Thursday, March 31, 2011

Uncertainty, Separation, Stress...

We finally got the official news we have been waiting and expecting, for months now, however the reality of the news is not quite what we had hoped for...

Brian got orders for Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and his report no later than date is October 14th which is pretty much what we were expecting. The part we were not exactly prepared for is that his training is going to be three months long (July-Sept) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. That is what is going to make for a very stressful period of transition for me, three small kids, two dogs, a cat and a turtle!!! Basically those three months will leave us homeless. We will not be able to stay in our house on base here, but I do not want to move to CO without Brian and without any type of support system. So our alternative is to go back home to Texas for those three months, which is awesome in theory, but in reality, is going to be CrAzY!

As any mom who has traveled with small kids knows, not having your own space, things, or routine, is a stressful situation to be in, especially when you have to do it husband-less. I am completely unsure of how we are getting down there, how much stuff we will be able to take, and where we will live once we are there.  All this uncertainty is especially frustrating because we are going to have a 2 month old baby to factor into this plan. Newborn babies are hard enough to deal with in the best, normal circumstances, and this is far from that.

I worry for my girls who will be old enough to understand how different things are going to be. And that this will be their first time away from Daddy for this long a time. I worry for Gregory not having a stable introduction into this world. I am sad for Brian being away from his family for so long and missing out on Gregory's baby-ness. And I am definitely worried about how I am going to handle this transition, especially with postpartum hormones to contend with. The only thing I can do is count on my faith that God has a plan for our family and that even in this stressful situation, He knows what He's doing. I usually have a pretty care-free attitude about things and handle change well, but even this feels beyond what I can handle. I would appreciate any prayers and advice for getting through this minimally scathed. I suppose this is just a taste of what military life can bring you. Uncertainty, separation, stress...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Activity Update

So far my plan has been working out so well and I couldn't be happier with the results. Not only are the girls enjoying have planned activities everyday, but I am loving the feeling that I am being productive everyday. Even the days the girls stray from the original intent of our activity, it is still something different and fun that they are doing/learning and that was part of the point.

This is an activity that I have done since before Kait was born, but they LOVE it and for most of winter, this is the only way for our NoDak kids to enjoy the snow. Usually they are content with just spoons and the snow, but this day they decided that their animals needed a snow adventure. This kept them entertained for almost 40 minutes, which is like a lifetime in the lives of two pre-schoolers!

I was just telling one of my friends that play-dough has been a "forbidden" activity in my house since Mack was a baby because she has ALWAYS put things in her mouth. It was not until recently that I have been able to let her play with it without her eating it. And sometimes she still does! But despite my reservations, I broke down and made some for them to play with. Needless to say they both loved it! 

We actually enjoyed a "warm" day last week so I decided to take advantage and do some good 'ole hop-scotching with the girls! Unfortunately, this fun outside day was followed by an entire week of sick kiddos which was an adventure all on its own! 

As most of you know, potty-training has been quite a struggle for us, but both girls have started getting the hang of it! We couldn't be prouder of them :) 

These foam abc's have driven Brian CRAZY since we got them so we had them packed away for a couple months. I decided that since I am trying to teach the girls the alphabet that it was time to bust them out, despite the mess. Turns out it was a GREAT idea! 

 Mackie's Artwork! She decided she wanted to do "story time" like at the library and then after we finished reading How Does a Dinosaur Say I Love You? she asked me what the craft was. So we decided to play with some of our dinosaur scrapbook paper and this is what Mack came up with.

This is one of my favorite activities so far. Mack already has her numbers 1-10 down, but Kait is still learning so this was a fun one, especially for her. I just used foam craft paper and some beads I bought from a friend for 50 cents!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Amazing Opportunity

Today I had an epiphany! Ok, that might be a little strong. It wasn't actually an epiphany since it is something that I have already realized but never fully appreciated. I have an amazing opportunity that a lot of moms don't have and I have not been taking full advantage of it. My family is blessed in the fact that I do not have to work and am able to stay home to raise my girls (and soon-to-be-boy). I always wanted to be a mom and actually be the one to raise my children, (I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with working moms, I just always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.) but I feel as though I have not been using this opportunity to its fullest. And I could give you a long list of excuses, the highest of which might sound something like "Winter in Minot is so long and there is only so much you can do inside" but as I just said: these are excuses.

Well I am going to make me new "hobby" geared towards what I already should be doing. Daily activities with the kids. There are too many days when we really don't do much of anything, and it is just plain laziness on my part. I have a lot of ideas of how I am going to implement my new plan and I think that the easiest way for me to accomplish this is through weekly lesson plans. Yes yes, this is the teacher part of me coming out, but I did get my elementary ed degree for a reason, people! I am going to *tentatively* plan out our week with at least one activity. We usually are out of the house in the morning, so many of these home-activities will be after nap time, but those days we happen to be home all day we might just have to up our activities to two a day. I definitely plan to take the majority of my teaching cues from the girls. If they don't seem interested in what the activity is, or start to take it a different direction, I will gladly follow their lead. I want this to be a pleasant and fun experience, while also being educational.

We don't actually have a lot of fun craft materials, so I think I am going to have to start collecting things like construction paper, paints, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, etc. I also need to start saving things from around the house that we can use, like toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, tissue boxes. I might have to ask Brian to add a "craft allowance" to our budget...

So if there are any must-do crafts that your kids love, (or you love), please pass along any ideas! I will do my best to document our activities and see how dedicated I can be to this new project! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As some of you know, we recently acquired a cat, but as might not know, it was definitely against my wishes. We already have two dogs and I feel that they are more than enough, but Brian's heart is EXTRA large when it comes to stray, sad animals, so we brought home a cat. The girls IMMEDIATELY attached and started saying it was Gregory's kitty. (Mack calls Kasuka, Mackie-Kasuka, and Digo is Nuggie-Digo) So needless to say once the girls fell in love and declared him Gregory's there was no fighting against it.

I have managed to find a teeny place in my heart for this kitty (Dini) UNTIL our home began to smell like a giant litter box! Part of it is that my super-sonic-pregnancy nose can smell better than the average person, but part of it is that he has not been fixed and is reaching "maturity". Meaning he has felt the need to spray in random places. Luckily none of those places have been carpet, but the trick is finding out where he has been sneaking his potty breaks. We have made an appointment to get him fixed and that should help.

So instead of plunging into my hobby-finding quest, I spent the day deep cleaning my whole house. Vacuuming, steam-cleaning, mopping, bleaching the bathtub, (because yes, that is one of his favorite spots), and using an absurd amount of febreeze and air fresheners. Now the annoying thing of this is that I can't actually tell how much difference it has made. I need to leave the house for awhile and then come back in and smell. That will be the true test of my cleaning-frenzy. I will apologize ahead of time if my attack plan has not worked and you walk into my house and wonder why it smells like a cat. Hopefully this will NOT be the case anymore.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Talented Friends

So as I was looking through my facebook today, I realized how many talented friends I have. I have friends that can sew amazing things, take beautiful pictures, write eloquently, build furniture, make up kid-crafts, dance, knit, crochet, cook, bake. You name the hobby and I have at least one friend that does it and does it well. In realizing all my friends amazing talents/hobbies, I realized that I seem to be lacking any. At all. Don't get me wrong, I know how to knit, and cook, and can do some crafts (as long as I have some kind of instruction), but I haven't found something that I am passionate about. Something that I do and do well. The only real hobby that comes to mind is reading and I feel like that is somewhat of a "lame" hobby because nothing really comes out of it. There is nothing to show after I read a book, except that I could tell you about it.

Until this point in my life I felt like I didn't need a hobby because I was in college, and then I became a full-time mom, and it seemed as though there was no time/point. Lately however, I am starting to feel as though I should be doing more. I have three hours everyday during nap time when I could be doing something, but usually I eat, nap, read or watch tv. And granted, I am pregnant and my energy level is not where it normally is, but I still feel as though I could be doing more. So I have decided that I am on some kind of hobby-finding-quest. I would love to be able to find something that I enjoy and am good at. I will keep you updated on my progress :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

not going to die of scurvy...

So during the month of November I accepted and completed (for the most part) a "Thanksgiving Challenge" in which I would share (Facebook) things I was thankful for. One of my "thanks" was to my parents for raising me in a household where veggies and fruits were in every meal. At the time, I didn't truly appreciate the values they were instilling in me. Not that I fought against the veggies; I actually thoroughly enjoy my vegetables.
Well today I feel as though I fully accomplished one of my daily goals! My girls (and myself) ate our daily recommended intake of fruits and veggies! YES! I was quite proud of myself for getting them all in in one day. Problem is, is that it is one of my mommy hang-ups. I find myself stressing out on days when we are out of all our fresh fruit and veggies and the commissary (grocery store) is closed and I have to feed my kids (GASP) raisins! In the grand scheme of things, my kids are not going to die of scurvy if they don't eat an orange every day, but somehow I have it in my head that they NEED a certain amount of fruits and veggies or I am failing them somehow. I do realize that it is irrational to put SO much pressure on myself for their fruits and veggies, but I don't want to not think about it either. I guess there are always things that we, as moms, find to stress about. I am not the type of person to stress too much about things and usually just go-with-the-flow, but for some reason, when it comes to fruits and veggies, I am a stickler for that daily recommended amount! I do hope that it is something that my kids will appreciate (or at least tolerate) and implement in their own lives when mommy isn't around to enforce it.