Friday, January 30, 2009

$300 For Me...I'll Take It!

Did you have a baby in 2008? You may also be qualified to receive an additional $300 too!

I just found out that the economic stimulus checks that were issued last spring were intended for every person that was alive in, since Smiles was born in 2008, we should be qualified to receive a recovery rebate credit!

You can claim the recovery rebate when you do your taxes this year, and you can read more about it here. (thanks, Kacie!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"On The Mend"

This week, my family was hit pretty hard with that nasty virus that is going around...and if you did not get it yet, take it from me, you don't want to get it - right KB?

I could go into all of the details, but I don't really think that you want to hear too much about throwing up and other stuff - plus I need to get to bed. Let's just say, that the virus has gone through each family member, and we are doing better now - thank God! Being sick is no fun!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trying To Get Back to Normalcy

December was a good month, but it was really draining for me, and if you want to read more about it, you can go here. Since Thanksgiving, I have kind of been in "survival mode," and I have to say that I don't like to live that way for a long period of time. I am out of my routine (the few that I have), and time seems to "get away" from me. I feel that things are beginning to change in a few areas - some of the change is because I am making the decision to do so, and others are happening "on their own."

One of the most remarkable changes that has happened within the last week, is that Smiles is starting to sleep through the night again!!! Ever since his surgery on December 1st, he would wake up in the middle of the night, at least once and sometimes twice!!! That really drained me, and that is part of the reason why I was in survival mode. I have been so tired over the last month and a half - this Mama is used to getting a full night's sleep! One change that I made (well, really Dawson made it for us) is that we tuned off the monitor that was in our bedroom (we still have one downstairs - but that is used only when we are awake and the kids are sleeping)! Ever since we did that, Smiles started to sleep through the night...coincidence? Maybe, but I am sure that it also helps that I don't hear every little squawk that he makes. So, I thank the Lord that little Smiles is sleeping through the night...I am talking about 7pm to at least 6:30am!!! WHOO HOO!!

Now that I am getting more sleep, I have decided that I need to also bring back some of the other parts of my routine...which have been hit or miss lately!

1. Dishes. I am trying to get all of the dishes done before we go to bed...yes, I have been known to leave them in the sink until the next day. I know, none of you have ever done that before in your whole life! :) (and of you haven't, good for you - seriously!).

2. Laundry. I have piles of laundry to do. I don't think that I have done any laundry for about 2 weeks! And, yes, I have enough undies to last that long! The last time that laundry was done, Dawson did it (yes, he is awesome), I should really say that I have not done laundry for about 3-4 weeks...however, I only have about a 2 week pile up...well, the boys have more than that, thanks to all of the hand-me-downs from my sis! :) So, as I am typing this, I heard some strange noise that was coming from upstairs. I had to stop and listen a little closely, wondering what it was...I then chuckled, because I realized that it was the unfamiliar noise of my washing machine! That will now become a daily noise that I will hear...lots of laundry to do!

3. Meal Planning. This is something that I have been majorly missing! I have been "throwing" meals together, and we have been surviving, but I have to say that I miss not knowing in advance what we are going to have for dinner...speaking of which... I have not planned dinner for tonight yet! This is something that I have not put back into place yet, but it will be back by next week.

Those are the three main things that I can think of at the moment - there are many others, but I am slowly jumping back into all of this. This may seem so simple, but I knew that I had to start somewhere, and over time, "normalcy" will return to our home again!

Another thing that I am working on, is making changes to my lifestyle to lose the rest of the baby weight (from Brady - I already lost all of it from Smiles - although the muscles are still weak!). Natalie challenged us a few weeks ago, and although I have not taken the time to blog about it, I decided to make four changes to my lifestyle, and see what happens! I will write more about that in another post. If you are interested in reading more about this challenge, head over to Created and Called, and you can read her posts here, here and here.

It is good to get back on the track...and now, I am full steam ahead, prepping for Brady's Thomas the Tank birthday party...which will happen this Saturday!

Review: Bounty Paper Towel

I was asked a few months ago to do a review of Bounty Paper Towel. I have used this paper towel ever since I was a little girl. Although this paper towel may be a little more expensive than others, it is one brand that my mom refused to compromise on, and that was passed on to me.

Bounty paper towel has thick quilts which in turn causes it to have outstanding absorbency. The makers of the product also claim that because it is so thick, that one sheet will last a long time. You can find this and other information about Bounty at its website, here. This information actually made me think a little bit more about how I was using the paper towel.

I have to admit, I liked Bounty paper towel before I was asked to review it, and I like it even more since I have thought about how I use the paper towel. I like the fact that it does not break apart when I am using it, it is able to absorb tremendous amounts of liquid, and if I am cleaning something with it, I can rinse it out and continue to use it because it does not easily break apart.

One incident that I recently used it for was to clean up a bowl of cereal and milk that was pulled off of my dining room table, and on to the carpet! My little one year old was curious to see what I had just placed on the table (yes, it was my FULL bowl of cereal with milk!). I had just walked in to the kitchen to get something else, and when I looked over to the dining room, I saw my bowl of cereal dumping on to my son and on to the carpet! I could have cried...but why cry over spilled milk when you have Bounty paper towels to help clean up the mess!?! So, I stripped my son down to his onesie and diaper, and put him into his high chair, for "safe keeping" while I looked at the mess and reached for my Bounty and a plastic garbage bag. Although it took quite a few pieces of paper towel (there was a LOT of milk in there!), all of it was soaked up - it was great...and there were no little pieces of paper towel bits left behind!

One way that I have changed the way that I use the paper towel, is that I try to get more than "one use" out of it. For instance, if I am cleaning the stove with a paper towel, and it has some grime on it, I rinse it out and continue to use it to complete the job. The towel does hold up to multiple uses.

So, I have to say that I give Bounty paper towel two thumbs up - the absorbency is excellent and you definitely can us one paper towel for quite a few different jobs!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Smiles!!!

I can hardly believe that my little Smiles is already one year old! It is amazing how quickly he grew up in one year!

One year ago today, we were waiting in the hospital for his arrival - walking the halls of the hospital, sitting in the whirlpool to help speed things up, playing Yahtzee - and having a contraction every time that it was Dawson's turn...hmm...something was about to happen! Our little Smiles entered our lives at 7:20pm, and it was love at first sight!

When he was born, he was so little, so helpless and was completely dependent on us. Now, one year later, he smiles a lot and he is walking all over the place (he is still dependent on us, but in a different way)! Today, he actually did a little bit of a run! :) Smiles brings us so much joy and laughter and I am so thankful that the Lord placed him into our lives. I love his giggles and I love the way that he snuggles with me and plays with his brother. He is our little gift from the Lord, as is Brady, and I am so thankful to raise these mighty "men" of God! What a gift!

Happy Birthday, Smiles. We are love you so very much and pray that you have another blessed year. We pray that the Lord will shower down upon you every good gift that He has for you. The He will bless you and that you will come to know the Lord personally at a very young age. I also pray this same prayer for Brady (I was not feeling well when I posted about his birthday - and he is just as special to us as Smiles). We pray that the Lord will use our sons as a mighty force to further the Kingdom, and that they will always be great, best friends throughout their lifetime!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Brady!!!

Three years ago today, Brady entered our lives at 8:53AM, and we feel in love! Our first "little pumpkin!"

Brady has brought so much joy and laughter into our home. I feel so blessed that the Lord entrusted us to be his parents.

We will celebrate his birthday today as a family and then we will have his birthday party with friends in a few weeks.

Brady has grown so much in this past year. He has gone from 2-3 word sentences to having conversations - and I LOVE having these conversations with him. He has become more snuggly and cuddly. I just love him so much!

I decided to write a letter to Brady, telling him how much he means to me and telling him some fun things that happened this year - I think that I will try to do that each year and put it in his scrapbook. I think that he will enjoy reading them as he gets older.

Happy Birthday, Brady! We look forward to having a wonderful and fun-filled day with you!