Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful for...Days 29 & 30

29--I'm thankful for my YogaLite classes! It's easy enough that I'm not killing myself but still challenging enough that I'm not holding myself back with it. I do wish that there was a regular yoga class I could get to, but they're in the afternoon when the kiddos start to be a little on the grumpy side (or they've fully succumbed to the grumpiness!) and I don't want to take them to the gym that way! I'm always a happier camper after I'm done with my yoga class!

30--Well, here we are at the end of November. It's amazing that it's flown by so fast!! So for the final thankful post of the month....it would have to be my parents. Without them, I wouldn't even be here!!! I love being able to call them whenever I want (well, within reason, with the 3 hour time difference! and I know even that wouldn't stop me if it was an emergency) for whatever I want and they're there for me. I'm a very blessed girl to have great parents that don't let however many thousands of miles between us get in the way. I can't count how many times I've killed my phone battery FaceTime-ing with them (and Munchkin now expects almost every call to MG & Granddaddy to be a "picture call"). Of course they make fabulous grandparents too! As Porky Pig would say...."That's All, Folks!"
I can't wait to share all of our fun things in December!! Lil Man turns 1, his first participatory Christmas (he slept through is first one!), Munchkin's first exciting Christmas....it'll be fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankful for...Days 27 & 28

27--A girl who knows what she wants...even when that doesn't line up with what I want or need from her at that time. It was an interesting day with a headstrong girl which led to probably more stress for me than it could have, but when I can stop and look back on it, at least I know that Munchkin isn't going to be one to be easily pushed around into something she doesn't want!!

28--My wild goose chase of a morning. Lil Man's car seat is Munchkin's old car seat (we're original owners, no recalls, not expired...yes, I'm a bit of a car seat nut) and it's been getting increasingly difficult to tighten. So I call Dorel (parent company of Safety 1st, Maxi Cosi, Cosco, Eddie Bauer, & more)--first off, they're incredibly hard to get a hold of, I spent about an hour on hold yesterday and had to give up at 12p here since that's 4p EST and they were closed, and then this morning, it took them 20 extra minutes to turn their system from "out to lunch" back to operational. I finally got a very helpful representative and I originally thought I was just going to be trying to get a replacement strap....then I find out that what really needs replaced isn't replacable, so guess what? They want proof of purchase so they can send me a voucher for a new car seat!! Well alrighty then!! Only problem? We bought the car seat when Mark came home from Afghanistan....in 2010. Do I have that receipt? No way. We've moved twice since then. Same bank account? Nope, we switched when we were getting ready to move to Louisiana since we only had a local bank. (I even called both USAA and our old bank -- not remembering that we hadn't started using USAA by then, and guess what, true to their history of exemplary customer service, she searched through their side of the records and when she came up empty handed, gave me the account and routing numbers for the original deposit into our account! Sadly, our old bank didn't have our records anymore). Saving grace? Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us Rewards. They have a transaction history on their website and I finally managed to figure it out and get it to work and there it was!! So now I've sent my email to Dorel and will hopefully hear something from them soon!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful for...Day 26

Today I'm thankful to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I honestly can't think of anything I'd rather be doing than being with the two crazies I call my kiddos. I know that some moms want to work and that's great, but I know that also, some moms HAVE to work to make ends meet for their family, even if they would rather be at home with their kids. I know that sometimes SAHM's get a bad rap for being lazy, but there's so much more than sitting on the couch, watching TV, eating bonbons. Sometimes bonbons are replaced by freshly baked (by Munchkin & Daddy) sugar cookies. ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful for...Day 25

Today I'm thankful for being able to experience the Christmas season with childlike wonder again. As I mentioned yesterday, this is the first year she "gets it" and is also showing that she's losing her fear of Santa! Woohoo! Seeing her get so excited to decorate the tree and choose a star topper (we've never had a topper before....she picked a very pretty one!) and then hearing her tell me what she wants to ask for from Santa...I get the infamous choke face started. Even if I'll want to scream if I hear the exchange between Rudolph and Clarice by the end of the season (thanks to the Build-A-Bear Workshop critters we have), I know it will be more than amazing.
Munchkin putting the star on the tree! (It did take quite a bit of finagling from Daddy to make it stay, though!)

All decorated!! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful for...Days 23 & 24

Day 23--I'm thankful for the start of the Christmas season!! It's tree day! Munchkin is SO excited to get the decorations out. Apparently this is the year of "getting" holidays. Birthday, Halloween, Christmas...she's getting the excitement now and it's amazing to see. She's already telling us that our tree is missing something, and that something is a star! (It's missing lots of somethings, the only thing on it right now are the built in white lights and the colored lights I put on!) We even went and saw the lighting of the Anchorage Holiday tree downtown and it was great. There was a sign language translator there and Munchkin started imitating her when the choirs were singing, it was so cute! She told me she liked the lady singing with her hands. A great start to this season!!

Day 24--Today I'm thankful for time with my family. I'm losing track of what day it is, and I know Monday will be a rude awakening back to reality, but it's been so nice to have Mark home. We had a great day today  walking around downtown and getting into some of the small local shops. Even when we're doing nothing together, we're still together, and for that, it's meant more than anything. (I'm pretty sure that family & time with family gets more than one day...but hey, it's an important part of my life!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for...Thanksgiving Day!

I'm thankful for traditions that make the holiday "THE holiday". From the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (which I am eternally grateful for them doing a tape delay, I love it and all, but I'm not getting up at 5am for it!) to the traditional meal, it's little things that make it Thanksgiving. With a family recipe for pumpkin pie that Munchkin helped me make this morning--she LOVES mixing!--I know we're starting our own family traditions and memories for her and Lil Man.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for...Day 21

I'm thankful for a landlord who cares. Whenever we have an issue with the house (which is rare, but of course every house has something happen every once in awhile!) I know that a quick text (since we are 4 hours off!) will be answered quickly and she's going to do everything she can to get whatever the problem is fixed and back to normal as fast as possible. She even apologized because some things are going to have to wait until next week because of the holiday. Our issues are minor enough that waiting a weekend isn't going to hurt anything! I know that some landlords aren't as quick to get things fixed, but I know that we're in good hands, and for that, I am very thankful!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for...Day 20

I'm thankful that so far, I'm making significant progress toward my fitness goals. I talked with one of the trainers this morning to see where I can change my routine (it has been the same since April, after all!) and I'm pretty much going to shake it all up! I'm going to try a cycle class for the first time ever (I'm kinda terrified how much my bum will hurt from those seats!!) and a group power class--which I honestly don't know what to expect from. Hopefully I'll stop being bored with my routine and be able to kick it back into high gear. I know that a lot of people have a hard time on their fitness/weight loss journey and so far, it's honestly been pretty simple, if not easy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Old Navy Style Council

I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the Old Navy Style Council on Crowdtap. I received two coupons (one for me and one for a friend) for a free dress at Old Navy. We left the kiddos at home with the Dads--figured they could have decent guy time while we went shopping!!--and headed to our ON. I was a little disappointed in the selection of dresses in-store compared to what they have online, but it wasn't too bad!
Of course with Lil Man nursing, I have to be very conscious of my clothing choices and dresses are specifically a harder option, since I can't just lift it up with a tank underneath! I tried on a few styles--one of which looked like a slightly too-long sweater instead of a dress!! The other dresses I tried on were the Cross-Front Jersey dress and a wrap dress similar to this one.
The cross-front jersey dress was all kinds of wrong because of the way the mock wrap/cross front was made. I tried the wrap dress in black and in a green with navy/white dots (unfortunately, it's not on the website at all!). They both looked good, but my friend convinced me to get the green one rather than the black one. If I really needed a 'little black dress', I'd be all over this one. I will definitely need to wear a cami under it, and tights/leggings of course with the cold weather, but it'll transition to Alaska summers easily too! The sleeves are slightly longer than 3/4, but not quite bracelet length. They're perfect to push up to 3/4 and look cute.
 Now I'm on the hunt for the perfect leggings/tights and shoes! My Toms will work amazingly well with it in the summer when I want to keep it casual, but I'll need some dressier shoes if I want to dress it up a bit! The best part about getting to go shopping for this was that I'm seeing all my hard work at the gym pay off! It's nice to watch the sizes go down and the styles fit correctly!! All in all, I'm super excited about my dress and really can't wait to wear it!!

Thankful for...Day 19

I'm thankful for the fact that life is NOT like "Married to the Army: Alaska". I have a whole 'nother post brewing in my head about this show, but as long as my life is never this dramatic and insane, I'll always have something to be thankful for!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful for...Day 17 & 18

Day 17--I'm thankful for the generosity of friends. When Mark got a new boss, his old one gave him a gift card to a restaurant with a note of thanks and telling him to take me out for a nice dinner. This was quite awhile ago, but we finally got around to using it! Our friends had offered to watch the kiddos for us so that we could get out and we took them up on their offer (and we'll return the favor for them when they need a break!). The kiddos had a great time and Lil Man even took a bottle (his first in 9 months or so!). He did give me some crazy looks when I was pumping, but it got the job done! So we had a nice dinner that we never would have treated ourselves to on our own and a chance to even get some birthday/Christmas shopping done without having to worry if the kids would see! (Sadly, yes, even our date night had a trip to Target for the kiddos!)

Day 18--I'm thankful for Crowdtap and Old Navy! Thanks to them, me and a friend are getting to go shopping for a free dress today! I'll be back with a better blog post about the whole thing when we get back, but I'm so excited to get to treat myself!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful for...Day 16

Today I'm thankful for cuddles. As a baby, Munchkin was very snuggly, but of course as she grows, she wants cuddles less and less. She's even outgrown being rocked before bed. We know she's super tired when she wants to cuddle with one of us! This morning, she came into my room before my alarm went off and laid on Daddy's side of the bed, since he'd already left for work. When my alarm did go off, Lil Man didn't wake up (thank goodness!), but Munchkin did. We snuggled in the comfy chair in Lil Man's room and just about fell asleep so we moved back to the bed and cuddled up close until Lil Man woke us up about 15 minutes later. It was a really sweet start to what became a normal crazy morning.
Lil Man is still baby enough to cuddle a lot. He prefers to sleep in my arms or cuddled close (with full nursing access) at night. We're slowly but surely working with him on sleeping in his bed, but cosleeping works for us--and keeps me less sleep-deprived! When he's awake but wants to be held, which is less and less these days as he gets older--11 months tomorrow!!--, our Boba carrier can be such a life saver! I know that all too soon will come the day when he declares himself to be a big boy who doesn't need Mommy cuddles, so I'm taking them while I can get them!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful for...Days 14 & 15

Halfway through the month already!! Where, oh where is this year going?!?!
Day 14--I'm thankful for Munchkin's silliness. She loves to make up silly songs (a lot of the time they're along the lines of "I love my Mom, I love my Dad...." very sweet. There are days when I think I'm going to go insane and she gets a bout of the sillies and breaks up that stress.

Day 15--I'm thankful for the mess that is the playroom and currently, the living room. We are blessed beyond measure to be able to have so many toys for the kiddos to play with. We're going to be going through the toys soon to find some to donate because we do have too many and Christmas is coming, along with Lil Man's birthday, so I know we'll be getting some new toys! I'm hoping to include Munchkin in the donation process, so we'll see how that goes!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful for...Day 13

I'm stealing my sister's 'thankful for' today...books and the ability to read them. I hardly have a night that I don't read before bed--and it's even longer if Lil Man is putting up a fight to go to sleep! Right now I'm reading Under The Tuscan Sun. Munchkin is developing her love of books too, she always wants 2 or 3 stories before quiet time (she's given up naps....boo!) and bed. I'm hoping that Lil Man will love books as well, right now he's in the take them and eat them stage!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful for...Day 12

Today I'm thankful for having the ability to do our laundry in our home. Especially since it allows us to use cloth diapers! We had to use laundromats while waiting for our household goods to be delivered and I hated it, plus having to spend that extra money! So I'm thankful that I can break up our laundry into smaller daily tasks rather than having to have a block of time to go do it all at once!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful for...Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. A day that probably meant nothing more than a day off of school for me as a kid, but now, especially as an Army wife, it's a day that means so much more. A day to recognize all the men and women who have worn a uniform in service to our country. So in honor of today, I'm reminded to be thankful for all of our veterans. Thankful for their decision to possibly give up their lives in protection of mine, for their sacrifice of being away from their families so that I can have time with mine, and for the lifelong changes they may have to deal with as a result of their service. So to all the veterans, thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful for...Day 10

Today I'm thankful for our health. Even though Munchkin's has thrown us for a huge loop this year with being diagnosed so many allergies and even Lil Man has shown the starts of some allergies (we're waiting for him to turn 1 before we can test him...NOT looking forward to that!), all in all, we're a healthy family. I can only hope and pray that we continue to keep it that way!

Boba, oh wonderful Boba!

For my birthday, I got a Boba 3G carrier. I've loved it from the time I pulled it out of the box. I tried an Ergo carrier at REI, but Lil Man was almost already too tall for it at 6 months old, so I knew it wasn't a good option for us. With the taller body and a smidgen wider seat, the Boba was my top choice for a soft structured carrier. I've carried Munchkin on my back (it's rated for up to 45 lbs) and Lil Man goes on my front or my back, depending on how long I'm going to be carrying him. He's about 25 lbs now and is still comfortable on my front for anything other than long excursions. Right now, zoo trips are really the only thing I put him on my back for. I use it daily to carry him in and out of the gym.
Wednesday morning, I was getting ready to get the kids out to the car from the gym, went to put on the Boba and realized that the waist buckle felt weird. I looked at it and noticed that where one of the teeth attached to the end of the buckle had snapped! I was a little upset, but I got their phone number from their website and gave them a call. Less than 5 minutes later, they were sending me a new buckle piece, completely free!! I figured that we would get it Tuesday or Wednesday since Monday's a holiday and typically things take about 4 days to get here....imagine my surprise when I checked the mail today and it was here!! I'm not sure exactly when it got here, we don't check our mail daily since it's a locked box at the entrance of the condos, but if it got here today it was 3 days max! They definitely take good care of their customers!! If we ever have another baby, I think I'll get a Boba Wrap even though I already have a MetroWrap by MetroMamma (one of my first BabySteals purchases!!). It's a great wrap, but I've heard so many fabulous things about the Boba Wrap (it used to be Sleepy Wrap, if you're familiar with it under that name) and with the high level of customer service, I'm very inclined to give them my business again! I honestly don't feel like you can go wrong with buying a Boba product!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankful for...Day 9

Today I'm thankful for a husband that is such a great daddy. Munchkin goes through phases where she wants one of us and nothing to do with the other and we've been in the middle of a Mommy phase lately. So today, since he has a 4 day weekend for Veteran's Day, he turned it into a Daddy & Daughter day and kept the kiddos while I went to the gym (so that part was Daddy & Kiddos time) and they made pancakes, then he took her out just to get out together. I know that it's hard on him when she runs away from him or won't let him comfort her if she wakes up in the night, but I think that some days Lil Man makes up for that when he crawls as fast as possibly can whenever he walks in the door and later crawls into his lap while I'm putting Munchkin to bed and passes out in his arms.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful for...Day 8

Today I'm thankful for being able to nurse my children. I know that some women truly struggle with what comes so easily (at least after the first 6 weeks or so!) for me. I don't like getting into the breastfeeding vs. formula debate, but I would be devastated if I ever had to use formula for my children. In fact, Lil Man had a tiny bit soon after birth because of blood sugar issues (I'm still peeved at the nurses for how they handled the situation when I think about it!) and it about killed me--and he HATED it. He wouldn't take as much as they wanted, but he would nurse. It made my mama heart happy. So for all the things that nursing provides, I'm thankful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful for...Day 7

Today is a bit of an off-shoot of yesterday. I'm thankful for our freedom of speech. Happy or sad about the outcome of the election, we're free to say what we want without fear that the government will do something to stop us. Of course, if you complain to me, I may ask if you did vote...and if that answer is no, I'll tell you to hush it! It's an amazing freedom that we have, let's all try to remember that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful for...Election Day!

Today I'm thankful that I live in America and have the right to vote. As I was getting my ballot to feed into the machine, the volunteer said that less than 30% of registered voters in my precinct are expected to actually show up and vote in this election! That's crazy to me! Munchkin got her first idea of voting, she stood in the little booth with me while I filled in my bubbles. Lil Man in the Boba, playing peek-a-boo with the curtain...I'm not going to let having small children stop me from getting out to vote! I think it's important for parents to at least start to put the idea of voting into their kids heads. Put the actual politics aside and just savor in the fact that we.can.vote. I got my sticker--hopefully you did too!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful for...Day 5

Today I am so incredibly thankful for the ladies in the play center at the gym. They are AMAZING and the kiddos love them. Munchkin has a hard time leaving because she likes it there so much!! I know these ladies don't get the recognition that they deserve and are definitely taken for granted most days!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful for...Day 4

I'm thankful for the fact that we have a roof over our heads, electricity to power it, gas to heat it, and water flowing whenever we want. I know that many are without those things, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. I'm sitting in our living room, watching TV, enjoying the fire in our fireplace, smelling dinner cooking, listening to the dishwasher running...and it's a usual afternoon (well, except for the dishwasher..it usually runs in the middle of the night!). How blessed we are to have these things.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful for...Day 3

Today I'm thankful for dance. Munchkin started her first dance class in September. She is in.love. Of course the first couple classes were a little rocky, but now she's used to it and has a blast. Her teacher had a baby a couple weeks ago, so the director of the studio has taken over those classes until she's back (she wants to be back in December). The patience these two ladies have shown to teach 3 & 4 year olds tap and ballet is amazing. Munchkin is learning so much, she loves to show off what she learns each week!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful for...Day 2

Today I am incredibly thankful for the technology that makes the thousands of miles between us and the rest of our families insignificant. Phone calls aren't a second thought, the way we connect online keeps everything current, and now we're in the time of video calls. I remember thinking that video calls like in the Back to the Future Part II were crazy...but now I'm convinced that Munchkin, and even more so, Little Man, will think first of a video call when asked if they want to call someone. She's already so used to using FaceTime on my phone! So it's a little materialistic of me to be thankful for this, but it's not necessarily the gadget that I'm thankful for. It's the fact that the physical distance between Alaska and Texas doesn't have to matter so much.

MilSpouse First Friday Fill-In November

Wife of a Sailor link-up time!!

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?
Um...for it to slow down a little! This year is going by way too fast!

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in October?
Probably Halloween. Munchkin finally "got it" and had such a great time!! She did her first true trick-or-treating, in the snow, no less--being carried around at 6 weeks old doesn't count.

3. What dish makes the Thanksgiving holiday for you? (Bonus points if you share the recipe.) - Courtesy of To the Nth
Pumpkin pie. Mmmm. Lots and lots of pumpkin pie.

4. Check out my post from yesterday… will you be participating in the MilSpouse Secret Santa?
Probably not.

5. What are you looking forward to in November?
Thanksgiving and starting to gear up for Christmas!! Weekend after Thanksgiving is decorating time!!! Woohoo!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's that time of year again!!!

I can't believe it's November 1st!! I mean really, this year has just flown by. November means Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving means the yearly "thankful for" posts. Although I'm sure that they really end up repeating since the core things that I'm so thankful for are permanent things in my life! So here we go with Day 1!!

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. I have a wonderful husband (even though he drives me nuts sometimes, I can't imagine life without him), a beautiful daughter who is always finding something to laugh about, and an awesome son who is growing like a weed and learning so much each and every day, showing us more and more of his personality. It's so amazing to watch these kiddos grow!!