Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reflecting ......

I've been thinking a lot lately. i know, I know, that can be dangerous! But seriously, I've been thinking a lot about my life, and the different relationships I have in my life with various people.

First there is my immediate family - Kevin and Bella. They are my world. I trust Kevin with my whole life, I have zero doubts about his loyalty, faithfulness, and love for me. I know he will always be there for me, no matter what happens. My little Isabella - I love her so so much. Everyday she grows and does new things. I am constantly being amazed by her. Her smiles and squeals fill my heart to the point of bursting! Just when I though I could not love them more, when I see Kevin and Bella, I can feel my heart growing to hold the love!

Then there is the rest of my family - My side and his. I love them all! They do drive me crazy at times, and I know I can get very frustrated with them, but I do try to take a deep breath and relax. I am closer to some than to others, naturally, and I don't feel bad about it at all. I used to be very close to my brother, but now it seems my sister and I are a lot closer. And really, how close can you get to a 17year old boy? I feel like I can connect with Kevin's cousin Dana on subjects that many others I can't. I love that she shares her organic/raw foodist ways with me, without being pushy. I can't list everyone here, but you get my point. Family will be there, whether you (or they!) like it or not. In-Laws can be hard to deal with (all in-laws, nit just the parents!) But I honestly try to make the best of it, and to get along with everyone. I think it is important to have a good relationship with everyone.

So, that's the family. Now, what's left? Friends. How do you define a friend? I think for everyone it is different. For me, being a friend means that you are there for them, always. You celebrate the joys in their life, and you are there to be a shoulder to cry on. You are a listening ear, and you are there to tell them your opinion/advice when they want/need it. You talk to each other, are open and honest. You don't hide things from each other, and you trust them. A friend is someone you can rely on to be there for you, even when you think you don't need them. You should feel comfortable talking to them, and when you do, you should not feel brushed aside. To be a friend you are available to them whenever possible, not just when it is convenient. You love them, they become family. And you remain friends whether you live 1 mile or 1000 miles apart. You don't have to see each other every day, but you make an effort to see them when possible, and when it really counts.

So, what kind of friend am I? It is a hard question to answer, because in doing so, there are people who may disagree. I know I see myself as one type of friend, and others may see me differently, but here is the friend I see myself as:
If you are my friend - I trust you. I support you. I will listen to your problems. I will let you cry on my shoulder. I will celebrate with you. I will cheer you on. I will do my best to be a positive influence on your life. I am concerned about you. I love you. I believe in you. I am there for you, you only need to call. In a crisis, I will do everything in my power to drop everything and get to you. I will offer my home, my clothes, my food, my bed to you if you need it. If you are struggling I want to help. I may not always know what to say, but you will always know that I am here. I hope there is never any doubt in your mind about what kind of friend I am. I am appreciative of YOU. I am loyal to the end. Most of my friendships that have ended, have done so because of the other person. Honestly, if those people called me up, I would not turn them away.
There are also some bad things about me as a friend, and I am willing to acknowledge them. I am too trusting. I get walked over easily. If a friend hurts me, I don't always tell them. I offer my opinion too much. I don't sugar-coat (sometimes NOT a bad thing). I do more for people than they do for me (While this is not a bad thing to me, it does end up in my own disappointment and hurt. Therefore I am working on this...)

I am sure there are more for both categories, but you get the point. In my eyes, I am a very good friend. The problem is this - I don't really have many friends who I can say would do the same for me. To be completely honest, I am hurt by a friend at this very moment. This person does not know it, or maybe they do, but I don't feel like I can tell them without a huge blowup about it.

When I had Bella, and I was in the hospital, I would have loved to have had visitors. Really, I would have. Everyone told me I would not want anyone there, but I really felt sad that no one came. Okay, that is a lie - Kevin's parent's came, and a couple of his co-workers and his cousin. But where were MY friends? Obviously I don't have family close by that could visit, but I had friends, friends that lived closer to the hospital I delivered at than they do to my house. Shouldn't that have been a perfect opportunity to see us? To meet my daughter? Even if for a few minutes. It really would have meant the world to me. Maybe I should have spoken up. So after we came home things were hectic with family visiting and us going out of town. It was at least a couple months before some of those friends saw Bella. There are some who still have not seen her. This does hurt me. Am I selfish for feeling this way? Maybe. But I know that if one of my friends has a baby, I want to be there in person to congratulate them, to see their little miracle, and to let them know if they need anything I am there to help! Of course I would not just show up, I would ask if they are ready for visitors/company.

So since I've become a mommy, things have definitely changed in my life. I have a daughter who is nursing and goes everywhere with me. I can't just go out shopping whenever I want. These are not bad things in my life, these are things I have CHOSEN. I chose to stay home and not work, therefore, I breastfeed her, not only because it is the best thing for her, but also it saves us money. I try not to spend any money unless I really need to. I don't go out for drinks, in fact, I hardly ever drink at all since I'm breastfeeding. I love to window shop, and go to the mall, or the park and just walk around. I like going to the pool, and, when the opportunity arises, I like to hang out with other mamas. The problem is this, I don't know many mamas around here. The closest are 45 minutes away. In fact, the closest friends I have are 45 minutes away, with the exception of a couple, and they work so it's hard to get together with them. I have a ton of online mama friends though. and they keep me sane.

So I didn't really want this t be a "pity party" for me. I don't want you to feel bad for me, that "oh, poor Michele has no friends". Because I do have friends, friends I have not even mentioned yet.

I know some amazingly wonderful people online. I have some of their blogs listed on my page. They are strong women. Women who have helped me a great deal in the past 6 months (some even longer!). Some of these women know me better than anyone in real life. Kevin makes fun of me, but I don't think he fully understands the connection. We are all new mamas (well most of us!) who all have babies that are just a few months (or days!) apart from each other. If they lived closer, we would all get together and hang out, but we are all over (even over seas!) and so we talk online. We compare, and share our stories. And it's not just about the kids. I know, without a doubt, that if I need a shoulder, one of them will be there for me. They will listen, and they do care. Maybe it's weird to some, but to me it's not. It is no different than having a friend who moved away. You don't see them, but you are there for each other still.

What is the point of this blog? I don't know, maybe I just needed to get some stuff off my chest. Maybe because I'm hurt inside, and I've been thinking so much about this, that I needed to actually talk about it. Will this make the hurt go away? Not so much. Will I stop being that person's friend? Maybe, but most likely not. I continue to pray for peace with this situation, and I know that God will lead me in the right direction with this. I just really needed to share. Perhaps I am alone in my feelings/thinking, but I feel that maybe I'm not. That maybe, as you are reading this, you are nodding your head, you are understanding, and you can empathize with how I feel. I do not want you to feel sorry for me. I don't feel sorry for me, because I don't have energy or time to do that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Time sure does fly!

Bella Loves her peaches!

Well, my sister left to go back home yesterday. It seems like she just got here, and I really enjoyed her being here. She really kept me company and gave me someone to talk to. I know I have Kevin, but he is working as much as possible in order to allow me to stay home, so sometimes it does get a bit lonely. We will see them again in August though.
Austin at the pool!

It is amazingly quiet in my house now, without my nephew. It is odd how noisy a toddler is, but I never noticed it until now that he's gone. I miss it. The babbling and laughing and even the screaming! I'm sure Kevin is going to sleep better, but still, I think it was wonderful to have him here, even when he threw his fits.
Bella and her Auntie Jen!

This past weekend we went to the Vanity Fair outlets in Reading, PA. Which, in case you were randomly wondering, is only about 20-30 minutes from Jon & Kate's $1.3 million dollar home. No, we did not go by it, but I wanted to. Mostly out of curiosity. I didn't really want to see them, but I was curious about how much Paparazzi would be sitting in front of the house. Anyways - we went shopping and I finally got some clothes that fit me that are NOT maternity.

After that we went to Cabela's in Hamburg, had dinner, and then came home. We were all really tired. The ride home was super rough, both kids were overtired. Bella was screaming. Austin was screaming, every one's nerves were shot. Finally we stopped and pulled off into a parking lot and spent about 30 minutes just trying to calm them both down and put them to sleep. It was a fun, but very long day!
Bella and Austin after swimming!

The previous weekend we spent in Reston walking around the shops and spending time with Kevin's cousin Dana. She lives right next to the town center, and so we went there and just walked and walked. It almost made me want to live there. ALMOST! LOL the traffic reminded me why I hate it there. I do miss being close to everything, but I also enjoy my quiet little house away from Northern Virginia. Plus, I have 3 super Wal-Marts and 3 Targets within 15 minutes of my house, so I'm set on whatever I need! LOL

Upcoming plans: Next weekend (4th of July weekend!) we are going up to the camp and camping! There is a trailer, and running water, but we are going to pitch a tent and camp outside =) I do love going up there, its in the mountains and there is hardly any cell signal, no internet, and it is nice to just get away from it all. I love sitting by the fire, roasting marshmallows, cooking hot dogs, roasting fresh corn. I love the smell of the wood burning. At first I wasn't too fond of the idea.. thinking why should we have to sleep outside, there are beds inside, but then the more I thought about it, the more I think it will be fun! Bella's first camping trip. There WILL be lots of pictures!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All over the place with this one!

My friend Tiffany came to visit us! =) She lives all the way in St. Paul!

All tuckered out afte the pool!


My beautiful, perfect, sweet baby girl.

Well, It's been a while since I've updated, and I'm sorry for that. I keep meaning to, but I just get carried away with something else. I've been busy trying to keep up with the house and just hanging out with my sister and nephew. Let me start there....

I'm soo happy that my sister is here visiting us! I wish she could stay a lot longer, but I am pretty sure she's leaving the end of the month. I'm going to be sad when she leaves. On the other hand, having a toddler around the house is CRAZY! It is only a matter of time before Bella is moving around and getting into things. It gets frustrating sometimes, when you tell him "No." and he just grins and does it anyways, but I just tell myself, he's 19 months old, he will learn. I know it is harder for my sister, because she wants soo badly for him to be good all the time, and I think she just is lost on what to do with him. I know eventually it will work out, but until then, I just try to keep my own patience, and try to help her without bossing her or making her feel like a bad mommy, because she is a GREAT mommy! I know sometimes I come across like I'm telling her how to raise her kid, I don't mean it that way though.

There are four dogs in our house, and two cats. Two dogs belong to my sister. I don't mind that she brought them, but I really am fed up with the animals in general. I'm tired of cat/dog hair EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING. I hate having to vacuum all the time, having sheets covering my furniture, and having to wipe muddy/dirty feet all the time because our dumb dogs like to dig up rocks and eat them. I love having the dogs, because I feel safer at night when Kevin is working. I know if someone tried to come in, the dogs would make all kinds of noise. At the same time, sometimes I wish they would just be quiet! Gabby barks at any little thing. She hears a kid down the street and she barks! It drives me nuts! But the most annoying thing is the fur. I put Bella on the floor one day, and she picked her head up and she had hair stuck to her cheek! UGH! The worst part was that I had already vacuumed that day. I don't want to get rid of them, but at the same time I do. I just don't have patience to deal with them at all. But I don't have the hard to get rid of them, deep down I DO love them.
Bella can sit up! She still needs to have someone with her, but she can sit for a long time without falling over! Eventually, she does fall over, but I'm just sooo proud of her! Bath time is great, because she can now sit up in her little tub and I can wash her back and stuff! YAY! She's also been teething a lot too. For the past 4-5 nights she's been waking up multiple times crying. Sometimes I can put her binky in her mouth and hush her back to sleep, other times I have to take her out and rock her, or nurse her. If it's after 5am, I just bring her into bed with me and nurse/cuddle with her. I'm soo tired! It doesn't help that I stay up at night watching t.v. until midnight, but my body just is used to that now. So, I'm thinking we are really in for it when her teeth REALLY start coming in! Right now you can't see anything - they do feel a bit harder, but nothing that would make me think the teeth will be making an appearance anytime soon...

I wanted to go walking every day with my sister while she was here, but we just haven't gone at all. I feel horrible about it, because I REALLY want to lose weight, but I just don't have the motivation! Hopefully I can get into some sort of routine. Soon. I'd like to loose 20lb by the end of September.. I guess I better get moving!

Kevin is working a LOT of OT. Whatever he can get it seems. It makes me feel bad, because he's missing out on time with Bella. I don't want to go back to work, but I feel like I'm going to have to in order to help out. I've been really good about not spending money and trying to save where I can, but I see how stressed out he is, and how tired he is, and I just feel like it's not enough. I just don't want to leave Bella with anyone. And it will be hard to find a job that I can wok around his schedule. Obviously I won't be able to go back to work full time, but.. *sigh* for now I know I don't HAVE to go back to work, but, if it really comes down to it, I will. I would really like to find something to do online, or from home. I've added some things to my blog, ad and whatnot, that potentially could bring in some change, but of course nothing that will pay bills.

My nursing issues seemed to have resolved, although she is still easily distracted. She's going a good 2 1/2 hrs between feedings, and she only takes 5-10 mins tops to eat, which is nice. She's still getting solids in the evenings, and doing VERY well with them! I just add the feeding in between her nursing sessions. She eats her veggie/fruit, then goes right into a bath. Then she stays up for a short while, and goes down. Typically she wakes back up and I'll feed her again before she goes down for the night. Her last feeding is between 10 and 11pm. and then she stays down until 7 or 8 am. Except recently with the teething issues, she's been waking up 2-4 times starting at 1am. NOT FUN!

Well, thats all for now, I hope you enjoyed my post. I'll update more whenever I get a chance. In all honesty, I had a reason to post when I started and then just.. lost it. LOL

Toys R Us Huggies Deal

Okay, So I think I have a diaper obsession. I can get really good deals on diapers sometimes, so I buy them. The problem is I kind of have a surplus of diapers. I DO buy the larger sizes too, because I know we'll get into them eventually! Anyways - here is the deal!

Get a $15 gift card when you buy 2 value boxes of Huggies Diapers. Right now the diapers are $33.99 a box. I had two $1.50/1 coupons, this made them $32.49.

I paid $24.99 per box! That is a GREAT deal! It would have been better if I had a TRU coupon to use with it, but alas, I did not.

Remember, at TRU/BRY you can use your MFR coupons along with their store coupons. Typically, they have $5/1 or $10/2 in their fliers, and it switches back and forth between Pampers and Huggies. Generally, Pampers gets you the best deal, because they pack more diapers in their boxes. BUT - depending on your coupons, you will have to make that call when you go shopping! =)

What great deals have you found lately?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sometimes you just gotta ask for what you want!

We used to have DirecTV. We loved it, had the NFL package, it was great. The only thing that wasn't so great was that the trees around our house blocked the HD signal, so we could not get HD channels. No big deal to me, but for Kevin, it was a big deal. So finally we decided to switch to Comcast, so we could get the HD channels. We switched, and although no NFL package, we could deal since his uncle has the package at his house, and they live like, 2 minutes away.

Well, we've had issues ever since! First the guy that set us up told me that they do not give out the HDMI cables. He also gave us an OLD OLD box, and said that we could only record one show at a time, and had to watch what we were recording (which was completely dumb!) So after he left we had issues with the box, it wouldn't record at all so Kevin called the Comcast office, and they said to brig in the box. He did and they told him the box wasn't even one that they use anymore, and that we should never have even gotten that box! So they gave us a new one, and some HDMI cables, AND it will record a show and you can watch another, or it will record two shows but you have to watch one of the two recording. SUPER! Well, since then, the issues have been varied, but started with the "sports package" and some of those channels not showing up, to basic signal issues (they've reset our box numerous times), to most recently, the DVR function is not working. Not only can we NOT record, we can't even watch what has already been recorded. Oh, and last week, the OnDemand was not working. BLAH! So I was fed up when I called.

I was polite and nice, but told her I wanted to make a formal complaint and have it documented. I explained everything to her, and she apologized, made an appointment for the tech to come out and fix the problem, and advised me to call back in the morning and speak with someone in the Retention Department. So today I did just that. I called and after going through a million automated options, finally went to the billing department (they always pick up the fastest! ) and asked to be transferred. The guy wanted all kinds of info and at first would not transfer me because I was not 'on the account'. Eventually I got through, even though I started to get short with him, I took a deep breath and remembered that I once was a customer service rep, and he was only doing his job.

The lady I talked to at first though I was just making a complaint, but after explaining to her that I was referred, she started to listen. I told her that the price difference between what we had with DirecTV and what we have now wasn't that significant, and we hardly ever had any issues with our satellite service. She countered that even if she lowered the bill, we would still have the problems and we should have a tech come out. I told her a tech was already scheduled for Friday and that at this point, the only way we would stick with Comcast would be if we could get a better deal. So she typed away and clickety clacked for a minute, and came back and said she could save us $20 a month, and that it would be good for a year. =)

I thanked her and told her I greatly appreciate it, as this made a bigger gap in the prices between the two services, and hopefully we can get the service fixed and not have any more issues. She was pleasant and very nice. Her name was Rhonda, and when I get time, I will try to send an email to customer service letting them know how helpful she was!

Lesson to all - whining and crying only gets you so far, but if you are nice, and pleasant you can usually get what you want, or at least a compromise!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feeling blessed!

This past weekend our little girl was baptised. It was a very hectic weekend and there were a few moments that I though I must have been crazy to have made it such a big deal, but now that it is over, I think it was such a wonderful weekend, and I would not have changed a thing!

Tuesday was a photo shoot. We met the photographer at an antique shop in Paris, Virginia. We took some absolutely creative and beautiful pictures of Bella. She was a dream the whole day - did not fuss at all! was happy and smiling and cooperative! Becky is a great photographer, and if you need pictures done, PLEASE tell her I referred you! She will NOT disappoint you!

Wednesday my sister arrived with my nephew! I was soo excited for her to come and stay with us! During the day I cleaned up the house and prepared for them to arrive. They got in around 3:30pm. We unloaded and then pretty much just relaxed the rest of the evening.

Thursday we went grocery shopping for everything we needed for the cookout on Saturday. It was a couple of trips due to Bella's nursing and Austin's naps, but we did it all! That was a pretty exhausting day!

Friday we cleaned the house, and prepared some things ahead of time for Saturday. I feel like that day was really busy as well, but I couldn't tell you anything else we did! haha! We were supposed to go decorate for the party, but weren't able to because of the rain. BLAH RAIN! It had been raining ALL WEEK!

Saturday! Big party day! We went over and decorated and set up and got ready for the party! By the time 3pm came around I was a total stressed-out anxious mess, but it all went sooo well! Everyone was there and it was just so wonderful to have so much support there for our little girl. We ate and swam and just visited all with each other, friends and family, and it was just a beautiful, wonderful, special day!

Sunday was the BIG DAY! We got up and got ready, got to the church and Bella was wonderful all through Mass and all during the ceremony! Father Krempa kept mentioning how big and beautiful her eyes were, and she even made him smile! We did lots of pictures and I just can't believe how great the weather was all weekend, especially after all the rain. God was certainly looking down on us this past weekend and gave us wonderful weather!

Growing up I never had that much family around for those kinds of events. With my dad in the military, we were usually far away from all family, so birthdays and holidays were celebrated with just us, and friends from wherever we were living at the time. Having family within driving distance is just so, so wonderful. I know I may complain about all my my family sometimes, and how I get frustrated with them, but I do love them, and I am soooo grateful to have them so close that we can all be together for special events throughout the year. It meant even more that my sister was able to come up for it. She was the only person from MY family that was there. I so wish that more would have been able to come, but they all live a lot farther than Kevin's side does. ANYWAYS!

I just can't describe how wonderful I felt, to see how much we are loved, and how much love there is for this little girl. We got some really good ones, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get all the pics up on our share-site. The pic in this blog is one that Becky took. Please visit these links, and if you decide to use Becky for pictures, let her know I referred you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

End of the month Post!

Well, I'm a day late, so technically this is the beginning of the month post! LOL

Yesterday we started Bella on sweet potatoes! Not sure what she thinks of them, I fed her too soon after nursing her, and so she wasn't really all that interested, even though she did eat most of what I made! Here's how Imade the sweet potatos!

1 sweet potato
water (i used bottled water)
Breastmilk (if you have it, or not, your call)

peel and cube the sweet potato. Bite-size pieces work best. Put them in a pot with just enough water to barely cove them. Steam/boil until tender (this is why smaller pieces are better!) once pieces are tender, mash them up. I use my Magic Bullet, but you can use your own blender, or mash them by hand. Use the water inthe pan to thin them out. (I didn't have much left though) This way any nutrients that were leeched out into the water, is put back into the food.

Continue to mix/mash until you get the deired contistency. I used EBM (expressed Breastmilk) to thin it out further, and also some extra bottled water. I am pretty sure that what I made will last me all week, as I only feed her solids once a day, and she's only eating about 2 tablespoons, if that. So that's it! Easy Peasy!

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Have you gotten your free samples lately?

This is a site that I personally use! I love free samples! I get anything and everything, and I love getting things in the mail! These companies want you to try their products, but sometimes it is hard to find the samples. This site makes it easy to ind samples for the items you use already, and some you want to try!
Check it out!