All I wanted for Christmas was my shoulder back in place

This was a first.

The day before Christmas eve we were headed to my parents' from our hotel in Boone when I slipped on the ice while getting into our car. And I had such a death grip on the door to keep myself up that my shoulder got ripped right out of its socket. Ouch. But to my credit I didn't cry--woohoooo!

After 3 hours in the emergency room and being put under, my should was successfully back in place.
Side note: the doctor needed to make sure that I wasn't pregnant before I was put out. But apparently being on BC and being on my period is not enough proof for not being pregnant. And for those of you who think this is a funny way of making a pregnancy announcement--you're crazy!!!! : )

So here I am wearing my stupid sling.

But this picture is deceiving. I hardly wear the thing. How in the world is a mom of a 7 m/o supposed to take care of her child and home with one arm -- AND I'm right-handed! 

But on a better note, Emma had a good Christmas. She got some pretty cool 'old-school' toys. And my 'old-school' I mean fun toys that don't require batteries for sound and lights. 

And I got this cool little thing. It's a Nexus 7. I'm still learning it. And Ben enjoys it, too. : )

See you all in 2013!!!!

......a merry little Christmas

It may have taken me a little longer this year but I still got all my Christmas decorations up!

(She's my favorite decoration)

Emma has her own little Christmas tree.

But that doesn't keep her from exploring our big tree.

So from our little family to yours, 
have a very 
Merry Christmas!!

One Big Week

We saw lots of people this Thanksgiving:  both sets of parents, one brother, one sister-in-law, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a wad of little second cousins. 
Thanksgiving lasted about a week for us between having family visit and traveling back to eastern IA to see more family.

Just a few pictures from our big Thanksgiving week.

 Early Christmas gifts from Andy and Tekla

Family: Ben and Emma with Ben's brother Andy, mom Sharon, grandparents Merlin & LaVerna 
(that's 4 generations in 1 picture!)

Emma's first swim--a good time was had by all

Emma with Uncle Andy and Aunt Tekla

Turning 6 months!

On to Christmas!!

October 24th

October 24th was a good day. First of all, my dad turned 63 (whoa)! Happy birthday, Dad!!

 Emma hit 5 months yesterday, too. 

We also attempted cereal for the first time.

I would say it was a success!

She tried really hard to crawl but didn't get anywhere. But she gets an A for effort. And 5 months also marked her biggest blowout yet. It was a 10 of out 10. I did take a picture but I'll spare you. :)

Fortunately for my sanity, I do get a little time here and there to do the things I like to do. Like wasting time on Pinterest. I enjoy spending time looking at all the cool things I could make if I had the time. :)

But once in a while, I do get to make some of the things I see.....

Christmas/winter candle holders made using rubber bands and silver spray paint.

Snowy candle holder made with Modge Podge, epsom salt, and clear coat spray paint.

No-sew bed skirt.

Thanks for reading!!

4 Months and My Receding Hairline

Awww. Isn't she cute. :) 

I should also capture a picture of me after I've entertained her for 2 hours, get her down for a nap, and she's up and ready to go after a very short 45 minutes. I'm pretty tired this week.


If you're expecting, whether it's for the first time or fourth time or you've recently given birth, 
this blog is for you. 

I feel like no one really prepares you for all the weird, gross, hormonal stuff that happens after baby comes along. Even the nurses at baby class were really nice about the stuff to expect afterward. Thank goodness I found this blog. I even had Ben read it. 

Maybe a little to gross for some of you but for me this was the honesty I needed. And if you don't/didn't experience all 10 of those fun 'post-baby phenomena,' you probably will or did experience a good number of them. 

Personally, I think I dealt with pretty much all of them. And right now, I'm losing my hair. 

I'm not talking about a few hairs here and there. I'm talking about brushfulls upon brushfulls. I'm talking about the hair trap looking like it's clogged with a small, furry animal after I wash my hair. I'm talking about not wanting to wear my hair in a ponytail because of my receding hairline.  

I am not even joking. My hairline looks exactly like this. How depressing. But what can I do? I guess I'll just try to make light of it and make sure I document it so I can show Emma what I went through to bring her into this world. HA! :)

Goodbye, summer. You were pretty great.

This morning the weather guy said that fall starts on Saturday--WHAT?? I mean, yeah, I'll admit I started decorating for fall as soon as September started. But summer's almost over? I don't understand where it went so quickly.

Oh right. That's what I did all summer! :)

Although the end of summer does bum me out, I LOOOOOOOVE FALL!!!!!!!

Happy Fall, Y'all! :)

Imperfection At Its Finest

This is me.
Control freak
Dislikes change

This is me with a baby.

The transition from my finely tuned, orderly life to motherhood has not been a walk in the park for this high strung mamacita. 
Because, let's face it, babies are ALWAYS CHANGING! 

Every day is different and each new week is worlds apart from the previous one. Emma goes from being a napping, eating machine one week to catnapping, hardly eating, and a crabby patty the next. 

And all this makes me a little bit of a crazy pants!

Why does this make me so crazy?? 
Because I like to be in control. I like things to go MYYYYYYYYYY WAAAAAY!!! 
And just so you way = perfect. :)

If things aren't going my way, I try to squish them into my mold of perfection. This doesn't work with a baby. So what happens is that I start to screw things up.

For example, Emma woke up 30 minutes early from her nap. So I went up, shushed and patted her and left the room. I did this several times. She started crying like I've never heard her cry before. And I just kinda sat on the couch because I was not getting her up early. It was still nap time and wasn't even close to feeding time. She was going to stay in bed!! 

Ben went up and got her up, brought her down (still screaming bloody murder) and started to feed her. She proceeded to eat all 7 oz of milk. Whooooops. Well, I screwed that up. I was so worried about her sticking to my schedule that I didn't even consider that she may be hungry. So much for perfection.

But I found comfort in this quote I found this morning:  

Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else's happiness
and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, 
to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is... 
and to forgive yourself, over and over again, 
for doing everything wrong. 
~ Donna Ball, At Home on Lady Bug Farm

Motherhood is imperfect. I will do things wrong. On an hourly basis. And I have to be okay with that. 

So, instead of trying so hard to be perfect, I'm going to start doing my best to be Emma's mom. :)

3 months old and a wedding!

Someone's 3 months old today! 
And we're pretty sure she's teething. But at least I got a good smile out of her.

In other brother.............



At least Cassie makes up for his lack of normalcy. 

Who am I kidding? He's not the only one a little off kilter! :)

Missing Me

I will preface this post with the following: 
These are my honest feelings. You may not agree with them and I don't expect you to. But please don't try to make me feel guilty for feeling the way I do. 
And if you do, I with climb through my computer and mess you up! :)

Is identity loss a normal feeling after having kids? 
I think moms don't talk about this sort of thing for fear of looking like a bad parent. 

But I'm saying it:  I miss my old life. I miss ME! 
And I don't feel bad about that. I don't think I should feel bad about missing how things used to be.

I miss sleeping through the night. 
I miss going on motorcycle rides.
I miss getting to do my hair every day. (I really, really, REALLY miss this!!)
I miss going wherever I wanted whenever I felt like it.
I miss work....mainly because I was in charge and things generally went how I wanted. :)
I miss having free time!!! (I started this post early this afternoon and didn't get to finish it until tonight!)

And I really dislike being asked how I feel about being a mom. Because I know what they want to hear. 


My response is more like, "It's hard but I like it for the most part." 
I'm sorry, you didn't like my answer? Then don't ask the question in the first place.

Look, none of this means that I wish I weren't a mom. See what a cutie she is??

But I'm allowed to miss parts of my life now that I have a baby.

And I don't have to feel bad about it. 

I feel better getting that out there. :)

Effective DIY Skin Care

I confess that I am a makeup and skin care junkie. I have been for many, many years and my employment at DermUs Skin Care has only fueled the flame.

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom with a 2 month old who poops her way through 10+ diapers a day, I've had to cut out some of my favorite products.

So I'm taking matters into my own hands and making them myself!

Most of the DIY skin care I've tried has been unsuccessful for two reasons:

1.) It aggravates my acne prone skin.
2.) It isn't strong enough.

So I've always thought that those "make it at home" recipes are a sham......until now!

I've found two inexpensive and effective recipes that I love!

But here's a warning: I love aggressive products/methods. If it doesn't "stingle" (sting/tingle) or leave my face red then I feel like it's not working. So these may not necessarily be for you.

Pore Strips/Mask

Super easy to make and really, really cheap, too!

pore strips

This stuff really gets rid of dead skin and even the peach fuzz on your face if you yank if off hard enough.

But don't make the mistake I did!!!

I got it in my eyebrows and without thinking, pulled off a section and ripped out part of my brows--oooops! So, avoid the brow area! :)

Exfoliating Cleanser

When I ran out of my favorite super scrubby cleanser, I took matters into my own hands and made my own. And it's AWESOME!!!

First, I crushed up several aspirin because it's got salicylic acid in it, which is good for oily/acne prone skin.

Then, I mixed that together with some baking soda and filled up my bareMinerals exfoliating cleanser container with this concoction.

So you just wet your face, pour some of the powder into your hand and mix with a little water, and work into your skin.

Viola!! A couple of great things you can do for your skin with stuff that's already in your home!

The Many Faces of Emma: The 2 Month Edition

She's no longer an expressionless cute little blob of baby!

I give you an inventory of Emma's newest facial expressions. 



(funny side note: Joy Behar was blabbing on The View at the same time)

Working on a smile....

....and then a meltdown 15 seconds later

A real smile!

I 'm not sure what was happening here. Any ideas?

We will revisit this in a few more months for more new facial expressions :)

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