Sunday, April 22, 2012

My other true loves.

This weekend, one of my oldest friends got married.

She's back in our home state of California and it made me miss her even more. It made me miss so many aspects of life from before we started touring the country on the military's behalf.

My friend Alora, who became the latest member of the Mrs Club, and I have been friends for 11 years. She's the first person I met when I switched high schools after my sophomore year and someone with whom I've always just clicked. We've always just belonged. Even when too much time had gone by since we'd last seen each other, because sometimes that's the cruel fact of life, we always noted how it was "always the same no matter how much time has gone by". She's the girl who drove a round trip of about 3 hours to come to our baby shower, and was only able to stay about 45 minutes due to work. I've always meant it when I say she's my sister.

Then there's Jake's godmother, Gabby, whom I met 8 years ago and has been an unstoppable force in my life. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and someone I've always been able to depend on. It was her and our friend, Cynthia, who stroked my hair and told me that Gary'd be home soon when he left for his first tour overseas back in 2005. She was my rock. She's the friend everyone deserves to have; you can come exactly as you are. No need for cute clothes, or fancy things, or even a face free of tears. She makes you feel whole when you feel like you're falling apart. She's the one who screeched into the phone both times I told her I was pregnant. She's just the one.

My friend Ashley and I were reunited when we both got jobs at the same home improvement store. We had known each other since we were little, playing on soccer teams in our early teen years and later playing on all-star teams and travelling all over California during tournaments. She's always been real. She's someone who gets it when you feel you can't make sense of it outside your own head. She's sweet and understanding, but someone, just like my other aforementioned lady soul mates, who's also been able to laugh with me until we're sure we've wet ourselves.

And, it's not just about the friends I had from way back when. It's also about the friends we made back in Kentucky. Before Gary got back from his second deployment, he kept mentioning this guy he met, Weeks (his first name is Rob, but ya know....military),who became a staple in our house. He came over all the time and we'd spend the night laughing until we looked like seals with no sound coming out. He was so stoked to learn when we were pregnant with Jake and dubbed himself "Uncle Weeks" when J was born. He's never far from our thoughts.

Not to imply my family isn't everything I need. These boys and our one on the way give me happiness I'll never be able to describe and make me feel more blessed than I know what to do with. But, these people are part of a small handful of absolutely incredible people who add a fullness to our lives I couldn't imagine without them. These are people I ache to have know our kids instead of just know of them. These are people I want to be able to walk in our front door, without knocking, and rub up on my belly and grab food from the cabinets.

Even the people like Amber, whom I've known since the 3rd grade, or Whitney, whom I met just a couple years ago, are people I haven't been in the same room with for sooo long, but are people who've helped shaped me into the person I am today. All these friends are family.

That's what's so so hard about military life. You have these people who mean so much to you, but your station takes you away from them. And, it's not to say we don't make friends where we go. I was actually with a friend a couple weekends ago who told me I have the pregnant glow going on---so I instantly decided we're BFFS. But, I miss the people I've grown with, who have seen me through some of life's biggest events.

So, as I sat here thinking about these people I love, I made some executive decisions. We're not having a baby shower this time because we, basically, have everything we need, but we're going to have a meet-the-baby shower. When Gary gets back from deployment, and has block leave, we're going to, just like at the end of last deployment, go on vacay as a family, but we're also going to make our way to California and let those people who mean more than words to us meet our newest addition. I want them to touch our kids' lives the way they've touched ours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I used to think thrifting was grody until I bought a bunch of stuff for no money.

When Jake was about 6 months old a friend introduced me to a secondhand store, Once Upon a Child, and my mind was changed.

Although I had heard about the store, I just kept thinking that hand-me-downs are "supposed" to come from family members, and that some of the people I saw around Clarksville were not people I'd like my son to share clothes with...

But, I went into the store and saw that the clothes were that of something *I* would've donated. Some brand new with their tags--their kids didn't even get a chance to wear it before they outgrew it; the rest in like-new condition without holes or staining. Basically, if you didn't know you were in a secondhand store you would've had no idea. In fact, I recently went back to the store, to stock Jake up on bottoms, and got him a great-looking pair of Nautica jeans for $10, which usually run for $32. That's the most I've ever spent on one article of clothing in that store. When kids grow out of clothes so quickly when they're young, why spend full price??

Anyway, I say all that jibjab because I said something to Gary last weekend I never would've imagined saying 2 years ago: "Want to go thrifting on Saturday?"

I needed a few items for the kitchen and wanted to see if I could find the diamond in our quasi-local Salvation Army. We did!


All this for $11.32!

Our short glasses had been spontaneously breaking in the dishwasher, so we picked up 4 for $.39 each! I wanted more mixing bowls, because it seems mine are always in use, so I picked up that set of 3, and the bright colors turns my insides all kinds of sparkly. The air-tight container is to replace my powdered sugar container, which also broke, and the food scale I've been wanting for a while and will suit my needs perfectly.

Jake has, approximately, 3 million books, but they're a weakness to the mama in me because he adores books. Sometimes he just sits on the stairs and reads his books. What mama could pass up a chance for more heart-meltery!?

These were FIFTY CENTS each. I know! And, the Sesame Street book? Fughetaboutit. He's all about "'mo" (Elmo) right now!

This not-new love of thrifting is going to come in really handy; I always felt I was meant to be a mama to boys, but I'm getting strong girl-feelings lately! :-)

We're not finding out this time because we'll be incredibly blessed either way. We just want ten fingers and ten toes :-) But, without thrifting, a baby girl has the potential to really armageddon a bank account.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A day at the zoo.

Today, we hit up the zoo; not for trick-or-treating and not for pretty lights. But, because we're, unfortunately, workin' on our pre-deployment bucket list. But today was so full of the awesome and we have pictures to prove it!

Today was nothing but gorgeous and amazing time spent together. And, tomorrow Gary and I get a date...HOLLA! What an amazing couple days :-)

And, now for more pictures than you'd ever care to see!
(Pee Ess, you might figure out that I LOVE the giraffes)





I love this kid. Giraffes would come up to him, with their long-as-their-neck tongues and he'd just laugh! Ballsy fo' sho.





I die that soon there'll be a kid on each side <3






Jake is unsure about the peacock. Another came over in this one's space and it started vibrating slash hissing. We left for fear of the peacock riot.

Isn't it too gorgeous??






People WILL know what I look like at 27, dagnabit!


Porcupine







The boy couldn't handle how much he loved the snow leopard. It kept walking along the glass, and he was pretty pumped about it!



So we walked into the petting zoo and I instantly flashed on Alfred Hitchcock


This little guy wouldn't leave Jake's side, and even did a slight peck at him once. Jake laughed.

Large bunny




Such a great day, one for the record books. Totes.

Now, the husband and I are hangin' out while the boy sleeps and later it's homemade chimichangas for dinner.

You jealy, bro? ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby loot!

It all started with a nursing wrap...

I had no intention of spending from our baby cash stash for a few months. But, a deal's a deal, yo!

I started introducing Jake to the hourly care he'll be in during the deployment when I have appointments and such so that he'd be more than comfortable with it when the time comes when he and I are the duo in the house and it has to be used. But, now I'm using it so I can cart my wicked handsome husband around on my arm.

Because of how Jake naps, we usually use hourly care from 9a-12p, so that's when we had our date. What romantic hours, eh?? Hey, beggars ain't choosers! So, we went and had a super fancy breakfast at IHOP, then went to the mall. It was nice/weird to be out just as husband and wife; we don't get to do that often enough for it to feel normal!

Obviously, we stopped to look at baby stuff at Burlington Coat Factory (holy crap is that my new favorite store!) and found that nursing wrap for $6! I adore it! I'm not so good at the nursing in public. NOT because I think it's inappropriate (that's ridiculous, bee tee dubbya); NOT because I'm embarrassed. But, because I prefer to take off my top & let those hogs fly. Being discreet with a wiggly baby is not my thing. &, it really didn't help that I had those nursing wraps that go around your neck and hang in front. I so loathe those. This one is a one-size-fits-all type thing, so you can manipulate it to fit exactly how you need. But, it has great coverage. So, if I were to nurse in public you'd see the baby, but none of my top half. Not even any side boob! YAY!

And, in buying that $6 wrap, we got two 20% off coupons on any one item to use the week after Easter:
Like I said, I didn't intend to start buying so early, but when you can get 20% off your dream car seat & base you take it!

& because of how much we saved, I was able to pick up my very first piece of maternity clothing--- for under $9!


It wears like a tunic for now, but I'm sure baby will be filling it out before we know it! Also? It's probably the most precious thing ever.
I swoon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Love me a long weekend.

Great great Easter weekend :-)

We kicked things off with plans of getting the boy's picture taken with the Easter bunny after getting a haircut. His hair is not unlike mine & the husband's in that it grows like a weed. He has quite the mop atop that dome, which makes for seriously cute (and uncontrollable...) bedhead.

Let's talk about the first picture coming up... I very rarely get pictures of myself these days unless they're belly shots! Partly because my first trimesters are plagued with not-so-cute feelings; Partly because it's just easier to be behind the camera. So, there are moments, when it actually crosses my mind, out of sheer lack of numbers I have to think, "No one will know what I looked like at 27. We're going to get J's haircut...let's take a picture!" Ummm, ok...

Anywho, the place we go to get J's haircuts is so cute he can barely function. It has a great, wide-array of toys and activities and, as can be expected, the lady who owns it is super patient. Can you really have a place to cut kids' hair & not have the patience to do it??

So, Jake hopped up into the chair, talked to the Thomas trains she offered him and pointed out all the robots on his hair-catching cape. He handled it like a total boss. Needless to say, we were pretty proud parents :-)

Because we were out the door earlier than we're used to, J fell asleep before we got back to post for the Easter bunny. He was just coming around when we walked up to the holiday set-up in the PX (no line! YAY!), saw the bunny, considered freaking about for about half a second, and then couldn't imagine loving anything more. I put him on the bunny's lap, they waved at each other, & then he hopped (HA!) off, danced in front of the bunny for a few seconds, that had all the passersby cracking up, with his huge smile, and then was ready for his close-up:

After the morning's triumphs, we stopped for lunch in the PX. Things just felt slow, which was so nice. Nothing like just enjoying each other :-)


Saturday morning we had a great breakfast of homemade biscuits and gravy and then immediately set out to get some footwork in. There's a park on post that has amazing trails so we got out couple miles in with our jogger and then let J run around the playground :-)






Easter morning was really great this year. We got up early to have breakfast with our church before the morning's service. I made monkey bread for the potluck and it just felt really good to be involved :-)

We had a great service, had a nice lunch out, and came home to put Jake down for his nap before hunting for Easter eggs. The thing about our kid? He hoards. We couldn't let him hunt eggs around the house before church because he'd want to individually carry each thing with him to Sunday School....much to the would-be jealousy of the other toddlers.



This bucket slays me with the cute. It's reusable, so I'll use it as many years as it'll allow. But, the great thing was all the stuff he got, with the exception of the giant pad of paper (which is the BEST gift we've probably every gotten him!) was picked up at the dollar section of Target! We even got him two 24 count boxes of crayons for about .30 each!


Jake got chocolate Reese's eggs inside the eggs he hunted. Our kid sees chocolate and thinks of it as a toy. Holla!

Hope you all had a great weekend, too! xo