Friday, January 27, 2012

A 'new' green diaper

I use cloth diapers on my one year old 99% of the time, but there are occasions that even I use disposable diapers.  When I do, I try to use a green/organic/biodegradable option, both for my little guy's sensitive skin, and the environment.  So, when I saw Jessica Alba on CBS morning news talking about her new line of baby products that use no harsh chemicals I was more than intrigued.  The Honest Company produces disposable diapers, wipes, shampoo, laundry detergent, hand soap and beyond all made with all-natural, organic, non-toxic ingredients.  I quickly went to the website and got started ordering my free trial of diapers & wipes!


First observation - SUPER CUTE!  Cute is one of the things I love about cloth so I'm all about these cute designs instead of plain white or brown diapers.  These are the boy designs; the girl designs are equally as cute.  We gave them a try.


Landon was curiously checking out his new style.  The diaper is very well made and a good fit.  It also did its job in keeping everything insid.!  The only downside, in my opinion, is the monthly subscription to the diapers.  If I only used disposable diapers I would be thrilled!  Automatically delivery and not having to go to the store?  Awesome!  The price seems reasonable too (I think - remember I cloth diaper) at $79.95/month.  After speaking with customer service (who was super friendly!) I learned they are working on getting an online store up and running too.  Yay!  I am curious to try the bath soap & lotion for my guy's sensitive skin, as well as the dish & laundry soap. 

Perhaps the best fact about the company is that every purchase helps a non-profit, Baby2Baby, who supplies families in need with baby essentials such as gear, clothing, & diapers.

I am impressed on all accounts.  If only they made cloth diapers too!  If you are curious too, just go to www.honest.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Boys love to haul

I am the coolest Mom ever.  Well, at least Landon thinks so.  IF he could talk, I know that's what he would say about this project!



Like most boys, Landon likes to gather toys/books/cars in a container, any container, dump them on the floor and repeat.  He also loves to ride or push his Cat Truck (pictured above) that he received for Christmas.  It came with a toolbox that attaches on the back, but it's difficult for his little hands to open so I though it would be great if he could have some sort of basket on the back to haul around odds & ends.


He loves it and I love how easy it was to 'make'!


He figured out how to dump it. (figures.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time Out from snow


Yesterday our playgroup went to a new indoor playground I heard about called Time Out.  While I'm surprised there aren't more facilities like this in upstate NY, I am thankful that we found this one.  Landon had lots of fun!  For bigger kids there was a zip line, rock climbing wall, trampoline, and a 5-in-1 bounce house.  For the little ones (like my guy) they had mats & blocks (pictured), tons of skooters to ride & push, and even several exersaucers for the younger siblings who get to tag along while the older brother/sister have some fun.  If you live in the North Country area or end up stationed at Fort Drum, definitely check out - Time Out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Moving Itch

We have been in the Military for a short (almost) 3 years now.  We packed up and moved from Virginia to Arizona for 10 months, then moved back across the country to New York.  I remember thinking, I'm SOOOOO GLAD we will be stationed for at least two years and not have to MOVE again!!

Why, oh why then do I have the moving itch after just a year and a half?  I don't have a history of moving, in fact my parents still live in the house they bought when I was 8 months old.  Seriously.  Chris and I settled into a house after college and were content; never moving until the Army came along. 

So what drives this moving itch?  The appeal of what adventure could lie ahead?  Discontent with where we are now?  Or perhaps everyone around me seems to be getting orders for new and exciting locations?

I'm also curious - is this a Military exclusive feeling to have the moving itch or do my civilan friends get the itch too?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our First Fort

Winter has arrived in the North Country. We've had a few snows this winter but it keeps melting away. I think it's hear to stay this time.  As we will likely be spending more time indoors for a while, I took inspiration from a blog, 'All For The Boys' and it's Fort Fridays and built Landon's first fort!  I wasn't sure how into it he would be as he just turned one.  Well, he loved it!  He crawled in and out, babbling up a storm!  I think we will make Fort Fridays a regular part of our week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bargain Fashion Inspiration

Let me start by saying I don't consider myself to be fashionable.  However, before I had a baby I at least tried...most of the time.  Ok, sometimes.  Now I'm all about comfort, staying warm (upstate NY winters), and cheap. 

Today I came across a blog that has given me new inspiration.  It's called The Pretty Life Anonymous. (http://prettylifeanonymous.blogspot.com/)  The two sisters who write The Pretty Life Anonymous were guest bloggers on another blog I've recently been following (http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/).  The topic was 'Looking fab on a budget.'  The sisters took two stylish, but pricey outfits and created a 'redo' at a fraction of the cost!  Bargain shopping - this is sooo my cup of tea!  My Mother worked at a consignment shop when I was growing up and taught me bargain shopping at an early age.  Once I began shopping with my own money I found it difficult to buy anything if it wasn't on sale.  Not for lack of money but for the shopping values instilled by my Mom.  I still have difficulty spending a lot of money on a single item.  Earlier this year I bought a Coach bag, on clearance for $200.  I looked at it sitting on my kitchen island for two weeks before eventually returning it.  Anywho, my point is...the Pretty Life Anonymous Blog gives me new inspiration to 'try' again.  I CAN still dress fashionable on a budget, even with a kid!

Did I mention they also do giveaways???  
http://prettylifeanonymous.blogspot.com/2012/01/monday-giveaway.html

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eating with a spoon

Tonight for dinner we gave Landon a spoon & a bowl. On the menu, Ranch Mac n Cheese with broccoli & cauliflower.

The dish was a hit and he did pretty good with the spoon.  He would try scooping with the spoon a few times then switch back to his hand to mouth method.


The only problem with introducing a spoon is having to take it away when dinner is over.


Who knew a boy could be so dramatic!




Happy Monday Everyone!

Cheesy D-List Movies

Who loves a cheesy D-list movie?  I do, I do!  Mostly of the Romantic Comedy or Drama category.  Yesterday afternoon Landon was napping and hubby was doing school work so I decided the hell with cleaning the floors, I'm going to watch a movie! 

My movie pick:

Prada to Nada - 2 sisters lose their Beverly Hills lifestyle when their father passes away and have to move to East LA with their aunt.

Oh yeah, an Oscar front runner for sure!  I don't know what it is about these movies, but I tend to be glued to them.  That's one of the great things about Netflix Instant.  It is full of movies that you vaguely heard of or know one of the actors but never heard of the movie.  Here are some of the winning titles I have watched in the past couple of years:

Love, Wedding, Marriage - Mandy Moore
According to Greta - Hillary Duff
The House Bunny - lame but actually on tv all the time
Carolina - Julia Stiles
When in Rome - Kristen Bell

Hmm...on my next lazy day I may have to revisit one or two of these!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Homemade Chicken Nuggets - first attempt

I've been on the hunt lately for a brand of organic or all-natural chicken nuggets.  I don't eat organic 100% of the time, but organic can be costly so I try to find the balance between organic and cost efficient.  I've also been more into making my food fresh or from scratch for Landon.  My sister-in-law suggested just making my own chicken nuggets so I began reseaching recipes.  For some reason I had in my mind it would consist of ground chicken and maybe some ground turkey to make the nuggets.  Boy was I over complicating it!  Homemade chicken nuggets are really easy! 

While the first batch was good, I'd like to add more flavor and make them crispier the next time around.

Ingredients:

1 pkg chicken breast strips
egg wash
bread crumbs & parmesan cheese blended
salt
pepper

Cut the chicken into nugget size pieces, about 1".  Dip nuggets into egg wash and then coat with bread crumbs.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.


 They were a hit!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A year of challenge and celebration

Happy New Year!  2011 has been one of the more challenging and joyful years in our little family.  We kicked off 2011 watching the ball drop from a little hospital room after our baby boy was born.  January 1st, we brought our first child, Landon, home.  We were overcome with love for our little guy and quickly adjusted to parenthood with a smile, despite the looming deployment over our heads.  My husband, Chris, had been permitted to stay for our baby's birth; but the countdown to his departure began once the little guy arrived.  Still, nothing can take away the joy of having a new baby at home.  Who knew God could make a little being so perfect in every way! 


Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and the time came to say goodbye.  The night before Chris was leaving for Afghanistan I entered the room to see him playing with our little one month old Landon.

I lost it.

I should mention that I pride myself on being the one who holds it together during goodbyes and cracks some lame joke to lighten the mood and end the tears.  What the hell happened to me?!  I'm a pretty independent gal and I KNEW that I would be ok.  My heart broke for Landon.  For the first 9 months of his life Daddy wouldn't be here.  We dropped Chris off the next day and I pretty much cried the whole day into night, every time I looked at Landon.  The next morning I woke up, put my big girl panties on, and got on with life.  This was our first deployment, but I knew one day I would look back on it with a chuckle.  There are much bigger things that people have to deal with on a daily basis.  Not to mention THOUSANDS of military spouses are dealing with the same feelings all the time.  I am not alone!  Besides, I had the most adorable little boy to take care of!


A couple of months passed with visitors to our home in New York and my first roadtrip with baby down to Virginia where both my parents & inlaws live.  Soon after my Virginia trip, I received horrible news.  Chris's Dad had been diagnosed with Cancer.  I had just been visiting with him and he seemed perfectly healthy.  Family and friends rallied around his father and he began the fight of his life.  As I tried my best communicating all that was happening to Chris in Afghanistan, I wondered - where's the manuel for this situation?  When a loved one deploys you worry about their safety and well being.  You worry about keeping their children connected to them.  You worry about passing the time and cooking for one.  You don't worry about how to deliver this sort of news.  I worried constantly.  I wanted to keep him informed every step of the way, but cancer can be a rollercoaster ride.  I wanted Chris to be informed, not worried.  Three long months later Chris was advised by his Dad's doctor that he should come home, now.  Less than a week later I picked him up from the airport and we were on our way to Virginia.  Not exactly the military homecoming you see on tv, but we had more important family matters on our mind. (On a sidenote, my heart smiled when Landon went straight to Chris and seemed to know exactly who he was despite six months of seperation!  Those video & audio books absolutely work!)  Shortly after we arrived in Virginia, my father-in-law took a turn for the worse and was put on hospice care.  We spent every moment of the next three weeks at his house by his side, surrounded by family and friends.  I tried to be excited to have my soldier back, but given the circumstances it felt selfish.  Unfortunately, duty calls and Chris had to return to Afghanistan.  There are no words to describle watching the love of your life say goodbye to his father, knowing he will not see him again.  The day he arrived back in Afghanistan I had to deliver the bad news that we both knew was coming and he was back on a plane again, headed home for his father's funeral.  We mourned, we laughed, we remembered.


The day after the funeral our moods moved to celebration.  A benefit had been planned a couple of months earlier by the local Fire Department (my Father-in-law was President) to assist the family with medical costs.  It turned into a celebration of his life and was a wonderful evening with a few hundred of our closest friends (and a few hundred complete strangers too!)  A few days passed and Chris, Landon and I were driving back to New York.  This time Chris was permitted to stay stateside as his unit's deployment was soon coming to an end.  I would say I jumped for joy but there seemed to be very little to celebrate when my husband just lost his Father.  I know he would give anything to back in Afghanistan and have his Dad here.

When we arrived back to our home in New York we spent the fall months focusing on our little family being together again.  Landon was crawling, climbing, and getting into everything!  We put locks on our kitchen cabinets, began the fun of table foods, & laughed out loud at the interactions of baby and dogs.  We traveled back home to Virginia for Christmas (the first time since 2009) and celebrated Landon's First Birthday before making it back to New York just in time to celebrate the ending of our first year as our little family.

The phrase, "I wouldn't change a thing" doesn't fit 2011 for me at all.  It is a year that has shown me the strength and courage I didn't know I had and grew family bonds more than I could imagine.  I am thankful for every family member & friend who visited, encouraged me to get out of the house, listened and talked, and in general was just there even when if you didn't realize you were.

It is the little things that make this life count.