Tuesday, September 28, 2010


is what my blog design has been as of late.  i've exhausted just about all the blogger designs i like, and i can't really find any free backgrounds that i love.  do people pay to have a blog design created for them?  would it be worth it?  i'm definitely not enjoying anything i'm picking from blogger. 

my time in atlanta is going by fast, but has been enjoyable.  too bad we miss daddy like crazy!  i'm looking forward to being back & having a nice family weekend with him, but alas, our friend is getting married on friday, and 2 of my friends from college (dave's study abroad friends- ie: the ones who set us up) are flying in for the wedding.  it's looking to be a busy 4 days as we spend time with him, and leave ian overnight for the first time (aaahh). 

speaking of which, 3 dresses have arrived at my mom & dad's and i am 0 for 3.  as expected.  the last 2 dresses are arriving tomorrow- and one of them is a size small, so you can already count that out from the way the other dresses are going.  seriously, i need to stop eating because i see where this is headed...

hope everyone is enjoying their week!! Pin It!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Guest Post- Teaching Your First Baby Signs

working my way through my 30 before thirty- #15 - teach ian sign language.  more on my experiences later!

Teaching Your First Baby Signs

Baby sign language is a way of teaching your baby to communicate by way of simple hand gestures. Based on ASL (American Sign Language), it is a simplified version especially for babies and children. Baby Sign Language is fun, free and it really works – you can start to sign from birth. Read on to find out how to teach your first Baby Signs.

How To Start
It’s best to begin with signs you can use on a daily basis, such as Mommy, Daddy, Milk and More. More is (probably not surprisingly) often the first sign a baby learns. Signs that represent something exciting to your baby will be easier for him or her to learn. Here is how to make these first signs:

* To sign Mommy extend and spread apart your fingers. With your pinkie facing forward, tap your thumb on your chin.
* To sign Daddy, extend and spread out your five fingers on your right hand. Tap your hand on your forehead. Done right you will look like a turkey.
* The sign for Milk is a lot like milking a cow, but without the vertical motion – you are just squeezing the udder. Take both hands, make them into a fist, relax, and repeat.
* To make the sign for More, flatten out your hands then bring your thumbs under to make an O shape. Then, bring your hands together and separate them repeatedly. Baby will often simplify More by clapping their fists together. As they get older and more proficient you may want to encourage the more correct sign of flattening out their hands and creating the O shape with their thumbs as a fun way to help them develop fine motor skills.

Teaching Signs
To successfully teach these signs, you need to make the sign every time you say the relevant word to your baby. Say the word that goes with the sign clearly, with good eye contact, while pointing to the thing or person you are describing. Be sure to sign when your baby is alert and not fussing or tired, using an object which is exciting to him, such as Milk or Mummy. Practice the signs beforehand so you feel confident and clear about what you are doing. It’s important to repeat the sign as often as possible – make the sign and say the word every time you do an action or use an object. Babies learn through repetition, so try to make signing a fun part of your day.

Be Patient
Don’t expect too much too soon. Your baby is unlikely to be signing for more milk if he is only 4 months old and you’ve been signing to him for a week! Research by Dr. Joseph Garcia, one of the founders of Baby Sign Language , found that a typical baby who starts learning signs at seven months old needs about two months of repetition and exposure to a sign to start using it.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

have baby, will travel

today i take off for atlanta with ian.  it should be interesting.  we've done a lot of driving with him, but this will be the first flight.  here are some tips/information i've received regarding traveling with your infant.  we'll see how this compares to the reality after i've arrived at my final destination.

i will be flying american airlines to atlanta, and delta airlines back to chicago.  most of my information was taken from the american airlines website.  
mother's are apparently allowed to be really annoying with an overabundance of stuff.  according to american you are allowed a stroller, an infant seat (you can use the seat on the plane for your child w\o paying for a ticket only if there are empty seats at take off- otherwise, they have to sit in your lap). You can also have your carry on, personal item and an diaper bag for the baby.  if you buy a ticket for your child (they don't need one if they're under 2), they are also allowed a carry on and personal item.  while umbrella strollers are prefered, you can bring any size stroller, but airlines are not responsible for damages.  imagine that.  
formula, food and breastmilk are allowed (breastmilk is allowed whether you are flying with an infant or not)- although they may do a "paper" test with them- have you remove the lid and swirl the bottle so release vapors onto a paper above the bottle).  although i have heard of some places making your "sample" what you are carrying.  you just take them out when going through security as you would with the rest of your liquids. 
you can wear your baby while going through security as long as there isn't any metal on them.  thank goodness, because it's already enough of a pain having to take of my shoes and belt every time i fly. 
you MUST go to the ticket counter to check in. I have saved myself a little trouble by already contacting both airlines and notified them that i am traveling with an infant- they asked for his full name and age. You MUST BRING THEIR BIRTH CERTIFICATE. you may not have to show it, but some airlines do ask. the baby may need a boarding pass. with the birth certificate, they are checking to see if the infant is under 2 (quite obvious in our case). 
my plan is to take the stroller and leave the carseat (my parents have one from a friend). I will probably wheel ian through and keep him in the stroller so that he'll have time to play, and so i can feed him.  when it's time to board, then i will put him in the moby and gate check the stroller. i believe traveling with an infant grants you priority boarding (they should also grant priority boarding to pregnant women, but don't get me started).

my friend says ear popping tends to be worse on landing rather than take-off- a pacifier, sippy cup, or just your good ol' boob tends to be the best remedy. luckily, i can discreetly nurse ian while inside the moby.  my friend also gives a light dose of tylenol before take-off so that it may relieve any pain caused by the popping.

My hope is to fit all of our stuff in the suitcase (i am bringing his cloth diapers- and that's my worry), put my stuff in a backpack (maybe a book) and then carry his diaper bag. of course, holding him, i may not need a backpack, so i may carry his diapers that way.

I am going to my parents house, but we are visiting some family in nashville after i get there, and will be staying in a hotel. the hampton inn has pretty nice cribs- (we had to use one labor day wknd when my husband's gma died and we also stayed @ a hampton). both of these hamptons happen to be brand-news, so the cribs should be nice enough. i just bring MY own sheets for it. Note- our crib sheet wouldn't fit, we had to use the pack n play sheet. the hotel also has high chairs in their dining area, but  we also have a "portable" high chair.

You may or may not be able to have your spouse or another family member accompany you to the gate. i won't know this until check in.  luckily for me, when I leave atlanta, my brother is flying to denver at the same time. although we are in different terminals, i will have him to help me at least get into the airport. when husband picks me up, he will probably be picking up our friends who are in town for the wedding.  there will be plenty of help.

most planes have a changing table in the bathroom- for long flights, or if your baby needs a quick change.  just be sure to ask which bathroom it's in- my friend katie, who has flown multiple times with her son says he HATES it b\c the bathroom is REALLY loud. I don't know what's worse though- because changing them in the airport bathroom means you have to take ALL your luggage with you. ugh.  i haven't decided whether i want to carry on everything or not.  i think it's a crime to charge $15+ to check a bag.  highway robbery.  
so, hopefully the trip will go smoothly for the two of us!  i will definitely update you on the joys of traveling with your wee one, once we're on the ground!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


a few updates on my recent posts

wedding guest dress - i couldn't decide.  plus, half the dresses went into "out of stock" or "size 2 available mode.  and since most forays into the dressing room for me have a 17% success rate i decided this:  purchase 7 dresses that i liked best ie: were most affordable, try them all on, and send back the 6 losers, hopefully keeping 1 very awesome winner.  my husband frowned upon this idea, wanting me to purchase 2  instead and choose from those.  next time, you can have the baby and jack your body up.

ditch the shampoo - this got worse before it got better.  not only are my grays sticking out and holding up little "look at me" signs; i was wanting to shave my head and vomit every time i saw my hair, which stayed perfectly placed in a ponytail every time i removed my hair band.  gag.  when i was begging for my shampoo, husband suggested i follow the baking soda wash- it made a major improvement to my hair from first wash, and my hair is gradually starting to look cleaner.  i'm hoping that holds up, because it's time to color it... AGAIN. 

shredding - ugh.  epic fail.  i got through 10 days, then hubby's gma died and we were out of town for the long weekend, and it was just so difficult to get back into it.  i may start up again, but for now husband has a big plan for us that i'm keeping to myself for a while.  good news is while i didn't lose any weight, i haven't gained any since then either...

ian and i are flying to the atl tomorrow.  i'm so excited.  i need some south in my life.  we are flying, and did i mention it's just going to be the two of us?  after we get to atlanta, we'll be driving to nashville for the weekend for a family reunion (a little counter-productive) and then it's loads of fun in c-town.  this will be the first time husband has been away from ian- and he's a little bummed (so are we).  thank God for skype.  i'll be sure to include a post on traveling with baby. 

i won't be posting much during my vacay, but i do have some guest posts lined up- so keep checking in!! Pin It!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

what to wear to the wedding

so the wedding we are attending is just 2 weeks away, and after spending the last month searching the internet high & low, i have narrowed it down to 14 lucky finalists.  yes, 14.  ugh.  i'm suffering from a case of abulia!

so excited about this weekend, but a little nervous too.  the wedding is on a friday in the late afternoon, so we will be dropping ian off with...?  and not picking him up until the next morning.  *i was just joking w\ my mil about how they need to consult with us before making plans- we were going to have them keep ian on our anniversary, but they were out of town.  now, we wanted them to keep ian this- and guess what- out of town.  we can't bring him to the wedding, so now we need to enlist an overnight babysitter.  aaaaaah!*

so excited-  1.  i get a pretty dress to wear, and it can be any kind of dress i'd like b\c it doesn't have to be made to allow for breastfeeding (!!), 2.  we get to go downtown to a beautiful church and a reception at the chicago history museum, 3.  we get to stay at a beautiful hotel downtown (i'm pretty sure we're splitting this hotel with at least 2, if not 3 of our single male friends- this should be interesting). 

so, onto the dresses.  i did a lot of searching on a LOT of sites.  so i hope i've picked some things that are cocktail wedding appropriate.  my goals are to keep the girls intact, keep my butt covered, look awesome, and not attract unnecessary attention.  duh.  without further ado...

photo cred:



Celebrate Good Times Dress- ModCloth
Kirigami Craft Tube Dress- Ruche

so, how did i do?  did i pick anything out that's early fall cocktail wedding appropriate?  anything you love?  i have some definite faves, and some that i'm on the fence about, but would love to hear your opinions.  so opine away....  

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Friday, September 10, 2010

7 months

ian is 7 months old.  what the crap kid- stop growing. of course, by this point he's nearly 8 months, but i'll update for the sake of an update.  here's what happened during ian's 7th month:

ian still has no teeth, no words, no desire to sit up, and isn't crawling (some of this has already changed)!!

he loooooooooves to eat.  man, can this child eat.  he's still nursing like a champ, and he's eating table food like it's his job.  currently ian eats the following homemade foods- sweet potatoes, peas, apples, pears, apricots, yellow squash, zucchini, plums, & peaches.  he also eats avocado, oatmeal, banana & tofu (no home-making required).  we also had our first food allergy- acorn squash- but, he loved it!

ian survived 3 weeks sleeping in our room in the pack n play, and so did mommy & daddy.  in fact, i missed him the first several days once he was back in the crib.

he's also been super cranky lately- it's driving me crazy.  i really hope we find the cause soon because he is out of control!

i can't wait to update for next month- so much has already happened!!

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looonnngggg weekend

it's been a long weekend.  so long that this is pretty much day 6.  labor day weekend is always a nice week(end) for us because of our anniversary.  this is our 3rd year of marriage- the leather anniversary, and since i'm not into s&m, husband got me a nice red leather photo album with some photos of us inside to start it.  i also got an adorable pair of rain boots b\c i hate when it rains and my pants get wet...  oh, and a gift certificate for a pedicure!  finally!  we went to dinner & had a very nice evening just the 2 of us.

our weekend was supposed to start on friday- husband's company always releases them from work early on friday before a holiday- we were going to be packed and heading to michigan for a nice relaxing weekend at the lake.  i have been looking forward to this trip in months.  while other people are going on a vacation every other day it seems- we have not been on one in 3 years- it sucks.  i had 2 new swimsuits, a baby float, a baby tent and i was ready for my skin to finally see the sun...  well, of course, there's murphy's law...  unfortunately, husband's grandmother passed away on thursday- bye bye lakey.  so we packed for a different trip. i will not cry about the trip to the lake that wasn't- we made the best of what we had, and we had a nice weekend despite the circumstances.

saturday we had a nice family day after ian watched his first uga game - go dawgs!  then sunday afternoon we headed to lincoln to get ready for the funeral.  after we checked into our hotel, we got ready & headed to the church.  my husband's gfather died a few years ago, and i must say, they always plan really nice funerals- it was a wonderful service with happy tears.  eloise was a wonderful lady with good taste in shoes...  she is missed.

monday we had a really fun day at dave's uncle kevin & aunt reva's.  they have a beautiful old farmhouse and lots of land.  we sat around, talking, watching the 6 dogs run around, playing bags & bocce, and shooting guns.  then we had delicious grilled fare for dinner, and made the plans to bury eloise & harry.  it was wonderful time with all the cousins.  although it wasn't the labor day we planned, and the circumstances were sad- we really had a blast.  i don't think i could've asked for a better weekend!  

this is lincoln, illinois from our car.  cornfields on your right, cornfields on your left.

ian had a good time just chillin' out in his tent and playing

mommy had a good time shooting things!

dinner on the go!

i'm sorry, but my son is adorable!

all the cousins with their children, husbands, boyfriends and wife.  yes, i am the lone wife.  dave is the only boy out of all his cousins and it was up to us to have a boy to continue the family name (no pressure).  luckily, we got it right on the first try.  there are also 9 people missing from this picture

one of the first exits on our way home.  this exit boasts the atlanta museum and "historic downtown atlanta".  riiight.

see you and me have a better time than most can dream
have it better than the best
so can pull on through
whatever tears at us, whatever holds us down
and if nothing can be done
we'll make the best of what's around
dave matthews band
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

nappy roots

so, remember back here when i talked about doing this?  well, i ran out of my delicious rosemary & mint shampoo about a week ago, and haven't looked back.  now, of course, i've become the shredder, i'm a little scared about what a daily (very sweaty) workout is going to do.  so i'm at least a week in, if not longer into this experiment, and let's just say it's going to be interesting.  today, i had to re-read the article plus this article because my hair is looking a little... well, limp.  i've also been rocking the ponytail for the last week. 

i'm not sure if i'm supposed to be still using conditioner or styling products.  i have been doing conditioner just on my ends, and i've used styling products a couple times.  i think i may just go to conditioner once a week and try to wean myself completely from my styling products.  sorry bumble & bumble.  

it looks like it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months before your scalp stops overproducing oil to make up for it's non-shampoo shock.  i'm hoping for me that it's closer to the former, and not the latter.  lulu asked me to post/take a daily photo of my hair.  i don't think i'll do daily, but how about weekly.  so, here is my rat's nest after week one of being "poo-free"

note:  these photos were taken after a workout, before my shower.  it's also been in a ponytail for around 24 hours.

 so you can definitely tell my hair is very oily

here's all of my hair.  at least it's so shiny it's got serious camera flash on it!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ai yi yi

this weekend has been filled w\ many ups and downs- so i've been on the go.

hopefully i'll be back tomorrow.

hopefully. Pin It!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

it's my wedding day

a page is turned in this life, he's making her his wife
and there is no secret to the source of this much life
when the grace that falls like rain is washing them again
just a chance to somehow rise above this land
bebo norman

happy anniversary
and many more
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