Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Semi Wordless Wednesday!





Here is the not wordless part:

I have always had an elf for Hailey since she was probably about 2. There is actually 3 elves! One at my Aunt's who used to babysit her, one at my Mom's, and one at our house. They were actually a set of three little Cabbage Patch elves my Mom had ordered for Hailey. Well since the move, her elf has been packed up and for the life of me, I can't figure out which box! Bad Momma!

She has been kind of naughty the past few weeks and she has been looking for her elf to come out since it always comes around Christmas. I have been telling her that if she keeps up with the attitudes and the bad things shes been doing, that Santa isn't going to come this year. She never let it bother her until she realized her elf hadn't come back. I have seen the Elf on a Shelf everywhere in the stores and my Instagram feeds are full of fun things people have been doing with their elves. The CP elves are a little bit bigger, so you really can't do much besides hide them. So I thought to throw a twist in things this year that we would adopt a new scout elf (Elf on the Shelf) as a "second chance" elf so that it can tell Santa if Hailey has been good. She was soooooo excited about it when I picked her up from school. She said that she will be so good now since this is her second chance. So we talked about how elves have different jobs and all look different. It might seem a little elaborate, but when dealing with a five year old there is TONS of questions, plus I didn't want her wondering why it didn't look like the elves she is used to! She told me how elves are like people and all look different and are different sizes and wear different clothes. It was actually a really cute conversation!

We decided to read the book as a family last night and we put the elf on the shelf. Hailey decided to name her Molly, so she told her the name she picked out for her and went to bed hoping that it would get it's magic and come to life last night! She also found a little elf toy from a Happy Meal and put it in a special place to specifically watch Kenny. She said he's been really bad this year and the elf would tell Santa if he was yelling at the cat! Silly girl!

Molly decided to hide in the lamp last night and she is holding the elf that Hailey put out to watch Kenny! I thought she would get a kick out of that! I can't wait to see what she thought about it this morning when she woke up!

PS: She told me that she hopes her other elf comes back also so that she can have two elves around the house! We will have to see how unpacked I get before Christmas! Hehehe!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Ramblings!

One day I am going to complete everything on my "To Do List" that I am constantly replaying over and over in my head! There are so many things I need to do or need to take care of, but it's just such a jumbled mess!

For example, I have things that I need to take back to the store! Hailey got a pair of shoes for her Birthday from Target that were too small, and I never took them back! That was in August! Now I have to take them back without a receipt and hope they will give me some kind of store credit. Knowing my luck they won't even be in the system anymore! I mean, I have a small list of stuff I need to take back and forget until I am just about to fall asleep and then I am awake thinking about everything for hours! That is money sitting around! Ahhhh!

I have a pair of shoes I bought from Sports Authority that needs to go back. They are packed in a box somewhere and again it will have to be a return without receipt because I bought them in July when I was having so many problems with my foot and ankle! And I have a flag that I bought from AC Moore that needed to go back and it is laying in the back of the car and now Fall is over so I can't return it!

Things like this drive me nuts! I have the best intentions of doing things, I really do, but my days run together so much that time just slips away from me. I have two doctors bills that need to be paid from earlier this year. I seriously am not ignoring them, I just never have the money when I remember and I forget until I get another notice! And now that I moved, it really looks like I skipped out of town on them! Opps!

I have always been one to make lists for things, but it seems my lists just keep growing and I am looking at this huge piece of paper and it makes me panic! I just hope that I can slowly chip away at each thing. I really do have faith that one day it will become a tiny list, but until then I am going CRAZY to do my best!

On a positive side note....... I am way ahead then ever before on my Christmas shopping! Doing it this early has also allowed me to be able to split people up by paychecks because the last thing I need to do is add any more credit card debt to my life! And believe me, I took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for sure! And I love watching my credits pop up on my Ebates account! Wahoo that makes me feel even better about my purchases, I mean come on $5.40 cash back on my Furby purchase, that means I got it for $48.60! You can't beat that!

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is so much more than an amazing meal! It is a time to really remember what we have to be thankful for!It's not about just remembering it for one day, it's about embracing it and remembering it every day! There is so much in my life that I have to be thankful for!

The other day on the drive into work, I stopped (well not really, I mean I kept driving!) and I asked myself what I had to be thankful for.

Here is some of what I came up with (no particular order of course!):

- I am thankful for my friends. They are the ones that keep me a float when I am just to tired to keep going. They support my ideas and my dreams. They are there to laugh with me and cry with me. They accept me for who I am and without them I would be lost. Friends are the family you get to choose. And I hope they each know how  important and how special they are to me. They are each unique and bring something special to my life. I could never thank them enough for being there with me each day.

- I am thankful for my family. My parents and I have not always seen eye to eye with things, but they have always been there for me. They have always said that I have walked to the beat of my own drum and though they don't always approve or understand, they are always behind me. I used to get so mad about how strict they were, but now that I am older and wiser I know that they were that way because they wanted the best for me and to make sure I was safe. I can stop and look at all the dumb things my friends have done, and be so glad I had a curfew and wasn't involved in that. My Aunt is like a second mother to me. She helped me out with Hailey when I didn't know what I was going to do. I couldn't afford daycare and needed to work. She gave me a safe place to take my child so that I could go to work and not worry about where and who she was with. 

-I am thankful for my job. It provides a stable place for me to go each day and a paycheck every other week. I am able to be flexible with my leave and they allow me to take off when I need to be with Hailey. It has provided me a lot of experience and some new friends along the way. For that I am very grateful!

-I am thankful that I have a car that starts every morning and gets me to and from work safely. I pass people who have broken down on the side of I-95 all the time and remember how lucky that it is not me on the side of the road.

- I am thankful for my home. It is a place that I know I am safe. It keeps me warm in the cold nights and keeps me dry when it rains. It has space for us to grow our family and it provides a yard for Hailey and Pixie to run!

- I am thankful for southern Maryland. It is the place that I have grown up and was raised. It has changed much over the years, but it will always be where my heart is and my home.

- I am thankful for my husband. We have had a roller coaster ride of a relationship. We will have been together 8 years on Dec. 13th and married for 5 on Dec. 24th. We are different people, and that's okay. I have learned to be more supportive over the things he likes and though I don't always agree with things, I know it makes him happy. He is a good father to Hailey and she is lucky to have that in her life. We work together to support our family and though things aren't always easy, it always works out.

-I am thankful for my education. I have been able to take almost all my classes online and work at the same time. Without that, I would never have been able to take college classes. I have learned so much over the years and I am so glad for the knowledge I have obtained. It's not cheap, and it's not easy, but it makes so many things possible that I never thought was.

- I am thankful for my health. I am lucky that the few things I do have wrong, are easily treated with medicine. I am able to get up each morning and live a normal life. I am able to run with my daughter and share laughs with my friends. 

- I am thankful for my life. I have been reminded many times that life is not promised. Each breath I take is a gift. It should be cherished and used to the best of my ability. 

And most importantly......

I am thankful for my daughter, Hailey. She is a beautiful, smart, funny, sassy five year old. She has come so far in just a few short months of school. I love our conversations and how interested she is in the things I do. She talks ALOT and has a lot of really interesting things to say. She is sweet and sensitive. She reminds me of myself with the way she thinks of things. She has a beautiful outlook on life and loves to do things to make people happy. She is healthy and growing so fast before my eyes. I could never imagine my life without her. She is truly my everything and I am so thankful for each day I get to spend with her! I am thankful that I am her mother and that she is my little tootsie roll! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving? Tomorrow? Are you Sure?!?

It's so hard for me to believe that tomorrow will be Thanksgiving! I feel like school just started and Halloween was just last week! The fall months always seem to fly by! And I am sure you don't need to be reminded, but Christmas is right around the corner!

I am spending Thanksgiving this year with my family like normal. We will go to Kenny's family's event at 2 and then my Mom's around 5 probably. I can't wait! Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals so I am super excited for the food, but I am just excited for the feel of a holiday as well!

I have not figured out what I will do on Black Friday, or if I will even go out looking for anything in particular. I have a list made for Hailey's stuff. Last year was the first time I actually went out and hit a door buster sale at Toys R Us. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would have been. Normally that is the one store I steer far far far from! I was really surprised!

I am really excited for all the things that lead up to Christmas! I am working two vendor fairs in December with Scentsy. I am hoping that will bring in a little holiday extra cash! Hailey has a group of friends that she has pretty much grown up with and they are doing a secret Santa party on the 14th. She is super excited about the name she picked and can't wait to find her the perfect gift! We will go see Santa with Jaime one evening soon at the St. Charles Town Center! Hailey has already began asking when she will get to go see him. I love that Santa! He has been the by far the best I have ever seen! We have our holiday pictures on Saturday. I was shocked when I called yesterday to get an appointment and they were pretty much open for any day I wanted, normally it takes weeks to get an appointment with them. Now to find an outfit for Hailey and I by then! I have a holiday card workshop coming up in the begining of December. It's just an hour long thing that a friend of mine hosts, but I have really gotten into making cards these past couple months so it will be fun. I also would like to hit a couple craft fairs, I have been seeing signs everywhere! I never really buy anything when I go, but I love looking at the creative things people make! I would love to have some of the skills they have. I want to go to Watkin's Park. It's something that we do almost every year and I LOVE IT! I love Christmas lights and they have an amazing display! Also the Fredericksburg Town Center has an outdoor light show every night, so I would love to go see that and the big Christmas tree! I really wanted to do ICE this year, but I am trying to convience Kenny that we should go to the Christmas town in Williamsburg instead. I have never been to Williamsburg before ever and would love to see it all decorated for Christmas. Plus I found $5 off coupons so that is a sign we should go, or atleast that is what I keep telling him! But I still wouldn't mind just going and walking around National Harbor and seeing their light display. I also would like to do the Festival of Trees put on by Hospice in Charles County. I am a HUGE supporter of them and it's amazing seeing all the trees and work people put into them! It is for such a great cause! There is so much I would love to do and way more then I have listed! Hopefully time will go by slow enough so we can do most of it!

I just love the holiday season! I love listening to Christmas music, and I'll be honest I have already started listening this week! I like seeing houses all decorated and lit up! I love decorating our own tree and house! This year my Grandmother is giving me a big tree she had in her attic. We have always had a small tree that I have had for the past 6 years. So I am really excited about that! I am excited about the gifts I have picked out to give to my best friends and family. Overall I just enjoy the spirit the holiday's bring!

Can you tell I am excited?!? I hope you are just as excited!
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Goal #5- Fighting Fatigue!

You probably thought I forgot about my goals! It's been a while since I mentioned a new one! Nope! I have just slowly been working on them all. With a new year right around the corner, I want to think of everything I can to try to take care of myself and help make 2013 the best year yet!

So that brings me to Goal #5: Fighting Fatigue!

I am ALWAYS tired! It drives me nuts! It seems no matter how much or little I sleep, I am always left wanting more sleep and trying to function while feeling so drained. It really is a downer! I have spent so many days off just sleeping. It's like I seriously can't get enough sleep! I have changed my sleep patterns a bit the past few weeks. I aim to be in bed around 10:30 and I am doing a decent job at it. Sometimes I go right to sleep, other times I play on my phone or my iPad or even read. But it seems that no matter what time I get in bed, I am always hitting snooze when the alarm goes off!

So what could be making me so tired? My lovely friend WebMD had some possible causes. So were health related, but I have already done sleep tests and blood work so I think I can cross them off my list. So here is what I was left with:

Top 3 Reasons
The most common reasons for feeling tired are about daily habits. 

1. What you eat. Reaching for caffeine and sugar can backfire, leaving you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy diet replete with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. "Most people feel like they're less tired if they eat a healthy diet," says J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, past president of the American College of Physicians. "Eating healthy also means you'll carry less weight, and obesity is a big contributor to fatigue.

2. How much you sleep. You saw this one coming, right? Many people don't get enough sleep. If you're one of them, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful.

3. How much you exercise. This is the biggie, Ralston says. His favorite prescription for plain old tiredness is regular, vigorous exercise. Finish at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down.
If you think that exercise would just make you more tired, there's good news: Exercise breeds energy. Almost all the studies that have looked at this question have found the same thing: Sedentary people who start exercising feel much less fatigue than those who stay idle. It's one of those surprising truths: move more and you'll get more energy.

Ralston recommends getting 40 minutes of exercise at least four days a week, to get you going.
Do that, and a month from now, you should notice some improvement. Keep with it for three to six months more, and you should feel much better.

If you follow your exercise prescription for at least a month -- and you're also making enough time for sleep -- and you're still feeling lousy, look into other causes, Ralston advises.

So now what? Well, since my goal is trying to fight fatigue then I need to work off of these.

So here is how I will start to fight fatigue: make changes in my diet, devote time to sleep, and exercises!

So what are some of the best foods for fatigue?

1. Foods rich in magnesium- I found women need 310mg a day. Pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sun flower seeds are all rich in magnesium.

2. Foods rich in probiotics- Yogurt!

3. Fiber!- It helps fight fat and also makes you more awake- fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, whole-wheat, and bran

4. Complex Carbohydrates- whole grains, potatoes, corn

5. Foods with Omega-3 Fatty acids. (Fish, walnuts, flax seed)

6. Polyphenols- dark chocolate! It also is good for the heart and also helps fight depression! (My heart doctor is always telling me that!)

7. Caffeine AND l-theanine- this can be found in tea!

8. Water- this can even be obtained in some fruits like watermelon!

9. Vitamin C- this can be found in red bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, kale, oranges, strawberries

So that's a start in things to think about! Hopefully with incorporating some of those foods with some walking will make me feel less sleepy! Fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Trick or Treating!

So I have been waiting to do this post when I could charge my batteries on the camera and get my "before we went out" pictures, but face it, I suck at remembering to that at night!

So those will come sooner or later!

Halloween was a little different this year. I didn't really decorate like I normally do. And then the things I did put outside had to be brought in since we had the hurricane coming through that Monday and Tuesday before Halloween. The Saturday before, I dressed Hailey up and took her to walk around downtown Fredericksburg where the stores were giving out candy. So that was kind of nice! Halloween was still up in the air at that time, so I figured I would let her at least get a little bit of trick or treating done!

So we were spared from the worse of Hurricane Sandy! Thank goodness! Which meant Wednesday was a school day and trick or treating was on! I took off that day so I could go in and help with Hailey's class. They did a few small things for their little Fall event they had. I helped the kids sponge paint the 5 Little Pumpkins story, which turned out so cute! Then I helped them make a fall mix of pop corn, raisins, m&ms, candy corn, and marshmallows. They seemed to really enjoy doing that kind of stuff and I loved being there to help!

That afternoon at Hailey's aftercare they had a little party and parent appreciation event. I was the only parent that showed up! And they were allowed to wear a costume there but none of the kids were dressed up so I didn't even mention anything to Hailey that I had brought hers. We stayed there for like 10 minutes and we headed home to get ready to go out.

Since this is a new area and I don't know anyone, I had asked Meagan and her sister in law if we could go out with them! She has a 2 year little boy that Hailey plays with. We ended up meeting her at a friend's house and walked around for a little bit in a nice neighborhood with houses that were close together! It was a lot of fun and Hailey really enjoyed it! She was so funny and such a good helper with Liam!

So before I share the little pictures I have, let me tell you about my camera! I had taken the time to do all sorts of pictures with Hailey before we left. Well apparently I left it on during the car ride over to go trick or treating, so when it came time to take a picture.....IT WAS DEAD! I can not believe I did that! Luckily Jen took pictures for me and sent them to me!













Hope everyone had a very safe and happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday!


Hailey had her 5 year check up on Monday!
I can't believe she is 5!

Where did the time go?!


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weekend Recap!

I am happy to report that this past weekend was really good! One of the best I have had in a while and you know the surprising part.......we had zero plans!

I had mentioned a couple weeks ago about how I had an annoying cough. I felt fine,except really winded, and very tired, but I didn't really feel sick. It started out a dry cough, then I had sorts of congestion in my chest, but nothing was coming out, it would just move around when I would cough. I had no congestion in my nose or anywhere else, just my throat and chest. Well it progressively got worse. I had a really bad hacking cough, and was having a terrible time sleeping. I let it go for about three weeks until Thursday when I started having difficulty breathing. I started to feel really bad and just super tired. Plus my recap from Thursday was in my blog from Friday, you know the day that everything went wrong! So Friday morning, after a long night of drowning, coughing, and struggling to breathe, I decided to request to work from home and go to the doctors.

I just went to the little Urgent Care place in our area. I asked Kenny if he wanted to go and of course you knew what that answer was. So then I told him I just wasn't going to go, and would wait until this weekend. Partly not wanting to go along (which is odd, because he has never gone to the doctors with me) and partly being stubborn. And surprisingly he cracked! He took me to the doctors. Sat through a 15 minute breathing treatment because I was not getting any air in my airways. Then he even took me to grab lunch and get my prescription. We had a really nice time together! So the verdict at the doctors was....drum roll please...... acute bronchitis, bronchiospasms, and an infection in my lungs which the doc said was the starting phases of walking pneumonia! So I was given a prescription for an inhaler (6 times daily), a steroid, and an antibiotic. He said the amount I was wheezing was insane and he could tell a huge difference after the breathing treatment! So I am glad I finally went!

So the rest of Friday I spent working and then cleaned some in the evening. I cooked dinner and we all ate together. Then I went and met Meagan for desert, and was home and in bed by midnight! Saturday I got to sleep in, then I found that our county was doing a little fall festival. I was going to just take Hailey myself, since Kenny isn't usually into that stuff, but I decided to call Meagan. She told me David wanted to go and to ask Kenny, so I asked him and surprisingly (again I know!) he said yes! So we went to the Fall Festival for a few hours. It was small, but it was free and it was a good time! Then Kenny, Hailey and I decided to go exploring at Lake Anna, which is a huge state park not to far from the house. We checked out the camping areas and the lake, then we just drove around the area. There wasn't to much to look at, but it was a beautiful day and a nice ride! We talked a lot about different things and just had a good time. He even stopped so I could get a cup of coffee at this little coffee shop. He wouldn't go in with me, but he at least stopped! Then we went back over to Fredericksburg and went to a camping store he wanted to go in and  then we went exploring in Bed, Bath and Beyond. I had been wanting to go there for a long time and I hadn't had the time or energy to stop. So I was excited when he said we could go in to my store afterwards since they were next to each other. Then he even treated us to dinner at Olive Garden! We haven't been there in years! Despite not feeling the best, it was just a really good time. We laughed and talked about all sorts of things. Hailey was really good and didn't fuss. She just seemed to enjoy riding around and spending time with both of us!

Sunday was boring. Kenny left before Hailey and I were awake to go help work on a garage project. Then he went straight to work from there, so we didn't see him. Hailey and I had a lazy day. We just stayed in our pajamas all day. I worked on a midterm for about 6 hours (it was the hardest one I have taken yet!) and Hailey just played all day and watched television. Even though I had wanted to go to the craft store for a "moonlight" sale that evening, we ended up not going anywhere. I think the rest did us well. We were both ready for Monday and in bed early. So I think it was just what we needed.

So that was my weekend! Nothing special went on, but it still turned out to be such an awesome time. We haven't had a lot of family time in a while, so I think that made it special. And the fact that there was no arguing made it even better! No plans, we just went with the flow!

Hopefully your weekend turned out just as good!

PS: I am not sure how I did it, because I was super lost with that exam, but I checked my grades this morning and I got a 100%! Wahoo! That class has very few assignments so they are waited heavy. That one exam was 30% of my grade! What a relief by far! He must not have read my answers! Hehe!

Friday, November 2, 2012

No Good, Rotten Day!

Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING seems to go wrong?!
Yup, that was yesterday for me!
 
First off, I couldn't sleep at all because I kept coughing all night long!
 I woke up feeling awful and my cough was getting worse.
 I went to get a cup of coffee and it was full of grounds! Ewwww!
Then I was late getting started on my commute. Traffic wasn't too bad and I actually was making good timing! I was about three blocks from my work when out of no where there is a pothole in my lane and of course there was a car beside me and SLAM! I hit it! And that's not all........it blew out my tire! So I had to wait for AAA to get there because I couldn't drive any further.

Tire.JPGhole 1.JPG
(How nice, a cone was put in the hole an hour later!)
 
AAA took an hour to get there, so I was an hour late to work!
 It was 15 minutes past the time my parking garage doubles in price, so I had to park in the creepy garage down the street! Then it was a full day of catching up and meetings since I hadn't been to work since Friday. I spilt coffee on myself and smashed my banana in my lunch box.
Got a paper cut and pinched my finger! Next was a very messy ride home, and I ended up getting to Hailey 15 minutes late and added a $15 late charge to my childcare bill. And by that time I was done and in tears.
 
Yesterday was one of those days where I didn't want to talk to anyone and was ready for bed even before I got out of bed that morning!
 
Let's face it, we all have those days and yesterday was my day for sure!
 
But, I am happy to report that today has gone much better!
 
 Happy Friday!
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Patch!

So let's rewind to two Sunday's ago when we went to the pumpkin patch!

My cousin Jen and her little girl Jaime ventured over to our house to go to the pumpkin patch with us! We always do a pumpkin patch, but this was their first time! I had been to this pumpkin patch once before a few years ago, so we were excited to return!

We went to Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg, VA. They have a ton to do there!


And I will let my pictures tell you the rest of the story!



There was face painting!


Horse rides!

Animals!
 
 

 
Different things to play on!


We had lunch at the picnic tables!


An exciting hayride to the pumpkin patches!
The girls picked pumpkins!

The hayride back seemed to be just as exciting for them!


It was an awesome day!


PS: And thanks to Snapfish and their amazing deal 60% off photo book deals, I was able to make both of the girls a photo book to remember their pumpkin patch visit together! :) I can't wait for them to come in!
 
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