Let's Get This Over With

Michael is deploying. Again.

He returned from Iraq one year ago this month. Like clockwork, that army. My walls are up and I'm trying my best not to let reality seep through the cracks. There are moments of weakness. "The last time" hangs fresh in my memory.

I dread his departure. I'll fight ever fiber not to chase after him as he loads onto that bus. Watching someone you love drive away is such an awful thing. Coming home to an empty bed is even worse.

I'll be busy. I know that. Busy chasing a toddler. Busy building a business. Busy making a home. 

And there's our family. Our friends. 

But the pain is there. It's inevitable and terrifying and hard.

For now I busy myself with boxes that need filling and a house that needs finding. With one deployment under our belt, I know we'll be ok. It won't be easy, but I guess that's just a part of growing.

Riley County Fair

Despite the sweltering 105 temps we braved the heat and paid a visit to the county fair. Free entertainment, people! 

We figured Levi would looooove the animals. He has a fascination with dogs so he should love all furry creatures, right? He giggled for this big eared guy, anyway. (I have a thing for ears... I died.) 

After a few minutes of nibbling and snuffing, Levi decided he wasn't a fan of the goat any longer. We tried again with a sweet baby pig, but he wasn't having it. Poor kid was over-stimulated and content to view from the safety of his stroller. 

It took all my strength not to steal a piglet. It would've been very Charlotte's Web. But then Michael reminded me that they grow up to look like their mama... and she was one big girl, if you know what I mean. 

The cows brought me back to Wisconsin. This mama and baby were snuggling... too cute.

Michael was upset we skipped the funnel cake. And Levi? He just wanted some corn.

Michael and I are going back on Sunday without Levi. (We actually have a sitter and plans for a REAL date!) It was painful not to ride the tilt'o'whirl or ferris wheel this time... even if they do cost 3 bucks a piece. 

So howbout you? Eaten a baked twinkie yet? Or does the thought of a giant, sweaty crowd make you cringe? 


Our lives are about to change in a big way. 

For now we're soaking up the sun and enjoying time as a family.

Just chillin'. :)

Pool Days

Our new friends rescued us from the house for a day at the pool. We soaked up vitamin D and let the water cool us down. Our fair skin, however, didn't agree with it as much. 

Doesn't Levi look great in pink & purple? 

A Little Bit of Levi

There's something so fun about 12-18 month olds. Michael and I are really enjoying this stage with Levi. He does the funniest things and is soaking up the world like a sponge.

We've had to be a bit more firm with him than usual since our return from Wisconsin. I'm not sure he had any discipline during our visit! Now (for the most part) he listens very well when we say no. But in return, he head butts the nearest wall, window, floor, or piece of furniture. It's kind of disturbing, but upon further investigation I'm finding this to be fairly normal behavior for kids his age. At least he's not biting himself! When we walk in on him doing something he knows he shouldn't be, he jumps about a foot and his eyes get as big as saucers. It's so funny we usually forget to be upset. :)

He's very dependent on our reactions. If we laugh at him, he'll do whatever it was again and again, making us laugh even more. Several months ago, my mother-in-law was visiting and she pretended to cry. We'd never done this, and it must have freaked him out because he started crying big crocodile tears! It's scary how much he watches the way we interact, truthfully! 

It's been awesome to see his personality emerge. He's laid back like his daddy with a bit of Mama's sass. He's a busy boy and a drama king. Overall he's a very happy camper and smiles ALL THE TIME. 

But then there is his naughty face. He looks me straight in the eye and flashes the tiniest smirk before misbehaving, almost as if to say, "Oh, you think you're in charge lady? Let me show you whose boss!" 


He loves to play with other kids, so we've never had a problem leaving him in nursery or day care. (He doesn't understand the concept of sharing, though.) We just hired our first real babysitter to watch him for a few hours on my birthday. I'm not too nervous, but it feels like quite the milestone! 

Bananas and mandarin oranges are his favorite. He recently decided he's not interested in peanut butter and jelly anymore. We've had to call Poison Control twice, once after he ate dog poop and the second after we found him covered in Triple Paste, licking his fingers. (Fantastic.)

He'd rather play with a cell phone or the remote than a toy, and he's taken a liking to splashing in the toilet and wearing underwear on his head. 

When he wants attention he fake coughs, or he'll pretend to put something in his mouth so he can laugh at me when I find nothing in it. (Really, he thinks it's hilarious.) If one of us is laying on the floor it's pretty much an invitation to have our hair pulled, be climbed on, or hit in the face. We're still working on "gentle". (The joys of having a boy.) Oh, and  he really likes wearing my headbands. 

I've especially loved watching his relationship with Michael bloom. He sure loves his daddy! Michael missed the first 6 months of Levi's life while he was in Iraq, but they've come leaps and bounds and that makes me smile. 

Levi has been nothing but a joy and fills our lives with the good stuff - laughter, smiles, love. We are so deeply blessed with this child and delight in watching him grow.

America's Birthday

Well, I'm still playing catch-up. I won't bore you with housewife talk because honestly, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. (Thank goodness for the crock-pot.)

Instead let's talk about the fun things we did this weekend, like eat ice cream!

The average temps around these parts have been HOT. Three days in a row we were greeted by a blast of 103 degrees dripping with humidity. It was pretty miserable, but then we found Orange Leaf - a bright, funky ice cream shop that introduced us to the Boba Ball. My husband would eat an entire bowl of them alone, if he could. They pop in your mouth and leave you with a refreshing burst of mango juice. (Or orange, or strawberry, if you wish.)

Anyway. We found this hidden gem after taking Levi to his very first splash park. I think he would have enjoyed it more had he been able to run all over. (No, at 16 months he's still not quite walking. He can get across a room but prefers to crawl. Anyone else's kid take their sweet time?)

Other weekend perks included Mario Bros on the wii, long naps, nachos, several episodes of Wild Boyz, a bbq with new friends, and a water balloon fight. 

To wrap it all up Michael and I enjoyed the fireworks show from our balcony - with the fireflies. We weren't able to be at the park due to Levi's earlier bed-time, but our own private viewing was pretty awesome, too.

What a great birthday, America. Thanks to our people for defending our freedom!