Friday, April 17, 2015

7 Quick Takes-Momming



1. I'm making an effort to get back into blogging on the regular. Blogging keeps me sane during the week, when Will is gone and every other minute I hear "mama mama mama mama mama!" from one of the two members of my brood. Blogging is also very helpful when it comes to ignoring things that need to be done around the house, such as laundry, mopping, scrubbing bathrooms, what have you.

2. For the first time ever, we live relatively close to a Trader Joe's. I've heard a LOT about TJ over the years, and one of the selling points was (seriously), "It's kind of a poor man's Whole Foods." Hey, fine by me. By the time payday Wednesday rolled around, our refrigerator and pantry and reached Code Red status, and I decided it was time to go grocery shopping. Since I decided to half &$% it this week in terms of meal planning, I was able to find everything I needed (yogurt! fruit! tuna fish! jam and natural peanut butter! whole wheat bread! spinach and ricotta frozen pizza! organic string cheese!) at TJ's. Bonus points for the store? Despite my children acting like asylum escapees, no one batted an eye or gave me "the look." Rather, the employees were very pleasant and helpful. Can I get a HOLLA???!!!

Yes, I know. I have a first class ticket on the next train to Hell.

3. Speaking of TJ's, our grocery bill came to...$65. I'm still in shock.

4. Will unintentionally got me hooked on The Walking Dead. I say "unintentionally" because Will stopped watching the show after season two. Honestly, zombies really bore me, and this normally wouldn't be the kind of show I would enjoy. Buuuuut the plot has kind of drawn me in, and I've found myself really looking forward to nap and bed time so I can enjoy some zombie slaying without fear that my 2-year old will accidentally view a decapitation.

5. Speaking of The Walking Dead, Alessandra re-joined the Occupy the Crib movement the other night. I have no idea what got into her, but that little stinker woke up crying every hour and a half. No amount of soothing would settle her, and by the time 6am rolled around...let's just say it wasn't pretty. I sent Will a text and told him if I was gone when he returned from the field, he shouldn't worry. My absence could easily be explained by AMC, who saw a picture of me in my sleep-deprived state and immediately wanted to cast me as a walker.

6. Almost all of the Easter candy is gone, save for a few lone jellybeans. It makes me sad.

7. I've decided that living in Colorado will be most excellent in terms of making me feel all crunchy/attachment/organic mama-ish. Driving on the highway, it's not uncommon to see "Peace, Love, Babywearing" bumper stickers on the back of a minivan. There's a Natural Parenting Expo in Denver this weekend. Breastfeeding support groups, babywearing groups, and cloth diaper exchanges can easily be found in any major city. Midwives and doulas are plentiful, and unlike other states I've lived in, nursing in public is not only tolerated, but encouraged (at any rate, that's what I've observed so far). Yep...I'm going to do just fine here.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Embracing the Crazy

  To be honest, most of our days around here look like what I'm about to show you. Why don't I mention this more often? I'm not really sure. Maybe I like to give off the appearance that I actually know what I'm doing (I totally don't), that I have it all together (let's all take a moment to recover from hysterical laughter), and our home is calm, collected, clean, and stress free (rarely). However, in my continued effort to be honest when it comes to blogging, I'll give you a glimpse into our everyday, crazy life.

  I finally decided to bite the bullet and begin potty training Alessandra. One, stinky toddler diapers. Enough said. Two, I'm pregnant and still fairly sensitive to smells, and these exceptionally stinky, twice a week diaper washes have GOT to stop for a while. Three, the thought of having two in diapers once again is terrifying to me. So, I purchased the necessary Disney undies from Target, hauled out the Sesame Street potty and Minnie Mouse training seat, and discovered a pack of half-used stickers from one of our many attempts to potty train Tony. Now, all of the potty training books I've read have stressed over and over that you shouldn't make a big deal about stinky diapers. You don't want your child to think they're doing something wrong or shameful, and I totally get that. However, whilst changing her diaper this morning before switching her over to undies, Alessandra sat up, wrinkled her nose and said, "Dude!! Eeeew, poop!" Yeah, sorry, but that's just too funny to correct. Not to mention, she's right on the money.

  Speaking of Alessandra, this is her new favorite pastime. 
So safe. 
  Will is in the field until Monday (boo), but he had the day off yesterday. I took this extremely rare opportunity to get my hair did; cut, style and highlights for $80. That's what's up. I've had the idea of purple ombre-ish locks in my head for some time now; however, after conversing with the hairdresser and discovering that highlights like that required once per month maintenance (!!!!!!!) I was quick to decide on plain 'ole plum and burgundy highlights, without bleaching my hair first. I was quite pleased with the results, and I received a round of approval from Will and my progeny as well. Check it: 
Behold, "honest" Marisa. No shower. No makeup. 
  This morning, I was peering at my new highlights in our bathroom mirror when Will walked in the room. He said, "I really like your hair like that. Good choice on the color." 
Me: "Really? You don't think it's too young for me?"
Will: "Of course not. Besides, you're only 30."
Me: "...I'm 33."
Will: *pause* "I know that." 

  Being that Will is gone for the next couple of days, I don't feel the need to keep up the charade of being a super on-it housewife, and I can totally wing it where dinner is concerned. No planned dinners, no running to the grocery store to pick up that one last ingredient I need for dinner. I'm not sure if the kids will be pleased or disappointed to learn that their meals this week will consist of hummus and veggies, tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets (the healthy kind, I swear), and pasta.

  Mornings around here...yeah. It can get a little ugly. Tony and Alessandra demand breakfast the second they wake up, and woe be to me if I don't have the exact thing on hand that they're craving. More often than not, you'll hear, "Is this really how we want to start our day?" or "I'm not going to make you anything if you speak to me that way." Yeah, it can get a little...tense here in the mornings. Fortunately, there's Bubble Guppies. Bubble Guppies is pretty much the Holy Grail to me while I'm trying to drink my morning cup of coffee in peace. That is, until the famous "Outside" dance (which makes an appearance in every episode, naturally) comes on. The kids love that song. They love it even more when I dance to it. Unfortunately for me, I won't be making a cameo on Dancing with the Stars anytime soon. My dancing skills are, well...I'll let you be the judge.

  So yeah. A friend and mom of three boys once told me that when she decided to embrace the crazy, life became much simpler. I think that will become my new mantra. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Free Range Chickens (err, Children)

  A few days ago, whilst browsing my Facebook news feed, I came across this article, which was shared by numerous friends. The title, "What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside)" piqued my curiosity, so I clicked the link and began to read. And laugh. And nod as I read each paragraph. Granted, my mom never drank Tab and to my knowledge, never took a Jazzercise class, but she certainly shared a lot of traits with the mother of the author. Particularly, she let my brother and I be kids.

  I had a supremely happy childhood, one that had absolutely nothing to do with material possessions, multiple activities every single day of the week, and a constant need to be "entertained." My mom was a stay at home mom (let's make this easy and resort to acronyms; what can I say, I'm an Army wife), or SAHM, which was somewhat unusual in the early 80's. My mom even told me not too long ago that she was interviewed by the local newspaper on what it was like staying at home with small children when so many women her age were a part of the workforce. As a toddler and preschooler, my days were filled with story hour at the library, daily trips to the park in the village, dancing around the living room to "Jimmy Crack Corn" on my Fisher Price record player, Sesame Street, the occasional trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo, and running around the neighborhood with the other kids. Was my mom attentive, loving, nurturing, and aware of my surroundings and whereabouts? Absolutely. Was she a hovering, in-your-face-every-second "smother" who documented every single milestone? No. Nor would I have wanted her to be. 

  My parents knew all of our neighbors, and so did I. I knew who I could go to in the unfortunate (and extremely rare) event my mother wasn't there to help me. All of the parents looked out for all of the children on the block, and no one thought twice about seeing kids play outside unsupervised. In fact, it was expected, and it would have been odd to see a parent parked outside in the driveway, watching their children's every move. By the time I was in elementary school, my best friend and I were allowed to walk or ride our bikes to school together. Every summer, she and I would hurry up, eat breakfast and get dressed, and race around the neighborhood on our bikes, skates, or in our backyards. My dad (banker by day, carpenter by night) built a fantastic swingset for my brother and I when I was in third grade. Every day after school, my best friend, brother and I would run out to that swingset and play for hours. We made up games. We played Ninja Turtles. We brought out my boom box (yes, boom box) and danced around to cheesy 90's music. Our next door neighbors had a great big hill in their backyard, and whenever it would snow, we would grab our sleds and spend a good part of the afternoon going up and down and up and down and up and down that hill. Our neighbors didn't care. My parents never came outside with us; they didn't need to. In fact, by that age I would have been incredibly annoyed with my mom "checking up" on me. 

  Like the author, if someone had insinuated that my mom was unattentive, uncaring or reckless by allowing my brother and I these small freedoms, we would have looked at that person like they had three heads. There was nothing even remotely uncaring about my mom. On the contrary, I remember complaining that she was "so strict" compared to my friends' parents. If we wanted to play outside, we had to be back in time for dinner, or back after an hour or two to do homework. If I said I was going to a friend's house, my mom had to know which friend I was visiting, was their parent home, what did we plan on doing. I wasn't allowed to sit in the trunk of a station wagon like some of my friends; I had to sit in an actual seat with a seatbelt on. If I wanted to ride my bike anywhere besides our street, I had to let my mom know. Obviously, her "rules" are laughable now, by society's standards. Woe to the parent who lets their 10-year go to the park alone. Or walk to school without a chaperone. Or play outside with friends without setting up a lawn chair in your driveway, yelling out encouraging words every five minutes. You can expect a visit from CPS. 

  Look, there's a happy medium, like everything else in life. I know adults who grew up in the 50's, who laughingly tell me that they never saw their parents except for first thing in the morning and again at dinner time. They were expected to get out of the house and play all day long. I certainly wouldn't go that far; I DO want to know where my kids are at all times. I'm not blind to the dangers that are out there. But I also have zero intention of being a helicopter mom who hovers over my children's every step at the playground. Or helps them write book reports all the way through high school. Or plans an activity every single day of the week, because ENRICHMENT!!!! Do I enjoy reading books with my kids, taking them to the park, arranging play dates with my good friend Maureen so our kids can hang out, and burn off some much needed energy? Absolutely. Did I enjoy the occasional class as a kid? Sure! I started playing violin at the age of six (and continued all the way through college, where I majored in music). I took dance lessons and gymnastics, although both of those tapered off very quickly. I took swim lessons in the summer, and my brother and I loved playing twilight baseball. My point, however, is that we truly enjoyed these activities and classes. We were never made to feel as though we needed to be occupied every afternoon after school, or every day during the summer. If we lost interest in an activity after a season, we were never expected to keep up with it. We either explored something else that sounded like fun, or we just went on with our day.

  We want our children to grow up to be secure, happy, GOOD, independent adults. We want our children to know love and security, and to know they can always come to us in times of trouble, or if they need advice. We also want them to know how to take care of themselves, how to help others, and to have a strong work ethic. How in the world are we supposed to accomplish this, if it's now frowned upon to let our kids be kids without constant parental supervision and involvement? Of course I worry about the things every parent worries about; what will my kids do if a stranger approaches them and attempts to lure them into his or her car? What if Alessandra gets into a car with someone who has had too much to drink? What if Tony decides to "test the boundries" in high school, and blows off homework and tests, and realizes that he doesn't have the grades to get into college? Those are all normal fears, and I'd be hard pressed to find a parent who doesn't share the same worries. However, I never thought I would have to worry about being reported to CPS because my elementary school aged children were playing alone at the playground, a block or two away from our house. It never occurred to me (until recently) that I might have to worry about our neighbors alerting the authorities, rather than the parents, if my child falls off their bike while riding around the block. 

  To be honest, I'm not really sure what the solution is here. How do we reassure nervous, young mothers-to-be that they can still be wonderful, nurturing mothers, even if they don't read every single child development book that's been published, and they don't have to have a calendar full of Baby Learns French, Gymnastics for Tots, Music Therapy for the Littles, and Engineering for Beginners? How do we politely tell the older generation that while they were absolutely right to let their children play outside and entertain themselves, times have changed, and things like car seat safety, sunblock and bicycle helmets are absolute necessities in this day and age? I don't know, and I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. I just wish that as a society, we could learn to spot the difference between a child who is truly neglected, as opposed to a child who is well-loved and cared for, and simply given more freedoms than other children. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"So How Do You DO It All?"

  Last month, we grabbed our kids, our dog, our necessities (including but not limited to clothes, diapers, "bankies," debit cards, my violin, our wedding album, and goldfish crackers) and made The Big Move from Fort Benning, GA to Fort Carson, CO. We broke up the trip so that we actually traveled over the course of four days, to maintain our sanity and give my achin' back a break from the driver's seat as much as possible. All things considered, the kids did very well, and we made it to this mountainous state in all its' beauty in one piece. Since then, we have moved into a rental home, mostly unpacked our things, and we're slowly but surely getting used to Will's insane work schedule (and by "insane," I mean he usually leaves for work around 5:30am and if we're lucky, returns by 6:30pm). It's been a big adjustment, and we've had to weather our way through tantrums, multiple beagle escapes from our back yard, a pregnant woman with chronic back pain, and a papa who isn't around as much as he used to be. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I love Colorado. I love looking out the window and seeing mountains in the distance, I love all the state parks and attractions that are merely a short drive away, and I love the wonderful opportunities and organizations for families that are absolutely thriving in our community. I am truly very happy, and very thankful to be living here.

  One thing I've been hearing frequently from family and friends is, "how do you do it all?" combined with, "I could never do xyz like you guys," etc. So, brace yourselves, because I have to let you in on a little secret.

*whispers*

  I don't.

  I don't do it all. I have plenty of evenings where I look in our mirror and say to myself, "I have absolutely no idea how I made it through this day alive. Thank you God." Tony and Alessandra are both at the age where they require mental and physical stimulation. I try to balance their needs and wants with MY needs and wants, and believe me, that doesn't always pan out. I want to have a clean and organized house, I want to enjoy this pregnancy without wincing in pain every time I stand up, and I want to do fun, crafty projects and visit fun, educational places with my children every day. I also want to put away a healthy chunk of change in our savings account while squirreling away a decent percentage of our income towards our retirement, all the while replacing things in our home that desperately need to be replaced, and plan for a fun family vacation this summer while Will has block leave. I want to make delicious, healthy meals every night for dinner, while still keeping my children entertained lest they grab a box of crayons and color on the toilet.
Yeah, about that...
  Well.

  The past few days, my back pain has been so unbearable I didn't even attempt to make dinner. Tony and Alessandra have been feasting upon peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (at least it's natural peanut butter, right??) and scrambled eggs with cheese and toast. 15% of our income going towards retirement? More like 10% right now. I'm actually doing a decent job of sticking to a budget and putting money in our emergency fund, but we keep getting hit with all these random bills ($25 to the neurosurgeon I saw when we first moved here, $200 for the Harmony test I took during week 14 of my pregnancy, $140 gas bill, etc). Alessandra is getting her two-year molars, which means she's cranky, out of sorts, and not sleeping well. Poor little baby just wants to snuggle, read books, and eat things that feel good on her teeth, and while that's perfectly fine with me, my 4-year old (understandably) has zero patience for her discomfort, and just wants to run around at the park all day. Our home isn't dirty, but it's cluttered. Clutter makes me insane. I feel like I'm struggling spiritually. I try to take a few minutes every morning for prayer, but something usually gets in the way. I feel like my back is going to snap in half every time I stand up, and I spend most of our days limping after my children like a 90-year old woman. Gone are the days of experimenting with exotic cheese and Italian deli meats; those meals are no longer in our budget or on my timetable.

  In short, I'm falling short. As much as I appreciate the kind words and encouragement from my family and friends, the simple fact of the matter is that I'm so far from Wife and Mother of the Year it's not even funny. I'm just as guilty as the next mommy blogger of posting our Norman Rockwell pictures on my Instagram ("Look at my kids playing together at the playground in our neighborhood! See the tasty looking meatless meal I made for a Friday during Lent? Here I am with my hair styled and makeup on!"), and I'm really making an effort to knock it off. First and foremost, it isn't honest. I don't mean to imply that every day around here involves a war-torn house with mom on the rampage and Tony and Alessandra running around in rags, but lately, my life is a lot more Lynette Scavo from Desperate Housewives than Bree VandeKamp. Secondly, back in 2010 when I was gradually making the change from "dual employed married couple living overseas" to "gigantically pregnant stay at home wife in a Boston suburb," I made the mistake of devouring mommy blogs. And not just regular blogs written by regular moms; clearly, there's nothing wrong with that. No, I went for the full-on Perfect Mommy Blogger Who Looks Like She Just Stepped Off the Runway in Paris With Her Four Perfect Children in their Designer Twee Clothes Who Thinks Up Super Fun Artsy Projects Every Day and Has a Seemingly Endless Amount of Patience, Energy and Money. You know who I'm talking about (and this isn't even any one blogger in particular). I hadn't even given birth yet, and I already felt like crap about myself. I wanted to be the best mother I could possibly be to my children, but I knew there was no possible way I could measure up to those women. And truth be told...I didn't want to, because I knew that wasn't me. It was still a hard mentality to break from, and it's taken me a loooooooong time to be satisfied with my parenting, housekeeping, wife-ing, you name it.

  Bottom line? Don't be fooled by what you see on the internet. I'm not discouraging reading blogs altogether, because there are a few I've found that I absolutely love, and I draw inspiration, rather than self-criticism from these women. Just know that if you see what looks to be the perfect family with the perfect life on the perfect blog, you only know what they're choosing to show to the world. Their marriage may be on the rocks. They may have a huge, beautiful home and designer clothes, but may be drowning in debt. Their children may be involved in every art project, ballet class and playground get-together that week, but they may be sick to death of being photographed (and dare I say, exploited?) every minute of every day. Don't be fooled by my blog or my Instagram, either. Just because you see my kids hugging it out at the park doesn't mean they weren't at each others' throats an hour earlier. You didn't see the post where I tripped over my own two feet, spilled coffee on the carpet, and taught my daughter a new (swear) word. Just because I post a picture of our healthy Lenten dinner on Facebook doesn't mean that I didn't serve ice cream for lunch.

  I'm making a pledge (ugh that sounds so cheesy, doesn't it?) to be more honest about my life on social media. I can't, in all fairness, rip on other bloggers when I'm guilty of doing the same thing. That doesn't mean that every single aspect of my life has to be shared on this blog, but if I'm going to write about the good times, I damn well better include the bad and the ugly as well. In the meantime, if someone says to me that they don't know how I do it all, I will be graceful and kind, and because I DO know that it's a compliment. But I will also stress to said person that I don't do it all, I reach my limits like everyone else, and if they don't believe me, they are more than welcome to show up at my house at approximately 3pm (known as "post nap"). That should do the trick. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

7 Quick Takes-Intruders


1. So, this was totally the situation this morning.
  
  I've been experiencing a lot of back pain these past few days, so after getting Tony and Alessandra set up with breakfast, clean clothes, a few books and a pile of Legos, I decided to take a relaxing bath. Nothing like the promise of a relaxing soak with epsom salts and (pregnancy safe) essential oils, especially considering I can't take my prescription pain medication anymore. Well, the second I turned on the bath water, some kind of alert went off in Tony's room ("warning! warning! mama is about to relax!") and they both rushed into the bathroom. I was already attempting soak away the back pain, and Alessandra decided to help by sticking her arm in the bath water and splash me. I very gently suggested that they go play with some toys, color, read a book, etc. Tony cheerfully said, "That's okay, Mama! We're just going to stay in here and watch you take a bath!"

  Sigh. Of course you are. 

2. Hey parents, want to get your kid's attention? Are they ignoring you in favor of a toy, a TV show, or just because they turned on their "kid selective hearing?" All you have to do is attempt to take some kind of break. Sit down on the couch with a book you've been meaning to read, blow dry your hair and put on makeup, watch your favorite TV show, whatever floats your boat. I guarantee your child will be on you the second you look even slightly comfortable. 

3. The movers are coming in six days. I will not freak out, I will not freak out, I will not freak out..
*runs away and freaks out*

4. Umm, of course I didn't break out my maternity pants already! I'm only 9 weeks pregnant!

5. I *may* have found the perfect (or almost perfect) home for us in Colorado. It's a 4-bedroom house in the neighborhood we wanted, with a fenced in backyard, and very close to our good friends. I put in an application and I'm waiting to hear back from the realtor. Here's hoping...because I REALLY don't want to add "house hunting" to the list of things we're going to need to do once we get to Colorado.

6. Parents of girls, please tell me (something. anything) to reassure me that potty-training daughters is easier than potty-training sons. We're getting to the point where we need to start introducing Alessandra to the potty, but I'm putting it off for a couple of reasons.

 a. We're about to do a cross country move. I can't possibly think of anything worse than a 3-day road trip with a freshly potty-trained child.
b. I'm still kind of scarred by the epic battle of potty-training Tony. 

7. Am I the only one who actually enjoys filing tax returns? Granted, our taxes aren't very complicated, and the nice chunk of change we receive the following month is always nice....but Turbo Tax is just so much FUN. Can you tell I'm a banker's daughter? 

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum. 

 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12 in 2014

This is one of my favorite link-ups every year. Dwija from House Unseen generously hosts this ever popular online get-together, and I always have fun sorting through my pictures from the year. It's hard to believe 2014 is almost over. Will became an officer in the Army (okay, technically that happened in the middle of December 2013), the Army moved us to Fort Benning, GA, Little Miss celebrated her first birthday in style, we found out where our next duty station will be (Fort Carson, CO, and yes that move is quickly creeping up on us!), and we were blessed with some wonderful news. It's been adventurous, exhausting, frustrating, joyful, and at times, even relaxing these past twelve months.

  Cheers to 2015!!

January

Tony's 3rd birthday. He only wanted to eat the Oreo wheels off the cake I made for him.



February

We moved to Fort Benning (Follow Me!)



March

Good times, good drinks, good friends at Fort Rucker, AL


April

Alessandra's 1st birthday


May


James graduated from flight school, and we finally got a picture of Alessandra with her godparents!


June

My friend/roommate from junior year, at our 10-year college reunion. Lawrence University in Appleton, WI.


July

Poor baby was bitten by a spider. Fortunately, antibiotics and spaghetti alla carbonara helped her recover in no time.

August

Drinks and dinner with my little brother, who flew to GA for a visit.

September

Fun at the space museum.

October

Michaelangelo and an angry spider ready to go trick-or-treating.
Okay, two pictures in October...sue me. My cousin's wedding in NC. Welcome to the family, Piper!

November 

Happy Veteran's Day

December

Tony and Alessandra have an announcement! 

 Interested in doing a link-up of your own? Go to the link in the first paragraph, and add your own 12 (or 13, whatever your preference) to your blog, and completely the link-up!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Changes

  So, quite a bit of blog neglect going on here lately. The holidays snuck up on us quickly, and with Will's insane work schedule we kind of had to throw everything together at the last minute. We somehow managed to pull it off, and everyone had a lovely Christmas. My in-laws came from Alabama and stayed with us for a few days to celebrate the holidays, and now we're kind of in the "we're keeping the Christmas season going until the Epiphany, but mom is feeling more sluggish and not quite with it, and why do we still have the tree up but everyone forgets to turn on the tree lights every single day?" stage. Not to mention, we have a whole lotta big changes happening to Team Tenney in the next couple of months. Beginning with...

1. Our move to Colorado Springs, CO

  Did I say months? I meant WEEKS. Yes, we are doing a cross-country move with two little kids and a dog in a matter of weeks, and I've done exactly zero preparation for said move. Okay, I've been doing a little bit of house-hunting, which essentially means I've been sorting through homes in the COS area that fit our size requirements and price range, finding what looks like the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, only to discover that it's been snatched up already and the website hasn't been updated. Oh, and we've tentatively mapped out our route. Yep, that's about it. Things that still need to get done:

 a. Arrange for the movers to come and pack up our home.
 b. Do a massive purge and remove any junk that we've accumulated over the last year and don't want to bring to Colorado.
 c. Call the guy who installed the fence in our backyard and ask him to un-install it. 
 d. Make an appointment for housing to do a walk-through of our home before we head out.
 e. Check out hotels, rest areas, restaurants on our drive to CO. 
 f. Set aside things that must be packed in the car with us (my violin, clothes, shoes, shower/bath accessories, blankets, dog food, essential oils, toys and books for kids, phones, chargers, etc).

  So, I've decided that for now, the best course of action is to completely ignore the upcoming move, and hope that everything will take care of itself. With zero effort on my part. That will work out swimmingly, I'm sure. And, in other big news...

Because we never do anything halfway.

  I mean, what's the point of JUST doing a cross country move with two little kids and a dog when you can add a pregnant woman in her first trimester to the mix? That's right, we are expecting Teeny (hahaha) Tiny (lolololol) Tenney THREE in August! I had my first appointment with a midwife here in Georgia, and she determined that the newest member of our family will arrive on or around August 20th. Clearly, given my track record of birthing extremely late and rather large babies, I'm not holding out any hope that this baby will arrive any time before September. But we did a dating ultrasound, and we were able to hear the most beautiful sound in the world; our little one's heartbeat. 
  
  So! I'm currently battling round-the-clock nausea, fatigue, and back issues (which, unfortunately, still remain). Moms of 3+ children, I'll be counting on you for advice. As in, lots and lots and lots of advice. Will and I are slowly but surely getting used to the idea that our kids will outnumber us, and I'm more than a little embarrassed to report that my regular pants are already feeling pretty tight. I'm holding on to that "you show earlier with each additional child!" mantra like my life depends on it. 

  I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas, and if you're the type to celebrate New Year's, enjoy that as well. I plan on eating stuffed mushrooms, sipping my Welch's sparkling cider, and most likely passing out on the couch around 10pm. Mainly because we'll be attending Mass twelve hours later, and my pregnant butt can't stay up past 10:30pm anymore. 

Cheers to 2015!