Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Focus in 2014

A few years ago the whole "word of the year" thing became really popular. I jumped on board last year with the word simple. I stayed pretty true to the word and reminded myself of it frequently. I've been giving a lot of thought for the word of 2014. After lots of thought I have chosen 


I want to start being more intentional in all that I do. Too often I rush around unfocused just moving and doing with intention. Yes, I am accomplishing things but there isn't usually anything getting completely done. 

Sometimes I make a to do list and that helps but I don't make do it enough. Being intentional isn't all about to do lists. It is also about focusing on the things that are important to me. My goal is to teach myself to be more intentional in all aspects of my life. It is important to stop and give thought to what I'm wanting to get or achieve. This want might be something tangible, something marked off a to do list, or even simply a feeling. 

 "Live your life with intent" quote via www.Facebook.com/SilentHymns

Monday, December 30, 2013

14 Goals for 14

Another year has come and with the clicking of champagne glasses comes resolutions for a brand new start. I love new starts! It feels so powerful. After the struggles I had in 2013, I am ready for a fresh beginning. There is a strength in me that has been gone for awhile so I feel much more confident going into this new year. Since I have more strength and energy this year I have decided to tackle 14 goals in 2014. 

1. Lose 30 pounds

2. Read 14 books

3. Get family photographs taken

4. Make a 2014 family binder/planner and use it all year

5. Redecorate our kitchen wall

6. Trade in my car

7. Participate in the Active Mama Series

8. Make a debt free plan and stick to it

9. Organize craft room 

10. Give to my Secret Pal. There is a lady at work who is just wonderful. She works so hard and is so sweet. I want to give her treats this year without her knowing it is me. I'm so excited about this one.

11. Take a class (can be online)

12. Go on 14 date nights

13. I will do 14 things for myself such as getting my hair done, taking time for myself, girls nights, manicures, and, pedicures. 

14. Do 14 special things for my mom (she is so wonderful to us and I want to do things to repay her)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Yuck Feeling

We've all been there. As soon as you open your eyes you are in a piss poor mood for really no good reason at all. This was me yesterday. I had no reason to be so ugh feeling but I felt that way. I tried to give myself a pep talk. "Come on Ashley, you can decide to make this a good day". I really tried but I couldn't shake it. I was feeling so angry with myself for not being able to just get over it. Aunt Flo wasn't even visiting so I had no excuse. Maybe it was post-Christmas slump. 

I had toys to organize, dishes to wash, a toddler to keep out of stuff, grocery shopping to do, and yada yada. I wanted to be super mom and do all those things and more with a smile on my face but I kept failing. I kept wishing I had a babysitter so I could just go back to bed and try again. Maybe it was Christmas exhaustion catching up with me. 

Finally I surrendered to the feeling and decided to just do things that I knew would make me laugh. I went to Jack's room and we played like toddler friends in the floor making a mess. I never got motivated to do much more than that but hey I'm allowed to have a yucky day once in awhile. I didn't like it but I survived it. 

Today I feel better (even though Jack didn't sleep well so I am exhausted). My slump day was over! Jack and I (Jeremy is working this weekend) are going to my parent's house for a small Christmas dinner since my brother and his girlfriend are down visiting. I have lots to do today since I barely did anything yesterday. Thankfully I'm feeling more energized and ready to tackle all those things on my Any Do app. 

Come back on Monday to read my 14 goals for 2014.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Husband Said It Best

We are two vaginas. Except that vaginas are awesome but I knew what he meant and what he meant was right on point. One of Jeremy's coworkers bought a bunch of Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets and gave them out as Christmas gifts. How awesome is that? I've always wanted to go and we rarely get a date night so we were both super pumped. 

We drove two hours to get to the Macaroni Grill, where we were all meeting up, through horrible traffic in the pouring rain. The food, drink, and conversation was wonderful. It was great just talking to adults and laughing about something other than the newest cute thing that Jack was doing. They put my wine in a juice glass but this is not grape juice. #grownupdrink

Here is a couple selfie while at the restaurant. We had gotten a little wet but nothing too bad yet.

Parking was bad. Like really bad. We should have gotten to the concert way earlier. By the time we found a parking spot both of us were frustrated. It was raining so badly and my umbrella only covers one and even then it didn't cover that well. The water was deep also. By the time we made it inside we were drenched. Head. to. Toe. Drenched. 

Here is a picture of us drenched. Everyone in the place looked soaked except for the lady dressed to the nines beside me. The seats are ubber close together and it took all I could to keep my soaking wet shirt off of her. We were freezing in our wet clothes and shoes. 

The show was cool though. Cool lights. Awesome music. Not what I expected. It really didn't put me in the Christmas spirit because I knew none of the songs. I thought it was going to be more like a bunch of Christmas songs I know with fun lights. It was more like a play. I'm glad we went because it was a great experience and it was fun hanging with my husband. 

About an hour and a half into the show I was ready to go. I missed being at home. I wasn't looking forward to the long drive home. I didn't want to deal with all the traffic of the people leaving. I just wanted to be home in my pjs. As I was thinking all of this Jeremy turned to me and said "I'm ready to go when you are". When we make it to the car he says "I wish we were home already". We talked about how we are just home-bodies now. That is when he referred to us as vaginas. We want to be with each other and Jack just doing nothing. That is our idea of fun. Oh how times have changed! 

Are you a fun time gal or a homebody?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

You Can't Pick Your Family

Well in this case my husband can't pick his family. I've been needing to get this off my chest for a few days and now that I've calmed down I'm ready to talk about it calmly. I wouldn't normally put this out there but I know this isn't going to be read by anyone who shouldn't need to read this. 

While I was dealing with a very sick baby who was in the hospital

I was slammed on Facebook by my husband's sister. She has since took the comments down but not before I took a screenshot of them. 

This sister I have only met one time and who has never met Jack. She did send us a gift card for Jack last year at Christmas which was greatly appreciated. When it became time for us to send out Christmas cards she had deleted her Facebook. I didn't have her number so I put my husband in charge of getting her address. It came down to crunch time and he said just send it to his mama's house and she would give it to her. Soon after she came back to Facebook so I sent her a message letting her know that I did send her a card and that it was at her mom's house. She was rude about it and said I should have her address from the card she sent last year. Well it got throw away-sorry! 

Tuesday while Jack was in the hospital he and I were still asleep that morning when Jeremy's sister called. My phone was on vibrate so I just ignored it and went back to sleep. Soon after Jeremy came in the room and I asked him if he had talked to his sister and he said yes so I didn't bother calling her back since he had updated her on Jack's progress. 

A little later in the day I posted a picture like the one above. Sister says it looks like strep. I respond saying that it wasn't strep because he had been tested for that. She then wrote that she wouldn't say anything about it again. I could tell she was mad (still not sure why but I knew she was mad) so I wrote "Oh it's fine. I thought it was too which is why I had them test him". I even said earlier that lots of people have suggested it was a strep rash. I wasn't trying to make her feel stupid because it was true, lots of people had suggested strep. 

Her next comment is what made me mad. 

I know your one tired mama but your being really rude about it to the Richards side of the family. So I will be talking to Jeremy about your attitude. I know we are nothing to you but he is still my blood and always will be. I have never laid eyes on Jack but I will one day. I don't see you talking that way to anybody else. My parents are hurt cause they can't be with y'all and help with Jack. Sorry we live so far away. 

Here is my take on the comment above:
1. I was not being rude and have no reason for her to even think I was being rude to her.

2. "Talk to Jeremy about my attitude" that is just funny.

3. He might be your blood but he is my husband and his relation to you has nothing to do with anything.

4. You might not lay eyes on Jack. 

5. I wasn't talking to anyone any way. I was sending quick responses to everyone on facebook. 

6. Her parents are hurt...no one is/was stopping them from coming here. They have only seen Jack once and that is because we took him to them. The day after Jack was flown to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock they were in Little Rock and never visited him while he was in the NICU. 

7. It has nothing about living far away. My best friend lives far away and yet during this time she never got angry that I didn't answer her phone call or when I had to cut her short when a nurse walked in or when I didn't update her as soon as something changed. Why? Because she is an understanding person. 

8. Instead of responding to her through Facebook where I knew things would get ugly I texted her instead. I told her that I did not appreciate her writing that on my Facebook page and that wasn't the place to discuss such topics (my co-workers had commented on that same post so I know they seen it). Right after it happened numerous people sent me texts and private messages regarding what was written with questions as to who was this crazy person and did I want them to respond accordingly (of course I said no). I told her she was also free to speak to Jeremy but that she wouldn't like what she heard. She sent me a text back to answer my phone the next time she calls-I will not be doing so. She hurt my feelings by being insensitive to the situation I was in and also creating drama where there wasn't any. 

She did take the comments down which I appreciate and I did thank her and she said your welcome and said no hurt feelings. Why would her feelings be hurt??? I am the one who was treated unfairly. Dr. Phil said it right-each person in a relationship needs to manage the issues with their own family. If my parents had a problem with Jeremy then I would take care of it, not him. 

Does anyone else have a family member who just loves drama?

Side note: The Joe Boxer K-Mart commercial disturbs me. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas and Santa and All That Good Stuff

Jack was obsessed with watching Christmas movies. We had a bit of a movie marathon Christmas Eve waiting for one last package to arrive. 

Too many presents at my parents house. Santa was good to us!

My sister reading The Night Before Christmas to my nephew Bennett.

Another picture before bed....Santa hadn't even arrived yet. 

What a mess!

Jack in a box

Jack loving his new ride!

Bennett wasn't too sure about this wagon rolling (he wasn't too thrilled that we woke him up).

We then headed to Christmas at our house. Jack loved his Thomas the Train pop up tent (well maybe he loved this ribbon more).

Inside the tent

Santa aka my Mama went overboard this year. We racked up! Our big gift was a huge new tv for our living room. Jeremy was over the moon. I came home with shoes, a purse, so many kitchen gadgets, 3 picture frames, Rachel Ray cookware, a book, curling iron, make-up brush set, some organizing stuff, new Pyrex, bowls with lids, a camera (from my brother), an otterbox and scarf (from my sister), and a stocking full of awesome gifts and treats. My husband got me a Keurig, 2 picture frames, house shoes, a necklace, 2 cake pans, and tweezers (nice ones that I've been wanting). My bestie got me a super cute owl necklace, a beautiful scarf, an ornament, and some shimmery yummy smelling body lotion. This is a lot of loot for one gal! 

I spent Christmas afternoon cleaning and organizing. It is going to be a long process. Jeremy hooked up the tv first thing. Tomorrow (since Jeremy is off work) I plan on spending the day working on the house. I love organizing and cleaning after Christmas. Jeremy said I'm a dork for saying that but I really feel that way. All of our new stuff and with New Year's right around the corner it is like a new start, a fresh start, with lots of happiness. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All the Small Things

Today is Christmas Eve...woohoo! I'm looking forward to more family fun and watching the faces of my loved ones opening the gifts I spent time picking out for them. I'm spending the day getting some last minute things together and wrapped. At noon my bestie is coming over so we can exchange gifts. I'm waiting at home until one last package arrives from Amazon. Once I get everything done here Jack and I are heading to my parents. Jeremy gets off work Christmas morning and will meet us there. We are going to do our own personal Christmas time thing that afternoon. We'll do brunch at my parents first and then spend some more time hanging out. Having a husband as an EMT will always complicate how Christmas is done and I'm doing my best to make peace with that. Growing up we always did the traditional Christmas morning at home opening the gifts from Santa. There will be holidays where Jeremy will not be home and we'll just have to cross those bridges when we get there but for now Jack doesn't get it so we are working with the situation.

Sunday Jeremy and I baked up a storm. We cooked cookies, fudge, and candy.

Yesterday my nephew Bennett and I baked cookies. It was his first time cooking so I was a little worried about how he would do since he is only 2. He did great! He kept eating the cookie dough but who could blame him. When it was time to decorate he just ate the icing off 4 different cookies so those were officially his cookies. He was shoving that icing in and no longer cared about decorating cookies or eating cookie dough. I was proud of how well he did helping his Aunt LaLa bake Christmas cookies. Next year Jack will be able to help and Bennett will really understand what is going on. It's all about the small things!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Why I Blog

When I was a few months pregnant I started doing research on what products I needed and what things I needed to know. The internet took me to many blogs. At the time I was very unfamiliar with blogging but over time I became obsessed with reading particular blogs. I started thinking this whole blogging thing might be fun. 

Inspirational Blogging Quotes from Palmettos and Pigtails

I thought a blog would push me to explore different aspects of marriage and motherhood. Through my blog I would share my experience of figuring this whole new world out. Maybe I would be able to help other people in similar experiences just like other bloggers helped me. 

The greatest surprise from blogging are the relationships I've made. These incredible women I've never met have become my friends. I've also enjoyed the fun activities in the blog world such as jewelry swaps, Cara boxes, ornament swaps, and giveaways. 

Blogging can be difficult at times and I'm not even one of those expert bloggers. I couldn't imagine all the work they put in each day. 

For now I blog to work through this life as wife and mother. I enjoy sharing my world and reading what others have to say about it. Blogging encourages me to live a little more and to do things I wouldn't normally do. Sometimes I do things because I think "this would make a great blog post" and then I end up having a wonderful time.

I'm thankful to other bloggers. Sometimes their words are exactly the words I couldn't think to say and it helps to clarify my thoughts. Running across wonderful ideas gets me excited to do them myself. Bloggers have provided my family with wonderful recipes, home decoration ideas, holiday crafts, date ideas, movies to watch, books to read, and products to buy. What would I do without them? 

Close blogger friends have given me words of wisdom and ears to vent to. Women who are in similar situations and women who couldn't be further from who I am have been there for me because regardless of situation women are kind people who love to provide support and comfort.

Sometimes the blogging world can get competitive and I've heard horror stories of some women being untrue to themselves and being unkind to others. I believe that isn't their true selves and that it is just pain coming through. The blogging community is 99% wonderful people. The other 1% doesn't take away from the greatness of the world that I've joined. 

Why do you blog? For yourself? To share your life? To keep current with family? For money? 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Easy Yummy Cookies and Christmas Shopping Update

These cookies are so yummy and super easy to make. My husband is sad that I'm taking these with me and not leaving them all with him. I am leaving him with three! This recipe is on my Pinterest board and comes from Here Comes the Sun. 

1. Take a packaged peanut butter cookie mix
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1 egg.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll balls into sugar.
4. Cook at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
5. Once they are done press a Hershey kiss in the middle of the cookie
*Once you press in the kiss you may want to pop them into the fridge to keep the kiss from completely melting. 

These are so yummy and easy to make that I'm going to add them to the baked goods baskets I'm making. I'm also going to make them for Christmas day since my mom seriously love peanut butter. 

You could change the kiss to a flavored kiss to make them more festive. I'm just a huge milk chocolate fan.

Now run out and make these right away!

Christmas Shopping
I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping but now I am second guessing myself. I also forgot to get my grandmother something but she is fairly easy to shop for. Tonight I also remembered that I haven't bought anything for Jeremy's stocking. I don't have any ideas of what to put in it either. I'm also a little worried that Jack doesn't have enough to open and I also remembered something that I wanted to buy for my dad. On top of that one of my mom's Christmas gifts came in and I'm not too thrilled about it. Sunday Jeremy and I are going to have a baking marathon and put together treat platters for the people Jeremy's co-workers. I also wanted to put together a Christmas Eve box for my son Jack and my nephew Bennett. Now I am second guessing myself. I'm worried that it will be a lot of money and they won't really care that much. Instead of that I've decided to nix the Christmas Eve box and just bring home some Christmas books from the library, watch one of the many Christmas movies that will be on tv, drink room temp hot chocolate, I'll pick up some special Christmas treats, and maybe do a craft. We have already gotten them matching Santa pajamas. Last night I bought Jeremy's big gift off Amazon and it will be here by Christmas Eve. I'll be a nervous wreck until it is wrapped under the tree. The last gift I am getting him is Sirius radio for 6 months. He had it for 3 months when he got his new car and he loved it. I can turn it back on at any time so I'll do that Christmas Eve. Today I plan on making a last minute Christmas details list and have it all crossed off my Christmas Eve morning so I just sit back and enjoy. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

One Lucky Gal-Jewelry Exchange Reveal

Rachel at Life as Mrs. put together a lovely jewelry exchange. I wanted to sign up because my jewelry selection is seriously lacking. 

I got paired up with Jenn from Bliss to Bean. Boy am I glad I got paired with her because I got hooked up with some amazing stuff. After receiving my package I felt like I had been on a shopping spree. I love everything!

I told you I racked up! I got 2 bracelets, a necklace, a beautiful sparkly coin purse, some Spark, a gingerbread Advobar, and a sweet note.

I'll be keeping everything for myself thank you very much! My favorite piece is the silver bracelet. I've been wanting something similar and my bracelet collection is very limited. It will go with everything! I'm really excited about my change purse also because it is so sparkly. It will go great with my Christmas shirt. I'm excited about trying the Advobar also. I like to try things out. 

I do feel bad because I only sent her one piece but I am excited about what I sent her.  I sent her a bracelet from Jelly Strands. Jelly Strands sells jewelry that little ones can not break and they can also chew on. Plus it is stylish! 
Kate Teething Necklace Black

They are currently offering free shipping anywhere in the US! Also, I ordered the piece one day and it shipped the next morning. Those are big pluses in my book!I learned about Jelly Strands after winning a giveaway so when I found out that Jenn has a baby that likes to pull on her jewelry I knew just what I wanted to send her. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Rough and Rashy Monday

Our Monday started liked any other typical Monday. Jack and I woke up. I changed his diaper and got him dressed. Right away I noticed that he was crankier than usual for morning. Jack is only cranky when he is sleep or when he doesn't feel well. He fused, whined, screamed, and yelled. I knew he wasn't feeling well. Friday when I picked him up from daycare they said he was running a 100 temp so I called and made him a doctors appointment right away. Side note-I'm still a little upset that daycare didn't call me and tell me he was running a fever. If I hadn't been able to get him an appointment I would have been really angry. Plus if he was contagious I don't want him getting others sick. So we take him to the doctor and he says that Jack is fine except for a little congestion and that his slight fever is probably from teething. Saturday and Sunday we had some congestion but nothing too bad. We had to give him some Tylenol a few times for his teeth but nothing to cause alarm. So Monday morning when he was really cranky I figured it was from his teeth but I really didn't want to take him to daycare. There are several other kids in there and I knew he couldn't get the attention a fussy baby needed while in pain. He needed his mama and lots of cuddles so I called in.

Soon after I noticed this rash on his stomach. Not too bad but it's there.

Hours later he wakes up from a nap and he has the rash on his face also.

Then his neck and head.

His stomach gets worse. 

I may be a horrible mother but I didn't take him to the doctor. Mommy friends kept saying that it is just a viral rash and there isn't anything the doctor can do anyways. I'll let y'all know what comes of this. 

What are your thoughts of what this could be?

Tuesday morning Jack wakes up at 2:30 am screaming. I check his rash and it had gotten worse. After several hours he finally went back to sleep and when he woke up again at 5:30 the rash had gotten much worse. He was admitted into the hospital Tuesday morning and was given IV steroids for over 24 hours. We are finally back home and he is much better. The spots are still there but are a lot less red. We are keeping him home the rest of the week because the meds he is on makes him more susceptible to illness. We are going to keep him home so hopefully he won't get sick before Christmas. We aren't sure what caused the reaction yet but for now we are going to keep a food diary and hope it doesn't happen again. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'm a Dork and I Know It-Weekend In Review

Friday night after the men in my life were down for the count mama sneaked into the living room and had the best time until 2 am. I haven't stayed up that long in awhile. I watched tv. I got to watch whatever whatever I wanted. No Family Guy or American Dad. No Thomas the Train or Super Why. It was great! I also read blogs and cleaned up my Pinterest boards. Super dork right here!

Saturday morning I hung out with this little man teaching him how to blow kisses. 

Saturday night I attended a Dirty Santa ornament party. Normally I would have whooped it up a little more and stayed out later but Jeremy had to get up really early to go to work. 

Here is the ornament I won! I love you Razorbacks even if you sucked it big time this year.

Here is a selfie from last night. 

Sunday while Jack was taking a nap I decided to catch up on The Pioneer Woman. I saw a recipe that looked pretty simple so when I went grocery shopping I picked up the supplies. 

Let me tell you.....Oh my gosh!!! So freaking good!!!!
There are 2 ways to make them and I did both ways and both are wonderful!
1. Take a Club cracker
2. Then take a spoonful of brown sugar or Parmesan cheese (from can not bag) and put it on the cracker
3. Wrap half a piece of bacon around the cracker
4. Cook at 250 for 2 hours (I cooked mine for one hour and 30 minutes because they were ready)

My parents came over and I had my mom try them and she was pleasantly surprised. She didn't think they would be that good but she said I had to make them for Christmas day.

Sunday afternoon Jack and I tackled a Pinterest project. 

I think it is a cute little memento. Jack did really great also. I thought he was going to act a fool but he acted like a crafting pro. He is so my child. 

Did you dork it up this weekend or were you a socialite? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa Picture Fail

Saturday morning we headed an hour north to see Santa. My mom, sister, and nephew Bennett were meeting us there. Jack isn't too keen on strangers so I was a little worried about how he would do with Santa but I REALLY thought he would just look curiously at him. We all just knew Bennett (2 1/2) was going to have a meltdown and go nowhere near him. We let Bennett go first. I put him down and he jumped onto that sleigh like he and Santa were old friends. He gave him a high-five. He climbed all over him. We had to bride him with giving him the cellphone to get him off of Santa. It was seriously cute!

Jack's turn. I handed Jack to Santa and the crying started. The freak out started. I screamed "snap the picture" because I had to save my baby but I was not leaving without a picture with Santa.

It is the cutest most saddest picture ever. It makes me smile yet breaks my heart all at the same time. I really feel bad for that Santa. All those screaming kids all day!

Here is last year's picture with Santa:

Oh the difference a year has made! The Santa above is what I call Ugly Santa. He is really bad looking and was back at the Greenville Mall so we went somewhere else this year. The Santa we saw Saturday was really skinny. He needed to eat more milk and cookies. His belly did not jiggle like a bowl full of jelly. He did have a good face for pictures so I was happy with that. 

While at the mall we picked up Bennett and Jack matching Christmas pajamas to wear Christmas Eve. We went ahead and let Jack wear his tonight because I want to get some use out of the them. We also bought Jack a pair of shoes. We looked at many stores before we finally found a pair that we liked. We wanted ones that were easy to put on, something he could wear now yet still could grow into a little, and something that was neutral. He has the best pair of Nike's right now but they have this neon green check mark on the side which doesn't go with everything. His Toms (which I paid $5 from a girl at work) are really hard to put on when he is wearing socks. Anywhooo we finally found a pair at Dillards. They cost 50 freaking dollars but we found some we both agreed were perfect. Neither of us have bought ourselves shoes that cost that much in a long time. We were just both so tired of looking that we paid the money. Now at least I know the right size so now I can do some online bargain shopping. 

Well that pretty much sums up our weekend!

One week of school and then a two week vacation!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Could We Do Baby 2?

It seems that everywhere I look people are having babies. Oh those little babies are precious. Those teeny tiny clothes. Those itsy bitsy diapers. That precious baby smell.

Now that Jack is one and thank the Lord above is sleeping through the night thoughts are creeping in my head. I'm 31 and not getting any younger so it isn't a decision we can just put off for too long but are we ready? Will we ever be ready? Is anyone ever ready? 

There are a million pros to having a baby and only a few cons but those cons are big ones so a pro/con list isn't really going to work. 

Honestly there are only two cons and one of those cons is silly. 

1. The silly con first. Sleeplessness. I hated not getting any sleep. It was miserable. In the grand scheme of things it was a year in my life. At the time it felt like ions. My husband works most nights so I did those nights by myself and then had to go to work. It was hard-like really hard. I hated it.

2. Daycare. It would be really hard to pay for daycare for 2 kids. I'm not sure if we could swing it. We would really have to cut back. We have tons of medical bills and we couldn't wait to have another child when those were paid off.

I tell my husband all the time I wish someone would just give us a girl. Adoption is way too expensive. As a teacher I see kids all the time that I would love to just bring home with me to keep. Is it too much to ask for someone just to give us their baby for free :) 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Cute Gift

Today I want to show you a cute simple gift that will cost you a total of $12. I bought 12 frames from Dollar Tree and printed out 12 monthly prints and now I have a great gift. You can get anything on the Dollar Tree website sent from site to store for free shipping. The items you buy are in bulk so I had to buy 24 which means I have 2 gifts for $24. Sorry the pictures are so bad. It's late and I'm tired but I was too excited not to share. If you would like these printable you can find them on my printables board on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

READ If You Have a Baby or Are Going to Have a Baby

This is the story written by a friend about her son. I wanted to share in case anyone else deals with something similar. 

Aiden was born February 17, 2009. He weighed only 2 lbs and 10 oz. He is a twin and they were born 10 weeks prematurely. After spending 10 weeks in a NICU he and his twin sister finally came home. We had been warned that preemies would develop much slower than full term babies. Everything seemed to be going just fine with both babies and around seven months old Aiden began waking up all throughout the night. He was easily consoled and put back to sleep, but he would only sleep for about an hour at a time before awakening again. One night after getting him from his crib, I walked into the kitchen to get his bottle and noticed when I turned the light on that Aiden rolled his eyes upward. It was SO brief and he only did it one time. I just thought that it was because the light was too bright. The next day, we went to my parents house where my sister noticed that Aiden rolled his eyes once while trying to wake up from a nap. I thought that it was just because he was sleepy. But, that same afternoon he was sitting in his bouncy seat and he rolled his eyes again. This time he did it more than once. Maybe three times, but it was enough for me to call and speak to a nurse at his pediatricians office. I told her that I thought he may be having some sort of seizure. She had the pediatrician return my call that evening and she wanted me to bring him in the next day.

 We took him to the pediatrician the next day and she assessed him and told me that she wanted to have an EEG done to see if it is some type of seizure. He was scheduled to go to Arkansas Children's Hospital the next week to have an EEG. After leaving the pediatricians office, we left to go run a few errands and while we were out I looked at Aiden who was now constantly rolling his eyes upward over and over again. I rushed him to the ER at Arkansas Children's Hospital. We were evaluated by what felt like ten different residents before they informed us that they were going to admit us to neurology and have him hooked up to the video EEG. We spent that night and the next morning waiting for someone to come speak with us and tell us what was going on with our sweet baby boy. As we waited the eye rolling had become more frequent and now with every eye roll his shoulders would pull in toward the center of his body. That morning we met our neurologist for the first time. He walked in and told us that he had been reviewing Aiden's EEG and he believes he has what is known as Infantile Spasms. He had an abnormal EEG rhythm known as hypsarrhythmia. My husband and I immediately began questioning what this was and what was going to happen. We were told that this is a devastating seizure disorder that causes severe brain damage.  With each seizure/spasm, brain damage occurs.  He would more than likely never walk, talk, hold his head up, or feed himself. The prognosis was guarded at best. The neurologist informed us that there were only two drugs that were used in the treatment of IS. Vigabatrin, a drug that had been used for over twenty years in Europe, but had only recently become approved in the United States due to its risk of peripheral vision loss or ACTH, which had multiple side effects and was way more expensive. So, after taking this all in, my husband and I decided that we would try the Vigabatrin. They had the medication ordered and shipped to ACH overnight. He started the medictine the next night. While waiting for the medication to arrive, they had an MRI done to rule out any brain abnormalities and checked him for tuberous sclerosis. They ran multiple lab tests and all came back normal. Over the four days since his seizures were first noticed he had increased to about ten clusters a day with each cluster having approximately 15-20 seizures. After starting the medication, we were discharged from the hospital two days later and told to return to our neurologists office in ten days for another EEG. Over those ten days his seizures became less and less frequent. He started becoming more alert again. (once he started having the seizures he was very lethargic). We returned to his appointment in ten days to find out that the vigabatrin had almost completely stopped the seizures. His medication was increased and we were told to return in two weeks. He did not have any seizures that we were able to notice after that. We went for his next EEG and were told that his EEG was now NORMAL!!!
 He remained seizure free from November of 2009 until June 2010. In June his neurologist decided that he would wean him from his medication. Within three days he began having seizures again. We placed him back on the medication and the seizures stopped. After that he did fine until December 26, 2010 when he relapsed. His dose of medication had not been adjusted for his weight since he had started on the medication. His weight had more than doubled since then. Once we increased the medication, we were able to get the seizures under control again.
The seizures remained under control for the next two years.  We saw his neurologist multiple times, and at each visit he tried to convince us to wean Aiden off of the medicine.  At each visit, we refused.  In October 2012, Aiden was scheduled for another EEG and to see his neurologist.  Dustin and I knew the neurologist would ask us to stop the medication again.  We talked about it and we both had a "peace" about taking him off of the medication.  Aiden was weaned slowly off the Vigabatrin from October 13- December 10th, 2012.  On December 10th, 2012 he took his last dose of medication.  I thought that I would be very nervous about stopping the medication, but I wasn't.  I knew that God was in control.  Aiden has been medication free for one year and seizure free for almost three years!!!!!
Aiden is now almost five years old and he WALKS, TALKS, RIDES BIKES, and many other things we were told he would never do.  Aiden still has struggles, but he is an amazingly funny and sweet little boy. 
My husband and I were devastated when we were told his diagnosis and prognosis. We prayed that God's will be done and that no matter what happened to him that he please not take his smile and laughter away. We are so thankful and so blessed to have him doing as well as he is. We thank God everyday for allowing us to watch our sweet baby boy grow and learn.
Thank you to Everyone who was said a prayer for this sweet boy over the past four and a half years!!!!  We see the power of prayer everyday!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cold Weekend in Review

We ended up leaving school at 10:30 on Friday so we went in for nothing and we will have to make up the day. It's okay because I got to spend a little extra time with my family-just the 3 of us. It was the 3 of us all weekend long and it was wonderful! 
Here is my car Friday afternoon.

It didn't do much Friday once I got home. It just sleeted on and off. I also downloaded the book The Husband's Secret for an online book club I'm apart of through my November 2012 What to Expect When Your Expecting group. So far it is a really good book. I'm happy to be reading a book again. It's been too long. 

Jack has taken to a blankie which is the cutest thing ever.

Saturday we made our very first gingerbread house! It has officially become a new family tradition. Jeremy had so much fun that he wants to make a gingerbread village.  Here are a few pictures.

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree. If you look at the mirror you can see Jeremy standing watching tv. He often watches tv while standing. It drives me crazy! I don't see how he can be comfortable standing there for so long.

Sunday we spent more family time together and I watched Father of the Bride. I also got the house back in order and got things ready for the week. 

It was so nice to have a family weekend!