Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Growing!

We, and apparently everyone else in the world right now, have a little announcement to make here in blogland!


We knew we wanted a spring baby, so we planned accordingly!

Baby Nemo (just keep swimming) will be making his/her appearance around March 28, 2013!

I should have made this official announcement quite a long time ago, but didn't. I'm 14 weeks now and SO happy to see the second trimester! I always thought I would be the kind of woman who enjoys being pregnant but, even though I'm excited for the arrival of little Nemo, pregnancy has NOT been glorious thus far. My morning sickness has been super rough and I've lost quite a bit of weight since becoming pregnant! I'm still fighting the remnants of it, and get sick occasionally, but I think I've stopped losing weight and am officially putting some back on--still not back up to pre-pregnancy weight, but at least I'm not losing!

But, because I've been losing weight everywhere else and gaining a human being, my bump has been out since 8 weeks! I always told myself when I got pregnant that I would take cutesy pictures and make a cutesy memory book. Mmm...so far my concern isn't great for that ha!

But, here's a random 9 week photo. Not cutesy, and too lazy to attempt it without just using the mirror (and excuse the color, because my phone went haywire!). 5 weeks ago...


And big sister Cleo is CLEARLY excited...


But we certainly are!

We WILL be finding out what we are having! Hopefully at the end of October :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Yellowstone

A few weeks ago we took a trip up to Yellowstone. We've decided, basically, that this is travel time for us so we went to Vegas earlier this year (...did I blog about that? I probably didn't. I'll put that in the logs), Yellowstone in early July, and--although we didn't travel to this--went to Cheyenne Frontier Days last week. Don't worry, I took a billion pictures. ;D

Yellowstone was very nice. Everything in the park was booked so we stayed at a little place about 30 miles outside the park that was an RV park/Motel. It was actually nice, as we usually go camping with my family during the summer but are too far this year to do that, so staying at this place was a lot like staying in a campground but without a camper. Plus it was like half the price of staying in the park.

Yellowstone, if you haven't been there, is set up like a giant "8". The first day we did the bottom circle, the second day we did the top circle. We probably drove 500 miles between the two days. We were pretty exhausted, but saw some cool stuff.

Except we didn't see a Moose. Or a bear. We were both very disappointed.


We stopped in Thermopolis--home of the world's largest hot springs.

And in Cody for their 4th of July festivities. The orange cloud behind this flag is the smoke from the fire in the Teton.

Turned a corner and there was a buffalo in the road. One of about a billion that we saw. This is probably more impressive when you DON'T live right next to a buffalo farm.

Lower Falls

Elk

Old Faithful

Midway Crater Geyser

We went horseback riding on the last day and had a blast!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

High Park Fire

Last Saturday a fire started in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, probably about 25ish miles from here. By Sunday morning it had burned 14,000 acres and was growing at 20-40ft per MINUTE. High winds (sustained at 25mph, with gusts to 40) were fueling the fire like crazy and causing the smoke cloud to go hundreds of miles away, all the way to Omaha, Nebraska.

This is what our city looked like on Sunday morning, and it got MUCH worse with every passing hour.



We were on a red flag warning all day and night Sunday which, according to the web, means "increased probability that a quickly spreading vegetation fire will occur within 24 hours." We decided to wait until Monday, and if nothing changed we would pack ourselves some emergency bags for when we were told to go.

By Monday morning the fire was at 36,000 acres and still 0% containment. BUT, in the morning the wind died down, the fire changed directions, and we officially declared ourselves out of danger.

Currently, as of today, the fire is at 50,000 acres, 10% containment, 2600 homes evacuated, over 100 structures have been destroyed, 1 life has been lost, and over 1200 people are working on containment (including 2 states national guards). Plumes today are reaching over 34,000 ft in the air. It's currently the second largest wildfire ever in Colorado.

This is what our city looked like yesterday morning, though, and it still smelled like smoke the instant you walked outside. The skies were FULL of smoke and ash and the orange in the distance is fire. This is a photo from the skycam.


(from CBS5)

Here are a few photos of the fire over the ridges and around the foothills.

(From 9news, credit Bryan Maltais)


(from 9news, credit Clint Hartley)

These are a couple cell phone pictures a friend sent me when they went fire-chasing.



On the Eastern side of the country, we didn't have these issues so this is our first wildfire experience. We occasionally get the frantic family call in the middle of the night because they just saw it on the news and want to make sure we're still alive. For our first fire it's been kind of exciting, albeit terrifying. Also, as if nature wasn't creating enough fun for us, for the second time this month there was a tornado 45 miles from us (same spot both times). But, the fire is now at 10% containment so cross your fingers that this number gets to 100 pretty soon!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cafe Door to Mail Holder

The last couple days I've been working on a little project that is FINALLY done! Okay...actually I've been working on many projects the last two days...this just happens to be the only one that is complete. Clearly, this means I must share it with you!

A few weeks ago we had the "World's Largest Yard Sale" about an hour from here. Besides the fact that not only was this event NOT in a yard, I'm also pretty sure they couldn't possibly call it the world's largest. BUT, I did find that brand new set of packaged cafe doors for $15.


Michael's and I have been in an argument over Turquoise paint for months now. They've been out of the big bottle forever, but I still had some left from the little kitchen paintings I did last year and I got tired of waiting and just went for it. I ran out of paint with 7 slats left in my second coat. Had to buy two little bottles of it to finish. I screwed a couple D-hooks (25lb weight limit) to the back of the door and hung it on the wall!


Please excuse the mess in the kitchen. I did the painting on the table and everything is moved around right now to make room for a new refrigerator to come through later this week! (And don't you just LOVE where base housing decided the fire extinguisher would look best? In the middle of the wall is completely perfect. GREAT thinking. This is also why I only hung one of the doors.)

I know what you're thinking right now--what the crap is she going to use a cafe door on the wall for? Here, let me answer it for you with a picture...


MAIL. Our mail is consistently piling up on the kitchen table. I realize this is my fault because I'm too lazy to walk it back to the office and file it where it needs to go. But, still it's annoying. So, voila! A new place to pile the mail!

There is one small problem, though:


When the mail goes in long ways, if you aren't VERY careful about it...it just slides right through. But in order to fix this I would have to take it off the wall, put a perfectly cut piece of wood or cardboard or something behind it, glue it there, and replace it on the wall.

So, I'll just be VERY careful. Because...let's face it, that's a lot of effort.

I'm pretty excited about my new mail holder!




Friday, May 11, 2012

Military Spouse BlogHop!

It's Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Let's face it...it's always nice to have some appreciation! :D

In honor of this glorious event, Household 6 Diva and Riding the Roller Coaster are hosting a BlogHop! I LOVE BlogHops! They hook you up with so many interesting people that you might otherwise never meet!

Join, won't you?



My name is Meg and I am in my second year of being an Air Force Wife. My husband, who is a security forces officer, and I moved to our first duty station in Dec 2010. We said "send us to Georgia!" and the Air Force said "here's the least populated state instead!" We are originally from Ohio, so the climate and the general demographic here is completely different than what we're used to, but we're pretty used to it by now.


I am an English teacher. I am not currently teaching, but I am a teacher. (Did you know it's also Teacher Appreciation Week? Because it is. I will take one apple, thank you.) Jobs here are hard to find, so I'm currently subbing in our district. I'm also a court appointed advocate for kids involved in neglect and abuse cases in the county, and my husband and I foster dogs on a regular basis.

You'll also find that, here on the blog, I do a LOT of baking and a LOT of DIY home decor. Since moving out here, my options for places to find specific things for my house that I want have slimmed to pretty much Walmart and Big Lots (more stores would require an actual population). Neither of these places is typically able to satisfy the image in my head, so I just end up doing it myself. Sometimes I come up with it on my own...sometimes (okay, most times) Pinterest advises me.


We don't have any kids (yet), but we do have an incredibly spoiled puppy. Cleo is a 9 month old Aussie Shepherd/Cattle Dog mix...we think. Whatever she is, it's a great mix and she's is a fantastic puppy--we couldn't ask for a better one!


I'm so pleased to meet ya!

Monday, May 7, 2012

10 Signs You Might be Ready for a Baby

A few signs you/we might be ready for a baby...or at least it wouldn't change our lives much.

1. You both have a photo of your dog as the screen saver on your phone.
2. All plans you make are made with the consideration of whether or not you can bring your dog.
3. Your only friends are friends with dogs, and when you hang out you bring you dog.
4. Your friends with dogs are having babies.
5. Sleeping in is a foreign concept to you anyway because you are worried that your dog has to pee.
6. You managed to make it through the puppy months of getting up every 2-3 hours at night without killing each other.
7. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you lay awake for a minute and listen for the dog in case she's also awake.
8. You post more photos of your puppy on facebook than of anything else. The amount of dog photos may or may not exceed the amount of photos your friends post of their babies.
9. The amount you talk about your dog to your friends and family is starting to alarm them.
10. The amount you talk about your dog to your friends and family is starting to alarm you.

Mmhmm. I do think we're getting there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Puppy Siblings

A couple months ago, I hooked up with several people on facebook who have Cleo's siblings. It's very rare for this to happen, especially since our puppy is a rescue and had nothing to do with a breeder where they keep strict records, but through our rescue's facebook page we still managed to find each other!

A month or so ago we actually ended up taking Cleo's sister, Remi, in for a little while. Her original adoptive mama couldn't care for her anymore, and we took her until we found her another home. We didn't have Remi but 3 hours before someone my husband works with wanted to meet her, and he ended up adopting her that week.

So, a couple weeks ago he dropped Remi off to us and we all (Cleo, Remi, me, hubs) headed an hour south to meet up with their brother, Quandary. Their mom was actually supposed to be there too, but canceled last minute so we still haven't met her. I think we're only missing one sibling from the bunch!

These pups, now 8 months old, were so much fun to watch!

Sisters, Cleo and Remi


Remi and Quandary (Quandary is on the ground)


We attempted to pose them on a bench. It was pretty much a no go. Remi is on the ground, Cleo on the left, Quandary on the right.


Playing! Quandary in front, Remi, Cleo :)


They were just hilarious together!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meg Huxtable

This post is part of Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin' It!

Prompt: What celebrity Dad would you have picked for yourself as a child?


I would like to start this post by saying that my father is Carl Winslow.


He looks like him, he talks like him, he makes the same faces, and he's has the same mannerisms. Anyone who has met my father and then happens to be watching Family Matters feels the need to inform me that Carl is my dad, but on television. Only plausible difference between my father and Carl Winslow is the fact that my father isn't black. He is, however, Italian and very dark so it could be confusing.

But, let's face it...the last person in the world you want to be your dad growing up is not the person who is exactly like your dad (although, having the money from the show would have been favourable).

No, I wanted Heathcliff Huxtable.



He was funny (hilarious), and a great father, and a doctor, and just a fantastic human being.

I wanted nothing more but to be his kid. Meg Huxtable.

This could have been me:


Damn you, Raven. Damn you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Project -12/430

Yesterday I started project -12/430. It's happening.

My BMI (according to the lame chart) is 1 point too high. Which is 12 lbs too high.

So I started weight watchers yesterday, in a mission to drop 12 lbs by April 30th.

I've done it before, just for a project for a wellness class in college, and managed to lose 17 lbs in 4 weeks.

I have a LOT of faith that 12 lbs will be nothing!

But...we shall see!

:D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sew...what do you think?

This week I broke out my sewing machine. We've owned it for almost 2 years now, and it's never been out of the box. I've never used a sewing machine before...so I decided to attack some items (the easiest items ever, which also happen to be baby items).

Some Bib & Burp Cloth sets with Sew On Snaps (they last longer and withstand tugging!)






A nursing cover. The strap is velcro and connects to the cover, and in the top of the cover between where the strap connects to the cover and where the velcro attaches is boning, so the front of the cover bows out when you use it--allowing you to see your baby, but not allowing everyone to see your boob. Win/win.



And, lastly, this is a 0-3 Month Pillowcase dress. It's supposedly "the perfect project for the beginner!" ...3 hrs, much cursing, and almost giving up many times...and the "perfect beginning project" was completed.


It's been fun...but I think I'm all sewn out for awhile!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Just over that Mountain!

(part of Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin' It!)

For as long as I can remember, my family has gone camping and boating at one specific lake about 5 hours from our house. It wasn't just our family--it was us, my uncles, my aunts, my grandparents, and all my cousins. As kids, we just couldn't get enough of the water, and hated when we had to come in for the night.



On one particular trip, we were down at the lake for a longer period of time than we usually stayed, so the decision was made to take a day off of boating and just hang around the campground. As a 10 year old, this did not exactly thrill me. So, some time around that afternoon, my cousin and I (who was also 10) were complaining about being bored. Our uncle pointed to a mountain in the distance and said "well then go to the lake, it's just right on the other side of that mountain!"

And we were off.

Several hours and at least 5 different "mountains" later, we still hadn't reached the lake. I'm sure it didn't help that we were forced to take our 8 year old cousin with us in her flipflops, either, but we eventually gave up and turned around.

If anyone ever tells me "it's just right over that mountain!" again? I'm not falling for it.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Fabric Softener

I have seen this idea on so many blogs lately that I had to give it a go. It's so incredibly easy and really a $$ saver!

Ingredients:

6 cups HOT water
2 cups hair conditioner (any kind, any scent)
3 cups white vinegar
Big empty container

The ridiculously easy directions:
1. Stir the 6 cups HOT (seriously, make sure it's hot) water with the 2 cups of hair conditioner until the conditioner is completely desolved.


2. Mix in 3 cups white vinegar
3. Pour into container


I will mention that I used dry measure for all this...because my brain was not fully functional this evening. So, although it's probably a bit more for liquid measure, this made about 2/3 gallon for me. So let's look at the price breakdown (and I bought all this stuff at target, so it would be cheaper pretty much anywhere else, because I had to make a valentine's day run):

White Vinegar 16oz: $1.12, so would be $1.68 for liquid measure at 24oz.
Conditioner 22.5: $1.47, so 16oz of that would be about $1.07
Water: Free ;)

Total cost of about 85oz of fabric softener: $2.75, or $0.03/oz.
The fabric softener I buy is the Tide 44oz, which is on sale for $4.47 right now at walmart, making it about $0.10/oz, which would make 85oz of fabric softener bought $8.64.

Total savings: $.07/oz or $5.80/85oz.

We will talk about the fact that I'm frugal enough to make my own fabric softener, but willing to shell out $4.00 for a gallon of Arizona tea I could make myself later.

Also, I haven't used this yet, but I'm planning on using it with the cup from the last tide bottle I bought and using the same amount as I would have from the bottle based on the load. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventures in Fostering

My husband and I have been fostering dogs for the past couple months, and have found that we really have a great love for it. Cleo is our only permanent dog and, as we live on base, we have a 2 animal limit--this has worked out well for us, because we can't keep any of our foster dogs or we can't foster anymore. Translation: our crazy house rules are keeping us from owning a billion dogs.

We are taking a little break from fostering because I'm in training with United Way for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), where I'll be working with foster children instead of foster dogs. While I'm in training, I don't have the kind of time needed to devote to a foster puppy. But, before too long, we'll be back at it!

So far we've had, and successfully adopted out, these puppies:

Blitzen, or "Blitz," a 4 month old Golden Retriever. Cleo had an absolute blast with him and, although he seemed a little too eager to get at other dogs while walking a the park, he was absolutely best friends with Cleo. He's a lover, a soft mouth, and a great dog!


Froggy, a 5 month old Puggle (Pug/Beagle mix). She was born and spent her entire 5 months of life in a shelter, where all her litter mates and mama were adopted. She is the most snuggly dog I've ever seen, and wanted nothing more but to curl up in your lap. When we first brought her home she hated Cleo and her insane energy, and actually got Cleo under her eye. By the end of her time here, she would play for a long time with Cleo before getting annoyed with her!


Lastly, meet Sofia--a 5ish month old German Shepherd mix. Sofia was abused, and spent the first two days here in her crate because she was terrified of everyone and everything. She would sit in there and growl at Cleo when she couldn't even see her, would have to be dragged from her crate to go outside, and as soon as we'd come back in she would run back into her crate and not leave. By the time she left here, she would come out of her crate for long periods of time and play GREAT with Cleo! She was doing so well! Here's a photo from one of her last couple days here:


And, of course, here's our 6 month old Cleo...because she's pretty awesome.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Extremely Loud

I saw this movie this weekend: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, as I understand the idea behind it but I'm really not fond of the storyline (who let's their little kid run around NYC by themselves all day going into homes of complete strangers?). But, either way, it got me thinking about 9/11.

9/11 sucked. I'm pretty sure there really isn't a better way to put that. Everything about wars and terrorism sucks. But, this particular event--9/11--sucks more than the rest of them just because it happened and I/we/my generation was there for it. There's always Pearl Harbor, all of WWI & WWII and other wars, numerous battles etc., and even the completely-non-war-related Titanic that were horrible events where so many people were killed. We hear about them, and read about them, and we know they sucked too. But, we weren't watching the news or reading the papers or listening to the radio when these things happened like we were for 9/11.

Instead the halls in our schools were very hush hush while non-descriptive "letters" were passed out to us and we were sent home early to empty houses where we then turned on the news alone and tried to make sense of what was happening. Was it a coincidence? Was it a terrorist attack? Where even ARE the twin towers? Do I know anyone there? Many of the news stories, at least for me, will be the things that stick around forever as memories. Especially the stories in the days that followed where loved ones cried out at the cameras waving flyers and pictures at the camera of their missing family members.

We weren't there to see the aftermath for the others.

And I think it makes us stronger as a generation.