Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And he's off again.

We took Sam to the airport this morning. It was difficult to do because we love having him home (as we should). It's hard to explain, but every time Sam comes home after a long deployment it's like he wasn't gone at all. He simply falls into our routine and we all pick up where we left off. It's such a GOOD thing for us, especially for Nathaniel!

This leave was no different. From the time we picked Sam up at the airport it was like he hadn't been gone at all. It was hard for me to believe that he and Aaron had never met because the minute Sam took Aaron in his arms they hit it off and it was like they have known each other Aaron's entire life. It was great.

Nathaniel did well. Apparently he acted no differently than any kid at his age with two parents. I was worried because when Sam would discipline Nathaniel, Nathaniel would cry and say, "I want my mommy!" All of my friends assured me that their kids do the same thing and their dads are all around. Whew!

It was a good visit. I wish it wasn't a visit. I would love it if Sam were home for good instead of us having to wait until December (I hope). In fact, Nathaniel made me cry today as we got back in the van after dropping Sam off. He said, "Wait! We need Daddy!" I had to tell him again that Daddy was in Kosovo (it's easier than explaining travel to a three year old).

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the visit:

We went to the beach yesterday and Sam had fun making sand castles with Nathaniel. Here he was trying to bury Nathaniel in the sand but Nathaniel popped his feet out right as I snapped the picture. Notice how much I cover my white babies up at the beach. Nathaniel was coated with SPF 50, and so was Aaron in addition to his long sleeves and hat.
Sam and I went out to The Melting Pot for a date to celebrate our anniversary early (it's in August). The waiter brought us a free champagne toast so I took this picture of us. Oh, I love the Melting Pot, but it totally took me off of my diet. Oh well, I will start it again this weekend.

We went to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego and had a great time. Nathaniel loves the zoo so this was a real treat for him. One of his favorite animals is the giraffe and there were plenty of them there. I love this picture of the boys. Nathaniel loves having Aaron do pretty much whatever it is he is doing so he had to have a picture with brother.

This is my favorite picture by far. No words to explain. This is how it's supposed to be.

One of the main things we did while Sam was home was have Aaron dedicated at church. This is something our church does instead of baptism because we believe that baptism is something that an individual chooses as he grows in his own personal faith. Yet, we dedicate our child publicly, stating that we are going to raise him to know Jesus and will raise him according to Biblical principles. Plus, the members of our church pledge to help us in this endeavor (which is helpful since our little ones are involved in lots of different things in the church, it's nice to know that there are so many great people out there who are helping us raise our children to know the Lord).
So, that was our visit in a nutshell. Of course, so much happened and we did a ton. It was so nice. I can't wait until Sam gets home for good. It will be crazy because Sam will be getting ready to graduate and we will move again and lots will change, but it will be our own adventure that we get to experience as a family.
Family. I love that word. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick note.

We are still enjoying having Sam here. I'm not even allowing myself to think about the fact that he will be leaving on Wednesday. That's too sad for me so I am falling back into my childish mindset of "If I don't think about it, it won't really happen."

Yeah, I'll let you all know how that one works out :)

Just wanted to let those avid Aaron fans out there know that Aaron has cut his first tooth! My little chunker is 5 months old (and approx one week) and he's already got a tooth cut through his bottom gums. Now he really glares at us when we eat real food infront of him.

I personally think he cut it just because Nathaniel says everyday, "Brother doesn't have teeth yet!"

More after Sam leaves.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three Years Ago.

Three years ago Nathaniel was born. It was an amazing day for our family as our world completely flipped on it's head.

I went into the hospital early in the morning on the 13th of July (I think it was 3am) because my water had broken. After three hours of trying to convince the nurses that my water had indeed broken, I was finally admitted into the hospital. Since my water had broken and I was barely dilated they started me on that dreaded pitocen.

12 hours later I was still barely at 1cm and I was in a ton of pitocen pain so I got my epidural. That made things a lot more bearable for me, but it still took me 12 more hours to reach 10 cm.

At 7:00 in the morning I was ready to push and Nathaniel made his debut into the world at 8:46am weighing a whopping 9 lbs 1.3 oz. I happily held and kissed my little baby boy and watched as the nurses took him away to clean him up. I encouraged Sam to stay with Nathaniel as my doctor dealt with all of the "after" effects of giving birth.

My joy quickly turned into terror, pain and then sweet unconsciousness as I had complications from delivery.

I woke up two hours later to the nurses laughing at me because I was snoring in my sleep.

From that moment on, I have been a mommy.

Happy Birthday Nathaniel! I can't believe how fast the years have flown by.

Friday, July 10, 2009

An Unusual Evening.

Tonight started out like every Friday night. We went over to our friends' house for dinner and then we went to church to hear the Kenya Missions Team share about their trip (and eat ice cream!). It was a pleasant evening and it was great to hear about what God is doing in Kenya. I got the boys home and in bed by 9:00 and quickly headed out to get my mail.

This is something I do almost every evening. I tuck the kids in, go out quickly-locking the door behind me-and run out to the mailbox. It takes about three minutes total and is much quicker to do without the dawdling three year old who marches to the rhythm of his own drummer.

I was near the fountain in the front of the complex thinking about the kids who were swimming unsupervised in the pool. I was wondering where their parents were and was hoping that nothing would happen to them because it's useless to tell them that they shouldn't be in the pool that late at night without an adult. At that moment I saw a young woman come running out of an apartment. I thought to myself, "Oh dear, there must be some party going on! I'm so glad I live towards the back!"

Then the woman approached me asking me if I had a phone. My phone had died earlier today and it was at home charging so I said, "No, I'm sorry, I don't have a phone on me." Then I noticed that the woman was crying and looked scared to death. She said to me, "Please, you have to have a phone! They are after me! I'm so scared I think he's going to kill me!"

Holy Crap!

So, I quickly looked around, saw no one coming at the moment and said, "Come with me, I have a phone in my apartment. You'll be safe there." And then I hurried her as fast as I could back to my apartment, hoping that whoever was after her wasn't going to then be after me.

I got her upstairs and immediately called the police. After getting off of the phone with the police I asked her some questions and tried to calm her down. Turns out that her and her boyfriend were fighting and he turned on her and started choking her. She had marks on her neck, bruises on her arm and her shirt was torn.

I talked with her and asked her lots of questions, trying to get her to calm down a bit until the police arrived (at this point both boys were asleep, thank goodness!).

When the police arrived they were such butts. I really can't think of a non-curse word to describe these officers so I have to stick with "butts". There was one really tall one who was asking all of the questions and he wouldn't sit down with her. He just kept asking her the same questions and wasn't even really listening. He asked her her date of birth and then asked her how old she was (hello! Math much?). When she said that her boyfriend was choking her and that she was screaming he said, "Well, he mustn't have been choking you that hard if you could scream." What the hell!?

So, the officers left to go find the guy and then came back because she gave them the wrong apartment number so she had to go and show them which one. They said that I had to give a statement too (which is fine, throw that guy's booty in jail!), but I don't know if they are coming back or not now. It's been about 40 minutes since they left.

How surreal is this? I'm so glad I was there to help this woman (Maria), but I wish that the cops were a little more compassionate.

I was all ready to blog tonight about how excited we are that Sam is coming home tomorrow and that Nathaniel is just like Sam when it comes to music, but this is much more thrilling to blog about.

I really hope everything turns out okay for this woman. I hope she gets up the guts to leave him and get a better life for her and her daughter. I'm glad that I was in the right place at the right time tonight.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bullet points of life.

Since I've been kind of lazy with updating lately, I thought I would put some bullet points of what's going on with us.

  • Sam is coming home for 9 days. He will be here on Saturday. We are so so so so so excited about this I think I might pee a little. Seriously, I am thrilled to death about seeing Sam and introducing him to his little boy. Even Nathaniel is bouncy-happy about this!
  • I am almost ashamed to admit this, but obviously not too ashamed since I'm blogging about this, but I watched the Michael Jackson memorial service and cried a couple of times. My theory behind the tears is that he was such an icon and it was sad to see his family truly mourning. Plus, I find that lately I don't emote like I ought to so I have to find other ways to let out my emotions. So, it probably wasn't a bad thing that I cried when Usher sang, "Gone too soon."
  • Speaking of finding other outlets for my emotions, tomorrow I'm going to see "My Sister's Keeper". I read the book, but I heard that the movie is way different. I'm bringing kleenex and a friend and am really looking forward to having some time away from the boys. We're also getting pedicures so, I'm really "girling" it out.
  • Did I mention that Sam will be home on Saturday?
  • Nathaniel is doing better with his attitude. Time outs have been less of an occurrence. Thank God! I was so tired of replacing him in time out.
  • I have officially lost all of my Aaron weight! Woot for the Wii Fit!
  • Sam's home on Saturday, can you tell I'm excited?
  • Nathaniel will be three next week. We're having a Pirate themed party for him on Sunday. I can't believe my baby is three!
  • We are also dedicating Aaron at church on Sunday. It's going to be a big day for our family.

That's about it here. I know it's all random, but whatever. At least it's an update!

Did I mention Sam's coming home on leave?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Maybe I'm doing something right?

Nathaniel has hit a new stage of rebellion. He is bound and determined NOT to listen to me. It's even gotten to the point where if I force him to do something he will deliberately go against me. The new thing is peeing all over the floor when I make him go to the bathroom. I still put the diaper on him at night because he doesn't always wake up to go and I was tired of washing pee sheets every day. But, for Nathaniel, the diaper means he gets to be lazy and pee in it while he's eating breakfast. So, the first thing I make him do when he gets up is take the diaper off and use the toilet. He always throws a major fit and then, while he's sitting on the toilet, aims for the floor and pees everywhere. It's one of those times where I can only yell STOP!!! and then make him clean it up and go into time out.

There has been a lot of things like this lately. Some days I feel like we spend more time dealing with discipline issues than we do playing. It gets discouraging.

But, yesterday I saw a glimpse of the young man Nathaniel is growing up to be. I also see glimpses of the budding relationship between Aaron and his big brother. During bath time Nathaniel was singing the songs from music camp. It does my heart good to hear my son joyfully singing about the ten commandments (This is rock solid, written in stone/ From the hand of God He made His Law known/ Not to keep things from us, but with blessings for us/ 10 of them in all. These are God Almighty's Laws). Then he wanted me to sing all of the commandments while he shouted the numbers.

Then, when he went to bed he wanted a book to look at. Normally I don't let him read at night, but since he took a 2.5 hour nap yesterday I knew it would be awhile before he fell asleep and I really wanted to work out. So, I handed him Dr. Seuss' ABC book. Nathaniel handed it back and said, "No, I want the Bible." Then he looked at his picture Bible until he fell asleep. His favorite story from it is the one where Jesus heals the blind man by putting mud on his eyes. I think it's because of the mud. Nathaniel thinks that everything has music so he's always asking me to sing the song about the mud and Jesus.

Also, Aaron and Nathaniel have been playing nicely together. Aaron is always kissing his big brother and trying to get him and Nathaniel is very tolerant.

Overall, things are tough right now, but I know I am raising Nathaniel and Aaron well.