December 16, 2010

One Year Later

One year ago today, I was in an accident on my way to work, totalling my precious car, Gertrude. The following is what happened, as I remember it:

On my way to work at approximately 5:45 AM, I had just merged onto the highway to begin my trip, and I was driving along in the far right lane. I noticed the car next to me turn on his right turn signal, indicating he wanted to merge into my lane. Herein lay the problem, since I was in the way, and apparently he didn't see me. I was hit on the driver's side, in the back quarter panel, slinging me sideways and across 4 lanes to the far left lane.

I remember, sliding across the highway, but I do not remember hitting the median wall, which I must have done since my side mirror was broken off, and my window was shattered. I sat in the lane, praying that I wouldn't be hit again before I could get out of the car.

The police arrived, and tried to help me pull out of the lane. This is when I discovered that my back axle was broken, so my car would not be moving on its own. I had just realized that my hand was bleeding and I couldn't find my glasses (and sadly, never would. My favorite pair, too.), so I was freaking out at this point, and I really wanted to get out of the car, but the traffic was really preventing that. All the lanes had to be closed until my car could be towed back across the highway, and I had to climb out the window, since my door was smushed shut.

Thankfully, my fabulous husband had not left for work yet, so he was able to come pick me up, get my stuff out of the car, and take me to the urgent care to get my hand fixed. Oh yeah, and he was there to remind me that I was pregnant when the doctor wanted to take an x-ray, since I kinda forgot. Did I mention that my head felt a little fuzzy?

Long story short, that was that last I saw of Gertrude. The insurance company came and got her, I got a check to replace her, and the guy who hit me got a ticket for not having insurance. My parents had an extra car that they let me use to get to work until we got a new one, and I have a wicked scar on my hand. There goes my dream of being a world famous hand model. ;)

December 13, 2010


So, in theory, babies are supposed to lay back and enjoy the swing, right? Chew on his rings, maybe, and listen to the music and animal sounds? Well...

Leaning forward, stopping the swing and clutching the mobile for dear life. If he hadn't been strapped in, he wouldn't have been in the swing anymore. Crazy kid.

December 11, 2010

6 Months

Dear Sweet Boy,

Six. Months. Old. Happy Half-Birthday Stinky Face!! You have changed SOOO much in just the last month!

You have had a MAJOR growth spurt, pretty much skipping the entire 3-6 month size in your clothes. You have been eating your baby food and cereal like it's your job, and have gained 5 pounds! We packed up all the clothes you've outgrown this past week, and that box is way bigger than the box of clothes that are still too big. Yay for shopping!
You've been sleeping in your room for a whole month now, and are sleeping like a champ! You've been sleeping for 12 hours a night, giving Momma plenty of rest. THANKS!!

You're rolling over all the time now, too. You've figured out how to roll over all the way, so you just keep rolling until you hit the wall. You are thisclose to crawling, but for now you have mastered scooting backwards. Momma and Daddy will have to put up the baby gates before next month! You are loving your toys now, especially Tigger, and all of your books. You are sitting up all by yourself now, you just need a little help balancing sometimes, and you love to stand in the Exersaucer that Grandma gave you. You love to stand in it and watch hockey with Daddy. You're even taking a few steps, as long as you have help. You scooted around Grandma's house in your walker for a whole week!

Our first Christmas is in a few weeks, and Momma is more excited that I know you will be. I know you'll be more interested in the bows and boxes than the presents, and that's ok. Momma asked for a new camera for Christmas so we can get better pictures of you. You love to lay under the Christmas tree and stare up at the lights, and chew on Momma's stuffed reindeer, Rhonda and Rodney. I know it will be so much fun!

We can't wait to see what you do this month, sweet boy. You are amazing.


December 7, 2010

1/2 Birthday Party

Little man's half-birthday is this Saturday, so I'm getting ready to celebrate. Here are a few peeks:
Gotta have cake!

Half birthday = half cake

November 12, 2010

5 Months

Dear Baby,

You are five months old today! You have changed so much in such a short time! You are learning to like Tummy Time a little more now, especially if there's a mirror for you to stare into. Don't worry, I will continue to encourage your baby vanity. You are starting to show interest in your toys, but would still much rather play with Mommy. Mommy likes that.

You have fallen in LUV with Daddy this past month. When Daddy comes home from work, and you see him for the first time, your face just lights up. It makes me SOOO happy that you are so excited to see Daddy. I know it won't be long before you and Daddy will be out in the backyard playing together. Your very favorite time to play with Daddy is on Saturday mornings, before he gets out of bed.

You are learning to tolerate your Bumbo, but you are much more of a "stand-up" kind of guy. Daddy and I think you'll probably take your first step before you start to crawl, but I'm sure you'll prove us wrong, as usual. You have almost conquered the front-to-back rollover, and can roll from your back to your side. You are now officially an exclusively cloth-diapered baby!

Your biggest accomplishments this month are eating and sleeping. We started trying baby food, and you LOVE fruit, and you're learning to like carrots (as long as they're warm) and sweet potatoes, but so far you do not like green beans or peas. We'll keep trying, though, because I think you'll be a green bean fan. You've also been sleeping like a champ this month. We have been slowly transitioning out of the swaddle, and so far, it's helping. You've also been sleeping in your own room for a week now, and have been sleeping all night long for the whole week!

Did you know that you have superpowers? Because it's true. You have the ability to defeat the gloomy monster with your smile. You can make the worst, crankiest day all better just by smiling. Daddy and Mommy can't wait to see all the things you do this month. We love you, Stinky Face.

Love, Mommy

October 27, 2010

I Can Totally Make That! - Christmas Edition

The hubs and I decided to get creative this year, and make as many of our Christmas presents as possible. While on the hunt for inspiration, I turned to my favorite blogs and my FAVE site ever, Etsy. Here are a few of the projects I'm working on making, rather than buying:

Are these yarn wreaths not perfect? I can't wait to finish about a million of these. They are SO easy to make!

I have recently been on a sock monkey-making kick, but I also suffer from an unfortunate lack of extra socks. There will be a trip to Goodwill soon, so help me! And yes, that is a sock pig. Too cute!

These pillowcases are a cute way to use up the leftover odds-and-ends from other projects, no?

I have been itching to take down the door to Caden's nursery, since it gets in the way more often than not. Maybe if I show Michael this pic, he'll finally let me do it, since it will give him a project.

5 collanders+old chandelier from thrift store+lighting kit for extra parts= super cute chandelier!

I can't wait to finish this super-easy shelf for a certain sister-in-law's new apartment!

Ok, so there's no way that I could ever have the talent (or the patience) to make this gorgeous rug. But, since these are muy expensivo, which means that making one is the only way I will ever own one.

September 28, 2010

How We (Sort Of) Afford Our Baby

Since we are now a one-income family, I want to contribute to our budget, rather than be a drain, to ease some of the pressure my adorable husband feels. Since I am making it up as I go along, here are some of the things we do to help out:

  • Breastfeeding - Even though it was very difficult at the beginning, I really enjoy being able to nurse Caden. Plus it saves us a TON, since we don't have to buy formula! I invested in a pump after he was born, which was expensive, and if I had a do-over, I would buy a used one, but it is essential for travelling with a baby.
  • Cloth Diapers - I LUV the BumGenius cloth diapers we use. They are so easy! We still have a stash of disposables for when we are out and about, and we had to use them while Caden was still under 8 lbs., but in the near future, I plan to only use cloth. As soon as I am brave enough to carry a wet bag. These were a definite investment, but they have already paid for themselves, and I will be able to use them for multiple children, with only a few minor adjustments (replacement velcro, elastic). This experience was also invaluable, since I got a LOT of helpful information on other ways to save money from the helpful ladies at Cotton Babies.
  • Craigslist - Mike and I scour the free section of Craigslist daily, looking for stuff we need, or stuff we can fix up and sell. So far, we have not paid for a single piece of furniture in our home, and it will (hopefully) provide a small boost to our savings.
  • Buying Second-Hand - The few things we have actually had to buy for Caden have come from Once Upon A Child. We also took in the shower gifts we didn't need (wipe warmers, disposable diapers, extra bedding sets) and got cash/credit.
  • Taxes - Michael did our taxes up until last year, when we could not e-file because we were getting the new homeowner tax credit.

Here are some things I plan to start doing in the near future:

  • Cleaning - I already use vinegar and baking soda to clean everything in our house (recipes here, here, and here), but I want to try the recipe for laundry detergent and fabric softener found here.
  • Food - I think food made from scratch is so much better than store bought, so next year I want to try growing our own veggies. We'll start out small, just tomatoes since we eat more pasta than other small countries. Maybe I'll try the square foot garden. I also want to make my own baby food, once Caden starts eating solids.
  • Line Drying - Since we can only run either the air conditioner or the dryer at a time, I want to get a clothesline up ASAP. This is also better for our cloth diapers, since the sun helps bleach out any stains that may happen.
  • More Food - Use the Grocery Game to get the best deals, Utilize the Angel Food Ministries in our neighborhood, and get a membership to Sam's Club, so we can buy our staples (chicken, pasta, rice) in bulk.
  • Eating Out - I want to try committing to only eating out once a month. And actually sticking to this committment.
  • Baby - I am looking into either making my own disposable wipes, or even cloth.
  • Haircuts - I already cut Michael's hair, and I plan to do the same with Caden. So I'm the only problem with this one. Suggestions?

I'm sure there are plenty that I've forgotten, and if you have any suggestions for other ways to save, please let me know!

September 5, 2010

Classified: Single White Male

Name: Caden Michael

Nicknames: Boo, Bubba, Booger, Stinky Face, D, McLovin.

Age: 3 Months.

Height/Weight: 22.5" and 8.12 lbs. of pure studmuffin.

Dating History: One tasty elephant named Heffie, who was my first true love.

Hobbies: Staring at ceiling fans and lights for endless periods of time, long walks in the stroller, eating my fingers and forearms, sitting in my buzzy chair, puking on Mommy and Daddy.

Dislikes: Shots, being hungry, and tummy time.

Talents: Screaming at the top of my lungs, rolling from back to front only, smiling at Mommy just before she completely freaks out, melting the hearts of anyone who comes in a 5-foot radius of me.

Life Goals: Keepin' it real and still being fly.

September 1, 2010


This was my actual thought process this morning:

"It's 9:30 and I'm hungry. I should eat lunch now, since Caden needs to eat again at 11:00, and he'll eat for an hour. I could eat after he eats, but I was REALLY hoping to get a shower this afternoon. IF Caden takes a nap. Is it technically brunch if you eat lunch at 9:30 AM? Oh well."

Who cares what it's called?!?!?

Anyway, I did eat lunch at 9:30, but the jury's still out on whether I'll get a shower later.

August 29, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

I wanted to show you guys how much Caden looks like Michael:

At the top is Mike as a baby, and below is Caden. Except for his chubby cheeks, they look like twins!

August 25, 2010

What's In My Bag? - 2 Month Old

Lots of girls have been asking me what I carry in my diaper bag, since I'm the freak who cloth diapers my kid. Sooooo, I thought I'd share with everyone, since I haven't posted in a while!

First, I have to apologize for my current bag, which is cute, but is coated in shiny plastic. I got it at one of my baby showers, and since it was the only one that wasn't blue, that's the one I use. I have recently decided that since it is the only bag I'm going to be lugging around for the forseeable future (I gave up my purse for the purpose of having a free hand to carry my child), I am going to invest in a cute bag that I absolutely LUV.

The first few weeks after Caden was born were super crazy, and we had to travel a LOT, so I carried around a ton of extra crap that I have since removed. On the positive side, I think it helped me get over the pain of my incision, since I had to carry around 20 extra pounds of baby stuff. But now, here's what I carry:

For Baby:
  1. BumGenius diapers (at least 2), including extra liners
  2. Wet bag, which may consist of a Wal-Mart or Ziploc bag if I forget my fancy one
  3. Wipes
  4. Burp Cloths (2)
  5. Onesies/Sleepers (at least 2)
  6. Teething Tablets
  7. Infant's Ibuprofen
  8. Gas Drops
  9. Nasal Aspirator (AKA "The Booger Ball")
  10. Baby Lotion
  11. Toys
  12. Nursing Pads
  13. Nursing Cover
  14. Nursing Shields
For Mama:
  1. Wallet
  2. Keys
  3. Phone
I think I'm getting the short end of the stick. What's in your bag? Any suggestions for my new bag?

August 24, 2010


I promised to give you the story of how we got Caden, so here goes!

On June 11 (12 days before our due date), I woke up at about 4:00 AM with pain in the middle of my chest - not "oh my gosh there's something wrong" pain, just enough that I couldn't get back to sleep. I'd had similar pain earlier in my pregnancy, which went away after I'd eaten. That didn't work this time. By Noon, I was frustrated that the annoying pain wouldn't go away, so I called my doctor to ask him what I could take/do for it. Since I had had normal BP throughout my pregnancy, and didn't have gestational diabetes or any other symptoms before now, my doctor told me to head over to the hospital, just to be safe. So, I got to call and freak out my husband and my mother by telling them I was headed to the hospital.

Once I got to the ER (where the doctor told me NOT to go, but the hospital staff sent me anyway), my BP was super high, close to stroke range, and I was still having chest pain. I was hooked up to oxygen, and it was decided that I needed to have a CT scan to rule out a blood clot. Turns out that a CT scan is not so bad as it seems - the contrast material makes you feel super warm and toasty, they lay a big lead apron over the baby bump, and then it's over. Since the scan showed no clots (Yay!), the doctors decided that I had what is called HELP syndrome, which is basically developing preeclampsia suddenly. Since I was not in active labor, it was decided that my BP was too high to wait for labor to start, even if I was induced, and that I needed an emergency c-section. This news was really hard to process, since my husband had just left to go get our bags from home, and my parents were still making the 3-hour drive from my hometown.

As soon as my husband returned to the hospital, the doctors got me ready for the c-section, which meant getting an epidural. Seeing the GIANT needle made me really start to realize what was happening, and I started getting really nervous. By then, my doctor came in and reassured me that both Caden and I were going to be fine. I was still upset that my mom wasn't there, but I was ready to get the surgery over with! At 6:55 PM, our precious peanut was born, and our journey as a family began with a perfect boy, who looks just like his daddy.

Once I got to the recovery area, my BP had gone down, but was still too high to move up to the recovery floor. Since I am allergic to some common medications, I also had to keep the epidural line in until I could move. After a day in the labor & delivery room, I was finally able to move upstairs. Thanks to my epidural I hadn't experienced any pain at all, mostly because I hadn't been able to move. But when I stood up to get into the wheelchair, I felt like my entire incision had reopened. The nurses assured me that was very unlikely, and there wasn't any bleeding, but it was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Since I had made it to the wheelchair, there was no turning back. I really think the nurse was going as slow as possible, and hitting every bump along the way. I don't know how I would've made it out of the wheelchair if Mike and the nurses hadn't helped me. Turns out that the medication in the epidural wasn't as effective as it should have been, so when they turned it down and I moved for the first time, it was as if I didn't have any pain meds at all. Needless to say, I got new meds, and I developed a deeper respect for the brave souls who give birth drug-free.

Two days later, Caden and I got to go home, and it's been fantastic ever since (see my previous blog for all the details)!

August 23, 2010

2 Months!

Oh my goodness, it's been 3 months since I posted! I'll be better, I promise! A LOT has happened:

  • We FINALLY got the nursery organized and ready for our little Peanut to arrive!
  • I learned the quickest routes to the essential destinations near our house (grocery store, pharmacy, park, Chipotle), since my beloved TomTom was stolen. We also got a new (to us) Explorer, to replace my car, which was totalled back in December.
  • On June 11, I woke up with chest pain, not severe, just annoying. I'd had it once before, and it went away after I ate. Not this time! At Noon, I called my doctor to ask what I should take, and they told me to go ahead and come in to St. John's, just to be sure everything was OK. After a CT scan to rule out a blood clot, and a BP that would not come down, it was decided that Baby Wells would make his grand appearance! (I'll fill you in on all the hairy details, but that's a blog for another day)
  • Mike and I survived our first month as parents! We developed a great routine, thanks to Caden's amazing ability to sleep, and to smile just when I am about to lose it completely.
  • We were finally able to transition from disposable to cloth diapers! Caden was too teeny to fit in even the XS size, so we had to use the stash we got from our showers. In the meantime, we discovered that Pampers are the ONLY brand that work on Caden's tushie. I'm still working on converting Mike to the cloth diaper movement, but I'm lovin' it!
  • I came to terms with who my friends are, and who they aren't. I'm a people pleaser, and it really rocked my world to move from a place where I had already succeeded in pleasing everyone around me, to a place where I knew absolutely no one. I've never had any shortage of close friends and family, even when I moved to college, until I moved to live with my husband; I just had to get used to having no one else to talk to. It wasn't until Caden was born that I realized how important it is to be able to have a conversation with another person. I am so thankful that our friends from college are still in our life, and am so glad that we live so close to them now, and can hang out more now that Caden can handle being out of the house now!
  • I officially resigned from my job, which wasn't a hard decision to make, but was a little disappointing, since I LOVED my job, and I would've been making real progress in my position with the company, had I come back to work.
  • I started sewing! I learned to make sock monkeys in college, and the mood hit me to make some for Caden. When I looked on the internet for new monkey ideas, I found all these other cute things to sew, so I decided that I want a sewing machine for Christmas, so I can help save money buy sewing clothes and things for Caden and for our friends!

Our Nursery

Caden Michael, 6 lbs., 7 oz. - 6/11/10

Daddy & Caden

Caden & Auntie Erin

Already 2 Months Old!

May 7, 2010

33 Weeks

So I've officially been a stay-at-home mom for a week now, and I have been trying my best to stay busy, so I don't get really tired and lazy. Last week, I actually got to clean our house, which was something I have been dying to do since we moved in! Unfortunately, I was on a deadline, since Michael invited some of our friends and family over for my birthday, and to see our almost-finished nursery. Not gonna lie, I got a little frustrated, and had my first pregnancy meltdown. But after some quiet time and a long talk with my mom, I decided that it couldn't be important what everyone else thought about how the house looked, and even though I quit before the house was completely clean, I felt SO much better.

I'm having a harder time not letting my nerves get the best of me lately. Not having my mom close is really hard for the both of us, but not having any close friends around is the worst! My saving grace has been that Mike and I have been spending more time together, working on the nursery. I'm excited that we have finally been able to get some furniture into the nursery, but I want to finish everything on my list! I'm getting most nervous that we will not have a car seat, and that our baby boy will be early! God has really been working on my patience and control issues!

I'm really excited to take our childbirth classes later this month. I know Mike will probably be super bored, but I am really interested to lear what I'm in for! I'm not a very good patient, so I want to know as much as I can so that I can be prepared. I really love my doctors, so I know they will take such good care of me.

We're super busy for the next few weeks: going home to see my family, baby showers, and getting everything ready for Baby Wells. I'm sure I won't be ready, no matter how much stuff we have, but it would sure make me feel better!

March 23, 2010

27 Weeks!

First thing's first...congrats to our friends Nick & Amanda on the birth of their daughter Ellie! I know they'll be amazing parents, and Mike & I can't wait to meet her!

I can't wait to meet our little peanut. I'm trying to focus on getting everything ready, but my part is at a standstill while Mike finishes up the hardware portion (flooring, chair rail) of the nursery. I am getting a little impatient to start gettting furniture set up. We only have 3 months to go, and I like having everything ready in plenty of time to change my mind.

It's getting harder to get up and go to work every day. Driving 1 1/2 hours each way to work is really making my days super long, and by the end of the day/week, my brain has basically shut down. Since my wonderful boss has been gone for the past 3 weeks, my stress level has also gone way up. I'm a little afraid that my blood pressure will be too high to continue working after my next visit.