Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Day Home

I'm so glad that we got to spend the sacred first day at home with this sweet little one. It was so fun to see our family grow, to watch two people that we love blossom into parents, and to see our kids discover a new friend. Maddi treated him like a little baby doll; she had to know exactly where he was at all times, gently patted him when he was within reach, and announced to the entire world 'baby sleeping' every time we set him down. Drew loved holding him, laughing at his funny little baby faces, and even got to feed TJ! Because of TJ, my definition of family has grown deeper and my ability to love has expanded. I'm just so glad we got to spend this special time with them and look forward to watching our children grow and learn together.

And the birth announcement I made....

Monday, November 29, 2010

A nephew

Our little nephew, Timothy John Glouner, was born November 22, 2010.
He had a rough time adjusting to this complicated world, and had to spend some time in the NICU. My heart physically hurt to see that innocent little baby with tubes and IVs draped accross his body, but I felt so humbled to be able to meet him and hold him and love him.
These pictures are kind of pitiful, but I have wonderful pictures of healthy baby at home to post next!

Drew and Maddi meeting their cousin for the first time. The kids spend hours in the waiting room, but weren't allowed to actually go into the NICU. Luckily, TJ had a room with a view, so the kids went outside and got their first sneak peak of their new friend.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Family + Engagement Photo Shoot

Today was my first big photo shoot. I'm use to snapping pictures of my two little munchkins, so I was a little anxious preparing for today's family of EIGHT. All my worries disappeared once I saw these gorgeous smiling faces and felt the love that they had for each other. I am so proud to call all eight of them family.
Oh, and sorry for the marathon of pictures to follow. I just loved so many of them...

So... this little adventure has given me the courage to pursue my passion. If you want me to capture your special moments e-mail me at amandaglouner@bellsouth.net

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Potty Train a Kid in ONE day

OK, this is the second kid that I have potty trained in one day, so I know it's not just a fluke. Therefore, I feel obliged to share my secret knowledge with the entire toddler-raising world.
Step 1. Understand your child's physical and emotional abilities based on her age and maturity. Make sure your child can do the following: click here for previous post's list. Spend time familiarizing kiddo with the concept of potty, let her use potty when she's interested, watch others using potty, read books about potty, etc.
Step 2. Decide you want to make the plunge because there's no turning back, not even for a you've-already-been-to-the-potty-fifteen-times second.
Step 3. Know your child's currency. Every child has a currency... a thing that they love above all other things. This currency can be used to shape behavior. Instead of yelling, screaming, spanking, etc., use your child's currency to reward good behavior and to reform negative behavior. Drew's currency at potty time was the Zamboni. It has of course changed over time, but in order to have effective consequences for actions, it is pertinent that you follow their trend and mold your behavior accordingly. Maddi's currency is babies. So, we went to Toys R Us together and bought the doll of her choice. Before purchasing, we talked about the baby. This baby was only for big girls who used the potty, so if she wanted to play with this particular baby, she had to use the potty from now on. Anticipation and excitement for our new goal was palpable in the check out line. This was going to be so fun, and she was so ready for the challenge! Baby doll came home and sat on the counter within toddler eye-sight, waiting to celebrate her big achievement with her.
Step 4. Overflow the poor kid's kidneys. Push juice, milk, and popsicles all day long, and ask them a million times a day if they need to go. This gives them the maximum opportunity for success.
Step 5. Get every one involved. When kiddo uses the potty, throw a PaRtY. There must be clapping, singing, marching, phone calls to distant relatives. Be ready to make a fool of yourself :)
Step 6. Once you've started, don't turn back. I personally go straight to the panties, no pullups or padded panties. It's all or nothing. You must also take the little person to the potty every single time they ask. Yes, this is time consuming and a little annoying (we went to the bathroom 4 times at the library and seven times at work the first day) but this isn't just a physical necessity, it's building the foundation of trust in your eternal relationship with your child.
Step 7. After your successful day (both of my kids had no accidents the very first day in anticipation of their new toy), pay up! Give them their reward and celebrate with them.
That's it. One day. Let me know if it works for you too!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A First

Well, I finally did it. I finally broke down and bought my first pair of MOM JEANS. Eeek! It was a series of rather unfortunate seam-splitting events that led to the begrudging purchase, but I must say, the deed needed to be done. It is with great pride that I say goodbye to the muffin top and wasted hours of trying to wiggle my way into those low rise, circulation hindering nightmares and hello to stretchy, high wasted bliss. Who knew mom jeans could make a girl feel so sexy!?!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans Day

Yesterday we paid homage to our military veterans by attending the annual Veterans' Day Parade. In history, Drew and I have been studying the Civil War and World War II and how it affected our state's development. Through our studies, I've gained a new reverence for those who choose to join our armed forces. I am amazed by the ordinary men and women with families and homes and dreams and goals who become heroes by offering their physical body, their time, and their energy as a sacrifice on our behalf. So thank you to all of my friends, family, and those I will never know who chose to give of themselves to make the world a better place for me. Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Animal Shelter

We went to visit the local animal shelter with Drew's scout group, troop, pack.... not sure what the technical term is, but you get the idea.
We've already adopted two furry babies from this particular shelter, so it was hard for me to leave empty-handed.
My heart broke when I found out that these poor little puppies are only kept for 5 business days before they're put to sleep. Isn't that sad??? If you have room in your heart and your home for a furry friend, check out you're local shelter and save a life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Super Busy Fun

Today was a super busy day filled with stories, music, dancing, shopping, eating, playing, working, and cub-scouting. Today was full of smiles, giggles, exhausted toddler melt downs, hugs, slobbery kisses, colorful leaves, cool breezes, and conversations with strangers. Today was a fabulous day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shutterfly | Stationery Card

Shutterfly | Stationery Card

Can you believe it's time for this already??? (Click on the link for a sneak peak) I've been busy making Christmas presents on Shutterfly.com today. If you're interested, check out retailmenot.com for some awesome coupons too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


"Forgiveness is not forgetting what has happened. It is simply giving up hope that the past could have happened differently."

When I read this quote, it became a part of me, a suture in my soul, a strength and a power that will race through my mind in times of pain and turmoil. Through these words, an essential part of me has been healed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Two

I thought yesterday was a bad day...
My way to long day ended with a frantic trip to Kroger at 9:30pm. Maddi cried the entire way through the store and a Gatorade exploded mid-checkout. That marathon day paled in comparison to today. I spent all morning cleaning poop out of the carpet, and off of the walls, and from in between Maddi's toes. Yesterday was bad, but today was way worse. Maybe that means tomorrow will be better?