Wednesday, November 23, 2011

still to be known...

My brother is supposed to be driving down this afternoon/evening to spend Thanksgiving with me.

I'm excited!

I got the room ready for him and have started my baking. Still working on some cleaning and finished almost all of the laundry... though it keeps piling up again.


We're still waiting to hear back on AFIT. The list was posted today but Ryan received an e-mail that they are waiting on some other stuff (out of his control) before they let a bunch of people know for sure if they are accepted and where... and that is why they are not on the list.

I'm frustrated. I was looking forward to knowing SOMETHING!

Oh well. Right now, the way I look at it is if Ryan does get accepted to AFIT he could end up deploying VERY soon... or not at all. If he does not get accepted then I know the time frame of his deployment and am satisfied with that much information for now.

Hurry up and wait! Hurry up and wait! === Darn you military motto!!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is empathy enough?

There's something that's been on my mind and I didn't know how else to express it. I hope somebody can understand.

Life isn't fair.

And at this stage I find life isn't fair for a lot of people. Especially those who are trying with all they have to start a family.

Some of my readers already know that this was not a problem for Ryan and I. William was our "out of the blue" blessing and Alanna, though planned, first showed up months sooner than we expected.

My pregnancies were the dream, text book pregnancies. No morning sickness. No complications. Measuring where I should, when I should. No incredibly excessive weight gain (I actually lost weight in my 2nd pregnancy). During my pregnancy with Alanna there was some concern for a few weeks about a hematoma found on the ultrasound and placenta prevera (sp?) but both cleared up within those weeks so there was no more fear. Even my deliveries went well... pretty much... you know... Will coming out blue and all because of the cord wrapped around his neck.

The more people I meet and come in contact with, the more I realize our story of getting pregnant and having safe pregnancies and deliveries is not necessarily the norm.

I hear of infertility. I hear of complications. I hear of babies dying before they are born. Others dying soon after. Years and years of trying. Medications. Testing. Procedures.

And I'm sad for them.

I want to hug them and tell them I know how they feel... but I really don't. Is empathy enough? I really, truly, do feel for these women but I don't fully understand because I've never walked in their shoes. My heart breaks over and over with each new story I hear or read.

I've never waited month after month with shattered hope each time with the realization it didn't happen... again.

I haven't suffered from the loss of a miscarriage.

I didn't have that dread hanging over my head that there was a good possibility my child would not make it or would have serious health or developmental problems once he/she was born.

I've never even seen a real NICU.

I may not have personally experienced these situations but for some reason I "feel" for the women going through them. I hold out hope for them that everything will work out. The end of their story is untold, but I pray that the right people, doctors, friends, etc. surround and hold them up through their times of trial, disappointment, hurt, and loss. I pray for success. I pray that, somehow, these women can have the children they desire.

I feel inadequate trying to provide comfort, but I want express that my empathy is STRONG, so very strong! I try and hope people can sense how genuine I am.

For those of you in the same position as me... or those who relate more to those I feel empathy for... what have you found to be the best way to be supportive?


Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: Recordable Storybooks

I had never actually used a recordable storybook before but when I was offered 2 of them I jumped at the opportunity. My kids, especially my youngest, love to be read to. I figured these beautifully illustrated books would be a win since they could "read" them by themselves.

The books were easy to record and re-record. I really like that even if the batteries die you can replace them and the recording is still there until you choose to re-record over it. When/if hubby deploys the kids will still be able to have him read them a story!

The two books I received were "All Day Long with Jesus" by Matt Anderson and "Bedtime Prayers and Promises" by Bonnie Rickner Jensen. Both were illustrated by Julie Sawyer Phillips. Although these books are cute and short, "Bedtime Prayers and Promises" had a bit more length to each page and on one or two pages I had to rush through the final scripture before the recording time ran out.

My only other complaints are that there is no way to NOT have the recording play if you just want to read the story and there is no volume control. In a quiet house the recording of your own voice being replayed loudly can take away the intimacy of reading with your small child before bedtime. Oh, and if you accidently leave the book open on the floor in the evening and then later turn on the living room light in the middle of the night, you may or may not be terrified by your own voice suddenly speaking from an inanimate object. Just saying.

Overall, I think these books are wonderful and might look into purchasing other recordable storybooks in the future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Loss of motivation

I seem to have lost my motivation for blogging. Today was supposed to be my link-up with my song for the week and I couldn't even muster up the get-go for that... and I look forward to it every Thursday!

The pictures from my Disneyland trip are still on my camera and phone. I have no idea when I'll get around to loading them.

Today the kids FINALLY seemed to settle back into the routine of life. It's been a rough few days of re-adjusting. Their sleep has been off, refusing to eat, super whiney... I think that has also impacted why I'm not in the writing mood.

What else happened this week?

Well, I finally had a mole removed that the doctors agreed needed to be checked out. Not sure when I'm supposed to hear back on it... and if I don't hear anything then I know it is normal. I had to get a few stitches from the removal. Unfortunately, because of the location it is quite sensitive and sometimes painful... mostly itchy. But it's not bad and I think I'm healing quite well.

Anyway, I'm still here and reading posts. I haven't been commenting like I usually do. Maybe this week I can kick this funk and get back to posting and loading pictures.


Monday, November 14, 2011


I am home.

I am sore.

I am tired!

But I'm happy to see my hubby and hug my kiddos. They missed me.

And now it's nap time.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

California Fun

Still in California and having a blast at Disneyland! I Hop has free WiFi so I decided to show you guys a few pics of the trip! This has been a wonderful vacation with my sisters, mom and the exchange student Roberta.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls...

It is time! Thursday evening I fly to California and spend the weekend at Disneyland with my mom and sisters! Whoot!

I am very excited.

The last time I was at Disneyland (in the United States) was back when Ryan and I were dating.... so... 7 years ago. I don't really count Disneyland in Japan basically for the fact that I was pregnant and couldn't go on most of the rides and in the entire day we went on, like, 4 rides. The wait alone for the Haunted Mansion was over 3 hours. Ug. Oh, and I can confidently say that I will NOT be pregnant this trip because I even took a test to be sure this afternoon!

But anyway, I'm thrilled to finally be going again! And!!! I've never been to Disney's California so I'm more than tickled that I'm finally experiencing it.

The only real drawback is that Pirates of the Caribbean is closed! One of my favorite rides AND the restaurant (that I've never eaten at) will not be available. Bummer.

Oh... and there's also the possibility that they will have already been decorating for Christmas! Ack! I cannot wait!

So anyway, my song for the week! I have chosen Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade Music. Does anybody NOT smile when listening? Ahhh... many happy memories.


Monday, November 7, 2011

More on the "D" word... and the kids

Still no definitive news yet on Ryan deploying.

But now there's more things in the mix.

Like... Ryan possibly getting selected for the 8-week Squadron Officer School in residence. Most likely to take place in January.

And then there's also the possibility that if he does deploy there could be training in the months leading up to that deployment so he could be gone then too.

*sigh* everything is out of my hands so I can't be concerned about it. We'll take it as it comes.


I leave in a few days for California and DISNEYLAND! I'm looking forward to it... though it will be the longest I've been away from my little ones. I'm trying to plan ahead and make things as easy as possible for Ryan while I'm gone. You know -- freezing dinners and picking out clothes for church on Sunday. I really want him to enjoy this special Daddy time with Will and Lana.

Not too much else going on. Therapies are going amazingly well. I do have a few phone calls and insurance talk to take on so that Will can actually get Speech Therapy through Hippotherapy, not just Occupational Therapy. Once the doctor sends over details on his medical record it should be approved. The letter from insurance basically said that the approval was pending because they did not have enough evidence in his medical records that would require Speech Therapy. Yeah, I laughed too.

Alanna is going through a huge burst of language right now. She still repeats everything and will hold up or point at things saying "vis?" or "vat?" wanting to know the names of items. It cracks me up. We now have her sleeping in her crib in Will's room instead of the pack n' play in the sewing room. She's beginning to try climbing out so we figured it was best to get her accustomed to sleeping in that room so her transition to the toddler bed is easier. She has actually taken to it quite well.

And now time for pics and videos. Oh yeah. We did go to McCall's Pumpkin Patch before Halloween, but (and this seriously never happens!) I forgot my camera AND my phone. I felt so naked! My friend allowed me to use her camera while we were there but I haven't gone over to get those photos yet.

Alanna helping mommy carve pumpkins

Will checking out the work

Will, Ryan and Maya Trick-or-Treating

Me and Lana Trick-or-Treating

Posing after Pre-School... and yes, Alanna is wearing her pink cowgirl boots. She demanded.
Playing with the bubble bath

making faces

I think they were watching Elmo... one of the few things Will actually watches on tv. He usually wants to listen to music and dance around the living room.
If you remember THIS POST... this is Will's finger in a bandaid the day it happened.

This is his poor finger 25 hours later.

and here it is about a week later. As of today (just over 2 weeks later) the scab on the side of the finger has fallen off. The nail is still very purple but you can see the area that was not hurt. Eventually we expect the nail to fall off. But he is healing nicely.
And now for something pretty --- there was a gorgeous sunset the other night. I had to take a couple photos (posted SOOC):

And to end I leave you with some videos of my kids... who make me laugh everyday.

You hear Will whining because he wants to get Ryan's soap to use for bath time.

This is right after breakfast or lunch when we are just about all done and the kids were counting with Ryan. Of course, Will decides that he doesn't want to participate in the counting... 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Military's "D" word

So today it really happened.

Hubby and I sat down and the big, military "D" word came up.

Yup, deployment.

There are several options floating around and unfortunately none of them sound very good. Hey, there's even the possibility that hubby and my brother will get to meet up in the sandbox next year. But who knows. As of this moment it does look like he will be home for Christmas... this morning it wasn't so promising.

Oh, and there's also a chance that he will completely get pulled off any deployment up to a certain point if he gets accepted into AFIT (which we should hear within a few weeks).

How am I handling it? I'd say pretty well. I knew when I was going to marry a military man that this was likely to happen. And several months ago I even told Ryan that I had a feeling his number was up and he'd be sent off somewhere. To be honest, I'll be sad to have him gone but I'm not distraught.

Yes, my husband is a huge part of my life, but he's not my entire life. Between my kids, therapies, church, bible study, and friends I have a lot to keep me busy. Admittedly, though, I guess a big bed to myself will get lonely.

For now I get to just wait and see what happens. That can be hard for a planner, but for some reason I'm really at peace about all of this. Whatever happens, we will be fine.


changing lyrics

Linking up with Goodnight Moon.

This week I wanted something fun! Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia." I was introduced to Simon and Farfunkel when I was in about 6th grade. My dad returned from WestPac (a 6-month navy deployment in the Western Pacific) and unfortunately something happened to some of the gifts he bought -- if I'm remembering correctly. Anyway, he gave me a tape of Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. A cassette tape. Yes.

I actually loved it, believe it or not.

Let's fast forward to where it has been YEARS since I've listened to their music. Something I've inherited from my dad is the ability to take songs and change the names/words to make them fit for my family. I've got Alanna, who I bounce around and sing to and I've taken the chorus from "Cecilia" and changed the name to "Alanna." I could not remember any of the verses.

I eventually look it up and am somewhat taken aback that I'm singing this song to my 1 year old daughter! Since we both enjoy the chorus and mommy singing it, I just change the verse so that we are "having fun" with Alanna all afternoon... not doing the other thing. :)

Do you ever change the lyrics of a song so it fits you better?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: Close Enough to Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul

Close Enough to Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul is a simple read about the intimacy of God. The chapters are fairly short and consist of stories and narratives of how near God is in our lives. An overall theme threaded throughout the book is that God loves us and is pleased with us and desires to be close, if we let Him.

It was somewhat difficult for me to get into, but I did find the stories quite sweet and full of beautiful imagery. I was impressed that the very first chapter depicting a version of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River really triggered pictures in my mind on how I think things might have happened.

I was also surprised to see a section on ‘consummation’ that included some interesting thoughts on how intimate God can be.

God cherishes us so much, He knows our stories. He even knows how He was a major part to them even if it was unseen to us. To hear the affirmation that we are a pleasure to God; He loves us... is priceless.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255