Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pulling the goalie

Should I allow you to jump to conclusions? :::leisurely drums fingers on table, in sinister manner:::

Nah, I got too much to say

Lately, when I look at Jake, sometimes, it's hard to see baby. He's so grown up, such a sweetheart, soooo effing smart (which, I'm learning, presents a parenting challenge). He's becoming more independent, which makes it seem like time went by that much faster. I look at pictures from when he was an itty, bitty babe all up in my nook
and now for one where he's not having a serious dream

Our teeny, tiny baby is now a grown-ass man, who's going to be asking for the keys, and introducing us to a lucky lady who's very special to him.

No. It's NOT dramatic. Why do you keep saying that?!

((seriously, I crack myself up...))

But, really. He's 9 months old. Nine whole months. I love that he's found a balance between retaining his independence and still reaching up for me, just so he can lay his head on my chest. I LOVE that! Or, when he cranks his neck back, so he can see over the back of his carseat, to watch me as I drive. He gets these little forehead wrinkles when he looks up that are thee most effing precious thing any of you will ever see. All of that stuff makes my heart go pitter-pat.

This deployment affects us, too. Jake & I are holding down the fort for Gary. We have to work as a team. And, even though many say a baby takes far more than they give, they give you much more than you imagine. The first thing I hear every morning is Jake cooing (he's recently discovered how much he loves his wall letters and talks to them quite a bit!), the first thing I see, besides my mane overcoming my entire dome, is that beautiful, dimply smile. I pick him up, and the first thing I feel is that little baby hug. He does a pretty good job of keeping me all warm 'n fuzzy until his daddy gets home to help out with that :::lifeisgood:::

One thing my adorable hubby asked before he left was "When I get home [for good] are we having another baby?" He's wayyy too cute! The answer? Negatory, morning-glory. We decided we don't want to get pregnant again until J's about 2 or 3, probably 2 ideally. But, the draw is always there. Not to say we're perfect parents (but, really, we're pretty close), but it's such a HUGE reassurance when you think back on all those things that scared the bajesus out of you and know that you now know how to handle yourself. You know how naps work, what bedtime routine is best for you, that the beginning is tiresome, how breastfeeding feels, what baby gear you ACTUALLY need....

You've made sense of it. And, even though every child is different, you "get it" now. My friend Paula, mother of 4, said "Yah, once you have the first one, the rest are all easy. You've already rearranged your life to accommodate the baby; the rest come naturally" Love that!

Also? Oh, Lord, seeing my husband as a father. Words cannot describe how I feel when I see moments like thisI couldn't even describe my love for this man PB (pre-baby...duh). Now? Seriously speechless. Seeing my giant husband handle our baby in the most gentle way sends me to places I can't describe. But, not in the fireworks/KY commercials kind of way (which I could see why that would be confusing given the title of this post). In the my-heart-can't-get-any-bigger-type-way. My friend A-dawg (Ashley, for short) told me about this feeling. She warned me. She told me how my heart would borderline leap out of my chest seeing my husband and our baby together. I didn't heed her warning too well. I still feel blindsided.

Now, I understand how I see women look at Jake and their uterus glows. There's nothing like a freshly-squeezed babe to make you all melty. Is this the double-edged sword of parenthood? To be all "this tiny babe fits in the palm of my hand! AWWWW" then, "Can't wait 'til he talks, so I can know all the stuff he's been saying to me!"

Happy medium, anyone? No? CRAP.

So, even though the goalie remains intact, we could never forget that special warmth that comes from an infant, or how amazing it is to see Jake grow. Love having babies with that wonderful guy I married, even if he has dominant genes ;) Jake *does* have my smile! Love ya, hubby :)

But, really, the uterus shuts down at 30.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Long time, no see!

Well, hello there, lovahs. Fancy meeting you here...

I can hardly believe that I have a deployed hubby and I haven't blogged in a bit over a week! Jake & I have been spending time with some of our favorite three-dimensionals, Guncle Kevin & Casey!

Unfortunately, they had to leave today, but the partay had to end sometime, right?! Can I just jump right in and show a couple pictures?I was getting ready, so that we could head over to Gigi's. Well, I notice Jake's door is shut, and all three of them are in there. Wondering what kind of secret pow-wow they're having, I knock and come in to find they were dressing Jake for me!!


My favorite part? That it was a 2 person operation!! :)


Jake looked adorable!

Anyway, we had such a great time!! Not only was it so nice to sit around and have "adult time" when Jake was in bed, it was nice to have them here period! Even if, as Casey and I got ready for a late-night run to Walmart, we got to see this
Yep...and adult sized onesie, complete with butt-flap! I have one just like it, but it's striped red and green, for Christmas. We were supposed to get a picture of us together with 'em on, but, apparently, no dice.

Ohhh, yessss. They were, indeed, introduced to the ecstasy that is a Gigi's cupcakeYep...we created our own sampler!! As Kevin & Casey said, eat until you hate yourself! ;)

((They were very impressed with Gigi's. However, Gigi? Please bear in mind that if I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon than park in your parking lot, it is time for change))
Jake slept through the entire outing! :(


During their week-long visit, Jake also had his first batting practice!
first of many, my child, first of many

Jake LOVED hanging out with his Guncle!! He got to play in ways, maybe, his mama doesn't! But, I think moments like this also made Uncle Kevin melt....on the inside, ya know...


Before I forget, it has got to be noted, on our way to Buffalo Wild Wings, Kevin's eagle eye spotted a RED ROBIN!!!!! We ended up going there :) Soo good. But, the best part?


RED ROBIN NEXT TO A GIANT OLD NAVY


:::swoon:::

We had such a great time, it was sooo great to see Kevin, and to meet Casey (SLORE! ;)), but we had some pretty UH-MAY-ZING things happen during their visit! Jake started walking with help!! Before, he'd stand, and maneuver himself pretty well like that, and, if he wanted something further away, he'd bend at the waist and nearly do a face-plant!

He started out just pumping those feet any which way he could, just getting his sea legs! Then, he mastered those teeny tootsies and walks to and from people, still with help!! Soo intense!

Then, little Jake decided to make us all speechless, literally. We're sitting in the living room, right before Jake's bedtime routine, and he's staring at Casey, and sounds out "Casey". HE SOUNDS OUT "CASEY"!!!! All our jaws hit the floor, tears welled up in my eyes!!!! Needless to say, Casey was pumped!!! Then, he did it again when we got back from Gigi's. I was holding Jake, standing next to Casey, he looks at her and sounds out her name like fourteen more times!!! All looking right at her!!!!!

It was such a hard decision to decide if that was his first word or not! It was unmistakably "Casey" that he said, but I don't think it counts. He knew those "sounds" belonged to her, but I don't know that he was 100% sure of what he was saying. Ahh, h-e double hockey sticks...I'm back to not being sure!! This probably won't be logged in the baby book, but it was still absolutely incredible!!!!

We were sad to see them leave :( It was so sweet to have Kevin around, asking if he could do things for me (ya know, man things, like mowing the backyard and taking the trash can to the curb...), and so fun having girl talk with Casey at night (and messing with Kevin in his sleep!! :D ). It's too bad they have lives in Iowa to get back to! But, after seeing them off from the driveway, Jake was looking for them inside :)

Also, Kevin and Casey?
You're welcome back ANY TIME

and?

RESPECT

Saturday, June 19, 2010

MY BABY'S BACK!!!!

I don't care if this sounds premature....Jake is back!!!!!!

And, to think, I was THISCLOSE to dropping him off with the Duggars.

Now, I am going to chronicle our domination over Jake's possession, in bullet points, so you are better able to grasp the enormity of my happiness:

*first, we had almost 2 hours (sorry, madre, I made a mistake....it was NOT only and hour and a half) of whine/scream free play

*next, we took a cat nap, TOGETHER, on mine & Gary's bed. It was effing fabulous

*After his early afternoon feeding, I put him down for a nap, AWAKE, and he slept for over an hour (even though he had no nap issues during this period of hell on earth, it's still nice to recognize)

*He woke up all birds circling his dome, ate a little while later...

and, now, for the finale....

*I've walked away from him, for various reasons (including cooking, and now eating, my own dinner!!!) FOUR TIMES. FOUR. F-O-U-R. without issue. No "oh. em. gee. I'm dying since I see my mama's backside"

And now? We're all shits and giggles over here. For REAL. He's sitting next to me, on the couch, as I eat my own dinner, laughing his hind quarters off at Looney Tunes.

My baby is back!! He's back to his easygoing, no whining/screaming, smiling self. This is the only way I've known him to be since we met....HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok, so, yes, it was only a few days where he kicked it into overdrive, but seriously, i thought i was doing to die.

I am one happy mama! :D

A woman can fake it.

I try so hard to be positive. I mean, what choice do I have. As my friend Cristal says, when people ask her how she does it as a military wife, "You lock yourself in your room, have a good cry. Come out, order pizza for the kids. What choice do I have? I have to make it"

Thursday, the day after Gary left, Jake was being little hater. He was pissed off no matter what was going on. Then, I, infamously, heard from Gary and I just didn't care. I was in a happy, romantic fog.

Then, Friday morning came.

He got up at effing twilight. But, if you read the post before this one, you know things went well. Our day was amazing. For that, I was grateful.

But, when we got home, he resumed his asshattery. No matter what I did, he was pissed. Literally. No matter what I did. First, I thought he was just SCREAMING (the newborn scream...he didn't even have that when he was a newborn!) because I was running around the house doing little things and didn't sit right next to him for hours. Turned out, he would scream no matter what. He wanted to be held, I held him. He hated it. He wanted to be down on the floor, I put him there. He hated it. He wanted to play with the keyboard of the laptop, I let him. He hated it.

That's exhausting in itself.

Then, the mood swings came. He'd be his ADORABLE, dimply self, talking my ear off. We'd sing back and forth to each other. It made me realize my little man was still in there. Then, he'd go back to hating EVERYTHING. I wish that were a dramatization. Hating EVERYTHING. So, not only was my mentality being kicked around because of trying to figure out what would make him happy, now I have to worry about him going from hot to cold. & it was lava-hot hot and iceberg-cold cold. Then, I'd, unintentionally, switch back and forth from sheer frustration to utter happiness within minutes, dependent upon what he was feeling. It was so mentally and emotionally taxing.

I called my mom, bawling my head off. I felt/kind of feel like I was a horrible mom. A horrible mom for being sooo irritated with him, a horrible mom for not being able to make him happy. She reassured me that sometimes you just want to give your kids to the next person that crosses your path. And, I know that it's 2 things with him right now. 1) He's missing daddy. He knows something is off in this house. 2) This pseudo-independence stage. He wants to do his own thing, stand, rollover, do his own thing, BUT, he also wants me to sit next to him, never leave him, become his shadow. THIS IS NOT HIM. That's one of the first things my mom said. He doesn't scream, he doesn't need me next to him 24/7 (and quick thank you to God, and the farmers, for there not being more hours to a day). He's NEVER needed those things.

I wanted, so badly, for yesterday to just stay amazing. I wanted to feel like I was making my husband proud. I wanted to feel like I can handle this. "This" being, both, my husband being gone and caring for a baby without a spotter.

I know I can do this. I know Jake's in a period of transition. But, I've cried sooo many tears over just feeling worn out. I miss my husband. There's not one thing he doesn't make me feel better about. He's my biggest supporter.

I suppose it's a blessing that Jake has never been like this. We've had 9 months of bliss, where I feel like Jake is just another person on mine & Gary's team. But, then again, I haven't had much practice at dealing with this amount of bullshit.

I don't want to cry from bordering on insanity anymore :( I want a GIANT VAT of my favorite icecream, chocolate chip cookie dough, with a ton of fudge. But, for shit's sake, I'd have to go out and get it, which means getting ready. Which means having J in the bathroom with me, sitting in his bouncy seat. SCREAMING. Screaming because he can't see me constantly.

I HATE feeling this way toward him. I love that little boy to pieces. I can't get enough of him. That's what makes it extra hard to be feeling this way.

Ok, I do feel better now, but I just want to know that when Jake gets up from his nap, he'll let me up off the mat.

:::inhale:::
:::exhale:::
I can do this

Friday, June 18, 2010

I own this day

When Gary first left, I thought "Super. I'll have puffy eyes for the next year". As the days go on they, obviously, get easier, but that first night? It lasts about a week.

But, yesterday (and if we're friends on FB, you already know this because I e-shouted it) when I heard from him, seriously, the clouds parted sunshine & rainbows began protruding from my body at every opportunity. It lifted my spirits in ways I cannot describe. When you go from " Yah, you'll hear from him, POSSIBLY, in 2-3 months" and you get a message, correction: messageS, from him on FB, there tends to be an alteration to your mood......and it was a great one!

I immediately jumped up & starting yelling to Jake, who was in his jumperoo next to me, "WE HEARD FROM DADDY, WE HEARD FROM DADDY, WE HEARD FROM DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (that amount of exclamations, probably, doesn't even do me justice) Next thing you know, Jake's going CRAZY in his jumperoo! It was a LaMay family celebration!

That wonderful feeling, I'm happy to say, lasted the rest of the night :)

Then, this morning, Jake decided to try & wake up at 4:30. I don't think so, little man. Ain't happenin'. So, I go and turn on his sound machine, but I couldn't get him to stay in the crib 'til 5. He worked up enough of a frenzy that it needed to be taken care of.

sidebar: he woke up at 3:15 yesterday morning. Umm, child? WHISKEY.TANGO.FOXTROT?? I mean, I know he's reacting to Gary being gone (complete with a couple extra poos, from the child that only drops a deuce 2-3 times a week!), but hook a mama up!

So, the morning is off to a weird start, but we were getting out of the house today no.matter.what. I got ready while he napped, then I got him ready, then he barfed onto the floor with an appetizing :::splat:::, I said "eff it...it'll be there later" and we headed out.

It's Africa-hot out, but today just felt good. All was right in our world, well...ya know..., and we were going to be strong. We're going to be strong for daddy. But, deployment tried to ruin it. We did one set of errands, came back to feed & change him, & went back out. As we headed back out gate 7, we saw one of those big "deployment planes", I forget what they're called. My eyes immediately filled with tears, but I TOTALLY handled it. I was all "SUCK IT, DEPLOYMENT. You WON'T make me cry" I was all empowered. Or whatever.

But, instead of cry-fest 2010, I heard our son talking to his carseat toys and it brought me to a good place. It reminded me that there is NOTHING more exciting than getting ready & driving to the buses, which will take us to the airfield, which is where we get the beautiful sight that is your soldier stepping off that plane. It's totally dramatic and fabulous. There's nothing like it.

Today, I, instead of going to a sad place, which is super easy to get to right now, got to relive the past 2 times I saw my husband walk off that plane onto U.S. soil. I got to stand there in 20* weather, in my planned-to-a-T ensemble, with my meticulously done hair, with other families getting their dream come true.

I got to relive the bone-tingling sensation that is looking in each others eyes again. I got to relive the heart rate ruining anticipation of finding each other in the crowd following their 'welcome home formation'.

Yah, it's all good.

And, we get to do it all over again...

So, next time I'm crying a puddle into my right hand, I'll be giving deployment the finger with my left.

I'm so proud of you, my hubby. You're our hero

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today, friends, we are in the presence of greatness; our cute, little bakery is honored to host Kris, of prettyalltrue.com. Let me tell you, the gigglesnorts that arise, when Gary & I gather 'round the laptop at night to see what Kris has to say, are epic.

Her tales of her family, especially of Maj, 11, and Kallan, almost 9, are side-splitting, to say the least.So, sit back, relax, and be ready to question "Is this what I did to my mom??"...since her stories are all true.

Or are they??


Office Ladees – By Kris


My younger daughter Kallan is almost 9 now, and she is a handful. She has always been a handful. Always.

When she was 6, and just starting 1st grade, over the course of a few days, she did all of the following things:


1) Hit her older sister Maj over the head with an umbrella in order to “protect” her from an invisible bug.


2) Stole a doll from her sister Maj’s bedroom that she claimed loved her more than it loved Maj.


3) Gave that doll an unfortunate haircut.


4) Scooped a huge handful of goodness out of the middle of a cake I had baked, and then tried to blame the dogs for this misbehavior.


5) Got in trouble at school for talking during class about how the substitute teacher? Was not as smart as she thought she was.


6) Dumped an entire container of fish food into the fish tank, and then insisted that she had only “waved” to the fish, and that the fish had himself climbed out to get the food.


7) Wrote on the hallway walls outside of her sister’s room in Sharpie marker . . . “Maj did tihs. Maj did tihs. Maj did tihs.”


8) When confronted, denied wrongdoing, and agreed that it was strange and tragic that her 3rd grade sister did not know how to spell the word “this.”


9) And then refused to do her chores, screaming loudly that she was not a “Cinderella slave.”


A variety of punishments were doled out for these various misdeeds. The most galling punishment, as far as Kallan was concerned? I told her that she would not be allowed to take any money to school the following week.


The girls were, at the time, attending a private school that did occasional fund-raising by selling treats to the kids during the lunch-hour. The upcoming week was supposed to be sunny and warm, which meant that there would be ice cream for sale. Ice cream Kallan would have no money to buy.


Kallan was appalled and outraged and furious, but her arguments fell on deaf ears. Maybe in the future, I pointed out, she would think more carefully about her behavior and make better choices. She glared at me.


Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday . . . every afternoon, Kallan came home with sad tales of being the only girl in the whole 1st grade who had not been able to have ice cream. Every day she pleaded with me to cut the punishment short, and every day I refused. We went over all of the choices she had made to earn this punishment, and we talked about what she would do differently next time.


Thursday was more of the same, complaining and whining followed by discussions and hopes for better choices in the future.


Once that was over for the day, Kallan unpacked her backpack and handed me a single sheet of paper.


“Here, there’s a note for you from the school.”


As I stared at the note, I could feel giggling rising in my throat. I hurried away and into my bedroom to examine the note carefully. Kallan went about her business as though completely unconcerned with the note or its contents.


Just another note from school, right?

Wrong.


In the unmistakable penmanship of my very own first grader, I read this . . .


Dear Mrs. Wehrmeister,


You need to send $8.00 to scool with your dawter Kallan right away. If Kallan does not bring 8 dollaws, she will not be able to go to tihs scool any morr. Do not call the scool. We do not have time to talk. Send the monney.


Love,

Office Ladees


Are you kidding me? Oh my god. I was all teary and giggling and astounded.


Where did this girl come from?


I send Maj out to play and I sit down with Kallan.


I hold the note out, “Did you actually think I was going to believe this was from the school?”


Kallan slumps, “I couldn’t figure out how to get a piece of school paper so it would look official. They don’t just hand that stuff out, you know.”


“OK, but Kallan? Even if this letter was written on official letterhead, I would still know it was from you.”


She protests, “I used my neatest handwriting!”


How much do I love this devious little girl?!?


“So do you want to explain why you need $8.00?”


She is all mumbly, “I owe people.”


I am incredulous, but even as I am incredulous, I realize where this is going, “You owe people $8.00? How can that be?”


She stares at me challengingly, “You said I couldn’t bring money to school. You never said someone else couldn’t bring me money to spend at school.”


Really? Really???


Kallan lists the people to whom she owes $1.50 (the cost of an ice cream cone) . . . Johnathon and Maria and Cecily and Brandy. One for each day of the week thus far.


“OK, but that’s only $6.00. Why does this note say you need $8.00?”


“Well, I want ice cream tomorrow, and I figured $8.00 sounded better than $7.50.”


This girl? She kills me.


“Well, I am not going to give you $8.00. Instead? I am going to call all of these children’s mothers and explain what has happened. And I will explain that you will be paying these debts back with your allowance.”


“But that will take me weeks! I don’t have $6.00!”


“You should have thought about that before you borrowed the money.”


“But that’s not fair! Everyone is going to be all mad at me!”


“They should be mad at you. You have not been a good friend. At all.”


“I could be a good friend, if you would just give me $8.00.”


“And? The no-money-to-school punishment? It’s been rescheduled for next week. But this time? I am having a little chat with your teacher about how you are not to have any treats at lunchtime.”


She walks away, all dejected and sad. But as she walks, I can hear the wheels of her mind turning. Trying to work out a plan.


She always has a plan.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

foxtrot uniform charlie kilo

We're here again.

My husband is, honorably, serving overseas for the 3rd time.

The amount of pride I feel for him, as a husband, as a father, as a soldier, as a man in general, is staggering. He still takes my breath away....and, we've been together 8 years next month (I am so in love with you, sweet pea). I feel so honored to be his, and he mine.

That amount of pride I feel for him, in all walks of life, is only matched by the all-encompassing misery I'm feeling at this moment. I ache for him.We're a super-close couple. I mean, we're, literally, best friends. There's not one thing we keep from each other, and there's not one thing we wouldn't do for one another.

We laugh so hard no sound comes out, we watch movies like we're still dating, we have pillow-talk into all hours of the night, we text each other sweet nothings. We've been that way from the get-go, but I'm still so proud of us for keeping things in perspective. We're blessed to have each other; we don't treat each other like a job.

This is what I miss.Not that our dynamic will change because our geographics have changed, but to feel that warmth and excitement when one of us walks through the door. I love our little Jake to pieces, but there's an emptiness in this house right now. I know we'll make the best of this hell-on-earth, aka deployment, since we don't have a choice, but the first night? I'd rather take a kidney punch. While getting paper cuts. And being poked in the eye.

These past 2 weeks, leading up until this day, have been so great. We're pretty easily excited when it comes to our outings, but, lately, it's been like we're 10 years old and it's Christmas morning. It's been an amazing time, but the double-edged sword is that it kept us in the moment; we didn't dwell on deployment, but it also made today feel like it came out of left field.
.............
This morning was something else. We'd have random, simultaneous moments where we'd see that crushed, dejected look in each others eyes. Other times, we'd take a deep breath together. Other times, we'd pass each other, going from room to room, and just break down. Or, he'd be holding Jake & hearing me sniffling in the kitchen as I made breakfast & come in to save me. It was all nauseating. Literally. Gary complained of nausea since the moment he got up. I felt the same. We knew it was one thing and one thing only: deployment.Gary had been packed and ready to go, so it was just a matter of getting out the door. We took a few pictures outside and, up until we got to the meeting area, we were inadvertently treating this like any other outing; just running around gathering what we needed.


Then we got there.

We parked and saw 4 huge connexes, and soldiers huddled with family at various parts of the parking lot. My eyes immediately teared up.

Gary had places to go and people to see, but when I offered for Jake & myself to come with him, he said no. It was about 143*, and about 157% humidity, so he wanted us to stay in the a/c. He'd come back and check on us from time to time. Every time he did, I'd cry saying how I didn't want him to go. He'd say how he felt the same, but that we'd be ok, we'd get tough in a matter of time and kick the crap out of this deployment like the 2 before.
All of a sudden, he had a formation " in 3 minutes". We found that oddly specific, but we don't question an order. Gary headed back, with every intention of coming back and relaying the messages he received. I had just finished feeding Jake in the backseat and saw another bus pull up. Something told me to jump out of that car like my ass was on fire. I put a hat on Jake and walked over to where everyone was congregating. Gary comes up and kisses me, and kisses Jake. I got all worried & said "we'll be able to see each other one more time, RIGHT?!?!" He said he wasn't sure, but we said our goodbyes see ya laters as if it were the last time.
Pretty soon, everyone was scattered, running around trying to sneak in a last hug/kiss from loved ones as they headed to the final formation that would lead them to the buses. I lost Gary in the crowd (how I "lose" my 6'3" husband is beyond me), but he ran up and wrapped his arms around us and kissed us both. I told him how much I love him and to be safe. He ran in the back of the formation (which worked out since I was able to sneak in a couple more kisses) and waited.

We'd blow each other kisses, sign "I love you", clutch our necklaces, and just stare at each other; another silent conversation.
He began motioning to me to go ahead & head out. I couldn't bring myself to do it before I saw him step onto the bus, but it was hotter than fucking hot and I know it's what he wanted, so I started heading out.

The buses were blocking one exit, so I used another and managed to catch a glimpse of him, between the cars as he walked toward the bus.
.......................
By the time we got home (a 2 minute drive, tops), I was bawling my head off. I wanted nothing more than to be able to reasonably conduct myself in public so that I didn't have to go home. Babies R Us and the commissary were on my list, but there was no way. And, ya know what's beyond incredible? As I walked in from the garage, holding Jake, he was staring at me. Like, staring into my eyes. Then, he'd just lay his head on my chest. He knew. Makes me cry more to think about it. He knows.

There has to be a first day of deployment for there to be a last. My love will be back soon enough

My Soldier, your family is here, in your house, awaiting your return. Until then, we'll count the days until this house is a home.
I'm so in love with you. We're so proud of you. We await your return with bated breath.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A year in review

Before Gary gets back (last minute stuff, ya know...), I wanted to look back at this last YEAR AND A HALF we've had together. That's unheard of. That's a TON of time together, by Army standards. And, for that, I am grateful.

Last night, after J was asleep, we had finished watching The Hangover and were talking before we headed to bed. We talked about how we know what's coming, but haven't fully grasped it. We know he's leaving, but haven't let ourselves go to *that place* where we feel that he's leaving. I hope that makes any sense.

Purgatory. That's it! We're in purgatory. We're just kind of waiting here; anxious to get this effing thing started, but dying to push it back to have a few more hours together. That probably sounds totally morbid, but, hey, listen, I just let out those sobs to him this morning, choking out "I don't want you to goooo", so it's totally justified. I've already decided :)

So, I wanted to look back at all this time we've had; all this time we've been blessed with. Things could definitely have been a lot worse :)

First, there was this...then this...
which culminated in the grand finale of this....with some time spent like this...before his first holiday, which looked like this...followed by our first Thanksgiving, which was celebrated like this...and, of course, our first Christmas went like this...which preceded the celebration of my January birthday with a sweet face like this...
then, there were lots of kisses for Valentines Day like this...
snuggles for Daddy's birthday like this...
and, fun trips to new restaurants like this....
enjoying baseball games from the best seat in the house (daddy's lap!) like this...
and, first trips to the zoo that looked like this...
We've had a great time together, making babies, then growing them, and it's time to do something we don't want to do, but are going to. It's going to be OK. We've been blessed with so much, how could we ask for more? Although, ya know how they say God only gives you as much as you can handle? Well, I must be the emotional equivalent of the Incredible Hulk because I'm having a super hard time right now (as is Gary), but I guess I must be able to handle it. We'll just have to dig deep and rally.

...but, tomorrow, when I come home with Jake and am NOWHERE near as optimistic, please remind me of all this happy crap...

also? While I'm gathering the pieces back up, there's an awesome & hysterically funny lady who will be coming to you as a guest poster to regale you with hilarity. I love her and so will you! :)

Those long summer days

We spent some time at a real pool yesterday!!!! It was soo amazing. The day was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S, and the water felt like perfection. And, while I watched my husband play with our son in the water, I thanked God we completed our own predeployment checklist....and, kicked the crap out of it!

I covered every square inch of Jake's body in SPF 143, and mine (I mean, we only get one skin!),and put him in one of those hats I loathe....but they may start to grow on me, especially when this smile is beneath it:
You should know I dubbed Jake "Nemo" yesterday

I did, however, experience a moment where I was sure they'd revoke my parenting card. We were all playing in the water & I swore I thought I smelled a fresh turd. Let me be more specific, a fresh turd lacking the containment a parent hopes for. False alarm. Whew!

No. It wasn't dramatic. Thank you for asking. I just didn't want to see a water-logged turd float by when we weren't the only ones in the pool ;)
Getting back to non-crisis matters...
I wasn't able to introduce myself to the water in the cannonball-like fashion in which I am so accustomed because there were so many other kids around, but I think I managed to have a great time still!

Why the cowboy hat? Because awesome. That's why.


And, the important thing? As we drove away, Gary gushed about what a great time we had and how he'll hold that memory special to him in Afghanistan

Here's one more pic, of all 3 of us, because I am feeling all kinds of sentimental at this point in our week (hintedy hint hint...) and think it's a pretty cute picture!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The famous knees on that bee we're always talking about?

aka, The Cheesecake Factory. If you have yet to be to this wonder of an establishment, drop what you're doing and head to your nearest Cheesecake Factory.

Seriously. Do it.

We have our last 3 full days together broken down into categories; today was get dressed & go somewhere day (where somewhere stands for a place that is a little nicer, maybe somewhere we hadn't been before), tomorrow is REAL pool day (see post below this one), and Tuesday is order-a-pizza-and-watch-movies-from-the-list-we-made-Monday-night-while-in-jammies day.

{Our original plan was to head to Chipotle in Nashville, next to the Green Hills Mall. Gary has never been to that mall, and I wanted to show him some of the more upscale stores it has. Plus, Sarah always raves about it, so I had to confirm or deny those reports. I dubbed myself judge, jury, & executioner on the restaurant front today. Sometimes? I'm quite imaginative.
Well, we, accidentally, passed Chipotle, but saw a sign for the best restaurant EVAH & gave it a whirl...}

Today, somewhere was The Cheesecake Factory. Did I mention that? Everything about it was happiness. The inside was soo pretty!
The ceiling is so pretty! Do all Cheesecake Factories look this nice on the inside? Really, do they?

The hostess was super nice, our waiter was fab' (you know that great combination of taking care of you, but not hovering over the table, asking how your meal is every time you have a mouthfull? Yep, he was that good), and the food. Ohh, the food.
This party in your mouth appetizer are Avocado Egg Rolls and will ruin all other food for you

Then, there was the company:
I love my men....even if one has their eyes closed :)

I love when I can see that he actually does look like me sometimes!

I think what really made this day was that we talked about the hairy, make me want to vom parts of deployment, but handled it well. Instead of getting sad, we planned the Vegas trip we're taking once this tour is over, we talked about how great it'll be when he comes home on leave, how big Jake will be, how Gary's excited to see my parents & brothers when he gets back, how badass we are for handling yet another deployment! ;)

We laughed, we joked, we made more memories. We loved it! Not to say we've been having a bad time, but we were so wonderfully lighthearted today. Go us!
As hard as it is to know what's coming, because we've had 2 previous deployments, it's a blessing that we know how to handle ourselves before he leaves. No regrets!

Also?
I love this little boy! He's amazing, has a great personality, & I know he'd totally laugh at this pic!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Watch yo' back, Michael Phelps

Our kid is trackin' you!

Today was Jake's first time in a pool. I wish it were a real pool, rather than the $7 kiddie pool with Toy Story on its floor, but, hey, ya do what you have to! (I think we're actually going to go to a real pool this weekend, given how much he loved his big version of a bath!)
I contend a pool this size is not complete without a rubber ducky!


...or dogs thinking the pool is a big water dish!



I see Olympic medals in his future. What? You don't see it? You aren't seeing that his love of splashing around in the pool will, ultimately, lead to a Subway endorsement?

Party Poopers.

Have a great weekend, y'all!