Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On it today!

11/23
Tricare. Yes, even with the headaches it can cause and the crazy rules it has, I am immensely thankful for our healthcare. Because of Tricare, we're not having to pay anything for my prenatal care, for L&D, or for whatever the baby needs when he gets here. I know that a lot of new parents have to figure out how, even with insurance, they're going to pay for the hospital stay. Considering that a normal vaginal delivery costs between $9,000-$17,000 (without insurance--see how much those companies are paying?!?!?), it's crazy! We don't have to worry about it. I've gotten good care at the hospital on Elmendorf, yes, a few things are different than the civilian world (I'm not seen as often is the biggest one, but honestly, that's ok with me since we're both doing ok), but I don't feel like I'm being slighted on care.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I know I'm a slacker!

11/16
Phones. More specifically, cell phones. We don't have a landline since the last time we had one (when we lived here before) the only calls we got were either 1) telemarketers 2) places wanting donations 3) bill collectors for the people who had the number prior to us. (What I really hated most was 3....it was very difficult to make them believe us that we had NO idea who those people were or where they were!) Being thousands of miles away from family, it's so great to be able to pick up the phone and call. I just have to keep the 3 hour time difference in mind!! S

11/17
Ultrasound technology. We (meaning Munchkin and I--Daddy couldn't get out of work) got to go see Brother today. From what I understand (and knowing that the techs aren't allowed to really answer anything), everything is going along fine. He does have a big head, but so did Munchkin! (apparently it runs in the family!) It's so nice to be able to see him and lessen the chances of some major surprises at delivery time! I know it's not perfect, but it's better than nothing! My only complaint? My super uncooperative child refused to let us get a good picture of him!

11/18
The Alaska Zoo. We got a membership (Thanks, Mom!) when we moved back here. We haven't been since right before Halloween, and with the crazy cold weather, we may not go TOO much in the near future, but it's still one of our favorite things about Anchorage. It's an amazing zoo. It's pretty small compared to the two zoos I grew up around (Dallas and Fort Worth), but so great. It's small enough that you can spend quite a bit of time at each animal and not be there ALL day. What makes us really love this zoo though, is that most of their animals are rescues. Not all of them are, but most of them are there because they were found orphaned or injured and cannot be safely released back into the wild. They're there for the animals, not the money. I'm thankful that there are people out there that want these animals to live happy, healthy lives and educate people about them and their habitats.

11/19
The ability to make a special nursery for our little guy. We started painting (and boy, am I glad it's a small room!!) and I'm so excited to get it all done and ready for his arrival next month! I know that not every family has the room to have a room for each kid and I'm so thankful that we don't have to worry about the kids sharing a room!

11/20
Photography. We had our maternity/family pictures done today. Munchkin made a few interesting, but I knew that she wasn't going to be the most super cooperative anyway! Professional portraits or snapshots...it's amazing to be able to capture our lives this way!

11/21
The fact that I need to clean, the laundry that needs done, the dinners that need to be made....for this all means that we have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and food for our bodies.

11/22
Our big bed. Between having an achy belly (my lower abs are NOT my favorite friends right now!) and the type of heartburn I get, getting comfortable enough to sleep is hard. Add in a whole bunch of pillows (including my Boppy Body pillow), and I can generally be ok. If our bed was any smaller, poor M would be out of room!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So much for keeping up!

11/9
Lightning. No, not the electric flashes in the sky, but our super sweet dog. He turned six this year and his age has been starting to show for awhile. Thankfully we've found some remedies that have been helping him physically, since he still thinks he's a little puppy. He's so amazing with Munchkin, he did growl at her last week but she did jump and throw herself on him when he was sleeping, so it wasn't an aggressive growl, but a surprised, "what the heck was that?!" growl.
Even though when Daddy is home, he acts like I don't exist, and when he isn't, he spends most of his time sleeping on the couch to store up his energy for when he IS home, I love him just the same. He's been an amazing member of our family for the past six years (he was 7/8 weeks old when we adopted him) and I'm incredibly thankful to have been blessed with the love of a dog.

11/10
Today is my sister and brother-in-law's 10th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful for them for so many reasons. One--without them, there wouldn't be my niece and nephew! That has to be more than enough explanation! I think I could go on and on about it all, but I'm just going to leave it somewhat concise. Here's to many more decades!!

11/11
Like most other Americans, today I'm reminded to be especially thankful for the brave men and women who serve in the military. I'm thankful for each and every one of them everyday, of course, and it's closer to the surface for me since I am an Army wife, but today, as a country, we all say "Thank you." To the people who have left their lives and families behind for the rest of us. To the ones who didn't get to come home again. So to all of the people who have written that blank check that includes their life to Uncle Sam, thank you.

11/12
Being able to read books. I got a Kindle for my birthday and I've been burning through books left and right. With the free bestseller list, I've read books I never would have even heard of before. Some good, some not so good, some down right bad...but I read them! Then of course there are the classics that I've been able to read. (I just finished "Water for Elephants"....yes, it's worth the hype and I'm hoping that the movie does it justice!)

11/13
Long weekends!! Due to Veteran's Day on Friday, Mark got a 4 day weekend. Munchkin was all over him all weekend, she LOVES having so much Daddy time!

11/14
A husband that doesn't mind grocery shopping. I don't know why, but I seriously detest grocery shopping. One of the things I dread about deployments is having to make all of the grocery trips! (There are many things that are much higher on the dread scale, but still, this makes the list!) AND he even braved the commissary on a holiday that was also payday for everyone who banks with USAA. Seriously, that's like Black Friday shopping craziness. Yet he came home with a smile on his face! I would've been a stressed-out grump!!! He's my hero for so many reasons, and this is definitely one of them!

11/15
Good customer service. I was told by my OB that she wanted me to get an ultrasound to check on Baby. No reason to be worried, she just wants to see how he's doing. I guess that because the hospital is so busy, the radiology clinic doesn't do prenatal ultrasounds other than the 20 week anatomy scan, so I she referred me off post. TriWest actually got the referral done in two days!! Wow. The office I'm going to had an amazing receptionist and we'll get to see our little guy on Thursday!!!! Glad to know that there are places that still realize that customers are people!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Catching up!

Amazingly enough, I'm actually getting this done today!

11/8
I'm thankful for being able to go to Curves. I'll hit my 100th workout at Curves next week. There's actually more than that, but this is counting from last Thanksgiving (when I signed up the latest time). There were a couple months this year that I couldn't go due to lack of childcare, so I should have hit this milestone sooner, but better late than never, right? Curves has helped me get on the track to get in shape and I know that it'll help when it comes to labor and delivery! It's easy enough that even on 'bad' days, I know I can do it, but challenging enough, especially with CurvesSmart, that I know I'm getting a good workout in. The ladies there are great, they make a good program a great place.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Triple threat!

I'm really bad about updating daily...oh well, such is life!

11/5
I'm thankful for friends. We went to celebrate a friend's daughter's first birthday today. Her actual birthday isn't until early December, but her Daddy is deploying and may or may not be here for it, and her Grandma and Aunt were visiting, so it only made sense for them to celebrate early. Munchkin likes to play with her and even tried to say her name...but of course her favorite part was exclaiming, "CAKE!". It was a great afternoon spent with friends for us and her...and one of the guests was a little 4 month old boy, Munchkin LOVED looking at the baby and did not like when he cried at all! It was great to catch a glimpse of her big sister self!

11/6
I'm thankful for the snow. Yes, you read that correctly. This Texas girl is totally ok with multiple feet of snow for multiple months now. I may be slightly less enthusiastic about it come March, heck, even January--mainly because then I'll be wrangling Munchkin AND a newborn through the snow, but there is even too much of a good thing. What's changed my mind, you may ask. Munchkin. This is the first time she's been able to play in the snow. There's not much for a 2-6 month old to do in the snow, so she didn't get to 'enjoy' her first winter in Alaska, then she had a good Southern winter last year. She LOVES the snow so much. She loves getting her snow suit on, which is so nice that she's cooperative in such a long, involved process! Watching her discover the new ways to play outside, explore how snow "works" and how she can manipulate it is so precious. Kiddos definitely change the way you view the world!!

11/7
I'm thankful for my awesome husband. He does so much to take care of us. Example: This morning, after it snowing like CRAZY last night--huge flakes, coming down fast...gorgeous to watch, not so gorgeous to clean up in the morning!--he not only cleaned off his car to be able to go to work (the only thing he HAD to do), he also cleaned off my car, AND shoveled the driveway! Granted, it was still snowing pretty hard so it doesn't look like he did much, but there's that much less on my car should I need to clean it off to leave today. He's given me death glares if I so much as think of shoveling any of the snow, as much as I really wouldn't mind helping clear off the driveway and deck, it's off limits. (Again, he's trying to make sure that both me and baby are ok!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another two-fer!

11/3
I'm thankful for Munchkin!! She's a handful, but aren't all 2 year olds? She's sweet, funny, smart...all the wonderful things she needs to be!!! She's also stubborn and picky. I love those things about her too! She's just recently learned the concept of "saying sorry" and if you say "Ow", she immediately responds with "Sowwy" as many times as she needs to before you tell her that you're ok. She gives kisses to owies, she gives hugs and kisses to Brother, she's starting to say "Love you" back to us. She's also resisting nap time, being stubbornly and sometimes infuriatingly independent, and occasionally having super duper grumpy moods. Still, an amazing little girl who I'm incredibly thankful to be able to be her Mama.

11/4
I'm thankful for Fridays. I know, aren't we all? Some might think "What does Friday matter for a SAHM like you?"...well, it's not that *I* look forward to Fridays so much, it's that M gets off earlier on Fridays, so that means more Daddy/Daughter time, which they both LOVE--so I love it too! Plus Friday starts the weekend and generally, M gets the full weekend so we have lots of family time! So maybe, it's not so much that I'm thankful for Fridays, but I'm thankful for family time. What I really can't wait for is when we're able to spend time as a family of 4!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's that time of year again!!!

I can't believe it's November already! Thanks to some friends on facebook, I remembered the 'thankful' posts from last year. I want to make this a yearly thing, but the fact that it's November was lost on me! So today it'll be a 2-for-1!!

11/1
I'm thankful for M's job switch. Everything it changes, everything it means for him, his career, our family....it's just amazing. It means he doesn't have to walk away from Munchkin for a year...she doesn't even like him leaving for work every day! He doesn't have to miss out on our son's first year either, which is amazing! I think that's the biggest thing I'm thankful for this year, simply because it's what impacts our family the most!!

11/2
I'm thankful for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Today was another prenatal checkup and with some of my "normal" things, they wanted more monitoring just to be safe--and I heard the best words out of a nurse's mouth: "Your baby is doing absolutely fabulous!" I slipped on the stairs last night after putting Munchkin to bed, I only bounced down one or two steps on my rear, so baby probably thought we were going for a joy ride, but it was still extra reassuring to know that everything's going ok in there!! (And yes, my doctor agreed with me that waiting til my appointment today was the right thing since there was no bleeding or sign of labor and he kept up his usual evening acrobatics.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


A word that always makes me laugh is _________________ .
I can't really think of one off the top of my head, but pretty much any word becomes hilarious to me if I say it enough! There comes a point where it stops sounding like a real word with a real meaning!
If you looked in my refrigerator right now, the oldest thing you’d find would be _________________ .
Probably some condiment...we cleaned out the fridge last week.
If I were written about in the newspaper today, on the front page, the headline would say_________________ .
Pregnant woman makes getting off the couch look like an Olympic event.
The last movie I saw was _________________ .
I watched part of The Village during naptime yesterday. Most of it, actually. The last movie I watched all the way through was The Lion King last week. It's one of Munchkin's new favorites (not to mention one of Mark's all-time favorites!)
The best thing that happened to me in the last few weeks was _________________ .
The news that Mark got a different position here!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


I always feel like I’m
_________________ years old, but in reality, I’m_________________ .
I still don't feel like a 'grown-up', I kinda wonder if I ever will. Heck, I'm married (for 5 years!), have a 2 year old, and have another baby on the way. I've done cross country moves and found a house by myself online and arranged everything for it over the phone and through emails. Pretty grown-up stuff, right? I still feel like I'm a little kid playing house though. In reality, I turned 25 this year.

I wish my family understood better when I tell them _________________ . 
I got really lucky in the family department. They've been there for me and supported me through it all--even when some of my decisions were a little crazy. So I don't really have anything that comes to mind to say I wish they'd understood better--if they didn't understand well, they hid it well and supported me anyway!

If you saw me when I _________________ , you’d think I was a total girly-girl, but if you saw me when _________________ , you’d think I was a tomboy through-and-through.
I can channel my inner girly-girl diva, but don't often because 1) it's a lot of work to do my hair and make-up and 2) I rarely feel like I have a time that requires that much time/energy. The tom-boy in me comes out whenever it's needed! Mom & I power-tilled the backyard this summer and prepared it to lay sod. That tom-boy sure comes in handy sometimes!!

I feel like I’m in a totally different universe when _________________ .
I'm reading. Cliche, I know, but I can really lose myself in a good book. Not bad ones though--I reminded myself of that a couple mornings ago when I woke up early and didn't really feel like getting up, so I grabbed my kindle. Thankfully the book was free, I would've been extremely upset if I'd had to pay for it, but grammatical errors, spelling errors, and general bad writing made the two chapter worth (but was broken into 10 chapters) snippet of a story almost laughable to read. I have found some really good books on the free list though--including the current one I'm reading!!

In honor of this being MFF #60… 60 months ago (exactly 5 years ago, so September 30, 2006) I lived in _________________ and my life was totally different because _________________ .
September 2006 was a great month! I got married that month, so on 9/30/06, I was living in Terre Haute, Indiana. My life was totally different because we weren't an Army family yet!! That wouldn't happen til the next summer! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


My favorite thing that happened this week was
ummm...I can hardly remember what happened this week!! I'll go with Munchkin's smile, "Hi!!!!", hug and kiss in the mornings!
Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll
be a penny richer.
Autumn is officially here and my favorite part of the season is
the leaves. Although for us in Alaska, fall is almost over and we're preparing for snow.
One of the things I’d like to do before winter arrives is get outdoor pictures done. My window of opportunity of them not including snow is rapidly closing!!!
I –would/would not/might– be willing to participate in MilSpouse Secret Santa. (sorry folks, just trying to get an idea here on how many would participate, so please circle/underline/bold one)

Friday, September 9, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


My plans for Labor Day included not much--just getting some family time, but what really happened was Friday--our 5th anniversary! We went to dinner, which was very nice. Saturday we went to the zoo! Sunday & Monday were fun at home days.
Call me crazy, but sometimes I just need to sit in the shower for what seems like forever. Thank goodness for a very good water heater! 
One of the funniest things I’ve seen lately is this article about a drunk moose!
It’s strange, but something normal drives me crazy while something off the wall is perfectly fine with me! (I know..kinda boring right? But really, it's the way pregnant crazy me operates!)
One, two, buckle my shoe… three, four shut the door! (Can't mess with the classics sometimes!!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Such a big girl!!

We've been in the process of weaning Munchkin off of her paci for the past 6 months or so. At the beginning we started taking it away during the day at home, she was allowed to have it in the car and in bed. We got the car to be paci free pretty quick--but it all went out the window on the 13 day trip from LA to AK! I didn't care WHEN she had it, if it was helping her cope, it was helping us ALL cope! Once we got up here it went back to being a bed only item. That was fine. Everyone was ok with it. About two weeks ago I noticed there was a tiny little spot on her paci that was a little nicked. So I started keeping a close eye on it to make sure it didn't become a choking hazard.
Last week it got a hole in the side, but still secure...so ok. I wasn't going to buy her any new paci's, so we were just waiting for this one to die. Two days ago it's torn 3/4 of the way around it--it's now reached choking hazard status. Of course I notice this at nap time (I would look at it before I gave it to her). I told Munchkin to just hold it and not put it in her mouth. I think she put it in her mouth twice and realized that it's REALLY not doing it for her because the suction was gone. She went to sleep quickly--like normal--and once she got up from her nap, I ripped the top all the way off so it was just done.
Bedtime rolls around...I'm prepared for WWIII to break out because of no paci. Daddy insists on keeping her up 15-20 minutes late because they were snuggling so he put her to bed. Fine with me! She put the paci in her mouth once, made a face, and handed it to him. Blew kisses and waved him out the door--just like normal!! It did take her a little longer to actually go to sleep, but she never fussed, cried, or got out of bed. I wanted to do a small little happy dance!!
Yesterday's nap: Oh.my.gosh. There was WWIII I was waiting for. I took her upstairs for nap about 11:45 (which is pretty typical for her to go take a nap about 12 with a 15 minute leeway either way)....she screamed, cried, played, fussed, banged on her door, etc. until she fell asleep about 2. I went to console/comfort her countless times, once I found her in her rocking chair, clutching her comb, almost passed out--we're both happy I caught her when I did because she was about to fall sideways and knock her head on the arm of the chair!! Of course yesterday was the day we had to be somewhere in the afternoon (we got to go look at cloth diapers for the baby!!) but she was surprisingly happy and in a good mood!! I was scared for bedtime....but I didn't need to be. Once she was changed into her pjs, she demanded that I read her a book and then she wanted a book to take to bed. Blew kisses and waved me out the door. Oook.
Today's nap went much smoother than yesterday but not quite as smooth as bedtimes. She protested and cried for a few minutes, but went to sleep quickly and slept well.
So now we're proud to say that Munchkin is paci-free!!! Best part--she's not substituting fingers/thumb! I'm so glad that she's off of the paci by 2 (especially since it'll be about 3 weeks by the time we have her "2 year" checkup) and the doc won't be able to gripe! I'm hoping and crossing fingers that we won't need to use a paci for the baby, but I wasn't planning on Munchkin using one either. So if the kid needs it, we'll use it, but I'm not going to automatically stick one in his mouth!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


The first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is _________________.

"Is Munchkin awake yet?"

Lately, I’ve been craving _________________ because _________________.
Milk and chocolate...because I'm pregnant!

Whenever anyone says the word _________________, it reminds me of my childhood because _________________.
Technically, it's two words, but pool party reminds me of childhood and home because that's what our birthdays were for quite awhile since we had summer birthdays and a pool in the backyard!

The happiest word I know is _________________, but _________________.
"Sure", but only when said by Munchkin (more 'shua') when I ask for a hug!

My spouse may hate it, but I absolutely love _________________.
For the DVD binders to be organized alphabetically by genre. I freely admit my OCD in this area!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


My spouse and I rarely agree on _________________, but always agree on_________________.

Honestly, I know there are a million things we disagree on all the time, but obviously they're not important because I'm having a really hard time remembering it all! We always agree on the big things--the stuff that matters!

If I could use one word to sum up the way I feel right now, it would be _________________.
Sleepy and a little overwhelmed!

One of the things my spouse does that grosses me out is _________________.
Lets the dog lick his toes....ick!

My readers may think I’m crazy for doing this, but I really love to _________________.
Um...nothing interesting comes to mind! Staring at my bookcase reminds me that I need to re-organize it...so maybe I'm a little crazy for loving to have my books and movies organized 'just so', even when everything else is so chaotic!

Frankly, my dear, I don’t _________________.
Care what you think! Fairly on target with the original quote (from one of my favorite books & movies!), but it's true. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Love modern technology!

I do, for a lot of reasons! Today's reason--I'm impatient!! I don't want to wait 10 months (because 40 weeks/4 weeks per month = 10) to find out what my sweet baby is. I waited about 28-30 for Munchkin to be officially declared a girl--she was a modest one!! (And one that HATED ultrasounds or any kind of pressure on her) That was bad enough. Well, today was our 'big' day. Everyone was waiting for 1:15pm AST to come around....of course Daddy's off training so he couldn't witness firsthand, but again, technology made it to where he found out pretty darn quick! First our little one was a little sleepy (after the earlier acrobatics, I can't say I wouldn't be either!) but at least cooperative. When measuring the thigh bone, the tech says "See that? That's a boy!!!" Me: Oh yes, yes that is!!! I'd been thinking boy for awhile, so Mommy intuition is 2 for 2. I'm super excited, although a girl would have been easier in the sense that 1) We've been there, done that when it comes to taking care of a baby girl and 2) We kept almost everything of Munchkin's, so we wouldn't have had to buy much. As it stands, this little guy will be using a pink and brown swing (he's secure enough in his manhood to do that) and we had a few neutral or even flat out 'boy' things for Munchkin that we'll be able to use. I bought him two onesies today, but I'm going to have to make sure I keep that under control! Let me just say that Carter's has the most adorable clothes--for boys AND girls. Now I know what colors of FuzziBunz to not buy (I think there's only two that really scream "Girl" to me, and really, they're diapers. To hold pee and poop. They go under clothes. He'll be ok if he has a purple diaper!) and I'm so excited to really get everything ready for him...even though we have about 19 weeks left! We love you tons already, little guy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Maternity Sewing

I've been eyeing a top from Lilac Clothing--the Bella top but can't really justify $68+shipping on a shirt! Lilac is featured on BabySteals a lot, but since it is such a popular brand, it goes quickly! Also, I'd really like it with long sleeves instead of short! In the wonderful world of google and stumbleupon, I found diymaternity.com. There, she's made a pattern for an extremely similar top! I'm a little afraid though, for a handful of reasons. 1) I need to size it up a bit and I've never done that before. 2) I've never worked with 4 way stretch jersey knit and anything new like that is always a little intimidating. 3) I'd want to make it long sleeved, not just 3/4 length so that's again, altering the pattern when I really have no clue about how to really do it. 4) It's an emailed, downloaded, printed onto 19 sheets of paper, taped together pattern. I've never even done well with traditional patterns, I've done best with online tutorials with LOTS of pictures! (Visual learner here)

I'm intimidated by it all...but I can't wait around TOO long if I really want it, although with the wrapping of it, it's flattering pregnant or not and has great reviews as a nursing top too since it's easy to slide over. Add in a strapless tank top a la Undercover Mama, and bam, an unbeatable nursing combo! I'm sure if it didn't make too much of a V-neck, you could even go without the tank top since it's mainly for when you need to pull a shirt up and don't want to expose your tummy and back. These too are featured on BabySteals, but the crazy craft lady in me says "Why even pay BS prices (plus shipping!) when it's such a simple thing? You can do it yourself!!" So I'm sure I'll attempt that at some point (probably by finding tank tops on super clearance sales and cutting the straps off and attaching the latch/hoop).

THEN, there's yet another pattern by Megan at diymaternity.com--a simple ruched side t-shirt. The scary things about the wrap top pertain to this too...so we'll see!

Friday, August 12, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


The best thing my parents taught me to do when I was a child was that family is important.
However, one thing I wish they did differently was at the time, there were a million things I wish they'd do or not do, but looking back, nothing comes to mind!
One thing I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t is skiing. One of these winters it would be nice to have the opportunity!
One thing I never thought I’d try but I have is
the military life. No clue I'd be living it!!
If I could give my 16-year-old self one piece of advice I’d tell myself that high school drama never ends, but it never matters. It never bothered me that much then, but it'd be 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and ___________________.
He'll be gone all day! I'm glad that I don't have to fight the fishing!

It is amazing what you can accomplish if ___________________.
You have no other choice. Also goes with the quote "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." I don't know who to credit that to, but it's one that many military wives know since it's so true for our lives!

If you can’t stand the heat ___________________.
move to Alaska!! I'm freezing up here...gotta get ready for the cold winter!

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to ___________________.
the tantrums of an almost two year old. Munchkin can be such a little drama queen and things get blown WAY out of proportion sometimes!

Well behaved women seldom ___________________. (thanks This American Wif and Every Branch for this last quote!).
have fun stories! My mom has a magnet that says "Boring women have spotless homes"...by that definition, I'm definitely not boring! I doubt I really qualify for 'well behaved' either--and I think that's a good thing!

My oh my

I haven't had a 'real' post in a couple months! I didn't even keep up with MilSpouse Friday Fill-Ins! PCSing means crazy times! Life is finally starting to resemble what will be our new "normal". MG was here with us until last night, she had to return to HER normal sometime, right? We miss her already, but don't miss the rain she managed to hook to the plane--now lets all hope it makes it all the way to Texas! I can't even begin to think of all the things that have happened that are blog-worthy...but we survived 13 days in the car with three adults, one toddler, and one dog. We survived Canada--where we almost had immigration issues since they refused to comply with a treaty that they've signed (by the way, military members traveling on PCS orders DO need something other than active ID and orders...even though the Army will tell you til they're blue in the face that it's all you need. Thank goodness we had his birth certificate with us!) We survived the nothingness that is the Alaska Highway. We survived waiting almost a month for our HHG to be delivered, even though they sat in Anchorage for about 3 of those weeks. We're surviving our first big separation since Munchkin's been in the picture. It's going well, she even brought her pull phone in this morning and said she was talking to Daddy.
Speaking of Munchkin updates, that's the big one! Her speech is EXPLODING. She's gotten 4 new words in two days. One of them, girl, completely out of the blue. I was arranging my Cinderella collectibles on the new shelf and she points to one of the dolls and says "Girl". MG and I both looked at her in shock! She says "meow" when she sees a cat or if you ask her what a cat says, she has an adorable "woof" for what puppies say, she says and signs ball, she signs thank you and will do it without being reminded! Following directions is really getting amazing too, she's starting to follow along with the more interactive TV shows (ie The Wiggles) but gets upset if we try to dance too. Today I started making a note on my phone about her speech, because I know that they'll ask me how many words and signs she knows and I'll give them a blank stare and say "uhh...um...well, let's see.." because I'm so used to them I don't remember them all! I love seeing the list grow, she's finally coming into being a little chatterbox...just like her Mommy!
Something else that she's learned to imitate Mommy...since we moved, that means hanging pictures, assembling furniture, etc. That means hammers, drills, screws, nails. MG found her a stepstool/tool box combo at Toys"R"Us and she is OBSESSED with the hammer. She refuses to put it away. She walks around the house hammering on everything. When we were hanging pictures yesterday she would hammer along with me. I just have to make sure she only hammers on our walls, not the walls that we share with our neighbors!
Another big change in her life: her big girl bed! When we got our HHG delivered, it didn't make sense to put her crib together as a crib when we would be changing it to a toddler bed soon (gotta love the 3/4-in-1 cribs!). She has done AMAZING, only one night she wanted to keep getting up, but we shut her door, also for light reasons, and as far as I can tell, she doesn't get up at night. She gets up in the morning and plays with her stuffed animals and books. When she's ready to be released (or if she has an exceptionally full diaper) she lets me know! We put the baby monitor back in her room, after debating whether to have it there, the playroom (she has a real playroom!!), or keep it for the baby's room. It's nice for me to check on her in the morning when she starts to stir but isn't really ready to get up. She goes up to take a nap super well, she goes to see Daddy Bear when she goes to bed. He's the keeper of the paci during non sleeping times. She's being an amazingly good little girl!
Anchorage feels the most like home of anywhere we've lived in the past 5 years, so we've really fallen back into life up here. As much as I'm going to hate the snow, I'll still be a little excited for it. We're happy to be back in Alaska and hope to stay here as long as they'll let us!

Friday, July 15, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

If you could have a private concert with any singer, who would it be? submitted by An Air Force Wife’s Blog
 Oh who knows...I know that Daddy would love Michael Buble though!
Is there anything you do to supplement your family’s income? submitted by Our Life, One Adventure at a Time
 Coupons count? I don't do anything to actually add to what we bring in, I just try to keep costs down. That's a major reason I'm a SAHM--childcare is too expensive!
During your pregnancy (whether past, present, or future), what did you nickname your unborn baby before you knew the sex? submitted by Explosions of Love
Munchkin was called "Little Bit", "Peanut", "Baby"...but nothing specific all the time. Since now's as good a time as any...we're expecting Snowflake (or Next One) around Christmas!
Have you ever won a blog giveaway? If so what did you win? submitted by Mrs. O’s Life
I have!!! I won MommySalad's method giveaway! She sent me a bottle of Basil Kitchen Handwash and a bottle of Wood for Good Wood Cleaner--Almond scent. I'm absolutely IN LOVE with method! Go check them out at methodhome.com! (They're also on Facebook!)
If I looked into your refrigerator right now, what would I find? submitted by Married to the Army
A lot...Daddy just went grocery shopping this morning! I haven't really looked, so I'm not even exactly sure!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


When you vacation what type of vacation do you like to take (beach, historic, adventurous, food oriented, etc.)? submitted by Megan Dub-Yuh

Beach would be nice...but I like anything that we can get away at all! Family-friendly is an absolute must with Munchkin though! 
What is your best memory associated with a song (you know we all have tons!) submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife

Wow...umm...I honestly couldn't tell you! I have a million...so we'll go with an important one: our first dance at our wedding, to "One More Day" by Diamond Rio
If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with your time? submitted by Married to the Army

All of us?!? I'd be all about playing as a family and spending quality time together!
What is one thing about you that people do NOT typically notice at first that you wish they would? submitted by Our Motto is Patience
I'm not really sure..I'm not sure what I want people to notice first about me!
…. submitted by The Three Turners: It’s a summer of sequels, and if you had to live in one of each of the following “worlds” (there are three total) which would you choose and why?
–X-Men: Be a Mutant, what would your power be?
No clue..but it would be cool!
–Harry Potter: Be a Witch or Muggle? A witch, definitely!! But I'd be nice :)
–Twilight: Be a Vampire or Werewolf? A Cullen! I wouldn't want to hurt anyone!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


It’s now June (woot!)… what plans do you have for the summer?

PCSing to Alaska, getting settled in AK, going to the Reindeer farm, and other fun AK adventures!
What is your favorite summer memory as a kid?
Swimming as SOON as I got up in the morning! I'd get up, get my swimsuit on and go out to the pool! I LOVE it.
If wild animals could be made pets without fear of them ever being dangerous, what kind of exotic animal would you want as a pet?
Easy peasy--a white tiger and a full wolf. I LOVE white tigers, they're so gorgeous and I'm too much of a dog person now so having a wolf would be awesome...minus the howling!
Is there anything about deployments that you do like? submitted by The Thrifty Military Wife
I like the feeling of accomplishment when it's done. I like knowing that I CAN handle whatever pops up. The extra money doesn't hurt--but I'll take my husband over money any day.
I’m starting to run out of questions again… so please give me a question you’d like to see (off-the-wall will most likely make it because we seem to have used a lot of the “traditional” ones).
I'm no good with coming up with questions....bad me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thoughts on controversy

Opinions abound...so please keep everything respectful!

Today Old Navy announced on their Facebook page that they are selling Gay Pride shirts in 26 selected stores across the country in support of June being Gay Pride Month. A few of the early comments fell along the lines of "Why select stores?" "Please make them available online", etc. Then came the more pointed comments. People on both sides of the issue were calling others names...and I can't help but be reminded of Thumper's Momma: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
People were asking why these people needed shirts and support--by the way, ON is donating 10% of each shirt to "It Gets Better"--because of their sexual orientation. Saying that they wanted a "Straight Pride" shirt....well, last time I checked straight people weren't harassed for the sole reason of their sexual orientation.
I want people to see others as PEOPLE. Not their sexual orientation, not their heritage, not how they dress or wear their hair. It seems to be worse on the internet where people can say whatever they want without having to look at the person they're speaking to...people forget that there is a person with feelings on the other side! I know that sometimes it's hard to get exactly what you mean across without tone, inflection, and body language, so sometimes things get taken the wrong way, but those times are honest mistakes or mis-communication.
Everyone has an opinion and we can disagree with each other and go on with life. I don't think ANYONE should force their opinions on anyone else, no matter what they are. State your opinion and why you think that, educate--sure. I'm ALL for education and shedding light on things that may not be widely known, but if someone still continues to disagree with you, respect them and their choice. I have strong opinions on how children should be raised and treated and will share them with others, but I will not tell another mother that she is wrong or a bad mom because she's doing something differently than me! I expect the same in return. I will gladly listen to another opinion, and when presented with facts and information, I will look at everything and possibly reevaluate my position.
See how this is about so much more than Gay Pride? It boils down to basic human respect. I hope that Munchkin grows up to be tolerant of other people and cultures, even if she doesn't agree with what they believe. I hope that if she has a friend that is gay (like Mommy does!), she will see them for their whole person, not just that part of them. I may not completely understand the lifestyle that others live, but they may not understand mine. I'm also reminded of another quote I've seen (and unfortunately, don't know who to credit) "Be nice to everyone, for they're fighting a battle you know nothing about." You do not know a strangers story--or even some of your friends, unless they choose to share it with you.
Also, just to let you know--ON's Pride shirt says "LOVE PROUDLY". I think that's something EVERYONE should do, regardless of who you love.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Do you think civilians, in general, understand the meaning of Memorial Day?

Understand? Yes. Observe, not necessarily. I don't think that people without a connection with someone in the military really "get it". I know that military families are more likely to observe Memorial day, rather than celebrate it.
What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend?
This actually kicks off our move. Munchkin and I are going home for awhile before we officially start the PCS, but we will be attending my niece's dance recital and don't have actual plans for Monday. We'll see what happens though.
What skill/talent do you wish you had? submitted by The 3 Turners
Sewing--which I'm working on! Generally more crafty things, which again, I'm working on!
Which came first: the chicken or the egg? submitted by I Married Into The Army
If the chicken came first, why did it cross the road?
What is the best thing about your post (base)? The worst? submitted byRandomly, Robyn
Fort Polk...also known as Fort Puke...ok. So seriously, it's not the worst thing ever, but it doesn't have a lot going for it. If you're an outdoor person, you'd LOVE it here because of the proximity to Toledo Bend and other camping activities. The worst? You're an hour (or more) away from anything major and it's just a tiny area that is very set in it's ways...while they claim to be "the best hometown in the Army", a lot of the people aren't that friendly towards us.

Friday, May 20, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


What is one of the things you always do special when your husband returns from a deployment? submitted by Keep Calm and Soldier On

Since we've only gone through one deployment so far, I can't say that there is something we "always" do.
What do you do to help your spouse and/or yourself re-adjust after a deployment or long separation? submitted by Diapers, Dogs and Deployments
We were very lucky in the fact that we adjusted without much fanfare. I was prepared to give us both some extra time and space if we needed it though.
Are you a crazy coupon clipper (I’m becoming one, so share your secrets with me)? submitted by Married My Airman
No, unfortunately. A couple of my friends are becoming "crazy coupon ladies" and I'm wanting to learn!! That's something that I'll have to work on after the move!
What’s your most treasured memory of you and your spouse (not counting your wedding – that’s a given)? submitted by Scrubs, ACUs and One Crazy Ride
This is actually hard for me to think about! We have a lot of memories together! I think I'll go with his Family Day weekend during OSUT training!
If you could live anywhere overseas, what would you pick and why? submitted by Little Moments Like This
Italy is our overseas choice. The downside? We'd both get huge from all the yummy food!! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Which was the best day of your life- Wedding day or Homecoming day? submitted by Pink Champagne, Gatorade & MREs
Without the wedding day, I doubt there would have been a homecoming day...but the homecoming day was so fabulous because it reunited Daddy & Munchkin, not just me and him!
Were you a part of the joining the military question or did you sign up for the relationship when your man was already in the military? submitted by Cammo Style Love
He joined a little less than a year after we got married, but I'd known it was something he'd wanted since I'd first met him. At one point I had to push him to realize his dreams!!
What is your favorite Disney movie and why? submitted by Raising Roscoe
I have quite a few. Cinderella is my favorite Princess and I've always loved Bedknobs and Broomsticks
What is your favorite family activity to do on the weekends? submitted by Destination: RN!
Favorite activity....I think I'll have to say playing outside as a family. I love watching Munchkin, Daddy, & Lightning run around the backyard!
Where do you secretly wish you could be stationed with you/your SO’s line of work (realistically speaking, not everyone can be stationed on NAS Fiji)? submitted by Wookie & Co.
Not so secretly, but our dream station (that's feasible) is Italy. We even had an opportunity and turned it down since we're already in the middle of getting ready to PCS to Alaska. We felt that it wasn't the right place for us right now. Alaska's a dream destination in it's own right..as long as you get over the cold and dark of the winter!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

In case you didn't know, today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the Friday before Mother's Day to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day. He knew that the spouses of our military members make sacrifices that are often overlooked. So the next time you say a prayer for our military members, or thank one that you see--say a prayer for their family, thank their family for what they do. It's behind the scenes, but the production can't happen without that support!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

History is always in the making...

A couple days ago was a HUGE day for the war we've been fighting for the past 10 years. Osama bin Laden was killed by Seal Team 6. Major kudos to those guys for their bravery and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. However, I will not rejoice in Osama's death. How do you feel when you see our enemies rejoicing and celebrating one of THEIR victories? One of OUR tragedies? Yes, this man was evil and infected so many with his horrible ideals and I am glad that he cannot pass that along any longer. Unfortunately that hate is there and someone else will step up to spew it. I know that sounds pessimistic of me, but I'm thinking of the men and women who are overseas..what retaliation will happen? How hard are our servicemembers going to have to fight? How many more names are going to be added to memorial walls? This is a battle victory, but not a war victory. Justice has been served for his evil actions--for that I am glad. This is a moment when the difference between "glad" and "happy" is HUGE. I do not mourn his death, not by any means, but I do not celebrate it either. I can only hope that this makes other terrorists think twice about attacking us. If you are going to celebrate this historic occasion, celebrate our military's perseverance, their hard work, their sacrifices.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Have you and your spouse agreed to live in separate locations (a geographical bachelor tour) knowing that the short-term inconvenience would have long-term benefits for your family? How did it work for you? submitted by When Good People Get Together
The only place that would have had the possibility of us in separate locations is Alaska. That's not enough to have long term benefits for us. Now, he DID want me to move home while he was deployed but I couldn't do that. I think Korea would be one where we would have me and Munchkin stay "home".

What is your favorite thing about being a MilSpouse? submitted by Sarah Ruth Today

Let's see...The pride of knowing what our family is doing, the opportunities to live in places we never would have been otherwise, and meeting the people that live there! Who else in my family was born in Alaska?? Nobody! That's something special to Munchkin because of her Daddy being a Soldier.

If you could still have your spouse/significant other and your family, but take the military life out of it…would you? submitted by Trust. Love. Believe. Bake.

Short answer: no. This basically came up when it was re-up time and we decided that we're in it and we're pretty happy.

What have your homecoming experiences been like after a year long tour of separation? submitted by Army Soldier, Army Wife

I only found out the night before he was coming home--and only because I had been checking the website on my iPhone like a mad woman (my key caller was HORRIBLE about calling me). I was out to a hockey game that night before he came home! I had bought a bunch of balloons and a banner, so when I got home I decorated the house and got the balloons ready to take to the store to get blown up....only to find out that they didn't open early enough! He came home on a Sunday, so a LOT of things were closed or just didn't open early enough. I also bought window markers to decorate our car, so before we went to go to the ceremony, I decorated our car--Munchkin's window said "My Daddy is HOME!" Sadly, since it was February in Alaska, it ran a bit because of snow! The ceremony was short and sweet, we got in the paper when we were waiting because of Munchkin's diaper bag (and her super cuteness). Her bag was made out of Daddy's BCT ACU's. One of the MFLC's saw that we were by ourselves and offered to take pictures for us--my photographer that I had planned to use for homecoming wasn't available since I had such short notice. So at least we got SOME pictures! It was a fabulous day!!!!

If you have a child(ren) why you chose their name(s)? If not, why you would name your child something? submitted by Tiara’s & ACU’s

I knew I wanted to use my grandmother's name as a middle name but it ended up not working as a middle, so we moved it to the first and agreed on another middle. We haven't decided on future kid's names yet, we name them as they come! Naming Munchkin was REALLY hard for us!! I wanted to honor my maiden name side because neither my uncle or my dad had boys--so my maiden name line is done. I love that her name has some history and meaning behind it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

method madness!

Remember MommySalad's method giveaway? And remember how I said I would share about the products once I got them? I haven't yet...because I just got the box last week. Issues with method's PR firm and FABULOUSNESS from MommySalad made it take longer than it should have, but I got two products--kitchen hand wash in basil (smells like grass to me--it's good!) and Wood for Good which is almond scented.
I seriously smelled my table the whole time I was cleaning it--and after too! I'm making a list of all the wood things in the house to clean with it because it smells so fabulous! The table is clean, shiny--but not covered in wax, and so pretty!
The hand wash works SO well--it says that it gets stubborn food odors off of hands. I haven't tested it yet because I don't really use stubborn smelling foods often! It's a different scent, being basil, which is odd at first, but once you're not expecting a citrus smell, it's so great! It's light enough afterward that it's still there, but not overwhelming. It cleans fabulously too--I've used it to clean Munchkin's high chair tray of red sauce things and it got it mostly clean. I've yet to find something that gets the red sauce stain COMPLETELY out of the plastic tray. It's more of a time thing rather than a soap thing.
So there you have it...I officially love method!

**FYI: I received no compensation for this review, I won a giveaway (and posting it to my blog did get me more entries), and wanted to share about these products!

Friday, April 22, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

How many pets do you have? And what type? submitted by Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl
We have one dog, Lightning. He's 100% mutt. His adoption papers listed him as a Shepherd/Terrier mix. He was in a litter of 6 and only one of his sisters looked like him, they were a pretty varied group!! He's the perfect dog though and I wouldn't trade him for the world!!
What are your favorite projects to do while hubby is away? submitted by my-inspired-nest
Scrapbooking in theory, sewing is nice since he hates when I have the table out for too long (it does get in the way!), and if it's an extended separation (ie: deployment) I like planning out care packages.
What are the must-haves in your deployment care packages? submitted by Christine’s Little Blog
Baby wipes went in every box I sent since he went without regular showers, beef jerky, snack stuff, generally whatever he can't get there, I try to send him in every box so he has his favorites!
If you could star in any TV show, which would it be? submitted by Just a Girl
Oh, I have NO idea! 
What was the biggest hurdle that you faced during your/your significant other’s first deployment? submitted by The Pavlik Perspective
I was pregnant with Munchkin during our first deployment, so that was our biggest thing. It went smoothly and thanks to his FABULOUS command, they made sure his R&R coincided with her due date and my doctors cooperated with me and we made sure Munchkin made her arrival when Daddy was home! Then the hurdle was her first 5 months without Daddy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Dress

Last year Munchkin didn't get an Easter dress, but she did get a super cute Easter outfit from Auntie Em. So this year MG and I picked out a pattern and we all picked out fabric and trims...and when MG and Granddaddy came to visit in March, we started the dress. It was all going well until we got to the zipper. We bought an invisible zipper and that requires a special foot for the sewing machine. I have a regular zipper foot, but not an invisible zipper foot. We did all we could before the zipper goes in, MG took it home and put the zipper in with her machine and sent it back. I finally finished it last night at about 12:30am! I started right after Munchkin went to bed and made good friends with my seam ripper. After I finally got the back seam in right, it was time to hem. I didn't get as big a hem on it as it called for, but it turned out just fine. Then it was onto the buttons and buttonholes for the straps. I'd never done buttonholes before and I did it on a scrap piece first and only messed up once! The straps were easy, sewing the buttons on wasn't bad...but the buttons went on the lining, which wasn't attached at the bottom so I had some interesting fixing to do there so that the straps didn't just pull the lining out. The top of the bodice pulled over a little showing the lining (which matched the outside bodice fabric, so it wasn't too bad) and I had to safety pin it in the back since we guess-timated at Munchkin's measurements and it was too big. At least it wasn't too small! I even made her a headband to go with it from a messed up strap when we were trying to get the pattern on the straps to match!

Front of the dress. Originally we were going to put a ribbon of trim around the bottom of the skirt, matching the trim on the bodice but it just didn't look right.

Detail view of the bodice.

The back.

Easter Bunny & Easter Egg Hunt!

Today was our housing's Easter party. They were smart and had it at our "pocket park" instead of trying to have it at the Neighborhood Center. The Neighborhood Center just isn't right for a long line of people and other things too. So it was right by the end of our cul-de-sac, so I just put Munchkin in the stroller and off we went! We got there about 30 minutes before the pictures with the Easter Bunny were supposed to start so we could be at the front of the line. We were 4th (I think). Munchkin didn't like him very much, she's not too keen on people in costumes, but we did get her picture. She got a little thing of bubbles for getting her picture taken, so she liked that part!! Then it was more waiting....why they decided to put an hour between the pictures starting and the Easter Eggs starting I don't know, but oh well. They finally realized that the little ones wouldn't wait too much longer and opened up the 0-3 Bunny Trail early! They had a big roped off area for other ages that started at 10:30  and were broken into 4-6, 7-9, and 10+. I really wish they'd put an upper limit on the 10+ because there were some teenagers there that were VERY greedy and rude to the younger kids. Munchkin needed some direction in the Bunny Trail because she was being shy, but once she realized she got to keep the eggs, she was happy! At the end there was a little pool filled with Easter grass (which she wanted more than the eggs!) and big eggs which we got to open to see if we won a prize. We did (just like everyone else) and she got an inflatable bunny. At first I thought it was creepy since I didn't realize that it's eyes were it's eyes, so I thought we had an eye-less bunny, but she likes it. She mainly got Tootsie Rolls in her eggs and she LOVED them! She got all sorts of compliments on how cute she is and also on her dress. I think her favorite part was playing on the playground and the swings afterward though!!

Easter Egg Princess

Upset that she didn't get to actually hold her balloon, I tied it to her basket.

Going to check out what else there is to do...

Her prize!

She didn't want to play on the playground much, but she did want to go UP the slide.

She was more interested in playing with the mulch.

Finally! Swing time!!! She got a lesson in waiting her turn for the swing today and was very good about it! She even signed please to the little boy who was in it before her!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Facelift!

Something prompted me to head over to The Cutest Blog On The Block, I know I had a reason...but I can't remember it anymore! I got sidetracked when I saw some of their new stuff and decided that Munchkin's Mommy needed a facelift! I hope you like it!!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


With PCS moves happening every few years, do you take the time to paint and decorate your home? submitted by Life as Mrs. JPT
I painted our bedroom in Alaska and probably won't do it again unless we know we're going to be there for awhile. We never hung up our pictures in Alaska either and that was one of the first things we did after unpacking here. It looks so much more like our home with our pictures on the wall! I'm also going to be buying Uppercase Living for our next house to add decoration without adding to moving headaches.
If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? submitted by Standing By Him
I know this isn't a specific home, but Wisteria Lane of Desperate Housewives. I love most of those homes, especially the staircase and finished attic of Katherine's house. Of course Gaby's is the most opulent, and Bree's would be amazing as well. Susan's is the most understated but it's a great house. Ooh, I think those have been eclipsed by the Halliwell's house from Charmed. I'm a sucker for Victorian houses!
What inspired you to start your blog? submitted by Pink Combat Boots
My sister over at Bebe's & Mamu's Mom. She's funnier though.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on base? submitted byAdventures in Life
I'm not sure this falls under "weird", but definitely one of the most memorable: An Alaskan summer afternoon my neighbor, her friend & her daughter, and I were in the backyard and a helicopter kept circling. Finally, after all the kids had left the school--our backyard pretty much backed up to one of the Elementary schools--it promptly landed (and about blew us over!) in the field. Turns out there was a festival at the school that evening and the helicopter was for the kids to get in and look at.
Which historical figure (politician, writer, artist, scientist, actor, etc…) would you like to have dinner with? submitted by Army of Two
The knee-jerk reaction is Jesus, because seriously, Christian or not, would that not be awesome? But a non-religious figure choice would be Princess Di. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MilSpouse Survey

1. How long have you been a military wife?
4 years this summer

2. What branch of service is your husband?
Army

3. Active/Reserve?
Active Duty

4. What is his job?
Right now? Army laser tag.

5. How many deployments have you gone through?
1, gearing up for #2 early next year.

6. Camo or Dress uniforms on your man?
I'm not a fan of the Class A's if he's wearing jump boots, I haven't seen him in Dress Blues yet (they're ordered...we're waiting), he currently looks weird in ACUs to me because I'm used to seeing him in OG's...but I'd say he pulls all of 'em off!

7. What do you like about being a military wife?
It's forced me to become so much more independent, going through my first pregnancy with him halfway around the world was a definite experience!

8. Do you live on base?
We do. We haven't lived off post yet, but we probably will when we get back to Alaska.

9. What is your favorite base so far?
My choices are Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK and Fort Polk, LA. I'll choose Alaska.

10. What is the hardest part of the military life?
Instinct is to say the separations, but honestly, we're stronger than that. It's the people who "think" they get it and can say all sorts things that only make things worse.

11. Do you go to the grocery store or Commissary?
Commissary, especially here!

12. Do you work or stay at home?
I stay home with Munchkin--and I love it!

13. Do you have a lot of military wife friends?
Not really, but I don't have a lot of friends total. AMKOL is definitely my biggest support when it comes to needing military girls!

14. Do you prefer Walmart or the BX/PX/NEX/MCX?
I'll try the PX first, mainly because I despise dealing with Walmart.

15. How did your husband propose?
No romantic story here...we knew we wanted to get married, so he bought a ring...less than 5 months later, we were married!

16. Did you marry him after he joined or before?
Before. He spent our first wedding anniversary in BCT. Thankfully a Drill Sgt had a heart and gave him an extra phone call (their phone days were Fridays, our anniversary was on a Sunday).

17. How long have you been together?
We met August 2000 and dated in high school, fall/winter 2002 is when we started dating for the last time (there were some cross-country moves that derailed our first dating experience)

18. Any kids?
Just Munchkin for now!

19. Any kids yet to come?
We hope so!

20. Is your husband one of those "I am Marines hear me HOORAH" kind of guys?
At times.

21. Have you ever done combatives with your husband?
For real? No. He doesn't want to seriously injure me!

22. How many bases have you lived at?
2, and even though we'll be moving for a 3rd time (including initial move), we'll still only have 2 posts!

23. If you could change one thing about the military?
I'm not sure I could only change one thing...Probably start in Washington where we're all just numbers.

24. Do you like military balls?
We've only been to one and it was so boring and the food was horrible...we don't drink, so when everyone else was "having fun", we were bored.

25. Where does your family live?
Texas, home sweet home.

26. What do you do for a job?
I'm a Mommy, the toughest job for the smallest monetary gain. I can't say I'm not paid though, I'm paid in smiles, laughs, slobbery kisses, hugs, and bedtime snuggles. I'm paid in tears from a boo-boo that only I can fix and the utter trust that Munchkin has had in me since we first found out she was there. What else could I want?

27. Have you ever gotten in a fight with an NCO's wife?
I haven't gotten into a fight with ANY wife, or anyone for that matter!

28. Name one thing you do when your husband is gone.
With his current unit, that's a lot--although less than it was a few months ago before he got a new position, so I just stick with our daily stuff, it's just minus Daddy. When he was deployed, I worked some, went out with friends some, stayed home with friends some, cheered for the Alaska Aces some, etc.

29. Do you think other wives do that too?
I think we all try to make it as "normal" as possible, even though there's nothing normal about it. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Speech Evaluation

Today was Munchkin's speech evaluation. We had a bit of trouble with different referrals since the first place didn't have any appointments available until late May/June. Once we got that straightened out, it was easy! We had a really nice speech therapist that we met with this morning. Going through all of the questions in the paperwork she decided that Munchkin is actually ok--where she and our pediatrician differ is that she accepts sign language as expressive language, whereas our pediatrician only counts actually speaking. So once you add in all of Munchkin's signs and her signing sentences, she's right where she needs to be. We got the list of what should be happening at what age so we can catch anything that comes up as soon as possible. We'll see what the next few months bring!

Friday, April 1, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


What romance movie scene reminds you of your s/o or spouse and the LOVE you share? submitted by Simply Sunshine and Daisy’s

This one is really tough...because honestly, I don't really watch a lot of romance movies! I don't think that we can fit into anything Hollywood can come up with.

If you were allowed to deploy with your husband to a war zone would you and why? submitted by I & J
Definitely not. I've never had any desire to be in the military and if I was just there, I know he would be extremely distracted--and a distracted soldier is a dead soldier.

Have you ever done anything (intentionally, or unintentionally) to embarrass your spouse/significant other in front of his military cohorts? submitted by Marrying the Navy
I don't think so! At least it wasn't embarrassing enough for it to stick in our memory! 

What is your most irrational fear? submitted by Eights on the Move
What's every Army wife's fear? I don't think it's really irrational though, but we can't live our lives in fear. Irrational though...my phobia in life is falling. There's really no basis for this, but such is life. 

If you could only live in one kind of climate for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? submitted by Many Waters
Mid to high 70s/low to mid 80s...warm enough to be outside and all that fun, but cool enough that you're not suffering heat stroke 5 minutes out the door. Oh, biggie--LOW humidity!!!! One thing I can't stand about Louisiana is the humidity!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The unseen casualties

Thinking about the newest Gold Star families, it made me think about the families that did have their Hero come home only to find that they too, are a casualty of war. PTSD has ruined lives, marriages, and families. I have so much to be thankful for, even with everything that happened in Afghanistan, my Hero came home. Not all wounds are visible, and I've seen a friend's marriage fall apart from PTSD. We need to release the stigma on these Heroes. I've also seen how people can attack a Hero with PTSD, saying it's all an act so that they could come home early. Wives who have their so-called friends turn on them because their husband came home early because of these types of problems. It's easy to think "Well, you have him home, so my situation is worse than yours." but really, is the person who left the one who came back? Soldiers don't get sent home from a deployment for just any ol' reason, it has to be serious. If it's serious enough to get sent home, it's serious enough to cause a major life change in that family! Don't try to compare situations...don't try to "one-up" someone on how bad your situation is. It's also easy to be jealous--and that makes us defensive. We need to remember that we're all in this together, we all need support--whether our Hero is home, in training, at school, or deployed. We're part of a worldwide sisterhood, stand next to your sisters, you never know when you're going to need them to stand next to you.

A different kind of homecoming

Yesterday my facebook newsfeed was flooded with statues to the effect of "Praying for an Army family who lost their Hero." Turns out I "knew" this family. No, I've never met them, never even spoken to them, but through the internet, I knew this wife. AMKOL has introduced me to many military women, and this is where I "met" this wife. Six soldiers died on Monday, they were getting ready to come home in the next month or so....but now these families are having to get ready for a whole different kind of homecoming. It's not one filled with posters of "I love you Daddy! Welcome Home!" or "Come kiss your wife", it's not balloons and streamers....it's a flag draped casket, it's planning a funeral service, it's worrying whether or not you're going to be harassed at your Hero's service by people picketing and screaming obscenities at you. Instead of a fun homecoming dress shopping trip, it's picking out your mourning clothes. The homecoming kiss that has been so long awaited will never come. Their two year old son will never get to play with his Daddy again. His daughter will never get to have her Daddy give her away at her wedding. Whether you support this war or not, whether you agree with the politics--SUPPORT THE TROOPS. They're doing their job--whether they agree with the politics or not. They're on the front lines for YOU. Making sure that you are safe here at home. They don't know you, but they fight for you and your family. Thank these brave men and women for their service, keep the fallen Heroes and their families in your prayers. There are 6 more Gold Star families...we salute you and your fallen Heroes. Thank you for everything you've given for our country.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


What is your must have gadget? submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy
My iPhone. It used to just be my phone, but once I got an iPhone, I can't go back!
How does your adulthood compare to what you imagined it would be like when you were a little kid? submitted by L to the Third
I don't really recall spending too much time thinking about what life would be like when I was a kid, but as I got older, it's not too much different!
What is your favorite chocolate recipe? submitted by Our First Deployment
Yes! I love chocolate, and I'm going to repeat myself from a couple weeks ago and say Cacharel's chocolate souffle.
How do you deal with military life when it gets to be to much or to hard? submitted by Combat Boots And Pointe Shoes
I've been a part of AMKOL for a couple years now and the ladies there have been invaluable to providing support that only military girls can! No matter the problem, how trivial or life-changing it may be, the girls are there!!
What piece of advice would you give a new Military spouse facing their first deployment? submitted by The Albrecht Squad
Be flexible, open-minded, and above all, hopeful. Focus on the positives and remember, no news is good news! You WILL find out if something bad happens, I promise. So if you just haven't heard anything in awhile, remember that they want to talk to you just as much as you want to talk to them--or even more! Also, it DOES end!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Munchkin's 18 month check-up

Yesterday we had Munchkin's 18 month checkup. Where has the time gone?!?! She got ooh'ed and ahh'ed over by all the nurses and staff that saw her and we got our paperwork to fill out. We got her weighed and measured. She's doing better on her stats now! She's 22lb 10 1/2oz now, which is about 25% (she had been between 5% and 10%, so this is fabulous!), she's 31" tall, which is 27% (she's always hovered around the 25%, so we're up a little here too!), and her head circumference is 49.5cm--which is 99%! Her head has always been in the high 90s--she has to have a big brain to be so smart!
In our paperwork was a questionnaire to gauge her development. She's ahead of the game in gross motor skills, a little ahead in fine motor skills, great at personal/social skills, great in receptive language, and delayed in expressive language. What this means is that she doesn't speak enough. She has about 5 words and a bit of a signing vocabulary. 18 month olds typically have about 20 words. It could be as simple as she's waiting until she can do it all perfectly before she does anything (similar to what she did with walking), or there could be something else. We don't think it's a major issue, but here is a prime case of better safe than sorry--and early interventions are much more effective than waiting til she's older!
We should have our TRICARE referral paperwork by the beginning of next week and be able to contact the speech therapist to get her started in about a month. Hopefully they can get her in quickly! One more thing this means is that she now has to be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to make sure that as long as she needs speech therapy, she'll be able to get it wherever we move. We're hoping it's something that she'll only need for a short time, but whatever she needs, we'll do!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #34


What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It.
Since we currently live about 6 hours away from most of our family, we visit when we get the chance, which is a lot more than in the past. Phone calls are good too! When we're farther away, like Alaska, Skype becomes one of our best friends!!

What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas
Oh goodness, I have no idea!


Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
First, I would be prouder than proud that I raised a child that had the drive to do something like that--especially after knowing the ups and downs of military life. Second, I would make sure that it was first and foremost their desire pushing the decision--not money, school, peer pressure, etc. If after a lot of research about different MOS's and what everything would be like, it was still their desire, you can bet I'd take the first chance I had to put a "Proud Army Mom" sticker on my car!


What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That
We don't have a lot of bills since we live on post, but right now I guess I would say our internet since we've been having problems with it lately!


What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life
One for him and one for me: For him, it was when he got promoted this last time--even though I didn't get to go to the ceremony and have yet to pin him (next time...hopefully!), I was SO proud of him for working so hard and getting that promotion! For me, it was at his troop Halloween party. They had a costume contest, with first prize being a 4-day weekend pass. I made our costumes, without any patterns, and we took first place without any competition! We made a pretty great Flintstone family! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #33


1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent
I try to have some sort of a goal--when we were dealing with deployment, it was Munchkin. First the pregnancy and then of course taking care of her.

2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb
The biggest concert I've been to was EdgeFest the summer between my sophomore and junior year. My mom got tickets for my birthday and it was an interesting experience! I'm not really much of a concert person.


3. What do you miss most about your “hometown”? submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier
The little things. A lot of them are places that haven't been everywhere else I've lived--especially here!!

4. If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie & Co.
Me. Run. HA! I've tried. The charity I would want to support would be...either March for Babies or something related to the SPCA.

5. You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum? submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
Soup--a pumpkin coconut soup I had at Cacharel Restaurant the last time we went. It was AMAZING. Completely pumpkin-y, not coconut-y. Main course--Another Cacharel dish, Pecan Crusted Chicken. Again, amazing! Thankfully this one is a relative regular here at home! Dessert--why not make it a complete Cacharel meal and go with their Chocolate Souffle. I want to try some of their other desserts, but turning down that perfect souffle is really difficult!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Such a big girl!

Today Munchkin walked down the second half of our stairs on her own!! She held onto the wall and took each step like a big girl!! She's been walking down the stairs with help for awhile, but was too scared to do it on her own (Mommy was scared too!!!). I still prefer her to scoot backwards down the stairs, she's so much more stable that way, but she wants to be like Mommy and Daddy. She is definitely getting into the helping and independent stages. It's a little bittersweet. She's becoming SUCH an amazing little girl with a fabulous personality that is really starting to shine, but she's leaving behind some of the babyish things that were so cute and endearing. On another related "growing up" note--we're going to start potty training soon. I got a great deal on panties for her and she's starting to show signs of being ready!! It will definitely be an interesting adventure!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

MilSpouse Blogging Community

If you look over on my sidebar, you may notice a new button: Military Spouse Blogger. Over at household6diva.com, she came up with the idea for this community. I'm excited to link in with them and get this blog updated more often! Every Friday, wifeofasailor.com posts "MilSpouse Friday Fill-In", so I'll be joining in that on Friday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

WOOHOO!!!

So remember this? GUESS WHAT?!?! I WON!! I'm so excited! I can't wait to get my goodie box and start using those fabulous method products!!!! I'll definitely share how awesome it is once I get it!!!