Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stiehl Samual

I had forgotten about this video! This is my nephew Stiehl. I took this while we were in Missouri in July. Isn't he cute? Check out those sausage legs!

Magic Keys

Apparently car keys can get you anywhere - even the bedroom where Mommy is blissfully sleeping late.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Best Looking TPS Kids Ever...

So Apparently It IS Possible to Grow Stuff in the Desert

I was bored again this morning after I took Aaron to the CDC, so I went down to Lowe's and bought some more plants. I went Petunia Crazy a few weeks ago and have since grown pretty bored of them.

My new hanging plant. It looks kind of sickly, so the Lowe's lady gave me a discount. Hopefully I won't make it worse.

The coolest flowers I think I have ever seen. They're called Platycodon and these are "Sentimental Blue." So rad.

My flower bed out front. Looks a lot better after I weeded it and pulled some of the dead plants out. Something's been nibbling on them so I'm not sure how long these will last.

Aaron helped.

I hope the heat breaks soon so these plants will have a fighting chance. Because you know I have to keep up with this one, who thinks she can make her base house look prettier than mine. O.K., she can and she will, but I can at least try, can't I?


Monday, August 27, 2007

I Love the Desert

O.K., not really. It's too hot here. It's still getting into the 100's everyday and my swamp cooler can't keep up. Whine, whine, whine. Oh, well. I guess I won't be complaining so much when I'm still able to run outside in December.

We have some pretty interesting wildlife in our neighborhood, though. This morning, I went running along the desert on the outskirts of our neighborhood and had a coyote cross my path. It scared me a little bit but I just went very slowly the long way around him and he just stopped and watched me run away. There are also rumors of a bobcat in our neighborhood. This scares me a little bit too so I keep an eye on Reagan now when she's in the backyard. Then this was in our front yard this afternoon:

A roadrunner! How cool is that?


"What's up there, Aaron?"

"What? I'm not doing nuthin', Mommy."

Baby's First Play-Doh

Vegas, Baby!

The reason why I wanted to start really keeping track of my progress with my Nike + iPod Sport Kit is because, next week, my friend Becky and I are going to start training for this:

Well, not the marathon. They have a half marathon associated with it as well. It's on December 2nd and I am so, so excited! Check out the half marathon course (click on the picture for a enlarged .pdf file):

They close the strip for the first part of the race! How awesome is that? If any of you have ever been to Vegas, you know what a treat it will be to run on the strip without traffic or pedestrians, just other runners. And the Blue Man Group is scheduled to perform at the starting line. I can't wait!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Love My New iPod (and Nike)

Bill bought me a new iPod for our anniversary since my old one was so weak. He bought me the 8 GB nano (the red one that you can only get on apple.com. Awesome!), which is really all I think I will ever need. My old one was just a 1 GB nano and I never thought I'd be able to fill it up, but I did. 8 GBs, though! That's 2,000 songs! Anyway, with this new iPod, I can finally use this, which wouldn't work for some reason with my old iPod:

It's the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. It keeps track of your distance ran, pace, total time ran and even calories burned. Sweet! You can then upload the information from your iPod into nikeplus.com and keep an online journal of your progress. Here is the information about my run last night:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey, Aunt Pam!

Aaron really digs Daddy's birthday card!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Uh, Oh...

Well, it's finally happened. With all this speech therapy talk, I didn't think I would have to worry about this for a while.

Yesterday, in the car on the way back from town, Aaron said his first cuss word.

See, there's this certain song by Fergie called "London Bridge." And, of course, Mommy only downloads the true and pure EXPLICIT version of every song from iTunes. The song starts out with sirens and Fergie's singers belting out proudly "Oh Sh*@! Oh Sh*@!, over and over and over. This song came on and, all of a sudden, Bill and I hear from the back seat "Shi, Shi, Shi."

I won't lie to you. At first, I was quite proud of my little boy. But then Mommy mode kicked in and I changed the song.

Crap, there goes "Hollaback Girl" too! Oh, well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Little Piece of Home Right Here in California

Homemade St. Louis Toasted Ravioli. Yum!!
Jackhole husband making fun of me for taking picture of toasted ravioli by eating it with gusto.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Last week, my friend Lisa and I took our kiddos down to Disneyland. I think the kids had a blast but, as Lisa so precisely puts it in this post, it was definitely an experience we "survived." Over the past six months or so, I have gained more and more respect for what my parents did for me when I was little, most especially planning the trips we took. Making sure the kids had a good time while keeping the meltdowns to a minimum - this was our story for three days and we were exhausted by the end!

I could write about what we did in a big, long post but I decided to use an idea I stole from Ginger's blog and put all the good pictures into a Google Picasa slideshow with captions. I hope you enjoy them! And once again, my disclaimer - Lisa took most of these pictures!

2 Years, 1 Month, 4 Weeks and 1 Day Old

I haven't been doing updates on Aaron here lately because it feels like it's all I can do to keep my head above water where this kid is concerned. Parenting is hard. I don't know how else to say it. Here are a few things we can't do now because Aaron can't handle it (in bullet form, of course):
  • Go out to eat (and I'm not talking fancy, shmancy dinners, either. He won't sit through MCDONALD'S).

  • Go to Mass.

  • Go shopping.
  • Ride on an airplane without 2-3 major meltdowns and many, many disparaging looks from strangers.

  • On bad days, walk from the front door to the car without aforementioned major meltdown.
I have been told everything from "He's only two, it will get better" to "Start the beatings now!" to "He's a strong-willed child and you need to turn his disposition into an opportunity." I like that third one the best. I'm reading many books including 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Rex Forehand, Ph.D. and Nicholas Long, Ph.D. and Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.

Aaron is also now in speech therapy. At his two year checkup, the doctor was extremely concerned that I could only think of about ten words that he used on a regular basis. The speech therapy with Ms. Gerry is going well, I think, as long as he takes a good nap beforehand (his appointments are normally in the late afternoon). The appointments are an hour long so I'm actually impressed Ms. Gerry can keep him occupied for that long. We are working on sounds right now like "b", "p", and "oooo". Ms. Gerry is concerned about his apparent inability to make his mouth physically do what it needs to do to make sounds, as in the part of his brain that controls the mouth might not be fully developed or may even be damaged. She is also concerned with his lack of eye contact when he's around other people as well as his short attention span (Really!?!). All of these things are terrifying me but I feel better that we're doing what we need to do now to hopefully help him. I really think once he starts talking, our mutual frustration with each other should slowly decrease. Some words that he is starting to use are "daddy", "doggie", "hi", "tower", "two", and "three". Still no "mommy", though. He does well with "t", "s", "h" and "d" sounds but not so well with "wh" and "m" sounds. We'll see how it goes.

Aaron doesn't eat very well; mostly because he doesn't have the attention span to sit and eat until he's full. We rotate between chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, p.b.&j.'s and fish sticks. He won't touch anything else. I mean, you can't even put it on his plate. We are working on the snacking thing; he has become a world-class grazer. So three meals a day with two small snacks in between is the plan right now.

Luckily, we are involved with several things through the base and TPS so that we are able to keep busy. Aaron goes to the CDC three mornings a week, which is working out really well. We still have tears when Mommy leaves, but I think that will diminish as he gets used to going on a regular basis again. I've had to pull him out several times this summer due to our travels. Tuesday and Thursday we usually find someone to play with in the morning, either at the playground or the Jungle Zone (the indoor playground on base).

So there it is. My life with a two-year-old. I love him, I really do. But this job is absolutely the hardest job I have ever had. I guess I'm going to have to rely on the hugs and kisses I get for my sanity until we start having some major breakthroughs.

**All of the pictures were taken by Lisa.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My New Friend

Duct tape. I was really hoping it wouldn't come to this but, after this morning, I knew I had to finally do something. This morning was the fourth time in two weeks that I've had to clean up Aaron's bed because he decided to take off his poopy diaper and play in it. I know, horrifying, right? I'm only going to tape his diaper on before naptime and bedtime because these are the only times that he gets away with getting it off; while we're out here thinking he's blissfully sleeping, he's in his room making the Mess of All Messes. So, any ideas as to why he's doing this? I've heard everything from "He must be ready to be potty trained" (Yeah, I don't think so) to "He's just bored" (Really? So it's fun to play with your dirty diaper?). Growl...

Thanks for the duct tape idea, Lis. You've saved me yet another motherhood headache.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Major Q

My husband is officially a Major in the U.S. Air Force. A pinning-on ceremony was held last Friday in front of his TPS class. He messed up the words a bit (it was hard to get up in front of all those people; even for my husband, who, shall we say, isn't shy) and Aaron wasn't so cooperative (what else is new?) but it was a nice, informal gathering so these things didn't really matter. We are very proud of him.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Aren't We a Handsome Group?

The Best Looking TPS Spouses Ever...

My Poor Blog

I have been so neglectful. I feel like we've been going non-stop since the beginning of May and I haven't had the time to really post about Aaron and our lives here like I've wanted to. Well, I won't be neglecting you for very much longer. I will have many stories to tell in the coming weeks - our back-and-forth about moving off-base, more half marathons (Vegas, baby!), more fun San Diego stuff and, oh, did I mention Aaron and I are going to Disneyland next week? Three of my favorite girlies in the whole world are coming to visit and we're goin' to see Mickey, baby! And Ariel and Cinderella and Donald Duck and Nemo... Anyway, stayed tuned for more updates!!