0

MIA

The past few weeks have been a little crazy (which is why I haven’t posted in well over a month…)!  I have tons of pictures I could post, but it’s 6:55am right now, the kids and hubby are sleeping and I’m trying to enjoy every last second before the little monsters wake up…so I’ll do a little updating now and a picture post later. 🙂

Here are some things that have happened in the past month:

  • Zach’s Welcome Home party (I forgot the camera…but I do have one picture below!)
  • My family reunion (I forgot the camera for this, too)
  • Zach’s family reunion will be this Saturday (I’ll try to remember the camera this time!)
  • We’ve started cloth diapering almost full time (I haven’t found the right inserts to try a cloth diaper at night yet)
  • Irelyn had her 4 month appointment (she was 14 lb 9 oz, 25 inches long and is growing perfectly!)
  • Made it to 5 months of exclusive breastfeeding 🙂 (I tried some dairy a couple of weeks ago to see if she’s still sensitive to it…she is.)
  • Kaden spent a week at his dad’s house while Zach & I were house-sitting for my aunt
  • Irelyn learned to roll from back to belly (she’s been going from belly to back), has been learning to sit and has attempted to crawl twice!
  • Zach went to Columbus this past Tuesday to take his exam for the Ohio State Highway Patrol (he passed!) We should know if he got accepted into the academy in a few weeks 🙂
  • Irelyn had her 1st taste of solid food [this morning! – video below]

We are trying baby led weaning with Irelyn.  Basically, we’ll be skipping cereal & purees, starting with simple foods such as avocado, bananas, peaches, broccoli, etc and allowing her to feed herself.  The idea behind it is that she’ll learn to chew before swallowing (which will help her to only ingest solids as she is actually ready for them), it is supposed to help her be less picky towards the texture (with a 3 year old that would only eat mac-n-cheese and popsicles if I let him, I love this), plus I don’t have to spend time pureeing and storing foods for her, she’ll just eat what we eat!

We tried avocado today.  She was so excited when we put it on the tray and she licked it for a few minutes – I don’t think she actually managed to swallow any though.

Obviously, Kaden was narrating the entire event…I’ll only bore you with a little over a minute of it. [please ignore my messy house]

And here is the one and only picture I have from Zach’s party.

I’ll post more pictures as soon as I have some “free” time to edit them! 🙂

0

He’s Home!

Finally!  Zach got home around 3am on Friday morning.  He will be home for 10 days before he has to go back to Kentucky for a few days, but that’s nothing compared to the 10 months he’s been gone.  He got to meet Irelyn around 3:30am on Friday – we checked on her while she was sleeping and she woke up.  She spent an hour awake after that and was all smiles. 🙂  When Kaden woke up Friday morning I told him there was a surprise in my room for him…he came running out with a huge smile on his face when he saw that Zach was his surprise!  Here are a few pictures of the three of them.

Of course, the kids had to have special outfits to wear.  I had planned on that being a surprise for Zach at the airport, but since plans changed and he came home in the middle of the night, we just had a photo shoot in the living room [it only took Irelyn 10 minutes of wearing the onesie to spit up all over it anyway].  I ordered Irelyn’s skirt & bow on etsy and I made the shirts they’re wearing.

We’ve been pretty busy the past few days with visiting family, church and transitioning Irelyn to her crib (that was one huge failure from my 28 day challenge…).  The first night she slept in her crib, we were up every two hours – but last night she only woke up one extra time!  The past couple of days have been amazing and has made the past 10 months worth the wait.  Tonight’s post is going to be short, but we’re taking the kids to the park in the morning and we’ll be doing Irelyn’s 4 month picture tomorrow, so I’ll post those soon!

Here are a few more pictures from today 🙂

0

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.  🙂

0

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!

0

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.

Before:

After:

 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.

0

Day 3 – The Mail

Today’s task was pretty easy, but so necessary.  I had a stack of mail on top of the printer and an entire drawer packed full of mail – so I’ve also taken this opportunity to update as many of our bills to paperless as possible (I’m all for freeing up time that I’d waste organizing it after the tower of paper starts falling off of the printer… and it doesn’t hurt to save a few trees in the process).  

So, here are today’s pictures:

Someday… I plan to upgrade to a small file cabinet and alphabetize everything.  Someday.

I was looking at my blog stats today and was totally surprised.  I started this blog before my husband deployed last September.  My plan was to write about what is happening here at home so that he and our family that we don’t talk to everyday could stay up to date.  I never expected to have anyone I didn’t know personally to be remotely interested in the random things I’ve posted.  But to my 12 followers – thank you 🙂  I’ve reached 300+ page views since February and that is what makes me want to continue posting.  Blogging is the only time of day that I have to myself, but because I don’t blog until evening, I don’t put a lot of thought into what or how I write (this kills me because since high school I have always dreamed of becoming a published author).  I’m hoping that after Zach is home and I have more adult conversation each day my brain won’t be so fried.  Anyway, thank you to all of you who read each boring, random post.  It means a lot to me 🙂

We didn’t do much today, we got to Skype with Zach for quite a while this morning and relaxed most of the day.  Kaden has been carrying around $4 and stuffing it in random toys (somehow he hasn’t lost a single dollar in the past 2 weeks he’s had the money), so we made him a bank today.

I asked him what he is going to save his money for.  His answer?  A motorcycle….”cause motorcycles are cool, mommy!”

I found another quote this week that I love.  Zach and I got married just 6 weeks before he deployed last year, so our first year of marriage has been interesting to say the least.  We haven’t had the chance to live together for very long or to experience any of the struggles and happiness that a normal first year of marriage brings.  Through this deployment we have experienced many new struggles and a different kind of happiness than I ever expected to have.  We have grown in ways I didn’t know were possible and we’ve gotten closer in ways we never could have if we hadn’t had to spend so much time apart.  We’ve had to trust each other 100% and find a way to be “together” while we’re 8,000 miles apart, instead of letting the distance divide us.  I absolutely hate having to spend this time apart, but I’m thankful for what it has made us.  I have heard multiple times (as I know every other military wife has), people telling me they “don’t know how I do it” or that they “would never be strong enough to love someone who’d have to be away so much”.  I’m never quite sure if they want an answer, explanation or expect me to have an emotional breakdown, so I just smile and nod.  But the alternative to all the lonely nights, the long and, at times, frustrating days… is to not have him.  And that would be far more painful than any deployment.

So, for us, I don’t expect to have a perfect marriage, to never fight or to have unending bliss in between deployments – my only wish is for forever enough.

Enough patience to stay the course.
Enough passion to get angry.
Enough intrigue to hold attention.
Enough encouragement to grow together.
Enough leniency to forgive missteps and faults.
Enough humility to always count our blessings.
Enough wit to keep laughing.
Enough love to last a lifetime.

2

My 28 Day Challenge

I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to pass time and get everything ready for Zach to come home.  I found a “21 day challenge” while on pinterest one night – since cleaning/organizing is one of my big plans before homecoming, I thought it would be perfect.  But 21 days isn’t enough time to do everything I want to (plus I have way more than 21 days to get through), so I’ve changed it and added tasks of my own.

Here is the original “21 day challenge” at a bowl full of lemons.

And this is my new list:

21 28 DAY ORGANIZING CHALLENGE

Being a mom to a 3 year old and a newborn on my own has been a hard adjustment, so I’ve added things that don’t involve cleaning to my list to help ensure I keep my sanity.  I’ve been extremely blessed to be able to talk/Skype/message Zach the majority of this deployment, but in a few weeks he’ll lose the internet access he has now.  I know I’ll need plenty of things to keep me busy so my mind doesn’t wander when I can’t talk to him daily.  I’m going to try to post everyday for the next 28 days.  I’m obviously terrible at posting regularly, so we’ll see how that goes.
Well I’m off to bed before Irelyn decides she’s hungry again.  I’ll post about our junk drawer tomorrow! 🙂