Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There's a first time for everything...




During Lily's nap today she started stirring a little bit and then to soothe herself, she started sucking her thumb! She's never done that before, so we'll see if this is a one time thing, or the start of something new. I thought it was the cutest and sweetest thing ever... I guess because I was a thumb sucker too.

Lunch with old friends




This afternoon my good friend Michelle, her Mom Karen, and nephew Jacob came for lunch. Michelle is down from VA visiting with her family for Christmas in Columbus, and they made a special trip up here to see us. I'm so glad they did because it gave us a chance to reconnect with Karen and reminisce about life in Columbus back in the day. We had such a nice time.
And Michelle.... I'm looking forward to the "thing" in May so let's do it... we'll talk later! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I've got the after Christmas deployment rut blues...

I've had a couple of blah days with not much to write about. My girls have colds and coughs and aren't sleeping well. I haven't done much except let them rest, and really enjoy the times when it's quiet, so I can read. Noah is away with his cousins for a few days in Gatlinburg having some fun and I've missed him.

This time in the deployment feels heavy, for a lack of a better word. It's hard right now to keep a smile on my face and say that things are just fine. Because if I'm being honest, I don't feel like things are fine. I know that military spouses are a unique breed and that it takes a lot of sacrifice to keep things together while their spouse is away.

I found this neat poem, and although I have never ironed my husband's uniform more than once, packed a seabag for him, or made a meal for 14 hungry sailors with 30 minutes notice, it says it all.

The Navy Wife

A Navy Wife is no ordinary woman. Operating for months at a time without the companionship or assistance of her husband, she routinely overcomes challenges that would give the average person a nervous breakdown.

Part Doctor, part Teacher and part Handyman, she can lavish loving care on a sick toddler, help a teenager with his Algebra homework, and track down a faulty circuit breaker -- all while holding down a full time job.

With thirty minutes notice, she can serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner to fourteen hungry Sailors, and still somehow balance her family's meager grocery budget.

She can press a set of dress whites to inspection standards, tie a perfect square knot in a military neckerchief, and pack a seabag in the cold hours before dawn.

For months at a time, she must settle for letters instead of kisses, emails in place of hugs, and long-distance phone calls in lieu of her husband's touch. She manages a smile when her Sailor is at sea for the second Anniversary in a row, and accepts the fact that there's a one-in-three chance that he will have to stand Duty on her Birthday. She has learned to stand on a pier and wave goodbye without tears, even when her heart is breaking.

To her children, she is Chauffeur, Umpire, Psychologist, Spiritual Advisor, Financial Consultant, part-time Father, Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny. To her husband, she is Friend, Lover, Partner, Confidant, and Soul-Mate.

She is a patriot. She is the sort of citizen that all of us should be, but so few of us are. She lives with sacrifice, because she believes in the rights and ideals that her husband defends. Although she wears no uniform, she is a part of that defense -- a vital link in the chain of Freedom. Although she wears no medals and will reap no glory on the field of battle, she is a hero in the truest sense of the word. She is a Navy Wife.

Jeff Edwards

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day







How did I think I was going to be able to orchestrate 3 kids on Christmas morning by myself and take pictures too? Well, it was almost impossible, but I was happy that I managed to get a few shots after all.
After lunch Carol called and suggested that we all go hike Kennesaw Mountain. It was a beautiful day and it was so nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Ed and Noah took 2 dogs and actually hiked the trail, while I pushed Lily in the stroller and Carol walked a dog on the road that runs up the mountain. We met them at the top and enjoyed a very nice view.

Christmas Eve





We spent Christmas eve in Jasper at Mark and Tonia's house. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed visiting with one another. We missed Dan & Kayna being there, and of course Travis.
The kids had fun goofing off and playing around with flat Travis. We left just as Lily was melting down because it was past her bedtime. And, it was a rough first few minutes of the drive home with them both whining and crying, but it wasn't long before they both fell asleep. Nice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Noah at 8 years old




He loves the 2nd grade. He is a great student and wants to do well in school. He is taking piano lessons. He is very social and likes to have lots of friends. He is quite the inquisitive child, asking questions about everything! He likes to go online and learn about everything from animals to geography to big foot and the sinking of the titanic. Then he wants to tell you about everything he learns! He loves Bakugan. He cares about others and animals. He is so sweet and is a wonderful son.

Happy Birthday Noah!
We love you!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

We had a wonderful musical Christmas program at church today. I was so impressed by the ward choir as well as the special musical numbers. Really top notch stuff. I was very moved even overwhelmed at times. It amazes me still the affect that music has on my spirit and the peaceful feelings it brings to my heart. It doesn't matter that I've heard many of the songs a hundred times before, they are about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and that is really the only reason we celebrate Christmas.

Katy's Christmas Dress



Katy looked so cute today for church that of course I had to take a few pictures of her. If her Daddy were here he would make over her like he does Lily, when she has on a pretty dress. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas to the animals





A few weeks ago I was thinking because of the economic hard times so many are feeling right now, how in lieu of exchanging gifts with our family this year, we could donate to a food bank or adopt a family in need. We were all on board with the idea and were doing research to see who or where to go with our donation.
We were hearing so much about how the local animals shelters have been suffering right now because people are donating less money. Also, there have been increases in number of animals being surrendered because owners can't keep them anymore. So being the animal loving family we are, we decided to give to an animal shelter this year: Southern Hope.
We took the kids to Petsmart and bought some supplies and then we delivered them. We visited for a little bit and saw so many wonderful animals. I would have loved to have taken them all home with me. I hope we made an impression on the kids that we want them to know all of Heavenly Fathers creatures are important and we need to do our part to help take care of them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adventures in Wal-mart

So, I'm at Wal-Mart this morning with Lily and we're having a good time shopping and playing around. She tells me that she has to go potty, so we hurry over to the bathrooms and take care of business. All the while I have my big Vera Bradley bag on my shoulder and it never occurs to me that I should put it down while helping Lily finish up. But, just as I'm reaching over to help her pull up her pants, my phone and a pack of gum fall out of my purse and into the toilet! What a nightmare. EEWWWWW!!! Lily says, "uh-oh Mommy, your gum fell in the toilet."

Well, I had to fish it out before I could flush and I was not very happy about it (luckliy it was #1.) I washed my hands and the phone off as best I could, which was not easy an easy task with the sinks having motion sensors on the water faucets. It took forever to get enough water to rinse the soap off my hands since the water didn't come out for more than 3 seconds at a time. Then, I rubbed hand sanitizer all over the phone thinking that had to help kill those toilet germs. I tried to make a call to see if the phone worked but I could barely hear... and besides that I wasn't happy about having to use the toilet phone anymore. Then it started vibrating and I couldn't turn it off, so I just took the battery out of it.

Lily was so good while all this was going on and she kept asking me if I was OK and if we could buy more gum. She's such a sweetie pie, and yes, I bought more gum.

Not having a phone is not an option for me, especially since I just cancelled the service for our house phone earlier in the week....no one ever called us on it anyway, except solicitors. So, I promptly found an AT&T store and was able to get a new phone in time at all. I got the most inexpensive one they had and it is still nicer than my old one. The nice gentleman helping me got a kick out of my story and after getting the sim card out of my phone, he used plenty of hand sanitizer!

So, all in all everyting turned out fine, so having my phone fall in the toilet at Wal-mart didn't turn out to be such a bad thing after all.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas gifts from Iraq




Today we finally received the box that Travis sent for Christmas. The kids were really excited that it was from Daddy, so I decided to go ahead and let them have their gifts now instead of waiting until Christmas day.
He sent Noah a patch and t-shirt from the Marine Corps Marathon he ran while over there and also a Boonie hat. I have never seen Noah this excited over any other hat or shirt Travis has given him, and believe me there have been plenty. He put on the hat and the t-shirt and rode his scooter all around the house pretending to shoot at us.... it must have been the hat.
Lily got a camel, which she absolutely loved. They all fought over it and wanted to ride it and take pictures with it. The camel had a Boonie hat that we tried to put it on Katy to take a picture, but she kept crying and pulling it off.
Katy liked biting the Styrofoam packing peanuts from the box most of all. I picked out one of the beanie babies for her.... I think the pug was the cutest one.
I got a very pretty camel that opens up to hold little things like jewelry. I love it!
Nana got a rug which she thought was very nice and will probably make into a wall hanging.
And, last but not least, there was an interesting box of assorted candies that I think Travis called Turkish delight. The candies were jellied with pistachios, sesame seeds, or powdered sugar or nougat with pistachios... We each tried a different one so we could each get a taste, and that was just enough......hmmm that's some very interesting stuff. I think we will be sharing this candy with all of our family and friends so that they can experience a bit of Iraq too!
Thanks for all of the wonderful presents sweetheart. We love them and we love you. Our countdown jar has $50 dollars in it now... only 150 more to go until you come home!

Noah's school field trip


Noah went with his class to see a Christmas play at Rheinhardt College. He thought it was good. I asked him if seeing it made him want to be in plays and sing and dance in front of people. And, he wrinkled his face and said "no way."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Katy at 1 year


She can walk! She has 2 teeth. She is a very happy baby. She has Nana wrapped around her finger. She enjoys pulling all of the pots and pans out of the cabinets, and then bangs them as loudly as she can. She loves to play in the toilet if she can get away with it. She is a pro at pulling books off of a shelf and can empty one in 30 seconds or less. She claps and dances when she hears music, especially to the "Katy song." She waves bye-bye. She likes to play peek-a-boo!
Noah and Lily still think she is their "toy" they can carry around, roll around on the floor with, and lay on top of. Katy has started grabbing Lily's hair and pulling it. She makes us all smile and her hugs are the best. She is our "Katy beautiful Katy."

Happy 1st Birthday Katy!





Today we had a birthday party for Katy with the family. She wore the same dress that I wore at my 1st birthday party. Aunt Carol and Uncle Ed came over and made it extra special and fun. I think Katy really enjoyed making a mess with the cake and by the time she was finished she had frosting all over her. I put her straight into the bathtub for a thorough clean-up!
It's hard to believe that 1 year ago I was in the hospital having Katy by an emergency c-section. She was to be born 5 weeks early because of complications I was having and it was pretty scary for a time there. But, she was born healthy and strong and has been such a blessing to our family. She is a delightful and loving baby and I couldn't imagine my life without her.
Happy Birthday dear Katy, we love you!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mommy Brain

This is too funny....:)


The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of Mommy Brain announced its latest guidelines just yesterday, stating that “Not all Mommy Brain, is the same.”

This is only the first of hopefully many steps that will be taken to help treat Mommy Brain, which was officially diagnosed last Monday. But mothers have felt the symptoms and their families have experienced the effects of Mommy Brain for centuries.

“I knew something was different right after we came home from the hospital,” said Iam Spacey of the moment in which she put a soiled diaper in the laundry basket and the babies onesie in the trash.

“I knew something was wrong when I opened my lunch at work one day and found fruit roll ups and Lunchables inside,” said one tearful husband. “I mean, if you think I was devastated, consider our poor son who opened up his lunch at school to find a Turkey wrap and tomato juice. Our son doesn’t eat that kind of stuff. The poor kid came home starving!”

Others have reported similar experiences ranging from simple things like finding the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge to more serious events like the one that happened to Anita Nadvil of Orem Utah.“All I wanted to do was be a good mom!” wailed Anita as she recounted the scary experience. “I was just trying to sanitize the binkies! I never would have forgotten about them if I didn’t have Mommy Brain!”But Anita Nadvil did forget about the boiling binkies. When she emerged from the babies bedroom after a diaper change, the house was filled with haze and smelled of melting plastic. Luckily, quick thinking prevented disaster. She turned off the burner, then escorted her two children out of the house until the toxic fumes cleared out.

Yes Mommy Brain seems to be running rampant these days. For those who have already had children, there is no prevention. Some form of Mommy brain exists in all Mommy’s. Some women have decided not to have children in hopes of avoiding the condition, though this won’t guarantee against similar conditions arising. Even the most healthy of non-child bearing women come down with cases of absent mindedness or worse.

For victims of Mommy Brain there is no cure, but a good support network and a strong resolve can make a world of difference.“I write notes to myself all the time,” says Anita Postit of Portland Oregon. “Like if I have to pay rent by a certain date, I stick a note saying so on my desk. Otherwise I forget.”

For some women, even that is not enough. One mother, wishing to stay anonymous because of the severity of her condition reports that she has to tape her rent or video rentals to the door in order to remember them before she goes out.

In spite of the differences in progression of Mommy Brain in all of the women mentioned in this article, they share one common thread - A good support system. Husbands who tease them and help them laugh at their Mommy Brain moments. Mother’s who sympathize and offer suggestions. Children who love them no matter what Mommy Brain moment they have next.

Of course not all victims of Mommy Brain have a good support system in their home and community, but more and more of them are finding support in an online community of mommy bloggers. These mommy bloggers are mother’s who are willing to share their Mommy Brain moments in order to help others going through the same thing to feel they are not alone.

It has become a lifeline to some with severe cases.“Reading stories from other Mommy Brain victims on the blogs is so great!” says Imjus Truthful. “It’s therapeutic to be able to laugh at the stories of mom’s who have it worse than you do.”

If you’d like to learn more about Mommy Brain you can visit the official website at: http://mommybrainvictimsrus.com/

If you would like to donate to research for treatments and a cure for Mommy Brain call:1-800-BRAINLSTogether, we can make great strides in helping victims of Mommy Brain around the world.

Originally published February 11, 2008 at summersnook.com

Clementines remind me of you!


When I saw these clementines at the store I immediately thought of Travis. It reminded me that he would buy a carton of them every other day or so last winter when we lived in Maine.
So when Noah got home from school and saw them on the counter, I told him to help himself. He said "Dad loves these... remember how he would eat them all the time... that and watermelon!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lily's first picture with santa


Santa visited Lily's preschool yesterday, and I was excited for her to sit on his lap for the first time. She sat patiently and waited until it was her turn and didn't seem nervous at all. When he asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she didn't say a word. She didn't say anything the entire time she was on his lap but she didn't scream or cry either.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mommy, I don't feel so good

I had just sat down to look at the holiday sale papers when Lily, who I thought was asleep, comes walking into the room with throw up all over her pj's. By the time I took her nightgown off and directed her back to the bathroom to finish, she had made a few piles along the way. So, while I'm trying to get her to calm down and breathe, I hear Katy crawling quickly down the hall and I know she is headed right toward the mess. Ahhh help me!!! I'm scrambling around to get Katy out of the way, get Lily in the bathtub, clean up the piles, strip the bed, and get clean sheets back on it, start the washer, get Lily out of the tub, and get her back in bed. Oh the joys of parenthood!

It was pretty crazy for awhile there but then everything calmed down again. And, now all three kids are in bed asleep, hopefully for the night.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

It was so gross no one could look away!





We went up to the hospital today to see my brother Mark after he had hip replacement surgery yesterday. A nurse came in and said she needed to change his dressing, and I said "ooh, let me get my camera!" It was very interesting because we all wanted to look at it even though it made us kind of queasy. He seems to be doing well and should be going home tomorrow.
We love you Mark!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Katy's first steps



Miss Katy has been taking a few steps here and there all week,
but today she took more than a few steps, she took about 10 steps!
It's been so fun to watch her confidence grow as she balances and
gets around. She is just so adorable!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A few pictures from Jacksonville






L-R Lily, Nathan, Katy, Jaden
These pictures were taken on Thanksgiving day after dinner. The kids were outside just hanging out on the patio enjoying the nice weather. Other than a few normal flare ups, I think Lily and Jaden played very nicely together the whole week we were there. Nathan has always been fascinated with Katy ever since she was born and when we lived in ME he would do anything to be near her. On this visit he was the same way, he was very gentle and sweet with her.