Wednesday, December 19, 2012

13... 14... 15...

I've kind of been MIA around here since Gunnar's birthday.  It was like he hit the big ONE and just went bonkers.  He keeps me on my toes every second of every day.  So instead of monthly updates, I guess I will have to settle for quarterly updates on my little booger.

Here's all the exciting things he's picked up in the last three months:
  • He says the following words:  mama, dada, papa (puppy), paba (sponge bob), kack (jack), bebe (belly), baka (muscles - don't know why but every time we ask him to do muscles he does it, and then yells "Baka!"), bye-bye, guhguh (Gunnar)
  • He knows the following body parts, and will point to them when he feels like performing.  In the order he learned them:  peepee (typical boy), belly, tongue, ears, toes, cheeks, teeth
  • He will do the following actions on command:  clap your hands, put it on your head, show me your muscles, blow me a kiss, wave, put it back, give that to me, are you dancing? (for some reason he won't dance when you ask him to, only when you ask if he already is)
His favorite things to do are:  run away from me, cuddle under a blanket, play catch, play peek-a-boo, ride his horsey and fire truck, climb stairs, climb anything really, make messes, dance to mickey mouse clubhouse, brush his teeth

He loves anything with wheels, any kind of ball, and any musical toy.  He still loves to get my belly (and anyone else's that will let him), and he still naps on me every day.  And I still love it.  Although, he is transitioning himself to one nap a day.  Which is actually better.  He has been miserable fighting his second nap almost every day.  And he goes to bed much easier, and earlier, and sleeps longer when he only has one nap.  I will just miss cuddling him twice a day.  I love my cuddle bug so much.

He gets in these moods where he starts to lecture an imaginary crowd.  He gets very intense and passionate about his jibber-jabber, and even throws in hand motions.  Usually they appear to be Italian-esque, which is weird because we have just about every kind of culture represented in our ancestry, except Italian.  Regardless, it's hysterical.

And now for some videos and photos of our booger:

And this is what 15 months looks like... all 33 inches, and 25 lbs of it (that would be 95th and 60th percentile's respectively):
He climbed down only to get a book and climb back up to read it.  And my heart melted.

Couldn't you just eat him right up?!  Love him.  Oh, and disregard the band-aids on his legs.  My big 15 month old had to get some shots today.  PS:  I hope he is never too big for mama love when he hurts.

Friday, December 7, 2012

my little monkey

Well, Patrick is down south visiting an air force base, doing some jumps and other assorted training, and it's just me and my boys left at home.  This afternoon we took our black beauty (oh yeah, we got a new truck!)
back up to Carmax so they could install the DVD player we purchased with it.  The install was going to take 4 hours, so they gave me a loaner to cruise around Fayetteville with.  Awesome.

We found our way to a place called Monkey Joe's.  It's an indoor play place full of bounce houses.  Gunnar took a long time to warm up to it.  I had to sit in the corner of one with him while he cried.  It didn't help that there were 8-10 year olds running a muck in the 3 and under bounce house.  Eventually, after a little freedom and running around the adult lounge (full of recliners) and behind the bounces to inspect the air pumps, he finally started having fun.  His favorite bounce house was one with a roughly 6+ ft wall that was basically straight up with some pegs to climb on, and a steep drop slide.  The first time I helped him up, and as soon as he reached the top of the slide he spun around and flew down feet first on his belly giggling the whole way.  He got down, ran back to the beginning, and climbed the wall all by himself.  Again, this is a wall made out of basically air.  I mean, I had trouble climbing it.
Clearly, he lived up to the name Monkey Joe.  He is climbing on EVERY THING these days...
Seriously... as I type this, this is what he is doing:
But I digress...  He loved the play place so much, I was very happy to hear that there is a similar place near us so I can take him back for some repeat performances.
If you could see his face he is grinning ear-to-ear.  I felt so bad I had to make him leave to pick the truck up.  But he was excited to see the new addition just for him.  Or maybe excited is the wrong word... more like intrigued.
Problem: no speaker on the unit, so he can only listen via headphones.  They lasted about 30 seconds, then he ripped them off and played with them.  His first movie, you ask?  Double feature.  An American Tale, and Fival Goes West.  

After a very long 3 days, we are very excited to pick Dad up from base tomorrow!  As you can imagine, it was a lot of "what can go wrong will" as soon as he walked out the door.  I've come to expect it now, which makes it a little easier.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

a life of service should have its perks

Calling all service members!  You know how when you go to a store, and you ask if they offer a military discount, and they say yes?  You have to show them your ID card (which hopefully has a better picture than the one mine is working with) and ta da! 10% off your total.  Isn't that great?!  Wouldn't it be even better if you could do the same thing online?

Well, now you can!  The wonderful crew working over at TroopSwap has developed the technology that allows us to receive our military discount from the comfort of our own homes.  Enter:  Troop ID.

Troop ID is a single sign-on website (that's right, you log in to just one site) that authenticates your military credentials, and gives you access to ongoing discounts offered by their partners.  Their current featured partner is Under Armour, only one of many nationally recognized brands to come.

Sounds too good to be true?  Worried your personal information will be at risk?  Let me put you at ease... Troop ID was created by two former Army Rangers who know all about the necessary precautions to take when sharing your information.  Coming from someone who is hesitant to hand over her military ID at the doctor's office for insurance purposes, this is as good as it gets.  By validating your military status with Troop ID, you don't have to share that information with anyone else, and it is never given to their partners.  What this also means is that military-wanna-bes committing fraud will not be able to take advantage of the benefits we have earned.

Are you eligible?  If you fall under any of the following categories, the answer is yes:
  • Active Duty Service Members
  • Veterans
  • Spouses and Dependents of AD & Vets
However, enrolling in Troop ID does not guarantee eligibility to all benefits.  For example, a brand partner may choose to offer a deal specifically for Veterans.

It gets better... Troop ID isn't limited to just shopping discounts.  They will also be able to offer employment and educational opportunities, VA benefits, and financial resources.

Now that you've heard all about Troop ID, head on over and sign up to start taking advantage of these offers!

And because the people at TroopSwap do everything they can to uphold their motto:  a life of service should have its perks! They are offering YOU some FREE BUCKS!  Here's what you have to do some time this week:
You could be one of 23 winners announced next week!
  • First Prize: $20 TroopSwap Bucks
  • Second Prize: $15 TroopSwap Bucks
  • Third Prize: $10 TroopSwap Bucks
  • and 20 people will win $5 TroopSwap Bucks
You've earned it, so sign up!  And, don't forget to check out TroopSwap for exclusive local deals!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

blow me one last kiss

I haven't really worked with Gunnar on blowing kisses just yet.  We've spent a lot of time on waving, which he has just picked up on very enthusiastically.  Yay!  When he would do what we called "blowing a kiss" he was really just smacking his lips together.  But last night, we were on FaceTime with some family in Florida, and the kid proved he's a prodigy. 

My cousin Tina got on the camera and started blowing him kisses.  I said "blow Tina a kiss!" and started smacking my lips so he would imitate.  To my surprise, he gently put his palm to his mouth over and over and over again.  What?!  He was totally doing it the right way, without any prompting from me at all!  What a stud.

Thanks for teaching him that Tina.  I suspect he's got a new girlfriend now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

it's my party

It's been a month and a half, and I'm finally getting around to blogging about Gunnar's birthday party.  Shows you how busy my one year old keeps me.  As you know, we celebrated a week early because Dad had to leave for jump school.  We were very lucky to have Mimi, Bepa, Gaga, Poppy, Aunt Carly, Uncle Justin, and Gunnar's friends Jack, Levi and Wyatt (and of course their mommy and daddy too) in attendance.  It was a "little man" theme, and mustaches were everywhere.  Guns had a lot of fun, and is one lucky little boy! 

I am proud to say I made almost everything myself!  Check it out:

Invitations made on Word, printed on 5x7 cardstock:

I bought the template for these labels on Etsy, printed them on sticker paper (greatest invention ever), cut them out, and voila!

And, I bought these labels too, thanks again Etsy!

This banner is what I'm most proud of... die-cut letters purchased here, chevron templates purchased here, and I hand cut the mustaches and heart.  It all hung on baker's twine purchased here.

(I actually loved this banner so much, I am now making my own and selling them in my Etsy shop!  Yes... it still exists, ha!)

The cupcake decor, a combo of the chevron templates, and my own creation made on Word, and printed on that awesome sticker paper!

Sweet Treats... Manly Eats... Wet Your Whiskers... all made on Word.

Our party favors, "daper gingerbread men" complete with bowties, and mustaches.  Baked by Mimi and me, decorated and packaged by yours truly.  And our thank you sign, also made on Word.
Photobooth!  Sign from Word, and props (bowties, mustaches, and lips) hand cut by me from colored cardstock, and sticker paper (my new favorite crafting accessory, can't you tell).

Bowtie and Mustache cakes, baked and decorated by me!

Now for the good stuff... my mustached man, enjoying his party, and more importantly his cake!

We are so thankful to have this little big man in our lives.  Happy first birthday Gunnar... looking forward to many, many more to come.  And I apologize in advance when the rest aren't as well planned as this one.  At least you got one.  If you have any brothers or sisters, they most likely won't get any... it's all store bought stuff from here on out.  Love you!

Friday, October 19, 2012

pretty princess

As I mentioned in the previous post, my family lost one of our dear dogs this week.  Miss Sara was about 2 weeks shy of her tenth birthday.  She had been pretty sick for a while now.  Due to a genetic issue, where her skull was pushing on her brain, she had lost the use of her back legs, and hadn't been able to walk in over a year.  She had been through everything from acupuncture to brain surgery to fix it.  She was a fighter.  It was heart wrenching to see this dog, who still seemed so spunky, not be able to run and chase like she used to.  She did get to relax on her very own orthopedic bed though.  She was not one to play with the other dogs, but she did let some of the other girls lay with her from time to time. 

Sara, who also responded when I called her pretty princess, Sarie-Sue, and fluff butt and any variation of those, was just about as sheltie as shelties get.  Right up to the end, she was "on duty".  She was constantly trying to protect us.  Anytime someone came into the house, or left the house, she was the first to let you know.  Even if people went into another room, she didn't like it because she couldn't keep an eye on all her "sheep" at the same time.  In her hey-day, she would even go so far as to "herd" us by nipping at our ankles if we weren't going where she wanted us to go.  For me, it was when I was leaving the house.  One of my favorite memories of Sara was how she would run around and eat all the apples that had fallen from our neighbors apple tree.  She loved apples.  She would have to fight the deer off for them.  She couldn't have been happier than when she was laying outside, wind in her fur, chomping on some apples. 

Sara was well loved by everyone in our family, but I feel like we had a special bond.  When she could jump as high, I used to wake up to her standing on my chest (she used to be about 10 lbs... most of it fur) and she would be staring straight at me.  As soon as I'd open my eyes, she would lick my face all over.  I will forever cherish those mornings. 

Sweet Sarie Sue, you were one of a kind, and I'm glad we were the family to rescue you.  You brought us lots of laughs, and gave us lots of love over the years you were with us.  Thank you for that.  There will always be a fluffy hole in my heart for you.  Rest peacefully pretty girl.

just keep swimming

It's been a rough week. First, on Monday, I got word that our family dog, Sara, had passed during the night.  More on that later... Then today, I found one of our fish joined her.  I know it sounds silly, and most people think "oh it's just a fish", but it's not. 

Panama Red was our flame hawk that we had for almost 2 years.  He survived 2 moves with us, and was down right awesome.  He was definitely my favorite.  He loved to perch all over the tank, more like a bird than a fish.  He had his favorite spots, where you could usually find him.  He had crazy chameleon-esque eyes that looked all over and never missed a thing.  Whenever I walked over to the tank he swam right up to me and waited for food, and you could have probably hand fed him.

Usually we know when we're going to lose a fish.  Come to think of it, every time we have lost one, they've looked sickly, stopped eating, were breathing too fast, etc.  We saw it coming.  Not this time.  Red was in the prime of his health.  He came to his demise by somehow jumping out of the inch-wide slot in the tank cover.  He landed on top of the cover and couldn't make his way back in.  It totally broke my heart to find him. 

After lots of loss, some of which devastating (like this one), I am done.  I have reached my max, I can't cry over these fish anymore.  We will probably be getting rid of the fish tanks.  But we will always miss all of our fish.  Especially you, Panama.  Swim on little dude. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

one year.

Gunnar Douglas is no longer my little baby.  Just kidding.  He always will be!  But, I think he has officially crossed over into "toddler-ville".  He is up to a whole host of new things these days.  I will do my best to remember all of them... I knew I should have been writing things down as I thought of them.  But I didn't, and here I am with mommy brain trying to think of the adorably sweet (and witty) things I wanted to say about my baby

As you know, he's walking all over the place.  Running at times.  He climbs now too.  On the couch, up the stairs (that's right he figured out the gate).  He also taught himself to turn around and slid off the couch (or bed) on his belly.  Genius.

Speaking of bellies.  That's the first body part he learned.  Every time I ask him "where's your belly?" he comes running over to me, lifts my shirt up and pokes my belly.  Thanks, kid.  That's just what everyone wants to see... Ugh.  But it's so cute I don't even care (most of the time). 

He currently loves any kind of toy vehicle.  He gets a kick out of moving them back and forth, over and over and over and over... Then he looks up at me like, "hey ma! look what I can do!"  So freaking cute.  He always seems to know when he's doing something totally noteworthy.  Even though as his mom I think everything is noteworthy.  More toys he likes are balls.  Anything round, that rolls, or bounces, he's all over it.  He loves to throw and chase, and just yesterday he started kicking (on purpose) and chasing.  Way to go champ!

Now on to the birthday celebrations... My sweet angel and I spent it alone, since Dad had to report to jump school the day before his birthday.  Typical.  We hit up the aquarium, where he ran around and had fun poking at the fish through the glass.  He even got up close and personal with a shark!  We had lots of fun watching the otters and penguins too.

 Then I treated him to a nice grilled cheese, and hot cinnamon apple dinner.  Yum!
And when we got back home, we Facetime'd with Dad.  Gunnar loved it.  He kept hanging up on him because he was trying to pet Patrick's face. 
 He also tried cow's milk for the very first time!  He loves it, can't get enough.  Here he is giving it a go:

Speaking of milk... I don't talk about nursing often because well, I think it's a weird topic to discuss with non-parents, and everyone else really.  But I guess when you're a mom, nothing is off limits.  Plus, it's a cute story, in it's own odd little way... Gunnar is currently being weaned off of breast milk completely.  We are almost there, and he seems to be handling it fine.  But, he has started a new thing that's got to be the sweetest thing I have ever experienced.  When he gets fussy, or just to settle down in general, he has to put his hand inside my shirt, on my chest.  Right. Over. My. Heart.  It's like his security blanket. 

On our never-ending drive home last night he was in the middle of an all out, screaming at the top of his lungs, real people tears, head banging, leg kicking, temper tantrum, melt down.  It was bad.  I climbed in the back with him, he put his hand on my heart, and all was right with the world.

I could cry thinking about how sweet it is.  It's like he's telling me, even though we're moving on from this, he still needs me.  Just in a different way.  I could just die it makes me so happy.  Hopefully he will always need me... I'll just hold on to these moments for now.

And now, since this post has been a lot of writing, and not so much on the photography front, let me remedy that (and to catch up on almost 2 months of non-blogging):

Ta-Da!  My one year old!


We would also like to thank Mrs. Jane for this adorable peek-a-boo bear.  We lost our dear friend to breast cancer a few weeks ago, and we will always remember her.  Gunnar loves his bear and we love you, Jane.

Thanks for sticking with us throught that one, it was long.  Check back later for more on Gunnar's birthday party!