Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't Bother Me, I'm Teething.

Man, people are not kidding when they say teething sucks! Caleb has been a bear this week--waking up randomly at night to cry, bursting into tears when nothing appears to be wrong, and constantly trying to eat his crib. I can see that another one of his top teeth is trying to cut the gums, but it's taking its precious time making an appearance! In the mean time, poor bubs is just miserable. Here's a picture of Caleb sucking on his fingers while he naps. He's not a thumb sucker, he needs more than one finger! (His shirt, by the way, says "Super Cool Dude" and was only one pound at Tesco!)

Caleb and I attended Azariah's birthday party last night. It was a gorgeous night for an outdoor party. I made the mistake of giving Caleb a bit of frosting from my cake. I do mean a bit. If he got a half a teaspoon total, I'd be surprised. He's had frosting before, but never that late (it was about 6:30 or later when we had cake.) Well, that monkey buns would not sleep last night! He's normally down by 9, but he was up and ready to party until 11:30. I was so tired. To top off his wakefulness, he was so crabby about his teeth! I was exhausted when I finally hit the sheets.

Other than the teething, though, he's doing really well! I'm trying to make him hang around Maddux more often because Maddux can feed himself. Caleb is so uninterested in feeding himself! He's almost 10 months old and refuses to hold his bottle or feed himself even small foods like crackers and Gerber Puffs. He loves to eat, but has no interest in working for his food.

Hmm, why does that sound so famliar? Oh, right! Failed attempts at nursing!

Eh, he'll catch on some day...right?!

Friday, July 25, 2008


The best part of being a military spouse is homecomings. You know how married people complain that the excitement of the first date is hard to recapture? That's true. But the anticipation of seeing your spouse for the first time in a half a year rivals those feelings, and may even surpass that excitement. Deciding what to wear, how to do your hair, and imagining what it will be like is enough to make a person sick.

Today my friend Leah's husband returned from about six or so months in Iraq, and I don't remember ever being this excited for another wive's homecoming. I admire Leah more than I can say. I hear military wives say that their husbands are their heroes, and I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of my husband's service and dedication to the US Air Force. But when I see a mom like Leah with three kids "hold down the fort" by herself for half a year, it amazes me.

This is a hard, hard job. The next time my husband leaves, I'll have a child that is completely dependent on me -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The AF has implemented some great programs to provide releif for spouses of deployed memebers. And even though I feel like I've created a pretty solid support system for myself here, losing your biggest support and best friend for months and months is an overwhelming situation. Adding a child that you have to maintain a sense of stability for while Dad's gone is just one more thing that can make a person lose their mind.

I just want to say how honored I am to know so many strong women. You all are inspirations to me; you are examples of strength, fortitude and courage. More than that, you are my friends. I feel so lucky to have come to Mildenahll for this assignment. I don't think I would have been nearly as close to my military community if our assignment had been stateside as I am here. Thank you for making me a stronger spouse and a stronger person.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tassies and Push Ups

I guess everyone has their own spending obsession. Within the military wives community, some of the more common spending obsessions are Coach purses, Longaberger baskets, and Pampered Chef kitchen tools. I fall into the last catergory, probably because it's the most affordable. This year I've purchased a junk load of Pampred Chef stuff and have really enjoyed trying them all out. My husband gripes at my spending habits with Pampered Chef, but I think he can't complain too much if it encourages me to cook more and to try new recipes.

Today I used my mini-muffin pan, my mini-tart shaper and my flour/sugar shaker to make Mini Pecan Tassies. I combined 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour with a 1/2 cup of all purpose flour in place of one full cup of all purpose flour. I also used the Splenda brown sugar mix instead of regular brown sugar. Next time I may use reduced fat cream cheese, too. I know I can't make mini tarts healthy, but at least I can try to make them healthier.

Here's a picture of the tarts (minus the two I ate! Haha!) They are really yummy. The filling reminds me of those sugar roasted pecans you can buy in the mall. Mmm!

Okay, now that I've shared my bad sugary habits with you, I'm going to share my attempts at becoming stronger! Someone recently posted that he was going to do the 100 push-ups challenge, and I was intrigued. I have NO upper arm strength. (Shoot, let's be honest. I have very little strenght at all!) But what really interests me is bragging rights. Can you imagine ME being able to honestly say, "I can do a hundred push ups!" Yeah, me either.

Anyway, the program promises that you'll be able to do a hundred push ups in six weeks. We'll see! I did the initial test today and only did 15. Sad, I know. So check in with me in six weeks and see if I stuck with it! Haha. :) I'll try and update here with how I'm doing. Check out the website. If you decide to do it, let me know!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'll Stop the World and Melt with You...

When Caleb was younger (because he's so much older than he used to be!) he used to instinctively grab my thumb if I put it anywhere near his hand. It was a reflexive act and didn't necessarily communicate anything, but it melted my heart each time. I remember offering my thumb to a friend's 1 year old, who was completely uninterested in it, and realizing, "Oh. Someday he won't want my thumb."

This week, I realized that Caleb isn't grabbing my thumb any more. Well, he'll grab it if he wants to stand in my lap, but that instinctive grab every time my hand drew near is gone. It surprised me to realize this, and I wondered how long it had been happening. Have I been unaware?

Because there's so much more to be aware of now. He's crawling like it's going out of style. Each evening he spends countless minutes crawling from my office to Tommy's and back again. And he's trying so desperately to pull himself up with the help of furniture, legs, toys, etc. He can put himself in a kneeling position, but hasn't figure out how to stand up yet. And that frustrates him. He's had a taste of being mobile through crawling and is now ready to conquer the world.

But my favorite new development is Caleb's own version of a hug and kiss combo. If he's in the hugging mood and my face is close enough, he puts his hands on either side of my head, pulls my face to his and squeezes me with his whole being. Then he makes his happy noise, which is essentially a closed-mouth, "mmmMMMMmmm!" but about a thousand times cuter than those "m"s can communicate.

Now the thing with his hug/kiss combo is that he's very, very selective about giving it. He doesn't kiss on command, and he doesn't kiss often. There's nothing reflexive about his new form of affection. He picks when and wear he's ready to give a hug.

But when he does choose to give that hug/kiss, the world could cease to exist for all I care.

He's growing, and it's amazing. For each little mark of infanthood that sadly disappears, the most amazing changes take its place. I still can't believe how lucky I am that I get to be along for the ride in his adventures.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Just Can't Wait To Be King!

I love Cher's "Do You Believe in Life After Love?" I'm not ashamed to admit that. I'm not a big fan of Cher. But while I worked a retail job, the video wall we had played this song about a thousand times. You'd think that would turn me off to the song, as it did for many others, but that's not the case. I think I know every word. It's just a great pop song and perfect to sing along to.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I just want to say what a fantastic birthday this has been! My birthday was on Thursday, and it has been such a fun week. This is the first time ever that I've been able to celebrate my birthday with my husband, and we just celebrated our 4th anniversary last month. It's so nice to have him home this year.

Wednesday night we enjoyed steaks at the Enlisted Club on base. The have steak night about twice a month, and I kept telling Tommy I wanted steak for my birthday. So when we saw 2-for-1 steaks the night before my birthday, we decided "Let's do it!"

On my actual birthday, I went to Angelsey Abbey near Cambridge with my friend Robin. It was a nice house, but a little darker than I expected. The wood was very dark, and most of the windows were closed. They had some interesting art, furniture, and a display of opulent crucifixes. We couldn't bring strollers into the house (and I had forgotten mine, anyway), so the lady at the door offered to let me use a Hippy Chick hip seat for Caleb. It was pretty cool! It really helped alleviate the pressure of the weight of my little chunker. The Abbey also had very beautiful gardens that we wandered around for a while. Luckily the rain held off until we left the Abbey grounds.

And then today, Tommy and I went to London (sans-Caleb) and saw The Lion King in the West End! It really was an amazing show. The sets and costumes and music were unbelievable. I didn't know they could do those kinds of things with the stage! The way they constructed the animals to be part-human and part-puppet was phenomenal. The scene where the wildebeests stampede and end up killing Mufasa was very creatively done. And the ballet dancing during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" was beautiful.

However, even though everything looked incredible, some of the actors didn't do the trick for me. I really loved the actress that played Rafiki, the monkey voodoo priest-type person. In the movie, Rafiki is a mail, but in the play (at least the London production of it, anyway) Rafiki is female, and the actress did a great job. I also loved the actor that played Pumba. He was hilarious!

But the actor that played Zazu, the bird that is Mufasa's advisor, really didn't do the trick for me. I just didn't enjoy his performance. His comedic delivery was just...off. For many of the bird's antics in the first half of the show, there was little to no laughter from the audience. It wasn't that the jokes were terrible, they just fell flat in his delivery. That really kind of detracted from the overall perfomance for me.

Having said that, I still loved it. It was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and a great birthday gift!

(Sorry for no pics this time. Blogger hates me!)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I've been thinking tonight about investment and how little invested I am in many parts of my life. I keep my invovlement in many things low-risk. And although that makes life safe and comfortable, it has also made it rather boring.

Have you ever resented teachers for giving you a grade you didn't deserve? I'm not talking about a bad grade. I've turned in so many papers that recieved A's they weren't worthy of. In my surprise I have wondered, "Do they really think that's the best I could do?" And even though I know I am capable of doing better work, what motivation is there to do so? Why work harder when a half-hearted attemped will get the grade?

I am capable of more, and I know it. Not just academically. Honestly, in the end, what will a degree matter? But my effort...what will I be able to say of my effort?

Outside of school, I also find myself giving half-hearted attempts in many areas of my life. I'd like to say that I've struggled to lose the last bit of baby weight, but that's not the truth. It's no struggle. I just choose to eat foods that don't benefit my body. I choose to be lazy about working out regularly. It's hardly a struggle if I'm not trying. If I were committed to my health, the weight wouldn't even be a concern. If I were committed to setting a good example of healthy living for my son, I wouldn't keep looking at those pre-pregnancy jeans and feeling disappointed.

Most disturbing for myself is how little I've invested in my own faith over the last decade. (Holy crap, you're getting old when you can categorize your life in decades, aren't you?) The thing that disappoints me the most is that when I question the tradition of faith I've been raised in, I don't search out the answers. I tuck everything away in dusty, old cupboards and don't bother looking in their for years. I desperately want to know my own faith...not because it's what I've been taught, but because I've searched out answers myself and it's what I beleive.

Not to get all Mariah Carey on you, but sometimes I wish I was a butterfly. There are so many changes I want to see in my life, that's it's overwhelming to think of where to begin. I want to wrap myself up in a cocoon and come out new. I want to wake up with a revived sense of pupose and ambition.

This is the problem with growing up and marrying into the military: when I think of starting new, I think of moving. I think that a PCS (permanent change of station) will be the answer. No, it won't fix things, but it'll give me a clean slate to become the new and improved Kelly with all the answers and smaller jeans.

But after almost 29 years of military living, I know a change of location does not equal a change of heart.

What is it that truly motivates people to make the changes they desire in themselves? It can't just be frustration with the current circumstances, because I have that, but I lack motivation. It can't just be a desire to become who you want to be, because I have that, too. What is motivation? What causes it to take you from wanting change to making change?

Perhaps it's just one good choice. And then another. Perhaps it's just breaking it down from the whole into parts and realized that I can't change myself. But I can make one good choice. And if I make one good choice, maybe I could do that again tomorrow.

I don't know. I just know that as happy as I am with my life in general, I'm dissatisfied with my own level of investment in these areas and others. I want to be a girl who is unafraid to take risks. I want to be someone who produces ideas, even if some (or most) of them are crap. I want to be someone who puts her heart into the projects she's involved in, not just her head.

I want to stop writing blogs like this and start writing blogs about the life I'm living, not dreaming about.