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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finding Fun: Base Cattle Drive

It's rodeo time in Altus! This is a big event every year, and I've been looking forward to the festivities for awhile. This morning was a cattle drive on base! How cool is that!

Guess what -- cattle are slooooowwww. One of the organizations on base was set up with drinks and donuts so we could snack and mingle while waiting for the horses and cattle.  All Scarlett wanted to do was run into the road, so that was good times.

Finally -- here they come! Base leadership also got on some horses and participated in the cattle drive. I thought it was so fun to see a bunch of guys in flight suits up on horses.

I told Scarlett that technically we hated seeing the longhorns because we are Sooner fans.

I took her over to see a horse that had stopped along the way and she SCREAMED. If you've ever had the pleasure of hearing Scarlett cry, it is definitely shrill and alarming. I was worried the horse would freak out and buck the rider off or something, so we got out of there as fast as possible.

Sadly we will miss the rest of the rodeo festivities this weekend, but we're already looking forward to next year. Maybe by then Scarlett will have her first pair of cowboy boots to wear!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thrift Shop Prom

Kelly's Korner is talking about thrift shop finds today. Most people are showing their great craft projects with thrift store finds, but this is something completely different. No upcycling involved here. It's the Thrift Shop Prom -- A Night in Altus, courtesy of Todd's squadron.

We had this fundraiser back in May. We were told to buy our clothes from the thrift store -- the less money we spent, the cheaper our ticket would be. This is code for look as gaudy as possible.

This sign was obviously a labor of love.

I couldn't decide between two dresses at Goodwill, and I think I should have picked the other one. The one I chose was this green chiffon that I wore with a black shrug. It was fine, but not the 80s look I was going for exactly. The one I wish I'd gotten was a crushed red velvet overlaid with some cheesy lace. I went back the next day to see about an exchange and it was gone. Wah wah.

We found a ridiculous jacket and shirt and tie for Todd. We were both old school in our clothing, but not quite as old school as I'd hoped for. I did curl and tease and hairspray some big bangs, a la 1990. I thought, I haven't done this in 20 years, I hope I remember how. Turns out it's like riding a bike!

Black trash bags as carpet runners greeted us at the doors. There was karaoke, which Todd participated in. He sang "America" by Neil Diamond, which if you know Todd, you know that is not anywhere near his preferred genre of music. The karaoke was part of the fundraiser, you donated money to make people sing, so that's what Todd got.

What I learned from this experience -- more people buy cheesy formal gowns from Goodwill than you would think. I went to Goodwill several days in a row and they had new merchandise almost every single day, and if I tried to find something one day that I'd seen previously, I couldn't find it. I thought other people in the squadron were buying this stuff for the prom, but I never saw anybody wearing any of it. Soooo...where is everyone going in Goodwill formals that I wasn't invited to?

5 on Friday

It's another 5 on Friday!


I found this at Walmart and got very excited. I took it home and tried it and then I wasn't as excited. It left a bacony film in my mouth, which was super gross. I didn't even finish the bowl, and I'll eat the burnt kernels if I'm hungry enough, so that's saying something.


We've been watching X-Files on Amazon Prime for the last couple of weeks. I never really watched it when it was on before. The only episode I've ever seen all the way through was the one where a circus tent covered a house and some creature gassed the people inside. What's weird is I've seen this episode a few times because I always seem to catch it in syndication. I swear, if I ever randomly catch an episode of X-Files, it will be that stupid circus tent episode. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. But now we started watching from the beginning and I'm hooked.


The ONE thing Altus needs more than anything is a gym with childcare. There's a room in the base gym that has treadmills and ellipticals and an enclosed area for kids to play. The kids area has lots of big soft toys to jump on and play with and it has a tv in the corner. Scarlett's attention span is approximately 10 minutes before she needs to move on to the next big thing, so I knew taking her with me would be pointless and I'd never be able to work out. But then I thought, maybe she'll surprise me and have a good time in there, so I finally took her yesterday. Just as I predicted, she lasted 15 minutes. Grrrr.


Scarlett still needs an OU outfit for football season. Last year Etsy was full of them. This year there's nothing. I know there is famine and war in the world, but the season opener is in two weeks and I will be so sad if she's not properly outfitted for the occasion. :( I follow various OU facebook pages and instagram feeds and I've been living vicariously through the pictures of rush, er, recruitment and moving into the dorms. I started college SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. That's a whole person who can drive!


McDonald's Monopoly ends today and I'm a winner! I have to redeem my two medium fries and breakfast sandwich before August 26. I had all game pieces but one in every single category. I thought for sure the Extradition Agent would put me over the top. Until next year McDonald's...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of MDO

Scarlett's first day of Mom's Day Out was this week. She screamed when I left her and I cried all the way home. But then I went to the gym and ran some errands and when I picked her up she was happy, so I think we both did okay.  

First piece of artwork from "school" that I will feel guilty throwing away. She's probably a genius.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Love to See the Temple, I Mean Target

When we first moved here, I was greeted in pretty much the same way by several people.

"Welcome to Altus, Target is opening in Lawton on July 29."

This is the biggest thing to happen to Altus in I don't know how long -- a Target opening 45 minutes away. Tonight was our inaugural voyage to the mecca. It was so bright and shiny and new inside.

Dinner fare at the Target "cafe." This was pretty much what they had left -- popcorn and ONE hot dog. Scarlett giggled through her entire dinner. I'm pretty sure she knew she was in a sacred place.

I let her ride in the big part of the cart. It was easier than fighting her and telling her to sit down. She then emptied the entire contents of my bag inside the cart, but at that point I didn't even care.

Exception #1 to my popcorn rule: I will share my popcorn with you if it keeps you from screaming in the cart so I can shop in peace.

I'm pretty proud that she loves it. Notice the pink beads -- she insisted on wearing them the entire day and sleeping with them during naptime. She's the best.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Finding Fun: 2013 Rush Springs Watermelon Festival

Hot weather = watermelon.

Black Diamond watermelons from Rush Springs, OK are where it's at. AND it turns out Rush Springs is only 90 miles from Altus. So on the second Saturday of August, we headed that way for the 2013 Watermelon Festival.

I always pictured the watermelon festival to be just like Tracy Byrd's video for Watermelon Crawl (early 90s country fans know what I'm talking about). While they do have a watermelon queen, she did not dance in a tub of watermelon, nor was there watermelon wine.

Job #1 was lunch. I realized I hadn't eaten anything that day and I was starving. Scarlett had a footlong hot dog all to herself. She didn't eat it all, but she did discover the tangy deliciousness of mustard.

Job #2 was to check out the winning watermelons. My super cheesy husband's joke of the day: "check out those huge melons!"

This watermelon is the Grand Champion watermelon. I don't exactly know what the criteria is -- size, shape, color, taste? We're still trying to figure it out.

And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, wins the award of biggest watermelon. 163 pounds!!! I wish I'd put Scarlett in the picture for comparison. 

We strolled the craft booths to walk off lunch. I've never seen more little girls bows in one place in my entire life. I do wish their wares were more watermelon specific instead of just something I could have bought at any fair at any time.

I'm sad to say we missed the seed-spitting contest. The record was set a couple years ago at 52 feet. What kind of training does this entail?

The highlight of the day was getting our "slices" of watermelon. Delish!


 Watermelon carcasses -- don't show this picture to the starving kids in Ethiopia.

We ended our day with buying huge jugs of root beer and headed home. We stopped at one of the MANY roadside stands to buy a black diamond and a yellow watermelon. We'll be eating watermelon for days!

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Fave Apps

Today I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner to talk about my favorite apps!

Technology is pretty much the best. I'm not a "techie" by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy the latest and greatest and I have my personal IT guy who makes it happen (i.e. the husband).

It's a phone and a remote all in one!

I remember back in 2005 when I got my first Blackberry. Putting my contacts in at my computer and immediately syncing to my phone -- I was in love. I had addresses at my fingertips when I went to the post office. My calendar went with me everywhere. I thought the only thing that could make this thing more perfect was having a mirror on the back for when I needed to put on lipstick. THEN it would have everything.

My teeny tiny brain couldn't even conceive of apps in 2005 and now I pretty much live and breathe by them. My most favorite app in the entire world is the Baby Connect app. It is also my favorite "baby gear" item, because it was the one thing that made my life easier to manage after Scarlett was born. I freaked out when I realized I was going to have to track her feedings, diaper changes, and weight gain. I was already afraid of being tied down to the kid, and logging every minute of her life only added to my anxiety. I was overwhelmed and immediately knew I would be terrible at it.

Enter Baby Connect! You can time feedings, keep track of diaper changes, log milestones and activities, enter medical information, etc. It also syncs to the web-based version, which is nice for those who have time to sit at their computer for longer than five minutes. After several months of using this app around the clock, I became well-versed in its strengths and weaknesses.

1.)    Timer – The most obvious and greatest use for Baby Connect is the feeding timer. There is a timer for bottle feeding, nursing, and pumping. It logs the length of each feeding and also reminded me which side she nursed from last. I loved it because it meant I could think less in the middle of the night.
2.)    Diaper Log – The second greatest use for Baby Connect is the diaper log. With the tap of an icon, you can log whether baby had a wet or dirty diaper. You can even keep track of stool color and consistency (totally gross, but it’s amazing the things you’ll do for love).
3.)    Graphs and Charts – I admit that I am a total nerd. Baby Connect can compile all the data you enter into neat little graphs and charts that can be viewed in a number of ways. Do you want the total number of diaper changes, or just the wet ones? Do you want to know how often baby ate at each breast, or the average number of feedings a day? It’s all there!
4.)    Syncing Two Phones – My husband changed our daughter in the middle of night and then brought her to me to nurse. It would be a pain if I had to remember to keep track of every diaper change he did, but we both installed Baby Connect and synced to the same account. He also admitted to checking in on us occasionally from work to see how the baby’s day was going and if she was eating well. Slightly creepy, but cute.

1.)    Double Payment – I absolutely love that both mine and my husband’s phone can sync to one account. However, I did not love the fact that we both had to pay for it. Yes, it is only $4.99, but it’s still annoying.
2.)    Battery Drain – Using the timer as often as I did throughout the day sucked the life out of my battery. This is because my screen is active the entire time I feed her. I combated this problem with phone chargers in places where I regularly nursed, like next to the rocking chair in the nursery and next to the big comfy chair in the living room.
3.)    Unnecessary Features – There are some features of Baby Connect that I have no use for, such as the sleep timer. But I will say that even though some features are not useful to me, they may be useful to somebody else. And they do not get in the way of the features that I do use, so I guess it’s like they are out of sight, out of mind.

My other favorite app is Pepperplate. My sister-in-law introduced it to me and I LOVE IT. You can manage recipes, shopping lists, and menus all in one place. I was always pretty anal about my recipes and have a format that I've been putting my recipes in for years (so that they all match and my recipe binders look pretty -- I know, it's a problem). Anyway, recipe binders are so last century and I needed a digital way to stay organized, and this app does it all. I don't really love looking at recipes on my phone because the phone is too small, but I use my tablet and it's the perfect size. How many times has somebody asked you for a recipe at a party or something, and you're like, oh yeah I'll get that to you, and then you forget? With Pepperplate you can email it right then and there! I seriously love it.

The most important thing you can do is download the bookmarklet on your desktop. When you see a recipe on a website, you can click the bookmarklet to add to Pepperplate and it will take you through all the steps to do it. BONUS -- if it's a major recipe site, Pepperplate is already set up to recognize the website and download and format the recipe for you.

Yay for technology!

5 on Friday

I know I've been MIA. Today I'm catching up a little bit with the 5 on Friday link-up.  


Scarlett started getting a rash this week, but I thought it was just the heat so I waited for it to go away. It wasn't going away and was spreading more so I took her to the doctor this morning. Turns out she has a viral rash AND a burst eardrum!!!! I feel awful! She really hasn't acted any different. When she has been somewhat cranky I just thought it was teething. So now she's on antibiotics and ibuprofen and I'm the worst mom ever. 


With Scarlett's burst ear drum we may be done with the pool for the year, and I am so so so bummed. When the doctor said no pool, it was like summer was taken from me in an instant. :(


I hit the McDonald's Monopoly jackpot at a tiny town in Texas a couple weeks ago. Some lady with "Extradition Agent" written on her jacket had a huge order for a large group of people (criminals?) and offered me all her game pieces. I'm thinking the criminals aren't allowed to play McDonald's Monopoly. Talk about some serious punishment. Either way -- cha-ching for me! If you're keeping track, I still need Boardwalk (duh), Pennsylvania Ave., Ventnor Ave., Kentucky Ave., Tennessee Ave., Virginia Ave., Vermont Ave., Short Line Railroad, and Mediterranean Ave. 


I saw this at the Commissary the other day. I'm not ready yet! 


We're headed to the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival tomorrow. Everybody knows Rush Springs has the best watermelons and I've been wanting to check out the Watermelon Festival for years. I can't wait!