Friday, September 30, 2011

Button, Button, I've got a button!!

I figured out how to make a button...finally.  It's something I've been meaning to do for a while, but I sat down and figured it out a couple of nights ago.  I used this website, picassa (which I use for all of my pictures of Evie), and photobucket as the website recommended.  It was actually really easy!!  I am still not completely satisfied with it, but here it is:




and here is the code if you'd like to grab it:



I've very excited about it!!  The picture is from Evie's one year pics (which were more like 13 month pics), which I plan on posting about in the very near future.  Anyway, please let me know if there are any problems with the button or the code.  I'm still a newbie at the more complicated aspects of this blogging stuff.  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Fun with the Phone

We got rid of our land line a while ago, and since we have no need for the phone anymore, we took out the batteries and gave it to Evie as a toy.  She is fascinated by it!  She used to just play with the buttons, but she recently began having intense "conversations" on it. 

Who should I call??

Talking to...ummm...grandma! (Not really sure who else she would call.)
Mom, it's for you!!
P.S.  And yes, that's a Halloween shirt that glows in the dark!  We love fall and Halloween at our house, so we're already celebrating!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A to Z of Me

I saw this over at Momma Totally in Love, and I thought it was neat, so I'm going to give it a try!

A. Age: 29 (Wow that looks strange when I actually see it in writing.)
B. Bed size: Queen. 

C. Chore that you hate: Vacuuming.  Fortunately M takes care of it for me!
D. Dogs: Keeka, our oversized dachshund
E. Essential start to your day: Hitting the snooze at least twice.  ;)

F. Favorite color: Red (Go Badgers!)
G. Gold or Silver: Silver or White Gold
H. Height: 5'8"
I. Instruments you play:None now.  I played clarinet in high school, I even wanted to be a band director for a while.  

J. Job title: Spanish teacher

K. Kids:Evie, 14 months
L. Live: Wisconsin
M. Mother's name: Karen
N. Nicknames: My sisters call me "Duck."  I really don't remember why.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Only when I had Evie
P. Pet peeve: Teeth on a wooden stick (like a popsicle stick), I take all popsicles and corn dogs off of the stick.  

Q. Quote from a movie: "Holy Schnikes!"  from Tommy Boy (I am not ashamed that I still use movie quotes from the 90s)
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Two younger sisters

T. Time you wake up: 5:15...after the two snoozes it's more like 5:30
U. Underwear:cotton bikinis, I'm not fancy.
V. Vegetable you hate: green beans...barf!

W. What makes you run late: myself!!
X. X-Rays you've had: ribs, spine, teeth
Y. Yummy food that you make: scotcheroos

Z. Zoo animal: giraffe


Monday, September 26, 2011

The cat's out of the bag...

My sister has a bun in the oven!!!!  I'm so excited to be an aunt!!!!!!!  Well, I'm already an aunt on my in-law's side, M's brother and his wife have two sons and a daughter, but this will be the first on my side.  Evie is currently my parent's only grandchild.   That's all going to change in April of 2012!   Today was their first ultrasound, and everything looked good.  She will be 10 weeks along tomorrow.

My sister and her husband recently moved to the area from Des Moines.  I am so excited to have her nearby for her pregnancy.  She is actually seeing the same doctor that I saw when I was pregnant with Evie.

I've known that she was pregnant for a couple of weeks because she almost vomited all over me while helping me move our new treadmill into the house.  (I obviously wouldn't have asked her to help me if I'd known she was pregnant!  I still don't understand why she tried to help me anyway...)  She swore me to secrecy, which pretty much killed me.  They FINALLY told my parents and the rest of the family over the weekend. 

I hope and pray for happy and healthy 9 months for my sister, her husband, and their new addition!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So, do I sound Canadian?? - The Accent Game VLOG



I've been accused of sounding Canadian in the past...a couple of times actually.  I grew up in northeastern Wisconsin (near Green Bay) and I've lived in southern Wisconsin (Madison area) for the past 11 years.  I would guess that my accent in pure Wisconsin...whatever that means.  We often get lumped in with Minnesota, but I think that it depends on the person.  I can the hear the "Wisconsin" in some people, which leads me to hope believe that my accent isn't quite as strong.
 
I first saw the game at Country is a State of Mind, and I thought it was an awesome idea.  I'm a huge language nerd, and I love anything to do with world languages/accents/colloquialisms/etc.

All you have to do is read the list of words and then answer the questions.  I'm sure the word "both" will probably be my biggest hurdle...lol!

Here are the words and questions:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
•What do you call gym shoes?
•What do you say to address a group of people?
•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
•What do you call your grandparents?
•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?






So, the big question is: Do I really sound Canadian?!?!!?

P.S.  I was sitting in our glider rocker, so sorry about the rocking.  I didn't notice that when I watched it before I uploaded!  Oops! ;)  I also don't realize how quickly I talk.  My students actually complain about that sometimes...plus my memory card was running out of space...so many problems!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Fall Harvest

Cucumber

Tomato

Pumpkins
 The garden was decent to us this year.  Quite a few tomatoes (though not as many as last year), many cucumbers, and three pumpkins (one is not quite ready for picking).  The strawberries and carrots were a giant fail, but there's always next year!!!  I think our biggest problem was over-planting.  We have a relatively small space for all of the stuff we planted.  It was a very hot summer too, and I don't think we watered as much as we should have.  I think we probably could have gotten a few more tomatoes if we had.


I know vegetables aren't as cool as babies...so here's some general Evie cuteness!!

Random Evie cuteness

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panama Bound!! Woot woot!!

Yup, I'm going here!!
Every other year, one of my co-teachers and I take a group of kids to a Spanish-speaking country.  In 2008 we went to Mexico City, did a homestay in Cuernavaca, and then spent a few days on the beach in Acapulco.  In 2010 our Spanish club took a trip to Costa Rica.  I couldn't go because I was 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Boo for missing out on the trip, but I got over it when Evie was born.  ;)

Next summer we'll be in Panama for 9 days in July.  We'll be staying with Panamanian families the whole time we are there.  We will get to see the Panama Canal, all kinds of jungle animals, and zip-line through the rain forest!  The kids will go to a language school for a few hours a day each day too. 

On the past two trips, we have done a small amount of service work and it's gone over really well with the students.  So on this trip, we are going to be spending three afternoons helping out at a Panamanian orphanage.  We went to an orphanage in Mexico too.  While it was a sobering experience, it was also great to know that we had helped out.

I can't wait to get some more stamps on my passport!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Remember to make time for yourself."

Before I got pregnant, I heard people say this to new moms all the time.  I am probably even guilty of saying it myself, although before having a child, I was only blindly repeating what I heard others say.  Since having Evie, I've heard this more times that I could count, "You have to make time for yourself."

On the surface, obviously, they are right.  Making time for yourself as a new mom is important.  You want to be as refreshed and un-frustrated as possible.  Caring for a newborn/infant/toddler is one of the most taxing jobs on the planet, and it would be hard to find someone who disagrees with that.

But....why is it so EFFING hard to make time for yourself?!?!?!!?!?

Whenever anyone suggests that I "take some time for myself," I immediately feel that twinge of guilt.  I hear that obnoxious voice in my head saying, "That would be selfish.  You don't really NEED to go shopping/get a pedicure/zone out in front of the TV/use the restroom without interruption."  (That last one may be an exaggeration, but some days....)  It all seems so superficial!!

I try to look at the glass as half-full.  In doing this, I often feel that there are many people who have it much harder than I do.  Single parents, women whose husbands are deployed, parents with babies that have exceptional needs...I have it so easy compared to them, and I should be grateful for what I have.  I should quit complaining and do my job.  

Nonetheless, I still have to take care of myself.  Lately it's been especially difficult.  Returning to school after spending my whole summer with Evie has been hard.  M is very supportive of giving me any time that I need; I'm just terrible at actually taking that time for me.  I feel bad enough leaving her at daycare each day, so to even think about doing something without her on the weekends makes me feel like a terrible mom.  Saturday, I went shopping with my sister for a few hours, and it's the first time I've gone anywhere (besides work) without Evie in over a month. 

I know that I'm not the only mom to feel this way.   I know I'm not alone.  I just wish that I could believe that doing something for myself didn't make me selfish.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Success!!

I've posted about a couple of baking fails...most recently my battle with blueberry muffins.  Well, I tried again this morning, and this time it was a success.

My biggest problem last time was that in  my hurry to eat delicious, homemade muffins, I forgot to add baking powder.  This time I checked, double checked, and triple checked the ingredients before I put them in the oven.



Evie loved them!!
They turned out great!  I will definitely try this recipe again.  And I will definitely follow the direction closely next time too!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why I Dread Fridays

I coached cheerleading for the past 6 years.  I fell into the job my first year teaching.  The former coach was leaving and someone somehow heard that I was a cheerleader in high school.  That qualified me for the job. 
The first year was rough, and  I wasn't sure if I would coach for a second season.  I'm glad I did though because I had a fresh start with new girls, who were "my" girls. 

In my third season, I started a competition team.  We never did the best, but we sure had fun!!  I was more nervous than most of the girls were when they performed.  I really loved those girls, and I still keep in contact with a couple of them that graduated a few years ago.  Even my most horrible day in my classroom was always better when I could go to cheer practice, have fun, and just forget about everything else for a while. 

I quit after competition season ended in February this year.  The time commitment was just too much.  The season begins in June and ends in late February/early March.  Practices 4 days a week, and games on Fridays during football season.  Practices, games, and competitions all day on Saturday during basketball season.  I actually had to pick Evie up from daycare, to bring her to another babysitter so that I could go to practice.  (My daycare closed before my practices ended.)  She and I got home after 6:00 most nights, and I felt like it was just a rush to eat dinner and put her to bed.  As much as it killed me to quit, I knew that I was making the right decision for her.

Fast forward to Fridays at school.  The past two Fridays I've been miserable.  I see "my" girls in their uniforms, and the football players in their jerseys.  I miss being on the sidelines, I miss riding the bus to away games, I miss spending time with "my" team.  I've even secretly hoped that the new coach (a great girl, fresh out of college like I was when I started) quits so that I can take over again next year. 

Most people look forward to Friday all week, but I'm dreading tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - An Evening Stroll

After dinner most evenings, Evie, Keeka, and I take a walk down Main Street to our public library and back.  It's about 3 miles round trip, and it's great exercise for me and the dog.  M goes with us every other day and he goes for a run on the opposite days. 

Evie loves to wave and say hi to everyone we pass!

Keeka gets winded just thinking about going for a walk...lol!!

The view down Main Street
The city renovated this part of town a few years ago so that it looks more like it did in the late 1800s.  Our town is pretty old, and I love to look at the old fashioned buildings and store fronts.  The "downtown" section of Main Street is paved in brick like it was back then too! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

I feel like a newlywed again!!

Not because of anything my husband has done for me (he's great, but the honeymoon phase ended quite a while ago for us!), but because of all of the questions about "Baby #2." 

Since Evie turned 1, I feel like the world expects me to be pregnant again immediately.  In the past few weeks I've gotten questions from several co-workers, my mother-in-law has hinted she'd like more grandchildren, and even my own sister (who knows we're not planning to TTC for a while) has said something about it.  It seems like just because we have one child, everyone feels like they have the right to ask when we'll have another. 

M and I have discussed adding more children pretty extensively, and we both wholeheartedly agree that we will be a family of 3 for a while longer.  I am really enjoying our time with Evie, and to be honest, I don't really know how I'd get around with another child.  Obviously, I'd adapt.  Right now I enjoy being able to take shopping trips, driving to see my parents (a 2 1/2 hour car ride), and going out to eat relatively easily.  Evie and I do great on our own.  M works very different hours than I do, and we've gotten pretty good at maneuvering pretty much wherever I feel like taking us. 

Some days I even wonder if we will have another baby at all....  Overall, things are pretty awesome right now.  Why fix it if it isn't broken???

Maybe I'll feel differently if/when we're truly ready...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh yeah, I was supposed to be weaning my child

I have written about cutting back on how much I'm breastfeeding Evie a few times (here and here, for example), but it's really not going like I expected.  I thought that I would have completely weaned her by now.  I'm not upset/disappointed/happy/sad or really any feeling at all about it.  I honestly kind of forgot that I was "trying" to wean her. 

My whole breastfeeding goal was originally "as long as I can possibly do it."  I hoped we'd make it for 6 - 8 months.  After that goal was obviously attainable, my new goal became one year.    In June when she fought me at every feeding, I just started dropping a feeding here and there, and eventually we found our new rhythm.  I've been nursing her only in the morning and before bed since late July.  It works really well for us...until I tried to screw it up.

I'm not very happy on the mini-pill, so, at my physical last month my doctor prescribed the regular pill because I thought that I would be done nursing by the time I finished the current pack of mini-pills.  Of course, silly me, in the time between my doctor's appointment and running out of the mini pill, I forgot to cut out those last two feedings and actually wean my child.  Oops!!!  

So my new plan was to take the regular pill and see what happens.  That lasted two days.  My supply dropped very quickly.  (It was already a little low because I had had my period.)  Evie was not happy with fruit and cheerios minus the boob for breakfast, and seeing her upset made me feel awful. 

M and I had a pretty serious talk about how long we were both comfortable with continuing to breastfeed.  I want to keep going until Evie is ready to be done.  I was very worried that M wouldn't like that idea.  He's been amazingly supportive of breastfeeding, but he has had a hard time with some of the struggles of nursing an older baby (the biting, squirming, distractibility stuff).   I was easily frustrated until Evie and I found our groove, and he took the brunt of my frustration.  Did I mention he's a pretty good guy to put up with that??  

Fortunately, after talking it over, we realized that we are on the same page.  I called my doctor and switched back to the mini-pill.  Weaning will happen when it's supposed to, and it feels good to know we're all happy to take it at Evie's pace.     

1/2/12 - Edited to Add:  Evie is now completely weaned.  The last time she nursed was around Thanksgiving.  I miss our quiet breastfeeding time, but I'm happy to have a running, jumping, bouncing, talking toddler to spend my time with now.  :)

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Relationships Post-Baby

I knew that having a baby would change me.  I knew that having a baby would change my relationships with other people.  I don't think I was fully prepared for the negative effect that having a baby would have on my relationships.   

In that past few months I've been pretty down about the changes in some of my friendships, especially a close friend from high school, who was also one of my roommates in college.  Long story short: she got married in Mexico in May.  Between it being the end of the school year, having a 10 month old, and the cost of the trip, I wasn't able to attend the wedding.  Our friendship has basically ended over it. 

A few members of my family have even expressed how difficult it can be to get in touch with me, find time to hang out, or really just talk to ME.  They mean the old, childless me that drove 5 hours to visit at the drop of a hat.  The old, childless me that stayed out all night.  The old, childless me that wasn't worried about feeding the baby, keeping the baby happy, putting the baby to bed, and on and on.

None of the aforementioned people have kids, but I am very close to all of them.  Have I really changed that much?  Why can't they see that I'm doing the best that I can??  Or am I missing something?

It's not all bad.  My relationship with M is stronger than it's ever been.  I'm closer to mother-in-law than I ever thought I could be too.   A friend that I lost touch with has come back into my life because of Evie.  I just wish that those other people wouldn't take it personally that I'm not who I used to be. 

Maybe I'm just whining.  Maybe I'm not as good of a friend as I could be.  I guess I'll try to work on that too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When you grow up...

Mi hijita,
As each milestone passes, I know that you are one step closer to being your own independent person.  I try not to mourn the passing of each stage, and I also try not to hope for unpleasant stages to pass either.  I try to enjoy each moment as it happens. 

As much as I attempt that, whenever I look at you, I can't help but think about the future... 

Could you be a piano prodigy?


 Could you be the star of your high school basketball team?  (If that happens, you DEFINITELY didn't inherit those genes from your mama, trust me!!)


Could you find the cure for some horrible disease?


Could you be a great friend/mother/wife?


Of course I've dreamed of what you'll be, but what I want most for you is happiness
...whatever that looks like for you. 


This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop... 
which is open to ALL mamas 
and has nothing to do with breastfeeding this week!!!  
If you'd like to link up, go to Life with Levi and add your blog to list!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Back to School (and Evie walking!)

I know I'm a week late, but better late than never!  :)

On our way out the door on the first day!

Oh, and a video of Evie walking...a little. 

video

She has attempted walking several times over the past few days, but it usually ends with a face plant.  Last night she fell flat on her back, which was actually kind of scary.  I know it takes time, but I hope she gets better at it soon so I don't have to worry about her as much!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Holy Crap, I have a toddler!!

Evie took her first steps yesterday.  She has been testing her standing ability by letting go of the coffee table (or whatever she managed to pull up on) quite a bit lately, and I thought that it might happen soon.  She was holding onto the couch and I was sitting on the floor about 3 feet away from her.  She let go, and just walked to me.  It was like she'd been planning that moment for ages.  She probably only took 3 or 4 steps, but they were the first unassisted steps of her life!!

M was sitting on the couch when it happened, and I was glad that both of us were here to see it.  We kept trying to get her to do it again, and she did take a few more steps before face-planting onto the floor.  A little while later, she took a few more steps...before face-planting again.  I think this may be a recurring theme until she really gets this whole "walking" thing figured out.

It was pretty amazing to see the first of the millions of steps that she will take in her life.  Of course, I cried like a fool....  :)

Edited 10/24/11:  Evie finally figured out (in the past two weeks or so) that walking is more efficient than crawling, and she is unstoppable!!  I'm exhausted from chasing her all over, and I love every second of it!





Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School/Daycare/Rambling

School started today!  Well, I've back at work for a couple of days, but today was the first day for kids all over Wisconsin.  It was nice to see my students again.  Because I'm in such a small school district, I teach a lot of the kids each year when they are in 7th through 10th grade.  I really get to know them and it's fun to hear what they've been up to over the summer.  They get to know me personally too, and many of them were excited to hear about my summer with the baby. 

Evie has been doing very well at daycare the past few days.  She hasn't bitten anyone...not that I know of anyway...lol!  (See post below for more info.)  She has been eating and napping well, and she's been tuckered out each night too!!  Our daycare provider works out of her home, and she has Evie and three other little ones full time.  A few more kids are there after school each day too.  I think that Evie enjoys the time with the other kids, and I think she's been worn out from playing all day!

We really like our daycare, but sometimes I just have an unsettled feeling about it.  Don't misunderstand, she does a great job.  She is caring, experienced, a great mom to her own teenage daughters, but I always worry that something won't go quite right.  I'm a worrier to the core.  I worry about EVERYTHING, and having a child has made me an even bigger worrier. 

A few weeks ago I was having a mini-meltdown about Evie going back to daycare and M said, "You really won't be happy unless you are the only one taking care of her."  I was taken aback, but he's right.  No matter how great our babysitter is, I'll always feel guilty about leaving her and I'll wish that I was with her.  And honestly, what mother doesn't believe that she would take the best care of her own child???

 I'm fortunate that my job allows me the time that I have with Evie.  I'm also fortunate that I love my job.  I guess it's just the age-old struggle of a working mom.  Wherever I am, I will probably always feel like I'm supposed to be doing my other job.