1/30/12

Travel Help

Sometime in the next coming months Eli will be taking his very first ride in a plane.
As someone who internally FREAKS THE HECK OUT, once inside that tiny tube 'o' death trap I am not thrilled about this at all. Luckily the flight won't be that long, so hopefully I can contain my freaking out for that amount of time.

Plus I plan on taking many, many drugs that morning.

I am a person who is never too prideful to ask for help, so I am coming to you today to ask for lots of help.

I am SO confused and overwhelmed about this whole traveling with a baby thing. I'm usually shaking like a leaf when I step aboard the tube trap, I can't imagine what it will be like stepping aboard with all the billions of baby things I'm picturing that we need. Plus the baby himself.

I get claustrophic on that thing plus it makes me motion sick and I almost puke every single time we take off and land. Direct flights ARE MY BEST FRIEND.

Because I'm already a nervous flyer (flier?) I'm hoping if I can figure out some of the baby things so I won't be as nervous about the flight.

So if you have traveled with a baby before, please help me with my questions:

THE FIRST ONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT:

1. Have you checked a car seat before? - I have heard people say they checked their car seat just fine and then I have heard people say that their car seat got beat up by the flight people and it shouldn't be checked - I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

2. I recently found a company called Baby's Away that rents out baby supplies. Has anybody used them? Any stories to share?

3. I plan to take the umbrella stroller to use in the aiport. Is this the best way to accomodate a baby in the airport? Or should I just put him in my baby bjorn even though he is like 8 million pounds?

We plan to purcahse baby necessities (diapers, wipes, food, etc) when we get to our desitatnion so that we won't be carrying all that with us.

Any other advice for a STRESSED OUT TRAVELIN' MAMA!?!?!

P.S. Sorry about all the CAPS. I've never claimed I'm not dramatic.

1/29/12

Project 356 Week 4

Sunday January 22nd
Eli and I in our NY Giants colors headed to church. Just a normal Sunday for us.

Monday January 23rd
Eli loves to play with his blocks. He has a set of small blocks and bigger blocks and he loves them so much. He loves when we stack the blocks and he will rush over to knock down the tower that we built. Luke has started this new thing where he tries to balance a block on Eli's head. I'm not really sure what we did for entertainment before Eli was born...

Tuesday January 24th

Hanging out with my sweet boy before bed.

Wednesday January 25th

Every morning while I"m getting ready Eli stands at this window and looks out and screams lots of happy gibberish. He is going to be an outdoor boy for sure.

Thursday January 26th

While doing the dishes Thursday afternoon I looked up and saw that Eli had propped his toy on the fireplace and was using it to climb on top of the fireplace. He never made it up all the way, but I bet he will soon!

Friday January 27th
On Friday Eli and I went to Sarah and Manny's house for a little play date. We had a lot of fun!

Saturday January 28th

All day Saturday I was at a Spring Scentsy event. I am SO excited about the new Spring catalog. There are so many new products that I am way excited about! It is going to be a great season!

1/25/12

What I'm Loving Right Now.....

Here is what I'm loving right now.....

1. This "week at a glance printable" from Kelsey's blog. Seriously it is SO perfect. I know I will be using this every week. I've placed it on the front of our fridge (and for the record I have NEVER hung anything on there but this deserves the front spot....maybe I will get creative and make some kind of bulletin board off of Pinterest to put it on. Probably not.)


2. The pile of toys in the corner of our living room. Even though Eli would rather play with our DVD's than the million of toys. I still love seeing (and hearing) them over there.

3. My mini devotional for moms. I read it every morning to Eli while we eat breakfast and then again before I go to sleep.

4. Big Sexy Hair Powder Play

5. Eli in a hoodie

6. My "I love you because" printable from Sarah's blog. It is so fun to write on and see what Luke writes on it! Although it is awkward when you're in a fight. One time I was tempted to write "Can't think of a reason today!!!" Which ironically enough is one of the reasons why Luke does love me (thank goodness somebody does).


7. Seeing Eli's chart from his babysitter and how it ALWAYS comes back with "happy" and "playful" circled and sometimes even "excited"


8. Every morning when Luke gets Eli out of bed and brings him back to me in bed and Eli plays in our bed laughing and screaming.

9. My ghetto scripture memory book. I didn't want to make a whole new scripture memory book this year, so I ghetto-fied my book from last year by crossing out the 1 in 2011 and writing a 2 with my pen. I'm so prim and proper.

10. Girl Scout cookie season!!!!

1/24/12

Project 365 - Weeks 1, 2 and 3

For the past two years I have attempted Project 365 (taking a picture for every day of the year) but somewhere around May I quit.

This is my attempt at making it through a full year. My goal is to complete this project. I'm thinking I will do it this year!

I wasn't going to blog all my pictures but then I went back and looked at my Project 365's from previous years and decided it was important for me to have them on the blog.

So now I'm catching up on the past three weeks:


Sunday January 1stWe went to church as usual and then went to Katie's house to watch the NY Giants vs Dallas Cowboys game. Lots of fun!

Monday January 2ndThis was our last full day in our Christmas break. We just hung out at home and I did a bit of redecorating and we hung up some pictures.

Tuesday January 3rdI honestly forgot a picture this day and this is the only picture I have. My legs are awful and look like a 10 year old boy's legs. It is gross.

Wednesday January 4thI usually only work till noon on Wednesday but occasionally if I need to pick up extra hours I will work all day. This particular Wednesday I worked all day. Once we got home for the evening my sweet Eli fell asleep on me like this. I didn't even care about messing up his bedtime I just let him sleep away on me. Such a sweet moment.

Thursday January 5thEli's new trick!

Friday January 6th
Eli loves his scooter that he got for Christmas. I couldn't get him to look at me because he was too busy watching Barney. He loves that purple dinosaur.

Saturday January 7th This is Scout. Eli got him for Christmas and loves him so much. He talks and says Eli's name, favorite color and favorite food.

Sunday January 8thChurch and then hanging out at home watching football. Love our family time.

Monday January 9thWe spent some time face-timing with my family. Eli LOVES my youngest sister. I think she may be his favorite person in the whole family.

Tuesday January 10th Girl's night!! I went out with some of my favorite girls for some pizza and chatting. It was perfect!

Wednesday January 11thJust a day playing at home!

Thursday January 12th Every morning while I'm getting ready Eli loves to play with my mirror. He loves to look at himself! On this day we were headed to the mall to pick up some stuff and meet a friend for lunch.

Friday January 13th
I have no recollection of this day but I'm sure it was a normal, fun day.

Saturday January 14th My family came to visit us and spent the day with us. We had a great time and the boys got to play together.

Sunday January 15thCheering on the NY Giants! (and playing with mom's Scentsy)

Monday January 16th My cuddle-bug.

Tuesday January 17thThis boy LOVES music. He got this guitar for Christmas and he picks it up and holds it like a guitar and plays it. He is our musical prodigy :-)

Wednesday January 18thLuke watched concerts on TV a lot and Eli will stand at the TV and just watch and listen. I'm serious he LOVES music!

Thursday January 19thI had a Scentsy meeting Thursday night and then afterwards I stopped by the hospital to get a breathing test. Ya know just a normal night (everything was normal with my breathing, says the boy who cried wolf)

Friday January 20thJust a day of running errands with my side-kick. Cutest side-kick ever!

Saturday January 21stBelieve it or not Eli had been SCREAMING at me 2 minutes prior to this picture. Getting this boy dressed is hard work. But he also likes to cheese it up for the camera.

1/23/12

A GIANT non-problem

This post could be classified as the biggest "NON-PROBLEM" ever. But I feel the need to share.

What is a non-problem you ask? Something that you know isn't really a problem, but for whatever reason when that problem is plaguing you it seems huge. Even though it is beyond, BEYOND minuscule.

I've mentioned before that Luke is a NY Giants fan by choice, I'm a fan by marriage, and Eli is a fan by force.

We are your modern football family.

There came a point in our marriage when I realized that Luke SERIOUSLY enjoyed it when I would take interest in his passions.

Imagine that? Sometimes I forget marriage is give and take, I tend to think in the forms of take-take.

Part of me is joking. The other part is your typical first born child.

So there are times that I sit down and "enjoy" the game with Luke. Now granted, I have my laptop propped in my lap, phone hand and possibly headphones on my ears, but hey I'M ENJOYING THE DANG GAME.

I will periodically look up and give a cheer or yell, "WHAT?!? WE WERE ROBBED" for effect. It has worked so far.

It took about two days after we found out we were pregnant, that Luke quit freaking out and went looking on the grand ole Internet for some NY Giants goodies for our new baby.
This was obviously in our pre-baby days, and sadly we had no idea what all a baby entailed and that the baby actually has a mind that works and chooses what type of pacifier and bottle he prefers.
So sadly, the cute NY Giants pacifier and bottle that Luke specifically chose for our baby Tree sat in a corner collecting dust because they were never touched. Eli had his preferences and these items did not meet Sir Eli's desires.

While constantly racking my brain for what to get Luke for Christmas this year I decided there would be nothing more appropriate than family NY Giants gear.

The best kind of presents for people you love are those that involve also getting yourself a little something, right?

I scoured the Internet and found some new Giants shirts for Luke, a shirt for me and the cutest little red spirited shirt for Eli.

On Christmas morning Luke was so excited that his family was going to represent the team he has loved since the age of eight.

We wore our shirts proudly for the first game of 2012. We were the picture perfect NY Giants family that Luke had always imagined.

It was like a scene straight from a Norman Rockwell painting.

I gave myself an appropriate pat on the back for my many successes.

Great Christmas presents? Check.

Christmas presents that involve a present for me? Check.

A husband proud of his football-loving family? Check.

My happy thoughts came to a screeching halt when Luke casually mentioned that Eli and I were now required to wear these same outfits every single game day.

Does this man not remember his son's closet? Doesn't he know this baby boy has plenty of clothes to wear, that mind you, he QUICKLY out grows and we only have a limited amount of wearing time available? The last thing that he needs to do is wear the same shirt over and over and over.

See....I told you....a NON-PROBLEM.

The first Sunday I kindly obliged. I'm not a celebrity...and heck if Duchess of Cambridge Kate can repeat outfits then so can Megan and Eli.

The next Sunday I went through an internal battle of what to do. Wear the shirts for the 3rd Sunday in a row? Or take our chances that the Giants could surely win a game without us wearing the same ole same ole outfit.

So I took our chances. But I made sure Eli and I had on appropriate colored clothing.It made sense in my mind. Me with my BLUE scarf and Eli in his BLUE overalls with RED shirt underneath.

When we arrived at church that morning I was met with disappointment from Luke. Clearly it did not make sense in his mind.

Forget my past of fake cheering and sacrificing my hard-earned money for some silly football shirts. ONE DAY of not wearing them and I was in the football wife dog house.

The next weekend I was again met with an internal debate.....here we are one game away from the Super Bowl. Do I take the chance that we are going to win and not wear our shirts saving them for Super Bowl Sunday......or do I assume we are going to lose and wear them knowing this is our last chance this year and Eil's last chance to wear his shirt before he outgrows it. Such hard decisions.

::::Can we please have a moment of silence for the fact that I just referred to an NFL team that I have no connection to as WE..........thank you::::

I eventually decided that Eli could wear his shirt (with his super cool vest that reminds me of Back to the Future) and I would wear my red scarf in support. Win. Win.

Apparently my team loyalty comes through scarves of many colors.

Well, the Giants won their game and are headed to the Super Bowl.

So come Sunday February 5th our family will be decked out in our Giants clothes. I had no idea just how much wear and tear those shirts would get when I picked them out one December evening.

I plan to stock up on many NY Giants shirts this year.If I'm going to have to wear a shirt every game day maybe I can at least alternate between two different shirts.


1/22/12

Eli is 10 Months Old!

Eli's monthly pictures with his number sticker have become increasingly harder.

Which means they have also become more fun.....even if it is because he is getting a bit mischievous. I love the idea of having a wild, active, mischievous little boy.

Remind me I said that in a couple of years.

This past Saturday morning after Eli's bath I remembered I had remembered I had never taken his ten month pictures. It got lost in the post-holiday madness so I decided that it was the perfect time.

I have mentioned before that our laid back, sweet baby has become more and more rowdy. He throws fits when he doesn't get his way, he is very particular about who touches him and who doesn't and he is LOUD. Like screams at the top of his lungs all the time.

He is seriously so fun, but I have a feeling when he starts walking (running?) I am going to be one worn out momma!

Back to the pictures:

At first Eli was all about being the center of attention (not like he ever isn't the center of attention) but you can tell his hands are already on the sticker ready to rip it off:
Got it off!

Victory!
Seeing my desperate attempts to get a good picture with the "10" sticker on Eli (HELLO birthday party!!!) Luke decided to put the sticker back on Eli and hold his hands so I could get a picture (which really makes no sense because I do not want a man who just woke up in my precious baby's 10 month picture but it was the thought that counts).

Please note Eli's face below. He did not want to be touched. He wanted his sticker in his hands. He was full on SCREAMING in this picture.

So dad let go of him.....and he's happy again!

So then Luke decided to put him on his lap to achieve the perfect picture....again it's the thought that counts:

I'm pretty sure Eli hated his life at this moment

And then happy again!


So, I give you Eli's 10 month picture:
Life is definitely fun, exciting, and hysterical around here!

1/20/12

My other "job"

Almost two years ago I signed up to become a Scentsy consultant.

I was given a warmer and some wonderful scents as a housewarming gift, but I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with the company throughout those next two years.

Not only has being a Scentsy consultant been such a blessing in our lives monetarily, being a part of a company that has the right values in mind is what has kept me moving forward. I love the relationships that I have made and am continuing to make. I love the vision put before us and I love being apart of something that is record-breaking.

Yesterday Scentsy made three big, no, HUGE announcements and I am so excited to share them.

I'll start with my personal favorite that I am SO EXCITED about.

Layers, is a new Scentsy product line featuring personal AND laundry products featuring some of your favorite Scentsy scents! I have always wanted Scentsy lotions, shower gels, and so much more and now I can have it!

The laundry products include, Washer Whiffs and a Dryer Disk that you can toss into your laundry to create a wonderful Scentsy experience with your clothes! I cannot wait to try this!

Scentsy is also introducing a product extension line:

Sincerely Scent is an online greeting card store with SCENTED cards. How awesome is that? Customers can choose cards for any occasion, personalize them, and choose the scent. Then Scentsy will MAIL the cards to the intended recipient. That means no hassle for the customer! Love it!

Lastly, Scentsy is launching an entire new brand in May. Introducing Velata......

Velata is a new brand featuring 14 fondue warmers and four chocolate flavors! Simply melt the chocolate, and enjoy with your favorite "dip-ins" (my personal favorite dip-in are marshmallows).

I can't wait to try this chocolate and to have my first Velata party!

I am really SO excited about this next year with Scentsy. I am not a "sales" person by any means but Scentsy has become such a huge part of my life I love sharing what it is all about and how great my Scentsy experience has been. And since so many of my readers have become customers I wanted to fill you all in on all the exciting happenings with Scentsy!

Plus I'm just pretty darn pumped about these products and wanted to share!

If you have any questions about any of the products, or perhaps you've thought about getting involved with Scentsy but never really took the step forward. Let me know and I would be happy to answer any questions you have!

Now is the perfect time! www.megantree.scentsy.us

1/18/12

A Stage

I was afraid it would happen.

I was warned it would happen.

I thought we had avoided it. We got through month six - the month where is supossebly hits its peak.

And then during month nine it started. It was a normal Sunday and I dropped Eli off in the nursery like I always do.

But this Sunday was different, instead of a happy baby playing with his toys oblivious to the fact that I was leaving, I was met with a crying baby, crawling towards me like I was leaving him for all of eternity.
And my heart broke into a million pieces.

Are you ready for a little bit of authenticity? Before I had Eli I was slightly annoyed with the moms that would not "toughen up" their kids by leaving them crying in the room.

I would think "you ARE coming back" "they WILL survive" "just leave them".

This is not the first, nor will it be the last time I've eaten the words that pre-child Megan thought and said.

Oh how that girl kinda gets on my nerves now.

The AUDACITY she had thinking that she, for one second, knew what it was like to be in those shoes

So on that fateful Sunday I scooped up Eli and took him to service with me, vowing that it would be the only time this would happen. Next time I would be tougher. I would not make myself a hypocrite with my former words and I would stand true to them. This was my time!

I was also relieved that he contniued to go to his babysitter's home with ease. I would drop him off and he would smile at the sight of his babysitter, ready for a day of playing with the "big" kids and getting undivided attention.

And then it happened.

One fateful Monday morning as I dropped him off he cried tears that are forever etched on my heart?

Do I sound dramatic? I'M A MOTHER. I AM DRAMATIC.

I might have teared up in the car...but soon after arriving at work I received a text from the babysitter informing me that she had a happy baby on her hands. He was doing his usual bossing the older kids around.

It made me feel better but a piece of my heart still hurt thinking back on the morning tears.

And sadly, this week beginning with Sunday morning at church the tears came again. And I began to reap the consequences of the words I thought before. I did not "toughen up" that Sunday but instead took him into service with me.

What can I say? I'm a hypocrite.

It has been hard for me to leave Eli when he is crying. On Sundays I can scoop him up but Monday through Wednesday I have a timeline to stick to and there is no time to scoop him up and take him with me. It makes me so sad.

I know this is just a stage, and that two seconds after I leave he is just fine (I have proof, I went back once after 30 seconds and he was perfectly fine playing with his friends) but it is so, so hard.

This morning as I left him crying I let my mind wander during my ten minute drive to work, and by the time I arrived in the campus parking lot I pictured him in counseling one day explaining why he has insecurities because his mom would leave him crying.

Maybe I'm the one who needs counseling. Now.

I'm never one to wish away any stage of Eli's life. I even have some issues talking about him growing up, however this is one stage I'm ready to tell goodbye.

Until then I will probably continue to be a hypocrite in the area of pre-child Megan's thoughts and post Megan's thoughts.

I'm fine with it. She had NO idea what she was talking about.

1/17/12

Not Like Me

My college years are marked as the years that I really started to grow close to God.

I began to draw near to him and therefore my heart started to change. I wanted to know Him more, I wanted to be like Him, I was chasing after Him.

As I drew closer to God I started to get a desire on my heart to minister to other women and girls. I wanted to be around ladies who were like me and to use what God had taught me to minister to them.

I continued to move forward in life, not really pursuing that desire, but assuming God would just drop those opportunities into my life.

Throughout the years, God never dropped those opportunities in my life and I let that desire fizzle. It seemed like it no longer applied in my life. Just a silly thought that I had in college.

Over time I became involved in a church in my college town only to eventually get hurt in some friendships at that church. Which then led me to leave that church. I did not walk away from church completely, but I walked away from that church with hurt feelings and the beginning signs of bitterness. Dangerous.

I also "realized" that the desire I had to minister to other women was something I concocted myself. I was not worthy enough to minister to other women. This is the lie that was fed to me (not through any person but through the enemy) and I believed it fully.

Years later I married Luke and we continued our roles at our church where we had attended for several years prior to getting married. I had long since abandoned the idea of ministering to others. Years of codling bitterness, and believing lies had led me to a place where the voice of God was fuzzy and distant.

And to be honest I didn't feel that I ever had the opportunity to minister to women. You see when I first had the thoughts of reaching out to others I had a picture of the people I would be talking with.

We all looked alike, and thought alike. They were basically little replicas of me in every way.

Looking around my church, at the place where I thought I would connect with people I saw many women, men and teenagers who looked nothing like me. NOTHING like I had pictured.

If I was to show you pictures of these people you would see they are not like me.

Some are not the same color as me.

Some are not in the same economic status as me.

Some do not have the same educational status that I have.

Some have seen more hurt from this world then I could even imagine.

They do not wear the same clothes I wear.

They do not get their hair highlighted every other month because heaven forbid their true roots start showing, nor do they go buy a new outfit for every small event they attend, because repeating an outfit would just be a travesty.

At first, because it was natural to me I became bitter with the fact that God placed me in a situation where I had very little in common with most around me. This is not what I had pictured. This was simply not fair.

But throughout time my heart began to grow a little at at a time, and I realized that this was in fact what He always had in mind.

He did not intend for me to stay in my comfort zone, nursing my prideful self as I connected with other women about our favorite purses, our stores of choice when shopping and our similar desires in life.

No the people that I am around are not like me in those ways. But they are like me in the way that we are both sinners, we both have a longing in our hearts to be rescued from this world. To know Somebody who is greater than ourselves and saves us from ourselves.

I soon realized that He wanted me to grow, to get out of my comfort zone and see His people. Not the people that I want to see but the people that need to be seen. The hurt, the lost, the people that I don't relate to at all. The people who need a Savior. A Savior that I know and can show to them.

I will admit it has taken me a lot of time to humble myself enough to see what God is teaching me. Sometimes God can be trying to teach us something but we put up enough blinders and earplugs that we completely miss out on his teachings - and believe me I put up enough blinders and earplugs that I had to do a lot of shedding to finally see and hear what God intended for me.

I've realized, that though it may not seem like it at the time, our lives are always better when we listen to Him.

I learned that waiting for God to "drop" opportunities in my lap to minister to others is completely ridiculous. I am surrounded by opportunities every single day. It's how I choose to use these opportunities that is up to me.

And I'm still learning. God is teaching me so much through this particular area of my life. I can only imagine what else I have to learn. One thing I know is that it may not always be comfortable but it will be amazing.

1/16/12

2011 in review

Now that we are halfway through the first month of 2012 I decided it would be a good time to review what we did in 2011.

2011 was an amazing year for obvious reasons. We gave birth to our first child Eli, and our lives were forever changed. For the better. It has been such a wonderful year filled with the normal day to day "mundane" tasks, all the way to the excitement of adding Eli to our family and working through the ups and downs that come with that big change. It has been an exciting year.

But lets start at the beginning of 2011:

  • 2011 started off with a bang.....literally. While eight months pregnant I got into a scary wreck on the highway. Praise God everything was fine with me and Baby Tree.
  • In preparation for Baby Tree we had four very amazing showers given in our honor. We were so thankful for all the hard work that was put into the showers as well as everybody who attended and gifted baby Eli.

  • And then in March we received the sweetest gift of all. Oh how everyday I am thankful for this gift.
  • The next three months are sort of a blur. I was in what I gently refer to as Postpartum Hell. It as a lovely place. But I also spent those 3 months watching the sweetest baby grow before my eyes. I am so thankful for 12 weeks of maternity leave. I cherished every second of those 12 weeks.
  • I started to feel more like myself around June....just in time to go back to work. I was sad to leave my former full time job that I had for four years, but I was extremely thrilled and thankful to be able to move into a part-time position. Time with my baby is so important!
  • In July we took our very first "family vacation" to Branson, MO. We had such a good time and Eli was so good on the road.
  • Luke started a new job as a middle school teacher. This was something that completely came out of left field but everything lined up perfectly and it just seemed like God was leading us in that direction. We still firmly believe this is what Luke is supposed to be doing right now.
  • (Visiting dad at school)
  • Luke and I both turned 27
  • We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.
  • We watched Eli grow leaps and bounds
  • We survived one of the coldest winters with record snowfall and one of the hottest summers with record heat.
  • My Scentsy team more than doubled this year and I moved up two levels in the company. I am so thankful for my "job" with Scentsy and what it adds to my life. I hope to continue to grow with this company.
What an amazing year it has been! We are so thankful for all of God's provisions this year and want to continue to move forward growing in our relationships with Him. I am excited about the "mundane" day to day tasks that the next year holds. Our lives are no where near perfect but they are filled with perfect moments. I am so thankful.