Friday, December 28, 2012


It's nearly the end of the year!

I am hoping to make resolutions or goals and to stick to them.

I started going to the gym in October and I hope to maintain working out and eating healthier and losing weight.  DH got me an armband that tracks calories and steps and stuff.  He also got me a food scale so I can make sure I am eating the proper portions.  I'm still going to do slim fast for a while longer.

One of my main goals is to stick to a schedule.  I loosely follow a schedule, but I want to be more rigid.  Not to the exact second, but keep up with housework, do things with the kids, etc.  I'm going to write chores on the calendar and have a weekly To Do list and hopefully stick to that.  I might reward myself once a month for keeping to the schedule.

Another thing I want to do is stick to the budget.  It's been hard going from 2 incomes to one and still wanting to shop.  I look at our bank statement and get disgusted by all the money we waste on going out to eat or buying other frivolous crap.  I will meal plan and use coupons when available.  I hope to do the big grocery shopping around paydays and then getting perishables such as produce and bread when needed.  I would love to do the freezer meals, but we don't have the space.

I would also like to read a book a month.  It took over a year to finish The Game of Thrones series, mostly because I would forget to read.  I'd just veg out on Facebook or in front of the television. I have to finish MockingJay before the end of the year so I can start fresh!

Another thing I'd like to do is keep up with the blog, I guess that would go under keeping a schedule.  I may not post too much personal stuff, but more like blog about crafts or recipes and maybe the books I read.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My wish was not granted

DD has long curly hair that gets tangled.  I try to keep it up and out of her face so it does not get messy and so it's not a tempting pull toy for DS.  Brushing her hair has become a battle.  She cries at the thought of having to get her hair brushed.

I was flipping through a catalogue from One Step Ahead, which is a great catalogue with neat things for parents.  I came across something called the Knot Genie and after reading what it promised, I decided I would try it.  Anything is better than a crying child!

I used it this morning, but DD didn't want her hair brush, so she feigned pain.

I then used it after her bath on wet hair, and it worked fine.  I then dried her hair and used it again.  And I found this brush to be mediocre...

It is made of cheap plastic.  The brush resembles a pet brush and seeing the hair in the brush made me think of the dog's brush we had.  After brushing DD's hair, I learned that the brush is actually two pieces.  It came apart in my hands after a few strokes.  In addition to it coming it apart, it just does not feel right to me.  I am used to something with a handle, but this I had to spread my hand over the brush.  Maybe because I have arthritis, I just did not find holding it very comfortable.

Oh and while I was putting DD's hair in a ponytail, we came across some tangles and she cried!  She tried to be brave, but this brush did not work like it claims to or maybe I can't use it correctly.

I will try to use it again, but if it comes apart on me again, I may contact the manufacturer.

Friday, October 19, 2012


It's Friday! Like that means anything to a SAHM, LOL!

We got our good news.  We put our home up for sale as soon as DH received orders to Milwaukee.  We had to do a short sale since the property values dropped almost immediately after we purchased our home.  While we had a few showings while we were living in the house, we did not receive any offers.  It was quite difficult keeping it show ready and not cluttered with two small children in the house.  After we left, we finally received an offer back in July.  We had to jump through so many hoops for the offer to be accepted.  Yesterday, the new homeowner finally closed.  We were putting about $200 a month towards the house to keep it in good condition, with utilities.

We understand this will have a negative impact on our credit report, but we could not rent it out to pay the mortgage and we could not go Geo because the housing allowance amount was about $300 less in Milwaukee.

We should find out in December if DH makes the revised cut for E7.  We are thinking we'd like to stay another year if we can.  We like the area.  We may have different thoughts after the winter, LOL.  The only thing I am worried about is if the homeowner we are renting from decides not to rent another year.  It will be a lot of hard work to move all of our stuff.  So hopefully, the homeowner will keep the place for rent for at least another year.

Exercising is going well.  DS has been having some separation anxiety, but once I leave, he does well.  He does better with DD, but she has schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This morning I was quite exhausted.  Last night, we got our flu shots and DS nursed all night long.  I decided to go to Zumba.  I took an advil before leaving.  I don't know how, but exercising gave me more energy and I feel pretty good.  I may go back this evening for Family swim with DD; if she behaves.

We may go to the zoo this weekend, it is supposed to be nice.  It's been kind of dreary the past few days, but I guess we need the rain.  I think we will do a picnic again.  And then get the yummy ice cream.  We've been getting the use out of our membership.  I can't wait to go when the snow is on the ground and see the polar bears!

Next weekend starts the Halloween festivities.  We have a party with the mom's group, and then trick or treating at the zoo, DD has a party at school, and our friend T invited us to go trick or treating in her neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's been about two weeks since I joined the gym and things are going well.  It's become part of our routine.  After breakfast, we head out either to they gym or we take DD to school first, depending on the day.  Because I am incorporating it as part of my routine, I don't think about trying to get out of it.  I actually look forward to going to the gym.  We aren't going today because the library has story time and DD has a medical appointment.

DS has been having some separation anxiety which makes it a little difficult.  Usually he's fine with DD with him, but yesterday, DD was at school and he started crying before I put him down on the floor, once he realized where we were.  He was fine after I left.  But as soon as he saw me when I came back for him, he started the water works.

Hoping to have good news tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

L is for Loser

I was having a pretty good day, had my workout, the kids were behaving.  And then... DH texted me.  The text asked if I wanted to be the unit ombudsman.

A few years ago, I would have jumped at the opportunity.  But yesterday, it was like a punch in the gut.

The last position I had before I resigned, I was happy to leave.  I liked everyone in the office.  However, I was new and did not know who to trust.  In addition, I went from autonomy to micromanaged.  I left that position feeling like a failure.

So, to be asked if I wanted a job, those feelings of failure washed all over me.  I can't do this, I think to myself.  And then I think, well the team lead was a jerk, maybe I can do this.

And then I thought about my kids.  I did look forward to moving so I could resign and be with my kids.  I don't think I will look for a job when DS is preschool age like I first thought I would.  I enjoy being able to take DD to school, to take the kids to the library, and have playgroups.  Furthermore, I get to go to the gym.

I am sure I can do that job and not have my time with my kids challenged.  Right now, I don't get to do my crafts because I am constantly keeping tabs on DS.  Maybe when he is a bit older, I may take on the challenge, but for now... I am going to enjoy being a SAHM

We came from a place with a huge military presence and this place does not have one.  I like it!  The only real reminder that DH is military is when he brings his uniform home on Friday to be washed.

I don't think I want to do the job.  I do have until the 15th of November to turn in my application.  I may change my mind, but I don't think I will.

Friday, October 12, 2012

a little progress...

On Tuesday, I met with a Results Coordinator from the gym.  We checked my weight and she asked me what my goals were and why I joined the gym.  Since I want to lose weight and be healthy, she drew a triangle and said fitness and losing weight were like a triangle.  Nutrition being 80% was on the bottom of the triangle and then cardio and strength took up the other sides.  She also told me I should do cardio at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes each and strength training twice a week for 30 minutes.   She mentioned that I should not do the strength training two days in a row.  I found her to be very helpful.  Since we had some time, she showed me how some of the equipment worked.  I then signed up for a few personal training sessions.

I also signed up for my fitness pal.  It keeps track of the food I eat and my exercise activity.

We had our first session this morning.  It was hard, but I feel good.  And then I weighed myself and I lost 3 pounds since Tuesday.  Yay!

I find it humorous that DH cheats to lose weight.  He takes laxative or drinks shakes to make him poop and then he makes weight until the next weigh in.  I, on the other hand, have decided to work for my weight loss by actually watching what I eat and exercising.

Because the session was this morning, I had to wake DS and he did not get his morning nursing session, so he was not a happy camper in the child watch area.

After the gym, I was brave and went to Costco with the kids.  We usually do those kinds of things on the weekend, when DH is home, but I wanted to get a few things and avoid the crowds.  While the drive is about 45 minutes each way, the actual shopping part was stress free.  The kids behaved and we did not have to wait to check out.  I think I may do this more.

I'm hoping to have good news to share on the 18th.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Here's to the seasons

With a new season, comes change.  We are making a few changes, hopefully for the better.  Our house should be sold by mid month.  While it was a great house, because we had to move, we could not afford to pay the mortgage in addition to rent on our new place.  We've had to keep the utilities on to keep the house in show condition.  It will be nice not to have to pay those bills.

When we received orders to come to this place, instead of getting stressed about finding a job and child care, I decided to stay home.  It turned out the cost of child care at our last unit basically negated my pay check.  And child care in this area is supposed to be one of the highest in the region.

I was actually excited to get to stay home with the kids.  I found a preschool for DD and researched doctors and fitness places.  Figuring the Y was probably the least expensive route for fitness, I was dismayed to learn how much more it would cost.  In addition to the higher price, child care was an added fee and the closest facility was a bit far.  I put the desire to get fit on hold and enjoyed the summer.  Besides we had a swimming pool.  We also have a fitness room, but I would have to wait until DH gets home from work to keep an eye on the kids and I need the pool because of arthritis.

I got a flier in the mail this past weekend for a gym with month to month memberships starting at $20.  I decided to look them up after noticing one of the photos on the flyer had what looked like a child area.  Most places that offer cheaper rates don't have child care, classes, or pools.  The website had a wealth of information.  The center has land and pool classes and child care.  To get the membership with the child care is $20 more, but that includes other things like free tanning (not for me) free towel service, and few other things.  But for $40 a month, that's a savings of $60 if I were to go to the Y.  The child area was in a safe area.  The pools are kept between 80 and 90 degrees. There is a whirlpool too.  I think I may check out what this Zumba thing is finally.  The center also offers open family swim time on the weekends.  DD is excited to go swimming.

I really needed this.  I've been feeling a bit depressed.  Now I can have a way to channel stress and get fit.

Great start to a new season!

Yay! It's Fall!  I love the brisk weather and the changing colors.  Seeing the purples and oranges makes me want to craft.  I'll get to do some this weekend hopefully.  I want to make some fall cards, and start on the Christmas cards.  I also signed up to bring salty snacks for DD's class, so I am going to decorate the bags with the snacks.

Speaking of snacks and DD.  She had her day to bring snacks.  I found a snack on Pinterest.  I think it went really well.  I also googled skinning kiwi and found such an easy way to skin the kiwi.  We made rainbow skewers. 

We also went apple picking.  Both kids loved munching on the apples.

DD had a field trip to the farm and she got to get real close with the animals.  We were in the same pen as an emu.  Her favorite thing was milking the cow.  We also picked some pumpkins.

We also went to the beach!  The beach of Lake Michigan.  The water was very pretty.  It was a nice day to go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The monkey on my back

This post is about DS, LOL

He's a little monkey.

Twice today, I wore him on my back to get things done.

This morning after we dropped DD off at school, I needed to clean up the kitchen.  DS wanted to be held.  While I would have preferred to just veg out on the couch, I know I have to be a responsible adult every once in a while.  So, I put him in the Beco and placed him on my back so I could wash the dishes.  He gets very excited when he rides on my back.  He was very quiet after a while and I forgot I was wearing him, I was backing up and I backed into the fridge which made him cry a little.  But he overcame it.  After the dishes were done, I sat on the couch and nursed him until he fell asleep.  He slept until it was time to get DD from school.

After lunch, he was having fun playing with a ball.  He was bouncing it and chasing it.  He even tried to put it in the tall laundry hamper.  I think I know what he's going to get for Christmas, LOL.

The kids were napping, so I decided to prep for dinner.  As I was nearly finished cooking part of the dinner, I could hear DS making noise.  I went and grabbed him.  He wanted to be held, but I needed to clean up, so I put him again on my back.

I like to clean up as I work, unlike DH who makes big messes while he cooks.  And I could be like him, but I know that I would have to clean up later.  I also know how he is with cleaning, if he does not see it in front of him, it does not get washed.  Also, once he's met his quota (whatever that may be) he's done.

Monday, September 17, 2012

catch up

Eek! Sorry it's been a while since my last post.

Fall is around the corner.  I can't wait for the temps to come down!

DD started preschool after Labor day.  She goes twice a week for about 2 hours a day.  Right now, the teachers are gauging each child's capabilities.  In January, the parents get a report on how much the child has improved.  While I know DD is pretty smart, she needs to work on her coordination (as I draft this, she is working on a puzzle all by herself).  For her class, each child takes a turn to bring in snacks for the class.  On snack day, that child also has show and tell.  DD's day is coming up next week.  So far the snacks have been crackers or pretzels and juice.  While she will eat pretzels and crackers on occasion, it is not something I usually give her.  I was trying to think about what I give her for a snack and she usually has fruit, yogurt, or applesauce.  Because of allergy, dietary, and religious considerations, the snacks must be peanut/meat/gelatin free.  I was looking online for creative snack ideas and found one with fruit pieces on a skewer and it was called rainbow fruit.  I think we will bring those in for her turn.  I will blog on that after her snack day.

I also enrolled her in dance class.  She loved her first day.  There are 4 other girls in her class.  She can't wait to go again today.

DS is a walking machine!  We got him some shoes from stride rite because I wanted him to have some appropriate for his stage in walking.  He had not worn shoes prior to this, so we got his feet measured and he got two pair.  They were having a sale!

I finally got a chance to do some crafting~ blog to follow

We should find out in Dec if DH got the promotion and if we will be moving in the summer.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Keeping in Touch

DD misses her friends in Virginia and we have not made too many here.

I decided that we could make cards and send them to her friends.  I looked through my stamps for some cute pictures and stamped the images onto some paper.  I placed them on her little table with crayons and told her to color.  She still needs work on her coloring skills. And then I gave her the card portion of paper and had her write her name.  I hope her friends enjoy receiving the cards as much as she did making them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas in July

Yes, I uttered that word!

I've begun to purchase and think about things for Christmas.  This year, we are not going to go crazy like we have in the past.  We still have toys in the packaging that we were too lazy to wrap still hiding in a closet.

I've actually only gotten a few things for DD.  She was with me as I was shopping for stuff for DS's first birthday.  After his birthday, I may start getting him stuff.  Since we are renting a place without a yard and have limited space, we are not going to get big items.  Also, we don't know if we are going to have to move next summer yet.

So far for DD, she is getting a  few Peppa the Pig items: Peppa the Pig car, Peppa the Pig family playset, Phineas and Ferb toys, and The Runaway Dinner book.   I did not order the Peppa the Pig items from the internet, they were actually at Toys R Us and were on sale.  The Phineas and Ferb toys were from the Disney store and they had a special of buying two play sets for $20.  I also got the Finding Nemo set for DS.  And The Runaway Dinner is DD's favorite book.  She loves to check it out whenever we go to the library.

Since, I mentioned DS birthday, I was not sure what to get him.  So far, we've gotten the following items, most of which happened to be on sale.  We got him the Little Tykes Play and Scoot Pirate Ship, a few Baby Einstein dvds, the Finding Nemo playset, and a Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Grasping Toy.

All except for the book were purchased in stores.  Turns out it is much cheaper to order online through Barnes and Noble than to have them ship the book to their stores.

Small Steps

Today is a new day.  A chance to change.

I need to take control of my health and wellness!  I bought some new shoes, I needed new shoes anyways, but I bought some new sneakers to use for working out.  We have a fitness room, I might as well use it.  I plan on using it after dinner time when DH is home.  He has access to the Y for free.  His command pays for a membership for all the military.  If I could go to the Y, then I would not have to way for him to get home.  On nice days, I will take the kids out in the stroller.  There is a nice path that I see a lot of people using.  When the snow falls, we can go to the mall or something.

Part of the wellness is also my dental health.  I went to the dentist and while I don't have cavities, I do have gum disease.  My gums were inflamed.  And when I went to my cleaning, I had a sore on my gums that was not dental related.  I was having a bit of a flare.  I have to go back in a few weeks and if my gums still are not better, I will be on antibiotics.  Dental health is very important as it has effects on other parts of the body.  I need to be vigilant about flossing.  I am so lazy about that.  Last night, I flossed and rinsed.  It's a start.

I've also started doing smoothies.  They have fruits and vegetables in it.  DH drinks them for breakfast and lunch and then has a regular dinner.  One of his co-workers told him about the drinks and how he lost 30 pounds just drinking them for breakfast and lunch.  So, I am going to try this as well.  I just can't go on a major diet just yet as I am still nursing DS.

I also got vitamins to take.  My vitamin D level is very low!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dragons, Denim, and Tacos

Finally a break from the sweltering heat.  Who'd have thought 80 would be nice, LOL

On Saturday, we went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha.  On the website, it says you can save $2 if you purchase your tickets from Wal-Green's.  The kids were free, so we saved $4.  I also checked the website about parking, they have two parking lots.  The one that is closer to the gates cost $5 and the other one is free.  Both are on the grass.  We opted to be closer, so we paid the $5.  We still had a bit of a hike, but I guess it was better than in the free parking lot.

As we were walking through the gates, I noticed a little child dressed as Spiderman.  I was thinking, that yes, people do dress up, but not as Spiderman.  But then I was looking at the map and I guess this weekend was the costume contest.  There were quite a lot of people dressed up.  And not everyone was dressed for the time period.  I saw a cute couple dressed as Shrek and Fiona!  We did come across a grown up Spiderman as well.  There was a family with a little boy who loves Spiderman.  This spiderman let the little boy hug him and he posed with the boy for some photos.  What a nice gesture of a stranger.

The first thing we did was walk around.  This place is HUGE!  DD wanted to go on a carnival ride, so we went on a carousel ride.  It was $3 a rider.  The ride was human powered!  There were 4 guys who spun the carousel and then talked about their fantasy stuff.  I got a little dizzy.  We also went on a swing that was a pirate ship, which was also human powered.  This ride cost $3 a person or $5 for two people.  While DD and I were on the ride, we could see the elephant ride.  There was also a camel and a large white horse.  I was thinking maybe DD would like to ride the horse until I noticed something about that horse and started laughing so hard.  DH noticed the horse too.  For personal reasons, I've decided my children will not ride on other animals such as camels and elephants.  DH went with DD on a pirate ship for her to explore.  It cost $5 a person.  But with the pirate ship, you could stay as long as you like and come back later.  DH practically had to drag DD away.

We did get to see a show.  Adam Crack and his fire whip.  He was quite entertaining.  He holds 9 world records!  Pretty impressive.   We made note of the joust, but did not get to make it.

The last thing we did was get DD's face painted.  It was the first time she got her face painted.  She opted for a girl elephant.  Before bed, she had a bath and I thought it would be hard to clean her face.  Boy, am I glad I was wrong.  We just took a wipe to her face and the makeup came right off her face.

After the faire, we went to the outlets.  I knew they had a Stride Rite and I wanted to get DD some new shoes for school.  She has narrow feet and most of the shoes in Target or other shoes stores are for wider feet.  The store clerk, measured her feet and she grew!  We got her a pair of sneakers and a pair of boots.  I wanted to get her a pair of dress shoes, but they did not have the pair that DD liked in her size.

We also checked out the Osh Kosh store.  I wanted to get the kids a pair of overalls.  Kids look cute in them.  While we were there, they were having a sale on t-shirts.  Buy 1 get 2 free! So, the kids got 3 shirts each.  When checking out, I noticed some bears for sale.  DD was being so good, so I decided to get her and DS a bear.  Because my order was over $100, I got a $10 coupon which I used on the bears.  I got them for free!

We decided to check out a Mexican place on our way home.  The ombudsman for DH's command had mentioned a place called Jose's Blue Sombrero in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  The other day when I was coming home from the mall in Racine, I noticed a Jose's.  So, we stopped there for a late lunch early dinner.  I had Superman tacos.  They were steak and avacado. Very good!  DH got tacos with chicken, chorizo and bacon; very delicious!  We were very happy to finally have good Mexican food.  We may choose Jose's whenever we are out and about in either Brookfield or Racine.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eeek! I did it again

I got some more diapers!

I went back to RG Natural Babies for some flushable liners.  In case DS has a poopy while we are away from the house, the poop will be on the liner and I just toss that in the toilet and flush.  And then I place the diaper in the travel wet bag.  Less mess.

The owner of RG Natural Babies, Michelle, is very nice, attentive, and informed.  I really liked that she gave me the attention I needed and provided insight on the various diaper brands.  She also took things so that I did not have to carry them around while I was browsing.  In addition to the diapers and flushable liners, I purchased some cloth wipes and reusable snack bags.

The reusable snack bags are Itzy Ritzy.  They can be machine washed and air dried or just wiped clean. They come in some fun designs. The smaller ones come in packs of two.

The cloth wipes are OsoCozy and come in a pack of 15 for $8.95. The liners are Tweedle Bug Bio Liners.  The liners worked awesome!  I just tossed the liner with the poop in the toilet and did not have to scrape or spray the diaper, which is good since the kids' toilet with the sprayer is out of commission.

Diapers:  I wanted to get some cute designs for DS.  Most of the cute designs are for girls, but I did find a few that I liked!

GroVia AIO Robot and Planes.  These are All in Ones (AIO). However, they are not pockets. There are snaps where you place the insert. These are cute boy designs.  The snaps for adjustment are on the side instead of the front like on the pocket diapers, it was a bit of a challenge with a squirmy kid, but I managed.  Assuming he had his poop earlier in the day, I did not put a flushable liner into the diaper.  Big mistake!  He had a poop and unlike the pocket diaper, the poop was everywhere.  I had to scrape the poop off the two liners and the shell.  What a mess.  I will remember to use a flushable liner when I use these diapers again.

BottomBumpers How cute is this guy! This diaper is plain black and has the giraffe on the butt. I saw it and had to buy it.  Like the GroVia, this is not a pocket diaper.  It has color coded snaps on the inside so you can snap in the correct size liner (daddy proof). In addition to being like the GroVia, the adjustment snaps are on the side.

BlueBerry  These diapers were cute too! The inserts are very long. You fold them in half and snap them to each other. I guess it makes it so it will hold more urine.  They worked very well over night!

Happy Heinys.  The Happy Heinys are made in the USA!  How cute is this one! Boy's best friend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I remember you

Just sitting here thinking about mortality.

I have not been feeling too hot the past few weeks.  Thinking I am going through a flare.  I see the rheumatologist soon.  I am currently not on any medication.  I don't want to take anything while breastfeeding my soon.  He will be a year next month, I don't know if we will be ready to wean by then.  I think it might be a combination of things causing this flare.  The stress of the new move, the crazy weather, and lack of sleep.  Yes, for some reason, DS has not allowed me to sleep.  He demands to nurse about every hour or so at night.  And some nights, just when I think he has fallen asleep and try to get into a comfortable position, he's demanding to nurse again!  I try to make up for that during his afternoon nap.  He usually takes a 2 hour nap.   But we've had things disrupt our normal schedule, so no nap for me.  He's gotten his naps either in the car or being carried around.

Anyways, I've been pretty fortunate that my condition has not really affected any of my organs.  One of the medications I was on had some damaging results to my liver, but I was quickly taken off that medication and that was way before the kids came along.

I have known a few people to pass in the past couple years.  I am sad to think that I won't get to know how they are doing anymore.  I remember when my grandmother passed away.  I had seen her two years prior at my sister K's high school graduation.  Sometimes I have dreams with her in it and then in my dream, I remember she is dead, so I don't know if she is telling me a message.  But the dreams with her are never scary.  She was a kind woman, from what I remember of her.

A former co-worker and great friend just passed.  He actually passed on DH's birthday.  I remember when he told me he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, but not to say anything to anyone.  I was naive and thought stage 4 was the least to worry about and figured since he did not want people knowing, it was not that bad.  But then I googled it and was devastated at what I read.  He did not want people worrying about him.  I enjoyed reading his posts on facebook and seeing photos.  He was so proud of his family.  His eyes twinkled when he spoke of his wife and kids.  That's what I will remember about him, he loved his family!  So anyways, his wife C posted something about busting him out, which made me think he was getting better.  And then I saw a post about his viewing!  I was saddened.  I should have stopped by before we left Virginia.  I had a dream before he passed that I visited him in the hospital and that he purchased my parents home and created a huge play house for his daughter.  His kids were the age I remembered seeing them last and not at their current ages.

Last week, my sister J texted me that one of our cousins had died.  An autopsy report is still being drafted.  The last time I saw my cousin he might have been 8 or 9.  He was probably 25 or 26 when he died.  I know it was a long time since seeing him.  I have not seen a lot of family members since I graduated high school and joined the service.

I need to start saving for a trip to visit my family in Florida.  We have not been home since DD was about 18 months.  That means nobody has met DS.  My sister E might be the first to meet him since she lives about 6.5 hours away.  We just need to make a plan that works with her busy schedule.  MIL is coming for Thanksgiving.  FIL has never met any of the kids.  We have not seen him since we attended his wedding in 2001!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

chicken and bats

I may come off as ignorant or maybe a jerk because I don't post the same stuff everyone else does when breaking news happens.  Why should I?  Everyone else is posting about it and I don't need to (a) be another sheep, (b) give the story more hype.  Plus I may not have enough information yet to pose an educated stance.

While it was a tragedy what happened in Colorado, I think the lunatic who committed those atrocious hate crimes does not deserve to have any extra attention.  He should rot in a cell, death penalty would be nice, but a slow excruciating death might be better.

Now people are posting they are afraid to go to the movies... I wonder if they are just posting that to have something to post on facebook or if they are genuinely scared.

And as far as the chicken goes... Boycott all you want.

I have friends with various backgrounds, morals, beliefs, etc.  Just because they don't go with the norm does not mean I am not going to unfriend them.  We all have our choices.  If you choose to unfriend me because I don't want to jump in your wagon, so be it.  But know that I chose to be your friend knowing that we were different and enjoyed the fact that I can have friends who are not like me.  If I only had friends who were like me, I'd be very lonely.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apples and Oranges

So far the summer is going well. I guess this week was the last week for the summer reading program! I thought summer went until September, oh well. We put raffle tickets in all the box for DD. Hopefully, she will win something. If not, she has been having fun going to the library for the activities and checking out books and reading!
I sent off her application and registration check for preschool. She will be attending twice a week for about 2 hours. The school follows a Montesorri format. I also registered her for dance class which also follows a preschool curriculum. She will go one day a week. The library will also have story time for her age group every other week. I want to try to keep her busy. I took her to the doctor to get her medical paperwork signed. She is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight.
I just need to find something for DS. Our library is not having the infant program until January, so we may check out another library and hope the time is compatible with DD's schedule.
We've made a friend. She has a little girl. We've done a few things with her. It's nice finally getting to do stuff with people.
We checked out a cool store called RG Natural Babies that has tons of cloth diapers. It's nice to have a brick and mortar store. This store also has various carriers too. I may do a comparison between the Beco Gemini (which I have) with the baby K'tan, baby hawk, and the ergo. I like that the ergo has a hood and a pocket.
I also got an amber teething necklace for DS.

It's funny how much my DD reminds me of both my brother and sister. She has this squinty thing she does with her eye and that is something that my brother and older nephew did. And then she can give the evil eye, the one my sister gave to people whenever they asked if we were sisters, LOL
I wish we had old photos of DH and his siblings to compare the kids to.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baking, Cleaning, Books!

Been busy doing various things for the past few weeks.  Most of our weeks include trips to the library, swimming, and cleaning (diapers, dishes, floors).

Though about joining the Y. A membership seemed reasonable, but they charge an extra $30 for child watch. In Virginia, child watch was included in the membership... the $30 extra is not in the budget especially if I want to use that towards dance or swim lessons. I can use the fitness room that the condo has, but I have to coordinate with DH.

I have done a bit of baking. My first batch was a disaster, I needed a thermometer to make sure the water was not too hot for the yeast. After I got a thermometer things went better. At first, I just made simple yeast breads. This week, I made cheese bread and challa. I don't think the challa came out right, but the cheese bread is yum!

I finally got around to getting my craft room set up, well as good as it is going to get for now. Once I get with my sister and she takes some of her stuff back, I might have more room. I am also going to give her a few things like my wall rack since I am not allowed to put anything on the walls.

The Craft Room before the movers arrived

Lots of boxes

The Craft Room

Cloth diapering is going well. I have a little spatula to scoop the poop into the toilet. I know they make little showers that you install on the toilet, but they are not in the budget right now and I am not sure if we are allowed to install one. I also got DS a swim diaper that can be washed.  DS has discovered the velcro straps on some of the diapers and likes to strip himself naked. I may have to get a few more with snaps. I could put shorts on him, but when we are home, I don't want to confine his thunder thighs.

In his swim diaper

In his home attire

DD is doing well. She enjoys going to the library. I am sending her application for preschool. She will be going two days a week. She needs the interaction and she is very smart. She can write her name! I am debating on what to do for an activity for her, like swim lessons or dance.

Summer Fun

Saturday, we were invited to DH's boss' home for a grill out. It was a nice get together and I got to meet some other family members. I decided to make a Thank You card for the family.

I used some of the new In Colors from Stampin' Up! I wanted to use the popsickle stamp for a while and finally got a chance.

Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Gumball Green, Raspberry Ripple, Whisper White
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Sahara Sand
Stamp Sets: Rue Des Fleurs, Mouthwatering
Tools: Paper Trimmer, Modern Label Punch, 1-3/4" Scallop Circle
Ribbon: Taffeta
Techniques: Huffing, Sponging

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's a scorcher!

This week has been quite hot! And it's only Tuesday! LOL

Yesterday, DD asked to go to the park and asked where all the kids were when we got there... I told her it was too hot, so we went home. She was upset, but I could not justify keeping DS in that heat.

I then cleaned up their toys downstairs. I put DD's bed in our bedroom. She says she will sleep in her bed if we get her a dream lite.  I put a bookshelf where her bed was and created a reading corner for the kids. I also switched dressers for the kids. DS's dresser is now next to the changing table and I can keep his cloth diapers in one of the drawers.
Cloth diapering is going well. I purchased a few more diapers shortly after I tried them, so I was not constantly washing. I also put in another order for 4 more kissaluvs to go with the wraps and I ordered larger pre-folds and snappis, since the ones I received were a bit small for my chunkster
When finances permit, I will invest in a diaper shower.

Last week, I created a meal plan for the next two weeks and went grocery shopping. I went to 3 different places to get better deals and because trying to carry all those bags with two kids in the sweltering heat was not happening.  Instead of just having the usual spaghetti and tacos, I went through a few cookbooks and got ideas. I also factored in what we would have for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. I think $300 is not too bad for 2 weeks for 3.5 people... I say 3.5 because DS does eat some stuff. I may have to make a run midway for milk and produce.  I've decided to attempt to bake my own bread. Not that bread is expensive, but fresh bread is always yummy

Trying to think what to do with DD for an activity. I don't want to overload her with too much stuff, but I would like her to do something to build confidence and coordination. A few options include dance, swim, gymnastics, and ice skating.  I also plan on enrolling her in pre-school. She needs the interaction and she is very smart. I am so happy to see her write her own name, but I think she needs to understand how to grip the pencil better.

I ordered some stuff to meet my quarterly quota from Stampin' Up! I don't know if this will be my last order, I hope not. I still need to unpack my craft room, but watching kids and not having storage space has left me unmotivated. I did purchase some clear tubs to store my stamps. I am putting them in by category such as holiday, sentiments, nature, etc. Hopefully that will help keep me organized. I hope that once I get everything set up in the craft room that I will use it more often and the kids will do crafts too.

DH's birthday is next week. I got him a few things and I need to order him a star wars cake. If I had a friend who is a local baker, I would ask... but since I know nobody, and don't want to drag the kids around looking for a good bakery, I am just going to order from the grocery store. I like their cakes most of the time.

Safety Week

Last week, we took it easy

Monday, we had a playdate at local park. DD got to play with some kids she played with from the last playdate. This park had a zip line thing and she asked to go on it. She liked it. She can be a bit of daredevil. She may not be that coordinated, but with the park, she is gaining more confidence.

Tuesday, we story time at the library. This week's theme was fighting fires. After the stories, we walked to the fire station that is next to the library. The kids got to get in the fire engine and check out the ambulance and get a tour of the station.  DS started getting cranky, so we did not tour the station.

We had spaghetti for dinner. I put some on DS tray for his booster seat. He loved it and loved feeding himself (with his hands). We strip the kids down for spaghetti night and we also schedule spaghetti night around bath night.  Well, DS has had a rash since we left VA. Don't know if its from the pool chemicals or exczema... Let's say after he was done eating, he started rubbing the spaghetti on his belly and then he became distressed. I stopped in the middle of dinner and started a bath for him to get all that spaghetti off him.... I know, I know, should have used a bib!

Wednesday, the library was having another thing for kids, but DD decided she did not want to go to the library. So she played with Play-Doh and then we baked cookies.  She then rode her balance bike to the mailbox. DS's new diapers arrived!

Hoping to get a loaf pan this weekend so I can start baking bread. I got one the other day, but as I was bringing the bag, my wrist let go (arthritis) and I dropped it on the ground and it shattered.

Thursday, we went to the library for another magic show

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cloth Diaper Trial

A lot of people I know on Facebook cloth diaper. I've been kind of curious. But with working full time outside of the home and only getting to the laundry on the weekends, cloth diapers were not an option. But then when DS started day care and they would send his clothes that had poop in it just wrapped in a paper. I had to shout it and wash his clothes when I got home from work. I decided maybe I could do cloth diapers, but after we moved. I did not think the daycare did cloth diapers and I did not want to bother with that since they had other children to take care of.
I placed a query on facebook and a friend mentioned a website called Jillian's Drawers. This site offers a 21 day trial. You pay $150 up front, but if you decide you don't think cloth diapers are for you, you return everything and are reimbursed for the diapers, except for shipping and $10. Not a bad deal. The deal sends several brands of diapers along with kinds of diapers. They provide pre use instructions and the website has a lot of helpful information from how to clean the diapers to how many one would need. Shipping was very quick too.
I received the following items:
2 OsoCozy Indian Prefolds
2 OsoCozy Better Fit Unbleached Prefolds
Snappi Diaper Fastener
Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper
Thirsties Duo Wrap
bumGenius v4.0 One-Size Pocket Diaper w/ Inserts
Rumparooz One-Size Diaper w/Inserts
FuzziBunz Elite One-Size Pocket w/Inserts
Smartiepants One-Size Pocket Diaper
bumGenius! Freetime Diaper
5 Flushable liners

The first one we tried was the bumGenius! Freetime Diaper. The insert is actually attached to the diaper, so everything is just one piece. This diaper seemed to be pretty easy to use. It has velcro fasteners, which I've heard people say they don't like, but they seemed easy to use. I guess that after a while, the velcro loses its hold, but they make replacement velcro that you can purchase. I'm not a seamstress, so I don't know if I will buy velcro or just a new diaper.

The next diaper we tried and used through the night was the Rump-A-Rooz. It came with two inserts. I read that for sleeping, it is best to use two inserts. It made his diaper look bulky, but he was not bothered by it. He actually does not care what he's wearing... he'd probably prefer nothing, but that's not happening. This diaper has the snaps instead of the velcro. The snaps are easy to use, but take a little work than the velcro with a wriggly baby The diaper worked overnight, no leaks in our bed!

In the morning, I put the FuzziBunz on DS. I knew he was due for a poop, so I placed the flushable liner in the diaper as well. The flushable liner seemed a bit too big, but I folded it in a bit. I later found a YouTube video where a lady actually cuts one liner into thirds and they fit longer and her stash lasts longer.  He had his poopy and I was a bit worried because there was poop on the regular liner. I flushed the poop and soaked the diaper in the toilet to get the other cling ons. And then I rinsed the diaper in the sink and threw it in the wash. On another video, when the lady was showing how to dispose of the poop, there was poop on the reusuable liner, so I knew the flushable one worked.  Because DS is mostly breastfed, his poop is still runny instead of solid.

After his morning constitution, I put on the other bumGenius diaper, the bumGenius 4.0. This one was easy to use, just like the other one, except I had to place the liners inside. And because it has the velcro, it's like using a regular diaper.

Next up was the Smartipants. It too came with two liners. It has the snaps, but again, very easy to use.

For nighttime, I used the OsoCozy Better Fit prefold. These ones are a bit shorter than the other pre-folds and will fit the diaper better. I also had the Thirsties Duo Wrap on the outside. At first, the prefold bunched in the back, but I readjusted it because I did not want to wake up to a wet bed. The diaper lasted all night with no leaks. It was kind of hard to get the prefold to fit into the wrap, but it might have been because DS was uncooperative, but we got it to work. The Thristies has velcro so it was easy to put on.

In the morning, I tried the last sample, the Kissaluvs. It was just a cloth and so I placed the Thirsties Duo Wrap over it. DS had his morning poop. I decided not to use the flushable liner. I dumped the poop in the toilet (beans from the day before) and soaked the diaper in the toilet for a few minutes. I then rinsed the diaper and washed it.

As I am writing this blog entry, I notice the bumGenius FreeTime is coming off DS, I don't know if he pulled the velcro of I did not put the diaper on snug enough... oh well, he needed to be changed anyways.

I have placed an order for a few more diapers, since I only have enough to last a day, which means I have been doing a lot of washing! I like them all, but I did order more bumGenius since they were having a sale. I do like the kissaluvs, so I ordered some wraps. I will order more Kissaluvs when finances allow it.

So all in all, cloth diapering is not as difficult as I thought it would be. DS seems content. I think DH may have me change the poopy diapers until he feels comfortable... but it took a while for him to eat organic, and once he did, he liked it better!

Burgers and Frozen Custard

One of the hard things when moving to an new area is finding new favorite places to eat.  Back in Virginia, we had our favorite Mexican,  Sushi, pizza, etc places.

So far, we enjoy the burgers and frozen custard from Culver's. Wish we could find a frozen yogurt place, but not a big deal right now.  The burgers are pretty good and we like the crinkle cut fries. They make fresh frozen custard in each of the stores.  They have the regular chocolate and vanilla and then a third Flavor of the Day. DD usually gets a free custard with her kid's meal and I usually get one to eat with her. I usually get the chocolate. I did try the orange creamsicle and liked that one.

For pizza, we got a flier in the mail for a place called Topper's. The pizza concoctions looked interesting like Mac and Cheese and Taco. They also have sweet chili hot wings which are pretty good. And they have the garlic butter dipping sauce that a certain chain that we have not been to in a long time carries. We boycott that particular chain.

As for Chinese... we found a place that we won't be going to again. It looked neat and had a fancy sign. But they prided themselves on serving all sorts of Asian cuisine, which can mean a mess. It's nice, we've found, when a place has a small menu because they then can put their time and heart into a meal. So, anyways, I got the fried duck and DH got the pepper steak. I'm not sure if the duck was cooked properly, since I've never really had it, but it was edible. But they butchered the pepper steak.

And we are on the quest for a Mexican place.  We've been told that although there are quite a few restaurants, the best ones are in an area referred to little Mexico or something like that.  We saw a place called Jalepeno Loco. We walked in an the host was a blonde white boy... that was our first sign to turn around... but we decided to stay since everyone needs a job. They bring us salsa and OMG (hello VA folks) there was no white stuff! The chips tasted kind of stale, at first I thought it was because DD was dipping her chips in the salsa, licking off the salsa, and placing the chip back in the bowl. I decided to get a chip from the bottom of the bowl... yeah, they were stale! I ordered nachos with pulled pork for myself and a side of rice for DD. DH tried some sort of sampler. While the pork was good, they sure were skimpy on the chips for the nachos and half of them were burnt. DH said the rice and his dish was not good at all. And since they don't do refills (who doesn't do refills?) we opted for water. This is a place we won't be returning to.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day at the Improv

This week was somewhat the same as last week. Had our time in the pool and went to the library.

I ordered a balance bike for DD on Sunday and it arrived on Tuesday!  She was very excited. I got her the bubbilicious since she likes pink and it was cheaper than just getting a neutral one.  DS can get his own when the time comes.
Li'l Shark Boy 

Monday we ran a few errands and then went swimming.

Tuesday, we went to story time as usual. It was not as crowded as the first week.  But it was so hot! I decided that we would not go with the group to the park afterwards. So after the story was read, we went back inside so DD could turn in her reading log (200 hours), get her prizes, and check out a few more books. She checked out a book by the author of The Runaway Dinner called The Pencil. It had a lot of the same characters.

On Wednesday, we decided to get in the pool in the morning. We had an incident. DD wanted to wear a life vest and her tube. I said she could go to the steps as I was putting DS into his float... I look over and she is in the water and her face is in because the vest and tube are making her top half of her body go in the water. I had to run and get her.  There was a teenage boy setting up his towel and never offered help... I'll leave it as a teenager thing and not a rude neighbor thing.  So we took her vest off (it was the one causing her to go face forward) and she was happy again.  After the pool, we had lunch and took a nice long nap.

Thursday, we set out for the library. I get to the garage and put the library books in when a lady tells me that the garage door is broken (she had to take a cab to get where she was going). So I called the property management to fix it. There was a piece broken, I guess I could have lifted it, but it's heavy. So we went back upstairs. I let the kids play with finger paint instead. The kids had fun with that. We have a deck that I set up the easel and paper so the house did not get paint all over it.  We used the packing paper. When DH came home, we went out to dinner, because I did not want to be stuck in the house.

Friday, we made it to the library, to check out books. Of course, DD turned in her reading record (another 200 hours) and re-checked out The Runaway Dinner! She checked out 13 books this time. She loves story time.

So, although, the week did not go according to plan, we had a great time.