Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Long Weekend

Thanksgiving
I got up at 6:30 and ran a 5K with 2,000 other crazy people.


Here I am, excited about running in 27 degree weather before eating a big meal!



Now, I'm starting to ask myself why I wanted to do this again.






At the finish line. Not feeling so good.




I'm not sure what was wrong with me, but I got really sick at the end of the race. I wanted to sprint in, but my body told me that unless I wanted to throw up in front of a few hundred people I should slow down. Unfortunately, I didn't slow down quick enough. While I was bent down (obviously not in the middle of the finish line) throwing up, a man put his hand on my shoulder and told me that I needed to keep moving. Are you kidding me? I thought I was being considerate by not leaving a trail! (Sorry for that visual)
Black Friday
On Friday, I went shopping with my mom. I had to get up at 3:30! My mom gets really nervous when there's lots of traffic so I had to drive and she wanted to be there right when the doors opened. This is the first year that my mom and I have been able to go shopping together without Aiden or my little sister since I was a teenager so I can't complain. We had a lot of fun. I got the goody bags from Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret and then I finished up all of my Christmas shopping! I just have to stay away from the mall now because I LOVE buying Christmas presents.
Saturday & Sunday
Ugh! I had to work. Right now I'm in school trying to get a master's degree in biomedical science so for my stipend I work in a research lab. My boss is away on a fellowship for an entire year and she left me in charge of the lab. Unfortunately with very limited knowledge! Most of the time this works out great because I have a lot of free time and no one is around telling me what to do, but on the downside I have to work long hours when she comes in (one weekend a month and holidays).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

I was looking through our old pictures today and can't believe how Aiden has changed over the last few summers!

August 2006~ 3 months



August 2007~ 15 months

Early May 2008~ Almost 2

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My To-Do List

I have seen several of these lists on the blogs that I follow and I thought I would add one of my own.

At this point, I've gotten married, lived in Alaska, learned how to ski, have one adorable little boy, and am getting ready to have a Master's degree. I've also traveled to Germany and Austria and went to the North Pole (a city in Alaska close to Fairbanks) where I sat on Santa's lap (even though I was 22 at the time!)

My List:

1. Buy a house with a relatively big yard
2. Have another baby
3. Run a marathon
4. Swim with sharks (nurse sharks, they can't really hurt you. I've read up on it)
5. Go on a vacation to Rome
6. Go on a vacation to Greece (I watch the Travel channel a lot)
7. Learn a new language (German or Spanish, haven't decided yet)
8. Take a road trip across the US
9. Get published in a reputable scientific journal
10. Get a PhD (or MD/ PhD~ I'm dreaming big here!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trip to Dollywood

Aiden and I went to Dollywood with my mom, dad, and sister this weekend. Although it was extremely cold and I felt like my fingers and toes were going to freeze off, it was a lot of fun. They had all of these little reindeer all over the place and Aiden had to climb up and look at Every single one of them. My little sis got annoyed pretty quickly and whined for me to carry him. Aiden is over 3 feet tall so he was able to ride a lot of the rides this time. I rode the flying elephants, tea cups, and a baby roller coater with him. I haven't had the chance to ride rides like that in a long time. I had forgotten how much fun it can be!




My mom, sister, Aiden, and me

Loving one of the many reindeer



Aiden and me in front of the Christmas tree



Right before he got extremely annoyed at havin his picture taken!






Parade of Lights


More Christmas Lights

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Parade Pictures

When did they start having Christmas parades before Thanksgiving?! We went to our Christmas parade on Saturday morning. It was freezing (24 degrees) and started 30 minutes late! But we had a really good time and got lots of candy!


The 3 of us checking out an ice sculpture

All bundled up


Waiting....


And Waiting....

Still waiting....


Finally!


Well worth it... Look at all those lollipops! (One in his mouth, 3 in his hand!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Spilt Milk

This morning, I was sitting in the floor eating a bowl of cereal beside Aiden. He had a sippy cup of milk and he some how managed to get the lid off. There was milk all over the carpet. All I was thinking about was how bad that would smell if I didn't get it cleaned immediately. So I set my bowl of cereal down on the floor (not sure why I didn't take the extra tenth of a second to set it on the table..) while I grabbed some cleaning supplies. While I'm scrubbing at the mess I hear Aiden giggling. I turn around and he says, "Look, Mommy. Kenai drinking your milk!" Sure enough. There's the dog lapping away at my cereal. Aiden saw the look on my face and came over to me. He hugged me and gave me several kisses before saying, "It OK, Mommy. Kenai hungry. I get you more." Of course, that put a smile right back on my face. One mess down, a few hundred more to go before bedtime!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday

OK, for this one I'm going to go all the way back to August 2008! These are a couple of my favorite pics of Aiden and me. This past summer, I ran in a bunch of local 5K races and Aiden always came to cheer me on. When I crossed the finish line, he never failed to race right over to me and give me a big hug. The fact that I was sweaty bothered me way more than it bothered him! Nothing compares to the love from a child. I feel so blessed to have such a smart, caring, sweet little boy.

Aiden doesn't care that Mommy is sweaty!

Bring on the Snow!

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I'm so excited that it's snowing! It's really, really early for snow in our area. I'm one of the few who is hoping that this is a sign that there will be a lot of snow this winter. I've never been a big fan of winter, but after living in Anchorage for 3 years, I became accustomed to the snow and I miss it now.

This is all the snow that we got overnight, but still! Would you believe that half of the schools in our region were closed today? I'm really happy~ it just makes it feel more like the holiday season when there is snow! Now, I'm off to buy Aiden some snow boots before they sell out. LOL

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just for a Smile

Aiden woke up early this morning. I gave him a cup of milk and sat him down with some crayons and paper and turned on a Little Einstein video while I showered. Normally, he runs in and out of the bathroom trying to put his hands in the water, but not this morning. He was being strangely quiet and I started to worry. I grabbed a towel and called his name. When I walked in the living room, he was wearing Matt's silly hat and his roller skates.





He said, "It's OK, Mommy. I'm just skateboarding!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sick Day

Today was supposed to be a really productive day. I had such big plans! But after I showered this morning, I got incredibly sick. I thought that I was coming down with the flu so when Aiden woke up I told him that I was going to go get Daddy to play with him for a little while before he went to his great grandma's house. He said, "Mommy, I'm going to be nice today." It broke my heart! He thought that I didn't want to play with him because he hadn't been nice. It made me feel so bad. I told him that he was always nice and tried to explain to him that I was sick. Not sure how much of that he understood. My stomach is still a little upset, but I'm feeling much better now. I'm hoping it's just a 24 hour thing that way I will be able to spend some extra time doing something special with Aiden tomorrow.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

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This is the last bang trim done by Daddy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where do they learn this stuff?!

Aiden has started being kinda sneaky lately and I have no idea where he learned it!

The first time: A couple of days after Halloween, Aiden and I were in the living room and his treat bag was on the desk. I was getting ready for school when he asked me for a sucker. I told him that he couldn't have one until he had eaten his breakfast. I was drying my hair when I realized he was being a little too quiet. When I found him, he was holding his treat back and he had a sucker in his mouth. "It's OK, Mommy," he said. He patted me on the shoulder, "Go dry your hair."

Another incident: We went out to dinner with my in-laws and Aiden wanted to play with the salt and pepper shakers really badly. Matt told him not to touch them. I was sitting where Matt would have to turn his head away from Aiden to look at me and Aiden told him, "Just talk to Mommy."

And then this morning... Aiden watched as I opened a drawer in the kitchen and got out a pen to write a couple of things on our grocery list and he apparently saw the scissors. When I went back into the living room, he came and sat beside me. He took my face in his hands and said, "Mommy, go night-night with Daddy." I obviously knew that he wanted to do something that he knows he's not supposed to do. When he thought that I was occupied with something, he walked into the kitchen and attempted to get the scissors out of the drawer. I told him that those were Mommy's scissors and that they were too sharp for him to play with. I took him to Target this afternoon and let him pick out some kid scissors. Aiden goes to a church preschool two days a week for half a day and they have been teaching them how to cut paper. He apparently loves to cut stuff because when I pick him up from school his activity sheet always says that he played with scissors! Tonight, he spent thirty minutes sitting at the table just cutting up our junk mail.



Who needs a shredder when you have a toddler?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our poor dog!

First, I have to say that our dog, Kenai, is one of the best dogs ever. She is a great running partner and is wonderful with Aiden. We are able to just open the door and let her go outside to use the bathroom. She doesn't go out of our yard and once she's finished she runs right back to the door. Well, yesterday evening, Kenai asked to go outside. Normally, I stand on the porch and watch her, but I was busy doing laundry and it was 35 degrees outside so I just let her out and shut the door behind her. I went downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer and Aiden asked to go potty. I was helping him when I realized that I had forgotten my notebook in my lab and I had a test that I needed to study for. It's really dark at the college and I'm afraid to go there by myself. Last week, a girl had her car taken from her at gunpoint. My mom called at about this time and asked if we were still coming over. Aiden had painted a plate at "Into the Fire" for his great grandmother for Christmas and my mom had picked it up. My dad loves wrapping presents and told me that he would wrap it for me, but I wanted to see how it turned out first. My dad said that he would go with me to the lab to get my book, so I got Aiden's shoes, coat, hat, mittens, and blankey and put him in the car. My dad and I got my notebook and went back to the house. My dad wanted to show me some of the presents he had bought Aiden for Christmas and I spent a little time talking to my mom before loading Aiden back into the car. I was leaving the subdivision when I realized that I had forgotten to look at the plate Aiden had painted! So I called my mom and turned back around. I ran inside to quickly look at the plate. I kid you not, in the right corner of the plate, there was what looked to be a bright red swastika. (I really should have taken a picture of it!) And this plate is for my grandmother who was born in Germany and lived there throughout WWII! I just shook my head. What can you do? We went home after that. I guess we had been gone for about an hour and a half. It was time to get Aiden ready for bed so I took him to his room and started reading him some books. I heard a little scratching sound and I glanced at the door. I noticed that it was unlocked and my heart sped up a little as I shouted, "Umm.. Matt? Did you let Kenai outside?" Of course he hadn't. I jumped up and opened the door and there she was sitting on the porch. My poor doggie! I felt absolutely terrible! I guess I win the bad dog owner award of the day. She had been outside for almost 2 hours in 35 degree weather and she was freezing! After I got Aiden in bed, I called for Kenai and started petting her. She still felt cold so I decided to put one of my sweatshirts on her. Matt told me that I shouldn't do it because she would really hate me, but she really didn't seem to mind. In fact, I think she liked it! She went to her bed soon after that and went to sleep. When we were getting ready to go to bed, I took the shirt off her. Matt asked me why and I told him that I could just see the shirt getting caught on her back legs and her falling down the stairs... I don't even wante to think about that. But like I said, we have one of the best dogs ever. She acts like I didn't even leave her out in the cold for two hours!
I have absolutely no idea why I have been so scatterbrained lately...
Kenai

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday = Wal-Mart

And the reason I have come to dread this day of the week... I'm not sure if it's a southern thing (I don't remember it being this way in Alaska), but in our town Wal-Mart is a place where many people just stand around and socialize completely ignoring those who are actually trying to pick up their stuff and get out of there! Here are some snipets of conversations I picked up while being stuck behind the shopping cart...

Coffee and condiments aisle: "I've got to remember that I won't be here in a couple of weeks because school gets out for Christmas break." I wait patiently for this conversation to finish so I can pick up some ketchup.

Pasta Aisle: "So-and so is going to be graduating from high school this spring. Can you believe how time flies?" I say excuse me as I try to reach for a can of pasta sauce. But no one pays any attention to me.

Cereal Aisle: "Oh! Have you heard that so-and-so had her baby last week? Yeah. She was in labor for..." I knew it was hopeless, so I just turned the cart around and decided to come back in the other direction.

Oh there was more. Many, many more! But I think you get the point. And then the line at the cash register! I think I spent more time in line than I did picking up my groceries! I just don't understand why they have 20+ cash registers and only like 3 of them are open... A lollipop can only occupy a grumpy two year old for so long! But we made it. Seven more days until we do it all again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trip to "The Maize"

My little sis and Aiden on the hay ride



Picking out a Pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch


Aiden in front of the Corn Maze
He is obsessed with lollipops right now. LOL



Layout of the Corn Maze


I really didn't want to have to call my boss and tell her that I destroyed my cell phone. The thought of doing that kinda made me sick! But since the SIM card was ok, all I had to do was buy a new phone and I didn't have to extend the contract or anything. Thank goodness. After all of that was taken care of, we decided to go to the corn maze after all. It was the last day for it. We had a lot of fun. We went on a hay ride, saw a pig race, got to pet animals in a barn, went through a pumpkin patch, and played on the playground. We did the entire maze~ 4 miles and Aiden walked almost the entire time. I only heard, "I want to get out of here" a half dozen times! I was so proud of him! It turned out to be a great day!

Will I Ever Learn??

This is why, you NEVER sit anything on top of the car when you're putting your child in their carseat!

A week after my boss bought this cell phone for me, it fell off the top of the car. It was barely scratched. You would think that the first time this happened, I would have learned not to do it again. Nope. This morning, I was going to take Aiden to the corn maze and my mom and 9 year old sister were going to come with us. When we were getting ready to leave their house, I put my phone and camera on top of the car so I could get Aiden in his seat. I got distracted and forget all about them. We were driving down the road and I heard a crash. My stomach dropped and I shrieked, "It's my phone and camera!" I pulled over at a restaurant and proceeded to run into the middle of a four lane to pick up my broken stuff. Luckily, there wasn't much traffic because I kept finding small pieces and was running back and forth retrieving them. My phone was completely busted but fortunately the SIM card was fine. My camera will not turn on, but I found my memory card and was able to download all of my pictures. So it definitely could have been a lot worse. At any rate, I don't think that I will be putting anything on the roof of my car for a long, long time!

Matt and me with Aiden at 2 months in front of Denali (Mt. McKinley)
This was taken a couple of days before we moved.

Friday, November 14, 2008

From The Beginning...

First off, why am I doing this?
Because writing in a journal makes my hand hurt! Not to mention, journals take up a lot of space (I already have 15 notebooks piled in a box in the closet right now.) Plus, I think this could be a lot of fun!


So, let me begin...

My husband (of five years now~ can't believe that!) and I grew up in the same town. We went to the same high school, but didn't know each other. I met him on my first day of college in Calculus class. We started dating pretty soon after that although, I thought we were "just friends" for the first month! Matt decided to go into the Air Force after September 11, but he didn't leave for basic training until September 2002. We had been dating for a year by that time and when I went to San Antonio for his basic training graduation, he proposed to me. Actually... he had already asked me on the phone, but that's a story for another day. Matt told me that he was able to make a wish list of places that he would like to be stationed and he asked my opinion. I really wanted to stay in the South, but I told him anywhere but Alaska. So imagine my surprise when he calls me up and tells me that he was being stationed in Anchorage. Oh, how I cried! My dad really didn't want me to leave. He printed me out all of this information on Alaska. When he handed the stack of papers to me, the first sentence I read was, "Will a polar bear eat me?" OMG! I wanted to wait until I turned 20 to get married, so I completed my sophomore year of college before joining Matt in Alaska. We got married on September 4, 2003. And to make a long story short.. After, the first winter and getting used to the lack of sunlight, I loved it there! There was just so much to do and everything was beautiful.


In September 2005, Matt took me to North Pole, AK for our anniversary. I really like dorky things like getting my picture taken with Santa in the North Pole and petting reindeer! The next week, I was sitting in class and all I could think about was how sick I was feeling. I was sitting in Anatomy Lab dissecting a shark with a lab partner when it hit me. Was it possible that I could be pregnant? Obviously, that was all I could think about for the rest of the class and I had to rush to the store for a pregnancy test. I took the test and of course it was positive. We had not planned on having a baby for several years and I was really scared, to say the least. Matt was working late that night and I was hysterical so I asked one of my friends to come over. Matt called and told me that a guy from work was going to stay at our apartment that night and all I could think about was how I needed to clean. I was running around crying and frantically cleaning. Absolute craziness! Matt wasn't very excited about the news at first, but he became more excited about the baby the further along I got into my pregnancy.


My pregnancy... I have never been more miserable in my life! When I hear someone say that they love being pregnant, I just stop and stare at them dumbfounded. Of course, I did have preeclampsia. My feet became so swollen that Matt called them elephant feet and I had to wear flip flops to school. In January. In Alaska. Not so fun! My due date was May 28, but Aiden was born on May 17, 2006 at 1:06 am. 23 hours of labor and one emergency c-section, I was finally able to hold my precious baby in my arms. Matt had been up for 36 hours and I told him to go home and get some rest. I figured the baby could stay in the nursery for a little bit while I rested. *Note* The military hospital does NOT have a nursery! I ended up having to hold Aiden all night long. I guess, I could have called for a nurse to transfer him to his bassinet, but I would have to call them every time he cried since I couldn't exactly move due to the c-section.

In July 2006 Aiden was 2 months old, we moved back to TN to be close to our family. They have been a great help. Aiden is now 2 1/2. He stays with my grandma ("Mammy") during the day while I go to school and work. I am a graduate student and work in a research lab. Matt just graduated with a Chemistry and Philosophy degree and is getting ready to start medical school next fall. He has been to 7 inteviews and has an acceptance to a school in Washington DC. I went to DC with him when he interviewed (that was the first time I had ever been there) and I loved it. I'm not sure what I will be doing once we move, but I'm sure it will be an adventure!