Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

Wow it's been a while since my last blog. I guess I should do a quick update on the kids.

Paul turned 2 on December 10 and we had a fun airplane themed party at home for him. It was mostly family and a couple close friends. We had little wooden airplanes for the guests to decorate with special wood markers and Tia made an airplane themed cake.

Camille turned 6 months old on December 16 and is now eating three "meals" a day and still nursing 7 times a day. Her meals are either baby oatmeal or rice cereal usually mixed with a mashed up fruit or vegetable. So far we haven't had to feed her any store-bought baby food or formula..been making our own food...and She typically wakes up around 8AM and goes to sleep by midnight...11PM when we are lucky.

Christmas has been a blast this year. We had my mom's family in town for NOLA Christmas 2011 the weekend before Christmas and the ladies even went to Windsor Court for high tea. We also did some Canal Place and Riverwalk shopping. We took a big family portrait at Lafreniere Park and Paolo was the photographer. We all contributed to a wonderful home-cooked Christmas feast with new twists on the classic holiday menu.

For Christmas Eve, we went to St. Michael special school with Paul's mom's family. Christmas morning, Paul and Camille got to see what Santa left for them. Paul got a workbench and Camille got a Leapfrog musical activity table. They also got a play kitchen set from Nanna and Papa. After prying Paul away from his gifts, by promising more gifts, we went to Tia and Pops' house for the Spear family Christmas (Paul's mom's family). Then after a nice afternoon rest, we went to Mama and Papa's house for the Perret family Christmas.

Unfortunately, all of these celebrations were followed by Baby Paul getting a fever & cold symptoms the night after Christmas and then an ear infection the next day. He is slowly getting better but as of today, still had a low fever, cough and runny nose. For the most part, this hasn't stopped him from being his usual self, so that's good. The nights have been the hardest though. This also marks the first time ever that Paul has had a fever and a major illness, and therefore the first trip to the doctor as a sick child. We are definitely blessed for that.

In happier news, today Camille and I attended our 2nd holiday ladies' tea of the year with the Spear women at Longue Vue Gardens in Old Metairie. It was a beautiful location and a lovely tea. There were 15 of us this year. Our group gets bigger every year. So fun!

In early January, will be having our final Christmas celebration with my Dad's family, when my sister Stephaie will be available from her pharmacist job. I will write about that one in my next blog. I am also working on my 2012 New Year's Resolutions/Goals and will post them soon, too.

Well, I guess that's a sufficient update for now. Good night, all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Camille:5 months, Paul:23 months

Well, I just wanted to update my neglected blog with a quick summary of how much the kids are growing.

Camille turned 5 months old on Wednesday of this week and she's made so many changes over just the last couple of weeks.  She can now sit up on her own for several minutes at a time and can roll around from belly to back and vice versa.  She is also trying various solid foods now.  She started at four months old with rice cereal. Then, each week after the first week of that, we added a food to it.  So far she's tried bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes.  She's also had a couple of "Mum Mum" crackers.  They are basically baby rice crackers that dissolve in the mouth.  She feeds those to herself.  She will also hang out in her walker or exersaucer for sometimes up to 20 minutes at a time, which is a nice break for me and Paul since we don't have to carry her around all the time anymore.  She's getting so grown up!

Paul is approaching 2 years old (3 weeks to go) and boy is he acting more like a "terrible 2" each day.  haha  Actually, he has some awfully cute moments and some just plain awful moments, too.  He's getting so smart and understands everything we say, even if we're not talking to him.  He picks up on everything, so much, that I have started spelling words out so he doesn't know that we're talking about him.  Only a matter of time before that doesn't work anymore.  He still isn't talking, but he is saying more "words" and makes up signs for things that he wants to communicate.   He also now communicates when he's upset with those wonderful temper tantrums that start at this age.  I usually don't get mad when it happens, because, truthfully it's hard not to laugh at him when some tiny thing frustrates him and he starts rolling around on the floor in agony about whatever it is.  The things that cause these outbursts didn't used to affect him at all, so I know he's just being dramatic.  It usually happens when he can't figure out how to do something all by himself and doesn't want help with it.

But, for each occasional outburst, there are always many cute things he does to make up for them.  He is being such a sweet big brother to Camille and she just adores him, too.  If she is upset, he'll try to comfort her or give her her pacifier.  He's getting better about sharing toys - still a work in progress, but he's learning.   Camille loves to watch him and sometimes if she gets upset and he comes in the room, or where she can see him, she calms right down.

Well, that's the update for now.  I guess I should get back to Camille, whose 20 minutes are almost up in the exersaucer and she's starting to let me know it's time for me to entertain her again. :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

some days are just like that...(my children and their sudden mood swings)

Well, half of today was good, the other half, not so much.  Let's start with the good.  For lunch today, I took the kids with my mother-in-law to Chick-Fil-A, because we got word they had a really cool play area for young kids.  Sure enough, there was a play area in a separate room for only kids 3 and under and it was very clean - one of the rules said you couldn't even eat in the area.  They also had a case of antibacterial hand wipes right outside of it.  Paul had a blast once he figured out how to climb on everything.  Of course, he threw a fit when it was time to leave, but he had so much fun just being a monkey and Camille had fun watching him and the other kids from her car seat.  Not too much longer and she'll be in there with him!

Then, we came home in time for naps.  I got Camille down and then went to put Paul down and he threw a fit!  He screamed and cried for 45 minutes (totally out of character for him - he's usually an easy napper), and in that time Camille woke back up crying.  I fed her and then she continued to cry for probably 30-45 minutes until I put her in the "magic" swing and she fell back asleep again within 5 minutes of being in it.  I don't know what was wrong with the kids, but good grief, the screaming about drove me batty.  They finally just had to cry in separate rooms while I hid in the office for 5 minutes to escape.  I did everything I could to quiet them, but sometimes, you just have to let them cry it out - if you have kids, you know this to be true.  Eventually they did both sleep for about 45 minutes to an hour.  That was when I sent Paul a text asking him to bring home a bottle of

Then, this evening, all of us had fun playing and dancing around.  I'm glad today ended on a high note, because it got rough there for a while.  But, such is the life with 2 under 2.  I love my kids, even in moments of insanity, and I still wouldn't trade my job. :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Cheese Criminal" ... a Wal-Mart rant

So, there are many reasons why I despise Wal-Mart, unfortunately the one reason I like it - that being the obvious fact that they are the cheapest grocer around - tends to outweigh all other reasons for not shopping there.  So, unfortunately, I begrudgingly drag myself there each week for groceries, sometimes more than once in a week.  It seems it's inevitable that something will go wrong each time I go, yet, I just can't see spending more money some place else when Wal-Mart is maybe only a mile or two further from the house than our local grocer.

It seems most of the problems arise when I am using coupons.  I typically try to shop with some coupons when I go to the grocery, and today was no exception.  I haven't mastered saving 95% at the grocery, but hey $10-15 bucks off is nothing to scoff at.  So, today I ring up my items in the self check-out line and go to scan my coupons and my third coupon doesn't scan.  It's for $1 off a pack of extra sharp cheddar cheese slices.  So the older lady who watches over the self check-out lanes comes and takes my coupon from me and tries to look up the item on her computer to see if it's on my ticket.  She says she can't find it and wants to see the actual item.  So, I give it to her and she compares it to the coupon and I say "I got the sharp cheddar" (the coupon was for various types listed) and she said "The coupon says it's for extra sharp cheddar".  Oh, I'm sorry, I left off the "extra" in my description, so sue me.  So then another, younger, lady comes over to look and she prints out a copy of my ticket in which I have to point out to her that I did indeed scan the cheese before putting it in my cart.  Obviously, I'm not going to try to steal cheese and then try and use a coupon on it! (Hence the name of this post - cheese criminal).
Oh, and while this is taking place, the older lady then proceeds to tell me that I didn't scan the big bag of dog food that was under my cart.  I told her, yes, I did, I scanned it and then put it back under the cart and clicked the "do not bag" option on the screen.  She says this isn't on my ticket either...geez...really, do you think I'd try and sneak some free cheese (while attempting to use a coupon) and dog food or what?  Luckily the younger lady got everything cleared up for me and I was free to go, with my completely paid-for (minus coupon savings) groceries!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yeah for awesome JCPenney coupon!

JC Penney sent me a $10 off $10 purchase (how stupid are they?) in the mail and today Camille and I went to spend it.  Since my little princess has been playing with her bubba's hand-me-down baby boy toys, I decided to see about getting her something girly.  So, fortunately, the toys were on sale 40% off.  I found the "Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Glamour Gift Set" on sale for $11.99 in the store and with my coupon, got it for $2!  It comes with a rattle, diamond ring teether, teethable charm bracelet and purse.  Yeah for JC Penney! :-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

found my old blog - also- blame me for Rangers' loss

So, today I found my old blog that I started almost exactly 5 years ago at and my blog title was strawberryprincess (a nickname Paul called me back in the day).  Apparently, I made one post saying that I got a blog so now I can comment on Paul's blog, which he had just started, too.  His last blog was 3 years ago, so yeah, apparently we once tried to blog and failed.  Hopefully, this time around, I stick with it and maybe Paul will write some more, too.  I linked my old account on to this blog, and I don't really know how it all ties together now, so if you see one of my old blog names on a blog or comment, you'll know it's me.


Ok, so it could be our fault the Rangers lost the World Series and I will tell you why.  If you didn't already know, when our children were born, it coincided with one of "our" teams winning a championship.  The year Paul was born, the Saints won the Super Bowl and the year Camille was born (that being only 4 months ago), the Mavericks won the World Championships.
So, since we already had our baby this year and another of our teams won a championship, unfortunately, that might have made the Rangers lose.  I am so sorry, you can blame us, if it makes you feel better.  Now, I would have LOVED to see them win, don't get me wrong, but if you needed someone to blame, you can blame us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yeah for free diapers, also for getting more skilled at dining out with kids

So, today I went to CVS and got two jumbo packs of diapers for I didn't steal them. CVS has a promotion where you buy 6 jumbo packs and get the 7th free, so one of them was my 7th pack. To pay for the other one, I used the remainder of a $10 CVS gift card I got previously for buying $30 worth of specified merchandise (in my case, diapers)and part of another $10 gift card I earned at the grocery for a similar promotion. Yeah for free money!
Tonight we decided to do a rare thing and take both kids out to dinner. Even if we weren't trying to save money by eating out less, we still wouldn't do it a lot because, well, as you can imagine, a restaurant isn't the ideal setting for two small children to entertain themselves.
But, as we were making our way to the sandwich restaurant where we were gonna order to-go, we passed by a new restaurant that is right by our house and has outdoor seating so we thought what the heck. It's a hamburger place called Cheeseburger Eddie's and the way it works is you stand in line, order, then find a seat and they bring out your food. So, Paul stood in line with Camille while I entertained P4 at the table, mostly by letting him lick salt and pepper off his hands that he got out of the shakers on the table (you do what you gotta do).
After a few minutes of this, I got out some pens and we colored and practiced writing/naming letters - I wrote & he named ("dada" for D, "mama" for M, etc). We also took a walk to and from the car once Paul and Camille got to the table. Then, Paul entertained P4 with his droid phone - they watched videos of us and played angry birds. I took Camille out of her carseat and dangled some toys in front of her while she grabbed and swatted at them. Our food came and I scarfed mine down while still holding Camille. Paul fed P4 bites of his while scarfing his down. Then when the two of us were done, we boxed up the rest of P4's to feed him at home and packed up our stuff and left. I put Camille in the car, Paul put P4 in the car, I passed him around the back of the car and grabbed the to-go box from him to hold in the car as we went to our sides of the car. Once we got home, we gave P4 a few more bites of dinner and then it was off to the bath and then bed time.
The reason I write about this restaurant trip is because of how well orchestrated it was. Paul and I took turns entertaining the babies, all of us ate, no one cried, and I am pretty certain we didn't interrupt any other patrons' dining experiences. This all adds up to a successful dinner out with kids and I am pretty darn proud of us for being able to accomplish that.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A summary of baby and mommy's first 4 months

This description of baby's first 4 months applied to Paul as well, but with Camille being our new baby, she has reminded us how fun, and also trying, the early months can be.  But, each month gets you closer to the ultimate goal of a full night's sleep, and your old self, once again! 

Baby's description:

Month 1: eat, poop, cry, sleep sometimes when the mood strikes - not always at night and never for very long
Month 2: eat, poop, cry, smile, sleep occasionally, usually at night, not for very long
Month 3: eat, poop, cry, smile, coo, laugh, sleep every night, for at least half the night
Month 4: eat, poop, cry, smile, coo, laugh, grab toys or anything within reach, stand in the walker or exersaucer, sleep all night almost every night!

In summary, the more interactive and fun a baby becomes, the more she can wear herself out and give everyone better sleep!  :-)  

A mother's point of view of the first 4 months:

Month 1 "Do what it takes to survive" - who knows how we survived the first month - I can hardly remember it, which is ironic considering I spent more hours awake in this month than any other in my entire life.

Month 2 "Trying to feel like I have a normal life again" - now that I have a free minute every now and then, since baby now allows me to sit her in her bouncy seat for several minutes at a time, do I really have to spend it doing the dishes and laundry that piled up over the last month?

Month 3 "Ready to face the world again" - finally starting to lose the bags under the eyes and a good portion of baby weight

Month 4 "Hey, my clothes fit again!" - well mostly, minus the skinny jeans and tight tops (since there's still a bit of excess belly flab and as your upper arm muscles are bigger from carrying around baby for 4 months and your boobs are bigger from making baby's breakfast/lunch/dinner/5 other meals of the day)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Baby" proofing

The older our son Paul gets, the more clever he gets, and the more we realize what is left to be baby-proofed.  (Thankfully, we'll be all set up for Camille and when she gets older, she won't stand a chance getting where she's not supposed to.)  Two days ago, Paul demonstrated how he can unlock the dead bolt on the back door; we already knew he could unlock the knob, and turn and open it.  So, I immediately informed the hubby, and on his way home from work that day, he bought the baby-proof plastic knob covers that make it nearly impossible for anyone to open the door.  I don't know why these things are called "baby" proof.  Everyone that's tried opening the door since we put them on, has pretty much failed at the task.  And, I'm talking about full-grown adults here.  If we have to escape our house from a fire, I'm not sure we'd get out in time.  But, hey, at least I know Paul won't be able to open the door to just anyone, especially when I'm pretending I'm not home if a solicitor comes to the door.  But then again, I won't be able to open the door either.  "I'm sorry, I'd just love to buy a magazine subscription/support your candidate for office/be witnessed to, but I've baby-proofed myself inside the house."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let the blogging begin

So I decided to start a blog, or rather another blog, as I started one about 5 years ago and can't for the life of me remember what I called it or how to access it. But, back to the present day blog.
As you can tell by the titles, this blog will mainly be about my life as a stay at home mom to two kids under 2 years apart, who happen to also be under the age of two, at least for another two months. I will also often write about my current new-ish hobby of couponing and about all the projects I'd like to one day start, or finish, as the case may be. These include several empty and half-done scrapbooks as well as my collection of beads that long to be turned into jewelry.
I hope to entertain you with my ramblings and observations about my new career as a stay-at-home mom, but I'm not making any promises. ;-)