Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Pee in the potty, not in your panties."

That is our motto around here this week! I've taken the plunge and started potty training on Monday (I found and ordered cloth training pants from in her size). I went into this new adventure thinking "I know she is very young (not yet 18 months) so if it doesn't go well the first week, I can wait a couple of months and try it again." The great thing is, though, that I won't be having to wait a couple of months to try again. Chloe Jo is doing splendidly! I think the past 6 months of "prep-work" have really paid off! We officially started training on Monday. I have to say that first day wasn't the greatest. But, then at the end of the day I realized that she only went through 6 pairs of panties. That is tons better than I was prepared for! On Tuesday she went #2 in the potty for the second time! Today, she hasn't wet her panties at all and has gone #1 4 times in the potty! I'm so proud of her. Also, she woke up from her nap yesterday and was dry! She did go #2 at the beginning of her nap today, but she wasn't asleep yet so I changed her and when she woke up, she was dry. I am putting her in diapers during nap time and night time right now. If she goes several days with a dry naptime diaper, I will stop using them, but will probably continue night-time diapers for a while. We have been using the "timer method". I've been taking her every 30 minutes and will increase the time next week. She said the word "potty" yesterday so I'm hoping if I encourage that she will begin to tell me when she needs to go. She has told me once (last week) so I don't think that is too far of a stretch. Anyway, I am super excited about Chloe's progress and am ready to be done with buying diapers for a while...unless God would like to give us another baby...I'm totally game for that!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brady Sullivan

Do any of you read this blog? It's about Brady Sullivan and Chloe Sullivan. Brady's wife, Sara, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2009 and passed away in September of 2009 14 days after delivering their baby girl, Chloe Grace. I started reading it before Sara passed away and it is one of those blogs that I went back to the beginning to read the whole story. I cried. I laughed. I cried some more. It is an amazing story and Brady and Chloe are doing so well now! Brady does the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walks in Houston and Dallas, Texas and posted a video on his blog that they are going to show at the walk. I liked it so much (and cried through most of it!) that I am reposting on mine.

I've never walked for breast cancer. I have walked for multiplesclerosis and Alzheimer's. Whatever disease you are connected with in some way, please get ivolved in something. There are walks and fundraisers for many, many things. And if you don't want to get involved by walking or volunteering, please donate to something. These are good programs to be involved in and finding a cure for any disease would be wonderful!

Friday, September 24, 2010

My hanging plants

I bought a couple of hanging petunias when we first moved to South Carolina. I was a little nervous about any kind of plants because I've never had a green thumb. I'm so proud to be able to say that my petunias are still alive...
And not only are they still alive, but they are thriving! They are still blooming and beautiful.
Anyone know what you do with plants in the winter? Should I just throw them out and get new ones next year?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


-I cleaned and deflated the kiddie pool yesterday. I'm so glad that's done, but I'm going to miss getting to take Chloe Jo out there to splash around. She loved it so much. I hope it stores okay and we can use it next summer, too!

-Russ had a preacher's meeting in Columbia on Tuesday. Chloe Jo and I tagged along and we finally got to go to the state capital and the museum. We had a great time and I will be posting more about that complete with pictures.

-Chloe Jo has an odd diaper rash. I think it's a heat rash, but I'm not sure. It's not going away with diaper rash cream. It's a bunch of tiny red dots. Anyone know what this could be? I searched it on WebMD and nothing came up. It's just the rash, no fever or any other symptoms. Also, it's not spreading. I'm going to have to take her to the doctor about it if it doesn't go away soon!

-I've been trying so many new recipes lately. I love a few, a few not so much. I am thinking about starting a recipe blog. I seriously am starting to *love* cooking. I especially love it when Russ cleans up the mess for me!

-In a previous post I talked about trying to invite all the families from the church over for dinner. Well, we have only hosted three so far! It is so hard to coordinate schedules!

-I'm trying so hard to save pennies so I don't have to go to work, but I'm not sure if it's going to work or not. I hate thinking about it!

-There is a gospel meeting next week in a town somewhat close by and Russ and I are planning on going at least one night.

-I have been getting ready to start potty training. I put Chloe Jo on the potty several times a day. The problem I'm having is finding training pants small enough for her. I don't want to use the disposables for this and can only find the training pants in a 2T or above in stores. I did find some on Amazon that are her size, but they are kind of expensive. I will probably have to get those. I'm ready to get this show on the road!

-I was in my room at my desk today and Chloe Jo came in to get my attention. She made a few noises (she was talking, but I can't tell you what words they were) and pointed to the bathroom. I asked her if she needed to go potty and she walked to the toilet. I put her on it and she actually went. This makes me think that she is ready, I just need to make it happen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ladies Day!

There are three Ladies Day flyers on the bulletin board at the church building right now. I love going to Ladies' Days and was excited to see one in the town that the Preaching School we visited in August is in. Since I am *sorta* familiar with the town, I decided to go. I invited the ladies from our congregation to go and one lady went with me. I also left Chloe Jo home with Daddy so I could go and enjoy the lessons without having to worry about her. This was the first time I have left Chloe Jo for that long! It was very nice to be able to take notes and follow along in my Bible during the lessons.

The theme of the day was "Casting all your care upon Him." It is very funny how God works in our lives. I really needed this day and the lessons presented. I am horrible about worrying about things and not just trusting that they will work out. We had three speakers who each spoke about 30 minutes. The first was from the American Cancer Society and talked about ways to get information about cancer, volunteer and programs that they do. The second lady spoke about women of the Bible who cast their cares upon God. The third lady spoke about why and how we can cast our cares on Him. They both presented very good lessons. There were a couple of fun "get-to-know-you" games and a lunch afterwards.

The thing I enjoyed most was the singing. There were probably over 100 women there and the singing was incredible. The church of Christ does not use mechanical instruments and one of the things I love about that is being able to hear the words of the song and them not being drowned out by keyboards or guitars. It makes for an incredible song service. The "video" below is one of the songs we sang. It just doesn't properly convey being in the middle of 100 women singing praises to God.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I hate dogs.

Okay, that isn't completely true. I hate mean dogs that are off their leashes and/or out of their yards.

Russ and I enjoy taking walks around town in the evenings. Chloe Jo is *usually* pretty good about going. We just walk around our neighborhood for an hour or so. The last few times we have gone on a walk we have had dogs follow us, barking the whole time. There is a part of a road that has a very large, brown dog who likes to growl and bark at us and is never in it's yard or on a leash. We intentionally avoid that part of that road for that reason. Last night we were chased by a small black dog first. The dogs owner was even outside, but the owner didn't call it off for at least a few minutes. We were on the road, not on their property at all. Then a few houses down FOUR dogs came charging at us and I really thought one of them was going to attack. There was a large black dog, that same brown dog who had chased us before, and two smaller dogs. I was LIVID! I don't usually mind dogs that much. I just want them to be in their yards or on their leashes...especially if they act that way. I yelled at the house that they needed to control their animals, but no one even came to the window or the door to see what was going on. I was so mad the whole way home. I was shaking. It scares me so much when dogs do that. I don't want to be bit and I definitely don't want Chloe Jo to be bit. When we got home, I called the number to our local police department (who is also in charge of animal control) but the phone just rang and rang. Then I called a number for the county animal control. No one answered and their mailbox was full. We found another number that we called with the same result. I ended up e-mailing them about the situation. This morning the animal control guy actually called me back! I told him what was going on and he said he would look into the issue. The guy also gave me the "after hours" number to the police station and told me that I could call 911 if we have a problem again. I didn't think it was an actual "emergency" since we weren't bit or hurt by the dogs and I definitely don't want to be an annoying citizen who doesn't use 911 properly.

I really hope something is done about this problem. I don't think that it's right for these dogs to be a nuisance to people minding their own business.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our place is for sale

Our landlord has decided to sell our duplex. Out of the four places we have lived, the first one was sold while we were living in it and now this one is up for sale. What is up with that??? While this could be a good thing (I don't much care for our landlord), it could also be a not-so-good thing. I like to think ahead and sometimes that is a very bad thing. I keep thinking about someone else buying the place then hiking the rent up, forcing us to move somewhere else. It makes me stress! And I don't need to stress anymore. I need to mellow out. Anyway, so our landlord came by last night to ask us if the realtor could bring someone over to look at our side. It's nice that he thinks our side is the side to show, but it was also a pain this morning. I didn't know if I was supposed to be here or not. I know when you sell a house that you own, you need to leave. How does it work in this situation? I ended up waiting until the realtor came and I asked. He didn't have a key so I left the place open for him and Chloe Jo and I went to the library and park. The realtor ended up coming to find us to see if he could take pictures. He had already locked the door so we had to go and let him back in. I made sure that he wasn't going to post the pictures on the MLS. Anyway, it was kind of a pain because I had to get everything in order for the showing. The place was clean, I just had to pick up a few toys and put dishes in the dishwasher. I hope this isn't a long, drawnout process. And I really hope we get a good new landlord. Maybe one that will pay for an exterminator every month. Seriously, I hate roaches. Nasty things.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Holly Housewife Strikes Again!

Russ and I have been sorely disappointed in the choice of Mexican restaurants and the in-store salsa choices since moving to South Carolina. We know of 5 Mexican restaurants in a 45 mile radius from our home. Only one is in the town we live in and the service is horrible. I have vowed not to go back because of how bad the service is. So basically, if we want Mexican food, we have to either (A) drive at least 30 minutes to get it or (B) make it at home. We usually opt for B. I have a few Mexican recipes that we love so it works out. The fact that I can't find my favorite salsa in the stores here...doesn't work out for me so much. I've ate 2 quesadilla's without salsa in the last couple of weeks because the stuff we've been trying is just not any good. The problem I have is that we don't like chunky salsa. Actually, I hate chunky salsa so that rules out all of the Pace salsa's and pretty much everything. I prefer restaurant-style salsa's that are more pureed. I did find a couple of salsa's that I liked and had been getting them. One was an Arkansas Razorbacks salsa that South Carolina does not sell. If only they had a Gamecock salsa...sigh. Anyway, and the other was On The Border salsa. I found the On The Border salsa the first time I went grocery shopping here and that was it. I haven't found it since. So, basically, the point of all that was to say that I am going through salsa withdrawal. In Missouri there was a Mexican restaurant with good salsa practically on every corner and we ate Mexican 2 times a week usually. Here, not so much. So yesterday I said to myself, "Self, why don't you make some lip smacking good salsa??" Of course! So, I did.
And when Self said "lip smacking", Self meant "lip smacking". This salsa turned out sooooooo good! It is the bomb schnizzle yo of salsa's! IT. IS. AH-MAH-ZING!

Mmmmmm....yeah, and, uh, just ignore the broken chips. I didn't have a new bag here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Excuse me, who is this little girl???

Yeah, this one. Who is this? I thought I had a baby and all of a sudden...BAM! This is a little girl, not a baby! She even looked more grown up without the bow and headband...that's why I put them on her...well, that and I think they are super cute!

Seriously, though, her personality has changed so much since we moved here. It's like we crossed into South Carolina and she decided to be a different little person. Although, she is just as sweet and loving as she has always been. She loves to come up and give me kisses and hugs and to snuggle...for about 3 seconds. She is so friendly with everyone here. She wants to shake hands and wander around the church building which she never did either of those things where we lived before. I think she is thriving on the small town atmosphere.

Chloe Jo is going to be 17 months old on Friday. She has been doing so many new things lately. If she hears my phone she will go get it (if it's within her Inspector Gadget reach) and bring it to me. She has also started using her fork and spoon the correct way. The only downside to this is that she refuses help from Russ or me sometimes. She wants to turn on her own music at naptime/bedtime and she wants to brush her own teeth and hair. She still isn't talking very much. She can say several words, but she won't on command or very often. Her newest words are dog and duck.

I love being able to stay home with Chloe Jo and witness all of her milestones. I hate the thought of maybe going to work. I don't want to miss a single minute! This week has been a trial and I still don't want to leave her. She cut a new tooth last week and has been a grump ever since. She also has a runny nose and can't hardly breathe. Even with her being so grumpy and my wanting to pull my hair out, I still don't want to think about being away from her. She is my little blessing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm a Swaggernaut!!!

Like many families our family is on a very strict budget. We have to be very careful how much money we spend on groceries and amenities every week. I don't mind this because it allows me to be a stay-at-home mother to my sweet Chloe Jo! While I'm not sure my getting a job can be avoided if we want to stay ahead of the game and save a little on the side, I am being creative in the ways we are saving money. I took a break from couponing while we were settling in but am now back at that. It is crazy how much money we save from couponing! I rarely have good coupons for food because most of the time name brand foods are more expensive with a coupon than store brands. I mainly coupon for items like toothpaste, shampoos and soaps. I frequent this blog for more money saving tips, tricks and ideas. This site has been great for getting deals on Christmas gifts (yes, I'm already shopping)! The last thing I want to talk about is that I am now a swaggernaut. I have signed up with Swagbucks and have been steadily earning points to redeem towards giftcards. Swagbucks is essentially a search engine. I go there to search anything I want to do on the internet. I don't ever use my favorites list anymore because it takes just a second longer to type "blogger" in the search box and click on the link. When you search, you may or may not earn swagbucks. I usually win 3 to 4 times a day depending on how much I'm on the internet. You don't win every time, though. Over the last two months, I've earned over 1,000 bucks and I have enough to redeem on a couple of $5 Amazon gift cards. I am saving my points to help pay for Christmas gifts. Anyway, if you want to be a money saving person or family, please click on the banner in this post or on the banner on my sidebar. They will direct you to the sign-up page and also are my page referrals. Referrals are a great way to maximize your earnings because you can earn up to 1,000 swagbucks per referral! Everytime your referral wins, you win too!
Search & Win
So, if you love free things like me and are not signed up with Swagbucks, please sign up through my links! This is a great way to help you save!

*I am not trying to be an ad. I'm just really excited about my bucks!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dancing with the "Stars"

I've never been a fan of DWTS. I don't think I've ever seen a full episode. I've seen clips here and there, but never cared about watching it regularly. The other day I was on a news site and saw that Bristol Palin is going to be on the 11th season of DWTS. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link to the website to see who else is going to be on this season. I have a few comments about the round-up.

1. Bristol Palin - how in the world is she a "star"??? Isn't she just some kid who was pregnant and in the media for a minute because her mother was running for vice-president?

2. David Hasselhoff - The Hoff. Okay, he's a star. A washed-up, has-been star, but a star none the less. He's a lot like Elvis. When he dies there will be "Hoff Sightings".

3. The Situation - Ummmmm, okay. This guy wants to be called "The Situation". I don't get it. That is not a name! The situation is looking very grim indeed.

4. Kurt Warner - I've never heard of this guy, but I'm not a football fan. If he, in fact, is a former NFL "star" then he's good to go.

5. Michael Bolton - He's a star. Was a star. Whatever, I give. He stays.

6. Jennifer Grey - Well, no one puts Baby in the corner. Although, if you get a nose job and no one can recognize you anymore, you should lose your "star" status.

7. Florence Henderson - Oh my. This woman is 76! More power to Mrs. Brady!

8. Audrina Patridge - I guess if you watch The Hills...or watched The Hills (it went off the air, yes?), then she is a star. One who Justin Bobby uses as a doormat...

9. Rick Fox - another athlete. I wouldn't know.

10. Brandy - All I can remember about Brandy is that the boy is hers and she was a horrible Cinderella. I think I knew who she was for about 15 minutes in 9th grade.

11. Margaret Cho - Apparently she's a comedian. Hilarious.

12. Kyle Massey - Played in "That's So Raven". The tween vote probably won't get you far here dude.

I vote the show change its name to "Dancing with these people because we can't actually get many real stars even though that's what we promise...but, please, keep watching!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reading Again

Last week Chloe Jo and I finally got to go to the library and sign up for a library card. We were so excited!!! Okay, okay, I was excited. I had to wait a few weeks while we got our licenses changed over (finally got that done!) and we needed a bill with our new address on it. I was practically going into reading withdraw! I ended up getting Moby Dick. I had tried several times over the summer to get this book, but since the summer reading program at our old library was doing a book club with Moby Dick I was never able to get it. Unfortunately it has been a bit disappointing. The beginning was really good and then, all of a sudden, it just got boring and dry. I'm not even half way through so I'm hoping it picks back up again. The one bad thing is that there isn't a children's reading program all the time. The librarian said there would be one starting a little before Halloween so I'm hoping Chloe Jo will be old enough for that. Have I mentioned that I love living in a small town??? We can walk to the library from our home. That is pure awesomeness!

I've also started thinking about Christmas. I always start waaaaaaaay early so that it is not a huge financial situation in December. I have knocked out 5 gifts and am working on one for Chloe Jo. I am crocheting her a blanket. It has a flowered pattern on it and I'm doing it out of the colors in her bedroom. I hope it will turn out as cute as I'm picturing!

The weather has been great today. It's been cool and there was a slight wind. I don't know if that is due to Hurricane Earl or if it's just how September is in South Carolina? Either way, it's been really nice. The hurricane is supposed to skip us. The weather forecast said that we would probably not even get rain from it.

That's it for now. Later gators!