Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dreaming of...Toilets?

For the longest time, I've had some extremely weird and vivid dreams. I can remember them like they actually happened too. It's very strange. Allyn doesn't ever remember his dreams, so I guess I'm not sure if I'm the weird one, or he is. haha. I don't really have much to compare myself to though.

There are several dreams I remember having when I was a little kid. One of them I was in my grandma's camper and all the furniture in there started attacking me. Another dream I was on an alien spaceship walking around and I walked into a room where aliens were operating on my grandpa. Once they saw me they started chasing me. Like I said, very weird.

One of my 'teenage' dreams I remember extremely vividly was me driving up Grand Dad's Bluff in La Crosse when all of the sudden I had to swerve from hitting a deer. I was driving a gray Oldsmobile...a very old one at that. Then I saw myself flying off the cliff towards my death and just before I was supposed to hit the ground I woke up. Scariest part about that is I didn't own that car yet. I ended up buying that exact car a year or so later. Once I realized that, lets just say I never went up that bluff in that car!

I also have had weird dreams of me riding my bike in nothing but a bikini bottom...and I wasn't the only one doing this. It was like everyone in the world lost their tops. The neighborhood we were all riding in was one that's in my hometown, Holmen, but it was like an earthquake happened there and everything seemed dark and broken.

My most reoccurring dream though is extremely weird. My dream will start off with me doing something totally normal like talking with friends, working out, walking around, then all of the sudden I see 1, or sometimes many, toilets just sitting in the middle of a room. No stalls around them like in a public restroom, no walls, nothing. What do I do? I flippin' use it. In front of people. Like it's no big deal. No one around me seems to think it's a big deal either! In my head I think, 'wow this is kind of embarrassing, I should probably stop' - but I don't! How weird is that?? I've been told that probably means I have to go to the bathroom, but I'll wake up and I have no urge at all to go. I wish I knew what this weird dream meant because I have it all the time. If anyone knows, please feel free to tell me because quite frankly, I'm lost!

On another note, hopefully I'll be able to blog more often pretty soon. Zander is starting to become a little better with keeping himself entertained. Yay! I'm looking forward to him becoming just a tad more independent. I know he's only getting upset while I blog because he's bored...or because Corvin got jealous of the toy he was playing with and took it. Oh children....haha

Talk to you all soon!
♥ Taber


I know I haven't been posting many photos lately! Bad me :( but I have been practicing my editing skills! I took a class and if you ask me, CRAVE mentoring certainly paid off! I'm very happy with how this entire session turned out! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Motivation Has Escaped Me

I have a bit of a confession.

When I get stressed and overwhelmed, I do one of three things.

1) Get mad and yell.

2) Cry

3) Ignore all things making me stressed out/feeling overwhelmed.

I've definitely hit number 3 over the past month. Current things on my list of stresses:

1) Wedding planning

2) Trying to lose weight

3) Very needy children

4) Cooking, cleaning, other miscellaneous housework

5) Keeping up with a daily blog

6) Photography

Over the last few weeks, I've definitely backed away from several of my stresses. You all have probably noticed I'm not really keeping up with the blog so well, haha. My wedding and my kids are pretty much the only things getting too much attention right now. Photography is an on again off again stresser, depends on how many shoots I've been doing. I obviously still cook, but I'm doing a lot of lazy meals and Allyn has been the one doing the dishes lately. I kind of feel bad about that :/ I've even lost a lot of motivation to lose weight. Since I've hit 129 it's like I don't seem to care as much. I know I still do. I still want to get rid of all the post baby weight (only 10-11 more pounds to go!) but my Zumba Wii disk isn't working and....well I'm just making a stupid excuse at this point.

I feel like I need something to motivate myself again but I don't know what. I know the thought of all the stress is keeping me from getting everything done but I don't know what to do to get over that. Ugh. 

Hopefully I find my 'get r done' attitude again soon because I'm kind of on a time crunch here! Which is also stressing me out! Ahh! Anyone wanna come down to Peoria for a week and be my nanny so I can get things done? We'll feed you! :) haha

Anyway, I'm going to attempt to workout...my ondemand channel has some pretty intense kickboxing workouts I can do to kick this box back into action.

Talk to you all as soon as my life will allow me! 
♥ Taber

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So Much To Do!

Bad me - it's been QUITE a while since my last post. Sorry!

I'll try to be a bit more on top of this again! It'll be much easier now that I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for keeping Zander calm and Corvin occupied. Zander is officially smitten with his mobile. He used to not care about it, now he loves it. Yay! That thing will run for about 10 minutes before I have to go and turn it back on. Corvin stays in the room with him and basically watches him. He's such a good big brother!

Anyway, I don't think I've blogged about my big news! Maybe I have...but I don't really remember (hey it's been a while! Give me a break!). Well, have you heard of the show Bridezillas on WE TV? If you haven't, feel free to youtube it or to go to WE TV's website to check it out. Turns out they're interested in me! Very cool! I've done a phone interview, a written questionnaire (that was 12 pages long!) and we've done an on camera interview. They also sent us a TON of forms yesterday to sign and send back A.S.A.P. Sounds like we're pretty darn close to being picked if you ask me!

JUST TO CLEAR THINGS UP HERE....
Allyn and I have decided to do this NOT for 15 minutes of fame or anything lame like that, but for the fact that they do pay us to do it. Will I be acting? I'd like to call it guided reality. haha. So just for all you people out there that are wondering why in the world we would decide to be on a show like Bridezillas, that's why. Plus, we didn't have a videographer and now we have a free one...actually we have one that's paying us! ;)

More Wedding News: We've also finally got our invites sent out (if you're reading this, and I invited you, RSVP ASAP!), we've booked our DJ and decided we're only going to get a wedding cake for the wedding party (in effort to save money...plus our meal plan comes with cheesecake so the guests will be satisfied in that department!). We've also ordered the bouquets, I had my first dress fitting and we've chosen a judge to marry us!

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE GETTING MARRIED IN 2 1/2 MONTHS!!!

There's so much to do and so little time! Plus, our free month of rent was taken away (which we were relying on to pay for the remainder of the wedding expenses) so that's going to make things even harder. Light at the end of the tunnel? Allyn's been paying double insurance on his car, one through Farmers and one through his bank. Sounds bad but it turns out it's gonna be okay because the bank is willing to refund ALL the over paid money when they receive the proof of insurance that we've had over the past 9 months. That should cover our final expenses, but with the way things have been going lately, you never know. So I'm not going to get my hopes up until I have a check in my hands.

Anyway, Zander is no longer content and Corvin has exhausted his efforts on trying to give his brother some toys to make him happy. Time for this mama to get going!

Talk to you all tomorrow! (and I mean it this time! haha)

♥ Taber

Here's the timeline cover I created today! Well, I downloaded the template and added the pictures & words. That still counts, right? ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Wrath of Zander

How is it that one adorable little child can create such an awful screeching sound?

Yes, I'm talking about Zander.

I love my little chunky man to death, but when he cries, he screams. He also refuses to stop unless you pick him up. Yes I understand he probably just wants to be held, but I'll feed him, change him and play for a little while then unfortunately I need to do something else. Sometimes I need to clean, do dishes, workout, blog, plan our wedding, shower, cook or play with Corvin. Zander doesn't want me to do any of these things. I MUST give him ALL of my attention or else he's going to scream from the second I put him down 'til the moment I pick him back up.

WAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the current tune to which I am writing my blog to. I feel like a bad mommy, but I'd be just as bad for picking him up when I know he just wants attention. Unfortunately, he has to get used to mommy not holding him every second he's awake (and sleeping). I wish there was something I could do to make him happy while I'm not holding him. Sometimes the bumbo satisfies him for around 15 minutes, which doesn't even give me enough time to work out. other times, he's content with laying on the floor watching TV or watching Corvin play. That lasts for about 8 minutes, which gives me enough time to....what am I talking about that only gives me enough to go pee 8 times in a row..

This is the point in a baby's life where they act like this though. Corvin acted similar to when he was around 3 months old, but he didn't scream the way Zander screams.

Ugh, I think I need to get some Tylenol and give in to my little sweet pea.

Advice? Post a comment on my Facebook link or a comment under this blog.

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber


Monday, February 13, 2012

130

Never did I ever think I'd be HAPPY to be 130 pounds!

I know it sounds silly, but I always used to be a skinny mini. When I graduated high school, I was 104 pounds. However, when I was a freshman in high school I weighed 123 pounds for a while and I felt like a fat cow! I remember looking at pictures of myself and thinking, 'ugh I need to fix THAT!' Comments from other people around me didn't help either. So I started to push myself to lose weight at all costs. I hate to admit it, but I even made myself throw up several times and started to make myself not eat. I always looked forward to sports so I could get rid of my teenager fat and work towards a leaner body. Isn't it scary to think what just a few "Hey fattie" or "that shirt makes you look fat" comments can do to you? I kept up that attitude through out most of high school. My senior year, I took 2 gym classes in one quarter during track season, which is how I became 104 pounds.

After high school, I gained some weight (which was a good thing because I looked too skinny for a while) and ended up being around 115-118 pounds most of the time. I stopped puking up my food and making myself not eat and I choose several jobs that kept me moving around to make sure I stayed skinny and fit. On top of that, I would walk just about everywhere and go for the occasional run. My goal for my life at that point was to stay thin!

Little did I know everything would soon change...

In December of 2009, I got pregnant with Corvin. At the end of my pregnancy with him I was 154 pounds. He came out, and I got back down to 130ish. Then I got pregnant with Zander. At the end of my pregnancy with him I was a whopping 172 pounds. Yikes :/

When I saw that number on the scale, I was embarrassed! Kind of silly for a pregnant woman to be embarrassed about her weight, but I was. My fear of being fat came true and it sank into my head and crushed every last bit of confidence I had left. I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror, I photoshoped pictures of myself a little before posting them online or I at least cropped them, and I didn't want Allyn to touch my belly (still don't actually). It was hard, and still is hard, for me to deal with.

As of right now, I have more of a sense of accomplishment. I can proudly say I've lost 42 pounds, the healthy way, since October 29th 2011. Soon, I will be able to proudly say I'm 129 pounds. Seeing a '2' as the second number in my weight makes me feel like a giant burden has been lifted off my shoulders. In another week, I'm sure I'll see that 2 on the scale. I cannot wait.

Once, I was severely close to being underweight.
Not more than 3 years later, I was overweight.
Now....I'm finally back to normal.

It's been a hell of a roller coaster ride, but in the end it was all worth it. I have an amazing family to show for all my weight gain, and I'll be a stronger person for losing all that weight in the end.

118, here I come :)

Until tomorrow :)
♥Taber

This is an unedited picture I took with my point and shoot. Love these little guys much :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bride on a Budget

First of all, just wanted to say sorry for not posting this yesterday. For those of you who are friends with me on facebook (which is pretty much everyone who reads this I suppose, haha) you saw that the people from the show Bridezillas called me on friday. They asked me to fill out this 12 page long form about the wedding which literally took me 4 hours to finish. Thank goodness Allyn was home otherwise there's no way I would've gotten it done this weekend!

Anyway, as promised I'm going to blog ALL about our wedding budget. Did you know that the average cost of a wedding in the La Crosse area is in between $17,369 and $28,948? (found that bit of information here) That's INSANE! We're on a $10,000 budget MAX. The only way we've been able to make it $10,000 is thanks to our tax refund in all honesty.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I found a secret weapon. Etsy.com. Lots of amazing, handmade items from all over the world and many times you can find these items for a fair price. However, there are other tricks to having a decent priced wedding. Let's break it down...

Reception Hall
If you rent out your reception hall on a Friday or a Sunday (instead of doing the typical Saturday wedding) most times they will give you the reception hall for FREE! The Best Western definitely does this. You have to put down a $1,500 deposit within 6 months, but that all goes towards your final food bill. So far we have $2,100 in our Best Western account. So basically, if 20 people don't show up to our wedding, we wont have to pay anything more. If you have your wedding on a Saturday, you have to pay a rental fee ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the time of the year - Spring time is more expensive. Which means we're saving $3,500 just by having our wedding on a Friday! Plus we get a free bartender, a free honeymoon suite and free tea light candles. :)

DJ
If you know ANYONE who is a DJ, even if they're just an occasional downtown bar DJ, ask them what they  would charge you. I know a guy who DJ's and we're saving almost $1,000 by having a friend do it rather than some jerk who upcharges by a ton just because it's a wedding. So we'll only be paying about $450!

Ceremony Site
We ended up going with a slightly more expensive route on this one to make it easier on our guests, but our original plan was to have the ceremony at Riverside Park on the band stand. Why? It's only $50 to rent out the entire thing for a whole hour. It includes seating, a beautiful view and you don't have to do much work to it if you don't want to. To make everything easier on our guests, we're having our ceremony at the Best Western as well. They have an outdoor area for ceremonies for $200 that includes 120 chairs. So we didn't save money in this aspect, we lost $150. However, we saved enough money in other areas to make up for it!

Wedding Dress
If you don't mind shopping the clearance section of the bridal shop, do it! You can save SO much money. My dress was only $600 because I looked in the clearance section instead of checking out the brand new dresses. And guess what? NO ONE would ever be able to tell that's where I got it - except for the fact that I just told everyone. :) Because I did that, I saved $600!

Centerpieces
This is where etsy.com comes in. Once you pick your theme/colors, check this website out! We were going to spend $40 on each centerpiece before we found this website. Instead, we're spending $15 on each center piece! So we saved $350!! That's amazing! And honestly the average cost of centerpieces is $1,272! So we technically saved $1,062!!

Decorations
So far we've only purchased a few decorations from craigslist.com and etsy.com totaling to about $70. Other than that, we've just asked a few friends and family if we can borrow things from them to save money! Instead of buying brand new white christmas lights, BORROW them! You'll save at least $50. We're also borrowing jam cars (to put candles in) from our family members and that saves us around $40 and we're borrowing some other random stuff that if we just went out and bought it, I can guarentee you it would cost us around $400 to get it all. Just by asking to borrow things, we're saving $490!


Cake
According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding cake is $543. CRAZY to pay that much for a flippin' cake. We decided to get a Dairy Queen cake! I know this isn't for everyone, but we figured why not! We'll be paying about $200 for a cake that feeds all 140ish people that may (or may not) attend our wedding. PLUS our buffet style menu we have is giving everyone cheesecake on top of it all! So by doing that, we're saving $343!

Invitations
Know anyone who's good with photoshop? Ask them to make you a simple invite, 2 sides on a regular press printed card. We only spent $62.25 on our invites because I designed them myself and printed them through an affordable company - and that included 75 invites WITH envelopes! The average cost of wedding invitations is $659!!! We saved $596.75!! Incredible!

Cocktail Hour
Instead of serving a ton of mini sausages, deviled eggs and other random crap, create your own candy station! If we decided to get 10 dozen sausage bites, 10 dozen chicken wings, 10 dozen deviled eggs, 6 pounds of pretzels and a cheese display for cocktail hour, that would cost us $434.20. That's barely enough food to last everyone for that hour. Getting a bunch of candy and borrowing decorative bowls shouldn't cost us more than $200. So we're saving $234.20 just by giving our guests sweet treats with their drinks!

Bouquets and Boutonnieres
Thank you etsy.com for helping me get ALL my bouquets and boutonnieres for only $450! Yes, they're fake flowers, but they're actually satin flowers, handmade, with "bling." Average cost? $698 for real flowers. So we're saving $248!

Things you shouldn't try to get cheap are your wedding bands and your photography. Those are two things you'll have FOREVER after you get married and you want them to be amazing. So SPLURGE on those if you must! Our wedding bands, together, cost $1,947.96. Our photography package (from Vibrance Photography in Madison, WI) is $2,216.56. Sure, those were spendy, but they are 100% WORTH IT!

I know there are several things I didn't mention, but I think my point has been made clear at this point. Don't settle for the first thing you find, BARGAIN HUNT! If you do, you'll save SOOOO much money. Just off the things I mentioned here, we're saving a grand total of $8,073.95!!!!


I hope you all enjoyed my breakdown of our wedding budget and how YOU can save money on your big day too. Remember, just because it's a big day, doesn't mean you have to spend big money!

Until tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

This is from the tea party shoot I did last week :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bad Blogger

Wow. This is my 2nd blog all week. I fail.

I've been so extremely busy getting as many wedding things done and paid for as possible. We got our tax money this week so we're paying off stuff (like our reception food, ceremony site, DJ, photographer, ect...) and as I mentioned a few days ago we've bought our centerpieces among other decorations from etsy.com.

Let me tell you something. If you're planning a wedding, I HIGHLY recommend checking out www.etsy.com! They have TONS of amazing, handmade, fairly priced items for sale. Before I found etsy, we were planning on spending $40 on each centerpiece! That's $560 for a bunch of vases and feathers. The centerpieces we have now were $15 each  and they inspired us to create more of a theme for our wedding (which is like a rustic spring time look). In total, those centerpieces cost $210! So we saved $350!! I'm thinking that tomorrow I'll blog about wedding budgeting to show you what we could've spent, compared to what we are spending :)

Anyway, another reason I've been a bad blogger is because I've been busy editing pictures from my shoot last week on Sunday. Along with preparing for my wedding consultation tonight at 6:30pm. It's just been one of those weeks where I feel like I need 2 more hours every day. I've also barely had any time to workout in between babies, wedding planning and photography! Looks like I need to manage my time a little better... Now that we finally have a working dish washer instead of a giant dish drying rack, I might have more time to get things done :) Thanks landlord and maintenance guy!

Well, I'm going to try and sneak in a cat nap here while both kiddos are passed out!

Talk to you all later :)
♥ Taber

PS - Happy 17 months to my little man Corvin! :)

Here's another photo from Sunday's shoot. Nyara was such a little character! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Busy, Busy Mama!

Sorry I haven't blogged for the past few days. So much to do and only so much time to do it!

Anyway, quick updates on a few things....

We've decided to go with a rustic theme for our wedding and we've ordered the centerpieces along with a few other things from etsy.com. (PS - I flippin' LOVE that website!)

My very first fitting for my dress is February 29th at 3pm in La Crosse. Can't wait!

I'm turning into more of a bridezilla with my wedding party day by day. Sorry guys, but it's crunch time! Only 3 and a half more months until the big day so things need to be getting done/ordered/paid for NOW!

(Can you tell I'm a little stressed and wedding crazed?? haha)

Also, I've booked another wedding consultation for this friday and a couples shoot for sunday. WOO! Loving the mini business boom I have going on right now! :)

And in weight loss news, my size 6 jeans kind of fit! They'll button, but they don't look that great buttoned....so I do the pony tail trick for now. The accomplishment is that they fit past my butt now and the fact that they do button is HUGE! Even if it doesn't flatter my body while it's buttoned, they still BUTTON!! WOO!! Very excited! :)

Anyway, I have a cranky Zander baby so I need to calm him down. Then I need to get my Zumba on and lose more weight so my first wedding dress fitting goes smoothly :)

Until tomorrow (or whenever I have time!)
♥ Taber

This is from my shoot I had on Sunday. Isn't little Tabia adorable?!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Silly Girls

Very short post for today guys!

I had my mother/daughter shoot today at a local playground here in Peoria, then we did the little tea party. The pictures turned out GREAT! I'm so happy with them! Right now I'm converting all my RAW files into DNG so PSE will recognize them. My camera is too new for my version of PSE to recognize the files as is so it takes me a little longer to get started. I'd rather wait a little longer for better picture quality though!

The mothers name is Melanie, and her daughters names are Nyara (who's 5) and Tabia (who's 2). They were such cuties! Tabia got a little tired towards the end so I didn't get as many pictures with both girls doing the tea party, but I definitely got plenty of other great shots!

Hmm....228 files left to convert. This might take a while. I suppose I can make this post a little longer than I thought I could :)

So I'll talk about an interesting conversation I had yesterday....

Everyone remember my post called 'creepers'? Regardless of me not mentioning names, this is one post made 2 people very mad at me. My reply to that was, well if you don't want people finding out what you were doing, don't do it! Anyway, one particular individual hasn't talked to me since before that post was even written. I would say New Years was the last conversation we had. Well I asked this individual when a certain party was going on, seeing as I received a facebook invite, so I could purchase a present, to which this individual replied, "who is this?"  To which I replied with my name. Then I received a text that said, "those who were invited got invitations in the mail." Ouch. So I said, you know, I can take a hint, I just wanted to get a present for your daughter.

Then all H - E double hockey sticks broke loose!

We bantered on for a bit but I soon decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I wish this individual luck with upcoming surgeries they're supposed to have and wished their daughter a happy 2nd birthday. If they wanted to talk to me again, they knew how to contact me. The reply was a bit long, including words like "sweetie" and "dear" (On a side note, why do people use those words in an argument? Do they think it's cute? Or that it sounds more intimidating? It kind of makes me laugh because I remember doing that in middle school). My blog was blamed at being the sole reason of all the unhappiness in this persons life, claimed that many people told this person about this (although I only have 4-5 mutual friends on facebook with this individual that may have read it) and then was told, "don't talk to me, don't talk to another individual who's name I dare not speak, and don't show your face near my kid's birthday."


Meeeeow....

So I said, "well I meant what I said when I said good luck, have a nice life." To which I recieved the following text...

"Anyway, I meant what I said. GET F***ED!!! Last time I'm telling you."


This is when the conversation became a little entertaining. I told her I'll tell Allyn to jump right on that, and I was told to not get pregnant...as if it was supposed to be an insult.

Good burn and TOUCHE!

haha.

Anyway, my files are completed and my little Zander is hungry! So this ends now (which is what I was told at the end of my entertaining argument yesterday).

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happiness has Arrived

I have lots of good news!

1. I'm down to (drum roll please...)

131.4 POUNDS!!!


VERY excited about that!

2. I booked my very first wedding today! :D I'm BEYOND excited for that! As I said a few days ago, this will be my first totally solo wedding - unless someone else books me for a wedding before August 11th :)

3. Corvin can kind of say hair! :)

It's been a good couple of days for me. I can't wait to see how everything else is going to go! There was another bride who contacted me about setting up a consultation. If she decides to go with me as well, I may be able to afford the class I've been dying to take!

Also, I just found a lot of great prop websites along with another class. This one is to teach you all the secrets of newborn photography (which is something I'm very interested in). This class is $550 for a one on one, 2 hour online mentoring session. That's probably going to have to wait another year! I'll stick with the simple newborn photography things I already know for now!

I am just SO excited right now for my business! I think in the next month or so, I'm going to officially register myself as an LLC.

Taber Lacie Photography, LLC


Sounds fancy ;) haha

Anyway, I have things to do to prepare for my mother daughter shoot tomorrow. I hope the rain holds off until Monday so we can get the adorable tea party started at 3pm sharp!

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

The AMAZING detail at the Grotto in Dickeyville, WI

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Good Life ♥

I'm in love with 3 boys.

Sounds pretty scandalous if you didn't know I'm talking about Allyn, Corvin and Zander :)

But seriously, they fill my heart with more happiness than you could imagine. Do they get on my nerves sometimes? Oh you bet. And I can guarantee I get on their nerves too!

We're the Lottouzee family. We all love each other. Even though our boys are only 3 months and 16 months, I can tell they love each other too. Wont be much longer and Zander will be able to run around and play with his older brother Corvin and their daddy. He's already trying really hard to be apart of the fun!

My post yesterday was mostly a big ol' complaint about Allyn. I told myself while I was writing it that I should make sure to let everyone know that Allyn doesn't normally do things like that. He's actually a very sweet guy - with the occasional butthead moments (who doesn't have those?). If I ask him to do something, he normally does it. He'll randomly do the dishes for me if he knows I've had a long day with cranky babies. He pours me a glass of wine at the end of the night when the kiddos are in bed. He tells me I'm pretty all the time - even though I don't believe him. He gives me back or foot rubs randomly, even when I don't ask. He used to do things like make me cute cards, leave little notes around, and even once made a giant banner!

I'm lucky to have him. I look at him and think there is no way I could ever find a guy that loves me and treats me as good as he does. He's made my ultimate dream come true. I know, that sounds rather corny, but it's true. I always hoped that someday I could be a stay at home mom but figured there was no way that would happen. I always hoped I could start my own photography business but figured I'd have to get a regular job and work there for years before I could afford any kind of equipment or have the time. He's made it so I have those things, and I'm ultimately very thankful.

Because of Allyn, I have a great life.

May 25th cannot come soon enough. I can't wait to officially be Taber Lottouzee :)

Until tomorrow
♥ Taber

Allyn and one of his groomsmen, Percy

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sparkly, Happy Sunshine Post?

Taber doesn't exist. At least not on nerd/guy/drinking nights.

Ready for a sparkly, happy, sunshine post?! Sorry if that's what you were expecting for today. I'm probably not going to write anything too sparkly, happy or sunshiny. Whoops.

Whenever Allyn invites his friends from around here over, he slowly turns into a drunken, inconsiderate "butthead."  His friends tend to act this way too. I say something, trying to participate in the conversation, and they literally ignore me. I had this problem when I was younger and I found out I just wasn't being loud enough. However, I know I'm saying it loud enough now. Sometimes they'll glance at me like "I'm going to sort of act like I care, but I really don't give a crap."  For a bit I finally got to participate in the conversation (woo!) but I was soon SUSHED by his friend. REALLY?! My biggest complaint there is with myself. I've kind of turned into a pussy in the past year or so. I didn't retaliate like I used to when someone disrespected me. For those of you who've known me for a while, you know that in the past when someone was rude to me in ANY way, they knew about it right away! So I'm a little mad at myself that I just ignored it like a wimp. Also, I heard Allyn making fun of me with his buddies several times. Whispering or not, I can hear what you're saying. AND I don't appreciate the whispering. If you and your friends have something to say, in my home, say it loud enough to be heard clearly. If you need to whisper about it, maybe that's something you shouldn't be talking about at that moment? Just a thought.

Lately, when Allyn drinks, he forgets about anyone else except for himself. This all happened at our apartment, while the boys were sleeping, and he was being so loud. I had to remind him several times to keep it down. Typical drunk person I suppose, but it's gotten worse since we've moved here. They were playing that flippin' game until 2:30 in the morning. Dice kept hitting the board of the game, they each had to pee more often than a girl so the toilet was constantly being flushed, then they would suddenly all laugh in unison. Each one of those things prevented me from sleeping. Thanks boys. PS - If you're wondering why I'm cranky, that's why. Not much sleep + Taber = cranky mommy. He also completely blew off his sister last night, which probably bothers me more than it bothers her. He said he wanted to talk to her around midnight, so when midnight got closer I reminded him several times to call her. He just went, "aww crap"  and continued to play his nerd game. I just thought that was really rude and inconsiderate seeing as she probably wanted to talk to her brother about everything going on with their mom right now. So I texted her, apologized for him and said I'll make sure he talks to her tomorrow.

One final complaint. You know that person that just keeps talking and talking and talking....then talks some more? You know when they get drunk that they're even worse and you just think to yourself, "Oh my God, get to the point or be done already!"? Unfortunately, that guy is Allyn. I love him to death but he has a bad habit of putting way too many details into a story and while he's drunk, that story turns into a damn novel. Perfect for him when he's getting ready to write his book, however most people don't have the attention span to pay attention to his whole story in a spoken conversation. I'll remind him to try and speed it up a bit because I can see people getting frustrated, annoyed or just start to stare off into the distance and zone out. He doesn't always listen though. Last night he was telling the story of why we have to testify in court at the end of the month in this robbery case and he just went on and on with all these unnecessary details, then repeated several of them several times. The guy he was telling this to even said, "okay, I understand, what's the point of all of this?"  So I jumped in, trying to let Allyn focus on his game instead of the story (drunk brains can only do so much at one time!), and I finished the story for him in less than a minute. It might've been a little rude to Allyn (sorry babe) but his friend was getting obviously frustrated.

I'm sure I'm not alone on this here. Any other ladies have this problem with your boyfriend/fiancee/husband and his buddies when they're all drinking? Maybe not to the same extent, and it might even be worse, but I'm sure there are issues like this with other couples.

Allyn is a great guy, don't get me wrong, but lately when he drinks he kind of pisses me off. Who knows, maybe he'll make up for it tonight when he comes home, but who am I kidding.. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Anyway, Zander was still sleeping - until now - so I had a little bit of time to write a quick post about my not-so-fun time last night.

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nerd Night

Tonight, in my apartment, nerd night is goin' down.

Be jealous.

Yeah, you're probably not jealous, are you? Didn't think so. I'm not jealous of me either. Nerd night entails Allyn finding all his nerd friends and playing nerd board games. Game of choice - Axis and Allies. Oh goodie....

For me, nerd night means I gotta put on normal clothes, try to make myself look pretty or whatever because people I don't know that well are coming over (I hate looking like a mess in front of strangers, not sure why), clean everything I possibly can and cook a bigger meal for the night. Oh, and continue taking care of both kiddos with little to no help. The "festivities"  are to commence at 6pm and go on until their nerd cravings for total imaginary world domination are fulfilled. And once all the beer is gone.

I need more girlfriends around here so on nights like this I could invite one or two of them over. Maybe if I'm super lucky, one of the nerd friends will bring along a girlfriend for me to socialize with. I'm not gonna get my hopes up though. *sigh* Oh well.

Anyway, in the last few days my photography has really picked up! I'm SO excited! This weekend, I have my very first wedding consultation! If they book me, it'll be my first solo wedding and the first wedding I've done since high school. I really hope they book me, but we'll just have to find out on Saturday! On Sunday, I'm doing a family shoot with a mother and her two daughters. Along with regular family pictures, we're going to have a little tea party :) I cannot wait to see how those turn out! I've also booked a maternity session for this month, I have a children's session booked for March in La Crosse and I have a family session booked for April in Peoria. Love, love, love it! I can't wait to see if more work will start coming my way :)

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, there is much to get done before the arrival of the nerd party. I still need to do my Zumba for the day, make lunch, clean, get ready, get the boys ready then start to prepare dinner. Oh what fun it is to be a housewife :)

Until tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

Axis and Allies in action! ;)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Routine Settles Back In....Kind Of

In the past 48 hours, I've booked 3 photo shoots!

Definitely excited :)

Tonight, I'm going shopping at Goodwill to try and find a few props for my shoot this Sunday. I have a few cute ideas and I'm really hoping I can find what I'm looking for.

Today it's been a little difficult to find time to do...well anything. I'm still adjusting to Allyn going back to work. It was SO nice with him being home, I felt like a load was taken off my shoulders. Unfortunately now that he's gone again, that load was dropped directly on top of me. Seeing as I wasn't ready, I fell flat on my face. Go me. Dishes have suffered, children are back to taking turns crying to show who needs attention the most, and mommy struggles to find time to shower, workout, blog or do anything else. Give me a few days, I'll get back into the groove again...I hope.

So, I've been doing Zumba now, as most of you may know, and when I weighed myself today it said I was 135 flippin' pounds. BOOOOO! I don't wanna gain weight! It better be muscle or water weight. However, I do feel like I look a little thinner, which is boosting my confidence a bit :) Now all I need to do is lose 5ish more pounds before I go in for my first fitting at the end of the month! That wedding dress better zip up all the way. I'm making sure I do Zumba every day from here on out. 4-5 20 minute workouts each week, and 2-3 45 minute workouts each week. Hopefully that'll do the trick. Along with calorie counting, running after my 16 soon to be 17 month old,  taking care of a very demanding 3 month old and my several long grocery shopping trips I'll have this month. Hopefully I'll be 129 pounds by the end of this month! Wish me luck!!

Anyway, as I just said, I have a very demanding 3 month old and he's calling for me. So time to go for now.

Talk to you all tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dear Future Mommies - Part Two

Hope you enjoyed all the mommy knowledge yesterday! You're about to get another dose of it today.

First, let's talk about YOU and your body after you have a baby for just a bit. No one tells you anything about what you should expect to happen to you after your cutie pie arrives (except for your doctor, after the baby is already born).

After you deliver, there's a pretty good chance that you'll have to get some stitches...on your lady parts. If you decided to get an epidural, you'll hardly notice, especially seeing as you just pushed a human being out of your body. If not, well I guess I don't know if you'll feel it because I had an epidural each time, but I'm guessing you will. Either way, you'll at least notice the slight pull of the string as they're fixing you up.

You should also know that after you deliver, going to the bathroom isn't going to be the best experience. Not just for a day, but for a week or 2 - and that's just when it comes to peeing. Forget about using toilet paper, your best friend is a water bottle until your stitches are healed. No one tells you, but there's a big chance that you can get hemorrhoids from all the pressure and stress put on your bum. Sometimes it will only last a few weeks, but in some cases it can last much longer. With Zander, it lasted for about 3-4 weeks, but with Corvin it lasted for 6 long months. Definitely not fun! I know it's unpleasant to think about but hey, now you know!

Let's move on :)

Newborns

Everyone knows that newborns are fragile and adorable. Just how fragile though? Very. The poor little things are born with a self destruct button right on the top of their precious little heads! If you don't know what I'm talking about, this is what's called a soft spot. Babies are born with their skill not being fused together. If they were, child birth would be even worse than it already is. No thank you. This doesn't just apply to newborns, it sticks around for a while! So just remember to be cautious when handling a new baby and don't bump their head...otherwise they explode! Well, not really. However it could cause some damage if you hit that spot hard enough.

Newborns poop looks like tar. Serious. It's black, thick and kind of weird to see at first. This only lasts for about a week, then it turns into looking like sesame seeds in Dijon mustard. I bet you're loving these visual images ;) Once the seedy poo goes away, you'll end up with the greenish yellow slightly sweet smelling poo. If your baby is like Corvin, expect 1 to 5 poopy diapers a day. If your baby is like Zander, expect 1 poopy diaper every week and a half. Both cases are normal!

Other than those 2 things, expect your newborn to sleep and eat a lot! Oh, and be adorable of course :)

Infants

Once your baby is more active and alert, they're no longer considered a newborn. Your infant can roll over, smile, laugh, crawl, pull themselves up to stand and even grow teeth! These all don't happen at the same time of course, and every baby will learn things in their own time. Just make sure to give them plenty of tummy time so they can practice their infant skills! The more tummy time they get will help them hold their head up, then roll over, then the army crawl begins, followed by actual crawling, then standing, walking and finally running! Some babies have all of this down by the time they're 9 months old! Most don't have everything mastered until they're 12-13 months. if they don't know all that stuff, just talk to their doctor for advice :)

Here's a helpful time frame for when to start things...

4-5 months - Try giving him/her some delicious baby mush! AKA bad tasting baby foods. This is a stepping stone to the good stuff you can give them in another couple of months.

6 months -  Try to introduce the sippy into their routine, especially if they're sprouting teeth already. Bottles are bad for teeth growth, so try to get rid of it as soon as possible. Corvin was totally off the bottle by the time he was 9 months old. Best sippy to get is the Nuk brand soft stop sippy. It's a bit expensive, but it's a good transition from bottle to hard top sippy. You can find it at Wal-Mart for about $7.50.

6-7 months -  Time to show your kiddo some yummy soft snacks. Gerber has lots of good starter foods, including Lil' Crunchies and Puffs. They have lots of different flavors for your baby to try so buy a few different types for your munchkin to test out :)

A.S.A.P. -  Reading books to your baby is beneficial no matter what their age is. They like to hear your voice and the older they get they'll like learning new things from you. Books like Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You are great. So snuggle up with your cutie and read a book!

Another thing to keep in mind is the dreaded diaper rash. The best thing to have to fight off these bad boys is Aquaphor and Desitin. Put the Aquaphor on first and put a layer of Desitin on top of it. It'll fight off that nasty red butt and keep it from getting worse. Don't use your regular baby wipes for a day or two either, those just make it worse. Take a paper towel and get it wet with luke warm water. Ring it out a little and use that instead. It'll make you and your baby happy in the end. Dry off their butt a little before putting a diaper back on and apply some Desitin. If none of this helps (which does happen, trust me) you'll have to give them a baking soda bath. Just put some baking soda in the tub and let them sit in there for at least 10 minutes. Once done, dry them off and let them run around nakie to air out. Do this 3 times a day for 3-4 days. If it doesn't go away, it's time to see the doctor.



Toddlers

Oh toddlers....they're so adorable but my goodness can they be naughty! They're also starting to let their personalities really shine. Most of the time this is cute, but as I said earlier, there is a dark side!

The number one thing to remember with toddlers is that everything MUST go their way. Also, everything is theirs, until it's broken...then you can have it. You've heard about temper tantrums, but I must warn you these can happen any time, any where. Everyone tells you to let your kid know that's a no no, no one tells you you'll get yelled at for telling them that's a no no. No matter what, you're the bad guy. Corvin once started screaming in Wal-Mart. It was a happy scream, none-the-less it was annoying. So I grabbed his hands and said, "Corvin, that's a no no. Be a good boy, okay?" I wasn't mean about it, but I was firm so he understood I meant business. He stopped, but some lady said to herself - but loud enough for me to hear, "some parents are just horrible."  Really lady? I think the other 99% of the store was happy I got him to stop. Personally, I don't care how "cute" you think your kid yelling and screaming is, I don't want to hear it for the entire hour and a half your at the grocery store. If they're uncontrollable, you have two choices. Leave the store or don't take them with you, even if that means you can't go shopping until 11pm. You'll be happier and so will everyone else there.

Toddlers will mimic your every move. If you smack the counter in frustration, expect to see them smacking a table thinking it's funny. If you're working out, they'll try to copy you. If you're dancing, they'll try dancing right with you. Very adorable, but you gotta watch what you do and say at all times!

Also remember that toddlers love to do everything they know they're not supposed to do. Not supposed to touch those DVD's? Too bad, I'm gonna do it. I'm not allowed to climb the entertainment center? Well I'm going to anyway. My advice is to buy things your kid can't climb on or buy things to bolt bookshelves and dressers to the wall. Why? They can and will fall on your baby, either severely hurting them or even killing them. No one tells you these things until it's too late, so take my advice now or pray your kid listens to you the first time you tell them not to do something.

One more piece of advice, don't buy toys and clothes brand new unless you're rich. They're not going to care at this point, so head to a rummage sale, a second hand store or even check what Craigslist and Ebay have to offer. Or ask friends with kids if they have any stuff they're looking to get rid of. Most of Corvin and Zander's toys we've gotten for free just because we asked people if they wanted to get rid of their kids old stuff. Do they care? Not one bit! So save yourself some money!


Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dear Future Mommies - Part One

What do you really know about pregnancy, childbirth, newborns, infants and toddlers?

Probably not as much as you think you know.

When Allyn and I went into this whole parenthood thing, we thought we were prepared. There are some things (actually a lot of things) that no one ever tells you about. So I decided to touch base with the unmentionables.

Pregnancy


Most of us have learned about pregnancy in health class while we were in school, and you've probably "learned" a few things from movies like Knocked Up, Juno, Marley and Me, ect. Health class doesn't tell you as much as you should know and I'm convinced if they did tell us more, we might've been too scared to have sex in the first place! Oh and those movies, as entertaining as they are, are a bit misleading.

If you think that you'll know when the baby is coming by your water breaking on it's own...good luck. Only 10% of pregnant women have their water spontaneously burst before feeling contractions. Almost every movie with a pregnant lady I've ever seen shows the woman's water bursting. My favorite is from the movie Baby Mama when it seems like what could fit in a water bottle splashed out and she asked if she should clean that up. In reality, the amniotic fluid is rushing out for about 30 minutes. When the baby moves, more fluid comes out, and there is A LOT in there, trust me!

With Corvin, I went into the hospital when I was in the early stages of labor and they sent me home. We came back a few hours later ready to have a baby. The whole labor and delivery process takes a LONG time though. So if you count the hours from early labor to delivery with Corvin, It was probably around 24 hours. Most movies make it seem like it takes an hour, hah! If you're extremely lucky, maybe that will happen, but don't count on it. Zander was a fun experience as well. I had false labor 4 times. The contractions felt real, they were 3-5 minutes apart for about 2 hours so we'd go to the hospital. They'd keep us there for a few hours and suddenly my contractions would just stop. How frustrating! So be prepared for labor to not actually happen, even when you're sure it's happening.

You may have heard how uncomfortable you can be during pregnancy. The beginning is fine, it's really the last 2 months that torture you. You're sweaty, your back hurts, you can only sleep on your right or left side, you're tired, you're cranky, you feel fat, none of your clothes fit, you can't do anything fun because your feet hurt, you're sick one second then the next you want KFC, you're overly emotional, you randomly cry, you want to take a bath but your belly sticks out of the water, baby is kicking everything (stomach, ribs, bladder, belly button) and it kind of hurts sometimes, your friends don't talk to you as much because you're probably being a bitch so you're lonely and because of all of the things I just mentioned. you're sick of being pregnant. Bridezilla's got nothing on a pregnant woman in her third trimester. So beware of a bitchier you, and tell your significant other to be nothing short of a gentlemen...unless he likes being screamed at for reasons you'll laugh at later.
Example: When I was pregnant with Corvin, we couldn't decide on a name. Every name I came up with, Allyn didn't like. I got so mad that I went on the computer and deleted the list of names he came up with and said they all sucked. He was a jerk for not liking my ideas. hahaha. Little did I know I deleted our son's future name! It's funny now, but back then it was a serious matter! ;)

Another thing no one tells you about pregnancy is how utterly RUDE people can be with their comments, stares and questions. Some people are wonderfully nice. They'll hold the door, tell you you're "a cute pregnant lady" and say congrats. Other people will stare at you like you have some crazy disease that makes your abdomen swell up 50 times it's actual size. I used to think they were thinking, "what the hell is wrong with that lady?!? I should stay away from her so I don't catch whatever crap she's got..."  If you don't believe me, you will once you get pregnant! People will also ask you if you're having twins, and when you say no they'll ask you if you're sure because you're just so huge. This will make you feel like crap. You're uncomfortable, irritable and ready for baby to arrive so the last thing you want to hear is how fat you look on top of it all. People will also make smartass comments like, "haven't you heard about birth control yet?"  and "you're naming your baby Beth? I had a dog named that!"
Thank you for that, I'll make sure to name our future pet after you now.

One more misleading thing about movie pregnancies, they'll show mom stuffing her face right away with the weirdest stuff, or just with a ton of food in general. Lies! The first trimester (the first 12 weeks), you feel so sick. They say if it's a girl you throw up a lot and if it's a boy you wont. I didn't get sick with either of my pregnancies (despite Allyn puking on me once, that's a good story) and I had two boys. I did feel very sick though and didn't want to eat much. When I did want to eat, it was something specific, and if I didn't get it, it haunted my mind for as long as I didn't have it. With Zander, I wanted Buffalo Wild Wings about a month before he was born. We didn't have much money so I didn't get them. The thought of BDubbs did not go away until after he was born. However, I never wanted anything weird like chalk, dirt, pickles with ice cream or anything else goofy. In all reality, only a small percentage of women have messed up cravings while they're pregnant. Also, don't expect to like the stuff you normally like. If you're in love with chocolate, you might hate it while you're pregnant. Why? Acid reflux. Stock up on Tums while you're pregnant because baby doesn't help keep your stomach acids down, especially after eating chocolate!



Childbirth


As I mentioned earlier, labor can take a long, long time. Allyn was actually under the impression that it takes maybe a few hours total. He was in for a real surprise...From the time the doctors broke my water with Corvin (yes they will do that if they have to) to the time he was born took 11 1/2 hours. Becoming fully dialated can take a very long time! Most women take longer than that from what I understand, especially if it's your first child. I know several women that were in labor for 30 hours or more. So I was one of the lucky ones! Zander, once he finally decided to stop playing games, only took 7 hours.

Pushing is THE hardest part of labor. Epidural or not, you'll probably feel the baby coming out. Corvin took me 44 minutes to push out. He had SUCH a big head, still does, so it took a long time to get him to come out. It was extremely hard and painful. The epidural dulled the pain a bit, but the pressure you feel is definitely hard to bare. Zander didn't take as long, only 10 minutes, but I felt the extreme urge to push before I was 10cm dialated (which is what you have to be in order to push baby out). One side of my cervix was all the way open, the other had another half centimeter to go. Do you know what it feels like to work against a contraction and basically try to hold it in? This isn't like an I-have-to-pee holding it in, this is an excruciating my-vagina-is-about-to-explode holding it in. The second they said I could push I was so relieved!

Another thing they don't tell you about child birth is how bad you might start to shake. Not like you're having a seizure or anything, it's just from the rush of hormones flooding your body. I didn't really shake a lot with Corvin, but with Zander I felt like I was going to vibrate right off the bed! My lips were quivering, my arms were shaking, my hands were the worst and I had zero control over it. The nurses kept saying it was normal, and all I could think was, "why the crap did no one tell me about this?!?"






Once your baby's head is out, the doctors might make you push once or twice more, but they can pull him/her out pretty easily. Most movies show a perfect little crying baby with a little bit of yucky stuff on it. NEWS FLASH! There is A LOT of yucky stuff on your baby in real life. This yucky stuff is called vernix. It kept your baby warm and moisturized while they were in your uterus. Otherwise baby would come out looking like a prune. Also, your baby might come out looking like a different color. Corvin was fairly white, but he was actually kind of yellow and stayed that way for almost 2 weeks. Zander was blue (from lack of oxygen) but the doctors quickly put an oxygen mask on him and he turned back to a normal color. Did you know most black babies are actually born looking more white? It can take up to two weeks for their true coloring to come in.

After the long hours of birthing your child, you might not be able to sleep very well. I couldn't either time. I was simply too in love with my babies that I didn't want to miss out on any of the cuteness they were emitting for even a second. I was just too happy to sleep much. You wont care about any of the hard stuff you had to go through during your pregnancy or birthing of your baby because it doesn't matter anymore. What matters is the cute little bundle who's about to change your whole life in more ways than you could even imagine.

We'll talk about that tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disclaimer

I'm not gonna lie...
I was really debating on not writing my blog today.

Why? Well there have been several people that are taking things a bit too personally. So friends, family and other people I may not know as well, here's my disclaimer. If you don't want me to blog about something we did that day, or even in the past, just say so. I have common sense though, so I wont blog about that time you made out with 3 guys all in one night and couldn't remember their names the next day. However, if you don't want me to talk about how we went shopping the other day, tell me! Otherwise I won't understand why you're so mad at me.

Also, if I say something you think is out of line, all you have to do is tell me. Talking behind my back will not solve your problem, ignoring your anger will not solve your problem and yelling at me will not solve your problem either. Talk to me like an adult, and I'll do the same to you. It's really quite simple actually. I truly believe in treating others the way you want to be treated which is why I'm a pretty nice person (well at least I think I am) most of the time. If you give me sass, I'll give you sass. If you treat me with respect, I'll treat you with respect. That's just the way I am.

Okay, now that's off my chest, let's move on to other things!

I've been bad.

I haven't really been doing Insanity :/

I don't have it on DVD, it's on my computer and there isn't a ton of room in our bedroom to do those workouts. Sure, I can hook up the computer to the TV, but Corvin thinks that's an open invitation to play with it. Which includes, but is not limited to: pressing all available buttons, opening and closing the door on the tower, using other toys to hit it, holding his sippy upsidedown and hitting it against the tower so various liquid comes out, biting it, smacking it, so on and so forth. The cons outweigh the pros there because I sort of need our computer to operate my photography. If Corvin breaks it, I'm S.O.L. However, I think this Zumba routine will do just as much good as Insanity will. Plus, Corvin thinks mommy doing Zumba is funnier than mommy doing Insanity, so it doubles as entertainment for the both of us! Zander still cries while I do it - you know, because he wants fluffy pillow mommy, not skinny good looking mommy :)

For the past week, I was scared to weigh myself. I finally weighed myself today expecting to be 5 pounds heavier from my La Crosse visit seeing as food was constantly being paraded in front of me. To my surprise, I only gained .9 pounds! So that's not bad at all. That can be gone by tomorrow with a little Zumba and good eating habits :)

Oh! and a little tip for anyone else trying to lose/maintain weight, count your calories! It's sooooo helpful! The easiest way to do this is to use MyFitnessPal.com. It's totally free and you can even download the ap for your phone! If anyone decides to get it, feel free to friend me - tlholmes9489 :)

Quick update on the rest of my resolutions...

2. I have a maternity session scheduled for next month! That money will bring me one step closer to taking 1 of the 2 classes I'm interested in taking this year. Or maybe getting a new lens. We'll see how many more shoots I can set up this year to figure out that decision.

3. As you all know, I'm waiting for our tax money to come in. Once it does I can start buying/paying off more things for our wedding. Can't wait!
PS - if you want to help us reach our goal to have a super perfect, amazing, beautiful wedding, you can go to Donate to True Love and throw in a dollar (or more) to help us out! :)

4. Corvin now knows how to say 11 words! Dada, doggie, bum bum, poop, hi, go, cow, here, deer, Bo and door. Plus Zander is so close to rolling over from his back to his tummy. He's so advanced for his age! It's so fun to watch my little boys grow ♥

5. I'm 95% sure I'm not pregnant :) woo!

Well friends, it's about that time. Thanks for reading my blog! You guys have helped me get up to over 5,000 views in about a month! Now if only I could convince blogger.com to give me a dollar for every page view my blog got.... :)

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber


Friday, January 27, 2012

Beware of Bridezilla

Watch out world, Taber Lacie is turning into....DUN DUN DUN....a bridezilla!

Rawr!

Muahahaha!

Alright, I'm really not that bad...yet. I'm definitely a perfectionist though and so far I see lots of bumps in the road to reach the level of perfect-ness I want for our big day. By bumps in the road I mean a few things.

#1) MONEY! If we get everything that we WANT, we need an extra $1,500-$2,000 for the wedding. If we get to invite everyone that we want to invite, add about $500 more. To get everything we need, we actually are short by about $500 :/

Last night, as a joke to myself, I Googled, "I want a free wedding."  To my surprise, several things popped up. Obviously several giveaways (most of them were expired or we didn't meet the requirements) but there was another website called gogetfunding.com. I checked it out and there's a whole page for people trying to get some money for their wedding. So I figured why not! I made a funding profile. If you're feeling generous, or if you just want to read the story of how Allyn and I started dating, click here ---> Donate to Love. Yes I know it kinda seems tacky, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures! We've cut corners (no longer getting magnet invites which is saving us a good $85), I created the design for our invites myself instead of buying pre made ones, I didn't buy the more expensive dress, ect ect. So maybe if we're lucky, some people will donate a little bit of money. We even have prizes set up for certain amounts. Like $25 gets you a PG13 lap dance from a groomsman or a bridesmaid! (that will be saved for AFTER all children are in bed!)

#2) I'm definitely worried about my family. Long story short, not too many of my family members are talking to my grandma. She's kind of made a lot of the family mad. Here's the problem....I can't NOT invite her. If I don't invite her, there's a good chance she'll show up anyway and start fighting with me. If I do invite her, I take the risk of family members getting in a fight at my own wedding. HOPEFULLY that won't happen, but I must admit I'm a little worried!

#3) I'm nervous I wont lose the weight I need to lose in enough time. Sometimes, even if you do everything right, the weight just doesn't come off. If my dress doesn't fit when it needs to be altered, I'm probably going to cry. No joke. Maybe I'll just make sure my bridesmaids hound me to get skinny again. If they don't, I can blame it on them ;)

#4) I'm worried the wedding party will be hard to manage seeing as we live 5 1/2 hours away from all of them. So far, I've heard about no one getting fitted for their dress or their tux. There's a deadline for all that stuff and if it doesn't get done soon, Bridezilla will make her first (well maybe second or third..hehe) appearance! So wedding party, if you're reading this, get it done soon!!

Anyway, I have things to do and not much time to do them all. So I'll talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber


This is what I designed for our wedding invite :) I'm still a bit undecided on the font I want.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1, 2, 3 ZUMBA!

I bought the Zumba game for Wii.

Day 1, epic fail. I got frustrated with it and quit within 5 minutes. Go me. :)

Day 2 (being yesterday) I skipped the tutorial part and just jumped into it. Much better. I felt like I got a pretty good workout in! So I wont return it and I'll stick with it for a while. Hopefully it'll help melt off my mommy fat a little faster!

I have a bone to pick with Zumba though....

I've been told that this is pronounced Zoom-bah. I've been pronouncing it how it flippin' looks, ZUM-bah. Allyn says it's probably another language, which I kind of figured it was, but it still bugs me. You know those Mazda commercials? They don't spell it "zum zum zum" - they spell it "zoom zoom zoom."  So I look at the work Zumba and think it's pronounced ZUM-bah. I haven't decided if I'm going to be a rebel and pronounce it my way or if I should conform and say it like everyone else....decisions, decisions... :)

Today, in between my ZUMba workout, cleaning, cooking, taking care of kids and laundry, I plan on getting some more wedding planning done! Mostly budgeting to see if we can afford a few extras like chair covers, more decorations, ect. I also plan on either finding a preset template to put on our magnet invites or I'll just make my own. That'll probably get done during Corvin's nap time. SO much to do and I feel like I have SO little time to do it all! I can't wait to look in our bank account and see that our tax money has come in so we can just get the ball rolling here! :)

Anyway, it doesn't look like Shannon (Allyn and Angie's mom) has logged onto her profile again. So we're still waiting on the edge of our seats to see if she says anything back. I hope that within the week she responds...but like I said yesterday, we'll just have to wait and see. Wish us luck!

This post is a little short today, mostly because I've already been on the computer for way too long and I bet Allyn isn't happy about it. Whoops :)

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

As promised, here's the video of Corvin saying poop and squatting. Be happy smellivision hasn't been invented yet. This was a stinky video to record :)
video

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lost and Found

It's funny to think about the things we take for granted everyday...

Little things like the convenience of a grocery store, the gas station to power our vehicles, the laughter of our children and so on and so forth. Some people may not think so, but I think a lot of people take their parents for granted.

Last night, Angie (my sister-in-law) called Allyn.
She found their mom.

For those of you that don't know, Allyn and Angie haven't spoken to their mom in 7 years or so. She has no idea she has grandchildren, no idea that we live in Illinois, no idea that Angie is going to school, no idea that her son is getting married in a few months. It's a long, long story of what happened. Those of you who know Allyn well have definitely heard it. So for us to just suddenly find her is insane, sudden, unexpected and any other word that describes being utterly flabbergasted.

This isn't the first time Angie or Allyn has tried to find their mom. They've Googled her, paid money on websites that find people, even sent messages to people like Ellen Degeneres asking for help. They've found some luck finding phone numbers and such, but no one ever answers.

So how did they find Shannon all the sudden? How is it that she just appeared out of no where when she's been nearly invisible for 7 years?

Apparently Angie just went to Google, typed in "Shannon Johnson Raymond WA"  and found her Google+ profile. After looking at her profile we learned she probably created her account a few days after her 2nd grandson, Zander, was born.

Her profile is listed as public. Allyn thinks their mom did this on purpose. We were able to read all her posts, learning that she has 2 dogs, a cat and is still married to Mark. She's a police officer in the Army and it looks like she might be getting deployed again soon.

Maybe after all these years, she finally wants to be found. Maybe she's finally curious as to where her children are but didn't know how to go about finding them. I don't know. Hopefully soon we'll find out. Allyn and Angie both created Google+ accounts and added Shannon to their family circle. They both just want their mom back, and it seems as if they have finally found a way back to her.

For Angie, Shannon was never really there as much for her from what I understand. She's lived most of her life living in Independence, WI with the Roskos family. Jim Roskos is Allyn and Angie's "dad." He was married to Shannon when Allyn and Angie were born. Even though he's not the biological father to either of them, he and his family have done everything for them as if they were his children. They're an amazing family with huge, loving hearts. Anyway, from what I understand, Angie would go and visit Allyn and their mom in Tacoma, WA once a year up until she was a tween. Then the visits stopped. Angie wants to know why. She wants to know what she did. She wants to know who her real dad is, or at least the story behind what happened. She wants answers.

Allyn wants answers too, but what he really wants is his best friend back. Once they patch things up (if she wants to that is) then he'll press for some answers. Until then, we're just waiting to see if she replies. He lived with their mom in Tacoma for most of his life. She taught him everything, talked to him all the time, told him he could do whatever he set his mind to among many other things a mom will say and do. They had a strong bond, but it slowly started to fall apart. Shannon's new husband, Mark, sounded like somewhat of a tyrant. He didn't like Allyn and Allyn didn't like him. When it came down to it, Shannon chose Mark over Allyn. Of course he wants to know what she was thinking, why did she pick this jerk over her own son and daughter, but he wants to reconcile with her before asking any more questions.

After finding Shannon last night, Allyn thought long and hard about what he wanted to say to his mom after all these years. I held Zander, and Allyn held Corvin and we waited for them to fall asleep. Once Corvin was in his crib and Zander was sound asleep, Allyn went straight to the computer, turned on some Kings of Leon and started typing. He wrote down just a fraction of the thoughts and feelings he's had about his mom over the past 7 years. He expressed how much he missed her, how he's not contacting her for money, answers or anything like that. He understands if she doesn't write back to him because she might be embarrassed, angry, or feeling any other emotion about her actions (or lack there of) for the past 7 years. It was kind of a leap of faith for him. He says that if she doesn't respond he wont be too heartbroken. She hasn't tried contacting him or Angie for a long time so if she continues to ignore them it wont really change much. I hope she does respond. It would make Allyn and Angie so happy to have their mom back again. She's been gone for so long, they have a lot to catch up on! She's a grandma and doesn't even know it, and I'm sure she has a lot of things to tell them too. What a beautiful reunion it would be...

If she doesn't respond....I guess that just shows how much she doesn't care. That means she created her profile and forgot to set it to private. It means she's content with the fact that she abandoned two AMAZING people.

I just don't want to believe that the other grandmother to my children is that kind of person. I want to be optimistic that Shannon will respond and try to reconnect with her own children. I want to meet my future mother-in-law and I want Allyn and Angie to be reunited with her.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Obviously, this particular situation doesn't apply to everyone, but it's still a reminder to not take someone like your mom or dad for granted. There are people out there like Allyn and Angie who don't talk to their mom and don't know who their biological fathers are. I don't know who my dad is, from what I understand he knew about me but didn't want to be in my life. If you have both parents in your life right now, be thankful. You're luckier than you think.

Until tomorrow,
♥ Taber


Allyn and Angie with Corvin and Zander ♥

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Creepers

Why are some people so....ugh, what's a good word for this? Let's just call it annoying.

Topic for the day: creepy guys. I bet you can't wait to read this now, huh? :)

So last night, our friend Dan was over at our place. Dan is basically Allyn's best friend here in Peoria, just in case I never told you guys that before. Anyway, they were drinking beers and practically gossiping like the ladies on The View. Somewhere in their lengthy conversation, Allyn brought up how this guy that is sort-of-our-friend-but-not-really-anymore (complicated much? haha) was showing the new manager of Tradehome my old online modeling portfolio and bragging about how he knew me. His wife is my mommy-friend-that-seems-to-be-mad-at-me-and-hasn't-talked-to-me-in-a-while (another complicated relationship) and I'm not really friends with her husband.

First of all, dude, not much to brag about. I don't look like that anymore so there's no sense in telling other people, "look at this hot chick I know!" when my body looks no where near that anymore.

Second of all, how the crap did you find that profile? Oh wait, I know! You created your own CREEPER profile on modelmayhem.com just to look at half naked (and sometimes naked!) pictures of women you know and don't know for FREE.

Third of all, I'm 95% sure your wife might be pissed about you creepin' on other girls like that.

I understand that boys will be boys, or whatever, but for some reason this sort of annoys me more than usual. Is it a compliment? Kind of. It would be if I still had a rockin' bod, but I don't. So I think what it really comes down to is that I don't want to be reminded of my old body right now. I used to have flat, strong abs, now I have a 4-month-pregnant-looking gut. Makes me sad. BUT I can turn it around into motivation. So maybe I should say thanks to Allyn's sort-of-our-friend-but-not-really-anymore for being a little creepy. Well, maybe not.

I also think it's time to be done with the Wii Fit. It's fun, but it doesn't do as much for me as it used to. The first few weeks after I had Zander, it was actually kind of challenging. Now, I don't even break a sweat unless I'm doing the super hula hoop for 10 minutes. Thanks Wii Fit for all you've done, but I need something more. Maybe I can buy one of those cool Zumba Wii games?!? Hopefully Wii Fit doesn't get jealous ;)

Anyway, I really need to make our recipe list, turn it into a grocery list and head to Wal-Mart. Thanks for reading my random thoughts :)

Talk to you guys tomorrow!
♥ Taber

(Instead of posting a pic I've edited, I'm going to post an old modeling pic of myself - motivation, right? haha)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back in the 309

The Lottouzee family has made it back to Peoria in one piece!

Not without a little craziness though....

As many of you may know, we were in Chicago visiting my 2 aunts (Aunt Judy and Aunt Bev). The drive from Chicago to Peoria takes about 3 hours with the kids. This time around was a different story. Not only was it raining, it down poured for a while. After it down poured, Zander and Corvin decided to throw 2 little fits. So we pulled over in the middle of no where on one of the creepiest roads possible and I fed Zander while Allyn held Corvin for a bit. 10 minutes later, we were back on the road. It was only about 20 minutes later when Zander realized he hated his car seat, which made us hate it too. The only way he could express his hatred was by screaming of course. Allyn sat sideways in his seat to try and keep Zander's pacifier in his mouth but little man was just relentless. Finally he calmed down, but Corvin had reached his own little breaking point. He then proceeded to cry loudly - at least he wasn't screaming. Unfortunately, this woke Zander up and pissed him off to the point where he felt the need to scream once again. This went on for about 45 minutes until we got back to Peoria. Oh, and during that 45 minutes, we drove through some of the worst fog imaginable. I could only see about 10-15 feet in front of my car. Oy, that was a long ride home!

Corvin and Zander are probably just really sick of the car. After traveling to Independence, La Crosse, Madison and Chicago all within a week and a half they've been in the car for about 18 hours. Not a fun time for a toddler or an infant. I've decided to make up for so much driving around, I wont put them in the car unless it's an emergency for at least 2 weeks. Hopefully they'll forgive me :)

Out of everyone, I think Corvin was the happiest to be home. As soon as he walked in the door, he toddler talked to himself for a good 20 minutes. He grabbed several toys we left behind and hugged them, layed on his belly with a big grin on his face and then tried playing with all the things he knows he's not supposed to play with. Silly little guy :) Zander was pretty happy too. He only woke up twice last night! While we were traveling, he was waking up 5 times a night or so. 

Anyway, I still haven't worked out today. I definitely need to. The past week I hardly had a chance to workout and I'm 90% sure I over ate most days. Ugh :( I'm not impressed with myself right now. Oh, and to make my confidence even more non-existent, we had our engagement pictures done on Saturday. Vince (our wedding photographer) let me look at the pictures and WOW do I look horrible. I'm no longer pregnant, but my gut sure makes me look like I'm 4 months along. Gross.....if that doesn't inspire me to lose some flippin' weight, I don't know what will!

Here's some exciting news! Allyn filed our taxes today and we're supposed to be getting $4,044 back! This will definitely pay for some more wedding things like decorations, food, photography, ect. We're still debating on if we want to use that to pay for Allyn's car or not, but then that frees up $350 a month. My only concern really is that if we do that, then a lot of our wedding stuff may not be paid for in time. We're still expecting Tradehome to give us Allyn's bonus they never gave him in the first place, but we have no idea how much we're getting. Personally, I think that we should use the Tradehome money on Allyn's car and our tax money on wedding expenses. We're planning on having a discussion about that later. More exciting financial news! I won $100 for losing the most weight by percentage in 3 weeks AND we turned in all our spare change and had $131! Crazy! I'm also planning on selling a few things on ebay. They wont make us a ton of money, maybe $20-$50, but hey...money is money! God knows we were really hurting a month or two ago, it's nice to finally be swimming back to the surface again. Now if only we could just find a damn boat....preferably a yacht :)

Well anyway, I need to get back to editing photos. I only got to do 1 of the shoots I had planned while we were in La Crosse and there were a TON of adorable pictures! I'll post a few here to make up for all the daily edited photos I missed last week :)

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber











Saturday, January 21, 2012

Leaving La Crosse :(

Current emotion: Sad.
I don't wanna go back!! I want to stay here in the La Crosse area with all my friends and family! Waaaa!

Okay, I'm done whining. :)

Seriously though, I really do wish we could stay. There are so many people I feel like I didn't get a chance to see. If Allyn didn't have orientation on monday we would've been able to stay longer, but oh well. We can dedicate some of our free time next week to our Peoria buddies and of course our little family.

I'm looking forward to working out a lot next week though. I tried on my wedding dress yesterday and I still need to lose about 20 pounds :/ 3 of the clips in the back don't quite go together anymore and my post baby belly bluges out. Seeing myself in the dress the way I currently look inspires me to get my butt into gear! I'm at 134ish pounds right now (might've gained a bit since we've been here, whoops!) and I want to be at least 120 pounds by the time we get married in May. I can do this!

Well I need to keep this one short and sweet. We have to drive for a good 4-5 hours to get to Chicago. Thanks to everyone we saw in La Crosse this week for making our trip fun! Love and miss you all!

♥ Taber