26 June, 2011

R.U.T

I looked up in the dictionary the exact meaning of the word "rut" to put in my post.
I discovered that one, the main meaning of the word has nothing to do with how we normally use it, (male deer sexual excitement,) NOT JOKING, look it up! 
And two, the other noun meaning which we know it as, doesn't really apply in my situation and I think I have been using it out of context this whole time. 
Definition of the rut:
1  a: a track worn by a wheel or by a habitual passage
    b: a groove in which something runs
    c: channel, furrow
2 a usual or fixed practice; a monotonous routine. 

There is nothing routine about the funk I am in, so I guess, I'll stop using that word.
It has been a crazy week which started off with a 4 hour visit to the ER. {Everyone is ok, it was for me.} 
Thankfully it was also the day my mother in law got into town so she was able to watch the kids for me. I felt really bad for her. She had only met my daughter once and had never met my son and was then forced to watch them immediately.
God knows what we need at the exact right time!
I am finally starting to feel better, but my nerves and patience are shot.
I have been trying to put my son on a new schedule. Its not going over too well cuz he thinks he is still an infant in some areas. None the less, I know it will be better for all of us in the long run, but in the mean time, I am pulling out my hair and banging my head on a wall! ;)

The good news is, if you can call it that, is that we are at about the halfway point for this deployment. Thank you Lord that this is not a full deployment!!!!!!

My parents will be here Tuesday. They will actually be staying with us, not somewhere else, so I will have some help in the evenings when it is the toughest. I am looking forward to them being here over the 4th of July weekend. I hate long holiday weekends when Josh is gone. 

I can't believe in 5 days my baby boy will be one!!! 

19 June, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I should have had this post up yesterday, but to tell you the truth, I have been having a hard time putting it together. There is just no perfect way for me to express my feelings for the father of my children. He deserves so much more gratitude and praise than I could ever give.

Isn't it amazing how so many men are worried about what kind of dad they will be and then it happens and it becomes like breathing for them?! They fall into a role they never thought possible. There love is unending and they develop a worry and fear about protecting this innocent precious being that has been placed in their care....
Suddenly that expensive fast car is just not as important anymore. Its much more fun and rewarding to have a family barbecue and game night then to go out parting with friends.

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass."  "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply.  "We're raising boys."  ~Harmon Killebrew

I am in awe of my husband. For someone that didn't have his father around for a good portion of his life, he is a wonderful father.
His love for them and desire for their well being amaze me.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
~Theodore M. Hesburgh













 Happy Father's Day Babe, thank you for being an awesome Daddy to our children!!

Happy Father's Day to my dad also:


17 June, 2011

Girl vs Boy

I am a person studier.
I love observing.
This can be a good thing and this can be a bad thing.
It makes me observant and aware of friends likes and dislikes, but it makes me compare EVERYONE!
It took me months to stop comparing my children in a negative way, but I will always compare them, its what I do.
 ~~~~~~~~~~
For those that know us, we are a "sporty" family. The older I've gotten, the more tom-boy like I have become and girlie just really isn't my thing anymore.
We always wanted a boy first and to completely honest, when we found out we were having a girl with our first pregnancy, we were both bummed for a bit. But as reality set in and we started planning for her, we knew we were ready for her and we wouldn't change a thing!
We purposely did NOT tell anyone that we were having girl. I did NOT want a bunch of pink things.
For her first Christmas we gave her a dump truck and golf clubs, and for her first birthday we got her a t-ball set.
You kind if get it..... she was the apple of our eye, but we treated her like a tom-boy.
So its amazing as she got older how, even though she still loves any sport, she started to navigate towards girlie things. Baby dolls, playhouses, dresses, purses, and princesses.
In fact this is a pic of her in the outfit she chose to wear yesterday:
Pink, pink, pink (ugh from her momma!) ;)

 And then there is our son. He is a clingy whiny momma's boy, but he loves boy stuff. He will play ball for a long time and spend a lot of time walking his sisters dump truck back and forth. He'll pick up a car anywhere and drive it around and he loves food.


I realize this is not the norm for every boy and girl, but it just amazes me how my children have just fallen into the roles that God designed for them. I love to watch them grow into their own personalities and discover their likes and dislikes. Its one of my most favorite parts of motherhood.

14 June, 2011

Flag Day

Meaning of a Flag Draped Coffin

I hope you take the time to read this.....
To understand what the flag draped coffin really means......
To understand the flag that is laid upon it and is surrendered to so many widows and widowers.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.


-Authored By: Richard F. Sternath, Sgt/USMC 
Northern Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1969


 

12 June, 2011

Military Monday (week 10)

I am the Woman...

I'm the woman standing behind you in line at the grocery store, eying the newest Support Our Troops magnet while paging through the latest issue of Modern Bride. The look on my face is complacent and my thoughts are thousands of miles away on some military base I've only been verbally described of over the phone.

I'm the woman in the next car with the windows rolled up and the glassy visage only on the road ahead. The radio is set to one of the local country stations which is currently playing "Letters From Home" ... But you can't hear it because you're talking to a family member or a friend on your cell phone. You catch a glance at the USMC sticker on the bumper of my car but you don't know that when the song reaches "my dearest love it's almost dawn, I've been laying here all night long, wondering where you might be," my heart breaks a thousand times.

I'm the woman who visits the Military wife website at odd hours of the night to find some kind of comfort for that lonesome feeling that has settled in the pit of my stomach.

I'm the woman who has fought an inner battle, trying to accept the path the man I love has chosen. I'm the woman who will willingly sacrifice my family, my home to follow a man clear across the world. I'm the woman who never asked for this but deals with it without complaint. (Most of the time.)

I'm the woman who swells with pride every time I see my Marine standing tall in his dress blues. I'm the one who spots a military sticker, license plate, or flag and feels a connection with it's owner, hoping that maybe she's not alone in this melancholy, sacrificial situation.

I'm the one who hates war but knows that it's a necessary thing. I'm the one who supports the troops, regardless of my own opinion of the president. He is the boss of my husband, because he's the man who our troops are fighting under.

I am the woman who tries my hardest to go about my everyday life. I am the young woman who tries to concentrate during my classes and do the job I get paid to do. I am the young woman who hates sleeping alone. I am the young woman who closes my eyes and pretends that the man I love is laying right there next to me, his arms wrapped around me. I am the young woman who tries not to miss him, who tries not to cry whenever I hear his name or even the mention of soldiers. I am the woman who is terrified that the love of my life will not come back from the war.

I am a military wife!

-Unknown

09 June, 2011

Accountability {weight}

Back in January I decided to just get real with my struggles of losing weight since having my son.
You can read some of my weight goals HERE.


I have never been skinny. But was never over weight growing up either. I was always just "big boned" and kinda thicker looking.

In my teen years, even though I had multiple friends look much better in swimsuits, I never really let it get to me. I guess I was just good about where the focus should be. Now don't get me wrong, I am human and I am female, so I occasionally had those moments thinking it would be nice to look like a model or a magazine cover girl, but all in all, I knew that in order to be normal and enjoy life (aka eat pizza and fries every once in awhile,) I would also be slightly bigger, but healthy!

When I got married, I weighed in at 142. I probably could have weighed less, but my motivation to actually work out is in comparison to having a cavity filled. In our first year of marriage I actually went down to 132 because we apart due to military separation and I bounced from relative to relative trying to find a sense of normalcy. Unfortunately after we finally reunited and got settled in our new home, I was put on birth control and a blood pressure/headache medicine within a month of each other and even though my eating didn't change, I shot back up to the 145 mark! For the next 2 years, I pretty much just fluctuated between 145 and 149 and really didn't do much to change it.

Enter first pregnancy. I gained 43 pounds.
I didn't eat more, I didn't have any weird cravings that lead me to binge, my body just starts stock piling EVERYTHING when I am pregnant. Every cell in my body keeps every bit of water it can.
This was me at 40 weeks:
My husband left for Iraq when my daughter was 7 weeks old, so with motivation to be thin for him, I worked out 3 times a week all summer. I had an awesome friend that went with me and that was the key for me. When my daughter was 9 months old, he returned and I had lost 46 pounds and went on to lose 3 more after that.
Pre-weaning: 145
Within 2 months after weaning my daughter, I gained 12 lbs. BIG bummer. Then the following summer, gained a few more resulting in being 160 when I got pregnant with our son.

Second pregnancy: gained 43 pounds (what are the chances of that!)
Same issues: my body just stockpiled. Only this time I went up and down like crazy. I had health issues and MAJOR stress issues and my water weight depended on how active I was.
35 weeks:
 Cankles:


Ha, and here we are. I pretty much have done nothing to lose the weight and it has maybe gone down a pound or two every few months thanks to BFing.
I had been staying 168-170 ever since last fall. Even with all the stress.

Until April

The good news: I am now at 161!!
For some reason, I have lost almost 8 pounds in the 9 weeks since my husband left.
The ONLY thing that I can contribute it to is I have not had a drop of soda and I went off birth control, otherwise, I am dumbfounded at the reason. My plans to work out have gone out the window as single parent exhaustion and no help whatsoever have set in.
So as the time is coming closer to wean my son, I have to get my eating in even healthier order as to not let what happened before, happen again! And maybe "think" about working out.....

06 June, 2011

Trimming the children

Our son's hair was starting to get a bit long before my husband left, but nothing major.
 I asked my husband if he wanted to get it cut before he left or after he returned. He said after and I was fine with that, I really didn't think it was going to be too bad.
The hair on top and in front was original newborn hair so it was the longest and for some reason just kinda had a growth spurt in the last 8 weeks. After discussing it with my husband, we decided that I would trim the bangs/front and then do the rest later on.

Here's his before and after:
















Our daughter's hair just grows like a weed and even though we are absolutely obsessed with it, 
I have to think about whats best for a 3 year old, so we had 4 inches taken off this morning!

Here's her before and after:

03 June, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe Friday??

I discovered this recipe in a Simple and Delicious magazine back in March of '06.
I don't ever remember having homemade chicken potpie before, but I always enjoyed the store bought ones. So I had to try it out because it was so simple and easy!

Chicken Pot Pie
*Pre heat oven to 400 degrees*
-2-3 cups of cubed/diced chicken, depending on whether you want it abundant in chicken or vegetables.
  (I usually cook up my chicken ahead of time and have it cut up and ready to go, but in times I have been in a major rush with no pre-cooked chicken, I have used store bought pre-cooked already cut up chicken usually found in the lunch meat aisle.)
-2-3 cups of mixed veggies, again depending on how much you want. 
(My favorites for flavor are green beans, carrots, and corn. But the original recipe called for a bag of frozen pre-mixed veggies.)
-2 cans of cream of potato soup (10.5oz cans)
-1 package of refrigerated pie/pastry crusts. (2 count)
-dash of pepper and garlic

-Combine ingredients, place one pie pastry on bottom of pie pan; fill with mixture; put 2nd pastry on top.
-Cook for 30 minutes.

*Note: the original recipe only calls for one pie pastry on the top and none on the bottom, but my husband I prefer it with both.*

I am sure that people that love to cook or have the time would probably rather make their pie crusts by hand or add homemade cream of potato, but for someone like me who care less about cooking or for people strapped for time, this has become one of my favorite quick recipes that I try to do at least once a month.

01 June, 2011

11 months and counting

**WARNING: long post.**

Our son is 11 months old today.
We only have 4 and half short weeks until we hit the momentous milestone that is 1!

I have debated writing this post that I am about to share with you for a few reasons. I have feared that some may take it the wrong way and not fully understand what I am trying to say, or even look down on me.
But then I realized that it might actually give someone out there struggling with the same thing, some hope or some comfort that they are not alone.

My pregnancy with Monkey was a tough one. Not only physically, but very emotionally. You can read some of the physical trials HERE and HERE.
Not only that, in the middle of my pregnancy is when we moved and arrived here only to find majorly negative living and command circumstances.
I was on bed rest for most of the end of the pregnancy. I had 3-4 appointments a week at the hospital the last 6 weeks and my husband was gone hit and miss for all of it, leaving me with an active 2 yr old.
All of this to tell you, I naively thought that maybe, just maybe because the pregnancy was tough, the baby raising would be a breeze.

Obviously, God thought I needed to be on my knees more in my life than I had ever been.

My son ate well immediately after he was born, just like his sister. But this time it was different.
He spit it all up. Again
and Again
and Again.
The doctors and nurses said it was probably because he had just swallowed a tad bit of fluid or something and it was coming up.
He seemed relatively content though and slept well, so even though I felt something was wrong, I listened to the people that seemed to know what they were talking about and tried to ignore it.
For the next two weeks, all he did was spit up "gallons" of spit up every feeding...how do you ignore that?
The next excuse by the medical profession:
He was back to an ounce over birth weight at his two week check up, so just ignore the spitting up.

But that's when it went south. After 2 weeks of doing nothing but, eating, spitting up and sleeping; the crying started.

Now on a quick bunny trail. I've dealt with a LOT of kids. Nannying, babysitting, child cares, day cares, you name it.
Not one has ever cried as much as our son did.

He cried and cried and cried.

Next medical professional excuse: Its probably colic....

He only had a bowel movement once every 2 weeks, sometimes once a week. He still continued to spit up constantly. I couldn't nurse him to stop the crying because it made him spit up more. I changed everything about my diet, we tried formula, anything just to give him (us) some relief, but nothing helped.
His pediatrician ignored my pleas for something to help.
And the crying continued.

Him and me.

My husband felt helpless, and really had trouble bonding with him because of the crying and the spitting up. So it was just up to me to walk the floors and keep a burp rag under his chin.

I don't even know how to fully portray those months to you. How many times I cried out to God asking Him to just "stop him from crying."
Just thinking about those tough days and especially nights makes me cry.

Everyone that I shared this with, just kept saying this too shall pass, but its always a lot easier to say that to someone when you aren't in the middle of it.
My mom would call on the phone and he would be screaming and she just couldn't fathom it.

We wanted this child,
we prayed for this child,
But I will honestly tell you, I was so worn out and tired of the endless crying and spitting up, every night I just told God I couldn't do it anymore.

Which brings me to now. Well we obviously made it. God did not give me more than I could handle even though I would have argued that to no end while I was in the middle of the storm.

Things we learned:
He had an umbilical hernia on top of everything else.
He should have been on medication for his reflux, but I was told by so many people at the beginning and his younger months that he was fine.
His pediatrician was new and didn't look into it.
When he started eating baby food, he all of a sudden started having regular bowel movements and the spitting up got better.
When he was 7 months, he cut his first tooth and started being a little happier with slightly less crying.
As he got more mobile, my husband was able to finally start bonding with him, which gave me a little bit of free time.

Where we are today:
He still cries more than any 11 month old I have dealt with, but it is usually just because he is not happy in less he is eating
He still occasionally spits up, but it more like spit up and not gallons of fluid pouring out.
He is still VERY attached to me and since his Daddy is gone it is worse. I am back to crying in the evenings again, because of his insane attachment to me and his whining and crying in less I am giving him full attention. But that's not really his fault! ;)

And to give you another confession, even though the worst is behind me, I still have pangs of jealously when anyone has a new baby and they say its the happiest baby ever.
Is this right? Of course not, and its something I have to work through.
But we did survive and I hope to be an encouragement to anyone that has to go through this in the future and keep them well informed. Not only that, but to push harder if they feel in their gut that something is wrong and their child's pediatrician isn't listening.

I really hope at some point I can help someone going through this. I could have never imagined what exactly someone went through in less it happened to us. And even when I try to explain it to others, they think I am exaggerating.  That is the frustrating part.
Just imagine the worst case of colic, but it lasts for 6/7 months??

So here we have my little guy, who when he is happy, is quite a character. Loves being naughty, loves his sister, loves to look at the picture of his Daddy on the computer and most of all, LOVES food!

Even at the lowest point, I would have done anything for him!















 And just for good measure: ;)