Let's say I try and bite you. How much is it gonna hurt? I'm...

April 29, 2010

Home Again

Finally home again after a nice long week in California. It's good to be back, but I think I would rather have stayed. I learned something about myself while I was away. I love Cali! I am seriously trying to talk Shawn into moving there, and I am arranging a 2 year plan to get us out to California as residents.

The weather was fantastic almost all week, and there were so many fun things to do. We weren't trapped inside by the rain or the snow. Like any Northwesterner, I love to be outside. The only issue is that the weather so often is the reason that I am stuck indoors. The landscape in Sacramento is very similar to Southern Oregon, so that satisfies my love for the Pacific NW, but the weather is warm and sunny, so that enables me to be outside.

I have already started working out the plan to move to California. Operation Califis... or something like that. Let me know if any of you come up with something more catchy. I am stuck at work today, and don't have time to blog anymore. Later tonight, I will post my all time favorite picture from my vacation.

April 23, 2010

Califis

We are in California. We got here a few hours ago, but it took us a while to settle in. Caleb is still wound up from the plane ride excitement and hasn't fallen asleep yet. Tomorrow is going to be very interesting.





April 22, 2010

Earth Day & Jet Fuel

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than fly in a jet plane? That's right folks, today is Earth Day. I have been celebrating since the beginning of this week by asking customers, "Would you like a bag for that? Earth Day is this week, you know." I think I have probably saved about 3 plastic bags, and possibly the life of a sea turtle.

Today is also the day that we leave for Sacramento, CA for my cousin's wedding. Caleb is really excited to fly in a plane. He thought that we were going yesterday and kept talking about flying in an airplane. I left for work this morning before he woke up, but I am sure "fly in a plane" will be his first words this morning.

I didn't want to bring up the plane ride too early because he doesn't have the most mature sense of time. He understands the concept of tomorrow, but once you get to the day after tomorrow, it starts to get hazy. We have been talking about the airplane ride for about 2 days now. I started just by explaining to him how airplanes work. Just saying that they are like school buses that fly in the sky, lots of people can sit on them and use them to get some where quickly. He seems to get it, but I don't think he totally knows what to expect.

I thought about showing him a movie with a scene on an airplane, but the only one we own is Superman, and that gets a little terrifying at one point. I decided it was okay to leave a little element of surprise rather than completely damage him. I'm excited to see the look on his face!



Mom Quote 4 - For the Planet!

This occurred last weekend, but I saved it for Earth Day.

Here is a quote from my mom when I talked her into getting paper plates instead of Styrofoam. It took a bit of nudging since the paper plates were $2.00 more.


This two dollars is for the planet!"





April 20, 2010

Cindy's Birthday

Today is my sister's birthday, so I would like to start this post off by saying Happy Birthday to Cindy!

Last weekend we went to Battle Ground Lake to go camping to celebrate. It was cold, but a lot of fun. We had one short burst of rain, but it was nice and sunny after that. I took Caleb with me, and it was a big adventure.

I wanted to prepare him for camping so I set up our small tent in the back yard and we put a fire in the fire pit. We stayed out in the tent until it got dark and then he went inside to go to bed.

The day before we left, Word World aired a camping episode. As we were watching it, I talked to Caleb about the camping trip that we were going on the next day. In the morning I started packing up everything we were taking with us. Every time I pulled something out of the garage, Caleb would ask, "What are you doing, Mama? What's that, Mama?"

I answered him about each thing individually, telling him what it was, what it did, and why we would need it. He asked where we were going. I told him we were going to the park to sleep in the tent. It was really exciting to him. When Shawn woke up Caleb said, "Dada! We are going to Nana's house to sleep in the tent!" I reminded him that we were going to the park and he got excited all over again exclaiming, "oh yeah!"

I noticed this weekend that Caleb is talking a lot more. He is more clear as well, and so I don't have to translate for him as much anymore. He's just growing up way too fast. Next year, camping will be even more fun!



April 14, 2010

Not Pregnant

I would like to preface this blog by first saying that I have peed on a very expensive stick, and that stick read, "not pregnant".

I'm 4 days late, I'm exhausted, my hips hurt, I'm naseaus, but I'm not pregnant. I have no idea what all of this means. Am I stressed out? Yes, but not more than I have been and it's never stopped me before.

I don't want to get too personal, but I have never been very regular, but I've also never had such a delay. I'd like nature to just hurry up and take it's course already so I can get on with my life.



April 12, 2010

I Need a Vacation

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of St Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.


I don't know what it is lately, but I am exhausted. I could really use a vacation. Yes, I am going to Sacramento, CA next week for a wedding, but it's not the same. I need the kind of vacation where you just relax and don't do anything. I need the kind of vacation that is a true get away.

I've always imagined that my dream vacation would be on a white, sandy, tropical Florida beach. The kind of beach that is close enough to everything to enjoy local attractions, but far enough away from everything to be a peaceful Oasis. Some place like St. Augustine, Ponte Verda and the Beaches, Florida.

I spent the day looking up vacations in St. Augustine. I think I would like to stay at the St. George Inn. The prices are fair, the view is terrific, and the surrounding attractions look so fun! There are palm trees everywhere, the ocean water is clear blue, and the sand is pure white. Everywhere you turn, it looks like you are standing in a post card!

The website I have been checking out is http://www.romanceliveshere.com/. It's a fitting name if you ask me. What about this picture doesn't look romantic? There is something for everyone at this site. Check it out and you'll see.


Here in Portland, we have the Shanghai Tunnel tours, and they have something similar in St. Augustine. You can take a ghost tour that walks, rides, or even sails on a 72' sail boat. I would love to take the sailing tour. To be out on the water at night, listening to spooky stories and watching out for ghost ships sounds like a cheeky little adventure that is just my style. I'm a huge skeptic, and I love to try to be convinced. Here is a picture taken by one of the guests of the ghost tour. This ghost looks like it has 80's hair.


There is a Museum of weapons and early American history that I think Shawn would like. When we went to Medieval Times, we wanted to go to their Medieval weapons exhibit, but we ran out of time. I wonder if early American weapons are as... errr... creative as Medieval weapons? No better way to find out than to visit the museum, I suppose!

The rest of the time I want to hang in a hammock and have people deliver drinks served in coconut shells. Maybe a little bit of shopping. Breakfast by the pool, lunch by the ocean, and dinner at a fine dining restaurant... if I want. This is the kind of place where I would just wing it every day. No itinerary for me, just leisure; pure and simple.

What more could you expect from a romantic vacation in Florida?

Visit my sponsor: Endless sands. Boundless waters.






April 8, 2010

Plants Vs Zombies

I am totally addicted to a game called Plants vs Zombies. This is just my kind of game. It's a little cheeky, a little cheesy, and super cute looking.

This is an RTS, or, Real Time Strategy game. You play as the mastermind to a botany based defense against a Zombie raid on your home. A cartoon lawn is laid out on a grid and Zombies walk from one end to the other trying to invade your house. In order to protect your home, you have to plant different plants that fight them off.

The different vegetation items all do different things. For example, the sunflowers give you sun power and the pea shooters spit out peas that damage the zombies. There are also different kinds of Zombies. A Zombie in an inflatable tube can travel through water, while a Zombie with a bucket on his head will take more fire power to bring down.

You make your decisions on the fly, placing your plants while the zombies are approaching. As you advance through the levels, you unlock new kinds of plants and scenarios. The changes require you to adjust your strategy.

I've been playing this game since I got it on Easter. I love Zombie movies and so this game is really fun for me. I think its hilarious how the Zombies say "we're coming", like in the 1968 Night of the Living Dead. They do a pretty creepy zombie groan and call out for "brraaaiiiinsss". After you beat the game the fist time around, you are treated to a pretty humorous surprise!



April 7, 2010

It's Not My Fault I Like Melrose Place

The first time Melrose Place was on the air, I didn't watch it. Not one single episode. However Shawn watched every episode. He kept track of who slept with who, and who died, and who pretended to die.

Now that Melrose Place is on TV again, he is back to his old routine. Every week, without fail, he watches Melrose Place. He also fills me in on episodes and characters from yester-year. Since I have been watching the show here and there, I have to say, I am getting interested!

It's weird; it sucks you in. It's like TV crack and I can't help myself. I can't wait to see what sleezy thing someone is going to do next. It's so off the wall and unreal. Art thieves, prostitutes, and murderers, oh my!



Friday is Date Night

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of 20th Century Fox. All opinions are 100% mine.


Have you guys seen the commercials for this new Steve Carell & Tina Fey movie called Date Night? I saw a trailer for the first time 2 days ago and it looks SO funny! I love both Steve Carell and Tina Fey; I'm a big fan of The Office and 30 Rock, so I am super excited to see them together in this movie.

Basically what happens in this Date Night Movie is as follows. The suburban parents of an average family go out on a normal date night. From what I saw on TV, they pretend to be a different couple on the restaurant's wait list so that they can get a table faster. (A la Ferris Bueller's Day Off, perhaps?)Hijinx ensues when they soon learn that the couple they are masquerading as is wanted by a group of underworld criminals.

Here is the short trailer from YouTube.


I think my favorite line from this trailer is, "This phone smells like urine!" Hilarious! Comedy movies are my favorite types of movies to watch in the theater. I don't enjoy paying money to sit in a theater to watch some heart wrenching story that is going to make my make-up and my nose run (way to go, Titanic). Comedies and big block busters with killer special effects, like Avatar, are the types of movies that you will most likely see me watching in theaters.

My husband, Shawn is not a big movie goer. We used to live across the street from the movie theater and went all the time, but recently he hasn't been that into it. He was with me when we saw the Date Night trailer on TV and even he seemed excited about it.

"That looks so funny!" I literally exclaimed

"Yeah, I like Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It looks good." Shawn was moderately interested and I saw an opportunity to go to the movies.

"It comes out Friday, we should totally go!" Again, that is a well deserved exclamation mark.

"Okay."

Yes! Score for me, I am going out on a date with my husband! I think the last movie we saw in theaters together was Forgetting Sarah Marshall, so that tell you how long it has been since we have been. I remember having such a great time, and now every time I watch that movie on DVD I think of the great time that we had together.

The movie comes out this Friday, April 9th. Friday night! What a perfect night for date night! I get off just a little bit earlier than normal this Friday and I am going to ask Shawn out on our own date night to see this movie... and I don't think we'll be the only ones!

Ladies, grab your husbands, boyfriends, crushes - whatever! This movie is going to be a blast and a great way to kick off the weekend. I hope to see everyone there on opening night. Oooh, I better Fandango my tickets now!



Visit my sponsor: Date Night



April 6, 2010

I'm Gonna Be Sick

Today, without any reasonable cause, I had several waves of nausea. I know that you're thinking; I thought it, too. We will find out in about 5 days. Until then, I will just be sweating it.

I also had a headache, so maybe I am just getting sick. Not that I don't love babies, I'm just not ready for another one yet. As you know, I have a strong desire to work from home by blogging full time. I wouldn't want to have another baby until I could consider blogging at least a viable part time job.

I don't even know why I am talking about this. It isn't as if I have any choice in the matter. Whatever is happening is already happening and I will just have to roll with the punches. I guess this can be just another lesson that you have to adapt to whatever life throws at you... although I still hope that life is just throwing me a 24 hour flu, and not a 9 month flu! Hehe!



April 5, 2010

Do Your Homework

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.


I had a plan when I was pregnant. That plan involved a lot of different things that didn't happen. For instance, I wanted to have an all natural water birth. Instead, I had an emergency C-section. I wanted to go home the same evening, instead, I stayed in the hospital recovering for 5 days. I wanted Caleb to wear a certain outfit home, but he could barely fit in the preemie clothes we had to get him.

I wasn't disappointed in any of the things that didn't go my way. It was just an early lesson that you have to roll with the punches. Of course, that doesn't mean compromising the things that are important to you.

One of the things that was really important to me was nursing Caleb. I wanted to nurse him exclusively for at least the first 8-10 months and then have him weened by 12 months. That didn't go as planned.

Caleb was a great nurser. I guess what I am saying is, it wasn't him, it was me. I ran out of milk by the time he was 6 months old. He started eating solid foods, and he was nursing less. My milk supply dwindled, no matter how hard I tried to keep it up. By the time he was 7 months old, he was drinking formula.

I didn't have any formula, because I hadn't been planning to use it. I didn't know what kind to get because I hadn't done any research. I just happened to have a sample pack of formula, and so that's what I went with.

I was surprised to find this savings calculator for a brand of formula called Parent's Choice. You enter in the brand you use and they compare it to their prices. At first it came up saying that I would save about $500.00 a month by switching to their brand. When I adjusted the price per ounce for costco pricing, it still said I would have a savings of over $300.00.

I think that you should check out this site and see if they can offer you a savings. Above all, I would encourage people to plan ahead to change your plans. Even if you are planning on breast feeding, research the different formulas that are out there, just in case. Also, have a back up plan for your back up plan. You never know if your baby is going to take to your first choice in formula. There was a certain type of Similac that made Caleb sick to his stomach, but another that he really liked.

Visit my sponsor: Savings Calculator



Eating Crayons and Extra Helpings

Every time Caleb plays with crayons, he ends up eating one. He always regrets it; yet he always does it. I think it's because the vibrant colors remind him of candy. He knows it isn't going to taste good, but it seems like he can't help himself. There is no way for him to resist the temptation.

Today I tried to reason with him. If the crayons taste bad every time, why do you keep trying to eat them? Then I realized that I do the same thing, in a sense. A lot of times, I do things that I know I will regret later.

For example, my latest temptation and regret was a second plate of ham at Easter dinner. Gosh, it was so good, I just had to have more. I spent the rest of the night bloated and uncomfortable. What's worse - Being too full to function or having crayon wax stuck between your teeth?




Butt Paste

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

I knew even while I was pregnant that I would be a nervous mother. In the week I spent in the hospital after my C-section, I bombarded the nurses with questions. I asked them to show me how to bathe him, I had a lactation consultant show me how to feed him, I asked them to check his umbilical cord remnants every day. I even made them chance Caleb's diapers the entire day after he was snipped.

What kind of soap should I use? Is baby powder necessary? What do I use to wash his hair? Will he ever go to sleep? Where is the volume control? How can I tell if he has diaper rash, and what do I do if he gets it?

Everyone was so kind and answered all of my 1 million questions. I went with nearly all of their recommendations and made a few adjustments along the way. One product that was recommended to me by a nurse has been one that I consistently use. That product is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. I remember her laughing about the funny name, and highly recommending it because she used it on her own son.

I had received several care packages while I was in the hospital and many of them were prepackaged with different diaper rash creams. When we got home, I had several different tubes of cream that came along with lots of samples, but there among the mix was a single, separate tube of Bodreaux's Butt Paste. Somewhere out there, as things were being tossed into the giant laundry hamper of gifts that was delivered to me, was another Mom who used Butt Paste and wanted to share it with me.

Here is why I now use Boudreaux's Butt Paste exclusively. First of all, it works. I've been stuck without it before, and it takes other products twice as long to clear up a diaper rash. Any amount of time that I can cut down on my baby's discomfort is a huge relief to both of us.

It also works better at preventing diaper rash. If you put it on before a rash starts, you can stop it before your little one has any discomfort at all. It seals out the wetness, and keeps their little bums dry. I use it when Caleb is not feeling well and he might sleep through a dirty diaper, or if he has had a lot of acidic juice to drink.

Third, it doesn't stink like a medicine cabinet. I hate that chemical smell that some products have. I don't feel comfortable smearing stinky junk all over my kid's most sensitive areas.

Fourth, it is creamy and soothing. I can tell that it makes Caleb feel better because it helps him sleep when an uncomfortable diaper rash would have normally kept him up.

If you try Boudreaux's Butt Paste, I know you will love it. You can visit this website, http://www.blairex.com/BLButtPaste.php and request a free sample. I encourage you to do it, and see for yourself.

Visit my sponsor: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste


April 4, 2010

How to Import iPhone Contacts into Gmail

My blog is not usually a very technical one, but I searched for over an hour to the answer to this. I never found it! I had to figure it out for myself and so I would like to share it for anyone else who is looking to do this.

Why I Wanted to Back up my Contacts on Gmail
I recently synced my iPhone to a trial subscription of MobileMe. MobileMe is a great Apple product that allows you to wirelessly sync your contacts, calendars, photos and more to your computer and an Apple server wirelessly and instantly. Since my phone is technically a work phone, and the service with the trial MobileMe account is only good for a year; I needed to have my contacts backed up elsewhere for when the trial account ended.

Why Gmail?
I have lost two computers in a very short amount of time at the hands of my 2 year old, and/or viruses. Because of that, I didn't want to rely only on my hard drive to store my contacts. When you sync your iPhone with iTunes (on a PC), your contacts are saved on your PC's hard drive. If you store them on outlook and your computer dies, say bye bye. I had decided since I didn't trust my computer to stay alive or accessible, I wanted to back up all of my contacts on a trusted server. I use gmail, and thought it would be nice to have all of my contacts there. A nice combination of safekeeping and convenience.

How to Import Your Windows Contacts into Gmail
Please note that I was using Windows 7 starter at the time I did this

If you're using a PC like I am, then you might find it difficult to find where your contacts are going when you sync your iPhone. They are hidden in an elusive place called "Windows Contacts". This is the default setting if you're using your iTunes on a PC.

I couldn't find any site that would tell me where my windows contacts were, but here is where I found them. C:/users/crystal[your user name would go here, of course]/contacts

You can find them by going to your start menu > computer > C: > Users > [your user name] > Contacts

Single click on your very first contact and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the list. Hold down your shift key and at the same time click on your very last contact. This selects all of your contacts. There is a bar at the top of the screen that lists action options. It will say: Organize, Open, Share with, E-Mail... and so on. Find the option that says "Export" and click on that. A new window will pop up. Choose CSV by double clicking on it. A new window pops up that says "save exported file as:"

Now you will need to choose a place to save your CSV file. Click on the browse button. I chose to save my CSV file in C:/Users/Crystal [your user name]. I saved the file with the name ContactsCSV so that I would be able to tell it apart from my other contact file. You can save your file any place that is easy for you to find. When you find a place to save your file, and you have given it a name, click "save".

Now you need to sign into your gmail account. On the left hand side of the screen there will be a list of action options, find the option called "contacts" and click on it. On the right side of the screen there is a section that says : import export print. Choose Import and click on browse. Find your CSV file that you created earlier and click open. Then, click on import and TA DA!




April 3, 2010

Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far! My blog is now in second place, but the person ahead of me has twice the votes! It's time to B-E agressive! Don't forget that you can vote once every 24 hours. All you do is click on this link, and then click on the THUMBS UP icon above the interview. I hope I can count on you to vote for my blog! Because, you know, we're such good friends and all.



April 2, 2010

Vote for Housebear 2010!

Remember that blog interview that I posted the link to? Well if you follow this link you can see it!

But wait! There's more! My blog is in the running of a contest for best blog. To vote for me, just click on the THUMBS UP symbol above the interview! Please check it out and vote for me!


Vote for me!





April 1, 2010

Excited for Easter!

I'm so excited for Easter weekend this year. On Saturday, we are grilling burgers at my mom's for lunch. That is the day that we are doing our Easter egg hunting and Caleb and his cousin, Victoria, are getting their Easter baskets from my parents. I think that we are going to have a lot of fun with everyone.

The next day we are going to church with Shawn's side of the family. He hasn't been able to to confirm if we are doing an Easter dinner with them, but I would assume so. Last year, we went to his sister's house after church to hang out and eat dinner. I hope that we do it again this year; it was so fun the last time.

I'm excited because this year Caleb will be so involved. Last year he would only pick up the eggs that we pointed out. This year he will be able to search for the eggs and collect them himself. We are using plastic camoflague colored eggs filled with candy. I can't wait to see the look on his face when he finds his first egg, and then again when he finds the candy inside!



Sociable

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