Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
I hope yours is better than ours! I had a really bad stomach flu Friday night. And SURPRISE, M woke up with the stomach bug at 1:00am this morning (yes, I've now been awake for 16+ hours and don't think I'll be getting much sleep tonight either) and she's been sick every hour or two. Around noon, hubby came down with the flu. So, we're officially out of towels, sheets & blankets.

And don't worry, I did talk to the pediatrician. She said I'm doing well (this is the first time M has ever been REALLY sick). We're on a regiment of pedialyte only every 30 minutes. She can only keep it down for an hour or two, but the doctor says that's okay since her diapers are still wet fairly regularly. It means she's at least absorbing something. They said if she gets worse or is still this bad in the morning to bring her in for an appointment, but otherwise, I'm doing a good job.
Anyone have a surefire home cure for vomiting? We've tried various types of flat soda, some dry foods (and olives because that's what she wanted and my 'home cure' book said to give her whatever she asks for). No luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mommy Madness Friday

This week over at Mommy Madness, we're supposed to post a picture of us in a true moment of madness. I'm usually the photographer, so it was a little difficult for me to find a good one of the two of us.

So here is me & M when she was 3 months old.


See the spit up coming from her mouth?? Yeah, she did that for every picture I tried to take of us.

But for a really good one, here is M this month. I walked into my bedroom and found this:




In case you can't tell, it's sunscreen. She climbed up on my desk, grabbed the bottle and went to town. She kept rubbing it in saying "good girl, good girl". That's my fault. When she had a scar on her cheek back in the spring, I would rub in her mederma and say "Good girl". Ahh, toddlers. And yes, I had to clean it up off the floor, too.







Weekly Weigh In - Week 21


How Do I Participate:

1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page)
3. # Become a follower of Marvelous Mommy and My Little Apricot with GFC!
4. Visit other blogs on the linky and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.

Remember, you don't need to link up on Thursdays. The linky is open for the whole week!

**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!

Last Week:
[NO PICTURE]
198.4

This Week:

192.2

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT:198.4
CURRENT WEIGHT: 192.2
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: -6.2lbs
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -19.4lbs
GOAL BY NOVEMBER 18: 190
LONG TERM GOAL:  145


I kicked some serious butt this week! I think it's my best loss to date. I'm not really sure how, but that's okay. I counted my calories in my log and made sure not to go over MOST days (have to cut myself a break sometimes).

We've switched to Boca meat instead of ground beef, so that's probably helping and I also went for 2 walks this week.

Sunday, I did 4 laps around the track at the local high school while carrying M (she didn't want to walk or sit in her stroller). So that's like walking and carrying 28lbs weights. haha. Then we went for a 40 minute walk around the park yesterday (M & I), which is all uphill coming back.






Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Circle Skirt + Tutorial





I was recently inspired by Dana over at Made. If you've never visited Made, you need to go there yesterday. Dana makes some of the cutest stuff and always has awesome tutorials and patterns (plus recipes, reviews and home improvement projects)! Just check out these adorable Disney outfits she just made for a friend of hers.


Adorable, right? She made the pants, dyed the onesies and stenciled on the Disney characters! Even her gift wrapping is cute.


Seriously, Dana is one of my top 5 favorite bloggers. So I knew when I spotted her Circle Skirt tutorial that it would be PERFECT for my monster's Halloween poodle skirt (yes, we nixed the cupcake this year). I used all of the sizing and cutting steps from Dana's tutorial, but I sewed mine together different, so I wanted to share my steps with you!

For the full directions for sizing (and a cute little chart that Dana made) & cutting, as well as recommended fabrics, visit Made. I'm just going to give you a quick overview of those.

Materials:
+ fabric (approx 1 yd for a girl's skirt)
+ elastic (less than 2' for girl's sizes)
+ coordinating thread
+ paper
+ ruler

I used a pretty hot pink flannel (on sale at JoAnn's for $2.50/yd last week) and some black elastic for M's skirt.

First, take your waist measurement and add 1 inch. This will be the length of elastic you need (20" for M). 

Take your waist measurement again and add 2 inches this time (22"). Divide this by 6.28 (see Dana's tutorial for the math, if you're interested). This will be the distance from the corner of your fabric to the inside curve (3.5" in my case).

Next, measure how far down you want your skirt to go and add an inch or two (depending if you're hemming or not). I picked 11". This is the distance from the corner of your fabric to the outer curve.

Measure out with your ruler in this fashion

You're now going to draw your pattern piece. Take some blank paper (I used 2 sheets of printer paper) and tape them wide sides together. Then take your ruler and measure out from the bottom left hand corner the distance to your inner curve. Measure out from that corner in multiple directions and mark a dot at the end.

When you feel you have enough dots, connect them to form your curve. Then repeat this method with your longer measurement. (For detailed pictures, visit Made). 


Once you have your 2 arcs drawn, cut along the lines and keep the center piece.


Next, get your Monster to stop stomping on your nicely laid out fabric (mine seems to want to stomp on all my fabric every time I lay it out!!!)


Then, fold your fabric in half and in half again. And if you have my luck, your toddler with then try to cuddle the nice soft flannel....



Once you've refolded your fabric, align your pattern piece on top of it so that the small curve is in the same direction and your folded corner.


Trace (or if your like me, just cut) along your curves.


You may need to take a break to stop your toddler from playing with the sewing machine (or pulling out all of the thread, in my case).


After you've cut your fabric and unfold it, you should have what looks like a giant donut and you're ready to start sewing! (Note: This is where my pattern begins to deviate from Dana's!)



First, use your zigzag stitch and sew around the bottom of the outer circle. I always do it in a little ways and trim when I'm finished, but you can do it however you like. As an alternative, you could hem here instead. You're also going to do a small zigzag right up against the edge of the inner circle.


Next, take your elastic and stitch it together about a half inch in. Fold down each side individual and make a straight stitch so that the seam lays flat. (Dana has some good pictures of this).


Pin your elastic inside the top of your skirt (wrong sides facing - the wrong side of the elastic is the side that does has the wings you stitched down on it). You will need to stretch your elastic to be the same length as your fabric and it will ruffle up a little bit. You do not want to go all the way to the edge of your elastic, leave about 1/8" space between the edge of the fabric and the edge of the elastic. Straight stitch around.


Flip your elastic up and zigzag stitch around the bottom of the elastic (NOT on the fabric). Why did I do it this way??? So that there are no edges on the inside of the skirt! The edge for the top of your skirt is now safely tucked under your elastic, which means no fraying or bunching on the inside of the skirt.


And that's it! You're done!



I used flannel because I'm turning this into a poodle skirt for Halloween and flannel is washable, whereas felt is not.



Something a little personal....

Ever since I was little, I always reacted poorly to stressful situations. I know everyone has their own ways of coping with things and maybe I never handled some things as well as I should have. I've always been emotional and I won't deny that I'm a bit of a cry baby. When things get too much for me to handle, I cry. And it's always been that way.... ever since I can remember.

I wouldn't say that I had an easy childhood. Sure, I survived it, but that doesn't mean it was easy. My mother was (is) bipolar and autistic. My brother is autistic (though he has learned to manage it very well) and my sister was always very depressed. My father told me we couldn't have a relationship until I was 23 (or maybe it was 26. I have the letter he sent me somewhere). Me? I tried to make the best of everything. I was always smiling, it was very rare that I let anyone know anything was wrong. In fact, it wasn't even until my senior year of high school that I started leaning of my friends heavily. My mother had adopted/taken in more children by this time - all of them older, all of them with some sort of special needs. And as the oldest, I had to bare the majority of the responsibility. My mother even asked me once what it felt like to be the only "normal" person in our family. My response? Very stressful. That's when she decided that there must be "something wrong" with me, too. But I was never depressed.

I started college a semester late, but when I did, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. At first, I was little homesick, but I couldn't help but feel like my own person... finally. That is, until it got worse...

That summer I stayed on campus to make up for my missed semester and to be closer to my boyfriend at the time. My first real "love". I later realized we would've been much better as friends, but at that time I thought we were in love. We broke up that summer and that began the downward spiral. I became depressed. I stopped eating regularly. My grandmother was diagnosed with both lung and liver cancer in August of that year and given 6 months to live. I went to visit her in September and she ended up passing the next day (after pushing me away and refusing to see me, even though I was her closest granddaughter - but that's another story). Both my cat and dog passed in the next few months and my great grandmother passed in the spring. It was a tough year for me - one that I would never like to relive. I didn't go to any of my classes except when I had a project or exam (how I passed, I'll never know). I mostly just took a lot of tylenol pm and slept that semester. This was my first experience with depression.

I lost my faith in God that year and while I try to believe again now, sometimes I still have my doubts. And while I still have issues coping with the loss of my grandmother 5 years later (especially now that my other one is sick), I've managed. Over the next few years, my mother kicked me out of the house 3 times and I had several more "loves" that broke my heart, but I never got back to that place again.

But now, here I am, feeling for the last few months that I am on the edge of having an anxiety attack. Feeling like I'm failing. Maybe I've been taking on too much lately or maybe it's because I've only been averaging 2-5 hours of sleep every night or maybe it's even a mild form of PPD. I don't know, but whatever it is, I wish these feelings would go away because I definitely do not want to go back to that dark place again.

I also wish I knew when my "comfort" thing turned to food rather than sleep.


Monday, October 25, 2010

HYC #3

I've been doing better this week than last week.

Hubby & I walked a little over a mile on Sunday. It felt good. Tiring, but good. I definitely need walking shoes. My Ed Hardy's, as pretty as they may be, aren't cutting it (and neither are my crocs). Everyone over here got new shoes recently... except me. I haven't gotten new shoes in almost 2 years. I'm thinking that it's about that time.

Apart from walking, I also did some weight lifting this week. It feels good to be opening up my shoulders again.

OH and I'm actually starting to see my curves again. I missed my curves. Another few inches and those stupid love handles on my sides should be just about gone. I can't wait! I'll still have my belly to get rid of, but I'll feel better with those love handles gone.

My accomplishments for this week?
1. I walked.
2. I lifted some weights.
3. I've been keeping up with my calorie log (even when I go over).
4. We've been eating healthier (more bocca, no more ground beef).
5. My bras were too big, so I was able to get a smaller one (LOVE this!).

I even got dressed today. I work for a company where we never see clients, so we can wear whatever we want... including sweats. For the last 2 years, I've been taking full advantage of this. I decided today that it's time to start taking better care of myself. I got up, showered, got dressed and I even blow dried my hair. I felt so much better today!

Here's hoping these feelings stay!


Too old for naps?

I seem to be struggling lately to get M to take a nap. Yesterday, for instance, she flat out refused to sleep even though I could clearly see that she was tired. I closed her in her room and she just played or screamed for "Mummy Daddy Mummy Daddy Mummy Daddy".
 
 
I tried EVERYTHING to get her to take a nap yesterday. We played outside. We colored. We watched tv. I gave her a snack (apple slices and a cup of water). I even laid in her bed and watched Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel with her (which was cute by the way and I love Zachary Levi <3). Nothing.




After 2 hours of trying, I gave up and just let her roam the house. We eventually went on a walk and go figure, as soon as we walk through the door at 5:00, she falls asleep. I had gone on a Joann's run, otherwise, I would have never let it happen. But, Daddy let her sleep and I woke up up when I got home at 5:30.

And don't you know it, she refused to go to bed last night. When I finally got her down, she woke me up at 3:30 AM trying to play!! She stands at the edge of my bed and whispers in my face.

Shhhhhhh, Mommy sweeping. 
Shhhhhh, Daddy sweeping. 
Shhhhhhhh, I sweep.  
GAIK UP!!!!!!!!!!
[Gaik = Wake in toddler language]

But if I put up the baby gate or close her door, she wakes up at 3:00 and screams and incessantly until we go get her.

She's been doing this a lot lately and I just don't get it.

Does anyone else have (or has anyone had) this problem with their kids?

She better stop soon or this will end up being me:





Saturday, October 23, 2010

I must be doing something right....

I try to teach M something every day, but sometimes I feel like a terrible mom for not working with her more often. I hear all these things from moms who sit down with their kids every day for an actual lesson and think to myself, "Oh, I should be doing that, too". It makes me disappointed thinking that I could be doing more with her to help her.

But then I take a step back and I see the things that she CAN do.

At nearly 21 months old, M can use the potty (sometimes), feed herself, wash windows, clean drawings off the walls, scrub carpets, put her toys away, manipulate the vacuum and feed the cats (even if it is 1 little handful at a time). She can also scribble and tells me what each scribble is. Dat is Daddy.Dis the cat. Der a biddie (birdie). She can even put on her own lotion.

Daddy is the bottom left big circle with the lines that actually look like a body. M is the big circle next to it which actually has dots for eyes and a line for a mouth, then she scribbled it and said "dat me".


What really amazes me is a few of the things that she's done this.

1. She learned a few difficult new words within the last week: puhkin (pumpkin), jump, pull, pew-duh (computer), biddie (birdie), have, fwower (flower), mah[n]dee (Maddie. Yes, she finally learned her own name... well, nickname), feet, sleep
2. She learned how to get her pants over her feet (still working on pulling them up)
3. She now asks for things in full phrases: peas, I have a cup.peas, have a cookie, peas.
4. She watches tv and knows what's going on. And I'm not talking about things like Sesame Street.
5. She now knows about 4/5ths of the alphabet (she learned H, K and X this week) and all of her numbers from 0-10 except 4 & 7.
6. She can get her own shoes on and is trying to do her own socks.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture, our camera was charging. She was trying to get her sock on top of her slipper.

The one really gets me is number 4. She used to laugh randomly at parts of Finding Nemo, but the other day I heard her whining in her room, so I went to see what was wrong....

What's wrong, baby?

Mommy. Uh oh, Mommy, duh books. Duh books gone, Mommy.

What books?

Go Go. Go Go books gone!

*she turns back to watching an episode of Go Diego Go*

MOMMY, MOMMY! DER A BOOK!

*points to the book hidden in the tree*

For anyone who's curious, it was this episode.

I couldn't believe that she could not only follow along with the episode, but she could tell me what was happening! She was even telling her teachers about that episode the next day. That's really good, right? To be able to do that and not even be 2 years old yet?

So I have to be doing something right.
 



Friday, October 22, 2010

Finally!

Back in January, there was a problem with the pipes in my apartment building. My complex isn't bad, it's actually a fairly new building. Anyway, the pipe above our living room burst and it streaked our nice off-white walls.

Well, here it is nearly the end of October and SURPRISE, they finally sent a painter to come repaint that wall. It's only been nearly 10 months and I only called them about 500 times to remind them.

Oh well, it's done now and that's what's important (though it's a really crappy job, I could have done better).

Do you guys have any experiences like this? Did you get as frustrated as I did and then end up disappointed in the end?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oliver's Labels

I recently got my hands on some of Oliver's Labels and I have to tell you, these are some of the most fantastic kid's labels I've ever tried.

Oliver's Labels makes high quality waterproof labels and tags to stick on all your kids' stuff. And when I say all, I mean all. Dishes, lunchboxes, clothes, the insides of shoes, etc. The labels are dishwasher & laundry safe and are said to never fade, scuff or peel.


 I got a good number of labels to try out for M and they really do stick, well. I was hesitant at first because they sort of feel like window clings, but after using them for a week, I'm convinced. I'm not going to put up pictures of my actual labels because I got M's full name on them for school and we don't need any stalkers. :) BUT I can tell you that the labels look EXACTLY how they do on Oliver's Labels website (except if you do the preview, the preview comes out a little grainy looking, but the labels themselves are high quality and crystal clear).


We got the polka dot design in original labels, mini labels, shoe labels and clothing labels. You could also get iron ons, bag tags, kitchen labels, photo labels, wristbands and more.

The shoe labels are shaped like little feet. So cute! And they don't peel off after days of running around either.


The coolest thing about Oliver's is that they have a thing called a 'found it' code. This generates a code on the side of the label and a website where a 'finder' can go to enter the code to help return the item to you if it gets lost.

All in all, I think these labels are well worth the investment and they aren't even that expensive. For the original labels, you get 40 in a pack for only $19.99.

NOTE: I received a package of Oliver's Labels free in order to do this review.





This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Weekly Weigh In - Week 20


How Do I Participate:

1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page)
3. # Become a follower of Marvelous Mommy and My Little Apricot with GFC!
4. Visit other blogs on the linky and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.

Remember, you don't need to link up on Thursdays. The linky is open for the whole week!

**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!

Last Week:
194.2


This Week:
[NO PICTURE]
198.4

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT:194.2
CURRENT WEIGHT: 198.4
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: +4.2lbs
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -13.2lbs
GOAL BY NOVEMBER 18: 190
LONG TERM GOAL:  145


I really sucked this week and I deserve it. Alongside being and pms-y, I ate. There's no excuse for it. We treated ourselves to Burger King for the first time in months, too. I can't say it wasn't worth it, but I need to get back on the ball now.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Healthy You Challenge #2

I haven't been doing great this week. Jesse & the monster were sick Thursday and Friday. Then, of course, I got sick Monday morning. I've been trying to keep track of my calories, at the very least, but it's difficult when you're sick and all you want is comfort food. I've been doing okay with that - I've only been a little over or just at the cusp that I give myself the last few days.

I do have to give myself some credit though, I did diligently keep a food log every day this week. I went out and got myself a little notebook and at the end of the day (or before dinner), I log everything I ate for the day and how many calories they were.

Food-wise, we've been doing okay. We've been having a lot of soup, but I did make some veggie burgers the other day, too.