Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jason - Month 14

Holy busy life, batman! 

We have been real busy these past few months. I'm sure I've mentioned all the trips we've been on in past blogs. Our biggest trip was to Texas so Jason could play in the Warrior Open hosted by George W. Bush in Dallas. Say what you will regarding politics, but this was an absolutely amazing experience. 

Let me back up a few months. 

When we got back to Colorado, Jason got really in to playing golf again. Like, playing 3-4 times a week. I was google searching one night, and just searched for tournaments in the area for military. The Warrior Open website came up, and I started reading about it, and all the events that took place last year. Jason thought it was just a one time deal since the scores were still up from last year. But there were 2012 dates, and they weren't until September. Oh you better believe I bookmarked that page, and checked it every single day until the application date was set. We applied, and didn't think we'd actually get picked. We waited and waited, and finally had to email to ask the status because it was getting fairly close, and he needed to know whether or not to put paperwork in for TDY. Jason was the first one to be called and invited, and she said "George Bush is really excited to play golf with you!" 

It was a 5 day, all expenses paid, 36 hole golf tournament especially for wounded warriors. If you could plan a trip - a golf trip - this is how it would've gone. Seriously, it was that good. It was a whirlwind, and went by way too fast, but it was also SO fun. The organization was ridiculous. All of GW's worker bees had huge binders on them at all times, and everyone knew everyone in our family by name, especially Cooper. They could answer any question I could possibly muster up right there on the spot. They greeted us at the hotel and said all of our special requests had been taken care of, and they definitely were. We stayed at the Four Seasons, and felt totally out of our league. We fidgeted when the bellhop guy brought our bags to our room and took the laundry to be pressed. We ate room service Texas Pecan Chocolate Chip Pie and Pepperoni Pizza on the floor of the hotel room so we wouldn't wake Cooper (who is very hard to get to sleep in a hotel room, by the way). We walked around and basked in the humidity of Texas, and enjoyed the less-itchy-because-it's-not-as-dry Jason. 

Photo courtesy of warrior
Jason felt like a professional golfer, and loved every second of it. Chiropractors were walking around asking if anyone needed adjustments after each day of golf. He refused every single time even though I was practically begging him to give it a try. The members of the Las Colinas Country Club were allowed in to watch and participate, which made it feel even more professional like, because he had 'fans'. People were walking around watching him play and following his games. One guy came up to me and said "Is he the one tied for second? I saw his shot on nine, and now this one, and he looks really good!" Sadly, he was not tied for second, but I still thought that was cool that this guy was following him. The first tee off was pretty nerve wracking; he was surrounded by at least 350 people, and the guy who held up the 'Quiet' sign, and an announcer who said his name and where he was from, and George W. right behind him watching. No pressure. Just hit the ball. That's all I was thinking. I don't care where it goes, just hit it. And Cooper, please don't choose this time to scream! They provided me with my own cart to follow him around for all 18 holes each day. Cooper's MiMi was a very helpful babysitter for the last nine holes of each day so I could finish watching Jason play. Tom Watson was there the second day, and was at one of the holes offering his advice. When Jason teed off that day, I videoed GW talking to 'some guy' (that's what I called him since I had no idea it was Tom Watson, or who that even is). He said "He's got a good swing!" And GW replied "Yeah, he's a really good player" They went on to have a conversation about him but I couldn't hear what they were saying. 

That was one of those moments where you're not really sure what your husband does, or if what he does is good compared to everyone else - I've seen him play golf, but I sure as hell don't know what's good and what's not - (I knew he wasn't horrible if he was getting asked to play with some older men in our town, and we were getting invited to his house and such) - so when they had that little conversation, my heart just throbbed with joy for him! I was so proud of him! 

The ninth hole proved difficult both days for him, but he improved the second day at least. His putting was costing him a lot of pars and he said he was having trouble 'reading the greens'. That's about as far as my golf talk goes. I do know that he played the worst I've ever seen him play on that first day, and rightfully so. If you were playing with George W. watching you, you'd probably be a little nervous too.  We were treated to a special dinner at GW's house, with Jay Leno as a guest as well. We had fried catfish and steak on his front lawn, and listened to a stand up routine from Jay Leno afterwards. We got to see a private show by the Eli Young band after another special dinner with GW on the last night we were there. 

The event was really perfect. I just can't express to you how much we appreciated everything they were doing for us. I'm just not sure how to put it in to words. To be given that opportunity, and treated like that, is something everyone dreams of. We didn't do anything to deserve that, except have a bit of bad luck. We certainly hope to participate in that event as long as they will allow us to, but understand we may not be lucky enough to experience it more than once. I do believe the event will grow and get bigger and bigger each year, although I hope they don't allow too many more guys to participate at once. It was already so big with only 22 participating warriors. To make it bigger, would take away all the personal touches that were afforded. So I'm sure soon, getting accepted to participate will get harder and harder. 

Long story short, he handled everything so well. He would be the most humble famous guy ever. He gave an impromptou speech in front of at least 250 people including the president, teed off twice in front of crowds (and GW and Tom Watson!), smiled after missing countless birdie (?!) putts, and continued to be a positive role model for a lot of people, including myself. 

Photo courtesy of 
We said multiple times throughout the trip how amazed we were that we were even there. It was hard to soak it all in. When Jason was down on himself for missing those putts, I tried my best to be supportive since I know nothing about golf. "Just soak it in, babe, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, make the experience everything you want it to be." We reminisced about 14 months ago, and how we never, ever, thought this is where we'd be. Back then, our outlook for the future was pretty gloomy and didn't go much further past 2 or 3 months. Now, we are amazed at how far we've come in such a short amount of time. We often wonder where we will be this time next year.

Phew, I guess I'll stop with the Texas trip. I'm sure you're all bored to death with that. We also went home for a weekend which was a long trip for such a short amount of time. We squeezed in playdates, weddings, and crab feasts though. It was a lot of fun, and very busy again, but it was nice to be home for a little bit and see everyone. 

In other Jason news, he's still itchy. Awesome. This has been going on since February, and still the best explanation is Eczema. He still does is nightly cocktail of creams and steroid creams and foams and ointments. Nothing is really making it all go away. 

He's miserable in the WTU, and I've finally had to step in. I only hope it gets resolved soon. He got his 'unfit for duty' rating back, and today he got his disability rating which he doesn't agree with so he'll probably have to appeal that in the near future. He's not excited about returning to the Army and not being in the infantry, but he's excited about working again. 

I'm excited for that too, although I have to say, I've been very spoiled with how our schedule has been lately. He's able to pick Cooper up from daycare early in the day which is wonderful because I refuse to have him there all day long. He's usually free to do things any day of the week. 

I'm scared to see where our future is going to take us. I've become so used to this place, and after three years, we call it home now. Is that how every Army station is? Do you find the perfect job, and friends and your favorite nail place and hair dresser and grocery store and fast food place and mall all in a new city? Every time you move? What if you don't find friends? Or the perfect job? What if it's not the same as you've been used to? These are the thoughts that have been consuming my mind lately as we talk about this changing jobs thing for Jason, that means we'll likely be moving soon, and by soon I mean in the next year or two. Which is soon for me. I need a good 5 years to prepare. I don't know why I'm stressing so bad; I picked up and moved out here not knowing anyone three years ago, and look now. I have a bunch of great friends; many with babies Coopers age so we have fun play dates. My job is ideal. That's probably my biggest worry. I don't know where I will find another employer so willing to work with me like they have been here. I absolutely LOVE my job here. Love it. Not ready to say good bye to that. Found my favorite hair dresser, nail salon, waxer, Target, Safeway, Chick-Fil-A, outlet mall, etc. 

Let's put it this way - when I go 'home' and see all the Virginia license plates, it looks weird. When I come back here, and see all the green and white Colorado license plates, it feels like I'm home. And that's weird - so I know that wherever we move next, I will be able to feel home, it will just take a while. But it's even scarier with Cooper now, wondering how he will adjust, and if we will find a house with enough room to call home again just like we've found this one. Will his room be as cozy as it is here? Ah, the joys of a military wife. This would be our first true military family move, though. 

So I've been rambling. A lot. I'm sorry. It's been a long day, a long week rather, even though I only work two shifts a week these days. I'm off to love on my husband while we watch Friends as we do every single night. (I remember when Nick@Nite had I Love Lucy on...not a show that was on when I was younger. I feel old) 

omg. It's the leather pants episode. You all know what I'm talking about. :) 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cooper - Month 9

Where oh where has my little boy gone?! 

You are so grown up now! You crawl and climb and stand and squat and side step and are learning the stairs! You love your mommy these days, and that's ok, because she loves you very much. You love to snuggle with her, and it makes daddy jealous sometimes. You are currently cutting three teeth at the same time! You already have one on the bottom, and the one next to it is coming in, as well as two on the top. Not the middle two though, the outer two - so that will probably look funny. 

You are still as talkative as ever, and make new sounds almost every day. You love to sing and play patty cake with mommy. Bath time has become an adventure since you're over the bath seat, and now just like to play with the faucet and splash the whole time. You love daddy's xbox, and go straight for the power button every time. We finally had to unplug it! 

You stand up in your crib and cry and cry until someone comes to sit you down. You haven't quite figured out how to sit back down once you've stood up. You look so pitiful when we go in to rescue you! You still sleep through the night, and well in to the morning (unless you're not feeling well). 

Throughout your eighth month, you traveled a lot! You went to England, Texas, and Virginia. In Texas you got to meet another president! George. W. Bush. He put his hat on you at daddy's golf tournament, and even held you for a few seconds, but you were tired and started crying so he gave you back to mommy. You were certainly a hit at the golf tournament, everyone still comments on how much you look like your daddy. You are quite the frequent flyer these days, too. It's hit or miss though, sometimes you sleep right through the flight, and other times you cry the whole time. In Virginia, there was a constant flow of people at mom mom's house coming to visit you since we were only there for a weekend. You played with your cousin Max, and friend Jocelyn! You saw your favorite Lauren again, and wooed her with all your new tricks. You gave Tammy & Philip baby fever the day after their wedding, and you might have even given it to David. You hung out with your pop pop a lot, because he basically lived with us in Colorado for 6 weeks to babysit Sadie while we were out doing all this world traveling! 

You still enjoy meal times, although we haven't strayed too far from the general baby diet. Mommy may be a little reluctant to let you grow up too fast. You have graduated to Cheerios, which are much cheaper and easier to haul around with us. You still love sweet potatoes and applesauce the best. You are starting to get excited about yogurt, too. You especially love the fruit and yogurt popsicles I make for you since your gums are so sore these days. We have a very relaxed schedule, and a semi routine when we're home all day. Usually, that all gets thrown out the window if we're out running errands, though. Generally you take one or two naps during the day, and then we snuggle in our rocking chair at night before bed and then you sleep peacefully until the morning. Nap times are getting harder though, since you stand and walk around the edges of the crib and then fuss until I have to come lay you down and say night night again. Today, we had to do that three times before you actually fell asleep! 

While life with you has gotten easier in some respects, it's gotten harder in others. You are in to everything. Everything you're not supposed to be in. So we have to watch you like a hawk, but still allow you to explore your home. It's wonderful to be able to put you in the shopping cart in stores instead of lugging the stroller or strapping you to me, but then you're putting the lovely shopping cart with all it's cleanliness in your mouth. You have a mind of your own now, and know what you want. iPhones in particular, are one of your favorite items to grab and chew on. You don't like it when mommy walks out of the room, and really don't like it when she puts you down! 

We can't wait to see what this month brings, I hope you continue to grow in to a sweet, loving boy like you already are. Keep smiling, Cooper boy! Mommy & Daddy love you!