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Friday, September 24, 2010


When we found out the Squirt was a boy, I began picturing a little man who would look like his daddy - dark hair, green eyes, unmistakeably handsome.

What I've ended up with is a child who looks strikingly like his mama. Big brown eyes and a lot of blond hair. The Squirt even has many of my faces; my concentrating face, my pouty face, my tantrum face. B Daddy was blond as a child maybe the dark hair was a pipe dream all along.

But the biggest surprise for me has been the curls. Lots and lots of beautiful blond curls.

Poor kid. Everywhere we go some stranger is commenting on how pretty he is.
He's had no less than five haircuts already but the curl is holding steady.

Seeing as how B Daddy didn't stay blond forever (obviously my blond hair is 100% natural) and that neither of us has ever had ringlets like these, I'm constantly thinking the next haircut might be the one that chops off the curl forever. Because I'll die if that happens - this post is for posterity's sake.

I hope his sister is as pretty as he is....she's definitely got some competition on her hands.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on Pregnancy the Second Time Around

1. My hip/pelvic region feels like a wishbone being tugged at by some 2 year olds. Not enough force to actually break the darn thing, but enough to make you want to scream STOP IT RIGHT NOW at someone. But yelling at your children is frowned upon, especially those still in utero, so I'm (mostly) suffering in silence.

2. I get really really sad when I realize breakfast is about to be over.

3. Sitting in an office chair for a good 2/3 of my waking day was something I did not appreciate enough last time.

4. I have no idea how far along I am on any given day. With the Squirt I could have told you how many minutes until D-Day. With #2 I find myself saying, "I'm in my third trimester. No wait, second. Yeah, second. ....nope actually third was right. Well I think I'm almost done."

5. Because of #2 I've invoked a hobbit diet: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, tea, dinner and supper.

6. Having a nursery ready has not been at the top of my priority list.

7. Having babysitters ready and finding a local Mom's Morning Out group have been.

8. I don't know if my unborn child is the size of a kumquat, a watermelon or a rutabaga. See #4.

9. I looked like I was 20 weeks pregnant around week 8. Not fun. Now at week 28 (I looked it up) I finally look like I'm only 28 weeks pregnant.

10. I adore my OB/GYN. I will sing his praises to anyone who'll listen. Need a recommendation? See me.

11. I have not taken any birthing classes or dragged my spouse to any breastfeeding classes. I know now that what comes after you leave the hospital is far far FAR more difficult than what happens in the hospital.

12. I don't wonder if I'll ever love this new baby as much as I love the Squirt. I'm the second born in my family and therefore quite self-assured that I am loved as much (if not more) than my older sister.

13. I still drink coffee everyday, but this time around it's more a matter of principle than taste. It gives me heartburn and sometimes I really have to force that second cup down. Don't judge.

14. I go to bed at 9pm. My poor husband.

15. It is still magical every time she kicks.

16. I still make B Daddy put his hand on my belly every day and ask him if he's prayed for our baby girl.

17. I still get chills at the thought of holding this baby.

18. It is still a total miracle.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You're Invited: A Modern-Day Barn Raising

You know how I've been channeling my inner-pioneer lately? (If you don't know, read veggie garden, apple canning or chicken rearing posts) Well I was struck this morning by the brilliance of a pioneer tradition I firmly believe needs resurrecting. The Barn Raising.

You remember that fabulous scene from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers where the whole town turns out to raise a barn? Of course you do. They start out building a barn and before you know it, some impromptu square dancing has broken out and by the end of the scene each Pontipee brother is paired up with his very own gingham-clad pioneer woman. (If you feel the need to go watch that scene again now - click here.)

Here's the situation:

1. We have a baby on the way.

2. She's a she and therefore the nursery needs tweaking.

3. The Squirt told me he doesn't want to share his room with a girl; so he's moving to the guest room.

4. The guest room looks like this:
5. The Leipprandts have a terminal case of can't-finish-a-projectitis. Read here for further explanation.

6. Painting is FUN! Ask Tom Sawyer.

Here's where you come in. Saturday morning, October 2nd. You have nothing important going on. Don't check, just trust me.

I'm not promising square dancing or strapping young red-headed men/gingham-clad women for those of you that help. But I'm not above promising beer, lemonade and chocolate chip cookies. Whatever floats your boat.

We're going to move some furniture, paint a room and heck maybe even sew. : ) It will be a rip-roaring time. Who's with me!? Come on now....who's with me!!?


Are you still reading?

If you're close enough to drive here and I know you read this blog, I'd better get an RSVP.

Monday, September 13, 2010

30 Things Before the Big 3-0

I've got less than 22 months before my 30th birthday rolls around and just a few things I'd like to have experienced before I enter the next decade.

Some are little things, some seem quite impossible to me right now (finances...bleh!) but they either tug at my heart in quiet moments of wanderlust, or they are things I whole-heartedly believe every self-respecting 30-something year old should have checked off a list.

I made this list waaaaaaay back when I was 26 and had not yet given birth or gotten knocked up again, so some may seem a little ambitious now... but I'd love your encouragement and accountability. And if you can facilitate any of these things, by all means give me a shout! (Any biscuit-making queens out there?)

  1. Climb Stone Mountain 11/14/2008
  2. Make a fresh omelet with an egg from my own chickens and veggies from my own garden. 08/28/2010
  3. Fill our family room with things I love - not hand-me-downs
  4. Learn how to lead climb - in the gym or outdoors
  5. Go hang gliding over Lookout Mountain
  6. Compete in a triathlon
  7. Go see the World of Coca-Cola 09/07/2010
  8. Take voice lessons
  9. Take a cooking class 07/08/2010
  10. Go scuba diving again
  11. Learn how to roll a kayak
  12. Have one of those hip family photo sessions everyone else has had 10/15/2010
  13. Give birth 05/06/2009
  14. Learn how to sew - if only well enough to make Halloween costumes for my kids 12/31/08
  15. Pull together photo albums of Hawaii, Jamaica, Australia and Grand Canyon trips
  16. Learn how to drive a stick shift (I know...tragic. Embarrassing. I know.)
  17. Perfect a divine "go-to" dinner for company
  18. Change my passport to my married name
  19. Get pregnant again 04/20/2010
  20. Visit BJ's family in Michigan
  21. Take my Grandmother out to dinner
  22. Kayak Cumberland Island
  23. Go camping with my kid(s)
  24. Drive the Blueridge Parkway in the Fall
  25. Make a perfect biscuit from scratch
  26. Clean the fridge 05/04/2009
  27. Visit Zoo Atlanta 09/11/2010
  28. Learn how to cut BJ's hair (well) 10/2010
  29. Quit my job and become a full-time mom 02/01/2010
  30. Start a blog 07/16/2009

Do any of you have a "bucket" list? A 30 Before 30 or 60 Before 60? If so, share!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to Save Big $$$ at Drugstores

I know a lot of you guys (ok, girls) are intrigued by the whole coupon thing and would love to save money on groceries. I also know most of you hate the idea of clipping coupons, "stockpiling" random food you don't need immediately and/or you only buy natural, organic, locally-grown/harvested/produced foods which are rarely, if ever, on sale or have coupons available for them.

Now I personally don't know many people who are concerned about buying organic shampoo or all-natural toothpaste. If you are, great. But if you're not...then there's a TON of money to be saved when shopping for things like Crest and Pantene Pro-V. You can easily (translation: no clipping coupons) save big money on items like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, diapers, etc. and either bank it (woo hoo!) or spend it on your "splurge" food items.

The secret my friends is your local drugstore.

Most people only visit a drugstore to fill a prescription or grab some Nyquil if the grocery store is closed for the evening. But there is a whole world of savings to be had if you learn how to play the drugstore game right. You might even have fun doing it.

Case in point- I bought all of this today at CVS:

1 jumbo pack (84 count) of Huggies diapers $23.99
1 6 pack of Scott paper towels $7.49
2 packs of Crest toothpaste $5.99
2 packages of Clorox wipes $5.00
1 Johnson & Johnson Baby Bubble Bath $4.50
1 Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion $4.50
(child not included)
Total cost of goods: $51.47

But... every item was on sale, so the total cost of these goods came down to: $41.48

AND - each of these items offered a "reward" for buying them in the form of instant money back (Extra Care Bucks in CVS language). Bringing the total down further: $23.48.

Lastly - three items had printable coupons online, for an additional savings of $5.00. That brought the total paid for this stash to: $18.48.

(There was also a newspaper coupon for $1 off the toothpaste which I TOTALLY forgot to pull out because the cashier started talking to me about potty training. That's what I get for being sweet and chatty. And for buying diapers. But you hate clipping coupons anyway, so I prefer my illustration without the clipped coupon anyway.)

Again, $18.48 folks. Hopefully you all recognize this as practically stealing. Or as I like to think of it, getting the diapers for a really decent price and the rest of it for free.

I didn't have to stockpile anything. I'll use every one of these items this week. I didn't have to subscribe to a newspaper or get out any scissors!

Here are a few links that explain much more thoroughly than I could how to work the system at several drugstores. If none of these are close to you, let me know and I'll find a site that teaches how to work the deals at your local stores!

If you're in the area and are interested, e-mail me! I would love to show you how to save like this on the essentials.

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