December 27, 2012

Day 5

Day 5 - How hopeless does that sound? Especially since I don't know how many days we have. I won't dwell on how badly this sucks, how nothing could have prepared me for this (no matter how well I thought I was prepared), how it feels like I may have an ulcer by the end of it, or how many times a day I look at my phone checking to see if I somehow missed a call/email/fb message from him. No. I won't focus on any of that.

I'll let you know that we're hanging in there. We're both pretty settled at my parents house. I feel very much at home and I think it's safe to say Andrew does as well. He has a definite separation in his head about his and Mama's house and Daddy's house. I can't begin to guess what a 2-year old understands in this situation. He knows he is far away working and helping people, but I also think he still thinks Daddy is at our old house too.
I've decided I have sensory issues since being here. My brother drives me crazy when he eats his ice cream 5 out of 7 nights a week. The slurping, spoon clanging and jaw cracking. They watch crazy movies like Cast Away... if I hear water sploshing around for one more second I'm going to jump from the roof. The dog and her licking/scratching. It's all just too much. But when the sounds get overwhelming, I can just go up to my room. It's nice to have my own little space in a house with all these noises.

Trey sent videos of himself reading to Andrew along with the books for us to follow along. We've gotten to listen to him read for the last two nights and it's been great. Andrew's a little confused, but for the most part it's such a great thing! The smile on his face is priceless while he's listening to him. He just thinks Trey can hear him talk back to him and I have to explain that he cannot. We'll get there though!

Christmas had it's tough moments, but overall was a great day. Andrew was so much fun this year. It was a little overwhelming for him, so we did have to take it slow. We didn't finish opening presents until almost bedtime! He now has way too many toys.

I'm so ready to be done with this pregnancy. I won't go into all the details, but we can just leave it at I'm extremely uncomfortable. I'm ready to meet this sweet boy. Yet another reason I'm thankful to be with my family! They are such a great help with Andrew!

So, to sum it up, because I feel like this is a jumbled mess, we're okay. I'd kill for more reliable communication. I would give anything for a broken up, horribly connected, 3 minute long conversation. I miss him like crazy. It feels like it will never end. But I'm busy. And Andrew keeps me smiling every day. And I'm enjoying living with my family.
I'm going to set goals for myself once the baby gets here. I'll set big ones and smaller ones so I have something to help mark the time. I just have to come up with them :)  It's fun putting together care packages, so that helps too!

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I hope to get back to more regular, positive blogging soon!!

December 12, 2012

Cuts Like a Knife (this is a doozy of a post)

Hey civilians, want to know how crappy your health care will be once we move to a socialized medical world? Go visit an Army doctor.

While such a broad statement may not be completely fair, in my circumstances right now, I can say that. Let's get into my story of the day...

As we all know, I've moved away from Fort Bliss and am now living with my parents in a town that while it does have an Army post, it's just a training post and doesn't have the big amenities the larger places have. Basically, all that means is that I had to get a referral to see a civilian OB and get to deliver at a normal hospital.
Today, I met with my new doctor for the first time and SERIOUSLY??? I didn't know what I was missing. I had no idea that the level of care that I received today even existed.

Here's what I'm used to...

5 minute long appointments that consist of this same dialog every. single. time.
Nurse (N): Do you have a history of anxiety or depression?
N: Do you have thoughts of killing or hurting yourself or others?
N: Does your husband abuse you mentally or physically?
Blah blah blah. You'll have to answer questions that should be clearly stated in your records every single time you go in there.
Then they'll listen to the babies heartbeat and say, "sounds good". You'll have to ask what the heart rate was and she'll give you somewhat of a range... never an exact number.
The doctor will come in and glance over your charts. She'll ask you if you have any concerns. Then she'll tell you when to come back and your donezo. Make sure you bring a list of questions because you won't remember them when they make you feel so rushed to get the hell out of their office.

Here's what I got today...

The lady at the front desk recognized me immediately. She knew exactly who I was even though I was in there only once... over a week ago.. for a total of 5 minutes tops.
My mom and I walked back when we were called, thinking it was just the nurse, when in reality it was an angel from God telling me she was going to give me an Ultrasound! Just because! She spent so much time with us and even switched it over to 3D occasionally to let us really see him. Of course, he had his hand spread across his face, so we never did see any facial features, but that's not her fault.
Sweet little ear and his arm covering his face
 Next, I had my vitals taken where.... get this... there was a urine sample collected. Do y'all know that I have never once had to pee in a cup while pregnant. I didn't even know that was a thing until a recent conversation with my SIL. When I asked my Army doc about it, she said they figured that was a good way to cut back on costs. Ohh... okay.

Then we met with my saint of a doctor, who probably took up a half hour of his day just talking with me. He cared about what was going on in my life, wanted to know where I came from before getting here. He actually really read those things called records and didn't need to ask me unnecessary questions. He saw that I had a horrific birth with Andrew and when he didn't get enough answers from said records, he put them down and told me to tell him all about it. Then gave me tissues while I cried in his office. Then, and most importantly, he was honest with me.
He told me how likely the complications we had last time were to happen all over again. He told me he wouldn't be comfortable helping us with a natural birth and would, in fact, actually be scared for me and the baby.

He asked me how I would feel about scheduling a C-Section. (Hence the title). And not because he regularly pushes them or because he wants to fit me conveniently into his schedule. But because he took the time to go over our case and wants to help us do what is best of us. And because he saw how anxious I was over the same things happening with Wes. 
Our last hospital wasn't very forthcoming with information about Andrew's birth... I learn something new all the time. What I learned this time, from looking at the records I had to request, was that Andrew was stuck in the birth canal because his shoulder couldn't make it past my pubic bone (sorry I had to use the word pubic, but there was no way around it). And while they let him sit there and try to work it out on his own for an hour, I also had a pretty bad fever. I don't know that it'll ever truly sink in how close we were to losing him. I can't do that with this baby. It's technical term is Shoulder Dystocia and can be deadly for the baby. And if it happens once, it's likely to happen again.
Why did no one tell me about this? And why was this hospital going to let me go through it all over again? Same place, same doctors. Really?

So, C-Section it is for me! We'll get it scheduled at my next appointment, but it looks like it'll be done January 31st. How weird will it be to know when my baby is coming?? I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. While a c-sec comes with it's own set of concerns, they are concerns for myself.. not my baby. And that?? The fact that I'm not worried about losing this baby anymore? Is worth it's weight in gold!

I'd love any tips from any of y'all that have had c-sections! Any recovery tips or even just what to expect before/during/after the procedure would be great!
 

December 5, 2012

Settling In

Well we've been in town for only 4 days and I have to say, I'm happy with where we are already. Everything has been going as smoothly as possible:

*Andrew and I are both registered with the hospital on post and have a family doctor assigned to us.
*My referral for an OB has gone through.
*I have an OB picked out and have my first appointment next week.
*My brother got back into town with my van and all of our belongings! This made our move so much more real feeling. The fact that we're here for a long time is still trying to sink it's way into my brain. For the most part, it still feels like any other visit, but now that we have all of our stuff, it's much more real.
*A lot of it is put away and organized. My clothes are all in the closet, Andrew's bed is put together and his toys and books are all in his playroom.
*Andrew is figuring out that we're here to stay. He's not sadly asking me to go back to Andrew's house. If I ask him if this is his home, he'll say yes, and even say so on his own a few times a day. This started yesterday and let me tell you, that takes a lot of the break out of my heart!
*I'm figuring out where the little things like cutting boards, strainers and baking pans go. This seems like a little thing, I'm sure, but it makes me feel more at home. You know how it is when you are visiting at someone else's house and you try to empty the dishwasher for them, but you don't know where anything goes? Yeah, I hate that. The more at home I'm getting, the more I feel like I can contribute.
*I'm starting to put my feelers out there for any mom groups I can join. I'd like to join some sort of MOPS group... I think it would be a good move. I'll need stuff to keep me busy and things to look forward to.

As I suspected, the act of actually leaving Fort Bliss and Trey was a lot harder than being away. Does that make sense? We certainly miss Trey and our friends, but there is a lot going on here... well a lot of people here.. to keep us going. This part of it is harder on Trey. He's stuck in this limbo where Andrew and I aren't there, so there is no one to come home to, and he's just waiting to leave. I really think it'll be easier for him once he's actually over there.

So, that's about all we have going on for now. I'm looking forward to getting together with friends, doing a little shopping a crafting with my mom this weekend, and possibly going to see Lights at the Zoo. I think it's going to start getting a little chilly around here so I'm off to think of some Christmas crafts I can do with Andrew... we have to have some purpose to our day or they will drag out!

December 2, 2012

A New Beginning

Pardon the absence! Life has been crazy and while I have had the urge to write, I didn't want to keep writing about the only thing that was swimming through my mind - a temporary life without Trey. Thoughts around him.. or the lack of him... were constantly swimming through my head and it wouldn't have made for any fresh blog posts. I had talked about it so much already and there's only so many ways you can say the same thing.
Jaci Greggs Photography
  Anyways - The day I'd been dreading has come and gone. Trey is still in the states. Of course, very shortly after I bought our plane tickets home, they pushed his date out a good bit further. He'll still be gone before Christmas, but we could have gotten more QT with him. No sense in focusing on that though.
Yesterday, I gathered up all the courage I could possibly muster and got on a plane to SC. I'm pretty sure it was the hardest thing I've had to do thus far in life. I'm going to miss him something fierce, but to see the man you love say goodbye to your son with tears in his eyes... heart wrenching. I chickened out and made my brother take us to the airport instead of Trey. I'm convinced that was for the best. I couldn't handle it. When you can't hold it together in front of your baby and he's asking Daddy why Mama looks so sad... not good. This way I was able to have that 5 minutes or so to pull myself together before having to travel all day with him.
Jaci Greggs Photography
 It was awful and I'll never forget Trey's face as we were pulling away, but we're here now and we're getting used to our new normal. I was able to hold it together until seeing my parents at the airport. I'm guessing it was my strength as a mama shining through that got us here, but we did really well!

Andrew's having a good time playing, but he does keep asking to go back to his own house. Not really sure how we're handling that yet and I'm really NOT looking forward to when he realizes he misses his Daddy. Until Trey actually leaves, I'm not sure that it will truly sink in for me. Right now, it just feels like any other visit home. We can text all day and call each other whenever we want. I think this will be a good transition though.

In the meantime, we'll just be settling in! I'll be busy getting Andrew used to the fact that he lives here, meeting my OB and transferring over to Tricare South, learning which cabinets the strainers go in and getting used to our new normal. I finally feel like I can respond to texts and emails without crying, so if I've ignored you at all, I promise I won't for long!
Jaci Greggs Photography

November 20, 2012

Doubts

I'm sure this is normal... I think at least. Who knows what's normal anymore. But I'm having HUGE, like big fat huge doubts about going back home for this deployment. I was so sure of this decision. I knew I was doing the right thing, now I'm not so sure anymore.

First and foremost, I can't help but feel I'm leaving my friends when they need me most. We're all going through this together and I'm just over here all, "peace out!!". I should be with them. We need each other. I know I'm replaceable.. I know there are others here, I'm not leaving anyone on their own. But I want to be here with them. I want to be here for play dates, to be a shoulder to cry on, to celebrate countdowns, to have dinner with when they don't want to eat alone for one.more.night, you get the point. I hope I can do well at being supportive from afar!

I don't know if it was the smartest move to give up our house. This is our space and we're comfortable here. Andrew's stuff was all in it's place. I can walk around without a bra on if I want. (and I want). We do as we please.. it's home. I feel like this part of the deployment would have been much easier had we not decided to move me home. Obviously.

A few months ago, I was dying for a break from living on an Army post. I was sick of pulling my ID out everywhere we went. I was tired of driving so slow that I could walk faster, and if I saw ONE MORE TINY BIT OF CAMO....
Now, I'm clinging to any little bit of it. Maybe that would have been a nice little reminder while he is gone. Maybe some familiarity would have done me good. I'll miss all of the "welcome home" signs, yellow ribbons and day-to-day ceremonies out on the parade field.

But, I don't know... I think maybe my mind is just clinging on to anything it can. At this point, I just have to trust that I'm doing the right thing. I'll be glad to have family around when I'm going into labor that's for sure! And for just day to day life. I know I'll be thankful for them. It'll be cheaper, that's for sure, and I feel like I'm contributing to our family by being able to pay down debt and build a hefty savings account.  But, I also sort of feel like I'm not being as supportive to Trey as I could be by going home. But I'm sure I'll be fine once I get there.

That's about all I have at this point. I'm surprised I was able to semi-decently put some real thoughts down in all reality.

We're doing the right thing. We're doing the right thing. We're doing the right thing. There I feel better already.....


November 15, 2012

Distraction

Here's what I really want to talk about -

I'm moving in 2 weeks. Is this really my life? Is this for real? Do I really have to say goodbye to my husband for an undisclosed amount of time? Is he really going to tuck his son into bed for the last time in a while and I'm really going to have to watch a grown man cry? This can't be real.

I'm having a hard time keeping it together. Don't get me wrong, when he's home, he's home and we're enjoying every minute together as a family. And that part is wonderful. But, please, pay me no mind if you see me out alone and have random tears in my eyes. Or better yet, come up to me and assure me this will be over before we know it. Sitting by myself at the hospital lab, for instance. It's just that I can't get the image of my husband hugging and kissing my son for the last time out of my head. That's enough to drive anyone crazy, right?
 Jaci Greggs Photography


I could keep this blog post all on one neat, tidy topic and end it here, but I don't want to leave it in a place of funk. So let's talk about something else. Something happy. Let's talk about Andrew and what he's been up to. *Don't look surprised, you know it's my favorite subject*

So this is what I'll talk about instead - 

First of all, I'm able to work on this post in my favorite element (coffee nearby, jammies still on, the early morning sun peaking in through the blinds, and it's dead SILENT) because it's 7:15am and he's STILL SLEEPING. Do you hear the choir of angels singing?? This is unheard of. So, thank you baby!

Moving on...

He's talking up a storm. That's such a given at this point, even. When he first started, I was keeping up with a list to see how many words he had. I was able to do that for about 2 weeks before it became useless and I couldn't keep up. I ADORE the fact that he talks to us like a regular little human.
Full, complete sentences with his own little mixups added in:
  • He refers to himself as "you". Funny story to go with that. Our friend Fritz was over playing in the backyard with him last week (God love him). They both came in and Fritz was confused thinking that Andrew wanted him to have some water. Probably because Andrew looked at him and said, "get you some water please". No, he really meant himself. Get Andrew some water. 
  • His favorite show right now is Super Why. Sidenote: this is such a great show! He calls it Super Why-er and I think it's adorable. 
  • As is the way he says noodles. "noo-noos". I've yet to correct him and, in fact, that's what we now call noodles in our house. 
Then he comes out with these big sentences/words that are said perfectly. It sounds so funny/adorable coming out of his little mouth.
We were at the doctor the other day when the doc asked him what he did this morning. He looked at him and said, "I went to the playground yesterday".
Right now he's drawing with my pencil. He just said, "I draw a submarine". Oh.. okay hun.. draw on!

Some of his key phrases lately have been:
"Oooh what is that?" (100 times a day.. I know he knows what that tree is!)
He'll mumble something that you can't understand, then say, "don't say that", while scrunching up his face and laughing.
"Uh-ohhh". Anytime something even remotely is a little off or goes wrong. 
"Loves you Mama/Daddy". Melt.
A big hearty, "OKAYYY", when we ask him if he wants to do something that sounds appealing to him.
Whenever he hears music of any kind (from a show, radio, commercial.. etc.)  he gives us this astonished look at says, "come out a feekers (speakers)".

He gets real excited when he's telling us "long stories" and starts to stutter a little. I can tell his brain is just going 100 miles an hour and he can't keep up! And it's less of stuttering over the beginning of words and more of putting, "uh uh uh's" in between words.

His imagination is becoming evident. I've always watched him play and wonder what in the world he was thinking. You know, as he's driving his cars around, flying his planes in the air, or building towers upon towers of blocks. Now, he's talking to himself as he's playing and I can catch a glimpse into that brain of his. Usually he's just going somewhere in his cars or planes. He'll look at us and say, "Bye, see you later, going to the (fill in the blank.. usually the PX, Commissary, or playground... you can tell what we do with the majority of our days). He's also starting naming his friends house, saying he's going over so-and-so's house. It's pretty cute. He'll drive his cars along the couch and yell out things to himself along the lines of, "NO NO NO, PLEASE, NO NO, STOP!!". Who knows what's going on there, but it's entertaining.

He loves to play this strange "game" about 10 times a day. He calls it "stinky feet". He asks to get in our bed and then says, "smell feet". He sticks his feet in our face and waits for us to gag uncontrollably because his feet are "soooooo stinky". I have no idea where this came, but I'm quite sure my husband started it.
Another favorite pastime of his is to type numbers and letters into Word. He loves for us to help him spell certain words and switch the colors on the letters. Seriously, this kid is going to be bored to tears in Kindergarten.


I'm sure I'm missing things, but I realize this may not be as interesting to all of you like it is to us. You already know I like to keep up with this stuff though to have to look back on. This is a running joke among myself and Trey and also a few of my friends, but I have to say, this is definitely my favorite stage. The joke is that I say that about every single stage :)


November 11, 2012

What Would Have Been

I've sat here looking at a blank screen for about 5 minutes. First trying to think of a title, then figuring out how to start. So maybe this won't be the most poetic or well written out post, but I do want to talk about how I feel on this day.

Today would have been our due date with the baby we lost back in March. It's been on my mind for the last week or so, but today, it's all I can think about. It's there constantly, no matter what I'm doing. Instead of packing up our house, making breakfast for my boys, playing with Andrew, etc. what WOULD I have been doing? Would I already have him/her? Maybe I'd be in labor. Or doing everything I could be to get it out!! Holy crap, I can't imagine the chaos that we are living right now that is packing up our house and getting Trey ready to leave with birthing a baby or caring for a newborn thrown into the mix. It would have been fine obviously. But this leads me to my main point...

Yes, this is here with me. Especially today. I'm carrying it around with me front and center today and I have a lot of what-ifs, but I have to say -
For the most part, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude. God is with me today, as He is everyday, but today.. woah..
I can see what He's done for us today.
I have this ever-growing, pain in my ribs reminder that God loves me.

I don't think I ever mentioned it when we became pregnant with this one, but I have to admit that my first thought was not one of joy. We had just decided we were going to stop trying until after the deployment. The miscarriage and the thought of birthing while Daddy was away was just too much. I so desperately wanted a baby, but we both decided we could wait. We needed a break from it all and I was in a good place about that. I was thinking about all the free time I would have with Andrew... all that time I could focus on him and only him. Me and my little man.. we would get through the deployment together. And the time I would have to myself!! I was okay with this. Yes, let's wait!

Until the next week or so.. I knew... I knew I would get a positive. And instead of running to Trey with joy, I showed him the stick and set it on the counter. We laughed at ourselves for quite a while. Of course that would happen. We had time to process this and our feelings went from disbelief to fright. It didn't take me long to get excited over the life we had started and now I was scared that we'd lose this one as well.

Obviously, everything has gone very well and we have one healthy baby boy growing more and more everyday. And OF COURSE God allowed me to become pregnant, even when I didn't want it anymore. He knew I needed this. I can't imagine how I would feel today if I weren't 27 weeks pregnant. I can't even begin to think that way or put any possible feelings into words. But I don't have to, that's the beautiful thing.

All I can do is thank Him. And feel an overwhelming sense of the love He has for me. Know that He knew what I wanted/needed even when I didn't. Yes, friends, I'm filled with thanks today!

November 4, 2012

Andrew's Wish List

I hope this isn't tacky, first of all! I needed a place to keep everything we've had our eye on for Andrew for Christmas. Instead of writing it all down on paper, then having to email the list to family, if asked, I figured this would be easier. This way I could include links. So here we have a one-stop shop for us all!

Little People (we're big LP fans!):
Amazon
Amazon
Legos of any kind :)
Sold Here
Amazon
Amazon  - Daddy just got him the Basketball Hoop :)
Amazon 
Amazon (A little toy tape measure would go perfect with that.. he's loved playing with Daddy's real one lately)
Books are always welcome. We just bought him Contrary Mary, I Don't Care! Said the Bear, and The Accidental Zucchini: The Unexpected Alphabet. He hasn't been into reading lately, which breaks my heart.. I'm hoping he's just bored with the same old books.

Again, I hope this doesn't come off as pushy or tacky. This is mostly for ourselves and family who already plan on buying him a gift and need ideas (aka - mom, dad and brothers!) I'd actually really enjoy hearing about what you plan to get your kids.. maybe you'll give me even better ideas! So SPILL IT :)

November 3, 2012

Our Trip Home

We're back already from our trip home during block leave. We've been home since Thursday afternoon and have been getting back into the swing of things since then.

It was a good visit! We got into town Friday, late afternoon, and Andrew got right to work checking out all the "new to him" toys over Nana and Grandad's house. The weekend was packed with tons of family and friends! Two families that have always been real close with Trey's family were in town for the weekend. They watched the Tennessee game while my SIL and I went out for Pedicures. That was much needed!

Sunday was Trey's going away party. We knew it would be a short trip this time and wanted to give everyone the chance to see him before the deployment without going crazy trying to fit everyone in all week. Luckily, it was nice out and we were all able to spend a lot of time outside. The kids loved it!
It may torturous for Andrew to stop playing for a second, but I wanted a picture with my boy!

These are Trey's best friends going back all the way to 9th grade. It's so great to see them all together with kids and all!
And here's my family, minus my youngest brother... he had to work
Monday, the three of us, plus Nana, and Melissa, Reagan and Addyson (Trey's sister and nieces) all packed up and went to the zoo. That was a blast! Addy and Drew are exactly 7 months apart and they just LOVE each other! It's so sweet to see! I wish I could put pictures of them up together, but I have to respect their privacy.. I guess. Outings like the zoo are getting to be so much fun! We are loving seeing the world through Andrew's eyes! So glad Trey got to do this with him before he leaves. And thanks to Nana and Gdad we have a year pass to the zoo... lots of fun to come!!
The best of friends lately... it's been pretty awesome

Here you have Trey taking advantage of not needing to shave :)

I broke the rules since you can't see Addy's face, but they held hands like this almost the whole time. Mostly because she forces him to like a typical woman.

He could not get enough of this, which shocked us! He would of sat there all day if we had let him!
I have no pictures from Tuesday, but in the morning, my brother Charlie came and picked Andrew up. He works at an airbase in town and wanted to show Drew the jets. Let me tell you... we're still hearing all about that! He had a blast and I think Charlie has a fun day date anytime he wants one once we get back. Tuesday night we went to my parents house for dinner. Lots of fun playing outside in the leaves. They are so great with him and I couldn't be more grateful for that. You can just tell they want him around desperately and he should have no doubt where he stands in their world! He knew exactly where he was. When my mom pulled into the neighborhood with him, he said, "we're herreeeee". He remembered from three months ago. It was reaffirming for Trey. He feels really good in leaving us in their arms while he is gone :)

Wednesday morning, Trey's parents had a playground installed in their yard. I know, right? These kids are spoiled. They couldn't get out there fast enough. I thought Andrew looked like SUCH a big boy!!


And that night of course, was Halloween! Andrew was Geo from Team Umizoomi. That's his favorite all time show and he goes around pretending he is Geo half the time, so we made it happen. Well, really my friend Nancy made it happen, but still...
He did SO WELL Trick-or-Treating!! Talked like such a big boy. Said "trick-or-treat" to everyone, only picked one piece of candy and was sure to say his thank you's. We were pretty proud of his sweet mannerism, won't lie!

So all in all, it was great. Trey got lots of time with his family. His Grandfather even flew in for a few days, which was very important to Trey. He got to see everyone, really, and it all went so smoothly! (Minus our good friends, The McRoy's, who were all down with something and we appreciate them not sharing their germs ;) )

We are back now and still have a few days to enjoy together before Trey goes back to work. We're trying to take it easy, but starting to get stuff into storage as well. I worked hard organizing all the junk in the garage yesterday while Trey did a practice run with the stuff going in my van for the trip home. Tomorrow he plans to get the guest bedroom into the storage unit.

We have 27 days left together as a family and plan to make the most out of every second!

October 25, 2012

Leave

I'm enjoying a beautiful morning! The windows are open with a fresh breeze blowing in. I've emailed, Facebook messaged and read a blog that sat with me like *woah*. You should probably read it here... especially if you have young kids. In fact, you should probably follow her. Anywho.. back to my morning. I'm sipping coffee in peace and have The Today Show on instead of Dora, UmiZoomi or Mickey Mouse.
That's right, friends. My husband is on leave from work for 2 weeks. Andrew kept talking about wanting a muffin this morning. He really loves nothing more than going to the "donut store", aka, Dunkin. (He will ONLY eat blueberry munchkins. He seriously won't touch any other type). Trey seized the moment to be the cool Dad, scooped him up and took him to the donut store. Andrew left the house jumping up and down yellowing out, "LET'S DO IITTTT". I think he's a happy kid this morning.

-Good Lord, that is a silly Chanel No. 5 commercial. Brad Pitt, I'm sorry, but you're not sexy. Just me?-
(See the things I get to witness when I'm kid-free??)

Back on track...

I'm choosing to ignore what kind of leave this is. If you're a Military family, you know. You know you get that sweet block of time before they deploy to spend as you wish. Say some "see you laters" to family. Go on a swanky vacation (I wish!!). Get last minute stuff in order.
 Soon we head out for a few days to visit family and friends. I'm looking forward to it. Trey hasn't seen some of these people since Christmas last year and even that was just a quick visit for him. So some of them, the Christmas before. It'll be nice. I'm a little nervous. These trips home always end up being stressful for him. I hope he has the downtime he is expecting. I hope he gets to relax and just be. He needs this.. he needs a good trip! This is about all we could afford to do with moving me back home and all, and I know it's important for him to get some good time with his family, so I hope it's everything he needs it to be. Relaxing, enjoying quality time with family, not going-going-going all the time, basically.. a stress-free trip!

In the meantime, we're enjoying all of this time together! Much needed!

Thank you for all of your sweet comments lately! And thanks for hanging in there with me! I'll probably be away for the next week or so, but I'll be back with stories and pictures :)

October 23, 2012

Pressing Issues

Can I talk about politics for a little bit here?

Wait! Don't go! I promise this won't be preachy. More just voicing my concerns really. Because, sometimes, I really just don't get it. Are any politicians in DC honest? Do you not feel like your being lied to no matter who is opening their mouths. I sure do. So, I sometimes feel hopeless. Like, what does it really matter. I still get out and I vote. Because I guess ultimately, I feel like I just have to pick the lesser of two evils. And if I'm not voting for the guy I prefer, I might as well vote for the other guy, but it's discouraging. In my opinion.

And the whole party system. I know there are people out there that vote strictly based on party. They will vote across the board democratic or republican no matter what. That seems scary to me. I would hope that every voter out there would check out all the facts, the facts that are put out there for them at least, because I think that's the best we can do. I mostly think they are just telling us what we want to hear, but you can at least go back and check out their past habits. I would never vote for Romney just because he is Rep. and vice versa. Makes me wish we could leave their party affiliation a secret until they are voted in. Force people to listen to the actual issues.

I don't like to talk to much about my political feelings. Mostly, I don't like to get into the debates. People have their opinions and your heated debate you are involving yourself in, is not going to change their minds. I'll admit, I like to read others' debates, but I can't waste my time or raise my blood pressure getting involved in them... usually. Those debates get ugly. I'm all for forming your own opinion and backing it up, go for it. I do hate to see it get ugly though. And ultimately, no matter how I feel about the President, we're talking about my husband's boss. You can disagree with your boss, or your husband's boss, but you wouldn't walk around publicly degrading him, right? So, for me, I like to stay away from it.
I got a little sidetracked. All of that to say, while I won't get into a debate about it, if someone asks me, I wouldn't shy away from telling them who I'm voting for. It's not something I'm ashamed of, nor should it be for anyone that is going the opposite way than me, so I have no problem sharing my choice. When it's time to cast my vote, I'll be voting for Romney. Not because I think he's perfect. Not because he's Republican. Because I think he's the lesser of two evils. Because I believe in him a little more than our current president. 

I question even him though, which makes me feel even more hopeless. I know he's not up there speaking absolute truths. Two debates ago, when the subject of getting out of Afghanistan came up, he shied away from the topic. Said that (1) he didn't want to let our enemies know our exact timeline and (2) we'll get out when we're ready to get out. That he wouldn't start the draw down of troops until it was safe to do so. Therefore, not leaving the ones left behind in a more vulnerable position. (Ahem.. that is definitely all paraphrased, but definitely the same concept). And I was all for that. It made sense to me and I thought it was smart. Then last night he talked about being on board for the 2014 withdrawal, saying that we WILL be ready. Hello, contradiction. So how do I know which philosophy he really agrees with?

I'll still vote. And I'll take pride in voting. And I think we all should if possible. It's our American right. But as you can tell, I'm not extremely enthusiastic on the situation. Or fully trusting of the whole thing. Does anyone feel the same way? Or have anything to say to make me feel a bit better about the whole thing? Please, do tell. 

October 19, 2012

Dwindling Time

Well, I put it off for as long as I felt safe doing, but our tickets are bought. Andrew and I officially have one-way tickets out of here.

I was in major get ISH done mode during Drew's naptime today and one thing on the list was to get those tickets purchased. I was on such a roll being super woman that I didn't think about what I was doing.. I just did it. And I felt good about FINALLY getting that done. Then like 10 minutes later, I randomly lost it. Like called-my-Mama-sobbing lost it.

I didn't even see it coming. Silly me. I know I say this every time, but it's so much more real now. His dates may switch up until the last minute and I took comfort in that. Because if we don't have a set in stone date that he's leaving, it's not real, right? But I know my date now. We fly home bright and early on the first of December. A one-way flight. We have a real countdown. And that makes things worse for me.

I'm looking forward to our block leave. To get a lot of minimally interrupted time together. (sorry in advance to family if I'm joined at the hip to him.. but not really sorry actually). But when we get back here, we'll have less than a month together. I'm not ready for that. Honestly, this will probably be the hardest part. The waiting. The counting down. The dread. The what-ifs. Yuck.

Time can just start to slow on down starting RIGHT NOW. I want to soak up every minute. Forgive me if I become a social recluse on nights and weekends! And bare with me around here friends. Things will start to look up. I do have a little boy I'll have to be positive for around the holidays and will have a new addition to blog all about in the new year!

October 12, 2012

Cherishing

*Thank you, really, THANK YOU, to those of you that did leave your thoughts on my last post or sent me a quick "thinking of you" text, no matter how much I gave the impression that I didn't want them. You guys make me feel normal and human.. and loved and cared about. So yeah... that meant a lot! That was a bad day emotionally... stay tuned.. I'm sure there is more to come.

Can I just talk about how much I LOVE second trimester pregnancy?? Especially late second trimester pregnancy? I'll ignore the fact that Baby Wes is all up in my ribs constantly, just like his brother, and how uncomfortable that is - because, my God, I cannot breath - and just talk about how amazing feeling him move all the time is.

I'm a sucker for these "my view" shots! 
It's different this time around. For a few reasons, I think.

I knew what was happening last time, obviously, but I didn't really KNOW. I think it's hard for our minds to grasp the first time around. I mean, really?? There's a little human in there? Impossible. But then that little human comes out and you're like, "holllly cow!! I just grew that thing in my body!! And here he is! And he's real. And we REALLY just did that".
So now I get it. I know what's moving around in there. Like really KNOW. And I cannot wait to meet him. I'm beyond excited! Anxious, in the best way possible, to hold my sweet baby in my arms. To see those legs and arms that are going crazy in there to flail around in real life. To see Andrew fall into his roll as big brother. To see my parents get all of that newborn/baby time. Yeahh.. I'm ready.

Speaking of crazy, I'm feeling him move around ALL the time. He's so active in there and it just puts the biggest smile on my face. As much as I'm enjoying it, it's all a little bittersweet. So the second reason it's different this time around, and I know I've mentioned this already, but we're not planning on doing this again. I'll never be 23 weeks pregnant again. I'll never feel these jabs and kicks. Will I miss this? I'm sure I will.

So I'm savoring all of it this time. I'm soaking it all up. I find myself laying still and just feeling it all pretty often. Feeling him move and kick around in there. Resting my hand on my belling and trying to memorize every feeling. Because I know that I will miss this.

"Relax and enjoy every minute of your pregnancy. It's the only time in your life you get to assist God in a miracle"
- Erma Bombeck.

It's a pretty amazing miracle, that's for sure! And I don't take one bit of it for granted.

October 10, 2012

Out of Denial

I know I mentioned a while back that my key coping mechanism for the upcoming deployment was denial. That was working really well for me. I was talking about it enough. I've been watching him pack. I've been going to FRG meetings and hearing about it. But I wasn't letting it sink through in my mind. It's been kind of easy with everything else I have to think about. Yard sales, moving, new baby, Andrew. Focusing on all of that stuff and keeping busy was working for me. Until I got on Twitter today.

I should have stayed the hell of Twitter, is what I should have done. Someone mentioned that I'll Be Home for Christmas was their favorite Christmas song. I read it and my heart either stopped beating completely or it just broke into a million little pieces.. I'm not sure which one. It definitely felt as though my world came crashing down around me - and it hasn't really put itself back together in the time being.

I keep repeating the lyrics in my head now. It's the worst song possible to have stuck in my head, but yet it won't get out. He WON'T be home for Christmas. I CAN'T count on him. It doesn't matter if there is snow or what decorations are hung.. he WON'T be here.. and I'm pissed. I'm so pissed off. (I feel like I'm going through stages of grief). Denial was a much better state to be in. I was happy there.

I don't know how I'll get through this holiday season. I just want it to be done and over with. I just need to get over that hump.

I don't know that I'll post this. I may in case someone else is feeling the same, but I may disable commenting. It feels so vulnerable putting this out there. And I don't really know what else to say. I don't know how to respond when someone tells me it's going to be okay.. and I don't think people know how to respond to me when I do put my feelings about this out there. It feels awkward.. or maybe that's just me. But, like always, I had to get it out somehow. And this is safer for me than opening up my mouth and making the words come out. Besides, how does one bring that up in conversation? "Hey, so-and-so! I got to thinking today and this finally feels real to me. And why yes, my heart is breaking and I'm scared shitless. Please pass the crackers. How is your day?" See? Awkward.  So I put it here and I feel better, either way. Like a little bit of that weight is lifted just writing it down.

Time is flying by and crawling at the same time. I'm not sure how that's even possible. This is really happening, isn't it?

October 9, 2012

Weekend

I'm getting really bad at pulling out my camera. I know it's because my memory card is just about full and I need to organize all of those pictures (Ughhhhhh), but that definitely means I'm falling behind. And it also means I have a whole post about our weekend without any cute Andrew pictures to break it up. Still interested? Keep reading.. I'll try to make it interesting. I may even steal pictures from friends on FB.

It was a 4-day weekend - my favorite kind! I've seen that meme going around on Pinterest and FB that says something like, "Woohooo, it's Friday!! Oh.. wait.. I'm a mom. It doesn't matter". Well, I beg to differ!! I still love my Fridays as much as any work-out-of-the-home girl! Fridays just mean something a little different to me now. They mean Daddy is home for two whole days!! Uninterrupted time as a family! More help for me! Later nights for us adults together! (not because Andrew will sleep in, but because somehow, it just seems okay). Breakfasts together as a family! Yes, I still do love my Fridays!

We had a fun 4-day weekend full of QT for the three of us. Lots of time spent with friends. A yard sale. A guys night at the bar and girls day at the mall. New purchases and a trip to the ER. No extra long weekend is complete without a trip to the ER, right?

Friday was spent entertaining Andrew and getting ready for the yard sale we were having Saturday morning. It was a multi-family moving sale held at our friends house, so we all got together Friday afternoon to organize and price our stuff, let the kids run around like miniature crazy people and have a cookout. Most fun I've ever had preparing a yard sale, that's for sure! While us responsible, mature women were nurturing our children (making sure they didn't run into the road, kill each other, or steal each other's food) our husbands were plotting their way to the German Club (a bar that's basically in our back yard) for the night. They had it all figured out. They would come home to help get the kids to sleep then sleep in with them and bring them to the yard sale when they were ready. Sounded good to me! Trey deserved a fun night out.. and fun they had! They bonded over beer, laughs and Army talk.

The yard sale went OKAY. I can't speak for everyone, but I think we were all a little disappointed with the crowd that showed up. We made decent money, at best, but I'm still left with way more stuff than I wanted to be left with! Plus, we kind of defeated the whole purpose of the sale and ended up buying stuff.
Trey is now the proud owner of this chair:
Hard to see, but I'm having technical difficulties. I'm sure you get the gist of it. He HAD to have it. He had never been any more sure of anything in his entire life apparently.

And I now collect Fiestaware dishes!! A friend was selling a 4-piece set for $20. That bright green color sucked me in after having all black dishes for over 5 years now. Then, Macy's was having a sale so I have 5 more colors on top of that! I'm a happy girl.
BUT. But.. we spent all of our yard sale money :/
I have lots of stuff left over though, so I think we're going to try to have another sale this coming up weekend. I don't want to. At all. But it's the right thing to do...

Let's see... the ER. Andrew did something to his leg/hip/but/back area. He limped around off and on all weekend. Would hardly run. Wouldn't jump or climb. He kept pointing to that area and telling us it hurt with the saddest little face. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. We took him in to get xrays Monday morning and everything seems to be fine. So we're not really sure what's going on. I'm sure he just pulled a muscle or something like that, but we had to just make sure, ya know?

It's always so much harder for us to let Daddy go back to work after having all of those days off! We get used to him being around! But, we'll take the time off anytime we can get it. Looking forward to 2 weeks of block leave coming up in a few weeks!!

Off to empty my memory card so we can have more illustrated posts soon!

October 3, 2012

Finding the good

First off - I've had a few new followers lately (Heyyyy) and it makes me sad that you don't have your "reply to" email set. I want to connect with you, I really do ...I won't call anyone out.. hey Sarah and Derek.. woops ;) but it makes it hard for me to respond to you when I can't email you. And there have been so many things I've wanted to respond to!

Moving on -

I saw this on Pinterest the other morning, and it really was exactly what I needed to hear at the moment:


We have had some really hard days around here lately. Starting Saturday afternoon and it really just hasn't stopped.
Andrew was sick over the weekend. The only way I could tell was that he was BURNING up (got up to 103.5) and would lay still for a ridiculous amount of time.. for him. I wasn't sure what was going on until Monday morning when I woke up with a sore throat and some congestion (nothing the sinus rinse doesn't help, but still.. I imagine that's what was going on with him). He woke up fine though, and all should have been good, right? Wrong. If it were just this, we wouldn't be here writing this post.

I don't know what on God's creation is going on with him. The only thing I can think of is that the ugly "Terrible Two" monster has reared it's ugly head. The one thing I DO  know for sure - I'm going to lose my ever loving mind. Soon. Everything out of his mouth is either said in a finger-nails-on-chalkboard like whine or he just skips right over the whining and goes right into full blown tears. Sometimes even throwing himself on the floor to do so. W.T.H....

I'm handling this in three ways.
One - I insist he talk to me like a big boy. He has the vocabulary. I KNOW he is capable. So when he comes to me whining, I just make him repeat it in "his big boy voice". And he does most of the time and we can move on. The crying and tantrums, while more difficult on my state of mind, are just about handled the same way. Make him use his words when he's just crying and grunting, remove myself from him if he refuses or while he's throwing a tantrum. He knows he can come find me when he's done throwing himself on the floor and we can work it out, but .... sighhhh....
Easier said though, my friends. I do all of the above, but like I said, I'm going to lose it. Just because I remove myself, doesn't mean I can't hear it. Lord help me.

The second thing I'm doing is praising the heck out of the good behavior. That child has never heard so many, "good jobs", "good boys", and " great listening". I pray that this works. This is the more fun way to handle it!

So the third thing I'm doing that I feel will get ME through this.. it will not help him in the least, I'm afraid.. Is finding the good in every day.
Just because my child has lost his mind and is trying to make me lose mine, doesn't mean I have to let him win. The first two days I found that I was a miserable person to be around by the time Trey got home. (he called me one afternoon and I may have even dropped the "f" bomb while talking about our son and told him I was going to Walmart to sell him  :/ )  He doesn't deserve to come home to that and really, it's no fun for anyone. For the most part, I can choose my attitude. It's up to me.

I've started a little notebook and every time I find myself especially thankful for a certain thing, or I notice something beautiful, or we experience a special little moment, I'm writing it down. I figure it has to help change my thinking and make me more calm and appreciative, right? I'm also telling Trey one thing I love about him every day or one thing that I especially appreciated from him that day. I think that will help to keep my day's frustrations from spilling out on him. Or at least if they do, will balance things out.. ha!

Also, I need to pray for some patience! I think I'll need the patience of a saint to get through this phase and that's the only place it's gonna come from!

October 2, 2012

A Name

Hello there baby boy! It's been a little while since I did an update on you, and I'm in the writing mood this morning something fierce, so what better subject to talk about? So, what's been going on?

We were thrilled to a trillion tiny pieces last week to find out that you are a boy! Your Daddy even teared up after he had assured me he would not be crying in the least. "He doesn't cry", he said. Ha!

You officially have a name! I've only shared it with very few people and I know the people that don't know are very curious. It's a very special name and we wanted to be sure to share it with Trey's family first. We've had a little bit of trouble communicating, but I think everyone is aware at this point. I'm really ready to announce it and I think it's pretty safe to do so (aka.. it won't be a out of nowhere announcement to the people it affects), so without further adieu -

Your sweet little name is Wesley Riggs. It's perfect, isn't it? Here's the meaning behind it all:
You are named Wesley (Wes) after your Daddy's Uncle Wes. He passed away just a few short months ago while Daddy was away at NTC. He was an outstanding man who passed way before his time. Your Daddy couldn't have thought more of Uncle Wes. He always made such a huge effort to be a part of Daddy's/our life.. even when it wasn't always easy to do so. He was hysterical and your Aunt Melissa always said that Daddy and Wes reminded her so much of each other.. their senses of humor, I think. It was obvious he had such a great heart and went after what he wanted (I can infer that since he lived in the Cayman Islands). I know people from all over loved him from the outpouring of love I saw from his family and friends all over the world when he passed away. From the short amount of time that I knew him, these things were clear. So, in short, you're named after a man that is thought very highly of and we feel like we couldn't have set you up better. Plus, as a bonus, Wes Welker is a pretty awesome football player, so you're bound to have some athletic skill as well.
Riggs is Mama's Grammy McGrane's (your Mizzy's mother.. make sense?) maiden name. Your brother has Daddy's Grandmother's maiden name, so we wanted to do the same for you.

We can feel your kicks from the outside now and we're loving it! Still faint, but definitely feelable. You move around so much little guy!

Andrew is grasping the concept of you more and more. He asks to talk to his "little brother Wes". And to hear his little voice say that, it melts me! I pray all the time that you two will be the best of friends! I think you lucked out in the big brother department!

That's all for this week! I go in this afternoon to check on you and go over your Ultrasound pictures. I can't wait to hear your little heartbeat!

September 27, 2012

Gender

Yesterday was the day we've all been waiting for! No? Not everyone? Just Trey and I? Okay, well yesterday was the big day!! I was so overly excited that when Trey's alarm went off at 5am, I never went back to sleep. Usually I hardly hear it. But I was okay with that because I. WAS. EXCITED.

Another reason I LOVE my friends so much? A few of them took time out of their busy mornings to come by just to sit with me. To keep my mind occupied. So from 8:30 until the moment we walked out the door, I had company. I had no time to sit around and watch the clock. Not to say that they didn't have to hear my incessant chatter about it and listen to the occasional high pitched squeal, they did. But once again, I'm thankful for my friends!

Back on track - so I'm basically skipping to the car and giving Trey the cheesiest of all grins on the way to the hospital. I can't contain myself at this point. My bladder is full and I'm ready. And I CAN'T BELIEVE WE ARE ABOUT TO KNOW FOR SURE! We check-in and wait. And wait. AND WAITTTTTT. For an hour. There was an emergency that came in and they clearly had priority. I don't think they knew how full my bladder was.. that in itself was an emergency.

But alas, we finally hear our names called by what sounded like an angel of God. We head back and get started. I'm strangely calm at this point compared to the rest of the day. She looks to make sure everything is going the way it should be going then says, "are you sure you want to know?"

Yes yes yessssss! Tell me! She points my sweet baby at me and asks what we thought. It's a girl, I squealed! Both her and Trey firmly say, Noooooooo! I was looking at the wrong spot, obviously, because we are having another boy!!!

Baby boy #2 is will be here in February (unless he's early). We are just beyond the point of being thrilled. Y'all know this is what I not-so-secretly preferred. I'm thrilled to pieces to give Andrew a brother. We're giving him a BROTHER. How special is that?? And I love the fact that I'll have my house full of boys. There is just something special between a mama and her boys. I've had the most fun with Andrew so far, so I'm incredibly happy, lucky, blessed, etc. to be adding another one to the mix.

So that's where we are! Look at this - as much as I've always known I had it in me to raise all boys, I never imagined I'd be blessed enough to actually live this life. I'm off to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!

September 25, 2012

Paint

Yesterday, I must not have been in the right frame of mind. Maybe it was lack of sleep. Maybe it was hormones. Maybe even just the deep desire to do something.. anything.. to keep myself from having to go out in the hot sun and play "set hut", aka, run back and forth in the yard nonstop while throwing a ball around. Yes, that must have been what it was. Self-preservation.

Either way, I got down on the floor with Andrew and excitedly asked him if he wanted to paint. Not the safe Dot Art paint. The real stuff. Brushes, paint squeezed out on a plate, and a bowl of water, paint. Of course, he read my animated facial expressions and, "yayyyyyy!! Mama, let's paint!!!".  So paint we did.

We were about 5 seconds in when I realized this was a terrible idea. See, I've come a long way when it comes to my toddler mixing with my OCD tendencies. I really have... ask my friends. There was a time, not too long ago, where you may have come into my house and you may have seen a big tarp underneath the highchair. He still sits on top of a kitchen towel while eating dinner, but I promise I only sweep up the mess every other day even! See.. a long way. But I was NOT ready for paint.

A 2-year old boy doesn't keep the colors separate. He will put the brush in the orange and then dabble it into every other color as well to make a lovely brown before he puts the brush to the paper. That broke my spirit a little bit. I tried to fight it at first, but it was a loosing battle for me. Fine.. mix your stupid colors. Who do you think you are, Picasso?


Apparently, a 2-year old also just prefers to paint in the same spot over and over... AND OVER again! Apparently, you'll have to manually turn the paper around to get different spots painted. If you don't, he'll paint a whole through the paper.

Even worse, and what was almost my eternal undoing? He really, in his 2-year old heart, just wants to paint the water. No matter how many times you scream lovingly remind him, "paint, paper, then water", he will dip that brush in every color of paint then look at you and say, "water?" You might as well just take the paper away. It's just a tool for him to get to what he really wants to do - "paint a water". Why bother with the water anyways.. no sense in cleaning off the brush when all the colors are mixed anyways.


It was hard for me. I kept pushing through my anxiety though, because regardless of HOW WRONG IT WAS, he was having a blast. He was concentrating so dang hard on painting that water. And when he did get the brush to the paper, every time he would whole-heartedly exclaim, "ohhh beautiful!!". That's right baby, your brown and puke green painting is beautiful!


And just as important, we have his first painting to hold on to, Daddy has a new Picasso painting in his office, and a dear friend will get one in the mail soon to go up on her wall.

I think I may have some more loosening up to do before I have two of the crazy humans!!

September 23, 2012

Pink or Blue???

We've been excited about our gender scan for a few weeks now. Now and then talking about the pros and cons of either. What it would be like to have a daughter.. or another son to complete our family. How would I feel being in a house full of boys.. forever? What would Andrew be like as a brother to a little sister.. or brother? Discussing... and finally agreeing on names.

For the past week I think my excitement level has turned up a few notches to OBSESSIVE! I'm almost 21 weeks at this point.. We should know already! We went from talking about it in passing to it being a daily conversation. Almost constant thoughts about it. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that at one point we even resorted to the whole wedding ring tied on a string to see if it went in circles or back and forth. (It went in circles, for what it's worth). I'm getting so antsy! We're dying.

Our big day is coming though, this week. Wednesday!! It can't get here fast enough. I'm giddy. This whole time I've had such strong feelings that it's a girl.. and now I just don't know. I know the socially acceptable thing to say would be that I don't care about the gender, as long as we have a healthy baby. And yes, I do pray fervently that our baby is healthy, but I'd also kinda like another boy.

I know how to do boys. (I'm typing this while hardly taking my eyes off the Patriots game for example). I LOVE being the mama to a little boy. Love it with everything I've got. I'd love to give Andrew a brother. I love how crazy my boy is. How much he wants to get into things constantly. His constant need to climb, throw, catch, and dig... I want more of that! I'm in love with our boy name.. it's really special (and adorable). I love seeing Trey be the Daddy to a boy. I adore when my son wants to snuggle and how much he loves his mama. You get the point, right?

I'm not saying I'll be crying a river if it's a girl. I know we'll love her with the same gusto. I'm sure there are things I don't know about being the mother to a little girl. And knowing that this is it for us, maybe I'd have a sense of loss down the road if I never do have a daughter. Or if I didn't ever have one, maybe that would just make me one awesome Mother-in-Law. Who knows. All I know is that the thought of a little girl scares me right now. I'm not sure I know how to do a little girl. I know if need be we'll figure it out, but a second boy just sounds a lot more my speed at the moment. I'm not your typical girly girl. I hate shopping. I won't go just to go. "No, dear.. I will not go shopping with you on Saturday, we're watching football". I'll have no idea how to do her hair. Boys are just better for me.You hear me, God???

We shall see... in 2 and 1/2 days!!! Stay tuned :)

September 21, 2012

Eating Clean

Remember last week when I talked about wanting to drastically lower the amount of preservatives and artificial colors/flavoring in our foods? Here it is just in case, for some reason, you aren't obsessively memorizing my every blog post.

We started making changes right away. Thanks in a large part to Pinterest (you can follow me there!). That is the best place to find all kinds of "clean" recipes! I've had such a good time with it. Here are some of the changes we made just in the last week:


I made my own coffee creamer. And it was super easy. And delicious. And by making my own, I'm not adding the following crap to my coffee:
High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Dipotassium phosphate. Which is also sometimes used as a fertilizer.
Mono- and diglycerides, Sodium aluminosilicate and aritificial flavors, which are all chemically made ingredients. No thanks.
There are more, but you get the point. Words that I have to copy and paste because they are so strange.
Now I know what I'm putting into my coffee. Deliciousness. Click on the pin above if you are interested.

Like I said earlier, I realized we were eating far too much "convenient" breakfasts. Too much Eggo brand here for my liking. So I got to work making a few things to have handy.


Those things are amazing. Perfect to freeze and have handy on the run. And lots of room for mixing it up. We used bacon this time, but I can see adding in all kinds of healthy stuff.

Cooked up some waffles for Andrew to eat in the morning instead of Eggo's. I used this IHOP copycat recipe which never, ever disappoints.

I made Taco Seasoning and Ranch Powder. I've used both and they are great! I'm a huge fan of the taco seasoning. All the taste (and better) and SO MUCH less sodium and chemicals. I didn't realize how salty that stuff was until I tried my own. I'm converted!

I've made a few other  things homemade this week that I normally wouldn't have and it's really not that difficult. Or any more time consuming.. not a lot anyways. And it tastes so much better! Meatballs and pasta sauce. Yumm! And now I have two more nights of it tucked away in the freezer.

We've switched over to all whole grain products. I won't get into details on that, but I KNOW it's better for Andrew's little system. More fruits and veggies. And there are still some on-the-shelf products that I'm allowing in. I'm just more careful when reading the ingredients. Triscuits are great! Who knew?? The only ingredients being, Whole Grain Soft White Winter Wheat, Soybean Oil and Salt. Perfect! We're also a big fan of fruit snacks around here. Mott's Medley's are wonderful! The box says "All Natural", but we know not to fully trust that, right? Right? When it comes to fruit snacks though, they're golden. They are made with real fruit and vegetable juice. Seriously.. stuff like apples, carrots and sweet potatoes. There is still corn syrup in it, but it's not the first thing listed.

So we're off to a good start! I'm making a few more things this weekend. Protein Bars for my husband. Homemade corndog muffins for Drew. And little turkey sausage pancake muffins for all of us. I'm making a Chicken Broccoli Casserole tonight, using my own Cream Of Whatever mixture instead of the canned soup. I should have enough to freeze at least one extra meal out of it.. hopefully that cream of stuff is good!

September 19, 2012

Sesame Street

Today we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to a free Sesame Street show. The USO has put on this tour (the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families) which is making 70 stops just this year. The two have done great things for us military families - "Since its debut in July 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to more than 248,000 troops and military families and performed 433 shows on 131 military bases in 33 states and eleven countries." Pretty impressive! You can read a little more about it here. While we do make a ton of sacrifices, I feel like we get a lot in return too!

I wasn't sure how this was going to go. We've never taken him to any kind of show before and he's never really been into SS. But he LOVED it. The kid had a blast. Dancing, clapping and jumping up and down. Smiling from ear to ear. See..
Pure joy
So, while he didn't get the message, whatsoever, I'm glad we went. The actual point to the show was showing kids how moving a lot is a part of our life. And how it can be exciting.. an adventure. Teaches them ways to stay in touch with their old friends and pointers on how to make new ones. It was really great! If they come to your post, I would definitely go, no matter what age your child is. With that, I'll leave you with a few more pictures.




He wanted to go up and dance with the characters so badly. He cried on and off throughout the last half of the show because he couldn't touch them.. and here I thought he'd be scared or something...



September 13, 2012

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

My time is coming, y'all. The extended forecast has nothing in the 90's in my near future. Well, it does say 93 for Monday, but what do they know? That's a while off.. it could still change.

I know there are strange people out there that LOVE the summer time. You thrive in those summer months and don't seem to mind temperatures that rise up to the triple digits. In fact, not only do you not seem to mind it, you actually prefer it. Look, we're all entitled to our own opinions, but I'll never understand you summer lovers. Or really, I don't understand how not everyone prefers fall!

It's the most perfect day ever today! See, Andrew thinks so too.
 
Look at him there, just basking in the glory that is 70 degree weather! I'm with you babe. I'll bask in it with you. Seriously, we can go outside without dying from heat exhaustion. We can walk to the park or around post without feeling like we're going to melt into the pavement. How do people ENJOY that?? I'll never understand. That hot air just takes it all out of me. Drop it down 20 degrees and we've been outside all day... comfortably.
 
We have our windows open! Enjoying the fresh breeze! They are closed up all summer and I feel like the house gets so stale. Isn't there just something about the windows being open with a fall scented candle going that makes you just want to freshen up the whole house? It's breathing life back into these lungs, I'm telling you!
 
Football, open windows, crock pot meals, jeans, scarves, fall scents, beautiful breezes, cuddling with blankets, new TV shows, pumpkin flavored coffees (heck, pumpkin flavored everything!), the decorations, the holidays and activities, the colors. I'm in love! Move me to some place where summer doesn't really exist.. the temps don't rise above 80-85 and I'll be the happiest little mama you've ever seen!
 
 


September 11, 2012

Baby #2 - 19 Weeks

Hello little baby boo! Today marks 19 weeks that you've been in this belly of mine and well, here you are hanging out while I type away:
You've been making your presence more and more known around here. I'm still the only one that can feel you. While I'm excited for your Daddy to feel your jabs and kicks, I secretly like this short time frame. Kind of like it's just you and me. You're flipping around in there and doing whatever it is you do, and it's just for me to feel. You did quite a bit of that last night and it just took my breath away. I would say even more so than it did with your brother. I get it now. I fully comprehend what you are inside my body and it's amazing. I felt overwhelmed with gratefulness and your little moves put a smile on my face in the midst of chaos. You're such an incredible blessing.. how big I hope you never really understand.

Our appointment to see you and find out if you are a boy or girl got moved up a day. Woohoo! I'm so excited. We'll find out on the 26th instead of the 27th now. A-okay by me! I subconsciously think you are a girl. You get all of the girl pronouns from me. I'm using she and hers every time I talk about you without even thinking about it. It just comes out. I'm also carrying differently this time. You're much higher up than your brother was, which I'm not sure, but I think suggests girl.  But I had a VERY vivid dream last night that you are a boy. The 26th can't come soon enough. I want to give you a name. Like I mentioned before, you're already named if you are a girl. We have just about come to a conclusion for a boy name, but that has been hard this time around! Your daddy wanted to call you William, but I nixed that. That was my grandfather's name and my cousin just gave her new (perfect and adorable, btw) son the middle name of William. I know it doesn't really matter, but I like to be original. The middle name will definitely still be a family name regardless, but my first name choices got the axe from Daddy as well. I loved either Declan or Benjamin. Oh well.. I think we have found one that we both love though! Just waiting on you to show us your goods!

I still don't have a big appetite with you, but I've been getting little cravings here and there. Nothing too serious. I can't get enough oranges right now. Tangelos to be specific, but I eat two a night and think about them throughout the entire day. Potatoes. I'm baking one for lunch as we type. Every once in a blue moon I'll want some sugary candy. Not chocolate. Same exact things I ate with Andrew. Tally mark number two in the boy column. I'm not really big on meat. The thought of a burger turns my stomach. I'll eat a little something with dinner because I should get the protein, but mehh...

Let's see - Current events?
Today marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11. That was an awful thing that happened 11 years ago and I'll explain that to you when you're ready. It's a big part of why Daddy does what he does for a living and we are so proud of him.
Elections are coming up soon and your mama NEEDS to figure out how she's going to vote! We're choosing the man to lead our country for the next 4 years.
Teachers in Chicago are on strike. They want more money and stronger benefits, also they want to know they'll still have a job in the future. In the meantime, about 35,000 kids are out of school because their teachers are protesting... unions...
We're all waiting on cooler temperatures to make their appearance. It's almost officially fall. Your mama does not like summer.

That's about all for now little bean. Keep doing your thing in there.. growing and staying healthy!