31 May 2012

Natural Bridge and Safari

We have had an amazing past few days. Matt is such a sweetheart and he took off a couple of days so we could celebrate our anniversary right. Monday, our actual anniversary, was low key. Exchanged gifts and went out to dinner. We decided to do paper as a traditional gift along with something else. We both ended up giving the other the same paper present which was a letter in a bottle. I thought that was sweet. Tuesday we headed out to Natural Bridge, VA and all the excitement began.

We said we'd leave around 9:00 am but of course that meant we got on the road around 10:30. It was a good thing we did leave late because we found out once we got there that we weren't able to check into our room until four and it was only two o'clock. It was so hot out and Natalie was in such a bad mood. Luckily the package we booked with the hotel included tickets to a butterfly garden, toy museum and wax museum right around the corner. All of the exhibits were very disappointing. After we visited them we still had an hour to kill, so we went on a little drive. Natalie took a huge dump so we pulled over into a parking lot. I tried changing her diaper in the car like I did so many other times before but poo got everywhere. It was awful. Right after that we went back to the hotel and asked if our room was ready. It was about 3:30. Thankfully it was ready. We got settled and Natalie took a nap. After she woke up we decided to go out to see the natural bridge. It was beautiful. Then we got caught in a huge rain storm. There was a shuttle that went from the bridge to the gift shop located right across the street from the hotel. The shuttle driver was so nice though and since we had a baby he dropped us off right in front of the hotel. Then we had some wine, went to dinner and ventured back out to see the bridge for a "light show" at night.

This was Natalie's first over night trip and we planned everything per usual. I would wake up with her during the night to feed her as needed. Well, after feeding her at 4:40 am I closed my eyes. Then I swear I heard whispering in the room. I was freaked out. I absolutely could not go back to sleep after that. I stayed awake trying to calm myself but had no luck. Then I heard a scratching under my pillow. Of course my first thought was that Natalie was scratching the bed in her sleep like she sometimes does. Still, it really scared me and I wasn't convinced it was her. I think these paranoid thoughts were the result of my husband telling me the hotel was haunted. He was joking, but I'm a huge wuss when it comes to things like that. I finally fell asleep around 6:00. Then at 6:30 Natalie woke up screaming. It was definitely a gasy belly. There really wasn't much I could do. I thought changing her diaper would help comfort her but when I took it off she started to pee. It got all over before I could get a new one down. She was wide awake after that but Matt eventually rocked her to sleep in her car seat then she slept til about ten. 

In the morning we went back to natural bridge for a last look. After that we drove 20 minutes down the road to a safari park. There we paid admission and bought buckets of food for the animals. Then drove through the park with tons of animals to feed, including but not limited to: deer, elk, emu, ostrich, buffalo, zebra, and camels. It was incredible. After we did that we went and hand fed a giraffe. If I'd known this place existed sooner we could have saved a lot of money on our trip to Florida a couple years ago.

 It was a really crazy, overwhelming but a fun and special trip. I'm so glad we got to experience all we did. I know we'll be back.
Matt and Natalie in front of our hotel

Freshly hatched butterflies

The exhibit was pretty much nothing but creepy ass dolls

It was dark inside and my flash was broken but you really aren't missing out on much with these pictures.

Natural Bridge

I really don't know how to pose without holding a baby.

Family shot

Keeping E.T. baby dry from the rain.

Check out those different colored eyes

We're in this pic somewhere!

All the animals attacking one family

Mean camels

Camels spilled that all over me then ate it outta my lap

The animals weren't the only hungry ones

Bye, bye wonderful time.

28 May 2012

One Year Anniversary

I kept trying to write a post about our wedding day in detail, but I realized I just don't have any interest in talking about it. I can only assume you have even less interest in hearing about it. There really isn't a whole lot to say, anyway. It was an ordinary wedding with ordinary customs, ordinary food and ordinary people. I don't even have any photo's from it that are unique enough to make me want to share.

I will leave you with this little fact though: Because of leap year we have been married 366 days. One day longer than most couples on their first anniversary. I think that in itself makes us pretty fucking special.

Happy one year of not getting divorced or killing each other! Here's to a lifetime of more...

On our honeymoon, June 2011.

26 May 2012


One of the most important virtues a parent can instill in their child is discipline. This can also be one of the hardest parts of parenting. When do you decide how you will go about punishing your child? Long before they come into this world, or when the actual time comes to scold them?

Back in the day it was common for children to be spanked, even hit with objects such as cords or belts. Tradition doesn't always mean the right thing to do though. There is a good reason spanking is fading out in modern day. All the research points to children who are spanked having some damaging psychological affects: low self esteem, trust issues,drug/alcohol abuse, aggressive behavior, depression... the list goes on.

There is certainly a significant difference between smacking your childs behind and hitting them so hard they are left with bruises or welts. I don't agree with it and this may make me seem like a hypocrite, but I don't think it's a big deal if a kid who's old enough to understand right from wrong deliberately disobeys their parent and gets swatted on the butt. I have a huge problem with some of the awful examples of parenting that I've witnessed though.

I've seen a toddler slapped on the head for walking in the wrong direction. I've heard someone say to a little girl, "Do you want me to punch you in the face?!" I've heard people brag about how if their child misbehaves they're going to "beat their ass". I've seen parents who resort to time outs or loss of privileges being mocked by other parents for that choice. I've heard someone say that their child hit them so they hit the child back to prove hitting hurts.

 I get why parents do spank their child. Short term it does work. Children learn to fear their parent and therefore become obedient. Sometimes it may seem like the only method that will get you any sort of compliance. Then there's always the argument of, "I was spanked as a child and turned out just fine."

I am not telling anyone how to raise their young. If you make the decision to use spanking as a parenting tool then that's your business. For my family though, at this point in my life, I do not foresee spanking my child. As short of a temper as I have at times, I cannot picture myself hurting my daughter on purpose.

What are your thoughts on spanking?

24 May 2012

I Said Yes

Two years ago today I was worrying myself sick over some health issues Matt was enduring. He was four days away from a major surgery called a blebectomy to keep his lung from collapsing for a third time. I was terrified of what the future held. What if I lost him? What other potential health issues could occur later in life?

I knew he was going to propose to me soon, since we initially planned a trip that June specifically to get engaged. I had my beautiful ring picked out and purchased. I even convinced him to let me wear it around the house a couple of times. Romantic, I know. His well being was much more important than any vacation though, even if it did mean I'd get a shiny diamond ring. Our engagement had to be postponed. I'll admit I was a bit disappointed at the turn of events. Still, my concern was with him.

May 24th, 2010 we had just left the doctors office where Matt, his mom and I discussed the specifics of his surgery with the doctor. The three of us decided to stop for lunch afterwards. After we ate, I asked Matt's mom if I could borrow some paint and supplies for a mirror I wanted to do a project on. She dropped us off at home and promised to return with everything I needed. She was taking an awfully long time, especially since she lives only two blocks from us. Matt was on the phone a lot and kept leaving the room. I followed him around the house like a little puppy dog, curious as to why he was being so secretive. I never caught a word of what he was saying but he did hang up the phone with his mom once and I asked what she called for. He just said, "Oh, you know, she wants to know if this is a good time to come over." I was befuddled since she was suppose to be coming over.

Not long after that and she was back at the house with a bag of everything I asked for. I saw she had a bouquet of roses in her hands. I thought that was really nice of her to bring Matt flowers since he was going through so much. I started my way up the stairs when Matt called my name. I came back down and he was holding the flowers. It still never clicked. Then he got down on one knee in our living room with his mama there and asked if I'd marry him. Considering I picked out my ring and had the engagement planned, it seemed like a crazy question. I was ecstatic though. Of course we all know what my answer was.

After some tears and hugs he explained to me that he told his mom at lunch that he wanted to propose that day. He asked her to get some flowers for me and when she called she was asking if she should get some champagne as well. He was also on the phone calling a couple friends to tell them he was going to do it. I felt bad that followed him around trying to hear his conversations.

I was never dreaming of a fairy tale proposal with all the theatrics. Which is good, because I think we have one of the least romantic stories I've ever heard. It's our story though and it suits us.

To this day I am so thankful he's doing well and the medical ordeal is over.

No, the ring wasn't there when he proposed. I put it in for the photo.

21 May 2012

First Rice Cereal

You'd think after not blogging for awhile I'd have something more interesting to say but I don't. We gave Natalie her first "solid" food last night. Instead of mixing it in with formula we just made it super watery and fed it to her straight. She didn't have a very big reaction to it. We didn't have a baby spoon so we used one the size of her face. She got the cereal everywhere, especially on Daddy. She's back to waking up three or four times a night. I am going to try filling her up more before bed with the hope of her sleeping longer and rice cereal is a good way to go. I think I'm going to hold off for a little longer before giving her other baby food like fruits or meat. I'm really in no rush for her to grow up any faster!

Other than that, I wanted to update about my work schedule. I am almost a full time stay at home mom. I changed my work schedule around for personal reasons. One of which to be with Natalie more. I'm happy about this change for now. I really hope I don't go stir crazy though. I try and get out as much as possible but the weather has been rainy lately and I also don't drive. I'm going to look for some local book readings or other baby activities close to me. I love the area I live in and think it will be pretty easy to find. If anyone has some suggestions on (preferably free) activities for us to do during the day then let me know.

Apparently everything but food is for her mouth.

"What are you lookin' at?"