Monthly Archives: September 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

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I wake up in the morning thinking about going to bed later that night.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my days, but when you’re not getting a full night of sleep the first thoughts through any normal person’s mind is ‘When can I get back into bed?’  As the morning progresses I fight off the yawns and heavy eyelids while taking care of breakfast.  No matter how tired I am it seems like the mornings drag on.

Finally when noon rolls around I have to make a game-time decision whether to feed Reece lunch or put him down for a nap.  If I feed him and he is not hungry it just winds him up more.  If I put him to bed and he is hungry, he won’t go down.  More time than not I make the right call but when I don’t and his nap is affected and the rest of my day is a bit louder.  Kylee’s routine has not been totally established yet which makes planning somewhat difficult.  She is still sleeping a lot so sometimes the stars align and both babies nap at the same time!

If I am so lucky, when nap time is in full swing I am faced with the decision, ‘what to do with my time.’  Lately, it is the only time for me to workout, eat lunch, clean, do laundry and if there is any time left over I try to flip a few pages of a good book.  There is hardly ever enough time.  Today, Kyle came home to me doing push-ups with Reece giggling on my back and Kylee wiggling awake in her bed.  I was sweaty and sore, Reece was only in a diaper because I hadn’t dressed him for the day and Kylee ready for her next meal.

After nap time the rest of the zooms by in a flash.  I have no idea what happens in the eight hours before bed but I know there is crying, bouncing and selective hearing along with giggles, smiles and playful screams.  Sometime in there we eat dinner take showers and spend time together watching TV -Mickey Mouse, the news and ESPN.  Before I realize it, Reece is going to bed and I am soothing Kylee down so I can have some quiet time before I hit the hay.

Here we are, almost 10 and this is the first time I am my number one priority.  The TV is on in the background and my to-do list is growing.  I usually take this time to think about what tomorrow will look like but, who am I kidding?  it is forcasted to look just like today.  As soon as I wake up in the morning I think about right now, but it isn’t as dreamy as I imagine it to be.  I do not softly rest my head on the pillow at night, but rather I pass out from sheer exhaustion and hope my feet are at the foot of the bed.  All I can be sure of is that tomorrow will come (starting with a middle of the night feeding) and I will do it all over again.  At some point my days will slow down and I won’t wonder where the time goes.

Funny, before I could publish as I was thinking about the joy of closing my eyes and falling asleep but just as I was moing my cursor to the ‘Publish” button Reece started to cry.  He was soaked through his diaper so Kyle changed him while I grabbed new jammies and took care of the bed.  I am done writing now so I hope to close my laptop, feed Kylee and crawl into bed for a glorious four to five hours of sleep.  That is the plan but only time will tell if it actually works out that way.

MOPS Rocks!

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Today was the big day!  I dropped Reece off in his classroom and walked away!  I would love to end the story right there, letting you think I was some super-mom, but that is not the case.  I cried, thought I calmed down, then cried a bit more.

The day started so fast I didn’t have time to think about dropping Reece off and getting nervous.  It isn’t easy getting two kids ready.  Reece didn’t want to get dressed and Kylee didn’t want me to get dressed.  She was crying if I wasn’t holding her and Reece was down the stairs if I wasn’t watching him.  After getting them ready we loaded up and headed out.  Traffic was a bit crazy because of the weather so again, I was too distracted to worry about the inevitable.

We got to the chapel but I was too early to drop him off right away.  I kept Reece entertained as I bounced Kylee while we waited.  9:15 struck and it was time.  I signed myself in and we were told Reece would be in the ‘Turtle” room.  A MOPS mom grabbed his hand and lead him down the hall to his classroom while I followed.  She opened the door and Reece didn’t look back. I signed the paper, verified my information and went to kiss my little man goodbye.  He was too preoccupied with the toys that I had to turn his head to get a kiss; then I turned around and walked out of the room.

I tried to not cry.  There was a MOPS mom making eye contact as I walked out and she could read it on my face.  I fought back the tears but she asked, “Are you okay?”  That question can only incite one reaction, full blown tears.  I cried and I cried.  She talked me down and lead me into the meeting room but the stopped short.  “I forgot that we are taking pictures for the directory.  I’ll let you compose yourself before we take your picture.”  Who’s big idea -joke- was it to take pictures of moms dropping of their kids for the first time?

The meeting was great!  The other moms I met were so nice and I can’t wait to get to know them better.  We talked and laughed and compared stories.  I even let go of Kylee three times!  The ladies sitting next to me wanted to hold her while I grabbed something to eat and did my craft and I let them.  This is a big step for me but I immediately felt comfortable with them.  I had a great time and was sad that time went by as fast as it did.  Before I knew ii, it was time to pick up my Reece.

When I went to pick him up there was a woman in the doorway picking up her little one so I couldn’t see Reece right away.  I peeked over her shoulder and found him, then he found me.  As soon as he saw me he started screaming, “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!!!'”  I almost cried again.  It was just so sweet.  He hardly noticed me leaving earlier but now he couldn’t wait to see me.  I collected my boy and we headed home.  He feel asleep before we were even off the base so I can only assume he had a good time and ran his caregivers in circles.

I can’t wait until the next meeting!

Pre-MOPS Nerves

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Tomorrow is my first MOPS meeting (Mother’s of Pre-Schoolers) and although I look forward to meeting new ladies and other moms, I am not excited about dropping off my little man to the care of people I have never met.  I have never left him with anyone besides family and good friends, he has never been to day care and I have been in the room during playgroups, so to say I am a nervous wreck is an understatement.

The biggest reason I signed up for MOPS was to get Reece some more social interaction.  I wanted to get him into a part-time preschool but since his birthday is after the standard age cut-off, August 31st (Reece was born in September)  he would have to wait anther year before he could be enrolled at the age of three.  He is great with other adults and loves to interact with other kids but I just wasn’t sure how he’d be without his parents around.

Last Tuesday, I attended a play-meeting to get to know the MOPS leaders and some other moms and kids.  It was awesome to see Reece not phased by the masses of children (there had to be over 75 kids on one playground) and just like I knew he would, he grabbed random parents and kids to play with him.  He is not shy and he does not get intimidated easily.  I am so proud of his comfortableness in his own skin.  I know he is going to walk into the classroom and fit right in.  He will make friends immediately and forget that I am in the other room, probably wiping tears away.

The funny thing is is that I want this.  I want to drop him off in a school-like setting and walk away, but not just for him, for me too.  I need to do this sooner rather than later so that when the time comes -and it will- I can drop Reece off and be somewhat okay as I walk away.  When I signed up for MOPS I got a pamphlet with what to do and expect from the meetings.  It didn’t say anything I didn’t expect but, I still cried.  Keep in mind I was in the last weeks of my pregnancy so I’m sure my hormones had something to do with my tears.  I cried at the idea of dropping him off, at the idea that he won’t be the most special kid in the room the the person who is caring for him and at the realization that my baby was no longer a baby; but this was why I signed him up.

I know this is something all parents go through at some time on another.  I am lucky I am able to stay home and take care of my kids, so daycare has never been brought up.  Some parents -strong parents- have to drop their babies off at an early age so they can return to work.  I can only assume it gets easier but since I have never done it so I can’t say for sure.  We already live far away from most of our family so we are used to taking the kids if we need to go out but I plan to enroll them in the child care system when we get to the next duty station so Kyle and I can drop off the little ones and enjoy some ‘us time’ every now and then.

I don’t know how I am going to react tomorrow when I bring him to his classroom then have to walk away.  Right now I am dreading it so much I have debated just dropping out of the group so I don’t have to.  I am nervous that I will cry so much I will seem like a blubbering mess or that I will stress myself so much I won’t be able to focus during the meeting.  Doors open to drop him off fifteen minutes before the meeting starts and I think I will be waiting at the doors before they unlock.  I think it will be best if I get him into the classroom as early as possible so I can compose myself before the meeting.  I know he will do fine, it is me I am worried about.

Reece is Two!

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My baby boy turns two today!

It was a week past his due date and I had to be induced.  My sister only came for 36 hours and she got the show of a lifetime.  There isn’t much I remember from his delivery but I will never forget a few lines my husband, mom and sister said:

Reece on the day he was born.

Ashley: ‘I can seem him!’

Kyle: ‘Push the little fucker out!’

Mom: “I think she -me- just dislocated my shoulder.’

Kyle: ‘He’s here! You did it, babe!’

Ashley: ‘He has a dimple!’

Mom: ‘He looks just like Kyle!’

That was one of the happiest and craziest days of my life.  I had never done so much work, been in so much pain and been so scared before but it was worth every bit of it.

Over the past two years there hasn’t been a day gone by that he hasn’t brought a smile to my face.  Reece can be a pain in the ass but I can’t stay mad at him.  His giggle or cheezy smile can break me, rendering any discipline I planned, void.   Every day he shows me a new and developing piece of his vibrant personality.

Reece’s silly face
(you can see the dimple!)

Reece was the the best I could have asked for as a first baby.  He lets me make mistakes.  He is tough and rough around the edges.  He falls down, wipes away the dirt and keeps on chugging along.  He is such a boy and it is apparent, even to strangers.  He is friendly and curious and personable.  He has a natural coolness and he doesn’t let the little things bother him.  He is smart and if you don’t watch him, he will figure things out and take advantage of any situation.  He looks for the ‘sucker’ in the room and will play every angle until he breaks him or her.  He’ll try to get away with things he knows he is not supposed to and be satisfied with the thrill of trying.  He has surprised me with the things he does, so much that I can no longer be surprised by what I find him doing.

I really don’t know what we did before Reece came into our lives.  I look forward to him running into our room every morning, giving him kisses before bed every night and everything in between.

It’s Not Goodbye

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Our neighbors and best friends on base PCSed yesterday (Permanent Change of Station).  We knew this was coming but it doesn’t make it any easier.  They were part of our lives on a daily -sometimes hourly- basis and now that they are gone, I feel like our routine has been thrown into a blender.

Troy and Nicole moved in to the house next door the same day we were celebrating Reece’s first birthday.  Kyle and I sized them up as they unloaded their car, guessing how old they were and how long they’d been in the military life.  It wasn’t a week before we struck up a conversation and invited them over for dinner.   Before long we instituted an open door policy meaning if they needed anything they could walk into our house without knocking and it was likewise in their house.  We even joked about installing a door between the two houses so that we wouldn’t have to walk outside to visit each other.

Kyle, Me, Nicole and Troy.

We got comfortable with each other in such a short period of time.  We had similar personalities and they fell in love with Reece right off the bat.  Nicole and I loved going shopping or for walks and the boys talked sports and went to the gym together.  We started to refer to one other as our ‘other spouse’ -or ‘boyfriend’, ‘girlfriend’, ‘man-love’ etc.-; we really became family.

One thing I didn’t expect to happen so quickly was that we trust them with our most prized possessions, Reece and Kylee.  It went without discussion that when it came time for us to go to the hospital to have Kylee, Troy and Nicole would be watching Reece.  They know how we parent and they take over with seamless perfection when he was with them.  Reece is their biggest fan, too.  Whenever he is outside he looks towards their house and screams ‘Troyeee! Cole!’

I miss our neighbors already.  Reece hasn’t realized that they have left yet and I dread when he does.  Our new neighbors will have to get used to Reece throwing toys into their yard and having a toddler peek through their windows.  I will have to get used to shopping on my own and not having Nicole here to conspire against the husbands with.  I believe Kyle is already missing his man-love and will probably boycott the basketball courts for a little while.

In the military it is not a ‘goodbye’, it really is ‘see you later’.  Both of us are PCSing but they just happened to go first.  We have already made plans to stay with them a few days on our way to the next duty station and they want to visit us when we get settled in our new location. There is always the possibility for us to be stationed near each other in the future but if not, we will stay in touch.  They have become a big part of our lives and we wish them nothing but the best.  It is crazy that in just one year we were able to become so close but it really feels like we’ve known them forever.  When we got word we’d be parting ways, we joked that our new neighbors would have big shoes to fill but I can honestly say I think they set the bar so high no one will be able to come close.  In the military life you make a lot of good friends but great friends are rare, we were lucky.

Good luck in your new chapter, Troy, Nicole, Rudy and Dallas!  We look forward to keeping in touch for a long time to come!

Reece’s Party

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Yesterday we celebrated Reece’s second birthday.  His birthday isn’t until the 10th but yesterday was the only day everyone would be in town and available.  It was a good ole’ fashion cookout having more food than I knew what to do with.

Reece was the only toddler at his party -obviously, his sister was there but the next nearest age was 12-  I think he enjoyed being center of attention.  He would grab people by the hand as they walked in and say ‘come, come’ and lead them to a toy he was playing with.  Nobody was exempt from playing with his toys.  I was in the kitchen most of the time -go figure- but Reece kept me involved in the party when he’d run through with someone chasing him or on a mission for another toy.

Reece getting ready to blow out candles.

Kyle and I thought we hit a home run when we found his birthday presents; a tool bench and a Mickey Mouse game for his iXL player.  When he woke up from his nap we gave him the tool bench and his face lit up.  He explored all the bells and whistles and showed it off when his guests arrived.  Every present he opened was a home run!  He got a train tent, a camera, a Mickey book, Mickey jammies and Nike warm-ups.  He didn’t know where to focus his attention and before long he was in the tent with all of his toys only coming out to grab someone to join him.

I wanted to make a cake just for him to get messy with.  I know it is a first birthday tradition but how often do we let our kids go nuts in their food?  I held the camera as Kyle put Reece in his chair as we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and brought out his cake.  He had the biggest smile on his face and before we told him what he needed to do he was trying to blow out the candles.

He didn’t get as messy as I thought he would.  He licked off some frosting, pushed in all of the candy letters and ate a few handfuls of the cake.  Reece was able to make a mess of his face and the table before saying ‘all done’ eager to get back to his new toys.

I’d say the party was a success.  Reece took the role as the center of attention and had a blast.  Kyle and I really appreciate everyone who came and helped celebrate our little guy turning another year older.