Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Marsh's New Ride

We can't wait for Spring so we can try this baby out!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Always Learning

So one thing that we've noticed about The Marsh as he gets closer to the 1 1/2 year mark is how curious and intuitive he is. He always wants to be doing things and will always try something at least once. But, you better watch out because once he gets his sights set on something he will not give up until it is his.

These pictures were taken during one of the many doctor's visits over the past few months. He is so used to the waiting room now that he has to run over and play with the Activity Cube and watch out to any kid who might already be playing with it. We have to work on Marshall's "playing with others" skills :)





Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Go Marshall Go!

Not long after he started walking back in early November. Once he started it was all over...



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Trip to the Museum

This week I'm away in Sunny Orlando at a conference... without my baby :( Not only is this the first time that I'm away overnight since Marshall was born but I'm away the entire week! Talk about jumping in all the way!

Since there are only 8 days left in February, I thought I would use the rest of the month to post some pictures of The Marsh from the October - January timeframe.

We start back in November with Marshall's first trip to a museum. My mom, brother, and sister were in town for his 1st birthday party and we took a trip into the city to visit the Natural History Museum. During this trip, Marshall said "What's that?" for the first time while pointing at one of the glass cases.


The only way to travel...


Photo-op with the Triceratops.


Look at all the people down there!


What's that?


What's that? Yes... once he started saying it he didn't stop :)


Planets are cool!


Enough learning for The Marsh! It's time for a nap!



Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Decisions City Leaders Make Really Don't Make Sense

*Sigh* I already feel my IQ dropping...

Jersey Shore Spinoff

I'm not sure what kind of exposure the mayor is expecting for Jersey City, but we're frequently in the area with Marshall where they will be filming. The area has a lot of families and children and is on the border of the higher income section of Jersey City. I don't think watching Snookie and JWow act like idiots is what young children need to see. I'm sure the residents of the Newport area are having a fit about this.

I'm just happy we don't actually live in that area...


Friday, February 10, 2012

A Difference of Opinion... I Guess

I debated long and hard before writing this post but just felt that I needed to share some of my experience as the wife of a National Guard Soldier in response to a blog post written by the spouse of an Active Duty Army Soldier stationed up in Vermont.

At some point today, this blogger removed all of her family pictures, previous posts and comments from her blog but not before I had a chance to read her post.

In a nutshell, she expressed her opinion that members of the National Guard were not real soldiers and their spouses should not call themselves Army wives. WHAT??? If it is still available, you're more than welcome to read her post here.

My husband has been a member of various units of the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard for the past 20 years. I've only been a part of it for the past 7 years but in those 7 years, I can tell you that I've learned that ANG Soldiers can be just as busy as their Active Duty counterparts.

For anyone who isn't aware, I'm about to shed some light on the life of a National Guard Soldier and their family. To preface, before I met Freddy, I had no idea what the National Guard even did.

Let's first discuss their minimum requirements: 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. That doesn't sound like a lot right? Wrong. What they don't tell you is that weekend is many times a 4 day weekend where they send them to a base in a different state, which means they don't come home at night. And 2 weeks a year? That is just their annual training if it is stateside. Since we've been together, at least 4 times, my husband's AIT has been 3 weeks or more and twice it was in Germany. As a matter of fact, I found out I was pregnant the day my husbad left for Germany in 2010 and went through 3 1/2 weeks of horrible morning sickness by myself. Their annual AIT doesn't include the additional 2 - 3 week training courses they take throughout the year. In 2009, we had plane tickets to leave on a Thursday for the wedding reception that my family was hosting for us in Michigan. The Friday before, Freddy found out that he had to report to Fort Drum for a class on Sunday for the week. He drove the 8 hours to Fort Drum so that he would have his car to drive the 12 hours to Michigan in order to be there for our reception. He arrived at my mom's house at 7:00am Saturday morning. Sometimes I think it might be easier to handle a year long deployment versus 2 weeks away, a few months home, 2 weeks away, a few months home, but you learn to deal with it.

Now let's discuss their 1st obligation: One thing this blogger stated was true. The National Guard are state militia. They are responsible for protecting the state they are assigned to. This means assisting during natural disasters. Natural what? Yes, natural disasters in which you cannot plan for. In 2006, while Freddy was away at drill, our area was hit with a huge monsoon type rain storm. On Sunday night, the last day of his drill, he called and informed me that his unit had been activated to assist during the storm and that he didn't know when he was going to be home. He was gone for an additional week before they were released. In that time I had to deal with our landlord and a contractor on my own because our ceiling had started leaking during the storm. Does everyone remember Hurricane Irene this past August? Well, I do! After the storm started, Freddy got the call telling him that he had to leave his wife and his then 10 month old baby alone and report to his unit. He had to drive during the storm into the city to get to his unit and was gone for 4 days.

The day Freddy left for the hurricane...


...and the day he got home.


Now let's discuss their 2nd, but more common obligation: With the unrest in the Middle East, more and more Guard and Reservists are being deployed multiple times and working alongside Active Duty personnel. In 2008, over 3,000 members of the New Jersey National Guard were deployed to Iraq. According to the same article, 49% of National Guard members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have returned with mental health problems. That is almost 29% higher than their Active Duty counterparts.

Now let's discuss my role as the spouse of a National Guard Soldier: Most Active Duty Army wives that I'm aquainted with are stay at home moms. Believe me, I find absolutely nothing wrong with this and, given the opportunity, would love to be a stay at home mom. The life of an Active Duty spouse pretty much prevents her from holding down a permanent full time job. Now, I cannot speak for all Guard spouses, but in my case we have to be a double income family. I have a full time, and very demanding, job with a company that I've worked for in some capcity for the past 10 years. I work in the IT field which requires that, in addition to my 9-10 hour work day, there are many times that I need to work in the evening, overnight or on weekends. So, when my husband is gone for his monthly drills, yearly AIT, and various training classes, not only do I need to maintain our house, manage our 4 cats, and keep up with a very busy little toddler, I also have a responsibility to my work and employer. Needless to say, when Freddy was gone for 6 weeks last September helping another National Guard unit mobilize for deployment, I was freaking exhausted! He also missed Marshall's first steps. Oh yeah, and I had to pretty much plan our son's 1st birthday party on my own. Freddy got home the week before just in time to enjoy the party :)

We spent our 3rd wedding anniversary unpacking...


I don't even think I can address the blogger's comments about the conduct of a military spouse. I think I've heard about some pretty bad behavior by both Active Duty and Guard spouses :)

We have been lucky in that Freddy has not been deployed since 2004, but I know it kills him to see his friends continue to deploy over and over when he is all rested and reay to go. While I don't envy the constant deployments that Active Duty spouses have to deal with, I do envy the community and support on base they have. We live about an hour away from the nearest military base. There is really no National Guard Army wife community with Freddy's unit so when he's gone, I don't really have anyone who understands what it's like. When Marshall is old enough to attend school, chances are he will be one of the few, if not the only, military kid in his class.

When I became the wife of a National Guard Soldier, I never thought any differently about Active Duty Soldiers. To me, they are all a part of the same Army. The label on everyone's uniform says "U.S. Army". My husband was not born here, but the one reason he chose to become a citizen of this country was so that he could vote. The next thing he did was join ROTC in college. I have never met anyone who is more proud to be a part of the U.S. Army than my husband. Whenever they ask for volunteers for missions or to assist other units, he is always one of the first to volunteer. All he wants to do is lead and teach new privates to be the best Soldiers they can be. He knows almost all of the codes, patches, insignias and lives by the Army code even when not in uniform. When we were sight seeing in Washington, D.C. and visited Arlington cemetary the first thing he did was make sure they had the military flags hanging in the correct order. If you can't consider him a soldier then I don't know what one is.

All branches and divisions of our military have different roles and responsibilities. That does not make them any less of a Soldier than anyone in any other branch.

I think what bothered me the most about the blogger's post is how uneducated her opinions were as well as the comments made by her husband. I'm all for free speech, but you need to be able to back up your arguments and opinions. We all know there is definitely a rivalry between branches and divisions, but there is still a level of respect they have for each other. Never once have I seen any Active Duty personnel treat my husband any less of a soldier just because he is a part of the Guard. I still see lower ranking Active Duty Soldiers salute him per regulation.

Regardless of what a few people might think, I am still very proud to be an Army wife and especially enjoy the online Military Spouse blogging community that I've found.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Obsessions

Something that I wish I would have known about BEFORE Marshall was born???

I've recently been introduced to it and have found so many cute ideas for The Marsh! A few I think I'm still going to do since I still have a lot of his baby stuff. Some of my favorite finds so far...

Shadow Box with Marshall's Hospital Hat

Source: via Amanda on Pinterest

A Picture of Marshall with a Clock Stopped at his Time of Birth

Yearly Picture with Marshall's Favorites Recorded

If you're not already on Pinterest I highly recommend you join in the obsession!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I really wish the sickness would leave my house! We were all sick over Christmas and New Year's. Then The Marsh had a bad case of croup a couple weeks ago. And now I'm sick again with a lovely sinus infection :(

I'll be super embarrassed if the zombie apocalypse starts at my house!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Scentsy Baby Buddies!!!

I had the opportunity to attend one of Scentsy's mini conventions last Thursday in Philadelphia. They use these mini conventions to announce the new items that will be available in the Spring/Summer line. Along with registration, the consultants receive a free product kit with some new items in it. One of the new items is the Scentsy Baby Buddy. This is a smaller version of the popular Scentsy Buddy. The Baby Buddy that was included in my kit was Baby Mollie the Monkey.


I decided to give Baby Mollie to Marshall and this was his reaction:


I think he likes her :)

The Scensy Baby Buddies will be available for purchase on March 1 through my website at


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rockin' the Halftime Show!

For your viewing pleaure... The Marsh rockin' it out to Madonna's halftime show. It takes him awhile to get going but that kid's got some moves :)


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blogger FAIL

So... another unexpected hiatus from blogging :( Things have been crazy over the past 6 months... But in other news I've tagged 2012 as a year of change for me! So, over the next week or so I'll be reorganizing and redesigning my blog. But most importantly I'll be designating a few blog posts a week to updating what our family, and, more importantly, Marshall (aka The Marsh), have been up to since October when my blogging became quite infrequent.

The Marsh has been growing up right before our eyes so I want to make sure I document and share all of that with you. A few updates you can look forward to over the coming weeks:

1. Daddy comes home from his 6 week deployment!
2. Mommy gets a promotion!
3. The Marsh turns one!
4. Our 1st Halloween!
5. Marshall's 1st trip to the museum!
6. Marshall's 1st birthday party!
7. Our 2nd Thanksgiving!
8. Power Outages!
9. Road trip to Michigan!
10. Our 2nd Christmas!
11. Sickness and Disease :(
12. First words!
13. More sickness :(
14. Moving on up in Gymboree!
15. Extreme Couponing!
16. Back to the gym!
17. Mommy signed up to run a 5K!
18. Putties!
19. Scentsy success!
20. Life organization in 2012!

Not only that but I still have some fun updates to post about the summer when Marshall went on his first camping trip!

So there you have it! As the blog construction begins, please forgive any broken links or pictures that you might find!