Category Archives: Ba-bos

Started the day in a funk and how I ended it.

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The first five –awake- minutes of my day went so well.  Reece crawled into our bed so I turned on some cartoons to snag a couple more minutes of shut-eye.  Just after 7, Kylee started babbling from her room just as Kyle came home from PT.  He scooped her up, changed her, and plopped her in the bed with Reece and I.  I had my whole little family within reach; things were great!

Then something changed and I can’t pinpoint why.  I was just in a funk.  The kids were normal at breakfast, Kyle was home longer than usual, and I got a good night sleep so why I was feeling ‘down’ was unknown to me.

I didn’t go for my long walk yesterday.  Things needed to be done and I was short on time so when something had to be sacrificed, the only solution was to forgo my long walk.  I planned on walking today but I didn’t want to.  It was a good thing I set out clothes the night before and quickly got dressed before coming down stairs because if I hadn’t I probably would have passed on the walk again today with no real reason besides my mood.

After walking, enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and cool breeze I came home and quickly slipped back into the funk.  Again, the kids were good and there is no clearly identifiable reason why I would be so sour today but I was.  I set Reece in front of the TV and let him watch two episodes of Mickey as I tried to perk myself up.  I opened up the windows and picked up the house some more.  It made things a little better.

Then I remembered making plans to meet a friend and her two kids at the local splash-pad.  I dreaded it.  I lacked energy and motivation so wrestling two kids into swimwear and greasing them up in sunscreen carried no appeal for me.

But I did it.

I took the kids to the splash pad and let them be kids.  And you know what?  I changed me.  I soaked up every second.  Giggles and splashing and running and making friends and screaming and more giggles and taking in every drop of sunshine my skin would allow.

Turns out that is exactly what I needed.  I need to force myself out into the world when I am having a bad day and let my kids be kids.  And I need to pull a page from my kids’ book and just have fun.  Be a kid.  Giggle.  Realize that nothing was holding me down besides myself and isn’t that just sad?

I am happy right now; back to my old self.  I am sun-kissed and full of energy.  This is the person I should be every day and I will force myself to this state whenever I feel differently.

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Tag teaming this.

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If you would have told me the last 48 hours would have turned out the way they had I would have not believed you.  I would have told you Reece has a typical cold and we would nurse him with medicines and rest and that would be the end of it.  Don’t worry, it really is nothing serious but it is one of those times that makes me glad Kyle is not TDY or deployed.

Two nights ago Reece was waking up about every fifteen minutes.  He was coughing, burning up, sweating, crying, the whole gambit.  After a few times going into his room to soothe him, Kyle took one for the team and crawled into bed with him.  Reece continued to wake up frequently but would go back to sleep pretty easily once he saw and talked to daddy.  I got decent sleep but Kyle did not look good in the morning.

Yesterday morning Reece was not doing much better so I made a same-day appointment for him to see a doctor.  The appointment time was pretty convenient   It was a full hour before Kylee would need to eat again then take a nap and two hours before lunch but Reece hadn’t been eating too much lately so I wasn’t terribly concerned.

When making an appointment, they say to be fifteen minutes early to get vitals and other information for the doctor.  Me always being early, made sure to be there fifteen minutes before the fifteen minutes early they request I be.  I waited and waited and waited.  We were triaged by the nurse ten minutes after our scheduled appointment time and finally taken back to the doctor 40 minutes late.

By this time Kylee was starting to get hungry and fussy from being cooped up in the stroller and Reece was bored and miserable.  I admit fault.  I should have brought food and entertainment but I figured if I was actually seen when I was supposed we should have been out of there well before either was hungry or tired.

The doc listened to Reece’s chest, belly, and back then we talked about what was going on.  She told me she heard a “crackle” in his lungs so she wanted him to have a breathing treatment then an x-ray to rule our pneumonia.  I honestly figured it was the common cold, maybe with an ear infection to boot.  I did not expect pneumonia or anything requiring an x-ray.

We were taken to another room where he would get the breathing treatment.  It was a fun room with an ocean scene painted on the walls but Reece was cautious as we walked in.  The nurse adjusted the table so I could sit on it with him and, to Reece, that was the final straw.  Reece lost his damn mind!  He screamed and cried in my arms, scared of a moving examination table.  After calming him we started the treatment and he lost his mind again.  From the mask to the smoke to the unfamiliar woman to the moving table all added up to me having to bear hug him while she heald the mask to his face.  It was awful.

Kyle was in a class on base a few building down from the hospital so I sent him a text telling him where I was but there was limited signal so I wasn’t sure he would get my message.

After that lovely experience we headed down to Radiology for the x ray.  I waited in line and when I was called up I was told I couldn’t check in without a chaperone.  I couldn’t send Reece in for the x-ray by himself and I couldn’t leave Kylee outside while I went in with Reece.  They called a chaperone for me and I waited.

Ten minutes go by, no chaperone.  Reece is obviously bored and Kylee is squirming and fussy as it was way past her eating time.

Staying sane by getting silly.

Staying sane by getting silly.

Five more minutes, no chaperone.

Then I look up to see Kyle walking into the waiting room!  Honestly, the stress melted away.  Reece’s face lit up, Kylee was giggly again, and we no longer needed to wait for a chaperone!  Kyle took Reece back to the x-ray and when they returned Reece was still all smiles.  We –as a family- went back to the doc’s office to look over the x-rays and finish up the appointment.

It seemed like everything was going wrong when it was just me but when Kyle came along everything played out smoothly.  The rest of the evening we worked together getting both kids fed and put to bed.  Reece started coughing and crying like he did the night before so I decided to stay in his room so Kyle could get a good night sleep; he had to work in the morning.

I hardly got any sleep at all between the breathing treatments –every four hours- and he regularly waking up coughing.  When 6 o’clock rolled around I made my way downstairs with a pillow and set up camp on the couch where I spent all morning as Reece watched PBS kids and Kylee played (not my proudest parenting moment but I wasn’t being purely lazy, I had an excuse.)  Best part of the morning came after Kylee went down for a nap and Reece sat on me as he watched Sid the Science Kid, Kyle came home!

Since coming home he has played with the kids, fed them, put them down for naps, cleaned the house AND gave me some quiet time so I could sit down to write.  These past two days it is very  apparent to me why parents come in twos.  Either they work together or one takes the brunt while the other does what needs to be done, then they switch roles; tag teaming.  If Kyle were out of town, I could do it but it wouldn’t be pretty.  There would be a lot of PB&Js and cartoons but it would all get done.

The side effects of a fun afternoon

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It rained all day on Sunday.  We woke up in the morning to skies so grey it looked pre-dawn through lunch.  There was no way we could go on a hike, go to the pool, or go out and play.  Reece, needing to burn energy like any 2 ½ year old, started to go a little stir crazy.  It wouldn’t be fair for us to keep him cooped up all day but our usual options were out of the question.

I remembered seeing indoor bounce house at the mall.  $10 gets you an all-day pass to bounce; come and go as you please.  It was the best option we had and I knew Reece would love it.  To top off the awesomeness of Reece being entertained on a rainy day was the end result of all that bouncing, exhaustion!

We got to the place, paid and went in.  It didn’t take long to notice we weren’t the only ones with this idea on a rainy day, the place was filled to capacity.  I didn’t mind, it just meant Reece would have more kids to interact with.  He would jump and jump and giggle with other littles as they burned off that pent up energy.

Within five minutes Kyle and I saw a handful of kids coughing and others with runny noses; more as time went on.  This place was a cesspool of germs.  Think about it, wall to wall bouncy-houses and over 80 kids wiping their slimy hands and faces on everything they touch.  There was an unspoken understanding that we would sanitize the kids as soon as we left and give a throughout bath as soon as we got home.

He fell asleep on the couch while trying to play.

He fell asleep on the couch while trying to play.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough.  Reece is now upstairs in nothing but a diaper, burning up and coughing himself awake.  He cries for mommy, daddy, Mac-y, and Kylee.  He cries because he is coughing, coughs because he is crying, and is in pain from a sore throat.  He keeps asking me for something but I can’t figure out what it is.  I have asked him to show me but he hardly has the energy to sit up let alone take me by the hand to show me.

Kylee has a bit of a runny nose but she is smiling and giggling like usual.  I am constantly washing my hands but I can already feel it; pressure between my ears, aching body, and when Kyle and I did Insanity this afternoon I couldn’t push to the level I know I am capable of.  I feel like shit but I am using every ounce of energy to keep chugging on like normal.

As the parent I don’t get a break.  It is comforting to think back to when I was a kid and got sick and my mom took care of me.  I remember times when I stayed home from school sick as a dog.  The days passing in a blur as I stayed in bed and sleeping more than being awake.  My mom took care of me, giving me medicine, checking my temperature, checking in on me, etc.  It is what moms do.

It is familiar routine but this time I am on the other side.  I hover in the doorway as he sleeps, watching his aching body move with each breath, administering cough syrup, comforting him during cough fits, put my hand on his warm head, rub his back, bring him water and juice, and watch the clock to keep record of what he has taken and what he can take next.

It is a bummer that he is sick as a result of such a good afternoon.  He had a perma-smile the entire time we were there.  He ran from one bounce house to another, played with so many kids, and burnt so much energy on a day he could have easily spent bored in the house.  I still plan on taking him back to the bounce-place on future rainy days and just try harder to sanitize him when we leave.  Getting sick and spreading germs is a staple in a kid’s life so as much as this sucks it is going to happen again and I will be there in my role as ‘mom’ to get him back to his old self.

Toby Keith Concert

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Free concert for the troops!

Free concert for the troops!

As we were getting ready to go the weather forecast didn’t project a good outcome.  By us, the skies were mostly cloudy but not really threatening rain but where we were going, it was ugly.  Kyle and I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go.  If we got there and the rain was too bad we’d figure something out, whether it be suck it up and get wet or head home and not see the show.  I was checking the skies and the internet constantly, I really wanted to watch the concert!

When asked if he would still play in the rain Toby Keith responded, “If there is anyone in the audience, I am still playing.”  He is such a good guy.

Toby Keith loves the troops. During the concert he mentioned this was his 199 or 200th free concert for the troops.  FREE!  Most were done in war zones and one show in Baghdad was attacked!  After the dust settled and everyone was okay, Toby stood up, gave the middle finger and kept on performing.  What a guy!

So we get to base and head straight for the PX to get another umbrella (or two).  The concert field is right beside the PX so parking was a pain.  I dropped Kyle off and looked for a spot while he went into the store.  He called me from inside to tell me they were completely sold out of ALL umbrellas; standard, patio, and ponchos.  I picked him back up and went back to looking for parking.  After ten or so minutes driving around the lot I finally found a spot –a pretty good one at that- and looked to the skies for a hope it would clear up enough.

45 minutes before Toby was to take the stage, the rain had reduced to a light sprinkle!  We loaded up the kids into the wagon and headed out.  Before going closer to the stage we grabbed some ono (meaning “delicious” in Hawaiian) food, and capped off our meal with some kettle corn and shave ice.  Once we were good and full we made our way closer to the stage.

We set up in a greatt location.  We weren’t close enough to recognize who was on stage but his voice made it obvious and having two small kids, we had no intentions –or desire- to be any closer.  Being far back made it better for use to set up a blanket and let Reece run for a bit.  At 7 on the nose Toby Keith was introduced and the concert began.

We danced!  We sang!  We had a great time!  Toby played a great mix of his older stuff along with the newer.  Red Solo Cup, I Love This Bar, Beer for My Horses, Made in America, Whiskey Girl, Running Block and so many more.  Kyle and I knew them all.  It was so much fun to sing and dance with the kids to songs Kyle and I have been jamming to since before they were born.

As things wrapped up it started sprinkling harder; we made our way to the truck.  Toby thanked us for coming and thanked the service members for their service and the stage went dark.  The crowds started screaming “ENCORE! ENCORE!” and as expected Toby came back out to satisfy the masses.  We tried to guess the song he would play, knowing there were some OBVIOUS ones he hadn’t played yet.  A fraction of a second into the first encore song we knew it, American Soldier.  Such a great song and so very fitting to our situation.  The concert ended appropriately with Toby playing one more song, one of his best songs –the other being his first encore song- Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.  That song had everybody singing along and fired up; it makes you proud to be an American.

We got back to our car, changed the kids into jammies, and headed home.  It was such a good show and we had a great time.  I really respect Toby Keith because he gives back to the troops as much as he can.  Fun fact: if you show your military ID in any of his restaurants your meal is free!  This man is loaded and makes an insane amount of money when he tours but he does concerts for troops for free, and in WAR ZONES at that.  He really cares, not just says he does.  Toby Keith is an AWESOME guy who put on an AWESOME show!

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Self-induced Kylee time

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Reece is in a stage where he consumes most of our time and energy.  He is so active and asks questions and wants Kyle’s or my involvement and at the end of the day I look back only to realize that Kylee spent a lot of time on her own.

She is a happy baby.  She crawls around our living room and does her own thing.  She is happy to interact with someone, whether it be her parents, brother, or dog, but she would be content to move from place to place discovering new things, playing with toys.  I don’t leave her to her own devises all day but it seems lately Reece has been extra consuming and it has taken away from Kylee’s time.

I like that she doesn’t need constant attention.  We have little moments throughout the day when we can finally get together.  We giggle and smile and play little games but she is content on her own.  I don’t have enough time in my day to solely devote to her whether it be playing with or holding her and I don’t think it is healthy for babies to have all day-dedicated attention.  She should be able to entertain herself for a period of time while I am doing things.

Recently, after we put both kids to bed Kyle and I were enjoying some kid-free time watching TV and talking when Kylee began to cry.  Usually, we ignore the cry and after a while he or she goes back to sleep.  But this night Kylee was not going to let us ignore her.  She was relentless.

Kyle was the first responder.  He did what he could and after a while he came back downstairs successful.  We continued our night and hoped for the best.  A few minutes go by and Kylee starts rearing up again.

We wait but the cry turns serious and I know it is my turn to try. 

My little girl playing on her own.

My little girl playing
on her own.

I go up to her room and find her standing in her crib, red-eyed and out of breath.  She was not happy and she was going to let me know.  I tried soothing her down but it was no use; she was not having it.  I scooped her up and brought her downstairs with us.

I, honestly, thought the worst.  I thought she was going to be up all night and this was the start.  It was only 9 so the kids hadn’t been down for more than an hour, I had barely put my feet up when she started crying.  I was already tired but if she showed intentions of playing I knew I would not be going to bed anytime soon.

Since Kyle and I were only watching TV, I darkened the room and gently sat down on the couch with her cradled in my arms.  I did not want to excite her at all, worried she would think that by taking her out of bed it was ‘awake time’ and time to play.  I rocked her back and forth while she just laid on me.  She would adjust every so often but for the most part she was happy to just relax on me.

At one point I joked with Kyle, “she has to squeeze in her ‘mommy/daddy’ time when Reece is asleep” but then it hit me how true that statement was.  She was so content to just sit with us and watch TV because we were paying attention to her and ONLY her.  She was smiling and cuddling and enjoying her ‘alone time’.  I handed her off to Kyle so he could get in a few cuddles before we put her back to bed and she was just as happy with him as she was with me.

After a little while we walked her up to her room –she still awake-  and set her back in bed.  She immediately fell asleep and we didn’t hear a peep from her all night.

I didn’t realize how much Reece had been consuming my time until Kylee created her own time when she was supposed to be asleep.  She is in a stage where she is discovering so much on her own so she doesn’t need me as much but it was a reminder that I do need to set aside a little more time just for her.  His developing communication skills force my attention to him but Reece will have take a back burner so Kylee can be the star of the show for a little while, no matter how quiet and calm she is.

Aloha MOPS (until next year)

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Yesterday was our last MOPS meeting for this term.  Although I came in mid-year to this group I feel like I have made a handful of friends and barrelful of ladies I could depend on in a pinch.

This was my first year in MOPS.  My sister had told me about it when Reece was a newborn but I didn’t find one to join until after Kylee was born.  I started the year off in the MOPS group of Ft. Belvoir but because we PCSed in October I had to transfer mid-year. mops_logo1

I loved my Ft. Belvoir MOPS moms.  All the ladies at my table were great.  We had so much in common but came from so many different backgrounds that we were able to offer advice and perspective that may have otherwise been missed.  I was able to open up to them and quickly felt comfortable giving Kylee up when any one of the ladies wanted “baby time”.  I was so sad when the last meeting I was supposed to attend was canceled because of hurricane Sandy.  I miss my Ft. Belvoir moms and feel so lucky to have such great women in my first MOPS experience.

When I found out we were coming to Hawaii I began feverish research on the next MOPS group I could join.  Being such a great program to meet not only moms but moms who have so much in common, I knew it was the best way to quickly acclimate to my new surroundings and develop a solid foundations of friends.

My first Schofield MOPS meeting was a bit crazy.  The power was out due to a rainstorm so the daycare wasn’t allowed to take the kids.  Imagine about 30 women with at least one under-five year old running around a dark room; it was nuts!  About half way through the lights came back on and every mom rushed their kids to the daycare and we continued on with the scheduled events.  A crazy as that first meeting was, I loved it and looked forward to the next one.

I didn’t miss a single meeting because I loved getting to know new ladies.  We talked, laughed, cried and commiserated on the craziness that comes with being a mom.  We shared great food and great advice.  I took part in the craft when I could but sometimes all I could do was hold Kylee as made friends with other babies on their mom’s lap.

This last meeting was so fun.  We learned to hula and ate some traditional Hawaiian foods but what I really enjoyed was the relaxed/friendly atmosphere.  We weren’t separated by tables this last time; we all shared a long ‘U’ shaped table.  We intermingled with moms from other tables but the familiarity remained.  The steering team announced our new coordinator for next year –A lady who I have gotten to know who will be great for the job and I absolutely love her!-  and her assistant coordinator.  These two ladies will do a great job leading us next year with the theme “A Beautiful Mess”, I can’t stinken wait!

It was nice connecting with other ladies as soon as I landed on the island.  I am so bummed that MOPS is over until August but I made some great connections.  I am happy to have met some awesome ladies with whom I hope to do playdates and mommy-dates with until next year starts up but I will absolutely miss the big MOPS gatherings every other week.  I plan on attending the play dates to keep meeting new moms and giving Reece and Kylee the opportunity to connect with other little kids.   MOPS is such a great program!

Adventure!

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When I told Kyle that we needed an adventure this weekend, he agreed without hesitation.  I didn’t know what our adventure needed to be but it felt like we needed one.  After roaming around the internet Friday afternoon it came to me; the Dole Plantation.  Pineapple, giant maze, and…….. A TRAIN!!!!

Saturday morning started at 6.  We fed Kylee and headed out the door for breakfast; specialty doughnuts and coffee.  Maple, buttermilk, blueberry, and Haw’n Snikas (Hawaiian Snickers) doughnuts, we were fully sugared up and ready for our adventure.

The Pineapple Exress

The Pineapple Exress

When we arrived at the Dole Plantation it was still early so there were very few people and the weather was still cool.   We loaded the kids into the stroller and began to wander.  There were little shops with pineapple paraphernalia and cultural tchotchke.

We wandered through a pineapple garden that had different varieties of the fruit but the most appealing thing to Reece was a lizard sunbathing on a leaf.   There were pineapples from all over the world, in different colors and sizes and at one point he tried to grab a pineapple but the spiked leaved put a stop to that real quick.

After the ‘discovery’ portion of our adventure we made our way to the train.  Reece was so excited for the train because his current favorite show is Dinosaur Train on PBS Kids.  He has been on a monorail at the mall and the Metro a handful of times when we lived in DC but he has never been on a train.  I knew taking him on a train would be a big hit.

We bought tickets and waited in the little station.  After a few minutes the train appeared, tooting it’s horn.  Reece began to lose. his. mind!  “The TRAIN! THE TRAAAAAIN!”  When it was time, the conductor validated our tickets –which Reece was more than excited to play along-, we took the obligatory tourist picture, and loaded up.  The conductor seated us in the front seat of the car so the kids would have a better view.  As the train left the station Reece developed a perma-smile.  He enjoyed every second of the twenty minute train ride.

Next on our adventure was the giant maze which holds the title from Guinness World records of 2008.   We got lost for almost an hour finding eight stamp checkpoints throughout the maze.  It was great.  Kyle pushed Kylee in the stroller while Reece and I took shortcuts and paths that the stroller wouldn’t fit through.  They weren’t really shortcuts because sometimes they got us more lost than we were in the first place.  But in the end we finished before the ‘average’ time and had such a good time in the process.

With the kids hot and tired we quickly walked through the shops and marveled at the prices of souvenirs being sold to tourists then headed out to the car.  It wasn’t long after we left that both kids were asleep.

It was the type of adventure I felt our family needed this weekend.  There was no yelling and no tears.  We got out of the house, discovered something new and had a great time in the process.  Now I begin research for next weekend’s adventure.

 

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