Saturday, August 29, 2009

Misc. Monday

Dominic meet formula-This past week we started Dominic on formula. I was very, very hesitant at first but my goodness did we pull a 180! I nursed successfully for 9 1/2 months, it was time, for both of us I believe. My day is SO much easier! He can hold his own bottle and feed himself which saves me 20 or so minutes at least. Most of the time I can put him in the pack & play or his crib (on a boppy) with a bottle and he puts himself to sleep. Wow. I just can't believe how easy that was! He absolutely has no interest in nursing any longer which in the same breath is a relief to me because I KNOW when he wants me to hold/cuddle/love on him it's not because he's hungry or tired. He's actually been much more affectionate with me this week. I'm very proud of myself for giving Dominic everything of me that I could, because he is my everything. And please don't take my excitement of weaning to mean that with baby #2 (not for a while) I wouldn't nurse because as of now, I wouldn't change a thing. The bond & time spent with him was something unexplainable, sacred and unattainable by anyone but he & I. I wouldn't change a thing.

Dominic & his feety jammies in the morning

O-H...! I can't believe I'm typing this because I've been looking forward to this since January..Ohio State Football officially begins on Saturday!! It's a part of the year that gives me chills. Yes, I realize I'm a girl but darned if I don't tear up at every OSU sports montage that I see on ESPN. I'm so glad that I married someone just as passionate about Buckeye football as I am. We even bought Dominic his very own Tressel vest onesie for this season and Lou & I plan on our annual "new Buckeye shirt" outing this week. I can understand if there are readers out there who don't live in Ohio to not quite understand...but c'mon...growing up 20 minutes outside of Cleveland has been heart-break city and the Buckeyes have rarely failed me. I was blessed to have a younger brother who played for the Buckeyes, allowing me to attend almost every home game and even THE GAME in 2006 against the "team up north" and go to Arizona for the BCS Championship.

Dominic and I last OSU season!

Browns-I understand that this is preseason and I also know that we live in the city known for "the drive" and I can remember squirting pickle juice on John Elway's picture in our local paper. Dominic has his very own Brady Quinn jersey to match his mommy (Daddy has a Jim Brown jersey) and will be rooting for his home team this season. I'm an underdog fan, and feel as if we've been the underdog for YEARS, so...Here we go Brownies Here we go!! Woof Woof!!

School-My classes are very tough. It's hard to get back into the swing of things *as I've stated before* but day by day I am recalling information that I learned over a year ago. I have high hopes that I might start clinicals in the fall! There is a 2 year waiting list but I have all my pre-requisites done after this semester and hope to be chosen to start in August of '10. ::Crossing fingers:: I've been studying like crazy and trying to re-teach myself the information that I learned in Spring of '08. If you didn't know, I currently hold a 4.0 gpa and as much as I hope to continue this trend..I'm realistic enough to know that I just want to PASS Cross Sectional Anatomy.
Dominic crawls!-Our little guy is now very mobile. He all of a sudden crawls and pulls himself up onto EVERYTHING. I spend most of my day chasing him around and scooting him back from things he shouldn't touch. His new favorite toy seems to be the air conditioner vent where he takes his trucks and rakes them back and forth. Dominic is also a LOT more vocal now a days. He's constantly calling out Mama, Dada or Baba! It's amazing to see the changes in him day to day. He still does NOT have teeth-but (broken record) they are RIGHT there just trying to cut through! The poor kid is drooling up a storm and grabbing at his ears & jaw. Let's just hope he doesn't have Mommy's teeth-I had braces and one too many orthodontic procedures to get my smile.

I'm very much looking forward to this weekend and a LONG weekend at that! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Show Us Your Life-Wedding Showers

This week focused on Bridal Showers and ideas for showers. I've been to many showers and have seen some really unique and creative touches. I was a lucky bride and was thrown two bridal showers!
-Not sure why the pic uploaded this way-
The was VERY large.
My mom & Becky threw me this shower at a Metroparks location. You can tell by the mounted animals on the walls haha! The scenery outside was beautiful though! My bridesmaids were so kind and each brought a dish for the guests. Sarah is to the right with her chocolate, chocolate, peanut butter brownies!
Opening up gifts, my younger sister Anna was in charge of gathering the wrapping paper.
We registered for a lot of board games! We now have an ample supply for friends & family fun! By the way-I think the running Scrabble score between Lou & myself looks something like this:
Brooke=315, Lou=1 ;o)
My sister in law, Anna also threw me a garden themed shower *all in our wedding colors of sage & pink*. She is so crafty! We had angel food cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and punch. The favors were adorable. Anna hand painted flower pots and had chocolate flowers sticking out of them! The whole shower was gorgeous up to the tiniest detail (like the cute, embroidered table cloth).

I also wanted to add a couple creative ideas I've seen at showers, unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share.

*Couples Shower-my dear friends Jesse & Leann had a couples shower complete with many couples games..most of them were embarrassing but very fun!

*My sorority sister, Jessica had games kinda going on during the time she was opening gifts. So WE were getting gifts while she was as well. She also had a booklet on each table with questions to ask each other, everyone took a turn. This helped the guests get to know each other! Loved that!

These are just a couple of the unique & creative touches that I've been honored to be a part of. Thanks for looking! :)

3 Words Thursday

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

This is sort of a cop out post but I wanted to share a motivational mindset that I try to incorporate into my daily life. We all have or should have motivational quotes or things that drive us. This is from the book, The Present, by Spencer Johnson which I received as a Christmas gift from my Brother Marty several years ago.

Three Ways to Use Your Present Moments


When You Want To Be Happy and Successful
Focus On What Is Right Now.
Use Your Purpose To Respond
To What Is Important Now.


When You Want To Make The Present Better Than The Past
Look At What Happened In The Past.
Learn Something Valuable From It.
Do Things Differently In The Present.


When You Want To Make The Future Better Than The Present
See What A Wonderful Future Would Look Life.
Make Plans To Help It Happen.
Put Your Plan Into Action In The Present.

This mindset keeps me focused on living in the present moment and to treat each day with a purpose. It reminds me to learn from my mistakes in the past so that I don't make them in the present day and motivates me to stay focused on my goals to ensure I acheive the future that I want. I often slip from this goal but I can rally behind it by focusing on what I'm doing now. I constantly think ahead and plan for the future which doesn't allow me to enjoy the present moment as much as I should. What I like about this mindset is it creates a good balance between planning for your future and dwelling in the past.

Another good quote that I like is, "Determination Today Leads To Success Tomorrow." This motivational quote drives me to work hard knowing that I'll reap the benefits in the future. If you have a motivational quote or mindset you live by feel free to share it in the comment section.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just poppin' in!

I'm really busy with school (I know, I sound like a broken record) but I wanted to pop in and add some pictures & update a bit. I'm hoping after tomorrow I will have a better grasp on what to study and how to approach this semester. If anyone, ANYONE, has any tips on Anatomy & Physiology II, and Cross Sectional Anatomy I'd appreciate it! haha! It's hard to get back into the mindset with the medical terminology. Apologies! The Jet Express has arrived and is docked in our neighborhood! This can take us to the Islands of Lake Erie! :) And we can WALK home!
Dominic, so proud of himself for taking every.single.toy out of his toy box. I started to put them back in and he started to cry! How dare I mess up his masterpiece!
Teary eyed smiles...still no teeth--but they are VERY close!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taking a small break..

I know that I haven't been keeping up with our blog schedule--as I blogged on Monday, I began school on Tuesday and am a little overwhelmed with getting back into the swing of things. Forgive me if I take a break to get organized and start getting on a good study schedule. Take care everyone! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

I’m keeping this blog post short today. I’ll come up with some interesting topics for next weeks post. Here are a couple things that’s on my mind. OSU Football and Big Brother 11. I love college football and can't wait for the season to start but until it does I'm wrapped up in a little show called Big Brother. The season has been crazy and the 24/7 feeds have been worth it.
Buckeye Season

In just 17 days the Ohio State Football season begins in Columbus against Navy. This is my favorite time of the year. For me nothing beats Fall weather and football season. OSU has some big names to fill from last year, Beanie Wells, Laurinaitis, Robiskie, Hartline, and Jenkins. With all those players to replace we still have Terrelle Pryor coming back. He was amazing last year and should be much better with a whole year under his belt. I’m not saying we’re going to play for a National Championship this year but we should win the Big Ten and earn a right to play in the Rose Bowl. I like that OSU schedules other big schools early in the season. We should know where this team stands after the USC game in 24 days. Go Bucks! OH…

Big Brother

Last Thursday’s episode and the live feeds after the show played out exactly as I had hoped. Jessie went home, Chima had a meltdown, and the power shifted to the good guys (Jeff, Jordan, Michelle). Chima quitting the show maybe throws a little wrinkle in for Production to overcome but it was worth it. Lydia and Natalie’s reaction after Chima left was ridiculous. Lydia was worse than Natalie but she was silently egging her on.

Kevin, Natalie and Lydia have concocted a lie to tell Jeff and Jordan that Russell and Michelle have a final 2 deal and that Russell is planning to go after Jeff next week so Jeff and Jordan should backdoor Russell and keep Natalie and Lydia. This “lie” isn’t totally fabricated because Michelle and Russell do have a final two agreement but neither are really targeting Jeff and Jordan and are set on being in the final four with them. I’m hoping Jeff and Jordan keep the plan to evict Natalie, then Lydia the week after and take Kevin to the final 5. Paranoia is setting in on what I thought was a tight final four of Jeff, Jordan, Michelle, and Russell. It’s really sad how these HG have reacted to the Coup d’etat being used. Jeff summed up Chima, Natalie, and Lydia’s reaction the best when he said, “When you’re playing Monopoly and you land on Boardwalk you don’t rip up the board.” It’s just a game and they should have remembered that.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Misc. Monday

I'm not going to post too much-my mind is flooded with preparations for class starting on Tuesday for me. Dominic will, for the first time, be away from me from 8:30 am-5:30 pm one day a week. Thankfully, we found a wonderful babysitter and I'm very confident that she will treat Dominic with love & care. Dominic will also be beginning to "wean" from me this week. 9 months was 3 months past the goal I had and I think that I am just ready. So this week is pretty much stress filled and manic. ::Cue "Just another Manic Monday" song:: We had a wonderful weekend, it was HOT (95 degrees!) and humid, Lou & I got out of the house to attend a Summer party hosted by some dear friends. It was GREAT to get out together again. I'll just add some pics for you to enjoy....Oh and I want to give a shout out to Lindsay Y. who reads our blog! HI!!!! :) Friday Dominic & I went to the swing park to enjoy the nice weather. I love this park, it's right on the shores of Lake Erie.
Saturday we went to the pool together. Dominic is such a fish in the water (just like his Daddy).
Sunday we went to the Sunset Festival at Lakeview Beach-it was a lot of fun. Dominic really enjoyed all the bubbles! But we couldn't stay!
Me, next to the GIANT roses! Mind you, I'm 5'9''
The two keepers of my heart! So cute!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Show Us Your Life-Vacations

This week focused on vacations, Lou & I have traveled to quite a few places together but we had such an awesome time in Las Vegas that I had to "re-live" it again through pictures. Lou had a convention there in June of 2007 and I got to come along (for just the price of a plane ticket) and bathe in the desert sun! :) Thanks for stopping by & enjoy! Also--check out the new "Show Us Your Life" header!

We stayed at Ceasars Palace, it was beautiful & so much fun!

After Lou won a bit of money on roulette, we celebrated with drinks on the strip!

We were on such a high from the winnings *I had lost all my $ in 20 minutes, yes you read that right* Little did we know, the following night would have a different feeling. Roulette was NOT kind to us! lol

I miss my long hair!

The amazing water fountain show.

At this time, we had a saltwater aquarium at home complete with seahorses so we had to have a picture next to this aquarium. (Our seahorses and everything else died weeks later)

How I spent my days while Lou was in meetings.

The strip

Ceasars is just gorgeous, there is so much to look at. I just loved Vegas..3 days was not enough but at the time, it was a perfect getaway from wedding planning and external stresses. Sadly, we watched the Cavs lose in the NBA Finals while in Vegas-the same night we had an unlucky night in gambling. I can't wait to go back and redeem myself!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nine Months Old!

I can hardly believe I'm typing these words..Dominic is officially NINE months old! As in..3 months away from being One year old. Time is truly flying by. Dominic is up to all sorts of shenanigans these days:
*He says Mama, Dada, Baba, and kinda sings. It's super cute-he also talks up a storm while in a shopping cart at the store.
*He's scootin' along (as Louie blogged yesterday) and starting to kinda crawl. He's very fast and interested in everything!
*He claps his hands a lot and raises them up to be "Sooooo Big!"
*He can pull himself up onto things. Which is usually to get the remote or a cell phone (two things I refuse to let him play with)
*He's eating three solid meals a day. Oatmeal in the morning, Fruit & Veggie for lunch and Veggie & Meat for dinner. Stage 2.
*He can easily finger feed himself foods.
*His favorite toys seem to be books, blocks and trucks. He drives his trucks all over the walls and then uses them as hand roller skates. haha!
*As of today, he is still without teeth but they are VERY close and he's been tugging at his ears all week. They're a' comin'!
*He loves his puppies and I'm happy to say that TJ & Sadie are very patient & gentile with Dominic. They let him pull at their tails & them around and even give them a few slaps to the head. (I'm trying to teach him to pet nicely)

There's so much more I could write, he changes so much every day! :) I'm looking forward to watching my little guy grow & learn more each day. He's so amazing!! As for the picture, I had planned on using a "beach" theme this month-but he's never worn these cute turtle overalls *If you know me, you KNOW I loooove turtles* and I just think he looks precious in them!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

To crawl or not to crawl

Dominic is pretty much mobile now. No he’s not quite crawling but he has mastered the art of scooting on his butt. He can scoot at blazing fast speeds around the house. We’ve cleared out extra space in our living room and usually bait him with his favorite toys. He’s close to crawling but at this point I think he’s realizing two things. 1. He hates being on his belly and 2. He can get from place to place scooting on his butt so why crawl. Now that he’s mobile we started putting the outlet covers in place and are making sure the gates are up on our steps. We’ll be slowly baby proofing the house which is something I haven’t looked forward to as there are many expensive safety gadgets to get. Maybe he’ll just skip crawling and go right to walking. Stay posted.

My Wife, Our Life

A couple weeks ago Brooke and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We had only dated for 14 months prior to our wedding so have been together for a little over 3 years now. I am very lucky to have Brooke in my life and appreciate all she has done in raising our Son and being a good Wife to me. These last 3 years have gone by fast. It’s refreshing that we’re both 27 and have, God willing, many more years ahead of us even though I’m quickly realizing it will go by very fast. It’s realizations like these that bring my focus back to the present. I strive to live in the present and appreciate each day we have together. It’s easier said that done since I am a big planner and am always thinking of the future and what needs to be done to accomplish our life goals and life style we hope to have as we go along. I’ll never regret the time I spend with my Family and will continue to strive to cherish each day we have together.

Must have book

Brooke and I bought “The Calorie King Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counter” book from Target last weekend. This book gives nutritional information on items in the grocery store and items on the menu at Fast Food and other Restaurants. Here are some fun facts from the book. The suggested calories for weight loss for an active male are 1500-1800 and an active woman is 1200-1500 calories. The actual weight of packaged food is usually 5-10% more than the label net weight and in some cases up to 50% more. The calories on the back of the package are based on net weight so when you think you’re eating something that’s 2.7 oz it’s actually 3.6 oz and more calories than you thought. The maximum daily fat intake for someone who is eating 1800 calories is 50 grams of fat. If you eat fast food you would blow through 50 grams of fat without even trying. Let’s pick a moderate value meal at BK. A double cheeseburger has 510 calories and 29 grams of fat and medium fries have 360 calories and 20 grams of fat. That meal would have 870 calories and 49 grams of fat which is your daily intake of fat for the day blown in one meal. This book opens your eyes and really educates you on what you’re eating.

Big Brother

Here is my ideal episode for Thursday. Jeff uses the coup d’Etat and replaces Russell and Lydia on the block with Jessie and Natalie. Hopefully Jessie goes home but I wouldn’t be too upset if Natalie goes home either. After Jessie goes home hopefully Jeff, Russell or Jordan win the next HOH and will nominate Chima and Natalie. I think Jeff will use it because he’ll feel obligated to use the power America has given him and will not want to let the Fans down. I’m also a little concerned Russell is starting to get on everyone’s nerves and the HG will turn on Jeff for saving Russell. This may not be too bad because Jeff would gain Russell on his team and Russell will go crazy on the other HG seeking revenge for how they treated/ignored him this week. This should take the heat off Jeff and will hopefully keep him safe.

A side note from last nights episode on the 24/7 feeds there was a long break after Chima called Russell a terrorist. She quickly back peddled and said he was terrorizing people in the house. Chima is a hypocrite for all the crap she gave Braden in week 1 for being a racists when she is no better. I’m curious if Jeff replaces the nominees does he still get to vote and/or does Chima now get to vote. Chima has vowed numerous times to go off on the live show if the Coup d’etat is used to take Russell down. She has warned the producers they better have a long delay because she will wreck their live show. Thursday should be one of the best episodes of the season!

T minus one week..

A week from today I start classes again. I've been dreading the semester for two reasons:

1) I haven't taken an Anatomy & Physiology class in over a year (and I have TWO this fall, plus a lab!)
2)Most important, I have to leave Dominic with a babysitter for an entire 9-5 day.

I am ready to have that time away from Dominic, even though I'll miss him terribly. Having a nursing infant doesn't leave me a lot of time for myself. But I do worry about Dominic. He is quite clingy..but that doesn't worry me. I think he could warm up to a sitter. My main reasons that scare me is the fact that he has only fallen asleep on his own a handful of times. He usually feeds/nurses to sleep. So much so that when he's tired and sees me..he scoots himself up to me or tugs at my shirt. This is a lesson that I have definitely learned not to do with baby #2. I've begun to give Dominic more solid food in order to get him nursing less-and it's seems the only times he wants to nurse is..ding ding ding..when he's tired. Now before you suggest we let him "cry it out"....ask anyone who has seen this kid cry. He holds his breath and his lips turn a shade of blue. He will literally make himself sick. And the times we have tried to let him "cry it out"...HOURS would go by. I don't even think Dr.Ferber himself could help us. I just can't put a babysitter through that. It's heart wrenching to see.

Which brings me to the next issue I'm facing. Dominic will fall asleep with a bottle. But a bottle of what? I've been trying my hardest to get somewhat of a pumped supply but it seems that Dominic's schedule has kinda weaned himself. I can't possibly pump enough for Dominic to have in a full bottle. I've been trying Fenugreek with no success. I know formula isn't poison..I just didn't want him to have formula-that was MY personal goal..*no offense at all to formula feeders* But it's looking as if we may have to give him formula at some point. I don't even know what brands are good or anything! haha. I'm going to call our pediatrician to see about maybe giving him watered down milk, water in the bottle, or formula. Any suggestions?

School related, I picked up my lab manual today and it looks like I get to work with a cadaver this semester!!! How exciting!!

And I can't leave you without some pictures! :) Dominic splish splashing in the pool! It was 95 degrees last weekend!
He's finally playing in the Pack & Play
He's thinking about it......::see below::
Too funny!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Datenight/Belated Anniversary Celebration!

Lou & I have really been slacking on our goal to have one datenight a month. I really wanted to see Rascal Flatts in concert last summer, unfortunately I was pregnant and sitting on a grassy hill (they played an outdoor concert) was not going to be very enjoyable for me. I love the idea of sticking with traditional anniversary gifts as well. The first year is paper-I put together a scrapbook where I will add one page a year summing up our year. We also decided to add a second paper gift--Rascal Flatts tickets for this summer. We recently celebrated our "cotton" anniversary by purchasing new shirts to wear to the concert! Worked out well! :) Friday night was the concert I had been sooo looking forward to! We also purchased a ticket for my best friend, Becky's birthday so she was in, along with her friend Micah. We also decided that sitting on a grassy hill wasn't going to be as fun as sitting in the pavilion. The concert was everything we had hoped it to be-we all had such a great time! Oh and did I mention that this was Lou's FIRST concert! He loved it! I couldn't bring my camera into the venue so the only pictures I have are from before the concert. Happy Anniversary to Us! :) A little pre-concert tailgating--$10 beers aren't cheap!
Me, in my new shirt & earrings (I never wear dangly earrings but am now a BIG fan!)
Beautiful Becky, Micah & I
Becky & I. :) It was so great to have some adult time with her again!

The "Cotton Couple", Lou enjoying his very first concert.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Show Us Your Life-Reception & Honeymoon

This weeks tour focuses on wedding receptions & honeymoons. It was tough this week to try and choose which pictures to post without having 500 on here! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Arriving into the reception, fresh from the beach as you can see on Lou's shoes! I worked so hard planning the reception to transform the venue. I literally lost my breath when I got my first glance--it was perfect!

We had tiered seating for our bridal party. It was nice to be able to look out and see everyone-and for everyone to see us.

Becky giving her speech. I had vases set up next to each bridesmaid that they put their bouquets in...instant table decoration! I also used a lot of candles to decorate. It felt so romantic.

Instead of a guestbook, we had everyone sign this matted photo. I thought it was a really fun & unique idea. It's still funny to go back and read some of the kind words from our friends & family!

Another shot of the table vases & the name cards we made for everyone. They were attached to a wedding bell.

Time to toss the bouquet! Why was my 10 year old sister (at the time) trying to catch it!? haha!

Becky caught totally wasn't fixed...::wink wink::

It looks like we're arguing..but no..Lou went to get the garter and then came out saying he couldn't find it! haha

Jason caught, errr, tackled & wrestled others for the garter!

The hundreds of jello shots we made the night before for the dollar dance.

We honeymooned in Jamaica..Sandals resort Ochos Rios...highly recommended!

It was so beautiful there.

This was my favorite photo.

In the pool, we spent soo much time here (and at the swim up bar!)

Oooh I forgot...we upgraded our tickets at the airport and were able to fly to Jamaica in first class!!! A first for us both! Oh you can also see that I chopped my hair off the day after our wedding.

Tiny bottles of Bacardi...FREE! ::Cheers::

Could it have been any more perfect? I finished the last Harry Potter first class!