Why I Love My Son

 

When I’m just sitting at work in between emails or clients, I stare out the window with that glazed look and wonder what my littles is doing at that exact moment. A passerby would look over at me and wonder whats that smile for?

All the reasons I love my son……………..

Because its 5:30am on Saturday morning and I’m awaken by giggles, bubbles and laughter.

Because when it’s 6pm at night and we just got home and are rushing to get settled in for the night and I’m hurrying to feed littles his rice cereal and with all my stress, his face looks up and just smiles at me with nothing but love.

Because were in the car on the way home from running errands all day and littles is a bit fussy in his car seat and I reach over to gently rub his head to tell him I’m here and he grabs my finger and just holds on

Because when I am doing nothing or everything, I can stop and tears come out of my eyes because I am so in love with my son

Even when I have had no sleep and things are piling up on my mind, I look at his face looking at me and all my stress falls to the floor and I grab him and hug him tightly, because he is everything.

His presence is echoing,  he takes the blackest of black and turns it into sunshine. His cooing before bedtime is the most soothing sound the house hears. His dirty diapers and carrot filled bibs are the cutest dirty clothes ever. The smell of his room and the Oatmeal lotion from last nights bath time. All the little socks and shoes that are too small now.

Everyday there are milestones, everyday there are ups and more ups, no downs. His cries of being over tired are little gestures of why I love being a mom.  When the toughest of days are upon us, they are still the best moments in my life. The drool and spit up stains on the right shoulder of most of my shirts. His smell in my scarf from stuffing his face into it. When I reach into my coat pocket and theres a snot rag instead of the car keys. Trying to carefully trim his nails while Dad is feeding him.

Because sometimes Mom doesn’t plan well and we forget something important at home and littles just laughs at me. Because he grabs my hair when I’m holding him and he tries to eat it.

Everyday he loves us conditionally,  he tries to be on his best behavior, but hey, he’s only 6 months old so we let him slide on a lot of things 🙂

He is the putter in my heart beat, he is the warmth in my smile, he’s the goose bumps I get when were not together in that moment and I’m thinking of him. He is the glimmer in the rain puddle, the gleam in his dads eyes……….He is my everything and these are not even a quarter of the reasons why I love him so much.

He is mine and I am his……….I love you!

Newborn

 

Advertisements

8 Infant Items That Are Must Haves! ( According to a new mom)

So there I was thanking the high heavens for this wonderful product. If I didn’t have this in my infants life, what the hell would I do!! So, this lead me to wanting to spread the word on a few baby items that I highly recommend having!! Since little man is only 3 months now, these are items that I have used so far. If you are a new mom or even a soon to be mom, check out the following items for some good tips on cool items that are a must haves!

In no particular order…………….

1. Swaddle Sacks- Have you see these?      SummerSwaddle

Summer, is the brand that I have. They are these cool swaddle sacks that are like little sleeping burritos for babies. Made out of cotton with velcro straps allow baby to be comfortable nestled in the sack and locked in with velcro straps.       SwddlePic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I use mine mostly at night time. It helps to not only keep baby warm, but it helps with their “moro reflex” or their startle reflex. Those twitch movements they do in their sleep.  The swaddle sack cuts down on those and allows baby to sleep soundly. They come in many cute colors and patterns and sizes.

2.   Cloth Diaper/Wipes-  Gerber is the one that I use.  I know they say cloth diapers, but they are about 24″x24″ and work perfect for anything! Bib, a quick wipe, a blanket, burp cloth  and yes, a diaper. They are washable/reusable and baby soft. They come in a 12 pack. I have them in our diaper bag, changing table, my purse and my jacket pockets! They are just super handy and easy to grab when that moment arrives.

Gerber

3.  WubbaNub Pacifier-       Wubbanub

These little guys are awesome!! Littles prefers Philips Avent pacifiers. They are more of a nipple shape and are very smooth. Not only are they a cute and a fun toy, but their also a holder for the pacifier. A little bit different idea than the normal clip style. They run about $13-$19 depending upon the animal. You can find them on Amazon.  Once your little one is done with pacifiers, remove it and enjoy the little guy as a toy. They are super helpful and my little man loves it!

4. Dr. Brown’s Bottle System-

DrBrown                     DrBrown2

This is such a nice gift pack to have! It comes with all the bottles and nipples, storage containers and caps,cleaning brushes, pacifier, teether, bottle brush, training cup and bottle warmer. Sold separately is the bottle sterilizer with drying rack. I just love this system and it comes with everything you need. The bottles have a patented internal vent system that eliminates the vacuum and air bubbles to help reduce colic, spit-up, burping and gas. The positive pressure design allows babies to feed comfortably, because the vent system eliminates the air bubbles and vacuum. Helps maintain vitamins C, A & E plus lipids. They offer standard and wide sizes. All levels of bottle & nipple sizes, BPA free and dishwasher safe, this kit runs about $170 for everything. You can find it at either Amazon or Babies R Us.

5.Portable Changing Station-

ChangingPad

Exactly what you are thinking. When you need to change littles diaper and there is no changing table available. This comes in handy to be able to get the job done. It has compartments for diapers, wipes a head rest and comes with about 20 trash bags to dispose of the dirty diaper. I have had to use this guy at a day at the lake, at a Drs. appointment where the bathroom was broken. I have even used this to in the car when your in  a pinch. Makes for easy changing and the material is easy to wipe clean. They come in many colors and designs. About $20 at most major stores.

6. Boba Wrap-

BobaWrap

One of my favorite tools of the trade. This is an awesome baby carrier! I love the wrap idea vs. the typical “carrier” style. I feel like this is more flexible and can be used for all stages of your littles. Newborn, infant to toddler. All you have to do is wrap it. I know it looks slightly scary, but once you try, I think you’ll never go back to the other styles. It’s so versatile, soft and comfortable. You will only need this one carrier. It’s great for men too! Once tied, your little ones safe and sound against your chest and allows for Mom to be able to get things done. Tons of colors to choose from and its a one size fits all deal. You can wear the wrap and insert your baby into the middle when ready. Also, it makes for a handy scarf or outfit when your really in a pinch! Plus I think it looks cool too!! There is also a similar wrap made by Moby.

7. Jogger Stroller Carseat Combo-

Stroller

This is another one of my favorites. The best part of this stroller, is that without disturbing your little one, you can remove the car seat from your vehicle and insert it into the stroller all while littles is sleeping. The heavy duty bike tires allow for rough terrain, the three wheels allows for easy maneuverability, cup holders, 2 storage compartments, one with a closing lid, the other is a large basket under the seat.  Easy to fold up and store. It’s lightweight makes it easy to put into you car or truck. Adjustable canopy on both the stroller and seat. It comes with a base for your vehicle and a lock tab for the seatbelt. It also has the quick connectors for easy car installation as well. I could just go and on. I am so happy with this product. Its by Baby Trend, the model is called Range Travel System. I bought it at Amazon.com for roughly $250.00. Car seat accommodates 5 to 30 lbs & up to 30″ in height.

8.  The Windi-by FridaBaby

Windi

These little guys are a life saver, not only for baby, but to relieve a new mom or dads stress. One day, totally out of the blue, not even right after eating, littles starts profusely crying and making grunting noises. I literally panicked, I had no idea why my littles was crying and not that normal cry, bright red faced almost screaming in pain kinda cry.  It wasn’t a diaper change or that he was hungry or too tight of diaper/clothes, we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. With the grunting noises he was making I knew it had to be something like constipation or gas. I quickly run to his room, grab the box and start reading. One of our Aunts had given this to us and I had no reason to use it yet, so I knew what it was for, but nervous to try it. WOW!!! Instant relief!!! His poor little tummy/bum just couldn’t get out that built up gas on his own. No more crying, no more bright red face, now only laughter and smiles from little man, mom still trying to calm down and breathe from fear. Have this ready in your medicine cabinet for just that moment because you just never know! FridaBaby also makes a really cool snot sucker. I have not yet used this tool, I am sure I will soon, so more to come on that one.

9. Onsie, Onsie, Onsie!!!-    Yes, we all know what these are and truly, you just can’t get enough of these! For the first few months of your babies life, they will poop, pee and spit up all over that super cute outfit you just put him in. Right as your heading out the door too! I bought short sleeved and long sleeved onesies, probably about 100 of those things in all different sizes!! Left some to Grammys house, a few in the diaper bag, a few in each car, a couple at work and one in my coat pocket. You never know whats going to happen and when, so be prepared is best. I started using bibs at about 2 months, when I finally realized that we were going through like 4 outfits a day, LOL.  I leave the bib on for about 20 mins after feeding and it helps wonders to keep littles clean and dry. Especially around the neck area, when milk travels from the mouth down the chin and get stuck in those little neck creases, so make sure to clean that area often!

10. Once Upon A Child-   This really isn’t an item per se, but I wanted to throw this out there too as it has also been super helpful. It’s just a gently used baby store, but they have everything and at half the cost or less. You can take your gently used items and turn them in for cash or credit to buy other items. They sell clothing, toys, organizers, cribs, bassinets, high chairs, jumpers, excersaucers, play mats, Boppy’s, strollers, bath tubs, jeesh, I can just go on and on. They will even let you purchase an item and if baby doesn’t like it, bring it back in for a full refund. I find this helpful, for certain items that Im not sure if littles will like it or not. So far, he loves everything (bless his little heart) You can purchase 10 onesies for $10!!!  I really like this store and hope to get the word out. There is not always a need to spend top dollar for an item that baby will only use for a few months, save that money and go gently used!! Once Upon A Child is located at 6015 S. Virginia St in Reno, in the Whole Foods shopping center. They are open everyday!

The Real Deal- Stories of a first time mother

FirstTimeMOM

I am so excited to share some of the weird stories and situations, as a new mother, that I have gotten myself into. I have read so many books for first time mothers and fathers, I have read articles and Googled everything imaginable when it comes to newborns. I have read the Do’s and Dont’s of parenthood, I have avoided the things they tell you not to do. I have tried to figure out my own personal way of parenting and learning with my baby as we all grow together.

The reason why I feel so compelled to share these things with you is for the simple fact that, were not all perfect and we try to do the best we can. We don’t always follow the rules, but when it comes to babies, we have to be patient and do things your own way.  I am here too reassure you, that someone, somewhere has done it too!

Lets start with while your pregnant……….Here are some fun tips……………

REMSA offers a “How to install a car seat properly” class. It’s not even a “class” and is free. They just ask for a small donation if you can. Go to their website and see when the next class is. It’s usually in a parking lot somewhere and takes about 10 mins. It is very helpful and you’ll appreciate their help as installing a carseat is not just plug it in and go! They will show you how to install and answer any questions that you may have.

Check with your insurance company on items they may supply for you. For example, my insurance company gave me a brand new Medela Double Breast Pump and if you have checked those things out in the store, they can run a few hundred dollars! I have heard of others supplying a carseat for those that cannot afford one. Call your insurance company to find out! P.S. Little extra TIP- If you plan on breast feeding, the hospital will give you one of their hospital grade breast pumps to use while in their care. They will give you a large bag full of hoses, connectors, cups, etc. Make sure you take that bag home with you. It is yours to keep ( my lactation consultant said that it is OK to take) You will need all these supplies if your insurance company supplies you with one. It works with any Medela breast pump and will save you roughly $60.

Most hospitals offer a Labor/Delivery and after baby is born & lamaze class. They will go over types of births, what to expect, breathing exercises and hospital tour of the labor and postpartum rooms.  Answer any questions that you may have and give you an overall idea of whats about to come. The cost for me and the hubby was $80. Check to see if this also covered by your insurance company. It was a one day class from 9-5.

Don’t forget to get your hospital bag packed. Pack a month before hand. Pack not only for yourself, but the hubby if he plans on staying the night too.  Pack for 3-4 days in case you have to stay for whatever reasons. I know with c-sections, 4 days are common. Pack not only clothes and personal hygiene items, but magazines,a book, snacks and a notepad or journal for lots of questions and answers. Also, pack a bag for baby too!! They’ll need to leave in clothes, babies are not born with them, lol! Bring a few different sizes just in case. The car seat is pretty important too as you cannot leave without it! The hospital supplied diapers and wipes and one beanie and one blanket. Be sure to bring each of those as the hospital does not let you leave with theirs. At least St. Mary’s  did not. (SSSSHHHHH, I stole the beanie and really regret not taking the blanket!) My son uses the baby blanket that I was born with. Its a little girly, but the sentimental value of him using it, is sky high!

Don’t get too crazy with the nursery. The main items that you will need are diapers, wipes, swaddling blanket, bottles (if you plan of formula feeding or so someone else can) breast pump if your planning to pump right away, crib or bassinet for the baby to sleep in, bath soap, towel and a ton of just plain white onesies!  Thats really all thats needed in the first few months. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a bunch of toys or clothes or even if you don’t have the nursery painted and ready to go. The baby will not know the difference! I promise!  We decided to go with a more sophisticated, natural look for the nursery. Well wait till he’s a little bigger and starts liking cartoon figures, then we’ll get crazy with it!

Birthing Plan- Have you seen these? It’s a written out note of what you want and what you don’t want when it comes time to give birth. I made one, but I never even gave it to my Dr. I honestly felt silly. Some women write out this huge long list of what they want, lighting, music, soft voices, purple gloves and white linens only? WTF?! Basically the important part of this plan is to let the staff know if you are against an episiotomy or if you would like or not like your newborn to have certain shots, if you would like to the bath the baby or the nurses, if you would like skin to skin and important things like that. Sometimes Mom is either so overwhelmed or drugged up that it can be hard to make decisions at that exact moment, so a plan is helpful. My plan was very simple and it was something that I discussed with my Dr rather than printing it out on colored paper and shooting perfume all over it thinking I’m being cute! It’s not a love note, so don’t be weird about it! Talk to your Dr about this so everyone is on the same page!

Names- I never knew how hard it was to name your child. As a little girl, I thought of what my wedding would look like, who my husband was going to be and what our kids names would be. But when in that moment, without seeing a face, it’s not that easy! We had a few names picked out, if it was going to be a boy these names and if was a girl those names. We already knew the sex of our baby so it was easier to stick to one gender. If you plan on being surprised, pick out a few of each, then maybe wait till you see the newborn and make your decision then. The hospital allows you a few days to think about it but will not let you leave without a name. When your at the hospital, you will fill out paper work for their social security card and birth certificate. The SS card will come by mail in about 8-10 weeks and the cert is available for pick up roughly 30 days after the baby is born. Berth certs (here in Reno) are located at the NV Health Dept off of Ninth St and Wells Ave. They are only available M-W-F. Cost is $20 per copy.

LoveYouLittleOne

After the baby is born. Make sure your comfortable with their carseat and know how it functions. The hospital may ask you to bring in the car seat and they will do a carseat test. They put your newborn into the carseat and keep a very watchful eye out on the little one for about an hour. This is meant for premature babies and smaller size newborns, the reason is for them to make sure that your newborn will be safe in the car seat for long periods of time and make double sure how they fit into the seat and that there is no chance of suffocation. Considering we live 30 mins from town, this was very important to me and my little guy was 4 weeks early (little bugger)

Once home- If you have dogs like me. I wanted my whole family, pets included to all get along and be happy. I was determined to not end up like one of those 4 legged moms that now because I have a newborn, throw my dogs outside and continuously yelling at them because I am frustrated! The first thing we did is allow them to smell the babies blanket or piece of clothing to get used to the new smell. We allowed our dogs to see and hear the baby all while safe from high up. They were so intrigued and always trying to reach up to lick the baby, that they finally understood what this little ball of noise is. It took me about a weeks time to get them used to our newborn, that now they get confused when they don’t see the baby and run all over the house looking for their sibling. They smell him, lick his little feet and just stare at him. When he cries, if I happen to not be right there, they run over to me and tell me that the baby is crying. They are pit bulls and NOT ONCE have I been scared for my child around them or have had to reprimand the dogs for being too close or too pushy. Like any dogs, just be mindful and watch their actions around the baby.

If your a clean freak like me, you’ll try your ass off to keep the house in order. I lost lots of sleep maintaining the sanity of my home. My OCD would not allow me to let it completely go, but I did just enough to keep me sane, LOL! They say sleep when the baby sleeps, which I did, but the other half of his sleeping time allowed me to keep up on daily chores. I faithfully keep the house clean so doing a few little things everyday really helps. The bigger stuff can wait for the weekends when the hubby is around or allow family to help if they ask. If they don’t ask, ask them! Don’t get stressed about this part, it will all come together and the baby won’t be mad at the end tables you didn’t dust!

I was on maternity leave for 6 weeks and it went by way too fast. There were days that I felt depressed and overwhelmed, the hubby was at work and my family was not in town yet. I felt alone at times and my brain went to really weird places. But don’t let it take over you or let yourself get to stressed out. Postpartum depression is very serious and affects a lot of women. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. If you start to feel depressed, remember one thing. The newborn phase and your body getting used to all these new things and especially being sleep deprived. It only lasts for so long and next thing you know, you forgot what it was like at first. You’ll be out of the depressed phase and loving every moment of that little face who loves you so much!! Spend as much time as you can with your newborn and make those memories!  .

The dreaded or lovable pacifier? I am still on the fence about it. I did give in and allow my littles to have a pacifier but it was against my better judgement. For the first 6 weeks of his life, we did not use a pacifier. It was not needed, he didn’t even know what it was. But shortly after, store trips and his overall fussiness, I gave in. At first I told myself that sucking was a form of eating not soothing and I didn’t want him to confuse the two. I didn’t want him to think that it was feeding time just because he was getting fussy. I soon realized that I was partially wrong. I have read mixed views that some babies do just fine with out one and that babies that young do not have the capability of soothing them selves. Once he had the taste of that pacifier, he seemed to be a lot happier with it. There are times that he just spits it out and doesn’t need it, but other times, he’s happier with it. I tell myself that at least we can take that away some day, you can’t remove his thumb!

These are just literally just a few tips that will at least get you started in the right direction. If you ever have a question or want to know my opinion, shoot me an email. I’d love to talk your ear off about my adventures! I think of myself as a new, progressive modern mom, so along with being easy and creative, I’m also super cool and sort of a rebel when it comes to how I perceive things with my newborn. I read, I do research and I use common sense. It may not always be politically correct, but now days, who is? I get the job done and with a smile. Till next time, love your little bundle of joy while loving living in Nevada!

TahoeKeoni

Up and Over the Bump!

Unknown

How shall I start this. Once upon a time……. No! In the beginning…………..Definitely not!    So, one Saturday afternoon the hubby and I are at the store and I notice that there is something running down my leg. I happened to be sipping on  a delicious slushy with nerds from Sonic, so the possibility of it being all over the front of me, isn’t far fetched, especially with a basketball sized belly going on! Off to the restroom I went. Nope, all clear of slushy! I hurry the hubby up and we take off for home, but yet again, on the ride there, a wetness that is more pronounced than before. We get home and I think I need to lay down as I had been running around all morning doing errands. But the weirdo in me, stops in front of the washing machine and I see a load of shirts that need to be washed. I bend over to pick them up and what do you know, yet again another rush of wetness. I know from the birthing class that we took, that pregnant woman don’t usually have incontinence. I think the fear of knowing exactly what was going on, lead me down the denial path. I was only at 36 weeks. I grabbed my hospital bag and the babys bag. I grab the car seat and load us all into the car, off we go! We pull up to St Mary’s Hospital, I get out, ignore the guy trying to tell us something about the car and where to park, his mouth was moving but no words do I hear. Up to the second floor we go, I don’t stop the door from closing to let an elderly lady in. I am mentally panicking but not trying to show it, as my hubby is calm as long as I am. I check myself in, I give the nurse the skinny and into a gown I go. After the nurse checks me out, she tells me that my water is leaking. She quickly calls the “On Call” doctor and in a few mins, I meet Dr. Perry. Not my doctor, but a food server will do at this point, I need some answers. I am told that there is risk of infection, if something is coming out, then something can go in. EW! She lets me know that my baby will born some time this weekend, they have a 48 hour window before they are concerned for infection. I am perturbed as I feel nothing. After a conversation on what will happen with our stay at the hospital and what to expect. The hubby turns to the nurse and with confusement asks her if I get to leave soon. I look over at him with my usual rolling of the eyes that the hubby hates so much and say NO, were having a baby this weekend! He looks shocked yet composed. Off he goes to move the car and call his mom.

After waiting and getting a heavy dose of oxytocin ( a drug used to induce labor) we play more of the waiting game and see if contractions start.  Now, were into Sunday afternoon with no advancement. I am given my epidural to be ahead of the game and not feel the “soon to come” contractions. *NOTE* After being given the epidural, I could not feel a thing. I could have had my legs chopped off and I would be none the wiser. I felt nothing, but almost a weird body high experience. Kinda cool! All day Sunday I went with giving myself an occasional bump on the epidural. They give you a little button that controls your drug flow, give that baby a little press and off to la la land we go. I did go in and out of sleep with the Dr checking in on me about every couple of hours. By this time it was rounding the 48 hour mark and with no advancement. I am told that I will not be able to give birth vaginally and am being prepped for a c-section ( I don’t think I have to explain this procedure, but if you are unaware, Google it) The hubby is given scrubs to wear and I am rushed off to be prepped for surgery. I am freaking out and upset at this point, concerned for my babies well being.  There are truly no words to describe what goes on in that room. From the way they get you from one bed to the surgery table,  all the doctors looking the same as they are all in blue scrubs and face masks. I am given more drugs and a huge curtain goes up. The rest of the details I will leave out, I am sure you can imagine, but its nothing like you imagine. The room fills with a loud shriek and I know a baby is born. I look over to see the most wonderful, most exciting and most beautiful thing I have ever seen………….my son!ItsABoyBooties

So over the bump I go and straight into motherhood and WOW what a rush! Not only from the feeling of giving birth, but there is this little life in my hands that looks like a perfect mix of the hubby and myself. A soul that was created out of love. As I hold him and look into his precious little face, I know my whole life has changed and the future along with it. The next few days at the hospital is all about learning how to care for the lil one. Changing diapers, feeding, how to hold him, bathing and swaddling. Some of those things I have done in the past with my nieces, but it had been awhile. A word of advice ladies, listen and love your lactation consultant, if you plan to breast feed, she will be a life saver and you’ll want to take her home, so listen well!! All of the nurses and pretty much all of the staff that work in the delivery and postpartum area of the hospital know how to handle a baby and can help with any questions that you may have. They will also be life savers as the questions and opinions build up quickly. Write them down if you need to like I did. The information will be overwhelming and you’ll kick yourself for forgetting.

Check in with me next time as I spill the beans on do’s and don’t of being a first time mom. I will give you the low down on some things that I took upon myself to do my way and sometimes things just have to get done and its not always the politically correct way. But of course, if you know me. Im not conventional by any means. So if your a real person like me, you’ll appreciate that I did it and so can you!  Live, love and have a baby in Nevada ( You’ll love it)

NevadaState

Nevada Baby Bump….. Part Two

Prego5-4-15Summer is almost here, but by the weather, it may be closer than you think. That’s how I am feeling these days. In the back of my mind, I feel like our little one will be here sooner than expected. As you know, this is the first for me and the Hubs, so we have no idea, but my intuition tells me to be ready sooner than we think. Which is just fine by me, as long as there is a healthy, happy baby, I’m ready. More than ready 🙂

My tummy is growing like crazy, as fast as those weeds in the yard are building up! The one thing that I do notice about being 7 months pregnant is that mentally I want to do what I am used to doing on a daily basis or when the weekend is here, but physically, cannot. This is hard to deal with, but I have learned from someone very wise, I need to pick what isn’t important and what is. I need to let some of those “unimportant” things go! Like the dam weeds! I am bummed that I won’t be able to get my garden going as I had intended, so maybe just a few plants this year and not the 400 sqft garden I originally wanted. But I am happy to get outdoors and do what I can. Sometimes, I can be very stubborn, but don’t tell anyone!

I’m right at the 30 week mark, so 10 weeks left to go!!! The time is flying by so fast. I have been blessed that things are going so well these days! Lot’s of good energy, no nausea, feeling like myself, but with a basketball tied to my stomach! I am sleeping OK, a little uncomfy, mostly if I eat too much in the evening. My back and hips do get a bit sore, only because I am laying on either side, all night and being a back sleeper is tough, but it’s doable! Once I get up and move around, I feel much better. Being active has saved my life, no bloating or swelling up. Plenty of walks and gym time throughout the week. I try to incorporate both sitting and walking, so that my body gets best of both. Baby loves when Mom is active, I truly believe that our baby will appreciate me being active and maybe baby will be too!! I could use a friend to go on hikes with! Drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated is also harder than I thought! How many of you actually drink 64 oz of water in a day? I don’t think I did even before being pregnant, so its a nice change. My skin is healthier, my digestive system is happier, so there is something to say about guzzling down all that water!

The one project that is important to me, is getting the nursery finished. I need a place for my little one to be. It’s their own personal, little safe place to be when resting or playing. The nursery has gone from Mother in law’s room, to spare room, to the dog’s room, to now the baby’s room. Below are some before and after pics of the room. It is really coming together and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. Calm, sweet, slightly sophisticated should keep the little one happy for years to come. We didn’t have to spend a lot on it. Most of the items, I either made or found off Craigslist. ( Love that Craig guy) I was so lucky to receive a bunch of clothing, newborn up to a year, from a girlfriend at work. Once I opened the box she gave me, I realized just how much stuff was in there and probably won’t have to buy clothes for quite a while. Thank You Val, Taylor, Katie, Blair & Abby for all the goodies, love ya ladies!!!!

HeartKLB

Heart Art- Heart shaped with flat head nails, string yarn around till finished. Added initials for personalization. Made by Maea Benton

PalletShelvesBooks

Pallet Shelving- Stained with apple cider vinegar soaked with steel wool. Made by Maea Benton

DresserWKnobs

An old dresser I bought off Craigslist, painted it Neptune Blue. Re-vamped the knobs with DIY Rock Knobs. Made by Maea Benton

DresserRockKnobs

DIY Rock Knobs. Grabbed some rocks the Hubs and I have gathered over the years, attached flat head bolts to them with Epoxy. Let dry and voila, fun knobs for the dresser. Made by Maea Benton

GliderChairPic

A glider chair, made comfy with pillow and throw blanket. We’ve had this coffee table for awhile, painted it Hills of Ireland Green. Makes a nice spot to relax or when feeding. Made by Maea Benton

VWPicsKLB

Above the crib, some vintage VW pictures we have been collecting. Not 100% finished with this. Going to fill in the holes.

The second most important project was getting our spare bathroom finished as well. I’m not sure if I told you or showed you, but the bathroom was a very scary metallic blue and the sight of it was always weird and confusing and just unpleasant. With my brain and body being on overtime with hormones, I had to take care of this problem. So up went a fresh coat and color of paint. New lighting fixture and new accessories to make this bathroom complete. After all, we do have guests come into our home and I needed it to be comfortable for everyone. My parents, sister and her family are due in right as the baby will be born, so to have them comfortable in my home, is important to me! More info and pics to come on the bathroom soon!!

Saving the best news for last!………………..drum roll please……………………We are proud and excited to announce that our baby will be a………………………..BOY!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!  Both the hubby and myself couldn’t be happier. We both were looking forward to a happy baby boy. In my family, girls are so dominant, which is fine. But, I am not a hair, make upy, dress up, glittery, Barbie kinda girl. So having a little rough and tough boy is right up my alley! The Hubs needs a little man that he can teach how to ride dirt bikes, build forts and get muddy with. Teach him how to “potty,” how to talk to girls one day and shoot the shit with. Mom needs a strong, masculine guy, who loves his mom, loves to help cook and clean, bring bugs into the house and shows me how mud pies are made. Someone that can take the dogs for a walk and someone who wants to fish or just chill with. Not that girls can’t do any of that stuff, but boys are geared for garage messes, grease and cleaning fish guts! A little boy for us to love and for our dogs to love him too!! It balances out the two wonderful girls my sister has. I love all hues of blue and green, football, exhaust and the desert, so a little man is going to be perfect for us!

One of the scariest things to me about him coming into the world, is first, how he’ll be getting here! Labor sounds like a nightmare and having a c-section isn’t that much better. So plenty of learning, online info and a class or two should “help” in that department, but I know, it will be nothing even close to what I have waiting for me, AAAHHHHH!!!!!  Once he is here, making sure that both the Hubs and I are on the same page about things. Making sure that were good parents and can give our son the best life we possibly can. Giving him the very best of everything and making sure he is brought up right, with respecting and loving others! The hubby is an amazing partner, but doesn’t do all that well with blood, needles and hospitals, so hopefully, he won’t pass out 🙂  He will be an amazing father, just as he is a husband! He works so hard for us and always puts us first. That’s how I know I really lucked out having him at my side, he is the love of my life and will be for our baby boy. I can’t wait to see his reaction when the baby’s born, I’m sure he will cry. Just saying all of that makes me want to cry! Next big step, is getting the dogs used to the baby as well. Hearing him cry, crawling and walking. Trying to be equal between the dogs and the newborn. The last thing I want is for our dogs to “get left behind” or feel unloved as their is a new being in the house. I need for all of us to be a happy family, which includes our 4 legged kids as well. I see my household becoming a mini zoo here shortly and I’m definitely OK with that! Humans, fish, a gecko and dogs, jeesh!

I know your probably very curious about his name and well to be honest, we are going to save his name until he is born. We have an idea what we would like to name him, but I won’t share till were absolutely 100%, so sorry guys, the name will have to wait. But I will share some names that we like, but didn’t make the cut. Mason,Jax,Jaxson,Greyson,Lucas and Locklyn. I never knew how hard it is to name your baby. A good tip that I was given was to wait till we see the baby and then have the selected names that you like ready, so when you see him, a name might make more sense. It’s not like you would name a new dog before you get or see him, right?!  My due date is June 29th and I am counting down the days. I feel like making one those Xmas chains like when you were a kid and everyday closer to Xmas, you remove one chain, remember those?! That’s how I feel 🙂

I will keep you updated with how I am doing and progressing. More pics and fun information. Enjoy becoming a parent all while living and loving in Nevada!!!

NevadaState

Bite This Town……..South Side

Spring is in the house and it’s shaping up to be a great weekend. But the only thing that can start it off right, is a great bite to eat. You might have tried the one downtown located in the Sands, but a new one has risen and it might be a strong contender with some of the other joints in the area. I’m talking, The Original Mel’s Diner a new location has opened up off of Damonte Ranch Parkway in the Walmart shopping center. It is in the old Heidi’s building.

This morning we happily awaited trying out this retro diner food experience. First, some background history. Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs,  joined forces and together they opened up their first car hop in San Francisco in 1947. Speed it up 20 years later and The Mel’s chain grows to over 40 chains located in the Northern California areas. Feeding millions of hungry people gathering for that traditional Mel’s good food and fun. It was in 1972 that George Lucas introduced us to the hit movie, “American Graffiti” that was filmed at the original San Fran location. Since that time, Mel’s has been part of another one of Hollywood’s productions the hit show, “Alice” and is a feature of Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. More locations have since opened up and even into Nevada! Reno is blessed with two of them. I have personally been in the Sands location diner. I must say that it is a neat and eclectic place to grab some grub. Make sure you have change on you, because you’ll want to load up that Jukebox with old favorites. It’s brightly filled with neon lights,old posters and food memorabilia. They have the traditional stainless steel counter with it lined on the kitchen walls. The staff always is friendly and there open 24 hours.

I have not been into the south location yet, but surely, I’ll make my way over there. But for today, breakfast served in bed, well in the office anyway. They have a pretty good menu with all the favorite breaky items. Steak N eggs, chicken fried steak, tons of omelets and scrambles, biscuits and gravy. Eggs bene, breakfast burritos and sammies. The lunch menu is filled with so many burger options, sammies, chili, fries, shakes and yummy apps. Dinner is the same way, nightly specials, pork chops, steak & shrimp, prime rib, deep-fried chicken. Soups, salads, and let’s not forget, desserts for everyone! Who doesn’t love a sundae or banana split ( you’re lying if you say “I don’t”)

Going totally outside my norm, probably because I have those crazy pregnancy cravings. I decided to order the 6oz New York strip, cooked medium. Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and one pancake for the side. I must say it was pretty damn good. The steak was a nice small piece of protein power, cooked the way I asked and tender. Eggs, cant go wrong with a little cheddar on them, they gave me a small side of their Mel’s potatoes, its red potatoes with green onions tossed right in. The pancake was fluffy and moist, I’m normally not a pancake “enjoyer” but today, it was wonderful! Buttery and syrupy, if your going to do, do it right!  Some of the other employees ordered the corned beef and hash. I did sneak a bite or two of it and compared to a lot of the restaurants that do this dish, I happened to like this one the most so far and here is why. I enjoy corned beef, but not the canned shit and not when its diced up into little flakes of meat that are burned to a crisp. I want nice wholesome chunks of meat with diced potatoes. Not mushy taters either. I rarely find this made this way, maybe its me, but it does exist as I have had it only twice when eating out. Or I make it that way at home! Their omelets were good-sized with fresh fillings. Fruit was crisp, fresh and sweet, just like fruit should be and NOT canned fruit, jeesh people, I can buy it that way and not spend the $2.99 that a restaurant will charge for that item. One of the guys had a burger and said it was bomb! Real ground beef, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion all on a lightly toasted sesame seed bun. Side of cheese fries, put this over the top, yum! They took the time to label everything properly, just like we need it to be.

Mels1                               Mels2

For being a newly opened location, they don’t fall short of the food they’re preparing to be new. I know they have the other locations to learn from, but sometimes a new location, there can be kinks and hiccups. They were super friendly to talk to and I feel that if I were to be eating there, the experience would be just as awesome!

If you happen to live in that part of town, go ahead and stop on by. Check out there menu before you go at http://originalmelsdiner.com/

It’s awesome to me to live in this great city where we have so many choices when it comes to food. Get out there and try something out of your little box, you’ll be surprised at what’s being served out there. Thanks Mel’s for making today a great breakfast day, we do appreciate it, now let’s get this weekend thing going already!!  Enjoy eating, loving and getting “To Go” orders in Nevada. Happy Friday Everyone!!!

NevadaState

To Review or Not to Review……….

I thought it would be a good topic to discuss this week. How does everyone feel about Yelp?  From either the perspective of the consumer or the owner. Is Yelp doing justice or harming those businesses with stamina? I recently had a negative experience with Yelp and being that I always thought of Yelp as being helpful. A local restaurant owner gave me some insight that I had not thought of before. SO, this lead me to do a little research on review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Angies List and Yahoo.

Most of the review websites guidelines are fairly similar. They all request that your information be honest, only first hand experiences are allowed, no personal information, slander or threatening messages in any way. Most of them are free, except for AngiesList.com. They make sure that business owners, affiliates, vendors and ex co-workers are not allowed to review the establishment either. Thus controlling management from uploading tons of false reviews. Disgruntled employees are not allowed to share their experiences, as this is not from a consumer point of view. Owners are allowed to post responses to positive or negative reviews. Thanking someone for their kind words or trying to resolve a “not so” pleasant experience. They all have one other commonality. They use a “special computer designed ranking system” to filter through the reviews that do not meet their requirements and/or which reviews are more or less helpful.  I’m still not 100% sure how that special computer system works, but wonder what types of reviews constitute as more or less helpful. I also wonder the validity of some of the reviews are being posted.

To give you some background. Here is where this whole thing started. I am such a foodie at heart. I love to do reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor, restaurants especially! I seem to mostly have good experiences and try to take pics of the food and give a good honest opinion without being rude and just stating facts. Even if its not the best trip or the greatest food. I give good criticism that I personally believe any good chef or manager would want to know. I give the positive and add a sweet little picture of what I am talking about. There is never personal comments or judgement against an employee. I am only expressing my opinion to inform others. Before the hubby or I go to eat somewhere new, book a hotel, rent a car, etc. I like to see pics of the establishment or food, I like to read other peoples reviews and experiences on Yelp. I find that I base what I will do from some of that information. I do not care for the reviews that seem like they are belittling an employee or just going off about something random that doesn’t give you any insight what so ever!

Because we get “to go” breakfast orders every Friday. I always make sure to let them know if something went wrong or what the good points are. I follow up with a good, honest review on the review site that they prefer. Again, if your a good owner, manager,chef or employee, then you would want to know how a large to go order went. Especially knowing that we could and want to eat there again. To be honest, some restaurants, never even ask me if breakfast was OK, or even call to check in or anything. I personally find this to be bad business. Not that we wont come back, but it just gives me an idea of how you work. Most places though, they care and want to know feedback, so I am very honest. One of the places that we love to get breaky from, the owner, let me know that he did not care for Yelp so much, as his restaurant not only is 24 hour, but also has other services. He stated that Yelp doesn’t do a good enough job at going through the reviews and actually reading what is being wrote. He would get reviews from drunk kids who come in to eat at 3AM and act like total assholes. When they are asked to stop, they threaten bad reviews and actually write a lot of false information. Never once does Yelp look into those situations maybe like AngiesList does. His opinion was that some customers use the “customers always right” stance when truly they were abusive to the establishment.  They feel as though they can belittle someone or some place at will just for why ever they feel they need to. A lot of it being bogus! As an owner, he does have a chance to make right or give a response, but how do you respond to being mistreated or verbally abused or just someone who wasn’t having a good day? So, he asked me to write the review elsewhere, at Trip Advisor. Supposedly, they have tighter guidelines and allow for the diner and the management to come to an agreement. So off to Trip Advisor I went, not really putting any thought of why he felt this way.

Not till, I had a similar experience with Yelp that really got me thinking!! A few Fridays ago, we wanted to try somewhere we have never gone before. They have been here in Reno for while now, exiting their too small of a location to a much larger one. They do catering as well. I call before hand and explain what we’d like to do and if they can accommodate us. I always get a “No Problem” response. I send them over a nice descriptive order, everyones name and what they would like. I am very detailed and specific, so it is clear and they don’t have to ask a lot of questions. I take pride on being good at this 🙂   Friday came and two other employees went down to pick up all the food. Usually the large order is all together in a few big boxes or carrying bags. No, the boys do not go through the order and check off names from a list. We assume that they got everyone’s order and its in the box. When they get back, all the meals are laid out on our ever so long counter in the break room. I generally glance over the names and I can find a missing one pretty easily. I see two names missing already 😦 I do not open each box and inspect the food to make sure it is what they ordered. Basically, I write down exactly what you asked for and usually the restaurant gets it right. Rarely are there mess ups. But it does happen. And that’s OK. I make the announcement to everyone that breaky is here. I grab my box and get the hell out of the way. There’s 30 hungry people coming this way and there is only one entrance/exit. I wait to let those two know that I don’t see their meal and as I am calling the restaurant to see if there are meals sitting down there that maybe had forgotten to be put into the box for us, as this happens a few times. More employees are coming to me with food issues, so I am now playing middle man between us and them. The gal on the other end of the phone is super nice, just as I am. I am letting her know whats missing or incorrect. But the mess ups just keep piling up. She is being very patient as we look over the list together to see whose missing what, but there are so many little issues and some of the employees are becoming impatient and disappointed. We get it straightened out and hang up with each other leaving off that the items missing and incorrect will be delivered here very shortly and a few times she apologized. No worries, shit happens. But this is where it all goes to hell! A few short minutes later I get a call from a super hyper, angered man who states he is the owner. He proceeds to tell me that there is NO missing food, that our employees are taking other peoples meals and its our fault. We go over the list and he tries to explain to me what is in each box and where the missing food is. Half of what he is saying does not exist and this further irritates him. By this point I have to hold the phone away from my ear and ask him to stop yelling at me. We go over the list again and he is reading off orders that are not the problem, again really further irritating him. After 10 mins of going back and fourth and employees looking at me with horror as they can hear how crazily he is acting. We leave off that he will be coming by with the missing food. He calls back several times to belittle me and tell me that our address doesn’t exist and if I’m sure I’m telling him the right addy. Again he calls back sarcastically not sure of where were located. Once he is here, another employee helps me to make sure this asshole isn’t being rude to me. He brings all the wrong items, items that are not correct and by this point, well take it and we just want him out of our office. He doesn’t ever apologize for this horrible confusion, just says what they need to do the next time to make it better, which were all comments that are common sense and should have been performed in the first place. Why did I supply you with names, if you weren’t going to label anything? A few more little things happened after that, with the result ending in, us not really wanting a gift card for the next time that he so rudely pushed onto us. In all fairness he did return with it. But the damage was already done! Fuck the gift card! If the food was really good but the customer serviced sucked, I could get over that as were eating in our office anyways.

I decide to post a review that afternoon on Yelp, with what had happened and suggestions. I gave them a one star and for all good reasons. The food was shit just like the customer service! And I made that very clear! It took almost two weeks to get a response from them and the owner was the one to respond. I could not believe what I was reading, all lies. He continues to blame me and insult me. Just the brown and black diarrhea coming out of this month was total shit and I was truly upset. He even decided to up sell his business with adding other events they do which have nothing to do with us or breakfast foods? I edited my post to include a rebuttal to his cowardly response. But really, I could not believe that I was now arguing with a grown ass man, online?!

This made me re-think my postings of review websites, the one that I had trusted so often to get real opinions from. Why did Yelp not step in or make him re-write a response that wasn’t so douchebaggy?! That’s when I realized that what the other restaurant owner was saying made a lot of sense, he was right. 100% right! I spent the next few days pondering this thought that I would give up Yelp and no longer entrust them to uphold good standards about reviews. But this is why this country is so great, is that its not all rainbows and we as humans, should be able to speak our mind weather or not its honest, but to release the pent up feelings we have about an establishment. Its up to the reader to either read in between the lines or see whats really going on. Even Yahoo or other review sites, they pretty much allow for bullying and I now find myself reading in between those lines and taking what I think to be true and deciphering it. With Angies List, they do what I believe to be necessary, but that’s also why you pay for a membership from them, so issues can be resolved. No false reviews or belittling anyone. But maybe thats OK to do now days. Maybe being free to say what comes to mind is an American thing to do? I wouldn’t want someone being hurtful to me, so why would I do it to another? Well, maybe cause they deserve it, that’s why! It may not be nice, but not everything in this world is always going to be nice.  I am curious if anyone has had a similar experience or maybe have been on the other side, where a bad review was written about your business. How did this make you feel? Do you think we should be able to just say anything?

Let me know where you stand with reviews, very curious to know. Till next time, happily enjoy all your next meals, all while eating and reviewing in Nevada!

NevadaState