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!

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

Videos

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

Enjoy: VIDEOS

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

Heartbreaking

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

Soothing

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

Embarrassed

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

Relaxing

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.  
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