Friday, January 30, 2009

What happens when you play said bizarre country song backwards?

You get your Buick back, your cat back and your husband back.

Well, not really all of those things, but I have been encouraged the last few days.

First of all, I was able to find Socrates the second evening he was gone. The stupid cat couldn't find his own way home and was two doors down meowing pitifully. So much for cats knowing how to get back home. This cat was close but couldn't find it. I was very happy to have him back though and I've even tolerated his bad behavior a bit more. I actually didn't kick him out of my bed this morning when he was licking my chin to wake me up.

Second, I was driving to Disneyland today and had to run a couple of errands before hand. I needed to use the atm quick and since there are few drive through ones around here I usually park right in front, crack the windows, lock the doors and leave Nathaniel where he is (I am never more than five feet from him at any point). Today when I went to crack the passenger window it actually came down! Hooray for something that wasn't working working again! Plus, none of the evil dash lights have been yelling at me lately (although I know the problems haven't fixed themselves, it's nice not to have the reminder glaring at me regularly).

Finally, Sam told me that if I call the Red Cross when I go in labor (actually, three days before) he may get a short short leave to come home. Of course, I will shoot myself if I am in labor for three days, but knowing that Sam might get a short visit home (less than a week) would be nice. Just so he can meet his son before his son is a burgeoning toddler.

So, life is going well. Disneyland was a crazy mad-house today which is weird for the end of January. I think the whole, "Get in free on your birthday" thing coupled with a new payment plan for annual passes is actually working for them. It took me almost 20 minutes just to get into the parking structure! It was nice though, we went to California Adventure and rode the kiddie rides so there were no waits and Nathaniel thoroughly enjoyed running through the water areas and getting soaked in this 80 degree weather.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My life is like a really bizarre Country Song right now.

It's been a weird week for me. I realized today that it's like a bad country and western song that would never make it in the real world.

First of all, my Buick is breaking down. In every Country song I've ever heard someone has a pick up truck or some souped up four wheel drive, not a Buick Century. I'm working on getting a new car and am steps closer thanks to the help of a friend, but every week I notice something else going on. Like the lights that light up my odometer don't work anymore and my front passenger window doesn't roll down. Ugh.

Second, my husband left me. Not in the real life, left me for another woman, type of leaving, but might fit into some weird song.

Finally, my cat ran away. I have no idea when it happened because it happened when the sitter was here, but as of 11:30 last night I realized that Socrates wasn't anywhere to be found in my apartment. So I looked on my balcony, and he wasn't there either. I don't think I would have even noticed as soon as I did had Plato not been constantly underfoot whining and meowing like his best friend was gone. Which was/is the case. I'm so sad. I figured that he would be back by the morning waiting at the front door, but no dice. I've looked around the complex, but haven't seen him. So, I posted signs and can only hope he's not dead.

EDIT: I found Socrates! I heard a faint meowing a few minutes ago and grabbed my sandals and "ran" (more like waddled) outside and found poor Socrates down one set of apartments completely confused. He was hungry but no worse for the wear!! Hooray!!

*sigh*. Anyone want to buy the rights to my life right now? It might make a crappy song or a cheesy Lifetime movie!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update from the land of pregnancy.

Not too much has been going on around here. I hate updating with randomness because I would like to think that this is a blog with some substance and not just updates on our cute kid and his cute behavior. Although, he is pretty adorable and when he came up with his imaginary monster friend yesterday I could have died from his cuteness. Seriously, his monster friend appeared after his bath (there was a monster in his pants that we had to chase out so it wouldn't eat his legs) and then hung out with us all day long. They ran to the car together and he sat next to Nathaniel with his seat belt on (like a good monster should). They then ran into the house together and played Candy Land (yay, I didn't have to play because Monster was playing). The cutest part was when Nathaniel got his bath last night and I watched him help Monster take his clothes off and take his diaper off and help him into the bathtub. Oh, and after supper he took Monster by the hand and they ran off to play more together.

But, as I said, I don't want to just update about my seriously cute kid.

I have talked to Sam two more times since his arrival in Germany. We can't talk much because the Army Post there doesn't have good phones hooked up so it costs an arm and a leg to make a phone call. He's doing well though and it sounds like he will get to come home for about five days after I have the baby. The goal is to get him here for the birth but he needs three days notice, which just won't happen. If I got him out too early, he would most likely miss the birth anyways because he just can't hang out waiting for the baby to arrive.

I'm doing better emotionally. I think I just needed to get through the deployment blues. I totally expect them to come back and I just need to be okay with the fact that occasionally I'm going to be sad. It's part of the cycle of deployment.

I had another appointment today and will continue to see my doctor once a week until little one appears. It was a sad appointment for me because even though I've had some good Braxton Hicks contractions this week, I am no closer to delivery than I was 8 months ago. I have hit the point in the pregnancy where I am done. It hurts to sit/stand/walk/lay down/etc. I feel huge and my temper is short. I literally wanted to kick one of my students in the head today for purposely pushing my patience. I really had to weigh the pros and cons of that one. So, to be told by my doctor that nothing is happening was just a little disappointing. So goes life.

That's about it here. Staying on top of the housework has become my main goal. That, and getting out of the house once a day. I want to go to Disneyland but I dare not go alone. It's too hard to walk and deal with Nathaniel at the same time. As I was bent over my bathtub today scrubbing I thought, "There's going to be a time when I won't be able to do this anymore." Then I realized that so many people have offered to help that I should maybe take them up on it. Of course, I think they meant help with the baby, not scrubbing my toilet. :)

I will make sure I update this thing when I actually go into labor! Promise! If not, at least I'll post my status on facebook. Cheers!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Phase two of deployment

Or are we in stage three? I'm not sure I can even keep track of each stage of this deployment (Do I count California as stage one?).

Anyways, Sam called me yesterday morning from the wonderful country of Germany. He didn't actually tell me he was leaving for Germany on Tuesday, but I figured it out by his long good-bye on the phone (the last time we could talk on our cell phones) and by the way he evaded every single one of my questions (questions I usually asked him like, "What are you doing today? Where are you?"--when hearing strange background noises). Needless to say, I was quite down this week and still am a little bit when I think about it.

I don't know why his flying to Germany makes me sadder than before. I'm not sure if it's because I can't just text him whenever I want to tell him something quick or if it's because he's even further away than before. Part of me believes I should be happier because Germany is the final training place before Kosovo and it means that the deployment is that much closer to being over. Perhaps I'm just being pregnantly hormonal and weepy.

Sam's job has changed since he first left. Before he was an Officer in Charge of a Land Team, meaning that he was supposed to go out into the communities with three or four other soldiers and meet with locals making sure things were getting done. He was so excited about this job because it meant that he was actually out doing things. When Sam was in Iraq he only got to go outside of the wire a handful of times (which I was perfectly okay with) on convoys so he felt like he wasn't really doing anything. On Sam's birthday he was told by his commander that because he was doing such a great job leading they were moving him off of his current assignment and making him the Officer in Charge of the Staff. Which means that Sam will be in the office from 8-5 every day working on things behind the scenes, not out in the community.

He was then handed a slide show and was told that he needed to brief the General in 10 minutes.

Poor Sam. It's a job promotion, which is kind of cool--especially because it means that Sam is being a rock star, but in the Army a promotion like that means nothing with pay raises, just responsibility. Sam's mad because he wanted to be out and about, not stuck behind a desk.

So, that's a Sam update. He's currently in Hohenfelde, Germany but won't be there long enough to really receive mail so I don't have an address for him. I told him to call his parents before he went overseas, but I don't know if he did that either.

Please keep praying for our family. I am still functioning okay but sometimes really have to force myself to stay positive. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I can't believe I missed it!

I missed the inauguration.

I've been looking forward to this day for a long time (8 years? ha!) and I managed to miss President Obama's inauguration address. Sam got to see it, and he's on deployment! I could have watched it, I suppose, but I had a doctor's appointment to get ready for and Nathaniel wanted to watch Tigger and Pooh. I find that some battles are better lost in the beginning rather than fought.

I still can't believe I missed it. I will have to watch it on hulu or something.


On a bright note: It looks like I'm done gaining weight for this pregnancy and I saw the other doctor today and he said that baby #2 looks like he'll weigh less than Nathaniel did! That's a comforting thought. He also said to me (after reading my chart) that in his over 20 years of practicing medicine he's only seen someone who had complications like mine once while he was still interning. Somehow that was supposed to be comforting...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Making progress.

I made the commitment that once I was finished with school and everything that I would buckle down and get serious about potty training. Of course, that's easier said than done, especially when I have a willful two and a half year old who really isn't that interested in learning how to put his business in the toilet.

But, we have found our niche!

First of all, I actually went out and bought him "big boy" underwear, showed them to him, made a huge deal about how cool they were, and then promptly placed them in his drawer so he could take them out and look at them. It wasn't long before he was coming out of his bedroom holding his underwear asking to wear them. I kept telling him, "Oh, those are for when you start using the potty like a big boy! You can't wear those while you still use a diaper!" That went on for about a week.

Bring in the Spiderman pull-ups. I showed him the cool Spiderman pull ups and he wanted to wear them. big boys who are trying to go potty get to wear those! So, on we went with the Blue's Clue's diapers (I should devote a post to Luv's Diapers here, I used to swear by Pampers, but now I'm hooked on the cheaper brand).

Every night we started making going potty part of the bedtime ritual. Three nights ago he actually peed a real pee in the toilet, and has done that every night since. Today at lunch he did it again, and again during nap time (this time it was the rest of a poop he started in his diaper). So, we whipped out the pull-ups and so far he has gone pee again.

I know that we are just starting down this long road, but he's getting it! He even has his little ritual down, "Go potty, wipe with paper, flush toilet, put on diaper (or pull up), wash hands and treat." Now, if I can just stay consistent (sometimes it's just easier to let him go in his diaper rather than rush to find a bathroom...).

On a cute note, today before nap time (which he actually didn't nap during...) he wanted to read a specific book but I just couldn't figure out what he was saying. He kept saying, "Meea, Meea on ha all!"

What!? Oh!! "Mirror, mirror on the wall! Snow White!"

He's also been watching Little Einsteins in the morning while I shower and has taken to running around the apartment yelling, "mission commission!" (mission completion).

That's an update for us. It's been a rough weekend for me on the deployment front. I think it just finally hit me that Sam will miss the birth of the baby and will be gone for 10 1/2 months more. That's a long time and the little one will be not so little anymore at that point. I'm okay, I think it's okay for me to be sad at times as long as I'm not wallowing in my own self-pity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My heart ached tonight.

I honestly think that not having a bajillion things going at once has really lowered my stress level.

Okay, that was a 'duh' statement right there, but it's true! I thought that I would go mad being a stay at home mom, but it's actually kind of nice. I have the freedom to take the little man all sorts of places without having the stress of getting home and getting homework done or getting to class. Every day has been a new adventure. Today we went to story time at the library, yesterday was a trip to the dentist and playing at the park, we've gone to Disneyland and tomorrow we are heading to the zoo. I'm actually enjoying this more than I thought I would. Sure, I get bored at times and I never thought I would be the type who looked forward to games of Candy Land, but I'm really enjoying this time!

Tonight, after bath time, Nathaniel wanted me to pick him up while he was wrapped up in his bath towel. So I picked him up and he said, "Mom, I a baby! Cuddle!" So, we cuddled in his arm chair and I looked down at my little boy and got an ache in my heart. I remembered two and a half years ago when Nathaniel was born he was placed on my chest with a blanket wrapped around him much like the towel was around him today. I don't remember much after that point because of passing out, but I do remember the awe I felt at having my child in my arms at last (especially after 31 hours of labor). I got sad for a minute because I see my little baby turning into a little boy and I know that before I realize it he will be a teenager and then an adult and I will get to let him go and live his life. So, I told Nathaniel a little bit about when he was born and told him that soon his little brother would be born. Then Nathaniel got into pretend mode and wanted me to pretend cry so he could comfort me with his blankie (it's a game he plays, he wants me to be a baby and cry so he can comfort me with a toy or his blankie. Then he takes it away from me and wants me to cry again). I actually almost really cried because the last two and a half years have gone so fast.

At least I get to do this again. But, there will be the day when I'm done having kids and my little ones will be "big" ones who will have their own lives and it will once again just be Sam and I. Thank goodness I get to live the experiences between now and then.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photos from everything.

Here are pictures from the last month. I realized how long it's been since I uploaded pics from my camera when I added 104 pics from my camera today. Eep!

Here are a few slide shows for those who are interested. The first one is from baccalaureate and graduation. There aren't many because my mom had her camera most of the time and my camera was being dumb.

The next batch is from Christmas, including Christmas Eve, Christmas day and some things we did around those days.

And here's what I've been up to since getting home. Yup, more Disneyland. I am actually pretty proud of how I look in the first photo, I feel huge, but from a distance straight on I don't look half bad (at least I keep telling myself that!).


Friday, January 9, 2009

A post that's been brewing in my head for awhile.

As the time approaches for our new little one to come into the world something has been on my mind. No, it's not another moaning blog about single mommy-hood, or the woes of being a stay at home mom. I actually think that if I can get my act together this won't be so hard (although with Nathaniel's contrite attitude the last two days I could very well lose my mind).

The topic that has been on my mind has been breast feeding.

Now, I'm not one of those "granola" moms who lectures people on the benefits of breast feeding or who sits topless in the mall nursing my child while glaring at anyone who glances my way. I understand that some people aren't able to nurse their children, and some people simply don't have the patience. I am an advocate of breast feeding because I know it's good for my kid, it's a whole lot cheaper than formula (trust me on this, formula is almost 25 dollars a can, which lasts about a week), and because in the middle of the night it's easier to nurse than to fix and warm a bottle. Plus, it makes packing for an outing a whole lot easier.

I'm even the mom who will pump and freeze my milk so that I don't have to buy formula in case something happens or I want to leave the kid with a sitter.

However, I found that when I was nursing Nathaniel I heard so much, well, to be honest, crap, from people around me. The thing is, of course it wasn't from other moms, it was from single women, or married without children women. These women would talk in front of me about how "disgusting" nursing was and how women should not nurse in public. I was even told that I should sit in the bathroom and nurse.

I'm sorry, but it's hard enough for me to be a "single" mom (sure, I have a hubby, but he's been overseas now for the baby stages of both of our children) and miss out on adult conversation much of the time. How can someone expect me to go eat my dinner in a bathroom? How can someone expect me to nurse my child while sitting on a toilet? To me, that's what is disgusting!

What bothers me is that people are uncomfortable with someone discreetly nursing their child (even if you really look closely you can't see anything!) yet there are pictures of half naked women all over the place and no one bats an eye. I can't drive to work without passing a billboard of a woman with cleavage all over the place, but that's considered "natural" and "normal". Yet for me to do what is natural and normal, to feed and nurture my child is considered disgusting and inappropriate.

So, that's my rant. I think that this time around I will be less tolerant of those who are intolerant with my feeding my child.

What do you think? If you are a mom who breast feeds or who has breast fed your child in the past how have you dealt with those who have opposed you?

(For the record, I try not to nurse in public, but if I'm out I will find a corner and cover up completely, I really don't sit there with anything flopped out. Plus, I stopped nursing Nathaniel when he was 7 months old, not when he was three or anything like that.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This isn't so bad.

I have to admit. The thought of spending the last four and a half years preparing for full time ministry only to end up being a full time mom bummed me out big time. But, I am really enjoying my days as a mommy and I still get to do ministry as well (I'm preparing to teach a couple of times this month and will do a Friday chapel in the future).

Nathaniel is really at a fun age. He is so full of imagination. Cody (the imaginary friend) is kind of an outlet for him. I think that Cody does the things that Nathaniel wants to do but can't. For example, when I was picking my mom up from the airport I heard Nathaniel yelling from the backseat, "Mom! Cody unbuckled seat belt!" So I told him that Cody needed to keep his seat belt on. In a very angry voice Nathaniel yelled, "Cody! Buckle your seat belt right now!" Crack me up!

Today, after we did errands and while lunch was cooking, I taught Nathaniel how to play Candy Land. I'm impressed with his skills. Even though he is just shy of 2 1/2, he gets the whole taking turns concept and knows his colors so he can move his piece to the spot it's supposed to go. A plus is that he doesn't get the concept of winning or losing so it doesn't matter who wins he is just having fun. Of course, he is now hooked on the game so I think I played four or five games this afternoon.

On a pregnant note: I had another ultra sound today (I think I've had 6 so far) and the baby is head down ready to go. That makes me happy because at the last appointment he was breach and now it looks like we're good to go. So, the next few weeks I will spend getting organized and enjoying the remainder of my time with my "only" before he is a big brother.

Oh, and another fun note: Nathaniel is all about the phone lately and talking on it. So everything is a phone. He handed me a toy today telling me that it was the phone and that he was talking to his baby brother. I'm so excited for him to actually meet his baby brother!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Home again and a new year.

Well, we made it back in one piece. Despite nearly missing our flight in Iowa (icy roads made our drive a bit longer than usual and the guy who was checking me into the flight was s-l-o-w!) and being delayed over an hour in Phoenix, we made it. Nathaniel fell asleep in the car before we even made it out of the parking garage and I'm ready to hit it myself.

I was so sad to leave Iowa and my family. I had a twinge of regret as I sat on the plane in Des Moines, wishing that I had just moved back home after everything to wait out this deployment. But, I know I'm here in Cali for a reason, and I love the people here so much that I would soon get bored in Iowa without my friends and "family" out here.

I have a lot of pictures to post and some fun stories to share, but those will have to wait. I will say that one of the highlights from this trip was seeing everyone and observing how much people have grown up the past ten years. From my friend Ben who is currently receiving stem cells as an effort to save his life from cancer to my friend Emery who is expecting his first child with his wife, everyone has changed so much, but we are all able to get together and just relax for a few hours.

I do have to say that U.S. Airways sucks butt. They put me in an Exit row for both of my flights today and on the second flight separated Nathaniel and I. When I asked the people at the counter to change my seat for me they told me they couldn't and that the flight attendants would have to do it. That's fine, but then the flight attendants told me that the people at the counter should have done it. I was moved just fine, but the people who were shifted were so mad at me for taking their seats. One guy leaned into me, pointed at Nathaniel and said, "He's in my seat!" and was upset when I explained the mix-up. I would have been grateful to have gotten rid of the center seat for an aisle seat in an Exit row, think about the leg room! Not to mention that beverages are no longer complimentary on U.S. Air and as we were taxi-ing to our gate in Santa Ana the pilot literally slammed on the brakes and turned sharply because he nearly missed his turn. Egad!

But, now it is late enough for me to go to bed! Good night. I will update more later. I miss the quietness of the country...