2 Down

The Davies Crazies are 2 weeks in to our next adventure. Zed is out playing in the sand box while the kiddos and I are holding down the homefront. We’ve enjoyed some amazing visitors; Mylee Dax is still looking for you, Abby the girls want you to come back and go to the suseum, and Dad the kids can’t wait to go swimming. We are so blessed to have family that loves us and is willing to help out.

I believe by this time last adventure we had a black eye, not this time, just two puking kids and two kids with diarrhea. I know, not pretty, but it’s a day in my life. Some prettier things…we planted a garden and enjoyed a fun event for kids who have parents that are deployed. There’s a benefit to having so many kids…more chances to win. Think a 43″ TV and Chuck E Cheese gift card on top of the toy each kid in attendance got to pick out.

We’re also anxiously waiting our next assignment to be loaded in the system. We’re anticipating moving to Germany this summer, but as of this moment it’s just words. Everyone who has ever been slightly attached to the military knows that you can’t believe or act on anything until it’s in writing and even then it has a chance to change. There are some things I’ve started working, just so I don’t stress eat or bite all of my nails off…dang nails are gone already. Once it’s official I’ll be sure to post about it.

Catch Up Time…

I’ve been horrible about keeping track of my Selfish Year, but I’ll try to catch up.

  • Lost 10lbs so far
  • Successfully done date dates with the girls
  • Ran 35 miles (broke my tail bone so I haven’t run in a while)
  • Read 4 books
  • I’ve gotten a 86 on my fitness test
  • This will be my 3rd post this year
  • Completed 3 sewing projects
  • Completed 4 acts of service
  • Setting aside the $ hasn’t been so good, but I also haven’t spent more than I make
  • Have not started reading the Book of Mormon yet
  • I have my ups and downs with talking to the kids appropriately
  • No chore or bedtime routine
  • New resolution
    • Stop biting my nails – fail so far
    • Go to bed NLT 10pm each night – usually a fail

So there you go…all caught up. Cross your fingers for us that our assignment is loaded soon!

-S

A True Day in My Life

Let me give you a quick run down of my day. Let me also say I’m not looking for praise or compassion.

0015 – Comforted a 4 year old with a nightmare

0045 – Last numbers I saw on the clock before falling asleep

0345 – Comforted a 3 year old with a nightmare

0400 – Doctored a sick 30 year old

0430 – Fed a no longer sick 1 year old

0445 – Laid down and reset alarm

0505 – Woke up to reset alarm

0510 – Notified my flight of a mandatory recall (For non-military…We run a phone tree of everyone I’m over telling them to show up at a specific location with specific items)

0515 – Showered/dressed/did my hair

0530 – Dressed/Fed 4 kiddos (All kids were helpful and happy. Chocolate peanut butter sandwiches all around)

0545 – Warmed up the car and checked on sick 30 year old

0555 – Loaded the car

0605 – Left the house

0620 – Dropped the kiddos off at school (only took me 10min…ooo yah)

0630 – Opened up the office/led a mock deployment bag check/gave a motivational speech (at least I hope it was motivational)

0730 – Logged into a Professional Development class

1130 – Logged out of class/did homework for the class (a discussion post and two responses to others posts, it’s kinda like a master’s class, but put on by the Air Force)

1230 – Checked email (had to sign a couple documents)

1300 – Ran to the kids school and checked up on 1 year old

1330 – Went to staff meeting (12 people that make up the leadership team of our unit solving problems and passing along information to the boss)

1500 – Changed for unit fitness

1545 – Unit Fitness (we played ultimate football)

1630 – Ran 2 miles (no, it did not take me 30mim to run 2 miles, more like 17)

1700 – Picked up the kids from school

1745 – Bought Happy Meals for the kids

1746 – All kids, without my prompting, say thank you for their Happy Meal (all except Zoe)

1747 – Pulled over to pick up spilled Happy Meal from the floor

1749 – Pulled over to swap the boy and girl Happy Meal toy (Ana is not a boy if anyone was curious)

1805 – Arrived at gymnastics and picked up the second spilled Happy Meal

1820 – Changed Mia into her leotard

1823 – Convinced Ana that her usual gymnastics outfit was dirty (honestly I didn’t have time this morning to look for it)

1830 – Dropped Mia and Ana off for class

1830-1920 – Entertained Dax and Zoe and ran inside to check on Mia and Ana occasionally

1920 – Went inside to pick up the girls

1923 – Doctored a rolled ankle and convinced Mia it wasn’t that bad if she still wanted to run back in and get a stamp

1927 – Doctored a stubbed toe and Ana convinced me that drinking her chocolate milk left over from her Happy Meal would make her foot feel better

1930 – Headed home

1943 – Upon entering I turned left (if you’ve ever driven my children home you know what this means, if you don’t please remind me to tell you before you do)

1950 – Hugs to Zed and bathtime

2010 – PJs and kids/daddy snuggle time

2015 – Bedtime for Zoe

2020 – Shower time for this tired Momma

2030 – Put my boys (Zed and Dax) to bed

2035 – Did the big girls hair

2040 – Snuggle time with my big girls

Multiple times today I questioned why I do this. Why did I think it would be a good idea to have everyone show an hour early to work? Why do we keep the girls going in gymnastics? Why do I choose to have a very demanding job? I am exhausted. I am sore. But, I am happy. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m sticking to my goals. My kids are learning new skills. I am tired, but I am happily successful. Happily Successful is the answer I always gave when teachers would ask what do you want to be when you grow up successful, famous, or rich.

My why is because I cherish the hugs they give me as I leave them at a school they love, with teachers who fight and request to have the Davies come to their class as they move up in age. As I walk around their school during nap and give them each a kiss on their head I remind their subconscious self that they have a mom who would give up her lunch just to be near them for a few seconds. My life is insane. I’ve said before we live in survival mode. But this crazy life detailed down to the minute has taught me to slow down. It’s taught me the moments I have with my kids should never be taken for granted.

We’re called the Davies Crazies. We’re the first asked to handle special events at work. The teachers ask us to request for our kids to go to their class. We laugh. We cry. We yell, though we do our best to reserve it for when one or more of the kids run into the road. But most importantly we love and we work hard. My why is because why not. My kids, my husband, me, and our family are happily successful and I could not ask for anything more.

Thanks for reading, this probably meaningless post and very long post. Hopefully if nothing else it made you laugh, remember your days raising kids, or hopefully did not scare you away from having kids in the future.

-S

*I knew at 0445 today would be interesting so I’ve been writing this post throughout the day. For any of you who were impressed I remembered exact times after a day like I’ve had, sorry to let you down. After 4 kids this mom has serious mom brain.

2018 – Selfish Year

I saw a a post on Pinterest this weekend and I fell in love. “2018 will be selfish year. My time will be invested on me. On improving myself. I want to become a better person physically and mentally.”

How’s that possible with 4 small kids you may be wondering, well if I’m not being the best Mom I can be, I piece of my mental betterment will not be successful. So below are my resolutions and the first of each monthI will check in here to track my progress.

– Run 400 miles

– Read 12 books

– Get a 90 on my AF fitness test

– Post 52 times

– Lose 20lbs

– Complete 12 sewing projects (a got a machine for Christmas)

– Have a monthly date day with Mia and Ana

– Complete service for one person/family each month

– Set aside $ each month so Christmas gifts are totally cash purchased

– Read the Book of Mormon

– Focus on how I talk to the kids

– Get the kids on a chore and bedtime routine

– Add a new resolution each month

So please help to keep me on track. I would love to hear what your resolutions are.

-S

Christmas Chaos

Now that I’ve recovered some, time to fill you all in on our first Christmas at our own home.

Dec 23rd

We ventured down to Chickasha, OK to see their lights. After waiting in line for about 45min, it was our turn to drive through. Our initial plan was to ride a carriage through, but with temps in the 20s we decided to stay out in the car. Lights were followed by a drive in movie. Ferdinand was amazing! It made us and the kids laugh, which is definitely a feat. The double feature was Jumanji which was a pretty good sequel. The Rock, as always, was great. The drive home was quiet with all 4 kiddos passed out. Once the stockings were hung and visions of sugar plums were dancing in the kids heads from their own beds, assembly of an Elsa bike, a piano, and train tracks was accomplished. We’d be enjoying Christmas a day early.

Dec 24th

We woke the kids up, dressed them in their matching Christmas jammies, and began the unwrapping. All presents were opened and played within 90 minutes. Everyone dressed for church and we enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve service from a side room. It was better for everyone that we could hear them, but they couldn’t hear us. After church we headed to Tractor Supply where there was a 40% toy sale. Dax is now the proud owner of a 4ft grain truck complete with lights and sounds. The rest of the afternoon we lounged, talked to family, and listened to Mia’s amazing piano skills.

Dec 25th

We all slept in and then packed our bags. Off to Branson we go. About 30 minutes into the drive, we need gas, and realize neither of us has a wallet. Back home we go, retrieve the wallets, and make it to a gas station with 5 miles until empty. We continue on, with a new destination of Sullivan, MO. Zed’s youngest brother is serving his mission there and we forgot to mail his Christmas gift. We FaceTime the Davies family on the drive and Scott (brother on the mission) is able to dial in as well. We enjoyed a great Chinese dinner (the only restaurant open on Christmas) with Scott and his companion and head for Branson, MO. The Davies don’t do well sitting still.

Dec 26th

We enjoyed the indoor pool and slide at the Welk Resort of Branson. It’s no Great Wolf Lodge, but with just two adults and 4 swimming kids it was much easier to manage. Exploring Branson was next on our list, definitely a place I recommend visiting, but maybe not when it’s 19 degrees and having 4 under 5. Hopefully Zed and I will have a chance to go back before PCSing. We enjoyed some time walking around Bass Pro. Zed collects smashed pennies and wouldn’t you know it every Bass Pro and Cabelas have a unique smashed penny machine. We were also able to cross a gift for someone off our list already…now to not lose it the next 364 days. With kids having burned quite a bit of energy we began the drive home. I would be the first to fall asleep, I don’t do so well with back roads. An hour and a half later I wake up to us driving through picturesque Eureka Springs and all kids still awake. By the time we explored the town, another added to our pre-PCS bucket list, all kids were asleep. We saw Broken Arrow’s lightshow and went to Christmas at the Castle in Muskogee, making it a total of 5 lights how’s this year.

Dec 27th

I was back to work, kids back to school, and Zed spent his time off getting things checked off his to do list.

We hope you all had an amazing Christmas!

-S

Christmas Caramels

A Christmas we have each year is I attempt to make Caramels. I say attempt, because I’ve never gotten them right. They’re either too runny, too hard, stuck to the paper, stuck to the foil, etc. Actually, I’ve gotten them right once…Zed and I’s first Christmas together. I call it beginners luck

I was determined to get them right this year and after the second batch, I did. Below is my recipe for Caramels if you dare to brave them. May the odds ever be in your favor.

INGREDIENTS

• 1½ sticks butter (12 tablespoons)

• ½ cup sugar

• 3 tablespoons maple syrup

• 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

INSTRUCTIONS

1 In a medium sauce pan combine butter and sugar and stir over medium heat until melted. Reduce to low heat, because without fail this is when a kid will need a diaper change or a peanut butter chocolate sandwich made. Stir in maple syrup and condensed milk.

2 Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute and then decrease to medium low heat for 10 minutes, when mixture achieves deep golden color, stirring constantly (not vigorously).

3 Pour caramel into a foil 8×8 inch pan, pray they’re cooked enough, and allow to cool completely. I leave it out on the counter for about 10 minutes and then use the refrigerator to cool completely.

4 When completely cooled, cut into squares, I like to use our pizza cutter, and wrap in Saran Wrap.

Good luck! When in doubt under do them. If they don’t set up, stick it back in the sauce pan for a couple more minutes and repeat steps 3-4.

Garbage Disposal

Do you ever have that conversation with you spouse or best friend, “When I build my forever home it’ll have…” Well I told Zed, when we build our forever home it’s going to have a garbage disposal in our laundry room sink. He laughed, knowing why I was saying this, and said that’s a great idea, but you won’t need that function by the time we build a house.

I was cleaning up throw up (my least favorite Mom job) for the fourth time this week. Each time I would take the stopper out of the tub rinse the chunks off and then hurry the dripping clothes/towels/blankets to the washing machine. Why didn’t I just do this in my kitchen sink you’re probably wondering…because dishes are a close second to cleaning up throw up. Thankfully Zed doesn’t mind it too much, but we’ve had a lazy week (remember 4th time cleaning up throw up). So the sink was full of dishes and I wanted that smell gone as soon as possible.

So a garbage disposal in the laundry room sink is being added to our list that includes radiant heat, three car extended length garage, and stairs/ladder up to the empty space of the home. Maybe when/if this custom built home comes we’ll have grandkids who will get sick while staying at our home…yay 🤢

-S

The Christmas Tree

The other night, I was up late. We deliver homemade baked goods to our friends who live near us each Christmas. We grabbed some McDonalds for the kids while we drove. Zoe got a French fry stuck and threw up all over her car seat. I needed to get it all washed and dried before morning, because we would need her seat to get to school/work on time.

The kids and Zed were all asleep. The wash was going. All the lights, but those on the Christmas tree were off. The silence, the peace, the wonder of what am I forgetting. Looking at the tree I realized the since we’ve put it up the kids have played a little nicer, we’ve been better about family prayer each night, and we’ve all been a little more relaxed.

A Christmas tree reminds us of the season, which is about family and love and not about the gifts that will be under it in a few days. It draws the kids in, creates questions about where the different ornaments are from. The ornaments that are all out of arms reach. It gives us an opportunity to talk about Christ and focus on the real reason for the season.

Next time I post, it’ll probably be with pictures of the chaos that will be Christmas morning with 4 under 5. Merry Christmas to all. I hope you all get what you asked for, I know I have already been blessed this year.

-S

The Curse

Every military spouse dreads it, as I’m sure so does every military member. The curse is stronger than Murphy’s Law. It goes a little something like this…If the military member is away things will go wrong and usually too bad for the spouse back home to handle alone.

Zed has been away for a week now and has about another week or two away. Zed’s Mom is helping out and Mia and Ana are out at the ranch. Saturday I woke up to Dax screaming “Momma! I’m dirty! Help!” I walk into his room to see he’s removed his diaper and has peed all over his bed. No big deal, I started up a bath and started a load of washed (It was time for his sheets to be washed anyway). Zoe hears us moving around and wakes up herself. I go in and notice a horrible smell. She has had a blowout and there is poop everywhere. Again, no big deal…the tub is already ready and I pause Dax’s sheets and add Zoe’s. We had a pretty boring rest of the day and enjoyed a visit from my cousin who lives in Alaska.

Sunday I wake up to Zoe screaming and she had now peed out…time for another load of laundry. I go to start a bath and there’s no hot water. I check the other faucets…no hot water. I just the breakers, all normal there. I check our hot water heater and it says blower prover open, call a technician. So like any good millennium I went to Facebook asking for help and it came flooding in. We have such an amazing support system here in Oklahoma and will be sad to leave it (just got word this will be happening in September). We go to church and when we return someone is waiting to check out the water heater. He says it needs a new switch, easy fix. I’m happy because the temperature is supposed to go below freezing on Tuesday night.

I then talk to the men from Right of Way who are clearing the gas line and ask why there are three trucks and 12 men rather than one truck and four men. Their skid steer got stuck in the back of our property an they have to tow it out. Turns out the skid steer backed down into the creek. Tow truck (big enough to pull a semi) shows up and drives over our lawn to pull the guy out. Going in…no concerns with our yard. Coming out was a different story. The tow truck got stuck for a moment driving out, leaving bare patches and 6in deep ruts. The guys were super nice and will work something out once Zed gets home.

Today brought a new ball of fun. I dropped the kids off, worked out, then headed to the gym to shower and change. Wouldn’t you know it…they were out of hot water too. Good thing there is more than one gym. Shower change and realize I forgot my hat, belt, and blousing straps at home. Belt, not a huge deal. Blousing straps, I used hair ties to supplement. Hat, I drove home to get it. I finally make it in to work to find out the daycare is without heat and I need to pick up the kiddos. Get the kids, go home, and we all took a much needed nap. Our friend from church comes back over, cleans out the hose on the hot water heater, changes the switch out…still no luck. He calls the company and we learn we need a new blower motor aka not so cheap fix anymore. They look up our unit and wouldn’t you know it, it’s still under warranty! They order the new motor and it will be to us on Wednesday. I check the temp again and it’s now not supposed to freeze until Wednesday night. Good news all around.

So the curse. It always strikes while the service member is away, but there is always a support system for the home spouse to rely on. For all of you who helped us out or are still helping out, I thank you and am so blessed to have you as part of what we call the military family!

-S

48 Strong

This weekend brought another Davies vacation. This time we set out for Altamont, Utah. We left Thursday morning and set out, arriving in Vernal, Utah just before midnight. It wouldn’t be a Davies vacation if we didn’t stop at a roadside ameria stop. This trip it was Rock City. We stayed with Zed’s Aunt and Uncle who have housed us many times on our trips across the country. 

Friday we worked on Zed’s masters program, the kids played with the farm animals (horses, dogs, and goats) and then they and Zed went to the Dinosaur museum. Ana is currently obsessed with dinosaurs, her favorite being long necks and triceratops. I stayed back with Zoe and spent some time with Zed’s aunt. We were then off to Hidden Springs Ranch in Altamont. 

If you’re ever looking for a great place for a wedding or reunion location, it’s perfect. It sleeps 92 people, has trap shooting, a rock wall, acres to ride ATVs on, a pool, basketball/volleyball court, and good sized game room. It was a gorgeous lodge with even better views. 

Friday night was filled with catching up and great food. Brisket from Country Natural Beef, homemade scallop potatoes, green beans and rolls. The best part of the meal was Grandpa Davies’ Dutch oven poppyseed cake. Zed and I may have taken half of it with us for the road trip back. The kids went swimming in the hot tub and bedtime was close to midnight.

Birthday day! I started my day with a kiss from Zed then I headed out for a run, 2miles. Ana was half way through a huge waffle when I got back and Zoe was enjoying the whipped cream on top of Zed’s. Dax had already finished bacon and eggs and Mia decided on a banana. After breakfast we got ready for our day of fun. People started sticking cloths pins to me every time I said someone’s name in my family. It took me a little bit to notice I was the only one collecting pins and realized it was a birthday thing. The boys set out to shoot skeet and Mia insisted on joining; she was the “puller”. Once I reached 27 pins I received my gift, a spa bundle complete with a massage. My sister in law is a massage therapist. When in Bend, OR look up sole foot bar and schedule a session. Zed’s aunt scheduled a photographer and the full picture had 48 people in it. We played some fun games and had some amazing steaks.

Sunday brought packing up and saying goodbye. Dax went with Zeds parents for a fun week at the ranch. We set out with the girls and spent the night in Colorado with Zed’s sponsor family from the Academy. We drove the rest of the way home on Monday, completing a successful family vacation. Part of the drive home was stopping at a “cano” in New Mexico. Capulin Volcano last erupted 60,000 years ago and the girls absolutely loved hiking it’s rim and bowl. Zed had a great time with his brothers and I had a great time with my sisters and getting to know, hopefully, sister #4. 

Next adventure…Tulsa.
-S

Proof

It’s been a while since my house has been this clean. The kitchen, the dining area, the living room, the guest room, the kids room, the kids bathroom, and the half bath. Don’t ask about the master bedroom…Today hasn’t been that successful. Zoe kept me home (really bad allergies and teething resulting in a fever and goopy eyes) and I wanted to make the most of it. We are also going on vacation soon and I wanted to make sure there were no apples lurking under a bed.

Well, after about 5 hours, it’s finished…most of the house. I found a bowl of cereal (thank goodness the kids don’t like it with milk), 10 pacifiers, and the stuffing of a 3 foot bunny. The trash can found about a bag of new friends! Needless to say, I am quite proud of my efforts for today.

One problem…the one person who will appreciate and acknowledge my efforts doesn’t get home until 1am tomorrow. So what did I, a perfectly sane person do? I took pictures of the house and sent them to him as proof. We all know that within an hour of the older 3 getting home there will be no proof of my efforts.

My goal now is to get the kids better about cleaning up their mess so when I get a “free” day off, I can focus on the mess that I have made in what most call a master bedroom, but I call my junk room.

Signing off  with a goal to post once per week from here on out. We all know I have plenty to write about in regards to the Davies Crazies!

 

-S