Sep 17, 2014

Julia Grace {18 months}

I'm not going to say that the fact that my daughter is a year and a half now is blowing my mind, because I'm sure you'd expect me to say that, right? You'd expect to hear how the past 18 months flew by in the blink of an eye. That one minute I was cuddling my sweet, little baby, and the next minute I was corralling her from getting into anything and everything.



You'd expect me to say that she's learning and growing by leaps and bounds, testing her limits and discovering her personality and the world around her. You'd probably also want to hear all about the words she says and the things she signs, and how I genuinely think she's one of the smartest toddlers in the entire world. (Not that I'm biased or anything.) Or one of my favorite parts of the day is when I tickle her, making her giggle until she develops hiccups and I have tears running down my face—laughter is such a phenomenal sound.




While I'm at it, you'd also probably think I'd tell you about how beautiful she is. How her huge doe eyes stare at me in wonder and amazement, and how her hair, that's unruly, and blond (!!), is just the most beautiful golden mane I've ever seen. Or how her little hands are still my favorite feature (next to her cheeks that I constantly kiss despite her telling me "uh-uh). You may expect me to tell you about how she sometimes gives me unprompted hugs and kisses, and how she fits perfectly in my lap (although my protruding belly is starting to get in the way) and sometimes fidgets with my fingers and leans her head back and just rests there for awhile. Or how I completely melt into a giant puddle every time she pats my belly, says "baby," and then gives the baby (my belly) a kiss.



But the one thing I'm almost certain you'd expect me to say is how my life is now completely, 100 percent changed by this sweet, feisty, completely loveable and adorable little girl, and how I will drop everything (almost willingly) when she comes over and takes my finger by her little hand, begging me to follow her somewhere. Eighteen months ago I became a Mama, and my Julia is definitely one of the best things I've ever done with my life. Deployments stink, but I'm soaking up time with my little girl as best I can, knowing this is one of the few times in our lives it'll just be the two of us.


Happy year and a half birthday, little one!



Sep 15, 2014

Want, Need, MUST Have {september}

Every month I ask my sponsors what they're crushing on at that particular moment and every month they send me their one must-have item (usually) well ahead of the deadline I give them. Then, in typical Jessica fashion, I write this post the day it's going live (or the night before if I'm feeling really ambitious) and I freak out, because I don't know what the heck I want! Every. Single. Month. Well, except for this month, because I know exactly what I want. Curious what it is? Read on to find out. And while you're at it, my sponsors listed some pretty snazzy things that look perfect for upcoming Christmas wish lists! 



1. Mrs. B from World Traveling Military Family

"I really must have the Fujifilm XP70 16 MP Digital Camera so that when we go on all our crazy adventures, like walking through mud and rivers in Barefoot parks, mud runs, and more, I don't have to worry about dropping our camera in the mud or water. This is small enough to fit in my back pocket, but strong enough to withstand our exciting adventures." 

2. Laurie from Origami Owl

"For me, September means two things, my birthday and, more importantly, the New Mexico State Fair. I would give anything for a green chile corn dog right now! I’m such a fanatic that on free admission days, I would drop my husband off at the gate and have him snag the green chile corn dogs, while I circled the fairgrounds."  

3. Jen from BeeBee Belly

"We have hard wood floors, three cats, and two toddlers, and sweeping every single day just isn't cutting it anymore. Our old Dyson handheld isn't working as well anymore and this one is pink!"

4. Kayleigh from The Way I Wanderlust

{Editor's note: Kayleigh is off fulfilling traipsing around England right now, so while she told me what she absolutely must have this month, she didn't have time to mention why she wanted this particular item. So, I'm going to say what I'm pretty sure she's thinking.} "The weather is chilly over here in Europe and it's making me think about fall, so, like everyone else (except for the writer of this awesome blog), I need to get my hands around a cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte STAT!"

5. Me.

What must I have right this very minute? Fall. I'm over this heat. Over the humidity. Over the fact that I'm sweating the second I step foot out of my house or car. Totally over all of it. To top it off, it's been raining here lately, which gives the impression that things are cooling off. Nope, not so. It just turns everything into a sauna. Have you ever been inside a sauna while wearing clothes and carrying a toddler? It's not fun. Bring on the chilly days and cold nights, the colorful leaves, warm fall-like drinks (caramel apple spice, I'm looking at you), and let me wear jeans, scarves, cardigans, and hats.

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Sep 10, 2014

Pink or Blue? Boy or Girl? She or He?

My anatomy scan is one week from today—YAY!! I thought it would be fun for you to guess what you think I'm having. For the record, I don't have any feelings this time. Last time I had Julia's name picked out a several weeks before my scan and I prayed it was a girl so I wouldn't have to pick a boy's name; I was that set on her name. This time I'm mentally preparing for a boy, just in case.

I always thought it would be fun to stay "team green," but I just don't think I could refer to the baby as "It" for the whole nine yards months. It's driving me crazy not being able to say "she" or "he."

So here's the deal: there won't be a fun care package reveal this time around, but it'll still be just as exciting, because...baby! I have my scan next Wednesday and hopefully timing and the internet will be on our side, because the plan is to FaceTime with my husband during the ultrasound. We're hoping to find out together (cue excitement) and then keep it a secret for five whole days until I get home and share it with the family...and then you guys!

So here's a little compilation of different gender predictor myths and my answers for them, then, you can place your bet to the left on the sidebar (so if you're reading this on a reader or on your phone, come on over to the site—you can leave a comment, too. Comments are always lovely).

Source: from Etsy.

Heartbeat 

(faster than 140 bpm = girl; slower than 140 bpm = boy): 160s: GIRL

Chinese calendar 

(based on mother's age and month of conception): GIRL

Morning sickness 

(very sick = girl; not so sick = boy): BOY

Skin 

(breakouts = girl; clear skin = boy): GIRL

Leg hair growth 

(no more than usual = girl; lots of growth = boy): GIRL

Cravings 

(sweet = girl; salty = boy): BOY

Feet 

(hot = girl; cold = boy): BOY

Breast growth 

(lots of growth = girl; not much = boy) they hurt a lot, does that count? : BOY

Mayan calendar 

(if mother's age at conception and year of conception are both even/odd = girl; if one is even and one is odd = boy): BOY

Ring test 

(ring swings back and forth = boy; ring swings in a circle = girl): GIRL

Girl = 5

Boy = 5



So there ya go! Sorry it isn't exactly helpful since the tally came out exactly even. Whoops! Maybe that means there are actually twins in there. HA! Kidding. (Seriously...let's all pray that I'm kidding.)

Sep 8, 2014

Talking Date: Round Six



+ First things first: I'm a realist. No, not really. I'm actually a dreamer and highly emotional, but I wanted to say "first things first." Also, I'm at Starbucks right now (hence the photo above), and I got the Salted Caramel Mocha, because I thought that's what I was addicted to last year. Nope. One sip and bleh. I should probably take it back and see if they can make me something else. I checked my good ol' search feature on this good ol' blog and discovered it was the Salted Caramel Brulee Latte that I was so in love with last year. Please, oh please, tell me they're bringing that back this year.

+ I've had an itch to cut my hair for several months now. It was just at that stage where it was long and stringy, without much oomph to it. You know what I mean. I remember it being full and awesome last time I was pregnant, but this time around it was just blah. Until last week. It's like my hormones magically (or, finally, rather) kicked in and said, "Okay hair, be pretty now." And now it is. It's got that full and lush shine to it (as long as I keep up with showers), and I love it. But this presents a problem, because I really wanted a haircut. Actually, I wanted the perks that come with a haircut: a nice scalp massage, some good-smelling shampoo and conditioner, someone else doing something for me, and an hour away from the baby. So now I'm torn. Do I get a haircut now, even though I'm digging my mane or wait until I pop this baby out?

+ We are now the proud owners of—wait for it—35 pounds of Hatch green chile! It's all peeled, bagged, and frozen in our extra freezer in the garage. I'm one happy transplanted New Mexican right now. I was at the knock-off version of Whole Foods a few weeks ago and stumbled on some green chile (same place where we got it from last time, actually). Besides wanting to do a happy dance, I asked the produce guy about it, and he said that he roasts them right there at the store and he'd be happy to roast some for me. That's when I started crying and offered him a hug (damn hormones). See, I'm going back home in a few weeks, and was fretting about the logistics of bringing a sack of chile home with me. (Since I'm flying solo again, and this time with a bigger suitcase and a carsea t—because I'm splurging and Julia's getting her own seat this time—I had no idea how I could literally manage to haul one more thing back with me). Anyway, long story not short: He roasted 35 pounds of chile and now we're stocked for at least a year, but possibly two. Happy, happy times!! Want to know how to roast your own green chile? Here's a post for ya.

+ This baby of mine (the one in my belly) is moving around and I love it so much. I'm still anxiously awaiting a kick that I can feel on the outside, though. My anatomy scan is in nine days! I should probably write a post with all my stats so you guys can guess. My inkling right now says.....I have no idea. I'm actually not sure at all!

+ Speaking of baby news: PRINCESS KATE IS PREGNANT AGAIN! Seriously excited. I have a total girl crush on her and I still think she's just fabulous. Although, I read that her horrible morning sickness is back. Poor thing. I also read that this baby bumps Prince Harry's chances of being king even further down the line. Poor cute Harry.

+ Shoot, dang! I just realized today is Julia's half birthday (because you get to count those half birthdays when your little)! She's 18 months old today, CRAZY! I have plans to give y'all an update on her, so I'll try to do that after her doctor's appointment tomorrow so I can include all of her stats. 

+ I'm gearing up for another blog conference next week! I'm heading back to the Type-A Con in Atlanta, and I'm really excited. Hopefully I'll make some new blog friends and pick up a lot of good information while I'm there. Julia will be at their "kid-con" all day (and at night, too), which is very exciting for this mama!

+ My goal when I'm home (and have both sets of grandparents to watch Julia) is to finish her baby book and my maternity book from last time. I have to finish it by the time this one is born. It's almost done, I just need a few uninterrupted hours to just finish it already. I feel bad for this baby and any other babies that follow. I was too over-zealous with everything during my first pregnancy. Sorry fellow offspring for being lazy now.

+ The weather here is deceiving me lately. (You didn't think I could go a whole talking date without talking about the weather, did you?) The actual temperature is dropping into the 80s, but the humidity is kicked up a notch and is in the 90s. The deceiving part is that it's been cloudy and rainy lately, making it look like fall is on its way. But then you go outside and it's worse than it felt in August, because it's freaking sauna outside. Sigh. 

So that's what's happening over in my neck of the woods. 
Now it's your turn! Let's chat in the comments!