December 28, 2008

Quick Update

I know I've been gone for a little while.  I have some house guests for a few more days while they wait on their significant other's return from Afghanistan.  We met April during CCC at Ft. Sill. She and her 16 month old daughter, Kaydence, are staying here.  We are keeping busy and having a lot of fun watching the kids play.  It is so cute to watch Ryan with Kaydence.  They are getting along quite well.  This is such a great experience for Ryan, and it is definitely helping pass the time so I'm getting closer to Pat's return.  I'll write more when I have another free moment.        

December 24, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

It doesn't feel much like Christmas here at my house. The presents are wrapped, but we are waiting a couple more weeks to celebrate. Since it really is Christmastime though, I wanted to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Here is a photo taken last year for our Christmas cards. Ryan was 1 week old when we took this photo.
Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2008

Bathroom Photos

Here are the before and after photos of my bathroom project.  It's hard to get pictures of a bathroom since it isn't a very big room.  The before photos are the blue wall ones and the after are cream/yellow color.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and so happy I did it.  

December 22, 2008

Milk Does a Body Good

The time has come to finally start weaning Ryan.  I know we are both ready, and I plan on doing it slowly.  However, it's really hard, probably more so on me.  I'm finding it emotionally and mentally challenging.  Emotionally I'm going to miss the special bond nursing gave us, and mentally it's hard for me to adjust to not nursing him.  I was always very strict with myself about nursing him often to keep my supply up and maintain our routine.  Three days ago I gave Ryan milk for the first time.  Well, the saying is very right, "milk does a body good".  It could be a fluke, but during these past three days, Ryan's morning nap has consistently been 2 hours long.  He never napped for 2 hours in the morning before this, so I'm attributing it to the milk.  He's also still taking a 1 hour nap in the afternoon too.  I know this won't last long, so I'm enjoying it while I have it.    He seems to be completely used to drinking milk in a cup now, and we are slowly cutting back on the nursing.  We are now at about 5 sessions (plus if he wakes up at night).  I'll be able to cut out one or two more of those before Pat comes home.  I really want Pat home before I take away the nursing session before bedtime.  I think that is what will be the toughest for Ryan.  To be honest, taking away that feeding really worries me.  I know we'll manage, and I'm just happy Pat will get to witness and help out with that one.  

On another Ryan note, today he was so cuddly.  I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, and he came up and gave my legs a hug (just like he gives his stuffed dog).  I thought that was really cute.  Then a few minutes later he came back over to me, climbed into my lap and just sat there and cuddled while saying "Mama" over and over.  Ryan isn't usually cuddly, so I found this to be just so sweet.  That was a moment that melted my heart.  

On a different subject, my parents give me and Pat a joint gift for Christmas.  We initially weren't sure what we wanted, but I came up with an idea.  I wasn't sure what Pat would think, but he was 100% on board.  This is what we got from my parents:  

It's a Nikon D40 with two lenses.  We wanted to get a DSLR, but really didn't want to spend a million dollars on a camera.  After a lot of research and several recommendations we decided on this one.  I'm so excited to take some photos of our family all together when Pat gets home.  

Speaking of photos, I'm a little bummed that I won't be able to get any photos of us at Pat's homecoming (unless I take them myself).  It's not like I could ask someone to tag along because just going to the ceremony is a production as a result of the logistics involved with the homecoming.  But overall, I really don't care about those photos too much, because I know that we'll have so many other happy moments to capture on film in the next year.    

December 21, 2008

The Perfectionist In Me

I believe that everyone has a bit of perfectionist in them for different things.  One of the things that brings out the perfectionist in me is painting.  I love having my house painted in all the colors I pick out.  It doesn't feel like home until I do that.  It may have taken almost a year, but I've started making this house a home.  I've finally painted the hall bathroom and hallway.  The bathroom was a faux finish blue room, and now it is a soft, creamy yellow.  The color is more on the cream side but looks very yellow in there because there are no windows.  The thing I hate about painting is I can ALWAYS find areas that should be touched up or repainted.  I can do this anywhere I go not just in my own house.  I find that there is no such thing as a perfect paint job, and that fact drives me nuts.  I swear for the next week I'll be touching up all the little, tiny imperfections I see in there.  But I accomplished the paint job, which took two coats, in 24 hours and only worked during nap times and bedtime. I still want to touch up the trim work in there, but then I'm done painting until Pat gets home.  I'll make sure to post some photos of all the work I've done in the next couple of days.      

December 19, 2008

I turn my back...

I turn my back for one minute today, and this is where I find him...

He's a silly boy!

December 18, 2008

Christmas Shopping

I ordered Pat another gift today, and other than still needing to get a couple of things for Ryan, my Christmas shopping is done.  We aren't celebrating until Pat returns sometime in January, so I have a bit of time to get the things I need for Ryan.  I'm really excited about the two gifts I got Pat.  I feel bad that there are only going to be two gifts to him from me, but I think they are good ones.  I hope he likes them as much as I think he will.  I guess the reason I'm so excited for him to get his gifts is because I usually never know what to get him.  This is one of the first times I didn't need help or suggestions from him and already had ideas myself.  I am starting to get the Christmas spirit I'd been lacking...even if it isn't until January.  

I really have to start getting the house in order.  I have a lot of time before Pat comes home, but in about a week I'm having some house guests while they await their significant other's return.  I should probably start a list to keep myself on track of everything I have to do.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all I want to do and just don't know where to start.  I'm too tired tonight to do anymore, so this weekend will be a great time to start.         

December 15, 2008

Playing with Abbey

Make sure you turn up your speakers to hear him laughing and snorting ;P

Oh, The Places You'll Go.

Between the BAH rates coming out today and talking to my mother and Robyn, I really got thinking about the possible next place we go.  There are so many options and different things Pat could do with his career.  However, if I were going to pick an Army post to be stationed at, I'm beginning to lean toward Ft. Carson, CO.  I've always thought that Colorado would be a nice place to live, and I feel like I'd fit in well in that community.  I do enjoy snow, and dislike summer.  Maybe after Pat holds command that is a place we could end up sometime.  It's always fun to dream right?  Where do you dream of going next?

I really should post some new pictures of Ryan soon.  I haven't done that lately.  I'm going to try to snap some shots tomorrow while we are playing.  So be on the look out for those.    

December 14, 2008

Three More

Hopefully there are only three more weekends without Pat here.  That is exciting and yet still feels quite far away.  I know I'll have a lot going on these next few weeks, so I hope the time continues to fly by.  

Yesterday I went to Linens and Things (which is going out of business).  I was looking for new curtains for the dining area of the kitchen.  The store was pretty picked over, but I was lucky and found a set of gorgeous curtains that I thought could match that room.  The previous curtains in there were 63" long and just fit, but these were 84" (floor length).  I was a little worried about how they'd look, but I actually really like them.  They are a bit formal, but since that is our only dining area in this house, I think they are quite appropriate.  They definitely give the kitchen a much more put together feel.  It had been one of my least favorite rooms here, but it's definitely growing on me.  And to think all because of curtains.  

I also scored some nice sheets for our king size bed.  They are a great shade of brown that won't show the dirt the dogs bring to bed.  Yes, that is right, Pat and I sleep with 3 dogs in our bed.  We are crazy.  The sheets were a good thread count, and I think you can always use an extra set of sheets.  I even think they'll look pretty good with the color I plan to paint the room.

Ryan is loving when I read him books.  I'm so happy that he's back to liking books.  For a while there he thought books were for teething.  We're still sticking to board books for now, but I love spending the quality time reading with him.  I think I'd better head down to Borders soon to buys us some new ones.   

December 13, 2008

Christmas Time

I don't have much Christmas spirit this year.  This is probably because I'm really not celebrating until Pat gets home in January.  Thus, it won't be a traditional holiday for us, but tonight I'm excited to curl up with the pups, a glass of eggnog, and watch It's a Wonderful Life.  Happy Holidays everyone.    

December 12, 2008

Could things really be working out?

*I realize that I'm jinxing everything by even bothering to type this out, but I can't resist thinking aloud.*

Right now I'm pretty happy with the way things are going in the Army.  My civilian friends would probably think my interest in Pat's career progression is over the top, but they don't realize that his career affects so much more than just our income.  It seems like Pat and I are in a situation of "when one door closes, another one opens."  Usually our luck doesn't let things work out for us.  Yes, things always work out, but not usually the way we'd like.  We've become pretty good at making the best out of situations and dealing with what we are handed.  I don't want to get into the specifics because as prefaced I'm probably jinxing it as I type.  I can say that it seems like we could have more options for our next career move than we originally thought.  The prospect of this newest one excites me because it could give us exactly what we want and need.  I know nothing is definite, and given our track record it probably will fall through. However, I cannot help but get a little bit exited thinking things could actually work out for us this time.  If things work out for us and this possibility develops into reality, I'll make sure to fill you in then.  *sigh*, I guess it's just nice to think of what could be.  

December 11, 2008

Good Housekeeping

Having nothing to watch on TV at night is really good for housekeeping.  I have to admit my attention span to cleaning house is very short, so I take lots of breaks during it.  I am the type of person that does really well a little at a time, unless I really get into a task and then I can't stop.  

As I'm cleaning my counter I realized that I have a great Army family.  Although we are all far apart, we really are united.  It's cute to see all the family pictures in the Christmas cards.  You will all have to forgive me for not sending one out this year.  There was no family picture to use, and I never got around to getting a good photo, having cards printed, etc.  I've also made a decision about cleaning my counters.  I will no longer allow any mail to be brought into the kitchen.  That is the thing that really leads to disorganization in my kitchen.  I have a nice letter holder on the wall by the front door, and I will start using it.  

Today I went to Home Depot and picked out paint chips for all the rooms I want to paint.  I'm really excited for turning this house into our home.  I took photos of the paint chips to get Pat's approval.  I'd like to paint the hall bathroom before he comes home, but I'm just not sure if I'll get it done.  My best opportunity is when Ryan is sleeping, but that room is right near his bedroom.  His sleeping habits have been out of whack for a little while now, and I don't know if I want to take the chance to disturb him.  I'm still thinking about doing it.  I can say when Pat gets home we'll be doing a ton of painting--the living room, hallways, and our bedroom.  It's awful; once I start thinking of home improvement projects, my mind just keeps going and going thinking of more to do.  

Okay I guess my break is over.  Back to cleaning!

December 9, 2008

Disaster Area

Today has been a dreary, gray day.  It's been raining since before we got up this morning and hasn't stopped.  I put most of my plans on hold so that I wouldn't have to bring munchkin out in the rain.  So instead I spent most of my free time today cooking.  However, this led to my kitchen going from a complete mess into a total disaster area.  I'll be the first to say that I hate the set up of this kitchen, and I think that leads so some of my disorder in it.  I'll also admit that I'm blogging about it so that I can procrastinate cleaning it.  

Today I finally got a package I had been waiting on.  I ordered something a while ago that I wanted to send to Pat for Christmas.  (I can't say what it is until after he gets it; I don't want to ruin the surprise.)  It was a bit delayed but did end up here.  Now, the stop mail date passed about a week ago, and the Christmas guaranteed delivery date also passed,  so I took a big gamble going to the post office to send this package off.  I figure he still has over 3 weeks before he will be getting on a plane so I think it should be good.  I'm crossing my fingers though.     

And since there really isn't much else for me to say, I had better get to cleaning.  

December 8, 2008

Please Mr. Postman

Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman...

In case you can't tell what I'm talking about, Ryan is standing in front of his Daddy's big, black box that arrived home today.  I think it is kind of cool that Ryan and I can touch something that I know Pat touched recently.  Just a little while longer...

December 7, 2008

Product Raves and Rant

I love finding new products that I can't live without. I always like getting recommendations on things to try, so here are a couple that I suggest to you.

1. I've never liked coffee, and I probably never will. However, I do like Coffee-mate Peppermint Mocha. Add a tablespoon to a cup of hot chocolate and it is like drinking a thin mint girl scout cookie. So Good! One recommendation though: don't over do it in a short period of time like I did. It will lose it's appeal if you drink it all the time.

2. Anyone with dry skin will love Aveda's Intensive Hydrating Masque. You put this moisturizing masque on for 5-10 minutes and then remove with water and a washcloth. Use it 2 times a week. I cannot believe how soft and smooth my skin is the morning after I use this treatment and can't stop touching my soft skin.

Here is a product I do not recommend.

1. Don't waste your money on Holmes Cool Mist Humidifier (model 729). Every night when I wake up with Ryan, I notice that my throat is dry, and the dry air seems to make me feel congested. I didn't want Ryan to feel the same way, so I went out to buy a humidifier. Since they say it is safer to use cool mist around children that is what I bought. Tonight was the first time using it, and I realized even on low it is as loud as a freight train. There was no way Ryan was going to sleep with that in his room. Since I hate returning items, I'm going to try using it during the day and shutting it off right before bedtime. Hopefully that will help prevent the air from being so dry in Ryan's room. If you need a humidifier, don't buy this one unless you like the noise of a fan.

Do you have any products to rave about?

December 3, 2008

Awe Struck

Tonight while giving Ryan his bath, I began thinking about Pat's homecoming. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I guess knowing that next month he'll finally be home has me excited. I know it's still far away (over a month), but it does feel like it's getting closer. Well, while bathing Ryan I was thinking how awe struck Pat is going to be when he meets his little boy again. I imagine Pat must be super excited to see his baby again, and I think it is almost as exciting as meeting him for the first time. Pat left before Ryan was very active so he's coming home to something so new and amazing. I know all parents are excited to see their children again after a deployment, but with Ryan being our first child Pat doesn't even have a clue what to expect. I cannot wait to see Pat watch all the funny and cute things Ryan does on an every day basis. While I tried to keep Pat included in Ryan's development, videos, photos and e-mails just aren't enough. I cannot wait for us to see Pat in the hangar. There is a tiny inkling of fear that I have for this moment too. I know Ryan is shy with new people. He warms up to people very well, but it takes a little bit of time. We'll only have 20 minutes with Pat in the hangar, and I just hope that Ryan isn't scared when he meets his Daddy again. I've warned Pat about this. He says he understands, but I still feel like he'll be a little sad if Ryan is really shy. I know I cannot control this situation though so I'm just focusing on our time together as a family after homecoming. I know once Pat is home a couple days Ryan is going to be so over Mom and all about Dad.

Speaking of when Pat is home, here is a list of things Pat and I plan to do:
*Paint, Paint, and more Paint. I want to paint the hall bathroom, the living room, our bedroom, possibly our bathroom, and touch up the main hallway. I still haven't decided on colors though. It feels like a big choice. I think all this painting will help this house really feel like our home, and that is so exciting to me.

*We are going to decorate Ryan's room a little more. Now that he's getting bigger and can appreciate things more, I'm thinking of doing some Curious George in his room.

*This spring Pat and I desperately have to work on/redo the landscaping to this house. A few of the bushes are completely dead.

*I still don't know what we're going to do for block leave. I think we'll be making that decision in the next few weeks. I am looking forward to just getting some time with Pat so I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever we do. I know I'll keep you updated on what we decide to do with our free time.

December 2, 2008

Sweet Boy

Ryan is such a sweet boy.  I am so amazed that he knows how to hug.  I guess it just surprised me because I didn't realize he would pick that up from me so easily.  I never made it a point to teach him to hug. The hugs I gave him just happened naturally, and most of the time I don't notice I'm doing it.  Even though I didn't teach him, he definitely knows how and gives lots of hugs. His hugs are one of the best things in the world.  Here is a video of Ryan hugging a stuffed dog that Pat's friend sent him.  

December 1, 2008

Growth Curve

Ryan is continuing to follow his same growth curve remaining at the 50th percentile in both height and weight.  I'm always happy to see that he is thriving at each appointment.  
His stats if I can remember right without finding the paper were something like:
Height: 29.5" (about 50th percentile)
Weight: 22lb 2 oz give or take a diaper (" 50th ") 

My poor baby had many, many shots today.  I felt awful for him.  We were at a new doctor's office and to say the least it sucked!  I'm not even going to waste my breath on the many reasons why I think they were not good.  I told Pat he can be in charge of getting Tricare to allow us to switch again.  I promise you that my complaints against this place are not just me having high standards, they really were that bad.  

November 30, 2008

The Value of a Good Friend

Most of the readers of this blog know how hard a deployment is.  In fact a lot of them are also on their second deployment.  Some people probably think I have a negative view lately, and I'll admit that is probably true.  Being a single parent for 7 months has been challenging, but even harder than that is not having a single local friend or neighbor that I can talk to or just count on when I am in desperate need of help.  Most people haven't experienced true loneliness like I am doing right now.  My family is absolutely wonderful and have been such a great support network for me.  Another great source of strength for me is my good friend Robyn, and this post is devoted to her.  

Robyn's husband was in the same OBC as Pat, and that is when we met way back at the beginning of their Army careers.  Although we lost touch for a while after they moved away, we found our friendship again, and I am very thankful for that.  Robyn is one of the only friends I have that can really relate to me and this Army life.  I hope that one day the Army brings us back together so I can have that local friend and Ryan would love playing with her son, Porter.  Well, now to make everyone jealous, Robyn sent such a sweet birthday package for me and Ryan.  I finally have one of the highly coveted aprons that Robyn makes.  They are absolutely beautiful, and I simply adore the one she made me.  She also made Ryan a taggie blanket.  He really likes to rub tags together so I'm sure that will be a big hit.  Also included in the package were some cds she made for me, a book, and some pants she had that would fit Ryan.  She is such a wonderful, thoughtful friend.   So Robyn, if you are reading this, thank you not only for the gifts but also for being such a great friend.  

(The picture quality isn't the best.  My battery was about to die, and I wanted to get this up before it did.)

My Accomplishment (TMI for some!)

Yesterday on the phone, Pat told me I should be proud because I accomplished a big goal I had.  Some people may find this to be normal and not anything special, but I feel like I did accomplish a hard task that I had set my mind to.  I breast fed my baby a whole year without EVER using any formula.  For those of you who have done the same, I applaud you because I know how difficult it can be.  For those currently breast feeding, I encourage you to stick with it if it is what you want.  It can be difficult at certain times, but persistence pays off.  I know that there were many times that I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it to a year.  I tend to stress myself out over certain things and need Pat to talk me back down.  Throughout this year he was very supportive of the whole process too, and for that I thank him.    
I'm a little torn about weaning.  I think my body is ready to be done, but emotionally I'm not sure I'm ready.  I'd like to try to wait until Pat is home to completely wean, but I don't know that we'll make it.  Either way, I guess I'm proud that I did a year and any extra time is just a bonus accomplishment.  

November 28, 2008


I simply cannot believe it, but my little baby is one year old today. It was at 10:20 a.m. a year ago that my life changed to become a dream come true. There were times during this year that felt like a journey, but it really just flew by too fast. I enjoyed every moment I shared with Ryan. Today is not only a special day for Ryan, but also for me and Pat. The memories of this miraculous day will never fade. We cannot wait to watch all the developments Ryan has to make in the future as a whole family. November 28, 2007 really was the best day ever, and I know I'm lucky for each day I get with Ryan.

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy. I love you so much.

November 26, 2008

7th Month Stretch

Just like with the first deployment, I find that Pat and I both hit a wall around the 7th month.  Last deployment Pat didn't take R & R until after the 7th month point.  While I loved having only a few more months left after R & R, by the time I got to R & R it felt like an eternity since I had seen my husband.  I get tired around 7 months.  Thankfully this time it's only about a month and a half left till I see Pat for a good long while.  7 months without seeing his face or getting a hug from him always seems like too long.  Here's hoping the next few weeks go by FAST!      

November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday...

To me!  Yup, that's right, I'm another year older.  It certainly flew by.  Thanks to everyone that called and wrote to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I think doing the dishes and paying bills will be quite the celebration tonight...LOL...

November 23, 2008

Weekend Update

As you could probably tell from my last post, my parents were visiting for a long weekend.  I stopped at the mall before picking them up at the airport.  I had plans to go shopping and buy myself some cute clothes.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a single thing I wanted.  However, I did buy Ryan lots of cute clothes.  (I'm crossing my fingers that he still fits in them when Pat returns.)  Later in the weekend though, my mother and I went shopping, and I got a cute coat from Old Navy that I will wear for Pat's homecoming.  (Homecoming will be in a cold hangar and then in a large tent, so instead of a cute outfit, a cute coat is better.)  My mom bought Ryan a coat and wicked cute hat for winter too.  I was even able to leave Ryan with my parents so that I could get a hair cut, and I'm pretty happy with the cut.  So overall I got a lot done.    
I had so much fun with my parents out here.  It was great to see them, and I wish I could see them more often.  Ryan loved having more people to play with and of course enjoyed all the toys they gave him.  My dad kept busy doing lots of projects around the house.  I don't know what I would have done without this visit.  I was very sad to have to say goodbye.  Now Ryan and I are back to being just the two of us.   I miss my family, but Ryan is good company and keeps me smiling.  

November 20, 2008

I am married to the most amazing man.

I happen to be a very lucky woman.  I think I  have the best husband ever.  My birthday is coming up, and Pat really went all out even though he's in Afghanistan.  I knew he was keeping something from me but I didn't know what it was.  Pat had my mother help him carry out his gift plan and bring the gifts with her for this visit.  He wanted my mother to give me the gifts as soon as she got here so that he could call after and get my reaction.  To say the least, I'm absolutely awestruck by how great he is.  So I bet you're wondering what he sent right?  Well, during his travels, Pat acquired some gem stones.  He sent them to my mother to take to our jeweler to be set in particular pieces of jewelry.  As if this wasn't sweet enough, Pat even drew sketches of what he wanted the pieces to look like.  He got me a beautiful topaz pendant necklace (it is my birthstone and Ryan's too), two sets of stud earrings, and also sent an amethyst stone that he wants us to set in a ring when he returns from this deployment.  I really don't deserve such a great husband but am thankful for him everyday.  I am so happy and just completely blown away by all the thought Pat put into these gifts.  He has truly outdone himself.  Here are some of the pictures of the gifts. 
  The topaz necklace and my new hair cut.   One set of stud earrings (don't mind my silly face)

 Second set of studs.   The amethyst stone that we'll set when he gets back.  

November 18, 2008

I Suck

Tonight was the FRG meeting.  I am awful at public speaking because I get so nervous.  I'm not like those bubbly, happy people that feel right at home talking to strangers.  I'm more of the awkward, sweating type that says, "umm" a lot.  (I know, that is a bad habit that I sometimes forget to watch for.)  I just feel like the spouses that were at the meeting tonight must think I'm a moron.  I didn't have all that much info to pass out, and I just feel like I didn't do so well.  At least I brought cookies though.  And the cookies actually turned out pretty well, so it wasn't all a failure.  

November 17, 2008

Is It Wednesday Yet?

Recently I've been talking to Pat about how it's funny that most days I have nothing going on and don't see anyone, but when I do have something planned, all the things I have to do seem to fall on the same days.  Considering how open my calendar usually is, it is becoming comical how everything happens at once.  After making so many phone calls this weekend (and let me just say it was so not fun), I'm feeling sort of worn out.  I have a bunch of errands to get done today and need to prepare for my FRG meeting tomorrow night.  My parents are coming to visit Wednesday, and I am so excited.  I feel like I need a break.  When I go to pick them up from the airport, I'm stopping at the awesome mall and shopping for me and Ryan.  I'm looking for some clothes for Pat's homecoming.  I hope I find some nice stuff because I'm ready to spend some money (and that doesn't happen often.)  Also when my parents are here, I have an appointment to get my hair cut and my eyebrows done.  I still have something like 50 days till Pat returns, but I guess I'm just getting prepared early.  

Ryan has been such a wonderfully happy boy lately.  Sometimes when he isn't feeling 100%, I forget how happy he normally is.  Whenever I'm feeling down, I just have to look at him and all the unhappiness washes away, and I'm immediately smiling.  He's getting so big and grown up, and it seems to be happening too fast.  I am rather excited to see what it is like when Pat gets home being a two parent family.  I don't know what to expect, but I think we'll have a great dynamic.    

November 14, 2008

On The Phone

It looks like I'll be on the phone all weekend.  I have 80+ phone calls to make for the FRG by Monday.  I wish I could write more, but my brain is giving out after talking to all these people.  I'm not even half way through either.  (Sigh...) 

And I wanted to add a note to say "Thank You" to the family members that call my house at 230 a.m., and say "Who is this; I had a missed call from you."  Yes, you did, but did you really need to call me back at this hour and wake my house up?

November 13, 2008

Busy Day and Annoyed by Tricare

Today was pretty busy.  I had the 3 hour reintegration briefing this morning.  Ryan was in on site daycare while I watched 3 hours of PowerPoint.  It wasn't quite the best 3 hours for either of us.  I would be excited about this briefing if it didn't still feel like a long time till Pat comes home.  
When I got home, I decided to call the Ft. Campbell BACH appointment line.  I find it a little annoying that they are so rude, especially when all I'm looking for is a timely appointment. Again, they only had Christmas Eve or Dec 30.  It's crazy.  I called Tricare to check on my options.  I won't go into the long story there, but I highly recommend going to the Tricare office on post rather than calling the 1-877-TRICARE number.  The phone people not only gave me completely different info the two times I called (and wrong info), but they were rude too.  I have to highly praise the Tricare offices on the posts.  I've gone to the offices on both Ft. Sill and Ft. Campbell and not only do they get the job done fast, but they are really nice to deal with.  
Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a cuddly day with my little boy.  I think we both need a quiet day at home.  

November 12, 2008

Newest Reasons Why I Dislike Ft. Campbell

Here are my newest reasons why I'm not so happy with Ft. Campbell:

Childcare:  Most of my friends at different Army posts keep mentioning their free daycare while their spouse is deployed.  It seems that most people get 16 free hours of care to use each month while their spouse is gone.  They had this at Ft. Sill.  You could use the free hours as you pleased during the month.  Here they do give free childcare, but only on two scheduled days a month:  Friday Night Out and Super Saturday.  So it isn't like I can use it any day I choose, and to be honest Friday and Saturday aren't the days I usually need/want care.   Also, we've all heard how even when I call two weeks ahead of my meetings, hourly care is usually booked for when I need, so I'd bet that the Friday/Saturday during the month books up fast.  

Homecoming:  Not so happy that I have to take a bus to get to the hangar for homecoming but I'll deal.  They say to get to the hangar 2 hours early.  I think it's a little silly that we get reunited with our spouses for 20 minutes and then separated again for them to turn in weapons and do the personnel stuff.  So they say after I ride the bus back to my car alone and drive to the tents at the next location, I could possibly wait two more hours for him to come back again.  I think Ft. Sill had the homecoming ceremonies and business associated with them down really well.  

Holiday Gift Wrapping:  I signed our FRG up for the Holiday Gift Wrapping Fundraiser at the PX.  I did it a few times back in Ft. Sill, so I figured it wouldn't be that different.  Thankfully this year at Ft. Campbell they are NOT requiring us to take a class before the wrapping (yes, seriously last year they did a class), but since they aren't doing a class they will not be providing scissors, tape, bows, etc.  That is a little weird.  And the money is not divided as fairly as it is at Ft. Sill, but whatever.  

Medical Care:  Now normally I'm not one to complain about the medical care because so far I have nothing really bad to say about the health care provided at the posts I've been to.  However, today I was a bit annoyed with BACH.  It ends up that the Holiday Gift Wrapping mentioned above is set for the day of Ryan's well-baby visit.  Since I'm the FRG leader I can't very well tell the group we are fundraising and then not show up.  So I had to cancel Ryan's appointment that was scheduled for Dec 10.  The next appointment they have for him is Christmas Eve.  Yes I'm calling Nov. 12, and the best they can give me is Christmas Eve.  Ryan would be about 13 months then.  I'm obviously not bringing him in for shots on Christmas Eve, so now I'm stuck waiting.  I'm going to call tomorrow and try to speak to a supervisor.  It is a bit ridiculous though.  

November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all those wonderful people who have served our country in the past and those who are presently serving.  While my loved one is over on his second combat tour, I am very happy that there is a special day set aside for the country to remember the job he is doing and the sacrifices he is making.  Thank you to all the Veterans out there.  

I haven't updated in a few days.  Ryan has come down with a slight cold (and may be teething too, who knows).  He's been a little needy and upset, so I'm doing my best to keep him comfortable.  Hopefully the worst is over.  Last week I went shopping for winter clothes for Ryan.  I got such cute outfits for him.  I even got a onesie that would be perfect for Pat's homecoming; I just hope it still fits him then (eight more weekends).  I bought him his first real pair of shoes too.  They'll take some getting used to I think because he seems to walk a bit funny when he wears them.  This week I have two different FRG meetings to go to.  One of them Ryan will have to come to since I couldn't get care, and the other one he'll go to on site care.  Hopefully he'll be over his cold by then and will do well there like last time.  So that along with cleaning the house should keep me pretty busy.      

November 8, 2008

The Sound of Silence

The sound of silence is all that remains now that I've dropped our guests back off at the airport.  My sister, Marie, and her husband, Justin, came out to visit me and Ryan Thursday until Saturday.  It was so great to see them, and we had so much fun.  It was great for Ryan to have new people to play with him, and they provided me some free time.  I forgot what it was like to have a conversation with my dinner.  It was such a help having extra hands to watch Ryan when I did the regular everyday things like feeding the dogs or washing the dishes.  We were sad to seem them go today and miss them already.  The quiet in the house seemed overwhelming when we got back from the airport.  I know it will only take a day or two to get back into our routine, and I'll get used to the silence again.       

November 2, 2008

Missing Him...

I'm missing my hubby so much right now.  I've been very fortunate to talk to him a lot this past week.  Part of the reason I've been so lucky is that he's working such long hours by the time he finishes he's too tired to write an e-mail so instead I get to hear his very tired voice.  It may be a weary voice, but I love hearing it.  Hopefully, if all goes as planned, I should only have to get through about 9 more weekends without him.  We are both so excited to be a family again.  
Today seemed to drag on because of setting the clocks back.  Our schedule here just seemed a little off because of the change.  I'm sure tomorrow we'll be back to normal.  I thought I wouldn't like it being dark so much earlier, but I realized that I actually like it this way.  I'm always partial to the fall/winter time and it being dark as we finished our dinner tonight just felt right.  It may also be because I know this darkness and cold weather signals Pat's impending return.
We don't have any big plans for the next few days.  I need to clean the house for Auntie Rie and Uncle Justin's visit.  Ryan and I are so excited to see them.  I also need to do a recon of the school I'm supposed to vote at on Tuesday.  However, tonight I'm just going to sit down and browse my Sephora catalog and then watch Army wives.  I may not deserve this break, but I'm taking it anyway.     

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!  It was a normal, quiet day/evening here.  You really couldn't tell it was Halloween.  

Ryan is walking more and more each day.  It is so cute, and he's very proud of himself.  Next week we are going to a mall in Nashville when we pick up Auntie Rie and Uncle Justin from the airport, and we'll be buying Ryan his first pair of shoes.  

I've been keeping pretty busy with things around the house etc.  I guess that helps pass time. Hopefully only 2.5 months left of the deployment now, and at least I have a couple visits to look forward to.  

Well, I'm off to lounge on the couch.  I think all the stuff I've been accomplishing around the house is wearing me out.   

October 29, 2008

Good Deals!

I've done a bit of shopping lately.  I haven't done this out of enjoyment, but rather out of need.  I definitely need some nice clothes to wear when Pat comes home.  So the other day I headed out to see if I could find any good deals.  I got a cute little tank blouse that will go nicely under a black cardigan, and the best part was it was $4.00.  I also got some very cute black flats.  I know Pat would have much preferred the black heels that I tried on, and I'll admit they were super cute.  However, practicality won. I figure I'm going to be chasing a little boy, and with winter weather coming I'd like to avoid all the falls that I can.  I obviously do not have all the clothes I need, but slowly I'll keep finding deals and replenish my closet.    
Today I had a coupon to JCPenney and figured I could go pick up a fleece sleeper for Ryan now that the weather is getting cold.  I found what I was looking for and more.  They had a ton of polo shirts for little boys on clearance.  I wasn't sure what size to pick up for next summer, but I erred on the side of caution so if anything they'll be a little big on him but big is okay in my book.  So including tax I got a fleece sleeper and six polo shirts for $13.00.  
Upon leaving the mall I noticed that Linens 'n Things is going out of business, so I again wanted to see if I could find a good deal.  There were no good deals here; everything was only marked down 10-20%, which meant it was all still expensive in my opinion.  However, in the curtain department I found exactly what I've been looking for and needing for Ryan's room.  I found a thermal black-out curtain and it was 20% off.  Not only does it block out all light, but it promises that its thermal technology will keep the room warm in the winter.  Ryan's room gets very cold so I have high hopes for this thing.  Although, I'm just happy to take down the two curtains and blanket that I had to layer over the window for the past few months to keep the light out.  I guess you could say I've had some good luck shopping lately.  

On a different note, yesterday was the two year anniversary of Pat's homecoming from his first deployment.  Yes, he's already been gone six months for this one.  Compared to some people we were very lucky to have 1.5 years between deployments.  However, it was a very busy 1.5 years between going to CCC, PCSing, TDY course in NV, having a baby, etc.  I can't wait till he's home again, and maybe this time between the next deployment will be less stressful.    

October 27, 2008

He Walks!

Ryan is walking! I'm so lucky that I caught this on film so Pat could see his son's first steps. Yay!


I'm too tired to type any thoughts. So instead I'll give you the link to the new videos I posted.


October 26, 2008

Half Year Mark

Today is 6 months since Pat left.  I am so proud of myself for making it 6 months, especially since this deployment I am completely alone without any local support network.  I think half a year like that is quite an accomplishment.  Ryan has changed so much during these past 6 months.  He's grown into quite a little boy.  I know his Daddy is proud.  I'm a little bit surprised that I've done a decent job as a single parent to my first child.  Only a few more months and we'll all be together again.  It's going to be so exciting to see Pat and Ryan interact.  I hope the rest of this year flies by.  Six months down....only a few more to go.  Yay!

October 25, 2008


Ryan's latest word to repeat (babble) is dadda.  Obviously he isn't referring to Pat, but hearing him call that word out so often is breaking my heart.  A child without a deployed father would be putting together an association between that word and the actual person.  Unfortunately we still have a couple more months before Ryan will be able to really do that.  I so look forward to the day when Ryan meets his Dadda again and my family is whole.   

October 23, 2008

Updates and Random Rambling

Ryan seems much better now.  I'm still not sure what was up with him, but I'm so glad he's over it and feeling better.  We've returned to our normal schedule, and it feels good.  He's still loving his play fort made of the empty car seat box.  He's just so cute.  When I go to pick my sister up at the airport in a couple weeks, I'll be stopping by the Carter's store.   I can't wait; I love shopping there.  I'm also super excited to see her and Justin.  

Speaking of shopping, I cannot find anything I want.  I'm looking for clothes.  We don't have many stores in the mall here, and I guess you could say I'm picky.  I really like quality clothing that won't fall apart when washed, but I hate to spend much money.  I've even spent some time looking for stuff online, and nothing is catching my eye.  I'm still on the search for a homecoming outfit, but I still have a bit of time to find that.  

I am going to get my hair cut next month partly because it needs it, but also in preparation for homecoming.  (I don't get it cut as often as I should so that will probably be the last cut before I see Pat again.)  My hair is getting long.  I can't decide if I want to have it cut or just trimmed.  Recently, when I've been wearing it down, it's been having good days.  However, back in its ponytail (the norm) it's not looking so hot.  I think I'll go some where in between trim and cut.  

Abbey seems to be doing great on her medicine.  I can see that she's putting some weight back on which is great.  She really is a very sweet dog, but people don't give her a chance.  She is very smart and good natured.  They all are.  I feel bad because recently I haven't been able to spend much time playing with them.  I even sometimes have a short temper with them, which makes me feel awful.  I guess 3 of them can get overwhelming when you are already acting as a single parent.  If the weather permits, I'm going to make it a point to go play with them out back tomorrow.  They deserve more than I'm giving them, and I want to be better for them.    

October 22, 2008


Last night was rough, and I'm pretty sure today isn't going to be fun.  Two nights ago, Ryan woke up a couple of times.  Yesterday morning he sounded a little hoarse.  At first I thought it may have been from him crying that night, but as yesterday went on it was clear he wasn't feeling well.
Communication with a child his age is difficult.  He isn't able to tell me exactly what is wrong.  I know something is bothering him, but it is only my best guess on what it is.  My guess is that my poor baby has a sore throat.  
On a normal basis, Ryan is a pretty good sleeper.  He'll sleep 11 hours at night and take 2 naps during the day.  However, when something is ailing him, I'm not so lucky.  Last night I was up nursing him every 2.5 hours.  Nursing is what provided him comfort.  Maybe part of that is the nature of a sore throat, but it makes me a little sad that my baby doesn't want to snuggle, be rocked, have his back rubbed, etc.  He just wanted to nurse.  I know it was probably soothing his throat, but I wish my hugs could soothe him too.  That would make me feel more needed and loved.  

Blueberries Are Messy

He sure does like them, but they make a real mess!  

October 20, 2008

Ryan is such a good boy!

Today I had the official FRG training for Ft. Campbell.  It was scheduled for 5 hours, so I had been putting off taking the course because I knew that would be difficult with Ryan.  Ryan was going to on-site daycare for this training, and I felt a lot more comfortable knowing I could nurse him and check in on him.  As soon as we walked into the daycare room, Ryan started crying.  He knew what was up and didn't like it.  I handed him off, and he made the most pitiful face and cried while I left.  Around 10 a.m. they came to get me from the class because Ryan was so upset and wouldn't take his bottle.  I walked him around a little bit and nursed him.  He seemed in a much better mood so we returned to the care room.  He was much more upbeat while I held him there.  So I quietly passed him off and left.  Around 12 p.m. they came to my class again.  I was prepared to leave, but they just wanted to know if they could feed him and said he was being good.  I was impressed that he was being such a happy boy.  My class ended at 12:30 just as Ryan was finishing his lunch.  As soon as he saw me he started screaming with joy.  That certainly makes a momma feel good!  He was in a happy mood when we left and is now taking a much needed nap.  I'm just so proud of what a good boy he was today!  

October 19, 2008

Overrun and Run Down

This afternoon I had to venture out to buy a few items for the long day tomorrow promises to be.  I didn't want to go out but knew I had to.  I couldn't believe how crowded the parking lots were at Target and Toys R Us.  It definitely made me think about what it will be like when our Soldiers return over the next few months.  I already find the stores are completely picked through, and there are always so many people everywhere you go here.  Before Pat left, restaurants had a minimum of a 60 minute wait on Friday and Saturday nights, and this was when all the Soldiers had already left.  Our post is expecting the return of some 12,500 Soldiers over the next few months.  I cannot imagine what it will be like when everyone is home.  C-ville is definitely going to be overrun.  
Poor Pat is getting so run down.  People are on leave, and they are currently in a busy cycle.  Pat is working 22 hours at a time, sleeping for a few hours, and then returning back to work.  I feel bad that he's working so much and just hope his unit appreciates all that he's doing.  He is definitely going to have a very hard adjustment to the hours we keep here when he returns. 
The last time we talked, we discussed his homecoming.  I haven't seen a homecoming here at this post yet, so I really don't know what to expect.  I don't know what Ryan will be like with the whole situation or where he'll be developmentally then.  It's hard for me to picture that day without knowing these kinds of things.  We still haven't decided what we are going to do when he returns, and that drives me nuts too.  I'm obviously no good at waiting.     
Speaking of things I'm no good at...self control.  Who let me me buy Halloween candy this early?  I've already made a dent in it.  I will never again buy it early for the sake of my waist.  

October 18, 2008

We Love Boxes

Who knew boxes could provide so much fun.  My little cutie sure enjoys playing with empty boxes.  We are having so much fun today.  

Excited For The Election

This time I am really excited for the election.  I remember four years ago I stayed up very late watching the turn out of the last one by myself in the office of our first apartment.  While I was interested then, I'm much more interested now.  This is the first election where I really watched the debates.  I did my own personal research and can say I am very proud of the candidate I've selected.  I am eager to cast my vote on November 4, and look forward to a late night by the tv if that is what it takes.  

There are political comments or critiques I could make, but I would rather not share my political opinions on here.  I hope everyone is registered and as excited to vote as I am.  

October 16, 2008

Many Years Ago

On this day many years ago Pat and I had our first official date.  I remember being very nervous.  I didn't know how he felt about me.  Dinner was a bit awkward at first, but it didn't take long for us to let down our walls and enjoy ourselves.  It was on this day that we decided to declare ourselves a couple.  I can't believe how much we've grown and matured since then.  With all the change, struggles, and joys we've experienced, we've only become closer and stronger.  I'll always remember how that one date changed my life, and I am so thankful for that.  Looking back it's always amazing to see how far we've come.  

October 13, 2008

"Laughter Is The Shortest Distance Between Two People."

Sharing a laugh with the people I love really heals my spirit.  

This morning while I was grabbing something in the kitchen, Ryan was at the baby gate crying because he couldn't get into the kitchen too.  He gets frustrated at being trapped by gates.  All I could think was, "great, is this what my day is going to be like?"  As soon as we started playing peek-a-boo at the gate, his cries turned to laughter.  He has the heartiest laugh, and it is just so cute.  Immediately my day turned around. Making him laugh is definitely the most entertaining part of my day, and I'd be happy to do that all day long.  

It got even better when Pat called during Ryan's nap. (which happened to be a long nap today!) Pat and I have really been able to share some laughs at stories of Ryan and our dogs lately. These moments have been so needed for both of us.  All the stress has been getting to us, but recently we've been able to laugh together as if we were sitting right next to each other.  Our mutual enjoyment in such stories really makes me feel closer and more connected to him despite our distance.   

My boys and the dogs are certainly helping keep my spirits raised.  They are always able to make me smile and laugh and for that I'm grateful.  

(Title quote by Victor Borge.)

October 12, 2008

Shopping Stinks!

Yesterday I ventured out to the mall in an attempt to go shopping.  I put on a pair of my good jeans, wore my hair down, and was planning on spending some money.  It didn't take long to realize that my effort of getting put together and my shopping attempt were both a waste of time.  I was hoping to find another pair of glasses.  I've been wanting another set of frames for a while.  I really like the frames I have, but they are black and I'd also like a brown pair.  I went to the eye place at the mall and couldn't find a frame that looked good on me at all, or else they were pretty expensive.  Since I already have a pair, I do not want to spend a ton of money on a second pair.  Then I moved on to look at the jeans at Dillards.  That is where I got my favorite pairs back in Lawton.  They have the brand that I love, but I wasn't crazy about the wash color.  Considering that these jeans are more expensive than I like, I didn't want to settle on an okay color.  I walked around a few more stores, but there were no good deals.  I left the mall empty handed.  It was okay to get out the house, but I'd much rather have spent that time playing in the yard instead.  

October 11, 2008

Frequent Flyer Miles

I knew the frequently flyer miles that I had accrued from the long trips between OK and MA were about to expire.  I was very pleased when they sent an offer that I could redeem the miles for magazines.  I knew I wasn't going to be flying anytime soon, so free magazines would be great.  I had more miles than I needed to select all the magazines that I thought Pat and I might like. However, now that they are all streaming in, I'm finding myself overwhelmed with how many I have to read.  Sadly, Pat's packages have become boxes filled with magazines and little else. Tonight I'm sitting in bed with five new ones and there are two others by my bath tub.  At least it gives me something to do on a Saturday night, right?  

October 7, 2008


Yesterday I realized that I should probably be embarrassed at how I look most of the time.  I realized this on my way out to pick up diapers.  I looked in the review mirror and really saw myself.  My hair, which I've already said needs a cut, was pulled back in its constant ponytail with many fly-aways.  My eyebrows, which again need work like I've said, look awful.  I had no makeup on and looked totally washed out.  My plain gray t-shirt isn't bad, but really just looks like it belongs in a gym or as pajamas, and my jeans which can be taken off without unbuttoning or unzipping probably need to be put into the back of the closet.  This is how I go about most days.  I definitely think the biggest reason for my lack of effort and care is that I'm not going to see anyone I know....I don't know anyone.  How will I be able to look put together when Pat returns if I don't practice now?  If my parents get a chance to come visit when they plan, I'm hoping to get my hair and eyebrows taken care of then.  I have my favorite pair of jeans just waiting to be worn, but I always hesitate wearing them now because I don't want to wear them out.  I don't really feel embarrassed about how I look, but sometimes I wonder if I should.  After writing part of this entry this morning I had a bunch of motivation to go out to the store and try to look presentable.  However, it ended up being a dark, rainy day here and I decided it was better to just sit inside in sweats today.  There is always tomorrow.  

October 6, 2008

Vague Project

Today someone from "over there" e-mailed me a picture of my hubby.  It was such a sight for sore eyes.  I haven't seen his face in months, probably since the last time he was able to use the webcam a few months back.  I had almost forgot what he looked like.  My heart just melted when I opened the picture and saw the man I miss so much.  

Pat and I have been working on and planning some things for the future.  In fact we've been individually working on this project since just after he left.  The hard part is that until he gets home everything is up in the air.  I am a very impatient person, and I love having plans set.  I know I'm going to be stressing until he comes home, and we can figure it all out then.  There is also a part of me though that feels by working on this project so much we've put ourselves on the back burner. Maybe it's worth it, we'll have to wait and see.  

October 4, 2008

Weekend Boredom

I've mentioned before that weekends are especially lonely during deployment.  Despite waking up early here, Ryan and I had a very good day.  We make our own fun and are constantly playing together.  

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "crazy cat lady".  My neighbors probably modify that phrase to crazy dog lady when they see me.  Mid-morning I was out back playing with the dogs while carrying Ryan in his baby bjorn.  I decided it would be a good idea to take the dogs for a walk individually.  So off I went up and down my road three different times, with my son strapped to my chest, pacing up and down the road with a different dog each time.  I may look crazy, but the dogs and Ryan really enjoyed it, and the weather was perfect.  I will admit that carrying my 20lb. baby boy like that didn't do much to help my still sore neck, but it was worth it.  

Ryan is quite the silly, little boy.  By the french doors I have two ottomans I use to store his toys.  He's figured out that his toys are in there.  He spends quite a bit of his day by those ottomans pulling out his toys.  He doesn't want to play with them, but he doesn't want them in there either.  He just pulls them out one by one and drops them on the floor.  He does the same thing with anything on the couch.  He goes over to the couch and pulls the pillow off and then goes on about his own business.  Every time I put the pillows back on the couch or the toys in the ottomans he goes right back to pulling them out and putting them back on the floor.  He is for sure a little boy that knows what he wants.  He definitely has a stubborn streak too, but considering his parents that is no surprise.     

I have say that I'm a little bit sad at Ryan's bedtime.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy having a little me time.  However, it's lonely and I sometimes wish my buddy were still up to play, but I know I'm better off being lonely at night if that means I have a well rested baby.  Now I just need to work on getting well rested myself.  I find often times my mind is still racing when I'm trying to fall asleep and I just end up tossing and turning.  I need to find a way to clear my head before bed.       

Tired and Sore

I think I'm getting run down.  I've been fighting off a clogged milk duct the past few days.  For those of you not familiar, a clogged milk duct can easily become infected leaving you with flu like symptoms--fever, chills, headache, nausea.  Thankfully I've seemed to have been keeping ahead of this and have not become sick but rather just have a little pain.  Then yesterday I some how pulled a muscle in my neck.  I hate when that happens because we often don't realize how much we use those muscles until they are aching.  And to top it off we didn't sleep well last night.  I can tell today is going to be a little bit hard.  I am hoping that I get a chance to nap when our little man does this morning.  

Pat is on a business trip to another FOB this weekend.  I know that he could really use my support and words of encouragement right now, but unfortunately our communication is very limited for a little bit.  I just need to believe that he knows how proud I am of him and how much I love him.  I know he always gives 100%, and I am sure he'll do a great job on this task.     

October 3, 2008

3 Crazy Dogs

As I mentioned in a post below, I love fall.  The dogs really seem to like it too.  They've been spending most of the days outside thanks to the doggie door.  Now this does lead to increased barking which drives me absolutely nuts, but I am happy that they are getting the fresh air they deserve and need.  Today whenever I looked outside I could see Abbey running around crazy in the backyard playing with her toys.  It makes me so happy to see her enjoying herself and being active.  Her medicine is definitely helping her, and she seems to be putting on a little bit of weight slowly.  Tonight while I was out playing fetch for Abbey even Sammy and Bailey joined in the fun.  Sammy chases Abbey and tries to bite her ankles.  I wish he would play in a nicer way, but obviously Abbey can hold her own against him.  It was such a wonderful sight though to see Bailey sprinting across the yard.  It's rare that he'll play with the others.  He's more of an observer, but occasionally he'll have some fun playing.  He really is extremely fast when he does run.  Ryan loves watching them race all around the yard, and I know Pat would love to see them having such fun.  So while they get on my nerves sometimes, they really are great dogs.  I'm as lucky to have them as they are to have us.   

October 2, 2008


I think tonight calls for a long soak in our giant tub with a few magazines.  Then I'll go watch the debate.  I'm exhausted....

October 1, 2008

So much to say....

Today was the first day that had a real feel of fall around here.  It was exactly what I needed.  I love fall with the changing leaves and crispness in the air.  There is something about fall that makes me feel so refreshed, and that revival was long awaited.  

Today I had a chance to talk with Pat.  He really is such an amazing husband.  No matter what I throw at him, he always seems to have the right answer.  He has a way of making me feel better no matter what has me down, and he is able to do this from over 7000 miles away.  I cannot imagine a more supportive and caring husband.  

Ryan is growing and changing every day.  Today I was impressed by the fact that he is 100% proficient at using his sippy cup.  Yes, I know he's 10 months and some children do this earlier.  However, considering he hasn't even taken a bottle in the last 6 months, I thought using a cup might prove challenging.  He's played with the cup before, but didn't really use it to drink.  Most of the time I don't even give him a cup.  Tonight after his dinner he was having a piece of Zwieback Toast, and that usually makes him thirsty.  I gave him a cup with a little bit of water in it, and he drank it all.  I cannot get over how fast he learns new things and what a wonderful little boy he is.    

I'm still saving my good clothes for Pat's return.  That means that until then I can be found in sweats or pants that are so big they could fall off at any moment thanks to the living alone diet.  I'm also waiting on the haircut and eyebrow wax that I desperately need until closer to Pat coming home.  I've been checking out Sephora lately too.  It is such a guilty pleasure of mine.  I feel like I'm waiting on lots of things for myself, but I really find no reason to indulge when I never see anyone.  

September 28, 2008

10 Months!

My little boy is growing up so fast.  Today he's 10 months old. 

September 26, 2008


I haven't blogged in a while because I've been feeling very negative, and I really do not want to share my self-pity party.  Nothing has really changed except for me being stuck in this crappy frame of mind.  I'm going to try to refrain from posting until I have a more positive outlook to share.  

However, as if it were an anniversary, I feel the need to mark each passing month.  Today we've hit 5 months done and are that much closer to being together again.  Pat has been gone for over half of Ryan's life now (plus gone tdy during the time he was home).  He's missed so many firsts with his son, and that makes me sad.  Recently Pat and I were talking about how when he left Ryan was a little baby that just needed to be held.  All he could do was roll over.  He's changed so much and become such a big boy.  It's been five months since Pat held his son and five long months since I held my husband's hand or shared a hug.  I'm proud that Ryan and I have come so far, but I look forward to being a family of 3 again.  I cannot wait for the new year and all the happiness it will bring.  

Now I'm off to watch the debate!       

September 16, 2008

I made it through.

I wasn't sure I would, but I made it through the day yesterday.  The night before I was up vomiting from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. and sleeping intermittently on the bathroom floor.  My fever was 100.6, and I'm not sure I've ever been that sick before.  Yesterday, while I was no longer getting sick, I felt miserable.  I was having trouble drinking anything and knew I was getting dehydrated.  I was so thankful though at what a good boy Ryan was.  Most of the day he played by himself which made it easy on me.  I felt bad because yesterday was the first day that I was really watching the clock counting down until his bedtime.  He went to sleep really well, and I slept for 12 hours last night, only getting up for a few nighttime feedings.  I can't blame him for waking up though, there probably couldn't be much milk when I have no fluids in me.  Even the dogs were very well behaved and slept like champs last night.  I couldn't have asked for Ryan or the dogs to be better for me yesterday.  I am lucky.
I'm feeling much better today, although there is still the remnants of illness sticking around.  My fever is gone and I'm able to drink much more today.    I feel like a complete moron though because tonight is supposed to be my first FRG meeting.  I called the Squadron Commander's wife to fill in for me.  I don't want to take the chance at getting anyone else sick, and I think Ryan and I still need a bit more rest.  I just feel like it looks irresponsible of me not to go.  I was going to have the opportunity to meet some great wives, and now it looks like I don't care.  I know they'll understand, but I just wish the timing had worked out better.  
I will say that yesterday was by far the most challenging day of the deployment so far.  I shed lots of tears (which I know I shouldn't have wasted the water crying, but I couldn't help it).  I am so lucky with a great bunch of dogs and such a wonderful little boy.  Thank you to the friends who called to check on me.  Pat also helped to console me.  I miss him so much.  Even though he couldn't be here,  hearing his voice made me feel better.  I cannot wait until he is home.  My poor family back home must get sick of my phone calls, but without them I couldn't survive.  I have so much support and am so grateful for all of it.  

September 15, 2008


I've been up all night so far vomiting myself.  I think I've got what Ryan has.  I can't keep water down and I've entered the phase of dry heaving.  I wish my hubby were here....or even that I had a friend to bring me a bottle of gatorade.  I am miserable.  

September 14, 2008

Poor Ryan

Poor Ryan has had a hard weekend.  Thursday Ryan had his second daycare visit.  My meeting time was changed so he was only at the cdc for an hour and half.  He did very well though.  I'm so proud of him.  He smiles whenever I ask him if he played with the babies.  Friday we had an uneventful day.  Pat's parents flew in Friday night.  New people in our environment always throw Ryan for a loop because it changes our normal routine.  Saturday morning I had a briefing for the FRG.  Ryan stayed with Pat's parents and did pretty well again.  That morning, he wasn't very interested in his breakfast.  Then at lunch he didn't seem to like what I had made.  Dinner came and he didn't want to eat a thing.  After he finally ate a bit, I decided to give up trying.  On our way into the living room, the poor little guy vomited all over the place.  He was running a fever and just seemed so sad.  He didn't cry during the night, but there was a bit of moaning.  He woke up with the fever still, but seemed slightly better.  He was super clingy, but that is to be expected.  He didn't want anything to do with our guests, he just wanted his Mommy.  He took a good long nap and his fever had broken by the time he got up.  He ate a little lunch.  When we started to eat our lunch though Ryan vomited again all over the floor.  I feel so awful for my little guy.  Pat's parents left a little early so that Ryan and I could have some quiet time.  He took another nap and woke up without any fever.  He wasn't interested in dinner tonight.  I am not sure if we'll be going to the doctor in the morning; I guess we'll see how the night goes and how he seems when he wakes up.  I'm hoping this illness will be over in the morning.  Right now I am wishing Pat could be here so we could be a team again.  I feel so bad for our munchkin.         

September 11, 2008

September 11

Today is a very sad day for our nation as we remember a tragedy that affected each and every one of us.  We have proven that we are resilient.  We came together, rose up, and showed the world our courage.  We are a nation filled with many heroes.  
As September 11 is a day that we will never forget, there is something that some of us have forgotten about.  We hear so many reports on the progress and happenings in Iraq, but it is much less often that we hear about Afghanistan.  Our fight in Afghanistan has a direct tie to 9/11, and today is a very sad day there.  Today, 2008 has become the deadliest year in Afghanistan for our troops.  
I ask that today as we all remember 9/11 and our loss, our courage, and the heroes that rose up, we also take a moment to realize we are still fighting the 9/11 battle and the sacrifices continue.  

September 10, 2008

When it's time to change you've got to rearrange....

There are quite a few changes I want to make in my life.  I think of little things that are new or different that I want to incorporate into my life.  Sometimes I forget about these things, and other times I just haven't got around to making the change.  Maybe if I post them in my blog when I think of them that will motivate me to actually do them. 

One of these new changes that I am going to try very hard to stick to is no more e-mail checking during the day.  I find that I'm checking for e-mails from Pat, doing FRG stuff, or just doing unimportant stuff on the internet too often during the day.  I'm okay doing it when Ryan is napping, but no more when he is awake.  I just want to devote as much time and attention to Ryan as I can.  

I have very high standards for myself as a mother.  When I do not live up to my expectations about being a great mom, I get very mad at myself.  My mother has had to remind me many times that I cannot be perfect.  I need to remember that that is true, but I also think there are some things I can do better.

I am a work in progress hoping to make some changes for the better.    

Little Things Getting Under My Skin

1.  Abbey is having more medical issues.  These ones are not related to the other ones I don't think.  I'll be calling the vet today about getting her seen.  
2.  E-mails with Pat annoy me.  Sometimes he just doesn't reply after he reads my e-mails which just frustrates me, but even worse is when he does reply and completely ignores all the questions I posed.  Why do I take time to write an e-mail and ask questions if he isn't going to answer?  It's like we are having a very long completely broken conversation during these 8.5 months.  He's driving me nuts in a way only he can.  
3.  I'm finding through the volunteer work that I'm doing that I have to chase down and nag people (who are getting paid to do their job) to get things done.  I'm really not finding the motivation when it seems like everyone around is making it more difficult.
4.  Two days ago I got the step ladder out to replace the light bulb in the light on the ceiling in the kitchen.  This morning I turn on the light, and the other bulb blows out.  To top that off, I don't have any 60w light bulbs here at home so it looks like I need to go shopping.  

I'm hoping I do not have to edit this post later to add more.  Hopefully tonight I'll post a better, more upbeat blog entry about how great things are.  We'll see ;)

***Okay I wanted to also update:  $140 later, Abbey has yeast infections in her ears.  She just can't catch a break and neither can our checkbook!  

September 7, 2008

I'm Boring

I'm pretty boring.  

The best part of my day was watching Ryan play with his Fed Ex box.  The pediatrician tells us at each appointment, "do not put your child in a walker, it isn't safe", but a little part of me has been wanting to have something to let Ryan get around.  I know I'd never forgive myself if he got hurt using it though, so I've refrained from buying one.  However, they never said not to let your child walk a box around the living room.  This box has been so great for him.  I cannot believe I'm praising a cardboard box, but I am.  (here is a video of Ryan the first morning with his box, and he's become so much more agile with it.)  

Mr. Spider has been back the past two nights.  (see post below)  He only comes out at night.  I do not like him.  Tonight he was trying furiously to recreate his web that had been partially knocked down.  He was really fast and it was almost cute how diligent he was about his work.  I said almost cute.  I did not want to see him anymore so I grabbed a dog toy and knocked him off the deck.  Hopefully he will not come back and that will be the end of that.  

So that was it.  My weekend was just hanging out around the house playing with Ryan and trying to keep the place marginally clean.  We didn't see anyone, but that isn't unusual.  This week Ryan will be going to daycare for the second time.  I'm still a bit anxious about that, but it will only be for me to attend a meeting, probably two hours at most.  My in laws are coming next weekend, so I need to clean for that.  I think this week will keep me pretty busy.  

So if you are still reading, I'm boring, huh?  

Yay for Ryan!

His teething issues are beginning to subside.  He slept through the night just like he was doing before.  Unfortunately the dogs can tell when it will be a good night, and then they don't cooperate.  I feel much better now that I'm getting decent sleep.  Maybe I'll be more productive now too.  

I'll write more later.  

September 6, 2008

Bad Wife

I'm a bad wife right now.  I haven't mailed a package to Pat in quite a while.  I have the next one ready to go, but didn't make it to the post office today for various reasons.  

I also joke that this is the deployment of holes in the wall.  I've already put 2 holes in the walls and he hasn't been gone 5 months yet.  They are hidden right now, but Pat will have some patch work to do when he returns.  I haven't had the best luck hanging things lately.  Today it was a shelf that caused me frustration and a decent void in the drywall.  Luckily my Dad has been able to lend some help when I call him for advice.  

My parents are currently on vacation in Florida.  They sent a Fed Ex box with some gifts for Ryan.  The empty Fed Ex box is definitely a great all purpose toy.  It works as drum, and he also uses it as a walker and pushes it around the living room.  It is so cute to watch something so ordinary create so much fun for him.  

I was right--his fifth tooth is cutting and his sixth doesn't look far behind.  Maybe after that he'll catch a break.  Poor little guy.    

September 5, 2008

Yummy Recipe!

Here is a recipe that I took and modified from Redbook. It turned out very well. Ryan and I just shared a piece, and we both liked it.

Chicken Spinach Lasagna Casserole
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups grated cheese (I used mozzarella and provolone, but the recipe called for cheddar)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 lasagna noodles, cooked (I think I used 8)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl combine spinach, chicken, 2 cups grated cheese, cornstarch, salt, pepper, soy sauce, soup, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Put a layer of noodles in the bottom of a greased lasagna pan. Spread half of the spinach mixture over noodles. Place another layer of noodles over the top and cover with the remaining spinach mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (Recipe says to top with pecans, but I didn't do this. Or I think a layer of bread crumbs would be nice too!) Bake for 1 hour.

You can make this recipe a bit more healthy by substituting low fat products for some ingredients.

So Early!

Why oh why won't my child sleep?  I don't know the answer to this question.  A few posts back I mentioned that he was waking up at 5 a.m.  He was cutting his front tooth, and things went back to normal after that happened.  That wasn't all that bad compared to what he's doing now.  Now he will not sleep through the night.  Wake up times are usually around 1 a.m. (although sometimes he just does this one at 10 p.m.) and then up for good at 4:00 a.m.  I am not starting my day at 4:00 a.m.  Sometimes he changes things up a little.  Today he slept till 5 a.m., but did wake up at 1:00 a.m too.  I'm getting exhausted.  Yesterday was a very cranky day for him too.  It seems like teething, but I don't think he has any more teeth coming in.  I've pushed his bed time back as far as he'll let me, and still no help.  I know this will change soon, but I don't want him forming a bad habit.  I'm crossing my fingers that things go back to normal as soon as possible.  

**Updated:  He may actually be getting the teeth beside his top front two.  We'll see.  If he is, I hope they come fast so that he'll sleep well soon.  

A separate topic:  One of my favorite things to talk about with Pat during deployments is future plans.  In some ways when he's gone my future is on hold.  It feels like the future is the common thread that we can both relate to.  I like to make plans even if they are far fetched and may not actually happen.  I think our planning for the future brings us closer and shows us what a great team we are.  I spend my evenings doing research and daydreaming, and it certainly helps me pass time.  No matter what the future brings, I look forward to it.    

September 2, 2008

Ryan and Sammy

Ryan and Sammy are friends, at least that is what Ryan thinks.  Sammy isn't so sure.  I was so glad to get this moment on video for Pat to see.  It totally made my day.  No matter how crappy my day seems to be, when he smiles I forget all of it and just enjoy being with him.  

(for the computer illiterate, click on the word *video* above)


Right now I feel like I've had enough.  I'm overtired and cranky.  My day started at 330 this morning between the dogs and Ryan.  I am exhausted and wish I could go back to bed.  

To top things off when I was out back what do I see?  Is it a bird or a plane?  Oh neither, just the largest, grossest spider I've ever seen before.  It's probably poisonous, although I really don't want to know.  It was big enough to eat Sammy.  It has since disappeared, but now I'm definitely afraid to go out back.  I hate it here.  

September 1, 2008

I Miss Oklahoma

I miss Oklahoma.  I'm sure some of you find that strange coming from me because I never really thought I liked Oklahoma that much.  Now that I'm not there anymore I realize how many things I really enjoyed and took for granted.  Don't get me wrong though, there are some definite improvements with our new post, specifically the shopping and dining.  It is also nice to have the city so much closer here.  Whenever I day dream my thoughts tend to lead back to my life in Oklahoma.  This could be because I was there so long and was used to life there, or maybe I really miss it.  I enjoyed the small town feel that I got there.  I miss the dog park that we went to every weekend.  I miss the three mile track.  I miss my neighborhood and my house.  I miss how close everything in town was compared to here.  I wish Ryan could go to the OKC zoo because Nashville zoo just doesn't compare.  I'm sure when Pat comes home and we start making memories here I'll move on and stop missing OK.  I'll find things here that one day I'll miss when we move again, but I think until then I'll be missing Oklahoma.      

August 30, 2008

Weekends and Watermelon

It's strange how the weekends drag on during deployments but fly by when we are together.  During each deployment I've noticed the weekends seem even more boring and lonely than the weekdays.  This is odd because my routine is pretty much the same no matter which day of the week it is.  My Monday is relatively the same as my Saturday.  I've contemplated this phenomenon many times and really don't know what the difference is.  It could be that everything seems more quiet without everyone bustling about or when you do see people you always see couples and families enjoying time together.  I look forward to weekends when Pat comes home, but until then I'll get through these long ones one at a time.  

Today Ryan tried watermelon for the first time.  That alone isn't anything special, but the fact that he picked it up and ate it himself is (at least to me).  I've realized that as we try to transition to more finger foods, Ryan really doesn't like picking up wet food.  He usually gets mad when I put something "strange" on his tray.  He likes cereal like foods, and he does like fruits in his mesh feeder.  I've tried many different finger foods, but he has had no interest until today.  I was very surprised that he decided to try the watermelon considering he didn't want to feed himself cantaloupe as a finger food the days before.  He liked the watermelon and kept grabbing more.  So I decided to see if he'd still feed himself if I put some cantaloupe down, and he did.  Maybe he'll start trying more things now.  I'm so excited, and he really enjoyed it.         

August 29, 2008

Savings--Good and Bad

I am a saver.  I love saving money.  I look forward to clipping the coupons in the Sunday newspaper.  I like finding good deals on the products I buy.  

During deployments I go into super-saver mode.  I barely spend any money except on necessary groceries.  I make sure all debts are paid off and our savings accounts grow.  

Those are all the good aspects of my saving.

However, my desire to save goes a little overboard.  After I enter the deployment super-saver mode, it is hard for me to break out of it and spend money.  I become what some may call cheap.   It takes Pat a lot of effort to ease my extreme savings habit.  

Today I decided to go shopping.  I didn't end up buying anything.  I just cannot justify buying any clothes or such when I never really see anyone.  Why do I need to look good if I'm just playing here with Ryan?  Yes, I will probably splurge and buy some things before Pat comes back, but until then what is the point?  

I know I must sound crazy.  

The other thing about my saver mentality that annoys me is that I save my material possessions for special occasions.  My nice clothes, jewelry, fine china all sit tucked away waiting for special occasions.  I think I'm afraid of wearing things out, so I save them.  I never really find special occasions to use any of them either.  I wish I would just enjoy my things because after all they are only material possessions that can be replaced, but I just cannot break my habit of saving.    

August 28, 2008

9 Months!

I cannot believe my little guy is 9 months old today, can you?  It really seems like just yesterday he was a tiny baby that just slept and ate.  He has changed so much, grown and developed.  I am so happy being his Mom.  His adorable laugh is contagious.  I can't believe how fast he's growing, but I really am loving every minute we spend together.  

His stats:  
19lbs 4 oz. 
28" long 

On a little side note, this kid LOVES cantaloupe.  I've been putting some in his mesh feeder, and he just cannot get enough of it.  He laughs when I call him a melon-head; he's too cute!      
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