May 29, 2010

Savoring the Moments

I know I haven't posted much lately. That is because we are savoring these last few weekends and bits of family time before Pat deploys. Today we went to the Spring into Summer Festival in Oak Grove. It was really hot out so we couldn't stay long, but we all had fun. After walking around for a while, Pat and Ryan went on a ride while Sean and I enjoyed sitting together and watching them. Here are a couple photos that I took with my phone.
I'll be back to making regular posts soon.

May 25, 2010


My parents sent Ryan a Buzz Lightyear shirt that lights up from their latest trip to Disney World. Ryan loves the shirt. He is such a character.

May 24, 2010


One project that I've LOVED doing recently is making magnets. I made them out of 2x2 tumbled tiles.
And hot glued some magnets from the hobby store onto the back.
I packaged them up and they are ready to give as gifts or shower favors.

Then I made one set colored in. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out too.

For the sets of four magnets above, I used Stampin' Up! craft ink. With the upcoming color renovation I mentioned in an earlier post, they will not be selling the full sized craft ink pads soon, but they will still sell small "spots" of them. If you want to create some similar magnets why not stock up on the full size ink pads now? Contact me if you want any more info on my magnets, how to make them, or Stampin' Up!.

May 20, 2010

Finding the Good

There have been times when I've wondered if it would have been better for us if we didn't adopt Abbey. Just saying that makes me feel awful. I do not regret adding her to our family; I wanted her. I love her. As I've told you before, Abbey has had extensive medical bills. She is now costing us over a hundred dollars each month for just her medications. While I wish I didn't have the bill, I understand I was accepting the responsibility to cover all her medical costs when I adopted her. To me she is worth the cost.

However, there is an issue that sometimes occurs in my house that really makes me wonder about if we didn't adopt her. That issue is that she sometimes fights with Sammy, our pug. A lot of it started with food aggression while Abbey was literally starving before her condition was diagnosed. The other main contributing factor is that the two dogs, Sammy and Abbey, seem to be in a disagreement over the order of dominance in our house. Animals establish a pecking order. Unfortunately my animals do not see eye to eye on how the order goes.

Yesterday I played outside with the boys and dogs after nap time. We all came in around 4:30 p.m., and I wanted to vacuum the living area. I sent the dogs outside and started vacuuming and picking up the accumulation of stuff from the floor. When I finished, I let the dogs in and started to fill up their water dish. Thinking I was finally done and could relax until dinner time, I sat down to nurse Sean. It was about 5:15 p.m. Sammy was licking the top of the couch, which is an annoying habit of his. I turned to tell him to stop when I saw his head was all red. He was covered in blood. I immediately put the baby down and went to look at Sammy. Part of his ear was torn. I knew it wasn't going to be life threatening, but I knew we had to go to the vet immediately. I threw on presentable clothes, got the leash, and somehow made it to the car with the two boys and Sammy. I loaded them up and headed straight for the vet. Now let me interject here to say I never saw/heard any fight, and Sammy has no other cuts on him. It is possible he caught his ear on something sharp, but deep down I really fear it may have been Abbey. I will also say it could have just been a case of Abbey snapping at Sam in a way that is very normal for dogs. But it could have been more than that. I just don't know, and it frightens me.

So after a night in the vet office, surgery to stitch his ear, and $400 later, Sammy is home and doing just fine. I am now not letting Abbey and Sammy be together if they are not in the same room as me, which is annoying because mediating between the dogs is just more to add to my list while Pat is gone. But it is what I have to do to keep them safe.

It is after times like these that I have to remind myself to find the good. There is a lot of good in Abbey. Anyone that takes the time to get to know her can see that she is really a very sweet dog. 95% of the time she plays nicely with Sammy; you can often find the two of them playing chase in the back yard. Abbey is really good with Ryan. I have to worry about Ryan hurting Sammy or Bailey snapping at Ryan, but Abbey is the best with him. If she doesn't want to play with him, she'll just run away, and the two of them often play with toys together. She is a valuable member of this family. I just wish that incidents like yesterday never occurred. If she weren't a good dog, I would think about giving her up, but she is a good girl with a few problems.

A little aside to this story is that after we left Sammy with the vet last night, Ryan was rather upset and kept asking about "Bo Dog". Somehow Sammy's name is "Bo" to Ryan and he often adds on the dog for Sammy too.

Last piece of news about Abbey is that the vet is an idiot regarding her incontinence problem. When we picked them up from the kennel (at our vet) after our vacation we asked how she had done through the nights. The head vet called us back and Pat explained why he was asking and how the other vet from the office was referring us to Nashville. The head vet told us not to bother and that she probably has regular incontinence problem that many spayed dogs suffer from. It can be controlled by another medication she takes for the rest of her life. (Thankfully a semi-cheap medication at that.) The kicker of this though is that I specifically asked the other vet why this wasn't the diagnosis when he said he was referring us out, and his reply was only "given her history, I don't think that is it." While we haven't cured the problem yet, it is getting better, and with simple medication adjustments we should have the problem completely under control soon.

May 19, 2010

My Quirky Kid

Last night as I pulled Ryan out of the tub, I couldn't help but wonder how I ended up with this little boy with such a HUGE personality. He isn't how I imagined my child would be. I guess I always thought I'd have an average little boy just like every other little boy I've seen. Ryan is anything but average. I don't just say this because I am his mother; he really is a hot ticket. Ryan is not a cuddly child and isn't very good at obeying, but there is something about him that is just so magical and special. While there are moments when I wish he wouldn't be so independent and stubborn, I am so proud of the little boy he is and wouldn't change him one bit. He really is more unique than I ever thought he would be.

I just wanted to mention a few of Ryan's recent (and not so recent) quirks.
*Ryan's latest phase is being naked. If the idea comes to him in any way he immediately strips down and says "my naked". I know it is a normal phase, and it is rather funny. Thankfully he knows to only do this in the house (or hotel on vacation), but I won't be so sad when this phase is over.
*Ryan comes crying to me when the dogs go into the house while Ryan is playing out back. He is so sad that I have to make the dogs go back out with him. The poor dogs do not like being stuck out with Ryan, but I just tell myself it is good for them to get fresh air.
*Ryan calls Pat by his first name. Sometimes he'll be Dadda Pat. I know he learned this from hearing me talk about or to Pat. I've transitioned to only calling Pat Dadda in hopes of getting Ryan to kick his habit, but so far no luck.
*Ryan still likes to go to bed with a Mickey Mouse sticker stuck to his face or in his hands. We usually have a pile of old stickers next to his bed. He is very obsessive about this habit. If he wakes up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, he makes sure to request his "mouse" before going back to sleep.
*Lastly, Ryan is currently obsessed with any form of spaceman. He calls them "baceman". He even enjoys watching Iron Man with Pat because he believes Iron Man is a spaceman. Spaceman covers Iron Man, Buzz Lightyear, the guy from Planet 51, and any other thing that looks like a space man. Ryan often puts his fists near his chin and runs around saying "baceman" because he thinks that is how they fly.

May 17, 2010

Cards for Command

Pat will be taking command at some point during this upcoming deployment. He wanted me to make him some cards that he can give to the Soldiers in his battery for promotions and reenlistment. I already owned the perfect stamp set: Service and Sacrifice (115992).

Here are a few of the ones I made:

Card for a promotion
Inside view
Reenlistment card
Another reenlistment card
Inside reenlistment cards
I still have to make a bunch more, but I wanted to share the idea in case you have a loved one reenlisting, promoting, or just think you could use this stamp set too.

May 16, 2010

Vacation Part 3

This will be the final vacation recap that I post. After this day we didn't really take any more photos. These photos are from our morning at Zoo Atlanta. We got 50% off admission using our member pass from the Nashville Zoo, and I can say that I think I liked Zoo Atlanta a little better because it had some exhibits that Nashville lacks. Here are the pictures:

The lion and lioness were not very active just sleeping up top a rock.
Ryan really liked seeing the gorillas. This exhibit was awesome. I wish we had this in Nashville.

We asked Ryan to give the gorilla a hug, and this is what we got.
I also really liked the panda bear exhibit.

After the zoo we explored around the city and ate lunch. The next day we went to the Georgia Aquarium. I didn't take any pictures, but it was a lot of fun. There were huge whale sharks and two beautiful beluga whales. I wish I had taken photos, but we were busy with the kids. Then in the afternoon we went to swim at the pool, which was freezing. And that night we had the absolute best dinner ever--room service from Ruth's Chris Steak House. It was an expensive meal, but so delicious and easy to enjoy in the comfort of our own room. So that is our vacation in pictures. It was a great time and lots of great memories. Sure it had challenges, but overall it was well worth it. And I highly recommend a short trip to Atlanta if you are looking to get away with kids.

May 15, 2010

Vacation Part 2

After the TN Aquarium in Chattanooga, we headed down to Atlanta. Right after we checked into the hotel we headed out to explore the city around us. Our hotel was right on Centennial Olympic Park and was an AMAZING!!! location. I wish I had taken pictures of the area to show you, but instead all I have is pictures of my cute kids. We were in walking distance to almost everything we wanted to see. Ryan loved being on the park and it provided us many afternoons of fun.

Ryan running free.
Sean giving us a giggle.
Again in his stroller.
Ryan loved being near the World of Coke. He liked these recycling bins. He kept saying "my aga"--which is Ryan speak for my soda.
The next day we went to a children's museum called Imagine It!. I personally wouldn't describe it as a museum so much as play exhibits for kids. Ryan was absolutely over the moon with all the fun stuff to play with. I was afraid we'd never get him to leave.
Sean wasn't as impressed as Ryan was, but he still ended up having some fun.
There was a dress up area, and Ryan wanted to be the fire chief.
And I think he was mighty cute.
It made him happy.
Sean couldn't be left out of the fun.
While Ryan and Pat played at the fishing exhibit, Sean and I went to the baby area. There was a water bed for the babies. Sean was happy to stretch out there.
After the children's exhibit museum, we ate lunch and headed to the World of Coke. Ryan was happy to see the polar bear until he got close to it. He almost ran away until Pat held him and made him feel safe. Ryan's favorite part of the World of Coke was sampling the 60+ flavors of soda at the end. We even gave Ryan the Italian soda named Beverly--which is a bitter and gross tasting, but Ryan wasn't phased. Needless to say, that day was a sugar high for Ryan.

Last vacation entry to come sometime later.

Vacation Part 1

We are home from our vacation and have taken a day to recuperate from our trip. I learned a few lessons--like traveling with my two year old will make you want to rip your hair out at times. I knew it was going to be difficult taking a trip with a toddler, and I was right. It wasn't any worse than I had planned on. I learned to accept that there will be great moments of wonderful memories and also tough challenging times all in the same trip.

We spent our first night in Chattanooga, TN. I really like it there. It has a quaint, small town feel with all the amenities of a city. It is beautiful too. I wish we were able to have spent more time there and walked over the Walnut Street Bridge, but maybe next time. We did go to the TN Aquarium though. Here are some pictures from our time there.

The steam in the tropical fish room was messing with my camera so please ignore the blur.
Sean's typical pose.
Touching sting rays.
Ryan liked the penguins.
Another sting ray.
Taking a break after the first building.
Sean again in his pose.
Cute photo of turtles cuddling.

I'll post more photos from the trip over the next few days.

May 14, 2010

A few cards while you wait...

Here are a few of my latest cards to look at while you wait for my vacation recaps and photos (which will be coming soon!).

Two step stamping with Green House Garden (113824)
Stamped with baby wipe technique.

Sweet Scoops stamp set (120078) from the Summer Mini Catalog
Let me know if you are interested in any of the stamps used here or check out my website over in the sidebar ;)
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