Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Less Haired Babies (cause she's not bald)

My little girl has very little hair.

I guess it must be genetic because my mom says that as a baby I had hardly any hair. To this day it is still thin and fine. Compared to my one sister who seemed to be born with long, think hair flowing down her back.

To add to that, Alanna is a busy little girl and can't be bothered by frills. Yes, I dress her in pink and purple since I don't want people to think she's a boy, though I've been told she has feminie features (can babies have that??) and I don't really approve of getting infants' ears pierced (that's a personal opinion and don't care if other parents do it).

Tomorrow the kids are having their Easter pictures taken. Lana has a cute little white and purple dress to wear (strangely similar to her winter pic dress)... but nothing for her hair! I'm thinking of going to Hobby Lobby to find one of the little baby headbands and a flower or bow to go in it. Alanna hates those things, but maybe she can tolerate it for pictures.

I'd love to put her hair in a little Dr. Suess ponytail, but it's not quite long enough yet. And with her cowlick right in the front sometimes just brushing her hair is unsuccessful. We got some little velcro bows at Christmas, but they still don't stay in her hair. I'm thinking about getting those mini barrettes but I'm afraid she'll accidently put them in her mouth if she pulls them out since right now she is still very oral.

We'll see what I find by picture time tomorrow...

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Virus Vanquished & Etsy Talk

Remember how I said I got a Trojan Horse virus on our computer?

Well, Ryan was able to fix it! He had to revert back to an older "safe" version of our windows... updated, like, in December. So.... we lost a good portion of our current suff. My detailed 101 in 1001 List was one of them. Maybe in a few days I'll try to amend that but not sure I can remember it all. Bummer.

Also, because of the virus we've had to go through and change passwords and other such items for our important personal information and banks, just to be safe.

Most importantly: we now have new and updated anti-virus on our computer.

In other news I'm working on my etsy shop. It finally has a name (I'll let ya'll in on that later) and I'm working on a graphic for it. I'm also pricing personalized labels to put onto my products.

Originally I was hoping to open my shop in late February with inventory to sell but unfortunately the pipes burst causing plenty of damage and moving us out of our house for awhile. Since then it's taken some time to get myself in order. Next paycheck I'm hoping to finally buy some of the supplies and materials I need to get working on my crafts!

Oh, and maybe I'll finally get some practice in on the serger Ryan got me for Christmas that I have yet to use!

BTW: I had a great weekend with my brother visiting. He's been super busy with the Army so he enjoyed getting away from all that and getting some home cooked meals and specially made no-bake cookies (of which he ate 2 dozen on his own). I even got to go to a movie with him and eat out some. The kids enjoyed playing with him as well.

He's "going away for a year" in several months time, so prayers for him would be appreciated!

One more thing before I go! I think I will start a weekly link-up for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. How 'bout Thursdays?? Now if I could just figure out how to get a Mr. Linky or something similar!


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

States I've Visited

My last post was serious and long.

Today, a breath of fresh air!

I saw this on a few other blogs so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I've been to 13 out of 50 states.

Hmm... West Coast much? LOL. And those 3 in the middle were when we flew to Chicago for my college graduation then crossed state lines just to say we've been in those states. I even have pictures of the signs! And for some reason I keep missing Nevada! I'll get there eventually.

Interesting fact: Will has been in all these states as well. Alanna has only been in 8 states (missing Hawaii, Alaska, Missouri, Illinois & Indiana). Not sure what Ryan's map would look like.

If you want to do this too, go HERE.


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

In a Marriage

Goin' a bit serious this post.

When it comes to family, it is surprising how complicated things can get. Ryan and I are still working this out.

Some of you know, most of you don't, that Ryan and I have had some problems since the beginning of our marriage. There was a lot of my insecurities and worries at first as a young, new wife and Ryan wanted to do well with his job and worked waaaay more hours than necessary. And then I was working opposite hours and going to school and doing church stuff, and, and, and...

Things have morphed into other issues as time goes on. The biggest change: having kids.

Now add to that a child with special needs.

It can be very hard to work things out between a couple. Especially with such different backgrounds. We are trying to make decisions between us that we feel is best for our marriage and our children.

One of our complication comes from our upbringings. You can't deny it -- you often model your relationships based on what you grew up with. I came from a household where dad was out to sea A LOT so mom had to take over most everything and was responsible for the kids as well as basic everyday stuff and when dad was home he was involved, but again, mom was our world growing up. Ryan came from a single-parent home where the responsible person was in charge of everything and did not have to really negotiate or compromise with a partner on how to do things.

This whole compromise thing in marriage can be really hard sometimes.

But anyway...

Here's the thing -- we do not have family nearby. Sadly, we have to recognize that neither of our families know all that much about what is going on with us personally or our little ones. I can blog about it, maybe post a Facebook update, there's e-mail and phone calls... but they do not sit in on conversations, go to the doctor appointments or therapy sessions or hang around and actually experience our kids' personalities and our day-to-day life.

We do love our families. I have wonderful parents and siblings and my in-laws are caring and helpful as well.

Our problem lies with both of us, at some point or another, having felt that one or both sides of the family have over-stepped their boundaries. Now, whether that was an actual or just a "felt" experience, in the end that's what the outcome is.

Stuff has happened in which Ryan has made it "uncomfortable" for about half of my family to ever feel like visiting and I know that I've been burning a few bridges with his family too.

Kinda sucks.

But it is what it is for now. In the future things may change.

I can speak for myself that I have no ill-will towards my immediate family or my in-laws. But I will say this:

I can understand that everyone may be doing something or want to do something that they think is helpful. They want to help. I understand that because they love us and our kids. But there are some things that are sensitive issues to us (or one of us) and we'd prefer to make decisions about them for ourselves.

Through these different experiences I'm trying to learn. One thing I am learning is to take advice with a grain of salt and also to for me to not just give advice whenever I think I know something. I should also work on my confrontation skills, 'cause I admit, I'm an avoider and can be passive-aggressive.

Yeah, we've made mistakes, but I've had to stand up for my marriage to my family and I know Ryan has had to do the same. That's what's important, right?

So how do you handle the extended family issues and interference? If you live close to your family and in-laws, how do you keep enough distance that the involvement is not detrimental to your marriage?


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

Will has on several occassions now said "hi" on the phone to who ever I was talking to. Today I even got him to attempt to say "Lissa". He's approximating more and is more clearly saying "please" and "thank you". There's much progress going on and I'm hoping he keeps it up because it's awesome. His feeding is going better though he's still incredibly picky. Potty Training is doing better and if commanded he will go to the bathroom, pull down his pants, climb on the toilet and go potty, get off and sometimes pull his underwear back up --- all on his own! A step in the right direction.

I think Alanna's other top front tooth is trying to cut through and she's been super cranky. Today she even took two 2-hour naps. She usually only takes one. She's growing like a weed too and eats a LOT. I think she's been more combative as well when it comes to Will. She really has no fear of fighting. She even starts them. (Not sure this should really be in the "Good" category, but I will call it that anyway.)

Started a new Bible Study at PWOC:
I think it will be very fascinating. Just with the first session everything was new information. I love that. What I didn't love was that Alanna was being fussy and wanted to run around or cry and was being a distraction. I was going to just leave early so I went to get Will from the nursery. While there I told them what was going on, and even though Alanna doesn't turn 1 for a few more weeks, they took her anyway so I could finish my class. Very cool. They even said that I could bring her in there as long as they had enough people even though she was "underage"... but they said she holds her own very well so it is not a problem.
And my final "GOOD" is the my brother is driving down from Colorado this weekend for a visit. Should be fun!
The Bad:
It looks like one of the plants I was so thrilled with growig from a seed is dying. Kinda bummed. But the others seem to still be doing okay.
We got a super expensive electric/gas bill for the month of February -- the month we weren't even living in the house. We figured it would happen since the workers had the thermostat set at 80, every fan in the house on, numerous lights on, and every window open. Yeah... waste much?? Hopefully we can talk with housing and get it all straightened out.
The Ugly:
I somehow got a Trojan Horse virus on our desktop parallels on the Mac Book. Ryan is not very happy about it but he hasn't had the chance to look things over and see what he needs to do. Hopefully the anti virus can take care of it... but I won't hold my breath. So for now I will just use the desktop.
What is your good, bad, and ugly news for the week?? Haha, maybe I should make this a weekly thing and do link ups!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Missing Pieces

I have an issue with missing toys.

I really don't like it. I mean, REALLY don't like it. Believe it or not, I lose sleep over lost toys - tonight for example.

I can't stand when a puzzle piece or certain ball or whatever is missing from a set of toys. I will tear the house apart looking for it. And I do not consider myself OCD.

Please don't say I'm alone in this.

Seriously, I'd rather throw out the entire toy missing 1 piece than keep the whole thing.

So imagine my incredible frustration when I have at least 3 toys in the living room missing pieces.

1.) The magnet alphabet is missing the letter "T"
2.) The Melissa & Doug Clock is missing the number 6.
3.) And the little magnet writing thingy is missing the kitty piece.

I have been looking for days and weeks! Even Ryan joined in today. There are a few places left I can look, but I'm kinda at a loss.

The "T" went missing around the time we moved out because of the broken pipes. I have a feeling I'll find it in the garage when I finish going through all the boxes and stuff.

The number 6 went missing around Will's birthday. No idea where it went.

And the little kitty piece went missing shortly after Will's birthday. I think Alanna put it somewhere and have yet to come across it yet.

Ryan thinks that Will probably took them outside and they're somewhere over the fence. Guess I'll check that out tomorrow. Though I seriously debated going out there tonight (now after midnight) with a flash light just to satisfy my frustration (or push it further).

Anybody wanna help find the missing pieces?? Any ideas where they could be??


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plants, St. Paddy's & Anniversary #6

Oh my, another blog full of photos!

So... where to start?

Well, I will say that I have been doing pretty well on my 101 in 1001 List lately.

Because it was getting close to Spring and the kids and I were wandering around WalMart trying to find something we'd been looking at tons of stores for (which we never did find) we came across the flowers and seeds. Well, number 48 on my list is to grow something from a seed. I decided we'd give it a try.

Will and I got all the little seeds planted in the cute little "green house" which Will enjoyed decorating with the included stickers.
Within a few days something poked through! I was so excited. I think this is one of the Zinnias.
Then another one sprouted. I think this one is a tomato.

Here is the Zinnia after a few more days. No other ones have sprouted of the flowers but more of the tomato ones have. Will likes to check on them every morning after breakfast. It's our "new thing".

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Now for St. Patrick's Day!

Each of the kids had their own special shirt from Old Navy. Will's shirt says "Good Luck Charmer".
Alanna's shirt says "I Love St. Paddy's Day".
We didn't really do much, mostly just hung out at the house. Later that evening we all went to a Tops in Blue performance. Amazingly the kids did great!
Video of kids playing together.
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Saturday marked Ryan and I's 6 year wedding anniversary. Beforehand I told Ryan a number of different ideas on what we could do. He decided to make it a surprise and planned the whole thing as well as arrange child care.

As we were driving I guessed where we were going:
The Sandia Peak Tramway is the 2nd Longest Tramway in the world. Until October of last year it was the longest in the world. This now accomplished number 70 on my 101 in 1001 List.

We got there just before sunset.
This is the Tram we rode.
View of the city of Albuquerque from inside the tram.
Wall of rocks and that thing that looks like a electrical tower is actually one of the towers the tram passes through.
More of the view

and more of the view

The top of the tram where we dock.

Whew! We made it. And since Ryan didn't tell me where we were going I didn't bring a coat and it was COLD! This is where the top of the ski lift down the other side of the mountain is. It just closed the previous weekend and there was still snow on the ground. People bring their ski/snowboard gear on the tram and then ski down the other side during the season.
View from the top!

We ate at High Finance Restaurant and watched the sunset from inside.

The food was super yummy!

I had to get a sweatshirt before we left because I was freezing. Then we were able to go down the tramway to the city lights of Albuquerque.
Video Ryan took of the city lights from the top of the Sandia Tramway.
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In other news we moved Will into the 3 year olds class at church. He LOVES it. His friend Lily is in the class and from what we've heard she is a little protector over him. They go around and she chats his ear off while he goes along and is happy about it. They play at the playground and we were told he is a wildman there. Not sure what that means, but I guess he's having a blast. Will participates in the coloring and snack time. And the best indicator he enjoys himself there: when I got him to his class he immediatly took to playing and could care less that I was leaving.

I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Him being around 3 and 4 year olds, I think, is really good for him.

Oh, and Alanna is really trying to say words now. She says "mama" "dada" "dog" "duck" "go" and we're working on "up". They aren't always used in context, but she's doing really good. And of course I should share that these words aren't always totally clear, but she's trying. Since Lana is trying to say these words, Will tries them as well. He is now getting the "d" sound more consistently. All good news.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I nearly forgot to make my post here for the day! Whew!

Things have been kinda busy today. Besides Hippotherapy, Will had a swallow study and floroscopy. Everything turned out normal and fine. All good news.

Stay tuned because in the next few days I should post some stuff from St. Patrick's Day as well as our 6 Year Anniversary (tomorrow).

Oh... and thinking of doing another giveaway....??? What do you think???

Wanna join? Head over to Wife Of A Sailor's blog, answer the questions and link up!

1. What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It. I usually call my family members about once a week if they are available. We text often. I also blog and post videos and pictures.
2. What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas
I don't think I ever did a romantic gift. We're kinda not that way. I've shopped for some other things that helped with romance though... hehehe.
3. Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
If they want to join we probably wouldn't be against it. Since Ryan was prior enlisted he would probably encourage going the officer route though. Originally I was headed for the military and actually like the military life... but it's not for everybody. There would likely be lots of discussion about it.
4. What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That
Probably Student Loans or the Credit Card. Oh, scratch that.... I hate the gas card bill! We actually don't have to gas up the cars that much, but man are these gas prices getting stupid.
5. What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life
I think it was when Ryan commissioned. We were only married a few months by then and not really used to it yet. The detachment put on a wonderful ceremony and I was honored to pin on those lieutenant bars as well as watch him swear in. Special moment. Oh, and I also got to pin on his captain bars 4 years later.


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Calbee Cravings

While living in Japan I fell in love with these yummy treats from Calbee!




SOURCE

I have no idea what they're actually called. They're like chips, but also fries. They are super crunchy, great salty taste and have different flavors. I liked the original flavor (blue): potatoe, butter & salt and I liked the potatoe, cheddar & sour cream (?) flavor (red). I wasn't much of a fan for the vegetable flavor (green).

During my pregnancy and after Will was born I just couldn't get enough. Hmmm... that might explain why I gained the baby weight back.

Anyway, I've been CRAVING them! Not sure why.

But I can't find them in the States!

So... I'm kinda wondering if my friends in Japan feel like being super nice (besides the horrible things going on over there) would they send me a few (or a lot)?? Or, if you decide to take the voluntary evacuation, grab some on your way out and I'll get them from you somehow -- mailing may be involved.

Or if anybody knows where I can purchase them I'd love to know so I can get 'em!

Thanks!

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P.S. Did anybody else notice how much I was using parenthesis in this post? I swear, an English major is probably cringing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hoots

Remember THIS post? Here is that last video that I couldn't get to load.

They crack me up.
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This week, for Will's Occupational Therapy we went to Hoots. It is a place with bouncy toys and it also has this fun net/climbing maze thing. Waaaay fun for young kids. Exhausting for adults. No need to work out after clamoring through these things with the kids.

Alanna really has no fear. She goes full speed to head onto the toys (full of older kids since it's Spring Break). She loved it! She enjoyed the bouncing, tried walking, and wanted to follow will up the ladders... with mom's or Chelle's help. Lana was so funny and she was yelling and making all sorts of noises.



Will was more reserved, like usual. After awhile he got comfortable and was willing to go up the ladders and down the slides without complaining. He is making some great strides in his strength and coordination. When he went through the net maze he did awesome!


Will with O.T. Chelle ready to go down the big slide.

Alanna trying to conquer everything.
William climbing. He is making some great improvements!
Will

Alanna checking out the balance ropes


Lana


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You will notice this video is quite short. There was a boy about 6, maybe 7, who would not listen to anybody and while Alanna was at the bottom of the slide he got up and was about to go down. We told him to wait while I hurried to get her off the toy. He didn't. I got up there real fast and just as I grabbed and lifted Alanna that boy slid right under her. Another parent saw and told us that same boy was causing problems with her sons as well.

And now just some other photos:
Alanna playing in the backyard.
Will trying to get Alanna out after her nap.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Friend Making Monday

Check out Kenz's blog to link up each week!

1) What's your favorite brand of make-up? Are you loyal to one brand? I like Clinique but I'm also a fan of Lancome. Thing is... I'm looking forward to a makeup makeover so who knows where I'll go to next.

2) What is the last thing you drank? Milk


3) What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? I LOVE Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) and sometimes I just need me some ThinMints. Thanks-A-Lots are yummy and my son adores the Shortbread Cookies. Oh... and I STILL have not found any girl scouts selling them.

4) French Fries or Onion Rings? I do like some French Fries but honestly I'm not really a huge fan of them.

5) Share something you've done in the last week that makes you proud of yourself. I'm making excellent progress in returning our house to order after being flooded out for 2 1/2 weeks.

6) What is your favorite inexpensive indulgence? Small office supplies.

7) Are you currently reading a book? If so, which one? I'm actually reading two books right now. "The Late Talker" by Marilyn C. Agin, M.D., Lisa F Geng, and Malcolm J. Nicholl. as well as "First Things First" by Kurt and Brenda Warner.

8) Do you prefer to text or talk? Often I like to text unless it can be a long phone call. Short phone calls sometimes make me feel like I'm wasting time.

9) Have you ever performed on stage? Yes. It used to be quite often as a theatre person. High School, College and church. Singing, playing instruments, or acting.

10) Are you more likely to pick truth or dare? Depends on the people who I'm playing with. With some people I'm too chicken to pick dare 'cause it could be pretty bad.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh... Buddy Barrels

Sometimes I get upset about something and just want to vent here on my blog. But I don't, because I feel this is not the place for it.

So... I'm going to put that aside and write about something else.

Buddy Barrels.
What's a Buddy Barrel?

These are Buddy Barrels!










Growing up in church we particpated in BGMC which stands for Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (I've also heard the "C" stands for Crusade... doesn't matter). All the kids would have "buddy barrels" which we would put our money in and on a designated day donate that money to missions. The money would go to purchase supplies like Bibles, tracts, study books, computers, videos, puppets, costumes, sound systems, translating literature, etc., for missionariess who go all over the world spreading the good news to children (and adults).

Today was BGMC Sunday at church. It wasn't the biggest BGMC Sunday I've had... but it was acknowledged. My Great-Aunt Norma used to be the BGMC Coordinator at our family church long ago. I loved her showing the maps and pictures of little kids around the world and giving her little talk about it. It was special.

I also loved the "coin runs" where the kids would be in the sanctuary and race through the pews to gather as much change from the adults as possible to put in their buddy barrels. Oh... and we also had competitions of boys vs. girls on who could get the most money. Usually a sinking of toy boats in a fish tank was involved (ask me later).

I asked the question: what happened to our wooden barrels? I had one when I was little but have since learned that I was a bit young to have a wooden one since they had already switched over the the plastic ones years before I was born. I checked ebay and nobody is selling the old wooden ones. Oh well. My mom mentioned she might still have one upstairs in the storage area. I'm sure my kids will have the regular yellow plastic ones when they get into children's church though.

Anyway, just felt like sharing.

Did any of you ever do this kind of thing growing up (in church or not)???


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Love to the Land of the Rising Sun

Tokyo Tower - October 2007



Japan is a country close to my heart. We lived there for 4 years, our son was born there, and we have many beloved friends and church family that we keep in contact with.

When I awoke this morning to the news that an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan and a tsunami had also hit, I immediatly started praying and messaging and checking on all our friends located in Japan to be sure they were okay.

Besides some shaken nerves, things falling off shelves and walls, some overturned pieces of furniture & electronics, as well as some commuting problems, all of our friends and their families were safe. Praise God!

Our former base had also been of help landing several planes unable to land at Narita. They housed the 500+ passengers on base, gave them opportunity to contact family to let them know they were safe, and last I heard had plans in place to transport them to Narita (or nearby) so they could finish their traveling.

My heart goes out to those people in Japan. Such devastation. If you would like to do something to help you can text TSUNAMI to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope's Disaster Response efforts. To put you at ease: Convoy of Hope is located all over the world as the Assemblies of God disaster response "arm". Every dollar donated actually goes to relief efforts. Your money is going to the right place! Want more info? Go HERE. If you want some info on what they are doing in Japan, go HERE.

Please keep Japan and its people in your prayers. Sometimes it is hard and depressing to hear of all the bad things in the world.


"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging."
Psalm 46:1-3

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