Wednesday, December 21, 2011

home sweet crafts

So it took me a while but I have discovered (and become obsessed with) pinterest.  If you don't know what it is, only check it out if you have a lot of time on your hands.  Anyways, I found this gem on there (via this blog). 
The girl who writes the blog said she didn't know what the key was to.  I personally went and made a copy of our new house key and made my own:
I modified it to better fit in with our beach house and our love for the good ol' U.S. of A.  Can't wait to move in and put it up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

santa baby

I'm lazy and just getting around to post this now... But, a few weeks ago I took Gunnar to meet Santa!  He came to the local Library and little Guns got all dressed up to go see him for the first time.  A big, fat smile would've been great for pictures, even a hysterical breakdown would've been funny.  But my kid is just indifferent.  He is too cool for Santa apparently...
Granted he did just wake up from the tiniest of naps (since the library is 5 minutes from our house).  But still, it looks like he is just bored of the whole Santa thing.  C'mon kid, you don't want coal in your stocking, do you?!
And back at home, I tried to get a shot of his adorable outfit.  That didn't go over too well.  This photo had the least amount of screaming.  Not a happy camper, but oh so adorable!

I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner; less then a week away now!  I wish it would hurry up and get here and the days would just keep on going.  I know that's a horrible thing to say about my first baby's first Christmas.  It will be wonderful and we will get to spend time with our family, but what we really want is to celebrate it (and all the other holidays) with Dad when he finally gets home sometime in the coming weeks.  

But how great is this?... Patrick's Company's ADVON team arrived home early this morning!  What a wonderful thing for all those families to have their loved ones home in time for Christmas.  I was so excited for them I haven't been able to sleep since getting the updates a few days ago!  I am also incredibly jealous, of course (ha!) but mostly so happy they have made it home safe and sound.  Now, just waiting on our turn!  I have a feeling it will be like the last few weeks of pregnancy and the days will seem like decades.  BUT!  Compared to what we've already been through, it won't be long at all... 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

jolly greetings

Please enjoy this selection of photos from our 2011 Christmas card:

My handsome Santa and his adorably faithful reindeer.  Special thanks to my sister, Kelly, for her time and patience in capturing these photos!  

Enjoy your holidays everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

now & then

Man, what a difference a couple of weeks makes.

12 weeks
 1 week
This is Guns' bed.  We are working on moving to his crib but he hates sleeping flat on his back.  But look how my boy has filled out!  When his legs are straight they dangle way over the edge.  And the straps used to be practically in his armpits.  We need to get him in that crib soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

three months

My little man has hit the 12 week mark.  Crazy!  He is so much fun these days, I can't even begin to tell you.  I fall more in love with every smile, every arch of the eyebrow, and even every cry.

He has pretty much gotten himself into a routine.  I swear he is so easy.  He is getting so good about sleeping 6-8 hours at a time at night.  Always up around the same time, but just sits in his seat (haven't graduated to the crib yet) and plays with his mobile.  He talks to his giraffe and waits for me to get him out.  No fussing, just giggles.  He takes a nap around the same time every morning and afternoon.  And falls asleep around the same time every night.  Perfection.  We have play time during the day, whether its time in the Bumbo or on the play mat, and tummy time too.  He loves it all.

He talks a ridiculous amount, but he is apparently camera shy.  Everytime he sees the camera he just stares at it and stops whatever he was doing (except kicking and flailing... he never stops doing that).  That's why this video is shot from the side, I didn't want him to stop giggling.  You miss out on the full effect of his cute expressions, but you can hear him and it is adorable.  I love how he keeps sticking his tongue out and you can totally see his precious little dimple!

And his eyes are getting bluer by the day... oh he is going to break some hearts with those gems.

And just look at how big he is!
(disregard the red mark on his stomach.  apparently he has sensitive skin like his momma and he got that when I was tickling him)

Oh little man, how I adore you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

santa baby

That's the name of the contest the local radio station is hosting.  They are looking for the cutest "santa baby".  I might be biased, but I think I've got a winner...
PS:  this is also a preview of our Christmas card!

If you are interested in voting for little Guns, just go here, you do have to register, but it's really easy and you can vote 50 times!  Help me win a $500 gift card to the mall so I can buy my santa baby lots of cute stuff!

Friday, December 2, 2011

coming to an end

Today it is December.  You know, in case you weren't aware of that already.  Us Alpha Co 2D Radio wives are all very excited about it.  It marks another month down.  One month closer to seeing our heroes.  Not only is the year coming to an end, but so is the deployment.  Thank goodness!  I'm pretty sure none of us have actually been given any kind of window yet, but the end gets closer with every day that passes, no matter what the actual date is.  Tomorrow Patrick will have been gone 21 whole weeks.  I say that's long enough, he can come home now.

December also means colder weather.  I think we can say goodbye to the 75 degrees we had over Thanksgiving.  We won't be seeing that again until next Spring.  Sad face.  I tend to shut down when it's cold.  I hate it.  So to cope with the dropping temperatures outside, you can find me here:
See that little space? It's right... about... there ---^ .  That's my spot.  Snuggled in cozy with 3 of my boys.  The fourth will be home soon, and we have to leave his side open for when he does return.  Can't wait.  For now, Little Guns is my personal heater, man that kid is toasty!  Jack and Win do a pretty good job of projecting warmth as well.  All in all we are doing okay.

31 days to go until next month... and next year!  A year where hopefully we will have our "man of the house" around a whole lot more.  Here we go!

PS:  Remember this post when I told you I was done all my Christmas shopping AND wrapping?  Well I finished my Christmas cards last night.  Didn't even make it to the first week of this month. Currently looking for things to keep me occupied.  Unfortunately there's always cleaning to be done.  But that's no fun!  Maybe I'll hire myself out...

No time to wrap presents?  I'm your girl.  Need someone to address your cards?  Look no further!  As long as I can tote my kid along, I am willing and able...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

post thanks

Little Guns is very thankful for everyone that loves him, and this is a shoutout to those who gave him Thanksgiving gear:
Thank you Grandma for the bib!
 Mom (& Dad) got little man this outfit
 ...and bib
 Thank you for this bib, Ms. Eileen!
Just wanted to share some adorable photos of my main man.  Thanks to my sister, Kelly for getting the shots!

As I mentioned somewhere on Facebook, my post Thanksgiving thanks was Gunnar sleeping for over 8 hours straight that night.  Well, I am sorry to say that was not made a habit and last night he was back to his "week 1 antics" of getting up every 2 hours.  Funny joke, kid.  How about we go back to sleeping at night instead of playing?  Thanks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

giving thanks

First of all, I hope this finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying your holiday. I thought I would just take a moment to note just a few things I am thankful for this year.

Number 1 would be the wonderful wives of the 2D Radio Battalion.  I know I haven't seen much of any of you since the deployment started, but all the chats here and there, and even just your own updates on Facebook have helped me get through knowing I'm not alone.  So thank you ladies!

Number 2 would be my best friends in the whole world.  AKA my Wolfe Street Family.  I would not be who I am today without the influences (good and bad, ha) of you girls!  I love you all so much thank you all for being who you are, and always being there for me.
Number 3 would undoubtedly be my family.  They are truly unbelievable.  All the love and support I've gotten from them throughout my life is more than greatly appreciated.  I don't know what I'd do without you.  I love you all!
Number 4 goes to my dogs.  For so long it was just me and them.  Even when Patrick wasn't deployed, I could go entire days not talking to any humans.  Just them.  And they don't love me any less for having a baby.  And they still love to play with me.  They are the best.  If you are an avid reader of mine, you already know how much I adore them.  Thank you boys for your sloppy kisses!
And since I am equally thankful for both of these guys, number 5 is my husband and son.  I count my blessings everyday that this is my family.  I am the luckiest girl to have married my best friend, and my hero.  What better role model for our son who has so quickly completely stolen both of our hearts.  I can't say I don't remember life before him, because I do.  But I certainly don't want to go back there.  These 2 are my everything.  Thank you for being you Patrick and Gunnar. XO

thanks for all the laughs, my love
and thanks for being so sweet
and thanks for giving my this little guy
and sonny boy, thanks for that smile
Last but not least, I am thankful for the days passing quickly and that this deployment is more than half way over with.  I am thankful that Patrick has stayed busy (to help him pass the time) and most importantly safe.  I am thankful for each phone call, and every email.  Each one is one more closer to seeing him again.  Counting down the days...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


So today I finished wrapping my Christmas presents.  With the exception of a few things left to buy, I am all done.  It's 33 days before Christmas.  I am wishing the days away so fast (until Patrick is home)... at some point I won't be able to anymore.  And then what?

What am I going to do in December?  If I have no shopping left to do, and no wrapping left to do, what else is there?  Christmas cards perhaps?  No, no.  I plan on ordering those by the end of the week, so that will only keep me busy through the first week, tops.  Especially since I have such a good helper!  My little Guns was exhausted from helping me wrap presents today.  Don't worry I supervised his use of the scissors.
 Speaking of the baby man, I have a feeling he will find something to keep me busy with.  Like, say, teething?
He has gone from playfully chewing on one hand to viciously trying to shove both in his mouth at the same time.  And holy cow, someone turned up the drool dial on this one.  Poor little guy, he has random outbursts of screaming (that last all of about 5 seconds).  It's torture to me, but still kinda cute (is that wrong?).  Hoping I'm wrong about the pre-teeth thing...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

follow your feet

Today, I am fairly certain, Gunnar discovered he actually has control over those feet that he kicks incessantly.  It started this morning when we had play time on his activity mat.  He usually flails around, but this time he was focused on the giraffe that was hanging by his feet.  And all of a sudden his feet took aim.  When he hit the giraffe and it swung back and forth and he smiled and laughed!  It was so cool to watch him do it over and over that I almost forgot to get the Flip!  I did get video, but I won't post it here in order to spare you my commentary.

Then it happened again tonight in the bathtub.  He usually is kicking and splashing all over the place but this time it was controlled.  His target in the water was the turtle thermometer that was floating by his toes.  He kicked it and it would spin around and he'd do it again and again.  I tried to capture it on film (well my phone camera)...  The poor quality actually proves my point, see his blurry foot?  It was all geared up to kick that poor turtle!

I am so proud of him for his major feat of motor skills, and because this was the first time he didn't cry when I took him out of the water.  Look at my cute little crabbie :)
Love him!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

check up

Gunnar went back to the Dr. for the first time today since he was 2 weeks old!  Man what a change!  He now weighs 12 lbs 10 oz, and is almost 24" long!  He's right in about the 75th percentile for both height and weight.  I'm so proud of my growing boy!  Especially because he had to get 3 shots in his legs, and he was a champ about it!  He only cried for a minute and was fine as soon as I scooped him up and cuddled him.  Oh how I love this kid!  Check out his battle wounds:
Those bandaids consist of Bugs Bunny, Tazmanian Devil, and dinosaurs!  He only got a little fever and a dose of tylenol seemed to put it at bay.  Although, he did not like the cherry flavor!

Monday, November 14, 2011

pity party

I have been really good about not complaining, but I've had it.  Okay, well I've been really good about not complaining in public.  My family and my husband have heard it all though.  It has just gotten to the point where I just don't want to keep it in anymore and I want to have a pity party.

There is a running joke with pretty much anyone that knows me, that I should live in a bubble.  Not only am I incredibly accident prone, but I get sick with things that no one else will ever come across in their lifetime.  Like the mumps, who gets the mumps?!  Me, that's who.  Pneumonia 4 times?  Check.  Mono?  Yep.  Bones that are too long?  Let's saw 'em off.  "Regular" illnesses hit me with a vengeance; bronchitis for 2 months and strep that put me in the hospital.  And countless other things that I actually put into a list and had an ailment or injury or allergy for every. single. letter. of the alphabet.  Most letters had multiples.  Can Tricare drop you?  Because I'm getting a little nervous...

But I digress...  What I'm really here to complain about is the fact that I haven't felt 100% since January.  Yeah, that would be almost a full year of my life of feeling just plain crappy.  It started with the ever common morning sickness in the first trimester.  Then it was the out of control fatigue in the second trimester.  After that, it was the general uncomfortableness of the third trimester. And we can't forget the recurring lower back pain and constant heartburn throughout, of course.

Then there was labor.  No walk in the park, especially being sans husband (who was 7,000 miles away at war) but I thought at least after recovery it would be smooth sailing.  Then, I got slapped in the face.  Recovery did NOT go as planned, to say the least.  And after too many days of crying through the sentence "it's supposed to get worse before it gets better, right?" I called my Dr.  That earned me several painful, tear-filled appointments, and bedrest stricter then weeks 31-35 of my pregnancy.  A few weeks, and a round of antibiotics later I was hopeful that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  Alas, I didn't even make it to my official six week postpartum check up before I wound up in the emergency room.  One week of not being able to eat helped me lose the rest of the "baby weight" but wasn't good for much else.  Blood work, IVs of fluids, one ridiculously terrible drink and a painful CT scan later, we found the problem, and it was more antibiotics too strong to nurse with (pump and dump anyone?) and a referral to a specialist.  Again, the light at the end of the tunnel quickly went dark this evening when I was all of a sudden rendered immobile.

Tonight we were driving back from my sister's All State All-Star field hockey game (she scored the only goal - go Kim!) an hour and a half away.  Throughout the car ride sharp pains started shooting through my left hip and it progressively got worse.  By the time we got home it was all I could do to not scream while crawling from my car to the front door.  And I'm bedridden again.  Here's to hoping that a good night's rest (what is that again?) and a dose of leftover narcotics (from the aforementioned recovery issues) will nip this in the bud quickly, and permanently.  I really  need to be able to walk.

After all, I have to take care of this adorable guy:

So, in conclusion, where is that break I'm supposed to catch?  I'm more than ready for it.  Either that, or I want my husband home to take care of me as I slowly but surely fall apart.  Thank you for letting me vent.  I promise it won't happen again.

PS:  thanks to Kelly for all the great Guns photos!

Friday, November 11, 2011

one quarter of a century

Today I turned 25.  If you think that's old, the United States Marine Corps also celebrated today, and it turned 236.  So thank you to the Marines around the world keeping us safe, particularly my own.  In honor of that, and as a present to me, here is this incredibly handsome picture of my husband:
 I have no idea when or where that was taken, but it makes me smile and cry at the same time.  I love him, and I'm lucky to share a birthday with him (and all the other devil dogs out there).

As for us back home... we celebrated with a wonderful family dinner, ice cream cake and presents.  And I spent all day cuddling with my main man.  I even got a gorgeous floral surprise from 7,000 miles away!

Now please enjoy this karate photo montage that is his 8 week photo shoot:
Happy birthday to me :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

two months

Ready for some cliches?  Little Guns is already 2 months old, and I can't believe it!  It truly feels like it was just yesterday when I was in the hospital, and my family was saying goodbye to us for the night, and the nurse said "page me if you need anything", and I was alone with this lump of love for the very first time.  Okay, so he's really only 8 weeks old, but that should be 2 months, and the 14th seems so far away.  Crazy right?  How time can work like that... Here it is, the 9th of November, and the 14th of the very same month seems like it will never get here, and yet the 14th from two months back feels like it just happened...

But I digress...

This past month has been a lot of fun.  Mainly because Guns is a lot of fun, but also because we got to have a lot of visitors!  First, our dear friend, Mrs. Karen, stopped by.  And if it wasn't for her, this little man wouldn't be here.  Ladies and gents, it was at her home across the street from my own, where Patrick and I met for the very first time!  It was a privilege to get to introduce Gunnar to her.
We also had family come visit.  My cousins Sue, Chrissy, Anne and Nathan.  Gunnar enjoyed meeting them as well.  He is so good about being passed around from person to person.  He just loves everybody!  We also had lunch with another family friend, Janelle!  He is a busy man I tell ya.  
Another "visitor" of sorts was G.G.  That would stand for "Gunnar's Guy".  His first pet.  What about the dogs you ask?  They aren't pets, they are brothers.  G.G. is a turtle.  Mimi found him in our garage, and we kept him inside for a few days, but as you will see, he is very  tiny and needed more then we could give him.  So he lives at a wild life reserve now.
This month also brought on another road trip... my mom and sister went with us to Pilot Mountain (where the Andy Griffith show was filmed).  It was a very small town, and just about everything happened to be closed (and it was a Monday- who knew?).  Everywhere, that is, except this place:
How perfect is that sign?!

Anyways other things we did this month include but are not limited to:  chewing on our hands all the time, which brings on the 'drool monster'.  And he's 'talking' SO much, it's the most heart warming sound.  Along the same lines, he is always smiling.  I have never seen anything so cute.  It makes the lack of sleep so incredibly worth it.  Even though the sleep thing is getting better!  Also this month we have also spent a lot of time in our Bumbo, and we love it!  I think it's his new favorite place to sit.  He loves being able to sit up and stare at everything.
 Perhaps the biggest news of the month is that we packed up all his newborn clothes.  I am proud to say that he did wear each and every item and least once!  He could still probably still wear some... but only some.  Most he is bursting right out of...
Here are his stats:  Hats and Socks: never really fit in newborn sizes, but we faked it :) currently in 3-6 months.  Shirts/Onesies/Jammies:  definitely comfortably in the 0-3 month/3 month size, depending on the brand.  Pants/Shorts:  3 month fits lengthwise perfectly, but they fall right off his skinny bum!  Sound like anyone you know?  Perhaps a certain long, lean marine captain?  Yeah... it's safe to say he'll take after Dad.  We don't have a well baby appointment for another week so I won't know exactly how long he is, or how much he weighs until then... I have a feeling I will be shocked at the change.

And speaking of change... here he is from these past few weeks...

5 weeks
 6 weeks
(yeah his newborn Halloween onesie is a little short in the arms don't you think?!)
7 weeks
(hello, thigh rolls)
8 weeks
...coming soon!
(he's been a little sleepy today)