November 28, 2010

~ 3 Months ~

Happy 3 months my  little lovebug!!

You continue to light up our lives day by day sweet boy. I can't imagine what our lives would be without you now that we have you. You make me laugh and laugh, like genuinely laugh out loud. Most of the time (if you're fed and not sleepy) we can just look at you and you'll give us a huge grin in return or you'll laugh at us! You are SO MUCH fun and provide constant entertainment to us!

Here's what you've been up to:

You are wearing size 3 diapers and 3 month clothing. I've already put away all of your newborn and 0-3 month clothing!
You are also growing out of your swaddle blankets, but you don't sleep very well if your arms aren't locked down so we're trying to find some kind of resolution!
You have more control over your neck and will hold your head up on your own now. It's still a little wobbly, but you are doing great and we can sit you in your Bumbo seat for little bits at a time.
You still hate tummy time and will not pick your head up if I lay you down for it. You do a great job at it though if it's on your own time! I think you'll be stubborn like your mama!
I'm guessing you have discovered your hands, although I never did catch you staring at them for long periods of times like other parents say. You have them in your mouth constantly! You would put both of them in there at the same time if you could! You put your pointer finger in a little hook and suck on it vigorously. We can hear you making sucking noises from another room away!
You drool like there is no tomorrow!
You love for us to clap your hands together and stomp your feet around and laugh incessantly when we do.
You also laugh when we tickle your neck and tummy. I LOVE that you are ticklish. It's the cutest thing!
You talk up a storm now. No more just the little coo here and there.. you are cooing and blowing raspberries and OOOOing nonstop!
Just today actually, you held your bottle on your own for ohhh... about 3 seconds. Just a little bit of time, but you are trying!
You love when I stick my tongue out at you and I can tell that you are trying to do it back.
You LOVE watching the TV already! I think you just like the bright colors, but it is funny to see you and your dad on the couch together "watching" football!
Sometimes when you smile, you tilt your head to the side and put your hands up to your face like you are bashful... adorable!
You sleep like a champ! You like to go to bed a little earlier now (between 6:30 and 7:00) and sleep until between 4 and 5, then go back down until about 8. Last night you slept for 12 hours straight.. 6:30 to 6:30. Thank you!!
You are eating between 30 and 36 ounces a day. You go all night without eating so you'll do 6 ounces every 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours during the day.
You fit in your big boy stroller much better and love a walk!

I can't believe I have a 3 month old!

November 26, 2010

Think... Thank.. Thunk

Random thoughts for the night:

I have not been as relaxed as I am right now IN A VERY LONG TIME. The lights are out and the room is lit dimly with Christmas lights. Trey is playing NCAA football on his PS3 and I am free to roam Internet land for as long as I want, sprawled out on the couch under a Christmas blanket. Andrew has been sleeping soundly for 2 hours now.

It's Trey's night to get up with Andrew.. if he wakes up. Sweet!

We put a different blanket on our bed and it's heavenly. (Mum and Ashleigh, it's the one that was on your bed when you stayed) It's so warm and comfy. It makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning. If there wasn't a promise of a laughing, talkative baby and yummy coffee, I probably wouldn't. I look at our bed longingly when I pass by during the day now.

I really would like to get an advent calendar this year.
I like Skype because it allows us to see family and them to see Andrew as he is growing, but at the same time, it really annoys me. I feel like there is always a quality issue. I had to hang up with my family on Thanksgiving because I was so aggravated. Everything was so muffled.

I don't know that I will even attempt to breastfeed with the next baby. People can throw their stones at me now, I don't care. I love the simplicity of formula.. I don't however love it's cost.

Trey and I have been so obsessed with watching Dexter. I love it so much that I want everyone I know to watch it.

I love football more than is normal I think. All of the rivalry games are on tomorrow and I am incredibly excited.

I really think my son (that's still sounds strange coming out of my mouth) is the cutest little boy I've ever laid my eyes on. I know all parents feel like that, but come on.. he's the most handsome thing ever. And his little laughter and squeals.. ahhhh... I love it. I can't wait to take him home for Christmas. I love to show him off. Trey and I did good work.

I feel beyond blessed that I get to stay home with that little bugger and don't have to put him in daycare. I know I am lucky and I thank God for that opportunity every day.

I am very unhappy with the way I look right now. I had this vision of myself getting right back into shape after I had Andrew. Honestly though, I have no place to complain about it because I'm not really doing anything about it other than the *maybe* two or three times a week I walk with him and the occasional set of crunches. I wish I had time to go to the gym, but I don't. I could technically enroll him in CYS and pay for hourly daycare on post, but I'm a little nervous to do that. Plus I haven't changed my eating habits. For instance, I enjoyed a nice big milkshake tonight.

Charla, if you're reading this, will you do a bra fitting for me? I keep forgetting to ask you, but it just crossed my mind. I got fitted at Soma a few weekends ago and didn't believe the sweet lady so bought whatever size I thought I needed. But now I don't feel like they fit right and think maybe she could have been right. I just don't see how it's possible. Please help!

Fun fact for you Ashleigh? I misspelled your name above by accident and spell checker knew how to correct it :)

Food Coma

Is it possible to still be in a food coma the day after Thanksgiving? I don't know what is wrong with me! I am so tired that I swear, if I didn't know any better, I would say I felt like I was in the first trimester of pregnancy again! *Just for the record, I'm NOT. The thought of being pregnant again right now makes me want to jump out of a 10th story window.*

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in the Norton house! Last year, we started the tradition of having our own little holiday and I love it. Yes, we miss our families, but if we still lived at home we wouldn't have the option to spend a holiday just the three of us. I cannot wait to get home to them for Christmas, but let me tell you, there is something to be said for a quiet, stress free, just the three of us holiday! There was a point during dinner where I just felt overwhelmed with happiness ( and no, I had not just taken my Welbutrin) ;). I felt so lucky to be sitting there with my little family. I just felt so loved. It doesn't sound like a big thing when I actually write it down, but my heart was completely full. You can't ask for much more than that!

Look at my belly!
Andrew sat up on the table with us in his bouncy seat. I think he like the new view. Lots more to discover! Much to my mother's disappointment, we did not have a full turkey. She about fell over when she found out I wasn't cooking a "real" turkey or stuffing for her son-in-law and if she didn't have her own boys to cook for, I'm pretty sure she would have taken the next flight out. She made sure to let him know that she will be cooking a proper turkey for him over Christmas. The two of us do not need a huge bird, plus HE picked it out! We did have homemade mashed potatoes, mum, don't worry. And gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, biscuits, pecan pie, and apple crisp.
Such a big boy sitting up! His head is still a big wobbly, but he's doing great!
We spent the rest of the day decorating the house for Christmas, which makes me even more happy! It's my favorite time of the year! All that's left to do is put the lights up outside and sit back and watch the Iron Bowl (Alabama/Auburn game) ROLL TIDE!
I melt

November 20, 2010


Ahhh.. my first private blog post. It's actually kind of freeing to know exactly who will be reading this. I think I'll like it.

The word Deployment has been coming up an awful lot in our house lately. No, my husband's unit isn't set to deploy for another three years or so, but he's planning on volunteering (yes, you read that right, volunteering) to go with another unit that is going in 2011. Let me explain...

When Trey joined the Army, he couldn't wait to deploy. He wanted to get out there and help. To accomplish something meaningful in his life. I knew he was all about going over when he left for Basic, so I've had a long time to prepare myself.. if that is even possible. When he finished with BOLC II, we were given a list of places to pick from to be stationed at. Ft. Bliss appealed to him because they did the type of stuff he wanted to do (I clearly don't know what that was) and the unit was at the beginning of a deployment and he thought he would go and join them. When we got here, he was told that they were coming home early and he would be part of (or Commander) of Rear D (the people left behind from the deployment). SO not what he wanted to be doing. He had resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn't be deploying for a while and was so disappointed that he was even contemplating getting out when his 3 years was over. That was until...

Someone informed him that he didn't have to wait for his unit. He could volunteer to go with anyone else that was deploying. From anywhere and at anytime. He started talking about that a month or two ago and I really was just brushing it off. He kept going back and forth. Yes, he still wanted to go. But Andrew changed everything. He couldn't (and still can't) bear the thought of leaving him for a year. What am I, chop liver?? ;)
Over the last couple of weeks, I put my foot down. I couldn't take the indecisiveness. I'm a planner, which goes great with the Army lifestyle, doesn't it?? I hate not knowing about anything in the near future and will obsess over it.

After lots of conversations, we both came to the conclusion that it will be best for him to go. Yes, I'm willingly sending the love of my life away to war. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I also adore and respect him and know that he needs to go. Just like when I agreed to him joining in the first place. I knew that if he didn't at least commit a few years to it that he would spend the rest of his life regretting not doing something that he'd always wanted to do. Same here. This is why he joined in the first place, number one. Two.. it's going to help accomplish our financial goals. No, I'm not being selfish. We both want ALL of our debt paid off. In his eyes, he doesn't have the option to walk away from the Army even if he wanted to until all of our debt is paid off.. or most of it. I can tackle most of it during a deployment. Third.. it's as simple as knowing that for his career, he needs to do this. He can't go to Captain's Career Course without a deployment patch. Yes, people do that.. I'm sure it happens a lot. I, personally, don't think there is anything wrong with that. My husband's pride will never let him do that.

Am I scared? A little. I don't want to spend a year away from him. I don't want him to miss a year of Andrew's life. There will be a lot of firsts in there that Trey won't get to experience, but thankfully, Andrew won't remember any of it. I don't want anything to happen to him. I also believe though, with all of my heart, that when it's your time, it's your time. God has our lives mapped out. Nothing we can do or not do will change that. I know I've mentioned this before, but he had a gun put to his head during a robbery when he worked at Arby's. He could have just as easily died right there.. doing something he hated.. as he could doing something he will be proud of.

If this really does happen, I'll be going home for the year. I always said I wouldn't do that, but again, Andrew changes everything. There's nothing to keep me here and all the reasons in the world to go home. I have the opportunity to give him a chance to spend a whole year around family. For him to get to know them and vice versa. Once he starts going to school, I won't be able to do that. I want to take advantage of that time while I can. 

 After the holidays he'll start asking questions, and as long as they say they need him, he'll be going. Of course, this could change a million or trillion times before he actually goes, if he does at all. They could tell him, no, they don't need him, right? But as of now, he said to just plan on him leaving so that's what I'm doing. I'd rather prepare myself and then get a pleasant surprise than not be ready at all. I'm being as supportive as I can be. I'm encouraging him because I know that's what he wants from me. I also made sure he knows that I would be A-OK with him staying as well.. HA! In the long run, he needs to know that I'm okay with it and that he won't have to worry about me. I may be kicking and screaming on the inside at times, but he will never see that.

I'll be fine. He'll be fine. We'll get through it and it will go by fast. I've never been more proud of him.

November 17, 2010

A First

Dear Andrew,

You brought tears to my eyes today! (your mama is a little emotional, but you'll learn that, don't worry!)

You have a little play mat that you love to lay it. It has all kinds of fun, bright stuff hanging down for you to look at. Yesterday I noticed that you were playing special attention to a little spider that hangs down. When I put you back down there today, I saw you reaching for Mr. Spider. I put you closer to him and you reached out to grab a toy for the first time! You have been laying there for about 30 minutes now, batting at him, smiling, cooing and laughing at him.

You are making my heart SO VERY happy!

But I am questioning if you are going to be anything like me. You are terrified of your sweet, cute little dog named Scout that even says things like, "I love you, Andrew", but you're obsessed with a spider. Great! I hate bugs.

~ I've been taking down all of your email addresses. Will probably switch to private sometime tomorrow. If you just left your email address without letting me know who you are, and there's not even a blog link for me to click and get back to you, I probably won't be adding you. Sorry! ~

November 16, 2010

Going Private

I've been debating this for so long, and have made the decision to make my blog private. It's really been on my mind for about a week or so, but after a friend talked to me about a book she read called The Predator, I knew I had to do it! Felt like a sign... yes I believe in that kind of crap. I just don't feel comfortable anymore with pictures of Andrew out there for anyone to see.

I know that will make it hard for you girls to follow me, and I hate that, but I hope you'll remember to check on me every once in a while! If not, I'll nag you mercilessly with comments ;)  Please send me your email if you'd like to continue to read about this little life of mine.

I'm going to make the big switch by the end of the week.

It Took Me 6 Days to Write This

This post will be a little hard for me to write. Well, not necessarily to write, but to click that Publish Post button on the bottom. I've had so much on my plate lately and all of these things I've been trying to sort through in my mind. They haven't necessarily gotten better per say, but I'm coming to terms with everything. I'm not putting all of this out there to get sympathy.. I don't do well with sympathy really... I just want to be honest with my blog and not just write about the "unicorns and glitter stuff". I don't usually write about the bad stuff.. who wants to look back and remember the bad? Not I! But this is all big stuff and a real part of my life that I'll remember anyways..

I had a pretty hard time after Andrew was born. I wouldn't necessarily classify it as Post Partum depression, I think it was just coincidental that life decided to throw up on me at that point. After a couple weeks of feeling out of control of my emotions, sad and overwhelmed like I've never felt before, I decided to bring it up to my doctor at my 6-week checkup. She agreed with me that I have a tad bit of depression after talking for a while and we decided to start me on a prescription for Welbutrin. At first, I was ashamed. I've always been able to brush things off my shoulders and look at the bright side. I would definitely say that I am a glass half full kind of girl. But those hormones after pregnancy are no joke. I think too many people try to ignore symptoms of depression, but if more people would just talk about it, maybe it wouldn't be such a hard thing for women to admit. It's better to realize you have a problem before it gets out of control and you start having thoughts about harming yourself or your baby. It doesn't have to get to that point. So, on with my point... on top of those crazy hormones:

He looks how I have been feeling!
I was feeling homesick like never before. I was dealing with being away from family before Andrew came along. Sure, I missed home and got down about it from time to time, but now I have a son. My parents and Trey's parents have a grandson and it makes me incredibly sad that they are missing out on all of his little milestones. I have a very real sense of guilt. I know that is irrational. Nobody makes me feel guilty, I do it to myself. I feel like I'm taking a special time in life away from my mom. The thought of Andrew only seeing extended family a few times a year (if Trey decides to make a career out of the Army) tears me up. I need to get these feelings under control and I feel like time *and medicine* is helping. The whole "bloom where you are planted" thing is starting to really sink in with me. Sure, I would LOVE to be around our family and friends all the time, but I can't waste life away wishing for something that isn't possible for now. I'm going to make the best out of the situation we are in and appreciate the opportunities we wouldn't have had otherwise!
I second, triple, and quadruple guessed myself about sharing this, but again, I'm sure we're not the only ones going through it in this economy! We came to the realization that we have to let go of our house in SC. We've had renters in it since we left, but 1) the county raised our taxes by an ungodly amount because it is an investment property now. That starts in January and there is NO WAY we can afford the increase. 2) The renters helped with the situation of course, but they decided they wanted out last month. So, we're barely holding on. We couldn't rent the house for as much as it will be going up anyways. Best case scenario - it will sell in the next 2 months. We dropped the price drastically, so we'll see. Second best - the bank will approve a short sale which we're in the process of going for. That won't hurt our credit quite so badly as a foreclosure would. Hopefully, it won't get to that point! This was all very hard for me to come to terms with. It's embarrassing, ya know!? I know, though that it's not something we could control. We'll do whatever we have to do and move on from there. Safe to say that we won't be buying a home again until we are done with the Army and can settle somewhere!

Not a happy camper!

Remember this post and this one? About my Uncle Ronnie who had a scary time with seizures? He ended up being put on seizure medication for what was supposed to be 6 months. Well a couple months ago he had another seizure. While on medication. Not supposed to happen! He went in for more tests and to make a very long story very short... turns out he had a tumor on his brain. He had surgery last week and they were able to remove 95% of it. It is stage 3 cancer, but the doctor seems to be pretty optimistic about his survival chances. He will be starting 6 weeks of chemo and radiation soon, every day except weekends and holidays. I've been a praying fool for this man lately and I truly believe in my heart that everything will end up okay, he has a lot more life to live! It's been such a scary time and I wish more than anything that I could be in Massachusetts with my family.. it's been hard and scary for me. I can't even imagine what they are going through. I'm very thankful that I have such a tight knit and positive thinking family that will make the best out of any situation they are put it. I know they are all helping each other through it.

I know I am putting all of our dirty laundry out there for all to read, and I feel slightly crazy for doing so. But I wanted to be real. If anyone of you may be going through the any of the same things and feelings, I wanted you to see that you're not alone. If you are dealing with depression, it CAN get better. Take some time to invest in yourself. Talk to a doctor. Make a stronger effort to focus on the things you have in life to be thankful for. It helps and there are ALWAYS things you can feel blessed about. You may have to dig deep and start with small things, but the positive thinking will come easier to you, I promise!
I'm completely aware that I sound like an After-School Special. Sorry about that.
Remember to smile!

November 12, 2010

*Before you make your Shutterfly cards...*

Ahhhh I almost just had a heart attack!!

After spending.. ohhh... an hour probably getting our Christmas cards made on Shutterfly, I excitedly click checkout. Head on over to my email and copy that code they gave me to get my cards FO FREE, paste it onto the enter codes here box, and SAY WHAT?? Code does not apply, says Shutterfly.

I start sweating a bit and try to click around and figure out what's going on. I was about to give up and planned to call customer service tomorrow morning and give them a piece of my mind when I saw something up top that says something about click here to chat live with a Customer Representative. So I clickety clicked away and started chatting with Veda (in America, I'm sure) and our convo went a little something like this:

Thank you for choosing Shutterfly. A representative will be with you shortly.

You are now chatting with 'Veda'
Veda: Hello, welcome to Shutterfly! How may I help you today?
Visitor: I had a code emailed to me that is supposed to get me 50 free Christmas cards. It's not working, saying that I have already used it, but I haven't.
Veda: I am glad to help you with that.
Visitor: okay thanks
Veda: Have you placed 5x7 stationery cards in your cart?
Visitor: Yes
Veda: May I have your Shutterfly email address?
Visitor: sure..
Veda: Thanks. Please give me a moment while I look that up.
Veda: I find in your account that you have the credit for "50 free 5x7 flat stationery cards " or "50 free 5x7 folded greeting cards ".
Veda: I see in your cart you have 5x7 photo cards to which the credit cannot be applied.
Visitor: I think I was sent the wrong code because when I entered it in, it gave me 20% off
Visitor: Why can't the credit be applied?
Veda: Photo cards are different from stationery cards.
Veda: Since you have already placed the cards in the cart, I do not want to trouble you in starting the new project all over again.
Veda: As one time accommodation, I can swap the credit.
Visitor: So the 50 free cards doesn't apply to the photo Christmas cards?
Visitor: Ohhh thank you so much!
Veda: Please give me a moment.
Visitor: I know of a lot of bloggers that are a little confused about this
Veda: Please give me a moment.
Visitor: Sure, thank you
Veda: I have swapped the credit in your account.
Veda: Please sign out and isgn in back to view the credit.
Visitor: Okay is there a code I need to know?
Veda: *Please sign out and sign in back to view the credit.
Visitor: How will I view the credit when I sign back in?
Veda: You need not enter any promotion code to avail the credit.
Veda: You can check your current special offers by going to the "My Shutterfly" page, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking the "View my special offers" link.
Visitor: Great, thank you very much for your help!
Veda: You're welcome!
Veda: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Visitor: No, that's all
Veda: Thank you for chatting with us. We value your feedback. Please click the “Close” button at top right to answer a few questions about your experience with us today.
Visitor: I will

I'm sorry to say that I didn't trust little miss Veda and copied the whole convo just in case it didn't really work and I had to talk with someone else. No need though because I signed back in and turns out she wasn't just trying to get rid of me. My account showed a zero balance. Plus, Shutterfly emailed me a copy of our conversation.

So, make sure you take the time to go about making your precious photo card (which I want mailed to me for giving y'all the heads up.. and just because you love me) and then chat away with HOPEFULLY Veda! She can't say I didn't warn her about y'all!

You're welcome! Merry Christmas!

November 7, 2010

An Update and a Recipe

My one demanding and slightly annoying ( I kid, mum) reader has requested a blog update. Not that I don't talk to her 3 times a day or anything with every single update of my life imaginable... but here it is nonetheless.

I've been super busy with Andrew. Not busy enough that I couldn't find 15 spare minutes in my day to write a blog post, but the thing is, I don't feel like I have anything interesting enough to write about. What I have to keep in mind though is that I want to be able to look back on this and maybe print out all the posts about pregnancy and his first year and put each of them into a little book of some sort. So while everyone may not find it extremely interesting, I'll be thankful I have it one day! Plus, it's always stuff a Grammy (a.k.a Mizzy from here on out) will enjoy :)

Andrew had his 2 month appointment last week. He's a growing boy (11lbs 10oz and 22.8 inches long) and the doctor was very happy with his development. The shots where horrid. Everyone was lined up to take their kids in for immunizations so for about 45 minutes I heard each and every child screaming their lungs out. I felt like I was in line for the electric chair. He of course hated them, cried so hard his little face turned purple, but forgot all about it as soon as I picked him up.. he then just wanted to eat of course!
We're getting into somewhat of a routine. He's a much happier baby now that he is on formula (yes, he loved it. Had one taste of that and wanted nothing to do with my breast milk) and I'm a much, much happier - if not more broke -  mama! Now I know when he is crying he is either hungry or tired and for the most part it is just that easy.

Last Saturday there were not many good games on (read Alabama had a bye week) so we went out to New Mexico to the La Union pumpkin patch. Clearly Andrew will never remember this and it was just a trip for me to take pictures!

Andrew's first pumpkin patch 10-30-10
Trey had a long weekend this week because of Freedom Crossing (our amazing PX area and is like a mini outside mallish type thing) opening. We went on Friday afternoon. They had all kind of vendors, live music, and beer on the sidewalk... can't ask for much more. Oh  - wait - yes I can. This week is only a 3 day work week for him. He gets Thursday and Friday off for Veterans Day. Yipee!

All of my teams lost this weekend... Bama, Carolina and the Patriots. Booooo.

And lastly, I wanted to share a new recipe I tried tonight. It's nothing special, but sure is delish! Perfect for a cold night or a football game!

Italian Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb hot Italian Sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I left that out)
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 T minced fresh parsley (I used 1T of not so fresh parsley)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed
  • 8 to 10 rolls (I used hoagies)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozz cheese ( I forgot to use this, but have plenty for leftovers so I'll have to remember tomorrow night!)
1. In a large saucepan (really large) cook sausage, garlic, green pepper, and onion over medium heat until sausage is cooked, drain.
2. Add tomato sauce and seasonings, bring to a boil (there was not enough liquid in mine to bring to a boil, but still good). Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Scoop some of that yummy goodness on to your bun and sprinkle with cheese. Toast your bun for even more deliciousness.

Now it's time for me to say good night. That little angel will be up before I know it wanting to be fed! *yes, I know babies shouldn't sleep on their tummies. But mine does when I'm watching him.. and he loves there*