Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Part 2

We seemed to have survived the Ballman family Christmas. It was a long weekend because it's always hard to travel with a baby, but a good one.
Friday Carter and I went shopping at the outlet mall with my parents. My mom went on a shopping spree on bought Carter pjs and clothes for the next two sizes. Hopefully it should last until the weather gets warm. He's growing out of things so fast!
Saturday morning we drove down to Tim's parents. After Ben was up from his nap, we celebrated Christmas. I'm so glad that we were able to visit for two days instead of the one that we had originally planned, so that we could sit and really enjoy opening gifts, instead of having to rush.
Sunday we celebrated with all of the Ballman side. It was really nice to be able to see everyone. Carter got some nice gifts.
Overall. Carter had a great first Christmas. I'm so glad we were able to spend time with both sides. My only complaint (and I hate to even type this, but it's been eating at me) is that there is some definite favoritism going on with the kids. I'm hoping this was not intentional, but I'll have to watch for it in the future. While Carter is too young to notice it now, it could be really hurtful later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bittersweet Christmas Eve

I'm feeling such a range of emotion reflecting on Christmas. My uncle passes away around 4pm with my grandparents and two of my uncles by his side. They were listening to spiritual music and reading the bible. My grandma had just told him that she loved him and it was okay if he needed to go. Everyone had been able to see him. All of our family was in town. In fact it was just before we normally get together for Christmas Eve. It was as if he wanted the rest of the family to be able to be together to celebrate.
Aidan and Joe (my 3 and 4 year old cousins) and Carter helped keep the evening a little bit lighter. Carter was blessed with so many wonderful gifts. We were so blessed to have all 9 of my cousins in town (which hasn't happened in a long time!)

I am so sad to have lost him. But also so happy that he is out of his pain. Mark will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We went to see my uncle Mark tonight. Today he's no longer able to talk or swallow. His body is there and somewhat there, but his spirit that we knew and loved was really no longer there.
I had to take Carter with me because Tim was working. I think Carter could sense the tension in Mark's room because his lip started to quiver and he started to cry after being there for only a minute or two. We were able to take him into the living room and get him calmed down. It's one of those situations where I never know whether or not it is appropriate to bring a baby. My mom wanted us to come because she figured it would help lighten the mood a little bit. Carter was so good the rest of the time there. He did however have a meltdown in the car on the way home.

Please pray for him to be relieved of his pain and for the strength for my family (especially my grandparents) in their grieving.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies and burns aka why I shouldn't be allowed to use the oven by myself

For some reason for the last two years, I seem to always burn myself whenever I use the oven to bake Christmas cookies. Last year I thought it was just pregnancy brain and a sign (besides the extreme nausea from the baking smells) that I shouldn't make cookies. This year I think I might just need to learn to be more careful or stop baking cookies.
I can't believe it's almost Christmas. It brings back the exciting memories from last Christmas when we announced that we were expecting to our families and friends. Life certainly has changed since then. I'll have to take a bunch of pictures of Carter in his cute little Christmas outfit.
On the other end of things, I'm trying not to be to sad about how quickly my uncle's health has been dwindling. He is now bed bound and is slowly losing most of his words. I think Christmas will be very hard for him (and everyone else) since it'll be the first that he won't be well enough to attend.

Monday, Monday

Weekends always seem to go by way too fast. Overall we had a pretty good one. Friday night Tim went out to volunteer for New Brighton Police Reserves, so Carter and I decided to go over to my parents' because we had to get out of the house. Over there we had a movie night and watch "Mamma Mia" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2". Carter liked the Abba music in "Mamma Mia", but otherwise I would have to say that it was one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time. I love musicals, but it seems that most of them don't turn in to the most believable movies.
Saturday we didn't leave the house because the huge amounts of snow we got. I'm not sure on the grand totals, but it looks like there is close to a foot on our deck. I spent much of the day baking Christmas cookies.
Sunday I worked on some more cookies while Tim was at some training for New Brighton. We went over to my parents' for dinner.
Today I'm going to try to get through my long list of things to do before Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Day two of nap training went okay although I'm not really sure whose training who. I managed to get him to nap in his crib for his morning nap after a few minutes of screaming in my arms. We're starting to have a routine of reading some books with the shades mostly lowered and then lowering the shades and rocking. During the rocking is when the screaming usually begins. When he is calm, I set him in the crib. If he starts screaming again, I first try to comfort him in the crib. If that doesn't work, I rock him in my arms until he calms down. Rinse, Lather, and Repeat until baby is asleep in his crib. By that time I'm ready for a nap myself.
Tim was home when I was trying to do Carter's afternoon nap. Tim doesn't necessarily understand why I'm so against letting Carter cry it out. This gets somewhat frustrating because he won't read the research I have on it either. I try to have reasoning behind any of the major parenting decisions we make. Carter ended up napping in the swing for the second nap. I figure even if we get morning nap under control, it'll be a vast improvement.
On other news, our weekend plans of celebrating Christmas with Tim's mom's family got cancelled because of the forcast of crazy snow storms. I guess they got 4 inches today and are suppose to get way more in the next couple days. I am relieved not to have to be driving in bad weather.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Battle of the nap

Now that we have night time sleeping pretty much figured out I've been trying to work on getting Carter to nap in his crib. He too young for cry it out (and I'm not sure I believe in it from the research I've done.) Today he screamed in my arms for 30 minutes before he got tired enough to let me place him in his crib without freaking out. Anyone have any recommendations?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photo Card Mishaps

After reshooting Carter Christmas photos, agonizing over which one to choose and where to order them from we finally placed our order at Sam's club last night. I got a phone message this morning from them asking me to bring with me a signed release form from the photographer or else they would not be able to give us the prints. Since I took the photos myself using a bed sheet and digital camera I had to laugh. Yes, they turned out decent (and maybe better than some of the cheaper photo places) they in no way look like they were professionally done to me. It did put a smile on may face though. Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cookies

I'm enjoying Christmas cookie baking so much more this year than last year. Last year I was still in the first trimester/prime morning sickness. The smell of pretty much anything made me sick. This year is much better, although a little more challenging with a 5 month old.

My first cookie the peppermint meltaway. They are one of my favorites.
Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Glaze Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food color, if desired
Candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed.
Combine butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes).Heat oven to 350°F. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Stir in food color, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.

More thoughts on baby stuff aka the things I never knew I needed

I was thinking the other day about all the random baby stuff that I didn't even think of having on hand when Carter was born that we had to run out and get. So I figured I'd make a list to help myself (and others).
1. Baby Tylenol: Buy the bigger bottles at Sam's or Costco to save. We seem to use this all the time. In the beginning we needed this for Carter's circumcism (ask for dosing fro the Dr.) and now we need it for teething. Target's generic must not taste as good because Target hates it.
2. Gas drops: we used this a bunch in the beginning, but rarely now that he burps himself.
3. White noise machine: It sounds strange, but it really seems to work. Carter started sleeping much better when we started using it.
4. Ultimate Crib sheet: You put this on top of the cute crib sheet because it snaps on for easy changes. This was a life saver in the beginning when we were changing sheets several times a day. I really only needed two regular sheets and two of the ultimate sheets.
5. Lap pads: I honest didn't know how to use these until after Carter was born. We put one in his crib and one on top of the changing pad. It saved many changes of sheets and covers. We had one pack and only used them for the first couple months.
6. Old Fashion Cloth Diapers: Nothing beats them for burp clothes. If you want cute ones, sew cute material on to one side. I have some on my etsy site Arieldesigns for those who do not sew.
7. Onesies: Carter was a summer babe and wore onesies day and night. I think we had maybe 7-8. Now that he's bigger he wears them under sweatshirts. We have a ton, but probably only need around 4-5. Our favorite are the Carter's brand ones. Gerber ones run at least a size smaller than stated.
8. PJs: In the early days we loved the snap ones because it was easier for middle of the night diaper changes. Now that Carter is bigger the zipper ones are better. (He likes to unsnap them and take his feet out to suck on.) We liked the cotton ones when it was warmer and the fleece ones best for cold weather. Carter's brand is our favorite on this too.
9. Socks: I would highly recommend not buying too many until you figure out what your baby won't kick off. My favorites are by Trumpette. They are a little on the pricier side, but they're super cute (they look like shoes) and they've stayed on better than anything else.
10. Shoes: We've only been using them since it got cold to keep his socks on. Robeez are the best. I got a pair used for $5. Borrow them if you can or check at consignment shops and mom's sales.
11. Outfits: We really didn't use them until it got cold. I would say you could get by with 6-7, but I don't like to do laundry that often, so we probably have more. Our favorite brands are carter's, old navy, gap outlet, and gymboree (only when a gift).

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am so relieved to be finished with my classes. I can't say that my last paper was one of my bests, but even if I didn't do it I would have ended up with a C. Now I can start getting ready for Christmas and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Paranoid Mommy

The pediatrician is probably going to start thinking I'm crazy, but I am pretty well convinced that Carter might have an ear infection. In the last couple days he's started to freak out with any loud noises. And last night and this morning he was rubbing his ears. If we go in today, it'll be the 4th time we get check for ear aches since he was born. I'm probably slightly paranoid about this since I've never had an ear infection before and since there would be no way Carter could even tell us if he had one yet I don't want to be missing any symptoms. I'll have to update later if we decide to go in/if he has an ear infection.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm glad Carter is young for this Christmas because I don't know how I would be able to deal with telling him that he won't be getting the toys he wants for Christmas. That's got to be heartbreaking. As parents (even with a 5 month old baby), we're always thinking of things that it would be fun to get Carter. Most of it he'd be too little for until atleast next summer. And I know the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with presents. Carter is lucky enough to have two parents who love him very much and who are able to give him the gift of time. And we're lucky enough to have friends and family with children older than Carter who are thoughtful and generous enough to give us lots of great hand me down toys and clothes, which has helped us so much.
For the Twin Cities mommies who read my blog, we got a lot of our baby gear at Moms of Multiples Sales. I think there are 4 different groups in the Twin Cities and they have sales in the spring and fall. I'll try to remember to post the sale dates once I have them. Also most of the local ECFE groups also have great sales on baby gear and toys. We got our swing and exersauser last year for less than $20 a piece. Once Upon a Child also sometimes has some good deals. I've had the best luck when I go in looking for something particular.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stressing out!

I'm so stressing out right now. My final papers are due for all 3 classes I've been taking this weekend. I'm having a really hard time finding the information I need to even write the one paper. I don't get anything done during the day since Carter barely naps. I have a hard time getting anything done without interruptions when Tim gets home.
We're not ready for Christmas. We still don't have the house clean enough to even put the tree up. We have 5 more presents to buy, and really no money to do so. I'm not having any luck finding any jobs to apply for and I can't seem to even get a decent paying part-time job these days.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sick baby or new sleep plans?

Carter slept through last night and didn't wake up until 8:30 this morning. He took a short nap at my grandma's house and now he's asleep in my lap. I really hope he's not coming down with something.
We helped my grandparents put up their Christmas tree and put up some lights outside today. We also went in search of a bath seat. Being 26 inches long, Carter is now getting too long for his baby bath tub. Target didn't have anything. Everything at BRU was super expensive. Walmart had the perfect solution. It's a mesh bath lounger that was only $8. Carter loves being able to kick and splash in the tub. (Note to pregnant friends, definitely put one of these on your registries. Possible even instead of a baby bath.)

Weekend update

It's been awhile since I updated last. Overall things are good with us. We're mostly done with our Christmas shopping (except for a few difficult people like both our dads and my brother), my semester will be done in another week and a half (in which I still have to write two papers and mess with my website a bunch).

Carter and I haven't been leaving the house a whole lot with the teething. It makes him so incredibly crabby. So far two teeth on the bottom have cut through his gums and we can feel several on the top that haven't yet. I guess if I'm going to have a miserable, crabby baby I'd rather do it all at once than spreading it out over time.

On Saturday, I learned how to make truffles. I think I might add them to my holiday repertoire. Carter entertained my friends and their moms while we were baking. He also loved Frank the puppy. (Although calling him a puppy seems so strange since he's around 50 pounds already). Frank also loved Carter. He would lick Carters hands and wanted to play with him. I can already tell that Carter is going to be an animal lover.

In other news, my uncle isn't doing so well. He was in the hospital for a couple days because he cracked a couple vertebrae. We're not sure if he fell and doesn't remember it, or if it's the cancer starting to go to his bones. Either way he is in pain and extremely cranky. Please keep us in your prayers- his caregivers need the gift of patience and I hope for my uncle not be in pain much longer.

On a more upbeat note I've been playing with picnik and have redone some of the Christmas pictures of Carter. I think i may try to take some more today or tomorrow now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Health Care Vent

Our health care coverage has never been the greatest, but it was better than some. Now, starting December 1st, it's officially gotten a whole lot worse. Our office visits are now $25 instead of $15, prescriptions have also gotten more expensive, all hospital stays at 80/20, and our max per person is now $2500 instead of $1500. I guess Carter is going to be a only child for a while because there's no way we would be able to come up with that much money any time soon.
My other vent is that I can't even seem to get hired for a part time job these days. The job search continues without a whole lot of jobs even to apply for. It's getting frustrating!
Vent over. Now I just have to remind myself that we are lucky that Tim has a job and that we have health care at all. So many people are less fortunate than us! And as much as it is a financial strain on us, it's been really nice getting to be home with Carter these first 5 months of his life.

Teething Hell

What happened to my sweet little boy!?!?! The past several days have definitely been some of the more challenging ones of motherhood so far. Carter is a teething maniac right now. He will scream and cry for several hours at a time. No amount of drugs, rocking, swinging, car rides, teething toys. seems to help even slightly. I seriously can't wait for Tim to come home at night so that I can have a little break. The only good thing is that I can usually get him to take 2 30 minute naps a day now. Just long enough for me to go to the bathroom and possible eat something. We are rarely leaving the house anymore because I don't want to subject anyone else to his screaming sessions.
To make things even more stressful, it's finals time. I have 3 papers to write and a portfolio to try to complete in the next week and a half. I will be so glad when these are complete!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baptism and Monday

Miss Lauren

The cousins

Carter Church wear

We survived the rest of the weekend. Lauren's baptism went well. Carter was pretty good during the church service. He liked the music, but hated the sermon part.

Our exciting news is that during church Carter was chewing on my finger when I felt the tip of a tooth coming out.

This morning Carter and I went to Century to go meet with one of my professors. He loved watching all the people and flirted with anyone who would talk to him.

This afternoon Carter was miserable. He cried from 1pm-4pm. We decided after the first two hours of screaming that it might be a good idea to get into the pediatrician. Of course by then he was back into a good mood. And then he resumed screaming from 6:30 to 7:30 when he fell asleep (hopefully for the night!). The doctor is thinking that it's just teething. I just heard a scream. It's going to be a long night.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and more

We had Thanksgiving dinner this year at my aunt and uncle's house. Being we didn't have to be there until after 5pm, we had fed and bathed Carter and put him in his pjs before we left the house. I also had packed my bag to be ready to go shopping with my friends at 10pm. Instead of grabbing the diaper bag, I grabbed my bag for shopping. We didn't realize this mistake until after we had already got there. Whoops! Luckily my smart thinking parents remembered that Walgreens was open, so we were able to avoid making a 45 minute each way trip back to our house to get diapers and formula. I can't believe I did something so stupid!

Shopping was great! The outlet mall opened at 10pm Thursday night, so we hit that first. I got some good deals on clothes for myself at the Gap outlet, a new winter coat from the Columbia outlet, and some great deals at the Carter's outlet for Carter (50% off storewide +10%off + 20% off coupon. Love it!) We shopped there until 3am. And then we drove back to the cities and did Herberger's (never again, their coupon was a joke!), Kohl's (Longest line ever!) and Best Buy (we drove to a more obscure one and it was dead.). I ended up getting 90% of the Christmas shopping completed.

After I got home from shopping Tim and I packed up and headed down to his parents house to spend the weekend/for my niece Lauren's baptism. I went to bed at 7pm, since I was so tired from not sleeping the night before. Tim took care of Carter's night feedings and let me sleep. I so needed it!

We are learning how difficult it is to travel with small children. First of all, packing is a pain. At 4 months old he still needs a million things packed. Bottles, diapers, at least two outfits a day in case of spit ups/accidents, and toys and other items to keep him entertained. Now that he's started food, we also need rice cereal, bowls, spoons, and a little cooler packed with his baby food. I can tell we'll definitely need a bigger car before we have a second baby. Second, now that Carter is somewhat on a schedule, he hates change that schedule. If we eat dinner at my parents house and he's not in his jammies by 7pm, he freaks out. He's a definite homebody and does not sleep well when he's not at home. Lack of sleep=crabby baby= crabby mommy who has to get that baby back onto a schedule again.

I'll probably write more about our weekend on Monday when we're home again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Carter Pictures

Weekend update

As usually we had another busy weekend. Saturday we drove down to Harmony, MN (close to the Iowa border) to visit Tim's grandma. We've been meaning to get down there since Carter was born, but with how high gas prices were this summer, we didn't make it down there until now. It was her first time meeting Carter. On our way back, we stopped in Rochester to see one of Tim's friends. Carter loved meeting the kitties there. He is definately going to be an animal lover.
Carter and I both ended up catching a cold. (Possible from Grandma, she was just getting over one.) It been 3 really bad nights for the two of us.
Sunday we hung out at my parents' for most of the day.
Monday I had to go and do my volunteering for class, so Carter spent the day with Grandpa Mike. They went to BRU to pick out a high chair for Grandma and Grandpa's house and also did a few laps around the mall.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Night Reflections

Well I survived another long day with Carter. Tim worked from 6am to 2pm and then went out to volunteer from 6pm to midnight, which makes for a long day for him and an even longer day for me. I love being able to spend this much time with Carter, but the days do seem a lot longer now that it's cold out. I'm trying to come up with a list of places/things Carter and I can do for free or almost free during the day. Right now we have MOPS on two Thursdays a month and I think I might add ECFE on Wednesday mornings starting after Christmas.
We've also been trying to go and hang out with my grandparents a couple hours a week too. They love seeing Carter and it seems to keep their spirits up during this difficult period. My uncle Mark is dying of brain cancer. The one good thing that has come out of it all is to see how many peoples' lives he's managed to touch. One of his friends who had been battling a drug addiction, has been clean since my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. Another one of his friends who struggles being bipolar is taking his meds regularly now. In his many years teaching art in the Minneapolis schools, he has touched so many of his students' lives.
And I can certainly say that our holidays will never be as exciting without Mark. He was always the one to come up with something interesting to do. And nobody else will be a cheese plate tour of the world (and spend a couple hundred dollars which he probably shouldn't have on cheeses).

We broke the cycle!

Last night Carter was only up at midnight. I actually got some sleep last night. Life is good. My smiling little man is looking at me with his big blue eyes. My favorite part about being a mommy.
We didn't end up getting our high chair. Stupid BRU wouldn't let us combine our 15% off and free shipping. So we're waiting right now to see if we can find it for a better deal somewhere else. Right now we've been feeding him from his bouncer chair. It'll probably be okay to continue with that for a few more weeks.
Last night we also made apple sauce. Let me just say that it's amazing. Granted, I love apple sauce in general. But it was even amazingly good after I put it in the blender for baby food. I made it a rule that anything that I feed Carter, I have to be willing to eat myself.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sleep deprieved

I didn't fully appreciate those nights where Carter slept from 8pm-6am. And I really didn't appreciate the nights he was only up once. It's now day 5 of him getting up twice a night in a row. I really need to look more seriously into different methods of sleep training.
He's the happiest baby right now. Just talking and kicking on the bed next to me. I love it! I'm hoping to get some laundry done today because after all of yesterday's wardrobe changes, I'm out of clean pants that still fit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Outfit #3

Baby puke happens.

Longer post time

Carter is swinging right now, which will hopefully lead to a longer nap. Last night was not a particularly good night for us. He went to bed at 7pm, was up at 11:30pm, and then was up at 4:30am, and then up for the day at 7:30am. I'm hoping he'll take a short nap because I would love to do some errands later, but not if he's a crabby boy.

I'm so excited that BRU and TRU are doing free shipping today and tomorrow on almost everything. We've been meaning to order the Chicco high chair we want, but the color I wanted was only online and the shipping was $18, something I just couldn't justify at this point.

Is it time for Tim to come home yet?

It's 9:10am, Carter and I are both covered in baby puke and need a wardrobe change. I have a feeling it's going to be a long day. And Tim is doing a 12 hour shift. Motherhood is so glamorous sometimes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

4 month wakefulness and more

Carter has started to go through the dreaded 4 month wakeful period. Basically he'll wake up in the middle of night and want to play. I guess it's suppose to be a good thing since it means he's developing cognitively and is attached to us enough to want to be around us 24/7. Most of the methods of sleep training he's still way too young for. So I've been trying to let him talk in bed and only go check on him if he's crying. He usually wants to eat then. I'm also trying to slowly cut down how many ounces of formula he gets in the middle of the night.
Our other major Carter news is that he talks all the time! It definitely sounds like he's saying "hi" now. I don't think it really counts as a first word though yet because he will say it whenever. I think all the positive reinforcement we've been giving him whenever he says anything that sounds like "hi" guarantee that he will continue to say it.
Since it's been a while since I've updated I'll just go through the highlights of the rest of last week.
Thursday I put Carter in the nursery at MOPS. The old ladies loved him. He only cried when he got hungry, otherwise he was perfectly behaved. I was a brave mommy and didn't cry. (But I did check on him i the window every half hour or so)
Friday my dad watched Carter so that I could get some of my volunteer hours in for class. Carter and Grandpa had a good time together. Carter saved his poopy diaper for me as soon as we got home (changing a poopy diaper was my dad's biggest fear of watching Carter).
Saturday we worked on cleaning and organizing the house. Tim is determined to move in the near future, but we have a whole lot of work that needs to be done first.
Sunday we went to Pine Tree to get some more apples. Then we hung out at my parents.
Monday we did a quick to MOA trip with my grandparents. That was an interesting experience!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Make your own baby food

So I decided to venture into the world of making your own baby food since Carter started eating it two weeks ago. It was something I've wanted to do since I was pregnant. So far it's been great! I started with a sweet potato. All I had to do was steam it and then put it in the blender and add a tiny pit of water to get it to the consistency of baby food. And then we've been pouring it into ice cube trays and freezing it. Our web resource we've been using is Check it out!
Now I know no everyone will agree on giving a 4 month old baby food. We decided it would be much better to be able to pull Carter off his acid reflex meds and have him start food. So far this has been a success.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Stuff

Now that I know more and more friends having babies for the first time I have been trying to think of my baby gear shopping advice.
First of all the book Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields was super helpful. It reviews most commen baby products. All the the products that we bought based on the reviews, we love. And there's some advice that they gave that we didn't follow that I'd have to agree with now.
My recommendations:
1. Get a sturdy crib. We bought a Munire and love it. We probably could have found a less expensive one, but I hated how most of the cribs had screws showing in the front.
2. Get a good mattress. We got ours at BRU. We played with almost all of them there before deciding on one.
3. The ultimate crib sheet is a life saver. We have two and only have to change the regular sheet every couple weeks.
4. Bedding set, while adorable, are pretty much useless. We use the bumper and crib skirt. We hated the sheets that came with our set and ended up replacing them with softer carter's sheets.
5. The best gift we got was our rocker/glider and ottoman. It definately makes the 3am feedings much more comfrotable.
6. Have atleast two changing pad covers. Especially if you have a boy. In the early days we'd sometimes use both in one day.
7. The baby papasan chairs are cute, but they're not very exciting after about the first month. We ended up being one of the crazy music and lights FP ones after trying it at a friend's house.
8. Check out ECFE and Moms of Multiples sales. We got some great deals on some used toys and gear. Even if used stuff some what creeps you out, most of it can be washed. We got our FP aquarim swing for $25. The fabric part pulls out to be washed and the rest was like new with a lysol wipe.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freaking out

My unemployment runs out in the end of December. I'm not sure what we're going to do then. We have been pretty much been needing that to get by since I was laid off back in May. Today it just seemed to hit me that I really don't know what we're going to do then and I've been panicking and can't sleep. There really haven't been a lot of jobs posted in the last two months. I've been applying for anything thing that I'm even remotely qualified for. It does make things much more difficult having to take into consideration the location and pay because of daycare costs.
I saw on the news tonight that the unemployment rate for the country is 6.5%. In some areas it's closer to 9%. And that doesn't even include people who have been unemployed too long to collect, like soon to be me. And it's only suppose to get worse.
Sorry for all the doom and gloom. I'm having a bad night.


We had Carter's 4 month appointment yesterday. He's 16 lbs 8oz (90%) and 26 inches (90%). He also got all of his 4 month shots. We were worried that we would have a bad night, but he actually slept 8pm to almost 8am. It was great! Today he's been a little bit crappy and not feeling the best.
I can't believe it's only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving. Our plans are to spend Thanksgiving day with my family, me going shopping with Liz and Meaghan for the overnight and early morning deals, and then driving down Friday afternoon to visit Tim's family and celebrate Lauren's baptism. Tim and I are going to be Lauren's godparents. We're very excited!
No new news on the job front. I had an interview this week for a para job at Chippewa, that I didn't get the position for. It would have been a great position, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Hopefully there will be some new positions posted soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting, ect.

Carter and I went to vote this morning. We went at 8:30 because I figured the early morning beforw work people would be done. The voting people were saying that 260 people were there when it opened. It's exciting that the first election of Carter's life time is a big one.

Our other exciting news is that Carter got a playhouse for free. My parents' neighbor's had it in their basement and their kids barely ever played with it. It's in mint condition.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We had a great first Halloween. Carter was the cutest little penguin. We did have a minor wardrobe malfunction with his costume when I first put it on him. I bought it on sale last year after Halloween, not knowing I was pregnant yet, so I guessed on the size and ending up getting a 3 month sizing figuring it be big enough for a baby that was born in the late summer early fall. Carter is a big boy and is wearing 3-6month clothes right now. As soon as I zipped it up, the zipper split. I tried to fix it, but it just wasn't happening. But I was determined to still have him be a penguin. I decided to sew Velcro on. It didn't look quite as cute, but it definately work. And Carter was much more comfortable.
Our sweer neighbor lady, Pam, got Carter some Halloween "treats"; a cute baby toy and some rice cereal. This is definately Carter new favorite toy.
Today we scored some excellent deals on toys at the kids garage sale at the Shoreview Community Center. I hadn't been to it since I was a kid, but I had remembered it having some good deals. We got probably a couple hundred dollars worth of Duplos, a toy lawn mower, and a dump truck for around $50. I can't wait until Carter is big enough to play with it all.
We also went over to my grandparents to help them get their lawn ready for winter. They love having Carter over.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our three glorious day of Carter sleeping in until 7:30 or 8am came to an end yesterday morning. I was pretty bummed out when he broke the streak by waking up at 4:15am the last two days. But atleast he goes back to sleep for another couple hours. I on the otherhand am up for the day. It is pretty amazing how much I can get done before Carter decides he's ready to get up for the day.
Yesterday was beautiful. Carter and I went out for two stroller rides to enjoy the nice weather. It was the first time we used our new jogging stroller. Carter seemed to like being able to face forward. I had him wear his cute little sunglasses to protect his eyes. Hopefully today will be just as nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Goals and Plans

Carter has slept in until 7:30 two days in a row now. I'm hoping this is a trend that will continue. Now if only I could sleep until then too. I can't seem to sleep past 6am anymore. On the bright side, I get a lot done between 6am and 7:30. I've definitely learned to enjoy the peace and quiet.
My goal right now is to work on eating healthy and losing some weight. I hate to even throw the word diet out there. I joined a group on the nest and am using a online website to help count calories-wise and nutritionally how I am doing. Today is only day two, but I'm feeling really inspired to be successful at this. My goal is to try to lose 5 pounds between now and Thanksgiving, and maintain that during the rest of the holiday season. After the New Year, I would like to try to lose another 15 pounds to reach my long term goal.
The other goal that I've been thinking about is trying to run a 5K. I'm not a runner and have never been a runner, but there's something about that a 5K that seems very achievable. I'm still thinking about if, when, and where I would do this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update

As always, we seem to keep ourselves busy on weekends. Saturday we went over to my grandparents to help them with yardwork. They love seeing Carter. Sunday, Tim decided to bake pies. We also went over to my parents for turkey dinner.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I haven't had a chance to update in a while. My latest goal is to try to get things organized around here. I had planned on having the house organized before Carter was born, but since he decided to surprise us and come early than planned things just never seemed to get done. My goal is to take a room a day and go from there. I'm hoping to have the whole house done in a week or so. It'll be a big project.
I've also decided to start wrapping presents as soon as we buy them. Wrapping presents is my least favorite part about Christmas. I love buying the gifts. I love making cookies. I think if I spread it out, them it won't be as big of a deal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baptism and other weekend activities

We survived baptism on Sunday. Being not super religious, it was the first time we've taken Carter to church. Overall, he did pretty well. He only screamed for a couple minutes when he decided he absolutely had to have a bottle that very second. During the actual baptism, Carter was blowing bubbles and staring up at the skylight.
The party afterwards went pretty well too. We had to have it at my parents because there would have been just no way to squeeze 40+ people in our townhouse. The only issue we had was my parents though they had figured out how to use the delay setting on their oven. Apparently they didn't because the cheesy hash browns should have been done just after we got home, but they hadn't even started. Whoops! It turns out you have to set it for the time you want it to start, not in howany hours you want it to start.
The best part of it all was seeing how many people that support and love Carter, Tim, and I. We are so lucky!
Our other big weekend event was going out to eat for my mom's birthday. It was our first evening out without Carter. My cousin Katie watched him. Tim seemed to have more problems leaving Carter than I did. I figure, Katie is 21 and has baby sat before, and she could call us if she needed to. I guess Carter was good for the first two hours, but the last half hour he decided to scream. Poor little guy. (And poor Katie!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Rough Day

Yesterday was one of the rougher days we have had in a long time. Carter's teething makes him so crabby. He woke at 4:30am. I got him back to sleep for another 2 hours and then he was up pretty much most of the day minus a few short catnaps. He wanted to be held and rocked all day. Whenever I put him down, he screamed. Hopefully, he'll be feeling better for his baptism this weekend.
Needless to say, I was very happy to go to my class at Century. I realized part way through class that I had several baby spit-up stains on my sweater. It's a good thing most of the other students are also parents, so they probably didn't think it was that odd.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Weekend

We ended up having a way busier weekend than planned. Saturday morning Tim did the lawn care at my grandparents house. We then picked up his sister Stephanie at St. Kate's and did lunch at Chipolte. After that we went to the Apple Orchard. It was packed since it was such a nice day. We even had to wait in line to get into the building to buy anything. Carter slept the entire time. I had really hoped to get some cute pictures of him with pumpkins in his cute Halloween onesie. Oh well! Maybe next year.
Sunday we went to Best Buy (to look at new washers) and Sam's club. Carter then decided he had had enough. So we dropped him off at my parents' house so we could groccery shop. I always forget how crazy Sundays are at Cub. Remind me never to do that. I am not patient enough to deal with the old lady debating between two kinds of soup. Carter had a good time playing at my parents' house. He loves their big tv. I think he will be a big sports fan when he is bigger because he seems to love to watch football and baseball.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Carter is teething already. This has caused him to try to stick anything he can into his mouth. This also causes me to be covered in baby drool pretty much 24/7. I picked up two new teethers last night at BRU. Hopefully one of them will work!
Last night my parents, Carter, and I went shopping. We found a bunch of cute fleece jammies for Carter at Herberger's for 60% off. He'll be so snuggly in them.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We had a busy Thursday. We had our MOPS group meeting yesterday. It's always fun to have other moms to talk to. Afterwards we hung out with Stefanie, Cole, Christie, and Kennedy. Cole loves babies. He is so sweet to Carter.
Later I had Grey's Anatomy night with Liz and Meaghan. Frank, Liz and Brad's new puppy is getting so big already! It was nice to have some girl time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I miss sleeping in :(

Right now we're in an in between point for sleep. Before when Carter was up every 2-3 hours at night, he would usually go back to sleep after his 5am feeding and sleep until 7 or 8am. Now that he holds off on eating until 6am, he wants to get up and play. By 7am, he becomes a cranky crying baby and needs a nap. (Which he'll fight all the way) On the bright side, after I get him down for a nap, I get time to get dressed, eat, and check my email before he wakes up. I realize I will probably never get to sleep in again until Carter (and his future sibling) move out of the house. Sleep is something you really don't appreciate until you don't get it anymore.

It's hard to believe he was ever this tiny!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some Carter Pictures

The big smiles I get in the morning that make being a mommy the best thing ever.

Carter hates tummy time, but loves tv.

Great Grandma Peggy got me moose overalls.

My First Blog

I've decided I want to try this whole blog thing.
The last three months (since having Carter) have flown by so fast. Most of the time he is a smiling, giggling baby. I am so lucky to have gotten to spend the last 3 months home with him. (well, minus the lack of paycheck). Our latest excitement is he just started to sleep through the night a couple weeks ago. He likes to go to bed between 7:30-8:30pm and will sleep until around 5am when Tim gets up to get ready for work. I am definitely enjoying being able to sleep again!
We finally broke down and bought Carter the FP Rain Forest Jumperoo last weekend. He wasn't really sure what to think about it the first time we put him in it. His legs are still about an inch and a half too short to be able to get it to bounce. He's starting to love music, lights, and fun toys on it. We think it'll be a good investment.
Carter's baptism is in a week and a half. We're going to have it at the 9am service and then have everyone over for brunch afterwards at my parents' house. Last week I made the invites and sent them out. This week I've been working on making on making breads to serve. Monday I made pumpkin bread and today I made chocolate chip banana bread. The next project is to find recipes for egg bakes.
Not a whole lot new on the job front. I check the job posting sites of all the school districts around here everyday and apply for pretty much everything I'm qualified for. I'm also check all of the local colleges for job. I figure even if I take a job that is not exactly in my long term career goals, at least I'll be able to take classes for free.
I am really liking my fall semester classes at Century. Two of the classes are completely online and the other meets every other Tuesday on campus. It feels so good to be taking classes again!