The Return of Boy Bands?

Last Tuesday, which so happened to also be the day of the Illinois Republican Primary election (Ron Paul 2012!!), I happened to catch the majority of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (which is rare as I was disappointed with both NBC and Jay Leno in the mess with Conan O'Brien and normally I watch Conan on TBS for my weekday late-night entertainment) as Ron Paul was the headlining guest and I wanted to hear what my choice of candidate had to say. Anyways, the musical guest was an act called The Wanted, performing their latest single "Glad You Came."

I recognized the tune, but wasn't sure from what, but liked it. It was fun, catchy, upbeat... I looked them up on Wikipedia.

And if these guys get huge over here in the US, it could be the return of boy bands.

Which, it is about time - unless you include Nickelodeon and Disney Channel stars/bands the Jonas Brothers and Big Time Rush, there hasn't really been a string of successful boy bands since the late 90s when Hanson, The Backstreet Boys and Nsync blew up and others like 98 Degrees, LFO, Five, O-Town, Youngstown, etc came out of the woodwork too.

So far, The Wanted has been huge overseas in Europe, much like BSB and Nsync were before they hit it huge over here.

And "Glad You Came" has a similar catchy, upbeat sound and feel as "I Want You Back", "Tearin' Up My Heart", "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)", and "As Long As You Love Me".

Plus, there's 5 guys in the group, all aged 18-23.

"Glad You Came" has also already been performed on Glee this season too, by the Warblers at Regionals (which is where I originally heard it).

Keep your eyes and ears on these guys - I wouldn't be surprised if boy band mania is back in full swing by summer (15 years after the start of the last major boy band mania!).


This is How You Do a Wedding in 5 Weeks

The day after Valentine's Day - this year - my little (and only!) sis got engaged. We all knew it was going to happen, but not quite that soon.

Then we learned they wanted to get married a lot sooner than we had originally thought - instead of planning for November, we now had to plan for the end of March, as her fiance would be leaving for the Navy on April 10th and they wanted to get everything legalized before he left. They tried for March 30th, but couldn't get any of the places they preferred booked, so they settled on the 24th instead. So inside of 6 weeks, we now had 5.

And we did it.

The Bride with some her bridesmaids chillin' before the ceremony
Family photo op!
I was Matron of Honor, Jay was the ring bearer... hubby wasn't in the wedding party but I went out and found him a tie that matched my dress. I'm in another wedding this summer that uses the same blue (Malibu) as an accent color in my dress so he can rewear the tie at that one too!
My dress, which I blogged before about the David's Bridal drama over it.
This photo of Jay cracks us up - he's making THE EXACT SAME puzzled look his daddy often makes! LOL
Unity Candle and Pillar arrangements.
My mom and aunt once again did all the flowers and decorations.
Me and the Best Man.
My bouquet was a thing of calla lilies.
Daddy walking sis down the aisle.
Still hasn't fully set in for me yet that my baby sis is now married.
Full shot of wedding party (minus Jay as daddy took him).
Lighting the unity candle
This dress was quite a change from what my sis normally goes for (ie: big ballgown type dresses),
but she rocked it!
Jay sitting like a big boy with daddy while we were taking photographer photos
Jay decided to stand on the chair - my cousin, next to him (she was a Jr. Bridesmaid), keeps a watchful eye! She was supposed to walk him down the aisle with her, but we learned at the rehearsal dinner that Mr.-Almost-14-Months-Old had other plans so she was supposed to carry him instead... which would have been fine, except just before the ceremony started he lost his footing and whapped the back of his head on the floor, screaming. She got him down the aisle, but he freaked out once they got down front and daddy had to take him for the rest of the ceremony, lol...
He picked her up as we were walking up the path from the chapel to the reception hall
Cake topper - there wasn't time to get a custom, characterized one made like mine made.
Their cake, made by my cake lady
The table arrangements, done by my mom and aunt
The head table
Centerpiece at the head table, again made by my mom and aunt
Me and the Best Man walking in. They had the wedding party enter the reception to Party Rock Anthem - the Best Man and I rocked it out!
Cutting the cake. They were nice - no real smashing.
The wedding party dance was also to Party Rock Anthem and near the end we were supposed to go grab people from their seats to sort of initiate the open dancing part of the night. I obviously got hubby up and while we were dancing, I saw Jay looking like he really wanted to join in the fun too so mommy and daddy got him. After the song, I stayed out on the dance floor with him. Hubby got some video - it was cute... til he noticed the crazy DJ lights and took off running towards them, lol...
My parent's table was the only table that got alcoholic champagne for their toast (however there was a cash bar). When I learned of this I started filling my champagne glass from their bottle (I got 2 full glasses from it). Towards the end of the night, their table was empty, however the bottle was still there... but the catering staff already cleared away all the glasses. The bottle had a good 2-3 sips left in it, so hubby dared me to just drink it from the bottle. And I did - I don't let good champagne go to waste!
Jay kept falling asleep, eventually settling on mommy. Little Man was catching a cold too so was a bit out of it.

Overall everything went pretty well. There were several goofs with the DJ playing the wrong songs at the wrong times, but nothing major. Jay smacking his head on the floor just as the ceremony was about to start... Thursday her fiance had to ask his sister-in-law to step out of the wedding party, thus removing one of his brothers (whom she was paired with) as well. It was a tough decision, but was necessary. And then Friday, after she showed up to the rehearsal dinner with a mean look on her face the whole time and said some things to my sister that really upset her, they had to uninvite her to the wedding altogether and we ended up blocking her number from my sister's phone so she wasn't texting or calling her all night and on their short honeymoon, causing more problems. She admitted, she doesn't do well with weddings and we think she was trying to be strong for my sister's sake as they had become close friends, however her antics and what she's said this past week have put a damper on that. We did have the ushers act as bouncers, just in case she showed up and had campus security (as the wedding was at the local university) on speed dial in case they were needed.

Other than that though, everything seemed to go off just well, despite us only having 5 weeks to plan and prepare!

My tasks included helping get the dresses picked out and ordered, hosting & giving her a shower, planning a bachelorette party/outing, being prepared for anything last minute the day of, putting together their photo slideshow, designing the ceremony programs and creating/designing any other little informational materials (such as registry info cards and maps with info of hotels we had rooms blocked at). 5 weeks was a short amount of time, and it was a bit busy for me, juggling all the stuff I had to do, along with occupying Jay, working 2-3 days a week, and family time. But it all turned out so well!

So don't stress over this detail or that detail - if we can get a nice, traditional wedding done in 5 weeks, you can definitely get yours done in 5 months. Or 8. Or 9. Or longer than a year.


VERY insensitive treatment by Walmart to a cancer fighter

My aunt shared this on Facebook the other night and I re-shared it as well and thought I would post it here to help raise awareness.

If anyone from Walmart stumbles across this, this occurred at Walmart #1490 in Rockford, IL on Walton St.

Audra is a good friend of my aunt's whom she's known for a really long time and throughout the years Audra has been doing up-dos for me and my sis for various formal occasions. She's been fighting breast cancer for awhile now, doing chemo regularly, and yes, she lost her hair and now that it's grown back enough she's wearing short and sassy but obviously not coloring it. The fact that this happened is just sad and completely insensitive.

Is Walmart now requesting 2 forms of ID anytime someone has a different hair color or style from that on their drivers license or state ID? I highly doubt it and the fact that this happened to her is just heartbreaking!
I went to WalMart today to buy dog food & baby food for [my son]. I wrote a check & the cashier (KATHY!) asked for my driver's license. I handed it to her, she looked at it, then she looked at me and said "Wow!". I understood why, its because on my license I have long, straight, blonde hair. I now have a dark brown, chemo afro growing in! I explained to her I have cancer & my hair fell out. I was expecting her to say "Oh, I'm sorry." But instead she said "I will need another form of ID." I gave her my S.S.Card. She said "No, I need a picture ID". I told her my ID is from before I got married & has my old name on it, & I showed her a few credit cards too. She said "I need management approval". Are you freakin kidding me?! So the manager came over, I explained I have cancer & my hair fell out, thats why I dont look like me photo anymore, I also told her if Susan G. Komen found out about this it would be a media fire storm! Needless to say, she accepted my check & ID!
Working retail, I get the whole checking ID for accepting a check - at my job, anytime a check is written we do need to see a valid driver's license or state ID to process it as our computer needs the state issued ID number, expiration date and date of birth, as well as us just verifying that the name matches that on the check. We also check IDs if a person makes a purchase using a credit card and the back of the card is not signed so that we can match the name and signature. Unless it's an obvious thing, like a guy with a woman's ID and card, I don't usually worry about the photo, so long as the names match. But even if I did, there's other distinguishing features about a person's face aside from their hair color or style that you can tell if it's them or not!

People get their hair cut to different styles all the time, as well as coloring their hair - I know 1 girl who was dying her hair every other week as when her life gets a bit crazy, the color of her hair is one thing she can have control over. Yet, she's never seemed (or at least reported) having this problem!

My aunt said Audra posted a few days later that she had cooled down from the situation and has decided to just use cash whenever out shopping now, however she was very upset when it happened and for the rest of the day.

Cancer patients go through enough as it is, and while I understand not giving people special treatment, like I said, lots of people change their hair style and color all the time - unless Walmart is asking for 2 forms of photo ID for all people using checks but have a different hair color or cut from the time they got their ID photo taken, this just was very insensitive and it breaks my heart that this happened to her!


Phone Photo Fun Mondays - 03.26.12

I'm going to do a separate post with photos from the wedding so this post isn't HUGE, but here's how the rest of my past week went, in photos!

Last Monday (3.19.12) was my sister's bachelorette party/outing. Since she's only turning 19 in a few weeks and a good chunk of the people she invited were obviously under 21 we had to find somewhere we could go that was fun, but legal for them. We decided on Dave and Busters and visited the one just on the outskirts of Milwaukee as tolls in Illinois are now ridiculous (they doubled them AGAIN after the 1st of the year - 2nd time within 10 years) and I figured $4 to cross the border up north verses at least $7 to go into the suburbs was a better deal since we had planned on caravan-ing up there if we had enough people. Sadly, we had a several people cancel last minute so it ended up just being me, my sis and one of the other bridesmaids. We still had fun though! We each got an Eat and Play Combo and I treated them to the Belgian Chocolate Fondue for dessert, which was yummy! We spent most of our game credits on the ticket-giving games - my sis and  I both hit jackpots on 2 different games, I got 280 from one, she got just over 300 on another. I spent my tickets on a monkey plush with super long arms that velcro together plus a D&B hackysack which both went to Jay.
My sis and her friend.
I decked her out with the sash, crown and flashing bling button
The guy at the door took this one for us.
Baby sis being silly
 Hubby decided he needed a new laptop. The one he was using was his mom's old one, with a messed up keyboard so he had to use a wireless one with it and was getting tired of it. He wanted something small and thin to use and easily take with him for his writing as he's been in author-mode for awhile now with lots of ideas flowing through that head of his. So we went to Best Buy and put a laptop he had picked out on our Best Buy card that has been sitting, paid off, for awhile now.

Hubby's new laptop and box
Setting everything up on his new laptop
Hubby also learned the other day that his favorite author had a new book that came out earlier this month, so we took a trip to Barnes and Noble (which only reminded me of how much I missed the convenience of Borders, as this meant we had to take a trip out to the mall!).

"New Teen Paranormal Romance" - they needed an entire section for it??? We thought it was funny that most of the books in the section were mostly about vampire romances, however I did see the Trylle (troll) series in here, as well as the Iron King (fae) series. Still couldn't believe there's an entire section in the store devoted to this stuff now though...
Our loot:
Hubby's new David Weber book and a Civil War book he found in the bargain book section; a 3-story Thomas and Friends board book for Jay (includes The Great Discovery, Hero for a Day which explains how Hiro ended up on Sodor Island as we keep seeing the episode where he comes to visit, and Misty Island Rescue - which is waaaay shorter than the 45-60min movie!); The Shattering, a World of Warcraft novel - yes, I felt like a dork for buying a WoW novel, but it tells about the events that led up to The Cataclysm which I would like to know more about, having played the Cataclysm expansion, think I might eventually get the Arthas book, despite having played through his story in Wrath of the Lich King, however I did enjoy it! I also bought Something Borrowed as it was in the bargain book section and despite not seeing the movie, you all seem to keep saying here in Blogland that the book was much better than the movie anyway.
I came home from the other day and saw that all Jay's Thomas and Friends magnets were stuck to my dishwasher. At first I asked hubby if he helped Jay put those there, to which he came over from the family, took a look and laughed, saying no, he hadn't - that Little Stinker did it all by himself! LOL...

What I Bought at Work This Week 03.25.12

I realized tonight that I seem to *always* come home with a bag of stuff from work at least once a week, if not several times a week - seriously, working at kid's clothing store, a good bit of my paycheck goes straight back to the company, I kid you not!

But, I figured this would make for a fun little weekly feature here on the good ol' blog - I get to show off some of the cute stuff we have right now, share what deals I've found, and the company gets exposure too - it's a win-win all around, right?

Anyways, here's what I came home with from work this past week:

Jay got a cute little fisherman's hat to wear this summer. He has a cap too, but I thought one of these was a good idea to have too. I was torn between colors as this hat also comes in army green and navy blue, as well as the tan color here. I figured the tan was a bit more universal and could go with more stuff, plus it has a really cute cartoon-y shark on the otherside too!

I also got him a pair of army cargo shorts for summer too. He has a knit pair that my aunt and uncle got him with a matching shirt for summer, however they're too big for him to wear anytime too soon, as they're 24 months and he's only in a 12 month pant right now. A guy purchased these this past week to go with this Sesame Street Oscar shirt Jay also has and it did look cute together so I've already paired these with that shirt for him too!

And flip flops... they always start out at 2 for $6 and you can mix and match big kid, little kid or boy and girl. I bought Jay a pair when we reopened after our remodel, however we didn't have all ours out yet and the ones I grabbed him, don't really go with a lot of his stuff, so I figured I'd get him another more universal pair to slip on him while we're just out running errands or making a quick stop somewhere and he can wear his other ones in the backyard or in the sandbox or wherever... I was a bit hesitant to get this particular pair at first due to the skulls on it (WHY does a good chunk of our BABY clothing having skulls on it?!) - hubby's not big on his baby wearing skulls yet, not to mention my parents would be sure to comment on it too, lol... but after looking at them again, they're more of a pirate-y skull than just a normal skull so I figured for summer and beachy wear it was okay. The sparkly silver flip flops... the Team Lead I was working with one day unpacked these babies and tried them on - she wears a size 9, but thought the 5/6 (the largest we carry in big kid shoes) might work - they were just a tad too small for her foot, but me being an 8, I tried them on and voila! They fit! And since it was 2 for $6 and I was already getting one pair I figured why not. Not gonna lie, maybe it's just cuz they're meant for girls, but they're not really that comfortable... I'm hoping to break them in around the house and maybe that'll help cuz they do fit well and look fun!

This stuff, with the 2 for $6 flip flop deal and my employee discount, cost me around $21.


To a certain few - kindly STFU!

Today let's talk about 2 things: judgementalness when it comes to parenting and fast food.

Last week, as some of you may have noticed, @maliasma had tweeted about the grossness that is skim milk (no offense, if that's your preferred type of milk, but a lot of people do find it gross) and I tweeted back about how they now give you skim milk in the kid's meals at most fast food places when you opt for the milk instead of the juice box or soft drink. I also commented that my kiddo needs the fat in 2% and whole. Anyways, some jerk decided to butt in to our conversation, saying that I had no business giving my 1 year old fast food and that it's my responsibility as his parent to make healthy nutritional choices for him.

Um... did I ask for parenting advice? No.

He got rude after my response about not giving parenting advice when it isn't asked for and my question about if I should go ahead and carry unrefrigerated milk in my bag all day rather than buy it on the go when we're out and about, responding to my tweet about my sis coloring my hair saying "you obviously care more about your hair than your child's nutrition - grow up!" Um, excuse me - HOW are the 2 related? I was doing my sister a favor, as she needs like 1500 hours in the salon at beauty school to get her certification, my hair needed coloring before her wedding this weekend, I offered to come in during her walk-in hours so she'd get the credit and I'd get it done for cheap. WHAT does that have to do with my son's nutrition?

And I should clarify, it's not like I'm giving Jay fast food all the time - he's actually only had it twice that I can recall.

The 1st time, we were out at the mall one afternoon, mall-walking with my friend and her daughter, when it got past Jay's lunch time. He was clearly hungry, woofing down Goldfish crackers, so I stopped at Burger King and ordered him a kid's meal. I got him the chicken nuggets meal with milk - he ate 3 of the 4 nuggets, most of the milk and all of his applesauce cup I brought in my bag, I ate the fries and other nugget. This isn't any different than a typical lunch of his at home - he often eats chicken nuggets and applesauce for lunch with milk. The other occasion, we took a day-trip into the big mall in the suburbs and obviously he was going to need to eat at some point, so we stopped for lunch at A&W. He got the kid's hot dog meal with milk - I cut up his hot dog (which was vienna beef, so not a "junk" hot dog), a little bit of the bun, an applesauce cup I brought with and a good bit of the milk. I ate his fries with my own hot dog. Again, at home he often eats cut up Kosher hot dogs (yay for Hebrew National) with milk and applesauce for lunch. I don't see what's so wrong about either occasion. Sorry, but we're not an organic family however I do opt for more "natural" products and products that don't have high fructose corn syrup when I can. Sometimes while on the go though, it is easier to stop at a fast food joint and make sure my hungry kid gets fed. He gets 3 meals a day plus a snack here and there and a bottle of milk before bed.

Considering the rough start he had at the beginning - being as low as in the 5th percentile for growth - I am thrilled that at his last appointment he was in the 50th percentile and his growth is back on track. We let him eat until he's full or doesn't want anymore. At this point, portion control isn't an issue and we give him food we know he likes and will eat. If it's able to be finger food, that's even better as he enjoys feeding himself.

It irks me when someone butts in about my child's eating habits when they have NO IDEA what we've gone through in the beginning just to get him to eat ANYTHING and enough to grow. Now that he's growing fine and in the 50th percentile... I don't think his nutrition is an issue. If he starts getting obese obviously we'll fix whatever the issue is.

But my kid LOVES his applesauce. And his milk. And things that can be finger foods. Breakfast he eats oatmeal with fruit and fruit yogurt, lunch always contains a meat, chicken or some kind of protein and a fruit and sometimes a veggie, dinner is always a meat, a veggie and sometimes a fruit - all served with milk, occasionally water. So unless you know what I've been through - please kindly STFU.

And another thing that bugs me - the Breastfeeding Nazis.

Yes, we all know, breast is best, but sometimes circumstances arise that make moms end up formula feeding instead.

It's a personal choice and there's always a reason for why someone is formula feeding, so unless you know the whole story, quit judging.

If you've been reading this here blog for awhile, you know our story with breastfeeding.

Jay was induced roughly 2.5 weeks before his due date because of a significant lack in his growth between gestational weeks 30 and 37 - they were afraid he had stopped growing and there was no way of knowing why. So he was born at 37 weeks, 5 days old - technically full-term. He weighed 6lbs, 7oz - a full pound bigger than what the ultrasound 3 days prior had guessed. We had planned on exclusively breastfeeding him for at least 6 months.

God had other plans.

At his 1 week appointment, Jay had lost weight and was down to 6lbs even. At his 2 week appointment he was at 6lbs 8oz. The doctor gave us the weekend to see if he would gain any weight after we began supplementing with formula - that Monday he was still holding steady at 6lbs 8oz and was admitted to the pediatric unit at the hospital where he had numerous tests done trying to figure out why he wasn't eating enough to grow. He then spent the week hooked up to a feeding tube, continuously pumping formula into his stomach for several days straight. He began gaining weight and eating from a bottle.

By then we decided it was easier to just feed him from a bottle, with formula, so we could keep track of how much he was eating, making sure it was enough. Plus they put him on "high calorie" formula (Enfamil Lipil, mixed specially) to help him "catch up" a bit better and we had a visiting nurse checking up to weigh him twice a week to make sure he was continuing to gain weight after being discharged.

All the doctors and nurses we met with were behind our decision to formula feed 100% - they said that as long as we tried breastfeeding and Jay got all the good stuff in the colostrum, than really it was okay to formula feed, as the colostrum is really the important stuff they need - the rest from the breast is just extra, as formula these days is made pretty well.

But of course the Breastfeeding Nazis will be Breastfeeding Nazis - judging you for giving your kid formula, not having any idea what you've gone through just to get your kid to eat enough to grow (we did learn at my 6 week post-partum appointment that there was a knot in Jay's umbilical cord, which we believe is why he never knew the feeling of being full and eating only enough to survive). Whether it comes from a bottle or a breast, it doesn't matter - as long as your baby is healthy and eating, that's what matters.

So Breastfeeding Nazis, please kindly, STFU - it's not nice and just plain rude and hurtful when you get all judgmental on those mom's who aren't breastfeeding for one reason or another.

To wrap it up - what IS with Burger King not offering much of a healthy alternative? I mean McDonald's and Wendy's both have healthy-ish snackwraps - Burger King has salad that tastes like it's a day old despite saying "fresh" on the label. Get with it Burger King - I'd eat there more often if they had a decent tasting snackwrap... it actually saddens me that McDonald's was replaced by Burger King in our local mall (where I work, I might add), as there's nothing "good" to eat there.


Just Days to Go...

On Saturday my only sister is getting married! And wow have these 5 weeks gone by pretty quick!

Yes, that's right - in case you forgot my sis got engaged roughly 5 weeks ago and they're getting married before he leaves for the Navy on April 10th.

The Bridal Shower is come and gone, we had her Bachelorette outing earlier this week... all I have left on my part is putting together their photo slideshow and coming up with a decent speech for the reception.

Any suggestions? I hate speaking in front of large groups, let alone giving a toast... but I'm the Matron of Honor so obviously I have to.

Book Review: The Hunger Games trilogy

http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1274791992l/7938275.jpgDue to the movie coming out, well, this week, I decided to go ahead and read the whole Hunger Games trilogy this past month.

Starting with the 1st book, I enjoyed it - it had me flipping the pages, staying up waaaay later than I should have most nights just to get to an acceptable stopping point. I did think it was very similar to Battle Royale though... similar premise, etc. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.

By the way, I was Team Gale the whole time.

Catching Fire, book 2... I liked it. Definitely didn't see the twist regarding the Quarter Quell coming at all! And WOW! What a twist that was!

Mockingjay... book 3... I think I'm with the majority when I say it was a bit of a letdown and a disappointment. Most of the book, instead of being shown the action we're either left with the main character on the sidelines or the main character goes unconscious as it starts to get good and we're left with a summarization of what happens - can you say cop out? Don't tell your reader what happens - show them! So annoying... then it's like the author starts offing characters left and right - some we've formed an attached to, however their deaths are so quick and rushed that we don't even have time for them to fully sink in which sucks cuz it feels like those characters deserved more. And then at the end, it's like the author forgot to inform us of what happened to some main characters that she went back after the fact and added in a line - yes, 1 - for a character that was pretty huge in the series. What is that?! I'm trying to keep spoilers out here, however, at one point it really did seem like she was going to end up with Haymitch there at the end, which would have been completely unexpected and a huge (not to mention awesome!) twist, but the author didn't decide to go that route (which I almost would have preferred).

So in short, I liked the 1st 2 books but was a bit disappointed with the 3rd as it had all this epic build up and then we were letdown.

I do plan on seeing the movies though, although I find it a bit hard to believe that the author claims she never heard of Battle Royale until she handed Hunger Games into her publisher... the premise of the books/movies are eerily similar, however The Hunger Games aren't quite as gory.

Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? 
What did you think of them?

Phone Photo Fun Mondays - 03.19.12

 Last week Jay had a skin reaction to ranch dressing. Poor baby =(

 He had fun playing with Thomas' friend James while mommy took some pictures with the front facing camera.

It's been unseasonably warm this past week and this current week, so we've been playing outside quite a bit!

Swinging is his favorite!

 I let my sis color my hair during her beauty school's friends and family hours - I needed my greys colored, she needs hours towards her certification. It was a win-win for both of us!

More fun at a playground

Playing with the gravel in the backyard


 Playing in the backyard, showing off his flippy floppies

Playing in his hand-me-down sandbox - he played in it for over an hour!

 Daddy attempting to put Jay's new swing set together

Playing outside for a few hours tuckered him out!

He snuggled up on mommy