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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project 365: Week 4


22 Stopped by the Asian store and I always make a point to walk by this aisle. It feels very nostalgic to look at my "childhood snacks" from the Philippines. Hubby (in the blurry background) was looking at the Aloe drinks.

23  Frankenweenie: just like Tim Burton's other films, this is just as weird. I didn't particularly liked it and definitely creeped me out a bit. And yes, we use subtitles. It's the only way we can understand anything on TV with a pre-schooler around.

24  This billboard has been here for as long as I can remember (we moved here November 2011). Nathaniel loves to point at the "heart" and he copies it, too. Who knew in 2011 that I would be working for them now?

25  Cold day in Georgia. Thankful for butt warmers :) (seat warmer)

26  Nathaniel reading with Dada on the toddler bed.

27  Saying goodbye to Dada while still in his pajamas and carrying Mama Bear. Hubby left to go to Quantico, VA for two-week class. "But, Dada, I don't want you to leave." "I have to go to work, Buddy. I'll be back." "But I'll be lost without you."

28  Skype date with Hubby.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Temporary Assignment Duty (TAD)


Hubby left yesterday for a two-week class in Quantico, VA. Nathaniel had a difficult time letting his Dada go, even stating he "will be lost without you [Dada]." (If you follow me on Instagram (@dianastlouis), then you have already seen this heartbreaking photo. If not, click on the link to see it!) Skyping has made the separation both easier and more difficult for Nathaniel. He loves seeing his Dada on the computer or phone but couldn't understand why we have to do it this way. He constantly asks why he can't just go home from work. (The only other time we had to video chat, Nathaniel and I were the ones away from home so I think that is easier for Nathaniel to understand. Same thing when we FaceTime with my family in Indiana.)

Speaking of Indiana, I thought about going up there while Hubby is gone but we're planning a Disney World trip in March. So as much as I want to take this opportunity to visit our family, it's best for me to keep working (maybe even extra) to help pay for the expenses.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Popped Blood Vessels


Just like with everything in life, Nathaniel's refusal to sleep only got worse before it finally got better. The worst night to date would have to be the night before he went back to school after the Christmas break. He stayed up at least two hours after we tucked him in bed (And this is even after we have confiscated all of this toys already!). We were left with no other choice but to actually act upon our threat and close his bedroom door. We knew he hated it but it was time to show him we, his parents, are in control. Bedtime means bedtime.

Nathaniel cried--no, screamed bloody murder--for half an hour till I can no longer take it. (I was never good at the cry-it-out method, which probably contributes to our issues now. I have always consoled him and soothe him to sleep.) He fell asleep quickly after that--either out of exhaustion or fear from us closing his bedroom door again.

He is better now at bedtime and no longer gets out of bed, even in the middle of the night to crawl in our bed. We just gently remind him that if he gets out of bed, it will immediately result in closing his bedroom door. He seems to take that well, except now he wakes up between 3am to 5am to have me help him with his blanket. We cover him completely when we tuck him in but during the night they either fall off, drift off or he throws them to the floor. I don't know why he can't just pull the covers all the way up! (Most nights, they are already on his lower half!) I guess the bright side is he stays in bed and just yells and yells my name until I wake up. So now we have that to deal with.

When he went to school the morning I took these photos (first day of school), his teachers asked what happened to his eye. He said, according to the teachers, that I poked his eye in the bathroom. He's been telling people that a lot lately. And I promise, I've never EVER poked his eye.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gymnastics Gold


A couple weeks ago, Nathaniel was invited to his very first birthday party from school. The birthday girl had her party at Gymnastics Gold, which is perfect the very active three years olds. None of them wanted to leave when it was time to go even though they were all exhausted from running, jumping and tumbling.  I am sure they all slept well that evening---Nathaniel sure did!

The little boy that Nathaniel is playing and sitting with in the photos is his best friend Adam from school. They are pretty much inseparable whenever they are together.

And sometimes I'm convinced my husband wants six children so he can have an "excuse" to act like a kid. Thankfully, they all won't be in the same age like in the photos. Whew!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 365: Week 3


15  He did it again. Nathaniel did not want to be picked up from school because "I'm playing with puzzles and I'm not done yet! Go away, Mommy."

16  I like my job but hate getting off so late (not so bad in the summer). If I could work 8-hour (even 10-hour!) shifts, that would be perfect.

17  Blue spikey ring as a treat from the doctor's office for being a good patient. Nathaniel had an ENT appointment and he needs tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

18  Vangogh and Vino with the Marine Spouses. We painted a peacock and I am so proud of my end result. I have no artistic bones in my body and the entire time, I was thinking, "Can I just take a pretty picture of a peacock?" ;)

19  Celebrated ten years of dating with Hubby! He surprised me a two-hour seven course dinner at La Maison at Telfair.

20  Hannah's Gender Reveal Party. Baby J #2 is a girl! And so thrilled to meet another blogger friend: Samantha from MyNovemberGuest.

21  We watched Hotel Transylvania at the second run movie theater. Nathaniel enjoyed the jokes. It really was a cute movie.

Monday, January 21, 2013

ENT Consult


Nathaniel had an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor last week. He has "everything" allergies (seasonal, dander, dust, etc.) that he unfortunately inherited from me. So we have been medicating him with allergy medications, which helps somewhat. He doesn't sneeze as much and his eyes and nose doesn't itch all the time. Still, we are left with those symptoms and a runny nose. During his three-year old well child visit, his pediatrician referred us to an ENT doctor because Nathaniel still has allergy symptoms (despite trying different meds) and his breathing is a little noisy. She said that if everything is normal per the ENT doctor, then a trip to the allergist is next on the list.

Well, Nathaniel has enlarged tonsils and adenoids. We weren't surprised since Hubby had the same thing when he was Nathaniel's age (although his adenoids have grown back since). The definitive way to see the adenoids is to look with a scope via the nose. I immediately dismissed that because we would have to hold Nathaniel down while the ENT surgeon does that. I don't think so. Thankfully, he said if the tonsils are enlarged, then the adenoids are, too.

For now, we have decided not to do the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. His breathing is not that badly impaired and the infections/sickness are pretty controlled at the moment. Nathaniel did get sick quite a bit last year but that could also be from starting school and me going back to work at the hospital. I realize that having these surgeries done when he's older is a lot riskier but I just think he is too young right now. Hubby and I both agree that we will just revisit and reevaluate this issue in six months.

The blue spiky ring is his treat from the doctor's office for being a good patient. And since there's a Starbucks near by, we just had to stop. I have truly created a monster. Nowadays, 99% of the time, we go to Starbucks because he wants a cake pop and milk.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Decade


Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated ten years anniversary of dating. He completely surprised me with a two-hour long seven course dinner at La Maison at Telfair. I've had dinner plans arranged with my friend Michelle for weeks and turns out they were in it together. The food was fantastic and the entire experience was just amazing (I do have to say that I'm disappointed at my husband for ordering the Australian Kangaroo!!). Dean also had overnight child care arranged so we were able to catch a late night movie. It was a great evening and perfect way to celebrate a decade of togetherness!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Project 365: Week 2


8  First day back to school and we sent Nathaniel with popped blood vessels (see skin near his eyes). He screamed his head off for half an hour the night before because he refused to go to sleep. And when his teachers asked him about the red dots, he blamed it on me and said it was because I poked his eye in the bathroom. Major fail.

9  Roasted Chicken Thighs with Feta and Zucchini. Delicious but recommend cooking it longer than called for. Recipe found here.

10  For the first time ever, Nathaniel told me to go away when I picked him up from school. He would rather keep playing with play-doh with his best friend Adam.

11  Since Hubby works night shift, a new bedtime routine is calling him at work to say good night.

12  Nathaniel attended his first birthday party hosted by a classmate. The party was held at Gymnastic's Gold so the little children had a great time jumping, tumbling, and running. In this photo, the children were hitting Hubby with the foam noodles.

13  Grilled cheese for afternoon snack. I had to settle for this type of photo because Nathaniel kept covering his face when I try to take his photo. Another example of photographer's child syndrome.

14  "Li-berry" (library) trip.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Go Away, Mommy!


For the first time ever, Nathaniel told me to go away when I picked him up from school last Thursday. He usually runs to me and gives me a great big hug but this time, he would rather keep playing with play-doh with his best friend Adam. So I sat there for five minutes while I wait for him to be done. I'm not gonna lie, I was sad.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Night Shift


Dean started night shift last week and it has been really difficult on the entire family. This evening, we met up at the Waffle House parking lot because I didn't get off work in time (7:30p) to be home before Dean leaves for work (8p). When I worked Wednesday, I didn't even see Dean at all (Nathaniel stayed at our neighbor's). That's from Tuesday at 8p when he left for work till Thursday 8am when he got home. We haven't decided yet if I should only work 8-hour shifts (off by 3:30p) or if we can continue doing this. But I seriously feel like divorced couple with equal custody of our kid. We just keep passing Nathaniel along. And on days I get home on time, it's like we're room mates. I'm literally walking inside the house as he walks outside to go to work. Hi and Bye.

And don't even get us started with our sleeping schedule. Everyone sleeps horribly. Nathaniel misses his Dada especially since Dean usually does the nighttime routine. Dean is lucky if he gets 4 hours of sleep a day--either we accidentally wake him up but mostly because he has trouble getting restful sleep during daytime. And as much as I don't want to admit it, I guess I sleep better with him next to me ;P

And now, for four nights a week, calling Dada at work to say good night has become part of our bedtime routine. Dean will remain on night shift schedule until March and we are hoping he will be flipped back to days for the next schedule. And I know I am lucky compared to other military wives whose husbands are deployed and does that come home everyday at all.  Trust me, I'm grateful. But still, I'll be glad when this season is over.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TTC


I just realized that I never made an update on the blog about my follow-up results. Well, everything came back normal: no clotting disorders, no chromosomal abnormalities, and my HgA1C is perfect. There was a tiny bit concern about my thyroid function: TSH was low. However, it wasn't too far out of the normal range to warrant any treatment.

With that being said, Hubby and I are back on trying again as of this month/cycle. And that explains the title of this post (TTC: trying to conceive). I am emotionally ready to try again although I am petrified  of having another miscarriage. I really don't think I can handle another heartbreak. It still pains me to think that if we didn't lose Elijah, I will already be at my third trimester.

I am clinging and trusting in God's great plan but mostly I am praying for clarity. And patience. Because the unknown is such a scary thing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Take my picture, Mommy!


"Take my picture, Mommy!"
"With your eyes closed?
"Uh-huh!"

Also, do you noticed his crooked tooth? Totally my husband's fault. They were roughhousing last summer and it was knocked loose when it accidentally hit Dean's elbow. It hurt Dean more than Nathaniel (in fact, he didn't even cry) but it bled and was so loose. We were worried it will fall off but thankfully, we didn't have to take him to the dentist. But now, I look at it and I get irritated! I know it's still baby tooth but as a person who has one crooked front tooth, I really, really dislike it. In fact, I am really considering getting braces this year.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Project 365: Week 1


1 Drinking my champagne on New Year's Day evening instead of New Year's Eve because I had to work. Nathaniel is drinking sparkling grape juice in his cup from Boo at the Zoo in Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina.

2 Nathaniel has been disobeying us when it comes to bedtime so we "threw" his toys away (we didn't really throw them away; they are just hidden). Also, he's crying not because we are throwing away his toys but because I didn't allow him to wear his sunglasses while I take this photo.

3 I looked outside the window and saw this. Isn't God amazing? And to honor Him, this photo is straight out of the camera (SOOC).

4 I have been very pleased with what is in my camera bag when just a few nights ago, I started to really want a macro lens. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS to be exact.

5 Someone got a little impatient while I take this picture. L-R: Hubby's "Christmas drink" (Dirty Chai Latte), my Vanilla Spice Frappe, and well... you can pretty much tell with the last one.

6 Nathaniel's choice of book to read before naptime. One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books: Green Eggs and Ham.

7 When did he grow up? "Playing" the Peg board game during brunch at Cracker Barrel.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Toys in the Trash


Nathaniel has been disobeying us when it comes to bedtime: getting out of bed, playing with his toys, jumping on the bed, etc. So after the nth time of telling him to go to sleep (and by this time it was already almost two hours after we laid him down), Hubby took all the toys out of his room and threw them in the trash.

No, we didn't really throw away his toys. They are hidden under the bed in the guest bedroom although Nathaniel is convinced we really threw them away. He is surprisingly handling the no toy punishment. He even helped made that pile so we can throw them away. The only thing he was devastated about is that we also took his Spider-Man pillow and blanket.

Nathaniel is actually lucky because his Christmas presents from Lola came the day after we did this. I convinced Hubby to not throw those away, too. But Nathaniel is only allowed to keep one (and it's a camera!) and the rest are put away. He's not really asking about his toys, which makes me think that maybe he doesn't really need all of them back. This is definitely a good opportunity for us to declutter.

These photos were taken the next day and I wish I can say he was crying because we were going to throw away his toys. The reason for his crying is because we told him he can't wear his sunglasses while I take his picture. Because see the bottom photo?



He is just too darn smug looking.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3rd Birthday: The Amazing Spider-Man Party


Nathaniel begged everyday for six months to have a Spider-Man party for his third birthday. For the first part of the year, I was planning a pirate party but I had to dismissed all those ideas when his obsession to Spider-Man just went out of this world. I wasn't very thrilled about hosting such a commercialized character so I did most of the party details on my own. It also helped that I was able to play with my early Christmas present: the Silhouette Cameo!

I want to give a shout out to my family for helping! They helped so much during their quick visit. And with that, I think the best decision I made about this party is hiring someone else to bake the cake. So far, I have made all of Nathaniel's birthday cakes but I knew I wanted something better than my cake skills can do. And since we had family visiting, I didn't want to spend the entire day stressing about the cake when I should be spending time with them. Not making the cake also allowed me to focus more on the party details. And in the end, all my guilt about not making the cake quickly went away as soon as I saw the amazing Spider-Man cake. Laura's Sweet Creations did an amazing job executing our vision!

It took me a while to share this because I am just very disappointed with how my photos turned out :( The lighting wasn't great in the room but I didn't want to waste more time trying to find the perfect settings when I should/wanted to spend time with the birthday boy and the guests. But I finally accepted that it's about the memories created and remembered not how they were captured. So just please, be gentle when critiquing my photos :)

Invitation wording: Hubby
Spider-Man Cake: Laura's Sweet Creations
Cupcakes: Me (iced by my friend Michelle--thank you!)
Cupcake toppers: Me
"Peter Parker Pizza" Little Ceasars--pepperoni, sausage and cheese
"Doc Ock Hotdog" Hotdog, buns, condiments
"Venom-ous Berries" blueberries, raspberries
Red and blue sixlets chocolate candies
"Spidey Chips" Doritos and blue corn chips
"Green Goblin Punch" Hawaiian Punch: Green Berry Rush flavor
"Radioactive Water" customized wrapper: Me
Nathaniel banner: Me
Silverware rings: Me
Comic book sound effects: Me
Party Favor: Me
Nathaniel Spider-Man Caricature: Six Flags Over Georgia
3D Spider-Man balloon: Party City
Photography: Me

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