Monday, January 31, 2011

Who Will Be Your Valentine?

Today is the last day of January, making tomorrow.... FEBRUARY! Yikes! This year is already going by really fast.

Once again this year, E is the one and only (and cutest and cuddliest and sweetest) man in my life, so he gets to be Mommy's little Valentine. I'll spoil him rotten with chocolate, I'm sure, but on top of that he's getting a Pillow Pet! I've seen these everywhere and have wanted one wanted to get E one soooo badly for a long time.

If you live under a rock and haven't seen these around, here's a description for you:

Made of ultra-soft chenille, Pillow Pets™ plush foldable stuffed animals are much more than a stuffed animal. With a strap that closes underneath to transform the pillow into a friendly pet, they are an ideal travel pal, naptime buddy and all-around cuddly friend. Pillow Pets™ plush foldable stuffed animals are available in jungle animals, farm critters and sea creatures – 36 different animals to choose from – and are just one part of the Pillow Pets™ family of products, which also includes books, blankets, slippers, and games.”

We were lucky enough to get Luv Pup, the Valentine’s Day dog pillow pet. I let my mom have a sneak peek at E's V-Day gift, and she doesn't want to hand it over to him.  It's so incredibly soft, I can't even describe it. They say they're made of "ultra-soft chenille" and they're not kidding. My mom just sat there and stroked it... and stroked it... until I had to tell her that it wasn't a real dog and didn't really need petting ;)

They also have a Valentine Cat which is super cute too! 

Anyway, I've put it away until Valentine's Day, and I'm sure E will LOVE it. I'm so excited to give it to him! 

So who is your Valentine this year? Would you like to give a Valentine Pillow Pet as a gift, or keep one for your very own?

Win it! One lucky winner will receive their choice of a Valentine's cat or dog pillow pet! 

Mandatory entry: 

Extra Entries: 

Leave a comment for each entry you complete! 

Good luck! This giveaway will close on February 6th, 11:59pm EST so that the winner will have time to get his or her Luv Pillow Pet in time for Valentine’s day! Winner will be chosen via 
Pillow Pets are intended for use by children aged 3 and over. If children younger than that are playing with them they need to be supervised during that time.
I was sent a Pillow Pet to review. No other compensation was received for this post. All opinions are honest and my own! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cloth Diapers - The First Weekend

Because of the fact that I entered school in the spring, I've received financial aid for spring, summer, fall, and now spring semesters consecutively. Unfortunately, aid is only available for 2 semesters out of the year... so that means this time, my spring money has to last through the summer. 

As a result, I'm trying to cut corners financially speaking. One way that I've chosen is through exploring cloth diapering. 

I've gotten a lot of strange looks and comments, up to and including "cloth diapers are ridiculous," "seriously?!"  and "ewwwwwwww!" especially from my family (that I live with). That's made the transition a little rocky, but other than that little hurdle, it's a lot easier than I expected. 

I have a little mini-stash of 6 diapers, which is enough if I wash them every night. Two were generously donated to me by each of my friends Katie and Beth, so that's four, plus one that I won from one of Becca's giveaways and one that I'm lucky enough to be able to review. So total expenditure = $0. Not bad, eh? 

I was very, very intimidated at first as I had NO idea what to do with the diapers in the first place. There seemed to be so many ins and outs of washing them, and everyone has "what works best for them" so there really aren't any hard and fast rules. The first time E pooped in one I ran to Twitter like OMG NOW WHAT?!?!?!?! But it turned out fine. 

E has been in cloth this entire weekend! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We had a little mishap Friday night where I didn't anticipate his nighttime wetting volume, so he leaked some. But hey, that has happened to me with disposables too! 

My mom and step dad (who frequently watch E) are adamant that they don't do cloth, so I'll still have to keep disposables on hand for them, and I don't really have enough of a stash to provide daycare with any. Even having him in cloth part time will cut down on the amount of diapers that I'm buying, though. At least that's the idea. 

Plus? My room smells WAY better now that there aren't poopy diapers sitting in it all the time. The poop goes into the toilet - imagine that! I was afraid the cloth diapers would make it smell worse but I have to say, the complete opposite is true. I'm not sure if that will be the case once I get enough diapers that I don't have to wash every night, but we'll see. Maybe it will! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flab to Fab Friday

Christa over at Little BGCG is doing Flab to Fab Fridays and I'm joining in! 

I (along with many other pre-nursing students who I've spoken with) GAINED WEIGHT during my semester of physiology. All the stress and studying was not good for my waistline! Yuck. So this semester since my classes are a little more low key, I'm trying to get back on track. 

This week my goal was to eat breakfast every day before school. I accomplished that buy buying plastic tupperware-type "bowls" with lids, and microwaving some oatmeal to eat in the car on the way to drop E off at daycare. I know, not ideal, but hey. It worked. I ate breakfast every day except today (which I didn't take him to daycare, I left him with my mom, so there you go). 

I also went to the fitness center at school on Monday, Tuesday, and today. That will be my goal for next week - to go to the fitness center those days again. Wednesday won't happen because of E's daycare hours, and Thursday I'm not on campus until night time. I want to try to add in the 30 Day Shred, but E has been having a hard time transitioning back to daycare and will hardly let me put him down when we're home. That should improve soon, so when it does I'll add in the Shred. 

Trying to stay flexible but still get it done! 

So goal for next week: Continue to eat breakfast daily, and go to the fitness center Mon Tues and Fri. Add in Shred if possible. 

See ya next Friday! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breastfeeding Blog Hop

I do realize that all I've been posting lately are blog hops lol. It's the first week of school, and I don't have much to talk about just yet. E and I have been trying out cloth diapers, so some posts on that will come soon, but as for now... well, here's another blog hop. Sorry!

I just had to participate in this one that Jen over at Life with Levi started. She's a fellow exclusively pumping mama, which is crazy because it seems we're few and far between!

If you're new to my blog, check out my "About" and "Breastfeeding" tabs. I'm a 24 year old single mama to E, who is 17 months, and I've been exclusively pumping for him since day one (he was a preemie). I'm sad that we've lost out on that special nursing relationship, but so proud that I've been able to provide him with 17 months of breast milk, even if it does come through a bottle!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More Followers Monday 1/10/2011

It's another....

Can't wait to find more blogs to stalk! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Tonight I snapped. It's not the first time, and unfortunately I'm sure it will not be the last.

The last week of this break from school has been completely overwhelming. My mom and step dad were gone for four days for a funeral and my body of course chose that time to get sick. So was all alone with the baby with the sorest throat I ever remember having - I even went to get checked for strep (it wasn't) it was so bad. I hung on though, knowing that help was coming. My parents would be home soon and they would help. So I bucked up, took a butt load of Dayquil, got the house nice and clean for them when they got home, trying to make everything as stress free as possible.

They did come home. But then they were sick. They spent the better part of two days in bed, leaving me to manage E by myself. It wasn't too bad, because I was feeling a lot better, so again I tried to be as helpful as possible.

Then yesterday, E caught what they had. He had a high fever (104!) and a cough and was just miserable. He clung to me all day long and I enjoyed the snuggle time (although I was worried about him).

But today. Oh, today. I caught it too, although it seems to be mild. I just have major, major sinus pressure and I can't breathe. E still isn't feeling well today, and he was particularly whiny. I held on all day though. There was light at the end of the tunnel. I was sure that if I just waited for my mom to get home, she would help and give me a break.

Ha. They say hope breeds eternal misery, and so it did today. This evening everyone plopped themselves on the couch to hunker down for prime time guilty pleasure TV viewing, and I was the one left chasing E up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs. When my family members had the audacity to ask me what was for dinner and if we had any chocolate in the house... well, that was when it happened.

I snapped.

I stomped around and took E for a bath. He kept standing up in the bathtub and nearly slipping, and finally I yelled at him to SIT DOWN. WE SIT DOWN IN THE TUB!!!!

How awful is that? My kid has the worst sickness of his life so far and I yell at him to sit down in the bathtub. He probably doesn't even understand what I'm saying, only that I'm yelling at him. Me, his mother, his only parent, the only person responsible for him in the whole wide world.

Then my mother, probably fearing I was about to shake him to death or something (which I was not even close to, just to be clear) came up and asked me why I was so angry, and I just spilled my guts. Got my brother in trouble in the process. Told her it wasn't her fault, but that I was sick of the boys (my brother and step dad) doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the family while she and I do everything.

I'm tired. There is so much pressure on me. The divorce (and the dollar amount it is costing me) is weighing on me. I'm applying to nursing school this semester and I have to take the entrance exam which I haven't spent a whole lot of time studying for because - surprise surprise - no one has been available to help me with E. It's so much pressure trying to get my application as strong as possible. On top of all of that, I feel like I am expected to do everything domestically speaking, but I don't even get to do everything my way because I live under someone else's roof. I can't cook the meals I'd normally make because no one likes them. I can't clean the way I normally would because half of the things aren't mine and I don't know what to do with them. I'm in a state of eternal limbo in almost every area of my life, and it's just wearing me down.

I really have no outlet other than this blog and Twitter. Poor Katie has to listen to me rant like a raving lunatic because I don't have any other friends who are as sympathetic and non judgmental as she is.

Luckily, school starts on Monday. That will give me at least a little bit of a break, and E will have fun seeing his friends at the babysitter's. This semester shouldn't be too tough other than trying to get my nursing application together, so that's good. I'm definitely making a counseling appointment at the student wellness center right away, and I'll be exercising as well. Hopefully those endorphins will make it a little easier for me to deal. I hope to start yoga again as well, but we'll see since I have to do that at home.

Anyway. Sigh. Thanks for reading this far if you even did. There is something so cleansing about getting stuff out on the internet ;) xoxo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All Done

E has been picking up signing lately - FINALLY. We've been watching Baby Signing Time Volume 1 since he was like six months old or something, I don't even know. Anyway, he signs "more" (which comes out as clapping), "milk" (which he does correctly) and "all done" (which he expresses as "milk" with two hands, lol).

"Milk" and "more" are very helpful, but I'm having some issues with "all done." For instance, a couple of nights ago I was brushing E's teeth and he kept signing "All done!! ALL DONE!!" I felt really bad because he was communicating to me in the only way he knows how (other than crying) that he wanted me to stop. But I really needed to brush his teeth. So what then? I mean, how am I supposed to continue to teach him to sign when I just ignore what he's trying to tell me? He'll give up. But then I'm also a terrible mother if I give in and don't make him brush his teeth. It's a lose-lose situation.

E is sick today - this is probably the worst illness he's ever had. It's just a really bad cold, but he's absolutely miserable. He keeps coughing and holding his head (because I'm sure coughing hurts his head!) and then looking up at me pitifully and signing "all done." TEAR DROP. What am I supposed to do about that?! It about breaks my heart. He's telling me to fix him and there isn't anything I can do other than give him some meds and hope it helps a little.

I try to talk him though it and explain, with the teeth brushing and the sickness and all the other things he's "all done" with, but of course I don't know how much his little baby mind understands. I wish I could fix everything and let him be all done as soon as he's ready. It's hard to be the mom.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Followers Monday

I'm pretty sure that's the cutest blog hop button EVER. 

Happy first Monday of 2011, everyone! 

Relax & Surf Sunday

Hey guys! I have some time on my hands today (YAY! When does that happen?!) so I'm relaxing and surfing today. If you stopped by from R&S, hello!!! Take a look around and say HI! xoxo!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Yes, it's the obligatory New Year's post. 

Looking at this past year... it's easy for me to feel discouraged. I'm in exactly the same position I was in last year. I'm living as if I'm single but my divorce is still not even close to being final. I'm still living with my parents. My financial situation is, if anything, worse than it was last year due to the student loans I've had to take out. I lost weight last year, but gained a lot of it back. 

On the bright side, I did get 3 semesters of school finished in 2010, with pretty dang decent grades to boot. I'm set to apply for the nursing program this semester (for the class beginning fall 2011 and graduating December 2012) and I think I'll have a fairly strong application. I hope. I still need to take the entrance exam and write the essay. I'm studying for the exam over the break, and I'm not really too worried about the essay. 

E has grown A LOT over the past year, and that's just amazing. I pumped breast milk for him every day in 2010, and that's pretty amazing too in my humble opinion. He walks now, and says "dog," "mama," "uh-oh," "banana," and "cheese."  He signs "milk," "all done," "more" (well, sometimes when he feels like it), and "water." He takes his own dirty diapers to the garbage can which is super cute since he's all excited about it. It has been so wonderful to watch him grow from a little bitty preemie into this precious little toddler. Love, love,  love

In 2011... I really need to get this weight off. It's making me unhappy, and I have enough to be unhappy about without that too. I am taking a fitness course in school, so that will be at least 3 hours a week of exercise that I have no excuse to miss since E will be at the babysitter's. I hope to add yoga back into my life on top of that, but since that will be at home I'm sure it will be hit and miss. The yoga is mainly for stress management (hopefully more yoga = less Xanax!) but it obviously has physical benefits as well. My eating strategy will be simple - eat breakfast every day so I don't get starving while I'm out, and don't buy junk food. Just don't keep it around. That last part will be a bit challenging living at home, but I'm going to do it anyway. 

In 2011... I want my divorce to be final. I'm so done with it all, so done with M and his constant pathological lying. I want him out of my life, even through our attorneys. I'm tired. I'm finished. So please pray for me that my divorce will be final this year ;). If I am sitting at home again next New Year's Eve because I didn't even have the option to go on a date because I'm still married, I might just drop dead. Figuratively, of course. 

In 2011... I want to be a bit more organized so I can spend more quality time with E, rather than multitasking time. I want to blog a little more and surf the internet mindlessly a little less. I want to continue to do well academically. I want to be a little cleaner. That includes showering more (have you ever tried showering with a toddler screaming at you? If so, you'll understand that sometimes? It's easier to not even bother) and cleaning up daily instead of waiting until things get so messy it starts to annoy me. I had some really good cleaning habits established in 2009 and I'd like to go back to that. I want to be a bit more positive and not always dwell on the fact that I have to do everything. That's just how it is, and I need to stop shirking and just buck up and accept that fact. If I wait around for help, I'll be waiting forever. There is no help. It's all me. Somehow, some way, that will be okay. 

xoxo. I'm so grateful for the blogging/Twitter community. It's such an outlet for me, and I appreciate every single one of you. Happy New Year! I wish you all a happy, productive, and prosperous 2011!!