MIA [again!]

My last post was titled “MIA” (because I hadn’t posted in over a month), I’m not sure what this one should be titled since it has been almost a year!  Obviously, I’ve been quite busy.

Here’s a quick breakdown of our past year:

  • We celebrated Kaden’s 4th birthday in December of 2012 and also our 1st Christmas as a family that wasn’t cut short because of deployment.
  • We moved out of our (tiny) 3 bedroom, 900 sq ft apartment to a 4 bedroom, 1600 sq ft HOUSE!  We have a big backyard for the kids to play in and we’re so much closer to Zach’s work, church and preschool.
  • We celebrated Irelyn’s 1st birthday in March of this year with a rainbow and clover themed party (I’ll be posting about that later!)
  • In 2013, Irelyn has learned around 15 signs, how to walk, said her first words and has shown that she has a very spirited personality (I no longer take her on grocery shopping trips because the terrible 2’s seem to have started early…)
  • Kaden finished his 1st year of preschool!
  • We found out Irelyn has outgrown her dairy allergy; now it is just an intolerance which is much easier to manage.  But she has an egg allergy, so now I’m learning all new ways to cook/bake.
  • We found out we’re expecting our 3rd (and final) baby due on December 11th!  Keep reading for a picture of our gender reveal.
  • I had to wean Irelyn from breastfeeding (we made it 17 months!).  Due to preterm labor issues with both kids, my OB wanted me to wean her by 22 weeks.  Irelyn handled it better than I did.
  • Kaden learned to ride his bike without training wheels and he will be starting his 2nd year of preschool in 3 weeks.  Now we are just planning to enjoy the rest of our summer together.

About baby #3:

Zach deployed when I was 14 weeks pregnant with Irelyn and didn’t get home until she was 4 months old; so this entire pregnancy is new to him.  I’m 23 weeks and we just found out the gender a few weeks ago.  We had the ultrasound technician write down the gender in an envelope, took it to Walmart, and had them fill the box with pink or blue balloons.  We had a cookout with both of our families and opened the box at the end of the party!

……….and it’s a GIRL!


Her name will be Lillian.  We haven’t decided middle names – she’ll have 2 – but we’ve still got a few months to figure that out.

I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to be blogging about, but my goal is to do so more regularly; I think I can handle more than once per year!

Here is a more recent picture of my sweet little monsters (they’ve changed a bit during the past year!):



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…



…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.


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! 🙂


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.


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).


Days 9 & 10 – Coat Closet & Toys

We haven’t gotten much sleep the past 2 nights – between Irelyn waking up more often (I think I can thank her 3 month growth spurt for that), Kaden wetting the bed (cleaning a mattress at 5am while Irelyn is crying in the other room is not the way to start the day) and me having very creepy dreams whenever I do manage to sleep, I couldn’t drag myself off of the couch after the kids went to bed last night to post (I was also finishing the 3rd and final book in the series I’ve been reading).  I’m really hoping we all sleep better tonight.

Anyway, here are my before & after pictures of the coat closet:

The only thing I actually ever open this closet for is the vacuum.  The only item of mine in the closet is my winter coat…which I couldn’t zip over my belly this past winter, so I haven’t touched this closet since we moved in.

Day 10 – toys (day 1).  I’ve decided not to post the before pictures until the room is done.  I forgot to take a picture before I started moving things around, so it looks like I let my child live in a complete mess (not true, we clean it before bedtime, but it amazes me how quickly he destroys it during the day).  I’ve gotten half of the organizing finished.  All of his toys will soon be in labeled baskets/boxes and on a shelf (that I’m going to have to steal from Irelyn’s room).  Day 2 of my toy organization is on Wednesday, so I should have the after pictures to post then. 🙂

Well, I’m going to make a decision I’ll regret while I’m wishing for a second cup of coffee in the morning (although I’ve accepted my dairy free diet, limiting my caffeine intake is one part of breastfeeding I’ll never enjoy) and I’m going to stay up a little longer and enjoy the peace and quiet.


Days 7 & 8 – Dressers and Pantry

I decided not to take pictures of the dressers (obviously wouldn’t be very interesting), so I’m combining these two posts.  First, I hate laundry.  I hate the entire sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away process.  I’d rather scrub a toilet than do laundry.  But, putting Zach’s clothes back in his dresser and knowing that he’ll soon be home to wear them made it worth it. 🙂  Plus our bedroom looks so much better now.

On to the pantry… my embarrassment in a couple of these pictures is a repeat of the “Under the Kitchen Sink” post. Here goes.



 Yes, that thing hanging on the wall is for shoes.  I got the idea from Pinterest, so at least I’m not the only crazy person using it for food! 🙂

And this one is before & after:

I was so much more relaxed in my kitchen that I made steak and scalloped corn for dinner tonight.  I marinated mine in plenty hot sauce and cajun seasoning – I’ve got to take advantage of enjoying my food extra spicy before Zach comes home 🙂

I must have been trying to make up for my lack of effort the past few days and rearranged Kaden’s entire room today.  Of course, it looks like a tornado went through there (even worse than normal), but I’m planning on finishing it this weekend.  He now has a little more room for his toys, a reading nook and he was so excited that I moved his bed to a different spot.  Living in a small apartment drives me crazy – I’d rearrange the furniture in my house at least once a month if I actually had the room to do so.  Unfortunately, everything has to stay in the same spot it has been in for the past 4 months…

We’ve gotten some good news from Zach over the past couple of days, although I can’t share very much, we will get to see him sooner than we’d thought 🙂

Since tomorrows task is the coat closet, I shouldn’t have any trouble posting.  I did start reading another book today though, so we’ll see.