Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Relocation Itch


As I was driving through our neighborhood today, I saw a moving truck parked along the curb. Usually I don't think twice about them, but today was different. Today, I felt the itch. And at almost two years in Texas, it's right on schedule.

I think it's from growing up as a military brat (I've literally spent 30 years around the Army in one way or another) and moving so often. The longest I've lived anywhere was five years and that was when I went to college. Even now, five years seems like an eternity. When I graduated and got accepted into the intern program I packed up and moved to Baltimore.

Let's see...one year in Baltimore, two months at Fort Meade, three-four months in DC, one year in Heidelberg, two years in Bavaria, one year for Nate's training and now two years in Texas. Yep, it's time to move.

And the thing is, I'm not unhappy here. I love Texas, we have great friends, my family is nearby -- I really don't have any complaints. The urge to move is just so ingrained in me that I can't turn the switch off. What are we going to do when it's time to retire and put down roots? I can only hope that by then I'll be ready to settle down...though somehow I doubt it.

I love being able to pick up and move every few years. It's a new adventure and an opportunity to meet new people and try new things. When we were overseas, we traveled once a month (a perk I could never afford here in the states - seriously, airfare to get over the ocean is obscene). I wish I knew what our options were going to be when it's time to move. Then I could analyze all of them endlessly (only to end up somewhere unexpected, ha).

Maybe I should go get E's passport in the meantime. Maybe that will help minimize the itch. Or it'll make it much worse. Hard to say.

Am I the only one like this? Say it ain't so.

Cheers,
Jen

Friday, April 11, 2014

Healthy Baby Home Party

What one of our party-goers took home. Photo courtesy of Caitlin (thanks!)
One of the things I've stumbled across while couponing is a trend in home parties. But unlike say, a Tupperware party, these aren't events where you purchase products. Instead, the company sends you a box full of goodies, you invite people to your house and you share the samples. Who doesn't like a freebie?

A couple of months ago, I applied to host a Healthy Baby Home Party sponsored primarily by Seventh Generation and much to my surprise, I was selected (I apply for parties all the time and never seem to get picked). They sent me a huge box of goodies including full-size products for prizes and samples for all of the attendees. Their customer service was also fantastic. One of the products - a squeeze pouch full of organic baby food - busted open in the box en route and almost all of the dish liquid and laundry detergent samples got soaked (naturally, they were packaged in paper). I emailed the team to let them know and they sent another box of goodies to me within the week.

Originally, I was going to host the party at home but with all the extra samples we moved it to the park so more people could attend. The event was yesterday and even though the wind was out of control, I think everyone had a good time. We even had enough full-size products that almost everyone left with one.

We love Seventh Generation and some of the other companies that participated (some are new to me so I'm looking forward to trying out their products). And they've actually got an online petition going to ask Congress to reform the Toxic Substances Reform Act of 1976 to protect families from harmful chemicals with suspected links to cancer, birth defects, asthma and more. If you're interested, you can view a video and/or sign the online petition here.

This particular home party was done through Facebook, but there's also a website dedicated solely to different house parties. You can check it out here. One of the recent ones included a free Keurig for the host. Why didn't I get picked for that one?!

Oh well. Probably better to focus on toxin-free living anyway. You're welcome, E.

Cheers,
Jen 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Top 5 things I didn't expect to happen after giving birth

Photo courtesy of duron123/freedigitalphotos.net
I was reading a fairly racy advice column the other day and this is a question one of the readers sent in:

My wife is fit and attractive, but her c-section scar is a total turnoff for me. What should I do? Tell her? Ask her to look into scar removal treatments? Just keep the lights off?

I have no words. None. I do, however, have a fist and I'd really like to use it to punch this guy in the face (I swear, I'm not a violent person). 

And, as most things on the Internet do, this led me to thinking about some of the surprises I encountered after pregnancy. There are loads of articles about this, but it's really an individual experience. Some things apply, some don't. And if you've never been pregnant before or it's your first time, I'm not sure if I would read about it. Sure, knowledge is power but if you're already pregnant it's too late to avoid any of this and if you're not pregnant, this may sway you into the "I don't want kids" camp. 

So venture forward if want, but consider yourself warned (side note: if you're male this may be especially squeamish for you and I'd probably opt out now). 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ah exercise, we meet again

Several months ago, I attempted to the couch to 5k program. It was too hot to run outside so I packed up the car and strapped E into his car seat and made the trip to my parents' house so I could use their treadmill. My mom watched E while I worked out and it was great for about two months. I breezed through the beginning of the program, but hit a plateau at six or seven weeks. So then I'd do week six again. And again. And again. And then I remembered that I hate running.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago and I was in Target (you can tell this is heading toward trouble, can't you?) and there was a shiny new jogging stroller for 70 percent off. How could I possibly not buy said jogging stroller when it was only 30 percent of its original price? So I heaved that box into the cart and away I went.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Juicy bits about...presidents?


I should be reading books for my online book club, but I'm not in possession of either of them. I'm on a wait list for one at the library and the other is being sent from an Amazon vendor. I probably should've purchased them for my Nook, but it's a little late for that route.

So yesterday when E went down for a nap - and I was fighting what I'm guessing was a seasonal allergy headache - I decided to pick up a new book off my bookshelf (yes, I buy books and they sit there). I bought this particular one at a local library sale for about 50 cents. If you have a local sale in your area, I highly recommend you go. Most of the books at our sale were brand new, but the library didn't have room for them. Just go early because that's when the best stuff is available.

Right, so I started reading Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien. Sounds dry, right? It's actually fascinating. There's a brief overview of each president's contribution to America followed by juicy tidbits that you may not have heard before (unless you're a history buff and then maybe which president farts a lot is common knowledge?).