Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

I can't believe it's already the end of 2005. Holy crap!! Where did the year go?? Seriously, it seems like it completely flew by and I expect time will fly by faster and faster the older I get. How does it work that way?!

Anyway, I hadn't given much thought to New Year's resolutions until stumbling upon the Milk Sucks site earlier today. It was then that I felt motivated to come up with a small list of resolutions.

Without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2006:
* Become more aware about the food and drinks I ingest and feed to my family. - to include researching vegetarianism and veganism (good site here) and learning about the impact of current farming and food production in this country on the animals and environment so that I can make informed dietary decisions
* Research voluntary simplicity
* Take a photography course and LEARN, LEARN, LEARN
* Continue portfolio building and practicing for my photography business
* Be mindful that all of my words and actions have consequences
* Focus on healing and acceptance (with regard to being an adult child of an alcoholic) - to include reading some of Claudia Black's books on the subject

Now that I've typed them out, I don't know if they are resolutions so much as they are goals. That's cool with me though. I needed to set some goals for myself. :)

As for our plans for New Year's Eve, we're going to some friends' house for a potluck and games with them and another couple. Since we all have little ones, we won't be out 'til midnight, but it should be a good time. :)

Happy New Year everybody! Hope you all have a safe and fun day and night! :)

Things that make ya go hmmm...

I recently received a comment on my blog from Isil of Veggie Way. So I started checking out her blog and archive and found some links to vegetarian and vegan sites.

One in particular that caught my attention was Milk Sucks. The whole site is pretty disturbing and explains why "milk sucks" for the animals, the environment and your health.

I'm not ready to swear milk off completely (everything in moderation, right?), but I do plan to read this site in-depth and decide how much milk is ok for my family.

We've been buying organic milk for Ava the past couple months (even though she's still breast-fed) because I figured it'd be something other than water for her to drink, but we get regular ol' milk for ourselves (just because organic is so pricey). However, we might change that habit or switch to soy or rice milk on a more regular basis.

Anyway, if you are interested in learning more about milk and why it's not nearly as healthy as it's touted to be (as with nearly everything, it's all about the Benjamins), check out Milk Sucks. It's a huge eye-opener.

By the way, I sent away for the "free vegetarian starter kit" in the left sidebar on the site. I used to be veggie, but went back to eating some poultry and fish after not having the best eating habits. I'm reexamining my choices now, but I will save that for another blog entry. ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Business as usual

Jody headed back to work today, so we're back to business as usual in our house.

I just want to say again how nice it was to have him home for six days. He helped out around the house a ton without being asked, and spent most of his time playing with Ava.

I mentioned to him last night before we all drifted off to sleep how thankful I was for all of his helping out this past week. And he said that he figures I NEVER get a vacation, so he wanted to do what he could while he was home to make things easier for me. Awww. :) He's a good guy (most of the time).

On a somewhat related note, we went out to dinner last night with an old friend of Jody's (who was in town) and his fiance. It's funny how Jody and I have become one of *those couples* where all we want to talk about is our child - how many new teeth she has, what new things she's been saying or doing - as if everyone wants to hear just how wonderful we think our little girl is. ;) There's no hiding it though - she is the light of our lives.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I applaud Massachusetts - who's next?

State bans gift bags to promote breast-feeding- "Mass. hospitals to stop giving diaper bags filled with formula, other freebies"

I know this news is almost a week old now, but I have to applaud Massachusetts' new ban on distributing gift bags full of formula* to moms in the hospital.

Some view the ban as too extreme, but I think that it helps encourage breastfeeding and I see that as a positive thing. I, for one, would be happy to see hospitals or even other states follow suit.

The article (above) notes that: "According to 2004 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 74 percent of Massachusetts mothers breast-feed, but only 39 percent are still breast-feeding when the baby is 6 months old, below the federal goal of 50 percent. Nationally, about 36 percent of mothers breast-feed at 6 months." I'll be curious to see how much (if at all) the percentages change a year after this new ban is in place.

From another article on the subject, "Giving out these bags reduces the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding and is considered unethical by many national and international groups, including the World Health Organization. Multiple studies, even from prestigious medical journals such as the Lancet, have shown that the bags interfere with breastfeeding, causing moms to switch to formula sooner, or quit nursing altogether-- even when the bags do not contain formula samples." "Most parents see these as a "free gift," but the bags are a marketing technique that implies that the hospital endorses the product, successfully boosting sales of formula at the expense of breastfeeding."

On one of the Yahoo! Groups I belong to, a few of the moms have been working on letters that we can all send to hospitals in our area to encourage them to adopt the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative as instituted by UNICEF and the World Health Organization. "A maternity facility can be designated 'baby-friendly' when it does not accept free or low-cost breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles or teats, and has implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding."

While I don't believe that it necessarily needs to be legislated by the government, I would like to see more hospitals simply adopt the BFHI policy and not give out formula unless it is specifically requested. I think those steps could go a long way at increasing the number and longevity of breastfed babies.

By the way, here's a great site about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in the USA.

*It's worth noting that the ban does not prevent the hospitals from giving formula to moms who request it.

Nice holiday (with pics)

We had a nice holiday around here. Even though Santa didn't come through with his promise to make us all well and it was kind of weird not having any other family around, we still had a nice day. ;)

Ava enjoyed her presents of Legos, pajamas, clothes, Aquadoodle, lots of books, and a Little People doll house, as well as some money for classes (music classes probably).

Jody and I didn't exchange gifts, but we still got some presents from our parents. I got a honey bath set, a soy candle, and money from both sets of parents for my photography business. Also, my mom spent some long hours making a beautiful two-sided tree skirt for us. It is quilted and has our names on it, as well as the year.

I made a nontraditional meal for Christmas dinner (because I didn't buy a turkey in time to thaw it). We had chicken milano (with a few additions - spinach and artichokes), with a spinach salad and brownies for dessert. :)

We are all feeling a lot better now. Jody and I still have some congestion and Ava has a lingering cough, but we are all doing so much better than we were. Yay! Jody's off of work until Thursday and it's been wonderful having him home. :) Both Ava and I have enjoyed having him around the house.

Jody has been playing with Ava's Legos since nearly the moment she opened them. It was always a tradition in his house to get out all of this Legos around Christmas, but since the sets he has have such tiny pieces, he's had to settle for playing with Ava's this year. Today he made a very nice looking duck and alligator. She's enjoyed destroying whatever he creates. Although she did get a big kick out of the duck and alligator and carried them around for a while. :)

Today we went to the library for a free dog show. It was pretty cute. Ava loved watching it and applauding the dogs as they performed their tricks. After the show, we let Ava pick out some books to bring home. That's the first time we've hung out at the library with her, but I think we'll do it more often. I'm also going to look into taking her up there for storytime each week.

Here are some pics from Christmas.


Playing Legos with daddy.

Wearing the tree skirt. :)

Cutie in front of the tree.

Hope you all had a nice holiday and have a great new year. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy holidays!

From our family to yours - Happy Holidays! Hope you all have a wonderful week filled with family, friends and lots of love. :)

This is the Christmas card we sent out this year. Picture taken by yours truly. I only had to run back and forth between the family and camera to reset the timer something like 100 times. ;)

Serious toy warning

Magnet toy leads to 2-year-old boy's death

"A freak accident involving a popular toy has killed a 2-year-old boy and now, Kenny Sweet's parents hope that other parents can learn from their tragedy."
"Doctors found the magnets in Kenny's small intestine - one at the top and one at the bottom. The magnetic force was so great it connected both ends, twisting his intestine and forcing deadly bacteria into his blood stream."

This story is just awful, but definitely something to share with everyone you know as these magnetic toys are so popular. At Christmas and always, please be careful with what your little ones play with.

Sorry for the downer on Christmas Eve, but this is very serious and I think people (especially those with small children) need to be aware of it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I know it's nearly Christmas Eve and I may be pushing my luck waiting this late in the game to write to you, but I have a special request.

All I want for Christmas this year is for me and my family to be well again. We've been hit with this awful bug that has knocked the wind out of our sails the past several days. Ava is doing a lot better and I'm so thankful for that, but now me and her daddy are having a really rough time. My nose and upper lip are chapped, cracked and bleeding from all the sneezing and nose blowing. It's not a pretty sight, Santa.

If you can bring health back into our house this Christmas, I'd be ever so thankful.

I don't need anything else this year. Presents are nice, but having my loving husband and beautiful daughter beside me is really the best gift of all.

Thank you, Santa.


P.S. The chocolate soy milk and pumpkin cookies will be on the table. ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Celebrating my girl

Today is my sweetie's 18 months birthday, so in celebration I thought I'd post some pictures of her taken over the past two months. (I'd do something more creative, but I still feel like crap and don't have the energy.)

The first set is from November, at a park in town. The second set is from a few days ago. She's playing in a box that her Christmas presents from Me-maw and Pa-pa came in. Who needs presents when you have a big ol' box full of packing peanuts? ;)

Happy year and a half, baby! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'Twas the week before Christmas

And all through the house...

Wait, do you really expect me to come up with a poem here? Sorry to disappoint, but alas, I am not. :oP

I seem to have caught whatever the little miss has. My throat hurts, I've been sneezing, my voice sounds deeper (and sexier?) and my head is stuffy. At least I have the ability to blow my nose and clear the mucus out, unlike my poor lil dd, so I don't think I'll get it as bad as she has.

She is doing a bit better today. The mornings are the worst for her though. She coughs and coughs until she throws up. :(

She's starting to express a bit of an interest in food again. She ate about 12 grapes, 1 Ting, a couple bites of O cereal and a bite of a noodle so far today. That's a big improvement over yesterday when all she had were a few grapes. It's times like these that I'm so thankful she's still nursing, especially when she wouldn't drink hardly anything yesterday. I tried different cups, different things to drink - she just wasn't interested. I finally got her to drink some chocolate rice milk (thought that might be a special enough treat for her to get some other liquids in her). I'm watching her diapers closely. She definitely isn't having the output that she normally has, but she's still wetting diapers so I'm not worried about dehydration.

At the moment she's down for a nap now and I'm thinking about joining her, but thought I'd post a little catch up blog entry first.

Jody and I have agreed (for the sake of conserving money) not to buy anything for each other for Christmas this year. It's hard because I'd really like to buy him something, but having a sick kid in the house makes it easier to keep out of the stores. Of course, there's always online ordering, but I figure anything I got at this point wouldn't make it here in time for Christmas anyway. Bah-humbug.

Our ebay auction on the timeshare ended yesterday. It sold for a whopping $765, less than 10% of what we originally paid for it. Isn't that sad??! But at least we will be completely rid of the thing soon. No more maintenance fees! Woohoo!! :) Now I'm just crossing my fingers that we get the money and the deed transfer goes through ok.

Since I'm on the advisory committee and had volunteered to take free family portraits for some families, I went to the Cherished Children holiday party on Sunday by myself. I was bummed to leave Ava and Jody at home, but she was way too sick to go out and I didn't want to expose all the other kiddies to her crud.

The party had a nice turnout - 10 families in all. I took pictures for four of them. The lighting posed some problems for me, but I'm happy enough with how they turned out. I'll be giving each family a free 5x7. I got to use my Silverlake backdrop for the first time (other than for my family) and try out my new reflector. :) Pretty spiffy.

OK, think I'm going to either go wrap Ava's presents or go lie down - or both. Cheers.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

No party after all

Ava's in the middle of teething, and, as a result, her immune system seems to be compromised. She caught a cold and has been coughing and sneezing a lot the past two days. I decided it wouldn't be right to leave her and go to the party tonight (Jody's work holiday party), so we all stayed home.

To repay me for staying home with her, Ava just puked on me. Ahhh. The joys of motherhood. ;)

Seriously though, she doesn't really act sick, other than not eating much (though the snot hanging from her nose is a good tip off that she's not operating at 100%).

I spoke with a friend of mine who's an herbalist and she recommended some homeopathic remedies for her as well as an herbal daily immune booster for the winter months. Hopefully those will help her heal quickly and stay well.

I am somewhat bummed about not getting to go tonight, since it was going to be me and Jody's first night out together in what seems like forever. But I'm even more bummed that she and Jody (since he'll be home with her) will have to miss the Cherished Children party tomorrow. All of our friends and all of their kids will be there, plus several families we haven't yet met. I've actually already been planning on taking free family portraits for four of the families there so I'm going regardless. (I wanted to do everyone's family portrait, but with around 15 families attending, there just wouldn't be time.) I went over to where the party is going to be today to set everything up. I'm not really happy with the lighting (or lack there of), especially because it's supposed to be cloudy again tomorrow, but hopefully it will be sufficient. Guess we'll see!

Hope you all are having a good (and healthy) weekend. Stay warm. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Not my day

Today started off really well. I felt motivated to clean and, since that doesn't happen every day, decided to go with that feeling. I got a load of diapers and a load of clothes washed, I cleaned the bathrooms, swept the kitchen, and vacuumed the living and dining rooms. It felt good to accomplish those things.

Then the time rolled around when Ava should've been going down for a nap. She was not interested. I tried putting her down several times but she had no intentions of sleeping no matter how tired she acted.

So I decided fine, no sense in fighting her on it. She could stay up a bit longer and I would jump in the shower since that was one of the things I hadn't accomplished yet today.

I noticed earlier in the day that my legs were looking a little uh, hairy. (It's winter after all and I don't shave much in the cold months.) My razor is relatively new and therefore sharp (and I'm sure you can see where this is going). The first stroke on my leg, down by my ankle, and HOLY SHIT! I yelled in pain as I took a big chunk of flesh out of my leg. Ugggh! It hurt like a mother (whatever that's supposed to mean), let me tell you.

After that, I said screw it, the legs are staying unshorn.

Then I reached for the soap to lather up and when I put the cap back down, some bounced off the bottle and directly into my right eye. Good Lord. Perhaps taking a shower wasn't such a good idea after all.

When I got out of the shower, my ankle was covered in blood. I've gone through a couple Band-Aids already, and while I don't think stitches will be required or anything, I'm sure I'll have a lovely scar to show for it. It will cover up the scar that was already there from a previous shaving mishap. Oy.

After my non-relaxing shower, Ava finally was tired enough to nod off. I decided it was time I get cracking (literally) on making deviled eggs for our mom's night out movie night tonight. I boiled the eggs yesterday so all I had to do was peel them, scoop out the yolks, prepare the yokey mixture and fill the eggs back up. Right? Wrong.

I cracked open the first egg and it oozed all over the counter. Oh man! I didn't boil them long enough! I tried another egg just to be certain and it was the same deal. Shit! Now I have to come up with something else to take tonight. Gotta go back down to the kitchen, rack my brain and get creative.

Hopefully that's the end of my bad luck for the day. I don't think I can take much more!

Edited to add: I managed to whip together a bean dip with refried beans, salsa, cheese, black olives and green onion - all of which we actually had in the house - to take, along with some tortilla chips, tonight. It went over well. We didn't get through both of the movies (way too much chit-chatting going on for that) so I'm glad that Jody and I watched them yesterday. I'll blog about those another time.
So, much to my relief, my night did get a lot better. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mama's kissy lil helper

Ava has turned into such a wonderful helper over the past couple months. She loves to stand at the dryer and put the wet clothes into it as I hand them to her. And she loves to help unload the dishwasher. I tell her what a good helper she is and she repeats "hewp-ewr." It's my hope that she'll continue to enjoy these "chores" and helping mama out as she gets older. (Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) ;)

The other fun thing she's doing lately is actually puckering up when she gives kisses. Up until a couple weeks ago, she'd stick out her bottom lip for kisses, but didn't have the whole puckering thing down. Her new kisses are so much more fun, even if they can be a little slobbery at times. :)

Going to the highest bidder

That's right, we listed our one-bedroom Las Vegas Summer Bay timeshare on ebay!

If you are interested in getting a timeshare for way below what you'd pay for it from a developer, check it out. If you know someone in the market for one, please feel free to forward this onto them.

Here's a bit of the description from the auction:
This is a deeded property, with Summer Bay - Las Vegas

A very nice resort adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip located at 100 Winnick Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89109. A short one block walk and you are in the middle of the Las Vegas strip putting you at the Flamingo Hilton, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Harrah’s, Imperial Palace, and Mirage. The resort also has direct access to the Las Vegas Monorail through Summer Bay’s private elevator, or Harrah’s Casino. This is a one bedroom unit with a full kitchen and bath.

Thanks. :) And wish us luck!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Nice lil weekend and plans for the week

This weekend was pretty darn nice. We had things to do, but not so much that it was overwhelming.

Yesterday we went out and got Jody a new outfit to wear to the holiday parties this year. I guess since I got something new (and Ava got a new dress a few weeks ago), it's only fair that he gets something as well. He hardly ever gets new clothes so this is a bit of a treat.

We also stopped by Target to pick up some dog food and I picked up an Aquadoodle for Ava for Christmas. I'm so behind on holiday stuff this year, that's the first Christmas present I've bought her!

Then we headed home so Ava could get a nap in before we met friends downtown for the annual parade of lights! It's the first year we've gone to it, but it was pretty nice. Ava enjoyed all of the lights, but even moreso each and every dog that passed by us. ;)

After the parade there was a small fireworks display. Ava was interested in it for a bit, but then she started getting overwhelmed (they were being shot off a building about 100 yards from us) and saying, "No, no, no, no" in her scared voice. :(

From there we all walked over to a maternity/children's resale store (where we know the owner from one of our Yahoo! Groups). Ava got to play there a bit with her friends Creed and Julia (and warm up from the cold), before we headed back to our car, picked up some dinner and went home.

Today we went out and picked up two more Christmas presents for Ava - a new book for her Little Touch Leappad (because we're about to throw the one and only book she has out the window, we've heard it soooo many times - LOL) and a big thing of Duplo blocks. I might get her a couple books as well, but I think those three presents we have for her now are plenty.

Then we hit the grocery store since it had been a few weeks since I'd done a full on shopping trip. Ava was her usual friendly self, greeting shoppers throughout the store. :)

The wee one is napping now and I just got done reading another "lesson" on this free online photography course a friend told me about. I also went outside and took some pics for my first "assignment."

We've got a fairly busy week planned too. Tomorrow Ava and I are meeting a woman I used to work with for a walk to the park. Tuesday we might have a playdate with some friends. Thursday is a Mom's night out movie night. We're watching a couple of birth videos. One is called "What Babies Want - An Exploration of the Consciousness of Infants." It's described on the website as "an award winning documentary film that explores the profoundly important and sacred opportunity we have in bringing children into the world" and is narrated by Noah Wyle. The other is called "Birth into Being: The Russian Waterbirth Experience" which contains footage of five births, all natural and underwater, and includes women birthing in the Black Sea ("where the water is tepid and the women are very comfortable")! Both movies look really amazing and I'm excited to see them. :) Then on Saturday we have Jody's work holiday party and Sunday is the Cherished Children holiday party. Shew!

Off to make dinner now - hummus, falafel, pita and cucumber sauce. :) Mmmmm.

Friday, December 09, 2005

So excited!

Let me start off by saying it's hard finding good babysitting options for your child when you don't have any family nearby and your closest friends live at least 30 minutes away.

Because of our lack of options, I can count on ONE HAND the number of times Jody and I have gone out together as a couple, without Ava, since she was born.

We've been to ONE movie when my parents and sister were visiting for Christmas LAST YEAR.

We tried to go to Jody's company holiday party last year and leave 6-month-old Ava with our good friends (Brandy, Dax and their son Creed who's 7 months older than Ava), but she started bawling about 5 minutes after we left and I went back to get her right after I got the call that she wouldn't calm down despite everything they tried. So that doesn't really count.

We've also run a couple of errands together (so not exactly a date) when family were in town or while visiting family.

That's it. No monthly date nights for us, not even quarterly date nights. And that's been fine. We definitely lived, but I think it would've been nice to have a few more times to go out together just the two of us.

Anyway, that brings me to why I'm so excited!

We're going to attempt to go to Jody's holiday party again this year and leave Ava with the same friends we left her with last year. So today Ava and I went over there for a dry run. We hung out for a little while, then I told her I was going to the store, kissed her good-bye, and I left. She wasn't concerned in the least.

I was gone for an hour (did a little shopping for myself and bought an outfit to wear to J's work party and to another holiday party our Cherished Children API group is having the next night, because all of my dressy clothes are too big). Brandy said Ava asked for me about 10 minutes after I left. She told her I went to the store and would be back in a while. And Ava was TOTALLY FINE! She played with Creed and Dax (who was home for the afternoon) and had a grand ol' time. No tears, no crying at all. What a relief!

I think she did so well because she's older now and can understand that mommy will be back and since she's interested in toys and playing with other kids now it's easier for her to be distracted and have things to do.

So I'm very excited that Jody and I will be able to go to this holiday party (alone!) next weekend. I don't think we'll have anything to worry about with Ava this time. Hip, Hip, Hooray! :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My own Thankful Thursday list

Every Thursday for as long as I can remember, Running2Ks aka True Blue Semi-Crunchy Mama writes a blog about the many things in her life she is thankful for and many of her readers follow suit and add their own lists.

I think it's a wonderful tradition she started and a great way for us all to take pause each Thursday to remember the good things in our lives. :)

In addition to adding my list to her blog today, I decided to do it over here as well.

I'm thankful for:
- my amazing, sweet, smart, beautiful daughter who just fell asleep in my lap;
- my hubby who doesn't complain when he has to take the bus most days, and doesn't complain when he helps out around the house and who is such a great daddy to our lil sweetie;
- my family who loves and supports me;
- snuggles on the couch between my hubby and baby when it's so cold outside (or even when it's not);
- wool socks;
- health;
- having made amends with an old friend;
- good friends - both in the blogging world and in real life;
- pumpkin spice cookies (see recipe below);
- drives to see holiday lights and the "wows" from my daughter that accompany them;
- sales on my cafepress store - i like to see that others in the world support attachment parenting and of course, i am looking forward to receiving my first commission check later this month;
- getting a decent start in the photography business and having friends who are willing to let me practice on them and their children. :)

Pumpkin spice cookie recipe (aka the easiest cookies I ever made)

Halloweenlover asked for the recipe, so here it is. :)

I got this recipe off AllRecipes. They truly are the easiest cookies I've ever made. The cookies are very cake-like. If you want them to be less moist, bake a few minutes longer and make sure they cool completely before you put them in a container.

Pumpkin Spice Cookie

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


* 1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
* 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
* (optional - add in chocolate chips or nuts)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and pumpkin until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

The last batch I made were with chocolate chips and they were dee-lish (and did I mention EASY??)! :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Biz meeting and more

A friend of mine turned me on to the local community college that offers small business start-ups free one-on-one counseling. Not having money to spare for financial counseling otherwise, I decided to jump on that. My appointment is tomorrow.

The free counseling includes:
* Start-up issues - registration, licensing, market research, financing, insurance
* Business planning for prestart-up, start-up, existing and emerging businesses
* Strategic plan assistance
* Development of marketing strategies
* Financial statement analysis, budgeting and projections

I'm very impressed that it's all free. (I'm assuming there's no hidden catch since my friend went through this herself.)

Jody and I came up with a list of questions tonight and hopefully I will get some good solid info I need for starting this photography business (as well as operating my CafePress store).

I want to make sure that all of my ducks are in a row from the get-go so I don't have to worry about it all later.


It's still freezing here and actually snowed a couple inches today. I took advantage of the cold and cranked up the oven to bake pumpkin spice cookies (with chocolate chips) tonight. Mmmm. :)

The temperature right now is 3 degrees (but feels like -12 with the windchill factor - sidenote: when I was a kid, I always thought they said "windshield factor"). Tomorrow's high is 8 degrees. I'm not looking forward to leaving the house for my counseling appointment. Brrrrr.

I ordered our Christmas cards (which include a family photo of us) tonight. Yay! We took pics this weekend here at the house using my tripod and camera timer. They aren't the best, but they will do. Ava got a kick out of mommy running back and forth between the camera and she and daddy for the pics. She thought the whole thing was a hoot and we even got some smiles out of her in them. I will be glad to get the cards and mail them off.

I need to come up with Christmas gifts for family and friends still. I'm going to try to find something easy and crafty (and inexpensive) I can make. I am just worried that I'm running out of time. I always wait til the last minute with these things.

And I need to get a few things for Ava. I haven't even started shopping yet. We don't have much to spend this year (I sound like a broken record, don't I?), but I definitely want her to have a few fun presents to open from us. I'll need to get on that soon. I can't believe how fast Christmas is sneaking up on me this year!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sooooo cold and windy (and more rambling about the timeshare)!

It was so cold and ridiculously windy here today, I wouldn't be surprised if we lost some shingles off the house. Our garbage can blew over and tumbled around the yard and the cover for our grill blew off. The wind was so loud, it woke me up this morning and I couldn't fall back asleep. It's only going to get worse the next couple days. We can expect highs in the teens Tuesday and single digits on Wednesday. Yikes!

Ava and I decorated our Christmas tree today. Well, I decorated. She pulled the non-breakable ornaments off and put them on and took them off again. ;) After I turned on the tree lights I think I heard "wow!" from her about 26 times. Everytime she sees the tree again, the "wow"s start all over again. Oh and "pee-y wights" (pretty lights). :)

In other news, we thought our timeshare dilemma had been solved. We found out about this company called Timeshare Relief who supposedly buys timeshares outright from people who want to get rid of them. They even have a good review with the Better Business Bureau. Well, upon doing some further digging tonight, Jody discovered that they are YET AGAIN another scam. Apparently they get you to go to their presentation, paint a very bleak picture about owning a timeshare and all the money you are flushing down the toilet (the complete opposite of what the companies do when trying to sell them to you), then get you to agree to spend $3,500 (or thereabouts) to have them take it off your hands forever. OMG. I seriously can't believe there are so many companies and people out there in the world who are just trying to screw everyone over.

Yet again, the old adage proves true - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Very productive day :)

Wow, today has been a productive one. :)

I made amends with my old friend "Nelly" - (she wrote a bit about it on her blog too). It feels so good to have closure and be getting over that whole thing. I hope it will work out that way with my other friend (TF)...someday. Time will tell.

I ran some errands (with Ava of course). I went to the bank, picked up a little something for a 'welcome to motherhood' celebration we're having for a friend this weekend, mailed off two photo orders (to grandparents of the little boy I photographed a few weeks ago), and found a pair of mary janes for Christmas for Ava at a consignment shop.

Then we came home. I washed the car in the driveway, swept out the garage and gathered up four large dog food bags full of cardboard to take to EcoCycle. (Our curbside recycle program doesn't accept cardboard and I can't see throwing it all away. We go through way too much with all the food packaging, etc.)

After Ava and I had some lunch, we drove up to Ecocycle and dropped off the cardboard. I love it when there are lots of other cars there, as there were today. Tells me that many other people in this community care about recycling! :)

After all that excitement, Ava fell asleep in the car on the ride home and is in bed having her nap now.

It feels good to have accomplished so much!

Now I have to get work on resizing pics for a maternity order and do a bit of research because I'm taking some 4 mo. maternity pics of my friend tomorrow. I'm going to do three sets of maternity pics with her all at different stages in her pregnancy. Should be fun to have them to compare how she's grown at the end. :)

That reminds me, I never shared any of the newborn pics here that I took last weekend. Here are a few of my favorites and a collage. :)

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend. :)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Nice surprise

Well, that was a nice surprise! I just got the mail and discovered a free holiday CD from KBCO (a local radio station). It includes holiday songs by Coldplay, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Bare Naked Ladies, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin and others.

Hooray for free stuff that I can use! :) Ava and I are listening to it now. She's rockin' out while nursing. LOL