Saturday, April 5, 2014

Getting Back Into the Groove...

Oh! Hello again. I can't believe it's been nine months since I've wrote a blog post here. Wait, yes I can. Life has been filled to the brim with events, changes - both good and bad, and hectic schedules. I could go on and on about everything that's filled our calendar since I last wrote but most of it will bore you. Two really big changes happened, life changes that are near to my heart. They've taken up the most time and energy in the last nine months.

In October, my beloved Grandpa passed away. He was more like a father to me than a Grandpa. He was always there when I needed him. He was the most generous man I've ever known. He'd give you the shirt off his back even if he didn't know you. I know it sounds cliche, but it's the truth. He was an amazing man, and we miss him tremendously. He was a solid part of my children's lives. They were devastated to lose him. I've spent a lot of time and energy helping them navigate the rough road of grief, which hasn't left much time to do so myself. One of their favorite things to do is write notes on balloons and let them go at his house. We've done this a few times since October, every time it's heart warming yet heart breaking to watch. I'm glad that they have a way to still feel connected to him, it really helps them manage their pain.

Even through all the grief and sorrow surrounding Grandpa's passing, there was a light to hold on to. In July, previous to him getting sick, we found out we were expecting baby number three! Our due date was March 23, 2014. I really think us finding out a month before he got sick happened for a reason. It seemed to me it was the positive that we needed to focus on, to help us get through this rough time. 374 and I decided nothing was more fitting than naming this child after Grandpa. He had done so much for us over the years, he had been so accepting of 374 into our family from the get-go - it was just the right thing to do. We found out a few weeks after his passing that we were expecting a bundle of pink joy. It was hard to know that this child would never know the amazing love of her Great Grandfather, and that he'd never have the pleasure of hearing her giggle and watching her grow like he did with Sassy and Bubby.

My nine months of pregnancy flew by. Just three short weeks ago we welcomed Sister Bear into our family. She's been an amazing blessing. Our family is officially complete. Her big brother and sister are absolutely in love with her. She's the light everyone needed. She definitely fits right in around here. This proud Mama can ensure there will be more posts on her in the future. It's hard to not turn this little welcome back post into one that's only about her.

Now that life has settled down, and Sister Bear has settled into her place in the house I am so excited to take the time to blog again. I have really missed writing posts and sharing things here with you all. I figured what better time than now, especially the week before FDIC. We are excited to return to the exhibits again this year, with Sister Bear in tow. Yes, she will be sporting the adorable bunker gear she's wearing in the above pictures. My dear friend from Crocheted by Rae made this adorable set for us, complete with 374's number. She can custom make these in a variety of newborn and infant sizes, as well as colors and badge numbers! Will any of you be attending this year? Leave me a comment if you are! We will be there Friday and Saturday. If you can't make it this year, watch for my review post that will be up sometime the week after!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is Your Flat Panel TV Safe in Your Home?

One of our favorite things to do as a family is grab some blankets and pillows, make some popcorn and put a good movie on the television. Like most families, our main television in the living room is a flat panel television. We bought the television as a house warming gift to ourselves when we bought our home three years ago. We also bought a tall television stand to keep the television on. 374 has an extensive DVD collection, so we needed ample space to house his collection. Also, at the time Bubby was four and Sassy was a year and a half old and we wanted a stand that would keep the television out of the reach of sticky little fingers. 

At the time, the one thing we didn't consider was the television being top heavy. Perching the 42'' device atop the television stand may not have been the wisest choice looking back. There were days the drawer was yanked open in a fitful attempt to retrieve a remote and days when Sassy was sure there was no harm in swinging ON the doors of the stand. At any moment there could have been enough movement to cause the television to come toppling over on top of them. 

After 374 joined the department and started answering fire and EMS calls, we became even more safety conscious around the house. We checked ourselves last year with the Kidde Home Safety Audit, and fared pretty well. However, for a while now one of the changes we have wanted to make in our home is to get rid of the television stand and mount our television on the wall. We have recently started shopping around for a wall mount and have been playing with layouts of the furniture and wall decor in the living room. Much to my surprise last week, I opened my email to find a message from SANUS. They have offered our family to review one of their television mounts. We are currently readying our living room - including new paint! - while we await it's arrival. 

Consider these stats - 

A 2011 US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report on flat panel TV safety revealed:·         A child is killed every three weeks from an unsecured TV·         Every 45 minutes a child visits an emergency room due to a TV tip-over related injury·         Between 2000 and 2011, 215 fatalities have resulted from TV tip-over·         An estimated 17,000 people each year, the majority of which are children, are treated for injuries from TV tip-overs·         Reported cases have increased almost 25% from 2006  to 2010, and over the last 10 years, injuries have increased by 31%

Televisions continue to get bigger and thinner each year. These thin designs allow for the units to easily be bumped off a stand and topple over onto a child. Mounting your television to a wall is just as important as mounting a dresser or bookshelf to a wall. We all know the dangers of big, heavy furniture toppling over onto a child causing injury or death. What everyone needs to become aware of is the dangers with our televisions as well. SANUS, the leading designer and manufacturer of flat panel television wall mounts and Safe Kids Worldwide has embarked on a campaign to educate consumers to help keep families safe while enjoying quality time in the comforts of their homes.

If your television isn't already on a wall mount, I urge you to take a few minutes to browse the Safe Kids site, and check out the many versatile options SANUS offers. Also, I recommend EVERYONE take a minute to visit the Kidde Home Audit site, it just may open your eyes to a safety issue that as been overlooked in your home. Preventing injury, death and property damage in your home is worth the few minutes it takes to complete the audit!


Watch the Memorial Service for the 19 Firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire LIVE now. Starts at 2pm Eastern time. FOX 10's Breaking News Live Stream

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Twitter Thursday!

Tweet Tweet!

I'm making a concious effort starting TODAY to use my Twitter account more. I read my Twitter feed daily, but I don't Tweet. Why? I have no idea, really. 

So in honor of my pledge, I'm sharing my Twitter here with you all! Follow me. Tweet me! Leave me a comment with your Twitter account so I can follow you back.

While I'm sharing my Twitter link, I'll share my other social media links as well. Like me, follow me... let's spread the fire wife love!

Twitter - 374sWife

Instagram - lifebetweenthetones

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sometimes a Picture is Worth 1,000 Words...

I snapped this picture last night with my cell phone and uploaded it to my Instagram on my way to bed last night. Something about the way 374's helmet was thrown on the couch alongside everyone else's random belongings from the day caught my eye. At first I wasn't sure what made me stop and grab my phone to take the picture, but then I realized it was the perfect symbol of the volunteer fire lifestyle.

When you really look at this picture, you see the basket of clothes I washed and folded, the Tractor House magazine Bubby grabbed at the gas station on our way to visit friends yesterday. There's also the necklace Sassy wore yesterday and the case to the Game Boy that kept her occupied on the previously mentioned trip  to visit friends. There's a water bottle the kids were drinking from while playing outside, and the shoes I wore while we ran errands.

In the middle of all those items from the various activities of the day is his fire helmet. Being the wife and kids of a volunteer firefighter means at any given time of day or night you know the tones could sound. It doesn't matter if we are at a party, having a family movie night, or we have just sat down to a much anticipated meal together - all those things could be, and routinely are, interrupted by a fire call. It amazes me how routine this life has become after three years. Most times neither the kids or I bat an eye as he runs out the door. Sure, some times are harder than others but no one complains anymore. We all know where he's going, what he's doing, and why. Through our firefighter we all have learned to be a little less selfish, and take a minute to remember that someone else is in a far worse situation and that's why our husband, our Daddy, our firefighter runs out the door.

This may not be the highest quality picture - after all it's a cell phone picture snapped in poor lighting at midnight, but to me it's a symbol of everything our life has become.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Highlight of Our Summer

A few weeks ago we camped out alongside the railroad tracks behind our house to welcome our friend - Nickel Plate 765 - home from it's trip east. The kids wanted to make signs. We spent 3.5 camped out in the back hatch of my car. The kids did not want to miss this. The crew was in the windows, and on top of the coal car waiting for the kids and their signs. I had tweeted them the day before with our location and they said they'd be sure to be on the lookout. This is probably one of the best highlights of their summer so far.