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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eight years handed to the Navy

It's official, Chris is the property of the  U.S. Navy for another four years. You know, it didn't really hit me until I typed that line. We have been living this lifestyle for the past few years, and it has become a part of us. It seems normal to think that we are going to be a military family for another four years, but when I really think about it, it does make me a little nervous. In less than a month, Chris will be choosing(loosely) where we will spend the next few years of our life, where we will raise our family. In less than a year, we will once again pack up all of our belongings and move to a new town where we don't know anyone. Sure, its exciting, but it is also scary. Especially for someone like me, who needs everything to be planned to a T. But somehow, I got carried into this life where I am constantly challenged to stay sane. Anything for love, right?


Speaking of anything for love, Chris changed his reenlistment to Dave & Busters because he was worried about me making the hike up Cowles Mountain after my surgery on Friday.


I am ready for whatever journey this life takes us on because we will do it together. Cheers to another, completely different, four years as a military family!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

This weekend, I...

.. Recovered from having my wisdom teeth removed and my tongue tie snipped. My husband got a few embarrassing videos of me waking up that I thought about sharing.. just for a very brief second! To all the people who told me it would be nothing, you lied!

Yay me, I didn't swell or bruise too bad. You should see my tongue though.

.. Last weekend, my son was the one doing the recovering after his own surgery.



Luckily, everyone is starting to feel better around here because we have such a busy week coming up! I am nowhere near finishing my class, wrapping presents, making blankets, or starting to pack for Arizona!

Friday, December 6, 2013

December Goals

 
1. Decorate for Christmas and find a tree. We have a small apartment but will hopefully be in a house for Xmas next year, so I want to find a decent tree at a decent price. Craigslist is not helping me.
2. Make dentist appointments. I have to get cavities filled and my wisdom teeth out. Needless to say, I’m postponing making the appointments even though I am in pain.
3. Lower grocery bill. Somehow, our grocery bill has been up $100- $300 the past few months. I know my son can eat, but not that much.
4. Finish class before going back to AZ. Another month of rushing to get a class done before heading back home for a visit.
5. Wrap all presents before Christmas Eve. I’m so good at leaving a present or two for Christmas Eve.. or Christmas morning.. But not this year!
 
I did so-so well on last month's goals..
1. Bake with pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, plus two home made pumpkin pies with fresh pumpkin- one for a church dinner and one for Thanksgiving.
2. Organize Caden’s room. I’m about halfway. So many toys, and we still have Christmas!
3. Finish my class schedule. Almost, just waiting on an appointment with my counselor.
4. Start Christmas shopping. Check!
5. Pack up Caden’s baby stuff. I really need to do this. Baby gliders and cradles may work well for storage, but I’d much rather have them in storage.
I'm so excited for December!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas on a Budget



Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. I love buying presents for other people, and of course, getting presents myself is just as fun. This year, our christmas budget is a little smaller than usual, so I'm taking every step possible to make sure that I get the most for my money and spread that Christmas cheer as thin (or thick?) as possible!

Here are the steps I have been taking:

1. Creating a budget and sticking to it. We already have a monthly budget, and sticking to that has been the only reason we have saved enough to buy christmas presents. Something that we have been trying lately is a paycheck 'allowance' for each of us, and its actually working. If Chris or I want something, we have to save our money until we have enough to get it, so it not only helps us save money, but it prevents impulse buys that we may not be happy with later.

2. Planning meals for the weekend, clipping coupons, and shopping the sale ads. Somehow, our grocery bill  has skyrocketed the past few months, and I'm trying to lower it without sacrificing how well we eat. Saving money in other areas means more money for Christmas.

3. Making money while I spend money buying all those Christmas presents with Ebates. I seriously love this site. In just under two years, I have made $140. That might not be too much, but when you think about the fact that it's free money, it seems like much more! After Christmas last year, I received $50 from all my online shopping, and I'm hoping to do the same this year.

4. Setting a limit on Christmas spending and buying for the kids first. Yes, budgets apply to christmas shopping as well! And Christmas really is about the kids.

5. Getting creative with wrapping. The dollar store is a great place to buy gift bags, and I even found scored big with Toy Story wrapping paper!

Or.. You could always put a bow on your child and give them to their grandparents for a few days..

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happies and Crappies

It's pretty simple this week, but both my happies and crappies have to do with Caden's recent doctors appointments:

Crappies
1. Caden had to get his 12 month shots, and then have an xray done in the same day. It was torture. For Caden too.

Happies
1. Caden is still cleared from hip dysplasia!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Say cheese!

I somehow overlooked this post a few weeks ago! Better late than never, when it comes to pictures like these!

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I'm a snacker, and it can be difficult to find quick, easy snacks as a stay at home mom trying to do 10 things at once. And my husband is a snacker because he just loves to snack, so having healthy choices in the house is always important. Which is where Sargento cheese snacks come into play. They are so portable, my husband can even eat them while working out!



Plus, sargento has these spiffy cheese holders that keep the sticks colder longer, so they are perfect for lunch boxes (and gym bags).




Special thanks to my husband for being such a great model ; )

*I received compensation for the products in the post by Sargento because I am a member of Influenster*

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's letters

 

Dear Upstairs Neighbors, Please stop scheduling your child's in-house exercise time for my child's nap time. Dear apartments, Your new parking rules are absolutely ridiculous.. Maybe you should have anticipated all the problems when you decided to not assign parking spaces? Dear Mom, We are so excited that you are flying in tomorrow and staying until Christmas! How lucky we are that we actually hope for long visits from Nana! Dear Husband, I am so lucky to be married to you. Dear Caden, I'm so sorry that you have to start your weekend by getting so many shots, but I promise to give you extra attention and extra love.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November goals

Is it November already? Last month, I posted my October goals:
1. Plan Caden's birthday party. I did a test run with the recipe I wanted to use for Caden's cake, I made his shirt, and even sent out paper invitations! It turned out perfect.
2. Decorate for fall/ halloween. I decorated our mantle. We need more halloween decorations!
3. Make/find halloween costumes. We decided on Tim Burton characters. Chris and I were the Corpse Bride and groom, and Caden was Jack Skellington from Nightmare before Christmas. I found an all natural costume makeup from etsy, so I wasn't nervous about painting Caden's face, and it turned out adorable!





4. Finish class before we go to Arizona. Although I did turn in an assignment without attaching a file.
5. Baby proof the house completely. The kitchen is baby proofed, but there are still a few more things I need to do around the house.



1. Bake with pumpkin. I made Caden's birthday cake with pumpkin, and I've baked pumpkin bread/muffins, but I still have two pumpkins sitting on my table that I need to use!
2. Organize Caden's room. I made so much progress, and now it is overrun with toys that he got for his birthday.
3. Finish my class schedule. I've been putting this off because I don't want to think about how many classes (and how many months) I have left until I graduate.
4. Start christmas shopping. I'm hoping to have at least half done by December.
5. Pack up Caden's baby stuff. I've been waiting on Chris to put away the cradle, glider, and swing, but now that Caden is already a year old, I think I'm going to have to do it myself!

Thank you to all the men and women who have served or are serving in our military.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One year!


I never thought I could be so busy because my child was turning one. My last blog post was Oct 18, and now we are a week into November and I'm just getting back to blogging!

I spent the week before Caden's birthday working on my October goals, and I was working like a mad woman, but I did it!

My little man officially turned one on Thursday, October 24. I've always imagine making my children's birthdays full of fun, but unfortunately Caden spent 6 hours of his birthday in the car for our drive to Phoenix. However, he did spend the morning playing with his first toy, a popper, and he did get to see his grandparents, aunt, uncle and nephew!




We had Caden's birthday on Saturday at my sister's house in Phoenix, and we had a lot of fun with all of our family and friends. Caden was so worn out by the end of the day; poor guy was a bit overwhelmed with all the people, cake, presents, and pictures!


Instead of ordering a shirt for $20, I made this one with scraps of fabric that was left over from the sheets and blankets I made him before he was born.


I made all the cakes from scratch the day of the party. Please ignore the random candles in the background.




 
 
I made Caden's smash cake somewhat baby friendly- I made a pumpkin, avocado, applesauce cake. I did a test run the week before the party, and it turned out amazing so I made one for the adults as well (and of course chocolate too). I really thought Caden was going to smash his cake, but instead he refused to touch it and just sucked the frosting off. I'm not sure if it would have been different if he wasn't so tired, but it was still adorable.




 




Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Letters



Dear Amazon, I was very upset with you for the past month, because you didn't tell me that it would take a month to get Caden's new car seat when I purchased it. After talking to a rep on the phone, and then emailing customer service to tell them that I needed it for our road trip, you got it to me within 3 days! I am  once again a happy and loyal customer. Dear Husband, I have finally come to terms with the idea that you watch cartoons (specifically, The Avengers) as a way to relax.. I guess. Dear Baby Boy, I cannot believe that you are going to be ONE next week. You are still my baby boy though, don't you forget it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Drivers

I wouldn't say that I have road rage, but I would say that I really despise ignorant drivers. Please, read on to see to if any of the below apply to you.

To the drivers getting on to the freeway: For the most part, you all have California license plates, so you can't use the excuse that the on-ramps in San Diego are crazy short and come from all over the place, because your used to it. That being said, you don't have the right to just drive straight and expect other people to take care of you coming into the next lane without anyone getting hurt. If I'm already on the freeway, chances are that I've been driving a constant speed for sometime. You, the one getting on the freeway, is the one responsible for looking left (or right, these crazy CA freeways) and either speeding up to get in front of me or slowing down to get behind me. Your job. Not mine.

While I'm on the subject of switching lanes, to the drivers who don't use your blinkers: Is is really that hard? Auto manufacturers really put a lot of thought into blinkers... They put them right next to the steering wheel, and made it so that the direction you flip it is the same direction that you turn. Amazing, right?

To the drivers who ride my ass even though I have a "baby on board" sticker on my trunk: Can you read? If it weren't for the precious cargo in my backseat (oh yeah, can you read?) I would love nothing more than for you to have to explain how you rear-ended my car, you asshole.

To the drivers who think their car is so awesome that they need to park in two spaces: Oh, is that a new dent in your car? Wait, how did you get that if you made sure that no other car could park next to you?

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I'm not the most perfect driver. I've been pulled over a couple times for speeding or driving too close behind someone on the freeway, I've ran into a couple things, and I've even drifted my car around a turn. But, at least I'm not one of the ignorant people who ended up on my list : )

This post was inspired by all the dumb drivers in California, as well as my husband, who received not one, but two, California speeding tickets in the past six months. And the same husband who made my day by parking next to the bright-yellow-camaro-who-took-up-two-spaces-at-the-end-of-the-parking-lot and forced me to get out of the car inches away from the driver still sitting in his car.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Julian

A few weekends ago, we made a day trip to Julian, California. Chris and I had been wanting to go since a family member told us about it at Christmas, but one thing after another (including the AC going out in our car and costing a measly $4,000 to fix) made us delay the trip. I have to say, it was well worth the wait (kind of like the pictures I'm about to show you).

 
I got my boys to try on some cowboy gear in one of the shops. Aren't they handsome?


We couldn't leave without some apple butter and pumpkin butter. Even Caden is a fan!

 
We decided on barbeque for lunch. We both had a 'burnt ends brisquit' sandwich and it was amazing.
 

Although Julian is a huge tourist location, it has maintained the small town feel. The people who live and work there are so friendly! Not just the "How are you doing?" with a smile friendly, but genuine conversation with you friendly. If we are still in Cali next year, we are planning on taking Caden to the pumpkin festival. If your ever in San Diego, Julian is well worth the trip!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happies and Crappies



Crappies
1. Caden having a yeast diaper rash. I'm pretty sure that it started as a reaction to the acid in kiwi, and then turned into this mean yeast infection. Luckily, we caught it early and nystatin + coconut oil + baking soda bath = healing!
2. Weekend duty. No fun.
3. My brother was in an accident. He has a fractured skull, and his jaw and upper palette are in pieces. After 4 days in the ICU, the swelling in his face has gone down enough for surgery. Prayers would be greatly appreciated!!

Happies
1. Middle of the night snuggles with my baby boy. I hate that he is in pain, but I am appreciating the fact that he wants his Momma to hold him and make him feel better. Caden slept in bed with me up until he was six months olf, and then all of the sudden he decided that he didn't want to cuddle anymore and went straight to his crib. So when I have to stay up holding him in the middle of the night for 45 minutes (or bring him into bed with me) I cherish those moments instead of counting miss sleep.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Goals

I'm so excited October is here! I know Fall starts in September, but for me, it never feels like Fall until October. Which means it is time for decorations, Caden's birthday, and the start of the holiday season! Since I find it really easy to get overloaded this time of year, I've decided to make a goal for each month through the end of the year.


1. Plan Caden's birthday party. We are heading back home for his party, so it is pretty impossible for me to wait until the last minute to start planning. Also, I want to do a practice smash cake so I can make sure the recipe actually tastes good!
2. Decorate for fall/ halloween. Last year, I decorated for fall instead of Halloween because my pregnancy hormones wouldn't let me bring home a new baby to a 'spooky house!'
3. Make/find halloween costumes. We wanted to dress Caden up like baby Bane, but we don't let him use his binky unless he is going to sleep, so we have to think of something else.
4. Finish class before we go to Arizona. Every time we go back home, I am on the last weekend of a class (I take one class a month) and I make a mad dash to get everything done ahead of time. That's still the case this month, but I'm taking a lab so I'm hopefully going to be able to work ahead.
5. Baby proof the house completely. Caden loves everything that he is not supposed to have, so baby proofing is really important. Right now, all the sharp objects that used to be in the kitchen drawers are now just sitting on the counter because I haven't figured out how to reorganize!

What are your goals for October?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Letters



Dear Jack, Your furparents are doing everything we can to get those mean fleas off of you. I'm sorry your so itchy, but please stop itching over my head! Dear Chris, You are a good man, and I love you very much. Dear Corned Beef Tacos, You better be good! My husband has been bragging about you for some time now, and it's time for you to prove yourself to our guests! Dear Caden, Everywhere we go, you make people smile. At my doctor's appointment yesterday, you had almost 10 people surrounding your cute little self just so they could get a glimpse of you! One lady even said you made her whole day, and I believe it. That smile is contagious!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

'The Talk' in a military family

When you hear the phrase, "lets have the talk," it most likely gives you anxiety. When it comes to a military family, there's no wonder you would be full of anxiety, since 'the talk' is full of what-ifs, uncertainty, and life changing decisions. If your a fellow milspouse, you might have figured out what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, I'll let you in on it: re-enlisting and picking orders.

If you would have asked me four years ago whether my husband would re-enlist, I would have said, "Of course!" I was so full of military-wife-pride, and I was sure that this would be our life for the next 20 years. Fast forward 3 years, 2 deployments, 1 pregnancy alone, moving across states a couple times by myself, multiple underways, rarely getting to see family, having a hard time making friends, duty days, shitty pay, all the other stresses of military life, and all the glitter is starting to fade, at a time where my husband is really enjoying the success he is finding in his job. Don't get me wrong, I am still a proud military wife, but now that I have been through all the struggles, I see military life for what it really is. And I see it for what it does to me.

I have the sweetest, most loyal husband a girl could ask for, yet I can't let go of the eighteen years of being let down by the men in my life before I met him. Trusting my husband is a daily struggle for me, and being a military wife makes it so much harder. How is it different that any regular 9-5 job you may ask? Obviously, theres deployments and port stays, where my husband is gone for months at a time, and I have to trust that he comes 'home' at night in port. But even when my husband is home, I can't just waltz into his work to bring him lunch, meet his coworkers, or anything at that matter. I've also come to realize that some of the trust issue stems from the fact that I feel like we live completely separate lives, and while mine revolves around solely around him and our son since I don't have anyone else here, he has a life away from me. It is selfish, I know, but it is a hard slump to get out of. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

There was a while where I told my husband that I didn't want him to stay in, that I wasn't cut out for this life. But then I remembered that we had to make the best decision for our family, not just for me, and after having 'the talk' we have decided that staying in is what is best for our son at this time.

We have made the decision to re-enlist, now what? We pick orders, wait a few months, and then hopefully get the one we chose. My husband is an OS, a sea-going rate, which means the only orders that are specific to his rate are a few instructor positions. Since the chances of one of those instructor positions being open in Chris's window are pretty slim, as well as the fact that we don't necessarily want to stay in San Diego, has steered us towards recruiting. Chris has heard a lot of positive things, but I have read almost all bad things. I just keep reminding myself that it is the best option, and we will work through whatever obstacles we face as a family, but it doesn't mean I'm not nervous.

So, it is basically settled that we are choosing recruiting orders, but now the question is where. Do we go back home to the hot Arizona dessert? Do we stay in San Diego so we can enjoy the weather and be visiting-distance from family and friends? Or do we experience somewhere new while we can? I don't think this would be such a big decision if it wasn't for our son. I want him to have a good relationship with his grandparents and cousins, but I also want him to have the best experiences. There are pros and cons for wherever we choose, and they never seem to outweigh each other.

We still have a few months to decide, and boy do we need it!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September Green Series: Dirty Dozen

My goal was to do a monthly Green Series, but life got in the way. If your interested, you can check out part 1, which I started back in June.

For many of us, it is simply not possible to buy all organic because it is just so darn expensive. Plus, if your local super market is anything like mine, the organic section is about 1/100th of the grocery store and provides very few options. So, keeping in the spirit of my green series and an attempt to help others make simple and not-so-expensive changes, I'm going to suggest an alternative: only buy organic fruits and veggies when it comes to the 'dirty dozen.' According to the Environmental working Group, this includes: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and bell peppers. In 2013, EWG also added kale/collard greens and summer squash to the list. The EWG is even so nice as to provide the clean 15 so you know where to save your money: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantelope, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, papayas, pineapples, sweet peas, and sweet potatoes. No matter what list the produce is on, you should still wash your fruit and veggies before eating them. Another idea is to spray them with vinegar and then rinse.

Buying organic is a personal choice, but a smart choice. When the grocery budget gets a little tight in our house, we skip the organic, but we try to stick to the dirty dozen as much as possible. When it comes to my son, 90% of his food is organic, because I know how sensitive his growing little body is. Local farmers markets have the most delicious organic produce (seriously, you can taste the difference) but they can get really expensive, so we only go about once a month.

Do you follow the dirty dozen?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blogtember

Would you be surprised after reading a post like this that I am participating in Blogtember, a series that encourages bloggers to post 5 days a week? Don't worry, I'm not a blogocrite (you know, a blog hypocrite), I'm just linking up a couple days at the most. It's fun being able to share some meaningful posts, and Jenni has some awesome topics.


For example:
Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

I started out this post with a list of all the times I thought my life took a major turn, but then I erased it all. Instead, I settled on the most important one: when I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 20 years old and was forced to question whether I was ever going to be a mother. At the time, I was working a full time job and had just started back at school after taking a year off. As much as I wanted children, my husband and I had previously decided that we were going to wait at least until I was done with school. Being diagnosed with a disease that can affect your future really puts things into perspective. I kept telling myself that we weren't ready for a child, we were too young and still had so much progress to make in our relationship, but deep down I wanted nothing more than to have a child and was too afraid to admit it.

From the moment I was diagnosed, I never stopped thinking about being a mother. From the moment we started trying to conceive, my heart ached with the need to get pregnant. From the moment I started carrying my child, I loved him with every inch of my being.


 From the moment I first laid eyes on him, I have defined myself as his mother. You know that song by Passenger that says, "Only know you love her when you let her go?" I never knew how much I wanted to be a mother until it was almost taken from me. I couldn't be happier with the turn that my life has taken.

I still can't believe he is 10 months old!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting: Love Quotes


 I love quotes (example 1), and I love love quotes. So it's no surprise that this week I'm loving the love quotes on Pinterest!
 
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Is anyone else not happy with the new way to embed pictures on Pinterest? I'm not, especially because half of the time my picture doesn't show up. I'm going back to the time-consuming process of saving the picture to my desktop and linking back to the pin.





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Every-Day Bloggers

The most popular bloggers publish posts six out of seven days a week. I have never been and will never be one of those bloggers, and I don't want to be. There is one simple reason for this: I want to enjoy life instead of blogging about it.

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I love blogging, but I don't want it to consume me or my family. I want to spend the days playing with my son, the evenings catching up on the DVR list with my husband, and the weekends having fun with my family. I know some people set aside specific times for blogging, and I guess I do to: after I work on homework and clean the house during my son's morning nap. That means that some days I don't get around to blogging, and that's okay with me.

Are you a 24/7 blogger? Do you ever find blogging too consuming?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

9 Month Update

Technically, Caden turned nine months two weeks ago, so I'm a little late posting, but I didn't want to miss out on this month!


My chunky boy is starting to slim down since he NEVER stops moving and getting into things; at his nine month appointment, he was almost 20 pounds and 29 inches. He smiles at everyone and loves trips to the grocery store now that he gets to sit in the cart. His favorite thing to do with his momma and daddy is crawl over to us, open his mouth, slam his head down, and wait for us to scream and wiggle around. We like to call him 'zombie baby.' Wait, wasn't I supposed to fit all this into those little boxes??

I saw this idea on Hooah and Hiccups. It is such a fun way to share your little one's progress and their growing personality!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday's Letters

 


Dear Baby Boy, You are going to be walking any day now, and I have to admit, the idea scares me. It doesn't help that your doctor told me about how all little boys constantly get hurt- busted lips, broken teeth, stitches. I'm not ready for that, nor will I ever be. Dear San Diego Weather, After spending a week back home in Phoenix, AZ during the month of July, I appreciate you all over again. Dear Big Brother Cast, You aren't all that interesting this season. Besides the second week, you are too predictable. FYI, the whole 'vote with the house' idea is pretty boring. Dear Husband, Talking about our future has always been fun, exept when it comes to re-enlistment and picking orders.

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