With Hubby gone and both boys sleeping well at night, I've become a bit crafty. I like having a finished product to show for my day. While I love being a SAHM, I don't really get to see the result for about 16 more years.

The other night, my guilt finally got the better of me so I decided to finally finish The Monkey's baby blanket. I crocheted The Bear's. I have this strong need to be fair, and so I knew I had to make The Monkey's. Crocheting didn't sound fun this time (maybe because I still remember doing The Bear's). I had bought a little kit with fabric back in October and finally did it.

I have no idea why I felt the need to stay up until 1 am finishing it when I had waited until he was almost 3 months old to start it.

It's not quilted - just sewn together. It's not perfect by a long shot. It is warm and snuggly and made with love though. My lack of sleep that night was totally worth it the next day when he cuddled on in during his nap.

Don't forget to comment on this post to enter the Target gift card giveaway :-)


favorite photo friday

With all the rainy days we've been having, it's made for some cranky kiddos. I decided we needed a goofy photo shoot. The bathroom mirror, my old camera and lots of funny faces. I couldn't pick one favorite, so here's a collage of us being us.

MckLinky your favorite photo(s) of the week!



This silly little blog has reached it's 200th post.

A lot has happened since then.
This was my way of staying sane last deployment. We've finished that up and have gone through a few underways, too. The Bear was 8 months old and had just started crawling. Now, he's a 2 year old running all over the place. The Monkey was a "some day" and now he's almost 3 months old. The Puppy is still a barking machine. (At least some things stay the same.)

I decided to have my first giveaway to celebrate. A $10 gift card to Target. I need an excuse to go back there; it's been almost a week since our last visit. :-)

To enter:
*Leave a comment. Any sort of real comment. Don't be lame and just write "comment" though.
*Leave an extra comment if you subscribe or follow me. You deserve the extra chance for putting up with my rambles :-)

I'll close it at midnight Sunday night (02/28).



How is it only 11 am?

The Bear is being 2. Limited patience, loud noises and lots of "no" and "mine".
The Monkey has an upset tummy. He's spitting all over the place and wanting to be held constantly.
The Puppy is barking at the 2 moving trucks on our street. (More specifically, he's barking at all the workers who are standing about that came with the 2 moving trucks.)

It's going to be a long day.

If we all survive, I will consider that an accomplishment.
Here's hoping to a long nap and lots of patience!



6 years ago, one of my friends died.

Her name was Rachel. It's still weird for me to write was. She should be an is.

We weren't best friends. But, we were friends. We were in the same group. We had gone to high school together.

She died the sophomore year of college. She had a heart attack. She had had a pacemaker put in a few years before and we knew she had heart issues, but it was definitely out of the blue.

She was the type that went over the top with everything. When she planned a birthday party, it involved cars full of balloons, treasure hunts and matching shirts. She made you feel special.

I hope she knew how loved she was.
I can only imagine the parties she's planning in heaven.


We pray before we eat. Some families don't, but we do. I try to do night time prayers, but I'm not nearly as consistent as I ought to be.

The Bear prays before we eats. He folds his hands and says his little prayer of "ya ya la ya" or something along those lines.

It's how it's always been for him.

We were over at a friend's house for dinner. The mom asked if needed anything else as she was sitting down. Teddy folded his hands and waited to pray. The other family goes to church. They know we do. Why did it take a 2 year old to make us pray out loud before we ate?

He has a play kitchen and likes to bring me meals. He makes me pray before I "eat" his food. He prays before snack time. He prays before he gets the second slice of pizza.
It was driving me crazy. Seriously, how many times did we have to pray?

Then, I realized God never gets tired of hearing thank you.
And, it took a 2 year old to teach me that.


deployment 2010

Life changes. And so do our plans.

Hubby left today. Honestly, I have no idea for how long. Weeks? Months? Hubby doesn't know. No one knows.
It's part of being a Navy wife. It's not fun, but it will pass.

Since we have no idea is this is deployment or if Hubby will be home before then, we're treating it like he'll be gone for quite some time. We weren't given much notice that this underway has the potential of being a long trip at sea.

I feel badly that I had nothing prepared for him. No cards. No DVDs. No brownies. Luckily, I'm a freak and had a stock pile of deodorant and shampoo in the closet. He has my love though.

The morning Hubby left for last deployment

Last night (he spent the night on the boat, so this was his last time home)

Swim safely, my love. We'll be waiting for you.

favorite photo friday

This has been one crazy, emotional week. My camera and I trucked along though. It's the little things that can make life seem stable.

Favorite of The Bear: Last weekend, we went to the Children's Museum. If you're ever in Boston and have kiddos, you need to go. We were able to meet one of The Bear's favorite characters - Curious George. He was in awe of him :-)

Favorite of The Monkey: He's such a smiley baby now. I have tons of him with the biggest grins that light up his whole face. We had a mini photo shoot on the couch on Wednesday. He was having so much fun "sitting" like a big boy. There are a bunch of him grinning, but this one took my breath away. He's not a baby anymore. I can not believe how mature he looks. You can see the little boy in him now.



It takes a lot to break a great man.

Being the one breaking such a man is nothing to be proud of.

It doesn't take a lot of kindness, compassion, love or honesty.
It takes a lot of other things.
Things I'm glad Hubby doesn't have.

I'm glad Hubby is the type to break.

A broken husband beats a hardened husband any day.



When Hubby came home from work yesterday, the first thing he said is "you're smudged." The little boys and I had gone to the noon Ash Wednesday service and I had the ashes on my forehead.

I doubt it was meant in a negative way. I'm not sure if it's because he was raised without "doing" Ash Wednesday or Lent or if it's because he's a boy and doesn't always think things through. Sometimes, he doesn't realize how things will sound or how I'll perceive them.

At first, I was upset. Was that the best thing to say right off the bat? Was he mocking me? Was he seriously not aware of what it was for?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized he had actually said something fairly profound.

I am smudged.
I am not perfect. I am not close to being perfect. I make mistakes. I don't always say the right thing or stand up for what I know is right. I can be too controlling. I have doubts. I sometimes just want to lock myself in the bathroom alone. I get tired. I don't always help the homeless man outside Wal-Mart. I put myself before others. I put my family before my own needs. I am human.
I am smudged.

In spite of my smudged-ness, I am loved. By my children. By my husband. By my family and friends.
Most of all, I am loved by God. He loves me regardless of my smudges.


day of love

I have a confession. I love Valentine's Day. (Yes, I worked at Hallmark and was brainwashed). Here are our Valentine's Days . . .

2006: Hubby and I were dating and at U of I. We actually got engaged exactly one week later. (I told him it was lame to propose on a holiday - Christmas, V-Day, birthday - was a cop out of a gift.) I had class late on Tuesdays. Hubby met me between each class to walk me to the next one with a traditional present. Roses, chocolates, lunch out, perfume . . . after my last class ended at 8 pm, we went to Dairy Queen and got an ice cream cake since it was too late for dinner.

2007: We had just moved to SC a week before. Hubby hadn't started school yet, and he planned the most romantic date ever. He wouldn't tell me where we were going just to look nice. It was a dinner cruise. We had no idea where we were going and ended up going to the wrong dock (like 20 minutes away wrong dock). It involved running and a few swear words, but we made it. I begged with the captain to hold the boat while Hubby parked the car. It was a magical night and Hubby actually asked me to dance (the one and only time).

2008: Hubby was doing shift work at prototype. The Bear was 2 months old. We met him for dinner at the Subway at his work. He couldn't leave. He only had 30 minutes, but it was our first Valentine's Day as a family.

2009: Hubby had just gotten home from deployment, and he was on leave. We were back in IL for a friend's wedding. It was the first time we left The Bear overnight (he loved hanging out with my parents though). It was hard for me to leave The Bear, but it was wonderful to be able to reconnect with Hubby.

2010: Hubby had the weekend off! We went up to Boston. We went to the Children's Museum and Disney on Ice. With deployment approaching, it was the perfect weekend of family love.


someday clothes

I have a lot of clothes. Like, a lot a lot. Luckily, we have a huge closet so Hubby hasn't commented.

The problem is most of them don't fit me.

We got married just after I graduated college.
So, I have all my college clothes which consist of hoodies and "going out" clothes.
Married life agreed with me and I gained 15 pounds (and outgrew almost all my clothes). I was working full time, so most of these clothes are nicer.
Then, I got pregnant with The Bear. Hello, maternity clothes. I was still working full time so these maternity clothes are on the nicer end. I was in a relatively relaxed environment, so no suits or anything.
I stayed home with The Bear for a year. I lost all the pregnancy weight and then some. None of my pre-Bear clothes fit though. I was also more aware of my clothing. I'm not the type of mom to be walking around with my tummy showing (even that quarter inch that didn't phase me before felt weird).
Pregnancy #2 was when I was at home so it's sweaters and jeans.

And, here we are.

I'm 2-3 pounds more than I was when I got pregnant with The Monkey, but nothing is fitting. I also want to work myself down a bit more. Nothing drastic, just to a more comfortable place for me.

How long do I hang on to those clothes that I might someday fit into? The non-mommy friendly ones I have no problems donating. It's the jeans a few sizes too small that are hard. Am I ever going to get to someday? Or will they still be hanging in my closet in 25 years?

opening the olympics

Pretend for a minute that you're in the Olympics. This is a lot of pretending for me since I can barely walk without tripping half the time.

For the opening ceremonies-
Are you taking pictures?
Are you using a video camera?
Are you on the phone with your mom?
Are you jumping up and down waving those little flags?
Are you one of those who is too cool to walk since you have to compete tomorrow? (I am not in this group which is probably why I never did well at sports.)

I can pretend.


favorite photo friday

Favorite of The Bear: We had a snow storm this week. It wasn't quite the big schabang predicted, but we had snow. It was the first time this year the timing worked out where The Bear was able to play in the snow. It was in the pre-nap snow which was perfect. He's not a fan of walking on grass (and apparently walking on grass even when it's covered in snow) so we built his first snow man in the driveway. Not anything big or fancy, but he loved it.

Favorite of The Monkey: Hubby actually took this of him the other day. It was with my fancy schmancy camera, and I was impressed at how well he did. I love how he blurred the background. How can you not love a face like this?

Any one else have a (or a few) favorite photo of the week? Add your post to the MckLinky. I <3>



There are things I know I can do. I know I need to do them. I know I will do them. It's just the actually doing that scares the heck out of me.

One of those things: Grocery shopping with both little boys.

Yes, I know there are moms out there with 200 kids (or you know 19) who think only taking 2 kids to the grocery store would be a breeze. In all fairness, I doubt half of them are a testing 2 year old and the other half is a 2 month old without a real schedule.

I conquered the beast today. I had just fed The Monkey. Stopped at Wendy's for some "kicken" nuggets for The Bear. Loaded up the cart and headed in to the store. We hadn't been to the store in a month so we were definitely low on everything. I had a master list. I had planned out our meals for the next month to minimize the trips there.

We did it. I wore The Monkey in my Moby wrap. The Bear dominated the seat. We had an overflowing cart with only one short outburst. (The Bear saw cookies and wanted them. I gave in. We bought the cookies.)

It wasn't that hard. It was just intimidating. I'm not Super Mom, but at least now we can eat.


favorite photo friday

I have no concept of time anymore. Is it really Friday?

Favorite of The Bear: He loves art time. I've been trying to set time aside at least 3 times a week for him to do some sort of art. He likes painting with his paint brush. He's way too OCD to do that whole finger painting thing. Please excuse the lack of shirt. He's 2 and gets paint everywhere.

Favorite of The Monkey: I love that he's starting to be a happy baby. He was so very serious the first weeks. He's still very subdued, but he has a smile that just lights up his whole face. I love that his eyes get all squinty when he smiles like mine do. The boys are spitting images of Hubby, so it's nice to see they get something from me.


2010: Month 1

1 month ago, I posted my 2010 goals (does that year still look funny to anyone else?). I figured I'll attempt to keep myself on track by publicly listing how we are. Yes, we. Most of my goals are family goals. That's what happens when you're a momma.

*Plans. Well. We talked about them. Sort of. They change a lot. It's often dependent on Hubby's day at work. Some days it's "I'm totally doing this until I hit 20 years". Some days it's "I want out today". We have a couple of different game plans though. It works. Budget - not so much. Meal planning - works when Hubby's home. When he's gone, all bets are off. I really do need to work on that.

*Individual time with each boy. I've done this. Granted, it hasn't been reading a book to The Monkey every day. I read to him alone some, but normally "his" book is shared with The Bear. I am making it a point to give The Monkey special snuggles and just hang out with him for a little bit every day.

*Read 26 books. I'm actually doing this. I love to read. It's just getting myself to the library to make it all happen. I added a running tally on the sidebar to help keep tabs on myself. I've finished 3 so far and am so close on number 4. I stayed up until 2 last night reading. Not the most responsible thing when I have 2 little ones who wake up early, but it makes me feel like me.

*Take care of myself. I bought a work out DVD. I did it. Once. It wasn't that strenuous (except the jumping jacks. Those hurt a lot when you're nursing.) I just need to fit it into my routine.

*Potty train The Bear. This one isn't going to be worked on until deployment since he takes change so hard. He is starting to tell me when he needs a new diaper and giving me a little heads up when he has to go. The problem is sometimes it's 2 seconds before and sometimes it's 30 minutes before. He learned the word "potty" and knows what it means so we're laying the ground work. I need to figure out what system will work for us.

*Positive attitude. Some days I fail. But, these are things that are supposed to take a year, right? I am doing my best and feeling especially zen lately. It's important for me to remember the things that really matter to me. And, who really matters to me. Hubby, The Bear and The Monkey are first. We're stuck with each other for life, so I might as well put the most energy and effort into those people.

That's where I am. Making progress with a ways to go.

How have you been doing on your resolutions?



I'm sitting downstairs.

Listening to The Bear jump on his bed.

I'm pretending he's napping.

That still counts, doesn't it?


top ten tuesday {i wish i knew how}

I like to learn. I would like to be a lifelong learner. A modern Renaissance Man. I know lots of random and useless information which comes in handy if you're playing Trivial Pursuit. But, most of my life is not spent playing Trivial Pursuit. So here is a list of things I wish I knew how to do.

1. Quilt. I can sew easy things. I have a sewing machine. I like to buy fabric. I just wish I had someone that could teach me to make a quilt. Nothing fancy. Just a simple quilt.

2. Use a crock pot. I have a confession. I HATED crockpots. Like with a passion. We never had one when I was a kid, and the only people I ever saw using them were country bumpkins. I have seen the light. I apologize for all my 22 year old opinions. I own one now. And, I love it. I just wish I had more things I knew to cook in it.

3. Parallel park the new minivan. I taught myself to parallel park when I was in college. Apparently, learning to drive in the Chicago suburbs did not validate learning to parallel park. We had parking lots everywhere. I know I can do it with time. Just hasn't been something I want to do with 2 small, screaming children in the car.

4. Write in calligraphy. It just looks so pretty.

5. Grocery shop with both boys. I know I will learn this. The whole eating during the deployment would be nice. Unfortunately, I don't have the logistics of it all down yet.

6. Decorate cakes. Not just the boring icing stuff; I can do that much. I would love to take a cake decorating class. Someday.

7. Keep flowers alive. I've gotten better with not killing all my houseplants. But, if it flowers, I'm awful.

8. Change a flat tire. My dad walked me through it before and I know the general order of things. It would be cool to actually change one once. This is a completely useless thing to know. If I ever needed a tire changed, I would just call our insurance since that's part of what we pay for.

9. Eat seafood. You should never take your overly sensitive, animal loving child to see live fish (at an aquarium, pet store or in the ocean) and then go to a seafood restaurant. It doesn't end well. It might even cause her to start sobbing when she's 19 years old and you're out at a fancy Mother's Day dinner. Do not show her the lobster tank, pick out your lobster and then have said lobster be served as your dinner.
I can't eat seafood. It makes me gag to think about. (Yes, I do eat beef occasionally. We only eat meat once a week though. And, we never went on vacation to a farm.)

10. Be paid to be a mommy. Why not dream big here?

Check out other lists at OhAmanda's site.

babies eat. a lot.

It seems to be a hot topic around the blogosphere lately, and I thought I would put it out there. It seems especially fitting now that we have The Monkey in our family, and we're back in those infant days.

Nursing is the right choice for our family. I don't work so it makes me feel slightly useful and avoids the cost of formula. It provides more nutrients and all that yummy stuff that just can't be made. Besides the logical reasons, I like snuggling with the babes. It hasn't always been an easy journey, but it was a commitment I made for the betterment of my children.

I nursed The Bear until he was almost 13 months old. I would have been okay to continue, but he was in the hospital, we were out of town without my pump, and it really seemed an appropriate quitting time for us.

In those 13 months, I fed him in public. That's what happens when you move with a 3 month old. Or when you travel to Europe with a 11 month old. Kids need to eat. I would try to plan our days to minimize the public feedings, but when he was hungry I would feed him.

Now I have 2 children. I can't keep The Bear locked in our house all day. It doesn't end well for him, me or our house. We don't spend days galavanting about, but we do play at friends' houses, go to tumble and play at the mall.

Babies eat. A lot. Quite often.

I have fed him in very public places. The mall. Restaurants. Polar Express train on the way to see Santa. U Conn basketball game. It's all good.

I am not the type to expose myself. I'm modest to begin with, and this mommy body doesn't need to be seen by anyone. Normally, I wear a nursing tank (to keep my stomach covered) and then another shirt over it that I can half pull up to feed The Monkey. Very little skin is exposed. And, I have a nursing cover over The Monkey and me. I don't cover myself because I'm ashamed of what I'm doing. It makes me (and Hubby) more comfortable and more likely to feed him in public.

Does this make you uncomfortable? Nursing in public can be very bold. But, it can also be very discreet. I was feeding The Monkey while he was in his sling, and neither Hubby or my dad knew what I was doing. (The look on my dad's face was slightly humorous when I said he was eating.) Would it bother you to be sitting next to a mom who was feeding her baby?

I won't be offended. I'm just curious how those with little ones and those without feel about it.