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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

Trey's first Christmas was so fun and memorable. We were at my mom's house along with all my siblings and their kids. I loved it!!! It was a Christmas miracle! We also woke up to a white Christmas. The first in Alabama history. We opened our presents while the snow was falling - it was too cool. After a delicious breakfast casserole Kimberly made, we all went back to sleep for a nap. The Harris's came over for lunch and then we went to Uncle Jimmy's for dinner with the Bynum's. It was a very busy day! The 26th was just as busy. We went to Bruce's Aunt Linda's house with all of his family. David and Katie were there and it was nice to see them for a hot second. Then we drove to Helena to Uncle Steve's for Christmas with the Bailey's. Dad was actually somewhat normal. What a relief.

Through all this travel Trey has slept in so many different beds, but he has done amazingly well! I was worried about nap time, because he usually sleeps in his swing, but he has started falling asleep on his own in his bed! It is amazing!! I'll put him in his bed and say "lay down!" and he actually lays down! It takes him a few minutes to fall asleep - he will stand up and talk and giggle and throw his paci, but then he will bend over and lay his head down and wiggle around until he's asleep. I'm so proud of him! Such a relief! He is also still sleeping 12 hours at night. I couldn't ask for a better travel baby.

We were such a sight when we traveled to Alabama on Dec 23. At the airport, we had 5 checked bags, 2 carry on bags, a baby bag, a stroller, a dog in a crate, and a baby. Security ended up not being a problem at all and we zoomed on through. Maggie did really well considering it was her first time to fly. And Trey slept on both legs of the flight. Timing and everything worked out perfectly. I was so relieved. I don't look forward to flying back to Utah in April by myself. It will be a challenge without Bruce.

About a week ago, I was telling everybody that Trey wasn't really saying much - as far as words or things that make any sense. Well he has really changed that within the past few days. He has been saying mama mama over and over and it completely melts my heart. Today he started saying dada dada - the first time ever! I love his baby babble.

We have noticed him becoming so smart. It's amazing how quickly they change from an infant who just sits there and into a little toddler walking around, getting into everything and learning all sorts of things. There is this toy where you put a ball into a hole and it slides down a little slide. I did it one time for him and then asked him if he could do it and he immediately did it! I was so amazed. Later, I had been playing with him with this Winnie the Pooh toy that has 3 characters - the Tigger, Roo, and Piglet. Later Glenda got the same toy out and Trey reached into the cavernous toy box and drew out those 3 characters to go with it. He knew which ones to grab! Such a smart cookie.

Bruce leaves for Utah tomorrow and then he's off to Afghanistan on Jan 11th. It doesn't seem real yet and I've yet to have an emotional breakdown. Hopefully I can hold it together when we say goodbye at the Huntsville airport.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
12-oz. bottle red taco sauce
4-oz. can green chiles, chopped
2-3 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 1/4-oz. can corn, drained
15-oz. can tomato sauce
2 c. water
1 1/4-oz. pkg taco seasoning mix, I used hot
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, corn chips

Brown beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat; drain. In a slow cooker, combine beef mixture and remaining ingredients except garnishes. Cover and cook on high setting one hour. Serve with garnishes, if desired. Serves 8-10.

Fried Okra Salad

2 lb. pkg. frozen breaded okra
10 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. vinegar

Fry okra according to package directions; drain. Combine okra, bacon, tomatoes and green onions; set aside. Mix together remaining ingredients; pour dressing over okra mixture. Best served at room temperature. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Delicious! Enjoy!

Everything Happens in Stages and Phases

I've learned that with a baby everything happens in phases and stages. And this is a bittersweet realization. For instance, if you are going through a phase where you aren't getting very much sleep, you will come out of it eventually and everybody will sleep like a baby. And there is nothing better than coming out of that phase. But I had a stage that went away and I was heartbroken. Trey decided a month or two ago that he did not want me to rock him to sleep. He would squirm and worm his way out of my grasp until i had to just lay him in his bed, pat his back a little, and let him fall asleep on his own. This lasted a few weeks, but as a result, he started sleeping better; sometimes going 8+ hours without waking up. (Trey has never really been a good sleeper until recently. His max would be around 5+ hours.) So I embraced the new phase and got used to not rocking him to sleep. About a week ago, he started either falling asleep while I nursed him, or actually letting me rock him to sleep again. I was in love all over. It is such a sweet and special time for a mother. I was scared that he would go back to his old sleep routine, but actually he started sleeping even longer! Now he's up to 12+ hours of unblemished sleep. (Which since he goes to bed at 7ish, gives mommy 8+ hours of sleep.) It took my body some getting used to it, but I slept 8 hours straight the other night for the first time since I was pregnant. Hallelujah!

Another phase he is going through is so funny! He sucks his top lip in to where it completely disappears and it looks hilarious. It mostly happens when he's eating but I find him doing it every so often and he makes me laugh. When I do it back to him, to try and get him to mimic me, he doesn't understand. He just laughs at my silly face. Can't you tell we have fun together?

As of about a week ago, Trey can officially stand up on his own. Before, he would have to crawl over to a wall or something steady and pull himself up to walk. Now he bends over in the downward dog yoga position and lifts up. I am so proud of him! And it is absolutely adorable!

When I hold my arms out to Trey and tell him to "come here" he gets this huge smile on his face, shrieks with excitement, puts his head slightly down and almost runs to me. I grab him in a big bear hug and smother him with kisses. It is precious and one of my favorite things we do.

I have been on a reading FRENZY lately. I guess I'm averaging about a book a week or so. Especially when I'm really into it. I started this new series called The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. It has been a wonderful break from the Rick Riordan books I've read recently with all the monsters and magical powers and whatnot. Which are great in their own way, but I wanted something different. It is a young adult romance set in 1899. The fashion and history about what life was like back then has captivated me. It is told from the perspective of 5 different people, all from different backgrounds and social statuses. There is mystery and scandal and sweet love. I haven't read a plain old romance in a while and it's like a breath of fresh air. There are 4 books in the series. Book 1 was addictive and wonderful. I started book 2 last night and it is just as good. Reading is my way of escaping from everyday life. I'm so thankful for it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Funny Little Guy

Sometimes Trey does the funniest stuff and totally cracks me up. It is amazing how a 10 month old can already have so much personality. Now that he's walking all over the place, he can sometimes get out of my sight. Lately he's been wandering down the hall, trying to find something to get into. One morning I hear the door slam and I go to see what's going on. He has gone into the office and has shut the door on his own and is giggling inside. I knock on the door and slowly walk in. He puts his head to the floor and is laughing at himself as if he's discovered a secret I don't know about. I sit down on the futon and watch quietly. He is getting such a kick out of opening and shutting the door. (The door isn't closing all the way because our doors are jacked up, the latch never catches.) He is able to use those chubby little fingers to pry it back open, watch it swing out and then slam it shut again. He now does this to all the doors in the house. He especially likes to do this with the pantry door, along with pulling everything in sight off the shelf.

In our guest bathroom there are three drawers and in the bottom drawer are a bunch of old shower curtain hooks. Trey loves to open and shut drawers, but especially this one. The hooks clank around and make lots of noise. There is a particular gold hook with a big gold ball on the end. He searches until he finds this hook and then walks around with it until I find him with it and take it away. He loves that gold hook.

I am praising the Lord because Trey has slept 12 STRAIGHT hours the past two nights. It is so wonderful. He has gradually made his way here after 10 months. He used to get up every four hours, but slept 12 hours. Then he started sleeping 8 hours, woke up to eat, then went back to sleep for another 4 hours. But 2 nights ago was the first night EVER he slept 12 hours straight. I couldn't believe he did it again last night. Of course, my boobs don't exactly know what to think, but we will learn to deal because this is a gift from God!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 Months

My little man is 10 months old as of yesterday. He is such a mess. He is walking so well now and is into everything, I mean EVERYTHING. One of his favorite things to get into is Maggie's dog food. We have found him sitting by her bowl with food in his hands (once in his mouth, eww!) several times. What is the appeal here? Probably the fact that I tell him no every time he goes near it. But life is changing by the day as he is finding new and exciting things to explore. Like Mommy's bookcase. Which I let him pull all the books off of - I don't want to stifle every curiosity! He follows me around the house like my shadow. It is so adorable to be so adored. Sometimes he gets a certain object in his hand (like a bag of buns, my chapstick, my iPod, etc.) and walks around with it, and will NOT put it down. This could go on for a while and is so funny to watch. He is determined to hang on to it. I'm figuring out that learning to walk is dangerous! He has so many bumps and bruises, especially on his face. I need a tshirt for him that says "life's tough. get a helmet."I still can't believe he is walking. He's too little to walk! Where did my little infant go? I told Bruce we now have a TODDLER in the house! It's unbelievable.

He still crawls sometimes to get where he is going, maybe it's easier and faster. He has started crawling with his head down, almost like it will make him go faster. Aerodynamic. It is so funny. He bumps into things all the time because he's not watching where he's going. Once again, a helmet would be nice.

He is eating some table food, but since he has no teeth we stick mainly to baby food. He LOVES bread of all kinds; especially biscuits from Cracker Barrel. I gave him some pasta the other night with some red sauce and cheese and a little meat. He really liked it. I try and give him little bites of the things we eat and he will eat just about anything.

He is quite the jabber monkey lately, but no new words that I know of. He was saying "mama" at 5 months, but I haven't heard it in a while. Still no "dada." He constantly makes the sound "unk" with a hard k sound at the end. Who knows what that is supposed to be!?

He has been sleeping great lately. I love it! He sleeps for 8 hours, wakes up to eat then goes back to sleep for another 4-5 hours. He also takes 2 naps during the day, which range in how long they are. He still loves to take his naps in his swing.

Bruce will be deploying 11 Jan for 4 months to Bagram in Afghanistan. He has volunteered 5 times and was finally chosen. I can see how truly excited and thrilled he is, which makes me happy for him. He is a true patriot. Deploying means so much to him and I fully support his dreams. He has talked about deploying several times and we thought he was going to deploy this December, so I've had some time to get used to the idea. Four months is actually a really short deployment compared to others. However, I know it will be difficult to be apart for so long, so I have decided to go home to Alabama for a few months while he's away. I am excited about the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Martha and Kyle are expecting John Asher around 10 Apr and hopefully we will be able to see the little man. Being in Utah has kept us from several family events; I am glad to be there for such a big one.

We are all going to Alabama for Christmas on 23 Dec - 4 Jan, and I am thankful we will get to spend the holidays together. I am so blessed to be with my family this Christmas. It will be Trey's first Christmas (yay!) so I know it will be super special. I can't wait!