Saturday, December 29, 2012

Killing Time

Since I'm just here watching Married to the Army: Alaska, I figured it was the perfect time to update the blog. Unfortunately I won't be able to watch all three hours, because I have a ton to do. One of the first things I want need to do is climb up on a ladder and get our welcome home sign hung! It's finally time!! In just a few days my hubby bubby will be home.

Worry not OPSEC nazis.. The date/time/location are posted on a public Army website..

Thankfully my parents were here for a couple of days to help out with getting the house ready. Maybe all this time alone has caused my standards to go down, but my mom was shocked. Apparently the house was "turned upside down". I didn't think so, but what do you expect with two little ones.

At the end of the parental visit, we all got sick. It was awful. Yesterday I felt horrid so instead of helping set up the barracks, I sat with my head between my knees on the stairs. The girls were in daycare which relieved a ton of stress, but I got a call to pick up V early because her stomach was bothering her also.

I'm happy to say that we're all feeling much better today. I just need to find my motivation to get up and off of Facebook.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

If Only In My Dreams...

Lately, I've been feeling less than festive since Hubster isn't home and I was really expecting him by this time. I entered the holiday season with expectations of sending small meaningful gifts to everyone. Of course get the Christmas cards out on time. Make tons of Pinterest projects like placemats and cute home decor. My blogging has also suffered. There are days where I think, "I should write that down," but it never happens. The great ideas that I do have kind of just get pushed to the back of my mind.

All I can focus on lately is homecoming, and it isn't coming nearly quickly enough!

This evening a couple of close Army friends came over for Christmas Eve dinner. Two months ago I was beyond excited for hosting Christmas Eve. I wanted to go all out with tons of delicious food that I slaved over for hours in the kitchen. Nope. Tonight we had chili and cornbread. And to add injury to insult, it wasn't even my good chili. Just crappy crockpot chili and Jiffy corn muffins.

I adore my friends though. They were more than satisfied with chili and being able to hangout with my girls. After dinner we sat around and talked for hours about everything from dog training to gun control to Soldiers who were KIA. I needed that. I've withdrawn from just about everyone significantly lately, mostly due to the fact that we're all in different places in our lives, and it felt good to connect again. Any adult interaction and conversation is also a plus.

Santa skipped up tonight, since he's in Afghanistan with dad. They'll be together on the same plane back in a matter of days, and we'll celebrate Christmas and open gifts as a family then. Tomorrow we might make cookies and I'm considering doing a birthday party for Jesus, so that I don't end up raising total heathens, but we'll see where my motivation level is. This deployment depression has me nuts and I can't wait to kick it to the curb.

I hope that everyone has a very merry Christmas with their loved ones!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Secret Weapon

This evening I discovered a fantastic iPhone app to assist with keeping V under control. Since Hubs isn't here to help out with tantrums, I have enlisted Santa's help instead. I have no idea where she even learned about Santa, because I don't talk about him, but V is deathly afraid to end up on his naughty list. Santa's Magic Phone Call is going to help me finish the year with my sanity and two living children.

The first time I threatened to call, she ended up in tears. Oops. Bad mom. But it worked! If she starts acting up, I just pull the Santa card, and like magic I have a little angel again. At least temporarily.

With this app Santa calls and warns about being put on the naughty list and you're able to choose a variety of reasons why. There are also options for if you have well behaved children. It's cute because it's meant to look like FaceTime, which we do all the time with my parents. V can also call Santa herself and he asks and records what she wants for Christmas. Tonight she called and asked for a "kintar" three times. The best thing about this app though is that it's free! Unlike the Elmo app that I paid for and hardly came with anything, this app has a bunch of fun features.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Moving Along

I'm excited to say that the majority of my Christmas shopping is complete! I know what I'm getting for the people that I haven't already shopped for. Yay me! I'm most excited to get V her guitar.

Originally, I was really hoping to do a homemade Christmas, but with everything going on lately, it was going to be difficult. Maybe next year I can try. I'll have plenty of time to research and plan. I was able to make a a table runner with matching placemats, but that's about it. But then again, we'll be PCSing again shortly before Christmas next year, so that might not work.

I've probably been saying this for a while, but there's only a very short amount of time before Hubster is home! I have a huge list of things to do, and I haven't accomplished a single one. Hopefully by making a list, I'm able to get stuff checked off.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Busy Busy Bee

For the past couple of days I've been working nonstop. I've been looking at and filling in rosters for hours at a time. I was just going to do a Wordless Wednesday photo dump, but I figured a few minutes away from FRG stuff isn't going to hurt. It's easier to do my work once V is asleep any way, and shes currently glued to Yo Gabba Gabba.

A few of the key volunteers and myself have been making phone calls like crazy trying to verify phone numbers for the family members of the Soldiers from our unit. It turns out that some of the volunteers that were supposed to be making these calls during the year, didn't. I feel awful for the family members who were neglected. Most were so thankful to finally be getting a call though.

We're down to the final weeks of deployment! I was hoping that Hubster would be home by Christmas, but it doesn't seem like that's going to be the case. It should be by the end of the year though. I'm a little disappointed because him and a couple of other guys left a week before the main group, yet they're all coming back together. I'm beyond happy that this year is coming to an end though.

While I had some free time today, I did some shopping for the Single Soldier barracks. I also picked up some Christmas gifts for V. Up until a few seconds ago I was really concerned about not having all my gifts by the 25th, but I guess if dad isn't here it doesn't really matter. Hell, maybe I'll wait until the day after Christmas to buy my gifts. The girls aren't old enough to know that we won't be celebrating until he's home anyway.

Is hell something that old people say..? I feel like I've definitely heard my dad and grandpa say that..

And how much is an acceptable amount to spend on a one and two year old for Christmas? V has a $20 play mat and a $40 Wii game so far. The Wii game is really for me, but it has Dora on the front, so I guess I can share. I'm trying so hard to not buy anything that comes with a million pieces, or anything that is relatively large. Their toy closest is already exploding as it is.

Well, V is asleep so I'll end this with a photo dump.

Damn dog

Cake in a mug!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Post - 3 Odd Bodyweight Exercises You Need in Your Workout Routine NOW

Since Baby A has her checkup this morning, I have to skip my usual date with the gym. Instead, I found a solution that should be convenient for me to do from home. I'm actually looking forward to doing these workouts by Sergeant Michael Volkin because they are quick and effective. There isn't any special equipment required, which means I can knock them out in the living room during nap time.


Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just acquired your gym membership you have most likely scoured the internet for effective exercises to get you in shape.  As a fitness enthusiast for over 20 years, there isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t try and incorporate something new in my workout routine.  Your body has an amazing ability to adapt.  If you aren’t constantly challenging yourself with new techniques and exercises you are not maximizing your workout time. So I challenge you to incorporate all three of these below exercises in your next workout. 
  • Body Rocks-Lay on your back with your legs in a vertical position and your arms over your head. Use your abs to rock your body up to almost a seated position. Rock back down. Do these for 30 seconds and your abs will feel like they’ve got the workout of a lifetime.
  • Shoulder Annihilators-Assume the push-up position with your forearms on the ground. Rotate up and out off one arm ending with your chest perpendicular to the ground.  Your shoulder muscle should be bearing the weight of the body rotation. Do 10 of these for each arm and your shoulders will definitely feel the burn.
  • Scorpions- Assume the push-up position. Move your left leg as far as possible past your right leg and rotate your head and body to the left. Repeat with other side. Do 10 of these on each side and your mid-section will wish you didn’t read this article.
All of the above exercises can be found in my new bodyweight fitness cards called Strength Stack 52.  Whether you choose to do the exercises above or find some different ones of your own, keep in mind that varying your workout is of utmost importance. I see too many people in the gym, like zombies, doing the same exercises week after week.  To maximize your exercise time, spend 15 minutes a week searching the internet for new exercises to do the following week.  This is the single easiest thing you can do to increase your workout effectiveness.
This article was written by Sergeant Michael Volkin, best-selling author of military basic training books and inventor of Strength Stack 52, a unique way to transform bodyweight exercises into a fun and competitive workout.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sleepover Weekend

Last night was my first experience as a mommy with babies who have friends. We had two of V's friends sleep over so that their mom could concentrate on homework and studying for finals. They're all great kids, but trying to handle four was difficult. And that's even considering that I had help from Jacquie. Even though I was against the idea of having four kids anyway, now I am 100% percent convinced that I have absolutely zero desire to have more than one more kid.

Between Jacquie and I we did our best to keep them entertained, but it was difficult. At the playground someone would be running off in the wrong direction or messing with strangers. We made a fire in the pit out back, but having three toddlers running around was pretty nerve wracking. Early this morning the little girl woke up scared and banging on the door because she didn't know who's bed she was in. It's also inevitable that when you have a bunch of kids together for too long they're going to fight; there was plenty of that.

Thankfully having people over helped me get a start on the cleaning that needs to be done in the next couple of weeks. I'm trying to work on a good checklist so that I don't miss anything for Hubster coming back. When he was home for R&R, I left the garage a mess and needless to say, that was one of the areas that I should have cleaned up first. Duh!

Tomorrow is Baby A's one-year well baby checkup. I can't wait to find out how big she is! Hopefully she isn't too cranky after getting her shots and we can go take some pictures at Sears. I would have liked to have gone on Friday, but she feel and hit the corner of her eye and ended up with it being swollen and dark. It's looking much much better now.

Time is ticking on deployment and it feels like I have so much to do, yet I'm lacking motivation. So ready for this year to be over! I hope it ends up being a good week for us. Hope you have a great week too!

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Friday, December 7, 2012

One Heck of a Birth Story

December 7, a date which will live in infamy. For me, there's a different reason. It's the day that my sweet Adriana was born. Exactly one year ago today, with very little notice, my princess decided to make her appearance.

Originally she was due December 1, and I did just about all I could to get her to come early, but to no avail. At 5:19am the day she was born, I rolled over to Hubster and said that I thought I was having contractions. I wasn't 100% sure if it was real because with V I was induced and very heavily medicated so I didn't feel much. We waited a few more minutes and then decided to jump into the shower just in case.

By the end of the shower, I knew this was the real thing. Still, I wasn't in a huge rush. I took my time getting dressed, ironing my hair, and putting on make-up. Hubs was trying to get me to hurry up, but the contractions weren't that bad and I was doing ok.

My mom had come up to help with V, so we woke her up to let her know that we were on the way to the hospital. It was probably close to 6:00am by the time we got into the car and ready to go. By this time, I was in pain, although still manageable. It kept getting worse though. We had to drive just under half an hour to get to the hospital and about halfway there I couldn't handle the pain anymore. Hubs had to hurry up and drive faster.

Well, that wasn't a good idea. A jerk state trooper pulled us over and was really rude about the whole situation. He told us twice that we should have called the ambulance and that since my husband was an officer in the Army, we should have known better than to break the law and it was disgraceful, blah blah blah... We ended up getting a warning, which I was pissed about. If you were going to waste so much of our time, at least give us a ticket! We didn't get a police escort the rest of the way to the hospital either. I understand that we were in the wrong, but there was no reason to be such a jerk about it.

At 6:30 we were walking into the hospital as the bugle went off for the PT formation. By this point I'm surprised that I wasn't crawling. Somehow, I made it across the parking lot and Hubs was able to get me a wheelchair inside. We took the elevator up, up, up, where we were greeted by the large metal doors. It took them forever to verify and let us in (safety first!).

I was wheeled into the triage room where they checked how far I had dilated. I was 10cm and ready to go, so they transferred me to another bed and wheeled me into a room where they had just kicked out some other lady. Mind you, the entire time I was screaming like the crazy pregnant people that you see on TV and begging for drugs. I got no drugs, since they weren't even able to get an IV in me in time. As soon as we got into the delivery room, my water broke. That was the only thing holding Baby A in, so a couple of minutes and three pushes later, she was in my arms. 

Adriana Sofia was born December 7, 2011 at 6:54am weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 21 inches long.

I was terrified the entire time, but looking back it honestly wasn't that bad. The only part that hurt was the contractions. I was most scared about her head ripping my lady bits to pieces, but I didn't even feel that part. And thankfully she was out nice and quickly, so she didn't have a cone head like her older sis.

This has been quite a year for us, but she has made it so much easier. She is such a great baby and not temperamental at all. I know that if she cries it's because shes tired or dirty. That's it! I feel blessed to be able to call this bundle of joy mine.

Happy birthday baby! Mommy loves you!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Neat iPhone Trick

Maybe it's just me, but I tend to not hear or feel my phone when it vibrates. I think since the iPhone 5 is lighter, there just might not be enough force behind it. So, while playing around with my phone, I discovered a cool little feature. I've never seen it posted anywhere and none of my friends knew about it. You can change the settings so that the flash blinks when you get a notification. Keep in mind it is a little blinding though.

To get the LED alerts, all you have to do is: settings> general> accessibility and turn LED flash for alerts on.

If you're driving at night it might look like there's a party going on in your car. The strobes are pretty intense so this might not be ideal for everyone. And use caution if you're at a meeting or something. I got several wtf stares earlier this week.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homemade Kirby Dry Foam Carpet Shampoo

Yesterday I mentioned how much I love my Kirby. It is seriously the greatest vacuum that I could have purchased. It does just about everything and they last forever. The one thing about the Kirby that isn't great though, is it's price. Aside from the machine itself, the price of bags and soap can add up.

Using the Kirby as a carpet shampooer is fabulous. It has worked so well for me and taken care of all of my nasty high traffic areas. A couple of weekends ago I offered to shampoo my friend's carpet because her parents were coming to visit and her toddlers had wrecked the floor. About halfway through I ran out of soap. It's a bit expensive to order so I didn't have a backup and Jenn's carpet was still crappy looking.

Like I always do, I took to Google to see if there was something else that I could use for the carpet. I ended up finding this recipe to make my own dry foam Kirby shampoo. There was only one issue though, no ammonia. I half convinced that ammonia is an ingredient in meth and that's why you can't find it anywhere in this area. My mom always had it around the house, but I guess the junkies in Georgia can't be trusted.

Anyway, I replaced the ammonia with alcohol. I've used water+vinegar+alcohol to clean my couches and it's worked great so I figured why not..?!

The recipe that I ended up using to make the shampoo was:
  • 12 cups Water
  • 1 Tbs White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Rubbing Alcohol
  • 3 Tbs Dish Soap (Dawn, Palmolive, etc.)
All you have to do is add the dish soap last to avoid creating too many bubbles, mix well and pour directly into the soap tank. This recipe will make about enough to fill up the tank one and a half times.

The mix smelled just like the shampoo that I've purchased and worked just as well. The stubborn stains all came up and by the time I was done, the carpet was white again. I have no idea why I never thought to try something like this before. I love cleaning with vinegar so it's like a double win for me.
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Friday, November 30, 2012

My Best Friend, Kirby

On January 2, of this year, I was introduced to the Kirby Sentria. There was a knock on the door and the girl standing there told me that she had a gift for me if I would let her give me a demo of her product. Of course I wasn't really interested, I had been wearing the same pajamas for two days, and the house was a disaster. And of course I said yes.

Well.. The demo took three, maybe four hours. It surpassed ridiculous and was borderline annoying. This vacuum though, it was amazing. It did everything! You can literally paint your walls or change a lightbulb with a Kirby. My current vacuum was losing suction and I was in the market for a new one anyway, so I kept listening. And then we got to the price. I was ready to drop several hundreds of dollars, but I wasn't at all expecting the insane price that I was quoted.

$2400.... What?! No. I told the guy to leave. Being that this was a vacuum sales man, he had all sorts of "deals". If I gave him my old vac, that'd be several hundred off. If I donated a certain number of cans, that'd be a couple hundred off. If donated to Toys for Tots (even though it was well after Christmas), more money off. The price ended up getting down to $1400, which I still was comfortable paying without talking to my husband first. Lucky for me, there was no direct line to Afghanistan, so buddy had to leave.

Fast forward to September. As I glanced out of my front window, I noticed shady people knocking on my neighbors doors. Please, please, please come to my house..! Sure enough they did!! The moment I had been waiting NINE months for. The salesman started on some shpeel about they had a new office in the area and wanted to demo their equipment. "Save it. I know what you want. I want your vacuum." I straight up told the guy that I didn't want a demo, I didn't want my time wasted, and I wasn't going to pay more than $1200. Easy peasy. He did stick around for a tiny bit just to show me some features and help me learn to use it.

I've done some research and apparently the Kirby salespeople always tell you not to mention to your neighbors "how good of a deal you got". Well friends and neighbors, I think I got a pretty good deal. I paid a lot less than some of the other wives that I know. If you have a Kirby, how much did you pay? It's a fantastic appliance, but definitely not worth getting screwed for.

Anyway, I recently found a recipe online to make your own dry foam for the Kirby shampooer. You can make it for a fraction of the price of the actual shampoo, and considering that one bottle of shampoos doesn't go very far, this is a great deal! I'll be sharing that tomorrow as well as my own version of the recipe. Being at my parents' house got me out of the blogging routine, so hopefully sharing my love for Kirby will help get me back.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Some photos from the past week

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This Blogger App Sucks Too

I don't know why, but this updated blogger app keeps posting my stuff with the wrong date and time. The last post that I made was actually from last night, but I updated it and reposted this morning. This post is kind of a test to see if this posts correctly.

People Suck

One of our credit cards was hacked and I'm pissed. I'm almost positive that I know how it happened. Thankfully, USAA is a fabulous company to do business with and they're taking care of us.

Last week as I was driving to Miami for Thanksgiving I had to make a stop for gas. It's always a regular stop that we make to fill up the tank, grab some food or drinks, and switch from I-95 to the Turnpike. While at the gas station I was approached by a girl asking if I had perfume. Umm... No. Sorry.. It was strange, but I just figured that her and her friends across the parking lot were smoking weed.

Fast forward to last night. I logged on to my USAA account since its the end of the month to check how much cash we had. It might be kinda strange, but I like to challenge myself at the end of the month to see how much cash I can transfer to the savings account. I figured that I'd be doing great this month since I've been at my parents' house and haven't spent anything. Wrong-o!! Holy crap. The amount was close to $1000 lower than it should have been. At first I panicked, and then I called USAA. Luckily Hubs was online just at that moment so I could ask if he had been shopping.

I have a feeling that the chick at the gas station was some how able to magnetically steal my account details. Now I'm kicking myself because usually I don't take the whole wallet out of the car but this time I did.

The two people that helped me I the phone were great. I cried and one of the guys was so sympathetic and understanding.

So now I have to wait for the fraud department to investigate and get us our money back. The great thing about USAA is that you're not responsible for fraudulent purchases made with your account.

I hope everyone else has had a much lovelier start to their week. Mother Nature isn't agreeing with me either and I've been in crippling pain.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving my blog friends! I have several things to be thankful for this year.

For one, I have a marvelous little family. My baby celebrated her first Thanksgiving today, and other than a nasty diaper rash is completely healthy. Hubs had Thanksgiving dinner flown in to his FOB and he said it was delicious.

I was able to successfully make the drive to my parents' house without a co-pilot. Thank goodness for my awesome preparation.

Today was spent with both of my parents, all three siblings, and my (brand new Marine) brother-in-law.

Hopefully this will be the last holiday that I celebrate without the Hubster.

It is now socially acceptable for me to go absolutely crazy with my Christmas decor.

Black Friday online sales.

What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Traveling With Toddlers: Roadtrip

Tomorrow is going to be quite the day for my girls and I. We'll be on the road for a total of about 10 hours. Usually I have some one drive with me when we drive long distances, so it'll be the first time that it's just the three of us. Normally I count on my co-pilot to pick up dropped sippy cups and switch the DVDs in the player, but this time all of that falls on me. I'm excited and nervous to make the trip alone.

In the morning we'll be waking up a little earlier than usual to head to Parris Island for my brother-in-law's graduation (BTW, I'm so proud of him! He's the honor grad from his Company). It's about an hour and 15 minutes north of us so it shouldn't be too bad. After the graduation we'll be driving back down south, picking up the dog and then continuing the seven and a half hours south to Miami.

I've made lists galore to make sure that I don't forget anything, but chances are that I will. Thankfully I'll be stopping by the house before I get on the road for the long haul in case I do forget something. Snacks and lunch for the girls will be portioned in to baggies so that handing it back is simple. I haven't decided how I'm going to work the formula situation for Baby A, so we'll see about that. I have Capri Suns in the freezer to act as ice packs and keep other items cold. The one good thing about not having someone in the passengers seat, is that I'll have everything readily accessible.

I'm considering taking my Cricut and sewing machine down to Miami also, just in case I get bored during the day. Whether or not I take them though depends on how much space I have.

Although a little reluctant, I'm excited to try and do this with the girls. I hope I don't lose my mind. If I learn anything, I'll be sure to share!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Commi High

It is pretty rare for me to venture out to the commissary being that we live about half an hour from post. It's even rarer for me to go shopping anywhere on or just after payday. Now combine the two. You're more likely to see a mermaid riding a unicorn than to see me at the commissary on payday. Not this week though. I seriously felt a high after my shopping trip this week. Now I understand why those crazy extreme couponers do what they do!

I got everything in the picture below for $28. Now I know I'm not on the same level as an extreme couponer, but it sure felt like it. Between the Commissary sidewalk sale and a couple of random coupons that were at the store, I think I did well.

Each of the cereal boxes was $.50. They were on sale for $1.25 each, but when you purchased them in groups of three, you could use a coupon for $3.00 off. Since I bought two Rice Krispies, I got the marshmallows free. The macaroni and cheeses were $.44 each, and the jello mold, $.99. I also got four bottles of Spray and Wash that are still in my car for $.25 each. With a coupon, a 20-count box of Lipton teas was $1.00

I can't exactly remember what the rest of the prices were and my recipe has gone missing, but I'm super happy with the purchase. I seriously can not wait until the next sale, they always have great deals!

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Thursday, November 15, 2012


For some reason, the awesome updated Blogger app that I tweeted about yesterday ate my Wordless Wednesday post. Its showing up on the app but not on my dash on the computer. Very strange.

Lately, I've also had an issue with a ton of comment spam. Is anyone else having this issue? My page views have gone up drastically, but I'm pretty sure they aren't legit views.. ): I know it's annoying, but I'm considering adding the image verification thing back so that I don't have to deal with the spam at all.

I'm currently working on a pretty cool painting that I saw in a magazine. It's paint splashed onto two canvases. I started out with black and I'm going to top it with silver and red to kind of match the bench that I'm working on. The black layer is drying. It shouldn't be too much longer until V and I can do the two other colors.

While the paint is drying, we're watching Noodle & Doodle on OnDemand. I seriously love this show! There are a ton of fun craft and recipe ideas to do with kids.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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