Mal Smiles

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Can we go to the Alpaca Extravaganza?!"

Guess what? Collins slept last night so here I am blogging. We are still trying to figure out what helps her sleep but I will take a good night's rest when I can get it.

I subbed in first grade on Friday for Xochitl. It's nice to have teacher friends who give you work when they need a sub. The Friday before Thanksgiving break was a little crazy in a classroom of seven year olds wearing pajamas but I survived.
DLW had to take his statistics final Saturday morning and came home with Starbucks. What a guy. Peppermint Mocha + sleeping baby = happiness.
On my way home from school on Friday I saw signs for an "Alpaca Extravaganza" in Black Forest. My family has a thing for alpacas and I came home asking DLW if we could go this weekend. The weather warmed up Sunday and I was overly excited to introduce DLW and Collie to these animals.
The "extravaganza" had two mama alpacas with their babies and many vendors selling alpaca goodies.
It turns out there are multiple alpaca farms close by. This baby alpaca, called a cria, was five months old. Alpacas have an ELEVEN MONTH gestation period. I can't imagine. Leroy, the baby alpaca, had the bluest eyes and obsessively chewed on his mother.
Collins wasn't too sure about the alpacas but did get to touch their soft coats. Alpacas make the most wonderful noise and we learned a lot about the local alpaca farms. I even bought a hat knitted from alpaca yarn made by a local alpaca farmer.
It is our retirement dream to buy some land to rescue dogs and raise alpacas. Someday...
  • Have you ever seen an alpaca?
  • What is your retirement dream?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Blizzard and Big News!

Let me start this post by saying MY KID ACTUALLY SLEPT LAST NIGHT. That might be why I am awake, showered, dressed, fed, and blogging all before 9am. A top tooth finally broke through and I think we are on the right track. She took two killer naps yesterday, went to sleep about 8pm (she woke up from nap #2 at 5pm. Whoops. We were napping, too), woke up at 11pm for about 10 minutes, and then slept until 7:20am this morning. I'll take it! Those pesky teeth and their sleep regression.
She was a "no nap baby" this weekend
Colorado got a blizzard this week. Yes, a real blizzard. It started coming down Monday night and we had 9.5 inches on our backyard Tuesday morning.
Unfortunately DLW was flying home from NC on Monday. After a delay and a diversion to Dallas, his flight landed in Denver at 4:00am Tuesday morning. The highway down to Colorado Springs was closed due to 100-150 abandon vehicles so he napped in the USO until it was safe to come home.

We've had snow in November before but never a storm like this. This is our third Colorado winter and this storm dumped the most snow we have had in one night. The wind was crazy too which created snow drifts a few feet tall in our driveway. I was going to shovel so DLW could get in the driveway then I opened the garage door. Nope. Back inside.
Big news! DLW got his first choice and will be joining the Quartermaster Corps after commissioning. Leaving the Infantry and selecting a new branch is a big deal for him so I'm glad he got his first choice. DLW will make a fantastic logistics officer and we are so proud of him. He will commission in May and leave for four months of training at Fort Lee, VA soon thereafter. Unfortunately four months isn't long enough for Collie and I to move with him but we will be visiting often to see him and our Richmond friends.
DLW is home, Collins is sleeping, and the sun is melting the snow. Things are really looking up as we get over the midweek hump. More sleep = more blogging. I promise.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sassy Business Baby & Our First Snow

Hi! Hello! Happy Friday!

First I want to thank you all for your advice on Collins' lack of a sleep schedule. We've made zero progress and she is still waking up three times a night. Her naps are all over the place; sometimes there are two, usually there is just one. Sometimes it's long, sometimes it's shorter than ever. Some nights she's ready for bed at 6pm, others she is literally jumping up and down in her crib at 7:30pm. I've given up caffeine and adopted the mentality that it's just a phase that I'm going to have to ride out. I think I've gotten used to waking up every three hours again (however there were at least five mistakes in this first paragraph alone so maybe I need more sleep... or caffeine...)

We may have found what motives Collins to get up and get moving. She saw my open a bag of Famous Amos (the BEST), she crawled over, pulled up on the chair, side stepped over to the table, and pulled them on the floor. So of course I let her have one and she made a giant mess.
I think she's stayed in (Christmas) pajamas every day this week. Why put on real clothes if you don't have to? She is all about her blanket lately and loves this little elephant too. When you pick her up from a nap, she insists on bring both with her.
Hello? Who's there? She is a savvy sassy business baby. Please ignore her toy littered playroom and just look at the cute baby.
We celebrated Veterans Day early on Tuesday with lunch and a trip to watch the fishies at Bass Pro Shops. The store was empty on a Tuesday afternoon and we will miss these leisurely days when DLW goes back to the "real army" someday.
I love their daddy-daughter bond. I swear she gets hearts in her eyes when she looks at him.
We got our first official snow on Wednesday morning. It was melted and sunny by the afternoon but the puppy princesses were less than impressed. I am not ready for this wintery mess but it's coming.
Despite her lack of sleep, she is happy as can be during the day. It's the sweet smiles that make me forget about the middle of the night feedings. Look at those teeth! There is another coming in so maybe I will sleep again when it breaks through? Maybe.
If you've ever wondered what Collins and I do all day, it's this. Pajamas and snuggles.
And just like that, the piglet is awake for the day. I always know she's ready to get up when she is sitting up in her crib. Have a fast Friday and a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

HelloFresh Box #2

Thanks to a promo code, we got to try another HelloFresh box. After our first box, we knew HelloFresh was service we liked but can't afford weekly. However, if I find a promo code, we're all about it.

HelloFresh has replaced going out to eat for us because we don't have to stress about taking Collins to a restaurant and our stomachs are much happier cooking at home. I would rather spend the money to learn to cook and eat at my own table than go out to eat and have tummy troubles all night.

This box included saffron-pouched basa, pretzel bun bratwurst, and spiced turkey meatballs.

I am adventuring into the world of seafood one HelloFresh box at a time. The fish was light but the dish lacked flavor overall. It was very bland and needed to be doused in the broth. DLW enjoyed this meal but I couldn't finish the last few bites. This meal recieved 2/4 stars on the review but at least it looked pretty?

Pretzel Bun Bratwurst with Tangy Apple-Cabbage Slaw
Put anything on a pretzel bun and I will eat it. The slaw cam together easily and the mix of green apples and purple cabbage in red wine vinegar was nothing I would ever think to make but was delicious. The buns were long enough to fit the brats and the mustard spread was the perfect condiment (and I don't ever eat mustard). DLW and I both loved this meal and give it 4/4 stars.

Spiced Turkey Meatballs with Parsnip Mash and Roasted Carrots
I saved this recipe for last because it was the most labor intensive. Some HelloFresh recipes are quick and some require a little more work. I like to wait until Collins is in bed for I start these trickier meals. For this recipe, I had to chop and cook peppers and onions before forming them into the ground turkey. The meatballs were very soft without any breadcrumbs and looked more like meat mounds than meatballs. I peeled and boiled the parsnip while the carrots roasted in the oven. The parsnips mashed easily but got cold while everything else was finishing up. I surprisingly enjoyed the simple roasted carrots and will make those again for a quick week night dinner. This recipe was good but I wouldn't make it again because it was a lot of work. This meal scores 3/4 stars for me.
Our next HelloFresh box arrived yesterday and I can't wait to share three more meals with you. If you want to try HelloFresh, use the code HNMAVZ for $40 off your first box.
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