Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mommy Sense

I don't know if that is what it is called or not.  I have heard it before I think, but maybe it is called "Mommy Instinct" or something?  Not sure.  I do know, however, that every parenting magazine says in some shape or form "go with your gut when it comes to your children".  And it is so true!! Here's a story for you:

Caleb is teething.  One particularly stubborn tooth has been trying to break though for about a week now.  He had a blister on his gum (apparently totally normal?!) that bled a couple days ago and there is actually skin hanging down! Gross I know and maybe TMI.  Sorry 'bout that.   He also got stung by a wasp on two different places last Friday.  Poor little man, huh?!  So, yeah, he has been super fussy lately.

2 or 3 days ago he woke up with a long grade fever (100 I think) and even though I gave him Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock, it didn't go away.  The next day he seemed better, but still not himself.  He was still fussy and low fever.  I mentioned to Chris that he just wasn't acting like himself and maybe we should go to the ER. He wasn't sleeping as good as usual and just wanted me to hold him all the time.  Chris said to give him another day in case it was his tooth bothering him (turned it to be a good thing we waited).  The next day his tooth still hadn't broken through, he had a fever of 100.8, and when I put him down for his morning nap, he slept for 30 minutes and then woke up crying and would not stop.  So I called Chris and said "We are going to the ER.  Can you come with us?"   Side note for you non army Germany living people:  There is not walk in clinic here and there are not "work in" appointments.  You pretty much have "Well Visits" at the army base and anything else that needs immediate attention you have to go the German ER for Children (called the Klinikum I think).

So Chris came along and off we went.  Several hours later we left the ER with a diagnosis of a double ear infection and scripts for antibiotics.  That was yesterday and today he woke up happy for a change and his tooth finally broke through!  He has had 2 doses of antibiotic but they must already be working because he mostly seems like his old self again.  Still a bit cranky, but nothing like he has been.

This is 3 times I have followed my gut when my logical mind told me it wasn't a big deal and my gut was right.  This last time my mind was telling me it was his tooth that was bothering him.  Part me of was saying, "Of course he's fussy, of course he's not sleeping, his tooth is bothering him", but the other part of me was saying, "there is something more wrong with my baby than a tooth!!".  I had to take Autumn to the German ER last year because she wasn't acting right.  Her temps were not severe (101) but I just felt something was wrong with her so off we went (with my wonderful friend Maryanne who drove me since Chris was in the field) and sure enough she had some sort of virus that would have only gotten worse if we had put it off.

I have learned to trust my instincts.  I, of course, still need to evaluate the situation and not over react, but I don't think I will hesitate to take them in because I am worried that "it's not serious enough" or "they will think I'm over reacting".  One time I did take Autumn in and I was wrong, it was nothing.  And that's ok because it put my mind at ease.  So, lesson of the story is to trust your mommy sense! God gave it to you for a reason!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


See, here's the thing.  Yes, we live in Germany, but we don't travel much.  There a couple of reasons for that.  The main one being traveling with kids, for us, almost takes the fun out of traveling at all.  We lived in Slovakia for 2 years without kids so we did a ton of traveling then and to compare it to now, it was about a billion times easier and more enjoyable.  I guess we got spoiled or something.  More often than not when we travel for more than a short day trip (or short overnight trip) I end up wishing we had just stayed home.

A lot of army people do travel though (both with and without children) and whenever I hear about someone talking about some cool new place they saw or I see some beautiful pictures, I always reminisce about my own travels and am so grateful for all that I have been able to, without children ;)  Haha, just kidding kind of.

So, I thought since I never properly documented any European traveling that I did, I would share my Top 5 Places (in Europe only).  I'll try to just post one or two pictures per place.  I also have to tell you that some of these pictures are mine and some are not.  I traveled with others and we all shared our pictures and I have no idea whose is whose.  Hope my friends don't mind me posting!  These are in no particular order.

Malaga, Spain
Now, I am sure Spain has lots of gorgeous cities.  I have not traveled across Spain extensively so there very well might be much prettier cities that I have not seen.  I mean, Madrid sounds pretty awesome to me, but I've never been there.  Anyway, Malaga is on the very southern edge of Spain so close to Morocco that we hopped on a boat and got to take a day trip there as well.  Spain is beautiful.  I would go back there anytime, any place.  I loved it and will never forget it!

This is actually a picture from Morocco.  They had these pots all over the buildings and I thought they were the coolest things ever!

Wengen, Switzerland
Ok, I also haven't traveled across Switzerland extensively, but I have been to Salzburg and Zurich and Wengen kicks it butt.  GORGEOUS.  We were there at Christmas time so it was snow covered so that just made everything extra breath taking.  I seriously could post 20 photos.  But I won't.  I know these pictures are probably my friend Brooks' but she won't mind :)

Look at all that SNOW!  I don't even like snow, but I was awestruck.  It felt like we were in a magical land (you know, like those wardrobe kids).

Krakow, Poland
I only have one picture to share with you from Krakow.  It is of my friends.  Honestly, it is an awesome city and truly one of my favorites.  However, the reason I get all warm and fuzzy when I think about Krakow is because we spent cold rainy afternoons in this coffee shop (Tribeca) laughing and bonding and I will never, ever forget those wonderful moments in my life. 
I only wish my husband was in this picture with me (I am third from the left if you can't tell!).  He also spent many hours in this coffee shop, but I guess this day he was sight seeing or something :)

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is kind of a must to be included, isn't it?  If you have ever been there, you know what I mean.  There is just isn't another city in the world that is quite as cool as Prague.  From castles to bridges to shopping to eating, Prague is wonderful.  

Had to include this one since it's me and the hubs before we were dating!!  Just friends :)

Kosice, Slovakia
This city will absolute always make my awesome places list because I invested so much of my time there (2 years) and so much of my heart.  I love this land and I love the Slovak people and I always will.  If you ever go to Kosice, you must see the best of both worlds.  You must walk around the city and you also must hike in the High Tatra Mountains.  Both are amazing, but the mountains will literally take your breath away with their beauty. 

I could probably find a better picture to show you the High Tatras, but I've been writing this post awhile and I've got to get something else done before the littles wake up!

Did you notice...only one picture of a huge Gothic Cathedral??  Ok, one and a half.  I guess they just aren't my thing ;) Actually, they are quite beautiful, but I was trying to find more unique pictures.  

Do you have any favorite cities you would recommend to me?  I am open to US recommendations as well.  People get so caught up in traveling outside the US, that they don't travel at home.  And, the US is truly a place I should see more of sometime! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sandbox fun

I put Caleb in the sandbox for the first time the other day.  He didn't last too long, but Autumn sure loved having a friend in there!  They played together quite nicely. 

Next time I will be putting more clothes on him.  I thought he woud be easy to "dust off" this way, but sand comes off clothing much easier than skin I found out!

This was obviously during his pre-haircut days.  I look at that hair and I cringe.  I am so glad Chris finally let me cut it!

And then he started to eat it.  

So I kept taking his hands out of his mouth which produced:

tears!  So he had to be taken out of the sandbox.  They had fun though and they have both played in it since then.  I just have to keep a close eye on him and pull him once he gets bored with the toys and starts eating sand :)

I just love it when they play together!  He is totally obsessed with her and she loves having another child to "talk" to and laugh with all day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mr. Man 8 Months Old

Yes, I missed 7 months.  I was pregnant and sick and depressed.  Unfortunately, he had a big leap from 6-7 months which is when most of his new developments occurred so when I look back here to compare with the new baby I might be a month off.  I'll try to mention which month his achievements happened in if I can remember.

Things that definitely happened from 6-7 months of age:

He learned how to sit up like a champ.  He didn't learn it overnight or anything and there was a lot of trial and error but by 7 months of age, he had it down pat.  And that made my life ever so much easier!

He learned to sleep for 12 straight hours at night and take longer naps.  This happened in a funny way.  We moved to Germany and he was so jet lagged that I was having to wake him up to eat for several days and once he was on the right time zone he just kept on sleeping great!  Who would have thought jet lag would be such a huge blessing?!  That is called the Lord's mercy my friends.  At 7 months of age, he was taking a long morning nap, a long afternoon nap, and a little baby nap/rest time in the late afternoon before dinner.  Then sleeping at night from 7p-7a.

I had to put him on formula.  He was losing weight (just like Autumn did at 6 months old!  Is it their age or moving to Germany?  Kind of a weird coincidence that they both moved to Germany at 6 months of age).  So he was still nursing  on the side and taking 3 6oz bottles of formula a day.

I started him on solids at about 6.5 months of age and let me tell you , the boy loves his food.  He honest to goodness, used to cry every time he a.) finished a bottle b.) finished nursing or c.) finished a solid food meal.  I am not exaggerating when I say he cried every time!  I didn't know what to do because I know you can't over nurse a baby, but you can over feed him with formula.  And, let me tell you, this boy has porked up :)  I think it's fine because he was always so chubby and big until he started losing weight (which is never a good thing for a baby!).  So really, he is just back to looking like he did before.  Hope that makes sense.  I think he has slowed down now because he has been in 9 month clothes for at least 4 weeks now.  But he gained 4 pounds the last 2 months! We have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks so I guess I'll see then how he's doing in the weight department.

Also from 6 to 7 months of age, Caleb's daddy came home from Afghanistan and he found out he's going to be a big brother!  He was real impressed, let me tell you ;)   It was big month for him!

Ok, moving on to 7 to 8 months of age.

Sleeping is the same except he dropped his cat nap before dinner which I was happy about.  Honestly the more his schedule can resemble Autumn's the easier it is for me and Chris.  They can now bathe together which is awesome and they go to bed just 30 minutes apart.  He gets up earlier than she does in the morning so I get some time with him and he naps in the morning alone so I get some time with her.  Then they nap together in the afternoon so I get some time to myself.  Works out really well.

He is officially not nursing anymore :(  It was hard for me to let that go, but he just kind of lost interest and then he started biting!  He probably bit me 15 times and let me tell you, when  a baby with teeth bites you while nursing, it freaking hurts!!  So that ended that.  He is drinking 4 7oz bottles of formula.

He started crawling.  He gets around everywhere! It's amazing how fast he is on all fours.  He crawled almost 2 months earlier than Autumn did!  I guess having a big sister to chase is a big motivator ;)

He got his first haircut (by mom).  It's not perfect since I am not a hairdresser but it looks better than it did!

The comb-over is no more!

He's a very happy baby when he's at home or out with me or Chris.  Leaving him with others has been a challenge.  He just cries the entire time we are gone.  We have only tried this 3 times at church.  Each time gets a little better so I'm hoping he will outgrow that pretty soon.  They say separation anxiety peaks at 18  months, but I'm not sure how it could get any worse than it is now.

That's about it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baby Journey Week 10

Baby Growth: My baby is now the size of a kumquat.  Did I know what that was?  Um, definitely not.  I just googled it.  You should too!  It's a fruit that is about an inch long.

Symptoms: I am no longer sick to my stomach all day long.  That was awful and I am so glad it has passed.  I still get sleepy throughout the day, but not as bad as a couple of weeks ago.  I go to bed every night by 10pm which is very early for me.  And, although I love doing stuff during the day because it breaks up the monotony, it also wears me out.  I need to eat every couple hours or I get really weak and CRANKY.  Oh my, it is bad.  I am still getting motion sickness when I swing on the swings with Autumn.  Crazy symptom that one!  Peeing all the time.  My pants are starting to get tight :(

Cravings: Nada.  Which is kind of a bummer because I think food cravings are really fun.  I have fond memories of my husband making late night runs for my demanding taste buds with my first pregnancy!

What I Miss:  Energy.  I miss that more than anything.  A flat (let's get real and say "flat-ish") stomach. I miss sleeping through the night and sleeping comfortably.  I mean, I'm barely showing, but I already can't get comfortable at night!

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:  We are in Germany and they do ultrasounds every visit so I got to see our baby this week which now actually looks like a baby!  That never gets old.  It is so amazing to see this little person with arms and legs moving around in your belly and you can't even feel it.  I love it!

Questions/Concerns:  Oh, let me tell you , I have a TON of these.  Not for the doctor necessarily, but for God.  Ha!  It's true.  The main one being "What are you going to send us?"  and "Where am I going to have this baby?" We don't know.  We will probably either be in Germany, Oklahoma, or Arizona but none of those are definite.  I mean, can you believe how crazy my life is?  This will be the THIRD baby I have had in an "unstable" situation.  THIRD!  I mean, don't you think God could cut me a little slack in the faith department?!  I'm totally kidding, but sometimes I do feel like saying, "Ok, I went along with #1 & #2...can you please give me a settled life for #3?"  It's not easy, but apparently God thinks I can handle all this transition so I just go along with it.

Goals for Next Week:  Fold my piles and piles of clean laundry AND get it put away.  Clean the upstairs bathroom.

I still don't want to find out what we are having, but Chris does so we will see what happens there.  He will probably win since I cave so easily.  We both think it's a girl although we don't really care one way or the other.  The reason we think it's a girl is because of how sick I was in the beginning.  I was the same way with Autumn and with Caleb I wasn't sick at all (not even a little bit!).  We have a girl name picked out, but no clue for a boy.  Funny story: I was chalking with Autumn and I decorated a brick for Autumn and Caleb and one for our girl name and Autumn came over and scribbled out the girl name one.  She can't read and doesn't even know all her letters so it was totally a coincidence, but I took that as a sign from God to not count our eggs before they hatch!  As in, it very well might be another boy!  I will be totally happy with either.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back here again so soon? Why, yes, indeed I am.

Hmmm.  I haven't written in awhile.  There is a reason for that.   A couple, really.  One is I still don't know how people find time to blog with multiple children.  It doesn't help that our TV time each day is on the same computer I would use to write on.  I belong to my children all day long and then when they go to bed, I belong to my husband.  I can't say I don't ever have down time during the day but when I do I usually shower or nap or read so I guess blogging isn't up high enough on my list.  At the moment, Caleb is sleeping and Autumn is playing with Play-Doh (which won't last forever!).   The other reason I haven't blogged is that I refuse to A.) Sugar coat my life, emotions, etc and B.)  just get on here and complain and vent.

So if you put A & B together, you can see where my heart has been resting lately.  Not in a great place.  The reason is...I'm pregnant!  Again!  Unplanned!  We will call this pregnancy our "home from deployment and tired of using protection baby".  Ha.   I say that jokingly because really we were being safe and counting days and all that, but for some reason my cycle was off by more than a week that month which literally never happens (seriously, I have been like clockwork the past decade even through 3 pregnancies).  Enter God?  Yes, I believe so.  I believe He wants this pregnancy at this time and I believe He made my cycle all wacko for His Glory in creating this baby.

So, yes, I can rejoice in the baby.  My emotions however are taking a hit.  I am depressed, lonely, sick, angry, sad, bitchy, impatient, tired, and in general, a joy to be around.  Ha.  It has been a hard couple of weeks.  I take turns feeling sorry for my children, my husband, and myself ;)  I am approximately 9 weeks along.  I am not spending time with God which is always the first area in my life to go out the door when things get rough and the last thing that should!  I just cannot seem to drag my butt out of bed in the morning.  It seems like every time I make a renewed effort to start getting up before the kids, I let things get in the way.  Autumn will quit sleeping through the night (this has happened several times), I'll get sick, or you know, pregnant :)

Anyway, that's why I've been absent.  I just have been down in the dumps.  Today, however, I am very much convicted of my "me" attitude.  I do know that what I am feeling is chemical so there's not much to do for that besides getting on medication which I haven't pursued and probably won't at this point.  This is the *exact* same way I felt when I was pregnant with Autumn.  Except that time, I really beat myself about it becaue I just thought I was the worst human being/mother/woman in the world for not being thrilled to death about my pregnancy.  See what societal pressure can do to a person?  I'm only half kidding.  I have come to realize that sometimes your emotions betray you (chemically speaking).  Know what I mean?  What I mean is I was excited about this pregnancy until all the hormones kicked in and I got sick and depressed so even though my heart finds (or found maybe I should say) joy in this situation, my hormones are messing with my mind!  And, since I've been through this before, I know it goes away and I know it doesn't indicate anything about my parenting capabilities or my love for my babies.

Ok, this is the third time I have gotten on here to finish this post in the last 3 days!  BOTH kids and my husband are sleeping so I think I can actually get it written this time. Sheesh!

I don't have much else to say except I feel like I am not embracing Caleb's babyhood.  As soon as I found out about another baby coming along, it's like I have just wanted him to grow up so quickly!  It's sad, really.  I have been mega-convicted of this as of late mostly due to these posts by these super awesome women:  Sort of Deep-ish Thoughts and Thirteen Months.  I need to remember that even though there is another baby coming (SO SOON) that Caleb will only be a baby once and I will never get these months back again.  He won't let me give him a billion kisses forever.  He won't be content sitting on my hip forever.  He won't cry for me when I leave the room forever.

Anyway, I have felt really good the past two days so maybe the worst of it is over.  With Autumn, it was like they say in all the books, one day you wake up and feel like yourself again!  Chris says he is glad he has his wife back.  Poor guy, I know I was bringing him down.

Ok, enough from me about this topic.  It is what it is, right?  Here's to feeling better real soon and having 3 children under the age of 3! Eek! That is the first time I have "said" that out loud and it is kind of a scary statement.  Prayers, people, prayers ;)