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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