Monday, February 18, 2013

Blogging (And Why I'm Having a Hard Time Doing So)

It's been awhile since I blogged! I never meant to let it go this long, but I also didn't know that my time would just disappear after having a baby.  I also didn't know how hard it would be to squeeze a shower into my day, haha! Not that I mind; it is definitely worth it!

One of the reasons I haven't blogged in awhile is because in addition to taking care of my sweet baby boy, I have been going to school.  My college journey has been a VERY long one. It took me 5 years just to get an Associate's degree, due to my own immaturity.  If you have read my first blog post, you know that I met my husband when I was very young and that I got married pretty much right after high school.  I was so ready to "be an adult." In my mind, I had just finished 13 years of being in school without a choice; why would I want to keep going to school when I didn't have to?  I ended up taking a few classes at our local community college right after high school, but only because everyone else was.  My grades weren't good because I didn't really care.  I skipped classes because I didn't really care.  All I wanted to do was marry my husband and start our life together.  And then after we were married, I wanted to just jump into a job and go to work so that we could save for a house, and then later, kids.  (I felt like work experience should be more valued than education anyway, but that is not how it works in the real world.)  When we first were married, our financial situation was not very good.  In a very short period of time, though, God blessed us and helped us to become financially stable. We both had jobs where we made good money, and I was extremely happy with my job.  The only thing that I didn't like was where we lived.  I hated where we lived.  I wanted to go back home to my native state so badly; partly because my family lived there, but mostly because I loved my home state! I was so depressed, but right when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore, God blessed us again and my husband got a job transfer.  I finally got to come home!! I was so happy! He then blessed us with a house, and I got a new full-time job.

And that job was horrible! It was bearable because at least I was home now.  But this job made me see that education actually was important.  I started back to school, and for the first time ever I had a 4.0 GPA.  I enjoyed learning, and I enjoyed making good grades. After that semester, I was able to move to a much better part-time job, which I loved.  I kept working on school, and finally got my Associate's.  We then felt like we were ready to have a baby, and we were also financially ready as well.  I had always wanted to be a stay at home mom when the time came, and I have been blessed to be able to do that.  I know that school is still important, so I am now working on my Bachelor's degree in Information Technology.  I am taking all of my classes online and it is really convenient! I work on my schoolwork while my sweet boy takes his naps.  I think I enjoy school even more now, because all of the studying and homework gives my brain a workout.  It's a nice change from speaking baby talk. :-)  

So back to talking about my blog. When I started this blog, I was on this "new mom" high.  I was so excited about everything, and I had great plans to do LOTS of things.  I envisioned myself wearing a cute apron, cleaning my house, cooking meals, making our own soaps and cleaners, crafting, taking care of my son, and blogging about it all.  My expectations were a bit too unrealistic.  No, they were WAY too unrealistic. I still want to blog, and I still plan on blogging, but I don't think it's going to happen as much as I want to.  Not right now anyway.  My baby and my schoolwork takes precedence over everything, and it's kept me so busy that I haven't had time to do a lot of things I want to do. But my baby will only be a baby for so long!  I am thankful that I am getting to spend so much time with him.  And my time management skills seem to be getting a little better, which makes things easier. 

And now, I'm going to utilize some of my newly learned time management skills and go take that shower while I can. ;-)



Friday, December 7, 2012

COVERGIRL Giveaway Winner Announcement

Today is the day! Time to announce the winner of my COVERGIRL Blast Flipstick!!

 And the winner is......

Mike & Jessica!


Congratulations! I was originally going to choose the winner by the best comment, but I had to change it to a random drawing.  Both of the comments were so good and I couldn't choose!  


I am so new to blogging and am learning about how to run giveaways and such.  This time was easy because I was able to pick by writing the names down on a square of paper, crumpling them up, and picking the winner blindly from a bowl, but if this blog gets more popular, I definitely won't be able to do that!! So I've been investigating something called Rafflecopter.  I've been reading a few blogs that use this particular giveaway program, and it looks really cool! So my next giveaway will be done through Rafflecopter. :) Keep on the lookout for that one! I'm thinking I will raffle off some earrings or something else cool.  


 Happy Friday, everyone! Hope it is great for you all!  



Friday, November 30, 2012

BzzAgent Campaign: Covergirl Blast Flipstick

I am not much of a girly-girl (most of the time anyway, haha) but the one girly thing I am addicted to is lip stuff.  I say stuff because I like it all - lipstick, lipgloss, chapstick, lipstick gloss, anything.  I was thrilled when I found out I got invited into the Covergirl Blast Flipstick campaign via BzzAgent!

As a BzzAgent, I receive different products for free and get a chance to "buzz" about them.  That means I talk to people face-to-face, or on other blogs and websites, or over the phone about the products I receive.  I'm honest and I tell about what I like and what I dislike.  I love being a BzzAgent!

So here is my BzzKit that I received from BzzAgent:

My beautiful baby, N., keeps me pretty busy, so I had pretty much forgotten about what campaigns I had been invited to.  That made it so much more fun when I opened the mailbox and found this inside!

This is an awesome kit! There are 3 FULL SIZE SAMPLES!! How awesome is that? And since each side has a different color, this is essentially 6 different lipsticks.

The Flipstick shade that I tried was called "Vixen."

 The darker color looked really good even just by itself!

Although, personally, I like the shimmery look.  And I'm also not used to wearing really dark lip colors.  To me, the combined shade of the dark and shimmery colors was absolutely perfect!

(Please ignore the bit of darker lipstick on this example, lol.  Obviously this is what happens when you blend the two colors together.)

I've used this lip color for about a week now.  I really like it! It has a really good creamy texture, which I find very important.  If I don't like the texture of a lipstick, I will put lip gloss over it, and probably not buy that kind of lipstick again.  (I have put lip gloss over this lipstick, too, but that was just my personal preference.  I didn't really think it needed it, but I used it more like an enhancement.)

Another important factor is how long it lasts.  I put this lipstick on at about 8 a.m. this morning, and it is STILL on at 4 p.m.! So far, it's survived me eating and drinking, and also has survived my errands with the baby.  That in itself says a lot.  

So overall, I am super happy with this product.  I would definitely recommend it! And thanks to BzzAgent, I have more lipstick than I really need.  So here is my blog's first giveaway!  Leave a comment below stating why you would like to try out this lipstick.  The winner will be chosen by random drawing (since I know all of your comments will be great and it will be too hard for me to choose!) and will win one of the "samples" and also some coupons to use for yourself or to share! Please include your email with your comment so I can contact you. :)

Well, I have to get back to mothering! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I am finally getting to write a new post!  I meant to do one earlier, but obviously, having a 1 month old keeps you busy.  ;)  I'm not even sure if I'll get to complete this post today, because N. is due to wake up any minute to eat.  I've had trouble getting him to settle down.  I guess he is technically "colicky" because he cries a lot after I've done everything I possibly can to make sure he is comfortable.  Thankfully, N. doesn't cry for hours at a time, but still, it can be frustrating with him crying for 20-30 minutes at a time.  I was so frustrated today that I decided to make a trip to the bank.  I thought maybe a car ride would soothe him to sleep, and also I did have some checks I needed to deposit.  The car ride was very short, but when I got him home, he was sound asleep.  And has been ever since. Thank goodness!

I had no idea just how many things one person could accomplish in an hour!  That's about how long it's been since we've been home.  I've straightened my house, finished up a few thank you cards, hung up some laundry, and am now attempting to blog.  (He is stirring, so I know my time is limited! Thank goodness I am a fast typer!)  I don't know how mothers who work outside the home do it all.  I'm here working at home all day, and it seems like I can never get it all done.  I have lots of respect for all of the moms who are taking care of their babies and their households while also bringing home income.  I feel so very blessed that I am able to stay home though, because otherwise, I think I'd pull my hair out from being so overwhelmed!

I am about to start back to school again, so that will take up a good part of my time, and will probably do a good job of overwhelming me.  I am enrolled in 9 hours and I hope that's not too many.  I picked that amount of hours because it makes the most sense with my scholarship, and also because I want to be done with school as soon as possible.  I am majoring in Information Technology, and I will only have about 44 hours left after this semester till I will graduate with a BPS degree. (Bachelors in Professional Studies)  I am a little apprehensive about how well I will be able to do in school while taking care of a baby.  I have a 4.0 GPA right now, and I REALLY want to keep it up.  

At least I have gotten a little break recently.  We had an absolutely wonderful mini-vacation with my in-laws this past weekend, and having the grandparents take care and love on N. was so awesome.  Getting to visit with them was great, too!  (I was also able to make a new jewelry set for my store.  One of these days I will open back up on Etsy!)  To make things even better, I had a chance to go grocery shopping by myself for an hour yesterday.  That was like another vacation! I just walked up and down the aisles, browsing and enjoying the quiet, and enjoying only having to worry about myself.  It was wonderful.

Well, I had better go feed N. before he starts getting fussy.  Being a mother is tough! But it is definitely so worth it.  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

My sweet baby boy is 4 weeks old today!  And, of course, it's his first Halloween! Although I'm sad to say we haven't really done anything today.  I dressed him up in a cute little outfit his aunt bought him, and a sweet Halloween bib his Mimi bought him, and I took pictures, but that's about it.  We are just too tired to go out, which I think is understandable.  :)  I cannot believe that my beautiful little baby will be a month old on Saturday.  Time is already flying by! It makes me a little sad.  I am trying my best, though, to enjoy every single moment I have with him.

That being said, I am having a hard time getting anything done here around the house.  All day I am pulled away from things I am trying to do so that I can either feed, burp, change,  or soothe N., and it is a little frustrating.  I am so glad that I am able to stay home and take care of him, but it's hard not being able to do much else.  Thankfully, my mom has agreed to come over one day a week to help me watch him so that I can get the cleaning and other tasks that need to be done accomplished.  I am so glad!! That will help SOOOO much! Plus,  I need some adult conversation every now and then, haha.

I am really looking forward to the day when I can just go someplace by myself for maybe an hour or so.  You know, like grocery shopping by myself, or just going to a store to browse by myself.  Every mom has told me this, and I never understood it until now.  I think everyone needs alone time, and I haven't gotten that in a pretty long time.  As an only child, alone time is something I'm used to having, so this is a big adjustment.  You really end up losing all of your selfishness when you become a mother.

I feel so blessed, though, that God let us have our baby boy.  We didn't have to hardly try at all to get pregnant, and I had a pretty easy pregnancy.  (The birth wasn't fun, as you've read before, but oh well.)  I had no idea what to expect.  I actually thought that parenthood would be much harder than I am finding it to be.  It's definitely challenging, but more than that, it is rewarding.  Don't get me wrong, it's not an easy job.  I just had it in my mind that it would be a nearly impossible job, which it's not.  That's why we waited so long to have a baby in the first place.  For the past 6 years, the thought of parenthood was just way too scary to us.  In fact, we weren't sure that we wanted to have a child at all.  But, wow, am I glad we did! This is an experience that is so amazing and wonderful, and I feel so sorry for those people that haven't gotten to experience it. 

Okay, enough talking about being a parent.  Soon, I'm hoping to post more about stuff I enjoy doing, like books I've read and crafts I've completed and stuff like that.  Right now, though, I obviously haven't had time to do that.  I'm also in a program called BzzAgent, where I get to try products out for free, and I plan on writing about that, too.  I know my time will always be limited, but I'm hoping I get to do some of those things soon.  :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So Tired, But Happy

Things are still getting regular around here.  Including my baby boy, apparently.  Last night I was changing N.'s diaper, and I apparently wasn't fast enough.  He has already peed on me a couple of times, but this time, it was POOP! It surprised me so much that I screamed, and I think I scared him. :/  But it was okay; my husband came running, and, after laughing at the sight of me, helped me clean N. up and then rocked him while I went and took my second shower of the day. 

Needless to say, I'm pretty tired.  But, regardless of having all sorts of bodily functions to clean up at any given time, I am so happy.  I had no idea parenthood would be so rewarding, and we have only just begun. 

We went to church today for the first time since N. was born, and it was wonderful! I was able to play in the worship set this morning, and it was so enjoyable.  I had forgotten just how much I missed it! I feel so blessed that God gave me musical talent! And I feel blessed that He has helped me to develop it.  I really didn't know how to play when I started, but after lots of practice, I feel much more confident, and I actually have knowledge of notes and chords and even chord inversions. :)

This is a pretty short post, but thankfully, nothing really TOO crazy has happened this week.  We are just still working on keeping up a routine and I am working on trying to get more rest, instead of trying to tackle a million projects at once.  I will post more soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Getting Into a Routine

I am so happy to say that my son, N., and I have finally gotten into a routine.  We have had lots of company over the past few weeks, and I have enjoyed visiting with everyone, but because of that, we have been unable to establish a routineI know now how to get N. to go to sleep, and what time to try to start getting him to go to bed.  That has been so great! We had been getting into bed REALLY late on those busy days; he stayed up until 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning!  But in the past couple of days, we've actually managed to get him into bed right before 11:00.  I am so glad to finally be getting some rest! (And my husband is, too!)

The main thing that has helped has been establishing a consistent feeding schedule.  N. eats every two hours (give or take a little) during the day, and every four hours at night.  Also, I have learned that I need to sleep when he sleeps, so I have to put the housework off for a bitBefore, after I fed him around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m., I would go ahead and get up in order to get stuff done.  Now, I am sleeping in until around 9:30 a.m. or so in order to make up sleep from waking up in the middle of the night.  N. is taking naps in the afternoon, now, so I can do all that stuff then. (And I can blog!)  I had no idea how wonderful it would be to get into a routine!!

We also just finished up using all of the disposable diapers that we received at our baby showers and have now moved on to cloth.  My wonderful SIL let us use all of the diapers she had from our niece, and she even gave us some diapers that were completely new from her old store inventory. (She used to own a super cool baby shop that sold cloth diapers and all sorts of organic things.)  We were planning on using cloth diapers as soon as we brought him home from the hospital, but it was just easier to use disposables until N.'s circumcision healed.  And then after it healed, I figured we may as well use the rest of what we had.  They were all size 1's, and so I knew I wouldn't be able to save them for very long.  I put several in my diaper bag so that we can use disposables when we go out, but that's it.  Anyway, I'm finding that cloth diapers are very easy! We are using a brand called Kissaluvs right now, and I am loving them! I thought it might be hard to get the snaps snapped on a wriggling baby, but it's no harder than the sticky closures on the disposable diapers.  Actually, I'm finding it easier!

We bought a wipe warmer so that I could also make a batch of cloth wipes to keep ready and moist, and I made the first batch this afternoon.  I used water, tea tree oil, and Dr. Bronner's castille soap for babies.  (Note: If you decide to use Dr. Bronner's, that is great.  Just ignore all the writing on the outside.  That company is obviously confused about their spirituality, and there is a bunch of hippy-dippy stuff about their "god", not my God. I wouldn't even support the company, but the soap is really good.  And unfortunately, we can't boycott everything and every company that doesn't believe the same way we do.  Although I would if I could.) Okay, off my soapbox and back to the cloth wipes.  I poured 2 cups of water in a container, and added 1/4 cup of the castille soap and about 15 drops of tea tree oil.  Then I soaked the cloths in the solution, wrung them out, folded them in half, and placed them in the wipe warmer.  I only did 12, so I'm hoping that lasts a couple of days.  The rest of the solution I poured in a spray bottle, just in case I need a little bit more to clean my sweet baby with.  

So far, cloth diapering has been great! I did encounter one big poopy diaper that I ended up having to spray down in the toilet.  My husband made up our own diaper sprayer that attaches to our toilet with supplies from Lowe's.  (We only spent $16 on a diaper sprayer, as opposed to $35, which was the average price of one you could buy.  Maybe I'll ask him to write a guest post on how to engineer your own diaper sprayer!)  Anyway, spraying down the diaper wasn't too bad.  I was able to squeeze out all the water by gripping the front of the diaper, so I never actually had to touch the poo.  I'm sure I'll get it on me sometime, though.  I mean, even disposable diapers can't protect you completely! Sometimes there is just too much mess! ;)

To store all the dirty diapers, I  bought a diaper pail from Amazon that had an opening big enough to put cloth diapers in, and I lined it with a large wet bag.  The wet bag, the cloth wipes, the cloth diapers, and the diaper covers can all be washed together.  I figure I will probably do a load of laundry every night; at most I will only let it go a day before washing a load.  I don't want them to mold or mildew.  This is the most awesome part about being a stay-at-home mom.  I have time to do all of this!  I think it would be pretty challenging, otherwise.  But not impossible. :)

Well, it's about time N. woke up from his afternoon nap to eat.  Tonight will be my first night back at praise band practice, and I can't wait! My fingers are itching to play the keys and to see everyone!  Until next time!


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