Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Sully survived his first Halloween with only a few tears.  Cousin Jens clearly had a great costume!  Scary!

 Ready for trick or treating...maybe.

Yes, we are definitely ready.

And in the end, he was rewarded with his first piece of candy which he gummed, chewed and then drooled out.

And he got the cutest Halloween card from Grandma Subes!

There is only one more holiday left in our year of firsts- Thanksgiving.  I am pretty sure this year has been more fun for me to watch him discover this world than it has been for him...unless he is playing with foam stacking blocks- that is pretty crazy fun.

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Dear Sullivan,

Today, you are 11 months old!  Holy cow, you almost have a whole year under your belt!  Lets see, what new things are you doing now...

Your favorite word to say is Uh-Oh.  You say it morning, noon and night.  To everything.  Your second favorite word it Dada.  Then Mama.  Then ball.

You HATE having your teeth brushed but I force it on you anyway.  Trust me, someday you will thank me.

Your personality seems too big for your little body sometimes.  You are constantly testing limits and you are so very nosy (just like your Mama). 

You speed crawl when you see something you want.  I love picking you up after work as I am always greeted with a smile and a speed crawl.

You are very good at walking around furniture but you have yet to take a step without taking a digger. 

You are a master at going up the stairs...but not going down them.

Some days you will suddenly decide you hate to eat things you normally love- applesauce, puffs, chicken and apples.

Your bedtime is a consistent 6:45 pm.  You are sleeping a bit later in the mornings now (around 7 am).  You still get up once for a bottle at night.

Still working on that sippy cup and the solid food.  Some days are good, other days you want nothing to do with either.

No more formula for you!  You are drinking real milk but you are very offended if it is cold so we have to heat it up or you will thrash and push it away and refuse to drink it.

You must, must, must sleep and nap with 2 blankies.

I dressed you up for daycare today since you will not be there tomorrow or Monday.  You didn't even care that you were the only one in costume!  Such an easy going boy!

Happy 11 months my little frogger!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Susie Homemaker

Yep, thats me, just call me Susie Homemaker.  Why?  I will tell you why.  I made TWO dinners tonight, not one but TWO, I tell you!  The one we are eating tonight is turkey burgers and pasta salad.  But first, I whipped up a batch of cavatini this afternoon. 

One batch will be cooked tomorrow night for dinner and the other I popped in the freezer for another day.  If you are like me and don't typically freeze meals, click this link for helpful tips for freezing pretty much anything. (Thanks again Kaiti!)

While I was slaving away in the kitchen, little Mister was busy exploring...

Later, he was being silly with his sippy cup...

And then he was faking actually drinking from the sippy...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I am very green at this whole photography thing.  I am just learning how to use my camera off of the auto setting.  I am also learning just how expensive this photography hobby can be!  My next two wants:  50 mm lens and an external flash, both cost a nice chunk of change.  However, until I can save enough for these items, I am doing some Photoshop and Picassa photo editing.  These are only the free versions that I am using as I don't want to have to spend hours editing my photos and I would like to trial some editing programs before I actually invest in one.

I took these pictures a few days ago and edited them in Picassa.

It was an absolutely beautiful fall day today so I decided to capture some pics of my favoritest subject outside, without my flash.

(I did not edit this one, above, at all)

There are two different versions of the next photo.

Again, I used Picassa to edit these.  I know I have a lot yet to learn but it is fun learning something totally new to me.  Have a fantastic Saturday, Go Badgers!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I know, enough about me and Sully, right?  Sorry, I vowed I would not be that parent that constantly talked about how great my kid is or whipped out a brag book or a slew of pics on my cell phone on a daily basis but I was unaware of the effects a baby would have on a mostly normal person.  I simply did not know that your brain and being changes.  It must be partly some kind of lasting damage from the lack of sleep or hormone shifts that cause this change.  Or maybe it is some psychological assault from the mere experience of labor and delivery.  I don't know, but something happens.

Suddenly, a baby's cry is not simply an ear-piercing annoyance but a need to be met.

Your dog, who you thought you loved more than life itself and you would surely die if something happened to her, immediately takes a backseat to this new, tiny passenger.  And you forget all about her outside on a hot day until your neighbor has to ring your doorbell to tell you she thinks your dog is "thirsty."

Now you are a part of the "parent club".  All of a sudden, you can relate to every single other parent on the planet that has a baby your baby's age and you could talk to them forever about your current daily routine.

Not everything is so black and white and there are more shades of grey than I thought, and more shadows.

Vacations don't seem so appealing at the moment as it is hard to peel yourself away from this new little being.

And just like that, your husband is a father.

And you find him wrapping your baby up in a towel after bathing him saying cute things like, "We gotta wrap you up like a bundle of joy"...

And you find your baby having the same humor and facial expressions as your husband...

And you see how gentle he is with your most precious cargo...

And everything is different, better, the way it should be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


One of the blogs I follow had a post about friends...and it got me thinking. 

I have been fortunate enough to have several long-term friendships.  It is fantastic to have made friends with such wonderful people so early in my life.  It really has been fun to share my life with them and I am truly grateful for their support and laughter when I needed it. 

But friendships are not a given.  They don't exist just because you want them to.  It takes work and compromise and persistance because we all change as we grow. 

Some friendships are easier than others, probably because both people are putting effort into the friendship.
Some friendships are hot and cold depending on life's circumstance.
Some friendships are brief.
Some friendships are forged under a common experience.
Some friendships simply fade.

But they are all necessary and needed.  They all lift you up, fill a need, give you support, teach you something, allow you to be you, make you feel connected and validated.

Unfortunately, our friendships are usually the first to give way as life gets busy.  Somehow time gets away from us and we find ourselves not keeping up our end of the bargain.  I think this is inevitable at certain times in our life.  Life is hectic, energy wanes, days seem to get shorter and days melt into weeks which melt into months which melt into years. 

However, when things settle down and you find yourself having "friend time" available, you may be able to pick up with some of those old friends (along with some new ones you pick up along the way) that will understand that life happens.  And they will be there to support you and give you a laugh or whatever you may need at the time.

Thank you to all my friends, old and new.  I need you and I appreciate you.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Ah, yes, a new piece of art for the home.  I made this today between mini baby boy tantrums, naps and messy mealtimes.  I saw this on Pinterest, a fantastic website that is a virtual bulletin board that you can "pin" your favorite things onto.  The person on Pinterest was somehow, via some sort of computer program geniusness, able to organize her letters and numbers on the computer to have it all printed out as one solid sheet.  I, for lack of time and patience, was not able to figure that one out so I just printed the letters/numbers out on photo paper, cut them out and pasted them together.  Then I stuck them in a $1.99 Goodwill frame and called it a day. 

(Don't look too close, I have some trimming and straightening to do)
I don't know where I will put it yet, maybe in the entryway?  I don't know yet.  I am sure the hubs will be so excited for yet another homemade art project for the walls.

This really should not have taken as long as it did but, as any woman knows, when you are multitasking 14 things at once, things take longer to finish.  In lieu of this little gem's creation, we will be enjoying a delicious oven baked frozen pizza for dinner.  Ta ta!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


We had what you might call an "unwanted guest" at our house today.  Actually, he has been here for awhile but Sully didn't know it.  He goes by Dino and we inherited him from Clayton's grandma, Neva.

Unbelievably, he got ahold of Sully's keys.

Sully felt pretty helpless.  All he could do was watch from a safe distance.

And you would not even believe what Dino got next...

That's right, his bottle.  Sully could hardly look.

I had never seen him react to something like that before.  He has NEVER been afraid of anything before.  He didn't cry but he would climb all over his Daddy or Mama when we would press the button, making Dino sing and move and he certainly would not go over and take his keys or bottle away from Dino.  Of course, the hubs and I were giggling like kids at this whole situation.  Makes me wonder how he will act when he meets Santa Claus...

Come on BREW CREW!!!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Busy Boy

Here is Mr. Busy in action.  You will hear me (yes, that annoying background voice) trying to get him to say his most favorite word, Uh Oh.

And here he is playing ball.  Usually he is laughing hysterically when you are playing ball with him but of course he is not when I am taking a video, go figure.

I feel like lately everytime I see him he is morphing into a mini real person everyday.  He is just becoming so independent.  No, I don't mean he is cooking his own food and doing his own laundry.  But he does not depend on us for constant entertainment, moving from one task to another or from one room to another.  I think I am supposed to feel sad about this, that he is not a "baby" anymore but....I don't.  (Of course he will always be "my baby", don't be ridiculous)  I truly don't feel sad because everyday he does something new or says a new word or remembers to close the garage door as I am carrying him into the house, I am learning more about his personality....and I am in awe.  I love him more as everyday passes, the more I know about him, the more I love him.  So no, I would not go back to his newborn days, I prefer to move forward and learn more about this amazing person.  I had no idea how enjoyable it would be to watch my child grow and learn.  I can't wait to see what he does next!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin bust

It happens, a lot actually.  When I take on a project or think of something neat to try and it just doesn't pan out.  Here is my latest one.  It involves chalk board paint and pumpkins.  I love chalk board paint and I love pumpkins, so why not put them together?  I got some decent sized pumpkins and cut out some stencils to place on them.  Here is where the project started to go awry.  The stencils would not stick to the pumpkins with my adhesive spray so I just had to hold them in place.  Then, the edges of the stencil were not long enough and some of the paint got outside of the stencil, onto the pumpkins.  See below.

I put two coats of the paint on, as that is the protocol for anything that you use chalk board paint on.  I let them sit over night.  My next step was to draw on the pumpkins with chalk.  Again, another difficulty arose.  If I pressed too hard with the chalk, it chipped the paint off the pumpkins so I had to be really careful with the chalk.  I did eventally get my BOO and spiderweb finished but I think in the future, I will skip the chalk board paint and chalk and just use black and white paint.

At least I got a pic on this cute little bug that has been hanging around my house for the past 10 1/2 months...

Sunday, October 9, 2011


In case you are wondering if I know, I actually do.  I really do know just how lucky I am.  That I am living the life I am, with my wonderful little family.  Every single day I am thankful, don't think I don't think about that, because I do. 

This is a post about infertility. 

I am not posting about this for sympathy or any "I'm sorry"s or as a pity party.  This post is for those who have gone through infertility or are going through it or may someday go through it or who knows some one who is going through it.  Because the most helpful, comforting thing for some one who is going through it is to TALK about it with some one else who also has journeyed through or is enduring the pain of infertility.

I always knew I wanted kids.  In fact, I thought I wanted 4 kids, all before I was 30.  It is very possible that if my husband would have wanted kids sooner, we would have been parents long ago and maybe even several times over, maybe.  But he was not totally on board the baby train and I had goals and dreams which included lots of schooling so I was content keeping busy with achieving my goals, as well as living a charmed social life.  I thoroughly enjoyed my 20s, our 20s, living selfishly just for us.  However, as is the case with so many other women, as that 30th year marker was approaching, I started getting anxious.  I started wanting a child or children.  And, call it intuition, I had a feeling that I was going to have trouble getting pregnant so I wanted to get this "show on the road."

I finally convinced the hubs it was time and he agreed.  I stopped my birth control in February 2009.  I was 29.  The first few months were fun, exciting.  But one month turned into two, and two into three, until it was August.  At that time, I decided to see my doctor because I only had one cycle that whole time.  My doctor had thrown out the possibility that I had PCOS so she did some hormone and insulin testing.  A few of my labs were just slightly off so she suggested I start Metformin, a diabetic medication, which would get my insulin and blood sugar levels under better control which would, in turn, get my other hormones aligned which would allow my body to have regular cycles.  I was excited to start this and so happy some one was actually helping me achieve my most important goal.

Unfortunately, the Metformin did not achieve the desired effect and I still was not getting cycles.  Before I knew it, it was November and I turned 30.  My 30th birthday was rough.  Even though I had accomplished so much in my life- happily married to my soul mate, bought a house, earned my BS and MSN and had a job I actually liked, I could only focus on what I had not yet accomplished, becoming a mother. 

In January 2010, I saw a different doctor to talk about fertility medication.  She thought that clomid would help since my problem was that I was not ovulating- no ovulating=no baby.  Great, lets start the clomid!  Just one thing, the hubs had to be tested before they would give me the meds.  What?!?  You mean, he has to.....oh no, he will never do that!  So I made the appointment for him and went home with my head down knowing there was little chance he would agree to such a thing.  In the end, he eventually did it and they let me start the clomid. 

I will just say here that, yes, we did consider adoption, and still do to this day as an option to grow our family.  Adoption is a long process and we thought we would give the clomid 3 months before we started the adoption route.

So I was ready to start the clomid but you can't start the clomid until you have a day 1 of your cycle so I had to take 10 days of progesterone to induce a period.  (I had already taken several courses of this in the past months to try to "jump start" my system with no success)  Then I had to take clomid on days 3-7 of my cycle.  I had to take estrogen for several days after that.  Then I had to get blood drawn at certain days of the cycle to see if ovulation actually occurred.  It showed I did not ovulate in the time frame they thought I would, but I did later than they expected.  I did not get pregnant that first cycle but at least I had a cycle- big accomplishment!  They upped my dose of clomid for the second cycle and success!!!!  It happened, in April 2010 I found out I was pregnant!  You know the rest of the story so I won't elaborate from there.

The day I found out I was pregnant, one of my best friends called me to tell me she was pregnant.  She had known she was pregnant for a week and partly didn't believe it and, I think, partly did not want to tell me because she knew I was having trouble.  It was crazy and I said, "yeah, and I have something to tell you.  I am pregnant, too!"  I am sure a lot of people thought we "planned" it to be pregnant at the same time and have a baby at the same time, but I assure you, that was not the case!

With any difficult journey you take in life, I think it is important to learn something from it.  What did I learn and take away from the experience?
1- no one can say anything to make you feel better about it, especially statements like "you just need to relax" or "oh, it will happen" are NOT helpful.  Also not helpful "God has a plan" or other variations of trusting in God.  I am not a religious person so statements like that are not comforting. 
2- it does not matter if you have been trying for 3 months or 36 months, wanting so badly for a child and not being able to have one is painful all the same.
3- I am acutely aware of just how fortunate and lucky I am and I will never take that for granted.


Dear Sully,

You had your first french fry today...and you loved it!  I am starting to see the power of snacks...


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Yes, another post about fall.  There is just something about it, something in the air that...wakes me up!  It jolts me alive after the humid days of summer have lulled me to sleep for too long.  I want to be outside, have a bon fire, go to a football game, drink hot chocolate, wear hats and scarves.

But I think the reason I love it so much is because it reminds me of home, of being a kid and of my parents.  My mom went all out decorating for every holiday and the entire fall season.  Fall reminds me of the love my parents had (have) for my brother and I and the home they had worked so hard to make for us.  I find myself being very nostalgic every fall but even more so now that the Sullymon is here.  I want to make memories for him, for us. 

Memories of going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, haunted houses, mittens and scarves, cozy blankets, hot drinks in mugs, roars of crowds watching a ball fly through the air, the sound of leaves crushing under feet, the smell of cinnamon, the taste of apples...

What does fall mean to you?  What is your favorite fall memory/tradition?

Monday, October 3, 2011


I don't know why but I have been all about the bunting banners lately.  I think it is the fact that they are so simple and so classic.  If you don't like the typical fall decorations or colors but still want to do something festive for the season, a bunting banner is perfect.  I made this one out of some leftover yarn and crafting paper I had laying around.

I even made a little one for the boy's highchair to put up for his first birthday.  This one is made of yarn and felt (I know, felt is kind of gross but it looks good).

They are so easy and versatile, anyone can do it for any occasion.  You can save them and reuse them year after year, like I plan to do with the big one I am making for Sully's first b-day party or throw them away and start fresh next year.  They can cost next to nothing and would be a great craft to do with kids. 

Happy bunting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin patch

Today was the day I have dreamt about for YEARS!  I got to take my child to the Pumpkin patch!!!!  We went to Schuster's Farm near Deerfield with most of the hubs family.  Unfortunately, the boy was having a rough day and a bit crabby but we still got some cute pics;)

The flat white pumpkin is my fav.

Adorable pouty face:)

Where's the baby?

Cousin Sean and Auntie Hilary in the cornmaze.

Lost in the cornmaze.

Obligatory cousin photo.

Sully and Daddy.

Sully and Mama.

After the pumpkin patch, we all headed to our house for the Brewer playoff game (WIN-yay!) and Wisconsin vs Nebraska (WIN-yay!) game later that day.  There seems to be a rivalry amongst family members, this should be fun in the coming years...

And finally, besides Dada and Mama, Sully's newest word is Uh-Oh.  Too cute.  Have a great Sunday!