Friday, December 31, 2010

Extreme Couponing

Well, I can join the club. I mean, I've always been a coupon user, but never to this extreme. Tonight we bought all of this for $50:
Just in case you're wondering what THIS is:
- 12 (32oz) bottles of Gatorade. 99 cents off each. so 1 cent each.
- 12 boxes of cereal. $3 off each, All FREE.
- 8 24 packs of Coke products. $5 off each, so the total was 98 cents per pack.
- 2 packs of Hanes undershirts. $7 off each, so the total was $3.00 per pack.
- 3 packs of Hanes boxers. $7 off each, so the total was 50 cents per pack.
- 21 Hot pockets. $2 off each. All FREE.
- 7 12 packs of Lipton Green Tea. $5 off each, so the total was 98 cents per pack.

It was really easy. We just printed the coupons and bought everything that the coupons gave us a discount on.  Add this to the obscene amount of canned goods we stock up on during the Walmart sales at Thanksgiving, and our garage now looks like we're stocked for the next Y2K. haha!

My Favorite 6 Week Old

Connor, you're 6 weeks old today! I must say, you're my favorite 6 week old ;o) You have really gained an awareness of people around you, and will even give us an intentional smile every now and then! Now that you're on Zantac, you really are a pretty happy baby. You have your moments, but life is good now that your tummy seems to be under control! You still wake up once during the night, although it's now between 4am and 5am. Mommy's hoping that it becomes later and later SOON! You're still in size 1 diapers, but they're starting to get tight (you weighed 11lbs 1oz this past Monday at the doctor's office!), and you can even fit into some of the 3-6 month outfits we have for you! We love you big boy!

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I Need to Teach Him to Hit Back.

Last night Drew was able to get off of work early and so we decided to make a family date of the evening by heading to Chick-Fil-A. It was much needed for Brayden and I, who have stayed mostly in the house this week. Brayden wanted nothing to do with dinner, and chose to spend a majority of our time last evening in the play area. It was fine by me, as I got to enjoy some quality time with Drew, and get some energy out of my rambunctious toddler. About 30 minutes into our time there, a dad and his two children arrived at the playground. I should note that Drew and I were not in the actual play area but right outside of it at a table. We could see (and hear) everything that was going on inside, so I wasn't worried about Brayden in the slightest. Until I heard him crying. It's very unusual for him to cry; generally he's either hurt himself BADLY or someone else has hurt him. So I went inside to see what was going on. The dad of the little girl laughingly said to me "I think your son just got beat up by a girl." I kind of laughed along because at the time it didn't look like anything was majorly wrong (B was up in the stairs of the playset, so I wasn't staring at his face). B shook it off, although I could tell his feelings were hurt. A few minutes later I noticed Brayden going up to the little girl who had hit him. He wanted her to play with him, and as he walked up to her, she turned around, and literally hissed/screamed at him. I wish I had had a camera, for I know some of you will doubt me when I say that she literally looked like an evil vampire. A toddler. No more than a few months older than 1. Hissed at my son. At that point I was pissed. She was obviously not a very nice little girl, and my poor tender hearted boy, who wants everyone to be his friend, was left standing there with a scratched eye and a broken heart. To make matters worse, the little girl's dad did nothing. He just laughed at the entire experience. I don't get some parents. I really don't.

Later when we were packing up in the car, I noticed Brayden's cheek was still flushed where he had been hit. When we looked closer, he had scratch marks down his cheek. I felt so bad for him. Here's what it looks like today:

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At least it doesn't keep him from smiling.

And so, last night I decided... I've got to teach him to hit back. At least to the mean ones.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Boys

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(Brayden threw the shape sorter at me and Connor right after I had snapped the previous picture. I put him immediately in timeout, and he started crying. So I started snapping pictures, and he didn't want to look at the camera so he snubbed his face the other way. This picture cracks me up!)
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Happy Baby

When Connor was born, it was almost immediately apparent that he was indeed a laid back child. He hardly cried (which was kind of scary for me!) and pretty much fell into a 3 hour schedule immediately. But about a week into his precious life, my mom noticed that when he spit up, it was not your average spit up. It was what she referred to as rivers out of his mouth. We kind of laughed about it then, but it soon turned into no laughing matter.

The past 3 weeks we've battled with occasional projectile spit up, but even more disconcerting than that was the way Connor was in obvious discomfort, especially after his feedings. Since he's not a cryer, most of the time he would grunt like a chipmunk. At first we just thought he was making that noise for no reason. But as we studied him closer, every time the chipmunk would grunt, he'd pull his knees up in obvious discomfort, and typically start gagging or choking on spit up. Most of the time he'd try to swallow it back down, which would just make matters worse. It got to the point where it started affecting our breast feeding sessions. He's never been the insane eater that Brayden was; he tends to take his time, enjoying his meal in snail fashion. So when he started pulling off after certain increments and acting as if he had to chose between swallowing or allowing something to come up, I had had enough.

Monday I brought him to the doctor for reflux. I should make note the fact that before I brought Connor in, I had already spoken to our pediatrician's wife about everything. Both her and her husband had been helpful along the way in making sure that what we were dealing with was indeed reflux. So during our visit we recapped everything, went over some things I need to look out for, and were prescribed Zantac. Today is the 3rd day into the meds, and I can already tell a difference. Connor no longer fusses as much, and when he does, it's just a baby fussing, not because he's in pain. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas this year was extra special for me. You see, when I found out I was pregnant with Connor, my mind immediately calculated the days, and I knew that we wouldn't be traveling to Baton Rouge this year because we'd have a newborn on our hands, in addition to our toddler. Just not feasible (at least for me anyways). I was so sad, because Christmas has always been a huge tradition holiday for our family. My sister Megan and her husband Ben were planning on coming to visit, but it just wouldn't be the same without the rest of the family. So when we had Connor, and mom and dad mentioned possibly coming up along with Meg and Ben, Drew and I were elated. We decided that everyone would just stay here. Everyone being all 8 of us adults, plus our two kids. That's 10 people in our 1300 square foot house. COZY. But you know what? We had so much fun, and made great memories.

Wednesday the 22nd, Mom, Dad, Laura and Jeff arrived that evening right before B went to bed. Brayden was beyond excited. Wawa and Papa were finally here (we've finally decided that they are his favorites)! Then Thursday Meg and Ben showed up in the afternoon. The night that Meg and Ben arrived we had a nice steak dinner to celebrate the entire family being together:

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Drew caught most of us mid-bite. I promise we don't look like this all the time :)

Friday was Christmas Eve. Most of the day was spent just hanging around the house:

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The boys went skeet shooting in the afternoon, and then that evening we went to our church's Christmas Eve service. It's very child oriented, complete with glo-sticks. Brayden had a blast and did so well the entire service! He even clapped and said "yay" after some of the different skits and songs.

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hanging with his Auntie "Wawa"
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I know this is blurry, but I had to put it on here. I get teary eyed every year during candle light services... it gets to me in a way I can't even explain.
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someone stole the camera
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Showing off his new toys... he LOVED the glo sticks!


When we got home, Brayden was able to open up his Christmas Eve gift. I started a tradition last year where he gets a new pair of jammies on Christmas Eve. He opened Connor's too :)

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Ever since Brayden was little, he's always wanted his blankie and his paci before bed. He then rubs his blankie on his nose. It's the surefire way we know he's tired.
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someone wasn't too happy about posing in his new jammies


Saturday morning we all woke up with the birds (and Brayden) and celebrated the birth of our newborn king! Drew read the Christmas story:

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And then we all opened gifts (mostly we just watched Brayden open gifts!):


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notice the dogs snooping around
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Another goldfish break :)
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Dad got a blu-ray player!
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taking a break for some goldfish-- perfect stocking stuffer alternative to candy!
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A Thomas the Tank Engine set from Gigi and Poppa D. He LOVES "choo-choo's"!
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Our gift to him was new hot wheels and a car rug.
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Laura and Jeff got him a Woody doll with a matching blanket. Considering we already knew he was obsessed with Toy Story 2 (I haven't let him watch Toy Story 3 yet, and he wants Jessie every time I try to get him to watch the original Toy Story), this was a no brainer present. Woody and the blanket have to be with him now when he goes to sleep!
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Laura was pretty excited about her Sonic card from Meg and Ben.
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the dogs had to get in on the goldfish action



For the rest of Christmas day we kind of just laid low. Megan got some good snuggles from the Santa Baby himself:

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his Christmas outfit that he wore for about 2 hours before completely soaking it with spit up :(
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Laura slept, and gave me evil eyes for carrying around my camera:

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And then later Christmas evening my Aunt Kelly and Uncle Paul came over with their 4 girls and we spent some time with them.

The entire fam left the day after Christmas. Talk about a dramatic let down to a fun filled week of celebration. I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to have everyone together though, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How 2 Kids Makes You Feel

This post should be alternately titled "Lindsey's self counseling session." I'm just warnin' ya...

I figured it's been a while since I actually sat down and wrote out how I felt. Which could be a good thing if you don't really like to listen to my ramblings on how I feel like I am going crazy. And indeed it's a bad thing since I tend to work things out in my head and on the blog, and tend to feel better. Perhaps that's why lately I feel as if I might self-implode. A lot of people have asked me how everything is going. Honestly, things are going more smoothly than I ever envisioned them going; Brayden is not jealous of Connor, and besides the instances where B thinks Connor is the same age and can catch a basketball, the boys get along great. Indeed, there are some instances where having two children has been a lot easier than my imagination ever made things out to be.

Then there are those days that are harder. Harder because my baby with reflux has a tummy ache, my toddler with a strong will thinks that he can get into everything without a fight, and to top it off the dog is barking at the pitbulls next door. Yes, it's those days that make me wonder if I am really cut out for this mommy job of mine. Unfortunately it seems as though the days where everyone needs me all at once and I have to play eenie-meenie-miny-mo to see who gets me first... those days come more frequently than the days that make me think that I can do this. I hate it, feeling this way. This way that makes me feel like despite my most valiant efforts, in someone's eyes I am always falling short. If I don't console the screaming babe, he keeps on screaming. If I don't discipline the toddler, he keeps on getting into trouble, endangering himself and those around him. Thankfully the dog can be locked up, but even then sometimes I feel guilty because I forget he's there and only remember when he cries at 6pm. I feel like everyone needs a piece of me, and when all is said and done, I'm not sure there's even enough left of me for me. I'd love to have some "me" time where I don't have to worry about meeting anyone else's needs, where I can sip on my drink without worrying if it's close enough to the ledge for a toddler to pull on top of himself, to not hear the sounds of a crying baby and to sit and read an entire blog without being interrupted 52 times. Or just to be able to sit and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at the correct time-- seems as though my meals keep getting pushed later and later since I have to make sure everyone else is taken care of first.

Mixed within all of these emotions of being pulled is a deep sense of thankfulness. As most of you know, Connor was not planned. Yet, when I look at him, I can't help but get overwhelmed that for some reason, despite my inadequacies, God chose our family for his little life. It's incredibly overwhelming, and I'd be lying if I told you it doesn't get me a bit choked up when I think about it. I also am grateful that even on his hardest days, our two year old has a gentle heart. Yes, it's wearing having to constantly be on him about things, but like all hard things in life I realize that "this too shall pass." I'm also thankful for a husband who works hard so that I can stay home with my little ones. I honestly can't imagine doing anything else... even though sometimes I may feel like I need to.

So that's where I am. And at 8pm at night, there's hardly a lick of energy in my bones to type up a nice blog post that enlighten you... I'm actually amazed that I even had enough energy during naptime to type this post up. But I need to remember where I am, because on down the road, I want to look back and remember that it does indeed pass quickly, and I did indeed keep my sanity amidst the chaos.

Celebrating Jesus' Birthday

This year, my mom wanted to start a tradition with the grandkids of making a birthday cake for Jesus. Obviously Drew and I are the only ones who have kiddos right now, so it was really just Gigi and Brayden who were baking, but Brayden didn't care. He loves being a helper in the kitchen. Since everyone was here at my house, we did it simple this year and just made a cake from the boxed mix. It turned out so good, and I am so glad that mom started this tradition. What a great way to make sure the focus stays on the Savior who is born! I'm so grateful for my parents creating a spiritual heritage for our boys. Thanks Mom (and Dad) for making this Christmas special for Brayden, and for teaching him about Jesus!

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Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus!
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Gigi let him lick her fingers-- YUM!
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Blowing out the candles-- he actually knew how to do it! (With a little help from Gigi).
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Then he dug right in... who needs to CUT the cake when you can eat it by the fistfull?
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Oh dear... getting cleaned off is NO fun!


(More pictures and stories from our Christmas weekend to come...)