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Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
NOS4A2
NOS4A2
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen


Stefani's favorite books »

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rockin' and a rollin'

She's gone mobile people... she's been rolling around all night!! And she's still quite fascinated with those darned toes :)

video

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A work in progress...

Health:

Maintain my weight loss
- I'm down to 119 pounds and holding steady...

Workout - I worked out... once.. ::sheepish grin:: I guess you could say there's room for improvement there... I'm hopelessly stuck on Level 1 of the shred. It's just so stinking hard to find the time!

Eat healthier - I've been doing okay here. I take my vitamins everyday, drink an Emergen-C, drink water and herbal tea instead of coffee, and eat pretty healthy. The only thing that's been a challenge is that I'm trying to clear out our freezer and use up what we have so finding healthy meals isn't always easy. Once we get rid of some of the 'crap' we've been hoarding, I'm going to be better about buying healthier stuff...

Personal:

Attend church every Sunday - I've gone once. I just hate going alone and Derek isn't interested. Plus, sleeping in for a little bit on Sunday's is priceless.

Keep up on housework - I've done really well on this (until this week). I've gotten into a schedule of cleaning on Saturday mornings while Derek watches Addison. For the first three weeks of the month I do a light cleaning (dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms, etc.) and on the last weekend of the month I do a 'deep clean' where I vacuum furniture and get into every nook and cranny. So far it's working out okay and the clutter isn't driving me insane. I still do laundry as soon as we have a load so it doesn't pile up because I HATE doing laundry...

Finances:

Maintain a zero balance on all credit cards - Done.

Contribute to my IRA each month - Done.

Save a minimum of $200 per month for emergencies - Done.

Pay off one student loan - I only made my minimum payment in January... I'm starting to think it's more important to just dump that extra cash into savings instead of paying off a stupid loan...

Limit my personal spending to $100 a month - ::sheepish grin:: Okay, I knew this one would be tough... I blew it this month... badly. Looking at the bank statements I'm thinking I spent around $400. I can defend it a million different ways but it's still 4 times what I was supposed to spend. The sad thing is, I was actually practising restraint this month... :(

Work:

Start my ProCert and Master's program
- I am currently in the process of applying to grad school at City University of Seattle. It's looking like a spring semester start for me... whoo-pee.

Continue developing the curriculum for Language Arts - I have three unit plans done for each grade level... two more to go.

I should be doing about a million other things...

but instead I'm blogging.

Why, you ask? Why would I waste precious seconds when the baby is asleep and the house is quiet? Because. I. Am. Exhausted.

Derek has been sick for the last two weeks and even though he's still been helping out, I've been doing the majority of the work with Addison and getting up with her at night. Plus, I'm buried at work in 95 midterms that need grading, parent conferences tomorrow night and next week, grad school to apply for, a house that could use picking up, dinner that needs to be made, laundry that needs to be put away, a 30 day shred that just isn't happening today (or this week, I'm sure...), grocery lists that need to be made, or anything else that I 'should' be doing right now... Instead, I'm sitting in the dark, listening to Addison snore away in her carseat. And that, my friends, is going to have to be okay for today. I haven't even drummed up the motivation to go change into sweats or take a Tylenol for this raging headache. It doesn't help that I know I have to work a 12 hour day tomorrow either... okay, I'm all done whining now... I'm going to go find some sweats and drugs for my pounding head... beyond that, I'm not making any promises.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bedtime baby...

Addison,

I love bedtime. Not mine (well, love mine too), but yours. After your bath and nighttime bottle you curl up with me in the rocking chair for some quiet, relaxing time. You always fight sleep at first - your grumble and grunt and want to look around and make sure you aren't missing out on anything, but after a few minutes you start to settle in and relax. As you give up and give in to sleep you always let out a big sigh and then your grunts turn to tiny little snores and if I wait for a few more minutes you'll snuggle that downy little head of yours up against my cheek and grab a fistful of my shirt and snuggle up. No matter how bad my day has been, those few minutes curled up with you, make everything else seem irrelevant. I love you baby girl... goodnight.

~Mommy

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Addison and Stefani and the terrible, horrible, EPIC FAIL of a day...

'eff this day.

Addison and I ventured off into town today to run some errands. Derek wasn't feeling good (still) so I took her with me so he could rest. I had a coupon for a free car wash that expired this coming week so I decided that our first stop would be a car wash to knock a layer of mud off the Honda. I pulled in and was the fourth in line and another car pulled in behind me right away. That's about when I figured out that there was only one kid working which meant instead of zipping right through I had to sit there for thirty minutes with Addison fussing in the back seat. Finally, I get through, have a reasonably clean car... and it starts raining. Now, in hindsight, I know that i should have just taken that as a sign of things to come and turned left to go home. But noooooo, I turned right and headed to Fred Meyer's.

After securing a dripping wet shopping cart and having to park 1/2 a mile from the doors, I load Addison up and head into the store. There is no such thing as 'running in' to store when you are lugging a 13 pound car seat and a 12 pound baby... especially in the rain. We get in, find the groceries we needed and I hop in the express line - eager to get the heck out of dodge. As I'm unloading my cart and exceptionally creepy man gets into line behind me. You know the type - you hang on to your purse a little tighter and make sure that you aren't left alone in a dark parking lot... I was watching him out of the corner of my eye as I'm piling spinach, juice, and avocados on the little conveyor belt thingy and what does the asshole do?? HE LIFTS THE BLANKET OVER HER CAR SEAT AND STICKS HIS HEAD IN TO LOOK AT HER!!!!. What. The. F*&K?? Instantly, my mama bear hackles go up and I snatch the cart, push her up in front of me, snap an "Excuse me much!?" in his direction and prepare to claw out his eyeballs. Apparently, he got the message because he picked up his basket and moved to the next line. I think my blood pressure must have been about 200/150 (which would probably make me dead, but you get the idea). I gather up my groceries and scramble back out the car, looking over my shoulder the whole time, sure that this creep is going to try and snatch my kid.

My next stop was blockbuster which is very conveniently located next to a Starbucks and after my ordeal at the grocery store I decided that I deserved a coffee. So, I got our movie (Whiteout, I'll let you know how badly it sucks) and headed next door to get set up with a java IV drip. My next stop was Home Depot and the illusive search for a fan in the middle of winter. Again, you can't just run in and ask with a baby, you have to load the whole damn cart up, get inside, find a sales associate, and then find out that, no, of course they don't have fans in the dead of winter. But before I could even get that far, let me tell you about the next jackass that I encountered. The automatic doors at HD weren't working, they opened about a foot and then you had to stick your arm in and pry them open the rest of the way. There were ZERO carts outside so I had Addison, my giant diaper bag/purse, and a hot coffee in tow as I approach the door. The guy in front of me, WHO LOOKED RIGHT AT ME AND MY GIANT LOAD, pries the door open and lets it slam in my face. HELLO??!! Chivalry is apparently, dead and buried. So, I try to get positioned to pry the stupid door open and in doing so I end up pouring my piping hot Carmel Macchiato down my leg. PERFECT. So, the jerk looks at me, smooshed in the door with hot coffee all around me, and turns and walks off. Holy hell. All that to find out that they don't carry fans in the winter and I should run to Ace Hardware. Um, no.

So, I pull into Borders (because I'm a glutton for punishment) order a Coco Trio and buy a couple magazines and thankfully, nothing went wrong there.

But, it's not over yet... oh, no people, there is more. As I'm unloading my groceries at home the Sprite box tears open and cans of Sprite go rolling all over my garage. PERFECT. So, to end my awesome adventure I get to crawl around next to a wet car picking up dented cans of pop.

I need a hot bath and a strong drink. Not necessarily in that order. After all that, Monday doesn't sound half bad.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A year ago today...

our whole world changed...

Somethings gotta give...

I can't let my baby cry all night. My baby can't let me sleep all night. Rock, meet hard place. :(

Allow me to start from the beginning... once upon a time, Addison was 6 weeks old and kind enough to start sleeping through the night (I'm talking 9pm to 6am... not too shabby!). Derek and I got very (VERY) used to our sleep routine and thought that we had skated through one of the most dreaded aspects of parenthood - zombie, caffeine-craving, sleep deprived parenthood.

It seems that Addison caught wind of our contentedness (is that even a word? And I call myself an English teacher) and decided to mix it up a bit. A few weeks ago (just before we moved her into her own room) she started waking up at night and grunting and groaning until someone fetched her bink and plopped it back in her mouth. That's fine with me once or twice a night, I mean, I couldn't hold something in my mouth all night and she lacks the hand-eye coordination required to get it back in so I'm willing to be a good mommy and help her out. The problem is, now she's requesting our presence at her crib every 30 - 45 minutes. NOT COOL DAUGHTER!! We're quick to get up and give it back so we can all get back to sleep but after the debacle that was last night - somethings gotta give.

So, what do we do now? Sleep training? Not a fan of the idea, to be honest. I don't want to spoil my daughter but I also don't want her laying in her room crying for her parents and being ignored (yes, I understand that is NOT the premises for Ferberizing but it's my take on it). The problem isn't putting her down at night - that's the easy part. She gets her bottle, enjoys a bath, gets all cleaned up, and then rocks in the chair with me until she's relaxed (but usually not asleep). I put her in her bed, tuck her in, say goodnight, and leave while she's still awake. She usually konks out in a few minutes and we're good to go. For a while. She starts grumbling and grunting around midnight and thus begins the bink game. At it's best, it's once or twice a night. At it's worst we're talking EVERY. THIRTY. MINUTES.

This is where I become clueless - once she's up like this she's usually wet and can be changed but then she's wide awake and hungry. If we ignore the wet diaper (bad parent) she'll sort of go back to sleep for the rest of the night. So do I get up with her at midnight, change and feed her, and then put her down again, and ignore the cries after that? I'm not comfortable with ignoring all night because she is willing to eat and I don't want to ignore her if she's hungry or wet. :/ I'm at a loss. I'm also exhausted. I hate feeling so clueless about what to do with my own child!! It's so frustrating!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

4 Month Pics

I mean seriously, how does this picture NOT make you crack up... :) Especially when you take into account the monkey ears...

My daughter is a midgit, just like her momma. She has to stand on a pillow to operate her jumper.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A moment in time...

Addison,

It's been almost a year since I woke up early on a Sunday morning, took a pregnancy test, and ran out of the bathroom screaming that I was pregnant to your dad. A year since our lives changed. A year since I found out that our family, no matter how complete I thought it was, would grow to include you and now I can't imagine how we ever lived without you. You are four months old now and you are the sweetest, happiest, most beautiful baby I could ever imagine. I love waking up in the morning and going into your room because I know that you are waiting there for me with the biggest, goofiest, gummy grin ever. I love rocking you to sleep at night and watching you snuggle up with the blanket I made for you when I lay you down in your crib. I love how you hold my fingers while your eating, and how you get a kung-fu grip on my hair any chance you get. I love how you are always looking around, smiling, and brightening everyone's day - even if it's just the random stranger behind us in line at the grocery store. I love watching you at bath time - seeing you play and smile and splash like a wild woman. You are my entire life now - I know you won't understand that fully until you hold your own child in your arms but I would give up anything and everything for you.

I keep talking to friends with babies your age and they mention how excited they are for their babies to start crawling, walking, talking, and any other number of "firsts". I understand their excitement and I do share it but I would rather slow time down and savor every minute now. I spent my whole pregnancy anticipating the next big milestone - the first ultrasound, first flutters, first kicks, first contractions. I spent so much time waiting for the next big moment that I didn't take the time to appreciate all the little moments in between. I would give anything now to feel you back in mt tummy - back to when you had a special bond only with me. I know that's selfish but those were some of the most special moments in my life. So, as excited as I am to witness all your firsts, I'm equally grateful for each little moment in between.

So, my beautiful daughter, I will soak up each snuggle, coo, giggle, and smile as often as you are willing to share them. I will cherish the weight of you in my arms because I know all too soon you will be squirming to get down and explore your world. I will do my best to memorize the adoration in your eyes because I know someday soon I'll just be "your mom" and not the center of your world. But know that I will always adore you and love you in a way that only a mother can understand.

I love you peanut... more than life.

~ Mommy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

4 Month Update

Length: 24 inches
Weight: 11 pounds 11 ounces
Feeding Schedule: 5 ounces every 3-4 hours...
Sleeping Schedule: For the most part she's sleeping through the night and in has been in her own room since the middle of December. She goes down around 9:30pm and sleeps until 5:30am... we have to go in and giver her the bink a couple of times each night but usually that's about it.
Milestones: She's in her own room, is trying so hard to sit up on her own, and can almost roll over...

When all else fails, make a list...

Okay... I'm trying so hard to choose between two online schools for my Master's Degree. Option #1 is City University of Seattle. Option #2 is University of Phoenix. I want to get my Master's in Education - with a focus on Reading and Literacy. Both of these schools have pros and cons and it's so hard to decide which one is the right choice. So, just like anything else in my life, I'm going to make a list and hope that the answer presents itself... Here we go...

Both schools are about the same cost, offer the same degree, have the same format, take the same amount of time to complete, and have the same entrance requirements. Neither school knows if they will be able to apply my ProTeach portfolio credits to my Masters and they won't know for some time...

City University:

Pros:
  • Located in state
  • Has the program that I'm interested in
  • Is less expensive
  • Courses are much more interesting and seem like material that would be useful and new
Cons:
  • Have to complete the program with a cohort - no breaks or time off when I want it
  • The admissions people haven't been as helpful or forthcoming as my other option
  • Can't double up on classes during the summer - one at a time for two years
  • Have to buy textbooks each semester
University of Phoenix:

Pros:
  • Has the program I'm interested in
  • Can start the program at any time - no cohort
  • Can take breaks in-between classes if I want to
  • Can double up during the summer and take 2 classes at a time
  • Books are included in tuition and all online
  • Requires fewer credits and because of doubling up I could be done in a year and a half
Cons:
  • Out of state
  • Class list doesn't seem as applicable or interesting as City U
  • Is more expensive

I'm leaning toward City U because of the classes... but I'm still not sure.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

*sniffles*

My baby has a cold. I knew something was up this week when she wouldn't sleep... Poor little thing :(

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"You only fail when you quit trying."

One of my dear friends posted that on my facebook page after I posted a status update proclaiming myself as a failure as a mother for not being able to comfort my crying (read: screaming, wailing, inconsolable, sobbing) daughter. It's hard as a parent to see your child sad or uncomfortable and not be able to fix it - as far as I'm concerned it's the HARDEST thing I've ever dealt with. So, these past few nights, I've been a wreck as I sat and rocked her for hours trying to calm her down enough to be able to sleep. We have no idea what brought this on - a week ago she was sleeping throughout the night, was easy to put down after her bath, and happy all the time. Then, Monday night, everything changed. She was fussy as soon as we got home, she didn't want to take her bottle and took forever to eat, any time we tried to put her in our chair or in her bed (so we could try to eat dinner) she would cry, and when we got her ready for bed, things got ugly. She was sobbing and writhing around to the point that she was difficult to hold. Finally, after she had exhausted herself, she went to sleep. Sort of. She was up and fussing every few hours during the night and we took turns getting up to giver her the bink. Last night was more of the same except we were up every hour from 1am until the alarm went off. I don't know what could be causing it. She's clean and fed, burped, no diaper rash, warm, snuggled, spends enough time on her mat kicking and squirming, doesn't have a fever, isn't showing any evidence of teething (but I'm suspicious), and her nose, ears, and throat are okay (I had the school nurse check her out today just to be sure.). It could be a growth spurt but we've never seen this kind of fussiness before. I called the pediatricians office and they're only suggestion was that I quit drinking coffee (so I'll be a zombie tomorrow...) and see if that has anything to do with it. I dunno. I'd try just about anything if it means we all get some rest and avoid the stressful nights.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009... A Year in Pictures



This year has been amazing... from finding out I was pregnant in early January, a trip to Arizona to visit my parents in March, finding out we were expecting a girl in May, our fifth wedding anniversary in June, Derek's 30th birthday in July, baby showers in August, and the arrival of Addison in September. We have been so blessed this year, I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for us!

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