Good Bye 2013, Hello 2014

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2013. You were memorable yet I want to forget most of you all at once. There were a lot of smiles and fun times but right now I am just kind of reflecting on the things that are on my mind now. The year started with finding out we were unexpectantly expecting our second baby just a few days in. Will had just came back from 4 months in Afghanistan and we already knew we were going to be moving back to Dayton, Ohio in the summer.

We tried to enjoy the rest of our time in Tampa but when we know you are moving it makes it difficult to not kind of have one foot out the door already. You know you are going to have to say goodbye to people and I was trying to be happy about going to Dayton when I really wanted to be going somewhere new. Plus, in my case, since we were leaving Florida again, I knew my family was going to be upset about being far from the girls.

The actual moving process took a lot out of us this time. I have had some digestive track issues for a while and after Kelsey was born I ended up having my gallbladder taken out. I had been having issues with the pregnancy kicking into high gear but I think the stress of the move and driving and summer heat just made me feel horrible by the time we got to Tennessee and I was starting to feel like I was going to need to go to the hospital. I was feeling a little better by the time we got to Dayton and it calmed down little by little as we got settled in. So, I am still waiting to find out some test results and get to take that baggage into 2014.

We are still discovering items that were “lost” in the moving process. How does a 10×12 rolled up carpet just vanish into thin air? Or, a full size ladder plus most of our outdoor tools? How about a professional style car jack? Of the items that did make it, a good chunk of it was damaged in some way, shape or form including part of the crib being cracked. It’s just been hard feeling like you’ve been ripped off.

It’s been a little difficult getting settled in. Everyone I knew in Dayton before works so I have been trying to find a new group of friends of the moms but it has been proving difficult between my husbands work schedule and the baby’s feeding and sleeping needs. The snow most of December hasn’t been helping since I really don’t like driving in it. I am hoping to get out more in the coming months especially as Aubrey starts interacting with the world more.

Aubrey actually getting here has been a bright spot and is one of the few things that consistently brings a smile to my face. I dare anyone to not smile and laugh when she cracks a toothless grin and you! Even at 3:30 in the morning I can’t help but smile back. I am so happy that overall she has been an easier baby than Kelsey at this point, the glaring difference is that I get majorly spit up on at least once a day, like take a shower and change your clothes. I can’t wait for that to stop. She has slept from about 8:30pm to 6am most of the time since she was a few weeks old so even though I rarely get a break during the day at least I get a couple hours of sleep each night (except that Kelsey still wakes up at least once a night most nights).

So, 2014, you have nowhere to go but up. Kelsey is hopefully going to be starting a couple hours a week preschool program. She’s turning 3 in a week so she’s finally old enough to try some classes and sports so hopefully we can find some activities that teach her some focus while burning lots of energy. I am looking forward to Aubrey learning and growing and hope to be able to carve out some regular one-on-one time with her. I am hoping to get better at getting going in the morning so we can actually do some things from time to time. I still can’t really think past spring at this point, but I just hope to look back at the end of 2015 and think, wow, we had fun this year.

I am hoping to make a plan to stay on top of housework while decluttering throughout the year. I plan to post once a week. I plan to do something crafty once a month – it gets my brain working and I am usually proud of what I make even if I am cursing at the sewing machine in the process. I’d also like to go somewhere or do something new at least once every other month – spring is going to be one big experiment as I think we are actually going to try to have a plot in a community garden and grow some vegetables. I am weirdly excited about that one.

I guess being in the middle of a cold after two children having the cold (and coughing and sneezing so hard they make themselves sick) so we haven’t really been out of the house in a week on top of getting a touch of seasonal affective disorder is kind of making me focus on the negative right now. I am, however, eating my 12 grapes and dumping my water outside and toasting the new year in hopes of a great 2014.

Happy New Year to all and I hope the new year brings you happiness and joy! Happy 2014!

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Monster Jam Ticket Giveaway! (Dayton, OH area)

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Advance Auto Parts® Thunder Nationals® features the same massive superstars from Monster Jam, but in a more intimate arena setting.  Staged on purpose-built concrete courses, all the action that these monsters are famous for is fully intact, and even heightened by the smaller size of the tracks.  Expect to see outrageous jumps, crushed cars, plenty of concrete-streaking action, and some of the most incredible donuts ever. 

At Monster Jam, monster trucks face off in two different forms of competition, side-by-side and freestyle. Steel body full-size cars are the vehicles typically crushed during a monster truck event. An average of 3,000 cars, vans, buses, motor homes, airplanes and ambulances are sourced from and then returned to local junkyards.

Kid’s tickets start at just $8!  Adult tickets start at just $15! Prices  exclude Front Row or Gold Circle seats.   No double discounts.  Child  discount applies to children ages 2-12.   Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.  All seats $3 more the day of the show. Buy your tickets today.

Find out more at the official website, on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter!

More than 4 million Monster Jam fans attend events each year worldwide. Would you like to be one of them? If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, enter below to win four (4) tickets to the January 31, 2014, 7:30pm show.

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Going From 1 to 2

It has been a busy past couple of months. In July we moved from Tampa, Florida back to Dayton, Ohio (where we were before Tampa). We had a good time visiting with my husband’s family on the way in Tennessee.

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We landed in Dayton and moved in to our new digs the first week of August. We quickly got to checking out some of the places we used to visit when we last lived here. This time, however, we had a toddler in tow so it was fun to look for things for her to do. I really felt the need to try to get some sightseeing in and do some late summer activities before our new arrival.

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We did a lot and I enjoyed the last few weeks of relative freedom even though I was really dragging as my due date approached.

About a week before my due date I found out that I would not be induced until I was 41 weeks and that I was 1 cm dilated. So began the “maybe tonight, maybe not” waiting game. The in-laws were set to come up the following week after my next appointment so we’d hopefully know sooner when baby would arrive. One tonight as I was dozing off, I woke back up and woke my husband telling him that this baby could not come on September 11th, or 9/11 as most if us refer to it now. I then realized that I really didn’t want her to be born on Friday the 13th either.

A few nights later I was up way too late again after doing more than a ready-to-pop momma should have been and started feeling a little uncomfortable. I drank some water and tried to get to sleep but started to realize that, even though they weren’t the same strength, they were contractions and they were coming at a regular rate. And, that interval was getting closer together.

I called the nurses line at about 2am and told them I thought I was in labor but since, as the nurse put it, I was still “chipper” that I should wait until I was huffing and puffing through the contractions for an hour to go on in. I should stop to remind you that I was completely induced for my first daughter so pretty much everything about early and active labor was different since I got my epidural nice and early.

Half an hour later I was dressed, had moved my “go bag” out of the closet and was waking my husband up telling him it was time to go to the hospital. My contractions were getting stronger and closer together quicker and quicker. I knew that second and subsequent labors were typically faster but it seemed to be going really fast.

We had an old work friend of mine that we had kept in touch with on call to watch Kelsey in case I went in to labor overnight but I felt like was progressing so quickly that I was nervous that in waiting for her to wake up, throw on clothes, drive over (even though she didn’t live that far), and then drive to the hospital that I might not make it. I should also mention, I wanted my epidural, thank you very much.

We woke up Kelsey, threw her in the car, pj’s and all, and just went straight to the hospital. Somewhere in there, we started calling our parents to let them know that they’d likely have a granddaughter by breakfast. I was trying to keep my calls short to squeeze them in between contractions. Note to any grandparents-to-be: That phone call is not the time to ask questions or try to start a conversation.

By 3:30am we were checking in at the hospital and getting the ball rolling. I think my water broke around 4am and it felt like all hell broke lose. Remember the comment about being “chipper?” I was anything but chipper at that point and wanted my damn epidural. I swear I was holding her in with shear will but I just couldn’t get over the mental hurdle to do the final push without the help. The second everything was in place I had a second to collect myself. I had made my husband keep my daughter out of the delivery room but he was able to come in for the grand finale thanks to the nurses keeping my toddler occupied outside.

Aubrey was born at 5:57am, on September 13 (yep, Friday the 13th), 8 lbs 3 oz, and 20.5 inches long making our little family a family of four. We’ve been getting adjusted to life with our two girls and, when things work out, getting out and around Dayton, Ohio. It’s been a whirlwind but I knew I wanted to get back to the blog as a way to record and share it.

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I’m Back!!

Wow, a lot has changed since I started this blog. I’m on my second little one, my first one is about to start preschool and I’ve turned into a cloth diapering, breast feeding, baby wearing momma that can’t stand being home too many days in a row.

Going to try to get things up and running again now that things are somewhat settling down. However, changing the direction a little bit to reflect my life. I still plan to write about what I’m up to with the kiddos and the ongoing domesticating process (I almost set my kitchen on fire recently so apparently I have a long way to go). I want to bring you information on some of my new interests while adding a little local flavor with things to do around Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding areas.