Saturday, October 4, 2014

5 Tips For Meeting New Friends After Moving

One terrible fact of military life is moving. All the time. Since my husband joined almost four years ago, we have lived in three different states and four different apartments. We just renewed a lease for the first time in our marriage. Each of our children were conceived in a different state than they were born in, and neither were born (or conceived) in the same state.

Our first duty station was a training command, most of the people there were like us and living on their own for the first time and eager to meet others. There were several Facebook groups, and meetups all the time. I personally held "Girl's Day" at my house every Friday for several months. I had close friends, and the majority of my close friends I met there I still keep in touch with today. I look back fondly at my memories there. As a "nuke" wife, you will definitely be starting out in South Carolina. If you live on base, you will definitely meet a lot of people, if you find the Facebook groups, you'll interact with other wives in the exact same position as you.

The second duty station we had was a lot different. I was closer to family, so instead of trying to meet people and start friendships, I visited family I hadn't seen in years and kept close with the great friends I had known for a decade or longer. The military friends I had there were already established, they moved when we moved, so we kept in touch.

Now here we are at our third duty section and I'm far away from everything and everyone. We have one set of very close friends that we spend time with just about every day. Our daughters are best friends, and they're the first people we call whenever we hear about anything fun, or we just want to hang out. Aside from that, I have not met really any new people at all. 

Being a military wife is lonely. As a nuke wife, you get to look forward to your husband being gone for at least 25% of your nights. I'm very lucky for having him here so often.

Well anyway, back to the point. Meeting friends.

1. Your husband's friends' wives. He has friends, they can't spend a zillion hours a week together and not have found friends. Ask about his friends and invite them over.

2. Facebook. There are at least 83 Navy wife groups at every duty station. We're in VA, and new ones are seriously popping up about every other day. It's ridiculous. To find a group in your area search "Navy Wives in (enter your state/duty station here)" or "(your ship name) Navy Wives" or ask your ombudsman if there are any pages.

3. SPEAKING OF OMBUDSMAN, go to your command FRG meetings. They are usually once a month and there are lots of people there. Seasoned wives, new wives, nuke wives, non nuke wives.

4. Find something you're interested in, and find a club for it. is great for finding groups of people that are awesome and around you. They have groups separated by interests, and there's hundreds of these things. Last I checked, within 25 miles of me is 445 meetups. It's insane. You're sure to find some friends there!

5. Neighbors. I know it's hard to just go across the street and introduce yourself to WHO KNOWS WHO, but the odds aren't high that they are a serial mass murderer planning to kill the next person who knocks on their door. Maybe bring over some cookies. Who doesn't love cookies?

So now, go forth, and find some friends!

How do you find friends in new places?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear Daughter (8/29/14)

Dear Daughter,

Thank you. You are the greatest first child anyone could ever ask for. We have laughed together, cried together, failed, succeeded, and just been rock stars together. I love every little detail about you. I love your little giggle when I tuck your toes back into your swaddle before you go to sleep. I love when I wake you up the first thing you ask is where Daddy is.

You are a wonderful older sister. When we first brought your brother home I was so worried for you. You put yourself into a shell, clearly feeling betrayed that you were no longer our entire world. How could we have done that to you? The pain in your eyes was unbearable some days. I felt like I had made a huge mistake, and like I had broken you. But that was all temporary, and I often feel guilty looking back that I doubted you. You have grown into the part splendidly. You have broken out of your shell and you love your brother deeply. Someday you two will have so much fun together.

You are still everything to me. My life would be so incomplete without you, and you bring joy to every day I spend with you. You are the sweetest and most gentle firecracker I have ever met in my life. I'm so happy I was blessed to have you as my baby, and I get to spend the rest of my life watching you grow.

Mommy loves you so much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Son (8/27/14)

Dear Son,

You're just a touch over five months today. Your eyes captivate me, and your laugh motivates me. You are a beautiful, beautiful person, and I can't wait to get to know you better. I think about you all the time, while you're awake and while you're sleeping.

Sometimes feel like I have failed you because I didn't give birth to you the way I wish I had. I read articles every day about the benefits of natural birth, and how cesareans are terrible for your children and your health. I constantly wonder if you will grow up and have children of your own someday and wish I did things differently. I hope you know I fought for you, and I tried very hard to give you the birth you deserve.

You have given me such solace. The day I met you I was in such a dark place, and you were the light I needed to see at the end of the tunnel. I prayed and fought, and cried, and felt defeated, but you were healthy and I had succeeded. I realized that day that it was necessary. I had to let go of the idea that I was a failure. There was no such thing as a failure when I looked into your eyes. You were this perfect and complete being that I had grown and loved inside of me. It was so hard for me to give up and agree to have you surgically removed from my womb, but it had to be done to keep you alive.

I felt stronger when I met you. I felt like a winner. I never thought that a repeat cesarean would give me as much closure and healing as it did. Thank you so much for being everything I needed. Without even knowing it, you have completed my life.

Mommy loves you so much.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Let It Go

I really don't understand why this is, but I've noticed a lot recently that as mothers, we beat ourselves up a lot. Our children are going to grow up someday, and we didn't adequately enjoy their time as babies. We spent a bunch of money on a camera, and only used it twice in the last year. We started a blog and don't think any of our posts are good enough to post.

So I'm going to start here with letting things go. It's okay to blog even if I'm not the greatest of all time ever. Every single post doesn't have to be the most eloquent writing of my time. It's okay to be annoyed at my children, and it's okay to take terrible pictures on my expensive camera.

A reader friend messaged me this morning telling me basically all of this. I need to stop beating myself up. A blog is a blog, who am I doing it for but me?

Thanks for the ear (err . . . eye?) I look forward to writing again soon. <3 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

You know the struggle. The "my kid sobs all the time for no reason" struggle? This is the game we're playing. I love it. I love having a toddler who sobs constantly.

Most recently, we have "there is banana on my hand", "the US is losing the World Cup" and "the puppy moved".

Oh man. Gotta love the struggle! Happy Thursday!

Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Swaddle Older Babies (A Step by Step Guide)

Welcome! Do you have a baby? Have you gotten an Amazon Baby Registry yet? I recommend it SO MUCH. They send you a great completion coupon, so you can buy whatever is left that you still need at a discounted price. Anyway, I like to recommend it whenever I see people looking at my baby posts! Click here and create your Baby Registry today! Also, all of the links you see here are affiliate links, I get a small commission off whatever is purchased through them at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our family. 

I'm the luckiest mommy in the world. My wonderful child sleeps all the time, and if I have to wake her up early she doesn't seem to be too phased by it. :) Since the beginning we have been using Aden + Anais brand swaddling blankets. They're very generously sized, so they have held my baby for 14 months and she still has room to grow. They're also SO SOFT. Whenever I go to a baby shower, I always bring some to the new parents because I think they're the greatest thing ever to come into my life. I love to share them with others. 

We still swaddle Tushie, even though she's 14 months old. She very much enjoys the comfort and I enjoy how it makes it easier to put her down even though she is larger. Around three months old she went through a very common time in our swaddling relationship where she pulled her hands out, and usually messed with her face while she was nursing. It was so frustrating and I admittedly lost my cool about it several times. I'm so lucky I have a great husband who was home during the rough nights in the beginning of Tushie's life. 

In the midst of this frustration, and trying to deal with it I discovered the . . . "Super Swaddle". Have you heard of this? Oh MY goodness. It's the bee's knees. Very basically, you have your swaddling blanket as well as an extra receiving blanket folded in half twice to make it long. Placed correctly, it will fold your child's arms in, and then you swaddle as normal. See below for some pictures. Tushie can still get out when she's ready at night, but when she is nursing to sleep she loves this super swaddle, which of course means mommy loves it!

 First, you have to gather your "ingredients". We have a nice Aden + Anais Classic Swaddling blanket and above that (next to the puppy) is our folded up receiving blanket

 After laying out the blanket you want to fold down the top corner of the blanket to provide a nice collar for where you are going to place the baby. 

 Then you will place the receiving blanket (which you have folded twice longways) across the top of the collar you just made. You can see a better picture of how you will place it here:

 Then you take your baby and put them in the middle of the collar on top of your receiving blanket.

Next you take the receiving blanket and fold it over the arm, as shown. It's really so simple. 

Then you tuck it underneath their body, so their weight will hold it in place. This also means when they want to get out of it, they just need to arch their back (which they learn how to do as soon as they wake up, I've learned).

Repeat on the other side and you will have a baby who looks like this. This baby is VERY interested in the fan above her head, which is why she's not looking in any of these pictures.

Then you swaddle as normal. Simple, eh? Don't forget to leave room for their legs to move freely when swaddling!

So there you have it. A simple step by step solution to those crazy children who wiggle their way out of a normal swaddle! I hope this is helpful!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

That Won't Last

These are the words I've heard countless times in my short mothering career. Whether it's about diapering my child in cloth, about her sleeping through the night, about her breastfeeding. 

Well I've proven them all wrong. My lovely daughter is 14 (or so) months old, and still in cloth, still breastfeeds, and still sleeps through the night. I'm very lucky to have a baby who loves sleep, I know.

I don't understand why there has to be so much negativity surrounding new mothers. Why does everyone insist on telling mothers that the dreams they have are dumb, or it's something they will never achieve? It's very heartbreaking to me.

So anyway, the point of this post was to show you my beautiful child in her Glow Bug Cloth Diapers, this year, and last year. To show the change in her and the consistency of a beautiful diaper. This has been one of my favorite cloth diapers since her birth, and I'm so glad it still works great for us! I can't wait to put it on my future child too! The first is today, and the second is actually exactly a year ago today! 

Look at how tiny she used to be! :) Love this girl!
Have a great day!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Many Changes

Everyone keeps telling me that we need to start a blog to talk about and remember all of the beautiful memories of my first child (who you can see we got pregnant with last blog post!) who did indeed end up being a girl, and we now affectionately call her Tushy. I am also now pregnant again with a little boy who is due in March. We affectionately call him "Dennis Quaid" so when I want something I can say that Dennis Quaid would like a milkshake. Then many laughs are had all around.

So the Navy has moved us around a lot. We started in South Carolina where husband did his nuclear training A and Power School. Then they moved us to New York to do his prototype training. From then, he was picked up to do some other awesome nuclear stuff, and now we're finally at our first real command with a real ship, and he actually gets to see the ocean for the first time in the three years that he's been in. It's sort of terrifying, but gratifying at the same time. He has worked so hard to get us to where we are, and we are so happy to have everything the Navy has given us. His ship is in the yards, still being built, so it's been smooth sailing since we got here several months ago. According to the ship, things will start to get difficult in March. Perfect timing for Dennis Quaid to get here and give us a rough time.

We are very happy and excited to be starting this journey, and I am happy to be documenting it. Aside from just my life, I also plan to write about cloth diapers, some of the other awesome things I've accumulated over the year of Tushy, and reviews on my opinions of them. I have a lot of great different diapers and diaper accessories, I would love to tell you all about them!

Talk to you soon!

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