October 28, 2008

Pee-Pee, Bacon, Tofu and Funnies

I had a new experience today. All part of the job of raising a boy, I guess. I had to take Steven in to the doctor to get his "pee-pee" looked at. It was hurting him...at least, it was until I told him we were going to the doctor so she could look at it. Then, it was miraculously healed. He complained all day yesterday of it hurting and he kept holding it, and looked at it and asking Steve and I to "fix it." We both took a look, but everything looked normal. So we went to the doctor. He had to pee in a cup (to check for a urinary tract infection) and he thought that was pretty cool. I'm glad he's easily impressed. But the results came back normal, so the doctor thinks that maybe the zipper on his jeans was irritating it or something. I really don't know what to tell him. I just keep referring him to his father. This is one of the things in mothering that I just don't know how to deal with. One that gets an automatic, "Go tell Daddy."

In other news, Steve asked me a question yesterday that I never thought I'd hear. He said, "What's with all the bacon lately?" Yeah. I've been on a bacon kick. I guess because I've been on the pancake kick (see last post) and bacon just HAS to go with pancakes, and that made me think how yummy BLTs would be for lunch...more than once this week. I usually don't even keep bacon in the house. It's something I buy for Father's Day breakfast and that's about it, but we've gone through 2 packages in the last week or so. After I made some yesterday, the whole house smelled like bacon for the rest of the day. And every time I left and came back in and smelled it, my mouth watered and I wanted nothing but bacon. So funny. I am not buying any more though. I've got to end the bacon fiasco.

On to less greasy news, I've been trying a few recipes with tofu lately. I HATE tofu. I really do. My mom tried to get us to eat it once when we were kids. She put BBQ sauce on it and tried to pass it off a sloppy-joe substitute. It did not fly with me or my sisters. I have never wanted to try it again. But I have such a hard time getting Steven to eat any kind of meat that isn't really processed. He'll do fish sticks and chicken nuggets, but I want him to get some protein from a non-processed, natural source and tofu seemed the way to go. I breaded little chunks of it and pan seared it, and he dipped it in ketchup. He and Gabby both liked it. Although, Gabby eats anything so that's not saying much. But for Steven to eat it, thrilled me. Also, I read that tofu can be a good thickener for chowders in place of heavy cream. So, I made some corn chowder with tofu instead of cream and it was SO good. Tofu doesn't have much of a taste, so it didn't stand out in the chowder. Just made it creamy without all the fat of cream. I will definitely be making that again. Especially since the weather is getting so cold!

I'll end this post with some Funnies brought to you by Steven Ray:

I was putting tights on Gabby Sunday morning, and Steven said, "Oh, Gabby has long-sleeved socks?"

We were in Academy and out of no where, he pulls his Mickey Mouse phone out of his pocked, opened it put it up to his ear and said, "Hello? WHAT? Huuuuuuuuh! (with shocked look on his face) Are you serious?!?" We asked him who it was. He said it was Aunt Holly and we asked what happened. He said, "Uncle Joe went to work." Shocking!

We were in the commissary this morning and he was sitting in the little car on the cart. He suddenly yelled back to me that had lost his kids. He said Builder and Jimmy (Jimmy used to live next door to us and they used to play together, but he apparently is now an imaginary son of Steven's) were not with him. He then stuck his head out of the car and yelled at the top of his lungs: "GUYS! GUYS! COME ON!" Everyone was turning and looking, of course. And probably trying to figure out who he was yelling at.

He has started nursing his Handy Manny doll. I stopped nursing Gabby a while ago, so it's funny that he just started doing this....and that Handy Manny is a fix-it-man, not a baby.

Okay, there's an endless supply of funny things he says and does, but I have to get to work. There's laundry to fold, winter clothes to get out and put away (I've done the kids' already, but not mine), lunch to make, a dishwasher to empty, bathrooms to clean....and on and on...

But now you're all caught up!

October 26, 2008

Thoughts...

I think Gabby enjoys sitting forward-facing in the car now that she's a year old and over 20 pounds. I really enjoy it, too. It's so nice to turn around and see her looking around, enjoying the view.



An orange hair tie with a pink shirt is what happens when you ask the Daddy to grab a hair tie.

I think I could eat pancakes every day. I have been on a big pancake kick lately, which his weird because I've never really been a huge pancake fan. I made them at 10pm the other night. I just knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't have some pancakes. I made them again, tonight. They were so yummy!


I think when we move and I have a new stove and it doesn't have a griddle in the middle like the one in this house, I will be really disappointed.

I think I want to ALWAYS have a gas stove. I love cooking on gas. Every base house I've ever lived in (and that's a lot) has had a gas stove, so I should be safe for a while.

I love this stove. It's super-wide and takes up more room than a normal stove but the griddle is awesome (those are my yummy blueberry pancakes...yum).

I think I'm starting to get anxious about the drop next month. In case your husband has never been in navigator training in the Air Force, you might not know what "the drop" is. It is when the list of planes and base locations available "drops" and the graduating students get to pick the ones they want... at The Drop Party, of course. Where else? Steve keeps going back and forth on what he's going to try for, but for today (and the last few days) he's been talking about trying to get a slot on a C-130 out of Dyess AFB in Abilene. There's no telling what will change between now and November 21, and even then, there's no telling whether he'll get his #1 choice. But no matter what happens, I will be really happy to know where we'll going in a few months.

I think I'm being really lazy right now. It's 20 minutes past the kids' bedtime and they are still up because I don't have the energy to do the going-to-bed routine. I'm so tired. So tired. Ugh. I just want to sit here blogging and half watching Desperate Housewives all evening.

I think that's it. Those are all my thoughts right now.

October 23, 2008

Halloween Costumes, Cold Weather and Autumn Leaves

Halloween is fast approaching and like all good heathens, we will be taking the kids trick-or-treating. Steven is VERY excited to be dressing up as Handy Manny. If you do not happen to have 3-year-old, you may not know who Handy Manny is. He is an adorable Disney Channel handyman with little talking tools. Here is Steven's costume that I've been working on this week. I'm too cheap to buy one, so I'm making it.

(a reference)


T-shirt ($3 Hobby Lobby shirt)


Felt tool belt with all 7 tools printed on cardboard (and yes, I know all their names)

I still have to make an orange and white hat and then I think he'll be set. Gabby is going to be a UT Cheerleader. She has the cutest little UT dress that Holly and Jr got her when they were visiting over the summer. She'll be a slightly rounder version of your typical cheerleader, but that's okay :-)

Steven and Gabby's Trick-or-Treat bags (made of felt for like $5! Can't beat that!)




Other side of Bags (I made Steven's 2 years ago)

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This morning, we went on a long walk. We left the house around 9am, and it was FREEZING outside. I bundled up the kids so much, I felt kind of silly. But we are not used to temperatures under 60*!


Gabby was very mad (as you can see). She did not like wearing a hat...maybe if I got her a less silly one...


This is proof of Autumn! Red leaves! There aren't many of them so I wanted to get a picture while they last. And yes, my children were running around bare-foot outside (this was before it got cold, though).

That's all for now so you're all caught up!

October 21, 2008

A day in the Life...

People often ask me if my life is as glamorous as I make it seem. I'm just a normal person, like any of you....oh wait. I'm not a celebrity. I forgot for a second. Anyway. I took pictures of my day today. It was kind of fun. So here's my day:


October 18, 2008

Rambler 120

This morning, Steve participated in Randolph Air Force Base's Rambler 120. It is an annual tri-athalon held at Canyon Lake. It involved a 22-mile bike ride, followed by a 6-mile run, and ending with a 2-mile kayaking trip. The teams consisted of either 8-person relay teams, where 4 people at a time do half of each leg of the race, or 4-man 'Extreme' teams, where all 4 people do the WHOLE thing. Steve and three friends made up a 4-man extreme team...bunch of crazies. It was pretty fun to go out there and watch them. Steve is, needless to say, absolutely exhausted this afternoon. I'm really proud of him for pushing himself to do this and I know he's really glad that he did it, too. Here are some pictures of Team Koper. Most of the teams had cool names, but our guys are pretty uncreative and couldn't think of one - so that was it :-)

Steve coming up to the finish line for the biking part (on the far left is one of his teammates, too)

The four of the leaving on the run


You have to enlarge it to really see this one, but it is them bringing their boat out of the water. They had to carry it up the beach, drop it off and run to the finish line.


And here they are finishing! Yay!

Congratulations Steve, Josh, Tom and Rick on completing the Rambler!

October 15, 2008

I do their hair and dress them....really.

Gabby's hair is (finally) getting long enough that a pig-tail or two is necessary so that her hair isn't (almost) in her eyes. So most days, she gets a pig-tail or some kind of 'hair-do' that she always pulls out, not matter how difficult. I found some barrettes with rubber on the inside to help them stay tighter. She will pull them out with all her might, as well as at least 20 hairs. I know it has to hurt, but the pain is worth it for her to have her hair messy. She always seems to leave the hair ties in long enough for her hair to conform to the shape of the pig-tail, so here is how Gabby looks most days:



I do her hair right before we leave to go somewhere, and when I go to get her out of her carseat...there she is all crazy-haired. I redo it and redo it until I just don't care anymore and give up.
And now for Steven. Steven dresses himself in the morning, before he comes in and wakes me up. EVERY day, these are the clothes he puts on. I am not joking. This shirt and these shorts. I wash them every few days and they go right back on. The only time he is wearing other clothes, is when Steve or I MAKE him go back and change into something that doesn't look like Disney threw up on him. It makes him mad when we do this. He LOVES this outfit. The Lightning McQeen on the shirt, lights up. I told him I wanted to take a picture of him and asked him where he wanted to stand. This is where he chose - on the bench at the table. Whatever floats you boat, Steven. What a cutie. And yes, the socks are part of the outfit, not the same socks every day, but socks with the shorts and long sleeved shirt are always the finishing touch.

So pretty much, my son always looks like a Car's advertisement and my daughter always looks like a rag-a-muffin and I take them both in public like this. I want to walk around saying, "Really, lady with beautiful, well-groomed children, I did my daughter's hair this morning and she looked just as cute as your little girl. And my son has nice clothes like your son, too. He has khaki pants and little Levi's and button down shirts that he looks precious in...really. I'm not a lazy mom....really!"
(As I was typing this, the little clips you can see still in Gabby's hair were removed, too....of course.)

October 13, 2008

Not Me Monday



Here's my Not Me Monday from McMama's blog carnival on her My Charming Kids blog(on my link list as "Pray for Stellan"). It won't be nearly as interesting as my last one, since I don't really remember much of the last week, but here goes:


I did not cheat at Candy Land today.

I did not get lost on my way home today, like 2 miles from home. I've lived here nine months AND I have a GPS in the car, I would have to be TRYING to get lost.

I did not leave left over dinner sitting out on the stove all evening...it is not still sitting there at 9:30pm.

I did not let Steven eat a bunch of raw cookie dough when we were baking today.

I did not eat McDonald's two days in a row this weekend. That's gross (I love you, Big Mac)

I did not cry 4 times watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last night.

I was not 15 minutes late to Sunday school yesterday, and walk in thinking "Wow, this is the earliest I've been in a LONG time!" No, I am very punctual.

I did not spend two days and go looking at about 5 different stores, for a pink and green dress for Gabby this week because I wanted her outfit to match her decorations on her birthday. That's kind of over the top and silly.

I did not brush Gabby's teeth the other night and notice 2 teeth that had come all the way through the gum without me even noticing. I pay just as much attention to her as I did to my first baby...

I did not let the kids play outside today, then realize they had been "playing" in a pile of ashes from the grill. Gabby did not have grey hair and ashes caked onto her scalp. I did not have to wash her hair twice. She was not really mad at me for cleaning her. She does not enjoy being dirty.

I do not make up songs to sing to the kids all day long. That would be kind of wierd. They are not usually to the tune of Frere Jacques; like "Who is poopy? Who is poopy? Gabrielle. Gabrielle. Gabrielle is poopy, Gabrielle is poopy. Let's change you, let's change you." I don't think I'd admit that, if I did!

So, there is everything I did not do this week, from what I can remember. Seriously, I remember Gabby's birthday on Tuesday and I remember yesterday and I remember going to the park one night. That's it. I remember nothing else of my week. I'm so tired. I am going to go clean up the kitchen (not that there's food or dinner dishes still out or anything) and go to bed. I feel like not matter how hard I try, I cannot catch up on sleep lately. Maybe a nap is in order for tomorrow :-)

October 11, 2008

Fearless

Yesterday we went to Brackenridge Park for a picnic and some out-door family fun :-)
After eating, we took the kids to play at the playground. Really, we took Steven to play, knowing Gabby would just waddle around and watch. But after about half an hour of waddling around, she surprised Steve and me. She went over the playscape, climbed up the steps, over the little bridge and sat down at the top of the slide. By this point I was in protective-mommy mode and standing right next to her. I held her hand and helped her down the slide. She was so proud of herself. She got down, and went right back to the stairs. She got back to the top of the slide and Steve suggested that I not help her, and just see what she's going to do. She turned around on her belly and went down the slide feet first, all while smiling at Steve and me. I couldn't believe it. This was the little slide, where I can stand next to it and reach the top to help her, though. So, not too scary but still! She's so little and there she went! I wished so much that I had brought the camera. So, after that I sat back on the bench and we just watched her go. At one point, she walked right past the slide she had been going on, and kept going, up more steps, to the BIG slide (the one I can't even almost reach the top of). I ran over and stood next to it, reaching up for her as she came sliding down, happy as could be. She slid all the way down, landed on her feet and looked over at her daddy to make sure he'd seen it. It was so sweet. She was so proud of herself. I know I'm not supposed to compare my kids, but...that impossible. I kept thinking that Steven was SO much older before he ever tried the slide by himself. Steven is very careful and cautious. Gabby seems to be fearless. And to prove it...
I'm sitting on the bench, chatting with Steve. Every few minutes we say something like, "Where'd Steven go?...Oh, he's by the swing....There goes Gabby again" So don't get me wrong, we are WATCHING our children. Gabby is going down the little slide over and over but at one point, I look away and look back to her and don't see her. I stand up, scanning the playscape, and I can see her little brown shoes dangling from the platform behind the slide. She is hanging off the platform where the fireman's pole is. I get up and run over, and just before I get to her, she lets go. She falls from the 4 foot platform, down into the woodchips. A couple kids and another mom screamed and came running. Gabby wasn't crying, so I just watched as she looked up at me, got up and went right back over to the stairs. I think if she could talk, she would have said, "I meant to do that, guys. Quit being so dramatic." She's a tough little cookie. I was so proud of her. Somehow Steven is my cry-baby and Gabby is my tough kid.
I will have to get pictures of her on the slide, soon. To Steven's credit, (I kind of made him sound like a sissy), in watching him on the playground, we realized how outgoing he is. Every few minutes, he was playing with a different little boy. When that boy would leave, he'd just go up to another little boy and start playing with him. I'm so glad that he can do that. That will be very helpful to him as an Air Force brat, in changing schools and moving around. Hopefully I'll never have to worry about him being able to make friends. So, I guess our trip to the park taught us some new things about our kids.

October 7, 2008

One Year!

Here are Gabby's 1st Birthday pictures!




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Original Post:



I think first birthdays are more of a celebrations for the mommy than the one-year-old. I am so excited today. It was one year ago, today that I first met my sweet Gabby-girl. The last few days, I kept thinking back to what we were doing "a year ago today." It's kind of a long story, but I want to tell it; more for me and her than anything else. So, here is the story of Gabby's birth day.

I took a pregnancy test on February 1, 2007 and it was positive. I was so excited. I wasn't all that surprised, though. I had been 'feeling pregnant' that week. I had a few 'symptoms' that made me think it had happened. Steve and I were thrilled. When I told him, "I'm pregnant!" His immediate reaction was, "Well, is it a boy or a girl?" We wanted a girl SO much. By the time my big ultrasound came around and we were going to find out the sex, I remember lying there on that table telling myself not to be disappointed if it was another boy. But sure enough, we were having a girl and we were THRILLED.

A few weeks after we found out we were pregnant, Steve got a call telling him he had been excepted into the Air Force and got a position as a navigator. We were so happy. It was what we had been praying and hoping for, for over a year. We had been struggling financially for some time and Steve was miserable at his job. It was such an answer to prayer. But at that time, it scared me. We knew that he would have to go to Officer Training School for three months but didn't know when. My biggest fear was that he would be gone when I had our baby. He was either going to be gone from June through September, August through November or October through January. I was hoping for June through September, since my due date was October 11. As June passed and we heard nothing, I got more scared. Finally in August we found out he'd be going in October. He had to report to Maxwell AFB, Alabama on October 10; the day before my due date. I trusted that I would have her at least a few days early and tried not to worry too much about it.

By 38 weeks, I felt like I had been pregnant for ever and had not progressed past 1cm in 3 weeks. My doctor agreed to induce me early because a) she understood about Steve leaving and was very sweet and b) I was measuring 42 weeks and we were pretty sure I had at least a 9-pounder in there and didn't want her to get much bigger.

So, I was scheduled to go in for an induction on the night of October 5, spend the night on Cervadil (a cervix softener) and go on Potocin the next day. The 5th was a Friday and we had Steve's Dad come down to stay with Steven, went out to dinner with friends, packed our bags and headed for the hospital. I was so excited. But when I got there, I was told that there was no room for me, and they sent me home. I cried all the way out of the hospital, all the way home and for quite a while on our couch. I was devastated. It was Friday night, Steve was leaving Tuesday and I wasn't being induced. I knew he would not be with me for her birth. I would be alone. I had no family near by and I would be giving birth, with no hand to hold. Oh, that was such a pathetic feeling. Steve and I went out and walked two miles and I wore myself out and was able to sleep that night. At about 5:30am, the hospital called me back and said they had room and for me to come in. We were so excited. We had been told that we would just have to see my doctor on Monday and reschedule the induction, so we didn't expect this call. We were at the hospital at 6am, checked in and on Cervadil at 8am and on Potocin at noon.

By 5pm, I was in a lot of pain, and got some kind of pain reliever through my IV. It wore off around 8pm and I asked for more around 9pm. The second dose did nothing for the pain. Those contractions on Potocin got SO strong and long and there was not even 3 seconds between them, yet I was only at 6 cm after 9 hours on it! It was such a long day. Finally at midnight, I asked for the epidural. I couldn't catch my breath and felt like I just couldn't do it anymore at that point. After the epidural was in, Gabby's heart rate dropped significantly. My doctor stayed and watched it, saying that if it didn't go back up soon, we'd be going in for a C-section. The anesthesiologist stayed in the room, waiting to hear if he should get ready for the C-section. After what felt like an eternity, her heart rate went back up. Poor Gabby, had been under so much stress for over 12 hours. After the epidural, I was able to fall asleep for about 4 hours. A little before 4am, I woke up because of really intense pressure. I told Steve that I needed to push. I called the nurse and started pushing soon after. At one point while pushing, Dr. Cutler told me that Gabby's heart rate had dropped again and I needed to get her out immediately. It was scary, but motivating! She was born after about 15 minutes of pushing. She came out perfect and healthy. She didn't cry much and was just so quiet and pretty.

So after we had been at the hospital for over 22 hours, she was finally born. Dr. Cutler said she had never had an induction like that. She said usually with a second birth, you get induced at 8am and have a baby by noon. But it just goes to show that my body was not ready to have that baby. Had I not been induced, I am pretty sure I would have gone past my due date. And as for Gabby being a 9-pounder, she was 7lb 12 oz. I just carry big. I was the same way with Steven. People asked me all the time if I was having twins. I just carry my babies that way, I guess.
My doctor let me leave the hospital 36 hours later, and we had one night at home with Steve before he left. We drove to San Antonio (we were living in Austin) on Tuesday and said goodbye to Steve. That was the most sadness I have ever felt. Post-partum hormones are not helpful in times like that.

While he was gone, Gabby was the best infant. She slept through the night from about 3 weeks, and is still a great sleeper. She is so sweet and smart and pretty. She thinks we're all very funny. She uses sign language to say "eat," "more," "milk," and "all done." She says uh-oh and a few times we're pretty sure she's said Mommy and Daddy (not Mama or Dada, which is kind of weird). She is very tender-hearted and loves to cuddle. She can't sleep without her thumb and her blankie. She's like a little Linus when she's tired, dragging her blankie around behind her. She loves to eat and she is not a morning person. When we tell her it's time to go night-night, she starts making kissy noises. She stands up for herself with her brother. She takes things from him, pinches him, and pulls his hair....only when he deserves it, of course. She loves bath time and likes to comb her hair. She has changed our family so much and has brought us so much joy that we never knew we were missing. I love her so much and I am so thankful for this last year with my sweet Gabby.

I will post her birthday pictures tomorrow :-)

October 2, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

So, here I sit watching the Vice Presidential Debate. Because I'm so political and am truly interested? No. Because The Office is supposed to be on right now and I got the kids to bed early, got in my PJs, all comfy on the couch, all excited to watch The Office, and turned the TV on and here I sit watching the debate. Not that I'm not interested. I could have turned it off, but I am watching....and listening...half-way. I got kind of lost in all the tax-talk, but I'm glad to hear the views on foreign policy, especially the war in Iraq and their views on Iran and Pakistan. As a military wife, I feel more affected by foreign affairs than by a lot of other issues. And am I the only one that doesn't understand the whole bailout thing? I feel like I should understand it because it's a really big deal but I've read several articles and watched a bunch of news clips online, trying to get it....but I just don't. Oh well.

So, now on to some good ol' randomness. Steven has said some pretty funny things lately. Here's a little taste:

- When I take the kids' temperature, I use a forehead strip. The other night, after Steven and Steve had ice cream cones from McD's, Steven took the little paper that was wrapped around the cone, held it against his forehead, and said, "I have some fevers on here." Cracked me up.

- Steven has an imaginary friend named Builder. Builder usually resides on his left arm. Today, he was pestering me to watch 'tartoons' and I told him no more TV for today. I suggested that he go play with Builder and he informed me that Builder had been very naughty and was in time-out and could not play. Who knew? I wonder what he did.

- We were out today, waiting in a lobby for Steve to get out of a meeting, and on the TV in the lobby was an episode of King of Queens (which I haven't seen a long time) and Steven saw it and said, "Can we watch Doug and Kerry?"

I know there are more, but I just can't think of them now. And in the spirit of randomness, here are some pictures of the kids playing outside the other day. It's been so nice and cool, we've been able to play outside a lot more. I just love Autumn.


Can you make out the drool-bomb hanging about 3 inches below her chin? That's pure talent.

Steven taking a picture of his sister. Notice the lens of his Pooh-bear camera is facing him.

He had to take it. It was important.

And here's how Gabby talks on the phone.

Gabby was done playing, So she pulled out her hair-tie and sat down to read the bed-time book.

The debate is now half-over, but Steve started 'Iron Man'. Score.