April 26, 2012

Prayers Needed for a Sweet Family

I'm sitting here watching the Draft tonight in the comfort of my sweats and my cozy living room.
While I'm sitting comfortably, munching on some FlipSide crackers after my calorie allowance is over (they are SO good.. Okay I'm putting them away) a sweet friend of mine is sitting in a hospital room for *hopefully* the next 10 weeks, trying to keep her baby alive.

When Andrea was 17 weeks, her water broke. The doctors told her that, with no water for her baby, the only thing they could offer her was termination. Andrea and I didn't live in the same city for very long, but I can tell you immediately that that was NOT, in fact, an option for her. When she denied the doctors' suggestion, they told her she would deliver within a week anyways.

Well, friends, it's 7 weeks later and that baby is strong and alive inside. Andrea is feeling the kicks and the baby's heart is beating strong. They, of course, are not in the clear.. she's had more complications, including contractions which they've been able to stop for now, but they are holding onto faith.

Every day that passes, that sweet baby gets stronger and stronger. I've asked Andrea if I could share her story with y'all if only to get more prayers. She welcomed the extra prayers, but is also thinking of others at a time that a lot of people wouldn't. Here is what she said:

 "Please do request others to pray for us. You are welcome to share our story as you see fit. I have been part of a group of moms all over the would who is suffering the same problem and there are a few success stories. Most of those success stories are from women who refused to give up and found ways to cope with the news that was so heart breaking. I want others to know that there is hope. That no mater the outcome I have enjoyed every little kick, every little hiccup, every little sound of its heart. No matter what, we are now a family of 6!" 

If you could take a moment out of your day and just life this family up. They are such an inspiration! Their faith.. sigh.. I admire it. A true testament. I'll keep you all updated, hopefully with news that baby Reay has defied all odds!

April 24, 2012

Going Green

This post will either be completely boring to you, or thrilling if you're into the same kind of thing. Just a little fair disclosure :)

It all started a few months back when I got my very own Shark mop. I fell in love with the idea of cleaning my house with ZERO chemicals. I loved the simplicity of plugging up my mop and having it clean the floors with steam only and the peace of mind that came along with it. Knowing my family could walk on it directly afterwards and our bodies weren't coming in contact with who knows what.

So after falling in love with my mop, my little brain started ticking with ideas on what else I could do. What good is it if my floors are chemical free but I'm spraying other crap on every other surface. So I did what any other starving-for-information person would do. Opened up Pinterest and I was NOT disappointed. There is a plethora of tips out there for homemade cleaning products. So much so that I was a little intimidated for a while. I had to get myself organized and made a list, of course!

So far I have:
A good all-purpose cleaner, I guess you could call it. Simple enough really.. I mixed up some water, vinegar and a good bit of lemon scented essential oils since my husband cannot take the scent of vinegar in any form or fashion. I've used that on all my counter tops so far and it works like a charm. Win!

I've cleaned my toilets with Baking Soda and Vinegar. I just pour the Baking Soda into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a bit then spray some of my vinegar concoction in there. Let me tell you.. you'll barely have to scrub and your toilet will be sparkling. (I used the vinegar to clean the rest of the toilet. That vinegar sure is versatile isn't it??)

This was a nice, helpful little gem I found on Pinterest:

Worked like a charm! That's a true testament coming from down here in El Paso. We have some hard water, y'all! We just cleaned it with CLR (or whatever that stuff is.. y'all know what I'm talking about) not too long ago, and already the water coming out felt like needle pricks against the skin. Not anymore thanks to... you guessed it.. baking soda and vinegar.
What's that? You want proof? Of course I took pictures of the process. No, I don't know what I've turned into either...
See?? Brand new.

That's all I've got so far, but I'm pretty dern excited.

Do any of you make your own cleaning products? Do you have any tips for me? What about other products? I have a "recipe" to make some laundry detergent once mine runs out. But what about dusting? Glass? Air freshener? Let's here it!

April 23, 2012

A Week with Chuck

I took a little week long hiatus from blogging, unintentionally, because my brother came in town for a visit!

He flew in last Friday night and left Saturday morning. It was so SO nice to have him here for a week and I wish I could have kept him longer. Alas, apparently he has something called a life and had to fly on home. I LOVE for family to come and visit. There is something just comforting about having your family with you in your current "home". Well, I guess not everyone can say that, but for me it definitely is. I loved everything about having him here.. the constant company and the kind of companionship that only a sibling can provide, having someone else to play with Andrew (which the little guy LOVED btw), someone else to eat my food, drive around with, go to the park with, play Draw Something with when you're in the same room together... even the ESPN constantly on in the background.

My favorite part was seeing Andrew bond with his Uncle. At first he was a little clingy to me (which I felt terrible about and kept trying to assure Charlie that I'm sure Andrew likes him.. he just has some mommy issues.. when it turns out he actually had a double ear infection the whole time. Who knew?) But he took to him soon and Andrew just loved him.
They played with lots of Army Men.

Mowed the lawn.

We took a trip to White Sands, New Mexico and played in the sand.

Had a delicious steak dinner at Cattlemen's Steakhouse. We looked at animals afterwards and even fed some rabbits.

Even though we have no pictures to prove it, we also spent a lot of time at various parks, showed Uncle Charlie Scenic Drive, had a cookout, watched a few hockey games (Go Bruins), and just got a lot of quality time together!

I'm always borderline depressed the day family leaves and it's always an emotional scene at the airport, but it's totally worth it. Who's coming out next??

*Also, girls, just so you know... Uncle Charlie is single and obviously good looks run in the family. Plus, he has a great job (Active Duty AF National Guard) and is WONDERFUL with kids*

April 13, 2012

A Mom is a Mom is a Mom

I'm not going to turn this into a SAHM vs. Working Mom debate, because I don't think it should exist. You do what's right for you and your family. Either way it's a tough decision and I believe every woman is going to have doubts/insecurities/guilt etc. no matter which decision she makes. So I'm not going there and don't want this to turn into any kind of debate.
But with all of this hype in the news and media lately, I have to at least touch on what's been on my mind.

It's so frustrating and drives me absolutely crazy. We're all Moms. We have a huge thing/s in common! We're raising children and whether you are with them all day or they are in daycare, is a tough, tough job. I know it's the hardest/most rewarding thing I've ever done with my life.
So it drives me crazy that a lot of us spend all of our time tearing each other down instead of building each other up. We can be each other's greatest resources. Instead of judging, casting blame and tearing apart, we could be uplifting each other. Consoling each other when we've done something we regret. More experienced moms giving well-intentioned, supportive advice instead of making the younger mom feel terrible or insecure if she's doing something differently than you. Reassuring a working mom that her kids don't harbor ill feelings towards her if she goes out to work in the morning and doing the same for SAHMs. Not making them feel like lesser members of society because they are not bringing in a paycheck.

So, that's all. I just wanted to touch on that. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by mostly the kind of mom-friends that do uplift each other, whether they are here locally, a phone call away, or blogger/twitter friends. I hope that I am always the type of friend I would want for myself.

SAHM or working mom.. whichever you are... your child loves you for who YOU are. Whether you are with them 10 hours a day or 3.

April 11, 2012

A bit of an emotional walk

I've started a new walking routine over the past few weeks. Yeah yeah, it's great for my health. But y'all.. it's even better for my sanity. An hour. Peace and Quiet. Jammin' out to the pod and NOT to wheels on the Bus. Nobody tugging on me. The rest of the world is blocked out. Just me, my tunes, and a nice view of the mountains. And sometimes... SOMETIMES.. when I get home.. a certain little boy is already asleep. And yes, if you're wondering, that does thrill me. It may make me sound horrid, but I promise it makes me a better mama in the morning.

So tonight started like any other night. I'm walking, walking, running for 5 seconds (I kid.. more like 7), walking and all of a sudden a song comes on that takes me back to The Oakcrest House. (A very select few of you know what I'm talking about. For those that don't.. I'll sum it up: College years. Living in a big house with a group of friends. In-ground pool. Every weekend night get-togethers). Said song came on.. of which I won't divulge to protect my reputation.. and I started cracking up. Laughing hysterically. Ahhh the memories. We all had some good times.

Less than 5 minutes later, I pass a house that has a big banner flying on the porch. I smiled to myself before I even knew what it said, because I knew what it was for. Someone was getting, or recently had gotten, their soldier back. I look closer and it says, "WELCOME HOME DADDY. We love our brave soldier". I almost lost it. I did have tears. Right there on the track, mere minutes away from my fit of laughter.
It was happy tears. I don't know the family, but that doesn't matter. My heart SWELLED with joy. We all feel each other's joy as well as the pain. Whoever this family is, is now complete. I imagined the reunion. The kid/s running up to their Daddy giving him a huge bear hug. The wife happy again in a way she hasn't completely been since he's left. They're together. I know we'll have a reason to fly our proud banner on our porch in the future and my mind daydreams about that already.. before he's even left. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a reunion.

Lord help if anyone was watching me too closely. They may have put me in for a Psych Eval.

April 10, 2012

Back on FB

I'm back on Facebook again (1. I may have gotten back on 2 days early. That's because Trey was in the field  and I was really bored and I thought I had done a good job with my goals. 2. This little ol' blog page has a FB page now. You should "like" it. )

It was a nice and very much needed break away from the site. I had found myself way too wrapped up in the lives of others and what others thought of what was going on with me. It was taking time away from my family and the things I wanted to get done. It was also causing unneeded stress in my life. I was letting the drama of others seep into my day. So, while I'm not Catholic and don't usually participate in Lent, I thought that would be the perfect time to break myself of the hold FB had over me! I'm aware this all sounds sad and maybe a little pathetic, but it was true.

So what did I do with my time in that almost 40 days? Here's what we've been up to:

I came up with a system to get and keep my house clean. With a toddler and semi-hoarder of a husband, I felt like there was never enough time in the week to get everything done in the house. While my house is nowhere near disgusting, it always could use some work. I have a slight case of undiagnosed ADD (trust me on this one), so I'm not the type that can just go by the seat of my pants. I have to have something to keep me focused. I'm a list-lover so I made a chart and laminated it.

It's broken up into different sections (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly). I know it seems like a little much, but it really works for me. I love the satisfaction of checking stuff off!
As you can see, I also made a monthly meal planner. I made a category for each day (Supper Sunday, Mexican Monday, Pasta Tuesday, Chicken Wednesday, Slow Cooker Thursday, Something New Friday and Sanity-Saving Saturday).

I started (and still am) reading, The Power of a Praying Wife. It's a great book! I'm going slow with it and am really taking time to focus on each chapter. It's starting to really change the way I look at Trey and MOST DEFINITELY is changing the way I pray for him.. and myself.

I got a smartphone and downloaded the Bible app on my phone. I've been doing different "plans" where it gives me a little snippet to read from every day. And I've been doing it.. not just having the intentions!

Andrew and I have had a ton of fun outside. He's a maniac at the parks now. We've made an intentional attempt to visit different parks a few times a week and it's paid off. He is an expert slide user. Has so much less fear with climbing and using all of the equipment. It's also in a way backfired on me. We have to try not to pass a park, while walking or driving, unless we have full intentions of getting out and playing! If we do, a full on tantrum ensues!

Andrew has started in the Toddler room at CDC. It's been a hard transition, but it's starting to get better. When Trey picked him up yesterday, they said he did "much, much better"... that he cried pretty hard for the first 5 minutes, and then played the rest of the time.

Trey and I decided we no longer wanted to wait to expand our family. We tried to get pregnant, were successful, and then lost the baby at 6 weeks. It was my first (and hopefully only) miscarriage. While I can't say that I'm over it, the pain has lessened. I don't go a day without thinking about it, but again, the pain isn't quite as strong. I think about how far along I would have been weekly, but the thought doesn't make me want to be sick. We're dealing in other words and we'll try to get pregnant again as soon as possible.

Trey has had a good bit of field time and there is more to come right around the corner. Andrew and I get in our good rhythms when Daddy is gone, but it's not always easy. What is though, right? It just makes us all the more excited to see him when does get home!

Well, that's about it I guess! While it isn't the most exciting of updates, I can look back and feel good about everything! I'm back on FB because it's the easiest way to keep in touch with family and friends that we've moved away from. If it weren't for them, I'd have no problems with giving it the boot! I no longer feel the need to constantly get on the computer, if certain comments, conversations, or people bother me, I no longer let it sit with me and fester. If there are constant offenders I have no problem clicking "defriend".. as it should be. It just doesn't matter anymore. The drama of FB doesn't exist to me, my house is in best shape possible under the circumstances and it's not causing me anxiety attacks just walk in it, and we're having a copious amount of fun as a family.
Mission Successful!

April 9, 2012

Attn Winners!!

I never heard from Courtney and had to pick a new winner. Congrats Ashley!! You're my new winner.
Just a quick reminder - If you were one of my Chick-Fil-A winners, I need your address ASAP. If I don't have it by the time I check my email tomorrow morning, usually around 7:30 Mountain Time, I'll have to choose new winners. Thanks! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Here are two of the cutest pictures from ours:

I'll leave you to bask in all of that cuteness!

April 5, 2012

winner winner

Chicken dinner! Get it? You actually are winning a chicken dinner! Of course my computer is acting up and will not charge...like at all.wonderful. So i'm doing this all from my phone which is harder than I always imagined it'd be. Good thing there weren't too many entries...I guess!!....because now would not have been the time to figure out the whole random number generator thing. I did take a picture of the names I wrote out but you'll have to excuse how illustrate i'm am with this phone.I don't know how to upload the pictures from the phone to the post.so basically you'll have to just take my weird for it that i'm being honest until I can figure that out.JG can probably attest to this. She saw my smartphone capabilities the other day... So drumroll please... Amber (you actually won twice but I decided to be fair) Courtney Charla Congrats girls! If you could just email me your address, I'll get it to the right person and your coupon will be in the mail shortly.

April 4, 2012


First and foremost!!!
Do y'all really mean to tell me only 7 people want a free Chick-Fil-A kids' meal? Really? Thursday is the last day you can enter, so go here. I'm sure the 7 people who entered would appreciate if you didn't, but let's make it a little more fun, yes?

Alrighty, moving on -

I have to tell you about why my heart has just been breaking the past few days. Trey has been away in the ever-allusive "field" this week. Of course, I miss him and am looking forward to him coming home, but Andrew.  Ughh.. it's been hard.
Up until recently he hasn't really missed Daddy when he leaves. Not that he's been able to convey at least. Now, on a normal week even, he requests his Daddy multiple times a day. It's easy to say, "he'll be home around dinner time" and move on. Not so easy when he's not coming home.

He continues to ask for him throughout the day, but it gets bad when we sit down for dinner. He's upset that Daddy isn't home for dinner and makes it known. His little face turns into a frown and says a big, "NO", when I tell him 4-3-or 2 more wake ups. We have to go through this multiple times a day.

It really did me in today when we were at the PX.
We parked and started walking in. There was a soldier walking a few yards ahead of us. Drew catches sight of him and VERY enthusiastically yells, "Daddy". (That uniform makes them all look alike to me even, so imagine from kids point of view) Of course said soldier is oblivious and didn't even turn around, never mind respond to him. He kept yelling for who he thought was his Daddy and in his mind, was being ignored after not seeing him for days.

I did good with redirecting him, but wow... my heart. It breaks. You should see the smile he gives some of these soldiers and then see his face turn when he gets a closer look and realizes it's not who he thinks it is. This is only for a week and I can see the effect it's having on our boy. Soon it's going to be 3 weeks, then a month, and then 9 months.
How are we going to handle this? How is our 2 year old going to deal? I know he's going to miss him and there's no way he's going to understand. I'm terrified that he's going to be mad at Trey. I don't really know what to expect though.

I got a little sidetracked, but that's where my mind goes. I know we'll handle it as best possible. Trey will make up for it over the 3-day weekend he has and any time he can. It will be easier when Drew is older and can understand what Daddy does for a living. But for now. Wow. It's hard.

April 3, 2012

19 Months

I'm not going to do a full monthly update like I usually do.. or not in the form I usually do at least.. I mostly just felt like talking about my boy and he just so happened to turn 19 months last week. So that's convenient!

Looking at the Sea Lions at the Zoo :) 
I find myself just staring at him lately and being in awe of how BIG he is. When did my little helpless baby become this mostly independent, hilarious, full-of-personality boy who runs around everywhere, plays make believe, tells me when he wants something (not with words.. don't let me fool you), let's me know when he needs a diaper change, climbs playground equipment, and is ready for 2T clothes???

Bucket Head. He thought this was hilarious

It makes me happy, thankful, sad and reminiscent all at the same time. Completely emotional sometimes. And to think that he'll just keep getting bigger and bigger? That I can't reverse time? Ughh.. my heart breaks!

He still wants to sit in my lap when he's drinking his milk and will sometimes sit with his head on my chest right after he wakes up from his nap. It blows my mind how BIG he is in my arms. Almost half of my body length. When did this happen? He's in the Toddler room at CDC and those kids are even bigger and incredibly independent. My baby isn't ready for that, is he? Shouldn't he still be in the Pre-Tod room where they coddle him and baby him? Where he's still allowed to drink out of a sippy cup? Not in a room where there are legitimate lesson plans, right? (for the record.. I LOVE love love that they actually have lesson plans) I just don't know when he became ready for that. Right under my very own nose!

Time Outs are in full force. We don't have to use them a lot and only do for very specific things, but he's gotten the hang of them and they are effective. He'll actually sit in the designated corner for the full minute now. And will come to me for a chat afterwards. I'm glad they are starting to work!

His favorite things at 19 months are:
Me. Dear God in heaven he loves me. Most of the time I love how much he wants me around. Sometimes it makes me take to the bottle, I won't lie.
Daddy. He asked for Daddy about 20 times during the day. Okay.. 10 if I'm not exaggerating. He does not like my answer of "he's at work".
Wheel of Fortune, Team Umizoomi and Bubble Guppies are his favorite shows. Along with Fresh Beat Band still.
His letters and shapes. Tons of fun!
His favorite foods are blueberries, cantaloupe, goldfish, graham crackers, milk and cheese. The kid loves his dairy.
Playgrounds. You better not pass one with him around unless you fully intent to get out and play. It gets ugly.
Still cars, of course.
Balls. Kicking, throwing, catching.
He loves to help me with everything. Laundry. Cleaning (some things, like wiping up messes or throwing trash away). Closing doors. He loves it. So do I!

Climbing all by himself.

His vocabulary is growing, but it's not quite where it should be, I don't think. I'm not too worries yet, he's always done things on his own time. Plus, I'd say with recognizing the entire alphabet and saying most of the letters, he's a little ahead in that aspect.
Some new words are:
Uh-Oh. Choo-Choo. Cheese. Deuce (don't ask). Home. This. That. Pop.

I'm enjoying every moment of this. Almost every moment. Things aren't perfect that's for sure,  I just choose to focus on the ones I do enjoy.
As much as I always knew I wanted to be a mama.. I never fully realized how much. It's definitely the most amazing, all encompassing, rewarding, but hardest thing I've ever done with my life. I'm looking forward to everything the future has to hold!

April 2, 2012

My phone is smarter than me

I'm having a lot of fun with my new phone! So much so that I may be thankful that my husband is gone for a few days so I can play on it guilt-free tonight. Is that horrible?? If so, just kidding. Moving on...

I need a few tips though. See, I was very comfortable with my old, stone-age phone. I knew all the ins and outs (all 2 of them). This phone is crazy. I have a Droid just for reference, since I know y'all are all the best blog readers ever and will come to my rescue. Help a sister out..

1. The Battery. Oh my.. it drains fast! Here's what I've learned so far:
I know I need to keep Wi-Fi off when I'm not using it. I even keep the 4G thing off. So that doesn't take up too much juice anymore. As a side note - do you all keep your wi-fi off? I know people who are constantly in the know with all the social media. How do you do that without killing your battery every 3 hours??

Someone Trey works with showed me this Task Manager thing where it ends all the apps that I was using. Okay that's fine.. but I thought if I just shoot back to my home screen after scrolling through Twitter (why, yes, I'm a tweeter now. Feel free to follow me and let me know to follow you. I'm sick of reading about people I don't know) that the app ended? I have to physically go into the task manager and end it? Plus, when I go into said Task Manager, it tells me apps are running that I never used in the first place. Over and over again.. even after I end them. Am I focusing too much on this? Or is this a real thing?

2. Speaking of Apps...
Give me the goods! Share with me all of your faves! I want to know the ones you just love and the ones you don't know how you ever lived without. There are so much to choose from in each category!
I have discovered Goodreads and the Bible app. I'm enjoying those. And some kind of weather app. But I want more. Anything that entertains your kid, makes your life easier, or helps you pass the time when needed. Which free ones to take advantage of and which ones are really worth paying for. Let me have it!

I think that's all for now! I'm sure I'm either forgetting something or there will be more to come! I'm really looking forward to your responses!

Oh yeah.. don't forget to go here and enter my giveaway for a free kids' meal from Chick-Fil-A. You don't even have to have a kid! You have until noon Thursday and I'll announce a winner on Friday!