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Friday, October 23, 2015

Indian Summer

The last few days have seen me utterly absent from the Internet thanks to gorgeous Fall weather with highs in the 80s. Little Will and I are both over the sickies of the past three weeks, so we've been really milking these unseasonably warm Illinois days while they last. 

We've been spending most of Little Will's waking hours outside. And while I love a cute Fall outfit as much as the next basic blogger, I would never wish away this gorgeous weather. I prefer pants on my toddler to be optional at all times. 

Besides, you can STILL bake all the pumpkin treats even when it's 80 degrees and you are reluctantly cranking the A/C. 

"WOWWWWW," he said, upon stacking the measuring cups neatly. Also, belly button. 

These muffins (with plain water rather than milk because we were out; still delicious). These cookies (with less than a full cup of pumpkin and about 3/4 the full cup of granulated sugar; still delicious). 

Ever since reading St. John Paul the Great: His Five Loves, I've been a little obsessed with St. John Paul II. (Quick and dirty review: the book lacks a little flow. In other words, it's not all that well organized and could use some heavy editing. I think I heard it was thrown together quickly for St. JPII's canonization. BUT! I really enjoyed reading it and still highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about this legendary saint.) ANYWAY, after lots of prayers for a just outcome and merely a couple days after telling Will how much I REALLY REALLY LOVE St. JPII, we find out on his feast day: no more trial next month. I really think it was a sign he was looking out for me. Or not, fine, but I love him. 

I'm currently waiting for the word "GO" from Will on whether to start dinner. (Dinner #2 for me, don't worry). That's right, TDY is officially over in about ONE HOUR. Hence, all the baking. This TDY was okay. Still definitely preferred over fourth trimester TDYs. In fact, the first week was a breeze, the middle three weeks were pretty awful, but this past week of Indian summer was again pretty easygoing. I'm looking forward to lots of family time and bing able to cook a meal without this happening. 

Are we the only ones who hoard TV cables?

I won't hold my breath or anything. 


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Wheel of Where

^^Little Will gazes out over the St. Louis skyscrape, pondering where the Air Force will send us next. Kidding. I think he was taking a break from running around in circles around the steel poles separating areas of the stadium. You know. The ones sprouting out of the concrete. Everyone in the vicinity suffered multiple heart attacks that day. … 

Unlike last time, I haven't been obsessing over the imminent news of where the Air Force will send us next. My brain has just been too busy with other things, which, in my case, is good, because I will obsess and overanalyze amidst all the uncertainty. 

For the record, last time we got the call on a Wednesday afternoon, soooo don't mind me nervously checking my phone every Wednesday. See. I'm doing it again already.

We think we'll PCS again in July 2016. Little Will will be 2.5 and Zelie will be 8 months old. For a while we thought we might be going in January, right around the two-year mark since we've been in St. Louis, but as September came and passed without any news, we are thinking that's pretty unlikely. Three months just isn't enough notice, but—it's the military—I guess you never know. 

When we found out we were moving to St. Louis, it was not on our radar at all. We had never heard of Scott Air Force Base, nor did we really even know where St. Louis was. The entire Midwest was just a big blob to the left in the map in our minds. I'm sorry to admit it. We were geo-centric East Coasters all the way. The Air Force lets you submit a "preference list" of bases or geographical areas where you'd like to go. Obviously, it's just a list of "suggestions" for the higher-ups, and we didn't get assigned a base from our list the first time around. Nevertheless, many of Will's JAG friends have gotten assignments from their lists for their second assignments, so we are allowing ourselves to be a teensy bit hopeful. Our preference list is as follows (and if any of these bases suck, keep it to yourself because it's obviously too late to change anything):

1 - Andrews - ADC (DC Area)
2 - MacDill - ADC (Tampa, FL)
3 - Fort Meade - ADC (DC Area)
4 - Charleston - ADC 
5 - That one base in NC - ADC 
6 - That other base in NC  - ADC 
7 - Dover - ADC (Delaware) 
8 - Langley Eustis - ADC (Virginia)
9 - England/Germany 
10 - England/Germany 

This list is the result of brainstorming from both of us. Not very impressive as we clearly can't remember the details. BUT, we are definitely vying for East Coast near family where we could possibly buy a house, or, you know, a little European jaunt. Why not. 

Will hopes to switch from prosecution to defense counsel (i.e., Area Defense Counsel or "ADC") at his next assignment. They put the more experienced attorneys on the defense side because it's a bigger deal if they screw it up. His hope to be ADC I think narrows down the possibilities (largely based on rumors … all rumors with PCS-news season … all the time), including Tampa and Charleston. 

The rumors that we've heard regarding PCSing include: "a friend of a friend of a girl I knew at JAG School tried to request an additional year at his base and was told everything was 'already penciled in'", "a coworker heard that so-and-so talked with JAX [the headquarters making assignments] but nothing official yet", and "so-and-so heard that JAX called to 'verify" whether so-and-so would take this assignment." 

So basically I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.  

With both of us preparing for upcoming trials, taking care of the toddler, and the impending birth of our second baby, we are more than a little preoccupied, but it's still exciting knowing that news of where we'll be living next could be coming any day now. That we are still excited about the prospect of packing up all our possessions and starting over in a new house is a good sign, I think. 

And despite our initial "WTF!??!" last time … 

St. Louis has been good to us. 

I will keep you apprised of any developments!

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

This Is TDY

One week left of SOS! How should we go about kicking off this special week? OH, I HAVE AN IDEA.

All you crunchy hipster cloth diapering parents, let me just warn you right now. At some point you might let your pants-less child ride on your shoulders on the way to the mailbox. And there may be a time when your child's slightly urine soaked diaper gets tangled in your hair. 


I may not have it all together. Fine. (I know this blog screams "inauthentic lifestyle/fashion blogger!") But don't tell me I'm the only woman who takes self-timer portraits at the dog park either. 

31 weeks! Documented for all of time along with a partial view of the canine obstacle course. 

Some day, I'll start working on a nursery "space" (i.e., the corner of our guest room) for this babe. I finally stopped pretending this would be the day I'll win a giveaway! and ordered this Hatch Prints gem. It came in the mail today, which I think needs to serve as the inspiration for the entire room.  

Swwwwoooooon. I promise you, the colors are so much more vibrant in person! I love it. And Katrina proves herself to be the sweetest, as always. 

So, one more week. Then I'll get my butt in gear.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This & That

I don't know what the deal is with Little Will's sleep. At first I could blame the "routine disruption" of daycare, then the cold/cough, and then the ear infection, but now we're out of excuses. Maybe he's just getting me ready for life with a newborn again?

I'm just not down with that.

I do realize it's not even that bad, but I have grown accustomed to the luxurious life of 8 hours a night and I would have liked to keep it that way. Will has been waking in the middle of the night, standing up in his crib, moaning "MAMA!" in that way that I just can't ignore. That, combined with your typical pregnancy insomnia/bathroom breaks and the early wake ups, I just hope that the caffeine really isn't bad for baby Z.

I don't want to jinx anything, but at least he's still napping and hasn't been a total crab during the day. Yesterday he had one of those amazing days where he was just too sweet for words and my heart still swoons just thinking about it. (Today has been going pretty well, too. Girls hit your hallelujah.)

- - -

Moving. On.

I mentioned before about a book I'd read, Food Rules, for eating healthier. Here's an update:

(N.B. Ignore the "weight goal." Fitbit just makes you enter one.) I haven't gained a single pound the past month, the entire first month of the third trimester. I haven't been crazy sticking to the rules all that well. It's partially attributable to chasing around a toddler all day, BUT I haven't been eating a ton of meat since Will left for TDY and I can count on one toe the number of times I've gone out to eat. Unless you count a Starbucks scone and the night Will made dinner for us, i.e., ordered us Papa Johns ;)

I'm still at 25 pounds gained overall this pregnancy, which is in the normal range and Zelie definitely appears to be growing and getting stronger. I have an OB appointment on Monday, but it seems like everything is otherwise going swimmingly. I just front loaded. Not sitting behind a desk all day and having unlimited access to soda and Oreos has seemed to do well for me. Working from home for the win.

. . .

Changing gears again.

People LOVE dressing room selfies. How about my toddler trying the hottest new outerwear looks available at Target? (20% off right now!)

Fashion Show! Fashion Show! Fashion Show at Lunch!

OPTION 1 - The Classic Pea Coat

So dashing, but the buttons were cumbersome and no hood.

OPTION 2 - The High Tech Winter Puffer 

We just couldn't get the right fit.

OPTION 3 - The Military Moto Jacket

Oh yeah, he's over it.

At this point he got lost in the baby section for a while. I found him climbing one of the gliders asking to go "night night." Okay.

Fleece lining, hood, and zipper, and gender neutral (since learning we have a baby girl on the way, I have a new appreciation for the gender neutral). We have a winner.

I won't apologize for the randomness of this post. See Section 1, supra, re: lack of sleep. Have a fabo hump day! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

St. Zelie Martin Peg Dolls

In case you were wondering whether this is a Catholic mom blog, here's what I've been up to in my free time the past couple days:

Yep, I signed up for a Catholic saint peg doll exchange. This one was pretty small, only 11 of us, so I picked a saint and painted 11 of them. I'll send them all to the person organizing the exchange, along with the 10 other participants, and then I'll receive a set of 11 different dolls back, just in time for Christmas. Most of us chose one of our children's patron saints, so I chose Saint Zelie Martin for my dear unborn daughter. (I know she isn't technically canonized yet—6 more days! — but let's just call a saint a Saint, shall we?) I thought it might make a nice birthday gift.

Before starting, I read this tutorial, and just let the magic happen. Just kidding. Once I realized all that was involved, I kind of freaked out a little. (But it really wasn't all that bad!)

I had a rough idea of what I wanted her to look like.

Her signature 'do, lace details (as she was a lace-maker), and a baby (because she birthed 9 of them and also the two miracles attributed to the Martins involved healing babies). I obviously ended up swapping out the rose (an ode to her daughter, St. Therese) in favor of a rosary. In part because I forgot to get green paint, but also in part because St. Zelie had a great devotion to Mary. 

I gathered supplies. NOT cheap, people. NOT cheap. I used Theresa's advice from the tutorial linked above and did not skimp on brushes and paint, which I think was really helpful. 


All said and done, I've spent about $50. And it will probably be another $10 to ship everything. But I have SO much extra paint. So… consider recruiting me for your next swap. ;) For my next one I'll only have to buy the peg dolls and maybe some extra paint colors.

When I first got to painting, it was a slow process. I sped up the more confident I got with the materials. Overall, it was about 5-6 hours of painting, i.e., one nap time and two post-bedtimes. 

My friend, Lauren (also our own Zelie's godmother!!!), helped by painting the skin of the faces and bumping R&B jams from the 2000s from her iPhone. 

It's my favorite part, Lauren, my favorite part.

This little brush ended up being my favorite for all the small details. I preferred using shorter bristles:

At this point, I was like, Is this Saint Zelie orrrr a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg/Judge Judy? 

It was rather questionable. The lace was by far the most time-consuming of the details to accomplish.

Finally, the varnish. (Goes on really easily, looks even when it's dry. So don't stress about errors!) I painted the whole of the doll first and then once it dried, I painted the bottom to protect the writing on the bottom. 

And that's it! Boom shaka laka.

The rosary is hard to see! I would definitely choose a lighter color next time.

You'd typically also include the saint's feast day, but I didn't know whether that would change with the upcoming canonization, so I just nixed it. Sorry children!

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, except the baby's faces creep me out a little. They remind me a tad bit of the elderly Spanish woman's failed attempt at restoring that classical painting of Jesus. But nevermind that. 

Have you ever painted peg dolls? Any tips for the elderly Spanish women residing in us all? 

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Days Like Today

Sometimes life hands you a tub full of turds.

Today was one of those days.


And, alas, we Snapchat it to all our (9, I think I have about 9) friends, thus that we may laugh to keep from crying!

Or something.

I'm tired.

This was just after he climbed into the tub filling with water still donning his diaper. I digress.


I discovered yesterday that Little Will has an ear infection on top of all the cold/cough crud. He'd been rubbing his left ear for a few days and then yesterday I really noticed the drainage. (This is his second ear infection since getting ear tubes in July. He hasn't even had his follow-up appointment yet, people!) 

Anyway, so that's some more joyful news. 

This morning, I spent hours on the phone with NetGear and Charter trying to get our Internet/Wifi situation sorted out. I was feeling pretty high and mighty after canceling cable - (WHO NEEDS CABLE ANYWAY? NOT ME SUCKAS) - and of course the Internet goes out and all Hell breaks loose. 

We have the scars to prove it: 

I mean WHATEVER IT TAKES. I can't have you being mesmerized by the blinky router lights and tapping at the laptop keyboard when I am on the phone with the nice Indian lady with customer service.

I still didn't get it working until about 20 minutes ago. I only used approx. 5 out of our 10 gigs of Verizon data in the meantime. (We FaceTime a LOT.)

The big highlight of our day was that Will had cupcakes delivered to our front door! Six of them! Two Oreos, one red velvet, a cookie dough, a pumpkin cheesecake, and a funfetti to be exact. I won't tell you which ones we had for dinner.

So all in all, it will be just fine! I just might keep bathing Will in a different tub until I get the gusto to do some bathroom disinfecting. 

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015


You know what's my favorite? Spending an hour and a half of PRECIOUS PRECIOUS NAP TIME attempting/failing to fix a Wifi router. The fact that Will has been napping for over an hour is already a big win, so we'll just hunker down here next to the modem and see what we can tap out for you today as I ignore the periodic whimper from the baby monitor.

The big news 'round here is that Little Will has been fighting a cold. He was pretty pathetic over the weekend. We were in all out survival mode

Pulling into the church parking lot on Sunday. The agony of a ruined nap!

He was pretty out of it Saturday and Sunday, but ever since, it's really only been affecting his sleep. 5am wake ups and really short naps, same bedtime. Other than that, at least since Monday, he is basically his normal energetic self, just with extra phlegm. Don't ask him to wipe his nose with a tissue either. It's mom's legs, mom's belly, or mom's face only, please and thank you.

The lack of sleep has been pretty overwhelming for me. I was out like a light at 8pm last night, I'm proud to say. And meals over the weekend resembled:

Freakin' gourmet.

But I did manage to get some snuggles and smiles from the toddler-in-residence despite serving him non-meals.

Look at that squish face.

What's MOST interesting is that [husband] Will was also in survival mode over the weekend. Our lives are practically the same right now! (TDY countdown - we are HALFWAY through!)

Manly hiking.

Manly camp site food. 

He and two new SOS buddies went on a weekend camping trip at a campsite in Alabama. He was really excited because these guys were real outdoorsman types, SERES trained Air Force pilots. MILITARY GRADE. MUSCLES. MANLY MEN!

SERE stands for: 





I think Will went into it (or at least I did) thinking that they would kill their own food, wrestle mountain lions, etc. Come to find out they were most expertly Air Force trained in the escape part of the course. After a little rain made it difficult to start a fire Saturday morning, I get this snap:

They escaped right on over the their local Cracker Barrel. 

I don't know what Bear Grylls' reaction would be, but I'd say these guys are pretty well trained on the ins and outs of "survival mode." Well done, boys. Well done. 

One way or another, we're all just surviving!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

7 Quickies

1// I'm 29 weeks today, so that's cool. 

I actually had an ultrasound a couple weeks ago because they didn't get a good enough look at Zelie's heart at her 20-week scan. Everything looked great. Head down. The tech even let us FaceTime Will in since we used the whole "he's away for military duty" thing, which was awesome. I love technology. 

My weight gain has slowed considerably since I started trying to eat healthier (I even lost a few pounds, which prompted a trip to Starbucks for a blueberry scone). I'm still only slightly behind how much I'd gained at 29 weeks with Boog, when we'd just moved to STL. Crazy. (I have heard before that time flies when you're having babies. It's true.)

2// The disruption in Little Will's routine by going to daycare is really messing with his sleep. (Or at least that's what I hope is all it is, which means that he'll be back to normal TOMORROW. Yes?) Ever since Tuesday he's been fighting bedtime at night and waking up over an hour earlier than usual. Obviously, this means he will snuggle in for some extra sleep in bed with me. Because toddlers love that. At least that's the lie I've told myself for four straight mornings.

Why does he insist on wedging himself between me and my precious body pillow? WHY?

This morning, after getting kicked in the face numerous times for about an hour, I had finally, somehow dozed off. I was awakened by the sound of Curious George. My little man had slithered out of bed, found the Amazon Fire Stick remote, and turned on cartoons. 

These are LIFE SKILLS, people. (You just push the center button of the remote twice to play what had been on previously, but still.) I got to lay in bed for a few more minutes while he stood there making monkey sounds at the television.

3// But honestly, he may be starting to develop a problem. It's like a flip switched and now ALL he wants is TV.

This TV takes a little more work to get to George. Sorry. Also, you're holding it upside down.

4// Just a small problem, right?

He asks for "choo-choo?!" (Thomas the Train) or "ooo-ooo-ahh-ahh?!" (Curious George) approx. 50 times a day, but I'll be grateful for it when baby #2 comes I'm sure. 

5// So we canceled cable and we're saving $80 a month. We hope that between Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming, and various apps, we can avoid paying for cable forevermore. (I've also heard Sling TV is a great option for streaming sports and such.) Any college football fans have tips for streaming games? 

6// My friend, Julia, wrote a post about welcoming baby #2 which sums up basically all my feelings on the subject. I mean, if I had time and mental energy to think about the subject ;) She is only a couple weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, and she also has a son named Will and they are about the same age. Essentially we are the same person in all the important ways, so click on over

7// Will's boss called to check up on me yesterday because he's TDY. I'm pretty sure this phone call is in the commander's manual or something, because I remember getting a similar call when Will was away at JAG School (different boss). They just call and ask how things are going, if there's anything you need, etc. I always politely say I've got things under control, but next time I'm going to ask for someone to come over and pick up dog poop from our back yard. As a joke. Unless they say yes. THEY'D HAVE TO SAY YES, RIGHT?  

Have a great poop-free weekend, everyone. 

Linking up for the first time with Kelly since she started hosting!

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