one month ago

It's been a month since Hubby left on deployment. It always amazes me at how long the days are and yet the weeks seem to fly by. We still have no real idea when he or the boat is coming back which makes this deployment more of a count-up than a count-down. That's okay though. This had the strong potential of being our last good bye. It makes it all seem a bit easier to handle knowing it's the last time I'll be watching the port side of the boat.

I feel like I ought to have more accomplished or to show for the last month. 30 days should have produced something tangible. I should have all these brilliant insights on parenting and deployments.
I don't.

I've been feeling a bit inadequate. I have this picture in my mind of what I should be doing. What the boys should be like. Somehow I never get reality to look like that picture.

The Bear is being 2. Testing all his limits. Trying to find his place in the world. His great achievement is being basically potty trained. He has the occasional accident; once or twice a week he'll catch himself as he starts to go in his undies. I never knew so much of my mood and self worth could be tied to using the potty. I have to remind myself that he's trying. We only started this process 3 weeks ago.

The Monkey is the ideal second child. He's mellow, sleeps well, and gives me the biggest smiles if he gets any attention at all. I started him on solid food a few weeks ago. 4 months is a bit early for my liking, but he was ready. He had been sleeping for 12 hours a night for 2 months and was suddenly waking up 3-4 times wanting to eat. He knew right what to do and is one of the neatest little eaters I've ever seen. (Except tonight. Tonight ended with carrots on his toes, in my hair, on the wall, and stuck in The Puppy's fur.) I worry that he doesn't get enough attention, but second children seem to survive.

My mom is here visiting for a few weeks. It's nice to have someone to talk to that can answer back in full sentences. She's been a big help. She made me go up to my room last night for an hour after dinner. I wasn't allowed to come out to clean up or do anything. I feel guilty asking for help though. I don't work so I should be able to handle this. Why do I feel like I need a break when I really don't do anything?

That's where we are. Or at least I am emotionally. Just feeling a bit blah. I know it will pass though. So that's why there's been a lack of posting lately. Maybe a little pity party will get it out of my system though.

mil spouse blog hop


Who doesn't love to meet new friends? There's a military spouse blog hop happening over at Riding the Roller Coaster. Mil Spouses, head on over to realize you're not the only one slowing going crazy during deployment. Non mil spouses, check it out if you like to watch other people slowly go crazy over a 6 month span :-)

I'm Stephanie. Wife to a submariner and mom to two little boys (a two year old who tests my patience on an hourly basis and a 4 month old who is growing up way too quickly and will be testing my patience on an hourly basis before I know it).

This is our second deployment on a fast attack, but we have lots (8 I think) of underways under our belt from the last 2 years. We've been married 3.5 years, and just remembering how fast it's all gone wears me out.

I'm a SAHM dreaming of shore duty or being able to go to the bathroom alone. No idea which one will come first though. I am a bit of a control freak and the uncertainty of the Navy drives be nuts. When we got engaged, everyone commented on how much I would love the nice, stable job Hubby had. I know better now.

I still make lots of plans. The current one is to enjoy the journey.

favorite photo friday

Favorite of The Bear: I've started giving him water play time in the bathroom sink. I really ought to fill a bucket and put in on the floor for him. Until then, I get to watch these little piggies.

Favorite of The Monkey: I am shocked at how fast he's growing up. He's loving his exersaucer. He's playing with the toys and actually touching the bottom (on the lowest setting).


favorite photo friday

Favorite of The Bear: I have a whole set of funny faces from The Bear. He was in such a goofy mood. I have no idea what's gotten in to him lately, but I'm glad it's spring and he can burn some of that energy at the park.

Favorite of The Monkey: The Monkey is the most mellow kid I have ever met. His smiles light up my world. You just look at him and he smiles. If you happen to talk to him, he busts out laughing.


dinosaur momma

I nurse The Monkey. I breastfeed The Bear until he was about 13 months, and I plan on doing the same thing this time.

Because there is only one of me and two children that tend to need my attention at the exact same time, I nurse The Monkey in front of The Bear. I don't make a big deal about it. I just tell him Baby has to eat. When The Bear knows The Monkey is hungry, he'll bring me the boppy so I can feed him. He's 2 so I don't feel like it's anything inappropriate.

The Bear walked up to me holding his dinosaur and asked me to pick him up. I thought he just needed some love.

I picked him and tried to give him a hug.

The Bear shoves his dinosaur down my shirt. I pulled it out and asked him what he was doing. He said, "Dinosaur eat."

Apparently, I'm a dinosaur momma too.

favorite photo friday

I went to look through my pictures to see which one(s) was my favorite this week. I was shocked to discover I haven't uploaded pictures from my camera since the 6th. That's just crazy long for me.

I'm choosing not to waste all of the boys' nap time uploading pictures today. So while I don't have a picture of the boys, I do have one that is actually my favorite of the week.

Hubby has a port visit! We've been able to Skype which is wonderful. He was being a dork wearing his sunglasses in a bar. Yes, he spent 2 hours sitting in a bar on his computer so he could use their free wi-fi. He has the headphones in so he can actually hear us over the 70s and 80s music. I believe 3 Michael Jackson songs were played during our chat.

He's the best Hubby. It had only been 2 weeks, but we sure missed him.



Glee makes my heart happy.

Seriously all major world decisions should be made after watching it. The world would be a much happier place.


day two & three

Holy moly! Saturday and Sunday sure were different than the emotionally exhausting Friday. I was afraid to post yesterday and jinx myself.

Saturday at 11:45 am The Bear told me he had to go potty. We scurried over and he went. Like immediately. It clicked. He woke up wet after his nap yesterday. But, he told me when he had to poop. (Sorry if this is over sharing for some people. It's a BIG deal in our world though.) He had one accident yesterday, but it was really more my fault than his. He stopped immediately and finished in the potty.

This morning he woke up dry after all night. This might be because The Monkey woke us both up at 6:30, but that's a whole other issue. He went all day today without an accident. Dry during naps. Told me before going every single time. I am so very proud of him.

He was completely in diapers on Thursday. And all the signs of readiness were non-existent. He woke up wet from naps and night time. He had no real interest in the potty. He didn't mind sitting in a wet diaper. 90% of the time he wouldn't even tell me after he had gone.

I'm sure there will be the occasional accident, but I'm declaring him potty trained tonight.

We loosely followed Lora Jensen's plan. It was exhausting the first day, but it really did happen in 3 days. Part of buying her ebook was pledging not to share her "secrets" with others. There were some helpful hints, but most of her advice I found free in other places online. She does have a help desk for parents that need some extra support. We also adapted the plan to fit us. Part of being a stay at home mom is knowing my children. Like knowing knowing and knowing what will work for them. We did a gradual progression of clothing. Friday, The Bear ran around with no bottoms and a big tshirt. Saturday was real undies. Today was fully dressed with real undies. (You have no idea how cute his little tush is in super hero unders though.) I also tracked the times he went and what happened. If he told me, if he finished on the potty, what he was doing . . . It really helped me to figure out his natural schedule so I knew when to anticipate him needing to go.

Tomorrow we're venturing out of the house for the first time since Thursday. I'm a little scared. He doesn't always give me the most notice, but it's a learning experience.
And, we'll have our potty with us and an extra change of clothes. Just in case :-)


day one

Little Bear,

Today we began the journey that is potty training. In true Momma and Bear fashion, we jumped right into it. You get your over the top emotional nature from me, and so it's best for us to just throw ourselves into big changes.

It was the longest, most draining day I've had with you since the day you came home from the hospital. Since you were running around with no pants on and I like our furniture, I had to be constantly watching you. Waiting. Waiting for you to go to the bathroom so I could yell "Potty!", grab you and run to your potty chair. Not the most glamourous moments of my life for sure.

You're quite lucky that The Monkey is such a mellow baby and was content to be ignored most of the day. I had some major mommy guilt for the lack of involvement with him. Please know that during your life there will be days like today in reverse in which The Monkey gets the constant attention and you must be content to be fed, safe and clean.

After you and your brother were in bed for the night, I felt about 3,000 pounds lighter. I could close my eyes for 2 seconds without the fear of opening them and finding a huge mess. I felt desperately alone that I'm doing this without your Daddy here. I miss him so, and it seems all the big transitions in your life are done when I'm alone. Ditching the pacifier, moving to a big boy bed, potty training . . . It didn't seem fair. I didn't know how I would last 2 more days inside the house all alone with both of you. "They" say to not go anywhere the first 3 days. What had I gotten myself into? Should I have just waited until you potty trained yourself? It would happen eventually.

In my totally emotionally exhausted state, I found shame. I am not a stay at home mother for me. I do it for you. While the thought of paying someone to potty train you did sound appealing, I love that I'm the one teaching you these things. While you're learning how to function as a big boy, I'm learning about you. I know your body language. I know your thoughts. I love that I know my son. Daddy might not have to deal with the stress, but he also misses a lot of big moments. I don't. I get to be there for it all. And, you know. It was a long day. But, today is over. And tomorrow will be over soon, too.

Soon you'll be all grown up. I'm not quite ready for that yet. Day 2 of potty training seems like a piece of cake compared to dropping you off at college.

Bring it on, buddy. We can do this.

Love, Momma


it's for the baby

One of my favorite things about nursing my children:

Eating The Monkey's chocolate Easter bunny (from my mom, I did not buy a 4 month old chocolate) and being able to justify it's for him.


bye bye boat

Well, it's for real this time.

Hubby left this morning.

The Bear handled it (mostly) well. We made it a race to see how many stops we could see them leaving at. The Bear was totally fine - lots of "bye bye Dada" and "bye bye boat"ing with kisses. Until the last stop. I'm not sure how he knew it was his last good bye. He started crying. I thought he had hit his nose on the railing. I asked him what was wrong.

His response was "boat all gone".

Deployment 2010 is officially underway.

Swim safely, my love. We'll be waiting for you.