Welcome to my crazy life

Just a quick welcome from me to you and a thank you for reading and following along on the crazy road which I call my life. Here you will be able to follow along the ups and downs of our little family's life and adventures as we grow, learn and travel. Plus I will give up some advice on things I have done that seemed to have helped with getting my daughter and son to learn different functions, from sleeping through the night to eating all her food and beyond. Also if you have a question please feel free to leave it in a comment and I will happily make a post just to answer your question. Also keep a look out for new and old product reviews as well as special events. Here's to the family life and to a crazy adventure.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Born Free Disney The Lion King Bottle

I went to take some things back to Babies R Us a few weeks ago and found this bottle.  I decided to give myself time to really use and work with this bottle and see if it would help my little guy with spitting up. I had tried the Dr. Brown bottle that I had been given to Makenzi when we had just had her and had no luck. Tried burping every ounce, different positions for burping, and still every night he would wake up spitting up and would wake himself up from naps spitting up.  I have used this bottle nonstop since I got it and he hasn't spit up nearly as much.  Just to see if it was indeed the bottle the last few nights I have had to use a different bottle and he is spitting up again.  I feel so bad for him when this happens, so I think I am going to be going back to Babies R Us and get a few more.  The bottles are not expensive and work greatly.  If your baby is having an issue with spitting up and gas and all I highly recommend this bottle.  I think its easier for him to drink from as well so everyone should use these bottles.  They also have a pink Minnie Mouse version for girls. However, I think I would have used the Lion King one for Makenzi if I had saw them back then.

All in all I highly recommend this bottle. It lives up to all its said to do and is super easy to clean and so far no leaking either.  So go out and get one and try it for yourself I think you will be just as happy as I am.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kids and deployment, my how they surprise me.

Tonight I have been a little sensitive to say the least and while reading an email that talks about the life of a enlisted service member and all they do for us, I started to cry.  I couldn't help it because it made me instantly think about my husband working long days over there in the cold and how hard it really is on all of them. So as I sat here reading my email and attempting to control my emotions, my 19 month old comes over and starts to babble at me very seriously and touches my knee.  All I could say was, "Mommy is okay she is just have an emotional moment." As if that is what she wanted to hear she ran off to play.  Well, my emotions were already running so I knew I was just going to have to let them work themselves out but my 19  month old really thought something was seriously wrong and again came over and was very seriously talking to me turns around away from me and then looks at me again and says I love you.  Let me tell you that this just made me cry more and then she grabbed my hand and pulled me down to her level and gave me a kiss then patted the top of my head.  She is such a sweet heart.

Well, I just had to share that episode of Miss Makenzi being loving.  But I wanted to talk about how she seems to be dealing with Daddy being deployed.  Though on a normal day she plays it away and very interested in learning when it comes time for nap time or bed time or just going out she has really started to act out. You see normal outings for us were on the weekends with Daddy who could give her tons of attention while I took care of Gabe, so now I have to be both mom and dad for the time and its a tough job. I know that once we get into the swing of things and she gets use to going out with me and Gabe that she will settle back down.  People often forget that deployment is hardest on the kids as they may not understand why daddy or mommy all of a sudden are not home to put them to bed every night and that their favorite playmate is gone. The hardest is when she looks around the house asking where's dada. I have come to see that she understands that dada is at work so she will stop looking but its almost an everyday reminder that he's not here. 

I have tried to explain what work dada is doing but I know she doesn't understand to an extent, though, any time that I am upset she is the first to climb into my arms until I calm down and tell her everything is fine. She worries just like I do about him. She has also been wanting to say night night to him every night so I make him a new video of her being goofy, blowing a kiss and saying night night.  I think its how she is coping with not seeing him.  She also gives his picture kisses throughout the day.

Kids have it hardest when one parent has to be away and it is further stressful on them when that parent is in a potentially dangerous place. So part of the way I am helping her handle this stress is by getting her into a fully, though relaxed, schedule.  We get up dressed and have breakfast, then play and have lunch then nap time for both kids so I can have a little quiet time myself, then snack time more play and learning time, then dinner, then I get Gabe bath, bottle, and bed then Kenzi and I have cuddle time and then bath and bed for her as well.  So far I have noticed that she is much more relaxed and listening better since getting on to this schedule. Gabe is having some issues with getting into the swing of just me taking care of both him and Kenzi but I know with a little time he will relax and just go with the flow, so mornings before Kenzi wakes up him and I have some one on one cuddle time.

I will make a few suggestions to mom's with little ones and dealing with deployment, make and stick to a schedule it will make life less stressful for your little ones. Plan your outings out to the last minute of returning home and do your best to stick to that as well, that way you don't forget anything you need for your kids and you get everything done that you needed to.  I have found that by planning everything out I don't have to do a bunch of little runs out of the house, instead I can do one day and take care of everything quickly without the kids getting too grumpy or to far off schedule. Also recognize when your kids are getting overwhelmed while you are out.  With dealing with deployment things effect you and them differently than normal and just like you the kids will have their good days and bad days. Its our job as the at home parents to recognize these things and make our children aware of how to deal with the stress and to help them relax.

When out and my kids get overwhelmed if I can put things off to another day I will so that I can get home that much faster. Also have special snacks that if they lose it, that special snack will take their mind off of the situation.  Also extra toys are a must have and their special items, be that a blanket an article of clothing or toy.

Anyway, I am learning as I go with this but these are the things I am doing and seeing successful outings and day time routines.  I do have to say one thing that schedules for little ones is a great thing whether dealing with deployment or not. It helps them fell more secure in their life and when you keep your word with everything they feel better about their surroundings and you will have a better relationship and less stressful world.  Good luck to all dealing with the same things I am and to all who have little ones.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

February has come and gone, one month of the deployment is gone...

When dealing with deployment you can't really do a full count down since you don't know when they are coming home besides having a 2 month time frame some months away, depending on the length of deployment.  For us we have 7 months to deal with.  I have found that one way to really keep the weeks rolling is to count them off the overall time. What I have decided to do is on my calendar I have written the week marks and as we pass it I circle and cross out the number, thus we are just shy of 1 month down, one month behind us.  So as I have been MIA, or UA for those military suave, for the last few weeks, I have had visitors and that by far is the best way to get time to fly.  First I was visited by my bestie from college, Kari, who came out for a 10 day visit.  It was so nice to see her as I haven't seen her in a little over a year.

Some of the things I took her to see included 2 military bases for the exchange part of it, a few malls, Atlantic Beach, drove by a historic fort, walked around historic sector of New Bern, and just hung out and caught up.  It was nice to have an adult to talk to in person and be able to relax with her after the kids went to bed was great.  We laughed and just talked about everything that has happened since last we were hanging out, needless to say we had a lot to talk about. She was also a huge help with the kids and gave me peace of mind when bathing either child. Something else that got done while she was here was a blanket that I had been working on for her since we graduated college back in 2007. It took me long enough to get it done, but I am pretty sure she loves her new blanket.  Overall the visit was so nice and ended entirely to quickly, but she does have obligations back home and though we both would have been happy to see her flight get delayed or cancelled even on more day it was going to have to end eventually either way.  It is always hard to say good bye to such a wonderful friend when you don't know when you will get to see each other again but at least we know that no matter how long we go without see each other we can always pick right back up where we left off.

Then over the last week my older sister was out for a visit, and this was surely over due.  My sister and I haven't had sister time in way too long.  So, even though I have 2 kids to take care of now, we were finally able to have some sister time.   She surprised me with a new and larger diaper bag, which I had begged her for and she had told me that she would look into it but wasn't sure if she could, by the way great cover, as the bag is perfect for a mom of 2.  I also had a little surprise for her with a visit with her best friend as well, and the best was that our mom and step mom both knew that this visit was setup and we were all able to keep it from my sister.  It was so much fun to show my sister where I have been living lately and for her to see Makenzi and meet Gabriel.  Both my children love their Aunt Shelle for sure, Gabe especially loved to fall asleep on her.  Unfortunately we only had one really nice day that we took advantage of by going and walking around historic downtown and let Makenzi play in the park for a little as well.  It was so nice to have her out and just be able to spend some one and one time with her and talk to her about everything and anything. Yet again her visit flew bye and seemed way to short but I am so thankful for what time we did have together. 

Even though both visits seemed very short I am so thankful for both visits and hope that they both had fun visiting us as well.  It really helped to get past this first month which I hope the momentum from these visits will keep time flying for the next few months or that other will come to visit soon. 

Staying busy is not a hard thing to do with 2 kids but evenings are hard, when you just want to relax and have no one to really relax with besides a cat and a computer/phone.  I guess its time to pull out all the crafts I have started but never finished and we will see how fast things get completed.  Anyway, if you want to come visit just let me know and I'll happily come get you from the airport.  Take care everyone.

Michelle L Purses and Diaper Bags, If you don't know about them you should

So, as many of you know Michelle L is my sisters purse label.  For those of you who don't know, my sister is an amazing fashion designer who is just starting out and has created an amazing customizable purse collection and has now added 2 diaper bags (just for me). I own both prototypes and let me tell you they are amazing, the hold up wonderfully and the best part, they have tons of pockets to keep everything organized.  Okay so there are tons on other great features of her diaper bags too.  Let me talk you through the bag, the small one has 2 bottle pockets on the out side and 2 on the inside, it has an elastic long pocket to divide the bottom in half, she put 2 small pockets towards the to of the bag that fits my iPhone with Military griffin case on it, and she also put a layer of plastic in between the shell of the bag and the interior lining ( this is in the large bag too).  The small bag also has magnetic closures for the main pocket and the side pocket that perfectly fits a changing pad, that she can make to match the purse if you choose that option.  This bag is completely customizable as she will have you pick out the colors you want for the interior and exterior or you can have her choose them which is fun as she has impeccable taste. Also her straps are recycled leather from a real leather belt that she puts studs in and re-purposes, so for all you Eco-friendly people out there or just people who would like to have something that will last them forever, this is the diaper bag for you.

The large bag is similar to the small except it has a flap closure that contains a pocket and a few more pockets on the interior.  Again this will have the plastic lining between the shell and lining and I'll tell you that this bag is amazing.  If you have 2 kids or are like me and take the whole world with you for you kids when you go out this is the bag for you plus the pockets are perfect to keep everything organized and easily accessible.

Here is a sneak peak of the large diaper bag, if you would like to see full picture of both diaper bags and her regular purses, comment on this post with your email address and I'll personally make sure she contacts you back.  I hope to see you all carrying these amazing bags.  Whether you are just carrying her diaper bag or purse you will be so pleased with your choice to get one.  I can't tell you how many complements I get daily when carrying her bags.  I don't just carry her diaper bags I also am a proud owner of a few custom purses too, and I love them too, she does a great job matching fabric to personality or just what you are looking for.  Also if I get enough interest from all of you,  I might even be able to do a giveaway of a purse so let me hear from you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Memories...how I love my husband.

Valentine's Day has always been bitter sweet to me before getting married.  My husband and I met at a party where he started the night with introducing me, who he had just met, as his future girl friend because I was just that cool; and then half way through the night he started just calling me his girl friend and the funny part was that it stuck. He was charming and caring all night as I was going through a lot of issues at that time and he already knew it which made things even easier to get along with him.  Before I left the party my friends made sure that we had each others numbers and after that its history.  We have been together ever since, falling deeper in love and enjoying our life together.

Normally our Valentine's Day consists of exchanging cards and candy sometimes I would get flowers, but most of the time it was candy, and then dinner time would leave us making a special manicotti that has spinach and mushroom filling.  It is an amazing dish plus we would have a fresh salad and some homemade garlic bread.  We have done this since our second Valentine's day together and we have so much fun cooking together, so this year was a little hard with not having him home to love on and make our great Valentine's day meal together.  This year I had friends over and I made everyone dinner, I made homemade baked ziti and it turned out great.

My thoughts are still with my hunny and I am wishing he was here but at least we were able to make it a good night with friends.  I hope you all had an amazing Valentine's Day dinner with loved ones.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Zutano Organic Baby Clothing – $75 Zutano Gift Card Giveaway by Our Ordinary Life Blog


Above you will find a link to an amazing giveaway that I am super excited for.  These clothes are super cute and I hope I can get some for Mr. Gabriel and Miss Makenzi.  Bright colors and cute patterns with classic shapes.  I am thinking that if I go and get anything they would be sizes for summer for both kids, 6 months for Gabe and 24 or 2T for Kenzi.  Kid clothes are so cute.  anyway, all of you should check out this blog and this giveaway, even if you don't have kids you can always give the gift card to me or get clothing for nieces, nephews, or grandchildren.  So go check it out and tell me what you think too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Disney Jr, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

So, just wanted to tell everyone how much I love this show. Well, I should say how much my daughter loves this show.  I have bought her some of the DVDs of it so that when we go in the car she can be entertained and low and behold the show doesn't just hold her attention and keep her from getting bored while riding but it is teaching her skills that are above her age for sure.  I wasn't sure if it was just a fluke or not, but thanks to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Miss Makenzi, who is just 18 months old, can count to 13 and to make sure she keeps on going with it we count all sorts of things around the house and every where we go seems like she counts higher every couple days.  She also has started to put the names of colors together with the proper color so if you tell her to get a blue ball she actually gets a blue ball and says bue for blue.  it still blows my mind thinking about the car ride where she started counting along with Mickey. My husband and I looked at each other like "did she really just count?" and then she did it again and we both started clapping and yelling yay to her and good job and she just loves to count and the numbers are coming out clearer each time.  Anyway, we love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for sure.  Also Little Einsteins is starting to get her interested in body parts.  If you ask her to pat her belly she does for the most part and started doing this one day while watching Little Einsteins and all while saying pat each time she patted her tummy or legs.  No she doesn't watch tv all the time but I do keep something on in the back ground through out the day when we are in the living room, but we also play in her room and she is getting better about listening and getting items I ask her for. I love seeing her bloom and show how smart she really is.  Anyway, we love Disney Jr, the shows are great and she is taking away good skills from them.  Thanks Disney!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Clorox Bleach Foamer for the Bathroom...wow

I was talking to my mom the other day about how no matter what I used my shower never got clean, it had mold growing in it that was pink and nothing seemed to touch it.  I told her I was going to get some bleach and just dump the whole thing all over the shower.  She told me that she used this Clorox product called Bleach Foamer for the Bathroom and that it worked so well she was going to get some for her own house.  See she has a cleaning business so when it comes to cleaning hard to clean things I call her for advice.  So I went ahead and got some as its very nicely priced, less than $2.00 at Walmart. Well, this morning I just had enough and grabbed it and sprayed down my entire shower with it and left it for about a half hour and my shower looks beautiful no more pink mold, just have a few dark spots to go back over on the grout but other than that my shower is white like it should have been in the first place, not pink.  I will be keeping this in my arsenal of cleaning products for sure! I didn't have to scrub anything just spray and left it for a short period of time then rinsed. Perfect product for a busy mom, I love finding no hassle cleaners! Good job Clorox on this one, I have a new favorite bathroom cleaner.

I highly recommend this one for any grout you need cleaned or any bathroom for that matter, even does good in the toilet bowl, just spray a little and let it sit and then flush and the bowl looks great. Anyway, try it for yourself and see what I am talking about just make remember it has bleach in it so be careful not to get it on your clothing and be prepared when you rinse for the bleachy smell, but you can't beat the easy cleaning it gives you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gabriel at 1 month

So February 6th, Gabriel turned one month and today the 7th we had his one month check up.  It went great.  He is very healthy and is weighing 10 pounds 3.4 ounces and is 22 1/4 inches tall and his head in 15 inches round.  All in all he is in the 75% for his age group.  He is already starting to hold up his head and trying to scoot on his belly.  He hasn't rolled over yet but he is trying so I am sure in the next month he will roll over no problem.  He even takes shots like a champ.  Cried for a few seconds after he got it and then calmed right down. I was told that whatever I was doing was great because he was very healthy and to keep it up.  This made me feel great since I have been a little stressed out with have 2 under 2 and no relief.  It is going to be nice to have some visitors for just about the rest of the month too.  Anyway, next thing we need to conquer is to get Gabriel sleeping through the night so that I don't feel so tired anymore, haha, I know it will come when he is ready.  On top of the great growth he is starting to wear 0-3 month clothing which is ahead of Makenzi at this age too.  It really is amazing how different my 2 children are but how loving they both are, Gabriel loves giving kisses and hugs its awesome.  So that is how he is growing and doing.  It amazes me how fast a month has gone bye.  If I am lucky the whole deployment will go this way. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Vistaprint.com did a great job on our announcements!!

Just wanted to share my joy with how great these announcements turned out.  We got to use Vistaprint.com/share and ordered 20 free birth announcements.  It is amazing the quality as they are done with a matte finish but they turned out perfect.  The site was also super easy to use and my order got to me before the actual delivery by date, which is a rarity these days.  Anyway, if you are about to have your little one or just had your little one check out vistaprint.com/share for some announcements.

They also have tons of other great gift ideas for good prices!!  I think I know what we will be doing for Christmas gifts for the grandparents this year...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Emotions and Deployment.

I'll tell you what.  If you are an emotional person to begin with you will find controlling said emotions while dealing with your husband being deployed almost impossible.  See I have always been emotional, since I was little I was in essence a cry baby, soft, sensitive.  I learned over the years how to control those emotions for the most part and over the years and dealing with all areas of life from extreme sad to extreme happy and have managed to get by okay with control. However, these days of deployment I have no control.  Any little thing sets me off, from seeing part of his uniform or his boots sitting by the front door to saying good night to him when he checks in with me before hitting the rack, I just lose it.  The hardest part is when I lose it in front of our daughter, she is only 18 months and yet is wise beyond just that.  When she sees me cry these days she becomes this compassionate little person who hugs my neck and has even wiped the tears away, which being emotional anyway makes me cry more.  If she doesn't do the compassionate thing she becomes a complete goof ball and tries her hardest to make me laugh and normally gets me to. I don't think I would be as sane as I am through this without her. 

Anyway, to boot my loss of emotional control add in the emotions running wild from being pregnant, having the baby and now having a lack of sleep. The biggest question I have now is will I ever regain control over these wild emotions or is this here to stay, all my hard work over the last 20 years down the drain? I think not.  The best thing anyone can do when they are in my situation is to just get it out.  Keep a journal, blog, talk to friends and family on the phone or via chat, write a letter to who ever. Just get it out and if you really feel like you just need to cry watch a Disney movie, any of them, if you are like me, the first sappy scene they show you will be reaching for the tissues.  The main key I am trying to pass on is to not keep it bottled up. They say a support group, whether that is your friends, family or just other spouses who are going through the same thing, stick to them like glue and talk it out but be ready to listen too. 

The other thing I do to manage my crazy emotions these days is to funnel it into projects, getting the house organized, painting pictures, making blankets, pretty much anything you have been wanting to do but haven't had the time to do it.  Makes some time each day to sit down and do something you have been wanting to do, this will give you a break from reality for a few minutes and lets you relax and lets your emotions reset.  Trust me if you are having a problem with emotional control try these simple things and you will feel a lot better.  Anyway, I wanted to share these tips because I was having a break down after talking with my husband tonight, we only got to talk for a few minutes over AIM and though I was thrilled to see him on line and have him respond to me and find out how his day was, I am missing him like crazy and with the storm rolling in outside I didn't want to have to say good night though I knew he needs all the sleep he can get. 

Well, I hope these tips and tricks for managing emotions helps at least one person out there because if I can at least help one person my job is done.  I hope you all find peace and happiness and emotional control, I know I hope I find it one of these days.

Friday, February 3, 2012

1st time sending a care package.

So today was interesting to say the least.  We went to the post office to send the first care package. Let me tell you that there is a lot to do the 1st time you send one.  I didn't know about the customs form, which I should have expected considering its going overseas, and with the large boxes you need tape which luckily I had stopped at Wal-mart before and got some blue duct tape, as blue is my husband's favorite color.  With getting this shipped I had to run in and get the box first then run back to the car.  I got it taped up loaded and sealed up in the car then got our extremely large stroller out.  Put the kids in the stroller and got inside to wait in line while I filled in the addresses.  Once I got up to the counter the clerk asked if I had the form.  I know I had a blank look on my face to that as I couldn't figure out what "the form" was, however, the clerk was super nice and got me set up on the side to fill out the customs form after he explained how to fill it out.  Thank the Lord that he explained how to fill it out because I would have been lost trying to deconstruct the address but they didn't make me do that just to keep writing in the blocks as if it was just blank blocks.  Anyway, once I had that done I waited for him to finish helping another customer and then got the package and some announcements for Gabe's birth sent out.  All in all it was an ordeal to get in there but well worth it knowing that my husband will soon have some items he forgot and some that will make him smile.  Now to start thinking about what I will send in the next package, how to make it just as special.  I am thinking Kenzi art project coming in the near future.  Well, I hope that the package gets to him quickly, and for those of you wanting to send him packages or letters email me and I will give you his address.  Its quite the experience of sending packages but after the 1st time it'll be easy.