About Me

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Western North Dakota , United States
My husband, Allen, and I are high school sweet hearts. We started dating Sep.99'- I kind of followed Allen home one day, and never did leave, is Allen's story. November 02' we were engaged, and on November 22,2003 - we were married. Having been married for 6 years in 2009, marked the 5th year we had been trying to start our family. With the referral of a Fertility Specialist from a friend, our IUI attempts ended up being a complete success despite my doubts. We welcomed our sweet little girl, Hayleigh into the world on June 30,2010 at 6:28am after 37wks and 1 day of gestation. She weighed 7lbs 14oz and was 20 in long. We found out that we were Baby #2 on April Fool's Day- a complete surprise! Reid Allen was born 11/13/12 3:24am 9lbs 8.2oz 21", after 38wks 5 days. Our 3rd baby, Eva Jane, was born on April 19, 2015 after suffering a pregnancy loss June of 2014. We are currently anxiously awaiting baby #4 due 2 days before Eva's birthday, so we are having Irish Twins! Our family is so blessed and happy to be growing!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

All about Bumm Bumms -Potty Training and Cloth Diapering

So, we are in the middle of day #3 of potty training here in our house, in the middle of moving to another house as well. Sigh... Of course, we did not know we would be moving this soon- our rental agreement was to go up in April, so I had plenty of time- so I thought to get Hayleigh potty trained before we moved. Now, the people we rent from are selling the house, and our contract got moved up to the end of this month. Well...now, we are moving everything into the new house a week from today, and here we sit in the living room, half naked Hayleigh running around and sitting on her potty in the middle of our living room. I should have potty trained her while I was still pregnant with Reid- but I was too tired, and did not have the energy or will to do it. Plus, Hayleigh still was not ready to make the big jump.

The best thing that has worked for us so far is just having Hayleigh running around with not pants on. She has not peed on the floor or anything without pants on...yet! Today has been a good day. So far, no accidents since 10 am today- it is now 2 pm.. Hayleigh has now peed on the potty 10 times, and has been sitting on it herself. I think we have finally found something to get this all going now- doing the whole 1/2 naked bit with her potty in the living room. HOPEFULLY the diapers we have left are the last ones we will buy her.

Now, onto Reid... I am really considering cloth diapering now. After talking this over with one of my friends that has a cloth diaper system, I think I'm sold on it. I will be ordering the trial kit very soon! It has 3 prefolds- (liners) in it, and 1 cover. Enough to try it out and decide if we/I love it or not. The trial kit only costs $11. If we love it, like I'm hoping we will, the whole kit costs $49 from walmart.com- amazon is $20 higher, and it is not a prime deal, so I will be ordering from walmart. I can also purchase them from a shop on Main St. here in Grand Junction as well, but I really do not feel the urge to take both kids out solo, especially when our highs have not been over 15 degrees this past week.  The brand we will be trying is called Econobums. They have really good reviews, not only from my friend, but online as well. They are a one size diaper- so no having to purchase the next size bigger. The $49 kit is a one day kit- it comes with 12 prefolds, and 3 covers. My friend has 2 days worth and says it is enough to get you going. So, for $100 I can diaper Reid until he is potty trained! I will probably get 3 days worth- it would be just under $150, if I love them.

It's funny how with Hayleigh we bought baby food, she ended up having to be formula fed, and we used disposable diapers- still are with her now. We can save a lot of money with doing cloth diapers, I'm breast feeding Reid, and making his baby food myself-starting next month.

Has anyone you know done the cloth diaper bit?? If so I would love to hear about it. Also, if you been through this potty training bit, what worked for you?

More info on Econobum:

Why econobum?
Econobum™ is the cloth diapering solution for every budget! Save money while making the environmentally friendly choice to cloth diaper little one's bum. The one-size cover and prefold adjusts to grow along with your little one.
Econobum Features
  • A waterproof shell, so no extra cover is needed.
  • Form fitting elastic to prevent leaks.
  • Easy to use snaps.
  • One-size prefold easily adjusts from small to large to grow with your baby.
  • No stuffing involved just lay prefold in cover and go!
  • Patent pending 3x3 adjustable snap system to fit most babies from birth to potty training.**
Econobum diagram Econobum diagram
Econobum diagram

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Things You Might Not Know About Us...

Things about us you probably didn't know...

On both of our kids names, the initials had to spell something, or Allen would not agree on the name, or even like it. Hayleigh's is HAM, and Reid's is RAM...go figure since Allen is JAM. Mine does not spell anything UNLESS you use my maiden name for an initial instead of my middle name.... ATM appropriate, huh?

Reid's name was brought up and added to the list just before we found out he was a boy. Allen won't admit it, but I'm sure the main reason besides the initials spelling something that he really liked the name Reid, is because he is a HUGE Storm Chasers fan- Reid is the name of Allen's favorite guy on there besides Joel.

Allen LOVES tornadoes, and I'm scared to death of them. Our area out here in Colorado does not get tornadoes, because there is not enough humidity in the air to support a storm system like that. If Allen had it his way, I know one of his dream jobs would be to chase tornadoes, even though he never does watch the weather, or have any interest in how the tornadoes are actually formed, etc.

Hayleigh's eyes are two different colors. Her right eye is dark brown, just like mine, her left, is hazel just like Allen's.

Everyone out here thinks I'm from the deep South... I get looks all the time for it. Allen thinks it's funny of course, and has to tell everyone we know about our trip to Canada, and the Canadians thinking Southern Illinois was indeed the deep South...

I hate the sound of my voice, and sound just like my mom- especially when I get mad. I pray that Hayleigh will not inherit my voice.. Our drawl stems from German, come to find out. In Ferdinand, IN a lot of the people there have the same accent. My Grandma and Grandpa on my mom's side were the first generation born in the USA. German was spoken in the house on a regular basis- hence the accent. No, I do not know much German, but it is on my bucket list!

I eat and order my steaks as rare as I can get them- don't knock me on this until you've tried it- best ever!! If you have to put steak sauce on a steak it's because it has crappy flavor, or you've cremated it..

I LOVE mowing the yard- pushing mowing stripes onto a yard... ahhh! Love it, and love lawn care!

Both of our kids got lucky and inherited Allen's eyelashes. I've been obsessed with his eyelashes since we started dating.. I have short, stubby eyelashes... eyelash envy!

Allen works in North Dakota for Halliburton, and we live in Colorado.. some of you knew that, and wonder why. Well, Williston is a lot like a frat party town..no place for a family, no parks, or even places to really live there. We moved to where we are because of the crew Allen was put on all lived here. Now that they have broken the crew up, we don't really have any reason to stay here, but we LOVE it here, and I highly doubt we would ever move back to Illinois. No Humidity- that is enough for me!!

Allen is the 3rd, and Allen is his middle name- Jack is his first name. He was also born in Louisiana.

Both of our kids each have our middle names.. not planned.

Hayleigh is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Toy Story

Hayleigh had a twin when we first found out we were pregnant- a result of our second infertility treatment- IUI. The other twin dissipated by the 8th week. My mom and us were really sad over it, I'm happy that we just had Hayleigh now.

Reid was NOT a planned baby. After 6 years of trying to get Hayleigh, and going through infertility treatment, we didn't think it was likely that we would get pregnant on our own. We were actually planning on waiting until this year to go and get back on the bandwagon. BUT, God has a pretty good sense of humor apparently. We found out Reid was on his way on April Fool's Day. On that day, Allen also hit a pedestrian up in North Dakota.. Talk about a day. And, I had no idea I was even pregnant either.He was also born the day before the 3 year anniversary of us finding out I was pregnant with Hayleigh.

Reid will turn 3 months old on the same day I turn 30- that's gonna be tough for me to swallow!

Allen will be 30 the month after and thinks it is funny to have an old lady for a wife.

Allen wears a 14EEE shoe- big guy! Makes me wonder what size of a shoe Reid will wear since I am guessing both Hayleigh and Reid will both be taller than me, and Reid taller than Allen.

Allen has red hair... I know! My mom did not know this after we had dated for 4 years- on the day we got married. She thought he had brown hair, since he always has a hat on.

We've been married for 10 years this year, together for 14. Our anniversary lands on Thanksgiving every few years too.

I was raised with a wood stove for heat in our house, garden for most of our food, had 1 phone in our house, and 1 tv with no cable. Allen calls me Laura Ingalls because of this fact.

My first car was a BMW- it was older than me, so don't get worked up on that one. Allen's first vehicle was a 1990 GMC truck.

I have psoriasis, and pcos- poly cystic ovarian syndrome. I've had psoriasis- known about it since 6th grade- that's why I was always tan in school- tanning would make it go away. Now, I pray that neither one of our kids inherited it from me, since I now have to take shots for it since developing psoriatic arthritis.

I am a vengeful person. I hold grudges and have OCD.

Allen and I both like to hunt, shoot guns, and bows- if you didn't know that one, you don't know us very well at all. In fact, I had started shooting guns and hunting way before Allen. My dad had a rifle for me when I was born, hell bent I would be a boy. I went to gun shows with him all the time just after I was potty trained, and my sister was born. I went to the gun shop with him too every Saturday to Flora as well. Allen introduced me to bows, I introduced him to guns. Now, we hope BOTH of our kids will pick up the same things, since my sister never did when I was little, still hasn't and Hayleigh reminds us both a lot of my sister- Prissy. AND, I have killed a bigger deer than Allen has ever rack size- he has body wise. His deer that was bigger body wise would have beat mine if half of the rack had not been busted off.

Ohh, here is one big one. Ever wonder why my blog title is Following the Yellow Brick Road to Parenthood? The Wizard of Oz is my thing... I never could watch the whole movie all the way through when I was young. I was scared to death of the Wicked Witch of the West..When Hallmark came out with the ornament series of the Wizard of Oz, my mom started buying them for me... 15 years later, they are still a coming!

Ohh, I am a Platinum member of Hallmark, I LOVE Pottery Barn, and Cabelas.. Weird combo, I know...

Almost Wordless Wednesday- Play Date

I had to document this today- Hayleigh playing with her little brother...soo sweet! Now, I have proof for someday when they fight constantly that once, they both actually liked each other. Reid just turned 8wks old on Sunday, and has been starting to enjoy Hayleigh's entertainment that she puts on just for him. She loves to make him smile. Reid's colic is now pretty much a thing of the past, and his blocked tear duct has now opened up as well. He's growing soo fast I wish I could stop it all for a few months- Hayleigh too! Anyway, the tie pictures are from Sunday, and the ones of Hayleigh playing with Reid are from this morning.

Hayleigh's new light up Minnie Mouse high heels-she seriously
only has close to 10 pairs of high heels....

I love the look of wonder on his face with the oohh his lips are making

Hayleigh making the turtle dance for Reid

All excited- starting to play with his toys

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Plans for 2013

So, once again I find myself playing catch up on here... two kids with me solo is my alibi. I know that's not a good enough excuse for only making one post this year, but we've been really busy, with getting ready to move, and with Reid trying to give his mama gray hair some nights.

Allen has been freezing his butt off in North Dakota. With the wind gusts, it has been 30 bellow at night, and I know he is just as much ready to come back home to us as I'm ready for him to as well.

I know he will kill me for this, but it made me
smile the other night when he sent the pics

Allen on the growler- his equipment he runs on the site. 
We will be moving into the new place when he gets back- 1 1/2 weeks from now. I'm ready.. I'm sick of having boxes everywhere, and I'm ready to decorate too! Kind of like Christmas for me, getting to re-purpose or get to decorate things in a different way. I wish that photography came just as easy to me as decorating seems to. I'm just ready to be moved, have Reid over his colic completely, and be settled in, and be able to start a new routine.

Over the New Year, both Allen and I did a lot of reflecting on the past year, where we've been, where we are now, and what we want for this year, and our future. To be honest, I feel old this year. Next month, Reid will be 3 months old on the day I turn 30. Ughhh! I realize 30 is nothing, it's just the fact that 20's flew by so dang fast, and we are done having kids- sob...no more babies. Waiting on the babies seemed like it took FOREVER, and then, just like that we had Hayleigh, then Reid, and now we are here wondering just how we got here soo fast.

I know we are in a lot better place now, than we were last year. Allen was laid off, with no unemployment thanks to his previous employer, he was staying home with Hayleigh, and I was working at UPS, trying to support us all. A year later, we moved over 1200 miles to Colorado, I'm a stay at home mom now to a sassy 2 1/2 year old, and a now 2 month old little boy that proved to us that anything can happen, and Allen's working in North Dakota for Halliburton supporting us... what a 360 we did! Remember this post that started it all? A Glimpse of Hope post  Still gives me goosebumps, and makes me cry watching that video... Funny thing is I never dreamed or wanted to really be a stay at home mom. I miss work.. I miss UPS. I miss being busy in other ways than taking care of a baby and 2 year old by myself for 2 weeks at a time 24/7. At least with working, I got a break for a few hours through the day, and had some adult talk at some point. Now, it's Disney Jr. 90% of my day, then I find myself watching it by myself when Hayleigh is taking a nap or is in bed. The only tv I do manage to catch is when Allen is home, or what I do manage to record on the DVR. With Reid being a completely opposite baby than Hayleigh was, fussy, colicky, etc... it really makes me miss work a lot. But, not for one minute I am not grateful for my time with both kids. I'm getting to experience everything, and I won't miss Reid rolling over for the first time, like I had with Hayleigh, or wondering just what I'm missing out on while at work. It's a trade off... with the stressful parts of the day, come the rewards of sweet moments that make it all worth it.

I know I didn't post a New Year's Resolution last year... it was obvious what we needed, and quite frankly, it was depressing.. This year we have things to look forward to, without the fear of not knowing what Allen was going to do for a job.

My 2013 New Year's resolutions:

1. Lose 30 more pounds. I know this is petty, but after having a surprise of being pregnant on April Fool's last year, without giving me a chance to get into shape BEFORE it actually happened, kind of threw a wrench into my plans. I was planning on losing weight last year, but after finding out I was pregnant, that was out the window. I am starting out this year 18 pounds lighter than I was last year at this time at least. I've already lost 30 pounds since having Reid, and need to lose the last 30, to put me at where I would LOVE to be.. any more than that is just cake! I am waiting for us to get moved to start in though. Our current house has hardwood floors everywhere- I HATE them, and working out on them is a pain in the butt. The new house has carpet in all but the hallways, kitchen, and bathrooms, so Cindy Crawford's workout video will be busting right on out of that box first thing. Other than that, I have to wait for the weather to warm up to start walking with the kids, pulling them in the wagon. I need to get a trailer to hook up to my bike, and get a double jogging stroller also after the weather gets better too. Allen is at least on board with me on this one, so as a family, we will be doing a lot of walking this year!

2. Get Hayleigh potty trained. I should have had this done quite a while back, but being pregnant and sitting in a bathroom all day is not exactly on the top of my list of things I wanted to do. I wish I would have now. So, as soon as we get moved, that is happening!

3. Save more money! I think that one is on every one's list.

4. Go on vacation somewhere as a family besides back to Illinois to visit. I know we are wanting to go to Disney World next year- when both kids are older. This year, we would like to go to either the Grand Canyon, or up to Yellowstone National Park.. somewhere we can drive a few hours and be at.

5. Renew our vows in Vegas in November for our 10th wedding anniversary. Okay, this is wild for us, but something we want to do.

6. Be a better mom. This is always on my list. I want to do more activities with both kids. Get Hayleigh and Reid into swimming lessons- they start at 6 months here, enroll Hayleigh into dance or gymnastics, go to the park more, and just have more activities to do in the house and in the back yard as well. Thank you pinterest!! I want to read a book every night, instead of maybe once a week. HOPEFULLY with Reid's colic easing up this can be a doable thing.

7. Be a better wife to Allen. This one is also always on my list as well. Make more effort to do extra things that are special for him.

8. Get more organized. I firmly believe you cannot be too organized! There is always room for improvement on things I have organized in the past. I would really like to keep to a cleaning schedule, and have a meal plan for the week- grocery shopping according to that instead of the usual things we fix. This includes trying a new meal from pinterest once a week as well. I am also getting my Christmas shopping done throughout the year, instead of the last 30 days until Christmas. Birthday planning and shopping, and other holiday shopping done well in advance as well as far as that one goes too.

9. Eat at the dinning room table EVERY night, and not in the living room. With Reid starting foods next month, I think this will be easier. Being pregnant, I got used to just eating in the living room- comfort was the key in that one!

10. Let things go more. With getting pregnant with Reid, it made me a lot more mellow...So much that Allen thought something was wrong with me- or that I was secretly going to kill him in his sleep for being so mellow about things. Since having Reid, I've gotten a little bit of the old me back, but having 2 kids now, has put a good leash on that one. I want to let some things in the past go, and move forward. Like I have time now to worry about what happened 2 years ago, let alone a day ago??

11. Be more social. I am working on that one. Last year, I depleted my facebook down to 80 people- mainly family. I'm working on being more social now, and adding more people. I can't live under a rock, even though God knows I would love to. With being more social, maybe I can make friends in the new town we are moving to, and actually get out of the house!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Catch the Christmas Spirit!

This was taken the same day we went to see Santa Claus. Remember those sweet angel like pictures of Hayleigh smiling, and hugging Santa?? Yeah, this was an hour before all of that happened- right after Hayleigh woke up from her nap. It gets pretty intense, lots of "that's enough, stop it, get off my butt, no, and shoo!" Glares and yelling along with to make this quite comical~

Friday, January 4, 2013

Catch Up Post & Visit with Santa Part Deux

I just got these pictures last week, and honestly have been too busy to post anything lately.

We had a great Christmas! Santa was good to us here, and we managed to Skype home to my family, and to Allen's family.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

Hayleigh enjoying her new easel that Allen and I had got her

Reid had went from bad to terrible on gas and fussiness, until the past few days. I think he has finally got the hang of things, and has finally settled down. He sleeps through the night, except for waking for an early feeding around 2 am, then another around 5:30ish. The past few days literally are like someone just flipped a light switch on Reid- he is completely night and day from being the same baby we brought home 7 weeks ago!

On this past Wednesday, I had my postpartum check up. I am set to go back in a few weeks to get the Mirena put in- not so easy to make a decision while under baby fever that way. I had not weighed myself since I had last been in that doctor's office, 38 wks 5 days pregnant with Reid. Since that visit, I have lost 30 pounds. Yes, that's right, I lost all of the baby weight, then some! I lost 18 pounds pre pregnancy. I know the numbers are not adding up, but, I had lost weight after moving out here at 12-16 weeks pregnant, so that's how it all stacks up. I am wanting to lose another 30 pounds, then I would be happy as a lark! I haven't started exercising just yet, I'm waiting on our move here in a few weeks to start that.

I finally got Reid's birth announcements ordered, and have been slowly getting the envelopes addressed out. Now, to just go out and get the stamps and get them sent out with our After Christmas/ New Year Letter.

Today, I did manage to get more of our new pictures ordered from Costco. I LOVE Costco!! They are soo cheap on their prices for prints! I should have them here just before we move in a little over 2 weeks- just in time for me to put them in their frames and pack them up! The past week, I've been packing up everything I can before Allen leaves out on Sunday for our move to our new house. I absolutely cannot wait!! We will be moving about 50 miles away from our current place to the East.

Other than being busy with 2 kids, and fixing supper every night since Allen has been home, there hasn't been much time in between to gather my thoughts- thus the rambling of this post. I'm sure in my spare time at night during the next few weeks to come, I will be able to catch back up.