A Blog PCS!

3 Aug

Our time being known as the ‘Blissful Stedmans’ blog has come to an end…but that doesn’t mean that I’m stopping blogging…we’re just moving, in the technology sorta-way.  :)

This will be my last post on ‘Blissful.’  Due to our increased need to be concerned about security (you know I try to be careful with OPSEC!), I decided that it wasn’t a good idea to have our last names as such a large part of our blog, among other things.  This blog has grown so much in the last year, so I really felt like it was time for a change.

My new mission is “No Reader Left Behind” – I want to make the transition over to the new blog as smooth as possible.  If you had this blog bookmarked, please bookmark the new one.  If you subscribe by email, feel free to resubscribe to the new blog.  And don’t forget to tell your friends!  ;)

Everything from this blog has been transferred over to the new blog.  I’m not deleting this blog quite yet, too.  So, rest assured that all of the content will remain the same.

Without further adieu, I present to you….{drumroll, please}……..

Our Content Nest

www.ourcontentnest.wordpress.com

Head on over and check it out!

Monday Round Up, Y’all

2 Aug

Lots of “stuff” on my mind this morning, so hang with me!

1.  I received a video camera for my college graduation, but it randomly stopped charging.  I was bummed because I made this discovery when I brought it out to take some videos of Patton and his development.  I knew that I’d want a replacement because, even though we have some great photographs, there’s just nothing like hearing Eden’s voice and seeing her movement on video (in video of her in younger days).  If there is a bright side to the camera dying, it is that all of this transpired on the “Black Friday of July” sale that many retailers joined in on…including Wally World and Target.  I found a camera for $50, got free shipping and used a $30 gift card we’d received…not a bad gig!  Here are three videos I captured recently of the kiddos -

Patton playing in his Activity Gym

Patton’s Tummy Time

“Texas, baby!” – Dinner Conversation with Eden

2.  I’m making a greater effort of turning off the TV…aka idiot box…as much as I can.  Sometimes it’s a bad habit where I turn on Good Morning America…and then, even though I’m not an “active viewer,” I keep the TV on just for the background noise.  Bad, bad, bad – so much TV is just junk!  And it’s usually on in the evenings when the babes are tucked in bed…another bad habit…this bookworm needs to inch back into reading!  I’ve selected 5 books that I want to read completely before Micah returns from deployment.

3.  Along the lines of turning off the TV, we’ve been using the radio in the kitchen and living room to have a “dance party” in the afternoons.  It is just so fun to see Eden groove, and Patton seems to like it, too.  It’s good stress relief for the Mama, too!  Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” CD has been on repeat around this casa, as have songs like “Groovy Little Summer Song” by James Otto and “Lover, Lover” by Jerrod Niemann.

4.  Micah and I were just talking yesterday about how incredible it is to see Eden’s personality really blossom and for her to already have “preferences” and opinions about things.  She really is her own special little self!  I’m preparing another BSR – Big Sister Report – for later this week which will elaborate a lot more on this.

5.  On Saturday morning I finally took some time to shuffle around the photographs hanging on our walls to incorporate Patton’s newborn portraits and our family portraits.  I really love how it all looks and I’ll post some “Before & After” photos later on, too.

6.  Micah brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago that there were only 16 weeks left in his deployment.  16 weeks!  That feels like a much smaller amount of time than “4 Months,” to me at least.  I just know how quickly 16 weeks of pregnancy went by so I know this time will go by just as fast.  The countdown is ON!

7.  Aside from reading, dancing, taking care of the household and…you know…the big task of taking good care of our sweet kiddos, I want to complete a couple more projects.  Yes, I’m at it again!  :) I’m planning to make each of the children a growth chart, a blanket for our bed, and a “No Soliciting” sign…since we can’t seem to find one anywhere in town.  My sewing machine is going to get a Richard Simmons-style workout!

How was your weekend?  Did you get outside to enjoy some summer sunshine?  Are you “over” the heat and, like me, ready for the crisp autumn breeze?

Patton: Two Months

29 Jul

I cannot believe that our sweet baby boy is two months old already!  I’m trying to soak in each day as it comes and remind myself that, even when the days don’t go as smoothly as I’d like, I wouldn’t trade them for anything else in the whole world.

Patton has many nicknames around our house…man cub, little man, and my new favorite – Mr. Serious.  He just cracks me up on a daily basis because he’ll act so solemn and serious…and observant!  Then he breaks out with a gummy little grin.  It’s almost too much to bear!

Sometimes I think that the little General is wise beyond his years.  He’s just taking it all in.  Perhaps he’ll follow Teddy Roosevelt’s rule:  “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

I’m working on catching that smile on camera!

I do think that we are (not intentionally) preparing Patton for a lifetime of military service, journalism, politics….something in those areas.  When we wake up, I give him a bottle while checking in on the world with Good Morning America.  Lunch time?  Local news.  Dinner time?  Local and national evening news.  Middle of the night?  ABC’s World News Now.  Apparently we’re raising this little man to be very aware of the world around him!

I love that he’s starting to be more expressive and interactive with us.  Have I told you how much he loves his big sister?  Somehow she can always get him to smile a big, sweet, gummy grin.  It makes me so happy!  The “ahhs” and “coos” melt my heart, too.

His head control is improving each day and it’s very rare that he has an uncontrolled bobble requiring “M.I.” – Mom Intervention.  :)

My favorite time of day/night with Patton is in the evening.  We do our bedtime routine and he snoozes in his swing from 7 to 10 pm.  At 10 pm, I wake him up for another bottle before it’s crib-time.  I’m very lucky that he isn’t the type of baby that’s a complete bear (get it?  man cub?  ha!) to wake up.  He is just so darn mellow that it astounds me!

I love this outfit on him because the tummy looks like a bear and there’s a bear on each foot.  Perfect for a man cub!

When I take him out of his swing and unswaddle him, this is the big bear stretch I get to see.  It’s just too cute for words…the photo will have to speak for itself.

And then we’re on to the “tough work” of bottle feeding.  I love the hand over the face in this one…reminds me of a pose we might see the World’s Hot Dog Eating Champion in!

He continues to love time spent on his activity mat – either spent on tummy time, or on his back, gazing up at his toys.  He can spend a good hour there, just relaxing away!

Expressing to me his excitement…

And since we’re done with the belly comparison photos, it’s high time we do some baby comparison photos instead!

On Wednesday, Patton had his two-month well baby check-up.  He currently weighs 9 lbs., 5 oz.  and is 23 inches long.  His head circumference is 38 cm.  The doctor is concerned about his weight gain, so she advised me to supplement with formula and we’ll check back in a week to see his progress.  He’s meeting, and exceeding, his developmental milestones, so we just need to amp up his weight gain.

The poor little mister also had to be treated for an umbilical granuloma.  It occurs in about 1 in 500 newborns and is a relatively minor issue as long as it’s treated.  The doctor used a long-sticked q-tip with silver nitrate on it to dab the granuloma and heal the area.  It was painless and the man cub was a perfect gentleman throughout the procedure.

He also had to get several vaccinations.  Like all mothers, I really hate having to see my baby in pain, even if it is for the greater good.  Despite crying during the actual administration of the shots, he wasn’t terribly upset…until about six hours later.  Around 4pm, a small dose of generic Tylenol and extra cuddles were absolute necessities.  That seemed to do the trick (for the most part) until around 8pm when the vomiting presented itself, poor little man.  I gave him a nice lukewarm bath which really relaxed him.  He was so exhausted.  While he tried to nap, I called the Tel-A-Nurse at our hospital just to verify that I’d treated his symptoms appropriately and to make sure that we didn’t need to make a trip to the hospital.  She advised that, as long as his low grade fever didn’t climb higher, and as long as his breathing continued as expected, we could stay home.  And that’s when even greater fear kicked in…I set up the Pack n’ Play in our master bedroom again so that he could sleep right near me and I could monitor his breathing.  I was terribly paranoid.  For that reason, and because he would wake up at least once an hour with a whimper-ish cry, neither one of us slept very well.  I’m happy to report that he’s felt better this morning and is catching up on his sleep.

I’ll update this post after next week’s weight check appointment.

You can stand under my umbrella, -ella, -ella

27 Jul

We’ve been putting up with….ahem, enjoying….some pretty ‘blah’ weather around here lately.  I can’t complain too loudly because it’s cooler than it could be (low 90s for the most part), but the humidity is getting old.  I also shouldn’t complain because the severity of the storms is really minor…the biggest risk in this area is flooding, but even the northeast (where we reside) is in a lower flood risk zone.  So really, it’s just some sprinkles, some wind and gloomy, threatening clouds that we’re dealing with…rough life, I know.

The clouds are pretty wild, though.  It’s really neat to see how the weather plays with the mountain-scape.  Check these photos out – the photo on the left is from a clear day back in January; the photo on the right is from Saturday afternoon with some storms rolling in.

Y’all, there are supposed to be some big things called mountains appearing behind that house!  Usually those mountains are pretty hard to miss…crazy, right?!

It’s exciting to be experiencing this weather in a new area…it’s so different from Michigan and Georgia!

Put Your Thinkin’ Caps On!

26 Jul

It’s time for a change on this bloggity blog.  I love the name of our blog because it is a symbol of our first, real duty station as a family…Fort Bliss….get it?!

Anywho…

I feel like, for security reasons, our last name probably shouldn’t be in the name and URL of this bad boy.

Here’s where YOU come in…

Please put your thinking caps on and share some creative potential blog names with me.  C’mon, I know you’ve got a good one!  Put ‘er right there in the comments!

ETA: Thank you for your suggestions.  Comments have no closed as a new name has been selected.

Let’s Talk About Faith

26 Jul

I’m breaking my own rule of “housework before blogging” because I (miraculously) have two children sleeping and inspiration/motivation…all at the same time!  Believe me, that is a rarity these days.

I read this recently…

Your happiness in life must come from the Lord.  It’s the relationship you have with Christ that will satisfy your every need.  Your spouse, your children, your friends, your mentors, even your Priest/Pastor will disappoint you at some time — just as you will disappoint them.  It cannot be helped; we are only human.  But, Jesus will NEVER disappoint you.  Through His love, which satisfies your every need, you can love others…even when they disappoint you.  You can forgive them, even when you don’t want to.  And, you can give up and argument, even when you know you are right.

{I can’t remember where I read this…otherwise I would provide proper credit.  My apologies!}

I’ve had this saved in my Blackberry for a couple of weeks now, just re-reading and meditating on this when the opportunity presents itself…and when I needed that reminder.  Here are some of my thoughts…the questions aren’t meant to be rhetorical, necessarily.  I’d love for you to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments, but if you’re uncomfortable with that, that’s okay, too.

  • Can we “fake it until we make it” with faith?  Can you make faith a “habit”?  Basically, can we consciously make it a point to pray each morning and each evening – even if we don’t necessarily see the benefit of it immediately – and eventually have it become second nature and a requirement of starting, and ending, our day off right?
  • How can we attend Church each week and make it more than just “attending”?  How do we personalize it and bring the faith home with us?  How do we live The Word?
  • Like the paragraph above, we know that everyone in our lives will eventually let us down.  It is human nature and undeniable.  But if Jesus never lets us down, how can we explain bad things that happen to good people?  I understand that this is probably an age old question.
  • What do we do when we let ourselves down?

In some ways I feel like I’m struggling with my own faith.  Sometimes I feel like faith and believing can come off as cliche.  I feel like believing isn’t something that’s addressed outright in our society…we don’t see lead characters in TV shows (reality or otherwise) mentioning their faith.  We all know the rule…politics and religion are no-nos of dinner time discussion when you’re in mixed company…but really, what’s so wrong with finding common ground and discussing how freeing it can be to realize that our time on earth is temporary, and that our “things” aren’t what really matter?  Why does it feel like having faith – or sharing our faith – is a no-no?

I just want to reiterate that you shouldn’t feel compelled to “talk back” to me about this in the comments…I just wanted to get it off my chest and I hoped that maybe this would help me find some resolution to my pondering.  That being said, if you do feel comfortable, please share!

Hooah Monday…

26 Jul

…of sorts.

Is anyone else sick of hearing about Lindsay Lohan and all her self-created drama?  Seriously – why does the media care so stinkin’ much about the ridiculousness of a twenty-something twinkie?!

Here are a few twenty-somethings worth knowing about:

Army 1st Lt. Robert N. Bennedsen

Died July 18, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

25, of Vashon, Wash.; assigned to 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died July 18 in Qalat, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Marine Cpl. Joe L. Wrightsman

Died July 18, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Jonesboro, La.; was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; died July 18 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Marine Cpl. Paul J. Miller

Died July 19, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Traverse City, Mich.; assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died July 19 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations.

Army Spc. Matthew R. Hennigan

Died June 30, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

20, of Las Vegas, Nev.; assigned to the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany; died June 30 at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained earlier in Tangi Valley, Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his unit with machine gun fire.

Marine Cpl. Daane A. Deboer

Died June 25, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Ludington, Mich.; assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died June 25 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

And from Micah’s Battalion:

Army Spc. Stanley J. Sokolowski III

Died May 20, 2010 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Ocean, N.J.; assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; died May 20 in Kirkuk, Iraq, in a noncombat-related incident.

These twenty-somethings gave their lives for you.  Is it just me, or do we need to reconsider our priorities?

All photos and information courtesy of Military Times “Honor the Fallen.”
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