Benchwarmer Post of Things I'm Loving

Oct 31, 2013

So I had every intention of posting the contents of this post yesterday, and having a recap of All Hallows Eve for today. But things rarely go according to plan in my neck of the woods so, indulge me with your acceptance of a this post as I throw out some of the things I am currently loving. 
These two products are currently the MVP's of my beauty routine. This Batiste dry shampoo is the best one I have tried, and I will be honest I have tried way too many!! Plus it is only $8.00. Also this one has a color tint as well, so there is no white residue for this mama! And it doubles as a root touch up for me. Since I am naturally blonde I have to dye my roots far too often or I look like I have gray hair. Which I actually might…but I refuse to find out. So I use this magic in a spray can. 

Next up this Josie Maran Infinity Argan Cream. I have combination skin and this cold weather in Alaska hits your face like a ton of bricks. So I use this on my more dry areas. I also use it on my kids for their dry knees and elbows. It is a-maz-ing and a little goes a long way!
This is something that is always on my must have list, my candle warmer! I rarely light candles in my house simply because I cannot trust myself to remember I have one burning, nor can I trust my children not to get ahold of the fire source, so insert candle warmer! This one is my very favorite. I buy one as a gift for just about everyone I know. Just ask my new neighbor, she brought me over some amazing food…I returned to her with a candle warmer. And yes that is a coconut candle burning in the fall. But this does not smell like a tropical candle, it is so warm and luscious I can't get enough, which is why I bought the remaining ones at bed bath and beyond. 


Last but certainly not least I am loving this clean playroom! Last week I posted a picture of the playroom in all of its destruction glory. But it has since been cleaned, organized, and back in working condition. Did it take me a week to do it? Absolutely. I had to wait for a day when all three kiddos took a nap at the same time so I had some guaranteed alone time down there to really put things back in their places. 



Well I hope everyone takes their sugar high and continues it through the weekend…because let's be real I know you had your kids "layout" all their candy so you could inspect the pieces you wanted :)


You can drive to Alaska?

Oct 29, 2013

We encountered this question a lot when we decided to drive from Georgia to Alaska. Our families asked, our friends questioned, and lots of hotel front desk people gave us funny looks. But yes it is possible, you drive through Canada...

Exactly one year ago today we arrived in Anchorage after an 11 day road trip. We piled in my SUV with more stuff then we should have brought, 2 toddlers, and me one very sick 12 week pregnant lady (at the time). When we got orders to Alaska we had to decide whether we wanted to fly or drive. My husband wanted to drive, I in my state of morning sickness hell wanted to fly. But my husband had good reasoning, we would make money if we drove because of the weight of stuff we were bringing. He also pointed out that if we drove than it is more time together as a family, because we all know once he gets close to the base they may be able to smell him therefore he will have to go back to work. So grab your Dramamine if you get car sick...this is going to be a long ride.
Before we left I had my last doctors appointment in GA and my doctor thought prescribing me some kind of anti-nausea meds would help with the drive. He gave me the options of the ones that will knock you out, or the ones that will make you constipated. He was worried because I had lost 7 lbs and could really only keep warm chicken broth down. He didn't want me to get too dehydrated on the drive, since hospitals would be few and far between. I chose the one with the side effect of constipation...I mean I didn't eat...how bad could it be? I tried a half a pill a couple days before we left and ummm...no! It knocked me flat on my ass!! The reason you aren't sick is because you aren't conscious!! So I threw them out. 
The boys had dvds to keep them busy when they were not sleeping. We also had tons of games, and crafty-like things for them to play with. I have to say that they did awesome!! We let them out to run around every time we would stop. I became a master of quick change diaper stops. 
The quality of most of these pictures is very poor simply because I was curled up in the fetal position in the front seat 90% of this drive. The husband would wake me up and say "hey hey hey get a picture" many times it would take me too long to get myself focused without throwing up that I would miss whatever he wanted a picture of in the first place. Which is a recipe for marital road tripping bliss...
The boys were made for some hotel livin!! They were pros by the end of this trip, Ace could push any and all elevator buttons, swipe a key, and order room service like nobodies business! Pierce could destroy an entire hotel room in 10 minutes flat! 
 When we finally made it to Seattle, we decided to take a break for a few days and just relax. Seattle is my very very favorite city. It is where the husband and I met, it was were we got married, and we had not been back since Chris got home from his first deployment, so we wanted to show the kids around. Pikes Place was also the best place to reload on snacks and things for the kids. 
When we made it into Canada the ride started to get a little scary for me. I have never driven in snow and ice. I have never seen so many wild animals in the road stopping traffic or lunging at cars. Between my nerves and the morning/all day sickness I was one crazy bit**! Not to mention that on many of the highways there are no guard rails when going around the mountains so I would have to close my eyes and pray that we made it through. My husband kept assuring me that this was not his first rodeo and I could just go back to my fetal position and be quiet...but he doesn't have that kind of luck. 
My car also hated the cold...it would constantly tell us my tires were flat when they weren't.

Once we got through Canada we headed into the Yukon. If anyone is doing this trip I highly recommend that you buy the book Milepost. It tells you everything you need to know about driving the Yukon, and the Alcan (the Alaskan Highway). It has every hotel, road, gas station...everything!! But the hotels are limited, and when you get to the towns that have a population of 14, the "hotel" is more like a brothel so beware!!! I remember one of our last stops, initially we were planning on driving to the next "big" town that had a hotel name that we recognized, but the kids were tired, I was SO sick, and the hubs was sick of me dry heaving, so we stopped. We pulled up to the only motel and right away Chris and I looked at each other and said HELL NO! This is the place where people enter and never leave. It was like a scene out of the movie Wrong Turn. There was a woman, possibly of the pretty woman variety if you know what i'm saying, standing outside the door in a skirt, a corset, and fishnet stocking in 13 degree weather. Oh with her dog...

Negative, I would rather sleep in the car. So we stopped at the gas station for some red bulls and ginger ale for me and kept pushing forward. 
The snow was piling up by the time we were getting close to Anchorage, I had never been in snow or weather like this before. I am from Vegas we like it hot! But the kids were amazed. They couldn't get enough. Every time we would stop I would bundle them up and let them play in the snow until their little faces said it was time to get back in the car. 
As soon as we got to our hotel in Anchorage, which would also double as our home until we found a house, we unpacked the car and the husband and boys went shopping for more cold weather attire and played non-stop. I laid in bed and tried to be somewhat happy about this new adventure. Pregnancy hormones, no sunlight, 24 hour sickness, and house hunting on a time crunch made me eligible for a 72 hour psych hold!!

After being here a year, this will be my first winter and Avalons that we will be able to get out and enjoy family frostbite winter wonderland goodness. Last year I was on bed rest for the majority of the winter, so that was fun. But we will be here for another couple years, not that I am counting down the days until I never have to shovel a driveway again or anything...

So here's to the tundra, and the road trip that got us here!!


Weekend Mom Uniform

Oct 26, 2013

sweater (on sale)/tee (on sale)/pants/ shoes/hot cocoa

This is my "the husband is coming home from the field" outfit. I mean I can't let him see me in the sweatpants I was wearing before he left right? Because let's be honest I have been wearing my black college sweats that my husband loathes and swears he will burn after every pregnancy. Little does he know that I keep them tucked away in an undisclosed location...that's a lie they are usually in the laundry room, which is an undisclosed location as far as the husband is concerned. 

But onto this outfit shall we? These are glorified sweatpants just kicked up a notch with some leather accents. So that borders the line of actual pants right? Right. And since it has been in the 30's here in the north pole/ I mean Alaska it was time to bust out the salted caramel hot choc-o-late! 



Random Ramblings on a Friday

Oct 24, 2013

Is it just me or has this week been creeping by at a snails pace? The husband has been gone which just adds to the slow tick tock countdown. He should be home in the next couple days, so that is a relief. But my head is all over the place, and so this post will be all over the place :)
Miss Avalon has started two exciting things this week. The first, starting solids!! Her pediatrician wanted to hold her off until she was 6 months, but this kid wanted to eat!! Everyone in the house was getting a little tired of her grabbing full plates of food and pulling them off the table. So we went ahead with a little rice cereal and apples. That first bite is always my favorite, my kids all made the same face. In the end she licked the bowl clean. Second, she is now mobile! Yep, low crawling like a champ over here. And she is fast!! Like turn your head for a second and she is across the room kind of fast. The boys are not as amused as she will take a toy from a brother before they can yell "MOM get the baby she taking my toys".
One thing we have been enjoying is watching the many visitors that we have been receiving at the house. Our house is pretty much the only one with outside decorations in our neighborhood, so it attracts the brave and curious. The other day I watched from the kitchen window as a group of kids walking home from school decided to walk up the driveway, they sent one lone ranger up to investigate. What this youngin did not anticipate was that, that giant spider up there is motion censored and will jump right out at you! She screamed and ran so fast...and I laughed so hard!! My kids helped put all this together so they think it is funny, and no so much scary. Then again they have never seen it at night...The UPS man is not fond of the spider. And since he is my life line to all things online shopping I have resorted to turning it off for him, feel special man in the brown delivery truck. 
The night before the hubs left he said, "let's bring the bean sac in". I had been dreading this moment, since we did not have the shrink kit to get it inside. If anyone owns one of these ginormous things you know how much of a pain it is to move. Well we knew it would be tough, but it took 45 minutes and a lot of running full speed to try and get this thing in the house. I don't think Chris and I have laughed so hard in a long time. Moving things will bring out the trailer trash mouth in everyone!
And finally this is the one place I am trying to avoid. The playroom! The kids destroyed it the other day and I have no desire to go down there and put it back together...

Randomness complete, my brain is fried. 

Kool Kid Stuff

Oct 23, 2013


I love kid stuff, as I am sure you can tell. But I just find more and more cute things online that I think YES! Ace Pierce Avalon must have this. And more importantly I want my kids to look back on the pictures of them when they were little and say, "damn mom I was lookin good". Okay maybe they don't have to use those exact words, but I don't want them to do what I am about to do and say "mom what the hell were you thinking?". My mom put me in those huge bows that took up the length of the picture and made my head look like a tiny speck. Like really? Or how about the neon pink track suits I was running around in? I am not sure if my mom used me to stop traffic, or if she was color blind. One thing I will never be embarrassed about were my light up L.A. Gear sneakers!  Now that was a solid purchase mom...

Actually who am I kidding? My kids will look back at their childhood and think "my parents must not have been able to afford clothes because I am always in a diaper and or underwear". 

I do what I can...

Say What?

Oct 22, 2013

Conversations with these two are getting more and more interesting, and quite funny! Here are some of the latest...
-The other day we were playing and Ace was singing:

Ace: Ring around the rosey potcket full of posey asses...asses...we all fall down. 
Me: Uhhhh....

-While we are eating dinner the other night:

Ace: So mom I tink I wanna be naked.
Me: Naked? Right now? Why?
Ace: yes naked naked and free starts singing naked naked naked free freeeeeee.
Me: Hahahaha!
-Pierce is in the habit of crying over everything, but food cheers him up real quick:

Pierce: Waaaaah Waaaaah
Me: Pierce why are you crying?
Pierce: Don't talk to me I sleeping...
Me: Oh, you look like you are crying.
Pierce: No I not, I sleeping and you no talk to me...waaahhhh.Wahhhh.
Me: Ok so you don't want any banana bread?
Pierce: Ooooo nana bread mama dat is so awesome!
-Getting Ace ready for the Halloween festivities:

Me: So Ace are you going to say "trick or treat smell my feet give me something good to eat, if you don't I don't care I'll pull down your underwear"
Ace: My underwear? No they are all clean. 
Me: Touche' 

-While at Target with Pierce and Avalon:

Cashier: Hi buddy, do you like stickers? I have a couple stickers I could give you.
Pierce: Tickers? No no tickers you have monies?
Cashier: Money? No I don't have any money.
Pierce: Oh dat not good. I have candy den. 
Me: _________
-Driving home from preschool Ace dropped his snack:

Ace: Mom can you get my snack I dropped it.
Me: As soon as we stop, I am driving. 
Ace: You not driving I don't see a green light. 
Me: Just give me one minute.
Ace: A minute how long is a minute.
Me: 60 seconds.
Ace: Oh ok.....pause...sixty seconds mama get my snack please. 
Me: Ugh

-These two are free for conversations anytime, so call us up, although Pierce might charge you for talking to him!



Trick or Treat Attire

Oct 18, 2013

top row: 1/2/3/4/5
bottom row: 1 (it glows in the dark)/ 2 

Like many moms and dads out there, we will be taking our kids trick or treating. Here in Alaska it will probably be too cold to go door to door, but there are other opportunities to still say "trick or treat smell my feet". We will be going to a few indoor events so our kids (and us) don't freeze in an attempt to get a sugar high. So I found some cute ideas for moms that maybe won't be dressing up, or like me will not be getting in to costume every.single.time we leave the house.

Girl Time

Oct 16, 2013

Girl time...something I thought I would never have much less enjoy as much as I do now. The last three years have been dedicated to everything little boy. I can now build a train set, play lazer tag, and have a nerf war like nobodies business thanks to my rough and tough boys. But now having this precious little girl in my life allows me to reconnect with my feminine side. Sure we cannot go get our nails done, or play tea party just yet, but we can spend one on one time together doing whatever we want. So over the four day weekend we took advantage of having dad home and took some much needed girl time. We went and got a thai tea...ok I had a thai tea....she had breast milk...tomato tomahto. And then we hit up an antique store I have been dying to go to downtown. Just me and my girl! What the boys did, I have no idea, nor do I want to know since I came home to what looked like a robbery. But a messy house must mean a good time was had for all. This little girl has brought so much joy to our family in the short five months she has been here. She is such a great baby, and an even better antique shopping companion, she never disagrees with my picks :) 
I forgot to take pictures while we were out, so these were taken a couple weeks ago when we still had some leaves on the trees. But the mother and daughter that wear peplums together stay together...isn't that how the saying goes? Anyway, I love this little girl so much and I am excited for the many years of girl time to come. 

Pumpkin Picking at the Reindeer Farm

Oct 14, 2013

When I was looking for a pumpkin patch in Anchorage the only thing that popped up was the "reindeer farm" I was slightly confused as I wanted pumpkins not santa. But this little farm morphs itself into a fun filled day of all things fall inspired. If only the weather would have cooperated the kiddos could have stayed the whole day.
Now dasher, now dancer, now prancer and vixen...I mean trick or treat?
You see that thing my husband has on his back? That is pretty much a self sustaining bunker, to protect princess Avalon from the wind, rain, and cold we experienced while picking pumpkins. She was the happiest out of all of us, and the warmest!!

Mommy & Me Finds

Oct 13, 2013


Well it is no big secret that I have a shopping addiction, and having kids just multiplies the temptation. I found a few things I really like on esty the other night that I thought I would share :)

Life Lately

Oct 9, 2013

  • What can I say...Avalon got the good hair genes in the family!
  • Ace has been teaching Avalon all about trucks, and trains, and school buses. She is learning a lot, like how each and every one of them tastes. 
  • This is how Pierce does laundry, instead of folding he likes to just smash the clothing with his head. Why didn't I think of that? Folding is completely overrated. 
  • With all this rain and wind we have been experiencing there has been lots of family movie watching. Avalon didn't really enjoy this one...

  • I asked Ace to get the clothes off his bed for school, he came down with this ensemble instead. He said "mom I not like those clothes I gunna wear this".
  • Avalon is riding in style these days. Dump truck all the way. 
  • Is that a moose? Yes it is. We watched him try to get passed the cars and into the gate but something spooked him and he ran the other way into the lowes parking lot. 

Four day weekend for us!!! 




Obsessive...Maybe

So from time to time I have been told I am "obsessed" with my kids. It has never bothered me when family, friends, or even complete strangers have said this to me. But recently when another mom at the preschool made a joke about me being so "attached" to my kids it got me thinking. Am I obsessed with my kids? Damn right I am, they are my kids. I can count on one hand how many times I have left my kids with a babysitter/family member while the husband and I go out. It is extremely rare! I know that all parents need a break, and I will be the first to admit that I get overwhelmed and can turn into a crazy woman when I have been cooped up for too long with all the kids. But I just haven't reached that point where I am comfortable with leaving the kids with someone. Not to mention that we have moved so much that I have not found anyone that is reliable. And even though I talk about all the shenanigans that go on around here, and the craziness that my kids put me through, it is my craziness.

Since having kids I am the last person to judge another parent, this parenting business is freaking hard work. Before I had kids I was that person that would look at the child in the middle of Target throwing a tantrum like, good lord what is going on? Get that kid under control. But now having had many of meltdowns in countless stores, I am the one getting the looks. Every parent does what works for them. My husband and I do what works for us. No two parenting styles are alike which is why there are a million and one parenting books out there because clearly no one has a clear cut path to follow when it comes to this thing called child rearing. My comfort level is probably very different from another persons, so what? I do things different then my mom did things, I am sure I do things different from a lot of moms out there. But I do what I feel is best for me and my little nuggets. There are so many terms out there these days, attachment parenting, uninvolved, crunchy moms....the list goes on. Call me crunchy, nutty, crumbly, fried or what have you. I just feel there is no need to judge...I mean if I had it my way I am sure all my kids would just sleep in bed with me until we all couldn't fit anymore (my husband feels differently). I just want to soak all this little kid time up, because there will come a time where my kids don't want to hang out with the hubs and I. One day they will realize that mom and dad do not possess super powers that heal a boo boo with a kiss. One day they will not greet us at the door with utter surprise and excitement as if we have been gone a year, when really we just went to the mail box. 

Chris and I absolutely deserve a break together here in the near future, and we will be taking full advantage of grandma when she comes to visit. But family time is the thing we enjoy the most, considering we rarely get to eat dinner as a family during the week. Family time is precious to me. I don't know, I just don't think people should make moms feel bad about NOT leaving their kids, and taking a break, I mean think of it this way there is one more babysitter in the area free for your friday and saturday nights :) 

Halloween Brainstorming

Oct 8, 2013

Every Halloween I like to do something different, change it up a bit. Last year we carved pumpkins, but this year I am really liking the whole painting, or covering pumpkins. I like to use them as decor, not just putting them in front of the house with a candle. This is not to say that we won't be carving pumpkins, because the husband might disown me if I didn't let him engage in this beloved tradition. But I would like to spread our pumpkin decorating wings this go around. If you follow me on Pinterest you may have seen some of these ideas already. 


I am not too sure if we will be having a Halloween party or not...sadly I am not even sure if the husband will be home for all hallows eve. But if I were having a paaaaartaaaay I would want it to look like this.

Party or no party I ordered these wine labels, because I mean how could anyone pass these up? 

I will absolutely be trying out these whooping pies! I love pumpkin cookies. I actually think I might use my recipe and just add the cream. But either way these will need to GET IN MY BELLYYYY!!!!



Leaves are falling...Leaves are falling

Oct 7, 2013

I have had this song stuck in my head from Ace for about two days. Leaves are falling leaves are falling to the ground to the ground....on and on. Ace sings it much cuter than I ever could, I am hoping he comes home with a new preschool top 10 hit this week so I can add to the play list in my head. 

On to our weekend, this weekend was dedicated to getting things done around this new house of ours. For some reason I have had zero motivation to getting things unpacked. This is generally out of character for me since I usually have the house up and running within a few days of moving. But I think moving ourselves this time around wore me out. I decided that this weekend I needed to so something, and since the husband was home for two days in a row I figured I better use him to my advantage before he disappears come Monday. 
All the leaves have fallen off the trees around our house, which makes for free kid entertainment and manual labor!
I have to admit that I have enjoyed seeing the seasons change here in Alaska. I have never lived in a place where the leaves change beautiful colors and the grass in blanketed in such an array of different shades. This is all new to someone who has spent most of her life in the desert. This goes for the kids as well, being born in Arizona did not give them much of a chance to frolic in the wonders of fall. 
It may seem so simple, and not very monumental, but I love watching my kids experience new things. Even if it is just playing in a pile of freshly raked leaves. They spent hours out there kicking the leaves all over the place, and would then wait as patiently as possible for dad to rake them all back up into a giant pile. Nothing makes me happier than watching my kids just be kids...

*I currently cannot find my camera charger, so these photos are brought to you by my iphone!

Fall Fashion For Mom

Oct 5, 2013


Hats: beanie/ jewel cap/ two tone cap
Jackets: color block/ plaid/ faux leather/ wool
Pants: floral/ camo/ moto jeans (on sale)/ faux leather/ combined leggings
Tops: cool sweater/ jewel top/ cable knit/ checkered
Skirts: striped/ mini/ faux leather

Fall is one of my favorite seasons fashion wise. I love me some warm weather, but I like to layer, and I am a collector when it comes to sweaters. Last year I did not do much fall shopping since I was preggo. So this year I am excited to to embrace the cooler weather. Fall in Alaska is almost non-existent, then you get winter, colder winter, and eff you winter go away... until about May. So before I have to bundle up in my michelin man attire I intend on indulging in some fall trends!

The Great Costume Debate

Oct 3, 2013

So it is October...the count down to Halloween has begun. Halloween happens to be my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving comes in at a close second, but Halloween is my jam. I do not particularly like scary movies, but I love to scare other people with our decorating super skills. In the past the husband and I have always created mini haunted houses out of our front porch to really set the mood. We go all out! But we also like to dress up. We are a theme kind of family...
This was such a fun night. We were in Vegas and took my brother and sisters trick or treating. 
Ace's first Halloween
-no words for this one really...

Anyway, the point is, that when it comes to costume picking we put a lot of thought into it. But then...then...came these little mini Halloween lovers that we created, their names are Ace and Pierce. Well they are not really team players when it comes to costume decisions. Everyday Ace wants to be something new... Iron Man, a hot dog, a knight, a dragon, the list goes on. Pierce has one request, Buzz Lightyear. I thought we could go with a Toy Story theme but Ace refuses to be Woody, or anyone else in the movie for that matter. So who knows what we will put on this go around, whatever it is I am excited. Now if only I could find the boxes that say "halloween stuff" in the garage...



Borderline Hoarding

Oct 1, 2013

I am beginning to think we are walking a very fine line between hoarding, and collecting, with furniture that is. I am sure many military families feel this way at some point. You move so often, and every house is different. You have 4 stainless steel trash cans in all different shapes and sizes because I mean you just never know which one will fit in the kitchen. You have every dimension curtain because windows come in all shapes and sizes. No matter how many times you move, you just can't part with that love seat that only seemed to fit through the door at that ONE house! But you just never know...

This is now the case with the boys bedroom in this new house. The stairs leading to their room curve in such a way that we cannot fit their headboards up there. They do not seem to break down. We thought that possibly we were just tired from moving furniture and that some fresh eyes could give us some perspective. So the husband called up some of his highly intelligent buddies to come take a look. One suggested we just "trim" the wall...another said we could get a crane and put it through the window. You see how none of this was helping? I revoked their speaking privileges and sent them all out to the deck to grill...haha!

In the end we knew what was coming...furniture shopping.
Ace was in charge of "testing" out the bunk beds and mattresses. 
He did a pretty good job if you ask me.
Pierce was in charge of providing free birth control to all the other people in the store in the form of the LOUDEST tantrum in the history of furniture shopping!!
Anchorage furniture stores come well equipped with a nice freight elevator for those "larger" then normal families who decide to bring the whole petting zoo out for some shopping. The boys actually thought it was pretty cool to ride the "weally weally big elelator". 

In the end we went with two twin beds instead of the bunk beds. This was after Ace made the statement "mommy I could fly off this bed like stuperman". Umm...negative child, twin bed it is. 

We now have three beds, mattresses, and box springs in the garage just waiting patiently for our next move to see if they will be lucky enough to make the cut. I am thinking at this rate I will have a big enough collection of house hold items to open a small furniture store. 



 

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