Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Moving, Again.

Now that I've had almost 24 hours to process this, I can say with a lot of mixed emotions that we are moving, again. Yesterday, Hubs got a call requesting his leave packet for our PCS. To his knowledge we weren't going anywhere, since we have barely been at Fort Benning for a year. But sure enough, the Simmons family is heading to Fort Riley, KS in late January 2016.

This definitely came as a huge surprise, since we were under the impression that he would be finishing out the last two years of his contract here at Benning. Yet, this is the life. We will have been here for a total of 14 months when we leave.

I am feeling excited, sad, nervous, frustrated, and a slew of other emotions. He will be getting out of Tradoc, and moving back to a normal unit, which means more tank time. This makes my husband's heart happy. We'll be roughly the same distance from Michigan as we are now, which makes me happy. We'll get snow there, we are excited to travel, and we will get to experience a part of the nation that we've never seen before. But, we'll be leaving Benning.

I never thought I'd become this attached to a place that I was only at for a year, a place that we didn't really care to go to in the first place, a place that really hasn't been that great. But when I look at all we will be leaving, I am definitely feeling sad. We'll be leaving the house we brought James home to. We'll be leaving some great neighbors and an amazing church family. We'll be leaving our friends and Adalin's (who haven't already left for a PCS or ETS). We'll be leaving some great local shops that I love going to. We'll be leaving the hospital that James was born in. We'll be leaving our amazingly huge yard in the boonies, and adapting to on-post living. We'll be leaving the "Chattapoochie" river, and all Adalin's jokes about it. There is so much I have enjoyed about this place, I can honestly say that I'll be sad to leave, especially this soon.

I'm frustrated that I'll be moving my business once more, after finally feeling settled here like I wanted. It has only been the last couple months that I've felt like I had built an awareness and decent clientele. It had been a rough year getting started in this area, and now I am faced with doing it again. While it certainly stinks... this is the life.

I'm doing my best to focus on the positive, and work through all the steps to make this PCS go smoothly. We will be letting the Army move us this time, unlike last time when we moved ourselves with the help of family. Since we have a 15+ hour drive to Riley, we will be breaking up the drive and do some sight seeing. We're going to stop in Memphis and probably somewhere in Missouri. I'm excited to cross a few more states off my list that I never thought I'd go to, like Arkansas. Moving on post, after having such an enormous yard, is going to be a big adjustment- especially for the dogs. But we will take it in stride, and look forward to good times in the future.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Doing Things Differently

A lot of people have asked me what we're doing differently with James compared to what we did with Miss A. The differences are really endless, but there are a few that I think stand out more than others.

Adalin was an amazing sleeper. Starting at just before three months, she was sleeping through the night consistently. James is... not. He will be four months old next week, and usually sleeps from around 8:30 until 3:00ish without waking, then nurses on and off from then until 7:00 or so when we get up. Because he's not sleeping through the night, and because I'm nursing (another difference), he is in our room. Not only is he in our room, but half the time he's in our bed. Some nights he'll go back to sleep in his bassinet once he nurses. Other nights, he wants his mama... Rather than fight him and lose sleep, I just let him snuggle. It was a pretty huge adjustment, but it works well for us.

Nursing is another difference. James had a pretty good latch from the start. We battled an over supply for the first two or three months, but in the last few weeks my supply has regulated down. James has only had a handful of bottles in his almost four months of life, and is certainly not a fan. While it's easier, since his food source is always with me and there aren't any "supplies" to pack in the diaper bag... it's proven difficult when I need to be away from him. Leaving for sessions, quick grocery runs, and other mommy outings is more challenging since he is really not a fan of the bottle.

I'm also delaying the start of foods with James. I started cereal with Adalin at 14 weeks, but plan on waiting until six months with James. I'm also reading up on baby lead weaning, and may skip purees or mix purees and solids depending on what he likes best.

Cloth diapering is another major difference with our experience with little man. I never even considered cloth diapering Miss A until we started at 16 months. With James, he's only been in disposables for his first week of life, and after a medical test that made his urine radioactive for a few hours (no kidding!). Other than that, his booty has been in cloth, and I love it. He's only had one diaper rash, after his vaccines at two months. It's cheaper, and more eco friendly too!

With Adalin, I felt like we needed all kinds of baby things. She had a swing, two bouncers, a floor mat, a bumbo, an exersaucer, a jumper, a walker, and all sorts of little hand toys. With James, I'm trying to cut back. He has his MamaRoo, which saves my butt when he wants to be bounced. He has the mamas&papas floor seat, and his floor mat. I still have the jumper from Miss A, which we'll likely be breaking out in the coming weeks or months... but I'm trying to not go overboard. James likes to be held and paid constant attention to, so I am not planning on paying for toys he won't use frequently. I've also invested in more "natural" toy options for him, like wooden teethers and rattles. I also got him an amber teething necklace to wear to hopefully avoid constant Tylenol dosing once he starts teething more.

Baby wearing is another big difference. I had a cheap baby carrier with Miss A, but it left her legs blue after minutes, and hurt my shoulders and back. I invested in an ergo around 14 months with her and loved it. So far with James, I've tried a Moby wrap (which I didn't care for), a Sakura Bloom ring sling (which I loved!), a Tula (which we love!) and the same Ergo I had with Adalin. I'm looking forward to see how our babywearing journey grows and changes through his infancy and toddlerhood.

There are lots of other differences I could discuss, but these are the biggest. I enjoyed how we did things with Miss A, but am also enjoying experimenting and trying out different parenting styles with James to see what fits our family best. Knowledge is definitely power.