Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm having one of those days where I am realizing that everything I do someone does better than me. Maybe I am just learning to be a perfectionist. I have not been satisfied with any of my portraits lately nor confident in my photography skills. In fact I feel like the earlier stuff I did, when I knew less, was better. I also feel really limited in my design work. I feel like I am so far removed from what I first learned that I need to go back to school, but I also feel like I will be needing to go back about every 5 years for the careers I have chosen and the advancement that takes place within them. Bah humbug, I was to crawl under a rug. There is no place for me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happiness Project Month 2

This month's happiness project was focused on marriage.
I chose to go to bed at the same time as Bryce which happened maybe half the time. The other half of the time I just couldn't stay up as long. It was great to have a warm body to cuddle up to and we got to talk a little bit but not much with Link sleeping in the same room.
I also chose to do nice things for him like give him little treats and signs of affection. Neck rubs, notes, texts, chocolate, etc. He didn't really notice many of them, but I tried as hard as I could.
I also chose to spend the month letting things go. Not complain when I saw his clothes on the bathroom floor or see him not give Link a nap because he didn't want to deal with him crying. I think I succeeded about half the time. I'm going to keep working on this next month too.
We also decided to have a date night. We went out to dinner while Trish and Richard and Sam watched Lincoln. He was great for them and they can't wait to do it again, which was encouraging. We had an ok time. We go into it late because I had bell choir practice and Bryce went to get his hair cut. Then the weather was bad, the gps couldn't fidn the restaurant, etc, but we appreciated our time together. Conversation was a little slow. When you are alone together most of the day there are less people to talk about, no work to complain about, etc. But we are just getting started and maybe we will be able to keep doing it and have more to talk about later.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diva Cup

When I first got my period my mom showed me how to use a tampon and I walked bent over half the day because it hurt so bad. I didn't even change it until I got home. Toxic Shock anyone. After that I was always pads, even if it meant s0me very visible accidents. When I got into college I learned about diva cups so I bought one. Having no experience with tampons and not being sexually active I could barely get it in and that hurt so I put it to the side and bought some cloth pads from luna pad instead. After college I went on birth control to try to get a regular cycle. That was a big mistake. It made me regular for about two months and then totally turned my cycle off. I went off the pill and didn't menstruate for years so I didn't have to use anything. I started up again with the help of drugs when we were try to conceive and then have a had a few light cycles this year but yesterday and today have been horrible. I have used up every pad I have, plus all Link's diaper inserts (basically the same thing). So I decided to pull out the old diva cup and after having a baby I can say it went in much easier and I am not doubled over in pain. it is made out of rubber so it bends with you and I can hardly feel it. You pull it out and rinse it when you go to the restroom and reuse it. I really like it. I do notice it when I am stepping over something big or something like that , but otherwise it is great. I am glad I held on to it. There is a large size for women that have had babies, but I think this one is perfect for me right now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Thanksgiving

This year my family spent Thanksgiving with many new people. My cousin Monet brought her boyfriend, Mac, along. My cousin Sierra's also brought her boyfriend, Zach. Both boys were way sweet. Tyler's old roommate came with his girlfriend and she was super nice and had two adorable kids (divorced). Lee and Randy made it and they brought a friend of their along too. So I made like 4 new facebook friends this holiday season. ;)
Bryce made his mom's mashed potato recipe after finding out that once again we would only be having cheesy potatoes and not mashed. I practiced with my photography lights. We played Beatles rock band and ended up playing Pictionary and Apples to Apples until 1 in the morning.

Now that's what we call Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Juno Baby and Paperback Swap

Some of you may know that I review products for companies as a side job. One of the latest freebies we got was a kids video called Juno Baby: Rhythm. While my review was not 100% positive, the characters faces are below the middle of the screen and the cat says he doesn't run because "it calls for far too much energy", Link LOVES it. He brings us the case, he points at the tv, he claps along. At least it is maybe a 7 out of 10 rather than a 5 or lower. Bryce and I, however, are going crazy singing lyrics in our head over and over like "Floating on a milk shake" and "Cheeseburger or pizza, something to munch." I wasn't planning on having Link watch much tv but it is super helpful when we want him to stay in one spot for a little while. We are also watching youtube Sesame Street clips. My favorite are Will.i.am and Jason Mraz.

Something I am loving 100% is paperbackswap.com. The website basically trades books one for one. I thought I wouldn't be that into it because my books would sit on the shelf a long time and there wouldn't be books that I like, but in actuality I have replaced about 13 books already and it is so much fun. It is better than Amazon because you don't have to think about a price to sell your stuff at or finding the lowest prices for books you want. It's a simple swap for swap. I am thinking about doing it for dvds and cds too, but I don't really want to have a lot more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yeah, Yeah, Lincoln and Saving Money, Anything Else?


I know that is about all I write about recently, but it is the majority of my life currently so there we be.

I don't think I ever really said that Link was walking. It was so gradual there really wasn't a day like with crawling. But he is a walker and his new favorite things are "Ring around the Rosie" and having Bryce and I swing him while walking. Language is developing into knowing words for different drinks (juice, milk, and water) and for different foods (yogurt).

Sunday I was planning on going shopping by myself but it didn't happen. Bryce wanted a personal day today so I decided to give it a try with the little monster again. He didn't do so well the last time we went so I was somewhat dreading it, but hoping it would be different. It wasn't. We didn't even make it to Dubuque. We made it to Dyersville and to only one store, Pamida. I never shop at Pamida but I had a coupon from entering the cute baby contest to this particular Pamida so I thought I would stop.

Starting with the bad, Link. He was just as bad as last time. Not wanting to sit, walk, be carried, anything. He also had a hell of the time in the grocery isle. He signed "eat" and screamed that I was not giving him pretzels, cereal, laundry detergent. I thought I would be prepared for this moment by whipping out a bag of cereal I brought along, but he would have nothing to do with it. Even pretending to open the Cheerio box and giving him the Cheerios I brought was not good enough. So meltdowns ensued and that was the first and last shop I went to. (Also note he had just woken up from a 3 hour nap, was fresh and clean, and had eaten a hearty lunch.)

The good. Much to my surprise Pamida had a banner outside the shop saying "Triple Coupon Day." I asked the clerk what that meant. She said they would triple any coupon I had that was $1 off or less. YIPPEE! I ran to the car and got my trapper (yes, I have begun a file system of my coupons) and went to town. The majority of my coupons don't get used because they are $.25 to $1 off a name brand when the generic is sitting right there beside it already $1.50 less. But $3 off was awesome. I used almost every coupon I had. In the end my total bill was $96. My actual purchase price was $52. Being that it was the last day for the event I was not about to leave, despite a screaming child. The winning item was a box of cat litter that Link was able to say "Meow" to continually until we were finally finished. This is probably my biggest saving yet during my first year of using coupons. If I ever see a triple coupon event again I am there in a heartbeat.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Uncle John

My grandmother's brother, John Thyne, passed away today. He and his wife were a big part of our lives growing up as they were not able to have any children. They lived in Kansas City but came up regularly to Iowa every holiday until about six years ago. This year has been a year of hospitals and nursing homes and then back home again for both of them. This last month John had been feeling great to the point the hospital took him out of Hospice and off oxygen and sent him home to be happy and up and about.

We visited him this year when we were in Missouri.

Toys are us

Link is always so happy playing with the most regular things, but for some reason once he finds interest in something I feel the need to get the same thing in toy form rather than let him play with the original, which is what he wants to do anyway. Sure a toy stove is one thing but why do I feel the need to get him stacking cups when he is doing the same thing with measuring cups that I don't use anymore? Why do I feel the need to get him magnets when he is having a blast with a Pizza Luce and Chino Latino complimentary magnet? He certainly has more toys than I had envisioned him having. Even Naomi thinks so. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

What I didn't know then

This weekend we hung out with Naomi and Casey, who we haven't seen for nearly a year since they moved to Cedar Rapids. We had a lot of fun and Casey taught Link how to "pound it."
We played video games at the movie theater and had dinner with them at their parents house. Naomi's mom bought Link a Sing a ma jing which is weird but oddly addicting.
All in all it was a blast and I hope we do more.

One odd thing was Naomi talking about her new job and quitting daycare. Off the cuff she mentioned how some toddlers she was caring for were still nursing which grossed her out. I didn't say anything, it didn't bother me, but I felt bad because I thought she might not be comfortable nursing her own kid one day if it grosses her out. Then I realized something else. Before I had Link, even just one year before, I thought people who slept with their kids might crush them. I thought that kids who were worn in a sling or held would have trouble learning to walk. I thought cloth diapers made kids butts look too big and were probably gross to deal with. I thought that people who had babies at home were taking a very big risk. AND I thought that people nursing toddlers were weird. Becoming a parent changes a lot of things.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The title has nothing to do with the post. It's just the first word I thought of.

Lately Link seems to be making leaps and bounds, BACKWARDS. His "uh-oh" has become "uh." He signs "tired" by rubbing his ear, "book" looks like how a baseball player turns his fist in a glove. "Hot" and "Ding" have replaced almost all the words in his vocabulary. Ahhh.

I'm on month two of the happiness project.
Things that have continued from month 1 include getting one box from the attic each week and going through it. The attic is becoming more and more spacious. The living room is not. ;)
I stopped running because I only really liked doing it with Link in the stroller and now he is not enjoying the cold wind. However, volleyball starts next week. But it is only once a week so I need two more activities a week to do.
I am trying to keep my 11 pm bedtime, however a goal this month is to go to bed at the same time as Bryce so sometimes it is later. He is doing good about not making it too late.
While energy was the first months goal, Bryce is the second. We are going to have a date night this month. I am also taking into account tasks at home and doing the things that are bothering me rather than asking for them to get done. Biting my tongue when things don't need to be said want to be said and making sure I communicate what does need to be said. I think it is true of most of us that we treat the people we love with the least respect. Probably because we know they are the most forgiving. But who wants to grow old like that.

I recently have gotten really into paperbackswap.com Already I have traded six books we aren't reading or have duplicates of for books we want. Bye bye "The Good Earth." Hello "Is your Mama a Llama?" They have dvds and cds too but I haven't gotten that far yet. I am assuming I may get held up with wanting books that people just don't have or there is too many on the wishlist for.
I am also still doing Thredup.com with baby clothes (thanks Blogger Jen for the suggestion). Link was blessed with loads of 3-6 month clothing but, probably like most new parents find, it dwindles as they get older. We are trying to swap for more 12-18 month clothes. We already got one box of 12-18 month clothing and it was awesome. It had a lot of warm two piece outfits so I am sure I will have pictures this winter. The smaller sizes are a little bit harder to get out because there are so many people with these size boxes. You don't get to pick another box until your stuff goes so if you know a little boy 3-6 months my box numbers are #19666 and #19660.

I love doing month challenges. We did awesome with the pantry challenge. Never really got down to the very bottom. However, what we have a lot of and are not using became more apparent. One thing we have loads of are beans. So this month I challenged Bryce to make a meal with beans each month. If you have any good recipes we would love to hear them. Beans don't have to be the main ingredient, but they have to be included.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Mount Rushmore, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

I've decided to claim Halloween as my holiday. Taking the pressure off of making stellar Christmases and all the other.
Our family traditions since Link has been born include:
Watching the Great Pumpkin (on Hulu)
Dressing up in themed costumes. This year we went as Mount Rushmore.
Going to Pedretti's for a Halloween treat.
Going to a baby Halloween Party in Decorah.
Having an adult party with Dani and Todd.
We even worked in one game at the Library Halloween Party in Elkader this year. Duck Pond. Link picked out a blue heart bracelet for a prize.
Someday we will work on actually going trick or treating.