Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shopping With Noah for Outdoor Furniture

Noah and I went shopping today; while we were out we were looking at cheap outdoor furniture for him. It was really cute it was a Noah sized table with two chairs and even an umbrella. I loved it and we found it at the grocery store at all places. He sat in it for about five minutes and then I realized that he doesn’t really have anywhere to sit outside. I mean sure he could sit in a big chair but I think he would like to have something more his size. I have looked at the kids sized items that you can put outside and I think as much as we spend outside that he needs something to call his own. I think that it would be cool to have his little chair next to mine as we watch the cars go by.

When I was little my grandparents and I would sit on their front porch and watch the cars and trucks go by. We would play a game trying to figure out which color car would come by next. We rarely kept score it was just something fun for us to do. I have great memories of watching the cars going by with my grandpa. We loved being outside but sometimes you just want to relax. I wonder if Noah would just like to sit down and feel the wind through his hair and watch the ducks on the pond. We have new baby ducks! We also bought seeds to start a garden. I am not too sure how well it will work out but I am hoping it will. I would love to get some garden furniture like a bench or a swing. I love being able to swing and talk on the phone outside on nice nights.

We had our family over a couple weeks ago, although the weather was too cold and rainy to be outside it would have been really nice to sit on the patio and chat. As I have mentioned before, we have a huge patio. We have a big family so we would have to get some more furniture for the patio to accommodate them all. We had a great time and there were ten of us, which is only a small part of my family. So, to hold a get together with everyone we would definitely have to get some more seats. I remember the family visits at my grandparent’s house, they would have every chair in the house including folding chairs and there still was a few that had to stand. I am the youngest grandchild so I always seemed to have a seat.

It seemed like old times, we talked about all kinds of things. My aunt found records of my Grandpa Jim and his parents from the 20’s or 30’s. My uncle is going to clean them up and make us all copies. I can’t wait to hear them, we no longer have my little toy record player. I really enjoy spending time with all of them. I wish we weren’t all so spread out. I am hoping this summer we can spend more time with them and of course have a lot of time outside playing and relaxing.

What are your favorite things to play outside?

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I Do Not Want Your Unwanted Parenting Advice....Sorry

For those of my readers that are parents, I am sure you have encountered this at some point at least once as a parent. People who tell you how to raise your child or give you unsolicited advice, I am sure in most cases it is someone who wants to help, other times they have other motives. I knew this girl who would give me parenting advice, things that worked for her niece and nephew or someone who thinks they know what is best for my child. I am glad that those things would work for them but my child is his own person, things work differently for different children.

I remember when Noah was 6 months old and he would wake up in the middle of the night crying for a little bit. I had mentioned it to his doctor in one of his visits. She told me to wait 5 or 10 minutes before going in there. I mentioned it once and this person started calling me a bad mom, saying I didn’t take care of my son; of course that was not the case. I was following the advice of his doctor who specializes in children. As long as he was fine, it was ok for him to cry a little bit. He wasn’t in danger or being ignored. He was learning to self soothe himself. I would let it go for the exact time limit and then go check, most of the time he was back asleep. I knew that person was trying to upset me and I didn’t let it. I was a mom and I was doing a great job.

It is easy for someone who is not a parent to give advice. It is easy for them to say I would do this, or I wouldn’t do that. It is different when you are a parent and you know your child. I am sure people who want to have children think about what kind of parent they want to be. There are quick judgments about how someone raises their child. I am definitely not saying that there are instances where it is wrong for a parent to do something that is harmful to their child, because I know sadly that’s not the case. It does happen but at the same time there are many false accusations made against parents that are doing nothing wrong. I think that if you suspect something going on that is truly harmful please report them, but it is not a tool to use to get back at or hurt someone with. Think of it this way, Child Protective Services or whatever it is called in your state gets ten calls from people that are just trying to punish an adult that is ten cases that are legitimate are getting pushed to the side. I know that many parents like me love my child so much and he is my world.

It seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to parenting, which is fine. I know that is perfectly ok to have your opinion, but at the same time if someone doesn’t ask for advice, maybe you should just keep it to yourself. Comments that other people make telling you what to do with your child are very annoying. Depending on what the comment is, it could really make them upset. It really could make someone question themselves as parents. They might wonder if they are doing a good job. I am not talking about the parents that don’t really deserve to be a parent, but good loving mothers and fathers.

There are some people I welcome parenting advice from such as my mom, my son’s doctor or any doctor, and if the person was degreed in something child related such as a counselor. I would also welcome parenting advice from my cousins that have children because I know they know what they are doing. I know that they wouldn’t tell me advice unless I asked. I would remember that just because it worked for their child, it may or may not work for mine. I know from talking to friends about our children, some things don’t work for siblings either. Every child is different, just because it works for one it may not work for another.

So, if you are not my mom, or not a doctor or the like or I didn’t ask you what to do, then please don’t tell me how to raise my child. Even then I don’t always follow my mom’s or anyone’s (other than his doctor’s) advice. I just ask their opinion and take it in to consideration. I know that I ask my friends for advice sometimes, as they ask me but it is always solicited. You might think you are helping but wait until someone asks about something before saying something that could upset them.

Have you ever received off the wall parenting advice? Have you ever had someone who had no clue what it is like to be a parent give you advice?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Garage Sale Tracker's Special Features

Its spring, so it is time to kick off one of my favorite things about spring and summer, garage sale time. When I was little, my Grandma Diana would always take my sister and I to garage sales. We were always able to pick out a toy or two from the garage sales that we went to. I loved it, and I think that is when I found my love for garage sales. I think it is so cool to go and look at what people don’t want anymore and sell for really cheap. I have found some great finds at garage sales, but nowhere near as great as things that my dad has found. He found a bunch of baseballs for a dollar each and they ended up being worth a lot more than that. I really enjoy loading Noah up in his wagon and wandering around our neighborhood and looking at what my neighbors are selling.

We normally just stick to our neighborhood because we haven’t really a way to find other garage sales to go to. They used to be listed in the paper and now it seems like they aren’t really in there anymore. When I was pregnant with Noah I used to drive around with a friend looking for garage sales, but with gas being over four dollars a gallon, that just isn’t an option anymore. I found a really cool website called Garage Sale Tracker. It is a free website where you can find garage sales in your area. I am sure there are other websites out there like Garage Sale Tracker, but not with the special features.

I know sometimes you want to go to garage sales when you are visiting family, but really don’t know the area, Garage Sale Tracker has a Trip Planner to help it make it easier. I have lived in the same area for most of my life and honestly, I don’t know the names of all the streets in neighborhoods. I know enough to get around like the main streets, but I remember driving around in circles and wasting a lot of gas not really knowing exactly where I am going. Garage Sale Tracker’s trip planner will help me be able to find all those hidden gem garage sales. I am sure you have used a map website to get directions, but it really is a pain to type in all the addresses on mapping websites and it is so time consuming. I love that you don’t have to type any of the addresses to find where they are. Garage Sale Tracker does all the extra work for you. I like to think of it as my own personal garage sale tour guide or a concierge.

Do you remember those days when we had to actually write things down to know where we are going or to make a list of places we want to go to? Another feature Garage Sale Tracker has is a bookmark list. You can simply click on the bookmark this button and it will save it for you. You don’t have to write anything down, and if you see many garage sales you want to go to, you don’t have to try and remember them all. If you change your mind you can remove the book mark really easily too. After you decide where you want to go, you can use your bookmarks with the Trip planner to plan out your day of garage sales.

I don’t know how many times I have been out and then decide to go to garage sales, maybe it is because I saw one as I am driving by or sometimes just as something to do. I am obviously not going to go home and look for garage sales and I am probably not going to drive around looking for them, Garage Sale Tracker has an iPhone app just for this occasion! So, when the urge hits Garage Sale Tracker is with you and mobile. I know that for some people, garage sales are a serious business. Some people really get in to it and wake up early to be the first to be at a sale, especially if there is something they really want. Like the saying says, The early bird gets the worm or in this case the best items from a garage sale.

Check out Garage Sale Tracker and sign up for a FREE account. The sign up is really easy and this is such a helpful website.

Do you like to go to Garage Sales? What is the best item you found at one?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Need My Own Office!

I spend a lot of time on my computer, as a blogger and I don’t have a home office desk. I have a laptop so, I blog where ever I end up. I would like to have an office where I can go and work and have all of my stuff in one place. I would love to create my own office with Noah’s artwork on the walls. Noah loves to draw me pictures. I would like to have a brightly colored room with a cd player, so I can listen to music while I work. I would also have to have a TV. I would love to have some really nice office furniture. I used to have a computer desk that was extremely flimsy. It had a top on it that was really loose and would move if I touched it. I didn’t really like it because it wasn’t ideally what I wanted. There wasn’t a lot of space to put things. It did last a long time though. I need a lot of space on a desk where I can organize my things and spread out.

I think that atmosphere is really important too. I would definitely have a few candles in there that I can light to relax while I am working. I would love to have a huge desk chair; it must spin and roll around. My aunt and uncle have a desk in their house and it is on a track. It looks like something out of The Jetsons. You just push off and you go flying. I am pretty sure I hurt myself on it once. I am definitely going to think about creating a little home office for myself soon. I think it would be really cool to get one of those desks for small spaces for Noah, so he could do his projects next to me while I work. He does have a little table that my dad made when I was like his age, complete with a chair with the stickers I stuck on it from when I was little. Those stickers must have been stuck with super glue because they have been there for over 20 years. It is crazy to see my son sitting in my old chair at my old little table, I should be used to it, I mean he eats off the same yellow plates that I ate off when I was his age.

I guess I should start looking at computer desks for home,since my space is limited. so maybe someday, my dream of having my own home office will come true. I have a small half room that I could use. That room has been many things, like my scrapbook room, oddly enough it started out as a den. Now it is kind of a storage/guest room. We have lived in our house for three years and every year, it is made in to a different room. Maybe 2011 will be the year for my office for my blog.

Do you have a home office? What kinds of things do you do to make it more comfortable?

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Noah's Easter Calendar

Every December I get an advent calendar. I love advent calendar chocolate. Noah gets one each year too to count down the days till Christmas. This past Christmas was the first year he was really excited about it. He would love to open a window and count down the days till Christmas. He is really big on counting down to things. He says how many more sunrises until whatever it is he is looking forward to. He normally will say is it one more sunrise? Usually it is a lot more, but he knows that each day it gets closer to what it is.

He decided he wanted an Easter Calendar, like an advent calendar. Since I have never seen an Easter calendar, we decided to make one. I took a 12 by 12 piece of cardstock and took a ruler and made the right number of boxes. The idea was to either color or put a sticker in the box each day to count down. I even numbered the boxes backwards. Noah wanted me to change the way I made the twos because I made them with the loop in them. Instead of confusing him, I erased the twos and redid them for him.

When we were done, I went to look for stickers so he could mark off the first day, I left his Easter calendar on the fridge with magnets. I couldn’t find any stickers that were small enough. I probably could have looked harder. I know there are probably some somewhere but not where I was looking. I came down stairs and the first thing I noticed was Noah’s Easter Calendar was not where I left it. I asked him where it was because he wasn’t carrying it around. He showed it to me and there was little cars, trucks, and blimps and airplanes in some of the boxes. I let him finish the boxes. I am not sure how we will count down the days now. I thought maybe with a x, but I don’t want to ruin his chart and that might hurt Noah’s feelings. He is an amazing artist and I want to encourage his creativity as much as I can.

We never ended up using it. I didn't wanna mess up his creation. We had so much fun doing it though. I don't know where he comes up with these things.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crazy Crib Adventures

When we were moving back from Florida, I decided to get another crib, because it we hadn’t had the opportunity to take all our furniture back with us. I thought maybe Noah would just sleep in his play pen for a couple weeks but, he climbed out of it. I had bought the crib at Target. I ended up getting one of those convertible cribs because it was less expensive. While my son’s other one was in another state. THREE WEEKS after I had purchased the crib the real problems started. It was a very stormy night. The power kept going out and there was a really bad storm going on. So I go in my son’s room to check on him and make sure he isn’t scared. Then I see some chunks of wood missing from the crib. My son at the time was one years old. I freak out. I am wondering what is going on with the crib. Did my son swallow the wood? Should I call 911? I had no clue what in the world was going on. There were chunks missing all over the crib.

I was furious with the crib company. I mean they have to figure that a child is going to chew on it. They should have made it safe for them to do so and not end up with splintered wood in their stomachs. I called the crib company that morning and they were not much help. I was so frustrated and upset that I spent the whole call crying. They told me to mail them the baby crib back on my dime. Then they would send me a check. I told them no. I wasn’t going to pay for their problem. I tried to call Target and I didn’t get much help from them either. They told me to call the crib company. So I went around and around in circles.

I ended up “ghetto covering” the holes with diapers and electrical tape. It seemed to work. My other crib was coming really soon. So I stuck it out. I didn’t sleep much that week. A few days before that ( I think its been a while) my son’s leg got stuck in the bars of the crib, not a little stuck but completely. It was past his knee. My son has fat thighs. So, I call the hospital and ask them what to do. I tried oil and lotion. They told me I could call the fire department or the police and explain the situation and have them come rescue him.

My friend was on his way over to hang out. I was texting and talking to him on his way here. I thought I would wait until he was here before I did anything because it wasn’t like really dangerous as in an emergency. So my friend got here and took a look. I told him to break the crib if he had to just be careful of my son. My friend ended up pulling the bars enough for me to slide out my son’s leg. I was so happy that my baby was free. He did have a bump from the bars and being stuck but he was ok. He was still able to bounce. My friend became my knight in shining armor that night. He ended up telling his mom about it and would bring it up every time I saw him.

I ended up filling out the recall form online to let the people that are in charge of recalls know about my experience. The crib company ended up sending me a random crib. The crib they sent was never used because by that time I had Noah’s crib back. I had bad luck with baby cribs with Noah. I am thankful nothing happened to him though, so for that I am blessed.

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An Unexpected Trip to South Carolina- Part One

We took an unexpected trip to South Carolina a couple weeks ago to visit my sister and brother in law. It was very short notice. We decided on Sunday afternoon and left Monday at noon. We drove so it was a very long drive. We broke it up in to two days on the way down. We could have drove the fourteen hours in one day but that would be really exhausting for everyone. We had a pretty good drive the first day, Noah was excellent. He loved looking at the mountains and all the trucks. I was very proud of him and he would let us know when he needed to go to the bathroom in enough time where we were able to stop. He didn’t have any accidents the entire trip. The first night at our hotel, we were in Knoxville, and stayed at a hotel by a huge fireworks sign. That was Noah’s favorite thing to look at. Later that night I got really sick. I started with a headache and then came all the vomit. I am not sure what was wrong with me. I am thinking it might be from stress or worrying about things. After having a rough night I was fine in the morning.

We loaded everything back up in the car and headed down the road. We only had a four or five hour drive the second day, that felt like an eternity. It seemed like North Carolina and South Carolina took forever to drive through. I probably got 3 hours of sleep the night before. I was so happy when we finally were at my sister’s and brother in law’s house. My sister was at work and well my brother in law was no where to be found. I finally called him and he eventually showed up. They have a gorgeous home, with hard wood floors that you will hear more about later. We spent the evening chatting, watching Sprout of course, and ordered pizza. My brother in law is from New Mexico and he makes the best homemade salsa. I kind of remember the recipe but I might have to email my sister and have him tell me again. This pizza had huge slices. I only had one and I was full. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and wake up the next morning refreshed and more sociable.

Our first full day at my sister’s was very laid back it was raining but warm. We just pretty much hung out the whole time. Noah was able to play with a neighbor boy and they had a lot of fun. My mom and I went to Publix to pick up a few things. We both love Publix. As soon as we walked in, we were handed a sample of Red Velvet cake. My mom had to get her mango pie. I had to do what I call my Publix tradition. When we lived in Florida, every time we went to Publix, I would weigh myself on the giant scale, so I had to follow suit. This was a dangerous day for me. I was down stairs and I needed to get on my laptop so I bolted up the stairs and almost fell down. I decided maybe I should slow down a little bit. I took a shower a little bit later and fell down getting out of the shower. It hurt so bad. I was ok though. I ended up with a nasty bruise and a little pain. I was glad that if someone had to fall that it was me versus Noah or my mom.

We went to a really cool seafood restaurant called The Docks, I think. They have tons of shrimping boats and a lot of the food is caught fresh. The food was amazing. Noah had his own Cherry Coke for the first time. He was so excited. I ordered twin lobster tails for dinner. I thought it was going to be small lobster tails like at restaurants here, but it was two big lobster tails. They were both 6 ounce tails. I had a very delicious lunch the following day too since I had leftovers. The waitress loved Noah, he was talking up a storm to her and she was bragging to the other employees about how smart he is. Noah was really good at the restaurant too, sipping away at his cherry coke. He wanted to be like his uncle and have the same drink as him. We had a lot of fun at the restaurant. My brother in law had to go do his rounds, so we came home and went to bed.

The second part of this post will be soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Noah is Growing Up Fast!

When I found out I was pregnant with Noah, I started making my list of what I would need for him. I remember that I had a check list that was like four pages long. He needed all kinds of things, or so I thought. There were some things on the list that I never ended up using. I knew that he was going to be a boy so I made sure I bought gauze for his circumcision. I never ended up using it though. I was an over prepared mom who had everything that the books recommended short of a bottle warmer, and wipe warmer, which both seemed like something I would not use. The most important thing to have for a baby or a child for that matter is a car seat. We are on car seat number 4. I would suggest cosco car seats for anyone who is looking for a car seat. The one we had lasted a long time. It had gone on my many trips and never had any problems with it. It was a great price too.

Noah has always been a big boy so when he meets the weight requirement he has to move on to another one. I really don’t mind though because that’s just part of being a mom, new car seats, new clothes, and new shoes as he keeps growing. Noah has had a lot of cute clothes and shoes. I wish I would have bought him some toddler rain boots. So, his pants wouldn’t get wet as he jumped in the puddles. Little kid boots are adorable and I was just thinking about buying Noah a pair, so we can jump in puddles together. I would need boots too because my snow boots would look ridiculous in the Spring and Summer. I could probably get away with wearing my beach sandals though.

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