Sunday, October 31, 2010

We're a couple of Halloweenies!!

First things first, let's clarify something. For Halloween, you're supposed to be something you're not, right?

Well, we picked out Jake's costume because it's the complete opposite of him. Or so we thought. The past few days he has proved to be his costume, personified.

Sure, you're thinking 'Aaahhh, how adorable!!'. And, in case you're wondering, that *IS* the appropriate response. But, the kid...let's just say he's lucky he's so cute!

:::pats uterus on a job well done:::

I only partially dressed up.

I also wore cute, sparkly little antennae, but this is as good a picture as Jake would allow me to get.


But, he did really like the antennae! He'd get a big kick out of me headbanging :-) Or, maybe that was just because my hair looks like it'll engulf him? Either way, it was nice to make him laugh!

And, he had his breakfast and lunch on cute Halloween plates

The aftermath of a pancake breakfast. The boy knows how to clean his plate!


We didn't trick-or-treat because he's not walking [without the help of furniture, anyway], but we did have to pick up dog food! :-)


Can't wait to show y'all the pics from his mini Halloween photo shoot!!

As for now, I'm about to scare the pants of myself by watching Paranormal Activity....

...and, then, sleep with the lights on.

But that's neither here nor there.

Happy Halloween!



Friday, October 29, 2010

I cannot tell a lie, II

So, remember this?

I thought I'd elaborate. Mostly because if Jake doesn't get the h-e double hockey sticks off my back with this teething thing, there's a strong possibility sanity will be lost, never to return.

So, thought I'd let y'all get to know me a wee bit better, and save my mind....two birds, one stone.

Let's get to it:

1) The first time I felt like I was really a mom was when I put Desitin on Jake when he was about a month or two old, and had a teeny, tiny touch of diaper rash.

2) I have an annoying amount of will power. When I was pregnant, I almost never gave into cravings, which holds true when I am not pregnant.

3) I can bake all day without licking one beater, or one morsel off my fingers.

4) I believe everyone has their point; that specific moment where their shit will hit the fan because they've been pushed to their limit. I am so close to that point---but will continue to act like I'm not. Jedi-mind trickin' the self, ya know?

5) When I only wore glasses, years ago, I took a ball to the face in a soccer tournament so hard that my glasses cut into my face, right below my right eyelid. Of course, I finished the play, then went back to look for the spec's.

6) When I was little, and would play "office" with my brothers, I would be the secretary and my name would always be Nicole Kidman.

7) My favorite show on the planet is Friends, followed (closely) by One Tree Hill, How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, Weeds and Family Guy.

8) I lost my virginity when I was....Ha! Yah right... :-)

9) I don't like to take anything; this includes medicines for sickness, Tylenol for headaches...I want my body to rectify things naturally, on its own. But, I'll take it if I have to.

10) I love to play chess.

11) I am beyond trustworthy. If we're friends, and you need something--a shoulder to cry on, a dinner, etc.-- I'll be there.

12) Before prom, Senior year, a bunch of my friends were tanning, in tanning beds, to get a good glow for their dresses, and our group picture. Well, I went 2 days in a row, 15 minutes each. I had never tanned before. I looked exactly like Mr. Krabs. Thankfully, my fair skin is a force to be reckoned with, and it recovered days later, in time for prom!

13) I never shoveled snow, or mowed a lawn before I lived in KY.

14) I love belly dancing. Like, the real kind.

15) I've worked at God's gift to ...anyone: Target.

16) In college, I took public speaking online. I know...

17) I believe in aging gracefully. I wear sunblock before I go outside, and, aside from a few stints in high school, and do not go to tanning beds.

18) Gary and I swam with dolphins in Jamaica. That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

19) In middle school, I did the video announcements for the entire school in the morning, and worked on the "crew" that put the video announcements together in high school.

20) I was almost 12 when my youngest brother was born.

21) I make regular clothing donations to charity.

22) Before we had Jake, Gary and I would go to a local sports bar to watch UFC fights on Saturday nights. We'd come home reeking of smoke and alcohol, but it was always a fun night!

23) The first drink I ever had was rum & Dr. Pepper while celebrating New Year's Eve with my friend's family, at 13 or 14. I was in the deepest of caca when my mom found out.

24) I was a trainer (this is what those who were interested in sports medicine, and enrolled in the class, were called) my Junior/Senior years. This meant, we'd travel with teams, I was always football, wrestling, then baseball, treating injuries, taping ankles pre-game, running water onto the football field during games, etc. And, I was the president of the Sports Therapy club :-)

25) At the hardware store where I mentioned I worked, the register I was working was robbed. I was so, so scared!

And, since I don't want to end the list on not-happy note, I'll do a couple more

26) I have a pair of Uggs that I UH-DOOR

27) Weather permitting, I go on a 3 mile walk/run around post in the morning, 5 days a week.

28) As nerdy as it makes me feel, I write out Jake's breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day. Normally, we just, kind of, wing everything, but it helps me! Plus, I like not having to think about little stuff like that during the day.

29) Compliments & nice words have an unbelievable affect on me. They stick with me for so long; I am so grateful people would take the time to stay something sweet to me :-)

30) I L-O-V-E Chinese food.

A few of you had mentioned, after the first list I did, that it inspired you to do one....DO IT! I'd love to get to know things about y'all!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I believe...

...that I will always, inadvertently, make pancakes bigger than the box suggests.

...too many people mistake optimism for naivete.

...the decision to use cloth diapers, and cloth wipes, was one of the smartest we ever made as parents, financially- and environmentally speaking.

...the images of welcome home ceremonies are what pulls me through some of the darkest days. The hardships of deployment, I'll forget. But, that welcome home ceremony will be the gift I keep with me forever.

...beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

...in paying it forward. Don't accept an amazing gift (material or otherwise) without sharing some of what the gift brought you with others.

...that the highchair is my own battle zone.

...the new Celtic cross I put up in our dining room (from Hobby Lobby...$12!!) is absolutely gorgeous, and gives me a feeling of peace.


...that taking nakey, and slutty fun lingerie, pictures for Gary was one of the most freeing things I've ever done. Not to mention, a self esteem booster! Now who am I to disappoint him by stopping?!?

...that sometimes the only way to learn the best way to do something is to do it the "wrong" way the first time.

...that it's OK, even necessary, to be proud of yourself.

...I drink entirely too much Diet Coke.

...in lifting someone else up; everyone should have their time, their moment in the limelight.

...that when my husband returns from this, third, deployment it'll be one of thee greatest blessings of my life.

...empathy isn't always a right fit, but compassion always is.

...even though we'll, most likely, never get another World Series out of them, I'll always be true blue.

...if there wasn't leftovers there wasn't enough food.

...that a day where we have a clean kitchen/straightened house before bedtime is logged as a 'Win'.

...in having gratitude. It might not always be a great day, but the fact that I have a roof over my head, food in the belly, a son who worships me, and a husband who would give his life for me are things that hold true, no matter what the day has brought. For those things, I am eternally grateful.



=


What do you believe in?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of the best compliments I've ever gotten.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a group playdate, and met a bunch of very sweet mamas. I especially hit it off with one of them, Casey. Don't you love when you first meet someone and you just hit it off?

Well, Casey's at the very end of her 3rd pregnancy. She needed help with one of her kiddos, which is where a very sweet compliment came my way.

She said she knew that our friendship was still new, but that she saw how I was with Jake and completely trusted me because of it.

I was just speechless. I mean, I am completely in love with Jake, and mamahood, but when a fellow mama sees that in you, and it inspires trust in you because of it, that's about as good as it gets!

I don't really think I'm doing anything out of the ordinary; surviving each day with a teeny love, just like millions of mamas around the world. But, it still rocks my socks that someone would actually put their child in my hands. I'm still beyond touched.

I told her I was a little nervous because, hello, two kids, one me! But, I know it'll be a fun time! Especially since I've never babysat because the tot's mama was in labor!

This will be great practice for when we add to our brood! Plus, since this weather has put me in serious baking/cooking mode, Jake won't have to stiff-arm me anymore; I'll have another little belly to fill!

Wish me luck, lovahs!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High/Low

When my littlest brother was in, I think, preschool he came home with an exercise they had done in the classroom, high/low.

When he brought the idea home, it morphed into something that would be said almost every night at the dinner table. We'd all go around and say our 'high' for the day, and our 'low' for the day. The only rule was you had to have a 'high', but you didn't have to have a 'low'.

As good as it felt to write the last post, and get out my negative feelings, I don't like having it "out there"; I don't like having a post dedicated to something ugly that happened, something that I'm way over already. Let's focus on the positive!

So, I was thinking, I want to lay out the 'highs'. No 'lows'.

"Highs" for today:

*Jake giving me a little while to wake up, after he did. I got to stretch, find myself under the mountain of crazy morning hair, and wipe the sleep from my eyes while he talked to himself, and roll around his crib.

*Waking up to a clean bathroom!! I cleaned it last night, finally. I was running out of excuses why I couldn't, but it's done, and it's b-e-a-utiful!

*Watching Jake eat waffles, for the first time!, so excitedly! He loved 'em, and it was so precious to watch!!

*Having a full 'fridge! The past couple days we ran in and out, between bouts of pouring rain, to get some grub, and things like laundry detergent. So grateful we have everything we need so we didn't have to run out during the tornado watch/warning!

*My boobies seem to be letting up on the tenderness. When I took away that last feeding, my boobies had a bit of a revolt, but aren't getting any more tender....WIN!

*The knowledge that the blog will soon be lookin' like it got a whole new wardrobe! In a couple weeks, it's going to look even better! Thank you so much, Becca!!

OK, lovahs, that feels more like it! I know we have to let out our gripes, but I had to counter it with some positive!! If comments will allow, what's your high/low?

Pet Peeves

So, I just got off the phone with, probably, one of the housing employees the biggest douche alive. And, it left me with a need to write.

I don't think I would call this being sensitive, if I got anything from my brothers it's tough-skin, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves. I honestly hate it. And, I don't really put the effort into thinking about pet peeves, and I, certainly, don't like saying I hate something; makes me feel icky. Either way, I mega-loathe condescension.

Ooh, how I hate it.

I won't get into the ins and outs of our conversation, it'll take too long. But, I cannot stand to be talked down to. (And, it's not just like being talked down to, it's like being told how to feed yourself, or do the laundry, because you're just too dumb to get it.) And, not just because it's a douchey thing to do, but because the few people I've come across who do this type of thing do it based on assumptions.

To them, I'm an Army wife, who sits at home--because of laziness, gets pregnant every time hubby is Stateside, thus leading to my being barefoot, and in the kitchen. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Without sounding like a major twatwaffle, I want to scream at them 'I'm a college-educated woman, you a-hole!! We decided to have a baby and we decided I would stay home!!'

Even if none of those things were true, most Army wives have endured a deployment at one time, many are mamas. They deserve respect for maintaining...life without help, not to mention for not becoming certifiable.

When I got my hair done last week, one of my favorite people, Cristal, and I were talking about how people view "us" and our situation. She brought up the good point that people who treat you that way are usually because they come from one of two schools of thought: A) They assume you've been through deployment before. Get over it, and get used to it. B) You chose this life. There was no draft. You can't "complain" because you weren't forced into this life.

I, sincerely, hope those bullets are wrong. I hope it's just because those few people that light your fire are just a bunch of losers who think they're better than everyone. But, I'll address them, just for s&g's.

A) Deployment NEVER gets easier, it gets different. This deployment certainly isn't easier, but Jake keeps me going so often that I don't have time to sit there and be sad. However, this parenting thing rests upon my shoulders right now, and I don't get a break. I don't get many seconds to cry ALONE while missing my hubby. Of course, it's not terrible. Of course, we'll manage. But, to those who think this is easy: SUCK.IT.

B) Because people like my husband, like us, and thousands of other families, there isn't a draft, you kabob. My husband is honorably serving his country, and you're going to take from that by saying 'well, he doesn't have to'?? Well, you don't have to be an a-hole, either, but you're stellar at it.
Also? Don't ever complain about your job. You chose it. No one forced you into it.

Ohh, man, after that phone call, I was hot. Like, hot. I felt like the Incredible Hulk. Or, like I should get a drink ( I can now!!! haha). Doesn't maintaining some sort of class suck sometimes?! Don't you just want to scream obscenities? Unfortch, I couldn't. They did pass through the ol' cabeza like the stocks at the bottom of the CNN screen, but I couldn't. I ended up talking to someone else, who was da bomb. He understood exactly where I was coming from, rectified the situation and apologized that someone would say the things the douche said to me. I so appreciated that.

What are you pet peeves? How do you handle them? I know I'd L-O-V-E to go on a run right now, but there's a tornado warning not far from here, so maybe not...

So, I write, instead. It makes me feel soo much better! But, guys, I just hate it.

I should have saved this for this type of post.

BWS tips button

OK, peeps, have a great Tuesday! Don't let "them" get you down!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aren't they presh?!

This post is, definitely, not of any great importance. I suppose I'm taking a day off from tickling your literary fancy, and imparting all kinds of knowledge--that's how I roll, to show you how effing cute the carving of our little pumpkin family turned out!!

Before:

After!!:A goofy/redneck one for me, scary one for Gary, and a cute little ghost for J! Well, it's a stumpy ghost. Unfortunate things happen when you're carving your 3rd pumpkin at 11pm, but look how awesome I was on the arm that does exist...I got the fingers and everything!

You guys, my creative juices are FLOWING as of late. Remember the Tweety I did for J when I was still growing him? Well, I'm onto another big project for him! Got the large posterboard at Hobby Lobby yesterday, along with my pastels, so I'm going to be artin' it up around here!

I think the upcoming holidays have gone to my head!

Are you guys in the mood??

For the holidays!

Pervs.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Aren't you impressed?"

To put myself through my first couple years of college, I worked at this hole-in-the-wall hardware store. It's the kind of place where you're on the first name basis with 90% of the customers.

It was a really great place to work, a very homey feel, but we did get the occasional freak of nature. The old men that wanted to take you home, or those that wanted to tell you every single detail of their lives, or, my personal favorite, the high schoolers that would head over to the plumbing department to pick up the ever-important Friday night beer bong parts. It was always an adventure.

One day, this couple came up to my register. The counter was low enough where the woman was able to comfortably put her purse on the counter where all their items were.They were probably in their late twenties. About halfway through their purchase, the woman looks at me and says "Aren't you impressed?" I looked up at the husband for some sort of hint as to what the hell she was talking about. He just stared at me, blankly, with a touch of embarrassment.

She says "My purse. It's Dooney and Burke". I was in complete, and total, awe that someone would actually look another person in the eye and utter words like 'aren't you impressed?'. After, what I'm sure was, a 5 minute pause on my part I shrugged my shoulders and said, as politely as possible, "It's just a purse to me"

Have you come across people like this? How do you react? I always feel like it takes me forever to respond because I'm so blown away such a question was posed in the first place!

She wasn't very happy with my answer, and was even more unhappy when her husband followed my response with "Yeah, that's what I say"

To be clear, I want one brand name piece. For my whole life, I want one piece that I will use until the last thread comes loose; a Louis Vuitton purse. Ooh, how I love them. I'm a big-purse-girl, too, so this could be a top contender.

But,

I'd never, in my whole life, go up to a perfect stranger and ask if they're impressed with me! If that woman had approached me with excitement over her new purchase, as opposed to expecting me to gravel at her feet, I would have jumped on board. In addition, it would still be just a purse. Nothing I'd need to make me truly happy, or that would stop the sun from rising the next day.

I guess that's something that I'll have to put on my list to teach our kids: Just say no to douchery...and materialism.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I believe...

...that few things feel better than a fresh pair of contacts.

...in decorating for the holidays.

...in not having to wear make-up to feel beautiful.


...that they need to stop messing with the theme song to One Tree Hill.

...that cruise control is the best invention. Ever.

...in yoga.

...that disciplining your kids (in public) needs to carry more weight than the embarrassment of having to do so.

...in a good heart-to-heart.

...that Starbucks is ridiculously overpriced, and sometimes a necessity.

...that sometimes a pizza-and-movie solo date night for us Army wives can really lift your spirits.

...that baking is good for the soul.



...that In-n-Out is an institution.

...that if all other stores except Trader Joe's, Old Navy, and TJ Maxx dropped off the face of the planet I'd survive.

...in punctuation.

...in slumber parties.

...that this will always be one of my favorite photos.


...that whether or not I end up entering the workforce, my psychology degree is used every single day.

...that tornadoes are still way worse than earthquakes.

What do you believe in?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baby Fever.

Before I can type one word actually pertaining to the title, I have to say this:

Apparently, the next-door neighbor dog has to go outside every 15 minutes and, literally (LITERALLY) barks the entire time it's outside. Incessant barking. That annoying little dog bark. I woke up this morning because of that damn dog. I'm getting a little stabby. I have visions of punting him over a bridge, Anchorman style.

Phew...

I feel better. Thanks, dolls!

OK, so this baby fever thing. I don't got it. Not even an ounce of it.

I mean, don't get me wrong; I am so excited for my friends who are pregnant/just poppin' 'em out. Love it! I love seeing those freshly baked babes out at Target (all the while feeling terrible for the mama who freshly-birthed that has to run out and get paper towels)! I would even love to rock a newbie.

But, ya know what I'd love even more? Handing said bebeh back to its mama. Oh, man, this probably makes me sound so mean (especially since it coincides with my announcement of wanting to dropkick dogs....)! I really do love kids! But, as Jake's turning more into a teeny boy, than he looks like a little baby, I don't miss it. I like seeing him plot his course of how he'll get from A to B, considering what furniture will work best. I like that he feeds himself. I like that he has favorite country songs that I sing to him, and stays quiet and just stares at me when I sing them. I guess I'm more excited about watching Jake mature than I am about changing the occupancy status of the uterus.

But, here's my quandry...

I love being pregnant. Finding out I was pregnant was one of thee most exciting things ever. I remember how beautiful it was to drive to school the next morning knowing there was the beginnings of life right there inside of me. Such a calming, peaceful, beautiful feeling that made me wildly excited!

Part B of the quandry: If Gary were to be back early enough, I think it'd be wicked awesome to pop a kid out on 11/11/11. I mean, wouldn't it?! (yep...these are the kinds of things I think about). But, deployment acts as birth control, so it ain't happenin'.

Which brings us back to the present.

I'm pretty OK with it not happening. When Gary was here on leave, we talked about how great it was that Jake can walk around, and play, and watch TV without needing us at every second. We could sit there and have a conversation, leave the room, shower without it having to be a big, orchestrated dance.

Maybe I feel this way because our plan wasn't to get pregnant until Jake's 2 or 3, anyway? Maybe because Gary's away and the thought of being pregnant without him here not only terrifies me to my core, but saddens me? I'm not really sure. Like I mentioned before, saying I don't even have an ounce of baby fever probably makes me sound like a hater, but it's the opposite; I want to enjoy Jake. I want to watch this new phase of discovery he's going through. I want to soak it up. Plus, come Friday, I am done breastfeeding. I want my body to be mine for a bit. Whitney told me I'm not allowed to feel bad saying that. She gets it, thank goodness!

I guess I just kind of want to "be" for a little while. Do you mamas feel that way? Or, did you?

I get tickled pink at the idea of Jake walking with me to his highchair for a meal, rather than being carried. Or, how when that first word pops out of his mouth, I know I'll shed a tear. Ok, here's what it is, which might better get my point across: I want to be completely present in this moment; these moments we're having where Jake's intelligence is astounding me on the daily. Being pregnant would excite me. Wondering if the new babe is a boy or a girl would excite me. The idea of Jake being an older brother would excite me. I'd just like my thoughts to be able to stay with him. He deserves it, after all.

Of course, tomorrow morning I'll probably wake up because my uterus is glowing so brightly it's bordering on radioactive, but, for now, we're OK with being a one-child family. But, aww!! Adding to the family one day does make me all gooey inside.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jake's first pumpkin patch

Last year, at Halloween, I had a 4 week old, and a hubby gone at training. I was trying to figure out breastfeeding and our new little tater tot. Needless to say, I wasn't really in a position to spend time frolicking in fields of pumpkins.

Yesterday, we hit our first pumpkin patch, though! We were headed to Trader Joe's, and I saw a sign for one. Must have been fate.

I have got to take a momentary sidebar to detail my love for Trader Joe's. The people there are so friendly! They ask what I'm doing with different veggies, they talk with Jake, yesterday I was even told how awesome I am for making his baby food. I wanted to joke and say "Well, clearly", but I just took the compliment instead :-)



All the stuff I get there is for Jake. I want him to eat organically whenever possible, but it does get expensive. So, *I* get whatever comes with a coupon, and Jake gets....Well, here's what we picked up:


*organic yogurt

*organic grape juice

*organic butter

*artichoke parmesan dip

*organic chicken

*organic sirloin roast

*organic blueberry preserves

*sushi for me! :::nom nom nom:::
*organic 'nanas
*apple cider
*organic crackers*avocados


I think that's all of it, but that little one eats well! But, it feel so good to do that for him. So grateful we're able to. Thanks hubster!! <3

Anywho, the pumpkin patch...
We pulled up and Jake was immediately in love. It was in the later afternoon, so the sun was shining through the trees, and all that good stuff, so the ambiance really tickled Jake's fancy.





I've really loved getting into the holidays. We do love Halloween, but it's all about the decorating, knowing that Jake is really starting to appreciate what d├ęcor is up around the house and that if Gary were here I'd be doing the same thing. It's the smallest things in the search for normalcy. Feels like I'm doing them both a service, which is all I want!
Happy (early) Halloween!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mama Guilt

When Jake is driving me up the wall, I always end up feeling so bad when I just want to get away from him. I even feel bad saying that. But, isn't it true? Don't we mamas feel that way from time to time? I hope so, otherwise I seem like a giant douche.

(and, fyi, I usually do get away for a sec. He watches Looney Tunes, I go curl up in bed. Man, sometimes all I need is 10 minutes to cry, or stare at the wall....)

It's so hard because I love that kid more than I can ever say. I love having him around, I love his Popeye smile, I love how proud he makes me.

Other times? I am sure he's Stewie, who popped out the ute' with a map for world domination. Totes.

During those times where I just can't seem to please him (thank God they don't happen often), I'm sure that other mothers do it better. I'm sure they don't get as frustrated; that they have some magical patience gene that I'm missing. I mean, sometimes it gets really frustrating. And, I just want some sort of help.

I think about my friends. Surely, ___ handles these types of situations with grace. Or, ___ gets through this, understanding that her kid is just being a kid. Which I, too, get, but sometimes it's like, UGH

You guys ever feel like this?

But, something really helped me. I was with a friend of mine, and her daughter. Her daughter was starting to be a pill, and she was frustrated. I thought "Hallelujah! I'm not the only one!" Of course, I didn't want her to feel frustrated, but it was such sweet relief to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. She had been one of the moms I thought about who must never get frustrated the way I do sometimes. It took a major load off my psyche to see that I'm not a bad mama.

Then, Jake plays the mind games with me. He's a clever little lad. He'll be workin' me from every angle, just dancin' an Irish jig on my last nerve, and I'm shouting curse words in my head. Then? Total 180. He smiles my way and two things happen. 1) I am beyond words how grateful I am that my sweet little boy is still in there. 2) I want to cry for the emotional bitchslap I just received.

Even now, I feel so bad typing this stuff. Like it somehow lessens how much love I have for that kid. Or, like someone's going to prove me right and be all "I'm June Cleaver. My kids never get to me, and I am never frustrated. I wear an apron, and dinner's always served at 6, and you suck"

I think it's the camaraderie we need as mamas sometimes. We get so tangled up in everything we do all day long that we forget that someone else is doing the exact same thing, and/or feeling the exact same way. But, we're all tangled up in the blinds, so we don't always get a chance to hear someone's reassurances.

Why hello there, Catch-22.

If Jake was still going through his my-daddy-just-left-and-I-hate-everything phase, this post would be easier to publish, but he's not. He's resumed his normally scheduled programming of being the sweet kid with the hilarious sense of humor. NOT that I'm complaining! So, it is more difficult to publish. Those ugly times are not the norm, so thinking about them in times of peace makes me feel just as bad as those times I got frustrated with him...

Oh, mamas....you go through this, too, right?!


OK, even if you can't comment here, take to Facebook, like y'all been doing, because I'm really interested in what you guys think.....I was going to switch from blogspot to another hosting site, in hopes of getting all my comments, instead of just letting some slip through. From what I understand, sometimes it won't let you comment at all, rather than letting you *think* I got the comment! Lame. So, should I switch? I mean, I know y'all are still tuning in (which I appreciate so much! :::KISSES:::), but I could just focus on changing the layout of the blog, which you guys would see, as opposed to changing the host, which wouldn't effect you guys. I know this isn't a huge issue, but I'm curious what peeps think. Thanks!

Have a fab' Saturday!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations are in order!

Big, fat CONGRATULATIONS are in order for sweet lil' Whitney!!!

Remember how Whitney had to deal with some crappy people for a sec'? Well, things are definitely looking up!!

Whitney has an adorable little blonde-haired daughter. Unfortunately, she was told one year ago that she'd couldn't have any more children.

Well....


EFF OFF, STATISTICS AND ANATOMY....Whitney's pregnant!!! Isn't that amazing?!

I couldn't imagine ever hearing the words "You can't have any more children". It made me realize that so many more people deal with infertility, in one form or another, than I thought.

So to Whitney, hubby, her little girl, and her little player to be named later...CONGRATULATIONS! This little babe is a miracle and I can't wait until s/he makes their debut!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I believe....

...that, as much of California girl as I am, Fall in the South is the most beautiful time of year.

...that deployment has taught me more about my own strength and perseverance than I could have learned otherwise.

...that there's always that one pair of jeans that is your absolute favorite.

...in prayer.

...that singing loudly and for absolutely no reason is essential to complete happiness.

...in therapy sessions, with your hairdresser.

...that notes written on the steam of the bathroom mirror can make your whole day.

...in good friendships.

...that some things are forever.

...that sex appeal has nothing to do with the amount of cleavage you have, or how short your skirt is.

...in chivalry.

...that a good run can cure just about any negative feeling.

...in country music.

...that being pregnant was one of the most amazing things I'll ever experience.

...in having younger brothers that look at you like their little sister







What do you believe in?
(You should think about it, even if your comment doesn't get through....)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Reminders

Gary called.

:::sa-woon:::

It was such a surprise because it seems like the only time the house phone rings is when it's a telemarketer calling the "wrong number". Hearing his voice made me melt into the couch.

We talked about PFC Hess, the soldier we lost so recently.

I told Gary that I remember him saying his name a couple times, but couldn't place him. Turns out, Hess had been in our house. I'd spoken with him. He was such a nice guy.

He came over because he was about to move into a house near ours, and just wanted to get a rough idea of what the layout was like. He was completely polite, very friendly, and loved Jake. He was a good guy.

It strikes a different chord when you realize that the individual you were mourning was, in fact, a person with which you had had a pleasant conversation. Right now, I'm starting to feel bad that I hadn't realized just who he was, but I can't undermine the fact that it was an honest mistake.

Gary told me what he knew of this man's last week. I don't think it's appropriate to share the information, with posterity and respect in mind, but it will serve a purpose here. It will reignite our beliefs that life is a gift.

Gary and I have always been really good about that. We've been pretty solid at living in the moment, and telling one another exactly how we feel, because we never know if that last time was thee last time. Well, it's important to say how you feel just for the sake of saying how you feel for that person. That's reason enough. And, we like to live by that.

It's important to know that gratitude is exactly what we should be feeling each time our soldiers step back onto U.S. soil. It's important to use deployment as a chance to realize, or remind us, that putting things in perspective is essential.

So, I'm going to live, and grow, from this. I'm going to be more grateful than I ever have been (and, I'd like to think that's saying a lot) that I got to hear my husband's sweet voice. That, maybe, we were reminded just how important it is to stay safe, both here and overseas. That spending hundreds of dollars on phone cards is not only NOT a waste of money, but gives us that warm-gooey feeling that'll help us sleep better at night. That my husband is a gift that I will never take for granted.

So, ladies (and gents, I supposed :-) ), let's be grateful our loved ones are still here. Let's mourn the loss of our unit's soldiers, may they rest in peace, and then head to the post office to send a surprise package to our husbands in the sandbox. Let's lift their spirits.

Let's live. Let's love.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Fallen.

Writing a post like this makes me sick to my stomach.

When a deployed soldier passes away, the families of the unit he's/she's in are notified with a phone call. They can't always say the soldier's name; it's all dependent upon the DoD (Department of Defense) releasing the information and if the soldier's family has gotten their official notification.

But, and I don't mean at all to suggest those that get the phone call experience anything in the same vicinity as the pain those that get the visit from two uniformed soldiers do, the Army wives getting that phone call don't always need to know a name.

Our hearts immediately jump up into our throats. Our stomach turns. Our breathing takes the slightest of pauses.

I thought "Oh, God, what if it's Roberston, or Wilkinson?" [2 of Gary's good buddies, who I'm used to hearing referred to by their last names.

Last night, after we got the call, I talked to a wife of a soldier in Gary's unit. We said how our hearts were breaking for that poor wife. That poor wife was going about her business, and got a knock at her door. I almost couldn't type that last sentence. That thought brings tears to my eyes. A knock that would change her life.

We said how it made us worry about our soldiers just a little bit more. We didn't want to come off as selfish, but all we could do was be eternally grateful for the fact that we got a phone call, and not a visit.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. I went to bed late and got up around 6:30. Just woke up. Sleep is never an issue in this house, we eat it up, but the information I got late last night is sitting so heavily with me. Maybe it's because I'm not sure if the first soldier we lost had a wife or not, and this most recent soldier did? I mean, the best way I know how to relate is through that title (but, of course, I prayed for the family and friends of the previous soldier) . Maybe it's because Gary just left from leave I couldn't be more grateful that he was able to be here in the first place? Maybe it's because this is two deaths too many?

Whatever the reason, I'm up, while Jake sleeps, praying over and over my soldier can come home as safely as I sent him; that no other family get their world turned upside down.

Last night, I wondered what "civilians" feel when they hear about a death overseas? Does it carry the same magnitude it does for us? Even for me, someone who's very close to it, it still feels a bit surreal. Like, my heart aches for the surviving family, and it terrifies me that such horrible things are possible, but there's still that aspect that I just can't fathom. How dramatic it is to have those knocks at your door. It's like a movie. Something that simply can't be real because of how much pain it'll bring.

During Gary's second deployment, a soldier, who had been stop-lossed by about a year, was killed. He didn't have a wife, or kids, but a mom that is an inspiration. Once all the notifications had been made, her address was given to us. I, immediately, ran out and got her a card. I wrote how I was so very sorry for her loss, how Gary knew him, how I couldn't imagine her pain. But, I also wrote that I felt ridiculous sending her a card. How I wanted, so badly, to express to her my deepest condolences, but that I knew words would never fix what she was going through. That my sympathy would never be adequate. But, I hope she knew that she, and her family, was in my prayers.

This marvel of a woman sends a card back to me. She says how my words did matter. How they helped to ease her pain. How I'm an inspiration for standing behind my soldier. But, also that it's important for Gary to come home safely so that her son's death wasn't in vain. She even thanked Gary for serving & said she'd be adding his name to her prayers. Through all her pain, and I was told the story of how her in-person notification went--it was as hard as you'd expect, she handled it with such grace. Such a classy woman.

I pray the wife of our most recent fallen soldier can find even the smallest bit of strength to get through this time. I still can't even grasp how horrible it is for her. And, if I get her information, I'll be sending a card. If I've learned anything, it's that even though you may never completely understand what a person in her position is feeling, we're all in this together. It's a ripple effect.

I pray that no other soldier is taken before he gets to see his family again. They deserve that much.

Monday, October 11, 2010

12 month check-up, & I'm no longer dying

Well, this post is going to be chock-full of information for ya!

Let's start with me, to save the best for last. I still have no clue what it was that found its way into me to create all kinds of destruction, but it seems to be over. Although I am a little nauseated right now, The Bone and I did just have a Starbucks date with each other and I never go there, so that's probably it. It took a few days of praying for sweet relief, but it finally came. And, I was privileged enough to be able to trade-up from sleeping on the floor to the ol' queen-sized. Here's me thanking Jesus, once again.

Perhaps I should dedicate a post to this, but for a good minute there I had no clue how I was going to swing it. I mean, almost our entire family is in California. Most of my friends have kids. Jake is not completely weaned. I had no help and I had no idea what I was going to do. I mean, I'd sit there and cry while trying to feed Jake his dinner. I was sure I wasn't going to make it through the meal, then who would wash the boy? Put him to bed? Get crap done around the house? As much as I want to make Gary proud, that's how close to death I felt. I was barely able to carry myself, yet Jake's 20lb tush. It was a lonely few days, especially since he started reacting to Gary being gone with ALL-DAY SCREAMING. But, we totally made it. And, I'm going to have a shirt made, with my face on it, that says "I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR", or "Suit Up!". Whichev. We really like that show.

OK, onto Jake. His stats:

height: 28in (would have sworn on everything that the nurse told me he was 28in at 6 months. But, I guess that would have made him the Yao Ming of babies)

weight: 20lbs

dome circumference: 19in

He hasn't hit his growth spurt yet, but the nurse practitioner (whom we L-O-V-E) is almost giddy with his development. Yes, we'd all like to see him a bit bigger (although he is growing along *his* curve just perfectly), it'll come in time, but his interactions, his physical movement....she's in love with all of it!

And, I guess there's a silver lining to Jake not having hit his growth spurt yet; he's getting serious mileage out of his clothes. If it weren't for his cloth diapers giving this baby some back, he'd still be able to wear 6-9 months.

But, the weight thing. I don't get it! So, yes, everything is going just perfectly for him, which is great. But, what I want to know is how he doesn't weigh so much more. Not because I'm worried, but because I feed the kid nonstop! It seems like all we do is have meals around here. And, he doesn't eat small amounts. A sample breakfast:

*pureed pineapple
*cheerios, dry
*oatmeal
*eggs
*juice

I guess we are that active and just haven't realized it! I thought, for sure, he'd weigh more. But, if it's good for him, it's good for us!

And, he really is growing up! He walks by himself, using furniture around the living room, shares his food and sippy cups, can be laid down awake & drift off to sleep on his own, is standing more and more on his own, has about 3 teeth ready to come through, loves Spongebob, LOVES to dance, is so friendly with everyone he meets (except certain people, which speaks volumes to us about them...) ....

I had about 12 things ready for this list, but I'm having trouble remembering them! But, while Gary was here, as always, he wanted to make sure anything gets done that I'd need help with, so Jake's crib mattress is lowered, AND he's in his big boy seat. He's no longer a wee bebeh.

Oh yah, Jake has started cow's milk! I knew I had to start it after he turned a year, but didn't have a plan how I'd go about it. So, I used it in his oatmeal in the morning, then gave him a sippy cup-full at dinner. He loves it! He had his 2nd cup tonight with dinner and just loves it. He's a pro!

I'm sure I'll remember everything I wanted to say about him after this is published,but, for now, a little blonde lad is looking to cuddle with his mama.

Gretchen Wilson is wrong.

Jake is just about weaned.

And, I am not hating it.

OK, well....there's part of me that's missing it. It's such a surefire thing, ya know? I never had to think about laying him down for a nap, he'd fall asleep on me. Never had to worry about having clean bottles, or if I was feeding him enough. It's a packaged deal. But, way more important than any of that stuff, they were sweet little moments we shared together. As much as we plan on instilling a very, very strong sense of autonomy in him, there was a sliver of me that liked he could only get what he needed from me (of course, there were days where I wished I could hand him, and my boobs, over to the nearest passerby and head to the mall). I loved feeling that important to him. I loved the way he looked up at me as he nursed. I loved the first time he really saw the Christmas tree in all its lit-up glory while he nursed; that expression was priceless. I loved how when he nurses on the left side before bed, his left hand holds up either number 1, with his index finger, or the number 4.

Well, baby boy is growin' on up. It's a strange feeling to be able to wear whatever I want, knowing I won't have to get half-nakey in the backseat of the Journey to nurse him. It's also different to be able to leave whenever we want instead of on breastfeeding's timetable.

Freedom!

And, as much as I hope, and pray, for it, I know my boobies are going to change. Hopefully not completely back, but they'll change. Well, nearing the end of my breastfeeding days happened to coincide with my bra strap, pretty much, slipping down my back. I had tolerated the loose bra as long as I could.

I told Gary I didn't want to go buy an expensive one, since I was sure I wouldn't be in it long, but Walmart wasn't gonna do it. I tried to get a cheaper one at the mall. I swear, I really did. But, getting that Victoria's Secret bra felt like having my tatas lovingly cupped by rainbows. I had met my boulder-holder match.

In summation, don't listen to Gretchen Wilson. It's not the same. Not all bras are created equal, no matter how long you'll be in them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Last night did not go well.

I thought for sure it'd be a bit emotional going to bed alone, but, as the situation happened, I barely got any sleep at all.

Toward the later evening, I started feeling very nauseous. I didn't want to eat anything, but knew my stomach might need to be settled. So, I ate something.

Next thing I knew, my stomach was in knots. Like, giant knots. The kind that have you sure you're dying from the inside out. And, to be clear, I can handle pain. This was not so cool.

Thank God things didn't get kicked up a notch until Jake was in bed. (Really not trying to sound dramatic here...) But, as I writhed in pain on the couch, I felt like something was going to come up so I run to the kitchen and just kind of lean on the edge of the counter. But, since I feel too weak to continue standing, I pull the loaf of bread out of the 'fridge, and lay in the fetal position on the floor next to the trash can. That's the only position that didn't make me stomach feel like exploding.

I always cry when I throw up. I have no idea why. I don't think it's because I hate throwing up that much, because who likes it? Anyway, I started throwing up, and I was soo happy. It relieved a lot of pressure on my belly.

Vom, or no vom, I still felt like shit.

I text Cristal, around midnight, asking if she'd come over in the morning if I needed her to. That took a lot for me to do. She has 3 kids, and a husband who's about to deploy. It's the last thing I'd want to disrupt their schedule. She said "of course", and I went back to laying on the floor, praying that this doesn't spill into today.

So, after exorcist-expelling anything that came close to my system, I felt decent enough that maybe sleep would help.

I was wrong.

At 2 this morning, I had to run into the bathroom. Did my business. Slept on the floor a little. Good times.

I was about due, though, right? I mean, I haven't been sick since Jake was born. Scratch that. I haven't been sick since before we conceived Jake. (on a side note, I'd give my left arm for a diet sprite to show up on my doorstep). Guess it was time to find out that mamahood doesn't have sick days.

I really want to throw a pity party. Like, really. I want to cry about how I have laundry to do, a kid to pay attention to, that I have to clean up my own vom (because throwing up is never a clean process), that it still smelled gross in the kitchen this morning. But, it's really not my style. Even though thinking like that would probably score me some getting babied time, I just have to buck up.

Such is life. And, I want nothing more than to make hubby proud that I'm a warrior. Aren't we, ladies? I'm choosing to look at the aforementioned list as a challenge, something that needs to be conquered.

I want to ask your tips for serious stomach upset, but blogger is a douche, so I'll get, like, 1 out of 4 comments. But, anyway, I'm sipping on a diet coke right now (which reminds me, given my present state, I should enter a burping contest), have a glass of water nearby, the loaf of bread is being eaten teeny, tiny morsels at a tiime. That's about all I can do right?

Thank you, Jesus, that Jake is almost weaned. I was worried that during his morning feeding, I'd have to gather my projectile abilities so as to not catch Jake in a crossfire.

Jake and I were supposed to go out today. Should we? Ya know how, sometimes, you really just need to get up and do normal stuff to feel well again? Well, we were supposed to do a spot of shopping today, perhaps we should still? My stomach is knotting a bit, not nearly as bad as last night....

I don't know...

I'd really hate to blow chunks in public.

OK, let's go ahead and address it. Although, I'm not 100% sure I'm not pregnant, Jake's tummy is being funky, too. He's exploding from the ass. So, either we ate something that hates us, or the boy is really in tune with his mama---which is not a stretch.



Oh yah, I forgot to mention. When Gary was here we saw The Social Network. It made me want to cancel my Facebook account.


Also, I know I've used a bit of "language" in the past few posts. Sorry about that. Just felt good to say, ya know? I guess the only way I could get back at deployment was to drop an eff bomb. But, I'm a little wishing I hadn't...

Wait, WHATEVER. I'm sick and can drop them if I want, right?! Crap...I still don't like to.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Two Weeks

Thinking back on the two weeks we just shared, as a little threesome, I can't help but to smile. It's been a rough day of trying to readjust to not having my awesome hubby with me, but am managing. And, we certainly made some memories to help with that.

Gary left when Jake was 8.5 months old. It was a complete and total blessing that not only did my husband get to be here for the entire pregnancy (& only missed one prenatal appointment!), but almost the full first year of Jake's life. As much as it sucks for him to be gone right now, having so much time together in this line of work is nothing short of a blessing.

The day before Gary got in, he had emailed me the information from his flight itinerary. He was due in at 3:30 pm. I almost wet myself how grateful I was that it was a decent hour, that it would follow Jake's normal nap time (so I could get ready while he slept), and I had plenty of notice. Well, he called the next morning saying he could get an earlier flight, at 12:30. OK, no prob. Especially when he told me he could have gotten an earlier flight, coming in at 9:30am, which was an hour from then! That would not have been preferred...especially since I'm sure y'all remember I needed to spend some time with a razor. Thankfully, my biggest issue while getting ready that morning was whether or not to curl my hair.

So, boobies look good? Check (if I can get the lovely lady humps to keep some size, post-breastfeeding, I'll be a very VERY happy mama)
Shoe situation resolved? Check

Adorable little tot ready to pick up his daddy? Check

Our reunion was just amazing. There's nothing I love more than seeing my soldier walk toward me.

These two, my men, fell right into each other. It was like two pieces of a puzzle.

::swoon::

But, what's even more amazing are all the things we can catalog together. Gary was here for all Jake's first holidays (minus Halloween, which we are still not happy about), to include Christmas!, so he had to be here for his first birthday. Otherwise, we would have never ever EVER taken leave so early, but had to be done. And, I wouldn't have had it any other way
Family birthday pic! (Jake just can't keep his eyes off his daddy)


We got to discover that Jake has a third tooth, with 2 more just under the surface! I knew the kid was teething, judging by the insane amount of drool constantly dripping from him, but didn't know teeth are actually doin' work!

Gary got to see him eat whole foods, such as grilled cheese sammiches and ravioli, watch as he used various furniture to walk himself around the living room, and, one of my favorites....was there for his first haircut!

The combover was getting super long. We wouldn't have cut his hair so early if it wouldn't have needed to be done before Gary got back!
My friend/hairdresser, Cristal, cut his hair. You didn't even know there were scissors near him. Either it's a testament to how much he loves her (he so does), or his badassness is confirmed

Aside from seeing Jake develop even more, it was great to just be. To go out and shop, and eat, and sightsee. We definitely developed a love affair with Nashville; between Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Parthenon....what else could we need?
Word to the wise, if you live in the area and have not been to The Parthenon it is amazing. Really. Jake enjoyed the crap out of it. Of course, he'll find a way to enjoy just about anything, but still. Go.

It was so, so fun to be all together. We laughed CONSTANTLY. We loved life. It was a happy time in this house.

What made me love this man even more is that I think I changed about 3 diapers in 2 weeks. He gave all the baths. He picked him up after naps. Not that it's unheard of, in the slightest, for him to do those things, but it made my heart swell to see my big man, and my little man, so engaged with one another. Knowing, and feeling, how much Gary loves us, and how much he wanted to be here, is going to keep me warm tonight. Ashley, you were right. Seeing your husband with your baby will make you fall in love with him that much more. I so did.

Then, at night, when Jake was in bed, we got to watch movies, and develop a serious love for How I Met Your Mother...SUIT UP!..., but it was just great to look at him. I mean, I'd done it all day, but just seeing him sitting there, rubbing my calves, talking with me, telling me how proud he was of me about all the 5k's I have coming up, talking about going out on the morning workout, planning what events the next day would hold....it was all bliss. This man, he completely, 110% does it for me. I'd eat him with a spoon.

I wish I could recount every detail, but some things are better when they're kept for just us. I snuggle those memories close to me, treasure them, and that's how I'll get through these next 9 months.

This blows.

I hate the first day.

I hate everything about it.

I hate that his post-shower smell still lingers in the bathroom. I hate that I won't be waking up to him each morning for so many months. I hate that sitting here, while Jake naps, it feels like the quiet is closing in. But, most of all, I hate not seeing his handsome face and feeling his warm touch every single day.

As much as I don't want to acknowledge it right now, I have to throw it up to the Big Man upstairs for giving me a man that makes my heart ache when he's gone; that I, simply put, cannot get enough of.

I'm wrapped up so tightly in this wonderful man I get to call my husband you'd swear we were a Twizzler. So, when he leaves? The adjustment can be pretty rough.

I hate that now Jake and I are back to being a Dynamic Duo. He's such a sweet little boy and is being extra affectionate while seeing his mama cry, but it's so hard to see all his new accomplishments, and turn to share the excitement with your hubby....and he's not there.

We set our alarm this morning for about an hour and a half before Jake would get up, so that we could square away last minute packing and have a moment to ourselves to try and grasp the suckfest that would be this day. We sat on the couch, I cried, and he hugged me so tightly I felt I would be absorbed into his body. We reminded one another that leave has to end so that the deployment as a whole can end.

I tried, with all my might, to have a reasonable amount of control over how many tears would flow from me so that it wouldn't be harder on him. That's the last thing I'd want. I know it crushes him to see me cry. Shit, it borderline eats a piece of my soul to see him get choked up. My 6'3" 200+lbs of man is my hero, with a weakness for his family. It doesn't get more sexy than that.

The drop-off at the airport went as well as could be expected. We, obviously, weren't trying to become theatrical with our hugs, but when a couple, with tears in their eyes, is hugging the shit out of each other, one in uniform...it tends to warrant a glance or two.

Leaving the airport, I felt like I was crying out the whites of my eyes. The first day is such bullshit. Anyway, so we're headed down the 24 and satellite radio is trying to kill me. I had been able to have Gary listen to songs that always remind me of him (as if anything doesn't); Lee Brice's "Love like crazy" and Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" (not a country music fan? Become one. Then youtube those songs. They won't disappoint). He loved them. We got a tiny bit choked up, but were ok...we had a ton of leave left. Well, I heard "Mama's Song" on the way home and almost had to turn it off. But, I knew it was good for me to cry. Why be strong on the first day? I have to let the abundance of tears leave me sometime. Those songs, though, ugh....they describe everything I feel for him.

I hate that I won't be able to spy on Gary giving Jake his baths~I haven't given a bath for 2 weeks. I hate that I won't feel his hand holding mine on top of my thigh as we drive. I hate that we can't randomly start wrestling. I hate that we can't have pillow talk. I hate that we won't be emptying the dishwasher together for such a long time. I hate that I won't see his adorable bedhead every morning.

I know I have to make it. I have an amazing little boy that needs his mama to gather her shit. So, I have blankets to make for my two favorite boys, pictures to scrapbook, 5k's to run (Freud would say I'm running from deployment. But, Freud's a dipshit)(also? I have 3-4 5k's coming up. So, that's how awesome I am), parties to attend, holidays that need decorating, a blog that need restructuring (so I can get ALL comments instead of some. Oh, and because of today, eff off blogger)....all these plans will fill up our days, it's just hard to do the re-imagining I need to right now to accept the fact that I'll be doing these things without my other half. Well, I'll rephrase: I'll be doing those things without my other half's boots being on U.S. soil. I'm never without him. And, that's a beautiful thing.

OK, I just have to say it:

Fuck off, deployment.

Also, I'll be winning, deployment. Not you. I heard that song "If you're goin' through hell, keep on goin'..." on the way home from the airport, and thought Yes, this is my anthem. Then, I realized it's not. It's not even close to being what describes my life. You are something that simply reminds me that I have a man that loves and adores me from thousands of miles away and a son who can lift the fog of any sadness.

That was a much needed digression.

So, today I'm sure I'll be living within the box of tissues we bought yesterday, and trying to blog about the amazing time we had together. And, trying to upload all our pics (at least 200...holy hell). And, start making hubster his blanket. And, praying to sweet Baby Jesus that I am as strong as I need to be, and that my hubby knows the exponential amount of love and pride I feel for him.

And, as always, staring at the phone.