August 29, 2012


Yesterday, Andrew turned 2 years old! I could ramble on about all of the cliches (time has flown, how is that possible, just yesterday he was my snuggly newborn), but I'll just leave you with this thought:

Days with a 2-year old can be long, hard and exhausting. You can find yourself wishing time away until they can just get over :this: stage. Or could just learn :that: behavior instead. But one of the biggest things I've learned over the past two years, is that whatever you are wishing ahead for, it will be here before you are ready for it. Every stage will go by in the blink of an eye. Your newborn will be 2 years old and you'll find yourself scratching your head, trying to remember all of the sweet details that were a part of your everyday life what seemed like just yesterday. (And you won't, btw.. you won't remember everything) Before I know it, my 2 year old is going to be a 5-year old that doesn't need me so much anymore. He won't be with me every second of the day and he's going to enjoy the fact that he doesn't have to spend an entire day with me (well, this happens with most kids anyways, I'm not so sure about Andrew.. ha!) I've had two years with him to myself so far and I'm going to continue to soak these moments up!

These have by a long shot been the best two years of my life. The joy that this one little person has brought into our lives is quite literally indescribable. I'm so incredibly thankful that this little boy made me into a mother and my husband into a darn good father. He forever changed our lives for the better... so much so that it still takes our breath away at times... and that is what we celebrate on his birthday! Happy 2nd birthday sweet boy!

Here are some stats to remember:
You are 29.4 pounds (66th percentile)
Exactly 3 feet tall (91st percentile)
You are still in diapers and wearing a size 6.
Size 7 shoes.
2T - 3T in shirts, depending on the brand.
2T in shorts.

You are still a great eater, but your favorites are pasta, mac 'n cheese, waffles, green beans, grapes, rice and beans, pizza and any kind of cereal. You do very well with your vegetables and fruits still (the only thing you won't eat is broccoli), but you are not a big meat eater at all. AT ALL.
You still want your warm milk every morning and night and still drink it cuddling in my lap. You can't drink out of a sippy cup forever though, and I'm dreading the time where we can't or you don't want to do that anymore!

You love to be outside whether it's at the park, taking a walk, or just in the backyard. You love throwing the balls around and will say, "Set hut" when playing with the football. It's adorable. You also love Big Al and say Roll Tide multiple times a day.

Your vocabulary took off over the last two months. You'll basically repeat anything your hear now and talk in 3-4 word sentences. You're definitely an Army Brat as you say things like, "artillery boom boom" and ask to go to the Commissary or PX.

Right now you love your numbers, letters, pressing any kind of button, coloring with crayons, taking bubble baths, reading your books and as always driving your cars around. You've known your letters for a while, but you also know your numbers up to 12 now. Oh, and your colors. You know all of those as well.  You really must be some kind of prodigy. It's amazing.

You can think back on your day now and talk about it. You often want to call people (Mizzy, Daddy or Mimi most often) and want to tell them about certain things. You'll say, "tell Mimi playground" and we'll see if we can call her. We'll sit after you have milk at night and you'll tell me all of your favorite things about the day. You will also thank God for those things in your prayers at night. It's not unusual for you to bring up Big Al, buttons, Mama's van or playground in your prayers. And it's the sweetest thing to hear you say, "Amen" at the end.

You're becoming more and more independent. Your new favorite phrase is, "by yourself". As in, you want to do it by yourself. You have to get in your car seat by yourself, you have almost mastered drinking out of a big boy cup, your getting ready to switch to a big bed, out of your crib. You have to help get your shirt on. You want to read by yourself more often instead of us reading to you, unless it's time for bed.

You are showing some of the signs of potty training, but I don't think you are quite there yet. It will be soon, but I want to be sure you are really ready before we make a go of it. You'll get there and I'll know when it's right.

That's about all I can think of for now! You have a big year ahead of you, Drewby! Lots of changes coming your way.. Daddy is deploying for a while, we're moving into Mizzy and Grampy's house while he's gone, and you have a sibling coming! I know you'll be a champ throughout it all though. We'll get through everything together.

Happy birthday Andrew! We love you to the moon and back!

August 26, 2012

Oh hey baby #2

I realize I haven't written much about baby #2. I did weekly updates with Andrew and had no intentions of doing that with this one. Who wants to read the same stuff all over again? I don't even want to type it. Yes, the first trimester was terrible. Yes, I'm feeling better and can cook again. No, I'm not sleeping well. No, my belly button hasn't popped yet, and thank goodness there are no labor signs. Yes, I have stretch marks but Andrew completely ruined me so they are his leftovers. Yes, I'm showing earlier this time and NO there won't be any bare belly pics.

But that's not really fair to #2's future scrapbook, is it? Andrew's is ridiculously detailed and this one deserves the same. So I may not give the up-to-date deats on how my body is changing. I can still let this baby know what was going on in our life and let it (sorry, we don't know what gender you are yet.. so for know you are an "it") know how excited we are about it joining our family.

Let's start with a bang. Here's where I talk about the scare you put me through last week....

I went in to OB for a routine 16-week appointment on Thursday. The nurse breaks out the sonogram first thing to listen for your heartbeat. Listen.. listen.. search.. listen. Nothing. She reassures me that everything is probably fine, but she's going to get the doctor to have a listen. Doctor comes in. Same procedure again. The doc tells the nurse to go ahead and get an ultrasound machine and she'll keep listening in the meantime. What felt like at least 15 minutes goes by and I'm freaking out inside. Then they found you almost right away with an US. They were searching below my belly button, because that's where babies your size usually camp out. Not you though.. no.. you were hiding up as far as you could go in my ribs already. This does not bode well for the rest of the pregnancy. Be kind to me!

Your brother and I spent the last month in South Carolina visiting family while Daddy was away at NTC. We are all reunited back home now and we can't wait for you to join us so we can be a complete family of four!

Speaking of your brother (he's going to be the best big brother ever), we are getting ready to celebrate his 2nd birthday. He'll be two on Tuesday. When you are born, he'll almost be 2 and 1/2! I pray and hope that the two of you are the best of friends!

The most exciting things going on in the outside world are the start of football season (yayyyy... hope you like sports!) and Hurricane Isaac making it's way towards the Gulf. We're praying that it dies down and doesn't do much damage.

We find out your gender on the 27th of September. We feel a bit restless waiting around. We want to know now. Give me one flutter if you're a boy, two if you're a girl.. ready.. go. Nothing? Thanks ;)
We have your name all picked out if you're a girl. We're still undecided if you're a boy though. It's down between two names. Your Daddy and I each have our favorites! We'll see!

August 24, 2012

He's Home!

We did it. We finished our first NTC rotation. (For family and friends not associated with Army, NTC stands for National Training Center and is located in Ft. Irwin, CA. This is where they all go to train up before a deployment.)

As you can see it is in the middle of nowhere. Trey says if he ever actually gets stationed there he will promptly get out of the Army. I want to say that that's just his hostility from being there so fresh in his mind, but I really can't be sure.. ha! Can't say it's on my top list of places to go!

Anyways, this was a big milestone for us. Granted, I took the opportunity to go home and visit with family and friends, so besides missing him like crAYYYzy, it wasn't too hard on me. But it was still a month apart. Just a teensy tiny glimpse into what next year will look like for us. Trey survived the month of blah desert. I survived separating from my parents yet again.

And now he's home!! His plane landed at an ugly hour this morning and he was showered and snuggling up by 6am. He had about 15 minutes of laying in a warm, freshly laundered bed before Andrew decided it was time to start the day. Trey was pretty adamant about going up to get him and Andrew's face was PRICELESS.

He is in lurrve with having his daddy home! It started with him taking out all of his cars one by one to show Trey (fyi.. that is a TON of cars) as if he was worried that Daddy forgot what any of them looked like. And he hasn't caught a break from Andrew's energy and enthusiasm since.

Until now. In true Army fashion, Trey's 4 days off turned into, "I just have to go in for an hour and a half" to "I have no earthly idea when I'll be home" (not an exact quote, but I like to keep things family friendly around here). I had about 5 minutes of self pity until I got over it for the most part. He's home now. He has to come home at some point tonight... I think. And our son is over the moon that his Daddy is home!

August 20, 2012

Home again, home again

It's hard to believe that an entire month has already flown by, but it has my friends and tomorrow Drew baby and I will be on a plane back home. I dread these flights.. I really do. Andrew always does great ::knocks on wood:: but they are still exhausting. I miss the days of flying solo! I had no idea what a luxury that was!

Anywhoo... It's a bittersweet feeling to be going back. We will miss it here. Both of us. Andrew has just blossomed here. I think he's so used to up and traveling to a different place at this point. The makings of a true Army Brat in this boy! It has been reaffirming for me. I knew coming home for the deployment was the right move to begin with, but I still felt antsy about it and doubted myself sometimes. I don't anymore. I'll make a note to elaborate on that later, but I'm feeling really good about that decision!
It's been beyond amazing to have this month with my family. Their company and help with Andrew... I don't even have words. (The following is not meant to be read as "oh poor me, so please don't read it like that.. I simply didn't know what I was missing!) I'm used to doing just about everything by myself. With Trey in his XO position we haven't been seeing him until... on average... 7 at night. Sometimes later. By that time, everything is done (dinner, bath, clean up.. blah blah). So to have people walk in the house between 5 and 5:30.. wow! And people that are eager to unwrap Drew from my legs and go play with him so I can cook. So THIS is how normal people live??

On the same note, I'm ready to get back. I'm ready to have our own space. Part of me.. try to follow me here, I know this may sound contradictory to everything I just said.. just go with it.. Part of me is ready to get back in my groove and do everything on my own. Remind me of those words in 2 days. I can't explain that feeling. It's just what I know I guess.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - I'm ready to see my husband!!! I can't say just when he'll be home, of course, and I'm sure it will be another fun Army Waiting Game, but it won't be too long of a countdown once we get back. I can't wait to wrap my arms around him! To see him with Andrew and catch him up on everything that's changed in the short month since he's seen him. To have our movie nights back! Good stuff.

I've been telling Andrew since we got here that he's a lucky boy because he has 2 homes. It's the easiest way I could think of so he wouldn't get confused and I wouldn't have to specify, "Mizzy and Grampy's home" the whole month. He gets it and will tell you he has 2 homes. So, I guess I'm pretty lucky too. That I can be "at home" in both places. That I have more than one place to call home.

Now if someone could just move one of those homes to a cooler climate, I'll be even more content (ahem.. looking at you Army!)

August 15, 2012

The terrible, no good, very bad day

That's how it goes, right? Either way, I had a gross day yesterday. Nothing too catastrophic (until the very end of the day), but just one of those days where I went to bed ASAP so I  could just start over today. Let's go over it, shall we? Because I think I can laugh at the majority of it now.

It started off pleasantly enough. I met a friend in the town over for a play date. I was excited to venture over there to reminisce. Trey and I used to live in that town and I MISS IS SO SO SO MUCH. I didn't realize just how much until I drove through. I love.
Lake Murray

I'm not quite sure where this is in Lexington, but there are lots of streets like this.. one of which I drove down lots!

Moving on...

Our play date was great. I love seeing Andrew and Julianne's boy playing together and I can't wait for lots more of that action in the near future. We drove home to have lunch and get ready for nap. I love nap time. That's no secret. Andrew usually does too. But for reasons I guess I'll never know, he refused yesterday. He was so tired. He would fall asleep on my shoulder easily enough, but three times I attempted to lay him down and each time and would scream bloody murder. I angrily gave up and brought him down the stairs, letting him know in my meanest mom voice that he was not to move from the couch for 2 hours. (yeah I know.. it was for dramatic effect.) Of course that only lasted 10 minutes tops. It didn't help that my mom was home for lunch and her and my brother were laughing at me as I'm fuming down the stairs. (really they were laughing at something else, but that's not how I perceived it at the time)

Shortly after the failed nap, my brother said he was taking "my" car to get vacuumed and washed. Fishy. But I say, "as long as your back in an hour". He promised that he would, in fact, be home in an hour. Two hours later he texts me saying he'll be home after he gets a haircut. SAY WHHATTTT?? I text and make two phone calls.. all of which he ignores. Why do I need the car so bad, you ask? Oh nothing fun.. I just have to make sure I get to the grocery store to get supplemental stuff for dinners this week AND make sure I start dinner on time AND deal with a no-nap-Andrew. Fun.

I finally get to Walmart. (The car WAS very clean, btw, but I still suspect there were ulterior motives) Load up the buggy (What? I'm in the South again) and make my way to the cashier after Andrew has been screaming "YOGURT" at me over and over... and over again throughout the store, and a woman yells out of nowhere, "FOUR". I look around.. oh there she is.. is she talking to me? Yes she is apparently. She says four again and I gather that she's telling me to go to aisle 4. I double check to make sure I'm at Walmart and not the Commissary and say, "but I have more than 20 items". I'm a stickler for the rules, y'all. That's when she even more rudely snaps at me again, "FOUR".
Daayyummm, Okay Bia. Looking back, I should have gone to aisle 6 just to spite her, but I'm not that quick on my toes. In reality I had to fight back tears. I'm pregnant and hormonal.. leave me alone. All I ask is that you're nice to me. Is that so hard? She could have said please.

Then I stepped in gum in the parking lot as I'm waiting for Andrew to get into his car seat, which he is determined to do "byyourself" every single time he gets in the car now and it takes at least 5 minutes. You're not allowed to help and he's very proud of himself. He could at least figure out how to buckle the damn thing. But the gum... ughhh.. that alone is enough to ruin a day. AmIRight????

I get home. Make sure Andrew is entertained with paper, crayons, cartoons and his cup of "water juice" (it's just water in reality though). I start dinner and within 5 minutes notice that it's entirely too quiet. Quiet is never a good thing with him. It means he's concentrating way too hard on something because no matter what he's doing.. if it's innocent.. he's always making some kind of special effect noise or talking to himself. I walk in the living room and low and behold, what do I see? My sweet boy coloring all over my parents carpet. Lovely. I don't have time to punish, but I do anyways and get back to dinner. Entertain yourself without coloring kid! When my mom got home and asked what he did, he proudly pointed to his "artwork" and told her he drew a V. Nice. Good thing I cleaned it up before Grampy got home.

Then I needed a recipe online and of course the computer died. Had to dig out the charger and move it to the kitchen, reboot, blah blah blah. Not so bad on a normal day, but that ended up being my, "I can't handle one more thing moment".

But of course, there was one more thing. And this one is a doozy. I noticed that my memory card was running out of space. Needed to clear some up to make room for his birthday party on Saturday. Get some CD's to transfer them to and have to start back at January of this year. Cut and paste January, carefully, little bit at a time, double-checking as I go. Everything is good, so I head to February. The computer gets through half of February and freaks out on me. It gives me some kind of error. I'm not sure what it said, but what it meant was, "You just permanently lost two months worth of pictures!!!" That's when the ugly tears started. My pictures are the one thing I'd run into a burning building for. They were all of my baby and OMG he was still a baby with that chubby face and those small hands! Gone. I left it to my computer whiz brother to figure out and went to bed crying. (He could not find them, btw).

So there you have it. It was all compounded, I'm sure, by the fact that I haven't talked to Trey in a week and a half. That doesn't help.
 I still don't have my pictures but today is already better than yesterday purely because Andrew is napping. AND.. and.. I'm getting my hair done tonight. Highlights and all.

August 9, 2012

This Week

I don't usually like to do posts just to document, they take a lot more concentration for me and take a lot longer to do,  but I need to get better at it. For one, I really don't want to forget all of the little things. I'm going to talk about the beach and all of the fun we've been having with our friends this week.. I don't want to forget all the details. Secondly, I know Trey will read this more once he is deployed. Documenting our days more may not be thrilling for some people, but that will be the easiest way to keep him in the loop. He'll be able to get a glimpse of the small things that I may not necessarily remember to tell him during a rushed phone call.. if we get any of those at all!

So, here we are. We've been in SC for 2 weeks now and it's really been so great. While I do miss my girlfriends back home (and my husband, but I'd miss him whether I was here or there) and I'm slightly jealous over all of the fun they're having together (I really can't be pleased), a break away from constant Army life has been nice. And the greenery. And rain. All of that is much welcomed!
My parents backyard. I love you El Paso, but your views will never beat this!

Last week we had family come to stay (my Aunts, Charlene and Sharon, Uncle Bob, and Gram). It was great to spend some time with them, we don't get to do it as often as we like. I loved having them get to know Andrew! We mostly hung out around the house, played with Drew and watched a lot of Olympics!

Over the weekend, I was able to take Andrew to the beach for the first time! I have been looking forward to this day since he was in utero. I was only slightly worried over his reaction. No matter how much he loves water and dirt, I know the ocean is a lot to take in for a little person. Whatever worries I had were in vain. He took one look at that beach and took off towards the water. It's like he too had been waiting his entire little life to get there! 
Shot during his first 5 minutes on the beach
I don't want to post too many pictures of the fun times we're having. I promised Trey I'd wait for him to see them before the whole internet world did. Stupid me. I didn't realize how hard that would be. Ahh well. You'll just have to believe me when I say he enjoyed it so much, he's still talking about having a beach day. Splashing in the water, running from the waves, collecting sea shells and throwing them in the water. Shoveling up sand and putting it in his bucket. Eating ice cream on the beach. Good times! 
He did have his moments of exhaustion and frustration though (like when he couldn't scoop up the sand just the way he wanted), so the two days were perfect for him. We can't wait to go back with Daddy!!

Monday we got back to "real life". Real life as in my parents went back to work and besides Steven running in and out, it was just Drew and I. It was kinda nice to be able to get back into a routine and we've been having a ton of fun with friends. 
We went to the zoo with Julianne and her kids and Emily and hers. I forgot my camera, so I didn't get any pictures, but the kids just had such a good time together. Andrew and Mason thoroughly enjoyed jumping in puddles together. All three climbed all over rocks and shared snacks. I love seeing Andrew play so well with some of my best friends' kids. This is the stuff we used to daydream about together years ago! Andrew is just smitten with Reece (Emily's daughter). We've had their marriage arranged from day 1.. they are just falling right into our plans :) I can't wait to get a picture of all the kids together!! (ahem friends.. if you're reading, this needs to happen!)
Andrew and Reece

This morning we went to Edventure (A childrens' museum here in town) and it was AHHHmazing! We went with my cousin Kate and SIL and her two kids. We spend two hours there and didn't have time to do half the stuff. It blew my mind, seriously. A real fire truck to climb in, a construction site, cars to play with, a real car set up that you could pump gas at. You could lift a car up and learn how to rotate tires. A room that was set up like a grocery store (The Pig to be exact). The kids got their little carts and pulled groceries from the shelves then brought them through the cash register. A vet room. Tons and tons AND TONS more that I can't even begin to name.. seriously.. I'd be here all day and you would lose interest if you haven't already.
We have even more plans this weekend to get together with more friends and I get to have a girls night (Amen). We sure do miss Daddy, but we are obviously making the best of our time!

August 6, 2012

Looking Back

Last night, I tuned into my regular Sunday night programming, Army Wives. I STILL love that show and hope against all hopes that it continues. I always look forward to it (no matter how silly it gets or how unrealistic it really is, but I was a little extra excited last night. Fort Bliss's Commander's wife, Mrs. Lucille Pittard, was a guest on the show! I knew she was flown out a while back and saw all of her pictures... so I've been looking forward to the episode for quite some time. She looked great and even got a big shot out from General Holden (squeal), but this is actually not what I want to talk about today.

It was finally time to Roxy give birth to her twins. The first one comes out without a problem. They are gushing over him, holding him, etc.. and I'm left there thinking for what felt like 5 minutes, "Wait.. I SWEAR she was having twins. Did she lose one? Did I miss something?" Then finally, we know. There are complications. She is rushed back for an emergency c-section and when the baby comes out, he's not okay. Cord wrapped around the neck and has to be rushed off to be hooked up to the respirator.

My breath caught and I was in tears immediately. I know this happens quite often, and while I can certainly empathize with anyone going through that situation and I would never wish it on my worst enemy, I don't fall apart every time I hear about it. What got me was watching Roxy and Trevor's reactions. The terrifying scene of watching them scoop your baby away without you getting a second with him and they don't have time to explain, the unknown, the doctor's not being able to answer your questions, the whole, "the next 24 hours are critical" speech.

One of our first looks at our sweet boy
 Having to leave the hospital without him and come home to everything you had set up for him, going back for visits and FINALLY that sweet moment when you are able to touch him for the first time.
My first touch.

When the "what-ifs" become more hopeful, but you still have to wait. It all hit so close to him. I relived every single one of those emotions all over again. (To make the situations even more similar.. they named him Drew...... Right?!?)
He got better and better by the day. We were thankful for one less machine attached to him  each time.

And then we finally got our day. I can remember, just like Roxy, staring at him and staring at him. Trying to let it all sink in. We had our baby home and oh, THIS is what it's supposed to be like!
On our way home after 12 excruciating days at the NICU
This little reminder, if you will, came just a few weeks before that fragile, but incredibly strong at the same time boy turns 2 YEARS old. My normal, rambunctious, on-the-go-nonstop, sweet, loving, hilarious, smart, handsome boy is just a few weeks away from turning 2.
And Trey and I both feel as if we are the luckiest parents on the face of this earth. He's ours and he's healthy and beyond happy. I'm not sure what life meant before you got here Drewby, but I can say with fair certainty, the everything.. every choice your Daddy and I made... it all led up to you! We were just waiting for you to be a part of our lives. Happy almost birthday sweet boy!