Monday, August 29, 2016

Currently.

A selfie, I just now found on my phone.

Making: Tons and tons of mental to do lists - to add to the tons and tons of already written down to do lists.  I like lists.
Cooking: Not a thing as it is 10:45 at night.
Drinking: Ice cold water.

Reading: Good night text messages from my momma.
Wanting: Diesel to lay down and stop being a nuisance.  With everything.  I'm dying waiting for puppyhood to JUST GO AWAY ALREADY.
Playing: Glee episodes every chance I get.

Listening: To Diesel pace.  The fridge hum.  And the baby monitor pick up on every little movement.
Wishing: For Thursday to be over.  Road tripping 8 hours alone with the girls.  But it is totally going to be worth it.  Even if it takes me 12 hours.
Enjoying: The silence.  It is the most beautiful sound ever to a stay at home mama.

How she fell asleep last night.

Liking: The clean kitchen and beautiful baby dresses all ready for my uncles wedding this weekend.
Wondering: How much crap is going to get chewed up when I leave my husband with the dog for a week.  He thinks silence from a puppy when you can't see him is okay.  Tell that to his $100 PlayStation controller that has funny knobs now..
Hoping: For cooler, less humid weather.

Marveling: At Brooke already being five months old!  How did this happen?!
Needing: To start packing.
Smelling: The spiced pumpkin candle I lit earlier today.  It is NEVER too early for Fall scents.

Wearing: Yoga pants and a t-shirt.
Thinking: About how excited I am to watch the Bachelor in Paradise episode from tonight tomorrow morning.  I'm obsessed..
Feeling: Tired and hungry.

We MAY be obsessed with snapchat filters... but come on!

What are you currently up to?

always,
amanda
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Friday, August 26, 2016

CONFESSION: I have anxiety.



I have anxiety.

I've actually had it for many years now, but since giving birth to Brooke back in March, I've experienced anxiety on another level.  Postpartum anxiety, if you will.

In 2011, when Rob was deployed to Kuwait, I moved back to Kansas City to be near family in a one bedroom apartment.  Just Piston (our beloved boxer) and I.  It was my first time living by myself.  And I had a lot of time to overthink basically everything.  I was working in a quiet chiropractic office and driving back and forth multiple times a day to let the dog out over lunch.

During that year separation I started fixating on things.  "Did I shut the stove off after lunch?" "Did I lock the door before leaving?" "Is the apartment on fire with Piston inside?"  Most of the time the feeling would pass.  But I remember one day being so sure I left the stove on that I turned around to check and was late getting back to work after lunch.

I knew something wasn't right.  But when Rob came home that next summer, the thoughts seemed to go away for the most part.  We moved to Georgia and life resumed as normal.  Every once in awhile I'd turn around to double check I'd shut the garage door... but for the most part my anxiety had calmed down.

When I got pregnant with Grace back in 2013, I decided to go see a therapist and see what kind of help I could get with learning how to calm my anxiety on my own.  She diagnosed me with generalized anxiety and taught me some breathing techniques that helped some.  More than anything though, knowing I had the problem and talking to someone helped immensely.

Once I became a mom I started finding myself worked up over the smallest cough from my child or that fall that looked especially bad.  Normal mom things, but the thoughts lingered longer than they probably should have.  Just another worry to learn to calm - and I was able to.

Recently, I started feeling this overwhelming feeling of doom.  That the truck would break down, the dog would swallow something and cost us insane money at the vet, or one of my babies would come down with something.  I worried about anything and everything and the absolute worst case scenario.  And the feeling became harder and harder to calm.  It was overwhelming and in my face at all times.  I was more or less becoming negative about everything.

So I talked to a few friends and family members.  And I decided to go see my doctor about it.  The little survey for postpartum feelings - depression and anxiety... assured me of what I already knew as I marked everyday for all 5 of the anxiety symptoms checkboxes.  We talked it over and she prescribed some medicine.

(For the sake of being brutally honest, I will admit that I decided to forego taking the medicine.)

Something my doctor said stuck with me though.  "Even if the truck breaks down or something happens, there is nothing you can do to stop it or change it."

It was like the lightbulb went off in my head.  It was the one phrase I needed to hear.

That was over a month ago now.  Since then I've been able to calm myself with that one simple phrase.  And I've felt better.  I haven't fixated in weeks.  My relationship with my husband is more positive.  I don't worry as much (I'm a mom and firmly believe there will always be a certain level of worry in my life.).

One can never be sure, but I am fairly certain this elevated level of anxiety was brought on by postpartum hormones.  After giving birth things are a bit whacky.  I didn't struggle with my emotions quite as much after giving birth to Grace.  But this pregnancy was different.  I had two kids.  We added a puppy to the mix.  I got overwhelmed and it all added up.

I was able to admit that something wasn't right.  Not everyone is able to or can do that.  Always remember you know your body better than anyone else.  Such negative thoughts and feelings aren't normal.  And it's okay to seek out help.

IT GETS BETTER.  Talk to someone if things aren't feeling right.  I am extremely thankful that I have an amazing support group and a doctor that listens.  The hormones don't stay elevated forever.  But getting to that point is a true struggle sometimes.

I get it, I've been there.
But you aren't alone.


always,
amanda
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hiiiiiii, I'm Amanda.

(That old school song that is all like "my name is what, my name is what, my name is chicka-chicka-slim-shady" or something like that legitimately just popped in my head after typing that title.)
(That is about as close to looking as you get...
Photo by KDLeBaron Photography
Link in sidebar.)

Hi, my name is Amanda.

I've noticed a lot of new names around these parts since May and our last Military Spouse Appreciation Day link-up... so I figured I would do one of those getting to know me posts.  It has been ages since I last did one.  So without further ado, a bit about me.

I'm a twenty something mom of two sweet girls - Grace is 2 and a half and Brooke is 4 months old.  I'm a wife to Rob.  He's kind of a big deal.  We've been married for 6 years, together for 7 and a half.  Rob is a smarty pants in the United States Army.  I'm also a fur-mom to Diesel.  Our 5 month old lab. Yes, I am also crazy.  A toddler, a baby and a puppy.  We did NOT plan that.

Rob is currently stationed at Fort Campbell and we live on the Tennessee side.  A year ago you would have found us just outside of Fort Gordon in Georgia.  The only other duty station we have experienced is Fort Meade in Maryland.  Rob has deployed once - to Kuwait.  I moved home.  It was the best decision ever.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Multimedia Design and Development from DeVry University. So graphic design.  I do nothing with it.  I also have an Associate of Arts degree.  I do nothing with it either.  I volunteer when I can instead of working.  And I legitimately cannot wait for my kids to be in school so I can be THAT mom volunteering for evvvverything.  Because, why not?

I'm a natural redhead, and a leftie.  A unicorn, if you will.  I live up to the majority of redhead stereotypes.  I've got a fiery personality sometimes.  But in general I think I'm fun.  I like to vacuum.  I drive a truck.  I drink pepsi, NOT coke.  I can't stand the after taste of coffee.  I enjoy binge-watching  TV shows.  I'm a night owl.  I love sending mail to people.  And I LOVE where I'm from - Kansas.

So that's me.

Now introduce yourself!



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What I'm Loving.


It's 8:30 Wednesday night and my whole gang is asleep.  Please insert all of the hands raised in praise emojis here.  It has been a hectic day with a certain puppy being a puppy and a toddler going through the lovely "no" phase like it's the only word she knows.

I'm tired.

So rather than focusing on all that makes me count down to bedtime.  Here's what I'm loving right now...

Rain.  It makes the heat break... even if only for a moment.

That September is almost here.  The girls and I are traveling home for my uncles wedding, and I can't wait!  We have lots of exciting stuff planned for our time away and it should be tons of fun.

Winning stuff.  I got an e-mail earlier this week that I had won a spa package giveaway, courtesy of a blog contest I entered, good for me and some friends.  I basically never win so that was super exciting.  AND THEN I won a free LulaRoe shirt through my giiiiirl Abby's LLR party.  (Also, HI ABIGAIL! Happy birthday!!!)

Successful e-parties.  I've been a military spouse since 2010.  Everyone and their mom sells something.  But I just had my first home business party last week.  And it was a success!  I've officially started Christmas shopping for the girls... and Usborne books are most definitely a good way to start.

The dollar section at Target.  Hit it up last week for $8 worth of goodies to help keep Grace occupied during our road trip.

Freshly painted toenails.  For Grace and I.  Having girls is the best!

That football season is back!  Hallelujah, all is right in the world.

The sound of cicadas late at night and early in the morning.  Some people complain about the noise... but it reminds me of home and the lake.  So make your noise cicadas.

Gummy baby smiles.  NEVER gets old.  I'm okay with her never having teeth at this point.

Cuddles from my big girl.  She sits next to me on the couch.  Intertwines her sweet little arm in mine and smiles the goofiest of grins.

Nursing.  While I'm currently kind of sore... I will never not love and appreciate the ability to feed my babies to the healthy chunky phase of life.  Where it is socially acceptable to have dimples for elbows and five rolls on each thigh.  I'm not afraid to brag... I did that.

What are you loving?



always,
amanda
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Monday, August 15, 2016

From Enlisted to Warrant Officer.

WOCS Graduation.

In December, Rob will celebrate two years of being a Warrant Officer.  Which also means he will pick up another rank and the official Chief title.

It's hard to believe it has already been almost two years since Rob completed Warrant Officer Candidate School and recited the Oath of Commissioned Officers, officially crossing over.

Rob went from a Staff-Sergeant in the United States Army to a Warrant Officer.  Which also means he went from the enlisted side of the Army to the officer side.

Watching him go through this process, rooting him on every step of the way and experiencing the transition with him... here are my five biggest take aways.

1. Your person has been selected!  The easy part is done.  Warrant Officer Candidate School is a HUGE test for not only your soldier but for family too.  The five weeks of WOCS is a lot like basic training.  Your soldier will be put through a lot and you will have little to no communication when they absolutely need it the most.  So make sure you send them off with lots of love and praise.

2. Nothing big changes for you, the spouse.  Rob went through this transition while we were stationed at Fort Gordon.  Our situation was unique in that Rob's Warrant Officer Basic Course (the course AFTER WOCS that is job specific) was also at Fort Gordon.  Which means we did not leave our prior military community behind.  Technically speaking Rob is supposed to follow certain guidelines for fraternization outside of work.  But me?  Those rules don't apply.  No friends or prior-acquaintances were dropped as a result of Rob's career advancing.

3. Some things do change.  For example... the Fort Campbell Spouse Club membership dues.  Prior to Rob going warrant I would pay $20 as an E6 spouse to be a part of the club.  The FCSC groups WO1-WO2 in the lower category and I actually only pay $15.  The same thing happens with MyCAA.  Before when Rob was an E6, I did not qualify.  But when he became a WO1, I now quality for funding.  It's super random... but sometimes pleasantly surprising.  On the flip side of things, we sometimes find Rob's rank groups us in with higher prices.  Most military golf courses divide their rates up based on ranks.  A dollar or two here or there though isn't going to break ya, I promise -- but do take advantage of free school funding if you need and or want to!

4. Find a current Warrant Officer spouse and use them as a mentor.  I've said several times that the ladies I met while at Fort Gordon were a HUGE help before, during and after this transition.  One of my favorite ladies checked in with me the morning the list came out.  Looking back on our conversation after the list was released, she knew he had been selected and was setting a positive tone for that morning and the rest of the day.  Fort Gordon has A LOT of signal Warrant Officers.  Fort Campbell does not.  Fort Campbell has a lot of aviation Warrant Officers - none of which my husband works with.  So needless to say, it has been an entirely different world here.  Which is really a post for another day.  Regardless, knowing other Warrant Officer spouses helps.

5. All the Warrant Officer stereotypes?  They are true.  They drink a lot of coffee.  Have their own rules and standards to follow on top of Army wide standards.  And are rarely seen by the average soldier (Warrant Officers are technical and typically do not have many soldiers that fall underneath them).

WOBC graduation.

Watching Rob complete this journey was stressful and hard.  But I am so so proud of him for getting through it.  He achieved his goal of becoming a Warrant Officer and excels everyday at his job.
"I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

If you are a spouse about to embark on the Warrant Officer support system journey.... shoot me an e-mail and I will send you the long and short of what you need to know.



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

You know you are a mom when...


So obviously I'm a mom.  Unless this is the first time you've visited this blog... you KNOW that already.  I talk about my girls a lot.  I'm a stay-at-home mom and I've been with my children every day and night of their life except the two I was away from Grace while delivering Brooke.

Lately I've been sharing a lot of memes on my personal FB page and about 98% of them are in regards to being a mother.  I have those "you know you are a mom when" moments more often than not.  I mean...

You know you are a mom when the entire family is eating and you are finally going to the bathroom, ALONE.

You know you are a mom when you find yourself saying no to the most ridiculous things ever.  No you don't need to eat ketchup with your fingers... use your spoon.

You know you are a mom when you frequently try and cut a deal to not have to change ANOTHER poopy diaper.

You know you are a mom when you spend more time browsing the kids clearance racks then the ones in the women department.

You know you are a mom when the idea of someone else doing the grocery shopping and bringing it to your car is the greatest. thing. ever.  (Now if Walmart could just keep what I need "in stock" - which is odd because when I go walk around, they have said things that I need right there in the store.. ??)

You know you are a mom when you take your kids to an indoor play place and revel in the fact that the employees are cleaning up all 500 of those plastic food pieces... not you.

You know you are a mom when you worry about sunscreen, bumps on heads and nap times.

You know you are a mom when the baby trailing you around the house saying "mom, mommy, mama" makes you laugh, cry, stressed, happy but above all else the luckiest person in the world.



Are you a mom?  What would you add to this list?


always,
amanda
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Brooklyn | Four Months


Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn.  You've grown SO much in the last month.  It seems like you have always been with us... as I can't recall a time without you now.  You are still my sweet little easy going baby but you've started voicing your opinion just a wee bit more.  It will happen... you are my girl.

Your quirks this month...

.You weigh 15 pounds, 14 ounces.  In the 91st percentile.

.You are 24.8 inches tall.  In the 73rd percentile.  (Fun fact... your weight percentile is going up while your height percentile is going down.)

.You are still wearing size 2 diapers and mainly 3/6 month clothing.  I am about to pull out the 6 month wardrobe as it is filled with mostly summer pieces.

.You are still OBSESSED with your sister.  Mama can't get enough of watching the two of you interact.

.You coo away and hand out gummy smiles like candy.

.You want to be propped up when you are awake and enjoy sitting in the bumbo and observing the crazies.

.You do not enjoy laying back unless you are sleeping or nursing.  Life is far too interesting to watch it from a laying down position.

.You are adored by your sister.  When mama takes her out without you, she asks at least a thousand times where "Boo Boo" is.

.Your rolls are still beautifully developed and your skin still darker than Grace's at this point.

.You aren't a fan of tummy time and show no interest in rolling over.  You are content with just laying your head down and calling it.

.Your hair sticks straight off of your head still and everyone loves it.

.You have developed some pretty amazing nicknames - "Boo Boo" and "Cookie".

.You have started grasping on to toys and observing them just like you do your hands.

.You don't have any teeth yet but your hands are always in your mouth and you drool a lot, so maybe soon?

.You sleep through the night from about 9 PM to 6 AM give or take a bit.

I thank heavens everyday that you are the easy going baby that you are.  You make mama so happy and even though you are starting to hand out more smiles to daddy then mama, I still adore you precious little girl.

To read about Grace at four months, click here.



always,
amanda
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Monday, August 1, 2016

Weekend winning.

Five reasons this weekend rocked...

One // It was NOT blazing hot for basically the first time this year.  Okay... the first time in a few months.

Two // We got to see some of our old friends from Fort Gordon.  They spent a few years in Korea and a few kids were added to the mix... but it was great fun watching the littles interact with each other.  And three cheers for toddlers sleeping like ROCKS at the end of the night.


Three // My best friend from college got engaged!! I feel like I am engaged again... and I can't wait to go to California next year and celebrate the love her and her man have.


Four // I went grocery shopping.  I know, I know.. what a MOM thing to say... but seriously, NOTHING beats a freshly stocked pantry and fridge.  Food for dayyyyys.

Five // Grace waited to get sick until Sunday at bedtime.  As of 9:40 Monday evening, it would appear we are mostly past the yucky that she caught.  But not before almost every towel and 3 sets of sheets have gone through the wash.

I'm hoping to get some sleep this evening (fingers crossed -- because the one full hour of sleep I got last night ain't going to cut it...) and that tomorrow we all wake up feeling a-okay.

Happy Monday friends!



always,
amanda
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