Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Semper Gumby

I'm having a Semper Gumby moment.  Or two.  If you're a Marine Corps family member you already know what I'm talking about.  But for those who aren't, Semper Gumby is our way of saying, always flexible!  It is the motto we Marine wives live by.  (And a cute play on words for Semper Fi.)  You never know what adventure or challenge lies around the corner so flexibility is key!

A few days ago my Marine called and told me he was coming home early.  While I love those words, they are normally loaded.  And so it is that this morning he left for a training exercise only two months after he got home from deployment.  How's that for timing?

When I found out I worried about our oldest, as he is really at an age where he needs dad.  He sets his alarm early each morning so he can hang out with him.  He's started working out so he and dad can have male bonding time and has even put forth the effort to do it on his own to "impress his dad".  He wants him to shuttle him to football practice.  So how can it not break my heart that dad has to leave again when they're cultivating this new, different, more grown up almost relationship?

And then there's the fussbucket.  I know he doesn't know what's going on.  What I do know is that he runs to the front room and points out the window saying "da da" when he comes home.  That he rides on daddy's, and only daddy's, shoulders.  That da da tosses him in the air and gives him his bath.  So those moments that he loves are gone for a while.  Their budding relationship has to take a break so soon after being reacquainted. 

Being the supermom that I attempt, and coincidentally frequently fail, at being I try to have some fun things to do with the kids and focus on the positives.  So here goes...the top five reasons I'm glad my husband is gone!

5.  I have the bed all to myself!

4.  The sarcastic harassment will be kept to a minimum, if any, since our contact will be limited.

3.  I am the sole person in charge.  Yippee...

2.  No more cooking!  It's back to the frozen dinner diet!

1.  I have the remote all to myself!  Time to get caught back up on all my girly shows!

So, here's to TV dinners in front of the TV and having my kids undying love and attention...right???  Or at least to having that fabulous "first" kiss again soon.  Semper Gumby!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scrumptious Sunday

Words cannot describe my love of all things pumpkin!  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins so why not pumpkin cookies?  With cooler temperatures this weekend actually making it feel like fall in Eastern NC, and the miracle of finding pumpkin puree at the market, I was craving something pumpkin.  I decided to attempt another one of Gina's recipesLow-fat Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were nothing but delicious!  Two thumbs up from everyone who tried them!  And yes, others did help me eat this tasty batch of cookies!  So, get thee to a market, snap up some pumpkin puree while you can and put these babies in the oven!  Then, enjoy each bite of yummy goodness!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Times They Are A Changing!

We are slowly settling back into our "school" routine.  This year has been full of early mornings for middle school, football practice pushing back bedtimes and realizing the challenge of only owning one  "family" vehicle and a motorcycle.

L is, for the most part, at a very fun age.  He's into EVERYTHING these days.  He practically runs from one side of the house to the other, wants a piece of anything you're eating and points at everything so we can tell him the names.  However, he still doesn't say very many words and is now starting to push back or forgo nap time.  This is a little stressful for mama, but other than that, we're having lots of fun together.  We're back to laptime at the library and he's settling in, I hope, to childcare at the gym so mama can work out.  Mostly he is curious about everything and keeping me on my toes!

He's into everything, including this keg!

C, is a tween.  A tween going on 20.  He knows everything and seems to constantly be testing us.  He's still a great kid, but has been defiant and lied about some very small issues.  It makes me wonder why he would choose to lie about something so trivial.  I really hope he's just getting it out of his system and will return to our normal child soon.  It's frustrating to always seem to be on him about things and punishing him.  And since we're still dealing with issues I'm guessing the punishments aren't the most effective.  Overall, I know I don't have a lot to complain about, but he's our little boy and even though he's growing up I still worry about him.  It's our job to make sure he grows up into the best man that he can be.  One of the qualities I really hope he has is honesty.  The librarian who leads laptime offered me some hope saying her youngest son was a bit of a mess from about 12-15, but then one day it was like she woke up and had her son back.  Here's to hoping we survive the next couple years and we all come through loving and respecting each other at the end of it.

The mom you're annoying me, stop, look.

Sometimes I feel like super mom handling the curve balls my kids throw at me.  And other times I feel like I fail them and lose it too quickly.  In the end, I have two great kids.  Whether they behave or not, we are truly blessed.  I'll just keep doing my best to love them and train them up in the way they should go, whether they like it or not!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Those of you who know the fussbucket know he's a little hard headed.  And, who are we kidding, he comes by it honestly! While this description fits his budding personality, it's also literal this week as L and the coffee table met for the first time! 

The fussbucket wasn't so fond of this encounter as you can see, but he recovered nicely.

A little bump on the head won't put the fussbucket in the corner!  He was off and running once he got over the initial shock and pain.

I think the lasting impacts on Mum might be harder than they were on L.  Course the incessant teasing by my husband probably doesn't help, but at least I know the fussbucket will go on being his normal adventurous self, despite my inability to foresee his actions!  Oh the joys of parenthood!  Maybe I'll just put him in a bubble? 

P.S.  I did call the doctor and the doctor said...no more babies bumping their heads!  (Or watch for these signs of concussion...)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miscellany Monday

 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Here we go again...

1)  Last night I was emailing my husband how sad I was that Liam doesn't need rocked to sleep as much anymore.  He seems content to drink his bedtime bottle and be laid down in his crib.  Guess he's already getting sick of  his mum!  I on the other hand am sad that the one cuddle time we had is vanishing.  Where has my baby gone?  He is on the verge of being a toddler, a little boy, and while I love every minute of watching him change and grow, I'm going to miss these quiet moments we have together each evening.

2)  My boy loves to eat!  He tried PB & J for the first time this week and it was a hit!

3)  Sticking to my almost one year old's schedule and keeping my 11 year old busy over the summer is a challenge!  Sometimes it works out and sometimes one is just too cool for the other!

4)  Getting up early to work out is a great idea!  However, it's also one that's easier said than done.  Today we checked off the box, but tomorrow????

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scrumptious Sunday

Recently I have been thinking about the lack of time I make for myself and how this effects so many aspects of my life.  Through discussions with friends I determined that making more meals at home and eating fast/convenience food might help in the matter.  I've always loved cooking, but trying to balance cooking and two kids has been a challenge.  If you know me, you know that I'd rather order Dominos online or pop a Lean Cusine in the microwave most nights when the hubs is gone, but that's all about to change.  Well, kinda. 

A friend shared Gina's Skinny Recipes recently on Facebook and since then I have been mildly obsessed with her blog.  My mouth waters over recipes, yet I hadn't tried any until tonight!  I was looking for healthy, easy recipes and Gina came to the rescue!  Not only that, but my 11 year old watched too much Popeye and is not obsessed with spinach so I was able to kill two birds with one stone with her Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella.

It was delish!  And only four points a serving!  I forgot the red peppers though.  Whoops!  Next time!  (And since the recipe calls for six servings we'll have at least one more.  I grilled the chicken and left the baking of the spinach and mozzarella on top for the next time I serve it so I can use the extra grilled chicken for L!)   This recipe was definitely a hit.  It passed C & L's taste test!  I think the hubs will enjoy it too once he's home!  So, visit Gina's site, pull up the recipe and try it yourself!  Your taste buds will thank you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

Why hello blog!  It's been a while.  Where have I been you may be wondering?  Well, there have been two things keeping me busy and away from my computer. 

Six Months Old
You all know the first one well.  The fussbucket!   At eight and a half months old he's as mobile as can be.  He's crawling all over the house now and getting into everything he shouldn't.  This means I'm chasing him around most of the time, unless of course, he's sleeping!

I'm ready to move Mum!
The second thing keeping me uber busy was our recent move!  Mental note to self, stop moving while husband is deployed!   We just bought our first house and trying to pack up the old one, get everything in order for the new one, move from old to new and unpack has been quite the time consuming adventure.  Considering it was mostly done in the two to three hours that Liam is asleep and I'm awake it's a miracle it happened at all!  Many thanks to my dad for coming out to help wrangle the fussbucket and keep me in line!

Our New Place!
Let it be known that the next time I move I hope it's to our forever home.  And I hope my husband is around to help!  I know he wishes he was for this move, but he'll get to enjoy the perks without the pain of moving.  It's no joke moving on your own.  For now, I'd better get on an overdue crochet project that's harder than I thought it would be, but hopefully you won't have to wait so long to hear from me again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Review of Tommee Tipppee BPA Free Lil Sippee Sipper Cup 10 oz (6 Months) - 2 Pack - Blue/Red

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

Our Explora li'l sippee spill-proof sipper cup is intuitively designed for leak proof, bite free sipping. Made of soft silicone to be easy on tender gums, our integrated valve was designed by a physicist to provide goof-proof, easy drinking, and yet remain truly spill-proof. And the one-piece ...

Great sippee cup!

By G from Jacksonville, NC on 2/14/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Easy To Clean, Easy To Use, Lightweight

Best Uses: Everyday Use

Describe Yourself: Child Care Professional, First Time Parent

My son is six months old and with a deployed husband getting him to eat independently on occasion would be a huge blessing. I recently tried a few different trainer/first cups and he couldn't get anything out of them. I bought these Tommee Tippee Sippees because, like a previous poster said, the soft spout seemed closest to a bottle. (We love our Tommee Tippee bottles...) I disagree with the other reviewers though. This is the first cup my six month old has been able to get something out of. We just tried water and at first he was confused what was coming out, but loved it and kept going back for more. They're easy for him to hold, similar to a bottle. Every time he had one with handles he'd just bang it around like a toy. Since it's the only cup that works for him we'll keep using it and probably get more until we go to a straw cup. The only other thing that worked better was a regular cup, but I'm not ready to hand my six month old one of those! These are great cups! Give them a try!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Miscellany Monday

1)  I could use a sister wife today.*  Then someone could watch the fussbucket while I sleep, or shower, or brush my teeth. 

2)  The fussbucket doesn't need sleep.  He can live on pure baby adrenaline.  Since I've been sick he has clearly needed even less sleep because, of course, I need more.  So he wakes up at 2:30 in the morning.  And he doesn't nap for more than 30 minutes.  Do you think my sister wife would get up at 2:30 in the morning so I could sleep?

3)  I always miss my husband, but I miss him more when I'm sick and the fussbucket wants to revert back to newborn sleeping patterns.  My sister wife cannot deploy.

4)  Liam is on the move.  I still put a blanket down on the floor out of habit for him, but what's the point?  He never stays on it.  He scoots off to find things he wants.  Normally these are his walker, the birds on his Inantino Play Time Activity Center or the dog bed.  I'm just counting down to him discovering the dog's water bowl.  That should be fun.

5) Thank God for the jumperoo.  Thank God for the P-cola family loaning us theirs!  Now that Liam is on the move it's about the only way I can contain and entertain him.  Unless I get a sister wife.  She can hold him and entertain him.

6)  My Dyson is clearly my best friend.  Without it the floors Liam wants to scoot around on would be dirty and covered in dog hair. Wouldn't it be helpful to have a sister wife to share in the housecleaning duties?

*Please note* No sister wives were harmed in the making of this blog.  And for those who are getting ready to call my husband or my pastor, I'm not really on the hunt for a sister wife.  This was all a little tongue in cheek.  It's a joke.  I swear.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday on a Thursday

My boys are just so cute I can't stand it!

Clearly Cody needs to work out since Liam tackled him! ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things - Volume Three

Today's favorite is important to me because I use them every day.  I received a ton of diapers for baby shower gifts (THANK YOU!!!!) and felt very blessed not to have to buy diapers for quite some time.  As we were nearing the end of our diaper stash I toyed with the idea of cloth diapering as a way to save some cash.  (Sorry environment, that was my main motivation.)  In the end, I decided it wasn't for me.  So, that left me trying to find a way to save a buck and still diaper my precious fussbucket.   Because, of course, he deserves the best!  Look at that face, how could he not?

Today I'd like to give a shout out to my friends at Wal-Mart for having such great diapers!  I used Pampers Swaddlers pretty exclusively, although I think thanks to generous donations I've tried every type of diaper available, and decided to try some of the store brands to save a little cash.  Because let's face it, millionaires we are not!  So I tried some other store brands before using some of the Parent's Choice brand.  I was pleasantly surprised!  In my personal opinion, they are just as good as Pampers.  The texture and feel of them is most comparable to the Swaddlers I was using.  Some of the store brands felt rough to me and my sweet boy couldn't have a rough diaper!  And at just under $14 a box I am saving a ton of money by using them!  So, thanks Wal-Mart for helping this mama save some cash! The fussbucket thanks you too as now his rear end is swaddled in softness!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Loose Lips Sink Ships

You've heard the old adage from WWII and it still holds true today.  So for those who've asked, I'm not ignoring you.  I swear.  There is this thing in the military called OPSEC, or Operational Security.  There are a lot of rules around what we can and cannot say about deployments.  So while I'd love to divulge all the details on this blog or Facebook, I can't.  Here are the three main reasons why:

1.  God forbid something horrible happens to my husband or one of his fellow service members because I ran my mouth.  While I trust those of you that I know personally, I just can't put it out there for the whole world to see.  Call me paranoid, but you never know who's watching!

2.  Communication has been known to be shut down when spouses say too much on the internet.  Communication is our lifeline during deployment.  It keeps me sane.  Since at home we battle insanity every day (I kid...sorta...) loosing that contact with our loved ones would be devastating!

3.  When the time comes for homecoming, it's not unheard of for homecoming or deployments themselves, to be delayed due to loose lips.  Of course we want to vent about our spouses leaving us.  Who wouldn't?  It's just not normal to be married and not live together for the majority of your marriage.  But I'm not going to take the fall for the delays and at some point you just want to get things over and done with.   When we get close to homecoming we get excited, we want to share, but you'll know when they're home.  Trust me, when they are safe and sound and in our arms, we won't be able to keep it to ourselves. 

I decided to write this blog because I've gotten a lot of questions, on Facebook mostly, and didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.  I'm not trying to be rude.  I'm just trying to do my part to keep my husband safe and the little connection that we have with him intact.  I know this is a strange world and so many of my friends and family aren't familiar with it so hopefully this will help you understand where we're coming from throughout this deployment and in the future.  I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your friendship, support and prayers.  They mean the world to us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things - Volume Two

Today we have to talk about my love for the My Best Friend nursing pillow.  It is a lifesaver!

I was given a Boppy and nursed with that for almost three months.  However, somewhere along the line I gave myself carpal tunnel nursing my baby.   Somewhere, someone coined the term mommy thumb and I have it!  It's painful to do most anything and I attribute it to nursing since I didn't have this issue before I had the fussbucket.  So, the Boppy has been great for many things, but I was pretty excited when I saw the My Best Friend pop up on Amazon one day.  In reading the reviews a mommy, like me said it saved her from her carpel tunnel.  I had to try it!

While it hasn't gotten rid of my mommy thumb, I sure wish I had this from day one!  I'm pretty confident that I would not have gotten mommy thumb had I had the proper tools from day one.  There are many reasons why this pillow can prevent mommy thumb and make breast feeding easier.  It clips on and stays in place so baby's not moving around as much.  It holds baby up closer to the breast for you so you're not straining your arm, wrist and thumb to hold them in place!  It supports baby at the breast so you don't have to.  It also lets you easily move around while nursing baby, almost hands free.  Because, inevitably, the dogs have to go outside while you're nursing.  Murphy's Law maybe, but the dogs need to go out or the phone rings when you're glued to the couch with the baby.  Unless, of course, you have the My Best Friend!

This is one of the best baby products I've purchased!  It really is a must have if you plan to breastfeed!  Make sure it's on your registry or you pick one up before you have baby so you can escape the dreaded mommy thumb!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye, going away, seems like goodbye's such a hard thing to say,
Touching a hand, wondering why, it's time for saying goodbye

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reality Bites

Yep, it sure does.  As many of you know we are gearing up for yet another deployment in our household.  We've all been putting off the inevitable, but there is only so long you can put things on hold.  The fact of the matter is that packing has to happen.  We have to get power of attorneys and other legal things sorted.  I have to finish that hat I promised I would knit for deployment.  I've been putting off closing it up since the road trip.  It's one of those weird reminders that soon we will be without one of our family members.   Maybe if I don't finish it he won't leave?  The Marine Corps is just laughing at me now! 

Despite the state of denial I've been living in this deployment will happen.  I find that for some reason I'm having a harder time dealing with this deployment than in the past.  Normally I'm totally calm, cool and collected, but I feel a bit emotional this time around.  I don't know if it's different now that we have the fussbucket, or my hormones are still out of whack, but man, my eyes are full of tears at the silliest things.

To be quite honest, this whole overly emotional thing is driving us all nuts!  I know it drives my husband nuts, but it bugs me as well.  I guess I kind of pride myself on being strong and pulled together so not being "together" really stinks!  I know that we'll be fine when he's gone.  We've managed before, quite successfully, and we'll do it again.  I know that I rely on my husband a lot and appreciate all his help with the fussbucket so I will miss those little breaks.  I'll miss the banter and laughs, the hugs and kisses, but I know at the end of this challenge we'll all be stronger for it.

I struggle to find the right words to say about how I feel, even after writing this, but that seems appropriate for my state of mind.  I know that with courage, strength and a lot of prayer we'll get through this deployment.  God doesn't give us anything we can't handle.  I have to remember that as I'm overly emotional, because we can and will handle it.  And knowing that we can handle it gives me peace that I need to embark on this adventure.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Ray of Hope

Our oldest turned eleven last week.  That's right, eleven.  We are swiftly moving towards the teen years and fully immersed in the new "tween" years.  Scary!  And while this stage of parenthood brings a set of challenges that I feel much more equipped to handle than sleepless nights,  I dread them all the same.  I miss the boy who used to cuddle on my lap.  The little guy who wanted to hold our hands.  And yet I appreciate his independence.  I love that he can pour himself a glass of milk and nuke something to eat.  I love that he still needs our help and advice on occasion.  I must say, he is a really good kid.  He has his moments of course, because he is an eleven year old boy, but man I love him!  And for all his tween rebellion, for every moment where he thinks he knows better, there are the moments that bring tears to our eyes.  The ones that let us know we have raised a kind, generous, caring young man. 

When he still wanted to cuddle!
The other day, C totally came through with one of those "this is why we do it" moments.  He went to rehearsals at school for the yearly musical and came home to ask if he could go to the exchange with a friend.  They rode their bikes down to look at video games and buy soda and snacks for themselves.   Well, our big, bad eleven year old comes home happy, a little cold, and handing out gifts????  What?  Seriously.  They were just little things.  A Coke for dad and peanut M&M's for mom, but man, they were worth a million dollars to us.  No one asked him for these things, he bought them out of the kindness of his heart.   That he remembered things we love and bought them, with his money, was jaw dropping.   All I wanted to do was hug him!  I felt like the queen of England! 

At the end of  this year's football season
It's these little things that make every struggle of parenting worth it!  Sleepless nights to the fight to go to sleep at night are worth it at that moment.   Those arguments about homework...worth it.  He may be showing us in a different way now that he loves us, but so long as it comes straight from the heart it's appreciated.  And it may just cause me to cry.  Who am I kidding?  These days, it probably will!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Snow Day

Snow Days with Daddy came at the perfect time!  
We are so grateful for two fun filled days as a family!

And it was Liam's first snow!

He made his first snow angel.  
Ok, it was only half an angel, but not too shabby for a four month old!

Oh, and my crazy hubby rode his bike in the snow to work!  
Ok, so it wasn't snowing when he left for work, but when they called off work for the day he walked out to a bike covered in snow.  
I think he's going to miss his "baby" when he's gone if he's riding it in the snow!