Today I am Thankful For time to play catch-up!

Man oh Man is blogging hard to do when you spend 95% of your time chasing around a toddler! Here we go with the last few days of Thankfulness:

Saturday, 11-12
Thankful for Target
For no other reason than I was able to pick up my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with no problems finding it, and at a discounted price. Happy girl over here!

Sunday, 11-13
Thankful for Rebecca Keenan
One of the best friends a girl could ever ask for!!! I got to spend a WHOLE day with her. We went to lunch, hung out, got nerdy over spreadsheets, talked Pampered Chef Parties, AND she came with us to help out on Abby’s 18 month Photo shoot. Plus, she got to have dinner with the whole family, INCLUDING my nephew, Max, who was here for a few days. Always a blessing to get time with him. The 13th was a pretty awesome day!

Monday, 11-14
Thankful for Monthly Pampered Chef Meetings
We meet as a team, once a month, at our director’s house. We have training, share stories, swap ideas, and get the motivation we need to keep on selling for the month ahead. It is always refreshing and always helpful. I’m thankful for my wonderful team!

Tuesday, 11-15
Thankful for Bedtime Routines
We had a big day to prepare for, and I’m so thankful that the bedtime routine we’ve implemented works! Abby went down for bed with no problems, and slept through the night. She was rested and ready for our special day!

Wednesday, 11-16
Thankful for Sandy and Peggy W.
We got to go to Disneyland today, because a very gracious and benevolent friend got us day passes through her family. Going to the Park these days isn’t high on the priority list as far as cost goes, and to be able to get in those gates and not have to worry about the ticket price was a blessing and a half! It was a VERY special day for all of us, and Abby had a blast. I’m thankful for people who are willing to give of themselves. Full post about our day very soon!

Thursday 11-17
Thankful for my SIL and her ‘flexible’ Thursday mornings
Had a doctor’s appointment that I really needed to go to. Which is SUPER hard to do with a toddler in tow. And Nana and Poppi weren’t available (because, you know… they have lives!) and it was E to the rescue! She has a flexible schedule on some Thursdays so she watched Abby for me in the waiting room for my appointment, and the team that delivered her and saved her life got to see her again a year later. They were thrilled!

Friday, 11-18
Thankful for extra work
I’m out of the office ALL week for Thanksgiving. Normally, that wouldn’t be a huge issue, but since I went down to part-time, I don’t get paid for vacation. Nature of the beast. So that is a week without pay. Worth it, for sure, but still… So I’m thankful that my Bosses are not just willing, but happy to give me extra hours here and there when needed to make up for lost time. Plus, it helps ensure they don’t fall behind while I’m gone. It’s a win-win!

Saturday, 11-19
Thankful for Feedback
This past October, I celebrated one year with The Pampered Chef. It’s been wonderful and only getting better. And this weekend, we celebrated that! My very first hosts threw another party in my honor and let me show my stuff. Many repeat clients over the last year showed up to support me, and we had a blast! But the best part was the feedback. Many guests have seen my shows in the past and every one of them said they were happily surprised at how much I’ve improved over time and how obvious it is that I love what I do. Hearing that was better than any profit that comes my way.

Sunday, 11-20
Thankful for Rain. Real Rain.
I have to apologize to my niece, L, because her very first Horse Riding show got rained out. Please know that I’m not happy about that. But I love the rain. So does Anthony. So to have some REAL rain pour down on us, and to be able to share that with Abigail was so fun. Thankful for little moments to share with her, like that.

Monday 11-21
Thankful for my In-Laws
Packing for a 5 day trip is not easy. And it is time-consuming. Throw an over-active toddler into the mix and lets just say I’m also thankful for baby gates that block her in! But our packing day went much more smoothly than anticipated… because my In-Laws were in town! And they took Abby for the afternoon to visit her great grand parents while we got our stuff done. And in no time flat, we had all of our errands run and all of our items packed (including getting laundry done) and she had a great day playing and getting spoiled by trying peppermint ice cream! Again, a win-win!

Tuesday 11-22
Thankful for Abby’s Easy-going attitude.
I don’t know. We must have done something fantastically humanitarian in a past life. Because on top of having your not-so-average miracle baby, she is one of the most mellow and easy-going babies I have ever encountered. She just makes it work. What ever it is. Today it was a 10 hour drive, plus encountering a lot of “new” family (people she doesn’t remember she’s met before) along the way, and then figuring out how to sleep in an unfamiliar place. And what does her attitude say to me, all day? No Big Deal, Mom. Stop worrying. She slept for half of the drive and played quietly for the rest. She talked to me all day and only cried once during the drive. She stuck close to me and Anthony during our family visits, but didn’t fuss at all. And bed time? Oh yea – she’s been sound asleep since 9 and went down with no issues. Again – no idea what I did to get this lucky, but whatever it was, I’M THANKFUL!

-Jen

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Friday, I was Thankful For my Mom, and my hairdresser

As you will see below, this post is mostly about Abigail’s first hair cut. BUT I had to give a shout out to my Mom. As most of you know, my Mom (along with my Dad) watches Abby for me while I work during the afternoons at Charming. She and my Dad are amazing. They have sacrificed so much to help me (and Anthony) keep Abigail in a safe and happy environment. And they LOVE their job as grandparents/primary care givers. But what puts them over the top as shoe-ins for the grandparents of the year award are all the extras they do. It’s as if 20+ hours isn’t enough for them. Because on top of those hours, plus their jobs, plus their lives, they still manage to come through for me in a pinch.

I’ll be honest. I have a LOT of “New Mom” moments. Like, A. LOT. I’m pulling the “Still Learning” card here and saying that being a new Mom is pretty tough. And sometimes, what I think is a GREAT idea really actually sucks. Insert my sucky great idea: get my own hair cut at the same time as Abby. We’ll go together, make it one trip, and it will be all good! Hahahaha… yea. Didn’t think about a rowdy, energetic, MOBILE toddler in an area that is wonderful for adults but downright dangerous for kids. Go me. Mom to the rescue! Offered to help with Abby (i.e. sit in the car with said rowdy and energetic toddler for an hour) while I got my hair cut, and then come in and take pictures for me to remember the whole experience. Did I mention this was on her day off from Abby duty? A day that she had several appointments already scheduled? A day that this was probably going to be more of a headache than a leisure trip? But there she was, waiting for me in the parking lot, none the less. And the pictures (below) were great! Yup. Grandma of the year.

Both of my parents really are wonderful, for so many reasons. But on Friday, I was particularly thankful for my Mom. Thank you, Mama… for all you do. You’re the best.

Ok! On to the pictures! On Friday, I was also very thankful for the skills of my hairdresser, Lynn Hayes. She’s been cutting my hair, (plus my Mom’s, my Sister’s, my Sister-In-law’s, and my best friend’s hair) for years. She is VERY good, and it shows. Plus, she has extensive experience working with kids. So it was obvious who we chose to cut Abby’s hair for the first time.

Abby didn’t like it. She was confused as to who this stranger was touching her head. But she only cried a little, and was totally distracted by me singing her favorite tunes: The ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Itsy Bisty Spider, and of course – The Hot Dog Dance!

When all was said and done, she did really well, and now her hair is cute and even and out of her eyes! Yippie! I’m thankful for the experienced hands of my hairdresser!

Getting Ready!Combing the hair out to see how long it really is.

Wet hair and the protective cape. We gave her the brush as a distraction.

Getting ready to make the first cut.

Snip snip!

High Five for Lynn after we were all done!

New Do’s! Ready for the holidays!

-Jen

Today, I’m Thankful For Pick-Me-UPs and Picture Texts.

I have no idea why, but I was in a BAD mood yesterday. No reason. Just everything from the baby crying, to the dog barking, to the guy who forgot his turn signal, irritated me to no end. I was crabby and snippy and had that “gloom and doom” cloud over my head. And I HATE being in that mood.

But there it was. I simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I mean, it could have something to do with Abby waking up at 4am and not going back to sleep, at all… but it could also have been me. BUT a little pick-me up turned my day around. My Mom was getting rid of some of her Thanksgiving Decorations to make way for new ones. And instead of just throwing them out, she saved them for me! A festive throw pillow, two adorable scarecrows, and a wall hanging wreath of fall leaves made me SUPER happy. And my day started to turn around. It’s amazing what one little positive gesture can do. I’m Thankful for Pick-Me-Ups.

And really, who isn’t thankful for picture texts? I mean, they are just awesome all the way around. But the best part is that my parents have become those technologically savvy parents everyone wants and dreads at the same time. Fortunately, mine fall into the “Cool” category. They text, which makes it so easy to talk to them all the time. But they don’t over do it, and they still call. And they send me pictures! Mostly of Abby when they watch her, but sometimes something funny that will make me laugh or smile.

Today’s text was both. I was worried about the doodle-bug because she curled up on the couch an hour and a half before her normal nap time and just passed out. Snoring even. Wouldn’t wake up if a Fog Horn blasted in the same room (She’s just like her Dad…). And she slept right through her normal lunch time. So when we had to pick her up to get in the car to go to Nana’s for the afternoon, she was less than pleased. Woken up out of a VERY deep sleep, and hungry. My poor parents had to deal with a screaming toddler in the back of the car and I had to deal with that Mommy guilt that makes me want to quit my job and stay home with her just so she never has to wake up from a nap like that again. Plus, I was worried she might be sick, or not feel top-notch and that just makes me nuts.

But to make me feel better, my dad sent a picture text of a very happy Abby in a Costco cart with a Veggie stick in hand, (they were giving them out as snacks) and quite the opposite of the screaming banshee we placed in their car an hour and a half prior. She seems fine. And she ate a large lunch, and is drinking her water. No indications that anything was off.

So we’ll chalk it up to the little princess being just that – a princess – who wanted to take a nap on her time. Not mine. So yes, I’m thankful for picture text messages. And the people who send them. πŸ˜‰

-Jen

Today, I am Thankful For

It’s Baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I always look forward to November and my “Today I’m Thankful For” series. I know I’m off to a late start here, as a week has already gone by with no posts. Sorry! Not to mention the 2 other posts I’m in the middle of that still need finishing and posting (I swear I’m working on it!!!) But I needed to get this one out there and off my list. I guess there will just have to be 2 (or maybe more) days that I double up on Posts. Yippie for you, right? πŸ˜‰

Anywho – here are the first 7 “I am Thankful” posts, in short paragraph form. 17 to go! What are you Thankful for this holiday season?

1) Abby’s Immune System.

There is more information about this in the “October in a Flash” post coming…soon…ish… but the long and the short of it is that Abby got sick in Oct. And it was the first real test of her Immune System and what it is (and isn’t) capable of. I’m happy to say that it can do more than we thought it could, and with some rest, some breathing treatments, and a whole lot of Motts for Tots Apple juice, we are back to full health status. Amen!

2) 17 Months of memories.

I have a 17 month old. Less than a month from now, she will be One and a half. Hello? Am I the only one who thinks that is just crazy?! Less than 3 months ago she couldn’t even walk, and now she’s RUNNING and TALKING and learning at a pace that, quite frankly, scares the pants off of me. But Anthony and I have been diligent about writing, taking photos, and videoing everything we can. It’s all documented. And I now have 17 full months of those memories to look back on, and many, MANY more to come.

3) The Pampered Chef.

I had an AWESOME party to kick off my Holiday selling season, and am looking forward to a totally debt free Christmas. Which is totally needed these days. I’m all booked up for November (unless a catalog party is something anyone is interested in) and starting to fill up my December. I am so thankful for this opportunity and the freedom it brings me. Not to mention the joy – who is looking forward to holiday baking this year? THIS GIRL!

4) New Jeans!

“New Jeans Day” is always a good day in my book. Same with “New Undies Day” but that might be just slightly TMI. Oh well. πŸ˜‰ Anywho – my body has changed so much over the last two years, and the bottom line is I’m just not as stick skinny as I used to be. This is great news. I have a REAL body! Hahaha. But it means that those super tight, super skinny J Crew jeans I loved so much just don’t work anymore. I got a fabulous pair of Ann Taylor Capri Jeans this summer and wore them more than I’d like to admit. But capris are out and full length jeans are in, now that the Fall weather has decided to join us. So, I got the same fabulous cut/style in Jeans and am….again… wearing them more than I’d like to admit. Hahaha. But they look great and they FIT. So whahoo to new jeans!

5) Days Off.

I got a “day off” to spend with my Mom and my Daughter. We had no plans, no rules, no restrictions. We played with Abby, then my Mom and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch while Abby slept in her stroller. (Shout out to Kurt, our Red Robin Server who was wonderful and made our lunch just that much more pleasant). We went shopping for us, then headed over to Toys R Us and let Abby tell us what she wanted for Christmas by writing down all the things she gravitated toward without assistance. She found the aisle with all the Elmo toys all by herself. Then we joined up with my Dad and had Chipotle dinner and more playtime before it was bath time and then bedtime. It was an awesome day. One that we don’t get to do often enough. I love true “Days Off.”

6) Our new Stroller.

The travel system was wonderful while we needed it. But our big girl doesn’t need the giant stroller anymore. So, we got a good old umbrella stroller to take its place. Well… sort of. “Good Old” would mean a thin frame with one piece of cloth acting as the seat and four wheels. Well, we have a thin frame and four wheels. But we also have a very nice padded seat that reclines. And there is a sun visor! Plus, it has padded handles and cup holders. But my favorite part is the little basket underneath to store things. It is awesome! It is lightweight and still folds up super small and it even has a heavy-duty handle on the side to make carrying easy when it is folded up. And the best part of it all??? It is a $50 stroller that I got on sale, plus 20% off! $30 for a $50 stroller! Love it! I’m thankful.

7) Space Heaters.

I am really happy that the weather has changed and the heat is gone. It’s great. I love wearing sweaters and scarves and socks… But I work in a very drafty warehouse. In the summer, it is hotter than hot. We have industrial fans blowing in all directions. And in the winter we get the exact opposite effect. Now, I work in the office, not the warehouse. But oddly enough, the heater is upstairs… and in case you missed that particular episode of Bill Ny the Science guy… heat rises! So my DOWNSTAIRS office is as cold as the warehouse! So I am super thankful for my little space heater that sits under my desk and keeps my work area workable.

There you have it! The first week of thankful! Thanks for reading!

-Jen