Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let Sleeping Angels Lie

Aiden drives me crazy on a daily basis. I love him insanely, but life with a toddler can be rough. And then he does something like this, which just makes it all worth it....

I Wish They All Could Be California Girls...

Who says the soldier has to do all the work? In the Army, whenever you have to do anything official, it has to be the soldier who does it. They don't want to talk to the spouse, even though everybody knows it's us wives who make the decisions anyway.... :-)

So our potential assignment to Germany has fallen through, surprise surprise. While I am disappointed to not be going back to Europe, it's really okay. Now my kids will be closer to Grandma and Grandpa for longer, and it's a lot less work and stress for me! So where are we going, you ask? Fort Irwin, CALIFORNIA. That's right, we are returning to our homeland, where the sun always shines, gas is $4 a gallon, and the roaches are not the size of puppies.

Now let me tell you how we got this wonderful assignment. Me. That's right, me. Chris was having trouble staying in touch with the guy who does assignments (big surprise, seeing as how he's in a war zone), so when he did finally talk to him, he told him to just call me and tell me what was available, and whatever I wanted was fine. So I got in touch with the guy, got the low down on all the places we could go - Boston, Wisconsin, Alaska, Seattle, just to name a few - and Irwin. Chris and I talked it over (I know he said it was my call, but I couldn't make a decision like that without talking to him, I mean, it is HIS job), and we decided that California was calling our names. So after another 10 minute phone call to the guy, we are officially on assignment to Southern California, reporting in December.

Now, Irwin is in the Mojave Desert, outside of Barstow, otherwise known as the armpit of California, BUT, it's 120 miles from Las Vegas, 90 miles from Orange County, 60 miles from Big Bear Lake, and not far from Palm Springs and Lake Havasu. I mean, could you ask for more stuff to do? So I'm totally excited to once again be a California girl.

Bloomingdales, here I come....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, the last 2 nights Aiden has cried for about 3 minutes. And it's really been more of a whining cry than all out screaming. I've gone in both nights after about 15 minutes of silence and he's been sound asleep. He has yet to wake up in the middle of the night since we've started this whole thing, too. I'm totally in shock that he is taking to this so well, I was fully prepared for a HUGE fight. I am so proud of him, he really is becoming a big boy. Does this mean we have reached success? I'm sure we'll have some bad nights sometimes, but I think he's got it down.

Next stop - potty training....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Round Two

Well, round two of the new nightly routine had only 25 minutes of screaming, so we are making progress! And once again, he slept all night long, which is even better. Apparently I was making myself crazy over this for no reason, it's really been pretty easy. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop... :-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Check It Out

For a firsthand look at the life of a deployed soldier, check out Chris' blog - The Army Life As Lived. Make sure to leave him comments, any contact with "regular life" is appreciated!

We Did It!!

Aiden screamed bloody murder at the top of his lungs for about an hour last night, then fell asleep in his bed. I'm surprised he wasn't on the floor, since I know he was out of his bed at one point. I was surprised that it only took an hour, since we have had some marathon screaming sessions before. I figured the middle of the night episode would be worse, and then to my utter amazement he slept all night long, for the first time in weeks. That's one thing about screaming for a while, it wears you out! So the first night of our new routine was way easier than I had thought it was going to be, all of my friends with small children - feel free to shoot me. He's also in a great mood today, something we haven't experienced in a long time, either. Probably because he's been so exhausted all the time and refused to sleep! It's amazing what 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep can do! Anyway, we'll see what tonight brings....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

And So It Begins....

I've always tried to pick my battles when it comes to raising Aiden. I can go overboard obsessing about every little thing, or I can just take a deep breath, remind myself that he's a toddler and just abide by my time-honored statute - if it's not going to hurt him, and he's not going to hurt it, then just let him be. This has always worked very well in the past, and I think I'm pretty laid back about most things when it comes to him. Well, the time has come to pick a battle.

I've always allowed him to sleep in the bed with me if he woke up in the middle of the night. He has always started out in his own bed, but somehow always ends up in bed with me before the night is over. Mainly because it was the best way for all of us to get a good night's sleep. Up until now, that has always been the most important thing to me, especially while working, and being pregnant. Last night however, all that changed. He's been steadily waking up more and more often during the night. He's taking forever to go back to sleep, even in the bed with me, whereas it usually only took him 5 minutes or so. I'm already sleep-deprived thanks to a new baby, I don't need my 2 1/2 year old to add to it. Then he started throwing middle of the night temper tantrums in the bed, for no reason that I could figure out. That really pisses me off. Nothing like being beat up by your toddler at 3 am. When that happens, I just haul his little butt back to his bed and let him scream for a few minutes before going back and getting him. He's usually very compliant after that, but lately it hasn't made a difference. So now we are all tired and grumpy and cranky, and I decided that something has to change.

So tonight I'm implementing a new policy. He's sleeping all night in his own bed, and I'm not going to sit with him until he falls asleep anymore, like I have been. Again, it used to take 5 minutes, now it can take up to an hour or more, and I just can't do that with Jack here now. It's time he learned to fall asleep on his own. So as I write this, Aiden is in his room, very loudly letting me know that he is not happy about being in there by himself. In fact, he's pretty pissed. I used to not be able to handle letting him cry, but times have changed. He's not a baby anymore, he knows exactly what I want him to do, he's just the most stubborn, willful child I have ever met. So I am steeling myself for several nights of h-e-double hockey sticks before he breaks. I've been called stubborn before by a certain husband of mine, so we'll see who's going to win. I'm going to make a prediction that it's going to be me. Good thing I'm up anyway! Pray for me please, I have a feeling that there are fierce battles ahead...

He's been quiet for a couple of minutes now, so he's either given up or been abducted by aliens. I'll keep you posted.

PS - Sara, pray extra hard that it doesn't take more than a week to get through this...that or bring a pair of earplugs with you next week! :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


As a parent you can't wait for your children to reach those milestones. You know, crawling, walking, talking (although I'm starting to think that teaching your child to talk is really overrated...). You wait for what feels like forever for them to start doing these things, and then when they do you are just so excited and lavish all kinds of praise on them because they are just so proud of themselves. And then...

...your two-year old figures out how to get his cup and get water out of the refrigerator door dispenser all by himself. And you know this is not one of those milestones they write about in the toddler development books. As he fills his cup with that magic water you see all kinds of scenarios unfold in your mind's eye. Your son standing there filling and re-filling his cup while dumping all the water on the floor; your son seeing how big of a bucket he can fill with that water; or the best one yet, your son just standing there with his finger on the button while water just drains away onto the floor....

Suddenly you blink to clear your mind of these horrors just in time to see the look on his face as he figures out what he just did. And that look of pride just blooms across his face so brightly that you can't help but smile at him, even though you know that this is going to become a huge battle in the days to come. Talk about a double-edged sword. But you know, the real question that I'm wondering now is, why did I not just spend the extra $100 when I bought the refrigerator and get the one with the CHILD-LOCK ON IT???

Monday, April 21, 2008

One Week Later...

...and we are still alive. Although this 2 kid business has changed my thinking somewhat. You know those leashes you see on some kids? I always thought that was so horrible to put a leash on your kid, I mean, they are not a dog, for crying out loud! But now, I know why they were invented. When you are at the store, and you have a baby in the cart AND another kid who doesn't know how to listen to directions, what are you supposed to do? If you put them in the basket, there is no room for the food. So today, I bought a leash for Aiden. I'm going to hook that puppy to the side of the cart and watch him try to escape. Should be funny.

Also, any advice from you other mommies out there on how to get your two-year old to sleep through the night? Without screaming the house down? Aiden has decided that he's going to wake up several times during the night now, and I don't know why. He's never been a good sleeper, but this is ridiculous. I've got 2 kids in the bed with me now, and if I don't figure something out, I'm going to have to buy a bigger bed. Right now it's not so bad with Chris gone, but when he comes home it might get a little crowded. Not to mention awkward. For now, I just think of it this way, having both of them in bed with me is my insurance policy that I won't end up with another one in 9 months.... :-)

And finally, here are some pictures I took yesterday of my boys. They look like sweet little angels, don't they? Ha.

Friday, April 18, 2008


So, I promised details and here they are. If you'd rather not read about contractions and dilation, I'd suggest you skip this post... :-)

I went to the doctor on Monday afternoon for my regular check-up. I had said before that I was prepared to cry the doctor into submission so he would induce me. I never had the chance. After he checked me he said that I was still 2 centimeters and if I wanted they could do an induction. Oh thank the Lord! I told him YES, he laughed at my obvious enthusiasm for that plan of action and said that he would check out how busy they were up in labor and delivery and let me know when we could do it. He came back and said "how about right now?"

They started my pitocin drip (for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of labor, pitocin is a drug that stimulates contractions) at 4:15 in the afternoon. Within about 15 minutes my contractions were getting really strong and not long after that I became the recipient of the greatest invention in modern medicine - the epidural. After that things went along smoothly (except for one bout of nausea) until about 11:00. The doctor checked me again, said I was at 8 centimeters and that it wouldn't be long. A few minutes later he came back in to reposition the fetal heart rate monitor, because Jack had moved down out of range. I all of a sudden had the urge to push, and he checked me one more time and said I was ready, and crowning. They brought in the cart with all the various tools needed to deliver a baby in a modern hospital, complete with bio-hazard bag (just what exactly did they think was coming out?), and who knows what else. Thanks to my completely numb legs I was maneuvered into position by my mom, sister and several nurses, and with seven hours of labor and 4 pushes, out came Jack.

If you have never seen a live birth, or touched a baby right after they come out, let me tell you - it's kind of gross. They are all covered in gunk and are pretty slimy. But looking at that baby lying on your stomach, and knowing that moments earlier they were inside you, is pretty amazing. All of a sudden you know who's been kicking you and giving you the worst heartburn of your life. And they are so small. THAT little guy has been making me miserable these last weeks?

And you know it was all worth it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

At Long Last

Please welcome to the world, Jack Michael Echevarria!

April 14, 2008. 11:39 PM. 7 Pounds, 7 ounces.

More details to follow....

Sunday, April 13, 2008


So it's Sunday evening and we just got back from the hospital. I started having some sharp pains really frequently, I wasn't sure what it was (it didn't feel like contractions) so I decided to go up to Labor and Delivery and get checked out, just in case. Once I got there, the pains stopped - of course - but I started having contractions. They were up there on the monitor, plain as day, 6-8 minutes apart. The doctor checked me and I'm STILL 2 centimeters dilated, and only about 25% effaced. So while we are seeing some progress, and I am having contractions, they aren't strong enough or close enough together to keep me there. So they sent me home. So now we are just waiting for the contractions to get closer together and more intense, and then I can go back to the hospital. We'll see what tonight brings...

Babies, Yard Work and Money to Burn

On the baby front - no I haven't had him yet. This overdue stuff is crap. Although I have a newfound appreciation for my friend Lindsay, who went 2 weeks overdue in the middle of July with her first baby. You go girl, I think I would have just curled up and died in front of the air conditioner. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm practicing my "tears on command" skills, which I plan on using to hold him hostage until he agrees to induce me.

One of the things that sucks about your husband being deployed (other than the fact that he's not around to kill mutant bugs or take out the trash), is that he's not here to mow the yard and fix all those things that mysteriously break outside for no reason. One of the things that's really cool about having your parents nearby? Dad IS here to mow the yard and fix all those things. My Dad comes over about once a week and putters around the house, doing yard work and fixing things that I have no idea even exist. He takes my trash to the dump, and kills bugs. He even installed a privacy fence and gate across the driveway and the side of the house that I decided I wanted in order to corral my son in the backyard. It's really nice, and makes this deployment ten times easier than the last one....thanks Dad!

One thing you should not do when you are overdue, bored and have money to burn is wander the baby section at Target with said money. You will end up spending it, trust me. My latest unnecessary purchase? The Graco SweetPeace. Now, this may have not been entirely needed, but boy, is it COOL! It's a baby swing, and this thing has everything you could ever want in a piece of baby gear. I actually have a baby swing already that my in-laws bought for Aiden when he was born. It's a great swing, and Aiden loved it. I had no plans to buy a new one, because this one is perfectly fine, but when I saw this thing at Target I could not resist it. It mimics the natural movement of the mother, rather than just swinging back and forth. It plays womb sounds, nature sounds and classical music, as well as comes with an MP3 connection and a little section to hook up your iPod, so you can customize your playlist for your baby. It also vibrates, and comes equipped with a swaddling blanket that hooks right into the seat. It can run off batteries OR plug into the wall (if you've ever used a baby swing before you know how much they suck those D batteries). And the best part of all? The swing seat is removable, and the infant car seat I have hooks onto it. So if the baby is asleep in the car and you don't want to wake him up, you can just set the car seat right into the swing and let him be. How cool is that?? AND, the high-tech keypad that runs all these fancy options has a parental lock on it, so little sticky toddler fingers can't mess up your settings. I mean, this thing was seriously designed by a Mommy! What more could you want? It was super easy to put together too, so I'm totally recommending this thing to anyone who's having a baby....

I think that's all for now, it's taken me a little while to write this, and I'm STILL not in labor....more tomorrow after my doctor's appointment.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Women and Bugs

This is the south, and there are bugs. I've reconciled myself to that fact, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it, or allow them to enter my house. I don't do bugs, they are too small to shoot effectively. In my opinion, the worst of the little critters are roaches. They are just so nasty....

So last night about 10 o'clock or so, my mom and I are sitting in my living room trying to take our minds off of my supposedly impending labor by watching a little Buffy. It's a good mom who will endure Buffy the Vampire Slayer with her overdue daughter. Anyway, as we are watching Buffy attack a sewer monster with an ax or something, I notice something crawl across the bottom of the TV. It's a giant, demon cockroach. AHHHHHH!!!! What is that THING doing in my house??? We both jump up on the couch to protect ourselves from the monster that has taken up residence. Of course, this technique is not going to kill it, so we have to do something else. Something that involved getting off of the couch. So my mom goes in search of a weapon and some Raid, and I continued to stare at the thing to make sure it didn't move. She comes back with a broom, but of course we can't find the Raid. By now the thing has moved onto the floor and crawled under a toy firetruck.

What to do? In order to kill it, we have to go near it, which is not something that comes naturally. My mom pushes the firetruck out of the way with the broom and it scurries into the dining room. Amid lots of shrieking and hopping out of the way we manage to get it corralled between the table and the wall. Now picture this - I'm nine months pregnant, and standing on top of a dining room chair to avoid a cockroach while my mom is whacking at it with a broom. This suddenly strikes me as hysterically funny and I start laughing. She starts laughing too, and continues to whack at it. She was pretty good, and managed to wound it to the point of no return. But cockroaches have more lives than cats, and the thing is still moving its little legs (just writing this is giving me the heebie-jeebies). So more advanced measures must be taken. We got a clear bucket that used to hold Aiden's blocks and trapped it underneath it. I found the Raid and we took advantage of a crack in the bottom of the bucket to spray the thing with enough Raid to take out an entire village of mutant roaches. We then covered the bucket with a paper bag to let the monster die its slow horrible death out of sight.

Meanwhile, we have been trying to call my Dad. He's not answering his phone. Keep in mind that he's supposed to be on call in case I go into LABOR, and he's not answering his phone. So we decide to just leave the dead bug where it is, under the bucket and the bag, and let him dispose of it in the morning. After all, we slayed, someone else can deal with the body. So first on the list of Dad's things to do today is spray industrial strength bug killer/repellent around the house. And it had better work, because I swear, if I see one more of those things, I'm calling an exterminator.

I don't DO bugs...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Well, today is D-Day, as you can see from the ticker at the top of the page. And nothing is happening. My sister got here last night, so if Jack was waiting for that, he can get his butt in gear now! Oh well, it will happen when it happens I guess. My doctor is on leave until Monday (but still in town should I need him), so I don't go back for another check up until then. But by then I will be past due, so hopefully if it comes to that he can go ahead and schedule me to be induced shortly after that. I'm ready to get this kid out!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Still Waiting....

I thought things might be on their way yesterday afternoon, but it seems not. I had a few contractions, they were 30+ minutes apart, and then they fizzled out and stopped. Had another one today, but then nothing. Little Jack is taking his sweet time. I went for a walk today, hoping that would jump start things, but so far nothing. I guess I'm just in a really long early labor stage. I never thought I would be looking forward to having contractions!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Baby Update

Things are happening.... :-)

I went to the doctor today for my weekly check up, and I'm almost 2 centimeters dilated. The baby has dropped significantly, and his head is taking up all the space down there! So the doctor tried to strip my membranes, but it was really pretty painful, so he wasn't able to do a lot. He did do a little bit though, so we'll see if it helps. Either way, things are moving along!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Still Waiting....

Just thought I'd check in, no I have not had the baby yet for those of you who are wondering. I go back to the doctor the end of this week, hopefully we will see some progress. As much fun as pregnancy is (that's just a hint of sarcasm...) I'm ready for this to be over! I'm even looking forward to labor, just to get it over with. I hate this waiting part...