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Die Gedanken Sind Frei
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in austrianlobster's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
1:57 pm
Bye bye
This is the end. I'm kinda tired of crossposting entries, and I think there's all of one person now reading this eljay, so I'm just going to stop. Since the demise of Open Diary, I now spend my diary time on Prosebox, and you'll just have to know how to find me there to keep following me. So long!

The only reason I ever got on here, actually, is because Jen really wanted me to several years ago so we could follow each other. And now there's no more of that, now, is there? :(
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
11:15 am
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
1:28 pm
Afore the baby wakes
Let's see how far I'll get before William wakes up... he's been asleep for two hours now, which is awesome, but it also means he'll wake up anytime now. Needless to say, photos will take too long, so you'll have to wait for those!

Richard's parents are still here in town, but they'll leave this weekend. It's really been nice having babysitters eager to get their hands and kisses on William, so I can go to spouses club things and doctor appointments and the like. It's hard to believe they will have been here close to two months. Two months!! My first thought it just how stinking high the hotel bills will be for them, but they wouldn't do it if they couldn't afford it (and they're not rich, so don't get that idea).

Writing for Live in the Round has been on and off. We're just about done with the eight-day writing project (as in, read a study for eight days, then write eight entries). Then we'll be able to have a break as they get posted. Hurrah! I've got two more to finish; they're near done, but drat that writer's block.

I haven't told you guys I actually made a new friend, did I? Her name is Dorothy, and she has a little boy named Ezra who is maybe nine months or so older than William. She's an Army wife, and they started coming to our church maybe a year ago or so. I think what got us together is the fact that we were here on the homefront while both our husbands were in Afghanistan. (Eric, her hubby, has since come home as he left before Richard.) William and Ezra don't play together, of course, but at least Ezra doesn't mind William like Blake did over the summer, haha. We went to her house once in August, and ever since then, getting together has just not happened. Naptimes interfere, a husband returns, I get sick (in the case of today--behave, tummy!!).

Anyway, I mention this because it's been quite a while since I made an actual new friend. Like, one I would actual enjoy spending time with. Admittedly, it helps we have the boys--babies are great conversation starters, you know! :) But I'm such a withdrawn person, eager to just go home and not see people in general, that being social can be a huge difficulty. (Case in point: when we first moved here, I came THIS close to not joining the spouses club on base because the line of ladies at the social was terrifying to me.) But I think we're both glad that we have another military wife we can talk to, and it's good for the boys to get together.

Now if only we could actually get together!! I felt so bad having to cancel on her today, but I woke up in the middle of the night with an awful stomachache, then threw up, Oh, yay. It only happened that once, thank goodness, but my stomach still hurts, and all this morning I've had trouble standing for long because it really makes me feel like I'm going to hurl again. Fortunately, baby has been fairly good, aside from a few tears. And so I am glad he is taking a nice, long nap!!

Ok, photos anyway. I can't help myself!


Asshur continues to be really annoying and wanting my lap as soon as he sees baby's not around. This sometimes includes mealtimes. Cats! On another note, William is fairly good about eating most foods. He won't eat purees anymore, though. It's fun feeding him real food! He loves fruit and pasta and fries.


Bathtime! He's ok with it. He loves pulling out the drain plug, though, as the one built into the tub doesn't work. That's caused some tears.



His pooping face! Hahaha I can't believe I caught this one.



Colorado baby!



On nice days, I usually try to get out for a walk. Sometimes that means in the stroller to one of the playgrounds in the neighborhood, sometimes that means driving to a trailhead here on base and exploring the trails here. I LOVE the trails here.



And just so you think my life isn't 100% baby (it's actually only about 95% baby), I present to you homemade Snickers! I forgot to adjust for elevation the first go-round with the caramel, but the second time was perfect. And even though I hate dipping things in chocolate, ohhhhh, these are so good!!



Tossing apples around the kitchen. He started eating them, too! Like, actually picking it up and taking bites. Go baby!



We went to the Trunk or Treat here on base last weekend, and William and I had our photo taken. He only has a Halloween outfit because it cost as much as shipping would have on an Amazon order a while back, but buying it got us free shipping, so why not! :) And a baby flight suit! How cute!! He didn't get any candy; we only went so he could look around, and we could see what all was there. It was VERY well attended, lemme tell ya. Glad we were there early.

And now, if you can stand two short, low-quality videos of a baby walking! Sorry I couldn't embed it; the HTML from Photobucket wasn't cutting it. So I had to use direct links. They are short videos, I promise!

We have had dinner with Richard's parents a few times in their hotel room, and William always enjoys walking around a new place. I was so mad I hadn't brought my camera. But we're going over again tonight, so tonight I will try again! Also--he usually tries to run, not walk! He's actually walked pretty far by himself, though he's still awfully wobbly. It's tough when he doesn't wait long enough to get his balance, then on top of that, really takes off, hehe.

It makes me hurt that Richard is missing so much. So much fun stuff.

And speaking of Richard, he has stopped his usual work in the sector he was in (always on base--never beyond the wire), and now he and his team are in a holding pattern till the team relieving them will come. (They've hit some snags, to put it mildly.) Then they're in a holding pattern again till they can actually get a flight out of Afghanistan. So who knows when it will be. Neither of us figure it will be before the end of November, but you never know. I don't let my hopes go very high; stay pessimistic and you'll always be happy, right? Right. :) Besides, it's the military! Who knows what will happen.

Reason #934662930573 I can't wait for Richard to come home: to hold baby while I brush his teeth. He seriously hates it. HATES it. He's ok with chewing on the toothbrush some (thought not in a manner where it actually cleans any surfaces), but wow, he hates it when I do it.

Also, he thinks trying to roll off the changing table is hilarious. He doesn't seem to care when I tell him it's dangerous. ;)

And William is STILL asleep... 2 1/2 hours now!! Incredible. Thank goodness, because I needed the rest myself today. It also makes up for the days when his nap(s) total(s) twenty minutes the whole day. :)

And now he's awake! Bye!
Monday, October 20th, 2014
8:45 pm
One little second
William does not crawl. He never has, and he probably never well until well after he has mastered walking. But that's ok; it's just how he rolls. (And he does roll, too; you should see him when I try to dress him or change his diaper!)

His main mode of transportation is, therefore, me. He is usually not content to sit for very long, preferring instead to go through the house, holding onto my fingers. It's not hard, I don't have to bend over the whole time, and I've come to terms with the fact that that is how we spend most of the day at home.

I miss Richard terribly, of course; his time deployed is drawing to a close, thankfully, but we can't set our sight on any return date in particular, not even within a given month. (I'm trying not to focus on just how freaking AWESOME it is going to be to pick him up from the airport!) There are times in some days where I just get this little gray cloud over my brain and my heart, and the heft of the time remaining weighs heavily on me. It's entirely doable, I know that; but I'm getting worn out, and so is Richard.

Today I was walking William around, his left hand around my left index finger, as it normally is. He stopped to poke at the little table we have by the front door, which holds a bowl with winter hats and keychains. My mind began to wander down a well-worn depressed path, as it often does in a moment of quiet like that. I stared at the front door, at nothing in particular.

And then I noticed a little face turned up at me. I looked down, and William was looking right at me, smiling big.

I hadn't been singing; I wasn't making any funny movements or sounds to elicit this attention. This little boy was just staring right up at me, giving a big grin, chasing that cloud of missing Richard away for the moment.

And that's all it took. It lasted all of a second before his little legs took off to go elsewhere. But for something so simple and lovely, it went a long way to chasing my blues away. I felt like God had just told me it was ok; our waiting was not in vain; I needn't be so down. God's got us.

I couldn't help but think of this verse: "And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matthew 18:3)

A lot can be said in the sweet, innocent act of a child. Thank you, God.
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
7:09 pm
A baby's birthday... and other stuff
The baby's napping and I am stalling writing for the other blog. Of the eight entries we (the 12 or so of us) all have to do, I am 12/-3/4 done with most all of them. Working on Day 6 today, however, might prove to be a good day for the delete button. I hate hate HATE having to rewrite stuff.

Confession: in high school and college, I almost never proofread anything I wrote. Anything. Ever. Maybe once or twice. I hated reading what I wrote so much, that my rough draft was my final draft. How did I ever get good grades?? I seriously have always wondered that. I figured I was just good at faking it.

While I usually don't feel incredibly overwhelmed with Richard gone (you get used to it. Seriously), sometimes I just feel so.... I don't know. Depressed isn't the right word, tired describes only part of it.... alone, maybe? Worn out goes a bit far, too. Usually the feeling comes when William is down for a nap or in bed for the night. And then it's just me... and whatever stuff I thought I had to do earlier immediately leaves my brain, and I often just end up in front of the computer for a while. Apathetic and lazy, those cover part of it, too. Hm.

I am also still learning to become nothing. I mean it this way: when you have a baby, priorities radically shift and freetime suddenly becomes this elusive thing you don't often encounter. I have learned to put out of my mind the things I need/want to do so I can take care of the baby. It's definitely gotten easier, especially with Richard away. What I miss most, though, is reading. I used to be able to read while he nursed, but now he nurses so quickly that I don't have the chance to actually get into a book. (Richard's parents got me a subscription to Food Network magazine, and I LOVE it!) And crocheting sometimes, though that also was a slight source of frustration on occasion--in part because Asshur, as soon as he sees I have no baby with me, tries to sit on my lap, whether I have one or not. And he likes to chew yarn. As in, eat it. Not good!

Anyway. Pictures!


William's first birthday! He turned one on September 13, a Saturday. He didn't nap but five minutes the whole stinking day (even on a walk! In the carrier! He always falls asleep in the carrier! Argh), so it's amazing he has a great smile here. And that ride-on thing? Awesome. Except the only entertainment value it holds for him right now is chewing on the rubber ends of the handlebars. You'll learn, kid, you'll learn! (Also, I kinda want one my size now--the front wheel is a big ball that is fixed and goes back and forth only, but the back wheel is another ball that rolls around freely. Pretty awesome.)


The dining room all decked out. (I actually took this after taking a couple things down.) I was kind of perturbed; I bought a bag of balloons and a hat. That was it. We had festive-looking napkins. He's one, and this isn't a real party; what more would we need? Richard's parents, however, being the more over-the-top-let's-make-memories type of people, bought a bunch of decorations, and when they came over, his dad just started putting them up. Without asking. If he had asked, I would have said yes, so they would have gone up either way, but it annoyed me that he didn't ask. Then later, his mom said she had napkins (that matched... of course!) and asked about using them, saying she didn't want to intrude on whatever my plans were. Then what about all these decorations we will probably never use again?! Agk.


William was not a very happy camper through dinner. I made meatballs, and he did eat some, but not much. This photo is him in the process of poking the flame. I just didn't get to him in time (go ahead and sign me up for the Worst Mother of the Year Award... I felt awful), and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Not having napped, he was SO cranky anyway, so I took him back, nursed him, and he fell asleep. What a birthday.


So we finished celebrations after lunch on Sunday!


William and Grandma and Grandad.


He had no interest in opening presents. Too bad. You'll learn about that, too, kid! He also didn't really want his cupcake.


After Richard's parents left and baby and I had dinner, I tried giving him part of a cupcake again. He was, again, not very interested.


He liked the pizza more!


Swimming at the grandparents' hotel pool. They bought him that inflatable airplane, and it's pretty cool.


At a yard sale down the street, I found this booster seat! We haven't exactly used it yet, but he likes trying to turn the wheels on it. (He loves wheels on anything--strollers, toys, cars, etc.)


He also loves pulling all his books off the shelf. Heh. It's not so bad putting them all back, really. (On the shelf above I packed 'em in really tight so he can't budge them!)


He fell asleep holding his foot!


Last year he got this snowsuit as a gift. It is size 0-3 months. AND IT STILL FITS. The thing is grossly oversized! Actually, it is just a tad short for him now, but he could definitely still wear it for the time being!


I made Alton Brown's chocolate ice cream recipe, which called for eight egg yolks. (Eight!!) (Ok, so it's frozen custard, not ice cream, technically.) What does one do with eight egg whites? I have no idea. Two are gone, though in meringue cookies. Yum.


I had this cyst removed a couple weeks ago. It never bothered me till recently, when it suddenly began to grow bigger and was even just a tad tender. The procedure was awfully quick; my regular doctor did it, and I was home in less than an hour. All's well with it, though he did leave a little behind. Oh, well.


He's gotten pretty good at standing on his own against something, though he does very often still pitch one way or the other and fall down. Today, however, with my arms encircling him but not touching him, he took a few steps! He's done maybe one before, but this was several in a row! He did it like it was no big deal, too. Then his poor balance got the better of him. So I think it will still be a little bit before he actually does walk. But! He can hardly pull himself up. Still. He rarely cruises. He absolutely cannot bend down to pick something up without help, nor can he get himself upright from laying down. Or crawl. He still will not crawl. This kid is doing everything out of order!

Well, I better get him, I guess.... he woke up, we had dinner, and now he's pulling all his greeting cards out of the basket in his room. Great entertainment!
Saturday, September 27th, 2014
8:24 pm
In a writing mode
But not a picture mode, sorry! Well, not if I want to stay chronological, anyway, and chronology is very important, you know. So we'll see where this entry goes, and I am sure there will be a photo or two stuck in there somewhere!

For the blog I wrote for, liveintheround.com, we just finished an eight-day writing project based on a series done on shereadstruth.com. It was very good, and our leader, Ashley, put together this awesome PDF of questions and topics for each individual writer. And my reason for telling you all this is to say I goofed and read the wrong series, corrected only when I was wondering where we were on the calendar, when, in fact, we were doing a past series on a totally different part of the site. I'd been reading the wrong thing for six of the eight days! Oops.

But the odd thing about it? For Day 7, I read the correct blog entry, and then when I tried to write on the topic I was given, I had the most difficult time getting anything at all down. I talked to a lady at church about it who also writes for Live in the Round, and she echoed my sentiments--it was harder to write after reading the day's entry because that author's thoughts sort of became our own in answering the given questions, and if everything has been said, what else is there to say? So I sort of feel like I did myself a little bit of a favor by reading the wrong entries.

Anyway.

Things are going. Richard is still gone, of course, with an expected return of November or December. (I'm keeping myself in the December mindset so I'm not disappointed or any more impatient than I already am!) William takes two naps a day; one in the late morning, usually in the car or in the carrier on a walk, and an afternoon nap around 3:30. The afternoon nap is when I can actually get things done. Thank goodness he usually sleeps more than an hour! I just don't get a break otherwise. Well, ok, I do in the evening, but the evenings have always been a do-nothing time for me, and I am loathe to break that tradition:) Who wants to be running around washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, etc. right before bed anyway? He goes down around 8, and I like to at least start my voyage to bed by 9:30.

Baby did NOT want to take his nap this afternoon. Criiiiiied like I'd lain him on a bed of needles for ten or fifteen minutes, but thankfully, he went to sleep. He does skip his afternoon nap on occasion. (His birthday was one of those days. Oh, yeah, I should write about that sometime, shouldn't I?)

I take him to the playground most evenings, though sometimes it's before dinner since it's getting darker so much earlier now. I hate that about winter!

The people who live across the backyard from us make my heart hurt. They have a little boy in elementary school, maybe eight or nine years old, and he seems like a normal, fun-loving kid. He came to our door once and I ordered some candy from him for a school fundraiser. With the weather still nice and sunny and kinda hot, doors and windows are open, and I hear an awful lot of yelling--usually his mom shouting and cursing about something trivial, and wow, it happens a lot. I've only heard the dad yell a couple times. I feel so bad for the kid. I've seen and heard nothing to make me think there's any physical abuse, which is wonderful. Just verbal. :( I promised William I would never do that to him. Thank goodness he still has no idea what's going on and takes no heed to the cursing.

Happier note!

It makes me so happy it's still been hot! End of September in Colorado, you never know. We got a patio furniture set (four chairs, a table, and an umbrella) on sale at Target, and many days I take William's high chair outside and we eat lunch in the shade of the umbrella. Our music is always the airplanes going by. I love those airplanes. I love living on a military base.

Richard and I normally are able to talk every day, although, like today, many days are simply a message from him, saying, "Hi beautiful! Off work. How's your day going?" And then I hear nothing else. :( Sometimes they have to call a few guys to do something, and he has to run off to work suddenly, and sometimes his internet is down, which is usually what the case is. Poo. I am grateful, though, that we are able to e-mail every day. Think back to our grandparents' days (those of you my age, that is:) ) My Uncle Butch was two when Pop Pop came home from WWII. How disheartening!

I actually posted a couple pics on Facebook that Grandma sent to Pop Pop when he was overseas; I don't think I'm friends with most of you on FB, but really, if you want me to friend you, I am more than happy to--I trust all you guys. Just let me know.

Posting photos has been hard because Richard sent me a tablet-laptop combo for my birthday last month to replace the slooooooow laptop I'd gotten seven or so years ago. So most of my photos are still on the old computer, but some are here on the new one, so it requires some planning now to post pics!

Ok, pics! I'll just tell about my cousin Mike's wedding before signing off.

Waiting out the rain in Las Vegas, NM. (Definitely not the glitzy Las Vegas!) William and I took two days to drive down to El Paso, where Mike and Priscilla would be married. That's where all her family is. Since all my family's in the DC area, it was quite a trip, and not too many came. My mom and Rachel and I shared a room (oh, and William, too!), and Leslie and Rob were there as well. It could have been ridiculously fun if we'd all been able to stay another day or two--it was awesome with everyone in the same hotel!


An early birthday present from my parents--an Orioles jacket and a set of stacking/nesting buckets. He loves them! And I am now an expert and putting them all back together. :-P


Saturday before the wedding, my mom, Aunt Jenny, and Uncle Tom and baby and I walked to the El Paso museum that was right next to the hotel. It was small and very nice, telling the history of the city. There was a fire truck display at the beginning, and Aunt Jenny and I had to get behind the wheels (yes, two) and act goofy:-D You could even dress up! Aunt Jenny has one of me somewhere.


The wedding was the first Catholic ceremony I'd been to, so it was interesting in that respect, but also because everything was in both English and Spanish! Mike's side is decidedly monolingual, and Priscilla's side is mostly Spanish-speaking, though many were bilingual. I wish I were truly bilingual. I always have. Jealous. Anyway, the ceremony was in a gorgeous church where they just cycle weddings through. We basically had to rush right out, and they didn't get the traditional photos. Too bad:(


There were a couple hours between the service and reception, so my mom took baby (who desperately needed a nap and steadfastly refused to sleep), and Rachel and Leslie and I walked to downtown El Paso (what was part of downtown, anyway) towards the Mexican border. (Most of us from the east coast really wanted to just hop across the border to say we'd at least been to Mexico, but Juarez is apparently not safe at all, so no one did.) We were looking for some authentic Mexican food, but had no luck as we came across nothing but clothing stores. We did see the wall separating us from Mexico, though! Whoo. We ended up with creme-filled churros from a guy with a cart. All the creme went to the bottom of the churro and it was gooooooood.


What's a wedding without a mariachi band to start dinner??




The Mexicans know how to party! During the dancing, all sorts of stuff got handed out. First it was balloons; then it was flashing glasses; then it was plastic hats. Then it was headbands with flashing crowns. Then sticks that light up and flash. (Leslie is here modeling what Rob put together for her! He shaped the balloon into a headpiece; they were handed out simply long and straight, and not quite balloon animal material, as some people found out!) When the gals gathered for the bouquet toss, they all got headbands with flashing bows, paraded around the room in a conga-type line, then did the toss. The guys did the same, except they got headbands with flashing devil horns. Heh.

So it was a really fun trip. But golly, am I tired of traveling with a baby!! He wasn't keen on being in the car five hours two days in a row, then all over again a couple days later. But in many ways, it was easier than flying. So I am thankful for that.
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
10:24 pm
Total fail
*LJ-only note: pardon the lack of apostrophes; it is late and I am not about to go through this whole entry to change the strange characters to apostrophes. Why does copying and pasting do that, anyway?

At updating! Nothing's wrong in real life here, Richardlessness and all. I have just fallen so far behind at keeping up with this thing. I know I need to update about July in this entry, specifically about the visit with my parents but golly, that seems like ancient history now! But here's a few photos anyway.

It's just so danged hard when I spend most of my day walking around a baby who won't crawl and usually isn't happy sitting on the floor to play. Sorry, guys, but doing the dishes is a little more important than updating here!

Bear with me; this is thirty pictures long. Call me indecisive.


Went to the playground near my parents' house a few times and pushed William on the swings. He likes them.



My mom got him this round plastic bath toy that lights up and changes colors, and it's actually pretty cool. He loves it. I took this photo around dinnertime on an evening when we opted out of a baseball game because the weather was awful--and yes, it was that dark out way before it was supposed to be that dark!



Went to my cousin Stacey's and swam in the neighborhood pool on a day that was perfect for it--hot! I forgot to bring my camera to the pool, so I only have one bad photo on my phone, and I haven't uploaded any photos from my phone in a long time. So here's one of Stacey and William being cute;)



Nana came over and took us (us as in me and William) out to lunch, and we spent the afternoon and evening together. It was a lot of fun, though I felt bad she had to drive all the way up from Washington. I'd wanted to spend a night at her house, but it just didn't work out. :(






Rachel with her godson. I love this photo!



My dad and I went on a walk one afternoon and ended it with a free slurpee at 7-11. It was 7-11 Day, after all! We joked about how William treated us to the slurpees, hehe.



Homemade ice cream out on the deck. Funny thing about that bouncer--a lady across the street who sometimes watches her grandkids offered baby stuff for my parent to borrow for William. My mom asked her for a walker and got this! She felt a little silly lugging it across the street, hehe.



Got together with my cousin Suzanne and Blake again! Blake still didn't like William, and William still liked him, and they still did not play together. Not that we expected anything different. :) But they were cute together.



"There's a cow behind me!!!" My mom and William and I went to the Baltimore County 4-H Fair, and it was NOTHING like the one we went to while living in Indiana. 4-H is such a bigger thing in the midwest! It was neat, though, seeing the animals and projects.



He sleeps like this sometimes! I think it looks like he's doing a jig or running or something.



Of COURSE my mom and I had to go to the dental museum in downtown Baltimore! A former assistant and a current hygienist, come on. We'd never been before, and it was actually really interesting.



Glen Echo!!! Baby got his first carousel ride. He was SO tired and in dire need of a nap that I don't think he enjoyed it all that much.






We walked around town after our picnic at the park. They finished the house that replaced the one that my mom and aunt grew up in. Sigh.



I got such a kick out of this old sign still on a fence around a now-condemned house in Glen Echo. No one could remember the Hobart exchange, not even Nana.



Was Asshur ever glad to see us! And yes, he is usually this easygoing about having his fur grabbed. To a point, anyway.



New haircut! Broke my heart. But now, looking back at old pictures, his longer hair looks so raggy that I'm glad now I cut it. Next cut will be a professional one. :-P



The week after returning from Baltimore, we had VBS at church, and I helped with snacks again. Walter, the photographer for the week, got some pretty good photos of William and put them on a disk for me.



William was actually pretty good during VBS, though I did have to do a lot one-handed while carrying him. That was ok.


Five weeks in Baltimore without a walker spoiled him, because we were walking him around. (He still will NOT crawl and will hardly even try to pull himself up.) So he was NOT happy to be back in the walker. He did get used to it again, but I retired it shortly thereafter, because it wasn't doing him any favors.



Leslie and Rob visited! July was a very busy month. But that's a good thing!



They brought their greyhound, Indy, which was pretty awesome. William LOVED her. I have a great video of him following her around (with help, of course!), screeching happily.


Working on shapes with her nephew.


Ever wanted a close-up of the inside of a greyhound's mouth?? Can you smell the bad breath???


Riding the narrow gauge railroad in Cripple Creek. Rob was so good with William.


Between Cripple Creek and Victor.


Leslie's old high school friend Reba and her husband Jonathan were also with us for a couple days, not very long. It was fun having a houseful!


Leslie and Rob got us two Christmas gifts (last year's and this year's) (yes, that's how they operate): a baby gate with a pet door for the basement and a carrier. We had a front carrier (the one my dad is using in that one picture up yonder), but for a bigger baby, it was unstable and uncomfortable. Wearing him like a backpack is SO much easier! I use it all the time and am having a great time exploring the trails on base. And it's also useful in making him take a nap, because he always falls asleep in it:)

And now I really need to go to bed. I really need to get better at updating. (Even though I've been saying that for years!) I have a Mexican wedding to tell you guys about! :-D
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
4:59 pm
Rocky Mountain High
Cue John Denver. (We had a flight attendant with a sense of humor on the way home from Baltimore last week, and he played short bits of a couple songs, like Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" just before we took off. When we landed, he played the chorus to "Rocky Mountain High" and tried to get us all to sing along, haha. Yes, it was Southwest!)

But now I have to wonder--I know John Denver loved this place so much that he changed his last name to match that of our capital city, but surely there are better places to love than Denver! (Richard and I are not fond of Denver.) John Colorado Springs. John Cripple Creek. John La Junta. John Steamboat Springs. John Crested Butte. (Hahahahahaha!) (Ok, I'll stop.)

And I have caught up with all you guys' entries. Holy crap. 73! I skimmed them all, oh yes. But geez, guys! It's like you have things going on in your lives or something! ;)

Yes, we are home, and YES, it is good to be home! Five weeks with my parents was GREAT, honest, and it flew by way too fast, and neither I nor they wanted me and William to leave. We both had to get used to quiet houses again when we left!

Long entry short... well, ok, not really, but long entry not-as-long-as-it-could-be...


Our first order of business was to drive to Kentucky to go to the wedding of a close family friend. You may remember our family always camped with two others every three years, and that I was in the wedding as a bridesmaid (and William was a half-bridesmaid at seven-and-a-half months in utero!) last summer for Karen. Well, it was her younger sister Julia who got hitched this time.

Anyway, we joked about how all my mom's pictures from the trip would be William getting his diaper changed, William at the gas station, William with Grampy, William at the hotel, etc. Hehe.








Rachel and Lara came, too! Hurray! They had to travel separately, though. But they were there. (And yes, baby did actually have pants--they just happened to be elsewhere for this photo!)




At the reception. Hey, we're sisters. What do you expect? (Poor William!!)




Karen holding her half-bridesmaid:-D Poor kid was SO tired. He really did so well, though, and we left the reception before it was over.




Julia, the lovely bride, and Lara. They're about the same age.




As we were near the Creation Museum, we stayed an extra day to take it in. And it was awesome! It was like a breath of fresh air for us who believe in a six-day creation. Our tickets were good for two days, and on the second day, my dad and I did the ziplines. SO COOL. Seriously loved it.




After our three ziplines:-D I don't know why my dad doesn't look thrilled! (Maybe because he doesn't like heights?? But then why did he do the ziplines? I don't know. We both had fun, at any rate.)




There was also a petting zoo on the grounds, and William seemed to enjoy the animals. (A little girl there enjoyed patting William's head and holding his hand more than the animals, haha.) I didn't actually pay the quarter to get feed out of one of the dispensers, but I did find a piece on the ground, and as I gave it to the goat, William reached his hand out, too. Aw!




On the way home we HAD to stop at Donut Connection in Washington, PA. No, it's nothing special--except to us. When we lived in Indiana and visited family in Maryland, we always drove through the night to get there, and our stop in the wee hours of the morning was always at Mister Donut, as it was known then. So we had to introduce a new generation to it! Not that he had any donuts. :)




One Saturday we toured the BromoSeltzer tower in downtown Baltimore. SO AWESOME!! Such a landmark. Too bad the clocks weren't working, though. (I think Rachel and I were taking pictures of each other here!)




Spinach baby!




We got to see Jennie, yay!! Even spent the night with her:-D Spent a hot three hours in the sun at a Harrisburg Senators game, which was fun. Baby did a lot better being walked around behind the stands, though.




Sunday night pizza with an overload of veggies, YUM.




Grilled peaches with ice cream, even better!!




We went to a real hole-in-the-wall for pho the next day. It was good, but nothing to write home about. Unless I just don't understand pho, as I'd never had it before. Entirely possible! But it was very good!




Poor baby needed a nap so bad, but he wouldn't sleep, so we took him swimming. He would have enjoyed it a lot more had he been in a better mood, but all things considered, it went ok. And I love this floaty thing he was given!




My cousin Suzanne and I were SO excited to get together and for our boys to play! Blake is exactly one year and one day older than William, so at less-than-two and less-than-one, they're not exactly playing together yet. But we can't wait for a couple years from now when that one year is much less of a difference. William was curious about Blake and would try to touch him, but Blake wanted nothing to do with him! He's used to being an only child;) And he did NOT want to sit on the floor next to William for a picture, which is why it's of the four of us.

For what it's worth, Suzanne and I had fun;)




My parents bought a little pool for William, and he got some good use out of it. (Oh man, the HUMIDITY out there! I've grown soft living in a drier climate.) Also, swim diapers? Total waste of money.








We spent a day with Nana, yay! It was awesome to see the now-Great Nana (my great-grandma was Great Nana, too, so now Nana is a Great Nana as well!) playing with her great-grandson. She was thrilled.




We took a walk around the grounds where she lives, and found two mulberry trees! Heaven.












Richard and I are only occasionally able to use Skype to talk (usually we e-mail back and forth some, or use Facebook messaging), and even more rarely are we able to use the video function on it. So I am glad I got a screencap with all three of us:)




A neighbor across the street from my parents watches her grandchildren sometimes and said they (my parents) could borrow whatever they needed while William was there. They asked for a walker and instead got this massive bouncer! He wasn't too thrilled with it, but he did enjoy it some.




It didn't take long for us to put a towel beneath his seat. Babies!




Without the realtive freedom a walker gave him, we walked him around like this the whole five weeks we were there. It was back-breaking, to say the least, but this kid will NOT learn to crawl. Nope. We propped him up on his knees, and he would just flatten right out and cry. Babies!

Nevermind about this being shorter. This has turned into a two-parter--these were only the photos from June. July to follow shortly!
Sunday, June 1st, 2014
8:36 pm
Worth the $227
But first, let me say that William's and my trip to Florida to see Richard's family was a lot of fun. I thought it would be stressful staying in the same (small) condo with the in-laws, but it really wasn't. (Normally we stay at a family friend's condo, which is within walking distance, but those friends were actually there this time.) I think having a baby around helped--heaven knows I wouldn't have gone alone!


Look who has two teeth coming in!! They juuust poked through a couple days before we left for Florida. I took this on the plane.



The cookie that William "got" me for Mother's Day. :)



Splashing in the sink with Grandma!



Richard's grandparents and his dad. From what I hear, his grandpa is really wanting a four generations photo once Richard comes back. Here, here!



While he wasn't thrilled to have his feet in the sand and have waves lap at his ankles, he didn't cry. So I count that as a success. We did spend some time at an inlet where the water was very calm and very shallow, and he liked it best while in my lap and watching other kids splash around. Sitting in a half-inch of water, not so much.






We got to see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral! It wasn't the most exciting thing in the world, but it was pretty awesome anyway. (And I think I had the camera on the vivid setting, so the sky wasn't quite THAT vibrant.)



"Ahhh, this is the life!" He liked the little pool they got him.





We had busy days in Florida, and at night Richard would sometimes call. His training was approaching an end, and in a conversation with his mom, she told me to just ask him if he would have any freetime while in Baltimore, waiting to head overseas. I didn't think he would; I mean, you never know with the military.

But...

But...!!!!!!!

He said yes, he would have freetime, he could leave the hotel, and he would LOVE to see me and baby.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

So a quick change of flights the next morning, a new flight to Baltimore from Orlando, and 227 fewer dollars in the bank account, and we got to see Richard for a few days:-D It was awesome. We knew it would be stinky having to say good-bye all over again, but for three or four days together? Worth it. Even better was that he wasn't confined to the hotel and got to stay with me and William at my parents' place. Hurrah!

If they had been anywhere else, I would not have gone. But Baltimore!


It's a baby on my parents' living room floor! (It's so nice to have carpet that he can tip over on without hurting himself--all we have are hardwood floors. And yes, he still often tips over while sitting up.)



Getting a bedtime story from Oma. (Since I studied German, she thought it would be neat to be called Oma since Richard's mom has already called dibs on Grandma!)



Practicing his concerto on the little piano (which plays an arpeggio in the key of C# major)...


...so he could play it on the big piano! (And yes, we were always right next to him while he sat on the bench--I got just far enough away for just long enough to snap this photo.)



Oh, good, our delivery of baby came!



My cousin Stacey had a graduation picnic, and it was awesome that we got to go. Nana was so, so happy to see her first great-grandchild:-D And, admittedly, this is not the best photo of three generations (the fourth being behind the camera), but it'll have to do!



Stacey cuts the cake!



With Leslie and Rob's greyhound, Indy. Doggie kisses for the baby!



Guess he doesn't like his Aunt Leslie!



First Orioles game! And we won!



We spent a day in Washington. And this is why I love Richard--he puts up with things like my telling him to stand so I can take a photo of the Washington Monument coming out of his head. ;)

So yes, we said good-bye again, and it hurt all over again, and we got over it all over again. Bleh. Life goes on, the toothache persists. He has called me a couple times since leaving Baltimore on an app that uses wifi and assigns a random number to call another number, and we also e-mail. Not sure how things will work best communication-wise once the team actually gets to their final destination, but we'll see.

Also: is there something about high elevation that makes a baby not sleep well?? William slept like an absolute champ in both Florida and Baltimore--two to three naps a day of about an hour each. He NEVER does that at home! I thought it might just be all the stimulation (I'm not that exciting), but he even napped really well when it was just me and him at my parents' place while they were at work. And now that we're home, he's back to his normal self, napping but little. Yesterday and today, it wasn't more than fifteen minutes. Oh, boy.
Monday, April 14th, 2014
1:54 pm
Gone again
Well, we're doing it again. That's one thing about being a military family--all this stinking time apart.

Yep, Richard is gone--only this time, it's not for BMT and tech school. This is the real deal--deployment! He left in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and while he has training in various places for now, he'll eventually be in Afghanistan for several months. Oh, goody.

Honestly, though, I'm taking it better than I thought I would (as of this current moment, anyway!). When we said good-bye two years ago before he left for basic, I was completely and utterly in Waterworks City. This time, though, we had a lot more lead time (we've known for just over a year); it's something Richard has trained for and, consequently, was looking forward to for various reasons (some guys he works with were actually jealous that they, too, weren't deploying); and we've kind of done this before with his first entering into the military.

I am super-proud of Richard and thrilled he loves what he does. We both love the Air Force, and we both have fallen easily and comfortably into the roles of provider-homemaker.

I've had some tears here and there, but I haven't felt like my world is about to end or anything. I think it's helped having a baby to take care of (sorry, Asshur, you aren't quite the same company as William!)--our days are actually very much the same as when Richard was still here, except that he's not coming home for lunch anymore. (Ha, and I say this when he's been gone for fewer than two days.) I foresee the evenings after baby goes to be as being awful lonely, though. And the house is so quiet now.

Well, good thing I have way too much of a backlog of podcasts to catch up on! I wonder what Fibber McGee's been up to lately?

But golly, I miss Richard. (Ok, I gotta be careful, or I really will start crying here.)

So, then, baby talk! Well, talk of baby, I guess I should say. William is seven months now, which makes me wonder where his sixth month went. None of the other months went that quickly.

- He's STILL not sitting up on his own yet, which drives me crazy!! I can't just plunk him down somewhere unless he's on his back. More and more he is sitting up better, but he still falls pretty easily, and there's no hope for him in a shopping cart when he grabs the side of the cart rather than the front part. He does, however, think it's fun falling over when he's on the couch or the bed.

- Consonants made their way into his babbling about two weeks ago. It makes him even cuter!

- He's doing pretty well with solids. He seems to love applesauce, and he even liked the spinach-arugula-edamame puree I made. (Don't ask; it's what we had!) Sweet potatoes, though, don't seem to be such a hit, which makes me wonder whether he's actually an alien or something and not a human baby. Oh, well!


- I've kind of failed at the whole baby-led weaning, which kind of stinks... it would have been so easy to not ever have to worry about purees. I started thinking I could do both, but then Richard would get worried when I tried to give him real food, so I just gave up. I never felt like there was a good, clear resource out there anyway. I think it's kind of fun to make purees anyway.

Tell me this pureed spinach doesn't look tons better than the jarred stuff!! (Granted, the jarred is also mixed with potatoes, but still!)


- He loves his walker! I think it's the mobility that he really likes. And since we have all hardwood floors, it's easy for him to get around. And, since the walker prevents him from grabbing something unless it's RIGHT there, he can tool around to his heart's content (it's impossible for him to leave the living room without our help). And yes, on a couple nice days, I've put him outside on the patio while I sit on the step. He liked that, too.


- God bless sleep training! I think. We were never immediately responsive to his cries to begin with, and there had been a few times where I just laid him down when he didn't want to feed and needed to go to sleep, so I think it was a fairly simple transition into just laying him down. There was one night where he cried for about 25 minutes after I laid him down, and there was one night where he cried for almost an hour and a half around 3 am. And that was it. Now I just lay him down, maybe with a whimper or two or some babbling, and then he sleeps through the whole night, 10-11 hours! Hurrah! I still can't believe it.

- He still naps horribly. He falls asleep nursing, I move him, he usually wakes up. If he doesn't, he doesn't sleep more than twenty minutes. Usually. He does often sleep in the car, though. There have been a couple days where he's slept less than twenty minutes, total, the whole stinking day, and some days where he does get a decent amount of sleep.

Grandad was probably trying to look for "Baby Beluga" online to show William, hehe. Richard's parents were here for just over a month before he left, and it was actually pretty fun having them around. (We didn't see them every day.)


Trying to eat my chin.


Picking out a birthday cake already??





Seven months old, and he still fits easily into this get-up that is 0-3 month size! He's still not fond of it. I actually took him outside today while he wore it, and he was so unhappy. Those photos next entry;)


There's a baby in the hallway! (I forget why I put him there; probably to put my shoes on. I just thought he looked so small and adorable sitting there.)


Before dinner with Richard's parents their last night in town.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
2:44 pm
'Round the Southwest
It's about time I write about or little vacation and inundate you guys with photos. (You know me!)

Several months ago, spurred on by reminiscences of our visits to a place called the Paramount Music Palace near Indianapolis while I was growing up, I did some research on what happened to that place and what organ pizza parlors were still left. That particular theater organ had been sold a couple times since the place closed in 1995 (right when we moved--how fortuitous!), and I couldn't find anything more recent than 2008 on it.

But! But...

There are two organ pizza parlors left in the US (that I could find). One is in Wisconsin. The other in Arizona. Having never lived in the west before, a state like Arizona is just perpetually far away, no matter where I live. Or so I thought. Till I looked up how long it would take to drive to The Organ Stop. Twelve hours? Heck yeah!

Cue vacation plans!

It didn't take much convincing to get Richard on board; he moved around a lot growing up, and they spent a couple years in Arizona, and he and his parents still love it there. So he was game, for sure.

We took our time heading south, as we didn't how know it would be traveling with a five-and-a-half-month-old. Good thing we did, because...


William was NOT happy about being in the car for so long! Sigh. Poor kid. He doesn't like his carseat much to begin with, so strapping him in for even just a couple hours was not a happy time. I sat in the back for the longer stretches, but my trying to entertain him with toys never worked very well, and he would inevitably end up crying his little heart out and then falling asleep. Needless to say, he slept a lot. Guess he had to, to make up for the sleep he lost every night in the hotels, waking up anywhere from two to seven times per night. AGK.

But we had fun otherwise!



There was lots of... nothing. New Mexico is not the most exciting state to drive through.



But there was snow! In New Mexico!



Our first night was in Santa Fe, and it's a teeny city (for a capitol). We visited a pretty awesome farmers market the morning we left, though I failed to get photos of it. Drat!



Our second night was in Holbrook, AZ, in the Wigwam Motel. It's an old Route 66 institution, and there is a semicircle of cement teepees that are hotel rooms. Pretty awesome! There are even signs around the grounds of the hotel, asking if you'd slept in a wigwam lately. ;)



The view from our window. There were old cars all over the grounds. SO COOL.



Inside the teepee. The bathroom was right behind me. This was one of our best nights, stress-wise, because we didn't have to worry about baby screaming and bothering any neighbors!



Going between Holbrook and Payson, we encountered quite a bit of snow and serious fog. Pity--I've always loved teasing Richard about how Arizona is a barren wasteland, even though he told me the higher elevations do actually get good snow. But now that I've seen it firsthand, I won't be able to tease him as easily! ;)



Highway 87 between Payson and Mesa is a super-beautiful drive--very mountainy and plateau-y. And I got a kick out of how many of the hills getting in towards Mesa have saguaros all over them, like they were trees out east. I'd never seen that before.



Dowtown Scottsdale. Sort of a tourist trap, but nice to walk around.



This is what made the trip for me--The Organ Stop. Walking through those doors and smelling the pizza and hearing that big, awesome organ playing... wow, I went back in time twenty years! Ahhhhh. But holy cow, was the place packed!! Go home, snowbirds! (One of the first songs the organist played when we got there, he introduced as being always requested and self-explanatory. I didn't recognize it till he got to the chorus and everyone started singing, "Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun!" Haha.)



Spent a day at the Phoenix Zoo. It was nice, but holy crap, they gouge the crap out of you with their food prices! I got a sad little fruit cup--nowhere near being fresh--for $2.50. I wouldn't even pay that for a pack of those things!



We got to meet up with the illustrious Megan (of Meginsanity OD and PB fame) for dinner one night! That was the first time I'd ever met an online friend in person, and it was really great! Richard and her husband Scotty talked games while we gals mostly compared baby notes. (Their little boy Tripp is a month and a half older than William.) Tripp was so adorable--cuter than in pictures, of course! He seemed to get a kick out of just staring at William, who was a bit jabbery that night.

We met at a good German restaurant called Zur Kate, and I am ashamed to admit that I read it as Zur Katze at first. That would actually be a pretty cool name--instead of "to the old smokehouse," as the website says, it could be "to the cat." Heh! It was a good restaurant--definitely had a homey German atmosphere. Und die echte Kartoffelknödel, die waren phantastisch!!

Ok, but it was a whole lot cooler meeting Megan and Scotty and Tripp than it was eating German food;)



We took advantage of being in the Cactus League area and went to a Rockies spring training game. They lost to the Giants. Oh, well. William had fun touching the brick wall. (We had lawn tickets, which were pretty awesome.)



There was a guy going around selling fruit kabobs, and after he passed us the first time, I regretted not getting one, so when he actually came by a second time, I snatched that opportunity. It was slightly disappointing in that I thought it was chocolate-dipped, but the strawberries and banana pieces were only chocolate-drizzled. It was still good!



Of course, we HAD to go back to the Organ Stop a second time to make the whole trip worth it. ;) Our upstairs seats were better this time around, and I think it was even more crowded the second time around. Line out the door and everything. Crazy. Our seats from upstairs were near some massive pipes, and our table vibrated with some of the low notes. Sooo cool:-D I took this picture as the organ was going back down into its hiding place.






Richard contemplating the rattlesnake appetizer at Rawhide. It was really a pretty disappointing trip. It was a place he remembered going to growing up, but they'd moved, and some things had changed, and he called the restaurant "soulless." The rattlesnake was mostly fried pickles and poppers, with just a few teensy pieces of actual rattlesnake that were more breading than meat. And it was EXPENSIVE. (But do you see the rattlesnake spine on the plate?)



By this point in the trip, William was making such fusses wherever he went that we gave up eating in restaurants and just did takeout from then on. I don't know if he was tired of traveling or what, but it was incredibly stressful trying to keep him quiet.



Arizona scenery, headed back home.









Stayed a night in Cameron, AZ, where there is basically nothing. But we had an awesome hotel room with a great view! This bridge spans the Little Colorado River Gorge.



Breakfast: Navajo fry bread! It was delicious.






Made a quick stop at Four Corners. Pretty cool, but the area is SO desolate!



And yes, we did this to our son! :-D



Our last night on the road was in Pagosa Springs, CO, which is in ski country. The couple running the hotel we stayed at were surprised we were only passing through, not skiing! :) (For the record, I HATE skiing.)



Are we home yet???
Monday, March 17th, 2014
1:16 pm
Die Schwestern, die bei uns gewesen sind!
The newness of this site has worn off, I guess, since my bookmarks list hadn't been lit up like it used to be--and heaven knows I haven't updated lately:-P I meant to update before our vacation, I really did! (All hot air, I know.) I blame my sisters.

Yes, two of my lovely sisters came to visit for almost a whole week! Woohoo!


Ok, they weren't always so violent.



The aunties were very happy to see their nephew.


But how many aunts does it take to dress a baby?? Hehe.


Rachel teaching her godson the finer points of reading.


Teamwork! (Seriously, guys, it's not that hard.)

We kind took it easy; showed them the area some, made cookies, stuffed diapers (of the freshly laundered cloth variety, I mean; William was rather good at stuffing diapers in his own way!), took walks.

Until...


...the stomach flu hit! (I snuck this one of Lara as she imitated death warmed over.)

Oh, yes, we know how to treat our guests right. Richard and William were the first to come down with it--Sunday morning around 5:30 Richard woke up with a terrible stomachache, so he skipped church. When I got William up, I found him with a big yellowy, dried-up puddle all around his head and a little stuff in his hair--he'd thrown up in the night! He didn't make a sound, though, as I never got up with him. He seemed fine, so we three gals and him went to church. I ended up feeling terrible for taking him, though, because once we got home, he let the entire contents of his stomach go! And then he wanted to eat more. Go figure. Poor kid. He threw up once more in the evening and was fine after that.

We joked about how this was a male-specific ailment as we three sisters felt fine. Monday after lunch we went for a walk, and Lara and I both reluctantly admitted our stomachs felt funny. Richard asked me to pick up some orange juice on the way home, and as soon as I got out of the car, I felt awful. After the worst grocery trip ever, I threw up in the trash can outside the store. What timing!

It was downhill for all of us after that, and we passed a horrible evening and very uncomfortable night. Richard and William were both better by then, thank goodness. Tuesday I felt the best out of us three, but Rachel and Lara were still feeling pretty yucky. Needless to say, the rest of the week's menu went out the window. :-P


But Wednesday we all felt better! Yay! Well enough for us to walk around Manitou Springs and for them to determine the spring water is nothing to write home about. They just don't know a good thing when they drink it. (The stuff is AWESOME.)

Good thing they got better when they did so they could fly home comfortably on Thursday!

The day after they left, we left for a short tour of the southwest, which is where I will pick up next entry:-D Hopefully that won't be a month from now.

I will close with a picture of my explodey flan. I think it was a combination of frothy condensed/evaporated milks (I made them myself from powdered milk) and a too-shallow baking dish that made it overcook and go all over the oven. But! Curdly flan we needn't have had--Richard suggested putting it in a blender, and it was BRILLIANT. Oh, man, so good, even better than caramel sauce. So there ya go--no such thing as ruined flan:-D

Friday, February 7th, 2014
3:15 pm
As of late
Golly, people, it seems like having a new diary site to write on is making everyone post entries a whole lot more than before--I have basically the same friends here as on OD, and my bookmarks list has been lit up pretty well the last couple times I've been on this site! (Well, "lit up" for my favorites list means more than, say, one update. Heh.) Not that that's a bad thing, of course. There is something vaguely exciting about being in a new place, though, isn't there?

Speaking of which, it seems OD is gone for good, now, doesn't it? All the times I've tried logging on today, the site just seems to not exist anymore. I imagine I'll try every now and again, though, just to see, since it seemingly came back from the dead a couple times already. My diary is all downloaded, and I even got an OD+ subscription so I could get it as PDF files since so many entries had photos. That three bucks was totally worth it! But man, only being able to download 14 at a time was a huge downer; I had to sit there, counting entries and dates, and even then, sometimes it told me that the date range had more than 14 entries in it--even if it was only a couple days with, say, four entries. ARGH. But it's all done now. Really all done.

My earliest entries were rubbish. Painful to read!

We've been doing well. William is still kind of aggravating when it comes to eating. He'll chew his fist, I'll feel him for a few minutes, he'll pull off, he'll cry, he'll chew his fist, he'll refuse to get back on. Kids! Usually I'll just walk him around or put him on his cotton candy playmat and he'll quiet down. It's just frustrating to see him asking to eat when he just ate! His spitting up is better; I'm trying to leave bibs off of him more often, with mixed results.



"Hey, I'm falling over here!"


We're not giving him solids till he hits six months; from what I've learned, a baby's gut is just better off with breastmilk till six months or so. I really need to research baby-led weaning, though--my cousin Suzanne, whose little Blake is a year older than William, told me about it, and it's basically giving a baby real food, letting him pay with it, and eventually he learns to eat it. She said it took Blake a couple weeks to actually begin eating the food, but they always gave him the real stuff, no baby food. Someone gave us 30+ jars of baby food, though, so I don't think we'll be in quite the same camp, if for no other reason than to use it up! We also have a baby food cookbook, which is AWESOME--because, quite honestly, a couple bananas cost as much as, and maybe less than, a jar of bananas, so making our own stuff is way more economical, not to mention most likely healthier.

And he's still not really laughing yet! He gives a giggle now and again, but no honest-to-goodness laughs. He seems to just squeal instead of laugh. And given his super-serious expressions when around toys, maybe we just have a serious boy on our hands:) But he does smile a lot! And those giggles do occasionally come out when we tickle him--we've learned his armpits and under his chin are good spots for tickling!






It's still so hard to get a photo of him smiling since he stops as soon as he sees the camera, but I'm learning to be a little sneakier. I think this is the best representation of his smile yet.






He's starting to want to try to sit up! He can't come anywhere close yet, of course, but when I put him in his bathtub the other night, I found him leaning forward into this position. (And yes, my hand is there to cover up his private bits.) On the bed or couch when he does this, he just falls over--and doesn't seem to mind, hehe.

Sleeping could also be better--he's been waking up once a night pretty consistently and going down 8:45-9:30 and getting up 7-7:30. But for a couple nights, he slept straight through, and last night, he was up twice. Come on, kid, get with it!

Sorry--didn't mean to make this all about the baby!! Just shows how exciting my life is right now, I guess. But that's ok. I don't care for a whole lot of excitement!

Except... seeing Alton Brown was SUPER EXCITING!!!

I bought the tickets back in July when I learned he was coming here. I've been such a big fan of his since high school, and it was a no-brainer to decide to see him live! I'm not one for concerts, and shows generally don't interest me, but come on! Alton Brown! My culinary hero! My mom may have taught me how to cook, but he taught me the why behind the techniques.

And he was so, so good. So good.
- The yeast sock puppets made appearances on the screen on the stage, letting out their well-known burps
- The cow with cuts of meat painted on its side was there
- He made ice cream with office water bottles and a fire extinguisher
- He and his newly formed trio sang a few songs (one was about caffeine, and another was on how sick he got after eating an airport shrimp cocktail)
- He spoke on 10 Things I'm Pretty Sure I'm Sure About Food (#1 was that chickens don't have fingers--and proceeded to tell about how, when his daughter asked for chicken fingers at a sleepover, he served them chicken feet)
- He cooked two pizzas in something like 2 1/2 minutes in his Mega Bake Oven, styled after the Easy Bake Oven. Except his had stage-type lights. Fifty-four of them. He couldn't even turn all of them on because it would have taken too much power from the theater. :-D



Photos and videos weren't allowed, of course, except for when he was standing on his Mega Bake Mark III. And it's a terrible photo!! But it's still a photo. :-D





I think I smiled through the whole thing. Richard had a great time, too.

Poor baby, though; we left him with Sue and Gordon, a couple at church, and he was not a happy baby while we were gone. Seems he doesn't like not being in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar faces--he used to be perfectly fine with it, but not anymore, apparently. I felt so bad for Sue and Gordon, but he also slept a while, so that was a good thing.

We have had a fair amount of snow in the last week (and negative temps, too!), and while there's no more in the forecast (that I'm aware of), it's awful pretty! I love living in an area where people don't complain about the snow until, say, April or so. We take any precip we can!

We're planning a trip to Arizona and New Mexico soon, with the bulk of our time being spent in the Phoenix area. (I have to admit that what prompted us to go there was my learning that one of two organ pizza parlors left in this country is in Mesa, AZ--AND I WANT TO GO.) Any suggestions, anyone? Either on traveling with a baby or what to see there? It's been a long time since I was in Arizona! We're pretty excited; it's a little vacation before Richard deploys. Sniff.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
2:34 pm
So long, FOD. Hello, Prosebox!
You eljayers aren't affected by this at all, but Open Diary, my primary online diary site for something like 13 years now, has gone down the tubes for good, and as most of the users there switched to Prosebox, I have as well. But fret not--I shall continue cross-posting here as I always have done. :)

You know, I really didn't want to do this. I really, really didn't want to leave OD and start diary life anew on another site. But, y'know, since it looks like I don't really have a choice now, here I am! And, actually, on getting to know this site, I really kinda like it. There are features I like better than over at OD, like the comments notification and . Not sure yet what I'll do about this multiple books thing, though--kind of a backwards, clunky way of doing tags, I guess, yet totally different. Hopefully I'll find some use for making more than one book!

Also--my name is capitalized now! I feel so grown up.

But golly, I hope OD goes back up just once more before it goes down for good--it was too near bedtime last night when I saw the Diary Master's notice for me to worry too much about saving any entries! So I have not saved a thing. Yet. Erp.

680 entries since 2001. I feel like I'm losing an old friend. Or maybe my security blanket. (Come on, shake it off! You're not losing any real friends.)

Our new year has been going pretty well. I love that Richard is able to come home for lunch most days, though between his occasionally going out with guys from work and my occasionally coming home too late to see him, it doesn't always happen. (Quilting at church and the spouses club on base take up my time! Not that I'm complaining.) The house is kind of a mess, but that's ok. I get the important things done. We just have a dust bunny zoo in some places since there are no carpets here. Huzzah!


I cut my hair! I donated it this time to Pantene Beautiful Lengths--I'd always done Locks of Love before, but I wanted to do something different this time. It was eleven inches. It's now just a little shorter than in the photo (and yes, that's the baby on the bed behind me!) and it's really annoying. Baby can still grab it, and it's too short to braid, and it's too short to push behind my shoulders and have stay there. Oh, well! That's the nice thing about hair--it grows back!


William continues to be both aggravating and complete fun--and Richard and I agree he has the cuteness market cornered. ;) He is SO much more interested in things now than before, and he's even sort of started playing with toys and purposely and purposefully reaching for things rather than indiscriminately grabbing whatever's nearby. He usually looks so serious when playing, though--such hard work! ;)



Yelling at the giraffes on his walker. (I know walkers are generally not recommended anymore, but he's not in it very often--and he'd have to be able to walk and carry the thing to get it over to the basement stairs.)



Four month photo (around Jan. 13) with Asshur. He looks like a ballerina!



Flying high with Daddy! (And check out the O's bib from Jennie:-D )



A look of complete blahness.



Several people have told me how much he looks like the Gerber baby. It took me a LOT of tries to get a good photo of him with this baby food jar--and, bonus, he even has a similar expression to that of the Gerber baby!



All ready to go and take Richard to the airport at 4 am. We had a credit with Southwest, and I'd already used mine to go to the wedding in Wisconsin, but Richard hadn't used his and it couldn't be used by someone else, so he spent a night in Vegas. His dad ended up joining him there, and they had a good time--even if they didn't gamble:)



On the playmat gifted by an older couple from church. I hate--HATE--that it's pink, but now that he's enjoying toys and not crying at them, he doesn't seem to mind. The pink elephant plays music when you pull on its green ring (kinda hard to see), and he quite often will grab the ring and just pull it repeatedly, so the song is constantly changing and never playing all the way through. (It's gonna drive us batty soon, I bet--it has only three songs!) Whether he associates the ring pulling with the music, I don't know, but it's funny to watch.



This is the hat and jacket I crocheted for him before he was born--about a year ago, actually. (Wow!) He hasn't actually worn them out yet (he has a ton of jackets), but it's still a tad big on him, so it's ok.

In other news, we're getting cable. Very sad. What's even sadder, though, is our reception--we're in a valley, and depending on when we tell the TV to do a channel scan, we get anywhere from two to a handful of channels. And none of them are NBC. Which means no Olympics. NO OLYMPICS. That's just a complete and utter HECK NO in my book (I think I feel more strongly about missing them than Richard does!), so we looked into getting cable and are just doing a monthly plan, no contract. We have never had cable since getting married, because we didn't want to spend the money and didn't want the TV on ALL the time. But... extreme circumstances, people! A big plus is that we won't have to worry about reception for the Super Bowl on Sunday as the cable guy is coming on Thursday. :)

Ok, ok, I'm just a little excited to be able to watch Food Network again. And I know the TV will be on all the time when the Olympics start. But c'mon! The Olympics! It will be very interesting to see what the various cable channels have on in terms of coverage as I have only ever watched them on network television.

Also, if anyone is interested, I've gotten involved in a brand-new blog called Live In the Round. It was started by a girl I met at the English church in Salzburg when we were both studying abroad. She's got a group of us each writing an entry a week, and then she pulls an entry a day from that pool. It's really pretty neat--it's for Christian women, by Christian women. The address is here.
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
11:55 am
So long, 2013!
New Year's Eve used to be one of my favorite holidays. Well, I guess it kinda still is, but it was a lot more fun growing up. That was probably because staying up late enough to see the ball drop was such a novelty, hehe. I'm undecided as to whether I should stay up tonight or not: do I skip ringing in the new year altogether because I'm going to be up in the wee hours of the morning and most likely won't be able to sleep in (William wakes up for the day between 6:30 and 7:30, usually), or do I say heck with it, New Year's is only once a year, and deal with whatever lack of sleep I may get? (Naps are not my friend!) I'll probably go to bed when I can after church and have Richard get me up shortly before midnight. There we go.

But then when would we play Life?? Actually, I doubt Richard would want to, so nevermind.

It occurred to me as I started this entry that it was ten years ago exactly that I rang in the new year in Salzburg; and that wasn't a very happy holiday that year!

So things are still going well here. It's strange; I was pregnant this time last year but didn't know it, so I keep thinking about that and all that came after it. I didn't realize it till a day or two ago, but as I hardly had any winter last year without being pregnant, I kind of associate the yuckiness of early pregnancy with a Colorado winter. Bummer! Hopefully this year I won't lose my appetite completely and lose several pounds, hehe. And I better NOT be pregnant again, wowee. Richard and I have agreed that we want to wait in the 2-3 year range to have another kid. It'd be nice if William were out of diapers first! (Actually, Richard is a little more eager to get going than I am, hehe. His thinking is we're not exactly spring chickens in the fertility department anymore. True, but let's not go crazy!)

On the subject of kids, I have a fear of being on the wrong track. There are so many little things no one ever tells you about raising a baby that I feel like I have to figure out on my own--do I get the baby right away when he cries? Does he really feel depressed when I don't? How often should he be eating at this age? Why should I stop feeding him to put him to sleep when he's six months old, and why did no one tell me this? Is it really true you can't spoil a baby? And at what point does a baby become spoilable? Why does he nurse for more than an hour at a time sometimes, and should I stop him? Just little things like that make me afraid I'm laying the foundation for making things more difficult or even more wrong than they would be had I known what I was doing. I guess I feel like it's kinda like baking--it helps me a lot to know why a recipe says to do something a certain way. (That's why Alton Brown is my cooking hero--he explains why butter needs to be cold or soft, why to cream it with sugar, why some ingredients get added before others.)

But, I guess that's how every new parent feels--clueless!! So true. Just have to do what's right for me and my baby. Yeah, yeah. I tried looking for discipline books online, but none of them seemed likely to answer the questions I have. I know things will work out; but I'd like to spare everyone as much heartache as possible, naturally!

On the plus side, he still doesn't take a pacifier, so that's one habit that we don't need to worry about breaking:)

On to happier things! Christmas was very nice. Richard's parents were here for just over a week, and we had a good time. They were, as Richard put it, very enthusiastic grandparents. They LOVED spending time with William, and we even got away for a few hours a couple times while they babysat. We joked how they just wanted the baby to themselves, hehe. I think it resulted in an overstimulated baby some of the time since they were almost constantly in his face, but William was good with them, even giving them smiles and having conversations with them.


To start with, William's hair the day after Christmas--that's how it dried after his bath, and it looked just like a mohawk from the side!


Richard's mom has a grand time buying baby things now, and she got him a few Christmasy outfits on sale. Yes, we took him to church on Christmas Eve dressed like Santa, haha. When else will we be able to do ridiculous things like this?? (There was a hat to go with it, too, but it was too big for him.)


Christmas morning--and his back end says "My First Christmas." :-D


We opened our gifts and my family's gifts first, then Richard's parents came over for scrambled eggs and more gifts. Here William is listening raptly to Daddy read the card from Grandma and Grandad.


Our nickname for him is Wilbur Bud, after the chocolate drops from Lititz, PA, so here's Wilbur Bud with a bag of Wilbur Buds:-D


The fam, cat included! (We were amazed Asshur stared right at the camera. Or maybe he was actually looking out the window, which was right behind the camera. Still!)


Richard relaxing with his boys. (And I think I snapped this right as William spotted the camera--whenever he sees the camera, he stops smiling and stares at it!)


I can't even begin to describe how happy Richard's parents were to be with their one and only grandbaby. I snuck this one their last night here as his mom gave William a bottle.


Still not really interacting with toys or grabbing things, but he did pay attention to the music this octopus played. It also says eight colors in English, French, and Spanish--guess I'll have to teach him the German myself! ;)


Why is it so darned funny when, as baby is sitting there, he gets this look of intense concentration, and then there's the unmistakable sound of his diaper being filled? It's even better when, as we're laughing at him, he smiles so big and wide right with us! Hahaha. (You'll love it, Stacy, when Henry's and your time comes, and so will you, Jennifer!)

Also gut, so end' ich hier. Ich wünsche euch ein gutes Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
Saturday, December 21st, 2013
9:41 am
Woohoo!
Just when I thought OD (I still think of it as FOD!) was gone for good and I'd have to look all you lovely people up somewhere else, it comes back up. Yay!

So this won't be much of an entry as I am both unprepared (then again, when am I ever prepared for an entry?) and don't really have much time. William was nursing when I started, but now he's asleep on my lap, and we have a house to clean up. In-laws are coming this evening! (Well, they fly in this afternoon, but we won't see them till this evening. And boy, are they gonna love just how much baby has changed! They thought he was a fascinating blob before--now he's a cooing, smiling, tooting awesome blob!)

I don't even remember where I left off last time, nor will I look. I'm still enjoying being a stay-at-home mom; it's only frustrating when I put a cooing baby into his seat and start something in the kitchen, only to have him start up crying. I've finished many a task to the tune of baby crying. Oh, well!

Last night we had a babysitter for the first time! Richard's work Christmas party was last night, and we took William over to the house of a couple from church who said they'd be glad to watch him anytime we needed. William has a lot of grandmas at church:) The party was fun; it was LOUD, but it was fun watching people play the games they had. There were a ton of prizes, too, and we won a tablet! Granted, it's just about one of the cheapest ones you can get on the market, but for the ten bucks Richard spent on tickets, it's a good deal:) And it has a .3 megapixel camera! Wahoooo!!

We've been enjoying some rather wintery weather. Well, we had been, anyway, then it felt like spring for a few days. But the mornings when we woke up to -17, that'll get ya going! We had some snow, too, and some of it is still on the ground in our backyard. We were hoping for a white Christmas, but I'd be surprised if that happened. Too bad.


He was thrilled to be out in the snow for the first time. Not.

Friday, December 6th, 2013
8:32 am
AAAAAAAAAAA
He slept through the night! He slept THROUGH THE NIGHT!! WILLIAM SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! Naw, I'm not excited! :-D

'Course, it took a slightly trying evening to get him to go to bed in the first place--normally he's down between eight and nine, but last night it was 10:20 before he finally dropped off. But he slept through till 6:35ish. :-D

That is all!

(And no, I know it won't last. But this is the first time, and the best night's sleep I've had since, oh, September 11th. ;) )
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
9:28 pm
Wedding photos!
And I'm only four years and change late posting them:)

Saturday 10 October 2009


The sisters--my bridesmaids.


Getting that stupid poofy thing on. Anna, our photographer, mentioned maybe getting photos of me getting dressed, which I did NOT want. But I forgot to put on the floofy thing before she arrived, so she at least got a photo of that.




I framed this one. :-D


It wasn't till right before this that it finally hit me--I'm about to get MARRIED!! And my dad had tears in his eyes before we even started walking down the aisle.


We were married in the same church as my parents and all my aunts and uncles. That pipe organ had just been installed in 1979, and my parents' wedding was the first one for it. But what's really cool? The same organist they had was the organist we had:-D And she was AWESOME.








This wedding doll was at my grandparents' wedding as well, back in 1950. My great-grandmother crocheted the dress.


Notice the cake topper in the foreground--it sits on the edge of the cake, not the middle:-D I loved it. I had it on a shelf in our apartment in PA, but a couple falls made it break into several pieces, so it's been glued back together a few times.


I always thought this photo looked kinda funny since my sisters are all squished together. Oh, well! We are: Lara, Rachel, Leslie, me, Richard, Anson, Mike, and Ben. And now I just noticed Anson and Mike are in the wrong spots since Mike was the best man! Hm.






Richard's Canadian cousins have a thing for taking jump photos, which is pretty awesome. :-D The only one you can't see is Emily.


It was so much fun walking through a shower of birdseed!

And, of course, I have to end with something a little more current:)
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
6:54 pm
I was baptized, happy day

Yes, Asshur, we still have the baby, and no, Asshur we're not getting rid of him!


William is sucking on my finger as I sit here on the couch, typing away on the laptop. Slowly, I might add. On one hand, I am glad he won't take a pacifier (he chews on it a bit, and then it just falls out of his mouth). On the other hand, he gladly sucks my finger. (Get what I did there?) That's one habit we won't have to worry about breaking further down the road, and it's kind of fun to say your baby won't take a pacifier. He does sometimes suck his thumb, but generally only as an alternative to chewing his fist when he's hungry.

So then! Life goes on, and baby is now two months old--ten weeks tomorrow. Sometimes it seems like forever, and other times it doesn't seem like it was that long ago I was tied down to a hospital bed, feeling his head get closer and closer to daylight. Anyway!

Oh, that whole celebratory "He woke up only once YAAAAAY" last entry? Didn't last! I think he was up three times the next night. I didn't expect it to last. Aber natürlich. There was a week where he woke up only once for a few days, but has generally stayed with the 2-3 times a night. Oh, well!




This has nothing to do with anything, but I found you can buy dehydrated marshmallows online. Think Lucky Charms without the cereal bits. Think HAPPINESS.


We went out to eat on Veteran's Day as there were a ton of restaurants offering free meals for active duty and veterans. We seemed to remember having an easy time of it last year, but this year, holy cow! That'll teach us to drive to the other side of the city in search of a free meal--the rest of the world was there, too! No meal is worth the lines we saw coming out of the restaurants we looked at. We ended up at a Mexican place near us, which was good and much less crazy. Sadly, though, William slept the whole time we were driving around, woke up when we got to the restaurant, and went back to sleep when we got back to the car. We had to take turns to keep him quiet.

My parents came to visit!! I was so thrilled to see them--we hadn't seen each other since May. So it was about time! They drove out, leaving Baltimore Wednesday night, driving straight through to western Kansas, staying the night there, and arriving here in Colorado early afternoon Friday.


They were pretty excited to see their first grandchild (though I still have as much trouble thinking of them as grandparents as I do us parents!). This is also a really good pic of a smile from Wilbur Bud!


Rachel, whom we asked to be William's sponsor/godmother, was able to come out, too, which was AWESOME. She flew in Saturday evening. Here she's tapping into her manly side, trying on some of Richard's gear.


We showed them around where we live, walked around part of the city, had a couple good meals out (the breakfast place where I took Aunt Jenny and Uncle Tom in August was VERY highly recommended by them!). Rachel flew back Monday evening, and my parents took her back to the airport in Denver and just left for the east from there. This was really a few vacation days for them, but my dad did have to do a little work...


...for William's baptism!


People at church, most of whom know I'm a PK, kept asking if my dad was going to do William's baptism, and I kept saying no, because I figured two months was kind of long to wait and that our pastor would do it in October when he (the baby, not the pastor) was a month old. It never occurred to me to actually ask my dad if he wanted to do it till Pastor himself asked me and said it was perfectly fine by him. (There are so many PKs in our congregation that it had happened a few times before where a pastor family member came in to do a baptism.) And I was surprised when he said yes! The way he vehemently said he'd never do any of our weddings, I thought sure he'd at least have to think about it. But nope, it was a quick yes, but that he'd understand if we didn't want to wait till they came out this month.

Long story short, Pastor did the liturgy surrounding the baptism, and my dad did the actual sprinkling of the water. And his voice didn't even falter as much as it did when he confirmed me when I was 13:) It was really neat and so special that William was able to be baptized by his grandfather. (And, of course, after church, the two pastors had to hang around, talking about people they both knew, till we were just about the last ones to leave! Ah, the joys of being a PK;) )

Welcome to God's family, Wilbur Bud! :-D

(Oh, and I only halfway typed this entry one-handed--baby's done nursing now and is asleep on the pillow on my lap. So I at least got to finish this with both hands!)
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
9:26 pm
Short baby update
Not that the baby is short--well, I mean, compared to most other humans, yes, he's short, but in this case, I mean the update is short, not him.

I have no other reason to write right now other than to say William woke up only ONCE last night!!! Best night's sleep in over seven weeks. :-D 'Course, that probably means he'll be horrible tonight, but I guess that's how things go. Here's hoping the trend continues:-D Who knew five hours of sleep could feel so stinking good???
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