Monday, August 30, 2010

Things with wheels

Michael used to be TERRIFIED of this little red rocket Red Rider airplane toy. So much so that I had to keep it locked away in a closet because it would make him cry. He would start crying if it was even in the same room as him. There are three buttons on it that make noise and say random space oriented things like, "Welcome to Jupiter."

A few months ago, I pulled it back out of the closet to see if he had gotten over the fear and, low and behold, he now loves this toy. In all honesty, prior to now, he was just too young for it. But now, he is tall enough and has enough stability to push his legs back and forth to make himself propel forward. It is cute to watch. He now just needs to get the hang of steering it around corners so I don't have to stand behind him and turn it around corners for him. But I am happy to do it! And he likes to show me how far he can go.

He loves anything with wheels. His blue buggy is still a favorite ride-on toy and he now knows how to buckle the seat belt. He is not quite strong enough to push the two buckle pieces together but he can put the pieces together so they fit into one another!

Yesterday, Chris bought Michael his first t-ball set. It is a tad tall for him still but he is getting the hang of it. Chris said he is going to teach Michael how to hit left-handed, even though we are pretty sure Michael is right handed. I don't know enough about baseball to understand the benefits of being a left-handed batter, so I will just leave that the two of them to figure out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Road trip destination: Los Angeles

We recently took a road trip to Southern California! First stop: Disneyland in Anaheim! Michael loved it! Chris loved that there were more things for us to do with a 17 month old than he thought there would be.

We enjoyed taking Michael to Toon Town, the Tea Cups, the Carousel, It's a Small World and The Storybook ride. This picture was taken on the Carousel. Michael was fixated for a minute on the horse next to him! We also got to see the parade! It was a lot of fun but tiring! As any day at a theme park should be! Everyone warned me that Disneyland is not as great as Disney World (in Florida). It was a lot smaller in size but all the Disney magic was there! It is a lot of fun to see it through the eyes of a toddler.

While we were in LA, we also went to the Los Angeles Zoo, The Americana in Glendale, and Grauman's Chinese Theater. We also walked down Hollywood Boulevard looking at all of the "Stars" on the sidewalk, the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It was a really fun, busy trip. We find that keeping Michael busy and occupied keeps us sane. If he gets bored, he gets fussy. So we wore ourselves out but we also loved every minute of it. LA and it's surrounding cities is a neat place. There is still a lot to see so I am sure we will be back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Toilet bowls and tooth brushes

No, I am not talking about how I clean our bathrooms. For the record, I don't. When I am pregnant, we have a housekeeper. We hired one when we lived in Fallon and I was pregnant with Michael and I jumped back on that bandwagon once I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. My rationale: I don't want the exposure to the cleaning chemicals. Good reasoning. Plus, Chris has a lawn service. So while we have a lawn service, I will also have a housekeeper :) Anyway, I digress...

The subject of today's blog post actually refers to Michael's current obsessions. He loves to TRY to put his hands in the toilet bowl. He has been successful only once, thank goodness. The other times, I have been able to catch his hot little hands quickly. He is also discovering how to flush the toilet. Fun times. Is this all just the first phase of potty training? I certainly hope so.

The infatuation with tooth brushes amazes me. He will stand at our bathroom sink and reach for our toothbrushes and say, "Mine, mine, mine!" I think partly it is a teething thing, but the problem is the massive meltdown that occurs when I take his toothbrush away from him. It is really the saddest sight to see. But the good part is that he gets it! When I give him his toothbrush, he will put it in his mouth and move it around all of his 12 teeth (+4 more on their way).

I know I am still a relatively "new" Mom. I've only been at this for 17 months, but what I have learned is that this phase shall too pass. Just like the massive drooling phase (2-6 months) and the biting phase (12-15 months). We'll see what will be next!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Score 1 more for me!

In a very surprising turn of events, Chris arrived home to us today! Last week, we were told that deployment had begun back in July and we would not be reunited again until next Spring. In an unusual change of Navy plans, the ship and all the sailors were sent home. There are 5,000 families out there right now celebrating the fact that we get our heroes home right now. Even if it is just for a short time, we'll take it!

This lifestyle really forces our family to be as flexible as possible with plans and schedules. I like to think that I am good at adapting to change, but the reality is that I am not good at it at all! About a year ago I came to this conclusion and I verbally voiced it to Chris and his reply was, "You are just now figuring this out! I could have told you this years ago!" Well, thanks hubs for keeping it to yourself. I did need to figure out that one on my own. Now when I am having trouble adapting to the spur of the moment changes that we have to live our daily lives by, my dear close friends and family get the brunt of my venting. You know who you are (CR, TA, AG) - thanks for always being good listeners!

I am still taking one day at a time. But the smile is genuine and there are no more tear stains. We know our time is limited so we just try to make every moment of every day count.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The timing of life

If you really stop to think about it, timing and judgement are almost the two most important things that run our daily lives. If you are driving and you stop too short, not noticing the car in front of you, next thing you know you have rear-ended the car in front of you. It was all about timing, you did not press the brakes in enough time to avoid hitting that car. I guess it could be considered more a case of poor judgement. (Why were you not paying attention while driving?) But you get my point. And no, I did not have a fender bender. Thank God. I have had enough of those in my life to last a lifetime.

We have recently had some timing/judgement issues work in our favor and others that have not.

With the best information that we had available to us, we said goodbye to Chris, as he left for a work trip that was supposed to last for 3 weeks. It was a casual goodbye. Michael was only half-awake in his car seat because he fell asleep on the car ride to drop Daddy off at his jet.

We found out this week that the 3 week trip has now turned into 8+ months. I guess we should have known better. Now, the memory that is seared in my brain is Chris looking back at me and waving as he is walking through the gray steel door of the airplane hanger. He was carrying his green flight bag and a brave smile on his face. The brave smile, I am sure, was more for me than it was for him.

Bad timing and poor judgement Score: 1
My Score: 0.

But I try to be as positive as I can with these kinds of situations. This time, it bit me in the butt.

On the positive side, however, when I did get this bad news, I had a dear friend visiting who's timing could not have worked out better. She is another Navy Spouse who knows exactly how this feels and what this means. I was so grateful for her presence. Therefore, I consider the score evened out.

Now, I just try to keep a smile on my face (even if tears are streaming down my cheeks) and take one day at a time.

(The photo I attached to this blog post is irrelevant to the story but it always puts a smile on my face. It is one of Chris's favorites too. A few weeks ago, we were sitting out on the patio at the local Panera Bread and Michael was exploring his environment. He has his "trouble maker" look on his face.)