2014

Well New Years has come and gone and we are almost a week into 2014. Our New Years Eve plans have changed significantly since having Macallen. One year we spent the night at a fancy dinner in Fort Lauderdale, another we went out with friends for the night, and I can’t forget mentioning the New Years Eve spent in Atlanta watching Cake perform (remember them?!). This year we were very excited to stay home and have our friend Kryshna and her baby, Ava, (her husband Jake joined us the next morning) spend the evening with us.

As mentioned in previous posts, Nate loves to cook and make his own variation on recipes. We (and I mean Nate) ended up planning out a six course meal; complete with mini surf and turf hors d’oeuvres, seared ahi tuna, farfelle pasta in a blue cheese crumble sauce, lobster tails, and Kryshna brought the ingredients for a cheesecake bar.

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It was definitely as good as it looks, much to the dismay of Macallen.

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I think he just preferred hanging out with Ava to eating his veggie puffs.

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Nate is on his last week of leave from work, so it will probably be spent unpacking, organizing, and relaxing. I hope everyone is back into the swing of things after the busy holiday season.

♥ Lindsay

Cheers to 2014!

As everyone spends time reflecting on their 2013, I can’t help but do the same. Anyone could take one second browsing my Instagram feed or looking through my Facebook posts to know where our focus was. #Macallen was a common hashtag and pictures documenting his first year were the norm. I really do not see 2014 being much different in that regard. However there are several things that I know I need to work on for Nate and Macallen as well as myself. As a new mom (or any mom really), you tend to put your needs on the back burner. This year I need to make sure to do things for myself so I can be the best mom to Macallen and best wife to Nate possible.

1. Spend less time with technology. This is a no-brainer as so many of us today are constantly glued to our phones, televisions, computers, Ipads, etc.

2. …and spend more one-on-one time with Nate. A Mom group that I am a part of (which also happens to ironically be online) suggested planning dates over the next year as a Christmas present to your spouse. I decided to name mine “The 12 Dates of Christmas” and the premise is that every month we will go on a date and do something together that I have planned. Just the two of us. Our first date is January 10th and I could not be more excited. (I will do a separate post on “The 12 Dates of Christmas” later).

3. Get fit. This needs to happen as my eating habits are not the best and ever since I left the Army, working out has not been as frequent. I blame this on the recent move, but really I have no one to blame but myself.

4. Get organized. Being a military spouse means moving more often than most. One thing I am really excited about is that Nate and I just bought our second home at our current duty station. I vow to finally stop living out of cardboard boxes. I need to hang things on walls, allow myself to decorate, and make this house our “home”.

Even though we did move alllllllllllllllll the way across the country. Literally. From North Carolina to Washington state. We still managed to take Macallen’s eight month pictures. Crazy, because he looks more like a little boy here and less like a baby.

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(sailboat chair from Land of Nod)

At eight months old Macallen is as active as ever. He crawls really fast and is hard to keep up with when he is on the move. Our new home has a “playroom” across from the kitchen so I can store all of his plastic toys. We have it baby proofed so if we need to empty the dishwasher he can hang out without getting into anything. His personality continues to come out, and he sure is a feisty little guy (I wonder who he gets that from…). If you take a toy away from him (and by toy I mean laptop cord, beer sampler glass, vacuum cleaner- you get the idea) he is one unhappy kid. For Christmas Macallen did get his two front teeth. He’s not doing too badly with it, but we have a ways to go.

All in all, he is a joy and the highlight of our 2013.

Likes: bananas, Pele and Jeter (our cats), bath time, story books, paper, interactive toys, peek-a-boo, crawling, friends (Ava), music, traveling

Dislikes: being held while sitting down, nap time, plain oatmeal, feeding him slower than he would like by not replenishing his plate quickly, teething

Oh, and an update on my laptop. The keyboard is back to working, but most of the keys get stuck. Unless I am very deliberate in my typing, most sentences would look like this “Cheers ad Happy ew Year! I wish othig but the best or our 2014!” So, basically any word that has an “n”, “f”, or “y” is in jeopardy of being left out. Maybe 2014 will lead to a new laptop…

Cheers!

♥ Lindsay

A Long Overdue Update

Well I am  using the wireless keyboard to type this message instead of writing in all CAPS. It will have to do for now.

As I type this update, the Derrick Family is on the verge of another huge transition. Since Nate and I have gotten married, it has been one large change after another. In the last seven months alone I have had Macallen, gotten out of the Army to be a stay at home mom, and am now getting ready to travel across the country as Nate starts his next job assignment. I am going to try to update bits and pieces of different aspects of these huge milestones.

Let’s start with one of my favorite topics: Macallen.

Macallen is now over seven months old. It is insane to think that our now mobile, crawling, and smiling baby was ever a limp noodle that laid in our arms all day. In the last month he stayed a week with my parents, so I could house hunt in the Tacoma, Washington area and he is now getting ready to stay a week with Nate’s parents as him and I convoy the rest of the way across the country. Nate will driving a Penske truck towing my car and the cats and me driving his car (which is a story for another time). Definitely the best way to spend the holiday season, right?

Anyways, Macallen has started interacting with toys, and loves meeting new baby friends. The Jumparoo continues to be one of his favorite toys (and with the cost of those things, thank goodness!).

Nate and I had intended to do Baby Led Weaning (BLWing) with Macallen as far as introducing solids. BLWing is where they basically have what you are eating for dinner, but in a more appropriate size. It has gone “alright”, but at his six month appointment, our pediatrician mentioned that she would like to see him gain more weight (95% for head circumference, 85% for height, and less than 30% for weight). Since he was not gaining a ton, we opted to try purees to up his calorie intake. He turned his nose up at carrots, sweet potations, and avocados. He was still spitting up a ton, so I pleaded with our pediatrician to put him on medicine. What a difference it made! He gained over a pound in two and half weeks after being put on Zantac. Amazing. We are now back to primarily BLWing, and he loves him some carbs. He sure is a man after my own heart.

Without further ado, six and seven month old Macallen:

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The older he gets, the harder his monthly photo sessions are to do. I cannot wait to put the monthly colleges together when he turns a year old. He has already changed so much, and he is starting to get hair. Granted, it is a fuzz ball, but it is cute nonetheless.

I will try and share some catch up pictures from his first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Nate’s graduation from the Q Course, before we leave to start the trek westward, as well as update on all those events. However, no promises, because military moves keep you busy!

♥ Lindsay

THE KLUTZ

YOU MAY BE WONDERING WHY I HAVE NOT BLOGGED IN A WHILE. OR BETTER YET, WHY AM I WRITING IN CAPS LOCK? NO, I AM NOT SHOUTING AT ANYONE, BUT NATE AND HIS KLUTZINESS STRUCK AGAIN IN THE FORM OF A DIET COKE ALL OVER MY LAPTOP.

“BUT LINDSAY, I SEE YOU TYPING FINE ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM ALL THE TIME” YOU SAY? YES, BECAUSE I AM NO LONGER USING MY LOVELY LAPTOP FOR ANY OF THIS. R.I.P. LAPTOP, R.I.P.

AS A REWARD FOR PUNISHING YOUR EYES FOR READING THIS DISASTER, I GIVE YOU THE MOST ADORABLE BABY IN THE WORLD (YES, I WOULD HAVE CAPITALIZED WORLD EVEN IF MY KEYBOARD WAS WORKING FOR EMPHASIS)

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THIS KID, I TELL YOU.

OH, AND I HOPE TO BE USING A DIFFERENT KEYBOARD FOR THE NEXT POST TO GET YOU UPDATED ON THE LAST MONTH AND A HALF (EEK, I’M THAT FAR BEHIND!)

♥ LINDSAY

Goodbye Army!!!

As of October 15th I am no longer in the Army. I spent the last few weeks on terminal leave, and within the blink of an eye, it is over. I will no longer show up on a unit spreadsheet, accountability roster, or urinalysis test. It is weird to think that after so much time spent at training away from Nate, a deployment to Afghanistan, and several duty stations I called home, to think that I am no longer a part of it anymore. Sure, I am a supporter now by taking on the “Army wife” role, but it is not the same. Not at all. In the last couple years I went from this:

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to this:

Macallen

How does one go from being a Captain in the Army to staying home with their baby? Turning in their ACUs and combat boots for tank tops and sweat pants?

It definitely has not been easy, especially on the days that Macallen has been extra fussy, but I could not imagine my life being any different than what it is now. With that being said, I get it. I get why mothers WANT to go back to work, even if they do not HAVE to. When Macallen gives me five seconds to breathe, I find myself daydreaming about what it would be like to take a shower without hearing a scream, or talking to an adult during the day about something other than teething, crying, or the consistency of poop. I think mothers need to realize that that is alright. Not everything is going to be perfect, and by accepting that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

On the daydreaming days I try to put it all into perspective with my current situation. Nate’s training schedule is completely unstable, so we decided that it made sense for me to be home with Macallen initially.

Now that I am out, I think I need to change up the style of my blog. The plan was to write about the life of a dual military couple, but shortly after I decided to write this, I found out that I was pregnant. Now, a dual military couple does not apply to our situation and most of the focus is on Macallen.

And for what it is worth, I think I look dang good in my sweat pants.

♥ Lindsay

Traveling with a Baby

Nate is currently going through training, so to help pass the time I planned two different trips. One was a road trip to Pennsylvania for my ten year high school reunion, and the other was a plane trip out to Kansas to see my friend, Tiffanie.

My mom came with me to Pennsylvania, but the road trip was still a ten hour, one-way disaster success. By about hour seven, Macallen had had enough, so we had to play my favorite game, “Pop the Paci Back In”. Luckily we finally made it to my hometown, and Macallen went to bed pretty quickly. I never imagined that I would need as much stuff for a three day trip, but babies are not light packers. Well, maybe, I’m not a light packer, but add in a baby, and it is ten times worse. Combine my poor packing skills with my mom bringing early Christmas presents up to my brother and sister-in-law, and “sardines” describes the situation perfectly.

Friday was a great day spent at the Bloomsburg Fair. Despite the warm temperatures, Macallen was a trooper and rode his first ride (the carousel), played his first fair game (he “picked” a duck for a prize), and got his first Bloomsburg Fair sweatshirt. I checked “OIP” off my list for dinner with a big, cheese pizza.

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Saturday we went shopping, grabbed lunch at the Bullfrog Brewery, and picked up subs for dinner before I got changed and went to my ten year reunion. It was nice to see some classmates that I have not seen in a decade, but it would have been more comfortable if Nate was with me.

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Sunday was spent at the softball field watching my brother play, visiting my friend Robin (bottom left picture, above), and then meeting my college roommate, Jill, for dinner and a drink at Marley’s in Bloomsburg.

The trip back to North Carolina was actually quite similar to the trip up to Pennsylvania, which inspired me to make a list of tips for road tripping with a baby:

  • Plan to leave at the start of the longest nap of the day or even at night, so you do not have to stop multiple times to calm a fussing child in the beginning of the trip.
  • Coordinate your stops for gas and food with your baby’s eating “schedule” that way you are not making extra stops for you to eat.
  • Have a playlist of soothing music (or anything your baby likes) for the trip. Jammy Jams is a favorite- if you do not have a playlist, then set it to a white noise station.
  • Pack a separate suitcase or bag for your baby- it can help keep you organized when you are sleeping on an air mattress or a couch and you can’t find another diaper for the baby or your pajama’s.
  • Do not be afraid of overpacking for your baby- I was much happier with my Rock n’ Play, sound machine, Snuza, etc, than I would have been without all of that. Having everything I needed made for great sleep for both Macallen and me. Nothing compares to great sleep. Nothing.

Hope these help!

♥ Lindsay

“The Hoppier the Beer, the Happier I Am”

That was the quote I used on my Flying Saucer plate to forever be immortalized in the 200 Beer Club.  Need proof?

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There you go. I did it! I started the “UFO Club” when I was going to the Captain’s Career Course in Columbia, South Carolina. Upon signing up, the goal is to drink 200 different beers, with no more than three in a day counting towards your number. I had no intention of actually completing this goal, because I was only going to be in Columbia for about six months. However, Nate and I still decided to give it a try. I love craft beer, and trying all different kinds was really fun. Before I knew it I was leaving the Career Course with less then 30 beers to go! Luckily the Flying Saucer is a chain, and there was one close to my next duty station in Raleigh, North Carolina. The last trip before I found out I was pregnant, I got my 200th beer! I was so excited, but had to wait until now to celebrate.

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My friend Danielle, who was at the Career Course with me, flew in for the weekend to celebrate with me.

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Besides the Plate Party, Danielle and I spent the weekend eating, visiting breweries (Natty Greene’s and Gizmo Brew Works), and catching up.

Here is the rest of our weekend in picture form:

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It was a great weekend that went by too fast. Remember that if you are in the Raleigh Flying Saucer to look for my plate on the wall!

♥ Lindsay

Five Month Update

I now have a five month old. With that five month old comes less blogging, a messier house, and laundry piled up in the corner of the house. That’s ok though, because this five month old brings me so much joy. He does have his moments lately where he can be inconsolable, but luckily he spends the majority of his time laughing and playing.

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The chalkboard says it all. He really does LOVE his Jumparoo. I cannot emphasize that enough. He can entertain himself in it for quite a while, which is great so Mommy can take five minutes to tackle that laundry pile. He does still spit up a ton, but he does not appear to be in any pain from it. Our pediatrician is not worried about it, and said that some babies just spit up more than others. I have tried varying the amount we put in his bottle to see if that would make a difference, but it has not.

Right now he is eating between 24 and 30 ounces a day of formula. He was only getting 24 for a while, but our pediatrician recommended trying to up that to at least 28 ounces. He is gaining weight, so there is no concern at this point. We do try to give him five, six ounces bottles though, just so we can meet the 28 ounce goal.

At Macallen’s last appointment he got his four month shots and showed off his tummy time skills. He is getting stronger everyday. He is currently in the 75th percentile for height, 75th percentile for head circumference, and 50th percentile for weight. His next appointment is on Halloween.

We have been busy traveling, going to Music Class, and I FINALLY cleared from the Army and am on terminal leave. It is amazing to know that I will be home with Macallen now and not have to worry about deploying or leaving him for a training exercise. With Nate’s schedule as busy as ever, it is nice to know that Macallen will have me home with him.

Other than that, we are getting excited for  Nate’s graduation, Halloween, and our next move. Another few busy months ahead for us!

♥ Lindsay

Four Month Update

Four months already! I feel like the last few weeks before Macallen arrived dragged on, but now I have a four month old. Crazy! His personality continues to shine through and he is all smiles and laughs these days. He’s not really on a “schedule” per se, but we do have a “routine” down. He usually wakes up for the day around 6 or 7, eats, plays, and is back down for a nap by about 9. This creates some conflict with Stroller Strides, because his nap would be right in the middle of it. Some days I take him, and some days I stay at home and let him nap out of fear of monster baby emerging. After his nap it is kind of a rinse and repeat throughout the rest of the day with random errands mixed in. He takes a longer nap after lunch time and another short one closer to dinner time. Again, these naps must happen or monster baby comes out to play. You would never know there was a monster baby hiding inside from these pictures:

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Apparently he was cracking himself up during this photo shoot. He continues to crack me up on a daily basis too! He has started this “fart noise” where he puts his lips together and blows. He usually does this noise when he wakes up in the middle of the night, and since he is still sleeping in our room, I hear it. Besides entertaining himself with funny noises, he is also in love with his feet. They are the greatest thing in the world to him, and I have to pay extra special attention to keep his nails trimmed. Otherwise it looks like the Wolverine attacked his legs since he’s grabbing at them all of the time.

It’s amazing to look back and compare all of his monthly photo shoots so far. He sure has changed, and I am so excited to see what the next few months have in store for us.

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The next few weeks are going to be really busy for us as we get ready for Nate to start his culmination exercise for his military training. We are knee deep in packing lists, gear, and tentative schedules. I am also in the process of clearing from the Army, so that is an additional added stress. The only reason it is stressful is because nothing can ever go smoothly in the Army. I am having a difficult time getting cleared from medical because of not being up to date on my shots since I was not allowed to have any during my pregnancy. Therefore I am “red” in the medical system. Um, why would I get an anthrax shot with less than a month left and no deployments in my future? Ugh.

♥ Lindsay

Summer Vacation!!!

As mentioned a long time ago, Nate, Macallen, and I were planning a trip to Wildwood, New Jersey with my family over Labor Day weekend. Things did not get off to such a great start, because Nate ended up getting home from work on Thursday afternoon at around 4:00. Luckily I had a majority of out stuff packed and ready to go, so we were able to leave around 5:00. Had I known that he would get home so late, I would not have booked a hotel room that was at least seven hours away (not including traffic). We ended up not getting into our hotel room that night until 1 in the morning. We thanked our lucky stars that Macallen fell asleep in the car around 8:00, and went ride back to sleep after we swaddled him in the hotel room.

We woke up the next morning and drove a few hours until we arrived in Wildwood. After a quick lunch we met up with the rest of my family. That night was pretty low key since my brother, Lance and his wife, Ashely had also driven a large distance. We walked on the boardwalk for a few hours and made it back to the hotel by 8:00 in preparation for the fireworks. Unfortunately the wind was pretty bad, so the fireworks were cancelled.

The next day Nate and I went on the Cape May Brewery tour. For eleven dollars a piece we were each given a souvenir glass and four, four ounce chips to sample their beers. I ended up buying an additional four chips, so I could taste all of their beers. Their IPAs and their Watermelon Wheat were pretty good! The tour was great and was given by the owner. He and his two sons own and operate the brewery. Their brewery is doing amazing, because at this time last year they were only available in one restaurant in Cape May. Currently they are offered in over 40 restaurants and are wait listed in over 20 others. Their expansion is heading north and other areas in New Jersey are trying to carry their product. Pretty neat!

After the brewery tour, we went to a really nice restaurant called The Pier House. The appetizers were delicious but both of our main meals left a lot to be desired (um, who DEEP FRIES lobster?!?!). My Cinnamon Toast Crunch martini was pretty good though.

Sunday was our last full day in New Jersey (I know, I know… a ten hour plus drive one-way and we only spent two and a half days there). Nate and I went to breakfast, walked the boardwalk, and ended up dipping Macallen’s toes into the hotel’s pool. After drinking a couple beers on the porch we got ready for family pictures. Nate took his tripod and snapped a few shots (hint, hint… all the Harman’s will probably be getting a framed picture for Christmas!). After pictures we changed and headed back on the boardwalk to eat pizza, play crane games, and waste ridiculous amounts of money on things we don’t need. We also took Macallen on his first tram car ride!

Here are a few beach pictures that Nate took:

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Here are pictures of Macallen’s dip in the pool:

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And lastly, here are a few boardwalk pictures:

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♥ Lindsay