20 posts categorized "Daily Life"


Got Some Pictures In The Mail

I am notorious for adding things to my shopping cart and having them sit there. I'll go "shopping" online, spend 30 minutes looking at things, and then just let it sit there in the cart. It can be fun to just look, with no intent to buy, but I also do this on things I need to get.

Like, the dog crate I owe friends Jace and Randy. Ummmmm . . . This is a bit awkward to admit, but they let us "borrow" a dog crate for Spangler when we first got him (note that he is 18 months old now). Since he's pretty much used it into the ground, we told them (disclosure: six months ago) that we'd just buy them a brand new one. So, multiple times I've gone out to Amazon.com and found one, added it to my cart, with the intention of checking with Cody that it's the right one, but actually buying it never happens.

I really need to get that done.

I think the worst is pictures. I order my pictures from ScrapbookPictures.com (love their quality) and back last December I added pictures from my friend Jacque's baby shower, since part of her shower gift was creating a mini photo album that everyone would sign. The only problem is that I never made the picture order. (Another disclosure: note that Hudson is now six months old.)

Then, after Anna was born, I added more pictures to my shopping cart of her birth. Still never made the order.

So, last week I finally added the pictures I needed to get printed, and CHECKED OUT.

This, was a big deal.

I got my order in the mail and nothing is more exciting than getting printed pictures in your hands. I'll be finishing Jacque's shower album, getting more of Anna's baby album done, and updating picture frames throughout my house.

Pile-of-pictures copy

I'm excited.

Now to order that dog crate . . .


Seven Years and Counting

Standing in the hospital room with Cody's grandma, Mavis, in the hours leading up to losing Robert, I had a conversation with Mavis that I will never forget. I've always looked at their marriage in awe. They survived so much together, both good and bad, and came out at the end with a selfless love that you could just feel when you were around them.

The birth of their three sons and the adoption of their daughter. Countless moves. Jealousy. Poverty. The arrival of the grandchildren. The death of Cody's Uncle Len. Summer's spent as a family in Colorado. Jokes and laughing. Good food. Doctor's appointments. Impending death.

I had always given Mavis a hard time because their lives were so full that when she met Robert as a young teenager, there was no way that she could have predicted the amazing life they would live together. I'd always tell her that she should write a book just to capture their crazy lives. I brought it up again as we were there in the hospital room and she turned to me and said, "Doll, I love Robert now, but it started out as lust. It was lust-at-first-sight." Then she giggled.

I can understand just how she feels.

I still giggle about Cody and me. I had just turned 19 when we started dating and I thought he was the cutest guy in the whole world--and I still do think that. It's just that our lust has turned to love, which has turned into a deeper love than I could ever image.

Seven years ago today I married Cody. On a Tuesday. At 5pm.

I wasn't really nervous. In fact, I just wanted the whole thing to be over. We had dated for almost three years and I was so ready to be his wife that after the ceremony I would have been totally fine with skipping the reception. (We had to pull over right before we got to the reception location so the photographer could set up and get pictures of us arriving. Cody and I joked about skipping out. I think we were half serious!)

I knew we were meant to be and so the pop and circumstance of the wedding seemed to be for everyone else. For me, my commitment to Cody had happened a long time before walking down the isle.

I thought I loved him then (and I did) but nothing compares to the way I love him now.


We have in no means gone through the full life of Cody's grandparents, but there is something about living life TOGETHER and helping each other through the good and the bad. It brings you closer than you can ever imagine.

Especially the Great Stomach Flu of Christmas 2007. Ugh. A bit embarassing when your husband has to clean up after an event like that . . . Or listening to my singing voice. I don't wish that upon anyone. The death of those we love. New jobs. Listening to the completely random thoughts that come out of my head. Or, the anxiety leading up to Anna's birth, and the amazing support he game me. And best of all, the birth of our daughter. The little person we made together.

Happy Anniversary Babe! Seven years and counting!


New Job, Same Office

Friday afternoon I texted my friend Jacque saying that my last day at my company was leaving me feeling a bit nostalgic, despite the fact that I felt at peace with my decision to switch jobs. Six years is a long time with one company.

She replied saying that she understood, and that it made sense, considering all the experiences I've had since I started working there. What she said was so true. The very first time I was in Chicago was for my job interview, scheduled during our house-hunting trip. My first day of work was only the second time I'd ever been in the city and I had to somehow get my 23-year-old self from the suburbs to my building in The Loop.

To say that I was nervous was an understatement.

But, I've grown up with my company. I was essentially fresh out of college (a brief six month job at a small web development company followed by a ten month stint doing a corporate retail e-commercesite), with just my self-taught graphic design background. I even had to pay $5 to a bum to show me where Union Station was so I could somehow get myself back home.

I'm now able to successfully execute large contracts, deal with clients and the day-to-day management that comes with that, and successfully travel to places I've never been to. The people that gave me opportunity, and all the stressful, fun, events that came with it, are things in my life I'll never forget.

During my maternity leave I received an email from a company I had interviewed with last summer, but ended up not taking the job because I had just found out I was pregnant with Anna and knew it was better to stay where my maternity leave benefits were better. (Being with my company for six years meant I had enough sick leave saved up so I could get my full 12 weeks of maternity leave paid--something I know was a huge blessing on our family.)

It killed me to turn the job down, since it was a great opportunity, but I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision. So, I was super excited when I got the email from them saying they were still looking for someone.

It's another Chicago-based company so a few weeks before I headed back to work I flew up to Chicago for the day, leaving Anna in the very-capable hands of my Mom. Just a quick fly-in, fly-out trip. I found out just the week before my maternity leave was up that I got the job, so on my first day back to work, I put in my two-weeks. (Um, yeah. Not really how I wanted it to happen, but it turned out to be good timing since my coworkers and clients were already used to me being gone.)

So, this morning I'm starting my new job. I'm nervously excited, as I'm getting back into a line of work that I really enjoy. It's just funny because my first day "at the office" is the same office, since I work from home. Same routine (get up, get ready, get Anna ready, take Anna to the babysitter), same office, but a new job to start out the week.

And I'm feeling surprisingly optimistic.



Anna And Her Bumbo Chair


Anna is 14 weeks old today. She made it about 20 seconds sitting in her Bumbo chair yesterday morning before we left for the babysitter. Last time she freaked out immediately.

Hey, it's progress!


No Visit From The Easter Bunny This Year

It was our first year to celebrate Easter with Anna and although she's a bit young to have the Easter Bunny come visit, we made our way Friday afternoon to the mall (ugh) to get our picture taken.

Luckily it was a shorter line than I feared and only took about 30 minutes.

I had been trying to figure out what I was going to do about an Easter dress, since anyone that's been a little girl knows how important an Easter dress is! I really didn't want to spend $20-$30 dollars on a one-time dress (how much they were running even at Wal-Mart and Target) so I was verypleasantly surprised when Caressa (my doula from Anna's birth) left the cutest dress on my front porch a few weeks ago.


(Anna would start crying REALLY quickly after I'd put her down so I kept walking over, calming her down, and the woman wasn't very good at hitting the shutter button in the few seconds she was calm.)

I found matching shoes at a local second-hand store for only $2.99, and they were never worn, with the original tags on and everything! Although, it's pretty funny that Anna fits shoe size "0-6 weeks" even though she is almost 14 weeks old. She has some mini-feet!


So, I got her all dressed up for the mall trip and ended up being really happy I could capture her first Easter.

Sunday morning we got up and headed to church. Anna got dropped off at the church nursery and Cody and I headed to one of the "overflow" rooms so the first-time guests could sit in the sanctuary. We did our usual volunteer thing the second service (our church has three services) and picked Anna Banana up afterwards.


A quick lunch with our friends Dace and Jacque (and Hudson) and we headed home for the rest of the day to take it easy.


No Easter Bunny this year, but a good first Easter none-less!


Family Nap


There is no lack of snuggling at my house. The dog, the cat and the baby.


Finally, Some Mommy/Anna Pictures

I'm usually the one behind the camera. I love taking pictures and really love capturing all of the people that love Anna and choose to spend their time with her.

But, sometimes that means that the everyday moments of me and her go by with nothing to document it.


Before we left for the awards dinner the Saturday before last Cody snapped a few pictures of me and Anna.


I love them.


They are perfect in their imperfection.


And, something I'm going to make sure to do more often.


Good Saturday's

This past weekend was great. We spent some much needed time together as a family, just taking care of things around the house on Saturday and doing our usual routine of church and Bible study on Sunday.

Saturday morning Anna woke up at 2am, 4am and again at 5am and Cody found himself unable to go back to bed so he got up and hung out with her, letting me sleep in until 8am. Let me tell you, it felt great. I then had a hair appointment and disappeared for another few hours, with Saturday morning turning into a really great break for me and some good Daddy-Daughter time for Cody. We worked a bit on the garage Saturday afternoon (trying to get it organized and gone-through) and finished the day with a burger and dessert with some friends.

This was a big difference from the two previous Saturday's where we stayed busy out of town. We worked one Saturday at Cody's parents, putting in a new floor in their bathroom (well, Cody and his Dad put in the new floor while Anna and I hung out with Cody's Mom and sisters) and then the following Saturday we got a baby-free evening, celebrating the young alumni award Cody received from our alma mater.

(We even got to dress up!)


It was a beautiful evening put on by our Alumni Association, celebrating not only Cody but three "Outstanding Alumni," an "Outstanding Faculty/Staff" and an "Outstanding Friend" of the university.


Cody had to give a quick speech (eek!) but he really did great.

And I know he felt a little ridiculous to be honored, as he just gets up and does his job every day, but it was great for his hard work to be honored in this way. I am just so proud of him! It was one of those, "Hey, that is MY husband!" moments.


Lots of good Saturdays recently.


Multi-Tasking, A Good Way To Start The Week

Cody is out of town this week for work and I knew that I wouldn't want to be at the house, by myself, with a 9.5 week old baby and a 83 pound black lab. So, I made plans to head out to my parents house for two nights. I could get adult time and they could get Anna time.

My parents aren't, what you call, large dog people so I was set to board Spangler at our vet for both nights (we tried boarding him at the doggy-fun-park-type place but ended up with a significant vet bill, so we opt now for the vet boarding).

Cody and I were both up around 6am and I began the huge task of packing for myself, Anna and Spangler. I was proud that I ended up getting everything done by around 9:30 (hey, three and a half hours isn't TOO bad, right?) which was a half hour before my 10am deadline. I had a 11:15 appointment with the oncologist and needed to get Spangler to the vet before then. Also, because I'm so good at planning ahead, I realized that we were pretty much out of dog food, so I needed to stop by the pet store before taking Spangler to the vet.

I'm not really sure how, but I managed to pick up a small bag of dog food with both Anna and Spangler in tow and we made it to the vet by 10:30. My three and a half hour prep time that morning didn't allow any time for breakfast so I swung into McDonald's and got their new steak and egg breakfast burrito (highly recommended if you crave a little Micky D's now and then) and started to head over to the oncologist.


Anna was waking up and getting very hungry, and in my moment of super-Mom-ness I heated her already-prepared bottle, on the drive over, in the hot water that I brought from home. (Sometimes I feel like I have everything under control. Just don't ask me about the time I drove 25 minutes to meet my sister for lunch and left Anna's prepared bottle, as well as the shield I have to use when I nurse her, sitting on the bench next to the front door. Nothing like having NO way to feed your hungry child. That is just one of my not-so-great Mom moments.)

We got to my oncologist appointment early (Cody would be so proud!) and it was great to provide a distraction for the folks in the waiting room, most who appeared to be undergoing chemo. Who doesn't feel better when looking at an adorable baby?

The nurse assistant called on Friday to remind me of my appointment and made me promise to bring Anna, and sure enough, the entire staff was all over her. I had no problems finding someone to hold her while they drew blood, checked my vitals and weighed me. And then it was wait time for Dr. A.


(I've mentioned before that I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) back when I was only 15 weeks pregnant with Anna. At delivery my blood platelet levels came in at 54k, just shy of the 50k mark, which is when I would have had to get a platelet transfusion. The day after I delivered they came in at 64k, and I was hopeful that my ITP was only gestational, but at my six week post-delivery doctors appointment, they came in at 55k.)

Dr. A came in and after getting some Anna-holding time, finally made the "official" diagnosis of chronic ITP. He told me that he felt comfortable with me not getting the bone marrow test (a huge relief, since I really didn't want to have to go through that) and just wants me to get monitored once a month for the next six months, then every year after that.


As long as my platelets can stay over 20k, I'll be okay.

It was a huge relief. I had a good morning where I felt in control of the craziness of packing and getting everything together. I had an even better morning where I got some good news in a possibly bad situation.

It was a good start to the week.


This Is Not A Paid Advertisement

I did my own (accidental) study where I placed a Pampers Newborn diaper in the washing machine.

I totally grossed myself out when I discovered it, considering that it was already used by Anna. (And, let's just be honest . . . newborn waste isn't exactly pretty. Well, I guess ANY waste falls into that category, so never mind . . .)


But, even though this study was conducted with very little sleep, I did find that the diaper soaked up an incredible amount of liquid, even though my findings came with a bit of embarrassment.