Friday, October 26, 2012

Moving Journal, part 3

part 1 and part 2 are also available for your reading pleasure

Friday, October 19 -- the day we bought a house!

So we woke up, feeling much more refreshed after the previous day's craziness. The hotel had a decent hot breakfast buffet, and we headed out on some errands after that. We went to our bank to get a cashier's check for nearly $9000. That's always fun, no? We got some cash and a roll of quarters (to do laundry at the hotel), too. Then we went to the paint store to get paint for our new house (yay!). After that, we went to our title company's office to CLOSE ON OUR HOUSE. They were really nice there, and even had an area for kids to color and play with toys--thank goodness because G need some distracting. After some painless signatures (it really isn't as bad as some make it sound), we got the keys to our new house!
G is holding our new house key!

The day really had just begun, though, because we had a full afternoon too! We grabbed some rare-for-us fast food, Taco Bell, and headed to our new house. The paint guy was already there. Yes, my husband agreed to pay (thanks to a living social deal) someone to paint the hideously red-orange kitchen into a nice shade of perfect green. It's technically called Garden Sage, and we chose it from 20 or so swatches, without fully knowing how it'd turn out. When I envisioned the green kitchen I wanted...this shade is absolutely it, I couldn't be more pleased!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moving Journal part 2 {Thursday Chaos}

Thursday, 10/18

G didn't sleep well overnight, either, waking several times, crying from 3-3:30 am, and getting us all up 30 minutes earlier than necessary at 6:50 am. We ate breakfast at the hotel (not free, unfortunately), and packed up again. We had planned the easiest way to get the car, car seat, 6 bags plus a diaper bag and backpack, toddler, and pregnant woman (plus husband) to the airport. We decided that my husband would take the car with two bags and backpack (and car seat) to the economy parking lot (so that it'd be there upon his return). I took G and diaper bag with me on the hotel shuttle bus, since the driver would help me load the other 4 bags. This was great to begin with. My husband didn't have any trouble getting his light load to the airport, and G and I did fine on the way there. The driver unloaded our bags, but the trouble began with trying to get us across the 6 lane road separating us from the drop off point and the door. Eventually, my husband ended up running away from his bags sitting outside the airport door (I know this is a TSA violation to leave bags unattended, but they were always in our sight, so don't tell on us). He met us at the cross walk, grabbed G and two bags, while I ran/rolled the other two toward the doors.
Getting from the doors to the counter was the biggest circus. No one offered to help, so that's nice. We eventually made our way (remember, 6 bags, a car seat, a diaper bag, a back pack, & a toddler) to the counter, where there was PRAISE GOD no line. 

Moving Journal part one

In order to preserve some memories of this eventful move, I'll be posting a kind of diary so you can all follow along.

Monday, 10/15

I kind of panic that there's too much to do and things are going to be too stressful....what else would I do but bake? G and I decorate the cupcakes together, we take some to our neighbor and her kids, and the rest to the gym play-center ladies. Everyone appreciates the gesture and delicious butter cream icing, colored purple and orange for Halloween. My husband gets a haircut and I entertain G alone since he doesn't get home until nearly 8. We eat up leftovers and pack more. We try to relax before the chaos starts.

Tuesday, 10/16

The packing crew arrives. I'm still in my pajamas and don't care. I show them around and request they do the kitchen last, so G and I can have breakfast. I also run the dishwasher one last time, and work on packing our separate things more.
G and I take the CRV recyclables to the place where we get money back. (If you aren't familiar with CRV, look at your bottles and cans, many say "CA cash refund" or something to that effect. California charges you a 10¢ 'deposit' when you buy items that are labeled as CRV...and while it's great if you toss them in your weekly recycling collection, you don't ever get that money back. Thus, for the seven months we lived in CA, we watched our stash of CRV items pile up in a big box in our garage. On our final day in California, we turned them in for a 'refund' of about $18.)
We return to an increasingly barren house, as our belongings get packed away. The crew finishes around 1 pm, so I am able to put G down for a nap around 1:45. After nap time, we go to the shoe store. She tries on some ridiculously cute winter boots, that I can't bare to pay $35 for. She also falls in love with a pair of rainbow slip on shoes that don't come in her size...poor thing has tiny wide feet. I buy myself a pair of boots (brown leather, very nice) for the first time in years. We also go to Kohls to buy another suitcase because I need more room to pack...but they are too expensive there, so we head to Target. G picks our her first suitcase, a pretty blue roller one with front and back wheels.

Straight from the Husband - Wedded Bliss Link-Up

This week's Wedded Bliss Wednesday Link up gave the husbands a chance to write about their wives. My husband is really, really busy right now, tying up his current position in California--and preparing to drive across the country. We are in separate places, taking care of separate pieces of our lives, so this week's 'assignment' took on a special meaning. It warmed my heart to read his answers this week. I haven't seen him since Sunday, and while we are both busy, I certainly miss him. I appreciate him taking time to sincerely answer the questions; it's nice to have them recorded :-) I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

What was the first thing you noticed about your wife?
Honestly, I noticed her being in my way. Without going into the whole story, I think the first thought I had was “What is this chick doing here?” I soon came to realize that she was not in my way at all, but put there to show me a whole new world. We talked all through the night and she called me out and challenged me in ways no one ever had. We still continue to challenge each other to this day and I would be lost without her.

When you first started dating your wife, what kept you calling/asking her out?
Her most unique personality, quirky humor, and {our} uncanny similar views on life. From the start it seemed like we had the same plan and goals. We have complementing personalities, skills, and views.

What is your wife's best quality?
Her ability to succeed in everything she does. She does everything wholeheartedly with nothing left to chance. I admire her motivation and work ethic. (She is also a great cook----Don’t take it from me, just ask my co-workers, friends, and family)

What is your favorite thing to do with your wife (ahem, keep it clean!)?
Try new things. I am lucky to be able to have someone that enjoys the things I do and is with me to experience them.

What are you most excited for in the future with your wife? 
Currently I am most excited to settle into our new house and make it a home. We are currently both living out of a suitcase/suitcases and staying 30 hours apart. We will be back together soon with a whole new life to start.

How do you make your wife feel loved?
Talk about my thoughts and feelings. She knows that I do not share much with anyone, and when I share my thoughts and feelings she knows that she is pretty much the only one that gets that from me. The non-material things are always fun to give and receive to show love, but the best things in life are free.

Monday, October 22, 2012

G at 20 months

Twenty months old! And the past month has been the busiest, and fullest month of her little life...at least that I can recall.
nearly 20 months old
 G has made some fun intellectual leaps. I would like to credit myself with teaching her, but I also know a lot of the credit has to go to her amazing brain.
G can identify an item of the correct color when asked, including choosing the correct crayon -- as in, she knows her colors (she actually learned them about 2 weeks ago)!! I'm so proud. (Sometimes she gets confused with similar shades; like a very purplish pink, etc...)
She can also identify a few letters and knows most simple shapes, too.
She is getting really good at coloring. She has made attempts to stay in the lines on color pages. My husband said once, "I think she's better than some 3 year olds!" I don't think that's really true, but she's certainly better than most 1.5 year olds. I ask her to "color cookie monster's hands" and she does, "color cookie monster's feet" and she does! Impressive, no?
I've not tried painting with her yet, after the debacle that was finger painting Christmas 2011. Perhaps soon.
She's still a puzzle master, and figures out peg puzzles for two year olds almost instantly. My mom got out a jigsaw type puzzle for three year olds, and that's still a bit above her. I assume she could figure it out if we practiced a lot (how to put pieces together, not that they'd make the right picture or all fit together, though, that takes some serious advancement).
She has a good imagination, especially for a kid so young. We play pretend a lot, and she loved playing with a doll house that my mother-in-law got out for her while we were there on Sunday. She also plays well independently.
I love watching her make connections around her, and understanding more and more about the world. She learned the word different this month, and from it's original use ('mom, I'd like a different song on the radio, please'), she's started using it for other things (different diaper, different drink, different toy). It's nice to see her translate meaning in appropriate situations.
G can predict what's coming in her favorite stories. This is indicated by making sounds, noises, or saying one of few words that she uses. For instance, in her book "Caps for Sale" she knows when the caps are about to be taken by the monkeys and she does this "where'd they go" motion, says "doh-day-doh" (where'd they go?), and pretends to look around...I encourage this by prodding her to tell me what happens next.
She understands all directions (has been doing so for a while) and has recently started pushing buttons to see how far she can go...so we've implemented time out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marriage Advice - Wedded Bliss Wednesday

This week is about marriage advice. Something that my husband and I feel called to minister in as our kids get older. We want to counsel engaged couples in the church...but we have a few more years to become seasoned veterans ;-) (I think 7 is the magic number, to which we need 3 more)

If you could give one piece of advice to any married (or soon-to-be married) couple, what would it be?
One piece of advice is hard, because a marriage is a lifestyle; not just a part of your life. Hmm... maybe that is my advice? You have to look at marriage as more than a partnership. Even if you are not Christian, and don't believe the whole "...and the two will become one flesh..." it would serve you well to buy into it.
Marriage is a way to go about living one life that involves two people. I do nothing important without thinking how it would affect my husband (and figuring out what important means to the other person is part of this). We think of each other first, and know that getting through struggles is what builds the strongest fibers of a marriage. You should not get married if you are selfish when it comes to the other person. Sure, you can be selfish toward other people or situations....but to achieve the greatest marriage, you must be selfless with your spouse (and for this to work, he must be selfless to you, too).

What is an absolute MUST for any marriage/relationship?
My husband and I are Catholic. Not the make-it-when-we-can-and-half-heartedly-committed type of Catholic, either. We're in it for real...and when we did our Engaged Encounter weekend prior to getting married, we took a lot away from it. I know some couples don't have the best experience on theirs, because it has a lot to do with the leadership at the retreat, but ours was amazing. The absolute must for any marriage that we have always focused on....is that a marriage will NOT always be happy. You shouldn't even strive for an always happy marriage (strange but true). You should focus on having a UNIFIED marriage. Unity is an absolute must for any marriage. Within that unity comes honesty, partnership, love, and unyielding compassion.

What is the #1 no-no in a marriage?
Lying. Clearly, many things stem from lying (like cheating), but the matter of fact answer is...do not lie. Honesty is the best policy. If you are honest with your spouse and others, you will be trusted, you will have integrity, and your character will be morally sound.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your marriage?
 Forgiveness is a dish best served fresh.
Do you like that? I just made it up (if you find it quoted elsewhere, earlier, please let me know, I didn't google it).... and by that I mean that you cannot hold grudges or cling to past wrong doings. It's obviously easier said than done...but talk things out, mend the pieces, and move forward in sincere forgiveness.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Some of G's Coloring Pages

For posterity...because I know the pages won't survive

She's gotten so good at trying to stay in the lines--and knows to color body parts :-)

I'm very proud of her lines and 'abstract' coloring on blank paper too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Discipline with a Toddler

Well..... the time has come... Discipline time. (train of thought...I wonder if all of my posts will start with these short little phrases, because they have been lately, no? I think I should change my blog title to..."Momma's Train of Thought)

No means No.

Let me back track a bit by saying that I introduced "no" to G at around 6-7 months. My mother warned me not to make it a popular word, or she would learn to say it back. So I typically resorted to shaking my head when things were a no-no, but not a "NO." My Parents as Teachers parent educator explained that to make NO mean something, I had to physically remove G from whatever she was doing. Then she would learn to equate hearing NO with "stop doing that right now." I have to say, it worked wonderfully. I think because I was very consistent--and encouraged my husband to be so too--and because we started it so "young;" G fully understood NO to mean... I better stop this right away because mom says so.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Progresso Soup Pack Winner

Thanks to all who entered my recent giveaway from Progresso Soup and My Blog Spark.

There were 1165 entries and 126 unique entries.

The winner is Chrissy N. Congratulations!

Giveaways will be on hold until we get settled from the move--but I hope to bring you more fun items after the hustle and bustle of our next few months calms down!

$35 for $100 worth of photo products

Just wanted to let you all know about a great deal out there for photo product addicts like myself (I order several photo books a year)....

From living social, you can pay $35 and receive a $100 credit to Picaboo.

I usually use Shutterfly...but at such a savings, I'm willing to try a new service; especially because I plan to make photo birth announcements for baby boy...and know I'll be buying another photo book after the holidays.

You can also use your credit on holiday gifts, like calendars!

Date Night ~ Wedded Bliss Link Up

How often do you and your husband have a date night?
This question is open to interpretation, in my mind. Perhaps the askers meant it to be that way, because most married-with-children people know that a date night is not all about wearing heels and make-up, and being waited on at some fancy restaurant. I can count on one hand the number of "date-nights" that went like that. That's okay, though, because we enjoy doing things as a family--or count non-typical things as date night. My hope is that we can have a few more real "date nights" now that we are moving back closer to family...and I'm not so intimidated by hiring a babysitter--though the free family type is much better. I hope to aim for once a month, though that might not happen until baby boy is a few months old. A fun note--we have never left her alone for a night; though my husband has gone away on business sometimes. I mentioned to him just last week that for the past nearly 20 months, I have seen G every.day, and vise versa. I haven't decided if that's a good or bad thing.

What did you do on your first date?
Figured out I was going to marry him. Honestly, though, our real first date almost never happened because he was too "scared" about falling in love with me...by the grace of God he agreed to take me out. ;-)
I met him at a Sprint store (he needed a new phone, since he ran over his last one), where I learned that he was still on the phone plan with his ex-crazy-girlfriend, so that was fun. Then we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, where we actually ordered the same thing, except my steak was 2 oz smaller. Then we drove around, talking and listening to music. Then he took me to this little pond, that was definitely not a public pond, and we were looking at the stars when he leaned over to kiss me and, I kid you not, it started sprinkling and lightning. He also picked me some wildflowers that I kept for over a year. Yeah, movie magic x 10. He used to be a real romantic. sigh

What is your favorite kind of date night?
Honestly, the kind where I do get dressed up, wear potentially dangerous shoes, and don't forget to put on lipstick (I own one color, lol). Also, the kind of date night where my husband says...you know what? Let's get an appetizer, drinks, entree, AND spring for dessert :-)
I do love movie theater dates, but my favorite would be the kind where we actually do or experience something.

How do you do date night on a budget?
Lately, our only date nights are putting G to bed and eating dinner on our living room floor while watching a show or movie. Occasionally, we'll do something dorky like a Sudoku, logic puzzle, or crossword puzzle together instead of vegging in front of the TV. For date nights out--groupons/living social coupons and family donated babysitting time!

What is the best kind of date your husband could surprise you with?! 
Specifically--an overnight away from the toddler before baby boy comes. It could be the same town, that's fine, but a night in a hotel with some other fun activity too, like dinner or bowling or hint*melting pot*hint....or something else that's a big surprise. He knows me :-)

Monday, October 08, 2012

29 Weeks

Well. Here we are. Fully into the third trimester. Wow!

I feel like there's a basketball under there!
Time, at points, has stood still; yet at others it has flown by. I suppose that's how life will be from here on out...as a mom...somethings go too quickly (hugs and kisses, snuggles, smiles), and others seem like they'll never end (like a huge meltdown while brushing teeth).

Baby boy seems to move way more than G did, but maybe I'm not remembering accurately. I'm also feeling very heavy at times, and super pregnant, even though I don't think I felt that way with G until like 33 weeks. Maybe it's from caring for a toddler while being pregnant; and not just caring for, but seriously playing with! G is so interactive, and I love it, but it certainly takes a toll on me.

I'm not craving anything in particular, except the usual sweets like chocolate and ice cream. I've been eating a lot of Sargento String Cheese--it's seriously the best, anything else is kind of gross.

The move is moving along, we'll be in Kansas next Thursday. So don't expect a lot out of me for a while...haha...I'm assuming you've figured that out by now, my posting is seriously dwindling.

To my baby boy,

I hope you are doing well, baby boy, and growing strong. It's really important that you stay healthy, and go easy on me for these last few weeks! Everyone is really excited to meet you, especially me and your dad. We love you very much and know that you'll be a good little brother to that firecracker big sister of yours!

Friday, October 05, 2012

My husband ~ Wedded Bliss Link Up

Table for More and Life After... are hosting a new Wednesday linkup: Wedded Bliss Wednesday.I've clearly been slacking on Wordless Wednesdays (re:blogging in general), so I suppose I'll join in this fun...on a Friday... haha

Chances are, your readers know all about you! But what about your husband? Lets give our men the spotlight this week and introduce the blog world to your other half! 

nearly 4 years ago!
Introduce us to your husband! (What's his name? How old? What does he look like?)
His name has never been revealed on my blog, because he thinks it's too public, and I respect that. I'll suffice it to say it starts with a J. I actually call him Fred more often. I've explained it before, but it's because once when we were dating I said, 'ready freddy?' and he said, 'who's this fred person!?' It's stuck ever since. I actually say it without thinking now, in place of his real name. It's awkward in front of other people, sometimes, because they must think I'm crazy, calling him a totally random name! LOL
He's 24.7--a full year and a month younger than me, which was totally out of character for me to date a younger guy.
He looks like me, only in guy form. HAHA...seriously though, I feel like we look like we belong together. He's about 6 inches taller than me, blonde hair, blue eyes, average build.
My husband is my partner in life, and we truly did become one when we got married. We are absolute soul mates. Any one around us would agree, there's no one better suited. You can read more about our story (And how we got married at 20/21, while still in college) here. (if you haven't read it, please do...I love inspiring others with out love story)

What does your husband do Monday-Friday? 
More like Monday-Saturday, since we've been in California, I can count on my fingers the number of 'full' weekends we've had. My husband is an electrical engineer for a power construction company. He has been an estimator and a field engineer. He looks at electrical design drawings and makes them happen in real life (through the labor of union electricians). Basically, he's smart about power and things. His days have been long on this job site, and it's taken a toll on his stress and health (IMO), so I'm looking forward to more regular hours when we move back to Kansas and prepare for baby boy. Since my husband plans to take a decent amount of paternity leave, it's better for him to do that in the office anyways, since he's more expendable there.

What was the FIRST thing you noticed about your husband when you met?
His SUPER shaggy blonde hair. He looks back at pictures and wonders what he was thinking....I do too, LOL. Looks are only a small part of the attraction picture, and I'm glad I gave him a chance, because it turns out he was mostly just too cheap to pay for a hair cut. Funny story.... about a month before our wedding I basically "incepted" (as in, made him think it was his idea ;-) )that he needed to get a hair cut.

What is your husband's BEST quality? 
He is patient to a fault, if that's possible. My worst quality? I'm impatient and get anxiety when things can't happen right away. We completely balance each other out. I have ALWAYS admired his patience. He doesn't get caught up on little things, takes the 'wait and see' approach, and calms my nerves. He can do things that I would typically curse at, without breaking a sweat. Another way of looking at his best quality is that he LOVES me. Because I am often in a hurry, or don't like to wait, or get flustered at things that take patience....he deals with that in a way no one else could. He is my perfect match in all aspects of life and I love him even more for it. Oh, and he's a great dad and truly appreciates all that I do as a SAHM :-)

What is your husband's biggest pet peeve? 
Not much! Probably the Kardashians.
Sometimes our daughter's whining or screaming gets to him, despite his patience, he's admitted she can unnerve him (though it's gotten better as we've both gotten used to it)

How does your husband feel about blogging? 
He likes it as long as it doesn't stress me out, or I don't get too 'personal.' He loves the 'free' things I've gotten through it, or when I get sponsored posts. I think we both like blogging a lot more, now that I've reduced the amount of time I spend on it. Before we moved, I spent way too much time trying to grow it into something huge...but that's just not for me right now, mostly because I don't want to pay to get it followers, and I certainly don't network like I 'should.'
He likes that it makes me happy to write and share stories.

What is something you do/can do that makes your husband feel loved?
Rub his feet. LOL
Make his lunch, watch shows that I don't typically enjoy, let him help me (re: ask him to do something that I'd normally take on when I already have a lot going on)

Monday, October 01, 2012

Our Sunday Fundays

Generally, Sundays are the best day around here, because it's typically my husband's only day off from work.

Last Sunday we went to a Giant's game, courtesy of my husband's company, and G behaved really well, despite it being during nap time. We all had a lot of fun, ate ballpark food, and danced/clapped along with the music. We had bleacher seats that worked out really well, since G could move around easier. (we went to mass the night before to make the morning go more smoothly)
Yesterday we had a "lazy" day at home after going to mass (G behaved very well, except towards the end, but she's been crabby in general, due to canine teeth that are causing her a world of pain). Our lazy day included going through G's baby clothes and pulling out all the gender neutral things (we had a lot of since we waited to find out her sex at birth). I also organized everything and straightened up. My husband worked on fixing his computer that has a yucky virus (do people seriously have nothing better to do with their time!!! leave us be!)...
and G colored a lot, played in her tent, ate snacks, and whined a substantial amount because she wasn't the absolute center of attention (and her teeth hurt).
so you're wondering why there are 4? G, Daddy, Baby Boy, Momma ;-)
We all got a nice reward for our hard work--and had FroYo for dinner (although G and I both had snacks later on) :-) (I had done a lot of house cleaning on Saturday, so all that was left for Sunday was laundry)

It was lovely to have such a day of "relaxation" with all the hustle and bustle of moving going on around here.