Saturday, May 31, 2008


Ramsey wanted me to post a picture of his new teeth. He is very proud of them as you might can tell. He has had minimal fussiness with them and hopefully this will be the case for the others that follow. We are so excited that in just 4 short weeks he will FINALLY get to meet his Daddy for the very first time. Cope is doing good work in Iraq but I guarantee his best work is right here waiting for him.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Conscious Living

Recently I have decided to try to live with more consciousness in my daily life. I truly don't want to sleep walk through any of it. I also want to try to be the best example for Ramsey that I can be. I have spent the past few months just observing how wasteful we are as a country. Don't get me wrong in that I love Publix but when I do my grocery shopping I seriously have almost as many plastic bags as do groceries. So I have decided to take my own canvas bags when I go shopping and if I forget to bring them in to a store I ask the clerk to try to put my items in as few bags as possible or no bag at all. I have also started to recycle this past week. I was absolutely obsessed with recycling when we lived at Ft.Drum, NY. It was so easy there in that they provided the bins and just picked them up with your other garbage each week. I enjoy making a game out of trying to see how little actual trash we can have each week. In my observations I have also realized how much junk we as consumers eat. I am as guilty as the next person here. I love comfort food. Maybe it is that I just that I want to shed the last 5 lbs of baby weight or maybe it is that I want to look my best for my husband whom I haven't seen in almost 10 months but in living a more conscious life I also want to pay attention to what is going in my body. I am definitely not an extremest by any means but if I'm not treating myself right how can I really expect anyone else too? I feel like from the moment we come into the world we are all on our own personal journey. One that hopefully is lifelong excavation to our best life. I want to give my son the best tools I possibly can and know that when he goes off to a life of his own that I did the best I could for him and that I still know who I am as an individual. An individual that I can look at at the end of each day hopefully truly like. All this is to say that I am not becoming some "hippe" but I am hopefully going to try to live a life I can be a little more proud of.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I told Cope maybe we should have named him Buddah???

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Peas Please

Ramsey is finally enjoying his solid food choices these days. So far we have introduced him to carrots, sweet potatoes, and green peas. He seems to like them all so far. Tomorrow we are going to start on some fruits as well. Starting solids is just like anything else with kids in that they'll eat from a spoon when their good and ready. I swear two weeks ago I would get so frustrated because he would fuss and I would want to throw the food across the room. I thought he might be the only kid in 1st grade still taking a bottle. I guess I'm a little dramatic sometimes. Anyway, I think he is getting the hang of it and it is so much fun to find out what he likes and doesn't. I plan to make some of his foods but it is so much more easy and convenient to buy it. They even make organic baby foods which he seems to like and I prefer that too. So I think I'll buy that at times but if we are having something great here we'll just whip up some for him too. So I may not get mother of the year for not breastfeeding him for a year and not making all his foods but he is happy and healthy and I am sane. Whatever works I say.

I think this pose mean he's done?:

Ramsey sometimes prefers his feet over a vegetable:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Ramsey and I had a fun little Memorial Day celebration. It was my friend Katie's Birthday as well so there was a cookout at her house. Ramsey and I went over for a bit when he woke up from his first nap. We had buffalo chicken dip in tow so with that and fun little boy we were very welcomed to the festivities. Ramsey enjoyed himself and he is always up for a good party. Must get that from his Mom? I think he was super wired from the party because he seriously slept 20 minutes from 12:30PM-9:00PM. Needless to say he is off to dream land right now and he was pretty much putty at final bottle time. So good party, good food, and overall good day except of course we are missing Cope and counting the days...

The girls at the party posing for a photo op:

There was a baby doll stroller in Katie's play room and I thought it was funny to try to see if Ramsey would fit it. Just barely but hilarious! Sorry, but sometimes I just can't help myself. I was laughing that I wondered if I pushed this through Target if I would get any strange looks???

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What tha....?

This is a prime example why you don't turn your back on your almost 6 month old. I thought as he got older it would just continue to get easier and lots of things do but definitely not their activity level. I even discovered yesterday I have to start putting the rails on his crib all the way up while he sleeping because I went to get him from his nap and he had one leg draped over the side. Ramsey is such a good boy but I have a sneaking suspicion we are in for some rowdiness as he continues to get bigger. Ramsey getting eaten by his play mat. He loved it and was laughing histerically!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Kid in Town

Today we had the privilege of meeting and babysitting the newest member of the Akin family, a 4 month old French Bulldog named JD (short for Jack Daniels). Neither my Mom or I can resist a puppy especially a little cutie like JD. He was so much fun and once his shyness around the other bullies in the house wore off he was right up in the mix of playtime. There was one point where none of the other dogs wanted to play anymore so JD decided to go play with Ramsey. Ramsey LOVES the doggies and JD was no exception. When I took Ramsey out for a little splash time in his pool JD just climbed right on in as if he'd done it a dozen times before. It was really fun to have a spunky yet very sweet puppy around. It almost made me want another, but I think I have my hands more than full and I am very content with my 3 kids (Ramsey, Sage, and Bentley). He is quite a little charmer though. Thanks Will and Cindy for sharing your little cutie with us today.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Picture Post

I just wanted to share a few pics that we snapped before running errands today. Ramsey is getting so big and so much fun everyday. He is currently working on his third new tooth and therefore chewing on his hands like a mad man. He is more than ready to meet his Daddy in just 5 weeks! I am simply overjoyed that Cope will finally get to see what all the fuss has been about. We have much to look forward to!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I realized recently that my newest guilty pleasure is buying cute clothes for Ramsey. Now I know it is totally the wrong thing to be putting efforts towards but I just love it! Today was my big shopping trip to the Calhoun Outlets. I arranged with Mom for her to watch Ramsey so I could be in full power shopping mode. I've been waiting on this trip until about a month before Cope comes home so I would hopefully know what sizes to buy for Ramsey to wear while Cope is home. So I had a great time! Carter's, Children's Place, and Gymboree we all having huge sales. Everything was $5 or less. I got tons of cute things for Ramsey. Since things were such a good deal I went ahead and bought for the coming seasons too. I just love to dress him up in totally boy things. I knew even before he was conceived that we would probably have a little boy because when I would go in baby stores I always veered to the boy stuff. Now, I have a model for my guilty pleasure and thankfully he doesn't seem to mind. I have a friend, Katie, that has a 3 year old boy so she lets me borrow tons of his stuff. I am so glad that when I do shop now I can just concentrate on buying the things that I think are the absolute cutest. Also, I just can help but want Ramsey to have the best outfits while Cope is home even though I know for sure that Cope could care less if he was wearing a paper bag. Thanks to my snazzy bargain shopping today there will be no paper bags on this little boy anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Collections By Tara Nicole

I have finally finished making my new blog site so people can view the product lines I offer. I used to have a web store but it was complicated and too expensive to maintain. So I thought I would just make a site so people can at least see what I do and then they can order via email. Check it out and happy shopping! Also, I've made a link with my other friend blogs on the right so you can check it out from time to time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Count Down Is On

So as you might have noticed I did find a cool countdown thing but I am not sure why it won't fit the space provided. I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows how to correct this. Anyway, the countdown is on. Now I know the Army can change anything at the last minute and the days might vary slightly but for now I at least have something to go from. I am so excited and it is so with in reach now. As you can tell I am literally able to count the minutes now!

Happy Birthday Babe!!!

Today is Cope's 28th Birthday!!! It has been a year of much change. Some hard and some wonderful. I hate we can't celebrate it together but have confidence that he'll have a good day and know that Ramsey, me, and the doggies are thinking about him. I love you Cope and wish you a 28th year of finally coming home, raising your son, and moving on with our lives together!!! Happy Birthday babe, I hope it's a good one. We love you so much and are counting the days, hours and minutes until we can finally be together as our own little family.

April Showers bring May Showers Too

I was VERY busy this past weekend with showers for my friends. On Sat. I went to a bridal shower for my college roommate Jenny. She is a very nice girl and has waited a long time to find true love so I am very happy for her as she embarks on such a wonderful journey. On Sunday I actually threw my best girlfriend Katie a baby shower. I was in charge of the food which I just love entertaining and haven't done too much of it this year living with my mom and being a new parent myself. So it went really well and I again I am very excited for Katie. She is pregnant with her second child this one will be a girl named Kendall. They already have a 3 year old adorable little boy named Kaden. So the showers were both fun but I am so exhausted and glad to have them under my belt so now I can spend more time with Ramsey today. I am so grateful to have my mom and be able to leave Ramsey with a built in babysitter and feel confident leaving him for a bit since she knows him almost as well as I do. A am also happy to have the wonderful girlfriends I do and hope that their new adventures will be as wonderful as they are.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh, so exciting!

So I have recently learned that you can make your blog into a keepsake book, thanks to my fellow blogging friend Mary Beth. She told me there is a website SO I checked it out and watched a demo on how easy it is to make a book by directly uploading your blog into their format. How Exciting! I love blogging and sharing some of our daily adventures with others. I also wanted to somehow find a way to make a book for Ramsey of this stuff because as the years past I will forget some of it unfortunately. I often think too that by the time he is old enough to care about his journey through my eyes we might be well past the computer age and on to some gadgets I can't even fathom right now. So all this is to say I am so pleased with this whole blogging thing. It is serving us well in daily reflections, Cope can keep up with Ramsey even if we don't get to talk everyday, and now future books of memories I will be grateful to have. So yeah for Blogs and Blurbs!

On a separate note it is just about 6 weeks until we finally get see Cope. I am over the moon with excitement already as I can hardly wait for Cope to FINALLY hold his little boy for the very first time. It has been a long time coming, that is for sure. I would like to put a counter/ count down on our blog and if anyone knows how I would find one of those please let me know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BIG Girl Bed

I have finally made it back to my big girl bed. I haven't slept in my own room by myself since the night before Ramsey was born. Until he was 6 weeks old he slept in my bed so I could nurse him, cuddle him, or whatever else newborns might need. At 6 weeks I was determined not to make co-sleeping a long term habit so I decided to nip it in the bud and he went to his crib finally. I remember I only went to his nursery to change him in those early days and thought it such a shame that there was so many nice, new things ( including a crib) that I wasn't sure I would ever be brave enough to let him try out. Well, at 6 weeks he did make it to his own crib but I slept in the nursery in a cozy twin bed. Knowing that Cope is coming home in about 6 weeks I decided I might want to sleep with my husband and not in the nursery since I have not seen Cope in almost 10 months. So after much thought and literally being scared of not being close to Ramsey (actually my bedroom is RIGHT next door to his :) I decided to invest in one of those video monitors. I had thought of it early on but thought they were too expensive and wasn't sure how good they were. So yesterday I made my way by Target to pick one up. I had made some money at the dog collar booth I did last weekend and decided I could not think of a better way to spend it. What is peace of mind really worth? Needless to say,I took the plunge. I LOVE IT!!!! Seriously, I wish I had gotten it early on. Just last week when I went to check on Ramsey during his nap he was playing with the cord to his sound machine and a few weeks ago he was really fond of putting his blankets over his face. Anyway,I slept great in my own bed and Ramsey slept 11 hours strait without even squirming once. I am so proud of myself and my new gadget. I might not be with the times when it comes to Blackberries or I-Phones but I am definitely down with the latest in baby monitors. Man how life has changed.

-the picture doesn't do it justice b/c it is in color during the daytime naps.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movin on UP!!!

I am so pleased to announce that last night when we were out at dinner Ramsey sat in a high chair for the very first time. We have been using the portable car seat up till this point. With an almost 16 lb. little boy this has become quite cumbersome to carry him in the car seat. So we put him in the high chair and he seemed to really like it. He just propped his arm over the side and once he spotted a TV across the way he was pretty content for a while. Also he got his first umbrella stroller this past week since we are planning a trip next month to visit my sister in NY city the huge SUV model stroller won't travel as well. Ramsey is working hard on growing his first two teeth and they have broken though. He is not so much fussy with this as he is LOUD. Actually I am not even sure if it has anything to do with his new teeth but he loves to yell A LOT lately. Which by the end of the day has me totally frazzled and praying for strength and tons more patients. Last evening we fixed him a wet cloth with an ice cube in it to sooth his gums only to discover he choked on the water coming off the ice cube and threw up all over my moms new PJ's and all over himself as well. What a day. I swear if it is the teeth I hope it passes soon and if it is something else I hope it passes soon too so I can recognize my sweet, somewhat quite little boy once again. Where is Cope when I need him? Oh, thats right he is in another country for 15 months. Darn it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Stud

So I just had to post this picture that my mom made for Ramsey to give me for Mother's Day. My mom is such a genius at photoshop. Oh, and last night I discovered that Ramsey is getting his first tooth. Actually it is two at the same time and both have already broken through. I thought he had been a tad fussy lately but attributed it to not being such a hot napper??? It is so exciting anything that is a first even if it means more fussiness and that my little baby is becoming such a little boy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My 1st Mothers Day

I am so proud to be a Mom on this my first Mother's Day. I stand in awe of each Mom I know (especially my own) as it is the best and most important work of our lives. Someone asked me just yesterday how it is to be Ramsey's mom and the answer came so easily it even surprised me. I knew being a mom would be great but is is way better than I ever imagined. Don't get me wrong in the early days it is HARD. There are still some days I'd like to pull my hair out but when Ramsey gives me his huge open mouth grin, all is right with the world. In coming to know him I truly feel like I am becoming more of myself. I am so proud of him. Not proud of my job as much as I am simply enamored by him. I know he came with his own purpose into the world and it is simply my job to support him in his journey. Yes, I have "ideas" for him but I try my best to not have "expectations". I simply want him to be happy. I joke all the time that I could tell my own mom that I was going to get 20 tattoos and join a traveling circus and she would just say "well, okay, as long as you are happy". That is such a comfort to me and I hope I can be the same for Ramsey. As a Mom I know I am not entitled to this experience and that is why it is so rewarding. At the end of the day I am simply grateful to be a mom and more importantly Ramsey's Mom.

Friday, May 9, 2008

2 in 1

Today I decided it was time to learn to walk both of my dogs while pushing Ramsey in the stroller. I figured out how to manage with one dog at a time but today I took them both. Bentley got exhausted on the way back so he caught a ride in the bottom of the stroller. It is the perfect undercarriage for him and the walk went off without hitch. I swear when Ramsey was first born I thought the dogs would always take a backseat and they often do, but not today!

I also put Ramsey's highchair together today since he is able to sit up pretty well. It is GREAT! He sat in it about 30 minutes and played. I think he was very proud of himself and now he can have a better seat with us at the dinner table. I can't get over how fast he is growing. Cope better hurry home because he'll be off to college before we know it :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

My little business has really started doing pretty good. I'm making a good number of items for my friends store and she reports they're all selling well. Just today my mom and I decided to do a dog collar booth at a local dog day called "Howlin Hoedown". I made about 20 new collars today so I was pretty busy getting those done. My mom helped a good bit with Ramsey which I appreciate more than she knows. I am so happy to be making a little money but mostly to have my own creative outlet. I get to do just what I love and anytime it gets to be too much I can simply slow down or stop it all together but so far it is just enough. I am very grateful to have the options I do. It is because Cope is working so hard that I get to stay home with Ramsey and explore business ventures as I choose. There aren't many perks to him being deployed for 15 months but I suppose if you have to look on the bright side this is one of those perks. I would however give it all up to have him home.

On a separate note Ramsey had his other 2 vaccine appt. today. At his 4 month check-up I opted to only get 2 of the 4, so today(one month later) we got the other 2. He only cried for a minute and seems to not be too worse for the the ware this evening just a little bit fussy. He weighed in at a whopping 15lbs. 12 ounces. That seems huge to me but it is still just around average for his age. Hopefully he'll sleep good tonight because we have lots to do tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mr. Ramsey

I just thought I would take this post to send out a few new pictures of Ramsey to his friends. He is growing so much and just turned 5 months this week. I can't believe it has been 5 months already but then I think how long it has been since I've seen Cope and that seems like eternity. I am truly loving being Ramsey's mom and I am just grateful at the end of the day no matter how crazy it might of been. He is enjoying his little pool and we frequent it as often as possible. He is rolling both ways now and sitting up pretty well on his own. He loves his puppies, Sage and Bentley, and laughs out loud at them often. There is nothing better than the sound of his laughter. It makes anything hard that Cope and I are experiencing this year ALL WORTH IT!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Timid One

Our Old English Bulldog, Sage, is the sweetest yet most timid dog I know. She is so bulldog like when she plays but when it comes to certain things she is a little less than brave. We snapped this picture yesterday when she refused to come up the stairs from the basement because she was too afraid to push on through. We even put some food down to entice her to show it was okay, but no way. I think she would have just stayed right there all day. Just thought it was funny and pretty pitiful too.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

He's a travelin boy

Dad and Donna posing with Ramsey

Ramsey playing with Andrew

Ramsey and Sage ready to go (Sage thinks she is driving today)

Today was a fun little adventure for Ramsey and I. We went to visit my Dad and Donna in Gainesville. It is an hour and a half drive for us and it was the first time we had driven to and from in the same day since he was born. He did really well and I just scheduled it so we would be traveling during his nap times and visiting during maximum awake time. He is such a good little boy and I attribute that to just who he is and not a direct reflection of my parenting. We had a good time talking and catching up with everyone. They are very smitten with Ramsey, which I totally understand :) We even took Miss Sage along for some much needed attention.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Skinny Dipping

It doubles as a water bowl.

Little kicks make a big splash

Yesterday was Ramsey's first trip to the pool. Actually, It was just kiddie blow up one that we put on our back deck. He really seemed to like it but was slightly confused on whether this was bath time or not. He kicked around and was interested that this new pool was also a good pit spot for the doggies to get a drink. Anything new is so much fun with a child. Ramsey makes me appricate all the small adventures in life. Oh, and these pictures will be great to show his girlfriends when he gets older.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Strawberry Picking

So we decided to try round 2 of our strawberry picking trip. In case you missed the post from the other day we tried to go on Wednesday but due to the car seat drama we didn't make it. Today was a much smoother adventure, thank goodness. We found the place with no problem and bought our little baskets to fill with delicious strawberries. I carried Ramsey on my front in the carry pack and my thighs were totally burning from squatting and picking with a 15lb kid on my front. It only took us about 15 minutes for my mom and I to each fill our baskets. Ramsey was extremely cooperative and didn't seem to mind to constant bending down and picking the best berries we could find. So it was great! We even had a mini photo session at the end. I think we'll definitely be returning to this great place because they have vegetable picking in the summer so Ramsey can do that and then we'll come home and whip up some of the great things for him to try. So fun day and I just ate a delicious homemade angle food cake with fresh whip cream and lots of STRAWBERRIES! Yummy!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gotta love a bargain

Today was the annual service league rummage sale in our town. I had never been before but heard there was usually lots of good stuff. I automatically think of all the possible stuff I could find for Ramsey. I'm currently on the lookout for an umbrella stroller and thought I might find it there. So we went a few minutes before the gates were supposed to open and the line was already like 100 people deep. It reminded me of the day after Thanksgiving sales. So the gates opened and it was on. People were literally pushing their way through and just grabbing tons of items. I was overwhelmed but determined to get a bargain. I rummaged through the kids clothes but didn't find anything we could not live without. Then I found a brand new push cart that also converts to a riding car. I spotted one of those little tykes Flinstone cars for only $9 but we had Ramsey, his big stroller ( we call it the SUV model), my mom, myself, and an Acura sedan. So I decided not to get it even though I know he'll love it as soon as he can walk. I told my mom how cheap it was and she said "get it! we'll just get it home some way". So I ran back into the fiasco/rummage sale hoping it was still there and IT WAS! So I got it and we managed to fit it in the front seat of the car and my mom rode in the back with Ramsey. Then on the way home we were talking about how much fun a kiddie pool would be so we stopped buy a local place with incredible bargains called "liquidation station". No pool but we did find this adorable Caterpillar rocking thing that was a manger special price of $19.99. So we went halves on it and when we were leaving we spotted a Power Wheels 4-wheeler with a dump truck attachment. It was too cute and even matches Cope's 4-wheeler. It was a Clarence special so I couldn't resist. We'll put it and the Flinstone car away until Birthday and/or Christmas. Did I mention we managed to fit it all in the car? AMAZING! Oh, and then after yoga my friend called to tell me her neighbors were having a yard sale. I mean I was on a roll so I just had to check it out. I got lots of cute outfits, most for the coming seasons. After figuring it, I spent under $100 and got a Flinstons car, a Tumble Tigger, a walker/riding car, a power wheels 4-wheeler, a rocking Caterpillar, a bag full of nice clothes, and 3 pairs of kids shoes. WOW! I am very proud of my day. It is amazing that you truly can spend any amount of money on any item that you want. So today I feel like I beat the system and if Cope is going to be working so hard on his end it is my job to do the best I can with our money, or at least try to :)