Friday, December 30, 2011

Dinner Experiment

I tried something new for dinner tonight.  I tried quinoa.  And, not only did I like it, Emma and Jack did as well.  I cooked it using chicken broth, instead of water.  And, I also sauteed vegetables to go along with it.  It was a great meal!

I have to admit that I was surprised when Emma willingly tried it, and then liked it.  And, the best part, is that it is healthy!  Granted, I had to mash the vegetables up and stir them into the quinoa without Emma seeing me.  And, then, she still spotted some.  But, even that didn't keep her from eating it. 

Hopefully, she's growing out of her picky phase.  I won't hold my breath, but each new food is a victory! 

Happy Friday! And, way to go Bulldogs! Hail State!

 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Celebrate Jesus today, HIS birth, HIS life, death, and resurrection. Give thanks for all that HE has blessed you with.

Merry Christmas! Much love to you and yours!

Jes

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anyone else?




Is  anyone else having trouble posting?  I typed this great, long post and it wouldn't save or post.  Now, it is lost and I am so frustrated!  Ugh!


I

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ph- Ph- Ph- Phases...


Well, it seems that everyone in my house is going through a phase... Jack has entered the separation anxiety phase.  Majorly.  I can't seem to even turn my back to him without a full-on melt down. 
Emma went through this too, but Jack has taken it to a whole new level. 

He goes from happy to shrill, blood-curdling screams in about half a second.  And, he will not stop screaming until I pick him up.  But, then, the second I do pick him up, he chuckles.

I've tried to build up his tolerance of me being out of his sight, but so far, we haven't been able to get past the half second point.  He just screams and cries until his face turns purple and he can hardly breathe.  It literally takes him five minutes to calm down.  I don't know what to do with him!

I have learned to do just about everything with him on my hip... and that's no easy feat.  My biggest problem is when I need to shower and I'm not able to do it during his nap time.  Even when I put him right in front of the shower so that he can see me, he still falls apart.

I know it is just a phase, but the poor little guy gets so upset and it breaks my heart.  I hate it.

Or, maybe it isn't a phase... Maybe I've created a monster.  A Mama's-Boy kind of monster!  I still hate that he gets so upset, but I have to admit, it warms my soul to know he loves me so much...

This could turn out ugly for his future wife.  I better get myself in check and not ruin him completely!  Or, maybe I will ruin him so that he'll stay my baby forever... maybe!



Monday, December 12, 2011

Bedtime Battles


Bedtime has become battle time at our house.  I'm not even sure when or how it started, but it is a nightmare.

"My tummy hurts because it needs chocolate milk..." "I need to potty..." "My finger is sticky..." "I'm not (yawn) sleepy..." and my personal favorite: "I need um, ...um, ...ummm, well, I need something!" There are so many excuses, I can't even keep up!

Lately, it takes around an hour before Emma finally stays in bed. I have tried a little bit of everything, but nothing seems to work.  I have started bed time earlier/later, I have spanked, I have put her right back in bed without speaking a word to her, I've even taken her toys from her.  She still gets up!

Short of strapping this kid to the bed, I don't know what else to do!

It is seriously taking a toll on me.  I just don't know what happened to my good sleeper.  I mean, really, she was such a good bed timer!  And, now, not so much... I can't figure it out.

It is such a frustrating time because I don't know if she is just stalling to be stalling or if she is dealing with something she can't verbalize yet.  Either way, I want to help her... I just feel helpless.

I hope that this gets better soon.  She needs her sleep, and Mama needs her sanity!








Friday, December 2, 2011

Kindness

I was in Wal-Mart the other evening with both kids. I only needed one thing, but you know how it is in Wal-Mart... One thing always turns into at least ten.

Anyway, I was strolling along with Jack strapped on my chest in the Baby Bjorn and Emma in the buggy, making my way through the store. And, being the holiday season, Wal-Mart was a mad house. So, as I was strolling along, I was having a pity party in my head... I was tired, frustrated, and just having a moment. You know the ones... Where you feel unimportant, unneeded, etc...

Finally, though, at least ten items later, I headed to the check-out lines, which were four deep. As I was standing, waiting my turn, an older gentleman approached me. He walked up smiling and my first thought was 'what has Emma done!?!' (She has a tendency to draw attention to us when we are out in public.)


Anyway, he approached carefully and said excuse me. So, now, I'm thinking that he needs help finding an item. But he continued by saying, "I just had to tell you that seeing you with your kids tonight was worth my trip to town." He continued, saying, "They are beautiful and you are too. I have enjoyed seeing a beautiful family while I was out."

I thanked him several times over and held back tears.

God knew that I needed that tiny bit of acknowledgement right then. And He put that stranger there.

Those few words of kindness truly brightened my day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cloth Diapering

I've had to resort to cloth diapers today. Not that I ran out of diapers or anything... But because my sweet baby's bottom is in a mess!

He is teething and the 'teething booty' has attacked! The poor little guy has the worst diaper rash ever. It started Sunday. He pooped and when he was wiped, his skin just rolled off. Seriously. His bottom was, and still is, raw and bleeding. And every time he poops, it just gets worse.

I've quit using wipes and just use wet bath cloths. I've tried every diaper cream out there. They just make it worse. So, today I called the doctor for advice.

Their suggestion was a specific kind of cream, no wipes and let his bottom 'breathe'. So, that's what we're doing. And praying it works.

I can not handle it getting any worse. It makes me sick to my stomach to look at it and think about how painful it must be for him! Poor baby!

So, here we are... In cloth diapers until his bottom heals. And, I have to admit, I kind of like the idea. Who knows, maybe I'll like it!

Take a peak at my first and second attempt... Definitely need some practice!

Say What!


I was cooking breakfast the other morning and Emma came in the kitchen with her dress-up clothes on.  This particular outfit is one that she had been wearing every day, so I decided to snap a few pictures of her.

She was being her usual self and turning her back to me while I had my camera.  So, after countless attempts and pleading with her to 'Say Cheese,' I still hadn't gotten her to look at me.

I was about to go put my camera away and Chuck came into the kitchen.  He wanted me to try again and asked her to look at me and say 'cheese.' She said no and kept peeling apart her stickers.

A few seconds passed and she turned to look at Chuck and me and said, "No, Daddy. Don't say cheese.  Say 'Cold Beer!'"


Monday, November 28, 2011

Guess Who...


Guess who has two teeth!?!?!  Jack's first tooth came in on November 1 and two days later, on the third, the second one came in!  And, I have a feeling that there will be more in the near future.  Gosh, my baby boy is growing up so fast! (Water works turning on now.) 




Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brr-ing


Are you brr-ing where you are, yet?  We aren't here for the most part.  A few mornings and evenings have been down right chilly, but mid-day is still in the 70s.

Emma, however, acts as if we live in Antarctica...  She isn't a bit dramatic, and I don't EVER use sarcasm.

I have to admit, though, it is pretty cute to hear her say, "Mama, I'm brr-ing! Are you?"  She has heard me say ''Brr... Are you freezing?" when I get her out of the tub.  And from that she has coined the word 'brr-ing.'

In the picture above, we were at Disney's Hollywood Studios waiting on Fantasmic to begin.  Though it had been 80 degrees all day, the temperature dropped once the sun went down.  Being the great mama that I am, neither of my kids were dressed for cold weather, nor did I have anything in their bags.

Thanks to Aunt Jenn for being prepared!  She had extra clothes for Laila that Emma borrowed. And I was able to wrap Jack in his blanket to keep him warm.  Emma took one of the blankets and had Aunt Jenn create a coat for her.  She thought she was hot stuff... Emma, not, Jenn! Well, Jenn may have, but she kept it to herself and didn't strut around like Emma did.

Anyway, Emma was brr-ing that night... Along with the rest of us.  And, honestly, 'brr-ing' is about the only word I know that sums it up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Question Friday


It's been a while... Life happens.  But, here it is, my Five Question Friday!  Hope your Friday has been great!  Enjoy!



Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! Don't forget the very most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!

1. Is there a special dish you prepare that you are famous for?

I make homemade cranberry sauce.  Nothing complicated, just something I tried a few years ago and it became a hit!

2. Are you (did you) go Black Friday shopping ?

Um, not a chance. I have no desire to deal with the craziness!  Word on the street is that two women had to be tased (tasered?) at the Wal-Mart here.  Seriously, there isn't a thing in any store around worth it!  

3. What are your strangest holiday traditions?

Nothing too strange for us.  We are pretty boring like that.

4. Pecan or pumpkin pie? (She actually asked "Apple or pumpkin?" I just T-giving'ed it!)

Definitely Pecan.  Although, I have had a good pumpkin pie before.  

5. When will you put up your Christmas tree?

Not sure... I had originally thought that I would do it next Sunday.  But, I just remembered that Emma's birthday party is that afternoon. I am so, so, so unprepared! I haven't even gotten the invitations sent! Needless to say, I won't get my tree that day!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pass it On...



A big, HUGE thank-you to One Mommy for bestowing upon me the "Tell Me About Yourself Award."  I am so thankful to her and everyone else for following along with my blog!  I've been a slacker lately, I know.  I apologize, but it isn't that I don't think about blogging.  I just can't seem to sit myself down long enough to do it.

Anyway, without further delay... here is more about the award I received.  And, you can also see who I have chosen to bestow this award upon!  If you have been chosen as a recipient, please pass this award along.  Also, EVERYONE, please check out some of the fabulous blogs that I have chosen!






Once you have been given this award are to:
1.  Tell 7 things about yourself.
2.  Pass it along to 15 other bloggers.
So, here are 7 things about myself that I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet:
  1. I love to plan... I really do.  But, I don't always love to implement my plan the way I planned.  Confusing, I know.  Basically, I can be a super-mega, ultimate procrastinator.  I've adapted, though, and work well under pressure.
  2. I blog ALL the time... in my head.  I have written countless blog posts in my head while showering, cleaning, etc. I just can't seem to get them typed out.  Can you imagine how awesome my blog might be if I actually typed as many posts as I think up!
  3. I am independent to a  fault.  I feel like I can and should do it all, all by myself.  It is hard for me to ask for help.  
  4. I returned from Disney World around midnight last night.  It was a great trip!  I can't wait to share more about it.
  5. I am halfway through my 30th year... Wow! I guess if the old saying is true, then I must be having fun because time is flying!
  6. I currently have as many of my kids' toys in my bed as they do in their rooms.  Chuck is out of town tonight, so I didn't bother cleaning off my bed.  I just pushed the toys out of the way enough to get in bed.  I'm exhausted... please refer back to number 4.
  7. The past few months have been a bitch.  However, I do think that I have learned a lot about myself and my character through it all.  
Now for the fun part, passing it on to 15 other terrific bloggers!
And the award goes to…



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who Says That?

Emma is at the age where she picks up on everything.  Or at least everything that you don't want her to pick up on.  For example, we recently spent the weekend at Buckhaven, our little cabin in the woods.  We all had a blast and were able to relax and just enjoy our time.

In that relaxed atmosphere, Chuck has a tendency to forget that he must watch what he says.  He does really well, but Buckhaven is usually the place where anything goes because Emma isn't around to pick up on the choice words and phrases.

This particular weekend, he slipped up a time or two and said some of these things while she was around... one of which he edited (thankfully) mid-phrase.  So, instead of what he was going to say he replaced it with the word scratcher*.  Which was nice, because I really didn't want Emma to hear what he would have said.  So, of course, I gave the the look.  You know the one... Death by Lethal Glance... and tried not to draw any other attention to it. I really thought that I succeeded because Emma didn't even look up from playing.

But, of course, I thought wrong.  A few nights later, I had Emma and Jack in the tub.  She was playing with her tub letters, stacking them as high as she could.  Then, when she finally reached the tipping point and they all came tumbling down, she muttered, half under her breath, "Mudder (Mother) Scratcher*.

I almost fainted.  I really thought that maybe I heard her wrong, so I asked her to repeat herself.  And she said it again.  Obviously, I didn't contain my reaction as well as I thought, because she laughed and repeated herself several times.

I asked her who says that, to which she replied nonchalantly, "Me." So, I asked who else says that.  She started beaming and said, "Daddy!"

Daddy and I had a 'Come to Jesus' meeting shortly thereafter.

*Scratcher is a made up word used to replace an inappropriate one beginning with the letter F.  For more clarification, please find a sailor, or someone who seems to be a sailor based on the language he or she uses.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where Did Summer Go?

Is it really October already?  And, six days into it... Wow!  Where did the time go?  Didn't I just give birth to Jack yesterday?  I can't believe that he will be 6 months old this weekend!  And he's growing like crazy.  I plan to do better about posting and including pictures.

And, Emma.  I can't believe how much she has changed!  She is so tall and beautiful.  Not to mention smart!  Nothing gets by her.  She has also become a bit of a comedian... Though she has no idea.  I'll have to share with you her funnies!

Hope that everyone is doing well!  Take care!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Thursday

For the first time in way too long, I have been reading and catching up on some of the beloved blogs I follow.  And, I am so excited to read that I am not the only one who has been a bit neglectful to her blog! Thank goodness.

Life has just been so crazy busy since Jack made his grand entrance into the world, and well, my blog has suffered.  But, in all honesty, that isn't all that has suffered.  My house is a disaster, my ironing is piled sky high and my photography has kind of fallen to the way side to and sewing... wasn't that a hobby of mine for a while? Anyway... And, that doesn't even include what I have done, or not done for myself.

However, I joined the gym today and after a brief workout - Very brief.  So brief that I will not even embarrass myself by giving details - I am really feeling how neglectful I have been to myself.  It's sad really.  But, I am back on the wagon, ready to get my act together and get my booty back where it should be... not touching the backs of my knees!

I am also ready to get myself back into gear with my blog.  But, I think I need a revamp.  I mean, look at it... no where does it display Jack and I am so over the look of it.  I need something new.  I've been searching, but haven't found the perfect look yet.  Any suggestions??? Anyone want to make-over my blog for free??? I'll gladly display your info and advertise for you!  Please, I realize this is a major opportunity, but don't everyone email me at once! :)

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Hope that you have a wonderful weekend.  And be on the lookout for changes coming soon... I hope!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Miss Smarty Pants

On the way to Granna and Pop's, the other day, Emma said, "Mommy, I see Emma."  Not knowing, really, what she was talking about, I replied, "Oh, really?  Good."  However, my answer wasn't quite what she was looking for.  She kept saying "Mommy, I see Emma."  So, I asked her where she saw Emma.  She told me "In the sky" and then said, "I see Mommy and Jack in the sky, too."  I looked out the window where she was pointing, but didn't see anything.

I have to admit that I was a little freaked out.  My first thought was that maybe she saw angels... Because I do believe that children can see angels.  But then I started to ask myself what if she is really seeing us in the sky as angels!  I had a few moments of panic that something terrible was going to happen to us, but then managed to reign in my much-too-vivid imagination.

I kept asking questions to try to get more information out of her, but all she would say is that she saw Emma and Mommy and Jack in the sky.  I kept driving and glancing out the window, trying to see "Emma and Mommy and Jack in the sky."  Then, as we went around a curve, I glanced out again and noticed something in the sky that I wasn't able to see before... There were several clouds shaped like letters, rough letters, but close enough that even my two-year old could make them out... 'E' for Emma, 'M' for Mommy, and 'J' for Jack... just like I have been teaching her with our tub letters... Little Miss Smarty Pants!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Busted

I was driving Emma to school the other morning and on the way I picked up my phone.  I was fiddling with it when Emma began saying, "You have to drive it.  You have to drive it, Mommy."  I was a little confused, so I asked her, "Drive what?"  She then, said "You have to drive the big, Mommy."  She grew impatient with me while I was trying to figure out what in the world she was trying to say.  And, this led to her screaming, "You hand, Mommy.  You hand has to drive the big."  I told her I was driving and raised my hand off the steering wheel and put it back on to show her.  I said, "See?  Mommy is driving."  She told me NO and then said, "You other hand, Mommy."  I put my other hand on the big part of steering wheel while I was still holding my phone and asked her if that was better.  She said, "No, Mommy.  You have to put you phone down."

Busted.  Even my two-year-old realizes that it isn't a good idea to mess with a phone while driving.  Needless to say, I am more conscious about doing not anything but driving when I'm behind the wheel!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thoughts of Enough on a Summer night

I'm sitting out back in the cool breeze with a glass of wine, Adele playing on my iPhone and my thoughts. Talk about a wonderful summer night...

Luckily for me, I have babies who are the best sleepers, so I get to indulge myself. Jack has started sleeping though the night and he is just 8 weeks old!

He goes to bed by 7:30 and sleeps until 5:00. It is fantastic! And, even though it has me getting up early, it gives me some quality one-on-one time with him. It is in this hour, or sometimes two, before Emma awakes, that he coos and smiles constantly. He stares into my eyes and I fall even more in love with him.

Also, his early bedtime gives me some one-on-one time with Emma. And, this time is so precious. I don't get much time with just her these days. I try to, but with the demands of a baby, it doesn't always work out. I just hope that the time I do get with her is enough for her to know just how precious and special she is to me.

I guess it is natural, as a Mommy, to worry that you are giving enough to everyone... Making sure that everyone feels special. I know I do. I want everyone - my kids, my husband, my family, my friends - to feel like they are special to me. Because they are.

It's hard though. Or, at least it is for me. I have found that I fail more times than not. And that when I'm really honest with myself, I'm bothered by it more than the people I'm trying to make feel special. I have found that they feel loved, feel special, because of my desire to make them feel that way... Not necessarily because my desire to show them played out perfectly.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a group of ladies about this exact issue. We all talked about how we felt that we fell short far too often. And how we feel that we have failed as mothers/wives/daughters/sisters/friends/etc. And, during this discussion, one of these ladies said the most profound thing. She said that all she could do is what she is capable of and leave the rest to God. She talked about how she prayed that God would step in and love her family and friends for her when she had given all the love she could.

Wow.

I had never thought of this... Never thought to ask God to cover my shortcomings in this way. It is such a simple concept, and very much in line with what we as Christians are taught... Do what God has given you the ability to do and let him handle the rest... Because he can, and will, and does.

I always think to ask him to forgive and cover my shortcomings when it comes to sin. But, there are times when are shortcomings aren't really bad things... They are what they are. We, as humans, can only do so much, good or bad. And we have to trust that if we believe and ask God that He will take care of the rest.

Granted, I have trouble remembering this on a daily basis. Like I have said to Chuck and several close friends, I want to be Super Woman. I want to be able to do it all, perfectly, all by myself. And, unfortunately, or, rather, fortunately, when I take this approach, I fail. I say fortunately because if I didn't fail, I wouldn't be reminded of how much I need God. Of how prideful I can be. Of how I need to let go and trust.

It is human nature to want, to think that we can do things without help from others or from God. I know that I fall into this far too often. But, when I let it get the best of me, when I start beating myself up about how I'm not able to love enough, give enough, be enough... Enough of a mother for my kids, enough of a wife for my husband, enough of a daughter or friend, I try to think about my conversation with these ladies.

I try to remind myself that I am not enough, and that is perfectly okay because God fills in my gaps, or rather, massive craters and canyons, so that those I try to be 'enough' for have all that they need. And, when I remember this and truly trust in this, I'm at peace.

And, that my friends is what summer nights like tonight are for... Getting lost in thought and re-centered in my life and in my faith.

Hope you get lost and re-centered again soon!

jes

Jessica Alderman

www.myhappily-ever-after.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

U.S.N.

I personally didn't believe that the world would end today.  Although I joked with my husband that I would never have to turn 30 (tomorrow, eek!), I truly never believed any of the hype about the world coming to an end today.

However... Last night around 11:25, I might have given the possibility of the world ending a thought.  Or, at the very least, the world as we know it ending.  Go ahead and laugh; call me crazy.  But last night, if you had been in my shoes, or pajamas, rather, you probably wouldn't be laughing.

I was sitting on the couch, half-asleep, nursing Jack, when all of the sudden the eeriest thing occurred.  It was a U.S.N., an Unidentified Scary Noise.  If it can even be called that.  It was really more of a feeling than a sound.  As I was sitting on the couch with Jack, I felt my house literally quiver.  And, while my house quivered, I could hear the windows rattling.  It only lasted a couple of seconds, but it was long enough to completely freak me out!

I immediately started praying, begging God to keep my children safe.  I really thought that what I heard, or felt, was a bomb.  That we were being attacked by terrorist.

After it happened, I sat on the couch, stunned.  I kept waiting for Chuck to come in the living room, but after what seemed like an hour he still didn't come.  I got up to go into our bedroom and get him, but he met me in the kitchen.  In reality, it was only a few seconds after the actual U.S.N. happened that he came rushing in, asking if I heard THAT.

We tried to figure out what was going on; he even went outside with his gun to check things out, but we weren't able to.  I was too afraid to even look out the window!  Chuck suggested thunder, but my gut instinct was that it was most definitely NOT thunder.  I told him I thought it was an explosion somewhere.  Or, possibly a military plane that flew over, really, really low.  But I was certain that it was not thunder.

After a few minutes of trying to figure it out, we decided to turn on the police scanner just to see if they were talking about it.  Thank goodness they were.  And, come to find out, it was an explosion!  There is road work going on not far from our house and part of that work included blowing up a bridge that was no longer safe.

But, even though I knew what it was and that it was an explosion in a controlled environment, I couldn't shake the fear that I felt.   I laid awake in bed for a while thinking about this incident.  And, I began to think of the people in other countries where explosions happen on a regular basis.  I just can't imagine.  I can't imagine the fear that they live with, wondering if the next one will be the last for them, for their children and other loved ones.

I fell asleep last night praying for the people who experience these things.  Praying that God would bring peace to their hearts.  And, also, thanking God that my children don't live in a place where explosions are a regular part of life... which is something I don't thank HIM enough for.

So, with my thirtieth birthday just hours away, I think I will make a list of (at least) 30 things I am thankful for.

What are some things that you are thankful for?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Should...

I should be cleaning my house since both kids are napping.  I should be finishing thank you notes from the gifts we received over the weekend.  I should be catching up the laundry, ironing, organizing or about a million other things that are on my to-do list.  But, I'm not.

In the last five weeks, since Jack's arrival, I have somewhat neglected myself to take care of my family.  I do it by choice, and I do it happily.  And, I will continue to do it as long as I need to to make sure my family is well taken care of.  But, for now, for these next few moments while both kids are asleep, I am doing something I want to do for me... write!

I have loved every moment of the last five weeks.  I love having two babies.  I love taking care of them and Chuck.  But, I have missed blogging.  I have sat down to blog on several occasions, but couldn't get the words to flow.  I felt guilty for taking a few minutes away for myself and doing something I love.  Not that that is anything new for any given Mom out there, just a reality.  But anyway...

Things have been great around our house since Jack's arrival.  He is such a precious baby!  And, Emma is an excellent big sister.  She loves him so, so much.  I haven't had a chance to share some of the cute things she has said or done relating to him.  Such as, when he first was born, Emma kept calling him a HER.  She would say, "I wanna pet her."  No matter how much we tried at first, we could not get her to say HIM.

She finally has gotten her pronouns straight, but now refers to Jack as her 'Brother Sister.'  Not really sure why or how he is both, but it's cute to hear her refer to him that way.  She also loves to  'get Jack kisses.'  Poor little guy gets kissed a million times a day!  And, usually, I find him with a variety of lip print colors and debris.  Usually, it is the powder from white donuts, chocolate or strawberries.

Emma has been really good with Jack and knowing her boundaries with him.  Although she says she wants to pick him up, she hasn't tried to... YET.  She asks him all the time if he wants a bite of whatever she is eating or a drink of her milk.  Only once have I caught her trying to feed him something.  She was trying to shove cereal in his mouth the other morning!  I explained that he didn't have any teeth so he couldn't eat her food and that seemed to make sense to her.  Hopefully, she won't try that again!  Wishful thinking, huh?

When we are driving and he cries, she alternates between the sweet, 'It's okay, buddy' and the not so sweet, 'HUSH!' Most of the time she does responds sweetly to him crying.

I guess the hardest thing for her was me breastfeeding.  At first, Jack was jaundice and pretty lethargic.  It would take him forever to nurse.  And, my milk supply seemed low, so I felt like he wasn't getting enough to eat.  He would nurse often and that took a lot of time and attention away from Emma.  She would cry and become demanding when I would sit down to nurse.  However, that has gotten better.  Jack feeds much more efficiently and she is much more tolerant of not having my undivided attention.

Overall, life has been good here and just keeps getting better.  Not to say there haven't been hard days, because there have.  Luckily, they have been few and far between.  We are settling into a routine and getting the hang of being a family of four.

I look forward to getting back to blogging more often and sharing pictures of the kids... I don't think I have uploaded a single one to share with anyone since Jack was born!  I've got to do better!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Night Before Baby

Well, this is it.  This is the last night that I know for sure that I will be pregnant!  My emotions have run the gamut today from excited to relieved to anxious to down right panicked!

I am as prepared as I think I can be.  Considering that I have technically been in labor for over four weeks now (thanks babycenter.com for informing that labor technically begins when the cervix begins to change... that bit of info has made me feel great! :/), I have been prepared for a while.  However, today, I have been scrambling trying to do and re-do everything on my to-do list so that I'm extra prepared.

I have to admit, though, that while I should be sleeping now, resting up for tomorrow's event, I can't.  I'm tired, exhausted really, but my mind won't quit... Not to mention Chuck is snoring like crazy.  UGH!

I am more nervous about having my second baby than I was about having my first.  And, the only thing I can really figure out is that before I knew that if something happened to me that Chuck and my family would be able to comprehend and deal with it on some level.  This time around, with Emma being only two, I worry about her if something were to go terribly wrong and happen to me.  She won't understand and that breaks my heart.

Not that I'm expecting anything to go wrong.  I know that I am in very good hands with my doctor.  But, there are freak accidents that happen.  And, of course, in my recent days of reading about labor, I have run across stories about all of them!

Anyway, I plan on uploading pictures of my sweet baby boy once he gets here and telling you all about how he arrived safely.  I am thinking positive now and putting any negative thoughts away... well, except for those about the snoring that is keeping me awake and interrupting my thoughts to the point that I give up writing!  Maybe I'll be able to fall asleep.

Say a prayer for me, Chuck, Emma and our sweet baby boy!  He will be here soon!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Baby Update

Monday seems like it was a million years ago! This week has been dragging on... Much as I expected.

I went to my doctor appointment Monday with high hopes that he would induce me Tuesday. But, as I kind of knew, no such luck. I hadn't progressed much and he didn't feel that I would really be ready on Tuesday. He told me I could be stretched, but he didn't want to do that and then send me home because it might encourage labor, and well, labor while on the road is never a good idea.

As we continued to talk, he felt that I wouldn't make it another week and that when I did go, I would go quickly... I had Emma in about 5 hours.

I was pretty disappointed because I am miserable and ready to have this baby. Plus, I knew that if I told Chuck the truth about what he said, he wouldn't want me to come home and risk going into labor two and a half hours from the doctor. He would want me to stay at my parents'. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents and I love being at their house, but I feel guilty when I am there so much and away from home. I don't like Chuck going a long time without seeing Emma (and me), plus I feel like I am taking advantage of my parents. I know they don't feel that way and love helping out with Emma. I just feel bad.

Anyway, we kept talking and my doctor said that he was on call all weekend. He also said that if I came in and had been having contractions, he wouldn't send me home. The more we talked, it became pretty clear that I would be having a baby this weekend. Whew! I didn't think I could last any longer!

So, on Friday, I will be having a baby! We are all so excited! I have been home since Monday trying to finish up anything and everything possible. I'm at the point of unpacking and re-packing my hospital bag! I think I'm ready.

I can't believe it's almost here! And, I can't wait to meet my sweet baby boy!


Jessica Alderman

www.myhappily-ever-after.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Batteries Not Included


Emma and I attended a birthday party yesterday for our cousin, Noah.  It was a beautiful day, and a great outdoor party. 

As the party was coming to an end, the kids took their turns batting at a pinata.  Though Emma didn't take part in this part of the party (for the saftey of everyone involved!), she did go pick up candy and treats once the pinata had been broken. 

She returned to me with her goody bag and we looked through it.  After sampling all of the candy, she came across a kazoo.  She inspected it before putting it to her mouth and blowing on one end.  Nothing happened, so she took it out of her mouth, looked at it again and blew on the other end.  Still, nothing happened.  Then, she handed it to me and screamed, "Batteries! Batteries!  It needs batteries!"

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Update

Well, D-Day is coming up!  Officially, my due date is April 23.  However, my doctor has said that he will induce me on April 19, if I don't go into labor on my own.

I went for my 36 week check-up on Monday and am dilated 3 cm and 60% effaced.  Wow!  I didn't get to that point with Emma until 39 weeks!  At this appointment we also discussed an earlier induction date.  Nothing is set in stone, and it could change weekly depending on how much I have progressed.

Chuck and I are super excited to meet this baby boy.  And, I really think Emma is too... well, as much as a two-year old can be.  She is interested in all the baby things that coming into the house and loves to talk about Jack.  I hope that she continues to be excited about his arrival once he gets here.

I have been thinking back over this pregnancy and all the drama that has come along with it... I had two different episodes of a stomach bug of sorts.  Luckily, neither lasted more than 24 hours.  Then, I had the never-ending sinus infection.  Seriously, I think it lasted 3 months.  I took every medicine I could safely take and nothing touched it.  Finally, I was referred to an ENT to discuss having my sinuses cleaned out.  Of course, by the time the ENT could see me, I finally kicked it, so I didn't need the appointment.

Then, when I thought that I was over all the drama I spilled a pot of boiling water on my belly.  Yep, I did.  I took a pot of pasta of the stove and as I was draining it, it spilled out on me.  My belly was so red, but luckily, only one small area actually blistered up.  Then, as that was healing, my sweet dog, Meiko, bit me.  I'm not sure who was more traumatized over it. me or him.  Thankfully, it wasn't a bad bite and is almost completely healed.

With only a short time left before I deliver, I have to admit that I'm a little concerned what kind of drama is left.  Hopefully, none, but somehow I don't feel that will be the case.  I just pray that if there is anymore drama, it isn't involved with delivering!  I want to keep that as calm and 'structured' as possible... if that's even possible when talking about delivering a baby.  I'm 2.5 hours from my doctor, so going into labor and having a crazy delivery story is very much a possibility.  But, hopefully, it won't come to that.

Whatever may come, though, it has definitely all been worth it.  I can't wait for this little guy to get here!  I am looking forward the changes that are about to come with having a new baby.  And, I am definitely ready to take on all the challenges that having two children will bring.

Stay tuned for more details about Jack's arrival... and possibly a crazy delivery story.  But, please say a prayer that I don't have the latter!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's been a month...

It's been a month!  And life has been super busy... Here's a wrap up of the last month.

1) We are still paci free. *tear*  I still miss it; Emma, not so much.  She asks for it randomly, but that's all.  I really think that I was more attached than Emma was.  I have noticed, though, that her sleeping still isn't what it was when she had a paci.  I don't know if that will ever be the same again... Maybe, I miss the sleep more than the paci.  Maybe...

2) Jack is still on schedule to make his debut in April.  He measured ahead at the last ultrasound.  And, his profile looks like Emma to me... I know, I know.  It's an ultrasound photo, but he does look like her to me.  I go back on Monday to start my weekly appointments.  The following week, I will have the cerclage removed.  And, then he may make his appearance at any point!  Exciting and scary... He still doesn't have a middle name, a room, clothes, diapers, anything! I am so not on top of this!  But, I also remember how little Emma needed her first few weeks, so I know we'll be okay... And, diapers are easy to go buy.  That will be the major necessity since I plan on nursing him.

3) I decided to become a sales consultant for Chez Ami.  It's an adorable children's clothing line.  I hosted a party at my house, then I had a couple of friends host parties.  They all turned out great!  I am so pleased with how the season went.  And, I can't wait for fall!  Oh, and, if you want to place an order, just let me know and I can help.  Or, you can place one online... just enter my name (Jessica Alderman) as your sales rep if you don't have one.  :) Thanks!

4) I also took a bunch of clothing to this thing called the Sweet Pea Swap.  It is a consignment sale for kids clothes toys, etc.  I have tons of appliqu├ęd dresses, rompers, t-shirts, etc. that I made and haven't sold.  So, I took them just to see.  It went really well!  I am definitely pleased with the outcome.  It was definitely worth the days of time and effort to hang/bag, tag and iron all of the items.

5) I went to Starkville a few weekends ago for my sorority's reunion.  I was a Tri-Delta at MSU.  One of my best friends, Lauren, met me there and we got to hang out.  It was great getting to see her and catch up.  She doesn't live that far away, but it is hard to get together and visit.  So glad that we were able to.

6) I am still contemplating a new camera... I have been comparing the Canon 7D and the 60D.  I want to take my photography to the next level.  I really would like to pursue it on a professional level, but I am weeks away from having a new baby.  So, I am trying to maintain a clear perspective... what I want, what I need, what is realistic.  I am scheduled to have maternity pictures taken soon and I'm hoping to gain a little advice from my photographer.  I have known her since I got engaged, 4 years ago, so I consider her a friend.  Hopefully she can shed some light on how to get where I want to go... Your advice is welcomed, too! :)

7) I have been volunteering at a center that deals with unplanned pregnancy.  It is privately funded, so they are able to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  I have been working with two girls, and it has really been great for me.  I have enjoyed working with these girls and look forward to continuing with them and working with others.

8) The Bachelor still has my attention on Monday nights... I gave up blogging about it because sometimes it was the next week before I was able to watch it.  But, I am still totally involved.  I have cheated, though, and read Reality Steve... a blog that has spoilers.  He first said one of the girls would win, and then, in the last couple of weeks, changed it to the other that is still left.  So, who knows which will win.  I am still pulling for Emily, though.  How can you not love her?  But, if she isn't the final pick, I hope she is the next Bachelorette!

Okay, so there you go!  A few snippets of my life over the last month... so exciting, I know.  But, it is what it is!  Hope that this past month has been wonderful for you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This Is IT

This is the VERY LAST photo of Emma with her paci.  I took it on February 2, the day before she decided to throw it away.  Little did I know that day... I would have take thousands of pictures of her with it, had I known.  ***SIGH*** Little did I know...


I was transferring pictures from my camera to the computer today and found it.  Needless to say, I cried.  I am getting better, though.  I'm no longer looking/hoping for ways to give it back.  However, she did ask for it today.  Then, later, she walked by the computer while this picture was up.  She said. "Awe... Emma, paci..... Paci in gar-judge."  Broke my heart.  

We made a mad dash to the bath tub to play with letters after that.  I couldn't let her think about it any longer.  I still might be willing to give it back.  My Daddy thinks I should.  I don't necessarily think he's wrong.  Actually, I probably would have given it back, but seriously can't take the thought of having to go through this again.  

And, now that she doesn't have a paci to take to bed... She takes her cloth diaper, flashlight, Ruby (Cloud B Twilight Ladybug), Dora doll, and about 4 other 'babies' (depending on the night which four) to bed with her.  It used to be just her diaper, paci and Ruby.  It is getting out of hand!

Oh, the lump on her chest.  It isn't anything to worry about.  She stuffs her cloth diaper in her shirt when she's playing and needs both hands, or even sometimes when she sleeps and wants it closer.  She may still have it when she's 100 years old.  I am never encouraging her to get rid of it.  NEVER.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have you ever?

Have you ever had to clean diarrhea out of the grooves of your hardwood floors?  Me either... That is, until today.

It has been another lovely, poop filled morning at our house.  Seriously, I may change the name of my blog to The Daily Poo or something equally charming.  I feel as if all I ever do is clean up poop, lots and lots of poop, and then share it with you, my wonderful readers.  Glad you like poop stories, or at the very least, enjoy a good laugh at my expense!

Anyway, how did poop diarrhea get in the grooves of my hardwood?  Well, this morning, Emma was stretched out on the living room floor reading.  She pushed up off her belly and rocked back on her knees.  Then drug her arms and hands to her tummy so that she was sitting on her knees.

I saw all of this.  I was ironing and looked up at her so that I could enjoy a rare quiet moment.  I didn't realize that that moment would be so brief... the calm before the storm.  As soon as Emma sat up and made eye contact with me she said, "I need changing."  It was then that I really looked at her and saw the mess that was around her.  She literally was surrounded by poop and covered with it.  Which I still don't understand.  Remember when I said she drug her hands across the floor up to her tummy?  She drug them through the poop.  How did so much escape??? I mean, she had on a diaper and leggings, but somehow it came out the top of her pants in the front and back.  It was everywhere!

Definitely had to have a bath after this one!  Which, has become the norm this week.  I think Emma is cutting a new tooth and it is giving her fits!  Hope that this passes soon!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Better Night

Tonight has been a better night.  This is the first night since Emma threw away her paci that she has not cried screamed bloody murder at bed time.  Now, if she'll just sleep past 4:00 AM.

I don't know if we are making a turn for the better, if she is exhausted or if it was this....


Her 'Pony' flashlight.  Hands down, no question about it, after tonight, this was the best gift that Santa brought.  She loves this thing and loves to turn the lights out and lay in her floor shining it around her room.  

For some reason, I decided to put it in her bed tonight at bed time.  It worked like a charm!  It did take her about 40 minutes to fall asleep, but there were no tears! :) YAY!  I can't even tell you how much I needed a tear-free night.  

Seriously, I'm still crying over the paci and I need her to get better so I can.  Does that make me a bad mother?  Is it wrong to feel that way?  I hope I'm not putting too much on her shoulders and expecting too much from her.  She's only two.  Maybe I'm just really tired and over thinking it... Maybe?  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 3, 2011

This day will stick in my mind forever.  It was such a bittersweet day for me.

Thursday started out as many others... Emma and I got up, got dressed and ran some much needed errands.  It was freezing rain out and we needed groceries in the event that the weather got bad and we couldn't get out over the weekend.

We picked up our prescription refills and then headed to Wal-Mart to get our groceries.  All through Wal-Mart Emma kept screaming, "Santa Claus" at some old man... one who must have figured out how humiliated I was and kept popping up so she would scream some more.  After gathering all of the things on my list, we headed home.  Rain kept freezing on my windshield and I was a little nervous to about getting home.  We finally made it, but not before Emma fell asleep.

I got her out and put her to bed, not expecting her to nap long because she missed lunch and didn't eat much for breakfast.  I went about unloading groceries, making lunch, etc.  Chuck came home from work because of the weather and still, Emma slept.  Finally, after she had been asleep for three hours, I decided to open her door and let the noise wake her.  She woke thirty minutes later and I brought her into the kitchen for a snack.

I handed her some grapes and she handed me her paci, saying that it was yucky.  She kept wiping her mouth saying, "Yucky.  I spit it out."  I didn't think much of it and just tossed her paci in the sink to be washed.  Later, she asked for it so I rinsed it, told her it was all clean, and gave it back to her.  She took it and went on about playing.

Not long after this, she told Chuck that her paci was yucky and he just suggested that she throw it in the garbage.  This sounded like a good idea to her, so he called to me and asked if it were okay.  Never believing that she would do it, I said, "okay."  We told her that if she threw it in the garbage that she could not have it back.  She said okay and marched to the garbage, opened it, tossed it in and said, "Bye-Bye, Paci" and closed the garbage.  Still, I didn't believe that this would last long.

Emma spent the rest of the afternoon/evening playing and not thinking about her paci... though, it weighed heavily on my mind.  I even got it out of the trash when she wasn't looking to clean and put away, just in case.

Just before bath time, Emma was playing in the kitchen, running circles around the island while I cooked.  Unfortunately, she's just the right height to catch the corner if she gets too close.  And, of course, she did.  It was a pretty hard lick and she cried.  I fully expected her to demand her paci, but all she did was ask once for it.  I reminded her that she threw it away and she dropped the subject.  I secretly wished she had protested.  I was beginning to realize that I wasn't ready for her paci to be gone.

When it came time for bed, she told me that paci was in the gar-judge.  Again, I thought she would cry for it, but she didn't.  She did cry at bed time, but never once did she ask for her paci.  She just kept telling me that where it was.  I was heart broken and cried my eyes out.  I even called my mom and cried.  But, we stuck it out and didn't give her paci back.  Emma did, however, sleep with us that night.  I laid down with her and she chattered non-stop and sang every song she knew, particularly Jingle Bells,  for hours.  I fell asleep before she did.  Actually, the last thing I remember was turning on my side with my back to her, she wiggling her way up to get cheek to cheek with me and singing Jingle Bells as drool ran out of her mouth onto my cheek.

Later in the night, our dog, Macie started barking and woke everyone up.  Emma started singing and talking again.  I just went back to sleep.  Then, it happened again around 4... Macie barked, we all woke up, but this time, Emma and I didn't go back to sleep.  It wasn't for a lack of trying, but it just didn't happen.

Since throwing away her paci, Emma has been such a big girl.  She cries, and I know that she wants it, but she doesn't ask for it.  Occasionally, she tells me that paci is in the gar-judge, but that's about it.  Getting to sleep is the hard time.  Even when she's tired, she has a hard time drifting off.  And, it seems that the longer we go without it, the worse it gets.  Also, it isn't helping that she is cutting a new tooth.  She is getting an eye tooth in, and I have always heard that they are bad... well, it is worse than I could have imagined.  Even with Motrin/Tylenol around the clock, she still chews on her finger until it is all red and hot and swollen.  She will show it to me and say, "Hot, hurt."  I've tried everything I can think of to help her out, but nothing has helped.

It has been three nights and I don't know how many more I can take.  Not only are none of us getting much sleep, it breaks my heart thinking about what she is feeling.  I still find myself tearing up when I think about it, or the lack of it, actually.  I found two of them yesterday and cried as I washed them and put them away.  I know they will never be used again, but I can't bring myself to throw them in the garbage for good.

I thought I was ready for this... I have been trying to figure out a way to get rid of the paci.  I'm so not ready, though.  Three days in and I am still crying over her paci.  I know it is selfish to want to give it back to her for my own sake, to make me feel better.  I know that this is part of her growing up, but man it is tough.  I dread the really big things that she faces!  If I'm this much of a nut-case over a paci, there's no telling how crazy I will be over something big!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Bachelor

Okay, admit it, this is your guilty pleasure.  You can't wait for Mondays just so you can watch... Right?  I knew I wasn't the only one!

Seriously, though, do you watch?  I admit that I have been roped in, again.  I am three episodes in and already deciding who I like, who I think is crazy, etc., etc... Well, actually, I made those decisions the moment that the girls stepped out of their limos.

I admit that I didn't watch Brad, the Bachelor's first run, so I don't have much to say about that.  I do wonder, though, why he would go back on the show again... Really, why go back to living a millionaire with women throwing themselves at you all the while traveling to amazing locations and having private concerts by well-know artists?  Why wouldn't you sign back up????

No matter the reasons for coming back, I can't say that I blame the guy.  Before I found my sweet hubby I considered going on the show.  I didn't really believe I would find love, but I did think it would be fun to experience.  But I never applied for the show... Chuck and I have considered lying and trying to get on the show together.  Just kidding.  We did talk about how much fun it would be to get to travel and live like that with someone else footing the bill.

Anyway, back to my point... the girls!  I have to admit that I love Emily... how could you not?  She seems so sweet and her 'story' is touching and she is from the South.  How can you not fall in love with her?   I am so voting for her to be the next Bachelorette!  No matter what, you can't help but want the best the this young woman.

Then there is Michelle.  I admit that I didn't like her at first.  But then, she started to grow on me.  Just as this began happening, she began acting all crazy!  Or, at least that is the way she is edited to appear.  I hate it for her, too.  But, part of me can't help but think that maybe she is taking this 'role' and playing it for all that it's worth.  What do you think?  Is she crazy?  Is it just editing?  Or, is it a bit of both?  I don't know, but I can't help but question if she really thinks that the Bachelor is worth it, since she has know him for like a week or two.  It's a little early, to me, to start planning the wedding... especially since she knows that he's involved with other women.  Come on, woman!  Get yourself together!

Anyway, one of the girls that I was glad to see go was Madison.  This girl is into vampires.  And, I'm sure it is just something 'fun' that she is into, like I'm into photography, but it was portrayed as her 'identity.'  It was just a little weird for me.  I will say, though, that I am impressed that she took herself out of the equation in an effort to be fair to the other girls that were more emotionally invested than she.  I think I would have been selfish and stayed as long as possible so that I could live up the experience!

Some of the other girls that I like... Lisa, from Kansas.  She won me over the first night with her beautiful royal blue dress and 'Ruby slippers.'  I totally think Brad is wrong for her, though, because he didn't get the whole deal with the shoes... You know, Wizard of Oz... Dorothy and the ruby slippers... Kansas.  He totally missed that.

And then there is Ashley S., the Southern girl living in New York, working as a nanny.  I was unimpressed with her groping the Bachelor as soon as she got out of the limo... She must have lived in New York long enough to loose that little bit of Southern Belle class... We don't do such things, at least not on national television on first meeting!  But, I have since forgiven her for it and am beginning to really like her.  She's cute and still has enough of the Southern charm left to capture your heart.

Sure, there are many other girls left, but, really and truly, they haven't made enough of an impression on me yet... There were two girls eliminated Monday night, and I can't even recall their names... There are still several there that I don't know their names.  I don't think that speaks well for how long they will hang around. I guess we shall see!

Happy Saturday!  Try not to wish away your weekend so you can get to Monday night! ;)

Oh, and please, tell me your thoughts!  Who do you love?  Who do you love to hate?