Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hello, there!


Hello there! It's been a while.. again! I've missed this blog. And I've thought about writing many times. And yet I haven't. But I'm here now. That's all that matters now, yeah? 

It's been what? 3 years? Holy crap. Quick rundown - in those 3 years my little Sprout has blossomed into a 2.5 year old awnry little boy. We'll call him J. D is not a sassy 6 year old and M is a beautiful 16 year old going on 35. I worked for little under a year when I first had J, but things happened and I became a SAHM again. A few months ago I felt the itch to go back to work and meet more people - so I got a job at a daycare. That's where I am now. I enjoy it and I love the kids - and my kids go there and love it. Today is my day off and I'm sitting here on the couch with an awful sinus infection and both kids nose deep in their respective electronics. (Moms sick day = kids free day) Oh, and D is on fall break. Sooooo there's that.

Anyway - here I am. It's good to be back!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Well, Well, Well..... Look Who's Back

Wow! Talk about a super long break! I can't believe it's been a year since I've blogged! Oops! 

Let's jump right in - shall we?

The past year has brought some changes, both big and small. For the most part, things are going great! This post doesn't really have a focal point, so it might be all over the place. Try to stay with me.

I've spent a lot of this last year trying to think about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be in my life. Obviously my main focus is on being the best wife and mother I can be. But in addition to being "just" a mom and a wife (I shudder at the word "just") I'm a woman. I had to think about what Tabitha needed to do to make Tabitha a better person. Seriously - how do I expect to take care of a family and encourage them to be the best they can be if I'm not doing the same myself?

So I went back to school.

I went in with the dream of becoming a nurse. That's a dream I've had for years. I'm a carer (Is that a word?). I love to take care of people. It just made sense that I aim to be a nurse. I actually changed my major interest to imaging sciences, because after some research, it seemed like a better fit for me. I'm not debating switching back to nursing. I'm very conflicted exactly where I belong, but I know that I want to be a boo boo fixer. So - we'll see where that ends up.

I finished the Fall 2012 semester and the Spring 2013 before taking the summer off. Well, we all know what happens when you take time off......

Well hello, there!


Meet Sprout, the forth and final member of our family. (Until we get a pet someday. I'm holding out for a doggie someday when we have a nice house. With a big yard. And a fence.) This little one has already wiggled their way into my heart. I am so beyond excited to meet them! I say "them" because I don't like to call my child an "it". Please know that it's been confirmed there's only one little sprout in there! 

Cute, right?!? Our family will grow in the Spring of 2014.

So after taking the summer off I started to feel pregnant. I was so tired and sick I could barely be bothered to shower and get my butt off the couch - which was hard enough with a 3 year old. So I took the Fall 2013 semester off, too. I'm debating on the Spring 2014 semester. I know that in the middle of it I'll be dealing with a newborn and a c-section to recover from. (I didn't heal well with my last one!) Unless I try to squeeze in an 8 week class or 2. Hmmmm......

That's the idea anyway. That's what's going on. 

I'm getting the itch to go back to work, too. I want to still stay home with the kids - but I want to work, too. I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to stay home for the bulk of Laneys life thus far. And I don't want to miss out on the beginning of Sprouts life. But I miss the social aspect of working sooooooo much. So I'm digging to find a compromise. Possibly a 3rd shift job. Who knows. I just think I need to get myself somewhere that I can be productive and talk to other people who aren't 3.

So I'm adjusting to life as a mom of a toddler and a teen. Macey moved in with her mom and stepdad last winter and is thriving in many ways. She's grown into quite the young woman.  I'm so proud of her and it's amazing to see her grow before my very eyes.

Delaney is a princess. A sassy princess. She makes me laugh everyday. She can be shy at times and the star of the show others. She amazes me with how much she knows and understands. She's telling us that she wants to go to preschool. That may need to happen before Sprout comes.

Joe and I recently celebrated 5 years together and we're gearing up to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. I couldn't imagine my life without him. I'm aware of my mushiness - maybe it's the hormones, but I appreciate and love him more than I ever thought possible. I'm one lucky chick.

To wrap things up - I'm going to aim to blog more. Mostly because I like to talk about myself. Deal with it. :)

Catch ya next time!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elf has arrived!

So... I know I haven't kept up with my Thankful posts... But worry not - I'll continue them soon. I promise. You should know by now I'm not reliable when it comes to .... not procrastinating. So - yeah. Forgive me. Sue me. Whatever. Lets move on to my favorite thing right now..... THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!

I am SO excited for the holidays. From Halloween to Thanksgiving and the big one - Christmas. I've been prepping for this time of year since June. I knew Delaney would understand more about the holidays this year, so I wanted to familiarize her with all of it beforehand.

She knows about Santa and promises she's gonna sit on his lap and not cry. If last year is any indication, she's lying.

I'm sure I'll update you with details after we go see the Big Guy.

But what I'm here to tell you about now is the newest member of our family, Elf.

I hadnt heard of Elf on the Shelf until a few years ago. I initially thought it was a midwest thing (I grew up in PA, now live in IN), but later found out its a new twist on an old tradition and it was created by a mother/daughter duo in 2005.

The basic story is that the day after Thanksgiving Santa sends an elf to your family. There is a nice book that comes with it that you are supposed to read first. This explains the story. Then you are to name your elf. It can be anything. Delaney decided to name her elf "Elf". (We've got a creative one here, folks!) Once the elf is named they have earned their magic. They watch the child(ren) all day and then fly to the North Pole every night to give Santa a naughty or nice report on the kids. They then fly back home and hide in a different area every night. The children get up every morning and have to find their elf.

Some elves stay in a certain area, like the living room. Some can be anywhere in the house. Some elves can be found just sitting every morning and some elves like to get into trouble (after all - Santa wont need to know if they're a bit mischievous!)

The most important thing is that elves CAN NOT be touched. If they are, they will lose their magic and renturn to the North Pole. They won't be back... my 2 year old won't touch hers and will yell at you if you get too close to it.

Since this was the first year for us having an elf, I was confused about how to introduce our elf into our family. I ended up wrapping it up and including a letter from Santa. Delaney found it under the tree.

The note from Santa was fun! I used some special Santa stationary for the letter (you can right click and download this image or find it where I did, here.)

Our letter looked like this.....

I used Pic monkey to add the text.

When Elf first arrived Delaney was STOKED......

After getting ready for the day we found Elf out of her box and on top of our closet!

(My husband is a big Apple fan, obviously)

This all began the day after Thanksgiving. On Saturday when Delaney woke up, Elf was hanging out with our Patriots Santa...

And Sunday she was hiding behind my picture.... (she leaves a note every day... these will go in a book Im making for her)

And this morning, she was crafty.... (I think shes going to get into trouble this week! Haha!)

You can use anything. Ive heard of people having Trolls, barbie dolls, stuffed animals.... you dont have to use an "elf". But if you want to, you can order one here. (If you're using mPoints - which you can learn more about by going here - you can use any gift cards you earn to get this. Ours was free - along with our ENTIRE Christmas. Again!)

If you want to find creative ideas you can google "Elf on the Shelf ideas" or go visit my holidaaaaaaaaaaze Pinterest board. Theres lots of fun ideas for all Things Holiday themed there!

One cool thing I stumbled upon was the Elf on The Shelf Magical Recovery Kit. Sometimes elves can be touched on accident. By downloading this kit, reading the poem and following all instructions - your elf will be back and better than ever in no time. (And it's FREE to download!)

You can choose a boy or girl elf of various colors and eye colors. I chose the cheapest one (hellooooooo!) which was the girl with brown hair and blue eyes (plus Delaney requested a girl elf." I was a bit disappointed to see that she didn't come with a skirt. But to build onto their empire - they now sell the skirt for a hefty $7.50 on Amazon. Call me crazy - I ordered it. It should be delivered in the next day or 2. You can get your own by going here. Keep in mind theere are 2 different patternss. If you know your way around a sewing machine you can easily make your own. Im not.

Also - there is a tv special on the Elf on the Shelf that airs every year on CBS. this year it will air on December 14th. If you can't wait - you can order the dvd for $9.99 here.

OR - if you're cheap (like me) and patient (unlike me) you can preview the whole thing for free on Youtube....

By watching the movie first Delaney really got an idea of the concept of the elf story. I highly reccommend watching the movie first.

I hope this is something you all consider and it makes your holidays even more special. Remember, you dont have to have an elf... customize it. make your own book, use a stuffed animal - you can do all of this for free!!!

You can take it one step further and download the Elf Report app to your smartphone. You can find it for iOs (apple products) in the iTunes store here. You can find it for Android in the market here. You can review the reports your elf sends to Santa every night and make a wishlist for your kids.

There is also an official app you can visit by going here.

Let me know in the comments if you already have an elf or want to try it. What does your elf do?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day One - Family

I've decided to participate in the 30 Days of Thanks this year. Basically this consists of taking time everyday to tell others what you're thankful for. I tried this last year, but fell off the wagon after 3 or 4 days. This year, not only am I going to stick with it on Facebook, but I am going to blog every day this month!

Day 1: Today I am thankful for My Family. 

My family and I have been through a lot. From the family I was born into back in Pa (and over onto the east coast in MD and DE) to the family I chose here in Indiana. But no matter what comes our way we always push through and come out stronger. 

My husband and children are my backbone. They are the reason I strive for anything. I love them more than life. 

I don't know where I'd be without my family. Each and every single person means the world to me and I am forever thankful for them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October - Take Two

 So, it's October again. It's Clergy Appreciation Month, Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Dwarfism Awareness Month, National Squirrel Awareness Month, Celiac Sprue Awareness Month, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, National Lupus Erythematosus Awareness Month, National Physical Therapy Month, National Spina Bifida Awareness Month, World Blindness Awareness Month, Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, 3D Ultrasound Awareness Month, National Infertility Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

It is important to recognize all of these causes and to recognize the awareness they are trying to raise. Though my life has only been personally touched by two of these, I find it important to share all of these with you.

Now, I want to again bring up the fact that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year I had posted this explaining my own personal story about my mom. This year, I want to paint a different picture. Pardon me if this is all over the place, I want to write this without editing and without changing anything. This is straight from my heart, through my fingers and onto this page. 

My mom has been gone now for 16 years, 3 months, 12 days. This also equals to 849 weeks, 142,752 hours, 8,565,120 minutes, or 513,907,200 seconds. Without my mom. I miss her more than I could ever say. I can't even begin to describe the void that I feel every single day. 

When Joe and I talk about our family and children, I explain to him that I am blessed to have Macey and Delaney. I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility medicine. But I did. And I am extremely blessed to experience that on top of gaining a beautiful step daughter. And when we talk about our family I always tell him I want one more. I try to explain that I feel like our family isn't complete yet, that one more little life is missing. And now that I think about it, like REALLY think about it... maybe I am looking for someone to fill the void that was left by my Mom 16 years ago. 

Now, Im no therapist. And please don't mistake my last paragraph for a confession to us trying for a baby (we are not, and I am happily taking my birth control pill at the same time everyday). But... that seems to make sense to me. It's funny that has never occured to me until right this moment.

I was in the shower a few days ago... I could hear Delaney playing in the next room while watching Dora. I stopped to think.... I want my daughters to know me as ME someday, on top of just seeing me as their parent. I want them to grow up and get to know what kind of a woman I am. Because I have no idea what kind of a woman my mom was. I don't know what views she had. I don't know what her dreams were. I have no idea what goals she had. I'll never know what it would be like to discuss life with her. I can't call her and have her tell me I'll survive motherhood when it gets hard. I will never be able to ask her what she thinks about anything. 

But I want to be around for my girls. I want them to know the woman I am. I want them to experience everything I never got to with my own mom. And it's me going through all of it for the first time. But in reality, I'll have no idea what I'm doing. 

I talk to my mom often. But I don't hear her talk back. I want to know WHO she was. Hearing stories about her, while helpful, isn't the same. It's just... not.. the same.

I get angry. All the time. Because she should be here. There is no GOOD reason she isn't. A monster shot and killed her. She was ripped away from her family at a time that we needed each other the most. And no matter what anyone tells me - I will never, ever forgive him for that. 

It's easy to see these words and feel sorry for me, but remain detached. But I don't want anyone's pity or need anyone to feel sorry for me. I'm a strong person. Sometimes in life you are dealt a shitty hand, but you push through and you become even stronger. And I have. BUT - what I do want is for you all to take a minute and see my mother as a woman, how I try to see her everyday. She was more than a name on a screen. Think about that. She was a woman. And this happened to her. 

You all know someone who is experiencing domestic violence whether you realize it or not. It may not be obvious. It may not be physical. But it's happening. And that person who is experiencing it needs you. This is not saying to bombard them with questions or yell at them to leave. You just have to BE THERE. Be the ear when they are ready to talk. Be the arms when they need a hug. This can make all the difference in the world.

If you follow pop culture news at all, I'm sure you've seen the pictures and read that Rhianna is hanging around with Chris Brown again. I see this and it makes me so angry. If she was my friend I would want to drill some sense into her, has she forgotten about this?!? BUT, I would have to instead tell her that I cared about her and be careful not to try and control her, because I am sure he is controlling her enough.

The news is filled with stories of celebrities who are arrested (or accused) of domestic violence. And while I can get angry at Rhianna for running back to the arms of her abuser and sending a bad message to those who look up to her, there are people who look up to those who actually do the damage. This is unacceptable. It's the sports stars and the actors and the reality stars that people look up to showing us that it's ok to hurt others. Children see this and think it's ok.... And THAT angers me. 

We need to teach our children that it is unacceptable to act that way and it is unacceptable to let anyone treat you bad. I hope that I raise my daughters to not take shit from anyone. And I hope all of you reading this will do the same.

I hope that if you take nothing else from this..... take the knowledge that it can happen to ANYONE. What happened to my mom can just as easily happen to someone you love. Be there for them. Their story can end up different than my moms. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

...Because It Works! (For free!)

Is anyone else seriously annoyed by this commercial??

OK.... So, I'm going to post this and I need to post a disclaimer... I am in no way a doctor, nutritionist or any have other career that has to do with health and pays a buttload of money. I just do this - and it works. So I share. With you. The reader. MmmHmm.

Weight Watchers. Bam. There it is.

So, a tiny bit of my background..... I grew up a tall, skinny girl with big knobby knees. My sister called me "Beanpole". But when I hit puberty, I started gaining weight. When I graduated high school I enlisted in the Air Force and was told I couldn't leave because I was 3 lbs over the weight limit. My recruiter told me to starve myself until the weight was gone. I was instantly offended and made the decision to say "Screw you, Air Force! I'm fine the way I am!" So... I didn't. And I continued gaining. Right before I got pregnant in 2009 (7 years after high school) I had gained 80 lbs. At my heaviest (July 18 of this year) I was an additional 50 lbs heavier.

When I stepped on the scale I made a decision right then. "This is the last day I will ever weigh this much." And it was. My husband and I made the decision to join Weight Watchers and haven't looked back. Guess what? IT WORKS! I track everything before it goes in my mouth. If it's too many points, I  give myself a minute to really think whether I really want it or not. More often than not, I don't.

So here's how it works.

You fill in some info about yourself.... Your height, weight, age, sex and activity level. From there, they will assign you a number. This will be your starting daily points plus allowance. As you log your food, you should not exceed this number. BUT - you are given "cheat points" to use every week. They give you these so you don't deprive yourself. When you deprive yourself, you are far more likely to fail.

Really, it's as easy as that. If you follow the plan and you log everything before you eat it - you WILL lose weight. I promise!

I started watching what I ate on July 18. I joined Weight Watchers on August 1 and I am currently at a 28 lb loss. This is the ONLY thing that's worked for me. Low carb made me moody and I would always cheat and gain back whatever I lost. Counting calories was hard to stick to. But this... it works! And it's easy! I don't go to meetings, but I do get a scanner app on my phone that figures my points for me as well as the Weight Watchers app that tracks my weight, points and activity.

So, they are almost always running promotions. Right now you can sign up for free and just pay $56.85 for 3 months. Every month after that is $18.95. I don't think that's TOO bad for what it is. But - it can get fairly pricey - especially in these times.

So - being the frugal gal that I am - I'm gonna hook you up. Did you know you could do Weight Watchers for free?!? Listen here, Grasshoppers....

First, you will need to calculate your points allowance. I just happened to stumble upon this handy dandy Points Allowance Calculator! Go enter in your info and you'll get your magic number.

Now, you will need to figure out how to calculate the points in any given food. You'll want to use this Points Calculator. And you can get a portable version by downloading a scanner app for iPhone/iPod/iDevices Here and Here for Android. (Both are FREE!)

Should you need to manually enter the info to figure point values, you will use the info on the nutritional label of the food you are about to devour. You can learn how to read one Here.

So. You now have all your tools to do Weight Watchers Online - FOR FREE!!! The only bummer is that you will need to keep a journal of what you eat and how many points it is. (If you decide to become a WW member, you will have everything stored in your tracker and it adds them up for you.)

There you have it. After doing the program for almost 2 months now, I can't believe how poorly I used to eat. I would literally pay no attention to what I ate and would shove anything down my throat. I'm now really conscious of what I eat. I still go out to eat every so often. I still have fast food every so often (I had a cheeseburger and  fries for lunch today - and felt guilty afterwards!)... like I said, as long as you log your food, You'll lose weight.

If you decide to try it, let me know and we can be WW buddies. If I end up losing another 20 lbs (or get to a 50 lb loss), I'll post a before and after pic of myself. I promise I won't become as obnoxious as Jennifer Hudson with it, either. I love her, but man... those commercials drive me batty. We get it. You lost 80 lbs. Slow clap for you!

Good luck everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ain't Too Proud to Beg (Please vote!)

Click the pic to vote for Delaney!!

So, I think my kids are cute. Because they are. And every now and then I enter then in a little contest. Because..... shoot, because I can! And right now Gerber is having their Gerber Generation Photo Search right now. Delaney is in the running in the Preschool Category.

Now... I'm not too proud to blog on here and beg for votes. Mainly because my kid is flipping adorable and the prizes are  all money for college. And I'm thinking my kid needs to be something super successful. :)

If you have a kid/friend/neighbor/random person you are already voting for, please know you can vote for more than one entry a day as long as they are in different milestones. Delaney is in the preschool category, but my good pal Leannes cutie is in the Birth+ category. So, we can vote for each others kiddos while still voting for our own.

Click the pic to vote for Lily!

So I leave you with this.... a vote for Delaney is a vote for a better world. Bless you and bless the world. Good night!


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