Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

I won't lie, it's my favorite day of the year. I'm a sucker for deals, so I feel this day was made for me. And with all the amazing online deals now, I'm not even leaving the house.

I've been enjoying Amazon's lightning deals for the last month, but they've been especially amazing the last several days.

I got the Lego movie for $3.95. 

The Matilda Jane Veranda dress for $20. (And maybe a pair of leggings and shorties two days ago. And a dress for myself).

The Land of Nod Princess and the Pea Toddler Sheet set for $41.50.

While this deal was only 15% off with free shipping, I know this is probably the best deal I'll get for this, Audrey desperately needs a sheet set.

I'll be watching Amazon throughout the day as well (Calico Critter tree house at 1pm!), but since Audrey's list is already addressed, I'm not super concerned.

4:42 pm edit: I did end up getting the Calico Critter Adventure Tree House. On Amazon, it was originally $69.99, and during the lightning deal it was $34.99. There is no way I can say no to that.

What deals did everyone else score?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Purge: The Entryway

Living in an older home means making the best out of minimal storage. In my house, there are no walk-in pantries, walk-in closets, bathroom linen closets, fabulous closets in the bathroom or spacious garages.

But my house does have one amazing storage feature going to it: double entryway closets.

That's right. Eat your heart out.

Since they are pretty much the only storage we have on the main floor, they are used often, for a hodge-podge of items and get messy quickly – so of course they were on my purge 2014 list.

Closet 1: The coat closet


I wanted to maintain this closet as a seasonal closet. I went through it several months ago and donated a lot of items, so this time around it was mainly about organizing. I even brought Audrey's coats and snowsuit down from her closet, to join in the fun.


And I even have room at the top of the closet for additional goodies.

Closet 2: The pantry/storage/cleaning closet


This is the closet that I've had difficulty closing on more than one occasion. As you can see, things just sort of fall out when you open it. This is our catchall closet, and while I didn't want to change that – I knew there was a bunch to say goodbye to.

First off, I knew we had a lot of cleaning supplies, but holy geez.

Once I ditched some of those, I decided the shelf of cleaning supplies needed some order.

I know a lot of people keep kitchen and bathroom cleaning supplies, well, in their kitchen and bathrooms – but until Audrey is older, I'd prefer them nice and high up with all the other cleaning products.

I'm really happy with the new system, and I think it will be easy to stick to, as everything has a home...a very obvious home.

Other items that received containers were items I had in bulk: light bulbs, small light bulbs, baking decorations and Yankee candles.


And a terrible iPhone photo of an angle I cannot capture on my camera:

I love that my brooms and mops are now hanging up. Now I don't have to worry about a random broom attacking me. You can't see it but a broom and two dust mops are hanging up on the frontside of the closet.

Such an easy weekend project that made such a huge difference.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An update on yours truly

As you may recall, I'm a post-partum cardiomyopathy survivor. This is a fancy way of saying, I'm a mom who went into congestive heart failure during pregnancy, almost died and is still living with heart failure. You can find my PPCM story here and you can read about my exciting pacemaker/defibrillator journey here.

I had my one year post-implant cardiology appointment yesterday. It was a 3.5 hour, emotionally draining appointment.

First, I met with the pacemaker reps, who checked my readings for the last 8 months. I didn't realize what an invasive feeling that would be. It's just heart rhythm charts, but it's your heart story from the last 8 months. It's weird. Then when only halfway through, the rep found something interesting...and called another rep in. (Always, a comforting thing).

Then I was asked what I did on July 19th, as I had some "noise" in the morning. This freaked me out, because I have trouble remembering what I did the day before. Then I realized I didn't even know what "noise" was. After learning, noise is an external force that sends warning type signals to defibrillators, I didn't feel any better. What the hell was I doing? Was I drunk and playing with metal detectors? And while I knew that wasn't the case (as classy ladies do not get drunk in the morning and I have no access to a metal detector), that's all I could think about when the rep figured it out.

"This is completely random, but did you happen to be swimming or at Lake of the Ozarks?"

And that's when I remembered. Brent, Audrey and I went up to Stockton Lake that day to go sailing with some family friends. That morning, while the boat was being cleaned – we were swimming in the marina. Apparently, while I had happy memories of this day, my defibrillator reported a different story – as it was picking up faulty electricity on somebody's boat. I was assured that while I was fine this time around, I could very well get shocked the next time. Awesome.

Then came my least favorite part, my device going through all its rhythm options. My device is fancy and offers 12 different heart rhythm/pacing options. (Well, really 11 now, because one them brought my to the ER because the wire is on a nerve causing me to spasm every 10 seconds. Just a tad awkward for day-to-day functioning). The rhythm test lasts about 5 minutes, and in that time your heart beat keeps on changing. It's strange and it leaves me exhausted several hours later. But I'm now rocking a completely new heart I guess that's exciting?

Next came my appointment with Dr. M. I'll be honest, I've been dreading this appointment because I haven't been feeling better lately. I've actually been more tired, lowish-energy, dizzy, lightheaded and out of breath than usual. With heart failure, these are not good symptoms to acquire. His solution was increasing the dosage of the only medicine I wasn't maxed out on. But he wanted to see what my echo would bring.

I spent the 30-minute echo preparing for the worst and trying not to cry.

And then Dr. M came back into my room, and told me something I never expected to hear.

"Your results are great. Actually outstanding. You're at 50-55%, and in healthy heart function."

I processed this for a few seconds, and then started sobbing some ugly tears. Of the PPCM survivors who do recover, the majority recover within the first year. That first year I only recovered 6%, followed by 11% the second year. The fact that I went up 15-20% my third year is just unbelievable.

As for my unfavorable side effects, I'm on too much medication now. The new plan is to divide my medications between day and night and see if that helps at all. Cutting back on medications too soon is a risky way to relapse, so that is a last case scenario.

There's no guarantee I'll get all my energy back or feel like old self ever again. And I'll probably be on medications the rest of my life. But I now have a normal life expectancy, and my pacemaker/defibrillator surgery now feels completely worth it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Because I don't have enough ornaments

My mom and I did one of my new favorite holiday traditions today: a visit to Hallmark Corporate to take advantage of her employee discount.

Between her 50% discount in the Hallmark Store and 75% discount in the Double Discount store, I typically go a little nuts. But all my spending from previous years has earned me a rather impressive gift wrap and ornament collection, so this year I decided to tone it out and spent less than half of what I usually do.

$45 later, and I'm rather proud of myself.

Pretty Pink Trike: I saw this ornament and thought it was fate, because Audrey is asking (well, writing) Santa for a pink tricycle this year.

Boba Fett: Two years ago, I got Brent the first ornament in the LEGO Star Wars series as a stocking stuffer. Now it's apparently a tradition.

Season's Treatings: I absolutely adore this series. It is so cute and looks adorable on my kitchen tree.

Sweet Treat Penguin: Because I can't not get a penguin ornament.

In addition to the ornaments, we hit up the Double Discount store, and I got these goodies.

I'm so excited about Santa's workshop! I've been wanting to do some sort of mini Christmas village, but everything I've seen is too traditional. This will be perfect.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Audrey's bedroom

I don't know when Audrey's room changed from a nursery to a bedroom.

Earlier this year we ditched the changing pad, opening up the dresser for actual accessories – and that felt like a huge milestone. Then two weeks ago, we put the toddler rail on Audrey's crib. I kept doubting this decision, but she was SO excited about her "big girl" bed, and spent the rest of the day reading books in her book.

I don't feel like a lot has changed with Audrey's room, but at the same time everything has. Audrey's room finally looks lived in, and I'm happy with the direction it's going.

When you walk in


The glider


The dresser




I love the toy area now. It is so colorful and fun. Audrey is starting to like playing in her room, so I wanted there to be a variety of toys with lots of storage options.

I also wanted a wall to display her art, which is a mixture of her Papa Ken's and local art fairs. The cupcake one at the top was one she picked out this summer.

I know at some point she'll be begging for a pink princess room (or some other concept I dread), but until then, I am enjoy her bedroom to the fullest.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Purge: Magazines

One task for my purge is addressing the disaster that is my kitchen Expedit shelf.

Aside from going through the entire thing, my goal is to open up one cube, so I can start putting dog treats in it, which in return will give me more cabinet space. Full circle...or triangle.

I started with the easiest/most time consuming task: magazines. Aside from the magazines on the top shelf, there's magazines in the basket to the left of the shelf as well. I had just a few.

So, I went through each magazine and tore out recipes I'd like to try.

From there, I found the recipe online and pinned it for my food board on Pinterest.

It feels so good to ditch all those magazines.

For all the little things

I've recently become obsessed with Savers. Once I got over the smell of thrift store (and realized the store was worth my allergies acting up), I discovered the joy of children's books for only $0.69 each (with buy four, get one free on top of it)...and coupons. Audrey is a major bookworm, and I embrace that every chance I get by adding to her book collection. So I quickly fell in love.

Yesterday, I decided to venture past the book region, and discovered a small printer's drawer for $2.99.

Spoiler alert: I bought it.

I had a full-size printer's drawer in my room as a child and loved it. I collected "little things," and showed off my prized possessions with pride above my desk.

And Audrey loves her little things as well. When I got home, I painted it pink with some craft paint.

Audrey was so excited about it, so started playing with it right away by putting her Hello Kitties to sleep in it.

And while it's not in Audrey's use...

You are my cupcake

Seriously. I can't believe it took me this long to do this...or that I had 5 half empty baking cup containers.