Sunday, October 2, 2011

The stay at home mom stigma.

I am angry. I am sad. I am ashamed at many women and their mindset today.

I'm ashamed because these women degrade the life and hopes and dreams of other women. What's worse is they do it in the name of "feminism".

I always had these crazy aspirations when I was a kid. I would go from Teacher, to Singer, to Pediatrician, to Radiologist, to Social Worker, and finally, back to teacher again. But there was also something else I really wanted more than anything else-to be a mom.

I have accomplished that, and while it is crazy, hectic, and exhausting, it is also amazing, rewarding, and filled with so much love and happiness. I wouldn't change it for the world. I get to see the small changes my daughter has day to day. I get to watch her as she grows and never miss a second. I am lucky enough to be married to a man who has a job that enables me to stay home with our daughter, and he wants that too.

For some reason, though, some women seem to think it's their right to judge mothers who stay home with their children. I understand it's not for everyone. Some people need time out of the house, more adult interaction, need to be bringing in income. I get it, and I certainly would never judge those women for that choice. Why, then, do they judge me for mine?

I've read everything from SAHM's are all lazy, never shower, never clean, spend all their "husband's" money, to all SAHM's have no ambition and we are to be pitied because we aren't doing "more" with our lives.

I'm sad for them, that that's how they view raising a child. In my mind, there's nothing trivial about it. My job, and yes, I said job, is incredibly important. The actions I take, the way I raise my daughter, the things I do with her every day shape who she will become. How is that unimportant?

Contrary to apparent popular belief, I, and most SAHM's that I know, do not sit on my fat butt all day eating "fried twinkies", watching TV, and neglecting my child. My daughter's only 5.5 months old, but I work my butt off every day. I spend 4 hours a day nursing her, and the rest of the time I am playing with her, changing her, holding her, reading to her, and trying to keep her happy. The rare moments that she allows me to set her down or takes a nap, I do a quick load of dishes, pick up the rooms, throw in some laundry, and get as much around the house done as I can. I cook the meals and I pick up after them. That's my job. I don't take my husband's money-this is a marriage, a partnership, and he understands that in order for me to be the one taking care of our child, that is my job. And he loves it. He has actually said "I would rather have my job than yours." He's not a super big fan of his job, so that's saying a lot.

A mother who stays at home because she wants to have that time with her child should never be bullied into feeling like she is a bane to society and her husband, is wasting her life, is lazy, or any of the other garbage I've seen spewed on the internet. It's hurtful, it's unnecessary, and it's wrong. I will admit even though I know it's just plain ignorance and women being catty and putting others down to make themselves feel better about themselves, I have read people's hurtful remarks about stay at home mom's and actually felt bad about that. And then I look at my beautiful daughter's face and feel ashamed that I ever let those stupid, stupid comments make me question my time with her.

I watch Keira roll over for the first time, see her as she catches me walking into a room with a huge smile lighting up her face, hear her adorable laugh, see the little personality she's developing and the child she's becoming more and more every day, and it amazes me. How could anyone make this seem like this job that I have doesn't deserve respect?

The whole point of feminism is the freedom of a woman's right to choose. Her choice; not your choice of what you think she should be doing. The beauty of it is if I want to stay home and clean poop and play patty cake and have dinner ready when the hubby comes home-I can! If you want to have a career and do it all-you can!

It's become acceptable to take women out of the molds they were forced into for so long by men, and force them into new molds? This time we can't blame the men. We're doing it to each other.

Well if that is how feminism works, I want no part of it. I'll be in the kitchen in my pj's, baking a pie with my baby on my hip.

And I'll be damn happy about it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hoisin Chicken over at the Messy Cook

I posted my first original recipe today over at my new blog. It was really good, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to miss out. :) My mind is brewing over some cupcakes that I am going to try, likely early next week-banana bread cupcakes filled with peanut butter ganache and topped with nutella frosting. Please tell me that doesn't sound AH-MAZING. And the banana bread cupcake part is super easy. Actually, all of it's going to be pretty easy even though it's all homemade. So go on over and follow there so I don't have to keep pimping it out on this blog ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Blog-Food and Books=Awesome

Today I decided to make a new blog: The Messy Cook & Midnight Reader. It's all explained over there. It's pretty self explanatory, but it's going to be awesome recipes I've tried or created, and reviews on books I'm reading, be they good or bad. I thought it would be fun and maybe give me more inspiration to write. So go on over and follow me there, kthxbai. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nine Loves

1. I love my lil miss Keira. She is getting so smiley and she loves to laugh at us when we tickle her belly, play the footsie game, or tickle her neck with smooches. She fills my days with happiness and I will take the shots of baby poo and getting puke in the mouth if I get those precious smiles at the end of the day.

2. I love my hubby. We have so much fun together and are our goofball, weirdo selves when we're around each other. He is the peanut butter to my jelly, the mac to my cheese, the cake to my fat girl. Plus he contributed to that pretty little girl up there so how bad can he be right?

3. I love my family. I can't wait to be closer to them again and for Keira to get to spend more time with them.
4. Okay so now that all of those cliche, obligatory loves are out the way let's get to the fun stuff. Just jokes ;) Anyway, I L.O.V.E fall. Like, I'm obsessed guys. When the pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks, I squeal. The thought of being able to comfortably wear a jacket outside puts a smile on my face. I jump up and down on the inside at the thought of going to a pumpkin patch, going on a hayride, and walking around in the crisp air. Loooooove. Fall.

5. I love to read. Ever since I was a kid I love getting to escape in a world that someone's imagination created. I have always gotten really attached to characters in books that I particularly love. I hope I can foster this love of reading in Keira, because it has always been something that brings me joy. I can't think of anything better than curling up in a cozy chair with some coffee in my hand and reading an amazing book.
6. I love to cook. I think more than anything, I like feeding people and knowing they liked what I created. I especially love baking. This love has gotten me into a bit of trouble around the waistline, if you know what I'm sayin'.

7. I love all things nerdy. Reading I've already gone over, but I really love going to Renaissance Fair's. I know it's so hokey and commercialized and not at ALL what the Renaissance was actually like, but I do not care. It's just fun. I like seeing all the crazy costumes, watching the shows, and walking around outside on no roads and feeling like I'm in a different time. Also, the turkey legs are pretty cool.
8. I love my Keurig. I'm telling you dude, if you love coffee, get you one of these babies. There are so many awesome flavors of Kcups (PUMPKIN SPICE!) and it is so. Easy. You just pop a k cup in, press a button, and bam, you have one single cup of coffee. They even have coffees meant to be brewed over ice, sweet iced tea, hot breakfast tea, hot chocolate, and my hubby's personal favorite, Apple Cider. I adore this thing. I swear I'm not getting anything from Keurig for this shameless plug, it is just a super cool product. (Although Keurig if you want to give me some free KCups, I will not object.)
9. Finally, I love home. I am from the most po dunk town in Kansas you could ever imagine. There is 1 stop light, a gas station, and everyone is seriously having a flipping cow that there's going to be a Pizza Hut built soon (can I say that I would also be freaking out if I still lived there, because come can get pizza without having to drive a half hour. That is sweet). Everybody always talks about wanting to leave and get out of there. Well I have, to two very different parts of the country, and let me tell you, it's not that great out here. I miss home. I miss nice people that wave at you even if I have no clue who they are. I miss people that let you in when you need to merge on the highway instead of giving you the finger as they almost run you off the road. I miss the hillbilly's at Wal Mart that don't sass you. Say what you will, but there's no place like home.

Friday, September 2, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: 10 Secrets

I have seen this going around a few blogs, so...I don't exactly know who to credit this to. But it's a quick, easy, way to make a blog post that doesn't include thought (from me, anyway). Miss attached-to-my-hip, otherwise known as my daughter Keira, is consuming about 98% of my time right now. I'm perfectly fine with that :) But I thought I would explain the possibly 1 person who is reading this.

So anyway, today: Ten secrets. And these are ACTUALLY going to be, total embarrassment, you can make fun of me for life, secrets...but isn't that what secrets are?

1. I used to be this really introverted, shy, never want to go anywhere type of girl (I'm talking when I was about 13) and I had online boyfriends. I know, I know...leave me alone.

2. I am totally hetero, but I think Kate Beckinsale is hot.

3. I have the grossest feet. I realize I'm not being super kind to myself but don't secrets about yourself usually suck? Anyway, they are gross. I sweat really easily, and I actually go walking and do housework so they aren't girly feet at all. Also they are really wide, and it's super hard for me to find a pair of shoes that don't leave my little toe blistered.

4. I am a hypochondriac of the biggest sort. Some people already know this, but it extends even further than most know. I would say on a daily basis there's some disease or super crappy thing I hear about/think of and convince myself I or someone I love has it. Okay maybe not EVERY day, but seriously. To give you an idea I had convinced myself we wouldn't be able to have babies because I thought I had PCOS. And thus, Keira was born :P

5. I am absolutely terrified of the dark. I am SUCH a baby and I have no idea where it came from. I used to watch the Exorcist and laugh when I was like 13. So I hate the fact that the hubs has a job where he leaves the house by 5AM when he's on days, OR is gone all night on mids. If I wake up in the middle of the night I will keep opening my eyes to make sure there are no ghosties. I know it's ridiculous...I'm not scared of real people. That would be too logical.

6. I am addicted to sweets, which I am currently trying to break that habit. I could probably eat a package of cookies in one sitting, by myself, and not bat an eye.

7. I am clingy, and I love that my husband has stuck with me and actually asked me to marry him knowing that. I was such a huge baby when he was gone at basic.

8. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough with my life. But then I dance around with Keira and see her big, happy smile and I know that she will only be little for so long. Everything else will still be there 5 years from now, but her childhood won't.

9. I'm a total nerd. I play computer games with my husband, I know what a golden snitch is, I've fangirled over Twilight and made a whole bath tub full of spaghetti to win an advanced copy of a book.

10. Okay, it is really hard to think of 10 secrets! I weigh a lot more than people tend to think. Working on it :P

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weight Loss: Take 34642342

Yep...I am at it again. Only this time I REALLY have my work cut out for me. There's this thing called having a baby and having a huge craving for chocolate and hashbrowns for 9 months that totally cramps my skinny style.

I'm 20 lbs over my pre pregnancy weight right now...and let's be honest, even then I was nowhere close to my goal weight. I'm short, so this goal weight is depressingly low.

This is what I looked like while Kyler was at basic.

Depressing, right? I was so skinny. And pretty. I don't often think I'm pretty, but I really felt it then. Looking at pictures from this time is really sad to me for now. Probably something to do with the stretchmarked, poochy thing I call a belly right now.

That picture was about 40 pounds ago. Pre-preggo was 20 pounds more than that, and to be honest I would love to be where I was then, even.

SO. I'm not making anymore sweets. I know, I know-this means I have to stay off of Foodgawker. Fail. :( But I saw somebody on facebook before say "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." I don't even remember who it was, but I'm trying to remind myself of that. Indulgences every now and then, sure, but the bulk of my eating needs to be healthy from now on. It's not just about looks, but it's about how I feel, too. I want to have energy. I want to be able to run around and keep up with Keira when she's a toddler running all over the place. I want her to be proud when people see that I'm her mommy.

I have a huge Coke addition. By this I mean that I love Coca Cola, and not that I am a druggie. So for now I'm limiting myself to 1 Coke every other day. I need to start small on this so I don't turn into a bear...I would like to eventually limit myself to 1 Coke per week, and then maybe cut it out altogether if I can.

I also started exercising again today. I got BIG with Keira, and there towards the end when I walked up our stairs it was like I just ran a marathon. That on top of the c section and Keira's non stop feeding=lack of time, I haven't really had any sort of exercise in a good 6 months. I am seriously, very out of shape. I took a walk outside for 30 minutes and came home and did a 10 minute Pilates arm sculpting DVD. And I was dog tired. It was sorta pathetic. But it's a start.

I ordered the dvd's of the lady who has the "walk at home" program. Which I used to always laugh at and be like hur hur how do you need someone to teach you how to walk. Well walking is all I can do for now, Dr's orders, and it would be SO much more convenient to pop in a video and set Keira in her bassinet for awhile instead of always having to lug her into the stroller and listen to her scream bloody murder while I walk.

So anyway I know you aren't supposed to lose a ton of weight quickly while breastfeeding, and I also know you aren't supposed to "diet" as in have low calories. I will eat plenty to nourish Keira, rest assured. I'm just eating healthier-oatmeal, cereals, bagels, for breakfast, sandwiches, soups, salads for lunch, fruits, granola bars, and trail mixes for snacks, and sensible dinners. I would like to exercise about 4 days a week for now. My goal is to lose 8 pounds per month. My first short term goal is to lose 10 pounds...hopefully next month, I'll have accomplished that. My long term goal is to lose 60 pounds.

I have a ways to go, but I'm praying I can stay strong. I would love to look in the mirror and feel good about myself and know that I am healthy.

Here's to having a "here's what I look like now!" picture instead of a "here's what I used to look like".

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mil Spouse Fill In Returns

1. Have you (spouse) ever considered joining the military and what do you think of dual military couples? submitted by Project Army Wife

2. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon? submitted by A Few of My Favorite Things
With Kyler's schedule, we don't get the typical Sunday afternoon since he works every other weekend and is on nights half the time. BUT for answering the questions sake, I would say making an awesome dinner with the husband and maybe watching a movie, or walking around the mall. I like to get out of the house when Kyler's off.

3. What do you usually do for the 4th of July holiday? submitted by Anchor’s Away
If we were home, we would be going to my Grandparents for lunch of cook out burgers and dogs, deviled eggs, and watergate salad, then we would go to the fireworks show wherever they had it that year in Joplin, and then we would go back and shoot night fireworks. This year Kyler is on mids and has to sleep all day and work all evening so any plans we had for the 4th pretty much got shot. :( We're going to grill out steaks in the 2 hours that he is home, I'm going to eat Watermelon, and then probably spend the evening with baby girl watching movies.

4. If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you’d medal in, what would it be? submitted by Pants are Confusing
Being a hypochondriac and going on WebMD thinking I had the flu and closing the site thinking I had cancer. I would totally win 1st place at that event every time. :)

5. What have you been doing to get yourself bathing suit ready for the summer? submitted by Not Just an Army Wife
Again....hahahahahahaha. Right before summer I had a GINORMOUS belly from my chunky monkey, and now I just have that nasty baby pooch left behind so yeah. My body may never be bathing suit ready again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

This is my 1st What I'm Loving Wednesday, yay! I am a pessimist at heart, it's true. Woe is me, and I have cursed Murphey many a time. I'm working on it. I will take any swift kicks in the butt encouraging positivity, so here goes!

I am loving...

Cute clothes for Keira with cupcakes on them. Really any dessert, but particularly cupcakes. I also love ones that have to do with daddy, so I squealed when I saw this one.

Nutella. So. Good. I've been putting it on banana bread, toast, bagels, and even in my oatmeal. It's basically a breakfast staple.
Drop Dead Diva. I will admit that when I first saw previews for this show I scoffed at it and knew I was too intelligent to like a show whose premise is about a ditzy model who died and "pressed the return button" and got sent back into a size 16's body. But the hubs works long hours and one evening I felt like a totally stereotypical girl show. I love it. It is my guilty pleasure. And is anyone else mad at Grayson?? LAME!
Finally, I am loving my little family. Kyler has been in combatives class the past 2 weeks and he's been able to come home for lunch, and have a normal 8 hour work day as opposed to the 14 hour days + no lunch we are used to. It has been great having him home more often. I am loving my baby girl, whose gummy smile melts my heart.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Foodgawker=weight gain

I. Love. Foodgawker. I find THE best recipes on there. Plus there are like 14 pages devoted to nutella. Win.

We had friends over for a BBQ and I made this recipe for Cherry Limeade Cheesecake.

I'm not sure why I fail at putting links in blogs, but...I do. Why can't I make it all cool and have wording that I want that you can click on? Sorry for my lack of bloggy knowledge. Love me through it. Edit: I am silly and had been blogging in html mode this whole time instead of compose. Woops :)

Anyway, it was pretty good...but honestly I couldn't taste any lime. And I added 2 extra tbsp over what the recipe called for. time I'll be adding a lot more lime. I like my citrus.

If nothing else, it was really pretty!!

I also made these Smores Cookie-and they were awesomesauce. They are extremely addictive and such a gluttonous thing to do-put chocolate on top of a cookie on top of another cookie, but regardless, they rock.

This next one is a recipe from me, for Potato Salad. If you like potato salad that is swimming in the disgusting-ness that is mayonnaise, this recipe is not for you. I hate mayo. So much that we have not had mayo in our home, all 5 years that I've lived on my own, until I decided to make potato salad. It makes me gag. So enough of my mayo hatin', this recipe has a few extra kicks from your typical potato salad. Unfortunately I had a screaming monster so I didn't have time to take a picture, but I assure you it was yummy.

Potato Salad
2 lbs red potatoes, boiled until fork tender, and quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 lb bacon
3/4 cup garlic and herb mayo
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

Cook the bacon until crisp and set aside on paper towel. Chop into small pieces.

Combine the potatoes, onion, pepper, eggs, and bacon. Combine the mayo, sugar, salt, and mustard. Add the dressing mixture to the potatoes and stir. Chill in the fridge.

Super easy, yeah?

And here are a couple of pictures of Keira. Because she's cute.

Friday, June 17, 2011

She lives!

So I would like to introduce you all to the reason that I haven't blogged in nearly 4 months ;)

That is our beautiful daughter Keira, at 2 months old. She is birthday twins with my little sister, who was just tickled pink that her niece made her grand appearance on her birthday! I went in for a routine NST on April 14th and was told that my fluid was very low. They kept me and induced and I was expecting to meet my little beauty that evening. 36 hours of labor later, I stalled at 6 cm and they had to do a c-section. Turns out Keira was trying to come out face down-she has the battle wounds to prove it. Poor thing was battered and bruised :( We should have known she was going to be a little firecracker when she flipped us off in utero.

Keira takes after mommy in that she is a very hungry girl. Which translates to me nursing practically 24/7 for the past 2 months...and when I am not nursing her, she loves to be held, so I don't often have any free hands. I'm not complaining, though. She has brought so much joy into our lives. I can't think of anything that makes me happier than talking to her and seeing her cute little smile. :)

I get a few more free time breaks here recently...she will nap for a while and daddy takes her so I can do some laundry or just have some relax time. I will try to update more often now (more often as in not take a 4 month hiatus shouldn't be too hard) but be forewarned, my life revolves around lil miss now, so my blog probably will, too. :P

Monday, February 28, 2011

Live like no one else...

When Kyler and I were in college, we were, simply, stupid. We didn't work for the first couple of years except in the summer so we could "focus on school"...which really translated to have the optimum amount of free time. So, we ended up taking out tons of student loans to cover tuition and cost of living. We were still living on a seriously, seriously small amount of money per year...enter credit cards. They are really the epitome of evil. I hate credit cards. I've been making payments on the same credit cards for 4 years and making sadly little progress. It's such an easy thing to get sucked in to. Here is all this "free" money, you can buy whatever you want, and you don't even have to think about it right now! Until you get the statement in the mail and realize you spent more than you could have imagined in such a short period of time.

At our worst point, we had over 10 credit cards combined. I wish I was joking.

While Kyler was at Basic Training, I went to a weekly Dave Ramsey church class with my inlaws. I don't really know why it's taken us this long to put what I learned there into effect, but this month, we are starting to follow Dave's plan.

If you take a class or read one of his books or watch his show you'll hear "live like no one you can live like no one else." In short, following his plan is not fun. You put as much as possible into debt as you can, you never buy anything unless you have the money saved up for it...but you know what is even less fun than that? Looking at your budget for the month and realizing you have very little fun money to work with because you have so many credit card payments.

So, this is what we're doing:
1) Making a monthly budget and strictly following it. We take out cash for the following categories: groceries, restaurant money, laundry, toiletries, necessities for our dog, and a Christmas savings-and put them into envelopes. When that money is gone, you're done! The point of that is when you use a debit card, it's so easy to just spend and spend and not realize where the money's going or how much you're actually spending. The idea is when you have to pay cash and physically hand over the amount and see the amount get smaller, you'll feel what you're spending and be more aware of it. And it's so true.

2) Putting $500 into a savings/"emergency fund" account. We can already check this one off the list-we just did this one today! It's so nice to know that if our car breaks down or we get a flat tire, or some other unexpected thing comes up, we have money right there to fix it without having to worry about where it will come from. If you have a higher income the recommended amount is $1000, and we'd like to get there eventually, but it's staying at $500 for now.

3) Paying off debt and NOT using the credit cards. If we weren't using our income tax return and Kyler's Army bonus on this, this one would be taking us ages and ages to finish. But we are hoping that once that money comes in (it should be any day now, please please!) we are buying the rest of the things we need for Keira, buying Kyler a grill and me a workout program for after Keira's here, and then literally absolutely everything else is going to credit cards. Yes, it's depressing to read and hear about all the really fun things other people are buying with their returns and bonuses...but I am psyched for this. We are hoping to pay off all but ONE credit card and free up over $300 extra dollars per month!!

4) You are supposed to "snowball" your, if you pay off one credit card, you take the payment amount for that one and instead of counting it as extra money, you put it towards your next credit card. You're also supposed to pay off credit cards smallest to largest balances no matter the interest rate, but since we're hoping to pay them all off at once this won't matter to us. And you're also supposed to put as much extra as you can per month. Right now, we aren't able to put any-but once we free up that $300, we'll be able to pay off the other things even faster.

I'm planning on us being debt free, other than student loans, within a year. We don't have a house and we own our car outright, so how amazing would that be to literally only have student loan payments. I'm so excited.

I'm going to read "the total money makeover" by Dave Ramsey to freshen up on exactly how this works, but there's the jist of it. Look this guy up if you are having money problems-it's not super complicated stuff, but it really works if you follow the plan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Easy Lattice Pie Crust

I think I make a mean apple pie. It's one of my husband's favorite desserts, and that's coming from a guy who used to claim he doesn't like apple pie. I've been watching a lot of Pushing Daisies lately, and all the talk of pie had me wanting to bake (okay, and eat) so I surprised Kyler one morning when he got home from work by having one already made!

I love to put a lattice crust over it instead of just laying the top crust on, I think it looks so cool and like you worked really hard on it when really, you didn't. It is actually really easy-I swear!

First just roll out your pie crust on some wax paper. You can use a pizza cutter, which is what I normally do, but I couldn't find mine so I just used a butter knife and it worked out fine. Cut the dough into same sized strips, you can make them as big or as small as you want just depending on what you want your pie to look like. I make quite a few cuts.

Next, lay down strips vertically, even spaced apart-again, it all depends on what you want your pie to look like, so space it how you want. Now, just take every other strip and fold it back halfway.

Now, place a horizontal strip across...

And unfold the pieces back over it.

Now you will take the vertical strips that are running under the horizontal strip, and fold them back. Place another horizontal strip, and then refold those pieces.

You just keep doing this process-take the vertical strips that are running underneath the horizontal strips, fold back, place a horizontal strip, and refold until the crust is done!

Now to make the edges look pretty: trim off the excess from all of the strips. I wasn't able to do this very well because I used premade refridgerated dough and it wasn't big enough to where the bottom crust stuck out and had excess over my pan. But if you do have the excess from the bottom crust, just fold the bottom crust over the strips around the edge, and crimp it together.

The finished product! Only don't be a dweeb like me and break off some of the lattice by checking to make sure your apples are cooked. Oops.

Needless to say, the husband was happily surprised when he walked in and sniffed the awesome smell of fresh apple pie.

Please try this if you never have. I was really scared to at first, but it is really easy once you get the hang of it, and always a nice way to fool people into thinking you worked harder than you really did!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

US Army: Thank you.

Usually, I don't put forth any effort to hide my dislike of the Army. I am not a "hooah" wife. I hate the stupid rules, I hate my husband being called at 4AM on his day off and told he needs to come in within 2 hours to have a drug test, I hate the 13 hour work days that the pay certainly doesn't reflect, I hate that if there's a day we just want to go do something together or simply stay in he can't just call in sick. This isn't even counting a deployment, so I can't imagine how I'd feel about it then. While there are definitely positives, I have not been a big fan of this life and I've made no secret that Kyler and I both are looking forward to civilian life again. I am definitely counting down until his contract is up.

With that being said, lately I have been feeling thankful for the Army for one big reason. If Kyler hadn't joined, I would still be in school at KU and finishing my degree. In order to do that I would have had to take out at least $15,000 more in student loans, and we would have probably wracked up more credit card debt rather than paying it off. Kyler would have been looking for a job right as the recession hit, and who knows if he would have found one. Our finances definitely would not have been in a spot where we would have considered having a child-we probably wouldn't even be married yet. We wouldn't have been at the place and time we were for Keira to be conceived.

I never understood why he wanted to join. This was not something that had ever come up before-in fact, he would have laughed in your face if you told him he was going to be a soldier. It literally came out of nowhere and when I would try to ask him WHY so I could understand, he never really had an answer other than he felt like he was supposed to.

I think he felt that way so that we could have our little girl. I wouldn't be 8 weeks from seeing our first baby and holding her little hand, I wouldn't be able to hold my belly while she kicks at me to let me know she's okay in there, and I wouldn't be looking through baby books and almost crying when I think about what I'll write as all her favorites or who she takes after. So, God-I didn't understand why on Earth You compelled Kyler to feel the need to join the Army, but now I do: thank you for Keira.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Easy Omelets

I love to cook, but other than cookies, I don't have many recipes that I can call "mine". I guess an omelet is kind of a lame dish to have a recipe for considering they're so versatile and pretty much anyone could make a "recipe" for it, but me and Kyler love these omelets, they are super fast to make, and they can be tweaked to fit anyone's tastes. (Unless you don't like eggs, and then you're just screwed.)

I like to make sure everything is all prepped ahead of time, because these suckers cook fast. So I start with chopping veggies. Pretty much anything you like would be good in these. We had tomatoes, green onion, and bell pepper so that's what I used. Onions and mushrooms would be yummy in it, too.

Next I get the eggs ready. I usually like 3 eggs in my omelets but you could make as big or small of an omelet as you want. I would suggest at least 2 eggs or it won't work out super well. Put them in a bowl and season them up...again, you can season them with whatever you like. See a trend here? I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onion. Beat the eggs until everything is all mixed up.

Next get your pan ready. I use a small skillet, spray it with cooking spray to keep the eggs from sticking, and heat it up. A medium low heat is good, just make sure the pan is completely heated before you put the eggs in.

Pour the eggs in the hot skillet and let the eggs cook and harden a bit around the edges. Once the edges are cooked, lift the edge with a spatula and let all of the runny part still on top run underneath the egg where you are lifting.

Just keep letting the edges harden, lifting them, and letting the runny egg slide underneath until there is no runny egg left on top. Now you can flip!

Immediately start putting your toppings on once you've flipped, because it cooks fast. I usually use cheddar cheese but we were out today, so I used pepperjack. Lay the cheese down first so it gets nice and melty, then top with your veggies. I also usually add some crumbled bacon. Put all of your toppings on one half only.

Finally, just lift the side without toppings and cover the half with toppings, it should look like this:

Now you're ready to eat! Yum yum. I loooove eggs with salsa so I always top my omelet's with salsa. And there you go! Quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Oh! And this is what you DON'T want to do-stick your wrist right on the super hot pan. Ouch. Now I look like an emo cutter. :(

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mil Spouse Friday!

So for some reason my computer or blogger isn't letting me paste...lamesauce, I will just type all the questions.

1. What is your favorite Milspouse blog?
I think my favorite is Carissa at Domicillary Artillery. I love reading all the things she does with her daughter, there are always tons of cool activities and healthy food, she inspires me to want to be a really good, involved momma.

2. What is your favorite perk about your s/o being deployed?
Kyler has luckily never been deployed. I can't imagine finding many perks in it, I hate when he just goes to work for 13 hours let alone being gone for a year at a time. I imagine the only perk I could think of would be you get more pay and tax free.

3. How long did you date your s/o before getting engaged and married?
We had been dating for nearly 4 years when we got engaged-he proposed on my birthday. Then we got married almost exactly a year after that, so 5 years before marriage.

4. What do you think your s/o would do if he weren't in the military?
This is an easy one. He would be a computer scientist buddying up with Bill Gates and making a lot more money ;)

5. If you could talk to the Secretary of the Army, what is one suggestion you would like to bring to their attention in order to improve the lives of military families?
Oh I could say a lot about this one. First of all, I don't know how many ladies I have heard have horrible experiences and I have had some bad experiences as well with the medical care. I realize that it's free, and that's wonderful-but please, hire competant people. We care about our health, too.

Second, housing needs major work. Instead of hiring the lowest bidder and letting the military families live in sub par housing (especially what's going on in Fort Bragg homes right now with infants-terrible), please give us some quality homes. When we moved into our new house, first day, there was literally scotch tape holding up our attic, and ripping a piece of paint from it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MAC Giveaway

One of the top ways I waste time and justify not doing housework is visiting various Army wife forums. Shaka, one of the lovely ladies from one of my favorite forums is doing a giveaway for a $25 MAC Gift Card. I swear I have been hearing about this make up and wondering about it a lot lately, I've heard great things about the eyeshadows.

Anyways, check it out here:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dear doggie.

Look at our cute puppy. Isn't she adorable?

I call her puppy even though she's not a puppy anymore, but anyway.

Despite her extreme cute factor, she likes to scare the heck out of her momma when daddy is gone. She never does it during the day when the sun's shining and you could see any lurking predators and when daddy is there to protect me. Nope, she does it when it's 3 in the morning and mommy has no company in the house other than a fetus and dog.

I went to walk Chorizo (that's her name-mexican sausage, Chihuahua/Dachshund-get it?) in our backyard so she could go potty. Immediately she focuses to the left, gets her little butt in that "you're in my territory and I'll eat you" stance, looks directly at a bush in our backyard, and starts barking. She never barks. Ever. The only time she barks is when there's another dog around that she wants to sniff, or when there's a stranger. So unfortunately for her she didn't get to go potty, because I hightailed it back into our house, dragged her in, slammed our door and locked it.

We went upstairs, me with pepper spray in tow, and she sat in the entry way to our bedroom just staring down the stairs. Why does she do this to me???? This kind of thing only happens in the middle of the night when Kyler's gone, I swear.

I have 1 hour until he's home...which translates to one hour of me sitting here with my pepper spray, looking over my shoulder every 5 seconds, and getting a huge rise in heart rate every time our house creaks.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cooking PSA

Before I go to bed...this evening I made some chocolate covered strawberries. I looked up a recipe first because if I was just going by what I thought, I would just melt some chocolate and dip in the strawberries. The recipe I found said to use shortening but others said you could substitute butter for shortening.

So I waddle my happy pregnant butt downstairs, put the chocolate and some butter in a bowl, and microwave it. As soon as I took it out-uh oh...this is so wrong. I thought maybe heating it some more would help. Nope. I was just left with a bowl full of ruined chocolate that was so thick you couldn't even stir it.

Then I decide maybe I didn't heat it for long enough the first time and that it's a good idea to get a new bowl, new chocolate, new butter, and try again....not a good idea.

Finally I wondered if it was the butter. I melted some chocolate by itself and sure enough, 2 dirty bowls full of wasted chocolate later, I got my chocolate covered strawberries. My PSA for the day? Don't microwave butter and chocolate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A rise in blood pressure later...

Holy moly! I need serious blogging help. I just spent a solid HOUR making my new banner. Sadly no, I'm not joking. I used and wow, I could not get anything to work. It doesn't even look that great! Lamesauce. I thought it'd be like a 10 minute thing.

Anyhoo, my blog is all re-pimped out. And now I'm going to try to fit the last 3 months in one post and not bore you (if there are any of you left) to death.

So the last time I posted we didn't even know what gender our baby was. Now I'm nearly 31 weeks pregnant and I can definitely see the finish line (if not my feet...or legs, really).

We took a trip to Atlanta to get a 3D ultrasound and a gender determination done. Apparently the 3D's creep some people out, so if you are creeped out by sharper image of skeleton baby, kindly turn your head for the next few pictures.

Introducing...Keira Colgrove! It's a girl!!!! She is so lady like, she decided to flip us the bird. I see this being a great "embarass you in front of your boyfriend" picture many years from now, along with nakie bathtime." I would have thought it was hilarious though, personally.

And here's a cuter one. She had no fat here-I was only around 19 weeks. I think it is amazing what they can do now, though. It may creep people out but how awesome that you can see your baby before it's born, with this much clarity?

Her name is Keira Jade. Not Kiera pronounced Key-air-uh, but Keira pronounced Keer-uh. We've already had problems with this so she's going to love us someday, with the last name too. Her middle name is Jade-this was Kyler's pick. I got to pick the first name, so he picked the middle name. Her and daddy will have the same initials :) Cute.

So the reason for my super long absence is that in mid December we had to move all of our belongings from Georgia to Maryland, then put our things in storage. For 2 weeks. Nope, not kidding. Then we went home to Kansas for the first time in over a year and it was amazing to be home!!!! I was a pregnant lady in heaven with the Gringo's burritos. Seriously, for such a gross place you would not think they'd have the best burritos ever, but they do, and I had been craving them for a solid 3 months.

But really, it was great to see my family and friends. I really missed them and still do <3

Miss Holly took our maternity pictures while we were home, and she did an awesome job. We got lots of great pictures, but here are a few of my faves:

I was so sad when we had to leave. I felt like an 18 year old venturing off to college again, only this time I don't get to come home every 2 weeks. I'm comforted, though, knowing that I get to see a lot of my family again in just a couple short months when Keira makes her grand entrance! Seriously I don't know how many times I've heard people say how they can't wait to get out of podunk Kansas, and I used to say it too, but now I would give anything to be able to just be home again.

That being said, we are now living in one of the coolest areas of the country (in my opinion). Maryland has so many historical things to see and so many things surrounding it, I can't wait for warmer weather so that we can explore. We did take a trip to DC when we first got here. It was FREEZING and really tiring for my 7 month pregnant butt waddling all over the place, but we did get to see Kumar in a restaurant. I don't have any pictures for proof because he zoomed by really fast, but I do have 3 other people that were there to back me up.

Here's a view looking up the Washington Monument, which we got to go up in and look out over DC.

Arlington Cemetary...I always think it's a really humbling place to see.

Me and the hubs in front of The Honest One.

Pretty cool to have just gotten here, and already be able to see a lot of neat things.

So anyway ever since then we have just been setting up house. This is our first time living on post, and I don't know how I feel about it yet. Honestly, this is the most crappily put together place we have ever lived in, and we lived in cheap college apartments. Our downstairs stays about 0 degrees while our upstairs is roasting, and the first evening I cooked we set off the carbon monoxide alarm because of our lovely gas oven being on for too many hours because it wouldn't ever completely bake a chicken.

That being said, we have a place to live and Kyler is really close to his work, which is nice.

I think that's enough updating for now. I'm sure I'm missing plenty of things but I doubt anyone has even made it this far. I could probably cuss you all out and no one would be the wiser :) I'm going to start posting some recipes as I make ones that turn out really well, and we are crossing every phalange we have that Kyler's bonus will come in by the end of this week so when that happens...I get my sewing machine!!!! I'm trying to decide what my first project is going to be, but I will post about it as it happens, and of course include pictures, because I'm sure it'll be quite a sight.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!! The Mr. and I don't get to spend it together because he has work all evening. Typical Army stuff. So I'm getting ready to go throw some laundry in, change into my pj's, make some chocolate covered strawberries, eat my Olive Garden leftovers, watch some movies, and then read my book later. Hope you all have a good evening!