Sunday, April 29, 2012

Instagram Lovins

This week was an interesting week for me. I won a pretty awesome giveaway over at Casey's blog, We broke out the potty so that Raine could start getting used to that bad boy, I was spooked for a few days over some ghostly encounters during a house viewing, and Jimmy left tonight for a business trip in Chicago. This is a lot of happenings for my usually boring existence. It's about time I got me some excitement though!


1} THE potty. It sings when he goes to the bathroom and spits out star stickers as rewards for going to the bathroom too. Leave it to us to get the sickest child's toilet around. Raine has shown some interest already. He sits on it after his bath and already says "potty" whenever he sees it. It's a good start to what I am sure will be a lovely two year battle ;)
2} One of my oh so awesome winnings in Casey's group giveaway. I love this head band from Marigold Road. Doesn't the blue elastic match my hair perfectly?! ;)
3 & 4} Chilling with his bestest cat friend. This cat is getting more and more clingy to The Boy.
5, 6, & 7} This kid is digging his chicken parmesan so much he forgot how to use his fork. At least he's holding on to it! But he has mastered eating utensils pretty well the last two weeks. Score for easier dinner clean up!
8} Quality time with Daddy before he leaves us for four days.

Tonight was a little rough for Raine without Jimmy here. Lots of melt downs and running around the apartment asking "dada? dada?". It's totally breaking my heart especially since I already miss him pretty bad too. He will be back Wednesday night though so all is well. Till then I may just be sneaking Raine in bed with me while he's out cold and unaware. Maybe then the kid will actually sleep somewhere other than his crib.

Do you instagram? Follow me: mrs_aerykssen

Friday, April 27, 2012

Who you gonna call?

Yesterday we went and looked at yet another round of houses with our realtor. It's getting tedious, I'll admit. We head out with so much hope and usually come home with one or two homes that we liked but then begins the process of completely debating them to death. In the end we end up not buying anything at all because nothing is "good enough" but this little issue of ours is not the point of this post. Stick with me, it gets better. Oh, and if you're skittish you might want to turn the lights on....

We headed up to a little town just outside of ours in hopes of finding the perfect house. It's an older town, rich with history, quiet, and it seemed like a close knit community that I would like to raise the rug-rats in. What I really mean is it's quiet and everyone leaves you the heck alone so Jimmy could live out his days being the grumpy old man-person that he is. Because honestly, I don't know what Jimmy is going to do in his old age if he can't stand out on his porch with his wild Doc Brown-type hair looking like a pedophile yelling at some small children to get the hell out of his yard. ;)

The first house we looked at was just....weird but the second one was a beautiful old victorian and we all know how I feel about those. When we pulled up to the house I was definitely smitten with the property. Nice yard, house looked to be in decent shape, etc. The inside of the house was nice but definitely dated. It had a sound structure but was in need of a lot of cosmetic things and updating. No big deal really but this place was HUGE and loaded with nooks, crannies, and random secret passageways. 

Usually when we go look at a house I wonder aimlessly trying to get a feel for the place. Sometimes I separate from the group (Jimmy and our realtor) to do my own thing and other times Jimmy is right up my rear end looking at things around me being all annoying which is why, when I felt a hand on my side gently pushing me aside, I assumed it was him....it was not

I was in the second floor bedroom standing in a doorway looking out into the attached sun porch when I felt Jimmy put his hand on my right hip from behind almost as if to move me aside so he could peek in to see the porch too. I turned around to tell him that I'll move when I am damn good and ready only to find nobody there. Jimmy and my realtor were busy inspecting a bedroom two doors down the hall! I was alone in the room....apparently losing my mind. 

I brushed it off as one would easily do when they assume that they are simply losing their minds (again.).....(yep, going insane is a frequent thing for me).....(I mean, I'm currently off my meds after all) and I hurry off to find Jimmy. 

I stopped to peer into another bedroom and felt a hand on the small of my back lightly push me into the room. Maybe more like guide me into it. I turned and of course nobody is there and my spidey sense started tingling. For a minute I wondered if maybe all these friday nights watching A Haunting marathons weren't finally starting to get to my head. 

It's not like I walked into this house and said to myself "ooohh, old and creepy victorian. Must be haunted". In fact, the house was bright and chipper and inviting. Not once did I get the impression that there were ghosts so it seems doubtful that I was imagining these things as it was the furthest thing from my mind. That being said, I could only come to two possible conclusions.....I'm a certified nut job (stop laughing) or this was a bonafide haunted house........Well it's about stinkin time!

I caught up with James and our realtor and we headed up to the third floor (I said this place was big) and about halfway up the stairs I feel something touch my neck and my hair brush back. Both Jimmy and our realtor were ahead of me at the top of the stairs. No one was behind me at all. At this point I am pretty hopped up on adrenaline and shaking a little. Thankfully the house tour was up so we headed out.  

When we got to the car I filled Jimmy in and he said nothing of interest happened to him and while this may lend validity to the fact that I am insane it seems highly doubtful because I could run up to Jimmy right now and kick him in the crotch and he'd be none the wiser. Yeah, he's that oblivious sometimes. I wasn't about to broach the subject with our realtor either only because I figure she probably already regrets taking us on as clients anyway. No need to give her any more reasons to question our sanity. 

Oh, and as far as the house? As cool as the whole experience was, they are going to have to drop the price a little if I am expected to deal with the paranormal.

Image via

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Embrace The Camera: Daffodil Insanity

Last week we decided to head up for a daffodil visit. We have a local daffodil farm-type place that is fields and fields of daffodils.  I'm sure you get the idea ;) It was warm out...we were bored....and everyone else takes their kids up there so we figured we would try our hand at normalcy. The afternoon was overcast but I managed to snag a few nice pictures anyway...












 Tell me, do you see the resemblance?








 Funny faces? 


We didn't last more than twenty minutes before Raine had had enough and was demanding food of some sort. At least it looks like we had fun, right? For that 20 minutes we did =)


As always linking up with Emily over at The Anderson Crew for Embrace The Camera

Monday, April 23, 2012

Words

I read this quote on Jenni's blog Story of My Life....

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep', and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness'. Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
~ Hugh Mackay, psychologist and social researcher

I'm usually not much of an overly "quote posting" type person but lately I've been moved by words.

And the next time I am experiencing what some may call a negative emotion.....I mean REALLY experiencing it (maybe even enjoying it as I sometimes do because I have experienced an influx of these so-called negativities my entire life and have learned that they are building me up not dragging me down as some would believe) and I am told to "get over it" or "cheer up" I am going to kick that person in the genitals.

Cry-It-Out: It Worked For Us

{Disclaimer: I am no pediatrician or child professional. I am a first time mom simply doing what works for me. My intention is not to tell anyone how to parent their children or pass judgment on anyones parenting style. I am merely discussing my experiences and resulting opinions in regards to sleep training our son. People asked me to....they are now receiving} 

It seems there has been an increase of people asking me how I got Raine to sleep so well at night. Raine sleeps about 12 hours a night and takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. And yes, before you say it, we have spoken to his doctor about his sleep habits and both his pediatricians feel his sleep schedule is perfectly acceptable. So, how did we manage this glorious sleeping arrangement? We tried one of the most debated methods amongst parents.....like....ever. We let him "cry it out" *gasp*...... and it worked for us. Pretty well actually.

When we brought Raine home we were super lucky. We didn't experience any of that lack of sleep that a lot of new parents go through when there is a newborn in the house. This kid just dug sleeping. Oh sure, he was still up every 2-3 hours the first couple weeks but by week three he was literally sleeping through the night. I remember the first night it happened too. James and I woke up, realized that it wasn't the baby that had woken us (we had woken naturally) and it was morning. We immediately assumed the worst but there Raine was in his bassinet beside me.....snoring.....loudly.

So admittedly, maybe Raine was predisposed to just being a good sleeper. God knows his father doesn't seem too have any trouble knocking off just about anywhere. Unfortunately though it seems we hit the lotto and were privileged enough to experience what some call the "4 month sleep regression". Basically at 4 months old sleep patterns change and this can occasionally alter the way a child reacts to sleep. Some kids just....well...deal with it and others just don't have as easy a time. Raine was one of the latter......although it also started on New Years Eve when we left him with his auntie for the first time so we could celebrate our anniversary. From that night till two months later Raine was all sorts of messed up sleep-wise. Maybe he just got pissed that we left him with someone else and decided he needed to remain awake to keep an eye on us. You know, to make sure we never pulled that crap again.

Life was pretty horrible after that. It started slowly. He would wake every 3 hours so I would just pop the boob in his mouth, rock him a bit and he'd be out again. Then it was every two hours and rocking him back to sleep took a little longer. At it's worst he would wake every hour and a half then take almost an hour just to rock back to sleep. I had already returned to work so we were pretty miserable but thought if we could just stick it out that he would eventually get over it and be our perfect sleeper again. Two months later we began to realize it wasn't going to happen that way.

When crying the blues to the older generation of mothers I knew a good majority of them always said the same thing....."let him cry". I did my research as I am nuerotically prone to do and read about all these horrible things that I could possibly be doing to my baby if I attempted "cry it out". Some said he would feel abandoned or suffer brain damage. Jimmy rolled his eyes at my concerns and as time wore on I became desperate and it occurred to me...... If so many generations before me used this method than why weren't there a large number of brain damaged individuals with abandonment issues running around?

We decided to try it at nap times first and we decided to start with the more gentle Ferber  Method of "cry it out". Basically you lay the kid let down and leave the room. You let baby cry for a predetermined amount of time then go in and essentially sooth/pat the baby without picking them up then leave the room again eventually increasing the time between soothing sessions until the child falls asleep.

The first week of this had little result. He never fell asleep during these sessions and when I would go in to sooth him it seemed to only restart his crying fits. I'd try for hours and both of us would be stressed at the end of it and found snoozing in the rocking chair, exhausted. We sort of gave up after that assuming that this was just not going to work for us.

Then an older mommy friend told me that she had never gone in and soothed any of her kids when she let them cry to sleep. As long as they weren't choking or hurt she'd simply let them, well, just stinkin cry.

So after a few weeks of nodding off at work I basically said "screw this" and got down to it. I waited for Raine's sleep cues one afternoon (rubbing eyes, whining, fighting sleep, etc.) , I placed him in his crib, and I walked out. I turned the volume down on his video monitor, grabbed my iPod, shut myself in the bathroom, turned the shower on and I just watched him. And he cried.....forever. And I cried....like someone had kicked me in the vagina. So many thoughts were going through my head. I thought I was destroying my son. He cried. He cried hard and many times I almost went to him, not able to take it anymore. Then it happened.....after an hour and a half of crying, he fell asleep.

And he slept for two and a half hours that afternoon! Which means I slept two and a half hours....it was glorious. He woke up happy and it appeared he still loved me so I dodged any abandonment issues that time! But would I have to let him cry for over an hour every time I put him down?

Let me be clear here. When I say "cry" I mean just that, crying. He was never in down right hysterics for a long period of time. He didn't cry his bloody head of for nearly two hours. It varied from crying pretty hard to just whimpering a little. He coughed occasionally but he never choked on his own tears. I hear some kids will actually vomit and I think that even crying so much it results in choking is probably the time you should go in and comfort them. Try again next time. I would never suggest hurting your child! But merely crying hurts you (kicked in the vagina. Remember?) more than it hurts them.

That night at bed time he cried for an hour, fell asleep and slept 4 hours straight! We fed him, put him back down, he cried for 45 minutes, and slept another 4. I continued to do the same thing over the next few days and his crying time gradually decreased. By day three he stopped crying entirely and would fall asleep nearly immediately upon putting him down in his crib. Sometimes before we even left the room. Over time instances of waking up in the night lessened as well and probably a month after we started this process he was sleeping 12 hours a night and I would have to wake him up to feed him just so my milk supply wasn't affected.

We sleep wonderfully in this house now. Will it always be this way? I don't know. I hope so. Did "cry it out" really work or was it coincidence? Seems unlikely but it's possible he was just ready to sleep again. I can acknowledge that possibility. I, myself, am a firm believer in the process. I've heard the claim that it only works for some babies. I know woman with six, seven, even up to twelve children and it worked for every single one of their kids....or so I am told. Hey, maybe they are lying to me. Maybe sometimes it just has to be handled differently with different children. And maybe some day I'll have another baby and it won't work for them......

hmm, maybe just in case I should cut my losses and get my tubes tied.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Instagram Lovins

This week was just beautiful as far as the weather goes so we spent much time outside and much time washing off from being outside. Raine is definitely going to be an outside play/hike/busting-up-his-face type of kid. Every morning he walks straight to the door and either says "Out?" or "Bye Bye Car?"....


1} Hanging with his buddy, Bails. He loves her =)
2} Getting used to walking in his new shoes. I am so glad this kid is finally wearing shoes!
3} His Auntie Melinda is the best for exploring and learning new stuffs.
4} My pretty tree. The one thing I like about this house. Don't even ask me what it is because I am clueless. All I know is that it's pretty and pink.
5 & 6} It's kind of hard to get him inside once he's out. He'd rather just sit outside doing nothing than come in and do anything in the house.
7 & 8} Weird tub hair. I also had some really adorable standing shots where he's attempting to piss down the drain but I'm assuming it would be too close to kiddie porn to post them....although it would be one awesome way to embarrass him ;)
9} Pants? Where we are going we don't need pants...
10} We read this book a dozen times a day. Raine carries it with him and snuggles with it sometimes.
11} Waving bye bye to his shadow....little weirdo.
12} Taking self portraits to help me decide if I am keeping the bangs. They are staying.

This week is supposed to be a little dreary and raining most days but that's okay, we really sort of need it. April showers and all that jazz.

Do you instagram? follow me: mrs_aerykssen

Friday, April 20, 2012

Currently...


Loving
How quick Raine is learning these days. It's like effortless. Everyday it seems like he is saying 2-3 new words. I can't even keep up with him and I am almost at a loss as to what we should be working on at this point because this kid is just learning. Maybe it's time to break out the potty. No pressure or anything but introducing it early and slowly couldn't hurt.

Thinking about
My husband and how thankful I am to have him. I know. Puke, right? Yesterday I found myself wanting to express my opinion on something that was, as always, against the general opinion of everyone else on the subject and by expressing said opinion I probably would have pissed off some people close to me. I decided to take a page out of his book and just let it be. Keep my mouth shut.

I've mentioned before that my husband is really smart. I mean like, evil mad scientist smart. This guy could run the world if he chose to do so. He's pretty humble about it though and sometimes I wonder why, when a situation arises where people around him are obviously wrong, he doesn't bother to correct them. I mean, he knows the answer so why not just, you know, let the rest of us in on it? Especially in a situation where Mr. So and So Knowitall has no idea what he's even talking about but no, Jimmy just remains silent choosing to not even bother himself with these things.

His rationale? Why bother. When dealing with someone who obviously believes they know better than you do, where is the point of arguing with them about it even if you're right? You aren't going to change their minds and even if you prove them wrong the satisfaction is only temporary. It sure doesn't humble them any.

And he's right....as usual. So I am trying to emulate that a bit in certain situations where it matters.

Anticipating
Being home alone for a few days in a couple of weeks while The Cuddler is on a business trip for work. Call me sappy but we haven't been separated for more than half a day since we found out we were pregnant with Raine. I'm a little worried that Raine may not take this too well either. He loves his daddy and is very attached. It's not like he's not going to notice that he's been gone a few days. I'm kind of glad we haven't found a single family house yet. It's good to know my mom and my brother are right upstairs. 

Listening to
The pitter patter of little feet....all over the house....he's likely getting into trouble. I better go check...

Eating
"Clean". I've been super into "clean" eating the last couple days. We've been eating home cooked meals and prepared lunches for almost 3 weeks now and honestly, I didn't expect to feel so differently. In a good way. We have always eaten pretty healthy though. Getting take-out was our weakness but now that I established a routine of eating home cooked stuffs I'd like to take the next step and get rid of the boxed, canned, processed food we sometimes consume. Basically this means I get to use James as a human garbage disposal ;)

Wishing
That I could have my house back. My uncle is semi remodeling my pantry (new paneling, paint, and counters) and I am totally appreciative but we are going on almost 3 weeks and the whole process just pretty much takes up my entire apartment. Because of this I just can't get anything done and I'm also stuck home supervising. Basically it feels like I haven't been out of work the last three weeks because I still can't accomplish anything. Looks like there is only painting left though so fingers crossed just a couple more days.

Wow, kind of seems things are a little down around here lately. I promise that they aren't! Overwhelming as usual. So, what are you currently up to?

This post was totally inspired by Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Cuddler's Crazy


The Cuddler has been in an overly chipper mood the last few days. Yesterday I worried for his sanity actually. He's singing, making weird noises, listening to random weird music in the next room, and then I hear him mumble something about "getting the old band back together" like I even know what that means. What band? And where in the world does he think he's going to assemble said band? Not in my house I can tell you that much. Although some death metal blaring out of this house could be just the thing to scare the crap out of the rap loving, drug dealing neighbors. Pfft, like them believing that I'm a vampire isn't enough to keep them from messing with us....Long story.

I think this is what James is like when he's well rested. Now that I am home full time that poor old dude can go to bed at 8:30 P.M. just like he likes to. Now he has all this energy through out the day but it appears to be sending him into an early mid life crisis or something....band? what is he? 12? I shouldn't joke. The guy can actually play guitar (and a slew of other instruments apparently. The guys got secrets) He may be reading this right now. I don't want him to take a bruising to his ego or anything.....ah man, who am I kidding? He's way too full of himself for that mess.

Usually I don't see this Jimmy unless he's had one too many caffeinated beverages through out the day. Either sleep is beneficial for him or it makes him a little crazy. It's hard to tell when he's reciting the twenty second parody he's written for the day. It's good to see him happy though. Maybe now is a good time to make a request for that new video camera I've been eyeing....

The Cuddler's Perspective.

Tuesday I gave Jimmy the camera and just let him go crazy with it. I think I need to do this more often because his photos always seem to come out so well! Just some random photos around the house, in the yard, with the dog....you know, because we have no lives during the week. ;)

 Raine's new thing is to dance around in his sock monkey hat that his Auntie Darla made him. He will do this for hours because he's destined to be a ham like his father..












As always linking up with Emily over at The Anderson Crew for Embrace The Camera 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I went there. I brought up breastfeeding.

It occurred to me with Raine turing 18 months old that I have also been breastfeeding for 18 months already. Yep, I am one of those moms that will breastfeed probably forever.....ok, maybe not forever. When he's twelve he needs to stop. Twelve is my cut off. He'll never have any friends if he's still suckling off his mom all day.

All kidding aside (you thought I was SERIOUS?!) I'm super proud that Raine and I have made it this far breastfeeding. I'm not exactly known for sticking to things. Finishing things isn't exactly my strong suit. Oh sure, I finished high school and I've managed to accomplish a few things here and there (there was that 4 minute keg stand that one time.....) but I don't really step out of my comfort zone. When I do and say I'm going to try something new than I usually "try" it and deem it not for me and move on back to my comfortable little bubble.

Breastfeeding, the thought of it anyway, was seriously out of my comfort zone. Then again, so was motherhood and I think I'm sort of hitting it out of the park on that one. Or maybe my perception of myself is a just a little warped. Regardless, congrats to me for making it this far. It wasn't always easy either. I had some serious hurdles early on. Actually, when I found out I was pregnant I had every intention of bottle feeding The Destroyer. I'm not sure what initially got me to consider nursing him but I did my research and made a decision.

Somewhere deep down I sort of saw myself not following through on this goal either but here we are a year and a half later still going strong and, according to some people, working on a pretty good "mommy attachment complex" for Raine to work out in therapy 20 years from now. ;D

I'm finding that I am increasingly more proud of my ability to mother this kid. Being proud of myself doesn't happen all too often. If he's lucky he'll come out of this only half as messed up as his parents...... you can quit laughing now.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Conversations With The Cuddler

{Conversations with The Cuddler posts are excerpts of conversations with my husband, James. It's a peek at the hilarious, sometimes bazaar, always nonsensical topics that come up around here. In short, my husband just says the darndest things.}

James and I snuck out to a couple open houses yesterday. One home I was totally digging. When I asked Jimmy his opinion (why do I bother?) I got this little gem as a response....

James: *sigh* "You know.....I just don't see myself haunting this place...."

That's right, folks. This is how we are deciding on homes now. Whether The Cuddler feels it's worthy of haunting. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried..

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Instagram Lovins

It's been a quiet week of adjusting for the boy and I. Raine seems to have adjusted much faster than me and it's amazing how much me being home full time has affected him. Definitely in a positive way. Things are just much more relaxed at home. Everyone is well rested and happy. Regardless that I may be feeling restless, I know we made the right choice for me to stay home.



1} I keep reading about all these health benefits of drinking raw apple cider vinegar every day. I've haven't been feeling too well physically so this week I gave it a go. I'll try it for a month but so far I think it's actually helping quite a bit.
2} The Destroyer taking a little lounge break after playing with mommy for over an hour. I thought he was supposed to tire me out?
3} Our cat, Pumpkin. She loves Raine to death and will dance, rub against him, and do just about anything to get his attention.....
4}....and Raine couldn't care less!
5}Staring intently to see what his uncle is doing in the other room.
6} I hate feet. Despise them even. But I love these little feets =)

Happy Sunday!!

Linking up with Jenni @ Story of My Life  for Best of Instagram =)