A Modern Day Fairy Tale: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

InstaLately {1/31}

Let me just start off by apologizing in advance for any typos, etc. Unfortunately, last weekend my computer cord broke! How does this happen!? I have no idea, but unfortunately Best Buy did not have any universal cords that worked for my particular computer so I'm having to order one online and wait! Ugh! So in the meantime, I'm blogging via iPhone- not an easy task! It's definitely just been that kind of week I suppose! But anyway- onto those photos! Assuming I can figure this out! Ha!

Okay, okay- I can't seem to figure out a way to have text below photos from this app so I will write the descriptions in order here first! That works, right? (As I said- blogging via iPhone- no fun! But better than nothing anyway!!!)

1. Our crib bedding came! I know it's super early. We really did intend to wait until we knew if baby was a boy or girl before buying, but once you hear about the AMAZING, couldn't pass up deal I found, you'll understand why I couldn't resist ordering this gender neutral set now! But more on that (along with better photos) in a later post!!!

2. Remember how I said its just been that kind of week? Well, on top of the computer issues, Shaun and I are also sick! Mommy worse than Shaun it seems! I blame this crazy weather!! We went from cold to warm with rain and storms and now... It's snowing! Our poor bodies don't know how to handle this unpredictable Indiana weather!!

3. One of Shaun's favorite things to do with daddy is look at photos on iFunny. To be honest, I'm not sure that Shaun really understands half of the jokes but he loves laughing along with daddy and this mommy loves hearing the two of them!!

4. A little painting project for the nursery!

5. I found this idea on Pinterest to roll towels instead of fold them to save space, so I had to try it out- and it definitely works! My once stuffed full closet now has more room and looks nicer too! (Aside from my crazy mismatched towels anyway- one day I hope to buy all new matching towels but I have a hard time replacing something when there's nothing truly wrong with the ones we have!) anyway, I rolled up blankets this same way and it worked nicely too. We lost a lot of storage space when we moved to this home (it's not much smaller than our old home, just lacks storage!) and had been using the spare closet to store things, but now as we make room for baby, I'm having to try to find extra space in any way we can!!

6. All I can say about this one- Shaun has this new obsession with writing logos on all the walls. Very annoying! Especially when using Mommy's good makeup to do so! Oh dear! Thankfully it came off with soapy water but seriously- no fun! Have I mentioned this boy requires constant supervision!? This is (one of the reasons) why!!!

7. Little man insisted on ANOTHER haircut this week! He just had one a few weeks back. He wants to have short hair like daddy. Daddy's is actually shorter but mommy refuses to shave it ALL off!

8. "Mommy, make me black and white!" I love this kid!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lilla Rose Mystery Hostess Party {Sponsor Offer}

If you've been around my blog long, you probably recall my talking about my love of Lilla Rose flexi clips. I had the opportunity to review one of these amazing hair clips awhile back and absolutely fell in love. In fact, as I type this I have one in my hair! (They're perfect for throwing your hair up quickly when doing housework- as I've been doing all day.)
Tonight, I'm excited to share another awesome deal with you from my sponsor Linda Menke, an independent consultant for Lilla Rose! Whose interested in a mystery hostess party!?

From January 31st- February 8, every item ordered through the party link (http://www.lillarose.biz/parties/1487) will earn an entry into a drawing. Prizes will include:

$100 in FREE Lilla Rose Product
$75 in FREE Lilla Rose Product
$50 in Free Lilla Rose Product
And of course, one very lucky winner will receive all the hostess rewards from the party!!

Every item you purchase is one entry into the giveaway. If you order 3 or more items, you can get one item (up to $16 in value) FREE, even if you are not a new customer! Plus orders of 3 or more items, will get 3 additional entries into the giveaway. So if you order 3 items from the party, you will get one FREE item plus 6 entries into the giveaway! If you order 3 or more items, e-mail Linda at cliptomania@ymail.com with your order details, the FREE item you want, and your mailing address to get your FREE item and your extra entries.

Share this party on your Facebook page and get another entry. E-mail Linda at cliptomania@ymail.com with the link to your post to get your entry.

If you want more details or have any questions, check out the Facebook event for the party: https://www.facebook.com/events/143359259156351/.

Also, be on the lookout February 1st for the debut of the new Flexi Clip of the Month. These usually go quick so watch out for it and don't hesitate to order if its something you want!!! The party will close on Feb 8th at 10pm (NO EXCEPTIONS). This is necessary so that you can get your orders by Valentine’s Day. To ensure Valentine’s Day delivery, request Priority Shipping on your order.

If you've been considering trying out one of these awesome clips, this is certainly a great time to do so and earn the chance to win some amazing free goodies at the same time! What are you waiting for head on over to the party and get to shopping!! Best of luck to anyone who decides to order!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

InstaLately {1/23}

Linking up again this week for InstaLately with Perfectly Imperfect.

This is this generation's version of staying up with a flashlight and a book, reading under the covers. Too bad, it doesn't work out so well when he's hiding under the blankets on Mommy and Daddy's bed!

On another note, Shaun was very excited this week to get his very own iPad! Mommy was very excited that we didn't have to pay a dime for it...here's the deal, a few weeks back, Shaun had a little bit of an accident involving water with daddy's laptop. The good news was, we'd spent the extra money to buy the Geek Squad protection. The bad news? Apparently, when you have an Apple computer, and it's been nearly two years, the replacement cost doesn't completely cover the cost to buy the new upgraded Macbook Pro. But since the hubby rarely used his laptop anyway (and instead did everything on the iPad) and had been wanting the newest version, we decided to instead get that. It was 100% covered, and we were even able to get a Lifeproof case for it as well...so now Shauny got the old version (which is actually only less than a month old, thanks to a small crack that was covered by warranty!), and Daddy got the new version he'd been wanting. And Mommy gets nothing cool...Ha! (I did inform Shaun that he had to share with Mommy, but let's be honest, in the year that Matt has had one, I don't believe I've used it once...am I the only one that doesn't really care for them at all?)

Did anyone else see NKOTB on The View yesterday morning? It made me a very happy girl! (But a little depressed when I found out their tour isn't coming to our area!)

My little jewelry tree from Dayspring was starting to overflow, making it impossible to find anything on it...I'd looked online for some DIY jewelry holders, but wasn't finding anything I loved or that would work well in the space, but I had this photo holder (also from Dayspring) and decided to try it out as a jewelry holder and see if it worked...I think I like how it turned out! It's mostly just holding the earrings and then a few larger necklaces that didn't work well on the tree, but it certainly makes it easier to see what I have!!

Shaun cuddles are the greatest. When he's awake, he constantly on the go and has no time to stop for snuggles, but come bedtime, he's the best cuddler in the world.

This was our exciting long weekend. Matt, Shaun and hubby's best friend all on their devices...all playing minecraft. Boys!

Some of Shaun's schoolwork from last week. He created this wonderful little book during Writer's Workshop. They've been having this all year long, but this is the first time he's ever actually brought anything home. Of course, it was a book about 20th Century Fox!! Mommy was so proud!

And finally, my pretty new iPhone case. Isn't it cute!?
Because Shaun got his new iPad, we decided to take an old iPhone we'd been holding onto for Shaun to play with to Verizon to trade in. We intended to use that credit towards next month's bill, but when the salesman showed Matt a helicopter that you control from your iPhone (or iPad), he was sold. So he got that and I got this pretty new case. I think I got the better end of the deal!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On The Decision To Grow Our Family {+9 Week Baby Update}

When we first announced the last pregnancy, I had said then that I would post later on the decision to add onto our family. With the whirlwind that came after with the miscarriage and new pregnancy, I never actually got to that...until now!

For most that know us personally, that announcement came as a bit of a shock. Even more so when they discovered that we had in fact been trying. For a long while, I wasn't sure about adding onto our family. As mothers, I think it's just our nature to worry...as a mommy with anxiety, I think I tend to worry more than average, and in my head, there seemed to be more reasons NOT to bring another baby into the family...

  • Could we handle another child? Shaun is a great kiddo, but he also requires a LOT of attention. He's hyper, loves to climb and often finds himself in places where he shouldn't be (like flooding bathroom, opening upstairs windows and climbing them, on top of refrigerators ..you name it!). He also has no sense of danger, so I feel the constant need to keep a watchful eye on him. Would I be able to do that and take care of another child?
  • Would our next child not get enough attention because of this? Aside from the above mentioned, Shaun also requires therapies and special school classes, etc. I worried that this attention that he required would mean we'd have less attention for the new baby, and that the child might resent Shaun for that.
  • Could we handle having another child with Autism? Already having one child on the spectrum (and believing that it was in his case genetic, as I had a brother with Autism as well), we know that we are at an increased risk of having another. This is still a big concern, and a pretty legitimate one, I think! Of course, we love our Shaun and would not change him for anything, and if Finley does end up having Autism, we will love and accept him/her as well, but we have no illusions that it could be very difficult raising multiple children on the spectrum.
  • How would adding onto the family affect Shaun? Autism and change don't play well. With our move last year, we saw a lot of behavior issues and regression. Even small things can throw him for a loop. (Last week, we had an incident on the bus where they changed his seat with no notice...for two days he kicked and screamed the entire ride home from school...just from changing seats!) A baby is a HUGE change, and we have absolutely no idea how he may react to that. At this point I am hopeful that in his enthusiasm he will do well and might perhaps even help him, but the reality is, we really have no idea!
  • How would Shaun treat the baby? Along with his tendencies of aggression, Shaun is also very...affectionate perhaps? He loves hugging, he loves kisses, he loves tickling. To him, it's all in good fun, but he also doesn't understand the concept of personal space and being gentle. This is something we are working strongly on with him, and a primary focus before Finley arrives!
  • Could I handle pregnancy while taking care of Shaun? Pregnancy with Shaun was not easy! (Is pregnancy EVER easy?) For nearly the entire second half of my pregnancy, I was on and off bed rest for issues with preterm labor. Being on bed rest with your first child, while no fun, is still pretty easy...being on bed rest with a 5 year old who requires lots of Mommy attention? Now, that's a completely different story altogether...and one that I truly hope we do not have to deal with! 
  • Could we afford another child? As a one income family, while we do okay, we are obviously on a budget. Would we be able to make that budget work if we had another mouth to feed and many other expenses that babies bring?
The list goes on...to me, it just did not seem logical to have another child. About a year ago however, a few things started weighing on my mind...

First of all, I am always talking about God's plan, and leaving things up to God. And yet, weren't we taking it out of God's control? If we were truly leaving things up to God, shouldn't we also be letting Him decide if and when our family should grow. This is something I really struggled with. It's hard for a control freak like myself to entirely hand it over to God, when the outcome is so uncertain.

We also worried about Shaun being on his own in the future. We have always said that we believe that Shaun will do well, and live and work on his own, and I truly believe that with his incredible mind, he will. But again, the reality is we really do not know what the future holds, except that Matt and I won't always be here. The idea of him being left completely alone is scary. Of course he has cousins whom he loves, but it's certainly not the same as a sibling. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2011, this really hit home. My mom is absolutely fine, as I've mentioned before, but it was still a scary time, and it meant so much to have my sisters during that time, going through that together. I could not stand the thought of Shaun going through something like that without having someone to turn to, who understood those feelings.

As you can see, the decision was not an easy one to make, and not something we took lightly at all. But aside from all the what-ifs, there were also many positive factors that played into our decision. Shaun would be 6 when Finley is born, and we didn't want a larger age gap than that. We are 3-3.5 hours from our family for another few years. Matt won't be deploying for at least 2 years... and perhaps the real kick in the butt, the Mirena I'd had since after Shaun was born was expiring and needed to either be replaced, or removed. So, after much talk, we finally decided that if ever there was going to be a right time, this was it. Though the worries and questions do still remain, I am confident that we made the right decision (and was made more confident in that decision after our miscarriage), and know that while we don't know what our future holds, we truly are leaving it up to God now, and he will take care of the rest!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11

And now, on a lighter note...a quick 9 week baby update:

Mommy: At nine weeks, Mommy is already showing more and outgrowing all of her jeans. (Stinkin' skinny jeans!). Nausea is still coming and going, and exhaustion is still constant. Not much change in that since week 8!

Baby Finley: Baby Finley is growing! He/She is now the size of an olive! Next appointment is next Wednesday, so we'll have a bigger update then hopefully! Our next ultrasound is also scheduled for February 15th. We have to do some additional prenatal screening due to genetic issues in both of our families which means another look at baby! (Mommy is slightly nervous about this appointment, but trying to leave it up to God and trusting him to help us through whatever comes our way!)

Big Brother Shaun: Shaun is still convinced that every time we leave the house it's time to go to the hospital. He's so impatient! He's excited to see that his baby is growing, and checks mommy's tummy every morning for growth. He's convinced mommy's tummy is already huge!! He loves his baby brother/sister...and still insists that it MUST be a girl.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello Big Boy {Goodbye Diapers!}

I've been waiting to be able to write this post for a LONG time. A VERY long time. It seems our days of potty training are FINALLY coming to an end. What a long road this has been...

I don't believe I've ever really gone into details here, but potty training has been an ongoing battle in this household for over two years now!! About a year ago or so, he did stop peeing in his underwear at least, but pooping...another story altogether. (And during this entire time, he was in underwear 95% of the time, because if he wore Pull-Ups or a diaper, he'd not pee in the potty either. Oh, the LAUNDRY!)  And believe me when I say, we tried EVERYTHING! He had social stories about using the potty, and being a big boy. He had a bathroom checklist with all the steps he needed to complete to get rewards like M&Ms or time on the iPad. We've offered small toys, money to save towards big toys...you name it. When he became OBSESSED with getting the 3DS, we tried letting him work towards buying one of his own. When that didn't work (and after a brief success while a friend of mine was visiting and letting him use her 3DS), we decided to buy one and let him play only if he used the potty. Like most everything else we tried, this too only worked for a few days before he decided it simply wasn't worth it.  He knew what he was supposed to do. He knew when he had to go. He'd gladly tell you when asked. He simply chose not to. He didn't care if he was dirty. He didn't care about being a big boy. He didn't care about absolutely ANYTHING that was offered to get him to go.

A couple weeks ago, that changed! Suddenly, he had the motivation and desire to go on the potty. In fact, in the past two weeks he's had just ONE accident, which barely even counts, since he caught himself and finished up on the potty! So, why the sudden change? What motivated him?

Changing dirty diapers.

Yes, I'm serious! Shaun loves gross things...anything having to do with butts, farts or poop, he's there! So when asked if he was going to be on diaper duty for baby Finley, he was immediately on board. Never in my life have I seen a child...or anyone for that matter...so looking forward to changing dirty diapers. But I told him if he wanted to change Finley's diapers, he needed to be a big boy and use the potty himself. It could be coincidence I suppose, but all I know is that immediately after I started telling him this, he was suddenly making an effort to go in the potty.

We've had temporary successes in the past, but it certainly seems different this time, and I am very hopeful that this is finally it, and that at 5 years old, we have FINALLY seen the last of the diaper aisle for my little man, and I could not be more thrilled!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

InstaLately {1/16}

Lately, I feel as though I've fallen a little behind (in my mind anyway) when it comes to blogging! I wish I could say we'd been extremely busy with something super fun and exciting, but the reality is- this pregnancy is draining every last ounce of my energy! Seriously! Was it this bad with Shaun? Not that I recall. (I was told it gets worse with each child!) But I cannot complain too much, because I know many would do anything to experience that exhaustion! We have been extremely blessed and I do not take that for granted. (I think if there is anything that can be learned from a miscarriage it is that!)

I usually share my instagram photos every week on Fridays, but since I got a little behind, I thought I'd just join in on Instalately with Perfectly Imperfect this week instead...so here's a little look at what we've been up to, via Instagram!

What's better than starting the post with a sleeping baby photo? Starting the post with TWO sleeping baby photos!! Does anyone remember that book/poem 'Cats Sleep Anywhere'? I don't remember all of it myself, but I can't help but think that the same could apply to kids! Sleeping on the dining room chair is not my idea of a comfy place to sleep...but it seemed to work well for him! The second photo was taken in mommy and daddy's bed...he looked so very peaceful, I couldn't resist! I'm sure one day it'll no longer be cute to take sleeping pictures of my little man, but until that day, I love them!!

Has anyone else heard of Stork Stack? There have been so many monthly subscription box services floating around the blog world, and this is one of them- all about babies! If you sign up for the subscription, each month, you get 5 new baby products delivered to your door. Who doesn't love surprises in their mailbox!? Anyway, this box was their Shower Stack, designed for expecting parents and coming with a book on swaddling, Earth Mama body butter, Sticky Belly milestone stickers, Wubbanub pacifier, Baby Legs and an Aden + Anais Swaddling Blanket. I think one of the greatest things about this type of subscription service is getting to try out products you might not have otherwise!! After opening this box, I immediately fell in love with...well, everything, but particularly the swaddling blanket...being the frugal *cough* cheap *cough* shopper that I am, I may have never considered these, but now...I can see why they're worth the money...they're AMAZING!
(And for the record, no, Stork Stack is not sponsoring this post, nor do they have the slightest idea who I am, I just really think this is a great service!! Seriously!!)

In other baby news, Shaun LOVES hanging out in Finley's nursery! He calls it 'Shaun and Finley's room'. See, he even added a little Shaun tough there with the Leg Lamp Nightlight!! (And in case you're thinking- TV in the nursery? This is the only other room in the house that we'd had the satellite and DVR hooked up, and we just never have gotten around to moving it elsewhere, but for now Shaun watches the news in here!)
Oh, and for those that have asked about the pom-poms: yes, there were a DIY project, but I have to admit I cheated a bit and bought a Martha Stewart DIY kit!!!

Shaun insisted we make a trip to Once Upon a Child this weekend (he likes looking at the VHS tapes), and while we were there, we discovered the Christmas outfits were marked down 75%! Unfortunately, the husband had my debit card and I had nothing but a little bit of pocket change, but I did manage to find this cute sleep sack for just around 90 cents! Too bad they didn't have any larger sizes so we could have gotten a head start for Shaun too!

Well, this photo seems random compared to everything else, doesn't it? These are mexican stuffed peppers with quinoa and blackbeans...and yes, a LOT of cheese...I may have a cheese addiction...but they were DELICIOUS!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saving On Baby {Sponsored Post: Purex Baby}

When we made the decision to add onto our family, one of my big concerns was... will we be able to afford it!? Let's face it, along with all the greatness that comes with a new baby, they also add a LOT of expenses!! Being a one income family, we're already on a budget, and knew that we'd have to readjust that budget to make it work...but thankfully, I'm also a GREAT bargain shopper. From the moment we made that decision, I immediately started searching out baby deals...consignment shopping, online deals, blog giveaway...all are great ways to save that I've taken advantage of!! (And I promise, I'll post more on that LATER!)

As a Purex insider, I was also given the chance to receive a free bottle of Purex Baby Laundry Detergent! If you have a baby with sensitive skin who requires a special detergent to be used, it can get pretty price-y....I never even KNEW Purex offered a baby variety, but I checked at the store and discovered the price is MUCH more budget friendly than many other baby detergents, and a great way to save in that area!! Like other, pricier detergents, it is specifically designed to not only get out those tough baby stains (like the poop-splosions that breastfed babies tend to bring...or at least MY baby did!!), but it's also designed to be gentler on sensitive baby skin than other detergents as well.

And to help you save even MORE on baby expenses, Purex is offering a wonderful 'Oh Baby! Sweepstakes'!!! Three Grand Prize Winners will receive $500 to help pay for those many baby needs!! I don't know about you, but I could certainly use an extra $500 for baby...nursery decor, a stroller & swing, diapers...the possibilities are endless!! AND on top of that, 250 winners will also receive a FREE bottle of Purex Baby detergent as well! It may not be as huge a savings as that $500 would be, but the way I see it- every little savings adds up!! So what are you waiting for, enter here...you can't win if you don't enter! I'm heading over myself now to try and win! Best of luck to all of you!!

**This is a sponsored post. As a Purex Insider, I received the product mentioned above in exchange for sharing this sweepstakes. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.**

Oh, and speaking of helping with baby expenses...my sweet boy was selected as one of the 25 finalists in the Ingenuity Baby Messy Baby Contest...we now have the chance to win a $1000 Babies R Us Gift Card, or an Ingeniuity Washable Playard...either way, another great savings for us...and we'd really LOVE to win! If anyone could take a brief moment to vote for my little man and help us out, we'd be forever grateful! You can vote here, once daily until January 18th!! Thanks so much in advance!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

{8 Weeks}

Showing a little bit more already! (Apparently, I'm the only one that truly sees this...though Shaun did tell me my tummy was getting big-thanks kiddo...but I'm serious...I have one pair of jeans left that fit!!)
Feeling: absolutely exhausted! Honestly, I really could sleep all day, and it seems to get worse each passing day! The nausea is coming and going, but a bit better than it was anyway...I started loading up on water and cut out soda completely and that seemed to make a ton of difference!! Hands are a little swollen, but not too horribly anyway...really, the exhaustion's the worst of it at the moment!!

Baby is the size of a raspberry. According to my What To Expect App, baby is starting to appear more baby-like!! Another few weeks until my next appointment, so really not much else to share here!
Still not any closer to middle names, a few we've come up with are-

Finley Liam (derived from William, my great great uncle's middle name-one of my greatest heroes!)
 Finley David (after my dad!)
Finley Elijah
Finley Oliver

Finley Kae (my top pick- as Mommy, Mimi and Nana ALL have the middle name Kay/e- hubby doesn't like it at all!)
Finley Grace
Finley Ann (hubby's pick)

We are open to ANY suggestions any of you may have at this point! We want it to go well with Shaun's name: Shaun Taylor, and to be very gender specific to avoid any confusion from teachers, etc (Though, I myself got the confusion as well, with a middle name like Kaye, so that may be inevitable!!)

Big Brother Shaun
With each day that passes, big brother gets more and more anxious to meet his baby brother or sister. In fact, every time we leave the house, he insists we need to go to the hospital so the doctor can push mommy and we can get baby Finley. I'm not sure how he will survive until August! He likes talking to his baby and telling him/her to grow faster! Ha! He's going to be a great big brother!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Autism & Obsessions

Showing his love of logos...literally!

I've heard it said before that individuals with Autism are just like the rest of us...just more extreme. When it comes to hobbies or interests, this certainly makes sense to me.

For the first part of his life, Shaun was obsessed with Thomas. It's not an unusual interest, many kids adore Thomas. But for a kid with Autism, that obsession can go above and beyond (or surpass the average age in some cases). For my Shaun, he had to have every. single. train. He would play with nothing but Thomas, and if he saw something he didn't have, he would obsess over it until he eventually owned it. He went through a period where he would only wear Thomas clothes. If he wasn't playing his trains, he was watching the movies or reading the books. (To this day, most of his preferred books are Thomas!). He knew every single train's name, which ones he owned and all about the various toy companies that made Thomas trains. Eventually he learned about trains beyond the Island of Sodor...what the individual parts were called, etc. He lived and breathed trains and Thomas. He still loves Thomas and plays with his trains frequently, though he has allowed himself to enjoy some other interest now as well- like Angry Birds, Pac Man and Star Wars. All perfectly typical interests, right?

Sometimes the obsessions themselves can be a little...unique! Right now, one of Shaun's huge obsessions is production companies. Never in my life have I seen a child show such an interest in them...or even pay attention to them at all. It started with a fear of movies. Anytime a new movie would begin, he'd run and hide. Eventually, we realized that if he was told who created it, he would be fine (aside from Pixar which still freaks him out- and he'll get in moods where he will ONLY watch 20th Century Fox, or ONLY Universal and runs away for anything else). From there, the obsession grew. He started telling US who made each movie. We were never sure how he knew all of them...movies he'd seen time and time again made sense, he does have a great memory, but movies he'd seen only once, or not at all...that simply blew our minds...and still does to be honest! Nine times out of ten, if you ask him who made any given movie, he can tell you accurately (when he's in the mood, of course!). It's truly astounding.

Shaun brought this home from school this week. They are working on sounding out words on their own (something Shaun is not a fan of- if he knows that it's not spelled right, he'd prefer to have someone else do it correctly than try to figure it out himself). Regardless, I'm sure he's the only 5 year old at school trying to sound out these particular words!

So very talented...notice he included the searchlights too!?

He didn't draw the lamp, but the letters were all him. One of the first times we realized he was actually able to write more than he was letting on!!

And if you thought that's where the obsession would end, you're wrong. Soon, he started wanting to watch videos on Youtube of various intros. Then he would see things that reminded him of different companies and have to have them...like a globe for Universal, a lamp for Pixar or a searchlight for 20th Century Fox.
 These days, he spends his days watching those Youtube videos and creating those logos he loves in any way he can...through legos, with playdoh, drawings...he can also frequently be found humming the 20th Century Fox theme song. Much like his obsession with Thomas, he now lives and breathes these production company logos!

Yesterday's Lego projects! Again, I'm astounded by his talent!

 An unusual obsession? Perhaps. But it's also one of those little things that makes Shaun 100% Shaun...there is no one else in this world that's quite like him, and I'm so proud to have been chosen to be his mommy. Life raising a child with Autism certainly has it's challenges at times, but it also keeps life interesting. I wouldn't trade this boy for anything in the world.

THX logo...see the little robot there!?

PBS P-Head. He loves drawing this guy too!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obligatory Resolutions Post

With the new year brings new resolutions. I know this post really should have come about a week ago or so, but honestly, I've been drawing a bit of a blank as to what I want to accomplish this year! In fact, I'm still not 100% sure, but came up with a few small goals for the year anyway!

  • Get organized. Throughout 2012, and especially towards the end, I have been trying to get more organized, and in 2013, I want to continue that mission. I am much too forgetful, and we all know pregnancy can make that even worse (and lack of sleep from a newborn!) so being as organized as possible should certainly help with that!
  • Get back in the kitchen. I've mentioned a few times before that recruiting duty, and my husband's crazy schedule has made planning family meals very difficult! Seriously! And that makes it hard to stay motivated to cook- never knowing if it'll actually be eaten, or whatever! We've depended a lot on convenience type meals and eating out...neither of which is ideal (or cheap!), so one of my goals is to get back into the swing of cooking...we may not be able to eat the meals together, but it's better than nothing!! I've already gotten off to a pretty decent start on this one!!
  • Save money. I'm a bargain shopper, so I typically try to do this all the time anyway, but I think it's definitely a good resolution to try to keep...especially bringing a new baby into the family- we all know how expensive that can be, so I hope to make every effort to save as much as possible in preparation for baby!!
  • And most importantly, prepare Shaun for the new baby!! I'm sure preparing any child for a new sibling comes with challenges, and having a child with Autism adds a unique set of challenges as well. For Shaun, one of the big ones is learning gentleness...a word that doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary at the moment! Thankfully, we have plenty of time to help ease him into this transition and hopefully make it as easy as possible on him, but it will still certainly be a focus of much of this year!!
So nothing groundbreaking here, but at least attainable, right? More than anything, after the crazy year we had last year, I just want to survive with my sanity in tact! I truly believe 2013 will bring great things for our little family, and can't wait to see what that means!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Life Via Instagram {1/4}

Based on the pictures from this week, it appears we did a LOT of shopping this week! We all had some Christmas money to spend, and took advantage of some post holiday deals! I love getting a good bargain, and this past week was FULL of them!!

Shaun's new Darth Vader slippers. Found these at Kmart on clearance for $5. Mommy had a gift card, and let him use a bit to get them...so really, we paid nothing! And he loves them!

Last weekend, we checked out one of the local malls and found the toy store there had EVERYTHING in the store marked 50% off! Shaun used his Christmas money (and a little extra from mommy and daddy) to buy lots of Lego Star Wars goodies! He paid just $40 for all of this...which is the retail value of just one set!! He's a bargain shopper like his mommy!!

Another awesome Shaun Star Wars deal find...he found himself a new hot cocoa mug at Toys R Us for just $2.50!! He loves his cocoa so mommy was happy to find him an awesome mug just for him! I didn't take a picture of it, but he also found a leg lamp nightlight for just $3 as well. A Christmas Story is another favorite of his so he had to have that too. It's now in the nursery for his baby! Silly kid!

I mentioned Shoplately in last week's frugal fashion post. It's an awesome website, much like Totsy, etc where they post awesome daily deals and offer some great referral benefits. Using those awesome credits, I was able to buy two wonderful mystery boxes last week for a total of $2.99!! They came this week and I was thrilled with what I received- 2 purses, a necklace, earrings and a ring! Not bad for that kind of price, right? And it was fun to get some surprises in the mail also!!

These are the earrings that I received. Shaun thinks they look like Darth Vader earrings and wants me to wear them at all times! What a funny, clever little man I have!!

This gorgeous necklace is from a separate Shoplately purchase. This and the watch below also only cost me shipping- $2.99 total! I'm seriously in love with this site!

And the gorgeous watch. It looks huge here, doesn't it? It's really not as large as it looks, I just have child-like wrists (and often have a hard time finding watches and bracelets that fit well). It's cute though, and I love it!!  Though I'll be honest, I still find myself reaching for my iPhone to check the time!

After our Christmas money shopping this weekend, we came home to find that baby had gotten some wonderful goodies in the mail as well. Both of these were lucky wins from a few blog giveaways! How great is that!?

This was my Christmas money purchase...for all of this (7 body washes, 2 lotions, 4 hand soaps, 3 full size sprays, 2 mini sprays and 1 triple moisture body cream), I paid just around $40, a savings of about $150!!! I was rather happy with my purchase and should be stocked up for a long while!
Unfortunately, over the last few days, morning sickness has fully kicked in and the smell of the majority of this (as well as most of my huge collection of Scentsy) makes me horribly nauseous!! Oh the joys of pregnancy...I'm hoping this phase passes quickly, but in the meantime, I still have several unscented (or less scented) soaps and lotions to keep me happy until it does!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Baby Update {6 Weeks}

(I have to be honest, I may or may not have considered using some catchy title that may or may not have made reference to a Bieber song...but I feared that could be grounds for the hubby leaving me, and well, being that today marks our 6th year wedding anniversary...we wouldn't want that now would we!? So I'll stick with the boring!)


Yesterday, we had our second doctor's appointment and ultrasound. I am happy to say, baby is looking GREAT! We were able to see a little more on the ultrasound and even hear the heartbeat briefly! The doctors say everything is looking as it should! I was measuring yesterday at 6 weeks, 2 days- putting our due date around August 26th, and making baby about the size of a sweet pea!!
We go back for our next appointment in a month (well, actually at the end of this month!), but so far so good! The doctor did however recommend we have additional prenatal screening done- between my husband and I, we had several 'yeses' on the genetic questionnaire they asked. Though the results of these screenings will make no difference to us, we will at least be prepared for whatever may come, if there is something that the tests pick up, but honestly, I'm not horribly concerned about it anyway.
Obviously, we don't know if baby is a boy or girl yet, but I will say that Mommy, Daddy and Shaun have all three been referring to baby as 'she'. We did the same with Shaun, calling him 'he' from the very beginning, we never even picked a girl's name. So we will see if that instinct is correct this time around too...such a long time to wait it seems.
We've had some people ask us if we still intended to name the baby Finley, and the answer is yes! As far as Shaun knows his baby Finley has been on his/her way this entire time, so why confuse him? Plus, I am absolutely in love with the name, and could not imagine using anything else. We are still debating middle names though!!


Taken yesterday: 6 weeks, 2 days. Yes, I'm already starting to get a little bit of a stomach! I've heard you show earlier with each child, so perhaps that's true! Nowhere near ready for maternity clothes of course, but my jeans are fitting tighter anyway!
It seems baby is doing much better than Mommy! Morning sickness has taken full effect!! I suppose I'm rather lucky that I've never actually gotten sick with it (same with Shaun), but I feel horribly nauseous all the time!! It's worst after about 2 pm...like clockwork! I've tried preggie pops, which offer some temporary relief and psi bands which didn't seem to work for me at all. I'd found that drinking more water can help, so I've been doing that the last few days and seen some improvement, but not much! I am certainly ready for this phase of pregnancy to be over!! I'm also excessively tired...seriously, I could sleep all day!! Isn't pregnancy glamorous!?

Big Brother Shaun:
Shaun is beyond ecstatic to have a baby brother or sister on the way...though he seems to be set on a sister and may be extremely disappointed if Finley turns out to be a boy! He loves talking to his baby, and 'showing' him/her everything...apparently baby can see through mommy's belly button! He loves seeing pictures through the ultrasound and especially loved hearing the heartbeat yesterday. He's a little impatient for baby's arrival, but has been told it takes a lot of time to grow. He has also agreed to change dirty diapers...an idea which he finds just hilarious! (We have told him he needs to start using the potty himself by then too!) I'm still not entirely sure how much he really understands yet, but he's getting there and we have time. At this point our biggest focus is teaching him to be gentle. He can be a bit (or a lot) aggressive, so it's going to take time, but hopefully by the time baby arrives he will learn! (If I have any readers out there who have a child with Autism who have introduced a new baby into the family, I'd love any tips you could share! He'll be 6 by the time baby arrives.)