Big News!!!

For those of you who haven’t already seen via Facebook…we’re expecting baby #2! I’m 7 weeks 4 days, so it’s still very early…but we had an ultrasound today and everything looked perfect, with a steady heartbeat of 167. It made it so real to see it, especially for Jon, but for me too. We’re all very excited! In the pic below, the little bean floating in the black area is the baby. The top of the little bean is the head, and the white spot is the eye. It’s measuring perfectly, so they confirmed my due date of September 15th, 2013.7wks4days

And McKenzie is over-the-moon…she is so excited to be a big sister! Every morning she asks, “Is the baby snoring?” It’s adorable. She will be 5 by the time the baby is born, so I think I’ll have a pretty awesome little helper. I’m so glad we waited longer before having a 2nd, the timing is really great for us. =)

IMG_1120bwWe had already told our families, but to make the pregnancy “public” (aka: a Facebook post), I had this photo-shoot with McKenzie in her new “Big Sister” shirt. Her bedroom walls are purple, so it worked out nicely! I like how they turned out. =) I was excited to find a cute shirt, because sometimes I think the shirts like that are a little too “kiddie” looking.

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As for me, I’m feeling pretty well for the most part, just super tired. And most foods sound gross…I haven’t gotten sick, but I’m definitely queasy. I’ll wait too long to eat (until I’m overly hungry), and then nothing sounds good and my empty stomach is upset. I’ll usually just end up having a few crackers. And one night I had wicked heartburn, which I never had with McKenzie. Nothing too terrible though, it could be worse.

For those of you who are curious: yes, we plan on finding out the sex of the baby (I’m too impatient not to know!). To be honest, I’m sorta hoping for a boy because I think one of each would be pretty awesome…but hey, if it’s a girl we can reuse all McKenzie’s stuff so that would be awesome too. Either way, we were so excited to see the little heartbeat today, and we can’t wait to meet “it”!

So tell me, y’all, are 2 kiddos a lot crazier than 1? Were your 2nd pregnancies different than the first?

It’s true: I’m a fish murderer.

Yes, I’m a fish murderer. Oh goodness, that sounds bad. Perhaps “killer” is more appropriate…after all, “murderer” implies malicious intent, and it was really a complete accident…both times. What’s worse is that they were both McKenzie’s beloved fish. *sigh*

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Hanky

So here’s the scoop: First we had “Hanky” (January 2012-June 2012). He was a lovely purple Betta that McKenzie and I rescued from Wal-Mart…he was on the verge of death quite pathetic looking, and we nursed him back to health. He loved us and would swim up to us whenever we came in the room. Then came our vacation in June…we completely forgot all about him! McKenzie went to stay with her Nina (grandma) for a week, and poor Hanky was sadly forgotten. We quickly realized our mistake and went to check on him as soon as we got home…here’s the kicker: HE LIVED! He only died after I overfed him and he binged…so my friends, do not feed a starved fish 10 pellets. It kills them. After soothing McKenzie’s many tears, we had a lovely funeral and he was flushed ceremoniously. RIP Hanky.

About a week later we went to Wal-Mart again, and this time we rescued a lovely blue Betta, whom McKenzie aptly named “Blue” (June 2012-January 2013). Now, Blue was not as nice as Hanky…he would hide from us when we’d try to peer in his bowl, but McKenzie loved him all the same. Two weeks ago, when Jon and I went to Mexico, we actually remembered him! We brought him to Nina’s this time, and Nina put him in her large tank with other fish. Blue loved the warm, temperature-regulated water and was very active and uncharacteristically friendly. When we got back, he was fine! His fins were a little bit nibbled by the other fish, but I googled it did some research, and according to what I read he should’ve healed within a month.

So, after getting back to our house I decided to wash Blue’s bowl because it was filthy. I got the water really hot and scrubbed away (can you guess what happened?!). Now, I’m not sure if my hands were just really hot from washing the bowl, because I triple-checked the water before I put him in…it felt cool to me, I swear! But alas, it was scalding. I poured him in and he swam one tortured, “I’m burning alive!” lap around the bowl and dropped dead. Oh goodness, I felt SO bad. McKenzie was hysterical, because I screamed “No, Blue!!!” and tried to get him out right away…so she figured it out pretty quickly. As with Hanky, we had a lovely funeral for Blue. And we even blew out a candle. RIP Blue.

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McKenzie & Norman

A couple days later, McKenzie and I went and got our 3rd Betta, “Norman” from PetSmart. McKenzie picked him out all by herself. He’s a pretty, iridescent white (although admittedly, I was trying to urge her towards a beautiful red one, yet she still insisted on Norman). He’s is a super friendly little guy, we really like him a lot. I will make a point of having better luck with him! I also got a new 2 gallon tank for him, with a light and an aerator/filter…it was only $19.99, so I thought that was pretty good. As an added bonus, it also functions as a night-light in McKenzie’s room. Score.

So, I will definitely make Norman last longer than 6 months. I’m hoping that my vicious, fish-killing cycle will be broken with this little guy. Wish me luck! Have you ever had an “oops!” experience with a pet?

Back from Mexico

We got back from Mexico on Saturday and we had a great time! It had a bumpy start when my luggage was left in the US for an extra day, so I went 1 day wearing the same clothes…and we basically lost a day because the sunscreen was in my bags. *sigh* Thankfully though, my parents always told me to pack a swimsuit & other essentials in my carry on. Smart people. The first night we ventured into town and splurged on some lobster…one word: amazing. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also, I think I mentioned in a previous post that it was adults-only, topless-optional. I was brave & went topless. Oh yes, I did! I was shocked myself, but let me tell you: when you’re literally the only one in sight with your top on, you feel like a prude. So I figured, “Fuck it, at least I won’t have tan lines.” It was glorious, and unusually freeing. I definitely loved the care-free, relaxed environment. The motto was, “Nobody knows you, nobody gives a shit.” Nice.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe food also was excellent, the staff was wonderful, and the drinks were amazing. Cancun was nice because we were able to venture out into town & we weren’t stranded on the resort. Unfortunately, the last 2 days were rainy & chilly, and was very glad to have my jacket! Otherwise, we enjoyed fun in the sun and I read the book “The Poisonwood Bible,” which was very good. Definitely not something I would usually read for enjoyment, but great nonetheless. I usually love James Rollins, Clive Cussler, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child…my “adventure” books as I call them.

We had our own little adventure and Jon moved one of the beds onto the balcony. It was fun. We didn’t leave it out there, but it was cool just chillin out there. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can tell, I didn’t bring my “nice” camera with me on the trip because it’s heavy & bulky, but I found some old gems that I never uploaded from when McKenzie was 3 from our point-and-shoot…crazy what a difference a year makes!  Such a sweetie. McKenzie had a lot of fun with her Nina (grandma) while we were gone, and it was great to be able to FaceTime with her every day. It’s funny: when you have kids it’s just as fun coming home to see your kiddos! A bonus to parenting, for sure.IMG_0002 IMG_0011 IMG_0018 IMG_0037 IMG_0038OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I’m definitely missing that “chilly” 65˚F in Mexico…it’s 5˚F here in Wisconsin with a windchill below zero! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

8 Things to Know Before Buying Hunter Boots

shoes_iaec1211333After perusing Google a lot of research, I finally got some Hunter Wellington Boots (for Christmas)! I love them. They’re amazing. Not particularly warm for winter (even with the special socks), but perfect for running errands, letting the dogs out, etc…and they’re more durable than my Uggs! That said, there are just a few things to know before buying:

  1. They run large, so size down. I’m usually a 10.5 and I got a 9…they fit perfectly.
  2. There is a difference between “Hunters Original” and “Huntress” boots. Huntress is a wide-calf boot for ladies with a calf larger than 15″, or who like to wear layered socks. I went with the Huntress.
  3. The Original Hunter “wellies” are about an inch taller than the Huntress…so if you’re really short, I’d go with the Huntress. Otherwise, based on what I’ve read, you might chafe the back of your knees.
  4. There are not special socks for Huntress…if you order Hunter Welly Socks, they are a little bit taller than the Huntress boot because they’re meant for the Hunter Originals. I just tucked mine in, it worked fine. On that note, the Welly Socks have awkward seams on the feet. It feels a little weird when you’re first wearing them, but you get used to it.
  5. The tread is not ideal for ice (personal experience).
  6. They are heavy on your feet.
  7. Green is the “classic” color, but there are tons of fun color options available now. I got the brighIMAG0530t red (pictured). I originally got the “Merlot” color, but it was a hideous purpleish-brown…not cranberry like I thought they’d be. I don’t recommend that color, but hey, to each her own.
  8. You should probably use Zappos if you’re buying online. From personal experience, the free 2-way shipping and easy exchanges are definitely worth it.

Oh, and here is a pic of me in my red Huntress boots. This photo is embarrassing for 3 reasons: 1) I don’t have a full-length mirror so I am standing on the toilet in my daughter’s bathroom (ha!), 2) My bathroom is dirty, and 3) Yes, that is my 4 year-old folding washcloths in the bottom-left corner…I make her do chores whilst I take pictures of myself. #Momshaming anyone? ;)

How to have a happy marriage: 9 little words.

“Don’t sweat the petty stuff…pet the sweaty stuff.” Oh my goodness, isn’t that ridiculous? Hilarious? Horrifying even? Haha. You know what makes it even worse? Apparently that was one of my dad’s favorite lines (of course I never knew that though). It sorta makes me want to gag and giggle simultaneously. I’ve said it to Jon before when he was upset, and I sorta yelled it at him, “DON’T SWEAT THE PETTY STUFF, PET THE SWEATY STUFF!” It ended in a mutual fit of laughter. You should try it. Works like a charm. I think it covers pretty much everything: the importance of both communication and intimacy…and it lightens any mood because it’s so damn ridiculous. Yup. 9 little words to live by.

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Not quite the same, but you get the idea. ;)

Stupid sh*t kids do. Care to share?

stupidkids0Fortunately for my parents, but unfortunately for me, I was an overly well-behaved kid. The worst thing I ever did was try to break my own leg (no joke). I thought it was cool to have a cast, so I wedged my leg under a couch and tried to break it. I was unsuccessful. Ha. Oh and once in high school once I sneaked out the car with my friends to drive around before I had my license. Still pretty tame in my opinion. I partied a little in high school, but not a lot. Basically, if my daughter is a teen like me, I will be extremely grateful.

These kids on the other hand…sniffing shit to get high? Putting vodka in your eye? Gang-bangs? Fence-plowing? Garage-jumping? Vodka soaked tampons? Their parents should be proud. Yikes. What was the worst thing you did when you were a kid?

Mexico & more.

Only 1 week until we go to Mexico! Woo! I’m so excited. We’ve never been to Cancun, so this will feel completely new. Any suggestions for places to visit?cancun

Also, I’m incredibly excited for my sister & her husband: they are buying their first home! Their offer was accepted over 4 competing offers. I’m so happy they’ll have a place to call their own. And I’m living vicariously through her, since we won’t be able to buy a home for awhile; in fact, I just read this article on USAA about why military families shouldn’t buy homes. *sigh* Anyhow, here’s a pic of their new home, provided all goes well until closing! I figure I’ll have a lot of free-time on my hands with Jon gone training, so maybe I’ll help them move & organize. It’s so nice! 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, office, fireplace, and it’s on 1/2 acre…plenty of room for gardening & kids to play!jessicashouse

On that note, any creative housewarming gift ideas?

2013: Full of change.

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The year 2013 is full of exciting uncertainty for me & my family. For those of you who know me, or have been following my blog, you know that my husband just graduated college and is leaving for the Army soon. For some reason, we were thinking, “Oh, it’s 3 months away,” maybe because March is the 3rd month? I don’t know…but two months seems infinitely closer than three. So, for the next two months we’ll be enjoying precious time together as a family, before we’re on the military’s schedule.

Now, if you’ve read our love story, you’ll know that this lifestyle isn’t new to us…I was a military wife before. BUT (and it’s a big but) we didn’t have a child when he was in the Marines, which I think is both good and bad. Good, because now I can keep myself busy in his absence, but bad in the respect that I know it will be harder on McKenzie, and Jon too, for that matter. I’ve been preparing her, telling her that Daddy will be gone for awhile and we’ll be moving to a new home. I told her that she’ll get to go to a new school and make new friends. I think the mental preparation is key, so it’s not a shock. We don’t know exactly when Jon will be done training, so we’re not even sure when we’ll move. Exciting uncertainty, as I said.

And since a lot of people have asked: no, he’s not going to be an Officer, even though he has his Bachelor’s…at least not until he exhausts his other options. His contract is 18X (google if you’re curious), but of course there are a lot of obstacles to overcome…literally…before he would be assigned to a duty station. In order to prepare, he’s training with a personal trainer 4x a week for the next 10 weeks before he leaves (I don’t even want to tell you how much that cost…but we’re considering it an “investment”). We have no illusions about the realities of Army life, so we have no expectations. We’re just keeping an open mind and going with the flow.

On that note, I resolve to make 2013 a great year. Life is primarily about attitude, so I will strive to have a positive attitude, be more patient, and be kinder to myself (I am notoriously hard on myself). Three simple things I think I can easily achieve with a conscious effort. As Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

I sincerely hope that 2013 is a wonderful year for everyone, full of happiness, success, and joy. Happy New Year!