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Versatile Blogger Award Winner!

After taking a ridiculously long hiatus I was happy to come back and find that there was still somebody reading my blog! I was even more excited when I found out that I was nominated for a award, which I am happy to accept.

Thanks to Pamela over at Stories of a Mom for not only sticking with me, but for giving me a Versatile Blogger Award!

Official Rules of the Award

1) Thank the award-giver(s) and link back to them in your post.
2) Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
3) Give this award to up to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
4) Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

About Me:

  1. Being a mom AND a wife has made me a better person.
  2. I believe every woman deserves to be in a happy relationship – one where both partners offer each other love, support, understanding, friendship, and teamwork.
  3. Becoming a full-time stay at home mom was quite an adjustment for me.
  4. I love that a date night for me and the hubby is catching up on our favorite television shows, snuggling, and snacks.
  5. I sometimes daydream about what my boys will be when they grow up, who they will be, and where life will take them.
  6. I miss my family EVERY SINGLE DAY that we are away from them, but as much as I miss them I LOVE where we are and the the life we are creating.
  7. I enjoy spending my downtime reading magazines, cooking, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and crafting.

I would like to award:

  1. Styleberry
  2. mcbabybump
  3. The Carters Family
  4. Boy Mom Blog
  5. Babies, Design & Food
  6. Me, Myself, and Mi Familia
  7. Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch
  8. The Hughs Zoo
  9. The Janner Triplets
  10. The “J” Crew
  11. Ruesch Love
  12. Brooke and Michael
  13. theloflands
  14. Joy’ Hope
  15. My Life in the Making

These are the blogs that I find to be interesting, and fun! I hope you can pop on over and visit them as well.

Project 52:1 | Boy World

I have decided to participate in a Project 52. After being inspired (again!) by my favorite blog Styleberry. My goal is to choose one picture every week  that follows the theme that I have chosen. In the end I hope to have a well-rounded collection of not just pictures, but memories our little boys. I’m very excited about it, because instead of having just another collection of pictures it will tell a story. I wanted to pick a theme that would be versatile, and fun, but would also give a glimpse into my day to day. Boy World is my life – always has been. I’m the only girl on both sides of my family, so growing up was full of mud, stink, food, and blood. Who would have thought that I am  still the little bit of pink estrogen in the “man cave” that is my own home? Along with my husband we have our two handsome boys, and our dog Eddie which means Mama is very well taken care of by her boys, and even with all the crazy I wouldn’t have it any other way! So we begin the weekly glimpse into all of the fun that is BOY WORLD!

They are so easy to entertain as long as you don’t mind rolling around on the floor and getting slobbered on! It is loud and often hard to breath when you get caught underneath it all, but nothing makes them light up more than the idea of their Dad and Mom acting like little kids too. Then again nothing makes us light up more than being smothered by kisses from our boys – this time was Daddy’s turn!

If you are interested in seeing other blogs that are doing Project 52s see below. I’ll continue to link as I find them.

Styleberry ~ The Carter Family ~ McBaby Bump ~ LucasandMahina

Alive and Well

I’M STILL ALIVE I PROMISE!

I have been slacking. I got caught up with our move and unpacking, and then the holidays were here and well the rest is history. Nonetheless, it is a new year and I have new plans. Along with more posts I hope to add some pretty cool projects. Please stay tuned later this week!

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy

I have always had a love affair with food, and not always the healthy kind. I don’t believe in skipping meals. I always have snacks. I don’t do diets, but I try to do moderation and variety. Having children has made me pay more attention to the food I bring into the house and how I prepare it. I spend one day every other week planning a two week menu, going through sales ads, writing up a grocery list, and finalizing everything before I head off to two grocery stores and the farmer’s market all to ensure that we are enjoying what we are eating, have healthy options on hand, and of course are getting a good deal.

Breakfast is usually cereal, oatmeal, or eggs. On the weekends we do bigger breakfasts when Felix is home, because he’s a big breakfast guy (and it doesn’t hurt that he cooks it haha) typically pancakes, french toast, or waffles. Lunch is PB&J, sandwiches, wraps, quesedillas – something quick, served with a fruit, a veggie, and raisins or graham crackers. Snacks are almost always fruit or veggies. Every now and then they will be a yogurt or some goldfish. Regardless of what’s being served I always try and offer a fruit or a vegetable. One of the proudest Mommy moments was when Dylan was presented with a french fry or a carrot stick at a birthday party and he chose the carrot stick! It even surprised me to be honest. I am a big believer in only making one meal for dinner. Dylan is served exactly what we are served, and now that Tillman is starting proteins he will also be eating what we eat more consistently, in a much smoother form obviously. From the beginning I have made my own baby food. I feel that babies at an early age learn to appreciate the intigirity of the food if they are given the opportunity to enjoy fresh, wholesome ingredients – jarred carrots do not taste as clean, and light as fresh carrots and jarred peas are not as sweet as fresh peas. I also make it a point to mix complementary foods to help open their palatte too. I take one afternoon a week, and I make and freeze Tillman’s food, making meal times as easy as popping the cubes in the microwave – done! I found this site via Styleberry that I love to refer to for questions and ideas with baby food making. Styleberry also has some great tips on baby food making and portions, as well as some yummy quick recipes like her pizza rolls she has shared. Just more Mamas helping Mamas which I love!!

At the same time if there is reason that you can’t make your own food don’t feel guilty about it. Make a few things here and there or do something simple like a mashed up banana and avocado every other day. Every little bit helps, and when choosing baby food do your research look into the organic brands like Earth’s Best. When we travel I will use Plum Organics and mix it in with a fruit that is easily mashable. They even offer these nifty little spoons that make traveling so easy! Only do what you can do, because adding stress only makes everything worse!

I feel the biggest keys are variety, and starting early. If several different foods are introduced in the beginning then they may be more inclined to be open-minded about food choices as they get older. Some other things that I have learned to be true, especially with toddlers and preschoolers, are that texture and size make a big difference and if they don’t like it cooked one way try cooking it another. For example, Dylan prefers his meats (pork chops, steak, chicken, whichever) to be cut up into bite-sized pieces or he won’t eat them. He also isn’t crazy about broccoli raw, but he’ll chow it down if it’s steamed. All I have asked of Dylan is to try everything, if he doesn’t like it it is fine, but he has to try it, and then usually I’ll offer it again a few weeks after maybe he’ll like it then. We also try not to say, “Yuck” or “Eww” when we see or don’t like a food because they learn these reactions from us, and if they just copy us they don’t make up their own mind about that particular food.

It definitely is a little trial and error, but it doesn’t always have to be stressful. Make meal time fun for them, which makes less stress for you. Tillman is a very noisy baby, and is very attached to me so while I am cooking I put him in his high chair with a couple of spoons in the kitchen with me so he can see what I’m doing. Usually their is music playing while I cook, so we’ll sing and dance during dinner preparations, or I’ll talk him through what I am doing and him touch and smell the fruits and vegetables we are cooking with. I will let Dylan help put the toppings on our pizza, or let him help toss the salad. He enjoys helping and is always so eager to eat what he’s helped with! There is also some obsession kids have with dips. Salsas, dressings, ketchup, cream cheese, peanut butter whatever they like give them some fruit and veggies and let them dip away! I don’t mind ranch dressing if he’s eating tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots with it. Dylan is doing his independence thing right now, and I have found that giving him choices helps out too. Make sure both options are healthy choices, “Do you want the grapes or the strawberries?” Bottom line is I will never give the boys something that I wouldn’t eat myself, and I want to make their relationship with food a fun and healthy one so that they can enjoy carrots and cake and not just carrot cake, and certainly there is nothing wrong with the occasional burger and fries.

Below is a little peek into dinner for us. I made a Autumn Chopped Salad (shared by my dear friend, Carolyn)but I added chicken to make it a full meal, and used walnuts instead of pecans. It is amazing! Dylan doesn’t prefer a lot of lettuce, so I modified his a little bit which is what I do if salad is being served as the main course. I’ll leave out the lettuce, and serve the other ingredients separately. If salad is the side I just give him a few pieces of lettuce and lots of the other veggies. Tillman’s is the same as Dylan’s, chicken, pears, and peaches (no ketchup and cheese) pureed. I even had some leftover for Felix’s lunch the next day! Enjoy 🙂

Macgyver Mom

We’ll it happened again – motherhood has allowed for very little time, and I have been unable to post in such a long time!  We went home to Colorado in early July to visit and it has taken every bit of the last month to get things back in order and get out of the “vacation” mindset. The boys handled the 40 hour round trip drive as good as can be expected, and we only added an hour extra each travel day for diaper changes, and dog walking (yes we also took our dog). We had an amazing time, but as always with kids there was a funny story to share.

First I wanted to let everyone know that we successfully cloth diapered throughout the whole vacation! Four days of traveling by car, two nights in a hotel, and seven days split between three locations.  It took some planning but wasn’t a big deal. We used the Grovia system while on the road, and went back to our Fuzzibunz once we were in Colorado.  No messes in the car, no diaper rash, no packing cases of diapers, no problems at all.

This story of mine consists of baby wipes, Fabreeze, a breast pad and a comb – Macgyver Mom to the rescue.

One of the reason we had went home was so my husband could re-enlist his mom. She is also in the Air Force. It was a very special occasion, and a very rare one at that. The photographer on base has been taking pictures of re-enlistment ceremonies for 15 years and had never seen a mother/son one, so it was very cool. Julie, my mother-in-law had invited her close friends and co-workers, including a three star general she worked for and his wife. Bottom line there were several people we hadn’t seen in awhile and several important people to meet.  Side note – this was also the first time I was officially an “Air Force wife” as opposed to a girlfriend (there’s a huge difference as you know if you have an experience with the military, regardless of how much time you have been a girlfriend).

We shuttle through the building to the room where the ceremony takes place all seven of us along with a hyper three year old and a stroller. Imagine a maze with narrow hallways, no idea where you’re going and everything looking the same. In addition to all this maneuvering Julie, bless her heart, wants to introduce us to everyone along the way as well – more small offices and more stop and go.

We make it to the room. Felix and Julie are making their rounds talking with the guests. I get Dylan situated with snacks and toys, and Tillman has decided to wake up. Now I will tell you I had help. Aaron and Noel, my brother and sister-in-law are always more than willing to help, but as the moms will understand, when they’re your kids you’re always worried. I also gotten used to Felix and I doing things on our own, so sometimes I even forget to ask for help.

Tillman begins getting fussy, and whining. Dylan’s with Aaron and Noel. Felix comes over to make sure everything is okay. I was hoping Tillman would sleep through most of it, but no luck so I pick him up out of his car seat.

Imagine in slow motion: Mom reaches out to pick up baby. She pulls baby up to her. Baby reaches a vertical position and when inches away from Mom PROJECTILE VOMITS! Three separate times.

The ceremony hasn’t started. I just parked the stroller, we are settled in the front of the room, and I haven’t even met or said hi to anyone yet.

Felix stares in awe, and reaches to grab him to which I say, “Don’t touch him! I don’t need you getting dirty too!” Okay let’s be honest I probably snapped at him both of those comments. Once Tillman is done I set him down and clean his face. Lucky for him there was nothing on his clothes. Of course! I on the other hand am covered from my neck down. The only positive was that the dress I was wear was in a pattern that camouflaged the mess. I tried to be as discreet as possible while I handled it, and cleaned up with the above items. Baby wipes to clean the mess itself, although there wasn’t much hope for my dress, which had a silk liner on the inside that was now sticking to me. A breast pad was used to dry the mess that the wipes left. A comb was to brush out my hair that was also caught in the line of fire, and Fabreeze was to cover the spoiled milk smell that now was making me sick.

I had to sit through the whole ceremony, and lunch after in my “throw up” dress, wondering if the chemicals in Fabreeze would bother my skin or my brain more. I also made it a point to not get to close to any of the guest, so they wouldn’t recognize the smell that they use to freshen up their living room with. Thankfully, I didn’t have to say “Oh that no it’s not Chanel No. 5 that’s clean laundry scent.”

Just another eventful day in the life of a Mom. Moral of the story: Always have an emergency kit fully of seemingly ridiculous items on hand, in the diaper bag, purse, or car. Do not waste your time buying dry clean only pieces of clothing because the one time you decide it’s okay to wear them they will be put to the test and NEVER let your guard down because the minute you let your guard down…

Looks like Tillman’s saying, “Mom, I can smell you over here.”

Tickets for Two

We found out via our mom’s group that our local theatre was showing children’s movies at 10am, two days a week for $1 throughout the summer, which I find to be great! Gives the kids something to do and offers the parents with more options as well. Not only was I excited about Dylan being able to see some of his favorite movies on a big screen, but I was also stoked because I didn’t have to stress over Dylan maybe talking too loud or Tillman maybe being a little fussy every now and then. After all it was an early show and it was specific to kids. I was excited and fully prepared for there to be talking, crunching, running, and some occasional crying.

Dylan loves movies, and used to go all the time with Felix and I when he was a baby. He slept through Sex and the City, Tropic Thunder and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Once he got older though and became a little more antsy we became movie renters instead of goers. Our new favorite thing that works for us with both boys is the drive in. We get to watch two movies for the price of one, bring our own snacks, and the boys can fall asleep at will. I decided the kids showings were the perfect opportunity to try a trip to the theatre.

We arrived a little late since the boys decided to sleep in, but were able to wiggle our way into some seats. Dylan sat high on his booster seat, crunching on his popcorn, and laughing away at Marmaduke. He did amazing, but it was a little sad to see him act so grown up. He even told the little boy in front of him who kept standing on his seat, “Excuse me please.” I was a very proud Mama. Tillman was a little rough to start with. He didn’t like that it was a little dark and he couldn’t see everyone. He’s nosey like that I suppose. I walked him around a little near our seats to put him to sleep and once I returned to my seat Dylan whispered, “Mom how are you doing?” He was very sweet, and patient. He also would periodically feed me popcorn (just one) ever so often, since I was holding Tillman and “didn’t have arms.”

All went well, and it was a success! As I’m packing our stuff up to head out I overheard two older woman sans kids complaining about the kid next to one of them kicking the seat, and how the didn’t understand why moms would bring babies yada, yada. Umm…hello are we supposed to leave the babies at home or stay locked in our houses until our children can walk, talk, and stay out of the way? Sure there was a little girl, maybe about one, who was fussy through most of it, but so what! Her mom was handling it and it was a movie specifically shown for the kids. I chose to take the “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” approach and walked away, but man I wanted to scream, “Stop being cheap and go see a movie that’s not entirely shown to small children.” Nonetheless, I didn’t let it ruin our day and both boys had a great time. We’re definitely going the rest of the summer!

Operation: Don’t Burn the House Down

Last week I got hit by a brick wall out of nowhere – a migraine struck around 11am. Dun, dun, dun. Meaning I was on my own for at least six more hours until Felix came home. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t have a history of them, which makes them even harder to deal with. It struck when I had the boys playing outside toys all over, heat beating down, sunlight in my eyes. I packed up everything and everyone as soon as I could and headed inside. In the time it took me to make Dylan and myself lunch I was in tears, and it hurt to blink. I tried to make myself eat and drink thinking maybe that would help, and it made me so sick, since I was already nauseous. Dylan was now finishing up an episode of SpongeBob, and let me say that obnoxious laugh is a million times worse with a migraine.

I rushed Dylan off to bed once his cartoon finished even though he had some of his lunch left.  After putting Tillman in his crib and hoping the little he had just ate would last at least an hour, I finally crawled into bed and tried so hard to calm down so I could go to sleep. This is when it turned into one of those awful “how does that even happen” moments…again!

I was dozing off to sleep finally able to get past the pounding in my head, and Tillman started fussing. I reluctantly opened my eyes, and even though I had closed the shades in hopes of shutting off the sun it still was agony. I pulled him into bed with me to stuff him full, and not even five minutes after we settle in he throws up! All over himself, my duvet, my pillow, and me. All I could think was, “Why NOW!?”

I don’t know how I made it through a diaper and clothes change for Tillman, stripping and putting my bedding to wash, and changing myself without throwing up and my eyes falling out of my head, but we managed just barely. I was able to get Tillman back down, suck up all the tears I had cried and finally get to sleep, and those two little adorable terrors slept two whole hours, and I slept right along with them.

I woke with a severe headache, but the worst was over. Unfortunately, since I was out of commission for most of the day my house practically fell apart. All I asked of the boys was to not burn the house down, which I monitored from a fetal position on the couch for several hours. The house was still standing at the end of the day, but my goodness can things get out of hand! Luckily, I have a very understanding husband because it took every bit of the next 24 hours to catch up. Who knew? It does make me feel a little important though to know so much of our daily lives depend on me. Who says being a stay at home mom is easy? I used to until I became one. How about that for a big piece of humble pie!