Thursday, March 19, 2015


In actuality, it's been over 5 years since we have received a full night's rest. I think that Daniel has probably gotten a tiny bit more sleep than I have since he was deployed for 6 months. He says that bombs, automatic guns and planes kept him up at night during that time. Either way, we are tired. When Eli was born our lives revolved around him. I fed him on demand, rocked him long after he fell asleep in my arms, and during his night feedings I just let him stay in our bed because it was easier.
 At 3 months old, we moved him from California to England. It was an 8 hour time difference and it was rough. During those first few weeks in TLF, he and I slept until 2 in the afternoon and stayed up until midnight. It was incredibly exhausting and miserable. It was like a constant state of being hung over. After we moved into a house, we still rocked Eli to sleep, put him in his crib, then in the middle of the night he would wake up crying and we would put him in our bed. Apparently the one night that he didn't get in our bed I became pregnant with our dear Andrew. I'm sure you know the story, but Daniel deployed shortly after my second trimester began and we went back to Alabama since he wouldn't be back until the baby was 3 months old. 
I just couldn't be in a foreign country with two babies and zero family. And not even having been there a year, my friendships were really new and I wasn't comfortable being that kind of a burden on them. 
We changed time zones again. 
Eli was just over a year old, we had moved to England, came back to the US to visit family, gone back to England, then moved back to the States once again for 7 months. Eli slept with me or my parents throughout Daniel's deployment. 
Do you see where this is going?
We went back to England when Daniel returned and although Drew was 3 months old, I was still in that new baby and a toddler fog. The hungover state returned but I had to adjust a little more quickly as 2 children will never react the same way to these types of changes.
We did much of the same things with Drew putting him to sleep as we did Eli but he always struggled to fall asleep. We tried every trick in the book. He would toss and turn for hours and just never, ever, ever, ever sleep. When he did sleep he would wake up within a few hours crying and then would sleep well in our bed until morning.
Blah, blah, blah…time passes…
Every single night for the past two years of living here we have laid next to Drew until he fell asleep. About 6 months ago our pediatrician suggested trying 1mg of melatonin to help him fall asleep with a little more ease. And it worked. Within 15 minutes of laying down he was out. But he was still waking up constantly throughout the night. MOM, DAD!? 
He would sneak into our bed and kick and dig with his feet at 3 am.
Daniel or I would take him to his bed (while very comfortable it's only a twin) and lay down with him and fall asleep until the morning. I am positive that this has shaved years from my life. I don't want to sleep when I'm dead. I want to sleep now.
On Monday night Daniel and I told the boys  that from now on we would be tucking them into bed and they would be going to sleep on their own. We have tried this before but were totally serious this time. Totally desperate.
Eli falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, so we weren't really surprised that he did so well. Drew was asleep without melatonin within 10 minutes. He got up once for water but went back to sleep in his bed. Tuesday night, same thing. Wednesday night, went to sleep on his own again and did not wake up until 6:45 am! I am so thankful for last night's sleep and how easy (this week) has been. 
Feel free to learn from my mistakes or not. Crying it out was just never an option for us. I am thankful for the snuggles and time we spent with our babies. I will want those nights back some day. I think that this was a long enough run and I am so thankful and hopeful for the more peaceful nights ahead.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our weekend with Papa

Just last week I was telling a friend that I have been so lucky that at least 90% of the stomach viruses we've contracted have been when my dad is around to help out. There was one when we lived in England that the boys had, but the rest were at my parents' house or when we were on vacation.
This past Thursday my dad flew into town to stay a few days. On Friday he kept the boys while a friend and I went to brunch to celebrate her birthday and do a little shopping sans the Land boys.
 That night we went to eat at S&B Burger Joint and OH MY LAWD. It was the best burgers we've ever eaten. You can order them in whole or slider size. Daniel and my dad got regular size burgers and I couldn't choose between 2 so I got them both as sliders.  The boys always want PB&Js so when these came out I was really impressed, they were grilled and the PB was melted and gooey... we all took a little bite. Then we had milk shakes. S'more milk shakes. Us grown ups were so full that we were in pain that night and still full when we woke up. Throughout dinner Eli was whining about his lower stomach and I thought that maybe his pants were just too tight.

Saturday morning we got up and Papa (Deddy, my dad) made his famous (to the boys) jelly biscuits, sausage and cheesy eggs and I made fresh juice with lots of spinach…this is crucial later in the story.
We got ready after breakfast and went to the zoo. The boys had so much fun showing Papa their favorite animals and we finally got to see the new baby elephant. The boys were very excited because they watched her birth (from a not so graphic angle) online. 
How spoiled boys navigate the zoo.

That night we were at the table and Eli laid his head down and said he wasn't hungry. He fell asleep in my dad's lap pretty early watching tv and when he got Eli to brush his teeth and get ready for bed, all hell broke loose.  Luckily it was in the bathroom, but hell nonetheless. And remember that fresh juice? It was hanging around in his tummy all day. We bathed Eli, cleaned everything up and he and my dad went to bed.
4am my dad comes in my room and says "hey I need a little help, Eli is sick again."
We did the two step all over again and got them into a clean bed. Eli was OK laying around for most of Sunday morning. Later he got up and went to sit on the couch with my dad when I said, "Oh guess he's going to go throw up on Papa again." And no sooner had those words left my mouth, dad was covered in it.
Shower, clean up mess. 
In between all of this craziness he was helping Daniel change out our smoke detectors that decided to malfunction and install a new garbage disposal since ours was causing small floods under our sink. I can't say enough how thankful I am for my dad who always does everything he physically can to help us. His whole life truly revolves around the kids and what he can do to see them and make their childhood memorable. His grandfather was his best friend and he wants to be the same for his grandchildren. I can even remember growing up him joking about wanting to be the best grandfather in the world. I always thought of that little clip at the beginning of Cinderella where the Prince's father was dreaming of playing with his future grandchildren. I have to say he plays the role pretty well.
Doesn't everyone eat breakfast like this?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Marvel Universe Live!

Christmas 2013 we took the boys to Disney's Princesses and Heroes on ice. I knew what it was. Daniel thought that it was actual "heroes"… not the Prince Charming type heroes. I enjoyed it, but I'm a girl and I grew up going to these every year with my mom and Memaw so I knew what to expect. 
This year we saw that the Marvel show was coming to OKC so I started looking at tickets around December and the prices were outrageous. I couldn't justify $50 a ticket, especially knowing that you HAVE to buy souvenirs that cost just as much. The first night it started I saw a few friends post pictures and decided to look at ticket prices again. I use the Seat Geek app for Thunder tickets and have great luck finding low prices there so I was hopeful there would be a few for sale. 
And I was right! 
I found tickets for only $9.50! Our whole family went for $50. I immediately bought them and then it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing. We left the house about 3 hours before the show and it allowed us plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and find parking before the show. We have never actually surprised the kids with anything just for fun. They had absolutely no idea what were going to do other than get lunch. The masks and clothes we had them wear didn't even give it away.

 Thankfully we didn't park far from the arena because it was SO cold. They still had no idea what we were doing at that point since we were at Chesapeake Arena and there was not a game or monster truck show (the only things they've ever been there for.) 
 The cotton candy came with these foam mask/helmets. The kids chose the character that the other had worn that day. I will never understand these boys!
I was so surprised by how great our seats were! This was such a fun day that I hope they remember forever.

Tonsils, Tubes, and Adenoids…Oh my!

About 2 weeks ago Eli went in to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and have tubes put back in his ears. He had tubes for the first time right after he turned 2. We noticed that his speech wasn't quite right, he said a few words but he mostly made funny noises. He only had 2 or 3 ear infections at that point and they were spread apart, but he always had fluid in his ears. When they did the hearing and pressure test they told us to imagine we were in a pool under water and everyone talking to us was above the surface, and that is how Eli heard things.
Sometime last summer those tubes came out and then he started out this new year with an infection quickly followed by two more. This ENT suggested removing his adenoids to help with drainage (after surgery he told us they were blocking 95% of the passageway that allowed his ears to properly drain) and his tonsils because they were enlarged. Every time he went to the Dr they always wanted to do a strep test because of how they looked, and it was never strep. 
We went in early the morning of his surgery and he was such a sweet and big boy. My kids wake up starving every day and he didn't even complain about not being able to eat. God definitely heard my prayers that he wouldn't be crying for food before surgery. It was so different from the first time, amazing what 3 years will do for a boy! He answered all of the nurses and doctor's questions and put on the hospital gown and socks without hesitation. The kid loves new socks and these had the cool grips on the bottom. They asked him if he wanted to color while he waiting and he was in heaven. He would color and draw all day. 

A nurse came and got him just as he finished his pictures and began to get a little restless with the waiting. He walked off with her like such a big boy, it made me so proud and so sad that he IS such a big boy! 
I have to back up and say that during the waiting the anesthesiologist came and talked to us and asked if there were any concerns with the anesthesia and I told him that Eli had been under twice before and has a very hard time waking up and it's very hard for me to control him because he fights us and is much stronger that he looks. Well, at this surgery center they don't let the parents be the ones to wake their kids up and the nurse told me that if he ever has to go under again to use the words "exorcism and violent" when I explain what it's like when he is coming out from under the medicine. 
This recovery was pretty rough because there were only so many things he could eat and he had to drink something every few minutes to keep his throat from getting dry. This was much more difficult at night when he was knocked out from pain medicine but crucial because there was one night I didn't get up for 4 hours and he was in so much pain. I didn't do that again. 
We are now trying to get back to normal and detox him off all of the sugary puddings, jello, ice-cream and yogurts he's gotten so accustomed to eating! 

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I really feel like you guys have missed out since I haven't been writing about our time here in Oklahoma. This is the first place that we have lived that we truly LOVE. Like really. We have had people in previous assignments that our hearts were broken to leave, but not the actual places themselves. If Oklahoma were closer to the Gulf of Mexico (because not ANY coast will do) I would consider it the number 1 place to live, ever. Without the sugary Alabama and Florida beaches, it's close. 
I started a mental list driving down the road yesterday and I can't remember all of it, but I will try.
In no particular order, this is what I love most about living in Oklahoma:

1. Oklahomans LOVE Oklahoma. The people here have so much pride in their state; and those who live in OKC and the metro area like we do love this city just as much as the state. We really haven't ventured out much in the state but we plan to in this upcoming year. There is just SO much to do within this area that we live in. Oklahomans love Oklahoma so much that there are dozens of businesses that have Oklahoma themed shirts. Not universities, not professional teams, just simply Oklahoma. One of my bosses told me about the Oklahoma Shirt Company recently and of course I joined! You get an Oklahoma themed t shirt every month mailed to you for only $10. I'm a legal resident so…

2. The Thunder. No matter where you go, who you meet, you will ALWAYS have something in common with someone. Everywhere you look you will see Thunder blue and orange, a lightning bolt or the Thunder emblem…cars, clothes, and while not really my taste-I have even seen the theme in a tattoo… We have never lived anywhere where everyone loves the same team. Obviously Alabama has  the Alabama/Auburn rivalry, in California we had the Giants/A's, 49ers/Raiders division. In England I just couldn't care less about soccer. Sorry. So the fact that everyone loves the same thing is just such an awesome feeling of everyone being your friend, and I love that. The Thunder love has definitely rubbed off onto my kids.

3. Food. Anything and everything I do revolves around food and when and what we will eat.  I have recently been turned on the the beauty of being "local" and supporting local businesses. Oklahoma City has so many locally owned restaurants so we are making it a point to eat at a local restaurant once a week rather than getting Marco's pizza or Chicfila (which are both still awesome.) The food trucks even have their own app (maybe all cities do) that let's you discover where they will each day! It's a wonderful life we live in this day and age.  Today we ate at The Wedge Pizzeria and they brought out pizza dough for the kids to play with (and eat) while we waited. Eli said it was "literally the best pizza he's ever eaten in his entire life." Drew said it was the best dough he's ever eaten. They were both correct.  

4. Our church. This year Daniel and I will be married 7 years. 1 year ago, for the first time in our marriage, we joined a church. One day we were just googling churches and reading their pages when we came across WRBC. We haven't looked back. They're a bunch of imperfect people who love Jesus and have loved us. 

5. Mommy and Deddy. It's the closest we've ever lived to family. A 12 hour drive isn't exactly the ideal quick weekend trip, but we luckily have parents who don't mind the drive to see us.

And last but certainly not least..

6. Sonic. I can turn left or right out of my neighborhood and there are 3 Sonics within 3 miles. Most of the babies in my Tuesday and Thursday class gave me Sonic gift cards for Christmas. I had happy hour cranberry limeades nearly every day for 2 months.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our happenings...

I feel like so much stuff has happened over night in our household. We went from lounging around grandparents' houses in Alabama to a crazy schedule here in Oklahoma.The first thing that we started was Awana on Wednesday nights. The boys absolutely love being Cubbies and wearing their little vests. If you're not familiar with Awana, it's the Bible based version of boy/girl scouts. If your church doesn't have one then start bugging someone into starting it! They learn weekly Bible verses and it's so adorable hearing these 3-4 year old recite them!
Then, Eli started PreK! At first I wasn't going to send him. There is a large community of homeschoolers here, but I just was not able to focus the amount of time that Eli needed and he longed to be in school like many of his friends. It's only 2&1/2 days a week so it gives him and Drew a nice little break from each other and Drew and me some time to have 1 on 1. He has learned SO much, things that I never would have thought to teach him. 
 We typically drop off Eli, go the the Y, go home to eat lunch, play and nap and then it's time to go get Eli. Someone asked me the other day what we do all day and I feel like I always get this weird look, like "that's all?!" I didn't want to add in the awesome: I also make beds, clean toilets bc my children urinate EVERYWHERE, sweep up what was half of the kids' breakfasts from under the kitchen table, start a load of laundry (I usually forget about it and dry it that night or next morning if it doesn't stink yet), and make the never ending requests for snacks and food that these people require to survive.  
The most exciting thing I've done is a few weeks ago I decided that I would run a 5k with a friend. I kept putting off and putting off training (yes, I know it's only 3 miles but when you're not a runner you've got to train for these things!) until a week before the race. So, in a span of 6 days I ran 18 miles to "train." The run was on Sunday and I finished under my goal by 16 seconds so that in itself was a victory! It was a really awesome feeling and yesterday I even thought about training for a 10k and then maybe a half sometime next year. I just thought about it. 
Today, I started working for the first time since 2008! The Kid's Day Out program at our church was looking for a teacher assistant for the infant class and it is so precious. All these sweet, lovable babies ranging from 6 weeks to not even a year. I get to love on them and smell their sweet baby fresh scent and then their mommies and daddies come and get them. It's perfect. And the boys are each in their own class down the hall. Drew has been adamant about starting school now that Eli goes and it's opposite days of Eli's other school. Eli LOVES that he has so many different friends now. He is such a social kid, totally opposite from Drew! I'm also hoping that it does help Drew's social skills and help prepare him for preK. His teacher said he had a great first day so I hope that doesn't change. 
I'm not sure when my boys became so big but it's so weird and so fun. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Our Sunday school class (full of married people and people who are about to be married or someday want to be married) has split the men and women up and we've been reading For Women Only and For Men Only. And ever since I read my book I am constantly aware of whether or not what I am doing is benefitting Daniel's and my marriage. 

When Daniel and I got married we went to Disney World on our Honeymoon and then I flew with him to California (where he had been living and I would move to after I finished college in a few months) for a week. When we were dropped off at his apartment I noticed that his truck wasn't there. It was his dream truck, a beautiful sporty 4 door Tacoma that he bought right after he had commissioned into the Air Force. It was gone. He had traded it for a Chevy HHR. I laugh about it now. Then, I was shocked. But, now that I look back I see why he did it… For me. It was cheaper than his truck, got a lot better gas mileage, and really he thought that I would like it. It was a really nice car/thing. It was fully loaded and actually rode really well. And let's just say it was nicer and safer than my Kia from college. 

Back to my book I've been reading. A lot of centers around men's egos and how we women hold the key to how they feel about themselves. I think back to a little over 6 years ago. While I didn't freak out on him, I didn't tell him that I loved the car. Heck, I could have just told him that I appreciated that he was thinking of me and wanted me to have something that he thought was great! And I made several comments over the next couple years (how pathetic to hold on to that for so long!) about what a dumb choice that was. Ugh, if time travel was invented I'd go back and punch myself. While he never even said a cross comment about the situation I am sure he was thinking about what a brat I was. And, OH! I  was. 

So, my encouragement to you is…Read this book. Even if you're not married. Even if you have been married for over half your life. It's game changing. Maybe not instantly, but implementing these small things and understand how men's brains work… And I will let you in on a little surprise- it's nothing like we think.