Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Highs, Lows, & Everything in Between

If I had to use one word to sum up the last week and a half... CRAZY would hit the nail on the head.


-Grace hit the third month of life milestone (post to come SOON!)... and the cutest giggle this side of the Mississippi has come with it.  I look for ways to make her laugh because it will brighten even the darkest of days.

-Driving on to post and seeing an airborne unit doing jumps over the parade field.  Something I've never seen before in my 4 years of military wife life... definitely cool.

-Starting a book club with some local ladies.  Our first book is Heaven is for Real.. and I'm excited because we are going to go see the movie when we are done reading!

-Going to dinner at our favorite restaurant (Texas Roadhouse) with some great company.  We always have a great time when we go out with Eryn and Francis and Abby and Nick.  Always.

-Rob always has fun when we go out with said friends... maybe too much?  This last weekend resulted in this classic.. "Out of six billion women in the world, probably five billion want to be with me... but I choose to be with you."  That's why I keep him around.

-Planning out details and events for our trip home to Kansas in a little less than 3 weeks. I'm. So. Excited. It will be Grace's first trip home.  And the first time Rob will have gone back with me since we moved in the summer of 2012.


-Turning the air conditioner on for the first time this season... house starts at 81. Warms to 83.  Obviously something is wrong, as the a/c is supposed to COOL, not warm.  Luckily they were able to get out and get it fixed before any rain rolls into town.

-Having my washing machine go out at the end of Easter weekend.  It will not fill up... Rob has taken it apart to fix it.  We planned to get it back up and running (hopefully) this last weekend, but the only store in town that sells washing machine parts is open Monday through Friday until 5:30. No weekends.. so um, yeah.  Hopefully by the end of this week it will be up and running, cause Momma is hurting without her washer!

-Getting the wrong appointment time for Rob's wisdom teeth removal that was supposed to be on Monday.  Unfortunately he had to reschedule to June..

-The neighbors cutting down the trees that lined our shared property line.  I do not know why this has me so irrationally mad.  But she hired some podunk company to come out and do it.  The first night they were out from like dinnertime to 9 pm chainsawing.  Then they left a half cut down tree for several days.  Before coming back a second day in the middle of the day to finishing removing two trees (except the stump... they just covered those with pine needles..).  Then this evening at 8:30 pm we hear the chainsaw AGAIN.  This time they were cutting branches down out of a third tree.  I'm so mad.

And that my friends is basically the last week and a half in a nutshell.  I'm very excited to usher in the month of May.  There are so many much anticipated things on the calendar...

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm a real military wife.

I know I am a few days late... but I wanted to link up anyway to the Real Military Wives of Blogland link up over at Mal Smiles and The Samantha Show.  Lord knows I'm always looking for REAL blogs that I can relate to.

If you are new around these parts, my name is Amanda.  I am a 24 year old mom to my 3 month old [today!] Grace, and 4 year old Piston [fur-child].  I'm also Rob's wife.  Rob is in the Army.  Thus I can also call myself a military wife.

Rob and I met in high school.  He moved to my high school our senior year.  We had college algebra together.  Towards the end of our senior year, we became really close friends before Rob dropped the whole "I enlisted" bomb.  He went off to basic, and I went to the local community college.  Once he graduated, our letter-writing friendship blossomed into something more.  By the time he came home for his 2 weeks off over the holidays we were ready to make our relationship official.  And so we became an 'us' on December 20th 2008.

We dated long distance while he lived in Maryland and I finished my degree.  In March of 2010 he asked me to marry him.. and just a few days later we went down to the courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland and made it officially official.  After I graduated I moved out to Maryland to live with him while he was stationed at Fort Meade.

Which is where we lived when we brought home our fur-child, Piston.  After living their for a year together, Rob got orders to deploy to Kuwait and so I moved back to Kansas to live near family and friends.  And just one year later we were on the move again... to Georgia.  Our current home is right outside Fort Gordon.  We have been here for almost 2 years [in August!] and this is where we brought home our baby, Grace, in January of this year.  Later this year we will embark on another adventure as Rob was just selected to become a warrant officer.

Being a military wife means a lot of things to me.  First and foremost, I am a WIFE to my husband.  I am his partner through life and all that comes with it.  Each step of the way we go together.  Being a military wife adds an extra element as I go where he goes and generally fall behind Uncle Sam in order of importance.  While sometimes that is especially frustrating... nothing compares to the pride I have for my husband and his career.  Not everyone can say that their career is truly life changing and meaningful.  But our men and women of the Armed forces truly do something so few are capable of.  To be married to one of those individuals is indescribable.

With that being said, I am my own person.  I am not defined by my husbands career.  We make the majority of our life decisions around the Army, but we do it together.  I am not just an Army wife.  I am also Grace's mom, a graphic designer, a book worm, and so many other things.  Being an Army wife is just one aspect of my life.. while huge, it isn't the only part!  And that my friends.. is what the rest of the world NEEDS to know!
Mal Smiles

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Nursery Reveal.

So I've had a half written post in draft for months now.  A post where I went into great detail about how much of a nightmare setting up Grace's nursery was.  To sum it up?

-It took forever and a day to clean the room out.
-The touch up paint had to be re-touched up not once, but twice, because of the wrong finish.
-Our original crib came damaged and had to be exchanged.
-Not to mention half the furniture didn't get there until my parents did.. when Grace was born.

REGARDLESS.  Her room is done.  And I love it.

So without further ado...
As close to seeing the whole room as I can get.
Crib-Gift from my parents. Broyhill brand.
Bedding-Gift from my Aunt Ann and Uncle Bob. Buy Buy Baby.
Rug-Target on clearance.
White Basket-Family heirloom.
Crib bumper-Gift from my parents. Also Buy Buy Baby.
I made these by spray painting basic wood letters from Hobby Lobby purple and
 then wrapping matching ribbon around and hanging.  They are actually hung
with a push pin hidden between the two layers.
Dresser-Family heirloom refinished by my Dad.
Lamp-Family item that I updated with a new lampshade and ribbon.
Artwork upper left and bottom right-Framed fabric scraps.
Artwork on upper right-framed quote with punch outs from baby shower cards.
Artwork on bottom left-Gift from my friend Rachel, who made it.  Check out RachJam Decor for yours!
Rocking chair-Family heirloom.
Curtains-Purchased from Walmart years ago.
And internet wires... because this use to be the office!
Her (sort of) organized closet.
Shoes, burp rags, extra bedding on the left in the hanger.
Two size ranges of clothing (this picture is nb and 0 to 3 month)(currently though, 3 month and 3 to 6 month).
Extra diapers, blankets and receiving blankets.
Clothing in bigger sizes on the far right.
And 4 giant tubs at the bottom full of one of our family friends baby wardrobe (they graciously loaned it to us!)!
And a bump on the rug... aka Piston.
Side note... we rent, so the walls have to stay that awful yellow color.  It doesn't exactly go with the rest of the room.. but you gotta do what you gotta do.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Grace's first Easter weekend.

I'd like to say we did a whole bunch of super cute, tradition setting things for Grace's very first Easter.  But we didn't.  She's 5 days shy of three months old... so I opted out.  Or rather, I never really got around to it.  Regardless of the lack of cutesy traditions, we had a pretty good weekend... as a family.

Our weekend started Friday, as the mister had the day off.  And we spent the [VERY] rainy day running some errands.  Finally finished getting Grace enrolled in Deers.. she's legit now.  Stopped at Lowe's.  Took a small walk back in time via the music being played.  It was stellar.  And then... we braved the mall for Easter bunny pictures.

It took for. freaking. ever.  Mind you, I have been trying to get Rob to go with us for like 2 weeks now.  Instead we waited until 2 days before Easter, and as a result so did everyone else.  We barely made it through without a major meltdown from Grace.  BUT we survived...

Thank goodness for the not-so-creepy female bunny!
And the baby SMILES.

And on top of all of the Friday excitement, we also had to deal with some teething crankiness.  Yes, you read that right... my not even three month old baby has already broke a tooth on her bottom left side.  It's oddly popping out the front.. but it's there in all its white glory.

Saturday we ran some more errands.  My major to-do this weekend was to get my sister's graduation invitations, Grace's baptism invites and the open house party invites printed, enveloped and mailed.  Check, check and check.

We attempted to go to the Easter vigil mass.  I say attempted because we made it about 35 minutes into what more than likely turned into a 2 hour mass.  Grace was fine until they shut the lights off to do the candle procession.  Then she got fussy.  And after a diaper change and some walking around outside of the main gathering space... we decided to call it and headed for the car.  Lesson learned... early masses for the win, always.

Awesome quality cell phone front camera picture!  Makes my teeth
look super awesome white... and Rob's lips blue.  But it must be
shared to prove that we did in fact dress up for church!
She wasn't exactly having it...
Hands, hands... all of the time!

But we got dressed up-we showed up with the best intentions-and as Rob put it... Jesus understands.

That night we did Easter baskets.  Because I just can't wait [and... Rob had cold beers in his basket.  Plus... Grace is not even three months old [that's like the fifth time I've said that.. sorry!]... so she will not remember that the bunny visited with her sitting right there.]  Everyone was happy.. even Piston who had some eggs from the bunny too!

My basket. Grace's basket. Rob's basket. Piston's eggs.
She's clearly interested.
Please, please, please disregard the floor that desperately needed vacuuming.
Daddy thought he was clever stacking her entire Easter basket on her.
4 books, a headband and a bib.
Daddy and his basket.
Piston loves when presents are opened in this house!

So our actual Easter was pretty low key.  We Skyped with my family in the afternoon.  Then cooked a [bigger than normal, but not a feast] dinner.  Before wrapping up the weekend with some cuddle time and TV.

My sweet sweet girl.
That face..

[[I'm not entirely sure I like re-capping our entire weekend.  We just don't do enough fun stuff to justify a full weekend post every time.  BUT I had a ton of pictures I wanted to share from this weekend.  All taken on my phone, because I am THAT blogger.  So there's that.]]

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

From my family to yours...
Happy Easter!

I hope you have a beautiful day full of faith, hope and love with those dearest to you.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two months.

I'm beginning to realize that whole "it goes by so fast" sentiment I heard so many times is quite literally the truth.  I always brushed it off while pregnant... but now I find myself saying it over, and over, and over again.  Too much in fact.  Sorry for the broken record.
TO my sweet girl: I value every single moment with you more than I ever thought possible.  I LOVE being a mom.  Thank you for changing my perspective on life.

At two months... your quirks...

.You hate shots.  Haven't heard of a baby yet that does like them.  For you I'm not sure if it was that we woke you up to get them or the shots themselves.  But I do know that I hate shots too.  Why?  Because it kills me seeing you do that no-breathing cry.

.When you are hurt you do the no-breathing cry.  Which is an awesome trait you picked up from yours truly.

.You wear a size 2 diaper.  We have decided we are Huggies fans.

.You wear size 0 to 3 month including 3 month outfits.  Your newborn clothing was all put away a few weeks ago to make room for the bigger sizes.

.You are so alert when you are awake.  The world truly fascinates you.

.You hold your own head up and like to sit up with assistance.  And recently you've started putting weight on your legs if someone holds you up.

.You smile all the time.  Especially when told you are pretty.

.You love to stare at the ceiling fan.

.You haven't started regularly napping in your crib yet.  Usually you take your afternoon slumber in your swing or sprawled across someone's chest.

.Your brother has become obsessed with you even more.  I truly think you two will be best friends.  He takes every chance possible to give you kisses and doesn't stop until someone tells him to.  He seems to think your coos are a personal call for him to lick you.

.You coo a lot.  Love to talk to us in between smiles.

.Your witching hour has for the most part gone away **knock on wood**.  You fall asleep between 11 and 2... but don't tend to scream like you used to.  You just love to cuddle before bed.  But once asleep you can go back to sleep by yourself.

This post has been sitting in draft since March 25th (her 2 monthaversary)... which just goes to prove how life has taken a new direction.  Ain't got time for nuffin.  ;)

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm raising a military child.

April is the month of the military child.  I've spent years being surrounded by friends raising children in the shadow of the military.  Strong willed children that love with all of their might.  "Typical children" that carry an extra burden and experience more than most do.

This year as the month of April dawned, so did the realization that I didn't just become a new mom to my sweet Grace... but I became a mom to a military child.  Who will grow up proud of her dad and his accomplishments.  But will also feel the pain of him being away for days and months at a time.  Which will not be easy, for any of us.

My hope for Grace is that she will grow up to be an outgoing, social child.  Not afraid of the obstacles life will throw at her at a young age.  I hope that she grows up knowing that daddy does what he does to protect her and provide for her.  I want her to experience life and all it has to offer, no matter where we are and who surrounds us.  I want her to know the love of family... even if we aren't right down the road.

Above all else, I want Grace to feel proud to be her father's daughter.  Proud to be an American.  Proud to be a military child.

After all... not everyone can claim something so special.

Linking up @ Daffodil's today.  And you should too.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Radio Silence

Good news friends... my AMAZING husband fixed the desktop.  Praise the Lord!  He was also able to recover everything off of the crashed hard drive.  So we are back up and running and will be getting back to a regular posting schedule here in the next week.

In the meantime... what have we been up to?

My sweet family!
We hosted a Baby, Bows, Beer and Burgers party last weekend for our local friends.  All of our closest friends showed up and I do believe everyone had a great time.  Grace slept much of Sunday as she recovered from the excitement.  But girlfriend never complains about being held.  Ever.  It is great to know that we have some awesome friends in the area... especially as a military family.

The very next day was Piston's 4th birthday!  Four?!  He was born just a few days after we got married and we brought him home with us in June of that year.  Just one day after I moved from Kansas to Maryland.  He has been with us every step of the way.  I wouldn't trade him for the world.  Hands down Piston is the best dog ever.  He is easy going and a lover.  A crazy pain in the arse when it comes to visitors... but just way too excited. He's been good with Grace and I literally couldn't ask for anything more.  Happy birthday again baby boy!
Some of the decorations and presents from the BBB&B party.
Shout out to Rachel for the awesome frame.  RachJam Decor is where you can find your own!
Grace and I spent a day last week shopping with Abby.  Our goal?  To find ball dresses.  The company has scheduled ANOTHER ball.  Third times the charm?  (Last year they scheduled the ball for two different dates and ended up cancelling both.)  The dress I bought for the last scheduled date is a bit big now as I bought it while pregnant.  I'm keeping it though because I wouldn't be surprised if someday I have to attend a ball while pregnant.  The pickings were slim (if you are a military spouse... check and see if you have a Ross local... $30 price range for formal gowns!) but I did find one dress that I brought home.  After showing it to Rob, I think we have both decided to keep looking.  I still have a month.  So wish me luck!

The baby and I have also spent many days in the last month out to lunch with friends.  One of the ladies I met at Fort Meade just PCS'd here a few moths ago.  It has been AWESOME having Rachel local again.  So among lunch with her, we've had spouse club gatherings, and more.  We've been busy.  Good busy.
On his birthday!
On Friday we had a little scare when Piston ate a wasp (we think).  I was nursing the baby and Piston would not stop running around the house itching his face.  Luckily Rob came home and was able to help.  We got him a benadryl and gave him some ear lotion thinking it was just his seasonal allergies.  Then we noticed his face was swelling.  Popped another benadryl and put him on a leash so he couldn't itch anymore.  The swelling went away EXCEPT where he got stung on the side of his face.  Poor baby.  He scared Momma, that's for sure.  Here's to hoping he learned his lesson!

Finally... how about this weather?  The past week has been high 70s-high 80s.  With low to no humidity.  I wish I could find somewhere where it was like this all of the time with no humidity (I don't do humidity.  Period.)... but I've yet to find that one illusive place.  We have rain approaching today.  But I'm okay with it as we spent a huge chunk of the day yesterday outside soaking up the weather.
My sweet babies.
And just to give you a sneak peak of what is in the works:
-2 month baby post!
-Nursery reveal!
-And more!

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