Curly Crafty Mom: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last night my Grandpa passed away :(

Last night at 12:30 my Grandpa passed away in the nursing home. He has been dying for the last week, so it wasn't a total surprise, yet, he was doing okay until he caught a virus (or at least we assume that is what brought him down). My mom found out at 7 this morning and she called me at Noon after I got back in from running to Target and BabiesRUs with Nathan and Autumn. My Grandpa turned 101 this week and the last time I saw him was at his 100th birthday party. He loved seeing Nathan last year at his birthday party, but shortly after that, I got pregnant and then had Autumn and never made it to see him again. I feel bad about that :( I am looking at flowers online right now for my family and for my brother to send to the funeral home and I have no idea what to order as I've never ordered Sympathy flowers before. This was my mom's dad so of course I will be taking a couple of days off work so we can both attend the wake/funeral. I feel so bad for Grandpa, even though he was 101 he was not ready to die and it saddens me that we have no control over such things in this world. Hopefully he is in a better place and more comfortable and happy. I have pictures of Nathan with him at his 100th birthday party from last year that I will post later.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Moms Lunch Out

Today I went out to lunch at a small italian restaurant called Ricardo's near my work with the other ladies that are either pumping or that just had babies recently.

There was five of us in all:

Me, I'm a pumper

Karen - she has a 5 mo. old boy and is pumping

Camille - she has a 7 mo. old girl and a boy that was born the same year/month as Nathan. She's a pumper..

Kerry - she has a boy and just stopped pumping... Karen is her boss. The funny thing is that Kerry used to work in HR and was the one that did my initial interview and hired me!!

Kelley - she just returned to work this week and she is in the same department as me. She has 3 girls. She isn't pumping but does nurse before and after work.

Anyway, we had a fun time chit-chatting at lunch and I hope we do it again. Camille and I seem to have a lot in common since we are both potty training our boys with no luck, we both love our slings (the others hate them) and we both got the eggplant parmesan with salad lunch special which was realllly good. Karen is really cool, too, and she always leaves magazines in the lactation room to share with us. One of her magazines is missing and we were joking that the cleaning lady took it! The cleaning lady is a major boetch as Karen was pumping one day and she was knocking and jiggling the door even after Karen said she was in there and this was while she was all out there and trying to pump. We have to get a key from the front desk to get in the lactation room and the cleaning lady always forgets to return it. I guess we get in the way of her cleaning the room. Anyway, Karen's Southern Living is missing and we are on the look out. lol.

Talking about lunch, next week me and some of my coworkers in my department want to hit Crown Candy. Its an old time soda fountain that has been around since before I was born (its actually 100 years old, seriously!). They are known for their malts/shakes and BLT's! Anyway, they make a lot of candy and chocolates and before Easter they make chocolate MONKEYS instead of the traditional bunny! I am dying to get Nathan a chocolate monkey for his Easter basket this year as he will love it...plus, their chocolate is the best!!! Anyway, the place is on the Travel Channel Foodwire tonight at 9pm, because if you can drink 5 of their malts you get them free! He's also visiting Pappy's BBQ which is where my work catered in food the first day I came back after maternity leave. Too cool! Anyway, if you are ever in St. Louis, check the place out. They always have a line out the door. I'll try to take pics to post on my blog next week.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pictures of my beautiful girl...

I just wanted to share some pictures that reflect a little bit of Autumn's personality... :o)


Look at Miss Autumn holding her head up high while doing some tummy time!! I love her facial expression here...



Autumn loves her play gym... mainly, she loves the giraffe that has brightly colored balls as his feet. She is really good at grabbing these balls and once she grabs one of the balls, it goes right in her mouth. Yummy!



Here is a full view of her... she loves to bring her legs up to her chest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dairy Queen Sweet Deals

Dairy Queen is launching a value menu where you can mix and match nine menu items, choosing two for $3, three for $4 or four for $5. You have the freedom of choice with more than 20,000 combinations.

Menu items include the famous Dairy Queen® cheeseburger, classic all-beef hot dog, new chicken wrap, yummy French fries, crispy onion rings, fresh salad, beverage and an irresistible sundae or cone made with the signature DQ soft serve with the curl on top.

The reason why I am mentioning this on my blog is because I would love to be one of the first 250 people to write on their blog about what they'd do for a gift card for a Sweet Deal...

What I'd do for a sweet deal... that is easy, I'd write about how much I enjoyed my sweet AND free deal on my blog. Annnd, I'd wear icecream on my nose for the rest of the day. If anyone asks, I'll tell them its my sweet deal trademark!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is soooo worth a post...

I did the unbelievable tonight. I got both kids in bed by 8:06pm!!!!!!!! Jeremi always puts Nathan to bed (since Autumn has been born) and I always put Autumn to bed. Well, Jeremi was at Jeff's doing our taxes tonight... and, it was bed time for both and both were fussing... so I just did it..Nathan had all his stuffed animals on his bed, even Autumns from her closet. I told him to seperate them and throw them into Nathan's box and Autumn's box..he did it..then he wouldn't get in bed so I said well, I am going to feed Autumn in the other room then..he got in bed then and kicked his feet and fussed and was out in 10 minutes..lol... I DID IT!! Woohoo! I have a total high!!!!

Comparing Baptism photos

Before I went back to work, I did the Olan Mills free baby package for Autumn's 3 mo. pictures in her baptism gown. I will never go back there as they did a horrible job (that is another story), but it was free so I won't complain too much... I wish they would have used a different colored background other then black, it makes the white dress look too harsh. And, the flash was too bright and faded her arm out in the picture. Ughhh. Anyway, it probably looks even worse here because I scanned it in at work. Autumn is beautiful in it, though. Anyway, I scanned it in because she is actually wearing the same baptism dress that I wore at 3 months, too! Hopefully she will pass it down to her daughter, too.

Its neat to compare us side by side to see how she resembles me and I just love that my mom kept my dress so she could wear it on her special baptism day. The picture of me is quite old and has turned red. I love that I have pictures of us in the same dress!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meatloaf on a Bed of Potatoes (Crockpot recipe)

Today was a hectic day... I got a lot done.. Jeremi had to work again today, he works for a beer distributpr and everyone in the office has to work Mardi Gras weekend as we have a huge parade here in Saint Louis. So, he was gone at 8am. I gave Autumn her daily bath (yes, daily!) because she always has a huge morning poop and then there is the spit up and constant drool. We go through 8 bibs a day on her right now. After her bath, I made a scrambled egg with mustard for Nathan and I had cereal. Then, I fed Autumn and she fell asleep so I put her in the swing... thank goodness she stayed asleep because I had to get the ingredients in the crockpot. So, today I decided to try the other recipe that everyone is raving about on the Bargain Board which is Meatloaf on a Bed of Potatoes in the crockpot!


The meat is ground sirloin, which is not cheap-- 2 lbs was almost $9. I am guessing it needs to be ground sirloin since it is leaner because this cooks in the crockpot so hence no draining the meat. I must add, the final product was not greasy at all. Also, you'll see vegetable oil here but the recipe calls for Olive oil... which I didn't realize I was out of.. but, the vegetable oil did just fine. I also didn't want to buy a jar of Dijon mustard and the French's mustard did just fine as well...



I am famous for dropping eggs... I was just really rushing and trying to get the ingredients together and in the crock pot before Autumn woke up... I am sure Moms of new babies will understand this... Nathan was teasing Mommy for dropping the egg, so of course, I had to snatch a picture of him checking out the egg.



There, its all in the crock pot, ready to cook me dinner.



Sleeping Beauty... doesn't she look so serious in her sleep? Well, while she slept I finished cleaning the hallway bathroom and got it done JUST when she woke up and started to cry. Good timing!!

Then, we ran over to Babies R Us... I did their Pampers wipes deal yesterday but couldn't use the $15 giftcard they gave me till 6 hours later. Grr. So, of course that meant I had to take the kids there by myself again today. I got 2 packages of bottles (I need more), Huggies Overnight diapers for Nathan and freezer milk storage bags.. I am freezing my milk on Fri. and Sat. nights when I pump on one side at her 3am feeding. This way I can build up an emergency/backup supply in my freezer.

Ok, so back home... I feed Autumn, then Nathan and I eat a simple lunch. Feed Autumn again and she is sleeping realllly good so I try putting her in the swing and jackpot!! She slept 2-3 hours. Nathan and I worked on a big project while she was asleep, organizing Autumn's closet and drawers. I pulled 90% of her 0-3 mo. clothes out and put them in a storage bin. Then, I organized her sock drawer... I will have to post a pic of this later, it is sooo much better then it was.. its the small things that matter, right? Then, I organized her clothes in her chest of drawers better...and, cleaned up Nathan's room a bit. I also ironed my work pants and her baptism dress and I finally stored it away. I got a lot done with my free hands!!! Jeremi came home during part of this so that helped too, as Nathan and him went downstairs to play.

Ok, so duing all this... dinner was just cooking away for us in the lovely crockpot. 4:30pm came around... and the meatloaf was done!




Yummmm! Believe it or not, this is the first time I've ever made meatloaf. It was reallly good and we both have enough leftovers for our lunches tomorrow. I will def. be making it again! The meatloaf was tender and moist with great flavor and the potatoes were done and they also had good flavor.


Here is the recipe:

Meatloaf on a Bed of Potatoes (Crockpot recipe)
2 T olive oil
3 large russets, cut into 1 to 1-1/2” chunks
2 lb ground sirloin
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
3/4 cup ketchup
2 T dehydrated onions (optional)
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Topping
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard


Combine oil and potatoes in crock pot, toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on the bottom of the crock.

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, crumbs, ketchup, onion, salt and pepper. Mix gently, do not compact. Shape into oval or round, place on top of potatoes. Spread with topping.

Cover and cook on High for 1 hour. Reduce heat to Low and continue to cook for 7 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 160º to 165ºF.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bars

Today I decided to try out a recipe that they have been raving about on the Babycenter Bargain thread that I follow. After seeing numerous posts about how delicious these bars are, I decided I'd make them this Saturday afternoon.


The ingredients... and, no, there really isn't two sticks of butter in this, 3/4 of a cup... so, still, its A LOTTA butter, but not 2 sticks. lol.





I thought I'd get some energy out of Nathan, so I let him mash the bananas



Ready to go in the oven



Here they are...YUM! Yes, I really had 3 of them. I couldn't help myself... they were that good!!!!



Even Mr. Picky loved them!! So, I'd say they were a SUCESS!

Below is the recipe... and, tomorrow, I am going to make the other all too popular recipe on the Bargain thread-- Meatloaf on a Bed of Potatoes in the Crockpot. I haven't been doing much baking or cooking (thank goodness for carry out), so I thought it'd be fun to try out these two recipes this weekend. Another recipe that is popular on there that I want to try at another time is their Sticky Chicken recipe.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bars
¾ cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup (2-3) mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
6 oz semisweet chocolate pieces


Grease 15x10x1 inch baking pan. In a bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in the egg, bananas, and vanilla. Stir in flour. Add chocolate pieces.

Spread into baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or till golden. Cool. Cut into bars.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Outing

I picked the kids up from my parents house today after work and decided to run to the mall to pick up Autumn's baptism pics from Olan Mills. I figured, they are already in the car, why not just go now... Well, I only had our single stroller, so I had two choices:

(A) Wear Autumn in the sling and put Nathan in the stroller

(B) Keep Autumn in the car seat and have Nathan hold my hand and walk next to me

Well, THANK GOODNESS I picked choice (A), because as soon as we walked into Macy's, I realized I had parked next to the kids clothing and they had a display of cars and trucks! Of course, they do this to torment parents!!! Nathan has radar for things like this, and of course the whooolllee way to Olan Mills, he kept asking for one of the firetrucks. I got the pictures, and I actually went out a different door just to avoid the dang display! Grrr! So, if I wouldn't have had him in the stroller, we would NEVER have made it to Olan Mills and it would have been a disaster- seriously- he wanted his hands all over those toys on that display! SO, this Mom of two is learning!!!! Autumn did fanastic in the sling, she slept the entire time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

He won't do it on the potty... but, he'll do it in the...

TUB!!! Yep, Nathan pooped in the tub tonight. Luckily, I was feeding the baby so Jeremi was the one that got to see the floater. I asked him how he got it out of the tub? He said, "Oh, with Nathan's scooper..." Nathan loves to play with his sandbox toys in the tub, and there is scoopers and little shovels, etc. Well, Jeremi used one of the scoopers to scoop it out of the tub and into the toilet. Of course, I had to look at the poop in the toilet. The only time I've seen my son's poopies have been smooshed and mashed up in his diapers. He has NEVER, EVER gone poop on his potty chair. Well, lets just say it looked amazingly long and yep, it was his turd. I was laughing so hard... I mean, he has not pooped in the water since he has been a baby and it was the mustardy and liquidy breastmilk poop back then. I have no idea what brought this on, but wow, I needed a good laugh after a hard day of work! lol And, sorry, no pics of this one, folks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Autumn's first day at Grandma and Pa's house AND pumping update

Today was Autumn's first day over at Grandma's house... My parents have been coming to my house to watch both kids since I have been back at work, but today was the first day we brought them both to Grandma and Pa's house. My parents will still come over to our house on Monday/Tuesday's, though! Jeremi is dropping both kids off on his way to work in the morning, since I go in before him. Then, I pick both of them up on my way home from work since I get off before he does. Let me just say, wow, it is a LOT of work to pack a bag for a baby! My breastmilk bottles, nipples (ALMOST forgot these!!!), bibs because she is drooling and blowing spit bubbles like crazy, her favorite blanket, three outfit changes and diapers. I made a list so I don't forget anything, because its a lot to remember and we cannot forget any of these items or it'd result in going back home to get them. I also put a sign by the door for Jeremi so he does not forget the bag AND to get the breastmilk out of the fridge. Whew!!

Then, just picking them up is exhausting. I get off work at 4pm and got home just a little before 5pm. When I get to my parents house (which is on the way home from work), I first feed Autumn, then I had my Dad get Nathan's coat/hat on... THEN, had to coax Nathan to the door. Got Autumn in her carseat. Put Nathan in car first, had Dad get the bag and then got Autumn in the car. She cried the entiiiire way home so I took the highway instead of back roads. Once I was home I put the milk I had pumped in the fridge and fed her and she took a half hour nap. She was a tired baby girl!!!

Ok, now, good news... I am pumping enough milk!! Autumn wakes up one time at night, and its usually 3 or 3:30 am. I pump on one side and feed her on the other side. I get 5+ oz. on just one side at this hour!!! I am pumping 3 oz exactly ALL three times I pump at work. So, I am taking the extra bottle I pump at night and putting a little in each of the bottles that I pump at work. So, I have four 4 oz (or a little less) bottles for Autumn to drink each day. She gets a bottle every 2 hours, so at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. So, I am pumping 4 times a day but, it is so worth it so I can feed my baby girl entirely on breastmilk. This is such a relief to me that I am pumping enough milk now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Photo Meme

I saw this on my friend Katie's friend's blog page and couldn’t resist!

Here are the rules:
1. Choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder, and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four people to do the same. (I’m not tagging anyone-but everyone can play along!)
5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)



Wow! This picture was taken on May 11th, 2006, which was 6 days before I was induced and gave birth to Nathan. My cat of 9 years was put down due to cancer and I was heart broken... so, of course, I had to get another cat before Nathan was here... I remember we went evvverywhere looking for the perfect kitten or cat. My husband insisted I'd wait to get one after Nathan was here, but, oh no, I did not listen to him. We finally found Bratches at the PetsMart by our house and I remember holding her on top of my enlarged 9 month pregnant belly. The lady that we filled the paperwork out with asked me why I was getting a kitten when I was going to have a baby in any second... I told her I had lost my best pet friend in the world and needed another cat in my all too empty kitty-less home. She just gave me one of those looks. I never realized how emptyLESS my house would feel after Nathan arrived!!

Well, Bratchey came home with us and I loved her and carried her around everywhere with me until Nathan arrived.. and, let me just say, I will never ever have a kitten and a newborn at the same time ever again!!! lol. Don't get me wrong, I love Bratchey and pets in general.. BUT, I can't remember how many times Bratchey would cry and wake Nathan up after I had spent hours trying to get him down... or how hyper she was-- she would attack/paw at my hair while I'd be breastfeeding, etc., etc.

Anyway, that brings me to the picture-- Bratches loves to sit on the toilet in the morning to watch me get ready. So, yes, I have an audience of two (and sometimes 3) of those that enjoy watching me get ready. Bratchey is on the toilet seat, Autumn in her bouncy chair either awake or sleeping, and Nathan in the bathroom or bedroom peaking in every so often to see what Mommy is doing. Wow, what a great show I must put on!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pumping woes

Well, its my third day back to work and I am pumping 3 oz EACH time I pump, which is 3 times while I am at work. I used to pump 5 oz each time when I pumped with Nathan. Either Autumn eats less, or I am just not lucky this time? I took a large 32 oz. cup to work and I am filling it up twice and drinking a lot of water while at work. Also, eating mini wheats helped me last time with Nathan, so I'll munch on those throughout the day. I am also planning to pump on one side and feed on the other when Autumn wakes up for her 3am or so feeding. I am dreading this, but I did this to get milk before I returned to work and got 5 oz each time. So, this would give my mom one more bottle or I could use it to make the other bottles fuller. So, we'll see!! Sigh!! I might call my doctor to see what they suggest tomorrow. I hope I am not starving her while I am at work. She usually naps a lot more but won't take a long 3 hour nap for my mom like she does for me... she just takes 30 minute naps here and there...so that means she is awake more and gets hungrier too! I really do not want to start formula, Nathan never needed it... I am looking forward to her starting rice cereal at 4 months, too...

Here are a few pics I took tonight... she is really loving her mobile!!



Sunday, February 15, 2009

I love Trader Joe's!

My mom had been making me breakfast and lunch everyday while I was on maternity leave (Yes, I am forever grateful and spoiled!)... so, now that I am back at work, I needed to get some groceries for my lunches. My work has a cafeteria, but I rarely eat the food in it because I can eat a lot cheaper if I bring my lunch. I really like Trader Joe's because a lot of their meals/foods are healthy and organic, plus they are so affordable! They have a lot of original and new products, too! Every time you are in the store they also have a sample area with hot samples of their food products.

Here are some things I get there quite often... feel free to share what you love to buy at Trader Joe's!

Cherry tomatoes- huge container full and super cheap
Lite Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Four Cheese Ravioli
Hummus
Crumpets
Orange Juice - $1.99
Yogurts - my fave are the vanilla and the honey ones
Their cereals- most are $1.99 and so good
Microwave instant rice in one minute
Gazpacho
Boxed soups- Low Sodium Tomato, Sweet Potato, etc.
Frozen French Onion soup with cheese and croutons
Frozen mac and cheese - the bomb..one of the cheeses is gouda-my favorite cheese
Frozen pizza
Fruit sticks
Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas
Frozen cookie dough
They also have a wine called chuck buck or something like that..everyone raves over it. I have never tried it since I've either been pregnant or nursing for the last 3.5 years..

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nathan and Autumn's Valentine gifts

Well, of course, Valentine's Day has to be special for Nathan and Autumn, too! I got them a couple of gifts each so they could share with us in the excitement of the day. Nathan got 6 Valentine Hot Wheels and a fishies tube. Autumn got the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn teapot and a tea party board book (well, the board book is actually from my mom, but I threw it in the pictures because it goes with the teapot so well!).


Nathan sitting still and smiling really nice for me, because he knows if he doesn't I will take his toys back! (heheh.. j/k)



The Hot Wheels were actual individual Valentine cards that you'd normally hand out but since they were all different, I thought he'd love them for his Valentine gift.



We ordered Outback to GO for our Valentine dinner... while Jeremi went to pick it up, Nathan went with him, so I found it as a good chance to get a picture of Autumn with her Valentine gifts. If Nathan had been home, he would have wanted them right away!! Here she is in her bumbo before I opened her teapot.



Autumn at her own tea party!! I love this bumbo chair, it has a tray that hooks onto it. I have just started to sit her in it and she seems to like it so far... I only keep her in it 5-10 minutes because it is still a lot of work for her to hold her head up in it and plus its for 3 mo. and up and she is JUST 3 mo. this last week.

P.S. It was kind of sad, Jeremi got a cold today and my cold got sort of worse today... so we both have faucet-like runny noses... then we had Outback but Autumn was fussy so I ate it on the couch while nursing her and Jeremi ate his at the kitchen table while he fed Nathan dinner. So, we did not even have our Valentine's dinner at the same table OR room! lol!! Kids! ;)

Valentine's Day at Old Navy

Before I started back at work, I had stopped in at Old Navy to pick up some of their free Valentine cards. If you bring in the colored cards, you get a $5 in store coupon to use on Valentine's Day. Since Nathan is big on coloring now, I had him color one for himself and one for his sissy. Of course, Momma told him it said 'I love Hotwheels' on the card and not 'I love Old Navy'. That, of course, got him excited.

At the store they were having a baby sale so their jeans that are regular $17.40 were marked to $10. So after the coupon I got Nathan a pair of 3T jeans for next year for $5! And, for some weird reason they had no jean shorts for girls so I got Autumn a pair of khaki shorts in 6-12 mo. for $3 after her $5 coupon. Yeahhh!

Here are the cards that Nathan colored:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pumping Buddies

Well, today at work, I decided to email a lady that has been leaving her magazines in the lactation room at work. Her name was on the magazine and I wanted to see what times she went down to pump so I can decide when I should go down. She wrote me back and there is actually another lady that pumps and she has a May 2006 toddler, too! So, there is three of us pumping... Karen (the lady I emailed) suggested that we should all go out to lunch in a few weeks on a Friday. She is inviting 2 other moms that we work with so it'll be 5 of us. It should be a lot of fun to meet some fellow moms that are pumping and that have babies under 1. I know two of the ladies, but the other 3 I don't even know what they look like! I work in a big building so there is a lot of people outside my department that I don't know. What is funny is that one of the lady's used to be in Human Resources and was the one that did my initial interview almost 6 years ago! She is in sales now... Anyway, it was fun emailing them today and we all shared photos. I was glad to hear that Camille's son (the May 2006 toddler) is being difficult with potty training, too!

I also wanted to share a photo of the roses, bear and chocolates that Jeremi sent to me at work for Valentine's Day. I took them home today so I can enjoy them allll weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back at work

Today was my first day back at work, and it was just a really emotional day for me... First off, Autumn did not sleep well last night and woke up at 10:30pm, 11:30pm then at 12:30 I let her sleep on me in bed. I needed my sleep! Then at 1:30am Nathan woke up and wet his bed. Jeremi changed his sheets/PJs and got him back to bed. Then, at 4:30am Jeremi left for work and I laid in bed for the next half hour holding Autumn and tearing up. Finally at 5am I got in the shower and got ready. My parents were over at 6:30am and I had bathed and dressed Autumn (she had a big blow out and spitup) and was feeding her. It was sooo hard to hand her over to my mom this morning. I felt so guilty leaving her but I got in the car and drove away... and, of course I cried the entire way to work. Once at work I calmed down and did not cry again. It was just something about being in the building that made me stop. Noone else was at work when I got there but my desk was decorated and I had a small 19" monitor! Later it was explained to me that another coworkers power pack went out on hers so she took mine and they have a new one on order for me. This same coworker (Carol) brought in a strawberry dessert treat for me with HUGE strawberries on it. That was sweet of her... Then we all went down to the cafeteria and they filled me in on a lot of gossip.

I went down to pump and noticed the bathroom by HR is now JUST for pumping Momma's! YAY! This is great because when I pumped the entire first year with Nathan, it was available for anyone to use and I'd have to stand outside and wait for people to finish. Its a single stall and they have a table AND a fridge is in there now, too, which is great, I don't need to lug my milk upstairs! HOWEVER, one bad thing is now they lock the bathroom and when I went down to pump at 3pm, the lady guard at the front desk was gone and I had to ask a male guard for the key to the lactation room!!!!!! I was SO EMBARASSED! So, I will def. be pumping for the last time BEFORE 3pm when she leaves!

I am a little nervous about the amount I pumped... 4 oz EACH of the 3 times I pumped. I got 3 oz from one side and 1 oz from the other side. WHY am I getting so much from one breast and so little from the other? I am wondering if I feed Autumn more on my left so my right hand is free or I always feed her on my left first so maybe that is why? Anyway, when I pumped with Nathan I always got 6 oz total each time I pumped- a full bottle. So, either Miss Autumn eats less or I will need to keep pumping my left breast while feeding her on my right breast when she wakes around 3-4am or so at night to get some extra milk so she has full bottles. If I pump my left breast at that time in the morning I get 5 oz! Its when my milk is at its highest. Sigh... Any advice?

Jeremi got me flowers from PROFLOWERS at work today! It was the first time I've ever gotten flowers in a box! lol! They were SOOO pretty, I will try to take a picture tomorrow since I plan to take them home this weekend. I got 2 dozen and they are whites, pinks and reds- all roses and a little bit of babies breath. I also got a small teddy bear, small balloon and a box of chocolates. The chocolates are good, too, there is a little card that says what each one is...

Then, my work ordered BBQ at Paddy's BBQ and I got a turkey breast with baked potato platter. It was really good and it was so sweet of them to buy me lunch. They brought it in and we ate in the conference room.

It was such a busy day, I had 250 emails in my Inbox, 6 voicemails, had to pump 3 times, lunch, flowers and then I got 3 projects. When I got home Autumn was asleep in Daddy's arms. I was sooo happy to see her after 9.5 hours apart!!! Nathan got a bag of gifts from my mom today to make the transition smoother for him since Grandma will be spending more time with Autumn.

So, I hope tomorrow is easier and I don't tear up as much... I am glad tomorrow is Friday already. Here is a picture of me this morning before I handed Autumn off to my mom. And, yes, I know, I have serious roots! I am getting my hair done Saturday, which will be another hour and a half away from Autumn but its been since November so I need a trim and highights!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What I did on my last day of my maternity leave

Jeremi is covering someone elses shift this week at work and is going in reallly early. So, of course, Nathan woke up at 4:30 am and then Autumn at 6am. Since when does my baby sleep better then my almost preschooler? Nathan usually sleeps really well but has been waking up a lot lately.

At 11am I took Autumn to get her free photo session at Olan Mills for being a new baby. I had her wear her (my old) baptism gown. I got 1 8x10, 2 5x7, 10 wallets and 6 cards for free! I doubt I will ever go back there, I was not pleased at all. First off, it was small and dirty, one lady working there and she kept hacking into her shirt.. then, her black and white printer was broke and she spent a half hour on the phone fixing it while I waited. Ugh! But, the pose I selected was adorable of Autumn and she smiled. I won't get the photos till March 4th, though!!

Then I stopped at Old Navy to pick up their Valentine cards that Nathan can color, then I bring one back in on or before Valentine's Day and he gets a $5 giftcard!

We made pretzel dough in my breadmaker today and I wish we would have had some dogs to wrap the dough around- that would have been yummmmy!







Autumn's favorite thing to do these days is blowing spit bubbles! She can do this for hours and it is really making me go through a ton of bibs!



Well, I go back to work tomorrow... they called me today and said they are ordering Pappy's BBQ and for me to not bring lunch in. That is nice of them... this will be the first time I'll have eaten without holding or nursing a baby in 3 months! lol. I am going to miss Autumn sooo much tomorrow. I thought it'd be easier to go back this time since I've been through this with Nathan already. Its not easy though and I'm sad and bitter about it. Plus, I am not looking forward to pumping 3x a day at work either. But, at least I was able to take this time off and it was a wondeful 12 weeks off! I also need to figure out what I am going to wear tomorrow, I've been living in jeans/fleece pants. I stalled on my hair and can't get it done till this Saturday. I have some major roots!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Worried over my job today

I return back to work on Thursday, THIS Thursday!! Well, today my boss sent me an email at 10:30 that said this:

Hi Carrie. Well, the twelve weeks have gone by quickly. I'm sure you feel the same. While you were out, several changes have taken place that I'd like to talk to you about before you get back. When would be a convenient time for us to talk?

OMG! I was so scared that maybe they were replacing me to another department and position. I work at a large global corporation and we have 4 buildings just here in St. Louis. I love my job, coworkers, and I just earned 5 weeks of vacation this year! Anyway, they are restructering the entire Marketing department at my work and 3 people were replaced within the company. My company does this instead of layoffs... which is better then being laid off! But, still, its not something they do often nor would I want it to happen to me.

ANYWAY, whew!!! I called my boss and my job is safe... I just have a new boss, and he is someone that I really enjoy working with, so this is great. Basically they pulled him, me and 2 others out of my old department and made us into a new department. I will be learning new skills in my field, so this is wonderful and I see it as a great opportunity to better myself and my portfolio. Plus, I am still in Marketing and working with my coworkers, we are just in a specialized group now whereas the others are still doing what I used to do before...

Three Bread Bears Highlights Activity

My mom ordered the magazine Highlights for Nathan and she saw a cute recipe for making three bread bears. Today she brought over a ball of bread dough and worked with Nathan on making the bears.



Nathan is checking the dough out.



Bear pieces



Three dough bears with eyes. We had to let the dough rise



Nathan loved seeing the big bears after the dough had risen







All done!!!! Nathan just loves these three bread bears



Then... Grandma cut one of the bears in half for my Dad and for me to eat. Nathan got so sad and had tears down his face because Grandpa Ted and Mommy had eaten one of his bears!!!! So, Grandma made him another bear out of the ends of the homemade bread I had made yesterday. Nathan was sooo happy to have three bread bears once again. So, poor Grandma still has not gotten to taste one of these bears. Kids!!

Groceries Galore at Library

Each month, our local library has a themed activity for toddlers ages 2-5. I thought it would be fun to take Nathan to it today. The theme this month was Groceries Galore.




We got to the library a little early and Nathan fell in love with a set of Thomas books inside a box. Also, I did not realize this but you can check out tons of childrens movies, audio books and even leapstart (or whatever its called) games! I also saw a sign that says they are giving out a free book the first Thursday of every month during the 10am storytime! I am going to call to ask if they'll hold a free book for Nathan each month since I can't take him since I work. We'll see what they say...






The kids got to play a few games... here she had one kid at a time hide one item of food in the brown bag and the other kids had to guess the missing food item.






The kids got to do two crafts. Nathan got to make a coupon pouch with stickers.






The second craft was fun, too! Nathan got to glue and pat down pieces of food onto a grocery cart.



Nathan is grocery shopping at the library.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Free engraved keychain or bookmark to fellow Bloggers!

This is a freebie that I'd love to pass on. Customized Engraving is offering an engraved keychain or bookmark (up to 5 letters) to anyone that mentions them on their blog.

Customized Engraving

Thanks!

Valentine's Day Party at Story Time

Today we took Nathan to the last storytime before I return to work... sniff, sniff.. It was a Valentine's party today!!!



Today the teacher read a really neat book and I want to buy it for Nathan. It was called 'The Night Before Valentine's Day'. The teacher had them put their hands in the air and Nathan is doing it here.



First the kids had to weave the yarn in and out of each hole in the heart. Then they colored the inside of the heart with markers. Nathan is really getting more into coloring...



This part of the craft was really neat, the teacher brought out eyedroppers and the kids dropped water droplets on the hearts. The water made the marks that they had scribbled on the hearts bleed and gave it a watercolor effect.



Then the kids played a game where the teacher had hid several hearts (cut into two pieces) in the store for each pair of kids. One half of the heart had dots on it to represent a number, the other half had a number on it to represent how many dots there is on the other half. The kids had to look for the hearts in the store and then find the other kid with the match to their heart. We got a half heart with eight dots on it and the teacher had the half with the eight on it. The kids got a Little Debbie cake after the game.



The teacher also gave each kids a Valentine goody bag with a pencil, notebook and a valentine in it from the teacher.



I also used my breadmaker for the third time today. So, while we were at story time, it was working on some fresh white bread for us. Tomorrow we are going to make pretzel dough and then bake it by itself and with cheese rolled inside it.
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