Looking for our Wish Lists? Here they are.

Monday, December 29, 2008

When I do it I do it good

I went in to the doctor today with what I knew was a very high temp and a horrible earache. After sending the first temperature machine into eternal "ERROR" mode, I learned my temp was 106.4. The staff went into freak out mode after that. I got an IV inserted into each arm (after only one failed attempt on each arm) right in the waiting room. They were laughing at our parade as I rode in a wheelchair, followed by two IV poles and pushing the stroller back to the examination room.

After an hour, they had my temp down to 99 but said to do absolutely NOTHING tonight because I was at risk of a seizure after having my temp drop so much so fast. The doc that saw me (who might have been old enough to graduate college) said that if he'd been seeing me at a hospital he would have admitted me for three days. I told him it was good he wasn't because I had far too much to do in that amount of time.

After looking at my facial orifaces he determined that I have an extreme outer and inner ear infection in both ears, my right worse than my left. And I have a sinus infection. He told me to take 1500 mg of tylenol every four hours for four days, round the clock, no matter what. And gave me an antibiotic to fight the infection. He also gave me a nasal spray which he said works miracles and I was to use it twice a day for three days. And three days only. And I had to sign a sworn statement that I would not take it more than three days or sell it on the black market. Obviously powerful stuff.

After all of this, and getting reemed at for driving myself and bringing my baby (funny, I didn't get his offer to babysit before I left the house), he said that if I did NOTHING tonight and got good sleep, I should feel much better tomorrow and good as new by the end of the week. Needless to say, I'm doing nothing tonight.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We're home from Michigan, safe and warm (its 75 here today). Lillian is spoiled. R is healthy again. And I am sicker than a dog, with two ear infections. We are mostly all unpacked, although still trying to rearrange things to fit all the new acquisitions into our already cramped space.

If you would please pray...
-That I would get better ASAP, I'm at the point now where it hurts to move anything and everything is throbbing, even when I'm not moving
-That Lillian gets back into the swing of things
-That a three bedroom apartment opens up right away and is in a great location within our complex. (And that we move on a great weekend for friends to help)
-That I pull together everything for Lillian's birthday party, its coming up so quickly.
-That elves will put away my christmas decorations, because I HATE doing that.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everything update

Lillian...is doing better, still not sleeping at night (due to coughing) unless I hold her upright on the couch. She is still acting fine during the day and eating like a man. She currently weighs a whopping 14.6 pounds (yes, that's lower than her 9 month appt-no they still aren't worried-yes I am hugely envious). She almost initiated her first 911 call after getting stuck in her crib during "nap" this morning. A photo is on the picture site.

Stacey...does not have cancer currently, but does have "cancer causing cells" and has to be rechecked every three months for a year and every six months forever. Also a colposcopy and biopsy again in a year and then again every other year forever. Joy.

Richard...still is not sick, and hopefully won't get that way. Was WRONG about when he is up for relocation orders, it is not July 09, it is January 10. Better for not having to move so soon. Better because right now for his job there is nothing open other than California or overseas and better because right now there is NO bonus for reupping, not even a dollar.

The Pacifica...needs a new oil pan. It seems to be the dealership's fault although we are in the process of seeing if they will admit to that. It needs new wiper blades which we will get tomorrow.

The truck...is overheating. It has coolant in it but the Low Coolant light is on. We had an oil change and coolant flush done yesterday. We are replacing the thermostat tomorrow. If that doesn't fix it then we will replace the ___ (something big and expensive that I don't remember the name of).

The apartment...still has cockroaches, fat neighbors upstairs and creepy man next door, all to my dismay. We are currently #10 on the list for a three bedroom apartment.

Michigan...We are leaving for (driving) Friday night/Saturday morning and will be there at least in time for church on Sunday. Kerstin, i would love to see you, but you should see the crazy back and forth schedule we are going to try to rock. I will do my best, but email/call me if I don't get in touch with you and remind me.

Monday, December 8, 2008


It turns out that even though she is acting just fine, Lillian has a sinus infection, two ear infections and bronchitis. So we're busy trying to keep her still (yeah right), pouring Pedialite down her throat, holding her while she sleeps (so she's upright and can sleep rather than have coughing fits), and trying to pack, all hoping that she's better by Friday when we plan to try to leave for Michigan. Probably not much posting between here and New Years.

Merry, Happy, Christmas, New Year's, etc, to everyone.

PS-Remember, Lillian's big bash is coming up January 24, for whoever can make the trip, we'd love to have you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Other rainbow goodness

Taste the Rainbow

In my not-able-to-move-well sickness, I've spent lots of time being bored on the internet. And today I stumbled upon this. I. LOVE. THIS.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We're sick. Me and Lillian. Who wants to come out here and take care of us while R's at work? I'd like to put in my order for cheese fries, cheese bread and a vanilla milkshake from mcdonalds. And a laundry person -we're going through snot and puke filled blankets and clothes like crazy. The washer can't do it fast enough.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas/Wish Lists

I have updated all three wishlists. Richard does have all of his shopping done for me though, so if you're going to get something off my list, please check with him first to make sure he hasn't gotten it.

I deleted the things on Lillian's list that have already been purchased. If you need any of that information for some reason, just let me know. I just tried to make the list easier to read. The items we want most on her list are in Orange font.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sad little Pacifica

My car is at the doctor. It has an uncomfortable sounding rattle and we discussed taking it in on Monday. However when we left church today it wouldn't start. It did eventually and (contrary to last time) I convinced R to drive it right to our (unfortunately probably soon to have a great holiday) friends at Able Auto Service. We are hoping they can get it looked at, diagnosed, fixed and hopefully (miraculously) paid for so that we can leave on time, as scheduled, next weekend for Michigan. We're not sure what is going on (duh) but R says he is hoping we don't have to get a new engine (thanks for the positive thoughts your filling my head with buddy).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for...(in no particular order)

The fact that I am not currently pregnant
Diet Coke
Our AMAZING church group who are great friends, no, great family
Brandon, Lindsey and Princess Kylie
Britt and Whitney
Landon and Lena
Our new storage ottoman that doesn't make my feet fall asleep when I put them on it
That we have almost everything for Lil's birthday party already
The DVD player we borrowed to keep Lil entertained on the trip to/from MI.
The Sunday Paper
Moist chocolate cake
Sprite Zero
My Pacifica
The automatic lift gate on the pacifica
The money for the bike payments (our ONLY debt)
The fact that we have a house fund though we're years away from buying one
The yellow and white flowered blanket
My sewing machine
The new orange coat I just bought
My treadmill (although I would be more thankful if I didn't have to use it every day)
Christmas Music
Good Books
Great Wolf Lodge (hopefully we will be able to go back next year)
The Gap
Thanksgiving Parades
That we're debt free (except for that pesky bike)
That even in times like this, we have a house fund started, money in savings, retirement and for our honeymoon.
Google Reader
Jesus being born and dying on the cross for our sins
My parents
R's parents
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc
Three new very little girls Eden Avery (still in the hospital-born at 32 weeks), Laynee Adele, and Ruby Eileen
Babies to come in 2009: Baby Kocher
My babyfit friends who answer my every question
Good movies
Dark Chocolate
Army Wives (the show)
My new (pink) smartphone
I'd be REALLY THANKFUL for internet on that smartphone
Digital Cameras
Rite Aid's $30 for your prescription program (we've made over $150 0ff of them in the last month)
Health insurance for free (the insurance is great, the care sucks, but...its free)
Christmas Music (yes, I know I already said that)
Julie and Kerstin (the only other two people from high school or college worth keeping in contact with)
March and my big surprise
Ashley's visit last March and coming again this March
Spending Christmas in Michigan
Lillian's ability to eat ANYTHING
My job
R's job...It took ALOT to write that, but its true
For the orders I know we're going to get, back to VA (pray people, PRAY)
The plant we've kept alive through a move from Grand Blanc to Flint, Michigan to Florida and Florida to Virginia
Yoga pants and sweatshirts
Windex wipes
Puma Tennis shoes
Magic Erasers
Cheerios (for Lillian, the cure all)
My laptop
Friends who act like family at Thanksgiving time

Happy Thanksgiving!

We will be spending the day with friends from our Bible Study class and then having Britt and Whitney over tonight for dinner, dessert and games.

Tomorrow, I plan on shopping alone with Lindsey (alone meaning no husbands, no kids), not sure that we'll go super early though. Nothing we super want to get, mostly just to get out and shop. I am going to look for some jeans though. Two pairs of non-PJ-pants that fit work while I'm here every day, watching the girls, but for two weeks with family, I might need more.

Saturday we're going to Britt and Whitney's for the Clemson-Carolina game, which is each of their favorite teams. Elena is watching Lillian.

Sunday is church as normal and we are working in the nursery.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FAO Schwarz Dream List

If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars...I'd be rich. And, I'd buy all of these things.

Giant Doll House

Noah's Ark and Animal Set in Wood
And even though I don't have a million dollars, I'm VERY tempted to splurge on these amazing things.

Plush Noah's Ark
seems like almost a good deal at $68

Hopscotch Giraffe Plush
seems expensive at $50 but its SOOO adorable, and big enough for her to sit on.

Convertible Grow-Up Walker/Ride-On/Push Along Cart also kind of surprised me at only $100. This is INGENIOUS in all its multiple contortions.

Let Your Child Soar

I get Parents Magazine and this December issue had a great article in it "Let your Child Soar: and 49 other ways to be a fantastic parent. I thought I'd share it....

Throughout the year, our board of advisors -- a brain trust of the best pediatric doctors, developmental experts, and educators in the country -- shares the latest thinking about raising happy and healthy kids in the pages of Parents. Now we've gathered our all-time favorite nuggets of their advice in one outstanding article that will have a profound effect on your whole family.

Set Smart Limits

Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

Don't clip your child's wings. Your toddler's mission in life is to gain independence. So when she's developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem (and your sanity!).

Don't try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child's minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.

Remember that discipline is not punishment. Enforcing limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become competent, caring, and in control.

Pick your battles. Kids can't absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like fashion choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter -- that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.

Create Your Own Quality Time

Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don't worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. That's the name of the game.

Read books together every day. Get started when he's a newborn; babies love listening to the sound of their parents' voices. Cuddling up with your child and a book is a great bonding experience that will set him up for a lifetime of reading.

Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There's no better way for you to show your love.

Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad -- early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.

Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals -- like bedtimes and game night -- that you do together.

Be a Good Role Model

Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Live a little greener. Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.

Always tell the truth. It's how you want your child to behave, right?

Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it's your job to set a great standard.

Respect parenting differences. Support your spouse's basic approach to raising kids -- unless it's way out of line. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your marriage and your child's sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own.

Know the Best Ways to Praise

Give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, "You're great," try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, "Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience."

Cheer the good stuff. When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It's a great way to reinforce good behavior so he's more likely to keep doing it.

Gossip about your kids. Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.

Trust Yourself

Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you're too tired to cook doesn't make you a bad parent.

Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something's wrong, chances are you're right.

Just say "No." Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child's school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.

Don't accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect.

Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child's life -- your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter -- to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.

Don't Forget to Teach Social Skills

Ask your children three "you" questions every day. The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, "Did you have fun at school?"; "What did you do at the party you went to?"; or "Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon?"

Teach kids this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person's eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.

Acknowledge your kid's strong emotions. When your child's meltdown is over, ask him, "How did that feel?" and "What do you think would make it better?" Then listen to him. He'll recover from a tantrum more easily if you let him talk it out.

Raise Grateful Kids

Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community.

Don't raise a spoiled kid. Keep this thought in mind: Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.

Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early: When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why.

Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer: When you're kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself.

Set up a "gratitude circle" every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good.

Don't Stress About Dinner

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don't give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it.

Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won't starve.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect -- a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating habits.

Let your kids place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what's for dinner and cook it for them.

Always Say "I Love You"

Love your children equally, but treat them uniquely. They're individuals.

Say "I love you" whenever you feel it, even if it's 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible.

Keep in mind what grandmoms always say. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people.

Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry's piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now -- it will be over far too fast.

Boost Brainpower & Physical Activity

Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can't talk doesn't mean there isn't lots that she'd like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration.

Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P.S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often.

Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.

Health Advice All Parents Should Follow

Get your kids vaccinated. Outbreaks of measles and other diseases still occur in our country and throughout the world.

Protect that smile. Encouraging your kid to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities.

Be vigilant about safety. Babyproof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter.

Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your kid's fever is caused by a virus, don't push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.

Keep sunblock next to your kid's toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It'll become as natural as brushing her teeth.

Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line.

Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty: He senses the urge to pee and poop (this is different from knowing that he's already gone), and he asks for a diaper change.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Posh Passy

I just won a contest!!!

I won a giveaway from the Posh Passy. The giveaway was for a Wet Bag. As you know, we live with the Puke Princess and I can't wait to get this in the mail and start using it. It will be perfect for that LONG car drive to Michigan, to contain the wet (and the smell) while we're in the car.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Vacation by the Numbers

For 15 days of vacation (including 2 travel days) Lillian requires: (taken directly from my packing list)

1 container Gerber Puffs
1 bag Gerber Yogurt Puffs
1 boppy pillow-to sleep with
1 winter coat
1 puffer vest
1 pair slippers
1 pair boots
1 pair tennis shoes
1 diaper bag
1 bottle tylenol
1 bottle teething tablets
1 bottle oxy clean stain spray
1 pack and play (thankfully, its already in MI, we're borrowing one)
1 box animal crackers
1 bottle baby wash
1 headband
1 Carseat
1 tube lotion
1 swimsuit (indoors at hotel)
1 brush
1.5 boxes cheerios
2 travel size oxy clean stain sprays
2 onesie extenders
2 dirty clothes bags (1 for house, 1 for diaper bag)
2 reusable plastic bibs
2 bottles gas drops (eat like a man, fart like a man)
2 pair dress shoes
2 strollers (1 for her to use, 1 is broken ,Dad is going to fix it)
2 gallons milk (1 8oz milk bottle a day)
2 large containers yogurt-to mix with breakfast and lunch #2 jars of fruit
2 Plug Leashes
2 boxes of baby cereal (to mix in with her food-she hates it runny)
2 stuffed toys
3 hats
3 Sippy Cups (2 Red, 1 Yellow)
3 Spoons
3 Forks
3 Bowls
3 pair tights
3 Packages of wipes
4 swim diapers
4 dresses (sunday morning, sunday night, puke back up for each)
4 pair pajamas
4 juice boxes
4 DVDs
4 pair PJs
5 Plugs
5 toys
5 books
6 cups Goldfish Crackers
6 blankets
6 christmas gifts
6 hairbows
7 packages of instant oatmeal (breakfast every other day-with adult food)
7 #3 jars of food (dinner every other day-with adult food)
7 CD's (so we don't get sick of them as quickly)
8 Toddler dinners (dinner every other day-with adult food)
8 stocking stuffers
9 Gifts for Family from Lillian
10 pairs of socks (wears them during the day and on both feet and hands at night)
10 disposable bibs
10 pants (wears about 3 a day)
20 shirts (wears about 6 a day)
20 oz All Free and Clear (1 load of laundry per day)
25 packages of Mum Mum Crackers (2 per package)
45 jars of #2 foods (2 for each meal: lunch every day and every other day breakfast-with adult food)
80 bags of formula (each contains 4 scoops of formula and makes an 8oz bottle)
130 diapers (8 a day plus 10 extra)

All in all, packaged in the car we will have:
1 box of formula (contains 320 scoops of formula and makes 640 oz of bottle)
1 box of wipes
1 box of christmas presents and stocking stuffers for Lillian
1 suitcase of clothes and toys
1 extra LARGE bag of extras (laundry stuff, bath stuff, boppy pillow, etc)
1 carseat
1 box of gifts from Lillian
2 car bags: one of toys and clothes and one of food
2 strollers
2 boxes of food (1 jarred and 1 snacks)
4 packages of diapers

And we will buy or borrow there:
1 Pack and Play and sheet
2 Family sized plain yogurt
2 Gallons milk
Undetermined amount of adult food

And, we need a few things for ourselves.


Store Closings

Below you'll find a list of stores that are closing effective now. Some stores are only closing some of their poor performing stores or scaling back on opening new locations. At this posting, I do not have the information of the exact locations of any of them. To be certain, you should call your own local store or stop by to know positively if it will be closing or not. Stores that informed the Security Exchange of closing plans between October 2008 and January 2009.

Please check your gift card stash for any that you need to redeem. And be careful of which ones you purchase.

Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide are to be closed
Bombay - Closing remaining stores
Carolina Pottery - Closing all stores
Cache - Closing 14 of their 284 stores and still opening new stores.
Charming Shoppes - Closing 150 of the 2,360 shops.
Circuit City - Closing 155 stores
CompUSA - All stores closed except the stores in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Puerto Rico. They continue to accept gift cards.
Cache - Closing all stores
Dillard's - Closing 20 stores with more in 2009
Disney - Closing 98 of the 322 North American stores and will close more after January
Eddie Bauer - Closing 27 stores and a few more after January
Ethan Allen - Closing down 12 stores and 2 service centers.
Footlocker - Closed 334 stores more to close after January
GAP - Closing 85 stores
Home Depot - Closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
JC Penney - Closing a number of stores after January
J. Jill - Previously reported as closing all stores. They still operate 283 locations and opening new stores, and still selling and redeeming gift cards.
K B Toys - Closing 356 stores
Kirkland's - Closing 130 stores
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's - To close 150 stored nationwide
Levitz - Closing down remaining stores
Linens and Things - Closing all stores
Lowes - Closing unkown amount of stores
Macys - To close 9 stores after January
Movie Galley - Closing all stores
Pacific Sunware - Closing stores
Pep Boys - Closing 33 stores
Piercing Pagoda - Closing all stores
Sharper Image - Closing down all stores
Sprint/ Nextel - Closing 133 stores
Talbots - Closed 28 stores. Closes all the Talbots Kids, Tabots Mens and U.K. Buisinesses.
Whitehall - Closing all stores
Wickes Furniture - Closing all stores
Wilson Leather - Closing down all mall-based locatoins in 2008. It was aquired by G-III Apparel Group and operates 119 Wilsons outlets in the U.S.
Zales - Closed 105 retail outlets. Half of them kiosks and half of them stores. They did open 100 new outlets so the net change was relatively small.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Doings

I am now done:

Making Christmas Cards
Writing Christmas Letters
Printing Christmas Cards
Printing Christmas Letters
Stuffing envelopes
Sealing envelopes
Stamping Envelopes
Addressing Envelopes
Making homemade christmas gifts for family
Making a dress for Lillian
Making a matching dress for part of Kylie's christmas present
Making two photo books for christmas presents
Hunting down hard to find christmas presents
Dividing Lillian's Christmas and Birthday presents
Wrapping all Christmas presents that are not going to MI
Saving money for gas to and from Michigan (no flying this year)
Dividing up time between families while we are there
Buying winter coats for Lillian and myself to wear in Michigan
Buying cheap (or free) snackfood for the trip
Cutting out and planning Lillian's Christmas stocking
Sending Kyle's Christmas present overseas
Buying Lillian Christmas Eve pajamas

I am still:
Trying to find a portable DVD player to borrow to help the trip go smoother
Trying to decide if we should start switching Lil to milk before the trip or keep her solely on formula until after.
Sewing Lillian's stocking (should be done tomorrow...if I feel okay)
Looking for the perfect "First Christmas" ornament for Lillian
Wondering how everything we have to take will fit in the car

And now the guys....

Whitney needs to stop playing with this and get some real work done!


Meet our Bible Study Girls...well some of them

Introducing Whitney, Teresa, Kally and Carrie


And even better...http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/erlfj8TCcKP2PJDaR1nz

Meet Whitney and Britt


Whitney sent me this this morning. We did ourselves last year (as many of you will remember) but they've done HUGE improvements this year. I was cracking up. (Then grimacing cuz laughing hurt, then laughing some more, then...well, you get the idea).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I had my surgery yesterday, it involved more than we anticipated and it hurt more than I anticipated. But I'm still alive and it should only get better from here. Bible Study set up meals through Friday and we had sitters for Lil yesterday and today. Tomorrow though, I have both girls again, and by myself cuz R's on days. Pray that I'll be feeling much better than this by 7am tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Lillian said Mama today. Repeatedly. And with many witnesses. Score one for me, zero for him!


Go to http://inkubook.com and sign up with a new account and you can make a free photo book, and only pay shipping ($6.99). You must create your book and order it by November 30. Just use code PBK266 at checkout.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Family Pictures November 2008

1We took family pictures at the park the other day (thanks Mom Shipp!) and now we're trying to pick one for our Christmas card. Let me know (via a comment) which one is your favorite PLEASE!


2. Dad S.

3. Cyndi, Julie

4. Kerstin

5. Kerstin

6. Cyndi, Kellie

7. Mom S., Cyndi,



10. Julie, Kerstin


12. Mom S., Toni, Dad S., Kellie

13. Mom S.

Kids Eat Free

Now that Lillian is eating like a full grown man, I've been on the hunt for restaurants where "kids eat free" or really cheap. These are from various blogs on the internet and restaurant websites themselves, but you should call your local restaurant before planning on it for sure. This is my list so far...

Hooters (sorry, not many choices on Sunday!)

CiCi's Pizza
Fuddruckers - $0.99 - 5-9 pm
Texas Roadhouse
TGI Fridays

Atlanta Bread Company - 4-9 pm
Denny's - 4-10 pm
Fazoli's - $0.99 - 5-8 pm
Fuddruckers - $0.99 - 5-9 pm
Lone Star Steakhouse

Applebees - $0.99
Rainforest Cafe

Joe's Crab Shack - $0.99
Lone Star Steakhouse - 11- 4 pm

IHOP - $0.99 - 3-9pm

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


There are a million freebies this week, be sure to visit Mrs. Nespy's Frugal World for these freebies each week.


Black Friday Shopping

There are a couple sites that have the Black Friday ads listed early.


I do take advantage of Black Friday deals but I do it in an unconventional way to take full advantage of the sale prices but not have to venture out early and fight the crowds.

First, I check out the ads ahead of time, like the links you mentioned and make a list of what is on sale where, at what price. Then, I go through that list and pick out anything that can be purchased at wal-mart and go buy those items there on Black Friday. But you don't have to go early, because they are items that are not on sale at Wal-Mart, just at the other stores. Then, when you get to the register, just pull out your other ads and tell the cashier you are using their price match policy. As long as it is exactly the same item, you will get the lower price.

But...If there are really great deals on items that you cannot buy at Wal-Mart, I buy it on Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and pay full price. Then, sometime on Friday, usually as late as the sale goes to avoid crowds, my husband and I get hot drinks and drive to however many stores. I take my receipt in to the customer service desk (usually not busy at all, everyone is at the registers) and get a refund (price correction) of the difference because most stores offer this service if the price goes lower within 30 days. My husband takes the car in a circle around the parking lot (avoiding having to find a parking spot) and then picks me up and we are on to the next store in 5-10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Secret deodorant

I just saw a commercial that Secret deodorant is having a "bling" promotion. They are going to hide fake "bling" diamonds in various deodorants and if you find one, you turn it in for a real diamond. All I can say is...can you imagine your underarm finding a diamond. Ouch!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New stuff!

We got a new stroller today, is the Peg Perego Venezia and I LOVE IT!!!

It comes with a "boot" for cold days.

And makes into a bassinett for tiny babies.

We also got Lillian's Halloween costume for next year, yes - next year. It was picked because a. it was cheap and b. it is a Brill family thing. That's all you're getting until next October. Wait in suspense...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thank you to Mom and Dad Shipp who got us a gift card to Red Lobster and Uncle Dan and Aunt Paula and Grandma and Grandpa Abrams who sent us money for our anniversary. It came when it was greatly needed and is GREATLY appreciated.

We're hoping to get up to Richmond this weekend and see Richard's brother Kenny. We are going to look at a new stroller too, but it depends on the features the new one has compared to what we think we can get for our old one. (We have to sell the old carseat because it expires in July 2008 so we're thinking of selling the stroller too so it goes as a matching set.)

Richard got me flowers yesterday for no reason. Its a gorgeous mix of purple, pink and white flowers.

I still have to upload pictures from last weekend, I'll work on that tonight hopefully. But first I have to sort out our checkbook. Navy Federal changed around the way their website works and it screwed my books all up.

Going out of Business Sale

Linens-N-Things is going out of business and everything on their website is 30% off. This doesn't seem to great to me, but if you need anything from there, watch over the coming weeks for that percentage to go up.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

misc rumblings

There were three new comments waiting to be moderated when I signed in today so here I am to write my new post. Thanks Dad, Cyndi and Julie, although the first two of you were rather unorignal.

This week has been crazy insane. I think that is going to be our theme for awhile. We had our Bible Study group over on Saturday for pizza, cider, desserts and pumpkin carving. We had about 25 people including 10-12 little munchkins. We had so much fun, just spread out plastic tablecloths on the floor and dug right in. We had a hard time keeping the knives and carving tools from the kiddos but we figured it out and nominated "knife keepers". I did a star theme and Richard did a mummy head. We carved the top of Lillian's off and dug it out but haven't carved it yet. We also kept all the seeds from everyone's pumpkins and baked them. R is in punkin seed heaven.

I was bumed though because we were all excited about taking our pop-a-tot to the pumpkin patch and letting Lillian sit in it and watch everyone while we roamed the fields for the perfect pumpkin. However, it was a rainy messy day and we wern't sure if it would work because we didn't want our pop-a-tot to get all wet and dirty. But we took it anyways and thought we would try it, however, when we got there we found out that it wasn't really a pumpkin "patch" but more of a petting farm and pumpkin "pallet" lot. There wasn't any place to really use the pop a tot. And then, when everyone was back here carving pumpkins would have been a great time to use it BUT it was still in the car and I forgot about it until right now. We are going to have Kylie and Warren over tomorrow morning though and Lindsey is really interested in seeing it, not so much for Warren, but for her new baby, coming very soon.

We don't really have anything planned for this next weekend. I'm wondering what great adventures we can plan that don't cost much money. I'm thinking about maybe seeing what there is to do in Richmond, its only two hours away, if we can find some great stuff to do, the gas money would be worth it.

We went to the Farmer's Market today and R got a steak and some seasoning and I got some apple butter and a candle. We ate at a small BBQ restaurant that was really cheap but only had OK food. I got home to find two magazines in the mailbox (from yesterday) and am so excited to sit down and read those tonight. I love magazines. I will post pictures of the pumpkin "patch", carving and party pictures, but it won't be tonight, I'm being lazy today. But I figured if I didn't post soon, you all would start complaining.

Lillian is almost ready to cut two more teeth, on the top this time. They are right there, making bumps and you can see them but they are not through the skin yet. Any day now. She's chewing on everything, we got her a new teether that is shaped like a strawberry and vibrates when you chew on it. She loves it. She also had her first sucker today, which was dad's idea and mostly ended up as a drool bath for him. Fun to watch though. She also had BBQ sandwich and baked beans today for the first time. Loved everything of course. My little piggy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Comment Game

We're going to play a game. Every time I log on and there are no new comments to be moderated, I am not going to post. Every time I log on and there are comments, I will leave a new post. :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kids Klutter Katchers

I found these bags today and love them. They are definitely an add on to Lillian's Christmas list. And because they are a new company, just getting this product off the ground, they have a special right now that you can get 21 bags for 30 dollars. That's not much over $1 a bag. I can think of so many uses for these bags. Dirty clothes on trips. Keeping in the car for extra toys, diapers, plugs that must stay in there. Planning whole outfits (shirt, pants, bib, socks, shoes, bow) and putting them in for easy daddy access. Keeping little socks from getting lost in the dryer. I definitely need these for her. And I LOVE the original intention too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mid-Week update

We had bible study tonight instead of tomorrow because we had a big planning meeting. We just changed leaders for our group and are taking advantage of the change to make any other changes we want. I am so excited. I love our class, it has definintly been the best thing about being where we are right now, and THE reason we are not wanting to relocate with new orders. I love these couples, they are just like family.

Example, R and I wern't sure we were going to go out for our anniversary. We have been pretty busy lately and having to find a babysitter, pay for something to do (we're broke til the 15th) etc...

However...tonight at bible study, people knew our anniversary was coming up and offered to babysit, without me even having to ask. So Tim and Katey are going to watch Lillian tomorrow night (R gets off work early) so we can go to dinner. We were planning on going to IHop because we have a two for one coupon. However, Whitney asked why we were going to IHOP, did we really love it that much? Because it seemed like a lame place for an anniversary dinner. I told her it was because we had a coupon and she said she was buying us a gift card for dinner. We argued back and forth over email and facebook, she called me homie, and 15 emails later, she is buying us a surprise gift card tomorrow and we are eating at some place other than IHOP. It is amazing.

We have been looking for an "entertainment center" of sorts to help childproof our tv. The shelf we have now is open so Lillian is grabbing DVDs out of the playstation, and pushing buttons on the cable box. Also, if she stands up, she can put finger prints on the tv. So we are looking for a small cabinet, that is closed, preferably with glass to get the components inside and the tv up a little higher. We have a big, huge entertainment center in mind for once we have money and a living room big enough to hold such furniture. So for now we just want something super cheap in the meantime that can be used later in another way or sold on craigslist. I looked at Target and found this...


But, they are too expensive.

So, I looked on craigslist and found this dresser that I think will work good.

We'll probably paint it so that it doesn't clash with the good wood cabinet we have right next to the tv. But this is long enough that we can put the tv up on it (high, thankfully) and still have room next to it for the Tivo with a lamp on top of it (which will also allow us to get rid of the floor lamp that lil can pull over if she trys). And it will give us lots of extra storage. It will look a little odd to have a dresser in the living room, but I'm already over that. The only problem is, I contacted the seller and asked some questions and she answered, but now that I wrote her and told her I pulled cash out of our house fund and want to pick it up, she hasn't emailed me back. I'm so sad. I hope she does, I really think it would work good. And we scavaged the thrift stores around here and found nothing similar, all the dressers were too old and froo froo.

Lillian is now eating cheerios on her own, able to pick them up and get them to her mouth, AND let go. Its a huge help, to be able to have five minutes to myself while she mows down.

We were able to find a brand new babygate, still in the box and sealed, at Goodwill for only $15. They retail for $50-$100 now, unbelievably. It is one of the ones that can swing open as a door, rather than having to climb over (because you know my short self can't climb over anything without killing myself). We got it all installed last night after she went to bed. Although our apartment walls are made of paper and crap and nothing else, it seemed to stay up okay.

Today, I was in the bathroom, curling my hair for bible study and I hear a blood curdling scream. My first thought is that she leaned on it and it fell over. I go out there and look. Nope. She's standing up at the gate, hands on the clear plastic, balling her little eyes out. I call her name and ask what's wrong and she turns around and gives me the look of death. She then proceeds to bang her hands on the gate (pretty remarkable for one who isn't so adept at standing on her own yet). I pick her up and she stops crying and I set her down with lots of toys. I go back to curling my hair. When I come out I find her sitting at the gate, feet under it (it has to be up higher because of the molding) head and both hands resting on the plastic, peering through the gate, wistfully. She sat like that FOR FOURTY MINUTES until I picked her up to leave for bible study. It was freaking hilarious.

Whitney has two upcoming shows that I am able to help with (and one out of state that I can't, unfortunately) and I am so excited!

We have a pumpkin patch outing with our group on the 18th and then everyone is coming back here for cider and pizza while punkin carving. I'm contemplating making caramel apples, but not sure yet.

We also have three girls in our sunday school group ready to pop (with new babies). I am so excited to meet three new beautiful babies (two girls and a surprise!), especially without having to endure labor and surgery first.

Mom Shipp just bought a ticket to possibly come out in November, depending on how the surgery goes and if she has the hard kind or not. I hope she can come! We've been STARVED for visitors this year. I want anyone and everyone to come visit RIGHT NOW!!

We are having a halloween party, I have been planning Lil's costume forever and working on it, and its all completed now. HOWEVER, it never entered my mind that Richard and I would have to dress up. Well, we do, and I just found out. Thank goodness for craigslist. I found a set of brand new costumes for $25 total. And they're costumes we can save and wear in upcoming years if this fate is forced upon us again. I'm afraid, but sure that there will be pictures after the occurrence.

Two of my really good friends have birthdays the end of this month, Julie (from college) and Lindsey (from here, Kylie's mom). And Mom and Dad Brill so kindly shared their anniversary with us. Mom and Dad shipp are following only a month behind. Happy 30th!

We are spending thanksgiving with our "family" here, as most will either have brand new babies or duty that weekend. It won't be the same as real family, but super fun none-the-less. We are hoping for the first leave option for christmas which means we would actually be in Michigan for Christmas Day this year. Which would rock! Although we will have to rent a UHaul to transport Her Highness' gifts back and forth. Good thing R screwed up his Christmas present and is now getting nothing but coal.

These next few months are going to fly by. And remember, the majestical first birthday event will take place, Saturday, January 24th. All are welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please, please, join us.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Whitney Caroline Designs

I have spent the last week working with Whitney. Whitney is a fabulous Southern girl from our Sunday School class. She owns her own business, Whitney Caroline Designs, and just celebrated her first anniversary in September. Her husband is currently deployed but is due home in less than 20 days!!

She had her first show of this season this last weekend.

I helped her most nights during the week at her house. She had set up a mock booth in her dining room and we played around with how she wanted the goods displayed. Then we gathered the "refills" from her storage upstairs and priced and packed everything. Friday morning Richard and I dropped Lillian off at Kally's and headed over to Whitney's at 8 and we loaded up all the boxes and booth setup into Richard's truck and Whitney's jeep and headed to Town Center. We carried everything up (to the third floor-but with the help of an elevator) and started setting up the booth. R helped and took pictures and then got us lunch from Chick-Fil-A but then had to go to Work.

Whitney and I kept setting up (for four hours) and then went back to her house to freshen up and change and come back to sell. Her booth looked fabulous. Not exactly as we had planned though, after some of the Prissy Plates fell off the shelf and almost killed Whitney, we decided we better move them down a little. We had them up high at her house but with the floor being different the grid wall was wobbly, thus making it a safety hazard. She didn't want to start off her second year with a law suit, imagine that.

We both wore all black and green and pink (her colors) aprons that Kally and I made specifically for her to hold cash in rather than a cash box. The aprons turned out gorgeously- everyone commented on them and it really made us stand out.

The show actually had very low levels of foot traffic, as we heard from other vendors, but Whitney had good sales. Mostly because her stuff is GORGEOUS and less expensive than some of the other vendors there. She has a HUGE amount of stock and we kept pulling out "refills" as soon as something sold. Her booth was stocked up and people just kept buying. She had adorable muffin mixes that were packaged ready for gift giving, and even came with a red or green spatula. We made some pumpkin muffins and apple muffins Thursday night to have as "samples" and guess what? We sold out of the muffin mixes on Friday night, before we ran out of samples even. We're planning on making some of the sugar cookie mixes for her next show.

She has so much more inventory than is on her website even. But here are some of my favorites from the website...

Three Piece Cosmetic Set. This unfolds to hang over a door and then has two detachable make-up bags that are HUGE. And its in a ton of colors. She also has duffle bags and garment bags that go with each color.

Isn't this little spider dress ADORABLE?!?!?!?
This is one of the Prissy Plates. It is a collection of white ceramic that is compatible with several ribbons (bow is pre-tied for those of us who are bow illiterate) and the ribbons are interchangeable. I want one of these so badly but I would just sit there and put a new ribbon in it every day.
She does photo cards, Christmas cards, stationary and invitations. This is one of my favorites I think, although there are so many to choose from. She can do anything. If you have something you're looking for, just email her and she will blow your mind with her fabulosity.

I am so excited about this. She is going to start offering Scout Bags and Totes by Bungalow. These are gorgeous and so useful. I can already think of a million places in my house I want to put these and every size bag I want in every color. The totes are spectacular and they have tall ones that can be used for trash, laundry or toys. Large, wide ones that can be used for storage, trunk boxes, or toy boxes. They have ones that can be used as coolers and "troughs" for drinks at a party. They have smaller ones that I think would be perfect on a bookshelf for hiding clutter and making the shelf look spiffy.

My favorite bag is the "Four Boys Bag". It is HUMONGOUS! Probably named because you could fit four boys INSIDE this bag. I love it! My favorite pattern is the pink one shown below. They also offer that pattern in black with pink trim (Richard's favorite). If you are like me and MUST have one of these, email Whitney at Whitney@WhitneyCarolineDesigns.com.

She is also going to start selling stamps and accessories from Three Designing Women. I am IN LOVE with these and can't wait to get my hands on one of everything.

ALL IN ALL, I had a spectacular week but I am completely exhausted and slept almost all day today, along with doing 5 loads of laundry and opening lots and lots of mail.