Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Wish Day

Ok, I'm back {{I think}}. Since J left I have been moping unmotivated lazy indifferent distracted. I haven't really wanted to do much, much less complain about it. Beyond caring for my children and doing my household duties, I've kind of been slacking. Yesterday when I woke up felt different and I feel like I got more done yesterday than I have in the last week {{but really I didn't}}. The most important thing I did yesterday {{other than enjoying our GORGEOUS weather}} was making a Deployment To Do list. Lists make me happy. They give me warm and fuzzies and make me feel productive even if all I've done is just write a list. It's a pretty ambitious list that has a "short-term" and a "long-term" side. It includes things I've discussed here previously and new things I added to keep me busy {{hey, I have 7 months to fill}}.

After I made the list I prioritized it. As I was doing this, sitting outside on our pretty screened in porch on a gorgeous NC day, Bug was playing in our sand pit weed & sticker infested no grass at all backyard with the dogs. J and I have talked about having sod put in since we moved in. the builder said they seeded but I could probably put up a good debate to that. While watching her chasing the dogs, digging in the sand and falling on her face {{she is my kid}} I decided to add a play set to the list. The more I thought about having a play set, the higher on the list it got. When I realized that if we had a play set, on any given day when my child was driving me bananas, I could send her right outside to play. Suddenly, this was the best idea I've ever had!

This morning I found one that I liked and that Bug would definitely enjoy {{We could put a piece of wood back there and it would make her happy}}. Not only that but the huge amount of sanity saving play time this would give me {{Have I mentioned that yesterday was day three of listening to her favorite make-mommy-want-to-hang-herself noise??}}, makes this almost an instant necessity. Unfortunately, its not in our budget today. Probably won't be tomorrow, but hopefully soon. Also, there's the silly little detail of putting the damn thing together {{probably NOT something I can do by myself}}.

So, my wish for this Wednesday is the play set fairies will visit in the night and drop off a fully assembled {{and paid for}} wooden play area.

Probably not gonna happen... But it's Wednesday. I can wish all I want.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deployment Rules 1, 2 and 3

Any military spouse can tell you the number one rule of deployments is, as soon as they leave, things will inevitably fall to smelly, smashed up pieces. In the last 72 hours 2.0 has started MAD teething {{which makes her want to be held ALL day and not want to nap}}, Bug has learned to open the fridge {{yay for raw eggs being found all over the kitchen}}, the laptop cable for our computer died {{thank goodness for my old phone book Dell laptop cable fitting}}, our TV is probably dying {{the picture keeps shrinking and I cant fix it}} and I'm pretty sure I found mouse poop this morning {{EFFING AWESOME!!}}. Oh and for some reason, no matter how hard I try, I can't grow a third arm so I always have a free hand to carry my phone.

J left on Tuesday. When J's schedule changed, my BFF changed hers so she could be here with me and I'm not quite sure how I would reacted if she wasn't there. She was able to keep me distracted enough that we were all making jokes and laughing right up until they called the 5-minute warning for the end of family time. We hugged and kissed and hugged again and then he chased us off to prevent a long drawn out "see you later". Bug was upset that we were leaving him, but I think my ability to keep myself together, kept her from freaking out and once in the car I was immediately relieved for that part to finally be over with.

So, he's gone. And inevitably, as is how it goes, it is time for everything to explode, die, overflow, get lost or ruined, and or fall apart. The really sad part about all of this is that, as far as I'm concerned, not growing a third arm is my biggest problem right now. The second rule of deployments is that you will become tethered to your cellular device as you {{and those around you}} never thought possible. Being married to your phone is one of those little ticks you get after they leave. You wait for days to hear from them, compulsively checking your email, Facebook, Twitter {{well, I would if I had one}}, MySpace {{hey, it could happen}}. Take a shower, check your phone. Pick up a crying baby, check your phone. Tie your shoes, check your phone. Hear a beep, chime, or church bells; Check your phone. It's an illness. Then you panic when you try to check your phone and you can't find it. I've had three almost-meltdowns because I couldn't find my phone when I've been sitting on it. This is where that third arm would really come in handy. I'd never have to put it down.

Of course, not putting down your phone doesn't stop other retarded things from happening. J sent me a message yesterday saying he would call soon and then in the four hours after that message, I got five phone calls from telemarketers. Deployment Rule #3: As soon as they might call, every sales group in the western hemisphere will call from numbers that *might* be your spouse. There is always this awkward moment of serious let down after you answer expecting your spouses voice and a woman asks if you've ever considered AT&T, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, ADT or voting for Mit Romney. Seriously, These things happen to me.

If I didn't find it all almost funny, I'd probably be a mess right now {{or be day drunk constantly}}. For the most part I know how lucky we are: the girls and I are safe, J is safe and my mom will be here soon for a visit. Even at my loneliest, I have found that I'm not truly alone, it just feels that way. And there is always wine {{sweet, sweet, feeling killing wine}}.

J will be home before we know it and in the mean time I can work on that third arm.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kill the Feelings!!

We are packing. For lack of something else productive to do, I made cookies. Tomorrow is official baking day but I thought I'd share these since they are so delicious {{and full of feeling-killing goodness}}.

Andes Mint Cookies
One box of Devils Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
A box of Andes Mints

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together. The batter will be thick. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 9 minutes, but no more. {{It took 7minutes in my oven}}. Place mint on top of cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Wait three or four minutes then spread mint out like frosting. Them enjoy! The whole batch literally took ten minutes!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Woo hoo!!

I did it! My goal was to be back to my "normal" weight before J left. I worked my ass off, ate lots of healthy, low calorie foods, even cut back on my wine intake. This morning my scale read 154. {{insert mad-happy dance, here.}}

I still have sixteen pounds to my goal weight but it feels damn good to have made it this far by my initial deadline!!

Total weight lost since Jan 1: 19 pounds.
Total weight lost since 2.0 was born: 45 pounds.
Total hours spent tracking calories and working out: too many to count.

Rock on leafy vegetables!! Keep doing your thang!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Monday 2.0 will be four months old {{16wks}}. Can you believe it? FOUR MONTHS!! Since I will probably be fairly busy on Monday dealing with other things, I thought I would post about it now.

At four months, she's a talkative little button. She'll have "conversations" with anyone who will stand still long enough to chat with her. She has the cutest ridiculous cheeks that roll down over her collar bone and even some little dimples when she smiles, which is a lot. She's not a fan of tummy time but I try often. She LOVES Mommy. Bug was an instant Daddy's Girl. 2.0 seems to be more of a Mommy's girl {{which I am perfectly OK with}} and she melts my heart with the love on her face when she smiles at me. She is a little porker. We go through about 2.5 boxes of formula every two weeks and she has the leg rolls to show for it. She likes to see what is going on around her but will also sleep pretty much any where, through pretty much anything {{the other night a power outage sent our smoke detectors off and both girls didn't even move}}. She is also looking more and more like her sister did - which means she is taking after J. There are some differences but every now and then she throws a face and I get flashbacks to when Bug was little. She is now sleeping through the night {{it's been a full week!! Woo hoo!!}} in her own crib. Now that we all are sleeping better our mornings are that much happier. She is a cozy little baby. Content to be cuddled or happy to just play and check things out. SHe thinks her big sister is hilarious and Bug still finds 2.0 entertaining and is still willing to share her stuff with her. The other day we had to have the please-don't-feed-baby-sister-cheerios talk. I'm enjoying the sharing as long as possible, though.

One Day Old

One Month Old

Two Months Old

Three Months Old

Four Months Old

I truly am one blessed Mama!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


It is fitting that today is Valentine's Day because all I can think about is chocolate. Not because it's V-day either. I'm a little sad and, I don't know about you, but when I'm sad I have this nervous habit of baking. {{KILL THE EMOTION WITH BROWNIES!!}} It's the weirdest thing...

They moved J's leave date again {{Yes! A-FREAKING-gain!! That's four times if you're counting. But I'm definitely not.}} He now leaves five days sooner than we were thinking. So, I have been thinking all day about goodies I can make for the guys on their trip. J's last trip home they got stuck on a plane for three days and all they got to eat was plane food. Yum. I was thinking it might be nice to send him with a shit-ton {{real measurement of weight}} of baked goods in case they get stuck somewhere {{and to kill the feelings}}. I know I don't talk about Pinterest very much {{Ha!}}, but I've been scouring it for a good part of the day in between my online retail therapy sessions trying to decide what to make. The problem is it all looks DELICIOUS and when I'm in this mood, I can't be trusted to make such important decisions. How do you decide between them all??

{{Images are property of their respective owners. If you'd like the link to any of these recipes let me know and I will send it to you. I'm too lazy to link them all up right now.}}

I've been drooling over all these recipes most of the morning and if I end up baking as much as I'd like to I'll need to stay on the elliptical for the better part of the next three weeks... But you cant serve food you haven't tested and you can't kill feelings with brownies you don't eat.

True story.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things - 3rd Edition

~ A full nights sleep!! And {{AND!!}} having both girls almost on the same sleep schedule!! Yes!! I FEEL LIKE A NEW WOMAN!! Last week, I decided it was time to move 2.0 to her own room. She's a noisy little piggy when she sleeps. Grunting and snorting. Groaning and squeaking. The first night, her and I kind of had it out about it. She fought me for a good two hours and after giving up at 11pm, I was determined to win. The next day I laid her down, when Bug napped, in her crib. They both slept for two full hours {{Insert crazy maniacal laughter here!!}} Seriously, TWO FULL HOURS of free time!! That night 2.0 went right to sleep in her own crib and slept. All. Night. I thought it might be a fluke so I didn't say anything, lest I curse the situation. Here we are three nights {{and mornings}} later and it. Is. AWESOME!!

~ Day Dates with the husband. We're so romantic. We have an opportunity to drop the kids off for a couple of hours and what do we do?

Why go to the gun club, of course!

Our Secondary Security System {{Every girl should have one!!}}

It had been almost 7 years since I've fired a weapon. My shot grouping was awesome but couldn't hit the center of the target for nothing. The good news is, I was hitting the target and with the range pretty much right across the street, I can go practice whenever I want.

~ Having plans for Bug to get some social interaction {{even though its kind of self serving because I get to see one of my favorite people and it will give me free time too}}. Today Bug is going to start going to The Little Gym for playtime. As much as I think it's important for me to get social interaction while J is gone, it's probably just as important for her. So we are starting this week so she'll have something to look forward to during the week.

~ Big Blue.... Walls {{haha! Dirty mind!!}} I painted the main wall in our living room on Friday to cover up my child's vandalism artwork because people were supposed to be coming over on Saturday and I just couldn't stand for there to be primer squares on the wall for company. I had been planning to do it anyways but sometimes painting in color can be a bit scary. The color turned out PERFECT!! I loved it so much I painted another wall blue {{also pre-planned but again color can be scary!}}. Advice to you if your thinking about painting - embrace the fear and doooo eeet!

~ Orders. I <3 orders. They make my day/week/month. I love doing something that is for something so special and so personal, like for a wedding or a newborn. It makes me happy to be a part of someone's day and possibly maybe even make it a little more special. I got to blast some champagne glasses for a wedding coming up. They are a surprise so I can't share them just yet, but they are fantastic!! I hope the bride loves them as much as I do!! If you'd like to see more of the stuff I do you can check out THIS page.

~ Tax Returns. I mean, really, Do I even need to say more than that?

~Daddy-Daughter dates. J took Bug to make a "tweasure" box at the Lowe's. It was very sweet and they both loved it!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Watching Paint Dry

This is the longest I have sat down in the last three days {{writing this blog, watching paint dry}}. I've been keeping myself SUPER busy. And by busy I mean I refuse to sit still. Sitting still means thinking about things to come. Thinking about things to comes usually means some form of crying. And why do that when I could just turn it into something productive?

Tuesday I blasted for the first time since before 2.0 was born. It was a GREAT feeling to be doing that again and I LOVED the way everything came out... until I noticed a date wrong on the baby prints frame I was making for my cousin {{womp, womp, womp}}. It was perfect besides that. The "Notions" jar turned out great and it was so perfect to keep my desk organized, I made one for my neighbor.

Yesterday I made the girls blankets, rearranged my office, made a pin board for my pictures to free up desk space {{with some fabric I LOVE and had no idea what to use for}}, cleaned the house {{wish you could have seen it}}, went on a walk, let Bug play with our neighbors kid {{Bug's little boyfriend}} for awhile, then made dinner. While dinner was cooking I managed to create a feature wall with our family pics. It turned out WAY cute!! When we finished dinner, we went to Lowe's and to Walmart in search of patio furniture {{which we did not find}}. By the time we got home it was time for bed.

Today I have managed to clean downstairs and primer the walls that had Bug's Sharpie vandalism artwork on them and then painted the sliding glass-door wall and touch up the green wall she tagged. All before 11am. We were supposed to go to lunch at a neighbors house but Bug had a very bad attitude and so instead I am enjoying some quiet time in my office while both girls nap {{2.0 is even in her own, bed!! Yay!!}}. J will be home in a bit and then we're off to an FRG function {{jury is still out on this one}}.

I'm not sure that staying busy is really helping any. I feel like an emotional wreck. I'm so up and down. Happy then sad. Okay then angry. Irritated then needy. It's really quite ridiculous, but I have been assured by several it's all normal {{so, that's good, right?}} This inherent need to stay busy has been very helpful to something more than crossing shhhtuff off my to-do list, it's also great for weight loss. I'm down another 3.5 pounds. What is that saying? "Busy hands, happy mind"? Just need to find enough household projects and crafts to keep me busy until October and I'll be great AND a size two...

Easy, right?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Shoe Day

It's New Shoe Day again {{YAY!!}} J says he feels like its NSD once a week {{To which I can only change the subject or whistle innocently}}.

I was going to post a picture of my whole outfit but when I saw the pictures I felt like mooing... Or maybe blowing like an elephant. Maybe in another ten pounds.

So here are my cute new shoes :-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mandatory Fun

Today is a pre-deployment fair at J's work. We {{the girls and I}} aren't going. But J has to. For us Mandatory fun usually means I'm getting dragged along so J doesn't have to go by himself or at all {{Mandatory fun: n. Usually something that makes you want to stab yourself in the eye. Never really fun, but its mandatory you have to be there}}. Today I got out of it. Last week I wasn't so lucky. Last Monday was the first Pre-deployment briefing {{I'm sure there will be five more covering the exact same information in case you weren't close enough to hanging yourself the first time around.}} As these things go, it was also mandatory. Either the soldier or his spouse/significant other needed to be present. Since J is not a fan, the responsibility was mine {{yaaaay.}}

It is customary for these things to be held in the post movie theater. A ridiculously large space, so the attendees can fill the first two rows, for a ridiculously long PowerPoint presentation. It brought back lots if memories of AIT. Sitting in a hot theater with smelly Privates learning about how to talk in the third person {{don't hate, some of those people were REALLY funky! and not hot 70's funky either!!}}.

I managed to get everything I needed from the whole ordeal in the first ten minutes. They discussed the way things happen if there is a non-life-threatening injury, a serious injury and a casualty. {{They used words like "casualty" and "expired" when they were talking about death. Probably to keep people like me from bursting into tears and running from the room.}} This part was helpful. As a Process-Girl its nice to know what the process would be if... And except for the one creepy part where the volunteer stood up and said that if something happened, she would know the names & ages of my children, my animals, and the layout of my house before the informing posse even left {{creepy!}}. Then she said she would take care of paying all of our bills, grocery shopping and anything else that wouldn't get our attention in the first few days {{I get it. I'm sure that's comforting for some people. But I've already instructed people to make sure those people don't come in to my house if... For some reason I find that such an invasion of privacy.}}

The remaining two hours and twenty minutes of the "brief" was just the gravy on an *awesome* sandwich. I am a snooty wife about these things. I hate them. I don't participate in the FRG because the only experiences I have had with the FRG have been... not good. Too many bored women with no life, so they feel the need to try and be all up in yours. But I do think it is important to at least know who your FRG is in case you need them for something. So off I go to this ridiculous "briefing". I knew I was in trouble when we walked in and there was a power point presentation up. {{They don't call it death by power point for nothing.}} I think my eye was twitching and I was drooling by the half time break. Then we got a nice forty five minute presentation on how to talk to the media. {{Those damn paparazzi just refuse to leave me alone!}} By the time the last speaker got up, I was trying to decide which rafter I was going to hang myself off of. When she finished I was like , "Ok, great now the FRG will introduce herself." Nope. She wasn't even there. {{Commence with the self eye stabbing.}} So I politely declined my husbands invite to today's "fair".

I've had my share of mandatory fun for the month, thank you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The chair

As with everything I do, when I decided to reupholster our office chair, I jumped right in without doing any research. As with most things I do, I GROSSLY underestimated the difficulty of this project. I was prepared to photo bomb you with pics of every single step in the process. But having just finished this bad boy, I'm tired.

So here are the cliff notes:

What you need~
~ Furniture with good bones and horrific upholstery fabric {{check Craigslist}}
~ A Tack Hammer
~ A Staple Gun
~ A BOAT load of staples
~ A flat head screw driver
~ Needle nose pliers
~ Band aides
~ A Current Tetanus Shot

Step One: Bask in the disgust glory that was our office chair.

Step Two: Be prepared for the decorative tacks to be individual tacks, not easy-to-remove tack strips. And then be prepared to remove 10 staples for every upholstery tack you removed.

Step Three: After removing all of the Naugahyde, staples, stabbing yourself and slicing several fingers open, tape off the permanent fixtures to the chair so it doesn't get ruined during the painting process.

Step Four: Paint.

Step 5 & 6: Sew the parts that need to be sewn together. I sewed my fabric over the piping to the chair which is much easier than making it new {{I'm assuming, I've never tried.}} Then put the components of your chair back together and staple until you cant feel your hand anymore the fabric is nicely in place.

Step 7: Stare in AWE at the things you can accomplish when you don't research the amount of time and work that will go into them.

The chair still needs the decorative tacks put on the back. Despite a few small mistakes, I was pretty impressed with the end result. I mean, heck! I have NEVER done this before! This is also one of those projects that will give you a whole new respect for people who do it for a living.

I REALLY LOVE my new chair!! While I'm pretty impressed with myself {{even if no one else is}} I think next time I'll leave the work for a professional.

Have you ever recovered furniture? Share your pictures!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sewing For Grandma

When I was in third grade my little brother and I lived with my Grandma for the school year and the summer after. It's one of the best years I remember. We went to school with cousins and they were always about to play with. Total kid-chaos.

One thing I fondly remember from that time, is sitting in my grandmothers sewing room with my cousins while she made us stuff. Nothing of any real importance, but it was stuff made just for us. Just-for-us-stuff. My grandma was handy like that. She even used to make my clothes. I remember one outfit in particular. It was a red & white sailor-esque button up shirt with the square collar part that hung down in back? Totally mortifying to think about now, but I LOVED it then because it was made just for me.

A couple of weeks ago, while perusing Pinterest {{*shaking fist* DAMN YOU PINTEREST!!}} I decided I needed a sewing machine. Then I could do all the fun things my grandma did with me, with Bug. How fun! Never mind that the last {{and first}} time I ever used a sewing machine to sew, {{as apposed to using it as a junk rack}} I made curtains that hung at an angle. But hey, I spent that one summer with my grandma when I was eight, watching her sew. I should have caught some kind of talent through osmosis. Right?

I don't know how, {{especially after reiterating my curtain story}} but I managed to talk my husband into letting me buy a nice one that my neighbor found for me on Craigslist. My neighbor sews for a living. It's what she went to college for. She has a cute shop on Etsy and sells neat stuff. I tell you this not so you'll go buy her stuff {{which you could do if you want}} but so you know when she says, 'it's a good machine,' you can take her word for it. So I bought this great sewing machine this week. Then went and spent all sorts of money on fabric and things to 'practice' on. The girls will each get a blanket, a stuffed toy pattern and a wheelchair organizer for my Grandma.

The fifth time I pulled a seam on the chair organizer, I had to laugh. Osmosis. No one learns sewing through osmosis. Osmosis is for filtering water!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Positive Side of Prison - The latest in the Crayon War Saga

There are some moments you have as a Mom that make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

Then there are some days when you seriously consider the positive side of going to prison:

Someone does your laundry for you.

Someone cooks for you.

You get to lie in bed or sit and watch TV all day.

12 straight hours of sleep every night.

These moments don't usually last too long, but when they happen they are usually doozies. Like, say, finding your two year old has found a Sharpie in a kitchen drawer and colored all over the living room. She tagged three walls, the wood work, sliding glass door and some of your used-to-be almost white furniture before thoughtfully returning the Sharpie back to it's home in the junk drawer.

The Great Crayon War:
Mom and Dad: 0.
Bug: 10 {{she gets two points for using Sharpie}}.

{{Womp, womp, womp}}