Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

One of those days where you just want to lock yourself in a soundproof room and scream.

Yesterday was one of those days.

A day where every little thing seemed to affect someone in our family.

Aaron was super whiny and I just don't know why. It could be his runny nose, it could be teeth (he was gnawing on everything yesterday), or it just could be growing pains. Who knows, but he was clingy and fussy most of the day.

Because Aaron needed extra attention, Nathaniel decided that he needed attention too. At the same time, in the same way. When Aaron was in my lap whining and tugging at my hair, Nathaniel climbed into my lap and started whining and tugging at my hair.

At one point I was nursing Aaron and Nathaniel tried climbing in my lap and said, "I want to nurse!" Yeah...not happening buddy.

Right before we were heading out the door for orchestra rehearsal last night I was changing Aaron's diaper and Nathaniel was hitting me with his toy broom. I tried taking the broom away and there was a slight struggle and when Nathaniel let go the broom came whistling down and whopped Aaron. Of course, he started screaming, I felt terrible (he was fine, there wasn't even a mark, I think he was more shocked than anything) and Nathaniel started hitting me because I took his toy away.

Ugh!

So, Aaron got comforted and Nathaniel got taken into time out for his behavior.

While in time-out Nathaniel started yelling, "I thought you were my friend! I thought you were my friend!"

I was sitting in the living room cracking up quietly when I heard, "I thought you were my friend, but you're just a mean girl!"

Yup, I'm doing my job right. At least he understands that I'm not his friend!

*sigh* It's time for the reinforcements to come home.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

More milestones for the boys.

I have some exciting news coming up, but I'm waiting a few more weeks until I write about it here on the blog. So, until I can spill the beans on that pot of coffee, I'm going to simply bore you all with more "aren't my children adorable!?" posts.

Oh, and my exciting news is NOT "I'm pregnant". I am not pregnant at all. There is no bun in the oven. Just keeping the rumors from flying. :)

Nathaniel and Aaron have become the Disneyland junkies that I have always hoped they would be. I bought Nathaniel a new pair of shoes the other week and found that when he wears them to Disneyland he is *almost* tall enough to ride the big rides (Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain).

Since he was so close to being tall enough to ride we went into the bathroom and I made him grow a quarter of an inch by shoving folded up paper towels into the bottom of his sneakers. It worked like a charm and I was able to lure Nathaniel onto the "Choo Choo Train" ride (aka Big Thunder Mountain).

I was nervous as we flew around the first bend. I had my arm around Nathaniel and just kept hoping that I wasn't scarring him for life by putting him on the fast ride. But, true to how he has reacted to every other ride, once we pulled back into the station Nathaniel looked up at me and said, "That was fun! Let's do it AGAIN!"

He was even better on Splash Mountain. He loves the giant drop at the end and all day today he's been singing "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah". He says it's his favorite ride now. I'm so happy, because it's my favorite ride too.

Aaron has also come into his own at Disneyland. Last night we were on Pirate's of the Caribbean and Aaron was sitting on my lap. Both of his hands were gripping the bar in front of us and as soon as we made it down the drops and started hearing, "Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for me..." Aaron started bopping along, dancing in his seat until the very end of the ride. His eyes were HUGE as he looked around at everything there was to see.

I'm so happy to have created little Disneyland monsters (the good kind of monsters, not the spoiled brat kind). It's awesome.

And it's almost November!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just one more reason I would like to run Elmo over with my mini-van.

I know that most people out there adore Elmo. I mean, what's cuter than a little furry red monster who talks about himself in the third person in an insanely annoying voice?

Yes, I admit, I like that Elmo will hold Aaron's attention long enough for me to get a shower before he melts down from being in the bouncer.

I also admit that his Potty Time movie helped Nathaniel learn that everyone goes potty in the toilet and that sometimes, accidents happen.

But, lately Nathaniel has been on an Elmo kick with watching the deployment video.

See, Military One Source has made this video available to all military families. It is called Homecomings and Deployments and is all about Elmo and how his daddy has to leave for business (never saying exactly what the business is). Interspersed through the video are clips of real families and what they do to help the kids during deployment times. Nathaniel loves it because it means that Elmo's daddy is gone too and it helps him see that lots of people go through this.

I. Hate. This. Video.

For one, in the homecoming part Elmo's dad is home for about two months and then he gets shipped off again. What the heck is up with that? Now I have to explain to Nathaniel that that won't happen to Sam. And, there are all of these interviews with parents about how hard it was on their kids to have the parent come back only to turn around and leave again.

I also hate this video because EVERY TIME I see it I cry. I can't help it! I see the photos of the dad's with their kids and you can tell that they are saying good-bye because the dads look sad and the kids are bawling their eyes out.

And the whole video, how Elmo's daddy is gone, well, it's just a montage of clips that last about five minutes and in all of them Elmo is having a good old time. It doesn't show Elmo throwing a fit while his mom is trying to get dinner on the table. It doesn't show Elmo's mom getting stares from all of the other preschool parents at back to school night because she doesn't have daddy with her. It's just so unrealistic.

Sure, I understand that it's a movie for kids. But, I figure if they are ballsy enough to make a video about a Muppet's dad coming home with an injury (oh yes, that is included in the videos, I just haven't watched it and we aren't supposed to watch it unless the soldier is returning with someone wrong), you would think that they would make a more realistic video so the kids understand that it isn't all sunshine and roses.

That's all. So, if you see Elmo, send him my way. I have a nice shiny bumper that's waiting for him.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One of the many reasons Sam wishes he were here.

I got the boys their Halloween costumes last weekend. I figured that I would go ahead of time and get them while I still had a choice, rather then wait until the last minute and piece together the remnants left in the store.

I should tell everyone first of all that Sam wasn't around when I bought Nathaniel's first Halloween costume because he was in Iraq. So, while Sam wanted him to be a ninja warrior, he was a cute little tiger (and since he was only 3 months old, he looked like a little stuffed animal!).

This time around, it's Aaron's first Halloween. Nathaniel is big enough to pick his own costume, but Aaron has no say in the matter.

And (once again) Sam is thousands of miles away and has no effect on my choices for the boys (although I can practically hear him shouting at me what the boys should be).

Nathaniel decided that he wanted to be Iron Man for Halloween (good choice buddy, especially since that costume was only 12.99, compared to the 30.00 Optimus Prime costume). Then we went to the baby section and Nathaniel picked out what Aaron was going to be.

I'll post pictures after we go trick or treating, but needless to say Aaron is going to be dressed up as a Saint Bernard puppy in the softest costume I have ever touched!

I figure this will teach Sam not to be gone during Halloween anymore.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A letter to my second born.

My dearest Aaron,
You are my second child. A second son and such a delight. You have always done everything bigger than your brother (I can't in good conscience say that you have done things better, but you are definitely one who has "gone large" in everything you do).

At birth you were nearly one pound heavier, one inch longer and one cm bigger around.

You were crawling a good month and a half before your brother was and cut your first tooth at five months old and now have 8 teeth! Your favorite position is standing and you think it's a hoot to get into things I don't want you to. When I tell you "no" you look at me, give me that award-winning Aaron grin and then continue to go towards the forbidden object.

I have to apologize though. As I sat with Nathaniel tonight and looked through his photo album I realized that I still hadn't done much with your photo album. So, after you guys were in bed I got out the pictures and started assembling your photo album.

Please forgive me, Aaron. I can't seem to find that many pictures of you. Where there were pictures of Nathaniel just sitting there doing nothing, I can barely find any of just you. We have the first bath photos, but where are the subsequent pictures? I don't even really have pictures of your first week of life!

I can only hope that I can rectify this. I really hope that I can make up for this.

Probably not.

I guess I can always just make up for it by talking about how you crawled before Nathaniel did.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Channeling my inner Martha Stewart

I've been tired of the "same old, same old" for meals lately, and so I have been whipping out the computer to find some new, creative ways to fix meals for Nathaniel and I (and Aaron, although he usually just gets to gnaw on the veggies that are in the mix).

I stepped out of my comfort zone with some chicken breasts and some soup the other day and made a fabulous chicken and broccoli cheese thing over brown rice. Unfortunately, it lasted for four days and I ended up throwing away about half of a chicken breast. Cooking for one and a half is really a drag!

Yesterday I made myself nervous when I actually purchased a butternut squash with the intent of cooking with it. Seriously, I usually only buy squash in the frozen form and only at Thanksgiving. So, I couldn't believe it when I was hacking away at this squash last night! But, after baking it in the oven with salt and olive oil, then adding it to pasta and cheese (homemade macaroni and cheese), I was super impressed with my culinary skills!

So, this morning I busted out the mixing bowls and made muffins and pumpkin bars. Sure, the muffins were just add water, but the pumpkin bars meant mixing and measuring and everything else that baking things from scratch entails (except for opening up the can of pumpkin...that wasn't homemade).

The bars smell amazing. I will make the cream cheese frosting this afternoon while Aaron naps and we should be good to go.

I just hope that Sam doesn't expect me to keep this up once he's home. I am more than happy to hand the apron back over to him.

p.s. If anyone wants any of the above recipes, just let me know.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In the mind of a three year old.

Poor Nathaniel is having a hard time transitioning.

Preschool has been great, Cubbies is awesome and everything else is going just peachy. But, he's having a hard time talking about Daddy coming home.

Every time I ask him if he is excited about Daddy coming home he says, "No!"

I couldn't figure out if this was just a regular "no" phase, or if he really wasn't looking forward to Sam coming home. After all, all Nathaniel has really known is Daddy being gone. I honestly don't know if he remembers Sam living at home ever (considering he was barely two when Sam started leaving for training for this deployment).

Recently, when I asked him if he was looking forward to Daddy coming home, he started crying and said, "I don't want you to leave, Mommy!"

I realized that Nathaniel thought that when Sam came home from Kosovo that I had to go to Kosovo to replace Sam. So, I gave him big hugs and told him that when Daddy comes home that I am not going anywhere. That he will have both mommy and daddy home together.

So, this morning Nathaniel said, "Mommy, I don't like you. I think you're gross. I don't like Aaron either, I think he's gross."

I said, "Well, who do you want to live with then, if we are so gross?"

"Daddy."

I told him that Daddy is in Germany now and he would have to join the Army if he wants to live with Daddy. He agreed that that was a good idea.

Good grief!

I blame Veggie Tales. He's been singing the "I love my Lips" song a lot so I think he has the line, "If my lips said adios! I don't like you I think you're gross! That'd be too bad." Going through his head.

Sheesh!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A good old fashioned update.

As soon as I can replace my camera batteries, I plan on uploading some pictures and videos of the kiddos. Until then, you will just have to take me at my word that the kids are doing well.

Aaron is growing and developing new skills every day. He has been pulling himself up to the standing position for quite awhile now, and his new favorite thing to do is move between two pieces of furniture. He's not quite cruising, but he does alternate pretty well. He also managed to climb up an entire flight of stairs (with me close behind spotting him) on his first try. Crazy! Not to mention he's clapping now (great fun) and has started signing a bit. He has "more" and "please" down, which is good because it's the two I've been working on with him the most. I have to say that I've been enjoying my early mornings with just him while Nathaniel sleeps and our time together while Nathaniel is at preschool. It's weird going grocery shopping with just one child in tow!

Nathaniel is working on reading. I know that sounds crazy, but he has been watching the Leap Frog "Letter Factory" video quite a bit and has mastered the basic letter sounds. So, we've been looking at small words together and he's getting the idea of sounding out words. It's exciting for him because he feels really good about himself when he sounds out a word correctly. He read, "Beep" and "Toot" the other day and I think he read "book", but I wasn't sure if he actually read it or just saw the picture above the word. He really likes preschool and is thriving in the environment. We've been walking to school and it only takes about 15 minutes for us. Nathaniel walks too, so it's a good way for him to get out a bit of energy before sitting in the classroom.

I've been doing the job search thing. It's interesting looking for a job in youth ministry. For one, the economy sucks right now so most churches are looking for free help rather than being willing to pay for someone to lead their junior high. So, I actually haven't even been able to apply for that many positions. I'm kind of limited because I'm not willing to relocate since Sam has to finish school still. But, I have a very promising lead right now. I'm not going to elaborate until things are certain one way or another though. Hopefully, I'll know soon.

Sam is getting ready to come home. We aren't sure on dates yet, but we know it won't be this month. We are very excited to bring him home for good! We're trying to figure out a family vacation over Christmas time, but it's all up in the air pending my job situation. Sam wants to do San Francisco, I'm leaning towards Florida. We'll see who wins!

That's about it here. Just keeping super busy until we can start a new "normal" of life.