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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What a night

Haven't wrote in awhile, and don't have much time to do it tonight but knew I needed to take a break from a screaming baby (teething? sick? who knows. No fever and I don't see any tooth buds yet). So, this post is going to be a list of things to look forward to after you have a child...

1. Waking up at 3am because your child feels it's been an appropriate amount of time to sleep. Jennie had me up at 3:15 this morning, and decided she just wanted to hang out with me. So, we hung out...until 4:30am when she finally fell back asleep and I had about an hour to nap before it was time to get up and get ready. Exhausted doesn't even begin to cover it.

2. Walking around the house, bouncing your child in your arms, singing and "sh-shsing" your nearly naked child, all at the same time. Jennie had a meltdown tonight- like she went from happy and cooing at Jake to red face, tears streaming down, crying so hard she wasn't making noise anymore in about five minutes. And when she does that the only way to calm her down is to take all her clothes off and let her wiggle for a few minutes while naked. Wiggling didn't even work this time, so I scooped up her nekkid-butt, turned on the radio in the kitchen and walked around the house while bouncing her and singing. 

3. Shame goes out the window- read #2. You would think holding a naked baby, bouncing her and singing would make me worry about the neighbors looking in and seeing what was going on, or Jake would think I'm a nut job for singing to her, but I didn't care. All that matters is changing those tears to smiles (or at least make her be quiet...just please stop crying!) and if it means I have to stand on my head while singing and doing the hokey pokey, I'm gonna do it. All that singing and bouncing did quiet her cries, thank of the worst feelings in the world is knowing there's something wrong with your child, but he/she can't tell you what it is yet.   

Not to say there aren't positive things to look forward to, but for right now I had to share what I have been through already tonight. Jennie is napping now, and I know that when she wakes up she will probably be all smiles and it will make me forget all the frustration and stress from tonight. Kids do that to you :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

The good and the bad....this one is for Amber

What a week...where to begin? With the good stuff I guess. First- thanks to all of my awesome readers, I won 2 tickets to see Jason Aldean in Champaign, IL next weekend! It will be my 28th time seeing him live. Wow, my addiction is getting slightly out of control. 28? My goal is 30 by the end of 2012. It will happen. I also celebrated my 24th birthday, and this year was the first year I truly felt like I had a grown-up birthday because I now know the feeling "it's just another day". And that is how I wanted it.
Of course with the good comes the bad. One of my best friends in the whole world lost her step-dad in a car accident on Sunday out in Wyoming. Amber and I have been friends nearly our whole lives. We grew up next door to each other, went to the same high school...over 20 years of friendship and we have seen the good and bad in each others' lives. She and her mom have known more sadness than anyone should have to bear. Her baby brother passed away at the age of 2 from heart complications, and now they have lost another guy near and dear to them. Who would have thought that the last time they said good bye to each other before he left for vacation in Wyoming would be the last time for good? I guess you never truly know...but I do know that through the good and bad, true friends will be there. And I know I will always be here for my baby girl, my family, and my friends.
Don't forget to hug and kiss your loved ones the next time you see just never know <3 I love you Amber!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Help me win!!

Alright, so anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE Jason Aldean fan (like seen him 25+ times live in concert, met him 6 one point, he knew my name....) And right now, I am a part of a contest to win front row tickets and meet and greets for him and Luke Bryan (another love of mine). If you help me win, YOU could win too- and if I don't win, you still could :) Here's what you gotta do...

"like" my photo

That's it :)

If you want to enter to win a $10 Amazon giftcard, simply comment on this blog post (or check out my blog's Facebook page here and comment there! If an extra entry, "share" the giveaway with your friends and get your friends to like it too!

Thank you so much! If I win these tickets, it will be my "first night out" since having Jennie, who just turned 4 months old today! <3

Saturday, January 21, 2012


There are so many "rules" when it comes to how you are supposed to live your life. You're supposed to date for a couple years, move in together, get engaged, have the "perfect" wedding, wait a couple more years, then have a couple of babies. Obviously I haven't followed those rules. The relationship I have with Jake has always defied rules- we have been dating since high school (he was 15, I was 16 when we first started dating). Although we did split up for a few months before he graduated high school, we have been dating 8 years. We've lived together for the past 3 years. Of course we discussed marriage but I subscribe to the theory "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And we aren't broke in anyway...another way we have defied the rules? Having a baby has made us stronger, which is how it should be. Too many couples who are going through a rough time or think "let's just try this one last idea to see if it keeps us together" think that a baby is the answer. It's not. If you aren't happy together you can't raise a child together. And too many of these couples are just following the "rules"- they feel like it's what they are "supposed" to do.
Here's a new idea- do what you want to do. If we had a dollar for every time we have heard "so when are you going to tie the knot", Jake and I could pay for this "perfect" wedding we are supposed to have. Except we would go buy diapers...much better use of that money. That one "perfect" day isn't a clear representation of your life because life isn't perfect. Make your own rules- have a baby before you're married. Get married, then move in together. Get engaged, then have a baby. Or do none of the above. Who cares? Only those insecure in their own life will criticize yours. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Helping a fellow mom out

As most of my friends and family can confirm, I had the shortest, easiest pregnancy known to man (I guess I should say woman). Most people didn't even notice I was pregnant unless they knew already til about month 7. No morning sickness, no major problems to speak of- I felt like I looked at the positive pregnancy test in the bathroom and blinked, and there was my baby girl. I was extremely lucky and when I hear the horror stories of some pregnancies, I cross my fingers my next ones go as smoothly. A mom I know who isn't having such an easy pregnancy, and a fellow blogger has organized some super awesome giveaways to help her out. Her name is Ashley, and together her and her husband are the photography team known as AE Photography. Their work is stunning- I have had the privilege of being their subject 3 times, and hope to with all my future babies (and a wedding...a longggg ways down the road). Here are a few examples of their work:

                                       That's me :) --->

Not my baby, but adorable!!

I would love it if all my readers could participate in any of the giveaways being sponsored by RockerByeBaby. Her stuff is FANTASTIC...can't wait to order some things for Jennie's nursery! And check out AE won't be disappointed :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- One month from today...

Wanted to take a little break from my usual posts, and share with you what my plans will include on February 18...

It will include some of this man...

And a little of this man too...

And this momma couldn't be more excited to hang out with one of the best friends a girl could have :)

I was 7+ months pregnant at her bachelorette party :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Being a grown-up

At 23 years old (almost week), I have been through my fair share of troubles and hard times, but nothing compares to what has happened to me recently. It amazes me how "grown up" I have become in just the less-than-4 months that have passed since having my baby girl. The one and only time I have been up past 10pm was New Year's Eve. I don't care about how I look or how I am feeling- my thoughts about appearance and well-being have all turned towards Jennie. While at work today, even as I led circle time and an art project, my one and only thought was "I wonder how Jennie is feeling" because she was up half the night coughing. Like tears streaming down her face and spitting up phlegm coughing- Jake was up with her from 11:30pm to after 1:30am, and when she woke up again at 5am, she was doing the same thing. She wasn't running a fever, so I was faced with the decision to take her to daycare so I could work or stay home with her. Guilt either way- stay home and not get paid, or go to work knowing she feels like crap. Ugh. I chose the latter, and ALL day was bugged by the feeling that Jennie was miserable. ALL day...and now that we are home, I'm still worrying about her. Still coughing...we have a long night ahead of us.

While I have "grown up", I now notice more clearly how some haven't. And they won't until they have their own kids because they don't know what it's like to have 99% of your brain consumed by one thought all day, and that one thought has nothing to do with yourself. Until then, I'm willing to be a grown up for them. Someone has to do it...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I remember those days well

Dear fellow diners at the Olive Garden by Woodfield Mall, around 1:30pm...

I sincerely apologize that my baby girl decided to have a meltdown immediately upon sitting down at our table. She was tired and hungry, but of course our waiter decided to disappear when we needed to ask for some warm water to get Jennie's bottle to the perfect temperature. And when after the first couple sips her bottle wasn't how she wanted it, she decided to lose it. Daddy walking around with her and me bouncing her on my knee usually works and neither didn't. Her crying only got worse the more we tried to calm her down. Her screams reached what I thought were near "someone is abusing me, please call Child Services" pitch when our food arrived. Thank you for your patience during the last 20 minutes...she calmed down just in time for dad to inhale his lunch and take Jennie from me while I ate a few bites of my dinner before boxing it up and heading home. 

To one dad in particular- thank you for reminding me that this too shall pass. As I walked by your table where you sat with your wife and 3 kids old enough to tell you what their problems are, you smiled knowingly and said "I remember those days well".  One day Jennie will be able to tell me how she is feeling...but until then, I'll just breathe and try every trick I have to make my baby girl happy. And one day I'll be able to tell a parent that same thing...I remember those days well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Every 3 hours

My life is divided into 3-hour increments now. Every 3 hours, my daughter turns into a ravenous monster who can go from giggling and cooing to screaming and clawing at the drop of a hat. Ok, maybe it's not that extreme, but pretty close- although I do have the scratches to prove she can claw. So every three hours, I feed her. And every 2 hours, it's diaper changin' time. And in between those 3-hour feedings, it's tummy time, back play and her new skill: she is learning how to roll over. Doesn't sound like much, but moms reading this now know what 3 hours of trying to entertain an almost 4 month old can do to you. There are times that I just turn the ceiling fan on and hope to god it distracts her for a few minutes while I brush my teeth or go pee. Anytime Jake and I decide to go anywhere, we have to plan 3 hours ahead of ourselves. If we feed her now, we can go get groceries and get something to eat and be home in 3 hours to feed her. 
Gone are the days of not worrying about what time it is (what time did you feed her last?), not worrying about what time to be home (gotta be home by 8 to give her a bath and feed her so she is in bed by 9). But every 3 hours, I get to hold my baby girl while she eats and wraps all of her tiny fingers around one of mine and stares at me with her big, beautiful blue eyes. And every 3 hours, I'm reminded that it's time to slow down and enjoy what I have. I know the days of her peacefully drinking out of a bottle in my arms aren't going to last forever- pretty soon she will be throwing her Cheerios at me from her high chair. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The connection

My baby girl, Jennie, is the spitting image of her dad, Jake (my boyfriend of nearly 8 years). Everyone who meets her says so. And I have a confession to make- I get jealous. I thought that our daughter would be a 50/50 blend of both of us- maybe my green eyes with his red hair. Or my ears with his big feet. But the only thing she got from me is her love of country music. It's so strange looking at her sometimes because I try to picture her 10 years down the road and all I can see is Jake with pigtails.
I say I get jealous because there is bond Jake has with her I never will. Just looking like each other shows a connection, and I don't have that with Jennie. I had a 3-D ultrasound done at 6 months pregnant, and even then we all knew she would look like him because she had the same nose, scowl, everything and the special bond started right then. And so did my jealousy. It's not anything I can resent either of them for, and never will. The same thing that makes me jealous also makes me smile- she will always be Daddy's girl.
So I plan on strengthening my bond with Jennie through Luke Bryan. Lots of Luke Bryan which I won't complain about...he is 2nd on my "list" after all ;) Hopefully he is still shakin' it on tour 5 years down the road. When I was pregnant with Jennie, I went to 2 Jason Aldean concerts, and she didn't move a bit during either of those shows. I went to a Luke Bryan concert, and I felt like I had 8 babies inside me that night- she didn't stop moving the WHOLE show...maybe one day I'll be able to take her to a Luke concert. I guess Jake can come too- but Jennie and I will have more fun than he will, I can guarantee that :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Five generations

So I'm new to this "blog hop" thing, but I'm trying to catch on! Today is Wordless Wednesday, and this picture makes me smile- it spans 5 generations!! I'm 7 months pregnant with my baby girl, and this is my great grandma. We took this at a lunch in honor of my grandma who had passed away from cancer. I miss her grandma used to give all her grandkids those Lifesavers Storybooks for Christmas every year, and this was the first year I didn't get one. I missed her passing because I was at an ultrasound appointment, and I'll never forgive myself for not cancelling that appointment when I knew my grandma didn't have much longer. So here's to all our loved ones who have passed...I miss you G-Ma, Grandma Jennie, and Aunt Patty Jo <3

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yes Leslie, you just did that

Another mom blogger ( gave me the idea to do this post. Because there are times (or will be times after you have your own kids) you just stop and go "what the hell did I just do?" I a moment like that this morning with Jennie. So here goes my first "you know you're a parent when..."

-You stick your finger up a nose that isn't yours. Jennie has had a pretty wicked runny nose lately, and this morning when she woke up she had boogers everywhere. I pulled out one bigger than my damn pinky nail from her tiny nose, and as I wiped it off my finger I literally stopped and asked myself out loud "did I really just do that?!" Yes Leslie, you did. And you are going to do it again. If it means my baby girl breathes easier, I'll pull more than just boogers out of her nose.

-Your baby's bowel movements consume your every thought. Ok, not every parent has to focus that much on how much or how often their child poops but for the first 3 months of Jennie's life, she only pooped every other day. One week, she went 3 days without pooping and on that third night I was at my wit's end. When she wasn't sleeping she was screaming because her belly was hurting her so bad. Warm water wasn't working and I'm not a fan of any over-the-counter products until absolutely necessary- apple juice and a hot bath was my last option before trying gas drops and anything else. So for 45 minutes Jake sat behind her in the tub, pushing her legs into her sore, tiny belly while I held her bottle of diluted apple juice for her. I'll never forget her screams that night- I was crying as she was trying to poop and when she finally did I couldn't have been happier (and neither could she!) And another "you know you're a parent" moment...when you get excited about poop. It will happen and don't say I didn't say so...

It's only been less than 4 months, so I know more of these moments are on the way. Feel free to share your own, or just ask your mom or dad about the first time they had these moments. This post is part of my new giveaway, so stay tuned for more details :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Victoria's Secret...I hate PINK

When you have a baby girl, apparently everything is supposed to be all pink, and covered in bows and frilly. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT that kind of girl. I have one pink shirt in my closet- a Ford Mustang shirt I pretty much only wear to bed. I don't mind bows but frills just ain't me. So when I found out I was having a girl I immediately went into panic mode, not because I didn't want to have a girl but because I knew that my life would be dominated by pink from then on. I tried my hardest to prevent it from happening. Instead of doing pink, I wanted everything to be red and white (mixed together they make pink...that's close enough right?) For my baby shower, I told my friends and family who were planning it that if I showed up and there was any pink balloons or streamers anywhere I would go back home. I didn't want pink clothes...but I'm pretty sure the very first present I opened contained a pink tutu. When people asked me what the nursery theme would be and I said "big red tractor" they would say "shouldn't it be big pink tractor?" No. No. No. That's just wrong on so many levels. 
With that being said, my friend (and super talented artist, check out her website  ) Kelly is working on Jennie's nursery as we speak. The big red tractor theme went out the window when Jake said he didn't want me putting the lyrics to Big Green Tractor on the walls (I would have changed it to Big Red Tractor anyway). But I'm still incorporating some of my favorite singer's lyrics in it, along with polka dots (red and pink). I'm so excited to share the finished product with you all, which will hopefully be Wednesday! 
Oh, and Jennie has worn that pink tutu twice already, and has another in her closet for her next size up. Can't believe it's almost time to pack away the 0-3 month sizes but I know that no matter what she wears she will look cute in it...even if it is pink and covered in bows and frilly :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Free time

The definition of free time according to a child-less person- time to take a nap, time to watch an NCIS marathon, time to go shopping.

The definition of free time according to a parent- time to do laundry, time to vacuum, time to run errands. 

My parents took Jennie (my cupcake in case you didn't know) for the afternoon, so I have about 4 hours of "free time". Which means I will spend the next four hours (after writing this) cleaning the house and catching up on everything else that doesn't get done during the week. We have been living in this house for nearly a month now, and still have boxes everywhere to unpack. I have a mountain of laundry taller than I am and it smells like there might be a dead animal under it- anyone want to have a contest for the husband/boyfriend/man friend with the smelliest socks? We still haven't fully set up our bedroom yet so we have piles of clean clothes laid out like land mines and apparently Jake doesn't know the difference between the clean and dirty piles because I just found his nasty socks on top of some of my clean shirts this morning. Men...

Currently, I have a load of laundry on top of the dryer to put away, a load drying, one in the washer and at least four more in the hamper to do. Don't even get me started on the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the's never ending. So if you don't have children of your own, enjoy your free time. Enjoy being able to sit on the couch, watch Lifetime movies til you can't cry anymore, and then talk to one of your friends who does have a child to tell them you are coming over to do dishes. Or after reading this, come over and help me do laundry...I won't make you touch Jake's horrible socks :)

Check out the giveaway I'm doing on my blog's Facebook page...just search The Cupcake In My Belly!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I can't wear black anymore

Somethings you take for granted when you don't have kids:
1. Just going to the store
2. Saying "oh yea sure I'll totally go to -fill in the event here-", with less than 24-48 hours notice
3. Wearing black

Seriously, I can't "just go" to the store, or anywhere, anymore. I have to make sure I have the diaper bag, enough diapers, wipes, and formula as well as bottles. An extra set of clothes for her (and me...always leave an extra shirt in the car or stuff it in your purse because you never know what bodily fluid will get on you). Her blanket. I'm sure I'm missing something in that list, and it seems like every time we go out anywhere, we always forget that something. One day we will be able to walk out of the house feeling and actually being totally prepared. One day...

You know how every Friday night someone asks you to do something- go to the bar, go to dinner, go shopping? That doesn't happen anymore either. Obviously you can't take a baby to a bar. Well you can but wait for the judgement to fly, even if all you are doing is having dinner, because who doesn't love some bar food every once in awhile?  And going to dinner or shopping, or whatever else your friends want to do? See the paragraph above. Oh how I miss the days of just carrying a purse around. Now it's a purse, diaper bag and 15lb baby in a car seat. Makes me tired just thinking about it. One day...

And it doesn't matter how many times I get puked on, peed on, booger-ed on, I still always happen to be wearing black when that happens. Right now, I'm wearing a black hoodie and on my left shoulder there is something white and crusty. Could be tears, could be snot...who knows. My closest is full of black shirts because that is the easiest thing for me to put when I need to "dress up". One day...

I have started a Facebook page for my blog, please take the time to "like" it, and feel free to participate in the giveaway! Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's not about what YOU want anymore

I have had to learn the hard way that when raising a child, it doesn't matter what you want or how you think you want to raise him or her. I had these grand ideas about breast feeding, not letting her watch TV, not being "that" mom, and other well-intended notions. But slowly, all these ideas have gone to the curb.

Breast feeding- I give all the credit in the world to moms who have breast fed successfully. I wanted to so bad- I know it is the best way for your child to get what she needs, it's so much cheaper, etc. And I successfully breast fed all 3 days in the hospital. But as soon as we came home, my boobs just stopped working. Whether it was stress, poor nutrition (I'm pretty sure I didn't eat at all the first two days I was home), or just simply that my body couldn't do it anymore, I had to make the decision to switch to bottle feeding. It broke my heart...the guilt of being a bad mom started right then and there (and guilt is a whole other post too). I was able to pump for a few days after, but wasn't getting near enough to support Jennie's ferocious appetite. My guilt has slowly eased, but there are still times while feeding her I can't help but feel like I could have done more.

Not being "that" mom- we all know "that" mom. The one who doesn't want her child exposed to curse words.  The one who runs to the E.R. every time her child has the slightest sniffle. I swore to myself I would never be like that, but again, what you want doesn't matter. Something changes inside you immediately after having a baby and even after you don't do the things I just listed doesn't mean you aren't that mom still. I had my first mom moment on New Year's Eve. Jake and some friends were playing beer pong out in the garage, and when I went out to see how the game was going, it took every ounce of me not to freak out- Jake had let our friends smoke in the garage (with the cars inside and garage doors shut too). All I wanted to do was scream "now my car is going to have cigarette smoke in it and my baby is not breathing that sh** in!!" But I didn't- I did say something to Jake loud enough for all to hear, but Momma Lion wanted to pounce. Brace yourself for that moment people...

When you become a parent, you automatically give up all of your free time, your social life, your sleep, and pretty much everything else you value without a child. If you don't have a child of your own right now, enjoy everything YOU want to do- pretty soon, no one will care about what you want anymore :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

If you have a friend who has a baby, please read...

Although I am not the first in my circle of friends to have a baby, I feel like a lot of my friends are still getting used to the idea that I have a little one. And as any parent will tell you, I feel like some have already "dropped" me from their life because they don't know how to be my friend anymore, simply because I can't drop whatever I'm doing to go out with them. So, to all of my friends, and anyone else reading this who has friends with kids, here are some duties/obligations you should always follow.

1. You must ask how the baby/child is doing. That little one has become the center of your friend's life, so it is imperative you let your friend discuss/vent/retell a funny story, etc. But you DO NOT have to sit through a 20 minute analysis of their child's last bowel movement. If your friend starts doing that, feel free to tell them you are grossed out.

2. You must ask how your friend is doing. It seems like after having a baby, nobody cares how mommy/daddy is doing- everyone focuses on the baby (for good reason...they are usually [yes, I say usually] adorable). But remember your friend is a person too and he/she is probably feeling tired, anxious, happy, excited just like you are on any given day, and probably 10 times more so. Never forget that your friend is still   your friend  and not just your friend plus a baby.

3. If your friend asks you to go out, and he/she has a babysitter arranged, it is your obligation to go with, no matter what is going on- if it's a weekday and you have to work the next morning; you don't really like what she has planned to do; you don't have a lot of money. No excuse is valid- your friend has trusted someone else to stay with their child, and probably hasn't had more than 20 minutes to themselves in days, weeks, or even months. YOU have no serious tie downs compared to having a 15lb weight attached to you at all times. JUST DO IT.

4. As a friend, you will feel obligated to buy presents, and let me tell you the best presents to give- D.I.A.P.E.R.S. Not the cute clothes or obnoxious toys, but diapers and even formula. But also make sure you ask for specifics like brand, size, which kind of formula, etc. A box of diapers or a can of formula costs about $20 and will last a week (if your friend is lucky). A cute $20 outfit will get worn once and it is guaranteed the baby/child will spit up, vomit, or poop all over it (if they even get to wear it before they outgrow it). Make your money go further and save your friend a trip to the store- double bonus!

I'm sure there are other things you can do to help out or be a better friend to someone with a child, but nap time is over. One thing to remember- expect all of these duties to be returned by your friend when you have a child of your own, and don't be surprised if you get even more help out of them than you thought. Veteran parents are usually willing to help the newbies- and that is something I will always be grateful for!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I don't wanna wear these fat pants!

I think the most common New Years resolution for women is to lose weight, and for the first time in my whole life, I may be right there with a lot of them. After fluctuating between 115-120lbs since freshman year of high school, this 10 extra pounds I gained having Jennie is really starting to bug me. And please don't tell me "you don't even look like you have had a baby"...I will slap you. You don't see what I look like under clothes- it is VERY true what they say, that a woman's body is never the same after having a child. How can it be?! I gained 40+ pounds, 10 of which went to my butt, 10 to my boobs, and the rest in my belly. Wait, actually I think my feet gained about 10 pounds as well (don't even get me started on the fat feet...disgusting. DISGUSTING).
 I have to say my belly bounced back really well, but my boobs and butt...ugh. By the time I was 9 months pregnant, my just-barely-B cups were almost Ds (no joke). After the milk came in and they went back to normal, they did the only thing they could do- just hang there. Hate doesn't even begin to describe how I feel when I look at them.
Thank god Jake is a "butt man", because mine grew. A lot. Had to go up a whole jean size just to accommodate it. When I came to this realization I had a melt down, literally. Like crying my eyes out saying "I don't wanna wear these fat pants!" Hormones are a bitch after having a baby, but that's a whole other blog post. Like I said, I'm glad Jake likes butts because somebody has to like mine I guess...
So I guess one of my resolutions other than doing this blog is to lose some of this baby weight. But I can already tell you it won't happen anytime soon. Once the spring comes and I can put Jennie in a stroller, Davis Junction will be seeing a lot of us though. I'm not big on going to a gym or doing workout dvds, so I'll be walking and eventually running the streets of this small town. Here's to 2012...