Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh be careful little mouths...

In the last 2-3 weeks, CJ has totally EXPLODED with his words. Now we know what people are talking about when they say language explosion! When my parents were here at the end of December he was just starting to put two words together at a time. Now, he can say three word mini sentences (ie. "more water please", "I got it", "CJ/mama/dada do it"). It has been amazing watching him pick up new words, but also very eye opening for me about what comes out of my mouth. I'm not talking about cuss words or anything like that...but hearing a mini version of myself is enlightening...

Example #1: "Um"
I think he picked this up after I was trying to be cute one day playing a game. Backfire, Mama!!! I was listing animals, and would make a crazy face while thinking of the next one say "Um" ("Monkey" "um" (with accompanying silly face) "Elephant" "um" "Lion" "um" on) Then I noticed he started using "um" whenever he was listing things, just like I did that one day. So, lesson learned, no matter how what I say (and do for that matter)!!

Example #2: "Nope"
When correcting CJ I TRY really hard to tell him "no, sir". I guess I must have started saying "nope" as a less harsh way of correcting him?! (When you're saying "no" 50,000 times a day, you look for different ways to say it??) I honestly didn't even notice I was doing it until I started hearing it back. A real conversation example:
Mama: "CJ eat your waffle"
CJ: "nope".
Mama: "no, thank you, Mama" (shockingly picking my jaw up off the ground).
Gotta nip this one in the bud too!! (SIDE NOTE: being raised in the south by northern parents, we weren't expected to say "no, sir/ma'am" but it is something we still managed to pick up and realize that it was the polite thing to do. Now, being in the military (where ma'am & sir is required) and with us moving all over tarnation (where ma'am & sir are not always necessary depending on where you are), JT and I still need to decide if we are going to enforce sir/ma'am or not. Maybe not require, but strongly encourage? (but require "Yes, please." or "No, thank you" vs. "Yeah" & "Nope")!)

Example #3: "Okay"
This one is within the last week. When CJ wants something he will say "yes" after it.
"Manny Snack, yes?" (his favorite snack)
"Choo Choos, yes?" (to watch his newest favorite TV show, Thomas)
"Ani-mals, yes?" (when he wants us to go to the zoo or safari park-spoiled rotten kid!!!)
Well, I guess I must tell CJ "okay" a lot (aka. always give him what he wants for the most part-within reason) because this week he has started saying "Manny Snack, yes? Okay." "Choo Choos, yes? Okay." He just goes ahead and answers "okay" for me. But WATCH OUT if my answer wasn't going to be "okay" and I tell him "no"....HA HA.

Everyday he seems to pick up new words which is so fun! I love teaching him new things and words, but I just need to be more careful and more intentional with every. word. i. say. A couple of my favorite words to hear him say right now are "Oct-Ta-Puss" & "Puff-Fer-Fiss" (Pufferfish) and my very very favorite thing he says right now is "Luv-Vu Mama."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

24 weeks

How far along: 24 weeks!! (60% complete!)

Size of baby: 12 inches long, 1 lb, 7 oz. About the size of an ear of corn.

Gender: Little girl.

Total weight gain: + 12.5 lbs

Maternity clothes: Yes.

Symptoms: Headaches, backaches, insomnia

Sleep: About 6 hours a night, with about 3-4 trips to the potty.

Food cravings: fruit, eggs, chocolate

Movement: She is SO active! :)

Best moment this week: We got the changing table/dresser for baby's room!! I got it off of Craigslist for about one THIRD of what I was going to pay ordering the same one online. Also this week I worked hard organizing our generous hand-me-downs as well as the "gender neutral" clothing of CJ's, which was so fun!! I feel like I have a plan for her nursery and it is exciting seeing it come together! Pictures to come!

What I miss: Hmmm...this week the only I can think of is sleep.

What I'm looking forward to: Ultrasound on Monday!! I have low PAPP-A level (which basically means we are at an increased risk for issues like pre-eclampsia, a baby with low birth weight and/or preterm birth). So the doctors want to monitor our placenta/umbilical cord and measure baby via ultrasound starting this week and just make sure everything is going well. I'm looking forward to seeing her again!! And also, hopefully to hearing that everything is still on track. I'm not worried, because this miracle baby was a gift from God, and I continue to put her in His hands, but we would also appreciate your prayers for the pregnancy to continue to go well for Baby Girl and me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Guilty Pleasure

Every night since I got my new iPhone (because it has a flash on the camera and my old one didn't!), my favorite thing to do every night right before I go to bed is "check on CJ" and snap a picture of my sweet sleeping boy. I think he is a sweetheart all the time, but something about seeing him asleep so peacefully just melts my heart!!!
And I get so tickled seeing all his different sleeping positions!!
For a while we had a small regression in the success of the toddler bed, and he was having to nap in the pack 'n play. (I think since it was "light" in his room at naptime he was wanting to get up to play). But knowing baby sister was going to need the pnp and with the hopes of potty training sometime, I wanted to try to transition back to full time toddler bed. We've been napping in the "big boy bed" fairly successfully (minimal ins & outs and eventually falling asleep 95% of the time) for the past 3 weeks so that is good! :)
This one was taken on one of his more "playful" naps...notice all the books that he kept getting from his bookshelf and bringing back to his bed. I was just about to throw in the towel on naptime, but when I went to check on him he was conked out!
Isn't he so sweet?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Out and About!

We've been staying very busy! So between that and my chronic headaches, I haven't gotten around to blogging as much as I like! I've been headache free for the past two days (praise!), so here is what we've been up to!

We've been meeting up with friends for playgroups, which has been fun! (But also exhausting for my pregnant self trying to keep up with my fearless and active little man!)
We went to the playground on base one day and got to see Dada. "Pat, pat, pat!"
And we went to see baby Monroe the gorilla at the Safari Park. We hadn't seen him in a couple of months (he was always hiding in the cave with his Mama), and he has gotten SO big!! Cute!!!
Petting zoo!
Saying "hi goat". HA HA.
Another playground. CJ was content for a while digging in the mulch. ALL BOY!
We met a friend at Sea World. Hugging the Otter.
This was the sweetest thing EVER. CJ was insistent upon holding his friend's hand!! He kept reaching for her and saying her name and "hand". Seeing these two walking around Sea World hand in hand...another glimpse of a "big boy". Tear!
This week we had another playdate, and yesterday we had MOPS. When the new year started up, CJ got promoted to the next age group class at Moppets. Knock on wood, but, he hasn't had any bullying/pushing issues in his new class or on the playgrounds lately either! I am so hoping it was a phase we have grown out of! (fingers crossed!!!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

23 weeks

How far along: 23 weeks today!

Size of baby: 11.5 inches long, a little over a pound. About the size of a mango.

Gender: Girl

Total weight gain/loss: + 12 lbs

Maternity clothes: That and I like to borrow some of JT's clothes too! :)

Symptoms: Backaches, chronic headaches, acid reflux, getting tired easily

Sleep: About 7 hours a night, with about 3 trips to the potty.

Food cravings: Chocolate with caramel (Rolos, Twix)

Movement: The "thumps" are getting stronger now! And I can feel little body parts jabbing me and see her moving through my clothes. (Hello "alien baby stage"!)

Best moment this week: Date night with JT! We went out for San Diego restaurant week, and saw the movie "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" on Wednesday!

What I miss: My "innie" belly button...because this week it moved to the "outie" position. ;)

What I'm looking forward to: JT is taking off one day this week for us to go to Toy Story 3 on Ice together. I hope CJ enjoys it...he loves Woody and Buzz and Jessie and the Pig....but his attention span and ability to sit still is not always the greatest. We will see. At any rate it will be fun to have an extra family day this week! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just for me...

It dawned on me the other day that on my list of goals for 2012, there was not one thing on there just for me. So I've decided to amend it slightly to correct that, at least until baby girl arrives and my world gets turned upside down. (and I will still try, as I can, after she is here).

I am going to start implementing a "lunch break" for myself. The second I get CJ down for his nap and his door closes, its like the gun firing for the beginning of a race and I run around the house trying to get as much done as possible. I am going to start forcing myself to sit down for at least 30 minutes. Maybe watch something on TV, read a book, and enjoy my lunch (aka not see how fast I can eat)! If I had a "job" (outside the house) I would get a lunch break, so it's kind of the least I can do for myself!

First day is today, and I can't wait! :) I'm in the middle of the second Hunger Games book, and I have a couple of TV shows DVR'ed that I could watch!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

22 weeks

How far along: 22 weeks today!

Size of baby: approx 11 inches long, almost a pound. About the size of a spaghetti squash.

Gender: Little Girl

Total weight gain/loss: +9 lbs

Maternity clothes: Yes!

Symptoms: Chronic Headaches, tired!! Hormonal: crying, cranky.

Sleep: About 8 hours a night, with about 2 trips to the potty.

Food cravings: Eggs, avocado, freezer ice cream cones

Movement: Quite a bit! CJ was pretty active in my belly too, so JT and I wonder if this means baby girl will be another energetic child?

Best moment this week: CJ's 2nd birthday!

What I miss: CJ being a baby. The two years went by WAY too fast.

What I'm looking forward to: Mom's Night Out on Monday. I've had to miss the last couple, so I'm looking forward to reconnecting with other ladies and hopefully working on growing some new friendships.

Friday, January 13, 2012

In the Navy

Today I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner's "Show Us Your Life" to talk about our life in the military, and hopefully meet a few new friends. Anyone currently stationed in San Diego? :) I talk in bits and pieces about our being in the military on this blog, and hopefully this post will give a little more insight to our story as well as some of the pros and cons (in this Navy Wife's opinion).

JT, joined the Navy in January 2001. (Before September he had no way of knowing we'd be at war.) He was already a dentist, and went to Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) in Newport, RI. Technology wasn't where it is today, so I actually have a collection of calling cards we burned through during his 6 weeks there, as well as lots of snail mail letters. After his graduation, he was stationed in Quantico, VA.
I started college in the fall of 2001, so poor JT did LOTS of traveling down from VA to Clemson to visit me. We were able to keep in touch a lot better with my new cell phone, and via email.
In April 2002, JT got new orders and Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to Whiting Field in Pensacola, FL. The drive was about the same to Clemson (8ish hours). We tried hard to see each other every other weekend as we could. I got a car and was able to make the trip sometimes so that JT wasn't ALWAYS the one driving. After 4 LOOONGGG years of long-distance dating, we were finally married in June 4, 2005.
I was SO happy to finally be together after so much time apart, but would be lying if I didn't say it was a HUGE adjustment! Even though I knew JT was in the Navy, it never really dawned on me when we got married that we would spend a career in the military. (Not sure why looking back? Maybe just caught up in wedding, getting to be together FINALLY, etc.) We lived together in a JT's one bedroom apartment in Pensacola for those couple of months.
We PCS'ed to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in August 2005. Even though Hawaii is GORGEOUS and wonderful, I had a tough time at first. I had gone from being born and raised in the same town and getting to see my family and friends all the time to moving "halfway around the world" with a 6 hour time difference. That's actually one of my biggest regrets in our marriage, that I was so affected by what I didn't have, that I didn't fully appreciate what I DID have during those first couple of years in Hawaii. Our first house was a typical old house on base. Lots of coats of paint on the walls, lots of ants, no air conditioning but it was less than a quarter mile walk to the beach!
When we finally settled into marriage and a life on Oahu, we really enjoyed it. We went hiking and snorkeling all the time and had the opportunity to visit Maui, Hawaii ("the Big Island") and Kauai and even try surfing!
Our first Navy Ball in October 2005.
In October 2006, JT was promoted from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander. I got to pin on his new rank, and have never been prouder of my Naval Man! :)
In September 2007, JT was deployed to Cambodia on a humanitarian mission.
He was only able to email me 3 times during that month which was hard for me, but they kept him busy!
I know it made him feel so good to have the opportunity to help those people.
In June 2008 we PCS'ed again. We got new orders for JT to do a residency in Operative Dentistry in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. We had our car shipped to San Diego and then did a cross country drive up and over to MI. It is our favorite "vacation" to date getting to see so many beautiful places in our great country as a couple!
Our second house together was a cookie cutter, 2 story house in a nice neighborhood. In hindsight, it was too big for us (a family of 2 hoping to have a baby), but I think we were trying to make up for the less than perfect house we had in Hawaii.
We got to experience lots of new things in Michigan that we wouldn't have elsewhere. We were only about 4 hours away from my relatives and Grandma in PA and got to see them more often than I had my whole life. SNOW, SNOW & MORE SNOW. Mackinaw Island, Traverse City, Lake Michigan, trips to Chicago, trips to Detroit, and football games at U of M!! GO Blue! Our communication with our family and friends far away improved with technology like Skype!
And of course the best thing we did in Michigan was have this sweet boy join our family!
The summer of 2011 brought us our most recent PCS with orders to Miramar in San Diego, CA. We decided to do another cross country trip as a family, and traveled Route 66. It was a much different experience with a toddler than just the two of us. We weren't able to stop and do as much, but I still wouldn't trade those memories we had the chance to make together for anything!
Our new house in San Diego. I LOVE it. By far my favorite house ever! It is the perfect size for our family (and still has a guest room!), and has a great yard! We've only lived here in San Diego for about 6 months, but we are enjoying all the things there are to do around here: zoo, safari park, sea world, beaches, etc.
JT and I went to the Navy Ball in October.
We are looking forward to seeing what else this duty station has in store for us! (in addition to this surprise baby!)
A few pros and cons of the military:

  1. The chance to move and see so much of our country (and perhaps the world if we ever get stationed overseas)
  2. Getting to meet so many new people from all walks of life wherever we go, and now having friends all over!
  3. Commissary privileges and saving $ on groceries.
  4. A steady paycheck for our family in a bad economy
  5. As a dentist JT doesn't have to worry about being sued, or paying staff...he just gets to go to work and do his job and come home at night relaxed

  1. Having to move so often
  2. Living far away from friends and family
  3. It's a commitment that we cannot break. JT can't just quit his job.
  4. Lack of control...getting orders to deploy or PCS sometimes without any choice.
  5. The scariest of all is risk of the "ultimate sacrifice."

JT anticipates staying in the Navy until 24 years (as long as promotions, and things go well), so we have about another 14 years of this lifestyle. There are more things for us to consider now with the addition of CJ and his little sister (schools, etc.) At first the idea of us doing this that long was a little daunting, but I now I find it exciting, because I know there are so many "unknown" chapters of our life still to come. More places to live/visit, more things to do, more people to meet. It isn't always easy, but it's always an adventure! Home is wherever we are.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Big "2"

I wanted to share CJ's birthday on Tuesday! It was a great day!

We started the morning with me making cinnamon rolls with icing for breakfast! He loved them! I think here he is saying "Ahhhhh"
He got up a little earlier than usual, so we had a little "down" time before the day's we watched part of his favorite movie: Cars. (his request!) I think from the smile on his face he enjoyed that! :)
We met some friends for playgroup at a playground that we hadn't been to yet. CJ had a BLAST, and kept trying to give me a heart attack by climbing to the highest part of the play structure and sliding down the tallest slide all by himself! (not the slide in the picture, I was too busy trying to make sure he didn't fall to take pictures of that!) I guess he really is a "big boy"! Everyone saw his shirt and asked if it was his birthday which was sweet! I had thought about bringing cupcakes to share, but didn't want to be "that mom" giving everyone's kids sugar! Ha!
We went to Chic-Fil-A for lunch, where CJ got a red balloon and got to play in the play area with one of his friends! After naptime, we did a lot of playing with Cars while we waited for Dada to come home from work!!
We also got to Skype and Facetime a lot of our family on the East Coast which was fun!
More playing with "Cisco" & "Queen".
How many cars can a little boy hold and run around the house?
The three of us went out to Olive Garden for dinner. We just did cupcakes this year since we were having such a small celebration, and we had those when we got home from dinner. He wasn't sure how to blow out the candle, so Dada helped him with that quickly (because he was about to set his sleeve on fire!) CJ was excited about the special paper plates I got for his party!
His "Marcus Gunn" eye. (Blog post to come at a later date). I love everything about him, including those things that God gave him that are "different" from "normal". I always smile when I see his "special" eye because it is something that makes CJ, CJ and I wouldn't have him any other way.
The birthday boy biting into his cupcake.
This was SO funny! Each cupcake had a "Queen" or "Mater" ring on the top. CJ thought it was a spoon!! HA HA! He called it "poon" and used it to dip icing off the top of his cupcake, and then would lick the frosting off of it! He is a riot!
The birthday banner I made for him. Even though it was "just us" I still wanted to do something for him!! And he LOVED it. He kept walking up to the banner saying "mater!" & "queen!" :)
I'll just lick it on the plate!
Happy messy birthday boy!
Wanna give me a hug? No thanks right now, but I think a bath is DEFINITELY in order...
After his bath, he got to open a present from us. (He had already opened three others that came in the mail throughout the day). He was excited to get yet another Cars book!
Then he said "More presents". Little Mr. Spoiled must have thought it was like Christmas where the presents are never ending...and didn't like it when we told him that was it. So he threw a fittingly "terrible two tantrum". It's my party and I'll cry if I want to....
We read him his new Cars book at bedtime and he went to sleep. It was a great day for all of us, albeit a little emotional for me...I look at him as a "big boy"and wonder where did "my baby" go?

This morning when CJ came into our bedroom he asked "more presents?". No, not for a while... JT had a day off from work today, so he was able to join us for CJ's 2-year well visit. CJ measured 34.5 inches tall (54%) & weighed 26lb, 14oz (36%). It was a great checkup and we got our list of questions (Type A?!) answered and feel like we are doing an "okay" job raising this boy! I can't believe that his next checkup isn't until 3 years! That seems so far away, but sadly, I know it will be here before I know it! We went out to brunch as a family, and now it is naptime! We've had a fun couple of days celebrating our precious CJ's 2nd Birthday!! And now that JT is FINALLY feeling better, we're hoping to go do something fun together as a family on our long weekend too (JT gets Martin Luther King Day off!)