1.29.2015

New Years Resolutions: 2014/2015 edition

You know, I love the idea of having a set of goals to accomplish for the year, and then looking back and seeing how I did.  Sometimes looking back can be depressing, or it can be a chance to reassess where your priorities lie.  My goals have definitely changed over the years.  So this year has been kind of everywhere, in a good way!  I think I did ok, cause I knew before hand where life was going, which mostly dictated where our resolutions were aimed.  How did we do for 2014? 

1. Stay sane -  In the scheme of things, I did pretty ok, though I have moments where I lose it.  I'm a mom, what more can I say?  And my daughter loves to push my buttons.  However, we are managing to cope.  My house is not always clean (pretty much never clean) but we will manage. 

 2. Try not to get pregnant until after Ashlyn turns one (if we get pregnant at all) - Ashlyn was a good fifteen months old when the stork decided to visit.  Yes, it was an accident, we weren't trying.  However, I was starting to feel like we were supposed to have another one.  This little Nugget (his prenatal name until he makes his arrival) will probably be our last, and he is welcome to our family.  Though I was a bit stunned when that pregnancy stick showed that second little line.  Totally not expecting it.

 3. Learn How to Make Sushi -  This skill alludes me.  I do have a sushi making kit, and one day I will learn.  It was not going to be 2014 however.  Besides, I live in Japan, whenever I want Sushi, I have my choice of authentic sushi just outside the gate.  I'm sure I'll learn before we leave here though

4. Downsize - Oh yes, we downsized.  Got rid of a bunch of stuff, and it felt great!  Still have some more to do though.

 5. See a Foreign Country - Living it!  We are in Japan and we do love it here.  It is a great experience, though the winters are long, but they are manageable. 

5.1.  Don't get Cancer -This one is a bit tongue in cheek, mostly because of the fears with the Fukushima power Plant disaster.  We have no worries up here, we're pretty well isolated from that and a lot of those fears are unfounded.  Kind of a fear mongering in a lot of ways.  We do have potassium Iodine though if we do feel like we need to worry.  The larger threat is down south of here

6. Leadman - Dang it, we sold my bike and I didn't get a new one.  I also didn't really have anyone to watch my kids at the time so it just didn't happen.  Gus did it though. 

 6.1 Bloomsday! -  Signed up and was ready to do it.  Nobody to watch my kids though.  There was a bit of an issue that day as well, I won't go into details.  Anyway, I didn't do it.  Kind of bummed about it too.  I got a double stroller to walk the kids and everything but I think they had to be registered or something.  We just forewent the whole thing.  I was kind of under a lot of stress because we were one week out from our trip to Japan and we were closing on our house.  Just kind of a stressful time. 

 7. Make our Move a Smooth One - You know, I really can't complain about how our move went, in a lot of ways it was very smooth.  I wish we got a slightly different configuration with our house (one of my pet peeves, laundry in the kitchen, I was unable to escape but I'm dealing with it) but overall we are learning to look for the positives of our living arrangements.  Gus does miss his Garage though.  I miss having a yard that the kids can go play in, plus having acreage.  But overall, it went well. 

 8.  Learn how to read Japanese -   I actually did have the Kana down pretty well when we first got here.  I have to have a refresher on it though and constantly keep looking at it.  We don't get out the gate enough to be forced to know it, because most signs are in Kana and Romanji, and as long as things are in Romanji, you don't have to know the Kana or the Kanji.  The Kanji though, that might be a lost cause.  I know a little, but there is so much to learn that it is difficult to stay on top of unless you put forth the effort.  I think I can relearn the Kana again pretty quickly, though sometimes I feel it's a bit redundant for having two basic character systems with the same sounds, but that's part of Japanese, learn to love it.  I have the Hiragana down a little bit better than the Katakana though. 

9.  Show Greater Patience with my Resident Two (now Three) Year Old -  We're working on it.  She's still a handful, but we are working on it.  She at least understands more.  She starts preschool very soon and we have her in some classes like tumbling and signed her up for Soccer (that should be interesting) just to help her funnel that energy in a productive manner.  When I show greater patience versus frustration, I notice she does so much better.  But I'm human, I just need to channel my energy better as well.  We'll continue to work on it. 

10 - exercise more -   I think this one was going well, until I got pregnant.  For a good month and a half this summer I was doing awesome, was getting my run time down quite a bit.  My goal was to get running in case I did get pregnant, I could run through my pregnancy.  I forgot about the fatigue I get though.  First trimester was relatively easy except for the lack of motivation and will power to do anything.  But I did do very well for that month and a half, once baby is here and things have settled a bit, I will try to get back into that routine. 

So overall, I don't think I did to bad.  I had some successes, and a couple of washes, but overall I'm not complaining.  It was a fairly mild year for resolutions overall.  So, what do we have for 2015?  Well, January is almost over, but it gave me a chance to really think about what goals and plans I have in mind. 

1. Natural Childbirth - I think this one is doable.  Yes, we are expecting again, a little boy due in May.  I have had two children sans drugs already, and you might look at me like I'm a little crazy for forgoing the drugs, and maybe I am?  But the thought of having a needle inserted in my spine is just as crazy to me.  And I have always had an aversion to drugs.  So we are going for a natural, drug free birth.  I can do it!  Though if complications do arise, the important thing is baby is healthy. 

2. Organize my Life/ Set up guest room - Ok, you might wonder about this one.  Well, we live in a three bedroom apartment.  We have no garage.  We have one little storage area in the front of our apartment, and we didn't downsize quite enough like we should have.  So the third bedroom is where Ashlyn sleeps and all the rest of our stuff is.  It is a disaster, but she doesn't climb out of the crib so we have been able to make it work.  However, it is the guest room if we ever have visitors, so we need to go through it and find a place for everything, or just get rid of it.  It's happening, slowly but it's happening!

3. One big trip Once a Quarter - This is actually a goal for the three remaining years we are in Japan.  There is so much to do and see that we have to really plan those trips.  This year will probably be dwindled down to three, because of baby and everything, but we want to make these trips to go see the sites.  Summer is the best time to travel, and there is a limited window there to really see Japan where we live.  We have not made it down to Tokyo yet, but I want to make Tokyo at least a yearly trip.  There are other places we want to visit, such as Sapporo, Seoul (seriously, there's a hop to Seoul every week, it would be crazy not to go there), and pretty much southern Honshu Island.  We are in Northern Honshu Island, as far north as you can go and still be on the big island.  Tohoku region, which is where we are at, is not where most people think when they think of Japan.  Most of the sites are down south.  We are not without our charm though.  Anyway, a Big Trip is an overnight trip that takes at least three days to do.  We have a list of things to see while we are here, we have seen a lot of Aomori, there is still so much we want to see and do.   We did want to go see China and the great wall, but that has been budgeted out.  We have to find a different way of doing it.

3.1.  Mini trips once a month in summer- In conjunction with above, the weekends are our time, especially in the summer.  That time is gold.  Last year we got into the habit of going camping once a month and picking a destination to go check out.  We will continue this tradition this year.  It might get a bit of a delay due to baby, but these trips are mostly geared around Tohoku, and mostly northern Tohoku, basically Aomori, Iwate and Akita prefectures.  Pretty much drive somewhere, find a place to camp, and explore.  It's actually a lot of fun.  There is always something new to see. 

3.2.  Major Festivals Year Round - Japan lives for festivals, if you want to get into the true Japanese experience, this is the way to do it.  There is a snow festival coming up, one in Hirosaki, Towada, Iwate and of course Sapporo, the Sapporo snow festival is a must do while we are here which might have to wait until next year or 2016, but we will probably do Towada this year.  We hit up the Aomori Nebuta which was definitely worth catching last year.  There is Cherry Blossom viewing in April/May (this one we can't go far with this year) and plenty of other exciting things to see.  Every region has a major festival they are known for.  I just need to have a list and start knocking them out.  They are a lot of fun to visit. 

4. Run - After baby gets here, I have a B.O.B. and I'm not afraid to use it.  I also think Kaia would want to just run with me on the track.  Girl seriously loves to run.  otherwise, she can sit in the front of the stroller and I'll push the kiddos around.  My goal is to get under 18:00 on my two mile run.  Yeah, I know, but I've never been a runner.  This is my first goal.  We'll go from there. 

4.1 Base Races - Misawa does a lot of fun runs throughout the year.  I did an adventure race last year (at six weeks pregnant, yikes!) that I had a blast doing.  I just want to take advantage of these races and use them as my goal.  The races I'll focus on are the ones in late June and after.  I won't push myself much before then, because, you know, baby. 

5. Live the Title Soccer Mom - My mothering experience will be complete while I shuttle my first born to whatever activities we sign up for her.  Right now she's in tumbling.  She's also in Preschool.  We signed her up for soccer later this spring.  We also have the option of putting her into dance and some other activities, as well as little sister who will probably be doing activities later this summer too.  There is a reading group / story time at the library.  One thing I have learned about these is that it provides structure, which is good for Kaia (seriously, she needs all the routine and structure she can get right now) and it is good for me, because it keeps me on routine too.  I just have to be careful not to overdo it where it stresses me out.  getting out of the house is always a plus anyway.  Sometimes that can be difficult during the week, but when you have to be somewhere, it kind of forces your hand.

6. Potty Training - So I am letting Kaia take the lead on potty training right now, and she is showing signs that she is so ready (this has come and gone several times in the last year or so, she shows interest, and then she loses interest).  Ashlyn is starting to show the signs too.  I am hoping to have BOTH of them potty trained this year.  Kaia will probably be finished before baby arrives, hopefully we can knock this one out in February.  I really think Ashlyn, who's a second born and a bit of a copy cat in a lot of ways, takes the cues from her sister here.  I would love to have just one in diapers.  That would be totally awesome.  It is difficult though when we do a lot of traveling.  I think that's what stopped Kaia from doing it earlier when she was showing she was ready this past summer. 

7. Preparedness - Ok, for those who don't know, I'm a Mormon.  I hold no shame in that declaration.  Mormons are all about preparedness.  So there is only a limited amount of things we can do while we are here, but I really want to make sure my preparedness plan is set and up to date, especially with a new member of the family joining us later this spring.  If an emergency does happen, the Air Force will ship me and the kids back to the States.  Truthfully, I have to have a bunch of paperwork and things in order for that to happen, so I need to be sure that stuff is set.  Also, get my 72 hour kit repacked and up to date as well as a lot of things.  This is an important goal, I really need to get it done.  I encourage everyone to have a little plan in case of an emergency, even if its something small like a power outage.  I want to make this a big goal this year to have everything in order.  A year supply of food, hah!  That's not happening here, but I would like to have at least a month's worth. 

8. DA Photo / Military Biography - I need one of these up to date.  When we go down South, hopefully this summer, I'm going to plan on getting one done.  It's low priority, but I need it.  I also need to write up my military biography.  There are opportunities in the IRR for me (right now it's low priority, because, you know, Pregnant) and these things will help this along.  The Mil Biography should be written pretty soon.  The DA Photo will have to wait until later this year.  I just need to get them both done. 

9. Hire a Mamasan - I might have misspelled that.  Basically people hire locals to come do a good clean their houses, they are called Mamasans, and they are thorough and good at their job.  I so need one, just twice a month.  Gus has already agreed to it.  I know he feels better coming home to a clean home. 

9.1. Keep the house between Mamasan visits - This might be a tall order, but relatively neat would be nice.  A steam cleaner might be necessary too.  We'll put that on the list, I did not miss having carpets at our last home.

10. Prepare to Go to the Temple - This is another Mormon Related Resolution, I won't go into detail with the theology and doctrine behind this resolution for my non-Mormon readers, but it is a very personal thing for each person.  It hasn't been a huge goal in my life prior to now (though it should have been), but it is becoming more and more important to me.  It might just be me going for now, but eventually I would like to see our whole family go and get sealed (that is a goal that has to be Gus's as well, not just mine, and I can't nor I won't force him to do it), and I think it would be awesome to call the Tokyo Japan Temple 'our' temple.  I might not make it to the Temple this year, but hopefully it will be a goal we achieve before we leave here. 

Ten's a good round number (not counting the handful of sub resolutions I have listed).  There are some long term goals we have over the next three years we have remaining here too, but those are in another post, and maybe slightly referenced in this one. 

Anyway, we'll see how the resolutions go.  And maybe, I can blog more.  Just maybe.  I do miss it, I just have trouble finding the time to spill my words out when I have little ones that like to vie for my attention.  And I do like to ramble quite a bit, which is why the short quick nature of Facebook seems to work so much better for me.  Thought to be honest, I've largely weaned myself from that lately too.  We'll consider it a good thing, for now. 

See you next year :P

2014 Year in Review

So here is my year in review, at the tail end of January.  I really like to do these, as it is a nice wrap up of the prior year, though lately, it appears that this is all I do with my blog anymore.

 01. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Moved across the ocean, with my family.  I have lived overseas in the past, but it was always in a deployment setting.  This is different.  This is actually moving your whole life. 

 02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did ok.  See my next post. 

 03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Gobs of cousins, we are all in the child birth phase in our lives, and I've got a lot of cousins.  The Erickson's especially are known for reproducing.  Also, Misawa is a Baby Base.  Everyone here seems to be pregnant, with a newborn, or probably going to be getting pregnant in the very near future.  Seriously, something is in the water.

 04. Did anyone close to you die?

I had a cousin who committed suicide unfortunately.  She is family, though I haven't seen her in many years.  She suffered from some severe depression and it was a truly tragic situation. 

 05. What countries did you visit?

Japan.  We almost went to S. Korea, but that is probably going to be on the list while we are here, if we can somehow finagle it with children. 

 6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A little more alone time.  I have to take advantage of nap time, except we have decided that Kaia no longer gets naps unless she manages to go down early in the day.  She was staying up too late and taking late afternoon naps.  We had to get her into some kind of routine.  It has helped tremendously. 

 07. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 11/12th.  Longest day of my freakin life!  And yes, it was technically two days, but the sun never went down on May 11th and never came up on May 12th, so it just turned into one big, long day.  We flew to Japan from the states. 

 08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting out the Gate and seeing Japan when we first got here.  We really made an effort to go site seeing and exploring, and it really made a huge difference and has gotten us excited about living here.  Also, selling our house and buying a new one (we didn't want our equity floating around in a bank account), though selling that house was a huge bittersweet moment.  I have so many memories of that place and have a sentimental attachment to it.  fortunately, I'm used to moving, and I have a four year curse on me (I have never lived in one house for longer than four years, I thought I would actually break that curse, hah!)

 09. What was your biggest failure?

The situation dealing with the one and only blog post of 2014 that was not related to New Years.  I went back and read it and shook my head.  I never got proper closure from that, though I tried to at the last minute, but it looks like I never will.  It still gets my goat sometimes when I think about it, and I wish I could get closure.  However, one day I will, and right now I'm far removed from the whole situation so I don't really have to think about it. 

 10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Does Pregnancy count?  Hah!  No, I'm doing pretty well actually, though Pregnancy did stop a lot of things in my life from happening. 

 11. What was the best thing you bought?

I guess a new house.  We sold a ton of stuff and downsized quite a bit.  We still have more downsizing to do while we are here. 

 12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Does this question just bug me or something?  Anyway, 'Merica, for voting the way it did in 2014 elections I guess.  I was a fan of how the Midterms played out.  Though I still hate politicians and am watching those dang republicans and seeing how they play their hand now that they control congress. 

 13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
This question is kind of inline with the question above.  Ugh!   I guess my own in reaction to that earlier incident, and the person who that 'post' applied to just really frustrated me to the point that I broke off all contact with them. 

 14. Where did most of your money go?
Out of a bunch of material possessions and into another house.  Also a move happened in there, but a lot of that was covered and not really out of pocket.  Also, traveling around Japan.

 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Take a guess.  We were really excited about moving to Japan, and it has been a fun experience for the most part. 


 16. What songs will always remind you of 2014?

'All about that Bass' I guess.  I heard a few songs but I must be getting old because for the most part they annoy the crap out of me. 

 17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I think it's a wash, I was doing pretty good this time last year and I feel pretty good this year. 

 ii. Thinner or fatter?

 Fatter.  Definitely fatter.  I'm pregnant.

iii. Richer or poorer?

  Good questions.  I guess we're doing pretty well, we don't have the monetary obligations we did before and a lot of money is going into savings.  We sold off a bunch of stuff so we are probably richer, but we are living in an apartment (that I'm not the biggest fan of) and it is a far cry from the experiences of living out in the country, so in that regard, I feel poorer, but we have tried to make up for it. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Gotten outside the gate more toward the end of 2014, since becoming pregnant, we kind of got tied to the house, the first trimester I got really car sick when we went on road trips, the and roads here are pretty curvy unless you take the toll roads.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Complain about our living conditions.  Granted, it's not ideal, I hate the kitchen and the bathrooms, but we are discovering the perks of tower living with toddlers.  I'm glad this is not a permanent situation and that we don't have to pay the bill here, so there's that.  I really need to count my blessings more and complain less in general.  I am very blessed. 

 20. How did you spend Christmas?
It was a quiet morning, we gathered around the Christmas Tree, opened stockings and presents, sipped Wassail, and decided to find out what we were having (it's a Boy!) and then announced that we were pregnant on Social Media (I was keeping that one close to my heart).  We spent the rest of the day pretty much chilling at home and watching movies while Gus played with my present (he got me a GoPro, I almost got him one so it was good that I didn't)

 22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

 I fell in love with Japan and its people.  Is that a bit clich├ę? 

23. Favorite Month 0f 2014

 You know, this year has been a pretty good year in all.  August was hot and muggy, but we did so much and got out and saw so much, it's a great time of year to discover Japan. 

 24. What were your favourite TV programs?

  How many kid shows can a person watch?  Seriously?  I don't think I got into any tv shows here that I really enjoy immensely.  Gus does watch a lot of TV, its how he decompresses after coming home from work, but I generally zone out and surf my phone instead.  I have low tolerance for tv these days.  So I guess I didn't answer this question.  Can I say that I have discovered I really can't stand Cartoon Network cartoons? 

 25. Did you have a falling out with anyone that remains unresolved?

Yes, it has been mentioned.  Yes, I'm still frustrated about the whole situation.  I guess this question needs to be rephrased again because this question is often answered earlier in question 13.  Alright, new question for next year, we'll come up with one to replace this one, or perhaps a question to replace 12 and 13. 

 26. What was the best book you read?
I actually read Wonder by RJ Palacio for a book club, it was fantastic and a quick read.  Highly recommend reading it, it has a great story and moral and despite being geared towards fifth grade reading level, really quite excellent. 

 27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Music?  Er, huh?  I don't think I really discovered anything new in music, and if I did, I have already forgotten it so that tells you everything you need to know. 

 28. What did you want and get?

An all expense paid trip to Japan and the

 29. What did you want and not get?

 A car not named after a terrorist organization.  Seriously, I drive a car called a Toyota Isis.  Ironic. 

 30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Maleficent, which I saw on DVD.  I never went to the theater, not even once, this year that I can recall.   We area also a Frozen household, what you do when you have little kids.  It has a high rewatchability factor, fortunately.  and it is adorable listening to my daughter sing to the title song.

 31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

 I turned 34.  I was back in the states with my family.  I had to drop Gus off at the Airport.  We went and saw Breezy the day before. 

 32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I could have gone back to the States a time other than during the holidays.  It is not a great time to visit with young children because everyone is so busy that you can't just drop them off on whoever and its hard to go around doing stuff with them that I needed to do.  I did leave them a couple of times with my mom and felt it was necessary to get back to them because I could tell my mom was busy trying to get ready for Thanksgiving and I didn't want to leave them with her for to long.  There were a few people to see and things I wanted to do while back in the states that I didn't get to do because of that, but it's ok.  I still love my kiddos.

 33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
The same fashion concept I have every year.  Mostly jeans and a t-shirt, though I notice my wardrobe is starting to get a little more mature lately.  I must be growing up finally.

 34. What kept you sane?

Getting outside the gate.  Not a task for the feint of heart with young children. 
 
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
Celebrity figures?  What are those?  Hah!

Ok, I'll give you Ted Cruz.  I kind of like this guy.  Also Mia Love.  Yes, a couple of politicians.  I hope to see more from both of them.  There were a few others. 

 36. What political issue stirred you the most?
There was an election last year, so everything seemed to be geared toward that.  Mainly ISIS I guess.  Gun Control keeps seeming to pop up, I voted in the election last year specifically for that reason, it was the only thing on the ballot that I cared about.  Of course, it passed, Dang you Washington!  Well, I'm an Idaho resident now.  Le Sigh. 

 37. Who/what did you miss?
My friends and family back in the states, and my horse.  Oh gosh I miss my horse! 

 38. Who was the best new person you met?
I have met so many great and fantastic people here in Misawa that I don't think I can narrow it down, but I guess I can say Misawa LDS Military Ward is a group of people that I don't know what I would do without. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Count your blessings.  I get overwhelmed sometimes with my children and life sometimes, but when this happens, I have to just take a step back and remember how truly blessed I really am, and I truly am blessed. 

 40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Let It Go (overplayed, yes, but definitely applicable)

2.20.2014

Streamlining Life

So I deactivated Facebook, which might be why I am currently blogging on my neglected blog.  Kind of a sad chain of events I know.  But don't see this as a sign that I'll post here more frequently.  Though who knows, I might.

So what started this?  I guess it begins with the drama of Facebook, and social media in general, a drama that I was feeding myself into like a stupid insecure teenage girl.  I'm a 33 year old woman for criminy's sake, why am I feeding into that?  And it really was over something stupid that was bugging the snot out of me and making me into the exact person that I really can't stand, bringing out all of the insecurities of my time as a teenager and twenty-something.  Furthermore, right now, I just don't have time.

In the middle of everything that is going on right now, we are preparing to put our house on the market, I'm trying to sort through and get rid of stuff (a much needed forced dejunking) , I'm awaiting my orders into the IRR where I will likely be for the next few years (while I still have to drill in the meantime) , and I'm raising a very precocious and active two year old girl, along with her nine month old sister who is full fledged walking.  I don't have time for the drama and time suck that is Facebook, which is so easy to get absorbed into that before you know it, three hours have passed and you haven't done squat.  The stress of everything had to be getting to me and causing me to react to stupid trivial stuff in a way that was uncharacteristic of me.

I talked to several people about this, they all basically said the same thing, that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill and it was not a big deal, so don't make it into drama.  My sister suggested I delete Facebook, and when she said it, the spontaneity of it was brilliant.  I just needed to turn off that time suck, delete the app from my phone and use the precious time to get things done around the house.   And if, in the event that my daughter demands my time and prevents me from accomplishing my chores, perhaps I should, I don't know, focus my attention on her instead.  I don't want my kids to remember me as being glued to the damn phone.

The question is, will I return to Facebook?  Undoubtedly, for all of its faults, it's a great way to stay connected with friends and family, though I will undoubtedly streamline it so I am not following so many pages.  We are moving overseas in a few months, and that is one of the prime ways to stay connected with loved ones short of talking to them on the phone, and I don't know how often I will get to do that.  However, I think just sitting down and deactivating Facebook every now and then is good for the soul, just a clean break from social media so you can turn your attention on the important things, namely family and spending quality time with children, watching them grow and trying to build them into becoming responsible individuals.  I see a lot of character traits in my daughter that she shares with me.  I want this to be a positive thing, not a negative.  It took me a long time to get comfortable in my own skin, so to revert back to defensiveness and petty grudges over something that ultimately does not matter is not on my agenda at the moment.  I'm an adult, in this era of perpetual childhood, I really need to act like one.

And right now, my life requires me to focus on the things that matter and not get wrapped up in the trivial matters that come with Facebook.

1.01.2014

Resolutions, 2013/2014

Wow, I don't need to say it, but life has just sort of taken me completely away from computers so I basically live on my iPhone these days, and very rarely do I blog.  But what's a little New Year's Resolution Post going to hurt?  That's right, nobody.  So here it goes, how did I do this year on my Resolutions?

Hah! 

That's a preview.

 1. Grow a garden - Gus rototilled the garden area out, but I successfully grew a lot of knap weed.

 2. Do at least one meal a week by scratch - This one was really hit and miss.  I could say I did pretty well to be honest, I rocked November.  December, well. . .

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables - Another amber resolution.  I think I did better than last year, but I still had far too many veggies go bad in the veggie drawer.

4. Milk Cow Daily - You know, I really did do pretty good for the month that I had her.  But alas, it was proven that she was not bred back and there was no way I could keep her in milk while I had my own baby.  And now that I have two children under the age of three, it was probably a wise idea that I got rid of the cow.  But in the future, when my children are older, I would love to have another one.

4.1 Milk the Goat -I no longer own goats.  And I never milked them when I had them.

4.2 - Learn to make my own Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, etc - Well, I know how to make butter.  But making stuff from scratch, and from absolute scratch, well, when my kids are not so demanding, maybe I'll get on this one. 

 5. Attend church at least twice a month - Gus doesn't really do church, and I can't force him too.  I knew that when I married him.  I still love him, however I can't do church with two kids (and mostly Kaia) and without him.  I don't get anything out of it other than feeling stressed.  So maybe I need to focus on my own personal enrichment.

6. Do More Art - I once considered myself an artist?

7. Learn a new craft skill - My friend recently taught me the basics of knitting.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I want to continue.  But I fear I have already forgotten what she taught me.  Still, I made an effort in the right direction.

7.1 Make more quilts -  Hah!  Ashlyn is still waiting for her homemade baby blanket from me. 

8. Breastfeed through the new year - I actually completed one?  Wow!  Still breastfeeding my little Bean Sprout.

9. Graduate from College - I will blame this one on the sequester delaying my plans by messing with my tuition assistance.  And then I had a baby and never got back on it. 

10. Exercise more - If by more, I mean more than last year, I failed.  I started exercising, but it really didn't last long.

10.1 Complete one full cycle of P90X - I did about three weeks of T25, I'm thinking of ordering P90X3 but, well, I failed big time. 

11. Read one new book a month - Books?  What are those?

So, how did I do?  Um, awful.  But you know what?  I'm not going to let it get me down.  New Year's Resolutions for this year?  Let me see. . .

1. Stay sane -  No, really, this is a legitimate resolution.  I need to remain with my sanity intact, it is going to be a little crazy this year for me. 

2. Try not to get pregnant until after Ashlyn turns one (if we get pregnant at all) - we're toying with this idea of having a third child, because Gus really wants a boy and we have two girls (who we absolutely love)  but I'll be honest.  Kids are work!  It also impacts your body and wears you out.  So, if we do end up having number three in the near future (they have to come before I turn 35 or we aren't having them at all, that's my rule) I need to at least give myself a bit of a break before we start with the whole bun in the oven thing.  So I want to wait until Ashlyn is at least a year.  Preferably I would like the next kid to make it until after Ashlyn turns two, but we'll see where we are at.

3. Learn How to Make Sushi - I got a sushi making kit for Christmas.  I love me some Sushi, so it would make sense if I learned how to actually make it myself. 

4. Downsize - Working on it now, we are getting rid of a lot of stuff.  And I mean pretty much half of what I own.  This will probably be a green resolution because my hand is being forced into it.  I don't mind.

5. See a Foreign Country - If everything goes well, this should be an auto green also.  We are moving to Japan.

5.1.  Don't get Cancer - Fukushima is not the place to hang out or so I'm told.  Hopefully the fallout doesn't affect myself and my family.  Perhaps we will be stocking up on different holistic remedies?  We shall see.

6. Leadman - I'm doing it this year, nobody is going to stop me!  well, something or someone might, but it's the only race I feel like I really can do, that and Bloomsday.  Hmm, that makes a great secondary resolution.

6.1 Bloomsday! -  That settles it.  I'm running this year!

7. Make our Move a Smooth One - Did I mention already we're moving to Japan?  Yeah, about that.  I get to be an Air Force Spouse!   Maybe I need some Japanese Resolutions?

8.  Learn how to read Japanese -  Yeah, that might be a resolution we'll be working on for the next four or so years. . . along with speaking it too.  And not just Sayanara and Kannichiwa. 

9.  Show Greater Patience with my Resident Two Year Old - I'm a mother of a two year old, who seems to have entered the terrible twos about eight months early, only to really demonstrate what the terrible twos are all about when she actually turned two.  I love her to death, but I feel like a perpetual stress case.  I need to work on being more relaxed and patient with her.  And sometimes, I just need to learn how to let things roll off my back. 

10 - exercise more -  Yes, that one is a gimme.  What's a new year's resolution list without the dreaded 'e' word showing its face somewhere?  That, and if I do get pregnant this year, I want to be in decent shape. 

So there you have it.  That's my list.  I'll see you next year.

12.31.2013

2013 Year In Review

I skipped this annual tradition last year.  I still have it saved in my drafts, unfinished, because it got pushed to the side like so many things have in my life. 

 01. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

 Became mother to a two year old.  That is something in and off itself.  I also did a couple trail rides competitively that I hadn't done before.

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

 I always make them, don't always keep them.  This year I did pretty horrid.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

 Well, now that you mention it.  The one and only blog post this year that wasn't centered around new year's was my daughter's birth story.   I also had quite a few cousins give birth. 

04. Did anyone close to you die?

 Tim, my barn cat.  This hit me hard, mainly because it was my fault.  I accidentally ran him over and it made me sick to my stomach. 

05. What countries did you visit?

 None.  No new states either. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

 Sanity.  And Time. 

07. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 3.  Take a guess.

 08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Delivering a healthy baby girl in under two hours of labor with no drugs.  That was pretty awesome actually. 

 09. What was your biggest failure?

 Not getting my garden in.  Really, it's been kind of a chill year in that regards.  I can't think of any at the moment.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Does childbirth count?  Though I came out of it pretty well.  I also got bucked off a horse and maybe broke my thumb (sucked it up and didn't see a doctor, but it hurt for a few weeks so I'm guessing it was bruised pretty well at least)

 11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Mini-Van

 12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Whenever Kaia goes to the potty on the toilet, or listens to me, and doesn't destroy my house, it merits celebration.  Yay Kaia!

 13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I try not to let other people get to me, so maybe it is time for this question to be rephrased.  Anyway, Kaia got to me several times, being a two year old (throwing phone into the toilet, smearing poop all over the house, doing a lot of questionable crap with said poop), and in subsequent actions, I get mad and frustrated with myself. 

 14. Where did most of your money go?

To kids and various 'projects'.

 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

 Gus getting orders out of here. 

16. What songs will always remind you of 2013?

 Wrecking Ball is a guilty pleasure. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

 Oh gosh, I think I'm more stressed now.  Just where things are.

ii. Thinner or fatter?

 Thinner, only because I'm not four months pregnant.

iii. Richer or poorer?

 I'd say it's a draw. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Ran more, or just did more activities, whether it be races, running, adventures, snowboarding, snowmobiling, things like that.  This was a pretty activity-less year.  Although I did a couple trail rides that were pretty awesome and I wish I had discovered them earlier.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Sat on my ass surfing the net on my iPhone.  The thing eats time.  I told my husband I wanted a basic flip phone with texts when I was ready to upgrade, he talked me into another iPhone and I kick myself.    

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly, at home, with my family.  Very mellow and easy going day.  Christmas Eve was spent at my sister's house playing games and eating dinner. 

 22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes, I have a second child now.  No matter how much they stress you out, you can't help but love them

23. Favorite Month 0f 2013

New Question for this year.  I'll say May.  Because new baby and all, and it had some fantastic weather.  Though I must admit, Spokane really rocked October.  Perfect Fall weather.  September was a pretty great month as well.

 24. What were your favourite TV programs?

  I started getting into Breaking Bad, didn't finish it.  Phineas and Ferb is hilarious. 

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try not to hate on people.  Really, juvenile question.  Next year it will be rephrased to say something like, Did you have a falling out with anyone that left a particularly bad taste in your mouth?  To which I will reply for this year, hmm, not really.  (I think most of the questions on this little year in review were written by a teenager at the time I found them)

 26. What was the best book you read?

 I didn't really read, but I did a fair bit of writing (its my escape, when I get into a writing mood I have to write my way out of it)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

 What Does The Fox Say?  Ok, so I totally cheated because my brain is mush. . .

28. What did you want and get?

 A sushi making kit.

29. What did you want and not get?

A knitting kit, but it's all good.  I'll get one later. 

 30. What was your favourite film of this year?

 I think I saw a grand total of five films this year.  I don't sit through movies anymore and the movies I do watch are geared toward families, so I'll say Monster's University. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33.  My husband took me to eat Sushi.  He knows me well. 

 32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a perfectly content and well-mannered two year old, but you know what?  Honestly I wouldn't trade her for the world, no matter how destructive and rambunctious she is.

 33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Unkept appearance.

 34. What kept you sane?

 I have a two year old.  I am far from sane at this moment.
 
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?

Dr. Ben Carson is up there, though I disagree with him on Gun Control.  Otherwise, argh, I cant think of any!  I'm caught up in mommy world that public figures don't hold my attention these days

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

 Gun Control and ObamaCare.  I am against them both.

37. Who did you miss?
Maybe this should say 'What'.  What did I miss?  Not one, but two weddings, and subsequently opportunities to catch up with many cousins, friends and family.

 38. Who was the best new person you met?

A little girl named Ashlyn

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

 Life's to short to get to stressed out, because when it is all said and done, it doesn't matter, it's just infuriating at the time you are in the middle of it.  You'll laugh about it later. 

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

  Drive me crazy!

5.05.2013

Ashlyn's Birth Story

On May 3, 2013, Ashlyn Sage Donnelly joined our family and brought our number to four.  It was quite an interesting journey!  But let me start at the beginning.

We were wanting to have at least two children, wanted them close in age, and I want to be done with childbearing by the time I hit 35 so we could still be relatively young enough to enjoy raising our kids.  I'm currently 32, so with the possibility of having one more, we wanted to make sure we hit the timing right.  We weren't really trying when Ashlyn was conceived, but we weren't doing anything to prevent a pregnancy either.  It was really just a let things come if they may type situation.

If we had a boy, Gus was done and we would consider our family complete, but a second girl was in our future so we are going to try one more time and take what we get.  After experiencing a pregnancy with a very busy toddler under foot, I have decided that the next one will need to be spaced out a little more, so when this little one gets to be about fourteen to sixteen months old, we'll be looking at getting pregnant one final time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My 'Due Date' was May 9th, but I had this sneaky suspicion I wouldn't make it that far from early on, and this being my second pregnancy, with a daughter that was 17 months old, I was feeling it.  I wanted to make it to 38 weeks, so I have been trying to take it easy while at the same time trying to not put my entire life on hold.  As I got closer and closer to my goal, I just felt more and more uncomfortable.  That discomfort kept me cautious, forced to skip two weddings because it was just to close to the end for me to make the trip.  This was especially true about week 36 when they checked me and found that I was already dilated to a 3, though i wasn't effaced.  Something told me from the start that when it happened, it would happen fast.

I didn't have them check me again until this Wednesday, I was one day shy of Week 39, ready to go, but wanting it to happen when she was ready.   My midwife was a little surprised that I was dilated to a 4 and effaced 80%.  She basically told me "As soon as you start labor and you know it's labor, or your water breaks, come in as soon as possible."  This being a second pregnancy, and we living where we did, she didn't want to take any chances for me to wait and labor at home when I was already progressed to where I was at.  She offered to speed things along, but I declined.  I was determined to do this with no interventions.
Ok, so I decided maybe I would do a little bit to speed things along.  I was having Braxton Hicks all day on Wednesday, so family was lingering around after my appointment and helping me get things ready while tracking contractions to make sure they were the real thing or not.  They weren't, they were all over the place.  I have no doubt they were doing something, but labor wasn't progressing.  Yet.  On Thursday, I was still pregnant, for sure it would happen that day, and even jumped on the horse bareback just to see if it would do anything.  I had a couple chickens on stand by for butchering, since that worked the first time (inside joke) but never got around to it.  Took my daughter Kaia for a walk, felt something, but no labor.  

Went to bed Thursday night thinking it could still happen, but Friday might be the day.  I woke up feeling pretty tight and a little sore, but overall, just very pregnant.  My husband left for work and I had my sister and my mother on standby in case I needed them.  It was just me and my daughter and we tried to take it easy while getting some stuff done around the house to prepare for the arrival of this little one.  

Turns out, its fortunate that we were able to wait.  Gus got home, I didn't feel like cooking anything fancy so we threw a frozen pizza in the oven.  We discussed other methods of speeding things along, as  he was feeling a little impatient with the stand by as well.  Nothing quite like being in limbo waiting for a baby to be born.  Me, I've been just focusing on doing what I could around the house.  

Well, about 8:25pm, I felt the first undeniable contraction that felt like 'it'.  I've been having tightness and contractions for weeks, but this was definitely different.  I was still able to move through it, but I had downloaded an app on my phone and when the next one hit a few minutes later, I timed it and gave Gus the heads up that this could be it.  I timed another one and texted my doula to give her the heads up as well that baby might be coming soon.  I wanted to get a couple more timed, just to be sure, and sent a couple texts alerting my sisters while Gus called his mom to arrange for her to pick up Kaia if things continued.  I called my mom and got voicemail.  

By 8:45 I knew this was the real deal and tried to let everyone know while Gus got the car ready and I continued to time the contractions while coordinating with everyone via texts.  I had one sister and my doula heading out for sure, mother in law planning on meeting us at the hospital, getting a hold of the midwife on call and trying to pacify a toddler who was ready to go to sleep and wanted to cuddle with momma, while momma wasn't in the position to cuddle.  

At 9:00, I called my mom again and left a voicemail, letting her know we were heading to the hospital because we were pretty sure this was it.  Gus, being a typical guy, decided that every time I had a contraction he would slow down.  Dork.  I'm not sure he realized that he was taking his life into his hands when he was teasing me like that.  They weren't bad yet, but they were getting a little more intense.  I also noticed the dreaded back and leg labor was back.  Fortunately, my body seemed to realize that it needed to slow down and the contractions went to every five minutes while driving to the hospital.  

We got to the hospital just before 9:30.  One reason we changed hospitals from the first time was because I had to go through triage at the other hospital and I hated triage.  The nurse was horrible, completely discounted my birth plan and it ruined my vibe, but here they took me straight to my room and my midwife was there to assist me.  She had me change into a hospital gown really quick while my support group slowly started to trickle in.  My mom and dad got there first, dad settled on the couch next to Gus and they sat back trying to stay out of the way.  

That's when the contractions really started to hit.  I bent over the bed and tried to endure the contraction, and Gus and Dad were still chatting about whatever, I don't remember.  Dad teasing me about being so serious or something like that, something no man should say to a woman in labor.  I just know when I go through a contraction, I like silence.  That's my thing so I can concentrate.  So the first thing out of my mouth was "Shut up!"  

Midwife noticed that the intensity level had changed and she went straight into supporting me and hitting the pressure points on my back.  After the contraction she quickly monitored baby's heart beat when my mother in law came in.  I went into another contraction while they were talking, and suddenly I'm trying to endure that while subtly telling them to quiet, shushing them but they didn't hear me.  Finally I told them to shut up again a little more forcefully.  

Sister and Doula showed up together and man oh man I was thankful for them as they hit those pressure points while I tried to labor, those contractions were coming up quick with little break between them.  Finally, my midwife asked to check my progress.  This was the one and only time I had been checked since coming into the hospital.  I was dilated to a 7.  I had been there less then thirty minutes.  Things were moving very quickly.  

Ok, sometimes, labor isn't pretty.  A laboring momma isn't really that concerned with otherwise embarrassing factors.  I guess one way to describe one symptom is labor is the feeling that you have to take the biggest crap of your life and you can't.  I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, I started peeing a little bit and felt like I needed to use the bathroom.  Good thing too, I was able to empty my bladder though I had a contraction right there on the toilet.  I finally had my bloody show at that moment, but nothing else, coming out of the bathroom, another contraction hit me hard and I just braced myself again leaning up against the bed.  At that moment, all I could think is "I don't care, I'm just going to take a crap right here, I don't care if everyone sees me."  I tried to take to have a bowel movement and that's when it hit me, nope, this is not a simple poo, things were moving quickly.  I let everyone know that I had to push.  

Midwife asked me what position I wanted to deliver in, and to be honest, i wasn't sure.  I just knew I didn't want to be on my back like before.  That was miserable.  I just crawled onto the bed on my hands and knees and apparently everyone was in for a shock.  My water was not broke and my sack was apparently sticking out.  My midwife didn't have her gloves on, my mom had to get Gus in the room, we weren't expecting it this quickly.  

Next contraction, I eased her out through the coaching of my midwife.  I was told that she was still in the caul (the birth sack) but I think she had slid out of it.  However, the water gushed after her and drenched her as she let out her first cry.  The first thought I had was 'Woah, that was a rush!'  It was a completely different experience from my first birth and it happened so fast.  She was born at 10:09, about an hour and forty five minutes after I started my first contraction.  


I had to reach between my legs to get my baby, who still had her umbilical cord attached, but I delivered her completely drug free with no interventions.  I was able to do it without grunting (last birth I screamed) That was my goal, that's what I wanted, and the fast delivery was an added bonus.  If I could change anything, I would have wanted to hold my baby longer, but because of the shower of amniotic fluid while she took her first breath, they needed to get it out of her lungs so I had to relinquish my baby to the nurse and let them take care of her while I endured the joys of the after birth.  

My midwife commented that I made more noise while she pressed on my belly to get the excess fluids out then the actual delivery.  I guess I was mentally prepared for the former, not the latter.  
My other sister made it two minutes after Ashlyn was born.  Didn't give everyone a whole lot of time, I know.  Gus joked that the next baby will just fall out.  Hey, these fast births are pretty cool, I'll take 'em!

 Little girl has a bit of a temper to her.  She looks a lot like her sister, but I already noticed a few ways where she is her own person.  She has a darker complexion then Kaia and I think she's going to be a brunette.  She also suckles to soothe herself, so i think we have a binkie girl on our hands.  Kaia never took to one.



Welcome to the family Ashlyn, hope your big sis doesn't beat on you to much.  

1.04.2013

Resolutions, 2012/2013 Edition

I'm a little late rolling this one out, but even though my blog is often ignored, I can't break from tradition.  So, I put up resolutions last year, how did I do?

1. Regularly attend church - Ok, I did better this year then years previous, and I was actually doing pretty well at the beginning of the year.  I fizzled out badly toward the middle of the year and then dropped out entirely when I discovered getting up to attend church at 9 was a little harder then I thought it would be.  This year, I don't have to go until 11, so I will likely be shooting for this one again.

2. Get back into shape  - I actually bounced back from having a baby pretty well.  I wanted to get into better shape then I did, and I wanted to be able to continue to work out through a subsequent pregnancy.  Having an infant that is dependent on you can make this task difficult.

2.5 Pass PT test first time out - Passed it, the run by the hair of my teeth, but I passed it. 

3. Run at least 5 races -  I ran two.  Leadman and The Dirty Dash (though the latter wasn't quite a race, more like a fun run where at one point you were forced to just walk in a line)

4. Horse Events - I had plans for this, I ended up doing pattern racing once with Breezy, but getting on the old girl while somebody watched the baby was harder to do then expected.  Would like to do more, but I won't make them a resolution.

5. Meal Planning - I had a couple of months where I successfully did this.  Then Gus changed his schedule to swings and it is harder to meal plan when you are cooking for just yourself. 

6. Breast feed at least 6 months -  Yay!  Smoked this one!  We made it to a year!

7. Agility Training with Scooby -  I no longer own Scooby.  We need a dog that can come indoors, and that requires one that doesn't shed.  I would like to get a dog, but I will wait to get approval from Gus for the next one. 

8. Get a job that coincides with staying home with Baby - .Kind of sort of, but I'll tell you this.  Staying at home with a baby is a full time job!  Plus homesteading, which is what I'm trying to do, also makes it difficult to stay on top of everything.  I have done some stuff with ebay and Craigslist, but it's an on and off kind of thing.  We'll probably continue to do similar stuff this year.  I don't see myself entering the workforce other than Army Reserves once a month. 

9. Get an A in classes while sticking with school -  I did take a couple of breaks, but when I am in class, I do get A's.  I'm not the most reliable student however, and I have been struggling to get my homework in on time.  I used to be able to hold off to the last minute and just wing it out, I have to manage my time better, but hey, I'm still getting As.  If I don't take any breaks, I'll have my degree by June, however i know I will have to delay my last two classes on account of newborn, but that's ok, I should have my degree by the end of the year.

10. Work on baby Number 2 - We're a Go!  She's due in May.

Ok, so I was 3.5 for 10, with 6 partially done resolutions and one flat out not done.  Not bad, not bad.  Could be better. 

So, what does 2013 have in store for me?  Well, only time will tell, but here's an idea of things I want to do...

1. Grow a garden - I had one this year, it was fun and a lot of work, but it wasn't as successful as I would have wanted.  Having free range turkeys didn't help either, especially when they discover your lettuce.  So, we'll be working on another garden this year, and it will be a bigger focus.  Along with fertilizing and all of that jazz. 

2. Do at least one meal a week by scratch - I'm on a goal to get self sufficient, we live on five acres, but with how busy one gets with life, sometimes its easier to just pop a ready made meal in the microwave, as well as those nasty burritos that taste oh so good.  Those ready made meals are not the healthiest things to eat, and baking from scratch is often cheaper and healthier in the long run. 

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables - I guess my list is getting pretty traditional.  The problem with this is it requires you to make multiple trips to the store to get fresh produce.  Getting to the store sometimes can be a challenge.  And i'll be toting around not one, but two little ones.  So this will be a challenge. 

4. Milk Cow Daily - This is going to be one test for the ages.  I have a milk cow.  Can you see a pattern here with my resolutions?  Anyway, I've been milking my cow twice a day since I got her, and using the milk.  So my goal is to get fresh milk for the year.  I've got a lot of people willing to help me in this quest.  She will be going dry for a couple months while she preps for her baby due in May. 

4.1 Milk the Goat - I have a goat, I've had her for almost a year.  I got her as a milking goat, but i never used her as one, so I have to get her prepared to let me milk her.  So I want to get her into milk and use her as one.  Fortunately, when the cow is dry is when I can start milking my goat.  Good times. 

4.2 - Learn to make my own Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, etc - yep, see a pattern?  I'm trying my hand at homesteading.  I might have to get some tools to accomplish this, but with my own milk cow, why not? 

5. Attend church at least twice a month - I'm out once a month just because of Drill Weekends, but I really need to focus on my spiritual needs, and I am more fulfilled when I attend church regularly.  This year, church is two hours later so it should be a little easier.  I also want the munchkins to socialize with kids of like minded values, and I need friends with like minded values too.  I see this as becoming more and more important for myself and my family, so we're going to make an extra effort to attend. 

6. Do More Art - I am neglecting my art, and it is something I really do enjoy, but I never seem to find time for it.  I think if I can find time, I will enjoy this.  We'll settle to once a month, do a painting, or a drawing, something art related.  Maybe get Kaia involved as she gets older. 

7. Learn a new craft skill - I'm thinking knitting or crocheting, something like that.  I finally learned how to use a sewing machine and have made several baby quilts for some family and friends. 

7.1 Make more quilts - This is very enriching to complete a baby quilt.  I have discovered I quite enjoy it.  I made three last year, I know I'm going to make at least one for little Bean, but if I can make several, I can start making it a habit to give them out as gifts.  I love recieving home made gifts, there is something about it, and I think a lot of people appreciate the thought and work put into something handmade. 

8. Breastfeed through the new year - Baby Bean will come in May, I plan on strictly breastfeeding her for the first few months.  The Army might get in the way of my plans, but I hope to continue to breast feed her through her first year.  However, that extends past this resolutions list.

9. Graduate from College - I should complete my Bachelor's degree this year.  I plan to do so, without any breaks I should have my degree completed by this summer, but I know I will be taking at least one. 

10. Exercise more - Generalized, though I should get into specific goals and numbers, as they are easier to judge wether success was reached or not.  Milking a cow does help, but I would really like to work out more even while I'm pregnant.  Right now it's just things that are safe for pregnancy, but overall, just working out regularly, even if its a short walk or a round of yoga or whatever it is, could help with making me feel better. 

10.1 Complete one full cycle of P90X - This will have to be later in the year, so it is later in the resolutions list.  I have to wait until after the baby is born of course, and probably after the six week post partum period, but I think this will make me feel great if I can do it at least once. 

11. Read one new book a month - I used to love to read, still do, but reading much more then this with everything on my plate might be difficult.  Still, would like to try. 

I think that should do it.  Only a year will tell if I succeed or not. 

9.20.2012

#ForAll

I have sworn (for personal reasons) that I wouldn't get to political this election season.  Who am I fooling?  I guess that means I should resort to Twitter and Blogger, and leave Facebook for pics of the kidling and other stuff.  I have lately been ignoring Twitter and Blogger, so I guess I need to find a way to use them for my political outlet. 

First off, the Obama campaign came out with this little number here:


 
Look, hip movie stars and a bunch of random people talking about how Obama is for All of us, as they pledge their vote to Dear Leader.  Looks creepy to me.  It does remind me of an earlier phenomenom that also incorporated movie stars.
 

Not pledging to the country, but specifically Obama.  Nothing creepy about that, if you're into dictators. 

Even more ironic that they made a flag "to say there are no red states or blue states, only the United Obama States" FIFY!

I had to respond, only to discover Gov Perry beat me at my idea. 



 
Well, was looking for a good reason to wear that shirt. 

Stop with the Gas Criticism Already

Yeah, I know, I have been out of the blogging business for a while now.  I guess life has just been getting the better of me. 

However, I want to bring up a point to my fellow conservatives who like to point out that gas was $1.85 when Obama took office on Jan 20, 2009 versus today's prices of roughly $3.85 or so a gallon.  Ok, I am not an Obama fan, I am not defending him remotely, but stop it already. 

You are comparing apples and oranges, the cost of gas is cyclical.  Gas is ALWAYS cheaper in the winter time, if you want to compare prices, you have to compare gas on jan 20, 2009 to Jan 20, 2012, not what gas prices are in the height of their price.  And I don't know about you, but I remember what gas prices were in the summer of 2008.  I remember driving through New Jersey and finding prices at $3.15 a gallon and was amazed by how cheap that was.  A couple of times that summer I did pay near $4 a gallon.  Then they came crashing down in price that fall, i was thrilled when gas was under $2 a gallon again. 

The point, gas was expensive back in the summer of 2008, but they sunk in price that fall and winter.  We have't seen the price that cheap since, but if you are going to leverage criticism of the gas against Obama, at least use comparible time frames.  Meanwhile, when you use criticisms like this that are easily negated by people who actually remember what gas prices were in 2008, they are less likely to pay attention to your legitimate criticisms against the president thinking you are just going to throw blame any chance you get and shut you down.  This is not a legitimate criticism, so please just stop it already.

4.11.2012

Current Baby Trends

So I have a confession to make.  I'm one of those moms.  Yeah, one of THOSE moms. 

I was doing a church activity last night, I think I was the only one there who brought their baby along, and the topic of babies came up and the current trends of mommy hood.  One that was thought of as ridiculous by some of these women was the idea that the baby should only be on formula or breast milk for the first six months.  They were commenting on how they were feeding their babies rice cereal at two months and introducing solids much earlier then that to help the baby sleep.  In fact, my mom recommended that I give Kaia a little rice to help her sleep at night when I was still a new mom (not that I'm an old hat at this now that I've been doing it for a whopping five months).

Well, I just made a casual observation, as Kaia is very healthy and happy, how she's nearly five months old and has only been breast fed.  In fact, I'm pretty proud that everything my baby has digested has come from me.  I may have to introduce solids a little earlier than I would have wanted, the army is taking me away from my baby for three days before she turns six months old and I want to make sure I have other options in case I can't get enough milk pumped, but I am in the camp of giving my baby no solids before six months. 

Yep, I am one of those moms.  The mom that goes through labor with no drugs and a midwife, doesn't want a c-section, and breast feeds as long as possible *though I'm not into the extreme breast feeding gig, I think Kaia will be weaned by two at the latest*.  I think some of the women got a little bashful when they realized I didn't use any of those old techniques they raised their children on that worked for them, and I do have my own mother on board because I think she sees how Kaia is growing and knows I'm doing something right.  Heck, I'm one of those Co-sleeping mamas, I try to get Kaia in the crib for at least part of the night but more often than not I end up in bed with her because we're both happier and we both sleep better when we sleep together.  I hear a lot of women who talk about the lack of sleep with a newborn and I'll be honest, I haven't really had that.  Why?  Because I sleep with my baby, I breast feed her, and I try not to let her cry for long when she gets fussy.  It's just worked.  I have had a couple sleepless nights but I don't feel like a walking zombie like many woman comment on. 

I'm not saying every woman needs to do what I do, I just found that it works for me.  I went by my gut after researching what I needed to do.  I basically fell into co-sleeping because it just felt natural and I like my sleep.  What's interesting is a lot of these birthing trends that are coming to light are not really new at all.  In a lot of third world societies, babies sleep with their mama and it isn't considered the enormously dangerous thing that it is like some people claim it is here, though i admit I haven't told my pediatrician that I co-sleep.  Most of these people in other countries don't have the option of feeding their babies formula, they only have breast available, which is considered the best thing to give your child.  I was watching this documentary recently called Babies that shows four different babies from around the world and how although this one baby is born in very rough circumstances, playing around in the dirt and what not, he is happy and thriving.  He's got his mama there and all of his basic needs are met. 

Kaia is happy and thriving, and I don't want to toot my own horn or anything but I think it's because of how I put a lot of things to the side to make sure her needs are met.  Right now, she has been my primary focus in life and everyone comments what a good baby she is.  Now I have to focus on making sure my husband isn't feeling neglected either.  And keeping on top of the house.

Of course, Kaia has got me lulled into this sense of security that makes me want to have another one, and I'm wondering if they are going to be nearly as easy as she is

3.26.2012

Life After Childbirth

Where do I begin? I think I'm starting to finally feel the need to get out do things, and having an infant that you have to lug around everywhere you go does put a damper on your style. I felt pretty independent and free before becoming a mother and now, not so much, but still, at the same time, I do love my daughter and I love being a mom.
One of the strange things about the whole event, I felt through most of my twenties I couldn't figure out what I wanted to be and now I know. I'm going to school part time, my bachelor's degree is actually accessable for the first time in, well, ever! Going into education and teaching, which I just keep going back too, my other educational endeavours were just going nowhere but now I feel like i might just get something accomplished. It feels good.
Animalwise, I had three chickens and twelve chicks april of last year, every one of those chickens is deceased. It actually makes me kind of sad to think about that I lost all of my chickens, because you grow rather fond of them. I started with fifteen chicks now, though one of those chicks didn't make it. A little adaptation to my chicken coop should keep the predators out. Also we have a haveahart trap to catch anything that might want to munch on chicken flesh. Already got a raccoon with it, and a friend is making a coonskin cap out of its carcus. I love the rural life though. Getting to and from town however, not so much. I also had one of my beloved barn cats disappear. This made me a little sad, so I adopted a couple 'feral' cats that are sweet as can be to replace him.  It's kind of sad that I have to consider my barn cats expendable, because we do have a coyote issue.  The next task, getting my dog an invisible fence so she can help keep the pests away, and hopefully add to the lifespan of my other animals. 

I'm down to two horses, one being Breezy and the other being a pony that is a work in progress.  It should be fun putting miles on him, but I don't know if I'm going to keep  him, otherwise I might try to trade him for a pony that is a little more tame.  He's got some spunk, and it looks like it will be a while before my daughter can use him. 
Working out is a work in progress. We had sun a few weeks ago and I went running for the first time in, well, over a year. I am out of shape. We also started P90X and lasted a whole two weeks.   But weather has been very bipolar, yesterday was glorious son, today is wet and snow.  Bleh.  Husband's work schedule and my life being dictated by an infant has a lot to do with that. That also goes for having time to clean and upkeep house. Not to mention blogging. You mean I have a blog that at one time was semi-successful? Whodathunkit?
There is often issues I want to comment on, but it's just getting to a point where I wonder what my priorities are, and right now, my priorities belong to my daughter.  Having only one child and living out in the boonies makes doing anything kind of difficult, but we'll manage I think.  Just keep an eye on the blog, I facebook much more and when i do blog, I tend to comment on my facebook about it.

Justice and Gun Rights, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last week or so, undoubtedly you heard about the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  I heard about it through an email petition on behalf of Martin's parents seeking justice for their son's murder, but I didn't know the full details so I didn't bother signing it.  Then it just escalated from there, becoming an issue of race, class and MSM bias.  I couldn't help but follow on the story because EVERYONE was commenting on it, looking at it from both sides and seeing where justice had failed and what not. 

So after remaining mum on the topic, this is what I think happened.  Pardon some errors, this is all pure speculation as I do not know all of the details. 

George Zimmerman is part of a neighborhood watch program.  Trayvon Martin was visiting some friends or family from out of town.  Martin had walked to a corner store and picked up an ice tea and some skittles and was talking to a female friend on the phone on the way back.  Zimmerman was driving along, seeing a 6'2" black kid that he was unfamiliar with walking down the street of his neighborhood. 

And this is where a big fat misunderstanding starts to happen.  In a responsible situation, Zimmerman could have just went straight up to Martin and asked him who he was and what he was doing without being confrontational about it.  Martin could easily explain who he was visiting and what he was doing, if Zimmerman had any questions about it, he could have kept an eye on the kid until he reached the house he was staying at.  No bloodshed would have happened.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.

Zimmerman decided to call 911 to report suspicious activity on a strange kid walking down the street, knowing nothing about the kid.  Meanwhile, Martin notices some guy is following him and relates this to his friend on the phone.  She tells him to get out of there, run or something.  he throws his hood over his head, kind of a defensive posture in my mind suggesting he wants to be left alone.  Whatever action he did, it made him look suspicious to Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, meanwhile, wants to engage the kid in a sort of vigilante nonsense and the police specifically tell him not to engage the kid.  Zimmerman assumes since the cops aren't there that they don't have a good handle on the situation and decides to take matters into his own hands.  Martin is already suspicious of Zimmerman and wondering why he is following him, likely feeling threatened himself. 

Whatever happens at this point escelates the situation.  Zimmerman likely confronted Martin.  Martin, being a seventeen year old kid, probably got defensive.  Both saw the other as a threat, even though there was no threat there to begin with.  I don't know about you, but teens can be volatile, and Martin was likely already on edge, Zimmerman said something to him that got his blood going and Martin likely defended himself by jumping on Zimmerman. At this point, Zimmerman was in a self defense situation and shot the kid. 

Conclusion, both did actions to escelate the situation to the point where it ended where it did.  I don't think Zimmerman went into that situation with the intent to murder Martin, but that's what happened.  Poor judgment and suspicion lead to a tragic incident that could have completely been avoided if the two of them communicated better.  Is Zimmerman guilty?  Hell yeah he is.  Is Martin?  He is not without fault, but he didn't deserve to die, he shouldn't have been shot, and there is that window of time before Zimmerman shot Martin that we do not know for certain what happened. 

The issue of controversy is that Zimmerman was not arrested due to the Florida Stand Your Ground law which provided a loophole that let him off the hook.  Zimmerman was in deed defending himself at that point.  The problem?  So was Trayvon Martin.  The further problem was that Zimmerman was armed with a gun while Martin was armed with an iced tea and a bag of skittles, as well as his fists.  In a case like this, the gun will always win. 

Apparently Zimmerman is feeling a lot of guilt for what happened, as he is still free, but the public outcry on this case while everyone is jumping to conclusions is probably putting a lot of pressure on him.  He should turn himself in most likely, since the New Black Panthers has issued a bounty on his head for $10,000.  Do I think this was a hate crime?  No, Zimmerman over reacted to a percieved threat that wasn't a threat at all, he saw a stranger on the street that looked suspicious and took matters into his own hands.  He instigated it and used poor judgment.  He should have known better.  He should also choose his words a little wiser next time as well, because goon sounds a lot like coon over the phone. 

This case has been getting a lot of attention and people are crying foul that other cases that were serious are not getting half the attention that this one is.  There was an issue of a white kid getting set on fire by two black kids, which was definitely racially motivated.  There was also another case where a white couple was raped and brutalized by a gang of black people, who were later arrested.  To me, they are both horrific and unnecessary, but its not the issue of media under reporting earlier cases, where justice was met because the guilty were arrested.  The case with Martin and Zimmerman is that Zimmerman killed a kid and was released by the police of any wrong doing.  The precedent to me is what this will do and how it will be used against the second ammendment.  Because for every Zimmerman/Martin case, there is the other side where somebody who is actually evil wants to do harm to another.  Channon Christian and Chris Newsom would be alive today if they had a gun to defend themselves.  Zimmerman should have known better and not taken the matter into his own hands, especially since he had a gun.  I am an avid defender of gun rights, but that doesn't give you a license to take the law into your own hands.  The Stand Your Ground law is a great law in my opinion, it has been misused here.

Of course, to bring Politics into it all, President Obama had to weigh in, suggesting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.  *le sigh*  Why does Obama have to always insert himself into every situation he weighs in on?  The issue was tragic and should have never occurred, but it doesn't matter who Trayvon looks like, if Trayvon had been a Irish kid with red hair and freckles, does that mean Obama wouldn't care because he wouldn't look like Obama's son?  The concern was he was an innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I think the issue is communication here, and an incident could have been completely avoided if Zimmerman hadn't decided to play vigilante. 

1.04.2012

2011 - quick rundown by month

I know a few people who do this.  I thought I would start doing it as well.  Here is a rundown of my month to month activities, the highlights and main events.

JANUARY

P90X going strong, trained for UPL with the Military that sent me to Texas for a weekend.  Got attacked by a feral cat and had to get rabies shots.  A couple of weeks of trying to trap cat with no dice.  Cat still at large.  Briefly go back to work at the air port cleaning airplanes.  Husband surprises me with tickets to Hawaii for our one year anniversary.  Snowmobiling!

FEBRUARY

Continuing series of Rabies shots.  Husband leaves for the first time for a week.  Finish working at the airport and put in my two weeks notice for good.  Decide to see if I can make it work as a photographer and work on my portfolio.  More Snowmobiling!

MARCH

Go train to be a Unit Computer Tech in Vancouver, WA for a weekend, spend some time with my Aunt Renee.  Get my first suspicions I am pregnant while there.  Come home, take a pregnancy test, have it confirmed at the hospital.  Because of miscarriage, don't tell anyone about it except for husband.  Get in to see Midwife right away.  No longer snowmobiling, brother figures out I'm pregnant.  A few horse friends figure it out too.

APRIL

Find out last minute that Husband has to go to Military school during the week we are to be in Hawaii, trip gets delayed.  Wait until week 8 to inform the family of pregnancy.  Learn that cat naps are a beautiful thing, also experience Morning Sickness.  Find baby chicks at Big R and bring home six.  Two weeks later, bring home six more.  Spend the next six weeks away from hubby.  Not happy about it but deal.

MAY

Lots of sleep.  Trouble finding things to eat.  Pregnancy continues.  Make the Facebook announcement at 12 weeks along.  feel the baby kick at insanely early.  Husband returns from school at end of month and heads out of town promptly thereafter for work.

JUNE

Husband returns from out of Town, we got to HAWAII!!!  See my cousin on Oahu and then head over to the big island where I meet his extended family.  Tour the big island by Camper Van.  Awesome time!

JULY

Fourth of July in Hilo HI.  Come home and find out we're having a girl!  Husband leaves again.  Balderdash.  Cheney Rodeo, lot's of fun!  Family reunion in Seaside OR where Husband shows off his impressive wind surfing skills.

AUGUST

Helena MT for the Army, I still fit in my ACUs?  Start Hypnobirthing classes.  Start school, since I have nothing better to do.  good friend gets married, Husband best man

SEPTEMBER

Impromptu maternity session.  Husband in and out.  Bleh. 

OCTOBER

Baby Shower!. . . get's promptly canceled when I find myself having preterm labor.  figure baby's arrival is imminant.  Aunt comes and visits.  Halloween is lackluster this year, I dress up as a pregnant girl.

NOVEMBER

Impatince is the story of my life first half of month.  Fed up with Roosters beating up my hens and butcher them.  Baby comes at exactly 40 weeks, right on schedule.  Healthy and beautiful.  Try to go to Portland for Thanksgiving, can't make it.  Decorate for the holidays.  Spend rest of month at home recooperating with baby.  Husband has time off.  I get pampered.  Life is good.

DECEMBER

Holidays are approaching, difficulty shopping for christmas on account of newborn.  Christmas low key.  I feel better.  New Years at Wolf's Lodge with the family.

Maybe next year i'll go into greater detail, complete with pics, but that just about does it.  I guess with a baby, life is just a little more busy for me right now.  :)