Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a funny story

So I know I have another Ohio trip recap to post about, but I haven't had the time to dedicate to it.  Vacation for a week and then death plague 2012 let our house get pretty messy, so in free time I've been trying to get on top of it.

But we've seen my history, and if I get out of the habit of coming on blogger, you won't see me again for 6 months so I leave you with this story.


H is a very curious, intelligent tiny person.  We try to be honest with her about everything, avoid simplistic/baby talk, and use proper terms for anatomy.  This last one because it's science.  Boys have penises, girls have vaginas.  I don't think it does anyone any favors to tip-toe around genitalia.  It's just our bodies, the way we were made, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about.  I think too many people are uncomfortable with the subject.  It's nature.  It's beautiful.  It's not taboo.  *steps off soapbox*

So when H watches us change B's diaper she started to curiously point.  So we tell her, that's brother's penis.  She's gotten used to it now, so if she happens to be observing a diaper change she proudly displays her knowledge that that thing is a penis.  Well she was in the tub the other day, T was giving her a bath.  She stood up to express she was all done, grabs her vagina and yells "eeeee-nis!" with a huge smile on her face.  Not quite, lovey, but you'll get it eventually. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Seeing eye to eye

T & I talked about anything and everything before we were married and continuing on before we had kids.  We did the long-distance thing for 2 years and then were married for 2 before having H.  Plus our families live 800 miles apart so cue 17 hour road trips.  We had a lot of time on our hands to just talk.

We talked about kids and our parenting styles - spanking, public vs private school, allowance policy, household chores, etc.   I definitely recommend this to all couples who are thinking about having kids.  If there's one thing most people are stubborn on it's parenting choices and it only gets worse once you're actually a parent.  We had all the major things down and a plan of attack in place so we wouldn't be stuck with kids in an epic apocalyptic battle on co-sleeping.

Things obviously have changed as parenting has gone from an abstract concept to reality, but since we've had our dig-your-heels-in, head-in-the-sand arguments already we can discuss a new approach with civility.  Except, it seems, with the small stuff.  Most recently marker usage.

I have a planner and I like to color coordinate everything. 1 color for each member of the family, 1 for different types of events, etc.  So T got me a 16 shade assortment of those felt-tip marker/pens last year for my birthday -- yeah it's dorky, but I was excited!  H can uncap them now and she loves to color on things.  So I give her a notebook or paper and a marker and let her go nuts.  The other day she colored her hand & her face with green.  It came off in the bath, but not at the sink so most of the day she looked like her dad might've been Bruce Banner.

T was so upset.  He snatched the marker away and put it on the shelf and told me not to give her markers anymore.  I was pissed that he made her cry for no good reason and that he tried to boss me.  We both got attitudes and fought about this.  Seriously.  He threw out that I wasn't giving her proper supervision.  I told him to stop being so uptight & stifling her creativity. 

We're all fine now, but there still hasn't been a consensus on coloring.  The adult thing to do would be discuss the issue and come up with guidelines for location, materials, level of interaction, etc. that we both are happy with -- limiting the mess without limiting her freedom.  But what I'll probably do is bust out the finger paints one day when he says he's on his way home and encourage H to run and give him a hug immediately before he knows what hit him :).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

B's baptsim!

While we were planning a trip to the Midwest, we thought it would be best to schedule B's baptism.  For those of you who don't know, we made a plan to have all our children baptized at Notre Dame.  It obviously is a special place for us, but for our kids it means more than that.  It was a huge influence on my personal spirituality, and is the reason we have our life & our little ones.  In this military life we've chosen, we know our children will not really have a home parish.  I mean, they're about as close as siblings come in age and H would've been baptized in San Antonio, B here in Las Vegas.  We think that it's nice to begin their faith journeys from the same ground.  That through all the moves and different milestones in different homes, they share a starting point.

So on Saturday the 15th, we headed out to the Log Chapel to welcome B as a child of Christ.  His Godparents are T's brother & sister so now to him they are more than just Uncle Doodoo & Aunt Kaka ;).


 He didn't mind this part so much :)


 Fr. Kerry


 The family & the new Godparents (H's Godparents, Kay & Alex, were not able to make it)


 Happy Grandparents!


After the baptism, we went to 5pm Mass at the Basilica and dinner at Legends (campus restaurant).  After dinner, my parents drove back to Ohio and we went back to our hotel to spend some quality time with T's family and some friends who joined us from Chicago.  There was wine, great food & even better company.

Great Grandma & Grandpa!

And then on Sunday we returned home to a baptism party in B's honor with our Ohio family and friends.  It was so great of my parents to do that.  We got an opportunity to see almost everyone in town that we care about which is so difficult when you're only in town for a week, maybe two, each year. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I couldn't write our Christmas post yesterday, as we weren't finished with it yet!

This year was a little odd being the first one we were not with one of our families on actual Christmas.  It was nice being home and getting to relax, but it didn't quite feel like Christmas.  We went to 4pm Mass on Christmas Eve, had dinner & opened family gifts.  B still has two under the tree that he didn't get around to opening.  Mostly because he couldn't care less at this age and I was tired of saying "no H, that's B's go play with your new toys".

I hope we're not sick again next year when the kids are more into it and I can make it really fun and memorable.  But this year I was not up to the task.  After they went to bed and I prepped the food, I got some juice, a blanket, and NyQuill.  This is the cold that never quits.  

Christmas morning we got up and had a Pinterest inspired breakfast!  We had a crockpot casserole, cinnamon roll waffles & strawberry banana "candy canes".




We opened our stockings & Santa gifts.  We got to FaceTime with my parent's & T's family which was really nice.  It's no substitute for being with everyone, but it sure makes this whole moving all about the country thing easier.  I know my family would come to us for Christmas every year if we asked them to.  Now we just have to work on T's side. . .  :)

Here are a few more pictures for your enjoyment and I really hope you all had happy & blessed holidays!





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It was the best of flights, it was the worst of flights

As I mentioned the other day, we took a little trip.  Fun fact about traveling with "infant in arms" as a special request - you can't have two in the same row.  Not even across the aisle because of the oxygen mask situation.  So the best you can hope for is to sit front to back. 

On the way to Detroit?  Our flight was not full.  I had an entire row just me & a kiddo.  T had the middle seat open between him & the stranger.  So between the 4 of us, we had 5 seats.  And boy did we use them!  H got a great nap because she sprawled out next to me.  I got to use my iPad.  Juice and toys could be set down to access other things.  Everyone was healthy, excited for the trip and comfortable.  It was glorious.  And the flight attendants were awesome.  They gave us extra cookies.  They went to first class to get milk.  H was still sleeping when we were about to land and she was supposed to make me pick her up and hold her securely.  I asked her if she could let me know the last possible moment and then she said with a smile, "You're her mom, you're not going to just let her go flying off the seat, you can leave her there".  

Back home? Not so much.  Completely full flight.  Like asking for volunteers to take a later one full.  The kids and I were miserably sick.  They did manage to change our seats so we were together, but we were on the aisle.  Which given Delta's new beverage cart design, sucks when you have babies.  You know how on most flights, the flight attendants have an ice bucket on their cart?  Yeah, well Delta decided to attach them to the side of their carts.  So it invades over your arm rest and actually into your seat on the aisle.  We were delayed over an hour (most of which was waiting on the plane) and I finally got H to sleep - she could not get comfortable trying to sleep on my lap - and then I had to move her for the beverage service or she'd get knocked in the head.  Plus the flight attendants were rude.  It doesn't help that flying west is always longer than flying east AND we were battling 200 MPH headwinds.  We were stuck on that plane for about 6 hours with sick kids who couldn't sleep.  The guy next to me was nice about H taking up so much space.  I think he could tell it was a rough day for all of us.

I'm glad we made it home.  After the first Wednesday I was all "hell yeah, sign us up for this again, air travel for everyone!"  After last Wednesday, "Oh my God I'm never flying with the children again unless we can afford to buy ALL THE SEATS".

How were your holiday travels?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

We're baaaaaack

If I were a good blogger, I would have warned everyone that we were going "on vacation" for a week.  I put that in quotes because a real vacation would've been warm weather, probably a beach/pool & 7 days to relax.  What we did was take two kids under two on an airplane and fly back to spend some Holiday fun with family and have B baptized. 

We've been back for 5 days but everyone but T (thank God) came back with some horrible illness.  Not quite Outbreak level, now that I'm looking through hindsight, but even if you asked me yesterday I would have told you it felt like we all were dying. 

But that means I have plenty to talk about - the flights, the trip, the baptism, even our plague if topics get really dire - so the posts should keep rolling out soon!  Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Babysitting

People who say that you'll be a great parent because you are/were a great babysitter are crazy.  I was always good with kids and babysat all throughout high school.  Even some times during college when I was home.  I loved the families and I seemed to have endless patience.

Everyone always said, "you're so good with kids, you'll be a great mom someday".  False.  Here's the problem with that sentiment.  You only have to have endless patience for a few hours.  You can play the mindless monotonous games of toddlerhood with great enthusiasm because you get to go home soon.  And you get paid.  It's much harder to build the block tower and gasp "OH NO, CRASH!!" over and over when it's your life and there's no end in sight.

I bring you Sabrina from last week's Raising Hope, perfectly illustrating this situation:


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Christian Attitude

It was very difficult to keep a good one this morning at mass.  H was being very very good.  And pretty much adorable as ever.  She likes to flip through the missalette, and now that she's talking more she turns the pages saying "book" and today "jesus song".  Well the music pages started as "elmo song" but I told her at Church we sing Jesus's songs so after a few tries she adjusted :).

She was babbling pretty much the whole time but it wasn't loud, or screaming, or crying.  She was just being a toddler.  When she wasn't looking at the book, she was putting her hands together saying "amen" over and over.  But the people in front of us were annoyed and not afraid to show it.

The last straw occurred when she noticed a wadded up tissue under their chairs.  She was saying "uh-oh. trash" to me.  The guy turned around and shushed her.  She's 1 for pete's sake!  We were working on it, and her volume was pretty low.  They could only hear her because they were right in front of her.

It made me really angry.  And I don't like feeling that way at mass.  The one time during the week when being a good & forgiving person should be the easiest.  I know older people who believe small children shouldn't be at mass at all, but it's important to us as a family to worship together.  "The family that prays together stays together" as they say.  And how are we supposed to raise our children in faith and lead by example if they aren't exposed to it until they're old enough to listen?

Both T & I were very irritated, but we tried not to talk about it as to not dwell on it.  But for me, if I don't have some sort of release, it just builds in me and then I'm all fired up at something that's blown way out of proportion.  I just needed to write this for my own catharsis, and also to put it into perspective.  That group was trying to worship in their own way.  If I need them to be flexible that my toddler won't sit 100% still & quiet for an hour, then I also need to be understanding that she might be distracting to some people. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Little Clones

Hi, everyone, it's T. K reminded me that she doesn't need to be the only one posting on the family blog & that I actually have publishing permissions, too! And as it turns out, I did have something to share: my kids are growing up to be just like me!!

It started with H (naturally); very early on she showed an interest in the cars that she saw daddy playing with, learned that cars go "vroooom", & loved watching daddy race them on his Xbox. Then she started to like the shiny gadgets that mommy & daddy used, & noticed that they all had an Apple on them. Every time she sees the Apple TV, iPhones, iPads, or our Macs, she excitedly points & shouts "Apple! Apple!" And then, sometime around a week ago, she decided mommy's iMac needed fixing (since apparently daddy wasn't getting it done fast enough!):


So now when mommy & daddy are working in the office, H will come in & work too!

And then there's baby B. I think this picture sums it up nicely:


Friday, December 7, 2012

Lucky strike

How do you teach your kids responsibility?  I've read lots of articles on the topic, and other various topics, all basically surrounding the idea of making your child(ren) into good people.  When do you start?  When is the being a brat thing no longer a phase?  I spend way too much time thinking about these things, when I just seem to luck out and stumble upon them.

It took me a while to go out of the house with both kids by myself.  It terrified me.  I don't have enough arms for this!  But at some point family leaves, your spouse goes back to work, and your friends you go out with most also have kids of their own in tow.  So you just have to figure it out.  Coming home used to be such a chore.  Everyone is tired, hungry and a little bit crabby.  H doesn't want to come in the house and my hands are full.  So now she has a job to do.  When we come home from somewhere, she has to go let Piper out of her crate.  I just needed anything to get her into the house.  But she loves it.  The puzzle of opening the locks and the excitement in the dog as she runs out past her. 

Now it seems that she has taken to caring more for the dog on her own.  In the mornings we come downstairs, let Piper out, get milk and feed the dog.  Yesterday morning, T's flight got cancelled so he stayed home for breakfast.  I made eggs & bacon, he brewed freshly ground coffee.  It was a nice treat, but it took me out of my routine so I hadn't fed Piper yet.  As I'm at the stove frying things up, H comes up to me with the empty dog dish.  She holds it up and says "food".  So I fill it with Pedigree and ask her to take it back.  She very carefully walked to the dog food mat, placed it down and stepped to the side so the dog could get at it. 

T & I were watching, holding our breath, as if she just won an olympic medal or something.  Because every new thing your toddler does is simply the most amazing thing you've ever seen.  Then we showered her with hugs and kisses and "great job"s. 

Moral of the story: it seems at this age your kids just want to be like you.  So I need to stop overthinking everything and just try to be a good example.  Because the little parrot-ape is going to do and say everything I do. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Picnic in the Park

There's an outdoor mall down south of the strip that has a story time on Wednesdays.  I happened across this when T & I were on a dinner and movie date night over TG when my parents were in town.  They're taking a break for winter and coming back in the spring, but I had one week left.  So last Wednesday I took the kids down to Town Square.  B fell asleep, briefly but necessarily, thank goodness. 

H was tickled pink!  We had a picnic lunch.  I packed PB & Js and bananas.  We had a blanket and her first picnic.  She got one of her favorite lunches and she wasn't confined to the table.  I think it blew her little mind.  The storytime itself I think is better for older kids, but she enjoyed it.  She pointed out every bird in the park, and even interacted with Santa if I went with her.  She did fall asleep on the way home, but it was well worth it.  We'll be returning this spring for sure.


 She's really into "say cheese" for the camera right now


 Hugging the creepy santa they had visit


Enjoying the candy cane she got for listening to the story on the walk back to the car

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giggles!!

Baby B is starting to laugh!!!  It's the cutest little sound in the world!  I love baby laughter.  Even when it's not your baby, or even if you don't want any kids of your own, how can you not smile when you hear tiny person giggles?



It's addictive and I love it.  It's crazy to think about how two kids, from the same parents, a year apart are so completely different.  H never laughed.  Ever.  Not until she was a toddler and daddy would toss her around or tickle her.  She's got a great little cackle now, but as a baby it was nothing.  When B started laughing and he's not even 4 months old, it was such a great surprise!  Of course after googling "how early one can diagnose and treat autism" when H was an infant, now I find myself googling "can my baby be too happy?"  Parents never stop worrying.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's christmas time in the city!

I've mentioned this before, but the warm weather makes it hard for me to realize it's winter and Christmas is just around the corner!  We've been trying to get into it as a family.  Hopefully soon we'll check out some of the evening light displays, but we've started with putting our tree up, listening to carols, and visiting a mall Santa.

 Big Helper

 Look at my beautiful handywork

This part of the tree was what H was responsible for.  We kept asking her "where should this one go?"  To which she responded, "Tee!"  When we finally got her to choose specific spots on the tree, she had limited range :).

First pic with Santa.  She told him she loves her "beebee" (baby doll) & "mouse" (minnie mouse).


Here's to hoping we'll be sharing many more holiday adventures soon!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

DVR lineup

My friend, Natalie, over at Barnes Daily Circus posted her current TV lineup and it inspired me to do the same.  Although with our busy lives our family, much like hers, sees everything a week or more late on the TiVo.  I will warn you, I watch a lot of TV.  Or at least I used to before the kiddos.  Now I just cringe as my TiVo gets 65+ percent full and panic until my husband and I watch them all.

Monday:
How I Met Your Mother
  •  Oh HIMYM (pron: him-yim).  You had glory days.  And this season has brought it consistently, in a surprise.  But it's time to wrap it up.  We need to know who Ted marries.  End it on a good note.  When people still love you.  And mourn your finale.  Don't overstay your welcome.  I have heard that this might be the last season or they'll go for one more.  So I hope with the end in sight, we get some killer humor like the early seasons. 

Bones
  • Gory & graphic crime scenes to the max!  But very loveable characters and there's lots of humor mixed in.  I'm afraid it might be running its course, as well, but I think that 6 or 7 seasons is enough for a show in most circumstances.  I recommend it, but definitely from the beginning because the characters are very developed. 
The Voice
  • We have to DVR this or watch it while we're doing other things because they really milk it for all it's worth with the backstories, coaches comments, fan tweets, etc.  We really just care about the performances or the results but it really does come up with some good covers of great songs by talented people. 

Revolution
  • T wanted to watch this.  He loves Fringe and JJ Abrams.  He's gotten me into Fringe so I said I'd give it a shot.  Our TiVo is crazy full so we haven't started it yet.  But we have all 10 episodes recorded.  My dad said he couldn't get into it, so we'll see. 


Tuesday:
Raising Hope
  • Poor family with son who lives at home knocks up a serial killer and keeps the kid.  It's a ridiculous, and rather accurate, parenting & lifestyle comedy.  It cracks us up and I recommend it. 

NCIS
  • 3 Words.  Leroy. Jethro. Gibbs.  You don't have to be over 50 to appreciate that man, no matter what people say. 

Go On 
  • This is a hilarious new show.  I, personally, enjoyed Matthew Perry's first attempt back in the sitcom arena "Mr. Sunshine" (especially the opening theme), but understood why it didn't have larger appeal.  In "Go On" he plays a very similar character, but he's much more likeable.  As is the quirky supporting cast.  I think as far as the weekly comedies go, I look forward to this one the most after Parks & Rec.

The New Normal
  • I watch this one by myself.  I'll admit mostly because I wanted more things to watch during naptime since it was feeling like everything on the TiVo was something I had to wait for T to watch.  It's not bad.  I find the characters (not grandma) endearing and I'm always in support of positive portrayals of non-traditional families in the media. 

New Girl
  • I watched this from the beginning and after 4-5 episodes I just couldn't get into it.  It felt a little forced and like a formula - Everyone's happy, Jess does something stupid, People get mad, All is forgiven and they're friends again.  But after giving up on it, people started raving about it.  I guess I just didn't stick with it long enough because it got better.  When Schmidt tries to be Tugg Romney had me practically in tears.  Now I watch it when there's not a recording conflict.

Private Practice 
  • I have a problem giving up on things.  I really wanted to when Addison & Sam broke up.  But it's the last season so I have to see how they end it.   
Rizzoli & Isles
  • TNT original drama.  It's a cop/crime fighting show.  It's decent.  I like the characters and I think it's funny. 

Wednesday:
Modern Family
  • This show is hilarious, and a lot of Phil & Claire reminds us of ourselves.

Criminal Minds
  • I'm a junkie for crime shows, but I love thinking about the motive behind the crimes and getting into the mind of the psychopaths which is why this is a perfect fit.  Although I'm not sure I like the new woman and I'm sad that Emily is gone again.  It's been on for a while and I'm thinking it might be time to wrap it up.  
Nashville
  • I'm addicted.  I almost didn't even start watching, but like I said with The New Normal, I need things to watch that are just mine so I gave it a shot.  I asked my mom to as well so I'd have someone to talk to about it.  We're both hooked.  

Top Chef
  • Cities, masters, all-stars.  All of them.  Although I think I might try to pass on another season of Just Desserts if they do it.  It makes me watch them and think "I could totally do that".  Plus it's like food porn. 

Thursday:
30 Rock
  • Farewell season.  I'll miss it, but I'm glad to see it ending before it gets too tired.  They did get a little weird there in the middle, but sometimes the ridiculousness is what makes it good. 

Up All Night
  • I'm so glad this didn't get cancelled in NBCs revamp plans they made last year.  It is one of the best parenting related sitcoms.  We find it to be pretty true to finding the humor in real situations.  Plus I think Will Arnett is really funny.  

The Office
  • Ugh love-hate relationship with this show.  Basically we barely forced ourselves to watch last season and were not going to watch this one until we heard it was the last.  It was another, 'welp we've gone this far' moment for sure.  It has stepped up, but still probably won't be missed. 

Parks & Recreation
  • Watch this. Period.  The first seasons are on Netflix.  Season 1 is a very short season and a little strange, but I promise you it gets sooooo good.  The characters are great, it's well-written, well-acted.  It is the comedy I most look forward to all week.  

Big Bang Theory 
  • We couldn't get enough of this show in the beginning, but sadly now it's to the back of the line.  It's not that it doesn't make us laugh anymore, but we're just kind of 'meh' about the whole storylines and characters that we'll get a few weeks behind and catch up whenever. 

Grey's Anatomy
  • More things I just can't give up on.  It has improved, but I really only watch it because I've already invested so much time in it and not because I care about the characters anymore. 

Burn Notice
  • I'm really into the characters and I find the storylines interesting.  Plus it makes me laugh.  But the whole premise of the show has been the underlying conspiracy and that has kind of run dry so I don't know how much longer it can go.

Project Runway 
  • Fashion show.  I care much less about the people than I did in the beginning and pretty much only pay attention to the outfits.  Plus it's something I don't feel badly about having on when the kids are awake.  

Friday:
Fringe
  • I definitely got into this because T watched it.  I'd be cleaning or reading while he watched it (before we had a DVR, gasp!) and I found myself getting distracted by the plot and asking questions so now I'm into it.  It's also in it's final season, and I'm not 100% on board with the whole skip 20 years in the future and war with the Observers thing, but each week gets me closer to liking where it's going. 


Saturday:
SNL
  • Thank goodness for TiVo or we'd never see this.  I cannot stay up that late anymore when the kids get up at 6.  Plus it's nice to be able to fast forward through sketches we don't find funny or bands we're not all that into.  

Sunday:
The Good Wife
  • Politician's wife re-enters the legal workforce.  It's good, but I wouldn't recommend starting now.  It's character developments have been full and it would be easiest to go back to the beginning. 

Once Upon A Time
  • Addicted to this.  Fairy tale characters transported to our world.  There are curses and magic and fantasy.  The casting is done very well.  T & I love to hate Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold.  If you're not watching, I don't want to spoil, but it is an entertaining drama. 

Mythbusters
  • Science!  T mostly watches this with the kids.  It's fun and H seems genuinely interested so I feel like she might be absorbing some of it and possibly learning. 



Shows that are currently on hiatus but returning in the future: 
Suits (USA) -- can't wait!
Psych (USA)
White collar (USA) -- I love their partnership & Matt Bomer is so sexy
Smash (NBC) -- broadway musical, 'nuff said.
Mad Men (AMC)
Switched at Birth (ABC Family)
Melissa & Joey (ABC Family)
Royal Pains (USA)
Necessary Roughness (USA)
Fairly Legal & Uncommon Law (both USA, but unsure if they're coming back).



Shows I didn't get into from the beginning but planning to catch up on:
Parenthood (NBC):  I've heard nothing but good things about this and when we clear out some of the already recording things it's first on the Netflix list.

Elementary (CBS): Sherlock Holmes revamp.  Heard good things about it at the start and have the first few episodes on the TiVo, just trying to find the time.

Castle (ABC through TNT):  I'm catching up through re-runs on TNT.  T wanted to as well, but there were like 40 episodes piling up so I made the executive decision to start it.  It's a naptime/after-bedtime-but-T-is-working staple of mine.



Still with me?  I told you, I watch a lot of TV.  I enjoy having it on in the background when I'm doing things.  Plus before the babies, I didn't have much else to do when T was deployed or TDY.  Especially now that I don't have it on as much during the day, it's just nice to turn my brain off and veg once the kids go to sleep.

I do also read.  But it's hard to do that and dishes/vacuum/laundry/etc. at the same time. 

What's on your DVR?





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28

Yesterday I was thankful for my parents.  Today I want to appreciate my in-laws.  I've heard generic horror stories.  I have two good friends who have the unfortunate situation of the bad mother-in-law.  One is straight crazy and the other is a manipulative witch.  I admire them quite a bit because that's love.  I don't know if I could live in their situation no matter how much I love T.  Fortunately for me, he has a very loveable family.

My friend Jenn was thankful for hers the other day on facebook and I'd like to steal her words because they are exactly how I feel:
Today I'm thankful to have in-laws that I not only enjoy spending time with, but consider true family. I can go to them with the good, the bad, and the ugly and know they'll help me through with a laugh and some good advice.
They are people that I would actually choose to hang out with even if it weren't mandatory ;).  And they are also wonderful grandparents!  They read and play and spoil with the best of 'em.  Their family situation and jobs make it harder for them to visit, but they do whenever they can.  And also when necessary - remember that appendicitis I mentioned yesterday?  Guess who took over for a week after my mom left -- Mom part 2.

And they love me.  At least they're good at faking it anyway, haha.  Even with less than ideal first impressions.  Seriously, when you're friends with the guy for a year before it turns to dating the first meetings happen when it doesn't matter.  And then he gets to say remember my crazy friend, K?  She's my girlfriend now.  Early impressions include scuzzy stalker, a hot mess & drunk dialing.  Stories can be shared in the future if anyone is interested.

But for now I just want to say I'm pretty lucky.  I got to marry my best friend which is enough for me, but as a bonus I got a kick-ass second set of parents and even siblings!  Plus a whole crew of extended family. All in all, it's not too bad being a Clark.

(at an ND game before they knew they'd be stuck with me for life ;))



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27

I know we passed Thanksgiving, but it's still the month of November and I haven't yet gotten around to being thankful for my parents! They gave me life.  They raised me right (I guess this is debatable, but I like to think so).

They've always been a good and strong example of the kind of couple I want to a part of.  They do a lot together, but they also have their own interests.  They disagree at times, but they always solve the big stuff and get past the small stuff.

They're loving and supportive.  When circumstances found themselves with a chunk of cash I said, "great now you can get a new car, replace the roof on the house" etc. Their response was "no, now you can go to college wherever you want and not worry about scholarships".  Now that I'm a parent, I 100% agree with that decision and would do the same.  But 17 year old me was jaw-droppingly grateful.  So they sent me to Notre Dame which set me on my path.  I have my family.  I found a passion.  I have my year in Chicago working tiny theatre shows and living with McDavey.  I live far away and they have to deal with semi annual visits and facetime, but they never make me feel badly about my choice.

And they're awesome grandparents!  They do their best to stick to my rules, but definitely have a large amount of grandparent spoiling (as is their right, of course).  They come visit us when they can and even when it's hard but necessary - like my appendicitis last month. 

 We had a blast seeing them for the holiday and look forward to seeing them again in a few weeks when we get B baptized.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The posting has been lacking because of the holiday busyness.  My parents came out to spend Thanksgiving with us so we've been both having family time and utilizing the free babysitters ;). 

Mom & Dad made it out last Wednesday afternoon.  Wednesday and Thursday were spent prepping for and enjoying Thanksgiving celebrations.  In addition to Ming ming & Papa we also had friends of ours over with their son.  There was good food, good booze & games.  Holly & I each drank I think about a gallon of this apple cider sangria we found on pinterest.  It was tasty and had fruit in it, so healthy right?  Totally.  We had turkey, green beans, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, 2 pies & a pumpkin roll.  It was a gloriously large amount of food. 


Hoping everyone else had a fabulous holiday as well!  We love you! xoxox

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kharma

You know the worst thing that you'll ever say or wish on your children is that one day they have kids just like them.  Most of the time, of course, that's a positive statement.  But the only time you really wish it or say it out loud is when they're being awful or doing something you really rather they'd not do.  You raise them and wait and one day get the satisfaction to say "HA! Now you know . . . "

That happened to me.  As a kid, I had a dump truck that I loved.  It was cheap plastic and blue with a white dump bed.  There was a spot of dirt right off the patio in the back yard of our house.  I loved to dig in it, fill my truck and dump it back in the hole.  It was the only spot in the grass that wouldn't grow.  Every spring my dad put down seed and tried to make that patch grassy like the rest of the yard.  He could never figure out why.  Was it the angle of the patio roof?  Did it just not get enough sun & water?

Nope, it's because it was my dumping ground.  I didn't know what grass seed meant.  I didn't know you had to stay off it.  My parents just let me go out in our backyard to play.  And that's where I played.  It wasn't until I was an adult and we were talking about the old house that we even put together what had happened.  It was a pretty funny moment.  And now. . .




My kid is doing the same thing.  She didn't cause the dirt spot - we have Piper to thank for that - but she sure does enjoy playing in it.  At least I know if we're trying to re-grow grass there, I need to watch her ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19

Today I'm thankful for the word 'yes'.  H has been saying it for a few weeks now.  Although she has trouble starting with y so it sounds more like shhyes.  She's getting better though.  It makes life easier because her vocabulary is very limited.  So at least now I can ask her questions to find out what it is she wants or she's trying to say.  I'd like to say it limits the fit-throwing, but no.  The tantrums are no longer out of frustration that she can't tell me what she wants, however.  They are now because she wants something, I asked her "did you say X?", she says yes, but she still can't have it. 

The flip side of the coin is that it comes with the word 'no'.  Why is it that children like to say no to everything?  Is it because that's what the mischevious little bugs hear all the time?  Is it from some base human instinct to take control and that's the only way they can?  She just seems to get so much joy from it, I often wonder about these things.  We've been trying not to laugh at her, though, as not to encourage it.  But 99% of the time it's not bratty.  She's not pouting or stomping or screaming it.  She just says it very matter-of-factly.  It's very, "I hear you suggesting I should take a nap, but I'd rather not, thanks".  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18

So I know I've been thankful for both kids already.  And my family and my life.  But part of this exercise, I think, is to really appreciate some things you take for granted.  And I feel like as much as I love them, lately I've been dying for and relishing my "me time".  I find myself watching the clock for bed time so I can just watch TV or get online.  Which I definitely know I need and I'm not giving up.

But today at Mass the priest talked about the end of life and/or the world.  He told some interesting stories about people he's known and his experience with hospice.  But then he posed the question "what would you do if you only had 20 minutes left to live?"  Not a day, or a week like often asked.

And I didn't even think about it, I just wanted to play with my kids.  To hug them and kiss them and stare at their beautiful faces.  And probably bawl like a baby the entire time which would be confusing and scary for them but even thinking about it now, not seeing them grow up would be horrible.  Knowing that was my fate would be agony.

Sorry for the downer post, but it's what's on my mind.  Back to poop stories & kids-say-the-darndest moments in the future :).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17

Today I'm thankful for craigslist & pinterest.  I never have luck on craigslist.  I just don't think I have the patience to sift through all the ads.  I get bored or discouraged.  But I had been looking for an old entertainment center to turn into a play kitchen for the kids.  It's a big project and I'm not sure if I can do it, but I really want to try.

My friend is also doing this for her daughter.  She found her cabinet and showed me last night.  So when I got home I got inspired to look - I hadn't searched for one in a few weeks.  And BAM!  I found this unit:

 


Which is exactly what I'd been looking for.  I wanted it to have space below for storage and an oven, but also a cabinet on the side for a refridgerator.  I'm going to turn it into something like this:


 I'm super excited.  They'll have a cool & unique kitchen. It'll be sturdy and put up with their abuse.  I don't think there's anything wrong with the plastic ones, but they're so expensive and very kid-ish.  This I think will grow with them and not be such a "baby toy" when they're getting into school. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16

Today I'm thankful for a sense of humor.  You have to have one when you have kids.  It's going to get gross and you can freak out about it or just laugh.  And I'm happy that I can just smile and say "yup, this is my life."

B & I are both working on our third outfit of the day.  He spit up all over both of us this morning & all over himself this afternoon.  H asked for more milk, then tripped me before I had the lid tightened on her cup so I got milk all over me & and the kitchen.  Most recently was just now.  B had a massive poopy diaper.  But it was all contained, so I thought "lucky me".  Nope.

First, he pees all over himself and the new diaper.  Then as I'm wiping up there's no warning and he shits INTO my hand while getting his foot in it.  I get that cleaned up and lean over him to get another clean diaper from the bin - pees again all over my stomach and pants.  He spit up on my jeans yesterday.  So 2 of my 3 pair are currently in the washer.  The other is now hanging in the laundry room covered in pee.

T came home at the end of all this.  Wife with no pants. Toddler bribed into being good with iPad.  Baby only in a diaper.  A mound of dirty clothes at the base of the stairs to go up to the laundry.  Welcome home, honey.  This is your life. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14

Today I'm thankful for groupon!  There are so many things that I wouldn't even know about or wouldn't think about doing if they didn't have those daily deals.  Most recently, it led to a girls night out with Natalie.  We went down to the Rio, had drinks and good conversation before and enjoyed a show.

We saw a new parody musical called "Spank!" and it was mocking 50 Shades of Grey.  It had some good moments, and I definitely cracked up a few times.  But overall, I felt it was very overacted.  I'm not sure if it'll make it as the next sensation, but it was entertaining.  I think that if you really enjoyed the books, it might be a little too harsh for your taste.  But if you have a sense of humor about it's origins and just how poorly it was written it was entertaining.  And we looked good



Both of our husbands commented on how we don't put in that much effort for them, haha.  But it was girls night.  We're fancy :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13

Today I'm thankful for good genes.  T is a genius.  Literally - he was given I.Q. tests to initially earn his UPT spot & again when they were deciding whether or not he'd be returning to flying status.  He could join MENSA if he wanted to.  Although you'd never know it when talking to him.  That's not meant to be insulting, it's just that often times folks who are that naturally intelligent are incidentally arrogant or not the best in social situations.

The point is, as much as I'd like to think that I'm SuperMom and all of H's smarts come from something I did, the smarter she gets the more I realize my nurture seems to have very little to do with it.  All I try to do now is continue to foster her curiosity and making learning fun by playing games.  But she knows damn near all the alphabet and a few numbers.  Did I mention she's not even 18 months old?  It makes going out interesting because now when she sees a sign with letters she knows she just shouts them out repeatedly until you acknowledge that yes we drove by a Kohl's and she did indeed see a K.  We went to Old Navy yesterday and their address was 1895.  Walking in she points saying "fiiiiiiii", "one" & "niiiinnnn".

Here's a video of us playing a game of what's this.  It wasn't perfect.  T was supposed to be stealthy, but the iPhone makes a ding when you start recording so she got a little camera shy.  At least this time she didn't run over and try to take it though.  Progress.



Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov 12

So I know yesterday was Veteren's day, but since today was the federal observance of it, it feels more like today.  Anyway, I am very thankful for all those who serve & have served in our military.  They've fought hard for the country we have, and continue to do so.

I also want to thank their families.  Parents risk losing children, families husbands/wives & fathers/mothers.  Not to mention the separation and constant moving.  All in support of the men & women who fight every day.  It's you who help comfort them when the job is hard, and remind them of things in this world that are worth fighting for.

I'd post a picture of my husband, but I'm pretty sure all recent ones I have of him in uniform would be an OPSEC violation, haha.  Love you, honey!  :-*

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11

I'm thankful that my Grandma and my mom were/are good cooks, and I was able to learn a lot from them.  I'm by no means chef-quality, but I think I fall on the above average side.  And it's all due to Gigi & Lolo. 

I always say that cooking is an art & baking is a science.  While proportion, temperature & times are extremely important for baked goods to turn out edible, savory dishes have more room for play.  To change things around and tailor it to your tastes.  I have a ton of recipes that I follow, but I also love that I can wing it.  When I'm bored with all our usual suspects, or like currently, payday is a few days away and I really don't want to go to the store again before then.  I can pull out meat from the freezer, look at what we have in the cupboard and make something up.  Most of the time, it works out nicely.  Sometimes too well and T will say "OMG you have to make this again".  But it's tough cookies because I don't know what I did & nothing is exactly measured. 

I loved hanging out in the kitchen with my grandma as a kid.  And then with my mom as an adult.  I love that we'll call each other because we've found a recipe that we think we can tweak & we want input from the other.  I hope that I can have that same relationship with H.  And B, for that matter.  There's nothing wrong with a boy who's got skills with food! :)


Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9

I'm thankful that the weather is starting to cool down.  It actually feels like fall in the mornings and evenings even though it still feels like summer by midday.  A couple weeks ago we enjoyed it for a trip to the pumpkin patch!    We went to pick our pumpkins to carve for Halloween.  H's friend, AB & her mommy came with us.

We walked the length of Gilcrease orchard to get to all the pumpkins and let the girls loose.  They were really cute trying to pick up the pumpkins, not expecting them to be so heavy.  We picked out 3 pumpkins - 2 for carving & 1 for decor.  Then we had a snack of their apple cider doughnuts.  If that wasn't yummy enough, they top it with this gooey cinnamon cream cheese icing.  I highly recommend going for them soon; I think they close for the season next weekend.  Here are some pictures from our outing (click to view bigger):


 this picture melts my heart

 trying to pick up a more H-sized pumpkin

 Li'l punkin girls!

 We ran into J & his family - they were very good at sharing the pine cone

They were all so cute together!

More pictures of the trip will come to facebook in a few days. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8

Today, I'm thankful for the mess.  I spend a lot of time groaning about cleaning up, dreading it, or hastily putting things away trying to make it appear like I'm Mrs. Perfect Housewife.  Or at least presentable enough that I'm only minimally embarassed/self-concious about it.  But today, I'm surrounded by it and just taking a moment to embrace it.

The dishes in the sink tell that we don't worry about food on our table.  The toy explosion remind me of the children that have been here delighting in making the mess - squealing, laughing, learning through play.  The laundry back up means we've been busy deepening our family bonds and making & strengthening friendships.

Thanks, house.  For being so wonderfully & comfortably lived in.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5

Today is an easy one - I'm thankful for Baby B!  Today marks him being 3 months old.  I won't have as much to say about him as I did H, but he's newer and far less interesting at the moment.  I will have a teaser of the photo shoot we did yesterday, though :).

He's getting more interactive.  He is one smiley little guy.  Way more than H.  Seriously, I was pretty typically new mom neurotic with her and she was always so serious; I wondered how early you could diagnose and deal with autism.  Anyway, he's becoming pretty cool.  He even has started to laugh a bit.  It's just a tiny little chuckle, but it's cute.

It's amazing that even though the kids are only 14 months apart, it's like we have amnesia about the baby phase.  I was worried that the second time around wouldn't be as exciting, but it is.  It's still great when he grabs the rattle & reaches for the toys hanging from his playgym.  He gurgles and coos and "talks" all the time - I think he's already realizing he's going to have to be loud to keep up with his sister :).  


Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4

Today I'm struggling with how I want to word what I'm thankful for.  Trying to express my feelings is escaping me, which is frustrating, but I'm determined not to give up.

Making friends as an adult is hard.  Hell, doing it in Jr. High when my family moved was no picnic.  College would've been terrifying if Kat hadn't lived in my room (the smallest in the whole dorm) the year before and come to introduce herself.  I still don't know where I got the confidence to introduce myself to Shannon, but I'm glad I did.  

I know it's odd to think of a military spouse being shy and not good at the whole meeting new people thing.  But I'm in this life because it makes my husband happy, and all I can do is try to make the best of it.  The truth of it is, I'm terrified people won't like me/us.

When T commissioned we weren't married.  So his first couple assignments didn't really affect me more than what airport I flew into when I went to visit him.  When we did get married, we were stationed a maximum  of 2.5 hours from most of my family and friends.  I didn't need to put myself out there.

San Antonio was a big change in our life - we were all alone and having a baby.  But thanks to Beth, the commander's wife, and Lisa, another spouse who organized monthly get-togethers, I had an easy way to meet people.  I got to get to know some great families, and a lot of them have made the move to Vegas along side us.  Moving after less than a year was not as scary.  We've only been here a few months and yet I have people to have playdates with.  I have girlfriends to have a night out with.  I have workout buddies whenever I decide to not be a lazy cow :). 


I'm thankful for Beth & Lisa.  I'm thankful that we were selected for this program at the time we were so our paths could cross with all the wonderful people we've met so far, and for the friendships that are forming here. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3

Today, I'm thankful for Manti Te'o & this Notre Dame football season.  Pretty much, we owe our entire life and family to ND.  If they hadn't accepted both of us, we'd never meet and we wouldn't be us.

It's hard to disconnect the overall Notre Dame spirit from football.  It's a major part of the tradition, and it plays a huge part in the campus mood for the fall.  I lived there through great football triumphs and disappointing losses.  There's a different energy and life when the team is doing well.  People come together.  People laugh more.  Weekends are full of more socialization and more smiling faces.  I think that the sense of ease and relaxed atmosphere during a winning season is something those young adults deserve before they have to leave and the real world kicks in.

And as alums, we often lose that sense of comfort and home that campus fills in our hearts after being so far physically removed.  Having all week in anticipation of another game that will be exciting to watch, brings us back to that family.  Gives us a connection from our scattered post-grad lives.

I know it sounds super sappy, and in general I'm not one of those "long for the good ol' days" people.  I very much enjoyed my time there, but was ready to move on.  It's not that I'm stuck in the past, but there is something inexplicable about the love you have for this institution after earning your degree.  And it's something with which many can empathize, but my fellow alums are probably the only people not rolling their eyes at me waxing nostalgic.

However you feel, it gave me life long friends, it lead me to my family and my place in this world.  And great football only makes that better!


Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of thankful!

There's a thing going on the internet - it has reached facebook so I'm sure most of you are familiar.  It's an attempt to say each day of this month, one thing you are thankful for.  I want to try to do this for my own personal growth.  But also, it might get me in a habit of actually updating this blog, like I vow to do every time I post.  And fail miserably.  

Since today is Nov 2, it marks H as 17 months old.  So I think it would only be appropriate to use today to be thankful for her.  She is the most wonderful and trying little person in the world.  I love and hate her a million times a day.  Don't judge, she's a toddler.  If you have or have had toddlers and you've never wanted to pull your hair out while thinking I hate this little beast-child, I don't think we should be friends. 

I told this to a friend of mine (who doesn't have kids) a few weeks ago, and it's one of my favorite feelings -- I'm seriously proud of her every day.  Every single day she does something to make me overjoyed to be her mom.  It could be using her spoon and getting just one bite of yogurt actually in her mouth all by herself.  But she did it, and I shower her with "yay"s & claps & hugs & kisses. 

She's crazy smart, and I was pretty sure that she'd outsmart me by 2nd grade.  But as she grows I'm not sure I'll make it through pre-school.  She consistently recognizes 6 letters of the alphabet.  She used the potty yesterday.  I feel like Jodi Foster in "Little Man Tate" (raising a genius son, anyone?). Did I just horribly date myself?  Anyway. . . 

She's fabulous and I love her.  I'm thankful we got knocked up a month earlier than planned.  It made Rae's wedding/bachelorette party significantly less of a crazy vegas shitshow, but if life had gone according to "plan" there would be no Pants.  And that's not a life I want to be a part of.  




Sunday, July 1, 2012

Did you hear?

We're having another baby.  I would hope by now anyone who might still be reading this would know.  Seeing as I'm 34 weeks pregnant, today.

It's a boy this time, which made me think we might be able to be done.  But as I play with H and box up all her old clothes as she moves up in sizes I think I might want to try once more for another girl.  I know there are no guarantees, but I definitely won't have a 2nd princess if we don't try.  This time, a year or few in between though, hopefully.

I definitely can't blame my blogging laziness on lack of things to share, this time.  We've been quite busy.  Mostly, I only remember I'm doing this around Christmas time when we put it on our holiday cards.  So even if my dedication continues to dwindle and the posts are semi-annual recaps, I hope it's still enjoyable.  I should link these posts to facebook, both for accountability and to remind those who have long since thrown away our holiday greetings that we still do things.

To get you up to speed, we have left Texas.  We were there for just shy of 11 months.  We are ultimately heading to Sin City (Vegas) at the end of the summer.  But the Air Force has us making a pit stop in New Mexico.  Hot, southern, barren dessert New Mexico.  We live in a TLF (temporary lodging facility) which is a glorified hotel room.  We do have a full stove & refrigerator in the small kitchen which is essential.

The first month or two weren't bad.  It was new, the weather was nice.  H & I had a routine of a walk in the morning, nap, park all afternoon, nap & playing with toys inside at night.  But now it's eleven billion degrees all day (official measurement brought to you by my 8 months pregnant internal thermostat).  Which makes getting outside a challenge.  And that's sad, because baby girl LOVES to go outside.  She's got some baby sign language down and sometimes she'll just go to the door and aggressively sign "please".  It's heartbreakingly adorable.

We just finished our 3rd month, here with 2 more to go.  H & I spent most of it back in the beautiful midwest with my family.  We had a wedding to attend on the 23rd.  My mom came down for her 1st birthday so she and I went home with grandma and stayed there for almost 3 weeks.  We missed daddy, but it was a great break from the heat, dessert & small living quarters.  I really wish I weren't so pregnant (for many, many reasons) but mostly because I wish I were able to travel again this month.  I think it would be great to spend a week or two of July in Kansas with her other family.  I'd be there in a heartbeat if I weren't about ready to burst :(.

For those of you keeping track of the timeline, yes that's 6 weeks til baby and about 7.5 til graduation and moving to Vegas.  We're not insane, and we didn't plan it this way, but in the AF you just gotta roll with it.  I'm hoping baby comes early - H was 6 days early and statistically 2nd babies are more likely to be early than late.  Living in this small space with a 1 year old and a newborn will take patience and the Grace of God, but I think it will be preferable to the 800 mile drive with a two day old. 

And that's where we are.  I hope to update with some of the things we've been doing since being here, and not ignoring this until it's time to order holiday cards 2012!  Thanks for catching up with us.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Christmas!!

I realized why I have such a lag in posts.  It's because I love to share pictures.  But I don't love getting them off my camera, apparently.  My desktop in the office is supposed to serve that function, but it currently doesn't have a screen.  T thought it would be an easy fix, but it's still not done like 4 months later.  Anyway.  He snapped some cute ones on his phone so there will be something.

We spent Christmas with T's side of the family in Kansas.  It was a really lovely week - even though 4 days of it were driving with a dog and very cranky 6 month old :).  As always, it never feels like enough time but we sure tried to make the most of it. 

Being 6 months old, H wasn't really into the whole presents thing, but she sure did like playing with all her toys.  Aunt C enjoyed reading her all her new books.  I, unfortunately, was sick and missed a lot on Christmas day, but we had more than enough hands to help I'm not sure H even missed me :). 

 My aunt is such a good sharer!

 Opening my stocking

 

Playing with some new toys


 
Torturing my godfather! :)




Love & Hugs