Back where I come from.

 

Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

I actually wrote about this during the last blog challenge so I’m not going to dig too deep with this prompt but I fully believe that the core of “me” was formed from growing up in the Midwest. Moving away, living all over the US and meeting people from every corner of the country has made me appreciate growing up in small town Ohio. Riding my bike with a bunch of kids through our small, safe neighborhood, catching fireflies well past dark, having hours long snowball wars and loading my little brother and sister onto our pink sled over and over just to fly down the hill at the baseball fields together is what I got because I grew up in a place where everyone knows everyone and everyone takes care of everyone. Since leaving, I’ve come to learn that I’m always going to be a small town girl (and can’t wait to get back to one). I’m very proud to be an Ohioan and though I may never move back, I’m so thankful that’s where I come from.

Blogtember!

It’s another blog challenge! Remember back to Blog Every Day in May – the event that kickstarted my love for blogging again? Well, Story of My Life is once again hosting a blog challenge. This time we get the weekends off but there will still be 20 prompted posts throughout the month of September beginning Tuesday, September third, the day after Labor Day. I love prompted writing so I’m excited but while I can’t promise I’ll participate in every prompt, I’ll give it my best shot! If you’re a fellow blogger, join the fun! You can link back to her page and share your blog with other writers and readers alike. So here’s a preview of what we’ll be writing about:

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 3: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.
Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? (bonus points for fun photos from Pinterest, but don’t forget to cite the source!)
Thursday, September 5: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.
Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.
Monday, September 9: Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account – click “click to view” under “You” and “self awareness and personal growth.” You can even google your type and find more info on it!)
Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.
Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
Friday, September 13: A self portrait
Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be romantic.)
Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.
Wednesday, September 18: Only photos
Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!
Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.
Monday, September 23: A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!
Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.
Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up – a mistake you made.
Thursday, September 26: Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you’d like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop. *if you can’t make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new.
Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you’d like. (but don’t include people’s real names.)
Monday, September 30: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it’s special.
There are a few that I’m really excited about (like, 9/4, 9/17, & 9/27)! As for friends and family that like my posts about what’s going on with us currently, don’t worry, I’ll keep those posts coming too!

A Ruby update.

I know everybody says it, but holy crap do the years fly by when you’re a parent. We’re just over a month away from Ruby’s 18 month mark and I swear she was just born yesterday. The past two months have been huge developmentally and she’s definitely on the final stretch of babyhood.

Personality: Ruby is a ball of fire. She is strong willed and determined. When the boys were little it was very easy for me to distract them if they were doing something I didn’t want them to but Ruby is different. If there is something she wants she will not relent until she gets it, no matter how many shiny things I use to try and divert her attention. Compared to the boys though she is extremely laid back. The boys were constantly on the go, from one thing to the next, loud and all over the place.  Going from that madness to my sweet, calm, easy Ruby has been a breeze. Already, Rubes seems to be a bit more cynical like me. Just like me, she gets annoyed easily and doesn’t seem to be much of a people person. I joke and tell Josh that he can’t hold it against me anymore because obviously bitchiness is a genetic trait.

Growth and Developments: Rubes is talking and communicating like crazy. I forgot how much easier parenting becomes once your child can tell you what they want/what is wrong. Ruby is still in that stage where most of what she says can only be understood by the people who talk to her everyday but it works for us. Actually, it’s adorable. Her current words include, dog, kitty, bub – bub (used interchangeably for Parker and Theo), tootsies (toes), teeth, bath, mom, dad, Boobie (Ruby), Wa Wa (flower), nigh nigh (goodnight or I want to go to bed!), noongi (pacifier), dink (drink), neena (banana), dis (this or that), boo (beautiful), no, bite, baby, boat, nack (snack), poop, and peas (please). She understands most of what we say and giggles with excitement when we understand her.

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Nakey baby censored. 

At her last doctor’s appointment she weighed 21.5 pounds and was 31 inches. This puts her in the 10 – 15 percentile for her age which is basically where she’s been since birth. Her eating habits are spectacular and she’s super healthy. She still only has five teeth but there is one on the bottom popping through right now. She shows no typical signs of teething at all and it doesn’t seem to be bothering her either. We’re still cloth diapering her which has started to come in handy, more so now than ever, since she’s learned how to take off disposables (see above photo) but still can’t handle the snaps on her fluff. She’s also still showing signs of being a lefty.

Sleep: There may be no baby on the planet who sleeps greater than Ruby does. Ruby is the anti Theo and I think she is my reward for dealing with Theo’s sleeping problems. She goes to bed at seven and will sleep until at least nine. She’s usually ready for a nap two hours later and will sleep for another 2 to 3 hours. Not only is she a great sleeper but she loves to sleep. She will tell me when she’s ready for bed and when I lay her down, whether it’s for bedtime or nap time, she grabs her ears and giggles. The only problem is that we’ve been so hard core with making sure she’s been in her own bed since day one that now she will only sleep in her bed. If we’re lucky, she may fall asleep in the van but sleeping in a stroller, carrier or in a bed with us is out of the question.

Current Favorites: Ruby LOVES to dress up. Any time she sees me folding or putting away laundry she grabs some piece of clothing and tries to put it on. She LOVES accessories. A backpack is her newest fav but she also loves headbands, bracelets, shoes etc. She loves to dance and is constantly doing so. She loves to brush her teeth and take baths but she hates her hair being rinsed. She still hasn’t shown a real interest in television at all but she loves to read and will sit through several books at a time. She loves dogs and babies but mostly from a distance. Those are also two things that annoy her easily. She loves to be outside and will go to our balcony doors and ask to go out several times a day. She absolutely loves airplanes and will point to every single one that flies by (nearly one every minute) and yell “pane! pane!” any time we’re on the balcony. She adores her brothers. She follows them around, gives them kisses and sits in their laps all day. They equally adore her and give her anything she wants (feeding that relentless attitude of hers). IMG_5784

In my world of boys, having a daughter continues to be so much different but so much fun. Ruby is our family’s little spitfire and she completes us more than we ever could have imagined.

I got my fix!

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to open my door and find my first Stitch Fix box waiting for me. It arrived fast! I quickly opened it (it felt like Christmas!) and found four shirts and a skirt. I’ll admit, I was a little bummed because I was hoping for at least one accessory but other than that I was really pleased with my box.

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At first glance I liked the skirt and three of the shirts but upon trying them on, I decided one shirt was out because it had ruched shoulders and I’m not a fan. Next out was another shirt because I looked at the price. For a sheer, sleeveless button up it was $68 and I’m just far too cheap for that (plus I swear I can buy the exact same shirt at Target on clearance for $7).IMG_5013

I was absolutely in love with this green shirt…

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Until I saw this picture. And then it was out as well. The only thing left was the skirt.

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I liked the skirt but bird print is something that I’d never pick out myself. Then I thought, isn’t that the point of Stitch Fix? To have a stylist pick out clothes for you. That is why I did this, after all. I tried everything on for Josh and he agreed, the skirt was the best. Actually, he absolutely loved the skirt so with his seal of approval, I bought it!

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Each piece comes with one of these cards giving styling ideas. I love this feature.

As for the rest of the clothes, I just have to stuff them into the prepaid envelope and send them back free of charge. Overall I loved my first Stitch Fix experience. It’s a fun and exciting way to get new clothes. Though I’m not planning on one of these boxes every month, I’ll definitely order more anytime I want a little something new. In case you’re wondering, the skirt cost $48 but my $20 styling fee (that I paid when I ordered a Stitch Fix box) goes towards that cost so essentially, I paid $28.

If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself, visit it via this link and I’ll receive a sharing credit towards my next box 🙂

Random

  • The boys just came out of Parker’s room and both broke down crying. I was afraid something really serious had happened but then, through chokes of tears, they explained that Parker had cut his finger while trying to pull a string off of Theo’s Spiderman costume. Why were they so hysterical? Because they both thought Parker’s finger was going to be cut off. Yep. I’ve traumatized my kids. I’ve always stressed that they shouldn’t wrap things around body parts for fear of cutting off circulation but clearly they both took that to the extreme. Better safe than sorry, right? 😉

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  • I’ve been having serious thoughts about cosmetic surgery. I’m not even going to say specifically what surgery because I’m that embarrassed about it but I will say that it’s not something I ever thought would be number one on my list. There is probably no way I’d ever go through with it because I’m terrified of surgery but I seriously think about it a few times a week now. I have no idea what’s happening to me. Too much Housewives I think.
  • Parker was selected to go to an All Star Fan Fest baseball camp at the Javits Center in Manhattan. It’s specifically for military kids and he was one of four Coastie kids chosen. I’m so thankful for all of the awesome experiences we get to have because we’re a CG family.
  • Speaking of the Coast Guard – I’m in love with it. Josh and I have been talking about getting out within the next few years and while settling down and having the freedom to choose where we want to live sounds like heaven, the thought of no longer being a part of the CG makes me a little sad. Every single time I see something about the Coast Guard I swell with pride. I guess it’s like how people feel towards their Alma Mater.

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  • Ruby slept until 10:50 this morning and that was only because I started to get nervous about why she was still sleeping and woke her up. She went to bed at 6:15 last night. I think maybe she’s growing.
  • My hair is at this strange in between length where it’s not short but it’s not long yet either. It’s extremely heavy and hurts when I put it in a pony tail so I’ve been wearing it in a braid or a top knot. I feel like when it’s braided I look Amish and when it’s in a top knot I look like this guy.

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  • I’ve stopped folding half of our laundry. It all started because we don’t have a linen closet in our house so instead of folding towels I just hang some in each bathroom and leave the rest in a laundry basket on top of the dryer. This made me realize that a lot of the clothes that I fold don’t require folding, so in what I’m calling an increase to my efficiency, I no longer fold towels, pajamas, or work out clothes. I just throw them into piles and dump the piles into the corresponding drawers. I mean, it doesn’t matter if pj’s are wrinkled. I feel like I could be starting a revolution with this idea.
  • My poor, poor, sweet husband once again has his hopes up for the Pirates. As usual they’re tied for first which makes him say the same thing he says every year – “This is their year, Morgan!” But I’m always his voice of reason reminding him that every year the Pirates trick their fans into believing it’s their year, only to plummet in the second half of the season. We can expect a losing streak to start right about….now.

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  • We found a Crate and Barrel Outlet a half an hour away last week and left our house for shopping immediately. I bought a bunch of unnecessary serving dishes for, you know, whenever we have big dinner parties and such. I’m obsessed with white dishes and couldn’t pass up 90% off. They also had a lot of great furniture for ridiculously low prices. I don’t know what to do because I promised myself (and my husband) that I wouldn’t buy any new furniture at least until we move again but C&B Outlets are hard to come by.
  • I painted Ruby’s toenails for the first time today. She was good and sat the entire time I painted, while in my head I went over the ways that girls are so different from boys. However, she didn’t want to sit long enough to allow them to dry so they’re a little smudged. It’s ridiculously cute but I think I’ll wait a while longer before I try again.
  •  Josh and I had been talking about buying Ruby a water table but literally within a day or two from our first discussion about it, I read this post and thought that this Montessori style of play was so much cooler. $2 versus $50. Duh. Give a kid a bowl of water and a bowl of dried beans and let them at it. The best part is that it kept all three kids and our dog entertained for a half an hour.

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  • Josh’s 6 year mark in the CG is on Wednesday. I can’t believe it has been that long already.
  • Josh’s 30th birthday is in a month. I have no idea what the hell to get him. All the poor guy wanted was a weekend away but I’m not ready to leave Ruby overnight yet. Maybe by his 40th birthday I will be…

Happy Monday!

A weekend of work

*The lighting all weekend was completely sub par due to the crappy weather so these pictures are kind of awful. Fair warning.

We have family coming to visit this week so Josh took all week off so we can have a free schedule. Since he doesn’t have to go to work for a while, I decided to put him to work around here.

First thing was the balcony. We’ve talked about buying furniture for our little outdoor space since we moved here but I finally bit the bullet when I was in Target and noticed all of the summer stuff on sale. I picked up the table, two chairs and some accessories and saved $130. Josh was a champ and helped me carry everything in, put it together and set it all up. After he started putting the table together I realized that I had been so excited about the sale that I overlooked the fact that I had bought a cafe table which meant the chairs wouldn’t work. But I loved them so much I decided to keep it all and set up two separate spaces. We packed everyone into the van again and headed to Home Depot to see if we could find another small table and some bar chairs. We left with another great deal on the little table but had no luck finding chairs that weren’t $100 a piece. After checking out several other places (including a Craigslist listing that I had my fingers crossed for) we made do with these inexpensive Ikea chairs.

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We all love it and have already spent a few nights and mornings out there.

Another little project Josh worked on was cleaning up this plant stand. I’ve had it for a few years now so it needed a little love. Spray paint is my best friend so it went from this –

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to this.

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We also had a few small projects that we worked on, like adding another shelf to Ruby’s reading corner.

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And rearranging Theo’s wall to accommodate some new art.

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Josh also began a major project. I picked this table up from the curb where our neighbor had put it out for trash. It needs some work but it is solid wood and gorgeous. The first step was to sand the top and stain it but this has been a bit trickier than we had hoped.

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We can’t seem to find the right stain. At this point Josh is probably just going to sand the entire thing and re stain it all.

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If anyone has any suggestions for ways to make this easier let me know. We’re new DIYers and our knowledge kind of ends at spray paint. 😉

The Brooklyn flea market

Brooklyn is gorgeous. I wish we would have homeschooled and lived there.

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Theo’s baseball game was cancelled so we spent our day there at the flea market.

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It’s awesome how much the boys love flea markets. It’s like junk heaven to them.

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This was by far, the best flea market we’ve ever been to.

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Theo fell in love with about 6,347 things. Like this bug collection that cost $6,347 (not really but there were lots of expensive things here).

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Like this furniture. I wanted a lot of it.

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But we settled on trying a lot of food instead. This was from Asia Dog. Organic 100% beef hotdogs, one with kimchi and nori flakes and one with asian slaw, toasted sesame seeds and scallions. The one on the left was the best but the kimchi was not very spicy.

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We also tried macho pollo tacos. I’m not a fan of corn tortillas but these were delicious.

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Of course some ice cream with sprinkles.

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And a lemongrass and lime Brooklyn soda.

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And then we did a little shopping. Each boy got $5 and could choose whatever they wanted. Theo chose a rusty horseshoe for his nature room.

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And Parker chose a ring. To be like Sonic, of course. The vendor lady told me that my kids were awesome and super polite. I loved that, because they are.

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All the while, Ruby ate an artisan grilled cheese, pointed out every single dog and baby that she saw and ended up a sweaty mess.

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Brooklyn is a really cool place and I can’t wait to go back.