July 29, 2011

~ 11 Months ~

Really? 11 months old?

I have one more month of having an actual "baby". I have no clue how the time has gone by so fast. Looks like it's time for me to adjust to having a toddler. He already is one in his mind... I just have to get with the program. A toddler. The word even sounds strange on my tongue.

I have no idea how much you weigh, how tall you are, or any of that stuff since we haven't had an appointment since 9 months. But, that just means you've been relatively healthy. You know, besides falling flat on your face from a chair... we'll get to that later.
You are wearing size 5 diapers.
In mostly size 12 clothes, but those are getting too snug with jumpers and shortalls and are still too big in shorts. I just put away your 9 month clothing over the weekend and took out your 18 month. Stop growing so fast!
You have 7 teeth. Three on the bottom and 4 up top.

What you're up to these days:
You are completely DONE with purees. You much prefer to feed yourself, so we've had to make that transition this month. I had quite a bit of guilt come along with this because you were getting such healthy things with the purees. All those fruits and veggies that I could cook up and freeze ahead of time. It's not so easy to do that with real food! So, now you get things like turkey hotdogs, chicken nuggets, chicken breast, meats from the refrigerated section, cheese, yogurt, crackers (especially Goldfish), mac and cheese, corn dogs, fries if we're at a restaurant, cereal bars. You will still eat every fruit out there and get those on a daily basis, but you're not as quick to eat your veggies. You love green beans and will tolerate carrots, but that's all so far.
You are crawling around the house like a madman, but you do this funny crawl and only use one knee. You push off the ground with your other foot.
Your preferred method of getting around though, is walking while holding onto our fingers. We love that you are starting the whole walking process, but that's a little hard on our backs! You are standing up on your own if you hold onto something, but you haven't figured out that you can walk around that object on your own yet.
You're favorite thing to do lately is read. It makes my heart very happy to see how much you love books. You'll stop whatever you are doing if your books catch your attention, pull them all off of the shelves until you find just the one you are looking for, then bring it to me to read to you.. over and over and over again. Lately, we've been reading about 6 or 7 times a day...
You also love to kiss right now. You kiss everyone and everything. I LOVE when you give me kisses. You also kiss your toys and every single page in whatever book we're reading. We had a play date with your friend Bennett today. You tried to give him lots of kisses and kissed their dog plenty. I hope your loving spirit stays with you!
You are all of a sudden a cuddler which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!! You've never been one to cuddle with me, even when you are tired, and now that is exactly what you do. You just lay your little head down on my shoulder and I eat it up! Or sometimes you'll crawl over to me just to give me a hug. Be still my heart.
You have grown more independent over the last month and don't so much mind if I leave your side. It's been wonderful! You crawl around the house by yourself to explore. I can even go into the kitchen to make dinner/grab a drink/etc. without you screaming and crying. Selfishly, I am thankful, but I'm even more happy to see the confidence you have in yourself.
You still love anything to do with cars or trucks and dogs, but you also now have a fascination with planes and birds. You love watching planes while we are outside (we live about 2 miles from an airport) and will even look for them if you hear them from inside.
We've moved you into your big boy car seat, but still have you facing backwards. We plan to do that until you are two since that's what the pediatricians say to do nowadays. (Like how I snuck in that PSA?) You love being in the car and just babble away to yourself, so I don't think it bothers you.
You are "talking" more and more. I don't think we can really qualify anything as your first word quite yet, but you say things that are awful close to "dad", "yeah??" and "dog". I don't think you really understand what they mean yet though, and are probably just putting sounds together. Seeing as how you called the fan Dad the other day, I'm probably right. You do love to chat with your toys though!
You are beginning to be quite assertive. You know exactly what you want and you definitely are testing my limits. I'm not letting you get too far! Right now we are really working on letting you know it's not okay to throw things. It seems to be working, especially today. You have been nicely giving me your toys or books instead of throwing them at me. Yesterday you did get in a little bit of trouble for throwing your lunch on the floor. You know exactly what "no" means... you just pick and chose when to listen to it :)
You got your first big boo-boo. I tried to do timeout with you for the first time (again, throwing your trucks around) and was not thinking properly and put you in your little chair. It's about a foot off the ground. I don't know what made me think that you would sit still in this chair, and of course, you didn't. You leaned forward and before I could get to you, fell on the hardwood floors, right on your face. You screamed and cried immediately, had a bloody nose, and a bump forming on your forehead. It scared us so much, but you were over it long before I was. You stopped crying in a few minutes and within 5 minutes, you were sitting on the couch with dad eating meatballs, while I was still crying in our bedroom. I cried off and on all night until I went to bed. I think these types of things are going to hurt me a lot more than they hurt you :(

Your Daddy and I love you more than you will ever comprehend. I know you are almost a big boy and not a baby, but you will always be a sweet baby in my eyes. You are just growing up right before our eyes and while we do love seeing you grow and learn, it's a little sad to know we can't rewind time. I pray a whole lot for you! I pray that I am strong enough to be the mother you need me to be. I pray that you have a kind, loving spirit. I pray that I can teach you about Jesus and be able to answer all of your questions about Him. I pray that your dad and I are good role models for you to follow. I pray that you stay as happy as you are.. to continue to laugh more than you cry. I pray that I am always around to help you make the right decisions and that when you are old enough to make them on your own, that you are the type of man who has faith in himself and chooses the right paths. I pray that you take chances and will not be afraid of the world.
I want so much for you! I'm really looking forward to seeing all of the new things you will learn over the next year. This time last year, I didn't even know what you looked like. I couldn't even really understand what was going on inside my body.. couldn't really grasp it. Now, here you are and impacted our lives so greatly for being such a little person. We can't imagine our lives without you!

Now, the birthday party planning gets serious!

11 Months

Daddy was in charge of taking pics this month..

July 27, 2011

Is it Fall yet??

I'm over this whole summer thing. More and more... I'm deciding I'm NOT a summer girl. Yes, cookouts are great, but it's more fun to grill out in the fall when you don't have to risk getting a second degree burn to stand out there and grill a burger. I've never been a fan of it staying light later anyways. It being light isn't going to ensure I stay outside longer. It's hot and I have a baby that goes to sleep at 7pm for the night. I'd rather the sun start to go down earlier so we can get an evening walk in before he goes to bed. Plus, there is something cozy about it being dark with all the family home together, eating dinner, watching TV, snuggling on the couch with a good book, etc.

So... let's chat a bit about why the fall season (and even winter) is like heaven to me, shall we?

1) Football
Ahhhh football season. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. I've had the love of the sport instilled in me for as long as I can remember. I love everything about it. Putting hope into something you can't control. There's something exciting about that. The passion for your team and the (most of the time) friendly banter said passion creates between friends. Game day gear. Game day food. Seriously, my husband and I live for college football Saturdays (and whenever I can watch a Patriots game here in Cowboy land.. ecchh). We wake up bright and early to catch Gameday (LOVE to see where they are at, the rivalry between the fans, and see whatever small town famous restaurant they choose to highlight) and we are glued to the games all.day.long.We will watch any SEC game we can... and anyone else who may show some promise of making it a good game, but whole-heartedly route for SEC! It makes the day even better if we can get together with another couple who loves the sport as much as we do (Hi Jaci). COME ON football season... you're right around the corner!

2) Weather
After a full spring/summer of temperatures that reach over 100 on most days, I can't stress enough how much I'm looking forward to cooler air. I know, I know, I live in the desert and it doesn't get cold by any means. But with no humidity... the 70s and even 80s are perfect for me! My body has acclimated and when it gets too low into the 70s I may need an extra layer.. just sayin'. I can already picture the windows open and catching a cool breeze every now and then. We'll be able to walk more because we don't have to start our walk by 6:30am at the latest. We can walk whenever the mood strikes. Being outside more in general makes me a happy camper.

3) Holidays
All my favorite holidays packed into a few short months! Andrew's birthday, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Perfection! I become a child during all of these holidays. It means playing make believe, time spent with family (or in our case our Army family), decorations, and food. I'm so excited to see these things through Andrew's eyes. To see him dressed up for Halloween. To hear what his heart is thankful for. To teach him the real meaning of Christmas and show him all of the classic Christmas movies I grew up watching. I think it's going to be pretty magical. Of course, along with all of these holidays comes lots of 4-days for my husband. More family time = a happy Jessica.

4) Decorations
I LOVE fall decor. Going to Hobby Lobby and seeing it all front and center yesterday may have given me heart palpitations. I make great use of the strands of colored leaves because I don't see that outside anymore. The pumpkins, scarecrows, signs declaring how thankful we are... I can't get enough. I love earthy tones anyways, so bringing all of these things out makes my home feel nice and cozy. Light a pumpkin pie or harvest leaves candle and I'm good to go :)

5) Clothing
Speaking of being cozy and comfortable. The perfect pair of jeans? A cute, ruffly tank with a warm cardigan? Yes please! I think this year I will live in cardigans and tunics. Time to do a little shopping very soon. My body has changed over the past year (for better or worse) and the closet needs some work. Any suggestions on where to stock up on some of these items without breaking the bank would be wonderful!

6) Did I mention football?

July 25, 2011

A season for everything

I've never been one to be a "neat freak". I like things to be in order and I like my house to be clean on the surface (aka a glancing eye would think things are immaculate, but let's not take the white gloves out to really check it out, okay?) but you won't catch me cleaning the floors with a toothbrush or cleaning the baseboards any time soon. I  used to spend a few hours on the weekend straightening up and doing light cleaning, but that was it. My how things have changed...

At some point, I must have blinked a little too long and my little baby has become this toddler-like creature and is into everything. He has to touch everything. One single toy does not entertain him for longer than a 2-minute period. He eats big people snacks and prefers to eat them on the go. He's eating finger foods and thoroughly enjoys throwing it all over God's creation, stressing his mother out discovering the new textures of it all.

So now.. now... while I feel like I'm constantly cleaning up after this child... I have to let some things go. Like I said, while I was never OCDish about cleaning, but I've had to give up on the surface appearance of our home. I do my best. There are times (like right now) when I've been extremely productive during nap time and get to enjoy a swept, dusted, and wiped down, good smelling home (for about 20 minutes), but I promise you it's never like it once was.

If you come over, whether it be planned or not, you are guaranteed to see handprints over every glass surface imaginable. They ARE rather adorable little handprints though. You're pretty likely to step in a pile of cracker crumbs. Maybe even a whole one that has somehow been looked over by the human vacuum. Any area within 2 feet of the highchair will probably be disgusting. Unless it is between 8:15 and 9:30, 1:15 and 3, or anytime after 7:15.. I absolutely promise you that my living room will look like a tornado ripped through it. Toys everywhere.. watch where you step. Books thrown all over the floor (my boy loves his books, thank God). Chaos. Total chaos.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes, I do have to remind myself of this. I'm human.. of course it stresses me out at times. But, I picture it the other way around and that makes me really sad. I can't imagine not seeing those little handprints. Not having little toy soldiers, cars or airplanes to pick up! When I really think about it.. it puts a huge smile on my face. This is just a season in our lives. The toys are only going to get bigger and have more threat of breaking something. One day my house will be clean again.. you know.. on the surface... and I'm going to miss all of this.
So for now, I'll remember how blessed I am! And for now.. I'm going to print this off and hang it somewhere noticeable. So next time I step on a lego and want to scream I can remember how thankful I am for that lego.

July 19, 2011

Summer Pasta Salad

My mum gave me this gem of a recipe a few weeks ago and I finally got around to making it tonight. Ummm.. delicious. The perfect summer night dish.

Simple, but perfect. It will not disappoint.

Whole wheat penne pasta
Chicken.. canned, grilled, baked.. whatevs. We used canned, cus that's how I roll, so I'll use that in the directions
Zucchini (or summer squash. Whichever you'd prefer)
2 cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Greek salad dressing

Cook the pasta according to the directions. In the meantime, warm up your tasty canned chicken with a Tbsp of butter. After just a few minutes add your zucchini. Sprinkle some oregano and S&P and let that all simma for a bit until your zucchini/squash has reached your desired crispness (or mushiness if you're into that kind of thing). Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

When it's all done, you basically just throw the rest of the ingredients together and enjoy.

For all of you WW people...I used the serving size of all the pointed items and added as much vegetables as I pleased and it was 11 points.

If you decide to try it.. and you would be silly not to... let me know what you think!

July 17, 2011

WW Monday

But really it's Sunday. I'm early.

I've been a failure at all things Weight Watchers lately! Not only have I not kept up with the Monday Link-ups (which, if you've been reading for any amount of time, shouldn't surprise you), but I haven't been keeping up with the diet period. At all. And honestly haven't been since we moved.. what a month ago?

In this past month, I can't tell you how many times I said, "I'll start counting points again on Saturday". Saturday would come around and we'd have a cookout. Who wants to count points during a cookout? Not this girl. "I'll just wait until Monday". Monday rolls around and it doesn't happen again, but for no good reason. Saturday. Monday.. blah blah blah. Too many careless girls nights and too many cookouts. Not enough cooking going on in the casa, too much going out to eat and ordering takeout (which clearly isn't good for the weight loss... and never mind the budget!).

Tomorrow this all changes back to point counting and healthier options! Why the conviction now, you ask? How am I so sure I'll magically and faithfully be tracking points tomorrow? I saw a picture of myself today. Standing next to my two wonderful, gorgeous, in shape friends, not only did I look like a midget, but I wasn't at all happy with the state my body was in. Honestly, I thought I looked better than that (I have a very healthy self-image, which sometimes fails me). I reminded myself of an oompa loompa. (no clue how to spell that).

That's what it's always taken for me to get back on track though. A little slap in the face. A slight nudge.
I don't remember when I started this journey, but whenever it was, I've lost 12.6 pounds since then. Which is great. Four pounds of it is due to the bug from last week, but that's neither here nor there.

I've been doing good with our morning walks, but will do better.
More fruit. Less crap. More veggies. Less laziness. More determination and self-discipline.

Back to weekly weigh-ins to share with you all. Lucky ducks. I'm not going to start the link-ups back up again. There just wasn't enough participation for me to make sure I have the post done in time. I do still love to read your weight loss posts though, so let me know how you're doing!

July 11, 2011


Ahhh.. the dreaded field.

Why is it that as soon as our spouses leave us for any amount of time, Murphy has to stick his Law into our business?? We're all cursed, I tell you!

I won't go into much gory detail, but no more than an hour after my husband left over the weekend, I was I-L-L. Bad. I  have a baby to take care of, wth am I going to do-bad. After a few dear friends came to my rescue and an ER doc prevented me from dying.. I'm pretty sure I had food poisoning. This was no regular ol' bug. Yuck-O.

I'm on the mend, but keep thinking I am better off then I really am.. that takes a lot out of you! I thought I was fully better today, but turns out I pushed myself a little too far. In no form or fashion am I back to where I was on that horrid Saturday morning, but it'll be another early night tonight. I'm flat exhausted. And still can't eat very much. On the positive side, I lost 4 pounds in a day. Take that Weight Watchers!

And ya know.. as bad as we think we have it.. I feel bad for those boys of ours out there. I know, I know, they signed up for the job, but it's gotta be rough and I know I wouldn't last 5 minutes out there. Trey was able to call me for just a few minutes today and he sounded like he had been run over by a Mack truck. Poor thing. He couldn't go into much detail at the moment, but the little detail he did give me was enough. Walking around the dessert in all that gear in 100+ degree weather, eating crap for food and sleeping under the stars. Plus it stormed there yesterday, which he did say actually felt good. I'm sure! They are going out to do some kind of mission in the middle of the night tonight, so I'm sure tomorrow will be an even better day ;) We do both know that this is important training that he needs for a future deployment, so we just embrace the suck, right? I don't know how these soldiers do it for an entire year! It puts things into perspective. At least I have an air-conditioned house and a cozy bed to sleep in.

Drew and I plan to spoil him with lots of hugs and kisses when he gets home. I asked him what he wanted for dinner for his first night back and he said steak and green beans. So that's what'll be on the menu one night this week!

July 6, 2011


PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) started it's summer session this morning. I've really been looking forward to it!

I stopped going earlier this year because there was just too much going on with Andrew. They provide free child care while you are attending and at first, it worked perfectly. Then he got a little older, caught a few colds, sprouted some teeth, and discovered that the world was falling apart when I wasn't by his side. The last time I went, they had to call me back to come and get him after he had been crying nonstop for almost an hour. That was the beginning of our troubles and I didn't feel comfortable going back for the next few weeks.

They took a break for a few weeks, we've been putting him in CDC weekly for a few weeks (trying to get him used to being without me), and I've been more than ready to get back into it.

So off we went this morning with high hopes. To say I wasn't nervous would be a lie, but I told the sweet ladies watching him that we've had separation issues and if things get out of control not to hesitate to call me. I left and he didn't cry, but I had my phone glued to my hands the entire time.

If you've been paying any sort of attention to my blog, you know that this is something I have really, really been struggling with for a while. (or if you know me in real life and have heard me complaining about it constantly and begging for advise.. yeahh.. sorry about that!) I've talked to everyone about it possible. Googled it a million times, searching for answers. Complained until I've been blue in the face. Taken to more alcohol than usual after bedtime. Have had to be medicated to keep sane. And just plain cried.

Funny that we started a study today about hearing God speak to you. How we need to put ourselves in a position where we're ready to listen to what He has to say. How we need to go to Him with EVERYTHING.. the big stuff and the small stuff.

Wow. Not once have I thought to pray about this. I've turned to everyone else except God. I haven't asked for more patience. I haven't asked Him to show me what to do to make my son more secure. I thank God for him.. a lot.. but to be really honest.. I haven't prayed ABOUT him or over him since we've had him out of the NICU. Fail. Big fat fail.

I'm so quick to run straight to God when the big, ugly things come about. Or when I really want something. I don't take the time to praise Him when things are just swimming along normally or when I have little day-to-day issues. This all smacked me right in the head while I was listening today.

And wouldn't you know it... I walk over to pick up Andrew and he was as happy as can be. He did wonderfully. He played a lot. Drank his entire bottle. Ate gold fish and graham crackers for the first time and apparently loved them both. They said the only time he got mad is when they changed his diaper (normal.. the kid is perfectly happy sitting in his own filth) and when they stopped feeding him and took him out of his highchair (typical). This made me so happy. I was thrilled that he was able to be social. That he was fine without me. I'm in NO WAY under any assumption that all of our problems with this are gone (in fact, when we got home, I left him for .2 seconds to get my phone out of the dining room and he freaked) but we're making progress.

I almost had given up on solving this until he just plain grew out of it. I have run out of ideas and I think we've tried everything there is to do. But, God's totally got this!

July 5, 2011

~ 10 Months ~

I'm so late with this. So late. I blame the move again. How long can I get away with that?

Anywho.. my baby is now 10 months and 1 week ( I had to look that up on the calendar and not as late as I thought.. I take back that second so late).

Stats as of June 15th:
Weight - 21.5 pounds
Height - 29 inches
Head Circumference - Big. Just kidding (kind of) I actually have no clue.. sorry!
Diapers - Size 5
Clothes - 12 months in everything except shorts.. those are still 9 month because of his little waist.

Andrew has changed so much in this past month. Mostly really cool, fun changes!
He's finally crawling. Mostly low-crawling still, but he does crawl normally as well. Now he's started to crawl with one knee down and the other foot down that he pushes off of. Does that make sense?
He's walking while we hold his hands and does such a good job with that! Let me tell you though.. I'm ready for him to do it unassisted. It's not so easy on the back!
He's pulling himself up but mostly just to his knees. Unfortunately, that means we sometimes have fight to get him to sleep because he's trying to get out. We've found him asleep sitting up multiple times.. I know.. He's a little weird. I'm not sure where he gets that from.
Speaking of weird.. he does this thing where he sits down on the opposite side of the "coffee table" from us. He'll slowly pull himself up and even more slowly bring his head up so he can see us and then smile and growl. He thinks it's the greatest thing ever.
He is blabbering much more. He makes all kinds of noises (practicing talking) and it seems like he thinks he's having a conversation with you and he thinks you can understand everything he's saying perfectly. He'll babble on and then look at you and smile like he's saying, "ya know?? Isn't that great???".
He's not very content with pureed foods anymore. If I make more complex recipes he's good, but mostly, he wants finger food and to feed it to himself. Today for lunch he had a half of chicken breast cut up into tiny little pieces and a very little bit of an oatmeal, cinnamon, raisen mix.
He has 7 teeth now. Four on top and three on the bottom
He still is loving cars and trucks more than ever. We can now add a few things to the list though. Tanks. As in Army tanks. He sees them a lot now that we live on post (every morning on our walk) and spazzes a little bit every time we pass it. And airplanes. We were in the Costco parking lot last week when he noticed one for the first time. He pointed up to and squealed. We live about 3 minutes from the airport.. so we're pointing at airplanes quite a lot throughout the day now... It's great fun.
You stick your tongue out on command and I'm very entertained by it. I'm sure one day I'll regret this, but not for now.

The separation anxiety though?? That has really got to go! I'm going to be driven off the deep end..

How are you 2 months away from being a year old? I can't believe how big you've gotten! You are just changing every day right before our eyes and I want to beg and plead for time to slooowww down. You bring an indescribable amount of joy into our lives and I'm not sure I can picture life without you. You are the best decision we ever made! Every time you give me that goofy smile, look at me and laugh, "give me kisses" aka blow on my cheek, growl, and touch my face while I'm reading you Goodnight Moon.. my heart swells two sizes bigger.
I may be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure you are the cutest kid to ever be placed on this earth. I hear comments on your big, blue eyes just about every day.
I thank God for you every single day. I'm not sure what I did to deserve having you to call my own, but I won't question it.

We love you sweet boy!

July 3, 2011

Busy Bee

I'm surprised I still have anyone following this ol' blog!

I don't know what is going on - ahem.. having a 10 month old and almost 800 extra square feet to keep up - but I have zero free time lately. My days have been jam packed full and I'm too tired at the end of the day to even make my fingers type. Not that I'm complaining.. life has been great.. my blog has just taken a back seat for now. I'm not giving it up, though, you can't get rid of me that easily!

So.. what have I been up to?

Andrew turned 10 months (yes mom, I know I owe you a 10 month post) and there have been so many fun changes with him. Still working on getting rid of that separation anxiety, though. It's bad. Like can't leave his side without him wailing bad. Yes, I'm asking for suggestions. Throw some of your mommy knowledge at me.. even if you think I've probably tried it already. I probably have, but I'm desperate.

I have a friend here that is a photographer and she wanted to take some pics of Andrew to build up her portfolio. Who am I to deny her that opportunity.. what kind of friend would I be? Umm.. they are amazing. Here is a quick sample..

Do you die looking at those? I do. Every single time. So there was that.

Then.. I've become great friends with Mel. Are you jealous? You really should be. She's such an awesome girl and even though she's leaving next month (I already tear up a little when I think about that) I'm so very glad we met and we've been giving this opportunity to get to know one another. We've been busy with a girls night with my other fav, JG, and have another one planned for this week (and another one for the week after.. they don't know about that yet), a day of shopping and Taco Bell, and explaining the lawyerish details of the Casey Anthony trial to me. It's been wonderful. Ohh.. and grilling out...

Trey and I hosted our first big cookout last night in our new home. Our house was full and I loved every second of it. I love having people over.. our last house didn't so much allow for it with it being so small... luckily we have much more space and a great backyard for entertaining. Hopefully, we'll have many more nights like that during the summer and over football season!

And the best news? One of my bff's from back home had her baby today! Precious Madison Leigh was born at 1:13 eastern time. Congratulations Ashleigh and Matthew!! I can't wait to meet her :)