January & February Roundup

Well, well, well. Look who’s back for a little update / photo dump / catch up. A whole ten day absence and then two weekend posts in a row. I clearly follow a blog schedule – not! I think it’ll be my goal to separate these monthly, because everyone just waits on the edge of their seats to see the random pictures that fill up my memory cards scattered in my desk drawer, ha. I know a bunch of favorites fell through the cracks this go round, but here are a few. You’ve heard the disclaimer, I’m behind. So let’s get started. We kicked off February with a trip up north, visiting friends in Pennsylvania and DC. I was waiting on this picture to mention it on the blog, but I FINALLY got to meet one of my favorite blogger friends. We started virtually stalking each other’s blogs back when the boys were born (totally normal). She’s as awesome in person as she is on her blog. She’s also the weird photography mom setting up her tripod in her front yard for pictures (see below), fellow Marine Corps spouse, mom of boy and girl of nearly identical ages to Mitchell and Julia, working momma, and well versed in the world of military-spousing and PCS’ing. Her biggest flaw is that they PCS’d to Quantico and not Camp Lejeune, because we could have been the best of base housing neighbors turned blogging friends! It could happen someday, you never know. But if you’re looking for another milso-blog to follow with amazing photography and home decor, check her out at Sincerely, Sarah Anne. Of course, this picture is the best we could get of the boys (playing), Amelia (in her own little world), and Julia (duck-facing). At least we look cute 😉 

I told you I was behind. Never even edited this year’s Santa picture. I took them to get the obligatory sitting-on-Santa’s lap picture. Grumpiest Santa ever, by the way. He snapped at me for not having Julia out of the stroller before getting up to him, not so cheerily pointing out that there was a line waiting. Sorry, Santa. Two toddlers, only two hands, a deployed husband, and I just needed a Santa picture. And then he rolled his eyes when I pulled out my beast of a camera (give me a break, I already had the settings ready!). No wonder my stocking was empty this year, apparently I was on the naughty list. I was tempted to return his grumpiness by pointing out he had the worst possible lighting ever for the picture, but I mustered up some Christmas cheer and handed over my kids to sit on a strange man’s lap. Bah humbug. 

I started working on Julia’s big girl room. It’s a work in progress. So far, the bed is refinished, we found a bargain dresser and also refinished that, and the bedding and rug are picked out. Currently moving on to the little details – curtains, baby proofing, bed rails. My end goal is to get the crib o.u.t. For now, though, here is the color scheme we are going with! Pinks, corals, and greens for my little girly girl. Personally, I think it complements her red hair I love so much. And those chubby cheeks and button nose! 

It recently came to my attention that people think my house is always clean. It’s not. It usually looks like this. Train tracks everywhere and dog hair tumbleweeds if I don’t vacuum twice a day. In the interest of being honest. 

I finally gave Mitchell his ladder and so far, he’s pretty much slept on the top bunk every night. Can you blame him? I was originally worried about him messing with the ceiling fan and the pictures on the wall, but he’s left them completely alone! It’s his little hideout where he keeps all his special toys. The cutest. I’m still so happy with my decision to refinish my childhood furniture and pass it onto our children. Now we just need another little boy to fill that bottom bed, right?! 😉

Like every other typical child, he tries his best to put off “nigh nigh” with reading books again, and again, and again, and again until Mommy wants to pull her hair out. Lately we’ve started reading a reasonable amount, which varies based on how many books I can stand to reread on that particular sitting, and then he reads to himself. 

A few nights ago he was crying for Daddy to read to him. Oh, how this can tear at your heartstrings. I didn’t even worry about situations like this before deployment, because I didn’t realize how mature and situationally aware a two year old can really be. And after over EIGHT months of Daddy being gone, he still remembers and asks for him like it’s an everyday part of life. As staged as this picture looks, it’s totally not. He sleeps with Daddy every night, and lately, he’s been snuggling Daddy right up and reading to him – “Daddy, hockey… Daddy, stick… Daddy, woalie (goalie)… Daddy, cuck! (puck).” His latest favorite book is a hockey special, sent by Grandma for Valentine’s Day. The hockey obsession continues, even at bedtime. And if you’re playing the I-spy-the-bottle-and-pacifier game, our almost-three year old is still on a bottle and pacifier. We’re a little late in the game for weaning, but we’ll wait for Daddy to start that one. His mind is going to be BLOWN when he sees it’s really him for the first time. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it. Alright, moving on. 

Double baths mean double the water on the bathroom floor but double the fun! Mitchell unevenly divides the bath toys like any good oldest child and they play together nicely – so long as Julia doesn’t try to trade a little rubber ducky for the cool submarine. All the best toys to the sibling in charge, little sister. Sorry. 

This post isn’t meant to be full of complaining. Because the blessings in this family are so rich and cherished, so I don’t want you to think I sit around in a pity party all the time. I really don’t, mostly because I don’t have time to. Ha! Most of the time we wait patiently. But today I’m going to be honest and say that I am ready to have a husband to attend church with and not sit by myself. While I’ve gotten quite used to it, it still stinks every week. Especially when I always end up behind the adorable military couple with the guy putting his arm around the girl and smiling at each other the whole service. Don’t get me wrong, totally happy for them. I wouldn’t wish the absence of deployment on any marriage or relationship. But we’re ready for our turn to be a family! Until then, we carry on with our weekly family pictures, minus Daddy, plus blankie. And my consolation prize is the extra donuts that don’t get eaten by the husband when we stop at Krispy Kreme after the service, so I’ll take it. To the man who held the door while I carried my kids inside under each arm like a sack of potatoes last week and flashed me a sympathetic smile, my most sincere thanks. 

Julia’s favorite activity is eating. Nothing new there. She could care less about new toys but give that girl a bowl of Cheerios and her eyes light up like Christmas morning. 

Our Mommy-Mitchell hockey dates continue. Sometimes hockey, sometimes just skating. We’re working on both, but for the sake of Mommy’s back, I can’t wait for the day he can skate with zero assistance. We’re getting so much better every trip, and it’s so fun to watch him learn! Daddy will be home to carry on the lessons soon, which will just add to the fun! 

Mitchell loves this bounce house place we have in town. We attended a birthday party there and as usual, he had a blast. 

Lazy weekends mean pancake breakfasts. Mitchell loves helping cook, pouring all of the ingredients in the bowl, and of course, eating. He actually cracked all four eggs that morning and managed to do it with only one tiny little piece of shell in the eggs! I was shocked that he knew how to do it from watching me – maybe he’ll be a chef prodigy someday. Knowing my cooking skills, that would be 100% his dad’s genes because I’m no professional chef, that’s for sure. Julia tolerates watching. She prefers when I give her some Play-Doh to snack on. We’re currently working on distinguishing food and toys. 

Moving on, not only does Mitchell love to cook, but he also loves doing dishes. I’m thinking these newly developed interest have the potential to produce some longterm benefits for the matriarch of this household, most commonly referred to as “Mama, MaaaaMa, MaMA,” or when Mitchell really means it, “MOMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!!” (Insert ear piercing squeal). 

When we were couch shopping after the move-in just over a year ago, I knew I loved this couch. I’d always dreamed of a sectional, and this one I found to be perfect. I realize how adult I sound talking about loving a particular couch, but it really is that exciting. Things like new furniture and home decor are fun stuff once you’re married. The big puffy pillow cushions, the reclining seats, the fact that it was overstuffed and huge. I loved the color and the stitching, though apparently it caught Steve off guard because he thought it was more of a man-cave couch. Anyway, I loved this couch, and I love it even more now with all the memories we are making on it. Who knew I could love a couch so much? But I do! Look at how cute these kiddos look on it! 

They’re always so enthusiastic to take pictures for me. My thoughts: “They’re playing together so nicely! Take a picture before it’s over!” My words: “Mitchell! Julia! Say I love you, Mommy!” And then their faces. So loving, so thrilled, their hearts clearly singing with joy for Mommy’s love of photography and documenting the most mundane of moments. 

If there’s any questions about the hockey obsession continuing, see below. Temper tantrums when we can’t wear our skates in the house. He doesn’t quite understand that I have to draw the line somewhere, and why the line has to be at scratching up the floors of base housing with some freshly sharpened hockey skates. I wish I had a picture of him sitting on that beloved couch of ours, helmet and all, watching NHL instead of Disney Junior. Can’t make this stuff up. 

A few bouts of sickness mean we’ve watched more cartoons than usual lately. This was my view when I peeked out of the bathroom during Julia’s bath one night. This stubborn little thing who insisted on wearing sneakers to bed finally settled on some slippers after quite a determined negotiation. He wasn’t feeling good and it was late and we had to be up at 4:30 for daycare in the morning. And then I see something like this and I soak it in. The sweetest little moment, brought to you by a little extra screen time (give me a break, you’ve been there too) and some slippers. 

A little closer look, because I’m sure you’re virtually aww-ing as much as I did when I saw it. 

I guess the theme of this post of random pictures is that we get along just fine, as long as Mitchell has a cold bottle to throw back and one of his three favorite blankies. 

We’ve found a few chances to sneak out to the park during a glimpse of sunshine and almost-spring weather. These bouts of good weather seem to be more frequent and warmer every week, meaning our Daddy-countdown is dwindling. I keep trying not to let myself go crazy with excitement, but July sure feels like a long time ago! 

Mitchell’s face seems to sum up how I feel at the moment. Actually caught up on housework and feeling somewhat ready for the week. And I don’t have to work on Monday! You can find us celebrating by being lazy for the next 48 hours 😉 And maybe our usual weekend routine of ordering a large pizza and letting Mitchell eat all of the sausage before anyone else can have a slice! 

I sure love this life we are living. Happy Sunday!

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