Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stamps cost how much now? I sure hope I get some free prints for this....*wink wink, Shutterfly*

*disclaimer: You will find a lot of links contained within this post as I am trying to earn 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly for being a blogger.  Please do not base your commitment to my blog solely upon this post!



I have used Shutterfly for many different events in our family.  I first stumbled upon them around the time Zac and I got married.  I was looking for a place to upload pictures so family and friends could view them and someone told me about Shutterfly.  I moseyed around the site for a bit to make sure that I would be able to share them with others and discovered that the site was so much more than I expected!  I had no idea that we could make different projects, create photo books or even get prints.  From then on out, I have used Shutterfly for multiple gifts, prints and photo cards.


Last year I used them to create our first family of three Christmas card (2010 Christmas Cards stock).  I absolutely loved our Christmas photo cards last year.  We chose a card that allowed us to put 3 pictures on it.  Since Reese was only 8 months old at Christmas time I figured it was a good time to send a progression of his growth to family and friends out of state who had not seen him in awhile or ever.  I really can't decide which picture of the three is my favorite.  Of course, I put three of my favorite pictures of that time on the card.  We only had one really good family picture of the three of us and then we added a few pictures of Reese all by himself.  One really shows his bright personality (him winking) and the other (I just noticed today) displayed his very bare head and chubby face!  Check out last year's Christmas Card.  


I also used them to create Reese's birth announcements and first birthday announcements/invitations (too much cuteness to choose from here).  Eventually, I will be using them again to create gifts such as a calendar to keep all of our important family and friend birthdays in (maybe we'll make daddy a desk calendar like the ones here). 

Since Keely took pictures of us for fall a few weeks ago I have been experimenting with Shutterfly again to get an awesome Christmas card for this year.  The unique difference with our card this year is that our pictures will be in black and white, as opposed to last years' full of color one.  There is just something more beautiful about the look of black and white photos. 


Check back for another post in a few weeks to see the outcome of our 2010 Christmas cards!

Amy : )





Friday, November 26, 2010

It's been a while....

I can't believe how long it has been since I last updated!  Looking back at my last post--which I never had the opportunity to follow through with another post on--it was just before Reese's first birthday.  Now the boy is almost 20 months old, growing big, talking lots, and loves to love on everyone!  He is now in the toddler class at school and has circle time everyday.  We are seeing the fruits of his teachers' labor because he is starting to have a large vocabulary.  Some of the words that he can say are:

Dad, Dada, Dad Dad
Mom, Momma, Mom Mom
Drew
Tyler
Kyle (or Kykle)
Hannah
Papa
Baby
Boat
Car (and vroom vroom)
Van (pronounced Ban)
Train (and choo choo)
Ball
Juice (even milk is juice)
Water
 Why?
What's that?
No No
Buzz
Woody
Elmo
Apple
Applesauces
Up
Uh-oh
I don't know
Want
That
This
Coat
Shoe
Sock
Balloon
Amen


We're excited to see more of his vocabulary flourish--and we're already starting to hear him try to put two or more words together to make a sentence.  One time he babbled off a full sentence and it sounded like he said, "I want to watch Elmo too much!"  This kid is hilarious!  We are grateful to the Lord for blessing us with such a sweet little man who is full of joy, love and humorous moments!  Reese also has a best friend that he carries with him almost anywhere: Woody.  He loves, loves, loves Buzz and Woody and anything Toy Story.  Takes after his Uncle Drew!  Good thing we decided to get him his big boy bedding for Christmas...a Toy Story themed room!  I sure hope he likes them still in a few years!

We recently moved from our small apartment to a beautiful home.  We are renting a duplex and our neighbors on the other side of the house are awesome--because it's my younger brother, his fiance and baby!  We each have 1100 square feet of home with two bedroom, one bath and basement.  We are loving it!  We may not have a closet in the master or any counter top space or outlets in the kitchen, but he have love for each other (and now this beautiful home) and we have been blessed with creative minds and ideas, as well as a super organizer helper in our good family friend Alta!

I'm sure there could be lots more that I could update you all with but for now we'll make this small!  I've been seeing friends do a 30-day challenge on the blog and I'm wondering if I have enough time in my busy schedule to keep up with it--or even if my hubby will let me see the computer everyday!  : )

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two

I'm hoping to write two new posts over the course of this weekend.

The first will be about my almost one year old son!  Pictures to be included of him and his birthday invitations!

The second is an idea that has been in my head for awhile now and will probably be titled "Super Coupon Mom--Saving my Family Money One Coupon at a time"

Be back soon....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Start of 2010....

has proven to be a difficult one for us.  We started the year off with everyone in the house sick.  With everyone having difficulties sleeping.  With everyone feeling overworked and exhausted.  Finally, within the last week we have gotten some much needed answers. 

Let's talk about Reese first: We are learning that most of our difficulties with sleep are steamed back to his first ear infection and teething.  Reese woke up on Friday, January 22nd with a deep cough in his chest.  I had to make the decision if I was going to be a mom or an employee that day.  When you wake up and find your child sick, it's hard to call into work last minute.  I had to call Aunt Tam and see if she could watch Reese for us.  My mother-in-law ended up being able to take him to the doctor that day and he was diagnosed with an ear infection.  He was put on Amoxicillin and we thought we were on the road to recovery.  Well, over the course of the weekend we felt like he just still wasn't himself and there was still something going on so Monday, January 25th I had a half-day at work and decided to take him back in for a check-up.  Once we got to the doctor we found out that his ear infection had actually gotten worse but that his lungs were clear and he was getting all the oxygen he needed.  We were sent to the hospital for x-rays just to be sure.  Reese had to sit on a mini bicycle seat in the middle of a small table in just his diaper.  I had to hold his arms above his head and then some Plexiglas was closed all around him.  The x-rays came out completely clear showing no signs of pneumonia or bronchitis!  Now, here we are on Thursday the 28th and Reese is back to his playful, curious, smiley self!  Thankfully the antibiotics are working and he's sleeping much better.  We even have sight of his first tooth that is starting to emerge!  He has been a trooper through this all!

As for Zac, today on my lunch I had to go to the grocery store and while I was there I picked him up a small card and a box of Andes Mints.  I filled out the card when I got to my car and traveled for a surprise visit to him at work.  When I walked in the receptionist said that he was getting ready to leave.  I was confused because he had just gotten there about 45 minutes beforehand.  As I walked back to him his back was to me so I said "So, where do you think you're going?"  He turned and looked at me and said something like "You're the best wife.  You know exactly what I need."  I asked him what was wrong and he said that he was going to the hospital because he was having chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness.  My mind started reeling because I knew that I had to go back to work and there was no one who could cover me so I could go with Zac.  Then there was Reese.  Who would take him?  We prayed together before I had to go back to work and Zac and his mom went to the hospital.  I was told that I could be the first one out at work, but that was about all we could do.  I received two phone calls over the course of the afternoon.  The first was my mother-in-law letting me know that Zac was being taken back for x-rays to check for pneumonia and bronchitis.  The second was Zac letting me know that everything came back clear on those and that he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection.  When we all ended up at home tonight he proceeded to tell me that he was contagious and that we need not kiss for a few days and needed to disinfect everything.

Now, as for myself, I have been sick on and off since Christmas Eve and am currently dealing with a deep cough.  Maybe all this vaporizer stuff in the air at home, plus the leftover amoxicillin, and the Sudafed  Zac has to take (which I'll take too) with help me kick whatever before it becomes anything substantial. 

Please be in prayer for our family.  That's really what we've clung to these last few weeks and we are seeing God work in awesome ways for us.  My next blog has been writing itself in my head for a few days now and it will be on what I have been learning during my fast this year.  (Our fast started at sundown January 10th and ends on January 31st.)  With being sick I've had to tweek my fast to fit my physical health needs but I believe the Lord knows my heart.

Thanks for reading and remembering us in your prayers!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our Struggles with Sleep Lately

Reese has always been a great sleeper! He started sleeping through the night the second night we were home from the hospital. He hardly ever woke up for night feedings and I was concerned that I was doing something wrong by not waking him. But, I'm sorry, if he's going sleep through the night then so am I! He usually woke up between 5:30am and 7:30am for a feeding and then went back to sleep. He was a great napper too. His morning naps were usually around an hour and a half and then he slept again for a couple hours in the afternoon.

But lately, something has changed. It could be the teething. It could be the fact that he's getting over his first cold. It could be that his room has been so cluttered that he was feeling stress. It could even be something greater, something we cannot see, something that is making him fearful and scared. Whatever it is we're asking for it to be removed in Jesus' name so that Mr. Man will be well-rested, healthy and joyful....as well as mommy and daddy!

We've tried different methods of a bedtime routine for Reese.

We've tried the Ferber method (as we understand it)--putting him in his crib awake, walking away and coming back in time increments to soothe him and rub him WITHOUT picking him up, until he is asleep. The time increments for which you come in to check on him (for example) start with two minutes, then again five minutes later, then again ten minutes later, and so on. This didn't last very long for us and finally Zac picked him up and we were done with that for the night!

We've tried the method in which you put the baby to bed awake and sit with them, soothe them, rock them and slowly start inching closer and closer to the door until you are finally out of the room and they are asleep or on their way. Yep, this didn't work either. Reese stands at the end of his crib sobbing, waiting for someone to pick him up!

We've tried rocking him to sleep, playing a Praise Baby DVD, playing classical lullabies, everything!

Finally, the only thing that gives us some kind of result is what I guess is called the "cry it out" method. With this you put the baby to bed awake, walk out and shut the door behind you and don't go back in until morning. This is the most heartbreaking one for me! For any parent I imagine! The first night we did this we had to go to our bedroom, close the door and turn the monitor down so we could still hear him but not so much. He cried for 50 minutes that night before finally going to sleep then woke up in the middle of the night again. That night we went in to get him and brought him to bed with us--thinking that he wanted a bottle and some cuddling--which he didn't. He just wanted to cuddle up in our bed and fall asleep.

Tonight, we tried the cry it out thing again and he cried for an hour ON THE DOT before finally falling asleep. As hard as it may be, if he wakes tonight we have to let him cry and not go in to check on him. I know we'll get a lot of differing opinions on this but we've decided that for the next 3-4 nights we're going to put Reese to bed and just shut the door. After that span of time he'll probably start to understand bedtime. The only thing we can do is rely on the Lord, so that's what we're doing! We're praying for our little man to understand sleep and we're praying for strength as his parents to do what we believe the Lord is telling us to do for our family.

Every family is different and every child is different. This seems to be the best thing for us at this time. I have had to fight those ideas in my head telling me that Reese feels like a bad boy and that is why he is put in his crib and cries and nobody comes to get him. I shared this idea with a friend and she asked me if Reese has experienced much discipline yet. When we say "no" to him he just turns to us and smiles. She explained that based on his response that he doesn't understand the concept of discipline or being bad, so therefore he cannot associate being bad with being put in his crib and crying.

The other thing I feel I need to mention is that as a church we are currently doing a 21-day fast. Zac and I have gotten to the point in our lives and our marriage that we don't find things that happen to us a surprise anymore. We're stretched everyday, with many different decisions or situations. We've gone through some things (and continue to) that may be tough, but we've always been provided for and in the end become stronger in our Christian walk and our daily lives and decisions. We're fighting a battle, a spiritual battle, a battle that ultimately, we cannot see. With these battles come trials, but also a responsibility in our response to them. I present myself to others as a Christian and I am being watched by those who do believe and who don't believe. They are watching how I respond to things. I must choose my answers with wisdom and guidance and believe that they are seeing God through that. That's why we're seeking the Lord for something such as our difficulties with Reese's sleeping. I am expecting the Lord to make Himself known through this entire sleep situation by the end of the fast. Every day this week I have fasted for something specific each day. One day it was for the health of my husband and son. Praise the Lord my son is better and my husband is on his way. The last few days has been the same prayer--for my son's sleep. Even if the rest of my fast is focused on Reese I believe that on that 21st day we will have overcome this sleep situation and the Lord will be praised for the work He has done in all three of us.

For those of you curious, this is how our evenings now look (or will look like in full soon!):
5:00-6:00pm Dinner
6:30pm Bath
7:00-7:30pm Dressed for bed, cuddle and a warm bottle
7:30-8:00pm Bedtime
???-7:00am Mom and Dad time/Sleep

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween 2009-Part 2

Grandma Julie is so good about making sure that people feel loved and appreciated and she does it in some of the simplest ways: cute little gifts. You can always count on her to give you small gifts for occasions such as birthdays, Mother's/Father's Day, Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's, etc. This is Reese's second (I believe) gift basket from Grandma Julie. Here is a video of Mommy (okay, only my voice) and Reese as we open his Halloween gift basket!

video





Reese really enjoyed all the good things that Grandma Julie gave him!

When the night was through, this is what Reese came home and did: Rested with Daddy on the couch to watch television!




It was an exhausting day and we're all here waiting to fall asleep on the couch! It was a rough night last night due to teething. Reese slept in our bed and we all had a very restless night. Here's praying for tonight to be much better and for those teeth to come in quickly and smoothly!


Halloween 2009-Part 1

This is Reese's first BIG holiday (if we can call it a "holiday")! When I was pregnant last year I was shopping at Toys 'R Us and saw the perfect Halloween costume....a costume that I had seen for years and wanted to buy one day when I had a baby. Since it was after Halloween it was marked way down on clearance. So, I bought it on a whim! It was a cute little Pea Pod costume (very multi-gender appropriate) and I paid around $6.49 for it. It has sat in the closet ever since and I was praying that Reese would be able to wear it for Halloween. I put him in it a few days ago and he just barely fits! Good thing I found it on clearance! Here are the adventures of Reese's first Halloween:

First, Reese and Grandma Julie came to visit Mommy at work during the Halloween Party!

It was Mommy's early day off of work so we took the opportunity to go visit Great Grandma...or GiGi as we thought of calling her.


Since we were in the area we decided to go see Papa Dale too!

And of course since we were there, he saw Pretty too!