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Happy Birthday Blue Eyes!

My first baby (Blue Eyes) turned four a few days ago. It’s crazy to me that time has passed so quickly. It seems like yesterday I was huge, pregnant and terrified at the idea of giving birth to him. Now he’s four. This year has been crazy. We survived daddy being deployed. We dealt with the behavior regressions, and jealousy. We excitedly welcomed a baby brother and discovered that Snow White is our best friend.

We love power rangers, dinosaurs, and spiderman. Much to daddy’s dismay Star Wars is not the coolest anymore. Teddy bear puppy is no longer the favorite. We now have shuebert. The doggy who can hold the iPad. The blanket I panicked over making a replacement has been replaced by a thin red blanket that is his favorite color. Nap time is a struggle. I’ve thought about getting rid of it, but he still can’t make it through the day without one. In fact I’m sitting at the bottom of his bed making him close his eyes.

Time has changed. Snow White is now a busy two year old. She loves to sing, but we struggle with speech. She’s been in speech therapy for about six months. It’s a struggle to teach her things like potty training because of the lack of talking, but we are learning sign language and she’s starting to use some words. 

Baby boy is mobile! Just today I put him in the living room to play. I walked over to help Snow White with lunch, only to find him crawling into the kitchen after me. 

Sadly blackjack passed before the holidays. Domino was so lonely and depressed (as was daddy and blue eyes) that we ended up getting a puppy. We named her Bones. I remember why I didn’t want a puppy, but the joy she brings to the house is undeniable. 

Yep. Time is changing and passing. And since blue eyes finally closed his eyes long enough to fall asleep, I think I shall catch up on dishes and the millions of other housework chores that have been neglected.  

 

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Never Give Up, NEVER Surrender

Baby Blue with Daddy’s uniform

On a day like today, you almost can’t go without mentioning the tragic disaster that happened eleven years ago. In honor of all of those who were affected personally by the collapse of the twin towers, and those who were effected as a people. It seemed to be a wakeup call to our generation, that freedom is never free, and there will always be those who would take it from us. Those who attack not only our home, but our peace of mind and the foundation on which our nation was formed. No matter what God you believe in, no matter what your heritage, and no matter who you voted for as president; we were all affected.

It’s part of the reason I chose to serve in the military. I had a choice and I thought that one enlistment to protect my home and family wasn’t horrible. Eleven years later people still band together on this day to protect and help eachother in honor of those no longer here. Baby blue eyes is here beside me trying to chew on my laptop’s cord. He has no idea the horrific events that happened so long ago. His little smiling face is the reason people are still so upset at what happened. Little ones like him will learn about it in school. They’ll learn that brave men and women went to make sure that he had the right to go to school. That he had the right to a normal, happy childhood.

Pumpkin Scones and Paramedics

My youngest sister has applied to the community college about three blocks from my house. Considering I live the furthest from home, I’m excited about the idea of my sis coming to live here. Bing (old old nickname.) has been struggling to figure out what she wants to do. I remember the feeling. It seems like you have every option in the entire world, how on earth are you supposed to pick one? And then everyone has their own opinion on what you should do. As helpful as people trying to be, it can make the options worse. You become afraid that you’ll end up disappointing someone.

My advice? Either make a bucket list and pick one, or a pros/cons list. Unlike our other sister (we’ll use her hiking nickname Walkie Talkie), who knew what she wanted to do since middle school, I didn’t know either. Upon making a decent bucket list I just picked one and ran with it. When I got bored with that one, I started the next. Here I am almost eight years laters, and just now finding the thing I really really like. But on the plus side, I have a wonderful husband and family I never would have had without some of my bucket list.

Here’s the thing Bing is smart. I mean really smart. She’s been talking about becoming a paramedic. Tough choice. She’ll have her hands full with school, but it will be nice to have someone around who has the same bizzare sense of humor that I do. Plus it’d be nice not to be so overwhelmingly outnumbered by men. Hubby, BIL, Baby Blue, Blackjack, Domino, Bear & Gamble…. yep, I’m really outnumbered.

Explaination of the picture? Bing likes to cook. Yet another talent she has. When she was little, she was winning baking contests against 18-year-olds. One year she made me a chocolate cheesecake for my birthday. Not many people her age would have attempted it, let alone make the best cheesecake ever. When I started talking to her this morning, she mentioned it was tea party day with Walkie Talkie and blue eye’s adorable cousin, baby brown eyes

. Here’s where the pumpkin scones come in. I was absolutely jealous when she mentioned that she was making them. So she sent me the recipe. Maybe I’ll be able to learn more than just some simple peanut butter cookies. It would be nice for Baby Blue to spend some time with one of his aunts too. We live so far, that I feel horrible we don’t make it home as often as I’d like.

Bing’s Pumpkin Scones

via http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/10/27/starbucks-pumpkin-scones/

Starbuck’s Pumpkin Scones

Yield: 6 scones

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 15 min

More tender and delicious than the original…

Ingredients:

SCONES: 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup granulated white sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup canned pure (unsweetened) pumpkin 3 tablespoons half and half cream 1 large egg 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

PLAIN GLAZE: 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted) 1 tablespoon milk (any kind)

SPICED ICING: 3/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted) 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (any kind) 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg pinch of ground ginger pinch of ground cloves

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  Give it a light dusting of flour on top of that.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (through ginger).

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half and egg.

4.  Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut butter into the dry ingredients. Continue cutting until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (You may also use a food processor for this step. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs).

5.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. The dough will be wet, but if it seems super sticky… just go ahead and sprinkle a little more flour into the dough until it’s easier to handle.  Remember, you want it to be somewhat sticky, and that’s okay- but you also don’t want it to stick to the baking sheet.  Pat out dough onto the lightly floured baking sheet and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle that is about 9-inches long and 3-inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal squares. Cut through the three squares diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.  Gently pull the triangles apart, leaving about 1/2-inch space between each one.

6.  Bake 14 to 16 minutes on prepared baking sheet. Scones should begin to turn light brown.

7.  While scones are cooling, prepare plain glaze by whisking ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix until smooth.

8.  When scones are cool, use a knife to cut them apart and then pull them apart so that they are ready for glazing.  Use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.

9.  As the white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by whisking the ingredients in another medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone (or brush it on) and allow the icing to dry before serving.

Source:  RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Top Secret Recipes)

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Take a Gamble….

Bear (baby blue’s) & Gamble (Bil’s)

As I have said before, we have had an abandoned puppy living with us. At nine months, he is the sweetest, calmest dog I have ever seen. A little too calm for this busy household. He didn’t mesh as well with the other two as we had hoped either. It seemed like he was afraid of them. So sadly he had to go to the SPCA. They called the place where he got his rabies shot and they were able to track down the owner. He lied and said the puppy had been sold, but before we could even leave, they had found a good home for jerry/gamble. It was a tiny bit of a relief. He’s with a good family, and not always on our laps anymore.

I thought that’s where this story would end. But nope! They had some lab/cattle dog puppies that my BIL couldn’t resist. So we ended up with a new Gamble. This one is much more suited for Bil and he has somethign to accupy this time. He’s as cute as can be with his little white paw.

Hubby has been talking about getting Baby blue a puppy for his birthday. One that belongs to him and him alone. I haven’t been so sure about it, but we’ve already got one puppy in the house. I am NOT going to train one puppy, only to have to train another. I called the SPCA to find out if Gamble’s brother was still there. Even though they are closed on Sundays they called and said if I’d like to pick him up they would be willing to open for us. So Baby Blue has his puppy. We thought it wouldn’t exactly be appropriate for our baby boy to have a dog with a gambling name. Instead of continuing with  our casino names, we decided that this little boy would be named Bear. He will get almost as big as Blackjack, so Bear seems to be an appropriate name. Especially since we get told all the time that we don’t have dogs, we have mini bears. Thank goodness I only have to go through puppy training once more…. just think, by the time I’m done it will be little boy potty training. Man I have my work cut out for me.

 

We All Fall Down

 

We All Fall Down

 

Mr. Blue Eyes has discovered the wonderful world of standing. Not just standing, he’s in such a hurry to walk that we have a lot of falls. I’m sure most mommy’s can relate to that panicky feeling, “is my baby okay?” Yet we have to stand by and watch. At the moment he is standing with his new toy crying since he bonked his head on the handle. As a mommy I have a couple choices:

a) cuddle all his owies away

b) let him himself and know he’s okay

c) give him a kiss, tell him he’s okay and stand him back up.

Sometimes the right choice is the hardest. I had to stop writing for a moment to give my baby a kiss. A kiss and a “big boy” made him smile and try again to stand up. I’m glad he loves his new walking toy. He tries to stand all the time so it helps to have something else he can hold on to. But there are always moments like now where I have to take the toy away and let him try again later.

It’s good to allow my kid to try new things. It’s good for him in the spirit of adventure, and it’s good for me to remember that all I can do is guide. Some day he’ll have to try things on his own, and I won’t be able to step in and help. Today it’s standing, tomorrow it’ll be running, down the road some day it will be kindergarden and eventually he’ll enter the world on his own with only our love to carry him.

He’ll hopefully enter the world with little fear knowing mommy and daddy will be there to help him up. For now, I get to kiss and cuddle the owies. After he is done with his toy we’ll cuddle up and read a book. Enjoy some mommy time. After all, we all fall down. It’s only the brave who get back up.

From Journaler to Blogger

A walk in the woods

Ever feel like you should be writing something important? Something epic, or maybe something that will change someone’s life. I’m not really sure today is the day for that, but I feel like I SHOULD write today for some reason. Baby blue wasn’t ready to get up from his nap, I gave him another bottle and let him drift back up. The dogs are napping yet again as well. So I’ll take a few minutes to write. No it won’t be life changing. And no it won’t be inspirational. But I HAVE to write today.

I’ve heard a lot of flack about bloggers lately. I’m not sure why, but it seems like the fact that they are willing to share parts of their life is “a waste of time”. Or that they should be doing something more important. Here’s the truth. I’ve been a journaler since I was 8. That’s boxes and boxes of journals that have been filled and are currently sitting lovingly in my garage since I haven’t the nerve to go back through them or the nerve to throw them out. I have taken the time to write through my feelings, and days. Through joys and sorrows, confusion and anger. I have written because it gave me a sense of sanity in a world we can’t always control.

My parents thankfully have always encouraged privacy and therefore I knew if I left a journal out it would not be read by my siblings, or by the whole world. But the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve realized I don’t need pure and utter privacy anymore. And sometimes the situations I go through are exactly what someone else needs to hear. That someone is going through the same thing and here’s how they are doing it. Maybe my life can be a light to one person. That something I’ve lived or breathed will make a difference to someone else. Maybe someday I’ll go back and give you a little of my past, but at the moment, the present is enough to handle.

Remember when myspace was the thing? It was the original facebook. Well I had to request that they send me my password this week. I had fun going through old posts and photos. When I’m done I will delete the account, but for the next few days I’ll probably mull through my past. While I was musing, I ran across old photos that made me smile and remember some time or other where life was good and I enjoyed every minute of it. I thought maybe you’d like to see a couple of them.

Before Hubby and I ever dated

Alternating the Universe

Why is it that you finish typing something, and as soon as you go to hit the publish button, you inevitably delete it. Mr. Blue eyes is happily muching on a cracker and alternately smashing it into the blanket I layed down. He’s happy, and for a teething baby that’s a rareity. He’s got his bottom front teeth, and the top one is starting to come in. He’s chowing down on these crackers like they are water. I feel bad, but I tossed him another one like I would to my pups who are sitting waiting for me to tell them he’s done and they can eat the scraps.

I talked to my dad today and my family dynamic is most likely changing permenately. Out of respect to my parents I won’t go into detail, but it is the reason my little brother took an unexpected vacation up to my sister’s and I’m slightly jealous at the fact that both of my sisters and my brother are all together and I’ve got school. As for my parents, I hope the time will help them sort things out. I wish I could be there a little more, but it’s hard when you live so far and can’t drop things to go.

Other things going on? Well my house is still burnt to a crisp. I’m supposed to look at some house colors since we have to paint the new siding. The Insurrance came the other day, so all we are waiting for is the quotes to fix it. So some of my hubby’s friends are going to come over and help get some of the damage cleaned up. This could be interesting.

School starts back up tomorrow. As usual I slacked off on the homework over spring break and who knows if Mr. Blue eyes is going to let me do anything beside pay him more attention. I know you would think Cosmetology wouldn’t need a lot of homework but how many times have you ended up with a bad haircut because they didn’t know what they were doing? Or dyed your hair, only for it to turn orange or green? Or even had acrylics that damaged your nails when they came off? I’m really trying to learn as much as I can so that I don’t make those mistakes. Plus I really enjoy it. I may have been an air traffic controller in the military, but I love this a whole lot more.

Speaking of military, hubby had to drive out of town today to pick somebody up from the naval hospital an hour away. We have one here so I’m not really sure why they were so far, but whatever works. He’s putting in an officer packet, so a lot of spare time has to go to errands like this right now. His command has screwed that up a little bit, so if they won’t help him get the rest of his interviews he’s just going to finish up his degree another way and submit a package. I know there are a lot of crazy terms in the military, so if you ever get confused let me know! I’ll try to clear up terms and what things mean. It’s crazy, but you do get used to the language. And then there is the difference between branches. My hubby is in the Navy, my sister and her husband are Army officers and my hubby’s brother is reserves. It can be confusing, so I’ll try to use the generic terms.

Well Mr. Blue eyes is finished with his crackers and the dogs are seeking them out like an easter egg hunt.

With everything going on I feel like my head is spinning. It looks like I decided to write just in time. I’ve always been a good writer. I’ve kept a journal since I was eight. It’s a way to sort thoughts and keep yourself in check. I know I’ll have some family and some friends on here, so please please don’t take offense to what I say. this is my way of sorting out life. But like I said, Who had time to think?

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  ―    Apple Inc.

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