Saturday, February 27, 2010

Random Thoughts...

Yes, I do's been a while since I've blogged. I feel bad about that...but now's a good a time as any to get back to it! So, for this Saturday...some random thoughts and updates from life here in my house! And away we go!

  • Liam is an ACTIVE baby boy! I feel him moving a lot throughout the day. He's definitely more active than Aidan was. There were times I wondered if Aidan was ok because I didn't feel him move much, but I've rarely wondered that with baby Liam!

  • My sisters in Christ are an awesome source of encouragement and upliftment (is that a word!? ha!) to me. We had a great Virtuous Woman Bible class this morning that mainly focused on being a good Christian mother, and it was a true blessing getting to be there with other Christian mothers at different stages in motherhood and getting to hear their thoughts and views on being a mother. My heart both ached and smiled at the things shared by these amazing women. It was a definite joy to me!!

  • For some reason, I've really wanted to and have been listening to '90s music today. Stuff that transports me way back to my jr high and early high school days (The Cranberries, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, just to name a few). It's so awesome how just one song can take you back to a certain time, certain place, or bring to mind a certain friend. Nice to remember those days every now and then!

  • I've really been procrastinating lately about getting our office moved out and Aidan's new room set up. I know I've GOT to get it done before May, but I'm suffering from lack of energy and/or motivation. Now if I was faced with the task of going to shop, that would be a different story! But packing up boxes and getting furniture moved in and out...whew! Makes me tired thinking about it! But it WILL get done! Hopefully one day this week! ;)

  • Aidan has been making me laugh like crazy lately! He loves music and will make his musical toys play songs so he can dance around and be silly. I love his silly side! I'm pretty sure he gets that from me!

  • I bought these organic vanilla cookies for Aidan, thinking that he'd really like them. But truth be told, he's not too fond of them, but I am! Love those little things! So I think it looks kinda funny, me eating cookies with letters on them, but hey, they're good! :)

  • Aidan's new thing is screaming and screeching loudly, especially when he's happy or playing. Last night, he had been asleep for a couple of hours when suddenly I hear several screeches coming from his room, followed by silence. I guess it must have been a fun dream and he just needed to get them out!

  • I do not mind at all doing laundry...but let me clarify. I don't mind the part of putting dirty clothes into the washing machine, and then transferring the clean, wet clothes to the dryer. It's the parts after it that I dread. You know, the folding, the carrying of the laundry basket upstairs, and then putting the clothes away in each place! Blah! I just wish I could be like Mary Poppins and with a snap of my fingers, the clothes glide magically across the room and into open and waiting closets and drawers. Oh, how much grander life would be!

  • I love that my son would rather eat the spicer salsa with his tortilla chips when we go out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant than the milder salsa. Ahh, that's my boy!

  • I truly appreciate how hard my sweet husband works to provide for us. Sometimes he has to work the weekend, which I know is hard on him and us too since we miss spending the whole weekend with each other, but I truly appreciate his hard work for us. He's our hero! :)
And that's about all the random musings pouring forth at this time. I'm sure I could think of more, but I'm done for now! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

18 month report

My big little man A turned 18 months old on Tuesday (the 9th). Seriously CANNOT believe a year and a half has gone by since I first heard that sweet newborn cry of my son and kissed his tiny cheek before they whisked him away to the NICU! Seems like such a short time ago, yet at the same time like such a long time ago. It's kinda hard to remember those days in a they were shrouded in some kind of fog in my mind. I guess maybe it's because he has changed SO much in the past year and a half that I can only really remember what he was like this afternoon, or yesterday at the very latest. But alas, my firstborn son is growing up. It's a bittersweet moment. And all of you mamas understand what I'm saying. So I don't have to explain. And thank you for that. 'Cause I think I might seriously break down and cry if I did. Darn those pregnancy hormones! ;)

Anyways, A-man went to the doctor yesterday for his 18 month checkup. I'm VERY happy to report that Aidan had a good bill of health! Doc said everything looked great and that he's a very healthy and happy 18 little boy. Of course, he was crying at the time this statement was uttered, but he's right! Aidan was in the 25-50% on height and weight, and looking good! He did have to get two shots, and I was pretty emotional about that. More than I have been in the past few visits that required shots. Again, I blame the pregnancy hormones. I couldn't bear to watch while Chris held him, so I had to look away, but still heard those pitiful cries. Oh, I should have just left the room when the nurse asked if I wanted to. Me, deciding to stay to be brave for Aidan, ended up a sobbing huddled mass facing the wall in the corner of the examinating room. Nice, mom. Real nice. But I guess that just goes to show how much us mamas really bond and feel connected with our children. Their pain becomes ours. How I only wish I had gotten a sticker like Aidan did. I think I deserved one, too! ;)

Here's my little man yesterday. He's proudly showing off his Valentine card from his Nana and Grandpop.

I am so blessed that God has allowed me to be the mama to this sweet boy! What a joy it is!! Can't wait to see what the next 18 months will bring with Aidan! More joy, laughter, and memories, I'm sure!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Show Us Your Life- My Beauty Tips and Favorite Products

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I've decided to join in on the fun over at Kelly's Korner and talk about some of my favorite beauty products and my morning/night beauty rituals. What a fun way to spend a wintry, sleety Friday night, now that my big and little guys are sound asleep...talking about beauty products and tips! Love it!

By the way, if you've never checked out Kelly's blog, please do so! I love reading about her and her cute family, and all the creative and neat things she does! She seems like such a sweet and kind person...someone I'd enjoy hanging out with! And she's an Arkansas girl...from NWA. I spent a good portion of my girlhood days growing up in NEA, so it's cool to read about life in my good ol' childhood state!

Anyways...on to the beauty!!

Every morning, I begin by showering and washing my face with St. Ives Apricot Scrub (I usually get a store-brand version of this since it's cheaper). I then use Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 to give my skin a boost of moisture before it's off to face the day. I really like how this product contains natural ingredients and also has a built-in sunscreen...a great bonus for my skin!

After moisturizing, I then use Sally Hansen's Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy's Luminizing Face Primer. I first learned about Carmindy's beauty line when I was at home on maternity leave with Aidan during the fall of 2008 and I watched a lot of TLC when I was feeding him and trying to get some rest, and of course, one of my favorite shows was "What Not To Wear". I always love how Carmindy enhances the natural beauty of the ladies she's working with, and uses simple products and techinques as well. And if you know me, simple is a MUST! I love her line of beauty products--in addition to the face primer and concealer I have mentioned here, I also have two of her lip balms and an eyeshadow palette that are essentials to my look. And the best can find her line at CVS!! There's only one CVS in my area that carries this line, so I do have to do a little more driving to get there, but it's worth it! These are great, affordable products!

I love how this sheer, lightweight primer adds a slight shimmer to my skin, and it really enhances the application of my foundation. It's also made of "good-for-your-skin" ingredients, so feel free to indulge!

After the face primer, I use foundation. My choice? I always go with Clinique's Clarifying Makeup Clear Skin Formula. I love the coverage it gives, and all the while it works to help control my typically oily skin and to keep me remaining blemish-free. Although I must inform y'all...Clinique is OUT of Clarifying Makeup at the moment, but rest assured, I was informed that they would be re-releasing it in a couple of months! I hope it's still the same great product it always was! For now, I'm using the Almost Makeup foundation from Clinique, which is very similiar to the Clarifying Makeup, but I don't think it helps control the oiliness of my skin as well.

Following my foundation, I reach for my Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Fast Fix Concealer. I must say I LOVE this little container of pinky goodness!! Thank you, Carmindy, for making this great product for us mamas who don't always get a full night of sleep! I use this concealer to mask the dark circles under my eyes, and I will sing its praises to anyone who listens! This was a great beauty-booster during my new mama days with newborn Aidan, and I still hardly ever go a day without it! To me, this is a beauty "must have", whether you're a mama or not!
I finish up my face with a sweep of translucent powder, some powder blush, and eyeshadow and mascara, and I'm done for the day!

Each evening, I begin my taking off my eye makeup using Clinique's take the day off makeup remover for lids, lashes, and lips. As with my morning face wash, I tend to go with the store-brand version of this product to save some money. This does a great job of getting all the mascara and eyeshadow residue off my eyes that using face wash alone simply cannot remove.
I then use my FAVORITE face wash...Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap for Oily Skin. They have this in all skin types, but of course I go with the oily skin variety. This is the best facial soap I've used, and I love how it leaves my face feeling squeaky-clean and how thorough it is in removing all of my makeup from the day.
Finally, I use a face cream to replenish lost moisture to my face (especially in the colder winter months when my skin tends to dry out more from being exposed to heat sources). I usually don't need a face cream at night during the summer when moisture in the air is abounding. For my nightly moisturizer, I go with Avon's Rich Moisture Face Cream. This lightweight cream leaves my face feeling silky smooth, and I love that it adds moisture without making my skin feel super greasy. And it's inexpensive, too! Gotta love that!
Well, I've hope y'all have enjoyed this peek into my makeup bag and my morning/night beauty rituals! It's been fun to share this part of my day with y'all, and I do hope y'all will be inspired and try out some of these great products if you haven't before!

Remember, it's not what's on the outside that makes us beautiful, but what's truly on the inside! Being a Christian is, of course, my most cherished and favorite "beauty product" of all! When I let the love of Christ shine through and walk as best as I can in His footsteps, I know that I'm a beautiful creature! I strive daily to "let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me"!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Love These (Snow) Days!

Snow days ROCK! We had Monday and today off, and found out just a few hours ago that we'll have tomorrow OFF too! So very grateful and excited about having yet another day at home with my boys! This is the very best, and I CANNOT wait until these days are my every days! So much fun and I feel like I get so much accomplished with caring for the home!

Today was a pretty wet day...a wintry mix started this afternoon and is still continuing as I type. I bundled Aidan up and we headed out to Wal-Mart...which reminded me how much I detest going to Wal-Mart in the first place, and secondly when the weather report is calling for bad weather for pretty much the rest of the week! Sheesh! It was CRAZY in there today! I hadn't been to Wal-Mart in about a month or so, and it looks like it'll be longer before I go back! So after the Wal-Mart chaos, I realized the clock said 3:45, and I knew I only had 15 minutes left to get to Sonic for Happy Hour. I made it! Of course, Sonic's just right across the street from Wal-Mart, but with the hectic Wal-Mart traffic combined with the wet weather, you just never know if you'll make it in time! I got my drink fix...opted for a cranberry limeade today, and just let me was DELISH! Loved it!! I ended up getting a cherry limeade yesterday, and loved it too! Glad to have some new drink faves!
This evening, I just enjoyed supper with Aidan and Chris (and of course, Liam, who let me know he enjoyed it, too!) and then made a homemade pound cake per Chris' request. I'm a huge pound cake grandmother ALWAYS made THE BEST pound cakes when we'd go visit her, and this recipe I found is not quite as good as hers (let's face it, nothing ever will be!), but it's pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! I love how the bottom has a little bit of crunchiness to it! Yum! Here's my "masterpiece" straight from the oven!

I've also been working on updating Aidan's baby book with pictures and new facts about him, and working on getting Liam's baby book put together. It's so amazing to read back about Aidan when he was teeny tiny and wonder if his little brother will be like him or will be completely different! I can't wait to hold both of my sons in my arms! May will be here soon enough! I am 24 weeks pregnant this week...I've been keeping my pregnancy journal with Liam, just not as up-to-date as I was with Aidan...I feel bad about that, so I've been trying to do better! I want him to read about all my emotions and joys of being pregnant with him, just like Aidan will.

I've decided to post pictures of Liam's new things. The first is his new baby swing from my wonderful parents. We were fortunate enough to borrow a very nice baby swing for Aidan from a friend of mine, but of course, we had to give it back once he outgrew it. So that left us without a swing for Liam. And if he's anything like his big brother, he'll LOVE the swing! I did some research and found the Fisher-Price Rainforest Cradle Swing. I like it for three reasons: 1. It matches the Rainforest bouncer seat and pack-n-play that we got for Aidan and that Liam certainly will use, 2. It has an adapter to plug into the wall so we don't have to go through tons of D batteries like we did with Aidan, and 3. It was on sale at with free site-to-store shipping! I think my parents will like that best of all, since they are generously and kindly getting the swing for us! Here's a picture of Liam's new swing!

Also, my sweet sister-in-law, Jennifer, got Liam his very first brand-new outfit! It's just so cute and I can just picture him in it now! Here it is...

The turtle onesie is just adorable! Love it! It's just amazing to think that in a few short months I will have a little boy able to fit (hopefully!) into this small outfit! Aidan came out weighing 9 lbs. 14 oz, so he never wore newborn sizes...he was in 3 months clothes from day 1! Hope Liam will be a little smaller so he can wear this super cute outfit! Just perfect for my second little boy!

Well, goodnight! Off to catch up on my DVR'd shows...the LOST final season premiere is tonight (SO EXCITED!!!) and the newly renamed 19 Kids and Counting season began tonight too. Two of my favorite shows...and so glad I have a snow day ahead of me to enjoy them and sleep in!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Slip Sliding to...Target!

Today marked the first day since Friday night (before the snow started) that I actually got in the van and left the house. Woohoo!! It's nice to be able to get out and enjoy the fresh, snowy air! So I loaded up A-man and slipped (not literally, thank goodness!) into town to do some shopping. Ok, I had every intention of just heading straight to Sam's for milk and diapers, but somehow, the red of the Target logo drew me in like a moth to a flame, and somehow the van made a left turn and pulled into a parking space at Target. All on its own! Imagine that! I had no control! (At least this is the story I'm telling my husband!).

It's nice just to be able to wander through Target leisurely, not having to fight crowds or being rushed along by an anti-shopping husband. I did get some items, and it was a little strange for me...I didn't have a coupon to use on anything! I felt a bit guilty, to be quite honest. And some things I bought weren't on sale either! So a double whammy of guilt hit me. But it's nice to be able to splurge a little bit, since I'm usually so very conscious of sales and coupons. And, all of the items I bought I didnt' have a coupon for anyways, so I guess it just worked out.

I picked up some kitchen sponges and magnetic alphabet letters for Aidan in the dollar bargin bin (hopefully this will keep him entertained for a while since it's new...I do have a feeling that later I'm going to have the letter B embedded into the sole of my foot when I step on the stray letter sometime this evening!), and then proceeded to head to the maternity clothing section. I ended up buying a lovely maternity dress that I both needed and wanted. I don't have many dressy maternity clothes, so this was a good purchase. Also got some stretch mark massage cream for my itchy and stretching pregnant belly, a toothbrush/toothpaste for A, and a pack of hair clips. Oh, if only I had more money to spend freely on whatever I chose...I could probably do some major damage in the beauty section...all these lotions, makeup products, skin cleansers, and hair prodcuts are so tempting to buy and try!

Of course, as always, I have to make a stop by the baby section. First, to see if there was any great clearance deals on clothes for Aidan....nope. I would have checked for clearance items for Liam, but two thoughts entered my mind: 1. Liam is not going to need winter outfits when he's born and 2. I have a TON of hand-me-downs from Aidan that Liam will certainly be just makes sense to get your money's worth out of the clothes we already have that are in good condition, and saving money is a high priority for our family! Of course, I do plan on registering for some things for Liam so he has some new things just for him!

Well, maybe this afternoon I'll venture back out again and this time make it to Sam's! And I wouldn't be surprised if my van somehow made it to Sonic between 2-4 pm for a happy hour Strawberry Limeade! Yum! Have I mentioned I LOVE snow days?!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Yet another major snowstorm of the '09-'10 winter has hit us here in VA. This time, we got about a foot of snow, which was kind enough to fall from the wee hours of Saturday morning until Saturday evening, giving us our FIRST and much-needed snow day of the school year! As a teacher, I live for snow days (and other days off, including spring and summer break!) and am always hoping for a few during the winter months. During December when we had our first big snowstorm, we didn't get a single snow day because the snow came on the afternoon of our last day before Christmas break. But alas....a snow day tomorrow! Glorious snow day!! We haven't taken Aidan out in the snow yet, but hope to tomorrow when we actually get ready to leave and go out. The past few experiences he's had in the snow have not been too pleasant for him, so maybe tomorrow's snow experience will go over just a bit better. Here's hoping!
I'm excited just to be able to go outside and get out of the house for the first time tomorrow since Friday evening. Surprisingly enough, I haven't had a severe case of cabin fever, as I ususally do, but I've actually enjoyed being at home with Chris and Aidan (and of course, Liam has been letting me know a lot here lately that he's here too!). So for tomorrow, I'll probably make a trip to Sam's for some diapers and milk, and maybe stop by Kroger to pick up a few items to add to our already stocked pantry.

Here are some pictures from the past two days of being "snowed in"! I wanted them to be under the text, but for some reason, they're not, and I haven't been able to figure out why yet. Hopefully I will soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friday nights at the "spa"

For all you mamas, especially those who work two jobs like me, y'all know how super important "mama time" is. We crave it. We need it. We simply have to have it! It's good for our mind, body, and soul. We give so much of our time caring for our husbands, kids, and home (and second jobs, if you work outside the home), that we mamas need to indulge and do something special just for us. This could take many forms--could be shopping, girl's nights, any sort of pampering (mani/pedi's, massage, etc.), or just relaxing with a good book or a chick flick. I enjoy all of those! But Friday night I began a new tradition that I'm looking forward to again this Friday night...I call it my "spa" night. It's nothing really that has to do with a spa at all...I don't give myself a facial, or a massage or a pedi, but I do soak in a warm bath, surrounded by candlelight only, and to enhance the mood, I put the Sirius spa channel on the satelliete that plays the "new age" music you hear when you go to the spa. I do this after I've put Aidan down for the night and Chris is usually downstairs on the computer or watching TV, so I've got the whole bedroom/bathroom to myself. Ah, solitude! I can just soak and relax, and feel all the stress and responsibilities of the week just melt away...even if it is for only 45 minutes or so! Our tub is a jacuzi tub, which is awesome! It's great to turn on the jets and get a mini-massage as well.

Anyway, one point of this blog is to feature a fabulous bath product that I use to make my bathtime "spa" experience extra special. This week, it's the Me! bath ice cream. These ice cream scoops are wonderful, and probably my very favorite product to use for my baths.

I get these fabulous fizzies at The Corset Corner, a super chic and cute lingerie store here in town for a great price! They are so worth it! The smell fantastically yummy, and leave your skin feeling so soft and supple (not to mention sweet-smelling!) long after your bath. The scent I used this week was "In the Land of Milk and Honey". Loved it! I made a trip to The Corset Corner again this past weekend to splurge on myself a little (wanted, or maybe I should say needed a new maternity/nursing nightgown and of course, another Me! bath ice cream), so I'll be sure to review my new purchase soon!

So whatever your indulgence of choice, enjoy it, mama! You deserve it! Happy pampering! :)