Monday, December 19, 2011

Some of the things I never thought I do...

...and then I became a mother.

1) Have my morning routine--that used to take 45 minutes--down to the time it takes for my son's mobile to play twice. AND I still get the same things down. WHAT was I doing before that made me take so long? I guess I just knew that I didn't HAVE to be done fast.

2) Go out in public without a shower and makeup and with my hair looking slightly better than the bird's nest outside our house. I had to run to Walgreens for my sick husband and I had a cranky--possibly teething--baby with me. I'm just thankful that's there's no "People of Walgreens" website or my "look" might have made it on there that day.

3) Get up at 5:45AM and like it. Love it even. R decided to wake up and stay up at that time the other morning. After watching him smile and giggle for a while, I decided this early morning stuff wasn't half bad.

4) Sing 24-7. I know that's a scary thought to some, but R seems to love hearing me sing. Often, when he's really cranky, it's the only thing that will soothe him. His favorite songs? ABCs and Rock-a-bye baby. We also sing many, many other songs--including Christmas songs.

5) Stay in on the weekend and enjoy it. I'm not saying that I don't like to have company or go places and I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy some home relaxation time before; however, I've found a new appreciation for staying in and relaxing with the hubby on weekend evenings. We watch "Bones" on Netflix and eat dinner together. Very relaxing.

6)Do chores with only one hand and/or pick things up with my feet. Yep, I know, this makes me sound a bit like a gorilla. There have been many moments in motherhood where I've done chores one-handed with R on my hip. There have also been moments when I needed something off the floor while rocking R and have picked it up with my toes. Yep, I'm adaptable...haha.

What is something you've done that surprises you now that you have a child(ren)?

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Right now I'm...

...back from my LONG holiday hiatus. Christmas for us happened at the beginning of December when my family came to visit and will be happening again at the end of December when the hub's family comes to visit. Christmas day? We'll likely exchange a few gifts between us and then shower our R with his first Christmas gifts; it'll be a laid back, low key day. However, I will miss my family dearly. This is one of the first Christmas seasons that I have not been anywhere near home.

...missing my baby boy. He's here, but asleep and I find that I'm comforted by the fact that he's sleeping so soundly, but I miss those chubby cheekers. Am I the only mom who checks on their baby at least every hour while I'm awake? Oh well, he's adorable and totally worth every second. a weird cross roads between normal time and "Navy time." My husband is working strange hours right now for the Navy and is on a 7 days on, 2 days off kind of rotation. I'm finding now that even though tonight is the beginning of the weekend for many, it's really just another work day for us.

...counting all my blessings: loving, hard-working husband; sweet, adorable baby boy; wonderful, supportive family; great friends both near and far; roof over our head; food on our table; happy 99% of the time--life is good. I realized the other day, to my great joy, that I have everything I've ever wished for. Don't get me wrong, I'd like more children in my future, but I am so blessed to be living my own dreams out!

...thinking that my book (a loaner for my mother-in-law) is calling my name. She lends me the greatest novels. If only I were a faster reader and then I could begin to make a dent in the pile of delicious novels I have.

...thinking that a relaxing bath with said book is in order for the near future!

...wondering what the rest of the world is up to tonight. Or rather my Navy wife friends, friends back in the good ole O-H-I-O and my other family members.

...wishing a very happy birthday to one of my best friends from home. Love you Nici!

...contemplating a super top secret part-time from home job opportunity that has been offered to me by my parents. Okay, it's not that top secret, but it's not time to shout it from the roof tops yet, until I've thought it through a bit more. I am excited though!

...finding that I worry a lot about being a good mother to my R. He's such a HUGE blessing. I just hope I'm doing justice to this whole job of mom. My husband thinks I need to lighten up on myself. He's probably right.

...craving some chocolate Almond Dream ice cream. Yes, you heard cream made from Almond milk. Divine! And R friendly, since he's exclusively breastfed and has had trouble with dairy anytime I've had it.

...thinking that I really need to get my Christmas shopping done. Like yesterday...

...wondering if my R is cutting a tooth. He's had a ton of drool, is chewing everything he can get his hands on, and has had a few cranky days lately. I can't imagine that getting a tooth is comfortable. Yowza...poor little cutie.

...realizing that I have a bookmark on my computer for my friend Brittany's blog, but not one for my own.

...feeling a little ridiculous about just spending 2 hours on facebook. In my defense though, I was researching for a good 1.5 of those 2 hours for my potential part time job. disbelief over the fact that my husband will be finished with his 2 years of training in 3.5 short months.

...deciding that I'm done for the night with the post, but will be back again soon! I promise to not be gone as long this time...i.e. see you at least by Monday! :-)

Night all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Military Wives

I found this on facebook of all places and I loved it!! I have found that military wives are very strong (and yet flexible) women. I'm proud to be a military wife and proud to be friends with the amazing military wives I know!

"What is a military wife...
Each one may look different and each is wonderfully unique,... but this they have in common:... Lots of moving...
Moving far from home...
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house;
Moving curtains that won't fit;
Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.
Moving away from friends;
Moving toward new friends;
Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.
Often waiting...
Waiting for housing.
Waiting for orders.
Waiting for deployments.
Waiting for phone calls.
Waiting for reunions.
Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.
Waiting for him to come home,
For dinner...AGAIN!
They call her 'Military Dependent',
but she knows better:She is fiercely In-Dependent.
She can balance a check book;
Handle the yard work;
Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet...
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes;
Sell a house;
Buy a car;
Or set up a move
........all with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
She reinvents her career with every PCS;
Locates a house in the desert,
The Arctic,
Or the deep south.
And learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.
Military Wives are somewhat hasty...
They leap into:
Career alternatives,
And friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.
Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:
They connect over coffee,
Rely on the spouse network,
Accept offers of friendship and favors.
Record addresses in pencil...
Military Wives have a common bond:
The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands;
his commitment is unique.
He doesn't have a 'JOB'
He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...
He's on-call for his country 24/7.
But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long- distance link to keep them informed;
the glue that holds them together.
A Military Wife has her moments:
She wants to wring his neck;
Dye his uniform pink;
Refuse to move to Siberia;
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days,
A travel brochure,
A long hot bath,
A pledge to the flag,
A wedding picture,
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.
What for?
How come?
You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart .
It was stolen from her by a man,
Who puts duty first,
Who longs to deploy,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, she will remain his military wife."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Be still my beating heart...

My sweet boy laughed today.

Oh the sweet melody that is R's giggles.

And just when I think my heart might explode with joy from the sound of his laughter, he squealed! Did I mention that he also picked up his baby keys and shook them?


R has been smiling the sweetest smiles since about 6 weeks old, but this is the first time I remember him really laughing and holding onto a hard toy without us putting it in his hand. (He's been picking up and holding onto soft stuff toys by himself for a few weeks.)

And what caused his sweet laughter?

The raspberries...on his sweet "piggies." Gets 'em every time.

It's really neat to see each new stage with our baby. And to see him come into his own sweet personality.

I'm forever excited for the next thing he'll do!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Behind the scenes...

I think that sometimes Hollywood may have given us a romanticized view of having your other half in the military.

Sure there's the beautiful reunions after months apart where a handsome man in uniform hugs you so tight it takes your breath away and there's the military balls where you gets to play Cinderella for the evening. Not to mention, of course, the steadfast pride you feel in your heart knowing that your husband is serving his country.

However, it goes without saying that having a husband is the Navy isn't always easy.

Take today for example...

My husband is already gone from 5:00AM-7:30PM every day of the week. Now he's been told he must stay at least another 2 hours each day until further notice.

The hubs usually misses seeing R by 30 minutes or so when coming home at 7:30 (except for the occasional night when R would still be up), but now he will miss him every night.

I know the hubs will do everything he can to spend as much time as possible with the baby on the weekends. I know that R will grow up confident that this daddy loves him and will always be there for him.

Still I feel sad knowing that the hubs misses out on R's snuggles, cuddles, and smiles during the week. It's the best kind after all.

Now I know what you might be thinking..."oh not another whiny military wife!"

I KNOW this is part of what we signed up for and I accept that, but that doesn't always make it easy. I am, after all, still entitled to feeling bummed now and again.

Now, with all of that said, I am still ever grateful for the many benefits of being in the service and I plan to view this as preparation for deployments. We're a strong couple and a strong family and I feel confident we'll make it through this with flying colors and will soon be moving onto the next chapter in our Navy life.

Thank you for your service dear and thank you, as always, for being such a fabulous provider for R and me. We love you always and forever.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

No matter how hard the day before is...

...I always look forward to the huge smile R gives me when he wakes up in the next morning.

Some nights I go to bed feeling like I could sleep for days after R's had a I-will-not-nap-yet-I'm-super-cranky day; still, the next morning is always a new day and I'm always greeted with my baby boy's sweet smile.

Parenting is the toughest job I've ever had and yet still is, and always will be, the greatest job in the entire world.

Love that baby boy's sweet smile.

Do I really have to let him get married someday?!?!?!? ;-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tomorrow... election day. An very important day in our country. We are so blessed to have a say in how our government works and who works for us. I know it's not a perfect system, but I'm proud to live in a country with the freedom to say what I want, worship the way I want, and vote for the people/things I want. R's 3 month birthday! I can NOT believe 3 months has already gone by! I fall more and more in love with that sweet baby face each and every passing second. I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to give him away to a woman someday. Now I know how my mother-in-law must feel about my husband and I actually feel somewhat bad for taking her baby away.

...marks 9 years with the hubs! Not 9 years of marriage, mind you, but 9 years as a "couple." We have been through so much together in our 9 years: prom, high school graduation, college--at 2 separate universities, college graduation, our beautiful wedding day, my first "big girl" job, saying goodbye to some beloved family members at funerals, joining the Navy, moving 10+ hours from our family and friends, and the birth of our precious son--just to name a few. Not to mention the more mundane things like sicknesses, bills and other financial planning items, etc. etc. etc.

The thing about dealing with the good, the bad, and ugly (you haven't seen me when I just wake up...ha!) is that I love him more now than I did a year ago, and I loved him more then than I did the year before.

I know that love at first sight is a romantic idea, but I feel that my husband and I (along with other happily married couples like my parents and his parents) are prime examples that love only multiplies over time.

I know my life has been bettered by his presence and I'm thankful for the 9 years we've had together and I look forward to 90 more.

I love you dear.

Friday, November 4, 2011

No "sick" days

Today started out like any normal Friday. R and I got up and headed to "Stroller Rollers." A workout class for mom and baby offered on base and taught by one of my dearest friends.

What wasn't normal about today was what happened after we returned home. R went down for a nap and I started to tidy up around the house.

Then it hit me...

Waves of horrible nausea. The kind that makes you feel gross all over and make you want to crawl into bed and never come back out.

I decided to use the time I had while R was napping to sneak in a nap too.

It lasted 20 minutes.

R and I then spent the next 2.5 hours before his next nap laying in my bed. I did my best to read to him and play with him while not jostling my tummy too much.

Finally R was back down for a nap and I slept for 1.5 hours he did. It helped. I was not, however, cured yet.

The second half of the day went about the same as the first half. I'd sleep anytime R did, even for 10 minutes, and we'd play and read any time he was awake.
FYI: My stomach does seem to be recovering now. I think it may have been a 24 hour bug.

Thinking back on my day, I realized something. When I was a teacher and I was sick, I'd spend the whole day sleeping and vegging in front of the tv.

Today I did a small amount of sleeping and no vegging.

Mind you, I'm not complaining, because I still think stay-at-home mom is the best job in the entire world.

I am, however, politely pointing this out to anyone who thinks that being a stay-at-home mom is an "easy" or "lazy" job.

There are no "sick" days in motherhood; you still have to be available 24-7 for the boss.

The cutest and greatest boss ever.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

These are the people...

In April, we will be moving.

Where? We don't know yet.

That's the military for you. We expect it and we're okay with it.

Moving will be such a bittersweet experience though.

In some ways I'm excited to see a new part of the country (or world) and in other ways, a lot of other ways, I'm so sad to leave the amazing people we've met here.

We truly have made a "family" here with the people we've met.

These are the people I told I was pregnant, right after telling our immediate families. I knew they'd be with me every step of the way, day in and day out, through all the joys and pains of pregnancy and birth.

These are the people who cooked us dinner for a week after R's birth and after all our family went home.

These are the people I call to hang out with when I'm having a bad day and just need company.

These are the people I will be celebrating the Holidays with this year because my husband's schedule will not allow us to get home to our actual families.

These are the people that can honestly relate to each and every step of our military experience so far...the struggles, the trials, the triumphs, the late nights, the long hours, the early mornings, the impending deployments, the joy in the precious family time we do get with our respective spouses and kids.

These are the people we will never forget.

My only hope is that we have made the same lasting impression on them too.

So I raise my figurative glass to enjoying the next 6 months with our Navy "family" and looking ahead to new places and new faces while always remembering and keeping in touch with the irreplaceable friends we've made here.

Thank you all for changing our lives for the better. We love you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My mother always said...

"There will be days when you literally get nothing done."

I remember her telling me about having days while raising us that she'd find the breakfast dishes still in the sink at 9PM.

"Not me," I'd think. "I'll be on top of things." This is of course insane considering the amount of things my mom juggles and accomplishes daily with an incredible amount of poise and finesse.

Today was one of those days. I did not accomplish anything around the house whatsoever.

The reason? R is growing out of the infant stage and into the baby stage.

Translation? He's not needing to breastfeed as often as he once did.

Does he know this yet? I'm not sure.

He seems to still wants to nurse as often as he used to, but is finding that when he tries there isn't room in his belly yet. This does not please him at all.

And so today went...

Lots of fussiness and frustration from R. It of course frustrating me to see my normally-happy baby so upset. I continued to nurse on demand, but am finding that he's demanding a bit too early now and then upsetting himself further.

And so this evening, what do I find? The dishes in the sink and not a thing scratched off my to-do list.

My mother was right again.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I love being R's mommy. It is the best job in the entire world. It pays in smiles and snuggles, but to me that's worth a million times more than Bill Gates makes in a year. R is my world and I would never trade a second that I spend with him.

However...motherhood is also one of the most exhausting things I've ever done. The last two days our sweet baby has had 1-2 screaming fits out of nowhere. It's frustrating and scary to have our baby screaming literally till he's red in the face. Of course he can't tell us what's bothering him so we spent 10 minutes tossing ideas back and forth, while comforting R, till we finally settled on an air bubble.

That's right...

An air bubble.

Within those 10 minutes he had burped 3 times and passed gas a handful of times and then suddenly all was well with the world again.

It's crazy how a small thing can cause such a major meltdown. Now I'm not complaining, mind you, because I, myself, have experienced the same issue and it's not pleasant. But Lordy be...the panic an air bubble can cause in both baby and mommy. By the time R's second meltdown was over today both he and I were ready for a good night's sleep.

I guess we'll chalk this one up as another lesson of parenthood thus far: the rogue air bubble.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Surprises everyday!

One of the things that I love most about being a mother is all of the new developments I get to witness each day.

Around 6 weeks, we noticed that R was starting to smile, intentionally, at us. Talk about the warm and fuzzy feelings!

Around 9-10 weeks, and especially now in week 11, he's starting to "talk" more and more to us. He'll even hold a conversation of sorts with us. It's so neat to watch him come into his own personality.

We've seen him roll over (albeit on accident, we think, since he hasn't done it since), roll to his side, lift his head 45 degrees during tummy time, and so much more.

But the things that really get me are the stunts that catch me totally off guard.

Take today for example, I put R in his swaddler for his nap. The boy loves to be swaddled. Now if you haven't seen a Summer swaddler, it's basically like a blanket with strategically placed velcro to ensure a snug swaddle. Two hours later, when I hear he's awake, I walk in to get him. What I don't expect is to find that he has escaped his swaddler. Both arms are out of the swaddler and it looks as though he's gotten it unvelcroed as well. He's 2.5 months old. How has he accomplished this?!?

It looks like we won't be in the swaddler much longer. My baby is growing up so fast.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To teethe or not to teethe...

That is the question. The million dollar one actually.

Looking at my sweet baby boy I now see a face full of drool, swollen gums, and a fussier than normal baby. He's only 2.5 months old and so many people tell me that he couldn't possibly be teething yet. I beg to differ. Reading up on teething provide so many different perspectives. Some claim a list of "symptoms" while others claim there really are no distinct "symptoms." Either way, if I've learned anything thus far in parenting, it's that I should trust my gut. Mama knows best. And this mama says my boy is teething.

Now when it comes to teething this early I find that I am a lack for pain relief methods. We don't want to give R any over-the-counter remedies and so there isn't much I can do for the little fella. We have Hyland's homeopathic gel for his gums, but the instructions say that it shouldn't be used until 4 months of age. We also have Sophie the teether, but again we aren't supposed to bust her out until 3 months of age due to the possibility of a latex allergy in babies.

So what's a mama to do? For now lots and lots of cuddling and comforting. And you know what? That's just fine with me. My baby will only be little for so long and I want to cherish every moment of his babyhood just as I plan to cherish every moment of his childhood and adulthood. We're only given so long on this earth and I plan to make sure that R knows his mama loves him and is never too busy to spend quality time with him. He is my #1. The laundry, dishes, and cleaning can wait. Oh darn...;-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Okay, so let's try this again...

About a year and half ago I decided to start a blog. However with our new living situation (a then recent move) and becoming pregnant with our son, I lost track of the blog. Instead of starting up again on that blog, I've decided to start over completely.

Let me start by introducing myself: my name is Liz. I am a Navy wife to my handsome Sailor husband and an extremely proud mommy to our sweet baby boy, R. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the beautiful family and life that I have and I thank God everyday for all it.

How on earth did I come up with the blog title, you say? Good question. Herons are migratory birds and that was part of the reason I picked the name "Flying Like a Heron" for the blog. As a military family, we are constantly on the move and will be until my husband either decides to rejoin the civilian world at the end of a contract or retires from the Navy. Either way, R and I are along for the adventure and will support him 100%. We haven't been in the Navy too long yet; however, I can tell you from the experiences we've had thus far that being a military family isn't for the faint of heart. It's hard having your loved one gone on birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. It's also hard having them work strange hours that the rest of the Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 world isn't working. I will tell you though that it is worth it. We are so blessed to have a steady paycheck and a place to live. I'm also very happy to report that my husband is doing what he loves to do and THAT alone makes every moment worth it.

I guess the other thing you should know about us before divulging too much further into our lives is that we are into natural living. To us this means that we eat mostly organic or natural foods and try to avoid chemicals and preservatives. We also take vitamins and use homeopathic remedies and believe strongly in natural birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and making our own baby food (when the time comes for R to start solids). This will more than likely be a reoccurring theme throughout my posts so I may as well be forthright with it now.

Here's to hoping that try #2 is a success with the blog.