3.30.2012

The Post-Poned "Marriage Rant"

John and I are going on a date tonight! 

After our Chicago weekend we realized we really need to just bite the bullet, get a babysitter, and make date night a bi-monthly occurrence. 

So I did. And we are. Tonight! Drinks & a movie.. I am SO looking forward to it! 

I am going to be honest - I am a little nervous about the stranger babysitter... Jack has not been himself lately, ZERO naps people! He also refuses to stay on his back during diaper changes... I fear the worst for  this poor girl! But I am trying to take deep breaths and prepare everything that I can in advance to make things as easy for her as possible. I am almost certain he is going to fall asleep at 7:30 (like he did last night). Also - is it normal that I feel like my house needs to be in PRISTINE condition for this 21-year-old girl that I have never met before?! Like scrubbing my floors and vacuuming (for the bajillionth time this week)... I think I might be crazy. 

But we NEED this. I'm going to be honest again and let you know that marriage hasn't been a cake-walk these last few weeks. Certain marital cliches have turned out to be a big downer in this house (coughinlawscough). I hate when we fight about things that aren't stupid little things, or worthless to bicker over... and instead get into deep, heart-wrenching arguments about factors in our marriage that will never go away. I knew that when we signed up for this "forever gig" that we would hit some bumps in the road, and it's true - we have! I also know that finding solutions to these obstacles makes us stronger each and every time.
How often in our culture do we take the title of marriage for granted? We think that we fall in love, put a ring on it, throw a big party and then everything is all happiness and rainbows. But in reality, blending two lives together is difficult. It takes work - EVERY DAY! Much like parenting, you just can't take a day off from being married. 

I love my husband more than I ever thought possible to love another human being. This love means loving him despite his faults and imperfections and I know he feels the same for me. We are cognizant of the effort each person is putting forth that it makes the bumps feel a bit smoother. It's good to know that you aren't the only one trying to make things better and stronger and fuller! 
1 month before Jack was born we lost a family friend to a tragic car accident. He left behind a young wife and two babies (a 2 year old and a 4 month old). This DEVASTATING loss hit us all hard.. but especially his family. I have watched his wife try and pick up the pieces for the last 8 or so months and I am constantly astounded by her strength. She writes in a public blog about her day-to-day struggles and even the last few days/hours she shared with Matt before the accident. Her accounts of their quick peck on the cheek and rushed goodbyes the morning he left haunt me. Her story forces me to confront how HARD and EMPTY my life would feel if I were to lose John, if I were faced with the challenge of raising our child without him. Her words remind me EVERY DAY to kiss my husband and tell him that I love him. NO MATTER WHAT. 

I know this got a little deep but I wanted to take a minute to share how much I value my marriage, despite the rough patches. And also to express how much adoration and respect I have for my husband. He is so hardworking and thoughtful. Even though he openly expresses his desire to be an old man that is grumpy and rude, I cannot wait to love him from today until he is bald and mean (God willing!). That 25 year old curmudgeon provides for this family so amazingly, I couldn't ask for a better husband or father for Jack!
I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL and love filled weekend. Kiss your husbands, babies, boyfriends, fiances, dogs, cats WHATEVER. Also pray for this poor sweet little babysitter that Da Bubba goes easy on her and doesn't pee in her face.

Okay fine.. you twisted my arm - ONE Bubba picture before the weekend :) 
He loves his daddy long time.
UPDATE: want to know what's awesome?! Winning a giveaway! Want to know what is even more awesome than that?? A giveaway that gives my blog a CUSTOM signature :) I came across this lovely lady's blog from a Living in Yellow giveaway and I am so happy I did! She is amazingly talented! Check her out! 

P.S. The babysitter was a DOLL!! Apparently Jack was great (Thank God!) and she even texted me updates.. AMAZING!! John and I had so much fun and are definitely going to make this a priority! I'm a happy Mrs. AND a happy Mama... who maybe had a few too many Oberons :) 

3.29.2012

"Hi Mama, I'm Going to Scream ALL DAY! YAY!" -Bubba

I. AM. EXHAUSTED. 
something to keep in mind as you read this post. 

Jack has been having really restless sleep the last couple weeks. He wakes up crying in the middle of the night (easily falls back asleep) and wakes up SCREAMING around 6am for a bottle. Well thanks to the recent development of him being able to hold his own bottle, John just gets up and gives him one in his crib in the morning and it allows me a couple more hours of sleep (Thank God). 

Last night when he woke up crying around 2am I just put him into bed with us. Mistake. He is a BED HOG! Also, homeboy packs A LOT of body heat. I was sweating and falling off of the bed. John must have been hot too because around 4am he put him back in his crib. 

This morning I was all "Yay! It's pool day!" He woke up at 9 (I woke up at 7:30...) and so he had a big bowl of cereal before we got ready to go. We got out the door and about halfway there I realized two things. 1) He was due for a bottle around 10am and I DIDN'T BRING ONE! 2) There was not a spare paper diaper in my diaper bag for after we were done swimming. MAMA FAIL! Then when we got to the pool (It's about 20 min away) it was CLOSED! Yeah, me, I'm NOT winning on this day. 

It was a screamy day (as in fussing, crying, or just screaming for his his own enjoyment) that consisted of ONE 45 minute nap, that he fought TOOTH & NAIL. He usually takes TWO 1-2 hour naps.. WTF?!
 Look at that grumper face! (That's PURE John folks)
 "Mama, I am going to drive you CRAZY today, mwahahaha!"
Ugh, okay, he's still cute :)
 Despite the drama we made it out of the house to the grocery store for weekly staples and ingredients to make S'more Cookies (I blame a tweet from Allie that directed me to this recipe). 
Hip-stah status at the grocery store.. way too cool for smiles.
Somehow I managed to have a PERFECT batch of cookies out of the oven and cooling and dinner underway by the time John walked through the door. We sat down and had a nice family dinner at the table - no TV or phones. Jack was well behaved and gobbled up his sweet potato, carrot, & apple puree (re-organizing my baby food page this weekend!). 

Like I said, I'm exhausted! But my boys are fed, my kitchen is clean, & tomorrow is Friday! I actually bit the bullet and called a non-family babysitter yesterday.. John and I have a date tomorrow night and I cannot wait.. It's time to put some focus back on our marriage- we realize that we neglect this often because of Jack! 

Sorry for the wordy post.. That pretty much just typed itself out word vomit style! 

P.S. I have had SO much fun talking to new followers & discovering new AMAZING blogs today from all the Bargain Blonde traffic. It was truly an amazing opportunity and I am so excited about my new friends :) 

3.28.2012

My First "Guest Post"

I was just starting a rant post about marriage when I saw that Lindsey from The Bargain Blonde posted a feature on my blog for her "Baby Blogger Series". I actually thought that my blog didn't make the cut (for those of you who have been following this blog.. you know what I am talking about) so I was pretty blown away/shocked to see her post today! Ah! So excited :) The marriage rant will have to wait (I know, so disappointing).

So if you are here from The Bargain Blonde - Welcome from Da Bubba & I
Yup kids, this is what you get last minute at 6pm when my husband is making fajitas/NOT wanting to take a picture and my hair is dirty. Enjoy :)

P.S. Secret Confession: when Lindsey tweeted about needing "baby bloggers" I thought she meant people who blogged about babies.. not new bloggers.. good thing I fit both categories?! hahaha

3.26.2012

The Pepper to My Salt!

This weekend was WONDERFUL. My sister came to hang out (as usual). Saturday was lazy, spent trying on bridesmaids dresses for our oldest sisters' September wedding, sandwiches from the local deli, & a Lord of the Rings Marathon (don't judge, it was awesome!)
how sweet is he? He tolerated about .23234 seconds of cuddle/move time.. he cut ANOTHER tooth (That makes 2 bottom ones!)

I also ::TRIED:: out the Skinny Salisbury Steak recipe that I said I was going to try. With lots of help from John and Megan.. Lets just say MAKE SURE YOU READ THE DIRECTIONS BEFOREHAND. I ended up putting TWO CUPS of beef broth in the patty mixture when you were only supposed to put in 1/4 cup.. whoops? It still tasted great.. but didn't look very appealing. We put it on a bed of mashed cauliflower that was DELICIOUS! I will share that recipe soon..

On Sunday we headed to East Lansing (again, surprise surprise) where John's parents babysat and we met up with my brother to go and see The Hunger Games. We made a day of it, stopping for appetizers and drinks beforehand. It was nice to spend time together and I was happy to see the movie because I LOVED the books. It was great! 
Bubba and Daddy are ready to go.. waiting on Mama, as usual!

The best part of the weekend was BY FAR Friday night :) One of my very best friends and her husband came into town from Connecticut. Sarah is one of my closest girlfriends and one of my only married friends! Our husbands are pretty much a match made in heaven and when we all get together it is A LOT of fun.. mostly because John and Andrew talk sports and Sarah and I are left to do what we please! Sarah and I met when, by chance, we were assigned to sit next to one another (in the back row) of Freshman year high school choir. We talked all through class (Despite the goody-two-shoes Sopranos that would CONSTANTLY shush us) and never sat apart in choir from that day on!

We were fondly nicknamed Salt & Pepper by our mothers..and the shenanigans never stopped!

We have travelled Europe together on a choir trip to Austria...

Survived high school together...
Senior Prom 2007

And 4 years at different colleges too!

Then she asked me to stand up for her in her wedding- and I did..
38 WEEKS PREGNANT!

Bet you can't tell whose sober and who isn't in this picture!

I asked Sarah to stand up for me in John & I's wedding too!
I am so lucky to have her as my friend!

On Friday, Sarah and Andrew came by in the late afternoon to hang out with Jack & I! Bubba has grown A LOT since November - he was showing off with all of his sounds and tricks. 
Sarah's skills with the fancy camera far exceed my own!

I attempted to give Andrew the "baby bug" by making him hold Jack (I have given up on this working on Sarah).. I am POSITIVE that it didn't work! That's okay.. when these two procreate that child will be SPOILED with my love and affection- and Jack can babysit.. yeah.. I feel like it's THAT far away. These two are on a newlywed adventure and I think it is FANTASTIC! I can take over in the baby department.. for now ;)

John and I were able to go out to eat with these two (sans baby, thanks Aunt Megan!) and another couple friend of theirs from college - it was so nice to be out with other married people.. it makes us feel more normal! All-in-all it was a wonderful visit and I was sad to see it end! COME BACK SOON YOU TWO! 

P.S. check out their movie review blog :)

3.22.2012

A Day in Pictures

Jack's tooth is no longer "the boy who cried wolf" - he showed his dirty little demon face last night and this mama cried about it. Probably not normal behavior, but my little boy is a grown up baby with teeth and everything. I had my good natured Bubba back for a day filled with swimming and outside exploring. Please enjoy 908340983702985709143 pictures...

Jack now naps like this sometimes:
The whole "butt in the air" deal gets me EVERY time.

When he woke up it was time to go swimming.. BIG RED MARKS all down the right side of his face..
so sleepy.. (he loved swimming just as much as last week)

when we got home I couldn't find my keys so I plopped him in the grass on his diaper changing pad.
you can see that he actually has REALLY blonde hair in these pics and he's not a ginger.. his scalp just gets red. 

Then we took a blanket and toys outside and homeboy rolled around, army crawled, ate some leaves and grass. Basically he got REALLY dirty - just like a little boy should :)
video

Now we are all ready for the BIG game over here.. even my drooly monster baby..

Sparty On!

3.21.2012

Meal Planning & The Efficient Grocery List!

Can we first discuss that yesterday, on my THIRD meetup.com attempt, I finally made it to one (semi) on time and was SUCCESSFUL! The organizer of the "park day meetup" recognized me right away and introduced herself (yay for not awkwardly introducing myself). Then I made a friend. She asked for my number and everything.. seriously, we're besties now. But in reality I am so relieved to be making progress in the "mom friend" department.. it's stressful business!

To bring you up-to-speed on today... things started off with a lot of promise:



Adorable right?

I'm all confident this morning about how we will trek over to Trader Joe's (it's 20 min away) and grocery shop amongst the beautiful healthy food and then play outside blah blah blah WRONG. Teething monster strikes again! Now that Jack is FINALLY napping I have had to reevaluate my whole plan! Like go to Meijer instead of Trader Joe's (WOMP WOMP)

Now, I have been in a HUGE cooking slump lately.. like not excited about it at all because we are trying to be "healthy". I have been "attempting" to follow this SUPER bland meal plan for like 3 months now that doesn't ever work out and so it is time to find some cooking inspiration again! 

I headed over to skinnytaste.com and picked FIVE recipes I want to try over the next week. MEAL PLANNING PEOPLE! It takes work/time but it's important to sticking with a healthy lifestyle and EVENTUALLY it saves time AND $$$$ (da moneys). 

So here's my guide to creating the EFFICIENT grocery list:

-When you are trying lots of new recipes I'm thinking it is pretty normal to write down ALL of the ingredients for each recipe (or is this just me?) I usually end up with pages of notebook paper that look like this


Then I get to the grocery store and spend about 2 HOURS going back and forth up and down the aisles gathering the ingredients for each recipe one at a time. Pre-Jack this was fine, whatever, I can spend 2 hours at the grocery store because, who cares? Well now, Jack cares, he cares A LOT.

So now.. 

1. I write down every recipe I want to try

2. I start a NEW list and categorize the ingredients by things like produce, spices, dairy, etc. 

3. I first put down the things I need just in general (daily staples) 

4. THEN I got through each recipe and add the ingredients under their designated category (There are apps for phones that do this too but I am a CROSS IT OFF WITH A PEN kind of girl)

5. When I get to the store I BREEZE through the aisles checking things off like cray cray and we are out of there in no time! 


It takes a bit more time and forethought but the end result is worth it! I'm sure there are other methods, even ones that are maybe even MORE efficient?? I'm open to suggestions!

I also like to bring my groceries home to a clean and organize kitchen. This means clearing off the shelves of expired/half eaten/leftover items in the fridge. Last night there were a few things in the fridge and cupboards that hadn't been used or that were left over from other recipes so I whipped up a makeshift casserole. I am SO uncertain if this will actually taste good.. but it's what's for dinner tonight.. hahaha

chicken, spinach, tomatoes, garlic, cream of chicken soup.. 

Recipes I am TRYING this week:

Now this little naked napper just woke up so it's time to head to the store.. don't let that cute face fool you - there are teeth in those gums that are causing all hell to break loose in this household!


Wish me luck!

3.20.2012

The Day I Woke Up From a Nap & Thought I Was a Hipster..

You know that moment when you log onto facebook or your phone lights up and you are notified with a notification that that ONE friend (you all know what friend I am talking about! We all have one..) has tagged you in 3418370498527458713894 pictures?? That moment when your stomach drops and you feel scared/nervous/excited all at the same time for what is plastered all over the internet?! Yeah, that happened last night while the hubs and I were watching Footloose (judge if you must but John was happier than a 14 year old girl). I assessed the damage, and it wasn't THAT bad. Basically it just means that it's time to share the weekend with my internet world. 

When we arrived on Friday we immediately headed to an MSU bar to watch the basketball game. I'm a big lame-o and wanted to make sure I had maximum drinking abilities in the morning so I only had 2 drinks - husband on the other hand went a little cray..


my pretty lady frands

Mad EGG addiction.

St. Patrick's Day morning we woke up and began our drinking at the early hour of 9am. I am an awful picture taker when out so pictures did not begin until WELL into the drinking. I'm going to preface this by saying that I didn't really bother with the whole "cute" aspect of this holiday this year. As in I didn't do my hair.. I'm over it.

the first of way too many of these.

husby love

cute and functional accessories..

Then pictures like these started happening and apparently it was time to eat some Subway and take a nap..



You might think that based off of those last few pictures that perhaps it was time to retire? Oh no, false! We napped for a few hours then rallied and headed to the bar again at MIDNIGHT. At this point I have no idea who I am. Perhaps this is why I decided to dress like a hipster (when for real I just needed to change my dirty smelly clothes and my contacts dried out and died in my eyes.. it was an accident I swear!)

Taxicab confusion - "wait, I'm a hipster? How do hipsters act?!"


I'm not angst-y enough to be a hipster! I enjoy Irish step dancing too much!

Then John got his way and we all went to a karaoke bar where he preceded to sing songs like "Mack the Knife " (his go-to) and "Remix to Ignition"


priceless.

Then this happened..

Our address in college and mad love for Brit

Pure brilliance.

We shut this bar down with an encore drunken MSU fight song. All-in-all the weekend was fantastic and full of wonderful memories (many of which I will actually remember!) I am happy to say that I can still kick it like a college kid even after becoming a wife and mother. 

Now that we have this out of the way we can go back to mom group fails and cute pictures of my baby. Happiness and joy for all, because partying is WAY more exhausting than parenting.

**all pictures of the MSU bar & post nap are courtesy of my shutterbug lover Morgan