Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble Til You Wobble Y'all!

I have so much to be thankful for each and every year, but this year in particular I feel extra thankful.

I am married to the best man in the world.
We own a beautiful house.
We have food on our table.
We have two jobs that let us live a wonderful life.
We have the best yellow dog known to man.
We have family and friends that love us unconditionally.

Did you think I would leave our most thankful thing off?

Caleb Tyler Hughes.  The little heartbeat that makes our house a home and our family complete.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Wish List - Daddy Edition

So to continue with the fun of listing wish items for both me and the baby, I thought I would do one for the hubs too.

Ryan and I both have birthdays very close to Christmas, so we only get gifts one time a year for the most part so our wish lists are usually well thought out by the time it comes back around.

Below is a list of things that Ryan has mentioned to me lately that he wants :)

Steering Wheel Cover

Electric Razor

Shop Vac

Insulated Bibs

Muck Boots

Papa Bear Shirt - okay so he may not want this but how cute is it???


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Wish List - Baby Edition

So after linking up with Elise last week for my wish list I thought it would be fun to make one for the whole family :)

Today I bring you Caleb's Wish List :)

I think he will love these items...he is getting to that age where he will start to use these educational tools and I can't wait for him to discover all of the fun they hold.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks

Baby Einstein Bendy Ball

Baby Bear Onesie
Bumbo Baby Seat

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Killing The Hoarder and Facing The Truth

It's Friday again and that means we are linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife today for Oh Hey Friday!

Let's get it started shall we??

My mom came over again yesterday, two weeks in a row now, and we busted through boxes in the garage!  I have about 6 boxes full of stuff to donate, one box of items to sell and at least 4 bags of trash and recycling.  I still have a little bit to go through, but I am super proud of myself.  I realize that if I haven't looked at it or used it the entire time Ryan and I have been together, 5 years, then I probably don't need it.

Facing the truth is hard to do, especially when it is the fact that I only have one more whole week at home with my baby boy. ::cue the tears now::  I will be returning to work the 1st of December and although I am ready, especially financially, I will miss him terribly.

When I was cleaning out boxes from our garage yesterday I found a $25 giftcard to TARGET!!!  Score!  Talk about happiness!  I will be going today to see if I can find some items on sale that I can wear for work, especially in the bottoms department, girlfriend isn't sure she can fit in her work pants yet.  LOL.

I started working out this week, like for real working out.  I am doing the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD and I love her curse at her the entire time.  Last time I did it, 3 years ago, I lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks.  Here's to hoping it works again :)

The hubs' birthday is in 12 days, my mother-in-law's birthday is in 28 days, Christmas is in 34 days and my birthday is in 41 days.  We have a very busy month coming up and I only have one present purchased out of the 11+ we have to give.  Start the panicking now!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

No Christmas For Us In November

Today I am talking all about why we do not decorate for Christmas in November.

I love Christmas just as much as the next person - believe me - but we refuse to decorate for the festive holiday in November.  I feel as though Christmas decorations are popping up sooner and sooner every year.  I love seeing every one's pictures on IG but it's like everyone has forgotten about Thanksgiving.

I am guilty of watching the new Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, after all they did start premiering on November 1st, but that doesn't mean that I want Christmas everywhere.

I hate that stores are already playing Christmas music.  To me, Christmas is a December and Winter holiday.  In November I want all things Fall and Thanksgiving.  I waited until November 1st to decorate for Thanksgiving because Halloween was finally over, I feel the same way about all holiday decorations, wait until the previous holiday has passed.

In our house we decorate for Christmas from December 4 - December 26/27.  Why such a short time you may ask?  Well both the hubs and I have Winter birthdays and we don't like to have Christmas taking over those days either.  The hubs' birthday is the 3rd of December and he likes to decorate for Christmas after that, so I comply.  Then my birthday is January 1st and my mom spoiled me my whole life and always had our house undecorated by then, so he complies.

It is a nice compromise on both our parts and we are happy to do it.  I love having my house all decorated in burnt oranges and reds and turkeys everywhere.  As of December 4th, swear, our house will look like Santa himself threw up Christmas cheer all over the place :)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Income Home...

So when we found out I was pregnant we discussed multiple times how long I would be off of work for.  Ryan and I have never, unfortunately, been that couple that has a ton of nice things and can live on one income.  We have always wondered how people, with what seems like lower paying jobs, can be so well off.

What are we doing wrong?  How can they have that gorgeous house & new vehicles on one income?
Must be nice to be able to go to those concerts all the time, we have a mortgage to pay for.
When will we be able to afford for only one of us to work?
Don't get us confused for jealous or ungrateful people, we live a really nice life and in order to maintain all that we want, we choose for us both to work.

Well the time came where I was going to be off work.  We are so lucky that here in California we can get paid a maximum of $409/week while on disability for pregnancy and baby bonding after birth.  I ended up being off work before Caleb was born for 5 weeks and have been home with him for 10 weeks already.  Although the $409/week is fabulous and we are extremely thankful for it, it isn't the same amount that I would be bringing home if I were working full time.

So to say it has been a struggle for the past 15 weeks is an understatement.  Money is a huge stresser to me.  Money and financial stress is probably the thing that will kill me one day after the build-up of 60+ years of worrying. LOL.  I have gone back and forth, since August 1st when I went out on Maternity leave on when I should go back - 6 weeks PP, 8 weeks PP, 12 weeks PP?

Before I went out on Maternity Leave I made printable calendars for our fridge that mapped out when we would be getting paid and when all of our bills were due.  ::I love to plan things out - especially financially::  Since I've been home I have tried to spread out our bills and payments to when we get paid but relying on the state to send you half of your income is super frustrating.

My state income goes directly to our mortgage which means that we have Ryan's income to pay the rest of our bills with and live off of.  Ryan works in a sales job which is scary - to me, but luckily he is salary plus commission.  We make good money, but with me not working we have built up more debt in the last 15 weeks than I ever thought we would.

Ryan and I have had many "discussions" about our finances and to say that they end with smiles is not the direction I would go.  Like I said above, money is such a stresser for me.  I have taken on the responsibility of paying all of our bills so Ryan doesn't always know our financial situation unless I tell him.

I hit a point last month where I didn't know how we were going to make it another 4 weeks of me not working.  We had a long conversation about what needs to change for the next month and I set a plan in motion.

Ways We Are Not Building Debt In The Next 2 Weeks:
Eating at home - I went through our freezer and we have enough food in there for 12 meals.  I wrote them down and will be making one every night until we are out.
Packing lunches - Ryan drives all day so it is hard for him to eat lunch most days.  I will be finding ways to pack him lunches that he can eat on the road.
Traveling only when necessary - We live 30-40 minutes from our parents and they all want to see Caleb as often as possible.  We plan our trips South strategically and make sure that we utilize our gas accordingly.
No Shopping - We aren't too guilty of this, but I did just go and buy new clothes for work and I always want to buy things for Caleb so this has got to stop, for a while at least.  I plan on not buying any clothes for the next 4 weeks if possible - wish me luck!
Use gift cards - We get gift cards all the time, birthdays, holidays, etc and we always forget to use them!  I have stuck these babies in the diaper bag and will be using them up whenever possible.

I am still using Mint to help keep our budget in line and highly recommend it to anyone, whether you have financial stresses or not.


I know that I only have 2 weeks left at home with my little and as sad as I am to leave him and go to work, I know that it is for the best.  We want our less stressful life back and a two income home again will be one step in the right direction.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas Wish List - Mama Edition

Today I am linking up with AprilEliseKatieZelle for the 2nd annual These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things.

This year, due to our budget, we have elected to not do presents.  We are getting small items for our family members and probably crafts from Caleb for the grandparents, but as for each other, Ryan and I are happy with our baby for Christmas this year.

So this is more of a wish list :)
OXO Good Grips 10 pc

Mama Bear Sweatshirt
Hunter Boots - Not in blue though

Yellow and Gray Tree Throw Pillows
Cable Knit Leggings

DSLR Camera

A pretty boring list but it is a wish list after all. :)
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Monday, November 17, 2014

When Happiness and Sadness Collide

Beverly Joann Smith - daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.

A soul that my son will never get to fully understand and love.

My Grandma got to meet Caleb for the first time last Monday afternoon.  To say my heart was happy is an understatement.

My Grandma and I have always been close.  Hell, for 5 years we lived together with my mom.  3 generations of women all living together in a house - annoying at times, crazy often and loving always.

My whole life I remember my mom telling everyone that I am just like my grandma.  We are both night owls and both love ice cream and pickles.  When I was little I just giggled and let it go.  Now that I am an adult and really understand everything, I think "What an honor!"

My grandma was born and raised in a small town in Illinois right off the Mississippi River.  She met my grandpa and they traveled the country courtesy of the United States Air Force.  She had 2 kids 13 months apart and then followed them up with 2 more.  Her and my grandpa were married for over 30 years and then went their separate ways - for the better.

My grandma found a boyfriend and after retiring moved to Oregon when I was 1.  She lived with her boyfriend of 20+ years in a little town just north of the border.  My mom and I - and our dog - would go visit her at least once a month for many many years.  Although the drive North wasn't always the greatest, once we were there it was wonderful.  My grandma would spoil us and that is when I knew that we had something special.

My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2007.  I remember the day we decided that she would come live with us.  My mom was in the process of buying her house and my grandma had gone to Illinois for a trip with my aunt.  She returned from Illinois, my aunts and uncles drove up to Oregon to pack up her house and down she came and moved in with us.

For the next 3 years we lived as a 3 generational family.  My mom would go to work and I would go off to college and my grandma would stay home and hang out with our dog.  I would bring us lunch home after classes everyday and we would watch whatever dance show we had recorded.

In 2012, my grandma's condition got worse and it was getting too hard on my mom to care for her completely any longer.  As a family we all made the hard decision to put her into an assisted living home.  She would still come to family functions and we would go visit her.  She was slowly getting worse and worse everyday.

The time came where my grandma needed more care than she was getting where she was.  My family, once again, made the decision to move her, this time to her final home.  Grandma has declined more rapidly and is no longer able to leave her home.  She still gets visitors, almost daily, but is at the point where she has a hard time remembering who people are.  She can't name any of us, I don't think, but understands that we are her family when we remind her.

I made the decision to take Caleb there last Monday.  I wanted her and him to meet, even if neither one of them will ever remember it - the moment where happiness and sadness collide.  I wanted there to be a picture - my Grandma and my baby.  I wanted him to always have a picture of his great-grandma and so that someday when he asks me about her I can tell him all about her.

He will never get to fully understand or love her...and in a way I feel as though I didn't either.  I didn't realize how special she was until it was almost too late.  My Grandma, a woman who has been taken over by Alzheimer's, but who will always be a part of our life.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

I am lucky enough to live with a veteran and my very own hero.  Ryan has been enlisted for almost 8 years now and has gone on two deployments.

Today I thought I would fill you in on some deals for your veteran this year...

Free Entrees/Appetizers:
Outback Steakhouse
Red Robin
Claim Jumpers
California Pizza Kitchen
Bj's Brewhouse
Cattlemen's Steakhouse
Golden Corral
Krispy Kreme
On The Border
TGI Fridays
Olive Garden
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurnts

Free Haircuts:
Great Clips
Sports Clips

Our local car wash spot is giving out free car washes and all National Parks have free admittance on Veteran's Day.  Our local ice rink is also giving out free ice skating for the day.  Make sure you check out your local spots for great deals and free meals.

And as always, thank a service member for their sacrifice.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy Friday!

Linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife today for Oh Hey Friday!


This week my little baby, Caleb Tyler slept for at least 8 hours every night!!! I woke up freaking out each and every night convinced that something was wrong because he hadn't woken me up yet.  Nothing wrong, of course, just him becoming even more of a big boy.


Halloween is over and it is November so that means that we now decorate for Thanksgiving and Fall.  My mom came over yesterday and we decorated the house.


Remember on Monday when I talked about my goals for the month?  Well this week we have been killing it and have gotten a ton done!  We have finished hanging things in the nursery, moved the rocker into there, took down Halloween, decorated for Fall, organized our closet...geesh!  We are doing soooo good!


My baby turned two months old this week.  I am still in disbelief.  I am so happy to watch him grow but also sad because it means that I only have a few weeks left at home with him.


I am determined to start cooking more this month.  I went through and listed out about 20 meals for us for this month's dinners.  /recipes are always appreciated and I'm sure some more will be appearing on the blog after we have them :)

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Dearest Little - Two Month Letter

My dearest Caleb,

I can't believe we have made it another month.  These past four weeks have been more amazing than the first four, which if you had asked me if it was even possible I would tell you no.  

As much as I would like to say nothing has changed and you are still my little baby, that isn't true.

This month you have made so many leaps and we couldn't be more excited.

At 5 weeks old we ended up putting you in your crib to sleep for the first time.  It wasn't planned at all, in fact it was a solution to me being exhausted and on the verge of tears.  You were so happy and not wanting to go back to sleep, I couldn't leave you out in the living room by yourself and we couldn't go back in our room because Daddy was sleeping.  You and I - and Hanky of course - went into the nursery and you went in your crib.  I laid on the floor with Hank and we slept for 4 hours.  From then on you have been in your crib like such a big boy.  This was a week earlier than I had ever planned but I'm so thrilled that you chose it on your own - or so I'd like to think you did.

After two weeks back home from our big road trip to Colorado, we finally got you back on a schedule.

6:30 pm - bath time
7:00 pm - last bottle
1:00 - 2:00 am - night bottle
5:00 - 6:00 am - morning bottle

We went to the Pumpkin Patch for the first time this week.  You did great!  It was the start of your first Fall and I was so excited to introduce you to everything.  We did an obligatory pumpkin picture and picked out quite a few for our front yard decorations.  You stayed awake the entire trip and looked adorable in your little Halloween onesie.

At 6 weeks I left you for the first time for an extended amount of time.  I had a dentist appointment and my follow up lady appointment in the same week.  I was terrified to leave you - not because I don't trust your Mima with my life - literally - but because you are my baby and that's what moms do :)  You survived just fine and so did I.  You once again amazed me at how grown up you were.

At 7 weeks you found your hands!  You absolutely love your fingers but you can't always figure out where they go.  You get frustrated with them but when they reappear you great them with your mouth like they never left you.  You also started to smile purposefully.  We can tickle you or say things and you will choose to smile.  Are you advanced?  Mommy and Daddy like to think so :)  During this week I decided to make the biggest choice I've had to thus far - we quit nursing.  I loved nursing you, believe me, but I came to the realization that while it kept you content in the middle of the night it was just prolonging us going back to bed.  We quit nursing and you have been exclusively bottle/formula fed since.

Mommy and Daddy went out on a date and left you with your Grandma and Pop for a few hours.  It was much needed for Mommy since it was an emotional week - with the whole nursing thing and all.  You did great and I couldn't wait to get back to you.

We met with the wonderful LG to get our family photos taken.  You did such a great job!  You were awake for the entire session and only had one meltdown.  We are waiting to get our disc but I assume you look perfect in all of them :)

8 weeks. :(  My baby boy is 8 weeks! This week you have started fighting your naps during the day.  You will sleep 20-40 minutes at a time in your crib or swing and 60-90 minutes in my arms.  I am not trying to hold you everyday during your naps - as much as I want to - so the shorter naps are what we are dealing with.  As cranky as you become during the day from not napping, the mornings are amazing after you have slept because you are sooooo happy!  On a super exciting note, Sunday night you slept 9 hours straight!!!!  You are becoming such a big boy!

You celebrated your first Halloween and went as Tigger!  Mima had bought you this outfit before you were born and we completely forgot about it until the day before Halloween.  It was short sleeved and shorts - which is wayyyy too cold for a California Halloween - so we put you in a while long sleeved onesie, white pants and white socks underneath.  I figured if you blew through the Tigger outfit you could always double as a ghost :)

You are now completely out of newborn onesies.  My heart hurts a little as I type this just because it means that you are growing up so fast.  You are still wearing newborn pants though so I don't need to cry too much.  But then we get to pajamas and I might cry again - you are in 3 month pajamas and I'm not sure they will fit you for too much longer.  You are becoming such a tall boy and they really need to make big and tall onesies for babies!

Caleb Tyler, I love watching you grow each and every day.  I can't believe that we only have one more month together until I have to go back to work.  I look forward to spending tons of time laughing and playing and helping you grow big and strong!

Current Statistics: (all estimates as we don't go to the doctors until next week)
Weight: 12.5 pounds (50th percentile)
Height: 23 inches (31th percentile)
Clothes: 0-3 months and 3-6 months

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