Thursday, December 10, 2009

They're big...they're bad...but they're not ugly.

Josh's 5 year checkup -
47.5" tall (2 inches OFF chart - he's the size of an average 7 year old)
52 lbs. Seriously. I'm going to get a hernia if I lift him again.

Sadie's 15 month -
23 lbs (5oth %ile)
32" long (90th %ile)
And as usual, her head was off the chart. But I knew that - I had to cut the neck of an 18m shirt yesterday to get her giant melon out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tonight's bedtime routine

1. Put Sadie to bed.
2. Thought the dog had a mouse; let out blood-curling scream. Woke up Sadie. Repeated step 1. (Note: not a mouse - just a rawhide chew.)
3. Opened very, very, very old sippy cup of milk which exploded in my face. Promptly threw up. Cleaned mess and self.
4. Stepped in dog vomit on the way out of the bathroom. Slipped and fell. Shrieked. Woke up Sadie. Again.
5. Cleaned mess and self. Again.
6. Repeated step 1. Again.
7. Put Josh to bed. FINALLY.
8. Dangerously close to putting self to bed. What a freaking day. Except that wasn't even a day - that was like 15 very, very long minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy birthday, Sadie

09.09.09*, Sadie turned one. How can that be? I though Josh's first year went fast, but with the two of them running around like mad people, this year just flew. So what's new and exciting with my beautiful princess?
  • She has been walking for months. Seriously - almost two months. She's fast as lightening. It's scary.
  • She is chock-full of attitude. She's a spicy one. But we knew that from the beginning. She's got a mind of her own and she's stubborn as hell. I don't mind so much - the apple doesn't fall far, know what I mean? I may eat those words when she's a teenager, but for now, I enjoy how feisty she is.
  • She's little. Well, by normal standards, she's perfectly average. 50th percentile, average. But by Ross standards, she's teeny tiny. Except for her head, which continues to defy odds in the 97th percentile. As my sister ever-so-affectionately said, she's a lollipop.
  • She still is her brother's biggest fan...the more obnoxious he is, the more she encourages him. I find that mildly annoying.
  • She's happy. So happy. Cheerful, loves people, engages total strangers everywhere she goes. She works the room at church on Sunday - traveling from person to person, holding hands, making eye contact, them moving on. It's pretty impressive - one day she'll be dangerous.
  • I just can't imagine life without her.

*Yes, dude, I know. More than two weeks ago. And as much as I scoffed at the people who said "With your second, ..." They were right. It's not because the first was more important, by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that having one can be rather dull - and my first slept all the freaking time. So I had a lot of time to blog, write baby books, make albums, whatever. This time around, not so much.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ten Years

Originally uploaded by sjross
Isn't it sad that our life has gotten so busy that I didn't even find 10 minutes to acknowledge that we've now been married for TEN YEARS.

Happy 10th babe - it's been amazing. I'm so very thankful for my life with you and our children. I'm so glad I get to spend the next ten, twenty, fifty, forever with you...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What a day!

Sadie turned one.

Josh started school.

and we got a dog.

I suspect that tomorrow will look rather dull by comparison.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Take a hike

A brief, and rather blurry, cell phone video...mainly for the grands that haven't seen Sadie walking yet. She still looks like Frankenstein, but she's got it about mastered.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been two years. Sometimes it feels a million years away, and sometimes I feel like I just got punched in the stomach.

Isabel's death & birth have changed me forever, and I can't ever again be who I was. Sometimes I want to go back, to undo it, to skip over that part of my life. But then there'd be no Sadie. So I can't...instead I'm stuck in the middle. Isabel is there and she's not...and that's the way it will be forever.

And I'm learning to live with that, somewhat comfortably. For now, that's enough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

5 things that I have said during the course of today's nap...

...that I really, truly, never thought would come out of my mouth:
  • "No, I will not smell your finger."
  • "If it itches, you need to go wipe again."
  • "Let go of your penis and put your head on your pillow."
  • "Don't make me come in there."
and lastly...
  • "Would you like some Benadryl?"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Captain Awesome

Captain Awesome
Originally uploaded by sjross

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Round #2

Well, the deals were so good this morning that I went back for more:
  • 10 Edy's ice cream singles (because, umm, hello - $0.19 ice cream!)
  • 2 Diet Cherry Cokes (drank one OTW home!)
  • 2 Dry Idea deodorants
  • 2 boxes of Kashi TLC cereal bars
  • 3 boxes of Post Trail Mix Crunch cereal
In total, I spent $5.04 and I got a $5 ECB reward at CVS, so that's a net cost of only $0.04!

Man, I love a bargain.

Today was a very satisfying shopping day. Between Target & CVS, I hit the motherload. I bought:
  • 8 boxes of Eggo Bake Shop products
  • 2 Keebler Fudge Shop cookies
  • 2 boxes of Kashi waffles
  • 2 boxes of Kashi crackers
  • 2 boxes of Kashi cereal bars
  • 4 boxes of Kashi cereal
  • 3 boxes of Post Trail Mix Crunch cereal
  • 2 packages of Nexcare bandages
  • 2 Dry Idea deodorants
  • 4 single-serve Edy's ice creams
I spent a total of $22.50. There are an additional $15 in rebates & ECBs, so my net cost is only $7.50! I am pretty pumped about that, especially about all the Kashi products! I just might go back tonight for more...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Excuse me while I back-date

Sorry - I realized that I didn't enter this info, and one day, I will want it, and will have lost the paper because I lose pretty much all scraps of paper. So in the interest of preserving info for a baby book I will most likely never make, here are Sadie's 10 month stats.

28-1/4" long (5oth %ile)
19 lbs 8 oz (50th %ile)
And as usual, a 95th percentile head.

It's very strange to me - she's average-sized, but looks so little. That's because her brother is so gigantic. My perspective is way off...

At any rate, she's cute and wonderful. Full of personality, loves people, is crawling way too fast, standing & cruising, FINALLY sleeping through the night, extremely curious, and stubborn as all get-out. I'm thoroughly enjoying having a girl.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogging is so last year.

I've fallen off the blogging map, big-time. I don't mean to sound whiny here, but 2 kids! School's out! I'm totally having a Jesse Spano moment - there's nooooo time!

I'm finding it easier to tweet and Facebook. (Oh, that's so obnoxious - I just used a noun as a verb.I hate myself.) It's just more manageable to produce 140 characters at a time. I'm less funny in paragraphs.

So, in 140-character bursts, let me update you on our life as of late:
  • Sadie has 8 teeth now. EIGHT TEETH. She drew blood while nursing. I'm not sure how much longer I can nurse. I fear the vampire baby!
  • Josh is at VBS all week. Thank the LORD! He's only been home for 3 weeks but Oh. My. God. It takes twice as long to do ANYTHING!
  • Bought an inflatable pool yesterday. I figured out why it was on clearance - it's the EXACT yellow-green that bees love. SWARMS! Duck & run!
  • My beautiful, wonderful, quirky little niece is 5 years old and changed overnight. It gives me hope - so far 4-1/2 is pretty much killing me!
  • Sadie was sleeping through the night! 12 hours! Then we went on vacation. Not sleeping through the night! Waking up at 12 & 5. Am resentful.
  • Hey, did I mention vacation? Virginia Beach...full of awesome. Ocean, lame museums for the boys, and did I mention ocean? Loves it.
  • My brother-in-law turned 50. Happy birthday Peter, we love you! I'm so glad to have an ally in the fam when everyone is all high & mighty.
  • My baby sister turned 30. That made me feel old - older than when I turned 30. Because I am older - gee, I'm smart.
  • We've been camping 3 times in the last 4 weeks. Two kids in a tent. It's interesting, to say the least. I ate way too many marshmallows.
So that's my June in a nutshell. My Flickr stream is chock-full of supporting have to be my friend to see the pics - so if you're not, send me Flickr mail and as long as you're not creepy, I will happily add you.

That was easy. Maybe Twitter is on to something after all...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So big!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First/last days

First/last days
Originally uploaded by sjross
Same outfit, 8 months later. Completely different face, lots more arm sticking out. He looks more like 2 years older to me...

Boys with diplomas

Boys with diplomas
Originally uploaded by sjross

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bad boys

Bad boys
Originally uploaded by sjross

Friday, May 15, 2009

Adventures with boys...

This has been quite a year for Josh. We started school with a broken arm, and now we're finishing with a black eye. Josh tripped and fell on the climber at his preschool playground (obviously he has my sense of balance) and landed just right. And kaboom - he looks like a prize fighter.

I suspect with this full-contact boy, it's the beginning of many similar adventures...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Growing song

Growing song
Originally uploaded by sjross
From Josh's preschool concert last night. The audio is bad and that guys head is in the way, but whatever...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Singin' In the Rain

Singin' In the Rain
Originally uploaded by sjross

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Walgreens this week

Transaction #1
Skintimates Shave Gel - $2.99
OOP = $3.13 (on a Wags gift card)
RR earned - $3

Transaction #2
Edge Infused Shave Gel - $2.99
-$3 RR
OOP = $0
RR earned - $3

Transaction #3
Physician's Formula Bronzer (40% off this week) - $8.39
PF Foundation - $7.19
-$3 RR
-15% off coupon (for Earth Day)
OOP = 10.24
Submit to Walgreens for $11 rebate AND $7.13 PF rebate

Final OOP = -$4.76

CVS this week

Okay, so I started w/ ECBs so it's not quite fair, but here's what I did:

Transaction #1
Natural Dentist Mouthwash - $6.99
Edge Infused Shaving Cream - $2.89
Bayer Advanced Crystals - $2
TOTAL = $11.88
-$2.00 ECB
-$2.00 ND coupon
OOP = $7.88
ECB Earned = $8.89

Transaction #2
Dove Skin Vitalizer - $4
Natural Dentist Mouthwash - $6.99
TOTAL = $10.99
-$3.50 Dove coupon
-$2 ND coupon
-$4.89 ECB
OOP = $0.69
ECB Earned = $4

TOTAL OOP = $8.57 (but I used a prescription gift card so really nothing OOP)
TOTAL ECBs remaining = $8

And on top of it, there's a rebate for the ND mouthwash - $10. So that means I will have spent -$1.43, and will have $8 in ECBs. Pretty sweet!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Delayed vaccine schedule

Because a few people have asked, here is the delayed vaccine schedule we developed. We tried to minimize the mercury Sadie gets, eliminate ones that we felt were too new, too risky, or unnecessary, and still meet all of her kindergarten entry requirements. Obviously, this is somewhat contentious and not everyone will agree with us. But for what it's worth, here's our schedule in all its glory.

Here's my schedule:

2 months – DtaP
4 months – DtaP
5 months – HIB/Pc
6 months – DtaP
7 months – HIB/Pc
9 months – HIB/Pc
12 months – DtaP
15 months – Polio
18 months – HIB/Pc
24 months – Polio
36 months – Hep B, Polio (Can be done at the same visit, or Hep B can be given earlier to avoid two-at-a-time)
39 months – Hep B
48 months – Varicella AND Hep B, Polio, DTaP (These three are all boosters – do them one-at-a-time over the course of the year so they’re all complete before kindergarten entry.)

What’s not listed here is MMR. Currently, Merck is not producing them separately. IF they do not resume production, I will do MMR at 42 months and a booster at 5 years old. My reasoning is that autism is always diagnosed by age 3, so if I wait until my child is 3-1/2, I’ll be less concerned about that. IF Merck does go back to producing them separately, I will do the following:
Mumps – 12 months (separate visit from the DTaP)
Measles – 27 months
Rubella – 42 months

I used a few things as references - Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book, the AAP's delayed vaccine schedule, and a great blog I found. If you have questions about how or why we did what we did, please email me or leave a comment and I will answer as best I can.

If you use a delayed schedule, you have to be completely responsible for staying on top of it! My doctor's office didn't double check one of my appointment dates and we got a Hep B shot two weeks too early - now Josh has to repeat that one :(

I learned my lesson, and now I keep my printed schedule in my diaper bag and set up reminders on my Google Calendar w/ each vax date and what we need.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

So long, Sasha...

We have to put our dog to sleep tomorrow. It's really, truly one of the saddest things I've ever done. I have had pets my whole life, but I was never particularly attached to any of them - Sasha is different. She was my dog - I picked her out and brought her home, an 8 lb teeny little runt that was smaller than the bone we bought for her to chew.

Only six years later, she's 85 lbs and just as energetic. She's happy, sweet-tempered, and an absolutely wonderful companion for Josh. And she's going to die tomrrow. It's absolutely gut-wrenching...but unavoidable. She's started to develop symptoms of a congenital problem that all her littermates had...every one of them died pretty horribly, and they were fairly dangerous while sick. It's a risk to the kids, and selfish to put Sasha through it.

I'm so very sad for us, but much, much sadder for Josh. We've not told him yet - I was just fondly remembering when we took his binky away and he never even noticed. I don't think this will be a similar is going to be rough around here for a while. Pray for us if you think of it - she may be furry, but she is still very much a part of our family, and going to be very much missed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Clark Kent reporting...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Entertaining Sadie

Video 22
Originally uploaded by sjross

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is my good friend Daedra's new business. If you're around Wednesday night, check it out!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Black churches are full of awesome

Seriously. FULL of awesome. You just don't see this in white churches. Bummer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Weekly free grocery roundup

I've turned into a coupon clipping fool lately...I'm so competitive that it's become a rather fun challenge for me. I'm relying mainly on this blog to find deals.

This is what I got completely free this week:
  • (1) Crest toothpaste - regular price $2.29
  • (3) Coffee-Mate flavored creamers - regular price $1.50/each
  • (8) Johnson's Buddies soaps - regular price $1
  • (1) Irish Spring shower gel - regular price $4.49
  • (3) Betty Crocker Warm Delights - regular price $1
  • (1) Cascade rinse agent - regular price $3.94
Total value of free stuff = $25.28!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

6 months old

16 lbs, 15 oz. (70th percentile)
26.5" (75th)
And I can't remember the head measurement, but it was in the 97th percentile!)

Blogging is so last year...

Ugh. I'm sorry. Facebook is so distracting and close enough to blogging...I'm afraid this is falling by the wayside. I owe some pics, but first I need to TAKE some pics...

Josh is 6 months into preschool, and having a grand old time. Over-the-moon crazy about superheroes, can't go a day without some sort of costume, spelling and reading like crazy, and begging to play t-ball. How do they get so old so fast? Hard to believe. He's so interesting...his brain works so differently from mine...I thoroughly enjoy talking to him and the convoluted ways he thinks. Such fun.

Sadie is 6 months old already! It's hard to even believe...She's traveling across the room in a strange hybrid rolling/pushing with her toes/worm scoot. She sits in a tripod, eats cereal, veggies & fruit, and umm, doesn't sleep. I shouldn't say doesn't, but compared to her brother, woooh, boy! She's a power napper and a midnight snacker. Not so much fun. And she USED to sleep at night, people. So what's up with that? Actually, come to think of it, she might have slept through last night. Now I can't remember...I am getting to the point of being somewhat delirious from the sleep deprivation, and maybe blocking out some events so I don't get a grudge. At any rate, sleep or no, she's perfectly wonderful. Remarkably good natured, and loves loves LOVES her brother and dad. Me too, but I'm definitely #3 around here. And I'm okay with that.

Photos to come...hope all is well with you. We're watching for Spring with great anticipation, looking forward to leaving our cocoon soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Truth About Plastics

Contrary to what the FDA told consumers, bisphenol-A (BPA)—a chemical commonly found in hard plastic bottles—is not safe at current levels, according to a new report by scientists at the CDC, EPA, and three major universities. That’s disquieting news for the 93 percent of Americans who already test positive for the toxin. Reduce your exposure by limiting your intake of canned foods and learning what the numbers on plastics really mean.

Source: Best Life magazine, February 2009.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Do you have a will? If you have children, in particular, this is critical. I have a good friend whose husband died way too young, without a will, while she was pregnant with their 2nd child. It was a shocking experience - devastating for her and her then 13-month old son. She pushed me then to get a will - we didn't have one at the time, and I'm ashamed to admit, we still don't. That is the #1 thing on my list of things to address this year.

Suze Orman just made it a little easier - get her online Will & Trust for free - yes excuses now! - Here and click on the "Will and Trust kit" (left side of the page.) Enter the gift code People First.

Thanks to Frugal Coupon Mom (one of my new heroes) for the info.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 Months Old

Originally uploaded by sjross
How can it be? Time has seriously flown by...and yet, here she is. Sadie is 5 months old today!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How many insects did you have for breakfast this morning?

The answer may surprise you...the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has adopted Grade Standards designed to protect American consumers from inferior agricultural products. The standards set legal limits for spoilage or contamination due to insects and other agents. The highest grade is "U.S. No. 1".

In order to qualify as U.S. No. 1 Grade, the commodities listed below cannot exceed the following limits of contamination:

Ketchup -- 30 fruit fly eggs per 100 grams
Canned corn -- 2 insect larvae per 100 grams
Blueberries -- 2 maggots per 100 berries
Peanut butter -- 50 insect fragments per 100 grams
Curry powder -- 100 insect fragments per 100 grams
Wheat -- 1% of grains infested
Sesame seed -- 5% of seeds infested
Coffee -- 10% of beans infested
Yum...extra protein!

Long time gone...

Sorry I've been so absent. We've had a crazy, busy, overwhelming month or two. I've also had a dirty little secret that completely flipped me out for pretty much all of December and a good chunk of January. There's a lot of back-story here, so excuse the long ramble.

Sadie had issues nursing when she was born - a weird suck pattern from sucking on her ENTIRE hand in utero. I spent a few hundred bucks on lacation consulatants, talked to MANY people on the phone, and saw the pediatrician quite a few times. Ultimately, none of them could sort it out. I still wanted to nurse her, so we ended up in occupational thereapy. We did that for 6 weeks, and by the end, she was nursing like a champ.

BUT my OT red-flagged us with another issue. She believed that Sadie had a "low tone" issue, and because of her somewhat traumatic birth (dirty secret #2 - I had an emergency c-section, but that's a story for another day) she was concerned about cerebral palsy. And despite her saying that I shouldn't worry about it, I worried. I obsessed. And oh man, did I Google. And that's pretty much all I did for a month.

Each visit, she'd call in a different physical therapist for a second opinion. Each time, the PT would say they didn't see anything. But the OT was on a mission. So she called my pediatrician, who also freaked out and called us in because she thought she'd missed something.

Ultimately, the ped didn't see ANYTHING. She called in other peds from the practice, who all agreed with her. Bottom line - the OT was wrong. And Sadie is totally fine. And I'm breathing again.

We want our children to be perfect - and take every imperfection personally. I also have had way too much emotion resting on Sadie's surviving and thriving because of Isabel. I've compounded the pressure on her, and on me, I think to somehow prove that we're okay, we've moved on, we can do it. Not fair to either of us.

I had a major breakthrough in January. I feel like I was literally picked up and set down on a completely different path. Off a path that was full of fear, dread, worry, anxiety. And set back down on a road that's free from that. As Martha says, it's a good thing. So here's to a new year filled with a new, functional me. Hurrah for breakthrough :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blame Beyonce

A rather amusing article from China Daily:

Beyoncé's song 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' could lead to economic collapse, according to scientists.

A study carried out at New York University has found that songs with a more regular beat coincide with volatility in the American financial markets.

Phil Mayim, a professor of finance and risk engineering, has studied the Billboard chart for decades and found that low "beat variance" songs had an "inverse correlation with market turbulence", reports The Guardian.

"If it's a steady beat, the same beat, no matter if it's fast or slow, that's a low beat variance song," Maymin told PRI Radio. "[But] if [the song] starts off slow and becomes fast and comes back down, that's a high beat variance."

The last market crash coincided with the release of A-Ha's 'Take On Me', which had a "steady beat". Meanwhile, songs with more complex arrangements were more popular at times when the market was less volatile.

"The correlation is pretty strong," Maymin concluded. "The turbulence of the music predicts the steadiness of the market."

Beyonce's 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' is currently at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

And just because I can't ever think about Single Ladies without Shane Mercado, here he is:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Congratulations Ryan & Christy

Mr Ryan and Christy Mack
Originally uploaded by sjross

Friday, January 9, 2009

Four Months Old

Originally uploaded by sjross

Thursday, January 1, 2009

smile, sadie!

smile, sadie!
Originally uploaded by Meagan Vanover
Pic taken by my sis while we were up north. She looks SO old here!