Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pic of the Week

Jon and Kate Gosselin Scandal

I just don't believe it!
I am a big fan of the couple's TV series, Jon & Kate Plus 8 and like many other fans and followers of the show I am in shock by the recent allegations. (Read the story HERE.) Is the media simply taking a small incident and blowing it out of proportion or is there any truth behind the rumors?
It is obvious that both Jon and Kate Gosselin are under an enormous about of stress, but then again who isn't?
In watching their show I have seen times when Kate snaps and treats Jon, in my opinion, with very little respect and even belittles him. However, I am not naive and realize that "reality TV" can be manipulated. Scenes can be edited so that viewers will assume certain things. After all it is conflict that makes for good TV. But, there are many other times that I see them working great as a team, which is a must with 8 little ones.
Kate seems very organized and structured, Jon not so much. Opposites attract right?
Do you watch the show? What do you think about the so called "cheating" incidents?

But pigs are so cute....

For those of you that don't know I am a huge fan of cute pink pigs and used to show them in stock shows when I was in 4-H. "Pink pigs, why are you causing so much havoc?"

This swine flu's all over the media and in all the "Special News Reports". How scared should we really be?
According to the World Health Organization, to date 11 countries have reported a total of 257 cases of the influenza A (H1N1) infection and of those 257 cases 109 were reported by the United States Government. There has been one reported death due to Swine Flu in the US and 7 in Mexico.
To give you some perspective, according to Al Jazeera English, a 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel located in Doha, the capital of Qatar[the world's first global English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East], the seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 each year around the world.

  • So what is Swine Flu? It is a type A influenza virus that is present in pigs. Human infection is rare but is most likely to occur in people who work and live closely with pigs.
  • Why are people so scared? The new strain is a hybrid of swine, human and avian flu viruses and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it can spread from human to human but the level of virulence is not yet clear.
  • What are the symptoms we should look for? They are similar to that of the common flu virus and included: fever and chills, a cough, sore throat, aching limbs, headaches, and general fatigue.
  • How do I know if my child might be coming down with it? Watch them carefully. If your child is being lethargic, and acting irritable (Well, I mean more so than usual!), having flu-like symptoms, is experiencing a fever, rash, cough, and is not wanting to drink anything then they may have Swine Flu and you should take them to their health care provider immediately.
  • What can/are doctors doing to treat Swine Flu? Although there is no vaccine, there are two antiviral drugs that are proving effective in the treatment of Swine Flu: Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza)
  • The question we are all asking...How can we prevent Swine Flu? WASH YOUR HANDS, use antibacterial hand sanitizer often, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritiously, basically, keep yourself in good general health. Try your best to avoid touching surfaces that are touched by many people a day. IE-Bathroom doors, keyboards, telephones, ect. And of course, avoid close contact with people that might be sick.
In conducting research I have come to the conclusion that "Yes" Swine Flu can be a bad thing. However, if you are smart and act in your best interest by taking all the necessary precautions then, chances are, the Swine Flu will not affect you. Although I am saying this knowing that my daughter is not in school. I can keep her come with me and keep her away from others. (I already disinfect shopping carts vigorously before I would ever think about even setting her car seat inside one!) I am not sure how paranoid I would be right now if I had school age children that were being exposed to their "germy" peers all day.
Anyway, these are my thoughts on the issue. Take them for what they are.

You may look to the bottom of my blog and there you will find a H1N1 Swine Flu Heat Map.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where's Shelby?

This afternoon while Jason was studying Shelby and I went to Wal-Mart to do some grocery shopping. Her car seat can snap into the top of the cart, but I am so short that when it's snapped on top it's hard for me to reach her. Therefore, I usually just set her seat in the bottom of the cart.
Well on this particular shopping excursion the cart became very full. The growing mounds of food around her became almost comical so I snapped a picture. I like to call it "Find the Baby!"

She was so good. She just looked around and enjoyed being out.

She rarely cries when we are out and about. I think the noise and people watching keeps her occupied.

She's holding her soft, pink blanky. AHW!

Then at 7:30PM Jason had a softball game. (He plays for a church league on the Hillcrest Church of Christ's team. You would be surprised how competitive "church leagues" can be!) Actually he had 2...a double header. The first game they lost by 1 run! ARG! Then the 2nd game they were winning 6 to 25 until...they got cocky. In the last inning their opponents were hitting like crazy and before I knew it they were tied. Then the last batter came to the plate and hit an over the fence home run, batting in one other run! The final score was 27 to 25.

Here is Jason batting.

See the ball coming...
Are you biting your nails?

And he gets a hit! Well, it was more of an accidental bunt. The ball kinda just fell in front of the plate, but a hit is a hit! He beat out the throw to first base and later scored. GO JASON!

During the game Shelby was a perfect little angel. She sat on my lap and watched quietly all while sucking on her fist. I love watching Jason play sports. Good memories...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baby Orajel is good stuff!

Last night Shelby was in bed at 11pm, her normal bedtime. Around 12am I heard her start to cry. She NEVER wakes up in the middle of the night so I was thinking something had to be wrong.
When I walked in I kept hearing baby toots so I thought maybe it was gas that was upsetting her. I scooped her up, coddled her for a minute, and then gave her some gas drops. I also decided it wouldn't hurt to put a little Baby Orajel on her gums.
(Background Info: Jason's dad, Monte, was here last weekend and was asking me if she was teething yet. I was like, "What! Babies teeth at 3 months?" He said that some of his children started as early as 3 months and some as late as 6 months. Considering his experience with 7 children I figure he is a very reliable source. Since then I have been feeling her gums every day.)
Okay, now that you're caught up let me continue. So I felt her gums and thought I felt a little bump in her top gum. I may be psyching myself out, but I decided either way a little Orajel couldn't hurt.
When I was finished I wanted to calm her down a bit and sat down to nurse her. She began mouthing me like crazy. It was like she couldn't locate her "target". She kept trying to latch on and would just slip right off.
Jason, who had just gotten home, put two and two together and asked me how much Orajel I had used.
Me: "Just a little. Well, maybe more that I should have. What?! Her tongue was in the way I wanted to make sure to get some on her gums. Okay, maybe I put to much."
Jason went to get the tube of medicine and proceeded to put some on both our fingers and then we put it on our tongues. As first my tongue was tingly, then it was just plain numb.
Me: "Dang that stuff is good!"
Jason: "No wonder she can't nurse properly. You just numbed her whole mouth!"
I became somewhat frantic and was feeling very guilty. Before long she had learned to compensate and was nursing calmly.
Moral of the story: Read labels carefully and then FOLLOW what they say.

Zoo & First Swim

Yesterday after Jason finished classes we all went to the zoo. The Abilene Zoo recently opened a new wetlands exhibit that "Shelby" wanted to see.

Shelby sportin' her new sun hat.

It was a beautiful sunny day. The wind was blowing hard.

People were feeding the giraffe crackers. So he kept sticking his extremely long tongue up on the path. Kinda gross.

He was checking Shelby out!

Watching the gator at the new wetlands exhibit.

Doing what gators do.

"Hello Mr. Bear. No, we don't have anything to feed you. No, you can't eat the baby or nibble on her leg."

Then after Jason left for work I took Shelby for her first swim! She was all set with her Disney Princess swimsuit and was ready to dive in...well, not literally dive!

So I picked her up and got down into the shallow end of the pool. It was a hot day but the water was still pretty cool.
I started by putting her feet in the water. I don't think she knew what to think. She just kinda kicked around and then started to cry. I just kept holding her over my shoulder and bouncing her up and down in the water. I didn't think she would like it all that much the first time. I just wanted to get her used to being in the water. I'm hoping that if I keep it up then later in the Summer she will learn to like playing in the water.
I went to Wal-Mart and looked for a pool toy that I could sit her in, but all the toys were made for babies over 1 yr. old.
When we got out of the water I put her in her stroller and she fell asleep so I took advantage of the baby nap time and tanned! When I got back I realized that I had overdone it a little...I'm RED! I love to lay out; it's so relaxing and the hot sun on my skin feels wonderful.
When we got back from the pool we rested for a while. Then I did the laundry and cleaned the house.

Okay I know this is becoming a very long post but I have to show you how I carried Shelby to the laundry room.

What a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I love Spring!

We had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful Spring day. We went for a long walk and then chilled by the pool. It was hot outside so I made sure to put lots of sunscreen on her as well as the hat. I know it's a little big!

What a cutie pie!

She loves strollerin'!

April 22nd 2009

Look at her bat at the toys! :)

Happy baby

Randy Pausch reprising his "Last Lecture"


Playing with Daddy

April 17th 2009

Chilling with Daddy

Jason put her toy on her head. Such a goof ball!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

With the economy the way it is everyone needs to save a little money so I have been trying to find creative ways to do so. One of the more expensive household items is laundry detergent so I did a little research online and found tons of recipes to make your own. The following is the one that I used.
I did not write the following instructions or take the pictures. They were taken from The Simple Dollar blog. Visit the site to see a video of the finished product, the cost breakdown, and even pictures showing how well the detergent works.

My personal review: Making the detergent was very easy and fast. When I used it my clothes came out smelling clean, but not like lavender as some of the newer detergents are scented. I have not yet washed any clothing that was stained so I cannot vouch for its stain removing effects. I was very pleased with the detergent and plan to continue using it.

Making the Laundry Detergent
The only ingredients you actually need for homemade laundry detergent are as follows:

1 cup washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer)
1/2 cup borax (I use 20 Mule Team)
1 bar soap (I use whatever’s cheap, in this case Pure & Natural)
Approximately 3 gallons water

You’ll also need a container of some sort to store this in (I use a five gallon bucket with a lid), something to stir it (I use a large wooden spoon), another pot to boil soapy water in (I use the pot in the picture), and something to cut up the soap (I use the box grater in the picture).

First thing, put about four cups of water into the pan and put it on the stove on high until it’s at boiling, then lower the heat until it’s simmering.

While it’s heating up, take a bar of soap and cut it up into little bits. I found a lot of success using our box grater, which resulted in a ton of little soap curls.

When the water is boiling, start throwing in the soap. I recommend just doing a bit at a time, then stirring it until it’s dissolved. Here, I made the mistake of just tossing in all of the soap at once, which wasn't particularly helpful:

Stir the soapy water with a spoon until all of the soap is dissolved. Eventually, the water will take on the color of the soap you added, albeit paler. I used Pure & Natural soap for this, which was a white soap that looked a lot like a bar of Ivory.

In the end, you’ll have some very warm soap soup:

Next, get out your large container and add three gallons of warm tap water to it. I’m using a bright orange five gallon bucket that I had lying around:

To this bucket add a cup of the washing soda and the soap solution you made and stir. The borax is optional - some people say that it’s too harsh, but I’ve always found that it did a good job getting clothes clean and fresh smelling, so I recommend adding a half cup of borax to the mix.

After stirring, you’ll have a bucket full of vaguely soapy water:

Don’t worry if your batch doesn’t match the color of my own - it varies depending on what kind of soap you use. I made a batch with Lever 2000 in the past and it had a greenish tint to it, and I’ve heard reports of all kinds of different colors from other people who have tried this.

At this point, let the soap sit for 24 hours, preferably with a lid on it. I just took our bucket to the laundry room.

When you take off the lid, you’ll find any number of things, depending on the type of soap you used and the water you used. It might be firm, like Jello; it might be very watery; it might even be like liquid laundry detergent. Just stir it up a bit and it’s ready to be used.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Play Time

Pic of the Week

Procrastination & Mini Golf

Yesterday Jason had tons of homework and kept procrastinating horribly so, I bribed him. He loves to play miniature golf and after watching The Masters this weekend he was in the golf mood so I suggested that as soon as he finished his work we would go to Prime Time and play a round. For the next few hours Shelby and I cleaned the house while he worked. Before I knew it he was done and it was time to play! Mini golf here we come!

The course.

I am so short compared to him. I had to practically stand on my tip toes to be in the photo!


That's some serious concentration!


Jason was giving me pointers.

See the little pond...we had a few balls wind up going for a dip. :)

Jason got creative with his photography.

Who won you ask? Jason of course, but it was very close! Here is the score... Jason-54 strokes Nicole-56 strokes

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shelby's First Easter

This was Shelby's first Easter! Although I knew she would not remember anything about it I still felt the need to make it super special for her. I want to some day show her the pictures and tell her what we did to celebrate. Jason and I decided to explain to her (I know this sounds a little ridiculous!) what the symbols of Easter mean. So he told her about how the egg is a symbol of the new life that people can have through a relationship with God that Jesus made possible through his death on the cross, that the cross is a symbol that reminds us of Jesus' death on the cross, and so on. Then we read the story of Christ's death and resurrection from the Bible.
I also got Shelby a little pink Easter basket which Jason would not stay out of! I caught him eating the candy out of her Easter eggs and he told me that she would never know or care...which is true but beside the point! LOL

Shelby enjoying Easter...her way.
We also had a party to celebrate the day. I made tons of food and Jason and I both invited some friends over.
We had a wonderful Easter and hope y'all did too! :)

Thank you Jesus for suffering to save me! I am certainly not worthy.

Matthew 28 -The Resurrection

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."