Saturday, October 31, 2009


. . . somehow, so many years later, Fort Lauderdale is still the place I call "home." Home-sweet-home came to us this afternoon. We took off last night, stopped in Orlando, and went the rest of the way this morning. We are all tired but doing fantastically. I'll write more later.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Test & travel

If you have a moment, please pray for JB this morning around 8:00am CST. He is taking a big test for the residency program here at Eglin. Test taking is historically not JB's strong suit so your prayers would be extra appreciated.

Please also pray for our family as we leave for Orlando today. We'll spend the night at JB's sister's and then drive the rest of the way to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow.

Thanks everyone! I've got tons to do today -- the big thing is driving Scrubs to dog camp which takes me about 2.5 hours round trip. So this is all the blog you are going to get.

¡México aquí venimos!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


About a month ago, I told JB that I thought Elijah would be walking by the time he was ten months old. This was how old Isaac was, and it just seemed like Elijah was on the same track. He is now starting to stand without holding onto things, and so I am writing my prediction on the blog. I think Elijah will be walking by the time he is ten months old -- right around Thanksgiving time.

Let's see if I am right.

On the road again!

I cannot believe that we leave tomorrow to return to Fort Lauderdale. Didn't we just leave there?! Back in the car we go. The only good thing is that this time JB will be coming with me. Oh wait. One more good thing. JB's sister recently moved to Orlando with her husband. So we can make an overnight stop without having to get a hotel. Two good things.

Tomorrow morning, Jodi is coming by to watch my boys for me so they don't have to be in the car while I drive the two hours round trip to take Scrubby to dog camp. I thought avoiding a car ride would be good since they'll get to spend plenty of time in the car later that afternoon.

We'll take off tomorrow as soon as JB is done with the big test he has to take and work requirements. We'll drive to Orlando (about 2/3 of the way to Fort Lauderdale), spend the night with Eddie and Katie, and then drive the other third of the way on Saturday.

We'll then have a few days there with family before our flight leaves at 6am on Tuesday morning. We are actually going to put the boys to bed on Monday night and then have one of my folks take us to Roy & Joan's to spend Monday night. They live minutes from the airport (instead of 30 minutes like my parents do) which will be nice when we have to get up at about 3am in the morning! What a great friend Joanie is to take us to the airport in the middle of the night!

The plan while we are gone is that JB's mom and Joanie will watch the boys during the day at my parents' home. When my Mom gets home from work, she'll take over. My Dad will join her after basketball practice each day. Then my Mom and Dad will have them on Saturday and Sunday. We return Sunday evening. JB has to be back at work on Tuesday so we will either leave Sunday evening or Monday morning for our return drive.

I am not sure about my computer access while I am gone so there may be a few days of no blogs here in the defrosting Polar North. Either way, I'm sure I'll have some great updates for you when we get back.

I'll update a couple more times from Fort Lauderdale before we head out! I am soooooo excited for this trip! Yipeeee!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The bomb!

One great thing about living in Florida but not living in Southern Florida? Fall. Okay, so to be fair, northern Florida's fall isn't all that great beauty-wise. (That award still goes to Kentucky! Fall was incredibly beautiful there!) Here, only a few trees change colors, and I'm not sure that any of them lose their leaves. But it still is nice that it gets cool enough to bring out the warmer clothes. Sweatshirts and long pants. Way fun. Now in Minnesota, these clothes would already be covered up by huge coats and scarves and full-body-snow-suits. :) But here in northern Florida, it's a great time of year.

Today when I went on a run, it was in the 60's so I put some socks and sweatshirts on the boys. I love these little shoe-socks. Technically, they really can't wear them anymore once they wear shoes because those ties would get in the way, but since I wasn't putting shoes on them, it was perfect today!

These socks are the bomb! Not only are they really cute, but they stay on sooooooooo well. They were actually a hand-me-down from my friend Shannon. She told me I would love them and she is soooo right. Anyone ever seen these in the store? I would love to buy them as gifts, but I've never seen them anywhere but the closet of my boys.

Houston, we have a problem

I had a brilliant idea this morning.

I often go to the bathroom with two little boys and a dog to keep me company. (That isn't the brilliant idea. Stay with me here.) But I needed to brush my teeth and my hair. And my brush and toothbrush were in the master bathroom.

So, as I moved out of the hall bathroom, I corralled Isaac out the door, picked up Elijah, and shut Scrubs' in the bathroom. Then I put Elijah down and ran into my room super fast, shutting the door behind me so that I could brush my teeth and hair without Elijah eating anything he found on my bedroom floor and Isaac bringing me every pair of socks out of the sock drawer. Locking Scrubs in the other bathroom also prevented all three of them from standing outside my bedroom and possibly knocking each other over.

That's where the problem came in.

While brushing my teeth, I turned around and saw it. Isaac. Little brother was trailing behind him.

How did he get in my room? The door was shut.

I ushered both boys back out and made sure the door was closed all the way this time. Surely he did not just open a door.

A few seconds later, here they came again. Oh my gosh, Isaac has learned to open doors.

I thought I had more time!

I didn't think it would come this soon!

I emerged from my bedroom to see Scrubby standing outside the bathroom door. Isaac had freed him from his captivity in the hall bathroom.

New item on today's calendar. Go to the BX or Target and buy some of those door handle thingamabobs.

Just when I get in a groove, the groove gets busted!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So, today marks one week that we have been without TV.

I want to make sure I clarify. We didn't just get rid of cable. On Base, no cable equals no TV at all. Nada. Not a single channel. Not even one.

We went without TV our first year of marriage in Kentucky because we were broke. We still got two channels.

Not this time. It's an all-out fast.

I like TV. I really do. I like to have it on when JB isn't home at night. I enjoy a few shows here and there. I thought the loss would be painful.

But here is the truth.

It isn't.

I really don't miss it. In fact, it's kinda nice not having it. I would say that since we got the boys, I had the TV on approximately two hours during the day. JB and I would often turn it on the evening while we chatted or read. Not all day or anything. And usually when the boys were asleep as we don't like them to watch TV if possible.

But now, instead of sitting down in the living room while I am feeding Elijah a bottle and flipping channels, I talk to him. Instead of putting it on in the background while the boys are playing, I pull out something to read on the sofa. Right now I have worship music on in the background instead of some home improvement show. It's really great.

There are things I miss and will miss. Don't get me wrong. Thanksgiving is coming up. We won't have TV. Oh my. (Don't tell the Kit. family. They are coming up for Thanksgiving and may revolt if they know that. The only redeeming fact is that we are "borrowing" a friends' house across the street while the fam is here for extra sleepage space. They have cable. So those that need football -- like me -- can get it if we need it.) Then there is the Olympics coming up. I don't even want to talk about that. Tennis. I'll miss tennis. I'll miss Caesar Milan. JB will miss Iron Chef. But we are saving nearly seventy dollars a month. It's really worth it.

We have upped our Netflix a bit so that we can always have a movie or show here if we want to put something on. I'm going to get the Little House on the Prarie series. But otherwise, the TV is off. Today, Isaac picked up the remote and held it up to the TV saying, "On. On. On." I tried to explain that there was nothing to turn on.

And we are still alive! Woah!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Book Update

Okay folks. I've got my books for my trip. Other than perusing through Joanie's collection when I got to Fort Lauderdale, my three books are picked.

To be truthful, I didn't get to exactly pick them. We were hoping to stop by the library on our busy Saturday, but it was one of the activities that had to be dropped from the list when the day started getting away from us. Instead, I stayed home with the boys while they napped. JB went to run a few errands that he needed to get done. He stopped at the library. I sent him in with the list you guys gave me from the blog and asked him to pick some books or authors that looked like what I would enjoy.

Here is my final list courtesy of you all and my hubby:
  • One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
  • A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
  • Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Any comments on these? Many of the recommended books weren't there so JB picked mostly based on author recommendations. If anyone has read one of these and it is bad or depressing, please let me know, as I really want to get to spend my vacation reading good books.

I'll give a book report when I get back.

You've Been Booed

Yesterday I came home from my run to discover that we'd been "Boo'ed". This is fun Halloween Base game where someone puts a bag of goodies on your door and you in turn "Boo" two more people so that nearly everyone in the neighborhood gets a fun surprise.

Anyways, my boys loved the "Boo." Well, what they loved actually, Isaac specifically, was the bucket the "Boo" came in. Isaac became obsessed with putting the "Boo Bucket" on everyone.

First he put it on himself.

Then he decided to put it on me.

Next it was little brother's turn.

He even backed up to admire his handiwork.

Elijah had no clue what to do and sat with the bucket on his head, not making a sound, until Mommy came to the rescue.

Of course what bucket adventure would be complete without including our poor dog. Yes, Isaac put the bucket on Scrubs folks.

I am pretty sure Scrubs is thinking: "Holy cow. This is so embarrassing."

Can't you just read Scrubs' mind here? Scrubs: "I mean, seriously folks. What else do I have to put up with?"

Once I removed the bucket from Scrubs' head, he decided that it was alive and needed intense investigation.

Here he is watching the bucket very, very closely.

While we are not traditionally Halloween celebrators, we do enjoy the fun family times this time of year brings. Unfortunately, we will be on the road for the weekend of Halloween so we've decided to opt. out of costumes and everything altogether this year. We'll think about it more next year when the boys will be closer to understanding what is going on and not get totally freaked by the crazy things Mom puts on them.


Well folks. I'm going back to work.

Okay, not really. Well sorta. I am going to start doing a bit of writing again for the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation. I have been doing a few hours a month editing for them since Elijah's birth, but otherwise, that's about it. But I have decided to pick up a few more hours. When I cut down from 20 hours before Elijah to zero after he was born, we decided that instead of me "resigning", I should take a "leave of absence." At the time, I didn't think I'd ever go back. Especially during the early months with the boys.

But I have found a bit of a groove. I really enjoyed writing for the Foundation. And I want to keep my skills keen. I also want to make a bit of extra money.

So I'm working for them again! Not much. Probably less than ten hours a week. But a bit anyway. I'm way excited about the opportunity to write from home while the boys are napping or playing next to me.

I'll keep you posted on how the new arrangement is working out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A lost dog and other fun adventures

Today, I lost Scrubs. Seriously. Couldn't find him.

It was during dinner time. JB is on call today so I was on my own. I turned to see where Scrubby was, and I couldn't find him. All the doors in the hallway were closed. Where could he be? Looked in the laundry room, on his couch, even under the dining room table. Did I let him outside and forget? Went outside. No Scrubby. Maybe he snuck past me when I put the garbage out? I finally started calling him and heard his cry. Went to the nursery and opened the door and a very relieved dog came busting out only to stop and look and me as if to say: Do you know how long I was in there for? How could you have forgotten about me? Yikes!

It is true that Scrubs often follows me into a room. I always not-so-patiently wait for him to exit before I walk out and shut the door to keep kiddos from entering unaware. But I must have forgotten. I have no idea when I forgot. What I do know is I completely lost my dog. Completely forgot about him. Scrubs' face said it all. Once upon a time it was just me and you. You would have never forgotten about me. Good thing these kiddos feed me or I might just revolt altogether.

Sorry Bubby.

Other than the aforementioned oversight, today has been a good day despite JB being on call. Sunday calls are WAYYYYYY better than Saturday calls. Now that JB is a third year, call days are much less frequent and more frequently on Sunday. A Saturday call gives you NO weekend. But a Sunday call gives you all day Saturday off, work on Sunday, and no work on Monday. If he gets sleep tonight, he'll have a free day of the week home with us tomorrow. We'll see how the evening goes. When I last talked to him, it was still slow, but that can change at any moment. No one go to the ER tonight okay folks?!

Our morning went really well. We decided to do morning baths since yesterday was too busy to squeeze them in. Right around 11:00am, we had our "snack time." Lo and behold today we graduated from one banana split between the two boys to two bananas split between them. Isaac decided he is big enough to take a bite right off the banana and Elijah is eating some bigger pieces now so before I knew it, I was getting a second one out. Just thinking about our grocery bill as the years go on causes some cold sweats. I didn't even take any bites this time!

After snack time, I put the boys down for a nap. Scrubs knows that when both babes go down, we go play Frisbee in the front yard. So we did. I also try to pull a few weeds in the flowerbed while we are out there and give him a good brushing to help lessen the shedding in the house. After that, both he and I collapsed. I usually hope for just one hour of quiet time each day but two hours later, I woke up to find both monitors still quietly humming away. So I got up and went and cleaned the kitchen -- even had a chance to mop the floor. It was 2:00 before both babes decided to wake up. Wow! What a fantastic break! I was refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day. That quiet time really helps me get ready for the second part of the day.

We had a late lunch and then decided to take a jog up to the hospital to visit JB. It was a gorgeous day -- a perfect temperature for a jog with the gang. While loading up the stroller, I put Scrubs' collar and leash on but then remembered I had to do a few more things. Get a water bottle. Snack for Isaac. Pump up a slow leak in one of the tires. That sorta thing.

A few minutes later, while loading Elijah up, I noticed Isaac had grabbed the leash and was walking Scrubs all over the house. I swear I saw Scrubs roll his eyes when they passed me and headed down the hallway only to turn around, circle into the kitchen and do it all again. What a good dog.

It was 1.7 miles up to the hospital. I paged JB when we got there, and he met us outside. It was a pretty slow day for him so we were able to spend about 45 minutes hanging out in the little courtyard while Isaac played and Elijah moved from JB to me and back again. (That kid is too heavy for any one person to hold for an extended period.) After that, we packed everyone up and jogged the 1.7 miles back home. Way fun. Just another reason I love living so close to the hospital.

After the run it was home for another nap for Elijah and then some playtime, dinner, and bed. (It was during that period that I lost Scrubs. So sorry buddy.) During the evening playtime, I managed to get out the camera and snap some fun fotos of my little men. Enjoy!

Playing in the little "fort" under the TV. Each morning I move the toy box out so that they can play with their toys here.

Isaac "discovering" for the 76th time today that Elijah has a crocodile on his onesie.

I've been throwing the pillows in a corner of the living room each morning as the boys love to crawl on them. Good brotherly bonding time until one of them decides to jump on top of the other.

Elijah loves to dive face-first onto a soft pillow or stuffed animal of any sort and slobber all over it. A good warning if you want to use a pillow at our house.

Here is Isaac's version of the same activity. I have no idea why he decided to do this or how I caught it on camera.

Here is Isaac showing me his tongue. He looks SO MUCH like Bri in this picture when she was little!

We have a rule in our house. Food that you do not want should not be thrown onto the floor. It should be put in the little "circle" on your tray. (Scrubs thinks this is a lowsy rule. But trust me, he gets enough food through accidental spillage to keep him satisfied.) Isaac has caught on and quickly sorts through his food to determine what is not up to his standards.

When will I learn? Not twelve seconds after I had put away the puzzles, Elijah moved in to destroy them again. First of all, why do I have puzzles? Secondly why do I try to put them away before the boys go to bed?

Breakfast time!

We found a new game, that I imagine will become a morning ritual, to keep boy and dog occupied. Isaac is thinking: This is way fun. Scrubs is thinking: This is a lot of work for breakfast! Check it out:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whew! What a day!

So we WAY broke our "only one outing a day" rule today. But the truth is, we had to. JB is on call tomorrow so this was our only "weekend" day to get things done that needed to get done before our trip. We head out on Friday so today was our day to get all our ducks in a row.

So, a recap of our very busy (and very exhausting) Saturday.

Elijah got up at 5:30 but decided to have mercy on us and go back to sleep until 6:30. That was nice. At 6:30, I got up to feed Elijah, and JB decided to do some studying. He has a big "doctor" test on Friday and is trying to be diligent and study a certain number of pages in his study book each day.

While he was reading and I was getting some packing done and Elijah was playing by his feet and Isaac was still in bed and Scrubs was outside doing his business, JB heard a thud. A bird had flown into our front window and was lying on the pavement.

Have I mentioned that I love my husband's appreciation for nature? I give him a hard time sometimes, but he truly loves animals and plants and the outdoors in all ways. I think cockroaches and flies are the only animals that John does not find absolutely fascinating. So he was thrilled to be able to get up close and personal with, what he later told me, was an adult male yellow bellied sapsucker. Here's a few snaps of him and the bird:

JB spent awhile with the bird. He was really hoping that it was just stunned and not suffering from a broken back or neck. To his great relief, the bird suddenly got his strength back and flew off. The only sad thing was that Isaac was still asleep and didn't get to witness the really cool event. Elijah was there but didn't seem to think it was way cool at all.

Okay, so after that, Isaac woke up, and I fed both boys breakfast. Then we were off.

Our first stop was the mechanics with our van. The "check engine" light had come on during my drive home from Fort Lauderdale, and we wanted to get it checked before we did another long drive next week. We piled both boys into the Saturn (which is only possible by us pushing our seats WAY up so our knees are in our throats and removing the head rest from Elijah's seat) and headed to the post office. From the post office we headed to the Niceville church. Joia had told us about their "family day" on Saturday where there is a petting zoo and pumpkin patch. Bummer though. The zoo part didn't open until 11:00. We were an hour early. So we headed home instead.

So off to the BX. We had to get a new phone. Our dumb portable, despite changing the batteries, has been dying a very slow death. Every time we talk on it we get less and less time before the low-battery-beeping-symphony begins. If you leave it in the cradle all the time, you still only have about twenty minutes before your time is up. Good thing I am not a big phone talker! But it's soooo annoying. Anyways, time for a new phone and some other incidentals.

From the BX it was across the parking lot to the Commissary where the boys held on to the steering wheels in their car cart for dear life. Elijah has started to try and get Isaac's wheel which doesn't go over well at all, so we are learning how to use our own wheel. Or trying to learn anyways.

After the Commissary it was back home for lunch. I have fallen IN LOVE with Lil' Graduates from Gerber. Ordinarily, JB and I are really against "pre-packaged" food. However, I have had a heck of a time coming up with lunches and dinners for the boys lately. Elijah is eating nearly everything Isaac is now (just in smaller pieces) so the Lil' Graduates are FANTASTIC. It has a main dish and a vegetable. The boys split one and then I add a fruit baby food and some finger food (like cheese or cheerios or something fun) and WA-LA! I have a meal for them. I really want to expose them to a lot of foods, but it gets hard. Usually the boys eat dinner between 5:30 and 6:00. If JB is on an easy rotation, we eat dinner then, as a family, and we feed them some of what John has made. However, many times, JB doesn't get home until way after they eat dinner. I therefore am left to figure out a lunch and a dinner for them. These are really helping to fill in the gaps when I just don't want to give them more jelly sandwiches! Yipeee!

Anyways, so we had that for lunch, and the boys went down for naps, and then I played a little Frisbee with Scrubs. Then Scrubs and I took a nap in the bedroom while JB ran back out to make a stop at the library and the dry cleaner.

He came back again, Elijah was waking up, and we did some other little things to get ready for our trip before Isaac woke up and we headed back out again!

We made a quick stop back at the Pumpkin Patch and Petting Zoo again. We had a great time, and we got some fun pictures.
JB telling Isaac about the Boer goat.

After that, it was off to Philip & Joia's house. We dropped Isaac off to play with Keenan and the AWESOME KENDRA who agreed to watch the older boys while parents and babies went to a function at one of the staff doctor's houses. They were having a bit of a "hash" -- a time when the staff talked to the graduating residents about different bases that they have gone to.

As I think I have mentioned before, next month we have to finalize our "dream sheet." This is where we rank the 20 bases we would like to go to come June. We will be moving somewhere in June, but we won't find out until the spring which one of our dream sheet locations (or a location that the Air Force thought should be on our dream sheet) we are going to. This "hash" was designed to help us figure out how we should rank our locations.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures from the event, but I saw Joia's camera out a bunch so hopefully I can link to her blog come tomorrow and you can see that event as well.

After that it was off to pick up our van which had the light on simply because we were in need of a 60,000 mile check-up. Geeesh. All that for nothing. A quick stop at Burger King for some $1 double cheeseburgers and then back to the house for dinner, milk, and bed.

I told you this was a busy day.

It's 8:10, and I am ready for bed. Nite folks!

Here is Joia's link to the HASH with a couple of pics.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book recommendations

Hey folks. Need your help.

As most of you know, JB and I are headed to Cozumel, Mexico a week from Tuesday! John is attending a "Dive Medicine Conference" there, and I am attending the "Sun and Relaxation Conference". Okay, so there is no "Sun and Relaxation Conference" but I plan to create my own while I am there. I cannot wait!

We are dropping the boys off with family in Fort Lauderdale and then headed out on our first joint no-Children expedition since Isaac was born in May of 2008.

Anyways, I need your help.

Since JB is in the Conference each morning, I'll be on my own for the first part of each day. I would like to bring 2-3 really good books that I can read by the pool. Now again, please note the words really good. I want your BEST recommendations. The books that you just absolutely LOVED. I don't want anything really sad. I also don't want anything too deep but a little deep is okay. I want something that will make me want to get up everyday and start reading. Page turners that are not depressing.

Can you help? If you live locally, I'd love to borrow your book. If you don't, I'd love the recommendation so I can try to check it out at my library before I leave. I'd prefer not to buy any books.

All right, so recommend away!

Della visits

My friend Sarah's daughter hung out with us for an hour or so yesterday while her Mom taught a yoga class. What a sweet girl with an incredible vocabulary. While my boys were asleep for most of her visit, Scrubs wasn't. When I told Scrubs not to lick Della she turned and looked at me and said, "But I want him to lick me." Scrubs agreed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Celebrating Kacey

One of the resident's JB works with, Kacey, (the same Kacey who helped deliver Elijah), is getting married in just a few weeks in New Orleans. Unfortunately, it is the same weekend as our trip to Mexico so we can't go. However, I did have the opportunity last night to join five members of the wifia for a dinner at Big City Bistro in celebration of Kacey's upcoming big day. Even better, I remembered to bring my camera and actually took pictures! Go me. Here are some of my snaps:


Jodi, me, and Sarah

The other side of the table: Kacey, Joia, and Andrea

Our little mini-shower group

Joia with her dessert tray. Can you believe she ate the whole thing?! (Okay, I'm just kidding. This was the dessert tray we split amongst our table. But the question remains, Joia, COULD you have eaten this yourself. I think that I could but I would have a pretty good belly ache when I was done.)

Mom knows best

Okay Mom. Took your advice. It was good advice. Thanks for giving it.

Talked to my Mom on the phone today and explained how I was a bit overwhelmed with Elijah. Oh he's cute and everything. A big snuggler. Great smile. Slobbery kisses anytime he can give them. Melts my heart continually.

But holy cow the kid is in to EVERYTHING.

I wonder how he compares to other eight months old? Maybe it was Isaac who was abnormally non-typical and as a result Elijah's is typical? Isaac never put stuff he found on the ground in his mouth. He never touched outlets. He never pulled things over on himself. Elijah? At least once an hour. When Isaac leaves the room, we don't worry about him. When Elijah is out of eyesight, we panic.
Hang on. Laundry basket just got pulled down off the couch.

Lamps. Cords. Papers. Outlets. Fuzz. Garbage. You name it, Elijah Luke will find it.

My current plan works okay. I have our living room sectioned off as depicted in the picture below:

This creates a good strategy. I can put Elijah inside the sectioned area, but Isaac is able to crawl over the foot stool so that he can play with Elijah when he wants or get some privacy when he wants. I can shut all the doors in the hallway and the gate to the kitchen, and allow Isaac a bigger but still safe room to roam. I also have the option of just opening the nursery door or opening the gate to the kitchen and giving him even more room.

I then have two options with Scrubs. He can be with us outside the footstool or, if he is especially "giddy" he can just be in the kitchen. Oh and he can be outside too although he doesn't like to stay out there for very long. (Dalmatians are very people-oriented dogs.)

If I am being especially attentive, I can move the footstool so all three of my little ones can meander anywhere they want. I shut all the doors in the hallway and the gate to the kitchen and allow freedom. I have to watch for Elijah wanting to pull down blinds, but otherwise, it's a pretty good secondary option when I feel that we need to give them all some more space. Scrubby likes to sit by the window too so I like to allow him into the living room area sometimes. (He is completely capable of going over the footstool but knows this is not an option for him!)

So the strategy is good. The problem is that when I want to leave the living room area, Elijah doesn't always like that so much. Lately, some crying has ensued. Sometimes I want to go in and do the dishes or try to type an email or something like that.

In sharing this dilemma with my Mom, she suggested putting my extra pack-n-play in the kitchen area so that Elijah can sit in that. Unless I am watching him like a hawk, he just can't be in the kitchen. The dog's food bowls, outlets, my computer, drawers . . . you name, he goes for it without a seconds delay.

So yesterday I put Elijah in the pack-n-play in the kitchen while I cleaned the stove. I think it will be helpful. Of course, this new strategy brings about its own set of new things to think about. For instance, as you can tell from the picture at the top, there are two children in the pack-n-play. Isaac wanted to be in there with Elijah. This means wrestling and sitting on each other and tears and the like. In addition, when Isaac wants out of the pack-n-play, this leaves Elijah feeling very lonely and more tears ensue.

I know I'll figure it out. I think I will constantly be searching for my new "normal." Before Elijah became mobile, we had a good system. Now I just need to work out the details again. I'll get there.

Just in time to change again!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So since I am married to a doctor, I have had many family and friends ask me/him what he thinks about the H1N1 virus. More specifically, many people have asked what he thinks of the vaccine.

John is just one doctor and different doctors have different opinions. I really don't want to spur on a debate here at all. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, in the end, we have decided that Elijah will have the vaccine. Isaac cannot have it because he is allergic to eggs. John will get it because he is in the military, and it is required. If it is offered/available to me, I will get it too.

Here is how JB sees it, and subsequently, here is how I see it.

Vaccines are medicines. Every medicine carries with it the chance of side effect. Tylenol can kill someone, and I'm sure it has. However, in each case, the positives have to be weighed against the negatives. When we went to Africa, we took medicine for malaria. The medicine could hurt us. But so could malaria. We weighed the options and deemed the side effects of malaria a higher risk than the side effects of the medicine.

So that's that. In case anyone is curious about JB's opinion and what our family is doing, there it is!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Note to self . . .

. . . when putting seventeen month son to bed, try remembering to turn the light off in his room. 2pm. Back from the park. Brought Elijah in from van. Put Elijah down. Back out to the van. Picked up Isaac. He said, "Dirty." So I changed him and then laid him in his bed. Back to the van to retrieve a few other items. Back in the house. Turned on monitors. Elijah is quiet. Isaac sounds wide awake. He sounds confused. Realized I forgot to put his noisemaker on. Walked in the room. The light is on! Geesh. No wonder he's confused. Turned light off and noisemaker on and one little boy went right to sleep.

Ditzy moment #2.

It followed closely on the tail of #1.

I had a crazy day today. Had Elijah's therapy appointment, than an appointment for me, and then wifia lunch after that. Broke my "one outing a day" rule by three! Thing was, I didn't know about the therapy appointment until this morning! I knew he had an appointment this week or next week. I remembered scheduling it. But I couldn't find it in my calendar anywhere. I called yesterday and they didn't return my message. So I called again this morning. "Yes, you have an appointment in TWO HOURS!" Uggghhh . . .

Jodi to the rescue. She was going to babysit both boys for my second appointment and agreed to let Isaac join her at Della's house during Eiljah's appointment. I can bring Isaac to the therapy appointments but since this was (what I hoped) was his last one, I wanted to be able to concentrate, ask a lot of questions, and really be able to focus just on Elijah.

The good news is that it was the last appointment. Elijah's head is fantastic! The therapist said we are done visiting their office. She is recommending that we see a pediatric neurologist since his head is still a bit oddly shaped in the back. It isn't cosmetic as much as it is making sure he stays coordinated and centered as he ages. So we'll probably do that in the next month or so.

In other news, today I am mourning the loss of . . . our cable. We decided nearly one month ago, that the cost of cable did not equal the amount of time we were watching it. So we called and disconnected it. Only it didn't go off. We were hoping they just forgot to turn it off but when we got our bill, it was still on there plus fifteen dollars! What the heck?! JB called, got it worked out, and today it went out, forever. No more TV on good ol' Eglin AFB. I'd say that I'll pick up a hobby during the times I would be watching TV but the thing is, I just don't watch TV anymore. I have a hobby. I have three of them. Their names are Isaac, Elijah, and Scrubby.

Off to retrieve my hobbies from their concluded naps!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Today, my bud Joia met me at my house so we could go for a walk. She was out of town and then I've been out of town so it's been awhile since we could hang out together. It was a beautiful fall day, and we had a wonderful time. We ran into Tiff's Dad who is visiting, and he offered to walk Scrubs for us and join in on our good time! Scrubs loved the new companion, and I loved reconnecting with Joia.

After the walk, Keenan wanted to stay and play so he did while Mom and Moriah ran to the store for a few things. As Isaac gets older, they are really able to play together instead of doing their own thing. They had a fabulous time. Keenan is such a sweetheart, and we are hoping he is going to start coming over to play even more often. He was very patient trying to teach Isaac how to color.

Our little Isaac is really in the "sponge" stage of childhood. He is doing new things everyday. Today I left Elijah and him in the kitchen for just a moment while I ran into the living room to grab something. Suddenly Isaac emerged from the kitchen saying, "Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh." This usually means that a car went under the oven or he dropped something and can't reach it. But this time it meant: "Hey Mom, Elijah is headed right for Scrubs' water dish." Thanks to Isaac I caught the little guy at the very last second.

Elijah is absolutely cracking us up. We call him our "passionate spazz." He has a deep chuckle and cries soooo hard when he or his feelings are hurt and then stops as suddenly as he started. I let family know when we were in Fort Lauderdale that the passion of his crying does not indicate the level of his pain.

He is in to absolutely everything. I do not leave him out of my sight for a second unless he is in the penned in area of the living room. And even there he managed to pull a stick off a wooden basket and attempt to swallow it this morning. Yesterday, he found the bills as illustrated by the video below:

I am vacuuming everyday to prevent all foreign objects from getting lodged in his little chipmunk cheeks. Oh man. He is soooooo different from Isaac. Totally different kids. But so incredibly stuck in our hearts just the same.

But he also is a fantastic snuggler. He'll sit on your lap and just let you hold him over for long periods of time and is even starting to sit still and read a book without grabbing it away from you. This has made Isaac very happy. We can finally read a book with both kids at the same time without having Elijah trying to eat it.

. . . all right, off to get some more unpacking done while the duo-afternoon-naps are still going on.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big changes

Well, I know it isn't as drastic as a trip to Fort Lauderdale from the Polar North (click link for our 2005 adventure which brought us from 2 degrees to 80 degrees in just a few hours), but we still faced some big weather changes during our ten hour drive from South Florida to Eglin AFB. Here we were just a few days ago chillin' in Joanie's pool with Bri:

And here we are today, preparing to go for a family run:

I feel bad that Isaac had to wear one of those ear-covering hats, but it was the only one he wouldn't pull off since it strapped under his neck. (He did figure out how to pull it down over his eyes and then wasn't able to pull it back up. We had to stop our run two times to allow him to see again!)

I also feel bad that Elijah's hat is so tight, but you know, he has a big head. What can I say. (Not sure I blogged about the fact that he got that big head stuck between a coffee table and a chair at my parents' house. It's true. When I told JB he said, "Well, he's got a big head." Yep. Sure does.)

I also feel bad that I couldn't manage a picture without one of my boys having their fingers in their mouths. Both of them are teething (Isaac in the back and Elijah in the front) so fingers in the mouth is an every-minute-activity in our house.

Anyways, we are home. Fort Lauderdale had record setting heat for October the entire time I was there. Nineties in October! Woah! As we drove north, my Mom and I could feel it getting cooler. I didn't have warm clothes for the boys so I had to leave Isaac in his pajamas when we left Jacksonville. Nippy!

It was in the 40's for much of today. I think it was in the 50's when we went for a run in the late afternoon, and there was enough wind that we all needed something to keep our ears warm -- especially JB and me. There is nothing worse than running in cold weather and feeling like your ears are going to fall off. I know all the Minnesotans reading this are laughing right now. The 50's is summertime for them! But it's all what you are used to -- and I am no longer a South Floridian or a Polar North gal. I guess I'm a southerner again now. So there you go.

It's been busy since we have been back. Lots of unpacking and trying to get back in the groove here at home. JB gave Scrubby a bath since he was filthy from two weeks of dog camp. (They'll give him a bath when he leaves but it costs ten bucks. So we opt to do it here instead.) I have also been working to get all the boys clothes into one closet since they are wearing the same size now. Baths. Fingernails trimmed. Laundry. Oohing and aaahing over all the old toys that are brand new again. You know. That kind of thing.

Oh. And I must tell you all. My husband. JB. Whatta guy. I came home after my two days of travel with two babies, and he had set up the bathroom so I could take a bath with music and candles and everything. I think I stayed in the bath for over an hour while he played with the boys. It was glorious. I soooo needed some decompression time -- especially considering that the last hour was spent with two little men crying very hard. He also had already started prepping for an Indian dinner. Even splurged on Naan. Indian. Love it. My favorite! Love that guy.

He had also cleaned the house. It was sparkling. He told me that he had actually done it right after I left and that without me and two boys and a dog there and with him on nights and sleeping all day, it had stayed that way the entire two weeks.

And then . . . well, I'll get to that.

Did you know that we are real people with real lives and a real house? I do pride myself on being organized and (attempting to) keep a tidy home. But after some initial arguments early in our marriage, I came to understand that having a welcoming home was much more important than having a perfect home. Living on Base has really helped me solidify that. People drop in unexpectedly here, and you know what, when they do, they have to get me how they get me. Messy house and all.

I say all this to preface the video you are about to see and to tell you that poor JB's clean house, lasted all of about twenty minutes after our arrival.

You'll see a lot of things in the video. You'll see Elijah chattering away. You'll see Isaac talking about his "Pa" and "Di" and "Uncle Keith" (That's my family. We are still working on recognizing all the people in JB's family. There are a lot of them!) You also see him dance and give some kisses, and tell us all, once again, that the camera lens looks like a "ball."

But you will also see my house as it truly looked post-arrival. (And trust me when I say this isn't half as bad as it is some times.) I hope this encourages you all that the real world lives on in our home! When you think you are the only one who comes home from a trip and immediately finds clutter and chaos everywhere . . . you aren't. And it's not just trips that cause messes. Sometimes it's just everyday life. (We have also found that it is getting worse now that there are two kiddos to play with twice as many toys.)

Anyways, enough talk. This is a long video, but here it is nonetheless:

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Five hours plus one hour stop yesterday with Mom to help. Hotel in Jacksonville. Five hours plus one hour stop solo today. Home sweet home!

I'll post when I am done enjoying having us all together -- yes, even Scrubby -- under one roof.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Thank you to those of you who remembered our eleven "sticky babies" by sending me an email of encouragement. We still have seven more little ones waiting for a chance at life that we pray we will get to meet on this earth.

Even more so, I want to remember those of you who have lost children to miscarriage, stillborn, or death after birth. I know the pain lessens slightly but never goes away. My prayers and encouragement are offered today.

We are leaving tomorrow afternoon for Jacksonville. My Mom will be with me and we'll get a hotel in Jacksonville, spend the night, and then on Saturday, I'll head out for the final five hours by myself while my Mom gets on a flight to head back to Fort Lauderdale.

I'll post more when I get home!


Yesterday we spent a final morning with Joanie and Bri. Here are some pics from the day. I am having trouble getting the pics to swap positions on my parents' computer so I'll just let them be as is. We had such a wonderful time seeing Joanie and Bri so much. It was nice to have Joan able to keep me company while my parents worked during the day. What a great visit. I cannot believe we are leaving tomorrow already. Boy that went fast!

Joan and Isaac at the marina.

Isaac's eyes are closed but I still love this picture. There's Andre concentrating on his "moose". Joanie brought this moose out for Isaac but we all had to tell "An-day" no-no-no. So Isaac started telling him "no-no-no" every time he came near the moose.

Here is Joanie trying to feed Isaac some hot dog without Andre' stealing any.

Bri giving Isaac a kiss good bye.

Isaac walking Andre'. Don't think he could walk Scrubs.

Bri and Isaac at the marina. I love this picture!

Isaac with Andre's care bear.

Andre' waiting not-so-patiently for Isaac to throw him a ball.

Elijah giving the moose a funny face.

Isaac found a porcelain Andre' that Joanie was very patiently allowing him to carry around the house.

Isaac is saying "water" now in a sort of "aw-ter" way. Here he is asking me for some.

Some more walking of Andre'.

Elijah on the move. Give this kid a second and he'll find something he shouldn't. Joanie almost lost two vases yesterday. Good think she and I have quick hands.

Playing with a festive pumpkin by the zebra rug.

Love this pic of Bri and Andre' while Isaac tries to get back inside.

This is how Andre' spent a lot of the day -- hiding from Isaac. He'd look around the corner as if to say, "Is he gone yet Mom?!"

Isaac wanted to hold as many of Andre's tennis balls at the same time.

Isaac trying to tell Andre' that the moose is not his!

Bio mom and bio son!

I was holding Elijah on my lap and Isaac came and shoved an apple in his mouth.

Another cute walking-the-dog pic.