Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Bestie

We all have that one special person that can always be counted on. One person that will help you with anything if you ever asked for it. The person you go to whether you want to tell an awesome joke to or need a shoulder to cry on. My best friend Jennifer has had a really rough time these past few months, and I just want to let her know that I love her. So I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my one best friend.

We've known each other for almost 8 years now and we have been through a lot together. Boyfriends and breakups. First loves and heartbreaks. Babies and hospitalization. Marriage. Moving. More babies. Visits. Depression. Separation. Drama. Deployments. Surgeries. Broken bones. She is the only person (besides my Mama) that I trust completely, and only because that trust has been tested time and time again and she has always been true. She is the big sister I never had.

She is seriously one of my heroes. She is such a strong woman! Her son, Tristan, was born at 24 weeks by way of an emergency c-section. When he was born he was the size of a ruler and weighed less than a gallon of milk. Tristan had a 50% chance of living and once he defeated those odds there was still a huge mountain of medical problems for them to climb. She is a single mom with financial help from her mom. But through all of her struggles she still manages to keep her head up and her mind right.

We live 1,457 miles apart but that has never kept us from staying in touch. Since we moved to NC in 2007, she has been here five times and stayed for a least a month (usually much longer) each visit. She has her own room in our house. She has her own food here. When Tristan and Aiden were younger she even had her own play pen. She is a huge part of our life and she is here to stay.

our first ball together 2008

Summer 2009

it's a Twilight truck! Oct 2009

being silly a few days before my surgery Feb 2010

ghetto girls June 2010

I love you so much Ferfer! Keep that smile on your face because good times are headed your way. :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Bloghop 2011

I have never participated in a blog hop before so be kind if this isn't the "correct" way to do one of these thingys. I'm relatively new to the blogging world, and I thought this could be a good way to get out there and (cyberly) meet other people who do the same thing I do every day - write about their lives and how they deal with it all. So come on in and read a little bit out me. Be sure to leave a comment with your blog so I can do the same. :-)

Hi. Hello! My name is Lauren and I am the mistress of Young But Not (Completely) Dumb. I started this blog back in June 2010 while I was in my hometown, frustrated with life that my civilian friends couldn't understand my military lifestyle. I needed a place to vent and let my thoughts be heard so that someone out there could understand what I'm going through. Over time this blog developed into a way to keep our family updated on our lives while we're far from home, and to keep me from going insane.

I am a young Marine wife. My husband and I were married straight after he graduated boot camp in December 2006. I was seventeen years old. Yes you read that right. I was a baby.

Fast forward to now: Ethan and I have been married for four years. We've had our ups and down, but we've made it through this crazy life with a few bumps and bruises, but still together and happier than ever. We have a two year old little Monster (also known as Aiden) that is the center of our world. We plan on adding another addition to the family sometime as early as this summer, but we'll see how that goes.

We are deployment survivors! Ethan has been to Afghanistan once, but he has re-enlisted into EOD (for those of you not military, think of The Hurtlocker on a much less Hollywood scale) so we are going to be dealing with deployments a lot in the future. EOD school is in Florida so in about a month we will be moving down there to start the next chapter in the military section of our life.

I'm a southern girl: Texas-born and Tennessee-raised. I'm really into photography, but I don't consider myself a photographer at all. I am a vegetarian, and I share my recipes often. I'm a stay at home wife and mom...for now.

While most girls my age are studying for finals and worrying about who they're going to the club with this weekend, I'm making this crazy military life work for us. I've lived through a lot and I'm learning each day what it is to be strong and creative with the hand we're dealt. I may be young, but I'm not (completely) dumb.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow Cream

Since I posted with my horrible attempt with tofu yesterday, I thought today I would restore your faith in my cooking skills by sharing with you one our new favorite winter family traditions. This weekend we got about 7 inches of snow, which effectively kept us inside the house. Aiden and I were both just getting over a sickness so we didn't really want to take Aiden out to play in the snow and risk him getting sick again. He absolutely hated it so that afternoon when the snowfall slowed down, Ethan  went out and collected snow for me and we made snow ice cream.

The recipe is relatively very easy. Just adjust the amount of ingredients based on how much snow you bring in.

Ethan brought in enough to fill a soup pot. We then poured that into an even bigger pot so that I could have room to stir it all up. {We left the bigger pot outside for a few minutes so that it would be cold so the snow wouldn't melt right away.}

For this much snow I mixed about 1 cup of {lactose free} milk, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream (because I had it in the house. You can use half and half or just plain milk...whatever you like), about a tablespoon of vanilla and 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar.

Pour the milky mixture into the snow and stir until desired consistency. I noticed that the longer I stirred, the more the texture became closer to ice cream.

Make sure you taste it to get the desired flavor.

Place into bowls and add any toppings you want. Ethan and I added chocolate syrup. Aiden had just regular vanilla. Sit down with the family in front of a good movie and enjoy!

Kid tested and approved!

*Note: We tried this both with a fresh snow and snow that had sat overnight and it was definitely a much better texture and taste with the fresh snow. The old snow sort of freezes into clumps when mixed together. So for best results make with powdery or fresh snow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Epic Fail Tofu Style

I have been branching out on my cooking skills and wanted to try something new. I love learning about food, especially when it's new recipes and techniques that I've never tried or even thought of. I love to get a recipe and expand upon it and put my own little twist into it.

I was looking through different recipes in my Vegetarian Times magazine and came across something different and interesting that I wanted to try: Tofu Saag Paneer. It looks very simple and sounded so yummy so I added it to my weekly menu and grocery list. I told Ethan I wanted to make him a surprise this week since I have never cooked tofu at home before, but when we're at restaurants we almost always seem to order it. It's one of those foods where if it's cooked right it's delicious, but if it's tastes like soft squishy mushy digustingness.

On Thursday Ethan had an overnight sleep study so I wanted to make something really nice for him as a late lunch/early dinner. I thought why not try the tofu thing. I was super excited for this recipe. I even took pictures of everything so that I could add it on here as one of my recipes once it was deemed amazingly delicious.

I gathered together all of the ingredients I would need. Which weren't a lot, which is why I chose this recipe - because it was super simple.

 I followed the directions exactly. I first cooked the tofu, then the onion, garlic, ginger, and curry powder.

Then I added the spinach and cooked for a few more minutes. After that, I added the tofu, milk, and yogurt and mixed it all together.

It smelled really yummy, but it didn't look so good. I kept thinking to myself I should have made some rice to go along with it, but it was too late to worry about that so I scooped it into bowls and told Ethan that dinner was served.

I always let Ethan taste my creations first because even though he'll eat anything, I can usually judge by his facial expressions whether the food is good or not. I watched every little muscle as he scooped up a nice forkful of the green stuff and shoveled it into his mouth... And then his eyes got big and his mouth twitched. He glanced at me quickly to see if I was watching him, and then forced the stuff down. I could practically hear him moaning on the inside. He gave me a look of pity and started smiling sheepishly and I knew it. The tofu saag paneer that I worked so hard to make right...was not as good as I hoped.

I made Ethan take another big bite just so that I could show everyone his reaction.

He had to force himself to swallow. Then it was my turn. The pictures he took of me never made it on here because I couldn't even finish the bite without spitting it out. It was that gross. We couldn't stop laughing because it was pretty funny. I was soooo proud of myself and bragging about how I'm going to make tofu all the time now....yeah not so much. I'm sure I will try again, but not with this recipe and definitely not for a while until we can get the taste out of our heads.

Needless to say we ate Subway instead. Ethan and I have deemed this Tofu Saag Paneer from Vegetarian Times an epic fail.

{If you would like to try the recipe for yourself, even if it's just to punish your husband and take embarrassing pictures feel free to contact me. ;-P}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Been A Rough Week

Friday morning Aiden had eye muscle surgery to correct a lazy eye and bring both of his eyes to a straight position. The surgery itself was about an hour long, and then we were brought back into recovery to help him while he was waking up from anesthesia. I don't know how many of you have had surgery, but when you wake up from anesthesia you're really loopy and you can't really make sense of everything around you. When a baby or toddler wakes up from anesthesia it scares them because they have never really felt like that before which causes them to become almost inconsolable until they calm down.

Usually it takes the little ones about 20-30 minutes to get the fit out of their system and then they drink a little bit of liquids and the surgery center sends you on home. Well after almost an hour straight of screaming, crying, thrashing his body around, and not being able to wake up or really respond the nurses decided to try to call his doctor. Dr. Johnson was already back in the OR on another patient so they decided to give Aiden some oral medicine to help calm him down. He had been refusing to drink any liquids so they had to force it down, and not even 3 minutes later he was throwing up everywhere. My poor baby. Must of the medicine must have made it into his system though because about another 20-30 minutes later he finally started to respond to us. He could barely open his eyes {which is understandable since the poor boy just had his muscles detached and reattached under his lower lids} but he was able to keep down about half a cup of juice. They kept us another 30 minutes to monitor him and make sure the worst was over and then we changed him into his favorite Thomas the Train pajamas, made him as comfortable as we could in his car seat, and were on our way.

I was pretty nervous about leaving right away because of the way he had responded after his surgery. He had another minor eye surgery when he was 16 months old and it had been the "normal" experience so I was little worried to drive 2 1/2 hours back home if something went wrong. So we hung around Wilmington for a while, driving around, and cruising the mall {during this whole time Aiden was completely knocked out} before coming home. When we got home he woke up after an almost 6 hour nap, really cranky and asking to talk to his grandmas {which is what he does when he doesn't feel good}. He stayed awake for a whopping three hours before falling back asleep for another 11 hours.

When he woke up Saturday morning is was like nothing happened. He was fine. The only thing that was different was that he didn't like the sun in his eyes. Later Saturday afternoon we came home from running a few errands, and Monster started complaining about his eyes hurting and he was literally crying and begging for his eye medicine. The doctor had told us a number of times that at his age he wouldn't feel any pain after surgery so we found it a bit strange that he was telling us that his eyes hurt and that he was specifically asking for medicine. We called the on-call doc, which turned out to be Aiden's doctor, and let him know what was going on. He said just to monitor Aiden and if things didn't change then to call him the next day and we'd go from there.

I have to say that it is one of the most heartbreaking things to see your child go through something like this and you be powerless to help him. I mean he needed the surgery. It was inevitable. But to look into his bloody and blistered hurt. There are just some boo-boos you can't fix with a hug and a kiss.

On Monday Aiden got a stomach bug. His first one in fact. I mean it was pretty bad. Kept us up all night. Thank God it seemed to be a 24 hour thing that was over as quickly as it began.

Then on Tuesday I got the bug. I don't know if it was worse because I'm older, or if it just effected me differently, but it was horrible. If my baby was in as much agony as I was, I feel even worse for him. Mine last longer as well. All day Wednesday I literally couldn't move off the couch. It freaking sucked.

Today everything is better. Aiden's eyes are healing. He had his post-op appointment today and while I couldn't go{because I still felt a little queasy this morning}, Ethan said it went really well. His eyes are straightened. His vision is really good. The doctor is really happy with the outcome. Now the boys are on the way home and I feel fine. The worst is over and now it's time for all of us to get back to normal.

I'm just counting on this weekend being much better. It has to be right? And now I leave you with one of the bravest little boys I know:

4 days post-op...honestly they look way better than they did

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There's Only One Pink Line...

So I haven't written about this yet because I wasn't sure what to write, but I need advice or friendship or something...more than what I'm getting right now with just keeping it all in.

I'm late. Late, like the four words no single guy {or mother of a single daughter} wants to hear "I think I'm late." Except with me it's not I think, it's "Oh hey I haven't had a period since before Thanksgiving."

As I wrote on here a while back, I was taking weight loss pills, to help give me a boost on this get healthy kick that I'm on. Well I stopped taking them because I noticed that I started getting sick in the evenings and I was thirsty all the time. I didn't know if that was because of a possible baby, or the pills so I quit to see what would happen. Plus if I was preggo I'm sure those things aren't healthy for a little jellybean. A few days later my thirst was back to normal, but I was still getting sick after I ate.

I told my husband that I didn't want to make a big deal out of things because I didn't feel pregnant. When I was pregnant with Aiden, I knew before my body had enough hCG to show up on a test. I just had this feeling that something was different and that there was a tiny little miracle happening inside of me. This time I just don't have that feeling at all. The only reason I even started to question it was because of all the strange things happening to me. If I move around too much I get nauseous. After I eat I'll get nauseous, and even while I'm eating sometimes. My boobs are sore in the morning when I get out of bed. I can't physically lose weight. I haven't gained anything in a few months, but I can't lose more than two pounds either. There are a few other things but it would be TMI if I went into them.

I haven't had my monthly visit for 2 1/2 months now. November 2nd was the last time Aunt Flo showed up. In that whole time I haven't so much as spotted. Nothing.

Ethan is convinced that I am pregnant. He thinks that I just don't want to admit it to myself. So this morning I took a pregnancy test. I woke up and read the directions. Although peeing on a stick isn't really that hard in the first place I would be the one who screws it up. I did the deed, and waited the three minutes. Honestly I was a little nervous and I couldn't turn my brain off. I don't exactly think right now is the right time for me to have a bun in the oven, but we have been talking about trying for another baby later on this year. Maybe there's a reason why I haven't been able to get my IUD put back in?

After the time was up I went back into the bathroom ready to see those two pink lines that would change everything all over again. I walked over to the counter and glanced down, pretending that it really wasn't a big deal and I saw the results. One pink line. Negative. No baby. 

So then what gives? The hormones would definitely be coursing through my body already if I was pregnant so I don't think that it's wrong. I didn't really think I was pregnant anyways, or at least that's what I was telling myself. But really it's so much easier to blame all these symptoms on a pregnancy than to face the facts that there might be something wrong.

So now comes the hard part. The part I want to avoid completely, but Ethan just won't let me. Trying to figure out what else it could be. That means I'm going to have to go to the doctor. Ugh. Do I really have to? What are they going to tell me? That my body just sucks and that I'm crazy? I really just don't want to open this can of worms.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

PCS Questions

We have 8 weeks left until we move and I am finding myself unprepared. I think it was actually easier when we thought Ethan was getting out because we knew we had somewhere to go when we were moving back home. No matter what happened we would have a place to live.

I'm not sure how to get started with the moving process for a PCS. The realty website that I've been looking at says that to live off base at Eglin we have to go to the housing office and sign paperwork saying that we're refusing housing. That seems a little strange to me. Did anyone out there have to do something similar for their base? Because I know at Cherry Point you don't have to do that at all. All we have to do here is give housing a 30 day notice before we leave.

I have a few questions about how to go about things. When do you schedule TMO? Will they still pack and move you if you don't have an address? Can they move you to a storage unit if needed? Would it be better to DITY move when you're going from a 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment? If anyone could help me that would be great because I feel so lost.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Big Five-Oh

Wow so I now have 50 followers. I find that crazy! So to celebrate I would like to get to know the people who are learning so much about me. I'm not sure how to do a giveaway the right way so if someone wants to e-mail me about that I might do one of those in the future, but for now I'd just like to get to know everyone.

So here's what I'd like to do. I love doing little survey thingys so if you could, leave a comment with your answers. Please and thank you!

  1. What is your favorite type of food?
  2. How long have you lived at the place you are at now?
  3. What is your dream job?
  4. What is your favorite book?
  5. What is the best movie you watched in 2010?
  6. What is a random fact I should know about you?
  7. Leave me your favorite blog post that you have written.

And as always thank you for coming here to see what I'm all about. It's always nice to know that people are interested in what you have to say. Don't be a stranger!

♥ Lauren

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Resolutions

I am the queen of breaking a resolution. I can never seem to make myself stick to something, but I think with age and discipline I am getting better at it. And I've also learned to give myself more attainable goals. Instead of saying "Oh I'm going to lose weight," I have told myself "Oh I'm going to lose 15 pounds by my birthday." See? Much easier for me. So while I suck at resolutions and goals, I am determined to stick to my guns this year.

2011 is going to be all about change for this family. All before December we will have moved twice to two different states, we will have dealt with EOD school and all that entails, we will have gone from a 3 person family to possibly ready for the 4th one. All of us will be a year older. All of us will have to deal with changes in friends and such due to moving. It's going to be an interesting year.

I'm also thinking of starting a 101 in 1001 like I've seen on a lot of people's blogs. I think it would be good for me to also have a few longer term goals. But for now, here is a list of my goals for this year.

  • I want to lose at least 20 pounds before my 22nd birthday {July 5th}
  • I want to be able to run a mile non-stop.
  • I want to enroll in college.
  • I want to start to teach Aiden to read and possibly write.
  • I want to prepare my body for the thought of having another baby.

What are your goals for this year??