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!