Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo at the Zoo!

Our Halloween was this past Friday night because Gary had to leave for training that night :-( I really super like the ol' hubbaroonie. Like, a lot. So, that's why, even though we've been through too many deployments, it still sucks donkey kong when he's only going to be gone a month.

Now that the lame part of the story is out of the way....

I kept it under top-secret, swear on yo' mama's life, wraps what I wanted J to be this year. It was so cute and I was 1000% sure we wouldn't see anyone else in a costume like it. He was going to be one of the little guys from Despicable Me; complete with face paint and black, standing-straight-up hair. We still haven't even lived in our house a month, so I kept doing house stuff, thinking I'd gather the materials for his costume about a week and a half beforehand.

NOPE.

Do you know how super difficult it is to find a yellow, pullover, hooded sweatshirt in Jake's size? I looked online and all I found were $27 sweatshirts, which I would not spend that much on something that I was going to alter to where he was only able to wear it once. Fugetaboutit!

So, after realizing I needed much more time than I realized to make his costume, I had to throw in the towel and buy one; albeit something that's super presh and something he totally squealed over, it didn't really sit well that it was purchased. Oh well....ya live and ya learn! We still had a great time!

Before we get to the shizz-ton of pictures know this: Some were taken with my phone, some our camera; so some of them are of less-than-desirable quality. As if anybody cares, right?? I just won't add 'photographer' to my bucket list....


As much as I'm dying to show you guys the pics of the projects going on around the house I have to wait 'til they're finished. But, I'd like to think these pumpkins are an indicator of what's up. I'm sure that 99%, if not more, of my projects are Pinterest-inspired. I love Pinterest sooo much because I want our house to be full of quirky, cute, different d├ęcor; ya know, not so all-your-neighbors-have-the-same-thing-because-you-all-bought-it-at-Tarjet type thing.

Anywho, we went to Michael's and picked up some gold spray paint, and black puffy paint. That's all we bought for the pumpkins! I had ribbon on hand so it took me about 15 minutes to finish both pumpkins and I uber-love how they turned out! Gary actually asked if I put beads on the one pumpkin; nope! Just some designs I did with paint!




Below is reason 327 I really love to cloth diaper!!




For those that are curious, I bought this from Plump Diapers; go 'like' her on Fbeezy! The diapers are of great quality!! 'member the Spongebob diaper I showed you guys a ways back? Well, she made that one. They come super fast, are incredibly absorbent, and so, so soft. You'll love, I promise! Although we do have enough diapers for the boy as is, I'd love to have a diaper for each major holiday. They're too cute not to!

Boo at the Zoo!

Mapquest finally straightened her shadoobie out and we made it to the zoo!

::: does the sprinkler :::

It is called the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, but we didn't realize just how far into the mountain we were going! We thought it was just near it or something. No way, Jose. We were pretty deep in there. Well deeper than I thought. I thought I saw Bear Grylls one time....

Anyways, we were up in there. It had been a little cool, but no biggie, at our house. But, since we were cliffhanging at this zoo, we totally froze off our katookus. We walk up and everyone's in parkas and mukluks and shit. Woops. Thank goodness the boy is getting that last molar in; it added to his insulation.

"Bob"!!!!!!

I didn't remember 'til we were leaving to snap a pic of the entrance. See the kid ready for a blizzard in the bottom right? COLD.

One of the many trick-or-treat tables. We had to get swag for Jake; he had no interest. We decided against bringing the stroller because this was a night for him, so we wanted to let him explore and do as he pleased, rather than make things easier on us. We did hold hands the whole time, but suffice it to say there are no pictures of us with any of the dressed up zoo people. The boy walked around, literally, shrieking the entire time. He couldn't handle the awesome!


They had limited animals out, but this giraffe mosh pit was, by far, my favearoonie!




Can you still believe we live here?! Me either!!

And Pee Ess: I could not get a picture of me and the boy to save our lives. I don't only want to be the picture-taker! That was a smidge frustrating, but it was all erased when, while walking around with daddy, Jake turned around and reached up for my hand. The kid should have asked for a Porsche when he turns 16; he so could have closed that deal.

So, off we walked, a trio of hand-holders :-)



His costume was such a mondo hit! EVERYWHERE we went it was, "Look! Spongebob!" and, "how cute!!". Le duh, people ;-) Jake kept rubbernecking at everyone commenting on his costume. I think he felt like a celebritot.



If you look really closely, you can see a pack of lions lounging on the rock

I am NOT a photographer.


We could have ridden up and down the mountain in the ski lifts, but that was a no-go with a mobile toddler!



Completely mesmerized by the carousel!

All in all, our night rocked our socks off! It was super lame to have to drop Gary off afterward, but ending on a note like that was pretty amazeballs. Jake had an absolutely amazing time and that's all we wanted <3

Have a great Halloween, you Halloweiners!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm totally Magellan.

This place makes me giddy as if Trader Joe's and Old Navy spawned a love child.

This weekend we did more exploring because soon Gary leaves for training, which thrills me about as much as a fork to the retina.

Saturday I got my 'do did, or else, by the time Gary got back, it would have driven me outside my own noggin and I would have had to swear on Lady Gaga that I was about to get stabby, and it was as close to an out-of-body experience as I've had.

I picked a salon/spa in the area that uses the same products my stylist did in Kentucky and hoped for the best. I walked in and met Monique. Did you read that with the applicable satisfied exhalation? Because she's faboosh!

As me and my head-full of foils took a seat in the comfy leather chair, Monique came over and asked if I'd like a hand massage. Get on over here, sister! She laughed when I accepted because I'm pretty sure I did so as if she asked, "Would you like this pile of cash?"

So, she's massaging my hand/forearm and all I keep thinking is, "I so love her", "Wait...I love google, who brought me to you"

Then, she shampoos and gives me a scalp massage. For about the most glorious ten minutes I've ever known. My thoughts then? "She could be turning my hair Katy Perry pink and I wouldn't even carrrreeee"

I left there feeling like a hot tamale.

Jake had been a spectacular ball of fever, from the move catching up with him, and teething that last molar in. Believe me, this has been a joint effort. He woke up during the night, he didn't want to eat during the day, and wanted to hang on the couch all day. It was so hard to see my little man like that. So, Gary was as excited for me as I was for my appointment Saturday morning; he said, and I quote, "Go out, have fun. See a movie. Just enjoy yourself".

Can I marry him again?

I needed lemon essential oil (for my homemade furniture dusting spray! If I make my own cleaner, why not?!) so I went to Natural Grocers. Amazeballs. They were friendly, closer than Whole Foods, came recommended by my goddess, Monique, and were wildly cheaper than the aforementioned, Whole Foods.

I skipped out of there like I imagine Cinderella might skip.

Skipped myself to lunch and then more of something, but I can't remember. It was that. good.

Moving on from the best day in recorded history:

We went to our first on-post function, the pumpkin patch!

And, obviously, I should put a picture of fire trucks with that caption.

I got an automated phone call one afternoon about a pumpkin patch that was going to take place at the housing office. What are these people? Wizards? Automated phone call from housing. I dig it.

Ever the joiners, we headed on over!


There were caricatures



...and studly husband (singular)



....and free pumpkins!

We each got to take one home; sadly, one of them cracked on the way home, so now we only have two pumpkin-representatives of our family. But, you guys? I decorated them sooo cute! They're drying now, but will be on the front porch tomorrow morning for the neighbors to admire enjoy ;-)

Completely sacked out from the excitement!

The kid's a total trooper, though! There's so much new stuff going on, which is quickly becoming routine, and he handles it so well. Proud mama!

Oh, and I just thought I'd be a total turd burglar and show you more shots of where we live. We actually live here!

Simmer Donna.

This is the day it "snowed".

I guess the area outside post got it a little more heavily, but Gary and I were so excited as we saw snow inch its way down the mountain!

It stayed like that a wee bit and then transformed into awesome:


Sunday we were supposed to go to the zoo. It's 15 minutes from our house. We drove around an hour because mapquest is a dirty biatch.

Either way, didn't hate being, unknowingly, lost with a drive like this!

So, we threw in the towel and ate instead. Obviously.

We ate, for the first time, at Texas Roadhouse and I had the salmon. It was life-changing. It's our new place. And, I could not be more pumped about it.

'Texas Roadhouse' is all bedazzled and glittered in my mind's eye.

Totes.

And, just because he's the coolest kid in town <3

Pee Ess...the projects around the house are just going swimmingly, dahling! Pics are coming pronto! Keep your panties on; it'll be worth it!

Happy Tuesday, friends :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The best-laid plans

For quite some time, Gary and I have had a plan of when we'd like to put a bebeh in my belleh. Then, we came up on orders and our plan became contingent upon whether or not we'd have a 4th deployment.

FOURTH.

At the first house we lived on-post at Campbell, I was talking to my neighbor, whose husband was on his 5th deployment, when she said, "I don't even cry anymore; I'm just used to it"

I completely get where she's coming from, but I wouldn't say I feel the same. When he's gone, I still have those periodic lonely sobs at night; I still don't get used to him being gone on holidays; I still don't feel completely right.

I would, however, say that the sadness doesn't last anywhere as long as it did the first couple deployments. That feeling of sadness rooted in the pit of my stomach subsides much more easily not because I'm ok with him being gone, but because I've found a way to cope with it.

And, now, we've already been warned of deployment next year. And, not just one time frame where once we pass it, we feel the relief that we escaped another tour. There are, now, two time frames we have to try to dodge next year.

I couldn't help it, I immediately got teary-eyed when he told me.

It, kind of, blindsided me because I had, involuntarily, become very hopeful that we'd finished our last deployment. Campbell is one of the top-deploying posts in the Army, so I'd thought hoped we'd fly under the overseas radar.

And, now the question of baby-making has us going back and forth.

We planned Jake very shortly after Gary got back from his second deployment. Gary was here for the entire pregnancy and every prenatal appointment but one, the first 8 1/2 months of this life, to include first birthday, first Christmas, and second birthday. Those are absolutely huge accomplishments for the military family. And, for that we were beyond thankful.

Now, with two possible deployments looming over us, we're not sure how to tackle things. Do we get pregnant with the possibility of him leaving a few short weeks after the birth, or maybe miss the birth altogether? Or, do we get pregnant right before he deploys (rumor has it deployments are now only going to last 9-10 months) and have him miss my appointments and baby-kicks and talking to my belly and, again, possibly the birth?

So many of my friends live near their families. They need a babysitter? Done. They need a break? Done. Not to imply I have it so much worse because we're so far from family, but that mental cushion of having grandma just a neighborhood away would be nice some days.

And, the part that seems the most daunting is having two babies by myself. I've been through many deployments, I've been through a deployment with a baby, but the task of two during a deployment still seems so daunting. I suppose it's one of those things where you work it up terribly in your head and then you end up realizing what you're capable of.

My good friend, Amy, is an absolute hero to me. Her husband was deployed with mine and she had a 3 year old, and recovered from a c-section, all the while caring for her new (and wayyy too adorable for words) baby girl. She didn't have oodles of help. She didn't run home and throw her kids at someone else to raise. She's a total champion.

I've been relying on her a lot lately because we both had an unplanned c-section. We both know what recovery is like. Yet she still did it. To be honest, she kicked the crap out of it. She's reassured me that it can be done, and will be done, and everyone comes out the other side stronger and more capable because of it.

The last 6-8 weeks of my pregnancy, I was on bedrest. No matter how healthily I maintained my pregnant self, pre-eclampsia still was able to sneak up on me. I was elliptical 3 days a week and prenatal yoga twice a week and it still didn't exempt me from such a diagnosis. What if it sneaks up again? What if I'm on bedrest, and I have a toddler? I know my family would come out to help, but they can't live here. Of course, extenuating circumstances would probably change that fact, now that I think about it.

I don't know, it just seems so scary to think about. I consider myself a strong person, and I thoroughly enjoy self-sufficiency (not that I don't mind help at all, I just like that I am able self-sufficient), but.....wow. Ya know?

But, I know thousands of military spouses do it everyday. I know it's doable because I've seen it, because there's no other option. I think about all my friends who've done it, and I'm in awe. People have called me strong and it just doesn't seem appropriate. I feel like I'm just doing what needs to be done. And, I guess that means I can do it again.

Because it's what needs to be done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

That time I extremely couponed.

During our trip to Colorado, Gary and I became hooked on Extreme Couponing. We'd get to the hotels and see if we were able to find an episode; I mean, we weren't maniacal about it or anything...



But, there was one point,when Gary went out to get us some dinner, and, as he walked out the door, said, "Let me know how much she saves!" haha!


So, I started thinking about it. I think a general rule to life is to keep everything in moderation (I'm deep, yo), but these crazies kept saying, during their interviews within the show, "...everyone should be doing it" and, "it's too easy".

Challenge accepted.

To begin my new extreme lifestyle, I made a point to go to Walgreens every Sunday for 3 newspapers. For those wondering, NO. CLUE. why I chose 3. Why not all of them? Why not 7, or 2. I don't have a clue. Must be my new, extreme lifestyle. And, I made mental note to buy a printer once we arrived at our new casa.

Can't help it----> Digression: I've always lightly couponed; it wasn't something I was passionate about (h e double hockey sticks, I still wouldn't call it a 'passion'), or went out of my way to accomplish. But, what tickled my pickle is that someone asked me, "Do you coupon?", like it was some new, crazy fad. I told this to my madre so we could share the laugh. I mean, my mom, pretty much, invented "couponing".

I went into this knowing I had no plans to let this consume my life. There's no way I'm going to stress myself over something that is, more or less, a hobby.

So, here's what I do: I buy the arbitrary amount of 3 newspapers on Sundays; And, the other day, I went out and bought a $50 Canon printer at Walmart; Then, I signed up for some coupon sites online. And, lastly, I found a grocery store in the area that doubles coupons.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

It's worked out really well! I haven't saved 50%, or more, or anything on a bill yet, but the savings have definitely shown up! Let's just say, with the savings, I've paid for the printer more than a couple times!

Oh, and you'll see this when I post the pics of the new house, but I wasn't going to begin doing anything 'extremely' unless I had a place to store all the swag; Houston, we have a basement!

So, here we go--->
My first couponing venture was at our new commissary. And, to be honest, it was because I had coupons that were 'military coupon' as opposed to 'manufacturer coupon', hence the reason I started at a place where you won't, necessarily, find the best deals.

-My bill was: $129.35
-Coupon total: $45.54
-Items bought: 100
-Savings: 27%
-Making each item total: $1.29

I was especially excited about that category because I had coupons for things like TreSemme, which was $3.55 without coupon!

After I found the grocer that would double coupons (They'll double coupons up to $1, and it shows as 'bonus coupon' when you're at the register), I went for a small trip, to test the water.

-My bill was: $24.99
-Coupon total + doubled coupons + store card savings: $13.30
-Items bought: 17
-Savings: 35%
-Making each item total: $1.47


After I dipped my toe into the water of that store, I decided to really go. My first shopping trip at that store:

-My bill was: $119.21
-Coupon total + doubled coupons + store card savings: $47.48
-Items bought: 47
-Making each item total: $2.54

Not only did I save in-store, but this grocer has a pump where you can only fill your tank if you're a card member; you get $0.10 off per gallon for each $100 spent in store. I filled up, post-trip, and saved $0.20/gallon! Holla!

And, probably one of my favorite couponing trips thus far: Old Navy

Per the uje, Old Navy was having a pretty amazeballs sale and, since we're the perpetual Californians, we had to beef up our limited stock of warm weather clothing!

-My bill was: $59.01
-Coupon total + discounts: $48.88
-Items bought: 7
-Making each item total: $8.43

The thing I love most about saving this cash money is that it's not becoming a stressor, ya k now? Of just those trips alone, we saved $155.20! And, I was never stressed. Yes, I love saving money as much as the next Domestic Engineer, but I'm not going to, voluntarily, stress myself. I mean, we're so blessed to not be hanging on to our last dime, so we can keep this couponing deal supa cazh.

Oh, and you guys know I have enough hair to rival Mufasa....In mathematical terms, I have a shizz ton of conditioners and shampoos! Not to mention, deodorants, toothpaste, canned goods, soap, body wash... E.T.C.

Once all my home projects are finished up, you'll have all kinds of pics to delight your eyeballs, which will also include my coupon swag!

Get off the edge of those seats.

Ciao!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Colorado

Time for a tour of our new digs!

Job one on the agenda was to find my hotspots around town:

So, remember how Whole Foods sucked big, fat toe? Well, we hit this Whole Foods and it was a completely different experience. The employees weren't a super far deviation from Nashville's, but I'll take any improvement! But, at least these customers were mildly friendly. It wasn't so "you suck at life" when we passed in the aisles which is always nice! ;-)

The next job was to admire this place!!

I love this place!!!

Our new 41A


We are further west!; Hardees is now back to being correctly named Carl's Jr!!


Oh, the happiness!!!

If we get an In-N-Out I'll wet myself.

This is the new post we get to call home!





Can't say I hate that someone cleans up after me! YAY for housekeeping!

Hello, my soldier

The commissary.

I'm about to blow the minds of my Army wife friends: We got here on Friday, which happened to be payday. We decided to go out exploring the next day, because we forgot it was payday weekend, and the commissary was one of our stops. You guys, this place was a ghost town. It was nowhere near Fort Campbell, in that I didn't have to drop the hammer because someone tried to body check me in the aisles. Of the people actually in the commissary, they were friendly! I know Campbell is a major Army post, but I'm still in awe! We toodled around town to find Tarjet etc., and NO ONE. I'm not ignoring the fact that this could be a complete fluke, but my belly tells me otherwise! If we had gone from Carson to Campbell I might have cried!

Our new PX

What a terrible view, eh?! It's roughly the same size as the one at Campbell, but it just seems....slower. Obvious, right? It's a smaller post. But, whatevs. It's the simple things :-)

Another reason I adore this PX (since I didn't say it before: I adore the PX), we snagged 1500 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets for $45! Swimmin' pools, movie stahs...

And, these are just some pics from around our lodging!






Wait, what's that, little mountain? You want to be snowboarded this winter??
Done and Done.

These clouds look rather ominous, no? Well, they aren't. It's not like the South; you don't have to go find yourself a Noah because a cloud pops into the sky. It's very calm, almost surreal to look up at those clouds. They're the kind you're sure you could sit on when you were a kid :-)

But, because we do know that we have some snow headed our way---->

The people are friendly, it's not all sardine status, and I'm back to loving being outside...

Fort Carson: I'd recommend it to a friend :-)