Thursday, February 28, 2013

Valentine's Day #Datenight

Ok, so we didn't actually go out on Valentine's Day since Michael got home on Valentine's Day. But we did go out a couple of days later.

I've been wanting to go to the Melting Pot for what seems like forever. It's a bit pricey so when we do go, it's usually to the bar for Happy Hour where we have just the cheese and chocolate. Which frankly, that's probably the best part anyways if you had to pick. So with us not having gone out on a date night in nine months and wanting to celebrate him coming home, not to mention Valentine's Day, we decided to splurge.

Luckily the Melting Pot does a military discount on Sunday through Thursday, and it's a good 20% off so that really helped as well. Because of that, we made sure to book our reservations on a Sunday, which was still just a couple days after he came home. I haven't been the the Melting Pot in awhile but they've changed their prices a bit since the last time I went and it's easier to go and not have to spend quite as much as before, which is nice. You have a bunch of options for dinner and from what I remember before, there was really only two.

Overall, it was a great dinner and you have never been, it's worth it at least once. I already want to go back. Ha ha.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#WordlessWednesday and the Pearl Ann

In the last couple of years, my grandparent's both passed away. First my grandmother and then last year, my grandfather. Growing up, my parent's used to take us kids, out on my grandparent's boat. I have fond memories of fishing and crabbing, and sleeping in the back.

Me, my brother and sister 

out on the San Juan Islands with the Pearl Ann in the background

The boat is a 1955 Bryant wood boat, that in it's time was just gorgeous. Now it needs some work. The motor doesn't work anymore and the wood needs sanded and perhaps updated in a few places that's it's a bit soft. Nobody in the family wanted to mess with the boat and they were talking about scrapping it so I jumped on the opportunity. Yes it needs work, but my husband has been wanting a project for awhile anyways so I think it's a win win. I just couldn't let this boat get scrapped. It's beautiful. We took some pics yesterday and i'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like and actually taking it out in the future! I can't wait to see Gideon spend a couple of days out in the water on it.

The Pearl Ann

Gideon wanted to show me his silly face :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He's home!

I've been in a bit of whirl wind the last couple of weeks and have seriously been slacking on my blogging. I guess I have a good excuse though. My husband came home! If you follow me on Facebook, you may already have seen that but I should probably share some more pictures and actually blog about it.

In case you somehow missed it or you just started reading my blog, my husband has been deployed for the last nine months. On Feb 14th, he came home! What a fantastic start to my Valentine's Day! I've known for a couple of weeks but due to OPSEC I couldn't share the info. If you aren't military affiliated, you probably have no idea what OPSEC is. It stands for OPerations SECurity and basically means to keep information guarded so that potential "threats" wont know what is going on. Especially when troops are overseas, we don't want anyone bad to know where they're at, when they're traveling, etc.

I helped Gideon to make a welcome home sign for dad, and as you know, Gideon LOVES pirates, so we made a pirate map sign! It turned out fairly cute and added that touch of originality so that we didn't have the same sign as everyone else. I also should add, Gideon keeps calling soldiers' Mateys. Hence another part of where the sign idea came from.

I will admit, I was a little nervous to have him come home, as it seems like he's been gone forever. You get a groove of just you and the kids and to add hubby back into that, is a bit intimidating. I was also worried about how Gideon was going to handle it, but all of my worries seem to have been for no reason, overall. We've been working on getting a routine started, which is a little hard since Michael is still working half days, but we've got something at least. And Gideon was so excited to see daddy and has been all about going everywhere with him, which is better then I could have hoped for. I thought he might need a little warming up, but nope.

Patiently waiting

I see feet!

They're here!

Even the dogs were super excited to see him and I wasn't sure if they'd remember him or not. Coco was whining up a storm when he was petting them. So sweet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Handmade from the Heart with Heads up Designs

Happy Valentine's Day!
To celebrate Valentine's Day, I've joined the Blogging Mamas Network in the Handmade from the Heart Giveaway Hop!  This Event is all about the Love for Handmade things - each blogger involved, including me, has a great prize for you to enter to win!  After you enter my giveaway, be sure to hop around to all the others.
And you definitely don't want to miss the Grand Prize...

Etsy Gift Card Giveaway

My 5 year old LOVES to play pretend and dress up. He has the most active imagination, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up! Lately, he's been obsessed with Pirates so some friends of mine made him a copy of Jake and Neverland Pirates. Now he calls our loveseat "Bucky" and he randomly walks up to me and says "c'mon Izzy, follow me!" It's really cute, but if you are one of those people who have never seen the show, you'd have no idea what he was talking about. LOL.

Part of his creative imagination, involves dressing up in costumes. He loves to dress as a dinosaur or of course a pirate, and play pretend. Recently I found this adorable shop on Etsy, Heads Up Designs, that makes cape sets for kiddos! Each set comes with pants, shirt, mask, and of course a cape! How fun! She also has some really cute shirt designs. She has everything covered from holidays, characters, and even birthday shirts!

To celebrate Valentine's Day, she has graciously decided to do a giveaway with YOU, my readers, for two shirts of your choice and size OR a superhero bundle set of your choice and size. This giveaway is only open to readers that live in the U.S. and are 18 and older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kinda Crunchy Mama, According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, and the Handmade from the Heart participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines Day cards

This is Gideon's first year being in school during Valentines Day, and I've had plans for cards for his classroom since right after last Valentine's Day. I had found this really cute printable of jars that you taped a plastic bug onto it. Super easy and really cute. I have been excitedly waiting to do this for almost a year. Well a couple of days ago, I came across this really cute card on Etsy and I decided I was going to try and replicate that instead. I needed a monster stamp, which I looked all over for today and had no luck in finding. Since Valentines Day is only a couple of days a way I ended up using this alien looking stamp instead. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it worked. The other item we needed was googly eyes, which I had a bunch of. Of course, things didn't quite work out how I wanted it to (I ran out of the right size of googly eyes and had to use different ones, which of course then changed how it displayed in the hole) but I made it work!

Front of card
Front of card with different googly eye

Inside of card - still needs Gideon to sign them

Like I said, it wasn't exactly how I envisioned them but they turned out cute.


Heart punch
Monster stamp with a space for a googly eye
"U" stamp or die cut
Googly eyes
Circle punch
Red or patterned paper
Brown paper for card

I don't think you really need instructions as it's pretty self explanatory. The hardest part was getting the monster eye to match up with the hole. I finally figured out to stamp the monster then measure from center of eye to bottom of card. Then I measured up on the front of card to the same distance and made a mark where the eye was. Then cut that out with a circle. That seemed to work the easiest for me. If you had a clear stamp that was a monster you could probably do the circle first but mine was a wood block so it didn't work.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's time to get crafty with Twistmo

Welcome to the It's Time to Get Crafty Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. With the colder weather keeping us inside, it's the perfect time to get crafty! I’ve joined with over 40 other bloggers to bring you great products to keep you or your kids busy this season.

This event will run from February 6-20 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you be creative or to admire someone else's handmade creations. While you're hopping, be sure to check out the Grand Prize for this Event - a 6 month subscription to Green Kid Crafts AND a $100 Michaels Gift Card!

Kinda Crunchy Mama's wonderful sponsor for this event is Twistmo Vinyl Decor Art. Nowadays, anyone can have a picture frame on their wall, but to add some beautiful vinyl art just sets your house decor apart!

Lori Lee is the artist in charge of creating art that is easy and mess free; that can be applied just about anywhere. She uses influences from her life, nature, and current trends, to create something that anyone can add to their home.

I'm not sure if you've ever attempted to use a cricut to create vinyl art, but it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. You're also stuck to what you can find cartridges for or if you have a silhouette, downloads for. The great thing about Twistmo is that these are one of a kind, creative pieces. I personally think the alien pieces are really cute for a little kids bedroom. Can you imagine coming up with a creative way to add these to your child's room?

This giveaway is open to U.S. only, 18 and older. Thank you to Twistmo for this wondeful giveaway, and don't forget to check out some of the unique designs over at Twistmo, today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, February 4, 2013

I want to have a child

I've been debating on writing about this for awhile... If you know me personally, this probably isn't new information for you, but if you don't, it obviously will be.

I want to have another child. Yes, I have my son and I love him to death and i'm sure that's some of why I want another; but just one is not enough for me. And yes, I have three step-daughters. However, they do not live with us, (they're on the other side of the country, actually) so yes they are my step-daughters, but they're not MY kids. Regardless, even if they lived with us, they have a mom already. They have that special relationship with someone.

Another thing is I want to have a child with my husband. He considers Gideon his own and will be adopting him when he returns from his deployment, and I think that's some of why he's been so hesitant about another child. He has four. I have one. Yes, I could deal if that's all I can have but I really don't want to. I LOVED being pregnant. I LOVED having a newborn. I want that again, and I don't think anyone can tell me i'm wrong for wanting that.

I'm sure people will argue, since my husband has four kids, the financial aspect of having another. Yes, we pay a fortune for these four kids. I know that, I get that. I don't want to be strapped for cash. But I do want another child. Look at the Duggars. Sure, now they have book deals and a t.v. show which i'm sure helps them to raise their growing brood, but they didn't always have that. They lived responsibly and were able to provide. Sure, the kids may not have had everything they wanted but they did have everything they needed and were well loved.

Being loved is what ultimately matters.

Even if you don't want to look at the Duggars because you may consider it extreme, i'm sure you know at least one or two families with five kids or more. Overall, I would say people have that many kids because they love their children, and love their family. Of course there's always exceptions to that statement and i'm not talking about the exceptions.

But back to me. I have one child. Sure, yes, i'm pushing my husband to have a fifth child, not a second, like me. But I cant help the desires that have been put in my heart. I have one child.

The thought of not having another child honestly breaks my heart.

Another thing, you may or may not know, which i've kinda of been talking as if you did know, my husband has had a vasectomy. Yes, I married him, knowing he couldn't have more kids. But once again, was I supposed to tell myself I couldn't fall in love with him because he couldn't? I didn't set out to love him and marry him. I simply moved in with a stranger because I needed a cheaper place to live. (Check out my life to Army wife story).

I know that "I" don't have infertility issues and I don't know if you could even say my husband does since he chose this, but I feel like a couple with them. I just know that I can't have a baby now. And that hurts.

My husband has gone back and forth on whether he wants another child, pretty much since I met him. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. I think he swings on the yes side more so just because he knows it really matters to me. With being deployed, he's firmly on the yes camp now.

We can't afford to have a vasectomy reversal done. We've looked into the military doing it. Everything out there says Tricare doesn't cover it though. After doing research online, which is ends up being mostly forums of people talking who have had it done, I figured out the trick. Tricare may not cover it but specific, select military hospitals do it on an space available basis.

Michael asked at Madigan in 2009 when we first got married and they told him that they didn't do it. Or at least that's what he told me at the time. He tried in Korea when we were there too, and the same thing. We moved back to Washington and I found one place online that was dated 2010 that stated Madigan did them. So not sure if it's a newer policy or what but they do them! I called and talked to someone in the urology department about it and unfortunately with Michael deploying during the summer, they wouldn't let him sign up. They want you to be with your spouse for 6 months after. Which personally, I find a little silly since it can take 3 months to a year before anything is working again if the surgery is successful. Calling in the winter/spring of 2012 I was told that there'd be a good chance if he was on the list, surgery would be in the summer (2012).

Now, with Michael returning home shortly, we're going to try again. I'm hoping, since we're kind of in the same time frame, just a year later, we'll still be looking at surgery this summer. I've been nervous that Madigan would stop doing the surgeries but so far it looks like they still do. I've also been nervous, as i'm not in my 20's anymore. I'll be 32 in May and obviously my window of having children is dwindling.

Is it wrong to want children? I don't think so but i'm sure others out there will disagree with me. Hopefully i'll be able to share my adventures with you in the next year and hopefully there will be an eventual happy ending to this sad part of my life. I would love to hear from anyone out there that has had any experience with this. How do you deal? Have you had surgery? I don't feel like I can join the infertility groups out there but I feel like I need the same support that those people do. I feel the same, regardless of the reason.

I want to have a child. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Melissa & Doug Toys Giveaway

$350 Melissa & Doug Toys Giveaway
Sponsored by Melissa & Doug

From puzzles to puppets, plush to play food, magnetic activities, music and more, Melissa & Doug® is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of educational toys and children's products.

Over 23 years ago we started our company in the garage of the home where Doug grew up — we had to be careful not to disturb Doug's parents who were still living there! Thanks to your support, we've been able to move into a real office down the road, a building that actually has separate ladies and men's bathrooms! Our philosophy has remained the same over the years–to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design. Our line offers something for everyone with over 1,000 innovative products for children of all ages! We've always welcomed customer suggestions, and we continually strive to make improvements to our products. We're honored by the faith you place in us and view it as our responsibility to continue to earn your trust in the years to come!

Read Coupon Gator Mommy's Melissa & Doug Toys Review.

Three lucky winners!
Grand Prize: $250 in Your Choice of Melissa & Doug Products
1st Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products
2nd Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products

This giveaway ends Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. 
Open to US and Canada residents.
Good Luck!

A special thanks to all the amazing bloggers who are participating in this giveaway!

~Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Kinda Crunchy Mama is not responsible for shipping prize to winner, nor did I accept any compensation for this promotion.~

I did it!

I did it! I crocheted my first baby blanket! I just started crocheting 2-3 weeks ago, and after watching some youtube videos to teach me how, I did it. I started by making a scarf for my son, Gideon. He loves red so when he saw me picking out yarn and I mentioned scarves, he requested one right away. He actually loves it though, and loves to show it off. It did take me a couple tries as my ends weren't even at first, but once I got it, I got it. I think... LOL.

After creating my scarf, I was invited to a surprise baby shower for a friend of mine. My first thought was to make her a baby blanket. I figure it's basically a bunch of scarves put together... Right? Let me tell you, i'm new to crocheting so i'm not that quick. This blanket took me well over 30 hours to complete. I did  half double crochet stitches (I think that's what it's called...) and while I think it's a nice, pretty, small stitch, it took forever! Not sure if i'll do that small of a stitch again on a blanket.

A friend of mine does a lot of wave borders on her blankets so that's what I planned on doing, but after going around the edges first, it scrunched a little and I realized that a ruffle edge would be really pretty. The reason mine scrunched (it wasn't that noticeable, just to me) was trying to do the ends. Figuring out where to put the stitch on the ends when going around, proved slightly difficult for me. I'm sure there's a trick, I just don't know it, so I winged it.

So then I started looking up tutorials for ruffle borders, and while it took me awhile, I finally found one that I liked! I was supposed to do three rows and only ended up with enough time and yarn to do two, but it was still really pretty.

I'm not going to lie and tell you it was perfect. I'm not. But I do think it was pretty darn good. Especially seeing as I just started.

Here's some of the videos I used to teach myself to crochet in the first place.

Thanks to my Facebook fans, I was also recommended  to check out Crochet Geek, All Free Crochet, and Bev's Country Cottage among others. Also, check out Bob Wilson's learn to crochet series: