Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bloglovin

That's right folks, I'm buying into the whole "Bloglovin" thing. Google Reader was awesome for me, but it's going away. So here's a new way to follow:


Thanks everyone! 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Growing Baby

What's going on in my life today? Teething! Adalin cut two teeth a few weeks ago, but she's definitely trying to cut a few more now. Her upper gums are so swollen, it's awful. I feel so bad for my sweet girl. Last night, she barely slept (so neither did I). She did okay as long as she was being held and rocked, but as soon as I tried to put her down she would freak.

The only things that I found to be helpful were Tylenol and warm milk. She drank the most she has at one time ever last night, pushing 10 ounces. I was surprised, but I suppose that's a sign that she's ready to up a normal bottle to 8 ounces. I'm having a hard time accepting that my baby girl is growing up.

She's been an extremely vocal baby this week, full of "dada's" and "mamma's." She's also been Miss Independent lately. When I try to do things for her, like feed her puffs or get one of her toys from across the room, she gives me a dirty look, and snatches whatever I have for her away. It's her "I can do this myself" look. She's getting so big, I can't believe it.

Adalin just acts so much more grown up than a month ago. She looks so observant when she's in a new place. It's amazing to watch a baby go from being entirely unaware of her surroundings, to noticing things across the room that I may not have noticed before (like random screws or bugs on the floor.. Yay! for baby-proofing!). She just amazes me.

Here's a picture of her latest big girl moment:


She looks so big in her lawn chair. Can you believe she's not even eight months old yet? Just chillin' like a big kid. I can't handle the cuteness! That was my mommy moment of the week.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, March 25, 2013

Praying

After a really great day, I saw something not so great. While scrolling through my Pinterest home page, a "friend" of mine repinned this:


I don't know why, but it seriously rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not sure if it's the slap in the face to Christianity, or to people who practice it, but ugh. I'm frustrated. I just can't wrap my head around this. What kind of ignorance does it take for a person to think that praying solves everything? Sometimes God says no. Just because you pray doesn't mean that you're going to get the answer you want. If I pray about the stain in my couch, but do nothing about it, it's not going to fix itself. It happens with big things too. While praying for mental strength during Adalin's surgery, I had to put effort in to get the results I was praying for. Preparing myself for sending my baby girl into surgery took more than prayer. It took research about the surgery, feeding off of strength from friends, and the support from my husband along with prayer. For me, prayer is a way to gain clarity, to gain peace, and to gain strength from my God. It's not a fix all. 

Maybe I didn't make my point clear in all of this, but I just really got frustrated after seeing this. I might be crazy, or oversensitive, but I am upset by this. Who else is with me? Maybe someone else can word how I'm feeling better than I can. 

God Bless ♥ V 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Adalin's Amazon Favorites 0-6 Months

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love Amazon. I've ordered at least half of my baby stuff off of there. I signed up for Amazon Prime a while ago, and it was the best decision of my life. Free 2-Day shipping on tons of stuff! It's awesome! Here are some of my favorite Amazon buys for Adalin's first six months of life:

Pampers Swaddlers are the only diapers we can use with Adalin. She's got a little bubble butt, so a lot of diapers leak. She also has really sensitive skin, so a lot of diapers give her a wicked rash. I love these diapers.
*Update: After 6 months, we preferred Pampers Cruisers, and at 16 months we switched to cloth diapering!* 

The Fisher Price Cradle N' Swing is the best give to a new mom. Adalin slept in this most of the time until she was around 3 months old. It is awesome for nap time and even play time. This is one of the best things I have for Adalin. Now that she's mobile, she doesn't use it as much as she used to, but we are holding on to this for the next baby. I just love it. I love that it swings both forward and backwards, and side to side. Adalin hated front to back until she was about 2 months, but now she prefers it.

This dish bundle is one of the best deals I've found. Even though she doesn't use the plates and cups yet, I have them for the future. The bowls are great. They're the perfect size for mixing cereal and even baby food.

Oh my goodness. These spoons. I love them! I have a tendency of overheating Adalin's homemade baby food, but these spoons have prevented what could be a bad situation. Either I'm desensitized to hot stuff, or my body temperature is warmer than I think because I can never tell when the food is too hot. These are a life saver.

I love my glider. This is the one I have. Even though it has mixed review, I absolutely love it. As I've said in other posts, Adalin is starting to let me rock her to sleep again. It's been wonderful. This glider is smooth and super quiet. I've had no problems with it so far!

God Bless ♥ V

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's Get Mushy

I have been feeling all mushy lovey dovey lately. There isn't any particular reason, but rather a combination of a lot of things. I've been listening to cheesy country music at night almost every night (the current song is Wanted by Hunter Hayes), which always puts me in a lovey mood. Miss Adalin has been having a rough couple of days. She's been backed up and teething at the same time, which doesn't make for a good combination. Today she actually got upset when I dropped her off at daycare for my workout. That doesn't ever happen, so I knew that it was going to be a long day. My husband has been super sweet and loving lately too. It's been nice waking up to cute little messages he sent me while I was sleeping.

I've been scrolling through some old pictures of my husband and I lately so I thought I'd share a few:

First Picture Together

 
One of my favorites. Cleaning up after mudding in Michigan (he won).

Jimmy's high school graduation.

Pentwater MI, when I got my promise ring.

Basic Family Weekend

Basic Graduation

My first time in Georgia

All of these are such good memories. I have so many pictures to go through, but I didn't want to overload on this post. Depending on how I'm feeling the rest of this weekend, maybe I'll post some more. Tell your lover you love him/her tonight. Take advantage of the time you have with your loved ones. Time is precious. ♥ 

God Bless ♥ Vi





Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fitness Motivation 3.20

I saw something similar on Pinterest today, and it just spoke to me. So I decided to make my own:


This is going to go on my fridge. I think that one of my biggest problems with my fitness plan is that I do reward myself with food. After a good workout, I go to Subway and buy some delicious, wonderful, amazing, unhealthy raspberry cheesecake cookies. Oh those things are incredible full of calories. They're fantastically bad for you. 

Aside from that, and just continuing to eat unhealthily in general, my fitness progress has been going well. I didn't go to the gym today and my day just feels incomplete. I can't wait until I really start seeing results. It is mid-March now, so I'm hoping by April 1st I want to see more progress. I plan on posting more progress pictures then. My overall goal is to drop one jean size by the 4th of July. I definitely don't think that's an unreasonable goal. I primarily want to tone up and just get my legs and butt firmer. I do want to gain a little mass in my arms, but not a lot. I'm excited to keep this workout obsession going! 

Remember, you'll never regret a workout. 

God Bless ♥ Vi 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baby Remind Me

I was watching a TV show tonight and one of the main characters had memory loss. After giving it a few moments, I realized that losing my memories is one of my biggest fears. I absolutely love my story, my family's story. How I got to where I am now is my favorite part of being where I am.

I look at my life, and all the memories I have to treasure. I cringe at the thought of not being able to tell these stories to my children and grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren.

In this show, the character had amnesia and was blocking out bad memories. I don't ever what to forget who I am, no matter what I go through. I have been more fortunate than I could ever explain. I've been sheltered from a lot of the world's ugliness. The world is a relatively beautiful place in my eyes, but I know that it's not always so pretty.  I want to keep this innocence in my heart, but I know that with every passing day, a little more ugly world will show.

Anyway, back on track. I want to remember my first day of high school, my first Varsity soccer game, my first high school dance, my first prom, and graduation. I want to remember my first date with Jimmy, the night he left for basic training, the first phone call I got after he left, all of my letters, the night he proposed, and the night I said "I do." I want to remember the day I moved 1,000 miles away from home and all the feelings I felt. All of my pregnancy memories and labor and delivery, and all of Adalin's firsts have been life-changing. I can't imagine not being able to remember all of this.

All of these little moments remind me of who I am, and where I came from. That's a huge reason I blog. This is an online documentation of my life.

Take advantage of your memories, you never know when they won't be as easy to recall.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mommy on Duty

Before I post this, I want to make it clear that I love my daughter more than anything in this world. She's my pride and joy and I wouldn't change my decision to have her for anything. She keeps me sane and grounded, and reminds me of what is important in life. Adalin is my whole world.

Being on duty 24/7 with Adain can sometimes take a tole. Not having a break very often can get somewhat exhausting. I love spending time with her and watching her grow, but sometimes I need a break. Since I've started hitting the gym a few times each week, it's been great having her in daycare and out of my hands for a bit. Even though I freak out while she's there, it's been nice.

These little breaks have been helping with my sanity. I plan on going to the gym a few times this week. I also have a dentist appointment (yippee!).. I'm definitely nervous for that, but I'm excited to get her more socialized and comfortable away from me. I know that it will be good for us both.

Here's a video of what we've been up to lately:


I love her little voice! The second "mamma" just warms my heart. Her voice is so sweet and innocent. It's just... ah! I love it!

Well, that's all I have for the evening. I'm about to enjoy a week of no homework and lots of relaxing. Spring break is here!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Different Backgrounds, Different Dreams

After taking with a friend who is from "the city" today, we both came to a very huge realization: where you grow up changes your outlook a ton.

For those of you who don't know me personally, here's a bit about my background. I grew up in a town whose population is (get ready for this) 1,856 people as of the July 2011 census. The county my hometown is in has a whopping 281,613 people. The sad part? The state capitol is also in that county. I'm used to small towns. My hometown has a small grocery store, three gas stations (which is a bit overkill if you ask me), a McDonalds, a few pizza places, and one stop light. Oh! We also have a Subway, but that went in after I left. There are a lot of locally owned restaurants, salons, and other small businesses (like B&T Excavating! Love you, Daddy), but when it comes to chain restaurants and businesses we get the short end of the stick. My graduating class was really close to 100 people, including several foreign exchange students. To say that I come from a small town might be an overstatement, more live a small village.

Now for my friend's statistics. Her hometown has 71,517 people. Her county has 1,969,722 people. I almost had a stroke. That is almost double seven of my hometown's surrounding counties combined. My mind is just blown.

What got as talking about this is our views on the military. I find myself looking at the Army as a list of endless opportunities. It got my husband and I out of our small town, and has given us the chance to see the country (and the world in my husband's case). It has given us a way to make a life for ourselves, given us new friends, and new experiences. Coming from a tiny town, it's a lot easier to go up than down though. In my friend's case, it's different. There are so many opportunities to grow where she's from. As she said, she has a "big mind" and it's too much for this Army town. Although good ole Hinesville has a lot more to offer than my hometown, it definitely isn't the best place ever. There are a lot of things that this down doesn't have, like a bowling alley (even though there are two on post), an outdoor community pool (even my lil town has one!), and a major employer that's a go-to after school. It's a nice middle-ground though.

In the end, we came to the conclusion that where you come from definitely has an impact on where you want to go. For me, military towns are big. For others, they're small. It's all about perspective.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fab Ab February Results

Sorry this post is almost two weeks late, I sort of forgot about it. Anyway, I did "Fab Ab February" pretty religiously last month. I skipped a few days, but also did more the days that I did do it. Here's the calendar I used:


I think that the fact that it was a short month made it easier to stick with. I didn't feel so overwhelmed by a 60 or 90 day program. I haven't really done a set program yet this month, but I've been going to the gym more. I'll get to that in a minute though. Here was my progress from Fab Ab February: 


I definitely still have a long way to go. This month, since Adalin is enrolled in hourly daycare, I have started going to the gym. I'm hoping to continue on the schedule I'm going off of this week: Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour. It's not a lot, but I've also started walking every afternoon since the weather has been absolutely beautiful! I'm loving this Georgia spring time. 

I hope that I can motivate someone to start a fitness program and stick with it. Those results are only after 4 weeks, and it was just a minor change. These next few months are when I'm really going to kick it into gear and get ready for bikini season. 

God Bless ♥ Vi


Monday, March 11, 2013

Yours, Mine, & Ours

Possession. It's something a lot of couples struggle with. It's something that can make or break a relationship. In single income households (which seem to be extremely common in a military town), I've started to notice differences in opinion quite a bit.

(For the sake of this blog, I'm going off of males working and females staying at home. I know, it's stereotypical... but I don't want to hear it. It's solely for the sake of this post.)

Opinion One: What's yours is mine. What's mine is mine. 
He makes the money, but she spends the money. I often joke by saying that, but it's definitely in a kidding manner. Although I do handle most of the finances, I know that that money isn't made by me. People with this opinion often have relationship problems from what I've seen. They fight about money, but who wouldn't with a mindset like that? Marriage is about sharing.

Opinion Two: What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. 
I think that this is a step in the right direction, but still not completely there. When I make a decent amount working in my photography business, I usually spend that money on Adalin or on food. I don't usually buy myself a whole lot, unless I'm in need of a new top or work out clothes. Lately I've been trying to update my wardrobe to look more my age. But aside from that, my retail therapy is for Adalin or our home. Back to my point! If the income is unequal, this can also cause problems. People with this opinion often feel guilty asking the other person for extra money. The person who makes more also may feel more in control. Again, sharing is key.

Opinion Three: What's yours is ours. What's mine is ours. 
This is what I strive for every day. As I said, I try to spend my money on us. My husband works hard for his money, which supports our family and gives us the life that we have. I don't feel obligated to spend my money on us, but I feel honored. I feel like it's the least I can do to give back to him for what he does. Honestly, I'm pretty spoiled. My husband is generous and allows me to buy myself things here and there. I can get my hair done when I want, and pamper myself from time to time. We can buy Adalin premium diapers and name brand clothing. Rarely does my husband ask for something in return. I feel so honored to be living the life that I do. I'm truly blessed. From the beginning of our marriage, we have tried to share everything. It's not something we've ever really sat down and talked about, but it's definitely something I've noticed in our marriage.

I realize more every single day how blessed I truly am.

Which opinion do you hold? Does it work for your relationship? Or, does it need some work?

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Mommy Moment 3.9

I had another "mommy moment" today. I'm thinking about starting a weekly post about moments throughout the week. I'm becoming more sentimental these days... I'm not quite sure why.

As many of you know, Adalin is 7 months (and a few weeks) old and isn't exactly what you'd call a cuddly baby. Early in the morning, she'll snuggle me for a few minutes but it's definitely not a lengthy mommy-baby bonding session. Well, tonight... She actually let me rock her to sleep. We went into her nursery around 7:30, which is about half an hour before I like to put her to bed. Instead of letting her cry it out in her crib, I decided to attempt to rock her for a little bit and sing her lullabies. To my surprise, she enjoyed it. Usually after a minute or two, she fights me to the point of scratches on my face, black eyes, or bruised thighs; so, I was remarkably happy to have a snuggly baby back. She even did skin to skin on our bellies. I was just in shock at all of this. It's the little things in life that mean the most.

Also this week, Adalin hit a major milestone. She got her first two teeth. Woo hoo!

Since I had visitors this week, we took Adalin's seven month pictures. They turned out great! I can't believe how much she's grown. Her hair is so much thicker and longer than it was at one month. I feel stupid saying that, but I was surprised at how much it has grown. Just how much she has changed shocks me!


Here are the rest of her seven month pictures: 


This is the first "good picture" of her scar that I've posted. 




I hope you enjoyed them! I love my little model baby so much. Every day she makes me smile in a new way.

God Bless ♥ Vi


Friday, March 08, 2013

Adalin's First Tybee Trip

This week has been fabulous. Even though we went to the beach when Adalin was less than a week old, I sort of consider her first trip to Tybee Island her first beach trip. This was the first time she got her toes in the sand. She absolutely loved it! She loves the wind in her hair too.



That day was relatively cold, so we came back the next day (which wasn't much warmer) to try again. Although it wasn't much better, I did have something in hand that made it great. My beach tent! 


I tell you, this tent (here's the link) is the best $40 I've ever spent. Even though it's a little hard to put together by myself, it's awesome if you've got an extra set of hands. I was going to buy a baby tent just for Adalin, but those were running around $25-35, so I figured it would be worth the extra ten bucks to have some added space. I am so glad I did! Not only did the three of us and Adalin all fit, but we had a huge beach bag and the car seat in there. Adalin still had some space to crawl around too. I absolutely love it. There's also a front that zips up so when it's Adalin's nap time we can keep her contained.

Adalin and I also had our matching floppy hats on: 



She absolutely loved the sand! She did have a little mishap crawling down a hill. Other than that, she had a blast. We enjoyed the pier too, but didn't brave the water yet. I'm thinking we'll save that for next month when it's a little warmer. 


I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I do! I'm so excited that we've started our beach trips for the summer, and it's only March! I can already tell that I'm going to have a beach bum on my hands. Happy Friday!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Loving the Man, Not the Uniform

"The Army has given us so much," is something that I find myself saying quite often. Recently, I began thinking about it more, and it's not the Army that has given us all that we have, it's my husband. It's his dedication and hard work in the Army that has provided for us. I do love the Army for the opportunities that it has given to my husband and our family, but I love my husband more. 

When Jimmy first enlisted, I would post all these things on my Facebook about how much I love "my soldier" or "my tanker." Almost everything I talked about (relating to Jimmy) also related to the military. This stuff was pretty cheesy... 

I think I somewhat forgot that he's a man too, my man. Don't get me wrong, I'm am overly proud of what my husband does for our country, but he's so much more than a soldier. He's a country boy, a handy man, the most wonderful daddy in the whole world, and the best husband I could ask for. He's my support, my motivation, and my rock. Yes, he is my soldier, my tanker, and my hero... but I'm realizing every day that there's more to life than the Army. 

Before we knew that Jimmy was reenlisting, the thought of civilian life terrified me. To be completely honest, it still does. Even though it scares me, I'm not afraid of what our relationship and family status would be like outside of Army life. I know that even though he wouldn't be a soldier anymore, he would still be my husband. That's all that matters to me. I love him as Jimmy, not as SPC Simmons. 

There are a lot of women who openly admit that they're looking for a soldier. These "tag chasers" just want the man in uniform, not the man. I'll admit, my husband does look pretty dang sexy in dirty ACU's, but I'll take him in jeans any day (especially now, today's been one of 'those' days during deployment...). Women who just want the uniform are setting themselves up for problems. A man's military career only lasts so long. There's a lot of life to be lived after the Army. With every passing day, that life gets closer and closer. That life is something I'm actually starting to look forward to.  

God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Baby Number Two

You were probably expecting to read that I'm expecting, right? Nope! This is the way I announced Adalin, but that's not the case yet. Sorry for all the minor heart attacks. I couldn't help myself.

This post is about age gaps. I'm really torn about how long to wait between babies. My husband has his heart set on 4 years apart. I'm leaning much closer to 2-3. Here are my pros and cons for each:

Two-Three Years Apart
My brother and I are three years apart, and most of the time I like it. We're close enough to get along (usually), but far enough apart to not be in each other's faces all the time. 

Pros and Benefits:

  • They'll be able to play and interact together at an earlier age
  • I'll be able to get my "hot mom body" back and keep it
  • I'll (probably) be done having kids by the time I'm 21 or 22
  • We can un-baby the house sooner
  • They'll be close enough to have common interests from a relatively young age
  • They'll be in high school together (just for a year), so Adalin will be able to show her little brother/sister the ropes.

Cons and Concerns: 
  • They'll be too close, and constantly stepping on each other's toes
  • Baby #2 will be jealous because Adalin will get to do things (drive, later curfew, date, etc) just two years sooner. 
  • The costs of two kids in college at the same time (we're not 100% sure on how/if we're paying for their college, but that's for another post).
  • Busy sports/extra curricular activities schedule
  • Two babies in diapers if Adalin isn't potty trained
Four Years Apart
Jimmy and his brother are four years apart. They are still pretty close, and Jimmy does have a lot more memories than I do of when his siblings were growing up. 

Pros and Benefits:
  • They will be far enough to not be in each other's business all the time. 
  • Adalin will be potty trained, so only one baby in diapers.
  • Spreading the costs of college, sports, and other major expenses.
  • Adalin will be old enough to help out with a new baby
  • Adalin will be in pre-school when the baby comes, so I would only have one child to take care of during the day/if Jimmy is deployed again.
Cons and Concerns:
  • They'll be too far apart to be interested in each other's lives. I want my kids to be best friends, and usually your best friend isn't four years younger than you.
  • Adalin will be resentful for having been an only child for 4 years, then suddenly having to share everything (I know, a lot of this goes to parenting style. I'm not super concerned about this, but it's possible). 
  • I won't be able to start really working on/maintaining my "hot mom body" until I'm 23 or 24. 
  • They aren't going to have the same toys so that's extra clutter in our already crowded house.

That's the end of my list for now. I would genuinely love to hear input from my followers. I know we've still got a while to make this decision, but it's a big one. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Getting Along with Your Mother-in-Law

I have the best in-laws in the world. From day one, my husband's family as accepted me and has treated me as one of their own. After hearing so many of my friends talk about their "monster-in-laws," I've realized how blessed I truly am.

When Jimmy and I first started dating, we balanced our time at each other's houses pretty equally. I was able to get to know his family really well early on. As basic was nearing, they allowed him to come on vacation with me and my closest friend (and her boyfriend) for a long weekend.

While he was in basic, his mom let me come over whenever I wanted to just sit in his room and sulk, or to grab a new t-shirt to sleep in, or whatever I needed. It truly helped basic move much quicker, and it was great to have someone who knew what I was going through.

After he came down to Georgia, they invited me to come down for a week on Spring Break with them. It was the longest I'd seen him in about 5 months.

We had an absolute blast, even when we weren't with him. Since I'd been down here before, I was able to show them around what I knew, as well as explore more of the area. I really do feel like I've been adopted by his family. I couldn't ask for more. 



Since Jimmy deployed, his mom and I have grown even closer. Even though he and I talk every day, talking to his family makes him feel closer. When I took my trips up to Michigan last fall, I spent quite a bit of time with his family. She even babysat Adalin for me so I could go get my newest tattoo. It also helps that my parents get along with my in-laws. No awkward family gatherings for us! ;)



In the end, I really am blessed with the best mother-in-law I could ask for. I know that I can confide in her as much as I can with my own mom. I'm so fortunate to have two women in my life to look up to.

God Bless ♥ Vi