Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Milestones

My babies are growing up.  I know it's a very obvious statement.  But it's something I know myself and my friends who are parents have to remind ourselves of sometimes.

B is starting to stand up!!  He's been pulling himself up for awhile and he just started really cruising along furniture recently.  But it was just these last couple days where he stands up, gets his balance and lets go.  He can stand for 3-5 seconds at a time totally fine.  Then he gets excited and falls down.  Or he gets over it and sets himself gently on his butt.  It's really cute.

Standing man. . .

. . . Falling man




As far as H goes.  It's so hard to think she's just 2.  She definitely has her limitations and throws at least one (ha, on a good day it's only one) "terrible twos" style tantrum a day.  I think to remind me of how little she is.  Because she's so grown up.  She speaks very well for her age.  She has a memory better than her father.  Seriously, the things she holds on to.  She only really sees commercials in the evenings when we watch Jeopardy! & Wheel of Fortune.  I never even thought she was paying attention to them.  Then she saw the RC Willey logo on something and said "your home, your way".  

Anyway, the other day, she got herself all set for her nap and it took me by surprise.  We were upstairs doing laundry and reading her books.  When I told her it was time to take a nap she got up, turned her light off, turned her sound machine on & said "I need my paci & sleepy time bracelet*".  I gave them to her and she climbed into bed.  Ever since then, I've been having her do all those things.  It makes going to bed a lot less of a fight.  It's not always smooth, but it seems that now that she's more directly involved she's more eager to do it.  She doesn't even use the lullaby function on her sound machine anymore.  A few nights ago I asked her if she wanted music and she said, "no.  just rains."


 This picture has nothing to do with anything except nostalgia because look how little she used to be!!! My fancy baby girl.




*She got a little heart bracelet in her Christmas stocking that loves to sleep with. So when we transitioned her to her toddler bed, it became special and you only got to wear it in your bed.  If she got out, she had to take it off.  It was a motivational tool (read: bribe) to keep her in bed all night

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

Good morning, all!  I do hope everyone enjoyed their day yesterday, and all the dads out there had a happy Father's Day!

Our little dude has been burning up lately, so our plans were on hold and changed a bit.  B woke up with a 102 fever on Saturday.  Basically the entire weekend he has been fluctuating between 101-103.8.  We've been monitoring it & giving him Tylenol.  It's not really going away, but he's not really been sick in any other way.  He had a very restless night on Saturday.  Last night he slept through, thank goodness, but he's still around 101.  It is going down though so we're still just on watch mode.  It's not worth dealing with trying to get an appointment if we're only kind of worried.

Anyway . . .

Not knowing what's exactly wrong - and if it's contagious - we've been pretty secluded.  There goes park play time, swimming at the pool, etc.  But one of the plans we had for Father's Day was getting out of the heat to picnic on Mt. Charleston.  We decided that we'd give it a shot, and it worked out nicely.  The official trails & picnic areas were crowded but we didn't need a table or a grill anyway so we found a nice spot by the side of the road.



Before we left, T told H we had to get dressed because we were going on a picnic.  She ran away and returned with her little play picnic basket.

 
 "we have a picnic, daddy?"


It was in the upper 70s and the breeze felt lovely!  The sun was still as intense as it is in the valley but we stayed in the shade. The kids shared a Lunchable and we had wine and fresh, tasty snacks.













We stopped for Coldstone on the way home because it was Daddy's day and that's what he wanted.  Plus as soon as he said that ice cream sounded good, Pants took the idea & ran with it.  T wanted a shake so we let H pick out her own ice cream & mix-in and he'd share it.  All of you who are facebook friends saw the craziness that followed after she ate her cotton candy flavor with sprinkles - "I being a firetruck". 

Happy Father's Day! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

That day it was only 99

T has been on another TDY -- this should be the last one, at least for this particular subject matter, woohoo! 

It's a lot harder to do when it's so dang hot.  The last time he left, we went to the park in the evening more than half the days he was gone.  It's about a mile walk from our house so that helped pass the time, plus it got me active and feeling good.  Then we played, came home, had dinner & poof it was bedtime (the most glorious time of the day)!

Now it's too hot to do anything.  We have a membership to an indoor play area space by the grocery store, but now especially that B is out of the infant carrier and into an actual car seat it's a lot more hassle to throw them both in the car to go somewhere.  But more importantly, they LOVE being outside.  So it's really sad to tell them they can't go because it's face-meltingly hot and the sun will burn their pasty little German-Irish skin. 

The other day we were going a tad stir crazy and I looked at the weather app on my phone.  99!  It's only double digits, lets do thisss!  So we walked to a little playground in our community.  It's not the big park, but it's a little closer, and more protected from the wind & setting sun.  It was still hot, but I didn't feel like dying so that's a win.  We took Piper because she is getting fat.  We had the place to ourselves but it was fun.  B loves climbing anything and everything so the playground is a haven.  H is just starting to be interested in chasing games & hiding games so we ran around a bit.  Even let Pipe off leash and threw the ball.  Her out-of-shape butt did not last long, but she still loved being with us. 

 "mooommmyyyy, I rove you! You sit right there!!"




















Climbin' Simon

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A&A's Baptism

So I know I got a little behind in recapping the last major event of our trip to KS/MO.  In my last post, you saw our kids enjoying snow for the first time!  This was super exciting, but it made the plans to get the girls baptized a little rocky.

We were incredibly touched & honored last fall when they asked us to be the girls' godparents.  Now, whether they like it or not, they're stuck with us!  :)   We absolutely love those girls so much and we are thrilled to be a part of the upbringing team.  It takes a village and all that.

The snow started coming down on Saturday afternoon and it wasn't supposed to stop all night.  There was a LOT of it and the drive to base is long on a good day.  But we bundled up, allowed plenty of time and made it.



 Their Pants thought it was good fun!

 Her sister was not so sure about it . . . 






It was Palm Sunday so they didn't want to do it during mass, as it was already going to be incredibly long.  We had a private ceremony in the sacraments chapel.  Fortunately one of their friends from base was there and she took pictures.  While holding B & feeding crackers to H.  She had like 4-5 kids so she was experienced in the circus.  We were lucky she was there or we'd have significantly fewer pictures and a lot more interruption by my little loud ones. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TDY/Deployed Paradox

When your spouse leaves for work, it's difficult.  That's just a fact.  In the military life, it seems to happen more often or for greater periods of time.  One of the reasons to make at least a few military spouse friends, is so that you have someone to talk to.  Someone who can empathize.  Our families and friends outside this life are wonderful people, who are compassionate to our struggles.  But most of them don't actually understand exactly how it feels.

[Yes, I recognize there are lots of non-military jobs that require travel/time away from family. This is not exclusive of those things, I just know I cannot possibly list all the people who understand. Consider yourself counted.]


So you have a need sometimes to reach out to another person.  A we're-in-the-same-boat kinship.  Most people who don't experience this are great cheerleaders throwing out 'hang in there!'; 'stay strong!'; and 'you can do this!'.  Which is great.  But we know those things.  Sometimes you need someone you can call/text saying "I made the effort with the kids to stop and get a fountain diet coke for myself while we were out today and H just knocked it off the table spilling it everywhere and now my day is RUINED!!!"  And mean it.  Because they won't look at you and think 'gosh you're being dramatic'.  They will know that you've been struggling and holding it together and yes that little thing has the completely reasonable potential to explode and ruin a day. 
It's not the actual coke that's the problem - although maybe a little bit because fountain pop is the best and you can agree or gtfo.  It's that everything is more difficult when you  have child(ren) in tow.  And that your support is not coming home in a few hours where (s)he could stop and get you a new one.  One with pellet ice from the one particular gas station because the nearest Sonic is like 10 miles away and (s)he knows just how much the ice type makes a difference to you.  And then you realize you're all alone.  Sure you have friends and activities and you get through.  But you are alone managing tantrums, baths, fights over food, etc.  You are missing your partner. 

But there's the other side of it.  The 'I have it worse'/'others have it worse' part of the human condition.  The very first night of the very first TDY in this series of them I had dinner with two others who were spouseless.  One for a term of 2 months, the other 4.  I had been at it for one day and was scared out of my mind -- this was the first time he'd left since having both kids.  But I found myself scared to talk about my feelings.  If there was real or perceived side-eyeing I don't know, but I felt strongly of WHO THE HELL AM I TO COMPLAIN ABOUT TWO WEEKS???  So the very people who were likely to get it, who were going through the same thing at the same time, intimidated me to talk to.  How can I say anything other than, "well at least it's such a short time, I'm sure it's so much harder for you"?

There it is.  The very people you want to complain to are the exact same who you feel you have no right to complain to.

But the thing is, someone always has it worse.  As Holly & I like to say "at least we're not on shit ship".  Perspective and staying positive are good things.  But if you're constantly thinking about who has it worse than you, you're not taking time to recognize and acknowledge your feelings.  Which are valid.  Sometimes, it doesn't matter that people are starving and the earth is dying.  Whether your spouse is just on a crappy shift or gone for months, it sucks.  And you can say it sucks.  Cry, yell, complain, get your emotions sorted through somehow.  And then, by instinct or learned behavior, you do what every one of us knows how to do -- keep plugging along. 

Love & Hugs