November 30, 2009

Ryan's Birthday (in photos)

We spent the better part of two days celebrating Ryan's birthday. Here is a glimpse in photos of his special day.

I made Ryan an Elmo birthday cake. I had a little trouble with the frosting at the beginning, but am very happy with how it turned out. Ryan liked seeing Elmo and really liked eating cake.

We took a trip to the river walk to see Christmas on the Cumberland. Ryan had lots of fun running free. It wasn't so much fun for the one chasing him though ;)

And last but not least, Ryan opened presents, presents, and more presents. After he opened them he had lots of fun playing with them (even though I didn't post any photos of him playing).

Overall, I think his 2nd birthday was a success and lots of fun for him.

November 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

It is hard to believe that my first born turns two years old today. I cannot believe how much he has grown and changed in two short years. These past two years have been filled with excitement and more love than I could have imagined. Some days are challenging, but each day with him has been a gift. Ryan has brought so much joy to our lives. I hope my little boy enjoys the celebration of his birthday and knows how much we love him.

Happy Birthday Ryan! Love, Mommy, Daddy, and Sean

(I'll try to post some pictures of Ryan's Birthday later.)

November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day at my house. It was Pat's first Thanksgiving being at home as a Daddy. He missed Ryan's first Thanksgiving while he was in Afghanistan, but this year he got to celebrate with both boys. The food turned out delicious. We had turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, sweet potato casserole, and apple cobbler. I was really happy with how all the cooking came out. We had Pat's friend Drew over because he wasn't able to be with his own family that day. It was a very nice day, and it gave me an excuse to use my china. I've probably only used our china once or twice before, so I'm glad that I had another occasion to use it.
Today is what people refer to as back Friday in terms of shopping. It's supposed to be a great day to find a deal. I found it to be a big disappointment and rather annoying. Pat went out to Toys R Us for the midnight opening. However, he found three different parking lots full from the already waiting shoppers. Police were arresting individuals for being too rowdy, and they were not opening the doors until the crowd was under control. Needless to say, Pat didn't wait and came home. He went back out at 7 am to see if there was anything left, which there wasn't. He was able to pick up one gift for Ryan that we wanted at Target though. A little later we decided to venture out to Walmart as a family to pick up a few Christmas gifts. The Walmart that is closest to our house was so disorganized that we were unable to find anything on sale even if they did have it in stock. I was completely disappointed that we couldn't find the few items we were looking for and felt rather irritated at Walmart's disorganization. In an effort to stop my complaining, Pat drove us to the other Walmart. It was so much better organized that we found our items right away. Pat even scored an extra Christmas gift--a 42" TV!!!! It wasn't a planned purchase, but it was a good deal and Pat deserves it.
In the late afternoon we went to the PX. We got another Christmas gift for Ryan. We also picked up a gift for me for Christmas. I know it seems weird that I already know what it is, but it seems that Pat and I are always out together so surprising me can be hard. I'll wait until Christmas to share what he got me though.
Overall, the end result of the day was a success, but black Friday wasn't everything it was hyped up to be. I could definitely do without the annoyance next year.

November 24, 2009


Last night I attended my first unit coffee here at Ft. Campbell. It obviously took me a while to get involved, but I'm very glad I did. It was nice to feel like part of a group. I met some of the wives from this unit right after having Sean. Many people showed kindness bringing us gifts and meals after his arrival. I also met several of these women at the Hail and Farewell I attended when Sean was about 2 weeks old. Last night they again proved to be a group of extremely kind and generous women.

At the coffee, unknown to me, the women had brought in gifts Sean. They presented me with a bag of gifts. It was so generous, especially considering I had not met over half the women there. I'm hoping I'll be able to attend the next coffee and manage a way to thank them all for their kindness.

November 23, 2009

Who let the dogs out?

Grammy and Grumps sent Ryan a singing card for his upcoming birthday, and he loved dancing to it.

I just want to snuggle.

I'm finding one of the hard parts of having a second baby is that there isn't enough time in the day to do all the snuggling that you want to do. When Ryan was a baby, nothing else was pulling my attention away from him. I feel so guilty that Sean does not get as much undivided attention as Ryan did at this age. However, I know that Sean is getting as much attention just in a different manner. He's getting attention from a sibling, and that is something Ryan never had.

Sean has been such a happy, pleasant baby. I'm finding him a little more easy going than Ryan was as a baby. I think part of that is that I have experience and also that their personalities differ. Sean really seems to like snuggling into me, and I really enjoy our private cuddle time during Ryan's naps and around bed time.

Ryan has been such a great big brother. He is so caring, gentle, and sweet. He worries when the baby cries and often gives gentle kisses on Sean's nose. I think Sean will be called "Bubbah" (Ryan's way of saying baby) for quite a while though. Ryan is turning into such a big boy...but that is for another post that will be coming very soon.

I am very lucky to have such great little boys, and I am so thankful for them each and every day.

November 20, 2009

Simply Sweet

I made it.

I survived being a Mom of two with Pat in the field for a week. I won't say it was painless, but we made it. It definitely got easier as the week went on. It wasn't so much the having two that was the challenge. It was more the having a 2 year old (well in 8 days he'll be two, so close enough to those terrible twos). It took a bit of getting used to dealing with him because he was acting out from missing his Daddy. After a couple days, I had figured out what I needed to do to keep both of us sane. By yesterday things were smooth sailing, and Ryan and I were in a routine without many meltdowns. It felt like a long week without Pat though. It makes me dread the next deployment that much more because I'll be missing my partner and best friend. I'll get a little more practice though when he's gone for the month of February before the real deployment comes. For right now though, we are just glad to have him home.

November 17, 2009

American Soldier

The past two days while driving in the car the song American Soldier by Toby Keith has come on. Obviously I've heard this song before...really who hasn't. I am a fan of most country music, and this song is no different. But this song is different for me. I am sure many people like it, but my life can directly relate to it. I wonder if those on the civilian side can really understand what it is like to be a Soldier or be married to one. Is it a far out concept that they cannot imagine, or do they think they understand? When I hear this song there is a special pride I feel for my husband and our Army life. It is hard sometimes, and sure, I do complain about it (probably more than I should). However, there is a great honor in being an Army wife. I have experiences that only other Army spouses can understand. While I haven't enjoyed living in Clarksville all that much so far, there is something to be said for the Army community. There is an unspoken bond between us. During the deployments when you see other wives, you know they are experiencing the same challenges you are. While there are definitely downsides to loving a Soldier, this song reminds me of many of the great things about being an Army wife and how proud I am of my husband.

November 15, 2009

At least I can laugh at the mishaps...

My day was one mishap after the other, but in hindsight I think they all gave me a few laughs. The quick run down of the mishaps would be: dog poop on Ryan, water all over the bathroom floor, pee all over Ryan's bed, a little boy who constantly disappears out the doggie door despite being told not to go out, and finally baby poop all over me and the bathtub.

But I guess it truly is a good life because most of these things leave a smile on my face when I remember them. However, I do hope tomorrow runs a bit smoother.

Random Ramble

Here are a few rambling thoughts:
*Being the Mom of a 2 year old (well almost) can be a thankless job. A 2 year old doesn't always appreciate their mother and at times they can intentionally try your patience.
*Ryan does not know what an indoor voice is and gets louder each time the baby is napping. Along with the loud voice comes a lot of banging objects to make loud noises.
*Pat and I are thinking about taking a family vacation this summer during the block leave period. We haven't quite figured out where we would like to go yet.
*Ryan always eats his dinner better when Pat is sitting at the table. Which means lately, he's being a picky eater and all my efforts in the kitchen are pointless.
*Sean is still congested, Ryan is still coughing, and I'm still sneezing.
*I must clean the house before the play date on Tuesday.
*Hot chocolate with peppermint coffeemate makes my morning peaceful.
*Ryan is still peeing in the potty and is doing it more. This morning his diaper has been dry all morning, and he's told me twice he has to go. Unfortunately getting a diaper or pull up on him after potty is always a challenge.
*I went to bed too late last night, and I'm sure I'll pay for it today.
That's all I can ramble about for now. Ryan is shouting and the baby is awake now.

November 14, 2009

Darn Cold

We are totally surviving Pat's time in the field. However, we've been hit with a darn cold. I had been fighting what I thought were allergies for a little while, but I've decided that it is more likely a cold. I can't stop sneezing and my nose won't stop running. It's getting sore from me wiping it so often. Ryan seems to have a cough with his cold, and this morning Sean was sounding rather congested. We plan to spend some quality time resting and nursing ourselves back to health. I heard from Pat yesterday morning, and he seems to have this cold too. Hopefully he can shake it before he comes home too.

I've realized that Ryan definitely acts out when Pat is gone. At first I wasn't sure if I was just being cranky or if it really was Ryan acting out. Well, I've decided that Ryan can become a slight brat when Pat is away. Yes, I'll admit my child can sometimes be a brat. He woke up in a pretty good mood today, but I didn't want a repeat of yesterday. I decided that I would set up the gift that Grammy and Grumps sent for Ryan's birthday. They sent Ryan Elmo's Restaurant. He's had so much fun with it already, and I am so thankful for the distraction for him. I will hopefully post photos of him with the toy later.

November 12, 2009

Happy Boys

I couldn't resist posting these photos I took this morning. They are such happy boys, and I am very lucky.

The Test

This week will be a test for me. Pat left for a week in the field this morning, so I'll have a week of two kids all by myself. I guess this is good practice for when Pat deploys. Honestly though, there are only two things that I am really worried about.
1. Keeping the house semi-clean. I always find my self more irritated when the living room is covered with toys and the kitchen is a mess. If I can keep up with the cleaning I know my attitude will be better.
2. My greatest challenge of this week will be bedtime. Around Ryan's bedtime Sean is always awake, cranky with gas, and hungry. I think it will be hard to put Ryan to bed if Sean is crying. If I could just manage to make Sean calm for a few minutes I think it will run smoothly. After a day or two, I'm sure I'll have it under control though.
We will see how this week goes. I'm sure I'll make more posts about this week as it goes on. Wish me luck!

November 9, 2009

Retail Therapy?

Yesterday we made a trip down to my favorite mall here. We tried to make it a quick trip so that Sean wasn't too far off his normal routine. I was really excited for some retail therapy, but I'm not sure it ended up so well. It isn't the best time to find clothes that make you feel great just a month after having a baby. I also was so very wrong about what clothes I had at home. I really didn't think I needed any tops and sweaters. It wasn't until I got home and looked in my closet that I noticed I don't have any nice looking clothes. I have plenty of casual--wear around the house clothes, but nothing that I would describe as nice tops. I did get some great shoes though so all was not lost. I got a fabulous pair of knee high black boots. I was pretty picky about what I wanted in a boot, and I actually found it. I also got a pair of brown suede clogs that are perfect for my casual clothes and oh so comfortable. And I picked up a pair of cute pewter flats that will dress up some of my casual clothes. I guess my next shopping mission will have to be finding some "nice" clothes, but nothing really caught my eye. Until the nice clothes are found, those boots may be living deep in my closet. Maybe I'll have better retail therapy in a few months.

November 2, 2009

Our Busy and Exciting Weekend

This weekend flew by and it seemed that our days alternated between feeling just too busy and being really fun.
Friday we went to Pat's BN Organization Day. We didn't end up staying long because it started pouring rain, but we were there long enough for Ryan to get out and have some fun running around. Getting everyone back to the car without getting soaking wet was a challenge. Luckily Pat was able to leave just behind me, so he was able to warm Ryan up with a bubble bath while I fed Sean when we arrived home.
Saturday we were busy running errands all morning. Ryan was starting to show signs of improvement in both his sleeping and his attitude which had both been affected by teething. He really had been miserable because of the two teeth coming through, so him napping and sleeping like the good boy he usually is came as a huge relief. Then like a whirlwind we got ready for the Trick or Treating. You can see a few of the photos I snapped in the post below. Ryan really loved running free and going up to all the houses. We only went to a few houses, but that was all he needed.
Sunday morning we spent doing cleaning in the house and looking at the newspaper. With the time change we were a bit thrown off. After nap time and lunch, we went out to the mall for a little break. It was a little disappointing that there weren't any great deals to be had, but it was fun to get out. Then we stopped at target and let Ryan walk free. Ryan was such a good boy, well at least until we hit the toy aisle that is. The best part of the day though was in the evening when we got back from the stores. Ryan went pee in the potty for the very first time. We are so proud of him. This morning he's already gone twice more too! I think this is an excellent start, and I don't mind starting slowly because with Sean it isn't like I could take him every 15 minutes right now. I'm just happy that he is grasping the concept and getting used to it.
I can't believe it's Monday already. I wish we always had 3 day weekends because I could totally use the extra day. Oh well...back to reality I guess.
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