Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Brooklyn | Six months

Well y'all, somehow it has now been six months since I gave birth to our sweet little girl with the squished in nose.  I don't know how.  It certainly doesn't feel like six months have passed.  But sure enough... here we are.

Brooke's quirks this month...

.You are still wearing size 3 diapers and size 6 month clothing.  BUT it is about that time again and the 6-9 month and 9 month is about to make an appearance.

.You are SO close to sitting up by yourself.

.You are now on the move when I put you down, rolling all over the living room floor when everyone is calm enough for you to be on the floor.

.You started eating baby food about a week and a half ago.  You've tried sweet potatoes, carrots, apples and bananas. And love it all.  You only eat about half a container at lunch and dinner.

.You are still nursing and we both still love it.  You do get a bit distracted by just about anything else, so we have to keep the room quiet and contained.

.You go to bed between 7 and 8, without fail.  Typically you wake up around midnight to nurse and then again between 5 and 6 am.  Before being up for the day about 7.

.You take a short morning nap about 10 am for 45 minutes to an hour.  And a longer afternoon nap after lunch for two hours or so.

.You are intrigued by Diesel and enjoy running your hands through his fur.  He thinks you smell but is very cautious with you, considering how he is with your older sister.

.You LOVE your sister.  But you are both already showing typical sister traits.  You aren't afraid to vocalize when she is doing something you aren't a fan of.  Otherwise you are all smiles for her, almost all of the time.

.You still have hair that sticks straight up and it is definitely getting thicker.

.You reach for and want everything.

.You are still chunky as ever and perfect as can be.

.You join us at the table for dinner and love sitting in the highchair chatting away.

.You have almost completely outgrown your swing and rock 'n' play.  Which is going to be bittersweet for mama.

.You fake cough when you are trying to get someones attention.

.You are still THANKFULLY so so easy going.

My sweet Brooklyn - mama loves you.  You are such a beautiful precious girl and your personality is the best thing ever.  In all of the chaos that is our life, I am glad to have your calming smile at the end of the day and your sweet snuggles.  You ALMOST make mama want another.

To read about Grace at six months, click here.

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Friday, September 23, 2016


I know things have kind of been quiet around here lately in regards to our life and what the heck is going on.  We've got some pretty major changes and things happening but Rob and I have made the decision not to discuss it more until we have more information from those that call all of the shots.  Pretty much the story of our life.

Unfortunately though, this is a MAJOR part of what is happening in our life right now - so it makes blogging about what we are up to just a bit of a challenge.  But I thought maybe a brief update was in order on those that aren't getting to see us on the norm or aren't privy to our personal Facebook pages.

Rob just started another semester towards his masters degree.  He's a badass when it comes to his certificates, degree and overall knowledge.  We met in high school during senior year college algebra and Rob didn't even have to come to over half of the classes, or study for that matter, in order to pass the class.  When you are 17 years old - that's obnoxious to just about everyone else.  But now that I am his wife, it makes me very proud to watch him excel at everything he puts his mind to.  Which also includes golf right now.  So when he's not at work, watching football or spending time with us... he's golfing.

Grace is growing and learning like crazy.  She's still not using full sentences, but she does use phrases and her vocabulary has expanded.  I still go through times where I can't understand what she is asking for or talking about and we ask her to show us so we can help her learn.  Just yesterday she randomly started counting - "two, three" - and then throwing a ball.  Rob and I are not even sure where she picked that up, but it makes us very proud!  Her molars are working their way through right now... and that's a real B word to put it nicely.  I can't always tell if that is what gets her all hot and bothered or if that is just her personality popping through.  She's demanding and emotional.  A whole lot like her mama.  But she's so beautiful and has such a big heart.  She's constantly doting on Brooke and handing out hugs at just the right moment.

Brooke is almost six months old (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!) and definitely coming into her own.  I will not go into too much detail as her six month update will go up in a week or two.  Besides boycotting naps - she is still a wonderful addition to our family.  And nothing beats her gummy smiles that she hands out like candy.  Nothing.

Diesel is a mess.  He's also 6 months old... and still a terror.  Considering we had a boxer before, I truly thought I was prepared for puppyhood.  I'm fairly certain nothing prepares you for puppyhood when you have kid toys everywhere and a toddler encouraging the situation.  Overall I'd say Diesel is a good dog.  But he most certainly has his moments.  He thinks he is the boss and calls all of the shots, but when he is good, he is good.  I'm hoping to get him all caught up on his shots and then get him fixed here shortly which will hopefully help with the insane amounts of testosterone going through his system.  Once he leaves the baby toys alone and stops acting like he owns me... I think we will be on the upside of puppyhood.  Maybe, just maybe.

I keep busy going through our day to day routine.  The girls and I have been sidelined with the truck being difficult (three cheers for the a/c getting fixed today!), so we have spent a lot of time at home lately.  I've been trying to take more time for myself when I can get it.  The girls have been going down between 7 and 8 most days, and I started a 30-day yoga retreat.  It's a challenge but I feel myself getting stronger... and even if that is all the workout I get in, it is better than nothing.  Thankfully all of the good fall shows are back on this week... praise the Lord.

It may be fall on the calendar, but Tennessee is still living in summer temperatures and I'm over it.  Ready for sweater weather and boots.  With that being said... we look forward to the things happening in our life.  And can't wait to share more with y'all hopefully very soon!

Happy weekend friends!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Things you will never find me doing.

I'm a pretty simple person.  I get by on Pepsi, Netflix and the knowledge that bedtime will come (two children extra needy from some teeth that just need to pop through already has me counting down the hours to bedtime...).  But there are a few things you will NEVER find me doing...

Owning a cat. I'm allergic.  So no.

Gardening. Black thumb... I keep fake flowers alive and that's good enough for me!

Running. Too much jiggling for my liking.  It kind of just hurts.

Coloring my hair. I am a natural redhead... people want my hair color (not to be bold or anything...) so why would I change it?

Eating mushrooms. Gross.  Just the thought of them makes my tummy curl.

Not standing for the National Anthem. I am a proud military wife and a very proud American.  Are there issues with this country?  Sure.  But I don't think disrespecting our flag and the very principles this country was built on is the way to see that change through.

Sticking to a vegetarian diet. My dad's family is full of farmers.  So I'd probably starve if I ever decided meat was not part of my diet.

Loving summer. Heat. Humidity. Sunburns.  Why do people like that?! Fall all of the way here!

Enjoying pregnancy. I know I will hear... but you should be so glad you were even able to get pregnant.  I AM people.  I am so fortunate and glad that I was able to get pregnant and carry both of my baby girls through to a healthy birth.  But being pregnant?  I hate that.  Not being able to bend.  Not being able to lift the laundry hamper.  Not being able to drink if absolutely necessary.  Being miserable and large and miserable.  I didn't enjoy it.  The only bright side was feeling my girls move and hearing their heartbeats.

Willingly waking up early. Not in any way, shape or form a morning person.  But I often stay up late at night because nighttime is my jam y'all.

And with that my hooligans are back at it.  Because heaven forbid mama sits for like half a second.  NOOOOO... someone has to steal a toy from someone else (the dog from the toddler, for the record... baby is still immobile.  Thank heavens!) and World War III breaks out.  Who thought getting a puppy was a good idea?  Oh right my sweet husband who is conveniently at work ALL DAY.

I digress.

Happy Tuesday friends! (It is Tuesday, right?!)

What would I NEVER find you doing?

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Five reasons I miss Kansas when I leave.

The other day I was on one of the Army wife pages for Fort Campbell.  Somebody had just gotten orders to Fort Riley and they were very upset.  KANSAS - who wants to be stationed in Kansas?!

Y'all, it legit breaks my heart just a bit when I see posts like this.  I swear to you Kansas is NOT the worst place you could get orders too. Not even close.  And surprisingly in all my glorious years of being in this military lifestyle I've heard more positive reviews of Fort Riley than negative ones.  Nobody WANTS to go there (unless you are from Kansas), but everyone seems to hate leaving there.

(For full disclosure, Fort Riley is not the only military post in Kansas - Fort Leavenworth and McConnell Air Force Base are both also found in this great state.)

Here are the top five reasons I miss Kansas when I leave.

1. My friends and family.  Obviously I'm from there, and a good chunk of my friends and family are still there.  This will not apply to everyone.  But if you get stationed there you should pick up some friends along the way that will make leaving just a little bit harder.

2. The landscape.  Kansas is relatively flat.  But believe it or not Fort Riley actually sits in a set of hills called the Flint Hills.  So driving across Kansas is not always being able to see for miles and miles.  Some will still say driving interstate 70 across the state of Kansas is the most boring drive ever (my husband!).... but I wholeheartedly disagree.  I mean... THIS is Kansas...

(Also, if you are currently in Kansas... RUNNNNNN to a sunflower field while they are in bloom.  You will NOT regret it.)

3. All of the kid friendly things to do.  Each time we go back I try and squeeze in an activity we don't get to do elsewhere.  Last fall our trip to Kansas right after we moved included a trip to the apple orchard (our closest one here is a drive..) and a trip to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Olathe.  My sister worked for MWR at Fort Riley and they were CONSTANTLY putting on family friendly festivals and events.  So if you actively try and find the things, you will not be bored.

4. The bbq.  Please don't argue with me over who has the best bbq in the nation.  Kansas City does.  End of story.  My favorite is Joe's Kansas City (formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's).  Fun fact, I used to skip classes at the local community college with friends and go eat what we referred to as "crack fries" (you can't eat just one..).  Hands down the best way to skip a class.

5. Kansas people are the best.  Take last weekend when a mom was loading her baby into the car at a suburban KC Walmart (one 6 miles from my parents house..).  Two individuals approached her from behind and hit her over the head.  A good samaritan stepped in to help her and ended up getting shot three times, his cheek, arm and chest.  A second good samaritan stepped in and exercised his second amendment rights and shot one of the suspects, killing him.  The second suspect got away but was later arrested.  That's two good samaritans stepping in to help a mom and baby they did not know, ultimately probably saving her life.  If that isn't proof that Kansas people are the best - you are crazy.

So if you've got orders to Kansas - or want orders to Kansas... know that I full heartedly believe it is the bees knees.  Kansas will forever be my home.  It will forever hold a large chunk of my heart.  And I'm proud to say I'm a Kansas princess (Jason Aldean song reference...).

Have you been stationed in Kansas?  What would you add to this list?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I will never ever ever go on a road trip without my husband again.

(warning picture overload ahead...)

Last Thursday the girls and I left for Kansas.  We had a family wedding to attend and Rob had Army stuff going on that prevented him from joining us.  OKAY - NO BIGGIE.  Said the naive mama of two.

We were off to a great start with hardly any sleep after Grace had a fever most of the night before.  Molars maybe?  Who knows.  The day just kept getting better as the eight hour drive turned into ELEVEN.  Mama was Done.  With a capital D.  We resorted to disgusting McDonald's playgrounds to try and get through the drive and lots of nursing/diaper changing stops.  After all my children thought it was highly entertaining to go back and forth on who was crying.  It was lovely.

Eventually we got to my parents house in time to sleep essentially.  SO we slept.  Friday morning we were headed out to western Kansas where the wedding was.  Another five hour drive.  After loading everything up to include children and my sister.  We pulled out of the driveway and my truck was like nope, nope, nope.  I'm done.  Long story short it put itself in limp mode which means it was trying to protect itself because it thought there was something wrong but didn't know what.  So we pull back in the driveway and swap everything to my dad's truck with the intent of fixing mine when I got back into town the next week.

So we break a sweat swapping car seats.  Because heaven forbid those suckers are easy to install.  Also, my dad's truck is pre-2004.... aka no easy clips in the seat.  And an hour later we are on the road.  For real this time.  We make great time since there is someone with me to shove the binky in the open crying mouth.  Hallelujah.  We even had time to stop and get lunch with Allison, who moved to the middle of Kansas thanks to her husband and his rising career.

This was her first time meeting Brooke so I am so very glad even
a short visit happened.  We can't wait to see you again!

We make it in time for the rehearsal and dinner and stuff.  They had spaghetti, salad and bread.  Genius.  AND GOOD. And easy.  I think?

Kisses from grandpa!
I swear my oldest was there too... she just doesn't take pictures these days...
Loving on Aunt Erin with her michelin man arms.

After a long night it was finally Satur-yay and wedding day!  Being family we had an early report time for five thousand pictures.  Obviously.  The things you do for those you love.  The wedding itself was a full Catholic ceremony which means we parked the minions in the very back row of church.  Nap time being replaced with church was a recipe for restless kids.  But they didn't do too bad... it was the heat.  Amazing, gorgeous, old church = non existent air conditioner.  It was rough!

That was followed with dinner and a dance.  They do this ridiculously long dance called the wedding march.  I really don't think anybody else does it.  But my parents were married at the same church and had their reception at the same church hall... and THEY did it too.  I've heard about it my whole life.  I made the mistake of doing this dance with Brooke in my arms.  Somebody should have warned me I needed to work out!  Goodness sakes.  So you dance around and at the end you form a circle around the couple and they do their first dance.  Insert all of the awe moments here.

I thought we were going to lose my kids to sleep before the dance started... but once the lights dimmed and the tables were pushed to the side for the dance, my two year old had wayyy more pep in her step.  Girlfriend was having a blast.  We made it until about 9 before we headed out.  JUST in time as the rain came.  With a vengeance.  The rest of the family came home soaked.

Sweet girl would NOT nap on me... 
but made my cousin Whitney's baby fever worse than it was.
First dance as husband and wife!
Having a moment with my Uncle on his special day.
Sparklers with Aunt Erin to round the night out.

Sunday we walked over to my grandparents farm to see the animals and my uncles new shop.  Unfortunately the cows were out in the pasture and the hogs had escaped their enclosure.  So the animal part was a bust.  BUT Grace got to see lots and lots of tractors which made for a very happy girl.

All of us that traveled in, plus my sister.
Tennessee, Oregon and South Carolina represented.
Also - my girls were both napping.
My cousin Shelley's sweet Ava is so grown up now.
The old dairy barn.
Sitting in a tractor tire with Aunt Erin.
We also got to meet my cousin's sweet Addison.
They live in Oregon.

We decided after that we would go over to the church to visit my grandparents grave.  It's only 3 miles over to the church... but guess whose truck was acting funny?  If you are keeping track... this is the SECOND truck I've driven to go down within a weekend.  Dad takes over and drives us out to the field.  Remember it rained last night.  So it was muddy.  My dad doesn't think four wheel drive is necessary... and it was a disaster.  At this point my anxiety is basically through the roof.  Somehow we get back to my uncles house and it is determined the truck isn't going to work for me to drive back.  After capping off the evening with some bubbles and another storm it was sleep for all.

Blows my mind when people say Kansas is boring...

So we move the car seats again.  To my mom's car.  Monday morning we load up... mom, the girls and I in her car.  And my sister and dad in the truck.  Unfortunately I had to scrap my plans to spend several days at Allison's house on the way home as all the vehicles decided to crap out on me.  Luckily we were able to see each other, although briefly, on Friday.  But STILL.  This trip just keeps getting better.

We get back to KC with all vehicles still rolling only to discover that magically my truck is out of limp mode and acting normal.  Like what?  You little shit who didn't want to drive anymore!  Dad takes it to get scanned anyway and a couple of codes come up.  We aren't actually sure if there is an issue or not so I decide not to drive it much.  Which leaves the girls and I at my parents all day Tuesday while the family worked.

That night we HAD to go get Jose Peppers.  If you are from KC, you know what this is.  If you are visiting KC, GO.  And get the queso and thank me later.  Anyway... so my vehicle is the only one that can fit all of us.  Of course.  Which means something else breaks.  Now 4 of the trucks 6 vents are blowing out HOT air instead of cool air.  LOVELY.  Again, it just keeps getting better!

Wednesday my dad has a sick day because after spending a weekend in western Kansas we all feel like death thanks to our allergies and sinuses being completely jacked to hell and back.  Dad attempts to fix the air issue.  But falls one bolt short.  The dealership wants $300.  Which means my husband can of course fix it cheaper.  It's a $30 part after all.  He's in Tennessee though...

Nobody wants to deal with warm air when it's 90 degrees outside.  So when my girl, Kara, comes over that evening she graciously drives our madness around.  ANOTHER car seat swap later... and we are headed to dinner and the most gorgeous sunflower field Kansas could ever produce.  It is the sunflower state and for good reason.  I'm pretty sure heaven looks something like this.

No flowers were actually eaten...

We took probably 500 pictures between 5 phones and 3 cameras.  So worth it.  The night isn't complete without a stop to a good Target.  After Kara leaves and the car seats are installed in my truck again... I try everything to get a certain 5 month old to sleep.  Just a few minutes shy of midnight she crashes, with my motivation.  I finally crawl into bed at like 1.

Only to be greeted by a 4:45 AM wake up call.  Time to head back to Tennessee.  Luckily the morning starts with 3 hours of sleeping babies but lots and lots of rain.  We just can't catch a break.  The ride is mostly smooth until after St. Louis when we leave behind the 70 degree weather for the 90 degree weather and those 2 vents can't make up for the other 4 vents anymore.  Time to strip the babies down and just haul ass.  By the time we pull in our driveway in Tennessee I am praising Jesus that is over with.

I swear to all things holy I will never ever ever go on a road trip without my husband again.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

One year at Fort Campbell.

Definitely not my picture... someone local here in Clarksville took this and I stole it.

Well it is September.  And this month we are signing a rental lease for another year in our house.  Which means we have officially been stationed at Fort Campbell for a year.

I can't say this is my favorite duty station.  Actually from the three places we have been stationed this one falls dead last (Fort Gordon and Fort Meade in the one and two spots respectively).  But I always try and make the best out of it even if we don't have many friends.

We definitely like that we are closer to family and friends.  6 hour to Rob's family and 8 to mine (not factoring in nursing/bathroom/fuel/get-me-out-of-this-truck stops).  Which makes 4 day weekends and holidays possible.

I like the house we rented.  It is not the newest or the fanciest.  It has its flaws.  But it was exactly what we needed coming from the house we had in Georgia.  It had another bedroom and another living area.  We are right in the middle of everything.  Making base close.  Downtown close.  The mall and Target close.  You know, the necessities.  And we like all of our neighbors, even if we don't have many interactions with them (however I am looking at you new neighbors with the yappy dogs... are the 10 pm bark sessions necessary?!).

I like that there is always something to do if you want to.  Granted, if it is free... you probably want to avoid it at all costs because everyone and their mom will be there.  BUT - Nashville is 45 minutes to an hour away.  So if you can't find something you like in Clarksville, you can drive just a bit and the opportunities are endless.

I mean I wish our Target was bigger and had a Starbucks. I wish that the weather wasn't so freaking humid.  And I wish this last year would have yielded more friends.  But for every negative, something positive has happened in our life here.

This is Rob's first duty station as a Warrant Officer, not in school.  This is the base I gave birth to our second sweet girl at.  This is the house we brought her home too.  This is the city we lived in when we added Diesel to our gang.

So cheers to the first year here.  Let's see what the future holds.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

The unofficial end of summer.

Labor day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.  The pools are drained.  The white clothing (is supposed to be) put away. And all things fall start to invade.


It ain't no secret that I'm not a summer girl.  But being a mom... I try and get out and make something of it.

This year I came across a toddler summer bucket list early in the season.  I knew not everything on the list would happen.  I mean we aren't really garden people.  But I knew a few things on the list would definitely be possible.

1. We visited the Farmer's Market.. but only once.  And I don't have any photographic evidence of it.  The girls mainly rode around in the stroller and looked.  In fact we didn't buy one thing.

2. Visit the splash pad.  You can read all about that fun adventure back in July here.

6. Play in our (plastic) pool. We've done this several times this summer, especially when friends are over.
Playing with Logan when they visited back in May.

9. Summer reading program.  We missed a bunch of the deadlines, but we went to several of the programs early in the summer.  Once things got hot it was a bit harder to get out of the house early in the morning to make it to the library in time.  Excuses, excuses, I know.  We will do better next summer when both girls can really earn the points.

13.  Swim at the lake "beach". While it wasn't a beach, Grace got to swim in the lake during our July 4th vacation to my parents lake house.

Swimming with Aunt Erin.

17. Watch fireworks.  And she experienced sparklers for the first time as well as poppers.

18. Play with bubbles.

Playing with Aunt Erin in the bubbles.

20. Strawberry picking.  This was early in the summer, technically before memorial day weekend when Rob's grandparents were still here visiting us.  We had tons of fun even though most of the strawberry picking was done by Rob and his grandfather.

This was back in May... and Grace looks so little compared to now.

22. Draw with chalk. We did this a lot early in the summer.  Of course, as the temps went up it was harder to justify sitting on the driveway to doodle.  As in.. there was no justification to sit on hot concrete.  So again, no pictures.

24. Go to the fair.  It was technically a festival but there was a petting zoo and a pony carousel.  So it was basically a fair.

25. Go on a road trip. Over July 4th and again over Labor day weekend.

I am hoping to get to 14 and 15 (a picnic and ice cream) as the temps start to cool a little bit.

So 11/25.  Not too shabby I guess.  I could have tried way harder.. but ya know, the heat and all.  Haha.

Here's to cooler temperatures and the bugs dying!

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