Friday, April 27, 2012

A Few More Days...

This is my very last week with a 1 yr old.  Who knows, I could never have a 1 yr old again...I haven't decided yet.  Either way, this is a huge milestone!  Next Thursday (May 3rd) my precious little girl will be the big 0-2 and I really can't believe it.  I can't help but be pretty proud of myself for this whole parenting thing...2 yrs and she's healthy, smart, we've avoided serious injury, still alive.  Yup, I rock.  We're getting a hold on this whole tantrum thing too.  Oh, she still has them (a lot) but I'm learning different ways to deal with them and they've definitely been shorter these days.  I'm seeing such changes as she approaches the 2 yr mark.  She's becoming a lot more independent and constantly says "no, my do it"...and usually I let her.  I'm trying to get my husband more on board with letting her try things on her own.  As long as she's not going to get hurt, I'm pretty good with letting her try to do things on her own.  Yes she may spill a huge cup of water on the floor, drop the container of dog food, or pour soap all over the counter...but she's learning how to do things and that's more important than any mess.  I'll do a 2 yr post and fill you in on my girl next week.  I'm sure you'll all be anxiously awaiting that post.

I'm very excited to take the day off next week and spend it entirely with the birthday girl.  After her doctor's appointment we're going to do some shopping, get some food, and most likely eat cupcakes all day.  When Daddy gets home, she'll get her big gift from us.  I've been excited about her present for weeks.  We bought her a car!  Check out this sweet ride...

I'm hoping that when she's 15 or 16 and asks for a car I can just say "We've already bought you one car, you should have taken better care of it!".   I think she'll love it.  She's a speed demon (4 mph is crazy fast to a 2 yr old) and is obsessed with cars thanks to her Daddy.

Next Saturday, on Cindo De Mayo, is her butterfly birthday party.  I think I'm mostly ready am totally ready for it...kinda totally. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For Law Enforcement Families...

For LE families, you know there are usually conversations in our households that most people wouldn't even dream of having and it's just a day in the life for us.  This morning was no exception.  As my husband was running around getting ready for SERT training, he was looking for one of his bullet proof vests...the smaller/thinner one. 

I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, when Peyton ran in with a concerned look on her face and says "Dada, tiny bull vest" (translation - Dada's tiny bullet vest) while shrugging her shoulders and shaking her head back and forth (that's what she does when she can't find something).  She came back and repeated that to me every minute or so while she "helped" her Daddy find his vest. 

Seriously, what 23 month old talks about bullet proof vests?! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Invisalign Journey Comes to an End

Today was a big day for me...the day I had my Invisalign buttons removed forever.  Some of you may be asking yourselves "You had Invisalign, how could we not have known this?!".  Well I thought about documenting my experience, but I wanted to keep it quiet and see who noticed.  I planned to start the Invisalign process a few years ago.  I had my pictures taken and my consultation and needed to have a filling done before I could get my impressions done.  However, right after I scheduled my appointment I found out I was preggers so I had to put the Invisalign (and the filling) on hold.  Last year I was finally ready to get it all done.  I had my impressions made, paid an un-Godly amount of money, and got started. 

I was lucky because I only had to wear them for about 9 months.  You see, my teeth weren't really bad by any means.  I had braces when I was a kid and wore my retainer at night just like I was supposed to.  Apparently you can outgrow your retainer (which I did) and my Orthodontist  never told me this.  It wasn't fitting me properly and at the same time my wisdom teeth started pushing down, causing some of my teeth to crowd.  The major issue was my left front tooth, it was pushed out.  Looking at me straight on you probably would never know, but if I tilted my head back it was oh so obvious.  As the years went by it moved more and I couldn't deal with it any longer. 

I started my Invisalign back in June 2011.  You get a new set of trays every 2 weeks that gradually move your teeth where you want them to go.  The first 2 sets were great and I barely noticed them myself.  I didn't tell my parents or my husband when I got the first set and they never knew I had them in.  I had to tell my husband for him to know.  But after those first 2 sets, I was cursed with getting "buttons". 

These buttons are enamel colored cement blobs on your teeth that are put on to help move them in different directions.  There was only one button that bothered me, it was pretty big and stuck on my top, right,  3rd tooth back.  All the others were pretty small and were far enough back in my mouth that they weren't noticeable.  As noticeable as I thought they were, it still took months for anyone to see them.  Once you have the buttons put on, it's harder to get the trays in and out because the trays also have bumps to accommodate for the buttons. 

After 9 months of Invisalign, I had my buttons removed this morning and I don't think I have stopped rubbing my tongue over my teeth since!  I'm done with any movement, but I still have to wear retainers for a few months during the day and then just at bedtime.  I'm stuck with my last Invisalign trays (bumps and all) for about 2 weeks until my actual retainers come in.  I chose the Vivera retainers which are through Invisalign and are basically the same as an Invisalign tray only a little stiffer so they're not as likely to crack after wearing them for months.  They have no "bumps" and are smooth and clear just like my first set of trays. 

I'm so so happy I went through the Invisalign process.  I'm thrilled with my teeth and, for me, it was totally worth paying the extra money to not get metal braces.  I'll ask for some before and after pics from my orthodontist and hopefully can post them soon. 

If you have any Invisalign questions, feel free to ask.  I'm an open book!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Family Photos

About 2 months ago I won a contest on Facebook from a local photographer.  I won a free Easter mini session, and I was so excited.  We haven't done pictures of Peyton in forever and we were way past due.  My husband is very talented at photography and he has done some beautiful ones of her that we had framed, but it's kind of hard for him to do any family shots. 

I really wanted some outdoor family shots, and I couldn't be more happy with Amber from Boots 'n' Buckles Photography!  We will definitely be using her again!  I wanted to share a few (of the zillion I have to choose from) on here for those of you that aren't friends with me on Facebook.  Now I just have to decide which ones to print!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trip to the Zoo...What I Learned

Before I go on a complete and total rant, let me just preface this post by saying that we had an absolutely wonderful time at the NC Zoo today.  I was so proud of how well Peyton handled the 2 hr ride there (including our 5 potty stops) and how well behaved she was while we were there.  We got there around 10:30am and it was already crowded.  I thought by taking off a weekday, it wouldn't be quite so bad but I forgot it's spring break...oh well.  We stayed until close to 3pm, which meant no 1pm nap.  For delaying her nap 2 hrs, she did amazing and stayed in a really good mood...until we got to the parking lot. 

Let's begin my rant with things I learned while at the zoo...

1.  I learned how insanely judgmental other parents are.  I've tried really hard not to be that way, and will continue to do so.  I must have missed that "how to be a perfect parent" class they took, I guess I didn't get an invitation.  I'm pretty sure that was your kid I saw arching their back screaming "NO" while hitting you about 20 mins ago, so don't give me a nasty look because my kid has a bag of gumdrops in an attempt to avoid a scene like that.

2.  When it was finally Peyton's turn to throw her massive tantrum (I knew it was coming based on this past week), I learned that I have very little tolerance for other Mom's that shoot me nasty looks and say "OMG" while I'm dragging my 23 month old through the parking lot as she screams louder than I've ever heard any child scream.  Listen lady, we had a 2 hr car ride, spent 4 hrs at the zoo, and it's 2 hrs past her nap...for this to be the only meltdown I'd say we did pretty damn good.  So excuse me while you stroll your small infant that does nothing but sleep.  Give it 2 yrs and I promise you, you'll be in my shoes at least once. 
    *I may or may not have shot this particular lady the death look and said rather loudly "WHAT?!"
    **I would also like to add that besides being tired, we discovered about 10 mins later she was screaming because her tummy hurt and she needed to poop.  After pulling over on the side of the road and letting her sit on her potty, she was much happier.  

3.  At the risk of sounding really today have 0 respect and/or manners, and it's all the parent's fault.  I have never in my life been shoved out of the way by so many 7-15 yr olds (yes, 15 year olds).  I can ignore it when it's young kids that are just excited and having a good time, or if their parents say something along the lines of "watch where you're going".  But the second you shove my toddler out of the way, it's on!   Boy was it on.
Quick example: Peyton had been talking about monkey's for weeks, and I'll be damned if that child wasn't going to get to see the monkey's.  When we got to the gorilla's, she waited patiently for an opening so we could get right up to the glass, just as we got there a group of probably 10-12 yr olds shoved right past us and took that spot.  Peyton kept saying "move please, thanks" least she had some manners.  The Mama Bear in me came out the second one of those hoodlum children pushed my daughter out of the way.  Needless to say, we got that spot back. 

4.  This was our first long trip since Peyton has been potty trained.  I learned keeping her little potty in the back of the SUV is a really great idea.  I put her in a Pull Up just in case, but she will NOT pee or poop in a Pull Up if she's awake...which is awesome.  On the way up, we had to stop like 5 times.  We stopped at a fast food restaurant  or gas station every time, but once we were seriously in the middle of nowhere.  We pulled off the side of the road, put her in the back of the SUV and let her use her potty.  We did the same thing once on the way home (of course when she had to poop).  She slept pretty much the whole way home, so that was our only stop. 

Those are my biggies I learned today.  Again, we really did have an awesome time.  I love new experiences and trips like this with my little family! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

23 Months Old!

It's so hard to believe that in exactly 1 month I'll have a 2 year old!  I'm really loving this age, not that it doesn't come with it's share of challenges.  Next month Peyton has her 2 year check up, but I don't even care because there are no shots, no needles, no pain!  I won't have any stats on her until after her appointment, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that she's tall and skinny. 

Here's just a little bit about my 23 month old...
  • She's sleeping in a big girl bed now, and has been for a few months
  • Still goes to bed at 8pm and wakes around 7:30am
  • Still an amazing sleeper, we have no problems with her waking during the night
  • Still napping at 1pm for around 2 hrs
  • Talking...a lot
  • Totally potty trained except when she's asleep - let me just say that I love not having to buy diapers and use wipes anymore.  Using the potty makes life so much easier, it's awesome! 
  • Still an awesome eater.  There's nothing she won't try and nothing she doesn't really like.
  • She drinks constantly.  I swear the child has a cup permanently attached to her hand throughout the day.
  • She has gotten MUCH better with her separation anxiety.  She still cries when I drop her off at the nursery in church, but she's over it by the time I'm out the door. 
  • We seem to be completely over stranger anxiety and her fear of men she had when she was an infant.  She still is wary of certain people, but for the most part you'll be her new BFF after about 10 mins....especially if you let her pull you around by the hand and show off all her toys
  • Tantrums, what else is there to say really?  She's the Queen of the "30 second meltdown".  She goes from high pitched screaming, violently thrashing, OMG life is over to "oooh is that a bird"?
  • We're working hard on the whole sharing concept.  Her favorite words are "No" and "mine", but I think that just goes with the age.  She's getting there. 
This fiercely independent stage can be exhausting, but for the most part we're having a blast.  I love how new and amazing everything is.  It makes me feel like a kid again, except a lot slower and stiffer.  We have so many fun things to look forward to over the next several weeks...Peyton's 2nd Easter, first Easter egg hunt(s), first trip to the zoo, 2nd birthday party, and a week in Ocracoke.  I love that little girl more than I ever thought possible!

Monday, April 2, 2012


For those of you that follow my blog, you may remember me making comments here and there about some upcoming job changes.  I haven't been able to say much because things weren't public yet, but now they are...and I'll still have a job after June 30th!!!!  It's a confusing situation if you don't work in the mental health field or know what an LME (Local Management Entity) is, so I'll try to explain things as easily as possible.  Basically where I work is merging with another county's LME to create an entirely new entity.   The new entity is called an MCO (Managed Care Organization) instead of an LME.  We were told about this a few months ago and knew that as of July 1, 2012 we would no longer be county employees. 

We had 3 options...
1.  Take severance
2.  Go through the RIF process with the county and be placed in another county job
3.  Apply with the new MCO

Over 50% of my co-workers decided to either retire or go with the RIF placement.  You can imagine the stress of 1) doing the same amount of work without 1/2 of your staff and 2) doing all of that work while not knowing where you'll be in a few months. 

For those of us that decided to stay, we applied for up to 5 jobs.  We interviewed for our top 2 positions and then we waited...and waited...and waited.  It got tricky because job functions and requirements were totally changed so lots of people didn't qualify for the jobs they currently do, or the job they currently did was changed in to something completely different.  It was a stressful period.  We were competing against our co-workers, friends, and another county for positions.  We didn't know salaries, benefits, or office locations....there were a LOT of sleepless nights and a LOT of wine was consumed.   

We got our calls about a week and a half ago offering us positions, I got my #1 choice and couldn't be happier.  We have 3 locations...1 in each county and then a Corporate in the middle.  My job will be located at Corporate.  I was really worried about having a longer drive, but it's not going to be quite as long as I originally anticipated.  We still don't have salaries or benefits, but they benefits they're proposing to the board are great...comparable to our county benefits (if not better) not to mention we get to transfer our vacation, sick leave and our years of service!  We know we'll start our jobs with our current salaries, so no real stress there, and they're going to reclassify positions so we'll hopefully get a little pay bump. 

We still have a bumpy road ahead, the transition is going to be time consuming and stressful.  But it's nice to know that I have a job, I'm safe, and I can still help provide for my family.  A lot of my favorite co-workers will be at the Corporate location with me, which will be great.  There are close to 100 positions that we didn't have enough staff to fill and those will be posted externally, so we're also helping the economy :)  God is great!