top ten tuesday {in my dream house}

So part of my coping mechanism for our crazy, unstable life is to day dream. I'm a hoper by nature. I appreciate my todays, but there's nothing wrong with hoping for those "some days".

My dream house has these things:

1. A playroom for the little ones. We currently have an open floor plan on our first floor. I love having The Bear play down here, but it drives me nuts that no matter where you go you see toys. A room to contain it all would be fantastic. And, when they're teenagers it would be nice for them to have a room to hang out in.

2. A pool. I was a lifeguard/glorified pool girl so I'm aware of the work involved. I just think having a pool right out our back door would be filled with tons of family moments.

3. A kitchen, eating area and dining room that are all unique spaces. I'm a bit too old fashioned to forgo the formal dining room.

4. The laundry room on the second floor. It just makes more sense to me. Although I would much rather have downstairs than upstairs in a bathroom.

5. A soaking tub in the master bath. I'm a bubble bath type of girl. There is nothing that can wind me down like floating in bubbles.

6. While we're in the master bath, let's require a double sink. It's silly, but once Hubby and I have had 2 sinks I'm not sure we could ever go back.

7. The window sills from our first home. I like the idea of having something small from each home in our final house. There's something all these temporary homes building up to our final one that appeals to me. And, those deep window sills were fantastic.

8. Our second home can give us the HUGE upstairs closet. I love having all our holiday decorations and games and stuff in one place. Where I can close the door.

9. I'm going to take the wooden floors from this house. Although, I would like better quality, properly installed ones. Not in the family room, but I do like how it looks in the hallway and kitchen. I don't know how people have wood floors in their bedrooms. My feet are too cold. The ease of cleaning and prettiness has won me over in the rest of the house though.

10. Hubby home for dinner. Every night. This is my dream, right :-)

Check out OhAmanda for other people's lists!



Apparently, planning a vacation reduces your stress level as much as actually going on vacation. So says new research.

It sounds like a governmental conspiracy. Military families are famous for planning vacations that never really get to happen. Maybe they're trying to make all us mil wives feel better.

Or just maybe, they've traveled with 2 small children as a "vacation".

Not sure which theory makes me feel better.


big boy bike

The Bear got his first bike this weekend. It was finally warm enough to play outside for more than 15 minutes so I busted out the little scooter thing I had gotten free as a hand-me-down.

Hubby was less than impressed. He wanted his boy to have a real bike. During nap time, we did a little online research. We skipped the tricycle stage because most of those only last until age 3. I was not about to shell out $50 for something he can only use one summer.

We went for a small, bike with training wheels. Hubby took a solo trip to Toys R Us to pick it up while I stayed home with the napping boys. I like to give Hubby a chance to make some of those parenting decisions.

You should have seen The Bear's face light up when he came downstairs to his new ride. He promptly got on it and we all headed outside to play.

He's such a big boy.

He can reach the pedals, but he can't quite get it moving by himself. Not a big deal though. That's what Daddy's are for.

He's so very proud of himself.

Now, if anyone has a way to distract a 2 year old from a new bike that would be fantastic. He isn't quite grasping the "it's raining and you have to wait until tomorrow" concept.


favorite photo friday

Favorite of the Week
Yep. He came home :-)

Excuse us while we cram as much family time in as possible.


what do you do?

I'm involved with my local MOPS group. It's a fantastic group that I recommend to everyone. It's open to any mommy - from pregnancy to kindergarten. Part of being a member is I get weekly inspirational emails. This weeks was exactly what I needed to hear. I copy and pasted it for you all to read. Hopefully, it can help someone else on their mommy journey.

So What Do You Do?
By Esther Feng

“You wanna go to this cocktail party with me?” my husband asked me.

The first thought that had popped into my head was, It’s two days away! That’s not enough time to find a dress. I could have found a dress if I’d tried. My real reason for avoiding the event was the inevitable question, “So what do you do?”

Without fail, I’ll be standing next to my husband, nodding to the small talk and eating shrimp cocktail (hopefully without getting sauce on myself). And then someone asks me, “So, what do you do?”

I don’t know how to answer. I can’t say “I’m a teacher.” It’s been five years. Saying, “I’m Grace and Sarah’s mom,” isn’t relevant. I don’t want to be holier-than-thou with “I’m doing the most important job of all – mothering.”

It’s not that I can’t schmooze – I’ve just discovered that I don’t connect with people who have “real” jobs. They don’t want to talk about baby poop, breastfeeding, potty training or piano lessons.

I feel insignificant and intimidated by women who make important decisions all day while I decide between grilled cheese and PB&J.

Many days I wish for reading material more stimulating thanGoodnight Moon – for the opportunity to create something more meaningful than macaroni glued to a box.

But being a stay-at-home-mom is what God has asked of me in this season of life. Maybe one day I’ll have lots to say when asked, “So what do you do?” But for right now, I’m proud to be a stay-at-home-mom.

God, remind me that I’m already significant in your eyes.

*I am not that eloquent as this stage of my life so this was completely copied. Thank you, Esther Feng.


mommy opinions

From the moment people knew I was pregnant, I had opinions and advice thrown at me. From relatives. From friends. From people without kids. From random strangers.

I don't want to be like that. I'll give my opinions, but only when specifically asked.

I'm about to burst with opinions though so I'm sharing. No offense if you don't agree. These are my opinions. Feel free to share yours and your reasoning in the comments. Be polite and I won't be offended.

*Breastfeed your children. Yes, it can be challenging. Yes, I had points where I was crying in the chair pumping because The Bear just didn't get it. Some babies need to be taught, but 97% of mothers can. (And most of that 3% is because of medications) You should at least try. Give it a month. It's better for your children. It's better for you. At least try it for a few weeks.

*Your 2 year old does not need a pacifier. Especially when walking around at 10 am. The Bear used a pacifier. I know it's hard to take it away. But, you need to. Ever see a 8 year old with a pacifier? I have. It's sad. There's a reason it's recommended that after 12 months babes no longer use them.

*Do not rush your children out. There is no calendar or clock inside you. Babies come when they are ready. One child came 3 weeks early. One came a day early. Those insanely uncomfortable 3 weeks are so worth it for a bigger, healthier, better sleeping, better eating child. I'll admit I tried all the old wives tales to get The Monkey out. Spicy food. Lots of walking. Castor oil. Go ahead and try. Don't talk your doctor into using medical procedures to save you an uncomfortable week. (This totally does not apply if there is a medical reason. Don't be stupid.)

*Use pain medication sparingly. I did this one both ways, too. Epidural with The Bear. Natural with The Monkey. Yes, it hurt. A lot. But, it goes faster. Your body knows what to do. I knew when I needed to push. And, I didn't have to push as long (which luckily wasn't that long either time). I also healed WAY faster. I was up and walking around 10 minutes after The Monkey was born. I didn't bleed as long. I wasn't as sore. I didn't tear. We're stronger than we think we are. Don't walk in and say you need an epidural. You might be amazed at yourself.

*You are the mother chosen by God for your children. While these are my opinions, it's important to pick the things that truly matter to you and not back down. Facts and doctors and random old ladies are not the parents. You can consider the opinions and make sure you are not endangering your children. But, you do have the ultimate say.


excuse me

The weather has been gorgeous this weekend! (Hello, Spring. My name is Stephanie. I like you. Please stay a while.)

I took the boys to the aquarium yesterday. We have a membership, but our aquarium is outside so we hadn't been since The Monkey was born.

One of their exhibits has sea lions. Like huge, ginormous sea lions. I believe the male is about 900 pounds.

We were standing there watching him swim about.
The sea lion let out his sea lion roar. (I don't know if it's technically a roar, but that deep sea lion noise was made.)
The Bear put his hands on his hips, gave the sea lion a stern look and said "excuse me".

Apparently, even though The Bear doesn't feel the need to use his manners, all other creatures are expected to.



As part of our pre-potty training process, I took The Bear to BJ's (which is a warehouse like Sam's or Cosco). I wanted to let him pick out his treat for when he used the potty. We talked the whole time there about how he would get to it "when he used the potty" which I'm sure all the people around us loved hearing.

He picked Skittles.

I didn't mind getting a big bag (instead of those small ones at the grocery store), because I know it's going to take a while. I doubt he'll catch on with 20 Skittles.

I had been waiting to open it until he used the potty, but we were having a dry spell. I decided to open the bag and give him one and reiterate that when he goes potty, he'll get more.

Wouldn't you know. He doesn't like Skittles. He spit it out immediately.

Not only do I have green Skittle dye all over the place, but I have 57 ounces of Skittles.
So much for that plan!

2010: month 2

2 months (and 2 days) ago, I listed my resolutions for 2010. Time for the monthly check-in.

*Plans. Oh dear heavens. I try. I really do. The problem is the Navy keeps messing with my plans. With Hubby gone, our communication has been less than consistent. I think we have a plan for the rest of this year at least. I also started budgeting myself. We are not rich, but we live a very cush life. I basically have no impulse control when shopping. I'm working on it though. I know I could cut back if we needed to. Baby steps though.

*Individual time with each boy. Who would have guessed this would be an easy one? I think I freaked myself out with the whole 2 little ones thing more than I needed to.

*Read 26 books. I've finished 7 so far. Not too shabby for 10 weeks. I could read way more, but I've also gotten into crafting at night. It helps that The Bear loves the library. He has a favorite librarian which just melts my heart.

*Taking care of myself. We're getting there. The exercise DVD is just not my thing. I am trying to be much more active with The Bear though. Running up and down the hall 3,000 times should count for something, right?

*Potty train The Bear. I got myself all excited because he told me he needed to go potty, we went in and he went right away. I thought it was a break through. Instead, it was a one hit wonder. I hadn't plan to start yet though so no big deal. We have our reward chart (which is just a poster board that says "Go The Bear") and our stickers waiting to be put on it. We bought our last package of diapers. He picked out his treat at BJ's (which is like Sam's and Cosco), but that's a whole other issue. The ground work is being laid.

*Positive attitude. I am relatively zen about life. I really think I've handled all the craziness of the last month with grace. Or at least as much grace as possible. I did have to laugh when a non-military friend commented on how stable my life must be with Hubby in the military.

So, that's where I am. How are you doing? Still a work in progress? Leave them back in January?


200 winner

To be completely honest, I had issues getting this to post properly. When I try to copy and paste it, but the numbers keep disappearing! If anyone wants to share the real way to do this, I would much appreciate it!

Random.org spit out number 5.

So MrsPnut, you'll be getting the $10 Target gift card. (MrsPnut was my swap partner for Valentine's Day, and she's pretty fantastic. She also has an adorable son!)

favorite photo friday

Favorite of The Bear: Since he's turned 2, the majority of my pictures of The Bear are of his back. He's not a huge fan of the camera. When I was taking The Monkey's picture this morning, he said "me!". I turned around and saw this big smile.

Favorite of The Monkey: He loves bath time. He doesn't get one that often; seriously, he doesn't get that dirty. He thinks it's so fun to sit in his tub and watch himself.

I love the little boys!