Mommy Panda Blog

I may not be super crunchy, but I'm no softie either!

What We’re Currently up To: Week 59

Happy spring you guys! This past week, we’ve been…


….loving the fact that it’s spring break. Normally, I loathe spring break because the lack of routine messes with The Munchkin, but this year, the timing was perfect. That cold that he had last week that made him super grumpy turned into an ear infection with a fever and everything, so he’s been able to spend the week chilling out after his ABA in the morning. It’s been a much needed break for him. On the flip side, John is also pretty sick and also on leave, so he is NOT loving the fact that he’s spending his vacation being sick and hating life a little.

I am showing my baby bump like nobody’s business. It’s just unavoidable at this point. I mean, my c-section is scheduled for mid-next month! (What?! I know!) We’ve had some decent bouts of nice weather too, so I haven’t had to wear my big coat. Apparently, that thing masked the bump pretty well because some people who see me regularly, but don’t really know me (Like the attendant that works the $1/bag room at the Fort Riley thrift store) didn’t even know I was pregnant until this week!


We’ve been shopping online a lot lately. This could possibly be due to our illness-induced quarantine, but also because some stuff you can only get online. Like the Amazon Fire Stick USB drive thing that makes Amazon Prime Videos show up on the new TV that John bought. Or little connector things that keep wooden train track pieces together so I can actually enjoy the boys playing with them instead of repairing them the whole time. Or dolls off Ebay that I just had to have for Lil’ Miss… You know, the necessities.

I’ve been making strides at getting all of my normal duties under control. Today was super productive and I have, like… a high off it. It’s weird. But seriously, I’m so stoked. My house is clean again. I’m caught up on laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming… pretty much everything except the bathrooms. I’ll do those tomorrow. But yeah. I can have people over again, once we’re not under quarantine. Making today even more awesome, I have already finished the online reading for my class this week, and I did some nesting in Lil’ Miss’ room! I’m hoping I can keep this up tomorrow and not crash and burn like I’ve done in the past when I’ve had super productive days. (Turns out, Lil’ Miss likes me to be lazy and sit around all day. She already seems pretty moody! I think I’m in trouble with this one…) Fingers crossed the time I have to sit and read the assigned chapter in my textbook satisfies her!


The Munchkin has been choosing to only wear “striped pants” this week, which is pretty funny. “Striped pants” are basically pajama pants, but they have two white stripes that run down the side. He only has two pairs of those, which was problematic until I realized that he is willing to settle on any pair of pants that don’t have an elastic waist. No buttons or zippers for him! Straight comfort for my sickie.

I’ll be linking up this week’s Currently with Lindsey and Randalin, as always.

Pictures: Fort Riley’s Mounted Color Guard | Enjoyable train time | Cloth Diapers outside = Spring!

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What We’re Currently up To: Week 58

This past week, we’ve been…


learning how to live again as a family of four. It’s amazing how different life is when you add another person, even when that person is one that used to live there all the time. Just the extra laundry and dishes that are made is overwhelming! Otherwise though, transitioning back into life with John home has been going pretty smoothly. I’m just not going to accept any guests over for a while, haha. [Proof]

Speaking of changes since John’s been home, we’ve been eating legit meals again. Like, pinterest recipes that don’t start out frozen and require prep time. It’s taken me a while to get used to the idea of throwing things in the crock pot in the morning or starting prep work for the more complicated meals at 4:30. Truth be told, we’ve been eating kind of late this week…


I’ve been wanting to remake a dresser for the boys’ room to look like this really cool one that Hobby Lobby was selling for way too much money and I finally found a dresser that should work. I bought it from someone on post for $30. They said it was real wood, (It looked like real wood too!) but when I got it home and started taking it apart, I realized it was MDF. Boo! I think it will still work though. I started prepping it today and just have to find my brown paint. Oh, and buy alphabet letters. Damn those things can be expensive! I’m going to have to get the super thin ones just so I’m not spending an arm and a leg on this project. It was supposed to SAVE me money!

I’m actually pleased to be reading my text book for this class. The last class was kind of a boring “Intro to online classes/History of Special Education” type class, so a lot of the chapters were very dry. This class, however, goes into different diagnosis, various intervention techniques, classroom practices, etc., and I’m learning a lot from it. The only part that made my eyes glaze over a bit was the chapter on legal stuff. I mean, that’s all super important, but at the same time, I generally read these things while The Munchkin is at school and The Bean is napping and I would rather be napping too and legal mumbo-jumbo isn’t the best thing to keep me awake…


We’ve been listening to The Munchkin complain all week. Whoo-boy is he having a rough week. He’s been getting “sad” and/or “difficult” as his mood for the day on most of his daily sheets from school. I think the poor guy is sick, but so far, he’s just been experiencing minor cold symptoms. Nothing even bad enough to warrent keeping him home from school. But you guys, I had to break out the “Grumpy Cat” shirt this week. It’s been bad.

Pictures: Pretty sunset | Driveway Wipeout | Bored “Waiting for the bus” selfie

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A Day in My Life: My Sling Diaries Entry

A day in my life is constantly changing. A couple of weeks ago, I would have written as a single solo mom, but now John is back from Kuwait and transitioning back into a family of four. In a few more weeks, that family will be a family of five and a few more months after that, we might be moving somewhere new. Our next adventure. I’ll say one thing about army life: It keeps you on your toes.


So for now, I just focus on the little things. I try my best to keep up with the chores, fail at times, but try not to let it bother me. I make the meals and clean the clothes. I take time for myself to work on my studies, plan my garden, write a blog post, or do some scrapbooking.

I listen from upstairs as The Munchkin gets his ABA. I make notes of things that he’s doing to tell his teachers. Depending on the day, we might go to speech and OT. I make notes of things there to tell his ABA tutor. Doing my best to keep everyone on the same page, working on the same things so that The Munchkin can thrive. He’s doing fantastic and I couldn’t be more proud of him.


(Photo by John)

At some point, John will come home from his half days at work and we’ll have lunch. Actually, now he’s on leave, so he’ll be around all day. This is wonderful because The Munchkin worries every so often when he’s not home that he went away again for a long time. Nope, Daddy is just at work. Here. He’s at work here. He didn’t go away again. He will be home soon. Don’t worry.


I fend off The Bean’s terrible twos. The terrible twos are a funny thing when your child is typically developing. Language just…happens, which is such a foreign concept to me. To us. But it’s there. All of a sudden, a full sentence demanding juice at three in the afternoon. A tiny voice saying “no” to everything, just on principle, before reconsidering his response and giving an actual answer. It’s amazing and wonderful and mind-boggling and frustrating all at the same time. The drama with this little boy knows no ends. I relish his nap times every day and I hope they stick around well into Lil’ Miss’ existence.


Eventually, The Munchkin comes home from school and we hang out and have gadget time. I mess around on facebook or continue with my school work. (Seriously, grad school is no joke you guys.) The Munchkin usually watches a movie or plays some computer games on John multitasks like the best of them and plays a game on both his ipad and iphone while watching a TV show on his laptop. It’s impressive.


When 4:30 rolls around I try to start dinner, but sometimes it doesn’t happen until 5 or 5:30. I make whatever I can – something from scratch, something from the freezer…whatever I feel up to making that evening. Today I did both! I made some honey garlic chicken for John and myself and some fish sticks for the boys. After dinner, we have dessert (More often now that my sweet tooth is home!) and either play or have bath time, depending on what we did the day before. Then it’s off to the battle about whether or not it’s actually bedtime since the sun is still up, thank you Daylight Savings Time. Eventually, we stall long enough that it gets darkish and we proceed with the bedtime routine. It’s going to be a long spring/summer.

Finally, there is calm over my household. I try to reflect a little on the day by writing something funny from the day in my planner and then John and I spend some quality time together. Well, that’s the ideal scenario. Sometimes, he’s on the couch doing his thing while I’m sitting at my computer at the kitchen table doing homework. Seriously, you guys, grad school is no. joke. Online schools FTW though!

We’ve been going to bed early. Like the old people that we are, haha. You know what though? It’s awesome. Extra sleep is the best. You should try it. Everything else can wait.

I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live the life that I live, as complicated and uncertain as it may be at times. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and the adventures we’ll have again exploring our current home. Hikes, days spent at the lake, waterfalls… oh spring, get here (and stay here!) soon!