September 27, 2012


Yesterday was the day we've all been waiting for! No? Not everyone? Just Trey and I? Okay, well yesterday was the big day!! I was so overly excited that when Trey's alarm went off at 5am, I never went back to sleep. Usually I hardly hear it. But I was okay with that because I. WAS. EXCITED.

Another reason I LOVE my friends so much? A few of them took time out of their busy mornings to come by just to sit with me. To keep my mind occupied. So from 8:30 until the moment we walked out the door, I had company. I had no time to sit around and watch the clock. Not to say that they didn't have to hear my incessant chatter about it and listen to the occasional high pitched squeal, they did. But once again, I'm thankful for my friends!

Back on track - so I'm basically skipping to the car and giving Trey the cheesiest of all grins on the way to the hospital. I can't contain myself at this point. My bladder is full and I'm ready. And I CAN'T BELIEVE WE ARE ABOUT TO KNOW FOR SURE! We check-in and wait. And wait. AND WAITTTTTT. For an hour. There was an emergency that came in and they clearly had priority. I don't think they knew how full my bladder was.. that in itself was an emergency.

But alas, we finally hear our names called by what sounded like an angel of God. We head back and get started. I'm strangely calm at this point compared to the rest of the day. She looks to make sure everything is going the way it should be going then says, "are you sure you want to know?"

Yes yes yessssss! Tell me! She points my sweet baby at me and asks what we thought. It's a girl, I squealed! Both her and Trey firmly say, Noooooooo! I was looking at the wrong spot, obviously, because we are having another boy!!!

Baby boy #2 is will be here in February (unless he's early). We are just beyond the point of being thrilled. Y'all know this is what I not-so-secretly preferred. I'm thrilled to pieces to give Andrew a brother. We're giving him a BROTHER. How special is that?? And I love the fact that I'll have my house full of boys. There is just something special between a mama and her boys. I've had the most fun with Andrew so far, so I'm incredibly happy, lucky, blessed, etc. to be adding another one to the mix.

So that's where we are! Look at this - as much as I've always known I had it in me to raise all boys, I never imagined I'd be blessed enough to actually live this life. I'm off to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!

September 25, 2012


Yesterday, I must not have been in the right frame of mind. Maybe it was lack of sleep. Maybe it was hormones. Maybe even just the deep desire to do something.. anything.. to keep myself from having to go out in the hot sun and play "set hut", aka, run back and forth in the yard nonstop while throwing a ball around. Yes, that must have been what it was. Self-preservation.

Either way, I got down on the floor with Andrew and excitedly asked him if he wanted to paint. Not the safe Dot Art paint. The real stuff. Brushes, paint squeezed out on a plate, and a bowl of water, paint. Of course, he read my animated facial expressions and, "yayyyyyy!! Mama, let's paint!!!".  So paint we did.

We were about 5 seconds in when I realized this was a terrible idea. See, I've come a long way when it comes to my toddler mixing with my OCD tendencies. I really have... ask my friends. There was a time, not too long ago, where you may have come into my house and you may have seen a big tarp underneath the highchair. He still sits on top of a kitchen towel while eating dinner, but I promise I only sweep up the mess every other day even! See.. a long way. But I was NOT ready for paint.

A 2-year old boy doesn't keep the colors separate. He will put the brush in the orange and then dabble it into every other color as well to make a lovely brown before he puts the brush to the paper. That broke my spirit a little bit. I tried to fight it at first, but it was a loosing battle for me. Fine.. mix your stupid colors. Who do you think you are, Picasso?

Apparently, a 2-year old also just prefers to paint in the same spot over and over... AND OVER again! Apparently, you'll have to manually turn the paper around to get different spots painted. If you don't, he'll paint a whole through the paper.

Even worse, and what was almost my eternal undoing? He really, in his 2-year old heart, just wants to paint the water. No matter how many times you scream lovingly remind him, "paint, paper, then water", he will dip that brush in every color of paint then look at you and say, "water?" You might as well just take the paper away. It's just a tool for him to get to what he really wants to do - "paint a water". Why bother with the water anyways.. no sense in cleaning off the brush when all the colors are mixed anyways.

It was hard for me. I kept pushing through my anxiety though, because regardless of HOW WRONG IT WAS, he was having a blast. He was concentrating so dang hard on painting that water. And when he did get the brush to the paper, every time he would whole-heartedly exclaim, "ohhh beautiful!!". That's right baby, your brown and puke green painting is beautiful!

And just as important, we have his first painting to hold on to, Daddy has a new Picasso painting in his office, and a dear friend will get one in the mail soon to go up on her wall.

I think I may have some more loosening up to do before I have two of the crazy humans!!

September 23, 2012

Pink or Blue???

We've been excited about our gender scan for a few weeks now. Now and then talking about the pros and cons of either. What it would be like to have a daughter.. or another son to complete our family. How would I feel being in a house full of boys.. forever? What would Andrew be like as a brother to a little sister.. or brother? Discussing... and finally agreeing on names.

For the past week I think my excitement level has turned up a few notches to OBSESSIVE! I'm almost 21 weeks at this point.. We should know already! We went from talking about it in passing to it being a daily conversation. Almost constant thoughts about it. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that at one point we even resorted to the whole wedding ring tied on a string to see if it went in circles or back and forth. (It went in circles, for what it's worth). I'm getting so antsy! We're dying.

Our big day is coming though, this week. Wednesday!! It can't get here fast enough. I'm giddy. This whole time I've had such strong feelings that it's a girl.. and now I just don't know. I know the socially acceptable thing to say would be that I don't care about the gender, as long as we have a healthy baby. And yes, I do pray fervently that our baby is healthy, but I'd also kinda like another boy.

I know how to do boys. (I'm typing this while hardly taking my eyes off the Patriots game for example). I LOVE being the mama to a little boy. Love it with everything I've got. I'd love to give Andrew a brother. I love how crazy my boy is. How much he wants to get into things constantly. His constant need to climb, throw, catch, and dig... I want more of that! I'm in love with our boy name.. it's really special (and adorable). I love seeing Trey be the Daddy to a boy. I adore when my son wants to snuggle and how much he loves his mama. You get the point, right?

I'm not saying I'll be crying a river if it's a girl. I know we'll love her with the same gusto. I'm sure there are things I don't know about being the mother to a little girl. And knowing that this is it for us, maybe I'd have a sense of loss down the road if I never do have a daughter. Or if I didn't ever have one, maybe that would just make me one awesome Mother-in-Law. Who knows. All I know is that the thought of a little girl scares me right now. I'm not sure I know how to do a little girl. I know if need be we'll figure it out, but a second boy just sounds a lot more my speed at the moment. I'm not your typical girly girl. I hate shopping. I won't go just to go. "No, dear.. I will not go shopping with you on Saturday, we're watching football". I'll have no idea how to do her hair. Boys are just better for me.You hear me, God???

We shall see... in 2 and 1/2 days!!! Stay tuned :)

September 21, 2012

Eating Clean

Remember last week when I talked about wanting to drastically lower the amount of preservatives and artificial colors/flavoring in our foods? Here it is just in case, for some reason, you aren't obsessively memorizing my every blog post.

We started making changes right away. Thanks in a large part to Pinterest (you can follow me there!). That is the best place to find all kinds of "clean" recipes! I've had such a good time with it. Here are some of the changes we made just in the last week:

I made my own coffee creamer. And it was super easy. And delicious. And by making my own, I'm not adding the following crap to my coffee:
High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Dipotassium phosphate. Which is also sometimes used as a fertilizer.
Mono- and diglycerides, Sodium aluminosilicate and aritificial flavors, which are all chemically made ingredients. No thanks.
There are more, but you get the point. Words that I have to copy and paste because they are so strange.
Now I know what I'm putting into my coffee. Deliciousness. Click on the pin above if you are interested.

Like I said earlier, I realized we were eating far too much "convenient" breakfasts. Too much Eggo brand here for my liking. So I got to work making a few things to have handy.

Those things are amazing. Perfect to freeze and have handy on the run. And lots of room for mixing it up. We used bacon this time, but I can see adding in all kinds of healthy stuff.

Cooked up some waffles for Andrew to eat in the morning instead of Eggo's. I used this IHOP copycat recipe which never, ever disappoints.

I made Taco Seasoning and Ranch Powder. I've used both and they are great! I'm a huge fan of the taco seasoning. All the taste (and better) and SO MUCH less sodium and chemicals. I didn't realize how salty that stuff was until I tried my own. I'm converted!

I've made a few other  things homemade this week that I normally wouldn't have and it's really not that difficult. Or any more time consuming.. not a lot anyways. And it tastes so much better! Meatballs and pasta sauce. Yumm! And now I have two more nights of it tucked away in the freezer.

We've switched over to all whole grain products. I won't get into details on that, but I KNOW it's better for Andrew's little system. More fruits and veggies. And there are still some on-the-shelf products that I'm allowing in. I'm just more careful when reading the ingredients. Triscuits are great! Who knew?? The only ingredients being, Whole Grain Soft White Winter Wheat, Soybean Oil and Salt. Perfect! We're also a big fan of fruit snacks around here. Mott's Medley's are wonderful! The box says "All Natural", but we know not to fully trust that, right? Right? When it comes to fruit snacks though, they're golden. They are made with real fruit and vegetable juice. Seriously.. stuff like apples, carrots and sweet potatoes. There is still corn syrup in it, but it's not the first thing listed.

So we're off to a good start! I'm making a few more things this weekend. Protein Bars for my husband. Homemade corndog muffins for Drew. And little turkey sausage pancake muffins for all of us. I'm making a Chicken Broccoli Casserole tonight, using my own Cream Of Whatever mixture instead of the canned soup. I should have enough to freeze at least one extra meal out of it.. hopefully that cream of stuff is good!

September 19, 2012

Sesame Street

Today we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to a free Sesame Street show. The USO has put on this tour (the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families) which is making 70 stops just this year. The two have done great things for us military families - "Since its debut in July 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to more than 248,000 troops and military families and performed 433 shows on 131 military bases in 33 states and eleven countries." Pretty impressive! You can read a little more about it here. While we do make a ton of sacrifices, I feel like we get a lot in return too!

I wasn't sure how this was going to go. We've never taken him to any kind of show before and he's never really been into SS. But he LOVED it. The kid had a blast. Dancing, clapping and jumping up and down. Smiling from ear to ear. See..
Pure joy
So, while he didn't get the message, whatsoever, I'm glad we went. The actual point to the show was showing kids how moving a lot is a part of our life. And how it can be exciting.. an adventure. Teaches them ways to stay in touch with their old friends and pointers on how to make new ones. It was really great! If they come to your post, I would definitely go, no matter what age your child is. With that, I'll leave you with a few more pictures.

He wanted to go up and dance with the characters so badly. He cried on and off throughout the last half of the show because he couldn't touch them.. and here I thought he'd be scared or something...

September 13, 2012

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

My time is coming, y'all. The extended forecast has nothing in the 90's in my near future. Well, it does say 93 for Monday, but what do they know? That's a while off.. it could still change.

I know there are strange people out there that LOVE the summer time. You thrive in those summer months and don't seem to mind temperatures that rise up to the triple digits. In fact, not only do you not seem to mind it, you actually prefer it. Look, we're all entitled to our own opinions, but I'll never understand you summer lovers. Or really, I don't understand how not everyone prefers fall!

It's the most perfect day ever today! See, Andrew thinks so too.
Look at him there, just basking in the glory that is 70 degree weather! I'm with you babe. I'll bask in it with you. Seriously, we can go outside without dying from heat exhaustion. We can walk to the park or around post without feeling like we're going to melt into the pavement. How do people ENJOY that?? I'll never understand. That hot air just takes it all out of me. Drop it down 20 degrees and we've been outside all day... comfortably.
We have our windows open! Enjoying the fresh breeze! They are closed up all summer and I feel like the house gets so stale. Isn't there just something about the windows being open with a fall scented candle going that makes you just want to freshen up the whole house? It's breathing life back into these lungs, I'm telling you!
Football, open windows, crock pot meals, jeans, scarves, fall scents, beautiful breezes, cuddling with blankets, new TV shows, pumpkin flavored coffees (heck, pumpkin flavored everything!), the decorations, the holidays and activities, the colors. I'm in love! Move me to some place where summer doesn't really exist.. the temps don't rise above 80-85 and I'll be the happiest little mama you've ever seen!

September 11, 2012

Baby #2 - 19 Weeks

Hello little baby boo! Today marks 19 weeks that you've been in this belly of mine and well, here you are hanging out while I type away:
You've been making your presence more and more known around here. I'm still the only one that can feel you. While I'm excited for your Daddy to feel your jabs and kicks, I secretly like this short time frame. Kind of like it's just you and me. You're flipping around in there and doing whatever it is you do, and it's just for me to feel. You did quite a bit of that last night and it just took my breath away. I would say even more so than it did with your brother. I get it now. I fully comprehend what you are inside my body and it's amazing. I felt overwhelmed with gratefulness and your little moves put a smile on my face in the midst of chaos. You're such an incredible blessing.. how big I hope you never really understand.

Our appointment to see you and find out if you are a boy or girl got moved up a day. Woohoo! I'm so excited. We'll find out on the 26th instead of the 27th now. A-okay by me! I subconsciously think you are a girl. You get all of the girl pronouns from me. I'm using she and hers every time I talk about you without even thinking about it. It just comes out. I'm also carrying differently this time. You're much higher up than your brother was, which I'm not sure, but I think suggests girl.  But I had a VERY vivid dream last night that you are a boy. The 26th can't come soon enough. I want to give you a name. Like I mentioned before, you're already named if you are a girl. We have just about come to a conclusion for a boy name, but that has been hard this time around! Your daddy wanted to call you William, but I nixed that. That was my grandfather's name and my cousin just gave her new (perfect and adorable, btw) son the middle name of William. I know it doesn't really matter, but I like to be original. The middle name will definitely still be a family name regardless, but my first name choices got the axe from Daddy as well. I loved either Declan or Benjamin. Oh well.. I think we have found one that we both love though! Just waiting on you to show us your goods!

I still don't have a big appetite with you, but I've been getting little cravings here and there. Nothing too serious. I can't get enough oranges right now. Tangelos to be specific, but I eat two a night and think about them throughout the entire day. Potatoes. I'm baking one for lunch as we type. Every once in a blue moon I'll want some sugary candy. Not chocolate. Same exact things I ate with Andrew. Tally mark number two in the boy column. I'm not really big on meat. The thought of a burger turns my stomach. I'll eat a little something with dinner because I should get the protein, but mehh...

Let's see - Current events?
Today marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11. That was an awful thing that happened 11 years ago and I'll explain that to you when you're ready. It's a big part of why Daddy does what he does for a living and we are so proud of him.
Elections are coming up soon and your mama NEEDS to figure out how she's going to vote! We're choosing the man to lead our country for the next 4 years.
Teachers in Chicago are on strike. They want more money and stronger benefits, also they want to know they'll still have a job in the future. In the meantime, about 35,000 kids are out of school because their teachers are protesting... unions...
We're all waiting on cooler temperatures to make their appearance. It's almost officially fall. Your mama does not like summer.

That's about all for now little bean. Keep doing your thing in there.. growing and staying healthy!

September 10, 2012

Real Food

Lately I've been feeling convicted about the food I am feeding my family. We don't necessarily eat terribly unhealthy, but the types of foods we're eating has become a growing concern of mine. The amount of processed things I'm allowing to go into our bodies and what that really means is scary to me. I've never dug into what exactly "processed" meant. I think I just didn't want to. But now the information seems to keep getting thrown in my face without me really having to look far. Lots of stuff I didn't want to know about, but glad I'm learning, like Artificial Food Dyes and how they are make from Petroleum (ya, you know, the same stuff that gas is made with. Yes, the gas you put in your vehicle). And Artificial Flavoring. I don't know too much about this other than is chemically made flavoring... that can't be good, right? Here is just one article I've read lately that puts things into perspective. BTW... that blog... 100 days of real food. It's pretty awesome! I'm having a hard time finding the time I need to read every single post she's ever done.

This all started when Andrew and I were home during Trey's NTC stint. My dad saw an infomercial for a Nutribullet. Discovered how easy and beneficial it could be to make healthy smoothies with spinach, fruit and flax seed (for example). He was a little obsessive for about a week until he finally dropped the bucks down and bought one. Once he started using it, he almost immediately started noticing differences in the way he felt. (Nurtibullet isn't what I'm trying to sell to you here, although it does work fabulously, the change of diet is what I'm stressing here.. just to be clear!). These smoothies led to him getting more information on processed foods and how terrible they are for us. Once my dad gets stuck on something, he lets everyone know. It's not a bad thing.. he just like to spread the word. His ultimate goal is to get off of the BP and Cholesteral meds that he has to take. If he can successfully do that by changing his diet, why wouldn't he be a huge advocate?

So that's how all of this started for me. Then my SIL (sister-in-law, not son-in-law... this reference is for my mother) started taking a nutrition class for her nursing degree. They learned a bit about label reading last week and she has strict instructions to call me after every class to reiterate what she's learned. The amount of sodium we digest into our bodies is CRAZY. So much more than we are meant to consume. And sugar.. ha.. don't get me started! They focused a lot on the food we feed our kids and it got me thinking.
When Andrew first started experimenting with foods, I was adamant on making his purees. I didn't want any of the additives that goes into the jarred foods to enter his little body. I wanted to give him the best start possible. So with very few exceptions I made just about all of his foods. From simple purees in the beginning to blended up meals the closer he got to one.
Then he got to the point where he didn't need his food pureed and I just gave him whatever. I was still pretty good in the beginning. He never got sweets.. or juice.. or anything fruit-snackish. He still got (and does get) lots of fruits and veggies. But there was.. and is.. lots of packaged, processed foods in there as well. And now that he's two I've loosened up even more. Honestly, he gets a frozen breakfast every morning, where I used to make him eggs and fruit or homemade pancakes. He eats entirely too much blue box mac n' cheese. Canned soups. You get the point.

So my point in all this is that I want to make some big changes. Not only with him, but all of us. That's where I need some input. I can think of a few things to do, but nothing I can change an entire diet with. I'm phasing out the processed stuff we have now and over the weekend plan to freeze some meals in serving sizes. I can make some vegetable soup, homemade mac n' cheese, and I found a really cool mini corndog idea on Pinterest. I can freeze some pancakes for breakfasts. If we want cookies I can make them from scratch. But other than that.. I'm at a loss.
Do any of you eat naturally? I know there will be some processed things we'll still eat, but I'd like to cut waayyyyy back. What do you do for your kids lunches? Or yours? What do you snack on besides fruits and veggies? If you freeze meals, how do you freeze them in separate serving sizes? Any input or advise would be much appreciated!

September 6, 2012

2nd Birthday - The Last Update (promise)

August was the month of Andrew around here - even more so than usual, I mean.

I don't know what on earth possessed me, probably the excitement of being able to celebrate his birthday with family and friends back home. That opportunity won't come around much, I'm sure. But not matter what the circumstances are, I will never, ever throw 2 birthday parties for one kid in the same year again. No matter how many times you say, "I won't go overboard. It won't be too expensive". You will and it WILL. Just me? Please tell me I'm not the only one incapable of throwing a simple party. Why can't I just go buy plates and a tablecloth, buy some pre-packaged food and be done with it? I'm afraid it's not possible, much to my husbands annoyance.

All of that said, we have some pretty darn good memories to last us! We had a great time at both parties and were shown, once again, how lucky we are to have the people we do in our lives.

The first party, in South Carolina, was construction themed.

Really that party was enough. We could of ended it there. But we HAD to celebrate with Daddy, right?! I did have it easier with this party. I ordered a decoration package through Etsy and really just had to print and cut! This party was train themed.

Adult Favors (I forgot to take a picture for the kids', but they got crayons, stickers, bubble bath, bubbles and fruit snacks)

First time that I've done an iron-on shirt. I was so nervous!

A big thank you to La Petite Party Shoppe for helping put the 2nd party together!! You guys rock :)

September 3, 2012

The Big Boy Bed

Right before Trey left for NTC, we decided that when we all got back into town we were going to make the big move. Transition Andrew from his crib to a toddler bed.

He was showing no signs of being ready. No climbing out of the crib or anything like that.. so I was nervous to say the least and am still trying to calm the nerves. So why move him if he was content?
I want to use the crib for the new baby. I want nothing to do with buying a new one. I still could have waited a few months, but he was so many changes coming up later in the year. We move in November and he loses Daddy for 9-ish months. Two months later a new baby will be intruding into his every day life. I didn't want to take his crib away in the middle of all that. I wanted him to already be comfortable in his bed.

So we ripped the bandaid off. All in one sitting he watched us Trey disassemble his crib and set up the new bed. (I really did help with that part!). He was super excited and when it was all put together with the bed set he picked out (Cars, of course), he looked at me, gasped, and said, "Ohhhh Awesome".

Great, I think. We're off to a great start. We read some books, but when I tried to leave the room, he freaked. Needless to say... there was no nap. Attempt #1 - FAIL. That's where I doubted everything. How we handled it mostly. Maybe I should have put the bed together, but kept the crib in for an option. It was obviously traumatic for him. I was beating myself up a little to be honest.

Last night was better. He cried all the way upstairs, but settled down once we got up there. He went right to sleep! I couldn't believe it. However, when I checked on him at 9:30, he was still asleep.. but on the floor. Picked him up and he went right back to sleep. Started screaming at 11 and I couldn't get him to calm down. I had to bring him down to have a little cup of milk. After that, he went straight back down all the way until 5:45am, which is when he decided he was up for the day. Painfully early, but he did better than I thought he would!!

Nap went well today. He screamed going up again, but was fine once we got up there. I tried to lay in bed with him and read, but he told me to "close the door". Which is his nice way of saying get the hell outta here. Talked himself to sleep and slept for almost 2 hours. Score! (note to self: remember that he can get out of his bed now. I swung the door open and the doorknob knocked him in the face! I forgot that was a possibility!)

There weren't even any tears tonight!! I'm so excited. I feel like I may be jinxing myself, but this is going so much better than I expected. I'm so glad we bit the bullet and just went for it. I'm mentally preparing myself for any setbacks, but so far so good! He's constantly talking about his, "boy bed". I think he's pretty proud of himself. Another milestone down!