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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lots to Talk About :)

Hmmm, where do I start. I have SO much to blog about!

I suppose we can start with Corvin. Since we've been in Wisconsin, he's learned 2 new words and does several very silly things now that just crack me up! At my moms house, there are a lot of dead animals hanging from the walls. My step dad (well kind of step dad, they've just been dating for 7ish years so at this point he's basically my step dad, haha), hunts all the time. So there are a few deer heads, birds, fish, ect all over the living room and in the basement. Corvin was definitely interested in all of these things, especially the deer. Within a few hours of being at my mom's, he figured out how to say deer! Whenever he says it, he points at one of the deer heads and says, "Deer!"  Too cute ♥ He's also learned how to say Bo. No, I didn't spell that wrong, I mean Bo. We went to our friends house, Matt Bollman, whom we call Bo. I figured since Corvin can say go and bum bum, he can probably figure out how to say Bo, and sure enough he did! The kid can say Bo, but mama is a whole 'nother story! Little butthead.

Corvin also has a few new actions. Yesterday, he threw his first real temper tantrum. He was tired and we were trying to change him into his night time diaper and his jammies. This process took a good 15 minutes because someone decided to have a little freak out. He'd try to escape the room and I'd step in front of him to prevent him from leaving. This was apparently where I went wrong. He threw himself on the ground crying and kicking and sort of pounding on the floor a bit! Definitely funny - but I know this will probably only be funny once or twice more before it becomes extremely annoying! To make up for his newly found anger, he's done some very adorable things as well. He'll randomly start lightly stomping his feet on the ground with a huge grin. I think he likes the sound it makes and he's proud that he's doing it. Also, if we ask him to say poop when we think we smell something funny coming from his direction, he'll say "poop poop poop"  and he bounces up and down almost like he's squatting to go potty. Next time he does this, I'll try and capture a video and post it here. It's hilarious!

Can you tell this mama is proud? :)

In other news, I definitely forgot to mention that Allyn left ALL my camera equipment back in Peoria. I was a little mad, to say the least. He packed up the car while I took care of the babies and I never double checked his work. I just asked him if he grabbed everything and took his word for it. So we both muffed up there. Anyway, thankfully my friend Amanda has the same camera (just the older model) and let me borrow it. I didn't have to cancel my shoots, woo! However, one of my shoots canceled on me :( She explained herself and I understand why, but I think from now on I'm going to ask my clients to pay a non-refundable certain amount of money down when they book a shoot. That should help prevent this from happening in the future. I have to plan my whole day around a photo shoot so it's kind of frustrating when it gets canceled.

In weight loss news, I haven't lost anything. In fact, I've probably gained a pound or two :/ Yes I know, bad Taber! But let me tell you something, when food is constantly being shoved in your face, it's a little hard to say no at times! haha. My mom makes some kind of baked good almost every day. Apple turnovers, cinnamon cake, double chocolate cake, chocolate brownies, and not to mention the 5 tons of candy they have laying around the house. I don't buy or make this stuff anymore because I know they're my weakness! I have such a horrible sweet tooth and it's so hard to resist! When I get back to Peoria, I'm definitely going to work my little tushie off. Allyn has orientation for American on Monday, but after that he has pretty much the whole week off. The good thing about that is he'll be around to watch the boys so I can do several long workouts. Definitely can't wait!

We have a few wedding updates as well. Yesterday, we went to the Best Western in La Crosse (where the reception is) and talked to the new event planner (or whatever her title is). We figured out a few things, like the color table cloths we'll have (white), the color of the napkins we'll have (some tables will have blue, other tables will have green), how the napkins will be folded (fan style), where the head table will be, and so on and so forth. I think we also definitely want to have the ceremony there as well. They have a nice ceremony area, right next to the beach on the Black River. That way it'll be easier on our guests for traveling. I'm definitely excited and nervous all at the same time! :) Oh! Also, today I'm meeting up with a few of my bridesmaids so they can try on their dresses (and pay for them!) and so I can try my dress on again :) I'm also making Allyn meet his groomsmen at Men's Warehouse to be fitted for their tuxes. Watch out for bridezilla ;) hehe

I also forgot to mention that a bridesmaid of mine backed out of the wedding :( I texted her a few days ago and asked her if she still wanted to be in the wedding. I know she's been having financial problems because she hasn't been able to find a job among a few other things. She had $65 or so left to pay on her dress along with the cost of alterations, shoes, jewelry, ect so I figured this might be difficult for her. Long story short, she said she probably wouldn't be able to swing it and that she may not even be in the state at the time of my wedding (??). I asked her why but she said she didn't want to talk about it. Oh well. My new bridesmaid is Brittany, and I'm definitely happy that she's more than willing to be in my wedding! :)

Well, I've definitely blabbed enough for today! haha. Corvin is probably going to wake up soon, then I need to shower, get ready and start getting ahold of people for our last day in La Crosse :(

Talk to you all later!
♥ Taber

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Miss This

Well hey there strangers!

First off, I must say that it is SO nice to be back home in Wisconsin. I really, truly miss it here. Not to knock Peoria down, but I love La Crosse :) I cannot wait to move back here.
Sometimes I think I want the next few years to just fly by so we can hurry up and get back home. Then I stop and think about it a little more and realize I don't want the years to fly by. Why? Simply because I love seeing my boys be the little monsters they are right now. I'll never get this time with them again so I might as well not worry too much about getting back to La Crosse as soon as possible. The best thing we can do is be patient and stay positive :)

Anyway, let's talk about last night.

We went out last night. Every time I go out I always wake up in the morning thinking, "ugh, I need to learn when to shut up while I'm drinking." Seriously. I talk way too much and embarrass the crap out of myself. In my intoxicated mind I think I'm being funny, sociable, ect. In reality, I need to shut the fuck up (excuse my 'french'). Regardless of being a dork, I still had a great time. I love going out and seeing people I know! It sounds funny, but when you've been gone for almost a year, it's refreshing. In Peoria, when and if I have a chance to go out, there is a 1% chance I'll know anyone else that walks in that door. In La Crosse, there's somewhere around a 90% chance I'll know someone else there and I love it! I miss seeing my friends all the time. Living 5 1/2 hours away sucks. I just need to remember to be patient though. We'll be back before we know it. In the mean time, I'm just going to do my best to stay in touch with the people here.

Well, I should probably go for now. I need to shower, then we have another jam packed day of La Crosse fun :)

Talk to you all later!
♥ Taber

Friday, January 13, 2012

CAUTION!! Fiancee is Flammable

Remember how I said I wouldn't post anything until Wednesday or Thursday?

I lied.

Remember how I said that I would only post if something important happened?

Something important happened.

Allyn started on fire. Literally on flippin' fire. How does one start on fire? Well it's quite simple actually! Let me tell you how :)

Let's start from the beginning. A few months ago, I told my step brother's fiancee that I would edit more pictures of them as a Christmas gift. I may have procrastinated a bit and waited until last night to do them. hehe. Anyway, I also procrastinated by not taking the chicken out of the freezer the previous night and putting it in the fridge to thaw. So because I didn't thaw it, I decided to boil the chicken to thaw it and cook it at the same time. I asked Allyn if he could just make sure the chicken didn't start to boil over (it takes 15-20 minutes for the thaw/cook process) because I wanted to go and work on a picture I was editing for my step brother, Nate, and his fiancee, Cortney. When I left Allyn, he was holding Zander and seemed a little unhappy he had to watch chicken boil. I get that. Watching chicken boil probably isn't much fun. Before I walked back to our room (where the computer is) I said if he needed me to just holler.

I would say 2-3 minutes later I heard, "babe."  Not an urgent sounding "babe"  - just a regular, calm "babe."   So I answered, "what?"   There was an unusually long pause, but I waited patiently to hear what he needed. I honestly thought he was going to complain that I was editing pictures. Yeah, I was wrong.

"I'M ON FIRE!"

My immediate thought was naturally, 'oh my God, put out the fire!'  So I obviously got up and started rushing to the kitchen. On my way there, I thought of how Allyn was holding Zander when I left him. My heart immediately dropped. I was seriously terrified. So when I got out to where they were I looked at Allyn fighting off his flames to my right. I didn't see my babies. I looked to my left, Zander and Corvin were laying/sitting on the floor crying (understandably so!). I wanted to get the fire extinguisher, but I knew that would take too long to dig through the cupboard, read the instructions and then try and use it. So I joined Allyn in batting the flames away with our bare hands. It only took 30 seconds or so to put out the flames, but it felt like 5 minutes. FYI - seeing the person you love on fire is beyond frightening. 

Once the fire was put out, Allyn took off what was left of one of his favorite button up shirts and I examined the damage. He has 5-6 patches of very red skin on his back, but no severe burns. Some of his hair burned at the ends, including some of his eye lashes. The worst of it is on his right hand, the hand he was using to battle the flames. As of right now, I believe he has 3 blisters and his entire hand is pretty red. He has a very high threshold for pain but he says that his hand actually kind of hurts. My poor babe :( I'm so thankful that he had a quick reflex to put Zander down somewhere safe and that Corvin didn't try to run towards him! I'm also very thankful that he's 95% okay!

Lessons have been learned though. Allyn learned to not lean against a stove while the burners are on. I learned not to procrastinate. :) 

Let's hope nothing else crazy happens that I need to blog about in between now and Wednesday or Thursday!

Oh, and here's what I was working on while Allyn was lighting himself on fire :)


Talk to you all in a few days!
♥Taber

TTFN Peoria :)

We leave TOMORROW!

WOO!

I can't wait to come back home and see everyone! While I'm there, all of my resolutions will be worked on too :)

1 - I'll go for a walk everyday or use my mom's Wii Fit.
2 - I have 2 photo shoots set up so far.
3 - We're going to meet with our new event coordinator and I'm going to try on my dress.
4 - I'm always teaching my boys new things :)
5 - Do I really need to go into detail on this one?

Anyway, I'm going to keep this one pretty short today. We have lots to do! Laundry needs to be done, bags need to be packed, we have errands to run (like finally registering my plates with Illinois, whoops) and taking care of other things like feeding the boys and changing their bum bum's. I probably wont be posting for a few days after today either. Our plan is to go up to Independence first to see Allyn's family. They don't have a very fast computer and I really don't think I want to blog from my phone, so I'll just give it a break for a few days. I'm sure you guys wont mind :) Once we drive down to Holmen, we'll be at my moms and not only does she have a fast computer, but fast internet as well! I'll be back to blogging on Wednesday or Thursday, unless I have something extremely important to talk about. It can probably wait though :)

Talk to you all later!
♥Taber

I love my smiley little Zander :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cosmetic Surgery - Good or Bad?

On Facebook, I'm the leader of a group called The Mommy Club ♥. It's basically a bunch of younger moms who talk about mommy things with one another. Questions like, "when should I start potty training junior?" are asked and cute pictures with the caption, "look at how adorable my baby is!" are posted. It's a great place for advice, opinions and just plain bragging :)

One topic that was brought up yesterday was cosmetic surgery. This is what the post said:

"Soooo have any mommies on here gotten their boobs done? I've been looking into it but wanted some input. I'm alllllll ears :)"


As you would probably guess, many mom's said things like, "I haven't but I want to!" or "I plan on doing it within 5-10 years."  I personally would like to get rid of my stretch marks first. I've mentioned before that I've heard you can have laser treatments done to make them vanish. It's a bit spendy but to me it's worth having confidence again and it's worth it to let my own future husband touch and see my belly again. I'm so sensitive about it, it just makes me cringe to have him see me like that. It also remind me about how much I hate how my tummy looks, which just makes me feel bad.

You non-moms may or may not know that having a baby or two can really make your body look...well let's just say different. For ladies like me, it's a little depressing at times. When I was 17, 18, 19 and 20 (well part of my 20th year, I got pregnant when I was 20) I was in great shape. If someone came up to me and said how skinny I was, I wouldn't admit it but I knew. I also knew that after I got pregnant my body wouldn't look the same, and I was prepared for that. Regardless of being prepared and knowing what to expect, I still can't help but look in the mirror and go "bleh." 


Anyway, another mommy commented on this particular post and said she did not at all agree with plastic surgery. It teaches our children that they can change their bodies that we helped to create and that isn't right. I can definitely see where she is coming from. We don't need to fit the standards of what society calls "beautiful." I get it. Sometimes what society doesn't understand is that it isn't just about fitting those standards, it's about being comfortable in your own skin. I'll be the first to admit I'm definitely no longer comfortable in my own skin, and I'd really like to change that. As of yesterday, I'm finally 133.4 pounds. I'm thrilled! I really am. I'm working hard to change what I don't like and the weight is coming off. Go me. However, the more weight that melts away reveals the scars of pregnancy, so it's a win-lose situation in a way. Don't get me wrong, I love my children more than anything else in the entire universe. It just sucks that my precious gifts had to destroy my mom's precious gift. haha ;)

Back to what this particular mommy was talking about though. Bad cosmetic surgery for changing the people the parents of the world created. It got me thinking a bit. If she thought it was wrong to make boobs bigger and make stretch marks go away, what about braces? That's technically a form of cosmetic surgery, isn't it? If you REALLY think changing the body is wrong and you don't want to teach your children to do so, don't make their teeth straight with braces. Don't let them get tattoos and you can't get tattoos either because that would just make you a hypocrite. If they need their tonsils removed, TOO BAD! That would change the body you created and that is wrong. Right?

Sorry, I'm being a little mean :/ or I guess as I like to call it, brutally honest.

In the end, I'm really just ranting here. I don't think this is really going to change anyone's mind about plastic surgery being right or wrong, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents :) Feel free to put in yours as well in the comments below or on the link I post to my profile.

Today, I'll leave you with this video. It's not about plastic surgery, but I found it to be along the same lines and mildly entertaining :) Enjoy!
♥ Taber




Here's my daily edited photo ♥ Mariah and Amberique's Maternity Session

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creativity is Key

As some of you may know, I babysat Ali again last night.

That was fun...

Alright, so it really wasn't that bad. ONLY because I got a little creative this time around though.

Zander had been crying for a good 15 minutes. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was making him happy. For all I know he might've been happy I suppose and just wanted to hear his own voice, but it sure didn't sound that way! Anyway, I looked at Corvin with his cute little mohawk and he didn't seem bothered by little brothers crying. I think he's gotten used to it a bit. Ali on the other hand was reaching her breaking point. I knew that if she started to meltdown, Corvin would too. So with a little quick thinking, I avoided tears, a headache and a missing bottle of wine with one simple statement.

"Mommy isn't going to come home if you're crying. She'll only come home if you're happy."

I must admit, I felt a little bad for saying it. Within 2-3 minutes she stopped though! THANK GOD! Soon enough I had her giggling and even helping me out a bit. Corvin kept opening their cupboards and taking things out. I asked Ali if she could tell him no because I was feeding Zander and she went over to Corvin, grabbed his hand and nicely led him back to the living room! Of course he ran right back, but it was sweet of her to try and help! :)

She also had lots of funny things to say. I was changing Zander's diaper and she pointed at him and said, "what's that?" My immediate thought was 'crap' - but I ended up just saying it was his wee wee. Not understanding, she asked me again. So I told her that was how he goes potty. That answer sufficed her, so she moved on to say, "I like his butt!"  Bahaha! I couldn't help but laugh. I can't wait for the boys to start saying goofy things like that!

Oh, by the way, I read this article yesterday. 21 Creative Consequences - some of them are great! I like the one where if they're stomping their feet during a temper tantrum, you make them stomp their feet for a minute straight once they're done. Maybe then they won't do that next time! haha

Anyway, on the topic of my, uh...our wedding :) we're going to meet with the new event coordinator for Best Western when we get back to La Crosse. We've pretty much decided to have the ceremony there as well, just to make it easier on our guests. Also, while we're home we're (hopefully) going to get our engagement pictures done! Then as soon as I get them back we can create our invites! I'm ordering magnets as our invites so people don't have an excuse for forgetting to RSVP or attend. If they just put it on their fridge, they'll be reminded about it every time they go to grab something, right? :)

If you've read a few of my posts before, you know I typically have to stop because Corvin or Zander woke up from their nap. Today is no different :) Corvin is up and I'm sure he's ready for lunch!

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

This is Billy - We connected on modelmayhem.com to do a TFP shoot back in August :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Lottouzee Family is Coming to La Crosse!

First off, I would like to apologize to anyone who took offense to my post yesterday. It wasn't intended to make anyone upset, I was just simply stating how it doesn't make sense to me completely.

Anyway, lets move on :)

I'm happy to report that the Lottouzee family will be La Crosse bound very soon! As of right now, we're thinking of leaving on Saturday, going to Chicago to see my Aunt Judy and Aunt Beverly first. After that we might make a pit stop to see a few other family members along the way. None of my family lives in one specific area, we're all scattered throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. Yay for lots of road trips! haha. My goal is to be in La Crosse no later than Monday. I couldn't be more excited.

We miss our family and friends back home quite a bit. We never really wanted to leave in the first place, but did only out of necessity. Allyn and I were both working and hardly making enough to keep up with all of our bills. We moved to Peoria for Allyn's job so then he would be the only one working and I could be a stay at home mom. I love that I'm able to do this, but I just wish we weren't 5 1/2 hours away from home :( I would really like to be able to move back to the area before the boys are in Kindergarten. We were thinking West Salem, WI would be a nice place to live but we'll see what happens over the next 4-5 years. By then we may not even want to live near La Crosse. As I said, we'll just have to wait and see :)

In weight loss news, my Wii Fit says I'm 134.7 pounds! WOO! I'm pretty excited :) When we get back to La Crosse I think I might go to the Wedding Tree and try my dress on again. That way I can see exactly how much more I need to lose to look phenomenal in it. I'm 95% sure I can be 10 pounds lighter by May 25th, which I'm pretty sure will be the best weight for me to be in that dress. Wish me luck! 

Another GREAT thing about going back to La Crosse is that we know a TON of people, unlike living in Peoria. I've had to work my little tushie off to get any business around here. When I go to La Crosse, all I have to do is say so and I have people asking if they can shoot with me. I love it! So far, I have 1 basically confirmed shoot, 2-3 pending and several other people who have said they're interested. Hopefully by the end of this week I can have 3-6 shoots set up. Then I'll have LOTS to work on when I get back! I'm very excited! My next goal for my photography business is to buy a better lens. As of right now I only have the stock lens, it works just fine, but I definitely want something better. Hopefully sooner than later I'll have enough money saved up for a halfway decent lens! Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I have a possible wedding set up in Peoria for August! Which is HUGE for me! I cannot wait :)

Also, just wondering if anyone would be interested in me posting recipes for the Lottouzee family dinners I cook. What I do, to make grocery shopping easier, is pick out 14 recipes. I write down all the ingredients then check to see what we need. Whatever we don't have goes on our grocery list and it's exact. Which is very helpful while I'm at the store. Anyway, Once every 2 weeks or once a week, I can post the meals I've planned out for anyone who would like to try something different. If you're interested, comment below or let me know on Facebook :)

Anyway, I need to work out a bit, feed myself, get myself ready a tiny bit and then load up the kiddos. Tonight I'm babysitting my friends daughter again so we have to go pick her up. Let's hope we don't have to endure any toddler meltdowns again - otherwise my bottle of wine will be emptied out tonight when I get back home! haha! I'll let you know how it goes :)

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

This photo is from a court house marriage I did about a month ago. This is Deanna and Chad's daughter. Adorable!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Just Don't Understand

Heroin. Meth. Oxy. Crack.
What drives a person to do these things?
What happens to them where they think, "I'd like to try this drug and see what happens"?

I just cannot wrap my mind around it. I never have been able to and I don't think I ever will be able to.

Part of this was sparked by some comments I read on Facebook in an album a friend of mine posted called "Internet Celebrities." Basically, he goes onto the La Crosse County (WI) website, finds people in jail he knows or who he thinks look funny and posts their mug shot in this album. After reading the comments on one picture, I learned that this particular fellow was in jail for selling and doing heroin.

I do understand that times are tough and selling heroin was probably good money, but I wonder if this kid ever stopped to think about what he was really doing. I've had a few friends in the past who've been involved with this drug (or other bad ones) and the amount of damage it causes is just catastrophic. This young man may not have thought about it, but he was literally ruining lives. Families were crushed, children were left wondering why mommy or daddy were gone, friends were abandoned and the person who did it will have a stigma around them for quite some time, if not for the rest of their life. It seriously breaks my heart to know that this happens every day. I knew it happened in other places...places like Peoria, the city I live in now. There's a ton of crime here. La Crosse however, I just had higher expectations for that city and it's residents.

I hope by the time Allyn and I move back, drugs like that will be forced out. I'm scared they wont be though. I'm scared my hometown and surrounding areas will be painted with the darkness drugs like that carry with it. I always wonder if there's something I can do to help, but as a stay at home mom with two young boys, I just don't know what I could possibly do besides raise awareness.

If you know someone who's dealing a drug like this, ask them why. Ask them if they ever thought about what they're doing to that city, to those people, to the families and children. They're not just messing up one person's life, but a whole chain of people.


My Hometown - La Crosse, WI

Sorry for such a sad post today guys, but I just felt the need to get this off of my mind.

Until tomorrow,
♥ Taber

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Boys Go to Jupiter to Get More Stupid-er...?

Anyone else remember doing that "patty cake" like rhyme in elementary school? Even then, girls seemed to be pretty good at picking up on the opposite sex's lack of intelligence at times.

Last night, Allyn invited several friends over for their "pre-game" - for those of you who don't know what that is, that's where you drink before you go out to drink..haha. Anyway, most of them were guys, talking about guy things and doing guy things. I'm not saying they're stupid by any means, they seem pretty smart actually, but sometimes the things guys say just freaks me out! Not because the topic is vulgar or anything, but I can't help but wonder if my boys are going to grow up and talk about the same subjects the same way as other guys do. I know they'll talk about things like sex, but I sure as hell hope they don't talk about cheating on their girlfriend let alone act on it. I hope they don't refer to women as "bitches" and treat them like objects. I hope they don't do weird guy things like farting in each others faces :/ bleh. Allyn's friends weren't quite saying/doing these things or talking like that, but other topics they brought up got me thinking about this.

One of my New Years resolutions is to teach my boys as much as possible. I plan on making that a resolution for the rest of my life. One of the big things I want to teach them is to be perfect gentlemen. I want my future daughter-in-laws to tell me "thank you" because I raised 2 boys that treat them like princesses. They'll learn the basics like NEVER hit a woman, don't call her demeaning names like "bitch" or "slut" (even if it's true!), always treat her (and others) the way you want to be treated, never ever cheat on her even if you're not considered "official". They'll also learn the little things that count, like always hold the door for her, ladies first, do nice things once in a while like getting her flowers, tell her she's gorgeous instead of sexy, and many more. The Lottouzee boys will be perfect gentlemen, just like their father ♥

Dear future daughter-in-laws,
You're welcome :)

In other news today, I haven't weighed myself or done anything weight loss related, but I did work on my photography resolution! Months ago, I tried shooting in RAW format because it saves all information of the image, unlike JPEG. Sadly, my Photoshop Elements refused to recognize the files even though I had the RAW plug-in. I've asked a few photographer friends in the past what I should do and I either got no response or an "I don't know." I decided to ask another friend on Facebook, Tyler, and he helped me out. It was a stepping stone to figuring out the problem. Long story short, my version of PSE isn't compatible with the version of the RAW conversion plug-in that works with my camera. The work around? Convert the RAW files into DNG - works just the same! So my daily edited photo was taken today in RAW format, edited in DNG and saved as a JPEG (obviously so I can upload it on the internet). I'm pretty happy with the final result! :) This was also shot using my new mini soft box.

Corvin Allyn, 2 days shy of being 16 months :)


Allyn comes home early today to watch the Steelers play, so hopefully while he's home I can do a full, uninterupted Insanity workout! Can't wait! :)

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Death of a Shoe Salesman

Allyn's last day with Tradehome Shoes is coming up quick! This mommy could not be happier about it.

No more 70-80 hour work weeks, no more not getting over time pay and no more of his smartass, jerk boss being a "dish"head. I'm excited to have my happy babe back. That job was draining him in so many ways. He'd come home in a somewhat bad mood, mostly because of exhaustion, only have 30 minutes to play with Corvin, eat, watch a tiny bit of T.V. and head to bed. No time to try and write his book, chat or hang out with friends, and no time for his own family.

We weren't happy about him working a ton of hours, but we just kept saying that once we got his first bonus it would all be worth it. Getting paid $600 a week for that many hours just was not worth it. Well November came and went with no bonus and no word from anyone on the reason. So Allyn did some investigating and soon discovered that Tradehome just decided not to give him his bonus (due to some sort of "technicality"). We were and are still a little upset about it. It was supposed to be around $3,000, which would've fixed Allyn's busted 1995 Lexus AND paid it off. We're currently spending $350 a month on his car payment alone, so paying it off would've been BEYOND helpful for our monthly budget. After we received that news, Allyn decided it was time to move on to something better for our family.

Now, Allyn will be working part time at T-Mobile and full time at either Kay Jewelers as a manager-in-waiting or as a full time sales associate at American (still waiting on a call from either of them, which scares me a little). Even with Allyn having TWO jobs, he'll be working less hours and making more money. We're estimating about $700 a week without commission added. I'll be more than happy with an extra $400 or more a month! :)  Wish us luck!

I'm really looking forward to Allyn being home an extra 10 to 20 hours a week :) -knock on wood!- I bet our boys are too!

Today, my weight loss adventure has taken a bit of a step backwards. I gained a little, but I'm 90% sure that's just muscle gain. However, doing Insanity yesterday I slightly pulled my left calf muscle :( So I'll do a slightly less intense workout a little later to avoid any serious injury. It's funny how old injuries have a way of continuously coming back no matter how long ago it was it happened originally. Thanks high school track. That calf injury happened my junior year, haunted me my senior year, and has come back once again to try and show me who's boss. Little does my calf know, nothing will stop me from getting back into shape! My ultimate goal is to fit into my wedding dress perfectly...and to weigh less than my human garbage disposal of a future husband :)

In wedding planning news, I've officially decided that I don't care how tacky it might be, Dairy Queen will be the provider for our cake! haha. Neither of us like regular cake very much, and doing an ice cream bar is more expensive than we thought, so Dairy Queen ice cream cake is the way to go. 2 round cakes and 4-5 sheet cakes will give everyone a piece and only cost about $200! Good deal :) I've also started planning a few other things, but those will remain a secret until the big day ;)

Corvin is now waking up from his nap, so I'll scoop him up and see what else I can teach him today. He's officially said "all done!" several times now, so I think we can add that to his list of words!

Here's my daily edited photo! This is my happy little 15 month old, Corvin :)

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now...

My glasses have arrived! It's nice to be able to see everything again, but I must admit I'm a little embarrassed. Not because I have glasses, but I've looked at some of the old photos I've edited without my glasses. Now I see what some people were talking about when I asked for advice. Not with colors or being too light/dark, but with how soft the picture looked (I couldn't tell because to my stupid eyes it looked pretty 'sharp') and I missed little details I wouldn't normally miss. So it'll be nice to be able to edit pictures correctly!



Anyway, I'm writing this a little earlier than usual, mostly because Zander is super super passed out. This never happens so I figured I should take advantage of the situation while I can! :)

In toddler news, Corvin has learned how to say "cow" - kind of. It sort of sounds like "go" but the way he moves his mouth I know he's trying to say "cow" :) Too cute. Last night we video chatted with his Auntie Angie (Allyn's sister) and he told her all of his new words and showed her how he knows lots of things like hair, cheek, nose, ect. He got a little distracted in the process though, he thinks mommy's glasses are a toy! Silly little man of mine :)

Yesterday, I read and posted an article to my Facebook page that I'd like to share again, as it has me really thinking. It's about the top 5 regrets people have when they're about to pass away. Allyn and I started talking about it more, and part of us would really like to live in another country for a little while. He has dual citizenship seeing as he was born in Germany, so we thought maybe we could go there sometime in the near-ish future. I just don't want to look back on my life one day and think, I wish I would've done that. I want to look back and think, I'm SO glad I did that while I had the chance! You know? I know it sounds completely nuts to just pack your bags and move across the world, but I think it would be a very eye opening experience. We'll see where the yellow brick road of life takes us though :)

Oh geeze...Zander just woke up and is NOT happy! Time for me to go! Once I take care of him I'm probably going to do day 2 of Insanity. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that again! haha. I just have to keep thinking about a quote that was posted in a group I'm in on Facebook...

True Story!

Here's my edited photo for the day! This is a picture of Zander when he was 1 week old with his Auntie Angie ♥

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh the Insanity!

My. Body. Hurts.

I started Insanity today....well kind of. I did the fit test for Insanity. Does that count? We'll say it does because oh my goodness was I NOT prepared for that! I haven't felt that winded since my 1st day of track my freshman year of high school! Corvin thought it was hilarious at least, haha. He even tried doing some of the moves with me. He put a cute little toddler twist on it though :) Next time I should record him and post it on YouTube and/or Facebook. It's too funny when he does it! Thankfully, Zander stayed asleep for about 17 of the 25 minutes it takes to complete the test..or as I like to call it, death. haha.

I decided to take a picture of my "day 1 body." Here it is! This is what my Wii Fit says is 135.4 pounds!

I'll try to post a new picture every few weeks to keep you all posted on my progress :)

Yesterday, a friend of ours asked me to pick up her daughter from day care and watch her at her place until she got home. The thought of that had me running for the fridge to find my wine, but I agreed nonetheless. So I loaded up Corvin and Zander into my mommy mobile and pulled up the very back seat for Ali to sit in. Picking her up from day care was easier than I thought it would be. I left the boys in my SUV/van/whatever it's called and ran in, grabbed her booster seat and loaded her in. The first hour or two was okay. She's 2 1/2 and is pretty self sufficient at this point in her life. She can drink out of a water bottle, get things out of the fridge, tell me if she needs something in relatively clear English and can even go potty on her own. However, she missed her mommy. That's when it started. The chain reaction of crying children as I was trying to cook a quick dinner for everyone. "I WANT MY MOMMY!" soon turned into "LKDLFJOIJDCEDOIFJLEK!!!!" (if you're not sure what that means, I'm not either). Then Corvin was holding onto me with a complete death grip sniffling and crying. Then Zander decided to join the party for no particular reason. So I turned off the stove top, put a cover on the food, put Zander in his car seat and rocked him in it while hugging Corvin and Ali telling them everything was going to be okay. Within 25 minutes they all calmed down. Thank you Little Mermaid for the distracting entertainment.

I never did get my wine... :(
Which reminds me, I need to call Allyn & tell him we're out of my 3rd favorite beverage. haha

Even though watching a 2 1/2 year old, an almost 16 month old and a 2 month old was INSANE, I still want another baby someday. You must think I'm crazy now, huh? I kind of do too :) haha. I definitely want to wait until August/September of 2013 though. Corvin and Zander need to be able to be sufficient enough so I can take care of a newborn and by that time I think they will be. If they're as sufficient as Ali is right now by the time they're around her age, I think it'll be okay. Until then, I am NOT getting pregnant! Ugh...writing about this just reminded me that my doctor never called me back about getting birth control...jerk. haha.

My regular doctor may not be good at calling me back, but my eye doctor is! They called about an hour ago and told me my glasses are all ready to be picked up :) If I don't post a picture tonight, I will tomorrow.

I suppose, I should probably get going. I need to shower, clean a bit, get ready to get my glasses, then come home, do dishes, make dinner and hopefully relax with my beautiful family ♥ Oh the busy life of a busy wife!

Here's my daily edited photo. I took this back in August when I visited my hometown, La Crosse Wisconsin ♥