Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas Story

So, we had a great Christmas, great food, great company....yadda yadda yadda. The real news is:


We had spent all day playing and eating (ohhh, the eating!!), and were just hanging out before one of my favorite people EVAR came over with her little fam' to eat with us. So, Jake and I are in the kitchen when I set him down to play with the cupboards so I can grab him a cookie. I kneel down to break him off a piece when he let's go and starts walking toward me!!!!!!!


He had the biggest grin on his face!!! His arms were outstretched and he toddled toward me like Speedy Gonzalez!! I don't think I could have been more proud of him!!!! Naturally, I squealed, and hooted, and hollered, so loudly that I freaked him out and he did a bit of the lower-lip-quiver (sorry, buddy!), but then he realized I was celebrating him and jumped on board!!!

Before Jackie, and familia, got here, I spent the next little bit watching him anxiously-excitedly planning his next steps!!! He walked all over our bedroom <3

It was such a big moment. I wanted, so badly, to cry, but couldn't. I was too excited!!

Jake hadn't been a reluctant walker, or stubborn to the idea. His walking just matched his demeanor, relaxed and he'll-get-to-it-when-he-gets-to-it, but I knew he'd get around to it when he decided to. No worries. But, really?! Christmas day?!


Hope you all had Merry Christmases!
Jakey boy with his Christmas Eve present!

Christmas 'jammies!

I could just eat him!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.

And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more then a man.

For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the day,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The solder awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.

So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.

And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
“Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

I wrote this poem for Christmas Eve 1993 while assigned to US Forces Korea (USFK), Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, Korea. I drove around Christmas Eve and put it under the door of soldiers assigned to USFK.

Lt. Col. Bruce Lovely, USAF

To my incredible husband, and all those serving,

Thank you.
You're always in our hearts, never forgotten.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Gary, Samantha, & Jake

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I believe...

...once the focus of Scrubs wasn't on J.D. that show tanked. In my completely humble opinion, of course! I stopped watching; perhaps the focus is back on him?

...the way people walk, with or without carts, in a store has got to be indicative of the way they drive. That's science.

...the only time you run into everyone you know is when you look like crap salad.'s OK to have a minute{s} to complain, or breakdown, as long as you're willing to shake it off and pull some good out of a crappy sitch. It's hard, but can be done :-)

...Netflix is the best idea ever. If you don't have it, you should get it! Where else can you go from watching Dexter, to Thirty Something, to How I Met Your Mother, to Rugrats?? I'd be lost without it! OK, not really...but I wouldn't be thrilled! has gotten the majority of its traffic from me the past two weeks. You guys, I am a machine. Can I just tell you the dessert portion of our Christmas meal? Chocolate chip cheesecake, apple pie, cherry pie, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Yes, you can come over :-)

...the stand mixer I got for Christmas two years ago (thanks, mama!!) is one of the few Christmas gifts I've gotten that still rock my world, and my boys', and friends', bellies!! pen pals!! May, my rad Canadian pen pal, and I have a torrid friendship affair via the post office. & it's not weird like Jim Gaffigan says about getting a handwritten letter: "Has somebody been kidnapped?!?"

...I should be sitting front row to see Brian Regan at the Ryman next month, as an early birthday present. Who's in?! :-)

...Christmas will be merry. Stockings are hung, gifts are wrapped, food is being prepped. I have a perfect little family and amazing friends. I feel like I am realizing, even more, what Christmas is all about. I am so content. My heart is full. Christmas will be a merry one :-)

Don't forget to believe this holiday season :-)

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The one where Jake met Santa

Yesterday, I took Jake to meet Santa for the very first time.

Spoiler alert: THIS. KID. ROCKS.

I can hardly stand it. I was so super proud of him that I almost cried. Seriously....

We (us, and Angela with her two adorable wee ones) decided to see Santa on post because we figured the five-day-before-Christmas- mall would induce a panic attack. And, I'm so glad we did.

I beat Angela to the PX and there was no one around Santa!! We rolled up VIP-style and I waited for the picture-taker (not photographer) to finish what she was doing so I could pick a package. Jake, in the mean time, sees Santa & the lit-up tree and gets the BIGGEST smile on his face and starts waving like mad! My heart almost burst! That genuine, kid excitement turned me into a pile of mush. It still is just writing about it!

So, I took forever a few minutes to pick which photos to get and then I walked him up to Santa, to whom Jake was still waving. I put him on Santa's lap and he had the teeniest, tiniest freak out on his face; if it lasted half a second I'd be surprised. Then, he just stared at Santa then looked back to smile at me as if to say "Mom, can you believe this guy?! He's pretty awesome!"

He loved it. He loved all of it!! I could not have been more proud of him. He hammed it up, he had a great time, he thought the whole thing was pretty badass.

Look how adorable our baby boy is!

Don't you just love him?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Now you can have a Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our baby boy calls me "mama"

I sat down to write this post with every intention of relaying my heart flutters at hearing Jake call me mama. But, now, here's my quandry: I remembered a bunch of completely awesome stuff about him, but how do I put them into coherent sentences?! Oh it comes!

The first time Jake called me mama, I had just got done changing his diaper, and put him at the coffee table to play with his trucks, so I could hang up my coat. I was just a few feet away at the closet, but he was calling for me, "mama... mama... mama..."

It melted me right into the floor, but, for some reason, it didn't really sink in. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was either meal time, or nap time, and he was kinda acting like 'hey, let's light this candle, huh?'?

But, it really, completely hit me to my core after dinner one night. He sits in his highchair at the bar so I can prep, feed us, and clean up without having to think about him by himself in the dining room. I pull his chair right up and he watches me cook, which I happen to adore!

Anyway, I'm getting ready to stand him up in his highchair to get all the crumbs off him and he reaches up with both arms, smiles at me, and, in his sweet little baby voice, says "Ma ma". If I weren't so incredibly moved, touched, happy.... I would have cried. I'll never forget that!

I couldn't wait to tell Gary!! He was so excited :-)

After J had said Dada as his first word, he hadn't been close to Mama; in fact, it never came up. Instead, he'd constantly mimic my sounds; he'd play with my hair and say "ha ha ha...", I'd tell him we're getting his sippy and he'd say "sss sss sss...". So, mama was a definite, but welcome, surprise :-)

He just doesn't stop amazing me! He's not walking yet, so I walk around all day with him, while he holds my fingers, but I ask him to go certain places and he does it! I'll ask him to take me to change his diaper, he walks me to the changing table and stands by the cabinet with all the diapers. At night, I'll tell him it's time to take a bath so he walks me to the bathroom. During a meal, I'll ask if I can have a taste and he grabs a fistful of food and holds it out to put in my mouth! And, when we're done with the meal, when I say "Ahhh" he opens his mouth and lets me clean his teeth! It's just insane everything that he's understanding, and all the ways we're interacting. We've, officially, reserved our spot for the Kindermusik class starting next month and I cannot wait to see the ways that helps him to grow!

He astounds me on the daily and I get so excited just waiting for it! He has favorite books, his molars are coming in/partially through and I had no idea (YAY on that one!), we've slept in until 10 on more than a few occasions (maybe because of the molars?!) and I go into his room to find him sitting up, just staring out the slats of the crib, waiting for me :-) Oh man, this kid is the bomb!!

I'd love to hear your proud, parenting stories!! I love chatting with my mama friends who have been through things before and can describe how amazing certain feats are, or even just to watch them as they tell certain stories. I love it!

Who knew mamahood was such a kick in the pants?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I believe... shouldn't be OK to offend one group to support another. How is it acceptable to offend some people in lieu of others?

...I have no words to describe how I felt when Jake said mama last week. It was just.... :::happy sigh:::

...chewing gum shortly before brushing your teeth produces one of the nastiest tastes EVAH.

...being a good person is not something that can be faked. red, Christmasy fingernails.

...the irony that I watch Man v. Food while on the elliptical is too much to handle.

...people shouldn't circle the parking lot 8 times to find a spot 4 spaces closer. Don't be afraid to burn a calorie, or two!

...I love you is one phrase that should never be shortened (ie, ILY)

...cold weather has overstayed its welcome. I am soo ready for Summer! I can deal with a few cold days, maybe a snow or two, but then I totally tap out. I am over it. I miss my cute dresses, skirts and flip flops. Enough with the layering, staticky (spelling?) hair, and dry skin. Bring on my warmth and sunshine!

...picking up the perfect Christmas outfit (I've already picked it out and accessorized it in my head!) will be quite difficult when the items I want are not online and I REFUSE to taint the joy that is shopping by throwing rubbing elbows with the crazy Christmas-shoppers. lazy man's loads. Who wants to make an extra trip to the garage for the groceries; I'd rather carry ten bags at once!

...even on a bad day, blessings are all around us. On the days where I'd like to club a baby seal, it doesn't take away the fact that I've got a pretty sweet set-up.'s a wonderful birthday present that Jake's Kindermusik class starts on my birthday!! I'm totally OH-MY-GAH excited.

...our friends are bomb dot com. We really, really heart you guys! :-)

What do you believe in?
(ten days 'til Christmas!!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

What deployment has done.

Deployment has turned baths from the chore of infancy to something I delight in each, and every, night.

Deployment has allowed me to appreciate Jake in ways I can never truly express; I see him as the son for which I will do anything, and the friend that can laugh and giggle and will bond with in different ways when he's grown.

Deployment has consistently reinforced what it is in life that is truly important.

Deployment has proven to me that a happy house has nothing to do with being spotless, or clutter free. It has to do with the people inside.

Deployment has shown me just how much I love my husband and my boy. There's not one thing I wouldn't do for them. They are what life's all about.

Deployment has shown me that bad days do exist, but do not last. At the beginning, (SIX MONTHS AGO!!) I ached for a day off because I was still adjusting and just felt like I was constantly on the cusp of being swallowed whole. Deployment has shown me that I want nothing more than grocery shop, run to Target, and just be with my boy; to see that smile, hear that laugh.

Deployment has afforded me the opportunity to better understand myself, and human nature.

Deployment has taught me (slash reinforced) to keep those around me who get it. People who understand how you're feeling, and will give you what you need in that time, good or bad, are invaluable. These are the people who will save you on the rare day everything hits you at once. Consequently, these will be the people who become part of your family.

Deployment has shown me that it is possible to keep a (relatively) clean house, food in the fridge, and a toddler happy.

Deployment has shown me that time on the elliptical is better than screaming into a pillow.

Deployment has allowed me to discover my love of being the next Martha! I don't remember why I got started, but making food from scratch, and pieces of décor for the casa, have been great ways to pass quiet times in here and I've grown to love it! Not to mention, it saves so much cash! Deployment has helped me develop a love for something that'll be incredibly advantageous throughout our lives!

Deployment has shown me there's not one thing more important than being truly happy, loving with your entire being, and doing what's right for your family. Jake and I may not leave the house every day of the week, go out to fab' places for lunch, or travel all over, but we have amazing times together. We have our trips to Nashville, that we really love. We get to hang out with amazing ladies (you know who you are!), and their kids. We both jump when the phone rings. We know each other inside and out. On days when I couldn't help but to let tears fall in front of him, there's a certain smile he does and wipes my face.
Deployment has allowed the ache I feel for my husband to grow in ways I didn't think were even possible. I am grateful that I have someone who, even when they're miles upon miles away, gives me butterflies. Each passing day is another day with him and another day closer to the end of deployment; I can't help but to love a calendar.

I never thought I'd want to thank deployment.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love our house all Christmasy! :-)

I got this tablecloth at Walmart a few years back. I have the biggest, puffiest heart for it!

So, if we're friends on FB you know I had a great light debacle! But, I got a better brand at Target, so here's the THIRD strand of lights, I'm just so happy they work!

Pretty! :-)

Can we talk about the tree for a sec? It's totally adorable in person, but it's only a couple inches taller than me!! I did the best I could to get the tree off the top of the Journey, in the house, and in the tree stand! I think it turned out pretty well! :-)

THEE TREE TOPPER!! I've wanted a perfect tree topper for quite a few years, but never found anything that, not only, is perfect, but that I'll know will stand up to the years. I love this!!!!

Check out their's adorable, reasonably-priced stuff!

((Sorry about the quality of these pics; I've been taking them at night, because that's when I remember!))

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

You may gain weight from just looking at this post.

So, you remember my girl, May, right?

Well, here's the three things (I HAD to limit myself) I chose to make. And, hubby, if you're reading this ...turn away NOW!! These are the surprise goods!!!

Like I mentioned a few days ago, I really wanted to make things that were different. I have the usual suspects that I send hubby's way, but I've been branching out so much more, especially since my love of making things from scratch is growing like a weed!

To kick things off, here are the S'more bars.


As May notes, it is supa important to grease up the foil! I cut these, and then peeled them off the foil, but they peeled very easily! I was thankful! But, you could tell if I hadn't had greased it up as much it would have been a very sticky sitch.

It tastes just as good as it looks!

These tasty cookies are Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies. They're so good! Of course, I've never had anything red velvet, so I have no basis for comparison, but they're pretty good to me!

I have no idea why, but this is the only picture I took of these!

Here, I made Peanut Butter Bon Bons (I, literally, just salivated as I typed that. Hey, don't judge).

There was a whole other cookie sheet of these, but I was so busy trying NOT to stuff my face that I forgot to take a picture of all of them! For as little ingredients as the recipe requires, you get a TON of results!

These are unbelievably tasty. Unbelievably. My freakin' awesome friends, Jackie and Holli, were over the night that I had made them and, I think it's safe to say, swooned over them!
Oh, get this...they're only about 100 calories each!!

Think my hubby will like 'em?! :-)

Next on the agenda is a cake (cake AND frosting from scratch!) for awesome Angela, whose birthday was yesterday! She deserves it! Oh yes, and a pie shell for a sweet potato pie!

I promise, regularly-scheduled blogging will reappear. But, for now?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I believe...

...something is always better than nothing. A sippy cup without a leak-proof-stopper thingy is better than no sippy at all; a warm smile is better than not meeting that new person at all; a text sent during a busy day is better than not letting the recipient know you thought of them at all.

...watching a movie at night cuddled under a homemade blanket, in the soft glow of a lit Christmas tree, enjoying the aroma coming from the Scentsy warmer. There's only one element missing to make this total bliss.

...Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles are the best chips on the planet.

...drinking a Diet Mountain Dew before a run will only lead to your slow, and painful, demise. immediately changing into comfy clothes when you get home. As much as I love getting dressed and going out, I think I love stripping down to jammies and comfy sweaters more! Especially this time of year! Plus, it's totally like Hansel and fam' can find me by following the trail of clothing! shouldn't use "LOL" unless you've actually L'd OL. It is not punctuation, people! ;-) lol

...those Gerber Graduates Lil' Meals, or Lil Entrees, are PERFECT additions to your cabinet when you just can't bring yourself to cook. I only get them when I have a coupon, and I prefer to make all J's meals, but they really save the day when I can't fathom the thought of making, and cleaning up after, a meal!

...occasion should be spelled with two S's. Doesn't it seem like two S's just go? Occassion. See, it works. But, google's always all, "Don't you mean occasion" Yes, google. You're right once again. is absolutely adorable how Jake stops whatever he's doing to listen to theme songs to various TV shows. He loves a good theme song! The room he's in doesn't even have to have a TV for him to stand at attention!

...running into thee awesome OB I had during my pregnancy really threw my baby fever into overdrive!

...the sooner Jake learns that he is unable to pinch off my tattoo the better! I mean, it's, kind of, hilarious, but painful!

...shedding dogs are the bane of my existence.

What do you believe in? :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I make stuff.

A little ways back I was saying how my creative juices were flowin' so, these pics are some of the results! I'm going to be baking like mad because my girl May posts such orgasmic recipes I can't help it! You guys know that I love to cook, and to bake, but if you can see those recipes and not get the cooking bone, you cratzy :-)

So, first things first...I made Gary Santa Hat cookies!!

I was googling like crazy one day, looking for unique things to bake for muh hubster and ornaments to make to send him, and to keep for us. I came across these Santa Hats and could not help myself!

Everything was made from scratch, even this buttercream icing. I'm so proud of it!

Isn't it adorable?!

And, word to the wise, these things are DE-LISH!!! I compared them to those sugar cookies Walmart sells in the see-through containers this time of year, but, personally, I think these taste better! Soo good!

Next, I wanted to make Gary a couple ornaments. One as if a child made it, because we've got one of those, and another that is simple but purty.

First, here's our little Snowman family!

I really enjoyed making these! They're soo simple, and exactly what I wanted to fit the "as-if-a-child-made-it" category! Jake, and our future babies, can make these together. But, I recommend an adult work the glue gun :-)

Also? I LOVE glue guns.

The directions call for ribbon to be used for the scarf, but I couldn't find any of that kind of ribbon the day I was at Hobby Lobby. Plus, I want to be creative, and make things, but what fun is it if you spend a ton doing so? I think it also bodes well for my creative desires to use what's easiest (and usually works out to be what's cheapest!) then to stress out over using exactly what someone else suggests. Use that imagination!

Next, was the pine cone ornament!
This, oh, I love. I think it's soo subtly pretty!

This one I sent hubby!

My only "complaint" was that all the pine cones around our hizz-ouse were little, baby ones. So, I grabbed a $4 bag of OK-sized ones at Walmart. My only complaint about the ones in the bag was that they were scented cinnamon and I LOATHE the smell of cinnamon. Thank goodness the smell wears off, and becomes doable!

The one I kept for us

Next, the pine cone centerpiece!

And, here's how I used the leftover pine cones from the bag I bought! I don't think the camera does the centerpiece justice whatsoever! They're so sparkly (but not too much!), and really compliment the rest of our Christmas decorations. I prefer décor that subtly add to the ambiance. These aren't all, "HEY! LOOK AT ME!", which is why I like them so much!

I think you'll be seeing many more posts like this one this month! Last night, I went grocery shopping, so I've got baking pictures galore!! I'm on a roll!

Are you making things for the holidays? If you share, maybe I can rip off your idea (but still link it back to you!) ;-) I love sharing ideas like these!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Go big or go home, Christmas-style.

As always, December 1st hit (which I know is wildly late to some of you!) and the Christmas decorations came out of cold, hard isolation, aka the garage.

I took Jake's nap as an opportunity to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, pulling various pieces of décor out of the Rubbermaid containers, with absolutely no rhyme or reason, and jaunted my happy tush all around the house spreading Christmas cheer.

You guys. I LOVE Christmas. LOVE.

I love how merry (don't. just don't) it makes the house seem. I love how the Christmas tree, the strand of lights framing the French doors, and the light-up snowman work together to illuminate our nights. I love how this time of year makes me feel like a kid again; giddy with anticipation of the smiles and happy and curiosity of what's headed our way.

And, the baking. Oh, the baking. Could I be more pumped? (I sincerely hope you read that in your best Chandler voice) No, I certainly could not. There are few things I love more than cooking a meal to warm my boys' bellies, and serving up some tantalizing, must-have-dropped-from-Heaven dessert to top things off. I love that they're excited for what I make them. Of course, Gary will be getting his goodies long distance, but he's getting them nonetheless :-)

I love watching Jake's eyes dance as he stares in awe of the lights and decorations. I love that I get to help out Santa. Last year, Jake was 3 months old, and excited to watch all the present opening, and was definitely feeding off all our happy, but this year? He's so much more aware I can hardly stand it. Ya know how when you're a kid and all that tickles your fancy is all the stuff you imagine you're getting? It's the polar opposite as a parent. I don't need one thing Christmas morning. My heart will be of bursting proportions watching Jake open his gifts. I feel the child-like excitement that he will one day feel, and it brings tears to my eyes. I want nothing more than for him to have a good day; for my husband to know he's right there with us, carried in our hearts.

When we were younger, for as long as I can remember, my brother, Kevin, would sleep on the floor of my bedroom Christmas Eve. We'd chatter until the wee hours of the morning, sometimes about what gifts we hoped to get; other times about anything that popped into our heads because we were too excited to stop. Once we finally were able to drift off to sleep, we knew it was only a few hours before the big day was upon us.

Whomever woke up first was to run out to the living room and check out all the loot, then run back and wake the other up, so that we could both rejoice in the awesome (mind you, I don't think we ever detailed the plan. We both just always did it. Must have been a sibling thing. It was go time.). Then, it was time to wake up my parents, then our other two brothers. We'd have to get the coffee going and run up and down the hall because hello, we woke you guys up an eighth of a second ago, why are you not down the hallway yet?!

Once everyone was finally up, we got into our respective positions; Dad on the loveseat, me in the middle of the couch, Kevin on the big chair, Colin by the tree close to the hearth, Patrick also on the loveseat, and mom passing out the gifts. We each always got one big gift in addition to the gifts around the tree. We'd wait for the word "Go!" and it was on! Wrapping paper flying, plastic cases being ripped was outstanding. Once we each had a few gifts under our belts, we'd start looking to the others, to share in their joy. We'd be saying things like "Patrick, that book on the Civil War is awesome!!" and "A laptop?!? Whaaaa?!?! Winner winner chicken dinner, Kevin!!" Whatever it was, we were so excited for each other getting what we wanted.

These are the feelings I cannot wait for our kids to have. I cannot wait for them to have that can't-sleep anticipation. I can't wait to hear their footsteps pitter-patter down the hallway to our room to wake up mama and daddy. I can't wait to see their faces light up as they see that they got that one gift they really wanted. I can't wait for them to be happy for each other, and grateful for what they've gotten. I can't wait to sit around with them, playing with their new loot, and eat our traditional monkey bread and hot chocolate breakfast.

Sitting here, in the delicious glow of oh, so many lights, I feel content. The years of tingly anticipation for our family during this time of year, and my hubby, is what's keeping me warm.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I believe... my husband <3

...I'll never get sick of the Budweiser, Real Men of Genius commercials

...that the Kindermusik class I just got J into will only do great things for him! So excited!!! a warm hug.

...there's nothing stronger than true love.

...that Cyber Monday is a beautiful way to get all my Christmas shopping done in one day, without having to punch someone's grandma in their baby-maker for trying to take a gift out of my cart.
((Oh, yess, I heard the Black Friday horror stories!! :::shudder:::)) acceptance. Another person's choices may not be the ones you'd make, but it's important to be respectful of them anyway.

...that watching our boy take that one step by himself was enough excitement to last the rest of this deployment.

...that getting dressed and going out into the world can have an amazing affect on the psyche.

...I never had any idea how much latent domesticity I had in me, but it's been making its presence known more and more and I am in love with it! Loving on my boys, cooking, baking, making blankets, arts and crafts....oh my! simplicity. If it's not needed in our day, and it's going to stress me out to fit it in, it's getting kicked to the curb.

...that shaving your legs in cold weather, while your husband is away, is for chumps ;-) is a crime against nature that *I* put on the lids to his sippy cups, but *I* can't get them off.

...that, sometimes, it's more important to be a great listener than it is to give great advice.

What do you believe in?

Also? Happy hump day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I caught it.

I have baby fever.

When I posted that I didn't have it, even a little bit, I swore on a stack of all things Holy that that was truth; and it was.

Lately, things have changed.

First, Jake is mother-effin' hilarious. I can barely stand it. We laugh together SO MUCH. He's trying to say more words. He laughs, intentionally & at particular instances (as in, he's not just laughing like a hyena at everything), when we watch TV. He's so friendly. I watch him absorb everything around him like a sponge. I'm just growing more and more proud of him every day.

Secondly, I've been through everything on my list that scared the bajesus out of me about handling deployment with a toddler and no back-up. Well, there's that, handling deployment with a toddler and no back-up. Then, there's Jake being sick, me being sick, teething so horrendous I cursed the names of dentists everywhere. Little, adorable me thought "I really want to keep my hair appointments, how do I do it with Jake?!" Sister, we got bigger fish to fry.

((P to the S....I did get to keep my hair appointments! :::hammer time::: Mama's got a lot of hair; it needs taming!))

Thirdly, I've mastered the Post Office, with multiple packages, and said toddler! The first trip to the Post Office, though? CLUSTERFRICK. It was horrible and, the next time Gary called, I apologized, preemptively, for the strong possibility that he'll never receive another box from me for the remainder of this deployment. Thankfully, I worked it out! I stepped outside the doors of that Postal building, jumped into the air, and fist-bumped the Heavens. I emerged victorious.

This is how I felt.

Fourthly, my friend, Casey, and I have started weekly dates at our house. She has a near 3 week old little girl that I just can't get enough of! Casey and bebeh came over around 9 pm on Thanksgiving and didn't leave 'til almost 2am, and I held that wee infant almost the entire time! I so caught it.

Baby Fever. This shizz is contagious.

And, to clarify, it's not that Jake is growing up that I want to have a baby around. I love that. I love that he's getting bigger, and smarter, and, all around, just the bee's knees; it's that I want another one just like him. I want to see him as an older brother. I want to share that love, that pounds my heart for Jake, with another little human being. And, hello, seeing Gary as a daddy to two kids? Pretty sure I just ovulated at the mere thought of that.

We have our plan, though. And, like so many things, we're wide open to rearranging aspects of the plan. I feel a little lamesauce referring to our preferred sequence of events as "the plan". Ideas? Suggestions? I don't effing know! How about, we have 'thoughts' on how we'd like things to go for us, baby making included? Does that one work?

When Gary gets back, Jake will be pushing 2. TWO. T-W-O. He'll be more self-sufficient, and all that business. It just all seems so enticing! One of the times I got my 'do did, I was talking about Jake driving me to the ledge and, another woman got in on our convo and said how at least twice a week she questions if she's able to be a good mama to her two young kids. I thanked her. Repeatedly. It was such a comfort to know that that's just how you feel sometimes.

I guess, maybe, what helps me be all feverish is that so many things scared me, and I've conquered them. I've found that way to navigate our day, not lose anyone in the process, and feel accomplished. I'm, kind of, in awe that it's possible. Not every day is a victory, but , in an overall sense, we get a 'W' more often than not.

The first person, outside Gary obviously, who figured out (I thought I was all stealthy in my word choices, but she cracked my code) I was pregnant with Jake told me something that is so simple, but really resonates with me: "When you have the second baby, it's easy. You've already altered your life for the first one. Now? All you have to do is add the second one to the mix"

It's not like it can happen now anyway. Abstinence and deployment, one in the same. It's just comforting to know that when it is time, we can totally rock the house with our parenting.