Monday, April 25, 2016

I have MOVED!

Happy Monday y'all!!!!  I just realized that I haven't made the announcement on this blog, but my blog as moved!!!!  I decided I needed a fresh start; one that encompasses every little nook and cranny of my life.  I have loved Ribbons and Rotor Blades but sometimes, although I hate it, change is good!
I plan to start blogging much more regularly (three times a week) once my husband deploys, which sadly is much sooner rather than later.  But for now, we're soaking up every last little bit of family time we can so thanks for understanding!!

Image Map

In the meantime, add my new blog to your blog list, be it Bloglovin, Feedly, or whatever you use to read blogs.  It's still under construction so bear with me!!!!

You can find it here:  Comfort in Chaos

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Where Do I Go From Here????

* tap tap tap*
Is this thing on?

Look, you don't need to tell me.  I know, it's been a long time since I've shown up here on this blog.
No, my New Years Resolution was NOT to stop blogging.

Honestly, life just got busy and this space was not a priority.  Which makes me sad because I love blogging.  And I miss it.

I haven't blogged for time reasons.  Nick has been gone a lot so being a "single" mom to a very active, sleep hating child, who was also a teething, crabby mess for a month, kept me very very busy.  Any free time I had was spent with my eyes closed.
Another reason I've stopped blogging is that I'm just not sure where I want this blog to go...IF I want it to go anywhere.

I love blogging.  I love having this "journal" of stories, photos, videos, memories, etc.
But my life now involves a child.  A child who cannot consent to my posts.  How do I know if in the future, he will be mad that I posted so many photos and stories about him on the internet?  Because once it's out there, it's out there.  I don't think I post anything embarrassing.  I mean, he's a baby doing baby things...pooping, laughing, playing, sleeping, eating, etc.  But, that still doesn't mean he will appreciate having his entire life (or his adorable face) blasted on the internet.
But at the same time, I love updating my family and friends with what is going on in his life, my life, Nick's life, and our life as a family.  I've received so many requests for updates on our family since we left St. Louis after Christmas.

Lastly, I'm nervous about posting photos of Jax.  There are some creepy people out there.  I watermark them, but even someone as technologically challenged as myself can Google or YouTube how to remove a watermark with Photoshop.  So how safe is it?  What are the odds my photos will be stolen when there are tons of photos on the internet?  Probably not super great, but am I willing to risk it??
I could make my blog private, but that means only those with a Gmail address could access my blog by logging into their account.  And only if I've added their email address to those I've "invited" to view my blog.  I know for a fact that half of my family members do not have Gmail accounts and thus would not be able to access it unless they created one.  Seems like a lot to ask.  But then again, is it?  Is it a lot to ask when it's for our safety?
And then I say that and feel I'm being dramatic.
I could switch platforms to something other than Blogger but that's a LOT of work and I don't know other platforms.  And with our new super tight budget, I cannot spend money to pay someone to create a design for me and transfer this blog over.

I'm not some big time blogger with a huge following.  I've never wanted that.  It's why my Instagram is private and my photos are very, very far from staged with fresh manicured nails, white desks against white walls, with white fur rugs, and gold accents.  (For the record, I am NOT a fan of gold and white everything?  That just can't fly in my world because I'm the clumsiest person ever).  I don't promote my posts three times a day on social media, I don't pay for ads on others pages or guest posts, I don't pay to be included in giveaways, etc.  I signed up for Google Analytics (or whatever it is) but I have never used it.  Heck, I don't even check my page views on Blogger.  I blog for myself and for those who are interested in our lives.  My blog is anything but staged.  It's real, it's raw, and it's 100% in the moment.

The thought of stopping makes me sad.  The fact that I haven't blogged in so long (you would not believe the number of drafts I have from the past 6 months) makes me sad as well.  I truly want to keep blogging but I just don't know what to do.

I do know one thing, when....if, I keep going, I'm going to be renaming this blog and redesigning it.  While cancer and the military are still a huge part of our lives, I want something that encompasses my life as a whole.  Everything from being a cancer survivor, a mom, a military spouse, a long distance daughter/sister/granddaughter/cousin/niece/friend, fur mama, wine loving, TMI giving, woman just trying to take advantage of this life I've been given.
Any suggestions on a name??  I've got a few floating around in my head but I'm not overly creative with these types of things.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

a Sad Goodbye to 2015

Here we are, New Years Eve.  The thought of saying goodbye to 2015 is emotional for me.  I know a lot of times we say "this was the best year of my life", but 2015 truly was the best year of my life.

I rang in 2015, one year ago, with a 18 week old baby boy in my belly.  I truly loved being pregnant.  I miss laying down and feeling his movements; his hiccups were always my favorite.  Sure, pregnancy had some awful moments like the bring me to the floor crippling sciatic nerve pain and the acid reflux that had me vomiting and crying daily.  But when I think about my pregnancy, I don't even think about that.  I think about carrying my son; something I wasn't ever sure would happen for me.  I think about how many hours I would just lay there watching and feeling this tiny miracle Karate kick and somersault within my body. I miss those moments so badly.

2015 was the year this little miracle baby came into the world.  This was the year of Jaxon.  It was the  year I experienced love at first sight; a concept I had claimed, for 30 years, did not exist.  It was in 2015 that my heart changed in ways I could have never imagined nor ever describe.  When Jaxon was born, he took a piece of my heart with him.  There is nothing that makes you feel more vulnerable than knowing a piece of you is walking around outside in this world, and you won't always be able to protect them.

2015 was the year I gave birth to my first child.  The year my family grew to include a (human) child.  It was the year I watched my son learn to hold his head up, to smile at me, to recognize my voice and turn towards it.  The year he learned to play with toys, to laugh, to babble, to sit up, to find his voice, to crawl.  It was the year I witnessed his little personality come to life.  And of what a vibrant, expressive, and silly personality it is!

2015 was the year I became a mother.  It's been challenging, difficult, and exhausting, but more than that, it's been joyous, rewarding, and perfect.  There is no way to describe the emotions becoming a mother brings about.

It's hard to imagine any year will ever compare.  Yet somehow, I have a feeling they'll continue to get better.  In 2016, and those to come, I will continue to watch Jaxon's "firsts".  I will continue to watch him explore and discover this large world around him.  I will continue to watch his strong and goofy personality develop.  I will continue to ache as I watch my own heart venture around outside of my body.  There will be many lessons taught, many adventures being had, and many difficult and sweet memories made.

Jaxon is asleep...for now.  I know he'll wake up again before the clock strikes 12:00am.  And when he does, I will scoop him up and hold him close.  I will nurse him, hold him tightly, kiss his soft head...all for the last time in 2015.  I will trace his face with my fingers and engrain every detail of his perfect and peaceful sleeping face into my memory.  I will cherish the last few moments of 2015, the best year of my life, with the greatest blessing in my life.

2015 is coming to a close.  I cannot fight time.  I cannot stay in this wonderful year.  All I will have left are my memories; my photos, videos, blogs posts, and my personal journal.  It's time to say goodbye to the year I carried my sweet son in my belly.  It's time to say goodbye to the year I said hello to my biggest blessing.  It's time to say goodbye to the year I became a mother.

Goodbye 2015.  It's with a sad and heavy heart that I say goodbye to you, and welcome 2016.  A year that will hold many wonderful memories, but will also be the most challenging year we've had yet.

Goodbye 2015, our oh so perfectly joyous and favorite year yet.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.  We have had such a great time here in St. Louis with all our loved ones and feel very fortunate to be able to be "home" for the holidays.

(Jaxon hates socks and shoes.  The moment you put them on him, he has them off within 5 seconds.  It's a battle we only fight when we're leaving the house and it's cold outside.)

I know Christmas isn't about gifts, but I can tell you that this little perfectly adorable guy here is the greatest gift I could have ever received this year.  He fills our lives with more love and laugher than we ever thought possible.

And of course I'm pretty lucky to have this handsome guy, my better half, by my side through this crazy life.  Having him safely at home is one of the best Christmas gifts Jaxon and I could have asked for.  Next year we won't be as fortunate since he will be deployed so we've soaked up every bit of this Christmas together.

That's all I have for now.  I just wanted to stop by really quickly to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, share our Christmas card (now that most should have received it), and share a few photos of my adorable family.

I will continue to be absent around these parts for a little bit longer as we travel back to Florida, celebrate our last little bit of Christmas, and get ourselves back into our normal routine.

I hope you all have a safe New Years Eve and a very joyous start to 2016!!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Jaxon: 6 Months

Height & Weight:  Jaxon had his 6 month visit this month so I have real stats!  He weighs 15 pounds, 8 ounces and was 25.5 inches long.  Still a bitty guy in the 15th percentile.

Routine:  We have a routine now!!  Jaxon is finally putting himself down for naps at the same time each day, and it's nice to have that predictability now. It makes life much easier.  His naps are also longer, ranging from an hour to an hour and a half.  He usually takes one at 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and sometimes a super short one again at 5pm before going to bed between 7pm-7:30pm.

Can I skip this?  While his naptime routine is better, his nighttime sleep is awful.  It's like we hit the 4 month sleep regression and never recovered.  Some nights are good, and other nights are sleepless.  Some nights he sleeps for a good length of time, and others he's awake at least every 1-2 hours.  No rhyme or reason.  No changes to routine.  No overstimulation.  No new foods.  No colds.  Good naps.  (Some say it could be teething.  Who knows but those damn teeth sure get the blame for everything when it comes to babies!)  Either way, mama would appreciate her good sleeper back.  From birth to 4 months he was an amazing sleeper!!!  I'm hoping it's a phase he quickly outgrows.
Jaxon also now sleeps on his belly 90% of the time.  It took me a while to be comfortable with it and actually get sleep myself because he he started out smashing his face flat down into the mattress!  He no longer does this, thank goodness, so I no longer worry.  
He is still loving his Zippy and sleeps in it for every nap and nighttime sleep.

Towards the middle of this past month (so 5.5 months), I began introducing foods.  I wanted to skip pureed food and just give him what we were eating, but this child does not get the concept of chewing/gumming his food.  He just immediately swallows the food which results in him choking.  (Yes I'm giving him itty bitty, tiny pieces of soft and/or cooked foods).  I can't handle the choking.  It scares me so pureed foods it is.
Everyone warned me that it could take him some time to like real food.  That he'd probably spit some out and to just keep trying; that it takes about 10 times of trying the same food before they like it.  Not this kid!  Every single food that we've given him, he's loved.  Not a single thing has he spit out.  He's had avocado, green beans, peas, carrots, squash, zucchini, peaches, pears, apples, and bananas.  And good heavens can this kid put down some food!!  He definitely is a good eater; likes everything and eats a lot!  He can't get enough, fast enough.  Every time we bring the spoon to his mouth, he grabs our hands and very quickly shoves the spoon in his mouth.  It's hilarious (and oh so messy)!
He is still breastfed many times a day.  I don't want him to stop anytime soon (my goal is to make it to one year) so I always nurse him before he eats so the food is like a "treat".  And of course, we still nurse to sleep at night and when he wakes up from naps.  He is still mama's little milk monster and gets incredibly giddy anytime he sees me mess with my shirt or sign "milk" to him.

Overall, he's a healthy boy!!!  His 6 month appointment went very well.  She wants us to work on sitting up but said it's not anything to worry about that he's not doing it on his own yet.
At the end of this month, just one day after Nick left for a 6 week workup on the ship, I came down with a severe cold and despite my best efforts, Jaxon got it.  He had it much longer than I did, poor guy.  We used the NoseFrida a lot (which is a torture device to him), but aside from that, there wasn't much I could do.  There was no way to prop his mattress up to help him breathe because the kid rolls all over so he might start out with his head propped up, but within an hour his feet would be propped up.  The Rock n Play doesn't work anymore because he just gets angry that he can't roll onto his belly.  He tries, and the entire thing shakes so I'm afraid he'll knock it over in the middle of the night so no more Rock n Play for sleep.  His cold lasted about 8 days but then we finally kicked it!  Thank goodness!  I felt so badly for the guy!!

Movement:  He is still quite the wiggle worm, and he's also finding ways to get where he wants to go.  For instance, I was gone for maybe 1 minute and came back to see he had moved from the middle of his playmat to here.  He just scoots his little body all over.

Just like the previous months, his arms and legs never.stop.moving.  I seriously am in a world of trouble when he really becomes mobile.
His constant movement and always being a busy body makes it so hard to get these photos!

Happy happy happy.  This kid is now happy all the time.  If he's fussing, it's because he's hungry or tried.  He just doesn't really fuss or cry.  All you have to do is look at him and smile and you get the biggest smile in return.  It makes me melt.

0-3 month and 3 month still, but they're getting a little snug so sometimes he wears 3-6 month shirts.
As for pants, he's definitely still in 0-3 month because of his tiny waist.  They're a bit short on him, but if we go up to the 3-6 month pants, they fall off his waist and are too long!
The issue comes with outfits because the 3-6 month shirts will fit him okay but the pants are so long and so baggy on him.  Small boy problems haha.


He loves reading, sitting in his Bumbo, eating everything he can get his hands on, being in his Little Einstein's exersaucer to jump and play with all the toys.

He also loves being naked, food, and still loves his feet.

He now loves tummy time and is always on his belly!

Putting himself back to sleep at night.  Or down for nighttime sleep.  For naps, I lay him in his bed and he goes to sleep on his own.  Try that at night?  No way!  Not having it.  He screams.  And if he wakes up, he REFUSES to put himself back to sleep.
He still hates getting his clothes changed.  I wish I could explain to him that if he would stop fighting it, it would go much faster.

Jaxon can roll both ways, but it appears 80% of the time he forgets how to roll from his belly to his back.  That was the first way he learned to roll, but now that he's always rolling on his belly, it's as if he forgot he can roll to his back.  After a while of doing tummy time, he gets frustrated because he wants to be on his belly.  Dude, you used to know how to do this!!!  But rolling from back to belly he now has mastered.  And as you can see below, he tries to roll and climb right out of the Rock n Play, even when strapped in.  So that shop has closed.  Folded up and packed away.  Gone are the days of his beloved Rock n Play.

He is also grabbing larger toys with two hands.  We bought a set up blocks and various sized balls to work on this and after just one day, he was grabbing things with both hands.
He also took his first big boy ride in the stroller!  He did great and loved letting his little feet kick the car seat adapter.

We are also working on trying to sit up because he lasts about 2 seconds before toppling over.  The doctor gave me some tips to help him so hopefully by next months update he'll have that mastered.

Things That I Don't Want to Forget:
Naps on me.  They don't happen often at all anymore.  He prefers to nap in his bed so when it does happen, I soak up every single second.  I think it happened twice this month.

While Jaxon is nursing, I will rest the hand opposite the side he's nursing on on his butt/hip/side.  After a few minutes, he will reach his little hand backwards, grab my hand, pull it forward and just hold it.  And then I'm a puddle on the floor.  All the heart eyed emojis.

He is a mama's boy.  And I'm loving it!!!  We will be sitting on the floor (Jaxon propped up with pillows), Jaxon playing with toys, then he'll look up, see me, get this HUGE smile that causes his entire face to scrunch up, and he falls into me, super giddy, nuzzling me, then goes back to playing.  It's as if he's overcome with so much emotion and love that he can't contain it.  I know that feeling. I do it to him all the time.  Except for me, I scoop him up in a giant hug and I nuzzle into his little neck.  This is my absolute favorite thing he does.  I know it won't last forever, but I wish I could put this moment in a little snow globe to pick up and watch whenever I need a pick me up.

Mama Update: 
He smiles so big every time he sees me.  When he gets hurt, he looks to me.  I just smile and he instantly quits fussing and goes back to playing.  We have so much fun together.  Although, there are times he's just not having photos with mama.  It seems if anyone else takes the photo, he doesn't want anything to do with it.  But selfies with mama?  He's all about them!

Daddy Update:
Nick left at the very end of this month.  It was so hard to watch him say goodbye to Jaxon.  He's going to be gone about 6 weeks and Jaxon will surely be a different baby when he returns.  

But before he left, he made sure to get in some last minute story times and of course, rough housing with daddy.

Doggie Update: 
Vino is finally, slowly coming around to him.  We have no doubts that very soon she's just going to love him!
Yadi is still always by him, always cleaning him.  
Jaxon also got to show off his puppies at the vet.  His first of many visits with these two because it somehow always happen that their 6 month comprehensive exams occur when Nick is gone.

Jaxon LOVES these dogs!   He is always reaching out for them when they get close and just want to nibble on their ears.  And they love him.  Wherever Jaxon is, the dogs are right by him (with Vino just a little further than Yadi haha)

What we did this month:
We went on walks with friends, we went to the zoo and feed the giraffes.

Because Nick's squadron will be on the ship for Thanksgiving, we had a Friendsgiving with some of the families from his squadron.

Jaxon had his first trip to Orlando (we had to go there so I could do my Global Entry interview so I can be TSA Pre-check every flight).  Jaxon and I had our first trip to IKEA, we hit up the outlets, and had dinner in Downtown Disney before heading back to Jacksonville.

Jaxon also celebrated his first Halloween.  Well, he dressed up in costume so I could take pictures but we didn't actually celebrate because we both had that really nasty cold so we didn't want to infect anyone else or be out in the weather with it.  So we sat at home and read Halloween books, just the two of us.  Party animals I tell ya!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Our Son Has Watched Too Much 'The Walking Dead'

'The Walking Dead' is one of Nicholas and my favorite shows.  I'm not normally into that sort of thing but for some reason, when Season 1 was on Episode 3, someone told me how much they loved the show even though they aren't into zombies.  I decided to give it a try.  Season 1, Episode 1 and I was hooked.  After I watched the entire season (which was only 6 episodes), I convinced Nick to watch it.  I rewatched it with him and we've been obsessed ever since.  (We're also now loving 'Fear The Walking Dead').

They say children are sponges and they mimick what they see.  Well maybe Jaxon has seen too much 'The Walking Dead' because he's obsessed with trying to eat our faces and even more obsessed with trying to eat Vino.  She just has to walk by him and he reaches out for her, mouth open wide.

While taking their Halloween photos, (two different days) he was at it again.  He tried for Yadi but he much more prefers Vino.

I guess maybe we should have dressed him as zombie for Halloween.  It would have been much more fitting for these little photo sessions.

{NOTE:  We do not actually let our child watch this television show.  He has never seen it so please don't go all sanctimommy on me.}

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween from my three adorable children!!!

Sadly, Jaxon's first Halloween was spent in the comfort of our home.  I developed a very nasty cold and despite my best efforts and constant nursing to give him my antibodies, the poor guy caught it.

Instead, we hung out at home, taking our own photos, watching Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin episode, and coughing in unison.  Thankfully little man is still super happy (as you can see in the photos), eating well, and sleeping like normal.  Such a little champ!  Thank goodness.   I don't think I could handle feeling as badly as I did AND dealing with a super cranky, sick baby.  I still breaks my heart to hear his mucousy breathing and knowing I gave it to him, but his smile and laughs make me feel less badly about it.

Jaxon also put himself into this model pose.  So I went with it haha

Despite being sick, he still dressed in his costume and let me take some photos of him.  I walked right past all the cutesy costumes and went for FrankenBaby!!!!  (All the costumes were so large on him but we made do.)

Let me tell you, getting pictures of two dogs and a baby is not easy.  The dogs just wanted to sleep on the blanket, Jaxon just wanted to play with his dogs, and I just wanted one photo with Jaxon smiling and the dogs not looking so sad/sleepy/pissed.  Oh well.  I'd say we did pretty good for the fact that I didn't even have any treats to entice the dogs.  Just good ol' fashioned "stay" and "watch me" commands over and over and over.

I was disappointed that this is how we spent Jaxon's first Halloween, but I'm just happy he happily wore his costume, I got some great photos of him, and that despite being sick, he was still a very happy boy all day.  He makes being his mama so easy.

How did you celebrate Halloween?  What did you dress as?
If you have little ones, did you go trick-or-treating?  What were they dressed as?