Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weekend BBQs

In the Easter spirit, I'm hopping back on the radar! Lately I feel like I'm never updating with the good stuff but rather just checking in here and there to keep this space that I love so much afloat. Thoughts and days are jumbled- and somewhere in between all the chaos and rushing out the front door to get to school on time, our little boy is becoming less and less little. His personality is becoming so evident and we just love to love him!

Since meeting Juan's work buddies and their families a few weeks ago, we've all gotten together three or four times. Weekend barbecues with a good group of people are proving to be the perfect way to welcome the changing season. Perfect until your kid blindsides you with the stomach bug from hell and barfs all over dad and any one within a two foot radius. His first party foul, I swear that boy is reaching a new milestone every day! Both of Austin's grandmas, his grandpa, and his great grandma were in town for their first visit and I can't even tell you how quickly that bug got hot potatoed around the whole family. We know how to show our house guests a good time. It knocked us down for a day or two, but we were all feeling better just in time for a few more adventures with my parents before sending them back home to Florida. By Easter weekend our tails were wagging with excitement and just like that we were back on the barbecue grind (praying that round two wouldn't hit us in our Easter finest).

Easter egg hunting is one of Austin's favorite games. I can't count the number of weekly egg hunts that go down in our house. His year round training must be paying off, the babe got some serious Easter egg loot on Sunday. This was the first time his eggs were filled with goodies so he was completely consumed with awe as he opened each and every one and found a new surprise. 

Mom of the year over here will totally vouch for any one equally guilty of pirating a portion of your kid's loot. What toddler should be eating fifty pieces of chocolate? Hello, cavities! We're doing them a favor, gals. With that being said… how long until Halloween? ;)

I'm not advocating that you swipe all of it, but a malted egg here and a chocolate bunny there really do go unnoticed. And as moms we need a comparable sugar intake to stand a chance keeping up with these little energizer bunnies- am I right!?

We ended Easter Sunday with full hearts, feeling so blessed and thankful for meeting such an awesome group of people who are making our transition into army life a bit easier. Cheers to friends!

On a side note- the boiled eggs in our fridge have been ready to go since Saturday and our egg dying kit has been in the same spot on the kitchen counter for over a week. Austin doesn't know what he's been missing out on these last couple days since this will be his first year dying eggs. I'm hoping to get around to it tonight, or at least sometime before the eggs rot- so send over some good vibes and wishes that all goes well and that there is no mistaking the cup of dye for apple juice. Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Let's talk about unpredictability. (Am I the only one who thinks that word sounds ridiculous? It's totally a word.) God's good humor has been serving us up some pretty unpredictable situations, handing them out like free rolls at a restaurant. One batch after the other, and more and more and more until hello I'm too full I can't enjoy my meal now. Too much bread, too much unpredictability. Did you follow all that?
I digress.

Unpredictability. Recent Texas weather- wait, there's no rain or freeze warnings forecasted for the next several days, is this a dream?! Our water heater. More specifically, our water heater's death wish. Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold, freezing. All damn day. Laptop chargers. I'm not sure of the average life expectancy of a laptop charger but I'm certain that for the number of times I have had mine abruptly die, I should know better than to have only one in the house. Austin purposely dumping the entire bag of Veggie Sticks onto the floor. Okay that scenario was probably more predictable than not. He has learned how to maneuver his way around the pantry and I can't even explain how annoying it is.

Dumped veggie sticks aside, he really is such an unpredictable little person. What flies one day may not always be okay the next. Some of the habits that he's recently picked up at school- I can't even. His newest party trick involves offering a piece of his snack and when it's just close enough to take a bite, he whips it back and stuffs it into his own mouth. Where on earth…? It's just my guess that he learned it at school. Or maybe he's seen it on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? (Waving my white flag: I'm one hundred percent guilty of too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse tv time.) Either way, more often then not it really is funny. But when a bite of the last Girl Scout cookie is at stake…. not cool, kid.

One of the hardest things to deal with at this age is the correlation between his wanting and needing to communicate certain things, and not knowing how. He's two, of course I expect his communication to be lacking. And even though I watch it grow stronger week after week, it's frustrating. Not only for me, but more so for him. The emotions and feels are strong with this dude. He goes from requesting something that he is easily able to communicate to a complete breakdown in the blink of an eye. Tears are streaming and he's screaming the same "word" over and over again. It's so obvious that he knows what he wants, and it's heartbreaking to see him so frustrated and helpless. I try not to call these tantrums, usually I associate a tantrum with something like not getting to eat cookies for dinner. These breakdowns are triggered by his basic human need to communicate. I can't blame him and it's exhausting for everyone. Throw in the unpredictability of when or where, multiply frustration level by ten.

Of course the unpredictable isn't always bad, I do love a good surprise. Juan surprised us on Tuesday evening, a few days early! It made my week, and I'm looking forward to the weekend A LOT more now that the whole team is here. Though it may just be spent catching him up on all of Austin's new words to avoid any uneccessary breakdowns ;)

"The only thing predictable about life is it's unpredictability." -Remy in Ratatouille 
 Heard that. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Weekends feel a lot less like weekends when it's just the two of us. Four hands and two brains are better suited for keeping up with Austin, there's no way to tiptoe around that. I'm not even being picky. I would gladly welcome any extra sets of hands that are able to anchor my patience as I explain to my screaming two year old for the forty second time that we are out of milk. Support systems are everything- husband or no husband- a mama needs friends. 

And that is what brought us to Chick-fil-A Saturday morning, a new friend! Amen to that. Austin had his first scheduled play date since the move… actually if I'm remembering correctly, it was his first one ever. Words can't describe how jolly I was getting to know my first "mom" friend in this town. Austin had a blast and even showed off his best Duke eating from the dog bowl impression. Do your thang baby boy.
And then he licked the table. 

After having beautiful sunshine two weekends ago, I had my mom mail all of my spring clothes to Texas. I was starting to worry that one day I would wake up and the warm weather would be here to stay, and I'd be stuck with nothing but leggings and long sleeves. I wasted no time hanging all of it in my closet as soon as it was delivered, and retired most of my winter and fall things to the closet in the office. Then of course the temperature dropped below freezing. Mama Nature froze the rain, the roads, and Austin's Radio Flyer trike that was left in the back yard. I swear I can hear the arrangement of pastels in my bedroom closet mocking me.

I'm getting bored of the same rotation of Austin's school pants and jackets, I'm ready to pop out his colorful shorts and see some baby legs! Those sweet little legs could really use some color. Mama's too. And the neighbors' and the neighbors' mamas'…

 I think I speak for the majority of Texas when I say Spring can't come fast enough! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Long Weekend

It's official, Austin and I survived our first weekend without Juan- and it just so happened to be three days long. Unless you count the cashiers at Target and the commissary, FaceTime with the grandmas, or chatting over the phone, we interacted with no one both Saturday and Sunday. It was a pretty chill weekend, and we enjoyed every second of it.  Our windows stayed open, and the new curtains were just barely giving in to the breeze, just enough to let us know that Spring is almost here! And then the Monday blues hit. It was so nasty outside yesterday, you would have never guessed that we had just had two gorgeous days of sunshine. We checked out an indoor play center and it ended up being exactly what we needed to get through the day. I even made my first mommy friend! We exchanged numbers ;)
It's like dating all over again.

Juan sent the most beautiful arrangement of tulips to take his place on Valentine's Day, and they've been doing a pretty good job. I have to admit, I'm not big on flowers, but tulips are always my exception.

Thanks to the beautiful weather we went exploring around our neighborhood both Saturday and Sunday. We found three different parks and of course played at all of them. Not only do we have a few parks within walking distance from our house, but we also have a little convenience store. Three ninety nine for a half gallon of milk sounds mighty fine if it means I can ride my bike to get it. 

The babe is back in school today. It feels great to have a little break again, but I know by Friday I'll be ready to have him home and all to myself for the weekend. Isn't that how it always goes? Full of the devil during the day, but as soon as they fall asleep for the night you're just dying to go in and snuggle those baby cheeks. (And bottle them up and keep them young forever.)

Have a great week and stay warm Texas!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Man Shoves and Area Rugs

Small changes around the house have made me one happy lady this week. I decided the layout of our living room wasn't working and spent an entire afternoon trying to fix it. By myself. Did I mention we have a huge, solid wood entertainment center? Woman power, y'all. This room is meant to be both the living room and dining room, but because we decided to keep the dining in the kitchen, it's just an extra large living room. Originally we had the entertainment center and couches smack dab in the middle, with an awkward space on each side. It looked okay but I wasn't completely satisfied. 
We now have a living area, and then also a pretty decent amount of space behind that leads to our back porch door. At first the teepee was in an awkward corner, now there's a ton of open space surrounding it and I love how it's sort of showcased. Juan also loves that he is able to watch t.v. without the glare from the window. But who doesn't love a good window glare?

 Our damaged and missing items claim is progressing, and our fingers are crossed that we will have it settled by the end of the month. The struggle of watching a movie with no side table to hold our tub of ice cream drinks or coffee table to put our feet on….

 I also can't wait to start hanging on the walls. And it totally just dawned on me that it'll have to wait another month until Juan gets back from NTC. What a bummer. I'm fully capable of man shoving an entertainment center to the other side of the room, but drilling two holes in a straight line to hang a mirror? Forget it. Nope. Not happening. Hide all of the drills. 

So what's the verdict? Is it progress? (Did you notice the log bed is gone!?) Some area rugs and pops of color are a must, but I think we've finally settled on a layout!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Last Year's Love

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! I went back and read last year's festivities- Valentine's Day picnicbaby Cupid's photoshoot, and Valentine's Day favorites- and I'm kinda bummed about our lack of zing this year. I've been working on Austin's goodies for his classmates and they're pretty awesome, but that's really it. Juan leaves for deployment training on Thursday, so Austin and I will be celebrating without him. Bittersweet. Just teasing, there's nothing sweet about it. Except maybe more baby kisses for me ;) He'll be back just in time for St. Patrick's Day so I'm hoping to be a little more spirited by then.

These are the cutest little Valentine's and I had such a hard time choosing which ones to make for Austin's class. Can you guess which ones we went with?



 Main Squeeze.

Wishing you a Valentine's week that is far more festive than ours!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Wednesdays We Blog

I'm hoping to eventually get this space back up more often than once a week. Until then, Wednesday is the day. Today I'm gonna shoot some real talk about our house- because like army moving, I have a lot to say. 

Like I mentioned last week, we're doing our best to settle in and make this place a home. Remember a while back when I mentioned our future house with a basement? I can't even tell you how excited I was about the thought of having my own house again... a yard, a playroom, a basement for storage! Our excitement had us completely blinded, we were more or less about to sign in blood for a house we had never toured. Juan did end up touring it, and thank the good Lord he did because we almost signed for a nightmare. I remember getting his phone call before boarding the plane to Texas for Thanksgiving and I vaguely remember him referencing Animal House. At first I was bummed- just like that, we no longer had a house. Easy come, easy go. And then Juan got a phone call that night. Another house had just become available. It was outside of the base gates, but still considered on post housing. It had a bigger yard and  -wait for it-  four bedrooms. Here's my blood, where do I sign? Juan and I were both able to tour it the next day and were immediately sold. It's older than your grandma, but it's a great amount of space for us. 

Everything but the appliances is outdated, and from what I hear there are no plans to renovate the neighborhood. So unless the foundation starts to buckle or an earthquake hits, we're stuck with the stained linoleum tile and dull countertops. I've got big plans and it's so so hard not to break the bank buying all that I'm imagining for the space. Juan's aunt back in Florida once told me that it takes years to make a home, things can't be bought all at once. I promise her words sounded far more wise… and they've really stuck with me. I have been known to go out and rapid buy decor and then hang it up as soon as I get my hands on a hammer and nail. This time around I'm waiting. Waiting for news on our broken furniture, and waiting to make sure we really like the placement of things. 

We've been sleeping on our slashed mattress with no headboard or footboard. (You can find them leaning against the wall, split in half, awaiting their fate.) Aside from the chalkboard in the kitchen, the small frames to the right are all that's hanging in our house. But oh, the space! I've been searching for the perfect rug for this room, and my creative wheels have been hard at work deciding which wall to slap some paint on. 

The walls are all an off white, which is okay in my book. I think they help to brighten the place up a bit, but we're allowed to paint upon approval. Our neutral furniture seems to fit right in, and once we find the perfect area rugs and throw pillows to liven up the rooms, I think we'll be pretty satisfied. Even the heinous brown baseboards have managed to do a fairly good job blending in with our neutral furniture. 

About the elephant log bed in our living room. I spotted it on Craigslist and knew Austin had to have it as his first big boy bed. Joke's on us because we slapped down 200 dollars on a damn bed that doesn't fit through the bedroom door frame. And wouldn't you believe it doesn't come apart. So in our living room it sits. We've been trying to resell it, but I'm starting to think we should just repurpose it as our back porch hangout. Are termites common in Texas?

I'll keep everyone updated with the progress of this place, the  s l o w  progress. This place needs to feel more like us by... the Fourth of July? That feels like an obtainable goal. Plus I have big plans to host our first party ;) 
Who says army housing has to be so drab??

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Remember Me?

Y'all. It's been two months. Did you think I was gone forever? I've entertained that thought once or twice, but I knew the break would only be temporary. Things have been so hectic! Thanksgiving in Texas, my birthday and Christmas back in Florida, and now here we are back in Texas, living. We did it, we moved! Really I thought I'd be back in the groove right after Thanksgiving- but reality hit when December rolled around and I took a hard look at my empty suitcases and boxes. I'm moving in like three weeks, do I need to be packed for that? If you follow on Instagram, you've already been getting glimpses of our life over the past few months, so I won't be backtracking to recap all that I've missed. But I'm totally reserving the right to spam you with pictures and thoughts from the bloggy break, per moments of nostalgia.

We had an awesome Christmas with my parents before beginning our new adventure. Up until the move, the furthest I had ever lived from my parents was just over two hundred miles. Throughout college and the first year and a half of marriage (and parenthood) my parents were always a phone call and three hour drive away. I was independent, yet still dependent in the sense that if Juan really pissed me off I could easily make the drive back home to mommy and daddy. And that happened... more than once or twice. But now that we live so far away, there's a whole new realm of feelings and a new reality. Juan and I are dependent on each other. We are each other's support system, and have been forced to improve in many different aspects of our marriage. Paramore rocks it to us real straight: Don't go crying to your mama 'cause you're on your own in the real world. In the short month that we've been here, both Juan and I have already been forced to grow up a tad bit more. That's not to say we're ready to switch over to full on grown-up mode, you'll still catch us hula hooping in the aisles at Target and buying the occasional pack of Ramen noodles.

A little rant about the actual moving part (and I'm no expert on moving nor army life), but as a new to army life family we are completely disappointed with the turn out of our move. I won't go as far as saying clowns were hired to move us... but clowns were hired to move us. If our furniture is not banged up or split in half, it's completely missing. Loaded onto the semi in Florida, no longer on the semi when unloading in Texas. Poof, vanished. Granted, the semi made a few deliveries along the way, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around the thought of someone being so oblivious to the freaking ginormous box full of Jeep Wrangler parts that was accidentally unloaded at the wrong house. Luckily we are only missing a few boxes and most of our stuff made it. Though from the looks of how it all made it, it was just barely. Tetris, anyone? If you take a close look, you can see Juan's motorcycle supporting the entire contents of our house. I can't even.

So we are now in the process of submitting damaged or missing items claims. A process that not only has us constantly worried about whether we will be reimbursed or SOL listed (SOL is not army jargon), but it also requires a stupid amount of paperwork and sales receipts. Receipts are obviously needed to confirm that what you are seeing is, in fact, our TempurPedic mattress with a giant slash in it and not Barbie's plastic toilet, duh. They are also needed to confirm the amount we paid for each item- luckily we bought most of our furniture from Ashley who will provide the documentation. But what if we hadn't? Will they really tell us we are shit out of luck if we can't provide the receipt from the lamp that was purchased four years ago? Sure, I have that receipt in my front pocket. Oh and it's fine that my end table is demolished, the Craigslist seller that I bought it from two years ago gave me a complimentary receipt. Ef.

That's what we're dealing with, praying it will be resolved soon. It is most discouraging trying to settle in and build a love for our house with our broken stuff taking up space. At the end of the day, most of it is still functional, and for that we are thankful. Thankful, too, that the four of us made it to Texas in one piece. 
I'm ready to make this house a home!