Thursday, January 31, 2013

52 Weeks: Week 4

And my 100th post!

This week Mama and Papa were both home with Whit quite a bit. Ben's parents were out of town which meant I became a full time mom for the week. Which also meant lots of walks while it was unseasonably warm, trying new foods (I don't think he's going to like sweet things), and baking for me. Whitman is loving his doggies more every week. When we had to get in the bathtub (told you!) at 3am Wednesday morning, Whit was petting Zoey. We say he was comforting her and holding on to her collar so she didn't fly away! Oh and that frowny one of yours truly? Just how Ben and I spent our night off when the parent came back into town. We intended to watch the Hobbit and have a hard cider, instead my face blew up and we cleared out our DVR some. Que sera, sera.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Time to clean the bathtub!

This is what I woke up to this morning. Well this and a squealing, happy baby. I am loving that Whit wakes up happy now!

Anyhoo, if you live in the South, you take this stuff seriously. Or at least you should, and here's why:

That is the tornado that wiped out a lot of Tuscaloosa (where Ben's dad and step-mom live) on April 27, 2011. And here's the ones that hit North Alabama, where most of our friends live, on the same day.

I have to be honest and tell you that was one of the scariest days ever for me and we weren't in immediate danger. Sure, we had tornado watches in effect for our area, but that was nothing in comparison. I was watching the weather to make sure we didn't go into a tornado warning suddenly, when the local news started showing the feed from Tuscaloosa because of the great video they were getting. At first I was in awe, and then when I started seeing debris in it I realized that it was in the center of town and I just sat down and cried. Then the cells in North Alabama start popping up, and in Birmingham (more friends), and in Meridian (my family). It was incredible and incredibly stressful. Around Harvest, AL was probably the worst because I would see friends posting on Facebook that their cell phones weren't working right and they couldn't call or text, but they could see posts on Facebook. I was going back and forth with two girls from high school (one of whom I wasn't really friends with) about when it looked okay for them to come out of their safe places and when to go back. 

In the weeks after it was amazing to see people helping people. Ben and I gathered donations and drove them down once the restrictions to outsiders were lifted. We wanted to help clean up in the harder hit areas, but volunteers weren't allowed in until much later. A group of our friends came up and hung out for a bit and took advantage of our electricity, since it took them over a week to get it back. Even the news stations in Huntsville were broadcasting with backup generators and very little light. Occasionally I would get on their website to watch, it was so... interesting? heartwarming? awesome? I love how persistent humans are in the face of adversity. 

But all of that taught us a very important lesson. One, don't underestimate Nature. And two, be prepared! For that week, many friends had a hard time. Many of them didn't have non-perishable food that they could cook without electricity, water, a way to charge their cell phones, extra gas (which apparently people go nuts for in an emergency, even if there's no where to go), basically no one was prepared to be without power for an extended amount of time. Everyone has candles and flashlights, but that only goes so far. Thankfully, many restaurants gave away food for free. I heard of a couple of places that, since the food was about to go bad anyway, they had a huge cookout and gave away what they had. 

In fact, this is reminding me I need to restock our emergency stores. And clean the bathtub. Looks like that's where we'll all be sleeping tonight!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

52 Weeks: Week 3

This week was spent inside mostly, due to cold and Whit not feeling well. So there was much laying about and being lazy, a bit of cleaning up after the frenzy to get ready for Shanna's baby shower, and quite a bit of appreciating the dogs and cat. When Whit was cranky they were the only thing that could make me giggle chuckle guffaw. We did manage to leave the house on a couple of occasions. One for Shanna's shower, which went very well! And we took another medium-sized trip to Huntsville to visit my friend Amanda and her baby, Pierce.

I have to add, I'm not seizing Whit in that bottom left picture! He's starting to sit up by himself and I was just trying to help him out the only way I could while taking his picture.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It finally happened

We had our first overreacting-parent pediatrician visit. Whit has been cranky ever since we got home from the baby shower (which is why originally I thought it was just boredom). He had all these crazy symptoms: pulling his hair, scratching his belly, whiny (while playing and in between laughs), chewing his hand, super tired, shaking his head, and was only happy while we were holding him and walking around. So we thought, he's teething. No, his stomach is bothering him. Maybe it's a food allergy? I had given him his first taste of banana Sunday night. Maybe it's an ear infection? We finally take him to the doctor yesterday only to find out...

he has dry skin. Which I knew. His rosy cheeks aren't only from being a cute baby, but he's got his mom's and aunt's skin issues. I try to keep them well-lotioned, but that wasn't enough anymore. Now I'm having to put hydrocortisone (.5%) on his cheeks twice a day and Eucerin on top of that. And the dry skin had moved to his torso, so Eucerin on those spots every chance we get.

I guess we've been inside so much lately due to the cold, that he's drying out worse than normal. Normally I only bathe him twice a week and slather the baby lotion on afterwards, but he needs something a tad stronger. Poor little guy! And the doctor says he's probably teething too.

Good news: The little one is mostly fine. I reaffirmed my love for his pediatrician and the office staff. They are so nice about worried new parents! <---which was one of my questions for them before we decided to use them. And we found out Whitman is now a whopping 19 lbs!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When good parents go bad.

Or at least it feels that way. Yesterday afternoon I had to let Whit cry it out. This is the second time I have had to do it, but the first time that it hurt to do so. The first time I knew he was tired, he knew he was tired, it was just a matter of allowing him to calm down enough to rest. Yesterday though, I had no idea what was wrong. He's been kind of whiny the past two days, I think he might be teething again? So I tried teethers, the tablets, distraction, a bottle and finally Tylenol. I laid him down with his belly on my lap while I patted and rubbed his good. I rocked him, hummed to him, let him try his vibrating rocker with it on, with it off...nothing was working. Okay, he's got a clean diaper on, he's fed, he's burped, I've given him everything I can think of, he's got to be tired? But as soon as I put him in his crib he just whimpers and looks at me and gives me a dirty slash "why are you doing this to me?!" look. And I walked out. I feel like I was abandoning him, but I know better. When nothing's working, sometimes you have to just let them fix it.

Geez, it was almost like he was mad at me. At one point he had calmed down in his rocker, so I asked him if he felt better. He looks over at me and here come the waterworks! It's not like him to be fussy, so I'm really thinking we'll see another tooth here soon. I don't see where from though, so I can't give him any oragel (that I know works).

I just want to hug him and tell him it's my first time too, and I'm just as confused and frustrated as he is. And that I'm sorry.

Oh, the other half of what the title means! I almost bitch slapped a couple of people today while Whit and I were out shopping. What's the deal with everyone getting all up in our grill at the checkout line? It's not going to get you out any faster, but it will get my cute little boot up your ass! Don't you know there's a FLU outbreak?! Stop breathing on my child!

/rant over

Monday, January 21, 2013

Organize this! {Media}

Along with almost everyone else, I've been spending the first month of the year trying to purge, sort and reorganize our lives. I've gotten a few little things done: my now weekly purge of Whitman's clothes (the kid is growing like a weed!), our pantry (really wished I had taken pictures), my magazine collection and a couple of kitchen cabinets. Today I was so inspired by this post from Young Nesters that I went right out, got everything needed, and had it done in about 10 minutes.

Granted, our media storage isn't much to begin with. We're much more book and magazine people than DVD people. 

And hell yes those are VHS! I don't know why since we don't have a VCR anymore.


Whoa, buddy! By the way, that single DVD on the side is one we borrowed from a friend, that I forgot we had....oops. And now we'll have somewhere to hide Whit's toys (away from the dogs' reach) that we keep in the living room

Plus, going through all the DVDs allowed me to find these:

Sweet, right?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shanna's "Little Man" Baby Shower

Finally, yesterday was my sister Shanna's "Little Man" baby shower! I've been working for a couple of weeks now on putting this together and I think I can pat myself on the back. Everyone had a great time, my sister looked fantastic (she looks way better than I did at 34 weeks!), baby Logan got tons of goodies, and boy was there some amazing food. 

"Welcome Little Man" banner/Auntie Shanna with Whitman/"Mommy's Little Man" diaper cake with all the goodies attached/my youngest sister, Jolie, made her own 'stache.
We had the shindig at our friend Summer's house, which is the most beautiful home. It's filled with stained glass work her mother has made over the years, some are original patterns and some are straight from Frank Lloyd Wright's designs. The house also has a huge open area, so decorating is a bit of a challenge. Remember those tissue pom poms? Yeah, they're weren't near enough to make the place festive and they kept falling so that was a bit of a fail. Ah well.

Paint-a-letter craft table after and before
Originally I wasn't going to have a craft, but two nights before one of our friends asked me what we were doing and did she need to bring anything. So I cracked at the last minute and decided we'll have a craft. I didn't want to do onesies or bibs (we had that at mine) or a make-a-mobile (Shan has a specific mobile she wants already). And thank you Pinterest I saw this and thought it was perfect. There's only five letters to buy, so everyone isn't forced to participate if they didn't want. It even worked out that some of us collaborated on letters. I painted the "A", then Ryan came by and spray painted it a little in a clashing color, then I came back and painted the sides in that color. Summer paints the "N" and Sara painted a duck on top of it. Even our youngest sister Jolie got involved, and since she's hit the moody "nothing is cool" phase of teenager-hood, this was the measure of success to me! 

Oh and yes I said Ryan. Our baby showers have doods at them :-)

Cakepops/Prosciutto-wrapped figs/The best cheesecake EVER
 The food was AWESOME! I was so worried since I couldn't have a direct hand in making any of it. But our friends came through and I had no idea they were so talented. We had an onion quiche (two of us weren't quiche fans, but loved it), prosciutto-wrapped figs (which I've never had, so cross another resolution off the list), caprese bites, chicken salad sandwiches, and ham and cheese croissants. For desert there were cake pops, a sheet cake (poor Amie had made a cake, but then it broke apart at the last minute), melon balls, and a homemade cheesecake. Can I tell you I hate cheesecake (crazy I know), but I licked the plate after my slice!
Playing "name that 'stache"/wishes for baby/favors/presents!/reliving old times
The Name that 'Stache game was a hit. I should have taken pictures of some of the answers. Almost everyone put down "Diabeetus" for #1. One of my mother's answers was, no joke, "Oh, he does that song, what's his name...oh... Cab Calloway?" First place got a diamond candle and second place got a mustachioed mug. I also asked everyone to fill out a wishes for baby sheet. I'm going to bring these to the next baby shower as well and make a book out of them for Shan. The answers ran the gambit, some were sweet and serious and some were silly and funny. In hindsight, or if you decide to do something similar, I would've sent those out with the invites and let people bring them in. It was just a little too much pressure to do it right then, and we had so much to do at this shower!

I also made mustache sugar cookies with these cookie cutters/stamps. If I had more time would've iced them.The little galvanized pail next to the cookies is a bunch of bowtie keychains I found in the $1 area of our little Target. But I could only find 12, none of the other Targets around us had them, so I decided to make the cookies as well just in case.

All in all it was a great shower and we had a good time, especially Shanna! Most of us stayed around until night time talking and hanging out. One of the guys asked if this is how long most baby showers are and the girls just laughed and told him no, usually it's only two hours tops!

UPDATE: Silly me to not include the answers for Name that 'Stache! Here you go:
1. Wilford Brimley 2. Charlie Chaplin 3. Tom Selleck 4. Ned Flanders 5. Alex Trebek 6. Borat 7. John Waters 8. Swedish Chef 9. Groucho Marx 10. Yosemite Sam 11. Salvador Dali 12. Mario 13. Hulk Hogan 14. Albert Einstein 15. Geraldo Rivera

Thursday, January 17, 2013

52 Weeks: Week 2

Week 2 was mostly about feeling bad (for me), bad weather and finding things to do inside. I had my wisdom teeth taken out finally, which by the way is WAY worse on you when you wait until you're almost 30 to have them out. After last week's warm weather (and tornado warnings) we had off and on ice storms all week. And now that Whit is becoming *very* interested in what we eat I've started making his baby food for when the pediatrician gives us the okay in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The past few days Whit's sleeping schedule has gotten all out of whack, like falling asleep at midnight out of whack. I put him to bed an hour ago and have been messing around on the computer tying up loose ends for this weekend. I'm thinking of going to bed, now I'm scared as soon as my head hits the pillow he's going to wake up.

Last night it was so rough I got 2.5 hours of sleep and that was it. Nights like that make me so nervous later on. I wish I could shake the anxiety, but I just can't. Not sure why.

Anyhoo, here's hoping...

Not "resolutions", but a to-do list...

Last time I wrote about the things I want to work on to improve on myself. Well while I've been spending this past week moaning and groaning on the couch with an ice pack on my cheeks I made a to-do list for the year:

  1. Try one new restaurant in town.
  2. Do something I've never done before.
  3. Go somewhere I've never been before.
  4. Eat something I've never eaten before. 
  5. Gravel the driveway. (apparently I REALLY want this done... I wrote it down twice. :D )
  6. Learn to make chicken salad.
  7. Run a 5k.
I've already started working on number 2 and 7. I signed up for the Color Run at the end of March. A co-worker and her boyfriend ran in it last year and said it was a ton of fun. Then a friend of a friend made a team to run in it and I decided to follow resolution #7 and say yes to the opportunity. I may not "run" in it per se, because I'm pretty sure Whit will be joining me for the fun. And I'm not where I can jog with the stroller for a full 5k... yet.

Edit: Whoops, I did #4 today and totally forgot! I had pho for the first time and it was very delicious.

Still not sure what those sausage-looking things were, but I don't care!
Probably not the most authentic version I could find seeing at was from a Chinese restaurant in Tennessee, but again it was very delicious.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My R-words for 2013

I am a HUGE fan of resolutions, but I realize most people aren't. Hence the "r-word" in the title. Y'all, I am so excited for 2013 and the challenges and opportunities in front of my family! In a few months we're going to have a one year old, a ONE YEAR OLD! I can just hear 20-year-old Ashley freaking out.

Originally I wasn't going to worry about any resolutions this year and just focus on being the best mama I can be. But in the past couple of days they've been creeping into a list for me:

1. Use up all the cleaning stuff we already have and then make my own. I've never seen much use for green products as long as you had enough ventilation. But with Whit, and one green solution I use actually works better than the cleaning product you can buy, and it saves you money... okay I'm in. This blog has a couple of recipes I'm going to try if you want to try yourself.

2. Waste no food. Well, as little as possible. I cleaned out the pantry last week and was shocked by how much I had to throw out because it had expired. I was even more shocked by how much we spend on cereal every week, only to find out we had TONS of breakfast options in the pantry just going to waste.

3. Continue to lose weight. This almost doesn't count since I've been really working on it since October. But, I've been making progress and I'm hoping to lose the last 25 lbs. by my birthday (July 7). If you're on you can friend me here and we can lose together!

4. Give more. To charity, or in random acts of kindness. And I'm really interested in finding ways to give without it being just giving away money. I'll do that too, but it's not as fulfilling as working for a charity. 

5. Write more notes. I've steadily been doing this over the years, but now I'm ready to start writing the little "miss you" notes. Not just birthdays and holidays.

6. READ MORE! Once Whit was born I stopped reading anything fun. Now I just read baby books and baby magazines. I have got to become interesting again and start reading big girl books! 

7. Say yes. I am a bit of a baby when it comes to social situations. So this year I am going to some of those meetups from and I am going to say yes to new situations that I would normally feel uncomfortable about! 

And as a mini resolution I'm going to try a challenge my cousin posted on Facebook today: Try to not complain for seven days. Ooh, this one may be tough for me. I don't know what's gotten into me lately with having such a rotten mood, but I'm hoping this can break it!

So what are your "R-words" or just something you want to work on a little?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

52 Weeks: Week 1

Inspired by Benita at Chez Larsson, I'm going to try another picture project. I tried doing a picture blog once where I posted a picture a day, but as you can see, that failed fairly miserably. This time I'm going to post a collage of pictures taken over the past week. I think this will be more in the spirit of things without the stress of daily picture taking. So here goes nothing...

The first week of 2013 was spent with family in Mississippi (that's Whit's cousin Mayleigh giving him a kiss while other cousin William and my sister and her husband look on), working on baby shower decorations, teeth making appearances, and enjoying the rare warm days outside.

Good grief I'm sore

And not from exercise, unfortunately. No, I had my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday and the past two days have not been fun. I can handle pain, I can handle anesthesia, I can even handle most dental work. But I cannot handle this idea of healing open wounds in my mouth! BLECH!

Even worse is I'm scared to brush my teeth today since some of the sites still haven't stopped bleeding...grr. It's my own fault though. I've needed to have them out for 12 years or so, even went so far as having three consultations, but I never went through with it. Then a few weeks ago my jaw hurt so bad I could hardly talk for a couple of days and I got fed up and made the appointment.

Thankfully my husband is a wonderful nurse (though I'm also a great patient, once the anesthesia wears off) and took care of me and Whit by himself yesterday. And now he has more stories of me being loopy and saying crazy things. But I'm glad I'm not the only one! The nurse at the office took me out the back door and said they have the separate exit for patients waking up from anesthesia, because they don't know what we'll say and don't want to freak out the other patients!

The worst part of being down from this is I have so much to do, and I'm not a patient person when it comes to healing. Or eating apparently. I miss solid foods sooo much!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy Five Months!

This kid is starting to get too big to take pictures!
At five months, Whit...

...just moved up to size 4 diapers. (And thank you Target for now having Pampers Swaddlers in size 4 and 5!)

...has two front teeth! And teething hasn't been too bad.

...weighs about 18 lbs. (At the four month appointment he weighed 17lbs. 1 oz. and was almost 26" long) does a little dance we like to call the "Whitman Wiggle". When he's on his back he'll shake his head back and forth while flailing his arms and legs and just smiiiile.

...survived his first multi-family, multi-state Christmas. And didn't get overwhelmed... even in my Grandma's 80+ degree house with LOTS of cousins running around and talking loudly until late. Even had a great time during the whole thing. And helped open a few of his presents, of which there were plenty!

...has finally rolled over from back to belly. And recently discovered he can roll to things he wants. I think we may have just skipped crawling and went for rolling instead. also a big fan of scooting on his back. When he first started, he wouldn't go to sleep at night because he wanted to practice! Ben and I stayed up rather late catching up on Castle and watching Whit scoot across the room for a few laps.

...has tried cereal and he likes it! Honestly, I think he just likes eating like a big boy. He stares at me and Ben when we eat, so I think he feels more like us when he eats in his high chair.

...can *almost* sit up by himself. When he sits on our bed he can occasionally keep his balance, but he finds it funny when he topples over.

...recognizes his name... I think. A couple of times he's looked at me when I say his name, but I'm not sure if it was just a coincidence yet. enamored with his Papa. And I think even more so now that we didn't see him much last month. Ben had Whit most of the day on one of his off days and the child refused to nap because they were having too much fun. becoming a champion napper!

...loves his activity-saucer-thingy, his mobile (I've never mentioned this before, but he LOVES his mobile), when I make his toys talk to him, his crunchy book, when I pretend to drop him, mirrors!, ceiling fans (still), and all the weird noises we can make at him.

...loves the furry family members. He's now pet all of them at least twice and giggles at the dogs when they play or sniff his ears.

...has a cute habit of sneezing a couple of times and then saying "ahhhh" afterwards!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To those of us who struggle to keep a clean house with a baby...

Song For a Fith Child, by Ruth Hamilton. 1958
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

First tooth!

And just to remind us how quickly children grow, he already cut his second tooth... six hours after I took this picture!