Monday, September 17, 2012


Kurt Nolan Fromage

Born 11:59:58, August 31, 2012. Just barely in time, but he made it on the blue moon, which Grandma Acorn was thrilled about.
I’m not going to bore you with the entire birth story, because the thing took 19 hours, I pushed a 10 pound baby out of my vajayjay and if we’re being honest here, the whole thing made seriously rethink the idea of doing this again in a couple years (I may or may not have tried to schedule a tube-tie procedure before even leaving the delivery room). I’ll just share some of the low points…. Er….highlights:

Baby Fromage was in no rush to be born (Despite the fact that he was already the size of a middle school student) so I ended up with the max dose of Pitocin, which made for some pretty intense contractions; they wouldn’t have been so bad if my epidural didn’t wear off… twice. I got pumped with something to take the edge off while the epidural was adjusted, but I don’t respond well to pain meds, and apparently neither does Little Man, because his heart rate dropped, I was put on oxygen and proceeded to throw up (ever puked with tubes up your nose?). I got yet another dose of drugs for the nausea and promptly fell asleep.
Yes, you read that right. I fell asleep.

Dude, I’d been laboring for some 16-17 hours, the last thing I’d eaten was a half bowl of Raisin Bran at 5AM and I’d had a dose of every drug in the hospital. Thankfully, the epidural must have been wearing off again because I did wake up for each and every contraction, just long enough to push. I don’t recall, but apparently I was convinced Daddy Fromage knew something I didn’t because he claims I kept asking him, “How many more (pushes)?”
I have no idea how many pushes it actually took (but it was enough to take 2 hours), but we did finally have a baby. A giant baby, with a full head of hair on a perfectly shaped head and not a typical baby wrinkle in sight. Oh yeah, he was also purple.

He’s absolutely A-O-K now, so I’m keeping this light, but D@MN, it was the most helpless, horrifying moment of my life. I can’t even begin to express how terrifying it was to deliver a baby who wouldn’t breathe and had to be whisked away to the NICU (for more than an hour) while I just laid there, entirely unable to do a thing to help him, no one could tell me he’d be alright. I’m pretty sure it brought on some gray hairs, but I’ve been too busy changing diapers to look in the mirror yet.
So in the early morning hours of the first of September, I finally got to spend some time with my son (My heart swells up typing that… MY SON!). Guys, he’s perfect. I may be a little tiny bit biased, but he may be the most handsome baby evah. He’s got my giant feet and detached earlobes, he sneezes in twos just like his daddy and he’s had us both wrapped around his tiny little finger from the moment we saw him.

Speaking of fingers…
People Whose Eyes I Want to Poke Out With My Middle Fingers –

The nurse who let me labor for 19 hours, drenched in sweat with a wet towel draped over me as Daddy Fromage rubbed ice on my forehead and with mere minutes left of the ordeal, asked if I’d like her to turn the air on, since the room was a tad warm. Lucky for her, my legs were numb and there was a baby dangling from my lady parts, or I’d have jumped up and clawed her face off.
Whoever made the rule that ice chips are ok, but water in liquid form will cause certain death, any form of food is also out of the question. I started to wonder what was worse: labor, or hunger/thirst. I wish I was kidding, but in the last moments, the only thing that kept me going was telling myself “Once you push him out, you can have a Gatorade and a meal!”

My doctor who, almost as if it was funny, told me “If we’d known he was going to be so big, I’d have induced you back at 38 weeks!” and later added that if he’d been just 50 grams bigger, she’d have given me the option of C-section. Bee-ach, shouldn’t you have done some kind of grown scan to check this $H!T beforehand? Thank God Daddy Fromage and I had to schedule the induction because of this upcoming knee surgery, because if little man had been allowed to incubate another week or 2, he’d have come out large enough to be a starter on the high school football team.
All of the pregnancy aches and pains, the hellavuh labor, the sleepless nights and countless dirty diapers… totally worth it. Being a mom is freakin’ amazing!

Monday, August 20, 2012

This Will Be A Fun Story for Later

(Why the nutella? It came up when I image searched "Overwhelmed new mom", though I can't figure why! But hey, it made me feel better, as nutella always does, so it's representin' for this post!)

Baby Fromage is due to arrive in a mere 9 days now. Give or take, of course, since despite the fact that he’s less than 10 pounds and not a day old yet he’s running the show. Lots of anticipation around here and every time CPT Fromage or I make a phone call home, the first question is always “Is she/are you in labor!?” I’m as miserable as I’ve ever been and ready to say goodbye to pregnancy and start the feeding/diapering/crying baby stage.

I mentioned in my last post that we were adding to the excitement of a baby with a move to Mississippi 8 weeks post-birth; I later realized I didn’t mention WHY we were relocating there. CPT Fromage was offered a training position at Camp Shelby while he transitions out of the Army; easy-peasy staff job with National Guard and Reserve soldiers and no chance of deployment, can’t say no to that! So come the first week of November, we’ll settle in at our third address in as many states for the year… with a new baby this time... should be fun!
As if our first born on the way and a move on the horizon aren’t enough to keep us busy, it looks like CPT Fromage is going to need knee surgery in the coming  4 weeks or so. Amazing timing, right! About a month ago he injured it at PT (Physical Training) playing football. An X-ray didn’t show any problems, so he took it easy a few weeks hoping it was a sprain; when it didn’t heal up, and MRI showed 2 meniscus tears and a cyst. Wonderful.

We’re a pretty sorry sight to see, CPT Fromage on a gimpy knee and my waddling around, belly as big and inconvenient as ever. Undoubtedly now I’ll need a c-section, because c’mon, that’s the most awesome scenario imaginable right? Both new parents recovering from surgery and running on no sleep; prepping for a move in between changing dirty diapers and cleaning spit up? Maybe Baby Fromage can be colicky too! Oh my….  /sarcasm

Truthfully, our excitement hasn't been dampened, it’s going to be just fine no matter what. We’ll get through it one way or another. My mom is on standby, as soon as she gets the call she’ll be on her way to help and a friend of ours – who recently became a baby pro -  just moved into the same apartment complex and she’s volunteered to give us a hand as well. Phew! The in-laws will hopefully be coming out shortly after and my sister is going to drop in for a few days too.

If there’s one thing to be grateful for it’s that I made 3 weeks’ worth of meals and froze them; at least in the midst of the chaos we’ll have something to eat besides delivery!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Get this baby OUT of me!" - MIL

(Forgive the tacky bathroom mirror picture, please. At least I'm not making a duck face!)

40 weeks is a crazy long time to have a tenant in my uterus, especially when he’s not sticking to the lease agreement. Did he ask about the remodels? No. I didn’t plan to expand the space in there, and if he wanted purple stripes so badly we could have painted them in the nursery instead of on my tummy. My tenant also keeps a partier’s schedule, being up most of the night banging on the walls and disturbing his neighbors (I do take some pleasure in the fact that he often kicks CPT Fromage in the back at night, so I’m no longer the only one being kept awake!)
I kid, kid. Baby Fromage can hang out as long as he needs to, we want a big healthy boy coming home from the hospital and truthfully, I’m not sure caring for a fussy, pooping, burping, hungry baby is going to be any easier than being 37 weeks pregnant in the Oklahoma summer heat anyway. Last week, the weatherman used this phrase, one I’d never heard before, to describe the day’s forecast: “Lava-like temperatures”, which apparently is 115 degrees. A friend made a joke about it melting the sidewalk, to which I replied with a link to the news story about the pavement buckling on one of the major roads. It’s flipping hot here! Most nights, at bedtime it’s still over 100 degrees. Thank God it’s downhill from here. Once Baby Fromage is born, I’ll cool off tremendously (I hope!) and everyone keeps telling us that the hottest time of year here is the last 2 weeks of July and first week of August. Hope they’re all right and the mercury drops a little soon. On the bright side, it’s been fantastic weather for making sun tea.

Three weeks ‘til D-Day – assuming he’s a due date baby (which few are). Never has a Fromage been accused of being on time, much less early, so bets are on that he’s going to be late, but a gut feeling tells me he’s going to surprise us all and join the party before August 29. We’ll see! Shortly after our new addition arrives, we’re off to Mississippi; less than 3 months from now CPT Fromage reports for his new job there; hooray for another move /sarcasm. Lots of big changes coming up for our little (growing!) family, all happening fast! I should be getting prepared, but all I really want right now is a nap.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cambridge or Bust!

We haven’t ordered new address labels just yet, but our hopes and hearts are set on 2 years in Massachusetts. CPT Fromage is applying for the Harvard MBA program and the goal is to start in the fall of 2013. I have full confidence he’ll be accepted! Behind the curve? You bet. Rushed? Yes, yes we are. Panicking? Yep, a little. Excited? H3LL yeah we are!

The timing couldn’t be more… wonderful… as we’re only about 6 weeks away from the most hectic time of our lives (Though, nothing could take away from how excited we are to bring Baby Fromage home from the hospital!). Prepping for the GMAT, the application process for an Ivy League school, trying to lock in where we'll be until we make the transition and rearranging our finances so we can live on about half of our current income for 24 months seems overwhelming on its own, but coupled with a brand new baby, it’s really going to suck. (Though I’m sure Baby Fromage will try to be helpful and wake his dad up throughout the night so he can get up and study. What a thoughtful baby he will be!)

While it’s going to be a challenge to make it happen, it’s also doable. Living on student loans makes me nervous, but based on others’ experiences, we should make it just fine and come out with a manageable amount of debt (though, it’s still going to be a lot). At the end of the day having a happy family, unseparated by war, a husband who’s happy at what he’s doing and can be a dad to his kids’ from home instead of via Skype is worth pinching pennies, tightening our belts and taking on some debt. The saying “Some people are so poor, all they have is money” comes to mind.

Right now, in addition to being totally stoked, we’re also pretty overwhelmed. Every time we think we’ve solved one issue, 10 more pop up in its place. Not to mention that CPT Fromage isn’t actually out of the Army just yet, they can still make things hard for us until he’s out from under their thumb – assuming they let him leave at all (but things look good... for now!). We’re bracing ourselves for whatever happens to mess up our plans (as things certainly will). Things are a little stressful and I’m sure they’ll continue to be until we get out feet on the ground in Boston and make it through the first few months. Thankfully, we’ve just about mastered the skill of taking turns being the rational, calm one and the partner who’s having a breakdown. We rotate every few days to keep it interesting. :)

The coming months will likely be full of excitement and disappointments, huge steps forward and as many backward, and lots of readjusting to make things happen. But we’re so excited to change direction; we’ve just got to brace ourselves since we’re doing it at full speed!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Warning: Sharp Turns Ahead

Things have been a little crazy around here lately. Actually, that’s an understatement; it’s more like, upside-down, backwards and inside out all at once!

After lots of discussion and careful consideration, CPT Fromage has made a big decision, one I’m super excited to get behind…
He’s getting out of the Army!

(that is, he's submitting the packet and we're crossing our fingers and praying it gets approved. This isn't the real world, so he can't really quit at will. It's unlikley that they'll prevent him from leaving, but it's not beyond realm of possibility that they'll decline him.)

Neither of us has enjoyed this lifestyle and he’s been more disappointed with his job every day, but until recently the plan had been for him to stay in for 8 years in order to give things a chance in his new branch. What changed?

First of all, the more (soon to be former!) CPT Fromage learns about things in his new branch the more he’s been disappointed. It’s really not going to be much better than the situation he’s coming out of, and in all likelihood even if he doesn’t hate it he won’t like it enough to make a career out of it (And if you don’t stay in the Army for 20 years, you might as well have not stayed in at all… no benefits if you get out a day before two decades). Why spend 3 more years doing something he hates if it’s not going to take him anywhere (except on another few deployments!)? Might as well jump ship now, there’s nothing in it for us by delaying the inevitable.
Next, job prospects are less promising the longer he stays in. Again, since he’s not planning to make a career out of military work (he doesn’t even have a desire to get on with the FBI, CIA, etc, where top secret security clearance, etc, would be appreciated), he’s not gaining any skills that will transfer into “the real world”, putting him 8 years behind his peers who are also competing for jobs. Sadly, the fact that he’s a West Point graduate with military leadership experience won’t offer much of a push when it comes to seeking employment later (outside of government or police type work). Once again, it looks like it's going to be best to get off this path now and start down one that’s going to be more productive for us.

Then there’s the obvious: deployment, time away from home, lack of stability and all of the other disadvantages to serving in the Army. With Baby Fromage due next month, the idea of those things sounds even less appealing than it did before. It’s a sucky lifestyle, and it only gets worse as we go.
There are some personal opinions and feelings about the military, and Army in particular, that came into play, but it’s not really my place to broadcast CPT Fromage’s feelings about that here and now.

So what’s next for our family (Hard to belive that in less than 7 weeks until we grow our household by 1!)? I’ll tell you in my next post!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lessons Learned

Ah, the joys of being novice renters...

Always, always, ALWAYS take pictures and do a thorough walk-through with careful documentation when you move in and out of a rental. More than 2 months after turning in our keys to our place in the Little Apple, we’re only just now done dealing with the headache that was our security deposit.

Despite leaving the place in mostly better condition than we found it and multiple walk throughs where we were told, minus some minor damage, things were great, our previous landlord never returned our money (or our calls… or responded to certified mail…) Once he got a call from a lawyer, we got an itemized receipt and check pretty quickly; however the check was for an insultingly low amount, and the itemized list was…. Wel, silly. Let me share some of the highlights…
$150 dollars for cost of dirt, to fill holes left by dog

True story, Erika digs. We did indeed leave some holes behind, but isn’t dirt supposed to be, uh, “dirt cheap”? Some price checking at the home store indicates that according to his claim, he had to purchase 6,000 pounds of dirt for those holes. Folks, that’s THREE TONS! I’m hiring our dog out for excavation!

$140 for hose, sprinkler and watering
Ok, I understand the need to grow some grass in all that new dirt, but since we weren’t provided lawn care supplies when we moved in, I don’t believe we’re responsible for leaving any behind for him upon move out. Also, forgive me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the lawn need to be watered no matter what shape we left it in?

$505 for carpet replacement and labor
“Landlord absorbed cost since carpet was not new when tenant moved in” Well sir, obviously the cost was not absorbed, since we got charged…. And the thing is, the carpet sucked when we moved in! They were going to replace it before we got there but only left it because we asked them to (who wants new carpet when you’re potty training a puppy? Not me).

$65 for… Clorox!
Seriously? Dude, wherever you buy your bleach, you’re getting ripped off…

This story does have a happy ending (for us, anyway, I’m sure the landlord would have a different opinion!). Thanks to CPT Fromage’s buddy who happens to be a consumer rights lawyer, another check is on it's way and we're getting back every penny we deserve. Not only that, but he made all of the phone calls, handled all the documents and saved us a lot of hassle. A big shout out to CB for all the help! We know better for next time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Old Boobs

Before I start, let me preface with this statement: I am fully aware that 27 isn’t that old. To some of you, I may still be a young whipper snapper. However, it’s hard not to feel a wee bit… seasoned…. when I’ve pulled 2 gray hairs in the last month and have been carded for liquor fewer times than that in the last year. My 10 year high school reunion is next spring and my firstborn son will graduate with the class for, gulp, 2030! Maybe CPT Fromage’s new nickname for me (“Old Boobs”… he means that lovingly... I hope!) isn’t that far off.

Nah, really, it’s not so bad. 27 is my favorite number for one thing, and besides, I feel like I’ve done a lot in the last little while…

I’ve spent the last 5 years building a relationship with my best friend and this year we’re starting our own family. I don’t have a 9-5 job or career that comes with a 401K, but I contribute to my IRA every month, we’re financially stable with some spending money in our pockets and I’m about to start my dream job: Stay at home mom. A far cry from the frozen dinners and take out in my “younger years”, I’m cooking homemade meals almost every night, even mastering dishes like duck and salmon and I finally own some cookware, dishes and small appliances I can be proud of; heck, I even have my own china and silver serving set! In the last few years, seeing as I finally feel more like a grown up, I’ve started treating myself to the finer things in life – better beauty products (No more 98 cent Suave shampoo), professional hair coloring now and then instead of a box of L’Oreal and even an expensive bottle of perfume. Part of me will never grow up; I still enjoy young adult fiction once in a while and I can’t sleep without my stuffed cow, Sir Loin (See, mom! I didn’t grow out of it!) and I will forever have a love of boxed macaroni and cheese. Some things never change.

Nope, 27 isn’t so bad (but I sure could do without those gray hairs! As soon as Baby Fromage makes his big appearance, I’m making a salon appointment!)

Happy birthday to me! CPT Fromage took me to a Motown musical dinner theater this weekend, where we had a BLAST! Baby Fromage even treated me when he finally rearranged himself so he’s not in the most uncomfortable position possible. Thanks, guys!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Water and Watermelon

Last night CPT Fromage and I decided to grill. We totally would have done it over the weekend but everyone and their brother was grilling! It’s not that we’re too cool to do something if it’s already trending, but rather that our apartment complex won’t let us have our own grill (lame sauce) and our entire development has to share ONE propane grill. Double lame sauce. So we waited until the weekend was over to bring our brats and “good dogs” (dude, tofu dogs are my new favorite food) outside. Know what else we brought? Wait for it…

Yes. We totally grilled watermelon. And it was UH-FREAKIN-MAZING. I wish I could describe it to you so you’d be totally excited to try it, but I can’t even begin to start. The texture; it’s gets almost meaty, and the taste is indescribable except to say it’s smoky, it’s spicy and it’s heavenly! We ate it as a side dish, but I hear it’s also good in place of a burger (slap some cheese on it and throw it on a bun? I’d try it!)

Grilled Watermelon
4 slices of watermelon, 1 ¼ inches thick (My slices were quarters, if that makes sense… A half of a half slice) ¼ cup honey
juice of 2 limes
dash of cyan pepper
dash of salt
Combine the honey, lime juice, salt and cyan pepper in a glass baking dish and add the watermelon slices. Flip them over so both sides are coated and let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Turn your grill to medium-high heat and grill watermelon slices for approximately 5 minutes per side (you’re looking for nice, dark grill marks)

Serve and enjoy! You can thank me later.
So about that water... it was good luck we planned to grill last night, because we got hit with a pretty fierce storm about 45 minutes before we started cooking. The wind and hail broke one of our windows, wrecked the cars (and we just last week picked up one of them from the shop for hail damage repair… FML…) and knocked out our power for 12 long hours. We’d have had no way to cook a darned thing inside with the power out! Our A/C didn’t work either of course, and our apartment wasn’t the only thing getting warm… I had to throw out the week’s worth of groceries I’d bought just that afternoon… Lame sauce. At least the watermelon was delicious!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today’s post brought to you by the letter B

Babies: Why must baby things be so expensive? I suppose the hit to our bank account would be less if we stuck to just the basics – car seat, crib, diapers… But how am I supposed to simply close a browser window when an etsy seller has knitted such a darling newborn size cow hat? (obviously our newborn will need a knitted hat… in September) Or the personalized burp clothes with cow print trim? (if it doesn’t have his name on it, how will we all keep up with who’s burp clothes are who’s?)

Boys: We don’t know a whole lot of people here in Lawton yet. Mostly because we Fromages are sort of recluses. CPT Fromage has made a few friends from his course but of course, none of these guys have wives, or hardly even girlfriends. One has a fiance… who’s in New York. Lamesauce. So my only social interaction outside of my better half, is with his friends. While I have a potty mouth myself and enjoy a good “That’s what she said”, I’m finding myself missing girlfriends. A “thank you for cooking supper” or “the steak was great, thanks” would go a long way. Why don’t boys know about those polite gestures? I will also never be able to erase from my mind some of the dirty stories (and accompanying visuals) shared over the supper I spent hours cooking. Ugh. I miss girls.

Best Steak Marinade in Existence: So, I can’t vouch for this personally, since I’ve never eaten a marinated steak myself, but, I’ve made more than my fair share of them and CPT Fromage agrees that this one is top notch.
I can’t take credit for this recipe, and you can see theoriginal share here, but to save you the trip, I’m posting it on my blog as well…

Best Steak Marinade in Existence

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)


1.     Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.

2.     Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

*I skip the blender step, eliminate the hot pepper sauce and used fresh minced garlic instead of dried. I also prefer to marinade much longer, starting the night before so it’s almost 24 hours. Was incredible on rib eye and sirloin, and I’m sure we’ll be making again and again!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Watermelon Smoothie

So it’s about 100 degrees here today, and humid, and I’m still pregnant. Just makes me want a mug of hot chocolate… Kidding! What I really wanted was a milk shake, but let’s be honest, it was too hot to get in my sick minivan with the mostly broken air conditioning to drive to Sonic. Also, the window doesn’t roll down, so it’s a little embarrassing when I have to open to door for my drink (Eh, actually, I sort of roll with it now, I’m learning to embrace my new ride).

With a milkshake out of the question, I decided I’d try out my new Ninja blender. It got here yesterday* (Er, last week, I just was too lazy to walk to the office and pick it up until yesterday) and I wanted to see if it was really as amazing as the reviews claimed. Dude, it is. Know what else was amazing? My watermelon smoothie.
Since getting pregnant, I’ve been on a mega watermelon kick. I always liked it before, but now I crave it like crack. It’s still not really quite in season yet, but at least it’s easier to get my hands on than it was in oh, January or February. Anyway. We bought one last month that turned out to be a dud, but I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I chopped that sucker up and threw it in the freezer, figuring I’d think of something to do with it when I one day got around to buying a new blender.

Guys, it was amazing. If I could be in love with a food or drink item, and Green Curry was already in a committed relationship, it would be this smoothie. Try it. If you don’t like it, send it to me and I’ll drink it!

Watermelon Smoothie

Makes 2 servings. Unless you’re me, and then it’s one big serving.

2 ½ cups frozen watermelon
1 small apple (I used Pink Lady, ‘cause that’s my fave)
½ of a fresh lemon, squeezed
1 TB maple syrup
½ cup Limeade*  (Give or take. I prefer my smoothies pretty thick, so add more if you want  to use a straw instead of a spoon!)
*Lemonade is probably great too, or Sprite for that matter. I’m pretty sure this would rock your socks with Vodka, but seeing as I’m with child, I can’t vouch for the awesomeness that I’m sure would ensue if you added a grown up beverage… Let me know if you try it so I can be jealous.

Blend it all up and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower - You've gotta try this!

More violent crimes around here to report: armed intruder in a woman’s motel room, armed home invasion, armed gas station hold up and a double shooting. What a wonderful place to raise a child…

Besides violent crime, Sh*t-hole of the Earth (Oops, I slipped again… Lawton) also has a bazillion stray dogs. Seriously, it’s like finding pennies on the sidewalk, they are everywhere! We’ve only been here 2 months and have already picked up 2 nursing mommas! Sheesh!

Besides not getting shot and picking up strays, been doing a lot of cooking. A lot of cooking! I’ve tried somewhere in the range of 30 new recipes, most of which I’ve been pretty stoked about. I’ll be posting a few of my favorites here coming up, so keep an eye out.

Most surprising food we’ve enjoyed was mashed cauliflower. I know, right? Ew. CPT Fromage hates the stuff, but one of our weekly dinner guests is on a trendy carb diet, so mashed potatoes were out of the question. I figured if these sucked, no big deal, I’d blame it on his dietary restrictions. Haha. But can I tell you, we LOVED them. We tore through the entire bowl and still wanted more. CPT Fromage has even announced publicly that he prefers them to mashed potatoes. Dying to try them now? Here’s what you do…


1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbl heavy cream
1 Tbl butter
2 ounces flaked Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Break down the cauliflower and discard the stem, steam until tender. When you’re done steaming, be sure to let the cauliflower cool for a little while; it helps the texture so you don’t end up with a soggy side dish.

Once the cauliflower has cooled, it’s time to blend it with your remaining ingredients. You’ll want to warm it up again ever so slightly so that the butter and cheese melts in (I know, it seems like a pain, but trust me, you  should let it dry out).

I so badly wished that I had a food processor because it was a… splendid… experience trying to puree with my electric hand mixer. Messy messy! I ordered a food processor the next day to avoid this in the future. All that to say, use a food processor if you have one handy, as I’m sure it’s easier, but if need be, you can mix it without one.

I served mine up with some green onion on top, and if we weren’t watching carbs, probably would have added some sour cream. Let me know what you think and if you make any tasty changes!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive!

In just the last week or so, our local news has reported a police standoff with a man holed up in his house with a gun, a shooting turned car chase through town, a domestic situation where shots were fired, blood was on the scene but no victim ever surfaced, and a car that crashed through an apartment building into a man’s bedroom as he slept. Never a dull moment around here I suppose.

This sort of thing wouldn’t surprise me if we lived in LA or the Bronx, but really? Sh*t-hole, USA (Er, I mean, Lawton, OK)? Somehow, this city is also the 8th most dangerous in the country for women and has a violent crime rate that’s almost twice the national average. Who knew the southern-midwest could be so…. Exciting.
In an attempt to make it out of this 8-month stay without getting shanked, CPT Fromage and I bit the bullet and spent the extra money for a place with extra security features in a safer part of town, and we rarely leave it after dusk. Not that there’s much to do here anyway; unless you’re into meth that is.

Thank goodness for a German shepherd, concealed carry permits and a lifetime of being taught self-awareness (Thanks, dad!). 2 months down and no 9-1-1 calls yet!
So, it’s been a lot of Pintrest, Hunger Games books (Uhm, if you haven’t yet, READ THEM!) and trying lots of new recipes. You know, cooped up activities. We also FINALLY came to a decision on a baby name! We’re pretty excited to meet our little guy, who now has a more formal moniker (because “Dat Baby” wouldn’t carry over well into adulthood).

Hooray for a trip back to Colorado this weekend for my bro’s high school graduation (Know what’s depressing? Baby Fromage will graduate class of… 2030! I feel very, very old). So looking forward to a few days of good company, good restaurants and no more sundown curfew!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard

The other day I felt it was necessary to apologize to CPT Fromage for my choice in music. Not because we have to like all of the same tunes, but because it was 7AM and I was on the 5th repeat, at full volume, of “Break My Stride”. To me, this is a fabulous way to start the morning, but CPT Fromage isn’t as into 80’s music, so I’m fairly certain this was equivalent to waterboarding or some other form of torture to him. Trying to be a good wife, I put on some mutually enjoyed bluegrass over breakfast, but was jamming out again as soon as the door closed behind him. (And now I’ve had to go que it up for another listen since I’m talking about it! “Oh! Ain’t nothin’ gonna break-a my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no! I got to keep on movin’!”)

I love 80’s music. Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Eric Carmen and Howard Jones… Those guys get some serious play time on my iTunes. No ZZ Top or Aerosmith songs have a home on my playlist, nope, I like the more terrible stuff. Ashamed to admit this? I am not.
So this morning, as per the usual, I was rocking out to the 80’s on VH1 when the video for “You Can Call Me Al” came on. Seriously? How have I not seen this in my nearly 27 years of life? (*Pausing Matthew Wilder to pull up the Paul Simon video*)

I have to assume everyone else in the music listening world has enjoyed this terribleness already, but in case you have missed out, or just want to subject yourself to it once more… (Once more won’t kill you… I’ve played it at least a dozen times.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You've Gotta Try This...

First off, we’ve gotta talk something about Kale.
I’d never had this green before, but recently I saw a recipe for kale chips on Pintrest (dude, if you aren’t pinning yet, get your bootay on over there!) and decided to give it a try. Dang! CPT Fromage and I haven’t bought a bag of potato chips in a month, which is huge for a couple that was going through something like 3 bags a week before this discovery. Besides the fact that this is the tastiest snack ever, kale is also a “super food” and, obviously, much healthier than the deep fried stuff we were buying before.

Super easy. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, wash and dry your bunch of kale and tear into smallish-mediumish pieces – about the size of a potato chip. Drizzle with olive oil (I use extra light extra virgin) and sprinkle with salt (We’ve been enjoying Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, but use whatever you prefer). Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 16-18 minutes. Pull those bad boys out when the edges start to get brown and enjoy!
Are you back from your snack? You’re welcome!
On to some lame sauce news. My bestie in the whole wide world lost her baby last week. She was almost 32 weeks and we were so excited about raising our little boys together. She’s in the less than 1% of moms who suffer this tragedy so late in the process and my heart is broken for her and her husband. Life just isn’t fair. At all. In the midst of it all, I feel a little bad being happy about how well our little man is doing, but I’m relieved to say Baby Fromage is growing big and strong (he’s measuring about a week ahead, going to be tall like his daddy I suppose!) and it looks like the down syndrome and/or heart problem the doctors were concerned about are worries of the past.  

So good stuff since my last (forever ago) post… Kale chips, a healthy baby and we’ve made it a whole month without getting shanked out here (because, dude, if I’m ever going to get shanked, it’s going to be in this town!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

It’s a….

Wonderful baby boy!

We really had no idea what to expect, but we were wary of the Combat Arms Curse. It’s a phenomenon among Combat Arms Officers, they only have little girls. Dude, it’s weird, but it’s a rarity to meet one of those daddies with a boy. Of course, the less superstitious fact is that CPT Fromage’s family has only had 1 natural born girl in the last 100+ years, so on that hand the odds were in our favor for a little man. I guess genetics paired with the fact that CPT Fromage is in the middle of a branch transfer out of Combat Arms blessed us with the boy we deep down both wanted. (We totally would have been thrilled for a girl too, but we’ve both always dreamed of having a boy)

Hooray for tiny ties, sweet little sweater vests and 3-piece suits for 3-year-olds! I feel like I’m the only woman in the world who thinks shopping for boy clothes is more fun than buying for little girls, but dang, they make some sharp outfits for little fellas!

Our little man doesn’t have a name just yet but he does have a crib, a decent supply of diapers and a closet full of second-hand clothes (neither CPT Fromage or I can justify spending $10+ on a single outfit when we can pick them up gently used for a tenth of the price… They’re just going to get spit up and pooped on anyway). CPT Fromage is already an involved dad and has bought
some handsome outfits for our little man (A great husband and a great dad-to-be! What a lucky family we are!)

It’s obviously a lot of fun baby shopping (except when it hits the checking account!), but nothing compares to how exciting it is feeling him kick, hearing his tiny heartbeat or saying hello via ultrasound. We still have 21 more weeks ‘til we get to meet our little guy and I’m hopelessly in
love already!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

That Went Well…

Pardon my absence. Moving chaos, you know…

The packers messing up all of my organizing was nothing compared to what was to come!

A U-Haul a size too small (note: a king size mattress won’t fit in the 14 foot truck) was the first crisis, perhaps prepping us for the one to follow…

Our apartment is significantly smaller than the display unit we were shown a few months ago. So much smaller that I’m surprised we can even fit said mattress in the master bedroom. Nothing else fits with it! Goodbye, dresser and nightstand, I’ll miss having drawers…

“Hello, Storage Facility? I’ll need to upgrade to a larger unit please, for all of our furniture that we anticipating using, but now can’t…” (Thank God they had a size up coming available the next day)

The movers went to drop off all of our extra things in our newly-upgraded unit on Saturday, but of course, there was a problem with our security code, and, because how else would this go down but on a weekend, when no one was in the office. CPT Fromage had fun dealing with that.
I wasn’t dealing with any moving chaos because I was in the hospital.

There’s no more convenient time to be admitted for vomiting up blood than during a move to a town where you don’t know a soul. Three long days later I was discharged and spent my second night in our new home.

Of course, once I got home, we found out our air conditioning unit wasn’t installed properly so we spent a fun day in the 90+ degree heat! What’s with this spring weather?! Shout out to our awesome maintenance guy who spent the whole day, plus some, getting us cooled off.
I’m not sure what’s coming next, but hopefully the next few weeks are filled with nothing more than unpacking, settling in and relaxing.

On a more fun note… I was sent for an ultrasound while I was laid up, and we got a great view of Baby Fromage’s little baby parts! We’ve been buying… Blue? Pink? Hmmm… Check back! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

And Away We Go!

I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going on, and I like it to be going on the way I intended it to. The last time we moved I wouldn’t let CPT Fromage accept the assistance from a moving company, even though it wouldn’t have cost us a dime. Nope, I didn’t want anyone else touching my stuff! How could they possibly know how to do it the right (my) way? Though it had nothing to do with my opting to pack our things myself, that move was a disaster. I had to promise we’d leave it to the professionals next time. So here we are, nearly 3 years later and it’s time to move again. As was the deal, movers arrived this morning.

Now, I promised CPT Fromage we wouldn’t do the move ourselves, but nothing was mentioned about packing. Sure, they can lift all the heavy boxes and I’ll let them carry our furniture, just so long as I’m able to make sure my favorite mugs are packed nicely away where I can find them, our decorations are separated by room and books are boxed by subject.

For nearly a month now I’ve been carefully and thoughtfully packing our things. Every box has an itemized list of what’s inside and a strip of colored ductape to indicate how it will make the 6 hour journey, and where it will end up when we arrive. Orange tape on the boxes that will go into storage, green for things we’ll need at the apartment but can trust the moving company to transport, and yellow for necessities we can’t live without and will take ourselves in the U-Haul (Oops, I may have promised we’d never rent another one of those again…!)

We finished late last night, almost all of our belongings sporting a strip of colored tape. I was so proud! Then this morning came and we met the movers… 2 men who, albeit very friendly, must not suffer my same level of OCD…

Oh dear… They’ve emptied and repacked lots of my boxes! Books on religion mixed in with memoirs? Decorations from the living room are WHERE? In with my serving dishes? Oh my…

Thank goodness this pregnancy hasn’t made me a psycho-crazy-bee-ach. Lucky me (and even luckier, CPT Fromage), the bigger my belly gets the more mellow my mood. Odd, but a pleasant surprise, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time because otherwise this move would be killing me! I’m trying to let go of the stress that comes from knowing that my living room lamp is nestled up next to the coffee grinder, and just be appreciative that I didn’t have to wrap every single dish we own or deal with boxing up everything in the pantry again.

72 hours left in The Little Apple… Lawton, here we come!

(Erika doesn’t like moving either)

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Love Technology

CPT Fromage and I aren’t really… techy. For example, when we moved to our first home we decided it was time to get a respectable TV and retire the bulky TV/DVD combo I got at K-Mart when I moved out of my parents’ house. With a lot of help from the guy at Best Buy, we ended up with a decent (but not too big) flat screen. We decided we’d use some store credit we had to get a surround sound system to go along with it. Because the DVD player we had was a small, purple thing that cost less than $20 at Wal-Mart (another purchase of mine) we needed to upgrade that as well to make the sound system work. The guy at Best Buy tried to show us a Bluray player, and we scoffed! “We’ll stick with DVD, if you please!” We had so much money sunk into our DVD collection; no way were we going to throw that all away to start over with this “blu ray” crap…

We applauded ourselves for our responsible decision, that is until my sister and her husband (who are both very techy) got a new entertainment set up. They showed us the quality of their new Blu ray player, “Yeah, it looks great, but we didn’t want to start our movie collection all over. That’s just stupid.” That’s when my BIL broke it to us. For those of you who don’t know this… You can watch DVDs on a Blu ray player. Yep. True story. (I wish we’d mentioned our reasoning for the DVD player to the employee at Best Buy, he’d have saved us this whole situation!)

For his next birthday, CPT Fromgae got a Blueray player. And we love it. Even though it took us 4 years to jump on that bandwagon.

We also finally upgraded to…

A wireless printer. Actually, that could even be “a printer” as a general term. Yep, we can finally scan and print from the comfort of our own home!

Smart phones. Last year, before CPT Fromage deployed, I got an iPhone. Mostly because all of our communication would be electronic and I wanted to be able to check email and facebook and use Skype on the go. CPT Fromage’s phone, which he’s had longer than his wedding band, is on its last leg, so he’ll be joining the rest of society next week. No longer will he be the ridicule of his friends and coworkers!

A Gaming System. For Christmas this year, I got a Wii. Of course, it’s no longer the cutting edge system to own, but we’ve had a blast playing Mario Kart, even if everyone else has been enjoying theirs since 2006.

DVR. We don’t actually have it just yet, but when the installation guy comes to our new apartment, he’s bringing the box. Hooray for being able to record all of our favorite Food Network shows that we miss because they come on past our bedtime!

What next? Will we finally update the maps on our GPS systems, which are still using information from prior to 2008? Stay tuned to find out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Carnivore in the Making

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a long time vegetarian. If it ever had a face or a mom, you wouldn’t find it on my plate. For nearly 3 years I’ve been cooking up poor little animals for CPT Fromage, but my mouth never watered, not once did I sneak a bite or reconsider my eating ways. That is, until I got pregnant.

Dude, I’m growing a tiny carnivore in here.

It started with fish: Fish tacos, fish sticks, grilled fish… Next I had 2 roasted chicken wraps and I hoped it would stop there but yesterday CPT Fromage was telling me how good his lunch was… Barbeque. Someone in my tummy must have been eavesdropping because for the rest of the afternoon my stomach growled. I tried to offer other things, different, vegetarian, protein options, but someone was having none of it. Barbeque was the only answer. I ordered a brisket plate. I don’t know the barbeque lingo, so I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it had a ribbon icon next to it indicating that it was one of their most popular dishes. Personally, I found it rather fatty/chewy/meaty but 4 servings of sauce helped make the parts I found eatable more palatable.

Bleh. Baby Fromage seemed to have been satisfied, and our German shepherd was more than happy to help me out with the left overs, but I hope from now on this kiddo sticks to foods that I like to eat too. Like, it would be awesome if we could have some cravings for my favorite foods, like some Thai or mac and cheese (actually, I’d be happy if I could just stomach the foods I used to love! Apparently, someone finds them repulsive because they keep being sent back…)

Years from now, when this little Fromage is a mouthy teenager and claims I don’t care about making them happy/don’t love them/other youngster gripe, I’m going to remind them of the brisket (and the fish, and the chicken) and the 14 year run of meat free dining that was interrupted for their dietary preference. Now THAT’S love!

*I’m pretty sure the only reason this 4oz Fromage is demanding when it comes to dining is because I haven’t been able to eat hardly anything from the get-go. I’m down 14+ pounds already, so I suppose this wackiness is just my body making sure I’m fueled up properly for this pregnancy when I am able to eat something.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Hot Mama

Another way I’ve been avoiding packing for this move (see yesterday’s post) has been making appointments. We aren’t leaving the country, we won’t be relocated to an African village far away from any health services, but in our last few weeks I’ve packed my schedule with various checkups as though I won’t have the opportunity to attend to any basic needs once we leave the Little Apple.

Today was my dentist appointment.

As a girl, I LOVED going to the dentist! If insurance had covered more than 2 visits a year, I’d have been there every weekend. There was nothing better than the feeling of freshly cleaned teeth. I even enjoyed most of my experience with braces. I was a pretty dorky kid, especially when I wore that stupid “I Love My Dentist” shirt to my appointments… sheesh… As an adult (who no longer owns said shirt), the prospect of clean teeth is nice, but the hassle (and scraping and the like) hasn’t seemed worth it. I’m ashamed to admit, but I’ve only been 3 or 4 times since college.

Thankfully, all that time without a professional cleaning didn’t do much damage and I’ve maintained my perfect record of never having a cavity. Too bad that’s where the good news stopped today. This afternoon I go back to be fitted for…


A retainer.

I thought I did my time! Wasn’t 5 years of orthodontic care enough? Looks like if I want to keep my pearly whites nice and straight (minus the one rebel that shifted, the real reason I went in today) this is what must be done… At least it’s the clear kind, and not the wire one I had so many years ago, and I’ll only be wearing it in the evenings. It could be worse.

I thought being a mom-to-be would make me more grown up, but the pimply face this pregnancy has brought on (something I never actually struggled with as an adolescent) paired with my (non)metal-mouth makes me feel otherwise! Next week I go for an eye exam, maybe I’ll be sent home with big ol’ thick glasses to complete the look!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Don't Be Jealous of My Ride

I’m stalling again. I hate packing and somehow I’ve managed to convince myself that all of our belongings will nicely place themselves in boxes if I wait around long enough. We’ll see how that works out…

Things I’m doing instead of packing?

Watching TV, which is sort of a bust. I tried watching Lifetime, but I kept crying, because now everything makes me cry; then I switched to Game Show Network, but in addition to being super emotional, I also have “Pregnant Brain” and Family Feud is just no fun when I can’t think of any answers to play along…

I cleaned the rat cages. I mean deep cleaned, like 2 hours’ worth, disassembling and scrubbing… I don’t know how 2 hours of that was better than packing, but it felt less terrible.

Spent some time on Tumblr, Pintrest and FoodOnMyDog. (Awesome, awesomer and most awesomest!)

Wishing I could have a hot fudge sundae, but alas, I am too lazy to get dressed and go on a quest for somewhere open at 11PM to make me one. Also, I can’t utilize a drive-thru at Sonic because I can’t roll down the window on my new ride. We sold my truck this summer for something more kid friendly (super sad face - I miss my truck!) and for the time being, I’m driving my parents’ old minivan. I know you all wish you were this cool, but we can’t all be driving mom-cars with broken windows and huge dents on the side!

Sort of being resentful that CPT Fromage is away at a training, because if he was here, HE could drive the car with a working window and go get my late night snack.

As you can see, I’m quite busy at the moment, so if you’ll excuse me, I have some mismatched socks I really must sort.

One last thing…While I’m not being productive, uhm, at all, let me remind you to be. If you live in a state where you can exercise your right to vote tomorrow, go do it! (And if you’re undecided, and even if you’re not, check out Ron Paul. I know he looks like a long shot, but what a great candidate! And it ain’t over yet!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sawing Logs

First of all, thanks for the congrats! It’s nice to know I’ve still got a few readers out there!

Now, on to today's post…

I have one super-sexy quality: I snore. Don’t hate, not everyone can be this awesome.
I’ve always been a snorer, my younger sister used to claim I’d kept her up at night in our shared room. Later in life, roommates would pick on my loud Zs. But apparently, according to CPT Fromage, I “never used to snore before we got married” I tell him I just kept a lid on it long enough to snag him, but he’s trapped now, so let the fun resume! The snores are back in full force these days, sometimes so loud and violent (can snores be violent?) that I wake myself up!

In some instances, my snoring can be more embarrassing than others… Like when I let ‘em rip at the couples’ massage CPT Fromage and I treated ourselves to for Valentine’s Day. Look, rub my feet and calves and I’m out. I can’t help it!

Don’t worry too much for CPT Fromage because I am not only a super-sexy-snoring wife, but also a super thoughtful one, so I spend a lot of money on Breathe Right Strips. These things make me even sexier (can it be so?), even though they don’t totally eliminate my sound of sleep. I know that when my gentle snores wake CPT Fromage in the dead of night, he must roll over and gaze lovingly upon his resting wife… My hair a mess, raccoon eyes from unremoved eyeliner and a plastic strip across my nose; I know what he’s thinking: “I’m one lucky guy”. Or maybe he’s contemplating smothering me with a pillow, who knows.

Sometimes my snoring is a good weapon to have in my arsenal. When CPT Fromage and I have a lover’s quarrel near bedtime I have this up my sleeve…

“Yeah, well, I’m going to take off my Breathe Right Strip tonight!”

Although it would probably be more effective if I wasn’t shouting it from downstairs on the couch.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Lot Can Change In 9 Months

Oh my. You may have noticed I fell off the blogging bandwagon for a bit. Ok, longer than “a bit”. I assure you all was well, I just came to learn that there is very little for me to say when I’m home alone with no job. Being the introvert that I am, most of my drafts were glamorized accounts of laundry, housework and bill paying. (Rivetting, I know, I’m sure you’re itching to get your hands on those unseen posts!) Forgive me for not recounting every moment of deployment, but there’s not much to say besides I’m glad it’s over and relieved that CPT Fromage came home with all his limbs still attached.

Now that our family is whole again, let me share all the exciting stuff coming up for us in 2012:
CPT Fromage got the branch transfer he so badly wanted, which is exciting for him, and great news for our little family. Because there’s a lot of training involved, he’ll be stateside (read: not deploying) for a minimum of 2 years. 24 glorious months without Skype dates, frequent trips to the Post Office or having to carry all of the groceries in by myself!

In 9 months’ time, we will have addresses in three different states. Lots of Army schools means lots of moves. Goodbye, Kansas; Hello, Oklahoma! (Look out, North Carolina, we’re on our way!) Lots of packing, phone calls to the utility companies and change of address notifications are keeping us busy but we’re excited to start this next chapter of our life!

My last 9 month announcement… Yep, it’s that one…! A Baby Fromage is on the way! Our little one should make his or her appearance on August 29th, and we are over the moon excited!

(12 week ultrasound)

Yes, this was happily planned!

No, we don’t know the gender yet (but a 3-D ultrasound at 12 weeks indicated we may be buying blue!). We do plan to find out and should know April 4th!

We haven’t yet decided on a name, but I’ve been having a blast scouring baby name books and forums for the most ridiculous monikers I can find. Kidding, kidding! (Truthfully, that is a guilty pleasure of mine, but rest assured we won’t have an Areola Minnow Fromage)

Well, enough blogging and back to packing… 17 days until the movers arrive! Wish me luck!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...