Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: Getting Out the Nasties

Cam's diapers got a bad case of the nasties!  Every time they got wet, they would smell was gross.  I started doing some research and asked my cloth diapering friends for advice.  What I determined is that a) I wasn't using the best detergent to wash the diapers, b) I was using too much of it, and c) I'm using a front load high-efficiency washer that doesn't use enough water to fully rinse all of the detergent out.  I've been using All Free and Clear, but have since switched to Rockin Green which is specially formulated for use on cloth diapers, so I know I'm using the good stuff.  When I first started using cloth I read that you should use 1/4 the amount of recommended detergent per load of diapers.  Well, that's what I did...however, I realized that a normal "load" for a full-time cloth diaper-er is about 20 diapers, and I only have 10 or 11.  So, I'm pretty sure I had gotten a build up of detergent on my diapers that trapped smellies, and I found out that the only solution is to strip them.

How do you strip cloth diapers?  Well, I'm glad you asked :} First, you get on YouTube and you watch a bunch of how-to videos until you find one that seems reasonably do-able...I used this one, and I'm super sorry to the girl who made the other video I watched about boiling inserts, but I can't find it right now.  Then, well, you just follow the directions...

Anyway, there are so many different ways people strip their diapers, but I decided the method I would use for my diaper inserts was boiling.  I boiled them on the stove in batches (about 5 at a time for the size pot I had).  Fill the pot about half full and boil them for about 15 minutes, emptying and refilling the pot after each batch.  I read online that you shouldn't boil anything with waterproof lining or snaps because they could get damaged and shorten the life of your diapers, so I chose the soaking method for all my covers.  I filled the laundry sink with hot water and added probably about a teaspoon of blue Dawn and swished it around.  I let them soak for about 2 hours, then rang out everything and rinsed them in cold water and rang them out again.   Then I threw all of the boiled inserts and covers into the wash and put them through two cold rinse cycles.  And that's it.  The whole process took about 2 1/2 hours.  I didn't use detergent on them after they had boiled and soaked because they started out clean.  They're not quite dry yet, but when I took them out of the washing machine, they had no smell whatsoever!  So, now I feel like I'm getting a fresh start.  I hopefully won't have to strip them for a while (I've heard about every 3 months is common), and when I do, I will just soak everything (diapers and inserts) in some of the Rockin Green detergent for a couple of hours and that will be it. 

Boiling the inserts

Diaper covers soaking

So, now that I've probably bored you to tears, I will leave you with this...

  We're just lucky I guess ;}

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby Post- Week 36

 Here we are...month 9!  And let me tell you, I'm feeling every day that has passed. *whew*  This pregnancy has been so much more uncomfortable.  I'm pretty much constantly in's hard to walk (well, waddle), go up and down stairs, get in and out of bed or the car...yeah, all the time really.  The heartburn isn't very fun (although I had that with Cam, too).  I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for about two weeks now.  They're basically "practice" contractions, preparing me and you for the real deal!  They're painless, but I feel a lot of pressure and my stomach gets really hard for a minute or makes it hard to move when I have one.  But I know you will be worth all of it!

So, feel free to come any day now, Baby Jude.  Mama's ready for you!!  You have a fully functional nursery, a carseat that has been installed and is ready to bring you home (complete with a super cozy cover from Carseat Canopy!), my bags are packed, and Grandma's on stand-by!  No seriously...any time :}

Here's what the carseat cover looks like

I've definitely been nesting for the past month or so, somewhat out of necessity, but luckily a surge of energy hit me about two days ago...I haven't even had a nap!  I've gotten all of my Christmas shopping done and everything wrapped, and our little basement apartment is clean and organized. Did I mention I'm super ready for you to get here? 

36 Weeks
Not too much else to going on right now.  I have a doctor's checkup this afternoon, so maybe I'll have an update to report!  In the meantime, here's a pic of Mommy and Big Brother (who needs a hair cut) :}
See you soon sweet boy!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: The Big Box of Fluff

Well, Black Friday strikes again this year., an online cloth diaper retailer, was having an awesome sale!  For $80 I got a set of 5 BumGenius brand pocket style diapers (including 5 newborn inserts, 6 regular inserts, 1 small wet bag and 3 cloth wipes)...but wait, there's more!  They were also doing a deal where if you spent over $79 you got a free gift: 1 Rump-a-rooz One Size (OS) pocket diaper, including newborn and regular inserts, 1 DiaperRite OS pocket diaper, also including both inserts, 1 small DiaperRite wetbag, and a $10 gift card to use on their website!  Who could pass that up?!  For a little perspective, for about $10 more ($90) I could get a supply of Cam's size Huggies diapers that would last roughly a month and a half...maybe close to two months.  These 7 diapers will last until Jude is potty trained!  That makes me happy :}
Here's the stash:

So, now I have 10 diapers in my rotation. 6 BumGenius 4.0 pockets with velcro tabs, 1 DiaperRite OS with snaps, 1 Rump-a-rooz OS with velcro, 1 BumWear (used- not sure what size) with snaps, and 1 EconoBum OS diaper cover (used).  I also still have two gDiapers, but I've decided they're now too small for Cam...they leave red marks, so I'll save those for Jude.  And I still have about 5 more diapers worth of inserts that were included in the stuff I bought used.  I'm still deciding what brand of covers or pockets to try out for those.  I really need to add more to my stash soon, but right now I'm doing ok with washing about every other day.  Still using disposables at night though.
Here's what I think of the brands I got from Diaper Junction:
Easy to use
Not super bulky
Reasonably absorbent inserts
Good fit
Inserts are the fastest drying of any I have
Inserts have held up very well in the wash
One leak so far, but I probably should have changed it sooner
Don't like the small wetbag- I have trouble getting it closed all the way
No other complaints really
Easy to use
Not super bulky
The wetbag has a zipper which is great for keeping in the diaper bag
Slightly less absorbent than BumGenius
Not real happy with the way the inserts have held up in the wash (still absorbent, but tattered looking around the edges)
One leak
It fits a little high on Cam (comes too far up on his waist)- smaller setting is too small
Easy to use
Super absorbent inserts and diaper (inserts get very wet, but the diaper itself feels almost dry- I think it's made of fleece...great for naptime and maybe overnight if I get brave enough to try that again!)
Very bulky
Same issue with the inserts holding up in the wash- tattered around the edges
I'd definitely order more BumGenius and Rump-a-rooz.  I'm not completely sold on DiaperRite; it just seems kind of middle of the road quality, but I looked and it is one of the less expensive brands.  I still want to try FuzziBuns, Kawaii, Thirsties, and least I still have that $10 gift card!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Toddler Post- Month 14

So, I realized that I've posted a good bit about the baby and about the ugly "D" word, but I haven't really given any updates on my sweet Cameron lately!  He's 14 months old and here's a little look at what he's been up to.

Hey guys, I think I found the perfect tree!

*sigh* He's not really talking yet...I was hoping Josh would get to hear him at least say Dada before he left, but no such luck :/  He is getting there though...he's so close!  When asked what a doggie says, he makes a high pitched humming sound ("hmm hmm hmm!"), and when asked what a cow says, he goes "booooooo" :}  And when he puts the phone to his ear he'll say his own version of hello...usually something like "a-oh" or "he-go" or "uh-o."  And, of course, he has his own baby language...his favorite word is "day-ga" and his conversations with himself usually revolve around it.
Pretty cute stuff!  Even though he's not really using words, he can understand them very well.  He will go throw something in the trash if I ask him to (sometimes he'll even leave it there :} ), he will give hugs and kisses and high fives when asked, and he knows where his belly button and mine are and likes to look at them frequently.  He knows baby brother lives in my tummy and will lay his head down on my stomach and "love" him :}  Even though I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what a "baby brother" is, it's really sweet! 

He mainly uses signs to communicate with us- he can do signs for more, all done, milk, eat, night night, and please (sometimes!)...even though it's not words, signing has made communication much much easier!

Right now, he's sleeping in the pack n' play.  Crazy, I know.  When we moved to Georgia, he and I got here before Josh, who had the crib.  So in those couple of transitional days, all we had was the pack n' play, and he slept all night!  After Josh got here we put up the crib and for two or three nights; it was back to getting up two or three times :{  So back in the pack n' play he went, and let me tell you how wonderful it's been since then!!  We've only had a few nights that required getting up, usually only once, but other than that, he's sleeping beautifully (and if any of you know Cam, you know what a blessing that is!).  And, of course, I'm saying all this while knocking on wood ;}  I have no idea what the difference is, but it's working, and why mess with a good thing?!

He's eating pretty well...his favorite foods right now are green beans and macaroni and cheese.  He went through a phase of not eating a whole lot about a month ago, but I think that was because of his teeth.  He's got seven teeth (four on top, three on bottom), and one top molar has partially come in.  Two bottom molars are working their way up as we speak!  He's been pretty calm about it though...mostly just chewing on his fingers a lot.

As far as motor skills go, he is walking backwards and on tiptoe (not at the same time!), and running pretty well.  He can easily dip a french fry into a small cup of ketchup (another one of his favorite foods!), and he's learning to stack things (i.e. make towers). 

His one vice is the bottle.  He's addicted...he still has to have one to go to sleep.  So he gets one bottle of milk for his morning nap, one bottle of water for his afternoon nap, and another of milk before bedtime.  The rest of the day he drinks water or juice from a sippy.  I know he's old enough to get rid of the bottle, but it makes him sleep so much better.  I've tried taking it away and making him fall asleep on his own, but he just doesn't sleep as well or as long :/  I know it's a really bad sleeping habit...but he won't need it forever!

That's all I can think of for now, other than he's loving being here with Grandma and Grandaddy and Great Grandma!  I know he misses his Dada, though.  His face lights up when he hears his voice or sees a picture of him :}  He's got such a sweet and energetic personality!  And he's pretty darn cute if you ask me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baby Post- Week 33

Week 33 started out with a bang...Monday I woke up with a cold and yesterday I got to take a trip to the ER!  Yep, I scheduled a doctor's appointment for Tuesday at 8:00am to talk to them about my cold.  I wanted to make sure it was just a cold and not something worse.  Well, I had a slight fever of 99, and when the nurse took my pulse it was almost 100 beats per minute.  She left, came back, took my pulse again, and decided that I needed an EKG (that's when they hook you up to a machine to get a more accurate look at what your heart is doing).  Well, the EKG said my pulse was up to 130, which meant that I was experiencing tachycardia (when your heart beats too fast, basically).  The doctors decided I should go to the emergency room to get some more tests done and make sure you were still doing ok.  When I got there they did another EKG, monitored your heartbeat, which was slightly lower than usual, but still normal, and tested my blood to make sure I wasn't dehydrated or anemic.  Luckily, all of the tests said I was ok; my pulse had pretty much gone back to normal and my fever was down to 98.  They didn't really say what caused all this to happen, but a couple of nurses told me that a fever (which was probably caused by my cold) could sometimes make your pulse go up.  Maybe that was it.

I got a little nervous when they told me I needed to go get monitored, because the last time they told me that, when I was expecting Cam, they decided to induce labor the next day!  I was 40 weeks along last time, so it wasn't really a shock when they wanted to induce, but this time it got me thinking...I'm not ready for you to get here yet!!  There is still so much to do...or maybe not too much.  Maybe I've just hit that panic mode that sets in a few weeks before the baby.  Maybe I'm nesting.  Maybe thinking about the possibility of you coming early has motivated me to get those last few things done so I can relax and just look forward to your arrival :}  So, as excited as I am to meet you, you should stay in there a little longer, get bigger and stronger, and let Mommy get a couple more things checked off the to-do list!

Other than being sick and having to spend the day with a bunch of doctors yesterday, things have been going really well!  We're having a lot of fun in Georgia. Last week we had an awesome Thanksgiving.  Your dad got to come spend it with us, which was an unexpected surprise!  He got here Wednesday and we had a date night at Longhorn's while Grandma and Grandad watched Cam for us.  We had a great time eating and relaxing on Thursday, then on Friday we went to pick out our Christmas tree.  Cam had a great time running around, trying to find the perfect tree!  That night we went downtown to the square to watch all the trees and shops get lit up with Christmas lights.  What a beautiful town!  

Photo found here

I'm so glad he got to do some Christmas-y things with us...even though he won't be here with us on Christmas day, it felt like he was still a part of the Christmas season :} Saturday he went back to El Paso. I think it was harder to say goodbye this time, but it was definitely worth the extra time we got to spend together. I felt more of a sense of closure this time...everything felt/feels a little more real now. I think I'm moving out of "denial" and am beginning to reach the "acceptance" phase now. The sooner we get this show on the road, the sooner it will be over!!

In other baby news, I got an awesome Black Friday deal on some cloth diapers from Diaper Junction.  I'm going to do a follow up post with more details later, after I've tried the three different brands I ordered.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Musings on a Cloudy Day

I walked into the nursery closet this morning looking for a paintbrush to finish painting a lamp for Jude's room, and I stumbled upon a piece of folded paper with unfamiliar handwriting in pencil (Dad must have found it while he was cleaning up and getting ready to work on the nursery).  When I looked more closely at the paper, I realized that it was my great-grandmother's writing.  It was a recipe for canning dill pickles.  And on the other side was a to-do list: Meet someone at 10:00am, pick up prescription...I wished that she was still around to teach me how to can fruits and veggies.  I unfolded the paper and saw that inside was a letter written to my great-grandmother from my grandfather in 1983!  He told her that along with the letter he had included a recording of himself singing "How Great Thou Art" at a church function, and that he planned on singing another one soon called "Because He Lives."  I have heard both of these recordings he mentioned, so reading about them  immediately brought Granddaddy's voice to my mind.  I wished that he was still around to sing in his beautiful, powerful voice to my kids.  What an  unexpected and pleasant surprise to find this tiny little piece of family history that brought up such sweet memories. 

As I was humming the lyrics to "Because He Lives," for some reason I started thinking about the election results.  I've seen so many comments this morning about being afraid for America's future.  But, because Jesus lives, "all fear is gone."  God is in control, and we should have faith in his plan for our country. 

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life and is worth the living
Just because He lives

I think another important thing to remember is that we are still a free nation.  Regardless of the specific policies of the current president, we still have the freedom to vote for our leaders, we still have freedom of religion, we still have free speech, we still have opportunities for ourselves and our children to get an education, we still have opportunities to get jobs (as difficult as it may be to find one, right now), we still have access to competent medical providers, and women have all of these things as well!  We still have choices, and we still have so much that others don't.  And I think we should still be thankful for that.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

Well, here I am in Georgia.  Just sitting here while my husband is on the road back to El Paso.  He left this morning a little over two hours ago.  Cam and I said our goodbyes to Josh this morning with only a few tears.  I don't think I would have cried at all if Cam hadn't started hugging him and pulling away from me, wanting Josh to hold him...that was pretty much the worst thing E.V.E.R.  :{  I think the reason I haven't been very emotional or cried about it, like really cried about it, is because I still don't think things have really sunk in yet.  It's all still kind of surreal.  I've been trying so hard to forget about what's going on, focus on moving and enjoying time together at home, and push my feelings about the "D" word out of the way that I think I've almost made myself a little numb to the reality that we're not going to see each other for 10-ish months.  Shew.  Hea-vy. 

Wives who have been through deployments: did you find that for the most part you felt this way the whole time, or did it seem pretty real from the get-go?  Did reality set in gradually or hit you all at once?  If so, when?  I know everyone's experience is different because everyone deals with their emotions differently...I'd just like to hear your stories so maybe I'll feel a little more prepared.

Anyway, on a different note, we had a great time these past couple of weeks!  Our visit was jam packed, of course.  We had a Halloween party with my parents' neighbors, went to the pumpkin farm, visited with some college friends, took a trip to Charlotte to visit Josh's dad, grandparents, and mom (where they all spoiled Cam rotten!), worked on finishing up Cam's room and the nursery, and had a baby shower.  I haven't loaded any pictures yet, but I'll make a post with more details and pictures soon.  It was such a wonderful way for us to spend our last few days together...Josh and I even got to go on a date to our all-time favorite restaurant! 

Also, I'm 30 weeks today.  Only 10ish more to go before baby Jude makes his big appearance! said I should start packing my hospital bag...already?! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby Post- Week 27

Well, Jude, you are the size of a rutabaga.  According the, that is.  These fruit and veggie comparisons seem pretty arbitrary to me...last week you were the size of a head of iceberg lettuce!  Oh well.  I think what they're trying to say is that you should be between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds right now :}

I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be much cuter than a rutabaga.
So, we're getting down to the last few days before we make the big move.  We're nowhere near ready, but we've made some headway on getting our stuff packed and things ready to go.  Last week we had a yard sale and did pretty well.  We still had a ton left over that I think we'll just donate to the thrift shop.  One thing about moving a lot is that it cuts down on the amount of stuff that accumulates...although we still have plenty! 
It will be a little sad to leave this house.  Not only is it a really nice house, it's the place that your dad and I have lived in the longest!  We've been here almost 17 months.  We were at our townhouse at Ft. Benning for 6 months, then in our apartment in El Paso for 6 months, so we feel like we've been at this house forever!  I think we're ready to move on though, and start our next phase of Army life: deployment.  It had to come sooner or later :{  We've been really lucky so far, I guess.  Since we've been married, Dad has been home for every major event and holiday, which is very unusual, but it has been nice.  I won't list everything he'll miss after he leaves, but it's a good bit.  And, of course, the thing I'm most upset about him missing is your birth.  He won't get to meet you until you're around nine months old, and Cameron will be almost two years old when he gets back.  I try not to think about it too much because it makes me both sad and angry, but we knew this was going to happen and were willing to accept it.  The deployment is temporary, but our family is forever...I'm already looking forward to our reunion next year.  But I'm trying to focus on all the fun we will have at grandma and grandaddy's house.  I've already started planning things for you, me, and Cam to do together, like go to the library once a week, go walk around the park and play on the playground, maybe visit Starbucks a time or two (that's more for Mommy ;} )...we will get through this and be stronger when it's over.
Whew...I hadn't planned on this post getting so heavy :/   I meant to give a quick update about you, mention the progress we're making on packing, say that I'm getting my glucose test tomorrow (hopefully I won't have gestational diabetes), and talk about a visit from my friend Marie and her family!  One of my best friends came to visit us this past weekend!  I haven't seen her since she was in our wedding, two and a half years ago!  We met almost nine years ago at Young Harris College when we got assigned as roommates and have been friends ever since.  This was our dorm:
Oh man...good times and bad.  But mostly good :}  It was a little surreal watching our kids play together this weekend.  Who would have thought on our trip to Walmart our first night together in 2004 when we picked out those god-awful room decorations, that in 2012 we would be sitting half way across the country, both expecting our second child, talking about being moms and Army wives!?  Crazy.  I'm so glad she and her family got to visit us before we left.  And I hope it's not two and a half more years before I see her again!
Anyway, that's all for now I guess...happy 27 weeks!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: The Journey Begins

Well, we're entering day 5 of our cloth diaper adventure.  We're not "full time" yet, but the plan is to get there eventually.  I wanted to start recording my experiences and opinions of the different cloth diaper brands and styles mostly for myself to keep track of the ones I like and don't like, and also as a reference for some of my friends who are also considering using cloth.  So here is my experience so far :}

I'm not sure what got me interested in cloth diapers...I thought about it several months ago when Cam was still pretty small, but I watched some videos while I was researching (I pretty much can't do anything without thoroughly doing my "homework," as my dad says :} ), and, eww.  No thanks.  However, recently, more and more of my friends have started cloth diapering, and they love it!  I've never heard of anyone who has regretted using cloth diapers.  And, since my stomach is somewhat stronger now, I decided to look into it again.  The general consensus is that cloth diapers are a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to diaper your kids.  I read that families save about $1,000 on diapers if they use cloth for one child, and even more if they continue using the same diapers for subsequent children.  Nice.  I also read that a family goes through an average of 60 diapers a week per child until they are potty trained.  Now, I'm not great at math as we all know...but I think that means you would use 6,240 diapers, assuming your child is potty trained by age 2 (most take longer!).  That's a lot of garbage!  Literally!  And apparently it takes between 100-500 years for non-biodegradable diapers to decompose.  I watched Captain Planet.  I know that's not good for the environment.  We gotta bring pollution down to zero, people!  Ok, that's a little dramatic...but, all that info got me to at least consider giving cloth a chance.  And so it began.

Holy AIOs and diaper sprayers, there's a lot of info out there!!  It is incredibly overwhelming to try to figure this stuff out.  I tried to educate myself on every single brand and style and try to determine the best option, which is impossible, and finally decided to take the plunge and just buy some darn diapers.  You gotta start somewhere!  The only brand I could find that is easily accessible to buy at a physical store as opposed to online was gDiapers at Babies R Us.  They look like this:

Pretty cute, right?  They have Velcro closures that fasten in the back so that babies have a harder time figuring out how to unfasten them.  These are considered to be all-in-two diapers or AI2s.  This particular AI2 has a thin cloth outer shell (as pictured), with a plastic liner that snaps in so it's removable.  You can either use cloth inserts or biodegradable disposable inserts with the gDiapers.  When you change the baby, just take out whichever insert you decided to use, and either throw the disposable away (or flush or compost it) or put the cloth in the laundry bag.  If it's a big mess, simply unsnap the plastic liner and replace with a fresh one.  The idea is that the mess is contained in the plastic so the cloth outer shell doesn't get dirty and can be used for several changes in a row.  That's the idea.  Well, it did pretty well at containing the big messes (if you know what I mean), but I found that since there is nothing in the plastic liner to anchor the insert and keep it in place, it just bunches up as the baby moves around and basically doesn't do its job of absorbing messes of the more liquid persuasion :/  We had several big leaks, and I've decided that the gDiapers are not for us.  Now, there are different brands of the AI2s, of course, some of which you can snap the cloth inserts in place so they hopefully wouldn't move around and bunch as I'm not going to give up on the AI2s just yet, we just haven't purchased any more.  One thing I did actually like about these was that they were very trim and didn't add a lot of bulk to Cam's bottom.

My friend let me use some of her FuzziBunz brand diapers so I could see how we liked them.  Here's what they look like:

These are pocket diapers.  That means that you stuff cloth inserts into the outer shell.  (there is no disposable option).  When you change the diaper, you have to put on a whole new one...there is no reusing these multiple times.  You will have more laundry, but these also seem to be more effective and less "fussy," shall we say.  If you have your shell stuffed with inserts and ready to go, it takes exactly the same amount of effort as a disposable diaper.  I like that.  No dealing with a plastic liner, no bunching issues.  The ones I tried had a snap closure (as pictured), which will take some getting used to, but I think this brand also has the Velcro option.  They are bulkier, but I don't really have anything bad to say about this brand.  However, we didn't try them overnight.

Speaking of, last night was the first time we tried to cloth diaper overnight. 

5:30pm- put on a BumWear brand pocket diaper that I just purchased used from a military wife.  It looks like this (same super cute dinosaur pattern any everything!):
A $27 diaper, by the way.  No, I didn't pay that was included in an assortment of brands she was selling.  Anyway, I stuffed it with two gDiaper cloth inserts.  Good to go.  Ha...haha.
1:00am- Cam wakes up.  Nothing unusual about that (unfortunately).  I go to check on him.  Well, shoot.  The two cloth inserts: soaked.  The BumWear diaper shell: soaked.  His pajama pants: soaked.  His sheets: luckily, just damp.  Umm,  I just put a Huggies Overnite diaper on him after that.  We might just be daytime cloth users for this  guy :/ 
So these three brands are the only ones I've tried so far.  I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the brands I got yesterday.  *sigh*  Trial and error...and a lot of patience.  We'll see how it goes!  It'll be worth it, right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Try It Tuesday

So, for this Try It Tuesday I decided to try out a Green Chile and Rice Casserole recipe I found on Pinterest for dinner. 

Here are the ingredients:

Long grain and wild rice, chopped green chiles, cheddar cheese, and sour cream (I used reduced fat)
First, you cook the rice according to the package directions.  Super simple.
Then, you mix the chiles with 8oz. sour cream (I used half of this 16oz. container).  Again, super simple :}

Pretty sure even a visual learner like me could figure that out without a picture Ha!
Next, you take half of your cooked rice and put it in a greased baking dish, then layer half your sour cream mixture, then half your cheese.  Repeat.  Note: the recipe calls for 16oz. of cheese, but I used about 8oz. and I think that was plenty!
Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes.
And there you have it!  Cheesy, ricey, green chile goodness!

Now, it tasted really good the way I did it this time; however, there are a couple things I would do differently next time...I would use the whole 16oz. container of sour cream.  The picture on the recipe I used looked really creamy, but this wasn't creamy at all (that might have something to do with the reduced fat version of sour cream, but I still think it just needed more...I might even mix in some softened cream cheese actually).  I would also use a smaller baking dish.  I had to spread everything really thin.  I think adding some chicken to make it more of a meal than a side would be good.  Other than that, I think it was a hit!  Happy Tuesday!
Here is the recipe I used:
1 (6 ounce) package dry instant long grain and wild rice mix
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Prepare the instant long grain and wild rice mix according to package directions.
  3. Spread 1/2 the cooked rice mix over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. In a bowl, mix the sour cream and green chiles. Spread 1/2 the sour cream mixture over rice, and top with 1/2 the cheese. Repeat the layers.
  4. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly.

I found it here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

IT'S OK Thursday

Well, it's Thursday day closer to the weekend!  I must say that I've been looking forward to today because it's the only day this week I don't have something going on!  I'm going to spend it getting the house back in order...probably for the last time before I start packing for GA.  Less than a month to go y'all!!  Can I just say that I'm ridiculously excited to see this:

and this:
and THIS!
IT'S OK...
that I used paper towels to make coffee this morning because I didn't have time to go to the store and get filters yesterday...hey, sometimes life throws you a "make it work" moment!
that my DVR will only record two TV shows tonight even though there are three that I want to record...although it is pretty annoying.  The season premier of Grey's Anatomy trumps Glee.  And I just can't miss Project Runway...
to use my "IT'S OK Thursday" post to talk about my belly baby, because I didn't get to do my 24 week post this here goes:
I had a checkup appointment on Tuesday and I got to hear baby Jude's heartbeat!  Always so exciting!  The doc didn't tell me the beats per minute (it's usually 150-160), but she was able to find the heartbeat immediately and it sounded really strong.  She also went over the results of the 20 week ultrasound...she said all his little systems looked good and normal and that he's measuring right on track and is in the 50th percentile in weight.  He was about 14 ounces at 20 weeks.  I had gained seven pounds since my last visit, four weeks ago.  Yikes!  Must have been all those birthday goodies I've had this month!  But it's all good, because up until now I had only gained two pounds.  Having a toddler really helps keep the unnecessary weight gain to a minimum!  My blood pressure was decent, which is reassuring because it got really high towards the end of my pregnancy with Cam...that's why they had to schedule me to be induced (Cam had other plans, fortunately!).  I also had to schedule my glucose test.  It's in three weeks...yuck.  Last time that awful red sugar water almost made me pass out!  Hopefully we won't have a repeat of that :/  Anyway, I'm very thankful for a healthy baby boy!! Only 15ish more weeks to go!  Wait, 15 weeks?!  Oh my.  Don't panic...IT'S OK :}

Monday, September 24, 2012

You Say It's Your Birthday!

I have a one-year-old!!  A healthy, energetic, beautiful, sweet, hilarious, toddling, into everything, too smart for his own good one-year-old!  And I'm loving it :}

Today was recovery day.  We dropped off my parents at the airport this morning...which was super sad, as always, but it was a little easier knowing we'll see them in just a few weeks.  This afternoon was spent relaxing and playing with all of Cam's new toys, which was really fun!  He got so many great gifts from our wonderful friends and family! 

On Saturday we had Cam's party.  I think it was a big success!  Cam had a great time playing with all his little buddies and opening presents, and he of course loved his first taste of cake.  Here are some highlights:

Playing with his new truck with Granddad
My attempt at birthday cake making
Josh and I made all the little boys tabards (this was Cam's)
The Drawbridge
The other tabards, gifts and decorations

High-fiving his friend :}
Playing in the ball pit (The Dragon's Lair)
The Fab Five playing in the sandbox (The Search for the Holy Grail...we hid some plastic gemstones and a plastic goblet in the sand for them to uncover)
The food- we had King Arthur's Coins (baked potato rounds), Merlin's Magic Wands (fruit skewers), Dragon Wings (chicken wings), Battering Rams (pimento cheese stuffed celery), Sword in the Stones (meatballs), and Jester Juice (pineapple punch)

Having some cake

Sunday morning, on his actual birthday, we went to IHOP for breakfast.  He just about ate his weight in pancakes!  After a trip home for a nap, we went to the mall to get our Yellow Submarine video signed by one of the animators (I know, nerd alert!), then went shopping at Kohl's to look for some shoes.  We didn't find any, but we did get some fall shirts and pants.  Then we went to get his hair cut.  *sigh*  It was a little sad...I think there has been a definite transition from baby to little boy, but he looks soooo cute!  (Another big, we stopped using formula!)  He did great at the barber shop!  He was very calm, and the stylist was really good with him. 

After that, we went to the fountain at the PX to play...he had a blast and got soaked!  For dinner we had spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.  Then we went outside for a bit to play some more...Grandma brought some bubbles that turn purple when they pop!  Needless to say, we had bathtime after that :} What an amazing, special weekend for a very very special boy!* 
*Time to start planning for next year! *Whew*

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baby Post- Week 23

23 weeks and 1 day, actually.  I didn't forget to post yesterday, I just ran out of time!  Anyway, here's a recap of the weekend and a look at what this week has in store:

We had such a fun weekend, but it was super busy!  On Saturday we went to Target to pick up some  cute wall decals for your nursery.  We also went to Home Depot to pick out paint colors for your nursery and Cam's room...that was surprisingly easy, thank goodness!  Your granddad is going to get started painting soon.  Can't wait to see how your rooms turn out (only 5 more weeks until we move back to Georgia...are you ready for us Grandma and Granddad?  Better grab your best "holt"!).  After we got back from shopping, we went to a birthday party for Cam's friend.  It was cowboy themed and really fun!  Then, Sunday, we stayed home all day and cleaned out Cam's closet.  We went through all of his clothes and decided on what to sell at our yard sale and what to keep for you.  Don't'll get plenty of your own clothes!  We also made some things for Cam's birthday party...which is in 4 short days!  That doesn't really sound like much, but it took all day and we were exhausted!  This week is also going to be a blur...last night I went to book club (the book we were supposed to read was Life of Pi...but I had only read the first couple of chapters :/),  today will be spent cleaning and getting ready for the party, on Wednesday we're going to see Sesame Street live, and Thursday I'm going to a luncheon AND your grandparents are flying in (yay!).  Whew!  What a week!  It's all fun stuff though...I'm really lucky to have the opportunity to spend time with friends and do such fun things with Cam.  I can't wait until you're here so you can enjoy exciting things with us!  Here are some pictures from the party we went to:

Playing "Rope the Cows" (that's root beer I'm drinking...)
Headed into the General Store

Oh!  How could I forget...we decided on a name!  Drum roll please.......

Jude Gibbs
We hope you like it!  I apologize in advance for the number of times you're going to hear people sing Hey Jude to you (I just go ahead and admit that I'll be the first one ;} )...but at least it's a song written by the greatest band of all time.  Maybe one day you'll embrace it!  Gibbs was your great-granddad's mom's dad.  He passed away when I was just 11, but I still have very fond and vivid memories of him.  We'll tell you stories about him when you're older...much older ;}  He and your granddad had lots of exciting adventures together.   
Well, I'm off to begin the cleaning frenzy!  You keep on growing and kicking away! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

IT'S OK Thursday

It's the day before Friday!  And it's another overcast day!  No, I'm not being sarcastic...I love days like this, and the days without sun are few and far between here in The Pass.  The hint of fall in the air has got me in a great mood!  Also, we've got some fun plans this weekend so I've been looking forward to the end of the week.  Saturday we're going to a sweet boy's 2nd birthday party, and Sunday we're going to be working on getting ready for our own sweet boy's 1st birthday party and just relaxing together :}  So, anyway, here's this week's installment...

It's OK...
for me to consider a high of 81 degrees to be "cold" enough to decorate for fall and pop in my Spice Bazaar Scentsy , because it may not get much cooler here before it's time for us to leave, so I'm going to enjoy it!
Let's all pretend for just a second that this is my house...

that last night I had the idea to go to Golden Corral on Friday night and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since...
Maybe because they have one of these
to have a  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte two days in a row...right?!  Hey, it's only around for a couple of months!
that I have to sweep and vacuum up crumbs and various other things multiple times a day, because I love my little munchkin (As you can see, I'm a professional Mom now that I subscribe to Parenting Magazine ;} )
Apparently he thought lunch would taste better off the floor...
 Happy Almost-Fall Y'all!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Try It Tuesday

So, for  this week's Try It project I got inspiration from this blog.  It's a post about how to fix a split nail with a tea bag.  I've been pretty happy with the way my nails look lately...pre-natal vitamins?  One of them just split, and I had recently seen a Pin in passing; plus, I'm pretty sure I've heard a few of my friends mention that they've used this technique before, so I thought I'd give 'er a try.

First I chose a tea bag that I would never drink...honey flavor?  It came in a variety pack, and has just been sitting in my cabinet for months.  Seriously, if I want my tea to taste like honey, umm, I'll just add honey.  Anyway, I emptied the tea and cut a tiny square.  I painted my nail with clear polish and stuck the square over the broken part of my nail while it was still wet, then painted another coat over the tea bag.  That's it!

Here's my nail before

Here's the nail right after I painted over the tea bag
And here it is after it's dry (barely noticeable)
Note: I did this yesterday morning.  It held really well all day, but by this morning it had come loose a little.  I painted another coat of clear over it and that helped a bit, but it was loose again after I took a shower this afternoon.  I have not put any color over the clear polish, but I definitely think that if I had time to do a couple of coats of color and maybe one more top coat that this tea bag trick would be a big success.  I'll definitely try it again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Post- Week 22

Well, week 22 and the name search continues!  We think we have one (we decided on the middle name a while ago, so it's just the first name we can't decide on)...some of the names we've been considering are Landon (Dad's pick) and Colin and Evan (my picks).  Neither of us want the other's name(s)!  So we found one that we're both pretty happy with I think...we're going to wait a little while before we reveal it though, just in case it changes.  The girl name we had picked out was Charlotte Elyse.  So, if you and Cam ever get a sister...way, way in the future!...that's what her name will be. 

We have, however, decided on a nursery theme: The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  I'm gonna order this set from a shop on Etsy:

I love these colors...I just have to pick one to paint the walls.  There are so many to choose from! 
I guess that's it for this week...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

*insert extremely long, overly dramatic sigh here* 

Man, do I wish my brain had an off switch right about now.  It seems to be running on overdrive lately.  I think so hard and so much during the day that I go to bed with a headache at night.  There are so many decisions to make, and time is running out!  Open ended decisions drive me crazy...their presence just looms over me like a rain cloud.  It's depressing.  And it's like for every decision I miraculously do make, another one is waiting in the wings, ready to take it's makes me want to yell:

And for the record, we're not talking small potatoes, everyday decisions like, "Do I want to use Creme Brulee or Vanilla Cinnamon creamer in my coffee this morning?" (it's usually Creme Brulee...pretty easy choice, really) or, "Does Cam need a bath tonight?" (the answer to that is usually "yes," so then the question becomes, "Do I have enough energy to give him a bath tonight?")  But the questions that I can't seem to produce and answer for are things like, "Where are we going to store all our stuff during the deployment?" and "Are Cam and I going to fly home and spend more money, or drive with Josh and save money, but use up extra vacation days?" and "What are we going to name our child?"  Yikes!!  Yeah, kind of important, big-deal type stuff.  I hate not having a plan.  It makes me feel out of control...and I like to be in control! I don't like it when things don't go exactly according to plan, but it at least makes me feel a little better when there is actually a plan in place! 
Anyway, sorry for the whiny post.  I just felt like I had to get some things out into cyber-space, I guess...just vent a little.  Somehow it helps me not feel so overwhelmed.  I know it's not Thursday yet, but I needed to remind myself that "It's OK" a little early this week! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

IT'S A...

Cameron would like to announce that he's getting a little BROTHER!!

Coolest big brother ever!
We'd also like to introduce Leppy (yeah, that's all we could come up with!).  He was adopted yesterday to keep Wolfy company and be friends with our new baby boy :}

Everything went pretty well at our ultrasound appointment yesterday.  It didn't quite go as planned though (what ever does?).  The plan was to get the ultrasound tech to write "boy" or "girl" and put it in an envelope that we would take home and open while we Skyped with Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Harriet...that way we could all find out together.  Well, she informed us that she was not allowed to do that "for legal reasons."  Hmm, what now?  We decided, after some debate, that she would tell Josh and he would break the news to us.  At first I thought it was very unfair!  But I decided that since he won't get to be there for the birth, the least I could do was let him find out first.  So, what we did when we got home was take a piece of pink and blue paper and put them in an envelope.  Josh taped the "revealing" ultrasound picture to either pink or blue.  So, I pulled out the paper in front of my family and it was blue!!  I wish I could share an ultrasound picture with everyone, but she didn't take any good ones except the gender one (and I'm going to use a little discretion on that one!).  We weren't very happy with the technician we had :/  But everything turned out fine.  It was a very sweet moment and now we're even more excited to add a new member to our little family!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"It's OK" Thursday

It's Thursday again!  I think this it's been three weeks since I posted the first "It's OK" post.  The week after I posted, Josh was still gone, I still wasn't able to communicate with him, and pretty much nothing was OK, so I just couldn't bring myself to look on the bright side...I'm pretty sure I didn't think there was one!  Last week, everything was OK!  It was the day after Josh got home and life seemed great and almost back to normal.  This week, I'm feeling pretty optimistic even though we've got some big events coming up soon and I am NO where near prepared!  So here goes:

It's OK...
that Cam's birthday party is in three weeks and I've done nothing, because tomorrow starts a four-day and I can hopefully get a lot done.
that we're moving in eight weeks (!) and I've done nothing, because I know that it will all get done and that the stress of it is worse than it will actually be.
if no housework gets done today, because I've been pretty good about keeping in clean lately and it's not too bad (and tomorrow starts a four-day :} ).
if pretty much anything goes wrong right now, because my sweet boy is WALKING, and when I see him making his way across the room looking so proud of himself, I can't help but be beside myself with happiness :}
And on a side note, I get to hear baby's heartbeat today!  So, even thought life is about to get super crazy busy, there's a lot of good stuff happening and a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Try It Tuesday

Umm...I love Pinterest.  There, I said it.  I just thought I'd lay it all out there for you.  It's obviously not that big of a secret...I think it's a great concept and have thoroughly enjoyed it since my friends introduced me to it.  When I first joined, I must have tried a new Pinterest recipe at least 3 times a week, and I may or may not have gone a little crazy with the crafts!  I found myself saying, "I saw it on Pinterest" more times than I can count!  Well, since the first few months, my Pinterest projects have tapered off.  Oh, I still Pin at least one thing a day...but the actual execution of those Pins has all but stopped.  So I've decided to get back into the groove and try out some of those awesome ideas.  On Tuesdays (maybe not every Tuesday) I'm going to post something I've tried that was inspired by a Pin, whether it be a new recipe, a craft idea, a makeup or hair trick, or a new fashion trend (Holy T-shirts, I really need to spice up my wardrobe!); I'll try it out and post the process and the results and hope it's not a Pinstrosity!  If you have a Pin that you've been wanting to try out but just haven't gotten around to, let me know and I'll do a post about it!

This week's Pin: DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner from The Daily Quirk

The cleaner recipe is:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 tablespoon of dish detergent (I'm using blue Dawn, and it looks like the pinner did too)

Mix ingredients in water, swish brushes in the mixture, rinse, pat dry, and let dry overnight on a towel

Here's what it looks like- P.S. I've never cleaned these, and I have no idea how long I've had them (yikes!):
Here's what the mixture looks like before
Brushes before
Blush brush before- pink and sparkly

Mixture after- whoa!
Brushes after

Blush brush after- all clean!
Bottom of the glass- that's a lot of sparkles!

Oh. My. Word.  These brushes were gross.  I use these things on my face...every day!  I'm definitely going to start cleaning them at least once a month. It was super easy, not to mention cheap.  I checked out some brush cleaners online, and some are as much as $20!  I feel like I have a whole new set of brushes and I'm certain my skin will thank me :}  I'd call my first Try It Tuesday a definite success!