The Busy Giffs: November 2011

November 30, 2011

Let's get serious.

Couple things.

One: I need to get serious about keeping Emmalee in her own room. I've been so exhausted lately that if/when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she usually spends the remainder of the night in our bed. After 2 nights of sleeping through the night, after the past month of not, we figured we would push for her own room again. She still fights the crib but we've reached a happy medium where she'll sleep in her bed in her room.  We had one little hiccup last night but she didn't even nurse, just took her bink and went back to bed.  Our hope is that we'll start the new year with her in her crib but I guess we'll see...

Two: I need to lose weight. I am actually unhappy. Like more unhappy than ever. I've always been on the larger side, well after I got boobs in middle school, but I've always felt very proportionate and it really didn't bother me.  I didn't like that I couldn't pull off some clothes/outfits but I knew how to dress my body and felt good when I went out 99% of the time.

I currently live in my sweatpants/yoga pants and tank tops with either a cardigan or sweatshirt over it.  I'm just unhappy and uncomfortable in my own body now.  My stomach pouch is terrible and I hate getting dressed. So  I will lose weight.  And no, I don't own a scale. Because I don't want to.  Its not about the number to me, its about being able to put on a pair of jeans and not have an anxiety attack because every shift I own highlights my bulging stomach. The last time I saw a scale was my 6 week postpartum appointment and I was back to my prepregnancy weight.  I was happy because I thought that would be a challenge but I've learned that the challenge is to get everything back where it was.

So here's my plan.
I will NOT be weighing myself.
I will be snagging my old elliptical from my moms house (and putting it in the corner of our room where Emmalee's bed USED to be!!)
I will be using the Zumba XBOX game David bought for me.
I will make smarter decisions when I am at the grocery store.

Maybe... just maybe, by the time Emmalee turns 1, I'll be a bit more confident and comfortable in a cute little summer dress. :)

And finally: I don't know if I want to put up Christmas decorations. Its not that I'm a Grinch, its just that I know whatever I put up, I have to take down. My exhaustion level is so ridiculous lately that I don't even want to think about adding something else to my list. Emmalee is too young to realize if they go up and its not like we'll be doing Christmas here...

That's it. I promise the next post will be more fun.

November 26, 2011

Oh, I'm a terribly busy blogger.

First off, yikes! It's been almost a full week! It's been a crazy busy week but since I was able to sleep with Emmalee for a solid 11 hours last night, I feel awake, energized and better than I have all week! So Laundry is going, dishes are in the dishwasher and I'm ready to blog again!

First off,

I hope yours was as amazing as ours was.

We started our morning at the Graffam's. This year was hard because Ryan just passed away and it was only fitting that the first shot of Jeremiah Weed was toasted to him. Yea, morning, shots... welcome to crazy traditions.  My husband has known these guys for years and this is their tradition.  Starting around 9 am, they take shots of Jeremiah Weed toasting to things they are thankful for. It's insane and I am yet to participate officially (last year I was pregnant, this year Emmalee is still nursing) but next year I'm already scared. The stuff smells terrible but who am I to stop "family" traditions.

After shots and a breakfast of grand marnier soaked french toast, it was off to my Nannie's for lunch/dinner. We had 31, yes 31, people at my grandmother's this year! I come from a HUGE family. My mom is one of 5 kids, I'm one of 5 kids and I have over 20 cousins plus, including Emmalee, there's at least 6 great grand kids already and we're waiting on another to be born any day! Yikes! Plus my friend Casey and her boyfriend Steve came and spent Thanksgiving with us.  So many people, so much food and seriously, just the greatest day. I'll post some pictures as soon as mom uploads her camera because... I didn't have my camera with em and I took a total of zero pictures. Ooops.

But speaking of cameras... I'm getting a new one!
My new camera!! I've been pining over it and it was at a ridiculous price of only $100 at Target on Black Friday! My aunt was crazy kind enough to give me $100 Target gift card as an early Christmas gift to put towards it and I was able to purchase it online Thanksgiving morning for the Black Friday sale price. Did I mention free shipping and 4% back into Emmalee's Upromise account?! Yey! It will be here in about a week and I can't wait to start playing with it. Expect a huge picture overload, well.. more than normal ;)

Also, Black Friday got us a new Xbox 360 (which selling his old one will pay 2/3 of!), the newest Harry Potter movie,  a couple video games and just about all of our Christmas shopping done! I'm very happy about that. I was afraid Christmas would suck this year but as long as I can figure out a PERFECT gift for my mom, we're all done!

Also an update about our living arrangements: while we were able to move some things to be able to financially afford to move to Plymouth, our current lease is unbreakable so we have no options to move.  Our community manager is willing to attempt to re-rent our unit but there is one vacant unit now so that one will need to be rented first. I got in touch with Plymouth and they will keep us in the loop about available units as they present themselves but unless we can get this place rented, we will be here until September.  I'm mad that we missed the opportunity to move but I guess it just means we're supposed to be in New Bedford for a reason for now.  I can only cross my fingers that it means something good. 
For those of you who don't know, David and I had been looking at houses in Middleboro, even went as far as applying for the loan and we found out that someone had submitted an offer and accepted it the day before we were supposed to sign papers for our loan.  A week later I found out I was pregnant. We NEVER would have been able to afford it or get the help that we needed during the Great Unemployment Period of Summer 2011 if we had been there. I am thankful everyday that something stood in our way and I can only hope this is the same situation, hopefully minus the pregnant part, I'm all set with that right now...

But otherwise, things are good.  David is cross training at the restaurant so that he can look at stepping up, which would be a pay increase, the transfer employee who came to my store and ended up getting my management hours is retiring at the end of December so I'll be managing again next year, and Emmalee is growing up and developing just the way she's supposed to. I just ordered our Christmas cards, will be picking them up soon and then I get to flip the switch for the holidays! Next time you log in, there will be a new decor on the blog and the holidays will begin!

Ps. Have you signed up for the Holiday Swap yet?? Only a couple more days! :)

November 19, 2011

I must be crazy.

It is no secret that I have wanted to move back to Plymouth since the day I moved out. My friends are there, I know the area and most importantly, my family is there. It's where I'm comfortable and where I fit in. However, since Dave and I moved in together we have been looking for a chance to move back.

Last night, we got it.

A 2 bedroom apartment, that will take 2 puppies for the exact same price we are paying to live in New Bedford with heat and hot water included (just like here!).

But here's the thing... we just moved. Like, JUST moved. We've lived here long enough to have a fire and settle in and that's about it. How do I justify attempting to move again? But then again, its taken over two years for this opportunity, how long will we have to wait again until there's something available that fits for us, in Plymouth.

The downsides: Plymouth apartment is 100 square feet smaller, is considered a second floor apartment because it's up a half flight of stairs, we'd have to pack up and move again.

Plus sides: We'd be in Plymouth, its the same exact price as what we are paying now, which would still include a pool and a playground (did I mention their playground is fenced in? The one here isn't...), we could have our puppies and be an exit away from my mom, rather than 45 minutes away.

Other considerations:
- There's a Friendlys right there that I could transfer to if I wanted and Dave could stay at his store, it would still the same commute for him time wise.
-We woudln't have to worry about moving again when Emmalee starts school.
- Dave and I would be able to have a night out because we would have family closer to watch her.
- In addition to being closer to my immediate family, it's much easier to get to my extended family from Plymouth than from New Bedford.

So I guess I need help.

Can I justify packing up our lives again and moving into a smaller apartment just so that we can be in Plymouth? I know one of the great debates in real estate is location vs. size vs. price and this is that exactly. What do you do when they're the same price? One is smaller and you would have to move but it's where you want to be, and the other is where you are and bigger but you can't wait to get out?

What would you do?

November 16, 2011


So one of my favorite things about blogs are giveaways! Seriously, if you try and tell me you hate free stuff, I'm going to call you a liar! However, another really great thing I've seen are swaps. Where you simply hookup with a group of other bloggers and the person in charge assigns partners and you swap! I signed up for my first one and got partnered up with Jessica who went way above and beyond the requirements of a scarf and a warm drink!

A great Merona scarf, hot chocolate (my favorite!), the easiest excuse for apple crisp and some Starbucks, which David highjacked!

Made me so happy so I'm thinking I want to do another!
With the holidays upon us, it seems like a really great time to participate in a swap!

Here's the fine print:

1. If you want to participate, email me at by December 1st!
Include: your name, address, and blog url (if you have one!)

2. You will receive the information on who you are going to send your package to on December 3rd.

3. Shop away! I'm asking that you stay within a $20 budget, this should be fun not an extra stress!

4. Mail your package out by December 10th.

5. Enjoy when you get yours in the mail ( and blog about it if you'd like!)

Hope you join up!!

November 15, 2011

Green beans.

I had to share these two pictures because I literally cry laughing every time I look at them.
We tried green beans tonight and the response was quite humorous...

and my absolute favorite...

Honestly, if you can look at that without laughing... you need to tell me. :)

November 13, 2011

5 Months Already?!?

Now I'm going to sound super cliche but seriously, where did the time go?
I can't believe my little bug is already 5 months old!

You just started solid foods a couple days ago but you make me laugh when I move the spoon and you lunge out at it and make a little growl noise as you close your mouth. I'm sure you are going to LOVE when we start introducing fruits and veggies.

You look so tall in this picture!!
You still hate your crib. If you are completely asleep, I can put you in it and get 5-7 hours out of you in it or I can put you in it awake and you'll fall asleep on your own but only sleep for an hour or two. If I let you sleep in the Rock N Play, you will sleep all night on a regular basis. If you do wake up, it's always at 3 am and you eat and go right back to sleep.

You and the pups are really becoming friends.  You giggle and kick when they come over to you and Sable likes to roll in front of you so you can "rub" her belly.  Really, you just grab her fur and she looks at me like "Heeeeeelp". Bailey loves to give you kisses and you giggle every time she does.

Looks like we're going to have to start ironing on the month tags...
You are starting to recognize your name and look over when we call you. You aren't crawling yet but you get closer to it every day.  We'll put you on your back with your feet facing in one direction and minutes later you're on your belly facing the other way!! 
You laugh at mommy's silly "pee pee diaper" song and you know it's tubby time and kick your feet until you get in the water!

I'm just so in love with you and when you look this cute its so hard NOT to take photos of you all day!

And speaking of taking photos...
Someone got all dressed up to meet a very special man in a red suit.
We're waiting for those pictures but we did take a few before we left to go see him... 

Can't wait to share the others! 

November 11, 2011

First Solids & Veteran's Day

Emmalee has been showing a TON of interest in our food lately, grabbing at what's in our hands, following our forks with her eyes and opening her mouth as we eat so we figured even though she is just shy of 5 months, we would give it a try today!

We finally opened up her amazing space saving high chair and started her with just a bit of rice cereal! She wasn't so sure at first. but within a few minutes she was pushing herself forward and opening her mouth when the spoon would come towards her!

Looks like we'll be starting on some veggies soon! :)

And it's Veteran's Day! I actually have the day off which is crazy, but since Emmalee's favorite service member is currently in Ohio, I think... he's all over the place right now, we figure'd we would send him a couple pictures to say THANKS for what he does! One of my favorite things about my brother is that no matter how many times he is thanked, or how many times someone shakes his hand, he always says "I'm just doing what I do", just that simple. 

My family has always been extremely involved in the service, still is!, and today is a really great day to say thanks to all of them for everything they've done and are doing. 

And finally...

Today is also 11/11/11. Although I'm disgusted at how many people are getting married today, i'd like to think the day holds some luck to it. At 11:11 am I took a picture. I mean, I had to document it... it's not like I'll be around in a 1000 more years when it happens again...

And yes, I'm one of those suckers who makes a wish every time I see 11:11 and you know what I wished for today?


I'm sitting in my apartment with my daughter, next to my husband whose playing video games and I couldn't think of one thing that warranted a wish that special that I needed. So instead I closed my eyes and kissed the smallest love of my life, I already have a life better than I could ever wish for. <3

November 5, 2011

Companies, Bloggers, and Giveaways!

Are you a How I Met Your Mother fan?
I am. I love the show, so much that it gets DVR'd because Dave and I will watch it together later on in the week if he has to work that night. A quick little piece of this week's episode talked about Facebook and how "no one cool is on Facebook anymore", thank you Barney, but "everyone's parents are on it now". I have to agree with the latter part but I feel the need to add to it. Not only is everyone and their mother, literally, on Facebook, it has become the new Yellow Pages.

Almost every single company has a Facebook page. These companies range from large country wide stores like Target and Pampers to self run companies like Talula's Boutique and Tastefully Simple by Adrianna. (And yes, I frequent all of those pages regularly, you should too!) In addition to many companies, I lot of bloggers have set up Facebook pages as well.

Honestly, I started one but because this blog is a not for profit sort of thing, the exposure across so many outlets just seemed too time consuming for me and even though I still have the Facebook page, I rarely post to it. However, I do know some bloggers who are amazing at it and I want to give them a little bit of a spotlight.
...And did I mention some of these blogs are doing giveaways?!?  Good luck!

I absolutely adore Annie and had the pleasure of meeting her at the Brad Paisley concert. I actually won those seats through her and her association with another blog! As a teacher and a mommy, I find so many of her stories enjoyable but honestly, she does the best giveaways and this one is no exception... She is giving away an autographed copy of The Night Before Thanksgiving!! Head on over and try and win!

I love Tara's blog and often link up to it for Target Tuesday but she is doing a giveaway with Scentsy and I am seriously hoping I win this one as well, but since I'm nice I can share and you can try out your luck as well! She's also doing a Nail Polish Swap if anyone is interested!

A Girl in Pearls

A Girl in Pearls & A Boy With Toys

Ok, so maybe I'm biased because she featured me as a Pearly Blogger, but I LOVE her Etsy shop and as soon as we have disposable income again (ha!), I will be spending some of it there! She is doing a fabulous giveaway for 25 free Shutterfly Holiday cards! David and I have used Shutterfly in the past to print up pictures and we did Emmalee's birth announcement through them as well!

Addicted 2 Savings 4 U

She is craaaaazy. She blogs about coupon previews, coupon match ups and documents how she gets $30 worth of stuff for like .08 cents, I kid you not. She currently has a link up for 25 free prints from Walgreens if you have some photos you need printing!

And MamaCheaps, who literally has an entire page of her blog devoted to Freebies. I check her blog at least once a day because there is always something new going up either as a giveaway or a freebie. You can also follow her Facebook page, if you want more up to the minute updates-- I do!

And (finally!) for all those Mama's who read my blog...

Highchair Critics, which is run by Huggies, is doing a giveaway on their blog as well for 6 months of free diapers! Even if you're not a mama, go over and try and win that bad boy for me! ;)

I figure with the holidays coming up, and the economy the way it is, we could all use a little boost and why not try and win a few things or get a few freebies!? If you do go to these sites, please let them know that Heather from Keeping Up With the Giffords sent you!

November 4, 2011


For as long as I can remember, I have always done something in November to culminate everything I am thankful for.

In school there was always a turkey with feathers.
At my mom's house, it was a turkey with feathers or a tree with leaves.
In college, it became a daily Facebook post.
And because there's no one to really appreciate a wall hanging in our house, the Facebook tradition has continued.  Every day I post one thing I am thankful for. Some days it's profound or cliche and other days it's super simple or unique. So I've decided that on Thanksgiving, I will copy all of those statuses to here so you can all see what made me thankful this month, hopefully, you'll be in the mood to do the same!

Ps. Do yourself a favor. Go to Pinterest and search "Thankful"; the results are pretty wonderful. :)

November 1, 2011


Love her! <3


So it's offically November which means... LETTERS to SANTA!!
Yes, I am a 25 year old child. I love Christmas. I love giving gifts and this year will be even greater since it's our first Christmas as a full family! Granted Emmalee doesn't get it yet but since family members are already asking about gifts, I figured I would devote this week's Target Tuesday to our Christmas wish lists!

I know it's terribly tacky but Emma's really too small for a lot of presents and she already has more clothes than I know what to do with so we would LOVE money to put away into her savings account or gift cards so we can buy her things she'll need (read: diapers and wipes) as the year goes on. But since I know people want to give real gifts, I give you:

She's already trying to sit up and this is just so cute!

Teething cover for her crib.. I know, I know.. a ton of kids ate paint chips buuuut I like this thing.

Being in such a great little neighborhood makes it easy to take walks, you know, when it's not snowing and I'd like to eventually get back to the contentment I had with my body before I got pregnant...

We use this in ALL of her baths and she's fast asleep right after!

These all go without saying... I have a HUGE Disney collection and really, they're the only DVD's I buy now.

We used our insurance money to actually catch up on bills from the maternity/unemployed era and didn't buy any fun gifts. Yes, I lost my laptop but I'd prefer to not owe any money than to spend the $200 on a camera that I don't actually need.

David is in love with Elton and since Elton wrote all of the music for Gnomeo, he's obsessed, and it's a super cute movie, so we think Emmalee would love it too.

Dave and I play Words with Friends pretty much only with each other and desperately want a Scrabble game so we can play together, instead of through our phones!

A tv stand, with doors. We bought a coffee table instead of a tv stand and now we need to justify that money before we spend it as well. 

A comfy computer chair. The fire burned the comfy chair we were using but again, we opted to pay off some debts rather than "splurge" on new things. We're currently using a folding chair so I would love a comfy chair like this.

I wish I could go buy all of these things right now, but I think this year is going to be low-key for our holidays. Although I'm sad Emmalee won't/doesn't understand Christmas yet, I'm kind of excited that we don't have the craziness of Santa yet! 
What's on your Target/Santa wish list??

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