Saturday, April 30, 2011


These pictures were taken on the first walk Silas and I took after the storms finally ended:

This first set is some mud that streaked across the asphalt trail.  I was obsessed with the way the patterns formed.  I never thought that I would find mud to be so beautiful.

This next set were just shots to demonstrate the sheer amount of water that was left standing after all 15 inches of rain that we got.

These three just show some fallen branches and leaves that were strewn everywhere.

These last three are just things that I found to be pretty!


This was from one of our awful storms we have had in the past week and a half.

The street was white with hail and it was so loud inside our house, it felt like we were under attack.  We have spent so much time in our basement listening to tornado sirens and praying but we have been blessed to stay safe.  Our basement flooded and our stuff down there to a big hit, as has our weekend since we have to spend it cleaning up the mess, but I know that there are so many other people whose houses and lives were destroyed so I will turn up the music while we clean and be happy that we have some thing to clean.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Numero Uno- Dos

The actual day of Silas's birthday was monumentally more enjoyable than the day before, which was party day.  Of course, the weather was perfect, since the weather had no bearing on our plans- that's how it always goes.  We took him out to breakfast at Denny's.  This may seem lame and a little cheap for such a big occasion but Wade, Silas and I all love eating out for breakfast.  It feels like a treat more than eating dinner or lunch at a restaurant.  We had so much fun and ate a lot of low-quality, kinda dirty-seeming, greasy amazing food. 

If you knew how many times a day we said "Silas, you have to sit... (eat, take a bath, ride in the cart, whatever)" you would know why this is so funny.

We then took him shopping to spend his birthday money and gift cards.  We bought a high chair (that he loves to stand in) and one outfit and the rest went to toys!  We would choose the type of toy and would let him choose the specific one that he wanted and every single time he chose the green one.  He got a green truck, green bubble bottle, green ball, and a stuffed Yoda doll.  He is a green loving boy.  We ended the day with dinner at his grandma and grandpa's house and then home to crash for all of us. 

Ohhh...he's my size!

Can I keep this weird looking baby, Momma?!

Love him I do!!!

Numero Uno

I have been putting off writing the first birthday post like I put off all posts that are the most important to me.  Once again, I am guilty of building something up in my head so much that I left only room for disappointment.  On the positive side, almost everything in my control came together.  I potted these flowers as favors: 

The insert said "Silas is growing and so are you.  Take care of your flower and it will grow too."
The poem taped to the outside is called "The Soul of a Child" and reads:

The soul of a child is the loveliest flower That grows in the garden of God. It climbs from weakness to knowledge and power, To the sky from the clay and the clod.
To beauty and sweetness it grows under care; Neglected ’tis ragged and wild, ‘Tis a plant that is tender and wondrously rare, The sweet wistful soul of a child.
Be tender, O gardener, and give it its share Of moisture, of warmth and of light; And let it not lack for painstaking care To protect it from frost and the blight.
A glad day shall come when its bloom shall unfold It will seem that an angel has smiled. Reflecting a beauty and sweetness untold In the sensitive soul of a child.

I am not sure of the author but it was special to me because Wade's grandma sent it to us in a card when Silas was a couple of month's old and it resonated with me and it was also fitting for our spring-like theme.  We also had a collection of delicious cakes.  I made a chocolate cake, my mom made mini-cupcakes, my mother-in-law made amazing momma and baby bunnies sculpted out of cake and candy, and Silas had a great cake from My Daddy's Cheesecake that his Aunt Randa and Uncle Drew got for him.  Randa's mom and dad were amazing enough to bring their ice cream makers and brew up some vanilla and strawberry frozen bites of heaven that we are still chowing on.

Silas got an insane amount of awesome gifts and he was so well-behaved the whole time.  He was laughing and running around hunting Easter eggs and just having fun.  I kept telling myself that was what mattered and I know that it's true.  But.

But.  It was cold and cloudy and I was so unbelievably stressed that it was ridiculous.  A lot of people couldn't make it to the party because it was so cool and yucky.  I was so caught up in the details that the night before I was spazzing out and we actually had to send Silas to stay with my in-laws because I was stressing him out (Wade probably wished he could leave too) and the day of the party I felt like I barely saw Silas because I was attending to every little detail.  I loved making a great day for my boy and would do anything to give that to him but I think he would have been just as happy with all of his friends and family there even if there weren't coordinating napkins and table covers.  Next year, I will remember this.  I hope. 

One of my biggest regrets is the decision that I made to not take pictures myself.  I was lucky to have others there to take pictures but when I do my photography, I use it as a way to capture moments that are important for me to remember and they take the sting out of everything that may have gone wrong because I can paint the picture of that day in the way that I want.  I chose to step from behind the camera so that I could be in the moment and that was important but I will also remember next year that I want to get a few shots in.  Here are some pics that my family and friends took.

Cry it out

People keep telling me to use the cry it out method to get Silas to sleep but I have been crying for months and he is still waking up!  Hah...not really (well, maybe kinda) but we have been working on putting him in his bed because it is getting a little ridiculous to have to rock my one year old to sleep for naps and night night.  He has done surprisingly well; he doesn't even cry every time.  When he does cry though I have to grip the arm of the couch to keep from running in to get him.  I hate to hear him sad.  I know in the long run that this will be best for all of us so I just have to get through the training part and it will get easier.  Right?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saving money laundering

So, I have been trying to trim my budget hardcore and I realized that one of  my biggest expenses at the store was laundry supplies and so I tried couponing but it wasn't a consistent way to save so I started my research.  I decided to try to make my own detergent.  The recipe that I used was the Duggar's recipe for a top loader.  I figure people with that many kids must have figured out some tricks by now. 
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I can say pretty enthusiastically that I loved it.  I found all of the cleaning ingredients in one place in the laundry aisle at wal-mart for only a few dollars and I chose and apple scented essential oil by the candles also at wal-mart for only $2.  I got my 5 gallon bucket at kmart for $2.99.  I didn't used Fels Naptha soap-I used Ivory bar soap found with the body soap.  It was very soft and easy to grate up and also had a pleasant scent.

I also started using my softener in a new way.  I took a bowl with a lid and poured in about half a cup of softener and filled the rest of the bowl with water.  I then cut up an old under shirt of Wade's and put the cloth scraps in the bowl.  When I put my laundry in the dryer, I toss in a soaked cloth from the bowl with the clothes.  My clothes smell really great, are very fluffy, and it is a lot cheaper because you can just replace the dry cloth back in the bowl and reuse it.

Let me know if you try it and what you think.  Also, if you have any money saving household tips, please share!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

March Of Dimes

Most of you know that my sweet Silas was born about 5 weeks early (if you don't know, you can read my birth story here ) and it had a very big effect on the way that our story began.  Instead of starting our days as a family of three in our home together, we were in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks and we have struggled with the difficult issues surrounding having an early baby since his birth.  I love my boy so much and hate that he had to struggle for the things that should be a given from the start.

I say all of this to say that Silas and I are walking in the March of Dime March for Babies and would appreciate any support that you could give us.  You can read more about March of Dimes on my Support page here.  You can check out our fundraising page here.  Our team name is Picked Before Ripe and we would love some help in supporting an organization that supports babies!

On being a 12 month old revisited

My Sweet Silas, you are one amazing one year old.  You are walking, even running.  You are trying to talk- you called bubbles "ball"- you are very funny and you know it, you aren't afraid of thunderstorms but you are afraid of most puppies, you love to play outside and cry when we can't, you also cry every time someone leaves- strangers, family, whoever- you just don't like to say goodbye.

 You can make the broken up wah-wah-wah sound with your mouth by patting the back of your hand on your lips.   You are finally starting to fall asleep in your crib with out being rocked first which is much appreciated. 

You love your friends, Peyton, Roscoe, and Henry are your closest buds- you should have seen your face when you got to see Peyton after he was sick for a week, you guys were so excited to see each other.  You are starting to throw fits which, while frustrating, are also really adorable.

 You are so caring and sweet, always giving hugs and covering with slobbery kisses.  You did bite my leg this morning when you were mad which was not as sweet but I love you and choose to take the bad with the good- but it is mostly good.

Silas's A-pluses

Silas has been passing his one year test with flying-ish colors.  His heart issue has resolved itself, he is not anemic, he got a good report from First Steps- they said that he is on par for his development for even a normal one-year-old, let alone a preemie.  He is even ahead in his gross motor skills.  His eyes are the only worry I have.  He had some farsightedness in his left eye and some astigmatism but the optometrist said that both are not uncommon in babies and may just fix themselves as he grows.  She will check his eyes again in 3 months and if they are worse then she may fit him for glasses.  I am considering that good news because he didn't have to get glasses now.  If I could just get him to eat on a regular basis then my worries would be put to rest.  I am so thankful for an A+ boy.

Last week nonsense

The past couple of weeks have been a little crazy.  We had both cars die on us, a broken shower, and major antfestation, all while planning Silas's birthday party and getting all of his "i'm one now" tests.  I am hoping to get back in to the swing of normal routine after this weekend.  God Bless the normal day in-day-out stuff.  I welcome piles of laundry, dirty dishes, blowing bubbles, humid walks, and babies throwing cheerios.  I love my everyday- I don't need to add any excitement with the nonsense that's been going on.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Work Nights

The plan is in place that I will now be getting one evening a week to focus on my own "work".  This should lead to more consistent blog posts and more photography stuff being included, maybe.  Still working on my confidence in this area but I have done a couple of little shoots lately. 

My favorite from my shoot with Henry

I am also going to start sharing some of my new homemaking ideas and projects.  I just made my own laundry detergent and was super pleased with it.  So that is the plan for things to come.  Also, sometime soon I will be making a guest appearance on another blog.  Will share details on this later.

Friday, April 15, 2011

And the winner is...

The Unglamorous Mommy said...
Heck yeah!!! This is so exciting!!! My favorite home remedy is using vinegar to clean. Not that I do, I just like the thought of being able to. Lol.

Congratulations, Lisa!  E-mail me your address and your book full of awesome home remedies will be on its way! 

If you haven't checked out Lisa's blog before, you must!  She is hilarious and real and takes some beautiful pictures of her beautiful daughter.  Check her out here

Thanks for the entries and the awesome ideas...I plan on focusing more on making more at home and buying less.  I will keep you updated on how that goes.  Right now I am going to sleep.  Tomorrow is my baby's first birthday party and I am feeling both stressed and hyperemotional about it.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So, I am doing my first giveaway and I am excited.  I have to admit that it is a bit selfish because I want some interaction with those that read my blog.  So, what am I offering for this companionship?  This book:

It is chock full of handy tips...just flipping through...for instance, did you know that baking soda could be used for reducing the acid on your teeth, making your feet smell good, helping a bug bites and stings, soothing diaper rash, soothing sunburns and sore throats, and fighting bad breath.  All of that for like 60 cents at the grocery store.  If you would like your chance at winning a copy of this encyclopedia of natural cures, here is how you enter:  Leave me a comment stating your favorite home remedy.  A winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday, April 15th.  So, get to thinking about those on the fly remedies that you have used when you were out of what you normally use or just something that is a constant stand-by. 

On being a 12 month old...

Ugh...I mean a One year old.  Silas had his 1 year visit on Thursday, a week early but we had lots of stuff going on this coming week.  It went about how I expected.  He was small still- 17 lbs. 10 ozs. and 28 1/4 inches.  His gross motor skills are amazing- walking, standing, flying, well, not the last one but maybe by his next visit.  His speech is good, he can say mama, dada, cccaaaaa (cat), maymay (his grandma), Pa, and a few other babbles.  He can also follow one step commands and sometime 2 steps if he is focused enough.  He is still way behind on fine motor skills.  My one year old can't hold his own bottle, clap bang toys together.  The reason he is behind is probably just developmental but we are having his eyes checked  to rule that out.  He is going to start the first steps program who work with developmentally delayed babies.  He also had his EKG yesterday to look at his heart and make sure that his valve had closed up properly (he was born early enough that there was a valve in his heart that is supposed to close before birth but didn't have time so he had tachycardia as an infant) but I have no worries because his heart has sounded fine at every visit since he was a couple months old.   The most stressful part of that was the test itself because the kid won't sit still.  I literally had to hold him down kicking and screaming to get it done.  He has his vaccines on Monday...cue muted trumpet, WahWah.  I have all of this going on this week on top of trying to plan a birthday party, which will be outside and the forecast is 60% chance of rain.  So, all of this.  I will continue about my twelve monther again next week because this 12 month post just turned out to be stress-induced verbal vomit.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Funny Dream

Since I shared Wade's funny little night time craziness here I decided to take you through a journey of one of my night time adventures.  The other night I dreamed that my brother and his wife were expecting twins.  My brother has an awesome almost-teenager and Jeanne love being his step-momma.  So as far as I know they are content and not planning on babies, singles or doubles or...whatever thirty babies would be.  Yep, I dreamed she went in to labor and gave birth in their apartment to thirty babies.  The funny thing is that it didn't seem that weird in dreamland.  It was equivalent to birthing triplets while expecting twins.  I walked up to their apartment door and my mom stepped out and I asked her the babies' names, she started to list them but the only one I remember is Jesse.  I remember thinking it was going to be hard to remember all of these babies' names.  The dream ended with me stepping in to their apartment and seeing babies everywhere.  There were in stacks all over the kitchen table and couch.  It was nuts.

The proud parents of thirty...well, thirty-one including the real kid.