Friday, December 18, 2009

And all through the house...

Not a creature was stirring, not even our mouse. And by mouse, I mean our chihuahua. Close enough. Our Christmas countdown is almost done! It started at 43 days... don't ask me why, that's just when I decided to do it. And tomorrow I get to cross off number TWO!! Yep, 2 more days and we will be on the beautiful West (aka BEST) coast.

Tomorrow and Sunday are going to be busy days for the Hansen household. We have a birthday party to go to at noon tomorrow or else I would just stay home all day. We are getting the bottom portion of this nasty winter storm that is hitting the Eastern seaboard. It is also the weekend before Christmas which means last minute shoppers abound. Hopefully it won't be too dreadful while we are out and about. Once we get home, the cleaning and preparing and packing begins.

This trip is a big undertaking for us for a few different reasons. 1-- we are taking a 6.5 month old, 2-- we are taking a 5lb dog, 3-- we are going to be gone for 2 weeks, 4-- it's the holidays which means extra stress no matter how much you prepare. All of this means that there is a lot to be done before we leave. I am so, SO thankful that Ryan is in the military and therefore we don't have to pay for baggage AND there is no weight limit. Thank you airlines for supporting our troops! That's one less stress, because any of you with a baby know that there are a kabillion things to pack. And when you have to worry about a limit on the number of bags, or the weight of said bags, it can be a bit stressful.

So... here we are. 2 days left. Lots of stuff to get done. But honestly, I'm just so excited (and thankful that I'm actually flying with Ryan this time) that I'm not feeling too stressed. My biggest worry is the actual flying part of our trip. I hate flying. I've flown a lot, but I still hate it. And on top of that, flying with a baby and a dog is not easy. We're gonna be those people on the plane who everyone hates. Oh well. It is what it is. We'll never see those people again and life goes on. But in the mean time I would really, REALLY appreciate any prayers ya'll want to send our way. Please pray that mine and Jax's colds are completely cleared by Monday. Pray that Jax and Mojo do well on the flights. Pray for clear weather and safe/on time flights for us. Pray that these 2 weeks are all blessings and no stress!

Thanks for being my prayer warriors. I love ya'll! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cereal for $0.05!!

Since we are leaving in a week, I'm not doing much shopping... BUT I knew I could get some great savings at CVS and Walgreens this week. I might make a quicky trip to Harris Teeter when their ad comes out on Wednesday, but only if there are some truly great savings.

My only goal at Walgreens this week was to get Coffee-Mate coffee creamer. It's on sale 2/$3, plus I had a MQ (manufacturer's coupon) for $1.50 off 2. So I paid $1.50 for 2 or $0.75 each!!

CVS rocked my socks off this week. Ya'll, I got cereal for $0.05 and saved 73% overall!! Here's how it went...
Transaction #1-- 2 Christmas gift tissue @ $1.99 each
Used $4 ECB from last week to pay for it and got $3.98 ECB back
**OOP (out of pocket)- $0.32 (tax)
Transaction #2-- 2 Christmas gift tags @ $1.99 each
Used $3.98 ECB from T#1 and got $3.98 ECB back
**OOP- $0.32
Transaction #3-- 2 Dove body wash @ 2/$14
Used $3.98 ECB from T#2, used $2 ECB from last week and got $4 ECB back
**OOP- $9.14
Transaction #4-- 1 Lucky Charms, 1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch @ $2.50 each
Used $4 ECB from T#3, used $1 MQ (manufacturer's coupon)
**OOP- $0.10
I got $36.58 worth of stuff for $9.88! And I achieved my goal of wanting to spend less than $10 OOP this week. The cashier was saying "Man, I'm giving you my grocery list and having you shop for me". It was so fun to pull out a dime to pay for 2 boxes of cereal!!

Things will be a bit quiet with couponing over the next few weeks while we're gone. But one the new year (and new budget) starts, things will be in full swing again. Happy shopping everyone!!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Christmas Music!

Go HERE for a new *free* Christmas song each day until Christmas. Thanks Amazon!

Go HERE for a *free* Christmas album. Thanks iTunes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello, cuteness!


Santa's Little Helper!

Coupon Totals 12/5

We are finally getting to the point where we are spending less money on groceries because we are stocking up when things are on sale. We normally average $150-$200 every 2 weeks on groceries and baby/household stuff. This week we spent less than $100 on all that stuff! I went to CVS, Harris Teeter, the farmer's market and the Commissary.

CVS was my best savings this week. I spent more than I had planned because I'm still getting the hang of everything and I messed up one transaction. But overall, I got $50 worth of stuff for $20! And I have $6 ECB to spend next time. I won't be able to go this coming week because all our extra money has gone towards Christmas. But my goal next week is to spend less than $10 OOP (out of pocket) and get lots of good stuff. My $6 ECB (which is pretty much just free money!) should give me a good head start. It's crazy how much of a "high" you can get from couponing. At times I feel a bit silly, but then I realize that this is my way of providing for my family and I should be proud of that. Plus, it makes Ryan so happy to see that I spent $1 on $20 worth of stuff! --That was one of my transactions at CVS this week!

Harris Teeter wasn't bad this week either. I got 6 boxes of cereal, each for about $1.50 instead of $3 or more. It's definitely possible to get cereal for cheaper, but that's how it worked out this week. I also got toilet paper for $7.99 instead of $11.99. I'm not exactly sure what my savings were because I threw away the receipt and forgot to record it. But I do remember seeing approx. $90 on the screen before discounts/coupons and I ended up paying $47. So I'm thinking it was right around 50%. It would have been even better had I not bought some crazy expensive yogurt for Jax. But I wanted to try it and I couldn't find anything cheaper there. Thank goodness I ended up also finding it at the Commissary for much cheaper!

I really wish I could tell ya'll how much I save at the Commissary, but they don't print their regular prices on the receipt. It only prints out the sale prices, so I can't tell exactly how much my savings are each time. But I can tell you that I normally spend at least $125 there every two weeks, and it's usually more than that. Yesterday I spent $34!!! So that's pretty exciting. They really have great prices, plus we don't pay sales tax. It's usually my final shopping place once I've visited my other stores. I look up what's on sale and fill in things that I wasn't able to get anywhere else. I usually don't use very many coupons there because we get stuff pretty cheap without them. Even though it's more work to go to multiple stores and figure out sales, it's SO worth it. It's still a bit tight because of the holidays, but once they are over, we will have a good amount of extra money left over after each paycheck. Woo hoo for coupons and smart shopping!


Friday, November 27, 2009

24 days!

We will be leaving this beautiful southern state and heading to the best (aka West) coast! North Carolina is really gorgeous this time of year. There are leaves EVERYWHERE... on the trees, floating through the air, on the ground... EVERYWHERE. They are such vibrant colors, it's just gorgeous. However, I really can't wait to get my little family back home to be with everyone for Christmas.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We spent the day with our "Army issued" family. The Levy's and their 2 kids and the Lee's and their precious girl Hallah. We all contributed to the cooking and everything turned out super yummy. I tried a few new recipes and they are definitely keepers. But now, it's officially Christmastime. I'm working on a few Christmas'y crafts, plus one thing for Jax. I can't spill the beans about one of the crafts because they will be Christmas presents for some of our family. But I did make a wreath for our front door that turned out pretty cute. I also made a taggie blanket for Jax. It's a small, soft blanket with little ribbon "tags" around the outside. It's supposed to be stimulating for him because the ribbons are different textures and different colors. I hope it becomes one of his favorite lovies!

Here's some pictures of these fun projects...

The wreath

Jax's taggie blanket


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jax's First Christmas

On normal years, I love Christmastime. Things are different this time of year. Good different. The air is crisp, the leaves are bright shades of orange, red and yellow, everything smells like spice and there's an atmosphere of joy and love. This year is not a normal year. This year all those wonderful things are extra special because this year is Jax's first Christmas. I am fully aware that Thanksgiving is still a week away and Christmas is still 5 weeks away. But I just can't help myself. I am so stinkin' excited! I have been begging Ryan to let me decorate already. We finally compromised and decided to decorate this coming weekend. We normally wait until the weekend after Turkey Day. But this year, we will be in California for Christmas, which means that we have less time to enjoy our decorations at home, which means that we need to decorate early to make up for it. I know that is total girl-logic, but I don't care. I wanna take it all in and enjoy every second of it. I've already snuck a few Christmas items in and put them up in the house, including Jax's brand new stocking with his name on it! However, to make the waiting even harder, Ryan pulled down all the boxes today. I'm glad that they are ready and waiting, but they are sitting there tempting me. If Ryan wasn't on leave, I would probably have opened everything and decorated already. But instead, I sit and wait. Hurry up, Saturday!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A little bit of life

I've been in a bit of a blogging rut. Not much to talk about... so here's just some recent happenings.

Jax is 5 months and 1 week old today. He still doesn't roll much. He can only do it if I help him move his arms out of the way. But, he LOVES sitting up on his own. A few days ago, he sat up for about 30 minutes without any help and without falling over. He likes to sit and look around. Sometimes he will play with a toy while he's sitting. He also thinks Mojo is just the funniest thing. She will walk by him and he will start laughing. It's hysterical to see him laughing at her. We've gotten some great video of it!

Ryan has had a lot of extra duty work this week. As a sergeant, he has to supervise the guys who have gotten in trouble and have to work extra hours each day. Ryan has had to stay late 2 days in the past week and he also had to be there all day Sunday. BUT, he has tomorrow off for Veteran's Day and then starting Saturday, he has 2 weeks off for Thanksgiving. It's not normal for them to get so much time off for Thanksgiving, but he's taking some extra days. So I'm very really looking forward to that because I feel like I haven't seen him much recently!

I have big plans this week for couponing. There are some new Glade printable coupons on the website rightathome.com. Target has a deal on Glade scented oil candles... when you buy (wyb) 5 products, you get $5 back. SC Johnson (the company who makes Glade) also has a $5 rebate wyb 3 participating products. So basically I'm going to buy 2 scented oil tins and 3 refill packs, plus use coupons, plus get the giftcard and rebate money. It ends up that I make $3.50! So I'm excited about that. Plus I have a few plans for Walgreens, and CVS. Plus I have a 30% coupon for Old Navy. So this should be a good week! I'll let you know how it goes.

Hope all ya'll are having great weeks as well!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Harris Teeter Triples

This week, Harris Teeter is tripling all coupons that are $0.99 or less. Ryan and I took a trip there this afternoon. I had a list of things I wanted to get that would either be free or less than $1. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff was sold out (we didn't get there until about 5pm)... so we ended up only getting some of the things we had intended to get. Overall though, it was a good trip!
$30.74 worth of stuff for only $13.35... that's almost 60% savings!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Couponing

I've decided to start couponing. I used to think that those ladies who walked around the store with those huge coupon binders were a bit ridiculous. I now think that they are GENIUS. I'm not sure what triggered my desire to start using coupons. Most likely it was the fact that having more money is a good thing. And all I have to do get more money is cut up some paper. I mean, HELLO, how easy is that?! But I don't just want to randomly use a few coupons to take a few dollars off. I really want to learn how to buy things on sale, plus use coupons, plus get rewards back. I've been pouring over websites and blogs to learn how to "coupon". In order to save the most money, I will have to go to a few different stores instead of just one. But if I can save money by doing this, then I say it's totally worth it. CVS has a reward system that allows you to get ExtraCareBucks back on certain sale items. Then you can turn around and use these ECB towards your next purchase. So basically, it's like free money!

I did my first couponing trip to CVS and Target today. Here are the results...

CVS
- 1 Pantene Pro-V Shampoo
-1 Pantene Pro-V Conditioner
-1 Plackers floss picks
-1 Metamucil capsules
*Total value = $28.06
*Total spent = $13.48--- I saved $14.58! Or 50%!
I did 3 separate transactions so that I could get the ECB back, then turn around and use it on the next transaction. I also used a coupon for each item. And I still have $2 ECB to spend on my next trip.

Target
- 1 UP dishwasher detergent
-4 boxes Kellogg's brand cereals
*Total value = $14.90
*Total spent = $7.36--- I saved $7.54! Or 50%
I bought the Target brand detergent, plus I used a coupon. The Kellogg's cereal is buy 3, get one free this week. I also used one Target coupon and one manufacturers coupon for each box. So instead of paying $3-4 dollars/box, I paid $1.43/box!

I plan on doing more research and stocking up on more coupons in the future. This is so exciting and it's just the beginning!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We have been doing some Halloween activities over the past week. Last Sunday we went to a pumpkin patch/hay ride. The advertisements we had seen talked about a hay ride, pumpkin patch, face painting, pony rides, free pumpkin for kids and bounce house. Needless to say, we thought it sounded fun. Apparently however, they were just very good at advertising. They did have everything that was listed, but it was very small and very low budget. We were pretty disappointed. Oh well.. at least Jax doesn't care yet!

On Monday we went to a better place to pick out our pumpkin to carve. We stopped by the store on the way home and picked up the ingredients for pumpkin pie. We made the pie later that day. We carved our pumpkin a few days after that. On Friday we went to Ryan's work because they were doing trick or treating in the battalion hallway. We spent about an hour there, then came home and had dinner and a marathon of The Office.

Today we spent the day being lazy and just relaxing. In the evening, we met up with the Levy's and the Lee's to go on base and go trick or treating. Even though Jax is so young, it was still fun to do the Halloween thing with a kid!

Here's some fun pictures of all the festivities...

The perfect pumpkin
He loved the way the hay/grass felt
Punkins!
Smiles
Our little family
Peek-a-boo
Daddy and Jax
Taking after their Army daddies!
LOVE IT
mmm.... this is delicious
Jax holding his candy!
Mommy, daddy, Jax and Mojo
Cheese :)
Yummy Tootsie Roll!

Success!

Banana, Avocado, Sweet Potato
This should last me about 1-2 months!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daddy is home and it's time to eat!

I've been giving Jax some bits of food here and there. I gave him oatmeal cereal twice, but didn't give him very much. I just wanted to test it out and see if he was interested. I also have given him some bites of applesauce when I have some myself. He loves that stuff. But today was the first day that we officially started him on solids. We gave him oatmeal cereal and HOLY COW, he LOVED it. He was trying to grab the spoon and he just had his mouth wide open the whole time. He also did such a great job swallowing it and not spitting it back out. I'm sure I could have started him a few weeks ago, but I'm really glad I waited for Ryan to get home. He was so thrilled to finally be able to feed him. Daddy-son bonding time. So. Cute.

Yummers
I'll just feed myself, thanks
Give me the food!
Bonding time!
Stop teasing me, dad
I'm so big now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oops!

I've decided to make my own baby food. It's much cheaper, not to mention fresher and better for Jax. I figured that I don't want to feed him something that I wouldn't eat myself. At 4 months old, babies are allowed to have sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado and applesauce. I decided to start with sweet potatoes and bananas. I wanted to do sweet potatoes first because I don't want Jax to get used to the sweetness of fruit and then not eat veggies. The plan is to make batches of food at a time and then freeze them in individual servings (ice cube trays). I decided to get to work today on the sweet potatoes and bananas.

I'm using the book Super Baby Food as my reference for all of this. There is tons of advice, recipes and tips for homemade baby food. I read up on sweet potatoes and bananas and got to work. The book says to put the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 14 minutes. I only had one sweet potato because I forgot that I had purchased them for Jax, and I ate one last night. Oh well. I took my one sweet potato and stuck it in the microwave for 14 minutes. I went back to the bedrooms to get some laundry started. When I came back out (approximately 14 minutes later), I immediately smelled smoke and ran to the kitchen fully expecting flames. Thank God there was nothing on fire, but my poor sweet potato had been burnt TO A CRISP in the darn microwave. Upon further investigation, I realized that the time given in the book was for 4 sweet potatoes. I only had one. And it was a smallish one. So now I have no more sweet potatoes, no baby food sweet potatoes for Jax and a house that seriously smells nasty. I've had the windows open all day with every single ceiling fan on high. Good thing that it wasn't freezing outside today! There is still a lingering smoke/burnt food smell, but I think it's just about gone. But let me just say, I'm a darn good cook, so please don't let this influence your opinions about my domesticity.

On a positive note, bananas take no cooking. So I stuck them in the food processor with some water and hit 'on'. I let them go for a minute or so and then portioned them into my ice cube trays. I wrapped them tight in plastic wrap and foil and stuck them in the freezer. Tomorrow, I will transfer them to a plastic food storage bag. Then all I have to do is pull out how many I want and stick them in the fridge to defrost overnight. In the mornings, Jax will have homemade 'nanas to eat!!!

PS- Ryan come home the day after tomorrow, YIPEEEEE!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

While daddy is away, the kiddo will play...

Big boy

Staring contest... Jax usually wins

So, I like to kick back in my high chair... I'm cool like that

I love my teething ring!

Hi there

All nakey for the bath

I love it in here!

Phew, I'm so worn out from all the fun... nighty night!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Yipee!

Ryan comes home in 2 weeks from today and I can't hardly wait!!! This past month has definitely gone by pretty fast, so I know these last 2 weeks will fly by. Especially because I have something planned almost every single day until he gets home. Bible study, mommies group, grandma visiting, church etc... so exciting!

Although I'm not a fan of weekends while my husband is away, this weekend has been surprisingly full. I took a nice walk yesterday morning, came home and showered then got to talk to Ryan for a while. In the afternoon I went to price tires because the Pilot tires need replacing. I decided to get them at Sam's Club, which is where we got our Accord tires. I planned on going fairly early this morning to get them replaced. I got there at about 845... and ended waiting almost THREE hours! Yuck! It was 1130 when I left. Good thing I didn't have anything better to do. I came home and Sandy and Brody came over with Subway sammies in hand. We settled on the floor with the kiddos and watched Grey's from the other night while the kids played. I'm currently sitting here watching football, waiting for laundry to finish and for my oven timer to beep. I made brownies and I am making some homemade whip cream to go with them. Don't you wish you were here?! Now, don't think that all this is just for me. Lord knows I don't need that mess on my thighs... The Levy's are coming over for pizza and beer as a trade for having Doug mow my lawn, which was supposed to happen today but God decided that Fayetteville needed rain. So, needless to say that the mowing of the lawn will happen a different day. As long as it happens before Ryan gets home, then I don't really care what day it is!

Tomorrow is church, which means getting up nice and early to work in the nursery at 8am. Then Jax and I will be going to the 10am service. I originally put him in the nursery during the 10am service but it's the most crowded service, which means it's the most crowded time for the nursery. There are waaaay to many children (who are usually all crying) and far too few adults. I don't want him to cry everytime he is in there. So for now, he hangs out with me during worship and then takes a nap in my arms during the sermon. He's such a great baby, it's really easy to just keep him with me. At some point this will have to change, but for now it works.
The smell of brownies is wafting this way, so I'm off to see if I can take a bite yet! YUM!

Monday, October 5, 2009

One third of a year

Jax turned 4-months-old on Saturday and he had his 4-month doctor's appointment this morning. Here are the stats:
  • 15.4 pounds- 50th percentile
  • 24.4 inches-25th percentile
He is in lower percentiles, for both height and weight, than he was at his 2-month appointment. The doctor wasn't worried about it though. The most important thing is that he is growing. She also said I could start him on solids... which I figured she would say. I have tried baby oatmeal a few times and he seemed to do okay with it. I'm just not sure that I'm ready to give up the sweet-smelling breastmilk poop for STANKY solid food poop. I might just start nice and slow...

A few more fun four-month facts (say that 10 times fast!):
  • He is getting really good at sitting on the floor on his own. He can hold himself up for about 10-15 seconds
  • He wakes up talking to things in his crib
  • He is very smiley, but isn't really into the whole laughing thing
  • He likes playing on the floor with mommy
  • He is getting good at sleeping through the night (930-630) instead of waking up once to eat
  • He hates tummy time
  • He takes 4 or 5 short naps through the day, but refuses to take them in his crib
  • He likes to sit in his high chair and watch mommy make dinner
  • He loves to mouth anything he can get his hands on
  • He loves to stare at anything he can get his eyes on
  • He is starting to teeth and drools a ton
  • He doesn't like to be left out of whatever is going on around him
  • He still loves to snuggle on my chest and has done so since the day he was born
Happy 4-month birthday, baby! We love you so much!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More phone pictures!

mmmm... this horsie's head looks so yummy

Hello! I'm a big boy

I'm a good sitter-upper!

I help mommy with the laundry

And I sit with the other kids at church!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I need to apologize

I may not be a real "glass half-full" kinda girl, but I'm definitely not a "glass half-empty" kinda girl either. I'd like to think that I'm right in the middle... a "glass that has some amount of water in it" sort of thing. And because of this, I need to apologize for being such a Debbie Downer recently. Yes, there are things in my life right now that are tough, frustrating, sad and not fun, but that is no reason to just sit and complain a lot. Everyone has tough times, everyone goes through struggles in life... especially those of us with kiddos! So please accept this sincere apology and appreciation for listening to me complain.

I feel ashamed to think that Jax may someday read my last post and feel as though he isn't good enough or I don't love him as who he is. He is my perfect baby boy. I need to stop focusing on the stupid little things and focus on the fact that, well, I can't even put into words how much I love and adore him. He will roll, he will crawl, he will walk... it's inevitable. And if, for whatever reason, God chooses for him to be immobile, then I will still love him just as much. He is 4 months old today and these last four months have been the best times of my life! I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

So, again I'm sorry. Please watch this video as a little reminder that it's not fun to be a Debbie Downer... ok, well maybe it's a little funny...



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trying really hard

I know all babies are different, but it really doesn't make me feel better. I try to avoid comparisons, but it's pretty hard not to.
My friends' babies, who are all younger than Jax by anywhere from a week to a month+, are doing things that he isn't doing. He STILL hardly ever laughs. He sort of giggles sometimes. But he'll do it once or twice, then stop, even if I'm still doing the same thing... Example: tickling, playing airplane, making faces, etc. He also hasn't started rolling. And he still hates tummy time which you would think would help because he just wants to be on his back but noooo. Every time I put him on his tummy, he starts fussing within about 60 seconds. He tries to roll, but he can't shift his weight enough or get his arm out of the way. He just flexes his back muscles, his legs lift in the air, he starts rocking back and forth a bit and he gets super mad. I keep trying to help him back and forth but it doesn't seem to be doing much. Again, I know all babies are different. Blah blah blah. It still really bothers me that he seems so slow.
He's super good at using his upper body strength to hold his head up and he can even sit up if I position him right. He falls once he tries to move, but I guess it's good that he can hold himself up in the first place.
I'm trying really hard to stay positive, it's just hard. Either way, I love him to PIECESSS!!! And I guess that's the most important thing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

If you like Pina Coladas

then you're like me! So, you might think that's a bit random. And it is. But, for whatever reason, it popped in my head as I started this post so I thought I would share.

Today was Bible study day. Two of my girlfriends and I are going through Beth Moore's 'Believing God'. So far, I'm loving it for a few different reasons. 1- Beth Moore rocks. 2- I get to fellowship with two of my best girlfriends. 3- I'm loving spending time in the mornings on the couch with my coffee, my Bible and my Jesus (not necessarily in that order). 4- I can tell that we are going to get a lot out of it and that makes me happy!

I am heading to a huge consignment sale tomorrow evening and hoping to pick up a jumper for Jaxers. Which sounds like some kind of charity event, but really I'm just getting a toy for my kiddo. Or at least, I'm hoping to get a toy for my kiddo. I am really praying that I will find something good and cheap that will be able to entertain him. I'm having such a hard time doing anything because he likes me to entertain him. As his mother, I'm ok with that... to a certain extent. It comes to a point where I end up not doing anything all day because I can't leave his side (or I guess it's more like, he can't leave my side). So I would really like to find something that will keep him a bit more entertained without me. Mama needs to get some stuff done!

2.5 weeks since Ryan left and he comes home in 3.5 weeks. I'm almost halfway there! Plus, my grandma comes to visit the week before Ryan comes home, so I really only have to countdown to that. I'm excited for her to come visit us. I know these next two weeks will go by quickly, then grandma will be here, then Ryan will be home!!!


Friday, September 25, 2009

The week(s) in review

I figured out how to get my phone pictures onto my computer. They aren't as great as camera pictures, obviously, but they're cute nonetheless. Here you go...

Coffee with daddy before he left

I'm so good at reaching for my toys!

This hoodie won't fit much longer, so mommy needed to take some pictures

All ready for mommies group!!

I love the jumperoo!

My daddy rocks!

Brody and Jax holding hands... friends forever!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Randomness

-I'm watching Survivor for the first time in years.

-I've started watching Biggest Loser. It's motivating me to lose weight. It's also making me bawl my eyes out every Tuesday night.

-Ryan comes home in one month from today!

-Jax started reaching for his toys. Goooo hand-eye coordination!

-I've lost 3 pounds since Ryan's been gone. My goal is 10. (Overall goal is 30).

-I'm hungry.

-Mojo is acting like a guard dog while Ryan's gone. A 5 pound guard dog.

-Tomorrow is Friday, but that doesn't mean much while Ryan's gone.

-My grandma comes for a visit in 3 weeks!

-Mommies Group rocked today. It's been 6 weeks since I've seen everyone.

-I'm really, really missing California right now.

-I'm going to stay up late to watch Grey's Anatomy and Project Runway. YAY Thursdays!

Monday, September 21, 2009

One week down

5 weeks to go... actually 4 weeks and 5 days. I would have to say that even though there were a lot a boring/lonely times, the past week went by fairly quickly. I'm still working on finding things to do. I've started a craft project, but haven't gotten very far. I need to get better at managing my time. There are times when I'll feed Jax and he'll fall asleep after. Instead of putting him down, I'll just sit and relax with him laying on me. Then when he wakes up, I have to interact with him and take care of him. And I don't mean for that to sound like a bad thing. I love being his mommy! But I'm just not great at working around his schedule. I need to take advantage of the times when he sleeps. I did, however, put him in the jumperoo at church on Sunday and he loved it! He's barely tall enough for his feet to touch, but they do enough for him to move around. He's not quite big enough for the seat so I had to put a blanket behind him to prop him forward. But whatever... he'll grow into it! I'm totally going to keep my eye out for a used one because that would make my life so much easier! I would have something to put him in that will entertain him. Yes! But I don't have $100 for a new one, so hopefully used one will pop up.

I wish I could post some pictures, but Ryan took the camera to France and I've been using my phone to take pictures. I have no clue how to connect my phone and download pictures to my computer. I will have to do a catch-up pictures post when Ryan gets back. (In just over one month... oh goodness that sounds so much longer than saying "4 1/2 weeks"!)

PS- Ryan's birthday is Wednesday, so email him a HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What to do, What to do

For reals ya'll... what do you do all day? I have been getting rather bored with Ryan being gone and I'm just wondering what you guys do? I have been trying to go for a walk every morning. After that, I get Jax settled and I take a shower/get ready for the day. Sometimes I feel so lazy that "getting ready" means a wet ponytail and sweatpants... no judgement, please. But I usually try to make an effort to do my hair and makeup, even if I don't have big plans for the day. Once I'm done with that, I feed Jax and get him changed and ready for the day. After all of this, it's only about 1030am. Soooo.... I still have the whole day ahead of me!

I really hate sitting and watching TV for a long time. For one, I feel all kinds of fat and lazy when I do that. For two, I feel like a horrible mom who isn't stimulating her son. However, I also hate having a completely silent house. I've been trying to spend time on the floor with Jax but he really hates tummy time, which is such a bummer! I lay him on his back on his playmat and that usually lasts a little while. But eventually he gets fussy and doesn't want to be there anymore. So then what? Then what do I do? I'm starting to feel like a horrible mother because I'll end up putting him on my lap, facing me, with the TV on in the background.

Mommies... I really need some ideas or at least some reassurance that I'm not being a horrible mother. Or maybe I am? I try to find somewhere to go every day, but even running errands doesn't take very long. Especially when this mama doesn't have much extra money to spend! Right now the days are dragging on and it's really feeling like these 6 weeks are going to take FOREVER!

Help me!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Je parle français!

I finally just heard from Ryan (through a brief and terribly misspelt email), and they arrived in France safe and sound. It's 12:30 my time and they should have arrived about 5 hours ago, but he didn't get a chance to contact me until now. I will hopefully be getting a call from him sooner than later. But for now, I wait.

It feels like a mini-deployment... aka, prep for the real thing next year. I have forgotten what it feels like to not be able to contact him. I just have to wait for him to call/email/Skype me. It brings back all the memories of his 15 months in Iraq. Except this time, I'm not around family and I have a kid to take care of. How different life has become! Better in many ways... maybe worse in a few.

I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth last night went. No doubt it was because of everyone's prayers. They are appreciated more than you know. I originally had a light in the living room on, so that my house wasn't too dark. I also keep my bathroom light on with the door cracked. It almost didn't feel like nighttime, which was great until I couldn't sleep because of it. I actually ended up getting up and turning the living room light off! I was so brave! Jax woke up at about 130 instead of 4, so that part wasn't so great. But besides that, everything went well. I slept well. I wasn't too worried about being alone. And I woke up this morning thinking "I can do this. 6 weeks will fly by!".

So here we are... 1 day down, 39 to go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Praises and Prayers- Part 2

Praises
-My follow-up (biopsy) for my abnormal pap went really well.
*First of all, it hurt much less than it has in the past.
*Second of all, the doctor said that it looks completely normal and he's expecting it to come back clear! He thinks that it was abnormal because my immune system was all out of whack from having Jax. So if it comes back clear, then I don't have to go back in for 6 months! YIPEEE!! So let's all just keep praying that the doctor is right and it will come back clear.
-One of my previous posts was about a little boy name Tyson who needs your prayers. He needs to be 22 pounds to have his kidney transplant surgery and he is at 20 pounds now, so only two more to go!

Prayers
-Although there are praises in regards to Tyson's situation... other things have come up and there are further prayers needed as well. Here is an email from Tyson's mommy...


We went in for some tests a week ago and it appears Tyson has some other major issues we need to deal with. As you know Tyson has a hole in his belly that bypasses the blockage in his urethra. This has made it so his bladder and urethra have not been used like normal, the size and muscle tone of both are significantly low.

The urologist is very concerned that if we don't get the bladder and urethra working properly that he may reject a new kidney because the bladder/urethra will not be able to process the urine and cause a backup...again.

So...the course of action is this...we go in for a day surgery on October 2nd to remove the blockage in the urethra and put in a catheter. Every two weeks we will put in a slightly larger catheter to get the urethra to grow. The hole he currently pees through will remain until the urethra is usable. The urologist will get on his transplant team so we can have the timing right for working on the bladder as well.

Please keep Tyson in your prayers...God has total control of this entire situation!
We love you all!
Love,
Pete, Annie & Tyson

-So please continue to pray for this adorable little boy. Also pray for his mommy and daddy who have baby #2 on the way!


One final thing... I read this poem on another blog and it really hit home. Although the tough times in life are just that, tough, they are so necessary because that's when God truly works in us. It's a scary, scary thing to admit that tough situations are necessary, but I hope to always trust God and find joy in all that he presents me with. Good, bad or ugly.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
[Sir Francis Drake]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Praises and Prayers

Praises
  • i have a man who is a great husband and daddy... and provides for our family.
  • we have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy
  • we have a house that we own (as in, we don't rent. not like own own).
  • we have 2 cars that both work. -plus a Harley. but I don't know if I consider that a praise.
  • i have friends who are like family away from family.
  • we have an awesome church that feeds our souls.
  • ryan has been home for 2 whole years. -that's SO not normal for the Army.
Prayers
  • that these next 6 weeks (starting sunday) will fly by.
  • that I will become better at being alone... especially at night.
  • that Ryan will have a safe/fun trip to France.
  • that my cavity will not get worse before we have the money to fix it.
  • that even though my pap came back abnormal (for the umpteenth time), I will not need treatment and it would heal on its own. (**This may seem like TMI, but I could really use the prayers for this one!)

Thanks. I love you all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ponderings

My mind is wandering all over the place... all kinds of thoughts over the past few days.

I'm super happy for friends of mine who have had babies in the past few months. However, there is always this twinge of jealousy for those who had, shall we say, non c-section births. I am truly, truly thankful that Jax and I are both happy and healthy now. But there are times when I just get bummed about how everything turned out. It's not that I feel like I didn't do my job as a woman. I pushed for FOUR hours. I did my job. Jax just had other plans. He wasn't ready to come out and I wish I had been more aware of that, sucked it up and just waited to get induced. I bet if I had given it another week, he would have come out on his own. Now, I just really want to know what it's like to actually birth a baby. I pray all the time that I will be able to have a VBAC and experience a "normal" birth one day. Oh well... like I said, I'm so blessed to have a happy, healthy baby and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.

On another note, Ryan leaves next Sunday for France. He will be gone for 6 weeks, which isn't too long. But I'm still not looking forward to it. I'm not worried about taking care of Jax by myself. I know I can handle that. It's more the being alone stuff that I'm not looking forward to. Plus the boy things that he normally does that I will now have to do. Trash, lawns, etc... I'm also bummed about him missing 6 weeks of Jax growing. Jax changes so much, so quickly that he's going to seem like a different kid when Ryan gets home. He will be almost 5 months old!

I've also been missing California like crazy. Going home a few weeks ago was AWESOME! I had such a great time seeing family and a few friends. But it also made me miss it so much more. Before we had Jax, it wasn't such a big deal to be so far away from everyone. Now, it's a totally different story. It makes me sad that Jax doesn't regularly get to see his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It also makes me miss my girlfriends more because a lot of them are having babies and I really want to have playdates and hang out with them. I have friends here with babies, but it's a bit different because I grew up with the girls back home.

So basically I've just been overall bummed out for the past few days. I'll get over it and be strong and move on... because that's what mommies do. They are strong for their babies. And I intend to be nothing less than heroic for mine!