Friday, January 31, 2014


A glimpse into our super exhilarating lives.
My ring upgrade!!!! Everything is ordered. They got the band in last week and told me to take it home to show Jeff. We are just waiting for center diamonds to come in to I can pick one out and then it will be MINE and I will probably be talking with my left hand alllllll over again just like a did when I first got engaged. Anyone else do that? Where you notice you are talking with that particular hand more, waving it/ making motions with it, just because it has some bling-a-ling on it?
Hey remember that time my husband thought he would try and trim Gabriel's gorgeous sweet locks? was awful. 
I cried. He looks like Amelie.
We are going to try and get it fixed this weekend by a barber. But still...aaaahhh!
A fun night of dinner and friends. The boys were in Lego heaven and we were in "Make Your Own Pizza" heaven. We don't get out much, so this was really nice!

Soaking up as much time with Daddy before he left for Virginia until May.

My newest dressing obsession.
Helping Daddy cut his hair to Army standards.

Now that Daddy is gone, Lucy has claimed our bed again.
(Please excuse the messy room, I'm also working on reorganizing this space)
Polar vortex my butt. This is regular weather for Montana. We got a good falling of snow yesterday. Caderyn went out to shovel it.
He built himself a big mountain of piled up snow and then jumped and flopped in it until his cheeks were frozen.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Jeff left for Virginia this week, so I'm not feeling particularly chatty.
I'm trying to get back into the routine of just being by myself with the two kids.

Since he will be gone 16 weeks, I have a number of little goals I've set for myself during the time he is gone. One of the goals is to reorganize our house and de-clutter the crap out of it.
I'm so sick of stuff!

Here is my current project, Exhibit A--Our Mudroom (please don't scream):

This is probably the only room in our house that makes me look like a hoarder. The main reason being that everything and I mean EVERYTHING gets shoved back here.
Since I took these pictures, I've actually organized those shelves. and redistributed the pictures and shoe chaos.
 All of those boxes will be going to our storage unit once it stops snowing.
And you know, the more I look at these pictures the more I notice how I've got everything constructively organized.
I just need to get stuff to its rightful place.
I'm trying to do a solid half hour in there each night and the progress has been slow but it is coming along little by little.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We are entering the final stretch of being four with this guy. He is closing in on that fifth year and when I think about him being five...FIVE...Five. I just get all antsy and a little bit grumpy about how quickly he is growing.

Caderyn is t-a-l-l. He is about half my size right now. Anyone who meets him or sees him always comments on how tall he is.

Caderyn has the craziest cowlicks at the back of his hair. They are much more prominent in the morning and refuse to go down even with rigorous hair brushing.

Caderyn's tics have been fair. I've noticed they've evolved into a lot of mouth wiping and touching with his hands (which just kills me with all of the germ thoughts) and also putting fingers around his nose, not necessarily picking, but touching. I am trying to work with him on correcting this. He gave himself a little pimple over the weekend from the touching, so I talked about germs and how we try to keep out hands out of our mouth and nose (again, I am a bit of a germaphobe, so it takes a lot of restraint not to make a big deal out of the fingers being in the mouth, or constantly touching the mouth and nose).

He talks. All of the time. Still. He can't watch a movie without telling you what is happening. He can't just sit quietly, he has to tell you what he's thinking.

He does not like to be sent to his room. This isn't for timeout (which is also in his room) , but I've been trying to send him there for quiet play time. Our house is too small for him to use each room as his play area. I'm okay with him playing in the living room and dining room on occasion, but lately I've been feeling crowded with the number of toys strewn all over our house. I decided to give Caderyn the options of helping me clean or playing in his room. He drives me crazy with the amount of whine that follows. "But I don't waaaaaaaaant to plaaaaay in my room. I waaaaaaant to plaaaaay out here." I'm going to be firm with this!

He has really been finding his voice and independence. He has also been finding himself in timeout a lot for the way he speaks. I don't stand for disrespect and have certain expectations of him when in public or with guests.

He really is such a good helper. He usually helps the first time asked and loves working together toward a goal.

He is starting to talk more with his hands when he's telling you something. I love it.

He loves to build forts.

He is hungry all of the time. I can't keep up with him.

He is full of toots and thinks its funny. Sometimes it is...most times it isn't.

He has become shy about changing clothes in front of people. I don't know where this one came from, but I'm trying to relax him on it a little. He needs to be comfortable in his skin.

He waits until the last possible second to go to the bathroom. He will be playing and then all of the sudden he gets a panicked look on his face and will rush off as fast as he can into the bathroom. If it is really bad you can usually hear his feet stomping as he tries to get his pants unbuttoned. I love it.

He would eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if he could.

He loves to dance and has some pretty sweet moves.

He is sensitive.

He is a goof.

He loves coloring and drawing pictures. He is getting very creative.

He will eat most vegetables with some coaxing.

He loves our new car and constantly asks to go for rides so he can watch a movie).

He likes to play games, especially Candyland.

He likes to read books, especially Search and Find books.

He loves when people come over and will generally rope them into playing with him or reading to him. He is quite the negotiator.

He is excited about his birthday. He wants a pool party that is Lego themed. Done and done.

He is perceptive and thoughtful.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Saturday night Caderyn had a restless night. He didn't want to go to sleep. In and out of bed he went until it was 11:30 p.m. and I told him we were done. no more.

Me: It is way past your bed time. I'm giving you one more kiss and then you are not getting out of this bed again.
Caderyn: Why?
Me: Because it is very late and you are going to be crabby tomorrow.
Caderyn: No, why do I have to go to bed?
Me: Because it is bedtime and you need rest.
Caderyn: I just don't like all of this laying down.
Me: You mean bedtime?
Caderyn: No. I like bedtime, I just don't like laying down for it.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Well, now that we've all settled down from yesterday's post, here are some pictures from our week.
We played Candyland with Caderyn. He crushed us and Jeff was a sore loser.
Gibby ran errands with me and got a cookie for being so good.
Date night= curry from Benny's Bistro. J'adore!
This lucky gal (me!) got to sleep in on Sunday. Ok, I actually couldn't sleep. I was up at 7:30 a.m., but I got to go back to bed and just relax.
My friend and I hiked Mt. Helena. It was a great hike and gorgeous up top. Coming down took us over an hour and a half with all of the ice. We slipped countless times and I totally fell down the side of the trail and connected with a tree. Bring your Yak Traks!
Lucy was pooped after the hike.
Family coloring day.
Chilling in the new car eating a cheese stick.
After bath snuggles.
Frozen yogurt dates
Gibby was a character at speech therapy yesterday. He had us rolling with laughter.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Some of you already know this, but I figured we'd make the announcement blog and Facebook official.

Jeff is joining the Army, active duty. That means (for people like me who have no concept of military terminology) that he is going to be working full-time for the military. It also means a lot of other things for our family (really great benefits!), but the main thing we were going to announce is a M-O-V-E for our family outside of Montana for at least three years. We say three years because Jeff and I decided (in August) we would make this decision together and give it a three year trial run (three years is how long his first military contract term will be). Jeff really likes the work he has done with the military so far and wants to try and make a solid career out of this experience. From my angle, I finally see my husband passionate and excited about something and of course I want to support him. After our three year commitment is up, we would then decide whether we liked the military life and the adventure and benefits it brought to our family and sign up again for four more years OR if we didn't like it we would transition out and move back to Montana where Jeff would probably have a good chance of getting a job.

Big upheaval for our family, huh?

So we've been holding on to this portion of the news for quite some time now, only telling close family and friends. We didn't want to make a BIG announcement until we had concrete information. With the military it is really hard to get the information set in stone, they can tell you one thing on Monday and have completely reversed that decision on Tuesday. That's how it is.

Jeff finally, FINALLY got his orders on Tuesday. These are his orders for BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course) training, which he leaves for on Monday and will be gone until the end of May. Along with these orders he also got his follow through assignments (I probably missed the mark in military terminology there) for his next post, where his first job would be.

Let me set the scene for you a little:
I'm home from work eating lunch when he gets the call from his Major who has this information. We wait, holding our breaths, desperately wanting to know. The Major reads off "KS", and tells us we are going to be moving to Kansas. Ok. Kansas. Not my first choice, it was our third choice. I don't really like tornadoes, but whatever we will make everything work and treat it like an adventure.

So Jeff and I sit down together, he's still talking to his Major and I'm online madly looking up Ft. Riley, housing choices, schools on base, schools off base, plane ticket prices to Phoenix and Montana, etc.

When all of the sudden...

Jeff goes quiet. He gets up and goes outside.

He comes back in a little later and he's crying.

Turns out the Major read Jeff's assignments wrong.

He is actually getting deployed to South Korea for a year. He leaves in June.

Family is not allowed to go because it is considered a war-zone where the US is there to keep the peace between North and South Korea in neutral territory on the border of the two countries.

Who here is shocked???

Yeah, we were. That was about as far from anything we could have imagined happening for our family. We were upset, I had a small panic attack, we called our parents and they cried with us. Then we got over the shock and started talking. We're still talking and talking and talking about everything this means for our family and what we're going to do.

We don't really know what we're going to do yet. That's still in the planning process. We can't go with him, so do we stay? Do we go somewhere else? Do I work? Do I not work? What is best for our children? Do we stay in Helena? Do we move to Great Falls? Do we move to Phoenix? Do we move somewhere else? Would I be okay without any help (probably, but I might go insane)?

I don't know.

For now we are just moving forward and trying to soak up the time we will get together as a family.
There is a slim chance the orders won't hold. Someone volunteers to take Jeff's spot on that deployment or maybe the company out there decides they don't want him. From what we've been told, that isn't very likely and it would look bad on Jeff's military record.

So we're moving forward. That's really all we can do.
Yeah, wow. We're still kind of in shock.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Yesterday, we had a coloring jamboree after quiet time.
Caderyn was coloring, Gibby was coloring and then trying to eat the crayons, and I was coloring.

I drew a picture of our family (see below)
While drawing myself, I decided to give myself boobs (nothing X-Rated as you can see, but I am most certainly NOT flat-chested).
Caderyn looks over.
"Mommy, those are some really high pockets there."

Monday, January 20, 2014


Happy MLK Day! I am off of work today, and that means on the blog too so I can be with my family and anxiously await our NEW car. Woot woot!
Here's a little throwback video of the Gibster in the tub. I think he was about 4-5 months old here.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Jeff is leaving next Saturday for Ft. Lee, Virginia. He will be there, training for his position in the Army until May 22.
Yep. That's a long time.
He is going to drive out there in the Subaru, because 16 weeks is a long time to go without a car and he should be able to drive to the grocery store or go on a weekend trip to Gettysburg with some friends if he wants. He will be working hard (and getting paid- can I get an AMEN) during the weeks and most weekends.
So we needed a new car, and today we purchased this beauty.
This is a Chevy Traverse and this is now MY car.
I love that Subaru of ours. I'm really sad I won't get to see it or drive it for four months, but I'm excited about all that our new car offers. Seven seats. AWD with traction control. Bucket seats. A sun roof and a moon roof. Bluetooth. XM Satellite Radio. A TV/DVD. Great safety ratings! Low mileage and fairly good gas mileage (as good as any of the mid-range SUVs, maybe a little better).
I'm actually surprised we didn't purchase a minivan. Jeff and I have always been very pro-minivan.
The right one just didn't come our way when we needed it.
So happy Friday everyone!
While you're all here, I'd like to have an observed moment of silence for The Beast.
The Beast, a 91' Buick Skylark, came into our lives in 2003.
A gift from my great-aunt, I took one look at that car and laughed.
Over time it grew on me. It's great gas mileage and low maintenance were hard to pass up. The blue upholstery and faux wood interior were such sexy additions. It was boxy, but it was majestic.
It has driven all over Montana. It has taken me to Spokane and back.
It took me to and from my job until we got the Subaru and then Jeff inherited the Buick in all of its glory. For the past five years, he's driven the Buick around town and then back and forth to school every weekend for the past two years.
 Oh Beastly Buick Skylark, you have been a shining light in our dull lives.
You shall be missed.
Gone, but never forgotten.


Thursday, January 16, 2014


I've been feeling a little random this week. Random, I tell ya!
So I thought I would let y'all know some more random thoughts in my head or little facts about me.

For instance, did you know I like the smell of rubber bands? I love the rubbery smell, especially the ones that have been around a newspaper.
These things are important to know people!

And this one is probably obvious, but I love typing and typing fast. The clicking sound is soothing to me. My dad used to work late into the nights from our home when we lived In Great Falls, and I used to fall asleep to his clacking on the keys.

Enlightening I tell you! But this one, oh this one is a doozy: I am a regular visitor to Target. I go there like once a week. I have a problem. I avoid certain cashiers because they have started recognizing me.

Oh, lets see, what else? I am addicted to lotion. This is mostly because I'm rough on my hands and I wash them like a kajillion times a day and they are always cracked and super dry. I have bottles of lotion stashed throughout my office, car, and house and as I'm passing I will generally steal a squirt.

I secretly love techno/dance music. Oh no! It's not a secret you all know. I'm so embarrassed. Not really, because I was probably having a dance party in my house and didn't care. I usually put this on when I'm in cleaning mode because it makes me move faster. I'm a really good dancer when no one else is around (I can't even type that with a straight face).

I started biting my nails in college and now it has become a terrible habit. I can't let them go a certain length without going all "corn on the cob" on them.

Yesterday, I found a bobby pin in my hair. I have no idea how long its been there... the last time I had pins in my hair was before Christmas. I have showered and brushed my hair at least a dozen times since then...and it was still there!?!

When shopping, I will only park close to the cart stations where you put your cart after you're done using it. I will drive around for 5-10 minutes until a spot opens up.

I like making up words.

I also like making up words to songs. Jeff hates this and constantly points out where I go wrong in the lyrics, but that just makes me sing louder.

I'm not that great of a cook, but I try really hard. Sometimes I just lack patience and try to rush the cooking process. Nine times out of ten it doesn't work and we usually end up scrambling eggs for dinner.

I can however, make a really mean spaghetti and a melt in your mouth roast. I'm more of a baker. My cupcakes bring all the boys to the yard...(did I just reference Kelis...whaaat?)

I tend to have a sense of humor that is more appealing to guys. I confirmed this over the weekend when we went to a military fundraiser.

I like asking people how they are doing and generally try to ask that in the first five seconds of running into someone I know. Manners people! Manners!

I once asked a boy to a dance when I was a freshman in high school and got turned down. He told me I was too tall. I came home and cried for an hour before my cousin, who was living with us at the time, figured out what was wrong and took me out for ice cream. I remember him telling me I had guts, and this guy was crazy for not accepting. I bring up this story because I just want to point out that my family is really important to me and has always supported and built me up--even the guy cousins who get stuck with the tears of a rejected teenage cousin. I'm lucky to call him, and all other blood relations, family.

To add on to that story, I used to HATE being tall and tried to do anything I could to stunt my growth or shrink. I had horrible posture for years because I slouched and I tried to drink coffee and tea to stunt my growth. Now, I wish I was taller. I like my 5'11 height, but I do wish I'd hit the 6'0 mark.

My favorite piece of art is "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt.

My favorite classical work of art is "The Barber of Seville" by Rossini. Personally, I really like classical music and listen to it as often as I can, but if we're being TRULY honest here...I really only love this particular piece as much as I do because of Bugs Bunny's Looney Toons antics to this tune.

Plucking hair gives me a weird high. Like plucking my eyebrows or Jeff's eyebrows. Holy crap that man has some crazy long eyebrows. I almost pass out in ecstasy when he lets me attack the really, really long ones with my tweezers...I mean its sort of like that, but really I just generally enjoy the rush of pulling it out.

My best friend and I created superhero names for ourselves when we were in 5th grade (was it 5th grade? or 6th? I think it was 5th. Maybe it was 7th?). Anywhooo we created superhero names for ourselves and then made costumes for our characters out of sheets, outdoor soccer gear used primarily during winter, and whatever else we could find. It was epic and every so often we still refer to each other as our pseudonym. After 21 years of friendship, we're still that awesome.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Gabriel has come so far in the last couple weeks. It is amazing.
Everyone on our therapy and doctor team has been cheering and grinning from ear to ear when they see him.
You can tell that Gibby is proud of himself. When he walks, he can't wipe the smiles and silly grins off of his face.

Since he's started walking, we've had people asking if his diagnosis still stands. So, to clear that up, yes, his diagnosis of Autism Broad Spectrum still stands, but we think they will eventually move away from that term. He is still delayed, but has shown great improvement with intervention. He is extremely social and interacts with others on a non-autism level. Right now the focus is on building and correcting his muscle definition and working on speech. We're also trying to rule out a cognitive delay.
We still go to physical, occupational, and speech therapy once a week.

Here are some other things about Gibby that make us laugh or that we've noticed an improvement in.Or, here's just some general information about the one, the only, Mr. Gibby.
  • Gabriel absolutely LOVES to eat. The second he wakes up the morning he starts signing and saying "More" as fast as his hands and mouth will move. This is his way of telling us, "Feed me now! I'm starving!" At each meal he usually eats more than Caderyn.
  •  He is singing.  Ninety percent of the time we have no idea what he is singing, but that other 10% of the time he likes to sing "Old MacDonald" and is a pro with the "EIEIO" part.
  • He goes down for bed at 8:00 p.m., but refuses to fall asleep unless his brother is in the room with him. Caderyn goes down at 8:30 p.m. and in that 1/2 hour time period Gabriel will sing, talk to himself, or play until we herd Caderyn to bed. Once Caderyn is in there, they will usually talk or laugh together, or Caderyn will "shush" Gibby who is laughing and screeching at his brother. After maybe 15 minutes they are usually both asleep. 
  • Gibby is a night time pooper. He waits until after we've put him into bed and tucked him in before taking a HUGE poop. 
  • He still struggles with self-harm. If something isn't going the right way, Gabriel will throw himself back in a chair or on the ground, he will hit his head or his tummy with his hands. This is hard for me to see. We talk about gentle touches and try to catch his head or his hand. 
  • He loves playing with his brothers toys. If Caderyn is playing with something Gabriel tries to steal it. 
  • He loves his brother.
  • He thinks peek-a-boo is the best game ever. This morning he wouldn't let me get him out of bed until he'd surprised me no less than five times by popping down into his covers and then springing up and shouting, "Ahh!"
  • He is starting to say more words. We have heard and are working on: Mommy, Daddy, Cookie, Tubby, Gibby ( A lot of 'y' sounds), Ball, Duck, Thank you, More, Milk, Toy, Baby, Dog.
  • Gibby loves to dance and can rock the fist pump action.
  • He loves being chased. 
  • Loves a challenge. We have a slight wood incline into our kitchen--it is a tripping hazard. Once he started walking he fell probably 50 times over that one step into our kitchen. Every day he would walk over it and fall, but he continued to get up and walk over it again. He can now cross over that obstacle like he's been doing it his whole life. 
  • Loves his grandparents. Oh boy does he!
  • Loves his Daddy. The second Jeff walks into the room Gibby shrieks, "Daddy!"
  • Loves throwing balls back and forth across the room. 
  • He is a goofball. 
  • He will get up and go in the morning, but after breakfast usually needs a moment to be snuggled. He relaxes in my arms and sucks the fingers on his right hand while playing with the fingers on his other hand. 
  • Has obvious comfort techniques. 
  • Tends to get overwhelmed. 
  • Still screams...but not as much. 
  • Has discovered tickling people and loves to tickle and make people laugh. 
  • Points at everything and says, "Wow!" to try and captivate your attention. 
  • Has the best head of hair...I can't cut it. Not yet!
  • Is now able and willing to wear shoes. 
  • Will greet you the second you walk in the house with a "Hi!" or a "Mommy!" 
  • Can walk and toot at the same time...talented, I tell ya. 
  • Throws stuff when he doesn't get his way. 
  • Has been introduced to the time out corner and doesn't like it. 
  •  Wants to be included in what others are doing and gets upset if he is left out. 
  • Has some separation anxiety from his mom and dad. :)
  • He is the splashiest person I know in the bathtub.

  • Has figured out that by walking into the kitchen, he can usually get a snack. 
  • Has the best belly laugh of any little boy named Gabriel that I know. 
  • Loves wrestling with Daddy.
  • Tries so hard to talk to you and just jabbers and jabbers in sentence form. We love this. 
  • Absolutely adores Honey Nut Cheerios and cookies (whoops)
  • When he sleeps it looks like a tornado went through his crib. He usually ends up on the opposite with no less that two blankets tangled around him and a stuffed animal on his head.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Jeff and I picked the boys up from daycare one day last week and for some reason Jeff was driving a little crazy, in a hurry to get home.

Here is how our conversation went down.

Sarah: Jeez Jeff, slow down! We have precious cargo in this car.
Jeff: I'm fine. We're fine.
Caderyn: Daddy, if a police officer were here right now he would pull over and give you a ticket!

Jeff and I couldn't keep straight faces.