Friday, March 28, 2014

Rolling along.

DW is a master at rolling.  Put him down in the middle of the room, turn your back, and he's managed to tumble into trouble.  Here he is trapped under his play gym:
And here he is trapped under the train table:

Notice how I like to take snapshots before rescuing him.

Now, this sort of thing would never happen with a first child.  For a first child, when they start moving and rolling, you remove all obstacles from your home, including coffee tables and other useless furniture, that might impede your little one.  You watch them like a hawk with your video camera as they barrel roll around your meticulously clean floors.  

For second kids, that obstructive coffee table might get pushed over a few inches, but you are sure as heck not moving it out of the living room like you did for #1.  And you are too busy dealing with toddler meltdowns now to notice #2 chewing on non-infant approved toys and sampling crushed up goldfish crackers in the carpet.  You are just going to hope this kid is a quick learner about how to survive the jungle.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I like touching everything and sticking it in my mouth.

DW is seven months old today!  And he's still not sleeping through the night!  (Sad face.)

Anyway, what do babies do at seven months old, you ask?  They roll.  A lot.  They touch things.  A lot.  They stick things in their mouths.  A lot.

Nothing is safe.  You are holding a hot cup of coffee?  His hand is in it.  You have an important document in your hand?  It's crumpled and shoved in his mouth.  You left an open 2 lb bag of cat food next to the changing table?  It's now spilled all over the diapers, the baby and the floor.  You are trying to text on your iPhone?  He is chewing it. The cat wanders past him?  He now has two fistfuls of fur.  You have an envelope to mail and you thought it was safe to put in his lap in the infant carrier while you waited in line at the post office?  He bit a corner off of it (sorry to my babci, your letter was half eaten).  You have nothing in your hands?  Then he's going for the face.

It really is a fun age.  Everything is full of baby slobber and no one around here seems to mind.

Friday, March 21, 2014


AW really loves reading.  He is so advanced he now reads full-size novels.  This is his latest book of choice:
He's been working on this one for about a month now.  He seriously reads it a lot. He even takes it on the go:
I've never read Orbit, it's one of HW's books, and sorry, John J. Nance, it may be the greatest space novel ever, but I like to make up my own story when AW asks me to read it to him:  "Once there was a space doctor named AW, and he was the best space doctor ever.  He cured all the current diseases in the world and talked to his mom on his space phone every day.  He also always picked up all his toys and was nice to his little brother. The End."  

AW really prefers reading it to himself though:
I wonder what plot lines he is coming up with in his own little head.  Perhaps one day we will find out.

New books.

Remember that awful trip to Barnes and Nobles a few weeks back? (If not you can read about it here)

Well the one good thing to come out of it was that the two books we bought that day are now AW's most favorite books ever.  And it is pretty darn cute to hear him pronounce "Awf-a-bet Twucks" and "Wid Boo Twuck".
I have most of his favorite books painfully committed to memory since we read them over, and over and over and over and over...well, you get the point.  It's nice to get some new books in his library.  And these two are pretty cute!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Come and knock on our door.

One of the cute things about living on a military installation - you get to have your name on your door.  This way everyone knows who lives there and can properly avoid them...or at least put a name to their silent judging of taste in outdoor decor as they stroll by.  (Yes, that's me silently judging you if you still have a Christmas wreath out on the first day of spring.  You know who you are.  Take it down for the love of "the person we celebrate on Christmas."  Which is in December.  Which was three months ago.)

While we were out at the maintenance office the other day we picked up some letters from the housing office for our front door.  No one else in our unit has their names up but I think it's nice and makes things more neighborly.

AW liked calling out the letters as he slid them into the door slot.  He pronounces "W" as "dub hoo."  It's really the cutest.

Looks good, AW!  Now if only those rascally kids next door would stop messing with them.  Yes, I'm watching for you, kids.  And don't think I won't catch you.  Perhaps that's why no one else has their name on the door....hmmm....

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Grammar police, get on this.

Dear Readers,

I'm a little rusty with my grammar.  I just realized I have not been putting punctuation inside my quotation marks, but outside of them.  The shame, the shame, the shame!  I am probably committing a mountain other grammar atrocities as well.  I apologize.  It is so unlike me to be haphazard with what I write, but internet culture and being away from the "real" world has made me lazy and forgetful.  I aim to do better from here on out though!


An impromptu trip to the stables.

Today we had to go pick up some light bulbs from the maintenance office.  And guess where the maintenance office is located?  Right next to the horse stables!
If you know me, you know I love horses. But I'm not a "horse person," per say. I don't know anything about them. I can't ride them, I can't groom them, I can't talk intelligently about breeds. I just think they're pretty. 
 This one liked us.  And we liked him.
AW was too shy to pet him though.  Maybe next time.
As we were driving away, I asked AW if he would like a horse.  He said "yes."  Get on that, HW!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Weird things your toddler does when you leave the room for a few minutes:I am pretty sure all toddler boys go through this stage. It's called "throwing all the cushions off the couch when mom exits the room." And they do it every dang time you leave the room. The little armrest arrangement there is a new one, though. Perhaps AW has inherited a flair for decorating.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy horrible St. Patrick's Day.

DW had an 8 AM well baby check up this morning. Why do they make appointments this early? To annoy me. Of course, my baby who wakes every two hours during the night does not rouse a bit when I walk into his room at 7:15, turn on the lights and tell him "time to get up, baby."  He just rolls over and keeps sleeping.  Babies do this kind of thing all the time.  Always messing with you.  "Oh you WANT me to get up?  Then, no.  I shall sleep."

I had to pick him up to wake him.  Which made him cry.  Which made me sad.

AW was mad we were leaving the house.  He was mad daddy wasn't coming with us to the doctor.  He was mad we were taking mommy's car instead of daddy's car...(it just goes on from here for the next two hours.  He was mad about everything we were doing.)

I did not get to drink any coffee before we left the house.

It was cold this morning so I had to put all the hats and coats and blankets and whatnot on the kids.  When we get to the medical center on post, I find a decent parking space. I pull out the ol' double stroller because I wasn't sure how far of a walk we had to the doctor and my back was hurting from hauling kids and diaper bag around all weekend.

So I realize as we enter the hospital that somehow the stroller seats got soaking wet over the weekend. We have been leaving it on the back porch instead of taking it inside and I guess it rained the other night and I completely forgot about that.  So of course AW was now soaking wet.  And of course I did not bring any extra clothes for him.

We get checked-in for our appointment and wait for them to call our names.  It is our first time seeing a doctor at this post so I am expecting some kind of problem checking-in, but it all goes fine.

Now, I try not to complain about military health care.  We have had mostly positive experiences and it is completely free for goodness sakes.  The main gripe I have is consistency in the systems as you go from post to post.  That, and that sometimes you get excellent doctors and nurses and sometimes you get ones, that, um, leave you without much confidence they know what they are doing.

Our new pediatrician, is, well, nice, I guess, but seems like the most frazzled person ever.  You know the equipment they use to look in the kids' ears and eyes, etc?  She accidentally ripped it off the wall and had to have a tech come put it back on.  Yikes.  And then she didn't seem to have access to any of DW's information from his past doctors on file.  I had to show her his growth chart from an app I have on my iPhone. Another yikes. And then, she said she didn't have access to his vaccination information. She convinced me we would have to go get the hard copy we keep of our shot record and bring it back to show them before they would administer the vaccinations.  AHHHHH!!!

LADY,  do you know how hard it was to get these kids here in the first place?  And now you want me to put all their hats and jackets back on, go back out to the parking lot, pack them and the stroller back into the car without their coats because you can't wear coats in the car seat, drive home, take them out of the car, put the coats back on, carry the infant carrier while holding AW's hand up the steps and through the front entrance, go inside, find a piece of paper, convince AW to leave again as he is trying to pull off his coat, haul the kids back down the steps, take off the coats, buckle them back into the car, drive back to the medical center, get out of the car, put the coats back on (screw the stroller this time and deal with the back pain), muscle-failure lift the infant carrier while holding AW's hand, drop the diaper bag in the parking lot, spill baby socks and cloth diapers all over, curse loudly, get giggled at by some maintenance men, drag AW through the medical center, pick him up after he falls and bumps his nose and then sit, again, in the waiting room where AW is crying loudly about going home and his nose and DW is now crying so you are trying to feed him but some 8-year-old kid is gawking at you so you stop because you feel weird, and then you finally get called into the room for the vaccination and the nurse HANDS YOU A COPY OF THE SHOT RECORD THEY SAID THEY DIDN'T HAVE.



AHHHH....such is life in the military medical system.

Anyway.  We took these fun St. Patrick's day pictures.  AW is only smiling because I bribed him with green cupcakes.

The main take-away from our check-up is that DW overall seems to be in good health.  His height is good but weight is on the low side.  Considering AW has always been a munchkin - negative percentiles all around his first years and can still fit into a baby-sized St. Patrick's Day onesie at two and a half years old - I'm not too concerned about weight as long as he is on the chart.  Now he is just recovering from his shots. He really likes his Cars band-aids.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


AW had a play date this week with his oldest and dearest friend.  These two have been pals since they were just wee little babes of six months old.  They are only about two weeks apart in age and it has been so much fun seeing them grow up together.

Just one of the quirks of military meet a friend in Washington State, a year later you both PCS to opposite regions of the country for what should be a long time, and then in a few months dumb luck finds you both in the same place again.  A good rule of thumb for Army friends is not to say "goodbye" but say "see you maybe!" You really never know when you will find them again.

The weather was gorgeous and the kids had a blast!  (And the mommies did too.)

We will be sad when our friends leave us again in the summer - because nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy -  but we are ecstatic that they will have their daddy back soon from deployment.  And for now AW is going to really soak up those best friend hugs so they last a while!

(Pictures courtesy of M. Williams)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My cat, the creep.

I turned on the video monitor in AW's room during afternoon nap to see if he was still sleeping.  And I saw this:

MILLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

MVGC was poking her little whisker face between the bars of the crib trying to ruin my quiet afternoon with DW.  She's always trying to ruin my life!  Luckily, I was able to sneak to the door and let her out of the room before she disturbed my sleeping child.

Though all ended well, I am sure AW took longer than normal trying to fall asleep because of fur face, here. And I have to wonder how MVGC accomplished this feat in the first place.

Before nap, AW and I were in his room reading books with the door closed.  I remember seeing MVGC's shadow outside the door and thinking to myself, "you are so annoying."  Which is why I am certain the door was closed before nap and she was not in the room.  And MVGC is most definitely not the type of cat to learn how to open closed doors.  She is actually very door-challenged.  It's kind of sad.  I remember in our house in Washington she used to sit behind our bedroom door, which was ajar, and just meow because she had no idea what to do.  Sometimes she would attempt to paw open the door but she would only further close it.  She is not the brightest cat in the bunch by a long shot.

So the only explanation is that she snuck by me as I was leaving the room.  Which is also a bit of a stretch, because she is neither stealthy nor fast.  Perhaps she has been working on her cat skills between napping and puking.  Regardless, MVGC, you again are on my list.  No more treats for you if you keep this up.

The best darn cookies in the mid-west.

This morning we were supposed to go to the bouncy house place for a play date.  But AW just could not get his act together.  I kept trying to get him ready, and he kept resisting.  10 AM rolled around and I still had not managed to get AW dressed and DW was overdue for a nap, so I had to put him down.  I figured we would just go once DW woke up, which usually isn't long because he is still not so good at the napping thing (though we are working on it).

I then managed to get AW dressed but he wanted to go out on the porch to watch the construction and by the time 11 AM snuck up on us he still did not want to go and I had given up at this point since we were an hour behind.

We ate an early lunch and had some time to kill before nap.  By now it was 12 PM and I really wanted to get out of the house so I suggested going to get a cookie at the local sweet shop.  I have been thinking about this cookie place for a week now and it was high time we took another trip there.  AW said no.  So I asked him what he wanted to do.  He says, "go bounce?"  I sighed huffily at this point.  "Why didn't you want to go to the bounce place three hours ago?!  And what kid says no to getting cookies?!" I scream in my very tired brain.

Then he accidentally hits me with a toy and I just decided we were getting cookies whether he liked it or not. I was done asking. I was braving a possible tantrum meltdown for some delicious cookies.  It was a worthy trade off at this point.

We got to the cookie shop and everyone was magically happy now.  AW got to pick out a green St. Patrick's Day cookie and the the ladies at the shop adored him.  AW did nothing exceptionally good today and he pushed a lot of my buttons, but it was all washed away as we sat in the cookie shop together and I watched the simple joy of my kid enjoying some sugar.  It was a happy ten minutes.

We left happy and excited.  And then AW crumbled the remainder of his cookie all over the car seat on the way home.  Sigh.  

But, alas, I got some cookies to take home.  So it was worth it.
These are seriously the most delicious cookies I've ever had.  I don't know that they will make it through the night.  I think we really need to go to the cookie shop more often.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good morning, good morning construction site.

So what is the most exciting thing a two year old boy can find outside his back door?

A digger!
We had a water main break behind our house a few weeks ago and there has been a small crew working to lay down some new pipes.  With snow and cold weather, the work has been on and off.  Mainly, I had only ever seen this one guy pushing a big pile of rocks back and forth.
But with the nicer weather the project is picking up.  It was fun to wake up and see the digger parked right there outside our house today.
It just so happens that AW is really into construction vehicle books right now so this is pretty much a big deal for him.
Anytime he hears the "beep, beep, beep" of the vehicles he goes running to the window to catch a glimpse of the them in action.
Even when the shades are drawn he likes to take a peek!  
And this afternoon we got another surprise - cement mixer came for a quick cameo appearance! 
Who would have figured we'd be so happy to have construction going on right outside our home?  
Life with this little guy changes so many things.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

The last box.

We've had a bit of an odd year. We PCS'ed ("permanent change of station'ed" aka "moved") twice in one year.  The Army usually has a rule about staying at a duty station one full year before a PCS, but they made an exception this time and so after moving from Washington State to Louisiana in the spring, six months later we were packing it all back up to come to Kansas.

There we are leaving Washington:

And arriving in Louisiana:

 We put in a lot of work painting and getting the place perfect since we knew we'd be around a while...
...and then we got orders.  All that work for nothing!  (By the way, painting in 100 degree heat when you are seven months pregnant is not happy for anyone.)

We got rid of a lot of furniture and other stuff in order to lighten our load before both moves...and then we added in a baby. So it all evened out.
Random cute family photo.

Moving around so much, plus a new baby, equals a little bit of chaos. Our very first move was so carefully planned and organized, there were lists and photos and color coding... I think I give up a little each subsequent time. I don't even have any pictures of the Kansas move! For shame. Here's just one of the new digs:

Well, we have been in our new house roughly two full months now. We are pretty settled in, fairly organized, pictures on the walls and all.

But there are so many items that I am now realizing I have no idea where I put them when I unpacked them...and then I try to remember where they could be...and then I realize I don't remember even where they were in our house in LA and the last time I really had a set place for the item was in our house in WA. So trying to figure out which drawer or closet it is now shoved in is near impossible.

Then there are things that just magically vanished into thin air.  A chef's knife disappeared (watch out people of Fort Polk for a pampered-chef-knife-wielding employee of the local moving company) and a rug.  I mean, where did an entire floor rug go?  Has no one reported an extra rug around the moving van?  Or did the same person who absconded with the knife take the rug too?  Hmmm...knife and rug combo is kind of shady if you think about it.  I really hope my things are not part of some unsolved mystery.  I do not want to see them appear on an episode of Dateline one day.

And then there is the "last box." We usually have all the boxes unpacked by the movers the day they unload the truck so they can haul away the materials before they leave (they really love this part of their job, trust me).  But there is always a box or two that doesn't get unpacked for some reason...and then it gets shoved in the corner of the room, and then it gets shoved in a closet, and then you start throwing stuff on it...and it just remains there...the last box...until you move again.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Missing something.

A few days ago we went to one of those large inflatable bounce house places they have where kids can jump around and be crazy.  I was meeting a few other moms there and in classic AW fashion he was needy, whiny, and in a general distemper the first hour and a half we were there (there was this preposterous chicken nugget-related meltdown incident in which the child became completely unhinged that I care not to relive on this blog as it already haunts my nightmares).  And then magically something in the universe shifted and he was having the time of his life - a half an hour before we had to leave.  He had so much fun he passed right out during Paw Patrol when we got home.
Bounce house success.

And then two days later you are washing hands at the sink and realize that the wristband for the bounce place is still on your child...
and you really have no excuse as to why this has gone unnoticed until now.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

MVGC strikes again.

She vomits a lot;  this is normal.

This is what I wrote under "Pets - Millie (Cat)" in our babysitter instructions.

And this is what happened the other night as I was trying to put the boys to sleep:

HW was busy that night so I was on my own. DW was really overtired so I was hoping to get him to sleep first, but it's hard when your toddler keeps coming into the room and "whispering" things to you.

So there I was sitting in the glider chair in DW's room in the dark trying to get him to fall asleep and the door pushes open. MVGC pokes her head in. She stares at me. She steps into the room. She pukes on the floor.  She stares at me. She exits. End scene.

A few moments later AW pokes his head into the room. I say in my loudest whisper (because DW is so close to falling asleep at this moment). "Don't come in, Millie..." and that is when AW enters the room. He steps in the cat puke. He begins shouting and hopping around because stepping in cat puke is gross.

You are my list, Millie. Watch yourself.

And no, you can't watch Paw Patrol. Put the remote down.