✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

See below

Happy Halloween from me and my little pumpkin; now go forth and get some candy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

An addendum

To be filed under things to which I cannot say no:

This face.

Baby clothes with elbow patches.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme; here are this week's questions.

1. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

This happened in the spring of 2009 when Captain Husband was deployed in Afghanistan; he was on his way home for his mid-tour leave but was unable to get a seat on one of the planes leaving the country. After three days of this (and me going crazy with the uncertainty of it all), someone gave his seat to CH so that he could make it home in time for my birthday. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

2. If you are having a hard time going to sleep, what do you do to help yourself?

I'll crack open a book and read for a bit; that usually helps take my mind off things and relax enough that I can then go to sleep.

3. Name something that makes you wish you were a kid again.

I actually miss the whole "going back to school" frenzy that takes place in the late summer/early fall. Whenever I see the notepads, backpacks and pencil cases hit the stores, I always feel a little pang of longing. What can I say? I'm a nerd.

4. What is something you never believed until you experienced it?

I don't want to say love at first sight, but I definitely knew there was just *something* special about Captain Husband from the moment I laid eyes on him (must have been the mullet wig).

5. What can’t you say “no” to?

A good deal on an antique, much to my wallet's chagrin. And usually dessert.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I finally got around to digging my Halloween decorations out of the garage; how cool are these black lights that I found at the local hardware store? Now I'm officially ready for trick or treaters this weekend. How do you decorate for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Packing for the unexpected

Image courtesy the Life Photo Archives

Before having Sammy, I would regularly leave the house with only three things--my wallet, keys and cell phone. Now if I'm going out, I have to make sure that I have several diapers, a wet bag, wipes, at least one change of clothing for Sammy (and maybe a spare shirt for myself), two bottles of formula, burp rag, the baby bjorn, and possibly the stroller. It's amazing how something so small can require so much stuff just for a simple trip to the store.

One thing to keep in mind is that, with babies at least, it's always better to be over-packed than under-packed--unless you happen to visiting people who also happen to have a baby on hand and you can borrow stuff if need be. I've learned this through trial and error and now know to bring practically everything but the kitchen sink if I'm going to be taking Sammy on any sort of day trips to visit friends or family. Take this weekend for example: I packed enough diapers and formula to more than last us the day at Stratford Hall. I wasn't planning on spending the night down there, but on a whim I also packed the pack 'n play, sheets and a blanket, as well as pjs and two spare bottles of "emergency" formula. My forethought paid off; Sammy surprised all of us and went down for the night at 6:00 pm. I didn't have the heart to wake him by loading him into the car seat, so we were able to hunker down for the night without any worries of running out of diapers or food. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this parenting stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Because I'm a masochist I decided to try on a pair of jeans that I bought last year before I knew I was in the family way. I put them on slowly to better prepare myself for disappointment. Much to my surprise, I was able to pull them on without jumping up and down, doing the tight-pants dance. Here it was--the moment of truth. I zippered them and then buttoned them with only minor sucking in of my leftover baby gut. Holy crap. I was officially in a pair of pre-pregnancy pants and I didn't look half bad. I want to kiss the genius who came up with the idea of adding Lycra to denim.

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Black and White

Chelsey of the fabulous blog, The Paper Mama (seriously, you need to check it out--it's so lovely), is hosting a black and white photo challenge this week, so I entered this photo of Sammy in his white tiger costume:

Click here to view the other entries!

The Paper Mama

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin time

My friends, Phil and Elizabeth, had their annual pumpkin carving party this past Saturday, so Sammy and I headed down to their place, which happens to be on the grounds of Stratford Hall, the eighteenth-century home of the noteworthy Lee family of Virginia. Fall weather has finally arrived in Virginia, making it the perfect day to spend time outside, catch up with friends, and lobotomize some pumpkins.

Chuck Norris only has one hand...the upper hand.

And because I'm mean, cruel and nasty, I dressed Sammy up in his pumpkin costume and took a few photos of my little pumpkin with the real thing. They'll be perfect for when he's older and I need to embarrass him in front of any dates he brings home.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme; here are this week's questions.

1. Are you a night owl or an early bird

I used to be a night owl and would regularly stay up late but now I'm more of an early bird thanks to Sammy (believe me, it's totally not by choice). I'm doing everything I can think of to get this kid to sleep in past 7 am just so I can stay up until 11 pm the night before.

2. What makes you jealous?

This is going to sound horrible, but lately I've found myself getting jealous over the fact that it feels like Captain Husband pays way more attention to Sammy (and sometimes even the cat) than he does me when we're on Skype together. I'm also sometimes jealous that he doesn't have an infant to care for 24/7 and can stay up late, go out to movies, etc.

3. Have you started Christmas/holiday shopping yet? When will you finish? (There's only 63 days left!)

I started this month and have about half of it done. I'll probably have everything on my list taken care of by early December (famous last words).

4. What would you have a personal chef make you tonight?

Peanut and chestnut soup--perfect for fall!

5. Where was your first kiss?

It was at the Quicksilver Golf Club in the fall of 1993; I was fourteen years old and at my very first formal dance. I was so nervous about the likelihood of it happening that I did my best to avoid my date for most of the night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Step 1: Admitting you have a problem

You know it's bad when the people working the drive-thru lane know your order just by the sound of your voice. Every morning, without fail, I load Sammy into the car and head off to my local Dunkin' Donuts to get my breakfast of an egg and cheese sandwich and a medium iced caramel latte. I realize I could easily make do without this little luxury, but there's something so reassuring about this daily pilgrimage. It's sad to admit this, but some days my Dunkin' run comprises the only face-to-face interaction with another adult that I'll have in a twenty-four hour period. Lame, I know, but some days I need an incentive that doesn't involve spit-up to change out of my pajamas and take a shower.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Math is not my forté

I jumped the gun a bit when I posted Sammy's four-month update last week. Turns out I was off by two weeks; Sammy won't be four months old until next Wednesday when he turns eighteen weeks. For some reason, I just assumed that four weeks equaled one month when used as a unit of measurement. Yeah, I was totally wrong. Whoops! It's not as though it makes a huge difference, but at least I have another week before I have to start feeling bad about Sammy's current inability to roll over thanks to me neglecting to enforce a daily tummy-time schedule, which will obviously affect his future employment options when he's an adult. Mom guilt: I'm doing it right.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And kitty makes three

This is what happens when you have an overly affectionate cat and a baby. Said cat will employ whatever means necessary to insert herself into what I like to call the Circle of Attention. Recently this means lying on me and/or Sammy while he's getting his bottle. Prior to this latest development, Sandy would seek attention by jumping onto the china cabinet, batting around my antique glass collection, and when that didn't work, she would attempt to scale the 7' bookcases (often with little success). I'm convinced that Sammy is going to have a nice little complex since their names sound so similar, due to the fact that he'll be enjoying some nice quiet time on my lap and then all of a sudden I'm shouting, "SANDY, NO!" at the top of my lungs.

Fortunately, there appears to be a mutual affection between the two. Whenever Sandy jumps up on my lamp, Sammy will extend a hand to touch her fur. When Sammy wakes up in the morning (and before I'm able to will myself out of bed), he'll often spend a few minutes smiling and chatting with the cat, who likes to lean over the side of his co-sleeper and steal a few kitty kisses while I'm still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. She's sneaky like that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall in Frederick

My friends Julianne and Tim had a belated wedding celebration at the Gambrill State Park Tea Room in Maryland on Saturday, so Sammy and I spent the day catching up with friends and enjoying the beautiful fall weather and scenery. We wound up staying the night at their house and got to enjoy a little baby time in the morning with their daughter, Lillian. (The picture is kinda crummy since I had left my camera out in the car and had to make do with my phone.)

It only looks like Lillian is punching Sammy in the face; they actually got along quite well and held hands for a bit and everything. So much baby cuteness that early in the morning can be dangerous for one's health.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank you!

Someone who shall remain nameless (hint, his name rhymes with "Hammy") has been a giant Mr. Cranky Pants all day long, which in turn has made my day less than stellar. So finding out that Mumsy, a.k.a. Kitten, considers me a inspirational blogger couldn't have come at a better time. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, I highly suggest you do so. She's chronicling her daughter, Nadine's, first year of life as an online baby book of sorts. It's one of those awesomely creative ideas that you hear about and then you kick yourself because you didn't think of it first. And don't even get me started on the baby couture; you're just going to have to see it for yourself because, seriously, words cannot describe the awesomeness. Thank you so much, Mumsy--you totally made my day!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme; here are this week's questions.

1. What are some things on your bucket list? (from New Girl on Post)

I wouldn't mind writing a book one day. Also, I should probably get around to finishing those last three credits I need for my master's degree.

2. How long have you been a MilSpouse and where have you been stationed so far? (from Raising Roscoe)

I've been a MilSpouse for a little over two years now and have yet to move, however in that time span I've probably spent a total of six months in the same zip code as my husband.

3. What is a list of songs that sums up your life so far? (from Confessions of a Sailor's Wife)

Man, this is a hard question, so I'll just list the songs that pop into my head as I sit here and reminisce.
Early Childhood: Material Girl by Madonna (the first song I remember hearing on the radio)
Elementary School: Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice (the first cassette that I ever purchased)
Jr. High: Come Out and Play by The Offspring (the first CD that I ever purchased)
Sr. High: Undone (The Sweater Song) by Weezer
College: Grace Kelly with Wings by Piebald
Post-College: The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie
Grad School: Age of Consent by New Order
Meeting Captain Husband: Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson (CH's favorite song)
Sammy, the early months: Tightrope by Janelle Monae (this song and my patented "mommy dance" would stop his fussing every time)

4. What is your favorite kind of pizza?

Fox's Pizza Den, extra cheese.

5. What are three good things in your life right now?

Family, friends, and beer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stillers n'at

One of the best things about going back to western Pennsylvania is the insane amount of Steelers paraphernalia available for purchase nearly everywhere you look. I picked up this little gem at the Giant Eagle (and no, I wasn't there to buy chipped ham)--any guesses as to what it is? Hint: It's not a thermos. Give up? Ok, here's the answer:

That's right. Officially-licensed antibacterial wipes. Seriously. Of course I had to have them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Four-Month Update

Sammy had his four-month well baby checkup yesterday. He now tips the scales at 15 pounds, 2 ounces, and is just over 25" in length. Sammy's weight places him in the 73rd percentile, while his length places him in the 71st percentile. What else is new? Let's see--Sammy enjoys supporting his full weight on his legs and can balance himself as long as he has something to hold onto. The bumper jumper and walker are among his favorite toys, as he's figured out how to walk forwards now. We're working on rolling over; at the moment, he'll roll onto his side and then does the world's slowest version of the Curly Shuffle. Sammy has also started laughing out loud and appears to be a little ticklish, much to my delight. Also relatively new--babbling. He loves the sound of his own voice and will go on and on, especially if you're willing to play along with him. Sammy can also rock a bow-tie and a fedora like it's his job; he's one classy guy (even when he's spitting up on me right before the family photograph at my brother's wedding).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shutter Love: Babies

This week's theme at the Trendy Treehouse is babies; I chose this photo of Captain Husband holding Sammy for the first time. I get a little choked up just looking at it.

You can check out the other entries by clicking here:


On the road again

Sammy and I are groggily making our way back to northern Virginia this morning, so I'll leave you with a few snapshots that I took yesterday along the Montour Trail--as you can see, fall is nearly in full effect in western Pennsylvania:

Monday, October 11, 2010


Congratulations to my little brother, Ben, and his wife, Sarah! They were married yesterday at the Big Brick Barn in West Overton Village, a beautiful site in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Friday, October 8, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme; here are this week's questions.

1. What is the longest road trip you've ever taken?

Going to my parents' house takes me about 5 hours. Now that Sammy's a part of the equation, the trip clocks in at just over 7 hours. That's long enough for me.

2. Do you collect anything? Tell us a bit about it.

If you asked my husband, he would probably say that it would be easier to list the things that I don't collect--after all, I used to work in an antiques gallery, so collecting is an occupational hazard of sorts. The things that I always find myself regularly drawn to are antique glass, vintage kitchen items, practically anything old and turquoise in color, folk art and just about anything from the arts and crafts movement. Here are a few of my current favorites:
3. What is your favorite part about being an adult?

Being able to use expletives in casual conversation.

4. What song brings a tear to your eye?

"I will follow you into the dark" by Death Cab for Cutie.

5. Describe your first plane ride (how old you were, where you were heading, etc).

My first plane ride took place when I was 17; I was going to San Diego for my mom's cousin's wedding with my mom, aunt, and grandmother. It was my first trip to the west coast and I had a great time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The toes have it

Yesterday my friend, Lindsey, came down and watched Sammy for a few hours, giving me some much needed time to myself. It was fabulous. I got my eyebrows tamed into submission; afterwords I sat back and relaxed while my poor, neglected toes were pampered and polished to perfection. I think I'm going to have to make pedicures a monthly habit as long as there are willing volunteers to watch Sammy for a couple of hours here and there.

While I was out enjoying the magic of the massage chair, Sammy was having a good time with Lindsey and her six-month-old daughter, Lily. Apparently Sammy's idea of a good time includes spitting up all over Lindsey, but other than that minor hiccup (hehe), the two kiddos played together nicely and had a good time. Here's the cute twosome in action:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A running start

I've started running again. Okay, it's more like incredibly slow jogging, but still, it's something. Believe it or not, I used to be a competitive long-distance runner way, way, way, back in the day. When I was in college it was typical for me to go for an eight-mile run and-- get this--not feel as though I was going to die afterward. Not so much these days, but I'm working on it.

I've been trying to get outside with Sammy more often now that the weather isn't so abysmally hot and humid around these parts. So for the past couple of weeks I've been loading Sammy into the stroller and going for a nice long walk/jog/walk that averages around a total of three miles, of which I jog about a mile and a half. I'm taking it very slow and carefully. After all, my body isn't as young as it used to be and this is the heaviest that I've ever been in my life (thanks Sammy!). Also I'm still getting used to running behind a stroller, which has thrown my natural stride way off, so there's that, too.

While I may not be the fastest mom on the block, it feels good to be physically active again. I've definitely got more aches and pains than I ever did before, but it's so worth it. There's just something about being alone with my thoughts for an hour or so that makes me feel calm and clear-headed once I'm finished. Monte Davis put it best: "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shutter Love: Pumpkins

This week's Trendy Treehouse photography theme is pumpkins; I think this picture of Sammy and his first pumpkin fits the bill pretty well. It's amazing that the pumpkin didn't wind up in his mouth.

You can check out the other entries by clicking here:


Deals and steals

Babies are not cheap, which is why I try to buy as much gently used stuff for Sammy as I can. I probably hit up our local thrift store every other week (which is about how often Sammy seems to outgrow his clothing) and I've been taking advantage of some of the awesome consignment sales in the area. My excursion to the recent Just Between Friends sale yielded a Graco bumper jumper still in the box for $5 (normally retails for just under $30), a wipes warmer for $10, and a rain cover for the jogging stroller, new in the box, for $7. Here's Sammy enjoying his new bumper jumper (and rainbow-striped legwarmers--he's a steel town boy on a Saturday night):

A lot of consignment sales offer special previews to first-time mothers and military families, so be sure to take advantage of these offers when you can. I found a great website called Consignment Mommies that allows you to search for upcoming consignment sales by geographic region. The site also posts tips and tricks for successful consignment sale shopping, so be sure to check it out if you think consignment sales might be something you want to try out.

I'm actually considering taking part in one of the local consignment sales coming up in the next few weeks; it will get rid of some outgrown baby clothing and other accessories that we either no longer use or never got around to using in the first place (whoops)--and of course there's the whole financial benefit of participating. Dollar dollar bills, y'all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend ups and downs

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

My brother was supposed to come down and visit with Sammy and me this weekend, but due to some personal issues that arose at the last minute, he was unable to make the trip. I was looking forward to hanging out with him and having a little bit of me time take care of Very Important Things, such as getting my eyebrows tamed and treating my peds to some TLC (neither of which have been done since before I gave birth nearly four months ago, yikes), while my brother watched Sammy. So when he texted to tell me that he wasn't going to be able to make it down, I almost cried. I had really, really, really been looking to getting a little bit of a respite from caring for Sammy 24/7; in fact, until that point, I hadn't realized just how much I had been counting on getting a small break. Don't get me wrong--I love my kid and all, but it's hard work caring for him day in and day out and after awhile I start to feel as though I'm starring in my own personal version of Groundhog Day.

My weekend wasn't all bad, though. Saturday was the NoVa Mommies Birthday Bash; I had volunteered to help decorate for the party so Sammy and I headed over there early in the morning with all of my Halloween stuff in tow. Everything went off without a hitch and I think everyone had a good time--I know we did. Here are a few photos of the fun:
The fabulous cake was made and donated to the party by Joy's Bake Shop.
You can see more of her work by clicking here.

I loved her costume.

Sammy flirting with Elisabeth.

Want to see more? Click here!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Here's a little something that I whipped up for the NoVa Mommies Birthday Bash/Halloween Party taking place tomorrow out at Signal Hill Park:

It's like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, except the donkey is a jack-o-lantern and the tail is its mouth (you can call me Captain Obvious). I made it from felt, heat-n-bond, velcro, and a glue gun. Not too shabby for someone who's preferred crafting medium is duct tape, if I may say so myself.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

In an effort to learn more about fellow MilSpouse bloggers, Wifey from Wife of a Sailor started this weekly meme; here are this week's questions.

1. What is the silliest get-up you have ever worn outside of a Halloween party? (from To The Nth)

Probably my pajamas (which I am now wearing out in public on an almost daily basis these days) and/or anything involving legwarmers. There have been a few occasions in which the two have been worn together; thankfully there is no photographic evidence that I know of. If you're willing to go back about two decades, I think this is probably the worst offender:

2. What is something that you gave up in order to live the military lifestyle? (from Pennies from Heaven)

Control. I no longer have much of a say in the wheres and whens of my life these days. It's a little scary for a type A person like myself.

3. If money wasn’t a factor and you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why? (from Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl)

I would love to go to Venice--anywhere in Italy, really. The art and architecture are my primary reasons, but Indiana Jones may have something to do with it, too.

4. If you were going to join the military, what branch would you join? Or which MOS/rating would you choose? (from Anonymous)

I actually met with a Naval recruiter the summer before my senior year of college; it was my back-up plan in case I wasn't able to find a job in the museum field after I graduated.

5. What is your favorite thing to make for dinner? (from Armendinger Party of 4)

My Aunt Linda's casserole--it's full of cheesy goodness!
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