Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Hero of the House

If you ever want to make your man feel like man, break something you know he can fix. 

Last week the microwave burned out. We don't want to buy a new one, because the new house comes with one built in. So Ben got to work trying to fix it. No matter what he did, it wouldn't work. I think he was really frustrated because electrical stuff is his thing.  I felt really bad because I knew it was a serious blow to his self-esteem.

Then, yesterday, I was literally about to take it out to the trash, when I decided to make dinner first. I was making Asian Chicken Salad and needed to use my food processor to chop the cabbage all perfect. So I used the outlet that the microwave was previously using, and my processor wouldn't power up! Then it hit me! The microwave wasn't broken! The outlet burned out! 

I ran into Ben's office and said, "The microwave isn't broken! It's the outlet!" He looked at me blankly for a second, then he said, "did you hit the reset button on the outlet?"  I nodded.  Duh, of course I did.  Then he asked me if I checked the circuit breaker.  I said I had no idea were it was!  And I had looked before and couldn't find it.  He took me out to the garage, opened the storage closet, moved a few boxes, and there it was.  Oh, really? Are you kidding me?

We checked the breakers and nothing was wrong.

Then his face lit right up. 

Outlets were his THING. I watched as he excitedly marched into the kitchen to check it out.  He got out his handy dandy Gerber and unscrewed the outlet.  Yep it was burned out!


Ben's confidence shot right through the roof and I watched him head out to the hardware store to get a new outlet.  He was so pleased to have something he could fix.  When he got it all fixed up and the microwave running, he became the hero of the house!

We all cheered.

Every man needs to be the hero of the house once in a while. 

-Cat

PS Don't forget to pop over and vote for our blog!  Just click on the heart in the corner of my picture -- no registration necessary and you can vote once per day!  Thanks for all your love and support!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Winner of the Lil'Troops Giveaway!

Okay, so I am a couple days late announcing this.  Oops.  

I seem to be having a lot of Oops moments lately.  I just keep forgetting stuff!  I think it's the pregnancy and lack of any real deep sleep.

But enough about that!

Without further ado, the winner of the Lil'Troops giveaway is:

Katie!!!!

Who said: "ooh so fun!! Rescue pilot and recon :) Love these!"

Congrats!!!

Everyone else, stay tuned, because we have another SUPER FUN giveaway coming up again in the next few weeks :)

-Cat

PS  Disclaimer:  I choose all my winners using random.org in order to be completely fair and impartial.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Oklahoma Highlights

I am really going to miss Oklahoma!

Elgin, OK is such a fun place.  Away from the city enough to be rural, but close enough for shopping purposes!

So if you get stationed at Ft. Sill, come to Elgin!!  It's a great family place, and you will get the REAL Okahoma experience.

Now, what am I going to miss?

Fort Sill:




The wildlife:


The gorgeous skies!!

The treacherous yet beautiful ice storms!




The OK Jailbirds Paper:  Just in case being arrested isn't embarrassing enough...
Now all your friends and neighbors can know all about your naughty behavior.

The history:


The small town set ups:

This is small town Oklahoma's version of the DMV. It was GREAT!! This little place is our town's all in one stop for car registrations, driver's licenses renewals, Pike Passes (pre-paid toll-road passes), fishing and hunting licenses, etc. You can also get some locally made honey treats, catch up on local events posted on flyers, and even have a chance to purchase that used bike out in front. The lady that works there has two darling little helpers and that Oklahoma friendliness that I love so much!



The People:
But I think more than anything, I am going to miss the friends.

There is no one more welcoming and more accepting than these Oklahoma ladies.  I wasn't even living here a week before I was invited to their workout group and included in their group texts planning lunch events, play dates, swim parties, BBQ's, and girl's night outs.  I have never felt so loved and wanted by a group of women... ever.  I will miss them terribly!  I feel super blessed to have each of them touch my life. (Note: not all the amazing women here are pictured above... but I want them to know I love them too)

And their kids are pretty dang awesome too!!
There will always be a part of our hearts in Oklahoma!

-Cat

PS If you get a second, please pop over and vote for our blog!  Click here!  You don't have to register or anything, just click the heart by my picture.  You can vote once a day!  Thanks!

********

Attention military families!!!

There is this fun contest going on right now!  Check it out!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Houses, Panic Attacks, Mistakes, a Happy Ending and a Giveaway!

Oh, where to start!?  These last few weeks have been CRAZY!  To say the least!  Talk about a roller-coaster ride.

Let's rewind back to November.  That's when the story really starts.  You may remember when we found out that our next duty station that the Army was sending us was Fort Hood, TX.  We were excited!  If you remember, we went down there and found a brand NEW home and started the process of buying it.

Then the last week of Jan, it all feel apart.  The Army decided that Ben needed to stay here longer... a LOT longer... so the house sale went through.  We were pretty devastated.  But we hung in there and had faith that things would work out.

Ben went in and talked to the guys in charge of the transfers and assignments.  He asked what the chances were we would still be going to Ft. Hood at the end of the summer.  They told him to plan on it.  So we did.  It hurt a little knowing we would soon see the house that was almost ours... and that someone else was living in it.  But we held on knowing that there must be something better for us.

Then in May, Ben and I went to the social that they announced where each new LT was being placed after they finished this training.  We already KNEW it was going to be Ft. Hood, TX -- and almost didn't go!  But it turned out we were WRONG.  Ben had been doing so well in his training, that he was allowed his first pick, which was Fort Campbell, KY.  To say we were SHOCKED was an understatement -- we did NOT see it coming!  But we were THRILLED. (For the full story click here!)

Naturally, I started looking at houses in the area.  We could forget about living on post.  There was NO WAY, we could fit our family of soon-to-be 6 in the small houses/townhouses they had there.  So we started looking at buying or renting off.  Now, I was still a little traumatized at the thought of trying to buy again after the last one fell through.  I didn't really trust the Army any more when it came to orders... So I told Ben, I would rather rent again.  I was just too scared to do anything else.  But the rent for a house that would fit our growing family was out of our budget.  So our last option was once again buying... and nothing was looking good.  We knew the area we wanted to be in, but the houses were either too small or too pricey.  I was feeling super frustrated.

Then there was the fact that I didn't want to sign any contract until Ben's orders came through and they were solid.  End of story.  I just couldn't go through losing a house again.

But fate had other plans for us.

One of my Army wife friends put me in contact with one of her friends whose husband was getting stationed at Fort Campbell the same time Ben is.  We connected and since she is already in the area, she had a head's start on looking at areas and housing.  She found a great Realtor, and he was connected to a builder who was building new houses just 2 miles south of the base.  There is a whole new area they are developing, and what we could do is contract for one of the houses they are building, pick a lot, pick a floor plan we love, pick some of the colors and extras, and then they would build it.  Then we would take possession of it after closing and after it was finished.  Ben and I did some research to make sure the guys were legit and honest... and they were!  But I was still having a hard time deciding if that was the way I wanted to go... I mean, I wanted to, but what if Ben's orders got changed??

Finally, I decided that if we wanted the house to be done by the time got there, we would have to contract now and get it going.  I warned them, though, that Ben's orders could change... and I don't trust them.  They just said it was fine and it was the way we could get out of the contract if we had to.  But I just hate people going through all the trouble to help us out if we have to back out.  I hate being a disappointment!

So after much praying and discussion, Ben and I decided to go ahead with it.  We weren't going to find a better deal!  Here we were, with the chance to build the PERFECT house for us and our boys -- and in our price range!  We had to take a chance.

So this is what our little house is going to look like:
It's going to be located in Tennessee a couple miles from Fort Campbell.  It will have light gray siding, a gray roof, and the shutters will be a cranberry color.  The trim around the windows and porch will be white.

It's got 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a two car garage.  The builders are putting in a tall man's shower and toilet in the master bathroom for Ben.  For me, I get my gas fireplace, a pantry, an island in the kitchen with a breakfast bar, and a huge walk in closet.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!
They broke ground only a couple days after the contract was signed.
Progress is going great!  They are going to start framing it by the end of the week or beginning of next week.

But then the unthinkable happened.

Ben was gone for field training for a week and when he got back, he checked his email for his orders and there they were!  Only they for Fort Hood.

NOOOOOOOO!

And it HAD to happen on a Friday night.  When everything is closed for the weekend and there is nothing you can do, no one you can talk to.  We just had to sit and stew all weekend about it.  And stew we did -- since our AC went out not 5 min after he discovered his orders.

I near had a severe panic attack.  I am talking full blown take-me-to-the-ER kind of attack.  But I didn't.  I kept calm as best as I could.  I had to.  For the baby, mostly, and for Ben who wore his disappointment on his face like I have never seen him do.  But at night, when he was asleep, I cried.  It just seemed so unfair.  We worked so hard.  Sacrificed so much... my heart was breaking, again.

It wasn't that we have anything against Fort Hood.  We love Texas!  But we were really looking forward to having our custom built house and Ben was SO THRILLED to be doing his dream of Air Assault and getting his first pick -- which hardly EVER happens.

We made it through Saturday by choosing to think that it couldn't be fixed... and mostly Sunday.  Then we went to a BBQ with Ben's fellow classmates and soldiers.  We told them what was going on, and they just kept telling us how screwed we were.  Even his instructors gave us the whole you will be going to Hood so get over it speech.

The drive home was quiet and sad.  Our hopes were dashed.  Ben was angry.

After a bit of an argument over what to do, we got on our knees and we prayed together.  We pray together every day, but this time it was different.  I said it, and I poured my heart out and pleaded for things to work out.  And I said that if we really needed to be in Texas, then things would work out and we would know it was right.

We both felt better.

Then the next day, Ben went in to talk with them.  I was on pins and needles at home feeling completely helpless!  I hate not having control of things!!

Then I got the call.  It HAD been a mistake!  We are Fort Campbell bound FOR SURE!  I can't tell you how much relief I felt!  I cried again, this time because I was happy!  Things DO work out!

They really do.

Yesterday, Ben graduated from his Field Artillery Basic Officer Leadership Course.  It was LONG and grueling... but he worked so hard!  I am so proud of my man... in fact, I thought the whole event deserved a new dress for yours truly.  (Mainly, because I only have one maternity dress and it is for the winter.  And I really wanted a cute summer one...)

However, I did decided to highlight my hair -- this pregnancy made my color grow in SUPER dark.  So I put some color in the other day and it got really light.  Not normally a problem... but my new dress was a turquoise color and by the time I got my hair all curled and pulled up with my orange flower, I realized that I might look a little too Disney... only the chunky & pregnant version.  Oops.  Oh well.
And on the way to meet up with Ben, after dropping the boys off at a sitter's house, I had this moment of panic that I may have overdressed.  But turns out, once I got there, most all the ladies were wearing dresses. Okay, good!
 So proud of my hard working man!
 And Congrats to his platoon!
And us... Ben looking tall and handsome... and me looking, well, really short.

So all is well!  At least for now :)

Now to the giveaway:

To celebrate Ben's graduation of BOLC and the coming Independence Day, Lil'Troops is letting us giveaway TWO of their new fully-licensed, Military action figures to ONE of our lucky readers!! (Participants must be US residents)

So we have:

The Desert Trooper
The Infantryman
The Rescue Pilot
The Recon Scout
The Urban Trooper

Lil' Troops also help big troops! A portion of each Lil' Troops sale is devoted to U.S. Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

LIL’ TROOPS FAST FACTS:
· MSRP: $7.99
· Can be found at ToysRUs.com, local AAFES Exchange Stores, and online!
· Fully licensed, 3" tall vinyl figures.
· Collect all 5 Series 1 Figures!
· Ages 4+
· For more information visit www.LilTroops.com

To enter:

Mandatory --  Leave a comment telling us which two you would pick if you won!  (Note: The Infantryman is back ordered until Aug -- you can still pick it, but you will have to wait a few weeks)

Optional additional entries:  Please leave a separate comment for each.

-Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, personal blog, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  You can have a separate entry for each share! (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)

-Follow Lil'Troops on Facebook (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)

-Follow 5 Nuts in a Nutshell on Facebook (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)

Contest ends on July 4th at 11:59 pm!  Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 5th!  So enter today and spread the word!

These are the ones we picked:
And I am thinking we might need to get a few more because they won't stop fighting over them... even Ben has a hard time sharing these... lol.

-Cat

PS If you are headed to Fort Campbell and are looking to buy a house or build a house, I will hook you up with a trusty realtor (who can also help you in any state you are looking to move) and an awesome builder! 

Nominated!

Hey friends!  5 Nuts in a Nutshell has been nominated again for Top Military Blogger.  If you love us, or even like us a little, pop over and give us your heart! (Metiphorically, speaking of course *wink* -- click on the heart next to my blog and picture -- which I didn't choose, by the way, I would have picked a MUCH more flattering one... lol).

Love you all, this nomination would not have happened if it had not have been for your support!!  Thanks!!

-Cat


Friday, June 27, 2014

My Best Tips for Running Pregnant

Since the very beginning of this pregnancy, I KNEW it was going to be another boy.  My feelings were the same, my cravings were the same... I did get bigger quicker, but that was the only difference.  So I decided, that I wanted to do something this pregnancy that would make it special and different than the other 3.  I wanted some original stories for this little guy.  I thought, what the heck, how about I keep my running up as much as I can, get some medals, take some pictures, make this time memorable.

From studying up and mostly trial and error, I have learned some really important things about running pregnant.  There are some tricks that work to help keep me going, keep me from hurting myself and the baby, and helping me to stay healthy and have an easier pregnancy. And it's just fun!  Priceless are the looks people give me when I say, "Yeah, ran a few miles this morning!  Feeling great!" Some just can't get past the belly.  But that's okay!!  This is the healthiest, happiest, and most filling pregnancy I have had... and I owe a lot of it to my determination to keep running!

Here are a few important tips that I have learned, and I want to share with my fellow pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant runners out there.

Don't skimp on GREAT running shoes!  Seriously, with all due respect to Dr. Scholls, his Wal-Mart brand isn't going to cut it.  If you want to run throughout your pregnancy you are going to need some GREAT shoes!!  Now, everyone's body's are different, so I suggest you pop on over to a running specialty store and have them do an evaluation on your running technique so that they can find the perfect fit for you.  I used to be an Asics girl.  Loved them.  But my feet are so wide, my little toe was always getting blistered and fell asleep.  I bought these Altras after wanting a pair for over a year!  I will NEVER wear another brand.  I am totally in love!!!!
Altras -- Intuition 2.0
Super Support Running Bra: Worth it's Weight in Gold!  Within the first month of pregnancy, your breasts are going to swell!  Mine went up a whole cup size and a half before week 6... and they only get bigger as you go.  Invest in a great running bra!  You won't regret it.  There are lots of great brands, but I love my Under Armour one.  If you insist on going cheap, try wearing two together for extra support.

Cotton Socks are a No-Go -- Always.  Not just when you are pregnant. But if you never kicked the cotton sock habit because you don't want to pay the little extra for a nicer pair, NOW is the time to knock it off and invest!  Why? "Because cotton retains moisture and when you have moisture, heat, and friction in a running shoe you are more likely to get blisters, calluses, and hot spots. Also, cotton gets more abrasive when wet, again not good in a running shoe." -SockGeek.com  Ben and I love the Belega brand.

Maternity Running Shirt:  If you don't want your shirt rolling up in an embarrassing way, get one.  I like the ones that gather on the sides that hug around the belly.  Falling out the bottom is just humiliating!
Believe it or not, I found this side-gathered one above at Walmart of all places!

Maternity Running Shorts/ Yoga Pants:  My regular ones roll down... while my non-maternity shirts are rolling up.  I look like this guy:

I found some great ones at the Motherhood in the mall for a great deal.

Support Belt: A Must Have!  If you are planing on running past 15-16 weeks, you are going to want one of these babies! Don't think you are hard core if you don't wear it... if your belly isn't supported in some way, you will have pain... quickly.  And it sucks.  I have bought a few of them, but the Gabrialla Elastic Maternity Belt is my favorite for running!

Stretch Before & After:  I know this is a no brainer.  We are constantly taught to do this anyway, but it is ESPECIALLY imperative to do when pregnant... seriously, you don't want to pull anything especially a groin muscle right now!  And for me, this reduces the chances of leg cramps and sciatic pains later on in the evening.

Warm Up & Cool Down:  Start out walking.  Experts say at least 5 - 10 minutes.  Remember:  You have nothing to prove.  Just getting those running shoes on and starting is pretty amazing!  A nice long warm up and cool down (5-10 as well) will do your body and your baby good!

Keep Hydrated!! Make sure to properly hydrate well BEFORE you run, during your run, and after.  It's more important now than ever!  Especially if you are like me and swell up after working out if not properly watered down.  I have a hydration vest I run with when I am running outside.  In doors, I have a couple water bottles on standby.  Don't gulp it down (you'll get side cramps), just take small sips every half mile or so to keep yourself going.

Try Running on a Track or Treadmill (Bathroom nearby!!) -- It's also easier on your joints AND you can have your water bottle nearby so you don't have to run with water on your person. I have a fan on my treadmill that keeps me cool -- love it!

Don't be afraid of running intervals!  Intervals are fantastic for pregnant women. Especially after the first half of the pregnancy.  Don't let your inability to run like you used to keep you from doing it.  Just take little steps and do what you can.  Walk 2 min, run for 2 min... I think doing the Couch to 5K backwards sounds like a GREAT idea!  Especially after the 20 week mark!  Then at least you are still doing something when you are close to having baby.

It's NOT about Speed!!  Like I said above, you are not out to prove anything to anyone.  Well, except yourself maybe :)  In a good way, of course.  Don't worry about the speed, just do what you can and don't push it.  You aren't going to be speedy!  Your body isn't going to act like it did just a few months ago... you are growing a little person in there and that's hard on a body as it is.  Don't make it harder on yourself by comparing your pre-pregnancy rates with now.  Just don't.  In fact, right now, I run slower than I used to speed walk!  But I am still going strong.
20+ weeks and running strong!
If you hurt, STOP!  Don't be stupid.  If you start to hurt, stop.  Just stop.

Don't let yourself overheat -- If you are outside, make sure you have plenty of water and SUNSCREEN UP!!  Remember, as a pregnant woman, you are going to heat up a lot faster and your skin is more sensitive to the sun!  So, you are going to burn faster as well.  You have a little bun in that oven.  If you start feeling yuck, hot and a little dizzy or nauseous, stop.  Drink some water and get home to a nice cool bath.  And try not to get yourself sunburned... bad idea.

Play it SMART! Always okay running with your doctor first!  And if you weren't running before you were pregnant, don't start now!  Not a good time to start ANY new sport your body isn't used it.  If at ANY time you start to experience any of the following, STOP, and contact your health provider immediately: dizziness, difficulty breathing, contractions, chest pains, bleeding, faintness or muscle weakness.

Dare to be INSPIRING! You may feel like a total dork out there on road with a Camelbak on, sporting a maternity support belt huffing and puffing down the road at a snail speed... but to everyone who sees you, you are inspiring!!  You are saying, "Look at me running for two!! What's your excuse?" No matter your speed, you are hardcore.  You are bad ass.
Pregnant runner Alysia Montano finishes 800m race
Here's to a healthy pregnant body and baby... and to an easy delivery and recovery!

Happy Running!

-Cat

What are you best running tips while pregnant?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Which I Take All 3 Boys to an OB/GYN Appointment

I have never taken one of my boys to an OB/GYN appointment if they were over the age of 3.5.  Mostly, because the older ones were already in school when I was pregnant with Jake and the same with this pregnancy.  I have taken Jake on occasion, but usually I have been able to find a sitter.

Now, that the boys are out of school and Ben is gone for some field training, I really had no choice but to pack up all three and head to the Army clinic on post with all in tow.  I had called ahead to make sure it was okay they came.  The nurse said it was fine if they were "well-behaved".  Now, my definition of "well-behaved" is if one doesn't kill another.  As far as behavior is concerned, if we all get out alive, I will consider it a job well done!

And since I was pretty sure they weren't going to do bodily harm to one another (they promised up and down they wouldn't -- and a small bribe might have tipped the scales in my favor as well), I decided to take them with me.

It was my 20 week.  (Yes, can you believe it?  Half way done!)  So, I was pretty sure the doctor wasn't going to do anything I wouldn't want peeking eyes to see.

First off, you have to know, that Jake has just about everyone he meets snookered.  He runs up to random people and waves his chunky little 3-year-old hand and yells, "Hi!!"  It doesn't matter who it is... he has melted the hearts of generals, doctors, random Wal-mart shoppers, and even homeless guys.  This time it was a nurse out in front taking a smoke break.  She looked like she was having a really bad day.  But that didn't matter to Jake... oh no.  He ran right up to her outside the hospital and waved his little hand and gave his charming little squinty-eyed smile.  She just about melted into a puddle.  She thought he was the cutest little guy.  The older boys just rolled their eyes... like their little bro was such a tool.

Then Jake was so distracted waving, he almost got crushed in the revolving door.  But no worries, there were plenty of soldiers standing there poised for the rescue if this mama wasn't fast enough... which I was, of course.  I should have gotten a round of applause, because I sure as heck put on a free show -- but soldiers just give the nod of respect... and I am down with that.  (But a little clapping would have been cool.)

My boys made a huge production of taking an elevator.  You know you don't take your kids to many places of business when riding the elevator becomes a full out operation.  Who gets to push the first button?  Which door will open first?  Who will push the button on the inside? Once inside, to jump or not to jump? All these things were discussed by the older boys as we waited, only to have their plans foiled when the door opens, Jake runs in, and hits the button before Sam could have HIS turn.  A little drama ensued.  Nothing that couldn't be fixed by the sudden sensation of the elevator zipping up.

When we got to the clinic on the 3rd floor, the receptionists were all very excited to see their little buddy Jake, who had no shame in strutting his stuff around before heading towards the toys.  I

We were only waiting for maybe 3 minutes before they called my name.  That's one thing that is VERY different from the OB/GYN offices here in Oklahoma then in Utah.  In Utah, the waiting rooms are PACKED all the time with pregnant women.  Here, we are lucky to see another person sitting in there at all. There was one other lady sitting in there filling out paper work.  Mostly, it was just us.  I followed the nurse over to the scale which was situated in the waiting room behind a partition.  Jake hopped on like he was king of scale flashing his grin at the nurse causing her to go all sweet-- the little show off.  The other two boys rolled their eyes and shook their heads.

When I got Jake away from the scale I hopped on.  I had expected the weight because I weighed that morning, but I didn't even think that my kids would be watching... I mean REALLY watching.  When the number came up, Sam yelled out "OH MY GOSH!!!  That is the BIGGEST number I have EVER seen!!! HOLY COW MOM!!  You are like SO HEAVY!!!  Your weight is SO HUGE!!"  I just about died.  Right there.  The lady in the waiting room was trying not to laugh.  The nurse next to me was looking beyond horrified, and the people at the reception desk were hooting with laughter.  So I did what every self-respecting women would do.  I laughed with them.

"That's my boys!  The builders of self-esteem!" I declared trying to have a good attitude.  Lesson learned, don't let those big mouth boys see the scale next time...

So we get back to the exam room.

I am feeling a little nervous because the boys just won't stop touching things!  So I give Jake my phone to play with, and Sam freaks out about unfair it is.  I am trying to reason with him, when I notice Nephi staring at a life size model of the female reproductive system.  It was an advertisement for NuvaRing and it came equipped with a little ring on a string for demonstrations. I can tell his mind is going full speed.  So I prepared myself to answer the questions I knew were coming...

"Mom," he asked. " I can't figure out this toy... what does it do? Is it a game?"

Umm... that wasn't the question I thought he would ask... then he said pointing to another diagram of the same thing only an advertisement for an IUD -- where you put the IUD where it was supposed to go: "And what kind of puzzle is that?"

Oh, brother... this was going to be painful.

So I tried to explain to them that it was were babies were made in mommy's tummy (trying to avoid the subject of birth-control for now...even though Nephi was holding the NuvaRing trying to figure out where it went).

"How does the baby get out?"  Sam asked.  I pointed to the "part" that was a long clear tube on the model.  They just stood there staring at it.  Then, after a moment of deep contemplation, my speech-impaired Sam said , "Well, that's inconvenient."

"You have no idea..." I said under my breath.

Then I was saved by the bell... in the form of my doctor.

The boys were thrilled they got to hear the baby's heart beat. Jake was totally distracted by the stickiness that was the ultrasound/heartbeat monitor gel on my tummy and completely charmed yet another health care professional with his cute little voice and smile.

My doctor commented on how well behaved my boys were.  And to a mom with kids who struggle with that... well, it made my day!  Then Jake's diaper leaked all over the exam table...  Good thing my doctor has a sense of humor.

So, we come out of the exam room and Jake starts charming the nurses in the hall.  One of the ladies said, "I know this little guy!!  He came up to me out on my break and completely made my day!" Yeah, it was the nurse we saw coming in that looked grumpy.  Jake had a new fan.  She was smiling big and giving him high-fives.  What a little stud.

So there you have it.  After many awkward moments, we survived the trip.  And a day latter, I can laugh about it.  It was an adventure for sure -- but not one I am eager to repeat... for now.

-Cat




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Man Learns to Give Himself a High-n-Tight

After cutting his hair every two weeks for 5 years, I was thrilled when we were asked to review some clippers that are designed so men can cut their own hair.  WOO HOO!!  Introducing Philips Norelco Hairclipper 7100.
Right now, Philips Norelco is rallying support for the troops by encouraging men to get a high-n-tight.  Here is what their email said to me:

To continue that tradition, Philips Norelco is rallying guys to pay tribute to our military service members by asking them to get the iconic military haircut – the High & Tight. With the “High & Tight Salute” campaign, Philips Norelco hopes to spark a conversation and drive awareness for organizations that support our service members and their families. To kick it off, the shaving and grooming brand is donating $25,000 to Operation Homefront AND to really inspire people to get a High & Tight in support of our troops, Philips Norelco will donate an additional $5,000 as they ask fans to upload a picture of their own High & Tight to @PhilipsNorelcowith #HighNTight.

Nick Swisher, baseball All-Star and active supporter of military charitable programs, is the first to get into the action! Check out the hilarious video of him getting his High & Tight here: http://youtu.be/r2tKc1CxzYc
Now, Ben knew that once he gave it a go, it may be over for him getting one from me... at least every two weeks.  But he was willing to try it under my supervision of course.  So I stood by, took pictures and gave him tips.

Here he is before:



Yeah, looks like he let himself go... as far as the military is concerned.  For the sake of the review, we let it get that way.
 He started out with the shortest setting.  The closer the better and the longer the haircut lasts.  These clipper give a REALLY close cut!  We were very happy about that.
 Ben did the sides first... the parts he could see.  Then I gave him a tip that really helped.  Tip #1:  Use your empty hand as a guide.  Place it on the back of your head along the line you want to cut... use the sides you already cut as a guide, and shave up to where your fingers are to get a straight line.
See!  He did it!
 Tip #2:  Then pic the size you want the top to be and shave the top down.

Then it will be time to blend the top and the sides.  Tip #3: pick the size greater than the shortest and just blend around.  For the back you are going to have to use your EARS to listen to when the clippers hit the hair.  Then use the next size up and go around again, only cut a little higher.  Continue to listen for the hair being cut and work your way up the sides to blend evenly.

Afters:  I think he looks GREAT!!!  Just in time for his 16 mile 90 lb ruck march!


Side by sides:


 Mission complete!  We love the Philips Norelco Clippers!!

-Cat