Saturday, January 28, 2012


Round 1 between Gunnar and the rice cereal ended quickly in favor of the slop.  But Guns got a few punches in early in round 2.  He even spilled most of the bowl all over Dad.  But by the end, he was the clear winner of the fight.  See for yourself, he took that cereal out like a champ!


I have never in my life uttered this word.  But now I am finding myself saying it hundreds of times a day.  There is just no other way to better describe my son's behind.  It is the world's most supremely perfect tushie.  And I love it.


New house means new bedding!  I was able to talk my dear, sweet husband into this gorgeous bedding from West Elm that I have been dreaming about.  And it totally delivered.  I am obsessed!  I like the idea of duvets, but in real life I hate them.  However, this one is tolerable.  It's all just so cozy I can't stand it.  I don't think I'll ever leave...
the boys love it too

 in love with my perfect pillows!  Thanks Mom and Kel!

Friday, January 27, 2012

daddy christmas

Now that Dad is home, we were able to celebrate our Christmas with him!  Only a month late, no biggie.  It was complete with a tree and presents and everything.  We had special ornaments that we saved for Dad to hang up, and I would've put Guns in his Christmas outfit, if he still fit in it!

Dad and Guns checking out our tree
 Guns and his Carpenter jersey
(that he will have to wait a few years to fit into...
or maybe not!)
 Dad and his new Cards jersey
 and Mom's present to herself... a new embroidered tree skirt!
(I got a Cards jersey too... Freese, who else?)
It was good to get a chance to celebrate with Dad.  Hopefully he and Guns enjoyed it as much as I did!

christmas 1

Gunnar's first Christmas came during an incredibly busy time in his little life.  It is for that reason I am just getting around to blogging about it one month and one day after it happened.  Forgive me, son.  It was a great day spent with my family.  Filled with lots of love and gifts for little man.  He was so good, until he cried.  We actually had to take a break from opening all his gifts so he could nap.  Here are some photos of the morning/afternoon:
Checking out the goods
 World's Happiest baby

 Loving his stocking Mimi made him
 Hey Belly!
 Jack and Win got a toy platter complete with a squeaky roasted turkey, corn on the cob, biscuit, baked potato, rope of parsley, and all served on a frisbee!
 Jack liked the baked potato best
 Wardrobe change and more presents

 Loving the wrapping paper

Thanks to everyone who made Gunnar's 1st Christmas so special!


To make up for the lack of pictures of our adorable little man in the last 2 posts, this one has videos!

At Gunnar's 4 month check up, you know where we found out he was the tallest baby in America?  Well the nice Dr told us that we could try rice cereal and fruits.  We have been all over the place with the move and welcoming Pat home and hospital visits (yes plural) and a million other things that we didn't have a chance to try until the other night.  It was highly entertaining terrifying for Gunnar.  He did not like it, to say the least:
So, first time for cereal?  Fail.  We'll have to try again when he is more receptive to new things.  AKA less sleepy.

Another first was that we had our family Christmas last night (more on that later) and Guns' big present was a brand new jumperoo!  Dad put it together for him and here he is trying it out and loving it:

Please disregard the mess we have.  Like I said before, life is crazy right now.  I sure have my work cut out for me... Just focus on the baby.

Friday, January 20, 2012

more adventures in fatherhood

In my last post I mentioned Gunnar welcoming Patrick to the Daddy Club with loads of worry.  Well he also did it with loads of poop.  Tuesday afternoon on our way home from dropping his parents off at the airport, I smelled something and told him we had better pull over and inspect the current diaper situation.

Well it was a disaster.  We're talking e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.  The poor kid was practically swimming in it.  So there we were, in a parking lot of an abandoned collision repair place, on the side highway 70, bathing him in wipes.  It was Pat's first dealings with a poopy diaper.  It was so bad we had to strip him down and I held up his naked little body for Pat to wipe down his back.

And what do you think the kid did the whole time we were changing him?  Laugh.  Hysterically.  Which made us laugh hysterically.  Tears-running-down-our-faces laughing.  We fell more in love with him right then and there.  As if that was even possible.

you're a dad now

Gunnar welcomed Patrick to fatherhood in the most appropriate way he could.  With an extreme amount of worry.  About 24 hours (to the minute) after getting off that bus and into our arms, Dad got to take us on a field trip.  To the emergency room.  I will start by saying everything is fine now.  But it was scary.

Long story short, I put Guns down for bed Tuesday night.  His breathing started to sound funny, and after checking on him I saw he was taking very quick, shallow breaths.  After calling his Dr and ruling out it being caused by fever, congestion or cold, we timed it and he took 29 breaths in 30 seconds.  She recommended the trip to the ER.  How could we not listen?

His breathing was erratic on the way there and while we were in the waiting room.  But he woke up when he was in triage and he seemed perfectly fine.  And turns out he was.  They checked him out and I got to go home with the "crazy overprotective first time mother" award.  But, I'm ok with that if it means our little man is healthy.

Then, yesterday, we spent a total of 8+ hours driving in the car up and back to Winston-Salem for his 4 month well baby visit.  After hitting some slow downs, we were running about 20 minutes late.  I called and gave them about 45 minutes notice that we would be late.  To which they replied they wouldn't be able to see us.  I calmly explained that I was out of town to pick up my husband who had just returned from Afghanistan.  And that we had our son in the ER the night before, and we were driving up there solely for the purpose of this appointment.  She said she would ask the Dr and call me back.  Well we got that call when we were about 30 minutes away and she said there was nothing they could do, we would have to reschedule.  Since Patrick had to be on base at 7 this morning, that was impossible.  

I refused to take no for an answer and I showed up at the office anyway.  Turns out they had sent me to the wrong office!  I got there and they said his Dr was at the other office for the day.  After explaining to this receptionist our situation, a nurse overheard and went and spoke with a Dr who agreed to see us.  This new Dr turned out to own the practice.  She was not pleased to hear about our experience, to say the least.  We are very grateful to nurse Debbie and Dr. Simpson for fitting us in.  Otherwise I might have had a breakdown on the very long car ride home.  So Guns got updated on his shots, to which he (and Dad) cried.  We also found out that he weighed 16 lbs 6 oz (76th percentile) and he is 27.5 in long (higher than 99th percentile).  Surprised?  Nope.

How's that for a homecoming?!  Patrick got thrown right into the thick of this thing we call parenting.  Good thing he's a marine.  He handled it with flying colors.


Monday night, I was finally able to rest easy.  It was the first time in 191 days.  And the reason for that was because my husband was sleeping next to me.  He is finally home!  Our family is whole again.

Thank you to my sister, Kelly, for taking the amazing photos and making us this slideshow.

For the record:  Gunnar had been crying long before Patrick arrived, he was sleepy and hungry.  Plus there were families of 200 marines cheering and yelling.  Once it all settled down, so did he, and he was perfectly happy loving on his Dad.  And let me tell you, they are 2 peas in a pod.  Everytime Guns looks at Patrick he breaks out in a huge grin and laughs.  We're not talking baby giggles here... I mean full on, real person, can't-catch-your-breath laughing.  Love it!

Welcome home Husband, Dad, Hero.  We love you!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

adapt and overcome.

My husband has taught me well.  Take into account this photo...

I wanted a glass of wine.  Well a mug of wine because that's all I have in my nearly empty house.  And, well half a mug because I don't like red wine particularly so I mix it with ginger ale.  But I digress... I didn't have a wine key.  So what did I do?  Exactly what my husband has ingrained in me.  Adapt and overcome.  Thank you USMC.  He would be so proud.

Disclaimer:  the wine helps calm my overly excited, anxious self, and allows me to get a modicum of sleep, as we are painfully close to the end of this deployment.

Good night!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

point two

I feel like I am running the emotional equivalent of the inaugural Baltimore marathon.  I have no idea what it is like to physically run a marathon... I have tried training for a half twice now.  The first time I had to bail out and lose my registration fee because I needed foot surgery.  The second time I was in the middle of training when I found out about my little Gunnar boy, so that ended that.  My older sister, however, is a marathon pro.  She's run at least 3 marathons, probably more, including the Boston marathon.

Also including the inaugural Baltimore marathon.  All I can remember her saying about it was that it was very difficult, and the last .2 miles of the 26.2 was straight up hill.  How mean is that?  They have since changed the course.  But I digress...

Emotionally I feel like I have already run 26 miles, and the finish line is in sight, but it seems like it will never get here.  I'm exhausted, I want it to be over, I want to collapse at the end (into my husband's arms).  Even though, as of today, it's been 6 long months, it seems like these last few days are the hardest yet.

Coincidentally enough, I just counted out the days, and it has been exactly 26 weeks and 2 days.  Are you kidding?  I think that's what they call a sign (of what exactly, I'm not sure).  Here I am posting about 26.2 miles and it's been 26.2 weeks.  Crazy!

I have no idea what I'm even talking about anymore so I will end with the lyrical genius of Dierks Bentley.  This song always gets me sobbing...

"It's been a long, hard ride, got a ways to go..."

Oh, and here's a picture of my baby man, just for fun.
Isn't he the cutest?!  Love, love, love.

Friday, January 6, 2012

anyone got an ambien?

Hooray for exciting days.  I got notice of a flight window for Patrick's return on Christmas (thanks Santa!) and today we got the official date and time.  I have a feeling that this next little while (until that date arrives) I will be needing to partake in sleep aids if I hope to get any rest whatsoever.  Apparently incredible excitement is also a good way to kill productivity.  I just keep bouncing around smiling instead of doing laundry or vacuuming or packing (ugh, again?  seriously?) or any of the other things I desperately need to get done.  Like blogging about Gunnar's first Christmas...  

I can't complain though, because my hubby is coming home!  And he gets to meet our son.  And we will be in our new house.  With our dogs (of course).  One happy little family.  My life will finally be whole.  Counting down the days!!!  Hoping they pass very, very, very quickly!  

Here is our sort of first family photo:

Check back later for the REAL first family photo!

Monday, January 2, 2012

smile. you're on candid camera.

That's how I felt moving into our new house today.  It must have been a hidden camera show.  I'll start from the beginning...

I got a later start than I wanted.  In retrospect it probably would have been better to wait until the morning to leave.  Hindsight is 20/20 after all.  Well by the time I got to the island it was dark, which doesn't bode well for my anxiety/paranoia (you remember... from my last post).  Well, while I was busy worrying about how I was going to sleep in an empty house, I was blindsided...

We (Guns and me) arrived and I promptly got my sleepy angel out of the car and went to take him inside.  I climbed the absurd amount of stairs just to get to the top and realize that someone else's key was in the door, and the door was open.  Not just unlocked.  O-P-E-N.  Cue:  turn around.  Since my landlords live in New Jersey (and clearly weren't the ones who were in the house nor could they pop over to check things out), I was lost at what to do next.  So at the advice of my mother, I got back in the car and drove our butts to the police department.  I gave the guy there my story, and he called for a patrol car to meet me.  I waited there for an officer to follow me home.  He went inside and searched the house and made sure all the doors and windows were appropriately locked, asked if I was okay staying alone, took my info and was on his way.  But not before he offered to help me carry things inside.  I didn't accept his offer but thought it was nice he asked.

I finally got to take Gunnar inside and get him settled.  I did a re-check of the house for my own sanity, and then I went to go unload the car.  I open the door and a cat was relaxing on the stairs.  As I stared at it, not sure what to do, it casually walked in the house.  Umm, hello?!  Well Cat, as I affectionately called it, wandered around for a few minutes, and eventually made its way back out the door.  But it continued to lay on the stairs and watched me unload the whole car.

Several hours later, we are resting comfortably on our mattress on the floor.  Snuggled up, watching a movie. Trying to will myself to sleep, but the paranoia is eating away at me.  Looks like I will only be able to get some rest only with the rising of the sun.

Update:  I slept about as well as I suspected.  And, we survived!  Also, Cat came back for round 2...

just like penicilin.

A few weeks ago, a fortunate accidental discovery was made.  I didn't post about this earlier so as to not jinx myself, but...

Gunnar will sleep through the night in his crib!

I think it was much, much easier on him then me though.  I tried to stay in my room (our doorways are separated by roughly 15 feet of living area) but the monitor wasn't cutting it.  I may or may not have (but definitely did) camp out on the floor next to his crib.  I know, slightly crazy, I probably need medication.  Do anti-anxiety drugs help with extreme paranoia?  I was convinced someone was going to break in during the night and steal him away from me.  Or some other equally unthinkably awful thing would happen.  I will say I only stayed for a few minutes.  No, seriously.  It couldn't have been more then 10 20.

Part of the problem was that I wasn't mentally prepared for this event.  I had been telling myself for weeks that I was going to try it.  At two months, then at three months.  It never happened.  He had been sleeping like a champ in his pack and play, but then all of a sudden he hated it.  As soon as I would lay him down he would be wide awake no matter how deep a sleep he was in.  So I had resorted to having him sleep with me.  And with dogs (one of which is 80 lbs) that climb all over the bed in the middle of the night that's just down right now safe.

So I was rocking him in his room the other night, and I thought "you know, we'll give this a shot".  He fussed for the tiniest bit and I popped in his paci and he was out.  For seven hours.  Seven hours with my ear glued to the monitor (that is, when I wasn't actually in the room with him).  It was a rough night for me, but it has gotten easier as the nights go on.  I hope that I eventually won't be all doom-and-gloom when I put him down, but that might be years down the road.