January 31, 2012

~ 17 Months ~

I'm slacking a little bit! I missed the 16 month update (to my defense, we were in SC), I'm late on this one and I have no monthly picture. Tsk tsk tsk. Just thought I'd admit the faults up front. Now.. moving on..

17 months?!? Andrew... you are such a big boy! You have been changing so much lately, and all in wonderful, amazing ways! You have quite the BIG personality, my son. Ha! I'm very much enjoying your laugh which comes out more times a day than I can count. You laugh even just when you hear someone else laugh.. especially your Daddy. If he thinks something is funny, well than obviously it must be hysterical in your eyes!
Speaking of your Daddy... you are just in love with that man! I have to say.. for the majority of your big life so far, it's been all about me. You turned to me for everything possible.. comfort, play, help. Now, you are just so into your Dad and I. LOVE. IT. It makes me so happy to see the two of you together. Playing, reading, watching cartoons.. everything! I know it means the world to him too!

I have no earthly idea how much you weigh or how tall you are. Which is a good thing, it means we haven't been to the doctor in a while. We'll find out next month at your 18 month well visit appointment.
You are in almost all 24 month clothes. You can still fit in a few pairs of you 18 month pants, but that's about it.
You're in size 5.5 or 6 shoe. Size 5 or 6 diaper. 5's are getting snug, but 6's are just a tad too big.

I kind of feel like you've slowed down in this area. I believe your only new word in the past two months is, "no". Which is unfortunate because you use it very freely!
So now we have - Car (Ca.. sometimes you will actually say cars if you are asking demanding to watch the movie), Dog (Daww... but you use that for lots of words), I love you (ya ya ya), Outside (owdaaa), and mama and dada of course.
You are doing a few signs now. You know how to sign "more" and "all done". You almost have "thank you" down and we are working on "please", but you aren't even close to doing that one.

Everything. Favorites right now would be Kix, bread of any kind, yogurt, apples.. or any kind of fruit really, green beans, kidney beans (I know.. crazy), chick peas, Cheez-Its and still Goldfish of course.
You are very independent with your eating now. You want to use your own utensils and you almost have it down.. you still need my help a little bit. You love it when I hand you something without cutting it up so you can take bites.

We are down to one a day and it has moved to the afternoon. You go down at 12:30 and sleep anywhere between 2 and 3 hours. I love it! Our mornings are freed up to do so much more now and I can get a lot down in that long period in the afternoon! You go down for the night between 7 and 7:30 and wake up between 6 and 7 in the morning.

You had your first dentist appointment. You hated every second of it even though all they did was brush your teeth, but I think it's a great office. You saw Dr. Bowden. Speaking of teeth... you have so many that I've lost count. They are everywhere in that little mouth of yours.

You are more comfortable in CDC. I don't have major guilt when I drop you off anymore because you very rarely cry now. It warms my heart to see you have so much fun with other kids. You run around, laughing and smiling. I hope you are always comfortable among your peers!

You are SO into the alphabet. I have a ABC puzzle and amazingly enough, when I empty out the pieces and ask you to find a certain one, you are able to find it! That blows my mind. You are so very smart baby!

You do really well with following directions (when you want to, of course) and you're quite the good little helper. You love to "help", and I use that term very loosely.. ha!, mama do the dishes, cook dinner, shut  doors for me, umm.. flush the toilet!

You are climbing all over everything! We are not safe anymore! You love to get up on the couch or any big boy chair and can go down the stairs by yourself. How are you so independent?!?

You also love to read your books by yourself. You will tear almost all of them down from your bookshelf and flip through them over and over. When I try to come and read to you, you move away from me.. haha! You make me laugh all day!

Your love for cars has expanded out to planes, helicopters, and CAT cars. You also LOVE any kind of ball. You get really excited when you see one anywhere.. if it's on a book or block.. or even on your sheets.. you get very upset that you can't pick the ball up off of the object!

Andrew, you are such a joy sweetheart! I feel so blessed that I get to stay home with you and witness all of these firsts. We have your brave, hardworking Daddy to thank for that!

We love you more than you know - Mama and Daddy

January 28, 2012


I don't usually take the time to write a post over the weekend. I'm usually staying off of the computer as much as possible, enjoying time as a family. Today, though, I have some strange sharp pain between my chest and armpit that strikes with any random movement or breath (I'm guessing some sort of strain-ish type thing from Power Pump) and it's pretty windy and cold outside.

After running errands this morning, we're now lounging around the house watching Tarzan. I was folding laundry when I took a moment to look over at Trey and Andrew. Trey lying on the floor, Andrew sitting next to him with his little hand on Daddy's back, wiggling his toes, both transfixed by the movie. That simple moment just about took my breath away. Just a simple little moment between my boys. It filled my heart in such an honest way. It only lasted a minute of course, not even long enough to last until I pulled the camera out, and now Andrew is climbing all over him and driving his car all over his back. But he is still smiling ear to ear. He's enjoying his Daddy.

I'm trying to ingrain these images into my brain. Life is about to get crazy for us. Trey will be gone for weeks at a time all leading up to his first deployment. I think it's these very simple moments I will miss the most... the normalcy of life that I can't help but feel we've taken for granted all too often lately. My heart hurts for the two of them. But I can't delve into those feelings right now... I'm not quite ready. I just wanted to capture that little moment to have to look back on, and since it didn't make the camera, it HAD to make the blog.

January 24, 2012

I Work Ouuttttt

I worked out.. like seriously worked out.. for the first time in roughly two years. You know - something besides walking.

Together, my friend Ashley, who is not quite in the same boat, but it's been a while for her too,  and I jumped head first into bodily torture a Power Pump class at the gym. Some of you may know it as Body Pump. Same thing. Maybe not the smartest choice. Maybe I should have eased in to transforming my body. But that's not how I roll. I may slack off for far too long, but once I make up my mind, that's it.

So in we go to an hour long class, filled with lots of anxiety and something that feels a little like hope.
Our instructor is everything like Gloria from Modern Family. And I mean to be a compliment. I loved her. Not understanding that it's been an eternity since I've done any sort of work out, she tried her hardest to convince us we needed more than 5 pounds worth of barbell. Sooo, I take it that means you don't have anything lighter? Which is what we were really trying to find out...

I'm extremely proud of the both of us. I didn't expect us to last the entire hour. I thought we'd be those lame-O's walking out in the first half hour. And while we may have quit on an exercise here and there, we were champs. I was giggling hysterically within the first 15 minutes because I was already whipped. This woman seemed, to me, to be on crack. But we did last the entire hour. Even did ridiculous things like squats around a full track with above mentioned 5 pound bar. Then do four flights of stairs with the bar, taking two at a time on the way up.. blahhhh.. kill me now, I was thinking!!

I was kind of on a high afterwards that lasted for like an hour.. you know.. until my body started to collapse. It's still hasn't picked itself up. It keeps getting worse, in fact. From what I hear it'll be the worst tomorrow, so that's something to look forward to.

I'm going back, though, with all that being said. Twice a week. That's all it's offered. The babe is booked in CDC through the next month, so I'm committed.

It's strange how something so tortuous can make you feel so good at the same time, isn't it? While I dread the next class, I do look forward to a time where I can enjoy it!

January 20, 2012

Scream Free Parenting

Last night, I went to a free seminar that Fort Bliss hosted called Scream Free Parenting. This is the title of a book written by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT, which has been featured on The Today Show, I believe.. don't quote me on that, though! Either way, a lot of people have heard of Hal and his Scream Free program. I, however, hadn't at all. I signed up anyways, with not many expectations, just thinking that it couldn't hurt.

I'm so very glad I went. It was probably the best program I've ever seen here at Bliss. It was run perfectly... they went above and beyond with stuff they had to offer (sandwiches, drinks, coffee and snacks), everything happened on time, and everyone was extremely friendly.

Now.. let's get to the good stuff. As a forewarning, this will most definitely be extremely wordy. I'll do my best not to jump around too much, but just follow me if you can. It's worth it!

Hal (I mean.. come on.. I've been to his seminar and he answered me when I raised my hand.. pretty sure we're on a first name basis) is not only a parenting/relationship genius, he's also quite hilarious. Which always helps when you're listening to someone talk for 2 straight hours, right? He is a happily married, Christian, father of two.. a boy and a girl, and a Licenced Marriage and Family Therapist. So basically, you can trust his word. He practices what he preaches every day.

His teaching goes against what most of society teaches us for the most part. And.. umm.. I like it. I think the main concept here is teaching our kids with natural consequences. Raising them to be able to be full functioning, capable-of-making-decisions, mature adults.


How do we get there? We learn not to react to the anxiety that is almost constantly within you once you become a parent. Screaming, according to my buddy Hal, is defined by your reaction to the stress.. whether that be by actually screaming at your child or spouse, or shutting down and making yourself unavailable to them.. in other words, ignoring the situation.

Why do we react anyways? Once you understand this, it helps immensely in the way you handle your children. It does for me, at least, and I'm fairly certain it will for you.
According to Hal, we've all been lied to about parenting. That's right.. lied to. Follow me through this and it may just feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.

Lie numero uno:
Your life is over once you have children. Your life now revolves around them. We even romanticize it by telling our kids, "you're our whole world". (Umm.. guilty!)
Sad. We can't, as adults, live up to being someone's entire world. That's a lot of pressure! Think about the amount of responsibility that goes along with being someone's "whole world". No thank you!
If we think of our children in that sense, it builds resentment. Those sweet, adorable children are eventually going to take us for granted and start saying mean, ugly things to us. If we put our entire life into these kids, give up everything that's important to us as adults, we're going to resent them when they hit this stage and can't possibly understand how much we've given up for them. Resentment is not a pretty thing, friends.

Numero Dos:
We are responsible for our kids.
We are responsible TO our kids, not FOR our kids.
I know this may come as a shock to you, but kids have a mind of their own. They make their own choices, as they should, no matter how much you want to make the "right" choice for them.
I know, as a parent, it's hard to just sit back and watch your child make the wrong choices. But isn't that what life is all about? Don't we want our children to be able to make a decision without having to call you for the rest of their lives?
If we try too hard to make the decisions for them, they are probably going to rebel anyways. We're not here to do that. We're here to create the right environment for them.
Our job is to prepare them for life, not protect them from it.

So no, we can't control our children. For me, that is freeing, not discouraging. I've been exhausted trying to control my toddler! Probably because I can't and it's a never ending battle that I didn't need to be fighting. We can't control what they are going to do, but we can be absolutely certain of what WE are going to do! What I'm going to do? That's easy!


Hal's method, along with keeping yourself calm and quiet with your children, is giving them choices, time limits, and consequences.
Again, you can't control what your children are going to do, whether it be putting their bike away even though you've told them a million times to do so when they are done, doing their homework, wearing their jacket.. keeping their room clean.. blah blah blah.. enter in anything you and your kids struggle with.

You can, however, control how you are going to respond to the situation. Do you think yelling and screaming your kid into submission is going to do them any favors, teach them any lessons, or make them respect you? The correct answer would be No No and NO.
They need to learn the consequences of their actions.
"I see your bike has been left out. If it's still there when I come home from the store, I'm going to take it to Goodwill". (The trick there is really taking it to Goodwill, too. Following through with the consequences is more important then whatever the actual consequence is). Said child now has the ability to decide whether it's worth it to her to actually put the bike away.
You cannot make your child do homework. You can have grade expectations and consequences if the expectations are not met.
You can tell your child to wear a jacket. You can even let them pick it out. If they don't want to wear it, especially if you are not around when they are supposed to be wearing it, they won't. And what do you care? Will people give you funny looks if your child is dressed properly? Yes, they sure will. Get over yourself. Why fight that battle? You don't wear your jacket, you'll be cold. That's your decision. Not me.. I'll be snug and warm in mine.

You get the point here. Natural consequences.

I don't want to rewrite the book for him, I want you to actually go out and buy it. He should, after all, get the credit. Plus, he says this all a little better than I do.. and remember.. he's pretty hilarious at the same time. There is so much more to delve into. I didn't cover half of it. My husband and I are going to be sitting down to read it together. If any of this sounds even remotely interesting, please run out and buy it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I will leave you with some of my favorite thoughts from him last night though:

-He says that no matter what country he teaches this in, there is always one phrase that everyone knows: Kids push our buttons. Well, when did we give them the remote? We gave them the remote when we thought we could use one on them.
-Kids test us because it's the only way they know how to ask us to be better leaders.
-We move away from the impossible - controlling someone else's behaviour/choices, to the really, really difficult - controlling our own.
-What would our house be like if our kids know we don't give second chances, but we won't get mad when they make the wrong choice?

Here is the Scream Free website. Go check it out! Let me know what your thoughts are!

What are your thoughts? Do you already use natural consequences with your kids? How does it work for you?

January 18, 2012

Toddler Antics

Today started out like any ol day around la casa.

Cries through the monitor. Shutting said monitor off. Cries and whines out of my mouth. Cranky toddler demanding milk. Making three separate breakfasts for three separate people. Whyyy?? Sweet husband making my coffee, but, umm, I'd like some coffee with my creamer dear. Then balancing the line between getting myself ready, tidying the kitchen, changing poopy diapers, getting and keeping my child clean, playing, encouraging independent play.. like how I worded that?

Oh, wait. It's not even 8:30 in the friggin morning!!

Make my own, stronger, coffee tasting coffee. Throw in Cars with a tad bit of guilt so I can actually get myself ready this time, and excitedly head out the door with enough good behavior enticing bribes in my purse.

We are making our way to Michael's to use some of those gift cards! Cricut cartridges and scrapbook paper here I come!

Then it happened.

Andrew wanted to walk into the store himself, he caveman like told me with grunts and pointing. He's allowed in unbusy parking lots as long as he holds my hand. He knows the drill.
We get into the store and much to his dismay, I put him in a cart. Enter in the slight fussing. It's cool though. I can handle this. I have a cup of water, Goldfish, Kix, cars, Cars stickers, a book with animals in it, pencil and paper. I have a half hour easy with all of this, right?! We do it all the time.

Wrong. Absolutely wrong.

As I'm finally deciding on the cartridge I just have to have, the meltdown starts. Each above mentioned object is making it worse and before I know it, my sweet, loving, charmer of a son is screaming at the top of his lungs, crying real crocodile tears, and arching himself back while kicking his legs everywhere like he is preparing to combust.

I was in shock. At this point I foolishly thought I'd be able to let him settle down, distract him on the sticker isle and still be able to browse the 40% off pads of scrapbook paper. HA!

I got the stares. Y'all know what I'm talking about. The, "how is she going to handle this" and "Hmmm.. someone can't control their kids" stares.

It was intensifying. I didn't know what on God's green (or brown if you live out in our neck of the woods) earth to do, so I just snatched him out of that cart, left it there with my beloved cartridge card, fought back tears, and left. Drove away. All of that for nothing.

What am I getting into here?? I was so angry with him and let him know it. He may not have been able to understand my flow of  "You do not act that way in stores while mommy's trying to get her creativeness on" and sounded much more like "blah blah blahblahblah" to him.. but he heard that tone alright.

He cried the majority of the 15 minute ride home, but when he stopped and I looked back at that sad little, snot covered face, my heart just melted. I felt terrible. I didn't apologize, but I sure wanted to.

I'm in uncharted territory here! All of a sudden, I'm regretting every time I've rolled my eyes at some kid who was screaming in a store.

I have no clue how I'm going to handle these things in public.. at home when these tantrums sprout up, we just ignore it. For now though, I think the simple solutions would be for someone to make a Go To For Everything You Need store, where parents with kids 3 and under can shop. If you go here, it's understood that you'll be shopping amongst screaming children and it just has to be cool. No one is going to cut their trip short. We're going to get what we need, screams or no screams.

This blog post is brought to you by a 3-hour, and still going strong nap. We both needed this today.

January 11, 2012

The Fever

I'm a little anxious about writing this post, it being so personal and all. But that's what I do, right? It's on my mind constantly.. and.. this is real life, so I'll just throw it all out there.

I have the fever. Badly. I desperately want to be pregnant again. Now. Well yesterday, actually. I'm so very ready. What's the big deal, you ask? There are so many real, legit reasons we should wait. And only one good reason we should just go for it. You know.. the whole pros and cons list. Remember, I'm a list-maker.

Our current plan is to start trying in July. For the following reasons:

1) I need to be much healthier. I let my weight loss efforts completely drop off over the fall and end of 2011. Completely careless, I was. Now, I weigh almost as much as I did at the end of my last pregnancy. Lord, I can't believe I admitted that to the world, but again, I'm striving for honesty here.
My goal is not necessarily to lose weight. But more to just be healthy. I'm eating better. Drinking more water. Being more active. No more Red Bull. Adding in vitamins. I'm sure weight will come off, and that would be extremely welcomed, but my main focus is my quality of life. I was in the best shape of my life when I got pregnant with Drew. I want to be there again and not pushing 200lbs at the end of the next pregnancy.

2) I've been taking Zoloft since the Spring. I obviously cannot get pregnant while taking that. I'm fully dependent on it and afraid of the monster I'll become while not on it. I need to give myself time to ween off of it. Safely. Which requires a trip to the doctor to talk about this. Ehhhh... Not looking forward to this process. I apologize in advance to my friends and family for my future personality. Once I get pregnant, I hope to be fine. I'm a very pleasant pregnant woman.. like my body needs those hormones to balance out.

3) If I got pregnant on this cycle ( I want, I want, I want, I want), the baby would be due in October. That is such a busy time of the year. August - Andrew's birthday. September - Trey's birthday. Then all of the holidays that follow. Busy, busy, busy.
If I get pregnant in July, his (or it's.. see.. I want another boy so badly that I assume) birthday would be in April.. perfect.)

4) After going through my ending months of pregnancy in the El Paso summer, I vowed to never be pregnant in the summer again. So my original timeline of July is perfect. Baby out by April.. no sweltering summer pregnant months.

5) Trey would make Captain before we had Number 2 if we wait for July. That one's obvious, right? More money for two babies is a big plus.

That's about all I have. Good reasons to wait.

Here is my only reason to go for now:

Trey would be home for the delivery. Big pro, but my only pro besides just wanting it.
I have family that would be willing to come around and after my due date and that would be necessary, but nothing beats your partner being there with you.

July will be here before I know it, right?

January 9, 2012

Delta (because I'm too mad to think of anything more creative)

I'm HOME! We had such a great visit during the holidays.. seriously.. probably the best one ever.. but traveling to and from was a massive nightmare.

I know this is long, but take the time to read it.. especially if you are a frequent flyer. If you just so happen to be an airline employee, especially from Delta, I'd love to hear what you think of all this!

I took a chance and made some changes to our traveling ways. Note to self: change isn't always good. If in ain't broke, don't fix it.. and all that jazz.

We usually fly American Air through Dallas into Charlotte. This time, I chose Delta, it being the best deal I could find. On the way we did, home > Dallas > Huntsville. On the way back, Columbia > Atlanta > home.

Here are the reasons (I'll try to shorten it up as best possible) I'll never fly Delta.. unless they offer me a free ticket for my troubles.... again. Nor will I ever use the Atlanta airport.

- The Atlanta airport closed while we were en route. We circled the sky for an hour and 1/2. A 3 hour flight with a toddler became a 4 and 1/2 hour flight... yeahhhh.. about that...
No fear though.. the whole airport is closed, so our connecting flight can't leave either. Apparently, they can't leave for another 4 hours, we find out when we finally deboard! Our pilot hadn't even left his prior destination so they couldn't even guarantee that the flight would leave at 11:30pm. Remember the toddler, folks.
I get all that. We can't control the weather. Neither can airport/airline employees. But we can drive to Huntsville and make it there before the flight does. We ask for our luggage. They wouldn't have been able to get it to us for another few hours, they say. Really?
We decide to let our luggage go on and we rented a car. End of story. We get there a little after midnight. All is as well as possible.
I foolishly thank my lucky stars that the bad leg of the trip was with Trey and not while I was flying alone. Ha!

- We get on the plane in Columbia, back away from the door, and sit.. and sit.. annnddd sit. Atlanta airport is closed again.. because there is fog. We sat for an hour. Wonderful.

*Then there's the whole thing about being the first to volunteer for a different flight and voucher, but them giving it to some man that didn't even vocalize his desire to switch. After she told me I could have it. Whatevs.. I didn't fight it.. figured I was on the plane I was supposed to be on.

- My connecting flight home wasn't affected by the airport closure apparently, and still left at 11:05. My plane touched down, never mind all that time it takes to get to the door, at 10:30. I didn't even wait for the stroller to come off the plane. I ran like 10 miles, with Drewsky in my arms, and breathlessly got on my plane, thanking God that I made it and wasn't stuck at the ATL airport until 7pm.. with a toddler. Yes, my stroller is still sitting in Atlanta somewhere.

- Now we wait to take off for a while because there is more luggage than expected and they have to take the time to get it on. They brought someone's instrument on the plane because there wasn't room. Remember these facts. They'll be very important in the next bullet. We finally take off and all is right again. I'm 3 hours away from being home. A very long 3 hours, but I digress.

- We land.. have a nice, much anticipated reunion with Trey, go to the luggage area and wait.. and wait.. and wait. Along with half the other passengers on that flight. Enter in the Delta employee that nonchalantly tells us that if we don't see our luggage, it never made it on the plane in the first place. There wasn't enough space on the carrier. For reals?
That would be something worth mentioning, dontcha think? And they thought an instrument is important enough to put on the plane in a closet to make sure it goes through, but not a friggin car seat?? A car seat is pretty much mandatory!
I'll save my full reaction and move on... I fill out the proper paperwork, leave with promises of a phone call within the hour to get my reference number and enough hope instilled by them that I'll have my luggage later that night.

- Enter in this morning. Never got a phone call. Still don't have luggage. I called and turns out that ALL of my information was entered in incorrectly in the computer. Wrong cell number. Wrong street number. Wrong street name. I have precise, very pretty I might add, handwriting. They added a letter into the street name. Complete carelessness. Good thing I called to see what was up.
I hung up with more hope that my stuff would be on the plane that landed at 12:45 and I've still heard nothing.

I'm irate. I would have never complained about the weather incidences themselves, but all of this together? Too much. They'll hear all of this from me. I'm just waiting to see my actual luggage at my door before I start my rant to them. In the meantime... my complaint list just keep growing and I look like a bum with no hair straightener or makeup.

January 4, 2012

Enjoying Life

I'm still here in South Carolina enjoying the living daylights out of my family and friends. I desperately need to go back and document the holidays, but it will have to wait. Think of it as a little treat. Just when you start to miss all the hullaboo, we can take a look back and relive the moments all over again.

I'm currently sitting in my mom's cozy, quiet living listening to.. absolutely nothing. My brother looked at me about an hour ago and wanted to know if he could take Andrew to run a few errands. Yes please, I said! Peace and quiet - I'm in heaven.
So, I just wanted to check in and express how much fun we are having. Andrew is loving spending time with my fam. I can't even begin to explain what it does to my heart to see how my parents react to him. Seeing them do things which should be the norm.. playing outside, taking walks, reading books, drinking milk, playing ball, and driving cars.

I've just been soaking it all up.

I do miss that husband of mine something fierce and Lord knows I can't wait to see my Ft. Bliss friends, but once again, it's going to be very hard to leave.

Why can't everyone be in one place. I'll have to see how this flight goes with just me and the babe.. I might have to make another trip back out in a few months. Let the saving begin.

Mum - Please remind me how much fun we're having after I'm done flying back and proclaim that I'm never doing that again!