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.  
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