Monday, January 31, 2011

GG & Pop

Traveling home to Florida from California (the same trip they were on when they visited us earlier this month), GG & Pop arrived last night for a short visit. They seem to have the same head colds we do, so we're all just lounging around the house, playing with the baby and enjoying each other's company. They're intending to leave tomorrow morning, so Little Man is soaking up all the love he can get.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Under the Weather

It's that time of year, when the colds and flu set in and don't seem to want to go away. Little Man has been sniffling off and on since December, and now Husby and I seem to be coming down with something. I thought I had gotten over the Strep I had last week, but it seems to have morphed into a head cold instead. I've lovingly shared my disease with Husby, and we're now all three feeling a little under the weather. Our future holds many naps and some cough drops.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Dada"

He says it, and we're thrilled! The baby books told us to expect him to start with "dada", and eventually discover "mama", but this kiddo likes to do things his own way. He's been saying "mama" for months now, but hasn't been able to figure out to proper way to make the "dada" sounds until just this week. He's so proud of himself, and his Daddy is pretty happy too!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trouble

Just this morning, Little Man discovered the ability to pull himself up - onto the stairs. Forunately, he can't quite figure out how to get his legs up onto that first step, so he gets stuck standing at the bottom, wishing he could climb. But I know it's only a matter of time until he's getting into trouble every time I turn around.

"Oh, hi Momma ... I'm just sitting here ... don't worry about me ... "

"If I can just coordinate my movements, I know I can do this."

"Oh, hi again Momma ... how long have you been there?"

This afternoon, he was back at it - only this time, he's pulling up on the box of hand-me-downs we have sitting in the foyer. Maybe this will be my motivation to put it away ... ? Those baby gates behind the box may need to be installed sooner rather than later.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Space Shirts

Using a method brought to my attention here and detailed here, I spiced spaced up a couple of Little Man's shirts this afternoon. It turned out to be a surprisingly simple (and inexpensive) project, and I think I just might have to repeat it once he grows into the next size.

Supplies included permanent acrylic paint, freezer paper, and sponges - that's it! Freezer paper adheres to fabric when ironed, thus creating a stencil for easy painting. I found a couple of images I liked, traced them onto the freezer paper, carefully cut them out with a box knife, and away we went. Anxiously awaiting his new aparel, Little Man was content to chew on some crackers while Momma worked. An enjoyable afternoon project, costing about $5. 


Final product: two space-themed silhouettes to adorn my future explorer.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nine Months

My baby is nine months old today. I know that I will look back and remember how little he was at this age, but right now all I can see is how big he's getting! The seven-pound newborn baby I delivered is now a seventeen-pound almost-toddler. How time flies ...



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crackers

Our snack of choice for this self-feeding boy? 
Salt-less Saltine crackers - known around these parts as 'Ines.
He can be placated endlessly with these simple treats!


Just don't ask him to do something as complicated 
as look at the camera  and smile 
while he's enjoying his 'Ine. 
The resulting face - while cute - is not sweet. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Universal Healthcare

As a military spouse, I am afforded government-funded healthcare. Thus, when I awoke this [early] morning with a terribly sore throat and headache, I was able to call the base hospital and schedule an appointment with the Internal Medicine Clinic. My Primary Care Manager is actually the Family Practice Clinic, but as they had no availability today I was sent to Internal.

When I called at 0715, the nurse scheduled me at 0845. We arrived at 0830 [as per the standard 'please arrive 15 minute early' request], baby in hand [though he should have been home napping, but I didn't feel up to driving and Husby wanted to accompany me], flashed our IDs, stated that we were there for an 0845 slot, and were told that the appointment had been moved to 1045 - the doctor I was supposed to see wasn't even going to be in until 1030. Since we were already there, I asked if there was any way they could get me in early [and why hadn't anyone called me when they moved my appointment?]. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the clerk was looking at the wrong last name [hadn't I just flashed my ID?], and that her book said that I had canceled my appointment. According to her log, I had called back that same minute and canceled the appointment [even if I had called back, it's impossible to get through the automated system to the person who would cancel an appointment in that short amount of time]. Looking further, she found that whoever I was speaking to when I unconsciously called back had rescheduled that appointment for 1445. Fine. We would just go home, feed the baby, take naps, and be back at 1430. No problem. Oh, but problem: that slot didn't really exist. The clerk - who at this point was about as frustrated as I - went about looking for any slot n which to put me that day. 1500 was all she could find, and we took it. She even wrote me a little card: "Dr. Baker @ 1500". Home we went, to return in six hours.

We returned at 1445, only to be told that the appointment was actually at 1515. Argh. We took a seat, and attempted to entertain Little Man while we waited. And waited. For 45 minutes. Finally, at 1530, I was called back to an exam room - but the boys weren't allowed to accompany me. Daddy would have to hold down the Little Man fort alone, but it shouldn't be too long [and really, he's a great dad, so I wasn't worried]. So they waited. And waited. And waited. At 1645, two hours after arriving at the clinic [for the second time that day], I was sent home with a prescription for a Z-Pak and Tylenol. Of the hour plus I spent in the exam room, only about 15 minutes were spent with the doctor, who didn't do anything the nurse hadn't already done. Another 30 minutes were with the rather rude nurse, who administered my strep test [*choke*], shared way too much personal information, and told me I should be using birth control until my son is older since I wouldn't want my children to be too close together [excuse me?!]. The rest of the time, I sat in a chair, head laid back against the wall, wishing I could be home in my bed.

While my care is technically 'free', I certainly paid to be seen today - in time, tears [I wasn't happy when we were sent home the first time], and tolerance. And this was not an isolated insident - many military members and their families have reported similar experiences. But, this is what you get when the governmental bureaucracy is running things. 

It's no wonder I'm against Universal Healthcare.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sanctity of Life

In honor of Sanctity of Life Sunday, I give you my pregnancy journey in photos. The fact that we even need a Sunday to remind us of the sanctity of life is appalling, as I could never have viewed my son as anything other than a human life from the moment of his conception. Although he approaches nine months of age in the traditional way of counting, his life began nearly 18 months ago in my womb. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dislikes

He doesn't have many, but he isn't afraid to let us know when we're feeding him something he doesn't like. The boy will gag to the point of vomit before he'll swallow that next bite. Yuck.

Thus far the list consists of:

Bananas (Plain)
We've tried from a jar and straight from the peel - this is one fruit Little Man will not eat unless it's mixed with apples, pear, cranberries, or some other taste-disguising food. Much to Grandpa's chagrin, it appears that he isn't a fan of this slimy meal - at least for now.

Turkey & Potatoes
We tried this one twice, afraid that maybe he was just sick the first time, only to find that the meal was the cause of the mess he made. Interestingly, he has no aversion to other turkey meals; it's just this one that apparently didn't sit well.


Since I still have two unopened jars, I see an exchanging trip in my future ...




Beef & Veggies
Learning from the turkey meal above, we stopped feeding when the gagging ensued on this one. Thus, the breakfast and lunch jars from today are empty, while the dinner jar is ... not. Rather than induce the mess-making, we chose to end supper early tonight. Little Man didn't seem to mind.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Graduation

Having completed the first part of his training today, Husby graduated 2nd overall in his class - and he beats himself up for his 99.8% average, claiming he could have done better. We are so proud! The second part of his training is scheduled to begin Friday the 28th, so he's on 'check-in status' until then - which means that apart from the hour he spends checking in every morning, we get to have him home with us!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Dryer

Out of necesity, Husby and I have purchased our first major appliance. Up until now, these sorts of things have been included with whatever place we lived. We've had our own washer and dryer set in storage for some time now (hand-me-downs from my in-laws), and only just needed to install them in this Mississippi house. Both functioned well enough, until last week when the dryer's motor went out.

Being the responsible shoppers that we are, many visits were made to our local stores. After much research, we chose a simple, inexpensive model which fits our needs (and doesn't make our washer look out-dated). The new dryer was delivered this afternoon, and I've never been so glad to be able to do laundry!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snatched

There I was, snapping photos of the boys as they enjoyed the view. Daddy & Uncle A were teaching Little Man all about the gulf as we sat on the end of a pier, way out over the water. An Asian woman came up to admire the baby - not an uncommon occurrence, but one that always puts us on guard - and put her hands out for him to play with her. Uninterested, Little Man ignored her advances, which only strengthened her resolve. After a moment of uninterpretable mutterings [we assume she didn't speak English], she scooped Little Man right out of Uncle A's arms.

Immediately, my Mommy Instincts kicked in, and I snatched him right out of her ams. "No, no, no, no, no ..." I was repeating, but she didn't seem to understand. He laid his head on my shoulder, and she continued her attempt to communicate with him, refusing to allow more and a few inches of space between us.

"Did you get the photos you wanted?" Husby asked me. I nodded, still in shock. "Let's head home then." He led us off the pier as we both wondered if we would be followed. Thankfully, Crazy Lady stayed behind with her companions - who had watched our entire exchange as though nothing was awry.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Uncle Visitor

Citing the need for a breather, my little brother popped in for a quick visit. And, of course, since we have company, we went down to the beach. The boys were enjoying the sand and surf, but weren't too keen on having their pictures taken. I did, however, manage to catch Uncle A posing:


He sure does love his nephew ...
and we love having him!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spoon Fed

Would you believe that this baby can now feed himself?
I wouldn't either, without video-graphic evidence.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"The Walrus"

As of yet, Little Man is not quite crawling - at least not in the traditional sense. He is, however, fairly mobile. His mode of transportation most closely resembles the motions of a beached marine animal, earning it the right to be referred to as "The Walrus":

Friday, January 14, 2011

Grandma & Grandpa

No sooner had GG & Pop hit the road yesterday than we started prepping for Grandma & Grandpa's arrival. Landing at 10:30 this morning, the maternal grandparents waisted no time in spoiling our sweet baby boy - that is, after all, what grandparents do best [or so I've heard].

Grandma & Little Man played with his favorite ball ...


... while Grandpa texted like a teenager.




Little Man and Grandpa had a grand time with his favorite rattle ball:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

GG & Pop

On their way to California to meet their third great-grandbaby, GG & Pop stopped in to have lunch with us. Even though we only saw them for a couple of hours, we enjoyed their visit - and they seemed to enjoy Little Man even more!






They were impressed with Little Man's new skills - particularly his 'walking'. He took off for his new toy, and kept on going right under the table!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cleaning

It's that time again: we have visitors on their way to see us (well, really, their on their way to see Little Man - Husby and I are just fluff) meaning I have a fire under my rear to get my house to a presentable state. On a normal day, one might find toys strewn about the living room, a few dishes in the sink, and laundry to be folded - not a disaster, but with both my mother and her mother on their way, that just won't cut it. I'm on a mission of straightening, folding, washing, sweeping, mopping, and any other -ing that may be required. Please, Little Man - take long naps today!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Geek

Today's date, if written numerically, contains only the number 1, repeated five times: 1/11/11 or 011111. The binary equivalent of this string is 31, and while I can find no particular meaningfulness in this number, it does show off my geeky skills. Oh, man ... my kid(s) will think I'm crazy ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stress

As good Americans, Husby and I have gotten ourselves into a significant amount of debt. We still owe on both our cars, have more credit cards than should be allowed, and need to repay those who have helped us along the way. Plus, we're 'educated' people - meaning we enough have student loans to weigh us down for more years than I'd like to imagine. All told, our total debt is over the quintuple digit threshold - yikes. As you can imagine, the thought of how long we'll be paying on these debts just about knocks me over at times. There is a permanent rock at the pit of my stomach, pulling harder when I think about the dollars we owe. 

As the next paycheck rolls in, it becomes clear that we will be in debt for a long time to come. While we're able to make payments on our accounts, at the end of the month, there isn't much money left over to get ahead. But I just keep telling myself that we have a place to sleep and food to eat; as long as we're provided for, and making an effort to get out of debt, the pit of my stomach isn't quite as agitated. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Precipitation

In all the places we keep close track of (our home, my parents' home, and Husby's parents' home) there is currently some form of precipitation - although quite different from place to place. Up north, their gift is mostly ice, with some snow and sleet thrown in for good measure - how exciting. Back in Texas, it's snowing - yes, snowing in Texas - how unusual. And here at home, we have yet another rainy day - how bland. Even though it's a pain, we would love to have some fluffy white flakes gracing our yard - it just doesn't seem like a proper winter without any.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Froggy Jammies

Breakfast time around here continues to increase in cuteness. I think I would leave this kids in jammies all day long if it was acceptable (and they weren't coated in food after one meal).



Friday, January 7, 2011

Penguin

A Christmas present from a Great-Aunt included a new penguin shirt which I fell in love with immediately. And, when I'm in love with something, I photograph it. Thus, photos of my favorite baby boy playing in his new shirt:



The gift also included a new jean jacket,
making for a snazzy new outfit!




A great big thank you to a great Great-Aunt!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goodbye, Christmas

As Epiphany arrives, we close out our Christmas celebrations for the year. Never too keen on saying goodbye to the tree, Husby took a little convincing before he relented and allowed me to store the decorations away until Thanksgiving. "Christmas is too short," he says. "We need more that 6 weeks of it." But after [more than!] 6 weeks of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, I'm ready to let it go. Though I am sad to see the nativity scenes backed back into their boxes, I know that it makes pulling them out again in 10 months that much sweeter.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Car Seat Graduation

Overshadowed by New Years posts was the next stage in our vehicle safety: a new car seat has now been installed in the back seat of my sedan. (Sorry, little seat, but you just weren't as important as looking forward to a new baby cousin or starting another blog.) Little Man weighs too much to be comfortably carried in his infant seat anymore, and would prefer to be out socializing anyway, so we bit the bullet and upgraded him to a convertible seat that will grow with him into his toddler-hood. To adjust the straps to the proper slots, we gave it a dry run in the living room - it appears that Little Man will at least tolerate his new ride.



Can you find the 3 pieces of the Veggie Tales Nativity Scene hiding in this photo?