Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

The weekend was absolutely beautiful here in Sitka.  Kolt spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday out on the water fishing while Brinleigh and I went walking and running around town.  On Monday we took a family walk into town to hit up a few Memorial Day sales, then we grabbed some Subway and went to eat lunch at one of the parks.  We had a BBQ at our house that evening with some neighbors and our close friends, Kate & Cooper.  Of course, I made my delicious white chocolate covered pretzels and I also attempted my first fruit pizza.  I wasn't too impressed with the crust so I think next time I will do something a little different.  But we had tons of food and I ate entirely way too much, but we had a great time and..... Kate and Cooper announced that "She said yes!"  Cooper proposed to Kate on Sunday and they surprised us by announcing it on cupcakes that they brought to the BBQ.

I tried to get a picture of Brinleigh in her cute patriotic outfit, but her friend Mary was over so she didn't have time to pose for pictures, they were too busy playing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

Growing up, I never knew the importance of Memorial Day.  I just knew it was a day that we didn't have to go to school and that Summer had officially started.  Fast forward post 9/11, Memorial Day became a HUGE deal to my entire family.  My husband, Kolt, served in the Army alongside our cousin (by marriage), Tyler.  They deployed to Iraq for an entire year in 2003-2004 along with their close friend Dustin Zumwalt.  Kolt, Tyler, and Dustin returned home and were met with tears of joy, smiles of relief, and hugs of thankfulness.  A year after they returned to the United States, my cousin (through marriage) Tommy deployed with his Army unit, however, his year long deployment was cut short by just a few months.  His homecoming was different and he was met by a mourning widow and a grieving family.  Tommy drove a Bradley Fighting Vehicle which ran over an extremely large IED in Ramadi, Iraq on October 15, 2005, tragically taking his life along with four other soldiers who were in his armored vehicle.  Now, Memorial Day is not just a day off work for my husband or the start of Summer, it's a day to reflect on the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

 Kolt Foreman, Tyler Ruey, Dustin Zumwalt- Ft Hood, Texas
Getting ready to deploy.

 Kolt & Tyler

 Kolt's humvee after he ran over and IED

 Homecoming - Ft Hood, Texas

 Tommy sitting on his Bradley in Iraq

 Tommy's Funeral- November 11, 2005 in Tucson, AZ

Tommy's wife, Mykel (my cousin), saying "Goodbye"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting Healthy

I decided to make May the month that I start to really dedicate myself to getting healthy.  I want to workout more and start eating healthier, which of course means cooking healthier foods.  I'm doing really good with the workouts, especially because I have pretty much fallen in love with going to workout classes at the fitness studio.  And, when we have nice beautiful sunny days in Sitka, Brinleigh and I can get out of the house for a bit and go running/walking.  I have never been a runner.  Ever!  I used to walk a lot and I have slowly increased to alternating walking and jogging.  I am starting to notice, especially now that I'm going to workout classes, that I have more strength in my legs and my endurance has increased.  And surprisingly, I'm actually starting to really enjoy it.  I think the awesome weather plays a big part in the enjoyment of running.  
I'm still addicted to mountain dew and I still snack on junk food, but my daily meals are slowly getting healthier and I'm drinking more water.  I'm trying to take baby steps, so once I get the meals down I will work on healthier snacks and eventually...... cutting out soda.  Well, at least not drinking it on a daily basis and making it more of an occasional treat.
As if Pinterest wasn't already amazing for craft ideas and recipes, it has now become a lifesaver for healthy meal ideas.  This past week I attempted a new healthy meal for dinner and I was shocked at how quick and easy it was and that it actually tasted good.  Kolt really liked it too and suggested I make it again.  I was so proud of my new healthy dinner recipe that I of course posted a picture to Instagram and Facebook.  Several people have asked for the recipe so here you go.

Two chicken breasts, cut into thirds
Four red potatoes, quartered (I even cut some of them smaller)
Fresh green beans (I had to use frozen because the grocery store was out of fresh green beans, but fresh are definitely better)
Half a stick of butter
Packet of Good Seasons Italian Salad dressing and recipe mix (I used zesty italian)

Preheat over to 350 degrees
Place chicken in a 9x13 pan with potatoes on one side and green beans on the other
Slice butter into small pieces and spread all over and then sprinkle the italian seasoning mix over the entire dish
Cover tight with tinfoil and bake for about one hour

I've been working on portion control so I eat most of my meals off of small plates instead of the large dinner plates.  This meal I portioned out 4oz chicken, 4 pieces of potatoes, 1/3 cup green beans, and 3 slices of french bread with butter.  
Not including the melted butter or the Italian seasoning, this meal was 430 calories.
Kolt also suggested making asparagus instead of green beans which I think we will try next time.  

This was super easy to prepare, I think it took me maybe 10-15 minutes including cutting the chicken and washing and cutting the potatoes.  And it's pretty inexpensive to make, which is always a plus.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Monkey

Over the last couple weeks, Brinleigh has figured out how to climb onto the coffee table and it has quickly become her favorite place to sit.  She can open the front door which has a pull handle and does not lock on the inside of the house, meaning even if the door is locked on the outside, you can still open the door from the inside.  She can climb onto the dining room chairs and table, which are the tall bar style high top chairs and table.  And, she is on the verge of being able to climb out of her crib.
On a daily basis, any time I need her to come to me, she will run in the opposite direction and try to hide, unless it involves food.  When I lay her down to change her diaper, she immediately flips herself over onto her tummy and tucks her arms in under her.  She hates wearing socks and will take them off in different areas of the house, unless she has shoes on.  This isn't usually a pain in my ass unless I had just put them on her only to find out that in the time it took me to go get her shoes, she ripped them off again and then hid them under the coffee table.  She also doesn't like wearing pants and will take them off when she's in her crib or watching tv.  Actually, I'm pretty sure she just wants to be naked and I'm certain that if she knew how to take off her shirt, she would probably be running around the house wearing only a diaper.  She insists on walking anywhere that we normally try to carry her and refuses to hold our hands.  She finally figured out how to open the drawer on the coffee table and would sit in front of it while watching tv just opening and closing it, over and over and over again.  When she is done eating she will dump her entire plate over and then pick up handfuls of food to throw onto the floor.  If she ate all her food, then she will just start throwing her dishes on the floor.  And, now that she can reach the counter tops she will open all the top drawers, which we didn't have child locks on (notice the past tense), and pull everything out.  This includes the silverware drawer, junk drawer and sink drawer.  So, she has gotten a hold of the grill lighter, ran around with a hand full of her forks, and tried chewing on a Mr. Clean magic eraser sponge.

Some of these moments scare the shit out of me and cause an enormous amount of frustration.  If I had the time, I would probably break down in tears at the thoughts of all the ways she can get hurt or from repeating myself twenty million times only for her to still not listen to me.  She is definitely keeping me on my toes, to say the least.  But then there are the moments when she runs into my arms for a hug or gives me a kiss or tilts her head and smiles at me, and I realize......  She is healthy, smart, safe and loved and no matter how frustrated I get at times, the amount of joy she brings me far exceeds the stressful moments.  So, we are learning as we go, childproofing something new on a daily basis, and accepting that she is the first child so inevitably, mistakes will be made.  Sorry Boo Boo, you're the guinea pig child.   

Although I am not a fan of what I believe is to be the start of the "terrible two's", I am trying to remain calm and learn how to work through this stage.  I'm picking my battles and laughing as much as I can.  After all, it's gotta be just as frustrating for her not being able to communicate her wants and needs with me.  Surprisingly, I have not resorted to drinking at night after I put her to bed, although I do think about the option quite often.  However, when I'm really busy, I do sometimes leave her on the coffee table even when she whines to get down, just because I know she can't go anywhere.  (Only for a few minutes, of course.)

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all the mommies that I know had a wonderful Mother's Day!  Mine was awesome to say the least.  Kolt woke up with the baby and let me sleep in a little bit.  When I woke up, Kolt had made a feast for breakfast- Eggs, biscuits, bacon, cinnamon rolls and orange juice (all of which were my request).  Kolt took care of all the cooking and cleaning up and taking care of Brinleigh so that I really didn't have to do much but enjoy my day with my babies.
My Mother's Day gifts were on the table when I woke up this morning.  Kolt and Brinleigh got me something I wanted- Willow Tree figurine, something I needed- a small gun safe to put next to my bed for my hand gun, and a couple of things that would make my life as a momma a little easier- a banana slicer (Brinleigh eats a banana every morning for breakfast) and a spaghetti measure.  Along with a very sweet card and some beautiful flowers.

This evening we had our friends, Kate and Cooper, over for dinner.  Kolt fried up some rock fish and shrimp (all of which were caught by him) and we had fish tacos.  Overall, it was a fantastic day and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy Spring!

It is finally starting to feel like spring here in Alaska.  We have had the most beautiful weather the last few days with lots of sunshine.  It seems to be getting warmer every day and we are taking full advantage.  Brinleigh is getting smarter by the minute and I swear she learns a new word every other day.  When we tell her we are gonna go outside she says "ssyyy" and runs to the back door.  All of our neighbors have kids and most of the spouses stay at home so it's nice to be able to go outside in the middle of the day and socialize with other adults while the kids all play.  Brinleigh is limited of course to what she can do but the bigger kids play in the woods behind our houses.  Brinleigh seems content exploring the outdoors and trying to play with the small babies.  She is getting better at driving her little VW bug and we have started to let her walk on her own when we go for walks outside.  Only short distances like to the playground or through the neighborhood.  Anything more requires the stroller, which she still enjoys as well.  Kolt got her swing out of the shed a couple weekends ago so we are able to take her out back to swing after breakfast or in the evenings.  She really just likes to be outside so it's not hard to entertain her.  She still thoroughly enjoys bubbles and I just ordered her some sidewalk chalk so we will be experimenting with that here soon.

I have started going to workout classes at a fitness studio in town which I'm really enjoying and it's getting me motivated to get in shape.  It's my outlet to burn some energy, get out of the house for a bit and have some "me time."  Now that we have all fully recovered from the sickness I plan on spending a lot more time working out and will be going to workout classes 3-4 times a week.  Kolt started fishing again last week and already has about three camping trips planned for this month.  I don't foresee him being home too much on the weekends between now and the time we leave Alaska.  

Last weekend the town had a "Big Rig" event for the kids at the college campus where there is a huge parking lot.  They parked a bunch of tractors and construction equipment, some bucket trucks, police cars and a fire truck and let the kids climb and crawl through them.  They were taking the kids for rides up in the bucket truck and the kids got to press the lights and sirens buttons on the police cars.  Kolt was on duty so Brinleigh and I went with our neighbor and her little girl.  Brinleigh wasn't too sure about the police car at first but eventually opened up & liked to stand in the drivers seat turning the steering wheel.  However, she loved the firetruck.  She sat in the drivers seat and I closed the door waiting for her to lose her shit as soon as she realized that I wasn't right next to her.  Surprisingly, she thought it was great.