Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100 Days!!!

Only 100 days left until Cope is back home for good! I miss him so much and could not be more proud of his strength during this very long deployment. All I have to say is hurry home babe, we have lots to look forward to! You are more than worth the wait.

He's pulling up

I know I just posted a video yesterday but this is the best way I know for Cope to get to see his son in action too. So here is one from today. I noticed on his video monitor that he was awake and suddenly able to pull himself to look over the side. I suppose before his late afternoon nap I will be figuring out how to lower the mattress.

He also is begining to get himself into sitting position:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Almost Dada???

Ramsey has been saying Mama for a little while now so I figured it was time he start working on Dada. So far this is what we've got...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Too Pooped to Play

This is how I found Ramsey this afternoon. I had put him in his exersaucer for a few minutes while I finished up an order I had and when I turned around he was fast asleep. Instead of putting him right to bed I just had to grab the camera. He makes me laugh so much these days. He is now snoozing away in his bed and I might just try and do the same???

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not Enough Coffee

Some days there is just not enough coffee in the world to give me the energy I need to get through the day. Today just happened to be one of those days. I had mentioned earlier that Ramsey is working on 2 more of his now 6 teeth. He handles it fairly well during the day but whines a lot in his sleep. He never cries just whines and tosses and turns more than usual. Now I know I could just turn off or turn down the monitor but the mother in me just can't do it. I lightly doze and try to stay alert enough to hear if he were to really need me. Ramsey did this whole fussy thing from about 1:30 AM until his usual wake time of 7:30AM. I try to remind myself as I drag into his room that it is no longer about me and my needs but about what Ramsey's needs are. I greet him with a smile and when he returns it with a toothy grin and giggle, I simply melt. I adore him so much but today was just one of those days that I didn't have the strength to be "super mom". I try so hard most days and try to be a million things to many different people but today I just surrendered to my human side and let the melt down occur. Once that is done I can then move on. Things have been crazy busy since Cope left to go back to Iraq. I am so thankful for the distractions and the days are simply flying by. I don't think they are moving quite as fast on Cope's end as he would like. I love that the time is passing quickly but it is sort of a double whammy because Ramsey is growing and changing so fast. Sometimes I wish I could just push the pause button and breath for a bit but this is life and the show must go on. So when I finally fall into bed tonight totally exhausted and overwhelmed I will remember in the midst of all the madness we are truly so blessed and I am grateful for my life and all the craziness that makes it so worth living. I'll also be looking forward to that delightful cup of coffee and Ramsey's sweet morning grin.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can he catch a little break???

I have been noticing lately that Ramsey is drooling again since getting his second top tooth in this past week. He has been chewing on anything he can get a hold of and also been a bit fussy at eating time. At first I just determined he was trying to push my buttons by not eating as well but on further examination I have discovered 2 more top teeth coming in. Yep, his gums are swollen and I can see that in few days he will have 4 top teeth making a total of 6 teeth all together in his little 7 month old mouth. I mean really, he is coping well I'd say but as for me I get bent out of shape when is anything is out of the norm especially my sons attitude about eating. Guess we'll just continue to roll with it and stay confident knowing that "this too shall pass" and all things considered he is handling teething like a champ.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Official!!!

RAMSEY IS CRAWLING!!!! Yes, he started the army low crawl about a month ago and finally as of last night really began the real up on all fours crawl. I'm very proud of him and his latest skills. He is also saying mama very often. I'm not convinced he knows that mama means me but still it is sweet to hear.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ramsey's 6 Month Well Check

Ramsey is actually 7 and 1/2 months as of today but since Cope was going to be home for a few weeks I asked that he not get vaccines until after Cope left in case he got feverish from them. So today my mom and I took him. I'm happy to report the Doc said he checks out just great! He is 17lbs 9oz and 28 inches tall. She said we can start introducing him to a sippee cup so that should be interesting. She said it takes most babies a little while to figure it out so to just give it to him a few times a day to explore and play with. Guess we'll see??? He just had to get one shot today and then we'll get the other two at his 9 month check up in September. Ramsey is napping off his shot now so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a good rest will keep any feelings yucky-ness away???

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What we're doing now

I've taken an idea from some other friends blogs and decided to do a post on what the Rowell household is up to at this particular time in our lives.

Cope: - Back in Iraq as of Thursday
- Working 24/7 and way to hard
- Brainstorming ideas for a career outside of the Army
- Reliving R and R in his mind
- Counting the days until he is out of a war zone and back home with his wife and son

Ramsey: - Almost crawling (maybe just a few more days???)
- Acting like a crazy man in his walker
- Loving his meat choices in solids but not so crazy about the other stuff still
- Babbling stuff like ma-ma and ba-ba
- Had both top teeth break through (Thank God)
- Missing his Dad and wondering where he went

Sage: (Old English Bulldog)
-Terrified of thunderstorms
- Sleeps in Bentley's crate (it is at least 2 sizes too small but since the thunderstorms it is where I typically will find her napping)
- Napping at least 23 hours a day
- Still the sweetest girl I know

Bentley: (French Bulldog)
- Follows me everywhere
- Cleans up the floor after Ramsey eats his solids
- Eats Ramsey's Dove bar soap ( I have to use Dove bar soap for Ramsey's eczema now
and I have caught Bentley on numerous occasions eating it like is his last meal)
- Snoring and breathing so loudly he has to be kenneled during Ramsey's nap time

Tara: -Spends too much time blogging
-Changed my profession from "stay at home Mom" to "baby wrangler" this past week
-Missing Cope and counting the days until we get him back

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ode to the Bouncy Seat

Today was bittersweet when I finally put Ramsey's bouncy seat in storage. It is just a reminder of how big and mobile he is getting these days. It served us extremely well and as I put it down stairs I remembered how handy this silly little seat had been. I thought of when I first put him in it at one week old he was too little for it but he was fascinated with its vibration and lights at the same time. Now his feet hang over the edge and he seems bored out of his mind in it. I also thought of when I used it from age 6 weeks to 12 weeks to bounce him to sleep at night. Thankfully he learned how to put himself to sleep shortly after but this little $40 seat was a miracle worker when it counted. So I could not just cast this seat aside without first giving it its props. Thanks bouncy seat, you do good work. I also retired the travel system stroller but it was too cumbersome to really make much mention of. All I have to say is thank God for the much smaller umbrella versions. Anyway, my little man is growing up and it is getting so much more fun each day and even though those first few months with a baby are super hard they are at the same time some of the sweetest. If I am this nostalgic when Ramsey is just 7 months old I can't even imagine his first day of school or when he decides he is too cool for his mommy's kisses.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ummm, Meat!

Ramsey keeps enjoying his solid food choices more and more these days. He has even moved on to stage 2 foods which is way more fun to buy with all the combinations available. I stocked up while Cope was home and I think he thought I had lost it a little because I was having so much fun on the baby food isle. I am still trying to stick to only organic selections and thankfully there are lots in that department. Ramsey seems to like the meat vaieties which is totally discusting to me. I'm not complaining though as I am just thrilled he actually likes his solid food options these days. One of his top teeth is FINALLY through and now the other looks like it isn't far behind. YIKES!

Kenneled Up

So I totally needed a good laugh today as our hearts are still heavy but we are trying hard to stay busy and fall back into our routines as just the two of us. I sure do miss the extra set of hands but most of all the love and laughter Cope brought to the mix. When Ramsey army crawls around my room he often ventures right over to Sage's kennel. I decided to put him all the way in just for picture purposes of course. It might be mean but I needed the laughs. Ramsey did not seem to mind either. When I was pregnant with him I used to joke all the time that having a baby could not be too much work after all could I not just teach him to "kennel up" too??? Jeez, I've come a long way in the parenting department since then.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gone Again

Darn It! Cope is gone again. Eighteen days isn't enough. It is however enough time for me to be slapped with the fact that I am totally in love with my husband. I mean I knew I adored him but I was once again reminded of how wonderful it is to have him around. I suddenly feel like my right arm has been cut off. I got used to saying "hey, I'm going to run do something and can you watch Ramsey for a minute?" Cope became the bottle cleaner, diaper changer, slippery baby in bath holder, bed time book reader, and most of all my partner in it all. Yes, he is the man! After 18 days of so much fun, lots of relaxing, lots of dreaming of life after the Army, I am once again reminded that I am married to the perfect man for me. He makes me so happy. I know in my heart that Ramsey and I will be fine these last few months but we are just better when Cope is here. It was hard to say goodbye especially now that Cope knows just how cool Ramsey is. Neither of us are a big fan of drama or drawing out the inevitable so we chose the band-aid method(rip it off real fast and pray it doesn't hurt too bad) for goodbye. He had several of his buddies around so we tried to act as nonchalant as possible but it still hurt. I am determined not to be angry that Cope has to go back but instead be grateful for the wonderful time we did have and once again count the days until he returns to our lives... for good! He is worth it all. Oh he most definitely is! 10 months down and only 4 more to go!!!

Side Note: I had mentioned in an earlier post that we had our pictures taken by my photographer friend Brandy Shirley last week. As a wonderful surprise she hurried to get them done and on her blog so Cope could get a glimpse before he left. We are really pleased with them thus far. Check them out if you want at and then click on her blog and it should come up there. Also check out our slideshow on there too, just click on the link highlighted in pink. I'll try to update the pictures on our blog sometime next week when I actually get the disk with all the pictures.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Date Night

Cope and I went out for our much anticipated date night to Atlanta last night. As I had mentioned in an earlier post it was my first night away from Ramsey but he was in good hands and I was going out on the town with his Daddy/my husband. Cope and I left at his afternoon nap time and headed for some bowling at US Play and then checked into our hotel in Midtown. We had dinner reservations at the Melting Pot. We have both eaten fondue before but never there. It was AWESOME!!! We had such a good time trying all the different foods and it truly exceeded any expectations I might have had. We got a good nights sleep and then stopped by Waffle House on the way home for breakfast. My mom said Ramsey did great but he did wake up an hour early due to painful teeth breaking through. He had just fallen asleep for his morning nap when we got home but Cope and I woke him up anyway and showered him with kisses. Cope heads back tomorrow around lunch and we are both trying very hard not to face the inevitable fact that he has to leave us and the simple comforts of home in just 24 hours. It is like the pink elephant in the room no one wants to mention. We have on our brave faces but our hearts are getting heavy and we're trying to soak up every last second of family time we can in the meantime.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photo Session

Cope and I had a photo session with friend of mine last week. I wanted to get some pictures of Cope and Ramsey so Ramsey will one day think his Daddy was around all the time and also so we could get some family stuff too. It is so much fun to work with Brandy. She is AWESOME!!! It is nothing like a studio session in that she takes about 500 pictures in about an hour in a half. She lets you do as many outfit changes as you want. She also does a lot of candid work which I totally love because I feel like sometimes in too posed of pictures the details get lost. I had her do Ramsey's pictures when he was 6 weeks old and I remember she would say "just be with him". By that she meant just act natural with him and she would snap away. At that time I thought act natural??? I really felt a bit awkward as a new mom. It wasn't completely natural for me. I mean I loved Ramsey instinctually but it was still weird to me that I had a baby that I was totally responsible for. I also felt like I was still getting to know him. This time during the photo session when she would say "just be with him" it came as naturally as breathing to me. It is like breathing to me now. I realized I know him. I know what makes him smile. I know how to make him laugh. I know what his little cries mean and I know how to fix what pains him. I am totally and utterly over the moon about my son. He is such a blessing for us. Cope and I often just look at him and can't get our minds around the fact that we created him. We put an amazing human being on the planet. So it just took a photo session to make me realize how natural it is to "just be with Ramsey" these days.

Fine Dining at Home

Last night my Mom and step-Dad Morgan made a 5 course meal for Cope and I at their house. They had done this summer before last when Cope was home on leave from Afghanistan so they felt a repeat performance was a must. We had a great time and of course ate too much but it was delicious. Here is the menu of what we had:
-Before dinner drinks of Mohito for me and Crown and Coke for Cope
-Toasted bread with Olive Oil
-Cream of mushroom soup
-Pan seared beef tenderloin steaks with a creamy peppercorn sauce, green beans, and cheesy scalloped potatoes
-Chocolate Molten cake with a scoop of Starbucks Mud Pie ice cream with whip cream and a cherry

They made everything from scratch and needless to say we are a bit spoiled but so appreciative for fine dining experience without having to go out. Morgan played our gay waiter "Morgeen" and Ramsey tried to help serve from his little walker.

On a separate note we got up at 5:00am to go fishing on the Etowah River. We didn't have much luck so we stopped by my Mom's lake to try for catfish, no luck. On the way home a spotted a yard sale so I made Cope take me by. I found a turtle sand box for Ramsey for just $3. Gotta love a bargain! Ramsey's top teeth are both on the verge of breaking through. Hopefully in the next 24-48 hours they'll make their debut. It has made his all night sleeping a little more fussy and eating a bit off at times. Cope and I have our date night tomorrow, which I am super looking forward to. So for the rest of today we going to just chill out and hopefully take a nap in the near future.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rest and Relaxation

We are on day 14 of Cope being on leave for R & R and all is well with the Rowell family. It has been quite an experiment thus far. By that I mean some things have been a little harder to get used to then either of us imagined but most things have been way better. So far we have been to the beach, spent time in Cope's hometown, and just chilled at my Moms (where Ramsey and I live this year). Cope is quite taken with Ramsey. I asked him yesterday if he could sum up parenting thus far in one word what would it be? He could not come up with one so I filled in the blank with constant and at times intense but mostly wonderful. Ramsey is doing great. We even took him to the pediatrician together for a rash he has had on his torso. Come to find out he has a mild case of eczema which is fine in at least I know how to treat it now. Also, he is up to 17lbs 9oz and he just turned 7 months old. He is still army crawling but much faster and much farther. We both look at him and just feel so blessed that he is ours and we are all together. We are very much looking forward to Cope coming home for good in about 4 months and us being a family everyday, settling into a routine, and live a life that feels a little more predictable. Cope is beginning to work on his resume for the civilian world and we have even teased ourselves by starting to look at houses. What is life if you can't keep dreaming? Cope goes back next Tuesday and until then we are planning to just relax and soak it all in. We also have an overnight date night planned for this weekend. It will be my first night away from Ramsey but I know he'll be in good hands and that it is most important for Cope and I to spend some much needed time together.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The "Ass-plosion"

In yesterdays post I mentioned that last night Ramsey had the worst dirty diaper of his life thus far. How appropriate that Cope is home to experience the many joys of parenting. We refer to the BIG jobs as "ass-plosions". It is a bit foul language I agree but nothing else seems to quite capture the event. Oh, and if you find the picture to be disgusting, I promise you it was.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back From The Beach

This a LONG post but I just went ahead and combined it all. Read what you would like or just look at the pictures if you want.

We're back from sunny Florida and we had a very fun and relaxing first family vacation. We thought it was only going to take us about 6 hours to get to Ft.Walton from my moms house but instead it took us closer to 7.5. On the way down we stopped at Cope's great aunts house (his great uncle who passed away a few years ago started Southern Living magazine and it was their condo we we're staying in at the beach). Aunt Dot is her name and she was so happy to see us. I think it made her year to meet Ramsey and see Cope and his son together. It was a good little stop and made a great time for afternoon bottle and diaper change as well. Then we were on our way to the beach...

Ramsey did AWESOME on the to and from trips. He only fussed maybe one time but never any crying or anything. Cope and I both find it very interesting that he can sit in a carseat for up to 7 hours but when he go to dinner for 45 minutes he often gets fidgety???

We made it to the condo and it has been remodeled so it is much fancier and much more my style. It has a balcony that faces the ocean so every morning we had coffee with the waves and Ramsey in his bouncing gym.

We ate out at two of our favorite local seafood places and the first night we went out was Cope's first ever experience of going out to dinner with a 6 month old. He said "I remember going in and coming out of the place, but I don't remember much in between" Ramsey was actually pretty good considering his usual late afternoon nap was only 30 minutes instead of the usual hour or so.

It was really hot during the day so we mostly stayed in or went shopping during that time. One afternoon however Cope suggested that he'd watch Ramsey if I wanted to go on the beach for a bit. I jumped at the chance and went off for a whole hour alone. I also thought they might want some father and son bonding time. In the hour I was gone I got super sun burned and Ramsey had his dirty diaper for the day. Cope thought about how to proceed as he surely couldn't wait until I came back and pretend like it had just happened. He couldn't stand the smell inside so he took Ramsey out on the balcony and performed the operation on the "ass-plosion". I just smiled and laughed a little.

Ramsey did not nap too well but did great sleeping at night. We bought him a backpack which was great for strolling on the beach. He enjoyed the pool and we even put him completely under the water and he didn't even cry. He was a bit startled but the smiles came back shortly.

Overall it was a wonderful vacation. One we much needed as just the 3 of us. Cope and I had some much needed conversations and reconnections as a married couple. Cope and Ramsey are loving each other. Cope gets it that parenting isn't always fun and games but the smiles and love Ramsey gives are most definitely worth it.

Oh, and shortly after we arrived home this evening Ramsey had the worst dirty diaper of his life. It was seriously up his back and up to his neck. THANK GOD I had a helper in Cope and we took him strait to the tub for that one. Ok, Cope helped but was on the verge of gagging at any moment. Now were all home, unpacked, loving on our doggies, and being very thankful for each day we're together.