Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December Happenings

Why does Blogger sometimes put your pictures in whatever order THEY want to....not the order You want???? Anyway, here is our month in pictures. Out of order.

Santa Claus!!!! Regan didn't freak out like I thought she would. She knew she had to tell him she wanted a necklace for Christmas. She has been insistent that she wants a necklace from him. She ran up, shook his hand and ran back to me. She thought she was done. This was take two and she did pretty well.

Regan insisted her tree go on the top of Framma's van just like the big tree.

Regan with her Christmas Tree.

Regan picking out her Christmas tree.

Konnor and Regan picking out Framma's tree.

Jingle Bell Express. Regan LOVED it!!!

My mom, Konnor and I did another road relay. 2 miles up the Edison Bridge. I thought I was gonna die!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Best Day in My Life

Gotcha Day 2006
Gotcha Day Anniversary 2008


Gotcha Day Anniversary 2007. A great picture showing her little smirk!

Two years ago was the best day in my life. I met Regan for the first time. Regan had her flu shot today and I have to tell you....she was a rock star!!! She went right back with the nurse (very unusual) and got herself weighed (29 lbs) and then we went into the room. When she saw the needle, she told the nurse, "I don't want dat". I told her she had to have her shot and she said ok. The nurse gave her the shot and Regan never even cried. She then didn't want to leave! She got mad that I made her come with me. We went and ate Chinese to kind of make up for the rotten present the nurse gave her! So much has changed in two years! Just in growth I am amazed at how she has grown. You can really see the difference in the photos. I, of course, took the traditional photos of Regan in her gotcha clothes. This may be the last year I can get her into the outift, but if fits her well! She went from a size three shoe at Gotcha to she now wears a size 5.5! Weight was 19 pounds at Gotcha and she now weighs 29. I don't have a height right now, but next month is her 3 year old physical and I'll get a height at that time. I can not believe that Regan is almost three. Where has the time gone?!?!?!
One thing that hasn't changed is Regan's fondness of nudity. Last week at church she was wearing new underwear. She thinks they are Barbie (really Ariel, but she loves all things that are Barbie so we go with it). On the way down the aisle from Children's Sermon, she wanted to show everyone her new underwear so she hiked up her skirt and proceeded to try to show the entire congregation that she had Barbie on her underwear. Of course we sit in the last row and so the entire church got to view her walk down the aisle. So classic of her.
Regan also gave herself her first haircut tonight. Nice big chunks. I'm talking enough hair to make a toupee. It is unreal. I'll deal with trying to fix her hair tomorrow. I'm not sure who is the better haircutter, me or Regan!
Anyway, to reminisce, this is what I wrote in my online journal that day two years ago (it is amazingly long as only I know how to ramble, feel free to skim!):

It is 5:45 PM and I am back from the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I officially became a mommy to Regan NanZiYun. The families met in the lobby at 3 PM. We then loaded a bus to travel to the Civil Affairs Office. On the way, our ISS guides, Mandy and Mary gave us some information and told us some possiblities of what to expect when we arrived at the building. I was beside myself I was so excited. We drove for about 30 minutes and unloaded in front of the office. We all crowded into the lobby and took turns taking the elevator to the fifth floor. Once we arrived on the 5th floor we all went into a room to verify our personal information and to wait to receive our babies.

They began calling names and you went to the doorway where they were standing in the hallway holding the babies. I think I was the third or fourth person called, I'm not sure it was all such a blur. I remember walking to the doorway and looking at YunYun and not sure if this was my baby or not and so I didn't want to just reach out and snatch her out of their arms! They said NanZiYun and I reached over and picked up my baby for the first time. Then crying began.

Not from Yunnie, but from her mommy. I began crying like a baby. I was so overwhelmed and so happy this moment was finally here and I couldn't really believe it. I tried to stop because I didn't want to scare her! I went over to a couch and all of the activity around me ceased to exist. I apologize to my fellow group mates, because I wasn't sure of people receiving their baby after I had Regan. She was all I could concentrate on. She was wearing a big green puffy outfit, as were several other of the girls. Her name was on a piece of tape that was taped to her right front pocket area. The first thing I noticed is that she is VERY curious and smiles readily. I am amazed, she never blinked an eye and was smiling and curious from the moment they put her in my arms. I can see why they labeled her as restless! She was constantly moving and everything was fascinating to her. She loved looking at my shoes, out the window, at Konnor, everything. There was so much activity in the room and it never seemed to faze her. All of the girls appeared to do very well. I hope that continues. We spent several minutes getting to know the girls and then they called us one by one to take our family photo. You can see Regan squirming during the photo - she is not a girl to sit still!

We went back to the main room and the Director and one of the caregivers was there to answer any questions we may have. We presented them with their gifts. Mom, Mama, and I had made photo albums to give as gifts and I put one of Regan's pictures and her business card in one of the picture sleeves. Her business card has her picture, name, and new address. We also included little mice we made with candy cane tales, felt pencil holders, and tea towels. I hope they like them. We also had some donations to the actual orphanage itself. I asked Director Hu what he could tell me about Regan's personality that he knows that I would be able to tell her when she is older. He says she is very active and fun loving and she is well loved by the orphanage staff. He also says they consider her like an angel in the orphanage. Very nice! He and the nanny then signed a photo album I had brought for people to sign. Happy had signed it in Beijing and then the director and the nanny signed a page each. I will have Mandy or Mary translate for me what they wrote. I will then place a picture of them in the sleeve of the page that they signed. I hope it will be a nice keepsake for Regan.

We then headed out to the bus to head back to the hotel room. During this entire time, it is a bit of a blur because of the enormity of what just happened and the chaos of the room. On the drive back, Regan looked outside of the windows at everything and did not want to be turned around and miss the action outside of the window. She did fall asleep when we had almost reached the hotel. The girls are so beautiful. It was a great thing to see so many families united.


Regan slept for about an hour. Mandy came to the room and gave us a gift bag from the orphanage. Inside was some formula, some rice cereal, a bottle, a thank you card, and a photo album with some extra pictures of Regan. How wonderful. Mandy explained how to make Regan's bottle and then she left with instructions to meet in the hotel lobby at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning. Regan woke up and was instantly smiles again! Unbelievable. She has this little smirk that is so cute! She is developmentally delayed and she is not yet crawling. She is able to get up on all fours, but is uncoordinated. She is able to sit well and rotate into and out of sitting. I think she'll be crawling before we leave China! She also has some fine motor delays with difficulty picking up objects and no pincher grasp. Can you see the physical therapist in me?!?!? She looks healthy, but she has a spot that looks like ringworm on her leg and a horrible rash on her face. She has some congestion and a cough. She is also constanlty sticking her finger in her right ear and so she got a dose of antibiotics. I'm not sure what the rash on her face is, so we will keep it monitored and Mandy says if it is not better in a day or two we will take her to the clinic.

She took a bath after her nap and loved it! You could tell she has probably never had a bath before as she kept trying to pull her legs out of the water. She is too big for a sink bath so we moved her to the tub. Once she was in, she loved it! Splashing and laughing and I heard the first vocalization! All in all, my biggest impression is that I can't believe how curious and happy she is....what a happy baby. She drank an entire bottle and we got dressed and ate dinner downstairs in the lobby of the hotel. She sat in the highchair and was patient as could be, never a fuss. We were playing this game of bumping our foreheads together and she picked up on it right away and would lean forward to put her face in mine. She obviously has never had solid food as she doesn't put anything in her mouth and resists anything touching her lips. She also doesn't know to suck or lick her lips when I put a little yogurt on her mouth.

After dinner it was time for bed and she had different ideas. I placed her in the crib and the crying began, this time on her part! I then held her and rocked her in my arms for about twenty minutes and she just smiled and laughed up at me and played with my hair. She finally settled down and fell asleep. As soon as I put her in the crib she started wailing again! I layed with her on my bed and rubbed her back and she fell asleep while laying on top of me. Right now she is sound asleep in her crib and is snoring nicely!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two Years Ago

Two years ago, I was headed on a plane to China. I remember like it was yesterday just the utter disbelief that this was FINALLY happening and I was soon to see my little girl. It seemed so surreal. I remember this feeling that I needed to feel the weight of her in my arms to truly know that this dream was finally coming true. I would love to post pictures of the big event, but for some reason my computer is yet again downloading any picture it wants to. Not necessarily the ones I choose...I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


My dog Tiki died last night. I am so heartbroken.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day and the Turkey Trot!

Konnor, ready to go!
Run, Konnor, run!

You'll notice that Regan is clinging to my leg like a barnacle. We are at the far left, I still have my yellow bib on. I just zoomed on this picture and noticed the line up of kids covering their ears in anticipation of the gun! Too funny!

We've made progress and she isn't attached to my leg, but trying to hide under my shirt.

Proud kids with their ribbons.
Happy Thanksgiving! My grandparents are down visiting and so we are having a wonderful time! Regan has such a special relationship with her grandparents and they absolutely dote on is so wonderful to see.

We started off the morning bright and early at the Turkey Trot. I am really, really going to try to be more active. With work (and life) being so busy and since the wait for Regan, I have gained ALOT of weight because of poor eating habits and stress eating. Weight has always been a struggle for me, but it is getting out of control. I signed up for the Turkey Trot as a walker because I wasn't even sure I wouldn't totally humilate myself. When you are a walker, you will be disqualified if you jog or run and so I am interested in my next 5K to see if I can job and pick up my pace. The nice thing about this 5K was that it was alot of families and varying athletic abilities. I'm a little intimidated by the hard core 5Ks. For me, it was an accomplishment that I finished!!! I actually had a great time and felt good afterwards. The atmosphere is so festive it makes exercise fun. Goodness knows that I avoid exercise like the plague and so I needed something to make it enjoyable!
My mom brought Konnor and Regan by just in time to see me finish and then they had races of their own. Konnor ran in the Fun Mile Run and did great. He had a great time, and I'm really impressed with how well he did. He met a classmate and enjoyed running with her. Regan participated in the Tot Trot 100 meter dash. I figured she would be screaming and crying. She was sooooooo excited to be able to run........until the gun went off for the first 100m dash with the older age group, and then she ran. In the wrong direction! She was out of there! She talked for days about how she was going to run and then wasn't so into it when the time came. The pesky starting gun did her in! She did end up running with mine and Konnor's help and is very proud to show off her ribbon! It was a great holiday event and we'll have to make it a tradition.

The rest of the weekend is going to be crafting with my grandmother and hanging out with my grandfather. I am so excited! I am so thankful for my family, they are awesome!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Festivities

Regan had a great Halloween this year. Usually, I am not so excited about Halloween. It just isn't my thing, but this year we had a blast! We started the festivities a couple of week ago when we went to Carolyn and Olivia's house for a Halloween get together. Oliva, Regan, David, and Carly got to play together, eat lunch, decorate cookies and paint cookies. Thanks Carolyn!

Last weekend, we headed to the Calusa Nature Center where we walked The Friendly Forest. We do this every year. We are members of the Nature Center and so we get into all the programs free of charge. We love the Friendly Forest because you walk along the boardwalk and get to pet some animals and trick or treat. Have I mentioned that Regan is OBSESSED with Elvis? My mom has one Elvis CD and Regan wants to hear it over and over and over again. Her favorite song is Good Luck Charm or Hup as she calls it. Listen to the lyrics and you'll know where she gets the title Hup.

We are walking along the boardwalk and Regan starts screaming, "Elvis! Elvis!". I look down the boardwalk and there is a little boy dressed like Elvis. For the next few minutes Regan can't even concentrate on Trick or Treating as she wants to go see Elvis. We talk to the family and Elvis a.k.a. Cameron agrees to take a picture with Regan. Actually, Cameron's mom agrees that Cameron will take a picture with Regan. It was the highlight of Regan's night. Not so much for Cameron. She still talks about seeing Elvis. Back when Regan was completely obsessed with JoJo, I bought her costume for $3.99 from and received free shipping. Yahoo!!! Too bad it was so flippin' hot that she started stripping about half way through the walk!

We also woke up very early in the morning last Saturday to watch a 5K run that was taking place at Centennial Park in Downtown Ft. Myers. They had a KidsFest activity and the kids did a small little bouncy slide thing. Regan would have nothing to do with the bounce houses.

Thursday was Konnor's fall festival at his school and the kids loved playing all of the carnival games. Regan was great at the golf! Yesterday, my mom had the day off of work and so she watched Regan. We went to Konnor's school to watch his storybook parade and to see him run in the Monster Mash Dash. Regan had a blast sitting with all of the bigs kids, but couldn't understand why she couldn't run with the kids.

Last night, we officially went trick or treating. Regan's new obsession is Doodlebops. I mentioned this to one of my patient's mom and she mentioned that the older sister of the little boy I see has an old Doodlebops costume. She brought it for Regan to use and Regan was so excited to be DeeDee Doodle. Of course, now that she had a little short dress, it was kind of chilly yesterday. We have had record lows this week. She was very intimidated by some of the costumes, but warmed up to the idea of all the candy. We started the night going to a Trunk or Treat held at one of the city charter schools. It was okay, but nothing to write home about. We then headed over to a local church that also had a trunk or treat. Whoa!!! It was AMAZING! There must have been 50 cars with decorated trunks (my pictures don't do it justice) and the decorations were great! Everyone was so nice and I was amazed at all of the decorations and partying. It was great!

Tomorrow we head up to Sarasota to my adoption agency's welcome home ceremony. Last year, I spoke at the ceremony, but this year I just get to enjoy seeing my good friend Leslie and her daughter, Maya and also Delaney and family. Yeah!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Little Yoda

Recently, Regan has started talking like Yoda. She mixes her words up a little bit and says things backwards. For instance,

I want bread more. (I want more bread)

I've got a butt on my belly. (I have a belly button)

I like rainbow pretty. ( I like the pretty rainbow)

I want off shoes. (I want my shoes off)

Etc, Etc, she has some really good ones that I"ll have to write down because they are hilarious, but I'm too tired to think of them right now!!

She also likes to see things from a different viewpoint. For instance, a conversation we have a thousand times a day goes a little something like this:

Regan and I in a store with Regan touching EVERYTHING even though she knows she isn't supposed to touch:

Me: Regan, are you supposed to be touching?
Regan: No
Me: Then why are you touching the (insert word here, example: brush, toy, food, etc)
Regan: I'm not touching, I wooking.
Me: No, you are touching not looking, there is a difference.
Regan: I wooking with my singers. (I'm looking with my fingers) See, mommy, I smile.

She then will cock her head to the side and give a big smile because she thinks that will get her anything she wants and I do have to admit it is really cute. Doesn't smiling at your mommy negate any wrong doing that just occurred?

And then there are the times that I should really take a good look in the mirror. I told Regan to get ready to go to Framma's house as we were going to my mom's house for dinner. She came out with this get up:

Dirty pajama top, obnoxious pink shorts, bracelet, a Barbie watch, and her new favorite shoes: blue plaid with heels. As I am taking her picture and inwardly laughing at how ridiculous Regan's get up looks, I happen to glance down at my own outfit. I think Regan got her fashion sense from her mommy as I was wearing Tinkerbell lounge pants in the same obnoxious pink as Regan's shorts, an old tourist shirt with cat heads on the front and cat butts on the back, tennis shoes with socks that have pom poms on the back, and my hair was in a pony tail that I didn't actually use a brush to create, but just used my fingers. And the scariest part of all: no make up. I then got the wonderful idea to walk to my mom's house as I certainly could use the exercise. I briefly thought about changing, but was just too lazy to do so. I paid dearly for my laziness as I ran into two different neighbors that wanted to chit chat. I guess that is what I get for laughing at my daughter and her lack of fashion sense. Unfortunately, I am with it enough to realize it is much more acceptable for a two year old to go out in public wearing this get up of questionable taste then it is for a woman of my advanced years!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Ahead of Myself

Tonight as I was sitting on the couch working on a craft project, I patted myself on the back and congratulated myself on how well Regan has been going to bed. As I'm sure I have made very clear, getting Regan to go to sleep is not always easy. For the past couple of weeks, I have been putting a baby gate up in the door so that she can't get out, the dogs can't get in and wake her up, and I can get the door almost closed so that it is very dark and quiet.

Anyway, back to the story. Regan had been in bed for about an hour. She will sing and count and talk to herself until she is sleeping. When all was quiet in the room, I assumed that in record time she had gone to sleep. Ha ha ha, I laugh at that now! Enjoying the quiet, I sat on the couch pleased as punch that my brilliant gate idea was working out so well. Fewer tears, quicker wake to sleep times, you get the picture. So, I"m sitting pleased as can be with myself and with Regan until this comes to the door and asks me for a kleenex because she was a little "messy":

Obviously, as I was patting myself on the back, Regan was busy getting into a few things. The most obvious is that she opened up a box of Desitin and proceeded to put her "lotion" all over her leg. She then emptied an entire box of kleenex trying to get herself clean. She also removed her pull up and undressed herself and then redressed herself. So, I have a dilemma....should I be upset that my plan isn't working and that my child obviously wasn't doing as she knows she is supposed to do? I ignore this whole situation given the fact that:

1. She was working on her fine motor skills opening up a box and popping open the lid of the Desitin.

2. She was exploring some sensory integration activities as she spread the "lotion" as she calls it over her body, but this obviously backfired as she hated the mess on her hands.

3. She practiced some functional skills of dressing and undressing although she needs a little work as the shirt is on inside out and the shorts were on backwards (and on a side note, 9.9 times out of 10 this is always the case: shoes on the wrong foot and underwear and shorts on backwards)

4. She put the empty kleenex box in the trash (we've been working on cleaning up) after she emptied out all 200+ sheets of kleenex (which somehow did not make it into the trash, but were strewn like confetti all over the bed)

5. Marvel over the fact that she did this in complete darkness and completely out of character, did this in silence. I wasn't sure she knew what being quiet meant, but obviously when it works to her advantage she does know the concept of being quiet.

In the end, it was late and I couldn't face the dilemma. I got her cleaned up and put her to back to bed where she promptly fell asleep, obviously exhausted from all of her activities.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Below is what happens when mommy is on the back porch letting the dogs outside. As you can tell, she is back to naked mode and doesn't everybody see an ironing board and think it is a great place to have a snack and watch tv? She's just lucky I had already moved the iron as she knows it is an absolute no no to touch. I think judging by the destruction of the purple chair laying on it's side that she used the chair as a step up to the ironing board, but I'm not exactly sure how she got up there. Everytime I turned around she was back up there, so finally it had to come down:)

We have had a busy couple of weeks! A couple of weeks ago, Regan went to her first birthday party. Olivia had a wonderful 3rd birthday party, and Regan had a great time! Thank you Carolyn!

The week before the birthday bash, we took Regan and Konnor to Sunsplash. They were offering a buy one get one of lesser value free deal and we really lucked out getting an awesome cashier! The cashier saw that it was my mom, me and Regan getting in and she worked us a deal that we paid 11 dollars for all three of us!

Last weekend, Regan, Konnor, my mom, brother and I took advantage of the offering of free admission to the Miami MetroZoo. Thanks to Smithsonian Magazine, they were offering free admission to many zoos, aquariums, and museums across the US. I thought there had to be a catch, but there wasn't one and we handed in our printed off admission card and waltzed right in! Regan loved seeing the animals and loved that she got to see many types of snakes and turtles. She is absolutely fascinated with snakes, turtles, and dinosaurs. My favorite part was seeing a baby Joey popping out (very slightly) from his mama's pouch. The day was beautiful and we had an awesome time. We packed a picnic lunch and loved eating in our sandwiches in the beautiful weather. We originally were going to head to Orlando to the Orlando Science Museum, but decided at the last minute that it was probably too mature for Regan. I'm glad we made the decision we did as Regan had a great time! There are more pictures in my previous post.

Given how scary our economy is right now, I appreciate all the good deals we can find! For those of you wanting to save a little money on groceries, I'll share my big deals of the week!
  • Publix has eggs on sale for $1.39. Print off the Food Lion coupon from here and pay 39 cents for a dozen eggs. Publix accepts competitor's coupons, but they do not accept Target coupons.

  • Publix also has BOGO free on Betty Crocker potatoes: Click here to get $.40 cents off each box. You can print two (just hit your back button until your printer prints again), making the potatoes $.50 a box!

  • Publix has Uncle Bens Boil in the Bag Rice on BOGO. Print coupon here for $1 off 2 boxes to make the final price $.79 a box!

  • Knorr sides are BOGO at Publix also. In the Sunday (or the free Cape Life) newspaper a couple of weeks ago, there were coupons for $.75 off 2 boxes. Makes the final total $.39 cents a bag!

  • CVS had Cover Girl Foundation for $5.79 and you got back $5.79 in ECBs and so it was free.

  • CVS also had Gillette Fusion razors for $9.99, get $5 in ECBs back. The paper had a $4 off coupon, making the razor $.99.

I could go on and on, but I won't bore everybody! I'm telling you though, it absolutely is worth the time it takes to organize coupons as I save on average about $15 dollars a week on groceries. With Christmas coming, deals like the razor from CVS are great stocking stuffers. I also save time by following about 4 blogs that match up all coupons to the current store ads. They do the work for me and it makes it very easy!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Special Happy Birthday

A very special little boy turns three years old today! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Man, I Love This Kid!

If I could only get the red eye to work, doesn't she look just like a little doll in this picture?

I've mentioned before that I think Regan (and Regan thinks Regan) is pretty funny. She has one of the greatest senses of humor I've ever seen in a two year old. Tonight, she demonstrated how funny she thought she was as she cracked herself up over how clever she was dressing in mommy's clothes. She was going potty and sometimes she can be there for quite a while (if you know what I mean!). I was talking on the phone and pacing around when I walked into the bathroom and this is what I found:a> She had to have the flip flops show up in the picture!

Rear view
She had dressed herself in my clothes and kept laughing and laughing and laughing. Coo Big, I funny (Too big, I"m funny), over and over again. She is so hilarious sometimes it makes me laugh. She had to have it exact, with the shirt tucked in and my flip flops on. And don't worry, those stains are just paint as that is my painting shirt that she found. She always has some kind of get up on and now instead of being naked, insists on getting dressed. Unfortunately, she wants to pick out her outfits and she really comes up with some doozies!

Doesn't everyone wear their bathing suit over their pajamas?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

9/11/01 is like one of those days etched in your memory forever. I was working my first year as a PT in the school district and school had only been in session for a couple of weeks. I remember one of the teachers running into the therapy room telling us to turn on the t.v. It seemed unreal, like some kind of horrid joke. I ran the kids back to class and all of the schools immediately went on lockdown. Parents were rushing to the school to yank their kids out, but it wasn't allowed. No one in and no one out. President Bush was about an hour away in Sarasota speaking at one of the elementary schools. Remember his face when he heard the news? He could have been a professional poker player.

In April of 2002 I was in New York visiting the city with a boyfriend. We went to see Ground Zero. It was absolutely eerie. To imagine the horrors was unreal. I never saw the Twin Towers, but I'll always remember seeing Ground Zero. An awful scene still visible in all that destruction.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Co Sleeping?

Our second sleeping experiment.
Finally, some sleep! Wasn't she so little back then?!?!
Isn't this precious?!?!
The gratuitous, baby with her rump in the air sleeping photo.

I just read a whole blog and comments regarding co-sleeping and the pros and cons. It's kind of funny to me that there is such hub bub about the whole thing. I must confess though, I was originally very anti-co sleeping (before I was a mom!). When Regan first came home I tried everything to get her to sleep in her crib....or at the very least in her own room. The first three days I tried the crib. She learned to climb out of the crib and became very self abusive when she was in there (to the point you couldn't reason or consule her, she just wasn't "in" her body anymore if you know what I mean) she would bang her head and scratch herself bloody. We then tried sleeping on the floor in her room. Better, but still not great. Finally, we spent a month sleeping together in the hospital. The hospital staff was great about the fact that Regan would not do well in a crib and even though it was against hospital policy, they didn't make a big deal about switching out the crib and moving in a big bed. I just signed a waiver saying I wouldn't sue if she fell out or got hurt in any way. Seeing as how she was sedated and/or hooked up to her central line most of the time, she wasn't moving so much during that time. The two of us sleeping in the hospital bed also had the added bonus of freeing up the only chair in the room (in ICU) so that my mom also spent the night. Again, only one adult was supposed to spend the night, but they allowed my mom to "visit" over night. The hospital staff in ICU was awesome.

After we came home from the hospital, I was just glad to get sleep. In anyway possible. I always say that the silver lining of the hospital stay was that we were a team when we came home. After a month of sleeping together in the hospital I knew there was no way to go back to trying to get her to sleep on her own. My only rule is that she has to be able to go to sleep by herself. I won't go in and lay with her in order to get her to sleep. This rule was implemented after with trial and error I would try to lay day with her to go to sleep. I then realized I was spending several hours each day (nap and nighttime) laying as still as possible trying not to fall asleep myself! When it took longer and longer for Regan to fall asleep because she thought it was playtime, I initiated the mommy doesn't lay down with you rule. My other rationale in deciding to co-sleep is the fact that I am such a deep sleeper (used to be, not so much anymore, but when I"m tired, a train could run through my room and I would be undisturbed). I was very scared that she would wake up in the middle of the night and be scared, get into something harmful, or hurt herself and that I wouldn't wake up to hear her. Especially in the first several months being home when we were getting a tops of 4 hours of sleep at night. When I finally got to sleep, I slept hard! Her bedroom is clear across the house and although our house is not big by any standards, it was still a ways away.

Although we stumbled into co-sleeping, I truly do think it helped to cement our relationship. She knew I was there for her and during a time when she would have night terrors and be inconsolable, I was always there. Now, I love looking over and seeing her sweet little face. I think it is an amazing thing to experience and feel that I would be missing out on a great bonding time if we didn't sleep together. Of course I"m fortunate that I don't have a significant other that adds to the equation when contemplating co-sleeping.

My philosophy is that we won't be sleeping with me until she goes off to college. Eventually, when she is ready, she'll want to sleep on her own and that will be just fine. It is just funny to me that it is such a hot topic in the parenting world. I have learned that different things work for different families. As long as it isn't harmful or enabling, then do what is right for your family situation. Obviously, it isn't right for every family and that's okay. At this moment, it is right for our family.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Konnor and Being a Coupon Geek

This might be a long post, so I apologize in advance!
September 3rd was Konnor's 7th Birthday! He really wanted a birthday party with all of his friends, but his birthday is so early in the year that it is always difficult for us to get it together. This year, we are going to try to host an "It's Not My Birthday Party" later in the year so that he can party with all of his friends. To celebrate on the actual day, he picked going to Outback for dinner. He didn't like his meal, but loved that they sang to him!
On Saturday, he, his daddy, and Ronald McDonald went fishing at the McFlats Fishing Tournament. He went last year and had a great time! After the tournament, he had a Wii program at the library. We then ate Chinese at the local buffet (his choice again) and went to see the movie Wall E. Regan liked Wall E, but wasn't behaving very well which is because she didn't have time for a nap. Konnor loved the movie. The adults all thought that it was boring. We got the message and it was a good message, but I wasn't thrilled. Especially since I trying to keep a non-napped 2 year old quiet! We came home and he opened gifts, his real splurge was an electric scooter given to him from my mom. He was so excited. I bought him some Ben 10 stuff and a skateboard ramp for his new manual skateboard. Let's hope I'm not blogging about broken bones in the near future! His mother hasn't seen him in almost two weeks and his grandmother (who lives in town) hasn't seen him in almost a year. This afternoon, they took him for pizza. We were worried they weren't going to acknowledge him at all. My brother has picked some real winners in the women department ;).

On a money saving note, about a month ago I became a coupon geek. I admit it. In an attempt to save more money while shopping, I look at a couple blogs that post deals from the week's newspaper fliers, clip coupons, and keep up with my coupon binder. It is bulky and I look like a dork, but when I am saving a ton of money when I shop, I get over feeling dorky real quick. The binder is filled with baseball card holders that I purchased at Wal Mart. Using them allows me to quickly look at all my coupons instead of the little coupon holders where you have to pull out and juggle all the coupons while shopping with a 2 year old (not fun). To demonstrate the money I've saved, here are some of my deals the past week.

Revlon lipstick free after using my card and getting $5.99 in Extra Care Bucks
Chex Mix - free after $1 coupon
Box of Malt o Meal Cereal - free after $1 coupon
L'Oreal Face wash - free after extra care bucks
Aussie Shampoo - 50 cents a bottle after extra care bucks and coupon
Crest Toothpaste - free after $2 in extra care bucks and a $1 coupon

Wal Mart -
Airborne - made $1.50 after buying two on clearance for $1.25 each and I had two 2 dollar off coupons.

Walgreens -
Crest Mouthwash - I made 75 cents on the deal. It was free when you got back $4.99 in Register Rewards and I had a 75 cent coupon.
Pampers pull ups - 89 cents after it was on clearance for $3.14 and I had a $2.50 coupon. Regan still needs these for nap and nighttime.

Publix -
Friday's Potato skins - 19 cents after $3 coupon
Kotex tampons - 48 cents a box after using Buy One Get One and 2 $1 coupons
Silk Soy Milk 1/2 gallon - 54 cents after $2.25 coupon (I don't like soy milk, but Regan doesn't know the difference!)

Target -
Desitin for 75 cents after stacking a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon.
Prego spaghetti sauce - 50 cents. Was on sale and had coupon.

These are just some examples. With coupons, you just have to make sure not to buy just because you have a coupon and to only buy what you need, can give away, or can store easily. In the Cape Life newspaper, they have the previous week's coupon inserts. So, you can get coupons for free. There are also many websites you can print off coupons. Publix accepts competitor coupons and allows you to use one store coupon with one manufacturer's coupon. Target also lets you stack store coupons with manufacturer's coupons. I actually emailed the company that makes my saline solution because I missed a mail in rebate thing. They sent me a coupon for free saline solution. It is 10 dollars a bottle (it is the only thing that works for me!). Ten dollar savings just like that! It is one area of my life where I am completely organized and I make a list and just hit the stores when I have a free 15 minutes or so (Target, CVS, etc). Publix I usually shop once a week. It is time consuming to use coupons and takes organization, but it is well worth it to me when I am saving so much money. I also set up a binder for my mom and I am the designated coupon organizer for us both. The bonus: My mom got her binder on clearance at CVS for $1.27!

I need to start tracking how much I have saved, but a guess would be that this month alone I have saved about $75 dollars. Yeah!!!