Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Freedom is not Free"

A couple of weeks ago the hubby, Aiden, and I were all having lunch at Chick-fil-a on a Wednesday after Aiden's gym class!  Whether I have blantently mentioned it or just said it in passing, Leif is an officer in the Navy, and is not a huge fan of wearing his uniform out in public.  He is not the type of guy to wear his service on his sleeve or even mention the fact that he is in the military.  However, since he was only meeting us for lunch and heading straight back to work he had to wear his uniform.  As we were having lunch an old man comes up to our table and says "hey guy, I just want to thank you for your service" he then looks at Aiden and says "you're a cute little guy yourself".  Leif being the humble man that he is just says "thank you, sir".  I, being the proud wife who is also slightly hormonal, got a little teary eyed!  Fast forward about 2 weeks to yesterday.  I met Leif after work to run a few errands and had forgot to bring a change of clothes so I told him it would only be one quick stop and he agreed to go in uniform.  We are standing in the shoe section of Dillard's and I see this lady making a beeline for my hubby.  "Excuse me sir" she says "Thank you for serving our Country, I really appreciate it".   Again, Leif says "oh, thank you very much"...well guess what I do?  Turn into weepy woman!  You are probably wondering what my point is or if I even have one!  Of course I do!  I feel like there is a lack of appreciation for the men and women who serve this country.  I will even go a step further to say that I even feel like sometimes there is a negative stigma attached to it.  In all of the time that we have been in the military, I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times someone has been outwardly appreciative, excluding Fleet Week in NYC where everyone was thankful.    Unless you are married to, closely related to or extremely close friends with someone in the military you honestly have no idea the sacrifices that are made!  Since today is Thursday, Thankful Thursday, I want to say that I am extremely thankful to the men and women who serve or have served this great country.  To my hubby Leif, all of our Navy family, and every person who serves in EVERY branch of the military, I THANK YOU!!!  Freedom is not free and I appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family make so that when I tuck my little boy in at night I can rest easy knowing that YOU are protecting us and this great Nation!  Thank you for missing the birth of a child, countless birthdays, anniversary's, Christmas's, and every other holiday or momentous occasion.  Not to mention the good night kisses, bed time stories and everyday nuances that can be so easily taken for granted.  I appreciate your dedication to the safety of so many people whom you have never met and who will most likely never know your name.  Thank you to all of my fellow spouses for your sacrifice on the home front!  They say that being a military spouse is the hardest job in the military and only we know why!  Serving our country is not a job, it is a lifestyle.   Although the uniform is clean cut, tailored and for lack of a better word "somewhat glamorous", I assure you that the lifestyle is not!  I have a challenge for all of my blogger friends (all 6 of you haha), the next time you see a man or woman in uniform say "thank you", shake their hand, heck buy 'em a drink.  It may seem small and insignificant to you but I can assure you that it means the world to these real life heroes!!!

My Daddy, My Hero!

And a few quotes for my fellow spouses:

Live everyday like he deploys tomorrow.

My husband serves so yours won't get drafted.

The military is my husband's mistress & sometimes that bitch gets all the attention.

Sexually deprived for your freedom.  (lol, I couldn't resist this one)

Monday, October 25, 2010


When it comes to documenting Aiden's firsts, I think I am slightly bordering on crazy.  I write down almost everything and I attempt to have photographic evidence of these once in a lifetime moments.  My mom could probably guesstimate some of my firsts but as for pictures...I think there are maybe 10 of me from birth to age 10.  Leif's mom has more pictures but she only kept a good record of her first son and I would say that is something that is pretty common with second children!  Aiden is my first and I understand that I don't have more than 1 child to worry about so you don't have to point out to me that this will be different with my second...I am fully aware which is why I didn't have irish twins!
Now to my point...this weekend we had a halloween party (future blog) and we had a "pumpkin hunt" for the kiddies!  Inside of the pumpkins were lollipops and little spider rings.  The kids did an amazing job of finding all of the pumpkins.  Aiden (and Buddy) were all over the place looking for little pumpkins and with the help of Momma, Daddy, Nana and Pops Aiden found 6 pumpkins!   But the real discovery was the lollipop!  For those of you that know me, you know that I am very strict about what goes in Aiden's mouth for 2 reasons.  Reason #1 is that he has a severe milk and egg allergy and you would be shocked what is "hidden" in the foods we eat that could literally send my boy into anaphylactic shock.  Reason #2 is that I think healthy eating habits start now...if he doesn't know what candy is how can he turn down yummy veggies and say "candy"?  However when my sweet little boy found his pumpkin and pulled out that lollipop and put it right in his mouth wrapper and all I figured what the heck...let the boy take a lick!  So I grabbed my camera, opened the wrapper, and let my boy have a treat!  He took a few licks, gave Buddy a few licks, and that was it...he was OVER it!  PHEW!  The moment lasted all of 30 seconds but these pictures will last a lifetime!

Really?  I can have this?

The first lick!

Want some Buddy?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Southern State of Mind

I consider myself to be a very lucky girl.  I have a great family, wonderful friends, good health and I just happen to live in a pretty awesome town!  There are so many amazing places to visit right in our own backyard and I have yet to be disappointed.  This past weekend we attended "Dogtoberfest" on Kiawah Island.  Dogtoberfest is a wine/beer tasting event that benefits animal rescue and features samplings, meet and greets, adoption info and much more.  I was really nervous about having Aiden out in a crowd of people all day, mainly because he is 1 but he thinks he's 10.  The boy has never met a stranger and he enjoys the freedom that comes with learning to walk.  We spent several hours just walking around, petting dogs, dancing to music and of course Momma sampled some wine!  A nice lady noticed that Aiden had his eye on her balloons and despite my fear of him chewing on them I let her make Aiden's day and we tied the balloons to his jeans.  Needless to say Aiden spent most of the day playing with those 2 ballons and he was the envy of every child there!  After the tasting, as we were headed to dinner, we made a quick detour because we absolutely had to take advantage of the beautiful scenery on Kiawah Island!  Our impromptu photoshoot was a blast and resulted in some adorable photos...I think the balloons were the perfect touch!  We spent the whole day on Kiawah and on the way home we were already talking about how there just wasn't enough time to see everything...don't worry Kiawah, we will be back!

Momma, can we take him home to Buddy?

I love this place!

Always on the go...

Beautiful View!

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's The Little Things...

 For some odd reason, while I was pregnant I heard a lot about how hard being a parent is.  It seemed as though everyone was trying to convince me that I was entering a battle zone of sleepless nights, crying fits, stinky diapers, endless laundry and zero "Teresa" time.  There are a ton of things that "I wish" I knew about parenting and there are a ton of things that no one can ever prepare you for. Believe me, I am not saying that it is easy, not even close, however I do believe that there is so much more.  There's the good, the bad, the stinky and then there are the little things!  Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the pressures of being a great wife, the perfect mother,and  a good friend/ family memeber, it can be really easy to forget about the moments that really keep you going.  The once in a life time, priceless, take your breath away, bring tears to your eyes moments.  If I may, I will share just 5  "little things"...

1.  Just the other day I heard Aiden babbling...when I looked across the room I saw Aiden "reading" a book to our precious doggy Buddy.  The way he turned the page and the inflection in his voice brought tears to my eyes.

2.  Aiden loves Momma and Daddy's sunglasses.  He used to love to eat them but now he tries to wear them.  It is truly amazing the things he has learned just by watching us.

3.  What Momma or Daddy doesn't love an unsolicited hug from their baby...Aiden knows that he can change my whole day with just one little pucker or squeeze around my neck.

4.  The look on his face when he is doing something that he shouldn't be doing and trust me he KNOWS what Momma will and won't allow!

5.  Aiden's little BIG personality...It is truly amazing how quickly children develop a personality.  Aiden is a funny little boy and he knows it!  He will make a silly face and then throw his head back in laughter.  He will feed Buddy from his high chair and then look at us like "WHAT?"  He will "steal" looks at Momma and Daddy out of the corner of his eye thinking we won't notice....OH trust me my sweet baby boy, I NOTICE!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To peanut butter...Or not to peanut butter!

I have a confession to make!  I have become mildly obsessed with whether or not to feed Aiden (13 months) peanut butter!  I juggle between being an easy going momma to a crazy lunatic worry wart of a mother who does only what the doctor says and nothing else!  Can someone please help me find a happy medium?  Our pediatrician insists that no child under the age of 2 should ingest peanut butter due to the increased risk of either developing an allergy or having an allergic reaction.  So when I see my friends feeding their young children (under 2 years of age) peanut butter with no warning from their pediatrician it makes me wonder, should I just go for it?  Then the fear sets in and here is why... After being rushed via ambulance from a local hospital to MUSC Children's Hospital, a 3 day stay in the pediatric unit, 3 visits to the ER, a terrifying visit to the oncologist, and tons of vomit we finally learned that Aiden was severely allergic to milk and eggs.  Since allergies are her specialty, I decided to ask our allergist her expert opinion.  She strongly encouraged us to slowly introduce peanut butter into his diet because according to her, research shows that the sooner a highly allergic child is exposed to highly allergic foods the less likely they will develop an allergy.  Sounds like a good enough reason to break open the Peter Pan right?  Wrong...enter our nutritionist...she strongly discourages feeding Aiden peanut butter due to a high risk of choking!  Really?  Choking!!!  I remember dipping my spoon into the peanut butter jar as a kid while my mom watched and now this lady is telling me my child will choke if I give him peanut butter!   I am a wishful thinking kind of girl, so my wish is that my pediatrician, my allergist, and my nutritionist would all have a pow wow and discuss this peanut butter issue and while they are together they can also determine whether or not Aiden should get the MMR vaccine because I am not completely satisfied with "he may or may not have a reaction because it is harvested in a chick egg therefore it might contain egg enzymes"...Who knew that something so simple could wreak so much havoc in the mind of this first time mom!
Can he be allergic to spaghetti sauce...I think not!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Alison!

Tomorrow, October 12th, is a very special day for a very special person in my life!  I consider myself to be a pretty fortunate person in the fact that I have several girls that I can call my very best friends!  Very few friendships withstand the test of time and distance so the fact that I have a handful of girlfriends makes me one very lucky girl!  I wanted to dedicate this blog to one of my amazing girlfriends!  Alison and I were forced to be friends (haha) because our guys were childhood friends...those guys are now our husbands!  Our first meeting wasn't "love" at first sight but our second one was!  We had an instant connection and bond that has only grown over the years!  We have gone from 2 teenage gals who would talk and giggle for hours to 2 momma's who no longer have hours to talk but we sure do manage to get in those giggles!  We used to think that we were living the life but little did we know that our lives would only get better and better with time!  To my amazing friend Alison, I want to thank you so much for the joy of your friendship.  The memories we have are truly priceless and one of a kind!  Although distance has separated us by miles our friendship has never wavered!  I hope have an amazing birthday that is followed by an unforgettable year!  Happy Birthday Alison!!!
2 silly girls!  
2 Mommas
Forever Friends!

Happy Birthday Ali!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10 A Perfect Weekend!

I will never forget sitting at the breakfast table on the morning of my brother-in-law's wedding listening to my in-laws and their friends reminisce about family trips, weekend getaways, ball games and all of the amazing memories that go along with those experiences!  I couldn't help but feel envious of those amazing memories and quite frankly a little sad that I missed out on what seemed to be some really fun times.  As I have done many times before, I made a promise to myself that when I started my family, I would do things differently.  In the past 13 months of Aiden's life we have had made some really amazing memories and this weekend was no different!
Habersham Beaufort, SC

We traveled to Beaufort, SC to visit Nana and Pops and truly made the most of our time!  In one short weekend we played on the playground, spotted an alligator in the pond, cruised the neighborhood in the golf cart and the wagon, danced to live music, took the boat to Hilton Head for lunch, had a date night, chased butterflies and I could probably go on and on.  Aiden may never remember all of these things but I can assure you that I will never forget them!  I am so Thankful that I have a husband who believes in the importance of family and sacrifices 3quarters of the Wolfpack game so that we can create these memories!  And to my sweet boy Aiden, your Momma will do her absolute best to give you the memories that will make your life rich and exciting!  

Playground Fun!

So on 10-10-10...I must say that my weekend was a Perfect 10!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome to the Adventures in Gunder-Land!

Hello Everyone and welcome to my blog!  I have contemplated writing a blog for many months now and was worried that I wouldn't have the time to give it my all!  However I decided that I would give it a trial run and see how it goes!  I may never find the time to write or I may have no one interested in what I have to say but the only way to know is to try!  Follow along as I talk about the adventures in my life which include being married to a Naval Officer (or as I like to say "being married to the military"), being a first time mom raising a little boy, and being an ambitious woman who will always be attempting perfection (whatever that may be)!  I hope you will enjoy reading about my thoughts, challenges and experiences!  Welcome to the Adventures in Gunder-Land!