5.26.2011

Digital vs Physical Books

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2009/02/09/090209_kindle2.jpeg 
Anyone else feel torn when it comes to digital books vs physical books?

Awhile back I read a post by Grace on her blog about how she got a Kindle but eventually stopped using it and went back to buying physical books from her local book retailer. It got me thinking back then but I was too busy to post my own thoughts about the issue.

I've often thought about trying to win Kindle/Nook giveaways and I have the Kindle and Aldiko apps on my phone, however I don't really utilize them much.

Around Christmastime I downloaded a handful of free books for my Kindle app that I haven't even looked at since. And on Aldiko, the only reason I haven't removed it is because I'm currently reading a book on there (FTW - a book about a video game gold farmer and what lengths he goes to to make his money) for free that Amazon charges full-price for. But again, I started reading that one awhile ago and I've only read a few chapters of it as I keep forgetting about it.

I can see the versatility of having a digital platform for your books - a smaller tablet or a smartphone are both way more portable and in my case, I can hold my phone and read/do stuff one handed while I'm feeding Jay, but for some reason I just prefer having a physical book.

http://www.webistemadness.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Digital-Books.jpgI like being able to put a book back on the shelf when I'm done with it. Sticking an actual bookmark in it when I'm stopping for a bit, etc. Maybe it's the pack-rat side of me, as I like to collect a series and then display it on the bookshelf in our home.

From the time I was little I enjoyed reading - my parents read to me when I was little, my dad would take me to the library a few Saturdays each month when I was little and I would pick out a few. While other kids were spending their allowance on this or that, I would buy books with mine. I remember in 4th grade a bunch of girls brought all our Baby-Sitters Club books to school with us and displayed them by our assigned seats. We would swap and borrow them - it was fun! And just like movies and CDs, when I enter someone's home, books is another thing I skim their shelves for if I see them - I like to walk in and see what others are reading, watching, listening too while I'm waiting for them to finish up whatever. It fascinates me.

It was a sad day when Waldenbooks closed at our mall. The big one at the big mall in the Chicago suburbs also closed awhile back too. I used to enjoy hanging out at Media Play too - the media giant. I'd browse the movies, the books, the music selections and items and spend hours there.

Borders has always been a favorite of mine - whenever we were visiting that big mall in the suburbs, the giant Borders store was always a stop on the way home for us as at the time we didn't have one in our city (They eventually built one though). For some reason I always found their prices to be better than Barnes and Noble and until B&N moved into a bigger store out at the mall, Borders always had the larger selection it seemed. Even in college, the town I was in had both but the B&N was just soooo small and I could never find what I was looking for, plus the Borders down there gave student discounts on some items. Also, I love the Borders Rewards program - unlike B&N, they have a free version of it where I still get coupons throughout the week (I just got one last week that gave me 50% off the list price of an item - we got the Game of Thrones 4-book set for $18!) and last winter they gave me a total of $25 in Borders Bucks, which is basically free money - I got several books and items for free, just for being a loyal customer! The only thing I think B&N has over Borders is their kids section, at least in my city - B&N seem to have a much more organized kids section than Borders, making it easier for me to find books for Jay, plus they have a free kids book club program too which I get savings on. We're lucky - our Borders is one of the select ones staying open; the one down by my college already closed up!

Granted, I do buy bestseller paperbacks from Walmart as they're several dollars cheaper, but for all other book needs/purchases I try to go to Borders. Yes, I've ordered some stuff off Amazon in the past too, but only because I was already placing an order and/or had a giftcard.

Regardless, some days I find myself wishing I had the book I'm working on in digital format, but then I always come back to thinking "no, I don't need it."

What they need to do is find a way to make it so that if you purchase the physical copy of a book you can also download a free copy of it to your digital device, sort of how most DVDs these day include a digital copy disc so you can put the movie on your computer or smartphone or tablet. I would LOVE it if they somehow figured out how to do that, that way I could have my physical book at home on my nightstand or coffee table but if I was out somewhere and bored, having time to read or say I'm at home feeding Jay, I could read the book on my digital device.

What are your thoughts? 
Do you love the digital age of books or do you prefer having a physical book in your hands?

5.25.2011

Night Terrors and Teeth

As I mentioned previously, we believe Jay is teething and has been for almost a month or so now - it's been quite the adventure!

I wanted to hold off on the Baby Orajel until we had some idea where the tooth was coming in at rather than rubbing it all over his entire gums and making his whole mouth numb. We've been lucky that up until this point he's only been drooling like a faucet rather than the vomit or diarrhea or fever I've read some babies get when teething. Well, that dang tooth better be coming in soon as today he's constant diarrhea! It hasn't been much each time but I've changed his diaper more today than ever before - usually he only has 1 decent-sized poopy diaper a day, today there's been some liquidy diarrhea in almost each one! I've been changing it right away too as it smells rancid and sounds like a mini-explosion in his diaper when in fact it's actually not that much. I hope this doesn't continue the rest of the time he's teething - we'll be going through diapers like crazy!

Poor guy though, he's not too fond of teething rings yet, only sucking on them for a minute or 2 before it hurts. And I've tried Baby Orajel the past 2 nights... last night it seemed to help, but tonight, the second I got my finger in his mouth to rub it on the area where we think the tooth is coming in (the front top right) he started sucking on my finger thinking I was giving him some food to taste. Needless to say, he didn't like what he tasted on my finger! We're dealing but I wish this tooth would come in already, I hate seeing him in pain like this - the only comfort that seems to work is snuggles and letting him suck on his fist or burpie cloth or bib.

Because of the teething though he's gained a great interest in people's mouths and teeth! His latest thing is staring at your mouth and teeth and then sticking his hand in there to check out the teeth as he seems to realize he doesn't have them but everyone else does. Tonight he gripped onto my teeth and tried pulling them out, lol...

He's flipped over a few more times - hubby got him to do it a few times tonight, so daddy's finally seen him do it, and I got him to do it for me again last week. Seems like he's getting the hang of it and right on track for his milestones.

He ate most of his bowl of rice cereal today with little fuss than usual, which is a relief! I'm hoping the doctor says we can start him on actual solid foods at his 4 month check-up on the 8th. I think he'd take to that better as the rice cereal is probably pretty bland with not much taste. He seems fine eating from a spoon though. I figure we'll start him on sweet potatoes, then the mashed peas, carrots, etc before introducing the fruit as my mom said once you do fruit they'll prefer the sweetness of it over the veggies.

Another thing I thought I'd mention that I need to remember to ask the doctor about is night terrors.

Jay's had least 4 episodes that I can recall now since he was born and he's just under 4 months old. He'll be sleeping and all of a sudden he'll just start shrieking, like he's trapped in a nightmare. I try to hold him and rock him and comfort him and call his name, telling him to open his eyes and that mommy's here, but it takes a good few minutes before he snaps out of it and then he's fine. One occurrence was when my mom was watching him at the house while we were getting all moved in - freaked her out a bit.

Curious, I did some research and came across the Night Terrors Resource Center page, run by a guy who also suffers from them and decided to do his own research on the condition (for over 20 years) to help others.

There's some interesting stuff.

He does say though that it can occur in babies even at birth, contrary to some belief. They say most times the sufferer doesn't even know they had an episode until someone tells them and it usually occurs about 45 minutes into the sleep cycle. They'll "wake up" startled, screaming or crying, no idea where they are or what's going on. It can last roughly 5 minutes on average but sometimes longer and no matter what you do to console them it doesn't make a difference until they snap out of it on their own. In children they say the best thing to do is just comfort them as much as you can; if they wake up the next morning and have no recollection of the episode, don't tell them about it as it'll likely just scare them.

He also says it's possible it is genetic, which if that's true, in Jay's case it makes me wonder as there has been a handful of times where hubby "wakes up" in the middle of the night, sweating, breathing hard, frantic and scared, unsure of what's happening. He usually goes back to sleep in a matter of minutes but it has creeped me out a few times. I recall his dad telling me he'd occasionally have episodes like that when he was really little, claiming to see a demon or something in his room. Another thing with the night terrors is that sometimes people do think they see a person in the room with them that isn't actually there. If hubby has the occasional night terror, it's possible that's what that could have been when he was young.

It's definitely interesting and worth checking into more! I hate it when it happens though, as Jay's usually asleep in my arms, it's usually been about 45 minutes and he just shrieks for a good few minutes until he actually wakes up and is perfectly fine like nothing just happened.

5.24.2011

Ten on Tuesday: Misc 1

Once again, I'm posting another meme that Angie posted on her blog. Seems that's all I get to post on here most of the time! Doh! I'll be posting my progress on my 101 in 1001 list once May is over though!

1. Have you ever used Craigslist?
Several times - once I posted a missing ad for our area when Tiger took her 2 day walkabout outside and we couldn't find her. I got several responses of people who had suggestions and a few well wishes, but no one had seen her. Another time I posted trying to get some interest in my Mary Kay business. Most recently I purchased a retired Partylite Aroma Melts holder I really wanted as it matched our upstairs bathroom decor perfectly (ocean and dolphins) - by searching through Google I found a seller on Craigslist who was liquidating her Partylite business inventory and selling it off at cost so I got a great deal on it too!

2. Can you sew? 
No, I'm horrible at it - I can't even a sew a button on that stays on for more than a few days! Fortunately my mom's a seamstress though so I just go to her for all my sewing needs.

3. Do you pour syrup on your pancakes or dip your pancakes in the syrup?
I drown my pancakes in syrup. My ex's mom once made pancakes for us one day when I was out there for a few days just so she could witness the insane amount of syrup I apparently use. Even my ex thought it was crazy... fortunately, hubby drowns his pancakes just as much as I do and this habit of mine seems perfectly normal to him! LOL

4. Rain storms: Love them or hate them? 
I like them so long as it doesn't go on for days on end (like this past April!) and I'm able to watch from somewhere safe (ie: indoors) and not stuck out in them.

5. Do you like swimming? 
Swimming is just "meh" to me - I don't mind it, but it's not my favorite either and I don't really go out of my way to do it. I plan on taking Jay a few times this summer though with my friend and her 2 young kids - got his spf 50 waterproof sunscreen and some Little Swimmers he can wear since he's on the small side for the reusable swimpants.

6. What kind of drink do you order at Sonic? 
Cherry Limeade! Their diet ones have almost no carbs in them too which, while it obviously tasted diet, I was able to treat myself to them while pregnant and on my diabetes diet =)

7. Are you funny? 
I can be at times.

8. At what age will your kids get cell phones?
This is to be debated as my husband is alllllll into the cell phone stuff (hence him working for a Verizon retailer). He's positive our son will have one in grade school at some point as that'll be the norm by then (both my cousin and my sister in law got theirs when they were 11, going on 12), although I really don't think he needs one until maybe Jr. High if he's involved in after-school activities. I was 16 when I got one and that was just so if my car broke down or I was running late from some activity I was doing I could call my parents.

9. What’s your favorite vegetable?
Broccoli! I <3 Broccoli

10. Were you a Girl Scout? 
I didn't make it that far - I was a Brownie for a year or 2 though, which was the level below Girl Scout.

Tornado Season is Here!

As most heard, Sunday evening Illinois & Missouri had some really bad weather!

Joplin, Missouri had a really bad tornado go through it and the death toll keeps rising from it daily. In Northern Illinois we had large areas without power, a middle school with it's roof blown off, and a major fire due to powerlines getting destroyed (and firetrucks delayed in getting there due to debris in the way!). So far it's been confirmed we had 3 (maybe 4) tornados come through the area that night!

Not to downplay Joplin, but it was pretty intense up here too!

And I got stuck driving home in part of the storm.

I was scheduled to close at work that night. On Sundays the mall closes at 6pm and for us close is however fast we can straighten up the merchandise, count the drawers and deposits and make the floors look acceptable. Fortunately for us, there were 2 of us closing with a manager too so it went faster and the manager's spouse called to warn her of the impending storm so she didn't make us do too much with the floors.
At 10 til 6, after she got the call, I ran out to my car to shut the windows all the way as it was an 80-degree day. It looked a bit overcast out and like it could rain a bit off to the west, but nothing yet.

About 6:45pm, as we were walking back across the mall after dropping off the deposit a mall cop informed us to be careful leaving as the local warning sirens were about to go off.

No doubt, we heard them off in the distance as we were exiting the mall, however there was still no rain. I called hubby to make sure he knew about the storm and that I was on my way home. Then I took off, speeding 5-10 miles over the whole way. I wasn't the only car on the road though despite the radio guy saying to seek shelter soon.

I got just past the road to my parents house which is about a mile or so down the road from us when "the shit hit the fan." It started raining and hard. The emergency broadcast signal took over the FM radio station I had on. My wipers were barely keeping up with the rain, however I was just a few blocks from home. Ironically, I had just passed where I experienced my 1st car accident as a kid, when my mom got in a minor fender-bender on our way home in similar weather (there was also a tornado warning, hence mom's hurry to get us home, and I was scared we were going to get stuck in the tornado!)

The guy in front of me literally went 2mph turning off the road, making things worse, keeping me in the storm and on the road longer than necessary. After he got out of my way it got worse, as I could barely see more than a few feet in front of me and my wipers could no longer keep up with the rain it was coming down so fast and hard!

I turned onto our street (hitting the garage door remote the second our house was in view) and it started hailing hard- dime-sized hail. This was definitely one of the worst storms I ever drove in and the fastest drive between home and the mall I ever made (roughly 10 minutes!).

Before my engine was off I hit the garage remote again, grabbed my keys and ran inside. It was pitch black, so I yelled for hubby - him and Jay were already down in the basement, standing in the doorway of our safe spot (the bathroom closet under the stairs) listing to the emergency broadcast report cutting into the TV every 2 seconds. Jay seemed quite calm, completely oblivious that anything major was happening around him!

I ran back upstairs to get a spare bottle for Jay and his diaper bag, as well as a book for myself and to take a quick look for Tiger as her animal intuition sent her hiding. No luck, but I soon found her downstairs and locked her in the bathroom with me as we waited.

I saw at 7:15pm our local weather people announced the "all clear" for our area on Twitter, however we were still under severe storm watch til morning and the storms definitely came on and off throughout the night!

We were lucky - on the other side of the main road there was no power. Our lights flickered throughout the night but never actually went out. We had no damage either - one girl I know reported on Facebook that all the windows at her house blew out! Fortunately her and her family were okay though! I also heard another friend on Facebook was holed up in the bathroom of Barnes and Noble. Someone else reported Walmart calling a code black and keeping people away from all doors.

It was definitely crazy and intense Sunday night! I think it's safe to say that tornado season is officially here!

Huggies Update

Remember how last week I was complaining about the constant leaks we were having with these Huggies Snug & Dry diapers we decided to try out since they were cheaper and there were more in the box?

Well, like I said, I emailed them about it, stating I would like a refund and even offered to send them back as I'd rather not keep using these things.

On Friday I got an email back, apologizing for the issue however they weren't sure why we were having the leaks but said maybe to try the next size up if Jay was near the end of the weight limit on the diapers (which is 15lbs - uh, he's only around 12-13lbs!) or to try a different make of Huggies diapers instead of the Snug and Dry ones. They also said they'd be forwarding my info along and I would be receiving a check for the diapers in the next 4-8 weeks!

Yay! So relieved, but let's see if they actually pull through and deliver!

Also, I still have this box with at least 250 diapers in it that I have no idea what to do with - we already went and bought a box of the Pampers Swaddlers that we know work just fine for us!

So about this book...

I forget how, but not too long ago I started following the blog geek with curves. Amy is a female geek, often writing about comics, Star Wars, fantasy books, and all other geeky things you would expect! I've read and seen some pretty neat stuff on her blog and I highly recommend checking it out!

Anyways, she recently posted about this really interesting fantasy book she acquired - Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - and it sounds really interesting! It's about this girl named September and her adventures in Fairyland.

She's also giving away a copy of the book! Hubby and I both enjoy reading and now that Jay sleeps through the night and I'm able to have some time alone at night I've been getting back in the habit of reading more frequently, so I'm all for acquiring more books!

Check out her post about the book and giveaway to learn more about both!

5.20.2011

This is the tale... of Jack Sparrow!

Not quite safe for work, but still funny (and a lot cleaner than most of The Lonely Island's songs) and quite fitting considering the new Pirates movie comes out today!

5.19.2011

Some late night thoughts

Several thoughts I've been meaning to post about:

1. Remember when pregnant how they were concerned about Jay's femurs measuring small and started scaring me into the possibility that he might have Downs Syndrome? Well, as I mentioned when he was born, he's perfectly proportioned. They did briefly also mention that it could just be his height would be in his torso and not his legs, like me and mom rather than his daddy. Turns out, that's just what it is! Jay seems to have a long torso while his legs... he can still fit in newborn size pants while a good bit of 0-3 size ones fit a bit long on him. See though? No big deal and they me got worried over nothing.

2. Thinking it over and knowing after the fact (having been told at my 6 week post-partum appointment) that they discovered a knot in his umbilical cord when he was born... that's probably the cause for why his growth slowed and is likely the reason why we had that "failure to thrive" stuff. Somewhere between weeks 30 and 37 it got knotted up (no surprise really as he was quite the active bugger in there, which hasn't stopped since he was born!) and slowed down the amount of food he was getting. He was still getting enough to survive, but because he wasn't getting as much his stomach probably shrunk and he probably just got used to not eating as much to be full which carried over after he was born - his stomach shrunk so much and couldn't take in much and needed to be stretched (which the continuous feeding in the hospital did) in order to hold more so he could eat enough to grow! I'm almost positive that's what happened. And if that's the case, it explains a lot!

5.18.2011

What's in my purse - mommy edition!

Being a mommy now, most of the time I don't carry a purse anymore - instead I carry a diaper bag!


1. The Diaper Bag
It's green and black and by Just One You (by Carter's)

2. Jay's little summer hat I bought him at work (The Children's Place)

3. Jay's little sunglasses I also bought him at work, however they're a little too big for his face as his nose isn't quite big enough yet to hold them in place on his face, lol...

4. Yellow lion snack cup which I use to store his binky in sometimes

5. Bright Starts baby rattle

6. Bright Starts lion wrist rattle, although we haven't used this much yet

7. Baby hairbrush

8. My keys, and yes, one of them is a metal WoW horde symbol =)

9. Gum - this is a new addition and it's the Trident Layers gum you see on TV. By the way, it's a lot smaller than it looks in the commercial!

10. Make-up - I got my Mary Kay compact which holds 6 eyeshadows and eye applicator brushes as well as a lipstick or lipgloss and I found a few extra Mary Kay lipglosses I had thrown in the bag too, oops!

11. My phone - the original Motorola Droid and my main connection with the outside world as I don't get near an actual computer all that often anymore.

12. My wallet - it holds money, cards, checkbook, coupons, etc. I bought it at Gordman's a year ago and I love it!

13. Mary Kay Satin Hands Lotion, cuz you never know when your hands are going to get dry!

14. Hand Sanitizer, cuz you're touching a baby, duh!

15. PartyLite S-Pod deoderizor. It's a mini air freshener type product that keeps the baby bag smelling nice

16. Desitin diaper rash ointment.

17. Mini Lanolin nipple oinment - not sure why it's still in there as we stopped breastfeeding a few months ago...

18. Target diaper wipes - Target's got the best price on wipies IMO

19. Pamper's diaper pouch with diapers in it

20. Jay's favorite blankie, which I started carrying around with us after a few really windy days. Comes in handy as I can drape it over his carrier if it's real windy out when we're walking to/from the car or we can tuck it in around his arms and legs and body if it's real cold out to keep him warm.

21. Jay's stuffed Elmo. Okay, so this one gets put in the bag as he keeps it with him most of the day as it's his favorite toy right now. Seriously, the kid loves his Elmo... that is, when daddy isn't attacking him with it, lol...

22. Huggies Little Swimmers SPF 50 sunblock. I bought this the other week and good thing too as it came in handy when went for a walk last week on a really hot sunny day!

23. Jay's immunization record sheet. I keep this one of the sides of the bag so I have it with me when we go to the doctor's office as I know if I don't keep it in there I'll likely forget it at home.

24. A spare bottle, just in case he gets hungry while we're out. We use the Gerber Nuk brand as that seems to be the kind Jay prefers (we've tried other bottles)

25. A bottle tote - there's usually an icepack we put in here too as it keeps the bottles cool after we use them if Jay doesn't drink it all so we don't have to waste milkies

26. Munchkin brand 3 slot formula dispenser. This thing is genius if you're formula feeding as you can measure out the amount you need beforehand into 3 slots of the bowl and it has a hole with a cover that you pop open and pour into the bottle. Get this at Target or Walmart - BabiesRUs charges over $5 for it and I got it at Target for around $3.

27. Mini 1st Aid Kit - it has bandaids and stuff in it, cuz with a kid, you never know when you might need it.

28. A burpie cloth

29. A bib

30. Changing pad

31. Arm and Hammer diaper trashbag dispenser. Someone gave this to me at my baby shower and I put it in the diaper bag not knowing when I would need to use it. I got some use out of it the other day as I was in Gordman's and had to change Jay in the dressing room. I put his poopie diaper in one of these bags and stuck it in the side of the diaper bag until I found a trashcan and it kept it from making a mess and blocked the smell too!

What's in your bag?

My Disappointment with Huggies Snug & Dry diapers

Over the weekend we started getting low on our giant box of Pampers Swaddlers my parents had bought us soon after Jay was born (although we couldn't use them til about a month and a half ago as Jay was so small he couldn't fit in size 1-2 yet). My mom said Sam's Club seemed to have the best price as far as quantity goes so she offered to take me with her to buy another box as my parents are members and we are not. She had mentioned Huggies had a similar type of diaper in the same size however there was more in the box and it was $6 less than Pampers. Like Pampers, Huggies also had a leakguard advertised on them and since Huggies and Pampers have always seemed to be in competition with each other we figured the quality would be about the same.

Boy were we wrong!

http://www.shopbvm.com/store/pc/catalog/dnr001.jpgI bought the 264 count of the size 1-2 Huggies Snug & Dry diapers on Monday and started using them when we ran out of the Pampers on Tuesday (yesterday). I've had multiple problems within the first 24hours!

First, I was a bit disappointed with the material quality of the diaper. The Pampers Swaddlers are made of a softer, quilted type material which was nice on Jay's skin. Peeking into the Huggies box, they looked to be the same but apparently not - they're made out of the same stiff paper material that Walmart's Parent Choice brand uses (which we stopped using as soon as he fit into the Pampers as they were giving him some bad diaper rash).

Then, it took me multiple attempts to get the left side of the diaper to stay fastened as they don't use the tape like material that Pampers or Parent's Choice uses - it's some type of material that can be refastened several times (which I guess would be nice if you're just checking the diaper and have a false alarm) however I couldn't get it to stay fastened right away!

Last night, while Jay was having his late night feeding before bedtime he had a bit of a blowout!

Now he's had some blowouts before, but both Pampers and Parent's Choice I was able to get snug enough that it kept the poop from going up his back, stopping just at the top of the diaper. Not the case with the Huggies though - I finished feeding him and went to change him and YUCK! It was up his back, all over the back of his onesie he was wearing - the diaper didn't do much to hold it in or prevent it from going up his back! I put another one on him, getting it as snug as I could however it still didn't seem very snug in the back. But again, it was as tight as I could get it on him so I let it go and put him to bed.

This morning he woke up about 930am and I brought him over to our bed to snuggle for a bit before we actually got up. His diaper didn't seem that full so I figured I'd change it once we actually woke up for the day (I've done this for a month and a half with Pampers with no problems!). Laying in bed for an hour or so, Jay started getting fussy. Thinking maybe he was hungry, I passed him off to daddy so I could get up and make a bottle. I went to get out of bed though and noticed my side, where Jay was laying, was all wet! I look and there's a HUGE wet spot on the bed - sure enough, the diaper had leaked! I've only had one other diaper leak in our bed before and it was Parent's Choice brand and was because the diaper was fastened tight enough - in this case though I had fastened the diaper as tight as it would go!

What a disappointment and a way to start our morning!

I emailed Huggies, detailing my disappointment with their diapers - hopefully I hear something back and if not then I'll call and complain not only about the diapers but the lack of communication regarding my problem. I'd like a refund if possible (so I'm not out $36!) and I'd love to return this box if I could but I don't think Sam's will take it back since it's open with a handful of diapers missing.

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/pampers-swaddlers-drymax.jpg
If a diaper says it has a leak guard, it better well do it's job! I don't have the time or the patience to be constantly cleaning my kid, the sheets, his clothes and whatever else he leaks on because these diapers don't hold like they should!

As soon as I figure what to do with this box of diapers I plan on only purchasing the Pampers Swaddlers since I know we don't have these leaking problems with those and the material is much softer too - now I know why the hospital uses Pampers!

Now I'm wondering about the box of Huggies Little Swimmers I picked up at Sam's... if they're going to do their job like they should or if those will just be a big disappointment this summer as well!

5.17.2011

He flipped!

Just a quick post today, however we've reached a milestone!

Last night I put Jay down in his crib after daddy came home and fell asleep as he just wouldn't settle down in my arms and I wanted to go to sleep. I figured I'd put him in the crib and read for a little while until I heard him quiet down and go to sleep (he was babbling and scooting around I could hear).

Well I finished a chapter in my book and he was still  being noisy and now a little fussy so I went to go check on him - that's happened before where it turned it out he just popped his binky out of his mouth and was fussing cuz he wanted it back in.

At first I was little confused as to how he scooted himself 45-90degrees from where I had laid him down on his tummy (as I've mentioned before, Jay is a tummy sleeper). He was all smiles too and then it dawned on me - he was on his back, not his tummy how I had left him!!

He flipped himself over somehow!!

I stood there for a moment telling him how I proud I was of him, that he flipped all by himself... and then I flipped him back over so he could go to sleep and he was fine, passing out within minutes - I think he was just fussing and being all noisy to get my attention to come see what he did! LOL...

We have to wait and see if he does it again, this time when we're around to see him in action!

5.16.2011

Just like Cinderella...

I'm sure by now you've all seen this image comparing the recent Royal Wedding to Disney's Cinderella, but I thought it was worth posting.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sOm_8KiUNLs/TdAs4m5eZ5I/AAAAAAAAA4o/fcSW8OtXfAE/s320/Fairytail.jpg

I *still* can't get over how Prince William's attire is soooo similar to that of Prince Charming's! I'm curious if it was planned, to be honest, as I recall during the ABC coverage they were commenting about how he wasn't wearing a different military branch dress outfit and some were disappointed by that. But after seeing the photo... makes you wonder!

And yes, I watched part of the Royal Wedding. I wasn't planning on getting caught up in it, figuring I might catch part of it just to say I saw it as it is a bit historical and I recall my mom recalling watching Princess Di's wedding all those years ago. Anyways, coverage started at 3am our time which is around the same time hubby gets home from work on the weekdays and if Little Man is still up he's usually getting his last bottle before bedtime then too. So I flipped over to ABC and started watching... and got glued to the TV til 5am. Luckily it started on time and I got to see Catherine's 4 minute walk down the aisle (OMG how nerve-wracking that must have been!) before we headed to bed and I saw the highlights of the rest throughout the day.

I must say, Catherine's dress was so pretty on her and her sister Pippa looked gorgeous! Also, I think Harry has surpassed William as "the cute one," as I remember growing up William was always the hot one while Harry looked a bit goofy! William is starting to look old now, in my opinion!

Toddlers and the Discipline Affirmation Conundrum

So I mentioned briefly in my previous post that this week's sermon was really insightful as a new parent.

Last week at church our pastor - Rusty Hayes - started a new series called Generations and kicked it off with the topic of mother's for Mother's Day. This week the sermon was on toddlers and discussed bringing them up and "training" the right. While it was called toddlers, he said it can apply to kids up to ages 8 and maybe even 10.

Anyways, he talked about what he called the Discipline Affirmation Conundrum and how as a parent you need to find the balance between the 2 for each of your children as each child is different.

If you give too much or only affirmation and not enough or no discipline and never say no to your child, your likely to end up with a kid who is a total spoiled brat and thinks the world revolves around them. However if you give your child too much discipline with little to no affirmation then you're like going to to have a child who's an overachiever when they're young, doing anything they can just to get any sort of praise from you, and then they're likely to rebel and go wild with their newfound freedom when they go off to college or move out on their own. So as a parent it's your responsibility to find that balance for your child. Some children are a bit out of control and need a little more discipline than others, other kids may have low self-esteem for whatever reason and need more affirmation.

So many parents today are more concerned about being their child's friend than being their parent and are afraid to tell their child "no" and/or discipline them, which looking in general at society and the teens we have today, clearly there's a problem. As a parent though it's your job to teach your child right from wrong, disciplining them when needed so that they understand that bad actions are wrong.

As far as disciplining goes, he pointed out that there's really 3 options or "ouch factors" that work with toddlers, the 1st being spankings and pointed out that the Bible even mentions using "the rod."

So many parents today think of spankings as child abuse or don't do it, however, a study from very liberal college UC-Berkeley showed that spankings in moderation (ie: when necessary) actually are effective, as they did a study that lasted 10 years and looked at several kids who were disciplined differently - the ones that did get spankings from time to time ended up growing up best (for lack of better terms). Now our pastor pointed out, you never want to spank your child while you're in a rage as your likely to lose control and take things too far, and really it should be more of a last resort and only done when the situation warrants it - if you're spanking a child multiple times a day then something is clearly wrong, either your child isn't getting it or you're missing something.

Another "ouch factor" is the lose of privileges, such as putting your child in timeout, and by timeout we mean somewhere away from toys and distractions where the child can have a few minutes to sit and reflect on what they did wrong. Don't send them to their room or they'll just see timeout as a time to get away and go play and not learn anything. In my parents house, the timeout spot was on the bottom landing of the stairs that go upstairs. My sister was quite familiar with that spot, as they would have her sit there for several minutes at a time (my mom would set the timer on the stove so my sister would know when she could get up off the landing) until she cooled down and was ready to behave. As the kid gets older this would be more in the terms of grounding them or "no TV or video games for x-amount of time."

The third "ouch factor" is to make amends. The example our pastor used was say Billy throws his little sister's favorite dolly out in the trash, just for fun. Well then Billy would have to give one of his favorite toys to his little sister to make amends. If they break a sibling's or a friend's toy on purpose and get an allowance, have them save up to replace it. Teach them that if they wrong someone it is their responsibility to make it right.

As far as affirmation goes, he reminded us of 4 points.

Be sure to have fun with your kids - laughter is the closest a person can get to each other. Be silly and have fun, do fun things together. Have a weekly family night where you all watch a movie or play a game together (we used to do pizza and board games when I was little).

Make conversation with them, talk through stories. Say you know your kid got teased at school but doesn't want to talk about it. Have them help you come up with a story where you act out what happened and get them to discuss it. For example, use their stuffed animals and incorprate them into the story - let them come up with the names in the story, point out that one of them (say the bunny stuffed animal) got teased, ask your child how they think bunny feels. Try to get them to talk about how they're feeling.

"Date" your child - make time for some one on one with just them. Dad's take your daughters out one on one for something as simple as McDonald's for a meal, same goes for moms.

And of course be sure to make your child feel blessed - make them feel good about themselves, show praise and affirmation when they do good things.

Overall, I thought it was a really good and insightful sermon, especially being a new parent who's soon going to be dealing with a toddler before you know it! I look forward to the rest of the series.

Weekly Update

This past week has been somewhat busy with some amusing moments as well!

Tuesday it was hot and sunny! Jay and I met up with my friend and her 1 year old and went walking for a bit at a nearby park around a mini-lake. Good thing too, as the lake offered a little bit of a nice breeze! It finally felt like summer though and I'm not sure Jay knew what to make of it as on this day he got to go out in just a onesie with no shoes or pants on bottom when usually when we go out he's all bundled up! I'm glad I bought the Huggies Little Swimmers spf 50 sunblock recently though, as it came in handy and kept Jay from getting burnt like I did! He was sweating a lot though while we were out so I went on a search to find him one of those water spray bottles with the fan on the end so I can take with us and mist him while we go for walks this summer.

It's a good thing that our basement is super freezing as it felt really nice when it was 90 degrees outside!

Also, I got my Mother's Day present - a trip to a nearby salon for a mani-pedi! And at this place you get a complimentary beverage too - neat! We're going to a wedding out of state on the 1st of July so I'll probably use it sometime the week before.

We think Jay might be going through his 3 month growth spurt as Thursday he literally slept almost all day - he didn't wake up in his crib til after noon, I picked him up and he fell back asleep and slept til almost 3pm before he woke up for food, sleeping on and off throughout the day only waking up to eat or have his diaper changed. He seemed more like himself on Friday, but I looked it up and they say increased in appetite and sleeping more than usual is a sign of a growth spurt coming and he's due for his 3 month one too... he does feel a bit heavier, as I've noticed I've had to shift him a bit when he's laying on me as my back or side starts to hurt if he's on it for too long. He's also eating 8oz bottles regularly now too - finishing off several in a day that we had to go out and buy another 3 pack of bottles so we have enough to get through the day! We weighed him on the scale by weighing daddy while holding him and then without - it showed that Jay added about 12lbs to daddy's weight, so we're assuming he's at least 12lbs by now. His 4 month check-up on June 8th - wouldn't be surprised if he's at least 13lbs by then!

Friday Jay had a few "scares." We decided to go out to a sit-down restaurant on Friday night for dinner so while I was in the bathroom putting on make-up hubby was watching Jay when I heard him shriek and scream and start crying out of nowhere! I rushed out of the bathroom to see what had happened and saw hubby trying to comfort Jay - hubby decided to play "Elmo Attack!" with Jay but Jay freaked out at the sight of his favorite stuffed animal lunging towards him, lol... poor kiddo! And at Texas Roadhouse, whenever it's someone's birthday they yell it out so everyone in the restaurant can hear and have everyone yell "yee-haw!" Well, it scared Jay, as the 1st time it happened, the birthday was just a few tables over from us. They started yelling out the person's information and his face scrunched up and he started wailing... I picked him up and held him to get him to calm down but then a few minutes later they announced another birthday in a nearby section and he started crying again. So yeah... guess he wasn't fond of that, although he didn't mind the rest of the loud atmosphere! LOL...

I had to quit the 30 Day Shred, unfortunately. It's a good work-out and it is doable, it's just I realized my knees are HORRIBLE! They can't handle the intense workout and I'm afraid if I kept up with it I'd really do something to damage them and make em even worse. So I'm watching my calories thanks to the My Fitness Pal smartphone app and I'm making an effort to go walking at least once a week if not more so I'm doing something. Plus wearing my Shape-Ups help too as I can feel those toning my legs and butt.

What else...

I started on Jay's baby book earlier this week, filling out the info so far. I need to get some pictures printed up for it though.

Also, Jay enjoyed sending text messages to people this week! I was holding him while we were hanging out in the basement on a hot afternoon and I had my phone in my hand too, which is a touchscreen. On occasion Jay likes to smack my phone, put me on who knows what screen and how he got there, lol... well this day he got it to open a text message to one of my friends. Seeing how he was hitting the screen of my phone with his hand I decided to just let him send messages to people (with a follow-up one that it was from him) and let him go to town punching in random characters! He had a blast and it provided us with some entertainment for a little while! He sent one to a few of my friends and daddy as well as both of his grandma's and my dad (as his other grandpa doesn't text). They all thought it was cute and amusing. Gotta love touchscreens!

I almost forgot last week that Jay "watches" TV now too, as I had TBS on late one night and a horror movie came on. It was about 5 minutes in when it hit me to see if he was asleep or awake, as I was on the laptop and had Jay propped up on some pillows on the couch laying next to me. I look over and sure enough, he's wide awake, staring at the TV, sucking on his binky and snuggling with Elmo. Fortunately nothing graphic had happened yet so I flipped the channel over to Disney Channel which had Little Einstein's on! Oops!

Sunday I had a Mary Kay party and got a bunch of items (at least 10) for just $41.27! I stocked up on the items I use that I was either really low on or pretty much out of and got a handful of fun extras too! It seemed like everyone had fun too! Jay spent the evening downstairs with daddy at "the man party" as hubby invited one of his co-workers over to play video games with and my father-in-law hung out with them too as my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were there for my party and with his health issues he can't be alone at the house for very long. It all worked out though - us girls did our thing while the guys did their thing.

We took Jay to church again this week and kept him with us rather than dropping him off in the nursery - he did well once again, sleeping throughout most of the service, except at the end in which he started laughing and we had to try to keep him from being too loud during the prayer, lol... the sermon was really good too (they're doing that Generations series I mentioned last week and this week's was on toddlers) and as a new parent I found it to be pretty insightful, but I'll be posting more about that in a bit =)

We also got a call this week to participate in the upcoming church pictorial directory. They haven't put one out since shortly after I started college. My family had the time slot after hubby's family so I remember him and I hanging out for a bit as his family was taking forever, holding up the photo shoots, lol... part of the problem was his brother insisted that his girlfriend at the time be in the photos and they had trouble picking one they liked that she wasn't in or something along those lines... hubby and I just remember it taking forever, lol... we setup a time for the 3 of us, not sure if we're also going to join his family to get one nice big family photo or not - that's up to them. I'm excited though as they've done these pictorial church directories for years and it's neat having them and looking at them from time to time... I remember being a kid and thinking about the day I'd get to be in it with a family of my own and now that day has come! How exciting!

What's in my purse - mommy edition!

Being a mommy now, most of the time I don't carry a purse anymore - instead I carry a diaper bag!


1. The Diaper Bag
It's green and black and by Just One You (by Carter's)

2. Jay's little summer hat I bought him at work (The Children's Place)

3. Jay's little sunglasses I also bought him at work, however they're a little too big for his face as his nose isn't quite big enough yet to hold them in place on his face, lol...

4. Yellow lion snack cup which I use to store his binky in sometimes

5. Bright Starts baby rattle

6. Bright Starts lion wrist rattle, although we haven't used this much yet

7. Baby hairbrush

8. My keys, and yes, one of them is a metal WoW horde symbol =)

9. Gum - this is a new addition and it's the Trident Layers gum you see on TV. By the way, it's a lot smaller than it looks in the commercial!

10. Make-up - I got my Mary Kay compact which holds 6 eyeshadows and eye applicator brushes as well as a lipstick or lipgloss and I found a few extra Mary Kay lipglosses I had thrown in the bag too, oops!

11. My phone - the original Motorola Droid and my main connection with the outside world as I don't get near an actual computer all that often anymore.

12. My wallet - it holds money, cards, checkbook, coupons, etc. I bought it at Gordman's a year ago and I love it!

13. Mary Kay Satin Hands Lotion, cuz you never know when your hands are going to get dry!

14. Hand Sanitizer, cuz you're touching a baby, duh!

15. PartyLite S-Pod deoderizor. It's a mini air freshener type product that keeps the baby bag smelling nice

16. Desitin diaper rash ointment.

17. Mini Lanolin nipple oinment - not sure why it's still in there as we stopped breastfeeding a few months ago...

18. Target diaper wipes - Target's got the best price on wipies IMO

19. Pamper's diaper pouch with diapers in it

20. Jay's favorite blankie, which I started carrying around with us after a few really windy days. Comes in handy as I can drape it over his carrier if it's real windy out when we're walking to/from the car or we can tuck it in around his arms and legs and body if it's real cold out to keep him warm.

21. Jay's stuffed Elmo. Okay, so this one gets put in the bag as he keeps it with him most of the day as it's his favorite toy right now. Seriously, the kid loves his Elmo... that is, when daddy isn't attacking him with it, lol...

22. Huggies Little Swimmers SPF 50 sunblock. I bought this the other week and good thing too as it came in handy when went for a walk last week on a really hot sunny day!

23. Jay's immunization record sheet. I keep this one of the sides of the bag so I have it with me when we go to the doctor's office as I know if I don't keep it in there I'll likely forget it at home.

24. A spare bottle, just in case he gets hungry while we're out. We use the Gerber Nuk brand as that seems to be the kind Jay prefers (we've tried other bottles)

25. A bottle tote - there's usually an icepack we put in here too as it keeps the bottles cool after we use them if Jay doesn't drink it all so we don't have to waste milkies

26. Munchkin brand 3 slot formula dispenser. This thing is genius if you're formula feeding as you can measure out the amount you need beforehand into 3 slots of the bowl and it has a hole with a cover that you pop open and pour into the bottle. Get this at Target or Walmart - BabiesRUs charges over $5 for it and I got it at Target for around $3.

27. Mini 1st Aid Kit - it has bandaids and stuff in it, cuz with a kid, you never know when you might need it.

28. A burpie cloth

29. A bib

30. Changing pad

31. Arm and Hammer diaper trashbag dispenser. Someone gave this to me at my baby shower and I put it in the diaper bag not knowing when I would need to use it. I got some use out of it the other day as I was in Gordman's and had to change Jay in the dressing room. I put his poopie diaper in one of these bags and stuck it in the side of the diaper bag until I found a trashcan and it kept it from making a mess and blocked the smell too!

What's in your bag?

Getting to Know You Sunday

It's still Sunday somewhere, right?

1. have you ever gone to see a movie by yourself?
Yes, but only twice that I can recall. First time was The Avengers, you know, the one starring Uma Thurman as Emma Peel and they're trying to pretend it never happened as it was that bad and so they're release a new Avengers movie with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc next summer? Yeah, THAT Avengers movie. I thought it looked good though and I was in Junior High and really wanted to go see it and no one else did so I went by myself while my mom went shopping around the mall as this was back when we still had a movie theater in the mall, lol... the other one I saw myself was rather recent and was Black Swan. Everyone was talking about it and I was curious, hubby had no interest in a ballet flick so, bored and 9 months pregnant I went to a matinee by myself, lol...

2. would you rather go through a tornado or a hurricane?
Considering I've lived in Illinois most of my life and are used to them and the drills by now, tornado.

3. have you made summer vacation plans?
Kinda...? We're going to a wedding out of state just before 4th of July other than that though we don't really have any plans for this summer.

4. what's your favorite accessory?
Oh I don't know... I guess my wedding and engagement rings as they're the only pieces (other than my earrings) that never come off.

5. have you ever been thrown a surprise party?
No.

6. are you friends with your neighbors?
Not yet - haven't really had a good chance to meet them yet as we've only lived here for a month and the weather's been pretty crappy for the most part

7. what's the last movie you saw in the theater?
We saw Thor on Mother's Day with my in-laws

8. what's your favorite food network show?
I don't watch Food Network much but I guess it's that Man vs. Food show... or is that on the Travel Channel?

5.10.2011

My 1st Mother's Day

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_TXJcM3hUhjs/S-Wm1q2Ww3I/AAAAAAAAJ3U/WJXmCGXmIys/s1600/938-038~Moms-Posters.jpgThis year was the 1st year I got to celebrate Mother's Day!

We found out on Thursday that we were doing Mother's Day brunch at 10am with my inlaws, so I ended up going to the Saturday evening service at church as they started this Generations series this weekend that I had been looking forward to and really didn't want to miss, however we'd have to miss our regular Sunday service at 1030am and hubby wasn't too thrilled at the idea of going to the 830am service and having to get up earlier than that.

So I took Jay with me (hubby works Saturday evenings) and dropped him off in the church nursery. They said he did really well - he snuggled with one of the ladies in a rocking chair and she said he took a little snooze too. They asked me to bring him back again sometime as I guess they don't get too many really little guys in the nursery much these days!

I also won a goodie bag during service - they had us fill out the comment and turn it in and they drew 4 names and mine was one of them! In my bag was a small candle, some chocolates, a journal/devotional, a pen, some "Thank You" notes, and a little manicure set. Pretty neat!

The sermon was pretty good too - this week's was on Mothers, next week's on Toddlers. Should be interesting!

Sunday, hubby told me happy mother's day when our alarm went off. Baby boy joined us in bed at 815am, after sleeping for 6hrs or so in his crib, and I passed him off to daddy at 9am so I could get ready to go. Kiddo was tired - we could barely wake him up to get him to eat! lol...

We met my inlaws at Stockholm Inn (this authentic Swedish pancake house that's ALWAYS packed when we go there as Rockford has a huge Swedish population) and had brunch with them. We got done around noon and they came over to the house for a little bit before we all went for a 2pm showing of Thor.

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/226880_995908873779_30800316_45241121_600074_n.jpg
We put a blanket over his legs to keep him
warm - we took it off at the end & this is how
we found him curled up, snoozing! LOL
I was hesitant to take Jay with us, as I used to manage a theater in college and I really didn't want to be one of *those* parents that has the screaming little baby with them (and while Jay is usually pretty good, he is teething right now so there's no telling when his mouth will start bothering him!), but he did GREAT! We fed him before we left and then he fell asleep in the car and HE SLEPT THE ENTIRE 2 HOURS OF THE MOVIE! I was shocked! There was a few times he stirred a little in his carrier, but he just readjusted himself and fell back into sleep. He woke up as we were leaving and strapping him back in (we undid his straps just in case we needed to pick him up and take him out in a hurry and we did sit down near the front on an aisle). He seemed a little confused as to where he was though! lol...

We swung by the house to get my mom's gift and headed over to my parent's house, as it was already 430 and dad said to be there around 5. We had a cookout and hubby and I took a little snooze on one of the couches while Grammie played with and read books to Jay.

We came home and daddy took care of Jay for me for the night - feeding him, changing him (stuff I usually do), etc. We watched the new episode of HBO's Game of Thrones and Jay and I fell asleep on the couch snuggling together while daddy did stuff in the office.

Overall it was a nice day.

I'm still waiting to see what my actual gift is - I gave hubby some ideas earlier in the week as he really had no clue what to get me... so far I got a card from him and one from Jay though (both were really cute!). He said I'd get it today as we didn't have money til Friday and he didn't have a chance to get it on Saturday, but I haven't gotten it yet and I don't want to be a nag, asking, so I guess we'll wait and see! =D

We got my mother-in-law this tulip reed diffuser set with tulip scented oil from Yankee Candle and we got my mom this cute votive/tealight holder with a duckie in a raincoat and umbrella with a little froggie like they're sitting on the edge of a pond together (like Grammie and Jay) and a pack of tealights to go with it.

5.06.2011

The Smithsonian Art of Video Games exhibit opening soon!

Awhile back Eleni from RPG Called Life posted about the upcoming Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian where they let the public vote on which games would be included (sadly, I forgot to vote!).

Anyways, just this week did they announce the winning chosen games.
The following games topped the public vote and will be featured in The Art of Video Games in 2012. In addition to the 80 games below, five playable games will be included in the exhibition: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and World of Warcraft.

1943: The Battle of Midway
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
After Burner
Attack of the Mutant Camels
Bioshock
Boom Blox
BrĂ¼tal Legend
ChuChu Rocket!
Combat®
Desert Commander
Diablo II
Donkey Kong™
DOOM II
Dune II: Battle for Arrakis
Earthworm Jim
Einhander
Fable
Fallout
Fallout 3
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy VII
flOw
Flower
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Goldeneye 007
Gradius V
Gunstar Heroes
Halo 2
Heavy Rain
Jumpman
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II
Marble Madness
MassEffect 2
Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metroid Prime 2: Echos
Minecraft
Okami
Pac-Man
Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Phantasy Star
Phantasy Star IV
Pikmin 2
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Pitfall!
Portal
Rez
Shadow of Colossus
Shenmue
Sid Meier's Pirates!
SimCity
SimCity 2000
Sonic Adventure
Space Invaders
Spy vs Spy
Star Fox™
Star Fox™: Assault
Star Strike
Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator
StarCraft
Super Mario 64
Super Mario Brothers 3
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario World
The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Tomb Raider
TRON: Maze-Atron
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Utopia
Worms Armageddon
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Zaxxon


I'm glad obvious ones like WoW, Tomb Raider, Mario Bros, Zelda and the like are included, however I am a bit surprised that revolutionary games/franchises like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero were left off! I mean DDR was one of the first to incorporate movement like dancing into the gaming genre (and look where are now with the Kinect, PS Move and Wii!) and Guitar Hero... well that one paved the way quite a bit too for Rock Band and all the other accessory dependent games. Also surprised that Little Big Planet isn't included either, as it won so many "game of the year awards" and was the first major PS3 release that EVERYONE seemed to love.

For the "Era1" I found it amusing that ET was nominated! That game was HORRIBLE! I remember playing it on Atari when I was like 4, getting so confused as the controls sucked and there really wasn't much of a plot as to what you were supposed to do! LOL... and you'll see that in "Era3" Michael Jackson's Moonwalker was nominated as well! That game was a bit amusing despite being terribad, lol...

Other fun ones I've personally played that are on the list include: Fable, Fallout, Final Fantasy VII, Goldeneye007, Pacman, and Starfox, despite recalling plenty others on the list.

What are your thoughts? Which ones have you played?

Has Gaga peaked?

As I posted on my Twitter just a few minutes ago, I think Lady Gaga peaked awhile back, she realizes this and has since just been going for shock value to keep in the public eye.

Does anyone else agree?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Z-Fg_2TxHpM/TA6QoGrQhyI/AAAAAAAAGeA/Heno_uQARsA/s1600/Lady_Gaga_-_Alejandro_(FullHD)_445.jpgI honestly have to say, I have not really liked any of her songs that have come out recently - ever since "Alejandro" it seems both her lyrical quality as well as artistic value have gone downward. Yes, I'm sure the videos for "Alejandro", "Born This Way", and now "Judas" have been done on crazy budgets, but honestly, in my opinion, they're just not that good!

Let's take a look back.

http://cdn.buzznet.com/assets/users16/teenagedream/default/lady-gaga-poker-face--large-msg-129594412471.jpg
"Just Dance" - her debut single which got plenty of play on the dance stations was a fun pop tune, the video was just okay, nothing special. Then there was her big breakout hit "Pokerface" - expensive looking, not much plot, but the song was catchy and the video showcased some of her wacky fashion - it put her on the map so to speak. Then came "Lovegame", which also had catchy, fun lyrics and the video looked like a female version of Michael Jackson's "Bad" as they were singing, dancing, and running around an empty subway station or whatever. It wasn't great, but it was fun. And then there was "Paparazzi" - the song was pretty and catchy, the video played out like a story and it kept you interested and was also visually appealing. She did "Telephone" with Beyonce and while the song was just catchy, the video was a clear homage to Tarantino which was great! It too played out as a story and was just fun to watch. "Bad Romance" was another one that again, was catchy, and the video was intoxicating - I couldn't help but watch it everytime it was on and even start doing the monster dance.

But from then on... it seemed like she was all about the shock value and trying to shake up and cause controversy with the religious sect.

"Alejandro" for example has a lot of religious imagery combined with some graphic sexual content kids shouldn't see. Definitely shock value, as the song itself wasn't even that good and many even cited it sounded like an Ace of Base rip-off.

I don't recall "Born This Way" being too controversial and it's got the whole message about being who are you and being true to yourself, etc, however it wasn't very memorable and the song itself sounds like a direct rip-off of Madonna's "Express Yourself". And Madge did it better.

http://static.nme.com/images/gallery/LadyGagaJudas02Gb050511.jpgAnd now "Judas"... honestly, the song itself is just stupid and terrible and I agree with one review I read saying that it shouldn't have been released as a single as it's THAT bad. And the video... once again she's going for shock value, shaking up the religious sect and trying to cause controversy. The whole point of the song is that she's hopelessly in love with Judas (yes, the Judas from the Bible, as she makes it clear near the end of the song) and in the video the disciples are portrayed as a biker gang.

I definitely think Gaga peaked awhile back and has been on a steady decline - her songs keep getting worse and not really memorable or sounding like total rip-offs of other people's songs and it seems like to make up for it or make people forget about it she comes out with videos that have controversy and shock value fueling them.

Can we go back to the creative, artistic, feel-good catchy Gaga of 2009/early 2010? I'm really not digging the "new and improved" Gaga.

5.04.2011

3 months and rice cereal

Today Jay is officially 3 months old!

Wow, does time fly! Seems like it was just the beginning of February with the big snowstorm, then he was here and we were struggling the first few weeks... hard to believe it's already May and summer is just right around the corner!

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1st taste of solid food - Gerber rice cereal
3 months old
We decided to try giving him some of the Gerber rice cereal stuff you mix with his milkies, as the doctor told us at his 2 month check-up that we could go ahead and try it if we wanted, to get him used to the concept of eating from a spoon. We thought 2 months was a little young but decided we'd give it a try when he reached 3 months.

He took the spoon pretty well but fussed almost the entire time we were feeding him the rice cereal, until we let him drink from the bottle for a bit. He finished the bowl (which was 1 TBSP rice cereal, 4ish TBSP his milkies). We figured we'll try it twice a day - there were spurts where he'd eat it from the spoon just fine for a good minute or so but then he'd start fussing for the bottle.

5.03.2011

Urology follow-up and teething begins

This morning Jay and I met with his urologist to hear what they found out regarding the testing we had done up in Madison a few weeks ago.

The good news:
As they told us at the time, there doesn't appear to be any refluxing back up into the kidney, so that is good!

The bad news:
http://biochem.co/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/urinary-system-diagram.jpgIf you look to the image posted here, you'll see that each kidney is connected to the bladder via a ureter tube. In most hydronephrenosis cases the blockage takes place at the top of the ureter at the kidney. In Jay's case, the blockage is at the bottom of the ureter, near the bladder.

This is a bit more uncommon so his urologist is classifying it as severe. He did say again though that in most cases it will clear up and unblock on its own as he grows and gets bigger with age, however he wants to refer us to a urologist up at the children's hospital in Madison and have us go from there. Odds are they'll just continue to monitor it and keep him on the amoxicillin for awhile - I really hope we're not looking at surgery anytime too soon, giving it a chance to unblock on its own.

In other news, it appears Jay is starting to teethe.

Over the weekend he started getting really fussy for no reason. After mentioning it on Facebook, someone asked if he was drooling a lot more and suggested he might be teething. I had read he could start as early as 3 months, which is officially on Wednesday, so we knew it was going to start happening soon! He's been drooling uncontrollably quite a bit, sticking whatever he can into his mouth to chew/suck on (just today while out shopping I noticed him munching on his blankie!). We can't tell where the tooth is going to be coming in at yet - he's had ridges in his mouth since day 1 and all we still feel are the ridges. We bought Baby Oragel too but haven't used it yet and so far he doesn't like teething rings. Poor little guy... his mouth was bothering him last night at bedtime too so I let him sleep with us all night for snuggles, as that seems to put him at ease a little bit.

5.01.2011

The start of the 30 Day Shred

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Today - May 1st, 2011 - I am planning on working on items #73 and #75 on my 101 in 1001 list - Get back to pre-pregnancy weight of 162/164lbs (not sure which it was) and Try the 30 Day Shred. While I would also like to achieve #74 - Hit 150lbs - I'm not sure if that's entirely feasible in 30 days (despite the DVD saying you can lose up to 20lbs in the 30 days), but we'll see how close I get!

I've set rules for this to keep myself in check:
  • Do it daily
  • Don't eat too much junk food
  • Weigh-in every 5th morning to check progress, which I will be sharing on Twitter (and Facebook for those of you personal friends), so feel free to follow me on there if you aren't already!
I think those are easy enough, don't you?

So tonight it begins - wish me luck! If I can do it and survive I'm pretty sure just about anyone can!

30 Day Shred: Day 1
Starting weight: 169lbs
1st weight goal to reach: Pre-preggo weight of 162lbs - 7lbs to go!