Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christmas for Allie

Well, now that Halloween is over, I can officially start thinking about Christmas. This really is my favorite time of year!! I've got presents taken care of for extended family, and I'm so glad that's finished. Last year I was really last minute on buying things, and there was too much running around, so I'm trying hard to have everything done with plenty of time to spare.
We got an American Girl catalog in the mail recently, and Annaleigh has that thing memorized. As much as I love those dolls (I wanted one so badly growing up) there is no way I'm buying a three year old one-especially with a puppy who still chews everything. Maybe one day, but it will be some sort of right of passage thing. ;)
I've spent time looking around at different 18" dolls, and finally settled on this one from Toys R Us. It's a Journey Girl, and they have really good reviews (besides the hair), but they're $33 which is way cheaper than A.G. (And apparently it's not that hard to change up doll's hair? You can learn how to do anything online...) Allie has a cheap doll from Hobby Lobby, but her eyes are going wonky-she's fine, but not great.

(the doll in the middle is the Journey doll  (with a wig) next to two American Girls)
I decided to practice my sewing skills, and do something useful, so I'm planning on making a bunch of outfits to give her at Christmas along with the doll. It's a really non-threatening way to learn, haha.  It's going to take me a while before I'm ready to let Annaleigh go out in public in the things I make her, but I don't care if the doll looks like a mess.  Here's a couple things I've started:

pillowcase dress. I actually like the colors on this one so much, I think I'm going to make Allie a version for herself one day
My failed skirt attempt from earlier. I changed up the elastic and later I'll add ribbon to make shoulder straps

Monday, October 29, 2012


Busy weekend! The weather has been perfect here-chilly enough to feel like fall, but nice enough to be outside. Spent all Saturday at the park, then went to a fall festival at Sam's school. Sunday-church and  fall festival there!


I should have him do yoga with me!

Allie changed her mind and decided she loves her owl

Annaleigh trying "inja" moves

Owen was the hit of the night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

blessing in disguise

Last month when the whole moving fiasco went down, I thought it was a disaster. Now I'm realizing it was actually a blessing. For the first time in over a year, I feel like I can finally breathe. There is nothing that we have to do, nothing that we're waiting on. Last July we had some of Joel's family move in with us, I got pregnant, we moved, had a baby, and moved again. We've only got about five months left here now, and I know that if we were planning on doing the move ourselves again, that would always be on the back of my mind. But since our last move was such a mess, we're letting the military take care of it for us, and it's wonderful. I'm sure it's a lot of things, but I have just felt so happy since moving to Texas, but I do think that not having the worry of moving again is the main part.

Oh, and I know it's technically not pc to talk about money, but we got reimbursed by TMO this week. Overall, we made around 2K this move, which makes me really grateful things didn't work out with the moving company (now that it's all over) since it only looked like we were going to lose money with them. Two thousand dollars is a lot of money, and almost makes doing it ourselves again tempting, but honestly, we're not hurting for money, we don't have debt to pay off, and it's not like we're actually losing anything, so we're still sticking with our decision to not do it ourselves this time around. Maybe next next time though. ;)

I'm also reeeeeally hoping it's not a mistake and we don't end up having to pay part back, but we were given $4,300 for the trip from GA to TX (it includes weight tickets from two cars, plus all meals, gas, hotels, ect...) but that definitely covers all our expenses PLUS the expensive mechanic bills we had right before we left. So all in all, everything worked out nicely in the end!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

aaaah kids...

Well, I finished off my two big projects this week, both with slightly disappointing results. First of all, I finished Allie's costume (minus owl "ears" I still need to pin on). A couple months ago while on pinterest Allie and I saw an owl costume from and she said she wanted to be an owl. Awesome, because it looked like something I could do! I followed the tutorial (although I used heavy duty craft glue rather than a sewing machine) and although it took forever since I made the feathers too small, it was simple and fun, and she's been super excited to wear it. Until today. I had her try it on, and now she hates it. It's actually almost funny.
In retrospect, I wish I had done the wings like they were on the tutorial, or at least made them brown. I feel like they're awkward. Also, there isn't a beak ( I just stuck a piece of felt there to give you an idea since Annaleigh refused to put the thing on) the plan was to just "paint" a beak on her nose.

the back-lots and lots of feathers
It kind of reminds me of the last time I made something for Sam:
I patched a hole up in his pants, and I thought it came out cute, but he hates them. Refuses to wear them. Who woulda guessed?
Also finished up the skirt. In another "retrospect" moment, I should have made a very simple one to start off with instead of messing with all the ruffles, and learned how to measure/sew properly, because the skirt came out too short and tight for my liking. (I also didn't line the ruffles up properly in the back where the seam is) I used this tutorial:
and it's a really good one. Easy enough for me to understand. I'll definitely try it again once I have the basics of skirt making mastered!
It was supposed to have another row of red ruffles under the black layer but it got lost in there. :P It actually looks better here than in real life.
silly girl :)
 Oh, bahaha. I was feeling a little guilty because I was spending so much time on Allie's skirt and costume, so I asked Sam if he wanted me to make him one next year. He very politely declined and said we should just buy him one. Good thing Owen is still too little to give me an opinion! ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

House Tour, part 1

Here are a few pictures of our home in Texas! I'll post the rest in a few days (or whenever they're clean ;) It's a good deal smaller than our last house, but we've pretty much got everything unpacked now!
Here's the living room:

I h.a.t.e. that slipcover. Looking forward to getting a new couch when we move!

hallway-pictures from Cali & France
 View from the dining room

not a whole lot of counterspace, but
I really appreciate that the microwave is at least off them!

Top of the stairs!
Something the kids and I made (although I still need to paint over the fingerprints Annaleigh added and maybe redo the footprints)
It has Allie's handprints, Sam drew the heart, and Owen's sweet little baby feet

Owen's little room (with the monster dollhouse that we have officially decided to sale).
His crib set doesn't match everything else, but I have the perfect sheets and blanket (thanks to his grandma and grandpa in France!) for when I take the bumper down.

Close up of the picture Joel doesn't like ;)

the lamp needs help...
another view

Saturday, October 20, 2012

tippy toes

I'm feeling kind of passive aggressive this morning. I feel as if I've spent my whole life walking on tiptoes trying not to offend, and yet still managing to fail completely. My toes are getting tired...
Anyways, I thought I'd share one of my very favorite songs. It has helped me a lot the last two weeks.
Steven Curtis Chapman wrote this after his little girl died (it's not like his other song "Heaven is the Face" that makes me bawl whenever I hear it). It's actually quite beautiful.

Making me a football fan

I've decided to become a football fan (because that's how it works of course). Or more technically, Joel decided.
Joel is a huge sports fan, and while I loved hockey in high school, I'm not that into them. A couple months ago I was half...ok...a fourth listening to Joel talk about some team and I realized that for the past nine years, I've pretty much not been listening to him.To my credit, I do it in a nice way. I at least pretend that I'm listening, but I don't think he's fooled.
So I decided to make an effort. I told my husband to pick a sport (out of soccer, football, and basketball), so he picked football, and since he didn't have one specific favorite team, we had to pick a team. Denver Broncos made the final cut. We sat down together and I learned the rules of football. If there is talk of the Broncos in the house, I am doing my very best to actively listen, and I've even watched a few (well, a part of a few) games. I think it makes Joel happy to finally have me participate in something he cares about, and I'm actually finding it a lot of fun. Joel even bought me a jersey. :)
The funny part of this all, is that Sam has very clearly stated that he is not going to be a Bronco fan. Apparently he already has a team-the Chicago Bears.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

first bites

Owen had his first taste of food today! (Well, technically, I gave him a tiny bit of guacamole yesterday...) I'm not in a real hurry to get him started on food. First, the new recommendation is to wait until 6 months to help with allergies, and second, spoon feeding a baby just isn't one of my favorite things to do, and once you really start, there's no going back. So I kinda figure I won't rush things. I do think he's getting ready now though, so I'm going to slowly start introducing foods to him. I plan on making his baby food, since I did that with Annaleigh, and it turned out to be really easy and actually fun to do. Anyways, I decided to start with carrots, because I had some of those on hand! Although it seems that avocados are pretty much the perfect baby food, so I'll need to stalk up on those too. Annaleigh had a really bad allergy to oats, and from other reading I've done, I'm pretty sure we'll be staying away from grains for a while.

If you really care, I found this article pretty interesting:

Anyways, I put Owen in his high chair and just plopped some carrots right on the tray. I figured he could play in it, and maybe get some in his own mouth just to start trying new tastes. It was amazing. The first dinner since he was born that we haven't held him. At least that's what it seems like. He was so fascinated by it! I think these pictures say it all :)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

our new normal

We all know kids are expensive, but losing a laptop to baby spit-up? Bummer. Thankfully Joel has a computer so I'm using his until we figure out whether or not it's worth it to try to get mine fixed...:/

Anyways, Joel went back to work on Friday. It was the first full day he's had to work since two weeks before we left Georgia. It was a good run! As nice as it was having him around, I think we're all ready to be on a normal schedule again. He's working a "mid" shift (3pm-midnight) so it's a lot different than what we are used to. It's only for five months, and this is only the second night on that shift, but I think it's going to work well for us. Joel gets an hour break, so he comes home for dinner, which is really nice, otherwise he wouldn't see Sam at all during the week. Evenings might get a little lonely, but for now I've been busy. Sam's doing great at his new school. Since we're at a training base, kids come and go all the time, so a new student is nothing new. I've also noticed Texas kids (and people in general) are so nice. I really do love it here...

I'm making Allie a Halloween costume, which is taking me forever, and I've officially decided to really start practicing on my sewing machine. I've had a lot of ideas, but I was always too tired while pregnant, and then there was all that packing...I did make a "fast" (they took me forever, but I did them as quickly as I could) pair of pants for Owen before we left GA though. They were really just practice, but I'm trying hard to make a skirt for Allie. It'll either be cute or a learning experience. Definitely hoping for cute though. :)
My first pair of pants. Didn't leave enough room for a diaper. Oops!

I love this picture of my boys :)
btw, in case you are curious, I  used this tutorial:
 I LOVE her website. All the details and pictures make everything so clear.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

five year plan

I've thought a lot about what I want to do with my life once the kids get older, and I've never really come to any kind of conclusion. I've always figured that once the baby was about to start pre-school, I'd start going back to school myself, but I had no clue what exactly that would be for. A month or two ago after one of Owen's late night feedings I couldn't go back to sleep, and it kind of came to me that I know what I want to do. I figured that like a lot of two a.m. decisions it would fade or disappear completely, but instead of that, the more I think about it, the more I feel certain that I know what I want to do, and I feel excited and ready to do it.
So...drum roll....
I want to study spiders. No, not really. Spiders are gross. I want to work with the elderly. I don't know in exactly what shape or form, but I have a few ideas.  The only "thing" I'm still trying to figure out is what I want my career to be. Or more specifically, I don't know that I want an actual career. I want to be home when the kids get home from school, and I don't want to have to hire a babysitter for the summer. I have plenty of time to work on the details. If I decide to go for an actual paying job, I think I'd like to be an activities director for a nursing home. Otherwise, I'd probably try to do something through the church. Maybe take some college courses on geriatric psychology, but mostly just find someone and be with them.  I know a lot of this is coming from my year working in a nursing home. The loneliness there is devastating. I just keeping thinking of all those people who live a full and happy life (or a not so happy life in some cases) and then end it alone. I think of the sweet little old ladies sitting in their wheelchairs in a line in a hall rocking their tiny plastic baby dolls, and my heart breaks for them. I just keep thinking that if I could do something to bring them a little bit of sunshine, then that would be something worth doing. So anyways, there it is. This is the latest of what is going on in my little head.
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