Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 4 - Book

Day Four of the best of 2009 blog challenge is the book that impacted me the most in 2009. I didn't read a whole lot in 2009 (see last post), but the book that affected me the most was "What to Expect In the First Year". Lame, I know. It's a book about how to care for your baby throughout the first year. It tells you what milestones to expect when, ect... When my baby was newborn, I devoured it to make sure that we were doing everything "right" and that our baby was normal. I really like that this book is sure to reassure parents that just because their child hasn't reached a milestone when other babies around did or when it's the "average" time, that it doesn't mean there's something wrong with your baby. This book helped me keep my cool and my confidence.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 3 - Article

Okay, so today's post is supposed to be about the article that I read in 2009 that changed me the most. But, to be honest, I had my baby in February of 2009, so I spent most of this year with a newborn for the first time. Hence, I didn't read hardly any articles. About the only things I read had to do with either pregnancy, birth or babies. But, I could say that these articles changed me. I didn't know anything about babies when I got pregnant. I never liked babies. I didn't have any younger siblings. I was pretty much in the dark. So, these articles gave me so much information and advice in how to deal with all things baby. I certainly don't do everything to the letter concerning my son, but I feel so much more secure having the knowledge to make an educated decision on how I'm going to do things. So, all the articles I read, in everything in Parents, American Baby, Cookie, and the zillion other magazines, books and websites I devoured while pregnant (honestly, there hasn't been much reading since he was born) have changed me in that they took me from being super-insecure about this whole motherhood thing, to be pretty confident about it. :-) And that's a great feeling!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Restaurant Moment

Today's post for the Best of 2009 Challenge is the most memorable restaurant moment in 2009. The one that keeps coming back to me is when we went to Nashville, TN in May. They have a big mall there called Opry Mills and in this mall is the Aquarium Restaurant. We (me, Sam & J) went with our friends Debra & Jonathan & their kids (Brooklyn, Abygail, and Ceira). Deb is one of my best friends from back in the day, but now she lives in TN, and has 3 kids, and I lived in Wisconsin at the time with a baby, so we never get to see each other anymore. So, it was great to be able to spend some time together, catching up. The restaurant is very cool, with a tunnel under an aquarium when you first walk in, so the fish are all around you. Then, in the dining area, there is a HUGE floor to ceiling aquarium with all kinds of fish, sharks, and I don't know what all sea creatures in it. So, you get to watch it while eating. Neat-o! Too bad that the food wasn't as good as the decor. The food was pretty much awful and extremely overpriced. That was the only drawback of the whole experience. But, mostly, it was a great experience.


Okay, I know I've already posted today, and it's supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, but I just found this really cool challenge that I want to participate in called The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. There is a different topic that we're supposed to write about each day in the month of December, and yesterday's topic was Trip. The best trip that I took in 2009. I started a day late, so I have a bit of catching up to do.

I took a lot of great trips in 2009, but the best one
would have to be the road trip that I took out to New Jersey with my family to see my brother and his family. It totally rocked! Even with a 5 month old (Sam) along for the ride. Sam and J both got to go to a bunch of states they'd never been to before, so we made sure to stop and take some pics along the way.We stopped for a tour of Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. Yummy!
It was both Sam & J's first time to see the ocean on the Atlantic shore of New Jersey! Sam was not impressed. The waves scared him.
It was such a great trip for so many reasons. It was the first time Sam got to meet his Unkie Josh and cousins, Erin, Ashley and Drew. It was the first time J got to meet my nephew Drew. It was the first time Sam went to Chuck E. Cheese, the first time he tasted cotton candy (he loved it!), and the experiences just piled up. It was a tough trip to tackle with a 5 month old, but I'm so glad that we did it.

Wordless Wednesday

Sam, ready for church on Sunday morning, but not happy about it. He doesn't like mornings.
Sam and J at the Fox Theatre, going to see Little House on the Prairie, Sam's very 1st play!


It's so awesome that it's December already. I am so looking forward to winter this year. At least in some ways. The last two winters I spent up in Wisconsin, and they were horrible! I've lived in Southern Illinois all my life, and I didn't know that winters could be so horrid. I'm used to the snow falling 5 -10 times a year, and melting in a few days, after you get in some nice sledding. Well, in Wisconsin the snow starts in November and doesn't stop until May. And it hardly melts at all, the entire winter. It's like you never see the ground for 4 months. It was awful! You can't wear anything but boots (high ones) outside or your feet get wet and frozen. And it felt as though spring would never come. In So. IL I'm used to March being the first month of spring. In March it's "In like a lion (winter), out like a lamb (spring)". In WI March is lion all month long, and spring may peek through a little bit in April, but doesn't really come until May. Ugh. I hated WI winters. I am so, so, so thankful that I didn't have to spend one more horrible, awful winter up there!

So, aside from being excited for December because of the milder weather I'll be experiencing this year, I don't really like December anymore. I used to love it, before I got married. Because of Christmas, of course. Christmas was always a wonderful, happy, joyous holiday at our house when I was growing up. A season full of love, family, giving, receiving, and celebration of Christ's birth. My parents are wonderful Christian people, and they did not lie to us about Santa Clause, or even Christ's birth. We knew there was no such person as Santa Clause, and we knew that it was very improbable that Jesus was born in December. But, it was the day set aside to remember his birth, and so that's exactly what we did. We celebrated the fact that Jesus came down from heaven, robed Himself in flesh, and made a way for us to spend eternity with Him. Then, I got married.

I had been aware of people in the Pentecostal/ Apostolic ranks who did not believe in Christmas all my life. In fact, some of them are our closest friends. I never really thought it was a big deal,until I became one of them. Well, at least technically, I suppose I am. My husband got saved in a church where they taught that Christmas is evil incarnate. That it has pagan roots (which it does) and it can never be redeemed into something good. Once an evil, always an evil. Or something like that. We discussed Christmas when we were dating, and I knew that if I married J I would never celebrate Christmas again. Of course, I was so desperately in love that I didn't care. I would have given up most anything, I think, to be with him. And, he's worth it. I'd do it again, probably. Actually, if I had it to do again, I think I might have tried to talk him out of it. He was desperately in love too. No telling what he would have given up. But, it's too late now. I married him, and most of my bargaining powers are gone. He is dead set against Christmas. And, as a believer of the Word of God, I know that I am supposed to obey my husband and let him be the head of our home, making those kinds of decisions. So, I do. But, that doesn't mean I'm not sad about it. I love most things Christmas: the carols, the tree, the decor, the lights, the gifts, the shopping, the food, the family get togethers,etc... Oh well. Looks like I'm not going to get it. I gave it up for J. And he's worth it. Really.

However, I do want to create some sort of excitement for my children to remember. So, I plan to make Thanksgiving be an amazing, wonderful experience full of exciting traditions for our family. I think that we will exchange Thanksgiving presents for sure. It makes perfect sense to me. A way to show our family how thankful we are for them. Also, of course, will be the big family dinner. And, I think, I may do a cornucopia full of little presents for each child, instead of a Christmas stocking. I probably have us each write a list of what we're most thankful for in the past year. We'll play games, and have all kinds of fun, and it will be almost as good as Christmas. Almost.

Okay, an update on project: weight loss. Last night, I pulled out the Wii Fit and weighed myself, and it said that I had lost 12.6 lbs since I last used it in June. Yay!! This morning, I pulled it out again to exercise this time, and it said I had lost 10 lbs. since last night!! I was like what?! If this were true it would mean that I am at my pre-pregnancy weight. I couldn't imagine this being so because I don't look like I did before I was pregnant. My clothes don't fit me from before baby. So, I then weighed on my mom's scale, and it said that I was 40 lbs. heavier than the Wii said!!! That would mean I have gained weight!! So, I don 't know what to believe. I have no idea what my weight is currently. But, I do know that I'm much fatter than I want to be. So, I did have about 5 fruits and veggies today, and I worked up a sweat with Jillian Michael's Wii game. Day one: success!