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Sunday, February 28, 2016

A WIWS Revival!

It's been almost two years since I've participated in the What I Wore Sunday link-up, but we're bringing it back, baby. 

(For a stroll down memory lane, here's my first time linking up back in 2013, getting a stealthy "bump" shot while 4 weeks pregnant with Little Will. OH EM GEE. Blog attention for the dogs. Whoa.)

Anyway! Rosie is spearheading the WIWS Revival! Take a photo of what you wore to Mass this weekend, post to your blog or Instagram, and link-it-up bay bay! I have found so many blogs and made some lovely friends (no really!) through this link-up, so I hope it gets boppin' again. 

It's also a less than totally awkward excuse to remember to get pictures of myself with the kids. I seem to only take photos of myself when there's a baby bump to acknowledge. I'll be so happy I schlepped myself in front of the camera years from now, I just know it. 


Mad props to my photographer who had me change my pose just slightly so that I was blocking that pile of little boy clothes on that dusty table behind me. He's always had an eye for fashion blogging.

We Vigil Massed it last night to attend another baptism today. (Our second Sunday in a row!) Little Will is two years young, and little did he know at the time that he was about to embark on the memorable occasion of his first ice cream cone ever after Mass. He got chocolate wasted and spun in circles around Cold Stone Creamery. Definitely my child. Baby Zelie is two months and some change and is GOING HARD in that jean jacket, am I right? She shed it about five minutes into Mass. So short lived. Sort of like all that hair she was born with. Mom (that's me) is sporting a J.Crew Factory tunic that was actually purchased after Rosie herself shared the link to the sale on her Facebook page a month or two ago. Nursing and postpartum pooch friendly. It was a final sale type situation (like $15 including shipping), but this is similar if you are looking for something like it. 

Find the rest of the pretties HERE


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Postpartum Running, Four Weeks in

As we are staring down the barrel of a move to SoCal, I obviously need to be bikini ready year-round, so I'm hitting this postpartum weight loss thing hard! 

Going almost as hard as this guy:

He's so cool. 

Flashbacks, anyone? 

Anyway, you know that's a joke. The bikini thing. My standards are much lower, like having clothes that fit semi-properly again (you know, spare tire troubles), and to be fit enough to keep up with the kids. In the physical, literal sense. Cuz I can only use terms like "fleek" and "TURNT" ironically nowadays. 

So here's where we're at:

Since starting to exercise again, I've been squeezing in runs three times a week between the BOB, the gym, and the treadmill in our garage. And I have ten pounds to go on the weight loss front (slowwwwly and steadily making progress… peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys). 

Finding time to exercise with two kids is hard. Like, wayyy harder than with one. At this point after having Little Will (we were a little farther getting into Spring), I was already running 5 milers and training for a marathon. Ugh, I was so annoying. Go away Theresa from two years ago. I will note that the we didn't make it to the marathon due to an ill-timed TDY. TDYs are just the worst!

But once the weather gets a little nicer, I think it will be a lot easier to increase my mileage per week. I will take the kids out in the Duallie with anything greater than 45 degrees and anything less than 20 mph winds. Unfortunately, that bar has not been met on most days. Illinois, y u so windy? And how is it STILL February? 

On Monday, however, 45 degree weather and mere 15 mph winds meant that I ran 2.5 miles with the Duallie and both kids fell asleep in the stroller and BOTH STAYED ASLEEP for OVER AN HOUR after we got back home. 




Yes, Will insisted on bringing his mailman truck and his dad's golf glove that he likes to wear around the house. I know I'm a broken record, but toddlers are so weird!!! Boy do I love 'em. 

So I kept them both bundled up in the garage like that, ate lunch, and did various chores until they both woke up. Will's lips were blue for a while (oops) but I think he got over it.

The Duallie is SO HARD to push against the wind. I was able to maintain a decent just-barely-under-10 minute mile pace with the thing for those 2.5 miles. BUT, I ran with just Zelie in the single BOB and flew through 4 miles with no problem. So the extra work is paying off. Some day I will keep up with Sarah's Duallie filled 7-day step count. ;) Dream the BIG dreams, people.

I've considered workout videos at home or other classes/programs to get in shape and I'm just all, that takes too much mental energy! In addition to figuring out which bra won't be too tight or too loose (#nursingproblems) and whether everyone is fed and accounted for, I just can't. I need to be able to strap on some shoes and run for as long as I can for as hard as I can and call it a day. Can I get an AMEN? 

When Zelie gets a little older, I'll be more comfortable taking her to the Y childcare room. I can obviously head to the gym at night after everyone is in bed or in the wee hours of the morning, but WHO HAS THE ENERGY. Sleep > Fitness. Until then, 3x a week is actually going pretty well. I feel so much stronger already! Sweet sanity!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On Earthly Detachment (We Know Our Next Base)

So it's official as it's gonna get until we actually arrive on base and the powers that be tell us we're in the right place (as far as I'm concerned). 

We are moving tooooo . . .

. . . 

. . . 

Edwards AFB

(That's the little red blob IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOJAVE DESERT.) 

Edwards is very isolated, about 30 minutes from the closest city. BUT! Year-round sunshine. Los Angeles is a 2 hour drive away, Las Vegas and San Diego are 3 hour drives away. And other cities like San Francisco and Phoenix are within reasonable driving distance. There will definitely be a lot to explore on the weekends. Not to mention we get to talk like The Californians. "Take the 40 down to the 405 and hit up Santa Monica, bruhhhhh!"

And if you are like me and have no idea where the Los Angeles really is on a US map, here you go:

Seems like a doable walk with the Duallie. 

It's definitely farther from family than we were hoping for. You know. We were hoping to move to the right on that map, but instead we're going wayyyyyy left. But we do have some west coast friends and family that can hopefully give us a warm welcome. And I'm hopeful that our desert locale means the kids will be less prone to contract runny noses and I'll be sucking out less boogers

Will also got the position he was hoping for, Area Defense Counsel (ADC), so it's an exciting career move for him. He'll be the boss of his very own little unit and get tons of really great trial experience. But back to the boogers. No one gets runny noses in the desert, right???? 

Some other good news is that we have actually been getting to know our new neighbors for a while now:

I've got lots of desert jokes. 

The move will take place sometime in July, which gives me approximately four months to KonMari the crap out of this house. We will definitely be downsizing in square footage and there's also a pretty good chance that we'll be spending a few months in temporary housing while we wait for a house to become available on base. So just when I'm ready to say all my stuff "sparks joy" - I'll get to say goodbye to it for an undetermined amount of time. 

My initial reaction is one of "EHHHH" (high-pitched, nasally whine), because who wants to be without their precious stuff for months, but then Colleen shared this quote in her post today: 

Oh, Christian poverty. How very poignant. 

I've always thought I'm pretty detached from all my stuff, bragging that I am basically a minimalist,  the one in our relationship that throws everything away. I barely shop and I'd be pretty darn happy wearing the same three outfits on rotation, I am soooo laid back, ermahgerd. And then you are faced with the proposition of actually doing without your precious King-sized bed, KitchenAid mixer, and random assortment of baby gear/furniture for a couple of months and you discover you are a big fat phony. I am a big fat phony. I am weak and I need a heck of a lot of grace to help me detach from earthly cares, St. Therese. Help me out, please?

So the thought of getting organized for a cross-country move is a little daunting. (Heaven help me if we ever go overseas! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.) And the clock is ticking to check off remaining items on our Scott AFB bucket list. (We still haven't been up to Chicago, etc.) We will miss St. Louis so much, but lots of pretty darn exciting times ahead. 

And we can't wait to meet our new neighbors! 


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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Boy & His Boots (+ the Rest of Us)

Fear not. This post is heavy on the photos and light on the rambling. I just wanted to share some new family photos we took over the weekend. Word on the street was that Saturday was going to be unusually beautiful, so during a Friday morning (black) coffee visit our good friend, Lauren, suggested that we crash her Youth Minister Retreat happening up the road from us in Belleville. We'd get to pop in and see her during their down time and she'd snap some family photos on the grounds. #momblogger was all LET'S GO. Win-win. 

Not much more explanation required. BUT, Little Will's cowboy boots are pretty torn up. We're not quite sure how they're even supposed to fit, but I'm afraid they're getting a little too small and we'll have a Chinese foot binding-type situation. (He really does want to wear them the moment he sets his eyes on them.) Well, we got him new boots. 

I present to you: the galoshes.

May they bring us as many spectacular memories.

He already insists on wearing them everywhere, even though we bought them a size up, so they are HUGE. Like, he tries to run in them, but they stay in the ground and he flies forward. You'll notice his knees are pretty torn up as a result. 

Despite the boot-related tantrumming, is this little boy PRACTICALLY HEADED OFF TO COLLEGE? OR IS IT JUST ME?

All the crying emojis ever iMessaged, inserted here.

And here.

And here.

The end.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Two Months with Zelie

Two months with Zelie outside of my belly. How ya like that?

I spent a half an hour Saturday buffing this girl's head in anticipation of these photos. Her cradle cap is on fleek. Her head looked great for these photos, but now it's Monday and it's already returning. 

Like her brother, she has a ridiculous amount of boogers. But she surpasses him in talent by sneezing them out all the time. I think her record is a good foot away of propulsion. Sometimes they just stick straight out so that I can snap a pic and send it to my mom who has a ghastly fear of snot. If I could just not have to suck anymore boogers out of anyone else's nose, that would be appreciated. The air is just so dry here this time of year. I'm hoping that there are in general less runny noses at our next duty station. It's plausible. 

Cheeks here sits at 12 lbs, 12 oz (81st percentile) and 22.5 inches (45th percentile). I was surprised to see that at this point, Little Will weighed more, being that she had almost a pound on him at birth. Same height though! She's just less of a blob. She likes to push up with her legs and she hates resting her head on anything. Unless she's laying flat. She has a total cone-head with a perfectly flat back thanks to it and the ultimate bald spot/mullet on the back of her head. 

She is more aware, making eye contact, giggling, and cooing. She really enjoys FaceTiming. She seems to be very observant and focused (as opposed to her brother who needed to be everywhere all at once all the time). Her tongue is sticking out a majority of the time, like in the pic above. 

Anddddd now for the Sleeps, Eats, Poops… shall we?


Still nursing on demand and it seems like she's able to go longer stretches between meals during the day, but I don't really know. I'm not keeping track! Her naps are getting longer and her nighttime sleep is fine, so I'm not hyperfocused on getting her into a routine like I was with Little Will. She is a quick nurser like her bro was and only takes one side per session right now. My supply seems to have regulated a lot quicker with her, so I'm not lopsided (!), but I still have pretty forceful letdown that causes her to cough and sputter a bit. Breastfeeding is still messy, plenty of leakage and spit-up, and boob diapers are life. 

We've offered her the bottle about four times in her life and she's never really taken to it. I'm not really worried about it because I have no plans to leave her. We'll keep trying though. 


With her newfound awareness of her surroundings, she is less and less able to sleep in arms, the car seat, or the rock n play downstairs. She can get a good nap in the Moby and her naps her crib have gotten better and better. In a typical day at home, she'll take at least one long (1 hr or more) nap in her crib, swaddled with the sound machine on. This morning she went two hours and it was awesome. She typically takes a pacifier to fall asleep during the day, but not always. She usually falls asleep pretty quickly, but sometimes I have to go back in a couple times for pacifier reinsertion. 

Night sleep hasn't changed much. She'll go a five or six hour stretch in the beginning of the night if I leave her be, and then usually up every three hours after that. She'll either go down for the night at 8-ish in her crib OR she'll refuse to fall asleep altogether and stay up with the adults until 10 or so. This girl can fight sleep pretty dang hard. If she's in her crib, I like to go in and get her around 10:30 for a dream feed and then keep her in our room the rest of the night. The couple times I've done this have worked out well for only one waking at about 3:30, then up for the day at 6:30. The past few nights though, I'm telling you, she wakes up a second time at 5:30 just to fart on me. I try to nurse her, but she's not all that interested. She just has gas. Then goes back to sleep until 6:30 when she'll nurse again. 

She generally falls back asleep pretty easily at night. If I've been up longer than thirty minutes, though, I very maturely and not whiney at all make Will get up and rock her back to sleep.


Z has the best pooper! She goes days without pooping. Usually she has a big diaper every three days or so. The trade-off is that her farts are THE WORST, seriously. And she farts on me all through the day (and night - see above), but I'd much rather change less poops. We go through a lot less diapers and obviously no rashes as a result. It took us FOREVER to get through a big box of Size 1 Huggies and just when we ran out (and she outgrew them), she had her two month shots in the thighs and screamed her head off when I put her in a cloth diaper. So I made Will go out and buy another big box of Size 2 Huggies and I'm guessing these will last a while, too. I'll try cloth again when those get low. But yeah, we might just stick with disposables since it's not really costing us much more. 

Time will tell, friends. Time will tell. 


And all about her birthday

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Latest & Greatest

My baby boy is TWO! We did it big with a mailman-themed Happy Birthday extravaganza. (AKA we invited three people over for cake.) Will's parents sent this HILARIOUS mailman get-up for his birthday, just in time for the little party. That mail carrier bag has seen all manner of vehicles . . . planes, trains, automobiles, you name it. It's not quite as beloved as his cowboy boots, but it has a special place in his heart, for sure.

He was pretty pumped for his b-day this year. He practiced blowing out candles leading up to the big day thanks to Advent. And we taught him the Happy Birthday Song through the whole month of January. He still bolts out a "Happy Bahhday, YAH YAHHH!" x 4 … blows air, "YAYYY" + claps every so often. 

All of his hard work definitely paid off. 

Those candles didn't stand a chance.

Hashtag fun fam!

Indulge me for a sec, because I really can't believe how old and big and smart he's getting. Every few days he'll really surprise me with something new he says or does. For example, he just started shouting "PANCAKES!!!!" every time we pass The Egg & I on 64. We love brunch. It's just odd because you really can't even see the building from the highway. In the same vein, he shouts "JESUS!!!!" every time he passes our church. (We have a Ordinary Time routine, okay?) 

He just started recognizing where we are when we drive around. He cries tears of agony every time we turn in the direction opposite of the base. Because he knows when we go on base we get to see airplanes, the occasional freight train, and, of course his favorite, his daddy. 

He's getting more serious with his toys and it kills me. 

When he wants to do something specific with his toys, he'll usually whine "HELP PEEEZ!!" and then just do it himself because he can. I really think he underestimates his own abilities sometimes and defaults to asking for help.

Toddlers, man. Keep you on your toes.

Hi Z.

Zelie's all, I'm bald!

Zelie turned two months old today. I'll have a full post that includes all your intricate poop deets, but I want to wait until after her checkup on Friday so I have her stats. She is still tall. (Pic above was from a couple weeks ago. And how cute is the bandit bib from Whole Parenting Goods? Obsessed.) 

You may have noticed I chopped all my hair off. I just finally had to take the plunge and get the mom lob. It was time. 

I had no idea that my cut and style would be free as a perk for donating. I was super pumped! And of course I haven't been able to get my hair to look as good as it does in the pic above, but c'est la vie, no? I could straighten my hair ALL DAY and nope.

Postpartum running is going well! I have been taking it slow. My longest run so far has been 3.66 miles on the treadmill. The weather is supposed to get really nice over the next few days, so hopefully I can hit the pavement with the duallie. I've managed to lose a couple more pounds, but I still have about 11 pounds to go to hit my pre-pregnancy weight. But I finally bought a pair of jeans that actually sort of fit, so I am in less of a hurry. 

Can't hang.

Lent is here! You may or may not have noticed I haven't been on social media much. Here's what I've been up to: 
  • Deleted social media apps from my phone (Bloglovin', Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat). I can fire up the old MacBook to check Facebook or read blogs, but I generally don't because it. is. so. slow. I've been trying to especially limit time spent on my phone during the day when I am supposed to be parenting. So far, so good. So, so good. 
  • I am working on the Blessed is She Lenten Workbook. I've been loving the journaling. (Big surprise right? I mean I do have this crazy blog.)
  • I've been limiting processed sugar. I say limiting because I am breastfeeding and stopping my nightly chocolate milkshake is a big freaking deal for me. 
  • Less screen time for Little Will. It got out of hand there for a while. I'm feeling like I have much more energy lately to get out of the house and/or figure out things to do with Will at home, so it's been a lot easier to implement this. 
  • We are donating a portion of our tax refund.
I did a bad thing and tried to bring both children to Ash Wednesday mass by myself on base. It made this bad morning look like child's play. My first mistake was going to a different parish than our usual so that we could attend a full mass that didn't interfere with meal times or naps. We arrived early because it was snowing and I wanted to make sure I got a parking spot close to the building. Little Will was unusually hyper waiving and yelling "HIII" to everyone who walked in as the unofficial greeter. Once mass started, he didn't want to stay in the pew, which is normal, but when I took him out to the vestibule, he screamed his head off. Nothing would console him. I had Zelie in the Moby wrap because I knew I'd be in and out of the pew with Little Will. ANYWAY, once the meltdown of all meltdowns occurred a whopping five minutes into mass, I decided that we just needed to leave. WELL, I had to go back into the church get my bag. We slowly and quietly creep back in as not to be any more of a disturbance. At which point Little Will ran up the center aisle and bum rushed the priest as he gave the homily, yelling "HIIIII!" and waiving. I grabbed my bag and power walked toward the front. A parishioner grabbed Little Will and pointed him back toward me. At which point I made awkward eye contact with a gentleman who I'm sure was at least an O-6, probably a four-star general because that's what happens. Zelie's head was bouncing around in the Moby, pretty unsecured, while I make the looooong walk of shame down the aisle out of the church. More melting down while I buckle poor little sis into her car seat and we slowly make our way outside into the snowy white abyss.

So I guess what I'm saying is Lent started off with a bang. Just trying to make things extra penitential around here.

I promise the transition from 1 to 2 has still been pretty smooth! We've just had a few … moments.

Last, but not least, you may remember back in October when I blogged about how we would soon be getting our next base assignment. Well, that notification got pushed back to February. We waited and waited and waited as Will's colleagues got the news. And finally, today, we got the "unofficial" news of where we'll be living come July. Hint: it's NOT in the direction we were trying to go (East).  I won't jinx it by disclosing it here, but as soon as we get official orders (in a couple more months), you'll be the first to know. ;) 

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Funday

You know it's been a good morning when everyone ends up crying in their underwear.

+1 adult (not pictured).

I knew there would come a day when the seedy yellow stools hit the fan. Today was officially that day.

We were all dressed in clean clothes looking well groomed. There was a decided lack of cooperation by the underlings, but we were slowly inching toward the car, grocery list in hand! Ready to tackle that meal plan.

Zelie pooped and spit through her outfit and mine. Normal newborn stuff. Roll with those punches.

Will on the other hand JUST COULD NOT LIFE at all today. The back of his neck was itchy and it turned him into an inconsolable, angry beast. For example, I was sitting nursing (a hungry and very gassy) Zelie and he needed me to hold him and console him because he was trying to blow a fart on his arm and he COULDN'T DO IT. And WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ignores her child undergoing such torment?

His inner monologue:

Dearest Mother,

I see you are rather occupied nourishing your less-capable offspring.
However, have you noticed the debacle I am in? 
I require a fart noise.
I am unable to make said fart noise at this juncture. 
Please acknowledge my hysterics until I become occupied with something more important.
Ooooh, dog food.
I love sniffing dog food.

Yours Truly,

William Hugh (age: 1)

The fart noise problem. Just one example in a sea of options.

Every time I held Zelie (who oddly did not want to be set down all morning), he would say "TOO?!" meaning he wanted me to pick him up, TOO. Get it? Yeah, it takes me A REALLY LONG time to figure out what he means when he says things. So I cooked lunch with Zelie in the Moby and holding Will on my hip (or clawing at my legs when my arm needed a break). 

At least I was burning calories because you bet I was stress-eating tater tots by noon. 

Cue the mom guilt. I truly did want to help him because I read [the first half of] this book, which basically says you are raising a narcissist if you don't connect with your child when they are throwing a tantrum. My e-book loan expired before I could reach the second half of the book, so I basically don't know what to do after that. Something about redirection. Surely he will turn out okay, even if my attention and my hands are divided. If not, there's always boarding school.


I hope your Monday is going a little better. Toddlers able to make fart noises when required, babies pooping mainly in their diapers and spitting up in areas that don't involve pools of liquid in the center of your bra? All the normal stuff. 

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