Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Have 3 months really already passed?

Nicknames: Kyra Bug, Bug, Bunny, Fluffy Butt, Butterfly

Clothing Size:  Pretty much all 18 months with just a few 12 months here and there.

Personality:  I can't even describe how much fun you are. Often during the day I catch myself saying aloud your the cutest kid ever!! You make my heart smile watching you learn and laugh.

Things I Could Do Without: The waking up in the middle of the night you have been doing lately. Mommy needs that time to finish homework love.

Item/Toy We Love The Most: Wreck it Ralph!! Still your favorite movie, and nothing calms you down quicker than slipping that in when you are tired or cranky.

Item/Toy You Love The Most: Seems as tho lately you have been playing less with your toys and more with getting into anything you can reach!!

Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Watching you learn! You are so smart and seem to amaze me everyday with the little things you do. I love when you grab my cellphone and walk around the house having a conversation with imaginary people on it. I can only imagine in 14 years from now when I am writing these when I see you on a cell phone how my thoughts will be the exact opposite.

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Playing with your best friend Shade. Its apparent that she is your favorite toy! You even pick up her toys squeak them and throw them for her to bring back!! You often can be found climbing into her kennel with her also just to hang out, or her into your cardboard play house with you!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fathers Day 4 day weekend!

Well it has been over a week since the 4 day came and went. But I am finally getting around to writing this blog. School and a little girl who has been ever so cranky and more and more of a handful as she gets older gives me less and less time to myself to write. But I thought the two really fun experiences we had over the June 4 day weekend were worthy of being told about. If for nothing but a great organization of the pictures and documenting our memories for us to look back on!

The first of the 3 fun days we had was a Renaissance fair in Oppenheimer let me tell you. It was quite the adventure no doubt. This was the first of the sort that either Dustin or I had ever been to and didn't really know what to expect. First thing we noticed: These people take this very seriously. Hahaha I would have to say about 80 percent of the people at the festival were fully decked out in costume. It really made me jealous as it would have been so fun to dress up.

Next being culturally aware of how lazy AMERICANS can be when we parked near a shuttle stop we immediately thought: Na, we can walk it can't be that far. Not thinking about the fact that Europeans are generally more active, so when they suggest a shuttle TAKE IT. So after getting to where we had assumed it would be and finding well it wasn't there we chose to follow people in costume because surely they were headed in the right direction! Along our (I would say 2 mile hike uphill) way we passed by 2 other stops for the shuttle but still ignorantly pushed on insisting in our minds that it couldn't be that much further. Needless to say we got our exercise in including a nice little off-roading adventure through a section of forest area!

Finally we reached the top and the really cool old castle ruins that they had the festival set up in. At which point I was totally glad I was in Jeans and a t-shirt instead of the long hot robes everyone else was in. It was about 6 euro for adults and free for children under the height of a great sword.... This was the only thing cheap here. We got a soda to share, 2 brats, and a little bowl of Mac and Cheese for Kyra. And barely had enough to buy the cute flower head dress thing I had wanted to get for Kyra. So sadly we weren't able to buy anything else but I think any day trip outing like that shouldn't cost over 40 euro so I was alright with that.

Castle Ruins and part of the show.

More of the castle

Just a door way

A band that was performing!! I felt like I was in GOT

I totally wanted to buy some stuff from this stand!

My Mid Evil Princess!!

This Ladies Costume was so cool, Kyra liked her was just being shy

Men on stilts!

Handmade leather bracelets

The love of my life and I!!

My neighbor was totally enjoying her time!

So was her beautiful daughter!!

Kyra and I had a blast

Old Guard Tower

Few from halfway up forgot to take one at the top top!

Short cut...NOT Stroller friendly

Large church in Oppenheimer

Don't you just love the Rustic feeling of small towns?

Baby girl was worn out from all the fun

Another guard tower this is where we thought it was going to be near...boy were we wrong.

The second fun adventure we went on was also a close to home adventure. Mainz the town just down the road from us was having a Rodeo American. Haha any reason to pull out and dust off the cowboy boots is a good one to me. And since neither Kyra nor our neighbors had been to a rodeo yet we were extremely excited to cowboy up! We went on Sunday when they had all the family stuff out with great booths selling cowboy hats, and "American ice-cream" pretty much anything you would see at a regular rodeo. And they had pony rides for only 1.50 euro!!  So we got Kyra on her first horse!! Starting her our young, and she LOVED it! After running around and getting good and dirty it was time for the show.

For those of you used to the big rodeo's with scores, and competition you would have been a bit disappointed as Dustin and I were. But if it was your first rodeo it was a pretty fun show. It was more for the Germans who don't really know any different and had some very fun bareback riding, bull riding, and pole bending. We only made it to the intermission because it was hot out with no shade cover. And past Kyra's nap time and she was making sure we knew it. But I am glad we left when we did cuz my shoulder and Dustin's newly bald head were both really burned.

Cristina and Lillia Cowboy'd up!!

It may not look like it but she was smiling the whole time!

My loves hanging out in the sunshine

We were having a great time :D

The last fun thing we did was since it was also Fathers day weekend. I thought it was fitting to go to a pretty park on the other side of town, and take some Father + Daughter pictures!! Here are a couple of my favorites along with my favorite from last year!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project 52: Water

At the same park as the beautiful pond with the ducks up the hill a bit was a just as beautiful creek that ran into the pond. It had little waterfalls in it and thought what better place to do the water topic? I love that you can see the bridge and the grass and everything in this picture, really captures how beautiful this park was!

For complete list of all pictures from my Project 52 follow this link to Resolutions which has links to all of my project 52 blogs.

Breastfeeding Adventures Part 3

    The final installment of my breastfeeding stories comes from a dear friend Sarah. She is an amazing mother, and does everything to make her daughter Zoey's life awesome. She wrote her story to show that even if you aren't able to make it to you goals that the fact you tried is all that matters. And you children will be happy for anytime they were able to bond with you on such an intense level.

      When I found out I was expecting, the choice to breastfeed was not hard to make. It didn’t require much thought. She was my first child and she would be given the very best of everything that I could provide for her, and it started with breast milk.
     At 29 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to follow a strict diet, monitor my blood sugar, and attend NST’s every week. This being my first pregnancy and not knowing much about gestational diabetes, I was frightened and overwhelmed by all of the information and orders being hurled at me. I wanted to do the very best for my child, I wanted her to be healthy and happy and when I found out I had gestational diabetes, I felt like I had failed right out of the gate. She wasn’t even in the world yet, and I had failed her.
      Despite my growing disappointment with myself, I altered my diet and exercised daily. My blood glucose levels were being controlled and I would not require medication. Still, when my healthy, nearly 10lb baby girl was born into the world, her blood sugar levels were frighteningly low because her tiny body had been producing extra insulin to compensate for my body’s inability to create enough. She was very slow moving, very quiet with no cries, and they wouldn’t even let my husband or I hold her. The nurse kept telling me things like “she is going to have to go to NICU” and “you won’t be taking her with you to the recovery room”. I was beside myself with anger and sadness. I wanted to hold my child. I wanted my husband to hold her, too. Finally (five hours later) the doctor from the NICU came to evaluate her and told me that the best thing to do is to feed her and try to get her glucose levels to rise. He told me that she was alert and looked very strong and that there was no reason to take her from me.
    When the nurse brought her to me, I put her to my breast and she latched on like a champ. I was so shocked at how well she did her first time. She looked at me like “This? I’ve got this, no problem!”. After I fed her they monitored her glucose levels for 24 hours, while I continued to breastfeed her as frequently as possible. She was getting stronger and her body was adjusting and after 3 days in the hospital, we were pros at breastfeeding and I took my darling girl home.

    I continued to breastfeed her with great success until she was 6 months old. She began to cut teeth and bit me a few times, and I attempted pumping and bottle feeding her with not so much success. I planned to breastfeed her for an entire year at least, and when my milk began drying up, I felt like a failure again. Once again, my body was failing her and there was nothing I could do about it. Was it because I took her from the breast and began pumping? Was it due to the stress of my husband being gone for seven months? Was I not eating/drinking the right things? I tried everything from Mothers Milk Tea to breast massaging to pumping immediately after breastfeeding to help create a bigger milk supply. Nothing I tried seemed to help. She was growing so much, and had more than doubled her birth weight by 6 months and was no longer satisfied with the amount of milk my breasts could offer her, especially since it had started dwindling. I was calling and visiting the doctor’s office and lactation consultants so frequently that they knew my name, my story and why I was there every time.

    I was eventually advised to introduce formula, even though I was completely against it and did not want it for my child. She was not getting what she needed from me, and it was the only option left to ensure that she continued to be healthy and strong. I started her on formula with much reluctance, and to my surprise, she had no issues with it. She was finally getting a full meal in her belly, sleeping through the nights, and wasn’t fussy and crying to be at my breast all the time anymore.
It was hard to give up that bond of breastfeeding. It is a feeling unlike any closeness I have ever felt. I am glad I was able to do it for the short time that my body would allow me to, though. I know that I gave her the best start I possibly could, and that I had tried everything in my power before giving in to formula feeding and I was glad that we had made it 6 whole months because some mothers don’t even make it that long. It is a hard pill to swallow when your body doesn’t do what it is designed to do, especially when it comes to your child’s health and well-being. There are some things in life you can’t make happen, no matter how hard you try. I had to make myself understand that it was not my fault and that ANY amount of time spent breastfeeding was better than not doing it at all.

     It blows my mind when I hear women say that breastfeeding “creeps them out” or isn’t something they are even willing to try. I understand to each their own, but I cannot wrap my mind around those who aren’t willing to sacrifice being uncomfortable so that their child is given the very best they can offer. I envy those who have made it a full year and beyond. I will try again with my next child, and I will give it all I have to make it work just like I did with Zoey.

   If you enjoyed reading these stories, come back and visit again. My blog is filled with fun parenting adventures, and there are many more on the horizon. Also you can enjoy my familys adventures as we travel through Europe, and occasionally a fun craft or two that I indulge myself in. It has been great seeing new faces checking out my blog lately and hope that I can continue to bring you interesting stories, and pictures!!

Here is the link for Part 1 if you and Part 2 if you missed them! 

Breastfeeding Adventures part 2

    Here is part two. I was so excited when my friend Amber said she would love to tell her story on my blog. Her story is so different from mine, and so amazing!! Her and her daughter are great together and they are growing to be quite the pair!! Feel free to leave any questions and comments and I am sure she would love to give you some answers as far as Full-Term Breastfeeding!

      My breastfeeding journey is a journey of open-mindedness and education. My daughter is 26-months old and our journey is still going, though if you had asked me 27 months ago I would have said (and did say) that we would be breastfeeding until 1-year of age. At that time, I knew nothing about “extended” breastfeeding, or as is better called, full-term breastfeeding. I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t know the benefits, heck, I didn’t even really know it existed!

    Our journey started out as a beautiful bonding experience for a new mother and her first baby. After attending a few Le Leche League meetings while still pregnant, I felt we were fully ready to embark on our journey. We didn’t have many bumps in the road; no discomfort (aside from minor nipple pain), no plugged ducts/mastitis, no food intolerances, etc. It was as easy as breastfeeding could be. My daughter was always a “booby baby” and was happiest on my chest and at my breast and this is where we spent the first few months adjusting to everything. She gained weight like a champ and it was amazing to see that not only was my body capable of growing this amazing human being in-utero but also sustaining life exclusively with my breast milk and I took great comfort in watching her thrive.
As our journey continued and we met other mothers who were breastfeeding children over the age of 1 it became natural and something I was okay with doing. I decided at some point that I would be okay with following the WHO’s (World Health Organization) recommendation of “at least 2 years or as long as mutually desired” and go until age 2. Somewhere in that second year after the age of 2 became a real and probably possibility as my “booby baby” is nowhere near the self-weaning phase as she still finds a lot of nutrition and comfort at my breast.

    There are some days when I’m more than ready for her to wean when I need some space or want to take a vacation alone with my husband but there are other days when I am thrilled we still have this advantage in our lives. One of the times I’m most grateful for this is when she is sick. It’s so easy to comfort her and hydrate her with my body versus trying to get her to suck down water when she wants nothing to do with it--this has kept her out of the hospital. It’s nice to be able to hold her and nurse her to sleep when she’s feeling awful and wants nothing else--this has kept me rested enough to keep us both going. It’s nice to give her my immunity and keep her from getting sick or if she does get sick, keep her from getting it as bad as us adults are getting it. Another amazing benefit we give each other is lessening each others risk of many different cancers. The longer I nurse her, the less chance I have of contracting different cancers--the longer she nurses, the less chance she has of contracting different cancers.

     Full-term breastfeeding isn’t for everyone but it has a lot of wonderful benefits and should be explored before being pushed aside for what is a better known American-cultural norm of “up to the age of 1”. America is one of the few countries that know of the wonderful benefits yet choose to ignore them and it saddens me. One day our journey will be done and I will take comfort in knowing I gave her the best I could give her as long as she wanted it.

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 3

Monday, June 17, 2013

Project 52: Reflections

This weekend I was able to get 3 topics for the 52 week challenge done!! So spreading them out a little so it is only one a day, so for today I present the beautiful pond we found on our father daughter photoshoot!! The sun was just right to get the amazing reflection off the water! I think this is one of my favorites!

For complete list of all pictures from my Project 52 follow this link to Resolutions which has links to all of my project 52 blogs

Project 52: Animals

This weekend was the American Rodeo. Although it ended up being more of a show like a circus we would go see in the states. It was still fun. And Kyra truly is loving horses!! She rode a little brown one that was her size, and she petted the big grey one!! She loved it! So for my animal picture I chose the one I took of her petting the horse!  

For complete list of all pictures from my Project 52 follow this link to Resolutions which has links to all of my project 52 blogs

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fun facts about me

31 things you probably didn't know about me. 

1. I am an overachiever. I love to have a full schedule and do really well in everything I do. Proof of this is in my school work I am always one of the first people to finish my homework.
2. I am super lazy, given the choice between exercising, cleaning, and sleeping, I would choose to take a nap any day.
3. I am a total animal lover; I want to adopt every sad alone dog or cat I find. I am also slightly obsessed with both Rabbits and Horses. Guess that is because I grew up around them.
4. I love love love to draw, paint, scrapbook, and do any craft I can. Just the resources out here are a little bit harder to find and more expensive, so I don't do it as much as I wish. As you probably all notice since that section on my blog has been lacking quite a bit. But I do have one lined up just gotta find the time to do it!!
5. I love to drink wine it is my poison of choice!! It is so freaking tasty and I am spoiled in we live in the Riesling area of Germany!!! Riesling is my favorite!!
 6. I am also very addicted to Dr Pepper. I am a non-believer of addictions but sometimes wonder cuz I will get cravings for it. I know its terrible for me but It tastes so good.
7. Christmas is my favorite Holiday. If you have been following along for a while you could probably tell as I did a whole 25 days of Christmas Series this last year. This coming year I get to spend it with my family for the first time in 5 years. Although sadly I will miss the Christmas Markets and Gluwien while I am there.
8. My male celeb crush is either Gerard Butler, or Skylar Astin. And my female celeb crush is either Mila Cunis or Zooey DeChannel.
9. Sniffling is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves, unless you are on a run with a cold and have no choice in the matter, just freaking find a tissue and blow your nose.
10. I have a closet full of scrapbook stuff and I am obsessed with the IDEA of scrapbooking. But I never sit down and do it like I want to because I am afraid once I start I will never put it down. I really need to since Kyra is already almost 1.5 and I haven't finished her first year book!!!
11. I hate trying on jeans, so I am down to only 2 pair that fits and doesn't have holes.
12. Family is very important to me and I would do just about anything to help them out.
13. I have a very bad sense of  what looks good, so I have a hard time trying to decorate my house, or put together nice outfits.
 14. I love to blog. I don't know if my blog is very interesting or what people like to read about, but it is such a good way to express myself and I have a lot of wonderful people who follow and read my blog every time I post.
 15. I actually like watching a lot of Kyra's shows, and have been known to sit and watch them even when she is asleep.
16. I am bit OCD in that I have to write down everything into lists and have on going lists for chores, schedules, meals, and even what blogs I wanna write about.
 17. I find cooking very relaxing, specially when I am not rushed, and get to try new recipes. I think trying new stuff is just too much fun.
18. I LOVE German Festivals and Markets, even tho each pretty much has the same thing, there is NEVER a shortage of amazing food and drinks. So I just love going and enjoying the food and people watching.
19. Since graduating from high school, I have lived in 6 different places. Haha that is a lot considering it has only been 6 years haha.
20. I am shy. I don't like to make calls to people I don't know, and like to have Dustin do that talking with people I don't know well. I think this can come off as stuck up, but really I just am a big baby. Haha. I dunno why I have regressed back to it so much more. In College I was so different, tho alcohol makes me less shy so that could be it since I think I was drunk most of college hence why it only lasted a year. 
22. I despise folding clothes, and washing dishes. All other chores are bareable. But those two are always the last things done.
23. Traveling is the spice of my life. I am so thrilled by all the places I can say I have been, and I have a whole list of places we plan to hit still before we move back to the states.
24. I absolutly love to do my hair and makeup and try out new styles!
25. My life wouldn't be the same with out music! I love country music mostly and it just reminds me so much of being home and of my family.
 26. I love to exercise even if its not the first thing I choose to do. I do it because I love the way I feel afterwards at least on time when I don't over do it!!
27. I often think when people ask what your hobby is I should answer Dancing. Because anytime I hear a good beat I just wanna get up and dance. My daughter has gained this trait from me.
28. I am also an avid reader too, well when I have the time, that isn't taken up by school work.
29. I have 3 little tattoos. One is a rose in a secret place haha, that is for my family. One is the stars on my shoulder, the only one that was just because I liked it. And the 3rd is the Celtic heart on my arm which stands for wearing my heart on my sleeve.
30. I have a hotheaded temper. When things make me mad I don't know how to just calm down and get over it, I tend to blow my fuse when people piss me off.
31. If we were to get pregnant today I would want it to be twins. A boy and a girl!

Monday, June 10, 2013

What is going on around here.

Alright just as a really quick update on our life...I am writing this after just having written a 3 page response to my Psychology homework. So if I seem a bit formal in my writing that should explain it.

So what do I have going on currently?

Lets start with my Physical goals: I am trying to run a mile 2 times a week and increase not only my time but how much of it I run. This is a simple goal and helps me to de-stress a bit from school, and everyday life. And it takes less than 15 mins of my day. Along this same area I am trying to make sure that I put in an average of around 2 miles a day. This includes walks with the dogs, and Kyra during the day also. Learned my lesson last week tho and will only be walking in sneakers my feet are all sorts of blistered from doing so in other shoes.

Now onto my goals with Kyra and Shade: Kyra and I are working on her using her words. She knows a lot more than she says but has been doing much better about asking for what she wants. Though even though I don't use signs with her for much, she does sign somethings which always gets me pumped up. Starting in September, MAYBE depending on where we are and what is going on, I want to start potty training and hopefully it will go smoothly As far as Shade, she has a long ways to go. She is your run of the mill average puppy and acts accordingly. She needs to be socialized more so I have planned out a dog park visit once a week with her friend Dexter. They both just love the chance to run around and play in the mud. But during the evenings is her big training time. Her and I go on a long walk and work on heel, sit, and stay. She does well until we come across another dog and she looses her focus. Also trying to work on her peeing in the house and chewing on things she shouldn't. My mom just sent a box full of toys for her so hopefully that will help with the chewing thing!!

School and household: I think my biggest challenge in all this is time management. I have never been able to manage my time well and with the invention of Facebook I spend far too much time wasted. I fully intend to get 100s all semester and pass my classes with high remarks. But at the same time I have to make sure I don't just let all the housework go to the way side, as a messy house is not a productive one. Plus I wanna keep coming back and talking with you all!!! So you are gonna get my late night after class ramblings haha!!

So If all of that wasn't enough the army just threw us a nice curve ball, that I intend to hit out of the park. This one leaves Dustin headed on a mission for 6 months in the states at very little notice....which of course means RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of my stinking semester. Which is gonna be a pain in the neck when it comes to term papers and finals. But I know with help from my awesome neighbor and other friends I will be able to pull it off. Him leaving for 6 months also gave me an opportunity to go home for an extended amount of time. And I am so excited to start making the plans soon. The only challenge to this is going to be deciding if I should take a class next semester and if I do which one would be best and will I be able to either take the final while I am stateside or if I will be back in time to take it here?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

For my Wine Lovers

So to my dear friends and followers,

A friend of mine just the other day showed me this wonderful site where you can design a tee-shirt and make it as personalized as you like. Than if you are able to reach your goal of how many you would like to sell, you can get them printed for a really cheap price.

The cool part about it is not only do I get the shirt I made that is really cool. But I will also make a small portion of the profit!! Which would be so great since getting a job around here and being able to spend anytime with Kyra is really hard to do. It wouldn't be much unless I sell like 100's but my goal is at least 30 for now.

So if you want to be able to help me make a few cents, and get an awesome shirt out of it, just click the link below and press buy now. If I don't reach my goal all money will be refunded and the order will be cancelled....which would be sad to me. We have 2 weeks to reach this goal, I think we can do it!

I would love to do a blog of pictures from everyone who bought them wearing them!!! So buy one and you get a MAJOR shout out on my blog :D I love you all and hope that this being my first "business" attempt will be a good one!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Starting school

So I started class Monday. And I have to say ahhhhh....that is a breath of fresh air. Although I feel like I am constantly needing to work on something. I feel like more of my life has a purpose instead of just sitting around the house doing nothing but cooking and cleaning. So far I have gotten all my work done for the week and it is only Wednesday!! So now I can move on to the reading for next week which is awesome I hope to stay ahead of the game for the next 7 weeks complete these classes with high remarks!

I am currently taking Psychology and American History. I am expected to read anywhere from 3-6 chapters a week total between the classes. And than answer 3 or so questions a week in regards to what we read. Than in Psychology I am expected to be involved in class discussion which means responding to at least 8 other students replies to the questions. So far the classes are very easy to me, but I do feel like I am learning. Really the only thing I am worried about with these classes are the two research projects. Mainly because being online classes I am afraid finding reference material may be a little more tricky also using it properly. I am so used to going to the library nose in the book and doing research for a few hours and I don't know how well I would be able to do that with our small library here.

But for the most part going back to school has been a wonderful choice. It may be keeping me busy, but its a good busy.

Hey also guys so I don't have to write a whole other blog Candice and I were able to cut off a whole min from my mile time!! So excited!! We run again Friday. So maybe I will be able to push myself even further this time :D

Monday, June 3, 2013

1 mile goals

So as to not to overwhelm myself during my first semester back in the school game, I am transferring my normal high intensity interval training which can take anywhere from 20-60 mins to get through to simply going on a run after Kyra goes to bed! For the time being it is going to be just a mile until I am able to run the whole mile. This is more challenging than it seems as the route I am running is on a hill so part of it is up hill. Last Monday I ran it in 12 mins but did walk quite a bit. I am hoping having my friend Candice running with me will help me to push myself to another level. Once I can run a mile non stop or manage to get my mile under 10 mins than, I plan to extend my run to a different 2 mile route.

I am hoping the running will help me continue to burn calories without taking as much time as a full workout would. Maybe doing all cardio workouts will just burn off the fat like I need it to than when school is over I can work on gaining muscle.

All this while trying to maintain as close as humanly possible to a 4.0!!