I don’t know how to start off this post, nearly a year after the last one. But! I’m here, and that’s what counts, right?
To quickly recap the last year:
-I ended up getting a job instead of going back to school full-time. The timing wasn’t right for me to go to school, so instead I’m going part-time while I work. I love my job.
-Long-time readers might remember all my kidney issues from my first pregnancy with Dublin. I had a CT scan in June, which revealed 22 stones, 17 of which in my bad kidney. I had surgery in August to have them removed. I’m now starting a low calcium oxalate diet in hopes of ridding myself of future stones. I have to give up diet Coke and chocolate, but I can eat all the bacon my heart desires. Just, not my literal heart. I’m sure it doesn’t desire clogged arteries.
-I’ve been reading like a mofo. For real. And I finally joined NetGalley so I get to read tons of ARCs. Free books!
-My kids have stayed awesome and have, against all my fervent wishes, started growing up. Proof:
-I started doing my nails earlier this year as a way to keep my hands busy instead of putting them in a big bowl of chips and shoving it all in my face. I’ll probably start posting tutorials soon, ensuring I’ll keep this updated!
-Ever since we moved back to Idaho, I’ve been looking for a job. I’ve had a few prospects, but nothing really seemed worth spending nearly all of my paycheck on daycare expenses. Stephen quickly found a great job (YAY!) so I’ve been at home with the boys all day. While we can afford for me to stay home, it’s not ideal. I need to get out of the house and we’d like to put more into savings each month, so I had to figure out what to do. Luckily, Stephen offered to transfer his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to me (he won’t go to college, ever, so.) and just like that, we had a plan. Luckily, because of Stephen’s two deployments, he has plenty of active duty time saved up from the last eight years to make it worth me going back to school. I’ll essentially be “making” the same money I would working a full time job, and I’ll get to study with no debt! WIN.
-Because I’m staying at home, I’m trying to think of creative ways to save money. We seem to spend a fortune on groceries, so I started clipping coupons (I know). I ordered five Sunday subscriptions of our local paper and am planning on attending their monthly coupon class/exchange. I also subscribe to a few blogs, but I’m not a huge fan of printing coupons as I’ve had coupons rejected before. If you have any tips, I’d appreciate them!
-Dublin’s speech is delayed. I’ve mentioned this on twitter, especially over the summer when he was receiving speech therapy. He talks A LOT, but it’s not discernible English. He says “mah-jah-” for “please,” “mama” for “milk,” and “chocolate” is “c*ck.” It’s rather charming, actually. He says a few phrases, like “Oh my gosh!” and “I don’t know.” but he doesn’t use them appropriately (meaning, he doesn’t say “I don’t know” when he really, truly, doesn’t know). He has a large vocabulary, but he doesn’t put words together himself. It’s frustrating, because when he’s in distress, he’ll fling himself to the floor and throw a tantrum. I have no idea what to do to help him.
-Roman will be ONE! next month. I don’t know if we’re throwing him a party or even where. Where do you do a party for a baby in the winter? He is crawling, sitting, pulling up on his knees, but doesn’t have any inclination to walk or say anything other than “dada.”
-I’m thinking of doing a video blog. I know everyone calls it a vlog, but that words looks like something I’d fancy in an Ikea catalog. I’ve met a good handful of bloggers who likely remember what I sound like, but seeing as I grew up in Cali, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Vermont, I know I say a few things that sound strange. Like, for example, I don’t pronounce the “k” in “breakfast.” Yeah. Don’t hate. A VIDEO BLOG will likely be my next post, then.
You know, the rock I’ve been seemingly living under for the last three months? Yeah. Well I forget that twitter is not my blog and I have readers who regularly check my blog for new posts, not knowing (because they’re not twitterers) that I blab so much via twitter or Facebook.
A bit of an update is required, right?
Stephen came home nearly four weeks ago and spent exactly two weeks at home,
driving me insane, before starting his new job, a job he loves very much. He gets to weld and build things like ramps and repair industrial vacuums and other things that boys tinker with. It’s great for him, because I think the kids started driving him a bit crazy after a few days of being home with them 24/7.
Really, it’s been an adjustment period for us ALL. Just the other day, I set the alarm on my iPod Touch to wake us up to the “Alarm” sound. Those of you who have iPod Touches or iPhones probably know what sound I’m talking about, right? Well, imagine my shock when, at 5:45, that particular alarm sounds and launches my husband off the bed. In Iraq, that sound is what they play to warn of incoming mortars. YEAH. Wife of the Year!
In some ways I’m surprised how well we’re doing now that Stephen is working again. It’s weird for him, after spending a year sharing a room with another dude and being responsible for himself, his soldiers and his HEMTT wrecker. No kids to play with, diaper, feed, bathe. No wife to tend to, no womanly feet to massage…you get what I’m saying, right? Stephen was, every day, in a situation where he needed to constantly be on alert, looking at the sides of the road for danger, aiming a M240 at suspicious vehicles as a way to intimidate them to back off. And the next week, he’s in charge of wiping thick white Desitin on a baby’s bottom? Basically a whole different world. But he’s doing really, really great. Fingers crossed!
The boys are loving having daddy home. Looooooving. Roman said his first word tonight (he’s a late talker, obviously) and it was…(dun dun dunnn)…DADA. Thanks, kid.
Let’s be honest. We are ALL loving having him home with us again.
If you want to skip to where Stephen actually starts walking to us, it’s about 2:30 in. The video is lengthy and the last minute or so is kind of awkward; we’re all just…standing around. We had a pretty large group who were taking photos, so we had to sort of stand there.
My brother-in-law is the one holding the camera (and giving a little attitude to everyone else, ha!). You can hear Dublin saying “da-da-da” when Stephen is walking to the building. And, I hate the way my voice sounds on video! AH!
I’m pretty lame, y’all. I mean, I ask for your advice. You all deliver amazing recommendations. And then? I fall off the earth for nearly FOUR MONTHS. I think that’s when most people commit blog suicide. But I’m back! Or, rather, my blog is.
I forget that the world doesn’t revolve around me sometimes and that a lot of my loyal readers don’t follow me on twitter (do NOT blame you there, friends!), so I’m going to do a quick recap here, before I throw up a ton of “My husband came home from Iraq for two weeks and it was UH-MAZING!!!!!!!!!” posts, packed with photos and video.
So, to catch you up to speed:
- My husband came home, as just mentioned! For two weeks! It was pretty spectacular. Dublin couldn’t let Daddy out of his sight for the entire two weeks, even going so far as to sob (violently) whenever Stephen walked out the door, even for a moment. Post about those two weeks coming soon. I pinky swear.
- Backing up a LOT, I went to Virginia for two weeks to visit my best friend, Sona. We had an awesome, awesome time, right up until Roman had a horrifying apnea episode, landing us in the ER for eight hours. He’s okay, now, thankfully, but let me just say, seeing your child’s lips turn blue is the scariest thing EVER.
- I started school. I’m getting my certificate as a pharmacy technician and wow, you guys? Medicine is kind of intense. I’m sitting here with my Mosby’s Dictionary and Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians workbook and it’s hitting me that I kind of need to do actual math. Which I haven’t done in…seven years. Setting myself up for success, AM I RIGHT?
- Dublin, at 25 months, weighs 35lbs and is 37 inches long. That’s a big baby, you guys. And his pediatrician measured his head three times, finally admitting that his head circumference is 100th percentile. She doesn’t know any other child in her practice with that large of a head, for his age. WHAT?
- Roman was 4th percentile when he was born (six weeks early), but now? He’s nearly 80th for weight, 90th for height. That’s nuts! His head, like his brother’s, is also ridiculously large (99th percentile).
- What does this all mean? It means I am definitely done birthing children, because I did it twice, with no pain meds (on accident! I wanted them!), and large heads are not something I look forward to pushing out again.
- I recently sold a few photos to the National Geographic! A company that produces documentaries for the NG found some photos in my flickr stream they wanted, so they contacted me for use of the photos in print and in their video. I’m excited!
- This deployment is nearing its end. We have less than three months left in this, and I know we can do it, but damn, it is HARD. Saying goodbye to my husband again on Wednesday was difficult, and I’m still struggling. This isn’t my husband’s first deployment, but compared to his last one, this is definitely much more difficult on him. His last deployment (18 months in Iraq, 2005-2006), he was essentially single. Iraq was a scarier place then, and that deployment really affected him, changed him. But going back, as a husband and father, has definitely taken its toll on him. My husband is far from an emotional man, but I could see the feeling in his eyes, sense his agitation at having to return to Iraq. It made it harder, at the airport, knowing I was sending him to a place he hates.
- I don’t drink coffee, never have. But every morning lately has me craving for something delicious and caffeinated. I’m too impatient to wait for tea to steep and hot cocoa costs me too many WW points. What to do?!
Anyway, that’s what’s up with me, in a nutshell. I’m hoping to upload our homecoming video to youtube to post here shortly, and to blog all about those two glorious weeks. For now, I have four weeks of school to catch up on. See what I mean about my success with school?!
I have this four month old beautiful, funny baby boy who doesn’t understand how to sleep more than a couple hours at a time. Besides spending the following day extremely, extremely, EXTREMELY tired, I can’t complain too much, because I get to see this face at 12, 2, 4, 6 AM:
Anyway, waking up at all hours means I’m consistently powering on my xbox to watch something on my Netflix instant queue. I’ve burned through Dexter, Veronica Mars, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Office and a few random movies thrown in.
This is where you come in (and I finally get to the point), I need new show recommendations. Even if they aren’t available for instant streaming (I do receive the discs, too). To give you an idea of what I like, my favorite shows are The Office, Dexter, and True Blood.
So, what say you, Internet friends?
(This says “thing” but I’m going to make it “things” because I am crazy indecisive.)
1. Dior Dior Best in Show Mini Mascara Duo
I love DiorShow Blackout Mascara so, so much, but sometimes it’s a bit too dramatic for everyday wear. That’s where the original DiorShow comes in handy! These tubes are small, but I find they work perfectly, since mascara needs to be replaced every so often. This is far and away the best mascara I’ve ever had, you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to your lashes! I bought it here.
2. Crystal Light On The Go Pure Fitness Strawberry Kiwi
First: NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! Also, no artificial flavors or preservatives! Because of my kidney issues, I have to drink around 100 ounces of water every day and let me tell you – it gets OLD! But the Pure Fitness flavors really make it so easy. The flavors are all very refreshing and don’t have that strange after taste that a lot of aspartame-sweetened beverages tend to have. I buy it in bulk on Amazon because it’s not sold in our Vermont stores, at least not nearby.
3. MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Before I met Stephen, I had been a vegetarian for about eight years. I had tried a of MorningStar Farms products and really liked their chik patties. When I started Weight Watchers in January, I wanted something with protein for my breakfasts, so I didn’t load up on carbohydrates too much. I usually pair one of these patties with about a half cup of Egg Beaters, some salsa and a slice of Weight Watchers cheese – it’s SO filling and very, very yummy.
What are YOU loving?