Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tune-In Thursday Playlist----Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung, people, even though it's temporarily chilly in my neck of the woods, I know it's true because I see flower blooming, and pollen everywhere! This Thursday's playlist I found on AOL's main page a few days ago and though it was so awesome I decided to save it for y'all! There are some throwbacks on this list and few artist who have just come on the scene in the past few years, so I loved the diversity of the choices from this online journalist. Here is the list, and you can visit the full AOL article to read the reasons behind the picks, some are very interesting! Full List with Details 

10. The Roof is Leaking - Phil Collins
9. Half the Man- Jamiroquai
8. First Day of Spring- Noah and the Whale
7.Waiting for the Sun- The Doors
6. Spring Affair- Donna Summers (what's Donna Summer's backward? Summer Donna. Slow it down now. Summah Dawna...Simmah Downah)
5.Love Aint For Keeping- The Who
4. Spring Rain- The Go-Betweens
3. Another Spring- Nina Simone
2. Spring Fever- Elvis Presley
1. Here Comes the Sun- The Beatles

I hope you download these songs and they bring some sunshine into your day and you can groove and dance your behinds off! It's pouring and dark outside here, so music is what I've got to cheer myself up. Keep loving life! Layne

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm going to rip-on MTV a little...

  I don’t know why this has been on my mind lately but it has and I can’t shake it, so you get to read some of my ranting and raving about it. It started earlier this week during one of my trips to Wal-Mart where I saw an US Magazine featuring a story and pictures from the wedding of one of the stars of MTV’s sensation Teen Mom/16 and pregnant.  Now I have to admit, I have watched the show several times, I’ve even cried watching it, but as more and more realities about the operation come to light I find myself absolutely disgusted by MTV and the show’s producers.
                I started out as one of the people who thought the premise of the show was a good idea.  It would show how bad it is for a teenager to get pregnant, show them sick, and their boyfriends abandoning them, their parents screaming and yelling at them and the horrible decisions to make regarding keeping the babies, aborting them, and giving them up for adoption. I thought it was a great method of pregnancy awareness, and I still think that maybe the first season and the initial motive behind it was just that. The problem, though, was that the show was a huge success as far as ratings go. America loved it as they do most all reality television, yours truly (sadly) included. MTV started pumping out more and more seasons and even created a spin off show for the original cast. This is when it got bad. Oh so bad. The girls on the show got trashier, the parents on the show got more lenient, drama ensued. They made it good, and packed it full of romantic issues, the couples breaking up and getting back together, getting engaged and breaking engagements, moving in together, parents taking care of the babies while the kids were able to stay in school, or go out partying….nothing like reality. But America watched on, and MTV kept pushing out multiple seasons a year of the original show, 16 and Pregnant, and the spinoff Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 as well as featuring several reunion shows.
                The teen moms became very recognizable faces to Americans and American teens, they were featured on news shows, talk shows, all over the internet and magazine covers. They were famous. They were also getting paid an insane sum of money for their participation on the show! I’m sure if anyone ever thought about it they realized these girls were getting a paycheck, but I know I never imagined it to be the staggering sum that it is. We first got solid evidence of the salaries these chicks were raking in when during a BATTERY and ASSAULT case that teen mom Amber was involved in, when she announced in court that she made $280,000 a year from MTV. Classy. This is sure to make teenagers stay celibate and practice safe sex! Also, how wonderful to know that a woman charged with a felony for abusing her baby’s father is able to keep her child because of the salary she’s getting from MTV. That’s what real life is like, no? Amber's Court Case
                There is also the case of Farrah, one of the originals who if you ever watched struggled with money in every episode, moved out of her parent’s home to try and be independent and couldn’t pay rent. Here she is sporting a nice new pair of breasts. I’m sure her child appreciated that, and now all of the under-developed 14 and 15 year olds out there watching the show and reading the magazines know that if they get themselves knocked-up they might be able to afford breast implants one day courtesy of MTV. Farrah's Boob Job I’m at the point now, as I said before, where I can’t get this trash out of my head. I am so outraged and disgusted by the entire thing that I’ve contemplated not watching MTV at all anymore (which probably isn’t a bad idea). These girls are making more than Chad and I will make in the next 2 years combined, maybe even three years. $60,000 per season (about 3-4 seasons a year)?!? A college graduate with a Masters degree has trouble making that in this economy. What sucks more than the atrocious salary they’re being given (notice I don’t say ‘earning’) is that it’s enabling them to be acting worse than they were when they were 15 and couldn’t keep their legs shut! Teen mom Janelle has been arrested twice in the last six months, her mom is keeping her baby away from her legally, thank goodness (I hope).  There are a few cases, however, where I think the “parents” (a term I use loosely) have shown some sort of maturity. For example, one couple gave their baby up for adoption. In a very emotional episode that had me bawling my eyes out the high school aged mom and dad held each other in the hospital as they decided together (despite their white trash families trying to talk them out of it) to give their baby up for adoption. I think I may have applauded for that episode. One of the couples, who had twins- one with health issues, has now gotten married; this was the article that I saw earlier in the week- I guess kudos to them for trying to make an honest family out of their situation. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but since I know what a challenge marriage is when you’re actually ready and don’t have kids in the picture to make it more of a challenge, I can say I’m doubtful at best. One bff of a girl from the show is now pregnant but she said not to worry because “she’s 18 not 16”. Phew, what a relief. I want to personally go out to Hollywood which is where a lot of these girls have moved to and take their babies from them in a seriously dramatic fashion. I think they’d be better off in the system than with these train wrecks. I guess it’s my hormones and the child I’m carrying that make me feel this way, but none of those girls should be raising a child, those babies don’t deserve the life that’s ahead of them because of what MTV has helped do to their parents. They’ll all try to ride the fame train as long as they can, and when they are no-longer relevant and pulling in a 6-figure salary do you think they’ll still love being single moms? I don’t. What will happen to the innocent babies then?
       It's things like this that put into perspective for me, just how bad the media and entertainment industry has become. I do love reality shows, but not like this, not anymore. I love Top Chef and So You Think You Can Dance, but I've realized I need to carefully pay attention to the line that is the difference between entertainment and crap. I hate to think of what will be available for Noah to watch in 10-15 years if it's this bad now and getting worse every day. We have to be open minded and aware of what we watch and put in our brain and what it is really doing to us. Even if I can say Teen Mom is a bunch of smut, if I watched it all the time I'd form some sort of bond with the girls, just as we do with any show (who wasn't emotionally involved with Ross and Rachel, or Chuck and Blair) and I dont want to become desensitized to how bad I can right now say it really is. This may be the super-conservative coming out in me, but with so many bad things in the world today it's important to take your stance and protect yourself, even against the small things like TV shows. That way your life can stay lovely.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just a quicky today, but if you love good Deals, this one's for you!

I'm not sure if any of you have ever used but they feature restaurants all over the US and offer discounted gift certificates to some great places! Most of the time you'll see $25 gift certificates for $10!! If you visit their site now and enter the discount code "TASTY" you can get an extra 80% off! Spending $2 for a $25 gift that is what I'm talking about! I'm majorly bummed because they only had 2 restaurants in my areas offering specials, but Charlotte, NC had a bazillion restaurants offering specials, Columbia, SC,  had about 40, Myrtle Beach has about 30, and so did Charleston and lots more....I hope you're all able to get some to places you love to eat!! My only disclaimer is to make sure when you select a gift certificate look and see if there is a minimum purchase required by the restaurant...the website will list it if there is! If you're only a family of two or a single guy or gal, you may not wany a giftcard with a $50 minmum purchase required (unless you're really planning to drown your sorrows, or stuff your face)....don't forget the "TASTY" discount is applied at check out! Happy Eating!! Love, Layne

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Joys of Homeownership...

This past Friday was our two week anniversary in the new home! Yay! Right? Well, sort of. Last Wednesday the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) got a wicked wind and Thunderstorm, much like the ones we've had all weekend, but with tornado-like winds. At about 2:30 am Thursday morning Chad wakes me up and says you're gonna freak out but you need to come downstairs. Sure. Sweet, I love being woken up like this...I get downstairs and there is a tree half-way in our living room. It seems that there were a few dead trees in our back yard that the previous owner had not taken care of and one of them was broken in half and the top half had been flung onto the roof of our Great room and half of it was in my den...on my new sofas. It was a miracle that it missed our gorgeous 12ft window, but it was a huge problem, none-the-less. When you move into your dream home and you have a mortgage for the first time, and no more landlords, you realize that you'll be handling all of the problems from that point out, but you dont expect this kind of problem, on your 11th day in the home.

I work full time, and Chad is working partly from home, partly from Columbia and partly from offices in N.Augusta, but he has a full days worth of work every day, so Thursday he put some time aside and met with tree removal companies. Luckily we found one who said he would not only remove the tree that afternoon but could patch the hole for us. Wrong. He removed the tree to find about a dozen holes where all of the branches had poped through, in addition to the two large ones, he said we needed a professional roofer. This was at about 6pm on Thursday, weather report for the weekend: massive Thunderstorms. We managed to get a roofer to the house Friday and by some miracle he finished around lunchtime, we were grateful for his speedy work but I was worried it wouldn't hold up. It poured Saturday and through the night and then almost all day Sunday and it's still pourng this morning. Everymorning I walk barefoot underneath the still gaping holes in our ceiling where we need a contractor to come in, to see if the carpet is damp at all. It hasnt been, thank goodness. We never let ourselves get stressed out over the tree and by the weekend we were able to laugh at the situation, Chad had been asleep on the couch in that room when the tree came through, and never got hurt, the baby and I were safe asleep upstairs. It can always get worse, we reminded ourselves. Our Great room is going to require some repair work, and new paint now, but we can find someone to handle it, and all it's really doing is pinching our wallet a little and postponing us from hanging some curtains.

There is a new development in our home life as a result of the storm, however. Morris has become a protection maniac. I sleep with earplugs so I didnt hear the tree hit at all, but he sure did. He is very aware that I'm pregnant and for the rest of the night insisted on sleeping ON TOP of me to protect me. At first we thought he was scared, he would not get off the bed and Chad tried to snuggle with him, but he pulled away from Chad. He slept by my side then on my feet, and none of it satisfied him, then for a couple of hours he sat directly on top of my at high alert. Finally I was so uncomfortable and needed sleep so badly we pushed him off the bed. No-go. He was back on. Chad moved his doggy bed to my side of our bed on the floor so Mo could be directly next to me and that helped a little but he never layed down. He sat straight up at vigil all night popping half-way up on the bed to check on me almost every hour. So this entire weekend that its been storming it's been the SAME thing, EVERY night. Now, I love on him and tell him what a good boy he is being and that he'd doing an awesome job protecting his little sister, but it's exhausting having him up and down and staring at me and nudging me all night every night, while we have the storms coming through. I'm so glad the rain is washing away the pollen, but here's hoping it doesn't rain tonight! I could use a full night's sleep!

We did make the best of our weekend despite the storms and had a great time with Greg and Carol who came to visit! We got to show them around and went to a cute little street fair that was going on downtown before the rain hit! They brought tons of maternity clothes for me from Nicole and Jen and the sweetest outfit for Noah! I was watching the end of Pretty Woman on Saturday evening and she tells Richard Gere that she "wants the fairy tale" I feel like I'm living the fairy tale every day, even when it's a horrible day I know I have it better than most, and have so much love in my life. Could it get any better? I think not, but then again I've got a baby on the maybe it can! Just lovely! Layne

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tune-In Thursday Playlist....Noah's First Mix CD

So, I guess about a week 1/2 ago Noah started to be able to hear! This was very exciting news, and we got even more excited when we recieved in the mail Noah's first mix CD. At this point we didn't know that Noah, was Noah, so the CD is actually titled Baby Maverick's CD. Noah's Aunt Mary (who calls me Maverick....I call her's very cute) has been keeping track and knew it was the right time for some awesome tunes to sooth and rock Noah's little world so she sent us the mix all the way from New Mexico! She very much wants her to be brought up on good music (as we were), so she compiled some awesome songs, by some well-known and some lesser-known artists and for the past several days we have been jammin' out! Most of the Artists are already in my Itunes, but one of my new faves that was previously unknown to me is The Tallest Man on Earth....he's a Sweedish folk singer and he's got a Dylan-esque quality to his sound. Very awesome.
Doctor's say that babies will recognize their parents voices after birth as well as songs that were played for them in the womb. At this point Noah would recognize Chad and I bickering over hanging curtains, and talking about boring work stuff, so I love that I've got some good music for her to dig on while she's swimming in her amniotic fluid, and that she'll be comforted by when she's here with us!

Avi Buffalo- What’s In it For?
Midlake- Balloon Maker
The New Pornographers- Bleeding Heart Show
She & Him- Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
Sea Wolf- The Violet Hour
Temper Trap- Sweet Disposition
Monster Paws- Midnight Train
Edward Maya- Stereo Love
Beirut- Postcards from Italy
Nico- These Days
Bon Iver- Skinny Love
Regina Spektor- Samson
Tallest Man on Earth- Drying of the Lawns
Deer Tick- Art Isn’t Real
Frightened Rabbit- Good Arms vs Bad Arms
Bright Eyes- Bowl of Oranges
The XX- Intro
Fleet Foxes- Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

Check you on the flipside, loves! Layne

Monday, March 21, 2011

My job makes me want to scream, so instead I just rub my belly!

I hate when people say they love their job, because I think it is such a rare thing, and I am so jealous. I have never LOVED a job except for my time nannying the Blair kids. I am certainly good at my job, and I know what I'm doing, but I am not passionate about it whatsoever, and I guess that doesn't really matter much, because it's work, and it's not supposed to be fun. I get it. Obviously, I go and do it anyway, because that is what being an adult is, right? Doing things you don't want to do simply because you have to. Lately the situation and the circumstances surrounding my current position with State Farm paired with my hormones and the stresses of moving and feeling sick have really made it hard to be here at all- let alone be here smiling. But this morning I decided to will myself to have a good day at work. I can't say it's working, but I havent cried yet, nor have I snapped or gone ghetto-Layne on anyone so, I guess that is a positive. I do, however, have a splitting headache and the strong desire to do those things I just said I haven't done yet. The only thing that makes me happy is little baby Noah in my belly. If you've ever seen the Bad Boys movies with Will Smith and Martin Lawerence you may remember how Martin's character gets all bajiggety and has to rub his ears and say "WOOOSAAHHH" to calm himself down. Well, that is me. I'm walking around this office rubbing my belly going --WOOOSSAHHH!! And trying to bite my tongue and be respectful and just get over it- whatever "it" may be at the moment.

Since we've found out that we're having Noah, and not Huck, my mind has been racing, I'm not sure I would have been prepared even if it was a boy, but it seems surreal that it's a girl, and I haven't quite wrapped my head around it! I am very excited, though! We've ordered her crib, a gift from Yia Yia and Paw Paw and her bedding is picked out which will be a gift from DeeDee and Grandaddy! Here is a picture of the bedding, it is a really sweet, sort of hippie-ish print! And the colors match the nursery paint already! Do not be confused, this is not her actual room, just a picture of the bedding and linens! Her room is almost the exact color in the picture but only halfway up to a chair rail and then white on top! This part of my life, my hubby, and baby, and home, I love! WOOOSAHHHH!!! -Layne

Baby Noah's new style!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Master Bedroom- Where the Magic Happens...

You know you like the post title people, I'm knocked up, it's funny. So the master bedroom is the first room officially done in the house! Hooray! The wall color is "Shagreen" by Sherwin Williams, and the rest isn't important, just pretty! Here are a few pics! Next potential rooms to be finished? Our smaller guest room? We shall see. On a side note it was amazing to only drive 7 minutes to work today, but not amazing to have to go to work.

View from me sitting on the dresser

View from the corner

View from the bathroom
View from the hallway      

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are We Moved in Yet?

I wish I had some super excited and informative post today, but I dont. Yesterday movers came to the apartment at 8 am to pack our things. The first 20 minutes they were there I was hurling in the bathroom. Awesome. I then didn't feel like myself for the rest of the day! After lunch I felt so bad I slept for two hours in jeans (uncomfortable) on the carpet (we had no furniture) in the room that formerly served as our guest bedroom. We finally officially closed on our house about 4pm yesterday. There were a lot of documents to sign, and big relief on my part that it was finally taken care of. We are being moved into our house Friday morning, so for now everything we own is in a truck in a hub somewhere in Greenville and we are staying at Yia and Paw's house. Mo Mo is less than amused at the whole process. The boxes and packing got him so worked up that he was sick all day yesterday and we ended up just letting him stay in the car for several hours while we ran errands and met with the attorney. He was so glad to be with us he didn't even mind the restriction of being locked in the car. Our house is in the process of being painted and is supposed to be done by this evening, but I think that will be pulling off a miracle, however, the painter swears it will happen and also offered to add on another room to the job. We shall see. Chad's pool table has been ordered and will be installed on Saturday and we have a rug for that room and curtains ordered so his swanky billiards room will be all set. However, I've yet to acquire a couch/sectional/whatever. Due to the increased amount of stress in my life partnered with my crazy hormones and insomnia Chad convinced me to wait until we're settled to get the couch. Again, we shall see. For now I'm at work trying to stay awake and not obsess over the painters and movers and decor of the new house. Blah. It's not working. I am excited, though, because tonight I have a lovely low-key dinner with my girlfriends planned for a last hoorah before we move! I promise to update with any moving day shenanigans and stories that happen and pictures when things are settled. Til then here is the Tune-In Thursday play list for the week! Love ya, Layne

Tune-In Thursday

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters- Elton John
Graceland- Paul Simon
Candy Shop- 50 cent
Another One Bites the Dust- Queen
Wading in the Velvet Sea- Phish
California- Joni Mitchell
Something to Lose- Corey Smith
I Saw the Light- Wynonna Judd
Lido Shuffle- Boz Scaggs
Zanzibar- Billy Joel

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Baby Names! Where they come from and why we love them!

We've had our names picked out way before we even though about actually trying to get pregnant. They've gone through a few changes, middle names, new variations, etc but for the most part we've had the same names for quite some time. I always knew I wanted to use a family name, at least one, if possible. I love the tradition of honoring your family and it's a very Southern thing to do, so of course I'm all about it. We had tons of options for family names that we liked and were interested in.....on my side we had Sims which is my grandfather, uncle and cousin's middle name (there's is Simeon) and I like that for a boy or girl. Chad's family normally does the bit where the first son has the dad's name as his middle name, and I love the name Chadwick. His grandmother's maiden name was Cooper, which I like, too. Both Chad and I always liked the name Grace for a girl, because it was sweet and simple and southern, but our newest neice is now Cameron Grace and we didn't want to have a repeat within the same generation of family. Chad liked original and different names for boy babies and traditional names for girls, he really liked Emily, we thought about that for a while. I like old names. If I were the only one choosing our kids would be named like the Golden girls, I love the names Blanche and Miriam. I can't help it. Chad hates them. Regardless of all of that, we did and have decided on two names, one boy and one girl that we will name our baby depending on what it is.

The boy: Huckleberry Cooper Stalvey

We would call him "Huck". This was Chad's pick, I didn't love it at first, but it grew on me very quickly. It's very boyish and playful and reminds me of a little boy covered in dirt with ripped jeans on. Huckleberry came to us from one of my faovrite movies, Tombstone. I am a huge Western fan. Doc Holliday played by Val Kilmer, says to Wyatt Earp played by Kurt Russell "I'm your Huckleberry" in an awsome scene that plays out a little like this: Wyatt has left Doc sick in the hospital, thinks Doc is about to die and goes off to fight on his own, but right on time Doc shows up ready to back Wyatt and delivers that epic line before he eventually dies. The line in the movie basically means, I'm your guy. I'm here to help. My family has looked into that line quite a bit and we found some information on its origin that we like a lot. Obviously, Cooper is the family name from Chad's side, in honor of his beloved paternal grandmother Inez Cooper Stalvey.

Origin of Huckleberry

The girl: Noah Layne Stalvey

Noah is a biblical name, which I am a big fan of. Our faith is a big part of our lives, and for both of us has been stronger since we have been together as a couple. Noah as a female name comes from the Old Testament in Joshua. When the decendants of the tribes of Israel were finally inheriting the promised land the decendants of Joseph, the tribe of Manasseh (Joseph's first son) were five sisters, one named Noah. They appealed to God to give them the land he promised their families and he granted their request. I love these verses, it shows God's respect and love toward women and it's a pretty significant event for God to give a woman an inheritance that a man would have normally claimed. Here are the scriptures for you to read:

Joshua 17: 2-6
 2There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.
 3¶But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
 4And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the Lord he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father.
 5And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan;
 6Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead.

We will find out sometime in the next 2-4 weeks what the sex of the baby is, and we can't wait! We dont have a preference either way, although we both have inclinations to what we think it is! I think blue, he thinks pink! The most important thing to us is to have a healthy baby, but once we find out it will be so fun to make plans and get prepared!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

MUSIC.....and some other things I'm passionate about!

One of the biggest things in my life is music. I dont know what I'd do without it, and that includes, singing, live music, musicals, new and old albums, I'm obsessed, and there really is/could be a soundtrack to my life. I don't have a favorite genre or artist or band, my ears are very non-discriminating and I can find beauty and genius in all types of sound. I really wanted to start a weekly music post on the blog and since I finally got around to it from now on I'll be featuring "Tune-In Thursdays" with a list of 10 songs that are relevant to me right now. These may be old songs that stay in my current play lists, new songs I'm obsessed with, songs that speak to my mood at the current time, or artists who I think deserve recognition. So here is the first ever...

Tune-In Thursday Play List
"Jar of Hearts"  by Christina Perri
"Blue Indian" by Widespread Panic
"Right Thru Me" by Nicki Minaj
"Gimmeakiss" by Avett Brothers
"Sucker" by John Mayer
"Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor
"Lets Stay Together" by Al Green
"Down on Me" by Jeremih
"A Kiss with a Fist" by Florence and the Machine
"You and Me" by Dave Matthews Band

So, enjoy folks, and let me know what you think, and if you have similar tastes and have some suggestions of songs, albums, or artists for me, PLEASE let me know! I'm all about it!

There is another thing I've been really into over the past year and that's Animal Rights awareness and activism. I've signed hundreds and hundreds of petitions, and tweeted and facebooked issues and organizations to spread the knowledge of how many animals in the world need our help right now. My concerns are not limited to animals alone, and I know there are humans suffering everywhere, but I feel very strongly in my heart that I'm supposed to give a voice to the voiceless. SO here are a few issues that I've spent time researching and would love for you to know about:

Hundreds of Sled Dogs being Murdered in Canada

Bear Baying and Fox Penning in South Carolina

Tony the Tiger

IS Foundation

These are just four of millions of instances where animals are being mistreated, abused or killed. I feel very strongly that all household pets should be spayed and neutered to reduce the staggering rate of dog and cat overpopulation in the US. Right now about 45% of puppy liters are from unintentional mating, and while it's hard to put a number on the amount of euthanised animals in the US, there are some statistics we can go by. Most shelters refuse to fill out the annual surveys sent out by the National Council of Pet Population and Study, the best numbers they have are from 90's, and that was before the economy was as bad as it is now. In 2008 the National Council estimates a minimum of 3.7 million animals beign euthanised. These days people aren't spending money at the vet to have their animals fixed, and they're buying pets cheap from backwards breeders and puppy mills, instead of focusing on the millions of pets available for adoption from local shelters. I look at my dog, and can hardly stand to think about him not having someone to love him, not having food and shelter. It breaks my heart. So many animals are in that position today, people are having their homes forclosed on and just leaving their pets behind. It's sick, and I want everyone to know about it. For more information about the statistics and for a link to Columbia, South Carolina's no-kill selter Pets Inc see below...

American Humane Association
Pets Inc.

Ok, I'm getting off of my soapbox now! Love you! layne

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My big-headed-baby is going to be a tree-hugging hippie!

My Yia-Yia (grandmother) after seeing our first ultrasound told everyone in the family that my baby had a big head. Therefore my mom has taken to calling our bundle of joy the big-headed-baby- only because she thinks it will eventually start to tick me off, but I don't care.

Anyway, the big-headed-baby and I have big plans, and I am so excited about it! We've decided that we're going to use cloth diapers! I decided to post about my decision to go cloth because I have gotten a lot of laughs and she's such an idiot looks from people and I know that it's because they have no idea how cloths diapers work! These aint your grandmama's diapers!

I have two main reasons that I've decided to go the cloth route. First and most importantly cloth diapers have been proven to be healthier for babies, especially their skin. The chemicals in disposable diapers have been known to increase the risk of diaper rash, cause skin problems like eczema, and in certain cases increase the risk of infertility in males. I have a history of eczema, hives, and full body rashes so knowing that there is something I can do to lower the chances that my baby might suffer the same way is so important to me. The second reason is the environmental factors. Something like 18 billion disposable diapers are deposited into landfills each year, each of those diapers takes 500 years to decompose! The Earth lover in me is so psyched. People underestimate our generations responsibility to reduce our Carbon footprints and be as green as we possibly can stand/afford to.

Chad was not on board based on either of those awesome reasons, but when I told him the economical advantages and how much money it would save us he was SOLD! Using cloth diapers as opposed to disposable ones will save the average family somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 over the course of two years! Those figures vary based on what brand of disposable you use and if you use a cloth diaper service or clean them yourself, but even the lower end of that statistic is a phenomenal amount of savings for any family dealing with the expenses of a child!

If you want to look more into the facts you can visit :

Now what about the hassle of cloth diapering? Its minimal at best, the diapers are now designed to be easy on moms and babies, and there are so many tools and tricks to the trade, that I'm not scared at all! Thanks to some detailed advice from the fabulous wife of one of my great buddies from high school who has had great success in cloth diapering, and some more tips from one of my mom's friends who went the cloth route, I feel ready and prepared! The cloth diapers that I'm going to use aren't plain white dish cloths that you hook with two diaper pins. Cloth diapers today are precious and come in beautiful prints and colors, and are designed for your babies comfort as he or she grows from a newborn to crawler to toddler. Most secure with a hook and latch, button snap, or baby friendly velcro. Some come with inserts that can easily be removed and replaced when a diaper needs to be changed and can be doubled up for overnight diapers. Gone are the days of accidentally flushing the diaper down the toilet trying to shake off the poo (story from Yia-Yia), and hanging all of your diapers on the clothes line (unless you want to, which I might) the new and improved cloth diapers can be washed and dried like any normal load of laundry! There are some environmentally friendly and baby friendly detergents that are promoted to help extend the life of your diaper, however. There are even accessories like a diaper sprayer that attaches directly to the water line at your toilet and works like a removable shower head so that you can rinse messy diaper off directly into the potty. Also wet bags that work similar to the very un-earth friendly deodarized plastic diaper bags that mom's use to put dirty diapers in when on the go!

To see companies that offer these products and get a glimpse at the fabulous diapers out there and the awesome accompanying products  you can visit these sites:

This is just a quick overview of cloth diapering, I am a new fan, and I haven't actively used them yet (obviously) but I am so excited to, and with all of the positives....why not? I think it will be lovely! layne

My clothes don't fit...but my dog doesn't care

The majority of my pants I can't button or zip up at this point without being in serious pain. I started using a belly band about a week and a half ago, and I have really mixed feelings on it. It doesnt stay put. I don't know if this is because my belly isnt big enough yet, or because its a flawed product, but I cant imagine that once my belly is huge that it will stay put more securely... The purpose is to be able to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes that you can't fully wear anymore (like me) but cover up the fact that your fly is unzipped and your button is undone. The bottom rides up and the top slouches down and I am pretty sure the fabric is thin enough that anyone who wants to look hard enough can tell that my pants are undone. It is incredibly annoying. This only adds to the fact that right now I dont feel comfortable in my own skin because my body doenst look a thing like it did in November when I was svelt and exercising hardcore, and it doesnt look pregnant either. My mornings consist of my dragging myself out of bed trying to make myself look beautiful, stuffing my face, and the exasberating process of figuring out which of my clothes will fit over my hips and which shirts come down far enough to cover my belly now that my...shall we say "upper region" has doubled in size.

The only joy I get in the mornings is from Morris. He sits at my feet in every room I'm in wagging (thumping) his tail (huge tail) on the floor and looking at me adoringly. MoMo has started coming to work with me. He loves it. The office I work in is on a double lot so it has a large fenced in backyard behind the building and now that the S.Carolina weather has decided to be beautiful and warm, I found no reason for him to be cooped up in our apartment. His favorite days are when the agent I work for brings her black lab, LuLu to hang out with him. They are both lazy, hence they have become besties. There is a slew of toys back there that he mostly ignores and when I sneak into the back room to spy on him he is typically sitting up sniffing into the sky taking in the sun. At lunch we'll go to McDonalds and share hamburgers or he may get the crusts from my lean cuisine pizzas, and on the commute we talk about life. Mo is a GREAT listener.

It's nice to have someone to "punch the clock" with who loves and adores you unconditionally. I think it's quite lovely. This is my life. layne

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let's try this again...

My first blogging attempt was a failed one. 9 posts, depressing. I find myself loving to read other's blogs but not having the dedication to stick to one of my own. Such a bummer, however, I've decided to try again. I may fail again, too, but only time will tell. Here is where I am right now in life, focus before I start this because I've got A LOT going on.

Chad has been given his agency assignment from State Farm to take over part of an existing agency in North Augusta, SC starting June 1st 2011. He will be taking over for a retiring agent who's book of business will be split between Chad and another gentleman. We are in the process of purchasing a home in North Augusta (which is actually South Carolina, not just the northern part of Augusta, GA) which we love and are so incredibly lucky to have found because it is so amazing and because for us it didnt compare to any of the other houses on the market in the area. We are set to move in in 2 weeks!! Meanwhile I took a job working for the agent that Chad will be replacing, getting to know the policy holders and trying to get a "feel" for the area. This has been an interesting venture, I find myself in the middle of official business regarding the retirement/new agency a lot, and I have no place knowing anything super important because frankly it's none of my business and being pregnant has made me react to things differently. But after a few bumps I seem to be functioning well in the office and a job is a job is a job. On top of the agency, the move, the job, I'm 14 weeks pregnant. Super exciting, right. Right. And wrong. Super stressful is more like it. Actually this entire stage is super stressfull and I feel like it may be a year or two before it calms down. But I can see into the future and I know that all of this is such a blessing and we are due to be 10 million times more blessed and content in a few years.

The pregnancy has been smooth for the most part, no real "morning" sickness and havent had any HUGE hormonal breakdowns. Maybe one or two minor crying attacks but I'm doing just fine! I have had some viruses and colds since my immune system isn't working as hard, but the new development is migraines and I think it may end up being my pregnancy "thing". After a hellacious 72-hour whopper I finally got a prescription for Fioricet which totally helps and the doctor gave me refills which is awesome because I seem to get one almost every day. It starts like any normal headache then I realize the tylenol isnt working and in a flash second I want to cut all the lights off and curl up into a ball. You know, the usual for migraines. We have our second Dr's visit in a little over 2 weeks and maybe if the baby is cooperating we'll be able to find out the sex, if not I'm thinking I'll end up at one of those sneak-a-peek places because I dont think I can wait until 20 months to find out! Right now I'm hungry all the time, no specific cravings, although I'm loving any form of noodle. The only other pregnancy sympton I have is heightened sense of smell, I can smell chicken and cigarette smoke a mile away, and it is NOT pleasant.

The past few weeks my life has been filled with legal documents, loan agreements, new coworkers, a growing belly and appetite, and some SERIOUS anxiety over paint colors and drapes. I am happy to say a lot of this chaos is subsiding and knowing that State Farm sets up movers to pack and relocate us is a huge relief. I have finally stopped dreaming about rugs and curtain tie-backs and I'm back to dreaming completely bizaare dreams that dont make any sense.

Now my focus is going to support Chad in all of the craziness that he is dealing with on top of everything I just told you about. He's deep into finding a new office location, hiring a staff, and planning out every detail for opening his own business. This is his dream come true but it will be a big struggle for the first few years and I know its my job to do anything and everything to help him secure our future. Such a big job, I have!!!

For anyone close enough to have me in their address book starting March 8th, we'll have a new address and you are welcome to email me for the update!

Anyone who wants to plan to switch their State Farm policies or get State Farm insurance with the Chad Stalvey agency please let us know! We'll make sure to take care of you!

Keep loving life, I know I do....layne