February 26, 2011

20 Questions

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?

We don't have any pets right now, basically because I don't want the responsibility. We will get a dog or two in a few years though. Drew LOVES them.
2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
I would never ever worry about money. We'd vacation as a family twice a year. Once to a tropical/foreign location and once to a part of the US that we haven't seen. Trey would continue to do what he loves and the Army would always give us whatever we wanted (ie duty stations, time off, etc). We'd have two more kids (I'm okay with whatever sex as long as we have at least one more boy.. I'd be totally okay with all boys) and their births would be easy and uneventful. We'd all be very very happy.
3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
We wouldn't buy a house yet, but put enough in an account to pay for our dream house to be built when we were done with the Army. Give our parents enough to build their dream homes. Give some to our siblings. Put away enough to pay for our children's education. Buy all the cute things I wanted to for Andrew. Go on those vacations I mentioned above. Donate some here and there. Pay off all debt. Write anonymous checks to people we care about. And just have some fun.
4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
A good cry. A chat with friends, hubby, or mum. Music. Coffee. A hug and opened mouth slobbery kiss from Drew.. or hearing his laugh or seeing his smile.
5. What is your bedtime routine?
First and most importantly, take a Melatonin. Check on Drew. Make Trey look at Drew because obviously he is just so cute in whatever position he is in. Check all the locks even though I know Trey's already checked them. Brush teeth. Wash hair. Turn on fans. Either read or chat until I pass out. Sometimes I ask Trey to scratch my back. He usually complies.
6. What activities did you do in High School? If you could go back, would you do the same stuff or something different?
Echhh.. I would do everything differently. I didn't care one iota about my grades. I was more into the whole social aspect of it. I'll leave it at that..

7. What kind of books do you read?
Drama filled fiction books.
8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still sickeningly happily married to the hubs. My oldest will be 10.5 years old. My youngest.. who knows..4 or 5?? I will be loving on my family and maybe working part time and working on finishing my degree or maybe even starting a completely new one.
9. What’s your fear?
Losing people that I love. Insects. Clowns. Bridges. Being lost.
10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
Absolutely not. Junk food is way too important and I'm not really into all that space stuff.
11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Make a bottle and start the Keurig
12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?
He wouldn't worry so much of what other people think (myself included) and just do what he wants.
13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn't. I really like my name even though a million others share it with me. I think it's fun and girly.
14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Who in their right mind would choose 6 months of rain?!?! sun, sun, SUN! (totally agree Ashleigh.. I'll just stick with your answer!)

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
pizza!!! (me too!)

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
Being part of such a great community of girls. People that don't blog think I'm crazy, but I love that you are all such a big part of my life!
17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?
Ughh.. both. One right after the other.

18. What items are in your purse right now?
Well, I have a purse that is big enough to be used as a diaper bag sooo..
wallet, keys, phone, chapstick, diapers, wipes, bib, extra outfit, toys, blah blah blah blah

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go?
Beach beach beach! I haven't seen one in almost 3 years :( Unacceptable!

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn’t?
It hasn't started yet, but I know it should be illegal for me to watch that new Coming Home show that is starting on Lifetime next Sunday. I'm going to be an obscene, blubbering mess.. but I know I'll still watch it!

I'm technically supposed to tag others to play along, but I'm not. I love to read these things though so answer away!!

February 23, 2011

A few things I'm diggin' at the moment

1. American Idol.
I swore this show off two years ago. I didn't miss watching it one single iota last year. Kara really got on my nerves and I can't even really place why. I had no intentions of watching it this year either, but turned it on just to see how the new judges were going to do. That was about 3 weeks ago and I'm a born again Idol addict. I've always been a closet J-Lo lover (not so much her music.. never got down with Jenny on the Block.. but I'm a sucker for her cliche romantic comedy movies) and her personality on the show is enough to make me come running out of that closet. She's so sweet, but not annoying like Paula (Have another sister). And Steven Tyler - how cool is he?? I about died the night they had to put up a warning on the screen for his language. Randy was always good in my book. He makes me laugh.
Early favorite (that I can think of off the top of my head..) I think her name is Lauren. Cute little blond girl who I believe is 15 or 16. I would have said the guy with the deep "Josh Turner" voice when I first saw him, but I'm sure that is going to get old. I know there are more... it's early in the game. I haven't quite remember who is who yet.

2. Sarah's Key.
I'm reading it for this months book club. (yes, I joined a book club). It's probably one of the best books I've ever read and I'm not even finished yet. You can read about it here, but basically it's about a particular little girl and her family who was part of a roundup of Jews in France, 1942. Some of it is told from her point of view, which is so well written that I feel like I'm there with her, and so heartbreaking that it leaves me up for well after I've finished reading with a very sad heart. I feel like it weighs on me. It also ties in with a modern day American journalist, living in France, researching an article on the roundup. They eventually link together.. which is where I'm at now so I have nothing else to add here other than... This is a must read!

3. Making Drew's food.
I've been a puree'ing machine over the last few days. It was time consuming and there is almost no room in our freezer, but there is enough food to last him over a month, I'm sure, and was a lot less expensive to make. Not only did I save us some mula, my baby is eating better goods. There is nothing wrong with eating the packaged stuff.. our parents all gave it to us... but I like this option better. I like that there isn't a shelf life of 2 years on his food. I also like that I can give him more options. I've made (and he loves) carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, broccoli, avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, mango, apples with cinnamon, pears, and papaya. He loves it all. He does not enjoy yogurt so far.

4. Dresses.
Call it covering up my chubbier than used to be tummy, call it sick of "winter", call it what you will.. but I'm loving me some dresses and plan on wearing a lot more this summer. (or starting now.. because I live in the desert and I can do that). And not just for special occasions. Dress Barn is not your grandmothers go to clothing store anymore. I went in there today with a friend and helloooo cuteness! I shopped at the clearance rack and got three of them. Spent $56 and saved $77. I could have bought just about the whole store.

Those are a few of my favorite things at the moment! What are you loving??

February 21, 2011

End of another 4-day

Another 4-day weekend comes to a close. Why do they always go by so fast??

We had a good one. Very low key. I was able to get some gym time in, although not as much as I planned and ate not so good for me food for the majority of the weekend. And I wonder why I'm stuck at 7 pounds lost! I do good all week and then blow it on the weekend.

We had a yard sale Saturday morning. That was an experience! Not as bad as I pictured it to be, but still...
We had to try and speak Spanish rather than people making an effort to speak English. Not the case with everyone, but the majority. I actually want to learn Spanish while we are here, but I don't feel like I should be at a disadvantage because I don't. Again.. America. Some people had mad bargaining skills and some just piled stuff up and said something about dinero in a questioning tone. Every single person that came lived in Juarez. Not that it makes one bit of difference to me.. I was just glad they were taking our junk.
None of my books were sold, however. I was pretty perplexed about that until Trey pointed out the obvious... the books are in English. Hello!!

We watched a few movies over the weekend.
1. How to train your dragon. I LOVED THIS MOVIE. So adorable and Trey now wants a pet dragon. This is one we will have to get for Drew (sure hope Mizzy read that ;) )
2. The social network. Very interesting. One of my favorite parts was when they showed when "facebook me" became a term that everyone knew. And how everyone started taking cameras to parties so they could tag their friends and relive the party the next morning.
3. A documentary called Babies. We have been very into the documentaries on Netflix lately. This one was alright. It showed the differences between 4 different babies lives from birth to a little over 1 it looked like. The four were from San Fransisco, Africa, Mongolia and Japan. One of the main points that stood out to me is I am EXTREMELY thankful to have the conveniences that we do! For instance, I thank God for diapers. Self explanatory, but those African moms....shooo... no thank you! The Mongolian baby was not watched over nearly as much as our babies are. It was no big deal for it to be alone in a field with cows charging all around it. I almost had a heart attack.

We grilled out with a few friends on Sunday. Of course on the one slightly chilly day of the weekend.

I'm thinking Trey has a greater understanding on what it's like to be a stay at home parent. It's been a little harder with Andrew (not impossible by any means), but with teething he is pretty irritable. He also knows we exist now even if we leave the room, so he does not like it very much if we leave his sight. That makes for one exhausted mama! On the other hand, the more frequent laughter out of him makes my heart smile. His sweet babbling is so much fun and I love to see him learn more and more every day. So it's give and take, but I know Trey appreciates me just a little more than he already did!

That's about it! I don't have much going on this week, which should make for a loong one I'm sure. I leave to go to SC next week for all of the wedding festivities. We are almost sure that Trey isn't going to be able to go (which I hope everyone understands). How sad is it that I'm so worried about him without me to take care of him?? I know he is a big boy and can take care of himself, but I know he won't eat as well. He considers Popeyes an acceptable thing to eat on a daily basis... what is he going to do without me??

February 16, 2011

Take the time to read this

I was so incredibly moved by this article that I had to share with everyone that may not have seen it.

You can click here to visit this wonderful woman's website, but here it is...

As many of you know, my husband came home from our third deployment not too long ago. During the deployment, a reporter asked me to share “What I Knew” about deployments and military life. This was my answer:

As I forced my hands to unfurl from his neck, feeling the familiar sting in my nose as tears pushed against my will, the words rattled and echoed in my brain. “Not again.”
I watched him walk away–that uniform, identifiable gait—and my heart bent and splintered as the reality of a third deployment began to shower over me.
I picked up the phone, dialing the numbers my numb fingers always meander toward, and sat in silence while she tried to ease my pain. “I can’t imagine…He will be home….I’m here.”
And then she said six words that shot through my ears, penetrated my brain, and stiffened my spine: “You know how to do this.”
She was right. I do know how to do this. I intimately know the all-too familiar lump in my throat. The year of being both father and mother, making the best of a situation. I know exactly how one year feels as I X each day off my calendar. And I know how to ensure that while our lives are on hold, we still live.

The truth is I know a lot:

» The thought of being alone for a year doesn’t bother me. The fear of being alone for a lifetime—does.

» Flat rate boxes can hold twenty whoopee cushions, four kindergarten projects, and five perfume-scented letters.

» Technology can be a double-edged sword—one side delivering his face; the other a brutal live-action feed of explosions and camouflaged body parts.

» Murphy’s Law is a constant companion. The moment he walks out the door, anything that can break, collapse, bleed, or explode–will .

» Five hours of uninterrupted sleep is a gift from the deployment gods

» Holidays are hard, but manageable.

» Deployments come and go, but sand from his boots never leaves.

» Nothing can replace a handwritten letter. Through those beautifully folded pages, he is holding my hand again.

» When the National Anthem is played, I know goosebumps will rise on my arms, and a lump will fill my throat.

» The silence in communication following a war zone attack is agonizing.

» Laughter is a powerful ally.

» Each deployment offers two options: grow or regress. This is a choice.

» Cereal is always a dinner option.

» Videos of lost teeth, ballerina recitals, and preschool graduations can be emailed to Iraq nearly instantly.

» Five powers of attorney and the intimate details of his will are needed to navigate a deployment.

» White out blizzards can actually bury a truck in five minutes.

» Rosie the Riveter was right: We can do it.

» Children cling to hope and the promise of tomorrow.

» Living in each moment together is possible when facing the fear that it could be your last.

» Welcome home kisses are sweeter than the finest chocolate.

» Anger will grip me and depression can hold me, but another military spouse will steady me.

» A six-year-old child can feel the absence of her father so deeply that she can suffer from clinical depression.

» A military spouse will often hold her/his tongue, silencing a story, for fear of sounding “unpatriotic.”

» The sound of a bugle can make my heart swell with pride or collapse in sorrow.

» Duct tape and a monkey wrench can fix nearly anything.

» Despite the protestors and those who tell me I “knew” what I was getting into, I know there are countless American citizens who will go above and beyond to show they support us.

There are many things I know.
I know how to change the brakes on my truck, rappel from the side of a cliff, shoot a double-barreled shotgun, balance a checkbook, earn my keep, and kiss a child enough to feel like two.

But there are still so many things I don’t know.

» I don’t know how to start my heart again when I see a death notification car on my street.

» When that knock echoes on the door of my neighbor, I don’t know how to forgive myself when I am relieved.

» I don’t know how to hug him enough to last a lifetime, or kiss him just so in order to feel satisfied—should our reunion be at the foot of a pine box.

» I’m not willing to learn how to pretend he doesn’t exist, to keep him out of our life while it goes on without him, or to build a wall so high he has no way to scale it.

» I don’t know how to stop his panic attacks, and I have no idea how to make my nightmares of rampant bombs and lifeless limbs disappear.

» I don’t know how to adjust to his presence in my house when our floor rarely feels the weight of his boots.

» I don’t know how to tell his small children that, yes, he leaves them all the time. But because he loves them so deeply, he is willing to die to keep them free.

» I can’t understand those who would question my desire to stay with him, or how I can peacefully sleep beside a “killer.”

» I am amazed and confounded that despite all he has seen, he still has the courage to laugh.

» I don’t’ know how to give up on my family.

But, most importantly:
I have no clue how to still my pounding heart when he finally walks through our door again, I don’t know how to pull my hands from his sand-stained neck and say goodbye, and I don’t know how to ever walk away from a man who stands while many choose to sit.

Be still my heart...

Let go and let God

That was one of my Grandmother's favorite sayings, I believe, and it's one that really stuck with me. Along with something about there only being one cook in the kitchen and "a watched pot never boils".

But, anywhooo...

For the past few weeks, I've tried to put the weight of the world on my shoulders. That's who I am.. a worry wart! It's just what I do. I like to take the world and try to mold it in my hands just so. There are times when I fully believe that I can take any situation and make it go the exact way I want it to, even if the odds are stacked against me. I'll make it work. Sometimes with words and actions, and sometimes by sheer will. While oftentimes I am successful, I am sure that this is the main cause for the crick in my neck 99.9% of the time. It's hard to need all of that control!

Two situations that have been sitting right there on the tippy top of my shoulders: Andrew's medical issues and that ugly D word (deployment.. that will be the only time I say it!)

The whole thing with Andrew.. I HAVE to let go. I hate this saying, but "it is what it is". God made him a certain way. I'm not at all convinced that what the doctor said is the actual case, but if it is, what can I do about it? You were all right, there is plenty of technology out there and doctors know what they are doing (most of them). If it can't be fixed.. there is a reason for it. God doesn't screw up. Repeat over and over... and over. He doesn't make mistakes. We'll be fine!

D word.. ahh.. D word, D word, D word.
We all know it eventually comes up. We can't avoid it forever. Of course DH and I have to make it more difficult than necessary. I've already done a post on this before, but to refresh the memory, he is debating going over to another unit to go sooner. I'm all for it. In fact, I'm hoping for it. Of course, once we've discussed it to absolutely no end and have both come to the conclusion that we both want him to go ahead and go and my hopes are up.. it's starting to look like he'll have to wait.
Sound crazy, do I? Listen, he's going sooner or later. Either this year or next. Let's just get this show on the road and get it over with! Of course, I've had our family map planned out since we got married. I knew exactly when I wanted to have kids and how many and what sex I wanted them to be. (see my control issues here?? Hey.. I wanted a boy first and look what I got!) If he goes sooner.. he'll come home and will be exactly in the time line of when I wanted the second child. If he goes late.. shooo.. that throws me all of! So far, his BN doesn't sound like they will let him go. You mean his BC doesn't care that it doesn't coincide with my family plan??? I kid. I need to learn to be okay with this. The Army certainly isn't going to consult me every time they want to take my husband away, as much as I think they should :)
God has a better life plan than I do. As hard as that is for me to grasp and agree with.. I know it's true. If he doesn't go sooner, there is a darn good reason for it. And I'm pretty sure the Big Man will let me know when it's time to have another child.

I'm ridiculous. I'm letting go. I'm very positive that I'll have to re-read this post a million times and chant that phrase over and over again... maybe one day it will sink it.

February 14, 2011

In the blink of an eye... Part II

This morning was Andrew's Ophthalmology appointment. I felt good going in there, expecting the best. We got some good news and bad news..

The Good ~
Most likely, the difference in dialation is nothing. Apparently, 20% of our population has the same issue.. it's just a thing.

The Bad ~
It is also most likely that he can't see out of his left eye. As in, completely blind out of it or can see just very very little. He couldn't tell me this was 100% the case, but kept saying he is "pretty sure". Which, btw, has nothing to do with the dialation problem. When the doc covered up his left eye, Drew was able to follow the toy he had in front of his face fully. When his right eye was covered, he was clearly upset and wasn't tracking the toy at all. None of the three we tried.. not any of the multiple times we tried. If we hadn't gone in there, we probably wouldn't have found this out until his first eye exam.

We are being referred to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist off post to get more definitive answers.

A lot of things went through my mind.. was it because of his birth? Because they had to use the vacuum on him? Could it be my fault.. I already carry some guilt for everything that went wrong as it is. Did I help cause this too? If he is blind in his left eye, there is a chance he could develop a lazy eye. Kids are horribly mean. It will break my heart to know he is being picked on.

I know we can deal with this. It could be SO much worse! We will treat him no differently and he will know that he can still try and accomplish anything he would be able to with both eyes :) Trey is a little more angry and down about it all, but I'm trying to help him see that compared to what we've been through with him already, this is nothing.

Maybe this will end up being a non-issue, even. If the doc couldn't give me a 100%, this is the problem answer, I still don't fully believe it's true. If it is.. it's okay.. it changes nothing. He is still my happy, charming, adorable little boy :)

February 9, 2011

What's your song?

Y'all did great with the wedding shoe fiasco.. crisis is solved and our hot pink shoes are being ordered. Bonus - pink pashminas instead of cardigans!

Now on to the next wedding subject. SIL sent me a text this morning saying:
"pick a song to be introduced at the wedding to. I need it by next week. This song defines you :) have fun with it"

Yeahhhh... this is my dream assignment. I've literally had daydreams where someone has asked me to do this for one reason or another *don't judge.. I LOVE music.. of all kinds!* Now of course, when the pressure is on, I can't remember any of the songs I've picked in my make believe world.

My first instinct is Thunderstruck by AC/DC. Not that the song describes me, but come on... how do you beat that intro?? It's perfect for me!

I let the bride now that that was my pick so far but not my final answer.

What would be your bridal party entrance song??

February 8, 2011

Let's play catch up!

Seems that we have made it through "Winter Storm 2011". And I thought South Carolina was bad!! There was maybe a total of 1/2 inch of snow that ever accumulated and the city was shut down for almost a full week. Not just like a cutesy let's-all-stay-home-and-cuddle shut down, it was a dangerous people-living-without-water-and-electricity shut down. Pipes have burst all over the city and homes have been flooded. Schools couldn't open from Wednesday, I think, until today.. one day short of a week. I have to say, though, that the community seems to have gotten together really well and problems look like they are being solved quickly. We put our names down as volunteers to have people come and shower and have a warm place to sleep since we were one of the very few that kept these luxuries, but no one took us up on it. We tried! The high is 70 today. Tomorrow's high is 40. My sinuses already hurt.

Speaking of hurting.. my poor baby is cutting his first tooth! I can tell it is effecting him, but only minimally. He's just a little extra fussy and sometimes is having trouble falling asleep. I can't imagine what he will look like with a little tooth in there :)

I have been a busy little bee planning my SIL bachelorette activities. A group of 9 of us are staying a weekend in downtown historic Savannah, GA and I can't wait! I fly home in early March and will be staying about 2 weeks or so. Wish me luck.. flying solo with the babe!

I had an epic fail of a long weekend with the diet. Echh.. it all started when a friend came over Thursday night and forced me to drink a few glasses of chocolate wine. And went downhill from there to include chocolate covered strawberries, a mini brownie, chips and dip, chex mix... etc etc! I am back on track now though and thankfully only gained a pound.. it's amazing!

We have a busy week planned this week with appointments for me, getting together with friends, and getting ready and organized for a yard sale on Saturday morning! No rest for this girl!

*Thank you all so much for your thoughts of last weeks scare with Andrew! It means so much to me to read your kind words. I will keep you all updated!*

February 4, 2011

In the blink of an eye..

... your world can be threatened to crash down all around you.

Good thing today.. our world only toppled and did not totally crash.
Trey and I started noticing not too long ago that at times throughout the day, Andrew's left pupil was considerably larger than his right. I made an appointment at SFMC to get it checked out, but wasn't very concerned. I didn't think too much of it and was doing just that.. just getting it checked out.

And this conversation with the doc is where we can enter the teeter-tottling (real phrase? sure. ) of my world.
has he been throwing up? (no)
has he been through any kind of trauma? (yes.. enter birth story)
was he hooked up to oxygen? (yes)
he never had any bleeding in his brain though? (yes actually, he did have a hematoma)

This is when she tells me that she is not concerned in the least with getting him to see an Opthamologist at the moment and I needed to get him up to William Beaumont for a CT Scan to make sure there was not a brain tumor.

Just like that. My brain didn't even have time to be wrapped around the concept before I was out the door and on my way. I was going to the Radiology Dept. to make sure my baby didn't have a brain tumor.

I didn't cry until I was alone with him in the room, seeing him basically in a straight jacket and having to grab a hold of his little 5 month old chin to make sure he didn't move a spec while he bawled his eyes out. This couldn't be happening. His life couldn't be threatened for the second time in less than a half of a year. But it very well could be happening, the other half of my brain was screaming ( I have two sides I guess.. one that loves to stay in denial and one that needs to prepare for the absolute worst.). It happens to people all of the time.. you are no different.

It is not, after all, happening to us - thank God. His pediatrician is a saint. She was very concerned and even though she was off, arranged to have the results called in to her so she could be sure we got the news ASAP. As I was pulling in my driveway she called with the wonderful news! I feel the need to send her flowers.. or at least a card.

So now we move on to the next step. We'll be getting referred to see an Opthalmologist at the end of next week and will go from there. Whatever it is, it's not a brain tumor, we can deal with it.

We are an extremely thankful family tonight. Andrew.. we love you to pieces, but please stop scaring us like that.

February 2, 2011

Stacy and Clinton - we need your help!

What not to wear: Military Style?

I have a poll for you girls.. answer honestly!

Do you think dark pink heels would compliment your man in his dress blues. Not for him of course, but on you with a navy dress?

Here's the story..

I have a very indecisive SIL that is getting married next month. Yes, NEXT MONTH, so we she needs to make this decision like... yesterday. Us bridesmaids are wearing navy blue dresses.. on the short side.. and SIL had originally said she'd like us in nude shoes. Yesterday she called asking how I thought dark/hot pink shoes would look with it along with the same color cardigan. Too cute says I! Not so much says her stepmom and photographer. They say it won't look good with the guys' blues.

I said I would take it to the experts soooo here you go!

We need help!

Not our dress or shoes, but to give you a nice mental image (boards.weddingbee.com)