Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"My Baby's First Christmas" - Chapter One: Christmas Morning

Okay, yes, so I am a little (okay a LOT bit late) at posting this. Since I've been back in Indy, I've been concentrating on getting Brett to go to bed when I'm home...and I worked Monday & Tuesday. So, this is really the first chance I've had to get this together! I swore I'd get at least part of this up before 2009.

Anyway, Christmas was a busy day for us! We started here in Indy and had a good long Christmas morning with Brett. We wanted to establish a good Christmas morning ritual at home now that we have our little guy. Mommy snuck down and took a few pictures before Brett came down...


Brett's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament...


Looks like Santa might have put something in his stocking!


What is this that Santa put under the tree? No it's not "Bear vs. Colt" LOL... it's a giant stuffed teddy bear and a wooden rocking horse!


Mom, I dig this bear. I think we'll be good pals!


Giddyup pardner!


Oooo.. pretty shiny paper! I think I like this better than what's inside!

My mommy's okay, but this Santa guy is waaayy cool!


Below is a video of Brett opening his very first present. We kind of had to show him how to rip the paper, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly. By the end of the day, he was a pro!

video

The rest of Christmas to hopefully be posted here soon. Basically, we made a stop at my family Christmas in Indy before hitting the road to Chicago. Long day, but Brett was an angel for it all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cyber Baby

So, I am a VW fanatic. I log onto their site from time to time. Today I saw this fun feature on the new Routan Page. You can upload a pic of two people and create a "cyber" baby. This is what they came up with when they combined Steve & me. Sorta kinda resembles Brett. Too addictive. You all have to try this!


Create Your OwnMake a Routan Baby

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I Want For Christmas....

'Member how I said a couple of posts ago that Brett hasn't cut any teeth yet?

Yeah. Scratch that.

For MONTHS this child has been drooling nonstop.... sometimes he'd wake up screaming in the night. He's exhibited ALL of the signs of teething except for one. Yeah, that would be actually having teeth.

Yesterday we were at my parent's house for the extended family Christmas and my grandma asked me if Brett had any teeth yet. I told her the same thing I always say... that we've been anticipating teeth for months.. yada yada. Then I stuck my finger in his mouth to feel his gums like I routinely do. This time on the bottom I felt 2 little sharp ridges. Later, upon further inspection I was able to make out that these are his two front bottom teeth! It's almost as if the song was written for him, cuz he's getting two for Christmas!

I'm happy for him... he'll soon be able to start gnawing on cheerios and small slices of banana. But, honestly, I was kind of secretly hoping (selfishly) that this would wait until after he was a year old. My brother, Aaron, didn't cut teeth until he was over a year old, so I knew it was genetically possible for Brett. If he was on formula, I think I'd be delighted! But no. I made a strong decision to nurse exclusively for the first year. Um, yeah. Without getting into TMI, you get the idea why on a selfish level I'm a wee bit terrified. Any mothers out there have some good advice?

Oh, and BTW, the doctor's office called today and all of my bloodwork came back normal. Good news, yet frustrating because I don't have a clear cut answer for my fogginess.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Screw It - I Just Can't Come Up With A Clever Title For This Post

So I went to the doctor yesterday. I had been planning to go anyway for my annual physical, but with my level of spaciness lately (and yes, I guess I did open myself up to being made fun of by phrasing it that way) I decided to ask her about it.

Her thoughts? The hormones surging through my body from nursing were making me very relaxed, combined with new mother fatigue and stress. She recommended exercise (which I have been trying to do) and more rest. I also got my blood drawn to test my hemoglobin level, and my thyroid as well. We'll see what they say. I've just never felt like this before.

She told me to talk to her after I had been 1 year postpartum and had weened Brett. So, I have to followup in the spring. She also recommended dropping all of the baby weight before we try for #2. I really want to! I need to really kick myself back into gear after the holidays. I'd done so well for awhile and then kind of lost it this past month (as we all do after Thanksgiving). I think I've reversed the scale's momentum. Ah, well. At least I bought a pair of jeans last week with the number "8" on them. I still have 15-20 pounds to go to get back into the "2"'s and "4"'s in my closet. I wonder if I'll ever see them again.

But if this weekend is any indication, I probably wont be seeing my beloved skinny jeans anytime soon. The traditional "annual Graunke family cookie baking weekend" is in full effect. I've blogged about this before. As Steve's brother (who is coming from Lexington to bake with Steve and I, since we aren't all driving to Chicago to bake with his parents and other brother) said, it's "X-treme" cookie baking. We normally bake like 5-7 types of cookies. This year I think we may scale back and try for 3 varieties. Then again, when Steve and his brother get to the store tonight to buy the ingredients and mass quantities of beer (c'mon, it's a party!) things could get a little out of hand. Too bad I'll need to stay behind with the sleeping baby.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Okay, thanks Andrea :)

..
I'll play along....

The object of the picture tag is to:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same

NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)

I think mine is probably the most random of everyone's I've seen today....

I was incredibly tempted to cheat, but I didn't.


This "picture" was taken while my mom was getting her tree partially up so that I could do my photo shoot with Brett for our Christmas cards. She's in the picture carrying the tree skirt. I did a few test shots to see how the lighting was. I never delete any pics, I just always upload everything to the computer from my camera.

Now I have to choose 4 people? Hmmm... I pick:

1. Leah
2. Emily
3. Suellen
4. Brandie

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rubber Ducky You're The One...

So, Brett has been enjoying putting various objects in his mouth lately and making noises. I think he just likes to see how different sounds are made. This is all very amusing... especially when he recently discovered that his rubber ducky could double as a musical instrument... (and yes, that is Steve's voice in the background. I swear he wanted to have kids just so he could act like a kid again!)


video

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Destination: Bear

So, we've been encouraging Brett to start crawling. He's working on it... he just doesn't have all of the moving parts in sync. Usually he'll try to do everything at once and end up in a big face plant! Recently, we've been pointing him toward a "goal" and most of this time it's his famous teddy bear chair. Here are some shots of Brett with his goal in mind (and yes, I took the goofy face pictures while he was doing this).

Here I go, Mom & Dad! I'm going to go have a chat with Mr. Bear...

Well, I guess I can always stop & pause for a photo op....


This crawling business is hard work! I think I'll take a nap instead.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Silly, Silly Boy Makes Silly, Silly Faces

Within the past two weeks, Brett has been making this "dopey" (as Steve calls it) face. He'll curl one lip under and stick the other one out. We can't even mimick him because really, the only way to make this face is if you don't have any teeth! (Which he still doesn't BTW).



Friday, December 12, 2008

Stuck With My Head In A Trance

Something doesn't feel right with me lately. I don't know exactly how to tangibly describe it other than, "Am I living in a dream?" "Am I really still alive?". Things just seem blurry and trance-like. I don't even feel large doses of major emotions. Like, when my iPod was stolen. I was immediately upset but not to the LEVEL that I should have been upset. Kind of like the U2 song, "Numb". Or, if you've seen my favorite movie "Garden State".. remember that scene in the beginning of the movie where he's drifting through his life, aimlessly walking into work and not caring about anything? That feels like me.

I am not sure what causes this. I am hoping I don't have like a weird brain tumor or something. Ever since this past summer, my vision has been a bit blurry. Fine... maybe I need to go to the eye doctor. But, especially lately, everything seems to be covered with a thin film. I want to reach out and touch things to make sure that they actually do exist. Wow, writing this makes me think something IS really wrong with me.

I worry about driving. I HATE driving anyway... but I'm more concerned about it now. For example, last weekend, my mom had me run to Clay Terrace for her. I don't particularly like driving in Clay Terrace.. all of the roundabouts and crazy people crossing. I thought I would hit someone. It feels like I'm kind of driving in my sleep.

I told my mom about my concerns and she said that when she is incredibly exhausted, she feels the same way. Maybe it's new mother fatigue? An interesting point on my fatigue now too... it's changed. When I get tired, I don't feel like I have to sleep, like I used to. Maybe it's because I know I have to be there for my baby?

Anyway, I'm going to the doctor for an annual physical next Wednesday and I'm hoping she'll have some answers, because I'm really hoping the brain tumor (or something like that) theory isn't true. Let's hope anyway...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everyday Grammar Excellence

Remember that post I wrote a few weeks back about crazy reoccurring dreams I have? Well, one of them has come true... I am officially back in high school!

Ah, how the social networking sites have brought us all back together. When I first heard about Myspace and Facebook I thought, nah. I'll never sign up for one of those sites. They were all so intimidating and overwhelming at once. And, as much as I'd like to see what everyone ELSE was up to, would I like to share my own personal life with the world? Well, my pregnant BFF and her hubby were visiting us oh, about 2 1/2 years ago now (I can't believe it's been that long!) and she suggested I join Myspace. She was on there and told me about all of these old ghosts from our past she'd reconnected with. This piked my interest, and that afternoon I created a Myspace account and subsequently opened Pandora's box.

I had been timid about trying to re-connect with a lot of these people. Not so much high school friends, but college friends. As a lot of you know, I left Pi Phi with a very very bitter taste in my mouth. Bad things happened and there were a lot of people who I never wanted to see again. It me took several years to get over what had happened. And, joining myspace actually helped in the healing process. Re-forming old friendships was wonderful and actually lead to me meeting up for lunches and dinners with a lot of these old friends.

Well, the luster of Myspace has somewhat worn off for me. I don't really post anything to my account anymore. I'll just check in a couple of times a day to see what people are up to and update my status.

However, Facebook is a whole 'nother beast. I joined Facebook about a year and a half ago, when no one was on. After I signed up, I'd log in from time to time to accept friends who found me, but I never actively participated. Until this summer. Suddenly EVERYONE was on Facebook, and it was a whole other group of people to catch up with. I even (reluctantly) put a friend request out there to someone who I left on bad terms with. She accepted, but has yet to write back. I'm crossing my fingers that I can at least exchange a few friendly emails with her.

And, in addition to old friends, you know who else lurks on Facebook? Old high school teachers! Seriously! I about had to take a step back when an old religion teacher found me and requested me. It was actually pretty cool... a teacher who knew me all those years ago actually remembered me. I mean, we all remember our teachers, but really, they have like hundreds of students. How can they remember them all?

Well, to come to the point of this long-winded post, a high school friend referred me to another teacher on Facebook. I was excited to see this teacher, for I hadn't heard anything from her in years. For old LuHi alumn, this is our dear Miss Butz. Well, Mrs. Kolva now - to be correct. Every freshman at LuHi from the late 80's through the mid-90's had her for English class. I've never met another person like her. Somehow she had a magical ability to demand respect from every student in the room.. even the trouble makers. She was kind of like a "Mary Poppins". You wanted to please her and impress her with your knowledge. And, beneath her proper and formal exterior you could tell that she deeply cared for each and every student in her classroom. We all loved Miss Butz and around my senior year she got married and moved to Salt Lake City. I was one of the lucky ones who got to attend her wedding.

Anyway, suddenly "Miss Butz" was my friend. And, Miss Butz has now gathered several of her old students together into a "group" called Everyday Grammar Excellence. She hands out assignments and grades them. It's a bit intimidating, but I love it! And so does everyone else. It has me re-thinking about my grammar and the casual way I talk in my blogs. I definitely don't take the time to see if my sentences are correct and, although I'm relatively confident in my spelling, I'll do things like this..... in order to add a pause. Or, I'll break up words into sentences that don't really make sentences. For example... FOR REAL?

This is too much fun and I encourage any old LuHi alum to find Miss Butz and join her group. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must think about how I am going to use "lie, laid and lain" in a paragraph :).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Cutie

Again, as Steve and I are trying to conserve $$, we decided that instead of going to get professional photos taken for Christmas - we'd do our own. Thankfully my mom had started to set up her Christmas tree this past weekend so I was able to get these taken at her house (we haven't even BEGUN to get our decorations started... hopefully this weekend). But, we got a few good ones that we really liked. One day I hope to get professional pictures taken. After all of the horror stories and expense though I am a bit hesitant.

Also, just an FYI... Mandy has her second round of chemo today so please send good thoughts and vibes her way.

Without further ado, here are just a few of the pics I took...





Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lack of Blogging, and Some Bad Luck

Well, I have officially been a slacker. I have posted only a handful of blogs during this month of November. Part of it is due to Steve's schedule. Part of it is due to holiday stress. Part of it is due to my lack of creativity. I digress.

I mean to post pictures of B Man. He is growing like a weed! He's started to get up on his knees and rock back and forth. We tried to convince him that he needed to start crawling over the Thanksgiving holiday so that his Chicago grandparents could witness the milestone, but Brett thought otherwise. Oh, well. But, I don't think it will be long now! We have started buying babyproofing gear. We bought a net to put over our loft railing and electrical socket plugs. Today I plan to make another trip to BRU to buy a baby gate with my coupon. I am thankful they just started an "R Us" rewards program. Lord knows we are going to spend money on all of this stuff!

We also just bought him a new carseat. After much research, we decided on the Britax Roundabout. It is perfect for my VW bug since it is designed to fit into compact cars. His infant carrier was getting a bit too cramped for him, and once we added the winter coat, the kid became absolutely miserable in the thing. Well, we purchased said carseat online because the color I wanted was only online. Plus, I had been saving up for this carseat for months, by selling things on Ebay - so it was all in my paypal account and I could pay for it via paypal online. Simple enough, right? Plus, I got a free shipping coupon, a 15% off coupon, and I was able to use my R Us rewards. This was looking really good! Until the carseat came in on Tuesday and it was "granite" instead of "tan swirl". Grrrr!!!! I was pi$$ed to say the least. We called customer service and after a long conversation had them ship us another one overnight for the same price with free shipping. So, now we have two sitting here in our living room. The right one and the "granite" one. The good thing is that the granite color matches Steve's car perfectly... but I hadn't yet budgeted for another expensive carseat. We did however get it at the discounted price. And, it will be a pain in the a$$ to re-ship it back (they won't accept it in store because it is also a color that they only carry online). So, anyway, I think we are going to hold onto it for a little while and see how he likes the one in my car and decide if we can affored to keep that seat for Steve's car or not.

Otherwise, the other news occured black Friday morning. And, this did make my Friday rather black. We had pre-planned our route and our first stop was Staples. Our printer had gone out early in the summer and we hadn't been able to afford a new one yet. Well, they had exactly what we were looking for at 50% off and I had a gift card to spend at Staples... so we ended up getting this printer for free! (well, $1.16 after taxes). We got in line before the store opened. Steve dropped me off and I got in line. He parked and joined me. We spent all of 5 minutes in the store. We located the printer, picked it up, checked out and got back into our car.... we arrived at Kohl's not realizing what had happend yet. Steve couldn't find the spare $$ he had for tolls which was sitting in the cupholder next to his seat. I didn't think anything of it until we were leaving the Kohl's parking lot. I went to start my iPod. And, it wasn't there. My $299 first generation video iPod, which I bought in January of 2006 with over 2,000 songs on it, the first season of The Office and countless hours of work to customize it uniquely for myself was... gone. I was beside myself. The worst part is that it wasn't backed up so I lost everything. I never kept much on my computer harddrive because I didn't want to eat up the memory. So, in addition to everything... Brett's 200 + song playlist and my beloved Ben Fold's 150+ song playlist? GONE (Gone, gone, gone........ kudos to anyone who gets that reference). Oh, and the $79 monster radio adapter was swiped with it.

We called insurance and we have a $500 deductible, so basically I am SOL. I am actually mourning the loss of this small piece of my life. I am not an electronics junkie and I never have to have the newest of the greatest piece of technology. But I LOVED my iPod. I never used my car radio... it was all iPod, all the time. And, when I would go jogging in my neighborhood? I had the whole jacket and armband for it so I could use it for motivation. I'd just turn it to my "running mix"... which started with Republica's "Ready To Go".... ah, I am already sad. And, what makes me even sicker is that I know that probably within minutes of it leaving my hands, the thief restored it back to it's original factory settings... deleting the 15 GB of my stuff.

I'm really trying to get over this.. I am. And, it couldn't come at a worse time. We are financially very tight right now. My salary was cut in half when I took a part time job. We knew it would affect us, but didn't realize how much. We are being very creative for Christmas.... Tina introduced me to this fabulous "Mypoints" site. So, I have done alot of shopping online, trying to accumulate points towards gift cards. We are concerned with paying the bills and buying groceries... so the LAST thing I NEED is an iPod. I hope to have another one eventually. I have asked for gift cards now for Christmas... so that I can hopefully accumulate them all into a purchase of another iPod. I am also going to keep selling little things here and there on ebay to hopefully make enough $$ to buy one. I am also taking my time to research all of the new models. They have changed a lot since mine came out 3 years ago. I am leaning towards the iPod touch (I guess it has wi-fi with it!), but I'll be lucky if I can afford the 8 GB nano (which is also cute... I could get a blue one that matches my bug). This time I won't put as much effort into downloading my whole life onto it. I am just going to add what I will most often listen to. That way I won't be so heartsick if this new one gets swiped.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nothin' Like A Boy & His Dog

I meant to post this on Sunday, but time got away from me. Nothing makes Brett happier then playing with his dogs :).

And yes, you CAN hear football in the background (sigh).

video

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Showin' Some B Love

I feel as though I have not posted anything about my B man in awhile. And, you know what, I think I'm right. So I took a couple of pictures to add. This teddy bear has become a favorite of his recently. He got it from a Great-Grandma for Halloween and as soon as we paired the two of them up he started up a conversation with it.

Also, notice the wet shirt. This kid is a non-stop fountain of drool. I am constantly checking for teeth, but haven't felt anything yet.




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dreams

I've always thought dream interpretation was fascinating. Being one who has highly vivid dreams, I've looked up what they mean from time to time.

Throughout my life I've had 4 or 5 reoccuring dreams. The first I can remember is of my flying. I haven't had that one in awhile, but the funny thing is that I can tell you exactly how I could fly in real life. I always fly the same way. Isn't that strange? It's been years since I've had that dream.

But, recently I've had other dreams... the second most common dream I have is a variation on a common theme. Sometimes I'm late for class. Other times I can't find where my class is. Or, I can't open my locker. More commonly I'll find out that I have JUST missed the cutoff for the amount of credits that I need to graduate, or I have to go back to grade school or high school. But, one dream usually occurs more often than all of these. This would be the dream in which I signed up for a class and I totally forget about it. Then, when it's too late to do anything about it (i.e. - halfway through the semester, and I can't even drop it then) I remember and panic. I usually attend class once then and realize that I am totally screwed.

I started having this dream in college, around my junior year. Then, I'd have it on and off. I had it again a couple of nights ago. So, I looked it up...

"Class - To dream that you forgot to attend a class you signed up for, indicates your anxieties and fear of failing. You may also be lacking self-confidence in your ability to handle new responsibilities or projects."

Wow.

Okay, I've also been having another reoccuring dream lately. This one is where I find extra rooms in either my old sorority house (weird, huh? I've not been there for like 10 years), or more commonly, our house. Usually I rediscover a hallway downstairs that I've totally forgotten about. It leads to all of these amazing rooms including a movie theatre and usually an outside swimming pool. The funny thing is that the layout is often the same and I will remember this in each sequential dream.

Okay, looked this up....

"Rooms - To dream that you find or discover new rooms, suggests that you are developing new strengths and taking on new roles. You may be growing emotionally. "

And finally the newest reoccuring dream I've had lately involves me chewing gum. I had this dream once about 5 years ago and still remember it. Within I'd say, the last 3 weeks I've had it about every 3-4 days. The setting varies and the events in the dream are different, but they all share one common element. I'm chewing gum. And my mouth gets tired and I take the gum out, but there is still some left and it increases and I keep chewing. And I repeat this process, never able to get rid of all of the gum. I finally looked this one up this morning too...

"Gum - To dream that you are chewing gum, suggests that you are unable to express yourself effectively. You may feel vulnerable. Alternatively, is symbolizes a sticky situation that you found yourself in. To dream that you are unable to get rid of your gum, suggests that you are experiencing some indecision, powerlessness or frustration. You may lack understanding in a situation or find that a current problem is overwhelming."

What is crazy is that these explinations all fit me to a tee right now. I am taking on a new role, mother, and I am still stressed about it. I'm still scared I'm going to "break" my baby... especially after taking a tumble down the stairs. I am definitely growing emotionally, but am so afraid to fail.

I think the frequency of dreams has increased over the past couple of weeks because this is Steve's "busy" time of year. He is going back to get his doctorate and is taking Mon & Tues classes, which keep him in Muncie late and he usually doesn't get back until Brett has been tucked into bed for awhile. But during late fall and late spring he also has late nights of testing related to his job which keep him at work really late. I've felt like a "single" mother over the last couple of weeks... he's barely seen Brett. It's been stressful and overwhelming (hence my lack of blogging lately). I love my little man to pieces, but feel like everything has gotten away from me. The house has gotten messy... plus I'm super concerned about my sister in law starting her cancer treatment. She goes in for her first round of chemo today. I know she'll be okay, but I am stressed out about that as well.

Anyway, looking up these dreams this morning was crazy accurate. I was like "wow". This is a good site, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to look up their dreams.

Now, if I can get a good interpretation of the dream I had last night. It involved me going to see Steve at his house (for some reason we weren't married yet in the dream). He was listening to Andrea Bocelli and eating a piece of white cake with vanilla frosting, and his house had ugly shag carpet on the walls and he had a scottie dog that his ex roommate dumped on him.

Hmmm... I need to look into that one. I told Steve about it before he left for work this morning and I think he thought I was crazy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Trying out a new layout

Let me know if it is hard to read or anything. I was just getting bored of the old one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

News

Some of you already know this, but last Wednesday my sister-in-law Mandy was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It's quite a shock. She's only 28 years old and has two beautiful small children... my niece Paige and my nephew Derek.

She has already developed an amazing support system to see her through this and they've started a blog, The Journey. I've added a link to my blog list on the side if you want to follow along with her.

Our thoughts are prayers are with her and her family, and any support you can show her is much appreciated!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Obligatory Halloween Post (Alternatively Titled: My Cute Little Pumpkin)

So, on Halloween, Steve's mom came down to babysit Brett. They had fun playing all day and then when I got home from work we changed B into his giraffe costume!

Our long skinny baby couldn't be anything BUT a giraffe :). No type casting here!

Shortly thereafter he was tired and fell asleep in his costume (oh, how I wish I had a picture of this.. it was adorable). When he woke up, we went to my parent's house where he got to play with a pretty big stuffed giraffe! (It's his cousin, Paige's giraffe, shhh.... :))

Hey, this guy looks a lot like me!


I'm a trooper... I'll put up with all of the pictures :). Sit me by a pumpkin, why not?


No trick or treating this year... but he'll probably be running all over the neighborhood next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Just The Facts, Ma'am"

Baby Brett had his 6 month checkup! (Well he's 6 1/2 months now, but that's neither here nor there).

Anyway, he is still SKINNY - 16 lbs 4 oz (18%)

And, still very TALL - 27 3/4 inches (flip that 18 around and he is in the 81%!)




Growing up sooo fast!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fam

I love my little family :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Picture Crazy

I got a free 16' x 20' with my online Kodak account, so I thought I'd take a few pics the other day to see if I could land a good one of Brett.

Here is the final product. I actually got it in the mail Saturday. Even though it's not professional, I was pretty pleased!
Now to find a cheap frame.
We're still dragging our feet about getting professional pics taken. Hopefully in a couple of weeks. I see lots of good coupons all the time...


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ah, To Be 12 Years Old Again

When I was 12 I had....

1. Tight-rolled jeans
2. Bad poofy mall-hair bangs
3. Baggy t-shirts & stirrup pants
4. Neon clothes
5. A HUGE crush on Jordan Knight

I witnessed 1-4 and re-lived 5 (although I am a happily married woman - did I mention that?) all on Friday night. Tina and I basically went back to 6th grade together.


Before the show, looking sooo much better than we did in 6th grade (well at least I do!)

The NKOTB concert was in full force Friday night in Chicago, and I MUST say that I have never seen a gathering of so many 30 year old females in one place. As referenced above, some went for the crimped, jean skirt look (I respectfully declined going back to that yearbook photo), and others managed to dig up their old NKOTB paraphanalia for the show. People watching could have been a sport here... Tina actually saw a few people that she went to school with (I joked that the entire female contingent of her 1996 graduating class were there). We even met up with Butler friends Kathleen and Bohl before the show (they were there too!). Anyway, speaking of people watching, we saw some great shirts. Some said "Mrs. McIntyre" and "Mrs. Knight". There was a hilarious one that read "Jon, I'm legal now". But THE BEST shirt I saw all night said "Sorry, Jordan. Too late, I'm married now.". I told Tina that if we go to one of these shows again, we are getting shirts made like that.



Enjoying some adult beverages at the show... definitely NOT 12 years old!

As I had mentioned in previous posts, Jordan Knight was my official first love. I had posters of him strewn all over my bedroom. I was in love ;). I was not allowed to go to the concert when they were in town back in the day, but nothing was stopping me now! The show was sooo much fun. I felt like a kid again. And, (again, as a happily married woman) I have to say the guys.. ALL OF THE GUYS (even ugly one Danny.. come on everyone agreed on this have) have gotten much cuter. I told Tina I was "going to he**" when Jordan came out with an unbuttoned shirt and you could see his 6 pack abs.



I wish I had a closeup of this... this was the aforementioned Jordan moment!


Donnie was kinda the "emcee" for the group and had a couple of funny things to say. First of all, he said that the crowd "didn't look as good as they did 15 years ago... they looked MUCH better". I thought this was hilarious because seriously, they were previously playing for a bunch of screaming pre-pubescent girls. This time in the crowd the cameras honed in on a few "hoochified" girls that had signs that said "take me backstage". I highly doubt that would have happened when they were 12. He also mentioned that the husbands who brought their wives were "very smart". Again, funny stuff. And, they put on a REALLY GOOD show. I mean the singing and dancing were top notch. Even though they are knocking on 40, you couldn't tell. It was that good.

Tina, thankfully, took some awesome pics that I was able to steal and post here. My camera died right before the show started :(.

Near the beginning of the show, they came out to a stage near the back (yes, we were in the balcony... we didn't want to spend $75 for these tickets!). This is probably the closest I'll ever be to Jordan (in the khaki jacket).

Singing their new single



The moment I waited for... Jordan singing he'll be "Loving Me" Forever :)

So, Steve and Brett came up with me... because I am still nursing Brett I can't be too far away from him for an extended period at this point. Steve was sweet enough to tag along and since he's from Chi-town it gave him a chance to catch up with his brother and grandparents while I rocked out to NKOTB.

We stayed with Tina Friday night, and Saturday morning her son Evan and Brett had a chance to size each other up again. This time they decided to talk, and Tina took an awesome video that she posted on YouTube. This may be the cutest thing I've ever seen. Listen to us all giggling in the background. It was freaking adorable!


Well you see, Evan....

Baby Tunes

I read a blog I stalk a few weeks back and it talked about songs that a mommy sings to her new baby... basically she substituted her words into well known songs.

There are a few that Steve and I routinely sing to Brett as well... and I thought I'd share them.

Written above are our words, with the original below it...


"If you're getting fussy, and you want your mommy, come on baby let me know."

"If you think I'm sexy...."



"Brett man, Brett man, why you fussin'?"

"Mary, Mary, why you buggin'? "



"No baby, no cry"

"No woman, no cry"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What I Would Give For This Advice!

After having a fabulous lunch with my friend Emily yesterday, I became inspired to do my own version of a blog she posted a couple of months ago. So don't think I'm being original or anything... I just think it's a very cool concept.

Dear College Senior Carrie,

Girl, you have your whole life ahead of you! I know you are stressing out right now about finals and graduation and paying student loans and getting a job, but these things WILL happen. And, in fact, they are just small milestones that you will cross as you make your way through your rocky, yet fabulous 20's.

First of all, most importantly, see that guy you are dating? Hold on to him. He is a wonderful and amazing man and in about 3 years you will marry him. I know some people will tell you that you won't make it, but you will for one very big reason. He is your best friend. Not only can you look at him and get "dreamy" (as your former college roommate would tease you about), he "gets" you. You can confide about ANYTHING to him. And, this is very important to you as you are going through a rough time in your sorority right now.

Your marriage will immediately go through some unpleasant times... and you will make it. First of all, right after you get married you will be robbed and you will have to live in that apartment for the next couple of years even though you feel violated in that place. Secondly, he will go back to grad school and it will mean LOTS of late nights for him and you'll not get to eat dinner together for a couple of years (this will ultimately mean a good job for him, and doc school for him at 29... but it gets much better). And, the worst part? You will be FIRED. Seriously. FIRED. You, Carrie, a girl who excelled at everything and were at the top of her class will lose her job. You will feel horrible and will go into a deep depression for several months. If I could give you one word of advice during this time, it is that you are not a "bad person" and no one thinks you are a "failure" as you think you are. You will eventually get back up and go through a few more jobs before you are done with your 20's.

This in fact, if you can use it to your advantage, will give you strength. I know that right now you are so concerned with doing the "right thing", and are afraid to have a differing opinion than others. Don't be afraid! Have an opinion, and be knowledgeable about it and have the confidence to back it up! Just because everyone else feels one way doesn't mean you have to as well. This will be something that you will be forced into when you become the boss at 29. So, start working on it now!

And that embarrassing old '87 Reliant with the radio that doesn't work and the plastic seats (covered by old people who owned it before)? You will eventually get rid of it! It won't be until you are 25, but you WILL get the VW Beetle of your dreams. It will be a shiny yellow one with a spoiler and tinted windows and everything. Exactly what you've been pining for for the last couple of years. And, you will eventually total said bug on... wait for it.... Bash Street. You will find this funny later, but you will be devistated when it happens. But insurance comes through and you are able to get a shiny brand-spanking-new-off-the-lot blue bug. She's just as shiny as your old one, but not exactly the same. You will love her, nonetheless.

One thing you should start now....repeat, repeat, repeat to yourself... "Your worth is not determined by a number on a scale." Your husband will try to drill this mantra into your head, and it will take awhile, but you will slowly come to the realization that maybe, just possibly he is right? You will still have body issues but nothing like what they were when you were 21.

Speaking of which... your body, which you will work tirelessly at maintaining throughout your 20's, will go through the ringer when you have a baby at age 30. You will pack on a LOT of weight, and your ankles will disappear for awhile. But, after you have your precious little baby it won't matter as much as you thought it did. You will lose a lot of the weight, and you will continue to lose it. Slowly. Through patience and exercise. Although taking it off is important (and mainly important so that you can fit into 90% of your old clothes), it doesn't matter nearly as much to you as it once did.

Yes, you will have a child, and no, it will not ruin your life as you had thought it would. Up until 28-29, you will think that having a baby will ruin/end your life as you know it. And yes, it does sort of end the previous life you knew, but in a GOOD way. Suddenly you will realize that it is so much more fulfilling to care about your baby's little life, and not your own so much. You will actually wish that you had begun the process earlier so that you could have more time to have children.

And, through your pregnancy, your wonderful husband will see every angle of you (and I'm not just speaking hypothetically. I mean, LITERALLY). And, they ain't all pretty. He'll get to see you at your lowest and ugliest and he will be there holding your hand and supporting you through everything. Then and there you will realize how much he really loves you and you'll make him promise to never leave you because you can't imagine your life without him.

Friends will come and go, and some will stick around forever. You know that friend who left after your sophomore year at Butler and you cried and cried your eyes out because you thought you were losing your best friend? You WON'T lose her! Your friendship will prove to be so strong that it will stand the test of time and you will both routinely go out of your way to see each other to reconnect and catch up. In fact, she will be your matron of honor at your wedding, and you will both have little boys (yes, your baby is a boy :)) who will (hopefully) grow up to be buddies.

Other friends will pop in and out. Some friendships will burn brightly for a couple of years and then fizzle out quickly for various reasons and you'll never see them again. This will hurt you deeply. Twice. But you'll eventually get (mostly) over it. Some old friendships will re-form after the wonderful invention of myspace, and you'll realize that some of your oldest friends that you can reconnect with can be the best friends. So look around that sorority house you are living in right now... some of these girls are getting on your last nerve right now and you can't wait to leave, but give it a few years and you'll be glad you have them. In fact, one of your sorority sisters (who actually never got on your nerves) is getting married in a couple of weeks, and it is a wedding you are sooo looking forward to because she was one of your very first friends at Butler.

You will buy a house, and take some nice vacations, and have nice things, but always remember what is really important... your friends and family. I can't promise this will all be easy, but you are on the right track. It's hard to say what the future holds, but this decade ain't looking so bad thus far...

Love,

30-Year-Old Carrie

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maybe Not A Football Fan?

These pictures give me hope. Steve has football on and Brett has decided he'd rather nap :)

Oh, and even though I despise football, I respect Steve's love for the game (see that Favre jersey? That was his Christmas present from me a couple of years ago).

And, I must reiterate that this is not why our son is named Brett.....


Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby Beluga In The Deep Blue Sea

Now that Brett is getting a little bit older (well, now that he is more aware of things anyway), Steve and I have started becoming concious about what he watches and hears. I know that he can't talk yet, but he jabbers and I can tell that sometimes he is trying to mock sounds that we make. So, what we say might not come out of his mouth but he is processing it in his little brain. Even the tone of voice that we use.

Sometimes Steve gets frusterated when the Packers aren't doing well and will yell at the TV. Last year I remember decorating the nursery while he was watching a game and telling him that he had to learn to cool it because this time next year we'd have a baby. And, I definitely don't want Brett learning certain words and walking around the playground saying them.

Well, a couple of weeks ago he was watching the Packers and had Brett with him in the living room. I was doing laundry or something. Well, his team made a bad play and he yelled at the TV. Suddenly Brett started crying. I think that was all it took for Steve to learn to cool it. Brett doesn't understand yet why Steve was upset, but he definitely heard the tone of his voice and knew that it wasn't a good one.

That's just one example of how he's so tuned into everything. So, I've also been aware of what he's listening to on the radio when I am driving and decided that it was time for Brett to have some of his own music to listen to.

So, we put together a bunch of kids CD's on my iPod and made a "Brett's Party Time" playlist. He's got a wide range of jazz, blues, folk, rock and basic children's music.

I never realized how much I'd actually like Raffi! I remember the Full House episode where Michelle goes around and sings Baby Beluga, but I never listened to it myself. Well, Brett has Baby Beluga on his playlist and let me tell you that is one catchy little children's song. I'll sing it to him from time to time... and my new favorite song to sing to him in the tub is no longer "Rubber Ducky"... it's Raffi's "Bathtime" song. Such good tunes!

Well, as I mentioned he has several different genres of adult music in kid form (sorry, but Steve and I couldn't do Barney). One of my favorites is They Might Be Giants. Good stuff! We knew last year that we wanted to get Brett these CD's ("Here Come the ABC's" and "Here Come the 123's"). Steve and I are self proclaimed geeks and enjoy TMBG (I've got "Dial A Song" on my iPod as well, come on who doesn't like "Particle Man")... so we figured we'd try these CD's on for size. And, they don't disappoint.

They are actually very educational... for example in "C is for Conifer" they stop and list like 20 different kinds of conifers. Kinda funny, but really, it's educational!

Here are two different links to songs off of these CD's by TMBG... High Five & Apartment #4. Good stuff! Very catchy. Next, I want to get the Barenaked Ladies kid's CD (oh yeah, they've got one too!). Now only if Ben Folds would do one (although he did do the soundtrack for "Over The Hedge"....)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

6 Months Old!

Yesterday my baby boy turned 6 months old! We sang "Happy Half Birthday" to him. Here are pictures to mark the milestone last night, taken in front of his teddy bear chair. Right before I had him, Tina suggested that I take pictures of him regularly in front of the same stuffed animal. We picked his teddy bear chair (if you read my blog you'll notice I've posted several pictures of him in front of it). It's a cool way to mark how big he has gotten!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin, Apple & Cutie Pie

Saturday morning Steve and I made our annual trip to the apple orchard, which in recent years has also started featuring a pumpkin patch. We were excited to bring our little man this year!

Daddy, this is pretty cool!

Lots to explore...


I'm going to pick my own apples!

Wow, mom, that's one huge rattle!


Oooo, Oooo... I see the pumpkin I want


This one is MINE


And I'm taller than it too!!

Next year, I'll be running through the pumpkin patch and they won't be able to catch me!