Sunday, September 28, 2014

Just call me mom.

Yesterday morning started off a wee bit different than most mornings.. since we co-sleep after 6 am (she gets up to nurse...), I'm used to waking up to feet in my ribs as my child has rotated so her head is with her daddy and her feet are nestled in my ribs just like they were for months in the womb.  Yesterday though?  I woke up with my sweet girl pressed up next to me, sharing a pillow.

I took a few minutes to watch her long eyelashes and fluffy hair, smell her milky breath and listen as she breathed deeply in and out.

I am 8 months into this being a mom thing, and I've never been more certain that this is the gig for me.  Being Grace's mom is what I was meant to do.  I just love being her mom.


I love being her mom...
...because I can calm her when others can't.
...when I am told how well behaved she is.
...when I hear her belly laugh over something so silly.
...because of the calluses on my hand from lugging her carseat here and there.
...when random strangers wish me a happy mother's day (because it sticks with you for many months!).
...when she reaches out to me.
...because of the arm muscles I literally never had before cradling my sweet girl day in and day out.
...when people tell me how beautiful she is.
...when I hear her say mama in her sweet baby babble.
...when someone tells me that motherhood suits me.
...just to name a few.

I am lucky to be a mom and I am the luckiest to be Grace's mom.  Period, end of story.

always,
amanda
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hard Copies of Life

Growing up I remember countless afternoons spent flipping through photo albums and baby books.  Both at my own house and my grandma's.  Days spent laughing and reminiscing about those still images of the past.  There is a photograph for almost every major (and minor!) occasion of my life.  Tucked away in an album somewhere, or more recently... stored on a computer.

When Grace was born my mom took well over 100 pictures in that first week of her life.  She documented Grace in her first moments (after I reminded her to take pictures! First time I have EVER had to do that... the awe of a new baby I suppose.).  She snapped pictures of her first bath, meeting her fur-brother and countless sleeping pictures.  These pictures are tucked away on my computer... but I decided I want Grace to have the same memories of flipping through photo albums and baby books.

A few months after Grace was born I got an e-mail from Shutterfly with an offer for a free photobook (they send this code out often, so get on their e-mail list NOW!)... I decided I'd give it a try.


To say I am glad that I did is an understatement.  I spent the most time putting together that first book.  I selected the theme from the baby section.  Then I meticulously went page by page and put Grace's first week of life into one book, 20 pages.



When I got it in the mail, I was so impressed.  That bright orange packet held the most beautiful book that told the story of welcoming Grace into the world.  Just born pictures, hospital pictures, going home pictures, and more.



Since that first book I have put together a 0 to 3 month book and just a few weeks ago I got in the mail her 3 to 6 month book (quickly, I might add!).



And this will NOT be her last one.  I plan to do a 6 to 9 month and 9 to 12 month book before switching to a yearly book.  I love how I can put in whatever I want, however many pictures I want, tell a story or not tell a story... It is SO easy.



Hands down the best way to give her the hard copies of her life... the still images of the past... a document of every major occasion in her life.  I hope one day Grace will have memories of afternoons spent reminiscing... part of the childhood I dream for her.

I've partnered with Tiny Prints (a sister company of Shutterfly).  3 to 6 month photo book c/o Shutterfly.



always,
amanda
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodbye summer.

Well tomorrow is OFFICIALLY the first day of fall.. so with that, let's discuss how that summer bucket list went down...

--Take Grace swimming. // nope. We only went to the pool once, and it was Saturday.. and it was breezy. BUT I have plans to hopefully start taking little missy to Aquatots at the pool on post.

--Make Rob's first father's day a memory he will cherish for years to come. // check. here.

--Have professional 6 month pictures taken of baby girl. // check. I had my cousin take a few.  So we didn't go to a studio, but I did get some good ones that I love!
 

--Finally graduate. // check. here.

--Go garage sale-ing.. more than once. // sort of... I think I went once.

--Host many barbeques. // sort of... we had 2? So many may be a stretch.

--Attend a fireworks display over July 4th weekend. // check. We went to the one on base and our own little one out front.  More here.

--Cherish every moment with all the family coming to see us this summer. // check!! We enjoyed every second of our family time.

--Whip the yard into shape.. as in pull weeds, trim bushes and tidy it all up. // nope. In fact.. I'm pretty sure the yard only got mowed like once this summer... just pitiful.

--Start taking regular walks with Grace and Piston.  Maybe Rob too. // nope. It was hot. I despise hot.  Maybe this fall. 

--Eat on the patio at a restaurant over in the a/c. // check. We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant that has an amazing patio sitting area!

--Light up the fire pit some night... sit around it with family or friends. // nope.  Just never got around to it.  Maybe before Rob returns to WOCS.

--Finally (hopefully) scoop up some fantastic gently used patio furniture! // nope.. and no immediate plans either.

--Invite friends with babies over for play dates. // not really... I did sign Grace up for a playgroup on base that is starting sometime later this year.

--Redo our master bedroom, once and for all. // I've started.  Our above the bed art is updated.. so that's a start.

--Take tons of pictures.. of EVERYTHING. // check.. duh!

Ten of 16.. not too bad.. maybe the other 6 will be accomplished by the end of the year? Hard telling.

How did your summer bucket list go?!


always,
amanda
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Believe in Heroes.

I am SUPER excited to announce my involvement in this years Believe in Heroes® campaign.  Believe in Heroes® is in its 5th year of supporting Wounded Warrior Project.  If you shop for groceries (and who doesn't?!)... you NEED to know about this awesome campaign.


But first... a little about Believe in Heroes®...

In 2010, Believe in Heroes® was created to bring grocery store retailers, trusted brands and shoppers together to raise funds for Wounded Warrior Project.  To date this campaign has raised an amazing $16 million, while also helping WWP expand their critical veteran programs that directly help over 40,000 injured service members.

That paragraph alone sums up why this is so important to me.  If you have been around here for ANY amount of time, you know my husband is active duty in the Army.  While it is something I am forever proud of it, it also has some scary, very real risks.  Wounded Warrior Project is an outstanding organization that helps wounded service members and their families day in and day out.  On a personal level, Rob and I donate whenever possible - as who knows what our future may hold.


So how can you help Believe in Heroes® help Wounded Warrior Project?
  • Go grocery shopping!
  • Download over $25 worth of coupon savings here.
  • Share your own post about this campaign through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Purchase Believe in Heroes merchandise in stores or online.
It is that easy my friends.  You help a great cause by doing your day to day.

Coupons are available through November 30 of this year, or while savings last.. so get to downloading!

Find more information on this great campaign and information on how and where to shop and save here.

I’m participating in the 2014 Believe in Heroes® blogger campaign and received compensation as part of the program.  All opinions expressed are my own.
always,
amanda
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NOT another Fall post.

This past weekend everyone and their mom was like "yay fall!" "yay sweaters!" "yay all things great!".  Meanwhile.. I was like "damn, it's hot".

I SHOULD absolutely be used to this by now since this is our third "fall" here in Georgia, but it never fails to not excite me.

I miss you fall.


I'm reminding myself that the one redeeming quality of the south is that our winter is basically fall.  So while YOU all are complaining about the cold, I'm all like "yay sweaters!" "yay crinkly leaves!" "yay all things great!".

So ha.

I will just occupy my time pinning great sweater outfits, planning my daughters fall mini photo session and dreaming of pumpkin patches.  Then I will pull my shorts and sandals on, and go outside.

Because according to the weathermen.. a "cold" front is here.. aka 80.

Some cold front...

((this has been my ONE whining about it not being fall post of the year.. until next year..))



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Random musings.

Let's randomly chit-chat today, shall we?

-I am wanting some fresh ink.  I've got 3 tattoos now, 2 fresh ideas and 1 tattoo edit I'd like to tackle someday.  Someday soon I hope!

-Can't recall the last time I was obsessed with a show like I am with Gossip Girl. I'm mad Chuck and Blair aren't still an item... almost stopped watching mad.  But I keep watching.. because I imagine myself like I am a New York socialite.  (Yep, I get lost in TV shows.  I'm that person.) (Also I know I am approximately five billion years late for this... thanks Netflix for helping to catch me up!)

-I have a sinus infection.  It sucks balls.  On the bright side, it is not contagious.. I just sound like a man and tire much faster than normal.

-Piston has been driving me INsane.  Ever since Rob was gone for a week he has been the highest of high maintenance (he has always been high maintenance, but this is a whole other level..).  Today I finally tackled a to do list project.. that will hopefully save my sanity and his.  I taped up tissue paper in the windows around our door.  He can't see out.  He will hopefully knock it off with the barking. AT EVERYTHING.

-A few weeks ago was the official kickoff event for the spouses club here on Fort Gordon.  I was a busy busy bee planning for that event.  Now that it is done, I get to take a break from spouse club happenings, for the most part.  I'm still in charge of 2 positions within the club, so I stay busy.  Busy enough to almost make me not feel like a stay-at-home mom.

-I started redoing our master bedroom.  Finally.  Which involved cleaning beneath the bed... gross. 'Nuff said.  But seriously though, I've got like 1/4th of the room done.  Baby steps.

-We have been really good at eating at home lately.  I'm proud of us.  Usually we cheat on the meal plan because we get bored.  Not this time... I have even tried some new recipes!

-My daughter refuses to wear shoes.  It is starting to bother me.. simply because sometimes the shoes make the outfit.  But no...... she don't need no stinking shoes.  Just like her mama.

-I am so glad football is back.  I am hands down hoping though that the first week was not a preview of the whole season because the Chiefs (my team) lost, the Cowboys (Rob's team) lost and all 3 of Rob's fantasy teams lost.  Not a happy football day in our house.

-I'm beyond anxious for fall.  Stupid Georgia and its stupid hot weather.

-Here is a cute Grace picture for your viewing pleasure...

With that I am going to go drug myself and hit the hay.  Tomorrow I will wake with a non-sore throat... **fingers crossed** !!!!



always,
amanda
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Home.


Our family has lived here in Georgia for just over two years now.

But it took Rob going TDY for a week for me to feel like Georgia is home.

Don't get me wrong, Kansas will forever be my home.  But here, in the dirty dirty south, in this hot, humid, bug infested stated.. I have found a new sort of home.

This new sort of home has friends.  True, real life friends.  Friends that will come help when the car is dead in the garage.  They will load their three children up, including their newborn and come help out.  They will poke fun at you for the dead battery that you can't deal with.  Ultimately they will help get your car running again, and even though the battery eventually had to be replaced.. they were there when I needed them.

This new sort of home has familiar faces all over.  Those two mamas eating lunch a couple of tables away?  You may know them.  That truck that crossed the railroad tracks at the same time as you going the opposite way?  It may be your husbands best friend.  (And you may not realize it is him because his windows are tinted and his truck isn't exactly a stand out (sorry Nick!).. but he honks his horn at you as a hello.)

This new sort of home has people willing to help out when called upon.  Lucky for me, Rob has a buddy that owns a lawn care company and was willing to come tackle the jungle that was our yard.  Lucky for Rob, he was able to come out a couple of days after being asked.. so he didn't hear it from me for conveniently running out of time before leaving.

This new sort of home has groups and activities I am proud to be apart of.  If you have been here for awhile.. you know I am active in the Fort Gordon Spouses' and Civilian's Club as both the membership chair and the webmaster.  I also created a special Facebook page with my cousin (Gordon Gals) where we organize outings for spouses to get out and meet each other.  I just recently signed Grace up for playgroups on post.  I'm busy in my stay at home mom life.  And busy, is good.

This new sort of home has friends willing and wanting to help with the baby.  Grace has been here 7 months and we have only used a babysitter twice.  Both times though that babysitter was someone I trusted wholeheartedly.  These ladies love my baby... and if you can't have family, it is amazing when you can find someone you trust just the same.

This new sort of home is turning into a good home away from home.  We have friends, even best friends, here.  We have a nice little house we are comfortable in.  We had our first child here.  We have a church we enjoy attending.  And you know what, I am not eager to leave.  Not one little bit.



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seven Months.

You are officially closer to a year than a newborn.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Everyday you learn something new and I enjoy you discovering... but I already miss you being so small and needing mama so much.


Your quirks this month...

.You still wear size 3 diapers.. but we switched to the cheaper Huggies (Snug'n'Dry versus Little Snuggler).

.You are wearing size 6 in clothing.  Some of the onesies are still a little big... but your 6 to 9 month sleepers are on the edge of not working.  You are so so long.

.You are roughly 18 pounds.  Up about a pound.  According to daddy standing on the scale with you.

.You rode in the shopping cart seat for the first time this month.

.You went to your first baseball game.. the Greenjackets.  You were such a happy camper the whole night.

.You started sitting on your own with no pillows needed.. although momma still keeps the nursing pillow around you to cushion your fall.

.You put together the syllables "mama".  You tend to say it while whining though.. you also say "baba".

.You enjoy throwing toys.  You like to kick Sven your moose out of your carseat at any possible time.

.You are constantly babbling or making noises.

.You love bananas and apples.  Still not a fan of veggies, but we graduated to sitter foods and you don't mind veggies hidden with your fruit.

.Your sleep schedule is still a bit rough.  You get up several times in the night.

.You are still sleeping in your pack and play in mom and dad's room.  Not sure if you will ever leave our room while we are living in this house.

.You started rolling to get places ON your 7 month-iversary.

.You thrive on your bedtime routine... you eat around 7:30. Then you get a bath, fresh sleeper, a book read to you.. then it is off to nurse and lay down.  If it gets mixed up, you aren't happy.

.You love other babies.  You talk to them, touch them, stare at them.

.You have no stranger danger.  You will smile at anyone and if they put their hands out, you will go.

.You are ticklish on your thighs and your belly laugh is the greatest thing. Ever.

You are growing by leaps and bounds.  The cutest thing I ever did see, and I am so not that biased.  I love being your mama.. it is the greatest adventure I've ever embarked on.




always,
amanda
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