Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Parenthood and keeping your cool

We are in the midst of the terrible two's around here and boy are they terrible. For lack of a better word. Overnight my sweet baby has disappeared. Everything is a constant power struggle, temper tantrum or an act of defiance. I texted the hubby the other day telling him he would be coming home to a drink wife and  a messy house! (I'm just kidding. The extent of my drinking is one glass of wine a night) But that's how I felt after dealing with a screaming baby and a tantruming toddler all day long.

Discipline and structure are things I really need to work on around here. Gianna is the type of kid who doesn't respond to time out's, spanking or scolding. I am at my wits end at the best way to discipline her and yet I don't want to break her spirit or change who she is as a person. At the end of the day she is a toddler, a not a tiny adult or a mini person. A child, whose brain is struggling to comprehend all the changes it is going through. All these emotions she is feeling, along with things she is learning and discovering on a daily basis is a lot for a child to process and I know that is where the majority of the tantrums come into play. I've been searching for the best book or resource on parenting toddlers. I know there I'm not going to find a hand book out there that tell me how to handle every situation I encounter. But pretty soon I am going to have two toddler's under my roof and I want to know how to be prepared. While researching books I found some amazing parenting quotes on Pinterest and decided to share them with you. Because while I find myself getting frustrated multiple times a day on a daily basis I need to give myself grace and remind myself that Parenting isn't supposed to be easy. And my toddler isn't supposed to act like an adult. And this stage will soon pass.;


There are going to be days and moments where I do lose my cool with my kids. But at the end of the day I have to remember they are watching my every move. I can't expect them to stop throwing a tantrum or to calm down if I am screaming and losing my cool as well. I have to be the one to stop, take a deep breath and deal with my child's behavior head on. Like an adult instead of acting worse than a 2 year old. And I always have to remember to give myself and them grace. For no one is perfect. Especially myself

But in terms of toddlers and tantrums. Any discipline advice, parenting resources or anything at all you guys can recommend? Any input would be much appreciated

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What It's Really like being a Military wife

After 5.5 years of being a military wife I am no longer the young, naive newlywed trying to figure out marriage and surviving a deployment at the same time. I'm now a seasoned veteran so to speak and have weathered 4 deployments and lenghty amount of time spent apart due to training and what not. And while I may now be a little more seasoned when it comes to spending time away from my husband. It never gets easier. But I have learned a few things these past 5 years.

-Military life is not as romantic as I originally thought or that most people seem to think. When your toddler is walking around the house searching for their daddy, and your baby has been up screaming all night and you know that come 4pm no one is walking in your front door to provide you with relief, you learn really quick that this lifestyle is not romantic whatsoever

-Waiting become second nature to you. I feel like I am always waiting for something. Whether it's for my husband to leave, come home, or receive orders for his next assignment, life as a military wife is one big waiting game. And when you do figure something out it changes 25 million times before it happens. It is pure torture preparing for your husband to leave, to have said your tearful goodbyes and to drop him off at the airport only to find out that the plane was delayed until the following day and the tearful goodbyes you just said will be repeated again. Or to finally have a date set in which your husband is supposed to arrive home only to get word the flight is cancelled. For 2 weeks. Yup welcome to the military where you wait, wait and wait some more

-Holidays become just another day. This year for Valentines day a friend texted me asking if I was lonely without the hubby being home. My reply was no. I think she was shocked. In truth I didn't mean anything negative by my response. I just meant this. Any day spent apart, whether it's a holiday, birthday or anniversary is just another day without your spouse to a military wife. And any day apart sucks. Sure, I'm sad we miss out on a lot of celebrations together. But if I dwelled on the fact that my husband and I haven't spent Valentines day(or our birthday's which are also in February)together in 3 years I'd become one big emotional mess and I have to keep it together for the kids sake. So no, I try not to think about all the things he is missing. Instead I try to make a big deal out of the celebrations and special occasions that the husband is home for. In fact he is so used to me cramming all our weekends full of activities and things to do to make up for all our time spent apart that he usually has to ask to spend a weekend relaxing at home. I'm learning that we can spend quality family time without having to fill every second with an activity

- Sustaining a marriage within the military lifestyle is hard to do. The husband and I only dated for 5 months before getting married and a month later he deployed. Since then he's been coming and going constantly. We added up all our time apart and figured out that in our 5.5 years of marriage we've spent about 2.5 years together. That's more time apart than together. Obviously that's not how a marriage should be. We are so used to being alone that when he returns home it is stressful. When he's gone I become a single parent, a housekeeper, chauffeur, cook, maintenance worker, protector, money manager, etc etc. And when he comes home it is hard and frustrating to relinquish those roles back to him and have him fit back into our routine. Just as it is hard for him to walk around  a home that he feels like a stranger in. So it's a constant adjustment. One that we are continuously working on. And as usual just as we are about to figure it all out, he leaves again. So the cycle continues

-Friends/Family don't understand-And to be fair, unless you live this lifestyle how can you possibly understand what it's like. It can be frustrating, when family members act like we are selfish when we want to take a family vacation instead of go home to visit them. Hey, the effort can be made both ways. It's a constant battle, one where someone is always left hurt or feeling slighted. We are still in the process of working all that out

-I feel tired/Angry for the very first time-I think this is the first time that when the husband told me he was leaving I literally shut down. He told me while we were out for date night. Bad timing, buddy! And I pouted, complained and picked fights the whole way home. Not my finest moment, that's for sure. But for the very first time I was mad at him. Mad at him for leaving, mad at him for making us live this lifestyle. Mad at hime for all the upcoming event's he would miss. Ethan's 1st Birthday being the most important. I felt robbed. Both for myself and for our family. And we still have 10 more years of this lifestyle to go. Some days it seems impossible to get through. But now I'm getting melodramatic

And while I felt all those things and simmered in my anger for a few days I thought about something else. And that is all the good this lifestyle has taught me.

-I have moved thousands of miles away from my family and closest friends and I have made the best of this situation. I have raised two kids basically on my own. Two kids 15 months apart mind you and I've done it since Ethan was born.

While my husband is off serving a country he so loves, I am holding down the fort at home. And he knows this. He knows that I have it all(for the most part) under control and while he does worry about us, he doesn't have to stress about us.

-Our marriage has never been stronger. Sure we have to adjust to living together again, and it is easy for us to be selfish in our wants and needs since this lifestyle makes it easy for us to do so, but once you survive a deployment you can weather anything

-My husband and I are each others biggest supporters. While this lifestyle makes it very hard for me to work outside the home, my husband wants nothing more for me than to stay home and raise our children. I will forever be grateful to him and his career for making this a possibility

-I have learned that I am stronger than I realized, independent when I need to be and one who can be steady yet flexible at the same time. I have learned alot about myself since moving away from home 4.5 years ago and I still surprise myself with things I am figuring out and discovering

So while at times this lifestyle can be hard, very hard I am also very grateful for it. For the man who makes living this lifestyle worthwhile, the steady income and healthcare that we are afforded due to his job and all the unique opportunities and life experiences this life brings. Here's to another separation, one that we will rock like any other and one that will be added to my book

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I am using today to catch up on housework and laundry. My parents were in town this past week and we had a pretty eventful week! It was so sad to see them leave yesterday and I know the kids miss them terribly. I am so grateful that they were able to come down for a visit

Monday was pretty uneventful. The kids had their 9 month and 2 year well baby appointments. How is it possible that I have a 2 year old and a 9 month old
This sweet boy is 21 pounds and is in the 75% for weight. Gianna is 26 pounds and is in the bottom 10%. That cracks me up.
After the kids appointments we were off to target where Grandma and Grandpa spoiled the kids rotten with some new toys. After we arrived home the hubs and I enjoyed a night out. We ended up going to our new favorite sushi restaurant and there the hubby dropped the bomb that he would be leaving again in a month for 4 months. Needless to say date night didn't end on a happy note. But at least we enjoyed a good 20 mintues of dinner together

Tuesday we were off to the beach. My dad bought Gianna her first kite and showed her how to fly it. When I was a kid we lived a block away from a park. My dad took me there one night to fly my first kite. I accidentally let got of the string and off went my kite. I cried for hours and I vividly remember driving around in the car with my dad searching for my lost kite. We caught a glimpse of it soaring away down the freeway. I was devastated.  So as a joke my dad bought Gianna a kite and we laughed at my traumatic experience. Luckily Gianna's first kite flying experience didn't end the same way mine did.

Wednesday it started raining the minute we got down to the beach so we took the kids to Destin Commons to do some shopping.
Ethan and I posed for a picture by a cutout from our favorite show. Gotta love Duck Dynasty
 Ethan enjoyed the splash pad for the first time

We finished out the day playing on the beach and going to our favorite Italian restaurant for some good wine, antipasti and pizza

Thursday we did some shopping at the outlet mall where once again Grandma and Grandpa spoiled the kids and got them well stocked for fall clothes. We went out to lunch along the harbor and came home and enjoyed a night on the porch drinking some beers and talking well into the early morning

Gianna enjoying a train ride with Grandma
Friday was another beach day. The grandparents entertained the kids and I got to sit in my beach chair, soak up some rays and read a book. It was fantastic. We came home and I prepared a shrimp boil
This is so easy to make and beyond delicious. This has def become my new favorite meal!

Saturday was another lazy, rainy day. The grandparents took the kids and ran errands leaving the hubs and I to have the house to ourselves. I went for my run, which I'm up to 7 minutes and relaxed the porch reading a book. I started reading this today
This book is so interesting. Def has my attention. I can't wait to finish it. I will share my thoughts on it after I finish reading it.
We finished out the night relaxing, watching Beauty and the Beast with the kids and spending quality time togheter

I really enjoyed having my parents in town this week. Not only was i able to sleep in, I didn't have to get up once at night with either kid. It was heaven. I was also able to read a few books. I feel like a brand new mommy after my week of rest and relaxation. The kids and I were def sad to see my parents go. Now if only we can convince them to make the big move from Wisconsin to Florida

Friday, July 26, 2013

3 More Months

3 more months until one of my most favorite times of year. Halloween and of course my little mans first bday on the 19th of October.

I am so excited for Halloween this year. I can't wait to take both kiddos trick or treating and to the pumpkin patch

I really got into the Halloween spirit yesterday when I stopped at Carter's to stock up on clothes for the kiddos. All there Halloween gear was out

How cute is that fox costume

The kids are all set to rock their Halloween gear this year and their costumes are all ready to go!

And speaking of October being my little mans first birthday I snapped a picture of my big boy next to the newborn display at Carters

I can't believe this time last year I was buying newborn clothes for him. I may have had to wipe away a tear or two after taking this picture. He is growing up so fast

Besides prepping for Halloween I'm also in first birthday party planning mode. Can you guess the theme...

I went to Michaels yesterday and stocked up on crafting supplies. I can't wait for his party.

On a sad note the hubs leaves again in a few weeks and will be gone until the middle of December. Sigh. At least this time I am experienced with being a single mom to two kids under two and should ease back into the transition well. But that's a whole other blog post for a different day

Now the kids and I are off to the beach and to enjoy the last few days with my parents in town. Hubby has a half day and should be joining us shortly. Happy Friday everyone!

Oh and before I leave y'all I saw this yesterday. Story of my life. I'm sure all you moms can appreciate this

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhoneo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

First Family Vacation Pics

We headed down to Orlando where we stayed for a few nights and went to Seaworld and Downtown Disney. I'll have a separate post about that tomm. Then we were off to Sanibel Island, Fl. I could not contain my excitement. Although we live near Destin and go to the beach often, there is something so serene, lush, tropical and relaxing about Sanibel. No huge high rise hotels, no massive mansions on the beach. Just palm trees, the resorts and the water. And the shells! The beaches are known down there for shelling. There are hundreds of shells lining the beach and along with those are the hundreds of hermit crabs, sand dollars and star fish waiting to be found. Heaven on earth. The kids had a blast on the beach. Gianna loved collecting sea shells and we spent a week doin gnothing more than relaxing, reading, laying by the beach, swimming in the pool and trying out various yummy restaraunts. I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. Now for picture overload
We were so sad when our week was up. Looking forward to returning to Sanibel as soon as possible!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Royal Baby

I don't know why but I love the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

I will never forget watching their wedding coverage while getting my glucose test done when pregnant with Gianna. And now I can't help but smile and wipe tears from my eyes as I look at pictures or watch coverage of the royal baby

For I can all too clearly remember what it's like to give birth. The rush of emotions, the overwhelming love you feel for that little bundle of joy. The elation and exhaustion. And the fear of bringing a new baby home

That Oh shit, we are now parents feeling as you load up your child in the car for their very first car ride.

I remember when Gianna was
Born, how I sat in the backseat with her clutching her car seat and checking to make sure she was breathing every five minutes. After we arrived home she was still blissfully asleep and the bins and I sat down to eat a meal a friend had dropped off. I will never forget how he reached for my hand across the table, us both simultaneously bursting into tears. Full of emotion and unable to fully express our feelings in words

Then 15 months later, after Ethan was born. That same rush of emotion but more relaxed this time. As if we were seasoned pros. No lack of emotion but more self assurance that we would be the best parents we could possibly be

So as I watch the Duchess and Duke, her looking begone exhausted and happy. Him thrilled with his new baby I can't help but smile. For I have been there and know exactly what they are feeling. And I look at them and think, they got this.

Now I'm off to persuade the hubby to try for baby number 3!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Our first family vacation

Last summer as we were preparing for my husband to leave we started discussing how important it would be for our family to take a family vacation after his deployment.
Our last official vacation was our honeymoon in 2009. So I'd say we were def overdue. Sure we had some weekend get aways and trips home to Wi to visit our families but to me those don't count as vacations.
To me a vacation is all about getting away from everything, getting time to unwind, reconnect and relax. Exactly what we needed after this deployment.
In January we started planning where we wanted to go. We tossed around going home to Wi but quickly tossed that out the window. When my husband left last July he left Gianna and myself. When he came home he came home to a six month old
Baby and a toddler. Lots of adjustments for everyone. We just wanted a trip for the four of us. Plus the drive to Wi was out of the question. 17 hours in the car with two young kids. Yikes. And flying was also out since that would have added to the cost of our trip. If we didn't have dogs flying would be fine. But let me tell you, the code of boarding two dogs each over 70 pounds for a week and a half is insane. Like two airplane tickets insane. So flying was a no go
I threw out the idea of Disney but the hubby wants to take the kids when they are older so they will remember it. I then suggested Sanibel Island, fl. It's further South from us here near Destin and still along the gulf coast. I went there numerous time with my family growing up and it is my absolute favorite place to go.
So Sanibel it was. I booked a condo at the resort I stayed at with my family and started packing and planning for this trip come April. We also decided to take advantage of Seaworlds free tickets for the military and planes to stop in Orlando for a few days before heading to Sanibel. Our first family trip was all set. Ill be back Tomm with pics from our trip and advice for traveling with two under two
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:FL-4,Baker,United States

Sneak peek

We had family pictures taken this past Sunday. My amazing friend is a budding photographer and is always willing to take pictures of the kids for me.

We went out to a field near our house and she snapped some of Gianna for her 2 year old pics and then got some of the four of us

Here is a sneak peek

I love my babies so much.
- Posted using BlogPress from

my iPhone

Monday, July 22, 2013

Couch to 5K update

Some inspiration for y'all

Today marks the start of week 3 of my couch to 5k. I can't believe I'm already three weeks in. A few weeks ago I hadn't run or worked out consistently in years. Now I'm looking forward to my workouts and even throwing in extra runs!
This week the real work begins. I start my 6 minute jog today and go up a minute the rest of the week! When I started I was only running for two minutes. This will be interesting

I still have a lot to work on. I need to loosen up my running form, find a better way to work through or semi heal my shin splints and not be so focused on the clock

For me running is a mind over matter thing. I can't clear my head enough to just let go and enjoy the run. I'm too busy looking at my watch to see if my time is up. I def need to work on that

But as far as the runs and workouts go I'm staying on course and loving it.

The first week I was very discouraged. I cut out a lot of foods and really watched what I ate. With my new workout program I thought Id be on the fast track to losing. Nope by the end of the week I gained 6 pounds. 6 pounds after eating basically salads, fruit smoothies and chicken. So last week I ate what I normally do and although I haven't lost I haven't gained. This week I will go back to watching more of what I eat but not depriving myself of anything either. Here's to week 3!'

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone