Friday, February 25, 2011

Banners, Signs, and Neon Lights OH MY !!!!

To say I was thrilled when Build-A-Sign contacted me about blog sponsorship is an understatement.  I have about a million things that need printing. They offer everything from banners, parking signs, real estate and commercial ply wood signs to super fun and funky neon lights. . . . to pick which items to use as my product review was a struggle. I chose to go with Vinyl Banners since I have had a few project on my to do list ... well... they've been there a long time!!!

I am in the process of launching my Estore Keeks Mageeks and plan on doing a round of farmers markets, trade shows, and local vendors. I knew I needed some signage so that was first up on the list. . . .
I wish I had a camera that would show you guys just how great this banner looks....  I had a set digital banners that I have used for all of my business cards, websites, and ads, so I wanted something that looked similar, but that was , in Emeril's terminology, "Kicked up a notch...... so BAMMMMMM" The colors are rich, and dimensional. The photo upload quality was amazing and to say that I'm happy with the banner is a no brainer. It's the prefect size, 3 feet x 6 feet. and I will be taking it with me everywhere Keeks Mageeks goes :o)

 The second item I chose to get printed was a birthday sign for little man. Nothing says happy birthday like an 8 foot by 4 foot HAPPY BIRTHDAY BANNER. Plus both the hub's and little man's first names are the same... so... two for one :o) voila.

The design process was a piece of cake. You can upload your own images. As shown in my Keeks Mageeks Banner. They have a million different fonts, colors, and clip art. The balloons on the birthday banner, as well as the stars on Keeks Mageeks were all uploaded from their clip art Gallery. The image quality is amazing, the final is strong and thick and will stand the test of time. . . .

Basically . . .. If you can imagine it... you can print it.

Another thing that completely won me over was the Customer Service. The contact person there at build-a-sign, was awesome. The original picture I chose to upload wasn't the best quality and instead of letting it print and come out pixalated (is that a word) she contacted me and let me know that the upload quality wasn't the best, and did I want to change pictures? I will definitely be a repeat customer, and can't wait to dream up other items to get printed :o)

***Legal Smegal*** I was given these banners for review purposes and to include a text link in the post, however all opinions are my own.

Adios Mis Amigos,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Quest to Rock... Seriously this time

It's a standard running joke in this marriage about my uncanny ability to start a million and one things and finish exactly 1 of them.

In the over three and a half years we have been married, my to do list has contained some pretty hefty goals. I can count on one hand.. nope ... don't even need a whole hand to count the things I've finished. (not counting little man obviously because I was kind of a spectator to all of that, luckily my body took over and there was not a darn thing I could do about that one :o)

Here, in my happy land of blogging, I started a quest and I'm determined to Rock it!!!

It's my Quest for domesticity. I want to be an awesome wife, mom and housewife.

I want to be that girl that has dinner ready when hubs walks in the door. Has a weekly schedule that includes laundry, cleaning, and story time at the library. I want to and need to get things written down and organized. I'm a list maker. I need a plan, direction, and encouragement in order to stay on task.... perhaps that means I'm 4 years old???

Lately, I've been lucky to find anything resembling a balanced meal to feed little man. I really want him eating healthy and nutritious meals. I've been trying to limit the processed, "kid" entrapment that was my childhood of mac n cheese and chicken nuggets. Not to say it doesn't happy when I'm desperate, but I would like for it to be a rarity instead of a regular occurrence.

So.... part of this is creating a weekly/monthly meal plan. I feel like it will only do great things for this baby maker. So today's task.... getting the "tools" together. Creating  a set arsenal of meals (healthy, EASY, yummy things I can make) and setting up a weekly/monthly calendar where we don't get sick of the things I can make.

Anyone else do a meal plan? do you fly from the seat of your pants? order take out? any tips or tricks to offer this newbie???

Adios Mis Amigos,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

He's 1 . . . now what????

As is typical Baby Maker fashion I have built up this day in my head for weeks. Shoot if I'm honest months. I started plotting and planning cakes, decorations, his outfit.

I cried a little yesterday, snuggling him before his nap. Remembering all of the moments of this first year. How quickly they have been played out.

I smiled as I kissed his amazingly delicious cheeks. Remembering sitting in the hospital bed running my fingers across them about a million times. He was wrapped up so tight, with a little cap on that his cheeks were really the only exposed part of him. I remember that first night in the hospital, after the scary things had passed. I didn't want to take my eyes off of him. Every little breath, noise, cry melted my heart. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, praying fiercely that God protect him. That God keep him safe, healthy, and happy.

There is absolutely nothing in this world that has given me more pride then being this little guys mom. And now has he grows into a sweet and precious little boy, I fall more and more in love each and every day.

We are having a quiet day today, we'll blow out a candle and eat some cupcakes . . . but mostly I will just breathe in all of the moments that this day brings.  

Adios Mis Amigos,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What I wish I knew 364 days ago

As we are approaching little man's 1 year birthday. . .. there are many things I wish I had known over the course of this year. But what an amazing year it has been. Full of amazing blessings, hilarious memories, and scary learning expierences... here are just a few of the things I wish 364 days ago . . . .. .

1. Labor would be fine. NO Really Fine.
2. Okay, well your lady parts do get jacked up a bit, you have some crazy blood loss issues and are near death for about 2 hours.. but .... your fine now :o)
3. The epidural would be the worst part, and 2 minutes of torture is worth 4 hours of pain free labor and delivery
4. The second you see his amazing chubby cheeks (both sets hahaha) nothing else will matter.
5.  Don't stress about him eating, this boy has an amazing appetite, relax, take a deep breath, and don't stress.
6. He will love his tummy, sleep like a champ on his tummy, and be completely fine!!!
7. Everything you used to think was important will pale in comparison to sleep, food, and prayer.
8. You can do it. . . nothing that you come up against in this first year is beyond your ability.
9. When in doubt. Laugh. Poop all over him, you , and the sofa, Laugh.
10. He will try to "hold his breath" and its okay. Don't rush to the E.R. he's fine....
11. DON'T LET HIM FALL OFF THE BED @ 7 months!!! you'll never live this one down with Rick
12. Take more pictures... every single day he grows and changes, you'll need something to remind you of the way it was.
13. Don't rush it.... he'll learn to roll over, sit, crawl, and walk in his own time. And once he learns it there is no going back.... cherish the inability to move !!!!!
14. When he wakes up cough, congested, and fever.... give him motrin and turn on a hot steamy shower... stand in the bathroom and let the steam clear his breathing. . . . it will be okay.... repeat .... it will be okay
15. Don't let anyone push you into doing things that go against your mommy instinct. You have it. Trust it!
16. Ahhhh buy the breast pump ahead of the hospital. Just do it!!!! your boobies will thank you!!! 

The list goes on and on.... but "if I had it to do all over again.... These are the most important!!!

Adios Mis Amigos,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Letter to my Son 1 year ago today

I'm going through my pregnancy journal and came across this entry... written one year ago today, I was getting ready for his birth. If I had known then, what I know now. . . .who knows???

"""My precious little man,

Today is Monday. This is the week you will be born. I have to say that I'm nervous. I'm not going to lie. The idea of labor has always been something that has frightened me. I do not like being out of control. I do not like not knowing what is happening.  This is the part of pregnancy that I have always dreaded.

I think that part of being your mommy is always being honest and telling you the truth.And I hope that when you are old enough to understand this that will know that your Mom was a real person. There are a lot of things in my life that I have messed up. I have not always made the right choice. But part of that is recognizing it and trying to do the right thing next time. I know that God sending you to me was His way of teaching me to let go. You can not always control things in your life. If I can tell you one thing that I have learned through this process it is to always trust God. When things are sad, scary, or upsetting. HE is the one that can and will carry you through. I pray that as you grow you will come to trust in Him. That you will know that He is the God of the universe and the Savior of your soul.

I pray that you will be a man of integrity, honesty, humility. I pray that you will have your Dad's heart of love, compassion, and always care for those you love. I pray that you will have my easy going personality, my love of family, and sense of calm. I pray that you will know your Aunt Katie's logical sense. That if you have a question of what you should do that you would seek her out and ask for her advice. If your heart is struggling I hope you will go to your Aunt Ashley. Her heart is beautiful and she will always be there for you. Your Aunt Chelsea is amazingly creative. She is funny and compassionate. I hope that you will gain her appreciate and respect for the arts.  Lacey is great if you need someone to be honest and tell you how it is. She will always steer you in the right direction :o)  Molly will be amazing to love you and support you in your life. She is historically funny and is amazing at lifting your spirits when you are down.

I love you with my whole heart, every time you move, kick, or wiggle my heart skips a beat and I fall more in love with you. Bigger then my fear of the unknown of labor and delivery is my love for you. I can not wait to see your precious face. To snuggle you for the rest of my life. I know that you are amazing and can not wait to be a part of your life.'

Love always, Your Mama

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I hate Elmo

I know I know. . . .who hates a cute adorable little red munchkin. A little muppet that brings joy and happiness to millions of children..... THIS GIRL!!! I don't know if it's his voice. His inability to mature past the age of 2? I can't nail it down. . . I just can't stand him!!! and guess what.... my son is IN LOVE.

He cracks up at the very first sight of him. The other day we were going about our business, and before I could grab the remote to change the channel, the annoying red monster was on our screen, singing and dancing and little man was laughing that deep belly laugh that warms my soul. He was in a state of happiness I have not seen in weeks. He's teething, congested, and cranky, so this mama was desperate. I tried muting the t.v. to see if he would enjoy it without that annoying little voice....and no such luck. I would go out into the kitchen but little man would crawl behind me crying the whole way. The only thing that would make him happy. Sitting and snuggling with mama, watching Elmo. . . .

So now the question arises.... how long until this mama goes clinically insane... or will he eventually grow on me ??? only time will tell

Adios Mis Amigos,

Monday, February 14, 2011

V Day

Here's the thing . . .. . I love my husband... from the depths of my soul. I feel both honored and blessed to know that I have found someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with. Well except on those days when he is annoying the heck out of me. Then I can't get rid of him soon enough, but everyone has their moments , right?

He was super sweet all day Sunday and spent the entire day being great.  He took little man out grocery shopping for a delicious breakfast, which meant mama got to sleep in (hooray). Made my favorite blueberry wheat pancakes (yippee) and we spent the day in happy bliss. I even got a spa pedicure out of it all which makes me seriously  happy.

The thing that bugs me.... is the emphasis on this one day.

As I sat this morning stalking faceook with my morning cup-o-coffee I was nauseated with all of the PDA. Husbands telling their wives how much they love them. Wives ranting and raving about their husbands. Boy friends and girlfriends posting all sort of lovey doveyness on their significant others. All very much public displays. I had to laugh at some, knowing the guys pretty well, and seeing their outwardly (complete contradictions to their real world personalities) displays of affection.

I'm not a valentines hater... I'm simply a 365 tell 'em how you feel kind of girl. Sure I benefited by the hubs being taken up in the commercialness.... I loved every second of my "valentines day" but . . . if this was the only day each year he treated me like this.. I would start to get a complex.....

on that note.... Happy Valentines day my friends 

Adios Mis Amigos,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm in a funk.... and I can't get out of it

I should really know better then to pray for patience or wisdom.

It's usually when I do, that God teaches me through the annoying, frustrating, and crazy things in life. But a girl never learns and so enters...lessons God is trying to teach me.

Hubs was traveling a few weeks ago for interviews.

Interviews that would land him Jobs on the east coast. Jobs that would take this baby maker back to her hometown. Jobs that would allow her to be home-sweet-home with her family.

Before Hubs even started "booking" interviews, we sat down and prayed. Asking God for Wisdom. That he open one door because we weren't smart enough to know what job to choose. We prayed for patience that we wouldn't rush into anything but wait for HIM to show us where we were supposed to be.

But in normal baby maker fashion I started planning and plotting. I'd have my sister come down and help me pack, I would fly up with the baby, and be home in time for little man's first birthday. Uhhhuhhh patience right???

Well... at least 3 weeks have passed since the interviews. We heard from two out of the three... both doors closed. That leaves only one opportunity left and they are taking their sweet time letting us know whats going on. First a phone interview with the manager, which took over a week to coordinate.... and now... waiting another week to hear back from that.... and friends.... little man's birthday is less then a week away :(

Unless mountains get moving pretty quickly, it looks like my plans are not happening . . .. so alas... I take a deep breath..... thank God for this lesson in truly relying on HIM

Adios Mis Amigos,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

soooo sleepy

Wow, so last night we set a record. I have to say, I'm exhausted.... haha... and before I go any further the record was set by little man....  for "most times waking up screaming bloody murder". He was up 6 times in 6 hours... even with a dose of tylenol the little man could not sleep peacefully, which means... mama is exhausted!!! 

I'm 99.9% sure it's teeth, but as of 6am I was at my end. Thank God the last screaming fit happened just as hubs alarm was going off... he got him a bottle, some tylenol and back to bed for an hour...

since I'm clearly not functioning... I thought... I'd leave you with this yummy photo... we are in the process of making valentines to send to our family in NJ :o) Enjoy

Adios Mis Amigos,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thankful Thursdays- I'm a freak

I'm a freak. There I said it. 
I allow "what if" to consume me. Tonight I couldn't sleep. And like I always do I flip open my google reader in hopes that all of my friends words will lull me off to a sweet slumber. I read of one mama's struggle to teach her son look but don't touch. Another mama was recounting her son's birth as he was approaching his 21st birthday. (yikes I'm crying over the fact that my son is turning 1, can only imagine how I'll be come 21). And then I stumbled apon my recent favorite site. I'm not going to lie, I seek her out on an almost daily basis. She is a source of inspiration when I need some creative juice. She is a mama to two sweet baby girls and I just love reading and "catching up". Kelly over at enjoy the small things has a way of wrapping you up in the warm and fussy. She uses amazing pictures of her girls to go along with the stories and honestly, it's not unusal to find myself teary eyed after reading her blog. 

Tonight she talks of a friend who lost their 8 year old son in a sledding accident. Sledding of all things. Jump on over to her site to read the story. But it caught my heart in such a way that I found myself sobbing. 

I don't know how you make it through something like that. The void and emptiness that would fill my soul is something that I don't know I could survive. Maybe survive is the wrong word, I know I wouldn't physically end, but spiritually, emotionally. I don't have words. 

So I climbed out into the dark hallway, scooped my sleeping son up in my arms and sat and rocked. I stroked his hair, ran my fingers along his cheeks and prayed to God that he send angels to protect him. I don't know the mama there in Michigan, but she overtook my prayers. Praying for someone I don't know, haven't met, and only read about online. Praying that she is somehow able to find peace.

Adios Mis Amigos,

He's not a baby anymore

I've started this post about 7 times, nope, make that 8. I just can't come to grips with the fact that my little man, my baby, this little teeny tiny 6 pound 10 ounces of pure yummy goodness is turning 1.

I knew it would happen. I prayed the entire 9 months that he was in my belly cookin'; prayed he would grow healthy and strong. But now. . . .I want time to stand still. My stomach physically hurts when I look at his baby pictures. Seeing that little itty bitty baby swaddled up in my arms minutes after he entered this world.

I remember that girl laying in the bed holding him. She was terrified, anxious, and overwhelmed. Being a nanny had taught her the basics. She was a pro at a 30 second diaper change. She knew how to soothe colic, cure diaper rash, and entertain happiness. She was completely caught off guard by the amount of love that would fill her heart the very instant she saw his face. The immeasurable weight of responsibility that would come when this little new life was her 100% responsibility. Every decision, what to feed, how to feed, when to feed would seem like some major , world altering decision.

This girl, sitting her now, is so drastically different. She has come to learn that beyond food, sleep, and diapers... there is not much else this little guy needs. She is strong and confident in this new role. Every day has it's challenges but instead of worrying about the long term effects of her parenting decisions. She goes with her gut. Trusts the mama instincts.... and has set up a therapy fund for her son to use after all the physiological damage has been done :o)

So since I can not stop time, I will spend this month looking back with amazing love, happiness, and anticipation of the year to come ! 

Adios Mis Amigos,