Monday, August 25, 2008

Daddy's Home!!

He's finally home and we couldn't be happier. Layla was so unbelievably happy to see her daddy. As you can see, she was so happy she wouldn't let him go, not even for a second. She was very attached to him all weekend long and happier than she's been in a while. She's very happy and giggly and is always looking at Jake to be sure he's watching her do all the things she learned while he was away.

Welcome home daddy! We missed you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Okay, it's a Frickin' Lazy Susan!

I guess I'll be correcting myself for a while whenever I have to refer to the "Lazy Susan". As you can see, the votes are unanimous for "Lazy Susan". I know, there are two votes for "turn style", but that's because the two votes came from my sister and I. Which means, my parents are the ones who were somehow convinced that the thing was called a turn style.

I have been notified that a turn style is the thing that you walk through to get into fairs and concerts. Funny, because I thought that was referred to as a "rotator thing" and I think my sister's exact words were, "It's a turny thing".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's final, I've lost my mind

A few random pics of Layla bean scaling the furniture last night. Friday. Get here.

And, which one of these things does not belong in the turn style (or, as Jake refers to it, "Lazy Susan")? The first one to find the item that doesn't belong wins a chicken dinner and gets to be the person who drives me to the mental hospital. The part about this that makes it so apparent that I need to visit the loony bin, is that the item that doesn't belong was placed there, by me, the night before. I found it last night and wouldn't have fallen upon it had I not been looking for Layla's snacks.

Other than that minor mishap, Layla and I are just trying to coast thru these last few days before daddy gets home. I've reamed Hudson a new A-hole about 5 times over the last 24 hours and kicked him out of the house once. None of this ever seems to phase the big block head. He just looks at me like, "Well if you're going to have a fit, at least throw the tennis ball while you're doing it. Lunatic."

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm on the brink...

Auntie Meg... singin' Old McDonald to Layla Bean. Love Layla's expression.
Layla "shakin" it. She loves her little piggie bracelet that rattles when she shakes her arms.
Hungry wild beast. This poor animal wanted to destroy us.
Layla watching the hungry beast.
Layla telling me, "That cheetah has had it up to HERE."

I'm on the brink of insanity. The lack in posts is due to the fact that I've been juggling a 25 lb butterball (literally juggling her, as she will not let me put her down these days), trying not to trip over my head case dog, doing my best not to fall behind at work and making sure the house is at least picked up enough where there isn't food laying out that'll attract rodents or flies.

Last week was BRUTAL. BRUTAL. BRUTAL. I was in my office only once last week, the rest of the week was spent working from home and multi tasking w/all of the above. Layla got her top front teeth last week, which was as much of a challenge as her being colicky in her first months of life. One trip to urgent care, an incorrect diagnosis, sick baby as a result of being put on meds she didn't need, follow up trip to the dr for a 2nd opinion (which confirmed my suspicions that Layla had been misdiagnosed w/an ear infection and upper respiratory infection therefore did not need to be on meds), four days out of the office, a visit from Auntie Meg that pretty much saved all of our lives and some long days w/out sleep later, I'm back at work. Wondering what day it is, which foot to put in front of which foot first and growling at the A-hole who poured the last cup of java w/out making more. JAG!

The good news is that in between all of this we did have part of a day last week where Layla was in good spirits, so Auntie Meg and I took her to the zoo. She loved it and it was not crowded at all so we were able get up close and personal w/ all the animals. Layla's favorite was the cheetah, although I'm confident he was pacing so close to the glass because he was starving and wanted to eat all the kids that had their grubby little paws pressed up against the glass, just taunting the wild beast. Meg, thanks for coming! You're a saint for what you hung out for over the past few days and I really appreciate your helping hands!

Daddy will be home on Friday. I think I can. I think I can.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Daddy's in there!

When Jake was deployed, one of the FRG activities was a Build a Bear event. I know, sounds lame. Actually, walking thru a Build a Bear store is one of the most horrific experiences I could've ever imagined, but if it meant that at the end of the tortuous experience I'd have a cute little soldier bear with Jake's voice and a message to me inside, I'd suck it up and "drive on" through it.

A few nights ago, I got the bear out and played it for Layla. You can hear Jake's voice plain as day and Layla just LIT up as soon as she heard him! Here's what she did when she heard daddy's voice...

Awe. And here's what she did when daddy's voice stopped.

10 days Beepa. We can do it.

So True

Okay, so I just read Dooce's blog entry from Friday. She always manages to reassure me and give me the pep talk I need to get through my day, week, month, year. She's my frickin' hero, and I've never even met her. I had to share her post (below), for those of you who have been or may be in the near future, in this same situation she mentions. I know I was when Layla was a tiny baby, and man is she ever dead on when she says, "It gets so much better."

The Wall

Well, it's official. I've hit The Wall. The inevitable wall of exhaustion. It's only been 1 week since I've been flying solo with Layla and Hudson and Saturday afternoon I officially crashed and burned. I've been moving at warp speed since Jake left with work and Layla and it's already caught up with me. I could use about three straight days of sleep, and, my husband home. Two weeks left. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

The weekend was spent with Grandma Jennifer on Saturday and then visiting with an old friend, Rachel, on Sunday. Grandma Jennifer came to lend a hand while I crossed some "to-do's" off the list (mowed the lawn, went grocery shopping, walked the kid n' dog, cleaned the house, etc). Sunday, Layla and I met Rachel at Bayshore mall, which was great. Awesome weather and what a cute place!! I will definitely be dragging Jake there w/the fam after he's home. Just being able to hang out outside, people watch and do nothing was great. Layla loved hanging out in the courtyard watching all the kids jump through the water fountains. Soon, she'll be doing the same.

No "mishaps" like the ones I had earlier last week over the weekend (I didn't post about those mishaps as I don't want to bring on more trouble. Let's just say someone choked, someone else broke something new, someone else almost ate a fly, something in the house now makes a really loud consistent noise... I could go on and on and on. And yes, all of the "someones" I mention are DIFFERENT people. So, it's safe to say that no one is safe when dad is away. All three of us are hazerdous to ourselves and those around us).

Tomorrow, Auntie Megan will be coming to stay with us for a few days. Can't wait. Layla will love hanging out w/her, and so will I! I'm hoping to take a day off sometime this week so the three of us can hit the zoo, which I think Layla will appreciate more now than the first time she went (she just seems more into animals now than ever before).

Woosa. I think I can, I think I can. My head is killing me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy 11 mo Bday to you Bean Pie!!

Layla Bean,

You're 11 months old today. 11 months. I cannot believe it. I know, how cliche to say, "I can't believe how fast its gone." But I can't. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday, and will never forget the pain and agony you put Jake and I through the first few months of your life (you were a mad baby). ;)

Your latest and greatest:

You love to talk. Who knows what you're saying, but it seems very important. You put your hands up w/your palms up to the sky as if you're saying, "I just don't understand why you people are always saying how hard it is to be a responsible adult. This world is easy to live in and people are constantly telling me how great I am. You should try being this cute."

You're crawling at light speed. And pulling yourself up to a standing position anytime you get a chance. You're taking assisted steps, either with someone holding your hands or using a walker of some sort (or Hudson).

You love showing us your "muscles". You do it on command now, along with "high five".
You wave hi and bye, you can sign "milk" and "more".

You love to shove as much food as you can get your hands on into your mouth all at one time. We've had one choking scare so far, but I'd say considering how much you manage to smash into your mouth on a daily basis, just one scare is pretty damn good I think.

You can say, "Hudson", "Mum-mum-mum" (mom) and "Daddy" (which you say ALL THE TIME). You sometimes say, "uh oh" too!

You can feed yourself ... with your hands or a spoon!

Love you baby girl!

This morning:

Me: Layla Bean, you're 11 months old today!

Layla: You've got to be kidding me! I feel amazing! And frankly, I think I look amazing too!

Layla playing w/ one of her favorite toys this morning.

Grandpa and Grandma Sherman: Did you bring Layla an early Birthday present this weekend and sneak it into her stash of books!? We found it last night! Layla loves it! Thank you!!

Layla: Hudson, come here dude. Open this thing for me would ya?

Layla feeding herself. Yes, with a spoon AND a fork. Piglet. ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keep Scrolling... 4 New Posts Below!

Bath Time and Attitude

Layla has a blast in the bathtub. It's the first part of our bedtime routine and helps us break up the night. By the time she's ready for her bath, she's caked in sunscreen, food, dried milk, boogs, you name it. And, she's usually pretty tired and grouchy. As soon as we plop her pudgy butt into the water, she's as happy as a little mermaid. Her latest thing is holding her bath toys up to her mouth and talking into them. I think she likes the echo. I know she does not like the warm water that consistenly pours into her mouth everytime she does this. I keep telling her to dump the water before talking into her "megaphones", but she tells me to mind my own busienss.

My favorite pic here is the one of her w/her "Little Miss Attitude" face. I kept saying, "Okay, Layla. All done. Let's put our toys away and get dressed." This is the look she gave me. The next item on my list of things to buy for Layla is the "Little Miss Attitude" t-shirt.

Layla's Best Friend

Over the past month or so, Layla has decided that Hudson is BY FAR her favorite thing in the world (besides food). She says his name (some days it's clearer than others) and is constantly looking for him if he's not in plain sight. He's the first person she looks for when she wakes up and loves to crawl all over him and nuzzle with him before bed. Now if only he would figure out that has huge "branches" that are total weapons in the eyes of an 11 month old, things would be easier. He's constantly reaching for her w/his paws to sort of give her a love pat and instead just knocks her down or claws her face off. She is always forgiving him for that though.
Recently, she figured out that when she's done eating instead of signing "all done" (we're working on signing and "all done" is one of them. So far she really only knows "milk" and "more"), she starts feeding her leftovers to Hudson. She tried giving him her milk the other night too, as you'll see in these pics.

Messy Face

Layla Bean loves to make a mess. Really, I don't know that she got any of this spaghetti into her mouth. But she had a blast mushing it around and making a giant mess. These pics are for Matt daddy.

Miss You Daddy

Daddy and Layla taking a nap before he left for Ft. McCoy. And, a bouquet of flowers that my wonderful neighbor, Lori, brought to me to cheer me up just hours after Jake left. I love my neighbors!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Life in the Military

Sorry I don't have the camera with me to post today... This a.m.'s "get ready" routine was a circus, as Jake left on Sat early morning for a three week stint at Ft. McCoy for "training" (I put that in quotes because it's easier than trying to explain that the Army's idea of summer training is dropping those poor guys into a field and leaving them for dead while they agonize over what they're families are doing at home without them for three weeks. F'in Army. Don't get me started and that broken ass system. You don't want to hear it, trust me).

Needless to say, the morning routine is much more difficult to manage without a helping hand. Layla is not much for just hanging out in one place anymore and is most certainly a morning baby. She is happy as pie in the mornings and just wants to play and MOVE. Hudson just about has a flippin' heart attack every morning because he's so excited to go outside to see if Rocky is up and at 'em yet. But he always changes his mind shortly after being let out and I'm notified of this with a massive "thunk" that ensues after he body slams himself into the glass patio door. I let him in, he rushes the house and about pummels Layla every time he does this, shoots to the garage door and I then let him out to eat. I get Layla put back in her "safe" spot (because she now follows me wherever I go) and not seconds later Old Rocket Dog is barking so loud you'd think he found a dead body in the garage. No, he's just done eating and wants to come back inside. This is just 2 minutes of the 1 - 1.5 hour minimum it takes to get Layla ready and fed, her diaper bag packed and get myself presentable for an office as well as all my gear packed and into the car. I will not be surprised if over the next three weeks, I forget Hudson outside and just leave. He'd probably love it if I did that.

Sat a.m.'s drop off at the Watertown Armory sucked. I went into this with a "I'm tough as nails" attitude, thinking "3 weeks!? Puuleeeease. That's nothin' compared to 15 months," but the drop off served as a massive flashback to 8/17/05. The day Jake left for his deployment. The stupid "pickle suit", the armory, the other soldiers, crying wives. Ugh. I almost made it thru w/out a tear but then Jake said good-bye to Layla and I lost it. Thank the good livin' lord this is only for 3 weeks, but what a reminder of what we went through with the deployment and how great it is to have Jake HOME.

I promise, I'll post pics as often as I can while I'm solo over the next few weeks. It'll just be a matter of remembering the camera everyday!

Oh, and thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Sherman for babysitting for Layla on Sat while I went to my annual girl's weekend!! She had a wonderful time and so did I!