Jody managed to get a LOT done in cleaning out our garage this weekend. I wish I would’ve taken a “before” pic so you could see the difference with the “after” pic (which I haven’t taken either), but c’est la vie. Believe me, it looks 100x better than it did.

I helped a bit too, but spent a lot of time rifling through a box I discovered labeled “Amy’s crap.” It was a box of stuff from my youth – we’re talking toddler years through high school and beyond. Oh my! What a trip down memory lane that was.

First of all, I used to be a HUGE pack rat. I still am to some degree, but not nearly as bad as I was. I saved letters from friends from over 20 years ago! It was fun to read through hard copies of letters since nearly everything is done virtually now. There was no way I could’ve sat down and read through them all, though it would’ve been fun. I would probably still be sitting in the driveway if that was the case. I did read a few though, before tossing the whole lot of them into the recycling bin. (Eep!) One was from my childhood friend Melanie Langridge and was dated April 12, 1987. Yes, a 20-year-old letter! A few others I read were from an old guy friend (who was never a boyfriend, though I wished at the time that he was) named Steve Goodman and dated back to 1992. He was trying to give me advice (which I asked for) regarding my boyfriend at the time and whether or not I should go away to college or stay closer to home. It’s funny because I pretty much followed his advice and went away to school, but then was so miserable missing my boyfriend for two years, I moved closer to home to finish school, and, wouldn’t you know it, broke up with the guy. It’s funny how things all work out.

It was fun to see all of those old letters which didn’t even include the large bag of “notes” I have stashed in the basement from friends in middle school and high school. Oy. I save so much.

But anyway, after I dumped them all into the recycle bin yesterday, I laid awake in bed last night having serious remorse at my decision to go cold turkey. I reassured myself that the recyclables won’t be picked up for another week and a half and I can always go retrieve them if I change my mind. Call me crazy, but I’m actually considering it. When you think about it, how cool is it to have letters from old childhood friends from sooooo many years ago? But then again, what do I really need them for? I haven’t looked at them in God knows how many years, so why hold onto them?

I still hold onto cards and letters that Jody and I exchanged and plan to keep those. But do I need letters from people I am no longer in contact with? Where should I draw the line? How much is too much?

In that box of “Amy’s crap” I also discovered some old toys, stickers and sticker albums which I held onto (some I will give to Ava) and some of those little picture things from amusement parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island. I don’t know if they still do this, but do you remember when you’d go to an amusement park and they’d take your picture with your friends as you came in, then later in the day you could go buy an overpriced little key chain picture viewer thing with your photo in it? Anyway, I came across five or so of those and kept them. They were fun to look at. :)

So yeah, basically Jody cleaned out the garage, while I took a stroll down memory lane. ;)

We nearly filled up the dumpster, plus filled up our paper recycling bin, and took a bunch of cardboard to the recycling center. And I really did do some work. I “Freecycled” a few bags of stuff yesterday and today and have more items to list and get rid of this week. Plus we got a new Shopvac-type vacuum and Jody vacuumed up all of the mouse crap and there was no sign of any more live mice. After months and months of battling those little breeders, I have to say hooray!

In addition to the garage cleaning, we had a couple of people come to give us estimates on redoing our bathroom. And Grandma spent a lot of time watching the kids, as well as cleaning up other things around the house and yard. Thank God for grandmas to help out!

All in all, it was a VERY productive weekend. :)

Oh, and we never did get that snow that was predicted. We had two gorgeous weekend days – in the 60s on Saturday and in the 70s on Sunday. Sunny and beautiful!

busy week ahead

My mom arrived in town tonight to spend the next week plus with us. She hasn’t seen the kiddos since Christmas and, boy, has Julian changed a lot in 3 1/2 months. He can hold his head up, roll over, play in the exersaucer, and eat his toes!

Ava and I had been counting down the days until her arrival for just over a week now. I would tell her “Grandma will be here on Thursday.” And she’d reply, “This Thursday?” Then as the day of her arrival grew closer I’d say, “Grandma will be here in three more days” or “two more days” or “tomorrow,” etc. And she’d say, “this three more days?” or “this two more days?” or “this tomorrow?” hee, hee. I’m not sure she grasps the concept of time just yet. ;) At any rate, they were both happy to see each other again.

Since my mom will be here to help out with the kids, I have a lot planned for this next week. Now we just need to cross our fingers that Julian warms up to Grandma quickly. :)

— We rented a dumpster from the city so Jody and I can properly clean out our garage. Of course we will recycle and freecycle what we can, but some stuff (like stuff that’s been ruined because of the freakin’ mice we had) just needs to go to the dump.
— We’re getting our air ducts cleaned out (finally!). This is only about 6 years overdue. They recommended we do it when we bought our house. Oops!
— I’m hoping to do some painting in the house.
— I have an eye appointment scheduled for myself. I haven’t had my eyes examined since I was pregnant with Ava, so I’m definitely overdue. I am really looking forward to getting some new specs.
— I have a hypnotherapy appointment for myself as well. I’ll likely write more another time about why I’m going, but there’s some thing(s) I feel I need to work on and I’m hoping this will help me. The woman I’m going to see is the same one who taught my Hypnobirthing classes when I was pregnant with Ava. I also saw her during my pregnancy with Julian to do some fear release work (to get rid of some fears I had been carrying around from Ava’s pregnancy and birth).
— I might try to sneak out for a haircut too. I could use a change or a trim at the very least.
— Jody and I celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary on the 20th, and we’re hoping to have a dinner out alone.

And I’ve got some fun stuff for Ava and Julian planned too.
— We’re hoping to go back to visit the goat dairy next week if the weather cooperates.
— And go to the museum for arts and crafts.
— And maybe go to the farm too, again, it will depend on the weather.

I mention the weather because we’re expecting to get several inches of snow (that’s right, SNOW) tonight and tomorrow. Ahh, gotta love it. It’s actually supposed to be back into the 50s and 60s for the weekend though, but then rain is in the forecast for next week, so we’ll see what happens. :)

He loves me, he really loves me

Just another reason why I love my husband, Jody. He nominated me for two “blogger’s choice awards” – Best Parenting Blog and Hottest Mommy Blogger. <blush> Isn’t he a sweetie? It’s either that or he’s buttering me up for something. ;)

If you’d like to vote for me, please click the buttons below. Thanks! :)

Oh, and just for the record, you can vote for numerous blogs in each category, so just because you already vote for one blog for “best parenting blog” (or whatever) doesn’t mean you can’t vote for another.

donating breast milk

Julian’s first nursing

I wrote a few weeks ago that after learning that the freezers at the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Denver were very low, I had been considering donating my breast milk. I decided to go ahead with the screening process (which is quite thorough, let me tell you) and finally got my paperwork completed and mailed off yesterday. Now I wait for them to review it and, if I qualify, call me to come in for a blood test and to pick up my loaner breast pump from them.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to have had an ample supply of breast milk over the past nearly three years and to have grown one child on it as well as my 4 1/2-month-old who is, of course, still thriving on it alone. I am happy to now have the opportunity to share my milk with other babies in need.

If you are wondering in this day and age, with formula readily available, why milk banks are so important, take a look at this article. The majority of milk from the milk banks goes to babies who are sick or need milk because of medical conditions such as formula intolerance or feeding issues related to prematurity.

Milk banks exist because many babies will not thrive without human milk. Infants with failure to thrive (FTT), formula intolerance, allergies and certain other medical conditions may require real human milk for health and even for survival.

There’s also some very interesting information here about the history of milk banking, including information about the history of wet nursing and artificial feeding (i.e. formulas).

If you are interested in donating* your milk, please visit Human Milk Banking Association of North America to learn more and find a milk bank in your area. Or if you are looking for a worthy place for your tax-deductible donation, please consider making a donation to a milk bank. Milk banks are non-profit organizations and depend on community and private donations to keep the doors open.

Thank you!

*Please note that they require your baby be no older than 6 months when you start donating, so if you are interested, please don’t delay in starting the screening process.

Grosser than gross

Remember those old jokes – What’s grosser than gross?

I’ve got a new one.

What’s grosser than gross?
When your baby spits up down your v-neck shirt leaving a literal puddle of spit-up in your bra.
Say it with me – Ewwww! Yep, glad I didn’t bother showering today!

What’s grosser than that?
When you know you probably won’t get a chance to shower until later tonight at the earliest.

And on the topic of liquids coming out of babies’ mouths, I was holding Julian up on the couch with me while Ava played with him as she sat on the floor. All of a sudden she gets up to go get a burp cloth and says, “Julian drooled in my eye.”
Be thankful it was only drool, honey.

Best Shot Monday – 4/9/07

I didn’t take many pictures this week until Saturday when we dyed eggs and Sunday, which, of course was Easter. However I still came up with a few that I’d like to share. :)

Here are a few of my favorites from Easter day:

We did our Easter egg hunt quickly outside in the snow (yes, snow!) this year.
Here’s a storyboard of Ava searching for eggs:
Ava’s egg hunt 2007

My beautiful girl:

Sweet, tired boy:

Flying high and loving it:
Julian flying
(Unfortunately, there are a ton of technical things wrong with this last photo, but I still love it because Julian was having such a blast as daddy tossed him in the air.)

Now go take a moment to visit Picture This to see everyone else’s best shots for the week. :)