Monday, February 28, 2011

I think It's Just a Girl Thing

Some girls buy a new top, pants, or bag every couple of months to "change" up their look.  I like when I can get a new top, or pants or bag, but for me, I find myself wanting to change up my hair.  As long as I can remember, I would let my hair grow, then I would cut it short and the cycle would continue over and over again every time I felt like I needed a change.
Shortly after I got married, I ventured into the world of color.  I dyed my hair brown, and have been going back and forth ever since.  But you see, I don't try a different color every six months.  I just jump between brown and my natural hair color (strawberry blonde).  The first time I colored my hair to brown it lasted two years, then I went back natural for about a year, and after a year and a half of brown, I am now contemplating going back natural.  But it's hard to make that decision knowing that I am going to want to change it up sooner or later.

It's just difficult to keep up with the maintenance of colored hair, not to mention the cost.  And with our grocery bill slowly increasing as the boys get bigger, the money currently used for hair appointments sure seems like it could be better utilized elsewhere.

So here are a list of the pros and cons I have come up with to hopefully assist in my decision-making.


Pros: No regrowth, free, it's actually a pretty color, no maintenance
Cons: Hair is much lighter than eyebrows, I look SUPER young, it may cause my children to not recognize me (since they've only seen me brunette)


Pros: Hair matches eyebrows, makes me look older (my age really), the brown looks like it could be natural
Cons: Cost, regrowth after 3 weeks, regrowth almost looks gray next to brown

Well, I guess there aren't a ton of pros and cons, but there they are.  If you have an opinion, please feel free to voice it.  I spend WAY to much time looking through photos trying to decide which I like better.  The hard part is, there are both good and bad photos of me with either hair color.

I know, I know, this is all my own doing.  I should really just buckle down and make up my own mind.  I guess I just know myself too well, and know that I am very likely to change my mind.

This was definitely a rant, and one that is pointless, but thanks for listening.  Have a great week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Addy Awards, Congratulations Gorilla!

Pictures of our night at the Addys.

Last Thursday, Eric's company was nominated for several advertising awards from local division of the American Advertising Federation. 

Along with being nominated, his company also created the winners reel that announced the winners of the different categories.  I was pretty excited for a reason to get all dressed up and go out, even if it was more of a work event for Eric. 

My intention was to snap a few photos of what I wore, and then snap of few of us as a couple.  I was all set to meet him at the venue, when he calls me and has me wait for him to pick me up.  This seems like it would have been a good thing, except that he was supposed to be at the event already.  Apparently, there were a few details that were missed in the winners reel and Eric had to quickly make the changes and race it to the venue in time for the awards show.  We were able to make it to the event just in time, but without time or energy to snap an outfit photo.  Alas, such is life.

Regardless of the lack of photos, Eric's company won three silver Addy Awards and six gold Addy Awards!  I was so proud of all the work he had done this year.  And it was nice to see him and his associates recognized for that hard work.  So congratulations Gorilla!

 And just because posts are better with photos.  Here are some of my outfit that I wore to the event.  Let me just preface that I was the one taking pictures, so they are all in a mirror or shot with a timer.

Dress: Target
Cardigan: Forever 21
Belt: Target
Boots: Aldo
Ring: Homemade

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday Night = New Food

Just before the boys arrived home, Eric and I talked about dinners at home.  Neither of us are great cooks, but since I'm staying home, I volunteered (or Eric volunteered me) to make a new dish once a week.  We chose Wednesdays because it's one of the few nights that we're all home together, and it's not over the weekend.
Since I am going to be making new foods on a regular basis, I thought it would only make sense to post the recipe in case anyone else would like it.  This is hopefully going to become a regular post each week.  It can also help to keep me accountable, and insure I make a new food.  So, without further adieu, here is the first food post.

Apricot Chicken

You can find the recipe on a great food blog called, Haute Apple Pie.  Click HERE to get this recipe and check out more.

It is very quick and easy to make, as are a lot of slow cooker recipes.  This meal only had five ingredients.

Unfortunately, I skimmed over the recipe before heading out to the grocery store.  I should have paid closer attention because the recipe calls for apricot preserves, and I picked up canned apricots.  But we just went with it.

I put the chicken on raise, and had a side of mashed sweet potatoes.  The chicken didn't have much of an apricot taste (my own fault for not actually following the recipe), but we mashed up the apricot halves in the chicken and that added a lot of flavor.

Overall, it was a very good meal.  Eric said that it wasn't his favorite of things I've made, but the chicken was sure tender.  I am going to definitely try this easy recipe again.  Only this time, I will make sure to get the proper ingredients :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Overcautious or Not Concerned Enough?

Maybe I'm being overly cautious, or maybe I don't find it serious enough.  When the boys first arrived home, I noticed that every once in a while Baxter would blink really hard, and sometimes his eyes would roll back into his head.  He never stiffened, made a noise like he was in pain, or did anything to indicate that he was anything other than fine.  I noticed, but didn't think it was anything to worry about, there was a lot more stuff going on with him when he first arrived.
After a while, it seemed to go away.  This made me think that it may have been associated with the new environment, the old environment or even travel.  But over the last month it has begun occurring again.  During a doctors appointment, my pediatrician even saw it happen.  He said that I should just monitor it, because it shouldn't be serious if it comes and goes.

Well, I have been observing it lately and there is no distinct time or reason it happens.  It doesn't seem to be triggered by a mood or action.  So recently I did some research online.  On WebMD, I used their symptom checker and all I was given was epilepsy.  Well, I wouldn't say that was encouraging.  I delved into epilepsy, and have decided and it isn't that.  But another thought did occur to me.  I wondered if it was tourrettes.  The information I found said that it was hereditary, and that it occurred in all races (although it was mostly in Caucasians).  The most interesting fact is that is can come and go, and the tics can also change (which would explain it's short disappearance).

So I've been recording every time that  I noticed it happen, when it happened and what he was doing.  He has a doctors appointment this Friday, so I am hoping to speak with the him about it.  It's hard because anything is possible.  I haven't the slightest knowledge of his medical history. 

A part of me feels like I am assuming the worst, potentially labeling my kid with a disease, but at the same time, I don't want to let something that could be effecting him go unknown.  Man, being a mom is tough.  I almost feel like I lose in either situation.  But it doesn't hurt to talk to my doctor.  Hopefully he will have some further insight.  I'll let you know what I find out.

Friday, February 18, 2011


So a while back, I went to a chiropractor who also did a lot with nutrition and supplements.  Actually, I was never even adjusted.  We focused on supplements.  Anyway, I found out that I was allergic to swiss cheese, provolone cheese, and commercial eggs.  This was good news, since there were times after breakfast that I felt sick and didn't know why.  But over the past several months, I haven't been feeling well, but couldn't pinpoint exactly what was causing it.  Then, at our Superbowl party my stomach swelled.  It had never happened before, and honestly, it freaked me out.

I had a feeling that I had a food allergy I wasn't aware of, and this pretty much confirmed it for me.  In response, I made an appointment at the Born Clinic.  I have a friend who works there and you can get tested for a large number of foods with just a blood sample.

My appointment's next week, and I am super excited to see the results.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Photos

A few weeks ago, the lovely Kaitlin O'Dell of Katy O Photo took our family pictures.  She has recently started her photography business in the last couple of years and has grown significantly over the past twelve months.  You should totally check her out.  And I don't just say that because she's my friend/cousin/neighbor.  She's just really great.

Anyway, she came upstairs to take photos of Eric and I as we interacted with the boys.  Because it was January in Michigan, we were confined to the indoors for pictures.  Sadly, outdoor photos will have to wait a few more months.

In addition to the confinement, the boys weren't feeling very good.  Atticus didn't sleep much before she arrived, and Baxter was uncharacteristically mellow.  They had been sick for a few days, and weren't too cooperative.  Despite these "challenges," Katy snapped away for a while and was able to get a number of good photos.

Their familiarity with Katy definitely made it easier.  The boys already know her as Aunt Katy, so they didn't have to warm up to some strange person taking their picture.  But Katy's the find of person that if you're not friends already, you'll definitely become friends by the end of the shoot.  She has a beautiful personality that's warm and fun to be around.

Here are a few of my favorites.

See, didn't they turn out well?  She's basically a miracle-worker.  She took two sad, sleepy, and pouty babies and managed to get some really good photos.

So if you know anyone who needs a photographer, you can click HERE to check out her website.  She does weddings, engagements, family, pregnancy and babies.  She even has packages for the first year of baby's life as well!

Thanks Katy, you're the best!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Warning: Picture Heavy

 To be honest, I don't feel like I have a lot to say today.  So I thought I'd post a bunch of photos I've taken over the past couple of weeks.  Enjoy...

 Our dog likes sitting close.

Thankfully, Atticus doesn't mind :)


Making a decision.

Successfully used his brother as leverage.

I'm trying to remember if he was doing something wrong when I took this.  You'd think so.

The sun really ruins this picture, but I still love how the Bella is laying.

One of my favorites.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Playing Catch-up Today

My wonderful mother-in-law came over this morning and allowed me to get out of the house, and hit the gym.  It was absolutely marvelous.  But the two hours I spent at the gym were in place of the two hours of naptime I use to get things done.  So I feel a little behind today, but that's just life.

So, I am going to get back to my homework and hopefully get a couple more things done before the kiddos get up from their nap.  Happy almost Friday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

8 Weeks

Today the boys have been home for 8 weeks.  In one way, the time feels like it's flown by, but at the same time, it feels like a lot longer.  Maybe this just me.  I feel the same way about being married.  Sometimes it feels like longer than it actually is and sometimes I can't believe I've been married for as long as I have.  But the calendar doesn't lie.

Since coming home, the boys have made incredible progress.

Baxter is officially 8 1/2 month old.  When he first came home he was pretty sick with scabies, malnutrition, cradle cap, eczema, and a fungal diaper rash.  At first we were pretty sad, because Baxter just didn't seem happy.  But who could blame him for feeling lousy when he had all that going on.  Now that everything has cleared up, he is as happy as can be.  He can be a little needy at times, but we're okay with all the hugs he wants to give.  He is crawling, and pulling himself up on everything.  We are constantly keeping an eye on what he's doing and watching for any signs he might fall.  Although, now that he can get down from standing, it makes things a lot easier.  He is constantly on the move, and doesn't like being confined to any sort of exesaucer.  Needless to say that most of my time while he is awake is spent on watching him scoot around.  It's crazy to think that I will be planning a 1 year birthday soon.

And Atticus is almost exactly two months younger, so he's now 6 1/2 month old.  When you see them every day, it's hard to notice all of the progress that they've made.  But when he first came home, he could barely sit up on his own (with help), and refused to put any weight on his legs.  Health-wise, Atticus was and is very healthy.  He came home without any real issues and was in the 50th percentile for height and weight.  Since then, he sits up on his own constantly and tips over only occasionally, and he will now stand up with the help of someone.  He has grown so much, but is still our very content baby.  He almost always has a smile on his face.  Recently he has started babbling a lot more, and we usually find him doing it by himself.  He thinks he's so funny.  Atticus doesn't seem as interested as Baxter in crawling and walking, so we don't expect either to happen for a while, but you never know.  Atticus will turn 1 on July 19.  He shares his birthday with my "nephew" (my best friend's little boy), and also his grandma (Eric's mom).  Needless to say, July is going to be a busy month for us.

Eric has been editing the documentary he is creating for them, and comes home blown away at how far they've come.  He has had the opportunity to really see the difference because he spends all day watching footage of them while we were in the DRC.  Hopefully I will get a chance to see it soon.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We enjoyed a movie on Saturday and a Superbowl party with friends.  So I'd say it was pretty successful.  Have a great week!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Family Photos Coming Soon

A couple of weekends ago, Katy of Katy O Photo came and took pictures of the boys.  It was very convenient because she happens to be my cousin and even more convenient is that she lives downstairs.  But those aren't the only reasons I asked her.  She's a very talented photography and her business has really been growing over the last year. 

Anyway, the day came when she was to take our photos and the boys weren't feeling well.  We tried to time it right so that they would both be up and happy, but our attempts failed.  She still took our photos for a while, but I imagine a lot of them consist of Baxter crying and Atticus falling asleep while sitting up.  Needless to say, it wasn't ideal.

So tomorrow, Katy is coming up for another try.  This time she is only going to photograph the boys, which works out because Eric is helping a friend move most of the day.  We are crossing our fingers that the boys are in high spirits and willing to smile for the camera.  I think the fact that they are both over their colds puts the odds in our favor, but we must wait and see.

When I get the pictures back from Katy, I will be sure to post a lot of them.

And if you like to read blogs, you should head over to Katy's photography blog, HERE.  She has a lot of posts of the pictures she's taken (babies, weddings, engagements, etc).  And if you know anyone who is in need of a photog, send them her way.  She's just marvelous!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day

As most people know, the Midwest has received a large amount of snow since yesterday, leaving most children and adults with a snow day.  Truthfully, it's just not the same when you're a stay-at-home-mom.  The kiddos still take the same naps, need to be fed at the same times, require the same amount of attention, and fuss just as much.  Just because it's a "snow day" doesn't mean your kids act any differently or you get to spend more time relaxing.  Alas.

But I do still get time to myself while the boys nap.  And with all this snow, for some reason I don't feel as guilty for spending time online, and still being in my pajamas.  That, plus a hot cup of cocoa just seems right. 

The only unfortunate thing about this blizzard (snowpocalypse has actually been used here in MI), is that I was planning on grocery shopping tonight.  Yep, the snow storm came when my refrigerator and cupboards are bare, and I was not able to get to the store yesterday.  And it's been reported that the side roads, which is what I live on, won't be plowed for another 8 hours or so.  Although, Eric was able to make it off our road and to work. 

But there is a slight possibility that our road won't even be plowed at all.  When you have odd/even parking, you grow to despise those that park on the wrong side of the street.  And last night, two people decided that they were going to park on the wrong side.  When this happens, some plow trucks won't come down our street at all.  They have a hard time fitting between two rows of cars.  Ugh, how frustrating. 

It's crazy to think that this would have been the best day ever when I was a kid.  Now, I just get mad at the two crazies who prevent me from going to the grocery store.  It's interesting how our perceptions change at different times in life.

Happy Snow Day!