Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Bachelorette Time!

Does life get much better than a three day weekend capped off with the season premier of The Bachelorette with friends, wine, and tons of chips and salsa?  I think not.  

Honestly, compared to lots of girls I know (ahem, Mom and Kathryn) I don't watch much reality TV (or TV in general really).  I'm not really into drama, and I much prefer to get my smut in the form of blogs and other social media over TV.  But, for some reason (I really don't know why), I've been a loyal fan of The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette almost since the very beginning (a quick scan of Wikipedia revealed that I've actually missed more seasons than I thought, but, whatever, I've been watching a long time). When the show first started in 2002, I was a senior in high school, and I can vividly remember watching the early seasons in college and thinking how "old" some of the contestants seemed... Fast forward 11 years (whoa), and I'm watching this premiere on the floor of my sun-room with a baby-monitor thinking "when did these guys get so young?" Weird how that happens huh?

Anyway, I was obviously pretty excited for the season premiere of Dez's Bachelorette last night. Despite the fact that she wasn't really one of my favorites on Sean's season*, I love any excuse to have a girl's night on a "school night" and - I admit - I kind-of love the way women all over the US "unite" to talk about it on social media etc.  (FYI: If you aren't on Twitter during the episodes you are MISSING OUT.)
*I know there are a lot of Dez fans out there... I have nothing against her, something about her just seemed a little to fake to me last go around.  But, I'm giving her a fair chance this season, and she did look beautiful last night!)

That said, I was a little disappointed in the episode to be honest.  I miss Dez's bangs.  I hate how the producers make her (I'm assuming/hoping they make her) do silly things like roller skate in knee-highs and chase sea-gulls.  And, really, the men were not all that impressive...

I'm not sure who started the game of "make a lasting impression" when you get out of the limo, but I'm not a fan.  I don't want a knight, a dancer, a perv, a poet, or a suit-designer - just shake my hand and tell me your name.  Seriously!  (Yes, I realize that there is good reason why I'm not on this show.)

In addition, is it just me, or did they all look EXACTLY alike (and all have "B" names last night).  Thankfully, ABC provided a spreadsheet.  

And finally, as if having a pile of identical clowns isn't bad enough, the first night combined with the carefully chosen "previews" for the rest of the season always leave me feeling a bit confused and stressed...

Case in point: I think Ben is adorable (nevermindthathetotallyexploitedhiskidatthebeginning), but the previews make him look like he's going to be the next Blakely of the bunch.  Great.
Oh, also, did anyone else think his description of the Baby Mama was odd?  Just me?

Also, I got so distracted by the awkward moment when Jonathan tried to "woo" Dez by asking her to sleep with him right away (Dating 101, son, Dating 101), that I didn't even pay attention to who he was.  Then, five minutes later I tweeted: "I like the lawyer from North Carolina." Awesome - Now I sound like some kind of hussy.

It's all so very confusing on the first night... Really, I'd be fine just to skip to about Episode 5.

Lest this post becomes any more of a train-wreck than it already is, I'll end with this:

I was glad to see Larry (aka: Creepy Glasses Guy that made way too big a deal out of the fact that his intro didn't go as planned) go, and was super confused by Dez's decision to keep Zak W. (aka: naked boy), James (who is way too pretty to really be a boy but, clearly will be around a while), Kasey (#hashtagboy), and Mikey (aka: The Hulk).

Basically, I'm about 98% confused by this season already and very uninvested in the men so far.  

I'm putting my money on Will - because he likes high fiving so much, Juan Pablo - because he has two names, and Dan - because he has stayed relatively quiet (and kind-of looks like a Ken doll, don't you think?).

What about you? Did you watch?  What did you think?

Until next week,

(All photos from www.abc.go.com)

P.S. It has come to my attention recently (and this show totally reiterated it for me) that there are VERY few boy names in the universe.  Ben/Will/Dan/Robert/Mike/Steve - I can hardly even think of any other names for boys.  (There is, of course, also Bryden - but I'm pretty convinced that he made up that name for the show.  Were people really using 'y's in names like that 26 years ago?)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hana Professional Straightener Review (by My Beauty Coach Herself)

I think I've mentioned before that the discovery of the straightening iron changed my life.  (That's really not an exaggeration.)  I straighten my hair just about every day (sometimes multiple times) and, trust me when I say, my hair without it is NOT a pretty sight.

Anyway, when I was contacted a few months ago by Misikko to review the Hana- Professional Ceramic Flat Iron, I jumped at the opportunity.  (Duh.)  It came almost immediately and was adorably packaged with TONS of other goodies - seriously, it was like Christmas!  In addition to the straightener, the company sent all the bells and whistles - carrying case, hot pad, etc. etc. etc.  I, of course, tried it out right away and LOVED it!  Recently, I shared my new straightener with my sister and asked her to give her "semi-professional" opinion on it.  If you've ever met Kathryn, you know that she tells it like it is, so below is her honest review:

Hi guys! E's beauty coach here!!When E was first contacted about reviewing the straightener, she called me to see if I had heard of the brand Hana before.  My answer was YES; and, of course, I begged for it! 

As much as I LOVE all things "beauty," I've never invested in a good hair straightener- and lesbehonest, THIS GIRL needs one. My hair has a total mind of its own. My natural texture is wavy/frizzy - some times it looks good; other times - a total disaster, hair in a bun, type thing. 

Side note: about 3 years ago, I paid big bucks for a keratin treatment- I was tired of using heat products and thought, going a whole summer without having to worry about frizz would be AWESOME!! And....it was. But, 2.5 years later, it was still pin straight- up until about 6 months ago, when my natural texture finally came back-I was thrilled (honest).  A girl needs some variety in her life. ;)

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram (kat5886) you saw that I just finished a two week "hair detox" -- No product, no hair dryer, and definitely no straightener.  I wanted this review to be accurate and have fresh, clean, "no product build up" hair.  So, after my two weeks, I washed, dried, and began to straighten. 

Here are my HONEST thoughts:

1) It's sleek. The look is just pretty- the straightener isn't bulky, it's light weight and thin enough to comfortably fit in your hand. 

2) Because it's sleek, it easily fits close to your scalp. My problem area are my roots-obvi. That's where my texture shows first. This straightener allowed me to get close to my scalp/roots to ensure that I was able to apply the heat to that area. 

3) It had multiple temperature settings: this is HUGE for me. I HATE when straighteners just have an "on/off" switch. This allows for you to personally adjust the heat-depending on your hair texture (FYI: I use mine around 310-350...depending on how unruly this head is being).  And, genius, there is even a little spot to put your fingers when straightening so that they don't get burned!

 4) It doesn't pull or catch, which is another biggie!! With all my cheapie straighteners, whenever I would pull it through my hair, I would always wind up with about 20 strands connected to the plates, from where they ripped out- AWESOME. This one does NOT do that. It glides smoothly without any pulling at all. With that being said, it also maintains a REALLY tight grip- the plates fit together perfectly so your hair is secure between the two. 

5) It has a long cord. this is just a superficial one, but I love a long cord because I do my hair in my bathroom and, since there isn't a TV in there, I'm FORCED to NOT WATCH TV while doing my hair - the horror! Enter Hana: Cord is long enough that I can wander into my bedroom and WATCH TV all while continuing to get ready. Hooray!

My only real criticism is that the straightener doesn't heat up all that quickly. I like to plug in and be ready to go; but technically, that's not all that great for your hair- so time management: bad trait in straightener. Good for your hair: good trait for straightener. You pick! 

Overall, fantastic straightener. Definitely worth the money. I've used LOTS of other brands (all drugstore, chi, baybliss..etc). This one is significantly better than drugstore and extremely comparable to other high ends!  (Here's a little comparison chart from their website.) ENJOY!!! 
- Kathryn

*I just checked the website and saw that they is having a big sale for Memorial Day.  Today only they are offering $10 off your $100 purchase and $30 off $200 PLUS free shipping on everything.  Hurry!

Happy Memorial Day

I found this in The Huffington Post and thought it was worth sharing....

It is easy to get caught up in the start of summer, cookouts, shopping sales, and other "day off" festivities this weekend.  But, in the midst of all that, I'm stopping to remember the real reason for this holiday.  I am SO thankful for those who have given and those currently giving for our freedom. 

Happy Memorial Day!

P.S. "The Bachelorette" starts TONIGHT!  You know there will be an update tomorrow! ;)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend Gems

Just a few blog (and other) gems for your weekend... Enjoy!

- "Choosing to Celebrate When It's Not Your Turn" by Crystal on the Allume Blog.  I shared this on Twitter this week too.  I've been struggling a little bit with comparison and jealousy in the blog world lately, so this came at a really good time for me.  SUCH a good reminder.

- Have you seen the first two episodes of Jimmy Kimmel's "The Baby Bachelor"?  Watch them if you want to give up ten minutes of your life.  They are totally ridiculous and hilarious.  Thanks for sharing Leanne!!

- I watched this Ted Talk this week and thought she had some really good things to say.  It's a little late for me since I only have one more year in my twenties, but it was still motivating.

- And, finally, in case you missed her announcement, Casey Wiegand and her husband are producing a documentary called "American Blogger" where they travel the US in their renovated airstream camper this summer meeting with and sharing stories from, well, American bloggers.  I, for one, am pumped to follow this journey.  You can follow along too on instagram (@caseyleighwiegand & @chriswiegand) and enter to win $400.  :)

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Free Summer Schedule Printable For You

I have summer fever BAD.

I get it around this time every year (just when grades are due and I really need to "finish strong"), but it is even stronger than normal this year because I'm just so darn excited about spending the next two months with my boy.  I feel like he is at SUCH a fun age and, even more than last year, we really get each other.  (P.S. I love that about motherhood.  It really does just keep getting better.  My love for Sam grows exponentially all the time, but so does my like for him.  He's really just a cool kid to be around - Good thing since we've got another 16+ years together.)

I don't know how many summers we will get to have "just the two of us," so I am making my time with Sam my top priority this year.  I'm also committing to making fun plans for us that will help to socialize and teach him; while also keeping me productive and content.  So far, we already have several weekly play-dates, music classes, and fun overnight trips on our summer schedule (which, despite the Memorial Day kick-off this weekend,  officially begins for me on my last day of work, June 7th). 

Anyway, I made a cute little Summer Schedule with blanks that can easily be filled in for each week and thought I'd share it with you today.  If you'd like to print your own, simply right click and print on a color printer.  I'm certainly not claiming to be a graphic designer here, but I think it turned out cute and practical (as long as you are OK with using a lot of printer ink).

I'm planning to print one to keep on our fridge, but it would also work very nicely in a "Home Organization Binder" if you are the organized type that I wish I was I'm not anymore.  You could even upload the template at Picmonkey or into Photoshop to add your specific schedule into the blanks.

Also, If mine doesn't tickle your fancy, here are a few other cute ones with similar concepts I found on Pinterest: here, here, and here.

So, tell me, what's on your summer schedule?

Have a great holiday weekend friends!

P.S. After my Venn Diagram earlier this week, several of you asked how I made it.  I use Picmonkey.com for ALL of my cutesy graphic images like that.  It is free and SO easy to use; but - be warned - kind-of a time suck.  The key is to go into paint and save a BLANK background image.  Then, you can simply upload that instead of a photo and add your details. I have a few other background images (like the chalkboard one above) that I also like to use.  There are a couple of tutorials I found helpful right here and here. (And, no, I'm not paid to endorse Picmonkey - I just like 'em!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This is going to be a quick one day today... But still, plenty to confess:
- After lunch on Sunday, Sam was running wildly through the restaurant with the balloon our waitress had given him tied to his Wubbanub (my idea).  I literally could not get to him fast enough, so my gut reaction won over, and I simply reached out and grabbed the string of the balloon.  This, not surprisingly, caused him to abruptly stop and fall flat on his face right in front of two tables full of women.  You should have seen their faces and heard their gasps.  I was totally judged, and I didn't even care. I scooped him right up and took him back to the table.  Mission accomplished.  #momoftheyear

- On a related note, yesterday I found myself saying (loudly) "DO YOU WANT A SPANKING?" to Sam (who, for the record, was literally tearing up food displays) in the grocery store aisle. What?!  I don't spank Sam; and, even if I did, I think it is trashy to say that kind of thing out in public.*  It literally just slipped out.  I, clearly, have spent too much time in Walmart in my life.  *Let's not get into a debate about this stuff, k?

- I'm still unabashedly obsessed with Taylor Swift.  Like, the only station I ever listen to on Pandora is Taylor Swift.  #notgrowingoutofit #andmaybejustinbeibertoo

- We have had workers at our house the last two days, and I've totally used it as an excuse not to do a single bit of cleaning (why bother?) or anything else productive.  I have, however, become much more active on Twitter.

- Sam has taken to kissing me on the lips recently.  I totally judged moms that did this in the past; but, now? I think it is adorable.  I simply can't resist that little face coming at me.  I'm justifying with myself that it is fine as long as I don't let him do it out in public, but we all know how that goes...

- I'm entirely too excited about the premier of The Bachelor on Monday.  As in, I've been counting down all week.  

That's it for me... What are you confessing today?  Please link up below!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Poppy and Sam: A Venn Diagram

Last night, Poppy, Jeff, Sam, and I went to dinner at one of our favorite spots. (I tend to like it especially because they call their buffet a "salad bar" which sounds a lot better than the "mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, hot rolls, and ice cream bar" it really is.) 

Anyway, our 45 minutes together inspired me to create the following Venn Diagram:

 The life cycle really is amazing when you stop and think about it.  You know? ;)

At my parents' house on Poppy's 95th birthday a few weeks ago.  (Sam is "sanitizing.")

See you tomorrow with confessions! (Want to link-up?)

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Keep Up with Your Favorite Blogs + Gems

This post is mostly for people like my mom who still types in every individual website every day to see if it has been updated (or, in her case, just calls me).  If you already have a system for keeping up with blogs and/or don't care about the technical stuff, scroll to the bottom of this post to see some of my favorite "new" blog finds...
Just about every blog and their brother has been talking about Google Reader disappearing on July 1st.  This has had me all stressed out; until, I realized that I don't even use Google Reader.  Haha!  

Allow me to explain (since I'm assuming/hoping I'm not the only one a bit ignorant to all these "technical" terms)...

A lot of Blogger blogs have a little link like this on their sidebar:
This is called Google Friend Connect (GFC) and - at least right now - it is NOT going away.  WHEW.

Basically, when you click to "Join this site" it automatically adds that blog to your Blogger Reading List AND your Google Reading List...

Still confused?

The Blogger Reading List looks like this and is basically a list of blogs that you "follow" (on the left) and tiny blurbs of new posts from those bloggers as they update (on the right).  This is my preferred method for keeping up with my favorite blogs as it is basically a spot where I can scan through everyone's most recent posts and decide which ones to actually click through and read.  If I want to get regular updates every time a blog posts something new, I can follow it either by clicking the follow button (like the one above) OR simply clicking the "Add" button (there on the left under "Reading List") and typing in/ copy & pasting the blog's web address.  I access it by logging into my account  at www.blogger.com exactly as if I was going to write and publish my own blog post.  It's really super easy.

The problem with this, however, is that 1.) You have to have an actual Blogger account to use it (which you might not if you use a different platform or don't have a blog yourself), and 2.) There is no guarantee that Google won't decide to get rid of this sometime in the future as they try to move strictly to Google+ (which, I admit, I know very little about).

Google Reader (which is disappearing on July 1st) is connected to this; but it allows you to read the posts in their entirety in a list format (without all the formatting, fonts, etc.).  If you don't have a Blogger account, you can still set up Google Reader and follow blogs using their RSS feed.  Some people swear by this, but I never really got into it - I like all the pictures and layouts too much.  Regardless, I don't recommend switching to this format now since, well, it's days are numbered. :)

So... Let's say you don't have a Blogger account (or just don't want to risk loosing all your "Google Friends" one day), how should you keep up with your favorite blogs?  Here are a few options:

- Follow using BlogLovin', which is actually very similar to Google Friend Connect but doesn't require a Blogger account.  This is kind-of "the next big thing" right now, and I'm (personally) hoping to switch to this over the summer. The only thing that stresses me out about it is that it expects you to read every single post and keeps track of the number of "unread" ones you have.  I don't really need another thing to make me feel like I'm not keeping up. ;)

- You can also subscribe through email using a link like the one on my sidebar (lots of blogs have this).  This seems TOTALLY overwhelming to me if you read a bunch of blogs; but, if you are loyal to just a few, it would be very convenient.
- OR, if you're active on other social mediums, many bloggers post links to their new posts on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.  (For the record, I do this about 50% of the time; but, I'm trying to get better).  So, following those accounts will keep you updated and give you links to click on to the actual blog post if it's something that interests you.

*Links to all of these places are available in my sidebar; but, just in case...
E on BlogLovin'
E on Facebook
E on Twitter
E on Instagram

OK, now that you are officially bored and annoyed with me, I'm shifting gears a bit and sharing some of my personal favorite posts from the past week.  Also, starting this week, I'm going to be focusing less on the "big name" bloggers and attempting to introduce you to some of the true gems you might not have heard of before... Shall we?

Marie (from Marie Osborne Blog) just announced she's pregnant with TWINS.  You know I'll be following this adventure - especially because I love her writing style and voice and she already has a little boy Sam's age.  #icannotimagine #sheisperfectforthechallenge

I'm totally loving this new blog-friend Doe a Deery (I discovered it while working on my Pinning post last week).  It is written by nine different girls, each with a different skill-set and "theme" for her writing.  It's full of helpful tutorials (like the current one on photography that I'm really loving/pretending I'll use soon) and other fun things like mom-talk, cooking, fashion, etc.  But, mostly, they had me with this paragraph on their "About" page: "Doe a Deery is a blog devoted to personal development and progress at home--with a pinch of reality. Here at Doe a Deery, we are making the effort to be less than perfect, one blog post at a time. You see, sometimes the internet pretends that there is a perfect, and sometimes, or most of the time, we believe it."

Hollie's 3-part series on epidurals is hilarious and informative.  She's a mom and a labor & delivery nurse (i.e. EXPERT in my book).  Just read it.

Erika's "Budget-friendly SUMMER FUN bucket list for 20-something, child-free, spouse-optional, 9-5 job holding people" is AWESOME.  Period.

And finally... My girl Ashley is GIVING AWAY sidebar ad-space on her blog The Pollock Potluck just because.  If you have a small business, trust me when I say --- you want to get in on this action.  She's seriously the sweetest.

See you tomorrow friends!

Friday, May 17, 2013

It Won't Be Like This For Long

Last night after another botched attempt at dinner (anyone have a good, easy, healthy recipe for pork chops?), we took a little drive as a family, and I said to Jeff: "Some nights, I just get tired of the monotony of being a parent... You know, doing the same thing every.single.night - bath, books, bed, etc.  Some nights, I just want to stick him in his bed and do what I feel like doing."

I understand if you think I'm an ungrateful jerk right now; but, it's the truth.  As much as I LOVE Sam and LOVE being his mom; sometimes, I'm just tired.

Anyway, we talked about it a bit, but - as they tend to do, the evening went on and an hour or so later I found myself bathing, drying, diapering, and dressing a tired boy once again.

Our routine is pretty predictable.  We played for a little bit in his room, read a couple of our standard books; and then, just like every night, we said our prayers. But last night, for the first time ever, as I prayed, Sam folded his little hands, bowed his head, and closed his eyes tight.  I peeked at him just as I said "Amen" and my heart nearly exploded. 

It was like God's personal reminder to me that even the "normal" moments are SUCH a gift and this time really does go so fast.  It's been a hard week with a sick boy and a grumpy mom... I needed it.

You've probably already seen/heard this, but one of my former students (thanks Katie!) sent me a link to this song the other night and said it reminded her of Sam and me.  The song is "It Won't Be Like This For Long" and I've included the music video below.  Watch it if you could use a reminder today too. :)

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Toddler Adenoidectomy

Alternately Titled - "Adenoids: The ENT's Best Kept Secret"

Back in January (when Sam was 18 months old), after almost a year of on and off ear infections and constant antibiotics, we opted for Sam to have tubes put in his ears.  This is a pretty routine procedure (in fact, our doctor said that when adults get tubes they just do it in the office with no medicine or anything); but, because he is little (and wiggly) it requires anesthesia.  Since he was going to have to be put under anyway - and for a number of other reasons I'll talk about below - we decided to have the surgeon remove his adenoid at the same time.

I am writing about this now because I wanted to let some time pass and see what kind of change we really saw after the surgery...  It has been four months now (almost to the day), and the improvement has been dramatic.  Just this week, in fact, Sam has had an ear infection (his first one since then) and a bad cold, and I've been reminded how far we have come... 

Since I know chronic ear infections, stuffiness, and trouble breathing at night are very common problems for babies and toddlers, I thought some of you might benefit from hearing a little more about our experience before, during, and after the surgery.  For the most part, I'm going to avoid a lot of "technical" talk because, honestly, you can just search Web MD for that.  This is, obviously, not professional medical advice.  In addition,  although it is difficult to separate the two since Sam had both procedures at the same time, most of these thoughts are specifically related to the adenoids (as opposed to the tubes) - since that seems to be what most people are unfamiliar with. 

So... What is the adenoid?  That's probably a good place to start...

from Web MD - see, I told you
Put simply, the adenoid is a clump of tissue found way up behind the tonsils (actually at the back of the nasal cavity) that is meant to trap germs that get in through the nose and mouth of babies and children.  (Interestingly, the adenoid shrinks significantly after age five and is almost gone by the time you are a teenager.)  Like the tonsils, the adenoid can become swollen or infected and block the airway causing trouble breathing, a stuffy/runny nose, and even ear infections. Aha!

Beginning around the time I stopped breastfeeding exclusively at six months (which may or may not be related) Sam began to have a constant runny nose and ear infections.  (We estimate that he had about eight infections in nine months.)  In addition, his breathing was pretty much entirely out of the mouth (tricky for a pacifier lover like Sam), and almost everyone he was around commented on his nasally and labored breathing - at the time, I called him "my little pig" because he sounded just like one!  His breathing problems were particularly obvious at night when he would snore loudly (Jeff and I grew accustomed to sleeping with the sound of his snoring in the background on the monitor) and often wake up several times because he couldn't catch his breath (scary)!  When, finally, at 18 months the pediatrician finally recommended that we have tubes put in his ears because of recurring infection and lack of speech (he had zero words at the point), Jeff and I actually were the ones that suggested the adenoid removal too.

*It is worth noting that neither the pediatrician nor the ENT ever mentioned the adenoid.  The only reason we knew anything about it was because one of our neighbor's little boy had just recently had his removed.  I think our experience would have been vastly different if we had only had tubes put in, which is why I think it is SO important to know about it and research it on your own!!

The main problem with adenoid removal is that, because of it's location, the doctor can't just look in your little one's mouth to see if it is enlarged.  Seeing the adenoid actually requires the use of a tiny little mirror in the very back of the throat and/or an x-ray - both of which require additional anesthesia for a baby/toddler.  We had the option of doing this ahead of time, but we didn't want to have Sam put to sleep any more than we had to.  SO, we actually went in to our surgery with the plan of "bilateral tubes with possible adenoidectomy."  Basically, once Sam was fully asleep and the tubes were inserted into both ears, the surgeon would look at the adenoid.  If it was enlarged, he would remove it (basically by cutting and burning it out of the back of the throat); and, if not, he would leave it as is.  (Yes, this wasn't an ideal situation for a Type-A/Planner Momma... But, we do what we have to do.  Plus... Based on his symptoms, Jeff and I were pretty confident that it would be enlarged, so we prepared ourselves for that.)

On the morning of the surgery, we were told to arrive around 7AM and no let Sam have anything to eat or drink beforehand. (Lovely.)  Bless his little heart, he was in such a good mood that morning and just happily played in the waiting room for the almost hour before we were called back to meet with the surgeon.  Both Jeff and I went back with him initially as he got dressed in his adorable little hospital gown and the nurses prepped us for what was going to happen.  Then, the surgeon came back and talked to us a little more.  (He seemed to want a good idea of whether or not he would be removing the adenoid before going in to surgery so he pressed us a lot on his "symptoms" - his main concern being snoring.  Thinking back on it now, I remember being nervous that I was being too pushy about the adenoid and feeling like we had to beg him to take it out; but, I'm so glad that we did.)

I was able to go back into the operating room with Sam and hold him while they administered the general anesthesia.  I had been warned that this was "the hardest part" and would be "harder on me than on him."  SO TRUE.  At least in our case, the anesthesiologist starts by just letting some gasses into the air and then, when he starts getting sleepy and relaxes, puts a mask over his face to help him go all the way to sleep.  Apparently, we have a little fighter because he screamed and kicked and threw a total fit and DID NOT go to sleep.  It was miserable to watch, but I was so glad I was with him.  Finally, the nurses had to actually hold him down and hold the mask over his face until he finally went limp in my arms.  I don't want to over-dramatize this; but, you should be warned that this part is not for the weak.  I hadn't been too upset or scared at all going into the surgery, but this part made me leave the operating room in tears.     

We had been told that the surgery would take a little longer (and the recovery, likewise) if they decided to take out the adenoid.  I would estimate that, in total, we were in the waiting room alone for about an hour (although I honestly don't remember now).  When the surgery was complete, the surgeon came to talk to us and reported that the adenoid had been "very enlarged," and that we had made the right decision in having it removed. (Whew.)

A little later, once Sam was awake and in recovery, the nurses came for us and took us to our very angry, screaming boy.  (Another thing I had heard and definitely experienced first hand - some kids get very MAD after anesthesia.  Sam is one of them.  He cried and screamed for another hour and, at one point, ripped the IV out of his little hand in rage.  Let's just say he was no one's favorite patient that day.  BUT, everyone was very nice and helpful and accommodating.)  Once they could get him to drink a little juice (he had never had juice before and wasn't quite sure what to think of it) and keep down some food without throwing up, we were released.

From what I can remember, that day was not bad at all.  I had expected (hoped?) that he would be tired and want to sleep a lot; but, for the most part, he ate up all the attention he was receiving.

These photos were taken throughout that first day:
So, I made this cute little collage and THEN realized that he is wearing two different outfits... Obviously, my times are off.  You get the idea... ;)
We had the surgery on a Thursday morning and I took off work Thursday and Friday.  We treated minor pain with Motrin and, by Monday, he was 100% back to his normal (MUCH less stuffy) self. :)

Immediately after the surgery (as in, that afternoon) we could tell a drastic difference in Sam's breathing.  I had actually taken a video a few days earlier of his sleeping to record his breathing and he slept almost silently right after surgery.  (Admittedly, Jeff and I had to get used to our now quiet sleeping environment.)  Sam's stuffiness and runny nose also cleared up right away.  He sleeps much better now and we don't worry that he will quit breathing at night! Honestly, that alone was worth the surgery!!! We saw a HUGE improvement and have continued to be impressed with the results now four months later.

YES, he still has colds and gets a runny nose from time to time - but it is NOTHING like it used to be.

YES, even with tubes, he recently had an ear infection.  But, treatment has been much easier and (we think) recovery much quicker.

NO, he did not immediately start talking.  (More on that later.)  BUT, we have seen a slow and steady improvement.

A few other "side effects" worth mentioning:

- Around day three a scab formed in the back of Sam's throat.  We couldn't see this, but we could SMELL it.  Apparently this is common, but the smell of that burned skin healing was NO JOKE.  For about a week, his breath smelled absolutely ROTTEN and there was nothing we could do about it.  As soon as the scab healed, it went away.  But, prepare yourself.  Seriously.

- We have also found that with the adenoid removed, a basic cold can be a little stranger now.  I guess because this "blocker" is no longer in place, when he does have a cold a snot like substance comes out of not only his nose, but also out of his eyes, ears, etc.  It is not pretty.  Be warned.
As a side note: I told my students this, and they freaked out.  Within a matter of minutes they had me convinced I was the worst mother ever because poor Sam would be scarred for life and no one would be his friend because he had snot ears and eyes.  BUT, alas, two of my students assured me that they too had had their adenoid removed as a little kid and did not have this problem currently. Fingers crossed...

In conclusion, I am SO glad that we knew about the adenoid and chose to have Sam's removed when we did.  Since he was going to have to be put to sleep for the tubes anyway (which seemed non-negotiable given the sheer volume of infections), it was really very little added risk, and the pay-off was well worth it.  If your child is experiencing any of the same symptoms, please consider looking into this!! 

Note: I've heard of several doctors that recommend a tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy at the same time.  Obviously, I can't speak to this from experience; but, I have heard that the procedure and the recovery for a tonsillectomy is much more serious.  If your problems aren't directly related to the tonsils/sore throat, I would definitely recommend considering just having the adenoid removed first.  For what it's worth...

Ok, so sorry for the novel.  I hope this was useful for some of you.  Back to regularly scheduled "fluff" tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Midweek Confessions

Disclaimer: I actually started this post two weeks ago and never published it.  So, this is a mix of old and new confessions for ya. 

Now, let's do this...

- I legitimately cannot parallel park.  I'm not saying that I'm not good at parallel parking; I am saying that it is a physical impossibility.  As in, if there is only one parking space on an entire street and it requires parallel parking, I will continue driving around for the next thirty minutes until a pull-in spot becomes available.  It's bad.

Case in point: I recently I had to volunteer at an event for the Junior League.  When I pulled up to our meeting spot, there were several women already waiting on the street for our shuttle.  (And, just in case you aren't familiar with the Junior League - they are just as beautiful, sophisticated, and "together" as its reputation suggests... In other words, I'm totally the BLACK SHEEP.)  Anyway, I cruised up in my 2003 Toyota, rolled down the window to ask the group where to park, and - I'm honestly not exaggerating one bit - I had a mini panic attack right there when they casually suggested that I park on the street where they were standing... RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM... BETWEEN TWO CARS.  #notgonnahappen. I played it cool (although I know I was white as a ghost) and continued driving up the hill to "turn around" - yes, a normal driver would have reversed into the parallel spot - until (thank the good Lord!) I noticed another spot a little further away that only required me to maneuver around one car.  Easy, right?  One would think. Even that "giant" spot proved quite difficult for me and required the assistance of a lady standing on the curb coaching me with "No honey, you are still way too far out in the road to stop there.... Keep going, keep going, you've got a mile."  I survived it, but I'm taking a sabbatical from Junior League next year.*

- The other night, after taking Sam with me on a quick trip back to my classroom to pick up a binder I had left there and visiting with several friends there working the evening Adult Ed classes, I got in the car and discovered that the very bad smell I was blaming on Sam was actually coming from my arm.  Yep, apparently carrying him in and out of the building had left my right arm wet and poop stained.  (Yes, I just said poop.)  On a related note: Both my car and my classroom also smelled a bit poopy the next morning.  #momtruth #keepinitclassy

- I've been a little "click-happy" when it comes to paying for things like TV shows on Amazon (I'm ashamed to admit that I've now watched the entire first season of Scandal on Amazon paying $1.99 per episode... robbery) and apps for my phone (two words... Beautiful Mess).  When all I have to do is click "buy," it can't be really using my hard earned money, right?

- I despise putting groceries away.  As a result, refrigerated things sit out far too long in my house. 

- I didn't shower the last two days because I thought it would "motivate me" to exercise later in the evening.  It didn't work. I still didn't shower.  :)

- I went ONE day with no soda.  Now, I am allowing myself one caffeine free Diet Coke a day instead of completely cutting out my soda.  One.step.at.a.time.

What are you confessing today?  Please share!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Thank you all SO much for your comments on yesterday's post.  When a girl call's for advice, you all answer!  Thank you for the practical tips - I appreciated every.single.one.of.them and am hoping to implement a few over the course of the next few days/weeks.  And, thank you for just saying you "get it."  Even though I always know I'm not alone, it still helps to hear it again and again.  There really is something so therapeutic about admitting out loud when you are struggling and then asking for help back up.  I think, at the end of the day, that's what I love most about this blogging community... Y'all listen, and then you say "alright, now let's do this," and we're off... 

I wish I could report that I eliminated all my bad habits, replaced them with healthy eating and exercise, and completely caught up on life yesterday... But, the truth?  I got two closets cleaned out while watching almost the entire first season of Scandal on Amazon Prime (Have you seen it? So good). I re-stocked our kitchen with healthy food, planned out our meals for the rest of the week, avoided all soda, and... ate Chipotle for dinner.  Baby steps right? ;)

Anyway... Some might call this is a cop-out post (whatever), but while I'm tending to a sick baby and attempting to get my life back on track, I thought I'd share a few things I've "pinned" recently:

from sas Interiors - I always love a good diagram

from MaskCara - definitely worth a read
from Living Well Spending Less - good, realistic advice
from Six Sisters' Stuff - anything that says skinny & cookie is a win in my book
from Doe a Deery - maybe this summer I'll actually try to use my nice camera
from For the Love of  - totally doing this (she makes it look SO easy) for a party I'm hosting next month
from Land of Nod Blog
Isn't it funny how a glimpse at a person's Pinterest boards can really give you an insight into their life? (Or at least, in my case, the life I'd like to have.) Do you follow me there?  If not, join the mess fun right here.

What are you pinning these days?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tired and Unhealthy

I really don't want this to be a whiny post.  But, let's be honest... It probably is going to be. (Thankfully, I feel like I've had a good bit of sappy/happy posts recently, so we are due one like this.  Right?)

I'm tired.

I'm tired because Sam has terrible allergies and hasn't slept soundly in a few weeks.

I'm tired because, when he is awake, he is all over the place.

I'm tired because school has been busy, and I've felt some pressure there.

I'm tired because I stay up too late and wake up too late.

I'm tired because my house is such a wreck and my to do list is so long, that just the thought of it makes me exhausted.

BUT, mostly, I'm tired because I'm not taking care of myself.

I take a nap most afternoons instead of getting out in the sunshine.

I don't take vitamins and I drink way too much caffeine.

I eat a lot of junk food, and I don't exercise.

How's this for being honest?

For a while, I just wrote this off as "my life" now.  I have a job and a toddler and a house and a lot of responsibilities.  This is just the way things go.  But that view can't be right.  It makes me grumpy and discouraged and NOT the mom/wife/teacher/daughter/friend I want to be. Honestly? I'm sick and tired of being tired.

I want to be realistic about my expectations for myself. I don't have to be a size 2 or be able to run marathons, and I definitely don't need to have a spotless house or a gourmet meal every night.  But, I DO want to be the best version of myself I can be...

I want to feel good and be comfortable in my skin.

I want to have energy to play with Sam and actually do things when he is sleeping.

I want to wake up early, well-rested, and spend time being still before my day starts.

I want to make my house a space I'm not embarrassed of when friends pop in, make healthy meals for my family, and love my husband well.

Is that too much to ask?

I'm marking today as a fresh start, and I'm writing this here as a form of confession and accountability... I'm going to get good sleep, cut-down (significantly) on caffeine, take a vitamin, exercise, and pray more.

Can you relate to this place I'm in?  What advice do you have?

Thanks friends!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The One That Made Me a Mama

Dear Sam, 

There are SO many days lately that I literally can't believe this is my life.  It seems impossible that I am married, have a home, a dog, and an almost two year old.  Truly, I still feel like the 18 year old smiling next to the shaggy-haired boy in the prom picture that hangs on our refrigerator. (Of course, some days I feel like I'm 78, but you get the point...) 

Back then, I only dreamed and imagined this life for one day; and, now, here we are...  

This morning, you and your daddy (that same shaggy-haired boy from the fridge) made me chocolate chip pancakes (my favorite) for breakfast.  We sat around the dining room table together, and giggled as you made animal sounds and pointed to your body parts.

Our floors are littered with toys, and tiny, sticky hand-prints cover every flat surface.  "The Wheels on the Bus" blares through the house, and you are busy as can be building a Lego tower to crash into with your dump truck.  (I should also mention that in the five minutes since I sat down to write this post, you've also broken one of my delicate china tea-cups and set-off my car alarm... #notanexaggeration #neveradullmoment.)

Two years ago today, my belly was the size of Mount Everest, and I was anxiously waiting for your arrival in just a couple of short months.  God had started the work of making me a mom more than a decade earlier - with the first little glimpses and hopes for a family in my future, but with each tiny butterfly kick or day crossed off the calendar, it was becoming more and more real.  Back then, God was busy in my heart (and goodness knows my body too) making me a mom.  I had read a million books (give or take a few), taken a few dozen parenting classes, and perfectly designed your nursery by that point.  On the outside, I was so ready to be a mom; but, the truth is, I could never have guessed what a true GIFT and HONOR (and PROCESS) it would be.

Oh bless my fat little heart.  This does nothing for making me ready for baby #2.
I want to write something flowery here about how I became a mother the moment I laid eyes on you in that hospital on July 13th.  But, the truth is, I was over-drugged and you looked like a little alien.  I was scared to death.  

I know, I have a lot of nerve saying you looked bad. ;)
Like everything else that is worth it in life, we had to WORK at this thing.  You were kind-of grouchy, and I made a lot of rookie-mistakes... But, by God's grace, the days and months passed and we fell in love.

Today, sweet boy, I am crazy about you. You are my boy.  When I look at you now - such a big boy with skinned knees, a dirty face - my heart could literally explode with love for you.  Your toothy grin and gentle kisses are the greatest things I've ever made... 

I think some people fear that becoming a mom makes them lose some of themselves... It is a logical fear, really; after all, my life is entirely different today than it was two years ago, and it most certainly does revolve around you.  But, the truth is, when you reach up your little hand for help down the stairs, or lay your head on my chest when you are sleepy, I feel more like myself than ever.  

I love you, Sam.  Thanks for making me a mama.

~ Mama

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mom and mother-in-law  & to all the mamas (and mamas-in-waiting) out there today!  

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