked out pretty good and we had a great time. She was a bit tired, so we didn't get to have our over-the-top smiley baby, which was unfortunate, but oh well. I'm sure we'll get more pictures on Thanksgiving.

I just love the first picture.. I don't remember what Kevin had in his hand for her to make such a face, but I'm glad we caught it. She looks so cute.

As for my time at home today, I've been trying to figure out Christmas gifts and all that good stuff. I'm making quite a bit of it in my shop this year, which is great. I love doing it, and I think the gifts mean so much more. I am just very tired, from being on the computer all day, but oh well.. lol. I'm trying to get all of it done, so I can order it this weekend, and not have to worry about it anymore. Wish me luck!

This is totally off subject, but... You know, there is one thing that I am really going to miss about breastfeeding Leala. It's the times (that happen every single day), when I'm feeding her, and look down at her, she looks at me, we both smile.. She smiles so big, but still continues to try to eat (my sweet lil piggy). Then she just buries her head in my chest. It is the most adorable thing ever and I love the fact that I get to see her do it several times a day. It might be weird or whatever, but I'm going to have to get a picture of her doing it.. just to keep my computer.. just so I can remember our moments of just me and her, and our smiles.

I just started thinking about it a lot lately. Soon, she will be weaned (several months from now, but still). Today, she did so well with her solids and sippy cup. She made me so proud. She drank from her cup like a pro! That's independence right there! Oh man, they grow up too fast.. Even though I'm going to encourage her and push her along, I will be holding onto the few "baby moments" I have left.. Truth is, there's a first birthday that's no longer creeping up on us.. It's practically running a 4 minute mile to get here.. and I'm not ready! haha..

I love being a mommy so much. I love my little piggy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pumping breast milk?

Pumping breast milk never came easy to me. I bought a pump a few days after I decided I would breastfeed. I was thinking that with a pump, I could feed my daughter more easily in public and that my husband could help out with some of the feedings. My first attempt took well over 30 minutes and I don’t think I even got an ounce.

I didn’t have anyone to talk to who had breastfed for more than 2-3 weeks. Those who I did talk to, said they were able to pump like crazy and could get out more than 6 ounces in 10 minutes. Now, as a first time mom, I felt defeated. I felt like a bad mother.I felt a great sense of failure and disappointment.

Even though I was having a hard time pumping breast milk, I knew my baby was getting enough to eat, because she was consistently gaining weight. This was without supplementing with formula or anything. Also, we all know and remember quite vividly the projectile throw-up of a newborn. She threw up what seemed like gallons one day, so I knew my supply wasn’t a problem.

I continued to try and eventually I was able to get 2 ounces out most of the time in about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes, none though.

After a few months, I had gathered up quite a bit of milk, which always seemed like more of a hassle to use than just covering myself in public and breastfeeding my daughter. During the process of packing to move from South Carolina to Texas, I told my husband to just throw all the milk away, but don’t let me see him do it. I don’t know why I had an attachment to it, and why I was being emotional about it. I guess all the crazy hormones were still affecting me.

Nine months later, here I am still breastfeeding. I am completely comfortable breastfeeding in public and I prefer to do so straight from the breast. It just works out better for us.

So, when it comes to pumping breast milk, it’s not necessary, and it can be avoided, if needed. Just be proud of being a breastfeeding mama!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Such a random post...

My little girl is just doing so great! Today her and her daddy were playing in the playroom and she did a new thing! You know the toys that can fold out to where the baby can walk around and push them? She has two different ones given to us by my mom, and she loves playing with them sitting down, or even riding on one of them. Well, today, daddy was showing her how to walk with it. This was the first time we had done it.

Well, she is such a fast learner and so ready to walk, that she did it on her own! Kevin was there the whole time, walking with her, but he wasn't even touching her or the toy. She did soo good. I was so happy. He called me in there, and I watched for her a while, then I got the video camera and recorded her doing it too. She was just so cute! So eager too!

Besides that, I've just been busy trying to redo some of the tags in my shop. I really want more traffic coming in, but we'll see. It's all a work in progress. It's really not a get-rich-quick type of thing, at all, but I like to know that people like my designs.. so if I make a sale, that means someone liked it.. haha, yeah I'm a loser, oh well.. lol.

My baby has been doing great at night. She's sleeping a bit longer than normal now. She's always done good at night, but lately, she's just sleeping a lot more, which in turn, messes up her daytime schedule, but oh well. Last night she slept from 9:20 or so til 7:40 this morning. I am so proud of her. It really such a joy to have her in my life. I love being a mommy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Disappointment. Storms. Amazement...

Disappointment- I do have to say that I was quite disappointed in the lack of feedback about my shop, but oh well. I was curious of what people thought, and I guess now I know.. haha.. Oh well. I'll keep trudging on, and do my thing.

Storms- Last night was one full of storms.. Some were quite bad actually. I hate storms and I hate weather.. lol.. I can't sleep well when it's raining, and I was dreading last night, not knowing how Leala would respond. There has only been one other night that stormed somewhat bad, since she's been alive and that was in SC. It wasn't near as bad as last night, and she was obviously much younger. Anyway, I am gladly able to say that I think the rain (even with all the lightening and thunder - and there's was lots of thunder) soothed Leala. I know that most people like to sleep to the sound of the rain, but I do not, and I was hoping she did. Well, she did great. She slept longer than she usually does. She went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 8. Yup, this is one happy mommy..

Amazement- Our little girl has been pulling up on things a lot now, and even that is still amazing to me. But today she did something that brought tears to my eyes.. She was in crib, all by her lonesome self (while I was cleaning up a bit), and I looked over at her, and she was walking in her crib, holding onto the side rail.. She looked like such a big girl! She did so well too. Then I was encouraging her to walk some more, and she did (with a cute little smile on her face). After I was done cleaning up, I was about to get her out, and grabbed one of her hands. She had her other hand on the side of the crib, and she walked a good 4 steps like that too.. She is just soo cute. I am so glad to be able to call her mine.. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

It has been a busy day!

Despite my daughter and I being sick (hubby has already recovered somewhat), I was able to get a lot done in my shop. Yay!! I'm super excited about that. I've been making designs here and there for the past few weeks, and have finally had the time and motivation to upload them all. I've made a few changes to my shop too.

I made several breastfeeding related ones, which I really like. These are some of my favorites.. I truly like them all, so I just grabbed a couple. I'm hoping other moms like them too. I know that I am a very proud breastfeeding mama, so I'm sure there's others out there! haha..

I also did a few maternity ones this time around too. When I was pregnant, I would always call my belly, my "Buddha Belly".. haha! This is not to offend anyone. My husband is Buddhist and he thinks it is funny, so hopefully no one gets mad at me. But yeah, I made a few designs that reflect my different moods during my pregnancy concerning my "Buddha Belly".

Oooo, I also made lots of Earth-friendly designs, and even added a folder for just that! I love all of them! I will even be buying some of the tote bags and use as my cloth grocery bags. I am so excited to do so... and of course I'll need to get some business cards printed out so I can hand them out when people ask me where I got my fabulous bags! hehe..

So, if possible guys, can you go check out my shop and let me know what you think? I am getting more and more confident in my designs and I'm curious as to what you all think... :) Just click on the Everyday Mom Designs banner to the right of this post. Thank you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What's the best baby food for your baby?

I’ve been asked several times what I think, as a mother, is the best baby food. Naturally, I first say breast milk. Breastfeeding is such an important thing for both child and mother. It has really helped my daughter and I in many many ways.

Now I can go on about how great it is for the baby’s health (and mother’s health, for that matter) and how if a child is not breastfed, it has such and such percentage higher of a chance of getting some awful disease and so on. But I won’t.

I will say that I had no intentions of breastfeeding my daughter. I was convinced that it just wouldn’t work out. Not helping matters, I had no help from anyone. Not one nurse helped me and my mother was in another state (on her way soon to come see her first granddaughter). But thankfully I gave it a shot anyway and gladly proved myself wrong. Now at 9 months, we’re still going strong.

Anyway, simply put, human breast milk is the best for human babies.

Now, when it comes to solids, I think it is best to be able to puree your own foods. If time and convenience is a problem for you, then I would definitely say Gerber Organic is the best baby food. It has the same vegetables and fruits you would use at home, doing it yourself. No other ingredients that can’t be pronounced. Just bananas, just sweet potatoes, just apples (or anything else) added with some water sometimes, to help with preparation.

Personally, after having breastfed my baby, I wanted to be able to puree my own foods, but after time went on and things got hectic, it just didn’t work. So, I did some research and went with my instincts. Now the only food my daughter gets is Gerber Organic food and breast milk, which I think is a great combination of the best baby food.

Though neither of these are the plans I had when I was pregnant (I figured she’d be on formula and I would make her baby food), I couldn’t be happier. I recommend these routes to every expecting woman and new mommy I know.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Interesting "Road Trip with a Baby" Stories

The other day I was organizing all of Leala's pictures, from when she was born until now. I had just a folder that said "Leala" on it, and obviously that didn't make much sense.. lol. So, I started to separate it all by the months. And after this year, I'll put all those in a "2008" folder. Anyway, while sorting everything out, I realized that I didn't have the few pictures we took from our road trip from SC to TX... I was freaking out, trying to figure out where they could be.. I knew I had never even seen them! But of course they were no longer on the camera and they weren't on my external hard drive..

I asked the hubby about it, and he said he didn't know if he had them, but he would search for them.. So after a long moment of me holding my breathe, we found them. They were on his external hard drive, but I still had never seen them. So I'm guessing in the hussle and bussle of moving in, he saved them, and forgot to show me..

Anyway, all this is coming down to the fact that we finally found them and I have a few stories of how interesting things can be when you drive 1089 miles with a 5 month old. There's no specific order, they are just what comes to my mind.

* The endless hours of Kevin singing to Leala to get her back to sleep... We were in a Budget truck with Leala between us. We put her umbrella thing down on her carseat, so she wouldn't see us and want to stay awake.. I would hold her hand, and Kevin would constantly sing until she fell asleep.. Of course, he'd forget the words, and make up all kinds of crazy stuff to fill in the gaps.. He probably sang for at least a quarter of the trip home. :)

* You will roll your eyes at this one... remember I was a very hormonal, first time mommy... lol.. But I made Kevin bring up the crib to each and every hotel we stayed in (we took 2.5 days to get here, but stayed at a hotel the first night here too). None of the hotels had portable cribs, and I didn't want her to sleep with us, so every night when we got to the hotel, Kevin would unload the crib, take it upstairs and set it up... And every morning, he would take it apart, take it downstairs and load it up again... Yeah, he hated me for it.. lol. :)

* The good ol' times of being in a hurry to reach the next town, because Leala needed to be changed, I needed to eat (breastfeeding mommy here) and Kevin needing to pee... and there's hill after hill that our 24" truck (towing our behind it) couldn't make.. The hills would literally slow us down to 30 mph (with everyone else going 80 mph around us). Oh and we named the truck Sally, so at every hill, I would pat the dash and tell her she could make it, and that she couldn't get us killed.. lol..

* I ended up (on more than one occasion) having to breastfeed Leala while on the road.. I didn't want to take her out of her carseat, and rish her or getting a ticket, so I would loosen my seat belt as much as possible, get as close to her as possible, put on my breastfeeding cloth, and feed her while she was still in her carseat, driving 50 mph down the highway... lol... It hurt my ribs soo bad, but a mother does what must be done.. haha. :)

* Oh, and being about 30 minutes away from Dallas and stopping for gas, just to be minutes from driving away, and hearing the dreaded sound and smelling the dreaded smell of baby poop... enough baby poop to get all over the carseat... enough baby poop to just wash her bottom off in the sink of the ladies bathroom, with my husband in there with me, and several people knocking on the door to get in... :)

I'm sure there's more, but that's it for now. I thought I'd share my stories and post a few pictures of my little baby.. I can't believe how much she has grown since then.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My baby is sick...

It started last night. She woke up at 3 AM and wanted in bed with us.. I fed her laying down (I breastfeed) and tried to get her to go to sleep with us. We fought with her until 6 this morning. She finally started eating (actually eating) at 6 and did so until 7. We all woke up at 7:40.. I am so not used to that, and I'm sure tonight will be worse.

My poor little girl has tons and tons of boogies and she keeps sneezing her head off.. As if she doesn't hate the booger-sucker-outer thing enough.. (don't you love my terminology?) Now we have to do it like every few minutes.

We have some medicine for her, but we are running out. I called the doctor today to see if he would possibly just call in another prescription without us having to go in and see him. This was the first time I have ever done this, so I was really dreading the fact that they might say no.. But they didn't! I was so thankful and gracious when the nurse called me back and said that they would be calling it in within the next 15 minutes.

We had planned on going to my parents house today, so we continued with those plans. She looked miserable, but my parents cheered her up and she played some... she slept some... she ate some... cried some... cried a lot... and played some more... then ate some more...

I just feel terrible for the little girl. She has not had much of an appetite (I hope this doesn't mess up my milk flow too much). Hopefully with this medicine, she will be feeling better tomorrow. Regardless, I have prepared myself for little sleep tonight. I'm hoping for more, but not counting on it. I just want my baby to feel better soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Today was a fun day. My nephew turns 2 on the 15th of this month, and I still needed to get him another present. I called my sister and asked about the party supplies. She said she hadn't even had time to pick them out or think about it.. And even when she did think about it, she didn't know how she would be able to go to the store and get them with Sean with her. So, this is where I come in...

Last year, before I left Texas to go to South Carolina, I had bought all of Sean's birthday party supplies. He was only 5 months at the time, but I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to the actual birthday party, so I felt that the least I could do is buy the supplies.

So, as if it's not obvious enough, I ended up buying the stuff this year too. It was so fun and exciting. He's having a Spiderman party this year. And just right around the corner in Feburary, we'll be having a Princess 1st birthday party for Leala. Oh man, they grow up way too fast!

I'm guessing this will be a tradition of mine.. I already told my sister that I'll be getting next year's stuff too.. lol. I love doing it, so it works out great. :)

I'm sure I'll be posting a few pictures after the party next week. Stay tuned... haha!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hoping for the best, but not expecting it..

I won't say this will be my only post about Obama, but I will try to make it one of very few. Also, you can bash me all you want, but it's not going to change my opinion... I live in America, and as of right now, I still have my right to say what I think...

Now with all that said, I am very disappointed in the decision to make Obama our new president. I just don't understand. I am very sad and honestly, very scared of what is to come in our future. I don't like his beliefs and morals. It's not that oh, McCain didn't win.. It's that I think Obama won for all the wrong reasons.. I think he was voted for because he is black. They showed on the news several people saying they voted for him and didn't even know the issues at hand.. They just voted for him because they think we need a young strong black man for president.

I also heard on the radio, where they had reporters going out and asking people who they voted for. Many of them said Obama. The reporter then asked them if it was because of Obama's belief in pro-life and wanting to keep our troops in Iraq and finish the war (which are McCain's views, not Obama's), they said yes, that they totally agree with it and are behind him 100%. The reporter even asked them that if Obama won, do they think Palin would be a good VP and if they thought Obama made a good choice in picking Palin to be his VP. They all said yes, and that she would do a great job! Are you kidding me?!

I'm not saying everyone who voted for Obama is this ignorant, but I think a very good share of the people who did vote for Obama didn't know the issues at hand, and now we all have to pay for it.. I can guarentee you that if things get too bad, I will figure out a way to get the hell out of this country. I am NOT going to let this man and America's bad decision risk my daughter's life. It is very sad, that other mothers and I are having to think this way.. I just don't get it. This is America. The freakin United States... and there's jokes going around (and many are serious) about leaving the country..

I want more than anything for Obama to prove me wrong.. I would give him all the money I have, to prove to us that he can run this country in a way that we will be proud of, and not scared of.. I would love for him to show us (when another country decides to test us), that he is the right man to be running this country... Do I think it will happen? No, not really, but I hope so..

It is just hard for me to look at him, and see a leader.. He believes in killing infants... That is murder.. You can be technical or whatever, I don't care. Any way you look at it, it is murder. And to have someone who thinks that is okay as the leader of our country, scares the crap out of me. I wouldn't even let someone like that give me advice on marriage, or parenthood, or even what car I should buy... so why in the world would I want him being the president?

There's many other things, including an attorney taking Obama to court because he doesn't believe Obama is a US born Citizen. Obama refuses to show paperwork to prove otherwise. Either way, Obama, supposedly was an Indonesian citizen at a point where they didn't believe in dual citizenship, so when he came back to the US, he wasn't seen as a US born citizen anymore.. Which is a prerequisite of being the president of the United States.. Hopefully something is done about all this, and somehow he impeached or something.

If not, I will be forced to cross my fingers for the next four years and hope that nothing happens... and I will hope that he will not be re-elected.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Educational Toys - Essential or a Cop-Out?

A lot of people are saying all these educational toys are cop-outs and such... honestly, yes, I think if your child is sitting there all day in front of educational toys without any parental interaction, then that would be a cop out... but for all parents that I know, there is some point in the day when they need to get something done. So your kids can't be outside playing (depending on ages) by themselves.. so most likely they will be playing with a toy, right? Why not let it be something educational?

Laundry, dinner, and cleaning doesn't get done by itself.. so while I am folding clothes, I love sitting my baby down with a toy, or put her in her activity station. I think it is good for her, and it's the only way I'll ever get things done. I would much rather her be playing with a toy that talks about colors or shapes or sings the alphabet, than just some toy that lights up.. That's just my opinion and how we do things in my household.

What do you let your kids do when you're needing to do the laundry or wash dishes or cook dinner? How old are the kids?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get this baby out of me!

The other day I was asked if I did anything to help start labor with Leala. This is actually kinda funny.. I had been walking for weeks. I tried walking as much as possible, even though the last two weeks, my feet and ankles had blown up. We would take walks through military housing to my friend's house (which was a mile away). We would also go down to Bay Street, where there's a park, overlooking the water. It was harder for me to walk there, since there were all these bench swings to stop and sit on.. haha... I would power walk though.. Told Kevin to walk faster and to hold my hand, so I could just shut my eyes and it didn't seem like I was walking as much.. lol.

Well, it was the day 2 days before my due date, and I was determined not to carry this baby past my due date! The whole time I was pregnant, I thought she would be a small baby and that she would be early... Obviously I was wrong about both of those assumptions! haha!

Anyway, it was 2 days before my due date, so we went down to Bay Street and walked as much as I could. My feet hurt, my ankles hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt. I couldn't do it anymore.. After we got home and ate that night, I told Kevin that I was going to take a hot bath. I knew that was supposed to help, so I figured I'd try.

I start the water in the bath, to find out that our water heater had finally gone out.. I was beyond upset. I had already had 3 people come out to look at it, but it being military housing, no one really cared.

So picture me, pregnant and huge (I mean HUGE!) wanting to take a hot bath to get this baby out of me, and there's no hot water.

What did I do, you ask?

I told Kevin, he better get started on boiling some water, that I was going to have a hot bath, no matter what it took... So there we were with all our biggest pots on the burners, boiling water. I think did 3 or 4 cycles of all pots in the bathtub before I even got in. After I got in, I had him continue to boil water, and to add them into the tub as they were done.. Obviously, I had mixed in some of the water from the faucet too.

While I sat in the bathtub (being huge and pregnant), I had a cold bottle of water with me, and a cold washcloth on my head, and made Kevin bring his office chair in the bathroom, so he could sit with me.. haha.. I sat there for a total of about 30 minutes. I just couldn't take it anymore after that.

That night, I went to sleep in the recliner in the living room, while Kevin slept on the couch (I couldn't sleep in our bed anymore.. It was just too uncomfortable). During the night at some point, I had moved down to the floor, and slept on a little mat we had. 7:11 the next morning, I had my first contraction.. then another one at 7:20... then another one at 7:28...

*That picture was taken at 39 weeks.. she was born on her due date a week later.*

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Former Military Wife

A few months before Kevin proposed, he left for boot camp in the US Navy. I never thought I'd be a military wife. I didn't think I could handle it, and I didn't even want to "have" to handle it. But I loved him, and he wanted to join. His first real duty station was in Japan. We were not married yet, so I wasn't sponsored to go with him. Even after we got married, I wasn't sponsored, since we weren't married when he was first stationed there.

It was pretty rough. He went out at sea a lot (on the Kitty Hawk), which meant little to no communications at times. He was in Japan for a total of 3 years. We got to spend Christmas' together and I went back with him to Japan one time, for 4 months. We had to pay for everything out of pocket, or else I would have stayed longer. It was rough, having to live the military life. We truly didn't get to experience the normal "married life", until he was stationed to South Carolina in 2007.

I was able to move with him that time, though we were only there for 3 months before he had to leave on deployment again (this time on the USS Enterprise). I found out a month before he left that I was pregnant with our first baby. We had been trying, so everyone was very excited. I knew that they were going to be going out on deployment, and I was "prepared" to go through this pregnancy alone, since all of my family lived in Texas. Kevin was gone for 5.5 months, and got home just in time for Christmas again.

Our daughter was born this February and Kevin was there for the birth, so it worked out pretty great for us. That ended up being his last deployment and last time being on a US carrier. This summer, he got out of the Navy and we are loving the civilian life. Military life has some perks, but it just wasn't for us anymore. We had a family and he had served his time. It was time to move on to bigger and better things.

In the 5 years that Kevin was active duty, we had only been physically together for 17 months in all. 7 of those were this year before he got out.

I support our troops and I support the ones who serve by waiting - the military wives and families.

(I have some military products in my shop, if anyone is interested).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leala had so much fun last night!

Yesterday was a blast! She looked so cute as a little strawberry.

We didn't have as many trick-or-treaters as we thought, so I ended up letting Leala pick out a piece of candy from the bowl, and taste it, so she got to taste candy for the first time on Halloween! It was too cute! She had a snickers in one hand and a jawbreaker in the other. She finally dropped the snickers and held the jawbreaker with both hands and wouldn't even let go of it for a while.. haha, too cute.

We had a lot of fun. I can't wait until next Halloween when she is walking! Good times!