31 in 31

On December 20th, I turn 31. Here are my “Life Resolutions” for my thirty-first year:


1. Watch less TV

2. Rekindle an old friendship

3. Leave the kids behind and “get away” with my husband

4. Read literature at least four days a week

5. Fail and be okay with it 

6. Go to confession

7. Learn Mindfulness and practice solitude

8. Say “yes” more to my kids

9. Say “yes” more to my husband

10. Adopt a “do it now” mentality, instead of leaving it for later and letting “things” pile up

11. Purge often. Whether it be stuff, ideas, or toxic relationships

12. Re-learn how to do a handstand. And hold it!

13. Let my hair grow long again

14. Get a piece of writing published

15. Go to therapy

16. Move forward with my children’s book

17. Yell less.

18. Pray the Rosary once a week

19. Treat other people the way I want to be treated

20. Be more active outside

21. Step out of my comfort zone more often

22. Stop comparing myself to others

23. Create and stick to a budget

24. Take advantage of sight-seeing on the West Coast

25. Make more art

26. “Unplug” one day each month

27. Take a class and learn something new

28. Hit “snooze” less

29. Smile and acknowledge strangers

30. Be more informed about current events

31. Love myself unconditionally. No excuses

loyally,
katie

Law of Babies & The Hoover Dam

What you’re about to read are true events.

A friend was coming over for dinner so I decided to throw the girls in the bathtub directly after school to get it out of the way. They’re normally pretty well-behaved in the tub so I thought, Hey–why don’t I jump in the shower real quick? After all, the baby was sleeping in the bassinet so I figured I had a little time. 

Plus, my scalp was really hurting. Has your scalp ever hurt because your hair is so heavy? Y’all don’t hate on my thick hair. I’m grateful for it and all, but sometimes it can be a real pain in my… er, head... because it’s so thick and long and the weight just pulls on my scalp. Damn gravity. The pain is comparable to when your two year-old wants to “play with Mommy’s hair”. Wait, maybe that’s why my scalp really hurts? I can’t be sure at this point anymore. Anyway, the only thing that makes my scalp feel better is washing it. Actually, a scalp massage by my husband does the trick, too, but since he was flying, a shampooing would suffice.

But I digress.

I put Alexander in front of the shower (there’s no door or curtain to our shower) so I can keep an eye on him, should he wake up. Which he does because Law of Babies: Whenever a mother enters a shower, a baby shall cry. 
my actual shower. 
pic cred: my actual iphone.


So I’m rinsing out the shampoo and dreading turning the hot water off, when I hear, “Adelaide stop hitting me! MOOOOMMMMM, she’s hitting me thirty times!”

Shit.

How long has she been hitting her big sis while I was in the shower? How dare I care about my hygiene! Moms can be so selfish sometimes…
I throw a towel around me and fly down the hall to see: Yes. Yes, the toddler is hitting her sister. To which I sternly state, “Adelaide, stop hitting your sister.” Naturally. Then run back down the hall to tend to the still-crying newborn. 

I know he’s hungry because he looks like a blind baby bird searching for a worm. But my hair is sopping wet and I don’t want to baptize him because I don’t think I am qualified to do that; plus none of our family is here and I’d be such a jerk if I held such a momentous occasion without them. So I tell him he’s gotta take one for the team and wait while I brush my hair and ring out some of the water. But this isn’t an easy feat because my hair is naturally wavy-curly and it takes half a bottle of detangler spray and a month to brush it. No joke. My roommate in college could take a full shower before I was done brushing my hair. It sounds like I’m being ungrateful for my thick and long hair. I promise I’m not. Well maybe just a little.

So three hours go by and the baby is STILL crying. Sheesh, doesn’t he understand priorities? So I go to pick him up to nurse him, only to hear, “STOP IT ADELAIDE! MMOOOOOMMMMM, she’s hitting me again!” I run down the hall, but this time in the buff, and also this time leaking breastmilk down my body. It’s like the Hoover Dam has sprouted a leak from my boobs. I shout to the girls, “Drain the water; you’re getting out!” Then run back down the hall to the baby. Still crying.

I start to pick him up then think, I better put on some pants. It’s drafty. I STILL hear fighting from the girls so I shove the baby on the boob, then run back down the hall. With one hand, because Baby on the Boob, I get Adelaide out of the tub, towel her up, dry her off, and put on her pull-up and jammies. Emmalyn is old enough to fend for herself. Well, I wouldn’t send her out into the wild to fend for herself–yet. She’s only six! She needs to be at least ten for that. Geeze, what kind of mom do you think I am?!

The moral of the story? There is none. This was just a crazy and true scene from my life and I thought I’d share. You’re welcome 🙂 

loyally,
katie

Moving In & Moving Forward

The last five weeks have been a total whirlwind! Let’s recap in bullet points, shall we?

  • We packed up our house, sent our stuff to storage, and said goodbye to Florida for the first time ever.
  • I drove by myself with both girls, across the state, only to have Emmalyn projectile vomit all over herself. Exorcist style. Yup. That was fun. Needless to say, we lost a very loyal car seat that day.
  • This mama traded in her beloved SUV for her dream car: A Minivan.
  • Note: The above car purchase was not due to the vomiting 😉
  • We vacationed in Hilton Head Island, and added an extra night because, well, we deserved it!
  • Because our house wasn’t ready yet, but The Hubs had to report to his next duty station, we parked ourselves in a little bungalow for three weeks. We lived out of two suitcases and a duffel bag of toys. Lord only knows how we did it! All I have to say is, thank goodness for Netflix!
  • Emmalyn went to Vacation Bible School for the first time and loved it. Surprisingly enough, the Catholic church camp dug back into their Old Testament roots and she learned about Judaism, much to my parents and my amusement.
  • Blake and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! My in-laws happened to be in town so we actually got to go out to dinner sans kiddos.
  • We FINALLY got to move into our new house! Have you ever rented a home “sight unseen”? Welp, we just did! You can imagine our nerves the first time we set foot in our new place! But we quickly breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that God was with us, and we made the right decision.
  • We had quite a scare when we thought the movers lost an entire crate of our stuff, including our desktop computer with My Life on it! 
  • I signed Emmalyn up for Pre-Kindergarten. Holy goodness gracious! I can’t believe it!
  • Unpacking with two littles in quite interesting. And s l o w. And requires a lot of patience.
  • Thank goodness for an amazing sister-in-law, who will unpack your e n t i r e kitchen and you don’t have to worry about a thing. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without her! Oh, I know: I’d still be standing in the middle, wondering where all my shit goes.
  • Also, Military Wives are the bomb dot com. No joke. Those ladies step up and make you feel like you’re right at home. They take your kids and feed them while you unpack, and they pour you a glass of wine and tell you deployment will suck, but you’ll be all right.

…and breathe!

So what have I learned? 

I’ve learned that all you need is family by your side. I’ve learned that adventures are fun, but settling down is necessary, too. And I’ve learned that it’s actually quite possible to survive on two suitcases and one duffel bag of toys for a family of four. 

So why the eff am I unpacking a gazillion boxes?!?!!

loyally,
katie

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Life Lately

To say that life has been crazy around these parts lately, would be an understatement. So much has been happening, that I don’t even know where to begin.

No, I’m not pregnant.

But my baby did turn ONE YEAR OLD!

I cannot believe it. It’s silly to think that we may or may not have once been disappointed when we found out she was a girl. We had our hearts and hopes set on having a boy. But now? I cannot imagine life without her. Not! One! Single! Bit! Every piece of Adelaide was meant to be in our lives. It has been a blessing from God to watch her grow over the past year. And I cannot believe that we are still going strong on our one-boob nursing journey! It’s incredible to think that I have kept a small human alive with one single boob!

(Okay, I’ll change the subject…)

I have loved watching Emmalyn step up as Big Sister. Although, I must admit, it’s quite exhausting shouting, “Put her down!” and “Stop licking your sister!” ump-teen times a day!

At four-and-a-half, Emmalyn lives up to her “in-utero” nickname of Diva Muffin. That girl has more sass than Liberace had sequins! She keeps me on my toes–that’s for sure. But she’s also quite entertaining, with her endless imagination, and her love for making up songs and dances.

Probably the biggest news in our neck of the woods is that WE ARE MOVING! This Florida Girl is spreading her wings and seeing what else the great U.S. of A. has to offer! Blake and I have moved three times in our five years of marriage, but this is the first time either of us has moved out of Florida. I’m very excited, but tremendously sad to be leaving my friends here.

Blake and I have spent many nights pondering if we’re doing the right thing. It seriously breaks my heart, taking Emmy away from her sweet little friends. She has made some of the most amazing friendships at such a young age. But then I think about how some of my closest friends live in New York, Louisiana, and Florida. We may not see each other in person as often as we’d wish, but when we do, it’s like we never skipped a beat. And with the amazingly crazy invention of FaceTime, we’re only a click away.

Here’s to continuing our adventures!

loyally,
katie

Instagram: @katievanbrunt
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Life Lately, in Bullet Points

– I joined a Book Club. So far I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars and The Glass Castle. It’s nice to be involved in something that requires intellectual thought instead of nursery rhymes, for once!

– I think I’ve got this whole breastfeeding thing down. I now feel completely comfortable nursing in public. I really didn’t think I would last as long as I have. And while I don’t have a set goal, I have no intentions of stopping soon. I’m just going to continue until it doesn’t work for our family anymore.

– Adelaide had a blow-out at a restaurant the other night. I prayed to the diaper bag gods that I had a change of clothes for her. Hallelujah! I did!

– Emmalyn fell off the side of the steps in the pool and went straight into her float, called for help, and grabbed the wall. We were both so proud.

– Three year-old tantrums S-U-C-K! Big time.

– I’m doing July’s #independenceARMy & #SunsOutTeekiBumsOut Yoga Challenge on Instagram. It’s been so great getting back into yoga… even if my time is limited and I sometimes have a three year-old crawling all over me. {see: Instagram video} I guess it helps me practice patience, eh? You can follow my journey on my Instagram: @katievanbrunt & at #loyallykatieyoga It’s fun and challenging!!

– Adelaide is an incredible baby! She only cries when she’s wet, tired, or hungry. She sleeps anywhere from 6-8 hours a night. {don’t hate.} She’s a true joy and I love having her in our family.

– Emmalyn is obsessed with Adelaide. It’s almost a little too suffocating. She has a tendency to wake her up with extra hard hugs and kisses. Like, multiple times a day. UGH. Honestly, I’ve tried everything I can think of to get her to stop and nothing is working. Help?!

– I can’t believe school is starting back again. So soon! I just bought Emmalyn’s school supplies. This year, she will be going to school three days a week. I’m excited for her.

– Adjusting to two kids was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Sure, it’s difficult when both are crying, one is in the bath tub, and the other needs to be fed, but we make it work. The chaos is totally worth having two daughters.

– I said I didn’t ever want to be pregnant again or have more kids than I have hands, but now I’m not so sure…

– I am thoroughly blessed I did not get postpartum depression the second time around. Praise God!

– Having a baby in the summertime is difficult. It limits our daily activities significantly, but we’re making it work.

– I never want Adelaide to grow up! I’m absolutely loving having a baby in the house!

So how has your summer been so far?!

loyally,

katie

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Evolving into a Better Person

I recently asked myself: Am I evolving into a better person each day?

I hope so!

I try to learn from my mistakes and faults and to not make the same ones the following day. As a mother, there are many examples I could pull from. There are times when a phrase or remark slips out of my mouth at the speed of lightning in reaction to something Emmalyn does and I instantly regret it. For instance, just the other day she wouldn’t eat her lunch and in a sudden fit, knocked over a glass of milk, soaking my shirt and pants. Without even thinking for one second, I yelled, “Look at what you just did!” 

Immediately, I regretted my reaction and choice of words. Have you ever felt this way? It made me feel about as big as a dung beetle. I was ashamed of my choice of words, but there was no taking them back, so I just continued to clean up the mess, cursing myself all the while. Obviously the day went on as it normally does: a small tantrum here and there, with lots of smiles and giggles filling in the gaps of typical three year-old frustrations.

Then at the end of the day, before I closed my eyes for the night, I replayed the milk-spilling scenario over in my head. I cringed (and still do) at the person I witnessed myself being; but then, I re-envisioned the scenario with me reacting and responding in a way I could be proud of. Revisiting and re-visualizing the scene helped me prepare for future similar situations to occur. And I know three year-olds are notorious repeat-offenders so I will have plenty of opportunities to exercise my new reaction and response–one I will feel better and unashamed about.

Now I know I’m evolving into a better person!

loyally,
katie

So tell me, how are you evolving into a better person each day?

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Currently…

…Watching… Fine! I confess… I am a TV junkie. I’ll admit it: I watch way too much TV. It’s my vice. I love to be lazy and curl up on the sofa after Emmalyn goes to bed, and catch up on my DVR. Some of my favorites include The Mindy Project [I die. every week. it’s hill-air-E-us!], New Girl, Modern Family, Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, Baby Daddy, Nashville, and The Carrie Diaries (which is totally the new Gossip Girl). I cannot watch reality TV!! It irks me & gets under my skin & leaves me all twitchy & in a bad mood. I don’t need to watch grown women fight, whine, and cry; I get enough of that at home with a three year-old!
…Reading… umm… does Pinterest and Facebook count at literature? didntthinkso. The last book series I read was Divergent. The first 2 1/2 books were enthralling. The last half of the third book? notsomuch. I despised the ending. Oh well! I’m sure I’ll still go see the movie. I really do love to read, though. I go through phrases where I’ll read several books in a very short period of time, then nothing for a few months. Maybe if I stopped watching so much television…
…Doing… I’ve been s l o w l y moving Emmalyn’s toys out of the playroom & into her bedroom to make way for Lil Sis. I started doing this right after the holidays. She’s been doing really well with handling toys her in room. Before, she only had books and puzzles–ya know, quiet things. Yesterday I moved in her play kitchen and the large cubby-box-organizer-thingy containing all her kitchen accessories while she was at school. Upon discovering the change after her nap she said to me, “What did you do to my room?” I asked if she liked it and she shook her head no, but I’m pretty sure she isn’t traumatized–all afternoon, & even this morning, she’s been having a blast with all the extra floor space in the baby’s room. All that’s left to move over are her musical instruments (which may or may not take a detour to the baby’s closet for a while), her dress-up clothes, and all those little random toys that I never know what to do with?

…Dreaming… about writing & illustrating a children’s book. I’ve actually already written it, but need to hunker down and get started on the pictures. This has always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, but honestly I wouldn’t even know how to go about getting it published. One day, though. One day! If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!

…Loving… Designing the new baby’s nursery! We decided to keep the full-size bed in there for late night feedings/early mornings. Plus, the nursery can double as a guest room when needed since there’s a bathroom attached to it. The people who previously lived in our house also had two little girls and painted this (our nursery) room a beautiful shade of aqua-ish blue. I’m uhbsessed with it! I think it will be a perfect fit for our “nautical” theme. A very fitting theme–if I do say so myself–since Daddy’s in the Navy. Here’s a little inspiration from my Pinterest board:



…Working on… Finding a rhythm. I say “rhythm” because it sounds way less daunting than “balance”, don’t you think? Trying to find balance overwhelms me, but finding a rhythm to my life seems a lot more realistic. Currently, the Hubs is working 12+ hour days, six days a week for this month’s Residency rotation; which means Emmalyn and I need to find our own rhythm. I truly thought I’d be struggling to come up for air with my husband working so much, but it really hasn’t been as bad as I imagined it. Of course it’s a drag that we get very limited time with him when he gets home from work, and there are some nights I only see him thirty minutes before he has to go to bed (just to wake up and do it all over again the next day), but I think Emmalyn and I have sort of slid into a “flow” of how our day goes. The days are long, but the years are short.

…Thinking about… Starting a Facebook page for this little blog of mine. As of right now, I just post links to my blog through my personal (& private) Facebook page. A part of me thinks creating a Loyal, Loving, & Learning FB page seems conceited–like, “Look at me! Look at me!” but I get, on average, 700 hits a day. Some days 1,000. It seems like it may be time to separate it from my private News Feed. What do you think? Would you become a “fan” if I created a LLL page?

Alrighty! So now it’s YOUR turn… I want to know all about your current events! 🙂

loyally,

katie

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