Not being the fave + Wednesday Walkabout

10.31.2012

Like I mentioned yesterday, we made it through Hurricane Super FrankenStorm Sandy.  B is back to work today after an extra, extra long weekend.  Obviously we were stuck in the house but we enjoyed our family time, none the less.  Well, two out of the three of us enjoyed the complete togetherness of family time.

Eva favors her Dad over me.  I think it is normal for her to gravitate towards his affection.  It is sweet usually because it means I get a little break when he gets home from work.  But when he is home for lots of days in a row like this weekend, it does start to wear on me that she wants him and only him.
Here is a normal interaction when her Dad is home.

Eva: "Dadda, I want milk.  Dadda, milk.  MILK!  MILK!  PLEASE!"
Me: "Come here Eva.  I will get you milk."
Eva: "NO!  Dadda!  Dadda will get me milk."
{B smirking in the background}

Eva: "Cuddle, Dadda"
B: "Hold on Eva, let me put this down."
Me: "I will hold you, Eva.  Come here."
Eva: "NO!  Dadda cuddle me."
{B smirking in the background}

I took advantage of it this long weekend though.  I sat on my big, growing butt all weekend.  I ate.  And ate.  And ate.  I threw a couple salads in there for good measure but mostly I ate pizza, candy, Thai food, nachos... You get the picture.

OOOHHHH... We finally got the MaterniT21 genetic test results back yesterday.  The baby tested normally with no abnormalities on the chromosomes 13, 18, or 21.  This test told us with 99+% accuracy that the cause of the disorder that he has (read here) is not caused by Trisomy 13, 18, or Down Syndrome.  Relief abounds.  This does not mean that we are not going to be troubled by any of the horrible side effects of the low PAPP-A disorder- just that it is not being caused by a chromosomal abnormality.  Our first fetal growth check is in a little less than 2 weeks.

****
And now, its time for the Wednesday Walkabout LINKUP!

What is a Walkabout?
It's a blog link-up party, every week here and with our co-hosts! Simply put your blog address or a specific post in the linky, visit some other people, and make some friends. Easy as that! I can't wait to talk to everyone!

Something new!  Starting next week, one participant will be randomly chosen as the "Mystery Host" and will have their link as #5 in the linky, as well as be featured in Rule #1.  Follow all 4 hosts on GFC or Bloglovin' and then keep an eye out next week to see if you're the lucky Mystery Host!

PS: You only have to link up with one of the co-hosts, it will link to all four sites!

The Rules
1. Place your link in the linky below and make some new friends. Simple as that.

Jane - Taingamala
Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife

If you're a new follower of Handling With Grace, let me know so I can visit you back!

Find me on twitterfacebook, and instagram (jamiegrace01)!  




My house killed it.

10.30.2012

Have you ever wanted to give your house a big ole' bear hug followed by a (sort of awkward) slightly lingering, a little too wet, half-open mouth kiss?  Me either... Until this morning.
Our house kicked ass through this storm.  We made it through safe and sound WITH POWER.  Remember this little summer storm?  We lost power from Thursday night through Tuesday.  It was miserable.  I assumed our power lines were destined to fail us once again except this time the official warning stated it could last up to two weeks.  Nope.  Not us.  We're warm and toasty with our heater blaring, internet rocking, and fridge not ruining all our groceries.
We did lose a big portion of a tree and our fence gate and shed doors were ripped from the hinges but those things are almost not even worth mentioning considering what other people are dealing with this morning.

We haven't ventured out to explore our neighborhood or community yet but please send positive thoughts to those on the East Coast who are struggling with the clean up and re-building their lives.

Did you all make it through the storm unscathed?

If you haven't entered my Undercover Mama nursing top GIVEAWAY yet, enter here!

Find me on twitterfacebook, and instagram (jamiegrace01)!  

GIVEAWAY + Let's learn a thing about saving $$

10.29.2012

Ladies, I have mentioned a couple times that I want to start couponing.  If Honey Boo Boo's Mom can do it, I should probably be smart enough.  The problem is that I think it is hard.  I know I probably shouldn't admit that, but it's true.  
Today Zach from Look Before Spending is guest posting about coupons and saving money.  Let's learn a thing or two about keeping the dollars in our wallet and out of the register...
***
My name is Zack and I run a website (with my lovely wife Katie) called Look Before Spending designed to help people save money on just about everything.

 If you were to run into me in real life, you would probably not expect me to have a coupon binder and a gold Kohl's charge card! Well I do, because they both save me money! The truth is, I was broke for a while, and in pretty bad credit card debt. I was working a lot, but the debt just wasn't going down enough. Then I took a hard look at my spending habits. I needed a serious overhaul. I began researching online (using sites like ours!) for different ways to save. That's when I began to look at coupons in a new light. I used to sort coupons for my mom as a chore when I was 10 years old, but had never really used them as an adult. Well let me tell you, I was wasting my money! After spending a bit of time researching some deals, I went on my first coupon shopping trip. I left CVS with a couple of tubes of toothpaste, a stick of deodorant, a bottle of aspirin as well as a bottle of Pantene shampoo and conditioner. After coupons and store rewards, I had paid a little less than $1.25 for everything. That is a purchase that I would have previously spent $15-$20 on without batting an eye! Well, never again! Now, there are many items in our medicine cabinet and personal care closet that we paid absolutely nothing for by simply using coupons and shopping sales!

Here's an example of a recent trip that cost us $0.00 after coupons and store rewards:
Katie really benefits from our coupon shopping because generally manufacturers promote new items with great coupons and aggressive sales offers. She is usually able to try out the latest brands of razors, shampoos, lotions, nail polish (her personal favorite!) and other stuff for free! With the above deal, she had fun dying her hair for free! So that's an added bonus for ya!

Ok, back to our site.


When you first visit LookBeforeSpending.com, it can be a little overwhelming. Each day, we post between 10-20 unique deals, coupons, sales and more. We try to make it as easy as possible for beginning coupon users and deal seekers. I don't forget that I was once new and that it is not easy to just dive right in. There is never a question or comment that goes unanswered. We love helping people out, so feel free to ask us anything! I encourage you to check out our "Start Here" button on our menu at the top of our site. There, we explain the very basics of using our site, coupon shopping and deal seeking. We've also got a section where we explain all of the terms and abbreviations used on our site.

If you're really ready to dive in, "like" us on Facebook to see all of our updates! If you'd prefer one email every day with all of the deals posted that day, join our email list. Our favorite option is to add us to your bookmarks and visit our site often! A lot of times, we'll post a free sample or flash sale that could be gone within hours and we'd hate for you to miss out!

Remember, there's no shame in being smart with your money. You can do it without being "cheap" too. We still spend a lot of money on stuff, but we're spending it on things we actually want! Our motto is that we try to save on what we need so we can buy what we want. (Repeat that one in your head, cause it's a good one!) And believe me, Katie's got that "buying" part down pat! :D

We hope to see you on our site and/or on our Facebook page! (Sympathy alert: We just quit our regular jobs so we need all the love we can get!)

As a thank you for reading, we've set up a giveaway for Handling with Grace readers! One lucky winner will receive a card from the Fuel Rewards Network good for $1.50 off per gallon of gas (up to 20 gallons). That's a value of up to $30! See, we like to help people save! :)

Since this is a private giveaway for Handling with Grace readers only, you'll have to enter a password to access it. The password is "grace".

Enter the giveaway here(using the password "GRACE")

Ps- I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I just wanted to help us all learn a thing or two.


Halloween changes and I hope we don't die

10.28.2012

Halloween season has changed.  What used to look like this...
{photo circa 2001} 

Now Halloween looks like this.




Obviously there are upsides to both versions of the holiday but I have to say, a dozen two year olds hopped up on sugar and dancing wildly together in a huge huddle squeaks ahead by a hair.

We DID Halloween and now we are ready to put it behind us and be ready to take on Hurricane Sandy.  
We are expected to lose power for anywhere up to two weeks so this blog is probably going to have to go to sleep for a little while.  

Sending positive thoughts to all of us East Coasters.  Stay safe and dry.  I probably won't update the blog much while our power is out but assuming that Sandy doesn't steal my ATT service, I will probably post on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.  Click to follow along!

If you haven't entered my Undercover Mama nursing top GIVEAWAY yet, enter here!

GIVEAWAY- Undercover Mama

10.25.2012

Nursing is important to me.  I breastfed Eva until she was about 15 months old (although, only first thing in the morning for the last few months).  I am not modest about my body, in general, and wasn't embarrassed to nurse wherever I happened to be in public when she got hungry.  Fact- no matter how unashamed we are to nourish our babies when they're hungry, it is awkward to show strangers bare, jiggly skin.

Undercover Mama is a company that makes shirts that assist with modesty while nursing.  They make a camisole that has a hook where the shoulder strap is that attaches to any standard nursing bra.  When you bring your tatta out to nurse your baby, your shirt comes up but the camisole stays down.
Everyone knows that showing your postpartum, wiggly, jiggly muffin top while nursing does not help increase a Momma's comfort level with nursing.  The Undercover Mama top is an inexpensive, practical, easy solution.  Here's what it looks like in action.
Undercover Mama is a young company with a great product.  The camisoles come in a wide variety of colors to match any outfit.  This is a great present for any nursing Momma or Momma-to-be.  If you don't have any use for the camisole, win it for a friend!   

Undercover Mama is offering a free shirt to one lucky Handling With Grace reader.  Participate using the Rafflecopter below.

{NOTE: THE WINNING ENTRY WILL BE VERIFIED}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pinterest my life + Wednesday Walkabout 10.24

10.24.2012

It's Wednesday!  That means that the work week is half way done and it's time for the Wednesday Walkabout link-up.  I am 15 weeks pregnant and I am starting to blow up.  I am trying to go to the gym but it just isn't helping.  Anyways, lets get this going.  Link up any post below!
***
I can handle making this and it is something that I actually need.  I don't own a jewelry box.  How ridiculous is that?!
Source: homegoods.com via Cheryl on Interest

***
Cheesy potato soup.  Perfect for fall.  Yum.

***
Boys stuff... I am totally in over my head.  I know what is cute for baby girls but not for baby boys.  I need to do more pinterest research.
Source: ohdeedoh.com via Mrs. on Pinterest

***
***
The below photo is a "re-designed" Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck.  Barney's New York gave them a makeover for their Christmas ad campaign.  What do you think about their newly thinned out appearance?

****
And now, its time for the Wednesday Walkabout LINKUP!

What is a Walkabout?
It's a blog link-up party, every week here and with our co-hosts! Simply put your blog address or a specific post in the linky, visit some other people, and make some friends. Easy as that! I can't wait to talk to everyone!

PS: You only have to link up with one of the co-hosts, it will link to all four sites!

The Rules
1. Place your link in the linky below and make some new friends. Simple as that.

Jane - Taingamala
Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife

If you're a new follower of Handling With Grace, let me know so I can visit you back!

**Come back tomorrow for a great new giveaway for Momma's, Momma's to be, and/or Aunties!**

Find me on twitterfacebook, and instagram (jamiegrace01)!  


15 week bump date

10.23.2012

Due to the overwhelming positive response, I will be doing every couple week bumpdates.  Please feel free to skip them if seeing a weird alien belly gives you the willies.  I have every couple week pictures from my pregnancy with Eva also so I will post those along with my current pics to see how different (ie bigger) my belly is the second time around.  I am 15 and a half weeks pregnant today.
                                                                       ***
How far along? 15.5 weeks
Size of baby? Apple
Weight gain? +6 pounds.  wtf,  I am blowing up despite working out.  All of the leftover cupcakes aren't helping but jeez.  I should not be gaining this much weight already.  
Sleep?  Fantastic
Best Moment of the Week? The gender reveal party.  Finding out that Baby H is a little boy. I am so excited to imagine giving my husband a boy baby.  I am still a bit surprised but I am certainly excited.
Miss anything? Feeling like I COULD be cuter if I worked a little harder on it.  Usually when I am feeling fat, I go to the gym and eat some soup for a few days and feel better.  When my face breaks out, I head in to the salon and I feel better.  If I am feeling frumpy, I pop over to the mall and grab a couple cute outfits.  Not now.  I feel like I am already in a fat, ugly, frumpy (6 more months) slump.
Movement? Possible little flutters.  They are still very random and sporadic.
Food Cravings? Salads, soups, and cupcakes.
Gender? BOY!
Symptoms? My face is so broken out.  I broke out really bad with Eva too and it lasted unit about 20 weeks.  I feel gross.  And fat.  And cellulitey.
Belly button in or out? In mostly.
Looking forward to: Getting the MaterniT21 genetic test results (to check for chromosomal abnormalities because of this).  A big weight will be lifted when they call to tell us that he is normal.
Next baby boy check-up?: 18 week specialist ultrasound to check on baby's growth.  It is scheduled for November 12.  

Pregnant with Eva
Photobucket


Past Bumpdates


PS- Come back on Thursday for a Momma Giveaway!

Find me on twitterfacebook, and instagram (jamiegrace01)!  

Military Monday: Aprille- Ft. Knox, KY

10.22.2012


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  

If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  
***

Name and blog site: Aprille from Beautiful In His Time 
(http://www.beautifulinhistime.com/blog.php)

Branch of service:
Army

Where currently stationed:
Fort Knox, Kentucky

How long have you been there?: Three years this month!

Previous duty stations:
Fort Hood, Texas

Favorite restaurant in the area: Bob Evans and Starbucks

3 favorite things to do in your current city:

Coffee Dates with friends at the new Starbucks on post 

Saunder's Springs Nature Preserve : “Saunders Springs Nature Preserve is a heavily wooded natural area located on steep terrain with interesting historic features. The preserve provides opportunities for nature study, hiking, picnicing, and historic interpretation.”
and photo ops... like these!

Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown, one of my favorite places for fun with my son and lots of photos! There are lots of play areas and pavilions, historic cabins, a beautiful lake, and hiking trails.
  
For more things to do check out these links: http://www.radclifftourism.org/ and http://www.touretown.com/

Favorite duty station so far: We loved Fort Hood and would love to go back to central Texas. The people are friendlier and Fort Hood is a much bigger post with greater options both on post and in the community. But on the other hand, I've been at Fort Knox far longer and gotten much more involved in the military community here.  So in the attachment sense (memories and friends made) Fort Knox would definitely win out. 


Who is your hero? If I had a hero here at Fort Knox it would definitely be Jill Bozeman-- my friend, mentor, and founder and facilitator of Operation Faithful Support. For more on that, see below!

What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station?

The Fort Knox community (consisting of Fort Knox, Radcliff, Vine Grove, and Elizabethtown) has a very small-town feel. Most of the stores (aside from the PX, Commissary, and the Walmart just outside post) and big-name chain restaurants are located in Elizabethtown which is about a 25 minute drive from post. Some wives complain about this a lot, but I've just gotten used to the drive. The E-town mall is also microscopically small. So basically if you want to do serious shopping, visit the zoo, go to a fancy restaurant, or watch a movie in a big theater, you have to drive the hour to Louisville.

What is the overall feel of the community/area/base?
As far as the base, in the last three years there has been constant growth, due to the BRAC moves which brought a combat brigade to Fort Knox. It has gone from a small basic training post to the home of the 3/1. They are currently in the process of upgrading a lot of the housing on post so they are tearing down old housing but have several brand-spankin-new housing area that are absolutely beautiful. There's been constant other upgrades to the post like several new playgrounds, library renovations to include a coffee shop, a new Starbucks and community center (with another new playground!), renovated shoppette and gas station, brand new marquis signs popping up with post-wide announcements, a new splash park, renovated gate areas, wider roads, and a brand new emergency room. It's been a bit messy (pardon our dust and traffic cones!), but the improvements are awesome and have all taken place literally within the last three years.  

But, with all the excitement, war has raged on and Fort Knox is no stranger to that. Another new addition to the post is the beautiful Duke Memorial for Fallen Soldiers.

As far as the community, there's a strong small-town feel, and I have found the community to be fairly supportive of the military presence. This support has grown exponentially in the three years we have been here due to all the exciting changes happening at Fort Knox. There has a lot more community awareness about things like deployments and homecomings. When the 3/1 returned from Afghanistan there were signs literally all over town welcoming the unit home.

Have you joined any groups on base?
Yes yes and yes! Fort Knox PWOC is filled with excitement and growing constantly. The ladies are amazing and have embraced me with open arms. They are working on publicity and have a very nice Facebook page to keep the ladies updated on happenings. (Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Knox-PWOC/115111141913954)

Another phenomenal organization that was founded at Fort Knox by an enlisted military spouse three years ago is called Operation Faithful Support. “Operation Faithful Support, Inc. is a pro-marriage, educational support program for the spouses of deployed service members, designed to build strong and resilient marriages throughout the deployment cycle.” There are several different groups (based on the unit your soldier is attached too) and during the deployment and the first few months of reintegration we met monthly. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this group. They also have a website (link: http://www.operationfaithfulsupport.com/) Facebook page (link: https://www.facebook.com/OperationFaithfulSupport) as well as individual private Facebook groups to facilitate healthy discussion.

Not on base, but there are also five different MOPS groups in the Fort Knox area.
It's not huge like Fort Hood, but I have loved being here at Fort Knox. It's been a great place to start our family and the support I received and friends I made during my husband's second deployment kept me going so well. There are so many invaluable resources in this area. If you just put yourself out there, join some Facebook groups, attend some outings...I promise you won't leave Fort Knox without a friend. 

*****
If you are a military spouse or military member and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at} gmail.com

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