Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pet Peeves In My House

Hey all!  I know it's not Monday, so I'm already behind, but I wasn't going to let another Monday Listicles go by without participating!  I enjoy these lists!

This week's Monday Listicles was chosen again by Stasha at The Good Life, and she has decided to have us write Ten Things In My Home.  Since the whole fiasco with our washing machine being broken 2 weeks ago, it was repaired and working again only to break again 4 days after.  So now it's irreparable and needed to be replaced.  Now sits our brand new washing machine (with a 5 year warranty, I might add) and it works like a charm!  *sigh of relief*
In this midst of all of this, I came to realize my list topic.

My 10 Pet Peeves About My Home

1.  Flooded basement.  Our basement likes to flood and fairly often.  Every time it rains, you can guarantee there's water down there.  (and our weird cat loves to play in it!  Ahh!!)

2.  Crumbs on the floor.  I cannot stand stepping on a floor with no shoes or socks on and feeling crumbs or particles of mystery stuff under my feet.

3.  Pet hair.  I love our cat dearly but he's a huge fluff ball and leaves bits of fur everywhere.  I usually have to vacuum at least once a day, sometimes twice.

4.  Oil heat.  Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful we HAVE heat but the amount of money we spend on heating oil a fall/winter season is ridiculous!

5.  Overlapping cabinets.  We have those weird "jokester" cabinets where you ALWAYS have to shut the left before you can shut the right.  And of course even after living here for almost 4 1/2 years, I still get it wrong on the first attempt.

6.  Creaky floors.  We have old hardwood floors and I can pretty much pin point every place in the floor that will creak if you step on it..except in the baby's room.  I'm always tiptoeing around her room, in her room, anything to make sure I don't wake her up.  I'm still trying to master this skill after almost a year.

7.  Sticky counters.  Sometimes, ok more often than not...there are random coffee spills (thanks to the only other person in this house that drinks coffee...and it's not the baby) around the coffee pot.  Our counters are an ugly yellow-ish tint and sugar and coffee is sometimes are to find on them.  But I always happen to run my hand over it, when I least expect it.

8.  Lack of a dishwasher.  This has become such a pet peeve of mine.  I've never had a dish washer "of my own" and I'm so tired of hand washing dishes it's not even funny.  Sometimes I have to spend an hour talking myself into cooking just because I know there will be a ton of dishes to wash afterwards.  Bleh!

9.  Random clutter.  I'm sure every house acquires a random pile of "stuff" in one particular area every now and then.  We're lucky to have a few places where this happens.  The dining room table, the area by the front door, and the office desk.  If only every thing did have their own place to be put away.

10.  Flat mailbox.  This house has one of those mailboxes that you nail to a wall.  Well ours is not-so-nicely nailed to a brick wall and every once in awhile it falls off when we go to get our mail out.  I hope the mailman hasn't run into this problem.  I'd definitely be putting a pack of Band Aids in his Christmas card.  :)

What are some of your pet peeves that you find in your own home from time to time?

Now head over to Stasha's blog and link up your lovely list of the week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Sunshine Award

I have been graciously nominated for The Sunshine Award by Monica at Mommy & Love !  The conditions of this award are to answer the 8 questions below, then nominate 10 other awesome bloggers so they can repeat the process! :)

1.  What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?
Every year I HAVE to watch Emmit Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and The Muppets Christmas Carol.  It's kind of been a tradition in my family every year and since I've grown up and moved out on my own, I still watch it myself...but now I have my own family to watch it with :)  Classic!

2.  What is your favorite flower?
I love the smell of lilies and roses.  They are probably my favorites for that reason, aside from being a part of beautiful mother nature.

3.  What is your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverage?
I'd have to say coffee, especially since I became a mommy ;)  And in this particular season...Pumpkin Spice coffee!  Mmmm!

4.  What is your passion?
I have been told that I show my passion for things I am passionate about.  I am most passionate about being a mother and music (singing and dancing to it).

5.  What is your favorite time of year?
I love the holidays!  I love the cookie baking, the Christmas caroling, the gift giving, the tree decorating, the memory sharing, the snow falling, the hectic shopping...I love it all!

6.  What is your favorite time of the day?
I like mornings and evenings.  Yeah I guess I'm one of those weird people who actually have no problem getting out of bed in the morning and being awake right away.  Within 15 minutes of opening my eyes, my stomach starts letting me know I'm hungry.  So I get up and eat, then am ready to start my day!  But I equally love crawling back into bed in the evenings and sleeping...although that hasn't happened much since becoming a mother ;)

7.  What is your favorite physical activity?
Without a doubt, dancing takes the cake here!

8.  What is your favorite vacation?
Going to Jamaica for our honeymoon was probably my favorite vacation, despite the fact that I got an ear infection on day 2 that lasted the rest of the visit.  However, I still was able to cross swimming with dolphins off my bucket list!
I think my face says it all!

Now I bring to you my nominations to join in the fun!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Things Are Coming Together

Hey all!

Sorry I haven't been participating in link ups, writing any posts or commenting on posts much at all in the last week, because as things around us are coming together, this little family of three is falling apart!  (ok, not literally)

After being broken for 6 days, we finally got our washing machine fixed last Thursday!  *insert Hallelujah Chorus here*  So last Thursday evening and Friday we spent most of the time catching up on laundry.  Thursday afternoon Annaliese and I went to go visit Justin at work for his annual company picnic and had fun!  It was good food and it gave Justin a chance to show off his little lady to all of his coworkers.  Unfortunately though, I think this may have been the reason for the beginning of a cold.

Friday evening was gym night for Justin and I and his brother and brother's wife came over to watch Annaliese for a couple hours.  She was fine with them while we were gone, but when we got back, she was showing signs of a cold.  (and no I'm not implying they got her sick- HA!)  She had a runny nose, very fussy and felt like a low fever.  Saturday morning when she woke up...she was full blown cold-ridden ,very congested, but thankfully no fever.  I took her to the doctor on Monday because she was only worse and by then had spiked a fever of 101.7.  He gave her an antibiotic for a sinus infection and since then she has slowly been getting better.  Of course during the week, I caught a fraction of her cold.  I wasn't near as bad, just stuffy and tired.  It really sucks when your child is sick because you feel so helpless, but it definitely sucks even more when you're sick too and trying to take care of them (oh yeah, and a husband with a migraine and a toothache), and recover yourself.  But I put on my Super Mom cape and nursed my family back to health.

Justin and I are also getting things together for Annaliese's birthday bash coming up in a few weeks.  We have the food planned (thanks to my dad who is good friends with a guy who owns his own catering business- AND he's Greek too, so we know the food will be delicious!).  We just need to figure out what we're doing for cake and maybe a few kids games and we'll be set!  I have her personalized shirt, headband and skirt all ready to go!  Aunt Jenn is making the cutest shoes to complete her birthday outfit.  She is just going to be so darn cute!  Tomorrow is 3 weeks till the party!  Oh my gosh!!!  It's coming so fast!

Have a busy weekend coming up!  Tomorrow is Mommy's Day Out!  I get to watch my good friend, Jessie, chop off all her hair, we're meeting up with 2 other girlfriends and going out to eat, then we'll probably find ourselves on a local dance floor, like usual.  :)  Also a good friend of my family's is in town from Chicago and we'll get a chance to visit with her for a little while.  Then Monday (which is being included in the weekend plans because Justin has off) we're getting some family pictures taken from an amazing photographer!  We have never done this before as a family of three, so I am beyond excited!  Anyone that knows me, knows that I love pictures!  I have a good Nikon D3100 and I hope to learn the full extent of how to use it someday, but I don't think I want to be a "professional" photographer.  As long as I can take good pictures of my family, I'm set.  Oh and Monday I am starting my 30 Day Shred program!  I'll be documenting, maybe once a week of my progress, so wish me luck and stay tuned!  :)

I hope you all have a great weekend and I will meet up with you again soon!  It won't be a week from now, I promise.
Smile because Life. Is. Good. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Broken Washer [day 5]

*Washer should be fixed tomorrow*  Grrr...

p.s. This post is pretty much just to humor myself and try to make light of the situation.  ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Month Update on 9/11

Our dear Annaliese is 11 months old today!  Here's what's been going on in the last month.

She has 6 7 teeth!  3 front top and 4 front bottom teeth!  I never thought she would have more than 2-4 at this stage!  
She sits and spins on her tiny tush using her feet on the hardwood floor.  
She loves to "dance" (or bounce) when she hears music.  
She loves to stand facing backward on the couch and lean into the back support and laughs hysterically when she falls over.

She is even more obsessed with chasing the cat.  Where there's a kid, there's a cat.  But they play nicely :) [supervised]
In this video, Justin was using a lazer light to distract the cat.  Annaliese loves when Sammie runs around in a playful way :)

Annaliese and her BFF, Sammie

She's good to give you a kiss when you ask for it.  This melts me.  
She can crawl like a pro, give high fives, stand on her own (but is still afraid to walk more than a step without holding onto something.  
She is really close to being able to pull herself up and can almost stand up from the ground.

She can walk while she pushes her little lawnmower thingy, yes that's the technical name for it.  
[and gets a little upset with herself when she can't do something she wants to]

She loves to truck down the hallway in her little walker and end up at our full length mirror and laugh at herself.  It's so cute!
She's figured out how to press some buttons on her toys to make them talk or light up.  And she likes to play with all of her toys at once.

She reaches upward with both arms and clings to our legs when she wants picked up.
She's mastered pulling of the protective rubber along the edges of our coffee and end tables.  When we catch her in the act we tell her a stern "No!" and she backs off.  Sometimes we have to do this twice and eventually she loses interest.  Can't hurt to try to teach her the meaning of "no" already.

She has grown just enough hair for me to put it up in a little clip! :)  She doesn't keep the clip in long, but it's still cute.  Her bangs are down in her eyes, so I try to do something with her hair do it doesn't annoy her.

She loves to lay on pillows and watch TV (Mickey)  :)

She still has blue-ish / grey-ish eyes, although mine are hazel - green and Justin's are hazel - brown.  Justin jokes with me about me and alleged blue-eyed the mail man.  Ha!

She has a fancy new car seat now (with cup holders), that she will be in for a long time.  Still sitting rear facing.

If she's sitting on the floor, 9 times out of 10 her legs or feet are crossed.  :)

She still drinks 3 bottles a day along with 3 meals a day and snacks in between.  Her favorites are chicken and pasta, lasagna with meal sauce and the first solid she ever ate, sweet potatoes.  She still loves her carrots, peas, and green beans too!  She loves to drink water (YESSS!) from her big girl cup. :)

She still wakes up with a huge smile on her face, unless she is having a bad teething day.  She sleeps from about 9pm-5am and still takes 1-2 naps during the day.  She is such a good baby and a happy baby.

With today being the anniversary of 9/11/01, I would also like to take a moment to thank all of our U.S. troops for laying down their lives everyday and helping to keep our country free.  We will never forget the lives lost in the tragic event that happened today, 11 years ago.  Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the families who suffered the loss of a loved one. 
United We Stand.

Monday, September 10, 2012

These 10 Songs Remind Me Of...

Good Morning and Happy Monday!  I was blessed to be chosen by Stasha to pick this week's Monday Listicle topic of 10 SongsI (Thank You,  Stasha)  I was excited when many of you said it was a fun topic, so I am anxious to see what you chose to write!

Before I'm off spending the week reading about your 10 songs...I'll share with you mine.  And believe me, I know how hard this is to only choose 10!

10 Memorable Songs (in no particular order)

1)  For The Longest Time - Billy Joel - This song reminds me of being a kid.  This was the first a capella song I was introduced to (that I recall, anyway).  My parents are big Billy Joel and a capella fans and both sing.  My brother and I followed suit.  His music and lyrics are well known in our houses.

2)  In Repair - John Mayer - This song reminds me of my early 20's, when I felt lost more than found.  I must have listened to this song on repeat at least 1,000 times as it gave me comfort.  The chorus lyrics are "I'm in repair.  I'm not together but I'm getting there."  It explained me.

3)  Angel From Montgomery - Bonnie Raitt/John Prine - This song reminds me of my dad.  This is the song we would sing almost every evening in the basement.  We each grabbed a microphone and practiced, practiced, practiced.  For what?  I don't know, but we got it perfected enough for us to "perform" it at one of his company picnics one year.  That was fun :)

4)  Jersey Girl - Bruce Springsteen - This song reminds me of being a young child and dancing with my dad.  He would pick me up and hold me on his hip and spin me around and dance while I held onto his neck.  I guess I have always been a "Daddy's Girl".  And because of this particular memory, when I was planning my wedding, I knew what song I would be dancing the "Father and Daughter Dance" to.

5)  My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder - This song will always remind me of the wonderful night I met my soul mate.  I will never forget him nervously practicing the beginning chords of this song, while I helped the rest of the bridal party set up tables and centerpieces for the wedding that was taking place the next day.  You can read more about how Justin and I met here.

6)  You Were Mine - Dixie Chicks - This song reminds me of my best friend for 15 years, Takia, who also sings.  We were in high school when this song came out and decided to record it at one of those little recording studios that you see at amusement parks.  We originally wanted to record Whitney Houston's Heartbreak Hotel, so we rehearsed that once.  We changed our mind to this song and the employees of the studio wouldn't let us rehearse (since we rehearsed another song already).  Well we thought we knew this song well enough to do without rehearsing and although we knew the words...we totally failed the notes!  HAHA!  I still have that cassette tape too, although Takia wanted me to throw it away!

7)  Country Roads - John Denver - This song reminds me of camping with my family as a kid, and also reminds me of my mom.  My mom is a huge John Denver fan and loves the outdoors.  My family and I would always go camping every summer and would sing around the campfire and make s'mores.  It's a fond memory that's close to my heart.  :)

8)  Her Perfect Dream - Justin Skidmore -  <-- Yes, that is my husband and yes he wrote me a song.  Aren't I lucky?  It's an instrumental song, as Jazz is his favorite type of music.  I remember the first time he presented this song to me.  He told me the title and said that it's about me and how I watch "A Baby Story" on TLC every morning because I was obsessed with learning the reality of having and delivering a baby.  I never understood how composers who write instrumental music can give songs such a deep title and meaning, with no lyrics involved... but I took his word for it.  :)

9)  Black Velvet - Alannah Myles - This song reminds me of a bachelorette party in 2009 for my friend, Allison's, wedding I was in.  Allison loves to sing and Karaoke for her bachelorette party was a must.  I always have intentions to sing, but never have the guts to put my name down for the DJ to announce.  Well my good ol' BFF, Takia (mentioned above) put my name in for me and chose this song for me to sing.  Well about 10 seconds into the song I felt like I was a born singer.  I seriously nailed it!  And it was probably one of the proudest moments in my life.  :)

10)  Will You Be There - Michael Jackson - Not your typical favorite MJ song, but this song reminds me of the first time I ever saw the movie Free Willy.  Living on the California coast, I grew to have a great love for any sea life.  When Free Willy came out, I was very inspired by the story and decided to adopt an orca whale.  :)  Later that year we got a little grey and white kitten (I know it's not like a black and white orca, but still), I decided to name her Keiko, after the whale that played Willy in the movie :)

Now click the badge below and head over to Stasha's blog to link up a list of your 10 songs! :)

Memories Captured - Blessed

It's Friday again.  September 7, 2012 at 9:38 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) to be a little too exact.  Although you're reading this a few days later.

The baby is asleep.

The husband is asleep.

Even the cat is asleep.

I am left here alone.

Just me, my laptop and my 2nd glass of wine (that I usually never drink).

I just put my big, baby girl to bed.  She fell asleep in my arms tonight, which hasn't happened in awhile.  She has been pretty good with putting herself to sleep at nighttime and nap time.  We're very fortunate.  But tonight was out of the normal.

Annaliese has been very cuddly with me lately.  Oh believe me, I am soaking it up.  Every last minute.  I think she is unconsciously grasping the fact that her mother is in need of these voluntary moments, as she knows there will soon come a day when those cuddles will be too few and far between.

You see, there are exactly 34 days left until she turns one year old.  Only 34 days!  (and less by the time you're reading this)  It seems that the year has just up and vanished into thin air.

But tonight was another night where time stood still.

Just a mother and her daughter rocking in silence.

A mother who has learned a lot about herself in the last 11 months.  A mother who has seen herself on her strongest days where she felt on top of her game.  A mother who has seen herself through her weakest moments and spent hours crying along side her crying baby.  A mother who has previously promised herself, but has recently taken action to become healthier and live healthier for the sake of herself and her child.

And here in my arms, rests my dreams, my values, my future, all in this little body that keeps growing day by day.  My shirt covered in spaghetti stains, my hair a mess, my feet swollen and sore from running, my legs unshaven, I think I forgot deodorant again today...and yet I'm perfectly content because I am blessed.

I have been a little stressed out this week because of the stupid little things that get you all worked up.  The basement being flooded (for the 100th time), the washer being broken (after just months ago the dryer had broken), the finances wearing thin (due to a certain special someone's first birthday party), the physical pain of actually working out (from being so out of shape), and the tired eyes I meet at the end of every day from my husband (and his very stressful "seeing-computer-code-in-his-sleep" job).

But this moment is mine.  Right now.  Right in this very moment, none of that matters.  All of the stress in the world couldn't take away the peace I have has with my sleeping babe in my arms.  This very moment I will treasure forever.  This moment brings tears to my eyes because I am still in awe of this beautiful little life that I am blessed to be home with every day and make laugh and watch grow.  This beautiful gift from God.  Every day I wish my Father-In-Law were here to see this little girl grow, but I know he is shining down on his only grandchild and giving her a different reason to smile.

Wiping the soft tears from my weary eyes, this mother stands up, ensures that she will not wake her soundly sleeping daughter, and I gently place her in a crib with a beautiful matching crib set fit for a darling baby girl.  It seems only yesterday, Justin and I were finishing up our baby registry and wondering what it would feel like to be a parent.  Now there she lays, in the butterfly crib set we picked and were given for a shower gift from Justin's brother, Ashley and his wife, Jenn, in the espresso crib we bought and put together, in the pajamas that were handed down to us from one of my best friends from when her daughter was much younger, and beside her security blanket/teddy bear that my aunt and uncle had bought her for Christmas.

I turn off the light and say a silent prayer and ask God to watch over my sleeping baby, as I do every night.  I also ask Him to give me the motherly strength I need to make it through every day, to remember to wake up with a positive outlook every morning and remember that there are so many others who are less fortunate and living in undeserving broken and battered homes.

I am blessed.

Linking up with Alison @ Writing, Wishing and Galit @ These Little Waves for September's Memories Captured.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Labor Day Weekend - The Short Version

Sorry it's taken me a week to get this post out.  I've had other posts that seemed to want to flow better before this one  Mainly because this is pretty much all pictures :)  Plus I have a bad habit of starting 20 things at once and slowly getting around to finishing them.  It's a New Years Resolution........... from 1998.  I'm working on it.  ;)

Well summer is unofficially over...  It's bittersweet.  Most of all the age appropriate kids are in school by now.  It's pretty crazy how June, July and August just flew by.  Justin and I still cannot fathom the thought that in just a little over a month, a year will have passed from the day that we brought a beautiful innocent life into this world.  :)

*warning- a post with many pictures*
So back to last weekend, my dad and step mom, Jackie came into town.  We ended up not going to Justin's aunt and uncle's cookout on Sunday because my dad wasn't feeling the greatest, but we still had fun.  Annaliese enjoyed spending time with her Papou (Greek for grandpa) and Nana.  :)

Playing nicely and standing by herself

Pretty girl

Waiting patiently for Papou and Nana

When Papou and Nana arrived, after a long car ride from New Jersey with a side of holiday traffic and pieces of hurricane Issac, Annaliese was already very tired and cranky.  So everyone went to bed to have a better visit in the morning :)

Saturday morning Annaliese woke up, played, ate breakfast, and fell asleep cuddling with me, so I let her...for an hour.  :)  *These are the moments I will miss soon*

Sleepin on Mommy
After I laid her down in her crib, I went for a run.  2.51 miles in 30:22.  Not too shabby :)

Around noon we started making dinner.  2 very famous Greek dishes:  Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and Spanakopita (spinach pie).  *Recipes to come at a later post*


After we got dinner started, Annaliese played with Papou.

And had a crawling race

I think Annaliese won ;)

Then Annaliese got some snuggle time in with Nana.

And discovered her eye lashes

Then Papou and Nana took turns helping Annaliese learn to walk.

Then cuddled with Nana some more.

There was even some cuddling going on between my brother, Alex and Sammy

Yeah...he's cute.
On Sunday, Mamaw came over for a little visit and Annaliese got to spend a little bit of time with her.

Annaliese playing with her toy (and Sammy playing hide and seek)

Mommy stole a picture

I made some pumpkin bread!  MMM!  (Compliments of Pillsbury in a box)
Then Monday came and the weekend was over.  It was a nice visit with my dad and Jackie, as it always is, but it always seems to go by so fast and I miss them before they even leave.  They have hopes of moving closer to us in the future, just have to keep praying that it will happen and when the time is right.

Playing with Papou before he leaves to go home

Walking Papou to the door.

It's hard to believe the next time my dad and Jackie visit will be for the weekend of Annaliese's first birthday party.  She will already be one year old when they see her next!  They suspect that she will be walking the next time they visit.  Are they right?  :)

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