Friday, February 27, 2009

We've arrived!

After four days, 2100 miles, and a few thousand dirty diapers, we finally arrived in California! The moment we crossed into Cali, it hit me that this trip was actually going to end. We were going to arrive at the base, and start anew chapter in our lives. I knew we would, but it did not seem like a reality until I saw that "welcome to California" sign. Actually living in California had never set in as a reality.The prospect of picking up and moving across the country always seemed exciting, and while it is, it became terrifying when we arrived. Once I can get out and see the base, town, and (most importantly!) the beach, I will start to feel more at home. I cannot wait to get a house, settle in, and make some friends. I guess I am afraid of Emma and I becoming isolated.
David is currently checking in and HOPEFULLY finding out about housing! I have been praying all day that we can get into a house soon. I want to start feeling like we all belong here.
Overall, the road trip with baby went over well. By the last day, Emma had either gotten used to the car or given up on crying because she entertained herself with toys and talked to the toy hanging off of her carseat. Stopping every few hours wasn't as big of a hassle as I thought it would be and we were glad to have an excuse to take a break and stretch our legs. she came through the exoerience perfectly fine, and although I do not know if we would repeat the trip with more kids, it was defintiely worth the experience. However, there will not be any more road trips for a while.
Final road trip pictures will be put up later when David gets back! The SD card reader is in the car!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Road Trip Day #3

I thought that today was going to be boring, flat, and brown, but I was way off. New Mexico has to be the most beautiful state I have ever seen. I wanted to climb to the top of one of the plateaus and yell at the top of my lungs! The combination of the red dirt, purpleish bushes, and blue sky is absolutely breathtaking. And we actually saw tumbleweeds rolling across the road. half expected Bonnie and Clyde to go rushing by! We also saw a few wild dogs, which was pretty cool.
We traveled a shorter distance today, which was probably a good thing considering Emma was fussy when we started the trip. We took a couple more breaks than usual for feedings, diaper changes, and picture stops, and arrived much earlier than we have the past couple of days. I even had time to workout and sit in the hot tub at the hotel! Tomorrow we're going to go as far as we can, so it's going to be an extremely long day.
Emma is doing pretty well considering she has been strapped into her car seat almost constantly for the past few days! I think she's going to develop a fear of that thing for a while after this trip. I don't blame her. I love road trips, but I've had my fill of them for a while!
Normally, I would write more, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves today!

Random house in the middle of the desert

Gorgeous blue sky!
I never thought I would see this stuff in personOur altitude kept changing because of the plateaus and valleys.
The pressure changes really bothered Emma's ears.Giant metal aloe vera plant!

An almost perffect panoramic shot!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Road Trip Day #2

"Cow..... 'nother cow....."
"No, I think that is the same one."
We spent today driving through what is known as tornado alley. (The billboard for "value homes: single and double wide" really made me giggle!) There was not as much to look at through Oklahoma and Texas, so I napped and read my large stack of books. Road trips always bring me back to my bookworm roots. There's nothing better than a country radio station and a good book on a long drive! While not particularly populated, Oklahoma is beautiful. The sky was a brilliant sapphire blue and the red dirt and green fields were breathtaking. I haven't seen that much color outdoors in months! At one point, I looked up and we were surrounded by huge windmills. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. As we hit Texas and the desert, however, things turned more brown and flat, and definitely lulled me into a nap.
Rule #2 for traveling with baby: Expect a really messy diaper when stopping for the night. Apparently, she does not like being dirty in the car, because Emma held it all in until she got out of the car seat. Boy did she let loose. She almost overflowed her diaper with baby poop, sending David diving for a towel to put under her to protect the hotel bed! And now, after having had a bath and a baby massage, she is ready for sleep and so am.

There was a professional fisherman staying in our hotel.
I was more excited by Tony the Tiger painted on his truck.Cool statue of Will RogersThe first of many casinosGorgeous Oklahoma landscapeHome, home on the range!Gigantic windmillTexas Longhorns rockers

Monday, February 23, 2009

Road Trip Day #1

We started our cross-country road trip this morning. We were less than an hour late leaving (an accomplishment for me) and only had to leave 2 things at home. Unfortunately, one of those things was the stroller, so Emma is going to be riding in her sling for 2 weeks until my parents can bring the stroller! Ironically, after removing 2 large items from the packing list, we still almost didn't get in the car! Rule #1 of traveling with a baby: When the car is packed, running, and baby is inside, make sure a door is unlocked before closing it! If you don't, you'll have to wait 20 minutes for a locksmith to come and let you in! Luckily Emma slept the whole time, so she has no idea the potentially traumatizing event occurred. It's all material for the memoir anyway.
So after an hour of yelling and crying and one locksmith call, we were fi
nally on the road! The trip has been fairly uneventful so far. Emma was good for the first 8.5 hours, then screamed for the last 30 minutes. I think that's a pretty good car tolerance for a 2 month old! We're on part of Route 66, so watching the billboards and local ads is just as much fun as a feature film. Apparently, I really need to visit Meremac Caves, and Branson, and everyone traveling the road needs to know about the adult books stores and Jesus. Quite an interesting mix.
From a parent perspective, the trip has been fairly easy. We have been stopping every few hours to feed Emma and change her diaper, after which she entertains herself with her toys and falls back asleep. Since she's going to be traveling a lot in her life, getting into the groove now will be good for her in the future. I was annoyed when I got to a Subway for lunch, and there was no place to change her diaper! It's ridiculous that a major chain restaurant does not have a changing table in at least one of the restrooms! I ended up having to change her diaper on the front seat of the car, which is slanted and, since the door was open, really cold! Needless to say, we're not stopping at Subway anymore on this trip!
OK, I'm off my soapbox, its now time for pictures!

Add Image Goodbye Indiana!

Add Image Sleeping baby and crowded car

Pochahontas, IL- Home of country singer Gretchen Wilson

Really big bridge!

Pretty rocks in Missouri

Sci Fi channel, anyone?

On the road again.....

Fort Lost in the Woods, brought to you by the letter Y


Gorgeous sunset at the end of the day

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shades of green.....

Contrary to popular belief, going "green" is no new movement. When I was in elementary school,we learned about the greenhouse effect and spent countless girl scout meetings making canvas grocery bags. We learned about pollution and acid rain, and I don't know a kid who didn't plant a tree at some point. Ironically enough, Earth Day was a bigger deal then than it is now, the supposed age of environmental revolution.
I am not a bandwagon type and am definitely not a dark greenie, but recently I have been trying to do more for the environment. I like to think of myself as a nice bright shade of lime.With a new baby in the house, I am much more aware of what I'm using to clean our house and cook our meals. I have used Seventh Generation products for years because of allergies and love organic produce, it just tastes better and using seasonal produce makes our meals fresh and healthy. I have made an effort to be healthier since I got pregnant, and am feeling the positive effects of doing so.
Recently, I switched Emma from regular disposable diapers to gDiapers. They are a hybrid of cloth and disposable, with a cloth shell, nylon liner and flushable absorbent insert. When I need to change her, I can switch out the flushable liner, which can also be thrown away or composted because it's completely biodegradable. I also made some cloth inserts to keep my costs down. With the rising price of disposable diapers (Huggies and Pampers are reducing the amount of diapers per box, as well as raising prices) this seems to be the best way to go for my family both financially and for Emma's health. She is very comfortable in her gDiapers and has no diaper rash, a definite plus. I love the gDiapers, they so cool and definitely live up to the hype.
On my quest to be more green, I have been trying to come up with ways to make my new house more green. Here are a few things I've come up with:
-Using used furniture for Emma's room. I bought a dresser and glider/ottoman off of Craigslist for $50!! Not only was it an awesome deal, they won't be sitting in a landfill somewhere. The dresser isn't "green" materials persay. but it's a few years old and the fumes given off by the glue have dispersed by now. I will be getting a new dresser when we can afford one and I'll pass this one on to another family who needs it.
-WallCandy Peel and Stick wall decals are reusable, so they'll travel from house to house and save materials, not to mention saving me from using paint the can release chemical fumes into the air.
-I was also given organic and bamboo onesies, which are actually really soft and keep their shape well! I also pick up organic sheet for her crib and our bed when they're on sale.
Unfortunately, trying to be green is like being excluded from a ritzy night club. Only the poeple with status and cash seem to get in. I have become an expert at finding green bargains online, as well as buying used furniture and baby clothes! I am doing little things here and there that are working to keep my family healthy and save money. I am going to keep trying to do more for my fmaily and the environment and stick to my nice shade of lime.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sweatin' with the baby

I received a the Parents (magazine) Mom and Baby Fitness DVD as a shower gift about a month before Emma was born. Now, I usually pick up a workout DVD, do it once, and then turn it into a lovely paperweight. I just don't have the motivation to do workouts at home by myself. I mean, staying at home, staring at a super fit woman in spandex telling me to lift my leg above my head in a physically impossible way makes me want to strangle her just as much as looking at the same woman at the gym. The only difference is that there's no one else to commiserate with!
So two weeks ago, while feeling incredibly out of shape and fat, I dusted off the Mom and Baby workout and popped it into the DVD player. For the first time, I have actually found a workout that I can stay motivated to do at home! Through the mom and baby workouts and baby massage, I can bond with Emma and get back into shape. The DVD also has mini workouts for moms on the go! And I don't have to satre a a hairy eighties icon in booty shorts- always a plus.
One of the aspects of this DVD that I like is the focus on baby's health and flexibility as well as mom's. The baby massage will increase with Emma's flexibility and aid in digestion, helping her be a happier baby. Baby massage is great for infants with colic or digestion issues by helping gas move through the digestion system. Massaging the jaw helps release the muscles she uses when chomping on her pacifier (and during all that talking she'll do in a few years..... uh-oh, I may end up regretting this!). Massage also increases blood flow to the limbs, strengthens the immune system and stimulates nerves, allowing her to become aware of her fingers and feet earlier. This awareness will allow Emma to learn how these body parts sooner- because I can't wait to wrestle hair out of her hands! Baby yoga will help her develop muscle control sooner, enabling her to roll, sit up and crawl earlier! Time for mommy to invest in some new runnign shoes!
For me, it doesn't matter how healthy a workout is. If I'm not having fun, then I have a better chance of making out with Richard Simmons than doing another abdominal crunch. I guess I'm going to have to invest in a new paperweight, because my workout dvd has assumed its rightful place in my cd tower!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life is never simple with a complicated girl

My world has suddenly become a lot bigger. I am about to move across the country (from Indiana to California) with my husband and a new baby. I have lived in this small college town my whole life, not more than a phone call away from my parents or lifelong friends. I met my husband here, got married here, had my baby here. My daughter was baptized in the same church that I was baptized in, where I received First Communion, was confirmed and married. I have been lucky enough to have grown up with roots. I know that I will always have someplace to call home. However, it is time for me to leave this town and everything familiar in it for a new adventure.
My husband David is a Marine, and has recently augmented to active duty from the reserves. We are moving to Camp Pendleton, CA, and I couldn't be more excited because I've always wanted to live there. I am ready to leave the cold and snow of Indiana and spend a few years with palm trees and beaches. I will miss my family, friends, and actually have the change of seasons. (Johnny Carson was once quotes as saying you always knew it was winter in California when they replaced the green potted plants with brown potted plants). I will use what I learned while obtaining a bachelors degree in Family Consumer Sciences- Family and Child Option to raise my daughter and possibly return to the classroom in the future. For now, I plan on being a stay at home mom and continuing my job as a Pure Romance consultant, which I love. I figure it will be a good way for me to make money and to meet people. That's what I am worried about the most: meeting people. I am not into drama and bitchiness, and I have heard more than my fair share of stories about the drama and bitchiness that goes on between military wives. We really are our own worst enemies, but that's a completely different topic for another day.
My daughter Emma (the reason I started this blog) is 6 weeks old. Over the past 6 weeks, she has grown 2 inches, gained 2.2 lbs, and her head has grown at least 2 cm. She has started smiling and cooing to us. I can't believe that she's already growing so fast. Outfits she barely fit in are now becoming too small. Watching her grow is already bittersweet- I cannot wait for her to hit the next milestone, but I want to capture her at this young age. She is the most beautiful baby in the entire world, I never knew I could love someone this much. Every face and noise she makes melts my heart and cements the fact that having a child changed my life in the best way possible. My husband is an amazing father and I strive everyday to be an equally amazing mother. Through this blog, I want to keep a record of our lives together- the challenges and successes my family goes through and Emma's development (as well as that of other children we may have) along the way.