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28 Day Challenge Update

It’s pretty obvious that I recently lost all motivation to post.  Zach left Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago and since I’ve been able to talk to him more often, I haven’t spent much time organizing/thinking of things to post.  As far as my 28 day challenge goes, I did start and finish organizing the master closet (which I’m sure Zach will appreciate once he’s home) and I’m halfway done cleaning both of our cars.  With the 90+ degree weather we’ve had, we haven’t been spending much time outside.

Now, for the exciting news of the day week year Zach will be HOME within the next 2 weeks!!!!  He’s not having surgery and is in Kentucky right now, waiting to fly home. 🙂  He has internet access there, so we’ve been able to skype (and see each other clearly for the first time in 6 months!).  Irelyn was confused & happy to see him clearly for the first time on skype yesterday.  I hope this helps these last 2 weeks pass quickly…although now that we’ve made it through 9 months of this deployment, 2 weeks seems like nothing.

The three of us went to the park this morning (at 7:30am!) and took some fun pictures this afternoon.

Irelyn loved riding in the stroller and Kaden had so much fun playing at the park.  Irelyn ended up needing an outfit change after spitting up all over her clothes and needing her dirty diaper changed on the picnic table five minutes after we got there.  We managed to make it home before it got to 80 degrees though!

We decided to have a mini photo shoot in our living room today – of course with a red, white & blue theme!  Irelyn had fun trying to eat the streamers and Kaden tried rolling them into the flowers I made a few weeks ago.  I’m pretty happy with the pictures we did get. 🙂

And here are a few pictures of the past week (plus one of the hubby 🙂 ).  I came across an $80 Baby Einstein jumper I liked for Irelyn and was able to find the exact one at a garage sale for $15!  She’s loved sitting in that and her bumbo while watching Kaden play.  Kaden has been learning so many new things lately and he’s so excited for Zach to come home in a couple weeks (I’ll probably have an entire post of pictures once he’s here!).

That’s all for tonight.  I’ll work harder on posting regularly again… at least until Zach is home.  🙂

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Day 19 – Dusting

I won’t lie, if I don’t have to post before/after pictures of the project for the day, I’m not nearly as motivated to do it.  I didn’t dust today.  Maybe tomorrow or this weekend.

But, we sure didn’t waste the day.  I found some fun printables on Pinterest while the kids were sleeping (is there anything you can’t find on there?). 

I found this awesome “disguise kit” here.  Kaden loved it!!

And I found these for Irelyn’s room.  Eventually I’ll get picture frames for them, but I just couldn’t wait that long to hang them up.  I sing this song to her every night 🙂  Try to ignore the picture quality…

I also made my first set of reusable nursing pads today.  I’m definitely still learning, but regardless of how they look, they worked just fine!

I don’t care how long it takes for me to get the hang of it, I’m in love with my sewing machine. 🙂

Well, I’m waiting for Zach to call me from his cell phone for the first time in 5 months, so I’ll post again tomorrow!

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Day 18 – Transition to Crib (and some AWESOME news!!)

Okay, good news first:  ZACH IS BACK IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!! For the first time in 5 months, I feel like I can finally relax knowing he’s not in a war zone.  The reason he is home early is because he needs surgery on his shoulder.  So, even though he’s back in the US, he probably won’t be home with us for another couple of months.  But within the next month, we will be driving to wherever he is to see him 🙂  Waiting a little longer for him to be at home with us will be a breeze compared to waiting all these months that he’s been in Afghanistan.

Transitioning Irelyn to her crib…this has been interesting.  Since she was born, we have co-slept.  I have one of these cute little “snuggle nests” and she sleeps about 6″ away from me in our bed.  She has always been a wonderful sleeper – after surviving the first couple weeks of nursing around the clock, she wakes up once or twice a night to nurse, I lay her back down and she drifts off to sleep.  I love having her right next to me during the night (because I can easily check on her anytime and because I hate sleeping alone).  I co-slept with Kaden for at least a few hours of the night until he was 7 months old and loved it.

So, here are the reasons I’m trying to transition her to her crib.
1.  She’s starting to get too big for the snuggle nest.  She wiggles around and can scoot down to the middle of it, which makes me nervous because I don’t want her roll off the bed.
2.
 She’s getting to big for her swaddle blanket.  I want to move her to her crib while she’s still swaddled, so she can get use to the new bed before changing anything else.
3.  Zach will be home soon.  We have a queen size bed and regardless of what the picture on the website shows, the little bed takes up more space than you’d think.  Since my husband has been gone all but 8 weeks of our year long marriage and we’ve spent most of it with an entire ocean between us, he’s gonna have a hard time keeping me from hugging him all day, let alone at night (which I can’t do if our daughter is sleeping in the middle and we’re both hanging off the edges of the bed). 🙂

Now for our progress so far.  I really don’t know because apparently I’m incapable of leaving her in her bed long enough to find out.  Here’s my one…and only attempt:  I put her in her crib at 10:20pm (same time I usually lay down with her for the night and she sleeps til 4am), I didn’t check on her til 10:40pm (still sleeping peacefully), made myself sit in the living room til 11:15 (she hadn’t made a peep), I tried to go to sleep (failed miserably) and got her out of bed at 11:45pm (we were both happily sleeping next to each other by midnight).  I keep telling myself “tonight will be the night I try again”.  Never happens.  I can actually convince myself during the day that I will go to bed without her and even go so far as to getting her room ready for bedtime.  Then it starts getting dark outside. And 10pm comes, I nurse her and we happily lie down in my bed and are asleep within minutes.  Why ruin a good thing, right?

I will move her to her crib.  Eventually.  Soon.  While I was trying to go to sleep that one night without her, in my attempt to rationalize why I should just give up, I realized I have never slept away from her since she was born (& for 9 months before that if you wanna get technical).  She’s been away from me for a total of 2 hours (it took 3 separate occasions to total 2 hours) and has had 4 bottles (totaling 3 ounces of milk – I’ll have to post the video of her attempting to drink a bottle, she’s clueless).  Needless to say, we both I may have a slight separation issue.  This is actually new to me, I went back to work full time when Kaden was 5 weeks old and I spent a night away from him when he was 7 months.  At this rate, I don’t think  Irelyn will be away from me for more than dinner & a movie with the hubby by the time she’s 7 months.  Oh well…I still have a little time before Zach comes home to work on this. 🙂

She also rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time tonight!  I was practically touching her when she rolled and I missed it because I was reaching for something.  Here she is with her favorite toy.

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Days 16 & 17 – ABC’s and the fridge

Kaden will be starting preschool this fall so I’ve been working with him on different things that they will be teaching him.  Most of the time he doesn’t want to sing the “ABC song” and asks me to stop if I start singing it to him, but he has been making some progress.  I bought him wooden blocks of the alphabet – he loves building things with them and he’ll “say” his abc’s on his own (it normally goes A, B, C, D, F, H, I, K for Kaden, L, MmmmN, O, T, Y and Z!!)…hey, that’s pretty good since he hardly lets me sing them to him!  He has also started recognizing a few letters.  He thinks anything with an M in it spells mommy, anything with a K spells Kaden and anything with a Z spells Zach.  He thinks zero’s are O‘s and I‘s are number ones.  At least we’re getting a small start before he goes to preschool.

He seems to be learning so much lately and growing way too fast.  He’s been using big words like “especially” and talks in full sentences all the time (& he talks allllllll the time).  I remember how proud I was when he knew 20 words by his 1st birthday, and quite a few were able to be understood by more than just me, now that he’s 3 1/2 and never stops talking I don’t remember what the days were like when he was as quiet as Irelyn! – so I’m making sure I thoroughly enjoy her lack of communication skills now, before I have two little chatterboxes. 🙂

Anyway, we’re going to keep working on his ABC’s, but next I’m going to start teaching him how to write his name and read some easy words.  I have a few signs that have his name, address and my name – he has all of that memorized so I’m hoping he’ll be able to start recognizing the actual words, too.  Since I have always worked since Kaden was born, I love being able to stay at home and spend more time watching him learn. 🙂

Here is a picture Kaden colored for Zach for Father’s Day (don’t mind the blue lips/mouth from his sucker):

He actually starts out by coloring in the lines, then he gets impatient and scribbles the rest (his favorite color is blue, so he’s convinced that he can’t use/wear any other color at the moment).

Now, on the the fridge.  I don’t have much to say about it, it was disorganized before and now it’s clean…

Yuck.

After:

…and now it looks like I’m starving my child.  We really do have food, most of it just obviously doesn’t need refrigerated.

 That’s about all I have to say for tonight.  My sewing machine should be here tomorrow (almost the highlight of my week!) so I’m sure I’ll have more exciting things to talk about then.  Highlight of the week so far Irelyn slept for 8 hours straight  for the first time last night!  She normally sleeps for 5 hours straight each night, so 8 hours was wonderful.  I don’t have my hopes up for it  to happen again any time in the near future, but I’m thankful since the last time I slept that long was about 4 months into my pregnancy.

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Days 14 & 15 – Medicine Cabinet and Under Bathroom Sink

Yesterday’s project was the medicine cabinet.  However…after only getting about 4 hours of interrupted sleep, a 4 minute long shower with two kids whining during 3 minutes of it and not eating breakfast until 11am (we got up at 6am), I decided that the medicine cabinet basket could stay disorganized for now.  Or forever for all I care.  So, on to day 14. 🙂

After finding a leak under the kitchen sink, I was slightly nervous when I started cleaning under the bathroom sink today.  Luckily, all I found was a disorganized mess (which I’m obviously use to!).

….and here are the pictures.

I found make up I didn’t know I had and a new shower curtain liner that I forgot I bought!  I’m most excited about the fact that there won’t be an avalanche of beauty products falling onto my feet when I reach in for the hair dryer (that’s what usually wakes Irelyn up if she’s actually allowing me 20 minutes to temporarily wash the spit up out of my hair).

Kaden is spending this weekend with his dad in Indy, so Irelyn and I are going to try to brave the heat and clean out Zach’s truck in the morning.  The temperatures are supposed to be in the 90’s all week and we are now in a moderate drought.  I’d much rather deal with the hot weather and one kid that can’t move anywhere on her own, than 2 kids and have to watch for the stupid drivers that fly in our apartment complex at 30mph.

Besides cleaning the truck, our weekend plans are to relax and go to church with my parents on father’s day, then to pick Kaden up on Sunday evening.  Irelyn will be 3 months tomorrow, so I’ll be posting her 3 month picture soon! 🙂

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Day 13 – Toy Organization

This project is the one I was dreading most (along with the master closet which I’m planning on starting this weekend).  It went surprisingly well and Kaden loved helping label everything.  I’m very happy with how his room looks now and he’s been putting his toys away in the right places for the past two days 🙂

Now, BEFORE you look at these pictures… let me warn you that I did forget to take the “before” picture before I started doing anything.  I had already moved toys (with Kaden’s help) and cleaned off the bed before I realized I hadn’t take a picture.  These pictures are worse than his room actually looked by the end of each day, but they just make the finished product look that much better 😉

…….and here’s after!

It turned out even better than I thought it would.  The room looks a little smaller with the bed where it is now, but there’s more room to store toys and I don’t have to climb in the toy box to put his laundry away 🙂

My other exciting news for the day is that I ordered a sewing machine!! (…I remember watching my mom sew when I was a kid – I never thought I’d be so excited about sewing) It will be here early next week and I’ve got  a list of projects that I’m going to begin working on (reusable nursing pads, cloth diaper inserts, cloth wipes and burp rags), I’m already planning a modified “28 day challenge” for sewing projects!

Well, tomorrow’s task is the medicine cabinet (which is actually just a basket) and grocery shopping.  Here’s one last picture of Kaden in his clean room!  Somehow this kid manages to sleep with every item on his bed, plus about 6 blankets you can’t see folded up at the bottom.  I always have to double check to be sure I’m kissing his head (not Mickey’s) when I check on him at night.

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Days 11 & 12 – Carpet & Freezer

I am definitely improving in my ability to post regularly – every other day is much better than once or twice per month 🙂

I skipped yesterday because instead of spot cleaning every square inch of my carpet, I’m hoping my uncle will be able to use a carpet cleaner in the living room and dining room before Zach comes home.  Since we moved to our 3 bedroom apartment in the middle of our lease, they didn’t replace the carpet.  So it’s about 4 years old and way past needing replaced…which is actually a good thing once I look past the stains – between Kaden and Irelyn, I know we would have left a fair share of stains on the carpet ourselves.  Now we don’t have to worry about paying for it to be replaced 🙂

Anyway, I did clean out the freezer this morning.  I really have no excuse for the condition it was in before.  There isn’t much space for organizing, but the fact that I haven’t cleaned it since Irelyn was born is the real problem.

Kaden was very excited to find out that we had ice cream and pizza hidden in there 🙂

Well, the kitchen is almost complete!  As soon as I clean out the fridge (& oh does it need it!) my kitchen will be 100% organized.  Hopefully Zach will be home in time to enjoy it!

Since I haven’t posted one recently, I’ll add a couple pictures of Irelyn tonight (I’ll post some of Kaden with his clean bedroom tomorrow).