Monday, January 31, 2011

I got a good deal? Me?

Yes, I sure did. I went to Charming Charlies Sunday. I knew I wanted a new wallet and possibly shoes if they had some I liked. And they did! I got the wallet for $9.99, originally $14.99 and I got the shoes for $9.99 which were originally $19.99. I could not believe it.

The girl at the counter said "These were good deals." I said "I never get good deals." She said "You must not shop here often because we have sales all the time." Love it!!

I have been mainly a window shopper at Charming Charlies. Their prices are very reasonable. I should be on What Not To Wear when it comes to fashion on me. I myself love fashion. I read magazines, I know the trends, but I have a hard time finding clothes that look good on me.

My typical outfits are jeans/lsu t-shirt on the weekends. For work: ugh, khaki pants and polo-type shirts. Very casual. Too casual really. I wear the same thing every week. So one of my goals this year is to be more fashionable.

I'm going to work on it paycheck by paycheck and slowly build up a good wardrobe.

Here are the shoes. They were by a brand called Bamboo. You can't see from the pic, but the fronts have small black roses:



Here is the wallet. I wanted one that is long for all my receipts. They had many to choose from. I almost bought one that was bulkier, but I wasn't too sure if it would fit ok in my purse. So I ended up with the slimmer one.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

4th of July


This is the fourth in a series by James Patterson based on the Women's Murder Club. This book did have me guessing until the end, but I sort of suspected who the killer could be. I HATE when that happens!

But I like these books because they are fast reads, although I didn't have much time this week to read so it seemed like this book went on and on.

The lead character is a detective, now lieutenant for the San Francisco Police Department. Naturally she is a tough broad, but she's got a soft side too. This one deals with killings of couples and the unsolved first homicide investigation of the lead character.

This is my fifth book for 2011 so I'm doing good!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wedding Treasure

My friend Traci and I were talking the other day about dishes. She ordered some new dishes. I suddenly remembered that we have dishes we are not using. These were wedding gift dishes. The wedding was nearly three years ago. How can this be?

I went through the pantry and found the following wedding gifts we have not used yet. Two sets of Nautica dishes, a set of glasses, a Cuisinart food processor and a Chef's Pan. So in the dishwasher they go and will soon be ready for enjoyment.

When we put the Nautica West End dishes on the registry, we asked for four sets. We got two. I am going to search to see if maybe I can get two other sets on sale somewhere. Considering we were married almost three years ago, the line may have ended.

The set included a coffee mug, square salad plate, a soup bowl and an 11-inch plate.






Now these glasses are just some basic glasses. This is actually the second set we received as wedding gifts. The first set we have used since the wedding. But, the problem with these glasses is for some reason, a few broke in the dishwasher. And the dreaded glass soap scum film forms on them as well.

So I got rid of the old glasses and replaced with these new glasses. Because I tried to have a range of prices on the registry, let's just say these glasses were on the lower end. They are not the best quality glasses, but they get the job done.



This Chef's Pan is also the SECOND set in wedding gifts. You may wonder, why didn't she return duplicates? We didn't get a lot of duplicates, and I thought well, years later, I may be ready for a new set. Here we are, nearly three years later, I'm ready for my new set! This pan is awesome!



And finally the cute little food processor. I have used this once and it was a fail. I tried to make a smoothie, but I think I didn't have enough ice or something. But I want to bring it out the pantry because I'm about to use the cookbook seen below.

Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" was originally given to me to help with the diseases Rich has known as "picky eater" and "eater who refuses to eat fruits and vegetables." Well, the thought of pureeing everything is scary to me. She gives step by step how to puree the food and recipes to use them in as a way to sneak fruits and vegetables in a kid's diet. And now I have a kid who is just about ready to eat table food. Wish me Luck!



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Headaches, Migraines oh my...and no fast food!


Does this woman look like me? She is figuring out triggers for her migraines. The clip art for headaches are just plain bizarre. There were a lot with lightning bolts around the person's head, a lot of elderly people with headaches. I tried to pick the one that looked the closest to me. Next time, I'll just take a picture of me when I have a headache.

Along with my IBS, I have chronic headaches which sometimes turn into migraines. This is nothing new, so I don't think I have a brain tumor or anything. I've had these most of my adult life. They seem to be brought on by the usual things you would think of, stress, not enough sleep and caffeine! That evil caffeine!

If you've read my past posts you know I have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. I have given up caffeine before for six months. Interestingly enough I did not have headaches or migraines during that time. I thought that Barq's Root Beer did NOT have caffeine (which it does!) and that sent me on the downward spiral to my caffeine addiction.

I used to have nasal sprays specifically for migraines. These did the job, but I had awful side effects like drowsiness and dizziness. They made work a real challenge. So I'm trying to avoid having to get another prescription.

Naturally Tylenol, Alleve, all the otc stuff don't always work. Sometimes a good night of sleep works, other times I have to let it ride out for three days.

I'm on day 15 of NO FAST FOOD. Except pizza. I told myself for 30 days I was not going to have fast food. I was relying way too much on fast food for our dinners. It's the easy way out of cooking and it was too unhealthy for us. Now Rich, of course, is not on this restriction, but he's been following it with me at home.

No fast food is helping my IBS, hooray!! So unfortunately I think the next 30 days will be no caffeine. I can do it because I've done it before. So I'm going to give it a try starting this weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Swing!

Emily was given this swing by my friends Traci, Vicki and Becca. She has a good swing span of about 20 minutes. I hoped she'd be one of those babies who "sleeps in the swing at 2 a.m." or "takes naps for hours in the swing."

Um no, but she does love the swing. She is currently in the swing rocking and slamming her back into the swing. WTH Bean Burrito? What are you doing?

This is a Graco swing that has six different speeds and plays music and nature sounds. I myself am a fan of the cozy seat. I wish I was small enough to swing for hours and take naps in it.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

It Sucked And Then I Cried


This book was written by Heather B. Armstrong, aka, dooce.com. She is now the mother of two kids, but when she wrote this book she had one kid. This book talked about her pregnancy and what happened to her when she had post-partum depression.

She was hospitalized for four days due to her anxiety she felt about being a mother. Even though her baby was sleeping for 12-hour stretches, she herself was unable to sleep for a month.

I think this is a good read for new mothers. After I had Emily I had the baby blues pretty bad. All these months I've read various things about post partum depression and what I had compared to a lot of women was a lot tamer.

The baby blues are the hormonal/sleep adjustments that can go wrong after having a baby. Post-partum depression is full blown depression and anxiety that will last much longer than just the baby blues.

While Heather could not sleep, I could not get enough sleep. And I think that's what was the main cause of my situation. Never in all my life, including college, had I had to function on four hours of sleep or less a day. There were about two days two weeks after Emily was born that I could not function.

We went to the doctor, had blood tests run and I was diagnosed with the "baby blues." I was told to take anti-depressants and get as much sleep as possible. Right, so easy huh. But I enlisted more help from our moms and things did get better pretty quickly actually.

I didn't have a lot of anxiety, but I had a lot of overwhelming feelings and a lot of crying. I felt like each day was groundhog day. It was the same thing over and over. I actually wanted to go back to work! A real sign that something was amiss.

So this book showed me that others do have some of the feelings I had. I feel guilty when I think about that time because while I was so incredibly happy to have a healthy baby, I was worn down and I feel like I missed out on a week of her life.

My blues went away by the fourth week. Heather's didn't really show up until the 8th week or so. She went to the hospital, got on the correct medicine and immediately started feeling better.

This topic is so taboo. It was very frustrating for me because I would ask literally everyone I knew who had kids and asked if they cried every day? Were they really emotional? How did they adjust to no sleep? And I seemed to be the only one who experienced the feelings I was feeling. Which made things much worse for me. I thought I was an epic failure at adjusting to motherhood.

I guess either everyone really didn't experience any of these feelings (which I find hard to believe) or nobody wants to admit they felt this way. The only one who admitted feeling this way was my grandmother. She had five kids of her own. In the hospital she warned me. She said "watch out for the baby blues." I thought eh, not going to happen to me. And it sure did.

She said with each baby she felt sad and overwhelmed, but it always got better. I wish moms would talk about this more so we can realize that it's just hard as hell being a mom. It's the best job in the world and the most difficult.

I think we all want to raise the best kid that ever existed and run a perfect household. It's just not possible. We can only do the best we can.

And good grief, we need to cut ourselves some slack. As a couple of doctors told me, a pregnant woman is the most hormonal creature in nature. Once you take the baby out, your hormone levels are like roller coasters. But this too shall pass.

I'm glad I read the book. But it is not light reading and for those who do not have kids, it could easily be perceived as her complaining a lot. But at the time, this is what she felt. She's really brave for writing out her story.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wreaths!

I am so excited about the three wreaths I have. This is exciting for me because we have zero, I mean zero landscaping in our front and back yard. It is so bad that we are the only house on the street, possibly the neighborhood that does not have landscaping.

When we bought the house three years ago, the yard had no landscaping then either. And unfortunately we haven't made the effort to decorate the place. It's mainly because of the money it would cost (which we don't have), and we are horrible at anything involving decoration, installation, putting together house stuff.

So in the fall my friend Traci started making wreaths for family and friends. These are way way more pretty and fuller than any wreath I've seen in the stores. So while the other neighbors have us beat on the landscaping, tacky holiday lighting, letting their roosters on the loose (literally), WE win the contest for best wreaths!

Now this contest is only in my head, but still, I'm proud to be the winner of this contest.

I keep telling Traci she needs to open an Etsy store. She would do a lot of business.

Here they are:
The "Fall" wreath


The "Christmas" wreath


The "Mardi Gras" wreath

The big Lake Charles


My MawMaw lives in Lake Charles. Today me, Emily and my mom made the 5 hour total trip to Lake Charles to visit my grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousin. Surprisingly it was a nice day.

I say this because first it was about five hours in the car with Emily in the backseat. Second, it included a lunch at Pats Of Henderson (comparable to Ralph & Kacoos in Baton Rouge). Third it involved "new people" that Emily had to socialize with.

Based on past posts, you can tell that Emily is not sociable and is not a fan of restaurants. She did great! She is growing up!

I did hold her in my lap until the food arrived. Then I put her in the high chair where she sat calmly for 10 minutes! A record!

Then we went to my uncle's house where she let my 16-year-old cousin feed her. My cousin is incredibly tall and could be a model. Maybe Emily will take after her because she is also apparently tall and she sure doesn't get that from her parents.

I'm exhausted. Poor Emily slept the whole way back. She took a massive dump in Lake Charles that looked a lot like a bulk leaf, if that's even a real term. I honestly thought "how did a leaf get in her diaper?" I touched it and um, no, it was not a leaf.

Anyways, we are both happy to be home! She is wearing the pink flower headband my good friend Traci gave her. It is adorable.

With her MawMaw reading her photo album book we gave MawMaw for Christmas:


With her cousin Jamie, aka, the could-be tall model:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Real, yeah right, ahem, Housewives of Beverly Hills

hmmm, I can't get the date to change to today's date. I wrote it on Tuesday, but was trying to find a picture to post. Oh well. Wrong date.

Here's a post about one of my fave shows...Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! Insert Rich rolling his eyes right about ... here! Sorry for no pictures. Long story about why they won't download...not really I long story other than I have no idea why they won't download.

I am admittedly a fan of all of the alleged real housewives shows. Just when I think they can't get any better, along comes another one. With the exception of Housewives of DC I HATED that show and only watched a few episodes. Yawn.

But this one is filled with cheating, catfighting, "bullying", annoying whiny baby women, a cute alopecia-stricken dog, a beautiful older woman, a woman who needs to lay off the lip botox and so many other hysterics.

Thursday is the season finale and we have found out that Camille Grammer gets dumped by husband Kelsey. Who, let's face it, I always thought played for the other team at least part-time "NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT". But she signed up for the show to make herself "independent" of him. She's independent all right now, what with him trying to marry a younger blonde.

But, there is also Kyle and Kim who are sisters of Kathy Hilton, who spawned Paris.

I won't go into show details because either you watch and already know the details OR you don't watch and don't care to know the details. But, it's just one of my guilty pleasures that when the show is no longer on the air, I can say oh how I miss it when I read this blog post!

My next TV pop culture post will be about Dallas. That's right, Dallas. LOVEEEE that show. We bought the final season on dvd. It will be missed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

WTH Starbucks?!?


So I'm not a coffee drinker. But over the last month or so, I've found a coffee drink that I dreamed about, thought about, salivated over, and knew I was in love. White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks.

This drink would instantly improve my mood, help on those cold mornings when I wanted to just sleep with the covers over me. But I would get up early, and stop at the Starbucks by work to indulge in this warm goodness.

Last week I had two of these. Oh sure, Starbucks has their fancy dancy names like grande, venti, I don't know the rest. Well I've been getting a venti which I think is the equivalent to more than 20 ounces.

I'm trying to lose a few pounds and I wondered, hmmm, I've been eating less, why have I not lost any weight recently? Well, I looked up the calories in one of these yummy gummy concoctions.

Yes, there are a whopping 720 calories and 49 grams of fat in a venti. WTH people, WTH! For that much I could have a full meal, a chocolate shake from McDonalds, half of a Sonic blasty thingy. I was stunned. Stunned and soooo disappointed.

So now my options are to no longer buy these or to cut in half the calories with secret adjustments like no whipped cream and skim milk instead of the full fat milk. And to get whatever a small is in the Starbucks lingo.

And let's all keep in mind I have IBS. So really, I should not have this drink at all. But in my reduced-sleep state of fog I've been in for the last 9 months, having a caffeine drink is sometimes the only thing that gets me going.

So Starbucks, take your gourmet coffees and shove it. Although I do like your teas! And the hot chocolates (which I looked up and a small has about 300 calories - sigh).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Late resolutions


Hmmm, Emily is sitting quietly with her Dad, so I'm going to take advantage and do a blog post. This post is about redoing my New Year's Resolutions. I never officially make any other than the obvious lose weight, eat healthier, blah blah blah.

This year though I started the new year with a list of 45 things to do. The "to-do-list" is a list I love/hate. I just can't stand it really. And I'm ready to just throw the thing in the trash. The problem is I cross off one thing and add two to it so it never gets smaller.

I have tons of small things in the house I want to organize. But I'm a procrastinator so what happens is I get this stuff organized, and a week later it's a mess again. I've researched organizing web sites and this is what they call "hot spots". The little mounds of mess that builds up and builds up.

I have several of those in the house. Then there's there is all the photos I need to develop, including, gasp, wedding shower photos, wedding photos, honeymoon photos, baby shower photos, baby photos.

But you know what, screw it all. It's made me spend all my free time (almost all) thinking about the list, doing something on the list, looking at the list, adding to the list.

Last week I did dishes, a load of laundry and one thing from the list each day. It felt great to get it done. But then yesterday (Saturday) I blew it all by spending four hours of nonstop "listing". I'm burnt out today and I'm like wth, no more list!

I'm still trying to balance out working, spending time with Emily, spending time with Rich, cooking, cleaning, and trying to read. And this is not anything to do with Emily, because I've been a procrastinator/unorganized my whole life. haha!

So my new "late resolution" is to just do what I can, when I can. Until the bean get a bit older, the house will just be a toddler-looking house. What I really need to focus on is working out, doing something for me. Something that will help calm my nerves and make me look hot. Which reminds me I need to make a wardrobe list. Just kidding!

How do you handle chores/lists/tasks?

Jumping the shark


I hate to even say this about this series. But omg, let's get it finished, please! This is the 8th book in the House of Night Series and it's got a 9th on the way.

I think I'm starting to find the book unbelievable. The problem is I'm not into vampires, but now it's getting into a lot of good/evil themes and I'm having a hard time following. I'm not into sci-fi books so this series is a stretch for me to begin with.

At this point I feel like the authors (mother and daughter) are pushing the series longer for money. It's a best-seller on the Nook, as in it was number one for the first week it was sold.

I'm playing with the idea of next year reading only books that aren't series. I'm currently in the middle of five series. It's great in that it helps my reading numbers, but bad because I tie myself to numerous books in the series. I actually found a new mystery series I was thinking about jumping into. Bad idea.

So I'm going to give this book a thumbs down. Only because it's time for it to end. And the next release of book number nine is already scheduled.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It worked! Sort of...


It took exactly 17 minutes, but we were able to get her to fall asleep in her crib. So roughly around 8 p.m. she was out like a light. She woke up again at midnight. So I fed her, then pondered what to do. Should I bring her to our bed? Put her in her crib? I decided to put her in our bed.

But, I still feel it was a success. All this time, every time I'd put her in her crib she would cry and cry. One time she cried for two hours straight. So our exercise in patience paid off last night.

She did cry, screaming like she was starving (which she wasn't), but eventually she stopped. I made Rich go in every 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes to check on her. I figured being that right now I'm Numero Uno in her life, that seeing me would make her scream more. By the 6th minute or so she started calming down.

It was tough. At one point I had tears, but I expected it to take one full hour and then I was going to give up. So for it to not even take 20 minutes was a relief. BUT, I'm not sure how tonight will go down.

I think tonight we will really wear her out before 8 p.m. and then try to get her down starting at 8 p.m. Then maybe she'll sleep through the night. I honestly don't mind getting up with her at 1 or 2 in the morning, if I can get her back in the crib.

I felt like last night was maybe too traumatic to try to put her back in the crib at midnight. I'm a pushover I know. But this is the first real test we've had of having to be stern about something. I think we did good overall.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sleep training

Well, tonight is our first night with sleep training. However, I have not read any books about this. From what I've gathered, we'll be doing a loose interpretation of the "Ferber" method. This involves laying the baby in the crib, letting her cry (sigh), try to soothe her, leave the room for a couple of minutes, then come back to soothe her more.

Each "soothing" should be spread out over minutes. I just don't know if this will work. She doesn't like me not being in the room.

When Emily first came home from the hospital we had the playpen set up in the living room. We took turns sleeping on the sofa so we could make sure she was breathing. At that time, of course, she was getting up every two hours.

Then we were able to put her in her crib when she was two months old. Since then, she slept in her crib. Perfect! But before Thanksgiving, she had her flu shot, got a cough, and sounded like she was choking. So we sat in the rocking chair for one week sleeping to keep her sitting up to prevent the choking.

Look, we are in our late 30s. Sleeping in a chair is not good for our old backs, necks, legs, etc...So we made the unfortunate, but desperate, mistake of putting her in our bed. She has not left since! ugh!

And I'm torn, of course, because she is super cuddly, cute, adorable and warm at night. But we aren't sleeping good and I hear if you let them keep this up, she'll be ten years old and still sleeping in the bed.

So I figure we'll try this tonight for one hour. If it doesn't work, which I'm thinking it won't, I'll get the Ferber book and read it to do it correctly.

How can you say "go to your crib" to this face?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alibi in High Heels



This is one of the books I blogged about earlier regarding the "high heel" series. I found this book to be funnier than the book that Gemma Halliday wrote before Alibi in High Heels.

Maddie Springer has once again found herself in the middle of another murder. Only this time she is a real shoe fashion designer attending fashion week in Paris. It is amazing, and getting close to a bit unbelievable, that this gal is always at the scene of a murder. She's not a private investigator, police officer, bondsgal or any other profession that involves solving a homicide.

But, it's still very funny and sometimes a girl just needs some light reading!

This is my second book of 2011. The first was Deadly Sanctuary. I'm trying to read 20 books for my book club in 2011. But SECRETLY I want to read 50. So I'd have to read a book a week.

Can I do that with a 9-month-old? SURREEEEEE.

And in other news, because a year or years from now I'll read this post and say oh yeah, that was the day Les Miles decided to stay at LSU. Yep, he's not leaving for Michigan. There are some coaches out there who did actually stick to their word...unlike others Nick Saban! haha!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Deadly Sanctuary


This book involves, mmmmuuurrrdddeeerr. Yep, another mystery. This one is by Sylvia Nobel and it was a ta da daaa Free Book Friday from the Nook. I love Free Fridays!

This book got my interest because it's main character is a newspaper reporter. I used to be a newspaper reporter myself, but you would never find me traipsing after murderers or getting knocked in the head or falling in love with a cowboy/sports reporter. Although I did fall in love with a sports reporter in real life. ha!

But Kendall is sent to a newspaper in Arizona to find out what happened to her predecessor. This series is similar to Sue Grafton's mystery series. There is a serious tone to it, but it's good stuff if you like mysteries.

Considering it was a free book, I'm pretty glad I read it. There are two other books in this series so once I dwindle down my Nook library, I'm going to take a read at those too.

I'm about to watch the LSU football game. This could be Les Miles' last game for LSU. I'm a Les fan, and I'm like the only one in my household. When Les first came to LSU, I named my beta fish after him. That fish was great. He lived for about two years. I still miss him sometimes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Circle of Friends goal

Two years ago I started a book club called "Circle of Friends." I got the idea from the Nest.com book club's message board. Their goal was to read 50 books in one year. The first year, I did indeed read 50 books. Last year, I barely made 30, but that's pretty good considering how busy I was.
So this year, I set my goal low at 20. I'm pretty sure I'll meet that, but I like to play it safe.

Unfortunately I get hooked on series. I've talked about the High Heel series previously. I've also blogged about the PC Cast series about the vampire school. Which, btw, I'm NOT, I repeat NOT on the vampire train. I did like the Twilight series and this particular vampire series. But, I'm refusing to read any other vampire books.

Anyways, the PC Cast series is about to release a new book, "Awakened." This is the 8th, I believe, book in the series. It is being released next week and I'm very excited!



Another series I'm digging is James Patterson's Women's Murder Mystery Club. It's about four friends, who accidentally form a "club" and solve murders. There are nine books in this one so far, and I'm going to start the fourth book soon.



And a series I've been reading for what seems like YEARS and YEARS is Sue Grafton's mysteries about a female private investigator. Sue started writing this book in the 80s and it is time sensible. In other words, the series is STILL STUCK IN THE 80s! I love it! No cell phones, no iphones, email, faxes, they still use, gasp, PAY PHONES!
I imagine this series is nearing the end though. I am going to read "U is for Undertow."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Did I really walk through a casino with a baby?

Yep, that's how I spent my New Year's Day. We brought the baby to see her great-grandparents. They are not in the best of health, so rather than the annual Mawmaw cooking a huge meal, we ventured to the casino "bufaaayyy."

Emily was her anti-restaurant self. I set a record for inhaling my food. Rich, me and her Pawpaw took turns walking her around the restaurant. We brought her to see live, yes, live alligators. I'm soooo aggravated with my camera. It ran out of memory. I suppose you shouldn't keep 550 photos on the memory card. Now I know.

To get to the alligators from the buuffaayyy, you had to go through the casino. My grandmother walked us on a little path to the side of the slots. She cut across into the slot area. I thought this may not work seeing as how the baby is only 8 months old, but heck, I was tired from the tantrums so who am I to question the woman who gives a weekly "donation" to the casino.

One of the workers gave me the crook eye and started waving us back to the little path. "You can't bring a baby in the casino," he said. I thought, oh no, this looks bad.

We go back on the legal path and another worker stops us and says "you can't have a baby here, you'll get us fired." I was sort of rude with my "yea yea I know, the guy just told us."

Remember the scene from Sweet Home Alabama when Reese tells her friend, "You brought a baby ... to a bar?" That's how I felt.

We got to the alligators and I realized I'd walked through the slots with Emily wearing one sock and one sock only. And Emily was more interested in my grandmaw's faux leather jacket than the alligators.

I told Rich we were total rednecks and he said, no, a woman in the restaurant had us beat. She wore camoflauge, had camoflauge crocs and low and behold had the crocs OFF her feet. DARN CAMERA! That would have been a great pic!

Overall it was a good trip. I'm glad we all got to see each other. How was your New Year Day?