happy halloween!

Leaves have changed.

Pumpkins are painted (carving is not suggested for 22 month olds).

Costume has been purchased.

All that's left is candy to eat.

Wishing everyone a safe and scrumptious day!


top ten tuesday {learned as a military wife}

I recently found OhAmanda, and she makes me smile. Every Tuesday, you're supposed to make a list of 10 things. They can be serious or fun or a mix of both. Go here to check out this week's list.

Ten Things I've Learned as a Military Wife
1. Plans change. Accept it.

2. Hubby is gone a lot more than the 6 month deployments. You have underways (which range from a week to 3 or 4 months). Even when the boat is in, he has to spend the night on the boat every 3rd night.

3. Some days just stink. My worst days tend to be on Saturdays. It's important to remember not all days are bad and even the worst days end.

4. Holidays are flexible. With them gone so much, we tend to have floating holidays. Christmas in February sounds just fine. A birthday dinner of Taco Bell on the pier because Hubby has duty works for me.

5. While it's hard up here on land, it's just as hard under the sea.

6. Sending little gifts with Hubby helps pass the time for both of us. It gives me something productive to do while he's working crazy hours and reminds him that he's loved after they leave.

7. E-mail will test your patience. Back in the day (like when Hubby first joined the Navy), the boats didn't have email. They had family grams or something of that sort. You were limited to like 40 words every month. I don't know the details, but I know it was one way communication that couldn't really say much. We have email now. There are still crazy regulations, but I get to sent it myself daily. However, they don't actually get to the boat every day. There is also a crazy lag time between asking a question and waiting to get the reply. Because there is always the potential of getting an email, you because obsessive with checking it. I never know what time emails will be sent for that day (if at all). The possibility of it all plays with my emotions.

8. You will learn all the acronyms. I was totally overwhelmed when we first started dating that Hubby never actually used words. Now, I can talk in letters with the best of them.

9. You will forget your social security number. Everything is done with Hubby's SSN. We just decided to switch The Bear to a civilian pediatrician. When I was registering him there, they asked for mine. It was the first time in 3 years anyone has asked. And, I couldn't remember.

10. Divorce rates are higher in the military than for the general population. It shocked me when I was filling out a form, and I had to circle what number spouse I was. It went up to 7. No joke. That's in Elizabeth Taylor territory. You will also find the strongest partnerships and bonds in military families. The lifestyle breaks the weak ones, but it makes the strong ones that much stronger.


politeness police

The Bear is 22 months old and has budding language skills. I'm definitely learning his priorities though. He has mastered words such as "cookie" and "dinosaur" but we're still working on "thank you." (I should not complain though; he's been consistent with "sorry" and the little "love you" melts my heart.)

I was getting frustrated with him and trying to get him to come to the door so we could go somewhere. I don't remember where, but I can guess we were probably running late. He was standing in the kitchen looking at me just being a 22 month old.

I had finally had enough and busted out the full name followed by a "come here right now."

He gives me his little half smile and prompts me with "please".

Exasperated, I repeated please.

He came to me immediately laughing.

The politeness police caught me without my manners.



I'm realizing that life is going to be getting very hectic here shortly. Hubby will be home in a few weeks. My parents are coming to visit (twice). And, you know there's this baby that's due to arrive 6 weeks from today.

I really want to develop a sort of chore chart for myself. (Yes, I do have a 5 year old deep inside myself) I remember when The Bear was born and how easily it was to get overwhelmed. This time I know what I'm in for, but I also will have another kiddo to love, feed and bathe.

I think the idea of breaking up all the housework and assigning certain days. Having small tasks that I can accomplish in less than hour will keep the house clean and me sane. I hope at least.

I need to sit down and figure out what will work best for us on which days. Does anyone have this sort of system? Or one that would work better?


my name is Stephanie

And, I'm an emotional shopper. I have been attempting to fill this underway without spending money all the time. To be fair to myself, it's not like I'm spending hundreds of dollars. It's just $10 or $15 on a trip to Target. (I know justifying it is really just showing how addicted I am)

It doesn't help matters that The Bear needs something to do most days. He can last maybe one day just hanging out at home, but after that he goes stir crazy. In the summer, we would go to the park a lot. Now that it's getting cooler, we don't last very long there though.

I decided to have a mini photo shoot with The Bear. Besides shopping, I am addicted to taking pictures and Photoshop. Those are free hobbies so Hubby encourages them. We went down to a local beach for the morning. It wasn't too chilly in the sun, and The Bear loved being able to run around the entire beach. It isn't often that you get the whole place to yourself (minus the adorable old couple walking along the water holding hands).

My favorite pictures from our adventure.

Hanging out on the boardwalk

Taking his time on the long walk to the water

Potential life guard in training? I was a life guard for 4 summers, and Hubby was certified to be one.

Taking a break to play in the sand

Hubby should be so proud of me. We didn't step foot in a store and had a great day. He might be shelling out some major dough to send me to therapy for taking too many pictures though. Think there's a contest for most photographed child? If only it awarded Target gift cards as prizes . . .



Fall is my favorite season. I love the smell. I love picking apples and pumpkins. I love having it be warm enough to still go outside but cool enough you can cuddle under a blanket. I love wearing hoodies (when I'm not hugely pregnant and have hoodies that fit). I love the colors of the trees.

I've been waiting to take The Bear to a local arboretum to take some fall pictures, but the weather has not been cooperating. We did manage to take a few on Saturday when we went to pick pumpkins.

I think we have a little fall lover on our hands. I can't wait until next year when Hubby will actually be home with us in the fall to enjoy it with us.


God as a parent

Preface: I was raised in a Christian home. I attend church on an (almost) weekly basis. The Bear goes to Sunday School. Regardless of your view of God, I think this can be applied to any higher being you personally trust in.

I don't have the best relationship with my biological father. He might be a major butt head who has made some poor choices in his life. (I think that might be the nicest way to say that.) I never really liked the idea of God being our Father. My father was a bit like the Old Testament God - full of wrath and not someone I could easily approach with worries or doubts.

I read The Shack earlier this year, and I found it quite interesting. The character had issues with his father and so God appeared in a motherly form. It was what he needed then.

As I venture through this journey of parenthood, I have been taught many lessons. One of the greatest ones is realizing how God must sometimes feel with me.

"How many times do I have to tell you no?"
"It's okay. You'll be fine in a few minutes."
"Trust me. Do not do that."
"Come here. Sit with me and tell me how you feel."
"If you don't stop, you're going to get hurt."
"I know you didn't mean it. It's okay. I love you."
"I'm sorry I had to yell at you. It was really for a good reason."

I can only imagine the times in my life that God has sat there shaking his head wanting so badly to slap my hand but knowing the only way I'll learn is by doing it myself. Knowing that when I truly feel guilty for what I've done, he feels just as bad about it as I do.

What would God be telling you?


someone needs to work on their math skills

At my last OB appointment, the doctor had some concern because I was measuring small. If you haven't been pregnant, they take a tape measure and actually measure your stomach to see how big you are. A little old fashioned and weird, but it seems to work.

This is how they found The Bear had some issues when I was pregnant with him. This last appointment, I had officially fallen off the "normal" scale which meant I was more than 2 weeks away from my due date. People (including babies) all grow at different rates so they consider anything in a 2 week window to be okay. I was 32 weeks and measuring at 29 weeks.

I was scheduled for an ultrasound this morning to check Baby's size and the amniotic fluid "just to be sure." First of all, as a mommy this is enough to cause a panic attack. Add in the fact that we've had an IUGR kiddo and Hubby will still be gone when they would normally induce an IUGR baby and I was a ball of nerves.

The doctor still hasn't called me with the official results, but the ultrasound tech did share what she found. Baby is estimated to be a whopping 4 pounds, 15 ounces. No joke. The Bear was 5 pounds, 11 ounces when he was born. Baby is 32 weeks! That means there is probably another 8 weeks of growth to happen.

Baby's weight puts him where an average babe is at 35 weeks.

Just to recap:
Tummy measuring 29 weeks
I am 32 weeks
Baby measuring 35 weeks

How is that possible? No wonder I'm so uncomfortable. That's a lot of baby to cram in such a small place.


baby needs a name

Baby has a real name. I am obsessed with names. I needed to give this child a name since we knew he was coming.

Hubby tolerates me and knows when to give in. He finally agrees to a name while we were in Disney World at the end of August. We bought The Bear Mickey Mouse ears with his name on them. In my effort to be fair, I wanted to get a pair for baby.

He committed. Baby has a name. A name I LOVE. The deal was that if we found out the gender we wouldn't share the name until Baby was here. Our friends and family know Baby is a boy, but they have no idea what his name will be.

There are advantages to this. We told everyone The Bear's name and I got tons of "eh" and "I don't like it" responses. Now, everyone agrees the name totally fits him. I'm sure I would be getting the same kind of reaction to people this time so it is nice to save me from dealing with those people. No one says anything negative to you after the kid is legally named.

I need a blog name for Baby. Baby has worked so far, but it will only last so long.

battle of wills

The Bear has never been one to easily give in. I still remember the doctor telling me when he was born that he didn't want to baby-sit him when he was 3. No joke. Nothing about "it's a boy" or "congratulations". I was told my kid had spunk.

This past week, we've been transitioning him from his crib to his big boy bed. The crib is a convertible one which means that it goes from crib to toddler bed to full size headboard.

The Bear had been trying to climb out of his crib. He had gotten one foot on top of the crib and it was only a matter of days before he was going to end up falling on the floor. I wasn't in any rush to switch him before Baby came, but things rarely happen on my timeline in this family.

He LOVES being in his "new" bed.

The problem is he can get out of it. All by himself. Whenever he wants. He's normally okay once he goes to sleep. The battle is getting him to lay in it long enough to fall asleep. He knows he's supposed to lay in it. He'll stay put as long as I'm in the room and goes scurrying back in as soon as I walk in the room.

It took almost an hour tonight to get him to stay in. Most of that hour the furthest I could get in leaving was shutting the door before he would be yelling and out of bed.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take to get him used to this idea. Supernanny gets it all done in less than an hour. I don't yell or even say anything. I just open the door and point to his bed.

Not our last battle of wills, I'm sure. Here's to opening I have more persistence than a 22 month old.


family rules

I recently found a fantastic blog post on the pleated poppy. It was linked by someone, but I can't remember who. You MUST go over here to check it out. There are many other people out there copying this idea and posting their own family rules. Just check out the comments section.

I want to make this during this underway. I know The Bear is little (he'll be 2) and Baby isn't even here yet, but I'm going to do it anyways. I'm pregnant; I'm allowed to have moments like this.

Honestly though, I like the idea of having family rules. Rules that apply to all of us (including Hubby and me). Rules that just always have been there hence the making it when he's little thing.

What rules can you think of that would apply to your family? I love most of the ones other people have used, but I need rules that grow with us. She used 16 rules which is a good number to aim for. I love the "never leave angry" one. Something my parents stressed, and I want to pass on is to "Celebrate every day".

Any suggestions?


the lies we tell

We just said good bye to Hubby. Again.

It's not deployment (6 months), but it is a fairly long underway.

We met Hubby on the pier for lunch. I'm a sucker for pain. We always say good bye in the morning when we drop him off and then go through it all again at lunch time. Usually, I head down to the river to wave to them as they go out to sea.

When The Bear and I were walking back to our car after watching him go down the hatch, I lied to my son.

He was screaming and yelling "Bye bye, DaDa" over and over again. It's just what he does. I on the other hand prefer to quietly lick my wounds alone.

I was trying to shush him a bit. I told him that "Daddy will be home soon." I lied. It's going to seem like forever to me so I know it's going to seem like forever to a 21 month old. I know I was just trying to make him feel better, but I don't want to blatantly lie to my child.

Yes, this is not a deployment. Yes, we've gone longer with Daddy gone. But, it's almost 10% of his life so far.

Of The Bear's first 2 years of life, Hubby will have been gone for 49% of it.

I keep telling myself The Bear is too little to remember all this and it really won't have a negative impact on him emotionally or developmentally.

Maybe that's just the sort of lie I tell myself.