Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mom Confession:Playing with My Kid

Some of you may remember my pregnancy confession that I HATED being pregnant. I did, and even though we want a second child I am absolutely not looking forward to being pregnant again. So, here's my mom confession....I don't enjoy playing with my kid.

I find sitting coloring, playing with legos, sitting at Belle's kitchen, you name it absolutely positively mind numbing. I'm fine doing it for five or ten minutes but much beyond that I get antsy. I feel the need to go and do something...anything. Until recently Belle would play quite independently for some time. Even when she was little and just rolling around on a play mat, as long as I put a variety of things around her she was happy for (the baby equivalent) of a long time playing by herself. Recently, though, if I'm not sitting and playing with her all she wants to do is watch cartoons and then proceeds to throw a fit if I don't put in the DVD she brings to me. 
While I don't believe watching cartoons is a horrible thing for her I don't want her watching them all day, every day. So, I'm trying to find ways to keep her attention during the day without TV and without losing my mind. My goal is to have no TV on in the morning...we have breakfast, clean-up, and then find an activity or two to do. If there are errands we do those in the morning, go to the children's museum, a walk/the park if weather permits, or try out new (inexpensive) toddler activities.
I know some people who love to sit and play with their kids but that's just not me. Don't get me wrong, I love her to pieces and I really enjoy watching her learn and play but sitting with her all day doing things is not my favorite. Recently Belle has enjoyed her bucket of pom poms and putting pipe cleaners into a colander. Soon I'm going to try some new activities I found on pintrest that are inexpensive and easy to manage. I know she needs stimulation and the opportunity to explore so my goal is to be better about supporting those needs. I'm not a perfect mom, nor do I expect myself to be, but I know that I need to challenge myself to do my best and not become complacent. 
So there it is...my mom confession. What's yours? If you're a parent, I know you have one! ;)

Monday, January 12, 2015

WE. DID. IT.

Have you ever looked back on a part of your life and all of a sudden have a realization along the lines of "I did it!"? While driving to dinner the other night with The LT it suddenly hit me that not only are we coming to the end of our journey here at Fort Lewis, but we did it! We survived! For The LT that feeling mostly encompasses his deployment and (almost) making it to Captain. For me the feeling is SO much more than that.


See, a lot of our family and friends thought I was crazy for actually moving up here knowing that The LT would deploy very soon after we arrived. I had no job lined up, while we had a few friends stationed here at the time I had no community I could easily drop in to, and I would be 2,500 miles away from everyone I was close to. But where would I have gone if I hadn't moved here with my husband? Yes, I could have stayed with my sister or MIL but those places weren't ever a "home" to me...they are their homes. Even if my mom had still been alive she would have been living in Houston which wasn't ever home to me...so again, where would I have gone? I suppose some people could have expected me to move back to DFW and rent an apartment or small house. I had plenty of connections to get a job and lots of support there, but that felt like moving backwards. By the end of our time at Fort Sill I had survived a year that included getting married, my mom passing away, joining the active duty Army community, moving to Oklahoma, and more....going backwards just seemed like the ultimate form of defeat. I just couldn't do it. 


So, I convinced myself that Fort Lewis was where I needed to be. My husband would need my support while getting ready for his deployment and I needed to set my roots as an Army Wife. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was terrifying in the beginning, but I forced myself to go to FRG meetings and events. I introduced myself to people, made connections, volunteered, and slowly but surely built myself a support system. It was hard...really hard. Some days I felt defeated...especially in the few weeks after I miscarried. Then when I found out I was pregnant, after The LT had deployed, I had even more inquiries in to whether I would move back to Texas. I put on a brave face and told everyone this was where I needed to be...and most of the time I believed what I was saying. 


Looking back, I'm so thankful I dug my heels in here and refused to believe this wasn't where I was meant to be. I made incredible friends and friends who might as well be are family....I can't even imagine what life would be like without them though. Despite the fact that many of them have left Washington and the rest I will be leaving behind when we drive south next month, they will ALWAYS be part of my life. 


These three years at Fort Lewis brought us many challenges: miscarriage, deployment, medivac home for The LT, a new baby and all that goes with it, several challenging jobs for The LT, starting House 6 Creations, and so much more...but we did it. WE. DID. IT. 
This life...this military life...is challenging but the rewards we reap from it make it all worth it in the end. So, on to the next chapter for us. No, I don't know where we will be living a year from now but as per usual, I try to take it one set of orders at a time, which in this case means trying not to look past September for now. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Life Right Now: Sales, Organizing, and PCS Planning



We have finally returned to normal life after our glorious Hawaii vacation. Routines are back in action, The LT is back to work, and I'm busy cramming as much in to January as possible. I have several posts I want to do, including one about Hawaii, but to get me back in the blogging grove I felt a "life right now" post was in order...especially since it's been a month since I last posted. 
If you pay attention to nothing else in this entire post pay attention to the following House 6 Creations sale! I'm determined to move the least amount of stuff 2,500 miles as possible which means y'all get to take advantage of AMAZING discounts on ALL H6C items.


-All orders from $1-$49 get 15% OFF your TOTAL BEFORE tax (WA State residents only) and/or shipping. Use "PCS15" for Etsy orders.

-All orders of $50 or more get 25% OFF your TOTAL BEFORE tax (WA State residents only) and/or shipping. Use "PCS25" for Etsy orders.

To see all items for sale go to the "FOR SALE" album.

Sale applies to any purchases done via Facebook or Etsy. All items available for purchase via Etsy are also available on Facebook, but not all Facebook items are available on Etsy.



I am in FULL PCS preparation...which means that the house got WAY messier and is starting to get more organized again. I went through my closet and the kitchen and pulled out all the things I don't use or wear anymore. No use in moving stuff I don't need....and it makes room for more kitchen gadgets and clothes! I posted a bunch of it on garage sale pages for JBLM and have even made a little money off it! Weeeeeeee!!! Anything I don't sell I will just donate but I figured it was worth a try to get some cash out of it all. I took all of our big storage bins out from the closets and the garage. Some things needed to move to larger totes, others to smaller, and some stuff just needed to be thrown out all together. So thankful that project is completed...just need to move them all back to the garage now. I also got the latest of Belle's too small clothes packed away and stored so that they (hopefully) get packed in a reasonable manner. 

Once we returned from Hawaii I finally let myself download from my brain all the things I wanted to get done before the packers show up which led to a rather epic to-do list. I'm pretty happy with the amount I've chipped away at over the last 10 days...even if it does include spending almost $1,500 on my car. I knew I needed new tires soon, as well as major maintenance, and I feel a lot better driving cross country with a weighed down car if I know everything is in top shape. The price tag hurts but I  knew it was coming. I'm also trying to get in as many lunch, coffee, play, and other types of friend dates as I can before we leave. It makes my schedule more hectic sometimes than I prefer in an ideal world but I will have plenty of days with an empty schedule once we get to Oklahoma and have to get the house set up.

Speaking of Oklahoma and road trips....we decided to take the California route this time which means we get to see several family friends. Honestly, these "family friends" are all people I have known for close to my entire life and they are essentially family except we aren't technically related. Our route right now is Fort Lewis-Crater Lake, OR- San Francisco- San Diego- Scottsdale- Albuquerque- Lawton, OK. The extra bonus is that we will make a little vacation out of it and spend a few extra days in San Francisco, San Diego, and Scottsdale to visit and see the sights....hopefully it will make driving 2,500 miles with a 2 year old less miserable. Fingers crossed.

Well, my Tiny Terror (aka Sweet Adorable Never-Does-Anything-She-Shouldn't Belle) is starting to wake up so this will have to do for today. I promise to be back again soon! Don't forget to check out the House 6 Creations Sale!!!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Belle's First Snow

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we had a real, legitimate, snow here on Fort Lewis!! Unfortunately it mostly melted by the afternoon once the sun came out and it got above freezing but we managed to bundle up in the morning so Belle could play in it. She didn't last too long, and hated when it got on her face, but there were lots of giggles which always makes it worth it. Since I know you don't really care to hear me blabber on about it and would rather see pictures...here you go!


There was throwing and running after balls...and husbands who refused to wear a jacket.

Furniture rearranging...


Rosy cheeked cuteness  along with the cutest coat ever that my sister found.


Belle leading me around like only a bossy toddler can.

I even got to break out my new purple wellies!!


So, there you have it! Belle's first experience with snow....short, sweet, but adorable as always. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful in 2014

A friend of mine, every year, writes a note on Facebook for all the things she's thankful for. She, like me, is horrible about doing the "3 things I'm thankful for" posts for a week or month. I tried once and made it like 3 of the 7 days and was always late on doing it. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude for our good fortunes I'm doing my big thankful post here! So here it goes, this year I'm thankful for:
  • All our budgeting and frugal-ness paying off allowing us to take a Hawaii vacation this year. And for the friends who are graciously letting us stay with them while we are there...making traveling with a toddler infinitely easier.
  • Friends/down-the-street-neighbors to do babystitting swaps with. Having a regular date day/night without having to pay for a babysitter has been beyond awesome. Belle always has such a good time with them and I never worry about her dairy allergy since their son can't have dairy either. I will seriously miss having them down the street when we PCS.
  • All the traveling we've been able to do this year. We were able to celebrate birthdays and weddings in Texas. Spend time in Colorado with friends who might as well be family. Road trip to Canada which marked both Belle's first international trip and her first road trip..which we all survived.
  • Colleen, my sister...it's not always easy to remain close when you live a few thousand miles away and both have young children but she's the only person I have left who knows what it was like to grow up in our family. Without her I would have no one left in my immediate family which is worth more than I can ever explain. Between the two of us we have enough memories to reconstruct our mother's cryptic "recipes."
  • The LT not only for being the amazing man and husband he is but for being such a great father. For allowing me to escape the house on the weekends for a pedicure, coffee and blogging at starbucks, errands, or to go with a friend to her hair appointment and hold her baby since her husband is deployed. 
  • The Army. Yes, sometimes I loathe the Army for all the time it takes my husband away from home or for separating us from friends but it has given us so much and put so many incredible people in our lives. 
  • Our sweet sweet Arabella. Yes, she tests my patience like any toddler but she's such a vivacious and tenacious little girl. I love watching her personality get bigger and bigger each day.
  • On post housing because without it The LT would never see Belle Monday through Friday. Yes, we sacrificed a bit of square footage by leaving our house in Yelm, and money because we broke our lease but it was so worth it. Most days he's home for breakfast, 2-3 days per week for lunch, and he almost always is back for bath time if not Belle's dinner time as well. I'm so thankful for our house as well as it's location. It's been such a great home to us these past two years. 
  • Neflix. More specifically, Gilmore Girls on Netflix. It really is an Army Wife's best friend when her husband is away. 
  • CYSS and hourly care on post. It was a giant pain in the butt to get Belle enrolled but I'm glad I did. We've had good fortune with Belle's dairy allergy at the facility I take her to and have yet to have a sick toddler because she ate something she shouldn't. There's really no way to beat the $4/hour rate and it's allowed me to go back to ballet once a week. She's gotten comfortable there and I know her time there each week is good for her.
  • MOPS, especially my Fort Lewis MOPS group. I love the fellowship of all the moms I've met, the two hours in childcare is good for Belle, and boy have I met some incredible women there. I know being a part of any MOPS group would be amazing but being able to be a part of a group of military spouse moms makes life as an Army wife with a toddler bearable on the toughest of days. 
  • My same-named-alter-ego best friend...well she's not really my alter ego but she's my not-so-evil twin living in a different time zone leading a remarkably similar life to me. Our children MUST get married. Also, I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone more than 24 hours without talking with her since we met. I love you, couldn't survive without you.
  • My sister-from-another-mother who has, in the past, been mistaken for another family member of mine. I won't mention the specifics but you know who you are. You help me raise Belle from 1,000 miles away and even if nothing else good came from our time at Fort Lewis (which there is plenty of other positive things from our time here but go with me for argument's sake) I met you and your incredible family. You will never be rid of me...I'm like a leech who won't let go. ;) I love you and can't believe how grown your children are getting...it's not okay. 
  • All of my incredible friends both near and far. I gather strength from all of you in different ways. I need every single one of you in my life so again...I'm a leech who won't let go. #sorrynotsorry
  • My House 6 Creations customers. Many of you are friends or family members who have graciously supported me and my little business. More and more of you are complete strangers who have stumbled upon my products via Etsy, this blog, or from other corners of the internet. 
  • For good babysitters who Belle loves and for the amazing parents that raised them to be such responsible young adults.
  • Last, but not least, our family. For visiting us thousands of miles away, putting us up when we visit, taking us out to eat for the foods we can't get in Washington, and for spoiling Belle. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A real Gilmore relives Gilmore Girls

So, my maiden name is Gilmore and when the show Gilmore Girls came out my family (mom, sister, and I) were indeed...The Gilmore Girls. Actually, the only living Gilmores  were all women....my mom, Colleen, my Aunt (dad's sister), Grandmother (dad's mom), and I. Not surprisingly, we HAD to watch it when we heard it was coming out on The WB. All three of us immediately fell in love with the show and always sat down all together to watch it each week. When my sister, Colleen, went off to college about half way through the series my mom and I continued to watch it and I remember being super excited to call Colleen and talk about each episode. 


For years I had wished and hoped the series would make its debut on Netflix and back in October it FINALLY did!! Shortly after I started watching an episode here and there when I had time. Thennnnnnnnn The LT went back out to the field for two weeks and the Gilmore Girls binge watching commenced. Like, BIG TIME. Our DVR is full of all the shows we record that I normally watch throughout the week in my down time from the last three weeks. I literally have not watched anything else for almost three weeks. Insert sheepish grin here
Around season 3 or 4 in my binge watching I started making a list of all the things I forgot, love, hate, or just wanted to take note of. So here are a REAL Gilmore girl's insights to Gilmore Girls.
  • I wish my first boyfriend had been like Dean.
  • Butttttt I kinda wish my first boyfriend had been like Jess too. Yeah...I know I'm not making any sense.
  • I want all of Lorelei's coats. Like, every.single.one. And since Lauren Graham is pretty tall it's likely that they might actually fit me!
  • Re-watching the show took me back to the fashion of my teen years. It premiered when I was 12 (7th grade) and ended when I was 18 (freshman year of college). The shrug sweaters, asymmetrical and handkerchief style dresses, the just-barely-skim-the-top-of-your-jeans tops, and so much more. 
  • My heart broke all over again watching Luke and Lorelei's relationship disintegrate after April showed up.
  • TOTALLY forgot about April all together.
  • Jess got SUPER handsome with age...and so glad he became successful and got his life together. 
  • I hated then loved then loved/hated Logan. By the end I loved him and hated to see him with a broken heart.
  • The show, the people, the relationships is my life...but not my life at all. 
  • Liz (Luke's sister) asks for matzot brei after yelling at Luke she's pregnant! I couldn't believe it! 
  • I can't decide if I love to hate Paris or hate to love her. Jury is still out on that one...
  • WHY oh WHY didn't it work out with Luke and Lorelei!
  • Sad when Lorelei and Chris didn't work out but not surprised. As an (imaginary) friend of Lorelei, I was glad she tried with Christopher so that she wouldn't ever wonder "what if?"
  • Why did Logan have to be such a monumental jerk when his business venture failed!?
  • Miss Patty must have had some sort of weight loss surgery between seasons 6 and 7 because throughout the last season you can tell she loses quite a bit of weight.
  • Logan's proposal was SO awkward. Good lord, WHY did he put her on the spot like that!?
  • I must have missed the last two episodes of the series because I don't remember them at all...stupid college getting in the way.
  • I teared up like every five minutes during the finale.
  • These people are my people! How can it be over!? I want to live in Stars Hollow.....
  • Luke and Lorelei are back together! Kinda...well I think so. I'm glad she won't be alone with Rory gone.
  • Luke opened the diner just for Rory before she left! Gosh I love him, he's such a good man. Those girls need him...and he needs them. 
  • WHY HASN'T A GILMORE GIRLS MOVIE BEEN MADE!?!?!?!?!
I seriously love this show. It reminds me of good times with my mom and sister. My last name may be different now but I will always be a Gilmore Girl at heart. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Life Right Now

Well, I figure enough has happened lately that y'all deserve a general update again. First off, I finished Gone With the Wind! It was a beast of a book but I'm SO glad I finally read it cover to cover....metaphorically speaking since I have the kindle version but you catch my drift. If I can get my act together this week I'm going to try to write a post all about my devotion to the book and movie. Also, I plan to watch the movie as soon as The LT heads back out to the field since it is far from his favorite film to watch. 

We have PCS orders y'all!!!! We will be heading back to Fort Sill, OK around the first of March for The LT's Field Artillery Captain's Career Course (FA CCC). We don't have our pack out dates yet but we are hoping to have packers at the end of February and hit the road the last few days of February or first of March. We will extend the road trip a little in order to spend some time visiting friends along the way. I'm hoping over the next month or so we can start to get some of the official stuff nailed down...packers, movers, potential house hunting trip, etc. We are already starting the early prep for the PCS...things I hope to post about as we go through them. I'm determined to eat down our pantry and freezer early so we don't end up with super weird meals at the end. I'd rather go grocery shopping twice a week that last month and just purchase what we need for a few days each time over eating weird mix and match meals for 2-3 weeks. As a result, I'm currently noshing on some Lorna Doone shortbread cookies that I'm pretty sure I bought about halfway through my pregnancy because they were the most delicious thing in the world at the time. 

The LT and I are both excited about PCSing and a little sad. We are looking forward to being closer to family and moving on to the next phase in his career. On the flip side, we feel like we have some really great friends here and enjoy our day to day life and leaving that is always the hardest part. 

We are FINALLY going to Hawaii!!! I've been dying to go to Hawaii while we are still living on the west coast and hopefully while Belle is under 2 so we don't have to buy an extra plane ticket. We are fortunate enough to have extremely generous friends who are currently stationed in Hawaii that are letting us stay with them! I'm so SO excited to visit our friends, spend time at the beach, see the sights, relax, and see Belle take in all the adventures Hawaii has to offer. There are no words to express how much I'm looking forward to our trip. 

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. Until next time my lovelies!

In case you missed it...check out House 6 Creations on The Pearl and The Pilot last week!
 
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