Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

It's the day before Christmas! We are here in Iowa, which is weird because every Christmas we are somewhere in California. There is snow on the ground. Also a first for Christmas. Jason is making gumbo for our Christmas Eve dinner and turkey tomorrow. Isn't the food one of the bestest parts of the holidays?! It's the cleaning that's not so fun.

Does anyone open presents on Christmas Eve? My mom always let me open one...and it wasn't matching pajamas. Some people open stocking the day before. Some get nothing. Jason is a nothing guy for Christmas Eve so I have to wait a whole 24 more hours to open presents. UGH! I hate waiting! I want everyone to have their presents ASAP.

We will be hanging out enjoying each other's company today. Hope everyone has been on the good list and gets everything they asked for.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow like Whoa.

A couple days ago Iowa had it's first snow. Not just any snow...a freaking blizzard. I have never lived in snow and have only seen snow a few times. So few I could count the times on both hands easily. It was raining and then all of a sudden it was snowing. There was a couple of inches within hours and winds between 30-50 miles per hour. What the heck!? The news was just saying how it was record breaking how many days Iowa has gone without any snow. Way to bring in the winter season, IA!

So was this good or bad? Both. Good because it was pretty cool to watch. Everything was white so fast. Nathan, my mother in law, and I opened the blinds and watched the madness. Bad because Jason was delayed in Denver and couldn't get home to us. He finally arrived and all is well again.

It's a couple days until Christmas and I am ready for Jason to open his presents. I wish he would open them now...I hate surprises. I need to contain my excitement though. I'm containing it by typing in lowercase instead of all caps. I am really excited though. It is our first Christmas with Nathan!

I hope everyone has wonderful rest of 2012. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday "Me-Day"

I had my first "me-day" today. I was out for 3 hours. I needed to return a couple of things and I went to get a mani-pedi. The returns were not so fun, but the mani-pedi was much needed. I even splurged on a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks to enjoy as I was pampered.

It was very strange to be out for 3 hours when I used to go out and shop for 3 hours at a minimum. Oh, how the times have changed.

As I sat in my massage chair soaking my feet and being pampered, I still thought of what Jason and Nate were doing. The crazy part is I know exactly what they were doing. Watching football, Nate was sleeping, pooping, and eating, and some laundry was being done. Why when on my "me time" I still couldn't get my head off of my boys? I just love them so much and although I firmly believe everyone needs alone time, I couldn't help but miss them.

This is both a good and bad thing. It is obvious I love being with my 2 boys and miss them even when I am gone for a whole 180 minutes. On the other hand, can I really enjoy my "me time" when it isn't just me? I wonder if this will be a constant feeling?

Do other moms and wives think about their kids and hubby even when you need to be alone? It seems like such a contradiction.

Overall, I feel relaxed, my toes and fingers look great, and my hubby's football team won their game today. I am now back home and looking forward to steak fajitas with my little family.

Hope everyone is having a super Sunday, whether it is getting some alone time or spending it with family!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Little Things

Becoming a mom has been the biggest change my life has ever experienced thus far. It is almost an indescribable feeling. Just in these 3 1/2 very few weeks, my life, routine, and priorities have changed. The strange thing is it doesn't feel like a HUGE difference. It feels like he was meant to be here.

It's little things that have changed.

I can no longer shower when I want. I still shower, it just at a different time. No biggie.
I wake up every 1-3 hours to feed Nate. I woke up randomly throughout the night before. Now I just have to be up a little longer and have a baby attached to me. No biggie.
I have to make my food, coffee, etc. one-handed. Took some getting used to, but not huge deal.
I do A LOT more laundry. We chose to cloth diaper so I already had it in my head there would be more.
I love more than one man. Jason and Nate now have to share my love. Might be the biggest challenge.
I wear a burp rag. New accessory?
I can't go out as much. I still get out...just not as often. Gas saver!

All these little things take some adjustment time. They are all very small to me though and I wouldn't trade it...well maybe a little more sleep. It's the little things that can make or break us. They can add up to make a bigger issue. I've realized you need to acknowledge the changes, be aware of them, and just do your best. Don't worry so much about being perfect. If you embrace change it can end up changing you for the better. I do not want all the little changes have a negative impact on my life.

Isn't there a quote saying, "It's the little things that count"? Enjoy the little things in life.
My favorite little thing: Nate, of course! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 Week Update

My baby is already 3 weeks old. Holy moly, they weren't joking when they say time flies. It seems like it was yesterday when I was telling family and friends we were pregnant.

Some new things this week:
-Holds his head up for longer. Strong little man.
- Eats A LOT!
- Loves to be snuggled and sleep on chests.
- Hates to stretch
- Bath time is getting easier.

Grandma Teresa just left today and the spoiling is being taken down a notch. Only one notch since great grandma is still here for another couple days. They have both been helping with the dishes and spoiling Nate. Having the dishes done is seriously the best present anyone can give. Seriously.

Happy 3 weeks of being here my little Nate Dogg.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Major Baby Meltdown

Nathan had his first meltdown, bloody murder screaming session last night. From 11:30-2 he was literally screaming at the top of his lungs. Wouldn't eat, dry diaper, burped, swaddled. Everything should have been fine and he should have been off to sleepy land. Not in his agenda.

Jason had one thing that worked: rocking him up to the sky then down really low...and fast. He would start to drift off, Jason would put him in the bassinet then the cycle would continue. I rocked him after Jason's arms got tired and he needed to take a shower. Nate finally fell asleep at 2am, but on my chest. After 3 hours, I threw in the towel. I needed the sleep and let him stay sleeping on me.

It was a long night, but it was the first night he has ever cried this much. He woke up smiley as if he knew what he had done. What a little booger! He is now back asleep and looks so peaceful. It was frustrating to not be able to soothe him, but I know sometimes he will just cry. It's VERY hard to not take it personal.

Good thing he is so cute. Hope everyone had a good night's rest so I can live vicariously through you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2 Week Update

Nathan is 2 weeks old today. I don't think 14 days have ever gone so fast. He is still doing great, becoming more alert, and staying awake for longer periods of time. He has smiled a couple times which is super adorable.

Mommy aka me, has not been doing as well. Found out today I have a kidney infection. Very painful. Apparently they are pretty common after giving birth, yet another thing people didn't warn me about. I'm on some antibiotics so hopefully I'll be feeling better soon. My mom is here and my grandma is arriving tomorrow. It is not fun at all when you have visitors and you are sick...even if it is family. I feel like a blob, a lazy in pain blob.

So, that is us in a very small nutshell because I need to rest some more. My mom and Jason have been taking excellent care of me so don't fret my pets. Nate is doing great which is way more important to me. Now, if he would stop peeing all over the place...I know, it's not going to happen.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas/winter season! Hoping to put up Christmas decorations tomorrow!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though it is gloomy and rainy outside, the weather does not affect how thankful I am for all I have. It has truly been a wonderful year. My husband wasn't deployed, I graduated with my Master's, Jason graduated with his Master's, pregnant and welcomed Nathan, and moved to a new state. Those are only a few exciting events that has happened this year so far.

What else I am thankful for? My health, shelter, food, love, support, family, and friends. The tangible and intangible combined make my life wonderful. It is the small and big things that contribute to my everyday happiness and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I can only hope everyone else is truly appreciative for all they have.

Since we have Nathan now, I will not be Black Friday shopping. This is very strange for me since I do it EVERY year. Last year I was out for over 12 hours. I loved every minute of it. I love the hustle and bustle, the people shopping for the people they love, the good deals, and the start of the Christmas/winter season. I am a little sad to not be out and about, but I also get to cuddle and snuggle with my husband and son. Also, my mom is visiting and flies in from California in the afternoon.

Maybe I will do some online shopping this year, but more importantly, I'll be spending time with family. I just love them to pieces.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a full belly. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Expectations of a Stay-at-home Mom

In just a few days my husband will be going back to work after 10 days of paternity leave. This means my status as a “stay-at-home mom” is officially going to begin. Honestly, I think I will be fine. The transition into motherhood (the whole 10 days I’ve been a mom) has been extremely smooth. Am I abnormal? I keep hearing stories of new moms not taking showers, being exhausted, and letting themselves go. Fortunately, I haven’t reached that point. Will this change when my husband goes back to work?

The expectations of a stay-at-home mom vary greatly depending on who you ask. The dad/other guardian has expectations. The new mom has expectations. Society has expectations. Other moms have expectations. There may be some overlap, but if you ask, each will give you a different answer. So…who is right? How are stay-at-home moms supposed to be, act, and dress like?

In my opinion, a stay-at-home mom has a huge job. It is tougher than you think, although, many will disagree. As for myself, I expect the best I can. Will I be perfect? Of course not. The dishes will not always be done, dinner may be late or take out, the laundry will stay in the dryer longer than it should, and I may not always wear make-up. This is okay with me. Will society or my husband think differently of me? I know for a fact my husband will think nothing less of me. He is just that great.
What really matters is you take care of your children. Play with them, read to them, let them get dirty. Don’t worry about what others think of you. This is a huge challenge, even for me. I like to be fashionable and I know I won’t always have time to put straighten my hair or accessorize my outfit. What I do know is that I will be there for my son. I will love him and make him my priority. I will make the time to make memories with him and my husband.

I am a stay-at-home mom (or soon –to-be) and will be proud of it. If you are a stay-at-home mom, be proud of yourself. And lastly, if you know a stay-at-home mom, be proud of them. This is not a post to disregard working moms because that is a whole other story and other expectations I can’t give personal experience about. All mommies  are amazing and have the best job in the world!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week One is Done!

Seven days has already passed since Nathan has entered our lives. It has been the most amazing, loving, educational, and fun week. Nathan has been a very laid back baby (so far and knock on wood) which has made the transition into mommyhood fairly easy. Thank you, son. Mommy appreciates it more than you know. So what has been going on this week...?

Things I LOVE:
1. His little snorts when he gets hungry
2. Baby yawns
3. Baby farts. They are seriously the funniest thing EVER!
4. Cuddles on my chest
5. The way Jason talks to him
6. The way Jason asks every morning how my night was and says I am doing a great job.
7. Taking pictures of Nate.

The not so fun stuff:
1. When I am changing his diaper and he decides he would rather pee on the blinds.
2. Being awake from 10pm-1am. Right when it is time to go to bed, he wants to be super alert and awake.
3. Sleeping on the couch instead of my bed so Jason can get some sleep.

There are WAY more things I love and even the not so fun stuff isn't that bad. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

We also went on our first outing. Daddy needed some wood from Lowes for a project he is doing and I needed a couple of things from Target, so off we went. He slept the entire time!

One week old and I know there are just so many more fun memories in the making.

Hope everyone has had a great week like the Kappes family has.
Next big events: Thanksgiving and Grandma Teresa comes to visit in a week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nathan is Here!!

11-11-12. A day I will never forget. It’s Veteran’s Day. A day which has meaning not only because I am married to a U.S. Army Soldier, but also the day I became a mom.
Here is the birth story of my son, Nathan Taylor Kappes.

Around 6pm on November 10th, I am texting a friend about her cleaning out her garage and getting organized. Then I started having some dull back pain. As I text her my back is starting to hurt, her immediate response is, “Your ass is in labor!” I didn’t believe her and we start joking about how Jason, my husband, isn’t going to be able to go to the Veteran’s Day event scheduled the next day. I text her I’ll see how the night goes, but I really didn’t think too much of it. Jason and I had tilapia fish tacos and the night continued. Until about 10pm…

This is when I knew something was up, but still didn’t want to make a huge deal over the pain. Jason downloaded a “contraction app” on my phone so we could start timing. My pain was lasting about 30-45 seconds every 3-4 ½ minutes. As a first time mom I had no idea what a contraction felt like or what the pain would really consist of. I was walking around my house, stopping to breathe, still not believing I was in labor. Around midnight, Jason called the hospital to see if we should come in or wait it out. He explained the pain and they said they would call my doctor.
As we are waiting for the phone call back, we start to pack the car, take out the trash, little things to potentially be on our way. We got the okay from the doctor and it suddenly got real to me. I started to cry, but Jason was quick to calm my nerves and off we went.

We arrived at the hospital around 1:30am. Oh, and let me just point out…Iowa has really bumpy roads. Not cool while in pain. Anyways, they checked us in and I was wheel chaired up to Labor and Delivery. The checked me and said I was already 6 centimeters! “You are definitely in labor!” said the nurse. I’m thinking, thank goodness, because this hurts!
 I get all set up in a labor room with an IV, monitors, the whole nine yards. Contractions were getting more intense and the bed post was my gripping friend to get through them. The nurse explained my pain options…either a low dosage of something (can’t remember the name) through my IV or an epidural. I told her I didn’t need anything yet. I figured I would be there for awhile so suck it up for when the real pain starts.

Real pain, in my opinion, had kicked into full gear, but still didn’t think I needed an epidural. I asked/told Jason to tell the nurse I would take the low dosage through the IV. She came to check me. “Well, it’s too late. You are 10 centimeters.” What!!?? The option is off the table and I’m ready to have a baby!? The doctor came in and told me I could push when I was ready and gave me what seems like simple instructions.
1. Hold legs.

2. Hold breath and count to 10.
3. Push.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 two times.

These are not simple directions to follow when you have never given birth, are in pain, and have to multitask.
After 30 minutes of pushing…Nathan Taylor Kappes had entered the world (with no drugs!). Born on November 11, 2012 at 4:30am (only 3 hours in the hospital!) and weighing in at 7lbs, 4oz and 19 ¾ inches long. He has tons of hair and my little Veteran’s baby is now my world.

Going through a 15 month deployment and then a year deployment has made Veteran’s day very meaningful and now to have a son born on this day makes it that much more amazing. I am completely in love with my little family of three and can’t wait to watch our son grow.
A very special thanks to my husband, Jason. He was a wonderful labor coach, has been an amazing husband and best friend, and now starting the journey of being a dad. I did not do this alone and it is only fair to give him credit where credit is deserved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

39 Weeks and Counting...

One week left until my due date and I am definitely counting down the days. I am at the point when I'm considering all the old wives tales. I ate pineapple and made extra spicy chili yesterday. I've been told to do other methods to get the ball rolling on this whole labor situation. I haven't tried the labor cookies, the castor oil, the primrose pills. I have thought about it though. Even though they seem a little ridiculous, the thought is still there. Nature will hopefully take its course sooner than later...the anticipation and unknowns are killin' me smalls.

I also have this strange little cheer in my head when I think about going past my due date.

Nate Nate, Don't be late
Don't be late for your very important date.

Corny. You don't have to tell me. I sing it in my head daily. It's weird.

I'm trying to keep myself busy with little crafts, but the days seem so long and it feels like I'll be pregnant forever. I know he will be here before I know it. Then the real fun begins. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with my blog and update everyone on the joys and craziness of motherhood.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Coasters

As promised, here is how I made coasters using my homemade mod podge. I have been waiting all day I'm sure to read this and get started on your own. :)

I wanted to do a set of 4 since that is usually how many coasters come in a set. I also wanted to get 4 in case I messed up.

What did I buy?
1. Ceramic tiles from Lowe's (in the bathroom section)- they were only 16 cents!!
2. Scrapbook paper- I got mine at Hobby Lobby. 2 pieces for .50 cents.
*I already have scrapbook paper, but I was just so excited to be making them that they needed new paper. I would've saved half a dollar, but oh well.

That's it...I bought 4 tiles and 2 pieces of paper = $1.14
*Lowe's gives a 10% military discount so it was actually cheaper than that!

The stuff I had on hand?
1. Homemade mod podge
2. Brush

There is seriously nothing difficult about this project except deciding which patterns you what to use on your coasters.

1. Measure and cut scrapbook paper to the size you want. Cover the entire tile or leave a border. I did both to compare.
2. Place tile on a surface you don't care about (in case mod podge gets on it)
3.  Brush a layer of mod podge on the tile
4. Place the scrapbook paper on the tile
5. Brush another layer of mod podge
6. Let it dry for 1-2 hours
7. Brush another layer of mod podge.
8. Let dry overnight
9. Add felt circles on the bottom (optional. I haven't done this yet, but if I give them as gifts I will)


I think I like the ones that have a border instead of covering the whole tile. Both ways are cute though. These might be gifts to give the neighbors this Christmas. Maybe with coffee cups and some hot chocolate?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Homemade Mod Podge

There are SO many crafts I have seen using mod podge! In the store is runs from $5-10 bucks. I have wanted to buy it every time I am in Joann Fabrics or Michael's, but never could shell out the extra money. Cheap...I know. I didn't know if I was going to use it that much, if it actually worked, or if I wanted to just make my own.

When I started looking up recipes/instructions on how to make it, I couldn't believe how simple it was. Just equal parts of glue an water? way, this can't be right. I have put off making this simple, yet mind boggling concoction until today. I finally got the guts to mix the most simple and cheap ingredients together.

The result: I did it! It was easy and didn't make a mess (which I read in some blogs that it did). I don't know what those peeps were doing while they mixed, but they must have gotten their groove on to make a mess.

I didn't buy anything to make it because I had everything at home. Hopefully you will have at least one of the three items or you shouldn't even be reading should be getting your water hooked up.

All you need is glue (white glue, such as, Elmer's), water, and some type of jar with a lid (I used a mason jar).
**DO NOT BUY A JAR! Find something you have around the house. You will most likely find it in the kitchen. Baby food jars, salsa jar, anything you have in the kitchen that is glass and has a lid. Why waste the money?

I was super lucky because the mason jar I had had the measurements on the side. You could definitely eyeball it though. I used the entire container of glue, which was 4 oz then filled the jar up to the 8oz mark with water. So...4 oz glue, 4 oz water.
The 4oz of glue (my mason jar is like 32oz so don't let the amount fool you; 4 oz will be enough)
Close up of the 4 oz of glue
Added water, not shaken yet.

Put the lid on a shake what your momma gave ya! Bam...mod podge done. Took about 5 minutes total.

I labeled it with an address label and added it to my desk full of crafts! My first projct using mod podge...coasters. Another easy and cheap project...tutorial coming soon to a blog near you. Meaning this blog. Tomorrow.

Personalized Fall Wreath

Halloween is over and we are now into November. Before we know will be Christmas.

In my opinion, Fall/Thanksgiving decor is much more pretty and inviting than Halloween. I had a small "welcome"sign hanging on our door for Halloween, but pretty much everything else is Fall-ish or Thanksgiving-ish. November 1st came and that Halloween sign was down. I wanted a pretty Fall wreath to hang, so I went to shop for the materials.

What did I get?
1. Yarn: 4 Fall colors- Big Lots surprisingly for $1 each.
2. Foam pipe insulation: Lowe's for $1.18. Here is a link to Home Depot so you know what to look for because I had no idea what the name of this was. It was 6ft, so I cut it in half to have enough for 2 wreaths.
It's in the plumbing section of Lowe's or Home Depot
3. Wooden letter: Walmart for 2.27 (in arts and crafts section)
4. Pine cone decor: Walmart for 1.47 (in Xmas section)
It has a little clip in the back.
Those were the items I actually had to go out to purchase. A total of about $10 bucks, but I have extra yarn and foam pipe leftover for another project.
Other items I used but had on hand:
1. Gold spray paint for wood letter. I would've loved to have the deep purple color, but I knew I had the gold, so I went for the cheaper option.
2. Packing tape (can also use duck tape)
3. Ribbon to hang on door
Ok, let's get started.
Step 1: Cut the foam pipe in half or however big you want your wreath to be.
Step 2: Tape the 2 ends together. It might look a little disfigured and not like a circle, but once you tape it you can manipulate it better.
Step 3: Get the yarn and figure out the pattern you want.
Step 4: Tie a piece of the yarn in a knot and start wrapping the yarn around the pipe. I was using 4 different colors so I wrapped about 2 inches of each color.
**To change color: tie the next color to the previous and tape down**
**Keep the yarn close or you will have a huge tangled mess!!**

Step 5: When you get to the end of wrapping, tuck the yarn into itself and tie into a knot in the back.
Step 6: Add the decor! I added the pinecones first. I was originally going to pin it using the pin attached to it, but it looked sloppy. I ended up literally stabbing it into the foam itself. Then tie the wood letter with yarn.

Step 7: Add the ribbon to hang and you are done!

The wrapping of the yarn took the most time...about an hour. It would be quicker if you used less colors and/or bigger sections.

I am planning on doing a Christmas one with my leftover pipe. Super easy, cheap, and personalized. They would make great gifts, too! If someone has a favorite sports team, you could do their colors. It could be a Christmas present, housewarming gift, wedding present, etc.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hospital Bag is Packed!

11 days until my due date!! I think he will be late, but I still want to be ready. I've asked many people want the essentials were to have in the diaper bag, what I need, and what Jason would need when we head to the hospital. There was a lot of answers and opinions...which I expected. I took every one's advice and got to packing.

What is in Nathan's diaper bag?
1. Diapers: I know the hospital has diapers, but we are using cloth and I really want to start in the hospital if possible. Crossing my fingers they fit the lil' guy.
2. Going home outfit: onesie, pants, socks, mittens, beanie
3. Two extra outfits: for pictures and in case going home outfit is too small (pants, socks, mittens, beanies)
4: Three sleepers
5. One jacket
6. Extra onesies
7. Baby Ugg (fake) boots
8. One receiving blanket
9. Scarf: because it's cold and for pictures
10: Two pacifiers

I'm sure this is way too much, but it fits all in the diaper bag.
Organized to make sure I have everything.

What is in mommy and daddy's bag?
Dad's stuff:
1. Pajamas
2. Pair of pants
3. Pair of shorts
4. Two shirts
5. Two pairs of socks and boxers
Mom's stuff:
1. Going home outfit: yoga pants, tank top, cardigan, jacket
2. Two pairs of comfy socks
3. Undies: will probably use the mesh ones I keep hearing about at the hospital though...
4. Two sports bras and One nursing bra
5. Two tanks with built in bras
6. Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair ties, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair spray, mousse, face wipes, Q-tips
7. Tennis ball: to relieve back pain while in labor

This is probably another bag with way too much, but again, all this fits in one overnight duffel bag.

Last minute items and non-bag items?
1. Phones and chargers
2. Camera and charger
3. Ipod
4. Make-up bag and brush
5. Snacks
6. Kindle, books, magazine
7. Pillow: I want mine :)
8. Car seat with bundle me and blanket
9. Boppy
10. Feed cats: gotta take care of our fur babies, too
List is on our fridge.

Everything is sitting in the nursery. I'm not putting it by the front door because I don't think we will be sprinting out. Also, our cats would have a field day with all that stuff on the floor.

This is a picture of all the loot!
Can't even take a picture without those curious kitties. :)

We shall see if I packed enough, too much, necessary and/or unnecessary things. We only live 10 minutes away from the hospital, so I'm not worried if we forgot something. I'm trying to stay in a "go with the flow" mentality. Trying is the key word. I am fighting the urge to look in the diaper bag and our bag multiple times a day to make sure we have everything.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Is There Value in Struggle?

My husband and I got into an interesting conversation the other night.
The topic: struggle.
The questions/concerns: Does struggling make you a better person in the short and/or long run? If you struggle as a kid, what does it teach you? Should you allow your kids to struggle even if you have the means to give them everything they need and/or want? Do you really struggle or is it an "in the moment" feeling?

Everyone has struggled at some point in their lives. Some more than others. There are so many different situations and I'm sure people can name off multiple situations in life where they have had difficulty. I know I have, but the conversation my husband and I had put some perspective into the idea of struggle.

Finances are usually the main "struggle" people experience, in my opinion. It seems to be the root of a lot of issues. The hubster and I  were discussing high school in particular and how we struggled. He mentioned not having enough money for the "good lunch line" which had the pizza hut personal pans. I mentioned not having enough money to do a Senior page in the back of the yearbook. Both things apparently we HUGE deals in high school. Looking back, would we have changed these things? Probably not. I don't ever look in my yearbook and Jason doesn't eat pizza everyday now that he can afford it. Was it a struggle then? Yes. Did it make us better people in the long run? Who's to say.

Those were just silly examples, but in truth, we both think a little struggle does make you a better person. It makes you more independent, more aware of finances and surroundings, and more appreciative of things you do have in life. Obviously, this is a very general statement and is very case-by-case, depending on the person. It also depends on your definition of struggle.

The topic was brought up to open the communication lines about how to teach our son that struggling once in awhile is okay and not the end of the world. How do we do this? And how do we do this knowing we would be able to provide what he wanted? As soon to be parents, we want to teach our son the value of earning something, gaining independence, and hard work.

No, we are not going to make him starve. But not getting in the Pizza Hut line at school, getting a brand new car, or a toy every time we go into Target may be on the list.

Realization: Parenting is tough work; we don't have the answers to these questions. We can only hope we teach him the values we believe in. Teaching him will be a struggle in itself, especially toddler and teenage years. But...those are only a couple years of his life, so when he is an adult (and out of our house) he will be able to make better choices.

This was a tough topic is discuss with my husband because I really don't know what parenting will be like. You never know and life can change at any moment. He would ask me a question and my response would be, "I don't know" to most of them. It did get me thinking and us talking about what's to come. Communication, in my opinion, is one of our strongest areas in our marriage, so I know we will be fine.

Do you feel your struggles in life have made you a better person?

Any opinions, questions, concerns, and/or perspectives are definitely wanted, as this is such a unique discussion we had and would love to hear what others think!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cloth Diaper Laundry Room Decor

No, I don't have cloth diapers hanging all around the laundry room as "decor". This will change in the near future since some will be hung dry though. Hang drying cloth diapers is not what this particular post is about.

This post is about hanging out the instructions of cloth diapers in the laundry room. If you have ever researched, thought about, or wondered about cloth diapering it is VERY overwhelming. There are so many different types of diapers and inserts you can use.

The prepping and washing routine is equally overwhelming. I started prepping my diapers this week for Nate, quickly realizing I am and will going to forget these steps until I am doing it for awhile. It is not second nature to me...yet. The hubster also has no idea of the prepping and washing routine. What makes it hard to remember is all the different fabrics. Is it synthetic or natural? Is it bleached or unbleached? Is it cotton or PUL? Another difficult aspect to remember is how many rinses and at what temperature you need to use in each cycle. Doing research, I found every single person has a different routine that works for them. Awesome...non-answers. I found what the majority people do and used that.

What did I do with this information? I made it into laundry room decor. I went on Word and typed out a simple document for both prepping and washing cloth diapers and inserts. I cut the white printer paper out with those design scissors, glued it on some scrapbook paper, then put that in a frame. Bam, another easy peasy project.

Here is what it looks like...


Excuse the mess (or don't) is laundry the laundry room. What else do you expect?
Here are some close ups:

Not only do I have some decor in my laundry room; it is FUNCTIONAL and it was CHEAP! We already had the frames (weren't being used) and scrapbook paper is ridiculously cheap.
Another bonus...the hubster has no excuse for not helping with the diaper duty. Tricky tricky. :)
If you aren't using cloth diapers, you could still do something similar. Do it for regular laundry instructions so your kids...or significant other...have no excuse to help either (if they can read).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pinterest Plate Project!

I always wonder if the Pinterest arts and crafts actually work. I was at the Dollar Tree and I saw the ceramic plates. Pinterest says to just decorate using Sharpies and bake for 30 minutes and 350'. I have Sharpies and the plates are only a dollar. I only purchased one, just in case it didn't work.

I should have bought more. I decided to decorate mine with a Christmas look. Here are the whole 2 things I needed. One plate, red and green Sharpies. I used a black one, too.

I wrote "Happy Holidays" in the center, then "eat, drink, and be merry" on the outside border. Then, I decorated with simple dots. Easy peasy. Here was the final product.

Including the 30 minutes of baking my plate, the entire project took 45 minutes. They would be great if you had your kids decorate them and give them to grandparents or neighbors. Since the plate is only a buck they can keep the plate without you going broke.
I want to make another one that has our last name or our initials. Another idea is to have your kids decorate their own and that's the plate they use for dinner. Personalization at its cheapest!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Candy Buy Back

This is such a neat-o idea! I swear, people amaze me with how smart they can be sometimes. Makes me a little sad I don't come up with cool ideas like this. What is "this"?

This is a Halloween Candy Buy Back!! Here is the link with all the information:

Here is how it works (taken from the website to give you a quick idea)

How does the program work?
  • Participating dentists "buy" back kids' Halloween candy at a scheduled event
  • "Buy" with cash, coupons, toothbrushes, creative exchanges - They can partner with local businesses to give away coupons for food, services, goods, etc. They can give away the Hygiene Kits, they can set up an Opportunity Prize--each kid gets a ticket per pound of candy for an opportunity drawing to win special prizes, etc.
  • Dentists send the candy to Operation Gratitude or other Military support groups
  • Operation Gratitude sends the candy to U.S. Military deployed in harm's way
  • To find a dental practice in your area, use the zip code "look-up" feature to see if there is a dental office participating close by. SUGGESTION: Call the practice before driving over with your Halloween candy as many have concluded their buyback event and are no longer accepting candy.
If you don't want your kids having a massive amount of candy and cavities, this may be the program for you.

If you support our troops, have a deployed service member, this may be for you.

If you are a dentist, this may be for you.

I heard about this program from a Facebook group I am apart of and I am not getting anything out of posting this from Halloween Candy Buy Back. I just thought it was a cool thing to check out. Some parents are letting their kids trade in their candy for a toy, for example. I know I don't want my son eating buckets of candy and it gives you a chance to teach about dental hygiene, as well as, giving back.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maternity Pictures by Yours Truly.

Today I am 37 weeks pregnant.I am considered full term, but still have 3 more weeks until my due date. If Nathan wants to come before my due date....feel free my little pumpkin pie!

I went to a "coffee" this morning to meet some of the other "Army Wives" at our new installation. It was good to meet everyone, put a name to a face, and get out of the house before Nathan and snow hit Iowa. A coffee is basically just a social gathering with other spouses to get to know each other and create a support system (for those non-military folk). It's a tradition that has been in the Army for generations. Personally, I love them. I like to new people and know the spouses of the Soldiers my hubsters work for and/or with. Some people love them, others hate them. In my, it is nothing like the show Army Wives. A lot of people ask me that question.

Anyway, after the coffee I was deciding what I should do with the rest of my day. Nap? Shop? Sew? Nothing was really calling my name. What did I decide? Maternity pictures! We had some taken for our "gender reveal," but I barely had a baby bump. Jason was at work and I don't know photographers in the area, so I got my little camera, set the timer, and took some shots of myself. Kinda sounds conceited when I type it. Oh well, I know I will be thankful I did it when my mom sees them and when Nathan is here.

I am definitely no professional, but some actually came out fairly decent. Here are a few of my favs...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pregnancy Rant: Read at Own Risk!

Not going to lie...I feel like I've been a fairly easy pregnant person to deal with. I haven't made Jason go out at 2am for a random craving , demand foot massages every night, or become a huge slob doing nothing but eat ice cream and watch T.V. At least I think...Jason? I've been easy, right!?

Getting to the rant...there are just a couple things I would like back in my life. Or just have the option to have them in my life. Being pregnant is getting very uncomfortable to say the least and I am ready for this little ninja kicking, yoga-stretching, pumpkin to come out of my stomach.

Things I want (in no particular order):
1. 64oz of Dr. Pepper with crushed ice
2. Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte, extra hot, extra caffeine. Make that 2.
3. Abs
4. Ability to breath
5. Ability to workout and actually sweat
6. Sleep
7. My belly button
8. No more heartburn
9. A "mom-car" to appear at my house without me doing anything
10. Friends from GA and CA here with me.

These don't seem like high-demands if you ask me.

The most annoying part as of the last week...people telling me these top 3 comments:
"Almost there!"
"Get sleep while you can!"
"It will all be worth it!"

I know I'm almost there, if I could sleep I would, and I know it will be worth it. I appreciate the comments and positivity, but at this very second they don't mean S*#t! It doesn't help and it almost makes me more angry at the situation. What I would like to hear instead:
"I feel ya, girl..."
"Hell yeah it's uncomfortable, just you wait..."
"Sucks to be you, been there and know what you mean."
"Here is a car!"
"I'm coming to visit you!"

Honest for the moment or something on my want list. I don't want to hear about what's to come. I got it, I'm ready. But right now I feel like craptastic and need that to go away before anything else. I am also willing to take a back and/or foot massage.

Thank you and my rant is over. Sorry my "pregnancy glow" is turning into "pregnancy devil"...maybe it's because Halloween is just around the corner.

Wishing I could have some wine with my whine, but I can't do that either. BOO! :(

Rant officially over and on with the day.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Rice Krispies

On to the next pumpkin treat! This time...Pumpkin Rice Krispie treats. I had pinned this recipe awhile ago and since I was going to a get together I figured these would be perfect to bring. Here is the link to the original recipe...

I changed it up a bit because the reviews stated they came out soggy. I also wanted them to look like pumpkins.
What you need:
1. Pumpkin puree- 1/4 cup
2. Pumpkin pie spice- 1TBSP
3. Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
4. Cinnamon- 1/2 TBSP
5. Marshmallows- 40 large or one bag of minis
6. Rice Krispie cereal- 6 cups
7. Butter- 3 TBSP
8. Candy corn or tootsie rolls (for stem)
9. Paper towels


To do this, place a bunch of paper towels on a plate. Put your 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree onto paper towels and start patting it. This takes awhile and it takes a lot of paper towels to drain it all. I started with 3 paper towels each time and transferred it to new ones once soaked.
This is when I first put it on the paper towel.
These are after I was will be able to pick it up after it was all drained. Looks a little like play-doh.
After all the moisture is out, melt the butter in a large pot.
Add the pumpkin to melted butter.
Stir until heated. It will be a little chunky.
Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
Once all marshmallows are melted, add the spices and vanilla extract. Stir until mixed well .

Time to add the cereal! I add 2 cups at a time because mixing dry cereal to sticky marshmallows takes some elbow grease.

After all the cereal and marshmallows are mixed, spray a cookie sheet with PAM. This is where is gets super sticky...and kind of fun. :)
*If you want traditional bars: spray a 9X13 pan, put treats in and you are done. The next steps are how to make them into pumpkin shapes.
For pumpkin shapes: spray your hands with PAM so they don't stick to you. Roll into balls. You can make them whatever size you want. Mine were a little bigger than golf ball size. After you roll, stick your finger on the top to make a little hole for the stem.
Add the stem using candy corn or a tootsie roll.
Put them on the cookie sheet to settle. then you can transfer on a cute plate, cupcake holders, baggies, etc.

Done! The whole process took about an hour and they look so cute.