Monday, March 28, 2011

18 months

The boy is hitting his growth spurt!!

Those mama instincts are badass; I knew his height spurt wasn't far behind his weight spurt!

Of course, they had to torture my sweet little guy with THREE immunizations which, if you ask him, are worse than nails on a chalkboard. I hate hearing him cry! But, at least we can direct all our hatred toward the nurse that administers the shots. Ya know, a good tag-team.

He has a bit of a rash that popped up on his back so, as we went down to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for is, he reclined in the jogger and snacked on fishies. This kid is resilient. Like whoa. Immunizations take a lot out of a person!

Anywho, I'm sure you remember how Jake has always looked like he'd weighed more because he was short. But, the nurse practitioner, who happens to be bomb dot com, was sooo excited about him! She said he cognitive/physical growth is just perfect! So, he skyrocketed out of the 35% of his 1 year check up to the 89th percentile!!!

Weight: 30.12 lbs---> 95%
Length: 33 in---> 75%
Head circumference: 50.5 cm---->95%

Go J-Bone!

What's even better is that, in comparison to when he was weighed/measured at 17 months, he grew THREE inches in ONE month!!! I'm so proud of him!!

He's been saying 'mama' more lately which does NOT disappoint me! It was his second word, following 'dada', months and months ago, but he'd use it very, very little. Now, I'm always mama!

:::running man:::

He knows a bunch of words, as in he follows instruction well, but isn't speaking too much. But, it's a real trip when he stares at my mouth when we read together before bed. He listens very intently and watches the way my mouth moves. He's really studying me! Oy...he just rocks my socks!

I have overwhelming excitement at the thought of Gary watching Jake, once he gets back. He's going to be blown away that his little baby is now a big boy! I can't wait!

Speaking of, today was day one of keep-uber-busy-to-make-time-pass-more-quickly. We went to a pharmacy to pick up my birth control. We waited all of 15 minutes, were told that Jake is reigning champion of the THEE CUTEST little boy title, and had a conversation with an older man that spoke like a megaphone was attached to his cranium. But, it's ok, he was very sweet :-)

Then headed to the PX to pick up a few things, that I can't mention in case hubster reads this post! Came home for nap and then back out for his appointment. I have to say, all in all this day has been fabulous!! I mean, when you go to two different pharmacies on an Army post, and wait for a grand total of about 45 minutes, you've had a great day! ;-)

Let's all hope for time to pass quickly!

Oh, little man, you could not kick more ace!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My Arsenal.

Bring it, redeployment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'd be afraid to raise a girl.

With hubby headed this way, in not too terribly long, I can't help but to think of us making babies. Not because we're going to try again right away, but because, when he's here, it feels like our life is our own again and we can make decisions as we see fit. Outside immaculate conception, getting pregnant while he's deployed is pretty impossible ;-)

Anywho, so I'm thinking about, in the future, when we, once again, pull the goalie the possibility of having a girl. I hear the odds are 50/50?? ;-) And, I started thinking about how tough it can be on a girl these days. I know boys have their own crosses to bear, but I know how hard it can be, at times, to be a girl.

Mostly about body image.

I mean, this rail-thin, pre-pubescent-boy-like-figure that some try to shop as what girls should be is not my cup of tea. I think that's, pretty much, the anti-sexy. Of course, if that's one's body shape, more power to them. BUT, it shouldn't be what girls try to force their bodies to be. And, on top of it all, chickies aren't "allowed" to say things like these because it seems like a jealousy thing. I swear, on a stack of interpretative dance quarterlies, that is not the case.

My first semester of my senior year in college, I was in one of my psych classes where a mom, with a 7 year old, told a story of how her daughter came home from school asking if she was fat because that's what some girls at school had taunted her with. Seven. Years. Old.

Eating disorders can start that way. It just broke my heart that my friend's daughter has to think about that at her age. Women have their entire lives to feel self-conscious, it's horrible that they seem to start so young these days.

I know raising a girl would (will?) be an amazing experience. It's one, if given the chance, we won't take lightly. All we can do is to continue to raise our kid(s) the way we are and hope that we can keep just enough of the outside world just that....outside.

I know how much "power" parents have. Gary and I definitely subscribe to ideal that, rather than blaming commercials or song lyrics, parents have a very, very heavy affect on their kids. That seems like the duh-statement of the year, right?!

Plenty of my friends have at least one daughter and I wonder if these are conscious thoughts for them, or does it just seem like more of an issue than it is to me because I have a son?

I know I'd relish the opportunity to have a girl, I just hope that, somehow, the ridiculous amount of aesthetic pressure lets up at least a little. I want our theoretical-, future- daughter to be healthy and happy and to feel beautiful in her own skin. I suppose I'll take comfort in the fact that my presence has more of an impact than I realized :-)

All we can do is our best, right?

Friday, March 18, 2011

I believe... 81 point, four letter word on Words with Friends will forever live in infamy. It will in my head at least.
(PS...let's play: sammie mo mammie)

...waking up early is ok as long as the sleep has been adequate. I've been waking up a few minutes before 7 the past few days, but I've slept like the dead for 8-9 hours! I'm ok with being up before the boy!

...I should be able to tell OPSEC to go jump in a lake so I can sky-write when hubby should be home!! I'm excited!!!!! But, I won't :-)

...this Bieber obsession needs to stop dead in its tracks! Does no one else think this kid is a total kabob? What's the draw?! can't get something for nothing. If you want care and love and respect you must be caring and loving and respectful of others. Taking without giving ain't so cool.

...the butterflies in my stomach, that I get every morning when I put an 'X' on another day down from our countdown, have got to be apocalyptic.

...sometimes it's not about what we're facing, but about the amount of support. This week, our other car tried to eff with me and the epic headache that caused wasn't about the car itself, but about the fact that I had to make decisions on my lonesome. But, look at us now! We still have two functioning cars and I didn't implode! Who's the master of their domain?? THIS GIRL. playlist is complete without some Queen, Journey, and a good remix featuring Ozzy. Jake and I went for a walk the other day and I was in the zone!! Of course, there was the strong possibility that I'd hop into the middle of the road and break down some peanut butter jelly time, but I managed to restrain myself. That's for you, Susan! And, a little for the comic enjoyment of the neighbors that'd be seeing me! :-)

...this summer is going to be amazeballs! Hubby will be here, first vacay with the little man, getting to head over to gorgeous Colorado....BOMB DOT COM!!

Happy Friday, peeps!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I heart shopping.

Yesterday, the boy and I headed to Nashville for Operation: Look Smokin' Hot for the First Time Hubby has Seen Me Since Leave.

(I have to bring sexy back a la Mr. Timberlake.)

We were pretty successful!

Naturally, our first stop was MAC because they're makeup is out-effing-standing (we're ignoring how majorly overpriced it is since it's for a special occasion :-) ). And, remember how I said that good ol' Ann and I are buddies? Walked into her establishment and....NO DICE! Everything was neutral, and boring, and very...ho hum. I, for one, was shocked to my very core! ;-)

Well, actually, there was this one skirt that was the clothing version of perfection, but I checked the tag on that gorgeous, yet subtle and not-too-much-for-the-occasion lace skirt: $168. I think the hanger actually burned an imprint into my hand. So, I ran out of there & headed to the nearest GAP ;-) Which is only partially true!

Anywho, I had theeee perfect outfit picked out in my head. If you've known me for any length of time you know this is NOT out of the ordinary. I have an idea of what I want, yet am open to other things. But, stores have to show me something! The mall seemed to fall between two spectrums: wildly expensive and neutral, aka "boring".

But, it was still a great day! I had lunch with this amazing lad:

I just love him!!! Don't you just want to squish his face?!? LOVE.

Because of his recent growth spurt, I opted for the jogger, rather than the Mei-Tai wrap. I felt that walking an hour around the mall with him on me, kangaroo-style, might have made us leave with me dragging him by his pant leg out the door ;-) He's a big boy!!

I got to walk around the mall (wait...I have to say this---> There's a Louis Vuitton store in the mall we went to. I need a LV purse before I expire. Need) listening to our amazing little man "talking" to me about all the clothing we passed, in his sweet little baby voice, while pointing and looking up and smiling at me.

Jake, FTW.

Just so, so proud of that boy. Watching him at Buffalo Wild Wings, the way he interacts with me, with others, the way he studies what's around him, I sooo wanted to cry. He's the sweetest!!

So, the fact that I didn't leave there with the outfit I envisioned was no problem. I had a perfect day with my son, in preparation to have the BEST DAY EVER: Hubby coming home!!! Again, not too soon, we still have some time, but it's certainly closer!! Plus, I just came home and picked out my entire ensemble on Forever 21's site, for a fraction of what I anticipated. This day rocked my socks!!

Except for one thing...

Random porcelain throne worship. I don't even know where it came from. Thank goodness Spongebob was on and Jake was just walking around watching that because it was a real rough 4-5 hours. I move that someone in their right mind start making Sprite deliveries! I think that would have greatly helped my recovery.

...I lived to tell the tale, right?!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

For as long as I lived at home, I remember crawling up to my mom on the couch, laying my head on her thigh, and her petting my head/hair (actually, all my brothers did it, too!). Ohhh, how I loved that! But, I never knew how fabulous it was to be the one doing the petting until Jake came along.

In this picture, I'm sitting, cross-legged, when the boy climbs on up, and lays across my lap so that we can watch TV together. It was such an incredible feeling to have my boy come up to cuddle on me in that moment. I'd just stroke his head until I was feeling him getting heavier and heavier as he got more relaxed :-)

For this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I've, officially, seen it all.

I actually had an enjoyable experience at the gyno yesterday.

It may have just dawned on me how that sounds...and, no, pervs, I don't mean it that way ;-)

First things first, I haven't been to the gyno since my two week postpartum check up to make sure my c-section stitches were healing correctly. In October of 2009.


But, having a stranger be able to play patty cake on me, while only being able to see one hand isn't something that eagerly anticipate! But, drastic times call for desperate measures and mama needed to visit the lady-doctor because redeployment is around the corner!!!

:::does the macarena:::

Anywho, my amazing, fabulous, unforgettable friend, Casey, offered to watch Jake for me. For that I was so grateful! Can I just mention that this is the first time, this deployment, I've left him with anyone so that I could go out? Should I be using the phrase 'go out' to describe a trip to the gyno? But, I digress...

So, Casey comes over and Jake is uber comfortable around her. I mean, it's not surprising since all the adjectives I used to describe her are totes true. And, it does take a lot for Jake to be uncomfortable. But, it still melts my heart when I see him extra-comfortable with certain people. We went to my friend's, Holli, house a couple weeks ago and you could swear that Jake's been there a thousand times! Him and Holli's daughter were fine around each other, he sought comfort in Holli a few times, it just made my heart swell with pride!

Digression #2....

OK, so I can't decide if I should be embarrassed about this or not: Right before I left, I got all teary-eyed. This is normal, right?! People, I haven't ever left him to hang out with anyone this whole deployment! Please tell me it's normal...

Anywho, I leave for my appointment and it's all gravy, baby. I knew Jake was absolutely fine, and I absolutely trust Casey (obv) so the watery-eyes left as quickly as they came. Also? I can't even believe how quickly I can get stuff done when a carseat isn't involved!

And, on to the appointment. I had a super late one, 5 pm, and, I guess, that's the best time for appointments. The on-post hospital was a ghost town. And, for my fellow military mamas, you know that's a BIG statement! That place is always crawling with people.

So, I got there at 4:50 and, after a pleasant talk with the nurse behind the counter, was getting my appointment started right at 5pm. Another super sweet nurse took me back and did the grunt work, then my doctor came in. I don't know that I've ever been so comfortable with someone who was about to pull out some of my least favorite "tools".

There was another appointment after me, but I guess I was her last for the day so she said I could ask her as many questions as I wanted about birth control. How sweet is that?! She wasn't shoving me, and my freshly-inspected lady parts, out the door so she could get home. I, pretty much, love her for that.

I have been on two different methods of birth control, but I know there are a bunch of other methods that I don't know much about. My first bc was the patch, which made me super nauseous. Then, I was on the pill (Yasmin, which I highly recommend, fyi!) for 3 years, before we decided to kick it and conceive the little man. But, I ended up choosing a new method. I'm very excited about it! But, I think what I loved so much was that I told her my vain concerns about trying another type of bc and we whittled down our list to the one I chose. I feel great about it!

So, I trotted my happy hiney down to the pharmacy, in the basement of the hospital, and waited for about 3 minutes. LEGEN-wait for it-----DARY!!!! I have never ever ever even dreamed that I'd be out of the pharmacy on post that quickly.

Birth control in hand, I go home to see our boy happily watching Spongebob with Casey, and her adorable 4-month old. He's crawling all over her, playing with her, loving her.... I wanted to cry again!! Casey? She's good people :-) I got welcome home kisses and hugs and it was just a great time.

Never did I think a great time would start with a trip to the gyno.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My friend, Ashley

This friend of mine, whom I affectionately refer to as A-dawg, has been in my life for many, many years. We played soccer together, were on all kinds of all-star teams together, we ended up working together at one point....Long story short, I love her.

Not only did we have all the aforementioned in common, we were also pregnant at the same time. She was due about 2 months ahead of me.

Gary and I were flying back to California to have our baby shower at the end of June; Ashley was one of our guests. Ashley wasn't able to make it. She was in labor at 33weeks 6 days.

She had gone to her routine checkup, feeling contractions but figuring they were Braxton-Hicks. She, of course, reported this to her midwife who then told her she was 2 cm dilated. All of this was manageable until she headed to the hospital.

Ashley's midwife sent her to the hospital to be monitored. Once they checked her into a room, that's when everything every pregnant mama hopes doesn't happen, happened.

She started feeling sick, and the contractions were developing some intensity. Before she knew it, she was 5 cm dilated. There was a calm before the storm when they put a device on her baby's head to track the heart rate. Not long into trying to relax, a million members of her medical staff rushed in and began prepping for the OR; her baby's heart rate had dropped severely, and, if they didn't get the baby out right then, the baby probably wouldn't make it.

Ashley screamed for her husband. As her and her husband are in tears, she's told that he isn't able to go to the OR with her because it's an emergency c-section. Thankfully, they ended up letting him in.

Baby girl Avynn Ray was born June 22, 2009.

Two days later, Ashley was discharged, without her firstborn daughter.

It was the longest 3 weeks of my friend's life that her daughter stayed in the hospital. But, they finally got to be a family of three, under one roof, on July 13th. At 4lbs 13oz, Avynn was able to go home.

Is this not what every pregnant mama fears? Everyone wants their baby born, full term and at a solid, healthy weight. It's hard to think you take care of yourself the entire duration of your pregnancy, only to know that some things are completely out of your hands. Ashley and her husband never knew exactly why she went into labor so early.

My friend is now pregnant with her second. I remember when she told me when she first found out about this second baby. I got goosebumps, and teary-eyed....the whole realm of emotions your feel when someone you're close to has a wee little baby growing in their belly. My friend may never completely shake that "what if..." feeling with this pregnancy, but she's doing the best she can. That's all we can do sometimes.

That's one of the reasons the March of Dimes fundraiser is so important to me. Knowing my Ashley was so devastated that her baby daughter was premature, and not being able to go home with her baby is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Everyone's baby deserves a healthy, happy start. Everyone deserves a chance.

I realize money's tight for most people, but I'll keep that March of Dimes clickable link up on the right sidebar, hoping that someone will be able to donate to a cause like this. Every single little bit helps. I, for one, could not imagine not taking any of my babies home with me, let alone my very first. But, that's what the March of Dimes strives to cure. They aim to have every mama and baby healthy throughout their pregnancy.

So, if you're able to scrounge up just a few dollars to donate to our team, which is walking for babies everywhere in April, you'll be part of finding a cause, and a cure.

Ashley, I love you, and you're doing an amazing job. Avynn and baby 2.0 deserve the best, and I'm so proud of you for trying your hardest to give that to them.

Babies deserve the best.

Baby girl, Avynn, is why I'll be walking with the March of Dimes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The one where I reveal my superpower.

Redeployment is upon us.

My heart just went all kinds of loco just then!!

It's not tomorrow, or next week, or anything super soon like that, but it's so close I can taste it and it has made me, happily, insane.

I feel this sense of urgency about things. I mean, if I were a superhero my name would be Samantha: The Anti-Procrastinator. I'd go around in my cape, and colored undies (because obviously), poking people until they finished their to-do lists.

But, I am a woman on a mission. Fo shizz. But, the difference between me and crazy is that I'm not stressing. At all. It's kind of like, in the back of my head, I think that the more I get done the quicker he'll be here. Which, is kind of true. Anyway. For instance, I have to grocery shop, go to my gyno appointment, and head to Nashvegas with my fabulous friend, and her wee daughter, next week. I'm all kinds of "LET'S DO THISSSSSS!!!!" I guess you could say I am fueled by copious amounts of energy.

Never will you see someone so excited to grab groceries, or to become well-known by a member of the medical community. I'm all "Do what you gotta, sister. Pretty soon, I won't need to find delight in these appointments anymore"

Every single day that passes is a day closer to the hubster being on U.S. soil. SQUEEEE!!!!

I get to pick out my outfit, and get new makeup, and decorate, and dress the boy in awesome threads....

Oh, and I have about the first 12 dinners planned for when he gets here.

Have I mentioned I'm excited?

Hey, hey, hey now. I've neglected to mentioned something of uber importance: I'll get to shave my legs!!

Not to seem like I'm a hairy wildebeast, but, let's be real, I don't shave unless it comes of utmost necessity. I mean, really. No one is feeling up on these bad boys. Hey, don't judge.

AND, I think I've planned our post-deployment vacay. WADDUP. It'll be our first family R & R since having J-stud, and it's going to be epic. Totes!

Oh, and since I'm rambling anyway, you should know that I get wicked excited about laundry. Yesterday, Mr. Rogers was right, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. So, I had diapers out on the clotheslines, and the dogs were laying on the patio enjoying a good sun-bath, and I'm inside, pacing the tile, with the internal monologue that went something like this:

Jake, if you could please wake up from your 3 hour nap that'd be great. I mean, we've got shizzola to accomplish today. At first, I didn't want to go out because it's the day after payday, but I figure the need for toilet paper outweighs my fear of getting elbowed by a crazy shopper, whose husband probably just deployed and she's looking for a fight anyway. Plus, I mean, my hair looks pretty good today, except for the fact that my roots are starting to grow out and I'm not getting my hair did for a little while longer so that it can be all fresh for when daddy gets his handsome hiney home. Between my hair and my welcome-home outfit and, oh yeah, abstinence I'm pretty sure he'll think I look pretty effing hawt, waiting for him to march into that hangar and be officially declared mine again. But, I'll have to remember to clean right before he gets here. I did a heavy duty clean a few weeks ago, but there's no way I'm doing it again, and then again, before he gets here. The house will have to survive. And, do I have the welcome-home banner I used when he got home from the second deployment? I should find that. Or, think about ordering a new one. How should I decorate the house? After I clean, obviously. I wonder what time his flight will land? Will I sleep the night before he gets here?....

To say I am excited might be the understatement of the century.