Dec 31, 2008

New Year's Resolution

As I wrote about in the post here, I have decided to recapture my love of reading in 2009. Because I love structure and organization, I'm chosing to read books from a list I am familiar with. The Newbery Medal and Honor Books are for young readers (typically 4th-7th grade) and I did read a good number of them while I was in grade school. I thought going back to this list of books would remind me of my youth, be light and easy reading, and it would give me an opportunity to set goals and check off the books as I read them. I'm probably going to use this blog as a way to track what I've read also, just to keep me accountable.

You can find the list of Newbery Medal and Honor Books here. I've been looking for a better formatted list, something in an excel spreadsheet perhaps so I could keep better track. If you know of one, please let me know.

I did find a few of these books at a second hand bookstore earlier this month, so I was able to get a head start over the holiday break.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan was a 2003 Newbery Honor Winner. I had not previously read this book, but I found it to be fun and it kept my interest. In my review, I would say this book is about a young man, struggling to find his place in life, who has found himself living with a artsy homeschooling family where creativity is their passion. Through a series of humorous events, both the family and the young man are able to grow and learn from their experiences of working together.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell was the 1961 Newbery Medal Winner. I remember reading this book, probably in 6th grade, and struggling to get through it. This time around, I was able to read the book in about 2 hours and I was able to empathize with the main charachter. She, a young native american girl, finds herself alone on a small island near California and recounts the many years she survives the hardships and adventures of primative living.

I'll post more of the books as I read them.

Happy New Year!

Dec 17, 2008

CVS & Walgreens 12/17/08

Well, I made my list of grocery items needed for the Christmas dinner I wrote about in my last post. With all of those items needed for the snack mixes, my list got quite long. I decided it might be a good time to take advantage of those $35.95 ECB I earned on my Thanksgiving shopping spree. I also had a great $5 off any purchase of $5 at Walgreens that I had earned during their "spend $25 (before coupons), earn $5 promo. So, on my lunch hour, I was able to hit both stores. Here's what I did:

Walgreens:
$4.98 - 2 Peppermint Mocha CoffeeMate Liquid Creamers (one for work, one for home)
$1.98 - 2 boxes of Turtles candy (for grandma's Christmas/Birthday)
$1.99 - 1 box Honey Nut Cheerios (we don't care for Cherrios in a bowl, but I'll find a recipe for some snack bars or donate to food pantry)
$2.50 - 1 package of Harry & Davids Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries (for Nick's stocking)
_____
$11.45
-$2.49 (BOGO Walgreens Coupon on the Creamer)
-$1.00 (printable coupon from the Coffee-Mate website)
-$1.00 (printable coupon from the Coffee-Mate website)
-$1.50 (Cheerios coupon that came out of Pampers package)
-$5.00 (Walgreens $5 coupon from last week's promotion)
______
$0.46 TOTAL OOP

While my CVS trip wasn't as good, I was able to get a good portion of my food list completed!
CVS:
$2.00 - Candy Bars (stocking stuffers)
$0.99 - Sierra Mist (for my lunch of leftover pizza)
$0.77 - CVS Basil (for the italian beef sandwiches!)
$3.99 - Lays Potato Chips
$0.00 - Lays Potato Chips (on sale BOGO)
$2.99 - Chex Mix (Decided to serve instead of Reindeer Snack Mix)
$2.99 - Chex Mix (Decided to serve instead of Reindeer Snack Mix)
$1.49 - CVS Carmel Corn & Peanut Mix (Decided to serve instead of Carmel Snack Mix)
$1.49 - CVS Carmel Corn & Peanut Mix (Decided to serve instead of Carmel Snack Mix)
$2.59 - CVS Apple Juice (Nick likes to sweeten his iced tea with apple juice?)
$6.00 - 8x10 Picture Frame (to frame our new family picture!)
$3.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (BOGO 50%off) (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
$6.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
$3.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (BOGO 50%off) (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
______
$37.30
-$35.95 ECB
_________
$1.35 TOTAL OOP

Once I started loading up my cart with all the stuff to make the snack mixes, I realized I was going to be spending more money, would have more work to do, and since I hadn't taste tested the recipes first, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money. I opted the safe, easy route of premade Chex Mix and premade Carmel Corn with Peanuts Mix.

I spent my entire stash of ECB and didn't earn any back, but I feel I was able to save from purchasing these items at the grocery store.

So, what's left on my list?
5 lb roast (for sandwiches)
2 envelopes of Italian Dressing Mix (for sandwiches)
16 hoagie rolls (for sandwiches)
jar pepporonccini peppers (for sandwiches)
provolone slices (for sandwiches)
lemon juice (to make lemonade)
apples (fruit tray)
strawberries or cherries (fruit tray)
pineapple (fruit tray)
grapes (fruit tray)
(I may find a premade fruit tray that would save time and money, we'll see!)
cream cheese (fruit dip)
marshmellow creme (fruit dip)
butter (just because!)
ice (yes, we buy ice! I know, it's easy to make, but not worth the hassle to me!)
I'm also going to make some iced tea & coffee, but I've got what I need for that.

works-for-me wednesday *Casual Christmas Dinner*

This year, I'm playing hostess for my family Christmas gathering. Since Addyson's immune system is still so weak, we try not to take her out to large family gatherings (or anywhere that we don't have to!). So, this year, we've decided to have some family in from out of town to celebrate Christmas a bit early with us. My parents, my maternal grandparents, and my paternal grandma will be visiting from about 2 1/2 hrs away... not too long of a drive for a one day event. We don't see them as often as we'd like, so this was a good opportunity to have them over. Since they won't be staying too long, I wanted it to be a casual celebration. We don't do many gifts... actually, they only get gifts for Addy now, which is great. We've gone together with my sister and her family and made each of them photo calendars with Addy & Grace's photos through the year. My mom always used to make Italian Beef Sandwiches for Christmas, so I wanted to carry the tradition. Each grandma is bringing a dessert and one grandma is bringing macaroni salad. I thought I'd serve chips too. (I mean, hey, it's casual and we're having sandwiches!) I wanted to have some munchies for sitting around and I thought I'd make two different snack mixes (a savory and a sweet). I'm throwing in a fresh fruit platter too, just so we seem healthy! Easy stuff, most of which can be done a day ahead of time. Since they are coming on Sunday, it gives us plenty of time on Saturday. So, the task of searching for the perfect recipes... where else do I search? Allrecipes.com is always my go-to. I LOVE that they rate each recipe and there are always lots of commenters posting about what changes they made to make it better. I always look at how many reviews each got and how many changes each reviewer had to make to consider it perfect. Here are the recipes I'll be attempting this weekend:
Caramel Snack Mix - with so many high marks, this one can't fail!
Reindeer Snack Mix - seems to be a great savory snack mix
Fruit Dip II - to be served with strawberries, cherries, grapes, pineapple, and granny smiths
Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches - to be served on hoagie rolls with provolone cheese

So, a casual Christmas dinner, Allrecipes.com, and hundreds of yummy reviews work for me. Read works-for-me wednesday to catch what works for others this holiday season!

Dec 12, 2008

Frugal Friday


My husband often ribs me about my couponing and deal seaking adventures. Want to know how I know he is really proud of me? I went to his work the other day and the women there were asking me how I do it. Apparently, even though he pokes fun of me in person, he's boasting about my achievements to his friends and co-workers. It makes me smile when I come home with bags of stuff for mere pennies and he wants details of each transaction. Well, wouldn't you know it? The other day he says to me "Hey, I've got something to show you that I think your frugal blog friends will find usefull!" Oh, ok... hmmmmm. So he pull up a post on one of the gun lover's forums he belongs to and shows me these videos:

6 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Amazed! -

12 Volt Battery Hack -

12 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Surprised... -

Crank Charge Your Batteries! -

So, there you go, frugal bloggers. I can't confirm or deny that these are true, but I thought it was funny that my darling husband wanted me to share this frugal find with you all.

Need to be more frugal? Find out what other bloggers are doing to be frugal over at Frugal Fridays by Biblical Womanhood.

Dec 11, 2008

80's TV Trivia


The other day, Nick and I were reminiscing about watching TV as kids and how there were always such great family sitcoms "back in the day" We tried to one-up each other with trivia questions about shows we watched in the 80s. In the quest to find answers to the ones that stumped us, I did a quick online search (using swagbucks, which gives me points just for searching that can be traded in for gift cards for amazon or other places! check it out... it's free and I LOVE it!). I found a website called In The 80s - Television Trivia Questions. For those of you who are in your late 20s or in your 30s, you will love this list of trivia questions. I'm going to post them here. Click HERE for the answers.
  1. Who was Mallory Keaton's fiance?
  2. Which one of the A Team was a Pilot?
  3. What is the name of the cat in the smurfs?
  4. What's the connection between Benson & Growing Pains?
  5. Who was the leader of the good Transformers?
  6. What was the name of the dog in Fraggle Rock?
  7. What was the name of Punky Brewster's dog?
  8. What was Angela's son's name in Who's the Boss?
  9. What was Michael Jackson advertising when he was nearly killed?
  10. What was ALF's girlfriend from Melmac's name?
  11. What was the name of Arnold's fish on Different Strokes?
  12. On Three's Company, what was Jack's retaurant that he opened and was head chef?
  13. On Three's Company, what's the first name of Mr. Furley's (landlord) tight wad brother who owned the building?
  14. On Three's Company, what city did the trio live in?
  15. On Three's Company, what is the name "Chrissy" is short for?
  16. On three's company, what was Chrissy's father's ocupation?
  17. What current cast member of ER was on an 80's show of the same name?
  18. Who was the bully who terrorized Arnold on Different Strokes?
  19. What was Roscoe's dogs name on the Dukes of Hazzard?
  20. What was the name of the school mistress in The facts of Life?
  21. What were the names of the four main characters of the Facts of Life?
  22. What was the name of the bartender on The Love Boat?
  23. The Jeffersons was a spinoff from what show?
  24. What star of the Breakfast Club was also part of the orginal cast of the facts of life?
  25. What actor was famous for the line "nanoo nanoo"?
  26. What was the name of Facts of Life's Mrs. Garret's gourmet food shop?
  27. On facts of life, what was the name Andy thought up to give to the girls when they needed to form a singing group?
  28. What did Webster call his adoptive parents?
  29. What Facts of Life character was in The Godfather?
  30. Who shot J.R. Ewing?
  31. On Little House on the Prarie, what was the original name for the school teacher?
  32. What is the name of the Dukes of Hazzards car?
  33. On Little House on the Prairie, what was Laura's horse's name?
  34. On One Day at a Time, what were the two daughter's names?
  35. Name the two sets of sibling actors that worked together in Little House on the Prarie.
  36. Who palyed Mork from Ork's son?
  37. On the SuperFriends, what were the Wonder Twins names? (Bonus, what was the monkey's name?)
  38. Which famous talk show host made a guest apearence on Laverne & Shirley?
  39. Name the three children on Kate and Ali.
  40. What method of transportation did Webster use to get from the upper level of the house to the lower level?
  41. In Knight Rider, what does K.I.T.T.'s name stand for?
  42. Mork and Mindy was a spinoff of what TV show?
  43. What was the name of the robot girl on "Small Wonder"?
  44. What show is The Dukes of Hazzard a spinoff of?
  45. On Laverne & Shirley, what was Laverne's favorite drink.
  46. What actress played Laura and Almonzo's niece on Little House on the Prairie?
  47. What is the real name of the 'man of arms' in 'He man and the Masters of the Universe'
  48. How old was John Schneider when he first played as Bo Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard?
  49. On "Three's Company" what was Larry's (the upstairs neighbor) last name?
  50. Which professional wrestler popped both of John Stossel's ear drums during a 20/20 interview?
  51. What was Reverend Jims real last name on TAXI?
  52. What was the name of the head master at the Eastland school for girls on the "Facts of Life" during its first premiere season?
  53. How did Ann Jillian's character die on "Jennifer Slept Here"?
  54. On the show Kight Rider, what was the name of K.I.T.T.s evil double? (Bonus, what does it stand for?)
  55. On Punky Brewster, how was she abandoned by her mother?
  56. What actor was famous for the line "Nanoo, Nanoo?"
  57. What show was Family Matters a spin-off of?
  58. What is the connection between Jeffersons and Good Times?
  59. On Punky Brewster, her best friend Cherri was discussing marrying a guy named Donald...if she married him, what would her full name have been?
  60. In "Family Ties" who was Alex P. Keaton's idol?
  61. What was the name of the bar that the characters from "Three's Company" frequented?
  62. What island did Balki from Perfect Strangers call home?
  63. What was the name of the bar on Dukes of Hazzard?
  64. In Knight Rider, what's the real last name of Michael Knight?
  65. Elizabeth was the "Starchild" on this sci-fi show.
  66. My dad was a big kid, a big RICH KID. What show was I on?
  67. What was the name of the helicopter on Riptide?
  68. What does ALF stand for?
  69. What media icon invaded Network 23?
  70. On what show would you find Gary Gnu?
  71. If you heard the words "Hey You Guys!" what TV program was about to begin?
  72. What was Webster's adopted mom and dad's name
  73. What sitcom was "The Facts of Life" a spinoff of?
  74. Where was Hawkeye Pierce's hometown in the show M*A*S*H ?
  75. What was the name of the short lived spin-off of Three's Company?
  76. Name the children on "Just the Ten of Us". Bonus: Name the dog.
  77. What show was Just the 10 of us spin off of?
  78. What was the name of the neighbors that lived next door to ALF??
  79. What was the name of the actress who played "Melonie" on the show "Webster and Melonie"?
  80. Who played the Uncle on Family Ties?
  81. What was ALF's real name?
  82. What was the name of the bar/restaurant on THREE'S COMPANY?
  83. What was the connection between Family Matters & Full House?
  84. What ws Balki Bartokamus' occupation when he lived in Mypos?
  85. On Night Court, who was Harry's idol?
  86. Who was the famous TV painter from the 80's?
  87. What show was a spin-off of Transformers?
  88. What TV personality did Doritos commercials?
  89. What was the connection between The Facts of Life and ER
  90. Who played Jo's sailor boyfiend on the Facts of Life?
  91. How many children did JR Ewing knowingly have that lived on "Dallas"?
  92. What is the real name of Jem from Jem and the Holograms?
  93. What 80's Pro-Wrestler was turned into a G.I. Joe character?
  94. In Battle Star Galactica, What was the name of the human leader of the Cylons?
  95. Who all lived in the house of "Full House" when the show ended?
  96. What were the two dogs names on Magnum PI?
  97. What was the full name of Mangum P.I.?
  98. On M*A*S*H, what was the name of BJ's wife?
  99. What did the "P" in Roscoe P. Coltrane (from Dukes of Hazzard) stand for?
  100. What was the name of Vanessa's last boyfriend on The Cosby Show?
  101. What was the name of the detective agency in Moonlighting?
  102. What was the name of the t.v. show with the theme song that began: "Believe it or not, I'm walking on air..."?
  103. What was the name of the woman who helped run the school for the blind on "Little House on the Prarie?" (Besides Mary Ingalls)
  104. What was the name of Murphy Brown's news program?
  105. What was the date in 1955 did Marty from Back to the Future arrive on.
  106. On Full House, what was Jesse's REAL first name?
  107. What is the connection between Growing Pains and Full House?
  108. What current popular sitcom star played Michael P. Keaton's girlfriend Lauren Miller on Family Ties?
  109. What was the real name of the hospital on St. Elsewhere?
  110. In the show "The Equalizer", what did the hero (McCall) call his former superior from the "agency"?
  111. On "Out of This World" what planet was Troy from?
  112. What was the Saved by the bell series with Hayley Mills originally called?
  113. What was the name of He-man's legless, wizard friend?
  114. What was the primary occupation of characters in "Falcon Crest"?
  115. What was punky brewster's best friends name?
  116. What Georgia town did the first Dukes of Hazzard episodes take place?
  117. What was Al Bundy's nickname during the dream sequence with all of the women in his bedroom?
  118. What is the connection between Gimme a Break and Family Matters?
  119. What was the name of the Other short-lived spinoff of "Three's Company"
  120. What 80's spin off of a 70's tv show did Martin Lawrence play on?
  121. What does M.A.S.K. stand for?
  122. What was crocketts first name on Miami Vice? His nick name was Sonny.
  123. Name the three main bands featured on the cartoon series 'Jem' during it's entire 3 year run.
  124. What was the name of the home that Sofia Patrillo lived in before moving in with her daughter on the Golden Girls.
  125. What Famous congressman was on an episode of the Golden Girls?
  126. What Show did the Simpsons first appear?
  127. how did Rose Nilin's husband Charlie die on The Golden Girls?
  128. Who was Michelle's first boyfriend on Full House?
  129. Can you name the 5 original MTV VJ's?
  130. The Jefferson's was a spinoff of what show?
  131. In the cartoon show My Pet Monster, what were the only things that could send Beastor, Monster's enemy, back to the monster world? Bonus: When these items were put on Monster, what did they do to him?
  132. Ben Affleck played CT on what 80's science education television show?
  133. On Diff'rent Strokes, what pet did Arnold keep in his room? What was it's name?
  134. What was the name of the older brother on Happy Days?
  135. If you saw a segment of "Mathnet," what show were you watching?
  136. What was the name of the principal on Saved By the Bell?
  137. on Different Strokes, who got kidnapped?
  138. What was the name of the castle that gave He-Man his powers?
  139. Name the twins on the Thundercats.
  140. What planet did the Thundercats live on?
  141. On "Who's the Boss?", what was Samantha's liscense plate on her first car?
  142. What short-lived sitcom featured Snow White and Prince Charming living as husband & wife?
  143. On M*A*S*H, what was Walter 'Radar' O'Reilley's home town?
  144. What did Archie Bunker on 'All In The Family' call his son-in-law Mike?
  145. On the show Tour of Duty, for each of the three seasons the show ran for what were the three locations the team was based?
  146. On night Court what was Bull's IQ? (hint: it's the same upside down as it is right side up.)
  147. What was Rosanna Arquette's character's name in "Desperately Seeking Susan"?
  148. In "Desperately Seeking Susan" two different women circle Jim's personal ad in the newspaper. With what(name both)?
  149. In Desperately Seeking Susan: what's the name of the shop from where Susan gets the sequinned boots and later Roberta buys Susan's jacket?
  150. Name the connection bewteen the "A-Team" and "Battle Star Gallactica?"
  151. What was the name of the robot on Buck Rogers?
  152. What planet did Alf come from?
  153. What was the name of the helicopter service that was the cover for Airwolf?
  154. What are the names of the Simon brothers from Simon & Simon?
  155. What did AJ stand for in Simon & Simon's AJ Simon?
  156. In Simon & Simon, what unusual thing did Rick live in? (Bonus: Where was it located?)
  157. In Simon & Simon, what kind of vehicles did Rick and AJ Simon drive? (Bonus: what was the NAME of Rick's vehicle?)
  158. Where did Simon & Simon take place?
  159. What was the name of Magnum PI's suave superspy alterego?
  160. Where did Thomas Magnum grow up as a kid?
  161. In Magnum PI, what was the name of the charter service that TC ran?
  162. In Magnum PI, Rick was not Rick's real name. What was his real name? Bonus: Why did he call himself Rick?
  163. In Magnum PI, what was the name of the club?
  164. In Magnum PI, what kind of car did Higgins drive?
  165. In Magnum PI, where did Higgin's "illegitimite half brothers" come from? What did they do?
  166. Thomas Magnum's dad was played by what actor? Bonus: What other show was that actor also a regular on?
  167. Why was Wesley from Mr Belvedere afraid to go to junior high?
  168. What is the connection between Good Times and Different Strokes?
  169. What were the 3 Chipettes names on Alvin and the Chipmunks?
  170. On Knight Rider, who was Garthe Knight?
  171. What is the name of the cartoon that had ponies of all colors of the rainbow, and had a design on their butt, there were pegasus, unicorns, and earth ponies and they talked? Bonus: What was the name of the girl that took care of the ponies???
  172. Name the spinoff show from Who's the Boss? Bonus: name the connection between it and Tom Hanks.
  173. Who replaced Bo and Luke Duke?
  174. On Magnum, P.I., what type of vehicle was Robin 3? Robin 2?
  175. Who are the three annoying neighbors in "Small Wonder"?
  176. What city provided the setting for One day at a time?
  177. On the show Cheers,What was the name of the restaurant above the bar.
  178. What is Iola cat that died on the episode of Mamma's Family.
  179. Who steals a new razor on Little house on the praire?
  180. What was the name of the home of the Care Bear Cousins?
  181. What is MacGyver's first name?
  182. On "It's Your Move," what is the name of the rock band that Mark and his friend Eliot pretended to be?
  183. In the cartoon Jem and the Holograms, what was the name of Jems computer.
  184. On Night Court, Harry had a "statue" of what animal in his office?
  185. What was the first name of Sledge's partner on the show Sledge Hammer! ?
  186. What is the connection between "Silver Spoons" and "Family Ties" ?
  187. In the show Cheers, what was the name of the bar that always played practical jokes on the gang at Cheers?
  188. What were the names of Amanda's boys on Scarecrow and Mrs. King?
  189. What was the club house of the Get Along Gang?
  190. What was the name of the comic strip that "Henry Rush" (Too Close for Comfort)wrote?
  191. Who was the leader of the bad guys on Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling that annoyed Hulk Hogan and his freinds?
  192. On "You Can't Do That on Television", what were the two things that dropped out of the sky onto the actors' heads and what had to be said to activate them?
  193. What did He-man say when he lifted his sword and gained his strength?
  194. What 80's group sang the theme song to "Square Pegs".
  195. What 80's cartoon theme song did Ricky Martin sing?
  196. What 80's cartoon was a showcase for 'New Wave' Music videos?
  197. What cartoon featured a boy with a community of tiny people living in his wall?
Please note that the author warns: "I am no longer accepting submissions for trivia questions. I received too many incorrect answers, and poorly asked questions for this page (I must get corrections for half the items entered here). So this is the final list of questions, if you have corrections, please send me email."

Enjoy this TV Trivia!

Dec 10, 2008

works-for-me wednesday


Can you believe that I haven't read a book (besides a book to Addy) in years? Yeah, it's true. It's sad. I used to read all the time.

Just recently, my sister in law explained a project that she's working on. It's called 30 by 30 (or something like that). Many of her friends will be turning 30 in the next year or two and they've decided to make it a joyus occasion. Some of them are writing lists of 30 things they want to accomplish by their 30th. Some are writing lists of 30 places to visit, 30 foods to try, 30 people to meet... you get the point. My sister in law is asking her friends and family to each suggest a book for her to read. She'll be reading 30 books (one a month) until her 30th birthday. She's asking for suggestions because she wants each person to choose a book for her based on something they enjoy, something they think she'll enjoy, something meaningful to them, something that reminds them of her... etc.

The book that came to mind was My Side of the Mountain, written by Jean Craighead George. I read it first when I was in 4th or 5th grade? It's a Newbery Honor Book from 1960. It's a book about a young, adventurous boy who resourcefully survives alone in the mountains. As a young girl, I dreamed of running away to follow in the character's footsteps, learning as I traveled, about life and living. The reason I am going to suggest this book to my sister in law? She's an adventurous soul who has traveled the world and lived, quite resourcefully, in many different places. While she strives to help others, she also seems to always be looking for the next place. I hope this book helps her understand that it's ok to live in the moment and enjoy your surroundings but also helps her celebrate her adventurous spirit. We are all so proud of her accomplishments. Holding a Masters degree from Georgetown University, I'm sure she's expecting her friends and family to reccommend heavy themed non-fiction journals and such, but I hope she will enjoy what this book has to offer.

Since she's also asked us to scale back for Christmas this year, I am looking to purchase a book for her from a second hand store. I searched the two second had book stores in our little town and wasn't able to find this book, however, I did find 7 other books that I remember reading as a child that happened to also be on the Newbery Medal/Honor Book list. So, my resolution for 2009? Read more! I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for the books from that list and I plan to try to read the whole list.

So, my sister in law's 30 by 30 project has inspired me to make a great resolution for my life. Looking to others for inspiration works for me. So do second hand book stores!

Read about what works for other bloggers over at works-for-me wednesday by Rocks In My Dryer.

Dec 9, 2008

Finished Product: Family Photos

Are you tired of hearing about my family photos yet? Well, I promise this is the last post about them until next time. You can see a preview of the photos over at our photographer's blog: nicolegreenphoto. For the full version of the photos, you can check them out here, but you'll need a password. If you can't figure out the password, comment me and I'll pass it along.

I think the photos turned out great. We had a hard time getting Addyson to smile, but I think it captures us pretty fairly. The time we spent with Nicole and her boyfriend, Dan was a blast, as always. Nick and I feel so thankful to have friends like them.

Enjoy the pics!

Dec 5, 2008

Photo Shoot Accessories

Black sweater from Kohl's for Daddy
(hard to find bright colored sweater for dad's on short notice)
(may try to get him to wear a red scarf we have at home to brighten him up)

Mommy's Scarf from New York & company...
(to be worn with a teal sweater I already own)


Addy's sweater from The Children's Place
(to be worn with matching hat)
Socks for mommy from Target
(for the cute picture with the stockings & ornaments, probably will wear the stiped ones)


I found a lollipop similar to this one in the Target $1 spot, so I picked it up for Addy in the photo shoot too, thought it would be so cute.



I also got Addyson a cream cable knit sweater (found on the clearance rack at The Children's Place) to wear for some of the photos too. I'm going to look today for some little black shoes for her to wear... something other than the pink and white tennis shoes she has. We're all going to be comfy and wear jeans. Now I just have to worry about Addy's hair. It really needs to be trimmed, but I'm afraid to have it trimmed right before photos (it'll be her first haircut!). It's too short and fine to really do anything with, but it sticks up and out over her ears. I'll have to remember to carry her brush.

Dec 4, 2008

Family Photo Time

Last year, we did a few impromtu photos near the Christmas tree and ordered Christmas Photo Cards from Walgreens. This year, our wonderful photographer, Nicole Green, will be capturing our family for the Christmas Card.

We were introduced to Nicole when I found her contact info on a website for the American Child Photography Charity Guild. Nicole was gracious enough to come to the NICU to photograph Addyson.

Those photos we have of the three of us during such a tumultous time are priceless.

(photo by Nicole Green)


We hired Nicole to take photos of Addyson this past spring for her 1st birthday.

(photo by Nicole Green)

Once again, we were in awe of the beautiful art Nicole creates. When we received an email from Nicole about doing Christmas Cards, we knew we couldn't pass it up.

For those of you that are wondering, yes, it does cost more than going to the photo room at JC Penny or Target, but for our family, it's worth the cost. The finished product really is art to us, not just a family portrait.

We are doing a mini session and will receive 8-10 proofs to choose from, which is great because I don't think I could choose from 97 (which is the number of proofs we got for her 1st birthday session!). I'm hoping to get most of them with just Addy and one or two of the family.


This is the look I'm hoping to achieve with the photos... (all following courtesy of FOTOSEARH)

Dec 2, 2008

Laundry Room Round-Up!




This month over at I'm an Organizing Junkie, the Monthly Organizing Round Up focused on Laundry Rooms. It's my first time playing along, so hang in there!




BEFORE~~BEFORE~~BEFORE~~BEFORE~~BEFORE~~BEFORE


Can you see the laundry detergent that has stained the walls? I think the white paint is the original white builder's paint from 1984.




Are we the only family who doesn't put the clean laundry away?




Ok, seriously... this is lint, cob webs, detergent grime... you name it, it's been there as long as we've lived here because we've never cleaned this space since we moved in... 5 years ago. I'm so embarrased, but not anymore!



AFTER~~AFTER~~AFTER~~AFTER~~AFTER~~AFTER~~AFTER

My husband helped and we moved EVERYTHING out of the Laundry "Closet", including the washer and dryer. We scrubbed down the floors, walls, and everything in between. The washer even got new hoses and the dryer vent was cleaned out. It was GROSS! We painted the walls and the shelves a lovely blue color by Sherwin Williams called Drizzle. Everything was put back into containers for organizing. I have to admit, these are NOT the containers I intended to photograph. I had chosen some wonderful white wooden crates to be used, however when I went to purchase them, the store was out of them. I'll keep checking back in hopes that I can finish the laundry area like I had intended. I store my lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, and extra rolls of paper towels in this space as well as my ironing board & iron.


See the cute scrapbook ribbon I used for the light pull instead of plain string? So cute!

Believe it or not, this was a WEDDING present!


Tip Jar (for loose change found in pockets or for TIPS!)

New door knobs!
I'm now inspired and my husband is ready to tackle the hall bath now and replace the flooring in there! I'm shooting for new countertops and maybe a new cabinet too. I think I can get a good deal at work! But first, we need to replace our entire HVAC system in our house! Anyone up for a fundraiser?!

Nov 21, 2008

Apron Giveaway

I LOVE aprons, I just bought a bunch of patterns to make aprons for both Addy and myself. I found a great Apron Giveaway over at The Apronista. If you win, we'll have to do a time share agreement, I get it one month, you get it the next, it's only fair since I sent you there! My favorite part about these aprons... they are built for us larger ladies! YEAH!

Nov 19, 2008

Giveaway you won't want to miss!

I stumbled upon a blogger, named Michelle who writes a blog called Getting Unstuck. Her latest post is a giveaway post. A friend of hers has offered to take her on a girl's vacation to celebrate her 40th birthday. She's looking for suggestions of where to take this vacation. Make a suggestion in the comments section of her blog and you'll be entered to win a necklace from Cookie Lee Jewelry! I figured this tied in to my recent post about planning a getaway so this was a great tie in. So, check it out, there are two ways to win!

Guest Posting - Pre-eclampsia

Today you'll find my post over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles. My friend Jessica (aka JessieLeigh) asked me to write about my experience with pre-eclampsia, which was the reason our daughter, Addyson, was born 15 weeks too early. Check out MY STORY in it's entirety and don't be a stranger... poke around to see what else JessieLeigh writes about. I find her posts filled with informative details and a passion for parenting... and not just the tiniest of miracles!

works-for-me wednesday

For those loyal readers, I first want to apologize for being absent from blogging the last few weeks. I'd love to say it was because I was on some wonderful vacation with my family, but that's just not the case. We've been dealing with some ongoing health issues with my daughter, Addyson (nothing too serious, the the typical feeding issues and LOTS of vomiting... TMI!). And now on to the good stuff...



What's a better cure for the daily burn out than a weekend getaway with the hubby?! Since Addy was born in April 2007, Nick and I haven't really had much time to ourselves. And, that used to be OUR THING. We used to get away for a weekend at least 3 times a year. It's the time we would reconnect and replenish. We never traveled far, staying in Indiana. The lodge at Brown County State Park, tent camping in the heart of covered bridge country, a Bed & Breakfast in Southern Indiana, a cabin at a small campground, we found ourselves immersed in the local atmosphere, exploring the wilderness, and reliving history at the historical sites. I miss that time we had together and our relationship could use a good dose of rekindling. So, drum roll please.....

This upcoming Saturday morning, we are heading out on our first back pack camping adventure! We've always been tent camping kind of people, but it's always been at a campground... a fire pit at each site, outhouses or bath houses nearby, you know the kind. Pull up in your car, park, and unload your trunk. Hop in the car to go sight seeing around town or to run to the gas station for a bag of ice. This time is different. We are camping on private property owned by a friend of Nick's. There is a huge wooded area with a pond. We'll park at his house, load up our backpacks, and hike to the opposite end of the property to set up a campsite. We're trying to go as rustic as we are comfortable with. Obviously, we won't be miles and miles away from civilization, but I think it's a great way to prepare ourselves for future back pack camping adventures. Here's the hitch... according to the most recent weather.com forecast, Saturday we will see a high of 39 and a low of 24. That's pretty darn cold to be tent camping. Last year, we were able to get away for a camping night and it was pretty cold, but I don't think it was that cold.

I've been busy planning the trip, which has kept my mind off of dealing with the day in and day out crud. I've gotten our meals planned, our gear organized, and our warm clothes purchased and washed. New hiking boots were on my list and I was finally able to get some tonight. A bit more than I'm used to spending on shoes, especially since they are not everyday type shoes, but I hope to do a lot more hiking and camping in the future, so I think it's a good investment. I just need to figure out the best way to carry and keep clean water for the trip without it freezing. Nick thinks we may need to get a tent heater, just in case. I'm well prepared and don't think it's necessary, but we'll see. We plan on wearing layers of the proper clothing and our sleeping bags are really top notch and built for this kind of thing.

I'm looking forward to enjoying nature, my husband, peace and quiet, and trail mix! A toasty fire and a night under the stars works for me. I'd love to know what your ideal getaway with your significant other is, as we are always looking for new travel destinations. Share in the comments below, then read what works for other bloggers over at works-for-me wednesday hosted by RocksInMyDryer.

Nov 12, 2008

Prematurity Awareness Day


November is Prematurity Awareness Day and November 12th is Prematurity Awareness Day. The local Indianapolis chapter of the March of Dimes is having a Candlelight Vigil tonight and a Preemie Roll Call. The city is dyeing the canal purple and there are purple ribbons tied around trees downtown. See what else is happening here or visit this link and enter your zip code to find out what's happening in your area.

Nov 11, 2008

Addy Update

Addy's next test (Gastric Emptying Test) is scheduled for November 24th. We'll hope that it leads us to the answer for Addy's constant vomiting. I was cleaning up Addy vomit twice yesterday and once this morning at 6:30. I hate to see her getting sick like this. I mean, really. The poor girl has been vomiting almost every day of her 18+ months!

We are STILL waiting to hear about the synagis shots that Addy should be getting. I spoke with nurse Collette today. She sent the paperwork in to the insurance company on Oct 29th (You'd think it would have been done sooner, since RSV season is Nov-March 31st this year!). She said she'd call to let us know as soon as she finds something out.

We kept our insurance through COBRA even though it costs $700 a month for Addy and I because it was her only chance to qualify for the synagis. Our other option would be to be put on Nick's insurance ($550/month) but synagis is NOT covered by his insurance. Since the shots are about $1000 each and she should get 5 over the RSV season, we figured we'd stay on the COBRA insurance until after RSV season. If her insurance company says she doesn't qualify this year, I'm going to be really upset! Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

EDITED TO ADD: Collette called to say Addy has been approved for synagis. We should be getting a call this week to schedule her first shot!

The good news... Addy's physical therapist through First Steps visited Addy this week and said that Addy is doing so well, she doesn't need physical therapy anymore! Renee will visit us one more time to see if we have any concerns before she does the release paperwork. It's a great step for Addyson. Of course, Addy will still get her Occupational Therapy that works on fine motor skills and feeding skills. We are in the process of adding a Dietitian and a Psychologist to the mix too, so we can give Addy all the tools she needs to feel better about eating. Of course, who wants to eat when you're vomiting all the time, so we really need to get that vomiting thing under control before we can expect to see any progress in the eating.

I'd love to hear from other families who are going through DGE or motility issues as well as oral aversion. Any info or suggestions help.

Nov 7, 2008

Huggies Coupon Winner

And the winner is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

4

Timestamp: 2008-11-07 19:22:38 UTC


Congratulations Jennifer. I will be emailing you for your mailing address.

I'll try to do more of these, as it seems to be an easy way to brighten someone's day!

Thanks for playing along.

Nov 5, 2008

Giveaway of my own.

Contest is now Closed. See next post for winner.

Well, with all the Giveaway love going on around the bloggy world, I just couldn't be left out. I don't have much to give, but I'm sure with all the frugal mommies out there, someone could use these.

I have two (2) coupons sent to me by Huggies for $1.50 Off any package of HUGGIES Diapers (expires 02/02/2009). By combining these with sales and such, I'm sure a Huggies user could find these useful.

So, all you need to do is post a comment (if your name isn't clickable, please leave your email address so I can contact you.) I will randomly choose a winner the afternoon of Friday, November 7th post the winner, and will contact the winner for their address. I will mail these coupons out on Saturday morning.

I'd love to link this giveaway with the electronic signing of the March of Dimes Petition for Preemies button located in the right column of my blog, but since I have no way to track it, please just promise you'll check it out and sign it if you think it's important.

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I have chosen NOT to blog about politics, like many other mom's whose blogs I read. However, I will say that YES, I voted. And YES, I am glad the campaigning and elections are over. Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Besides, our house is divided, so we don't discuss politics at home either... it works for us.

Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up


Well, I have to admit that I am not as organized as I used to be or want to be. I go through nesting phases where I have to stop everything and reorganize a closet or a room. There are many places in my house that could use a good clean sweep.

You may recognize the mention of the blog I'm an Organizing Junkie. I participate in her Menu Plan Monday on occasion and have recently been interested in another blog idea she hosts. It's called Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up.

Each month, she calls out a particular space in the home. Participants usually take before and after photos of the space that they are organizing. Many times, she offers a giveaway to a winner. Last month, participants were asked to organize their craft/sewing rooms or spaces. I didn't participate, but was motivated by the before and after photos.

So, for the month of November, Org Junkie has announced that the Laundry Room will be the space of choice. This couldn't be a more perfect place for me to begin this Round-Up. You see, I don't mind doing laundry, but I hate putting it away, so I have a basket on top of the dryer that all the clean clothes have been going into and I pull stuff from it when I need them. This weekend, I pulled a sweater from the basket that had been there since last spring when I stopped wearing warm sweaters. I got a spider bite from a little spider that was hiding in the sweater, so I decided to rewash all the clothes in that basket, just in case! I keep all the extra cleaning supplies, paper products, lightbulbs, and other types of junk in the laundry room and I haven't reorganized since we moved in about 5 years ago... it's desperate!

You can join me and others by playing along with the Laundry edition of Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up.

Want to win something great?

This morning, I found two unique giveaways that I thought you might be interested in.

The first one is from Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles. She has been given the opportunity to share Basket of Indulgence gift baskets with her readers and is giving away one each week. Visit her blog to enter this giveaway and to learn more about the wonderful miracles we call micro-preemies. I won a pumpkin book from Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles just last week!

The second one is from Extreme House Wifeing. She is giving away a vintage Culinary Arts Institute encyclopedic cookbook from 1962. There are three ways to enter her giveaway, so be sure to visit her Etsy store, leave a comment, sign up for her newsletter, and post about the giveaway on your own blog.

I encourage you to visit these blogs... come on, branch out. IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!

Nov 4, 2008

Smile



This photo was taken when Addy was only 2 months old (photo dated June 29th). I'm sharing this in response to the My Story Monday post over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles. She didn't ask for a response, but I loved her photo of "C" so I thought I'd share one of my favorites of Addy on the c-pap machine too. This little machine makes her look like a little elephant with that long nose tube.

Oct 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! (Addy update!)


Happy Halloween! I'll be sure to post back tomorrow with trick-or-treat photos. Since this will be Addy's first time trick-or-treating, I thought we'd do a reverse trick-or-treat and hand candy back to the houses we visit. Nick and I made cute little treat bags last night with about 5 pieces of candy in each. We used up some of my scrapbook scrap paper and they turned out so cute. We won't be home to pass out candy, so this is our way to give back. I hope people get it. We'll probably only hit 10 houses or so, but still, it should be fun. The weather looks great too. Between 60-68 degrees. Not bad for Halloween in Indiana!

Yesterday we had an eventful day. After working in the morning, we had to take Addy to Riley for her 18 month pediatrician appointment. She got a vaccine and a flu shot. Unless she gets sick, they don't need to see her for 6 months! YAHOO! Her weight is still a concern, but the developmental team is following that so the pediatrician said he didn't need to follow it too.

I asked the doctor to print the results of her Upper GI and Small Bowel Follow Through for me since I hadn't gotten them (test was done Sept 22). No problem. He did and it showed no abnormalities. I also received the results from the pH probe and the impedance study in the mail yesterday. Once again, no abnormalities... her level of acid reflux was totally in the norm, she didn't even need the prevacid we had been giving her for the better part of a year now! (Of course, she could have grown out of it a little too, but I wonder why no one suggested this test before we started medicating her!). The other day, we received a letter about the biopsies they did during the endoscopy. Of course, they were all normal, so all the tests we've done so far have not gotten us any closer to the answer to why she is always vomiting and can't handle her feedings well.

I called the GI office after returning home from the hospital. Dr. Fitzgerald, himself, called me back and said he really didn't think there was anything else they could do for us and he referred us back to developmental. His suggestion was that it was behavioral. I just couldn't really wrap my head around it. Why on earth would she be vomiting on purpose? Doesn't make any sense to me. Then, while on the phone with someone else, Dr. Fitzgerald called back and left a voicemail. He said that there was one other test that could be done, a gastric emptying test. The results of this may show why she is vomiting and not able to handle volume or rate increases well. He said his office would be calling to schedule the tests.

Dr. Fitzgerald has also passed all of these test results on to developmental and has requested that developmental contact us about doing a swallow study. I think the last one we did was about a year ago. This would rule out aspiration and would allow us to be more confident with giving her food by mouth. I'd also like to discuss a possible food allergy test with developmental, although I think this is done by the pulmonology office. I've asked from day one if she could possibly be allergic to something in her Neosure and all the doctors have been adament that it wasn't possible. We'll see.

Addy is 18 months and 6 days old (14 months and 21 days according to her due date) and weighs 18 lbs, 5.7oz. Her length is 28 1/4". Obviously, this is well below the pecentage charts and we'd all love to see her catch up. Look at the hair growing over her little ears... she may need a haircut soon!

Oct 30, 2008

Car Seat Dillema



So, remember this post about getting Addyson a new car seat? Well, we did get that car seat and tried to install it as a rear facing, but for some reason, the latch system didn't work well with that seat. Since safety is more important than a great deal, we took that car seat back to Kmart and are in search of another one. I'm thinking about getting the Evenflo Triumph Advance LX Convertible Car Seat but I wish it came in a more girly color. Does anyone have any reviews of this car seat that they'd like to share with me before we go looking this weekend? I'd be interested in looking at other carseats, so send me your recommendations. Addy only weighs about 18 lbs, is about 29 inches tall, and is 18 months old. I drive a small SUV, but Nick will sometimes need to put it into the bucket seat of his small S-10 pickup truck. We'd like to do rear-facing for as long as possible.

Oct 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


This week is a little scattered with Halloween and Nick being out of town for a bit, but here is our Menu none the less.

Sunday - loaded baked potatoes (Nick brought potatoes home from work and we used things from the fridge to complete the meal)
Monday - leftovers of the Chicken Enchiladas from last week for Nick (they were WAY too spicy for me! and I made Tuna Casserole (from pantry stockpile) for myself
Tuesday - Nick's out of town, so I'll eat leftover Tuna Casserole
Wednesday - Eggs & Toast (late night for Nick at work)
Thursday - Pork Chops (on sale), Scalloped Potatoes (from my pantry stockpile)
Friday - (quick because of Halloween!) Sloppy Joes (on sale $0.99/can @ Meijer + buy 3 get buns FREE!, need to buy ground beef & chips for "side dish")
Saturday - Chili in crockpot (I've been stocking up on supplies for this, so all I need to buy is ground beef!)

I've been overspending quite a bit at the grocery store because I've been stocking up on great prices. Nick bought me a tall storage cabinet to put in the garage (since my car is too big to park in the garage, I thought it only fair that I could use a little of the space for food storage!). I'll store canned goods and cleaning supplies out there, as I worry about critters if I store boxed goods like cereal and pasta. This week, I decided to use my stockpile and only buy a few things we need to complete the menu. Remember, however, this is a great time of year to stock up on baking goods (flour, sugar, etc.) so I did need to get a few things I was almost out of.

What's everyone else dishing up this week? Head over to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find out!

Oct 23, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

Ok, this one contains alcohol too, like last week. Sorry for those of you looking for family friendly or healthy drinks! I mentioned last week that I'd post about an interactive drink that we like to have with our friends at parties, such as the Halloween Party coming up. I think I learned this drink from a bunch of guys in college, who I'm sure were up to no good teaching this to me. It's called Peppermint Pattie. The "drinker" sits in a chair and tilts head back and opens mouth wide. The "bartender" squeezes Hershey's syrup into the "drinker's" mouth. Without swallowing the chocolate syrup, "drinker" then takes a shot of peppermint schnapps, and mixes the two in their mouth before swallowing. I guess it doesn't really take two people to do this drink, but it makes it more fun and messy. Plus, it tastes like a York Peppermint Pattie.

Leave a link to share your drink. Don't have a blog? - leave your drink in the comments section!

Oct 22, 2008

CVS Steal (oops, I mean DEAL!)

Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without all these great blogs that taught me how to CVS. Yes, I'm using CVS as a verb. Don't laugh. Here was my most recent senario... done today on my lunch hour.

2.00 Reese Nutrageous Fun Size Candy Bars
2.00 Reese Peanut Butter Fun Size Cups
2.00 Kit Kat Fun Size Bars
2.49 Q-tips (375ct)
2.99 Desitin Ointment
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.99 Johnsons Baby Wash
2.79 Huggies Wipes (64 ct)
2.79 Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste
0.00 Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste (Buy one, get one free!)
0.99 Gold Emblem Candy (Dum-Dum Suckers) - we can get Addy "eat" these!
0.99 Gold Emblem Candy (Dum-Dum Suckers)
---------
$36.98 Subtotal (before taxes)
-$5.00 off of a $30.00 purchase (got from the price check kiosk when I scanned my CVS card)
-$1.98 off of two Gold Emblem Candy ($2.00 but adjusted down to actual price)
-$3.00 off wyb 3 Johnson's products (from recent coupon insert)
-$3.00 off wyb 3 Johnson's products (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Desitin coupon (probably from some baby mailing?)
-$0.30 off Q-tips (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off wyb 3 Reese's fun size candy bags (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Colgate Total (from recent coupon insert)
-$1.00 off Colgate Total (from recent coupon insert)
----------
$19.70 Subtotal (before taxes)
-$10.00 ECB (earned from completing a CVS online survey)
-$2.58 ECB (earned from hubby purchasing 2 bags of Brach's candy corn on Monday)
-$2.00 ECB (can't remember what this one is from... maybe toothpaste?)
-$4.50 ECB (earned from quarterly spending)
----------
$0.62 Subtotal (before taxes)
$0.62 Sales Tax
-----------
$1.24 TOTAL OOP

EARNED $10.00 ECB for the Q-tips, Huggies, Desitin, Johnson's, Similac, or Gerber Deal (needed to spend $25 to earn $10).

Although I spent $19.08 in ECB, I was ok becuase these were items we needed anyways, and now I still have $10 to spend next time.

I had planned on getting 4 boxes of kleenex for $0.89 each - (4) $0.40 coupons, but they were all out. I also wanted to pick up the Excedrin that was on sale for $1.99 and use the $2.00 off coupon I have, but they were out. I'll stop by the CVS near my house and if they don't have it, I'll ask for a rain check so I can get them next week for the sale price and still use my coupons.
Luckily my new work cell phone has a calculator on it, so I was able to rework the deals in the store after they were missing items from my original plan.

Omaha Steak Burgers

For other frugal bloggers, you may already know about the craziness over at the Catherine Wheels blog about the $25 gift card to Omaha Steaks from GEICO. Well, I got my gift card code from GEICO and went through her steps, only to find a minimum purchase restriction of $100. I contacted customer service and they said they would honor the originial gift card without the restriction, I just needed to place the order by phone. I was able to order 12 - 4oz Omaha Steak Burgers (originally $32.99) for $3.xx. They were on sale for $14.99 + $13.xx shipping. Subtract the $25 gift card leaving the total OOP at $3.xx. That's just over a dollar/lb, delivered right to my door. Not bad!

Since I recieved the gift card code this morning, they have placed the restriction on the gift card email, so if you don't yet have your code, you won't be able to get this great deal, but for those of you who may still be attempting to get to the bottom of the process, just give them a call and ask customer service about it.

works-for-me wednesday: Halloween Costumes

Two things about this upcoming Halloween...

I bought a giraffe costume at the second hand store a month or two ago for Addy. It is a 24 month size, but it was only $12 and REALLY cute! I figured she could wear it this year and next year. Then we went to a huge garage sale at my mother in law's church this past Saturday. All clothes were 25 cents each. I found two costumes. One is a lion and one is a spider. The lion will probably only fit her for this year, we'll save the giraffe for next year, and then the spider can be for the year after that... So, $12.50 divided by 3 years equals 4.17 per year/costume. Not bad. Let's just hope she wants to be a giraffe next year and a spider after that. If not, I guess they are fun for dress up. Inexpensive costumes work for Addyson!

Every year, we attend a Halloween party hosted by our friends, Phillip & Kathy! It's a costume party, so I always struggle with what to wear. This year, I've decided to dress as Kat Von D. For those of you who don't know who she is, check out this webpage. She's a rockin' tattoo artist with her own shop in LA. She has a new makeup line at Sephora also. For those of you who know me, you'll understand my hesitation with this. I am NOT a makeup girl - I do wear it, but it's BASIC, a little mascara & lipgloss. So, I'm glad my friend gave me a gift certificate to the salon/spa this past summer. The salon does makeup, so I've scheduled an appointment to have them make me look like this. I'm excited and have almost all the other details planned. I have the wig and it needs a little work... anyone know how to get those folds out of a wig (from being in a package so long)? The tattoo sleeves I purchased are too small, so I may end up trying to draw the tattoos on with a marker (anyone have any other suggestions besides SHARPIE?). I have found the perfect Tshirt at Walmart that I am going to alter too. I'll see what I can do about getting some good after photos done to post.

So, I guess what I'm saying is Halloween costumes work for me... I get excited about planning them and being someone else for a night. It's harmless and fun.

Stop over to works-for-me wednesday over at RocksInMyDryer and see her exciting new blog design!

Oct 21, 2008

Update on Addyson

Well, my little pumpkin had a long day yesterday. She was scheduled for an Upper GI at Riley Children's Hospital. If you'll remember our original issue with this procedure, you'll know they wouldn't do the procedure the first time we went to have it done, but they did the other half of the tests. Of course, when I scheduled it this time, I made sure to ask a few questions. 1. Are you sure she needs to have this done or did you get the results you needed from the tests that have already been done? 2. Are you going to actually be able to do the test this time?

Well, of course, Nick took a half day off work to go with us, we had to skip a feeding for her because they wanted an empty stomach, and we had to head down there for the afternoon. We sat in the GERM filled waiting room for about an hour. They called her name and we went back with the nurse and explained the situation. She wanted to do some checking to see what actually needed to be done and how to do it. Wouldn't you know it? They had the results they needed from the previous test and we didn't need to be there! Oh, I was furious (still am!).

It is rediculous... the follow up care that we have received at that hospital has been nothing short of a jumbled mess. One doctor doesn't know what the other is doing, yet she has to be followed by her regular pediatrician, the devleopmental pediatrician & her dietitian, and now the GI specialist. On top of these, we used to have pulmonology too. Indiana's Early Intervention program, First Steps, also follows her for Physical Therapy (2x/month), Occupational Therapy (1x/week), and we are now being evaluated for Nutritional Therapy (2x/month) and a Child Psychologist is going to come next week for her first evaluation.

Under the direction of the Nutritional Therapy and the Developmental Pediatrician's dietitian, we started a new formula last night. Addy vomited this morning, but not more than she did yesterday morning on her old formula. The new formula is a richer calorie formula, but we watered it down slightly for the first few feedings in hopes to make the transition easier. Addyson has been on Neosure (a special preemie formula) for her entire life. Once she reached 12 months old, we thought she would be switched, but she hadn't reached the weight requirements for the new formula, so we didn't need to switch. Technically we still don't need to, but we are hoping to find a formula that her body doesn't hate. Then again, since we don't know what is causing her to vomit, it may be the formula or it may be her body... we don't have any results back, so we don't have any answers yet. It's so frustrating!

Oct 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



Sunday - Baked Ziti Pasta, Green Beans, Garlic Bread... Brownies for dessert (we had company!)

Monday - Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew and Crescent Rolls (Yes, we finally had this after having on the menu for weeks! It was pretty good, but the beans made it sweet... interesting, but not bad. I think it could have used some carrots too!)

Tuesday - Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas (recipe found in a recent coupon insert... I'll share if it ends up being a good recipe.)

Wednesday - Amish Breakfast Casserole

Thursday - Grilled Chicken & Veggies

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Halloween Party (I'll need to have something for my parents who will be babysitting for Addyson and staying the night!)

What's on your family's table this week. Share over at Menu Plan Monday by I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Oct 16, 2008

Thirsty Thursday


CAUTION!!! THIS ONE CONTAINS ALCOHOL!!!

This year, Nick and I will be attending our friends' annual Halloween Party. In the past, these parties have been known to get crazy and VERY entertaining! Everyone shows up in costume... and it's all couples - married couples at that, but we still party like we're in college! Last year we were unable to attend due to Addyson's health. This year, we are not missing it. I'm planning my costume and hubby is still thinking of his. Everyone always brings some type of dish to share and drinks too. These aren't your typical beer guzzlers... we have a more interesting palette. I thought I'd bring the makings for these Carmel Apple Martini's. Here is the recipe.(photo above courtesy of mbm951)
CARMEL APPLE MARTINI
  • 2 fluid ounces best-quality vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce sour apple schnapps
  • 1/2 fluid ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  1. Combine vodka, schnapps, and crushed ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously to chill. Pour into martini glass, garnish with dried apple, and serve. Makes 1 serving.
Next week I'll be posting an "interactive" drink that we've had at previous Halloween parties.

Want to share a favorite drink recipe... don't be shy. Maybe it's a milkshake or a punch recipe. Or maybe your favorite hot cocoa drink. Write a post on your blog and link it here. I can't wait to see what you are all drinking!

Oct 15, 2008

Mama Koala Tagged Me!

So, I just realized that last week I was tagged by Mama Koala. She's a regular comment-leaver and participant of Thirsty Thursday, so I apologize for not playing along sooner!

1. I love being barefoot, except walking on concrete... the texture drives me crazy - like nails on a chalkboard!
2. I've recently become interested in aprons. I'm going to try a small smock type apron for Addyson as my first sewing project. My mom is letting me borrow her sewing machine.
3. I'm having lunch today with my friend Wendy. We are meeting at El Rodeo, a mexican restaurant here in town... it's our usual.
4. We honeymooned in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, stayed at The Tern Inn's Honeymoon Cottage. It's cold there in October!
5. I like to dip my Doritos in Cottage Cheese.
6. Along with the Candy Apple Martini drinks, I'll be making cupcakes for the Halloween Party this year!
7. I drive a purple Pontiac Torrent and I named her Hendrix. She has a sun roof and a CD player. I don't love her leather seats - too hot or too cold!

I am breaking the cycle by NOT calling anyone out in particular. However, if you'd like to play along, please feel free to jump in and play. I love reading random bits about other people and look forward to reading about you. Please post a link to your post in the comments section so I know you are playing along!

Thanks Mama Koala! This was FUN!

works for me wednesday = give a way contest

There are many reasons would enter a give away, but I don't do it very often. I usually only enter a give away if I could really use the product. Today I read about Irwin Toys: Baby So Real Review and Give-Away over at The Centsible Sawyer. This Baby So Real looks like the perfect Christmas gift for my daughter, Addyson. As many of you readers know, Addyson was born 15 weeks early causing her to have slight developmental delays and she doesn't take food by mouth, but instead has a g-tube. Her many doctors and therapists have suggested that we use dolls to mimick real life mommy-baby interaction. Addyson does have a small doll that she has recently learned to put a bottle to her mouth, but the doll is far from real looking. I'd love to win the Baby So Real Doll to help her learn feeding and other fine motor skills. So, not only does Baby So Real work for me, but The Centsible Sawyer's Review and Give-Away works for me too!

Want to see what works for other bloggers this week? Head on over to works-for-me wednesday at RocksInMyDryer.

Oct 14, 2008

Toolin' Up Tuesday

Seems that recently, my Toolin' Up Tuesday posts have been online tools. This one is no different. Remember that TV show, PeeWee's playhouse? Remember the "picturephone"? If not, see a video clip here, don't worry, it's clean! Well, check this service out... it's just like the picturephone (except without the tin can!) Last winter, we were introduced to Skype. It is a FREE online phone service with web cam abilities. My sister in law gave us a web cam and told us about Skype. Because she travels the world and is only visiting a few times a year, she wanted us to be able to share Addyson with her where ever she found herself living at the time. It has been a great way for us to keep in touch, although we don't do it as often now as she is currently living halfway across the globe and the time difference is tricky. Many computers now come with a web cam, either as a seperate piece or built in. You can sign up for a Skype account and reconnect with friends and family. Perfect for those with little ones or for those who prefer face to face conversations. Try it, you'll be hooked!

Read about the tools other bloggers are talking about at Toolin' Up Tuesday over at LifeAsMOM.

Oct 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Leftovers of French Bread Pizzas
Monday - Baked Pork Chops, Corn Casserole, Fried Apples
Tuesday - Taco Cups (Crescent Rolls in Muffin Cups filled with Taco Meat & Cheese, after baking, add typical taco toppings)
Wednesday - Pancakes & Bacon
Thursday - Grilled Chicken & Veggies
Friday - Ravioli & Garlic Bread & Green Beans
Saturday - Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew (I keep thinking we are going to have this, then something comes up, so we'll try again this week!)

You'll probably notice we eat Breakfast a lot for dinner on Wednesdays. Sundays we usually have something quick. Nick works late those nights and is usually not ready for dinner until 8 or so. Breakfasts are usually a quick dinner so they fit in our plan. Besides, who doesn't like breakfast for dinner?

You want to know more about menu planning and see other's menu plans? Visit Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.