April 30, 2010

Quick Intro for Blog Hop

I signed up to participate in the MilSpouse Blog Hop over HERE at Riding the Roller Coaster, but all day I was too lazy busy to post an intro. We have company here, the bed sheets are in the dryer, and the kids are just now asleep, so I'll make this quick.

I'm Shelly. I'm married to a man that makes me mad I am madly in love with. We have two little boys that bring so much joy to my life, but they also bring a ton of mommy frustration and exhaustion. My husband is in the Army and is leaving on his third deployment in the near future. I'm trying to deal with the Army one day at a time. And most of all I'm trying to be a mommy with patience.

I look forward to reading all your blogs. If you follow my blog and I do not follow you, it is probably because I cannot figure out how to find out which blog is yours. I know that sounds stupid, maybe it is mommy brain or maybe I'm just lame ;) So if you want, leave me the link to your blog to make sure I can find it.

April 29, 2010

End of My Rope

Lately I've been at the end of my rope. This isn't something I'm proud of, and it totally goes against the theme of my blog and my goal as a mother, which is patience. There have been many factors contributing to me feeling this way.

Pat's upcoming deployment is definitely starting to affect us and our family time. I could say that it is having no effect on me yet, but I'm not sure that is the truth. I will not place this issue solely on others so I say it is affecting us. However, something I can say with certainty because I've experienced it before is that Pat definitely starts to withdraw before the deployment. Sometimes (or actually most times) it is like he's already gone. There are times he absolutely ignores all of us on the weekends. I'll be making Ryan lunch, putting away groceries, and trying to feed Sean, all the while Pat will be sitting on the couch watching TV. I've tried to talk about this and I've certainly yelled about it, but you have to understand that Pat doesn't mean to be reacting like this. It is more of a subconscious reaction and therefore hard to change. We are both trying to be more aware of this and communicate better. This is a typical situation in military families dealing with deployment, but it does wear you down.

Something else that is not helping is that Pat regularly works past dinner time straight up until bedtime. Because Pat is so rarely home, I am usually the only one that does everything for the kids. As a result, the kids only want me to help them out. In the past 6 months, Pat has only put Ryan down to bed/nap ONE time. I'm not complaining about this, because I understand. I mean we could have him do it, but Ryan will pitch a fit and sob if I am not the one reading him his books for bedtime. I think this lifestyle can be very hard on the kids. Already doing everything and always being alone added to knowing that I will soon have a year where that is the only choice is definitely making it hard to cope.

Add all that to the fact that Sean is teething (I think that is the problem), has a touch of congestion, and is completely not sleeping. And I have a two year old that can test the limits every chance he gets. Wow, it can be completely exhausting, and with Sean not sleeping I get absolutely no me time.

After telling Pat exactly how I am feeling and explaining that I need him around to give me a break in the few weeks that he still can, he promised to come home from work early. Yes, around here coming home for work early means leaving the office at 5:30 p.m. I am so thankful that he did it for me last night. I have to say though that it is crazy that in his unit they make you feel guilty for going home at 5:30 as if you were only working half a day.

I know this has sounded like complaining so far, but really it was only meant to be an explanation of how someone can get to the end of their rope.

So I wanted to change the tone right here and tell you a bit about how I relax when I get the time. My card making can completely change my mood and relax me. I need a creative outlet to feel like I have accomplished something. I am so thankful that I found this hobby. (and remember I just recently found it) This is something I really love doing, so I hope you enjoy seeing what I make.

Here are a few recent projects:
This is a coaster I made with my military stamp. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
These next two are cards I made with my most recently bought stamp set.
If you think that stamping or making cards may be a hobby for you, click on my website and look around. I am giving away a free gift to the next two orders I receive on my website. There is something for everyone there, like a Sock Monkey stamp set, lots of birthday sets to make homemade cards, or sets just because.

Whatever your hobby is, I hope you get some time to relax and enjoy creativity.

April 27, 2010


How did I end up co-sleeping with Sean? Honestly, I NEVER meant for this to happen. Ryan slept in his own bed and never once as a baby slept next to me in my bed. Part of it was that I didn't want to co-sleep, but it also is not Ryan's personality to co-sleep. I never expected to start this habit with Sean. However, as it ends up, Sean is not a very good sleeper. He's never slept for long stretches of time. As he approaches 7 months old, the longest stretch he will do is one 5 hour period. But considering he goes to bed by 8 p.m., if his 5 hours happens right away, that means by 1 a.m. we start the frequent wake-ups. Co-sleeping around here started out of desperation on my part to get a bit of sleep, and it has continued only because Sean seems to really love sleeping next to me on my bed leaning against his boppy. I do not need any lectures about the safety of this practice...I already know. As I said this is not a planned habit. I am hoping that after our vacation we can start eliminating this practice. I will admit that watching Sean sleep is a beautiful sight though.

On a slightly similar note, Sean seems to have caught the little cold Ryan had been fighting. So right now I'm just trying to keep him comfy and give him as much rest as possible. I hate when my boys are sick. I want everyone to be healthy for our upcoming vacation. Last night we booked a hotel for one night in Chattanooga on the drive down to Atlanta. I am very excited for this trip and all the fun we will have.

April 24, 2010

The way to a man's heart...

It has been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. This seems to hold true with my boys. Here is what mealtime looks like around here:

April 22, 2010

What every military spouse should have...

Anyone that has been to my blog knows I love to stamp and make cards. They would also know that I am a military wife. I was so excited when I was flipping through the Stampin' Up!® catalog and turned to page 67. I found some stamp sets that I was so excited about and knew I just had to have them. I placed my order and was over the moon when they arrived yesterday. These are sets that I think every military spouse should have. I made a few samples cards with the stamps last night. Aren't these sets great?

Here is a photo of the stamp set with all the sentiments that I used. I think I will use this one a ton! I bet I'll get a lot of use out of the "MILES may separate us but LOVE keeps us CLOSE at HEART" stamp while Pat is deployed.
(This stamp set is called Service & Sacrifice 115992.)

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the products I used in these cards.

April 20, 2010


Do you ever feel like you are on the longer, slower path to get somewhere in your life? Lately that is the way Pat and I have been feeling about some stuff. Now do not get me wrong, I am blessed beyond measure and very happy with my life. It just sometimes appears that things fall into other people's laps or that they have such an easy path for what they want. I have to keep reminding myself that appearances can be deceiving. While it may seem like the quick, easy path for them, there may be something else in their life that is a struggle for them or maybe the quick and easy path is not all it is cracked up to be. I also try to accept that while I cannot see it at the present time, there is a reason I am on the path I am, and it is where I am meant to be. It can sometimes be a challenge to keep my eyes from turning green with envy. I just have to remember that no matter the path I end up taking, I will get where I am supposed to go.

April 18, 2010


This weekend was a short one for our family. We had a great day yesterday exploring the Rivers and Spires festival downtown. This festival brings lots of vendors and entertainment to our town. Pat and I were totally enjoying ourselves, but Ryan seemed to be upset about something. We weren't sure what was bothering him exactly until he asked in a very sad voice, "play?". We realized that he was getting upset because on the car ride there he was certain we were going to go play, and he didn't quite consider walking around the festival to be playing. Thankfully we had learned that there were some bouncy houses and made our way over to them. Ryan was back to his normal happy and crazy self in no time.

Later in the day we attended a birthday party for Pat's friend. Lucky for Ryan there were lots of other kids there and ANOTHER bouncy house. Ryan had a great time.

However, with Ryan playing with all the other kids, I had a moment of guilt wash over me. Ryan doesn't really have any friends, and this is mostly my fault. It can be hard making friends and even harder when you move frequently. I've made a few great friends over the years, but the closest one is about 150 miles away. I've tried to make friends here but haven't had much luck. Not having many other kids to play with is one of the reasons I've signed Ryan up for preschool twice a week in the fall. I think socializing with the kids will be fun for him, but he also NEEDS to see other people when Pat is deployed. I guess I cannot dwell on the fact that me having no friends = him having no friends because I am trying my best, and hopefully he'll get some friends of his own as he grows a bit older. He is still young after all. And pretty soon he'll have a great playmate in Sean. They are already so fond of each other; I cannot wait to see where the next half year brings them.

As I said it was a short weekend, this is because Pat is currently attending an out of state funeral for a guy that he worked with. While I will miss Pat tonight, I think he needs to be there and hope that the family can find some peace.

April 15, 2010

Removing the Band-Aid

Last night Pat came home from work with news that he won't be deploying as early as we thought. We now have about 2 addition weeks with him at home. He is no longer going ADVON, but he's still going to be gone a full year. While this is good news, there is definitely a part of me that is ready to tear this band-aid off and get the deployment started. One of the hardest parts of a deployment is the anticipation that you live through in the weeks leading up to it. Do not get me wrong, I am very thankful for having all this extra time with him home, but in certain ways the dread of the deployment colors that time. We try not to let it, but inevitably it remains in the back of our minds. In some ways I'm eager for him to go already because the sooner we get it started, the sooner he'll be coming home. While I wish he didn't have to go at all, I know it is his job and duty, and I am so very proud of him. I am glad that we'll have a couple weeks to get settled back down after block leave before he goes now instead of just days like we thought. I will do my best to enjoy every moment with him by my side.

April 13, 2010

Manners and Bubbah

Now that most of the introductions from the UBP have been made and there are lots of new followers on all the blogs, I'm finding myself nervous about the first real post that I make. I guess I feel pressure. So I'm just going to try to be myself and write about things I love and hope that you enjoy reading it.

We had lots of fun on this past long weekend including a trip to the zoo, a family fun fair on post, family photos, and just lots of playing outside. I can say that I am very proud of what a good boy Ryan is (most of the time). I realized while he was playing in the bouncy house at the fair, that I may have actually done something right. Ryan was bouncing and bouncing having so much fun in there, and every time he passed another little kid he made sure to say "'scuse me". He was also one of the few little kids in there that didn't shove everyone else. (He was shoved around a lot by a little girl in a ballerina outfit. ;) Now, don't get me wrong, my kid isn't perfect. In fact I'm leaving out the part where he made two kids cry within five minutes by accidentally colliding with them, but accidents happen, right? I also think it is too cute when Ryan says "goo", which is his word for thank you. He will even say "'scuse me" after he burps. So I can breath slightly easier for just a second and feel accomplished that I'm on the right track parenting him.

However, I think that we lose a bit of credibility as parents when we call our youngest son, "Bubbah" in public all the time. I wonder what people are thinking of us. We aren't hillbillies, the nickname came about from the way Ryan says "baby". From the time we introduced the boys, Ryan's been calling Sean "Bubbah", and after a while it caught on with everyone. I'm starting to make an effort to make it known that his name is Sean and not Bubbah. Once in a while Ryan will call him "Gone", which I guess is better than Bubbah, so we are getting there.

Time is flying by, and at this point I'd like to have a slow motion button to press. Pat leaves next month. Thankfully we still have block leave to look forward to before the goodbye arrives. We are planning a little trip down to Atlanta. We've never been, and since we're driving with kids we wanted to keep the drive relatively short. Has anyone been to ATL? I will say that I'm a little apprehensive about the hotel stay and all the eating out that we'll be doing with the kids, but I must conquer my fear. I'm sure we'll have an awesome time.

April 11, 2010

Six Month Stats and Real Simple Easy Donuts

I always post the height/weight stats from the kids well-baby visits so that I can come back and see how big they were at certain ages. Today Sean had his 6 month well-baby visit. He certainly is my big boy. He is 20 lbs 14 oz and 27.5" long.

I also wanted to share an amazing and very easy recipe I found one day while flipping through Real Simple magazine. My husband and son enjoy getting donuts once in a while, and we finally live in a town with Dunkin' Donuts! But I had some biscuits that were getting close to their code, and I had to try out this recipe. You can click HERE for the recipe link if you would like.

Ingredients: 1 package of Grands Biscuits
Cinnamon and Sugar
Vegetable Oil
Take the biscuits and cut a hole in the center using a shot glass. (I was lucky we had a tall thin glass that worked perfectly.) I am sure you could find a similar object if you do not have a shot glass.
After you've cut the centers out it should look like this.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. You will know when the oil is hot enough by dipping one of the donut holes in. The oil will bubble around the edge of the donut when it is hot enough. Add the donuts to the oil for just over 1 minute per side. They do cook fast, so keep your eye on them. And don't worry, the inside gets cooked too.
Take the cooked donuts out and place on wire rack or paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. Then roll the donuts in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.
Enjoy your donuts. If you have company, let them think you slaved away though ;)

April 10, 2010

Thank You!

I wanted to take a minute to say "thank you" to all the wonderful bloggers that have taken the time to leave kind words and/or follow my blog. I am so excited to get to know you all through the blogs. It may be a couple of days before I write a good, in depth post on my blog. I'm sort of on blog overload right now trying to go see the almost 1500 (wow!) blogs on the UBP. After that I'll hopefully catch up on all the blogs that I am now following too. In the mean time, I made a quick card for all of you.

And my little cuties say a quick hello too!

April 8, 2010

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want to...UBP 2010

No, I'm really not going to cry. However, if you follow my blog over the next year you just may read about me shedding some tears. Why is that you ask? My husband is in the Army and will be leaving shortly for his third deployment. He will be going back to Afghanistan this time.

But that isn't all my blog is about. You will also find lots of laughs here too. I am the mother to two silly little boys. My oldest, Ryan, is 2 and my youngest, Sean, just turned 6 months. My boys are my world. I try to be the best mother that I can, but I sometimes fall short. I am very hard on myself as a parent. I struggle to have patience sometimes, especially with my son who is in the "terrible twos". Ryan is a very independent and stubborn child--I could say he takes after his father, but I think I'm just as bullheaded as my husband (if not more so). However, Ryan is also a very funny and loving little boy. He's faced a lot having his daddy gone for so much for his short life already. Although Sean is only 6 months, it is clear that he is a bit more laid back than his older brother. He's a very happy and social baby and is completely content just to be held and to snuggle, whereas Ryan is a nonstop active child.

So that is quite a bit about my boys, and very little about me. But it seems to go that way once you become a mother, huh? You talk about your children first and very little about yourself. But here is a little bit about me. I am Shelly. My husband and I met in college and have been married for almost 6 years. I am a real life Army wife. My life is nothing like the Lifetime TV show. I am sort of a homebody. I enjoy spending most of my time at home with the kids. I like to cook but am probably not so good at it. Thankfully no one in my house complains about it though ;) I really enjoy crafting--specifically scrapbooking and card making. I recently signed up to be a Stampin' Up!® Independent Demonstrator, mostly to fuel my hobby of cardmaking, but I like to think of it as something that could one day grow into a little way for me to get out of the house and socialize once in a while. I don't get much of that, especially when I am surviving a deployment. I've been blogging for a few years now. I use my blog to complain, show pictures of my cuties, brag about my crafts, and just to feel like I have someone to talk to and someone listening to me.

I've met some great blogger friends in the blogosphere. I think it is amazing the bonds that can be formed from what we share on our blogs. It is always nice to read about other people's lives, whether you can relate or even if you just want to experience things vicariously. I'd love it if you chose to follow my blog, and I'd love to follow yours. So I hope you take this opportunity to say hello and introduce yourself.

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

April 7, 2010

Are you doing it?

Are you going to participate in the Ultimate Blog Party 2010? I am. I think this is such a great way to connect with fellow mom bloggers. I've found some wonderful blogger friends in the blogosphere and would love to meet some more. Check it out.
Ultimate Blog Party 2010

April 6, 2010

All Things New

Yesterday Pat and I took the kids to walk the Clarksville Greenway. For those that don't know exactly what a Greenway is Merriam-Webster says, "a corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection." The Greenway here is a paved path through the woods, and it is a relatively new attraction. It was opened this past fall and is absolutely beautiful. The trees form a canopy over the path. Off to the sides the path either looked up a stony cliff, which seemed majestic, or down a cliff to open fields and streams. I've heard deer are a common sight, but we didn't see any. We brought some sandwiches to enjoy a picnic. While I would love to go back, poor Sean got way too hot. My little baby gets so red in the face. I think we'll do better on a cooler day.

Something else new is my craft area that Pat helped me set up in our room. We took down the bassinet since we no longer need it now. I am so happy to have an organized area for my crafting. It has already helped my productivity and made me a very happy woman.

Here are two of the newest cards I created.
This was an engagement card for some friends. I smudged the ink slightly on the congratulations, but I was too lazy to redo it. I'm happy with it anyway.
I sewed Ryan a new blanket for his bed this weekend too. While it came out super cute, I now clearly realize that I hate sewing. I am cursing myself for all the fabric and bias tape makers that I recently bought. I am not sure I have the motivation to use them. I just do not think sewing is my thing. I can barely sew a straight line, and I often get frustrated when I do sew. I think I should probably stick to stamping, card making, and scrapbooking.

And the last new thing to talk about is last night Pat and I watched New Moon. I wasn't too excited because I thought the first movie, Twilight, had been butchered. I was so pleasantly surprised at this movie. It followed the book pretty well, much better than Twilight did. Pat was a very good husband to watch with me. He hasn't read the books and isn't all that interested. I think, however, that I was able to convince him that team Edward is the way to go. (You may not agree, but I don't want to hear it ;)

April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We got to enjoy some great family time during this long weekend. Here are a few photos from the past couple of days.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and we had plans to go to the Easter egg hunt in town. Ryan was excited to go "play".
Ryan was a good boy waiting in line for the hunt to start.
Sean wasn't so impressed with the scene.
Ryan was silly in line. He is such a funny little guy.

My guys are cute!
Pat and Ryan finally got to hunt some eggs. Ryan was quite successful.
Sean fell asleep. He is such a good and patient baby.
Ryan met the Beaver and really liked him.
Easter morning the Easter Bunny left Ryan quite the Easter basket.
Ryan thought it was awesome.
Sean and Daddy enjoyed some time on the floor while Ryan looked at his basket and did an egg hunt.
Ryan's favorite part of his Easter basket was "Big Jet".
Some of my cute boys again.
Sean liked practicing rolling.
It was such a great Easter. I am very lucky to have such a great family to celebrate with.
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